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TEAR death?-to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face,
I am nearing the place,
The post of the foe;
Yet the strong man must go: For the journey is done and the summit attained,
And the barriers fall,
The reward of it all.
The best and the last! I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forbore,
And bade me creep past. No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers
The heroes of old, Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears
Of pain, darkness and cold. For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,
The black minute's at end, And the elements' rage, the fiend-voices that rave,
Shall dwindle, shall blend, Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain,
Then a light, then thy breast, O thou soul of my soul! I shall člasp thee again,
And with God be the rest!
A Picture by Leighton
PUT give them me, the mouth, the eyes, the brow! D Let them once more absorb me! One look now
Will lap me round for ever, not to pass Out of its light, though darkness lie beyond: Hold me but safe again within the bond
Of one immortal look ! All woe that was,
Of one immd all terror that maye.Took at me!
Defied,-no past is mine, no future: look at me!
YOUTH AND ART
IT once might have been, once only:
I, a lone she-bird of his feather.
You thumbed, thrust, patted and polished,
“Smith made, and Gibson demolished.” My business was song, song, song;
Î chirped, cheeped, trilled and twittered, “Kate Brown's on the boards ere long,
“And Grisi's existence embittered!"
Than you by a sketch in plaster;
I needed a music-master.
We studied hard in our styles,
Chipped each at a crust like Hindoos, For air looked out on the tiles,
For fun watched each other's windows.
You lounged, like a boy of the South,
Cap and blouse—nay, a bit of beard too; Or you got it, rubbing your mouth
With fingers the clay adhered to. And I-soon managed to find
Weak points in the flower-fence facing, Was forced to put up a blind
And be safe in my corset-lacing. No harm! It was not my fault
If you never turned your eye's tail up As I shook upon E in alt,
Or ran the chromatic scale up: For spring bade the sparrows pair,
And the boys and girls gave guesses, And stalls in our street looked rare
With bulrush and watercresses.
Why did not you pinch a flower
In a pellet of clay and fling it? Why did not I put a power
Of thanks in a look, or sing it?
I did look, sharp as a lynx,
(And yet the memory rankles) When models arrived, some minx
Tripped up-stairs, she and her ankles.
But I think I gave you as good!
“That foreign fellow,—who can know “How she pays, in a playful mood,
“For his tuning her that piano?'
Could you say so, and never say,
“Suppose we join hands and fortunes, “And I 'fetch her from over the way,
“Her, piano, and long tunes and short tunes?" No, no: you would not be rash,
Nor I rasher and something over:
And Grisi yet lives in clover.
I'm queen myself at bals-paré,
And you're dubbed knight and an R.A.
It hangs still, patchy and scrappy:
Starved, feasted, despaired, -been happy.
And people suppose me clever:
And we missed it, lost it for ever.
IF one could have that little head of hers
No shade encroaching on the matchless mould Of those two lips, which should be opening soft
In the pure profile; not as when she laughs, For that spoils all: but rather as if aloft
Yon hyacinth, she loves so, leaned its staff's Burthen of honey-coloured buds to kiss And capture 'twixt the lips apart for this. Then her lithe neck, three fingers might surround, How it should waver on the pale gold ground Up to the fruit-shaped, perfect chin it lifts! I know, Correggio loves to mass, in rifts