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What though, about thy rim,
One who never turned his back but Skull-things in order grim
marched breast forward Grow out, in graver mood, obey the Never doubted clouds would break, sterner stress?
Never dreamed, though right were worsted,
wrong would triumph, Look not thou down but up! 175
125 Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight To uses of a cup,
better, The festal board, lamp's flash and trum
Sleep to wake. pet's peal, The new wine's foaming flow,
No, at noonday in the bustle of man's The Master's lips aglow!
work-time Thou, heaven's consummate cup, what | Greet the unseen with a cheer! needst thou with earth's wheel? 180 Bid him forward, breast and back as
either should be, But I need, now as then,
"Strive and thrive!” cry "Speed,fight Thee, God, who mouldest men;
on, fare ever And since, not even while the whirl was
There as here!”
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING Bound dizzily—mistake my end, to slake
(1806–1861) thy thirst:
SONNETS FROM THE
I thought once how Theocritus had sung My times be in thy hand!
190 Of the sweet years, the dear and wishedPerfect the cup as planned!
for years, Let age approve of youth, and death com Who each one in a gracious hand appears plete the same!
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy
Those of my own life, who by turns had At the midnight in the silence of the sleep
A shadow across me. Straightway I was When you set your fancies free,
'ware, Will they pass to where—by death, fools
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move think, imprisoned
Behind me, and drew me backward by Low he lies who once so loved you, whom
11 you loved so,
And a voice said in mastery while I - Pity me?
strove, | “Guess now who holds thee?”—“Death!"
I said. But there, Oh, to love so, be so loved, yet so mis
The silver answer rang: “Not Death, but taken!
The face of all the world is changed, I Like the aimless, helpless, hopeless, did I think, drivel
Since first I heard the footsteps of thy - Being—who?
10 | soul
Move still, oh, still, beside me as they stole Their vanishing eyes. Then Thou didst
fronts, Was caught up into love and taught the Their songs, their splendors (better, yet whole
the same, Of life in a new rhythm. The cup of dole As river water, hallowed into fonts) God gave for baptism, I am fain to drink, Met in thee, and from out thee overcame And praise its sweetness, Sweet, with thee My soul with satisfaction of all wantsanear.
Because God's gifts put man's best dreams The names of country, heaven, are to shame.
changed away For where thou art or shalt be, there or
How do I love thee? Let me count the And this—this lute and song-loved ways. yesterday,
I love thee to the depth and breadth and (The singing angels know) are only dear height Because thy name moves right in what My soul can reach, when feeling out of they say.
sight For the ends of Being and Ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's 5 If thou must love me, let it be for nought Most quiet need, by sun and candleExcept for love's sake only. Do not say, light. “I love her for her smile her look-her I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; way
I love thee purely, as they turn from Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought Praise. That falls in well with mine, and certes I love thee with the passion put to use brought
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's A sense of pleasant ease on such a day;" — faith.
10 For these things in themselves, Beloved, I love thee with a love I seemed to lose may
With my lost saints,-I love thee with Be changed, or change for thee,-and love, the breath, so wrought,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!-and, if God May be unwrought so. Neither love me choose,
I shall but love thee better after death. Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry:
10 A creature might forget to weep, who bore Thy comfort long, and lose thy love THE CRY OF THE CHILDREN
thereby. But love me for love's sake, that evermore Do ye hear the children weeping, O my Thou may'st love on through love's brothers, eternity.
Ere the sorrow comes with years? They are leaning their young heads against
their mothers, I lived with visions for my company, I And that cannot stop their tears.
Instead of men and women, years ago, The young lambs are bleating in the · And found them gentle mates, nor thought meadows,
5 to know
The young birds are chirping in the A sweeter music than they played to me.
nest, But soon their trailing purple was not free The young fawns are playing with the Of this world's dust-their lutes did silent
The young flowers are blowing toAnd I myself grew faint and blind below
ward the west
From the sleep wherein she lieth none
But the young, young children, O my
They are weeping bitterly! 10 They are weeping in the playtime of the
c will wake wherein she
Crying, 'Get up, little Alice! it is day. If you listen by that grave, in sun and
the playtime of .
In the country of the free.
With your ear down, little Alice never
cries; Do you question the young children in Could we see her face, be sure we should the sorrow
not know her, Why their tears are falling so?
For the smile has time for growing The old man may weep for his to
in her eyes: morrow
15 | And merry go her moments, lulled and Which is lost in Long Ago;
stilled in The old tree is leafless in the forest,
The shroud by the kirk-chime. 50 The old year is ending in the frost, | It is good when it happens,” say the chilThe old wound, if stricken, is the sorest,
dren, The old hope is hardest to be lost: 20 “That we die before our time." But the young, young children, O my brothers,
Alas, alas, the children! they are seeking Do you ask them why they stand Death in life, as best to have: Weeping sore before the bosoms of their They are binding up their hearts away mothers,
55 In our happy Fatherland? .
With a cerement from the grave.
Go out, children, from the mine and from They look up with their pale and sunken
the city, faces,
Sing out, children, as the little
25 And their looks are sad to see, Anaclebeir look
thrushes do; For the man's hoary anguish draws and Pluck your handfuls of the meadowpresses
cowslips pretty, Down the cheeks of infancy;
Laugh aloud, to feel your fingers let "Your old earth,” they say, “is very
But they answer, “Are your cowslips of Our young feet,” they say, "are very
the meadows weak;
Like our weeds anear the mine? Few paces have we taken, yet are weary
Leave us quiet in the dark of the coalOur grave-rest is very far to seek:
shadows, Ask the aged why they weep, and not the From your pleasures fair and fine!
children, For the outside earth is cold,
“For oh,” say the children, "we are And we young ones stand without, in
weary, our bewildering,
And we cannot run or leap; And the graves are for the old. If we cared for any meadows, it were True," say the children, “it may happen
merely That we die before our time:
To drop down in them and sleep. Little Alice died last year, her grave is
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping, shapen
We fall upon our faces, trying to go; 70 Like a snowball, in the rime.1 40 And, underneath our heavy eyelids droup
ing, “We looked into the pit prepared to take
The reddest flower would look as her:
pale as snow. Was no room for any work in the
For, all day, we drag our burden tiring, close clay!
Through the coal-dark, underground; Or, all day, we drive the wheels of iron 75
In the factories, round and round.
" For, all day, the wheels are droning, And we hear not (for the wheels in their turning;
resounding) Their wind comes in our faces,
Strangers speaking at the door: 110 Till our hearts turn our heads, with pulses Is it likely God, with angels singing round burning,
“Two words, indeed, of praying we reTurns the long light that drops adown
member; . the wall,
And at midnight's hour of harm, Turn the black flies that crawl along the
'Our Father,' looking upward in the ceiling:
chamber, All are turning, all the day, and we
We say softly for a charm. with all.
We know no other words, except 'Our And all day the iron wheels are dron
And we think that, in some pause of And sometimes we could pray,
angels' song, 'Oye wheels,' (breaking out in a mad
| God may pluck them with the silence moaning)
sweet to gather, 'Stop! be silent for to-day!'”.
And hold both within His right hand which is strong.
120 Ay, be silent! Let them hear each other 'Our Father! If He heard us, He would breathing
surely For a moment, mouth to mouth! 90
(For they call Him good and mild) Let them touch each other's hands, in a Answer, smiling down the steep world fresh wreathing
very purely, Of their tender human youth!
'Come and rest with me, my child.' Let them feel that this cold metallic motion “But no!" say the children, weeping Is not all the life God fashions or re
“He is speechless as a stone: Let them prove their living souls against And they tell us. of His image is th the notion
master That they live in you, or under you, " Who commands us to work on. O wheels!
Go to!” say the children,—“Up in Still, all day, the iron wheels go onward,
Heaven, Grinding life down from its mark;
Dark, wheel-like, turning clouds are And the children's souls, which God is
all we find:
130 calling sunward,
Do not mock us; grief has made us unSpin on blindly in the dark. 100
We look up for God, but tears have Now tell the poor young children, O my
made us blind.” brothers,
| Do you hear the children weeping and To look up to Him and pray;
disproving, So the blessed One who blesseth all the
O my brothers, what ye preach? others,
For God's possible is taught by His Will bless them another day.
135 They answer, “Who is God that He
And the children doubt of each. should hear us, While the rushing of the iron wheels And well may the children weep before is stirred?
you! When we sob aloud, the human creatures They are weary ere they run; near us
They have never seen the sunshine, nor Pass by, hearing not, or answer not
the glory a word.
Which is brighter than the sun: 140
They know the grief of man, without its High on the shore sat the great god Pan, wisdom;
| While turbidly flowed the river; They sink in man's despair, without | And hacked and hewed as a great god its calm;
15 And slaves, without the liberty in Christ- | With his hard bleak steel at the patient dom,
reed, Are martyrs, by the pang without | Till there was not a sign of the leaf indeed the palm:
To prove it fresh from the river. Are worn as if with age, yet unretrievingly
145 He cut it short, did the great god Pan, The harvest of its memories cannot (How tall it stood in the river!), 20 reap,
Then drew the pith, like the heart of a Are orphans of the earthly love and man, heavenly.
Steadily from the outside ring,
In holes, as he sat by the river.
“This is the way,” laughed the great god And their look is dread to see, 150 For they mind you of their angels in high (Laughed while he sat by the river), places,
“The only way, since gods began With eyes turned on Deity.
To make sweet music, they could succeed.” “How long,” they say, “how long, O cruel Then dropping his mouth to a hole in the nation,
reed, Will you stand, to move the world, He blew in power by the river. 30
on a child's heart,-. Stifle down with a mailed heel its palpita- Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan! tion,
155 Piercing sweet by the river! And tread onward to your throne Blinding sweet, Ogreat god Pan! amid the mart?
The sun on the hill forgot to die, Our blood splashes upward, 0 gold- And the lilies revived, and the dragon
And your purple shows your path! I Came back to dream on the river. But the child's sob in the silence curses deeper
Yet half a beast is the great god Pan Than the strong man in his wrath."160 To laugh, as he sits by the river,
Making a poet out of a man:
The true gods sigh for the cost and painA MUSICAL INSTRUMENT For the reed which grows never more again
As a reed with the reeds of the river. What was he doing, the great god Pan,
Down in the reeds by the river? Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
EDWARD FITZGERALD (1809–1883) Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,
RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYÁM And breaking the golden lilies afloat 5 With the dragon-fly on the river?
Wake! For the Sun, who scatter'd into He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,
flight From the deep cool bed of the river; The Stars before him from the Field of The limpid water turbidly ran
Night, And the broken lilies a-dying lay, 10 | Drives Night along with them from And the dragon-fly had fled away,
Heav'n, and strikes Ere he brought it out of the river. The Sultan's Turret with a Shaft of Light.