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Beat like a heart among the leaves.
In that one darkness lying still,
What now to thee my love's great will Or the fine web the sunshine weaves ?
For now doth daylight disavow
Those days,-nought left to see or hear. Only in solemn whispers now
At night-time these things reach mine eai, When the leaf-shadows at a breath Shrink in the road, and all the heath,
Forest and water, far and wide,
In limpid starlight glorified, Lie like the mystery of death.
Last night at last I could have slept,
And yet delayed my sleep till dawn, Still wandering. Then it was I wept :
For unawares I came upon Those glades where once she walked with me : And as I stood there suddenly,
All wan with traversing the night,
Upon the desolate verge of light Yearned loud the iron-bosomed sea.
Even so, where Heaven holds breath and hears
The beating heart of Love's own breast, ---
All angels lay their wings to rest,-
Throughout the music of the suns,
It enters in her soul at once
Here with her face doth memory sit
Meanwhile, and wait the day's decline, Till other eyes shall look from it,
Eyes of the spirit's Palestine.
Even than the old gaze tenderer:
Stand round her image side by side,
Like tombs of pilgrims that have died
(For a Picture.) Under the arch of Lise, where love and death,
Terror and mystery, guard her shrine, I saw
Beauty enthroned ; and though her gaze struck awe, I drew it in as simply as my breath. Hers are the eyes which, over and beneath,
The sky and sea bend on thee,- which can draw,
By sea or sky or woman, to one law,
This is that Lady Beauty, in whose praise
Thy voice and hand shake still,-long known to thee
How passionately and irretrievably,
To-day Death seems to me an infant child
Which her worn mother Life upon my knee
Has set to grow my friend and play with me;
If haply so my weary heart might be
Unto the newborn milky eyes of thee, O Death, before resentment reconcild.
How long, O Death ? And shall thy feet depart
Still a young child's with mine, or wilt thou stand Fullgrown the helpful daughter of my heart,
What time with thee indeed I reach the strand Of the pale wave which knows thee what thou art,
And drink it in the hollow of thy hand?
With whom, when our first heart beat full and fast,
I wandered till the haunts of men were pass’d,
While to the winds all thought of Death we cast :
Ah, Life! and must I have from thee at last No smile to greet me and no babe but this?
Lo! Love, the child once ours; and Song, whose hair
Blew like a flame and blossomed like a wreath ; And Art, whose eyes were worlds by God found fair ;
These o'er the book of Nature mixed their breath With neck-twined arms, as oft we watched them there :
And did these die that thou might'st bear me Death?
Let no man ask thee of anything
Crave thou no dower of earthly things
The wild waifs cast up by the sea
Say, hast thou pride? How then may fit
Let thy soul strive that still the same
In the life-drama's stern cue-call,
Whate'er by other's need is claimed
Strive that thy works prove equal : lest
Unto the man of yearning thought
How callous seems beyond revoke
Let lore of all Theology