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Is all our fire of shipwreck wood,

Oak and pine ?
Oh, for the ills half-understood,

The dim, dead woe

Long ago
Befallen this bitter coast of France !
Well, poor sailors took their chance ;

I take mine.

A ruddy shaft our fire must shoot

O’er the sea :
Do sailors eye the casement-mute,

Drenched and stark,

From their barkAnd envy, gnash their teeth for hate O’ the warm safe house and happy freight

— Thee and me?

God help you, sailors, at your need!

Spare the curse !
For some ships, safe in port indeed,

Rot and rust,

Run to dust,
All through worms i' the wood, which crept,
Gnawed our hearts out while we slept:

That is worse !


Who lived here before us two ?

Old-world pairs !
Did a woman ever—would I knew !-

Watch the man

With whom began Love's voyage full-sail,—(now, gnash your teeth!) When planks start, open hell beneath

Unawares ?




The swallow has set her six young on the rail,

And looks sea-ward :
The water 's in stripes like a snake, olive-pale

To the leeward, -
On the weather-side, black, spotted white with the

wind : “ Good fortune departs, and disaster 's behind,” — Hark, the wind with its wants and its infinite wail !

Our fig-tree, that leaned for the saltness, has furled

Her five fingers,
Each leaf like a hand opened wide to the world

Where there lingers
No glint of the gold, Summer sent for her sake :
How the vines writhe in rows, each impaled on its

stake! My heart shrivels up, and my spirit shrinks curled.

Yet here are we two; we have love, house enough,

With the field there,
This house of four rooms, that field red and rough,

Though it yield there,
For the rabbit that robs, scarce a blade or a bent;
If a magpie alight now, it seems an event;
And they both will be gone at November's rebuff.

But why must cold spread ? but wherefore bring change

To the spirit,
God meant should mate His with an infinite range,

And inherit
His power to put life in the darkness and cold ?
Oh, live and love worthily, bear and be bold !
Whom Summer made friends of, let Winter estrange!

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I will be quiet and talk with you,

And reason why you are wrong:
You wanted my love—is that much true ?
And so I did love, so I do:

What has come of it all along ?

I took you-how could I otherwise ?

For a world to me, and more;
For all, love greatens and glorifies
Till God 's a-glow, to the loving eyes,

In what was mere earth before.

Yes, earth-yes, mere ignoble earth!

Now do I mis-state, mistake ? Do I wrong your weakness and call it worth ? Expect all harvest, dread no dearth,

Seal my sense up for your sake ?

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