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Doubt you if, in some such moment,
As she fixed me, she felt clearly, Ages past the soul existed,
Here an age 't is resting merely, And hence fleets again for ages,
While the true end, sole and single, It stops here for is, this love-way,
With some other soul to mingle?
Else it loses what it lived for,
And eternally must lose it; Better ends may be in prospect,
Deeper blisses (if you choose it), But this life's end and this love-bliss
Have been lost here. Doubt you whether This she felt as, looking at me,
Mine and her souls rushed together?
Oh, observe! Of course, next moment,
50 Trampled out the light forever:
Never fear but there's provision Of the devil's to quench knowledge
Lest we walk the earth in rapture! - Making those who catch God's secret
Just so much more prize their capture!
As you see, To distinguish slopes of verdure, certain rills
From the hills Intersect and give a name to, (else they run
20 O’er the hundred-gated circuit of a wall
Bounding all, Made of marble, men might march on nor
Twelve abreast. | And such plenty and perfection, see, of grass
Never was! Such a carpet as, this summer-time, o'er
And embeds Every vestige of the city, guessed alone,
Stock or stone Where a multitude of men breathed joy
Long ago; Lust of glory pricked their hearts np, dread
Struck them tame; And that glory and that shame alike, the
Bought and sold. Now, the single little turret that remains
On the plains,
Such am I : the secret's mine now!
She has lost me, I have gained her; Her soul's mine: and thus, grown per
fect, I shall pass my life's remainder. 60 Life will just hold out the proving
Both our powers, alone and blended: And then, come the next life quickly!
This world's use will have been ended.
Yet reserved a thousand chariots in full
Gold, of course. Oh heart! oh blood that freezes, blood that
Earth's returns For whole centuries of folly, noise and sin!
Shut them in, With their triumphs and their glories and
Love is best.
By the caper overrooted, by the gourd
Overscored, While the patching houseleek's head of
Through the chinks — Marks the basement whence a tower in an
Sprang sublime, And a burning ring, all round, the chariots
As they raced, And the monarch and his minions and his
Viewed the games.
50 To their folding, all our many-tinkling
In such peace, And the slopes and rills in undistinguished
Melt away — That a girl with eager eyes and yellow hair
Waits me there In the turret whence the charioteers caught
For the goal,
now, breathless, dumb
· UP AT A VILLA — DOWN IN
THE CITY (AS DISTINGUISHED BY AN ITALIAN PERSON OF QUALITY)
[Publ. 1842] Had I but plenty of money, money enough
and to spare, The house for me, no doubt, were a house
in the city-square; Ah, such a life, such a life, as one leads at
the window there!
Something to see, by Bacchus, something
to hear, at least ! There, the whole day long, one's life is a
perfect feast; While up at a villa one lives, I maintain it,
no more than a beast.
But he looked upon the city, every side,
Far and wide, All the mountains topped with temples, all
Colonnades, All the causeys, bridges, aqueducts, -and
All the men! When I do come, she will speak not, she
Either hand On my shoulder, give her eyes the first em
Of my face, Ere we rush, ere we extinguish sight and
Each on each.
Well now, look at our villa! stuck like the
horn of a bull Just on a mountain-edge as bare as the
creature's skull, Save a mere shag of a bush with hardly a
leaf to pull! - I scratch my own, sometimes, to see if the hair 's turned wool.
10 But the city, oh the city — the square with
the houses ! Why? They are stone-faced, white as a curd,
there's something to take the eye! Houses in four straight lines, not a single
front awry; You watch who crosses and gossips, who
saunters, who hurries by; Green blinds, as a matter of course, to
draw when the sun gets high; And the shops with fanciful signs which
are painted properly.
In one year they sent a million fighters forth
South and North, And they built their gods a brazen pillar high
As the sky,
What of a villa ? Though winter be over | At the post-office such a scene-picture — in March by rights,
the new play, piping hot! 'Tis May perhaps ere the snow shall have And a notice how, only this morning, three withered well off the heights:
liberal thieves were shot. You've the brown ploughed land before, Above it, behold the Archbishop's most
where the oxen steam and wheeze, I fatherly of rebukes, And the hills over-smoked behind by the And beneath, with his crown and his lion, faint gray olive-trees.
some little new law of the Duke's!
Or a sonnet with flowery marge, to the Is it better in May, I ask you? You've
Reverend Don So-and-so, summer all at once;
Who is Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarca, Saint In a day he leaps complete with a few
Jerome, and Cicero, strong April suns.
“And moreover," (the sonnet goes rbym'Mid the sharp short emerald wheat, scarce
ing) “ the skirts of Saint Paul has risen three fingers well,
reached, · The wild tulip, at end of its tube, blows out | Having preached us those six Lent-lecits great red bell
tures more unctuous than ever be Like a thin clear bubble of blood, for the
preached.” children to pick and sell.
Noon strikes, - here sweeps the procession! Is it ever hot in the square? There's a
our Lady borne smiling and smart
With a pink gauze gown all spangles, and fountain to spout and splash! In the shade it sings and springs; in the
seven swords stuck in her heart!
Bang-whang-whang goes the drum, tootle-teshine such foambows Hash On the horses with curling fish-tails, that
tootle the fife;
No keeping one's baunches still: it's the prance and paddle and pash Round the lady atop in her conch — fifty
greatest pleasure in life. gazers do not abash,
But bless you, it's dear - it's dear ! fowls, Though all that she wears is some weeds
wine, at double the rate. round her waist in a sort of sash. 30 They have clapped a new tax upon salt, and All the year long at the villa, nothing to
wbat oil pays passing the gate
It's a horror to think of. And so, the villa see though you linger,
for me, not the city! Except yon cypress that points like death's lean lifted forefinger.
Beggars can scarcely be choosers: but still Some think fireflies pretty, when they mix
-ah, the pity, the pity! i' the corn and mingle,
Look, two and two go the priests, then the
monks with cowls and sandals, Or thrid the stinking hemp till the stalks of it seem a-tingle.
And the penitents dressed in white shirts,
a-holding the yellow candles; Late August or early September, the stun
One, he carries a flag up straight, and an
60 one ning cicala is shrill,
other a cross with handles, And the bees keep their tiresome whine la
And the Duke's guard brings up the rear, round the resinous firs on the hill.
for the better prevention of scandals: Enough of the seasons, - I spare you the
Bang-whang-whang goes the drum, tootle-temonths of the fever and chill.
tootle the fife. Ere you open your eyes in the city, the Oh, a day in the city-square, there is no blessed church-bells begin:
such pleasure in life! No sooner the bells leave off than the diligence rattles in:
HOME-THOUGHTS, FROM You get the pick of the news, and it costs
ABROAD you never a pin. By and by there's the travelling doctor Oh, to be in England
gives pills, lets blood, draws teeth; Now that April 's there, Or the Pulcinello-trumpet breaks up the | And whoever wakes in England market beneath.
| Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brush- | And he: “Since the King, O my friend, for wood sheaf
thy countenance sent, Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf, Neither drunken nor eaten have we; nor While the chaffinch sings on the orchard
until from his tent bough
Thou return with the joyful assurance the In England - now!
King liveth yet,
Shall our lip with the honey be bright, And after April, when May follows,
with the water be wet. And the whitethroat builds, and all the
For out of the black mid-tent's silence, a swallows !
space of three days, Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in
Not a sound bath escaped to thy servants, the hedge
of prayer nor of praise, Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
To betoken that Saul and the Spirit have Blossoms and dewdrops — at the bent spray's
ended their strife, edge
And that, faint in his triumph, the monarch That's the wise thrush; he sings each song sinks back upon life.
twice over, Lest you should think he never could re
capture The first fine careless rapture!
“Yet now my heart leaps, o beloved ! And though the fields look rough with
God's child with his dew hoary dew,
On thy gracious gold hair, and those lilies All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
still living and blue The buttercups, the little children's dower Just broken to twine round thy harp- Far brighter than this gaudy melon
strings, as if no wild heat flower!
Were now raging to torture the desert ! ”
HOME-THOUGHTS, FROM THE
Northwest died away;
into Cadiz Bay;
Gibraltar grand and gray;
how can I help England ?” — say, Whoso turns as I, this evening, turn to
God to praise and pray,
Then I, as was meet, Knelt down to the God of my fathers, and
rose on my feet,
The tent was unlooped;
under I stooped;
patch, all withered and gone, That extends to the second enclosure, I
groped my way on
Then once more I prayed,
and was not afraid
And no voice replied.
ness: but soon I descried
ness — the vast, the upright Main prop which sustains the pavilion: and
slow into sight Grew a figure against it, gigantic and black
est of all. Then a sunbeam, that burst through the
tent-roof, showed Saul.
SAUL The_first_nine sections of this poem were printed under the same title in 1845. The poem as enlarged was published in 1855.
SAID Abner, “At last thou art come! Ere
I tell, ere thou speak,
wished it, and did kiss his cheek.
When the dead man is praised on his jourHe stood as erect as that tent-prop, both
ney — “ Bear, bear him along, arms stretched out wide
With his few faults shut up like dead On the great cross-support in the centre, flowerets! Are balm seeds not that goes to each side;
here He relaxed not a njuscle, but hung there To console us? The land has none left as, caught in his pangs
such as he on the bier. And waiting his change, the king-serpent Oh, would we might keep thee, my brothall heavily hangs,
er !” – And then, the glad chaunt Far away from his kind, in the pine, till Of the marriage, - first go the young deliverance come
maidens, next, she whom we vaunt With the spring-time,- so agonized Saul, | As the beauty, the pride of our dwelling. drear and stark, blind and dumb.
— And then, the great march Wherein man runs to man to assist bim
and buttress an arch Then I tuned my harp, — took off the lilies Naught can break; who shall barm them, we twine round its chords
our friends? Then, the chorus inLest they snap 'neath the stress of the noon
toned tide - those sunbeams like swords! As the Levites go up to the altar in glory And I first played the tune all our sheep
enthroned. know, as, one after one,
But I stopped here: for here in the darkSo docile they come to the pen-door till ness Saul groaned.
folding be done. They are white and untorn by the bushes,
VJU for lo, they have fed
And I paused, held my breath in such siWhere the long grasses stifle the water
lence, and listened apart; within the stream's bed;
And the tent shook, for mighty Saul shudAnd now one after one seeks its lodging,
dered: and sparkles 'gan dart as star follows star
From the jewels that woke in his turban, at Into eve and the blue far above us, - SO
once with a start, blue and so far!
All its lordly male-sapphires, and rubies
courageous at heart.
So the head: but the body still moved not, -Then the tune for which quails on the
still hung there erect. corn-land will each leave his mate And I bent once again to my playing, purTo fly after the player; then, what makes sued it unchecked, the crickets elate
As I sang:Till for boldness they fight one another;
and then, what has weight To set the quick jerboa a-musing outside “Oh, our manhood's prime vigor! No bis sand house
· spirit feels waste, There are none such as he for a wonder, | Not a muscle is stopped in its playing nor half bird and half mouse!
sinew unbraced. God made all the creatures and gave them Oh, the wild joys of living ! the leaping our love and our fear,
from rock up to rock, To give sign, we and they are his children, The strong rending of boughs from the firone family here.
tree, the cool silver shock Of the plunge in a pool's living water, the
hunt of the bear, Then I played the help-tune of our reapers, And the sultriness showing the lion is their wine-song, when hand
couched in his lair. Grasps at hand, eye lights eye in good And the meal, the rich dates yellowed over friendship, and great hearts expand
with gold dust divine, And grow one in the sense of this world's | And the locust-flesh steeped in the pitcher, life. — And then, the last song
the full draught of wine,