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Blackish-grey and mostly wet;
See here again, how the lichens fret
Poor little place, where its one priest comes
On a festa-day, if he comes at all,
Gathered within that precinct small
To drop from the charcoal-burners' huts,
Or climb from the hemp-dresser's low shed, Leave the grange where the woodman stores his nuts,
Or the wattled cote where the fowlers spread Their gear on the rock's bare juts.
It has some pretension too, this front,
With its bit of fresco half-moon-wise Set over the porch, Art's early wont:
'T is John in the Desert, I surmise, But has borne the weather's brunt
For a pent-house properly projects
Dating-good thought of our architect's— 'Five, six, nine, he lets you know.
And a stray sheep drinks at the pond at times ; The place is silent and aware;
It has had its scenes, its joys and crimes, But that is its own affair.
XXI.. My perfect wife, my Leonor,
Oh heart, my own, oh eyes, mine too, Whom else could I dare look backward for,
With whom beside should I dare pursue
Youth, flowery all the way, there stops-
Till they reach the gulf wherein youth drops, One inch from our life's safe hem!
With me, youth led ... I will speak now,
No longer watch you as you sit Reading by fire-light, that great brow
And the spirit-small hand propping it,
You are wont to answer, prompt as rhyme ;
Response your soul seeks many a time, Piercing its fine flesh-stuff.
My.own, confirm me! If I tread
This path back, is it not in pride To think how little I dreamed it led
To an age so blest that, by its side, Youth seems the waste instead ?
My own, see where the years conduct !
At first, 't was something our two souls Should mix as mists do; each is sucked
In each now: on, the new stream rolls, Whatever rocks obstruct.
Think, when our one soul understands
The great Word which makes all things new, When earth breaks up and heaven expands,
How will the change strike me and you In the house not made with hands ?
Oh I must feel your brain prompt mine,
Your heart anticipate my heart, You must be just before, in fine,
See and make me see, for your part, New depths of the divine !
But who could have expected this
When we two drew together first Just for the obvious human bliss,
To satisfy life's daily thirst With a thing men seldom miss?
xxx. Come back with me to the first of all,
Let us lean and love it over again, . Let us now forget and now recall,
Break the rosary in a pearly rain,
All day long, save when a brown pair
Strained to a bell: 'gainst noon-day glare You count the streaks and rings.
XXXII. But at afternoon or almost eve
'T is better; then the silence grows To that degree, you half believe
It must get rid of what it knows,
Arm in arm and cheek to cheek,
While my heart, convulsed to really speak, Lay choking in its pride.
xxxiv. Silent the crumbling bridge we cross,
And pity and praise the chapel sweet, And care about the fresco's loss,
And wish for our souls a like retreat, And wonder at the moss.
.XXXV. Stoop and kneel on the settle under,
Look through the window's grated square: Nothing to see! For fear of plunder,
As if thieves don't fear thunder.
We stoop and look in through the grate,
See the little porch and rustic door, Read duly the dead builder's date;
Then cross the bridge that we crossed before, Take the path again—but wait !
XXXVII. Oh moment one and infinite !
The water slips o'er stock and stone; The West is tender, hardly bright:
How grey at once is the evening grown-
But each by each, as each knew well :
The lights and the shades made up a spell Till the trouble grew and stirred.
And the little less, and what worlds away! · How a sound shall quicken content to bliss,
Or a breath suspend the blood's best play, And life be a proof of this !