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When will the hundred summers die,
And thought and time be born again, And newer knowledge, drawing nigh,
Bring truth that sways the soul of men ? Here all things in their place remain,
As all were order’d, ages since. Come, Care and Pleasure, Hope and Pain,
And bring the fated fairy Prince.
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY. Year after year unto her feet,
She lying on her couch alone, Across the purpled coverlet,
The maiden's jet-black hair has grown, On either side her tranced form
Forth streaming from a braid of pearl : The slumbrous light is rich and warm,
And moves not on the rounded curl.
The silk star-broider'd coverlid
Unto her limbs itself doth mould Languidly ever ; and, amid
Her full black ringlets downward rolld, Glows forth each softly-shadow'd arm
With bracelets of the diamond bright : Her constant beauty doth inform
Stillness with love, and day with light.
She sleeps : her breathings are not heard
In palace chambers far apart. The fragrant tresses are not stirr'd
That lie upon her charmed heart. She sleeps : on either hand upswells
The gold-fringed pillow lightly prest : She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells
A perfect form in perfect rest.
To those that seek them issue forth;
And draws the veil from hidden worth. He travels far from other skies
His mantle glitters on the rocksA fairy Prince, with joyful eyes,
And lighter-footed than the fox.
The bodies and the bones of those
That strove in other days to pass, Are wither'd in the thorny close,
Or scatter'd blanching in the grass. He gazes on the silent dead :
“ They perish'd in their daring deeds.' This proverb flashes thro' his head,
“ The many fail : the one succeeds.”
He comes, scarce knowing what he seeks :
He breaks the hedge : he enters there : The colour flies into his cheeks :
He trusts to light on something fair ; For all his life the charm did talk
About his path, and hover near With words of promise in his walk,
And whisper'd voices in his ear.
More close and close his footsteps wind ;
The magic music in his heart Beats quick and quicker, till he find
The quiet chamber far apart. His spirit flutters like a lark,
He stoops—to kiss her—on his knee. “ Love, if thy tresses be so dark,
How dark those hidden eyes must be !" THE REVIVAL.
A touch, a kiss! the charm was snapt.
There rose a noise of striking clocks, And feet that ran, and doors that clapt,
And barking dogs, and crowing cocks ; A fuller light illumined all,
A breeze thro' all the garden swept, A sudden hubbub shook the hall,
And sixty feet the fountain leapt.
The hedge broke in, the banner blew,
The butler drank, the steward scrawl’d, The fire shot up, the martin flew,
The parrot scream’d, the peacock squallid, The maid and page renew'd their strife,
The palace bang'd, and buzz'd and clackt, And all the long-pent stream of life
Dash'd downward in a cataract.