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VII.

thee :

Thou murmurest, too, divinely stirred, Only to ceremonial days,
The aspirations unattained,

And great processions of imperial song
The rhythms so rathe and delicate, That set the world at gaze,
They bent and strained

Doth such high privilege belong : And broke, beneath the sombre weight But thou a postern-door canst ope Of any airiest mortal word.

To humbler chanıbers of the selfsame

palace

Where Memory lodges, and her sister What warm protection dost thou bend

Hope, Round curtained talk of friend with whose being is but as a crystal chalice friend,

Which, with her various mood, the While the gray snow-storm, held aloof, of joy or sorrow,

elder fills To softest outline rounds the roof, Or the rude North with baffled strain

So coloring as she wills Shoulders the frost-starred window-pane!

With hues of yesterday the unconscious Now the kind nymph to Bacchus borne

morrow. By Morpheus' daughter, she that seems Gifted upon her natal morn

Ix. By him with fire, by her with dreams, Thou sinkest, and my fancy sinks with Nicotia, dearer to the Muse Than all the grape's bewildering juice, For thee I took the idle shell, We worship, unforbid of thee ; And struck the unused chords again, And, as her incense floats and curls

But they are gone who listened well; In airy spires and wayward whirls, Some are in heaven, and all are far from Or poises on its tremulous stalk A flower of frailest revery,

Even as I sing, it turns to pain, So winds and loiters, idly free,

And with vain tears my eyelids throb The current of unguided talk,

and swell : Now laughter-rippled, and now caught Enough ; I come not of the race In smooth, dark pools of deeper thought. That hawk their sorrows in the marketMeanwhile thou mellowest every word, place. A sweetly unobtrusive third ;

Earth stops the ears I best had loved to For thou hast magic beyond wine,

please ; To unlock natures each to each ;

Then bieak, ye untuned chords, or rust The unspoken thought thou canst in peace! divine ;

As if a white-haired actor should come Thou fill'st the pauses of the speech

back With whispers that to dream-land reach Some midnight to the theatre void and And frozen fancy-springs unchain

black, In Arctic outskirts of the brain ; And there rehearse his youth's great Sun of all inmost confidences,

part To thy rays doth the heart unclose

Mid thin applauses of the ghosts, Its formal calyx of pretences,

So seems it now : ye crowd upon my That close against rude day's offences, heart, And open its shy midnight rose ! And I bow down in silence, shadowy

hosts !

me :

VII.

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

FANCY'S CASUISTRY, gates of Past and Future : not for common How struggles with the tempest's swells fates

That warning of tumultuous bells ! Do they wide open fling,

The fire is loose ! and frantic knells And, with a far-heard ring,

Throb fast and faster, Swing back their willing valves melo- As tower to tower confusedly tells diously;

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.

TO MR. JOHN BARTLETT,

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

shore,

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

The light revolves amid the roar

So still and saintly,

TROUT.

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

more

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

sea

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.

To

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,

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";

(0,

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

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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