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SEE, as the prettiest graves will do in time,
Our poet's wants the freshness of its prime; Spite of the sexton's browsing horse, the sods Have struggled thro' its binding osier-rods; Headstone and half-sunk footstone lean awry, Wanting the brick-work promised by and by; How the minute grey lichens, plate o'er plate, Have softened down the crisp-cut name and date!
So, the year's done with!
(Love me for ever!)
All March begun with,
May-wreaths that bound me
June needs must sever!
Now snows fall round me,
Quenching June's fever-
(Love me for ever!)
NAY but you, who do not love her,
NY Is she not pure gold, my mistress?
Holds earth aught-speak truth-above her?
Aught like this tress, see, and this tress,
And this last fairest tress of all,
So fair, see, ere I let it fall!
Because, you spend your lives in praising;
To praise, you search the wide world over; So, why not witness, calmly gazing,
Ifearth holdsaught-speak truth above her? Above this tress, and this I touch But cannot praise, I love so much!
Because, you you search thiy gazing, move her?
M ORNING, evening, noon and night,
MI“Praise God!" sang Theocrite.
Then to his poor trade he turned,
Whereby the daily meal was earned.
Hard he laboured, long and well;
O'er his work the boy's curls fell.
But ever, at each period,
He stopped and sang, “Praise God!"
Then back again his curls he threw,
And cheerful turned to work anew.
Said Blaise, the listening monk, “Well done;
“I doubt not thou art heard, my son:
“As well as if thy voice to-day
“Were praising God, the Pope's great way.
“This Easter Day, the Pope at Rome
“ Praises God from Peter's dome.”
Said Theocrite, “Would God that I
“Might praise him, that great way, and die!"
Night passed, day shone,
And Theocrite was gone.
With God a day endures alway,
A thousand years are but a day.
God said in heaven, “Nor day nor night
“Now brings the voice of my delight."
Then Gabriel, like a rainbow's birth,
Spread his wings and sank to earth;
Entered, in flesh, the empty cell,
Lived there, and played the craftsman well;
And morning, evening, noon and night,
Praised God in place of Theocrite.
And from a boy, to youth he grew:
The man put off the stripling's hue:
The man matured and fell away
Into the season of decay:
And ever o'er the trade he bent,
And ever lived on earth content.
(He did God's will; to him, all one
If on the earth or in the sun.)
God said, “A praise is in mine ear;
“There is no doubt in it, no fear:
“So sing old worlds, and so
“New worlds that from my footstool go.
“Clearer loves sound other ways:
“I miss my little human praise.”
Then forth sprang Gabriel's wings, off fell
The flesh disguise, remained the cell.
'Twas Easter Day: he flew to Rome,
And paused above Saint Peter's dome.
In the tiring-room close by
The great outer gallery,
With his holy vestments dight,
Stood the new Pope, Theocrite:
And all his past career
Came back upon him clear,
Since when, a boy, he plied his trade,
Till on his life the sickness weighed;
And in his cell, when death drew near,
An angel in a dream brought cheer:
And rising from the sickness drear
He grew a priest, and now stood here.
To the East with praise he turned, And on his sight the angel burned. “I bore thee from thy craftsman's cell "And set thee here; I did not well. “Vainly I left my angel-sphere, “Vain was thy dream of many a year. “Thy voice's praise seemed weak; it dropped“Creation's chorus stopped! “Go back and praise again “The early way, while I remain. " With that weak voice of our disdain. “Take up creation's pausing strain. “ Back to the cell and poor employ: “Resume the craftsman and the boy!" Theocrite grew old at home; A new Pope dwelt in Peter's dome. One vanished as the other died: They sought God side by side.
THE grey sea and the long black land;
1 And the yellow half-moon large and low; And the startled little waves that leap In fiery ringlets from their sleep, As I gain the cove with pushing prow, And quench its speed in the slushy sand. Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach; Three fields to cross till a farm appears; A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch