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Then I reach, I must believe,
Not her soul in vain,
For to me again
And must follow as I require,
As befits a thrall,
Bringing flesh and all,
Till the house called hers, not mine,
With a growing weight
Seems to suffocate
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
As the crowding peace
Doth to joy increase
While 1-to the shape, I too
Feel my soul dilate:
Nor a whit abate,
For, there ! have I drawn or no
Life to that lip?
Do my fingers dip
Ha! was the hair so first ?
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
To the fancied shape;
It is, past escape,
That ownest the soul,
Yet wilt grant control
Not to squander guilt,
Since require Thou wilt
BY THE FIRESIDE.
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!”
Greek puts already on either side
To a vista opening far and wide,
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.
Knowing so well the leader's hand :
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,