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Then I reach, I must believe,

Not her soul in vain,

For to me again
It reaches, and past retrieve
Is wound in the toils I weave;


And must follow as I require,

As befits a thrall,

Bringing flesh and all,
Essence and earth-attire,
To the source of the tractile fire :


Till the house called hers, not mine,

With a growing weight

Seems to suffocate
If she break not its leaden line
And escape from its close confine.


Out of doors into the night!

On to the maze

Of the wild wood-ways, Not turning to left nor right From the pathway, blind with sight


Making thro' rain and wind

O’er the broken shrubs,

'Twixt the stems and stubs, With a still, composed, strong mind, Not a care for the world behind

Swifter and still more swift,

As the crowding peace

Doth to joy increase
In the wide lind eyes uplift
Thro' the darkness and the drift !


While 1-to the shape, I too

Feel my soul dilate:

Nor a whit abate,
And relax not a gesture due,
As I see my belief come true.


For, there ! have I drawn or no

Life to that lip?

Do my fingers dip
In a flame which again they throw
On the cheek that breaks a-glow ?


Ha! was the hair so first ?

What, unfilleted,

Made alive, and spread Through the void with a rich outburst, Chestnut gold-interspersed ?


Like the doors of a casket-shrine,

See, on either side,

Her two arms divide Till the heart betwixt makes sign, “ Take me, for I am thine ?"


“Now-now”- the door is heard !

Hark, the stairs ! and near

Nearer--and here-
“Now!” and, at call the third,
She enters without a word.

On doth she march and on

To the fancied shape;

It is, past escape,
Herself, now : the dream is done
And the shadow and she are one.

First, I will pray. Do Thou

That ownest the soul,

Yet wilt grant control
To another, nor disallow
For a time, restrain me now!

I admonish me while I may,

Not to squander guilt,

Since require Thou wilt
At my hand its price one day !
What the price is, who can say ?



How well I know what I mean to do

When the long dark autumn evenings come: And where, my soul, is thy pleasant hue ?

With the music of all thy voices, dumb In life's November too !


I shall be found by the fire, suppose,

O'er a great wise book, as beseemeth age ; While the shutters flap as the cross-wind blows,

And I turn the page, and I turn the page, Not verse now, only prose !


Till the young ones whisper, finger on lip,

“ There he is at it, deep in Greek : “ Now then, or never, out we slip

“To cut from the hazels by the creek “A mainmast for our ship!”

I shall be at it indeed, my friends!

Greek puts already on either side
Such a branch-work forth as soon extends

To a vista opening far and wide,
And I pass out where it ends.

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The outside frame, like your

hazel-trees But the inside-archway widens fast, And a rarer sort succeeds to these,

And we slope to Italy at last And youth, by green degrees.

I follow wherever I am led,

Knowing so well the leader's hand :
Oh woman-country, wooed not wed,

Loved all the more by earth's male-lands, Laid to their hearts instead !


Look at the ruined chapel again

Half-way up in the Alpine gorge!

Is that a tower, I point you plain,

Or is it a mill, or an iron forge Breaks solitude in vain ?


A turn, and we stand in the heart of things ;

The woods are round us, heaped and dim ; From slab to slab how it slips and springs,

The thread of water single and slim, Through the ravage some torrent brings !


Does it feed the little lake below ?

That speck of white just on its marge Is Pella ; see, in the evening-glow,

How sharp the silver spear-heads charge When Alp meets heaven in snow !


On our other side is the straight-up rock;

And a path is kept 'twixt the gorge and it By boulder-stones where lichens mock

The marks on a moth, and small ferns fit Their teeth to the polished block.


Oh the sense of the yellow mountain-flowers,

And thorny balls, each three in one, The chestnuts throw on our path in showers !

For the drop of the woodland fruit 's begun, These early November hours,


That crimson the creeper's leaf across

Like a splash of blood, intense, abrupt, O'er a shield else gold from rim to boss,

And lay it for show on the fairy-cupped Elf-needled mat of moss,

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