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A voice by the cedar tree,
In the meadow under the Hall !
She is singing an air that is known to me,
To the death, for their native land.
Maud with her exquisite face,
And feet like sunny gems on an English green, Maud in the light of her youth and her grace, Singing of Death, and of Honour that cannot die, Till I well could weep for a time so sordid and mean, And myself so languid and base.
Silence, beautiful voice !
Be still, for you only trouble the mind
Still! I will hear you no more,
For your sweetness hardly leaves me a choice
But to move to the meadow and fall before
Her feet on the meadow grass, and adore,
Not her, who is neither courtly nor kind,
Not her, not her, but a voice.
MORNING arises stormy and pale,
No sun, but a wannish glare
In fold upon fold of hueless cloud,
And the budded peaks of the wood are bow'd Caught and cuft'd by the gale:
I had fancied it would be fair.
Whom but Maud should I meet
Last night, when the sunset burn'd
On the blossom'd gable-ends
At the head of the village street,
Whom but Maud should I meet?
And she touch'd
hand with a smile so sweet
She made me divine amends
For a courtesy not return’d.
And thus a delicate spark
Ready to burst in a colour'd flame;
Till at last when the morning came
In a cloud, it faded, and seems
But an ashen-gray delight.
What if with her sunny hair,
She meant to weave me a snare
Of some coquettish deceit,
Cleopatra-like as of old
To entangle me when we met,
To have her lion roll in a silken net
And fawn at a victor's feet.
Ah, what shall I be at fifty
If I find the world so bitter
When I am but twenty-five ?
Yet, if she were not a cheat,
If Maud were all that she seem'd,
And her smile were all that I dream’d,
Then the world were not so bitter
But a smile could make it sweet.
What if tho' her eye seem'd full
Of a kind intent to me,
What if that dandy-despot, he,