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THYRSIS

Against the west - I miss it! is it gone ?

We prized it dearly; while it stood, A MONODY, to commemorate the author's friend

we said, ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH,

Our friend the Gypsy-Scholar was not who died at Florence, 1861

dead;

While the tree lived, he in these fields (Publ. 1867]

lived on. How changed is here each spot man makes | Too rare, too rare, grow now my visits here, or fills!

But once I knew each field, each flower, In the two Hinkseys nothing keeps the

each stick; same;

And with the country-folk acquaintThe village street its haunted mansion

ance made lacks,

By barn in threshing-time, by new-built And from the sign is gone Sibylla's

rick. name,

Here, too, our shepherd-pipes we first And from the roofs the twisted chim

assayed.
ney-stacks. —

Ah me! this many a year
Are ye too changed, ye hills ?

My pipe is lost, my shepherd's-holiday! See, 't is no foot of unfamiliar men

Needs must I lose them, needs with To-night from Oxford up your path

heavy heart way strays!

Into the world and wave of men depart, Here came 'I often, often, in old But Thyrsis of his own will went away. 40

days, — Thyrsis and I: we still had Thyrsis | It irked him to be here, he could not rest. then.

He loved each simple joy the country

yields, Ruus it not here, the track by Childsworth He loved his mates; but yet he could Farm,

not keep, Past the high wood, to where the elm- For that a shadow lowered on the fields, tree crowns

Here with the shepherds and the silly The hill behind whose ridge the sun

sheep. set flames ?

Some life of men unblest The single-elm, that looks on Ilsley He knew, which made him droop, and

filled his bead. The Vale, the three lone wears, the He went; his piping took a troubled youthful Thames ?

sound This winter-eve is warm;

Of storms that rage outside our happy Humid the air; leafless, yet soft as spring,

ground; The tender purple spray on copse and

He could not wait their passing; he is briers; And that sweet city with her dreaming spires,

So, some tempestuous morn in early June, She needs not June for beauty's height When the year's primal burst of bloom ening.

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is o'er,

Before the roses and the longest day, Lovely all times she lies, lovely to-night! When garden-walks, and all the grassy Only, methinks, some loss of habit's

floor, power

With blossoms red and white of fallen Befalls me wandering through this upland dim.

And chestnnt-flowers, are strewn,Once passed I blindfold here, at any hour; So have I heard the cuckoo's parting Now seldom come I, since I came

cry, with him.

From the wet field, through the vexed That single elm-tree bright

garden-trees,

Downs,

dead.

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May,

go I!

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Come with the volleying rain and toss Oh, easy access to the hearer's grace ing breeze:

When Dorian shepherds sang to ProserThe bloom is gone, and with the bloom

'pine! For she herself had trod Sicilian fields,

She knew the Dorian water's gush divine, Too quick despairer, wherefore wilt thou go? She knew each lily wbite which Enua Soon will the high midsummer pomps

yields, come on,

Each rose with blushing face ; Soon will the musk carnations break She loved the Dorian pipe, the Dorian and swell,

strain. Soon shall we have gold-dusted snap But ah ! of our poor Thames she never dragon,

heard ; Sweet-william with his homely cottage Her foot the Cumner cowslips never smell,

stirred; And stocks in fragrant blow;

And we should tease her with our plaint Roses that down the alleys shine afar,

in vain.

100 And open, jasmine-muffled lattices, And groups under the dreaming gar- | Well! wind-dispersed and vain the words den-trees,

will be; And the full moon, and the white even Yet, Thyrsis, let me give my grief its hour ing-star.

In the old hannt, and find our tree

topped hill ! He hearkens not ! light comer, he is flown ! Who, if not I, for questing here bath What matters it ? next year he will re

power? turn,

I know the wood which hides the dafAnd we shall have him in the sweet

fodil; spring-days,

I know the Fyfield tree; With whitening hedges, and uncrumpling I know what white, what purple fritil• fern,

laries And bluebells trembling by the forest The grassy harvest of the river-fields, ways,

Above by Ensham, down by Sandford, And scent of hay new-mown.

yields; But Thyrsis never more we swains shall And what sedged brooks are Thames's see,

tributaries;

10 See him come back, and cut a smoother reed,

I know these slopes: who knows them if And blow a strain the world at last

not I ? shall heed;

But many a dingle on the loved hillside, For Time, not Corydon, bath conquered With thorns once studied, old whitethee!

blossomed trees,

Where thick the cowslips grew, and far Alack, for Corydon no rival now!

descried But when Sicilian shepherds lost a mate, High towered the spikes of purple · Some good survivor with his flute

orcbises, would go,

Hath since onr day put by Piping a ditty sad for Bion's fate;

The coronals of that forgotten time; And cross the unpermitted ferry's flow, Down each green bank hath gone the And relax Pluto's brow,

ploughboy's team, And make leap up with joy the beauteous And only in the hidden brookside head

gleam

119 Of Proserpine, among whose crowned Primroses, orphans of the flowery prime.

hair Are flowers first opened on Sicilian air, Where is the girl who by the boatman's door, And flute his friend, like Orpheus, from Above the locks, above the boating the dead.

throng,

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Unmoored our skiff when through the A troop of Oxford hunters going home, Wytham flats,

As in old days, jovial and talking, ride! Red loosestrife and blond meadow-sweet From hunting with the Berkshire among,

hounds they come. And darting swallows and light water

Quick ! let me fly, and cross gnats,

Into yon farther field I 'T is done; and We tracked the shy Thames shore?

see, Where are the mowers, who, as the tiny Backed by the sunset, which doth swell

glorify Of our boat passing heaved the river The orange and pale violet eveninggrass,

sky, Stood with suspended scythe to see us Bare on its lonely ridge, the Tree! the pass ?

Tree ! They all are gone, and thou art gone as well!

I take the omen! Eve lets down her veil,

The white fog creeps from bush to bush Yes, thou art gone ! and round me too the

about, night

The west unflushes, the high stars In ever-nearing circle weaves her shade.

grow bright, I see her veil draw soft across the And in the scattered farms the lights day,

come out. I feel her slowly chilling breath invade I cannot reach the signal-tree to-night, The cheek grown thin, the brown hair

Yet, happy omen, hail! sprent with gray;

Hear it from thy broad lucent Arno-vale I feel her finger light

(For there thine earth-forgetting eyeLaid pausefully upon life's headlong

lids keep train,

The morningless and unawakening The foot less prompt to meet the

sleep morning dew,

Under the Howery oleanders pale); 170 The heart less bounding at emotion new, And hope, once crushed, less quick to Hear it, 0 Thyrsis, still our tree is there !spring again.

140 Ah, vain! These English fields, this up

land dim, And long the way appears, which seemed These brambles pale with mist engar. so short

landed, To the less-practised eye of sanguine That lone, sky-pointing tree, are not for youth;

him: And high the mountain tops, in cloudy To a boon southern country he is filed, air, —

And now in happier air, The mountain tops where is the throne Wandering with the great Mother's train of Truth,

divine Tops in life's morning-sun so bright (And purer or more subtile soul than and bare !

thee, Unbreachable the fort

I trow the mighty Mother doth not Of the long-battered world uplifts its wall;

see) And strange and vain the eartbly tur Within a folding of the Apennine, — 180

moil grows, And near and real the charm of thy | Thou hearest the immortal chants of old ! repose,

Putting his sickle to the perilous gain And night as welcome as a friend would In the hot cornfield of the Phrygian

king

For thee the Lityerses-gong again
But hush! the upland hath a sudden loss Young Daphnis with his silver voice
Of quiet! Look, adown the dusk bill-

doth sing;
Sings bis Sicilian fold,

fall.

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side,

220

May,

His sheep, his hapless love, his blinded Its fir-topped Hurst, its farms, its quiet eyes;

fields, And how a call celestial round him Here cam'st thou in thy jocund youthrang,

ful time, And heavenward from the fountain Here was thine height of strength, thy brink he sprang,

golden prime! And all the marvel of the golden skies. 190 | And still the baunt beloved a virtue

yields. There thou art gone, and me thou leavest here

What though the music of thy rustic flute Sole in these fields, yet will I not de Kept not for long its happy, country tone; spair.

Lost it too soon, and learnt a stormy Despair I will not, while I yet descry

note 'Neath the soft canopy of English air Of men contention-tost, of men who That lonely tree against the western

groan, sky.

Which tasked thy pipe too sore, and Still, still these slopes, 't is clear,

tired thy throatOur Gypsy-Scholar haunts, outliving It failed, and thou wast mute ! thee!

Yet hadst thou alway visions of our light, Fields where soft sheep from cages And long with men of care thou couldst pall the hay,

not stay, * Woods with anemones in flower till And soon thy foot resumed its wan

dering way,

229 Know him a wanderer still; then why Left human haunt, and on alone till night. not me?

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Too rare, too rare, grow now my visits here! A fugitive and gracious light he seeks, 'Mid city-noise, not, as with thee of yore, Shy to illumine; and I seek it too.

Thyrsis! in reach of sheep-bells is my This does not come with houses or with

home. gold,

- Then through the great town's harsh, With place, with honor, and a flattering

heart-wearying roar, crew;

Let in thy voice a whisper often come, 'T is not in the world's market bought To chase fatigue and fear: and sold:

Why faintest thou? I wandered till I died. But the smooth-slipping weeks

Roam on! The light we sought is shinDrop by, and leave its seeker still un

ing still. tired;

Dost thou ask proof! Our tree yet Out of the heed of mortals he is

crowns the hill, gone,

Our Scholar travels yet the loved hillside. 240 He wends unfollowed, he must house

alone; Yet on he fares, by his own heart in

MEMORIAL VERSES spired.

210

APRIL, 1850 Thou too, O Thyrsis, on like quest wast bound!

GOETAE in Weimar sleeps; and Greece, Thou wanderedst with me for a little Long since, saw Byron's struggle cease. hour.

But one such death remained to come: Men gave thee nothing; but this happy The last poetic voice is dumb, quest,

We stand to-day by Wordsworth's tomb. If men esteemed thee feeble, gave thee power,

When Byron's eyes were shut in death, If men procured thee trouble, gave We bowed our head, and held our breath. thee rest.

He taught us little, but our soul
And this rude Cumner ground, Had felt bim like the thunder's roll.

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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 ?
Keep fresh the grass upon his grave,
O Rotha, with thy living wave!
Sing him thy best! for few or none
Hear thy voice right, now he is gone.

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When Goethe's death was told, we said, -
Sunk, then, is Europe's sagest head.
Physician of the iron age,
Goethe has done his pilgrimage.
He took the suffering human race,
He read each wound, each weakness clear;
And struck his finger on the place,
And said, Thou ailest 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!
And he was happy, if to know
Causes of things, and far below
His feet to see the lurid flow
Of terror, and insane distress,
And headlong fate, be happiness.

RUGBY CHAPEL

NOVEMBER, 1857

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COLDLY, sadly descends
The autumn evening. The field
Strewn with its dank yellow drifts-
Of withered leaves, and the elms,
Fade into dimness a pace,
Silent; hardly a shout
From a few boys late at their play!
The lights come out in the street,
In the schoolroom windows; but cold,
Solemn, unlighted, austere,

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Through the gathering darkness, arise
The chapel-walls, in whose bound
Thou, my father! art laid.

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, 40
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 ease; 50
The bills were round us, and the breeze
Went o'er the sunlit 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.

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Ah! since dark days still bring to light Man's prudence and man's fiery might, Time may restore us in his course Goethe's sage mind and Byron's force;

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