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'' Little brother, whence come the three, 60 Little brother!" (0 Mother, Mary Mother, Whence should they come, between Hell and Heaven?)

'' They come by the hill-verge from Boyne Bar,

Sister Helen, And one draws nigh, but two are afar." '1 Look, look, do you know them who they are, Little brother!" (0 Mother, Mary Mother, Who should they be, between Hell and Heaven?) 70

"Oh, it's Keith of Eastholm rides so fast,

Sister Helen, For 1 know the white mane on the blast." '' The hour has come, has come at last, Little brother!" (0 Mother, Mary Mother, Her hour at last, between Hell and Heaven!)

"He has made a sign and called Halloo!

Sister Helen, And he says that he would speak with you.'' 80 '' Oh tell him I fear the frozen dew,

L^tle brother." (0 Mother, Mary Mother, Why laughs she thus, between Hell and Heaven?)

'' The wind is loud, but I hear him cry,

Sister Helen, That Keith of Ewern's like to die." '' And he and thou, and thou and I,

Little brother." (O Mother, Mary Mother, 90 And they and we, between Hell and Heaven!)

'' Three days ago, on his marriage-morn, Sister Helen, He sickened, and lies since then forlorn." '' For bridegroom's side is the bride a thorn, Little brother?" (O Mother, Mary Mother, Cold bridal cheer, between Hell and Heaven!)

'' Three days and nights he has lain abed,

Sister Helen, 100 And he prays in torment to be dead." '' The thing may chance, if he have prayed, Little brother!" (O Mother, Mary Mother, If he have prayed, between Hell and Heaven!)

"But he has not ceased to cry to-day,

Sister Helen, That you should take your curse away." "My prayer was heard,—he need but pra7,

Little brother!" 110 (O Mother, Mary Mothet, Shall God not hear, between Hell and Heaven?)

"But he says, till you take back your ban,

Sister Helen, His soul would pass, yet never can." '' Nay then, shall I slay a living man, Little brother?" (O Mother, Mary Mother, A living soul, between Hell and Heaven!)

"But he calls for ever on your name, 120

Sister Helen, And says that he melts before a flame." "My heart for his pleasure fared the same, .' Little brother."

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Fire at the heart, between Hell and Heaven!)

'' Here's Keith of Westholm riding fast,

Sister Helen, For I know the white plume on the blast." '' The hoar, the sweet hour I forecast, 130 Little brother! *' (O Mother, Mary Mother, Is the hour sweet, between Hell and Heaven?)

"He stops to speak, and he stills his horse,

Sister Helen; But his words are drowned in the wind's course.''

"Nay hear, nay hear, you must hear perforce,
Little brother!"
(O Mother, Mary Mother,
What word now heard, between Hell and
Heaven?) H0

"Oh he says that Keith of Ewern's cry,
Sister Helen,
Is ever to see you ere he die."
"In all that his soul sees, there am I,
Little brother!"
(O Mother, Mary Mother,
The soul's one sight, between Hell and

"He sends a ring and a broken coin,

Sister Helen, And bids you mind the banks of Boyne." 150 '' What else he broke will he ever join, Little brother?" (0 Mother, Mary Mother, No, never joined, between Hell and Heaven!)

'' He yields you these and craves full fain,

Sister Helen, You pardon him in his mortal pain." '' What else he took will he give again, Little brother J" (0 Mother, Mary Mother, 160 Not twice to give, between Hell and Heaven!)

'' He calls your name in an agony,

Sister Helen, That even dead Love must weep to see." '' Hate, born of Love, is blind as he,

Little brother!"
(0 Mother, Mary Mother,
Love turned to hate, between Hell and

"Oh it's Keith of Keith now that rides fast,
Sister Helen, 170
For I know the white hair on the blast."
1' The short, short hour will soon be past,
Little brother!"
(0 Mother, Mary Mother,
Hill soon be past, between Hell and

'' He looks at me and he tries to speak,
Sister Helen,
But oh! his voice is sad and weak!"
'' What here should the mighty Baron seek,

Little brother?" 180 (0 Mother, Mary Mother, Is this the end, between Hell and Heavenf)

"Oh his son still cries, if you forgive,

Sister Helen, The body dies, but the soul shall live." "Fire shall forgive me as I forgive,

Little brother!" (0 Mother, Mary Mother, As she forgives, between Hell and Heaven!)

"Oh he prays you. as his heart would rive, 190

Sister Helen, To save his dear son's soul alive." '1 Fire cannot slay it, it shall thrive,

Little brother!" (0 Mother, Mary Mother, Alas, alas, between Hell and Heaven!)

"He cries to you, kneeling in the road,
Sister Helen,

To go with him for the love of God!"
"The way is long to his son's abode, 200
Little brother."
(0 Mother, Mary Mother,
The way is long, between Hell and Heaven!)

"A lady's here, by a dark steed brought,

Sister Helen,
So darkly clad, I saw her not."
"See her now or never see aught,

Little brother!"
(0 Mother, Mary Mother,
What more to see, between Hell and
Heaven?) 210

"Her hood falls back, and the moon shines

falr' Sister Helen,

On the Lady of Ewern's golden hair." '' Blest hour of my power and her despair, Little brother!" (0 Mother, Mary Mother, Hour blest and banned, between Hell and Heaven!)

"Pale, pale her cheeks, that in pride did glow,

Sister Helen, 'Neath the bridal-wreath three days ago." 220 "One morn for pride and three days for woe.

Little brother!'' £0 Mother, Mary Mother, Three days, three nights, between Hell and Heaven!)

"Her clasped hands stretch from her bending

head' Sister Helen;

With the loud wind's wail her sobs are wed." '' What wedding-strains hath her bridal bed, Little brother!" 229 (0 Mother, Mary Mother, What strain but death's, between Hell and Heaven?)

"She may not speak, she sinks in a swoon,

Sister Helen, She lifts her lips and gasps on the moon.'' "Oh! might I but hear her soul's blithe tune. Little brother!" (0 Mother, Mary Mother. Her woe's dumb cry, between Hell and Heaven!)

"They've caught her to Westholm's saddle

bow' Sister Helen, 240

And her moonlit hair gleams white in its flow.'' '' Let it turn whiter than winter snow. Little brother!"

(0 Mother. Mar,/ Mother. Woe-withered gold, between Hell ami Iharcn!) '' O Sister Helen, you beard the bell,

Sister Helen! More loud than the vesper-chime it fell.'' "No vesper-chime, but a dying knell,

Little brother!" 260 (0 Mother, Mary Mother, His dying knell, between Hell and Heaven!)

'' Alas! but I fear the heavy sound,

Sister Helen;
Is it in the sky or in the ground I"
"Say, have they turned their horses round,
Little brother!"
(O Mother, Mary Mother,
What would she more, between Hell and

"They have raised the old man from his knee,
Sister Helen, 261
And they ride in silence hastily."
'' More fast the naked soul doth flee,

Little brother!" (0 Mother, Mary Mother, The naked soul, between Hell and Heaven!)

"Flank to flank are the three steeds gone,
Sister Helen,

But the lady's dark steed goes alone.''
"And lonely her bridegroom's soul hath flown.

Little brother." 271 (0 Mother, Mary Mother, \ The lonely ghost, between Hell and Heaven!)

'' Oh the wind is sad in the iron chill,

Sister Helen, And weary sad they look by the hill." '' But he and I are sadder still,

Little brother!" (0 Mother, Mary Mother, Most sad of all, between Hell and Heaven!) 280

'' See, see, the wax has dropped from its place, Sister Helen,

And the flames are winning up apace!" '' Yet here they burn but for a space,

Little brother!'' (0 Mother, Mary Mother, Here for a space, between Hell and Heaven!)

"Ah! what white thing at the door has crossed,

Sister Helen! Ah! what is this that sighs in the frostf" 290 '' A soul that's lost as mine is lost,

Little brother!" (0 Mother, Mary Mother, Lost, lost, all lost, between Hell and Heaven!)


She wept, sweet lady,
And said in weeping:
"What spell is keeping
The stars so steady!
Why does the power
Of the sun's noon-hour
To sleep so move raef
And the moon in heaven,
Stained where she passes
As ii worn-out glass is,—
Why walks she above me!

"Stars, moon, and sun too,
I 'ni tired of cither
And all together!
Whom speak they unto
That 1 should listen!
For very surely,

Though my arms and shoulders
Dazzle beholders,
And my eyes glisten,
All's nothing purely!
What are words said for
At all about them,
If he they are made for
Can do without them!"

She laughed, sweet lady,
And said in laughing:
"His hand clings half in
My own already!
Oh! do you love me!
Oh! speak of passion
In no new fashion,
But the old sayings
You once said of me.

"You said: 'As summer,
Through boughs grown brittle,
Comes back a little
Ere frosts benumb her,—
So bring'st thou to me
All leaves and flowers,
Though autumn's gloomy
To-day in the bowers.'

"Oh! does he love me,
When my voice teaches
The very speeches
He then spoke of me!
Alas! what flavour

This is a translation, by Rossettl. of an Italian song (probably also written by him) In his poem, The hast ConfeHsion. Though apparently little more than n lour ric force of rhyme. It hn-s a quality, and portrays a mood, not common in our literature.

Still with me lingers—"
(But she laughed as my kisses
Glowed in her fingers
With love's old blisses)
"Oh! what one favour
Remains to woo him,
Whose whole poor savour
Belongs not to himf"


The wind flapped loose, the wind was still,
Shaken out dead from tree and hill:
I had walked on at the wind's will,—
I sat now, for the wind was still.

Between my knees my forehead was,—
My lips, drawn in, said not Alas!
My hair was over in the grass,
My naked ears heard the day pass.

My eyes, wide open, had the run

Of some ten weeds to fix upon;

Among those few, out of the sun,

The woodspurge flowered, three cups in one.

From perfect grief there need not be
Wisdom or even memory:
One thing then learnt remains to me,
The woodspurge has a cup of three.


Say, is it day, is it dusk in thy bower,

Thou whom I long for, who longest for me?

Oh! be it light, be it night, 'tis Love's hour, Love's that is fettered as Love's that is free.

Free Love has leaped to that innermost chamber,

Oh! the last time, and the hundred before: Fettered Love, motionless, can but remember, Yet something that sighs from him passes the door. 8

Nay, but my heart when it flies to thy bower, What does it find there that knows it again?

There it must droop like a shower-beaten flower. Red at the rent core and dark with the rain.

Ah! yet what shelter is still shed above it,— What waters still image its leaves torn apart i

Thy soul is the shade that clings round it to lore it,

And tears are its mirror deep down in thy heart. 16

What were my prize, could I enter the bower, This day, to-morrow, at eve or at morn}

Large lovely arms and a neck like a tower,

Bosom then heaving that now lies forlorn. Kindled with love-breath, (the sun's kiss is colder!)

Thy sweetness all near me, so distant to-day; My hand round thy neck and thy hand on my shoulder,

My mouth to thy mouth as the world melts away. 24

What is it that keeps me afar from thy bower,—

My spirit, my body, so fain to be there! Waters engulfing or fires that devour?—

Earth heaped against me or death in the air' Nay, but in day-dreams, for terror, for pity,

The trees wave their heads with an omen to tell;

Nay, but in night-dreams, throughout the dark city,

The hours, clashed together, lose count in the bell. 32

Shall I not one day remember thy bower,

One day when all days are one day to me?— Thinking, 'I stirred not, and yet had the power,'

Yearning, 'Ah God, if again it might be!' Peace, peace! such a small lamp illumes, on this highway, So dimly so few steps in front of my feet,— Yet shows me that her way is parted from my way. . . . Out of sight, beyond light, at what goal may we meet? 40


The day is dark and the night

To him that would search their heart;
No lips of cloud that will part
Nor morning song in the light:
Only, gazing alone,
To him wild shadows are shown,
Deep under deep unknown
And height above unknown height.
Still we say as we go,—

"Strange to think by the way,
Whatever there is to know,
That shall we know one day."

The Past is over and fled;

Named new, we name it the old;

Thereof some tale hath been told, But no word comes from the dead;

Whether at all they be,

Or whether as bond or free,

Or whether they too were we,

Or by what spell they have sped.
8U11 we say as we go,—

"Strange to think by the way,
Whatever there is to know,

That shall we know one day."

What of the heart of hate

That beats in thy breast, O Time?—
Red strife from the furthest prime,
And anguish of fierce debate;
War that shatters her slain,
And peace that grinds them as grain,
And eyes fixed ever in vain
On the pitiless eyes of Fate.
Still we say as we go,—

"Strange to think by the way,
Whatever there is to know,
That shall we know one day."

What of the heart of love

That bleeds in thy breast, O Man?
Thy kisses snatched 'neath the ban
Of fangs that mock them above;
Thy bells prolonged unto knells,
Thy hope that a breath dispels,
Thy bitter forlorn farewells
And the empty echoes thereof f
Still we say as we go,—

"Strange to think by the way,
Whatever there is to know,
That shall we know one day."

The sky leans dumb on the sea,
Aweary with all its wings;
And ohl the song the sea sings
Is dark everlastingly.
Our past is clean forgot,
Our present is and is not,
Our future's a sealed seedplot,
And what betwixt them are wef—
We who say as we go,—

"Strange to think by the way,
Whatever there is to know,
That shall we know one day."

The Sonnet
A Sonnet is a moment's monument,—
Memorial from the Soul's eternity
To one dead deathless hour. Look that it be,
Whether for lustral rite or dire portent,

• The "house of life" was the first of the twelve divisions of the heavens made by old astrologers In casting the horoscope of a man's destiny. This series of a hundred and one sonnets Is a faithful record, drawn from Rossettl's own Inward experience, "of the mysterious conjunctions and oppositions wrought by: Love. Change, and Fate In the House of Life."—Eng. Lit., p. 373. I

Of its own arduous fulness reverent:
Carve it in ivory or in ebony,
As Day or Night may rule; and let Time see
Its flowering crest impearled and orient.
A Sonnet is a coin: its face reveals
The Soul,—its converse, to what Power 'tis

Whether for tribute to the august appeals
Of Life, or dower in Love's high retinue,
It serve; or 'mid the dark wharf's cavernous

In Charon's palm it pay the toll to Death.


When do I see thee most, beloved onef
When in the light the spirits of mine eyes
Before thy face, their altar, solemnize
The worship of that Love through thee made

Or when in the dusk hours, (we two alone,)
Close-kissed and eloquent of still replies
Thy twilight-hidden glimmering visage lies,
And my soul only sees thy soul its ownf

0 love, my love! if I no more should see Thyself, nor on the earth the shadow of thee, Xor image of thine eyes in any spring,—

How then should sound upon Life's darkening slope

The ground-whirl of the perished leaves of Hope,

The wind of Death's imperishable wingf

XIX. Silent Noon Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, The finger-points look through like rosy blooms; Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms

'Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass. All round our nest, far as the eye can pass, Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthornhedge.

'Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the

So this wing'd hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.

XLIX—LII. Willowwood

1 sat with Love upon a woodside well,
Leaning across the water, I and he;
Nor ever did he speak nor looked at me,

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