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I have words thine ear to fill, And would kiss thee at my will.

Dear, I heard thee in the spring,
Thee and Robert, through the trees,
When we all went gathering

Boughs of May-bloom for the bees.
Do not start so! think instead
How the sunshine overhead
Seemed to trickle through the shade.

What a day it was, that day!

Hills and vales did openly Seem to heave and throb away, At the sight of the great sky; And the silence, as it stood In the glory's golden flood, Audibly did bud - and bud!

Through the winding hedge-rows green,
How we wandered, I and you, -
With the bowery tops shut in,


And the gates that showed the view;
How we talked there! thrushes soft
Sang our pauses out, or oft
Bleatings took them from the croft.

Till the pleasure, grown too strong,
Left me muter evermore;
And, the winding road being long,
I walked out of sight, before;
And so, wrapt in musings fond,
Issued (past the wayside pond)
On the meadow-lands beyond.

I sat down beneath the beech

Which leans over to the lane,
And the far sound of your speech

Did not promise any pain;
And I blessed you full and free,
With a smile stooped tenderly
O'er the May-flowers on my knee.
But the sound grew into word

As the speakers drew more near-
Sweet, forgive me that I heard

What you wished me to hear.
Do not weep so, do not shake-
O, I heard thee, Bertha, make
Good, true answers for my sake.
Yes, and he too! let him stand

In thy thoughts, untouched by blame. Could he help it, if my hand

He had claimed with hasty claim!
That was wrong perhaps, but then
Such things be, and will, again!
Women cannot judge for men.

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Had he seen thee, when he swo

He would love but me alone? Thou wert absent, sent before To our kin in Sidmouth town. When he saw thee, who art best Past compare, and loveliest, He but judged thee as the rest. Could we blame him with grave words, Thou and I, dear, if we might? Thy brown eyes have looks like birds Flying straightway to the light; Mine are older. Hush!-look outUp the street! Is none without? How the poplar swings about!

And that hour- beneath the beech-
When I listened in a dream,
And he said, in his deep speech,

That he owed me all esteem,
Each word swam in on my brain
With a dim, dilating pain,
Till it burst with that last strain.

I fell flooded with a dark,

In the silence of a swoon: When I rose, still, cold, and stark, There was night, I saw the moon; And the stars, each in its place, And the May-blooms on the grass, Seemed to wonder what I was.

And I walked as if apart

From myself when I could stand, And I pitied my own heart,

As if I held it in my hand
Somewhat coldly, with a sense
Of fulfilled benevolence,
And a "Poor thing" negligence.

And I answered coldly too,

When you met me at the door; And I only heard the dew

Dripping from me to the floor;
And the flowers I bade you see
Were too withered for the bee, -
As my life, henceforth, for me.

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With that look, besides, we have

In our faces who die young.
I had died, dear, all the same,
Life's long, joyous, jostling game
Is too loud for my meek shame.

We are so unlike each other,

Thou and I, that none could guess We were children of one mother,

But for mutual tenderness.
Thou art rose-lined from the cold,
And meant, verily, to hold
Life's pure pleasures manifold.

I am pale as crocus grows

Close beside a rose-tree's root! Whosoe'er would reach the rose

Treads the crocus underfoot;
1, like May-bloom on thorn-tree,
Thou, like merry summer-bee!
Fit, that I be plucked for thee.

Yet who plucks me?-no one mourns;
I have lived my season out,
And now die of my own thorns,

Which I could not live without.
Sweet, be merry! How the light
Comes and goes! If it be night,
Keep the candles in my sight.
Are there footsteps at the door?

Look out quickly. Yea or nay?
Some one might be waiting for

Some last word that I might say.
Nay? So best!-So angels would
Stand off clear from deathly road,
Not to cross the sight of God.

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Rather smile there, blessed one,
Thinking of me in the sun, -
Or forget me, smiling on!


Art thou near me? nearer? so!
Kiss me close upon the eyes,
That the earthly light may go

Sweetly as it used to rise,
When I watched the morning gray
Strike, betwixt the hills, the way
He was sure to come that day.


So no more vain words be said!
The hosannas nearer roll-
Mother, smile now on thy dead, ·
I am death-strong in my soul!
Mystic Dove alit on cross,
Guide the poor bird of the snows
Through the snow-wind above loss!

Jesus, Victim, comprehending

Love's divine self-abnegation, Cleanse my love in its self-spending, And absorb the poor libation! Wind my thread of life up higher, Up through angels' hands of fire! — I aspire while I expire!


WHAT was he doing, the great god Pan,

Down in the reeds by the river? Spreading ruin and scattering ban, Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,

And breaking the golden lilies afloat
With the dragon-fly on the river?

He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,

From the deep, cool bed of the river, The limpid water turbidly ran, And the broken lilies a-dying lay, And the dragon-fly had fled away,

Ere he brought it out of the river.

High on the shore sat the great god Pan,
While turbidly flowed the river,
And hacked and hewed as a great god can
With his hard, bleak steel at the patient

Till there was not a sign of a leaf indeed To prove it fresh from the river.

He cut it short, did the great god Pan, (How tall it stood in the river!)

Then drew the pith like the heart of a | And how, when one by one sweet sounds


Steadily from the outside ring,
Then notched the poor dry empty thing
In holes, as he sate by the river.

and wandering lights departed, He wore no less a loving face because so broken-hearted;

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He shall be strong to sanctify the poet's high vocation,

And bow the meekest Christian down in meeker adoration;

Nor ever shall he be, in praise, by wise

or good forsaken;

Named softly as the household name of one whom God hath taken.

With quiet sadness and no gloom I learn
to think upon him,

With meekness that is gratefulness to
God whose heaven hath won him,—
Who suffered once the madness-cloud to
His own love to blind him;
But gently led the blind along where
breath and bird could find him;

And wrought within his shattered brain such quick poetic senses

As hills have language for, and stars harmonious influences!


pulse of dew upon the grass kept his within its number; And silent shadows from the trees refreshed him like a slumber.

Wild timid hares were drawn from woods to share his home-caresses, Uplooking to his human eyes with sylvan tendernesses:

The very world, by God's constraint, from falsehood's ways removing, Its women and its men became, beside him, true and loving.

But though in blindness he remained
unconscious of that guiding,
And things provided came without the
sweet sense of providing,
He testified this solemn truth, while
frenzy desolated,

Nor man nor nature satisfy whom only
God created!

Like a sick child that knoweth not his
mother while she blesses,
And drops upon his burning brow the
coolness of her kisses;

That turns his fevered eyes around, "My
mother! where's my mother?"-
As if such tender words and deeds could
come from any other!

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