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Nay but you, who do not love her,
Is she not pure gold, ny mistress ?
Aught like this tress, see, and this tress,
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!
A SERENADE AT THE VILLA.
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.
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,
“ 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 66 Than such music on the roads !
" When no moon succeeds the sun,
“ Nor can pierce the midnight's tent,
6 While some drops, where lightning rent, “ Show the final storm begun
“ When the fire-fly hides its spot,
“When the garden-voices fail
“ Shall another voice avail,
“ 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, 66 Is that face the last one sees ?”
Oh how dark
Where I stood—the iron gate
YOUTH AND ART.
It once might have been, once only:
We lodged in a street together,
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 !”
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.