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THE LAY OF THE ROSE.
"discordance that can accord ; And accordance to discord."
THE ROMAUNT OF THE ROSE.
A ROSE Once passed within
A white rose, delicate,
On a tall bough and straight,—
Whose pretty gates did win
"For if I wait," said she,
For the musk rose, and the moss rose,
"What glory then for me,
"Nay, let me in," said she,
"For I would lonely stand, Uplifting my white hand, On a mission, on a mission, To declare the coming vision.
"See mine, a holy heart, To high ends set apart,― All unmated, all unmated, Because so consecrated.
Upon which lifted sign,
What worship will be mine!
What addressing, what caressing,
"A wind-like joy will rush
"Insects, that only may
To my whiteness, to my whiteness
"And every moth and bee
"I ween the very
Will look down in surprise,
"Ten nightingales shall flee Their woods, for love of me,— Singing sadly all the suntide, Never waiting for the moontide!
"Three larks shall leave a cloud, To my whiter beauty vow'd,Singing gladly all the moontide, Never waiting for the suntide."
So praying did she win
South winds to let her in,
But out, alas for her!
No tree nor bush was seen
The little flies did crawl
The nightingale did please
The lark, too high or low,
Only the bee, forsooth,
Came in the place of both-
The skies looked coldly down
Whereat the earth did seem
Said to the rose, «Ha, Snow!
"Holla, thou world-wide snow
Poor rose, to be unknown!
Would she had ne'er been blown, In her loneness, in her loneness, All the sadder for that oneness.
Some word she tried to say,
Some sigh-ah, wellaway!
And the fair frail leaves dropp'd from her
Dropp'd from her, fair and mute,
Who beheld them, smiling lowly
Said, "Verily and thus
So chanceth eke with us,
"Vaunting to come before
Our own age evermore,
"But if alone we be,
And if none can reach our stature,
If no brazen clapper bringing,
"What angel but would seem
"Alas! what can we do,
Who both antedate our mission
Drop, leaf-be silent, song-
We must warm them, we must warm them,
"Howbeit,"-here his face
"Something it is to hold
"Whether that form respect
The chief Beauty's sign of presence.
My little doves have left a nest
Whose leaves fantastic take their rest
Or motion from the sea:
The tropic flowers look'd up to it,
With feathers softly brown,
And God them taught, at every close
Of water far, and wind,
Their chanting voices kind;
Their's hath the calmest sound-
My little doves were ta'en away
My little doves!-who lately knew
In mist and chillness pent,
The stir without the glow of passion-
The wheeled pomp, the pauper tread-
Yet still, as on my human hand
Their fearless heads they lean, And almost seem to understand
What human musings mean(With such a plaintive gaze their eyne Are fasten'd upwardly to mine!)
Their chant is soft as in the nest,
For love, that stirr'd it in their breast,
And, 'neath the city's shade, can keep
And love, that keeps the music, fills
All droppings from the skies,
So teach ye me the wisest part,
And vocal with such songs as own
"T was hard to sing by Babel's stream-
Their music not unmeet
To me, fair memories belong
Of scenes that erst did bless; For no regret-but present song, And lasting thankfulnessAnd very soon to break away,
Like types, in purer things than they!
I will have hopes that cannot fade,
I will have humble thoughts, instead
My spirit and my God shall be
All little birds do sit
With heads beneath their wings-
I ween is unpartook ;
For she looketh to the high cold stars,
The ladye's shadow lies
It lieth no less, in its quietness,
Upon a passing faith,—
The ladye doth not move
The ladye doth not dream
Yet she seeth her shade no longer laid
In rest upon the stream!
It shaketh without wind
It parteth from the tide
It standeth upright, in the cleft moonlightIt sitteth at her side!
Margret, Margret !
Look in its face, ladyè,
And keep thee from thy swound! With a spirit bold thy pulses hold,
And hear its voice's sound!
For so will sound thy voice,
When the maidens work thy pall-
"Am I not like to thee?"—
The voice was calm and low
And between each word there seeméd heard The universe's flow!
"The like may sway the like!
By which mysterious law,
Mine eyes from thine, my lips from thine, The light and breath may draw, Margret, Margret !
My lips do need thy breath,
My lips do need thy smile,
And my pale deep eyne, that light in thine Which met the stars erewhile.
Yet go, with light and life
If that thou lovest one,
In all the earth, who loveth thee
Her cheek had waxed white
For love's name maketh bold,
As if the loved were near:
And sighed she the deep long sigh
"Now, sooth, I fear thee not-
(And a noble sight was the sudden light
Which lit her lifted brow!) "Can earth be dry of streams,
Or hearts of love ?"-she said;
"Who doubteth love, can know not love,He is already dead!"
"I have"-and here her lips
Some word in pause did keep;
And gave, the while, a quiet smile,
As if they paused in sleep!
"I have a brother dear,
I broider'd him a knightly scarf
"I fed his gray goss-hawk,
I kissed his fierce bloodhound,
I sate at home when he might come, And caught his horn's far sound:
I sang him songs of eld,
I pour'd him the red wine,
He looked from the cup, and said,
IT trembled on the grass,
With a low, shadowy laughter!
"I gave her my first bird,
When first my voice it knew—
God's worthy praise to tell :-
IT trembled on the grass,
With a low, shadowy laughter
You could see each bird, as it woke, and stared Through the shrivell'd tree-leaves, after!"Fair child thy sister is!
"Though louder beats mine heart,
I know his tread again;
And his far plume aye,-unless turned away, For tears do blind me, then!
We brake no gold, a sign
Of stronger faith to be;
But I wear his last look in my soul,
IT trembled on the grass,
With a low shadowy laughterThe wind did toll, as a passing soul Were sped by church-bell, after ! And shadows, 'stead of light,
Fell from the stars above,
In flakes of darkness on her face,
"He loved none but thee!
That love is transient too.
When tears fall on his brow?
Her face was on the ground
None saw the agony !
But the men at sea did that night agree
And, when the morning brake,
With the green trees waving overhead,
A knight's bloodhound and he
The funeral watch did keep
With a thought o' the chase he stroked its face, As it howl'd to see him weep.
A fair child kiss'd the dead,
But shrank before the cold;
And alone, yet proudly, in his hall
Hang up my harp again
I have no voice for song!
Not song, but wail-and mourners pale,
Not bards-to love belong!
Oh, light by darkness known!
Oh, false, the while thou treadest earth! Oh, deaf, beneath the stone!
Nay, friends! no name but His,
Th' eternal Friend undim,
THE DESERTED GARDEN.
Since that I saw this gardine wasted.-SPENSER.
I MIND me in the days departed, How often, underneath the sun, With childish bounds I used to run To a garden long deserted.
The beds and walks were vanish'd quite; And, wheresoe'er had fallen the spade, The greenest grasses nature led,
To sanctify her right.
I called it my wilderness, For no one enter'd there but I; The sheep look'd in, the grass t' espy, And passed ne'ertheless.
The trees were interwoven wild, And spread their boughs enough about To keep both sheep and shepherd out, But not a happy child.
Adventurous joy it was for me! I crept beneath the boughs, and found A circle smooth of mossy ground Beneath a poplar-tree.
Old garden rose-trees hedged it in, Bedropt with roses waxen-white, Well satisfied with dew and light, And careless to be seen.
Long years ago it might befall, When all the garden flowers were trim, The grave old gardener prided him On these the most of all;
And lady stately overmuch, Who moved with a silken noise, Blush'd near them, dreaming of the voice That liken'd her to such!
And these, to make a diadem,
She may have often pluck'd and twined,― Half-smiling as it came to mind,
That few would look at them.
Oh! little thought that lady proud,
A child would watch her fair white rose,