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The King's head dropt upon his breast

A moment, as it might be ; 'T will be my dog, he thought, and said,

My faith I plight to thee." Then Walter took from next his heart

A packet small and thin, “Now give you this to the Princess

The Singing Leaves are therein."

As the King rode in at his castle-gate,

A maiden to meet him ran, And “Welcome, father!” she laughed

and cried Together, the Princess Anne. “Lo, here the Singing Leaves," quoth

he, “And woe, but they cost me dear!” She took the packet, and the smile

Deepened down beneath the tear. It deepened down till it reached her

heart, And then gushed up again, And lighted her tears as the sudden sun

Transfigures the summer rain.

Then deep in the greenwood rode he,

And asked of every tree, “O, if you have ever a Singing Leaf, I pray you give it me!”

But the trees all kept their counsel,

And never a word said they, Only there sighed from the pine-tops

A music of seas far away.

Only the pattering aspen

Made a sound of growing rain, That fell ever faster and faster,

Then faltered to silence again. “O, where shall I find a little foot-page

That would win both hose and shoon, And will bring to me the Singing Leaves

If they grow under the moon?" Then lightly turned him Walter the

page, By the stirrup as he ran : “Now pledge ye me the truesome word Of a king

and gentleman, “That you will give me the first, first

thing You meet at your castle-gate, And the Princess shall get the Singing

Or mine be a traitor's fate."

And the first Leaf, when it was opened,

Sang: “I am Walter the page, And the songs I sing 'neath thy window

Are my only heritage." And the second Leaf sang: “But id

the land That is neither on earth or 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 swed it sang, and ever sweeter,

And said, “I am thine, thine, thine! At the first Leaf she grew pale enough

At the second she turned aside, At the third, 't was as if a lily flushed

With a rose's red heart's tide. “Good counsel gave the bird,” said she,

“I have my hope thrice o'er,

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Shall I less patience have than Thou,

who know That Thou revisit'st all who wait for

thee, Nor only fill'st the unsounded deeps

below, But dost refresh with punctual overflow The rifts where unregarded mosses be? The drooping sea-weed hears, in night

abyssed, Far and more far the wave's receding

shocks, Nor doubts, for all the darkness and

the mist, That the pale shepherdess will keep her

tryst, And shoreward lead again her foam

fleeced flocks.

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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 Lab

rador, By love divine on one sweet errand


So said, so done; the chords he strained,
And, as his fingers o'er them hovered,
The shell disdained a soul had gained,
The lyre had been discovered.
O empty world that round us lies,
Dead shell, of soul and thought for-

Brought we but eyes like Mercury's,
In thee what songs should waken!


This is the midnight of the century,

hark ! Through aisle and arch of Godminster

Greatly begin! though thou have time
But for a line, be that sublime, -
Not failure, but low aim, is crime.
Ah, with what lofty hope we came !
But we forget it, dream of fame,
And scrawl, as I do here, a name.

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 be

low, 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

And though no man nor nation
Will move with full consent
In heavenly gravitation,
Yet by one Sun is every orbit bent.

The dandelions and buttercups
Gild all the lawr : the drowsy bee
Stumbles among che clover-tops,
And summer sweetens all but me:
Away, unfruitful lore of books,
For whose vain idiom we reject
The soul's more native dialect,
Aliens among the birds and brooks,
Dull to interpret or conceive
What gospels lost the woods retrieve!
Away, ye critics, city-bred,
Who set man-traps of thus and so,
And in the first man's footsteps tread,
Like those who toil through drifted

snow !
Away, my poets, whose sweet spell
Can make a garden of a cell !
I need ye not, for I to-day
Will make one long sweet verse of play.


Though old the thought and oft ex

prest, 'Tis his at last who says it best, I'll try my fortune with the rest.

Life is a leaf of paper white
Whereon each one of us may write
His word or two, and then comes night.

Snap, chord of manhood's tenser

strain ! To-day I will be a boy again ; The mind's pursuing element, Like a bow slackened and unbent, In some dark corner shall be leant. The robin sings, as of old, from the

limb! The cat-bird croons in the lilac-bush ! Through the dim arbor, himself more

Silently hops the hermit-thrush,
The withered leaves keep dumb for him;
The irreverent buccaneering bee
Hath stormed and rified the nunnery
Of the lily, and scattered the sacred floor
With haste-dropt gold from shrine to

There, as of yore,
The rich, milk-tingeing buttercup
Its tiny polished urn holds up,
Filled with ripe summer to the edge,

“Lo, time and space enough,” we cry, “To write an epic !” so we try Our nibs upon the edge, and die.

Muse not which way the pen to hold, Luck hates the slow and loves the bold, Soon come the darkness and the cold.

The sun in his own wine to pledge;
And our tall elm, this hundredth year
Doge of our leafy Venice here,
Who, with an annual ring, doth wed
The blue Adriatic overhead,
Shadows with his palatial mass
The deep canals of flowing grass.

O unestranged birds and bees! O face of nature always true ! O never-unsympathizing trees ! O never-rejecting roof of blue, Whose rash disherison never falls On us unthinking prodigals, Yet who convictest all our ill, So grand and unappeasable ! Methinks my heart from each of these Plucks part of childhood back again, Long there imprisoned, as the breeze Doth every hidden odor seize Of wood and water, hill and plain. Once more am I admitted peer In the upper house of Nature here, And feel through all my pulses run The royal blood of breeze and sun.

O, 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 lite, 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 Of some fallen nunnery's mossy sleep, So, from the ruins of this day Crumbling in golden dust away, The soul one gracious block may draw, Carved with some fragment of the law, Which, set in life's uneven wall, Old benedictions may recall, And lure some nunlike thoughts to take Their dwelling here for memory's sake.


Upon these elm-arched solitudes No hum of neighbor toil intrudes; The only hammer that I hear Is wielded by the woodpecker, The single noisy calling his In all our leaf-hid Sybaris; The good old time, close-hidden here, Persists, a loyal cavalier, While Roundheads prim, with point of

fox, Probe wainscot-chink and empty box; Here no hoarse-voiced iconoclast Insults thy statues, royal Past; Myself too prone the axe to wield, I touch the silver side of the shield With lance reversed, and challenge

peace, A willing convert of the trees.

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How chanced it that so long I tost A cable's length from this rich coast, With foolish anchors hugging 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?

And who were they," I mused, “ that

wrought Through pathless wilds, with labor long, The highways of our daily thought? Who reared those towers of earliest

song That lift us from the throng to peace Remote in sunny silences ?"

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