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O'er the hundred-gated circuit of a wall

Bounding all, Made of marble, men might march on nor be pressed,

Twelve abreast.


And such plenty and perfection, see, of grass

Never was !
Such a carpet as, this summer-time, o’erspreads

And embeds
Every vestige of the city, guessed alone,

Stock or stone-
Where a multitude of men breathed joy and woe

Long ago ;
Lust of glory pricked their hearts up, dread of shame

Struck them tame;
And that glory and that shame alike, the gold

Bought and sold.


Now,—the single little turret that remains

On the plains,
By the caper overrooted, by the gourd

While the patching houseleek's head of blossom winks

Through the chinks-
Marks the basement whence a tower in ancient time

Sprang sublime,
And a burning ring, all round, the chariots traced

As they raced,
And the monarch and his minions and his dames

Viewed the games.


And I know—while thus the quiet-coloured eve

Smiles to leave

To their folding, all our many tinkling fleece

In such peace,
And the slopes and rills in undistinguished grey

Melt away-
That a girl with eager eyes and yellow hair

Waits me there
In the turret whence the charioteers caught soul

For the goal,
When the king looked, where she looks now, breath-

less, dumb Till I come.

But he looked upon the city, every side,

Far and wide,
All the mountains topped with temples, all the glades,

All the causeys, bridges, aqueducts,—and then,

All the men !
When I do come, she will speak not, she will stand,

Either hand
On my shoulder, give her eyes the first embrace

Of my face,
Ere we rush, ere we extinguish sight and speech

Each on each.


In one year they sent a million fighters forth

South and North,
And they built their gods a brazen pillar high

As the sky,
Yet reserved a thousand chariots in full force-

Gold, of course.
Oh heart ! oh blood that freezes, blood that burns !

Earth's returns

For whole centuries of folly, noise and sin !

Shut them in, With their triumphs and their glories and the rest !

Love is best.


I'VE a Friend, over the sea;
I like him, but he loves me.
It all grew out of the books I write;
They find such favour in his sight
That he slaughters you with savage looks
Because you don't admire my books.
He does himself though,-and if some vein
Were to snap to-night in this heavy brain,
To-morrow month, if I lived to try,
Round should I just turn quietly,
Or out of the bedclothes stretch my hand
Till I found him, come from his foreign land
To be my nurse in this poor place,
And make my broth and wash my face
And light my fire and, all the while,
Bear with his old good-humoured smile
That I told him “Better have kept away
“ Than come and kill me, night and day,
“ With, worse than fever throbs and shoots,
“ The creaking of his clumsy boots.”
I am as sure that this he would do,
As that Saint Paul's is striking two..
And I think I rather ... woe is me !
-Yes, rather would see him than not see
If lifting a hand could seat him there
Before me in the empty chair
To-night, when my head aches indeed,

And I can neither think nor read
Nor make these purple fingers hold
The pen; this garret 's freezing cold !

And I 've a Lady—there he wakes
The laughing fiend and prince of snakes
Within me, at her name, to pray
Fate send some creature in the way
Of my love for her, to be down-torn,
Upthrust and outward-borne,
So I might prove myself that sea
Of passion which I needs must be !
Call my thoughts false and my fancies quaint
And my style infirm and its figures faint,
All the critics say, and more blame yet,
And not one angry word you get.
But, please you, wonder I would put
My cheek beneath that lady's foot
Rather than trample under mine
The laurels of the Florentine,
And you shall see how the devil spends
A fire God gave for other ends !
I tell you, I stride up and down
This garret, crowned with love's best crown,
And feasted with love's perfect feast,
To think I kill for her, at least,
Body and soul and peace and fame,
Alike youth's end and manhood's aim,
-So is my spirit, as flesh with sin,
Filled full, eaten out and in
With the face of her, the eyes of her,
The lips, the little chin, the stir-
Of shadow round her mouth ; and she
- I 'll tell you,-calmly would decree
That I should roast at a slow fire,
If that would compass her desire

And make her one whom they invite
To the famous ball to-morrow night.

There may be heaven ; there must be hell ; Meantime, there is our earth here-well !


What's become of Waring
Since he gave us all the slip,
Chose land-travel or seafearing,
Boots and chest or staff and scrip,
Rather than pace up and down
Any longer London town?

Who'd have guessed it from his lip
Or his brow's accustomed bearing,
On the night he thus took ship
Or started landward ?-little caring
For us, it seems, who supped together
(Friends of his too, I remember)
And walked home thro' the merry weather,
The snowiest in all December.
I left his arm that night myself
For what's-his-name's, the new prose-poet
Who wrote the book there on the shelf-
How, forsooth, was I to know it
If Waring meant to glide away
Like a ghost at break of day?
Never looked he half so gay!

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