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For, there! have I drawn or no

Life to that lip?

Do my fingers dip
In a flame which again they throw
On the cheek that breaks a-glow?

Ha! was the hair so first ?

What, unfilleted,

Made alive, and spread
Through the void with a rich outburst,
Chestnut gold-interspersed ?

Like the doors of a casket-shrine,

See, on either side,

Her two arms divide Till the heart betwixt makes sign, “ Take me, for I am thine!”

XXIV. " Now-now"—the door is heard !

Hark, the stairs ! and near

Nearer-and here“ Now !" and, at call the third, She enters without a word.

xxv. On doth she march and on

To the fancied shape;

It is, past escape, Herself, now : the dream is done And the shadow and she are one.


First, I will pray. Do Thou

That ownest the soul,

Yet wilt grant control
To another, nor disallow
For a time, restrain me now!

I admonish me while I may,

Not to squander guilt,
1 Since require Thou wilt
At my hand its price one day!
What the price is, who can say ?


How well I know what I mean to do

When the long dark autumn evenings come; And where, my soul, is thy pleasant hue?

With the music of all thy voices, dumb In life's November too !

I shall be found by the fire, suppose,

O'er a great wise book, as beseemeth age ; While the shutters flap as the cross-wind blows,

And I turn the page, and I turn the page,
Not verse now, only prose !

Till the young ones.whisper, finger on lip,

“ There he is at it, deep in Greek: “Now then, or never, out we slip

“ To cut from the hazels by the creek “A mainmast for our ship!”

I shall be at it indeed, my friends!

Greek puts already on either side
Such a branch-work forth as soon extends

To a vista opening far and wide,
And I pass out where it ends.

The out-side frame, like your hazel-trees

But the inside-archway widens fast, And a rarer sort succeeds to these,

And we slope to Italy at last
And youth, by green degrees.

1 I follow wherever I am led,
I Knowing so well the leader's hand :
Oh woman-country, wooed not wed,

Loved all the more by earth's male-lands, Laid to their hearts instead !

Look at the ruined chapel again

Half-way up in the Alpine gorge !
Is that a tower, I point you plain,

Or is it a mill, or an iron forge Breaks solitude in vain ?

VIII. A turn, and we stand in the heart of things ;

The woods are round us, heaped and dim; From slab to slab how it slips and springs,

The thread of water single and slim, Through the ravage some torrent brings !

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Does it feed the little lake below ?

That speck of white just on its marge Is Pella ; see, in the evening-glow,

How sharp the silver spear-heads charge When Alp meets heaven in snow !

On our other side is the straight-up rock ;

And a path is kept 'twixt the gorge and it
By boulder-stones where lichens mock

The marks on a moth, and small ferns fit Their teeth to the polished block.

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Oh the sense of the yellow mountain-flowers,

And thorny balls, each three in one,
The chestnuts throw on our path in showers !

For the drop of the woodland fruit 's begun, These early November hours,

That crimson the creeper's leaf across

Like a splash of blood, intense, abrupt,
O’er a shield else gold from rim to boss,

And lay it for show on the fairy-cupped Elf-needled mat of moss,

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By the rose-flesh mushrooms, undivulged

Last evening—nay, in to-day's first dew Yon sudden coral nipple bulged,

Where a freaked fawn-coloured flaky crew
Of toad-stools peep indulged.

And yonder, at foot of the fronting ridge

That takes the turn to a range beyond,
Is the chapel reached by the one-arched bridge,

Where the water is stopped in a stagnant pond Danced over by the midge.

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