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Up from the stream with sluggish flap

Struggles the gull and floats away; Nearer and nearer rolls the thunder-clap,

We shall not see the sun go down to-day : Now leaps the wind on the sleepy marsh,

And tramples the grass with terrified feet,
The startled river turns leaden and harsh.
You can hear the quick heart of the tempest beat.

Look! look ! that livid flash !
And instantly follows the rattling thunder,
As if some cloud crag, split asunder,

Fell, splintering with a ruinous crash,
On the Earth, which crouches in silence under;

And now a solid gray wall of rain
Shuts off the landscape, mile by mile;

For a breath's space I see the blue wood again, An ere the next heart-beat, the wind-hurled pile,

That seemed but now a league aloof,

Bursts crackling o'er the sun-parched roof; Against the windows the storm comes dashing, Through tattered foliage the hail tears crashing,

The blue lightning flashes,

The rapid hail clashes,
The white waves are tumbling,

And, in one baffled roar,
Like the toothless sea mumbling

A rock-bristled shore.
The thunder is rumbling

And crashing and crumbling,
Will silence return never more ?

Hush! Still as death,

The tempest holds his breath

As from a sudden will;
The rain stops short, but from the eaves
You see it drop, and hear it from the leaves,

All is so bodingly still;

Again, now, now, again
Plashes the rain in heavy gouts,

The crinkled lightning
Seems ever brightening,

And loud and long
Again the thunder shouts

His battle-song, -
One quivering flash,

One wildering crash,
Followed by silence dead and dull,

As if the cloud, let go,

Leapt bodily below
To whelm the earth in one mad overthrow,

And then a total lull.

Gone, gone, so soon!
No more my half-crazed fancy there
Can shape a giant in the air,

No more I see his streaming hair,
The writhing portent of his form ;-

The pale and quiet moon
Makes her calm forehead bare,
And the last fragments of the storm,
Like shattered rigging from a fight at sea,
Silent and few, are drifting over me.

1839.

LOVE. TRUE LOVE is but a humble, low-born thing, And hath its food served up in earthenware; It is a thing to walk with, hand in hand, Through the every-dayness of this work-day world, Baring its tender feet to every roughness, Yet letting not one heart-beat go astray From Beauty's law of plainness and contentA simple, fireside thing, whose quiet smile Can waim earth's poorest hovel to a home; Which, when our autumn cometh, as it must, And life in the chill wind shivers bare and leafless, Shall still be blest with Indian-summer uth In bleak November, and, with thankful heart, Smile on its ample stores of garnered fruit, As full of sunshine to our aged eyes As when it nursed the blossoms of our spring. Such is true Love, which steals into the heart With feet as silent as the lightsome dawn That kisses smooth the rough brows of the dark, And hath its will through blissful gentleness, – Not like a rocket, which, with sarage glare, Whirrs suddenly up, then bursts, and leaves the night Painfully quivering on the dazed eyes ; A love that gives and takes, that seeth faults, Not with flaw-seeking eyes like needle points, But loving-kindly ever looks them down With the o'ercoming faith of meek forgiveness; A love that shall be new and fresh each hour, As is the golden mystery of sunset,

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Or the sweet coming of the evening star,
Alike, and yet most unlike, every day,
And seeming ever best and fairest now;
A love that doth not kneel for what it seeks,
But faces Truth and Beauty as their peer,
Showing its worthiness of noble thoughts
By a clear sense of inward nobleness;
A love that in its object findeth not
All grace and beauty, and enough to sate
Its thirst of blessing, but, in all of good
Found there, it sees but Heaven-granted types
Of good and beauty in the soul of man,
And traces, in the simplest heart that beats,
A family-likeness to its chosen one,
That claims of it the rights of brotherhood.
For love is blind but with the fleshly eye,
That so its inner sight may be more clear;
And outward shows of beauty only so
Are needful at the first, as is a hand
To guide and to uphold an infant's steps:
Great spirits need them not: their earnest look
Pierces the body's mask of thin disguise,
And beauty ever is to them revealed,
Behind the unshapeliest, meanest lump of clay,
With arms outstretched and eager face ablaze,
Yearning to be but understood and loved.

1840,

TO PERDITA, SINGING. Thy voice is like a fountain,

Leaping up in clear moonshine ; Silver, silver, ever mounting,

Ever sinking,

Without thinking,
To that brimful heart of thine.
Every sad and happy feeling,

Thou hast had in bygone years,
Through thy lips come stealing, stealing,

Clear and low;
All thy smiles and all thy tears

In thy voice awaken,
And sweetness, wove of joy and woe,

From their teaching it hath taken:
Feeling and music move together,
Like a swan and shadow ever
Heaving on a sky-blue river
In a day of cloudless weather.

It hath caught a touch of sadness,

Yet it is not sad;
It hath tones of clearest gladness,

Yet it is not glad;
A dim, sweet, twilight voice it is

Where to-day's accustomed blue
Is over-grayed with memories,

With starry feelings quivered throngh.
Thy voice is like a fountain

Leaping up in sunshine bright,
And I never weary counting
Its clear droppings, lone and single,
Or when in one full gush they mingle,

Shooting in melodious light.
Thine is music such as yields
Feelings of old brooks and fields,
And, around this pent-up room,
Sheds a woodland, free perfume :
O, thus for ever sing to me!

O, thus for ever! The green, bright grass of childhood bring to me, Flowing like an emerald river,

And the bright blue skies above ! 0, sing them back, as fresh as ever,

Into the bosom of my love,-
The sunshine and the merriment,
The unsought, evergreen content,

Of that never cold time,
The joy, that, like a clear breeze, went

Through and through the old time!

Peace sits within thine eyes,
With white hands crossed in joyful rest,

While, through thy lips and face, arise
The melodies from out thy breast;

She sits and sings,
With folded wings

And white arms crost,
•Weep not for passed things,

They are not lost:
The beauty which the summer time

O’er thine opening spirit shed,
The forest oracles sublime

That filled thy soul with joyous dread,
The scent of every smallest flower
That made thy heart sweet for an hour,
Yea, every holy influence,

Flowing to thee, thou knewest not whence,
In thine eyes to-day is seen,
Fresh as it hath ever been;
Promptings of Nature, beckonings sweet,
Whatever led thy childish feet,
Still will linger unawares
The guiders of thy silver hairs;
Every look and every word

Which thou givest forth to-day,
Tell of the singing of the bird

Whose music stilled thy boyish play.'
Thy voice is like a fountain,

Twinkling up in sharp starlight,
When the moon behind the mountain
Dims the low East with faintest white,

Ever darkling,

Ever sparkling,
We know not if 'tis dark or bright;
But, when the great moon hath rolled round,

And, sudden-slow, its solemn power
Grows from behind its black, clear-edged bound,
No spot of dark the fountain keepeth,
But, swift as opening eyelids, leapeth

Into a waving silver flower.

184)

THE MOON.
My soul was like the sea,

Before the moon was made,
Moaning in vague immensity,

Of its own strength afraid,

Unrestful and unstaid.
Through every rift it foamed in vain,

About its earthly prison,
Seeking some unknown thing in pain,
And sinking restless back again,

For yet no moon had risen:
Its only voice a vast dumb moan,

Of utterless anguish speaking,
It lay unhopefully alone,

And lived but in an aimless seeking.
So was my soul; but when 'twas full

Of unrest to o'erloading,
A voice of something beautiful

Whispered a dim foreboding,

B

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