No Romance Sold Unto

669

No Romance sold unto
Could so enthrall a Man
As the perusal of
His Individual One—
'Tis Fiction's—When 'tis small enough
To Credit—'Tisn't true!

by Emily Dickinson.

Proem. To Myth And Romance

There is no rhyme that is half so sweet
As the song of the wind in the rippling wheat;
There is no metre that's half so fine
As the lilt of the brook under rock and vine;
And the loveliest lyric I ever heard
Was the wildwood strain of a forest bird.
If the wind and the brook and the bird would teach
My heart their beautiful parts of speech.
And the natural art that they say these with,
My soul would sing of beauty and myth
In a rhyme and a metre that none before
Have sung in their love, or dreamed in their lore,
And the world would be richer one poet the more.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Records Of Romantic Passion

THERE’S a rare Soul of Poesy which may be
But concentrated by the chastened dreams
Of constant hearts. Where’er the ministry
Of beautiful Nature hath enhanced the themes
Of some Petrarchian mind whose story gleams
Within the Past like a moon-silvered sea,
Or where grey Interest the spirit free
Of faithful Love hath caged in iron schemes,
Or round it stirr’d such dangers as o’erdrove
Long Ruin’s storm at last—there evermore
The very airs that whisper to the grove,
The echo’s mystery and the streamlet’s lore
Savour of Passion and transfusive pour
Abroad suggestions to heroic Love.

by Charles Harpur.

I WILL make you brooches and toys for your delight
Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night.
I will make a palace fit for you and me,
Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.

I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room,
Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom,
And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white
In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.

And this shall be for music when no one else is near,
The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear!
That only I remember, that only you admire,
Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.

by Robert Louis Stevenson.

On A Ruined House In A Romantic Country

And this reft house is that the which he built,
Lamented Jack ! And here his malt he pil'd,
Cautious in vain ! These rats that squeak so wild,
Squeak, not unconscious of their father's guilt.
Did ye not see her gleaming thro' the glade ?
Belike, 'twas she, the maiden all forlorn.
What though she milk no cow with crumpled horn,
Yet aye she haunts the dale where erst she stray'd ;
And aye beside her stalks her amorous knight !
Still on his thighs their wonted brogues are worn,
And thro' those brogues, still tatter'd and betorn,
His hindward charms gleam an unearthly white ;
As when thro' broken clouds at night's high noon
Peeps in fair fragments forth the full-orb'd harvest-moon !

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

MY Love dwelt in a Northern land.
A gray tower in a forest green
Was hers, and far on either hand
The long wash of the waves was seen,
And leagues on leagues of yellow sand,
The woven forest boughs between!

And through the silver Northern night
The sunset slowly died away,
And herds of strange deer, lily-white,
Stole forth among the branches gray;
About the coming of the light,
They fled like ghosts before the day!

I know not if the forest green
Still girdles round that castle gray;
I know not if the boughs between
The white deer vanish ere the day;
Above my Love the grass is green,
My heart is colder than the clay!

by Andrew Lang.

'Talk of pluck!' pursued the Sailor,
Set at euchre on his elbow,
'I was on the wharf at Charleston,
Just ashore from off the runner.

'It was grey and dirty weather,
And I heard a drum go rolling,
Rub-a-dubbing in the distance,
Awful dour-like and defiant.

'In and out among the cotton,
Mud, and chains, and stores, and anchors,
Tramped a squad of battered scarecrows -
Poor old Dixie's bottom dollar!

'Some had shoes, but all had rifles,
Them that wasn't bald was beardless,
And the drum was rolling Dixie,
And they stepped to it like men, sir!

'Rags and tatters, belts and bayonets,
On they swung, the drum a-rolling,
Mum and sour. It looked like fighting,
And they meant it too, by thunder!'

by William Ernest Henley.

Of old, on her terrace at evening
...not here...in some long-gone kingdom
O, folded close to her breast!...

--our gaze dwelt wide on the blackness
(was it trees? or a shadowy passion
the pain of an old-world longing
that it sobb'd, that it swell'd, that it shrank?)
--the gloom of the forest
blurr'd soft on the skirt of the night-skies
that shut in our lonely world.

...not here...in some long-gone world...

close-lock'd in that passionate arm-clasp
no word did we utter, we stirr'd not:
the silence of Death, or of Love...
only, round and over us
that tearless infinite yearning
and the Night with her spread wings rustling
folding us with the stars.

...not here...in some long-gone kingdom
of old, on her terrace at evening
O, folded close to her heart!...

by Christopher John Brennan.

The Lady Beatriz.Romance.From The Spanish.—thirteenth Century.

There were stately nuptials in France,
In the royal town of Paris:
Who is it leads the dance?
The lovely Lady Beatriz.
Who is it gazes on her,
With looks so earnest and bright?
’Tis her noblest Page of Honour,
Don Martin, Count and Knight.
The bride and her maidens advance
Young Count, why lookest thou so?
Are thy dark eyes fixed on the dance,
Or on me? Oh! I fain would know.
I gaze not upon the dance,
Sweet Beatriz, lady mine;
For many a galliard I’ve seen in France,
But never such beauty as thine.

Then if thou lovest me so, young Count,
Oh! take me away with thee;
For nor gay nor young, though a prince’s son,
Is the bridegroom they’d wed with me.
There was mourning in France, I ween,
In the royal town of Paris;
For no more was seen either Count Martín
Or the lovely Lady Beatriz.

by Lady Jane Wilde.

Romance, who loves to nod and sing,
With drowsy head and folded wing,
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been- a most familiar bird-
Taught me my alphabet to say-
To lisp my very earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child- with a most knowing eye.

Of late, eternal Condor years
So shake the very Heaven on high
With tumult as they thunder by,
I have no time for idle cares
Through gazing on the unquiet sky.
And when an hour with calmer wings
Its down upon my spirit flings-
That little time with lyre and rhyme
To while away- forbidden things!
My heart would feel to be a crime
Unless it trembled with the strings.

by Edgar Allan Poe.

If it so befalls that the midnight hovers
In mist no moonlight breaks,
The leagues of the years my spirit covers,
And my self myself forsakes.

And I live in a land of stars and flowers,
White cliffs by a silvery sea;
And the pearly points of her opal towers
From the mountains beckon me.

And I think that I know that I hear her calling
From a casement bathed with light-
Through music of waters in waters falling
Mid palms from a mountain height.

And I feel that I think my love's awaited
By the romance of her charms;
That her feet are early and mine belated
In a world that chains my arms.

But I break my chains and the rest is easy-
In the shadow of the rose,
Snow-white, that blooms in her garden breezy,
We meet and no one knows.

And we dream sweet dreams and kiss sweet kisses;
The world-it may live or die!
The world that forgets; that never misses
The life that has long gone by.

We speak old vows that have long been spoken;
And weep a long-gone woe:
For you must know our hearts were broken
Hundreds of years ago.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Love's Apparition And Evanishment: An Allegoric Romance

Like a lone Arab, old and blind,
Some caravan had left behind,
Who sits beside a ruin'd well,
Where the shy sand-asps bask and swell;
And now he hangs his ag{'e}d head aslant,
And listens for a human sound--in vain!
And now the aid, which Heaven alone can grant,
Upturns his eyeless face from Heaven to gain;--
Even thus, in vacant mood, one sultry hour,
Resting my eye upon a drooping plant,
With brow low-bent, within my garden-bower,
I sate upon the couch of camomile;
And--whether 'twas a transient sleep, perchance,
Flitted across the idle brain, the while
I watch'd the sickly calm with aimless scope,
In my own heart; or that, indeed a trance,
Turn'd my eye inward--thee, O genial Hope,
Love's elder sister! thee did I behold
Drest as a bridesmaid, but all pale and cold,
With roseless cheek, all pale and cold and dim,
Lie lifeless at my feet!
And then came Love, a sylph in bridal trim,
And stood beside my seat;
She bent, and kiss'd her sister's lips,
As she was wont to do;--
Alas! 'twas but a chilling breath
Woke just enough of life in death
To make Hope die anew.

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The Romance Of Patrolman Casey

There was a young patrolman who
Had large but tender feet;
They always hurt him badly when
He walked upon his beat.
(He always took them with him when
He walked upon his beat.)

His name was Patrick Casey and
A sweetheart fair had he;
Her face was full of freckles—but
Her name was Kate McGee.
(It was in spite of freckles that
Her name was Kate McGee.)

'Oh, Pat!' she said, 'I’ll wed you when
Promotion comes to you!'
'I’m much-obliged,' he answered, and
'I’ll see what I can do.'
(I may remark he said it thus—
'Oi’ll say phwat Oi kin do.')

So then he bought some new shoes which
Allowed his feet more ease—
They may have been large twelves. Perhaps
Eighteens, or twenty-threes.
(That’s rather large for shoes, I think—
Eighteens or twenty-threes!)

What last they were I don’t know, but
Somehow it seems to me
I’ve heard somewhere they either were
A, B, C, D, or E.
(More likely they were five lasts wide—
A, B plus C, D, E.)

They were the stoutest cowhide that
Could be peeled off a cow.

But he was not promoted

So
Kate wed him anyhow.

(This world is crowded full of Kates
That wed them anyhow.)

by Ellis Parker Butler.

Oriental Romance

I

Beyond lost seas of summer she
Dwelt on an island of the sea,
Last scion of that dynasty,
Queen of a race forgotten long.-
With eyes of light and lips of song,
From seaward groves of blowing lemon,
She called me in her native tongue,
Low-leaned on some rich robe of Yemen.

II

I was a king. Three moons we drove
Across green gulfs, the crimson clove
And cassia spiced, to claim her love.
Packed was my barque with gums and gold;
Rich fabrics; sandalwood, grown old
With odor; gems; and pearls of Oman,-
Than her white breasts less white and cold;-
And myrrh, less fragrant than this woman.

III

From Bassora I came. We saw
Her eagle castle on a claw
Of soaring precipice, o'erawe
The surge and thunder of the spray.
Like some great opal, far away
It shone, with battlement and spire,
Wherefrom, with wild aroma, day
Blew splintered lights of sapphirine fire.

IV

Lamenting caverns dark, that keep
Sonorous echoes of the deep,
Led upward to her castle steep….
Fair as the moon, whose light is shed
In Ramadan, was she, who led
My love unto her island bowers,
To find her…. lying young and dead
Among her maidens and her flowers.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

A Romance In The Rough

A sturdy fellow, with a sunburnt face,
And thews and sinews of a giant mould;
A genial mind, that harboured nothing base,—
A pocket void of gold.

The rival’s years were fifty at the least—
Withered his skin, and wrinkled as a crone;
But day by day his worldly goods increased,
Till great his wealth had grown.

And she, the lady of this simple tale,
Was tall and straight, and beautiful to view;
Even a poet’s burning words would fail
To paint her roseate hue.

The suitors came, the old one and the young,
Each with fond words her fancy to allure.
For which of them should marriage bells be rung,
The rich one or the poor?

She liked the young one with his winning ways,
He seemed designed to be her future mate—
Besides, in novels and romantic plays
Love has a youthful gait.

But well she knew that poverty was hard,
And humble household cares not meant for her;
Nor cared she what the sentimental bard
Might warble or infer.

She made her choice, the wedding bells rang clear;
The aged bridegroom figured in the Times.
The young man, after some superfluous beer,
Went forth to foreign climes.

And this is all I ever chanced to know,
Told by my mate while digging on the Creek,
Who ended with his handsome face aglow,
And with a verse in Greek.

by Arthur Patchett Martin.

A Mulga Romance

Oh, he led his love through the church's aisle,
And be cried 'You bet!' with an eight horse smile.
When, the parson asked would he love and care
For the dainty thing with the forehead fair,
And the dimpled chin and the sun kissed locks,
O he yelled again, 'You may bet yer socks.'

For a rough-cut sleeper was Mulga Jim,
With never the sign of a fly on him.
Then he signed the book and be seized his prize,
With a joyful gleam in his big brown eyes.
As they jumped aboard of the north bound traín,
Oh, he gathered his girl, to his chest again.
And the days went by with a new-born vim
At the wayback mansion of Mulga Jim.

And the stars loomed bright and the sky loomed clear
Till nearing the end of the first half-year.
Then one fateful morning dressed neat and trim
A woman tripped out from the camp of Jim.
As laughing and smiling, 'I wish you joy,'
She said, 'You're the dad of a bouncing boy.'
Then Mulga Jim studied and scratched his head,
' Well, that I guess is a record,' he said.
'A plume in the cap of a way-back bloke -
The first damn record that ever I broke.'

Then he cut no caper nor went off 'pop,'
But closed the shutters of 'Cupid's' shop.
And be coiled his swag and he greased his straps
And said 'Good-bye' to the mulga chaps.
Then as fast and far from the scene he hied,
Who'd a' guessed it was loaded?' he sadly sighed.

by John Philip Bourke.

An Hour Of Romance

There were thick leaves above me and around,
And low sweet sighs like those of childhood's sleep,
Amidst their dimness, and a fitful sound
As of soft showers on water; dark and deep
Lay the oak shadows o'er the turf, so still
They seem'd but pictured glooms: a hidden rill
Made music, such as haunts us in a dream,
Under the fern-tufts; and a tender gleam

Of soft green light, as by the glow-worm shed,
Came pouring thro' the woven beech-boughs down,
And steep'd the magic page wherein I read
Of royal chivalry and old renown,
A tale of Palestine. Meanwhile the bee
Swept past me with a tone of summer hours,
A drowsy bugle, wafting thoughts of flowers,
Blue skies, and amber sunshine: brightly free,
On filmy wings the purple dragon-fly
Shot glancing like a fairy javelin by;
And a sweet voice of sorrow told the dell
Where sat the lone wood-pigeon:
But ere long,
All sense of these things faded, as the spell
Breathing from that high gorgeous tale grew strong
On my chain'd soul: 'twas not the leaves I heard
A Syrian wind the Lion-banner stirr'd,
Thro' its proud, floating folds: 'twas not the brook,
Singing in secret thro' its grassy glen;
A wild shrill trumpet of the Saracen
Peal'd from the desert's lonely heart, and shook
The burning air. Like clouds when winds are high,
O'er glittering sands flew steeds of Araby,
And tents rose up, and sudden lance and spear
Flash'd where a fountain's diamond wave lay clear,
Shadow'd by graceful palm-trees. Then the shout
Of merry England's joy swell'd freely out,
Sent thro' an eastern heaven, whose glorious hue
Made shields dark mirrors to its depths of blue:
And harps were there; I heard their sounding strings,
As the waste echoed to the mirth of kings.
The bright masque faded. Unto life's worn track,
What call'd me from its flood of glory, back?
A voice of happy childhood! and they pass'd,
Banner, and harp, and Paynim's trumpet's blast;
Yet might I scarce bewail the splendours gone,
My heart so leap'd to that sweet laughter's tone.

by Felicia Dorothea Hemans.

Thus have I pictured her:-In Arden old
A white-browed maiden with a falcon eye,
Rose-flushed of face, with locks of wind-blown gold,
Teaching her hawks to fly.

Or, 'mid her boar-hounds, panting with the heat,
In huntsman green, sounding the hunt's wild prize,
Plumed, dagger-belted, while beneath her feet
The spear-pierced monster dies.

Or in Breceliand, on some high tower,
Clad white in samite, last of her lost race,
My soul beholds her, lovelier than a flower,
Gazing with pensive face.

Or, robed in raiment of romantic lore,
Like Oriana, dark of eye and hair,
Riding through realms of legend evermore,
And ever young and fair.

Or now like Bradamant, as brave as just,
In complete steel, her pure face lit with scorn,
At giant castles, dens of demon lust,
Winding her bugle-horn.

Another Una; and in chastity
A second Britomart; in beauty far
O'er her who led King Charles's chivalry
And Paynim lands to war….

Now she, from Avalon's deep-dingled bowers,-
'Mid which white stars and never-waning moons
Make marriage; and dim lips of musk-mouthed flowers
Sigh faint and fragrant tunes,-

Implores me follow; and, in shadowy shapes
Of sunset, shows me,-mile on misty mile
Of purple precipice,-all the haunted capes
Of her enchanted isle.

Where, bowered in bosks and overgrown with vine,
Upon a headland breasting violet seas,
Her castle towers, like a dream divine,
With stairs and galleries.

And at her casement, Circe-beautiful,
Above the surgeless reaches of the deep,
She sits, while, in her gardens, fountains lull
The perfumed wind asleep.

Or, round her brow a diadem of spars,
She leans and hearkens, from her raven height,
The nightingales that, choiring to the stars,
Take with wild song the night.

Or, where the moon is mirrored in the waves,
To mark, deep down, the Sea King's city rolled,
Wrought of huge shells and labyrinthine caves,
Ribbed pale with pearl and gold.

There doth she wait forever; and the kings
Of all the world have wooed her: but she cares
For none but him, the Love, that dreams and sings,
That sings and dreams and dares.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Myth And Romance

When I go forth to greet the glad-faced Spring,
Just at the time of opening apple-buds,
When brooks are laughing, winds are whispering,
On babbling hillsides or in warbling woods,
There is an unseen presence that eludes:
Perhaps a Dryad, in whose tresses cling
The loamy odors of old solitudes,
Who, from her beechen doorway, calls; and leads
My soul to follow; now with dimpling words
Of leaves; and now with syllables of birds;
While here and there-is it her limbs that swing?
Or restless sunlight on the moss and weeds?


II


Or, haply, 't is a Naiad now who slips,
Like some white lily, from her fountain's glass,
While from her dripping hair and breasts and hips,
The moisture rains cool music on the grass.
Her have I heard and followed, yet, alas!
Have seen no more than the wet ray that dips
The shivered waters, wrinkling where I pass;
But, in the liquid light, where she doth hide,
I have beheld the azure of her gaze
Smiling; and, where the orbing ripple plays,
Among her minnows I have heard her lips,
Bubbling, make merry by the waterside.


III


Or now it is an Oread-whose eyes
Are constellated dusk-who stands confessed,
As naked as a flow'r; her heart's surprise,
Like morning's rose, mantling her brow and breast:
She, shrinking from my presence, all distressed
Stands for a startled moment ere she flies,
Her deep hair blowing, up the mountain crest,
Wild as a mist that trails along the dawn.
And is't her footfalls lure me? or the sound
Of airs that stir the crisp leaf on the ground?
And is't her body glimmers on yon rise?
Or dog-wood blossoms snowing on the lawn?


IV


Now't is a Satyr piping serenades
On a slim reed. Now Pan and Faun advance
Beneath green-hollowed roofs of forest glades,
Their feet gone mad with music: now, perchance,
Sylvanus sleeping, on whose leafy trance
The Nymphs stand gazing in dim ambuscades
Of sun-embodied perfume.-Myth, Romance,
Where'er I turn, reach out bewildering arms,
Compelling me to follow. Day and night
I hear their voices and behold the light
Of their divinity that still evades,
And still allures me in a thousand forms.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

The Romance Of The Knight

The pleasing sweets of spring and summer past,
The falling leaf flies in the sultry blast,
The fields resign their spangling orbs of gold,
The wrinkled grass its silver joys unfold,
Mantling the spreading moor in heavenly white,
Meeting from every hill the ravished sight.
The yellow flag uprears its spotted head,
Hanging regardant o'er its watery bed;
The worthy knight ascends his foaming steed,
Of size uncommon, and no common breed.
His sword of giant make hangs from his belt,
Whose piercing edge his daring foes had felt.
To seek for glory and renown he goes
To scatter death among his trembling foes;
Unnerved by fear, they trembled at his stroke;
So cutting blasts shake the tall mountain oak.


Down in a dark and solitary vale,
Where the curst screech-owl sings her fatal tale,
Where copse and brambles interwoven lie,
Where trees intwining arch the azure sky,
Thither the fate-marked champion bent his way,
By purling streams to lose the heat of day;
A sudden cry assaults his listening ear,
His soul's too noble to admit of fear.-
The cry re-echoes; with his bounding steed
He gropes the way from whence the cries proceed.
The arching trees above obscured the light,
Here 'twas all evening, there eternal night.
And now the rustling leaves and strengthened cry
Bespeaks the cause of the confusion nigh;
Through the thick brake th'astonished champion sees
A weeping damsel bending on her knees:
A ruffian knight would force her to the ground,
But still some small resisting strength she found.
(Women and cats, if you compulsion use,
The pleasure which they die for will refuse.)
The champion thus: 'Desist, discourteous knight,
Why dost thou shamefully misuse thy might?'
With eye contemptuous thus the knight replies,
'Begone! whoever dares my fury dies!'
Down to the ground the champion's gauntlet flew,
'I dare thy fury, and I'll prove it too.'


Like two fierce mountain-boars enraged they fly,
The prancing steeds make Echo rend the sky,
Like a fierce tempest is the bloody fight,
Dead from his lofty steed falls the proud ruffian knight.
The victor, sadly pleased, accosts the dame,
'I will convey you hence to whence you came.'
With look of gratitude the fair replied-
'Content; I in your virtue may confide.
But,' said the fair, as mournful she surveyed
The breathless corse upon the meadow laid,
'May all thy sins from heaven forgiveness find!
May not thy body's crimes affect thy mind!'

by Thomas Chatterton.

Parent of golden dreams, Romance!
Auspicious Queen of childish joys,
Who lead'st along, in airy dance,
Thy votive train of girls and boys;
At length, in spells no longer bound,
I break the fetters of my youth;
No more I tread thy mystic round,
But leave thy realms for those of Truth.

And yet 'tis hard to quit the dreams
Which haunt the unsuspicious soul,
Where every nymph a goddess seems,
Whose eyes through rays immortal roll;
While Fancy holds her boundless reign,
And all assume a varied hue;
When Virgins seem no longer vain,
And even Woman's smiles are true.

And must we own thee, but a name,
And from thy hall of clouds descend?
Nor find a Sylph in every dame,
A Pylades in every friend?
But leave, at once, thy realms of air i
To mingling bands of fairy elves;
Confess that woman's false as fair,
And friends have feeling for---themselves?

With shame, I own, I've felt thy sway;
Repentant, now thy reign is o'er;
No more thy precepts I obey,
No more on fancied pinions soar;
Fond fool! to love a sparkling eye,
And think that eye to truth was dear;
To trust a passing wanton's sigh,
And melt beneath a wanton's tear!

Romance! disgusted with deceit,
Far from thy motley court I fly,
Where Affectation holds her seat,
And sickly Sensibility;
Whose silly tears can never flow
For any pangs excepting thine;
Who turns aside from real woe,
To steep in dew thy gaudy shrine.

Now join with sable Sympathy,
With cypress crown'd, array'd in weeds,
Who heaves with thee her simple sigh,
Whose breast for every bosom bleeds;
And call thy sylvan female choir,
To mourn a Swain for ever gone,
Who once could glow with equal fire,
But bends not now before thy throne.

Ye genial Nymphs, whose ready tears
On all occasions swiftly flow;
Whose bosoms heave with fancied fears,
With fancied flames and phrenzy glow
Say, will you mourn my absent name,
Apostate from your gentle train
An infant Bard, at least, may claim
From you a sympathetic strain.

Adieu, fond race! a long adieu!
The hour of fate is hovering nigh;
E'en now the gulf appears in view,
Where unlamented you must lie:
Oblivion's blackening lake is seen,
Convuls'd by gales you cannot weather,
Where you, and eke your gentle queen,
Alas! must perish altogether.

by George Gordon Byron.

The Bridge Of Lodi.

I

When of tender mind and body
I was moved by minstrelsy,
And that strain "The Bridge of Lodi"
Brought a strange delight to me.

II

In the battle-breathing jingle
Of its forward-footing tune
I could see the armies mingle,
And the columns cleft and hewn

III

On that far-famed spot by Lodi
Where Napoleon clove his way
To his fame, when like a god he
Bent the nations to his sway.

IV

Hence the tune came capering to me
While I traced the Rhone and Po;
Nor could Milan's Marvel woo me
From the spot englamoured so.

V

And to-day, sunlit and smiling,
Here I stand upon the scene,
With its saffron walls, dun tiling,
And its meads of maiden green,

VI

Even as when the trackway thundered
With the charge of grenadiers,
And the blood of forty hundred
Splashed its parapets and piers . . .

VII

Any ancient crone I'd toady
Like a lass in young-eyed prime,
Could she tell some tale of Lodi
At that moving mighty time.

VIII

So, I ask the wives of Lodi
For traditions of that day;
But alas! not anybody
Seems to know of such a fray.

IX

And they heed but transitory
Marketings in cheese and meat,
Till I judge that Lodi's story
Is extinct in Lodi's street.

X

Yet while here and there they thrid them
In their zest to sell and buy,
Let me sit me down amid them
And behold those thousands die . . .

XI

- Not a creature cares in Lodi
How Napoleon swept each arch,
Or where up and downward trod he,
Or for his memorial March!

XII

So that wherefore should I be here,
Watching Adda lip the lea,
When the whole romance to see here
Is the dream I bring with me?

XIII

And why sing "The Bridge of Lodi"
As I sit thereon and swing,
When none shows by smile or nod he
Guesses why or what I sing? . . .

XIV

Since all Lodi, low and head ones,
Seem to pass that story by,
It may be the Lodi-bred ones
Rate it truly, and not I.

XV

Once engrossing Bridge of Lodi,
Is thy claim to glory gone?
Must I pipe a palinody,
Or be silent thereupon?

XVI

And if here, from strand to steeple,
Be no stone to fame the fight,
Must I say the Lodi people
Are but viewing crime aright?

XVII

Nay; I'll sing "The Bridge of Lodi" -
That long-loved, romantic thing,
Though none show by smile or nod he
Guesses why and what I sing!

by Thomas Hardy.

Endymion: A Poetic Romance (Excerpt)

BOOK I
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast;
They always must be with us, or we die.

Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
The very music of the name has gone
Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Is growing fresh before me as the green
Of our own valleys: so I will begin
Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
Now while the early budders are just new,
And run in mazes of the youngest hue
About old forests; while the willow trails
Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails
Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
My little boat, for many quiet hours,
With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
Many and many a verse I hope to write,
Before the daisies, vermeil rimm'd and white,
Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
I must be near the middle of my story.
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
See it half finish'd: but let Autumn bold,
With universal tinge of sober gold,
Be all about me when I make an end.
And now, at once adventuresome, I send
My herald thought into a wilderness:
There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed....

by John Keats.

A Newport Romance

They say that she died of a broken heart
(I tell the tale as 'twas told to me);
But her spirit lives, and her soul is part
Of this sad old house by the sea.

Her lover was fickle and fine and French:
It was nearly a hundred years ago
When he sailed away from her arms--poor wench!--
With the Admiral Rochambeau.

I marvel much what periwigged phrase
Won the heart of this sentimental Quaker,
At what gold-laced speech of those modish days
She listened--the mischief take her!

But she kept the posies of mignonette
That he gave; and ever as their bloom failed
And faded (though with her tears still wet)
Her youth with their own exhaled.

Till one night, when the sea-fog wrapped a shroud
Round spar and spire and tarn and tree,
Her soul went up on that lifted cloud
From this sad old house by the sea.

And ever since then, when the clock strikes two,
She walks unbidden from room to room,
And the air is filled that she passes through
With a subtle, sad perfume.

The delicate odor of mignonette,
The ghost of a dead-and-gone bouquet,
Is all that tells of her story; yet
Could she think of a sweeter way?


I sit in the sad old house to-night,--
Myself a ghost from a farther sea;
And I trust that this Quaker woman might,
In courtesy, visit me.

For the laugh is fled from porch and lawn,
And the bugle died from the fort on the hill,
And the twitter of girls on the stairs is gone,
And the grand piano is still.

Somewhere in the darkness a clock strikes two:
And there is no sound in the sad old house,
But the long veranda dripping with dew,
And in the wainscot a mouse.

The light of my study-lamp streams out
From the library door, but has gone astray
In the depths of the darkened hall. Small doubt
But the Quakeress knows the way.

Was it the trick of a sense o'erwrought
With outward watching and inward fret?
But I swear that the air just now was fraught
With the odor of mignonette!

I open the window, and seem almost--
So still lies the ocean--to hear the beat
Of its Great Gulf artery off the coast,
And to bask in its tropic heat.

In my neighbor's windows the gas-lights flare,
As the dancers swing in a waltz of Strauss;
And I wonder now could I fit that air
To the song of this sad old house.

And no odor of mignonette there is,
But the breath of morn on the dewy lawn;
And mayhap from causes as slight as this
The quaint old legend is born.

But the soul of that subtle, sad perfume,
As the spiced embalmings, they say, outlast
The mummy laid in his rocky tomb,
Awakens my buried past.

And I think of the passion that shook my youth,
Of its aimless loves and its idle pains,
And am thankful now for the certain truth
That only the sweet remains.

And I hear no rustle of stiff brocade,
And I see no face at my library door;
For now that the ghosts of my heart are laid,
She is viewless for evermore.

But whether she came as a faint perfume,
Or whether a spirit in stole of white,
I feel, as I pass from the darkened room,
She has been with my soul to-night!

by Francis Bret Harte.

Castles In Spain. (Birds Of Passage. Flight The Fifth)

How much of my young heart, O Spain,
Went out to thee in days of yore!
What dreams romantic filled my brain,
And summoned back to life again
The Paladins of Charlemagne,
The Cid Campeador!

And shapes more shadowy than these,
In the dim twilight half revealed;
Phoenician galleys on the seas,
The Roman camps like hives of bees,
The Goth uplifting from his knees
Pelayo on his shield.

It was these memories perchance,
From annals of remotest eld,
That lent the colors of romance
To every trivial circumstance,
And changed the form and countenance
Of all that I beheld.

Old towns, whose history lies hid
In monkish chronicle or rhyme,--
Burgos, the birthplace of the Cid,
Zamora and Valladolid,
Toledo, built and walled amid
The wars of Wamba's time;

The long, straight line of the highway,
The distant town that seems so near,
The peasants in the fields, that stay
Their toil to cross themselves and pray,
When from the belfry at midday
The Angelus they hear;

White crosses in the mountain pass,
Mules gay with tassels, the loud din
Of muleteers, the tethered ass
That crops the dusty wayside grass,
And cavaliers with spurs of brass
Alighting at the inn;

White hamlets hidden in fields of wheat,
White cities slumbering by the sea,
White sunshine flooding square and street,
Dark mountain ranges, at whose feet
The river beds are dry with heat,--
All was a dream to me.

Yet something sombre and severe
O'er the enchanted landscape reigned;
A terror in the atmosphere
As if King Philip listened near,
Or Torquemada, the austere,
His ghostly sway maintained.

The softer Andalusian skies
Dispelled the sadness and the gloom;
There Cadiz by the seaside lies,
And Seville's orange-orchards rise,
Making the land a paradise
Of beauty and of bloom.

There Cordova is hidden among
The palm, the olive, and the vine;
Gem of the South, by poets sung,
And in whose Mosque Ahmanzor hung
As lamps the bells that once had rung
At Compostella's shrine.

But over all the rest supreme,
The star of stars, the cynosure,
The artist's and the poet's theme,
The young man's vision, the old man's dream,--
Granada by its winding stream,
The city of the Moor!

And there the Alhambra still recalls
Aladdin's palace of delight;
Allah il Allah! through its halls
Whispers the fountain as it falls,
The Darro darts beneath its walls,
The hills with snow are white.

Ah yes, the hills are white with snow,
And cold with blasts that bite and freeze;
But in the happy vale below
The orange and pomegranate grow,
And wafts of air toss to and fro
The blossoming almond trees.

The Vega cleft by the Xenil,
The fascination and allure
Of the sweet landscape chains the will;
The traveller lingers on the hill,
His parted lips are breathing still
The last sigh of the Moor.

How like a ruin overgrown
With flowers that hide the rents of time,
Stands now the Past that I have known;
Castles in Spain, not built of stone
But of white summer clouds, and blown
Into this little mist of rhyme!

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

To The True Romance

Thy face is far from this our war,
Our call and counter-cry,
I shall not find Thee quick and kind,
Nor know Thee till I die,
Enough for me in dreams to see
And touch Thy garments' hem:
Thy feet have trod so near to God
I may not follow them.

Through wantonness if men profess
They weary of Thy parts,
E'en let them die at blasphemy
And perish with their arts;
But we that love, but we that prove
Thine excellence august,
While we adore discover more
Thee perfect, wise, and just.

Since spoken word Man's Spirit stirred
Beyond his belly-need,
What is is Thine of fair design
In thought and craft and deed;
Each stroke aright of toil and fight,
That was and that shall be,
And hope too high, wherefore we die,
Has birth and worth in Thee.

Who holds by Thee hath Heaven in fee
To gild his dross thereby,
And knowledge sure that he endure
A child until he die --
For to make plain that man's disdain
Is but new Beauty's birth --
For to possess in loneliness
The joy of all the earth.

As Thou didst teach all lovers speech
And Life all mystery,
So shalt Thou rule by every school
Till love and longing die,
Who wast or yet the Lights were set,
A whisper in the Void,
Who shalt be sung through planets young
When this is clean destroyed.

Beyond the bounds our staring rounds,
Across the pressing dark,
The children wise of outer skies
Look hitherward and mark
A light that shifts, a glare that drifts,
Rekindling thus and thus,
Not all forlorn, for Thou hast borne
Strange tales to them of us.

Time hath no tide but must abide
The servant of Thy will;
Tide hath no time, for to Thy rhyme
The ranging stars stand still --
Regent of spheres that lock our fears,
Our hopes invisible,
Oh 'twas certes at Thy decrees
We fashioned Heaven and Hell!

Pure Wisdom hath no certain path
That lacks thy morning-eyne,
And captains bold by Thee controlled
Most like to Gods design;
Thou art the Voice to kingly boys
To lift them through the fight,
And Comfortress of Unsuccess,
To give the dead good-night --

A veil to draw 'twixt God His Law
And Man's infirmity,
A shadow kind to dumb and blind
The shambles where we die;
A rule to trick th' arithmetic
Too base of leaguing odds --
The spur of trust, the curb of lust,
Thou handmaid of the Gods!

O Charity, all patiently
Abiding wrack and scaith!
O Faith, that meets ten thousand cheats
Yet drops no jot of faith!
Devil and brute Thou dost transmute
To higher, lordlier show,
Who art in sooth that lovely Truth
The careless angels know!

Thy face is far from this our war,
Our call and counter-cry,
I may not find Thee quick and kind,
Nor know Thee till I die.

Yet may I look with heart unshook
On blow brought home or missed --
Yet may I hear with equal ear
The clarions down the List;
Yet set my lance above mischance
And ride the barriere --
Oh, hit or miss, how little 'tis,
My Lady is not there!

by Rudyard Kipling.

The Bridge Of Lodi (Spring, 1887)

I

When of tender mind and body
   I was moved by minstrelsy,
And that strain "The Bridge of Lodi"
   Brought a strange delight to me.

II

In the battle-breathing jingle
   Of its forward-footing tune
I could see the armies mingle,
   And the columns cleft and hewn

III

On that far-famed spot by Lodi
   Where Napoleon clove his way
To his fame, when like a god he
   Bent the nations to his sway.

IV

Hence the tune came capering to me
   While I traced the Rhone and Po;
Nor could Milan's Marvel woo me
   From the spot englamoured so.

V

And to-day, sunlit and smiling,
   Here I stand upon the scene,
With its saffron walls, dun tiling,
   And its meads of maiden green,

VI

Even as when the trackway thundered
   With the charge of grenadiers,
And the blood of forty hundred
   Splashed its parapets and piers . . .

VII

Any ancient crone I'd toady
   Like a lass in young-eyed prime,
Could she tell some tale of Lodi
   At that moving mighty time.

VIII

So, I ask the wives of Lodi
   For traditions of that day;
But alas! not anybody
   Seems to know of such a fray.

IX

And they heed but transitory
   Marketings in cheese and meat,
Till I judge that Lodi's story
   Is extinct in Lodi's street.

X

Yet while here and there they thrid them
   In their zest to sell and buy,
Let me sit me down amid them
   And behold those thousands die . . .

XI

- Not a creature cares in Lodi
   How Napoleon swept each arch,
Or where up and downward trod he,
   Or for his memorial March!

XII

So that wherefore should I be here,
   Watching Adda lip the lea,
When the whole romance to see here
   Is the dream I bring with me?

XIII

And why sing "The Bridge of Lodi"
   As I sit thereon and swing,
When none shows by smile or nod he
   Guesses why or what I sing? . . .

XIV

Since all Lodi, low and head ones,
   Seem to pass that story by,
It may be the Lodi-bred ones
   Rate it truly, and not I.

XV

Once engrossing Bridge of Lodi,
   Is thy claim to glory gone?
Must I pipe a palinody,
   Or be silent thereupon?

XVI

And if here, from strand to steeple,
   Be no stone to fame the fight,
Must I say the Lodi people
   Are but viewing crime aright?

Nay; I'll sing "The Bridge of Lodi" -
   That long-loved, romantic thing,
Though none show by smile or nod he
   Guesses why and what I sing!

by Thomas Hardy.

Mdcccxciii: A Prelude

Sweet days of breaking light,
or yet the shadowy might
and blaze of starry strife
possess’d my life;

sweet dawn of Beauty’s day,
first hint and smiling play
of the compulsive force
that since my course

across the years obeys;
not tho’ all earlier days
in me were buried, not
were ye forgot. –-

The northern kingdom’s dream,
prison’d in crystal gleam,
heard the pale flutes of spring,
her thin bells ring;

the tranced maiden’s eyes
open’d a far surmise,
and heavens and meadows grew
a tender blue

of petal-hearts that keep
thro’ their dark winter-sleep
true memory of delight,
a hidden light.

Then by her well Romance
waiting the fabled chance
dream’d all the forest-scene
in shifting green;

and Melusina’s gaze
lurk’d in the shadow’d glaze
of waters gliding still,
a witching ill;

or lost Undine wept
where the hid streamlet crept,
to the dusk murmuring low
her silvery woe.

Dim breaths in the dim shade
of the romantic glade
told of the timid pain
that hearken’d, fain,

how Beauty came to save
the prison’d life and wave
above the famish’d lands
her healing hands

(Beauty, in hidden ways
walking, a leafy maze
with magic odour dim,
far on life’s rim;

Beauty, sweet pain to kiss,
Beauty, sharp pain to miss,
in sorrow or in joy
a dear annoy;

Beauty, with waiting years
that bind the fount of tears
well-won if once her light
shine, before night).

Then the shy heart of youth
dared know its weening sooth,
then first thy godhead, Sun,
it’s life’s light one,

what time the hour outroll’d
its banner blazon’d gold
and all the honey’d time
rang rich with rhyme—-

rhyme, and the liquid laugh
of girlish spring, to quaff
granted each heart, and shed
about each head

a sound of harping blown
and airs of elfin tone
and gipsy waifs of song,
a dancing throng.

The yellow meads of May
acclaim’d the louder lay,
more rapturously athirst
for that fierce burst

of Summer’s clarioning,
what time his fulgent wing
should cleave the crystal spell
his hot eyes tell

each charm beneath the veil
his eager hands assail
and his red lips be prest
against her breast,

filling her every vein
with the diviner pain
of life beyond all dream
burning, supreme—-

(O natural ecstasy!
O highest grace, to be,
in every pulse to know
the Sungod’s glow!)

Thence the exulting strain
sped onward as a rain
of gold-linked notes
from unseen throats,

till the mad heart, adust,
of August’s aching lust
to do her beauty wrong
broke, and the song;

and in her poppied fate
ken life, grown all too great,
illumed with grateful breath
the lips of death. –-

But those deep fibres hold
the season’s mortal gold,
by silent alchemy
of soul set free,

and woven in vision’d shower
as each most secret hour
sheds the continuing bliss
in song or kiss. –-

O poets I have loved
when in my soul first moved
desire to breathe in one
love, song and sun,

your pages that I turn,
your jewelled phrases burn
richly behind a haze
of golden days. –-

And, O ye golden days,
tho’ since on stranger ways
to some undying war
the fatal star

of unseen Beauty draw
this soul, to occult law
obedient ever, not
are ye forgot.

by Christopher John Brennan.

Andante Con Moto

Forth from the dust and din,
The crush, the heat, the many-spotted glare,
The odour and sense of life and lust aflare,
The wrangle and jangle of unrests,
Let us take horse, Dear Heart, take horse and win -
As from swart August to the green lap of May -
To quietness and the fresh and fragrant breasts
Of the still, delicious night, not yet aware
In any of her innumerable nests
Of that first sudden plash of dawn,
Clear, sapphirine, luminous, large,
Which tells that soon the flowing springs of day
In deep and ever deeper eddies drawn
Forward and up, in wider and wider way,
Shall float the sands, and brim the shores,
On this our lith of the World, as round it roars
And spins into the outlook of the Sun
(The Lord's first gift, the Lord's especial charge),
With light, with living light, from marge to marge
Until the course He set and staked be run.

Through street and square, through square and street,
Each with his home-grown quality of dark
And violated silence, loud and fleet,
Waylaid by a merry ghost at every lamp,
The hansom wheels and plunges. Hark, O, hark,
Sweet, how the old mare's bit and chain
Ring back a rough refrain
Upon the marked and cheerful tramp
Of her four shoes! Here is the Park,
And O, the languid midsummer wafts adust,
The tired midsummer blooms!
O, the mysterious distances, the glooms
Romantic, the august
And solemn shapes! At night this City of Trees
Turns to a tryst of vague and strange
And monstrous Majesties,
Let loose from some dim underworld to range
These terrene vistas till their twilight sets:
When, dispossessed of wonderfulness, they stand
Beggared and common, plain to all the land
For stooks of leaves! And lo! the Wizard Hour,
His silent, shining sorcery winged with power!
Still, still the streets, between their carcanets
Of linking gold, are avenues of sleep.
But see how gable ends and parapets
In gradual beauty and significance
Emerge! And did you hear
That little twitter-and-cheep,
Breaking inordinately loud and clear
On this still, spectral, exquisite atmosphere?
'Tis a first nest at matins! And behold
A rakehell cat--how furtive and acold!
A spent witch homing from some infamous dance -
Obscene, quick-trotting, see her tip and fade
Through shadowy railings into a pit of shade!
And now! a little wind and shy,
The smell of ships (that earnest of romance),
A sense of space and water, and thereby
A lamplit bridge ouching the troubled sky,
And look, O, look! a tangle of silver gleams
And dusky lights, our River and all his dreams,
His dreams that never save in our deaths can die.

What miracle is happening in the air,
Charging the very texture of the gray
With something luminous and rare?
The night goes out like an ill-parcelled fire,
And, as one lights a candle, it is day.
The extinguisher, that perks it like a spire
On the little formal church, is not yet green
Across the water: but the house-tops nigher,
The corner-lines, the chimneys--look how clean,
How new, how naked! See the batch of boats,
Here at the stairs, washed in the fresh-sprung beam!
And those are barges that were goblin floats,
Black, hag-steered, fraught with devilry and dream!
And in the piles the water frolics clear,
The ripples into loose rings wander and flee,
And we--we can behold that could but hear
The ancient River singing as he goes,
New-mailed in morning, to the ancient Sea.
The gas burns lank and jaded in its glass:
The old Ruffian soon shall yawn himself awake,
And light his pipe, and shoulder his tools, and take
His hobnailed way to work!

Let us too pass -
Pass ere the sun leaps and your shadow shows -
Through these long, blindfold rows
Of casements staring blind to right and left,
Each with his gaze turned inward on some piece
Of life in death's own likeness--Life bereft
Of living looks as by the Great Release -
Pass to an exquisite night's more exquisite close!

Reach upon reach of burial--so they feel,
These colonies of dreams! And as we steal
Homeward together, but for the buxom breeze,
Fitfully frolicking to heel
With news of dawn-drenched woods and tumbling seas,
We might--thus awed, thus lonely that we are -
Be wandering some dispeopled star,
Some world of memories and unbroken graves,
So broods the abounding Silence near and far:
Till even your footfall craves
Forgiveness of the majesty it braves.

by William Ernest Henley.

An Ode To Antares

At dusk, when lowlands where dark waters glide
Robe in gray mist, and through the greening hills
The hoot-owl calls his mate, and whippoorwills
Clamor from every copse and orchard-side,
I watched the red star rising in the East,
And while his fellows of the flaming sign
From prisoning daylight more and more released,
Lift their pale lamps, and, climbing higher, higher,
Out of their locks the waters of the Line
Shaking in clouds of phosphorescent fire,
Rose in the splendor of their curving flight,
Their dolphin leap across the austral night,
From windows southward opening on the sea
What eyes, I wondered, might be watching, too,
Orbed in some blossom-laden balcony.
Where, from the garden to the rail above,
As though a lover's greeting to his love
Should borrow body and form and hue
And tower in torrents of floral flame,
The crimson bougainvillea grew,
What starlit brow uplifted to the same
Majestic regress of the summering sky,
What ultimate thing -- hushed, holy, throned as high
Above the currents that tarnish and profane
As silver summits are whose pure repose
No curious eyes disclose
Nor any footfalls stain,
But round their beauty on azure evenings
Only the oreads go on gauzy wings,
Only the oreads troop with dance and song
And airy beings in rainbow mists who throng
Out of those wonderful worlds that lie afar
Betwixt the outmost cloud and the nearest star.


Like the moon, sanguine in the orient night
Shines the red flower in her beautiful hair.
Her breasts are distant islands of delight
Upon a sea where all is soft and fair.
Those robes that make a silken sheath
For each lithe attitude that flows beneath,
Shrouding in scented folds sweet warmths and tumid flowers,
Call them far clouds that half emerge
Beyond a sunset ocean's utmost verge,
Hiding in purple shade and downpour of soft showers
Enchanted isles by mortal foot untrod,
And there in humid dells resplendent orchids nod;
There always from serene horizons blow
Soul-easing gales and there all spice-trees grow
That Phoenix robbed to line his fragrant nest
Each hundred years in Araby the Blest.


Star of the South that now through orient mist
At nightfall off Tampico or Belize
Greetest the sailor rising from those seas
Where first in me, a fond romanticist,
The tropic sunset's bloom on cloudy piles
Cast out industrious cares with dreams of fabulous isles --
Thou lamp of the swart lover to his tryst,
O'er planted acres at the jungle's rim
Reeking with orange-flower and tuberose,
Dear to his eyes thy ruddy splendor glows
Among the palms where beauty waits for him;
Bliss too thou bringst to our greening North,
Red scintillant through cherry-blossom rifts,
Herald of summer-heat, and all the gifts
And all the joys a summer can bring forth ----


Be thou my star, for I have made my aim
To follow loveliness till autumn-strown
Sunder the sinews of this flower-like frame
As rose-leaves sunder when the bud is blown.
Ay, sooner spirit and sense disintegrate
Than reconcilement to a common fate
Strip the enchantment from a world so dressed
In hues of high romance. I cannot rest
While aught of beauty in any path untrod
Swells into bloom and spreads sweet charms abroad
Unworshipped of my love. I cannot see
In Life's profusion and passionate brevity
How hearts enamored of life can strain too much
In one long tension to hear, to see, to touch.
Now on each rustling night-wind from the South
Far music calls; beyond the harbor mouth
Each outbound argosy with sail unfurled
May point the path through this fortuitous world
That holds the heart from its desire. Away!
Where tinted coast-towns gleam at close of day,
Where squares are sweet with bells, or shores thick set
With bloom and bower, with mosque and minaret.
Blue peaks loom up beyond the coast-plains here,
White roads wind up the dales and disappear,
By silvery waters in the plains afar
Glimmers the inland city like a star,
With gilded gates and sunny spires ablaze
And burnished domes half-seen through luminous haze,
Lo, with what opportunity Earth teems!
How like a fair its ample beauty seems!
Fluttering with flags its proud pavilions rise:
What bright bazaars, what marvelous merchandise,
Down seething alleys what melodious din,
What clamor importuning from every booth!
At Earth's great market where Joy is trafficked in
Buy while thy purse yet swells with golden Youth!

by Alan Seeger.

Look! the round-cheeked moon floats high,
In the glowing August sky,
Quenching all her neighbor stars,
Save the steady flame of Mars.
White as silver shines the sea,
Far-off sails like phantoms be,
Gliding o'er that lake of light,
Vanishing in nether night.
Heavy hangs the tasseled corn,
Sighing for the cordial morn;
But the marshy-meadows bare,
Love this spectral-lighted air,
Drink the dews and lift their song,
Chirp of crickets all night long;
Earth and sea enchanted lie
'Neath that moon-usurped sky.

To the faces of our friends
Unfamiliar traits she lends-
Quaint, white witch, who looketh down
With a glamour all her own.
Hushed are laughter, jest, and speech,
Mute and heedless each of each,
In the glory wan we sit,
Visions vague before us flit;
Side by side, yet worlds apart,
Heart becometh strange to heart.

Slowly in a moved voice, then,
Ralph, the artist spake again-
'Does not that weird orb unroll
Scenes phantasmal to your soul?
As I gaze thereon, I swear,
Peopled grows the vacant air,
Fables, myths alone are real,
White-clad sylph-like figures steal
'Twixt the bushes, o'er the lawn,
Goddess, nymph, undine, and faun.
Yonder, see the Willis dance,
Faces pale with stony glance;
They are maids who died unwed,
And they quit their gloomy bed,
Hungry still for human pleasure,
Here to trip a moonlit measure.
Near the shore the mermaids play,
Floating on the cool, white spray,
Leaping from the glittering surf
To the dark and fragrant turf,
Where the frolic trolls, and elves
Daintily disport themselves.
All the shapes by poet's brain,
Fashioned, live for me again,
In this spiritual light,
Less than day, yet more than night.
What a world! a waking dream,
All things other than they seem,
Borrowing a finer grace,
From yon golden globe in space;
Touched with wild, romantic glory,
Foliage fresh and billows hoary,
Hollows bathed in yellow haze,
Hills distinct and fields of maize,
Ancient legends come to mind.
Who would marvel should he find,
In the copse or nigh the spring,
Summer fairies gamboling
Where the honey-bees do suck,
Mab and Ariel and Puck?
Ah! no modern mortal sees
Creatures delicate as these.
All the simple faith has gone
Which their world was builded on.
Now the moonbeams coldly glance
On no gardens of romance;
To prosaic senses dull,
Baldur's dead, the Beautiful,
Hark, the cry rings overhead,
'Universal Pan is dead!''
'Requiescant!' Claude's grave tone
Thrilled us strangely. 'I am one
Who would not restore that Past,
Beauty will immortal last,
Though the beautiful must die-
This the ages verify.
And had Pan deserved the name
Which his votaries misclaim,
He were living with us yet.
I behold, without regret,
Beauty in new forms recast,
Truth emerging from the vast,
Bright and orbed, like yonder sphere,
Making the obscure air clear.
He shall be of bards the king,
Who, in worthy verse, shall sing
All the conquests of the hour,
Stealing no fictitious power
From the classic types outworn,
But his rhythmic line adorn
With the marvels of the real.
He the baseless feud shall heal
That estrangeth wide apart
Science from her sister Art.
Hold! look through this glass for me?
Artist, tell me what you see?'
'I!' cried Ralph. 'I see in place
Of Astarte's silver face,
Or veiled Isis' radiant robe,
Nothing but a rugged globe
Seamed with awful rents and scars.
And below no longer Mars,
Fierce, flame-crested god of war,
But a lurid, flickering star,
Fashioned like our mother earth,
Vexed, belike, with death and birth.'

Rapt in dreamy thought the while,
With a sphinx-like shadowy smile,
Poet Florio sat, but now
Spake in deep-voiced accents slow,
More as one who probes his mind,
Than for us-'Who seeks, shall find-
Widening knowledge surely brings
Vaster themes to him who sings.
Was veiled Isis more sublime
Than yon frozen fruit of Time,
Hanging in the naked sky?
Death's domain-for worlds too die.
Lo! the heavens like a scroll
Stand revealed before my soul;
And the hieroglyphs are suns-
Changeless change the law that runs
Through the flame-inscribed page,
World on world and age on age,
Balls of ice and orbs of fire,
What abides when these expire?
Through slow cycles they revolve,
Yet at last like clouds dissolve.
Jove, Osiris, Brahma pass,
Races wither like the grass.
Must not mortals be as gods
To embrace such periods?
Yet at Nature's heart remains
One who waxes not nor wanes.
And our crowning glory still
Is to have conceived his will.'

by Emma Lazarus.

The Key (A Moorish Romance)

'On the east coast, towards Tunis, the Moors still preserve the key of their ancestors' houses in Spain; to which country they still express the hopes of one day returning and again planting the crescent on the ancient walls of the Alhambra.'
—Scott's
Travels in Morocco and Algiers.

'Is Spain cloven in such a manner as to want closing?'
Sancho Panza in
Don Quixote

The Moor leans on his cushion,
With the pipe between his lips;
And still at frequent intervals
The sweet sherbét he sips;
But, spite of lulling vapor
And the sober cooling cup,
The spirit of the swarthy Moor
Is fiercely kindling up!

One hand is on his pistol,
On its ornamented stock,
While his finger feels the trigger
And is busy with the lock—
The other seeks his ataghan,
And clasps its jewell'd hilt—
Oh! much of gore in days of yore
That crooked blade has spilt!

His brows are knit, his eyes of jet
In vivid blackness roll,
And gleam with fatal flashes
Like the fire-damp of the coal;
His jaws are set, and through his teeth
He draws a savage breath,
As if about to raise the shout
Of Victory or Death!

For why? the last Zebeck that came
And moor'd within the Mole,
Such tidings unto Tunis brought
As stir his very soul—
The cruel jar of civil war,
The sad and stormy reign,
That blackens like a thunder cloud
The sunny land of Spain!

No strife of glorious Chivalry,
For honor's gain or loss,
Nor yet that ancient rivalry,
The Crescent with the Cross.
No charge of gallant Paladins
On Moslems stern and stanch;
But Christians shedding Christian blood
Beneath the olive's branch!

A war of horrid parricide,
And brother killing brother;
Yea, like to 'dogs and sons of dogs'
That worry one another.
But let them bite and tear and fight,
The more the Kaffers slay,
The sooner Hagar's swarming sons
Shall make the land a prey!

The sooner shall the Moor behold
Th' Alhambra's pile again;
And those who pined in Barbary
Shall shout for joy in Spain—
The sooner shall the Crescent wave
On dear Granada's walls:
And proud Mohammed Ali sit
Within his fathers halls!

'Alla-il-alla!' tiger-like
Up springs the swarthy Moor,
And, with a wide and hasty stride,
Steps o'er the marble floor;
Across the hall, till from the wall,
Where such quaint patterns be,
With eager hand he snatches down
And old and massive Key!

A massive Key of curious shape,
And dark with dirt and rust,
And well three weary centuries
The metal might encrust!
For since the King Boabdil fell
Before the native stock,
That ancient Key, so quaint to see,
Hath never been in lock.

Brought over by the Saracens
Who fled accross the main,
A token of the secret hope
Of going back again;
From race to race, from hand to hand,
From house to house it pass'd;
O will it ever, ever ope
The Palace gate at last?

Three hundred years and fifty-two
On post and wall it hung—
Three hundred years and fifty-two
A dream to old and young;
But now a brighter destiny
The Prophet's will accords:
The time is come to scour the rust,
And lubricate the wards.

For should the Moor with sword and lance
At Algesiras land,
Where is the bold Bernardo now
Their progress to withstand?
To Burgos should the Moslem come,
Where is the noble Cid
Five royal crowns to topple down
As gallant Diaz did?

Hath Xeres any Pounder now,
When other weapons fail,
With club to thrash invaders rash,
Like barley with a flail?
Hath Seville any Perez still,
To lay his clusters low,
And ride with seven turbans green
Around his saddle-bow?

No! never more shall Europe see
Such Heroes brave and bold,
Such Valor, Faith and Loyalty,
As used to shine of old!
No longer to one battle cry
United Spaniards run,
And with their thronging spears uphold
The Virgin and her Son!

From Cadiz Bay to rough Biscay
Internal discord dwells,
And Barcelona bears the scars
Of Spanish shot and shells.
The fleets decline, the merchants pine
For want of foreign trade;
And gold is scant; and Alicante
Is seal'd by strict blockade!

The loyal fly, and Valor falls,
Opposed by court intrigue;
But treachery and traitors thrive,
Upheld by foreign league;
While factions seeking private ends
By turns usurping reign—
Well may the dreaming, scheming Moor
Exulting point to Spain!

Well may he cleanse the rusty Key
With Afric sand and oil,
And hope an Andalusian home
Shall recompense the toil!
Well may he swear the Moorish spear
Through wild Castile shall sweep,
And where the Catalonian sowed
The Saracen shall reap!

Well may he vow to spurn the Cross
Beneath the Arab hoof,
And plant the Crescent yet again
Above th' Alhambra's roof—
When those from whom St. Jago's name
In chorus once arose,
Are shouting Faction's battle-cries,
And Spain forgets to 'Close!'

Well may he swear his ataghan
Shall rout the traitor swarm,
And carve them into Arabesques
That show no human form—
The blame be theirs, whose bloody feuds
Invite the savage Moor,
And tempt him with the ancient Key
To seek the ancient door!

by Thomas Hood.

Forsaking All Others Part 4

I

WAYNE was looking near and far
After the theatre to find his car.
He had taken his wife to the play that night;

Broadway was glittering hard and bright
With every sort of electric light­
Green and scarlet and diamond-white;
And moving letters against the sky
Told you exactly the reason why
This or that was the thing to buy.
And suddenly there at his side was Nell
Vainly seeking her car as well
They talked. for a moment... of meeting again...
And how were Edward and Ruth, and then
'I wonder,' said Nell, 'if you ever see
My lovely friend...' 'You mean,' said he,
'That blue-eyed lady I once sat next.. '
'Exactly,' said Nellie. 'I feel so vexed
With Lee. I haven't seen her this season,
And between you and me, I know the reason.'
'Do you indeed? ' said Wayne.'Oh, yes,'
Nell answered. 'I know... at least I guess.
When a woman like that whom I've seen so much
All of a sudden drops out of touch,
Is always busy and never can
Spare you a moment, it means a MAN.'

Wayne did not smile. 'I am sure you are
Right,' he said. 'Do you go so far
In the magic art as to tell us who
The man may be? ' 'I certainly do,'
Said Nell. 'It's that handsome young romantic
Doctor who's driving the ladies frantic,
So that they flock to be cured in shoals
And talk of nothing but sex and souls,
And self-expression, and physical passion..
Of course, no wonder the man's the fashion.'

'Does Mrs. Kent flock? ' 'Oh, no, I meant
They've called him in to take care of Kent.
Imagine the long deep conversations,
The tears, the intimate revelations...
I wish to all ladies, lonely and sad,
Tied to a husband hopelessly mad
A handsome psychiatrist... good or bad.
Oh, there's my car,' and so with a gay
Good night to Wayne she was driven away.

People will come for miles, they say,
To see a man burnt at the stake, yet none
Turned in that crowd to look at one
Standing quietly burning there,
Suffering more than a man can bear,
Consumed with hideous inner fire,
Believing his love a cheat and a liar...
Believing the moment that Nell had spoken,
For that day of all days Lee had broken
A date... at the time he had thought it queer,
And now, by God, it was perfectly clear,
Perfectly clear, no doubt whatever...
A doctor, handsome and young and clever,
With all this rotten erotic learning....

Strange indeed that no head was turning
To watch this gentleman quietly burning,
In a trance of pain he heard Ruth say:
'Well, dear, what did you think of that play? '

II

'HOW could you think such a thing? '
'Try to forgive if you can.'
'Spoiling our beautiful Spring! '
'Well, I am only a man.'

'I will forgive, if I can.'
'Jealousy made me insane.'
'I never spoke to the man.'
'I'll never doubt you again.'

'Jealousy made you insane.'
'Lee, you have much to forgive.'
'Oh, never doubt me again.'
'Never as long as I live.'

'Jim, I have much to forgive.'
'Yes, but I've suffered like hell.'
'Trust me as long as you live.'
'Dearest, I love you too well.'

'Poor darling, going through hell.'
'Spoiling our beautiful Spring.'
'I also love you too well.'
'How could I think such a thing? '

III

LOVERS after a quarrel say to each other lightly:
'Dear, we are closer than ever: I love you better by far;
After the rainstorm is over, the sun shines even more brightly...'
Poor pitiful lovers, trying to hide the unsightly
Stain on the surface of love... the ineffaceable scar.

IV

THE Spring was over, and Summer far advanced,­
Lee spent many a hidden week in town,
Days long and enchanted, and nights entranced,
But one thought would not down:

'Is he content with this snatched and broken life? '
She thought, 'when we might be free?
He cannot love that dowdy middle-aged wife.
Does he really love me? '

She was not burnt by jealousy sudden and hot,
But poisoned and chilled that he would not break
A meagre tie to a wife she knew he could not
Love, - yet would not forsake.

One night at her window, looking over the Park,
With his strong hand on her shoulder prest,
And a thunder-cloud rolling up out of the dark,
Rolling out of the West,

Suddenly she heard herself quoting Macbeth:
' 'To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus.' '
He answered after a pause on a long-drawn breath:
'Safety is not for us.'

V
AND from that moment Lee began - not nagging,
She was too wise for that - but she began
A secret steady pull, a silent dragging
To break the other tie that bound this man.

And she would brood, injured, remote, self-centred
At any mention that he had a wife;
And something chill and faintly hostile entered
The magic circle of this hidden life.

O lovers, those legitimately united
In holy wedlock, and less happy, those
Whose troth may never openly be plighted­
(Less happy did I say? Alas, who knows?)

But lovers all, beware, and know the strongest
Of wills may make a strong antagonist:
And that love will not always linger longest
With those who hold it in too clenched a fist.

VI

YET on the whole they were happy, as day by day
The long mysterious Summer passed away.
None guessed their secret - except far off on a shady
Lawn by the coast of Maine, a middle-aged lady
Spending a quiet Summer almost alone
In a great Victorian house of dark gray stone,
Knew as she sat and stared at the cold Maine ocean
Every event, every phase, every emotion
Of that great romance. She knew, none better,
Not by a chance or slip, or anonymous letter,
Not through gossip by any tattler carried,
But because she perfectly knew the man she had married.

VII

'DO not go home for Sunday,
Darling,' Lee's letter said.
'How I hate Friday to Monday!
Stay with me here, instead.
Life is so short, and one day
Soon, we shall both be dead.

'The curse of love like ours
Is that we seem to be
Always cut short by powers
Stronger than you and me.
But if you stayed-what hours,
Glorious, alone and free'

VIII

RUTH in her quiet garden beside the sea
Thinking, 'To-morrow at this time Jim will be
Here at my side. It's something to be a wife -
The background dull and assured of everyday life.
He must come home, whether he wants to or not,
To me, to me... All other women must plot,
Arrange, manoeuver to see him...'

And then behind her
She heard the steps of a servant coming to find her:
A footman stood with a telegram held on a tray:
'Terribly sorry I cannot get away
This week-end. Better luck next. Love. Jim.'

She turned her head to the footman, and said to him,
'Say Mr. Wayne will not be here to-morrow.'
And the man withdrew and left her alone with her sorrow.

The sun went down behind the great blue hill;
And she sat there alone in her garden, perfectly still,
Watching the wraiths of fog blow in like smoke,
And her heart as she sat there gently and quietly broke.

IX

AN August Sunday in town,
The Park all sere and brown,
The noise of wheels died down.

Faint tepid breezes wake
Now and again, and make
Lee's slatted curtains shake.

Now and again in the street
The sound of passing feet,
And church bells, faint and sweet.

Faint bells that ought to mean
A village spire seen
Across a meadow green.

Faint bells... Wayne's early youth....
Going to church... in truth
Going to church with Ruth.

Faint bells, and Lee cries, 'Oh,
How I should like to know
Why bells depress me so! '

X

BEFORE the skulls of Primitive Man,
Lee stood and thought: 'Are we part of a plan
Of Nature's; or are we just a sort
Of Cosmic Coincidence - a sport
Of God - or worse, a sport of chance­
Or of Ether - Nature's great romance?

'How queer it would be, if it turned out we
Were merely eddies - Jim and me
Meaningless eddies in ether swirled
In and out of a meaningless world.
Well, if we are it's nice to think
We've had some moments upon the brink
Of dissolution - of absolute chaos
Moments of joy that well repay us.'

And she paused to note that her fellow eddy
Was fifteen minutes late already.

Waiting she wandered from floor to floor,
Every instant becoming more
Uneasy, and going back to the door,
Where Wayne ought to have been at exactly four.

She went from the skulls of Primitive Man
To the mystic temples of Yucatan,
Or studied gray elephants, vast and haughty,
But with eyes like pigs' eyes, shrewd and naughty,
Flamingoes of beautiful coral pink­
The ancestry of the missing link­
But in between she was always hurrying
Back to the doorway, wondering, worrying -
And then she saw with a horrid sinking
Of heart, it was five! And she went home thinking,
'Something has happened - he's been struck
By a ruthless, rollicking, rumbling truck,
Or crushed by a taxi, and now is lying
In some hospital ward - unknown and dying -
Or if they knew would they send in truth
For me? Oh, no, they would send for Ruth.'

And hurrying fast as the laws enable,
She found a telegram on her table,
Signed as usual, 'J. H. Wayne:'

'Ruth has pneumonia alone in Maine,
Of course I am taking the very first train.
Sorry to miss you before I go.
When I know my plans, I'll let you know.'

The first emotion felt by Lee
Was pure and perfect relief that he
Was safe. And then she felt the force
Of that cruel, domestic calm 'of course.'
And then undeniably into her head
Came the thought unbidden: - 'If Ruth were dead - '
And standing alone: 'Poor thing,' she said

by Alice Duer Miller.

Lionel And Lucille

I.
IN the beautiful Castleton Island a mansion of lordly style,
Embowered in gardens and lawns, looks over the glimmering bay.
In the light of a morning in summer, with stately beauty and pride,
Its turrets and glittering roof flash down from the hills like a star.
There, pillowed in woods, it blinks on the dusty village below;
And ere it settles itself to its rest in the ambered dusk,
Its windows blaze from afar in the gold of the setting sun.
There in a curtained alcove facing a lawn to the south,
Lucille one morning in early spring was sitting alone.
Now in a novel she read, and now at her broidery stitched;
And now, throwing both aside, at her piano warbled and trilled.
Then on a balcony leaning, she wished that the weeks would pass,
For she with her mother to Europe was going. Her father had died
And left her an heiress; and lovers like moths came fluttering round,
Dazzled with visions of gold, and half believing them love, —
All but one, who was poor, and loved her, but not for her wealth.
Three months had Lionel known her — but never had told her his love.
How could he ask her to wed him, the scholar who drudged for his bread?
Even were his offers accepted, (and little his chances, he thought,)
What would they say in the city? 'He has picked up a fortune, it seems:
A shrewd lucky fellow!' So proudly he kept his fond thoughts to himself.
Seldom he saw her alone. In a circle of fashion she moved.
Whenever he called, there were carriages waiting, with liveries fine —
Visitors going and coming, with shallow and gossiping talk.
Those who knew him would surely have said, ''T is strange he should love
A girl of such frivolous tastes.' But such are the ways of the heart —
Ever a riddle too deep for the crude common-sense of the world.
To-day no visitors came, and Lucille was deep in her book —
(A tale of romantic affection far back in the Orient days) —
When a ring at the door was heard, and — Lionel stood in the hall.
He had heard she was going to Europe. He would n't yet bid her good-bye,
For he hoped he might see her again ere fate put an ocean between.
Something more earnest than usual she felt was in Lionel's face;
Something more tender and deep in the tones of his tremulous voice,
Though half hidden in jest too grave and intense for a smile.
She, brimming o'er with her poets, and fresh from her bath of romance,
Clothed the season, and him, and herself, in an opaline light.
Softer her tones, and her words less tinged with fashion and form,
Cordially lighted like birds on the ground of his intimate thoughts.
And as he left her, to stroll on the hills of the beautiful island,
Hope with her roseate colors enveloped the earth and the sky.
'T was one of those April days when the lingering Winter stands
Waving his breezy scarfs from the north for a last good-bye;
When the delicate wind-flowers peep from the matting and moss of the woods,
And the blue Hepatica lurks in the shadowy dells of the fern;
When the beautiful nun, the Arbutus, down in her cloisters brown,
Creeps through her corridors damp in the dead old leaves of the past,
Whispering with fragrant breath to the bold things dancing above:
'Tell me, has Winter gone? May I peep — just peep, at the world?'

When the spaces of sky are bluer, with white clouds hurrying fast,
Blurring the sun for a moment, then letting him flash on the fields,
While the shadows are miles in breadth, and travel as swift as the wind
Over the sparkling cities afar and the roughening bay; —
When the pine-groves sigh and sing as the wind sweeps under and through
The cheerful gloom of their spicy shade; and the willows lithe
Bend and wave with the tender green of their trailing boughs; —
When the furry catkins drop from the silvery poplar tree;
When the bare, gray bushes are tipped with the light of their new-born leaves,
And the petted hyacinths sprout and curl their parasite lips
Under the sunlit, sheltering sides of the palace walls,
And seem to scoff at the violets hidden deep in the grass,
And the common, yellow face of the dandelion's star,
As it peeps like a poor man's child through the rails of the garden fence.
Then, as Lionel entered the crowd and the city again,
Lighter his labors appeared in his office, wall-shadowed and dusk.
Dreams of the island and woods swept over his figures and books:
Visions of love in a cottage, with fashion and splendor forgotten.
Changeable April had shown but its sunniest side to his heart.
Once more, — twice, to the island he went: and Lionel hoped
A tenderer feeling for him had dawned in the heart of Lucille.
Ever with friendlier greeting she met him: for she in her mind
Had dressed up a hero of fiction; and Lionel — could it be he?
Was not his name of itself a romance? Then his face and his form,
Voice and manners and culture, were just what her hero's should be.
So with the glamour of life unreal she saw him; and yet —
Was it love? She thought so, perhaps. At least she would dream out her dream:
This was a real live novel — and worth reading through, was it not?
II.
One day, when the bushes were white in the lanes, and the bees were astir
In the blooms of the apple-trees, and the green woods ringing with birds,
Lionel asked Lucille to walk with him over the heights
Looking far down on the Narrows and out on the dim blue sea.
So through the forest they strolled. They stopped here and there for a flower,
Then sat to rest on a rock. An oak-tree over their heads
Stretched abroad its flickering lights and shadows. The birds
Sang in the woodlands around them. The spot seemed made for romance.
And Lionel drew from his pocket a book that had lately appeared,
A volume of lovers' verse by a poet over the seas,
And read aloud from its pages. Lucille sat twisting a wreath,
Laurel and white-thorn blossoms that half dropped away as she twined them; —
Paused now and then to listen; and as he was closing the book,
Laid a wild flower between the leaves to remember the place —
And playfully placed her wreath on his head, as if he were the poet.
Silent and musing they sat, as they turned to look at the sea,
Watching the smoke of the steamers and white sails skimming afar.
And Lionel said, 'Ah, soon you too will be steaming away
Down the blue Narrows; and I — shall miss you — more than you know.'
'Why should you miss me?'
she said.
'So seldom you visit our house.'
'Had I but followed my wishes; — but you like the lady appeared,
Shut in the circle of Comus. How hard to enter your ring!'
'What should prevent you from coming? How often I wished you would come!
Nobody calls that I care for: our island is growing so dull.'
'Yes — and you long for a change — and so you are going to Europe.
There in a whirl of delights, with fashion and wealth at command,
Soon you'll forget your poor island, and all the admirers you knew.'
'No'
— she whispered —
'not all'
— and blushed, with her head turned away,
Looked down and murmured: 'You think I am wedded to fashion and wealth:
Yet often I long for the simpler manners the poets have sung,
The grand old days when souls were prized for their natural worth.
You think I can rise to no feelings and thoughts of a serious life —
Can value no mind and no heart but — such as you meet at our house.
I care not for such — I fancied you knew me far better than that.'
'Lucille'
— he never had called her Lucille, but the name came unbidden;
'Lucille, could you love a poor toiler who dared not to offer his heart
And his hand — and in silence had loved you, and wished you were poor for his sake,
So fortunes were equal?' And she, still floating in rosy romance,
Murmured,
'I could,'
with a look that melted the walls of reserve
And mingled two souls into one. Then, turning away from the sea,
The sea that so soon must divide them, they pledged to each other their troth.
And Lionel saw not the fates that were frowning afar o'er the waves;
For the world wore the color of dreams, as homeward they wended their way.
Bright were the meetings that followed — and yet with a shadowy touch
On Lionel's hopes, as if in the changeable April days
He still were roaming the hills, and still looked over the bay
Where cloud and sunshine were flying, with doubtful promise of spring.
Lucille had a reason, it seemed, to keep their betrothal untold.
The day was so near of their parting. She feared what her mother might say.
'T were best they should part but as friends. They would write to each other the same —
And they would be true to each other — and all would be clear before long.
And Lionel yielded, and pondered. And so they parted at last.
III.
The summer had hardly begun when a letter from England came,
Full of the voyage and landing — but little of what he had hoped.
Too light, too glancing it seemed for a first love-letter from one
Far over the sea, who had said he should ever be first in her thoughts.
Bright and witty it fluttered from topic to topic — but never
Paused with a tremulous wing to dwell on the love she had left.
Something there was in its tone that said
'I am happy without you:'
Something too little regretful — too full of her glittering life.
And as one gathers a beautiful flower ne'er gathered before,
Hoping a fragrance he misses, and yet half imagines he finds —
Wooing the depths of its color too rich for no perfume to match —
So seemed her letter to him, as he read the lines over and over.
Yet when Lionel answered, he breathed not a word of the thought,
Shading the glowing disc of his love with distant surmise.
'Soon,' he said, 'will the novelty cease of this foreign excitement.
Then she will think sometimes of me as the sun goes down
Over the western waves — and tenderer tones will flow,
And mingle with warmer words in her letters from over the sea.'
Yet when another letter came, it brought her no nearer,
Less of herself, and more of the colors that tinted her life.
And Lionel wrote with passionate words: 'Only tell me, Lucille,
Tell me you love me — but one brief line — and I will not complain.'
Restless, troubled, one day he passed her house on the island;
Shut to the sun and the breeze, it blinked on the village below.
Over the balcony leaned a purple Wisteria vine,
(Blooming, but not in its season, as oft 't is their habit to do,)
Trailing its ladylike flounces from window and carved balustrade,
And dropping its blossoms as brief as love. And Lionel muttered:
'She too over that balcony leaned one day as I passed —
Leaned like a flowery vine; and smiled as I passed below,
And waved me an airy kiss, with a pose of her beautiful form.
Can love that promised so truly be frail as these clusters of June?'
Month after month now passed. Though he wrote as fondly as ever,
Brief were her answers, and longer between — till they finally ceased.
A year from the day when they parted, a letter from Paris arrived,
Short and constrained. It said: 'I fear I have made you unhappy.
We have read too much of the poets. Our troth was a thing of romance.
My mother forbids it, it seems. There are reasons 't were painful to tell.
I'm sure you would find me unfitted — and I am not worth your regretting.
Adieu — and be happy. Lucille.'
Next month in the papers he saw
She had married a Count — some Pole with an unpronounceable name.

by Christopher Pearse Cranch.

M'Gillviray's Dream

A Forest-Ranger's Story.

JUST nineteen long years, Jack, have passed o'er my shoulders
Since close to this spot we lay waiting the foe;
Ay, here is the mound where brave Percival moulders,
And yonder's the place where poor Norman lies low;
'Twas only a skirmish — just eight of our number
Were stretch'd on the sward when the fighting was done;
We scooped out their beds, and we left them to slumber,
The bold-hearted fellows went down with the sun.
The month was October — young Summer was peeping
Through evergreen forests where Spring, still supreme,
Spread all the rich tints that she had in her keeping
On tree, shrub, and bush, while each brooklet and stream
With babblings of joy ran along to the river —
But, hang it, old man, I am going too far;
I talk as I used to when from Cupid's quiver
Flew darts of affection my bosom to scar.
I'm not much at poetry, Jack, though I've written
Some nonsense in verse when my heart was aglow
With what they call love — have you ever been smitten
By some artful minx who deceived you? What, no?
By Jove, you've been lucky; but, Jack, I'm digressing.
Our quarters were here, under Lusk, and we made
Our camp in the church without asking a blessing;
This place is still known as the Mauku Stockade.
I'd fought with Von Tempsky along the Waikato;
I'd seen the green banks of that fair river dyed
With British blood, red as the plumes of the rata
When Spring scatters scarlet drops thick in her pride.
I cared not for danger, and fighting was pleasure,
The life of a Ranger was one of romance —
A dare-devil fool ever ready to measure
A savage's length with my rifle. 'Twas chance
That sent me among them; I lived but for glory;
My comrades were all of good mettle and true,
And one was a hero; I'll tell you his story —
God rest poor M'Gillviray — brave-hearted Hugh!
I knew him for years, Jack, and shoulder to shoulder
He stood by me often when swift leaden hail
Whizzed close to our ears. Ah! old man, I was bolder
In those valiant days than I'm now. To my tale: —

The morning was gloomy, and Hugh sat beside me;
We'd chumm'd in together for two years or more;
I found him a brick, and he said when he tried me
In front of the foe, “Dick, you're true to the core!”
Enough — we were friends, and in trouble or danger
We stuck by each other in camp and in fray.
How often we find in the breast of a stranger
The heart of a kind brother throbbing alway
With warmest affection, responsive and tender —
Hugh's breast had a tenant like this, and I knew
In him I'd a brother, a friend, a defender,
Prepared for whatever a brave man might do.
The morning was dark, and the outlook was dreary;
I noticed my comrade was sitting alone,
All thoughtful, disconsolate, pallid, and weary,
“Why, where has the gladness of yesterday flown?
Come, tell me, Hugh, why you are gloomy this morning;
What change has come over my light-hearted mate?
You've not” (and I laughed) “had a Banshee's death-warning,
Have Brownies or Goblins been sealing your fate?”
He turned his pale face, while his eyes, full of sorrow,
Met mine, and it seemed like the gaze of the dead;
I spoke once again: “Hugh, we'll meet them to-morrow,
Fierce Rewi is coming this way.” Then he said —

“Why am I sad? Ah, comrade kind,
We cannot tell why shadows fall
Across the soul and o'er the mind;
We cannot tell why dreams recall
Old scenes endeared by mem'ry's spell,
Old haunts where love and sorrow met,
Old spots where airy castles fell,
And Hope's young sun for ever set;
We cannot tell why thought should leap
Across the ocean's wide expanse,
And through the telescope of sleep
Review the dead years at a glance;
We cannot tell—— But why should I
Philosophize? We know we're here,
And for the wherefore and the why,
That problem suits the sage and seer,
But not the soldier. Listen, mate —
I'm not a coward, for I've stood
Full face to face with death, and fate
Has led me safe through scenes of blood;
But now my hour is drawing nigh,
Life's battle now is nearly done,
For me to-morrow's arching sky
Shall canopy no rising sun.”
“Why, comrade, you but jest,” I said;
“You shouldn't joke with me, you know;
To-morrow's sun shall shine o'erhead,
And see us watching for the foe.”

“Nay, comrade, we must part to-day,
A hand has beckon'd through the gloom,
And signalled me away, away
To brighter realms beyond the tomb;
You smile and count me as a slave
Of superstition — be it so;
My vision stretches o'er the grave;
I travel where you cannot go.
Ah! friend, you were not nursed beneath
The Highland hills, where every glen
Is filled with those who've conquered death —
Is tenanted with ghosts of men.
Ah! friend, your feet have never trod
The mighty Bens, whose summits grim
Approach the starry gates of God,
Where heaven grows bright and earth grows dim.
The legendary lore that clings
Round Highland hearts you have not felt,
Nor yet the weird imaginings
Which stir the spirit of the Celt.
Well, hear my story — listen, pray,
And I'll explain why I am sad
And in a downcast mood to-day.
You smile again and deem me mad —
Last night I was again a boy
Light-hearted 'mong my native hills,
Filled with a bright, ecstatic joy,
And pure as my own mountain rills;
I stood beneath old Monagh Leagh,
Nor far from rugged Dumnaglass,
And in the distance I could see
Wild Farracagh's romantic Pass;
A monarch proud, a youthful king,
Alone with nature there I stood,
At peace with God and everything,
For all His works seemed fair and good;
But best and fairest of them all
Was she who came to meet me there, —
I little thought dreams could recall
Those silken waves of sunny hair,
That tender smile, those eyes of blue,
The magic of whose flashing glance
Inflamed my soul with love, and threw
A glamour round me, — joyous trance!
We met last night just as of old,
And Elsie nestled by my side,
While playing with each tress of gold
I whispered, ‘Lassie, be my bride.’
The sweet soft answer came — why dwell
On that dear moment of delight?
Our heaven was in that Highland dell,
Where all seemed beautiful and bright.
We parted, and my dreaming soul
On Fancy's pinions forward flew
O'er five short years, and reached the goal
That love and hope had kept in view.
Oh, joyous day! a merry throng
Were gathered on the Clachan green;
The villagers, with dance and song,
Held jubilee; that happy scene
Is treasured in my memory still.
I hold again that little hand;
I hear the whispered word, ‘I will!’
I lead her through that cheerful band,
While Donald Beg, and Fergus Mohr,
And Angus Dhu — the pipers three —
Strike up, while marching on before,
The pibroch of M'Gillviray.
Oh! how the wild notes brought a flood
Of mem'ries bright and glories gone,
When, for the Royal Stuart blood.
Our chief led great Clan Chattan on
To famed Culloden's field: — 'Tis past,
That marriage scene with all its charms
And winter comes with freezing blast,
To find my young wife in my arms,
And all the villagers in tears
Assembled round us — she was gone;
The prize was mine a few short years,
And I was now alone, alone.
Oh! what had I to live for then?
One clasp, one look, one fond caress,
And flying far from each proud Ben,
With sorrow deep as dark Loch Ness,
I left my humble Highland home,
To gaze on Monagh Leagh no more.
With blighted heart I crossed the foam
And landed on New Zealand's shore;
You know the rest——”
“But what has all
This home-sick dreaming got to do
With death, my friend?”
“I've got a call
To meet my Elsie.”
“Nonsense, Hugh!”
I laughed, but still his brow was sad;
“Cheer up and chase this gloom away,
There's pleasure yet in life, my lad.”

“I tell you we must part to-day;
I have not told you all that passed
Before me in my dreaming hours.
This day, with you, shall be my last.
True friendship, Dick, has long been ours.
And we must part in love, my friend, —
You smile again — well, time will prove
My premonition true; — The end
Is drawing nigh; — Behold my love,
My life, my Elsie, on you hill, —
Ay, yonder hill is Monagh Leagh —
Just listen, friend, she's calling still,
And still the dear one beckons me
Away — the sun upon the peaks
Is blushing crimson o'er the snow.
Behold! how bright its rays and streaks
Are dancing on Loch Ness below;
Rich violet and purple clouds
A tabernacle form on high,
Behind whose folds the starry crowds
Lie hidden in the silent sky —
'Tis there, 'tis there, the same fond face,
Which, but a few short hours ago,
Pressed close to mine; just in this place
My Elsie stood, and, bending low,
She whispered in an icy breath,
‘Oh! Hugh, behold thy spirit-bride.
I'm here for thee; prepare for death.
Thy soul to-morrow, by my side,
Shall trace the scenes we loved of yore.
Again, my Hugh, my husband brave,
We'll watch the Highland eagle soar;
We'll see the heath and bracken wave.
Ah! Hugh, the spirit-sight is keen;
We cross the ocean with a glance;
We know not time — ' She left the scene,
And I awakened from my trance;
But let us change the subject, mate;
Let's have a smoke; — Hark! there's a shot —
One, two, three, four! we mustn't wait —
Where are our rifles? Ah! we've got
The darkies now. See, see, they dance
Before our eyes; hear how they yell!
There goes the order for advance —
There's Norman out and Percival.”

M'Gillviray ceased, and we ran to the door,
Prepared to advance where our officers led;
Both Hill and O'Beirne were well to the fore,
While Norman and Percival rushed on ahead.
Flash! flash! went our rifles; we followed their track,
And in through a gap in the timber we broke;
We loaded again, and they answered us back —
The rebels, I mean — as they plunged through the smoke.
“Now, back to the camp, lads; we've scattered the swine;
They've tasted enough of our metal to-day!'
Twas Percival spoke, and we fell into line,
And back through the break in the bush took our way.
We reached but the centre, when out from the bush
That skirted each side with its branches and logs
The Maoris in crowds, with a yell and a rush,
Encompassed us: — “Boys, give the treacherous dogs
A taste of our true British pluck!” — a wild cry,
As a tomahawk's stroke cut the sentence in twain,
Went in through the woodlands and up to the sky,
And Percival lay in the front of the slain.
Oh, God! in my ears still rings yell after yell.
I see the bright tomahawks dripping with blood;
The wild demons looked as if painted in hell;
They leaped through the thicket and burst from the wood.
Outflanked and outnumbered, our officers dead,
A handful of men in the grasp of the foe,
What could we have done in such stress? so we fled
When Norman and Wheeler and Hill were laid low.
We reached the old church, but the savages stay'd
To butcher the wounded and mangle the slain;
They vanished ere night in the forest's dark shade,
To steer their canoes o er Waikato again.
At daybreak we went to the scene of the fray,
To bury our comrades and bid them adieu,
And near a small mound where five savages lay
We found brave M'Gillviray sleeping there too.
Five warrior chiefs proved the work he had done;
They fell by his hand ere his soul went to God;
He smiled in the face of the bright morning sun
That shone on the purple streaks o'er the green sod.
I planted a wattle to mark where he sleeps —
I wonder where is it? — Ah, there stands the tree!
By Jove, it's in blossom, too! See how it weeps
Rich tears of bright gold o er the hillock where he
Is resting in peace. Is he dreaming there still
Of Elsie, his bride, and his dear Highland glen?
This life is a puzzle, Jack; fight as we will,
We're nothing at last but the shadows of men.
The substance soon blends with the blossoms and weeds
That spring to the surface; and as for the soul.
Perhaps it may flourish or fade in its deeds,
Or find in some other bright planet its goal.

by Thomas Bracken.

The Authors: A Satire

Bright Arts, abus'd, like Gems, receive their Flaws;
Physick has Quacks, and Quirks obscure the Laws.
Fables to shade Historic Truths combine,
And the dark Sophist dims the Text Divine.
The Art of Reasoning in Religion's Cause,
By Superstition's Taint a Blindness draws.
The Art of Thinking Free (Man's noblest Aim!)
Turns, in Half-thinking Souls, his equal Shame.
Colours, ill-mingled, coarse, and lifeless grow!
Violins squeak, when Scrapers work the Bow!
Distortion deadens Action's temper'd Fire!
Belab'ring Poetasters thrum the Lyre!
Gesture shuns Strut, and Elocution, Cant!
Passion lies murder'd by unmeaning Rant!
Wit we debase, if Ribaldry we praise,
And Satire fades, when Slander wears the Bays.

YOU, to whose Scrolls a just Neglect is shewn,
Whose Names, tho' printed oft, remain unknown;
I war not with the Weak, if wanting Fame,
The Proud, and Prosp'rous Trifler is my Game.
With usual Wit, unfelt while you assail,
Remark unanswer'd, and unheeded Rail!
Or heeded, know I can your Censure prize,
For a Fool's Praise is Censure from the Wise;
If then my Labour your kind Malice draws,
Censure from you is from the Wise Applause.

YOU, who delineate strong our Lust of Fame,
These mimic Lays your kind Protection claim!
My Frown, like your's, would to Improvement tend,
You but assume the Foe, to act the Friend.
Pleasing, yet wounding, you our Faults rehearse,
Strong are your Thoughts! Inchanting rolls your Verse!
Deep, clear, and sounding! decent, yet sincere;
In Praise impartial, without Spleen severe.

'HOLD, Criticks cry-Erroneous are your Lays,
'Your Field was Satire, your Pursuit is Praise.'
True, you Profound!-I praise, but yet I sneer;
You're dark to Beauties, if to Errors clear!
Know my Lampoon's in Panegyric seen,
For just Applause turns Satire on your Spleen.

SHALL Ignorance and Insult claim my Rage?
Then with the World a gen'ral War I wage!
No-to some Follies Satire scorns to bend,
And Worth (or press'd, or prosp'rous) I commend.

FIRST, let me view what noxious Nonsense reigns,
While yet I loiter on Prosaic Plains;
If Pens impartial active Annals trace,
Others, with secret Hist'ry, Truth deface:
Views and Reviews, and wild Memoirs appear,
And Slander darkens each recorded Year.
Each Prince's Death to Poison they apply,
No Royal Mortals sure by Nature die.
Fav'rites or Kindred artful Deaths create,
A Father, Brother, Son, or Wife is Fate.
In a past Reign was form'd a secret League,
Some Ring, or Letter, now reveals th' Intrigue:
A certain Earl a certain Queen enjoys,
A certain Subject Fair her Peace destroys;
The jealous Queen a vengeful Art assumes,
And scents her Rival's Gloves with dire Perfumes:
Queens, with their Ladies, work unseemly things,
And Boys grow Dukes, when Catamites to Kings.
A lying Monk on Miracles refines,
And Vengeance glares from violated Shrines.

THUS Slander o'er the Dead-One's Fame prevails,
And easy Minds imbibe Romantic Tales:
Thus from feign'd Facts a false Reflection flows,
And by Tradition Superstition grows.

NEXT, Pamphleteers a Trade licentious drive,
Like wrangling Lawyers, they by Discord thrive.
If Hancock proves Cold Water's Virtue clear,
His Rival prints a Treatise on Warm Beer.
If next Inoculation's Art spreads wide,
(An Art, that mitigates Infection's Tide)
Loud Pamphleteers 'gainst Innovation cry,
Let Nature work - 'Tis natural to die.

IF Heav'n-born Wisdom, gazing Nature thro',
Thro' Nature's Optics forms Religion's View,
Priestcraft opposes Demonstration's Aid,
And with dark Myst'ry dignifies her Trade.

IF Ruin rushes o'er a Statesman's Sway,
Scribblers, like Worms, on tainted Grandeur prey
While a poor Felon waits th' impending Stroke,
Voracious Scribes, like hov'ring Ravens, croak.
In their dark Quills a dreary Insult lies,
Th' Offence lives recent, tho' th' Offender dies;
In his last Words they suck his parting Breath,
And gorge on his loath'd Memory after Death.

WRETCHES, like these, no Satire wou'd chastise,
But Follies here to ruthless Insult rise;
Distinguish'd Insult taints a Nation's Fame,
And various Vice deserves a various Shame.

PAMPHLETS I leave-sublime my Fancy grows!
No more she sweeps the humble Vale of Prose.
Now I trace swift the Muse's airy Clime,
The Dance of Numbers, and the Change of Rhime!
In measur'd Rounds Imagination swims,
And the Brain whirls with new, surprizing Whims!
Poets are mad! 'tis granted:-So are you,
Grave Critics, who those Lunatics pursue:
You labour Comments, dry on Classic Lays,
Partial alike in Censure, and in Praise;
Where most abstruse, you most assert they shine,
Where Homer raves, his Allegory's fine!
But if a Modern with an Ancient vies,
Spirit grows Phrensy, to a Wit so wise.

PHLEGM without Fire, your flat Encomiums bear,
When you declaim, a Mark revers'd you wear;
If not inspir'd, at least possess'd you seem,
You boil with Choler, and dismiss your Phlegm.
None unprefer'd, in Parliament more loud!
No worn-out Fair more peevish, or more proud!
No City-Dame, when to the Birth-Night drawn,
More vain of Gems!-(some Female Courtier's Pawn!)
Proud as a Judge, when Equity's a Trade,
Or Lord, whose Guilt was with a Title paid.

MARK cautious Cinna mimic Poesy's Flame,
Coarse are his Colours, and obscure his Aim!
Cinna, thy Genius weds not with the Muse;
No longer then thy well-known Parts misuse!
Cinna, thus doctor'd, stifles all he writ,
But sneers malignant at another's Wit.
Some beauteous Piece applauded, He replies,
The Sun has Spots, and a wish'd Error spies.

SO some warm Lass grows pregnant e'er she marries,
Takes Physic, and for Honour's sake miscarries;
Jealous of Praise, pale Envy taints her Lip,
And her Tongue tattles of each Virgin's Trip.

THEOCRITUS's Ape, dry, proud, and vain,
Shews the stiff Quaker for the simple Swain.
In Tragic Scenes, how soft he moves Distress?
His Lamb-like Princess in the Pure-one's Dress:
Plain in Expression, and in Passion tame,
Propriety of Words is all his Aim.

SCRIBLERS grow fast-One, who gains least Applause,
(His Works reprinting) a Subscription draws.
Ape of an Ape! How is the Species grown?
Inferior Apes this Ape a Viceroy own!
O'er a learn'd Tribe, He Grand Dictator plays,
And points young Wits new Models in his Lays.
Flat Odes, Epistles, and Translations rise,
And a new Preface words it with the Wise!
Art is School Trash-Horace and Pope are Fool
Sonnets and Madrigals require no Rules.
Milton runs rough-Here plainer Lays allure!
Nor Low, nor Grand, nor Simple, nor Impure.

A Love-sick Youth, who sighs about Eighteen,
Whines in Blank Verse, and tries a Tragic Scene.
One Poet, damn'd, turns Critick, storms in Prose;
His railing Pamphlet his wrong'd Merit shows.
A trading Bard salutes the Lord in Place,
Whom he insults with Satire, in Disgrace.
One, jocund, sings Birth-Days, and Nuptial Rites:
One, of the Dead, a doleful Dirge recites,
Dull as deep Bells, that toll the Fun'ral's Time,
Or drowzy Echoes from the Bell-Man's Rhime.

A cast-off Dame, who of Intrigues can judge,
Writes Scandal in Romance-A Printer's Drudge!
Flush'd with Success, for Stage-Renown she pants,
And melts, and swells, and pens luxurious Rants.

BUT while her Muse a sulph'rous Flame displays,
Glows strong with Lust, or burns with Envy's Blaze!
While some black Fiend, that hugs the haggar'd Shrew,
Hangs his collected Horrors on her Brow!
Clio, descending Angels sweep thy Lyre,
Prompt thy soft Lays, and breathe Seraphic Fire.
Tears fall, Sighs rise, obedient to thy Strains,
And the Blood dances in the mazy Veins!
Crown'd with the Palm, Bays, Myrtle, and the Vine;
Love, Pity, Friendship, Music, Wit, and Wine,
In social Spirits, lead thy Hours along,
Thou Life of Loveliness, thou Soul of Song!

A Blade whose Life a Turn of Humour takes,
Cocks smart, trims fine, treats Harlots, scours with Rakes!
When his drain'd Purse no new Expence supplies,
Fond Madam frowns, each dear Companion flies!
Duns clamour, Bailiffs lurk, and Clothes decay,
Coin ebbs, he must recruit-He writes a Play.
'Bold Task! a Play?-Mark our young Bard proceed!
'A Play?-Your Wits in Want are Wits indeed.'
Here the Punk's Jokes are for Politeness wrote,
Some inconsistent Novel forms a Plot.
In the Gallant, his own wise Conduct glares!
Smut is sheer Wit!-Each Prank a Merit wears!
Bright Youth! He steals, to make the Piece entire,
A Cuckold, Beau, pert Footman, and a Squire.

WHEN Bards thus patch up Plays from various Scraps,
They dream of crouded Houses! thundring Claps!
False Hope! Poets are poor, and Fortune's blind,
Actors are saucy-or the Town's unkind.

BUT why should Satire war with ill Success?
Why should I add Affliction to Distress?
'Tis bold t' assail proud Vice with stinging Lays!
'Tis bolder yet, to give wrong'd Merit Praise!
Few dare accuse what stately Wits defend!
Few dare against the gen'ral Vogue commend!

JOHNNY's fine Works at Court obtain Renown!
Aaron writes Trash-He ne'er collogues the Town.
How Grand the Verse which My Lord's Feats declares.
Rude are Lampoons, that lash My Lady's Airs.
How arch the Wit, when Her Grace deigns a Laugh
Dull is the Satire on the Duke's white Staff.
Oh, You Polite! Your Smiles are Fame's sweet Road;
We praise, subscribe, or damn-because the Mode.

JOHNNY no more reflects a shining Page,
From that bright Genius, that has charm'd the Age!
More conscious now, his single Worth he rates!
Verses are made, like Med'cines, by Receipts.
Soft Phrases he collects-to scan, to chime,
Reads deep, and weighs vast Lexicons of Rhyme.
Hints from Fontaine, some smart Design compleat;
The Whim is pretty, and the Language neat.
Tho' smart, neat, pretty; yet ev'n Courtiers own,
It glitters not with Pope-aside 'tis thrown.

JOHNNY, who fosters next his Patron's Wit,
Strikes out a Play, with Thought, and Spirit writ!
To first-rank Beaus our artful Bard applies,
One writes to charm the Fair, and One the Wise.
Beaus fly the Fame, yet secret Talents know,
And read, revise, and ev'n Co-Authors grow;
And now anew th' inverted Work they frame,
New Thoughts they hatch!-But Johnny holds the Name.
So fruitful Madams, their Amours unknown,
Bear private Babes, which, born, their Midwives own.
At Grand Assemblies, Play and Bard appear,
Cabals are form'd, our Johnny's Debts to clear;
'Tis read, prais'd, acted!-Now the Poet's Trap!
Beaus heed your Scenes! You know your Cues to clap.

THUS thro' nine Nights loud Party-Praises roar,
Then die away at once, to noise no more.
In vain such Authors hope substantial Fame,
Such Praise must usher in a sequent Shame.
To the next Age, the present proves disgrac'd,
With the mean Wits we priz'd, it ranks our Taste;
But thro' a third, not ev'n their Shame they boast,
Their Names, their Works, and Shame alike are lost.

CALL you these Witlings a Poetic Brood?
Are Pies and Daws the Songsters of the Wood?
For Wit, not Nonsense, first was form'd the Stage,
Not to infect, but to refine the Age!
Here soften'd Virtue Rigours's Frown declines!
Precept, enforc'd by just Example, shines!
In each rais'd Tear a gen'rous Meaning flows!
In each pleas'd Smile a fair Instruction grows!
When we strike Nature, and improve the Mind,
Those deathless Works a sweet Remembrance find;
No chearless Merit unrewarded toils,
Still Compton lives, and still a Dorset smiles:
Some Noble Spirits still adorn the Great,
Still shines Argyle with ev'ry Grace of State;
Wisdom and Bounty sweet on Rutland sit,
And Howard's the lovely Patroness of Wit.

BUT say, whence liberal Arts thus feel Decay?
Why melt their Charms, like Fairy Towers, away?
Not Ignorance, oppos'd, their Strength impairs,
They break, they perish by intestine Jars.
Artists on Artists scoul with jealous Eyes,
And Envy Emulation's place supplies.
With Envy's Influence the dark Bosom's fraught,
But Emulation brightens ev'ry Thought!
Pale Envy pines, if Excellence aspires,
And most she slanders what she most admires;
Charm'd Emulation can, with Transport, gaze,
Yet wou'd outsoar the Worth, she loves to praise.

THUS thou, our Universal Passion's Foe,
Canst thy own Height, by praising Others, show.
Young well may Pope's and Congreve's Charms admire,
Young glows distinguish'd with an equal Fire:
So strong thy Learning, Wit, and Friendship shine,
What Praise true Merit claims, is justly thine.

by Richard Savage.

The Romance Of Britomarte

I'LL tell you a story ; but pass the 'jack',
And let us make merry to-night, my men.
Aye, those were the days when my beard was black—
I like to remember them now and then—
Then Miles was living, and Cuthbert there,
On his lip was never a sign of down ;
But I carry about some braided hair,
That has not yet changed from the glossy brown
That it show'd the day when I broke the heart
Of that bravest of destriers, 'Britomarte.'

Sir Hugh was slain (may his soul find grace !)
In the fray that was neither lost nor won
At Edgehill—then to St. Hubert's Chase
Lord Goring despatch'd a garrison—
But men and horses were ill to spare,
And ere long the soldiers were shifted fast.
As for me, I never was quartered there
Till Marston Moor had been lost ; at last,
As luck would have it, alone, and late
In the night, I rode to the northern gate.

I thought, as I pass'd through the moonlit park,
On the boyish days I used to spend
In the halls of the knight lying stiff and stark—
Thought on his lady, my father's friend
(Mine, too, in spite of my sinister bar,
But with that my story has naught to do)—
She died the winter before the war—
Died giving birth to the baby Hugh.
He pass'd ere the green leaves clothed the bough,
And the orphan girl was the heiress now.

When I was a rude and a reckless boy,
And she a brave and a beautiful child,
I was her page, her playmate, her toy—
I have crown'd her hair with the field-flowers wild
Cowslip and crowfoot and colt's-foot bright—
I have carried her miles when the woods were wet,
I have read her romances of dame and knight ;
She was my princess, my pride, my pet.
There was then this proverb us twain between,
For the glory of God and of Gwendoline.

She had grown to a maiden wonderful fair,
But for years I had scarcely seen her face.
Now, with troopers Holdsworth, Huntly, and Clare,
Old Miles kept guard at St. Hubert's Chase,
And the chatelaine was a Mistress Ruth,
Sir Hugh's half-sister, an ancient dame,
But a mettlesome soul had she forsooth,
As she show'd when the time of her trial came.
I bore despatches to Miles and to her
To warn them against the bands of Kerr.

And mine would have been a perilous ride
With the rebel horsemen—we knew not where
They were scattered over that country side,—
If it had not been for my brave brown mare.
She was iron-sinew'd and satin-skinn'd,
Ribb'd like a drum and limb'd like a deer,
Fierce as the fire and fleet as the wind—
There was nothing she couldn't climb or clear—
Rich lords had vex'd me, in vain, to part
For their gold and silver, with Britomarte.

Next morn we muster'd scarce half a score
With the serving men, who were poorly arm'd
Five soldiers, counting myself, no more,
And a culverin, which might well have harm'd
Us, had we used it, but not our foes,
When, with horses and foot, to our doors they came,
And a psalm-singer summon'd us (through his nose),
And deliver'd—'This, in the people's name,
Unto whoso holdeth this fortress here,
Surrender ! or bide the siege—John Kerr.'

'Twas a mansion built in a style too new,
A castle by courtesy, he lied
Who called it a fortress—yet, 'tis true,
It had been indifferently fortified—
We were well provided with bolt and bar—
And while I hurried to place our men,
Old Miles was call'd to a council of war
With Mistress Ruth and with her, and when
They had argued loudly and long, those three,
They sent, as a last resource, for me.

In the chair of state sat erect Dame Ruth ;
She had cast aside her embroidery ;
She had been a beauty, they say, in her youth,
There was much fierce fire in her bold black eye.
'Am I deceived in you both ?' quoth she.
'If one spark of her father's spirit lives
In this girl here—so, this Leigh, Ralph Leigh,
Let us hear what counsel the springald gives.'
Then I stammer'd, somewhat taken aback—
(Simon, you ale-swiller, pass the 'jack').

The dame wax'd hotter—'Speak out, lad, say,
Must we fall in that canting caitiff's power ?
Shall we yield to a knave and a turncoat ? Nay,
I had liever leap from our topmost tower.
For a while we can surely await relief ;
Our walls are high and our doors are strong.'
This Kerr was indeed a canting thief—
I know not rightly, some private wrong
He had done Sir Hugh, but I know this much,
Traitor or turncoat he suffer'd as such.

Quoth Miles—'Enough ! your will shall be done ;
Relief may arrive by the merest chance,
But your house ere dusk will be lost and won ;
They have got three pieces of ordnance.'
Then I cried, 'Lord Guy, with four troops of horse,
Even now is biding at Westbrooke town ;
If a rider could break through the rebel force
He would bring relief ere the sun goes down
Through the postern door could I make one dart
I could baffle them all upon Britomarte.'

Miles mutter'd 'Madness !' Dame Ruth look'd grave,
Said, 'True, though we cannot keep one hour
The courtyard, no, nor the stables save,
They will have to batter piecemeal the tower,
And thus——' But suddenly she halted there.
With a shining hand on my shoulder laid,
Stood Gwendoline. She had left her chair,
And, 'Nay, if it needs must be done,' she said,
'Ralph Leigh will gladly do it, I ween,
For the glory of God and of Gwendoline.'

I had undertaken a heavier task
For a lighter word. I saddled with care,
Nor cumber'd myself with corselet nor casque
(Being loth to burden the brave brown mare).
Young Clare kept watch on the wall—he cried,
'Now, haste, Ralph ! this is the time to seize ;
The rebels are round us on every side,
But here they straggle by twos and threes.'
Then out I led her, and up I sprung,
And the postern door on its hinges swung.

I had drawn this sword—you may draw it and feel,
For this is the blade that I bore that day—
There's a notch even now on the long grey steel,
A nick that has never been rasp'd away.
I bow'd my head and I buried my spurs,
One bound brought the gliding green beneath ;
I could tell by her back-flung, flatten'd ears
She had fairly taken the bit in her teeth—
(What, Jack, have you drain'd your namesake dry,
Left nothing to quench the thirst of a fly ?)

These things are done, and are done with, lad,
In far less time than your talker tells;
The sward with their hoof-strokes shook like mad,
And rang with their carbines and petronels ;
And they shouted, 'Cross him and cut him off,'
'Surround him,' 'Seize him,' 'Capture the clown,
Or kill him,' 'Shall he escape to scoff
In your faces ?' 'Shoot him or cut him down.'
And their bullets whistled on every side :
Many were near us and more were wide.

Not a bullet told upon Britomarte ;
Suddenly snorting, she launched along ;
So the osprey dives where the seagulls dart,
So the falcon swoops where the kestrels throng ;
And full in my front one pistol flash'd,
And right in my path their sergeant got.
How are jack-boots jarr'd, how are stirrups clash'd,
While the mare like a meteor past him shot ;
But I clove his skull with a backstroke clean,
For the glory of God and of Gwendoline.

And as one whom the fierce wind storms in the face
With spikes of hail and with splinters of rain,
I, while we fled through St. Hubert's Chase,
Bent till my cheek was amongst her mane.
To the north full a league of the deer-park lay,
Smooth, springy turf, and she fairly flew,
And the sound of their hoof-strokes died away,
And their far shots faint in the distance grew.
Loudly I laughed, having won the start,
At the folly of following Britomarte.

They had posted a guard at the northern gate—
Some dozen of pikemen and musketeers.
To the tall park palings I turn'd her straight ;
She veer'd in her flight as the swallow veers.
And some blew matches and some drew swords,
And one of them wildly hurl'd his pike,
But she clear'd by inches the oaken boards,
And she carried me yards beyond the dyke ;
Then gaily over the long green down
We gallop'd, heading for Westbrooke town.

The green down slopes to the great grey moor,
The grey moor sinks to the gleaming Skelt—
Sudden and sullen, and swift and sure,
The whirling water was round my belt.
She breasted the bank with a savage snort,
And a backward glance of her bloodshot eye,
And 'Our Lady of Andover's' flash'd like thought,
And flitted St. Agatha's nunnery,
And the firs at The Ferngrove fled on the right,
And 'Falconer's Tower' on the left took flight.

And over 'The Ravenswold' we raced—
We rounded the hill by 'The Hermit's Well'—
We burst on the Westbrooke Bridge—'What haste ?
What errand ?' shouted the sentinel.
'To Beelzebub with the Brewer's knave !'
'Carolus Rex and he of the Rhine !'
Galloping past him, I got and gave
In the gallop password and countersign,
All soak'd with water and soil'd with mud,
With the sleeve of my jerkin half drench'd in blood.

Now, Heaven be praised that I found him there—
Lord Guy. He said, having heard my tale,
'Leigh, let my own man look to your mare,
Rest and recruit with our wine and ale ;
But first must our surgeon attend to you ;
You are somewhat shrewdly stricken, no doubt.'
Then he snatched a horn from the wall and blew,
Making 'Boot and Saddle' ring sharply out.
'Have I done good service this day ?' quoth I.
'Then I will ride back in your troop, Lord Guy.'

In the street I heard how the trumpets peal'd,
And I caught the gleam of a morion
From the window—then to the door I reel'd ;
I had lost more blood than I reckon'd upon ;
He eyed me calmly with keen grey eyes—
Stern grey eyes of a steel-blue grey—
Said, 'The wilful man can never be wise,
Nathless the wilful must have his way,'
And he pour'd from a flagon some fiery wine ;
I drain'd it, and straightway strength was mine.

. . . . . . .

I was with them all the way on the brown—
'Guy to the rescue !' 'God and the king !'
We were just in time, for the doors were down ;
And didn't our sword-blades rasp and ring,
And didn't we hew and didn't we hack ?
The sport scarce lasted minutes ten—
(Aye, those were the days when my beard was black ;
I like to remember them now and then).
Though they fought like fiends, we were four to one,
And we captured those that refused to run.

We have not forgotten it, Cuthbert, boy !
That supper scene when the lamps were lit ;
How the women (some of them) sobb'd for joy ;
How the soldiers drank the deeper for it;
How the dame did honours, and Gwendoline,
How grandly she glided into the hall,
How she stoop'd with the grace of a girlish queen,
And kiss'd me gravely before them all ;
And the stern Lord Guy, how gaily he laugh'd,
Till more of his cup was spilt than quaff'd.

Brown Britomarte lay dead in her straw
Next morn—we buried her—brave old girl !
John Kerr, we tried him by martial law,
And we twisted some hemp for the trait'rous churl ;
And she—I met her alone—said she,
'You have risk'd your life, you have lost your mare,
And what can I give in return, Ralph Leigh ?'
I replied, 'One braid of that bright brown hair.'
And with that she bow'd her beautiful head,
'You can take as much as you choose,' she said.

And I took it—it may be, more than enough—
And I shore it rudely, close to the roots.
The wine or wounds may have made me rough,
And men at the bottom are merely brutes.
Three weeks I slept at St. Hubert's Chase ;
When I woke from the fever of wounds and wine
I could scarce believe that the ghastly face
That the glass reflected was really mine.
I sought the hall—where a wedding had been—
The wedding of Guy and of Gwendoline.

The romance of a grizzled old trooper's life
May make you laugh in your sleeves : laugh out,
Lads ; we have most of us seen some strife ;
We have all of us had some sport, no doubt.
I have won some honour and gain'd some gold,
Now that our king returns to his own ;
If the pulses beat slow, if the blood runs cold,
And if friends have faded and loves have flown,
Then the greater reason is ours to drink,
And the more we swallow the less we shall think.

At the battle of Naseby, Miles was slain,
And Huntly sank from his wounds that week ;
We left young Clare upon Worcester plain—
How the 'Ironside' gash'd his girlish cheek.
Aye, strut, and swagger, and ruffle anew,
Gay gallants, now that the war is done !
They fought like fiends (give the fiend his due)—
We fought like fops, it was thus they won.
Holdsworth is living for aught I know,
At least he was living two years ago,

And Guy—Lord Guy—so stately and stern,
He is changed, I met him at Winchester ;
He has grown quite gloomy and taciturn.
Gwendoline !—why do you ask for her ?
Died ! as her mother had died before—
Died giving birth to the baby Guy !
Did my voice shake ? Then am I fool the more.
Sooner or later we all must die ;
But, at least, let us live while we live to-night.
The days may be dark, but the lamps are bright.

For to me the sunlight seems worn and wan :
The sun, he is losing his splendour now—
He can never shine as of old he shone
On her glorious hair and glittering brow.
Ah ! those days that were, when my beard was black,
Now I have only the nights that are.
What, landlord, ho ! bring in haste burnt sack,
And a flask of your fiercest usquebaugh.
You, Cuthbert ! surely you know by heart
The story of her and of Britomarte.

by Adam Lindsay Gordon.

The Visionary Boy

Oh! lend that lute, sweet Archimage, to me!
Enough of care and heaviness
The weary lids of life depress,
And doubly blest that gentle heart shall be,
That wooes of poesy the visions bland,
And strays forgetful o'er enchanted land!
Oh! lend that lute, sweet Archimage, to me!
So spoke, with ardent look, yet eyebrow sad,
When he had passed o'er many a mountain rude,
And many a wild and weary solitude,
'Mid a green vale, a wandering minstrel-lad.
With eyes that shone in softened flame,
With wings and wand, young Fancy came;
And as she touched a trembling lute,
The lone enthusiast stood entranced and mute.
It was a sound that made his soul forego
All thoughts of sadness in a world of woe.
Oh, lend that lute! he cried: Hope, Pity, Love,
Shall listen; and each valley, rock, and grove,
Shall witness, as with deep delight,
From orient morn to dewy-stealing night.
My spirit, rapt in trance of sweetness high,
Shall drink the heartfelt sound with tears of ecstasy!
As thus he spoke, soft voices seemed to say,
Come away, come away;
Where shall the heart-sick minstrel stray,
But (viewing all things like a dream)
By haunted wood, or wizard stream?
That, like a hermit weeping,
Amid the gray stones creeping;
With voice distinct, yet faint,
Calls on Repose herself to hear its soothing plaint.
For him, romantic Solitude
Shall pile sublime her mountains rude;
For him, with shades more soft impressed,
The lucid lake's transparent breast
Shall show the banks, the woods, the hill,
More clear, more beautiful, more still.
For him more musical shall wave
The pines o'er Echo's moonlit cave;
While sounds as of a fairy lyre
Amid the shadowy cliffs expire!
This valley where the raptured minstrel stood
Was shaded with a circling slope of wood,
And rich in beauty, with that valley vied,
Thessalian Tempe, crowned with verdant bay,
Where smooth and clear Peneus winds his way;
And Ossa and Olympus, on each side,
Rise dark with woods; or that Sicilian plain
Which Arethusa's clearest waters lave,
By many a haunt of Pan, and wood-nymph's cave,
Lingering and listening to the Doric strain
Of him, the bard whose music might succeed
To the wild melodies of Pan's own reed!
This scene the mistress of the valley held,
Fancy, a magic maid; and at her will,
Aerial castles crowned the gleaming hill,
Or forests rose, or lapse of water welled.
Sometimes she sat with lifted eye,
And marked the dark storm in the western sky;
Sometimes she looked, and scarce her breath would draw,
As fearful things, not to be told, she saw;
And sometimes, like a vision of the air,
On wings of shifting light she floated here and there.
In the breeze her garments flew,
Of the brightest skiey blue,
Lucid as the tints of morn,
When Summer trills his pipe of corn:
Her tresses to each wing descending fall,
Or, lifted by the wind,
Stream loose and unconfined,
Like golden threads, beneath her myrtle coronal.
The listening passions stood aloof and mute,
As oft the west wind touched her trembling lute.
But when its sounds the youthful minstrel heard,
Strange mingled feelings, not to be expressed,
Rose undefined, yet blissful, on his breast,
And all the softened scene in sweeter light appeared.
Then Fancy waved her wand, and lo!
An airy troop went beckoning by:
Come, from toil and worldly woe;
Come, live with us in vales remote! they cry.
These are the flitting phantasies; the dreams
That lead the heart through all that elfin land,
Where half-seen shapes entice with whispers bland.
Meantime the clouds, impressed with livelier beams,
Roll, in the lucid track of air,
Arrayed in coloured brede, with semblances more fair.
The airy troop, as on they sail,
Thus the pensive stranger hail:
In the pure and argent sky,
There our distant chambers lie;
The bed is strewed with blushing roses,
When Quietude at eve reposes,
Oft trembling lest her bowers should fade,
In the cold earth's humid shade.
Come, rest with us! evanishing, they cried--
Come, rest with us! the lonely vale replied.
Then Fancy beckoned, and with smiling mien,
A radiant form arose, like the fair Queen
Of Beauty: from her eye divinely bright,
A richer lustre shot, a more attractive light.
She said: With fairer tints I can adorn
The living landscape, fairer than the morn.
The summer clouds in shapes romantic rolled,
And those they edge the fading west, like gold;
The lake that sleeps in sunlight, yet impressed
With shades more sweet than real on its breast;
'Mid baffling stones, beneath a partial ray,
The small brook huddling its uneven way;
The blue far distant hills, the silvery sea,
And every scene of summer speaks of me:
But most I wake the sweetest wishes warm,
Where the fond gaze is turned on woman's breathing form.
So passing silent through a myrtle grove,
Beauty first led him to the bower of Love.
A mellow light through the dim covert strayed,
And opening roses canopied the shade.
Why does the hurrying pulse unbidden leap!
Behold, in yonder glade that nymph asleep!
The heart-struck minstrel hangs, with lingering gaze,
O'er every charm his eye impassioned strays!
An edge of white is seen, and scarcely seen,
As soft she breathes, her coral lips between;
A lambent ray steals from her half-closed eye,
As her breast heaves a short imperfect sigh.
Sleep, winds of summer, o'er the leafy bower,
Nor move the light bells of the nodding flower;
Lest but a sound of stirring leaves might seem
To break the charm of her delicious dream!
And ye, fond, rising, throbbing thoughts, away,
Lest syren Pleasure all the soul betray!
Oh! turn, and listen to the ditty
From the lowly cave of Pity.
On slaughter's plain, while Valour grieves,
There he sunk to rest,
And the ring-dove scattered leaves
Upon his bleeding breast!
Her face was hid, while her pale arms enfold
What seemed an urn of alabaster cold;
To this she pressed her heaving bosom bare:
The drops that gathered in the dank abode
Fell dripping, on her long dishevelled hair;
And still her tears, renewed, and silent, flowed:
And when the winds of autumn ceased to swell,
At times was heard a slow and melancholy knell!
'Twas in the twilight of the deepest wood,
Beneath whose boughs like sad Cocytus, famed
Through fabling Greece, from lamentation named
A river dark and silent flowed, there stood
A pale and melancholy man, intent
His look upon that drowsy stream he bent,
As ever counting, when the fitful breeze
With strange and hollow sound sung through the trees,
Counting the sallow leaves, that down the current went.
He saw them not:
Earth seemed to him one universal blot.
Sometimes, as most distempered, to and fro
He paced; and sometimes fixed his chilling look
Upon a dreadful book,
Inscribed with secret characters of woe;
While gibbering imps, as mocking him, appeared,
And airy laughter 'mid the dusk was heard.
Then Fancy waved her wand again,
And all that valley that so lovely smiled
Was changed to a bare champaign, waste and wild.
'What pale and phantom-horseman rides amain?'
'Tis Terror;--all the plain, far on, is spread
With skulls and bones, and relics of the dead!
From his black trump he blew a louder blast,
And earthquakes muttered as the giant passed.
Then said that magic maid, with aspect bland,
'Tis thine to seize his phantom spear,
'Tis thine his sable trumpet to command,
And thrill the inmost heart with shuddering fear.
But hark! to Music's softer sound,
New scenes and fairer views accordant rise:
Above, around,
The mingled measure swells in air, and dies.
Music, in thy charmed shell,
What sounds of holy magic dwell!
Oft when that shell was to the ear applied,
Confusion of rich harmonies,
All swelling rose,
That came, as with a gently-swelling tide:
Then at the close,
Angelic voices seemed, aloft,
To answer as it died the cadence soft.
Now, like the hum of distant ocean's stream,
The murmurs of the wond'rous concave seem;
And now exultingly their tones prolong
The chorded paeans of the choral song,
Then Music, with a voice more wildly sweet
Than winds that pipe on the forsaken shore,
When the last rain-drops of the west are o'er,
Warbled: Oh, welcome to my blest retreat,
And give my sounds to the responsive lyre:
With me to these melodious groves retire,
And such pure feelings share,
As, far from noise and folly, soothe thee there.
Here Fancy, as the prize were won,
And now she hailed her favourite son,
With energy impatient cried:
The weary world is dark and wide,
Lo! I am with thee still to comfort and to guide.
Nor fear, if, grim before thine eyes,
Pale worldly Want, a spectre, lowers;
What is a world of vanities
To a world as sweet as ours!
When thy heart is sad and lone,
And loves to dwell on pleasures flown,
When that heart no more shall bound
At some kind voice's well-known sound,
My spells thy drooping languor shall relieve,
And airy spirits touch thy lonely harp at eve.
Look!--Delight and Hope advancing,
Music joins her thrilling notes,
O'er the level lea come dancing;
Seize the vision as it floats,
Bright-eyed Rapture hovers o'er them,
Waving light his seraph wings,
Youth exulting flies before them,
Scattering cowslips as he sings!
Come now, my car pursue,
The wayward Fairy cried;
And high amid the fields of air,
Above the clouds, together we will ride,
And posting on the viewless winds,
So leave the cares of earth and all its thoughts behind.
I can sail, and I can fly,
To all regions of the sky,
On the shooting meteor's course,
On a winged griffin-horse!
She spoke: when Wisdom's self drew nigh,
A noble sternness in her searching eye;
Like Pallas helmed, and in her hand a spear,
As not in idle warfare bent, but still,
As resolute, to cope with every earthly ill.
In youthful dignity severe,
She stood: And shall the aspiring mind,
To Fancy be alone resigned!
Alas! she cried, her witching lay
Too often leads the heart astray!
Still, weak minstrel, wouldst thou rove,
Drooping in the distant grove,
Forgetful of all ties that bind
Thee, a brother, to mankind?
Has Fancy's feeble voice defied
The ills to poor humanity allied?
Can she, like Wisdom, bid thy soul sustain
Its post of duty in a life of pain!
Can she, like meek Religion, bid thee bear
Contempt and hardship in a world of care!
Yet let not my rebuke decry,
In all, her blameless witchery,
Or from the languid bosom tear
Each sweet illusion nourished there.
With dignity and truth, combined,
Still may she rule the manly mind;
Her sweetest magic still impart
To soften, not subdue, the heart:
Still may she warm the chosen breast,
Not as the sovereign, but the guest.
Then shall she lead the blameless Muse
Through all her fairest, wildest views;
To mark amid the flowers of morn,
The bee go forth with early horn;
Or when the moon, a softer light
Sheds on the rocks and seas of night,
To hear the circling fairy bands
Sing, Come unto these yellow sands!
Sweeter is our light than day,
Fond enthusiast, come away!
Then Chivalry again shall call
The champions to her bannered hall!
The pipe, and song, with many a mingled shout,
Ring through the forest, as the satyr-rout,
Dance round the dragon-chariot of Romance;
Forth pricks the errant knight with rested lance;
Imps, demons, fays, in antic train succeed,
The wandering maiden, and the winged steed!
The muttering wizard turns, with haggard look,
The bloody leaves of the accursed book,
Whilst giants, from the gloomy castle tower,
With lifted bats of steel, more dreadful lower!
At times, the magic shall prevail
Of the wild and wonderous tale;
At times, high rapture shall prolong
The deep, enthusiastic song.
Hence, at midnight, thou shalt stray,
Where dark ocean flings its spray,
To hear o'er heaven's resounding arch
The Thunder-Lord begin his march!
Or mark the flashes, that present
Some far-off shattered monument;
Whilst along the rocky vale,
Red fires, mingled with the hail,
Run along upon the ground,
And the thunders deeper sound!
The loftier Muse, with awful mien,
Upon a lonely rock is seen:
Full is the eye that speaks the dauntless soul;
She seems to hear the gathering tempest roll
Beneath her feet; she bids an eagle fly,
Breasting the whirlwind, through the dark-red sky;
Or, with elated look, lifts high the spear,
As sounds of distant battles roll more near.
Now deep-hushed in holy trance,
She sees the powers of Heaven advance,
And wheels, instinct with spirit, bear
God's living chariot through the air;
Now on the wings of morn she seems to rise,
And join the strain of more than mortal harmonies.
Thy heart shall beat exulting as she sings,
And thou shalt cry: Give me an angel's wings!
With sadder sound, o'er Pity's cave,
The willow in the wind shall wave;
And all the listening passions stand,
Obedient to thy great command.
With Poesy's sweet charm impressed,
Fancy thus shall warm thy breast;
Still her smiling train be thine,
Still her lovely visions shine,
To cheer, beyond my boasted power,
A sad or solitary hour.
Thus let them soothe a while thy heart,
'Come like shadows, so depart;'
But never may the witching lay
Lead each sense from life astray;
For vain the poet's muse of fire,
Vain the magic of his lyre,
Unless the touch subdued impart
Truth and wisdom to the heart!

by William Lisle Bowles.

Griselda: A Society Novel In Verse - Chapter V

Griselda's madness lasted forty days,
Forty eternities! Men went their ways,
And suns arose and set, and women smiled,
And tongues wagged lightly in impeachment wild
Of Lady L.'s adventure. She was gone,
None knew by whom escorted or alone,
Or why or whither, only that one morning,
Without pretext, or subterfuge, or warning,
She had disappeared in silence from L. House,
Leaving her lord in multitudinous
And agonised conjecture of her fate:
So the tale went. And truly less sedate
Than his wont was in intricate affairs,
Such as his Garter or his lack of heirs,
Lord L. was seen in this new tribulation.
Griselda long had been his life's equation,
The pivot of his dealings with the world,
The mainstay of his comfort, all now hurled
To unforeseen confusion by her flight:
There was need of action swift and definite.
Where was she? Who could tell him? Divers visions
Passed through his fancy--thieves, and street collisions,
And all the hundred accidents of towns,
From broken axle trees to broken crowns.
In vain he questioned; no response was made
More than the fact that, as already said,
My lady, unattended and on foot,
(A sad imprudence here Lord L. took note),
Had gone out dressed in a black morning gown
And dark tweed waterproof, 'twixt twelve and one,
Leaving no orders to her maid, or plan
About her carriage to or groom or man.
Such was in sum the downstairs' evidence.
The hall porter, a man of ponderous sense,
Averred her ladyship had eastward turned
From the front door, and some small credit earned
For the suggestion that her steps were bent
To Whitechapel on merciful intent,
A visit of compassion to the poor,
A clue which led to a commissioner
Being sent for in hot haste from Scotland Yard.
And so the news was bruited abroad.

It reached my ears among the earliest,
And from Lord L. himself, whose long suppressed
Emotion found its vent one afternoon
On me, the only listener left in town.
His thoughts now ran on ``a religious craze
Of his poor wife's,'' he said, ``in these last days
Indulged beyond all reason.'' The police
Would listen to no talk of casualties,
Still less of crime, since they had nothing found
In evidence above or under ground,
But held the case to be of simpler kind,
Home left in a disordered state of mind.
Lord L. had noticed, now they talked of it,
Temper less equable and flightier wit,
``A craving for religious services
And sacred music.'' Something was amiss,
Or why were they in London in September?
Griselda latterly, he could remember,
Had raved of a conventual retreat
In terms no Protestant would deem discreet
As the sole refuge in a world of sin
For human frailty, grief's best anodyne.
``The Times was right. Rome threatened to absorb us:
The convents must be searched by habeas corpus.''

And so I came to help him. I had guessed
From his first word the vainness of his quest,
And half was moved to serve him in a strait
Where her fair fame I loved was in debate,
Yet held my peace, nor hazarded a word
Save of surprise at the strange case I heard,
Till, fortune aiding, I should find the clue
My heart desired to do what I would do.
And not in vain. Night found me duly sped,
Lord L.'s ambassador accredited,
With fullest powers to find and fetch her home,
If need should be, from the Pope's jaws in Rome.

Gods! what a mission! First my round I went
Through half the slums of Middlesex and Kent,
Surrey and Essex--this to soothe Lord L.,
Though witless all, as my heart told too well;
The hospitals no less and casual wards,
Each house as idly as his House of Lords,
And only at the week's end dared to stop
At the one door I knew still housing hope,
Young Manton's chambers. There, with reddened cheek
I heard the answer given I came to seek.
Manton was gone, his landlady half feared
He too, in some mishap, and disappeared,--
Proof all too positive. His letters lay
A fortnight deep untouched upon the tray.
She could not forward them or risk a guess
As to his last or likeliest address.
He was in Scotland often at this season,
``But not without his guns''--a cogent reason.
And leaving, too, his valet here in town,
Perplexed of what to do or leave undone.
Abroad? Perhaps. If so, his friends might try
As a best chance the Paris Embassy.
He had been there last Spring, and might be now.

Paris! It was enough, I made my bow,
And took my leave. I seemed to touch the thread
Of the blind labyrinth 'twas mine to tread.
Where should they be, in truth, these too fond lovers,
But in the land of all such lawless rovers?
The land of Gautier, Bourget, Maupassant,
Where still ``you can'' makes answer to ``I can't.''
The fair domain where all romance begins
In a light borderland of venial sins,
But deepening onwards, till the fatal day
Vice swoops upon us, plead we as we may.
Griselda's bonnet o'er the windmills thrown,
Had surely crossed the Seine ere it came down.
And I, if I would find and win her back,
Must earliest search the boulevards for her track.
And so to Paris in my zeal I passed,
Breaking my idol, mad Iconoclast.

There is a little inn by Meudon wood
Dear to Parisians in their amorous mood,
A place of rendezvous, where bourgeois meet
Their best beloved in congregation sweet;
Clandestine, undisturbed, illicit loves,
Made half romantic by the adjoining groves,
So beautiful in Spring, with the new green
Clothing the birch stems scattered white between,
Nor yet, in Autumn, when the first frosts burn
And the wind rustles in the reddening fern,
Quite robbed of sentiment for lovers' eyes,
Who seek Earth's blessing on a bliss unwise,
And find the happy sanction for their state
In nature's face, unshocked by their debate,
As who should say ``Let preachers frown their fill,
Here one approves. 'Tis Eden with us still.''

Such fancy, may be, in her too fond heart
Had led Griselda--with her friend--apart,
Yet not apart, from the world's curious gaze,
To this secluded, ill--frequented place:
A compromise of wills and varying moods,
His for gay crowds, her own for solitudes.
Manton knew Paris well, and loved its noise,
Its mirthful parody of serious joys,
Its pomp and circumstance. His wish had been
To flaunt the boulevards with his captured queen,
And make parade of a last triumph won
In the chaste field of prudish Albion,
Outscandalising scandal. Love and he
In any sense but of male vanity,
And the delirium of adventures new
In the world's eye--the thing he next should do--
Were terms diverse and incompatible.
Griselda, to his eyes was Lady L.,
The fair, the chaste, the unapproached proud name
Men breathed in reverence, woman, all the same,
And not as such, and when the truth was said,
Worth more than others lightlier credited.
It all had been a jest from the beginning,
A tour de force, whose wit was in the winning,
A stroke of fortune and of accident,
The embrace he had told of for another meant,
While she stood grieving for a first grey hair
(A psychologic moment) on the stair,
And, kneeling down, he had adored her foot,
The one weak spot where her self--love had root,
And laughed at her, and told her she was old,
Yet growing tenderer as he grew more bold.
And so from jest to jest, and chance to chance,
To that last scene at the mad country dance
Where she had played the hoyden, he the swain,
Pretending love till love was in their brain,
And he had followed to her chamber door,
And helped her to undo the dress she wore.

Then the elopement. That had been her doing,
Which he accepted to make good his wooing,
And careless what to both the result might be,
So it but served his end of vanity.
It all had been to this vain boy a whim,
Something grotesque, a play, a pantomime,
Where nothing had been serious but her heart,
And that was soon too tearful for its part.
He wearied in a week of her mature
Old maidish venturings in ways obscure,
Her agony of conscience dimly guessed,
The silences she stifled in her breast,
Her awkwardness--it was his word--in all
That love could teach; her sighs funereal,
And more the unnatural laughter she essayed
To meet the doubtful sense of things he said.
She was at once too tender and too prim,
Too prudish and too crazed with love and him.
At a month's end his flame had leaped beyond
Already to friends frailer and less fond;
The light Parisian world of venal charms
Which welcomed him with wide and laughing arms:
There he was happier, more at home, more gay,
King of the ``High Life,'' hero of the day.

Griselda, in her sad suburban nook
Watched his departures with a mute rebuke,
Yet daring not to speak. The choice was hers
To stay at home or run the theatres
With her young lover in such company
As her soul loathed. She had tried despairingly
To be one, even as these, for his loved sake,
And would have followed spite of her heart's ache,
But that he hardly further cared to press,
After one failure stamped with ``dowdiness.''
That too had been his word, a bitter word,
Biting and true, which smote her like a sword,
Or rather a whip's sting to her proud cheek,
Leaving her humbled, agonised and weak.

Poor beautiful Griselda! What was now
The value of thy beauty, chaste as snow
In thy youth's morning, the unchallenged worth
Of thy eyes' kindness, queenliest of the earth;
The tradition of thy Fra--angelic face,
Blessed as Mary's, and as full of grace;
The fame which thou despisedst, yet which made
A glory for thee meet for thy dear head?
What, if in this last crisis of thy fate,
When all a Heaven and Hell was in debate,
And thy archangel, with the feet of clay,
Stood mocking there in doubt to go or stay,
The unstable fabric of thy woman's dower,
Thy beauty, failed and left thee in their power
Whose only law of beauty was the sting
Lent to man's lust by light bedizening?
What use was in thy beauty, if, alas!
Thou gavest them cause to mock (those tongues of brass)
At thy too crude and insular attire,
Thy naïvetés of colour, the false fire
Of thy first dallyings with the red and white,
Thy sweet pictorial robe, Pre--Raphaelite,
Quaint in its tones and outré in design,
Thy lack of unity and shape and line,
Thy English angularity--who knows,
The less than perfect fitting of thy shoes?

Griselda, in her flight, had left behind
All but the dress she stood in, too refined,
In her fair righteousness of thought and deed,
To make provision for a future need,
However dire. She was no Israelite
To go forth from her Pharaoh in the night,
With spoils of the Egyptians in her hands,
And had thrown herself on Manton and on France,
With a full courage worth a nobler cause,
Grandly oblivious of prudential laws.
Her earliest trouble, marring even the bliss
Of love's first ecstasy, had come of this,
Her want of clothes--a worse and weightier care
At the mere moment than her soul's despair
For its deep fall from virtuous estate.
How should she dress herself, she asked of Fate,
With neither maid, nor money, nor a name?
It was her first experiment in shame.
Now, after all her poor economies,
This was the ending read in his vexed eyes,
And spoken by his lips: her utmost art
Had failed to please that idle thing, his heart,
Or even to avert his petulant scorn
For one so little to love's manner born.

And thus I found them, at the angry noon
Of their ``red month,'' the next to honeymoon:
Two silent revellers at a loveless feast,
Scared by hate's morning breaking in their East--
A dawn which was of penance and despair,
With pleasure's ghost to fill the vacant chair.
I took it, and was welcomed rapturously,
As a far sail by shipwrecked souls at sea,
An opportune deliverer, timely sent
To break the autumn of their discontent,
And give a pretext to their need grown sore
Of issue from joys dead by any door.

Manton, all confidential from the first,
Told me the tale of his last sins and worst,
As meriting a sympathy not less
Than the best actions virtuous men confess.
He was overwhelmed with women and with debt--
Women who loved him, bills which must be met.
What could he do? Her ladyship was mad--
It was her fault, not his, this escapade.
He had warned her from the first, and as a friend,
That all such frolics had a serious end,
And that to leave her home was the worst way
A woman would who wanted to be gay.

``For look,'' said he, ``we men, who note these things,
And how the unthinking flutterers burn their wings,
Know that a woman, be she what she will,
The fairest, noblest, most adorable,
Dowered in her home with all seraphic charms,
Whom heaven itself might envy in your arms,
A paragon of pleasure undenied
At her own chaste respectable fireside,
Becomes, what shall I say, when she steps down
From the high world of her untouched renown?
A something differing in no serious mood
From the sad rest of the light sisterhood;
Perhaps indeed more troublesome than these,
Because she keenlier feels the agonies:
A wounded soul, who has not even the wit
To hide its hurt and make a jest of it;
A maid of Astolat, launched in her barge,
A corpse on all the world, a femme à charge.''

``'Tis not,'' he argued, ``our poor human sins
That make us what we are when shame begins,
But the world pointing at our naked state:
Then we are shocked and humbled at our fate,
Silent and shamed in all we honour most--
For what is virtue but the right to boast?
A married woman's love, three weeks from home,
Is the absurdest thing in Christendom,
Dull as a ménage in the demi--monde
And dismaller far by reason of the bond.
All this I told my lady ere we went,
But warning wasted is on sentiment.
You see the net result here in one word,
A crying woman and a lover bored.''

So far young Manton. She for whom I came,
Griselda's self, sweet soul, in her new shame
Essayed awhile to hide from me the truth
Of this last hap of her belated youth,
Her disillusion with her graceless lover.
She made sad cloaks for him which could not cover
His great unworthiness and her despair,
All with a frightened half--maternal air,
Most pitiful and touching. To my plea,
Urging her home, she answered mournfully,
That she was bound now to her way of life,
And owed herself no less than as his wife
To him she had chosen out of all mankind.
'Twas better to be foolish, even blind,
If he had faults, so she could serve him still--
And this had been her promise and her will.
She would not hear of duties owed elsewhere:
What was she to Lord L., or he to her?
I need not speak of it. And yet she clung
To my protecting presence in her wrong;
And once, when Manton's jibes made bitterer play,
Implored me with appealing eyes to stay.
And so I lingered on. Those autumn days,
Spent with Griselda in the woodland ways
Of Meudon with her lover, or alone,
When his mad fancies carried him to town,
Remain to me an unsubstantial act
Of dreaming fancy, rather than the fact
Of any waking moment in my past,
The sweetest, saddest and with her the last--
For suddenly they ended. We had been
One Sunday for a jaunt upon the Seine,
We two--in Manton's absence, now prolonged
To a third night--and in a steamboat, thronged
With idle bourgeois folk, whom the last glory,
Of a late autumn had sent forth in foray
To Passy and St. Cloud, from stage to stage
Had made with heavy souls our pilgrimage;
And homeward turning and with little zest,
The fair day done, to love's deserted nest
Had come with lagging feet and weary eyes,
Expectant still of some new dark surprise,
When the blow fell unsparing on her head,
Already by what fortunes buffeted.

How did it happen, that last tragedy?--
For tragedy it was, let none deny,
Though all ignoble. Every soul of us
Touches one moment in death's darkened house
The plane of the heroic, and compels
Men's laughter into tears--ay, Heaven's and Hell's.
How did it happen? There was that upon
Their faces at the door more than the tone
Of their replies, that warned us of the thing
We had not looked for in our questioning;
And our lips faltered, and our ears, afraid,
Shrank from more hearing. What was it they said
In their fool's jargon, that he lay upstairs?
He? Manton? The dispenser of our cares?
The mounteback young reveller? Suffering? Ill?
And she, poor soul, that suffered at his will!
A sinister case? Not dying? Pitiful God!
Truly Thou smitest blindly with Thy rod.
For Manton was not worthy to die young,
Beloved by her with blessings on her tongue.
And such a cause of death! She never heard
The whole truth told, for each one spared his word,
And he lay mute for ever. But to me
The thing was storied void of mystery,
And thus they told it. Hardly had we gone
On our sad river outing, when from town
Manton had come with a gay troop of friends,
Such as the coulisse of the opera lends,
To breakfast at the inn and spend the day
In mirthful noise, as was his vagrant way.
A drunken frolic, and most insolent
To her whose honour with his own was blent,
To end in this last tragedy. None knew
Quite how it happened, or a cause could shew
Further than this, that, rising from the table,
The last to go with steps perhaps unstable--
For they had feasted freely, and the stair
Was steep and iron--edged, and needed care;
And singing, as he went, the selfsame song,
Which I remembered, to the laughing throng,
He had slipped his length, and fallen feet--first down.
When they picked him up his power to move was gone,
Though he could speak. They laid him on a bed,
Her bed, Griselda's, and called in with speed
Such help of doctors and commissioners
As law prescribed, and medicine for their fears.
'Twas his last night. There, in Griselda's hands,
Young Jerry Manton lay with the last sands
Of his life's hour--glass trickling to its close,
Griselda watching, with what thoughts, God knows.
We did not speak. But her lips moved in prayer,
And mine too, in the way of man's despair.
I did not love him, yet a human pity
Softened my eyes. Afar, from the great city,
The sound came to us of the eternal hum,
Unceasing, changeless, pregnant with all doom
Of insolent life that rises from its streets,
The pulse of sin which ever beats and beats,
Wearying the ears of God. O Paris, Paris!
What doom is thine for every soul that tarries
Too long with thee, a stranger in thy arms.
Thy smiles are incantations, thy brave charms
Death to thy lovers. Each gay mother's son,
Smitten with love for thee, is straight undone.
And lo the chariot wheels upon thy ways!
And a new garland hung in Père la Chaise!

Poor soul! I turned and looked into the night,
Through the uncurtained windows, and there bright
Saw the mute twinkle of a thousand stars.
One night! the least in all time's calendars,
Yet fraught with what a meaning for this one!
One star, the least of all that million!
One room in that one city! Yet for him
The universe there was of space and time.
What were his thoughts? In that chaotic soul,
Home of sad jests, obscene, unbeautiful,
Mired with the earthiest of brute desires,
And lit to sentience only with lewd fires,
Was there no secret, undisturbed, fair place
Watered with love and favoured with God's grace
To which the wounded consciousness had fled
For its last refuge from a world of dread?
Was his soul touched to tenderness, to awe,
To softer recollection? All we saw
Was the maimed body gasping forth its breath,
A rigid setting of the silent teeth,
And the hands trembling. Death was with us there.
But where was he? O Heaven of pity! where?

We watched till morning by the dying man,
She weeping silently, I grieved and wan,
And still he moved not. But with the first break
Of day in the window panes we saw him make
A sign as if of speaking. Pressing near--
For his lips moved, Griselda deemed, in prayer--
We heard him make profession of his faith,
As a man of pleasure face to face with death,
A kind of gambler's Athanasian Creed,
Repeated at the hour of his last need.
``Five sovereigns,'' said he, steadying his will,
As in defiance of death's power to kill,
And with that smile of a superior mind,
Which was his strength in dealing with mankind,
The world of sporting jargon and gay livers.
``Five sovereigns is a fiver, and five fivers
A pony, and five ponies are a hundred--
No, four,'' he added, seeing he had blundered.
``Four to the hundred and five centuries
Make up the monkey.'' From his dying eyes
The smile of triumph faded. ``There, I've done it,''
He said, ``but there was no great odds upon it,
You see with a broken back.'' He spoke no more,
And in another hour had passed the door
Which shuts the living from eternity.
Where was he? God of pity, where was he?

This was the end of Lady L.'s romance.

When we had buried him (as they do in France,
In a tomb inscribed ``à perpétuité,''
Formally rented till the Judgment Day),
She put off black, and shed no further tears;
Her face for the first time showed all its years,
But not a trace beyond. Without demur
She gave adhesion to my plans for her,
And we went home to London and Lord L.,
Silent together, by the next night's mail.
She had been six weeks away. The interview
Between them was dramatic. I, who knew
Her whole mad secret, and had seen her soul
Stripped of its covering, and without control,
Bowed down by circumstance and galled with shame,
Yielding to wounds and griefs without a name,
Had feared for her a wild unhappy scene.
I held Lord L. for the least stern of men,
And yet I dared not hope even he would crave
No explanation ere he quite forgave.

I was with them when they met, unwilling third,
In their mute bandying of the unspoken word.
Lord L. essayed to speak. I saw his face
Made up for a high act of tragic grace
As he came forward. It was grave and mild,
A father's welcoming a truant child,
Forgiving, yet intent to mark the pain
With hope ``the thing should not occur again.''
His lips began to move as to some speech
Framed in this sense, as one might gently preach
A word in season to too gadding wives
Of duties owed, at least by those whose lives
Moved in high places. But it died unsaid.
There was that about Griselda that forbade
Marital questionings. Her queenly eyes
Met his with a mute answer of surprise,
Marking the unseemliness of all display
More strongly than with words, as who should say
Noblesse oblige. She took his outstretched hand,
And kissed his cheek, but would not understand
A word of his reproaches. Even I,
With my full knowledge and no more a boy,
But versed by years in the world's wickedness,
And open--eyed to her, alas! no less
Than to all womanhood, even I felt shame,
And half absolved her in my mind from blame.
And he, how could he less? He was but human,
The fortunate husband of how fair a woman!
He stammered his excuses. What she told
When I had left them (since all coin is gold
To those who would believe, and who the key
Hold of their eyes, in blind faith's alchemy)
I never learned. I did not linger on,
Seeing her peril past and the day won,
But took my leave. She led me to the door
With her old kindness of the days of yore,
And thanked me as one thanks for little things.
``You have been,'' she said, ``an angel without wings,
And I shall not forget,--nor will Lord L.;
And yet,'' she said, with an imperceptible
Change in her voice, ``there are things the world will say
Which are neither just nor kind, and, if to--day
We part awhile, remember we are friends,
If not now later. Time will make amends,
And we shall meet again.'' I pressed her hand
A moment to my lips. ``I understand,''
I said, and gazed a last time in her eyes;
``Say all you will. I am your sacrifice.''

And so, in truth, it was. Henceforth there lay
A gulf between us, widening with delay,
And which our souls were impotent to pass,
The gulf of a dead secret; and, alas!
Who knows what subtle treacheries within,
For virtue rends its witnesses of sin,
And hearts are strangely fashioned by their fears.
We met no more in friendship through the years,
Although I held her secret as my own,
And fought her battles, her best champion,
On many a stricken field in scandal's war,
Till all was well forgotten. From afar
I watched her fortunes still with tenderness,
Yet sadly, as cast out of Paradise.
For ever, spite her promise, from that day,
When I met L., he looked another way;
And she, Griselda, was reserved and chill.
I had behaved, her women friends said, ill,
And caused a needless scandal in her life,
--They told not what. Enough, that as a wife
She had been compelled to close her doors on me,
And that her lord knew all the iniquity.

And so I bore the burden of her sin.

What more shall I relate? The cynic vein
Has overwhelmed my tale, and I must stop.
Its heroine lived to justify all hope
Of her long--suffering lord, that out of pain
Blessings would grow, and his house smile again
With the fulfilled expectance of an heir.
Griselda sat no longer in despair,
Nor wasted her full life on dreams of folly;
She had little time for moods of melancholy,
Or heart to venture further in love's ways;
She was again the theme of all men's praise,
And suffered no man's passion. Once a year,
In the late autumn, when the leaves grew sere
She made retreat to a lay sisterhood,
And lived awhile there for her soul's more good,
In pious meditation, fasts and prayer.
Some say she wore concealed a shirt of hair
Under her dresses, even at court balls,
And certain 'tis that all Rome's rituals
Were followed daily at the private Mass
In her new chauntry built behind Hans Place.
Lord L. approved of all she did, even this,
Strange as it seemed to his old--fashionedness.

He, gentle soul, grown garrulous with years,
Prosed of her virtues to all listeners,
And of their son's, the child of his old age,
A prodigy of beauty and ways sage.
It was a vow, he said, once made in Rome,
Had brought them their chief treasure of their home.
A vow! The light world laughed--for miracles
Are not believed in now, except as Hell's.
And yet the ways of God are passing strange.
And this is certain (and therein the range
Of my long tale is reached, and I am free),
--There is at Ostia, close beside the sea,
A convent church, the same where years ago
Griselda kneeled in tears and made her vow;
And in that shrine, beneath the crucifix,
They show a votive offering, candlesticks
Of more than common workmanship and size,
And underneath inscribed the votary's
Name in initials, and the date, all told,
Hall--marked in England, and of massive gold.

by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.

Book Seventh [residence In London]

SIX changeful years have vanished since I first
Poured out (saluted by that quickening breeze
Which met me issuing from the City's walls)
A glad preamble to this Verse: I sang
Aloud, with fervour irresistible
Of short-lived transport, like a torrent bursting,
From a black thunder-cloud, down Scafell's side
To rush and disappear. But soon broke forth
(So willed the Muse) a less impetuous stream,
That flowed awhile with unabating strength,
Then stopped for years; not audible again
Before last primrose-time. Beloved Friend!
The assurance which then cheered some heavy thoughts
On thy departure to a foreign land
Has failed; too slowly moves the promised work.
Through the whole summer have I been at rest,
Partly from voluntary holiday,
And part through outward hindrance. But I heard,
After the hour of sunset yester-even,
Sitting within doors between light and dark,
A choir of redbreasts gathered somewhere near
My threshold,--minstrels from the distant woods
Sent in on Winter's service, to announce,
With preparation artful and benign,
That the rough lord had left the surly North
On his accustomed journey. The delight,
Due to this timely notice, unawares
Smote me, and, listening, I in whispers said,
'Ye heartsome Choristers, ye and I will be
Associates, and, unscared by blustering winds,
Will chant together.' Thereafter, as the shades
Of twilight deepened, going forth, I spied
A glow-worm underneath a dusky plume
Or canopy of yet unwithered fern,
Clear-shining, like a hermit's taper seen
Through a thick forest. Silence touched me here
No less than sound had done before; the child
Of Summer, lingering, shining, by herself,
The voiceless worm on the unfrequented hills,
Seemed sent on the same errand with the choir
Of Winter that had warbled at my door,
And the whole year breathed tenderness and love.

The last night's genial feeling overflowed
Upon this morning, and my favourite grove,
Tossing in sunshine its dark boughs aloft,
As if to make the strong wind visible,
Wakes in me agitations like its own,
A spirit friendly to the Poet's task,
Which we will now resume with lively hope,
Nor checked by aught of tamer argument
That lies before us, needful to be told.

Returned from that excursion, soon I bade
Farewell for ever to the sheltered seats
Of gowned students, quitted hall and bower,
And every comfort of that privileged ground,
Well pleased to pitch a vagrant tent among
The unfenced regions of society.

Yet, undetermined to what course of life
I should adhere, and seeming to possess
A little space of intermediate time
At full command, to London first I turned,
In no disturbance of excessive hope,
By personal ambition unenslaved,
Frugal as there was need, and, though self-willed,
From dangerous passions free. Three years had flown
Since I had felt in heart and soul the shock
Of the huge town's first presence, and had paced
Her endless streets, a transient visitant:
Now, fixed amid that concourse of mankind
Where Pleasure whirls about incessantly,
And life and labour seem but one, I filled
An idler's place; an idler well content
To have a house (what matter for a home?)
That owned him; living cheerfully abroad
With unchecked fancy ever on the stir,
And all my young affections out of doors.

There was a time when whatsoe'er is feigned
Of airy palaces, and gardens built
By Genii of romance; or hath in grave
Authentic history been set forth of Rome,
Alcairo, Babylon, or Persepolis;
Or given upon report by pilgrim friars,
Of golden cities ten months' journey deep
Among Tartarian wilds--fell short, far short,
Of what my fond simplicity believed
And thought of London--held me by a chain
Less strong of wonder and obscure delight.
Whether the bolt of childhood's Fancy shot
For me beyond its ordinary mark,
'Twere vain to ask; but in our flock of boys
Was One, a cripple from his birth, whom chance
Summoned from school to London; fortunate
And envied traveller! When the Boy returned,
After short absence, curiously I scanned
His mien and person, nor was free, in sooth,
From disappointment, not to find some change
In look and air, from that new region brought,
As if from Fairy-land. Much I questioned him;
And every word he uttered, on my ears
Fell flatter than a caged parrot's note,
That answers unexpectedly awry,
And mocks the prompter's listening. Marvellous things
Had vanity (quick Spirit that appears
Almost as deeply seated and as strong
In a Child's heart as fear itself) conceived
For my enjoyment. Would that I could now
Recall what then I pictured to myself,
Of mitred Prelates, Lords in ermine clad,
The King, and the King's Palace, and, not last,
Nor least, Heaven bless him! the renowned Lord Mayor.
Dreams not unlike to those which once begat
A change of purpose in young Whittington,
When he, a friendless and a drooping boy,
Sate on a stone, and heard the bells speak out
Articulate music. Above all, one thought
Baffled my understanding: how men lived
Even next-door neighbours, as we say, yet still
Strangers, not knowing each the other's name.

Oh, wondrous power of words, by simple faith
Licensed to take the meaning that we love!
Vauxhall and Ranelagh! I then had heard
Of your green groves, and wilderness of lamps
Dimming the stars, and fireworks magical,
And gorgeous ladies, under splendid domes,
Floating in dance, or warbling high in air
The songs of spirits! Nor had Fancy fed
With less delight upon that other class
Of marvels, broad-day wonders permanent:
The River proudly bridged; the dizzy top
And Whispering Gallery of St. Paul's; the tombs
Of Westminster; the Giants of Guildhall;
Bedlam, and those carved maniacs at the gates,
Perpetually recumbent; Statues--man,
And the horse under him--in gilded pomp
Adorning flowery gardens, 'mid vast squares;
The Monument, and that Chamber of the Tower
Where England's sovereigns sit in long array,
Their steeds bestriding,--every mimic shape
Cased in the gleaming mail the monarch wore,
Whether for gorgeous tournament addressed,
Or life or death upon the battle-field.
Those bold imaginations in due time
Had vanished, leaving others in their stead:
And now I looked upon the living scene;
Familiarly perused it; oftentimes,
In spite of strongest disappointment, pleased
Through courteous self-submission, as a tax
Paid to the object by prescriptive right.

Rise up, thou monstrous ant-hill on the plain
Of a too busy world! Before me flow,
Thou endless stream of men and moving things!
Thy every-day appearance, as it strikes--
With wonder heightened, or sublimed by awe--
On strangers, of all ages; the quick dance
Of colours, lights, and forms; the deafening din;
The comers and the goers face to face,
Face after face; the string of dazzling wares,
Shop after shop, with symbols, blazoned names,
And all the tradesman's honours overhead:
Here, fronts of houses, like a title-page,
With letters huge inscribed from top to toe,
Stationed above the door, like guardian saints;
There, allegoric shapes, female or male,
Or physiognomies of real men,
Land-warriors, kings, or admirals of the sea,
Boyle, Shakspeare, Newton, or the attractive head
Of some quack-doctor, famous in his day.

Meanwhile the roar continues, till at length,
Escaped as from an enemy, we turn
Abruptly into some sequestered nook,
Still as a sheltered place when winds blow loud!
At leisure, thence, through tracts of thin resort,
And sights and sounds that come at intervals,
We take our way. A raree-show is here,
With children gathered round; another street
Presents a company of dancing dogs,
Or dromedary, with an antic pair
Of monkeys on his back; a minstrel band
Of Savoyards; or, single and alone,
An English ballad-singer. Private courts,
Gloomy as coffins, and unsightly lanes
Thrilled by some female vendor's scream, belike
The very shrillest of all London cries,
May then entangle our impatient steps;
Conducted through those labyrinths, unawares,
To privileged regions and inviolate,
Where from their airy lodges studious lawyers
Look out on waters, walks, and gardens green.

Thence back into the throng, until we reach,
Following the tide that slackens by degrees,
Some half-frequented scene, where wider streets
Bring straggling breezes of suburban air.
Here files of ballads dangle from dead walls;
Advertisements, of giant-size, from high
Press forward, in all colours, on the sight;
These, bold in conscious merit, lower down;
'That', fronted with a most imposing word,
Is, peradventure, one in masquerade.
As on the broadening causeway we advance,
Behold, turned upwards, a face hard and strong
In lineaments, and red with over-toil.
'Tis one encountered here and everywhere;
A travelling cripple, by the trunk cut short,
And stumping on his arms. In sailor's garb
Another lies at length, beside a range
Of well-formed characters, with chalk inscribed
Upon the smooth flint stones: the Nurse is here,
The Bachelor, that loves to sun himself,
The military Idler, and the Dame,
That field-ward takes her walk with decent steps.

Now homeward through the thickening hubbub, where
See, among less distinguishable shapes,
The begging scavenger, with hat in hand;
The Italian, as he thrids his way with care,
Steadying, far-seen, a frame of images
Upon his head; with basket at his breast
The Jew; the stately and slow-moving Turk,
With freight of slippers piled beneath his arm!

Enough;--the mighty concourse I surveyed
With no unthinking mind, well pleased to note
Among the crowd all specimens of man,
Through all the colours which the sun bestows,
And every character of form and face:
The Swede, the Russian; from the genial south,
The Frenchman and the Spaniard; from remote
America, the Hunter-Indian; Moors,
Malays, Lascars, the Tartar, the Chinese,
And Negro Ladies in white muslin gowns.

At leisure, then, I viewed, from day to day,
The spectacles within doors,--birds and beasts
Of every nature, and strange plants convened
From every clime; and, next, those sights that ape
The absolute presence of reality,
Expressing, as in mirror, sea and land,
And what earth is, and what she has to show.
I do not here allude to subtlest craft,
By means refined attaining purest ends,
But imitations, fondly made in plain
Confession of man's weakness and his loves.
Whether the Painter, whose ambitious skill
Submits to nothing less than taking in
A whole horizon's circuit, do with power,
Like that of angels or commissioned spirits,
Fix us upon some lofty pinnacle,
Or in a ship on waters, with a world
Of life, and life-like mockery beneath,
Above, behind, far stretching and before;
Or more mechanic artist represent
By scale exact, in model, wood or clay,
From blended colours also borrowing help,
Some miniature of famous spots or things,--
St. Peter's Church; or, more aspiring aim,
In microscopic vision, Rome herself;
Or, haply, some choice rural haunt,--the Falls
Of Tivoli; and, high upon that steep,
The Sibyl's mouldering Temple! every tree,
Villa, or cottage, lurking among rocks
Throughout the landscape; tuft, stone scratch minute--
All that the traveller sees when he is there.

Add to these exhibitions, mute and still,
Others of wider scope, where living men,
Music, and shifting pantomimic scenes,
Diversified the allurement. Need I fear
To mention by its name, as in degree,
Lowest of these and humblest in attempt,
Yet richly graced with honours of her own,
Half-rural Sadler's Wells? Though at that time
Intolerant, as is the way of youth
Unless itself be pleased, here more than once
Taking my seat, I saw (nor blush to add,
With ample recompense) giants and dwarfs,
Clowns, conjurors, posture-masters, harlequins,
Amid the uproar of the rabblement,
Perform their feats. Nor was it mean delight
To watch crude Nature work in untaught minds;
To note the laws and progress of belief;
Though obstinate on this way, yet on that
How willingly we travel, and how far!
To have, for instance, brought upon the scene
The champion, Jack the Giant-killer: Lo!
He dons his coat of darkness; on the stage
Walks, and achieves his wonders, from the eye
Of living Mortal covert, 'as the moon
Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.'
Delusion bold! and how can it be wrought?
The garb he wears is black as death, the word
'Invisible' flames forth upon his chest.

Here, too, were 'forms and pressures of the time,'
Rough, bold, as Grecian comedy displayed
When Art was young; dramas of living men,
And recent things yet warm with life; a sea-fight,
Shipwreck, or some domestic incident
Divulged by Truth and magnified by Fame;
Such as the daring brotherhood of late
Set forth, too serious theme for that light place--
I mean, O distant Friend! a story drawn
From our own ground,--the Maid of Buttermere,--
And how, unfaithful to a virtuous wife
Deserted and deceived, the Spoiler came
And wooed the artless daughter of the hills,
And wedded her, in cruel mockery
Of love and marriage bonds. These words to thee
Must needs bring back the moment when we first,
Ere the broad world rang with the maiden's name,
Beheld her serving at the cottage inn;
Both stricken, as she entered or withdrew,
With admiration of her modest mien
And carriage, marked by unexampled grace.
We since that time not unfamiliarly
Have seen her,--her discretion have observed,
Her just opinions, delicate reserve,
Her patience, and humility of mind
Unspoiled by commendation and the excess
Of public notice--an offensive light
To a meek spirit suffering inwardly.

From this memorial tribute to my theme
I was returning, when, with sundry forms
Commingled--shapes which met me in the way
That we must tread--thy image rose again,
Maiden of Buttermere! She lives in peace
Upon the spot where she was born and reared;
Without contamination doth she live
In quietness, without anxiety:
Beside the mountain chapel, sleeps in earth
Her new-born infant, fearless as a lamb
That, thither driven from some unsheltered place,
Rests underneath the little rock-like pile
When storms are raging. Happy are they both--
Mother and child!--These feelings, in themselves
Trite, do yet scarcely seem so when I think
On those ingenuous moments of our youth
Ere we have learnt by use to slight the crimes
And sorrows of the world. Those simple days
Are now my theme; and, foremost of the scenes,
Which yet survive in memory, appears
One, at whose centre sate a lovely Boy,
A sportive infant, who, for six months' space,
Not more, had been of age to deal about
Articulate prattle--Child as beautiful
As ever clung around a mother's neck,
Or father fondly gazed upon with pride.
There, too, conspicuous for stature tall
And large dark eyes, beside her infant stood
The mother; but, upon her cheeks diffused,
False tints too well accorded with the glare
From play-house lustres thrown without reserve
On every object near. The Boy had been
The pride and pleasure of all lookers-on
In whatsoever place, but seemed in this
A sort of alien scattered from the clouds.
Of lusty vigour, more than infantine
He was in limb, in cheek a summer rose
Just three parts blown--a cottage-child--if e'er,
By cottage-door on breezy mountain-side,
Or in some sheltering vale, was seen a babe
By Nature's gifts so favoured. Upon a board
Decked with refreshments had this child been placed
'His' little stage in the vast theatre,
And there he sate, surrounded with a throng
Of chance spectators, chiefly dissolute men
And shameless women, treated and caressed;
Ate, drank, and with the fruit and glasses played,
While oaths and laughter and indecent speech
Were rife about him as the songs of birds
Contending after showers. The mother now
Is fading out of memory, but I see
The lovely Boy as I beheld him then
Among the wretched and the falsely gay,
Like one of those who walked with hair unsinged
Amid the fiery furnace. Charms and spells
Muttered on black and spiteful instigation
Have stopped, as some believe, the kindliest growths.
Ah, with how different spirit might a prayer
Have been preferred, that this fair creature, checked
By special privilege of Nature's love,
Should in his childhood be detained for ever!
But with its universal freight the tide
Hath rolled along, and this bright innocent,
Mary! may now have lived till he could look
With envy on thy nameless babe that sleeps,
Beside the mountain chapel, undisturbed.

Four rapid years had scarcely then been told
Since, travelling southward from our pastoral hills,
I heard, and for the first time in my life,
The voice of woman utter blasphemy--
Saw woman as she is, to open shame
Abandoned, and the pride of public vice;
I shuddered, for a barrier seemed at once
Thrown in that from humanity divorced
Humanity, splitting the race of man
In twain, yet leaving the same outward form.
Distress of mind ensued upon the sight,
And ardent meditation. Later years
Brought to such spectacle a milder sadness,
Feelings of pure commiseration, grief
For the individual and the overthrow
Of her soul's beauty; farther I was then
But seldom led, or wished to go; in truth
The sorrow of the passion stopped me there.

But let me now, less moved, in order take
Our argument. Enough is said to show
How casual incidents of real life,
Observed where pastime only had been sought,
Outweighed, or put to flight, the set events
And measured passions of the stage, albeit
By Siddons trod in the fulness of her power.
Yet was the theatre my dear delight;
The very gilding, lamps and painted scrolls,
And all the mean upholstery of the place,
Wanted not animation, when the tide
Of pleasure ebbed but to return as fast
With the ever-shifting figures of the scene,
Solemn or gay: whether some beauteous dame
Advanced in radiance through a deep recess
Of thick entangled forest, like the moon
Opening the clouds; or sovereign king, announced
With flourishing trumpet, came in full-blown state
Of the world's greatness, winding round with train
Of courtiers, banners, and a length of guards;
Or captive led in abject weeds, and jingling
His slender manacles; or romping girl
Bounced, leapt, and pawed the air; or mumbling sire,
A scare-crow pattern of old age dressed up
In all the tatters of infirmity
All loosely put together, hobbled in,
Stumping upon a cane with which he smites,
From time to time, the solid boards, and makes them
Prate somewhat loudly of the whereabout
Of one so overloaded with his years.
But what of this! the laugh, the grin, grimace,
The antics striving to outstrip each other,
Were all received, the least of them not lost,
With an unmeasured welcome. Through the night,
Between the show, and many-headed mass
Of the spectators, and each several nook
Filled with its fray or brawl, how eagerly
And with what flashes, as it were, the mind
Turned this way--that way! sportive and alert
And watchful, as a kitten when at play,
While winds are eddying round her, among straws
And rustling leaves. Enchanting age and sweet!
Romantic almost, looked at through a space,
How small, of intervening years! For then,
Though surely no mean progress had been made
In meditations holy and sublime,
Yet something of a girlish child-like gloss
Of novelty survived for scenes like these;
Enjoyment haply handed down from times
When at a country-playhouse, some rude barn
Tricked out for that proud use, if I perchance
Caught, on a summer evening through a chink
In the old wall, an unexpected glimpse
Of daylight, the bare thought of where I was
Gladdened me more than if I had been led
Into a dazzling cavern of romance,
Crowded with Genii busy among works
Not to be looked at by the common sun.

The matter that detains us now may seem,
To many, neither dignified enough
Nor arduous, yet will not be scorned by them,
Who, looking inward, have observed the ties
That bind the perishable hours of life
Each to the other, and the curious props
By which the world of memory and thought
Exists and is sustained. More lofty themes,
Such as at least do wear a prouder face,
Solicit our regard; but when I think
Of these, I feel the imaginative power
Languish within me; even then it slept,
When, pressed by tragic sufferings, the heart
Was more than full; amid my sobs and tears
It slept, even in the pregnant season of youth.
For though I was most passionately moved
And yielded to all changes of the scene
With an obsequious promptness, yet the storm
Passed not beyond the suburbs of the mind;
Save when realities of act and mien,
The incarnation of the spirits that move
In harmony amid the Poet's world,
Rose to ideal grandeur, or, called forth
By power of contrast, made me recognise,
As at a glance, the things which I had shaped,
And yet not shaped, had seen and scarcely seen,
When, having closed the mighty Shakspeare's page,
I mused, and thought, and felt, in solitude.

Pass we from entertainments, that are such
Professedly, to others titled higher,
Yet, in the estimate of youth at least,
More near akin to those than names imply,--
I mean the brawls of lawyers in their courts
Before the ermined judge, or that great stage
Where senators, tongue-favoured men, perform,
Admired and envied. Oh! the beating heart,
When one among the prime of these rose up,--
One, of whose name from childhood we had heard
Familiarly, a household term, like those,
The Bedfords, Glosters, Salsburys, of old,
Whom the fifth Harry talks of. Silence! hush!
This is no trifler, no short-flighted wit,
No stammerer of a minute, painfully
Delivered, No! the Orator hath yoked
The Hours, like young Aurora, to his car:
Thrice welcome Presence! how can patience e'er
Grow weary of attending on a track
That kindles with such glory! All are charmed,
Astonished; like a hero in romance,
He winds away his never-ending horn;
Words follow words, sense seems to follow sense:
What memory and what logic! till the strain
Transcendent, superhuman as it seemed,
Grows tedious even in a young man's ear.

Genius of Burke! forgive the pen seduced
By specious wonders, and too slow to tell
Of what the ingenuous, what bewildered men,
Beginning to mistrust their boastful guides,
And wise men, willing to grow wiser, caught,
Rapt auditors! from thy most eloquent tongue--
Now mute, for ever mute in the cold grave.
I see him,--old, but vigorous in age,--
Stand like an oak whose stag-horn branches start
Out of its leafy brow, the more to awe
The younger brethren of the grove. But some--
While he forewarns, denounces, launches forth,
Against all systems built on abstract rights,
Keen ridicule; the majesty proclaims
Of Institutes and Laws, hallowed by time;
Declares the vital power of social ties
Endeared by Custom; and with high disdain,
Exploding upstart Theory, insists
Upon the allegiance to which men are born--
Some--say at once a froward multitude--
Murmur (for truth is hated, where not loved)
As the winds fret within the Aeolian cave,
Galled by their monarch's chain. The times were big
With ominous change, which, night by night, provoked
Keen struggles, and black clouds of passion raised;
But memorable moments intervened,
When Wisdom, like the Goddess from Jove's brain,
Broke forth in armour of resplendent words,
Startling the Synod. Could a youth, and one
In ancient story versed, whose breast had heaved
Under the weight of classic eloquence,
Sit, see, and hear, unthankful, uninspired?

Nor did the Pulpit's oratory fail
To achieve its higher triumph. Not unfelt
Were its admonishments, nor lightly heard
The awful truths delivered thence by tongues
Endowed with various power to search the soul;
Yet ostentation, domineering, oft
Poured forth harangues, how sadly out of place!--
There have I seen a comely bachelor,
Fresh from a toilette of two hours, ascend
His rostrum, with seraphic glance look up,
And, in a tone elaborately low
Beginning, lead his voice through many a maze
A minuet course; and, winding up his mouth,
From time to time, into an orifice
Most delicate, a lurking eyelet, small,
And only not invisible, again
Open it out, diffusing thence a smile
Of rapt irradiation, exquisite.
Meanwhile the Evangelists, Isaiah, Job,
Moses, and he who penned, the other day,
The Death of Abel, Shakspeare, and the Bard
Whose genius spangled o'er a gloomy theme
With fancies thick as his inspiring stars,
And Ossian (doubt not--'tis the naked truth)
Summoned from streamy Morven--each and all
Would, in their turns, lend ornaments and flowers
To entwine the crook of eloquence that helped
This pretty Shepherd, pride of all the plains,
To rule and guide his captivated flock.

I glance but at a few conspicuous marks,
Leaving a thousand others, that, in hall,
Court, theatre, conventicle, or shop,
In public room or private, park or street,
Each fondly reared on his own pedestal,
Looked out for admiration. Folly, vice,
Extravagance in gesture, mien, and dress,
And all the strife of singularity,
Lies to the ear, and lies to every sense--
Of these, and of the living shapes they wear,
There is no end. Such candidates for regard,
Although well pleased to be where they were found,
I did not hunt after, nor greatly prize,
Nor made unto myself a secret boast
Of reading them with quick and curious eye;
But, as a common produce, things that are
To-day, to-morrow will be, took of them
Such willing note, as, on some errand bound
That asks not speed, a traveller might bestow
On sea-shells that bestrew the sandy beach,
Or daisies swarming through the fields of June.

But foolishness and madness in parade,
Though most at home in this their dear domain,
Are scattered everywhere, no rarities,
Even to the rudest novice of the Schools.
Me, rather, it employed, to note, and keep
In memory, those individual sights
Of courage, or integrity, or truth,
Or tenderness, which there, set off by foil,
Appeared more touching. One will I select--
A Father--for he bore that sacred name;--
Him saw I, sitting in an open square,
Upon a corner-stone of that low wall,
Wherein were fixed the iron pales that fenced
A spacious grass-plot; there, in silence, sate
This One Man, with a sickly babe outstretched
Upon his knee, whom he had thither brought
For sunshine, and to breathe the fresher air.
Of those who passed, and me who looked at him,
He took no heed; but in his brawny arms
(The Artificer was to the elbow bare,
And from his work this moment had been stolen)
He held the child, and, bending over it,
As if he were afraid both of the sun
And of the air, which he had come to seek,
Eyed the poor babe with love unutterable.

As the black storm upon the mountain top
Sets off the sunbeam in the valley, so
That huge fermenting mass of human-kind
Serves as a solemn back-ground, or relief,
To single forms and objects, whence they draw,
For feeling and contemplative regard,
More than inherent liveliness and power.
How oft, amid those overflowing streets,
Have I gone forward with the crowd, and said
Unto myself, 'The face of every one
That passes by me is a mystery!'
Thus have I looked, nor ceased to look, oppressed
By thoughts of what and whither, when and how,
Until the shapes before my eyes became
A second-sight procession, such as glides
Over still mountains, or appears in dreams;
And once, far-travelled in such mood, beyond
The reach of common indication, lost
Amid the moving pageant, I was smitten
Abruptly, with the view (a sight not rare)
Of a blind Beggar, who, with upright face,
Stood, propped against a wall, upon his chest
Wearing a written paper, to explain
His story, whence he came, and who he was.
Caught by the spectacle my mind turned round
As with the might of waters; and apt type
This label seemed of the utmost we can know,
Both of ourselves and of the universe;
And, on the shape of that unmoving man,
His steadfast face and sightless eyes, I gazed,
As if admonished from another world.

Though reared upon the base of outward things,
Structures like these the excited spirit mainly
Builds for herself; scenes different there are,
Full-formed, that take, with small internal help,
Possession of the faculties,--the peace
That comes with night; the deep solemnity
Of nature's intermediate hours of rest,
When the great tide of human life stands still:
The business of the day to come, unborn,
Of that gone by, locked up, as in the grave;
The blended calmness of the heavens and earth,
Moonlight and stars, and empty streets, and sounds
Unfrequent as in deserts; at late hours
Of winter evenings, when unwholesome rains
Are falling hard, with people yet astir,
The feeble salutation from the voice
Of some unhappy woman, now and then
Heard as we pass, when no one looks about,
Nothing is listened to. But these, I fear,
Are falsely catalogued; things that are, are not,
As the mind answers to them, or the heart
Is prompt, or slow, to feel. What say you, then,
To times, when half the city shall break out
Full of one passion, vengeance, rage, or fear?
To executions, to a street on fire,
Mobs, riots, or rejoicings? From these sights
Take one,--that ancient festival, the Fair,
Holden where martyrs suffered in past time,
And named of St. Bartholomew; there, see
A work completed to our hands, that lays,
If any spectacle on earth can do,
The whole creative powers of man asleep!--
For once, the Muse's help will we implore,
And she shall lodge us, wafted on her wings,
Above the press and danger of the crowd,
Upon some showman's platform. What a shock
For eyes and ears! what anarchy and din,
Barbarian and infernal,--a phantasma,
Monstrous in colour, motion, shape, sight, sound!
Below, the open space, through every nook
Of the wide area, twinkles, is alive
With heads; the midway region, and above,
Is thronged with staring pictures and huge scrolls,
Dumb proclamations of the Prodigies;
With chattering monkeys dangling from their poles,
And children whirling in their roundabouts;
With those that stretch the neck and strain the eyes,
And crack the voice in rivalship, the crowd
Inviting; with buffoons against buffoons
Grimacing, writhing, screaming,--him who grinds
The hurdy-gurdy, at the fiddle weaves,
Rattles the salt-box, thumps the kettle-drum,
And him who at the trumpet puffs his cheeks,
The silver-collared Negro with his timbrel,
Equestrians, tumblers, women, girls, and boys,
Blue-breeched, pink-vested, with high-towering plumes.--
All moveables of wonder, from all parts,
Are here--Albinos, painted Indians, Dwarfs,
The Horse of knowledge, and the learned Pig,
The Stone-eater, the man that swallows fire,
Giants, Ventriloquists, the Invisible Girl,
The Bust that speaks and moves its goggling eyes,
The Wax-work, Clock-work, all the marvellous craft
Of modern Merlins, Wild Beasts, Puppet-shows,
All out-o'-the-way, far-fetched, perverted things,
All freaks of nature, all Promethean thoughts
Of man, his dulness, madness, and their feats
All jumbled up together, to compose
A Parliament of Monsters. Tents and Booths
Meanwhile, as if the whole were one vast mill,
Are vomiting, receiving on all sides,
Men, Women, three-years' Children, Babes in arms.

Oh, blank confusion! true epitome
Of what the mighty City is herself,
To thousands upon thousands of her sons,
Living amid the same perpetual whirl
Of trivial objects, melted and reduced
To one identity, by differences
That have no law, no meaning, and no end--
Oppression, under which even highest minds
Must labour, whence the strongest are not free.
But though the picture weary out the eye,
By nature an unmanageable sight,
It is not wholly so to him who looks
In steadiness, who hath among least things
An under-sense of greatest; sees the parts
As parts, but with a feeling of the whole.
This, of all acquisitions, first awaits
On sundry and most widely different modes
Of education, nor with least delight
On that through which I passed. Attention springs,
And comprehensiveness and memory flow,
From early converse with the works of God
Among all regions; chiefly where appear
Most obviously simplicity and power.
Think, how the everlasting streams and woods,
Stretched and still stretching far and wide, exalt
The roving Indian, on his desert sands:
What grandeur not unfelt, what pregnant show
Of beauty, meets the sun-burnt Arab's eye:
And, as the sea propels, from zone to zone,
Its currents; magnifies its shoals of life
Beyond all compass; spreads, and sends aloft
Armies of clouds,--even so, its powers and aspects
Shape for mankind, by principles as fixed,
The views and aspirations of the soul
To majesty. Like virtue have the forms
Perennial of the ancient hills; nor less
The changeful language of their countenances
Quickens the slumbering mind, and aids the thoughts,
However multitudinous, to move
With order and relation. This, if still,
As hitherto, in freedom I may speak,
Not violating any just restraint,
As may be hoped, of real modesty,--
This did I feel, in London's vast domain.
The Spirit of Nature was upon me there;
The soul of Beauty and enduring Life
Vouchsafed her inspiration, and diffused,
Through meagre lines and colours, and the press
Of self-destroying, transitory things,
Composure, and ennobling Harmony.

by William Wordsworth.

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