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Could ye, “ We loved her once' Say cold of me when further put away
In earth's sepulchral clay,
And death's full joy is given,-
Say not, “We loved them once.'
And all our moments breathe
Affections light of range.
Whatever comes—Loved ONCE!
And yet that same word ONCE Is humanly acceptive. Kings have said
Shaking a discrowned head, “We ruled once,'—dotards, “We once taught and led," Cripples once danced i' the vines, and bards approved,
Were once by scornings moved: But love strikes one hour-LOVE! those never loved
Who dream that they loved ONCE.
THE HOUSE OF CLOUDS.
For my thoughts to live in,
And too low for heaven:
I build it bright to see,
To which I looked with thee.
Cloud-walls of the morning's grey,
Faced with amber column, Crowned with crimson cupola
From a sunset solemn : May-mists, for the casements, fetch,
Pale and glimmering, With a sunbeam hid in each
And a smell of spring.
Build the entrance high and proud,
Darkening and then brightening, Of a riven thunder-cloud,
Veinëd by the lightning: Use one with an iris-stain
For the door so thin, Turning to a sound like rain
As I enter in.
Build a spacious hall thereby
Boldly, never fearing ;
Which the wind is clearing :
Flecked with winding stairs, Such as children wish to climb
Following their own prayers.
v. In the mutest of the house,
I will have my chamber; Silence at the door shall use
Evening's light of amber, Solemnizing every mood,
Softening in degree, Turning sadness into good
As I turn the key.
With the showers of summer,
When the sunbeams come hereWandering harpers, harping on
Waters stringed for such, Drawing colour, for a tune,
With a vibrant touch.
Bring a shadow green and still
From the chestnut-forest,
When the heat is sorest;
In light instead of sound.
Bring fantastic cloudlets home
From the noontide zenith, Ranged for sculptures round the room,
Named as Fancy weeneth ; Some be Junos, without eyes,
Naiads, without sources, Some be birds of paradise,
Some, Olympian horses.
Waking in the hedges, -
From the lilies' edges :
Bring them calm and white in, Whence to form a mirror pure
For Love's self-delighting.
Bring a grey cloud from the east
Where the lark is singing, (Something of the song at least
Unlost in the bringing): That shall be a morning-chair,
Poet-dream may sit in When it leans out on the air,
Unrhymed and unwritten.
Bring the red cloud from the sun,
While he sinketh catch it; That shall be a couch,—with one
Sidelong star to watch it, Fit for Poet's finest thought
At the curfew-sounding; Things unseen being nearer brought
Than the seen, around him.