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SONG FROM "JAMES LEE."

I

OH, good gigantic smile o' the brown old earth,

This autumn morning! How he sets his bones To bask i' the sun, and thrusts out knees and feet For the ripple to run over in its mirth :

Listening the while, where on the heap of stones The white breast of the sea-lark twitters sweet.

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That is the doctrine, simple, ancient, true ;

Such is life's trial, as old earth smiles and knows. If you loved only what were worth your love, Love were clear gain, and wholly well for you.

Make the low nature better by your throes ! Give earth yourself, go up for gain above !

A WOMAN'S LAST WORD

I

LET's contend no more, Love,

Strive nor weep :
All be as before, Love,

-Only sleep!

II

What so wild as words are ?

I and thou
In debate, as birds are,

Hawk on bough!

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IX

That shall be to-morrow

Not to-night :
I must bury sorrow

Out of sight :

х

-Must a little weep, Love,

(Foolish me !)
And so fall asleep, Love,

Loved by thee.

MEETING AT NIGHT.

I

THE grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.

II

Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach ;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears ;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each !

PARTING AT MORNING.

ROUND the cape of a sudden came the sea,
And the sun looked over the mountain's rim :
And straight was a path of gold for him,
And the need of a world of men for me.

WOMEN AND ROSES.

I

I DREAM of a red-rose tree.
And which of its roses three
Is the dearest rose to me?

II

Round and round, like a dance of snow
In a dazzling drift, as its guardians, go
Floating the women faded for ages,
Sculptured in stone, on the poet's pages.
Then follow women fresh and gay,
Living and loving and loved to-day.
Last, in the rear, flee the multitude of maidens,
Beauties yet unborn. And all, to one cadence,
They circle their rose on my rose tree.

III

Dear rose, thy term is reached,
Thy leaf hangs loose and bleached :
Bees pass it unimpeached.

IV

Stay then, stoop, since I cannot climb,
You, great shapes of the antique time,

How shall I fix

you,
fire
you,
freeze

you,
Break my heart at your feet to please you ?
Oh, to possess and be possessed !
Hearts that beat ’neath each pallid breast !
Once but of love, the poesy, the passion,
Drink but once and die !—In vain, the same fashion,
They circle their rose on my rose tree.

V

Dear rose, thy joy 's 'undimmed :
Thy cup is ruby-rimmed,
Thy cup's heart nectar-brimmed.

VI

Deep, as drops from a statue's plinth
The bee sucked in by the hyacinth,
So will I bury me while burning,
Quench like him at a plunge my yearning,
Eyes in your eyes, lips on your lips !
Fold me fast where the cincture slips,
Prison all my soul in eternities of pleasure,
Girdle me for once! But no—the old measure,
They circle their rose on my rose tree.

VII

Dear rose without a thorn,
Thy bud 's the babe unborn:
First streak of a new morn.

VIII

Wings, lend wings for the cold, the clear !
What is far conquers what is near.
Roses will bloom nor want beholders,
Sprung from the dust where our flesh moulders,
What shall arrive with the cycle's change?
A novel grace and a beauty strange.

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