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Only there sighed from the pine-tops
A music of seas far away.
THE SINGING LEAVES
Only the pattering aspen
Made a sound of growing rain,
That fell ever faster and faster, “What fairings will ye that I bring ?” Then faltered to silence again.
Said the King to his daughters three; “For I to Vanity Fair am boun,
“Oh, where shall I find a little foot-page Now say what shall they be?”
That would win both hose and shoon,
And will bring to me the Singiug Leaves Then
up and spake the eldest daughter, If they grow under the moon ?” That lady tall and grand: “Oh, bring me pearls and diamonds great, Then lightly turned him Walter the page, And gold rings for my hand.”
By the stirrup as he ran:
“Now pledge you me the truesome word Thereafter spake the second daughter, Of a king and gentleman,
That was both white and red: “ For me bring silks that will stand alone, “That you will give me the first, first thing And a gold comb for my head.”
You meet at your castle-gate,
And the Princess shall get the Singing Then came the turn of the least daughter,
Or mine be a traitor's fate."
The King's head dropt upon his breast
A moment, as it might be; “ There came a bird this morning,
'T will be my dog, he thought, and said, And sang 'neath my bower eaves,
“My faith I plight to thee.” Till I dreamed, as his music made me, . Ask thou for the Singing Leaves."" Then Walter took from next his heart
A packet small and thin, Then the brow of the King swelled crimson “Now give you this to the Princess Anne, With a flush of angry scorn:
The Singing Leaves are therein.” “Well have ye spoken, my two eldest, And chosen as ye were born;
As the King rode in at his castle-gate, “But she, like a thing of peasant race,
A maiden to meet him ran, That is happy binding the sheaves; And “Welcome, father!” she laughed and Then he saw her dead mother in her face,
cried And said, " Thou shalt have thy leaves." Together, the Princess Anne.
And the second Leaf sang: “But in the
land That is neither on earth nor sea, My lute and I are lords of more
Than thrice this kingdom's fee."
And the third Leaf sang, “Be mine! Be
mine!” And ever it sang,
« Be mine!” Then sweeter it sang and ever sweeter,
And said, “I am thine, thine, thine!”
At the second she turned aside,
With a rose's red heart's tide.
For the same wave that rims the Carib
shore With momentary brede of pearl and gold, Goes hurrying thence to gladden with its
roar Lorn weeds bound fast on rocks of Labra
“Good counsel gave the bird,” said she, “I have my hope thrice o'er,
THE FINDING OF THE LYRE For they sing to my very heart,” she said, “And it sings to them evermore.” THERE lay upon the ocean's shore
What once a tortoise served to cover;
The surf had rolled it over,
As wind and weather might decide it,
Cheap burial might provide it.
It rested there to bleach or tan,
The rains had soaked, the suns had burned Nor, pitying saint, thine intercession claim; it; Too closely clings the burden of the day, With many a ban the fisherman And all the mint and anise that I pay Had stumbled o'er and spurned it; But swells my debt and deepens my
self- And there the fisher-girl would stay, blame.
Conjecturing with her brother
How in their play the poor estray Shall I less patience have than Thou, who Might serve some use or other.
know That Thou revisit'st all who wait for thee, So there it lay, through wet and dry Nor only fill'st the unsounded deeps be- As empty as the last new sonnet, low,
Till by and by came Mercury, But dost refresh with punctual overflow And, having mused upon it, The rifts where unregarded mosses be ? •Why, here,” cried be, “the thing of
things The drooping seaweed hears, in night In shape, material, and dimension ! abyssed,
Give it but strings, and, lo, it sings, Far and more far the wave's receding A wonderful inventions”
shocks, Nor doubts, for all the darkness and the So said, so done; the chords he strained, mist,
And, as his fingers o'er them hovered, That the pale shepherdess will keep her The shell disdained a soul had gained, tryst,
The lyre had been discovered. And shoreward lead again her foam-fleeced O empty world that round us lies, flocks.
Dead shell, of soul and thought forsaken,
Brought we but eyes like Mercury's, In thee what songs should waken!
Ab, with what lofty hope we came ! But we forget it, dream of fame, And scrawl, as I do here, a name.
NEW-YEAR'S EVE, 1850
This is the midnight of the century,
hark ! Through aisle and arch of Godminster have
gone Twelve throbs that tolled the zenith of the
dark, And mornward now the starry hands move
on; “ Mornward !” the angelic watchers say, “ Passed is the sorest trial; No plot of man can stay The hand upon the dial; Night is the dark stem of the lily Day." If we, who watched in valleys here below, Toward streaks, misdeemed of morn, our
faces turned When volcan glares set all the east aglow, We are not poorer that we wept and
yearned; Though earth swing wide from God's in
THE dandelions and buttercups
Snap, chord of manhood's tenser strain!
O unestrangëd birds and bees !
Of some fallen nunnery's mossy sleep,
IN THE BRANCACCI CHAPEL
O never-unsympathizing trees !
Upon these elm-arched solitudes
He came to Florence long ago,
How chanced it that so long I tost A cable's length from this rich coast, With foolish anchors bugging close The beckoning weeds and lazy ooze, Nor had the wit to wreck before On this enchanted island's shore, Whither the current of the sea, With wiser drift, persuaded me ?
Out clanged the Ave Mary bells,
Thoughts that great hearts once broke for,
Oh, might we but of such rare days Build up the spirit's dwelling-place ! A temple of so Parian stone Would brook a marble god alone, The statue of a perfect life, Far-shrined from earth's bestaining strife. Alas! though such felicity In our vext world here may not be, Yet, as sometimes the peasant's hut Shows stones which old religion cut With text inspired, or mystic sign Of the Eternal and Divine, Torn from the consecration deep
Breathe cheaply in the common air ;
Oh, could he have my share of din,
And I his quiet ! - past a doubt 'T would still be one man bored within,
And just another bored without.
Nay, when, once paid my mortal fee,
Some idler on my headstone grim Traces the moss-blurred name, will be
Think me the happier, or I him ?
“Madrid, January 15, 1879. I wrote some verses thirty odd years ago called Without and Within, and they originally ended with the author's looking up at the stars through six feet of earth and feeling dreadfully bored, while a passer-by deciphers the headstone and envies the supposed sleeper beneath. I was persuaded to leave out this ending as too grim but I often think of it. They have a fine name for this kind of feeling nowadays, and would fain make out pessimism to be a monstrous birth of our century. I suspect it has always been common enough, especially with naughty children who get tired of their playthings as soon as I do — the absurdity being that
then we are not content with smashing the toy which turns out to be finite — but everything else into the bargain.' J. R. L. to Miss Grace Norton. Letters II. 236.
WRITTEN IN AID OF A CHIME OF BELLS
FOR CHRIST CHURCH, CAMBRIDGE
My coachman, in the moonlight there,
Looks through the side-light of the door; I hear him with his brethren swear,
As I could do, – but only more.
Flattening his nose against the pane,
He envies me my brilliant lot, Breathes on his aching fists in vain,
And dooms me to a place more hot.
He sees me in to supper go,
A silken wonder by my side, Bare arms, bare shoulders, and a row
Of flounces, for the door too wide.
GODMINSTER? Is it Fancy's play ?
I know not, but the word Sings in my heart, nor can I say
Whether 't was dreamed or heard;
As blossoms after rain,
This vision in my brain.
My spirit walks in thought,
Which God's own pity wrought;
The Church's East is there,
That throbs with praise and prayer.
The carven pavement shows
And safe in God repose;
Who now in beaven have learned
Where Self the feet have spurned.
And, as the mystic aisles I pace,
By aureoled workmen built, Lives ending at the Cross I trace
Alike through grace and guilt; One Mary bathes the blessed feet
With ointment from her eyes,