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And the calm Campanile. Beautiful !
Yet I could think, indeed, the perfect call Should force the perfect answer. If the voice Ought to receive its echo from the soul, Wherefore this silence ? If it should rouse my being, Why this reluctance ? Have I not thought o'ermuch Of other men, and of the ways of the world? But what they are, or have been, matters not.
To thine own self be true, the wise man says.
[From Poems on Life and Duty.]
THE STREAM OF LIFE.
O stream descending to the sea,
Thy mossy banks between,
The leafy trees are green.
The fields the labourers till,
And thou descendest still.
Our waking eyes behold,
Companions young and old.
Our hearts affections fill,
And thou descendest still.
What shall we guess of thee?
As we our course fulfil ;
And be above us still.
[From The Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich.)
THE HIGHLAND STREAM,
There is a stream (I name not its name, lest inquisitive tourist Hunt it, and make it a lion, and get it at last into guide-books), Springing far off from a loch unexplored in the folds of greai
Falling two miles through rowan and stunted alder, enveloped Then for four more in a forest of pine, where broad and ample Spreads, to convey it, the glen with heathery slopes on both
sides : Broad and fair the stream, with occasional falls and narrows ; But, where the glen of its course approaches the vale of the
river, Met and blocked by a huge interposing mass of granite, Scarce by a channel deep-cut, raging up, and raging onward, Forces its flood through a passage so
narrow a lady would
There, across the great rocky wharves, a wooden bridge goes, Carrying a path to the forest ; below, three hundred yards, say, Lower in level some twenty-five feet, through flats of shingle, Stepping-stones and a cart-track cross in the open valley.
But in the interval here the boiling pent-up water Frees itself by a final descent, attaining a basin, Ten feet wide and eighteen long, with whiteness and fury Occupied partly, but mostly pellucid, pure, a mirror ; Beautiful there for the colour derived from green rocks under ; Beautiful, most of all, where beads of foam uprising Mingle their clouds of white with the delicate hue of the stillness, Cliff over cliff for its sides, with rowan and pendent birch boughs, Here it lies, unthought of above at the bridge and pathway, Still more enclosed from below by wood and rocky projection. You are shut in, left alone with yourself and perfection of water, Hid on all sides, left alone with yourself and the goddess of
bathing Here, the pride of the plunger, you stride the fall and clear it ; Here, the delight of the bather, you roll in beaded sparklings, Here into pure green depth drop down from lofty ledges.
ELSPIE AND PHILIP
But a revulsion wrought in the brain and bosom of Elspie ;
Forcing and flooding the silvery stream, as it runs from the
inland; That great power withdrawn, receding here and passive, Felt she in myriad springs, her sources far in the mountains, Stirring, collecting, rising, upheaving, forth-outflowing, Taking and joining, right welcome, that delicate rill in the valley, Filling it, making it strong, and still descending, seeking, With a blind forefeeling descending ever, and seeking, With a delicious forefeeling, the great still sea before it ; There deep into it, far, to carry, and lose in its bosom, Waters that still from their sources exhaustless are fain to be
added. As he was kissing her fingers, and knelt on the ground before
her, Yielding backward she sank to her seat, and of what she was
doing Ignorant, bewildered, in sweet multitudinous vague emotion, Stooping, knowing not what, put her lips to the hair on his
forehead : And Philip, raising himself, gently, for the first time round her Passing his arms, close, close, enfolded her, close to his bosom. As they went home by the moon, Forgive me, Philip, she
whispered ; I have so many things to think of, all of a sudden ; I who had never once thought a thing,-in my ignorant High
PHILIP TO ADAM,
These are fragments again without date addressed to Adam.