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Title: Victorian Songs - Lyrics of the Affections and Nature
Author: Gosse, Edmund, 1849-1928 [Commentator], Garrett, Edmund Henry, 1853-1929 [Editor], Garrett, Edmund Henry, 1853-1929 [Illustrator]
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Victorian Songs

  "'Let some one sing to us, lightlier move
    The minutes fledged with music'."


  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]

  Victorian Songs

  Lyrics of the Affections
  and Nature


  Collected and Illustrated
  by Edmund H Garrett
  with an Introduction by
  Edmund Gosse


  Little Brown and Company
  Boston 1895

  _Copyright, 1895._

  University Press:
  John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U.S.A.

[Transcriber's Note:

Some printings of the book have a two-page Editor's Note before the
Contents, acknowledging the "publishers and authors who have given
permission for the use of many of the songs included in this volume".
It has been omitted from this e-text.]



    Where are the songs I used to know?

        Christina Rossetti.

  AÏDÉ, HAMILTON (1830).                                    Page
    Remember or Forget                                         3
    Oh, Let Me Dream                                           6
    Love, the Pilgrim                                          7

  ALLINGHAM, WILLIAM (1824-1889).
    Lovely Mary Donnelly                                       9
    Song                                                      13
    Serenade                                                  14
    Across the Sea                                            16

    Serenade                                                  18
    A Love Song of Henri Quatre                               20

  ASHE, THOMAS (1836-1889).
    No and Yes                                                22
    At Altenahr                                               23
    Marit                                                     24

  AUSTIN, ALFRED (1835).
    A Night in June                                           26

    Dream-Pedlary                                             30
    Song from the Ship                                        33
    Song                                                      34
    Song                                                      35
    Song, by Two Voices                                       36
    Song                                                      38

    Cradle Song                                               39
    My Roses blossom the Whole Year Round                     41
    Cradle Song                                               42

  BOURDILLON, F. W. (1852).
    Love's Meinie                                             43
    The Night has a Thousand Eyes                             44
    A Lost Voice                                              45

    Serenade                                                  46
    Song                                                      48

  COLLINS, MORTIMER (1827-1876).
    To F. C.                                                  49
    A Game of Chess                                           50
    Multum in Parvo                                           52
    Violets at Home                                           53
    My Thrush                                                 54

    Too Late                                                  56
    A Silly Song                                              58

  DARLEY, GEORGE (1795-1846).
    May Day                                                   60
    I 've been Roaming                                        62
    Sylvia's Song                                             63
    Serenade                                                  64

  DE TABLEY, LORD (1835).
    A Winter Sketch                                           66
    The Second Madrigal                                       69

  DE VERE, AUBREY (1788-1846).
    Song                                                      70
    Song                                                      72
    Song                                                      74

  DICKENS, CHARLES (1812-1870).
    The Ivy Green                                             75

  DOBSON, AUSTIN (1840).
    The Ladies of St. James's                                 77
    The Milkmaid                                              81

  DOMETT, ALFRED (1811-1887).
    A Glee for Winter                                         84
    A Kiss                                                    86

  DUFFERIN, LADY (1807-1867).
    Song                                                      88
    Lament of the Irish Emigrant                              90

    Winds To-day are Large and Free                           94
    Let us Wreathe the Mighty Cup                             96
    Where Winds abound                                        97

  GALE, NORMAN (1862).
    A Song                                                    98
    Song                                                      99

  GOSSE, EDMUND (1849).
    Song for the Lute                                        101

  HOOD, THOMAS (1798-1845).
    Ballad                                                   102
    Song                                                     104
    I Remember, I Remember                                   106
    Ballad                                                   108
    Song                                                     110

    The Brookside                                            111
    The Venetian Serenade                                    113
    From Love and Nature                                     115

  INGELOW, JEAN (1830).
    The Long White Seam                                      116
    Love                                                     118
    Sweet is Childhood                                       120

  KINGSLEY, CHARLES (1819-1875).
    Airly Beacon                                             121
    The Sands of Dee                                         122
    Three Fishers went Sailing                               124
    A Farewell                                               126

  LANDOR, WALTER SAVAGE (1775-1864).
    Rose Aylmer                                              127
    Rubies                                                   128
    The Fault is not Mine                                    129
    Under the Lindens                                        130
    Sixteen                                                  131
    Ianthe                                                   132
    One Lovely Name                                          133
    Forsaken                                                 133

    A Garden Lyric                                           134
    The Cuckoo                                               137
    Gertrude's Necklace                                      139

  LOVER, SAMUEL (1797-1868).
    The Angel's Whisper                                      141
    What will you do, Love?                                  143

  MACKAY, CHARLES (1814-1889).
    I Love my Love                                           145
    O Ye Tears!                                              147

  MAHONEY, FRANCIS (1805-1866).
    The Bells of Shandon                                     149

  MASSEY, GERALD (1828).
    Song                                                     153

  O'SHAUGHNESSY, ARTHUR (1844-1881).
    A Love Symphony                                          156
    I made Another Garden                                    158

    The Lost Chord                                           160
    Sent to Heaven                                           162

  PROCTER, B. W. (BARRY CORNWALL) (1787-1874).
    The Poet's Song to his Wife                              165
    A Petition to Time                                       167
    A Bacchanalian Song                                      168
    She was not Fair nor Full of Grace                       170
    The Sea-King                                             172
    A Serenade                                               174
    King Death                                               176
    Sit Down, Sad Soul                                       178
    A Drinking Song                                          180
    Peace! What do Tears Avail?                              182
    The Sea                                                  184

  ROSSETTI, CHRISTINA G. (1830-1895).
    Song                                                     186
    Song                                                     188
    Song                                                     189
    Three Seasons                                            190

    A Little While                                           191
    Sudden Light                                             193
    Three Shadows                                            194

  SCOTT, WILLIAM BELL (1812-1890).
    Parting and Meeting Again                                196

    A Merry Bee                                              198
    The Songstress                                           199
    The Violet and the Rose                                  200

    Regrets                                                  201
    Daisy's Dimples                                          203
    A Lover's Lullaby                                        204

    A Match                                                  205
    Rondel                                                   208
    Song                                                     209

  TENNYSON, ALFRED (1809-1892).
    The Bugle Song                                           210
    Break, Break, Break                                      212
    Tears, Idle Tears                                        213
    Sweet and Low                                            215
    Turn, Fortune, Turn thy Wheel                            216
    Vivien's Song                                            217

    At the Church Gate                                       218
    The Mahogany Tree                                        220

    Dayrise and Sunset                                       223
    The Three Troopers                                       225
    The Cuckoo                                               228




    Listen--Songs thou 'lt hear
    Through the wide world ringing.

        Barry Cornwall.


  A baby was sleeping
      _Samuel Lover_                                         141
  "A cup for hope!" she said
      _Christina G. Rossetti_                                190
  A golden bee a-cometh
      _Joseph Skipsey_                                       198
  A little shadow makes the sunrise sad
      _Mortimer Collins_                                      52
  A little while a little love
      _Dante Gabriel Rossetti_                               191
  A thousand voices fill my ears
      _F. W. Bourdillon_                                      45
  Across the grass I see her pass
      _Austin Dobson_                                         81
  Ah, what avails the sceptered race!
      _Walter Savage Landor_                                 127
  Airly Beacon, Airly Beacon
      _Charles Kingsley_                                     121
  All glorious as the Rainbow's birth
      _Gerald Massey_                                        153
  All through the sultry hours of June
      _Mortimer Collins_                                      54
  Along the garden ways just now
      _Arthur O'Shaughnessy_                                 156
  Although I enter not
      _William Makepeace Thackeray_                          218
  As Gertrude skipt from babe to girl
      _Frederick Locker-Lampson_                             139
  As I came round the harbor buoy
      _Jean Ingelow_                                         116
  Awake!--The starry midnight Hour
      _B. W. Procter_ (_Barry Cornwall_)                     174
  Awake thee, my Lady-love!
      _George Darley_                                         64
  Back flies my soul to other years
      _Joseph Skipsey_                                       199
  Break, break, break
      _Alfred Tennyson_                                      212

  Came, on a Sabbath noon, my sweet
      _Thomas Ashe_                                           23
  Christmas is here
      _William Makepeace Thackeray_                          220
  Come, rosy Day!
      _Sir Edwin Arnold_                                      20
  Come sing, Come sing, of the great Sea-King
      _B. W. Procter_ (_Barry Cornwall_)                     172
  Could ye come back to me, Douglas, Douglas
      _Dinah Maria Mulock Craik_                              56

  Drink, and fill the night with mirth!
      _B. W. Procter_ (_Barry Cornwall_)                     180

  Every day a Pilgrim, blindfold
      _Hamilton Aïdé_                                          7

  Fast falls the snow, O lady mine
      _Mortimer Collins_                                      49
  First the fine, faint, dreamy motion
      _Norman Gale_                                           98

  Hence, rude Winter! crabbed old fellow
      _Alfred Domett_                                         84
  How many Summers, love
      _B. W. Procter_ (_Barry Cornwall_)                     165
  How many times do I love thee, dear?
      _Thomas Lovell Beddoes_                                 38

  I bring a garland for your head
      _Edmund Gosse_                                         101
  I had a Message to send her
      _Adelaide Anne Procter_                                162
  I have been here before
      _Dante Gabriel Rossetti_                               193
  I leaned out of window, I smelt the white clover
      _Jean Ingelow_                                         118
  I looked and saw your eyes
      _Dante Gabriel Rossetti_                               194
  I made another garden, yea
      _Arthur O'Shaughnessy_                                 158
  I remember, I remember
      _Thomas Hood_                                          106
  I sat beside the streamlet
      _Hamilton Aïdé_                                          3
  I wandered by the brook-side
      _Lord Houghton_                                        111
  I walked in the lonesome evening
      _William Allingham_                                     16
  If I could choose my paradise
      _Thomas Ashe_                                           22
  If love were what the rose is
      _Algernon Charles Swinburne_                           205
  If there were dreams to sell
      _Thomas Lovell Beddoes_                                 30
  I 'm sitting on the stile, Mary
      _Lady Dufferin_                                         90
  In Clementina's artless mien
      _Walter Savage Landor_                                 131
  In Love, if Love be Love, if Love be ours
      _Alfred Tennyson_                                      217
  Into the Devil tavern
      _George Walter Thornbury_                              225
  It was not in the winter
      _Thomas Hood_                                          102
  I 've been roaming! I 've been roaming!
      _George Darley_                                         62

  King Death was a rare old fellow!
      _B. W. Procter_ (_Barry Cornwall_)                     176
  Kissing her hair I sat against her feet.
      _Algernon Charles Swinburne_                           208

  Lady! in this night of June
      _Alfred Austin_                                         26
  Last time I parted from my Dear
      _William Bell Scott_                                   196
  Let us wreathe the mighty cup
      _Michael Field_                                         96
  Little dimples so sweet and soft
      _J. Ashby Sterry_                                      203
  Lullaby! O lullaby!
      _William Cox Bennett_                                   42
  Lute! breathe thy lowest in my Lady's ear
      _Sir Edwin Arnold_                                      18

  Mirror your sweet eyes in mine, love
      _J. Ashby Sterry_                                      204
  Mother, I can not mind my wheel
      _Walter Savage Landor_                                 133
  My fairest child, I have no song to give you
      _Charles Kingsley_                                     126
  My goblet's golden lips are dry
      _Thomas Lovell Beddoes_                                 34
  My love, on a fair May morning
      _Thomas Ashe_                                           24
  My roses blossom the whole year round
      _William Cox Bennett_                                   41

  O for the look of those pure gray eyes
      _J. Ashby Sterry_                                      201
  O happy buds of violet!
      _Mortimer Collins_                                      53
  "O Heart, my heart!" she said, and heard
      _Dinah Maria Mulock Craik_                              58
  O lady, leave thy silken thread
      _Thomas Hood_                                          104
  O lips that mine have grown into
      _Algernon Charles Swinburne_                           209
  O Love is like the roses
      _Robert Buchanan_                                       48
  O May, thou art a merry time
      _George Darley_                                         60
  O roses for the flush of youth
      _Christina G. Rossetti_                                188
  O spirit of the Summertime!
      _William Allingham_                                     13
  O ye tears! O ye tears! that have long refused to flow
      _Charles Mackay_                                       147
  Often I have heard it said
      _Walter Savage Landor_                                 128
  Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green
      _Charles Dickens_                                       75
  Oh, hearing sleep, and sleeping hear
      _William Allingham_                                     14
  Oh! let me dream of happy days gone by
      _Hamilton Aïdé_                                          6
  Oh, lovely Mary Donnelly, my joy, my only best!
      _William Allingham_                                      9
  "Oh, Mary, go and call the cattle home"
      _Charles Kingsley_                                     122
  One lovely name adorns my song
      _Walter Savage Landor_                                 133

  Peace! what can tears avail?
      _B. W. Procter_ (_Barry Cornwall_)                     182

  Seated one day at the Organ
      _Adelaide Anne Procter_                                160
  Seek not the tree of silkiest bark
      _Aubrey de Vere_                                        72
  She was not fair, nor full of grace
      _B. W. Procter_ (_Barry Cornwall_)                     170
  She 's up and gone, the graceless Girl
      _Thomas Hood_                                          108
  Sing!--Who sings
      _B. W. Procter_ (_Barry Cornwall_)                     168
  Sit down, sad soul, and count
      _B. W. Procter_ (_Barry Cornwall_)                     178
  Sleep sweet, belovëd one, sleep sweet!
      _Robert Buchanan_                                       46
  Sleep! the bird is in its nest
      _William Cox Bennett_                                   39
  Softly, O midnight Hours!
      _Audrey de Vere_                                        70
  Strew not earth with empty stars
      _Thomas Lovell Beddoes_                                 35
  Sweet and low, sweet and low
      _Alfred Tennyson_                                      215
  Sweet is childhood--childhood 's over
      _Jean Ingelow_                                         120
  Sweet mouth! O let me take
      _Alfred Domett_                                         86

  Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean
      _Alfred Tennyson_                                      213
  Terrace and lawn are white with frost
      _Mortimer Collins_                                      50
  Thank Heaven, Ianthe, once again
      _Walter Savage Landor_                                 132
  The fault is not mine if I love you too much
      _Walter Savage Landor_                                 129
  The ladies of St. James's
      _Austin Dobson_                                         77
  The night has a thousand eyes
      _F. W. Bourdillon_                                      44
  The Sea! the Sea! the open Sea!
      _B. W. Procter_ (_Barry Cornwall_)                     184
  The splendour falls on castle walls
      _Alfred Tennyson_                                      210
  The stars are with the voyager
      _Thomas Hood_                                          110
  The streams that wind amid the hills
      _George Darley_                                         63
  The Sun came through the frosty mist
      _Lord Houghton_                                        115
  The Violet invited my kiss
      _Joseph Skipsey_                                       200
  There is no summer ere the swallows come.
      _F. W. Bourdillon_                                      43
  Three fishers went sailing away to the West
      _Charles Kingsley_                                     124
  To sea, to sea! the calm is o'er
      _Thomas Lovell Beddoes_                                 33
  Touch us gently, Time!
      _B. W. Procter_ (_Barry Cornwall_)                     167
  Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel and lower the proud!
      _Alfred Tennyson_                                      216
  Two doves upon the selfsame branch
      _Christina G. Rossetti_                                189

  Under the lindens lately sat
      _Walter Savage Landor_                                 130

  Wait but a little while
      _Norman Gale_                                           99
  We have loiter'd and laugh'd in the flowery croft
      _Frederick Locker-Lampson_                             134
  We heard it calling, clear and low
      _Frederick Locker-Lampson_                             137
  What is the meaning of the song
      _Charles Mackay_                                       145
  "What will you do, love, when I am going"
      _Samuel Lover_                                         143
  When a warm and scented steam
      _George Walter Thornbury_                              228
  When along the light ripple the far serenade
      _Lord Houghton_                                        113
  When another's voice thou hearest
      _Lady Dufferin_                                         88
  When I am dead, my dearest
      _Christina G. Rossetti_                                186
  When I was young, I said to Sorrow
      _Aubrey de Vere_                                        74
  When Spring casts all her swallows forth
      _George Walter Thornbury_                              223
  When the snow begins to feather
      _Lord de Tabley_                                        66
  Where winds abound
      _Michael Field_                                         97
  Who is the baby, that doth lie
      _Thomas Lovell Beddoes_                                 36
  Winds to-day are large and free
      _Michael Field_                                         94
  With deep affection
      _Francis Mahoney_                                      149
  Woo thy lass while May is here
      _Lord de Tabley_                                        69




    Their songs wake singing echoes in my land.

        Christina Rossetti.

  Sweet and low, sweet and low                     _Frontispiece_
  "Oh! let me dream of happy days gone by"                     6
  Across the Sea                                              16
  "My love on a fair May morning"                             24
  Song in the Garden                                          38
  The night has a thousand eyes                               44
  A Game of Chess                                             50
  "I 've been roaming, I 've been roaming"                    62
  "A maid I know,--and March winds blow"                      82
  "That bright May morning long ago"                          90
  "I remember, I remember"                                   106
  I wandered by the brook-side                               112
  "Three fishers went sailing away to the West"              124
  Ianthe                                                     132
  Gertrude's Necklace                                        140
  "She turned back at the last to wait"                      158
  King Death                                                 176
  "I looked and saw your eyes"                               194
  Break, Break, Break                                        212
  "When Spring casts all her swallows forth"                 224




    The writer of prose, by intelligence taught,
    Says the thing that will please, in the way that he ought.

        Frederick Locker-Lampson.

_No species of poetry is more ancient than the lyrical, and yet none
shows so little sign of having outlived the requirements of human
passion. The world may grow tired of epics and of tragedies, but each
generation, as it sees the hawthorns blossom and the freshness of
girlhood expand, is seized with a pang which nothing but the spasm of
verse will relieve. Each youth imagines that spring-tide and love are
wonders which he is the first of human beings to appreciate, and he
burns to alleviate his emotion in rhyme. Historians exaggerate, perhaps,
the function of music in awakening and guiding the exercise of lyrical
poetry. The lyric exists, they tell us, as an accompaniment to the lyre;
and without the mechanical harmony the spoken song is an artifice. Quite
as plausibly might it be avowed that music was but added to verse to
concentrate and emphasize its rapture, to add poignancy and volume to
its expression. But the truth is that these two arts, though sometimes
happily allied, are, and always have been, independent. When verse has
been innocent enough to lean on music, we may be likely to find that
music also has been of the simplest order, and that the pair of them,
like two delicious children, have tottered and swayed together down the
flowery meadows of experience. When either poetry or music is adult, the
presence of each is a distraction to the other, and each prefers, in the
elaborate ages, to stand alone, since the mystery of the one confounds
the complexity of the other. Most poets hate music; few musicians
comprehend the nature of poetry; and the combination of these arts has
probably, in all ages, been contrived, not for the satisfaction of
artists, but for the convenience of their public._

_This divorce between poetry and music has been more frankly accepted in
the present century than ever before, and is nowadays scarcely opposed
in serious criticism. If music were a necessary ornament of lyrical
verse, the latter would nowadays scarcely exist; but we hear less and
less of the poets devotion (save in a purely conventional sense) to the
lute and the pipe. What we call the Victorian lyric is absolutely
independent of any such aid. It may be that certain songs of Tennyson
and Christina Rossetti have been with great popularity "set," as it is
called, "to music." So far as the latter is in itself successful, it
stultifies the former; and we admit at last that the idea of one art
aiding another in this combination is absolutely fictitious. The
beauty--even the beauty of sound--conveyed by the ear in such lyrics as
"Break, break, break," or "When I am dead, my dearest," is obscured, is
exchanged for another and a rival species of beauty, by the most
exquisite musical setting that a composer can invent._

_The age which has been the first to accept this condition, then, should
be rich in frankly lyrical poetry; and this we find to be the case with
the Victorian period. At no time has a greater mass of this species of
verse been produced, not even in the combined Elizabethan and Jacobean
age. But when we come to consider the quality of this later harvest of
song, we observe in it a far less homogeneous character. We can take a
piece of verse, and decide at sight that it must be Elizabethan, or of
the age of the Pléiade in France, or of a particular period in Italy.
Even an ode of our own eighteenth century is hardly to be confounded
with a fragment from any other school. The great Georgian age introduced
a wide variety into English poetry; and yet we have but to examine the
selected jewels strung into so exquisite a carcanet by Mr. Palgrave in
his "Golden Treasury" to notice with surprise how close a family
likeness exists between the contributions of Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats,
and Byron. The distinctions of style, of course, are very great; but the
general character of the diction, the imagery, even of the rhythm, is
more or less identical. The stamp of the same age is upon them,--they
are hall-marked 1820._

_It is perhaps too early to decide that this will never be the case with
the Victorian lyrics. While we live in an age we see the distinction of
its parts, rather than their co-relation. It is said that the Japanese
Government once sent over a Commission to report upon the art of Europe;
and that, having visited the exhibitions of London, Paris, Florence, and
Berlin, the Commissioners confessed that the works of the European
painters all looked so exactly alike that it was difficult to
distinguish one from another. The Japanese eye, trained in absolutely
opposed conventions, could not tell the difference between a Watts and a
Fortuny, a Théodore Rousseau and a Henry Moore. So it is quite possible,
it is even probable, that future critics may see a close similarity
where we see nothing but divergence between the various productions of
the Victorian age. Yet we can judge but what we discern; and certainly
to the critical eye to-day it is the absence of a central tendency, the
chaotic cultivation of all contrivable varieties of style, which most
strikingly seems to distinguish the times we live in._

_We use the word "Victorian" in literature to distinguish what was
written after the decline of that age of which Walter Scott, Coleridge,
and Wordsworth were the survivors. It is well to recollect, however,
that Tennyson, who is the Victorian writer_ par excellence, _had
published the most individual and characteristic of his lyrics long
before the Queen ascended the throne, and that Elizabeth Barrett, Henry
Taylor, William Barnes, and others were by this date of mature age. It
is difficult to remind ourselves, who have lived in the radiance of that
august figure, that some of the most beautiful of Tennyson's lyrics,
such as "Mariana" and "The Dying Swan" are now separated from us by as
long a period of years as divided them from Dr. Johnson and the author
of "Night Thoughts." The reflection is of value only as warning us of
the extraordinary length of the epoch we still call "Victorian." It
covers, not a mere generation, but much more than half a century. During
this length of time a complete revolution in literary taste might have
been expected to take place. This has not occurred, and the cause may
very well be the extreme license permitted to the poets to adopt
whatever style they pleased. Where all the doors stand wide open, there
is no object in escaping; where there is but one door, and that one
barred, it is human nature to fret for some violent means of evasion.
How divine have been the methods of the Victorian lyrists may easily be

  _"Quoth tongue of neither maid nor wife
    To heart of neither wife nor maid,
  Lead we not here a jolly life
    Betwixt the shine and shade?_

  _"Quoth heart of neither maid nor wife
    To tongue of neither wife nor maid,
  Thou wagg'st, but I am worn with strife,
    And feel like flowers that fade."_

_That is a masterpiece, but so is this:--_

  _"Nay, but you who do not love her,
    Is she not pure gold, my mistress?
  Holds earth aught--speak truth--above her?
    Aught like this tress, see, and this tress,
  And this last fairest tress of all,
  --So fair, see, ere I let it fall?_

  _"Because, you spend your lives in praisings,
    To praise, you search the wide world over:
  Then why not witness, calmly gazing,
    If earth holds aught--speak truth--above her?
  Above this tress, and this I touch,
  But cannot praise, I love so much!"_

_And so is this:--_

  _"Under the wide and starry sky,
  Dig the grave and let me lie.
  Glad did I live and gladly die,
    And I laid me down with a will._

  _"This be the verse yon grave for me:
  Here he lies where he longed to be;
  Home is the sailor, home from sea,
    And the hunter home from the hill."_

_But who would believe that the writers of these were contemporaries?_

_If we examine more closely the forms which lyric poetry has taken since
1830, we shall find that certain influences at work in the minds of our
leading writers have led to the widest divergence in the character of
lyrical verse. It will be well, perhaps, to consider in turn the leading
classes of that work. It was not to be expected that in an age of such
complexity and self-consciousness as ours, the pure song, the simple
trill of bird-like melody, should often or prominently be heard. As
civilization spreads, it ceases to be possible, or at least it becomes
less and less usual, that simple emotion should express itself with
absolute naïveté. Perhaps Burns was the latest poet in these islands
whose passion warbled forth in perfectly artless strains; and he had the
advantage of using a dialect still unsubdued and unvulgarized.
Artlessness nowadays must be the result of the most exquisitely finished
art; if not, it is apt to be insipid, if not positively squalid and
fusty. The obvious uses of simple words have been exhausted; we cannot,
save by infinite pains and the exercise of a happy genius, recover the
old spontaneous air, the effect of an inevitable arrangement of the only
possible words._

_This beautiful direct simplicity, however, was not infrequently secured
by Tennyson, and scarcely less often by Christina Rossetti, both of whom
have left behind them jets of pure emotional melody which compare to
advantage with the most perfect specimens of Greek and Elizabethan song.
Tennyson did not very often essay this class of writing, but when he
did, he rarely failed; his songs combine, with extreme naturalness and
something of a familiar sweetness, a felicity of workmanship hardly to
be excelled. In her best songs, Miss Rossetti is scarcely, if at all,
his inferior; but her judgment was far less sure, and she was more ready
to look with complacency on her failures. The songs of Mr. Aubrey de
Vere are not well enough known; they are sometimes singularly charming.
Other poets have once or twice succeeded in catching this clear natural
treble,--the living linnet once captured in the elm, as Tusitala puts
it; but this has not been a gift largely enjoyed by our Victorian

_The richer and more elaborate forms of lyric, on the contrary, have
exactly suited this curious and learned age of ours. The species of
verse which, originally Italian or French, have now so abundantly and so
admirably been practised in England that we can no longer think of them
as exotic, having found so many exponents in the Victorian period that
they are pre-eminently characteristic of it. "Scorn not the Sonnet,"
said Wordsworth to his contemporaries; but the lesson has not been
needed in the second half of the century. The sonnet is the most solid
and unsingable of the sections of lyrical poetry; it is difficult to
think of it as chanted to a musical accompaniment. It is used with great
distinction by writers to whom skill in the lighter divisions of poetry
has been denied, and there are poets, such as Bowles and Charles
Tennyson-Turner, who live by their sonnets alone. The practice of the
sonnet has been so extended that all sense of monotony has been lost. A
sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning differs from one by D. G. Rossetti
or by Matthew Arnold to such excess as to make it difficult for us to
realize that the form in each case is absolutely identical._

_With the sonnet might be mentioned the lighter forms of elaborate
exotic verse; but to these a word shall be given later on. More closely
allied to the sonnet are those rich and somewhat fantastic
stanza-measures in which Rossetti delighted. Those in which Keats and
the Italians have each their part have been greatly used by the
Victorian poets. They lend themselves to a melancholy magnificence, to
pomp of movement and gorgeousness of color; the very sight of them gives
the page the look of an ancient blazoned window. Poems of this class are
"The Stream's Secret" and the choruses in "Love is enough." They satisfy
the appetite of our time for subtle and vague analysis of emotion, for
what appeals to the spirit through the senses; but here, again, in
different hands, the "thing," the metrical instrument, takes wholly
diverse characters, and we seek in vain for a formula that can include
Robert Browning and Gabriel Rossetti, William Barnes and Arthur Hugh

_From this highly elaborated and extended species of lyric the
transition is easy to the Ode. In the Victorian age, the ode, in its
full Pindaric sense, has not been very frequently used. We have
specimens by Mr. Swinburne in which the Dorian laws are closely adhered
to. But the ode, in a more or less irregular form, whether pæan or
threnody, has been the instrument of several of our leading lyrists. The
genius of Mr. Swinburne, even to a greater degree than that of Shelley,
is essentially dithyrambic, and is never happier than when it spreads
its wings as wide as those of the wild swan, and soars upon the very
breast of tempest. In these flights Mr. Swinburne attains to a volume of
sonorous melody such as no other poet, perhaps, of the world has
reached, and we may say to him, as he has shouted to the Mater

  _"Darkness to daylight shall lift up thy pæan,
    Hill to hill thunder, vale cry back to vale,
  With wind-notes as of eagles Æschylean,
    And Sappho singing in the nightingale."_

_Nothing could mark more picturesquely the wide diversity permitted in
Victorian lyric than to turn from the sonorous and tumultuous odes of
Mr. Swinburne to those of Mr. Patmore, in which stateliness of
contemplation and a peculiar austerity of tenderness find their
expression in odes of iambic cadence, the melody of which depends, not
in their headlong torrent of sound, but in the cunning variation of
catalectic pause. A similar form has been adopted by Lord De Tabley for
many of his gorgeous studies of antique myth, and by Tennyson for his
"Death of the Duke of Wellington." It is an error to call these iambic
odes "irregular," although they do not follow the classic rules with
strophe, antistrophe, and epode. The enchanting "I have led her
home," in "Maud," is an example of this kind of lyric at its highest
point of perfection._

_A branch of lyrical poetry which has been very widely cultivated in the
Victorian age is the philosophical, or gnomic, in which a serious chain
of thought, often illustrated by complex and various imagery, is held in
a casket of melodious verse, elaborately rhymed. Matthew Arnold was a
master of this kind of poetry, which takes its form, through Wordsworth,
from the solemn and so-called "metaphysical" writers of the seventeenth
century. We class this interesting and abundant section of verse with
the lyrical, because we know not by what other name to describe it; yet
it has obviously as little as possible of the singing ecstasy about it.
It neither pours its heart out in a rapture, nor wails forth its
despair. It has as little of the nightingale's rich melancholy as of the
lark's delirium. It hardly sings, but, with infinite decorum and
sobriety, speaks its melodious message to mankind. This sort of
philosophical poetry is really critical; its function is to analyze and
describe; and it approaches, save for the enchantment of its form,
nearer to prose than do the other sections of the art. It is, however,
just this species of poetry which has particularly appealed to the age
in which we live; and how naturally it does so may be seen in the
welcome extended to the polished and serene compositions of Mr. William

_Almost a creation, or at least a complete conquest, of the Victorian
age is the humorous lyric in its more delicate developments. If the past
can point to Prior and to Praed, we can boast, in their various
departments, of Calverly, of Locker-Lampson, of Mr. Andrew Lang, of
Mr. W. S. Gilbert. The comic muse, indeed, has marvellously extended her
blandishments during the last two generations, and has discovered
methods of trivial elegance which were quite unknown to our forefathers.
Here must certainly be said a word in favor of those French forms of
verse, all essentially lyrical, such as the ballad, the rondel, the
triolet, which have been used so abundantly as to become quite a feature
in our lighter literature. These are not, or are but rarely, fitted to
bear the burden of high emotion; but their precision, and the deftness
which their use demands fit them exceedingly well for the more
distinguished kind of persiflage. No one has kept these delicate
butterflies in flight with the agile movement of his fan so admirably as
Mr. Austin Dobson, that neatest of magicians._

_Those who write hastily of Victorian lyrical poetry are apt to find
fault with its lack of spontaneity. It is true that we cannot pretend to
discover on a greensward so often crossed and re-crossed as the poetic
language of England many morning dewdrops still glistening on the
grasses. We have to pay the penalty of our experience in a certain lack
of innocence. The artless graces of a child seem mincing affectations in
a grown-up woman. But the poetry of this age has amply made up for any
lack of innocence by its sumptuous fulness, its variety, its magnificent
accomplishment, its felicitous response to a multitude of moods and
apprehensions. It has struck out no new field for itself; it still
remains where the romantic revolution of 1798 placed it; its aims are
not other than were those of Coleridge and of Keats. But within that
defined sphere it has developed a surprising activity. It has occupied
the attention and become the facile instrument of men of the greatest
genius, writers of whom any age and any language might be proud. It has
been tender and fiery, severe and voluminous, gorgeous and marmoreal, in
turns. It has translated into words feelings so subtle, so transitory,
moods so fragile and intangible, that the rough hand of prose would but
have crushed them. And this, surely, indicates the great gift of
Victorian lyrical poetry to the race. During a time of extreme mental
and moral restlessness, a time of speculation and evolution, when all
illusions are tested, all conventions overthrown, when the harder
elements of life have been brought violently to the front, and where
there is a temptation for the emancipated mind roughly to reject what is
not material and obvious, this art has preserved intact the lovelier
delusions of the spirit, all that is vague and incorporeal and illusory.
So that for Victorian Lyric generally no better final definition can be
given than is supplied by Mr. Robert Bridges in a little poem of
incomparable beauty, which may fitly bring this essay to a close:--_

  _"I have loved flowers that fade,
    Within whose magic tents
  Rich hues have marriage made
    With sweet immemorial scents:
  A joy of love at sight,--
  A honeymoon delight,
  That ages in an hour:--
  My song be like a flower._

  _"I have loved airs that die
    Before their charm is writ
  Upon the liquid sky
    Trembling to welcome it.
  Notes that with pulse of fire
  Proclaim the spirit's desire,
  Then die, and are nowhere:--
  My song be like an air."_

    Edmund Gosse.

  Victorian Songs

    "Short swallow-flights of song"







  I sat beside the streamlet,
    I watched the water flow,
  As we together watched it
    One little year ago;
  The soft rain pattered on the leaves,
    The April grass was wet,
  Ah! folly to remember;--
    'T is wiser to forget.


  The nightingales made vocal
    June's palace paved with gold;
  I watched the rose you gave me
    Its warm red heart unfold;
  But breath of rose and bird's song
    Were fraught with wild regret.
  'T is madness to remember;
    'T were wisdom to forget.


  I stood among the gold corn,
    Alas! no more, I knew,
  To gather gleaner's measure
    Of the love that fell from you.
  For me, no gracious harvest--
    Would God we ne'er had met!
  'T is hard, Love, to remember, but
    'T is harder to forget.


  The streamlet now is frozen,
    The nightingales are fled,
  The cornfields are deserted,
    And every rose is dead.
  I sit beside my lonely fire,
    And pray for wisdom yet--
  For calmness to remember
    Or courage to forget.




  Oh! let me dream of happy days gone by,
    Forgetting sorrows that have come between,
  As sunlight gilds some distant summit high,
    And leaves the valleys dark that intervene.
  The phantoms of remorse that haunt
    The soul, are laid beneath that spell;
  As, in the music of a chaunt
    Is lost the tolling of a bell.
      Oh! let me dream of happy days gone by, etc.

  In youth, we plucked full many a flower that died,
    Dropped on the pathway, as we danced along;
  And now, we cherish each poor leaflet dried
    In pages which to that dear past belong.
  With sad crushed hearts they yet retain
    Some semblance of their glories fled;
  Like us, whose lineaments remain,
    When all the fires of life are dead.
              Oh! let me dream, etc.

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  Every day a Pilgrim, blindfold,
    When the night and morning meet,
  Entereth the slumbering city,
    Stealeth down the silent street;
  Lingereth round some battered doorway,
    Leaves unblest some portal grand,
  And the walls, where sleep the children,
    Toucheth, with his warm young hand.
      Love is passing! Love is passing!--
        Passing while ye lie asleep:
      In your blessèd dreams, O children,
        Give him all your hearts to keep!

  Blindfold is this Pilgrim, Maiden.
    Though to-day he touched thy door,
  He may pass it by to-morrow--
    --Pass it--to return no more.
  Let us then with prayers entreat him,--
    Youth! her heart, whose coldness grieves,
  May one morn by Love be softened;
    Prize the treasure that he leaves.
      Love is passing! Love is passing!
        All, with hearts to hope and pray,
      Bid this pilgrim touch the lintels
        Of your doorways every day.






  Oh, lovely Mary Donnelly, my joy, my only best!
  If fifty girls were round you, I 'd hardly see the rest;
  Be what it may the time o' day, the place be where it will,
  Sweet looks o' Mary Donnelly, they bloom before me still.

  Her eyes like mountain water that 's flowing on a rock,
  How clear they are, how dark they are! they give me many a shock;
  Red rowans warm in sunshine and wetted with a show'r,
  Could ne'er express the charming lip that has me in its pow'r.

  Her nose is straight and handsome, her eyebrows lifted up,
  Her chin is very neat and pert, and smooth like a china cup,
  Her hair 's the brag of Ireland, so weighty and so fine;
  It 's rolling down upon her neck, and gathered in a twine.

  The dance o' last Whit-Monday night exceeded all before,
  No pretty girl for miles about was missing from the floor;
  But Mary kept the belt o' love, and O but she was gay!
  She danced a jig, she sung a song, that took my heart away.

  When she stood up for dancing, her steps were so complete
  The music nearly kill'd itself to listen to her feet;
  The fiddler moaned his blindness, he heard her so much praised,
  But bless'd his luck to not be deaf when once her voice she raised.

  And evermore I 'm whistling or lilting what you sung,
  Your smile is always in my heart, your name beside my tongue;
  But you 've as many sweethearts as you 'd count on both your hands,
  And for myself there 's not a thumb or little finger stands.

  'T is you 're the flower o' womankind in country or in town;
  The higher I exalt you, the lower I 'm cast down.
  If some great lord should come this way, and see your beauty bright,
  And you to be his lady, I 'd own it was but right.

  O might we live together in a lofty palace hall,
  Where joyful music rises, and where scarlet curtains fall!
  O might we live together in a cottage mean and small,
  With sods o' grass the only roof, and mud the only wall!

  O lovely Mary Donnelly, your beauty 's my distress.
  It 's far too beauteous to be mine, but I 'll never wish it less.
  The proudest place would fit your face, and I am poor and low;
  But blessings be about you, dear, wherever you may go!



  O spirit of the Summertime!
    Bring back the roses to the dells;
  The swallow from her distant clime,
    The honey-bee from drowsy cells.

  Bring back the friendship of the sun;
    The gilded evenings, calm and late,
  When merry children homeward run,
    And peeping stars bid lovers wait.

  Bring back the singing; and the scent
    Of meadowlands at dewy prime;--
  Oh, bring again my heart's content,
    Thou Spirit of the Summertime!


  Oh, hearing sleep, and sleeping hear,
  The while we dare to call thee dear,
  So may thy dreams be good, altho'
  The loving power thou dost not know.
  As music parts the silence,--lo!
  Through heaven the stars begin to peep,
    To comfort us that darkling pine
    Because those fairer lights of thine
  Have set into the Sea of Sleep.
  Yet closèd still thine eyelids keep;
  And may our voices through the sphere
    Of Dreamland all as softly rise
  As through these shadowy rural dells,
  Where bashful Echo somewhere dwells,
  And touch thy spirit to as soft replies.
  May peace from gentle guardian skies,
  Till watches of the dark are worn,
  Surround thy bed, and joyous morn
    Makes all the chamber rosy bright!
  Good-night!--From far-off fields is borne
  The drowsy Echo's faint 'Good-night,'--
    Good-night! Good-night!



    I walked in the lonesome evening,
      And who so sad as I,
    When I saw the young men and maidens
      Merrily passing by.
        To thee, my Love, to thee--
        So fain would I come to thee!
  While the ripples fold upon sands of gold,
        And I look across the sea.

    I stretch out my hands; who will clasp them?
      I call,--thou repliest no word.
    Oh, why should heart-longing be weaker
      Than the waving wings of a bird!
        To thee, my Love, to thee--
        So fain would I come to thee!
  For the tide 's at rest from east to west,
        And I look across the sea.

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    There 's joy in the hopeful morning,
      There 's peace in the parting day,
    There 's sorrow with every lover
      Whose true love is far away.
        To thee, my Love, to thee--
        So fain would I come to thee!
  And the water 's bright in a still moonlight,
        As I look across the sea.






  Lute! breathe thy lowest in my Lady's ear,
    Sing while she sleeps, "Ah! belle dame, aimez-vous?"
  Till, dreaming still, she dream that I am here,
    And wake to find it, as my love is, true;
  Then, when she listens in her warm white nest,
    Say in slow music,--softer, tenderer yet,
  That lute-strings quiver when their tone 's at rest,
    And my heart trembles when my lips are set.

  Stars! if my sweet love still a-dreaming lies,
    Shine through the roses for a lover's sake
  And send your silver to her lidded eyes,
    Kissing them very gently till she wake;
  Then while she wonders at the lay and light,
    Tell her, though morning endeth star and song,
  That ye live still, when no star glitters bright,
    And my love lasteth, though it finds no tongue.



        Come, rosy Day!
        Come quick--I pray--
  I am so glad when I thee see!
        Because my Fair,
        Who is so dear,
  Is rosy-red and white like thee.

        She lives, I think,
        On heavenly drink
  Dawn-dew, which Hebe pours for her;
        Else--when I sip
        At her soft lip
  How smells it of ambrosia?

        She is so fair
        None can compare;
  And, oh, her slender waist divine!
        Her sparkling eyes
        Set in the skies
  The morning stars would far outshine!

        Only to hear
        Her voice so clear
  The village gathers in the street;
        And Tityrus,
        Grown one of us,
  Leaves piping on his flute so sweet.

        The Graces three,
        Where'er she be,
  Call all the Loves to flutter nigh;
        And what she 'll say,--
        Speak when she may,--
  Is full of sense and majesty!






  If I could choose my paradise,
    And please myself with choice of bliss,
  Then I would have your soft blue eyes
    And rosy little mouth to kiss!
  Your lips, as smooth and tender, child,
  As rose-leaves in a coppice wild.

  If fate bade choose some sweet unrest,
    To weave my troubled life a snare,
  Then I would say "her maiden breast
    And golden ripple of her hair;"
  And weep amid those tresses, child,
  Contented to be thus beguiled.



  _Meet we no angels, Pansie?_

  Came, on a Sabbath noon, my sweet,
    In white, to find her lover;
  The grass grew proud beneath her feet,
    The green elm-leaves above her:--
      Meet we no angels, Pansie?

  She said, "We meet no angels now;"
    And soft lights streamed upon her;
  And with white hand she touched a bough;
    She did it that great honour:--
      What! meet no angels, Pansie?

  O sweet brown hat, brown hair, brown eyes
    Down-dropped brown eyes so tender!
  Then what said I?--Gallant replies
    Seem flattery, and offend her:--
      But,--meet no angels, Pansie?



  _C'est un songe que d'y penser._

  My love, on a fair May morning,
    Would weave a garland of May:
  The dew hung frore, as her foot tripped o'er
    The grass at dawn of the day;
  On leaf and stalk, in each green wood-walk,
    Till the sun should charm it away.

  Green as a leaf her kirtle,
    Her bodice red as a rose:
  Her white bare feet went softly and sweet
    By roots where the violet grows;
  Where speedwells azure as heaven,
    Their sleepy eyes half close.

  O'er arms as fair as the lilies
    No sleeve my love drew on:
  She found a bower of the wildrose flower,
    And for her breast culled one:
  And I laugh and know her breasts will grow
    Or ever a year be gone.

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  O sweet dream, wrought of a dear fore-thought,
    Of a golden time to fall!
  She seemed to sing, in her wandering,
    Till doves in the elm-tops tall
  Grew mute to hear; as her song rang clear
    How love is the lord of all.






  Lady! in this night of June,
    Fair like thee and holy,
  Art thou gazing at the moon
    That is rising slowly?
      I am gazing on her now:
      Something tells me, so art thou.

  Night hath been when thou and I
    Side by side were sitting,
  Watching o'er the moonlit sky
    Fleecy cloudlets flitting.
      Close our hands were linkèd then;
      When will they be linked again?

  What to me the starlight still,
    Or the moonbeams' splendour,
  If I do not feel the thrill
    Of thy fingers slender?
      Summer nights in vain are clear,
      If thy footstep be not near.

  Roses slumbering in their sheaths
    O'er my threshold clamber,
  And the honeysuckle wreathes
    Its translucent amber
      Round the gables of my home:
      How is it thou dost not come?

  If thou camest, rose on rose
    From its sleep would waken;
  From each flower and leaf that blows
    Spices would be shaken;
      Floating down from star and tree,
      Dreamy perfumes welcome thee.

  I would lead thee where the leaves
    In the moon-rays glisten;
  And, where shadows fall in sheaves,
    We would lean and listen
      For the song of that sweet bird
      That in April nights is heard.

  And when weary lids would close,
    And thy head was drooping,
  Then, like dew that steeps the rose,
    O'er thy languor stooping,
      I would, till I woke a sigh,
      Kiss thy sweet lips silently.

  I would give thee all I own,
    All thou hast would borrow,
  I from thee would keep alone
    Fear and doubt and sorrow.
      All of tender that is mine
      Should most tenderly be thine.

  Moonlight! into other skies,
    I beseech thee wander.
  Cruel thus to mock mine eyes,
    Idle, thus to squander
      Love's own light on this dark spot;--
      For my lady cometh not!







  If there were dreams to sell,
    What would you buy?
  Some cost a passing bell;
    Some a light sigh,
  That shakes from Life's fresh crown
  Only a rose-leaf down.
  If there were dreams to sell,
  Merry and sad to tell,
  And the crier rung the bell,
    What would you buy?


  A cottage lone and still,
    With bowers nigh,
  Shadowy, my woes to still,
    Until I die.
  Such pearl from Life's fresh crown
  Fain would I shake me down.
  Were dreams to have at will,
  This would best heal my ill,
    This would I buy.


  But there were dreams to sell
    Ill didst thou buy;
  Life is a dream, they tell,
    Waking, to die.
  Dreaming a dream to prize,
  Is wishing ghosts to rise;
    And, if I had the spell
    To call the buried well,
      Which one would I?


  If there are ghosts to raise,
    What shall I call,
  Out of hell's murky haze,
    Heaven's blue pall?
  Raise my loved long-lost boy
  To lead me to his joy.--
    There are no ghosts to raise;
    Out of death lead no ways;
      Vain is the call.


  Know'st thou not ghosts to sue
    No love thou hast.
  Else lie, as I will do,
    And breathe thy last.
  So out of Life's fresh crown
  Fall like a rose-leaf down.
    Thus are the ghosts to woo;
    Thus are all dreams made true,
      Ever to last!



  To sea, to sea! the calm is o'er;
    The wanton water leaps in sport,
  And rattles down the pebbly shore;
    The dolphin wheels, the sea-cows snort,
  And unseen Mermaids' pearly song
  Comes bubbling up, the weeds among.
    Fling broad the sail, dip deep the oar:
    To sea, to sea! the calm is o'er.

  To sea, to sea! Our wide-winged bark
    Shall billowy cleave its sunny way,
  And with its shadow, fleet and dark,
    Break the caved Tritons' azure day,
  Like mighty eagle soaring light
  O'er antelopes on Alpine height.
    The anchor heaves, the ship swings free,
    The sails swell full. To sea, to sea!


  My goblet's golden lips are dry,
    And, as the rose doth pine
    For dew, so doth for wine
      My goblet's cup;
  Rain, O! rain, or it will die;
      Rain, fill it up!

  Arise, and get thee wings to-night,
    Ætna! and let run o'er
    Thy wines, a hill no more,
      But darkly frown
  A cloud, where eagles dare not soar,
      Dropping rain down.



  Strew not earth with empty stars,
    Strew it not with roses,
  Nor feathers from the crest of Mars,
    Nor summer's idle posies.
  'T is not the primrose-sandalled moon,
    Nor cold and silent morn,
  Nor he that climbs the dusty noon,
  Nor mower war with scythe that drops,
  Stuck with helmed and turbaned tops
    Of enemies new shorn.
  Ye cups, ye lyres, ye trumpets know,
  Pour your music, let it flow,
  'T is Bacchus' son who walks below.




  Who is the baby, that doth lie
  Beneath the silken canopy
  Of thy blue eye?


  It is young Sorrow, laid asleep
  In the crystal deep.


  Let us sing his lullaby,
  Heigho! a sob and a sigh.


  What sound is that, so soft, so clear,
  Harmonious as a bubbled tear
  Bursting, we hear?


  It is young Sorrow, slumber breaking,
  Suddenly awaking.


  Let us sing his lullaby,
  Heigho! a sob and a sigh.




  How many times do I love thee, dear?
    Tell me how many thoughts there be
      In the atmosphere
      Of a new-fall'n year,
  Whose white and sable hours appear
    The latest flake of Eternity:--
  So many times do I love thee, dear.

  How many times do I love again?
    Tell me how many beads there are
      In a silver chain
      Of evening rain,
  Unravelled from the tumbling main,
    And threading the eye of a yellow star:--
  So many times do I love again.

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  Sleep! the bird is in its nest;
  Sleep! the bee is hushed in rest;
  Sleep! rocked on thy mother's breast!
  To thy mother's fond heart pressed,

  Sleep! the waning daylight dies;
  Sleep! the stars dream in the skies;
  Daisies long have closed their eyes;
  Calm, how calm on all things lies!

  Sleep then, sleep! my heart's delight!
  Sleep! and through the darksome night
  Round thy bed God's angels bright
  Guard thee till I come with light!



  My roses blossom the whole year round;
  For, O they grow on enchanted ground;
      Divine is the earth
      Where they spring to birth;
  On dimpling cheeks with love and mirth,
        They 're found
      They 're ever found.

  My lilies no change of seasons heed;
  Nor shelter from storms or frosts they need;
      For, O they grow
      On a neck of snow,
  Nor all the wintry blasts that blow
        They heed,
      They ever heed.


  Lullaby! O lullaby!
  Baby, hush that little cry!
        Light is dying,
        Bats are flying,
  Bees to-day with work have done;
  So, till comes the morrow's sun,
  Let sleep kiss those bright eyes dry!
        Lullaby! O lullaby!

  Lullaby! O lullaby!
  Hushed are all things far and nigh;
        Flowers are closing,
        Birds reposing,
  All sweet things with life have done;
  Sweet, till dawns the morning sun,
  Sleep then kiss those blue eyes dry!
        Lullaby! O lullaby!






  There is no summer ere the swallows come,
        Nor Love appears,
  Till Hope, Love's light-winged herald, lifts the gloom
        Of years.

  There is no summer left when swallows fly,
        And Love at last,
  When hopes which filled its heaven droop and die,
        Is past.


  The night has a thousand eyes,
    And the day but one;
  Yet the light of the bright world dies
    With the dying sun.

  The mind has a thousand eyes,
    And the heart but one;
  Yet the light of a whole life dies
    When love is done.


  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]


  A thousand voices fill my ears
    All day until the light grows pale;
  But silence falls when night-time nears,
    And where art thou, sweet nightingale?

  Was that thine echo, faint and far?
    Nay, all is hushed as heaven above;
  In earth no voice, in heaven no star,
    And in my heart no dream of love.





  Sleep sweet, belovëd one, sleep sweet!
    Without here night is growing,
  The dead leaf falls, the dark boughs meet,
    And a chill wind is blowing.
  Strange shapes are stirring in the night,
    To the deep breezes wailing,
  And slow, with wistful gleams of light,
    The storm-tost moon is sailing.

  Sleep sweet, belovëd one, sleep sweet!
    Fold thy white hands, my blossom!
  Thy warm limbs in thy lily sheet,
    Thy hands upon thy bosom.
  Though evil thoughts may walk the dark,
    Not one shall near thy chamber;
  But shapes divine shall pause to mark,
    Singing to lutes of amber.

  Sleep sweet, belovëd one, sleep sweet!
    Though, on thy bosom creeping,
  Strange hands are laid, to feel the beat
    Of thy soft heart in sleeping.
  The brother angels, Sleep and Death,
    Stop by thy couch and eye thee;
  And Sleep stoops down to drink thy breath,
    While Death goes softly by thee!




  "O Love is like the roses,
    And every rose shall fall,
  For sure as summer closes
    They perish one and all.
  Then love, while leaves are on the tree,
    And birds sing in the bowers:
  When winter comes, too late 't will be
    To pluck the happy flowers."

  "O Love is like the roses,
    Love comes, and Love must flee!
  Before the summer closes
    Love's rapture and Love's glee!"





  _TO F. C._

  20th February 1875.

  Fast falls the snow, O lady mine,
  Sprinkling the lawn with crystals fine,
  But by the gods we won't repine
        While we 're together,
  We 'll chat and rhyme and kiss and dine,
        Defying weather.

  So stir the fire and pour the wine,
  And let those sea-green eyes divine
  Pour their love-madness into mine:
        I don't care whether
  'T is snow or sun or rain or shine
        If we 're together.


  Terrace and lawn are white with frost,
    Whose fretwork flowers upon the panes--
  A mocking dream of summer, lost
        'Mid winter's icy chains.

  White-hot, indoors, the great logs gleam,
    Veiled by a flickering flame of blue:
  I see my love as in a dream--
        Her eyes are azure, too.

  She puts her hair behind her ears
    (Each little ear so like a shell),
  Touches her ivory Queen, and fears
        She is not playing well.

  For me, I think of nothing less:
    I think how those pure pearls become her--
  And which is sweetest, winter chess
        Or garden strolls in summer.

  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]

  O linger, frost, upon the pane!
    O faint blue flame, still softly rise!
  O, dear one, thus with me remain,
        That I may watch thine eyes!



  A little shadow makes the sunrise sad,
    A little trouble checks the race of joy,
  A little agony may drive men mad,
    A little madness may the soul destroy:
        Such is the world's annoy.

  Ay, and the rose is but a little flower
    Which the red Queen of all the garden is:
  And Love, which lasteth but a little hour,
    A moment's rapture and a moment's kiss,
        Is what no man would miss.



  O happy buds of violet!
    I give thee to my sweet, and she
  Puts them where something sweeter yet
          Must always be.


  White violets find whiter rest:
    For fairest flowers how fair a fate!
  For me remain, O fragrant breast!


  All through the sultry hours of June,
  From morning blithe to golden noon,
    And till the star of evening climbs
  The gray-blue East, a world too soon,
    There sings a Thrush amid the limes.

  God's poet, hid in foliage green,
  Sings endless songs, himself unseen;
    Right seldom come his silent times.
  Linger, ye summer hours serene!
    Sing on, dear Thrush, amid the limes.

  ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·

  May I not dream God sends thee there,
  Thou mellow angel of the air,
    Even to rebuke my earthlier rhymes
  With music's soul, all praise and prayer?
    Is that thy lesson in the limes?

  Closer to God art thou than I:
  His minstrel thou, whose brown wings fly
    Through silent æther's sunnier climes.
  Ah, never may thy music die!
    Sing on, dear Thrush, amid the limes!






    _"Dowglas, Dowglas, tendir and treu."_

  Could ye come back to me, Douglas, Douglas,
    In the old likeness that I knew,
  I would be so faithful, so loving, Douglas,
    Douglas, Douglas, tender and true.

  Never a scornful word should grieve ye,
    I 'd smile on ye sweet as the angels do;--
  Sweet as your smile on me shone ever,
    Douglas, Douglas, tender and true.

  O to call back the days that are not!
    My eyes were blinded, your words were few:
  Do you know the truth now up in heaven,
    Douglas, Douglas, tender and true?

  I never was worthy of you, Douglas;
    Not half worthy the like of you:
  Now all men beside seem to me like shadows--
    I love _you_, Douglas, tender and true.

  Stretch out your hand to me, Douglas, Douglas,
    Drop forgiveness from heaven like dew;
  As I lay my heart on your dead heart, Douglas,
    Douglas, Douglas, tender and true.



  "O heart, my heart!" she said, and heard
        His mate the blackbird calling,
  While through the sheen of the garden green
        May rain was softly falling,--
        Aye softly, softly falling.

  The buttercups across the field
        Made sunshine rifts of splendour:
  The round snow-bud of the thorn in the wood
        Peeped through its leafage tender,
        As the rain came softly falling.

  "O heart, my heart!" she said and smiled,
        "There 's not a tree of the valley,
  Or a leaf I wis which the rain's soft kiss
        Freshens in yonder alley,
        Where the drops keep ever falling,--

  "There 's not a foolish flower i' the grass,
        Or bird through the woodland calling,
  So glad again of the coming rain
        As I of these tears now falling,--
        These happy tears down falling."





  _MAY DAY._

  FROM "SYLVIA": _Act III. Scene ii_.

  O may, thou art a merry time,
    Sing hi! the hawthorn pink and pale!
  When hedge-pipes they begin to chime,
    And summer-flowers to sow the dale.

  When lasses and their lovers meet
    Beneath the early village-thorn,
  And to the sound of tabor sweet
    Bid welcome to the Maying-morn!

  O May, thou art a merry time,
    Sing hi! the hawthorn pink and pale!
  When hedge-pipes they begin to chime,
    And summer-flowers to sow the dale.

  When grey-beards and their gossips come
    With crutch in hand our sports to see,
  And both go tottering, tattling home,
    Topful of wine as well as glee!

  O May, thou art a merry time,
    Sing hi! the hawthorn pink and pale!
  When hedge-pipes they begin to chime,
    And summer-flowers to sow the dale.

  But Youth was aye the time for bliss,
    So taste it, Shepherds! while ye may:
  For who can tell that joy like this
    Will come another holiday?

  O May, thou art a merry time,
    Sing hi! the hawthorn pink and pale!
  When hedge-pipes they begin to chime,
    And summer-flowers to sow the dale.



  I 've been roaming! I 've been roaming!
    Where the meadow dew is sweet,
  And like a queen I 'm coming
    With its pearls upon my feet.

  I 've been roaming! I 've been roaming!
    O'er red rose and lily fair,
  And like a sylph I 'm coming
    With their blossoms in my hair.

  I 've been roaming! I 've been roaming!
    Where the honeysuckle creeps,
  And like a bee I 'm coming
    With its kisses on my lips.

  I 've been roaming! I 've been roaming!
    Over hill and over plain,
  And like a bird I 'm coming
    To my bower back again!

  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]


  The streams that wind amid the hills
    And lost in pleasure slowly roam,
  While their deep joy the valley fills,--
    Even these will leave their mountain home;
      So may it, Love! with others be,
      But I will never wend from thee.

  The leaf forsakes the parent spray,
    The blossom quits the stem as fast;
  The rose-enamour'd bird will stray
    And leave his eglantine at last:
      So may it, Love! with others be,
      But I will never wend from thee.


  FROM "SYLVIA": _Act IV. Scene I_.

  Romanzo sings:

  Awake thee, my Lady-love!
    Wake thee, and rise!
  The sun through the bower peeps
    Into thine eyes!

  Behold how the early lark
    Springs from the corn!
  Hark, hark how the flower-bird
    Winds her wee horn!

  The swallow's glad shriek is heard
    All through the air!
  The stock-dove is murmuring
    Loud as she dare!

  Apollo's winged bugleman
    Cannot contain,
  But peals his loud trumpet-call
    Once and again!

  Then wake thee, my Lady-love,
    Bird of my bower!
  The sweetest and sleepiest
    Bird at this hour!






  When the snow begins to feather,
    And the woods begin to roar
  Clashing angry boughs together,
    As the breakers grind the shore
  Nature then a bankrupt goes,
  Full of wreck and full of woes.

  When the swan for warmer forelands
    Leaves the sea-firth's icebound edge,
  When the gray geese from the morelands
    Cleave the clouds in noisy wedge,
  Woodlands stand in frozen chains,
  Hung with ropes of solid rains.

  Shepherds creep to byre and haven,
    Sheep in drifts are nipped and numb;
  Some belated rook or raven
    Rocks upon a sign-post dumb;
  Mere-waves, solid as a clod,
  Roar with skaters, thunder-shod.

  All the roofs and chimneys rumble;
    Roads are ridged with slush and sleet;
  Down the orchard apples tumble;
    Ploughboys stamp their frosty feet;
  Millers, jolted down the lanes,
  Hardly feel for cold their reins.

  Snipes are calling from the trenches,
    Frozen half and half at flow;
  In the porches servant wenches
    Work with shovels at the snow;
  Rusty blackbirds, weak of wing,
  Clean forget they once could sing.

  Dogs and boys fetch down the cattle,
    Deep in mire and powdered pale;
  Spinning-wheels commence to rattle;
    Landlords spice the smoking ale.
  Hail, white winter, lady fine,
  In a cup of elder wine!



  Woo thy lass while May is here;
    Winter vows are colder.
  Have thy kiss when lips are near;
    To-morrow you are older.

  Think, if clear the throstle sing,
    A month his note will thicken;
  A throat of gold in a golden spring
    At the edge of the snow will sicken.

  Take thy cup and take thy girl,
    While they come for asking;
  In thy heyday melt the pearl
    At the love-ray basking.

  Ale is good for careless bards,
    Wine for wayworn sinners.
  They who hold the strongest cards
    Rise from life as winners.






      Softly, O midnight Hours!
      Move softly o'er the bowers
  Where lies in happy sleep a girl so fair!
      For ye have power, men say,
      Our hearts in sleep to sway,
  And cage cold fancies in a moonlight snare.
      Round ivory neck and arm
      Enclasp a separate charm:
  Hang o'er her poised; but breathe nor sigh nor prayer:
      Silently ye may smile,
      But hold your breath the while,
  And let the wind sweep back your cloudy hair!


      Bend down your glittering urns
      Ere yet the dawn returns,
  And star with dew the lawn her feet shall tread;
      Upon the air rain balm;
      Bid all the woods be calm;
  Ambrosial dreams with healthful slumbers wed.
      That so the Maiden may
      With smiles your care repay
  When from her couch she lifts her golden head;
      Waking with earliest birds,
      Ere yet the misty herds
  Leave warm 'mid the grey grass their dusky bed.



  Seek not the tree of silkiest bark
    And balmiest bud,
  To carve her name--while yet 't is dark--
    Upon the wood!
  The world is full of noble tasks
    And wreaths hard-won:
  Each work demands strong hearts, strong hands,
    Till day is done.

  Sing not that violet-veinèd skin,
    That cheek's pale roses;
  The lily of that form wherein
    Her soul reposes!
  Forth to the fight, true man, true knight!
    The clash of arms
  Shall more prevail than whispered tale
    To win her charms.

  The warrior for the True, the Right,
    Fights in Love's name:
  The love that lures thee from that fight
    Lures thee to shame.
  That love which lifts the heart, yet leaves
    The spirit free,--
  That love, or none, is fit for one,
    Man-shaped like thee.




  When I was young, I said to Sorrow,
    "Come, and I will play with thee:"--
      He is near me now all day;
      And at night returns to say,
  "I will come again to-morrow,
    I will come and stay with thee."


  Through the woods we walk together;
    His soft footsteps rustle nigh me;
      To shield an unregarded head,
      He hath built a winter shed;
  And all night in rainy weather,
    I hear his gentle breathings by me.





  Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,
  That creepeth o'er ruins old!
  Of right choice food are his meals I ween,
  In his cell so lone and cold.
  The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,
  To pleasure his dainty whim:
  And the mouldering dust that years have made
  Is a merry meal for him.
      Creeping where no life is seen,
      A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

  Fast he stealeth on, though he wears no wings,
  And a staunch old heart has he.
  How closely he twineth, how tight he clings,
  To his friend, the huge Oak tree!
  And slily he traileth along the ground,
  And his leaves he gently waves,
  As he joyously hugs and crawleth round
  The rich mould of dead men's graves.
      Creeping where grim death has been,
      A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

  Whole ages have fled, and their works decayed,
  And nations have scattered been;
  But the stout old Ivy shall never fade
  From its hale and hearty green.
  The brave old plant in its lonely days
  Shall fatten upon the past:
  For the stateliest building man can raise
  Is the Ivy's food at last.
      Creeping on, where time has been,
      A rare old plant is the Ivy green.






  The ladies of St. James's
    Go swinging to the play;
  Their footmen run before them,
    With a "Stand by! Clear the way!"
  But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    She takes her buckled shoon,
  When we go out a-courting
    Beneath the harvest moon.

  The ladies of St. James's
    Wear satin on their backs;
  They sit all night at _Ombre_,
    With candles all of wax:
  But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    She dons her russet gown,
  And runs to gather May dew
    Before the world is down.

  The ladies of St. James's
    They are so fine and fair,
  You 'd think a box of essences
    Was broken in the air:
  But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    The breath of heath and furze,
  When breezes blow at morning,
    Is scarce so fresh as hers.

  The ladies of St. James's
    They 're painted to the eyes;
  Their white it stays forever,
    Their red it never dies:
  But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    Her color comes and goes;
  It trembles to a lily,
    It wavers to a rose.

  The ladies of St. James's,
    With "Mercy!" and with "Lud!"
  They season all their speeches
    (They come of noble blood):
  But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    Her shy and simple words
  Are sweet as, after rain-drops,
    The music of the birds.

  The ladies of St. James's,
    They have their fits and freaks;
  They smile on you--for seconds,
    They frown on you--for weeks:
  But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    Come either storm or shine,
  From Shrovetide unto Shrovetide
    Is always true--and mine.

  My Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    I care not though they heap
  The hearts of all St. James's,
    And give me all to keep;
  I care not whose the beauties
    Of all the world may be,
  For Phyllida--for Phyllida
    Is all the world to me!




  Across the grass I see her pass;
    She comes with tripping pace,--
  A maid I know,--and March winds blow
    Her hair across her face;--
      With a hey, Dolly! ho, Dolly!
        Dolly shall be mine,
      Before the spray is white with May,
        Or blooms the eglantine.

  The March winds blow. I watch her go:
    Her eye is brown and clear;
  Her cheek is brown and soft as down
    (To those who see it near!)--
      With a hey, Dolly! ho, Dolly!
        Dolly shall be mine,
      Before the spray is white with May,
        Or blooms the eglantine.

  What has she not that they have got,--
    The dames that walk in silk!
  If she undo her 'kerchief blue,
    Her neck is white as milk.
      With a hey, Dolly! ho, Dolly!
        Dolly shall be mine,
      Before the spray is white with May,
        Or blooms the eglantine.

  Let those who will be proud and chill!
    For me, from June to June,
  My Dolly's words are sweet as curds,--
    Her laugh is like a tune;--
      With a hey, Dolly! ho, Dolly!
        Dolly shall be mine,
      Before the spray is white with May,
        Or blooms the eglantine.

  Break, break to hear, O crocus-spear!
    O tall Lent-lilies, flame!
  There 'll be a bride at Easter-tide,
    And Dolly is her name.

  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]

      With a hey, Dolly! ho, Dolly!
        Dolly shall be mine,
      Before the spray is white with May,
        Or blooms the eglantine.






  Hence, rude Winter! crabbed old fellow,
  Never merry, never mellow!
  Well-a-day! in rain and snow
  What will keep one's heart aglow?
  Groups of kinsmen, old and young,
  Oldest they old friends among!
  Groups of friends, so old and true,
  That they seem our kinsmen too!
  These all merry all together,
  Charm away chill Winter weather!

  What will kill this dull old fellow?
  Ale that 's bright, and wine that 's mellow!
  Dear old songs for ever new;
  Some true love, and laughter too;
  Pleasant wit, and harmless fun,
  And a dance when day is done!
  Music--friends so true and tried--
  Whispered love by warm fireside--
  Mirth at all times all together--
  Make sweet May of Winter weather!


  _A KISS._



    Sweet mouth! O let me take
  One draught from that delicious cup!
  The hot Sahara-thirst to slake
        That burns me up!


    Sweet breath!--all flowers that are,
  Within that darling frame must bloom;
  My heart revives so at the rare
        Divine perfume!


    --Nay, 't is a dear deceit,
  A drunkard's cup that mouth of thine;
  Sure poison-flowers are breathing, sweet,
        That fragrance fine!


    I drank--the drink betrayed me
  Into a madder, fiercer fever;
  The scent of those love-blossoms made me
        More faint than ever!


    Yet though quick death it were
  That rich heart-vintage I must drain,
  And quaff that hidden garden's air,






  April 30, 1833.


  When another's voice thou hearest,
    With a sad and gentle tone,
  Let its sound but waken, dearest,
    Memory of _my_ love alone!
  When in stranger lands thou meetest
    Warm, true hearts, which welcome thee,
  Let each friendly look thou greetest
    Seem a message, Love, from _me_!


  When night's quiet sky is o'er thee,
    When the pale stars dimly burn,
  Dream that _one_ is watching for thee,
    Who but lives for thy return!
  Wheresoe'er thy steps are roving,
    Night or day, by land or sea,
  Think of her, whose life of loving
    Is but one long thought of thee!


    [Footnote A: These lines were written to the author's husband,
    then at sea, in 1833, and set to music by herself.]


  I 'm sitting on the stile, Mary,
    Where we sat, side by side,
  That bright May morning long ago
    When first you were my bride.
  The corn was springing fresh and green,
    The lark sang loud and high,
  The red was on your lip, Mary,
    The love-light in your eye.

  The place is little changed, Mary,
    The day is bright as then,
  The lark's loud song is in my ear,
    The corn is green again;
  But I miss the soft clasp of your hand,
    Your breath warm on my cheek,
  And I still keep list'ning for the words
    You never more may speak.

  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]

  'T is but a step down yonder lane,
    The little Church stands near--
  The Church where we were wed, Mary,--
    I see the spire from here;
  But the graveyard lies between, Mary,--
    My step might break your rest,--
  Where you, my darling, lie asleep
    With your baby on your breast.

  I 'm very lonely now, Mary,--
    The poor make no new friends;--
  But, oh! they love the better still
    The few our Father sends.
  And you were all I had, Mary,
    My blessing and my pride;
  There 's nothing left to care for now
    Since my poor Mary died.

  Yours was the good brave heart, Mary,
    That still kept hoping on,
  When trust in God had left my soul,
    And half my strength was gone.
  There was comfort ever on your lip,
    And the kind look on your brow.
  I bless you, Mary, for that same,
    Though you can't hear me now.

  I thank you for the patient smile
    When your heart was fit to break;
  When the hunger pain was gnawing there
    You hid it for my sake.
  I bless you for the pleasant word
    When your heart was sad and sore.
  Oh! I 'm thankful you are gone, Mary,
    Where grief can't reach you more!

  I 'm bidding you a long farewell,
    My Mary--kind and true!
  But I 'll not forget you, darling,
    In the land I 'm going to.
  They say there 's bread and work for all,
    And the sun shines always there;
  But I 'll not forget old Ireland,
    Were it fifty times as fair.

  And when amid those grand old woods
    I sit and shut my eyes,
  My heart will travel back again
    To where my Mary lies;
  I 'll think I see the little stile
    Where we sat, side by side,--
  And the springing corn and bright May morn,
    When first you were my bride.





  Winds to-day are large and free,
  Winds to-day are westerly;
  From the land they seem to blow
  Whence the sap begins to flow
  And the dimpled light to spread,
  From the country of the dead.

  Ah, it is a wild, sweet land
  Where the coming May is planned,
  Where such influences throb
  As our frosts can never rob
  Of their triumph, when they bound
  Through the tree and from the ground.

  Great within me is my soul,
  Great to journey to its goal,
  To the country of the dead;
  For the cornel-tips are red,
  And a passion rich in strife
  Drives me toward the home of life.

  Oh, to keep the spring with them
  Who have flushed the cornel-stem,
  Who imagine at its source
  All the year's delicious course,
  Then express by wind and light
  Something of their rapture's height!



  Let us wreathe the mighty cup,
  Then with song we 'll lift it up,
  And, before we drain the glow
  Of the juice that foams below
  Flowers and cool leaves round the brim,
  Let us swell the praise of him
  Who is tyrant of the heart,
  Cupid with his flaming dart!

  Pride before his face is bowed,
  Strength and heedless beauty cowed;
  Underneath his fatal wings
  Bend discrowned the heads of kings;
  Maidens blanch beneath his eye
  And its laughing mastery;
  Through each land his arrows sound,
  By his fetters all are bound.


  Where winds abound,
  And fields are hilly,
  Shy daffadilly
  Looks down on the ground.

  Rose cones of larch
  Are just beginning;
  Though oaks are spinning
  No oak-leaves in March.

  Spring 's at the core,
  The boughs are sappy:
  Good to be happy
  So long, long before!





  _A SONG._

  First the fine, faint, dreamy motion
    Of the tender blood
  Circling in the veins of children--
    This is Life, the bud.

  Next the fresh, advancing beauty
    Growing from the gloom,
  Waking eyes and fuller bosom--
    This is Life, the bloom.

  Then the pain that follows after,
    Grievous to be borne,
  Pricking, steeped in subtle poison--
    This is Love, the thorn.


  Wait but a little while--
    The bird will bring
  A heart in tune for melodies
    Unto the spring,
  Till he who 's in the cedar there
  Is moved to trill a song so rare,
  And pipe her fair.

  Wait but a little while--
    The bud will break;
  The inner rose will ope and glow
    For summer's sake;
  Fond bees will lodge within her breast
  Till she herself is plucked and prest
  Where I would rest.

  Wait but a little while--
    The maid will grow
  Gracious with lips and hands to thee,
    With breast of snow.
  To-day Love 's mute, but time hath sown
  A soul in her to match thine own,
  Though yet ungrown.






  I bring a garland for your head
    Of blossoms fresh and fair;
  My own hands wound their white and red
    To ring about your hair:
  Here is a lily, here a rose,
  A warm narcissus that scarce blows,
  And fairer blossoms no man knows.

  So crowned and chapleted with flowers,
    I pray you be not proud;
  For after brief and summer hours
    Comes autumn with a shroud;--
  Though fragrant as a flower you lie,
  You and your garland, bye and bye,
  Will fade and wither up and die.






  It was not in the winter
  Our loving lot was cast;
  It was the time of roses,--
  We plucked them as we passed;


  That churlish season never frowned
  On early lovers yet:--
  Oh, no--the world was newly crowned
  With flowers when first we met!


  'T was twilight, and I bade you go,
  But still you held me fast;
  It was the time of roses,--
  We plucked them as we passed.--



  O Lady, leave thy silken thread
    And flowery tapestrie:
  There 's living roses on the bush,
    And blossoms on the tree;
  Stoop where thou wilt, thy careless hand
    Some random bud will meet;
  Thou canst not tread, but thou wilt find
    The daisy at thy feet.

  'T is like the birthday of the world,
    When earth was born in bloom;
  The light is made of many dyes,
    The air is all perfume;
  There 's crimson buds, and white and blue--
    The very rainbow showers
  Have turned to blossoms where they fell,
    And sown the earth with flowers.

  There 's fairy tulips in the east,
    The garden of the sun;
  The very streams reflect the hues,
    And blossom as they run:
  While Morn opes like a crimson rose,
    Still wet with pearly showers;
  Then, Lady, leave the silken thread
    Thou twinest into flowers!



  I remember, I remember,
  The house where I was born,
  The little window where the sun
  Came peeping in at morn;
  He never came a wink too soon,
  Nor brought too long a day,
  But now, I often wish the night
  Had borne my breath away!

  I remember, I remember,
  The roses, red and white,
  The vi'lets, and the lily-cups,
  Those flowers made of light!
  The lilacs where the robin built,
  And where my brother set
  The laburnum on his birthday,--
  The tree is living yet!

  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]

  I remember, I remember
  Where I was used to swing,
  And thought the air must rush as fresh
  To swallows on the wing;
  My spirit flew in feathers then,
  That is so heavy now,
  And summer pools could hardly cool
  The fever on my brow!

  I remember, I remember
  The fir trees dark and high;
  I used to think their slender tops
  Were close against the sky:
  It was a childish ignorance,
  But now 't is little joy
  To know I 'm farther off from heav'n
  Than when I was a boy.


  She 's up and gone, the graceless Girl!
    And robbed my failing years;
  My blood before was thin and cold
    But now 't is turned to tears;--
  My shadow falls upon my grave,
   So near the brink I stand,
  She might have stayed a little yet,
    And led me by the hand!

  Ay, call her on the barren moor,
    And call her on the hill,
  'T is nothing but the heron's cry,
    And plover's answer shrill;
  My child is flown on wilder wings,
    Than they have ever spread,
  And I may even walk a waste
    That widened when she fled.

  Full many a thankless child has been,
    But never one like mine;
  Her meat was served on plates of gold,
    Her drink was rosy wine;
  But now she 'll share the robin's food,
    And sup the common rill,
  Before her feet will turn again
    To meet her father's will!




  The stars are with the voyager
    Wherever he may sail;
  The moon is constant to her time;
    The sun will never fail;
  But follow, follow round the world,
    The green earth and the sea;
  So love is with the lover's heart,
    Wherever he may be.


  Wherever he may be, the stars
    Must daily lose their light;
  The moon will veil her in the shade;
    The sun will set at night.
  The sun may set, but constant love
    Will shine when he 's away;
  So that dull night is never night,
    And day is brighter day.





  I wandered by the brook-side,
    I wandered by the mill,--
  I could not hear the brook flow,
    The noisy wheel was still;
  There was no burr of grasshopper,
    No chirp of any bird,
  But the beating of my own heart
    Was all the sound I heard.

  I sat beside the elm-tree,
    I watched the long, long, shade,
  And as it grew still longer,
    I did not feel afraid;
  For I listened for a footfall,
    I listened for a word,--
  But the beating of my own heart
    Was all the sound I heard.

  He came not,--no, he came not,--
    The night came on alone,--
  The little stars sat one by one,
    Each on his golden throne;
  The evening air passed by my cheek,
    The leaves above were stirred,--
  But the beating of my own heart
    Was all the sound I heard.

  Fast silent tears were flowing,
    When something stood behind,--
  A hand was on my shoulder,
    I knew its touch was kind:
  It drew me nearer--nearer,--
    We did not speak one word,
  For the beating of our own hearts
    Was all the sound we heard.

  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]


  When along the light ripple the far serenade
  Has accosted the ear of each passionate maid,
  She may open the window that looks on the stream,--
  She may smile on her pillow and blend it in dream;
  Half in words, half in music, it pierces the gloom,
  "I am coming--Stalì[B]--but you know not for whom!
                Stalì--not for whom!"

  Now the tones become clearer,--you hear more and more
  How the water divided returns on the oar,--
  Does the prow of the Gondola strike on the stair?
  Do the voices and instruments pause and prepare?
  Oh! they faint on the ear as the lamp on the view,
  "I am passing--Premì--but I stay not for you!
                Premì--not for you!"

  Then return to your couch, you who stifle a tear,
  Then awake not, fair sleeper--believe he is here;
  For the young and the loving no sorrow endures,
  If to-day be another's,--to-morrow is yours;
  May, the next time you listen, your fancy be true,
  "I am coming--Sciàr--and for you and to you!
                Sciàr--and to you!"


    [Footnote B: The words here used are the calls of the gondoliers,
    indicating the direction they are rowing. "Sciàr" is to stop the


  The Sun came through the frosty mist
  Most like a dead-white moon;
  Thy soothing tones I seemed to list,
  As voices in a swoon.

  Still as an island stood our ship,
  The waters gave no sound,
  But when I touched thy quivering lip
  I felt the world go round.

  We seemed the only sentient things
  Upon that silent sea:
  Our hearts the only living springs
  Of all that yet could be!





  As I came round the harbor buoy,
    The lights began to gleam,
  No wave the land-locked water stirred,
    The crags were white as cream;
  And I marked my love by candle-light
   Sewing her long white seam.
     It 's aye sewing ashore, my dear,
       Watch and steer at sea,
     It 's reef and furl, and haul the line,
       Set sail and think of thee.

  I climbed to reach her cottage door;
    O sweetly my love sings!
  Like a shaft of light her voice breaks forth,
    My soul to meet it springs
  As the shining water leaped of old,
    When stirred by angel wings.
      Aye longing to list anew,
        Awake and in my dream,
      But never a song she sang like this,
        Sewing her long white seam.

  Fair fall the lights, the harbor lights,
    That brought me in to thee,
  And peace drop down on that low roof
    For the sight that I did see,
  And the voice, my dear, that rang so clear
    All for the love of me.
      For O, for O, with brows bent low
        By the candle's flickering gleam,
      Her wedding gown it was she wrought,
        Sewing the long white seam.



  I leaned out of window, I smelt the white clover,
    Dark, dark was the garden, I saw not the gate;
  "Now, if there be footsteps, he comes, my one lover--
    Hush, nightingale, hush! O, sweet nightingale, wait
        Till I listen and hear
        If a step draweth near,
        For my love he is late!

  "The skies in the darkness stoop nearer and nearer,
    A cluster of stars hangs like fruit in the tree,
  The fall of the water comes sweeter, comes clearer:
    To what art thou listening, and what dost thou see?
        Let the star-clusters grow,
        Let the sweet waters flow,
        And cross quickly to me.

  "You night moths that hover where honey brims over
    From sycamore blossoms, or settle or sleep;
  You glowworms, shine out, and the pathway discover
    To him that comes darkling along the rough steep.
        Ah, my sailor, make haste,
        For the time runs to waste,
        And my love lieth deep--

  "Too deep for swift telling; and yet, my one lover,
    I 've conned thee an answer, it waits thee to-night."
  By the sycamore passed he, and through the white clover,
    Then all the sweet speech I had fashioned took flight;
        But I 'll love him more, more
        Than e'er wife loved before,
        Be the days dark or bright.



  Sweet is childhood--childhood 's over,
        Kiss and part.
  Sweet is youth; but youth 's a rover--
        So 's my heart.
  Sweet is rest; but by all showing
        Toil is nigh.
  We must go. Alas! the going,
        Say "good-bye."






  Airly Beacon, Airly Beacon;
    Oh the pleasant sight to see
  Shires and towns from Airly Beacon,
    While my love climbed up to me!

  Airly Beacon, Airly Beacon;
    Oh the happy hours we lay
  Deep in fern on Airly Beacon,
    Courting through the summer's day!

  Airly Beacon, Airly Beacon;
    Oh the weary haunt for me,
  All alone on Airly Beacon,
    With his baby on my knee!


      "Oh, Mary, go and call the cattle home,
          And call the cattle home,
          And call the cattle home
      Across the sands of Dee;"
  The western wind was wild and dark with foam,
      And all alone went she.

      The western tide crept up along the sand,
          And o'er and o'er the sand,
          And round and round the sand,
      As far as eye could see.
  The rolling mist came down and hid the land:
      And never home came she.

      "Oh! is it weed, or fish, or floating hair--
          A tress of golden hair,
          A drownèd maiden's hair
      Above the nets at sea?"
  Was never salmon yet that shone so fair
      Among the stakes on Dee.

      They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
          The cruel crawling foam,
          The cruel hungry foam,
      To her grave beside the sea:
  But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home
      Across the sands of Dee.



  Three fishers went sailing away to the West,
    Away to the West as the sun went down;
  Each thought on the woman who loved him the best,
    And the children stood watching them out of the town;
  For men must work, and women must weep,
  And there 's little to earn, and many to keep,
    Though the harbor bar be moaning.

  Three wives sat up in the lighthouse tower,
    And they trimmed the lamps as the sun went down;
  They looked at the squall, and they looked at the shower,
    And the night-rack came rolling up ragged and brown.
  But men must work, and women must weep,
  Though storms be sudden, and waters deep,
    And the harbor bar be moaning.

  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]

  Three corpses lay out on the shining sands
    In the morning gleam as the tide went down,
  And the women are weeping and wringing their hands
    For those who will never come home to the town;
  For men must work, and women must weep,
  And the sooner it 's over, the sooner to sleep;
    And good-bye to the bar and its moaning.



  To C. E. G.--1856.

  My fairest child, I have no song to give you;
    No lark could pipe in skies so dull and gray;
  Yet, if you will, one quiet hint I 'll leave you,
            For every day.

  I 'll tell you how to sing a clearer carol
    Than lark who hails the dawn of breezy down;
  To earn yourself a purer poet's laurel
            Than Shakespeare's crown.

  Be good, sweet maid, and let who can be clever;
    Do lovely things, not dream them, all day long;
  And so make Life, and Death, and that For Ever,
            One grand sweet song.





  Ah, what avails the sceptered race!
    Ah, what the form divine!
  What every virtue, every grace!
    Rose Aylmer, all were thine.
  Rose Aylmer, whom these wakeful eyes
    May weep, but never see,
  A night of memories and of sighs
    I consecrate to thee.


  Often I have heard it said
  That her lips are ruby-red.
  Little heed I what they say,
  I have seen as red as they.
  Ere she smiled on other men,
  Real rubies were they then.

  When she kissed me once in play,
  Rubies were less bright than they,
  And less bright were those which shone
  In the palace of the Sun.
  Will they be as bright again?
  Not if kissed by other men.



  The fault is not mine if I love you too much,
    I loved you too little too long,
  Such ever your graces, your tenderness such,
    And the music the heart gave the tongue.

  A time is now coming when Love must be gone,
    Tho' he never abandoned me yet.
  Acknowledge our friendship, our passion disown,
    Our follies (ah can you?) forget.



  Under the lindens lately sat
  A couple, and no more, in chat;
  I wondered what they would be at
              Under the lindens.

  I saw four eyes and four lips meet,
  I heard the words, _"How sweet! how sweet!"_
  Had then the Faeries given a treat
              Under the lindens?

  I pondered long and could not tell
  What dainty pleased them both so well:
  Bees! bees! was it your hydromel
               Under the lindens?



  In Clementina's artless mien
    Lucilla asks me what I see,--
  And are the roses of sixteen
          Enough for me?

  Lucilla asks, if that be all,
    Have I not culled as sweet before?
  Ah yes, Lucilla! and their fall
          I still deplore.

  I now behold another scene,
    Where Pleasure beams with heaven's own light,--
  More pure, more constant, more serene,
          And not less bright:

  Faith, on whose breast the Loves repose,
    Whose chain of flowers no force can sever,
  And Modesty, who, when she goes,
          Is gone forever!


  Thank Heaven, Ianthe, once again
    Our hands and ardent lips shall meet,
  And Pleasure, to assert his reign,
    Scatter ten thousand kisses sweet:
  Then cease repeating while you mourn,
  "I wonder when he will return."

  Ah wherefore should you so admire
    The flowing words that fill my song,
  Why call them artless, yet require
    "Some promise from that tuneful tongue?"
  I doubt if heaven itself could part
  A tuneful tongue and tender heart.


  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]


  One lovely name adorns my song,
    And, dwelling in the heart,
  For ever falters at the tongue,
    And trembles to depart.


  Mother, I can not mind my wheel;
    My fingers ache, my lips are dry;
  Oh! if you felt the pain I feel!
    But oh, who ever felt as I!
  No longer could I doubt him true,
    All other men may use deceit;
  He always said my eyes were blue,
    And often swore my lips were sweet.





      The flow of life is yet a rill
        That laughs, and leaps, and glistens;
      And still the woodland rings, and still
        The old Damoetas listens.

  We have loiter'd and laugh'd in the flowery croft,
    We have met under wintry skies;
  Her voice is the dearest voice, and soft
    Is the light in her gentle eyes;
  It is bliss in the silent woods, among
    Gay crowds, or in any place
  To hear her voice, to gaze on her young
        Confiding face.

  For ever may roses divinely blow,
    And wine-dark pansies charm
  By the prim box path where I felt the glow
    Of her dimpled, trusting arm,
  And the sweep of her silk as she turned and smiled
    A smile as pure as her pearls;
  The breeze was in love with the darling Child,
        As it moved her curls.

  She showed me her ferns and woodbine-sprays,
    Foxglove and jasmine stars,
  A mist of blue in the beds, a blaze
    Of red in the celadon jars:
  And velvety bees in convolvulus bells,
    And roses of bountiful June--
  Oh, who would think their summer spells
        Could die so soon!

  For a glad song came from the milking shed,
    On a wind of the summer south,
  And the green was golden above her head,
    And a sunbeam kiss'd her mouth;
  Sweet were the lips where that sunbeam dwelt;
    And the wings of Time were fleet
  As I gazed; and neither spoke, for we felt
        Life was so sweet!

  And the odorous limes were dim above
    As we leant on a drooping bough;
  And the darkling air was a breath of love,
    And a witching thrush sang "Now!"
  For the sun dropt low, and the twilight grew
    As we listen'd and sigh'd, and leant;
  That day was the sweetest day--and we knew
        What the sweetness meant.



  We heard it calling, clear and low,
      That tender April morn; we stood
      And listened in the quiet wood,
  We heard it, ay, long years ago.

  It came, and with a strange, sweet cry,
      A friend, but from a far-off land;
      We stood and listened, hand in hand,
  And heart to heart, my Love and I.

  In dreamland then we found our joy,
      And so it seemed as 't were the Bird
      That Helen in old times had heard
  At noon beneath the oaks of Troy.

  O time far off, and yet so near!
      It came to her in that hush'd grove,
      It warbled while the wooing throve,
  It sang the song she loved to hear.

  And now I hear its voice again,
      And still its message is of peace,
      It sings of love that will not cease--
  For me it never sings in vain.



  As Gertrude skipt from babe to girl,
  Her Necklace lengthen'd, pearl by pearl;
  Year after year it grew, and grew,
  For every birthday gave her two.
  Her neck is lovely,--soft and fair,
  And now her Necklace glimmers there.

  So cradled, let it fall and rise,
  And all her graces symbolize.
  Perchance this pearl, without a speck,
  Once was as warm on Sappho's neck;
  Where are the happy, twilight pearls
  That braided Beatrice's curls?

  Is Gerty loved? Is Gerty loth?
  Or, if she 's either, is she both?
  She 's fancy free, but sweeter far
  Than many plighted maidens are:
  Will Gerty smile us all away,
  And still be Gerty? Who can say?

  But let her wear her Precious Toy,
  And I 'll rejoice to see her joy:
  Her bauble 's only one degree
  Less frail, less fugitive than we,
  For time, ere long, will snap the skein,
  And scatter all her Pearls again.


  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]





        A baby was sleeping,
        Its mother was weeping,
  For the husband was far on the wild raging Sea;
        And the tempest was swelling
        Round the fisherman's dwelling;
  And she cried, "Dermot darling, oh come back to me!"

        Her beads while she numbered,
        The baby still slumbered,
  And smiled in her face as she bended her knee;
        "O blest be that warning,
        My child thy sleep adorning,
  For I know that the angels are whispering with thee!

        "And while they are keeping
        Bright watch o'er thy sleeping,
  Oh, pray to them softly, my baby, with me!
        And say thou wouldst rather
        They 'd watch o'er thy father;
  For I know that the angels are whispering with thee!"

        The dawn of the morning
        Saw Dermot returning,
  And the wife wept with joy her babe's father to see;
        And closely caressing
        Her child, with a blessing,
  Said, "I knew that the angels were whispering with thee!"

    [Footnote C: A superstition of great beauty prevails in Ireland
    that when a child smiles in its sleep it is "talking with angels."]



  "What will you do, love, when I am going
  With white sail flowing,
          The seas beyond--
  What will you do, love, when waves divide us,
  And friends may chide us
          For being fond?"
  "Tho' waves divide us--and friends be chiding,
  In faith abiding,
          I 'll still be true!
  And I 'll pray for thee on the stormy ocean,
  In deep devotion--
          That 's what I 'll do!"


  "What would you do, love, if distant tidings
  Thy fond confidings
          Should undermine?--
  And I abiding 'neath sultry skies,
  Should think other eyes
          Were as bright as thine?"
  "Oh, name it not:--tho' guilt and shame
  Were on thy name
          I 'd still be true:
  But that heart of thine--should another share it--
  I could not bear it!
          What would I do?"


  "What would you do, love, when home returning
  With hopes high burning,
          With wealth for you,
  If my bark, which bounded o'er foreign foam,
  Should be lost near home--
          Ah! what would you do?"--
  "So thou wert spared--I 'd bless the morrow,
  In want and sorrow,
          That left me you;
  And I 'd welcome thee from the wasting billow,
  This heart thy pillow--
          That 's what I 'd do!"






  What is the meaning of the song
    That rings so clear and loud,
  Thou nightingale amid the copse--
    Thou lark above the cloud?
  What says the song, thou joyous thrush,
    Up in the walnut-tree?
  "I love my Love, because I know
    My Love loves me."


  What is the meaning of thy thought,
    O maiden fair and young?
  There is such pleasure in thine eyes,
    Such music on thy tongue;
  There is such glory on thy face--
    What can the meaning be?
  "I love my Love, because I know
    My Love loves me."


  O happy words! at Beauty's feet
    We sing them ere our prime;
  And when the early summers pass,
    And Care comes on with Time,
  Still be it ours, in Care's despite,
    To join the chorus free--
  "I love my Love, because I know
    My Love loves me."


  O ye tears! O ye tears! that have long refused to flow,
  Ye are welcome to my heart,--thawing, thawing, like the snow;
  I feel the hard clod soften, and the early snow-drop spring,
  And the healing fountains gush, and the wildernesses sing.

  O ye tears! O ye tears! I am thankful that ye run;
  Though ye trickle in the darkness, ye shall glitter in the sun.
  The rainbow cannot shine if the rain refuse to fall,
  And the eyes that cannot weep are the saddest eyes of all.

  O ye tears! O ye tears! till I felt you on my cheek,
  I was selfish in my sorrow, I was stubborn, I was weak.
  Ye have given me strength to conquer, and I stand erect and free,
  And know that I am human by the light of sympathy.

  O ye tears! O ye tears! ye relieve me of my pain:
  The barren rock of pride has been stricken once again;
  Like the rock that Moses smote, amid Horeb's burning sand,
  It yields the flowing water to make gladness in the land.

  There is light upon my path, there is sunshine in my heart,
  And the leaf and fruit of life shall not utterly depart.
  Ye restore to me the freshness and the bloom of long ago--
  O ye tears! happy tears! I am thankful that ye flow!





      Sabbata pango;
      Funera plango;
      Solemnia clango.

        --_Inscription on an old bell._

  With deep affection
  And recollection
  I often think of
    Those Shandon bells,
  Whose sounds so wild would,
  In the days of childhood,
  Fling round my cradle
    Their magic spells.

  On this I ponder
  Where'er I wander,
  And thus grow fonder,
    Sweet Cork, of thee,--
  With thy bells of Shandon,
  That sound so grand on
  The pleasant waters
    Of the river Lee.

  I 've heard bells chiming
  Full many a clime in,
  Tolling sublime in
    Cathedral shrine,
  While at a glibe rate
  Brass tongues would vibrate;
  But all their music
    Spoke naught like thine.

  For memory, dwelling
  On each proud swelling
  Of thy belfry, knelling
    Its bold notes free,
  Made the bells of Shandon
  Sound far more grand on
  The pleasant waters
    Of the river Lee.

  I 've heard bells tolling
  Old Adrian's Mole in,
  Their thunder rolling
    From the Vatican,--
  And cymbals glorious
  Swinging uproarious
  In the gorgeous turrets
    Of Notre Dame;

  But thy sounds were sweeter
  Than the dome of Peter
  Flings o'er the Tiber,
    Pealing solemnly.
  Oh! the bells of Shandon
  Sound far more grand on
  The pleasant waters
    Of the river Lee.

  There 's a bell in Moscow;
  While on tower and kiosk O
  In St. Sophia
    The Turkman gets,
  And loud in air
  Calls men to prayer,
  From the tapering summit
    Of tall minarets.

  Such empty phantom
  I freely grant them;
  But there 's an anthem
    More dear to me,--
  'T is the bells of Shandon,
  That sound so grand on
  The pleasant waters
    Of the river Lee.






  All glorious as the Rainbow's birth,
    She came in Spring-tide's golden hours;
  When Heaven went hand-in-hand with Earth,
    And May was crowned with buds and flowers!
  The mounting devil at my heart
    Clomb faintlier as my life did win
  The charmèd heaven, she wrought apart,
    To wake its slumbering Angel in!
  With radiant mien she trod serene,
    And passed me smiling by!
  O! who that looked could chance but love?
    Not I, sweet soul, not I.

  The dewy eyelids of the Dawn
    Ne'er oped such heaven as hers can show:
  It seemed her dear eyes might have shone
    As jewels in some starry brow.
  Her face flashed glory like a shrine,
    Or lily-bell with sunburst bright;
  Where came and went love-thoughts divine,
    As low winds walk the leaves in light:
  She wore her beauty with the grace
    Of Summer's star-clad sky;
  O! who that looked could help but love?
    Not I, sweet soul, not I.

  Her budding breasts like fragrant fruit
    Of love were ripening to be pressed:
  Her voice, that shook my heart's red root,
    Yet might not break a babe's soft rest!
  More liquid than the running brooks,
    More vernal than the voice of Spring,
  When Nightingales are in their nooks,
    And all the leafy thickets ring.
  The love she coyly hid at heart
    Was shyly conscious in her eye;
  O! who that looked could help but love?
    Not I, sweet soul, not I.






  Along the garden ways just now
    I heard the flowers speak;
  The white rose told me of your brow,
    The red rose of your cheek;
  The lily of your bended head,
    The bindweed of your hair:
  Each looked its loveliest and said
    You were more fair.

  I went into the wood anon,
    And heard the wild birds sing,
  How sweet you were; they warbled on,
    Piped, trilled the self-same thing.
  Thrush, blackbird, linnet, without pause,
    The burden did repeat,
  And still began again because
    You were more sweet.

  And then I went down to the sea,
    And heard it murmuring too,
  Part of an ancient mystery,
    All made of me and you.
  How many a thousand years ago
    I loved, and you were sweet--
  Longer I could not stay, and so
    I fled back to your feet.


  I made another garden, yea,
    For my new love;
  I left the dead rose where it lay,
    And set the new above.
  Why did the summer not begin?
    Why did my heart not haste?
  My old love came and walked therein,
    And laid the garden waste.

  She entered with her weary smile,
    Just as of old;
  She looked around a little while,
    And shivered at the cold.
  Her passing touch was death to all,
    Her passing look a blight;
  She made the white rose-petals fall,
    And turned the red rose white.

  Her pale robe, clinging to the grass,
    Seemed like a snake
  That bit the grass and ground, alas!
    And a sad trail did make.

  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]

  She went up slowly to the gate;
    And there, just as of yore,
  She turned back at the last to wait,
    And say farewell once more.






  Seated one day at the Organ,
    I was weary and ill at ease,
  And my fingers wandered idly
    Over the noisy keys.

  I do not know what I was playing,
    Or what I was dreaming then;
  But I struck one chord of music,
    Like the sound of a great Amen.

  It flooded the crimson twilight
    Like the close of an Angel's Psalm,
  And it lay on my fevered spirit
    With a touch of infinite calm.

  It quieted pain and sorrow,
    Like love overcoming strife;
  It seemed the harmonious echo
    From our discordant Life.

  It linked all perplexèd meanings
    Into one perfect peace,
  And trembled away into silence
    As if it were loth to cease.

  I have sought, but I seek it vainly,
    That one lost chord divine,
  Which came from the soul of the Organ,
    And entered into mine.

  It may be that Death's bright angel
    Will speak in that chord again,--
  It may be that only in Heaven
    I shall hear that grand Amen.


  I had a Message to send her,
    To her whom my soul loved best;
  But I had my task to finish,
    And she was gone home to rest.

  To rest in the far bright heaven;
    Oh, so far away from here,
  It was vain to speak to my darling,
    For I knew she could not hear!

  I had a message to send her,
    So tender, and true, and sweet,
  I longed for an Angel to bear it,
    And lay it down at her feet.

  I placed it, one summer evening,
    On a Cloudlet's fleecy breast;
  But it faded in golden splendour,
    And died in the crimson west.

  I gave it the Lark next morning,
    And I watched it soar and soar;
  But its pinions grew faint and weary,
    And it fluttered to earth once more.

  To the heart of a Rose I told it;
    And the perfume, sweet and rare,
  Growing faint on the blue bright ether,
    Was lost in the balmy air.

  I laid it upon a Censer,
    And I saw the incense rise;
  But its clouds of rolling silver
    Could not reach the far blue skies.

  I cried, in my passionate longing:--
    "Has the earth no Angel-friend
  Who will carry my love the message
    That my heart desires to send?"

  Then I heard a strain of music,
    So mighty, so pure, so clear,
  That my very sorrow was silent,
    And my heart stood still to hear.

  And I felt, in my soul's deep yearning,
    At last the sure answer stir:--
  "The music will go up to Heaven,
    And carry my thought to her."

  It rose in harmonious rushing
    Of mingled voices and strings,
  And I tenderly laid my message
    On the Music's outspread wings.

  I heard it float farther and farther,
    In sound more perfect than speech;
  Farther than sight can follow,
    Farther than soul can reach.

  And I know that at last my message
    Has passed through the golden gate:
  So my heart is no longer restless,
    And I am content to wait.






  How many Summers, love,
    Have I been thine?
  How many days, thou dove,
    Hast thou been mine?
  Time, like the wingèd wind
    When 't bends the flowers,
  Hath left no mark behind,
    To count the hours!

  Some weight of thought, though loth,
    On thee he leaves;
  Some lines of care round both
    Perhaps he weaves;
  Some fears,--a soft regret
    For joys scarce known;
  Sweet looks we half forget;--
    All else is flown!

  Ah! with what thankless heart
    I mourn and sing!
  Look, where our children start,
    Like sudden Spring!
  With tongues all sweet and low,
    Like a pleasant rhyme,
  They tell how much I owe
    To thee and Time!




  Touch us gently, Time!
    Let us glide adown thy stream
  Gently,--as we sometimes glide
    Through a quiet dream!
  Humble voyagers are We,
  Husband, wife, and children three--
  (One is lost,--an angel, fled
  To the azure overhead!)

  Touch us gently, Time!
    We 've not proud nor soaring wings:
  _Our_ ambition, _our_ content
    Lies in simple things.
  Humble voyagers are We,
  O'er Life's dim unsounded sea,
  Seeking only some calm clime:--
  Touch us _gently_, gentle Time!



  Sing!--Who sings
  To her who weareth a hundred rings?
    Ah, who is this lady fine?
    The VINE, boys, the VINE!
    The mother of mighty Wine.
      A roamer is she
      O'er wall and tree,
  And sometimes very good company.

  Drink!--Who drinks
  To her who blusheth and never thinks?
    Ah, who is this maid of thine?
    The GRAPE, boys, the GRAPE!
    O, never let her escape
    Until she be turned to Wine!
      For better is she
      Than vine can be,
  And very, very good company!

  Dream!--Who dreams
  Of the God that governs a thousand streams?
    Ah, who is this Spirit fine?
    'T is WINE, boys, 't is WINE!
    God Bacchus, a friend of mine.
      O better is he
      Than grape or tree,
  And the best of all good company.



  She was not fair, nor full of grace,
    Nor crowned with thought or aught beside;
  No wealth had she, of mind or face,
    To win our love, or raise our pride:
  No lover's thought her cheek did touch;
    No poet's dream was 'round her thrown;
  And yet we miss her--ah, too much,
    Now--she hath flown!

  We miss her when the morning calls,
    As one that mingled in our mirth;
  We miss her when the evening falls,--
    A trifle wanted on the earth!
  Some fancy small or subtle thought
    Is checked ere to its blossom grown;
  Some chain is broken that we wrought,
    Now--she hath flown!

  No solid good, nor hope defined,
    Is marred now she hath sunk in night;
  And yet the strong immortal Mind
    Is stopped in its triumphant flight!
  Stern friend, what power is in a tear,
    What strength in one poor thought alone,
  When all we know is--"She was here,"
    And--"She hath flown!"




  Come sing, Come sing, of the great Sea-King,
    And the fame that now hangs o'er him,
  Who once did sweep o'er the vanquish'd deep,
    And drove the world before him!
  His deck was a throne, on the ocean lone,
    And the sea was his park of pleasure,
  Where he scattered in fear the human deer,
    And rested,--when he had leisure!
            Come,--shout and sing
              Of the great Sea-King,
            And ride in the track he rode in!
              He sits at the head
              Of the mighty dead,
            On the red right hand of Odin!

  He sprang, from birth, like a God on earth,
    And soared on his victor pinions,
  And he traversed the sea, as the eagles flee,
    When they gaze on their blue dominions.
  His whole earth life was a conquering strife,
    And he lived till his beard grew hoary,
  And he died at last, by his blood-red mast,
    And now--he is lost in glory!
                    So,--shout and sing, &c.




  Awake!--The starry midnight Hour
    Hangs charmed, and pauseth in its flight:
  In its own sweetness sleeps the flower;
    And the doves lie hushed in deep delight!
        Awake! Awake!
        Look forth, my love, for Love's sweet sake!

  Awake!--Soft dews will soon arise
    From daisied mead, and thorny brake;
  Then, Sweet, uncloud those eastern eyes,
    And like the tender morning break!
        Awake! Awake!
        Dawn forth, my love, for Love's sweet sake!

  Awake!--Within the musk-rose bower
    I watch, pale flower of love, for thee;
  Ah, come, and shew the starry Hour
    What wealth of love thou hid'st from me!
        Awake! Awake!
        Shew all thy love, for Love's sweet sake!

  Awake!--Ne'er heed, though listening Night
    Steal music from thy silver voice:
  Uncloud thy beauty, rare and bright,
    And bid the world and me rejoice!
        Awake! Awake!
        She comes,--at last, for Love's sweet sake!




  King Death was a rare old fellow!
    He sate where no sun could shine;
  And he lifted his hand so yellow,
    And poured out his coal-black wine.
              Hurrah! for the coal-black Wine!

  There came to him many a Maiden,
    Whose eyes had forgot to shine;
  And Widows, with grief o'erladen,
    For a draught of his sleepy wine.
              Hurrah! for the coal-black Wine!

  The Scholar left all his learning;
    The Poet his fancied woes;
  And the Beauty her bloom returning,
    As the beads of the black wine rose.
              Hurrah! for the coal-black Wine!

  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]

  All came to the royal old fellow,
    Who laughed till his eyes dropped brine,
  As he gave them his hand so yellow,
    And pledged them in Death's black wine.
              Hurrah! for the coal-black Wine!



  Sit down, sad soul, and count
    The moments flying:
  Come,--tell the sweet amount
    That 's lost by sighing!
  How many smiles?--a score?
  Then laugh, and count no more;
        For day is dying!

  Lie down, sad soul, and sleep,
    And no more measure
  The flight of Time, nor weep
    The loss of leisure;
  But here, by this lone stream,
  Lie down with us, and dream
        Of starry treasure!

  We dream: do thou the same:
    We love--for ever:
  We laugh; yet few we shame,
   The gentle, never.
  Stay, then, till Sorrow dies;
  _Then_--hope and happy skies
        Are thine for ever!



  Drink, and fill the night with mirth!
    Let us have a mighty measure,
  Till we quite forget the earth,
    And soar into the world of pleasure.
  Drink, and let a health go round,
    ('T is the drinker's noble duty,)
  To the eyes that shine and wound,
    To the mouths that bud in beauty!

  Here 's to Helen! Why, ah! why
    Doth she fly from my pursuing?
  Here 's to Marian, cold and shy!
    May she warm before thy wooing!
  Here 's to Janet! I 've been e'er,
    Boy and man, her staunch defender,
  Always sworn that she was fair,
    Always _known_ that she was tender!

  Fill the deep-mouthed glasses high!
    Let them with the champagne tremble,
  Like the loose wrack in the sky,
    When the four wild winds assemble!
  Here 's to all the love on earth,
    (Love, the young man's, wise man's treasure!)
  Drink, and fill your throats with mirth!
    Drink, and drown the world in pleasure!



  Peace! what can tears avail?
  She lies all dumb and pale,
    And from her eye,
  The spirit of lovely life is fading,
    And she must die!
  Why looks the lover wroth? the friend upbraiding?
    Reply, reply!

  Hath she not dwelt too long
  'Midst pain, and grief, and wrong?
    Then, why not die?
  Why suffer again her doom of sorrow,
    And hopeless lie?
  Why nurse the trembling dream until to-morrow?
    Reply, reply!

  Death! Take her to thine arms,
  In all her stainless charms,
    And with her fly
  To heavenly haunts, where, clad in brightness,
    The Angels lie!
  Wilt bear her there, O Death! in all her whiteness?


  _THE SEA._


  The Sea! the Sea! the open Sea!
  The blue, the fresh, the ever free!
  Without a mark, without a bound,
  It runneth the earth's wide regions 'round;
  It plays with the clouds; it mocks the skies;
  Or like a cradled creature lies.

  I 'm on the Sea! I 'm on the Sea!
  I am where I would ever be;
  With the blue above, and the blue below,
  And silence wheresoe'er I go;
  If a storm should come and awake the deep,
  What matter? _I_ shall ride and sleep.

  I love (oh! _how_ I love) to ride
  On the fierce foaming bursting tide,
  When every mad wave drowns the moon,
  Or whistles aloft his tempest tune,
  And tells how goeth the world below,
  And why the south-west blasts do blow.

  I never was on the dull tame shore,
  But I loved the great Sea more and more,
  And backwards flew to her billowy breast,
  Like a bird that seeketh its mother's nest;
  And a mother she _was_, and _is_ to me;
  For I was born on the open Sea!

  The waves were white, and red the morn,
  In the noisy hour when I was born;
  And the whale it whistled, the porpoise rolled,
  And the dolphins bared their backs of gold;
  And never was heard such an outcry wild
  As welcomed to life the Ocean-child!

  I 've lived since then, in calm and strife,
  Full fifty summers a sailor's life,
  With wealth to spend and a power to range,
  But never have sought, nor sighed for change;
  And Death, whenever he come to me,
  Shall come on the wild unbounded Sea!





  When I am dead, my dearest,
    Sing no sad songs for me;
  Plant thou no roses at my head,
    Nor shady cypress-tree:
  Be the green grass above me
    With showers and dewdrops wet;
  And if thou wilt, remember,
    And if thou wilt, forget.

  I shall not see the shadows,
    I shall not feel the rain;
  I shall not hear the nightingale
    Sing on, as if in pain:
  And dreaming through the twilight
    That doth not rise nor set,
  Haply I may remember,
    And haply may forget.



  O roses for the flush of youth,
    And laurel for the perfect prime;
  But pluck an ivy branch for me
    Grown old before my time.

  O violets for the grave of youth,
    And bay for those dead in their prime;
  Give me the withered leaves I chose
    Before in the old time.



  Two doves upon the selfsame branch,
    Two lilies on a single stem,
  Two butterflies upon one flower:--
    O happy they who look on them.

  Who look upon them hand in hand
    Flushed in the rosy summer light;
  Who look upon them hand in hand
    And never give a thought to night.



    "A cup for hope!" she said,
  In springtime ere the bloom was old:
  The crimson wine was poor and cold
    By her mouth's richer red.

    "A cup for love!" how low,
  How soft the words; and all the while
  Her blush was rippling with a smile
    Like summer after snow.

    "A cup for memory!"
  Cold cup that one must drain alone:
  While autumn winds are up and moan
    Across the barren sea.

    Hope, memory, love:
  Hope for fair morn, and love for day,
  And memory for the evening gray
    And solitary dove.





  A little while a little love
    The hour yet bears for thee and me
    Who have not drawn the veil to see
  If still our heaven be lit above.
  Thou merely, at the day's last sigh,
    Hast felt thy soul prolong the tone;
  And I have heard the night-wind cry
      And deemed its speech mine own.

  A little while a little love
    The scattering autumn hoards for us
    Whose bower is not yet ruinous
  Nor quite unleaved our songless grove.
  Only across the shaken boughs
    We hear the flood-tides seek the sea,
  And deep in both our hearts they rouse
      One wail for thee and me.

  A little while a little love
    May yet be ours who have not said
    The word it makes our eyes afraid
  To know that each is thinking of.
  Not yet the end: be our lips dumb
    In smiles a little season yet:
  I 'll tell thee, when the end is come,
      How we may best forget.



      I have been here before,
        But when or how I cannot tell:
      I know the grass beyond the door,
        The sweet keen smell,
  The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

      You have been mine before,--
        How long ago I may not know:
      But just when at that swallow's soar
        Your neck turned so,
  Some veil did fall,--I knew it all of yore.

      Has this been thus before?
        And shall not thus time's eddying flight
      Still with our lives our loves restore
        In death's despite,
  And day and night yield one delight once more?


  I looked and saw your eyes
    In the shadow of your hair,
  As a traveller sees the stream
    In the shadow of the wood;
  And I said, "My faint heart sighs,
    Ah me! to linger there,
  To drink deep and to dream
    In that sweet solitude."

  I looked and saw your heart
    In the shadow of your eyes,
  As a seeker sees the gold
    In the shadow of the stream;
  And I said, "Ah, me! what art
    Should win the immortal prize,
  Whose want must make life cold
    And Heaven a hollow dream?"

  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]

  I looked and saw your love
    In the shadow of your heart,
  As a diver sees the pearl
    In the shadow of the sea;
  And I murmured, not above
    My breath, but all apart,--
  "Ah! you can love, true girl,
    And is your love for me?"






  Last time I parted from my Dear
  The linnet sang from the briar-bush,
          The throstle from the dell;
  The stream too carolled full and clear,
  It was the spring-time of the year,
  And both the linnet and the thrush
          I love them well
  Since last I parted from my Dear.

  But when he came again to me
  The barley rustled high and low,
          Linnet and thrush were still;
  Yellowed the apple on the tree,
  'T was autumn merry as it could be,
  What time the white ships come and go
          Under the hill;
  They brought him back again to me,
  Brought him safely o'er the sea.






  A golden bee a-cometh
    O'er the mere, glassy mere,
  And a merry tale he hummeth
          In my ear.

  How he seized and kist a blossom,
    From its tree, thorny tree,
  Plucked and placed in Annie's bosom,
          Hums the bee!


  Back flies my soul to other years,
    When thou that charming lay repeatest,
  When smiles were only chased by tears,
    Yet sweeter far than smiles the sweetest.

  Thy music ends, and where are they?
    Those golden times by memory cherished?
  O, Syren, sing no more that lay,
    Or sing till I like them have perished!



  The Violet invited my kiss,--
    I kissed it and called it my bride;
  "Was ever one slighted like this?"
    Sighed the Rose as it stood by my side.

  My heart ever open to grief,
    To comfort the fair one I turned;
  "Of fickle ones thou art the chief!"
    Frowned the Violet, and pouted and mourned.

  Then, to end all disputes, I entwined
    The love-stricken blossoms in one;
  But that instant their beauty declined,
    And I wept for the deed I had done!





  O for the look of those pure grey eyes--
    Seeming to plead and speak--
  The parted lips and the deep-drawn sighs,
    The blush on the kissen cheek!


  O for the tangle of soft brown hair,
    Lazily blown by the breeze;
  The fleeting hours unshadowed by care,
    Shaded by tremulous trees!


  O for the dream of those sunny days,
    With their bright unbroken spell,
  And the thrilling sweet untutored praise--
    From the lips once loved so well!


  O for the feeling of days agone,
    The simple faith and the truth,
  The spring of time and life's rosy dawn--
    O for the love and the youth!




  Little dimples so sweet and soft,
    Love the cheek of my love:
  The mark of Cupid's dainty hand,
    Before he wore a glove.


  Laughing dimples of tender love
    Smile on my darling's cheek;
  Sweet hallowed spots where kisses lurk,
    And play at hide and seek.


  Fain would I hide my kisses there
    At morning's rosy light,
  To come and seek them back again
    In silver hush of night.



  Mirror your sweet eyes in mine, love,
    See how they glitter and shine!
  Quick fly such moments divine, love,
    Link your lithe fingers in mine!


  Lay your soft cheek against mine, love,
    Pillow your head on my breast;
  While your brown locks I entwine, love,
    Pout your red lips when they 're prest!


  Mirror your fate, then, in mine, love;
    Sorrow and sighing resign:
  Life is too short to repine, love,
    Link your fair future in mine!




  _A MATCH._

  If love were what the rose is,
    And I were like the leaf,
  Our lives would grow together
  In sad or singing weather,
  Blown fields or flowerful closes,
    Green pleasure or grey grief;
  If love were what the rose is,
    And I were like the leaf.

  If I were what the words are,
    And love were like the tune,
  With double sound or single
  Delight our lips would mingle,
  With kisses glad as birds are
    That get sweet rain at noon;
  If I were what the words are,
    And love were like the tune.

  If you were life, my darling,
    And I your love were death,
  We 'd shine and snow together
  Ere March made sweet the weather
  With daffodil and starling
    And hours of fruitful breath;
  If you were life, my darling,
    And I your love were death.

  If you were thrall to sorrow,
    And I were page to joy,
  We 'd play for lives and seasons
  With loving looks and treasons
  And tears of night and morrow
    And laughs of maid and boy;
  If you were thrall to sorrow,
    And I were page to joy.

  If you were April's lady,
    And I were lord in May,
  We 'd throw with leaves for hours
  And draw for days with flowers,
  Till day like night were shady
    And night were bright like day;
  If you were April's lady,
    And I were lord in May.

  If you were queen of pleasure,
    And I were king of pain,
  We 'd hunt down love together,
  Pluck out his flying-feather,
    And teach his feet a measure,
  And find his mouth a rein;
    If you were queen of pleasure,
  And I were king of pain.


  Kissing her hair I sat against her feet,
  Wove and unwove it, wound and found it sweet;
  Made fast therewith her hands, drew down her eyes,
  Deep as deep flowers and dreamy like dim skies;
  With her own tresses bound and found her fair,
          Kissing her hair.

  Sleep were no sweeter than her face to me,
  Sleep of cold sea-bloom under the cold sea;
  What pain could get between my face and hers?
  What new sweet thing would love not relish worse?
  Unless, perhaps, white death had kissed me there,
          Kissing her hair?




  O lips that mine have grown into
    Like April's kissing May,
  O fervent eyelids letting through
  Those eyes the greenest of things blue,
    The bluest of things gray,

  If you were I and I were you,
    How could I love you, say?
  How could the roseleaf love the rue,
  The day love nightfall and her dew,
    Though night may love the day?






      The splendour falls on castle walls
        And snowy summits old in story:
      The long light shakes across the lakes,
        And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
  Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
  Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

      O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,
        And thinner, clearer, farther going!
      O sweet and far from cliff and scar
        The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
  Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying:
  Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

      O love, they die in yon rich sky,
        They faint on hill or field or river:
      Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
        And grow for ever and for ever.
  Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
  And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.



  Break, break, break,
    On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
  And I would that my tongue could utter
    The thoughts that arise in me.

  O well for the fisherman's boy,
    That he shouts with his sister at play!
  O well for the sailor lad,
    That he sings in his boat on the bay!

  And the stately ships go on
    To their haven under the hill;
  But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
    And the sound of a voice that is still!

  Break, break, break,
    At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
  But the tender grace of a day that is dead
    Will never come back to me.

  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]



    Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
  Tears from the depth of some divine despair
  Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
  In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
  And thinking of the days that are no more.

    Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
  That brings our friends up from the underworld,
  Sad as the last which reddens over one
  That sinks with all we love below the verge;
  So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.

    Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
  The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
  To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
  The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
  So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

    Dear as remembered kisses after death,
  And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
  On lips that are for others; deep as love,
  Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
  O Death in Life, the days that are no more.




  Sweet and low, sweet and low,
    Wind of the western sea,
  Low, low, breathe and blow,
    Wind of the western sea!
  Over the rolling waters go,
  Come from the dying moon, and blow,
    Blow him again to me;
  While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

  Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,
    Father will come to thee soon;
  Rest, rest, on mother's breast,
    Father will come to thee soon;
  Father will come to his babe in the nest,
  Silver sails all out of the west
    Under the silver moon:
  Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.



    Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel and lower the proud;
  Turn thy wild wheel thro' sunshine, storm, and cloud;
  Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate.

    Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel with smile or frown;
  With that wild wheel we go not up or down;
  Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great.

    Smile and we smile, the lords of many lands;
  Frown and we smile, the lords of our own hands;
  For man is man and master of his fate.

    Turn, turn thy wheel above the staring crowd;
  Thy wheel and thou are shadows in the cloud;
  Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate.



    In Love, if Love be Love, if Love be ours,
  Faith and unfaith can ne'er be equal powers:
  Unfaith in aught is want of faith in all.

    It is the little rift within the lute,
  That by and by will make the music mute,
  And ever widening slowly silence all.

    The little rift within the lover's lute
  Or little pitted speck in garnered fruit,
  That rotting inward slowly moulders all.

    It is not worth the keeping: let it go:
  But shall it? answer, darling, answer, no.
  And trust me not at all or all in all.






  Although I enter not,
  Yet round about the spot
    Ofttimes I hover:
  And near the sacred gate,
  With longing eyes I wait,
    Expectant of her.

  The Minster bell tolls out
  Above the city's rout,
    And noise and humming:
  They 've hushed the Minster bell:
  The organ 'gins to swell:
    She 's coming, she 's coming!

  My lady comes at last,
  Timid, and stepping fast,
    And hastening hither,
  With modest eyes downcast:
  She comes--she 's here--she 's past--
    May heaven go with her!

  Kneel, undisturbed, fair saint!
  Pour out your praise or plaint
    Meekly and duly;
  I will not enter there,
  To sully your pure prayer
    With thoughts unruly.

  But suffer me to pace
  Round the forbidden place,
    Lingering a minute;
  Like outcast spirits who wait
  And see through heaven's gate
    Angels within it.


  Christmas is here;
  Winds whistle shrill,
  Icy and chill,
  Little care we:
  Little we fear
  Weather without
  Sheltered about
  The Mahogany Tree.

  Once on the boughs
  Birds of rare plume
  Sang, in its bloom;
  Night-birds are we:
  Here we carouse,
  Singing like them,
  Perched round the stem
  Of the jolly old tree.

  Here let us sport,
  Boys, as we sit;
  Laughter and wit
  Flashing so free.
  Life is but short--
  When we are gone,
  Let them sing on,
  Round the old tree.

  Evenings we knew,
  Happy as this;
  Faces we miss,
  Pleasant to see.
  Kind hearts and true,
  Gentle and just,
  Peace to your dust!
  We sing round the tree.

  Care, like a dun,
  Lurks at the gate:
  Let the dog wait;
  Happy we 'll be!
  Drink, every one;
  Pile up the coals,
  Fill the red bowls,
  Round the old tree.

  Drain we the cup.--
  Friend, art afraid?
  Spirits are laid
  In the Red Sea.
  Mantle it up;
  Empty it yet;
  Let us forget,
  Round the old tree.

  Sorrows, begone!
  Life and its ills,
  Duns and their bills,
  Bid we to flee.
  Come with the dawn,
  Blue-devil sprite,
  Leave us to-night,
  Round the old tree.





  When Spring casts all her swallows forth
    Into the blue and lambent air,
  When lilacs toss their purple plumes
    And every cherry-tree grows fair,--
  Through fields with morning tints a-glow
  I take my rod and singing go.

  Where lilies float on broad green leaves
    Below the ripples of the mill,
  When the white moth is hovering
    In the dim sky so hushed and still,
  I watch beneath the pollard ash
  The greedy trout leap up and splash.

  Or down where golden water flowers
    Are wading in the shallow tide,
  While still the dusk is tinged with rose
    Like a brown cheek o'erflushed with pride--
  I throw the crafty fly and wait;
  Watching the big trout eye the bait.

  It is the lover's twilight-time,
    And there 's a magic in the hour,
  But I forget the sweets of love
    And all love's tyranny and power,
  And with my feather-hidden steel
  Sigh but to fill my woven creel.

  Then upward darkling through the copse
    I push my eager homeward way,
  Through glades of drowsy violets
    That never see the golden day.
  Yes! while the night comes soft and slow
  I take my rod and singing go.

  [Illustration: Full-page Plate]



  Into the Devil tavern
    Three booted troopers strode,
  From spur to feather spotted and splashed
    With the mud of a winter road.
  In each of their cups they dropped a crust,
    And stared at the guests with a frown;
  Then drew their swords, and roared for a toast,
    "God send this Crum-well-down!"

  A blue smoke rose from their pistol locks,
    Their sword blades were still wet;
  There were long red smears on their jerkins of buff,
    As the table they overset.
  Then into their cups they stirred the crusts,
    And cursed old London town;
  They waved their swords, and drank with a stamp,
    "God send this Crum-well-down!"

  The 'prentice dropped his can of beer,
    The host turned pale as a clout;
  The ruby nose of the toping squires
    Grew white at the wild men's shout.
  Then into their cups they flung their crusts,
    And shewed their teeth with a frown;
  They flashed their swords as they gave the toast,
    "God send this Crum-well-down!"

  The gambler dropped his dog's-ear'd cards,
    The waiting-women screamed,
  As the light of the fire, like stains of blood,
    On the wild men's sabres gleamed.
  Then into their cups they splashed their crusts,
    And cursed the fool of a town,
  And leapt on the table, and roared a toast,
    "God send this Crum-well-down!"

  Till on a sudden fire-bells rang,
    And the troopers sprang to horse;
  The eldest muttered between his teeth,
    Hot curses--deep and coarse.
  In their stirrup cups they flung the crusts,
    And cried as they spurred through the town,
  With their keen swords drawn and their pistols cocked,
    "God send this Crum-well-down!"

  Away they dashed through Temple Bar,
    Their red cloaks flowing free,
  Their scabbards clashed, each back-piece shone--
    None liked to touch the three.
  The silver cups that held the crusts
    They flung to the startled town,
  Shouting again, with a blaze of swords,
    "God send this Crum-well-down!"



  When a warm and scented steam
    Rises from the flowering earth;
  When the green leaves are all still,
    And the song birds cease their mirth;
  In the silence before rain
  Comes the cuckoo back again.

  When the Spring is all but gone--
    Tearful April, laughing May--
  When a hush comes on the woods,
    And the sunbeams cease to play;
  In the silence before rain
  Comes the cuckoo back again.


       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *

Errors and Inconsistencies:

  FROM "SYLVIA": _Act IV. Scene I_.
    [_should be "Scene i"_]
  I watched the long, long, shade,  [_all commas as printed_]
  _THE LONG WHITE SEAM._  [_final . missing or invisible_]
  [Locker-Lampson] _THE CUCKOO._  [_printed , for ._]

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