« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes, the tears of two.
My own beloved, who hast listed me
From this drear flat of earth where I was thrown,
And in betwixt the languid ringlets, blown
A life-breath, till the forehead hopefully
Shines out again, as all the angels see,
Before thy saving kiss! My own, my own,
Who camest to me when the world was gone,
And I who looked for only God, found thez!
I find thee; I am sase, and strong, and glad.
As one who stands in dewless asphodel,
Looks backward on the tedious time he had
In the upper life—so I, with bosom-swell,
Make witness, here, between the good and bad,
That Love, as strong as Death, retrieves as well.
My letters ! all dead paper, mute and white !
And yet they seem alive and quivering
Against my tremulous hands which loose the string
And let them drop down on my knee to-night.
This said,-he wished to have me in his sight
Once, as a friend : this fixed a day in spring
To come and touch my hand-a simple thing,
Yet I wept for it! this—the paper 's light-
Said, Dear, I love thee ; and I sank and quailed
As if God's future thundered on my past.
This said, I am thine—and so its ink has paled
With lying at my heart that beat too fast :
And this-0 Love, thy words have ill availed,
If, what this said, I dared repeat at last !
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and Ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise ;
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith ;
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life !—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
FROM CASA GUIDI WINDOWS.'
Then, gazing, I beheld the long-drawn street
Live out, from end to end, full in the sun,
With Austria's thousand ; sword and bayonet,
Horse, foot, artillery,-cannons rolling on
Like blind slow storm-clouds gestant with the heat
Of undeveloped lightnings, each bestrode
By a single man, dust-white from head to heel,
Indifferent as the dreadful thing he rode,
Like sculptured Fate serene and terrible.
As some smooth river which has overflowed,
Will slow and silent down its current wheel
A loosened forest, all the pines erect,
So swept, in mute significance of storm,
The marshalled thousands ; not an eye deflects
To left or right, to catch a novel form
Of Florence city adorned by architect
And carver, or of Beaut'es live and warm
Scared at the casements,-all, straightforward eyes
And faces, held as steadfast as their swords,
And cognizant of acts, not imageries.
The key, O Tuscans, too well fits the wards !
Ye asked for mimes,—these bring you tragedies :
For purple,-these shall wear it as your lords.
Ye played like children,-die like innocents.
Ye mimicked lightnings with a torch,—the crack
Of the actual bolt, your pastime circumvents.
Ye called up ghosts, believing they were slack
To follow any voice from Gilboa's tents,
Here's Samuel !-and, so, Grand-dukes come back !
What was he doing, the great God Pan,
Down in the reeds by the river ?
Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat.
And breaking the golden lilies afloat
With the dragon-fly on the river.
He tore out a reed, the great God Pan,
From the deep cool bed of the river :
The limpid water turbidly ran,
And the broken lilies a-dying lay,
And the dragon-fly had fled away,
Ere he brought it out of the river.
High on the shore sat the great God Pan,
While turbidly flowed the river ;
And hacked and hewed as a great God can,
With his hard bleak steel at the patient reed,
Till there was not a sign of the leaf indeed
To prove it fresh from the river.
He cut it short, did the great God Pan,
(How tall it stood in the river !)
Then drew the pith, like the heart of a man,
Steadily from the outside ring,
And notched the poor dry empty thing
In holes, as he sat by the river.
“This is the way, laughed the great God Pan,
(Laughed while he sat by the river,) The only way, since Gods began To make sweet music, they could succeed.' Then, dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed,
He blew in power by the river.
Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan!
Piercing sweet by the river !
Blinding sweet, O great God Pan!
The sun on the hill forgot to die,
And the lilies revived, and the dragon-fly
Came back to dream on the river.
Yet half a beast is the great God Pan,
To laugh as he sits by the river,
Making a poet out of a man:
The true Gods sigh for the cost and pain,-
For the reed which grows never more again
As a reed with the reeds in the river.
THE FORCED RECRUIT. SOLFERINO, 1859.
In the ranks of the Austrian you found him,
He died with his face to you all ;
Yet bury him here where around him
You honour your bravest that fall.
Venetian, fair-featured and slender,
He lies shot to death in his youth,
With a smile on his lips, over-tender
For any mere soldier's dead mouth.
No stranger, and yet not a traitor,
Though alien the cloth on his breast,
Underneath it how seldom a greater
Young heart, has a shot sent to rest !
By your enemy tortured and goaded
To march with them, stand in their file,
His musket (see) never was loaded,
He facing your guns with that smile !
As orphans yearn on to their mothers,
He yearned to your patriot bands ;*Let me die for our Italy, brothers,
If not in your ranks, by your hands !
• Aim straightly, fire steadily! spare me
A ball in the body which may
Deliver my heart here, and tear me
This badge of the Austrian away!'
So thought he, so died he this morning.
What then? many others have died.
Ay, but easy for men to die scorning
The death-stroke, who fought side by side :
One tricolor floating above them ;
Struck down ʼmid triumphant acclaims
Of an Italy rescued to love them
And blazon the brass with their names.
But he - without witness or honour,
There, shamed in his country's regard,
With the tyrants who march in upon her,
Died faithful and passive : ’t was hard.
'Twas sublime. In a cruel restriction
Cut off from the guerdon of sons,
With most filial obedience, conviction,
His soul kissed the lips of her guns.
That moves you ? Nay, grudge not to show its
While digging a grave for him here :
The others who died, says your poet,
Have glory,- let him have a tear.
AURORA'S HOME. I had a little chamber in the house, As green as any privet-hedge a bird Might choose to build in, though the nest itself Could show but dead brown sticks and straws ; the walls Were green, the carpet was pure green, the straight