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Indeed the Idols I have loved so long Have done my credit in this World much wrong:
Have drown'd my Glory in a shallow Cup, And sold my Reputation for a Song.
Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before
My thread-bare Penitence a pieces tore,
And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel,
I wonder often what the Vintners buy-
Yet Ah, that Spring should vanish with the Rosel
That Youth's sweet-scented manuscript should close!
The Nightingale that in the branches sang, Ah whence, and whither flown again, who knows I
Would but the Desert of the Fountain yield One glimpse—if dimly, yet indeed, reveal'd,
To which the fainting Traveller might spring, As springs the trampled herbage of the field.
Would but some winged Angel ere too late
And make the stern Recorder otherwise
Ah Love! could you and 1 with Him conspire To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things Entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits—and then Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's desire!
Yon rising Moon that looks for us again—
How oft hereafter rising look for us Through this same Garden—and for one in vain!
And when like her, oh Saki, yon shall pass Among the Guests Star-scatter M on the Grass, And in your joyous errand reach the spot
Where I made One—turn down an empty Glass!
ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH
IX A LECTURE-ROOM
Away, haunt thou not me,
Thou vain Philosophy!
Little hast thou bestead,
Save to perplex the head,
And leave the spirit dead.
Unto thy brokeu cisterns wherefore go,
While from the secret treasure-depths below,
Fed by the skyey shower,
And clouds that sink and rest on hill-tops high,
Why labour at the dull mechanic oar,
QUA CURSUM VENTUS*
As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay
Two towers of sail at dawn of day
When fell the night, upsprung the breeze,
Nor dreamt but each the self-same seas
E 'en so, but why the tale reveal
Of those, whom year by year unchanged,
Brief absence joined anew to feel,
At dead of night their sails were filled,
Ah, neither blame, for neither willed,
Or wist, what first with dawn appeared! 16
To veer, how vain! On, onward strain,
Through winds and tides one compass guides—-
is "Thp end."
• "As the wind (directs) the course." The poem Is metaphorical of the divergence of men's creeds. See Eng. Lit., p. :il.">.
But O blithe breeze! anil O great seas.
On your wide plain they join again,
Together lead them home at last. 24
One port, methought, alike they sought,
0 bounding breeze, O rushing seas!
SAY NOT THE STRUGGLE NOUGHT
Say not the struggle nought .Tfwilcth,
The enemy faints not, nor failetn,
And as tilings have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed, Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field. 8
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making.
And not by eastern windows only.
When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
ITE DOMUM SATUR.E, VENIT
The skies have sunk, and hid the upper snow
The rainy clouds are filing fast below,
Ah dear, and where is he. a year agone,
The lightning zigzags shoot across the sky
And through the vale the rains go sweeping by;
1 "The Pale One"—n name of ohvlous significance.
like "Blanche" or "Brlndle." t "Perhaps dough's greatest title to poetic fame
is this exquisite and exquisitely expressed
image of the rising tide."- fJenrge Salntshnry. t "Oo home, now that you have fed, evening
conies."—Virgil. Erlug. x. 77.
Cold, dreary cold, the stormy winds feel they
And doth he e 'er, I wonder, bring to mind
The thunder bellows far from snow lo snow
And loud and louder roars the flood below.
Or shall he find before his term be sped SO
For weary is work, and weary day by day
Or may it be that I shall find my mate,
And he returning see himself too late?
For work we must, and what we see, we see.
And God he knows, and what must be, must be.
When sweethearts wander far away from me. 40
Home, Rose, and home, Provence and La Palie.
The sky behind is brightening up anew
The rain is ending, and our journey too:
ALL IS WELL
Whate'er you dream, with doubt possessed,
'Twill all be well: no need of care;
Though how it will, and when, and where.
We cannot see, and can't declare. 10
In spite of dreams, in spite of thought,
'Tis not in vain, and not for nought,
The wind it blows, the ship it goes.
Though where and whither, no one knows.
THE FORSAKEN MERMAN*
Come, dear children, lot us away;
i all her once before you go— 1* Call once yet!
In a voice that she will know:
Come, dear children, come away down;
One last look at the white-walled town,
And the little gray church on the windy shore,
Then come down!
She will not come though you call all day;
Children dear, was it yesterday 30
We heard the sweet bells over the bay f
In the caverns where we lay,
Through the surf and through the swell,
The far-off sound of a silver bell.'
Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep,
Where the winds are all asleep;
Where the spent lights quiver and gleam.
Where the salt weed sways in the stream,
Where the sea-beasts, ranged all round,
Feed in the ooze of their pasture ground; 40
Where the sea-snakes coil and twine.
Dry their mail and bask in the brine;
Where great whales come sailing by,
Sail and sail, with unshut eye,
i The breakers.
* This poem Is based on it legend which Is found in the literature of various nations. Sec
Eng. !.»., p. "11.
I Kound the w orld for ever and aye I
Children dear, was it yesterday
When down swung the sound of a far-off bell. She sighed, she looked up through the clear green sea;
She said: "I must go, for my kinsfolk pray In the little gray church on the shore to-day. 'Twill be Easter-time in the world—ah me! And I lose my poor soul, Merman! here with thee.''
I said: "Go up, dear heart, through the waves; 60 Say thy prayer, and conic back to the kind sea-caves!''
She smiled, she went up through the surf in the bay.
Children dear, was it yesterday?
Children dear, were we long alone! "The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan; Long prayers," I said, "in the world they say;
Come!" I said; and we rose through the surf
in the bay. We went up the beach, by the sandy down Where the sca-stoeks bloom, to the white-walled
Through the narrow-paved streets, where all was still, 70
To the little gray church on the windy hill.
From the church came a murmur of folk at their prayers,
But we stood without in the cold blowing airs.
We climbed on the graves, on the stones worn with rains,
And we gazed up the aisle through the small
Down, down, down!
She Hits at her wheel in the humming town,
Hinging most joyfully.
Hark what she sings: "O joy, O joy,
.For the humming street, and the child with its
toy! »0 For the priest, and the bell, and the holy well; For the wheel where I spun, And the blessed light of the sun!" And so she sings her fill, Singing most joyfully, Till the spindle drops from her hand, And the whizzing wheel stands still. She steals to the window, and looks at the
And over the sand at the sea;
And her eyes are set in a stare; 1**
And anon there breaks a sigh,
And anon there drops a tear,
From a sorrow-clouded eye,
And a heart sorrow-laden,
A long, long sigh;
For the cold strange eyes of a little Mermaiden And the gleam of her golden hair.
Come away, away children;
Singing: "Here came a mortal, 120
Hut, children, at midnight,
When soft the winds blow,
When clear falls the moonlight,
When spring tides are low;
When sweet airs come seaward
From heaths starred with broom,
And high rocks throw mildly 130
On the blanched sands a gloom;
Up the still, glistening beaches,
Up the creeks we will hie,
Over banks of bright seaweed
The ebb-tide leaves dry.
We will gaze, from the sand-hills,
At the white, sleeping town;
At the church on the hillside—
And then come back down.
I Singing: "There dwells a loved one, HO
TO A FRIEND*
Who prop, thou ask'st, in these bad days, my mind f—
He much, the old man, who, clearest-sou led of men,
Saw The Wide Prospect, and the Asian Fen,
My special thanks, whose even-balanced soul.
Others abide our question. Thou art free.
Spares but the cloudy border of his base
Self-schooled, self-scanned, self-honoured, selfsecure,
Didst tread on earth unguessed at.—Better so!
Find their sole speech in that victorious brow.
* This sonnet gives expression to Arnold's steady reliance, for mental and moral support, upon the great poets and philosophers—his constant recourse to "the best that is known and thought in the world." The three "props" mentioned here are Homer, the blind bard whom the city of Smyrna In Asia Minor claimed as her son; Eplctetus. the lame philosopher who had been a slave, and who. when Domitian banished the philosophers from Rome, went to Nicopolis in Greece and taught his Stole principles to Arrian; and Sophocles, the Athenian dramatist, author of (Eoipus at Colonus and other tragedies. Arnold explains the third line by pointing ont that the name Europe means "the wide prospect," and Asia probably means "marshy." The twelfth line has passed into familiar quotation.
AUSTEBITY OF POETRY
That son of Italy who tried to blow,i
Shuddering, they drew her garments off—and found
A robe of sackcloth next the smooth, white skin. Such, poets, is your bride, the Muse! young,
Kadiant, adorned outside; a hidden ground
Goethe in Weimar sleeps, and Greece,
When Byron's eyes were shut in death,
We bowed our head and held our breath.
He taught us little; but our soul
Had felt him like the thunder's roll.
With shivering heart the strife we saw 10
Of passion with eternal law;
And yet with reverential awe
\V*e watched the fount of fiery life
Which served for that Titanic strife.
When Goethe's death was told, wp said:
Sunk, then, is Europe's sagest bead.
Physician of the iron age,
Goethe has done his pilgrimage.
He took the suffering human race,
He read each wound, each weakness clear; 20
And struck his finger on the place,
And said: Thou ailcst here, and here.'
He looked on Europe's dying hour
Of fitful dream and feverish power;
His eye plunged down the weltering strife,
The turmoil of expiring life—
He said: The end is everywhere,
Art still has truth, take refuge there!
l Jacopone da Tod I. who was, says Gaspary, a "true type of tlio mediaeval Christian ascetic" According to the legend, he was turned by the Incident which Arnold relates from a life of gayety to one of rigorous self-imposed pen ances.
And he was happy, if to know
Causes of things, and far below 30
His feet to see the lurid flow
Of terror, and insane distress,
And headlong fate, be happiness.
And Wordsworth!—Ah, pale ghosts, rejoice!
For never has such soothing voice
Been to your shadowy world conveyed,
Since erst, at morn, some wandering shade
Heard the clear song of Orpheus come
Through Hades, and the mournful gloom.
Wordsworth has gone from us—and ye, *0
Ah, may ye feel his voice as we!
He too upon a wintry clime
Had fallen—on this iron time
Of doubts, disputes, distractions, fears.
He found us when the age had bound
Our souls in its benumbing round;
He spoke, and loosed our heart in tears.
He laid us as we lay at birth
On the cool flowery lap of earth,
Smiles broke from us and we had case; 60
The hil's were round us, and the breeze
Went o 'er the sun-lit fields again;
Our foreheads felt the wind and rain.
Our youth returned; for there was shed
On spirits that had long been dead,
Spirits dried up and closely furled,
The freshness of the early world.
Ah! since dark days still bring to light
Man's prudence and man's fiery might,
Time may restore us in his course 00
Goethe's sage mind and Byron's force;
But where will Europe's latter hour
Again find Wordsworth's healing power!
Others will teach us how to dare,
And against fear our breast to steel;
Others will strengthen us to bear—
But who, ah! who, will make us feel?
The cloud of mortal destiny,
Others will front it fearlessly—
But who, like him, will put it by! 70
Keep fresh the grass upon his grave,
0 Rotha,1 with thy living wave!
Weary of myself, and sick of asking
What I am, and what I ought to be,
At this vessel's prow I stand, which bears me
Forwards, forwards, o 'er the starlit sea.
1 The stream which flows past the churchyard of
Urasmere where Wordsworth is burled.