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And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast ?
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear?
And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
Oh, no! never can it be !
Never, never can it be !
He doth give his joy to all :
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.
Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by :
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.
Oh! He gives to us his joy,
That our griefs He may destroy :
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.
O Rose, who dares to name thee?
No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet,
But pale and hard and dry as stubble wheat,-
Kept seven years in a drawer, thy titles shame thee.
The breeze that used to blow thee
Between the hedgerow thorns, and take away
An odour up the lane to last all day,-
If breathing now, unsweetened would forgo thee.
The sun that used to smite thee,
And mix his glory in thy gorgeous urn,
Till beam appeared to bloom, and flower to burn,-
If shining now, with not a hue would light thee.
The dew that used to wet thee,
And, white first, grow incarnadined because
It lay upon thee where the crimson was,-
If dropping now, would darken where it met thee.
The fly that 'lit upon thee,
To stretch the tendrils of its tiny feet
Along thy leaf's pure edges after heat,-
If 'lighting now, would coldly overrun thee.
The bee that once did suck thee,
And build thy perfumed ambers up his hive,
And swoon in thee for joy, till scarce alive,–
If passing now, would blindly overlook thee.
The heart doth recognize thee,
25 Alone, alone! the heart doth smell thee sweet, Doth view thee fair, doth judge thee most complete, Perceiving all those changes that disguise thee. Yes, and the heart doth owe thee More love, dead rose, than to' any roses bold 30 Which Julia wears at dances smiling cold :Lie still upon this heart which breaks below thee!
Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Although I enter not,
Yet round about the spot
Ofttimes I hover ;
And near the sacred gate
With longing eyes I wait,
Expectant of her.
The Minster bell tolls out
Above the city's rout,
And noise and humming:
They've hushed the Minster bell:
The organ 'gins to swell:
She's coming, she's coming !
My lady comes at last,
Timid, and stepping fast,
And hastening hither,
With modest eyes downcast:
She comes-she's here-she's past-
May Heaven go with her!
Kneel, undisturbed, fair Saint !
Pour out your praise or plaint
Was in her cradle-coffin lying;
Extinct, with scarce the sense of dying :
So soon to exchange the imprisoning womb
For darker closets of the tomb!
She did but ope an eye, and put
A clear beam forth, then straight up shut
For the long dark: ne'er more to see
Through glasses of mortality.
Riddle, of destiny, who can show,
What thy short visit meant, or know
What thy errand here below ?
Shall we say, that Nature blind
Checked her hand, and changed her.mind
Just when she had exactly wrought
A finished, pattern without fault?
Could she flag, or could she tire,
Or lacked she the Promethean fire
(With her nine moons' long workings sickened)
That should thy little limbs have quickened ?
Limbs so firm, they seemed to assure
Life of health, and days mature :
Woman's self in miniature !
Limbs so fair, they might supply
(Themselves now but cold imagery)
The sculptor to make Beauty by.
Or did the stern-eyed Fate descry
That babe or mother, one must die ;
So in mercy left the stock,
And cut the branch ; to save the shock
Of young years widowed, and the pain
When Single State comes back again
To the lone man who, reft of wife,
Thenceforward drags a maimèd life?
The economy of Heaven is dark,
And wisest clerks have missed the mark
Why human buds, like this, should fall
More brief than fly ephemeral
That has his day; while shrivelled crones
Stiffen with age to stocks and stones;
And crabbéd use the conscience sears
In sinners of an hundred years.
- Mother's prattle, mother's kiss,
Baby fond, thou ne'er wilt miss :
Rites, which custom does impose,
Silver bells, and baby clothes ;
Coral redder than those lips
Which pale death did late eclipse;
Music framed for infant's glee,
Whistle never tuned for thee;
Though thou want'st not, thou shalt have them,
Loving hearts were they which gave them
Let not one be missing ; nurse,
See them laid upon the hearse
Of infant slain by doom perverse.
Why should kings and nobles have
Pictured trophies to their grave,
And we, churls, to thee deny
Thy pretty toys with thee to lie-
A more harmless vanity ?
Child of a day, thou knowest not
The tears that overflow thine urn,
The gushing eyes that read thy lot ;
Nor, if thou knewest, could'st return !
And why the wish! the pure and blest
Watch like thy mother o'er thy sleep :
() peaceful night! O envied rest !
Thou wilt not ever see her weep.
Walter Savage Landor.