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I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
Sing on, as if in pain;
That doth not rise nor set,
C. G. Rossetti
A BIRTHDAY My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot; My heart is like an appletree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit; My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea; My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me. Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes; Carve it in doves, and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
In leaves, and silver fleurs-de-lys;
C. G. Rossetti
Through the churchyard old and grey,
way; And amid the words of mercy, falling on my soul
'Mid the gorgeous storms of music-in the mellow
organ-calms, 'Mid the upward-streaming prayers, and the rich
and solemn psalms,
My heart was otherwhere
While the organ shook the air, And the priest, with outspread hands, blessed the
people with a prayer; But, when rising to go homeward, with a mild and
saint-like shine Gleamed a face of airy beauty with its heavenly
eyes on mine Gleamed and vanished in a moment–0 that face
was surely thine
O pallid, pallid face!
O earnest eyes of grace! When last I saw thee, dearest, it was in another
place. You came running forth to meet me with my
love-gift on your wrist : The flutter of a long white dress, then all was lost
in mistA purple stain of agony was on the mouth I kissed,
That wild morning, Barbara.
I searched, in my despair,
Sunny noon and midnight air; I could not drive away the thought that you were
lingering there. O many and many a winter night I sat when you
were gone, My worn face buried in my hands, beside the fire
aloneWithin the dripping churchyard, the rain plashing
on your stone,
'Mong angels, do you think
Of the precious golden link I clasped around your happy arm while sitting by
yon brink ?
Or when that night of gliding dance, of laughter
and guitars, Was emptied of its music, and we watched, through
latticed bars, The silent midnight heaven creeping o'er us with
In the years I've changed;
Wild and far my heart hath ranged, And many sins and errors now have been on me
avenged; But to you I have been faithful, whatsoever good I
lacked: I loved you, and above my life still hangs that love
intactYour love the trembling rainbow, I the reckless
Yet, love, I am unblest;
With many doubts opprest, I wander like a desert wind, without a place of rest. Could I but win you for an hour from off that starry
shore, The hunger of my soul were stilled, for Death hath
told you more Than the melancholy world doth know; things
deeper than all lore
In vain, in vain, in vain,
You will never come again. There droops upon the dreary hills a mournful
fringe of rain;
The gloaming closes slowly round, loud winds are
in the tree, Round selfish shores for ever moans the hurt and
wounded sea, There is no rest upon the earth, peace is with Death
and thee, Barbara !
Pray but one prayer for me 'twixt thy closed lips,
Think but one thought of me up in the stars. The summer night waneth, the morning light slips, Faint and grey 'twixt the leaves of the aspen,
betwixt the cloud-bars, That are patiently waiting there for the dawn :
Patient and colourless, though Heaven's gold Waits to float through them along with the sun. Far out in the meadows, above the young corn,
The heavy elms wait, and restless and cold
Speak but one word to me over the corn,
As we rush, as we rush in the train,
The trees and the houses go wheeling back, But the starry heavens above the plain
Come flying on our track.
All the beautiful stars of the sky,
The silver doves of the forest of Night, Over the dull earth swarm and fly,
Companions of our flight.
We will rush ever on without fear;
Let the goal be far, the flight be fleet ! For we carry the Heavens with us, dear, While the Earth slips from our feet!
A thousand summers are over and dead.
What wilt thou do when the summer is shed ?
O swallow, sister, O fair swift swallow,
The soft south whither thine heart is set ?
Hast thou forgotten ere I forget?
But I, fulfilled of my heart's desire,
Feed the heart of the night with fire.
All spring through till the spring be done, Clothed with the light of the night on the dew, Sing, while the hours and the wild birds follow,
Take flight and follow and find the sun. Sister, my sister, O soft light swallow, Though all things feast in the spring's guest