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Carved with some fragment of the law,
MASACCIO. (IN THE BRANCACCI CHAPEL.) He came to Florence long ago, And painted here these walls, that shone For Raphael and for Angelo, With secrets deeper than his own, Then shrank into the dark again, And died, we know not how or when. The shadows deepened, and I turned Half sadly from the fresco grand; “And is this,” mused I, “all ye earned, High-vaulted brain and cunning hand, That ye to greater men could teach The skill yourselves could never reach ?" “And who were they," I mused, that wrought Through pathless wilds, with labour 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 ? Out clanged the Ave Mary bells, And to my heart this message came : Each clamourous throat among them tells What strong-souled martyrs died in flame To make it possible that thou Shouldst here with brother sinners bow. Thoughts that great hearts once broke for, we Breathe cheaply in the common air ; The dust we trample heedlessly Throbbed once in saints and heroes rare, Who perished, opening for their race New pathways to the commonplace. llenceforth, when rings the health to those Who live in story and in song, O nameless dead, who now repose
Safe in Oblivion's chambers strong,
WITHOUT AND WITHIN.
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.
A silken wonder by my side,
Of flounces, for the door too wide.
’Neath its white-gloved and jewelled load ; And wishes me some dreadful harm,
Hearing the merry corks explode. Meanwhile I inly curse the bore
Of hunting still the same old coon, And envy him, outside the door,
In golden quiets of the moon. The winter wind is not so cold
As the bright smile he sees me win, Nor the host's oldest wine so old
As our poor gabble sour and thin. I envy him the ungyved prance
By which his freezing feet he warms, And drag my lady's chains and dance
The galley-slave of dreary forms. O, could he have my share of din,
And I his quiet !- past a doubt 'Twould still be one man bored within,
And just another bored without,
CHRIST CHURCH, CAMBRIDGE.
I know not, but the word
Whether 'twas 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 heaven have learned
Where Self the feet have spurned.
Alike through grace and guilt ;
With ointment from her eyes,
For both are sacrifice.
In one devotion blend,
Of Him, the inmost friend ;
One choked with sinner's tears,
In heaven both meet in one desire,
And God one music hears.
Upon the Sabbath air,
A selfish form of prayer ;
But in that heaven so near
In God's atoning ear?
Peal soon that Easter morn
And in all hearts new-born !
To all men shall be given,
And here My Son in heaven !
THE PARTING OF THE WAYS. Who hath not been a poet ? Who hath not, With life's new quiver full of winged years, Shot at a venture, and then, following on, Stood doubtful at the Parting of the Ways ? There once I stood in dream, and as I paused, Looking this way and that, came forth to me
figure of a woman veiled, that said, “My name is Duty, turn and follow me; Something there was that chilled me in her voice ; I felt Youth's hand grow slack and cold in mine, As if to be withdrawn, and I replied : “O, leave the hot wild heart within my breast ! Duty comes soon enough, too soon comes Death : This slippery globe of life whirls of itself, Hasting our youth away into the dark; These senses, quivering with electric heats, Too soon will show, like nests on wintry bouglıs Obtrusive emptiness, too palpable wreck, Which whistling north winds line with downy snow Sometimes, or fringe with foliaged rime, in vain, Thither the singing birds no more return." Then glowed to me a maiden from the left, With bosom half disclosed, and naked arms
More white and undulant than necks of swans ;