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Upon the hollow stream whose bed
Is channelled by the foamless years;

And with the white the gold-haired head
Mixed running locks, and in Time ears

Youth's dreams hung singing, and Time's truth

Was half not harsh in the ears of Youth. 10

Between the bud and the blown flower
Youth talked with joy and grief an hour,

With footless joy and wingless grief

And twin-born faith and disbelief Who share the seasons to devour;

And long ere these made up their sheaf Felt the winds round him shake and shower

The rose-red and the blood-red leaf,
Delight whose germ grew never grain,
And passion dyed in its own pain. 20

Then he stood up, and trod to dust
Fear and desire, mistrust and trust,

And dreams of bitter sleep and sweet,

And bound for sandals on his feet Knowledge and patience of what must

And what things may be, in the heat And cold of years that rot and rust

And alter; and his spirit's meat
Was freedom, and his staff was wrought
Of strength, and his cloak woven of thought. 30

For what has he whose will sees clear
To do with doubt and faith and fear,

Swift hopes and slow despondencies?

His heart is equal with the sea's
And with the sea-wind's, and his ear

Is level to the speech of these,
And his soul communes and takes cheer

With the actual earth's equalities,
Air, light, and night, hills, winds, and streams.
And seeks not strength from strengthless
dreams. 40

His soul is even with the sun
Whose spirit and whose eyes are one,

Who seeks not stars by day nor light

And heavy heat of day by night.
Him can no God cast down, whom none

Can lift in hope beyond the height
Of faith and nature and things done

By the calm rule of might and right
That bids men be and bear and do,
And die beneath blind skies or blue. 60

To him the lights of even and morn
Speak no vain things of love or scorn,

Fancies and passions miscreate

By man in things dispassionate. Nor holds he fellowship forlorn

With souls that pray and hope and hate,

; And doubt they had better not been born,
I And fain would lure or scare off fate
And charm their doomsman from their doom
And make fear dig its own false tomb. 60

He builds not half of doubts and half
Of dreams bis own soul's cenotaph,

Whence hopes and fears with helpless eyes,

Wrapt loose in cast-off cerecloths, rise And dance and wring their hands and laugh,

And weep thin tears and sigh light sighs, And without living lips would quaff

The living spring in man that lies,
And drain his soul of faith and strength
It might have lived on a life's length. 70

He hath given himself and hath not sold
To God for heaven or man for gold,

Or grief for comfort that it gives,

Or joy for grief 'a restoratives.
He hath given himself to time, whose fold

Shuts in the mortal flock that lives
On its plain pasture's heat and cold

And the equal year's alternatives.
Earth, heaven, and time, death, life, and he.
Endure while they shall be to be. 80

"Yet between death and life are hours
To flush with love and hide in flowers;

What profit save in these?" men cry:

"Ah, see, between soft earth and sky, What only good things here are ours!"

They say, "What better wouldst thou try, What sweeter sing of? or what powers

Serve, that will give thee ere thou die
More joy to sing and be less sad.
More heart to play and grow more glad?" 90

Play then and sing; we too have played,
We likewise, in that subtle shade.

We too have twisted through our hair

Such tendrils as the wild Loves wear. And heard what mirth the Monads* made,

Till the wind blew our garlands bare And left their roses disarrayed,

And smote the summer with strange air.
And disengirdled and discrowned 99
The limbs and locks that vine-wreaths bound.

We too have tracked by star-proof trees
The tempest of the Thyiades'

Scare the loud night on hills that hid

The blood-feasts of the Bassarid.i Heard their song's iron cadences

Fright the wolf hungering from the kid, Outroar the lion-throated seas,

Outehide the north-wind if it chid. And hush the torrent-tongued ravines With thunders of their tambourines. 110 I Ancient names of votnrles of Bacchus.

Rut the fierce flute whose notes acclaim
Dim goddesses of fiery fame,

Cymbal and clamorous kettledrum,

Timbrels and tabrets, all are dumb That turned the high chill air to flame;

The singing tongues of fire are numb That called on Cotysz by her name

Edonian, - till they felt her come
And maddened, and her mystic face
Lightened along the streams of Thrace. 120

For Pleasure slumberless and pale,
And Passion with rejected veil,

Pass, and the tempest-footed throng

Of hours that follow them with song Till their feet flag and voices fail,

And lips that were so loud so long Learn silence, or a wearier wail;

So keen is change, and time so strong,
To weave the robes of life and rend
And weave again till life have end. 130

But weak is change, but strengthless time,
To take the light from heaven, or climb

The hills of heaven with wasting feet.

Songs they can stop that earth found meet, But the stars keep their ageless rhyme;

Flowers they can slay that spring thought sweet,

But the stars keep their spring sublime;

Passions and pleasures can defeat,
Actions and agonies control,
And life and death, but not the soul. HO

Because man's soul is man's God still,
What wind soever waft his will

Across the waves of day and night

To port or shipwreck, left or right, By shores and shoals of good and ill;

And still its flame at mainmast height Through the rent air that foam-flakes fill

Sustains the indomitable light
Whence only man hath strength to steer
Or helm to handle without fear. 150

Save his own soul's light overhead,
None leads him, and none ever led,

Across birth's hidden harbour-bar,

Past youth where shoreward shallows are, Through age that drives on toward the red

Vast void of sunset hailed from far, To the equal waters of the dead;

Save his own soul he hath no star,
And sinks, except his own soul guide,
Helmless in middle turn of tide. 160

No blast of air or fire of sun
Puts out the light whereby we run

2 An Edonian. or Thraelan, divinity, worshiped with licentious revelry.

With girdled loins our lamplit race,'1

Anil each from each takes heart of grace And spirit till his turn be done,

And light of face from each man's face In whom the light of trust is one;

Since only souls that keep their place
By their own light, and watch things roll,
And stand, have light for any soul. 170

A little time we gain from time
To set our seasons in some chime,

For harsh or sweet or loud or low,

With seasons played out long ago And souls that in their time and prime

Took part with summer or with snow, Lived abject lives out or sublime,

And had their chance of seed to sow For service or disservice done To those days dead and this their son. 180

A little time that we may fill

Or with such good works or such ill

As loose the bonds or make them strong

Wherein all manhood Buffers wrong. By rose-hung river and light-foot rill

There are who rest not; who think long Till they discern as from a hill

At the sun's hour of morning song, Known of souls only, and those souls free, The sacred spaces of the sea. 190


Italia, mother of the souls of men,

Mother divine, Of all that served thee best with sword or pen,

All sons of thine,

Thou knowest that here the likeness of the best

Before thee stands: The head most high, the heart found faithfullest,

The purest hands.

Above the fume and foam of time that flits,

The soul, we know, 10

Now sits on high where Alighieri sits
With Angelo.

Not his own heavenly tongue hath heavenly speech

Enough to say

3 In allusion to the ancient torch race.

• Joseph Maztlnl. the Italian patriot, died In 1X7:!. A monument was erected to him at (icnoa (Genoa "I*a Superba*'>. where there Is also a monument to folumhus. Alltrhlerl (line 11) la Dante, Angelo la Michelangelo.

What this man was, whose praise no thought may reach,

No words can weigh.

Since man's first mother brought to mortal birth

Her first-born son,
Such grace befell not ever man on earth

As crowns this One. 20

Of God nor man was ever this thing said:

That he could give life back to her who gave him, whence his dead

Mother might live.

But this man found his mother dead and slain.

With fast-sealed eyes,
And bade the dead rise up and live again,

And she did rise:

And all the world was bright with her through him:

But dark with strife, 30 Like heaven's own sun that storming clouds bedim,

Was all his life.

Life and the clouds are vanished; hate and fear

Have had their span
Of time to hurt and are not: He is here,

The sunlike man.

City superb, that hadst Columbus first

For sovereign son,
Be prouder that thy breast hath later nurst

This mightier One. 40

Glory be his for ever, while his land

Lives and is free, As with controlling breath and sovereign hand

He bade her be.

Earth shows to heaven the names by thousands told

That crown her fame, But highest of all that heaven and earth behold,

Mazzini's name.


Who is your lady of love, O ye that pass Singing! and is it for sorrow of that which was That ye sing sadly, or dream of what shall be? For gladly at once and sadly it seems ye sing.

• The poem is in the form of a dialogue, as indicated by the dashes.—a speech and a reply In each stanza. For form, compare with It 'IVnnyson's The Tiro Voire*; for thought, Wordsworth's Ode to Duty, Tennyson's Waget, and Browning's Rabbi Ben Ezra.

—Our lady of love by you is unbeholden; For hands she hath none, nor eyes, nor lips, nor golden

Treasure of hair, nor face nor form; but we That love, we know her more fair than anything. 8

—Is she a queen, having great gifts to givef —Yea, these: that whoso hath seen her shall not live

Except he serve her sorrowing, with strange pain.

Travail and bloodshedding and bitterer tears; And when she bids die he shall surely die. And he shall leave all things under the sky, And go forth naked under sun and rain,

And work and wait and watch out all his

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—O ye that follow, and have ye no repentance! For on your brows is written a mortal sentence, An hieroglyph of sorrow, a fiery sign,

That in your lives ye shall not pause or rest, Nor have the sure sweet common love, nor keep Friends and safe days, nor joy of life nor sleep.

—These have we not, who have one thing, the divine

Face and clear eyes of faith and fruitful breast. S2

—And ye shall die before your thrones be won. —Yea, and the changed world and the liberal sun

Shall move and shine without us, and we lie Dead; but if she too move on earth, and live,

But if the old world with all the old irons rent

Laugh and give thanks, shall we not be content!

Nay, we shall rather live, we shall not die, Life being Bo little, and death so good to give.

—And these men shall forget you.—Yea, but we Shall be a part of the earth and the ancient sea, And heaven-high air august, and awful fire. And all things good; and no man's heart shall beat

But somewhat in it of our blood once shed Shall quiver and quicken, as now in us the dead Blood of men slain and the old same life's desire

Plants in their fiery footprints our fresh feet." *«

—But ye that might be clothed with all things pleasant,

Ye are foolish that put off the fair soft present, That clothe yourselves with the cold future air;

When mother and father, and tender sister and brother

And the old live love that was shall be as ye, Dust, and no fruit of loving life shall be. —She shall be yet who ig more than all these were,

Than sister or wife or father unto us or mother. 66

—Is this worth life, is this, to win for wages! Lo, the dead mouths of the awful grey-grown ages,

The venerable, in the past that is their prison, In the outer darkness, in the unopening grave,

Laugh, knowing how many as ye now say have said,

How many, and all are fallen, are fallen and dead:

Shall ye dead rise, and these dead have not risen?

—Not we but she, who is tender, and swift to save. 64

—Are ye not weary and faimt not by the way, Seeing night by night devoured of day by day, Seeing hour by hour consumed in sleepless fire? Sleepless; and ye too, when shall ye too sleep?

—We are weary in heart and head, in hands and feet,

And surely more than all things sleep were sweet,—

Than all things save the inexorable desire Which whoso knoweth shall neither faint nor weep. 72

—Is this so sweet that one were fain to follow? Is this so sure where all men's hopes are hollow,

Even this your dream, that by much tribulation Yp shall make whole flawed hearts, and

bowed necks straight? —Nay, though our life were blind, our death

were fruitless,

Not therefore were the whole world's high hope rootless;

But man to man, nation would turn to nation, And the old life live, and the old great word be great. 80

—Pass on, then, and pass by us, and let us be, For what light think ye after life to seef And if the world fare better will ye know? And if man triumph who shall seek you and say?

—Enough of light is this for one life's span, That all men born are mortal, but not man; And we men bring death lives by night to sow, That men may reap and eat and live by day. 88


In a coign of the cliff between lowland and highland,

At the sea-down's edge between windward and lee,

Walled round with rocks as an inland island,

The ghost of a garden fronts the sea, A girdle of brushwood and thorn encloses

The steep square slope of the blossomless bed Where the weeds that grew green from the graves of its roses

Now lie dead. 8

The fields fall southward, abrupt and broken, To the low last edge of the long Ion 3 land.

If a step should sound or a word be spoken, Would a ghost not rise at the strange guest's hand?

So long have the grey bare walks lain guestless, Through branches and briars if a man make way,

He shall find no life but the sea-wind's, restless

Night and day. 16

The dense hard passage is blind and stifled

That crawls by a track none turn to climb To the straight waste place that the years have rifled

Of all but the thorns that are touched not of time.

The thorns he spares when the rose is taken;

The rocks are left when he wastes the plain; The wind that wandeTS, the weeds wind-shaken, These remain. 24

Not a flower to be pressed of the foot that falls not;

As the heart of a dead man the seed-plots are dry;

From the thicket of thorns whence the nightin-
gale calls not,
Could she call, there were never a rose to

Over the meadows that blossom and wither,
Rings but the note of a sea-bird's song.
Only the sun and the rain come hither

All year long. 32

The sun burns sere, and the rain dishevels
One gaunt bleak blossom of scentless breath.

Only the wind here hovers and revels
In a round where life seems barren as death.

Here there was laughing of old, there was weeping,

Haply, of lovers none ever will know, Whose eyes went seaward a hundred sleeping

Years ago. <0

Heart handfast in heart as they stood, '' Look thither,"

Did he whisper? "Look forth from the flowers to the sea; For the foam-flowers endure when the roseblossoms wither,

And men that love lightly may die—But we?"

And the same wind sang, and the same waves whitened,

And or ever the garden's last petals were shed,

In the lips that had whispered, the eyes that had lightened,

Love was dead. 48

Or they loved their life through, and then went whithert

And were one to the end—but what end who knows?

Love deep as the sea as a rose must wither.

As the rose-red seaweed that mocks the rose. Shall the dead take thought for the dead to love themf What love was ever as deep as a grave? They are loveless now as the grass above them Or the wave. 56

All are at one now, roses and lovers.

Not known of the cliffs and the fields and the sea.

Not a breath of the time that has been hovers

In the air now soft with a summer to be. Not a breath shall there sweeten the seasons hereafter

Of the flowers or the lovers that laugh now or weep,

When, as they that are free now of weeping and laughter,

We shall sleep. 64

| Here death may deal not again forever;

Here change may come not till all change end.

From the graves they have made they shall rise up never,

Who have left naught living to ravage and rend.

Earth, stones, and thorns of the wild ground growing,

While the sun and the rain live, these shall be;

Till a last wind's breath upon all these blowing

Roll the sea. ~

Till the slow sea rise and the sheer cliff crumble,

Till terrace and meadow the deep gulfs drink. Till the strength of the waves of the high tides humble

The fields that lessen, the rocks that shrink, Here now in his triumph where all things falter. Stretched out on the spoils that his own hand spread,

As a god self-slain on his own strange altar,

Death lies dead. 80


1 hid my heart in a nest of roses,

Out of the sun's way, hidden apart; In a softer bed than the soft white snow's is, tinder the roses I hid my heart. Why would it sleep notf why should it start, When never a leaf of the rose-tree stirred f

What made sleep flutter his wings and part? Only the song of a secret bird. 8

Lie still, I said, for the wind's wing closes,
And mild leaves muffle the keen sun's dart;
Lie still, for the wind on the warm sea dozes,
And the wind is unquieter yet than thou art.
Does a thought in thee still as a thorn's
wound smart?
Does the fang still fret thee of hope deferred?

What bids the lids of thy sleep dispart? Only the song of a secret bird. 16

The green land's name that a charm encloses,

It never was writ in the traveller's chart, And sweet on its trees as the fruit that grows is, It never was sold in the merchant's mart. The swallows of dreams through its dim fields dart,

And sleep's are the tunes in its tree-tops heard;

No hound's note wakens the wildwood hart, Only the song of a secret bird. 24

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