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Nay but you, who do not love her,

Is she not pure gold, ny 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 ; Then why not witness, calmly gazing,

If earth holds aught-speak truth-above her ? Above this tress, and this, I touch But cannot praise, I love so much!


That was I, you heard last night,

When there rose no moon at all, Nor, to pierce the strained and tight ! Tent of heaven, a planet small : Life was dead, and so was light.


Not a twinkle from the fly,

· Not-a glimmer from the worm. When the crickets stopped their cry,

When the owls forbore a term, You heard music; that was I.

Earth turned in her sleep with pain,

Sultrily suspired for proof :
In at heaven and out again,

Lightning !—where it broke the roof, Bloodlike, some few drops of rain.

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What they could my words expressed,

O my love, my all, my one ! Singing helped the verses best,

And when singing's best was done, To my lute I left the rest.

So wore night; the East was gray,

White the broad-faced hemlock-flowers; There would be another day;

Ere its first of heavy hours Found me, I had passed away.

What became of all the hopes,

Words and song and lute as well ? Say, this struck you—“When life gropes . “ Feebly for the path where fell "Light last on the evening slopes,

VII. “ One friend in that path shall be,

“ To secure my step from wrong ; “ One to count night day for me,

“ Patient through the watches long, “ Serving most with none to see.”


Never say—as something bodes .“ So, the worst has yet a worse !

" When life halts 'neath double loads,

“ Better the task-master's curse “ Than such music on the roads !

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" When no moon succeeds the sun,

“ Nor can pierce the midnight's tent, “ Any star, the smallest one,

“ While some drops, where lightning rent, “ Show the final storm begun

" When the fire-fly hides its spot,

“When the garden-voices fail
“ In the darkness thick and hot,-

“ Shall another voice avail,
“ That shape be where these are not ?

“ Has some plague a longer lease,

“ Proffering its help uncouth ?
“ Can't one even die in peace?

“As one shuts one's eyes on youth, Is that face the last one sees?"


Oh how dark your villa was,

Windows fast and obdurate !
How the garden grudged me grass

Where I stood—the iron gate
Ground its teeth to let me pass !


It once might have been, once only:

We lodged in a street together,
You, a sparrow on the housetop lonely,

I, a lone she-bird of his feather.

Your trade was with sticks and clay,

You thumbed, thrust, patted and polished, Then laughed “ They will see, some day, “Smith made, and Gibson demolished.”


My business was song, song, song ;

I chirped, cheeped, trilled and twittered, “ Kate Brown 's on the boards ere long,

“And Grisi's existence embittered !"

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I earned no more by a warble

Than you by a sketch in plaster; You wanted a piece of marble,

I needed a music-master.

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