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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?


And thou, O Life, the lady of all bliss,

With whom, when our first heart beat full and fast, I wandered till the haunts of men were pass'd, And in fair places found all bowers amiss Till only woods and waves might hear our kiss, 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

Not yearborn between Spring and Spring.
More of all worlds than he can know,
Each day the single sun doth show.
A trustier gloss than thou canst give
From all wise scrolls demonstrative,
The sea doth sigh and the wind sing.

Let no man awe thee on any height
Of earthly kingship's mouldering might.
The dust his heel holds meet for thy brow
Hath all of it been what both are now;
And thou and he may plague together
A beggar's eyes in some dusty weather
When none that is now knows sound or sight.

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Crave thou no dower of earthly things
Unworthy Hope's imaginings.

To have brought true birth of Song to be
And to have won hearts to Poesy,

Or anywhere in the sun or rain

To have loved and been beloved again, Is loftiest reach of Hope's bright wings.

The wild waifs cast up by the sea
Are diverse ever seasonably.
Even so the soul-tides still may land
A different drift upon the sand.

But one the sea is evermore :

And one be still, 'twixt shore and shore, As the sea's life, thy soul in thee.

Say, hast thou pride? How then may fit
Thy mood with flatterer's silk-spun wit?
Haply the sweet voice lifts thy crest,
A breeze of fame made manifest.
Nay, but then chaf'st at flattery? Pause:
Be sure thy wrath is not because

It makes thee feel thou lovest it.

Let thy soul strive that still the same
Be early friendship's sacred flame.
The affinities have strongest part
In youth, and draw men heart to heart :
As life wears on and finds no rest,

The individual in each breast

Is tyrannous to sunder them.

In the life-drama's stern cue-call,

A friend's a part well-prized by all:

And if thou meet an enemy,

What art thou that none such should be?

Even so but if the two parts run
Into each other and grow one,

Then comes the curtain's cue to fall.

Whate'er by other's need is claimed
More than by thine,-to him unblamed
Resign it and if he should hold
What more than he thou lack'st, bread, gold

Or any good whereby we live,

To thee such substance let him give
Freely nor he nor thou be shamed.

Strive that thy works prove equal: lest
That work which thou hast done the best
Should come to be to thee at length
(Even as to envy seems the strength
Of others) hateful and abhorr'd,—
Thine own above thyself made lord,—
Of self-rebuke the bitterest.

Unto the man of yearning thought
And aspiration, to do nought

Is in itself almost an act,—
Being chasm-fire and cataract
Of the soul's utter depths unseal’d.
Yet woe to thee if once thou yield
Unto the act of doing nought!

How callous seems beyond revoke
The clock with its last listless stroke!
How much too late at length!-to trace
The hour on its forewarning face,

The thing thou hast not dared to do!....
Behold, this may be thus! Ere true
It prove, arise and bear thy yoke.

Let lore of all Theology

Be to thy soul what it can be:
But know, the Power that fashions man
Measured not out thy little span
For thee to take the meting-rod
In turn, and so approve on God
Thy science of Theometry.

To God at best, to Chance at worst,
Give thanks for good things, last as first.
But wind-strown blossom is that good
Whose apple is not gratitude.
Even if no prayer uplift thy face,
Let the sweet right to render grace
As thy soul's cherished child be nurs'd.

Didst ever say, 'Lo, I forget'?
Such thought was to remember yet.
As in a gravegarth, count to see
The monuments of memory.
Be this thy soul's appointed scope:-
Gaze onward without claim to hope,
Nor, gazing backward, court regret.


I deemed thy garments, O my Hope, were grey,
So far I viewed thee. Now the space between
Is passed at length; and garmented in green
Even as in days of yore thou stand'st to-day.
Ah God! and but for lingering dull dismay,

On all that road our footsteps erst had been Even thus commingled, and our shadows seen Blent on the hedgerows and the water-way.

O Hope of mine whose eyes are living love,

No eyes but hers,-O Love and Hope the same!Lean close to me, for now the sinking sun That warmed our feet scarce gilds our hair above.

O hers thy voice and very hers thy name!
Alas, cling round me, for the day is done!


(Written during music.)

Is it this sky's vast vault or ocean's sound

That is Life's self and draws my life from me,
And by instinct ineffable decree

Holds my breath quailing on the bitter bound?

Nay, is it Life or Death, thus thunder-crown'd,
That 'mid the tide of all emergency

Now notes my separate wave, and to what sea Its difficult eddies labour in the ground?

Oh! what is this that knows the road I came,
The flame turned cloud, the cloud returned to flame,
The lifted shifted steeps and all the way?—
That draws round me at last this wind-warm space,
And in regenerate rapture turns my face
Upon the devious coverts of dismay?


Mother of the Fair Delight,
Thou handmaid perfect in God's sight,
Now sitting fourth beside the Three,

Thyself a woman-Trinity,—

Being a daughter borne to God,
Mother of Christ from stall to rood,
And wife unto the Holy Ghost:-
Oh when our need is uttermost,
Think that to such as death may strike
Thou once wert sister sisterlike!

Thou headstone of humanity,
Groundstone of the great Mystery,
Fashioned like us, yet more than we!

Mind'st thou not (when June's heavy breath
Warmed the long days in Nazareth,)
That eve thou didst go forth to give
Thy flowers some drink that they might live
One faint night more amid the sands?
Far off the trees were as pale wands
Against the fervid sky: the sea
Sighed further off eternally
As human sorrow sighs in sleep.
Then suddenly the awe grew deep,

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