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4.

Praying all I can,
If prayers will not hush thee,

Airy Lilian,
Like a rose-leaf I will crush thee,

Fairy Lilian.

ISABEL.

A courage to endure and to obey:
A hate of gossip parlance and of sway,
Crown'd Isabel, thro' all her placid life,
The queen of marriage, a most perfect wife.

3.
The mellowed reflex of a winter moon;
A clear stream flowing with a muddy one,
Till in its onward current it absorbs

With swifter movement and in purer light
The vexed eddies of its wayward brother ;

A leaning and upbearing parasite,
Clothing the stem, which else had fallen quite,
With cluster'd flower-bells and ambrosial orbs

Of rich fruit-bunches leaning on each other

Shadow forth thee ;-the world hath not another (Though all her fairest forms are types of thee, And thou of God in thy great charity) of such a finish'd chasten'd purity.

1.

Eyes not down-dropped nor over-bright, but fed

With the clear-pointed flame of chastity,
Clear, without heat, undying, tended by

Pure vestal thoughts in the translucent fane Of her still spirit; locks not wide dispread,

Madonna-wise on either side her head ;

Sweet lips whereon perpetually did reign
The summer calm of golden charity,
Were fixed shadows of thy fixed mood,

Reyered Isabel, the crown and head,
The stately flower of female fortitude,

Of perfect wifehood, and pure lowlihead.

MARIANA.

2.

The intuitive decision of a bright
And thorough-edged intellect to part

Error from crime; a prudence to withhold;

The laws of marriage character'd in gold Upon the blanched tablets of her heart; A love still burning upward, giving light To read those laws; an accent very low In blandishment, but a most silver flow

Of subtle-paced counsel in distress, Right to the heart and brain, tho' undescried,

Winning its way with extreme gentleness Thro' all the outworks of suspicious pride;

“ Mariana in the moated grange."

Measure for Measure. With blackest moss the flower-plots

Were thickly crusted, one and all : The rusted nails fell from the knots

That held the peach to the garden-wall. The broken sheds look'd sad and strange:

Unlifted was the clinking latch;

Weeded and worn the ancient thatch Upon the lonely moated grange.

She only said, “My life is dreary,

He cometh not," she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !"

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TO

1.

Her tears fell with the dews at even ;

Her tears fell ere the dews were dried ; She could not look on the sweet heaven,

Either at morn or eventide. After the flitting of the bats,

When thickest dark did trance the sky,

She drew her casement-curtain by, And glanced athwart the glooming flats.

She only said, “The night is dreary,

He cometh not," she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !"

CLEAR-HEADED friend, whose joyful scorn,
Edged with sharp laughter, cuts atwain

The knots that tangle human creeds,
The wounding cords that bind and strain

The heart until it bleeds,
Ray-fringed eyelids of the morn

Roof not a glance so keen as thine:

If aught of prophecy be mine,
Thou wilt not live in vain.

Upon the middle of the night,

Waking she heard the night-fowl crow: The cock sung out an hour ere light:

From the dark fen the oxen's low Came to her: without hope of change,

In sleep she seemed to walk forlorn,

Till cold winds woke the gray-eyed morn About the lonely moated grange.

She only said, “The day is dreary,

He cometh not," she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!"

2. Low-cowering shall the Sophist sit;

Falsehood shall bare her plaited brow:

Fair-fronted Truth shall droop not now With shrilling shafts of subtle wit. Nor martyr-flames, nor trenchant swords

Can do away that ancient lie;

A gentler death shall Falsehood die, Shot thro' and thro' with cunning words.

3. Weak Truth a-leaning on her crutch,

Wan, wasted Truth in her utmost need, Thy kingly intellect shall feed,

Until she be an athlete bold, And weary with a finger's touch Those writhed limbs of lightning speed;

Like that strange angel which of old, Until the breaking of the light, Wrestled with wandering Israel,

Past Yabbok brook the livelong night, And heaven's mazed signs stood still In the dim tract of Penuel.

About a stone-cast from the wall

A sluice with blacken'd waters slept, And o'er it many, round and small,

The cluster'd marish-mosses crept. Hard by a poplar shook alway,

All silver-green with gnarled bark:

For leagues no other tree did mark The level waste, the rounding gray.

She only said, "My life is dreary,

He cometh not," she said;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !"

MADELINE.

1.

And ever when the moon was low,

And the shrill winds were up and away, In the white curtain, to and fro,

She saw the gusty shadow sway. But when the moon was very low,

And wild winds bound within their cell,

The shadow of the poplar fell Upon her bed, across her brow.

She only said, “The night is dreary,

He cometh not," she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !"

All day within the dreamy house,

The doors upon their hinges creak'd ; The blue fly sung in the pane; the mouse

Behind the mouldering wainscot shriek’d, Or from the crevice peered about.

Old faces glimmered thro' the doors,

Old footsteps trod the upper floors, Old voices called her from without.

She only said, “My life is dreary,

He cometh not," she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !"

Thou art not steeped in golden languors,
No tranced summer calm is thine,

Ever varying Madeline.
Thro' light and shadow thou dost range,

Sudden glances, sweet and strange,
Delicious spites and darling angers,
And airy forms of flitting change.

2.
Smiling, frowning, evermore,
Thou art perfect in love-lore.
Revealings deep and clear are thine
Of wealthy smiles; but who may know
Whether smile or frown be fleeter!
Whether smile or frown be sweeter,

Who may know?
Frowns perfect-sweet along the brow
Light-glooming over eyes divine,
Like little clouds, sun-fringed, are thine,

Ever varying Madeline.
Thy smile and frown are not aloof

From one another,

Each to each is dearest brother;
Hues of the silken sheeny woof
Momently shot into each other.

All the mystery is thine ;
Smiling, frowning, evermore,
Thou art perfect in love-lore,

Ever varying Madeline.

The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,

The slow clock ticking, and the sound Which to the wooing wind aloof

The poplar made, did all confound Her sense; but most she loathed the hour

When the thick-moted sunbeam lay

Athwart the chambers, and the day
Was sloping toward his western bower.
Then said she, “I am very dreary,

He will not come," she said ;
She wept, “I am aweary, aweary,

O God, that I were dead !"

3.

A subtle, sudden flame,
By veering passion fann'd,

About thee breaks and dances; When I would kiss thy hand,

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Thence thro' the garden I was drawn-
A realm of pleasance, many a mound,
And many a shadow-chequer'd lawn
Full of the city's stilly sound,
And deep myrrh-thickets blowing round
The stately cedar, tamarisks,
Thick rosaries of scented thorn,
Tall orient shrubs, and obelisks

Graven with emblems of the time,
In honor of the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Come not as thou camest of late, Flinging the gloom of yesternight On the white day ; but robed in soften'd light

Of orient state. Whilome thou camest with the morning mist,

Even as a maid, whose stately brow The dew-impearled winds of dawn have kiss'd,

When she, as thou, Stays on her floating locks the lovely freight Of overflowing blooms, and earliest shoots Of orient green, giving safe pledge of fruits, Which in wintertide shall star The black earth with brilliance rare.

3.

With dazed vision unawares
From the long alley's latticed shade
Emerged, I came upon the great
Pavilion of the Caliphat.
Right to the carven cedarn doors,
Flung inward over spangled floors,
Broad-based flights of marble stairs
Ran up with golden balustrade,

After the fashion of the time,
And humor of the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Whilome thou camest with the morning mist,

And with the evening cloud, Showering thy gleaned wealth into my open breast, (Those peerless flowers which in the rudest wind

Never grow sere,
When rooted in the garden of the mind,
Because they are the earliest of the year).

Nor was the night thy shroud.
In sweet dreams softer than unbroken rest
Thou leddest by the hand thine infant Hope.
The eddying of her garments caught from thee
The light of thy great presence; and the cope

of the half-attain'd futurity,

Though deep not fathomless,
Was cloven with the million stars which tremble
O'er the deep mind of dauntless infancy.
Small thought was there of life's distress;
For sure she deem'd no mist of earth could dull
Those spirit-thrilling eyes so keen and beautiful :
Sure she was nigher to heaven's spheres,
Listening the lordly music flowing from

The illimitable years.
O strengthen me, enlighten me!
I faint in this obscurity,
Thou dewy dawn of memory.

The fourscore windows all alight
As with the quintessence of flame,
A million tapers flaring bright
From twisted silvers look'd to shame
The hollow-vaulted dark, and stream'd
Upon the mooned domes aloof
In inmost Bagdat, till there seem'd
Hundreds of crescents on the roof

Of night new-risen, that marvellous time,
To celebrate the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Then stole I up, and trancedly
Gazed on the Persian girl alone,
Serene with argent-lidded eyes
Amorous, and lashes like to rays
Of darkness, and a brow of pearl
Tressed with redolent ebony.
In many a dark delicious curl,
Flowing beneath her rose-hued zone;

The sweetest lady of the time,
Well worthy of the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid.

4. Come forth I charge thee, arise, Thou of the many tongues, the myriad eyes ! Thou comest not with shows of flaunting vines

Unto mine inner eye,

Divinest Memory!
Thou wert not nursed by the waterfall
Which ever sounds and shines

A pillar of white light upon the wall
Of purple cliffs, aloof descried :
Come from the woods that belt the gray hillside,
The seven elms, the poplars four
That stand beside my father's door,
And chiefly from the brook that loves
To purl o'er matted cress and ribbed sand,
Or dimple in the dark of rushy coves,
Drawing into his parrow earthen urn,

In every elbow and turn,
The filter'd tribute of the rough woodland.

01 hither lead thy feet!
Pour round mine ears the livelong bleat
Of the thick-fleeced sheep from wattled folds,

Upon the ridged wolds,

Six columns, three on either side,
Pure silver, underpropt a rich
Throne of the massive ore, from which
Down-droop'd in many a floating fold,
Engarlanded and diaper'd
With inwrought flowers, a cloth of gold.
Thereon, his deep eye laughter-stirr'd
With merriment of kingly pride,

Sole star of all that place and time,
I saw him—in his golden prime,

THE GOOD HAROUN ALRASCHID !

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