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Changed, or but truer seen, one sees in her
Something to wake the soul, the interior sense to stir.

Alone they met, from alien eyes away,
The high shore hid them in a tiny bay.
Alone was he, was she; in sweet surprise
They met, before they knew it, in their eyes.
In his a wondering admiration glowed,
In hers, a world of tenderness o'erflowed ;
In a brief moment all was known and seen,
That of slow years the wearying work had been:
Morn's early odorous breath perchance in sooth,
Awoke the old natural feeling of their youth:
The sea, perchance, and solitude had charms,
They met — I know not — in each other's arms.

Why linger now why waste the sands of life?
A few sweet weeks, and they were man and wife.

To his old frailty do not be severe,
His latest theory with patience hear :
“I sought not, truly would to seek disdain,
A kind, soft pillow for a wearying pain,
Fatigues and cares to lighten, to relieve ;
But love is fellow-service, I believe."

No, truly no, it was not to obtain,
Though that alone were happiness, were gain,
A tender breast to fall upon and weep,
A heart, the secrets of my heart to keep;
To share my hopes, and in my griefs to grieve;
Yet love is fellow-service, I believe."

" Yet in the eye of life's all-seeing sun
We shall behold a something we have done,
Shall of the work together we have wrought,
Beyond our aspiration and our thought,
Some not unworthy issue yet receive;
For love is fellow-service, I believe.”








Go, for they call you, shepherd, from the hill ;
Go, shepherd, and untie the wattled cotes !

No longer leave thy wistful flock unfed,
Nor let thy bawling fellows rack their throats,
Nor the cropp'd herbage shoot another head;

But when the fields are still,
And the tired men and dogs all gone to rest,

And only the white sheep are sometimes seen

Cross and recross the strips of moon-blanch'd green, Come, shepherd, and again begin the quest !




Here, where the reaper was at work of late —
In this high field's dark corner, where he leaves

His coat, his basket, and his earthen cruse,
And in the sun all morning binds the sheaves,
Then here, at noon, comes back his stores to use —

Here will I sit and wait,
While to my ear from uplands far away

The bleating of the folded flocks is borne,

With distant cries of reapers in the corn All the live murmur of a summer's day.


Screen'd is this nook o'er the high, half-reap'd field,
And here till sun-down, shepherd! will I be.

Through the thick corn the scarlet poppies peep,
And round green roots and yellowing stalks I see
Pale pink convolvulus in tendrils creep;
And air-swept lindens yield


Their scent, and rustle down their perfumed showers

Of bloom on the bent grass where I am laid,

And bower me from the August sun with shade; And the eye travels down to Oxford's towers.


And near me on the grass lies Glanvil's book-
Come, let me read the oft-read tale again !

The story of the Oxford scholar poor,
Of pregnant parts and quick inventive brain,
Who, tired of knocking at preferment's door,

One summer-morn forsook
His friends, and went to learn the gipsy-lore,

And roam'd the world with that wild brotherhood,

And came, as most men deem'd, to little good, But came to Oxford and his friends no more.



But once, years after, in the country-lanes,
Two scholars, whom at college erst he knew,

Met him, and of his way of life enquired;
Whereat he answer'd, that the gipsy-crew,
His mates, had arts to rule as they desired

The workings of men's brains,
And they can bind them to what thoughts they will.

“ And I," he said, “ the secret of their art,

When fully learn'd, will to the world impart; But it needs heaven-sent moments for this skill."




This said, he left them, and return'd no more. -
But rumors hung about the country-side,

That the lost Scholar long was seen to stray,
Seen by rare glimpses, pensive and tongue-tied,
In hat of antique shape, and cloak of grey,

The same the gipsies wore.
Shepherds had met him on the Hurst in spring;

At some lone alehouse in the Berkshire moors,

On the warm ingle-bench, the smock-frock'd boors Had found him seated at their entering,


But, 'mid their drink and clatter, he would fly.

And I myself seem half to know thy looks,


And put the shepherds, wanderer! on thy trace;
And boys who in lone wheatfields scare the rooks
I ask if thou hast pass'd their quiet place ;

Or in my boat I lie
Moor'd to the cool bank in the summer-heats,

'Mid wide grass meadows which the sunshine fills,

And watch the warm, green-muffled Cumner hills, And wonder if thou haunt'st their shy retreats.



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 wet,

As the punt's rope chops round;
And leaning backward in a pensive dream,

And fostering in thy lap a heap of flowers

Pluck'd in shy fields and distant Wychwood 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 May,
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-leafʼd, white anemone,

Dark bluebells drench'd with dews of summer eves,

And purple orchises with spotted leaves But none hath words she can report of thee.


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-wing'd swallows haunt the glittering Thames,
To bathe in the abandon'd lasher pass,

Have often pass'd thee near Sitting upon the river bank o'ergrown;

Mark'd thine outlandish garb, thy figure spare,


Thy dark vague eyes, and soft abstracted 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 hast 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 feeding kine;

And mark'd 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 gipsies by the turf-edged way

Pitch their smoked tents, and every bush you see
With scarlet patches tagg’d and shreds of grey,
Above the forest-ground called Thessaly-

The blackbird, picking food,
Sees thee, nor stops his meal, nor fears at all ;

So often has he known thee past him stray,

Rapt, twirling in thy hand a wither'd spray, And waiting for the spark from heaven to fall.

I 20


And once, in winter, on the causeway chill
Where home through flooded fields foot-travellers go,

Have I not pass'd thee on the wooden bridge,
Wrapt in thy cloak and battling with the snow,
Thy face tow'rd Hinksey and its wintry ridge?

And thou hast climb’d the hill,
And gain’d the white brow of the Cumner range ;

Turn'd once to watch, while thick the snowflakes fall,

The line of festal light in Christ-Church hall Then sought thy straw in some sequester'd grange.


But what I dream! Two hundred years are flown
Since first thy story ran through Oxford halls,

And the grave Glanvil did the tale inscribe

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