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A PICTURE AT FANO.
DEAR and great Angel, wouldst thou only leave
That child, when thou hast done with him, for me! Let me sit all the day here, that when eve
Shall find performed thy special ministry, And time come, for departure, thou, suspending Thy flight, may'st see another child for tending,
Another still to quiet and retrieve.
Then I shall feel thee step one step, no more,
From where thou standest now, to where I gaze. -And suddenly my head is covered o'er
With those wings, white above the child who prays Now on that tomb—and I shall feel thee guarding Me, out of all the world; for me, discarding
Yon heaven thy home, that waits and opes its door.
I would not look up thither past thy head
Because the door opes, like that child, I know, For I should have thy gracious face instead,
Thou bird of God! And wilt thou bend me low Like him, and lay, like his, my hands together, And lift them up to pray, and gently tether
Me, as thy lamb there, with thy garment's spread ?
If this was ever granted, I would rest
My head beneath thine, while thy healing hands Close-covered both my eyes beside thy breast,
Pressing the brain which too much thought expands, Back to its proper size again, and sinoothing Distortion down till every nerve had soothing,
And all lay quiet, happy and suppressed.
How soon all worldly wrong would be repaired!
I think how I should view the earth and skies And sea, when once again my brow was bared
After thy healing, with such different eyes. I world, as God has made it!
All is beauty : And knowing this is love, and love is duty.
What further may be sought for or declared ?
Guercino drew this angel I saw teach
(Alfred, dear friend !)—that little child to pray, Holding the little hands up, each to each
Pressed gently,—with his own head turned away Over the earth where so much lay before him Of work to do, though heaven was opening o'er him,
And he was left at Fano by the beach.
We were at Fano, and three times we went
To sit and see him in his chapel there, And drink his beauty to our soul's content
-My angel with me too : and since I care
For dear Guercino's fame (to which in power
Fraught with a pathos so magnificent)
And since he did not work thus earnestly
At all times, and has else endured some wrong-I took one thought his picture struck from me,
And spread it out, translating it to song. My love is here. Where are you, dear old friend? How rolls the Wairoa at your world's far end ?
This is Ancona, yonder is the sea.
BEAUTIFUL Evelyn Hope is dead !
Sit and watch by her side an hour. That is her book-shelf, this her bed ;
She plucked that piece of geranium-flower, Beginning to die too, in the glass;
Little has yet been changed, I think : The shutters are shut, no light may pass
Save two long rays thro' the hinge's chink.
old when she died ! Perhaps she had scarcely heard my name; It was not her time to love; beside,
Her life had many a hope and aim,
And now was quiet, now astir,
And the sweet white brow is all of her.
What, your soul was pure and true,
Made you of spirit, fire and dew
And, just because I was thrice as old
And our paths in the world diverged so wide, Each was nought to each, must I be told?
We were fellow mortals, nought beside ?
No, indeed ! for God above
Is great to grant, as mighty to make, And creates the love to reward the love :
I claim you still, for my own love's sake! Delayed it may be for more lives yet,
Through worlds I shall traverse, not a few : Much is to learn, much to forget
Ere the time be come for taking you.
But the time will come,—at last it will,
When, Evelyn Hope, what meant (I shall say) In the lower earth, in the years long still,
That body and soul so pure and gay? Why your hair was amber, I shall divine,
And your mouth of your own geranium's redAnd what you would do with me, in fine,
In the new life come in the old one's stead.
I have lived (I shall say) so much since then,
Given up myself so many times, Gained me the gains of various men,
Ransacked the ages, spoiled the climes;