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Not a twinkle from the fly,
Not a glimmer from the worm.. When the crickets stopped their cry,
When the owls forbore a term, You heard music; that was I.
Sultrily suspired for proof :
Lightning !-where it broke the roof, Bloodlike, some few drops of rain.
What they could my words expressed,
O my love, my all, my one ! Singing helped the verses best,
And when singing's best was done, To my lute I left the rest.
So wore night; the East was gray,
White the broad-faced hemlock flowers : There would be another day;
Ere its first of heavy hours Found me, I had passed away.
Words and song and lute as well ?
“Feebly for the path where fell “ Light last on the evening slopes,
“ One friend in that path shall be,
“ To secure my step from wrong ; “ One to count night day for me,
“ Patient through the watches long, “ Serving most with none to see.”
Never say—as something bodes
“So, the worst has yet a worse ! “ When life halts 'neath double loads,
“ Better the task-master's curse “ Than such music on the roads !
“When no moon succeeds the sun,
“ Nor can pierce the midnight's tent “ Any star, the smallest one,
“While some drops, where lightning rent: “ Show the final storm begun
“ When the fire-fly hides its spot,
“ When the garden-voices fail “ In the darkness thick and hot,
“ Shall another voice avail, " That shape be where these are not?
“ Has some plague a longer lease,
“ Proffering its help uncouth? “ Can't one even die in peace?
“ As one shuts one's eye on youth, 6 Is that face the last one sees?"
Oh how dark your villa was,
Windows fast and obdurate !
Where I stood—the iron gate
YOUTH AND ART.
It once might have been, once only:
We lodged in a street together,
I, a lone she-bird of his feather.
Your trade was with sticks and clay,
You thumbed, thrust, patted and polished Then laughed “ They will see, some day, “ Smith made, and Gibson demolished.”
My business was song, song, song ;
I chirped, cheeped, trilled and twittered, “Kate Brown's on the boards ere long,
“ And Grisi's existence embittered !
• IV I earned no more by a warble
Than you by a sketch in plaster; You wanted a piece of marble,
I needed a music-master.
We studied hard in our styles,
Chipped each at a crust like Hindoos, For air, looked out on the tiles,
For fun, watched each other's windows.
You lounged, like a boy of the South, . Cap and blouse--nay, a bit of beard too ; Or you got it, rubbing your mouth
With fingers the clay adhered to.
And I-soon managed to find
Weak points in the flower-fence facing, Was forced to put up a blind
And be safe in my corset-lacing.
No harm! It was not my fault
If you never turned your eye's tail up As I shook upon E in alt.,
Or ran the chromatic scale up :
For spring bade the sparrows pair,
And the boys and girls gave guesses, And stalls in our street looked rare
With bulrush and watercresses.
In a pellet of clay and Aling it?
Of thanks in a look, or sing it?
(And yet the memory rankles) When models arrived, some minx
Tripped up stairs, she and her ankles.
But I think I gave you as good!
“That foreign fellow,—who can know “How she pays, in a playful mood,
“For his tuning her that piano ?”
Could you say so, and never say
“Suppose we join hands and fortunes, “And I fetch her from over the way,
“Her, piano, and long tunes and short tunes ?"
Nor I rasher and something over :
And Grisi yet lives in clover.
But you meet the Prince at the Board,
I’m queen myself at bals-parés, I've married a rich old lord,
And you ’re dubbed knight and an R.A.
It hangs still, patchy and scrappy:
Starved, feasted, despaired,-been happy.