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I WONDER do you feel to-day

As I have felt since, hand in hand, We sat down on the grass, to stray

In spirit better through the land, This morn of Rome and May?


For me, I touched a thought, I know,

Has tantalized me many times, (Like turns of thread the spiders throw

Mocking across our path) for rhymes To catch at and let go.


Help me to hold it! First it left

The yellowing fennel, run to seed There, branching from the brickwork's cleft,

Some old tomb's ruin : yonder weed Took up the floating weft,

Where one small orange cup amassed

Five beetles,-blind and green they grope Among the honey-meal: and last,

Everywhere on the grassy slope, I traced it. Hold it fast !

The champaign with its endless fleece

Of feathery grasses everywhere !
Silence and passion, joy and peace,

An everlasting wash of airRome's ghost since her decease.


Such life here, through such lengths of hours,

Such miracles performed in play, Such primal naked forms of flowers,

Such letting nature have her way While heaven looks from its towers !

How say you ? Let us, O my dove,

Let us be unashamed of soul,
As earth lies bare to heaven above !

How is it under our control
To love or not to love?


I would that you were all to me,

You that are just so much, no more. Nor yours nor mine, nor slave nor free!

Where does the fault lie? What the core O'the wound, since wound must be?


I would I could adopt your will,

See with your eyes, and set my heart Beating by yours, and drink my fill

At your soul's springs, your part, my part In life, for good and ill.

No. I yearn upward, touch you close,

Then stand away. I kiss your cheek, Catch your soul's warmth,— I pluck the rose

And love it more than tongue can speakThen the good minute goes.


Already how am I so far

Out of that minute? Must I go Still like the thistle-ball, no bar,

Onward, whenever light winds blow, Fixed by no friendly star?

Just when I seemed about to learn !

Where is the thread now? Off again!
The old trick! Only I discern-

Infinite passion, and the pain Of finite hearts that yearn.




Your ghost will walk, you lover of trees,

(If our loves remain)

In an English lane,
By a cornfield-side a-flutter with poppies.
Hark, those two in the hazel coppice-
A boy and a girl, if the good fates please,

Making love, say,

The happier they !
Draw yourself up from the light of the moon,
And let them pass, as they will too soon,

With the beanflower's boon,
And the blackbird's tune,
And May, and June !


What I love best in all the world
Is a castle, precipice-encurled,
In a gash of the wind-grieved Apennine.
Or look for me, old fellow of mine,
(If I get my head from out the mouth
O'the grave, and loose my spirit's bands,
And come again to the land of lands)

In a sea-side house to the farther South,
Where the baked cicala dies of drouth,
And one sharp tree—'t is a cypress—stands,
By the many hundred years red-rusted,
Rough, iron-spiked, ripe fruit-o'ercrusted,
My sentinel to guard the sands
To the water's edge. For, what expands
Before the house, but the great opaque
Blue breadth of sea without a break?
While, in the house, for ever crumbles
Some fragment of the frescoed walls,
From blisters where a scorpion sprawls.
A girl bare-footed brings, and tumbles
Down on the pavement, green-flesh melons,
And says there 's news to-day—the king
Was shot at, touched in the liver-wing,
Goes with his Bourbon arm in a sling :

-She hopes they have not caught the felons.
Italy, my Italy!
Queen Mary's saying serves for me-

(When fortune's malice

Lost her, Calais)
Open my heart and you will see
Graved inside of it, “ Italy."
Such lovers old are I and she :
So it always was, so shall ever be !

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