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Made a proffer of good to console him, I would add, to that life of the past, both he slowly resumed
the future and this; His old motions and habitudes kingly. I would give thee new life altogether, as The right hand replumed
good, ages hence,
235 His black locks to their wonted composure, As this moment, -had love but the waradjusted the swathes
rant love's heart to dispense! Of his turban, and see—the huge sweat that his countenance bathes,
XVI He wipes off with the robe; and he girds now his loins as of yore,
Then the truth came upon me. No harp And feels slow for the armlets of price, more–no song more! outbroke
with the clasp set before. He is Saul, ye remember in glory,--ere
XVII error had bent The brow from the daily communion; and “I have gone the whole round of creation: still, though much spent
I saw and I spoke: Be the life and the bearing that front you, I, a work of God's hand for that purpose, the same, God did choose, 215
received in my brain To receive what a
may waste, And pronounced on the rest of his handdesecrate, never quite lose.
work-returned him again So sank he along by the tent-prop, till, His creation's approval or censure: I stayed by the pile
spoke as I saw, Of his armor and war-cloak and garments, I report, as a man may of God's workhe leaned there awhile,
all's love, yet all's law. And sat out my singing, -one arm round Now I lay down the judgeship he lent me. the tent-prop, to raise
Each faculty tasked His bent head, and the other hung slack-To perceive him has gained an abyss, till I touched on the praise
where a dewdrop was asked. I foresaw from all men in all time, to the Have I knowledge? confounded it shrivels man patient there;
at Wisdom laid bare.
245 And thus ended, the harp falling forward. Have I forethought? how purblind, how Then first I was 'ware
blank, to the Infinite Care! That he sat, as I say, with my head just Do I task any faculty highest, to image above his vast knees
success? Which were thrust out on each side around I but open my eyes, -and perfection, no me, like oak roots which please
more and no less, To encircle a lamb when it slumbers. I In the king I imagined, full-fronts me, looked up to know
and God is seen God If the best I could do had brought solace: In the star, in the stone, in the flesh, in he spoke not, but slow
the soul and the clod.
up the hand slack at his side, till he | And thus looking within and around me, laid it with care
I ever renew Soft and grave, but in mild settled will, (With that stoop of the soul which in bendon my brow: through my hair
ing upraises it too) The large fingers were pushed, and he The submission of man's nothing-perfect
bent back my head, with kind power- to God's all-complete, All my face back, intent to peruse it, as As by each new obeisance in spirit, I climb men do a flower.
to his feet. Thus held he me there with his great eyes
Yet with all this abounding experience, that scrutinized mine
this deity known,
255 And oh, all my heart how it loved him! I shall dare to discover some province, but where was the sign?
some gift of my own. I yearned—“Could I help thee, my father, There's a faculty pleasant to exercise, hard inventing a bliss,
I am fain to keep still in abeyance (I laugh By the pain-throb, triumphantly winning as I think)
intensified bliss, Lest, insisting to claim and parade in it, And the next world's reward and repose, wot ye, I worst
by the struggles in this. E'en the Giver in one gift.-Behold, I could love if I durst!
260 But I sink the pretension as fearing a man
may o'ertake God's own speed in the one way of love: “I believe it! 'Tis thou, God, that givest, I abstain for love's sake.
'tis I who receive: -What, my soul? see thus far and no In the first is the last, in thy will is my fartherwhen doors great and small,
power to believe. Nine-and-ninety flew ope at our touch, All's one gift: thou canst grant it moreover, should the hundredth appal?
as prompt to my prayer In the least things have faith, yet distrust As I breathe out this breath, as I open in the greatest of all?
265 these arms to the air. Do I find love so full in my nature, God's From thy will, stream the worlds, life and ultimate gift,
nature, thy dread Sabaoth: That I doubt his own love can compete I will?—the mere atoms despise me! Why with it? Here, the parts shift?
am I not loth Here, the creature surpass the Creator,- To look that, even that in the face too? the end, what Began?
Why is it I dare Would I fain in my impotent yearning Think but lightly of such impuissance? do all for this man,
What stops my despair? And dare doubt he alone shall not help him, This;—'tis not what man Does which exwho yet alone can?
alts him, but what man Would do! Would it ever have entered my mind, the See the King—I would help him but canbare will, much less power,
not, the wishes fall through. 296 To bestow on this Saul what I
sang Could I wrestle to raise him from sorrow, the marvelous dower
grow poor to enrich, Of the life he was gifted and filled with? To fill up his life, starve my own out,
I to make such a soul,
would-knowing which, Such a body, and then such an earth for I know that my service is perfect. Oh, insphering the whole?
speak through me now! And doth it not enter my mind (as my Would I suffer for him that I love? So warm tears attest),
300 These things being given, to go on, and So shall crown thee the topmost, ineffagive one more, the best?
blest, uttermost crownAy, to save and redeem and restore him, And thy love fill infinitude wholly, nor maintain at the height
leave up nor down This perfection, succeed with life's day- One spot for the creature to stand in! It spring, death's minute of night?
is by no breath, Interpose at the difficult minute, snatch Turn of eye, wave of hand, that salvation Saul the mistake,
joins issue with death! Saul the failure, the ruin he seems now, As thy Love is discovered almighty, al-and bid him awake 280 mighty be proved
305 From the dream, the probation, the pre- Thy power, that exists with and for it, of lude, to find himself set
being Beloved! Clear and safe in new light and new life, He who did most, shall bear most; the -a new harmony yet
strongest shall stand the most weak. To be run and continued, and ended- 'Tis the weakness in strength, that I cry who knows?-or endure!
for! my flesh, that I seek The man taught enough by life's dream, of In the Godhead! I seek and I find it. O the rest to make sure;
Saul, it shall be
A Face like my face that receives thee; a LOVE AMONG THE RUINS Man like to me,
310 Thou shalt love and be loved by, for ever; Where the quiet-colored end of evening a Hand like this hand
smiles Shall throw open the gates of new life to Miles and miles thee! See the Christ stand!”
On the solitary pastures where our sheep
Tinkle homeward through the twilight, I know not too well how I found my way stray or stop home in the night.
As they crop There were witnesses, cohorts about me, to Was the site once of a city great and gay left and to right,
(So they say), Angels, powers, the unuttered, unseen, the Of our country's very capital, its prince alive, the aware:
Ages since I repressed, I got through them as hardly, Held his court in, gathered councils, as strugglingly there,
wielding far As a runner beset by the populace fam- Peace or war.
ished for news Life or death. The whole earth was awakened, hell loosed with her crews;
Now,—the country does not even boast a
tree, And the stars of night beat with emotion,
As you see, and tingled and shot Out in fire the strong pain of pent knowl
To distinguish slopes of verdure, certain rills
15 edge; but I fainted not,
From the hills For the Hand still impelled me at once and
Intersect and give a name to (else they supported, suppressed All the tumult, and quenched it with quiet,
Into one), and holy behest,
Where the domed and daring palace shot Till the rapture was shut in itself, and the
its spires earth sank to rest.
Up like fires Anon at the dawn, all that trouble had
O'er the hundred-gated circuit of a wal! withered from earthNot so much, but I saw it die out in the
Bounding all, day's tender birth;
Made of marble, men might march on nor 325
be pressed, In the gathered intensity brought to the
Twelve abreast. gray of the hills; In the shuddering forests' held breath; in the sudden wind-thrills;
And such plenty and perfection, see, of In the startled wild beasts that bore off, grass each with eye sidling still,
Never was! Though averted with wonder and dread; Such a carpet as, this summer-time, in the birds stiff and chill
o'erspreads That rose heavily as I approached them, And embeds made stupid with awe:
Every vestige of the city, guessed alone. E'en the serpent that slid away silent,- Stock or stone he felt the new law.
Where a multitude of men breathed joy The same stared in the white humid
and woe faces upturned by the flowers;
Long ago; The same worked in the heart of the cedar Lust of glory pricked their hearts up, and moved the vine-bowers:
dread of shame And the little brooks witnessing mur- Struck them tame; mured, persistent and low,
And that glory and that shame alike, the With their obstinate, all but hushed voices gold
35 -“E'en so, it is so!”
Bought and sold.
Now,- the single little turret that remains In one year they sent a million fighters On the plains,
forth By the caper overrooted, by the gourd South and North, Overscored,
40 And they built their gods a brazen pillar While the patching houseleek's head of high
75 blossom winks
As the sky, Through the chinks
Yet reserved a thousand chariots in full Marks the basement whence a tower in force ancient time
Gold, of course. Sprang sublime,
Oh heart! oh blood that freezes, blood And a burning ring, all round, the chariots that burns! traced
80 As they raced,
For whole centuries of folly, noise and And the monarch and his minions and his sin! dames
Shut them in, Viewed the games.
With their triumphs and their glories and
the rest! And I know—while thus the quiet- Love is best.
colored eve Smiles to leave
50 To their folding, all our many tinkling
MEMORABILIA fleece In such peace,
Ah, did you once see Shelley plain, And the slopes and rills in undistinguished
And did he stop and speak to you, gray
And did you speak to him again?
How strange it seems and new!
5 Waits me there
And also you are living after; In the turret whence the charioteers
And the memory I started atcaught soul
My starting moves your laughter! For the goal, When the king looked, where she looks
I crossed a moor, with a name of its own now, breathless, dumb
And a certain use in the world no Till I come.
Yet a hand's-breadth of it shines alone But he looked upon the city, every side,
'Mid the blank miles round about: Far and wide, All the mountains topped with temples, For there I picked up on the heather all the glades'
And there I put inside my breast Colonnades,
A moulted feather, an eagle-feather! 15 All the causeys,' bridges, aqueducts,-and
Well, I forget the rest. then,
65 All the men! When I do come, she will speak not, she will stand,
MY LAST DUCHESS Either hand
FERRARA On my shoulder, give her eyes the first embrace
That's my last Duchess painted on the Of my face,
wall Ere we rush, ere we extinguish sight and Looking as if she were alive. I call speech
That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's Each on each.
hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will 't please you sit and look at her? I Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just said
this “Frà Pandoif” by design, for never read Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss, Strangers like you that pictured coun- Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let tenance,
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set 40 The depth and passion of its earnest Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made exglance,
cuse, But to myself they turned (since none -E'en then would be some stooping; and puts by
I choose The curtain I have drawn for you, but I) 10 Never to stoop. Oh, sir, she smiled, no And seemed as they would ask me, if doubt, they durst,
Whene'er I passed her; but who passed How such a glance came there; so, not without the first
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 'twas commands; not
Then all smiles stopped together. There Her husband's presence only, called that she stands spot
As if alive. Will 't please you rise? We'll Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps 15 meet Frå Pandolf chanced to say, “Her mantle · The company below then. I repeat, laps
The Count your master's known munifiOver my lady's wrist too much," or "Paint Must never hope to reproduce the faint Is ample warrant that no just pretence 50 Half-flush that dies along her throat:” Of mine for dowry will be disallowed; such stuff
Though his fair daughter's self, as Was courtesy, she thought, and cause avowed enough
At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go For calling up that spot of joy. She had Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, A heart-how shall I say?-too soon made though, glad,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity, 55 Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze She looked on, and her looks went every- for me! where.
24 Sir, 'twas all one! My favor at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the
IN A GONDOLA
I send my heart up to thee, all my heart She rode with round the terrace-all
In this my singing. and each
For the stars help me, and the sea bears Would draw from her alike the approving
The very night is clinging 30
Closer to Venice' streets to leave one Or blush, at least. She thanked men,good! but thanked
space Somehow-I know not how—as if she
Above me, whence thy face ranked
May light my joyous heart to thee its My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
dwelling place. With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to
She speaks blame This sort of trifling? Even had you Say after me, and try to say skill
My very words, as if each word
In your own voice, in your own way: