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Swells the tide and overflows it,
Humbly at the maiden's feet.
And, upon her snowy breast,
With the ocean's fierce unrest.
Peace shall also be thine own,
Never long can pine alone.'
In his tower sits the poet,
Blisses new and strange to him
With a wonder sweet and dim.
With a whisper of delight,
Through the peaceful blue of night.
Flows a maiden's golden hair,
Kiss his moon-lit forehead bare.
Death all fetters doth unbind,
When we toil for all our kind.
More than present takes away,
Nearer God from day to day.'
Fullest hearts are slow to speak,
Down upon the poet's cheek.
A LEGEND OF BRITTANY.
Fair as a summer dream was Margaret
Such dream as in a poet's soul might start,
Musing of old loves while the moon doth set :
Her hair was not more sunny than her heart, Though like a natural golden coronet
It circled her dear head with careless art, Mocking the sunshine, that would fain have lent To its frank grace a richer ornament.
His loved-one's eyes could poet ever speak,
So kind, so dewy, and so deep were hers,But, while he strives, the choicest phrase, too weak,
Their glad reflection in his spirit blurs; As one may see a dream dissolve and break
Out of his grasp when he to tell it stirs,
Peopled with living fancies of her own,
Far, far aloof from earth's eternal moan:
Floating beneath the blue sky all alone,
The heart grows richer that its lot is poor,
God blesses want with larger sympathies, -Love enters gladliest at the humble door,
And makes the cot a palace with his eyes ;So Margaret's heart a softer beauty wore,
And grew in gentleness and patience wise, For she was but a simple herdsman's child,
A lily chance-sown in the rugged wild.
There was no beauty of the wood or field
But she its fragrant bosom-secret knew, Nor any but to her would freely yield
Some grace that in her soul took root and grew: Nature to her glowed ever new-revealed,
All rosy fresh with innocent morning dew,
And give back sunshine with an added glow,
To wile each moment with a fresh delight,
And part of memory's best contentment grow! O, how her voice, as with an inmate's right,
Into the strangest heart would welcome go, And make it sweet, and ready to become Of white and gracious thoughts the chosen home!
None looked upon her but he straightway thought
Of all the greenest depths of country cheer, And into each one's heart was freshly brought
What was to him the sweetest time of year;
With out-of-door delights and forest lere;
Is love learned only out of poets' books ?
Is there not somewhat in the dropping flood, And in the nunneries of silent nooks,
And in the murmured longing of the wood, That could make Margaret dream of lovelorn looks,
And stir a thrilling mystery in her blood, More trembly secret than Aurora's tear Shed in the bosom of an eglaterre ?
Full many a sweet forewarning hath the mind,
Full many a whispering of vague desire, Ere comes the nature destined to unbind
Its virgin zone, and all its deeps inspire, -
Wakes all the green strings of the forest lyre,
Long in its dim recesses pines the spirit,
Wildered and dark, despairingly alone; Though many a shape of beauty wander near it,
And many a wild and half-remembered tone Tremble from the divine abyss to cheer it,
Yet still it knows that there is only one Before whom it can kneel and tribute bring, At once a happy vassal and king.
To feel a want, yet scarce know what it is,
To seek one nature that is always new,
Wliose glance is warmer than another's kiss,
Whom we can bare our inmost beauty to, Nor feel deserted afterwards,--for this
But with our destined co-mate we can do,Such longing instinct fills the mighty scope Of the young soul with one mysterious hope.
So Margaret's heart grew brimming with the lore
Of love's enticing secrets; and although She had found none to cast it down before,
Yet oft to Fancy's chapel she would go To pay her vows, and count the rosary o'er
Of her love's promised graces:-haply so Miranda's hope had pictured Ferdinand Long ere the gaunt wave tossed him on the strand.
A new-made star that swims the lonely gloom,
Unwedded yet and longing for the sun, Whose beams, the bride-gifts of the lavish groom,
Blithely to crown the virgin planet run, Her being was, watching to see the bloom
Of love's fresh sunrise roofing one by one Its clouds with gold, a triumph-arch to be For him who came to hold her heart in fee.
Not far from Margaret's cottage dwelt a knight
Of the proud Templars, a sworn celibate, Whose heart in secret fed upon the light
And dew of her ripe beauty, through the grate Of his close vow catching what gleams he might
Of the free heaven, and cursing-all too late The cruel faith whose black walls hemmed bim in And turned life's crowning bliss to deadly sin.
For he had met her in the wood by chance,
And, having drunk her beauty's wildering spell, His heart shook like the pennon of a lance
That quivers in a breeze's sudden swell,
From misty golden deep to deep he fell;
A dark, proud man he was, whose half-blown youth
Had sħed its blossoms eren in opening,
Leaving a few that with more winning ruth
Trembling around grave manhood's stem might cling, More sad than cheery, making, in good sooth,
Like the fringed gentian, a late autumn spring:-
Fair as an angel, who yet inly wore
A wrinkled heart foreboding his near fall; Who saw him alway wished to know him more,
As if he were some fate's defiant thrall
Little he loved, but power most of all,
Had turned his better instinct to a vice:
That power and fame were cheap at any price, That the sure way of being shortly great
Was even to play life's game with loaded dice, Since he had tried the honest play, and found That vice and virtue differed but in sound.
Yet Margaret's sight redeemed him for a space
From his own thraldom; man could never be A hypocrite when first such maiden grace
Smiled in upon his heart; the agony
Fell lightly from him, and, a moment free,
Like a sweet wind-harp to him was her thought,
Which would not let the common air come ncar, Till from its dim enchantment it had caught
A musical tenderness that brimmed his ear With sweetness more ethereal than aught
Save silver dropping snatches, that whilere Rained down from some sad angel's faithful harp To cool her fallen lover's anguish sharp.
Derp in the forest was a little dell
High overarched with the leafy sweep