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Thou murmurest, too, divinely stirred,
The aspirations unattained,

The rhythms so rathe and delicate,
They bent and strained

And broke, beneath the sombre weight
Of any airiest mortal word.


What warm protection dost thou bend Round curtained talk of friend with friend,

While the gray snow-storm, held aloof, To softest outline rounds the roof,

Or the rude North with baffled strain

Shoulders the frost-starred window-pane!
Now the kind nymph to Bacchus borne
By Morpheus' daughter, she that seems
Gifted upon her natal morn

By him with fire, by her with dreams,
Nicotia, dearer to the Muse
Than all the grape's bewildering juice,
We worship, unforbid of thee;
And, as her incense floats and curls
In airy spires and wayward whirls,
Or poises on its tremulous stalk
A flower of frailest revery,
So winds and loiters, idly free,
The current of unguided talk,
Now laughter-rippled, and now caught
In smooth, dark pools of deeper thought.
Meanwhile thou mellowest every word,
A sweetly unobtrusive third;
For thou hast magic beyond wine,
To unlock natures each to each;
The unspoken thought thou canst

Thou fill'st the pauses of the speech
With whispers that to dream-land reach
And frozen fancy-springs unchain
In Arctic outskirts of the brain;
Sun of all inmost confidences,
To thy rays doth the heart unclose
Its formal calyx of pretences,

That close against rude day's offences,
And open its shy midnight rose !


Thou holdest not the master key
With which thy Sire sets free the mystic


Of Past and Future: not for common


Do they wide open fling,

And, with a far-heard ring,

| Only to ceremonial days,

And great processions of imperial song
That set the world at gaze,

Doth such high privilege belong :
But thou a postern-door canst ope
To humbler chambers of the selfsame

Where Memory lodges, and her sister

Whose being is but as a crystal chalice Which, with her various mood, the elder fills

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Even as I sing, it turns to pain, And with vain tears my eyelids throb and swell:

Enough; I come not of the race That hawk their sorrows in the marketplace.

Earth stops the ears I best had loved to please;

Then break, ye untuned chords, or rust in peace!

As if a white-haired actor should come back

Some midnight to the theatre void and black,

And there rehearse his youth's great part

Mid thin applauses of the ghosts,

So seems it now: ye crowd upon my heart,

And I bow down in silence, shadowy hosts!


How struggles with the tempest's swells
That warning of tumultuous bells!
The fire is loose! and frantic knells
Throb fast and faster,

Swing back their willing valves melo- As tower to tower confusedly tells


News of disaster.

But on my far-off solitude
No harsh alarums can intrude;
The terror comes to me subdued
And charmed by distance,
To deepen the habitual mood
Of my existence.

Are those, I muse, the Easter chimes?
And listen, weaving careless rhymes
While the loud city's griefs and crimes
Pay gentle allegiance

To the fine quiet that sublimes
These dreamy regions.

But where is Truth? What does it mean,

The world-old quarrel?

Such questionings are idle air:
Leave what to do and what to spare
To the inspiring moment's care,
Nor ask for payment

Of fame or gold, but just to wear
Unspotted raiment.


And when the storm o'erwhelms the WHO HAD SENT ME A SEVEN-POUND


I watch entranced as, o'er and o'er,

The light revolves amid the roar

So still and saintly,


FIT for an Abbot of Theleme,

For the whole Cardinals' College, or

Now large and near, now more and The Pope himself to see in dream


Withdrawing faintly.

This, too, despairing sailors see
Flash out the breakers 'neath their lee
In sudden snow, then lingeringly
Wane tow'rd eclipse,

While through the dark the shuddering


Gropes for the ships.

And is it right, this mood of mind
That thus, in revery enshrined,
Can in the world mere topics find
For musing stricture,
Seeing the life of humankind
Only as picture?

Before his lenten vision gleam,

He lies there, the sogdologer!

His precious flanks with stars besprent,
Worthy to swim in Castaly!
The friend by whom such gifts are sent,
For him shall bumpers full be spent,

His health! be Luck his fast ally!

I see him trace the wayward brook
Amid the forest mysteries,
Where at their shades shy aspens look,
Or where, with many a gurgling crook,
It croons its woodland histories.


The events in line of battle go;
In vain for me their trumpets blow
As unto him that lieth low

I see leaf-shade and sun-fleck lend Their tremulous, sweet vicissitude smooth, dark pool, to crinkling bend,


stew him, Ann, as 't were your friend,

In death's dark arches,

And through the sod hears throbbing slow

The muffled marches.

O Duty, am I dead to thee
In this my cloistered ecstasy,
In this lone shallop on the sea

That drifts tow'rd Silence? And are those visioned shores I see But sirens' islands?

My Dante frowns with lip-locked mien, As who would say, "T is those, I ween, Whom lifelong armor-chafe makes lean That win the laurel";

With amorous solicitude!)

I see him step with caution due,
Soft as if shod with moccasins,

Grave as in church, for who plies you,
Sweet craft, is safe as in a pew

From all our common stock o' sins.

The unerring fly I see him cast,

That as a rose-leaf falls as soft, A flash a whirl! he has him fast! We tyros, how that struggle last Confuses and appalls us oft.

Unfluttered he: calm as the sky

Looks on our tragi-comedies,

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