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When the first matin-song hath waken'd loud
The air is damp, and hush'd, and close,
An hour before death;
And the breath
of the fading edges of box beneath,
Over its grave i' the earth so chilly,
Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.
MYSTERY of mysteries,
Faintly smiling Adeline, Scarce of earth nor all divine, Nor unhappy, nor at rest,
But beyond expression fair
With thy floating flaxen hair; Thy rose-lips and full blue eyes
Take the heart from out my breast. Wherefore those dim looks of thine, Shadowy, dreaming Adeline ?
Large dowries doth the raptured eye
And like a bride of old
With music and sweet showers
Of festal flowers,
Unto the dwelling she must sway. Well hast thou done, great artist Memory, In setting round thy first experiment
With royal frame-work of wrought gold;
Place it, where sweetest sunlight falls
For the discovery
Or boldest since, but lightly weighs
Whence that aery bloom of thine,
Like a lily which the sun Looks thro' in his sad decline,
And a rose-bush leans upon, Thou that faintly smilest still,
As a Naiad in a well,
Looking at the set of day, Or a phantom two hours old
of a maiden past away, Ere the placid lips be cold? Wherefore those faint smiles of thine,
Spiritual Adeline ?
What hope or fear or joy is thine ?
Do beating hearts of salient springs Keep measure with thine own?
Hast thou heard the butterflies,
Or in stillest evenings
Or when little airs arise,
Hast thou look'd upon the breath
Of the lilies at sunrise ? Wherefore that faint smile of thine, Shadowy, dreaming Adeline ?
1. A SPIRIT haunts the year's last hours Dwelling amid these yellowing bowers:
To himself he talks ; For at eventide, listening earnestly, At his work you may hear him sob and sigh
In the walks ;
Earthward he boweth the heavy stalks Of the mouldering flowers :
Heavily hangs the broad sunflower
Over its grave i’ the earth so chilly;
Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.
Some honey-converse feeds thy mind,
Some spirit of a crimson rose
His curtains, wasting odorous sighs All night long on darkness blind. What aileth thee? whom waitest thou With thy soften'd, shadow'd brow,
And those dew-lit eyes of thine,
5. Lovest thou the doleful wind
When thou gazest at the skies ?
THE SEA-FAIRIES.—THE DESERTED HOUSE.
In the heart of the garden the merry bird chants,
Like sheet lightning,
From the brain of the purple mountain
Which stands in the distance yonder: It springs on a level of bowery lawn, And the mountain draws it from Heaven above, And it sings a song of undying love; And yet, tho' its voice be so clear and full, You never would hear it; your ears are so dull; So keep where you are: you are foul with sin; It would shrink to the earth if you came in.
For here are the blissful downs and dales,
fly no more.
THE SEA-FAIRIES. Slow sail'd the weary mariners and saw, Betwixt the green brink and the running foam, Sweet faces, rounded arms, and bosoms prest To little harps of gold; and while they mused, Whispering to each other half in fear,
Shrill music reach'd them on the middle sea. Whither away, whither away, whither away? fly no
THE DESERTED HOUSE.
1. LIFE and Thought have gone away
Side by side, Leaving door and windows wide: Careless tenants they!
Whither away from the high green field, and the
happy blossoming shore ? Day and night to the billow the fountain calls ; Down shower the gambolling waterfalls From wandering over the lea: Out of the live-green heart of the dells They freshen the silvery-crimson shells, And thick with white bells the clover-hill swells High over the full-toned sea : O hither, come hither and furl your sails, Come hither to me and to me: Hither, come hither and frolic and play ; Here it is only the mew that wails; We will sing to you all the day: Mariner, mariner, furl your sails,
All within is dark as night:
3. Close the door, the shutters close,
Or thro' the windows we shall see
The nakedness and vacancy Of the dark deserted house.
THE DYING SWAN.-A DIRGE. LOVE AND DEATH.
6. The gold-eyed kingcups fine; The frail bluebell peereth over Rare broidry of the purple clover.
Let them rave. Kings have no such couch as thine, As the green that folds thy grave.
Let them rave.
The wild swan's death-hymn took the soul
But let them rave.
Let them rave.
LOVE AND DEATH. What time the mighty moon was gathering light Love paced the thymy plots of Paradise, And all about him roll'd his lustrous eyes; When, turning round a cassia, full in view Death, walking all alone beneath a yew, And talking to himself, first met his sight: “You must begone,” said Death, “these walks are
mine." Love wept and spread his sheeny vans for flight; Yet ere he parted said, “This hour is thine: Thou art the shadow of life, and as the tree Stands in the sun and shadows all beneath, So in the light of great eternity Life eminent creates the shade of death; The shadow passeth when the tree shall fall, But I shall reign forever over all."
1. Now is done thy long day's work; Fold thy palms across thy breast, Fold thine arms, turn to thy rest.
Let them rave.
THE BALLAD OF ORIANA.-CIRCUMSTANCE.—THE MERMAN.
Oh! narrow, narrow was the space,
Oriana. Loud, loud rung out the bugle's brays,
1. Who would be A merman bold, Sitting alone, Singing alone Under the sea, With a crown of gold, On a throne ?
They should have stabb'd me where I lay,
2. I would be a merman bold; I would sit and sing the whole of the day; I would fill the sea-halls with a voice of power ; But at night I would roam abroad and play With the mermaids in and out of the rocks, Dressing their hair with the white sea-flower; And holding them back by their flowing locks I would kiss them often under the sea, And kiss them again till they kiss'd me
Laughingly, laughingly; And then we would wander away, away To the pale-green sea-groves straight and high,'
Chasing each other merrily.
O breaking heart that will not break,
3. There would be neither moon nor star; But the wave would make music above us afarLow thunder and light in the magic night
Neither moon nor star.