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118 Works of Charles Kingsley

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How will it dawn, the coming Christmas-day? A northern Christmas, such as painters love, And kinsfolk shaking hands but once a year, And dames who tell old legends by the fire? Red sun, blue sky, white snow, and pearled ice, Keen ringing air, which sets the blood on fire, And makes the old man merry […]

On the Death of a Certain Journal {A} So die, thou child of stormy dawn, Thou winter flower, forlorn of nurse; Chilled early by the bigot’s curse, The pedant’s frown, the worldling’s yawn. Fair death, to fall in teeming June, When every seed which drops to earth Takes root, and wins a second birth From […]

Over the camp-fires Drank I with heroes, Under the Donau bank, Warm in the snow trench: Sagamen heard I there, Men of the Longbeards, Cunning and ancient, Honey-sweet-voiced. Scaring the wolf cub, Scaring the horn-owl, Shaking the snow-wreaths Down from the pine-boughs, Up to the star roof Rang out their song. Singing how Winil men, […]

The Swan-Neck

Story type: Poetry

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Evil sped the battle play On the Pope Calixtus’ day; Mighty war-smiths, thanes and lords, In Senlac slept the sleep of swords. Harold Earl, shot over shield, Lay along the autumn weald; Slaughter such was never none Since the Ethelings England won. Thither Lady Githa came, Weeping sore for grief and shame; How may she […]

Thank God! Those gazers’ eyes are gone at last! The guards are crouching underneath the rock; The lights are fading in the town below, Around the cottage which this morn was ours. Kind sun, to set, and leave us here alone; Alone upon our crosses with our God; While all the angels watch us from […]

The Ugly Princess

Story type: Poetry

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My parents bow, and lead them forth, For all the crowd to see– Ah well! the people might not care To cheer a dwarf like me. They little know how I could love, How I could plan and toil, To swell those drudges’ scanty gains, Their mites of rye and oil. They little know what […]

I heard an Eagle crying all alone Above the vineyards through the summer night, Among the skeletons of robber towers: Because the ancient eyrie of his race Was trenched and walled by busy-handed men; And all his forest-chace and woodland wild, Wherefrom he fed his young with hare and roe, Were trim with grapes which […]

The world goes up and the world goes down, And the sunshine follows the rain; And yesterday’s sneer and yesterday’s frown Can never come over again, Sweet wife: No, never come over again. For woman is warm though man be cold, And the night will hallow the day; Till the heart which at even was […]

The baby sings not on its mother’s breast; Nor nightingales who nestle side by side; Nor I by thine: but let us only part, Then lips which should but kiss, and so be still, As having uttered all, must speak again– O stunted thoughts! O chill and fettered rhyme Yet my great bliss, though still […]

Oh, thou hadst been a wife for Shakspeare’s self! No head, save some world-genius, ought to rest Above the treasures of that perfect breast, Or nightly draw fresh light from those keen stars Through which thy soul awes ours: yet thou art bound– O waste of nature!–to a craven hound; To shameless lust, and childish […]

Ask if I love thee? Oh, smiles cannot tell Plainer what tears are now showing too well. Had I not loved thee, my sky had been clear: Had I not loved thee, I had not been here, Weeping by thee. Ask if I love thee? How else could I borrow Pride from man’s slander, and […]

The Oubit

Story type: Poetry

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the Oubit {a} It was an hairy oubit, sae proud he crept alang, A feckless hairy oubit, and merrily he sang– ‘My Minnie bad me bide at hame until I won my wings; I show her soon my soul’s aboon the warks o’ creeping things.’ This feckless hairy oubit cam’ hirpling by the linn, A […]

The Three Fishers

Story type: Poetry

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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 […]

Weep, weep, weep and weep, For pauper, dolt, and slave! Hark! from wasted moor and fen, Feverous alley, stifling den, Swells the wail of Saxon men– Work! or the grave! Down, down, down and down, With idler, knave, and tyrant! Why for sluggards cark and moil? He that will not live by toil Has no […]

The Day of the Lord is at hand, at hand: Its storms roll up the sky: The nations sleep starving on heaps of gold; All dreamers toss and sigh; The night is darkest before the morn; When the pain is sorest the child is born, And the Day of the Lord at hand. Gather you, […]

My Hunting Song

Story type: Poetry

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Forward! Hark forward’s the cry! One more fence and we’re out on the open, So to us at once, if you want to live near us! Hark to them, ride to them, beauties! as on they go, Leaping and sweeping away in the vale below! Cowards and bunglers, whose heart or whose eye is slow, […]

Dartside

Story type: Poetry

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I cannot tell what you say, green leaves, I cannot tell what you say: But I know that there is a spirit in you, And a word in you this day. I cannot tell what you say, rosy rocks, I cannot tell what you say: But I know that there is a spirit in you, […]

Elegiacs

Story type: Poetry

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Wearily stretches the sand to the surge, and the surge to the cloudland; Wearily onward I ride, watching the water alone. Not as of old, like Homeric Achilles, ??de? ya???, Joyous knight-errant of God, thirsting for labour and strife; No more on magical steed borne free through the regions of ether, But, like the hack […]

The Tide Rock

Story type: Poetry

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How sleeps yon rock, whose half-day’s bath is done. With broad blight side beneath the broad bright sun, Like sea-nymph tired, on cushioned mosses sleeping. Yet, nearer drawn, beneath her purple tresses From drooping brows we find her slowly weeping. So many a wife for cruel man’s caresses Must inly pine and pine, yet outward […]

The Sands Of Dee

Story type: Poetry

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‘O 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 dank 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 Watchman

Story type: Poetry

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‘Watchman, what of the night?’ ‘The stars are out in the sky; And the merry round moon will be rising soon, For us to go sailing by.’ ‘Watchman, what of the night?’ ‘The tide flows in from the sea; There’s water to float a little cockboat Will carry such fishers as we.’ ‘Watchman, what of […]

The World’s Age

Story type: Poetry

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Who will say the world is dying? Who will say our prime is past? Sparks from Heaven, within us lying, Flash, and will flash till the last. Fools! who fancy Christ mistaken; Man a tool to buy and sell; Earth a failure, God-forsaken, Anteroom of Hell. Still the race of Hero-spirits Pass the lamp from […]

The Starlings

Story type: Poetry

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Early in spring time, on raw and windy mornings, Beneath the freezing house-eaves I heard the starlings sing– ‘Ah dreary March month, is this then a time for building wearily? Sad, sad, to think that the year is but begun.’ Late in the autumn, on still and cloudless evenings, Among the golden reed-beds I heard […]

See how the autumn leaves float by decaying, Down the wild swirls of the rain-swollen stream. So fleet the works of men, back to their earth again; Ancient and holy things fade like a dream. Nay! see the spring-blossoms steal forth a-maying, Clothing with tender hues orchard and glen; So, though old forms pass by, […]

The church bells were ringing, the devil sat singing On the stump of a rotting old tree; ‘Oh faith it grows cold, and the creeds they grow old, And the world is nigh ready for me.’ The bells went on ringing, a spirit came singing, And smiled as he crumbled the tree; ‘Yon wood does […]

A floating, a floating Across the sleeping sea, All night I heard a singing bird Upon the topmost tree. ‘Oh came you off the isles of Greece, Or off the banks of Seine; Or off some tree in forests free, Which fringe the western main?’ ‘I came not off the old world Nor yet from […]

The Dead Church

Story type: Poetry

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Wild wild wind, wilt thou never cease thy sighing? Dark dark night, wilt thou never wear away? Cold cold church, in thy death sleep lying, The Lent is past, thy Passion here, but not thine Easter-day. Peace, faint heart, though the night be dark and sighing; Rest, fair corpse, where thy Lord himself hath lain. […]

A March

Story type: Poetry

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Dreary East winds howling o’er us; Clay-lands knee-deep spread before us; Mire and ice and snow and sleet; Aching backs and frozen feet; Knees which reel as marches quicken, Ranks which thin as corpses thicken; While with carrion birds we eat, Calling puddle-water sweet, As we pledge the health of our general, who fares as […]

Sing Heigh-Ho!

Story type: Poetry

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There sits a bird on every tree; Sing heigh-ho! There sits a bird on every tree, And courts his love as I do thee; Sing heigh-ho, and heigh-ho! Young maids must marry. There grows a flower on every bough; Sing heigh-ho! There grows a flower on every bough, Its petals kiss–I’ll show you how: Sing […]

A gay young knight in Burley stood, Beside him pawed his steed so good, His hands he wrung as he were wood With waiting for his love O! ‘Oh, will she come, or will she stay, Or will she waste the weary day With fools who wish her far away, And hate her for her […]

The Red King

Story type: Poetry

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The King was drinking in Malwood Hall, There came in a monk before them all: He thrust by squire, he thrust by knight, Stood over against the dais aright; And, ‘The word of the Lord, thou cruel Red King, The word of the Lord to thee I bring. A grimly sweven I dreamt yestreen; I […]

The Bad Squire

Story type: Poetry

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The merry brown hares came leaping Over the crest of the hill, Where the clover and corn lay sleeping Under the moonlight still. Leaping late and early, Till under their bite and their tread The swedes and the wheat and the barley Lay cankered and trampled and dead. A poacher’s widow sat sighing On the […]

Oh she tripped over Ocknell plain, And down by Bradley Water; And the fairest maid on the forest side Was Jane, the keeper’s daughter. She went and went through the broad gray lawns As down the red sun sank, And chill as the scent of a new-made grave The mist smelt cold and dank. ‘A […]

Airly Beacon

Story type: Poetry

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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 […]

Sappho

Story type: Poetry

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She lay among the myrtles on the cliff; Above her glared the noon; beneath, the sea. Upon the white horizon Atho’s peak Weltered in burning haze; all airs were dead; The cicale slept among the tamarisk’s hair; The birds sat dumb and drooping. Far below The lazy sea-weed glistened in the sun; The lazy sea-fowl […]

Scotch Song

Story type: Poetry

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Oh, forth she went like a braw, braw bride To meet her winsome groom, When she was aware of twa bonny birds Sat biggin’ in the broom. The tane it built with the green, green moss, But and the bents sae fine, And the tither wi’ a lock o’ lady’s hair Linked up wi’ siller […]

Underneath their eider-robe Russet swede and golden globe, Feathered carrot, burrowing deep, Steadfast wait in charmed sleep; Treasure-houses wherein lie, Locked by angels’ alchemy, Milk and hair, and blood, and bone, Children of the barren stone; Children of the flaming Air, With his blue eye keen and bare, Spirit-peopled smiling down On frozen field and […]

Child Ballad

Story type: Poetry

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Jesus, He loves one and all, Jesus, He loves children small, Their souls are waiting round His feet On high, before His mercy-seat. While He wandered here below Children small to Him did go, At His feet they knelt and prayed, On their heads His hands He laid. Came a Spirit on them then, Better […]

A Hope

Story type: Poetry

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Twin stars, aloft in ether clear, Around each other roll alway, Within one common atmosphere Of their own mutual light and day. And myriad happy eyes are bent Upon their changeless love alway; As, strengthened by their one intent, They pour the flood of life and day. So we through this world’s waning night May, […]

Trehill Well

Story type: Poetry

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There stood a low and ivied roof, As gazing rustics tell, In times of chivalry and song ‘Yclept the holy well. Above the ivies’ branchlets gray In glistening clusters shone; While round the base the grass-blades bright And spiry foxglove sprung. The brambles clung in graceful bands, Chequering the old gray stone With shining leaflets, […]

The Weird Lady

Story type: Poetry

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The swevens came up round Harold the Earl, Like motes in the sunnes beam; And over him stood the Weird Lady, In her charmed castle over the sea, Sang ‘Lie thou still and dream.’ ‘Thy steed is dead in his stall, Earl Harold, Since thou hast been with me; The rust has eaten thy harness […]

Palinodia

Story type: Poetry

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Ye mountains, on whose torrent-furrowed slopes, And bare and silent brows uplift to heaven, I envied oft the soul which fills your wastes Of pure and stern sublime, and still expanse Unbroken by the petty incidents Of noisy life: Oh hear me once again! Winds, upon whose racked eddies, far aloft, Above the murmur of […]

Hypotheses Hypochondriacae {a} And should she die, her grave should be Upon the bare top of a sunny hill, Among the moorlands of her own fair land, Amid a ring of old and moss-grown stones In gorse and heather all embosomed. There should be no tall stone, no marble tomb Above her gentle corse;–the ponderous […]

In an Illuminated Missal {a} I would have loved: there are no mates in heaven; I would be great: there is no pride in heaven; I would have sung, as doth the nightingale The summer’s night beneath the moone pale, But Saintes hymnes alone in heaven prevail. My love, my song, my skill, my high […]

On reading this little book, {61} and considering all the exaggerated praise and exaggerated blame which have been lavished on it, we could not help falling into many thoughts about the history of English poetry for the last forty years, and about its future destiny. Great poets, even true poets, are becoming more and more […]

{1} This Lecture was given at Harrow in 1873, and in America in 1874. Let us think for a while upon what the Stage was once, in a republic of the past–what it may be again, I sometimes dream, in some republic of the future. In order to do this, let me take you back […]

Andromeda

Story type: Poetry

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Over the sea, past Crete, on the Syrian shore to the southward, Dwells in the well-tilled lowland a dark-haired AEthiop people, Skilful with needle and loom, and the arts of the dyer and carver, Skilful, but feeble of heart; for they know not the lords of Olympus, Lovers of men; neither broad-browed Zeus, nor Pallas […]

THE POETRY OF SACRED AND LEGENDARY ART {a} {a} Fraser’s Magazine, March, 1849.–“Sacred and Legendary Art.” By Mrs. Jameson. 2 vols. London. 1848, Longman and Co. Much attention has been excited this year by the alleged fulfilment of a prophecy that the Papal power was to receive its death-blow–in temporal matters, at least–during the past […]

Four faces among the portraits of modern men, great or small, strike us as supremely beautiful; not merely in expression, but in the form and proportion and harmony of features: Shakespeare, Raffaelle, Goethe, Burns. One would expect it to be so; for the mind makes the body, not the body the mind; and the inward […]

The poets, who forty years ago proclaimed their intention of working a revolution in English literature, and who have succeeded in their purpose, recommended especially a more simple and truthful view of nature. The established canons of poetry were to be discarded as artificial; as to the matter, the poet was to represent mere nature […]

Few readers of this magazine probably know anything about “Mystics;” know even what the term means: but as it is plainly connected with the adjective “mystical” they probably suppose it to denote some sort of vague, dreamy, sentimental, and therefore useless and undesirable personage. Nor can we blame them if they do so; for mysticism […]

Introductory Lecture given at Queen’s College, London, 1848. An introductory lecture must, I suppose, be considered as a sort of art-exhibition, or advertisement of the wares hereafter to be furnished by the lecturer. If these, on actual use, should prove to fall far short of the promise conveyed in the programme, hearers must remember that […]

1852. Templeton and I were lounging by the clear limestone stream which crossed his park and wound away round wooded hills toward the distant Severn. A lovelier fishing morning sportsman never saw. A soft gray under-roof of cloud slid on before a soft west wind, and here and there a stray gleam of sunlight shot […]

Introductory Lectures given at Queen’s College, London, 1848. An introductory lecture on English composition is, I think, as much needed as one on any other subject taught in this College. For in the first place, I am not sure whether we all mean the same thing when we speak of English composition; and in the […]

On Friday, the fifth of April, a noteworthy assemblage gathered round an open vault in a corner of Highgate Cemetery. Some hundreds of persons, closely packed up the steep banks among the trees and shrubs, had found in that grave a common bond of brotherhood. I say, in that grave. They were no sect, clique, […]

Note: This Lecture was given at Chester in 1871. This lecture is intended to be suggestive rather than didactic; to set you thinking and inquiring for yourselves, rather than learning at second-hand from me. Some among my audience, I doubt not, will neither need to be taught by me, nor to be stirred up to […]

Note: A Lecture delivered at the Mechanics’ Institute, Odiham, 1857. Ladies and gentlemen, we may of course think of anything which we choose in a gravel-pit, as we may anywhere else. Thought is free: at least so we fancy. But the most right sort of thought, after all, is thought about what lies nearest us; […]

Superstition

Story type: Essay

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Note: A Lecture delivered at the Royal Institution, London, 1867. Having accepted the very great honour of being allowed to deliver here two lectures, I have chosen as my subject Superstition and Science. It is with Superstition that this first lecture will deal. The subject seems to me especially fit for a clergyman; for he […]

Note: A Lecture delivered to the Officers of the Royal Artillery, Woolwich, 1872. Gentlemen: When I accepted the honour of lecturing here, I took for granted that so select an audience would expect from me not mere amusement, but somewhat of instruction; or, if that be too ambitious a word for me to use, at […]

On Bio-Geology

Story type: Essay

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Note: An Address given to the Scientific Society of Winchester, 1871. I am not sure that the subject of my address is rightly chosen. I am not sure that I ought not to have postponed a question of mere natural history, to speak to you as scientific men, on the questions of life and death, […]

Note: Lecture delivered at Reading, 1846. Ladies and gentlemen, I speak to you to-night as to persons assembled, somewhat, no doubt, for amusement, but still more for instruction. Institutions such as this were originally founded for the purpose of instruction; to supply to those who wish to educate themselves some of the advantages of a […]

Science

Story type: Essay

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Note: A Lecture delivered at the Royal Institution. I said, that Superstition was the child of Fear, and Fear the child of Ignorance; and you might expect me to say antithetically, that Science was the child of Courage, and Courage the child of Knowledge. But these genealogies–like most metaphors–do not fit exactly, as you may […]

Read at Sion College, January 10th, 1871. When I accepted the unexpected and undeserved honour of being allowed to lecture here, the first subject which suggested itself to me was Natural Theology. It is one which has taken up much of my thought for some years past, {313} which seems to me more and more […]

Martin Lightfoot’s Song {A} Come hearken, hearken, gentles all,Come hearken unto me,And I’ll sing you a song of a Wood-LyonCame swimming out over the sea. He ranged west, he ranged east,And far and wide ranged he;He took his bite out of every beastLives under the greenwood tree. Then by there came a silly old wolf,‘And […]

Valentine’s Day

Story type: Poetry

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Oh! I wish I were a tiny browny bird from out the south,Settled among the alder-holts, and twittering by the stream;I would put my tiny tail down, and put up my tiny mouth,And sing my tiny life away in one melodious dream. I would sing about the blossoms, and the sunshine and the sky,And the […]

1 ‘Are you ready for your steeple-chase, Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorree?Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Baree,You’re booked to ride your capping race to-day at Coulterlee,You’re booked to ride Vindictive, for all the world to see,To keep him straight, to keep him first, and win the run for me.Barum, Barum,’ etc. 2 She clasped her new-born […]

The boy on the famous gray pony,Just bidding good-bye at the door,Plucking up maiden heart for the fencesWhere his brother won honour of yore. The walk to ‘the Meet’ with fair children,And women as gentle as gay,–Ah! how do we male hogs in armourDeserve such companions as they? The afternoon’s wander to windward,To meet the […]

The Legend of La Brea {A} Down beside the loathly Pitch Lake,In the stately Morichal, {331b}Sat an ancient Spanish Indian,Peering through the columns tall. Watching vainly for the flashingOf the jewelled colibris; {331c}Listening vainly for their hummingRound the honey-blossomed trees. ‘Few,’ he sighed, ‘they come, and fewer,To the cocorite {331d} bowers;Murdered, madly, through the forestsWhich […]

They drift away. Ah, God! they drift for ever.I watch the stream sweep onward to the sea,Like some old battered buoy upon a roaring river,Round whom the tide-waifs hang–then drift to sea. I watch them drift–the old familiar faces,Who fished and rode with me, by stream and wold,Till ghosts, not men, fill old beloved places,And, […]

Easter Week

Story type: Poetry

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(Written for music to be sung at a parish industrial exhibition) See the land, her Easter keeping,Rises as her Maker rose.Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,Burst at last from winter snows.Earth with heaven above rejoices;Fields and gardens hail the spring;Shaughs and woodlands ring with voices,While the wild birds build and sing. You, to whom your […]

September 21, 1870 {A} Speak low, speak little; who may singWhile yonder cannon-thunders boom?Watch, shuddering, what each day may bring:Nor ‘pipe amid the crack of doom.’ And yet–the pines sing overhead,The robins by the alder-pool,The bees about the garden-bed,The children dancing home from school. And ever at the loom of BirthThe mighty Mother weaves and […]

It was Sir John, the fair young Priest,He strode up off the strand;But seven fisher maidens he left behindAll dancing hand in hand. He came unto the wise wife’s house:‘Now, Mother, to prove your art;To charm May Carleton’s merry blue eyesOut of a young man’s heart.’ ‘My son, you went for a holy man,Whose heart […]

The Mango-Tree

Story type: Poetry

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He wiled me through the furzy croft;He wiled me down the sandy lane.He told his boy’s love, soft and oft,Until I told him mine again. We married, and we sailed the main;A soldier, and a soldier’s wife.We marched through many a burning plain;We sighed for many a gallant life. But his–God kept it safe from […]

‘Qu’est Qu’il Dit’ {A} Espion aile de la jeune amanteDe l’ombre des palmiers pourquoi ce cri?Laisse en paix le beau garcon plaider et vaincre–Pourquoi, pourquoi demander ‘Qu’est qu’il dit?’ ‘Qu’est qu’il dit?’ Ce que tu dis toi-memeChaque mois de ce printemps eternel;Ce que disent les papillons qui s’entre-baisent,Ce que dit tout bel jeun etre a […]

‘So the foemen have fired the gate, men of mine;And the water is spent and gone?Then bring me a cup of the red Ahr-wine:I never shall drink but this one. ‘And reach me my harness, and saddle my horse,And lead him me round to the door:He must take such a leap to-night perforce,As horse never […]

On the Death of Leopold, King of the Belgians {A} A King is dead! Another master mindIs summoned from the world-wide council hall.Ah, for some seer, to say what links behind–To read the mystic writing on the wall! Be still, fond man: nor ask thy fate to know.Face bravely what each God-sent moment brings.Above thee […]

A harper came over the Danube so wide,And he came into Alaric’s hall,And he sang the song of the little BaltungTo him and his heroes all. How the old old Balt and the young young BaltRode out of Caucaland,With the royal elephant’s trunk on helmAnd the royal lance in hand. Thuringer heroes, counts and knights,Pricked […]

Clear and cool, clear and cool,By laughing shallow, and dreaming pool;Cool and clear, cool and clear,By shining shingle, and foaming weir;Under the crag where the ouzel sings,And the ivied wall where the church-bell rings,Undefiled, for the undefiled;Play by me, bathe in me, mother and child. Dank and foul, dank and foul,By the smoky town in […]

The Summer Sea

Story type: Poetry

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Soft soft wind, from out the sweet south sliding,Waft thy silver cloud webs athwart the summer sea;Thin thin threads of mist on dewy fingers twiningWeave a veil of dappled gauze to shade my babe and me. Deep deep Love, within thine own abyss abiding,Pour Thyself abroad, O Lord, on earth and air and sea;Worn weary […]

Young And Old

Story type: Poetry

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When all the world is young, lad,And all the trees are green;And every goose a swan, lad,And every lass a queen;Then hey for boot and horse, lad,And round the world away;Young blood must have its course, lad,And every dog his day. When all the world is old, lad,And all the trees are brown;And all the […]

My Little Doll

Story type: Poetry

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I once had a sweet little doll, dears,The prettiest doll in the world;Her cheeks were so red and so white, dears,And her hair was so charmingly curled.But I lost my poor little doll, dears,As I played in the heath one day;And I cried for more than a week, dears,But I never could find where she […]

Oh, Mr. Froude, how wise and good,To point us out this way to glory–They’re no great shakes, those Snowdon Lakes,And all their pounders myth and story.Blow Snowdon! What’s Lake Gwynant to Killarney,Or spluttering Welsh to tender blarney, blarney, blarney? So Thomas Hughes, sir, if you choose,I’ll tell you where we think of going,To swate and […]

Hark! hark! hark!The lark sings high in the dark.The were wolves mutter, the night hawks moan,The raven croaks from the Raven-stone;What care I for his boding groan,Riding the moorland to come to mine own?Hark! hark! hark!The lark sings high in the dark. Hark! hark! hark!The lark sings high in the dark.Long have I wander’d by […]

Oh England is a pleasant place for them that’s rich and high,But England is a cruel place for such poor folks as I;And such a port for mariners I ne’er shall see againAs the pleasant Isle of Aves, beside the Spanish main. There were forty craft in Aves that were both swift and stout,All furnished […]

Ode On The Installation Of The Duke Of Devonshire, Chancellor Of The University Of Cambridge, 1862 {A} Hence a while, severer Muses;Spare your slaves till drear October.Hence; for Alma Mater choosesNot to be for ever sober:But, like stately matron gray,Calling child and grandchild round her,Will for them at least be gay;Share for once their holiday;And, […]

There is no inn in Snowdon which is not awful dear,Excepting Pen-y-gwrydd (you can’t pronounce it, dear),Which standeth in the meeting of noble valleys three–One is the vale of Gwynant, so well beloved by me,One goes to Capel-Curig, and I can’t mind its name,And one it is Llanberris Pass, which all men knows the same;Between […]

Welcome, wild North-easter.Shame it is to seeOdes to every zephyr;Ne’er a verse to thee.Welcome, black North-easter!O’er the German foam;O’er the Danish moorlands,From thy frozen home.Tired we are of summer,Tired of gaudy glare,Showers soft and steaming,Hot and breathless air.Tired of listless dreaming,Through the lazy day:Jovial wind of winterTurns us out to play!Sweep the golden reed-beds;Crisp the […]

To G. A. G.

Story type: Poetry

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A hasty jest I once let fall–As jests are wont to be, untrue–As if the sum of joy to youWere hunt and picnic, rout and ball. Your eyes met mine: I did not blame;You saw it: but I touched too nearSome noble nerve; a silent tearSpoke soft reproach, and lofty shame. I do not wish […]

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 carolThan lark who hails the dawn or breezy downTo earn yourself a purer poet’s laurelThan Shakespeare’s crown. […]

O blessed drums of Aldershot!O blessed South-west train!O blessed, blessed Speaker’s clock,All prophesying rain! O blessed yaffil, laughing loud!O blessed falling glass!O blessed fan of cold gray cloud!O blessed smelling grass! O bless’d South wind that toots his hornThrough every hole and crack!I’m off at eight to-morrow morn,To bring such fishes back! Eversley, April 1, […]

The Find

Story type: Poetry

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Yon sound’s neither sheep-bell nor bark,They’re running–they’re running, Go hark!The sport may be lost by a moment’s delay;So whip up the puppies and scurry away.Dash down through the cover by dingle and dell,There’s a gate at the bottom–I know it full well;And they’re running–they’re running,Go hark! They’re running–they’re running, Go hark!One fence and we’re out […]

Come away with me, Tom,Term and talk are done;My poor lads are reaping,Busy every one.Curates mind the parish,Sweepers mind the court;We’ll away to SnowdonFor our ten days’ sport;Fish the August eveningTill the eve is past,Whoop like boys, at poundersFairly played and grassed.When they cease to dimple,Lunge, and swerve, and leap,Then up over Siabod,Choose our nest, […]

Linger no more, my beloved, by abbey and cell and cathedral;Mourn not for holy ones mourning of old them who knew not the Father,Weeping with fast and scourge, when the bridegroom was taken from them.Drop back awhile through the years, to the warm rich youth of the nations,Childlike in virtue and faith, though childlike in […]

The single eye, the daughter of the light;Well pleased to recognise in lowliest shadeSome glimmer of its parent beam, and madeBy daily draughts of brightness, inly bright.The taste severe, yet graceful, trained arightIn classic depth and clearness, and repaidBy thanks and honour from the wise and staid–By pleasant skill to blame, and yet delight,And high […]

It was Earl Haldan’s daughter,She looked across the sea;She looked across the water;And long and loud laughed she:‘The locks of six princessesMust be my marriage fee,So hey bonny boat, and ho bonny boat!Who comes a wooing me?’ It was Earl Haldan’s daughter,She walked along the sand;When she was aware of a knight so fair,Came sailing […]

Ah tyrant Love, Megaera’s serpents bearing,Why thus requite my sighs with venom’d smart?Ah ruthless dove, the vulture’s talons wearing,Why flesh them, traitress, in this faithful heart?Is this my meed? Must dragons’ teeth aloneIn Venus’ lawns by lovers’ hands be sown? Nay, gentlest Cupid; ’twas my pride undid me;Nay, guiltless dove; by mine own wound I […]

Let me begin this lecture {1} with a scene in the North Atlantic 863 years since. FOOTNOTE{1} This lecture was delivered in America in 1874. “Bjarne Grimolfson was blown with his ship into the Irish Ocean; and there came worms and the ship began to sink under them. They had a boat which they had […]

WOMAN’S WORK IN A COUNTRY PARISH {1} Footnote: {1} This lecture was one of a series of “Lectures to Ladies,” given in London in 1855, at the Needlewoman’s Institution. I have been asked to speak a few words to you on a lady’s work in a country parish. I shall confine myself rather to principles […]

“A MAD WORLD, MY MASTERS.” {12} Footnote: {12} Fraser’s Magazine, No. CCCXXXVII. 1858. The cholera, as was to be expected, has reappeared in England again; and England, as was to be expected, has taken no sufficient steps towards meeting it; so that if, as seems but too probable, the plague should spread next summer, we […]

Cyrus, Servant of the Lord {4} FOOTNOTE: {4} This lecture was given in America in 1874. I wish to speak to you to-night about one of those old despotic empires which were in every case the earliest known form of civilisation. Were I minded to play the cynic or the mountebank, I should choose some […]

ANCIENT CIVILISATION {5} {6} FOOTNOTE: {5} This lecture was given in America in 1874. FOOTNOTE: {6} This lecture and the two preceding ones,being published after the author’s death, have not hadthe benefit of his corrections. There is a theory abroad in the world just now about the origin of the human race, which has so […]

MY WINTER GARDEN. {1} Note: {1} Fraser’s Magazine, January 1858. So, my friend: you ask me to tell you how I contrive to support this monotonous country life; how, fond as I am of excitement, adventure, society, scenery, art, literature, I go cheerfully through the daily routine of a commonplace country profession, never requiring a […]

A Charm of Birds {1} Footnote: {1} Fraser’s Magazine, June 1867. Is it merely a fancy that we English, the educated people among us at least, are losing that love for spring which among our old forefathers rose almost to worship? That the perpetual miracle of the budding leaves and the returning song-birds awakes no […]

CHALK-STREAM STUDIES. {1} Note: {1} Fraser’s Magazine, September 1858. Fishing is generally associated in men’s minds with wild mountain scenery; if not with the alps and cataracts of Norway, still with the moors and lochs of Scotland, or at least with the rocky rivers, the wooded crags, the crumbling abbeys of Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Hereford, or […]

The Fens

Story type: Essay

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A certain sadness is pardonable to one who watches the destruction of a grand natural phenomenon, even though its destruction bring blessings to the human race. Reason and conscience tell us, that it is right and good that the Great Fen should have become, instead of a waste and howling wilderness, a garden of the […]

North Devon

Story type: Essay

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NORTH DEVON {1} Note: {1} Fraser’s Magazine, July 1849. I.–EXMOOR. We were riding up from Lynmouth, on a pair of ragged ponies, Claude Mellot and I, along the gorge of Watersmeet. And as we went we talked of many things; and especially of some sporting book which we had found at the Lyndale Hotel the […]

The point from which to start, in order best to appreciate the change from ocean to sea, is perhaps Biarritz. The point at which to stop is Cette. And the change is important. Between the two points races are changed, climates are changed, scenery is changed, the very plants under your feet are changed, from […]

The Two Breaths

Story type: Essay

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A LECTURE DELIVERED AT WINCHESTER, MAY 31, 1869. Ladies,–I have been honoured by a second invitation to address you here, from the lady to whose public spirit the establishment of these lectures is due. I dare not refuse it: because it gives me an opportunity of speaking on a matter, knowledge and ignorance about which […]

Fresh from the Marbles of the British Museum, I went my way through London streets. My brain was still full of fair and grand forms; the forms of men and women whose every limb and attitude betokened perfect health, and grace, and power, and a self-possession and self-restraint so habitual and complete that it had […]

The Air-Mothers

Story type: Essay

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“Die Natur ist die Bewegung.” Who are these who follow us softly over the moor in the autumn eve? Their wings brush and rustle in the fir-boughs, and they whisper before us and behind, as if they called gently to each other, like birds flocking homeward to their nests. The woodpecker on the pine-stems knows […]

Whether the British race is improving or degenerating? What, if it seem probably degenerating, are the causes of so great an evil? How they can be, if not destroyed, at least arrested?–These are questions worthy the attention, not of statesmen only and medical men, but of every father and mother in these isles. I shall […]

I cannot begin a sketch of the life of this great man better than by trying to describe a scene so picturesque, so tragic in the eyes of those who are wont to mourn over human follies, so comic in the eyes of those who prefer to laugh over them, that the reader will not […]

Thrift

Story type: Essay

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A LECTURE DELIVERED AT WINCHESTER, MARCH 17, 1869. Ladies,–I have chosen for the title of this lecture a practical and prosaic word, because I intend the lecture itself to be as practical and prosaic as I can make it, without becoming altogether dull. The question of the better or worse education of women is one […]

The scholar, in the sixteenth century, was a far more important personage than now. The supply of learned men was very small, the demand for them very great. During the whole of the fifteenth, and a great part of the sixteenth century, the human mind turned more and more from the scholastic philosophy of the […]

RONDELET, THE HUGUENOT NATURALIST {358} FOOTNOTE: {358} A Life of Rondelet, by his pupil Laurent Joubert, is to be found appended to his works; and with it an account of his illness and death, by his cousin, Claude Formy, which is well worth the perusal of any man, wise or foolish. Many interesting details beside, […]

PLAYS AND PURITANS {1} The British Isles have been ringing for the last few years with the word ‘Art’ in its German sense; with ‘High Art,’ ‘Symbolic Art,’ ‘Ecclesiastical Art,’ ‘Dramatic Art,’ ‘Tragic Art,’ and so forth; and every well-educated person is expected, nowadays, to know something about Art. Yet in spite of all translations […]

FROUDE’S HISTORY OF ENGLAND {1} Footnote: {1} North British Review, No. LI., November 1856.–‘A History of England, from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth.’ By J. A. Froude, M.A., late Fellow of Exeter college, Oxford. London: J. W. Parker and Son, West Strand. 2 vols. 1856. There appeared a few years since […]

WOMEN AND POLITICS. {3} Somewhat more than 300 years ago, John Knox, who did more than any man to mould the thoughts of his nation–and indeed of our English Puritans likewise–was writing a little book on the ‘Regiment of Women,’ in which he proved woman, on account of her natural inferiority to man, unfit to […]