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Here's the top-peak; the multitude below

Live, for they can, there :
This man decided not to Live but Know-

Bury this man there ?
Here—here's his place, where meteors shoot, clouds

form,

Lightnings are loosened,
Stars come and go! Let joy break with the storm,

Peace let the dew send !
Lofty designs must close in like effects :

Loftily lying,
Leave him—still loftier than the world suspects,
Living and dying,

R. BROWNING.

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PORPHYRIA'S LOVER The rain set early in to-night,

'he sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite,

And did its worst to vex the lake :

I listened with heart fit to break, When glided in Porphyria ; straight

She shut the cold out and the storm, And kneeled and made the cheerless grate

Blaze up, and all the cottage warm ;

Which done, she rose, and from her form Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,

And laid her soiled gloves by, untied Her hat and let the damp hair fall,

And, last, she sat down by my side

And called me. When no voice replied, She put my arm about her waist,

And made her smooth white shoulder bare, And all her yellow hair displaced,

And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,

And spread o'er all her yellow hair, Murmuring how she loved me—she

Too weak, for all her heart's endeavour,

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To set its struggling passion free

From pride, and vainer ties dissever,

And give herself to me for ever. But passion sometimes would prevail,

Nor could to-night's gay feast restrain A sudden thought of one so pale

For love of her, and all in vain :

So, she was come through wind and rain. Be sure I looked up at her eyes

Happy and proud ; at last I knew Porphyria worshipped me; surprise

Made my heart swell, and still it grew

While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine, fair,

Perfectly pure and good : I found
A thing to do, and all her hair

In one long yellow string I wound

Three times her little throat around, And strangled her. No pain felt she;

I am quite sure she felt no pain. As a shut bud that holds a bee,

I warily oped her lids : again

Laughed the blue eyes without a stain. And I untightened next the tress

About her neck ; her cheek once more Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss :

I propped her head up as before,

Only, this time my shoulder bore Her head, which droops upon it still :

The smiling rosy little head, So glad it has its utmost will,

That all it scorned at once is fled,

And I, its love, am gained instead ! Porphyria's love : she

guessed not how Her darling one wish would be heard. And thus we sit together now,

And all night long we have not stirred,
And yet God has not said a word !

R. BROWNING.

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RABBI BEN EZRA

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Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made :

Our times are in His hand

Who saith' A whole I planned, Youth shows but half ; trust God: see all, nor be afraid ! '

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Not that, amassing flowers,

Youth sighed · Which rose make ours,
Which lily leave and then as best recall ?

Not that, admiring stars,

It yearned 'Nor Jove, nor Mars ; Mine be some figured flame which blends, tran

scends them all!'

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Not for such hopes and fears

Annulling youth's brief years,
Do I remonstrate : folly wide the mark !

Rather I prize the doubt

Low kinds exist without, Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark.

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Poor vaunt of life indeed,
Were man but formed to feed

20 On joy, to solely seek and find and feast :

Such feasting ended, then

As sure an end to men ; Irks care the crop-full bird ? Frets doubt the

maw-crammed beast ?

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Rejoice we are allied

To That which doth provide
And not partake, effect and not receive !

A spark disturbs our clod;

Nearer we hold of God Who gives, than of His tribes that take, I must believe.

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Then, welcome each rebuff

That turns earth's smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go !

Be our joys three-parts pain !
Strive, and hold cheap the strain ;

35 Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe !

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For thence,-a paradox

Which comforts while it mocks,
Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail :
What I aspired to be,

40 And was not, comforts me : A brute I might have been, but would not sink i' the scale.

8 What is he but a brute

Whose flesh hath soul to suit, Whose spirit works lest arms and legs want play ? To man, propose this test

46 Thy body at its best, How far can that project thy soul on its lone ?

way

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Yet gifts should prove their use :

I own the Past profuse
Of power each side, perfection every turn :

Eyes, ears took in their dole,

Brain treasured up the whole Should not the heart beat once ' How good to live

and learn ' ?

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Not once beat Praise be Thine !

I see the whole design,
I, who saw power, see now Love perfect too :

Perfect I call Thy plan :

Thanks that I was a man ! Maker, remake, complete,-I trust what Thou shalt do ! ?

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For pleasant is this flesh;

Our soul in its rose-mesh
Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest :

Would we some prize might hold
To match those manifold

65 Possessions of the brute,-gain most, as we did best!

12 Let us not always say

Spite of this flesh to-day
I strove, made head, gained ground upon the

whole !
As the bird wings and sings,

70 Let us cry “ All good things Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than flesh helps soul !

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Therefore I summon age

To grant youth's heritage,
Life's struggle having so far reached its term :

Thence shall I pass, approved

A man, for ay removed From the developed brute; a God though in the germ.

14 And I shall thereupon Take rest, ere I be gone

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more on my adventure brave and new :
Fearless and unperplexed,

When I wage battle next,
What weapons to select, what armour to indue.

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