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They wrote the story on a column,
So, Willy, let me and you be wipers
“HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM GHENT TO AIX”.
 I SPRANG to the stirrup, and Joris, and he; II galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three; “Good speed!” cried the watch, as the gate-bolts un
drew; “Speed!" echoed the wall to us galloping through; Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest, And into the midnight we galloped abreast.
Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our
place; I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight, Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right, Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit, Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.
'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near
At Aerschot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
spur! “Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her, "We'll remember at Aix"—for one heard the quick
wheeze Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and staggering
And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,
So we were left galloping, Joris and I,
chaff; Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white, And “Gallop,” gasped Joris, "for Aix is in sight!"
“How they'll greet us!"-and all in a moment his roan Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone; And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate, With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim, And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.
Then I cast loose my buffcoat, each holster let fall.
peer; Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad
or good, Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.
And all I remember is, friends flocking round
Florence, 15— I COULD have painted pictures like that youth's 1 Ye praise so. How my soul springs up! No bar Stayed me—ah, thought which saddens while it
soothes! -Never did fate forbid me, star by star, To outburst on your night with all my gift
Of fires from God: nor would my flesh have shrunk From seconding my soul, with eyes uplift
And wide to heaven, or, straight like thunder, sunk To the centre, of an instant; or around
Turned calmly and inquisitive, to scan The licence and the limit, space and bound,
Allowed to truth made visible in man. And, like that youth ye praise so, all I saw,
Over the canvas could my hand have flung, Each face obedient to its passion's law,
Each passion clear proclaimed without a tongue; . Whether Hope rose at once in all the blood,
A-tiptoe for the blessing of embrace,
Pull down the nesting dove's heart to its place;
And locked the mouth fast, like a castle braved, O human faces, hath it split, my cup?
What did ye give me that I have not saved?
Of going—1, in each new picture, -forth,
To Pope or Kaiser, East, West, South, or North, Bound for the calmly-satisfied great State,
Or glad aspiring little burgh, it went,
Through old streets named afresh from the event, Till it reached home, where learned age should greet My face, and youth, the star not yet distinct
Above his hair, lie learning at my feet!
Oh, thus to live, I and my picture, linked With love about, and praise, till life should end,
And then not go to heaven, but linger here, Here on my earth, earth's every man my friend,
The thought grew frightful, 'twas so wildly dear! But a voice changed it. Glimpses of such sights
Have scared me, like the revels through a door Of some strange house of idols at its rites!
This world seemed not the world it was before: Mixed with my loving trusting ones, there trooped
... Who summoned those cold faces that begun To press on me and judge me? Though I stooped
Shrinking, as from the soldiery a nun,
These buy and sell our pictures, take and give,
And where they live needs must our pictures live And see their faces, listen to their prate,
Partakers of their daily pettiness, Discussed of,—“This I love, or this I hate,
“This likes me more, and this affects me less!" Wherefore I chose my portion. If at whiles
My heart sinks, as monotonous I paint These endless cloisters and eternal aisles
With the same series, Virgin, Babe and Saint, With the same cold calm beautiful regard,
At least no merchant traffics in my heart; The sanctuary's gloom at least shall ward
Vain tongues from where my pictures stand apart: Only prayer breaks the silence of the shrine
While, blackening in the daily candle-smoke, They moulder on the damp wall's travertine,
'Mid echoes the light footstep never woke. So, die my pictures! surely, gently die!
O youth,men praise so,-holds their praise its worth? Blown harshly, keeps the trump its golden cry?
Tastes sweet the water with such specks of earth?