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Hateful is the dark-blue sky, THERE is sweet music here that softer | Vaulted o'er the dark-blue sea. falls
Death is the end of life; ah, why Than petals from blown roses on the grass, Should life all labor be? Or night-dews on still waters between Let us alone. Time driveth onward fast, walls
And in a little while our lips are dumb. Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass; Let us alone. What is it that will last ? Music that gentlier on the spirit lies, All things are taken from us, and become Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes;
Portions and parcels of tbe dreadful past. Music that brings sweet sleep down from Let us alone. What pleasure can we have the blissful skies.
To war with evil ? Is their any peace Here are cool mosses deep,
In ever climbing up the climbing wave? And thro' the moss the ivies creep,
All things have rest, and ripen toward the And in the stream the long-leaved flowers
10 In silence — ripen, fall, and cease: And from the craggy ledge the poppy Give us long rest or death, dark death, or hangs in sleep.
How sweet it were, hearing the downward
stream, While all things else bave rest from weari.
With balf-shut eyes ever to seem ness ?
Falling asleep in a half-dream! All things have rest: why should we toil
To dream and dream, like yonder amber alone,
light, We only toil, who are the first of things, And make perpetual moan,
Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on
the height; Still from one sorrow to another thrown; Nor ever fold our wings,
To hear each other's whisper'd speech;
Eating the Lotos day by day, And cease from wanderings,
To watch the crisping ripples on the beach, Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy
And tender curving lines of creamy spray; balm; Nor barken what the inner spirit sings,
To lend our hearts and spirits wholly
To the influence of mild-minded melan• There is no joy but calm !'Why should we only toil, the roof and
To muse and brood and live again in memcrown of things?
With those old faces of our infancy
Heap'd over with a monnd of grass, Lo! in the middle of the wood,
Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn The folded leaf is woo'd from out the bud
of brass! With winds upon the branch, and there Grows green and broad, and takes no care, Sun-steep'd at noon, and in the moon Nightly dew-fed; and turning yellow 30 Dear is the memory of our wedded lives, Falls, and floats adown the air.
And dear the last embraces of our wives 70 Lo! sweeten'd with the summer light, And their warm tears; but all hath suffer'd The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mellow,
change; Drops in a silent autumn night.
For surely now our household hearths are All its allotted length of days
cold, The flower ripens in its place,
Our sons inherit us, our looks are strange, Ripens and fades, and falls, and hath no And we should come like ghosts to trouble toil,
joy. Fast-rooted in the fruitful soil.
| Or else the island princes over-bold
Have eat our substance, and the minstrel | For they lie beside their nectar, and the sings
bolts are hurl'd Before them of the ten years' war in Troy, Far below them in the valleys, and the And our great deeds, as half-forgotten things.
clouds are lightly curl'd Is there confusion in the little isle ?
Round their golden houses, girdled with Let what is broken so remain.
the gleaming world; The Gods are hard to reconcile;
Where they smile in secret, looking over 'Tis hard to settle order once again.
wasted lands, There is confusion worse than death, Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, Trouble on trouble, pain on pain,
roaring deeps and fiery sands, Long labor unto aged breath,
Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and Sore task to bearts worn out by many wars
sinking ships, and praying hands. And eyes grown dim with gazing on the But they smile, they find a music centred pilot-stars.
in a doleful song Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient
tale of wrong, But, propt on beds of amaranth and moly, | Like a tale of little meaning tho' the How sweet - while warm airs lull us, blow
words are strong; ing lowly –
Chanted from an ill-used race of men that With half-dropt eyelid still,
cleave the soil,
120 Beneath a heaven dark and holy,
Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with To watch the long bright river drawing
enduring toil, slowly
Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and His waters from the purple hill —
wine and oil; To hear the dewy echoes calling
Till they perish and they suffer — some, 't is From cave to cave thro' the thick-twined
whisper'd — down in hell vine —
Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian To watch the emerald-color'd water falling
valleys dwell, Thro' many a woven acanthus-wreath di Resting weary limbs at last on beds of vine!
asphodel. Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than brine,
toil, the shore Only to hear were sweet, stretch'd out be Than labor in the deep mid-ocean, wind and neath the pine.
wave and oar;
| 0, rest ye, brother mariners, we will not VIII
[First printed in 1842, and unaltered.) Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotus-dust is blown.
It little profits that an idle king, We have had enough of action, and of mo By this still hearth, among these barren tion we,
crags, Roll'd to starboard, roll'd to larboard, when Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and the surge was seething free,
dole Where the wallowing monster spouted his Unequal laws unto a savage race, foam-fountains in the sea.
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an
not me. equal mind,
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie re Life to the lees. All times I have enclined
joy'd On the hills like Gods together, careless of Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with mankind.
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and Not unbecoming men that strove with when
Gods. Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades 10 The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks; Vext the dim sea. I am become a name; | The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; For always roaming with a hungry heart
the deep Much have I seen and known, - cities of Moans round with many voices. Come, my men
friends. And manners, climates, councils, govern 'T is not too late to seek a newer world. ments,
Push off, and sitting well in order smite Myself not least, but honor'd of them all, The sounding furrows; for my purpose And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
holds Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 60 I am a part of all that I have met;
Of all the western stars, until I die. Yet all experience is an arch wherethro' It may be that the gulfs will wash us down; Gleams that untravellid world whose mar It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, gin fades
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. For ever and for ever when I move.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho' How dull it is to pause, to make an end, We are not now that strength which in old To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use !
days As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled Moved earth and heaven, that which we on life
are, we are, — Were all too little, and of one to me One equal temper of heroic hearts, Little remains; but every hour is saved Made weak by time and fate, but strong in From that eternal silence, something more, A bringer of new things; and vile it were To strive, to seek, to find, and not to For some three suns to store and hoard
yield. myself, And this gray spirit yearning in desire 30
TITHONUS To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. First printed in 1860; afterwards included in
This is my son, mine own Telemachus, the 'Enoch Arden'volume in 1864.] To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle, — Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil The woods decay, the woods decay and This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
fall, A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees The vapors weep their burthen to the Subdue them to the useful and the good.
ground, Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere Man comes and tills the field and lies beOf common duties, decent not to fail 40
neath, In offices of tenderness, and pay
And after many a summer dies the swan. Meet adoration to my household gods, Me only cruel immortality When I am gone. He works his work, I Consumes; I wither slowly in thine arms, mine.
Here at the quiet limit of the world, There lies the port; the vessel paffs her A white-hair'd shadow roaming like a sail;
dream There gloom the dark, broad seas. My The ever-silent spaces of the East, mariners,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and
morn. thought with me,
Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man — That ever with a frolic welcome took So glorious in his beauty and thy choice, The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed Wbo madest him thy chosen, that he Free hearts, free foreheads, — you and I
seem'd are old;
To his great heart none other than a God ! Old age hath yet his honor and his toil. So I ask'd thee, "Give me immortality.' Death closes all; but something ere the end, Then didst thou grant mine asking with a Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Like wealthy men who care not how they The dim curls kindle into sunny rings; give.
Changed with thy mystic change, and felt But thy strong Hours indignant work'd my blood their wills,
Glow with the glow that slowly crimson'd all And beat me down and marr'd and wasted Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay, me,
Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewyAnd tho' they could not end me, left me
20 With kisses balmier than half-opening buds To dwell in presence of immortal youth, Of April, and could hear the lips that kiss'd Immortal age beside inmortal youth, Whispering I knew not what of wild and And all I was in ashes. Can thy love,
61 Thy beauty, make amends, tho' even now, | Like that strange song I heard A pollo sing, Close over us, the silver star, thy guide, While Ilion like a mist rose into towers. Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with Yet hold me not for ever in thine East; tears
How can my nature longer mix with thine ? To hear me ? Let me go; take back thy Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold gift.
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet Why should a man desire in any way Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the To vary from the kindly race of men,
steam Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance 30 Floats up from those dim fields about the Where all should pause, as is most meet
homes for all ?
Of happy men that have the power to die, 70 A soft air fans the cloud apart; there And grassy barrows of the happier dead. comes
Release me, and restore me to the ground. A glimpse of that dark world where I was Thou seest all things, thou wilt see my
born. Once more the old mysterious glimmer Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn,
I earth in earth forget these empty courts, From thy pure brows, and from thy shoul- | And thee returning on thy silver wheels.
ders pure, And bosom beating with a heart renew'd. Thy cheek begins to redden thro' the gloom,
[First published in the 'Holy Grail' volume.) Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine,
Flower in the crannied wall, Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild I pluck you out of the crannies, team
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand, Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, Little flower - but if I could understand arise,
What you are, root and all, and all in all, And shake the darkness from their loosen'd | I should know what God and man is.
manes, And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.
Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful In silence, then before thine answer given
(First printed in 1842, and unaltered.) Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek. BREAK, break, break, Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy On thy cold gray stones, O Sea ! tears,
And I would that my tongue could utter And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
The thoughts that arise in me. In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true ? • The Gods themselves cannot recall their O, well for the fisherman's boy, gifts.'
That he shouts with his sister at play! Ay me! ay me! with what another | 0, well for the sailor lad, heart
| 'That he sings in his boat on the bay ! In days far-off, and with what other eyes I used to watch - if I be he that watch'd - And the stately ships go on The lucid outline forming round thee; saw! To their baven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still! Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
SONGS [From The Princess]
0, hark, O, hear! how thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going! 0, sweet and far from cliff and scar
The horns of Elfland faintly blowing! Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying, Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying,
They faint on hill or field or river;
And grow for ever and for ever. Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying, And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying,
As thro' the land at eve we went,
And pluck'd the ripen'd ears,
And kiss'd again with tears.
That all the more endears, When we fall out with those we love
And kiss again with tears!
We lost in other years,
We kiss'd again with tears.
IV •Tears, idle tears, I know not what they
mean, Tears from the depth of some divine de
spair Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes, In looking on the happy autumn-fields, And thinking of the days that are no more.
Wind of the western sea,
Wind of the western sea!
Blow him again to me;
Father will come to thee soon;
Father will come to thee soon;
Under the silver moon; Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one,
•Fresh as the first beam glittering on a
sail, That brings our friends up from the under
world, Sad as the last which reddens over one That sinks with all we love below the verge; So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more. "Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer
dawns The earliest pipe of half-awaken'd birds To dying ears, when unto dying eyes The casement slowly grows a glimmering
square; So sad, so strange, the days that are no
Dear as remember'd kisses after death, And sweet as those by hopeless fancy
feign'd On lips that are for others; deep as love, Deep as first love, and wild with all regret; O Death in Life, the days that are no more!'
The splendor falls on castle walls
And snowy summits old in story; The long light shakes across the lakes,
And the wild cataract leaps in glory. Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying, Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying,
HOME they brought her warrior dead ;
She nor swoon'd nor utter'd cry. All her maidens, watching, said,
She must weep or she will die.'