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Here, where the reaper was at work of But once, years after, in the country-lanes, late,

Two scholars, whom at college erst he In this high field's dark corner, where he

knew, leaves

Met him, and of his way of life inHis coat, his basket, and his earthen

quired; cruse,

Whereat he answered, that the gypsyAnd in the sun all morning binds the

crew, sheaves,

His mates, had arts to rule as they Then here at noon comes back his stores

to use, -

The workings of men's brains,
Here will I sit and wait,

And they can bind them to what thoughts While to my ear from uplands far away

they will. The bleating of the folded flocks is “And I,” he said, “the secret of their borne,

art, With distant cries of reapers in the When fully learned, will to the world corn,

impart; All the live murmur of a summer's day. But it needs Heaven-sent moments for

this skill."

50 Screened is this nook o'er the high, halfreaped field,

This said, he left them, and returned no And here till sundown, shepherd ! will I


But rumors hung about the country-side, Through the thick corn the scarlet pop That the lost Scholar long was seen to pies peep,

stray, And round green roots and yellowing Seen by rare glimpses, pensive and tonguestalks I see

tied, Pale blue convolvulus in tendrils creep; In hat of antique shape, and cloak of And air-swept lindens yield

gray, Their scent, and rustle down their per

The same the gypsies wore. fumed showers

Shepherds had met him on the Hurst in Of bloom on the bent grass where I am

spring; laid,

At some lone alehouse in the BerkAnd bower me from the August-sun

shire moors, with shade;

On the warm ingle-bench, the smockAnd the eye travels down to Oxford's

frocked boors towers.

30 Had found him seated at their entering; And near me on the grass lies Glanvil's But, 'mid their drink and clatter, he would

book. Come, let me read the oft-read tale again! And I myself seem half to know thy The story of that Oxford scholar poor,

looks, Of shining parts and quick inventive And put the shepherds, wanderer ! on brain,

thy trace; Who, tired of knocking at preferment's And boys who in lone wheat-fields scare door,

the rooks One summer-morn forsook

I ask if thou hast passed their quiet His friends, and went to learn the gypsy- | place; lore,

Or in my boat I lie And roamed the world with that wild 1 Moored to the cool bank in the summerbrotherhood,



'Mid wide grass meadows which the

sunshine fills, And watch the warm, green-muffled

Cumner hills, And wonder if thou haunt'st their shy




For most, I know, thou lov'st retired ground! Thee at the ferry Oxford riders blithe, Returning home on summer-nights,

have met Crossing the stripling Thames at Bab

lock-hithe, Trailing in the cool stream thy fingers


Thy dark vague eyes, and soft ab

stracted air: But, when they came from bathing, thou

wast gone! At some lone homestead in the Cumner

hills, Where at her open door the housewife

darns, Thou bast been seen, or hanging on a

gate To watch the threshers in the mossy

barns. Children, who early range these slopes

and late For cresses from the rills, Have known thee eying, all an April

day, The springing pastures and the feed

ing kine; And marked thee, when the stars

come out and shine, Through the long dewy grass move

slow away. In autumn, on the skirts of Bagley Wood, Where most the gypsies by the turf

edged way Pitch their smoked tents, and every

· bush you see With scarlet patches tagged and shreds

of gray, Above the forest ground called Thes

saly, —

The blackbird picking food Sees thee, nor stops his ineal, nor fears

at all; So often bas he known thee past him

stray, Rapt, twirling in thy hand a withered

spray, And waiting for the spark from heaven


As the punt's rope chops round; And leaning backward in a pensive dream, And fostering in thy lap a heap of

flowers Plucked in shy fields and distant Wych

wood bowers, And thine eyes resting on the moonlit

stream. And then they land, and thou art seen no

more! Maidens, who from the distant hamlets

come To dance around the Fyfield elm in

Oft through the darkening fields have

seen thee roam,
Or cross a stile into the public way;

Oft thou hast given them store
Of flowers, – the frail-leaved, white

anemone, Dark bluebells drenched with dews of

summer eves, And purple orchises with spotted

leaves, – But none hath words she can report of thee!

90 And, above Godstow Bridge, when hay

time 's here In June, and many a scythe in sunshine

flames, Men who through those wide fields of

breezy grass, Where black-winged swallows haunt the

glittering Thames, To bathe in the abandoned lasher pass,

Have often passed thee near Sitting upon the river-bank o'ergrown; Marked thine outlandish garb, thy fig.

ure spare,

I 10

to fail.


And once, in winter, on the causeway

chill Where home through flooded fields foot

travellers go, Have I not passed thee on the wooden

bridge Wrapped in thy cloak and battling with

the snow,
Thy face toward Hinksey and its win-

try ridge ?
And thou hast climbed the hill,

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And gained the white brow of the Cum

ner range; Turned once to watch, while thick the

snow-flakes fall, The line of festal light in Christ-church

hall: Then sought thy straw in some sequestered grange.

130 But what I dream! Two hundred years

are flown Since first thy story ran through Oxford

halls, And the grave Glanvil did the tale in

scribe That thou wert wandered from the stu

dious walls To learn strange arts, and join the


And thou from earth art gone
Long since, and in some quiet churchyard

laid, -
Some country-nook, where o'er thy un-

known grave Tall grasses and white flowering nettles

wave, Under a dark, red-fruited yew-tree's shade.

140 – No, no, thou hast not felt the lapse of

hours ! For what wears out the life of mortal

men ? 'Tis that from change to change their

being rolls; 'Tis that repeated shocks, again, again, Exhaust the energy of strongest souls,

And numb the elastic powers,
Till having used our nerves with bliss

and teen,
And tired upon a thousand schemes

our wit, To the just-pausing Genius we re

mit Our well-worn life, and are — what we have been.

150 Thou hast not lived, why shouldst thou

perish, so? Thou hadst one aim, one business, one de

sire; Else wert thou long since numbered

with the dead!. Else hadst thou spent, like other men, thy


For early didst thou leave the world, with

powers Fresh, undiverted to the world without, Firm to their mark, not spent on other

things; Free from the sick fatigue, the languid

doubt, Which much to have tried, in much

been baffled, brings.

O life unlike to ours! Who fluctuate idly without term or scope, Of whom each strives, nor knows for

what he strives, And each half lives a hundred different

lives; Who wait like thee, but not, like thee, in hope.

170 Thou waitest for the spark from heaven!

and we, Light half-believers of our casual creeds, Who never deeply felt, nor clearly

willed, Whose insight never has borne fruit in

deeds, Whose vague resolves never have been


For whom each year we see Breeds new beginnings, disappointments

new; Who hesitate and falter life away, And lose to-morrow the ground won

to-day Ah! do not we, wanderer! await it too?

Yes, we await it! but it still delays, 181 And then we suffer! avd amongst us

one, Who most has suffered, takes deject

edly His seat npon the intellectual throne; And all his store of sad experience he

Lays bare of wretched days;
Tells us his misery's birth and growth

and signs,


And how the dying spark of hope was But fly our paths, our feverish contact fed,

fly! And how the breast was soothed, and For strong the infection of our mental how the head,

strife, And all his hourly varied anodynes. 190 Which, though it gives no bliss, yet

spoils for rest; This for our wisest! and we others pine, And we should wiu thee from thy own And wish the long unhappy dream would

fair life, end,

Like us distracted, and like us unblest. And waive all claim to bliss, and try Soon, soon thy cheer would die, to bear;

Thy hopes grow timorous, and unfixed With close-lipped patience for our only

thy powers, friend, —

And tby clear ainis be cross and shiftSad patience, too near neighbor to de

ing made: spair,

And then thy glad perennial youth But none has hope like thine!

would fade, Thou through the fields and through the Fade, and grow old at last, and die like woods dost stray,


230 Roaming the country-side, a truant boy,

Nursing thy project in unclouded joy, Then fly our greetings, fly our speech and And every doubt long blown by time

smiles ! away.

- As some grave Tyrian trader, from

the sea, Oh, born in days when wits were fresh and Descried at sunrise an emerging prow clear,

Lifting the cool-baired creepers stealthAnd life ran gayly as the sparkling

ily, Thames;

The fringes of a southward-facing Before this strange disease of modern

brow life,

Among the Ægean isles; With its sick hurry, its divided aims, And saw the merry Grecian coaster Its heads o'ertaxed, its palsied hearts,

come, was rife,

Freighted with amber grapes, and Fly hence, our contact fear!

Chian wine, Still fly, plunge deeper in the howering Green bursting figs, and tunnies wood !

steeped in brine, Averse, as Dido did with gesture stern And knew the intruders on his ancient From her false friend's approach in

home, Hades turn,

209 Wave us away, and keep thy solitude ! The young light-hearted masters of the

waves, — Still nursing the unconquerable hope,

And snatched his rudder, and shook out Still clutching the inviolable shade,

more sail, With a free, onward impulse brushing And day and night held on indigthrough,

nantly By night, the silvered branches of the O'er the blue Midland waters with the glade,

gale, Far on the forest-skirts, where none Betwixt the Syrtes and soft Sicily, pursue,

To where the Atlantic raves
On some mild pastoral slope

Outside the western straits, and unbent Emerge, and resting on the moonlit pales

sails Freshen thy flowers as in former years There where down clondy cliffs, With dew, or listen with enchanted

through sheets of foam, ears,

Shy traffickers, the dark Iberians From the dark dingles, to the nightin


249 gales !

220 | And on the beach undid his corded bales.


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