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241 Works of George Meredith

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The Crisis

Story type: Poetry

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Spirit of Russia, now has come The day when thou canst not be dumb. Around thee foams the torrent tide, Above thee its fell fountain, Pride. The senseless rock awaits thy word To crumble; shall it be unheard? Already, like a tempest-sun, That shoots the flare and shuts to dun, Thy land ‘twixt flame and […]

Ireland

Story type: Poetry

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Fire in her ashes Ireland feels And in her veins a glow of heat. To her the lost old time, appeals For resurrection, good to greet: Not as a shape with spectral eyes, But humanly maternal, young In all that quickens pride, and wise To speak the best her bards have sung. You read her […]

The Gentleman Of Fifty

Story type: Literature

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CHAPTER I Passing over Ickleworth Bridge and rounding up the heavily-shadowed river of our narrow valley, I perceived a commotion as of bathers in a certain bright space immediately underneath the vicar’s terrace-garden steps. My astonishment was considerable when it became evident to me that the vicar himself was disporting in the water, which, reaching […]

ON THE IDEA OF COMEDY AND OF THE USES OF THE COMIC SPIRIT {1} Good Comedies are such rare productions, that notwithstanding the wealth of our literature in the Comic element, it would not occupy us long to run over the English list. If they are brought to the test I shall propose, very reputable […]

Long with us, now she leaves us; she has rest Beneath our sacred sod: A woman vowed to Good, whom all attest, The daylight gift of God.

The varied colours are a fitful heap: They pass in constant service though they sleep; The self gone out of them, therewith the pain: Read that, who still to spell our earth remain.

Hawarden

Story type: Poetry

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When comes the lighted day for men to read Life’s meaning, with the work before their hands Till this good gift of breath from debt is freed, Earth will not hear her children’s wailful bands Deplore the chieftain fall’n in sob and dirge; Nor they look where is darkness, but on high. The sun that […]

Her sacred body bear: the tenement Of that strong soul now ranked with God’s Elect Her heart upon her people’s heart she spent; Hence is she Royalty’s lodestar to direct. The peace is hers, of whom all lands have praised Majestic virtues ere her day unseen. Aloft the name of Womanhood she raised, And gave […]

With Alfred and St. Louis he doth win Grander than crowned head’s mortuary dome: His gentle heroic manhood enters in The ever-flowering common heart for home.

Islet The Dachs

Story type: Poetry

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Our Islet out of Helgoland, dismissed From his quaint tenement, quits hates and loves. There lived with us a wagging humourist In that hound’s arch dwarf-legged on boxing-gloves.

(THE DEATH OF ROBERT BROWNING) Now dumb is he who waked the world to speak, And voiceless hangs the world beside his bier. Our words are sobs, our cry of praise a tear: We are the smitten mortal, we the weak. We see a spirit on Earth’s loftiest peak Shine, and wing hence the way […]

J. C. M.

Story type: Poetry

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A fountain of our sweetest, quick to spring In fellowship abounding, here subsides: And never passage of a cloud on wing To gladden blue forgets him; near he hides.

(d. APRIL 11, 1884) IN HEADLEY CHURCHYARD, SURREY Thou our beloved and light of Earth hast crossed The sea of darkness to the yonder shore. There dost thou shine a light transferred, not lost, Through love to kindle in our souls the more.

Of men he would have raised to light he fell: In soul he conquered with those nerveless hands. His country’s pride and her abasement knell The Man of England circled by the sands.

The Lady C. M.

Story type: Poetry

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To them that knew her, there is vital flame In these the simple letters of her name. To them that knew her not, be it but said, So strong a spirit is not of the dead.

Youth In Age

Story type: Poetry

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Once I was part of the music I heard On the boughs or sweet between earth and sky, For joy of the beating of wings on high My heart shot into the breast of the bird. I hear it now and I see it fly, And a life in wrinkles again is stirred, My heart […]

When I remember, friend, whom lost I call, Because a man beloved is taken hence, The tender humour and the fire of sense In your good eyes; how full of heart for all, And chiefly for the weaker by the wall, You bore that lamp of sane benevolence; Then see I round you Death his […]

M. M.

Story type: Poetry

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Who call her Mother and who calls her Wife Look on her grave and see not Death but Life.

Fragments

Story type: Poetry

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Open horizons round, O mounting mind, to scenes unsung, Wherein shall walk a lusty Time: Our Earth is young; Of measure without bound; Infinite are the heights to climb, The depths to sound. A wilding little stubble flower The sickle scorned which cut for wheat, Such was our hope in that dark hour When nought […]

Il Y A Cent Ans

Story type: Poetry

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That march of the funereal Past behold; How Glory sat on Bondage for its throne; How men, like dazzled insects, through the mould Still worked their way, and bled to keep their own. We know them, as they strove and wrought and yearned; Their hopes, their fears; what page of Life they wist: At whiles […]

The years had worn their seasons’ belt, From bud to rosy prime, Since Nellie by the larch-pole knelt And helped the hop to climb. Most diligent of teachers then, But now with all to learn, She breathed beyond a thought of men, Though formed to make men burn. She dwelt where ‘twixt low-beaten thorns Two […]

On Como

Story type: Poetry

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A rainless darkness drew o’er the lake As we lay in our boat with oars unshipped. It seemed neither cloud nor water awake, And forth of the low black curtain slipped Thunderless lightning. Scoff no more At angels imagined in downward flight For the daughters of earth as fabled of yore: Here was beauty might […]

What splendour of imperial station man, The Tree of Life, may reach when, rooted fast, His branching stem points way to upper air And skyward still aspires, we see in him Who sang for us the Archangelical host, Made Morning, by old Darkness urged to the abyss; A voice that down three centuries onward rolls; […]

The Wild Rose

Story type: Poetry

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High climbs June’s wild rose, Her bush all blooms in a swarm; And swift from the bud she blows, In a day when the wooer is warm; Frank to receive and give, Her bosom is open to bee and sun: Pride she has none, Nor shame she knows; Happy to live. Unlike those of the […]

The Call

Story type: Poetry

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Under what spell are we debased By fears for our inviolate Isle, Whose record is of dangers faced And flung to heel with even smile? Is it a vaster force, a subtler guile? They say Exercitus designs To match the famed Salsipotent Where on her sceptre she reclines; Awake: but were a slumber sent By […]

October 21, 1905

Story type: Poetry

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The hundred years have passed, and he Whose name appeased a nation’s fears, As with a hand laid over sea; To thunder through the foeman’s ears Defeat before his blast of fire; Lives in the immortality That poets dream and noblest souls desire. Never did nation’s need evoke Hero like him for aid, the while […]

We who have seen Italia in the throes, Half risen but to be hurled to ground, and now Like a ripe field of wheat where once drove plough All bounteous as she is fair, we think of those Who blew the breath of life into her frame: Cavour, Mazzini, Garibaldi: Three: Her Brain, her Soul, […]

‘Atkins’

Story type: Poetry

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Yonder’s the man with his life in his hand, Legs on the march for whatever the land, Or to the slaughter, or to the maiming, Getting the dole of a dog for pay. Laurels he clasps in the words ‘duty done,’ England his heart under every sun:- Exquisite humour! that gives him a naming Base […]

Men of our race, we send you one Round whom Victoria’s holy name Is halo from the sunken sun Of her grand Summer’s day aflame. The heart of your loved Motherland, To them she loves as her own blood, This Flower of Ocean bears in hand, Assured of gift as good. Forth for our Southern […]

A hundred mares, all white! their manes Like mace-reed of the marshy plains Thick-tufted, wavy, free o’ the shears: And when the fiery squadron rears Bursting at speed, each mane appears Even as the white scarf of a fay Floating upon their necks along the heavens away. O race of humankind, take shame! For never […]

Not the sea-wave so bellows abroad when it bursts upon shingle, Whipped from the sea’s deeps up by the terrible blast of the Northwind; Nay, nor is ever the roar of the fierce fire’s rush so arousing, Down along mountain-glades, when it surges to kindle a woodland; Nay, nor so tonant thunders the stress of […]

So now the horses of Aiakides, off wide of the war-ground, Wept, since first they were ware of their charioteer overthrown there, Cast down low in the whirl of the dust under man-slaying Hector. Sooth, meanwhile, then did Automedon, brave son of Diores, Oft, on the one hand, urge them with flicks of the swift […]

These, then, he left, and away where ranks were now clashing the thickest, Onward rushed, and with him rushed all of the bright-greaved Achaians. Foot then footmen slew, that were flying from direful compulsion, Horse at the horsemen (up from off under them mounted the dust-cloud, Up off the plain, raised up cloud-thick by the […]

So he, with a clear shout of laughter, Forth of his ambush leapt, and he vaunted him, uttering thiswise: “Hit thou art! not in vain flew the shaft; how by rights it had pierced thee Into the undermost gut, therewith to have rived thee of life-breath! Following that had the Trojans plucked a new breath […]

They then to fountain-abundant Ida, mother of wild beasts, Came, and they first left ocean to fare over mainland at Lektos, Where underneath of their feet waved loftiest growths of the woodland. There hung Hypnos fast, ere the vision of Zeus was observant, Mounted upon a tall pine-tree, tallest of pines that on Ida Lustily […]

“Heigh me! brazen of front, thou glutton for plunder, how can one, Servant here to thy mandates, heed thee among our Achaians, Either the mission hie on or stoutly do fight with the foemen? I, not hither I fared on account of the spear-armed Trojans, Pledged to the combat; they unto me have in nowise […]

“Bibber besotted, with scowl of a cur, having heart of a deer, thou! Never to join to thy warriors armed for the press of the conflict, Never for ambush forth with the princeliest sons of Achaia Dared thy soul, for to thee that thing would have looked as a death-stroke. Sooth, more easy it seems, […]

Like as a terrible fire feeds fast on a forest enormous, Up on a mountain height, and the blaze of it radiates round far, So on the bright blest arms of the host in their march did the splendour Gleam wide round through the circle of air right up to the sky-vault. They, now, as […]

Forest History

Story type: Poetry

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I Beneath the vans of doom did men pass in. Heroic who came out; for round them hung A wavering phantom’s red volcano tongue, With league-long lizard tail and fishy fin: II Old Earth’s original Dragon; there retired To his last fastness; overthrown by few. Him a laborious thrust of roadway slew. Then man to […]

The Main Regret

Story type: Poetry

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[Written for the Charing Cross Album] I Seen, too clear and historic within us, our sins of omission Frown when the Autumn days strike us all ruthlessly bare. They of our mortal diseases find never healing physician; Errors they of the soul, past the one hope to repair. II Sunshine might we have been unto […]

Alternation

Story type: Poetry

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Between the fountain and the rill I passed, and saw the mighty will To leap at sky; the careless run, As earth would lead her little son. Beneath them throbs an urgent well, That here is play, and there is war. I know not which had most to tell Of whence we spring and what […]

Sunset worn to its last vermilion he; She that star overhead in slow descent: That white star with the front of angel she; He undone in his rays of glory spent Halo, fair as the bow-shot at his rise, He casts round her, and knows his hour of rest Incomplete, were the light for which […]

They have no song, the sedges dry, And still they sing. It is within my breast they sing, As I pass by. Within my breast they touch a string, They wake a sigh. There is but sound of sedges dry; In me they sing.

If that thou hast the gift of strength, then know Thy part is to uplift the trodden low; Else in a giant’s grasp until the end A hopeless wrestler shall thy soul contend.

Like a flood river whirled at rocky banks, An army issues out of wilderness, With battle plucking round its ragged flanks; Obstruction in the van; insane excess Oft at the heart; yet hard the onward stress Unto more spacious, where move ordered ranks, And rise hushed temples built of shapely stone, The work of hands […]

The Hueless Love

Story type: Poetry

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Unto that love must we through fire attain, Which those two held as breath of common air; The hands of whom were given in bond elsewhere; Whom Honour was untroubled to restrain. Midway the road of our life’s term they met, And one another knew without surprise; Nor cared that beauty stood in mutual eyes; […]

Through the water-eye of night, Midway between eve and dawn, See the chase, the rout, the flight In deep forest; oread, faun, Goat-foot, antlers laid on neck; Ravenous all the line for speed. See yon wavy sparkle beck Sign of the Virgin Lady’s lead. Down her course a serpent star Coils and shatters at her […]

Who murmurs, hither, hither: who Where nought is audible so fills the ear? Where nought is visible can make appear A veil with eyes that waver through, Like twilight’s pledge of blessed night to come, Or day most golden? All unseen and dumb, She breathes, she moves, inviting flees, Is lost, and leaves the thrilled […]

A Garden Idyl

Story type: Poetry

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With sagest craft Arachne worked Her web, and at a corner lurked, Awaiting what should plump her soon, To case it in the death-cocoon. Sagaciously her home she chose For visits that would never close; Inside my chalet-porch her feast Plucked all the winds but chill North-east. The finished structure, bar on bar, Had snatched […]

I Or shall we run with Artemis Or yield the breast to Aphrodite? Both are mighty; Both give bliss; Each can torture if divided; Each claims worship undivided, In her wake would have us wallow. II Youth must offer on bent knees Homage unto one or other; Earth, the mother, This decrees; And unto the […]

The Night-Walk

Story type: Poetry

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Awakes for me and leaps from shroud All radiantly the moon’s own night Of folded showers in streamer cloud; Our shadows down the highway white Or deep in woodland woven-boughed, With yon and yon a stem alight. I see marauder runagates Across us shoot their dusky wink; I hear the parliament of chats In haws […]

At The Close

Story type: Poetry

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To Thee, dear God of Mercy, both appeal, Who straightway sound the call to arms. Thou know’st; And that black spot in each embattled host, Spring of the blood-stream, later wilt reveal. Now is it red artillery and white steel; Till on a day will ring the victor’s boast, That ’tis Thy chosen towers uppermost, […]

How big of breast our Mother Gaea laughed At sight of her boy Giants on the leap Each over other as they neighboured home, Fronting the day’s descent across green slopes, And up fired mountain crags their shadows danced. Close with them in their fun, she scarce could guess, Though these two billowy urchins reeked […]

I We look for her that sunlike stood Upon the forehead of our day, An orb of nations, radiating food For body and for mind alway. Where is the Shape of glad array; The nervous hands, the front of steel, The clarion tongue? Where is the bold proud face? We see a vacant place; We […]

Alsace-Lorraine

Story type: Poetry

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I The sister Hours in circles linked, Daughters of men, of men the mates, Are gone on flow with the day that winked, With the night that spanned at golden gates. Mothers, they leave us, quickening seed; They bear us grain or flower or weed, As we have sown; is nought extinct For them we […]

Napoleon

Story type: Poetry

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I Cannon his name, Cannon his voice, he came. Who heard of him heard shaken hills, An earth at quake, to quiet stamped; Who looked on him beheld the will of wills, The driver of wild flocks where lions ramped: Beheld War’s liveries flee him, like lumped grass Nid-nod to ground beneath the cuffing storm; […]

The Revolution

Story type: Poetry

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I Not yet had History’s Aetna smoked the skies, And low the Gallic Giantess lay enchained, While overhead in ordered set and rise Her kingly crowns immutably defiled; Effulgent on funereal piled Across the vacant heavens, and distrained Her body, mutely, even as earth, to bear; Despoiled the tomb of hope, her mouth of air. […]

Trafalgar Day

Story type: Poetry

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He leads: we hear our Seaman’s call In the roll of battles won; For he is Britain’s Admiral Till setting of her sun. When Britain’s life was in her ships, He kept the sea as his own right; And saved us from more fell eclipse Than drops on day from blackest night. Again his battle […]

The Warning

Story type: Poetry

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We have seen mighty men ballooning high, And in another moment bump the ground. He falls; and in his measurement is found To count some inches o’er the common fry. ‘Twas not enough to send him climbing sky, Yet ’twas enough above his fellows crowned, Had he less panted. Let his faithful hound Bark at […]

Outside The Crowd

Story type: Poetry

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To sit on History in an easy chair, Still rivalling the wild hordes by whom ’twas writ! Sure, this beseems a race of laggard wit, Unwarned by those plain letters scrawled on air. If more than hands’ and armsful be our share, Snatch we for substance we see vapours flit. Have we not heard derision […]

Sprung of the father blood, the mother brain, Are they who point our pathway and sustain. They rarely meet; one soars, one walks retired. When they do meet, it is our earth inspired. To see Life’s formless offspring and subdue Desire of times unripe, we have these two, Whose union is right reason: join they […]

The Labourer

Story type: Poetry

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For a Heracles in his fighting ire there is never the glory that follows When ashen he lies and the poets arise to sing of the work he has done. But to vision alive under shallows of sight, lo, the Labourer’s crown is Apollo’s, While stands he yet in his grime and sweat–to wrestle for […]

Tardy Spring

Story type: Poetry

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Now the North wind ceases, The warm South-west awakes; Swift fly the fleeces, Thick the blossom-flakes. Now hill to hill has made the stride, And distance waves the without end: Now in the breast a door flings wide; Our farthest smiles, our next is friend. And song of England’s rush of flowers Is this full […]

I The day that is the night of days, With cannon-fire for sun ablaze We spy from any billow’s lift; And England still this tidal drift! Would she to sainted forethought vow A space before the thunders flood, That martyr of its hour might now Spare her the tears of blood. II Asleep upon her […]

Empedocles

Story type: Poetry

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I He leaped. With none to hinder, Of Aetna’s fiery scoriae In the next vomit-shower, made he A more peculiar cinder. And this great Doctor, can it be, He left no saner recipe For men at issue with despair? Admiring, even his poet owns, While noting his fine lyric tones, The last of him was […]

Our ‘Eriniad,’ or ballad epic of the enfranchisement of the sister island is closing its first fytte for the singer, and with such result as those Englishmen who have some knowledge of their fellows foresaw. There are sufficient reasons why the Tories should always be able to keep together, but let them have the credit […]

WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY was born at Calcutta, July 18, 1811, the only child of Richmond and Anne Thackeray. He received the main part of his education at the Charterhouse, as we know to our profit. Thence he passed to Cambridge, remaining there from February 1829 to sometime in 1830. To judge by quotations and allusions, […]

When that noble body of scholarly and cheerful pedestrians, the Sunday Tramps, were on the march, with Leslie Stephen to lead them, there was conversation which would have made the presence of a shorthand writer a benefaction to the country. A pause to it came at the examination of the leader’s watch and Ordnance map […]

Things are quiet outside an ant-hill until the stick has been thrust into it. Mr. Gladstone’s Bill for helping to the wiser government of Ireland has brought forth our busy citizens on the top-rubble in traversing counterswarms, and whatever may be said against a Bill that deals roughly with many sensitive interests, one asks whether […]

CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE SEAT OF WAR IN ITALY LETTERS WRITTEN TO THE MORNING POST FROM THE SEAT OF WAR IN ITALY FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT FERRARA, June 22, 1866. Before this letter reaches London the guns will have awakened both the echo of the old river Po and the classical Mincio. The whole of the […]

CHAPTER I An excursion beyond the immediate suburbs of London, projected long before his pony-carriage was hired to conduct him, in fact ever since his retirement from active service, led General Ople across a famous common, with which he fell in love at once, to a lofty highway along the borders of a park, for […]

‘Fair Chloe, we toasted of old,As the Queen of our festival meeting;Now Chloe is lifeless and cold;You must go to the grave for her greeting.Her beauty and talents were framedTo enkindle the proudest to win her;Then let not the mem’ry be blamedOf the purest that e’er was a sinner!’ Captain Chanter’s Collection. CHAPTER I A […]

Youth In Memory

Story type: Poetry

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Days, when the ball of our visionHad eagles that flew unabashed to sun;When the grasp on the bow was decision,And arrow and hand and eye were one;When the Pleasures, like waves to a swimmer,Came heaving for rapture ahead! –Invoke them, they dwindle, they glimmerAs lights over mounds of the dead. Behold the winged Olympus, off […]

With splendour of a silver day,A frosted night had opened May:And on that plumed and armoured night,As one close temple hove our wood,Its border leafage virgin white.Remote down air an owl hallooed.The black twig dropped without a twirl;The bud in jewelled grasp was nipped;The brown leaf cracked a scorching curl;A crystal off the green leaf […]

I Sleek as a lizard at round of a stone,The look of her heart slipped out and in.Sweet on her lord her soft eyes shone,As innocents clear of a shade of sin. II He laid a finger under her chin,His arm for her girdle at waist was thrown:Now, what will happen and who will win,With […]

I A satyr spied a Goddess in her bath,Unseen of her attendant nymphs; none knew.Forthwith the creature to his fellows drew,And looking backward on the curtained path,He strove to tell; he could but heave a breastToo full, and point to mouth, with failing leers:Vainly he danced for speech, he giggled tears,Made as if torn in […]

I O briar-scents, on yon wet wingOf warm South-west wind brushing by,You mind me of the sweetest thingThat ever mingled frank and shy:When she and I, by love enticed,Beneath the orchard-apples met,In equal halves a ripe one sliced,And smelt the juices ere we ate. II That apple of the briar-scent,Among our lost in Britain now,Was […]

Not ere the bitter herb we taste,Which ages thought of happy times,To plant us in a weeping waste,Rings with our fellows this one heartAccordant chimes. When I had shed my glad year’s leaf,I did believe I stood alone,Till that great company of GriefTaught me to know this craving heartFor not my own.

Joy is fleet,Sorrow slow.Love, so sweet,Sorrow will sow.Love, that has flownEre day’s decline,Love to have known,Sorrow, be mine!

His Lady queen of woods to meet,He wanders day and night:The leaves have whisperings discreet,The mossy ways invite. Across a lustrous ring of space,By covert hoods and caves,Is promise of her secret faceIn film that onward waves. For darkness is the light astrain,Astrain for light the dark.A grey moth down a larches’ laneUnwinds a ghostly […]

Wind On The Lyre

Story type: Poetry

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That was the chirp of ArielYou heard, as overhead it flew,The farther going more to dwell,And wing our green to wed our blue;But whether note of joy or knell,Not his own Father-singer knew;Nor yet can any mortal tell,Save only how it shivers through;The breast of us a sounded shell,The blood of us a lighted dew.

Thou, run to the dry on this wayside bank,Too plainly of all the propellers bereft!Quenched youth, and is that thy purse?Even such limp slough as the snake has leftSlack to the gale upon spikes of whin,For cast-off coat of a life gone blank,In its frame of a grin at the seeker, is thine;And thine to […]

Sword of Common Sense! –Our surest gift: the sacred chainOf man to man: firm earth for trustIn structures vowed to permanence:-Thou guardian issue of the harvest brain!Implacable perforce of just;With that good treasure in defence,Which is our gold crushed out of joy and painSince first men planted foot and hand was king:Bright, nimble of the […]

I One fairest of the ripe unwedded leftHer shadow on the Sage’s path; he found,By common signs, that she had done a theft.He could have made the sovereign heights resoundWith questions of the wherefore of her state:He on far other but an hour beforeIntent. And was it man, or was it mate,That she disdained? or […]

Ask, is Love divine,Voices all are, ay.Question for the sign,There’s a common sigh.Would we, through our years,Love forego,Quit of scars and tears?Ah, but no, no, no!

Love is winged for two,In the worst he weathers,When their hearts are tied;But if they divide,O too true!Cracks a globe, and feathers, feathers,Feathers all the ground bestrew. I was breast of morning sea,Rosy plume on forest dun,I the laugh in rainy fleeces,While with meShe made one.Now must we pick up our pieces,For that then so […]

Earth loves her young: a preference manifest:She prompts them to her fruits and flower-beds;Their beauty with her choicest interthreads,And makes her revel of their merry zest;As in our East much were it in our West,If men had risen to do the work of heads.Her gabbling grey she eyes askant, nor treadsThe ways they walk; by […]

Winter Heavens

Story type: Poetry

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Sharp is the night, but stars with frost aliveLeap off the rim of earth across the dome.It is a night to make the heavens our homeMore than the nest whereto apace we strive.Lengths down our road each fir-tree seems a hive,In swarms outrushing from the golden comb.They waken waves of thoughts that burst to foam:The […]

Society

Story type: Poetry

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Historic be the survey of our kind,And how their brave Society took shape.Lion, wolf, vulture, fox, jackal and ape,The strong of limb, the keen of nose, we find,Who, with some jars in harmony, combined,Their primal instincts taming, to escapeThe brawl indecent, and hot passions drape.Convenience pricked conscience, that the mind.Thus entered they the field of […]

I A revelation came on Jane,The widow of a labouring swain:And first her body trembled sharp,Then all the woman was a harpWith winds along the strings; she heard,Though there was neither tone nor word. II For past our hearing was the air,Beyond our speaking what it bare,And she within herself had sightOf heaven at work […]

(ADDRESSED TO CERTAIN FRIENDLY TRAMPS.) I The wind is East, the wind is West,Blows in and out of haven;The wind that blows is the wind that’s best,And croak, my jolly raven!If here awhile we jigged and laughed,The like we will do yonder;For he’s the man who masters a craft,And light as a lord can wander.So, […]

I This Riddle rede or die,Says History since our Flood,To warn her sons of power:-It can be truth, it can be lie;Be parasite to twist awry;The drouthy vampire for your blood;The fountain of the silver flower;A brand, a lure, a web, a crest;Supple of wax or tempered steel;The spur to honour, snake in nest:‘Tis as […]

I I stood at the gate of the cotWhere my darling, with side-glance demure,Would spy, on her trim garden-plot,The busy wild things chase and lure.For these with their ways were her feast;They had surety no enemy lurked.Their deftest of tricks to their leastShe gathered in watch as she worked. II When berries were red on […]

A Faith On Trial

Story type: Poetry

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On the morning of May,Ere the children had entered my gateWith their wreaths and mechanical lay,A metal ding-dong of the date!I mounted our hill, bearing heartThat had little of life save its weight:The crowned Shadow poising dartHung over her: she, my own,My good companion, mate,Pulse of me: she who had shownFortitude quiet as Earth’sAt the […]

What links are ours with orbs that areSo resolutely far:The solitary asks, and theyGive radiance as from a shield:Still at the death of day,The seen, the unrevealed.Implacable they shineTo us who would of Life obtainAn answer for the life we strainTo nourish with one sign.Nor can imagination throwThe penetrative shaft: we passThe breath of thought, […]

Hymn To Colour

Story type: Poetry

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I With Life and Death I walked when Love appeared,And made them on each side a shadow seem.Through wooded vales the land of dawn we neared,Where down smooth rapids whirls the helmless dreamTo fall on daylight; and night puts awayHer darker veil for grey. II In that grey veil green grassblades brushed we by;We came […]

The Wisdom Of Eld

Story type: Poetry

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We spend our lives in learning pilotage,And grow good steersmen when the vessel’s crank!Gap-toothed he spake, and with a tottering shankSidled to gain the sunny bench of Age.It is the sentence which completes that stage;A testament of wisdom reading blank.The seniors of the race, on their last plank,Pass mumbling it as nature’s final page.These, bent […]

Woodman And Echo

Story type: Poetry

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Close Echo hears the woodman’s axe,To double on it, as in glee,With clap of hands, and little lacksOf meaning in her repartee.For all shall fall,As one has done,The tree of me,Of thee the tree;And unto allThe fate we waitReveals the wheelsWhereon we run:We tower to flower,We spread the shade,We drop for crop,At length are laid;Are […]

Mother To Babe

Story type: Poetry

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I Fleck of sky you are,Dropped through branches dark,O my little one, mine!Promise of the star,Outpour of the lark;Beam and song divine. II See this precious gift,Steeping in new birthAll my being, for signEarth to heaven can lift,Heaven descend on earth,Both in one be mine! III Life in light you glassWhen you peep and coo,You, […]

Woodland Peace

Story type: Poetry

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Sweet as Eden is the air,And Eden-sweet the ray.No Paradise is lost for themWho foot by branching root and stem,And lightly with the woodland shareThe change of night and day. Here all say,We serve her, even as I:We brood, we strive to sky,We gaze upon decay,We wot of life through death,How each feeds each we […]

Outer And Inner

Story type: Poetry

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I From twig to twig the spider weavesAt noon his webbing fine.So near to mute the zephyrs fluteThat only leaflets dance.The sun draws out of hazel leavesA smell of woodland wine.I wake a swarm to sudden stormAt any step’s advance. II Along my path is bugloss blue,The star with fruit in moss;The foxgloves drop from […]

I When we have thrown off this old suit,So much in need of mending,To sink among the naked mute,Is that, think you, our ending?We follow many, more we lead,And you who sadly turf us,Believe not that all living seedMust flower above the surface. II Sensation is a gracious gift,But were it cramped to station,The prayer […]

Dirge In Woods

Story type: Poetry

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A wind sways the pines,And belowNot a breath of wild air;Still as the mosses that glowOn the flooring and over the linesOf the roots here and there.The pine-tree drops its dead;They are quiet, as under the sea.Overhead, overheadRushes life in a race,As the clouds the clouds chase;And we go,And we drop like the fruits of […]

Nature And Life

Story type: Poetry

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I Leave the uproar: at a leapThou shalt strike a woodland path,Enter silence, not of sleep,Under shadows, not of wrath;Breath which is the spirit’s bathIn the old Beginnings find,And endow them with a mind,Seed for seedling, swathe for swathe.That gives Nature to us, thisGive we her, and so we kiss. II Fruitful is it so: […]

At the coming up of Phoebus the all-luminous charioteer,Double-visaged stand the mountains in imperial multitudes,And with shadows dappled men sing to him, Hail, O Beneficent!For they shudder chill, the earth-vales, at his clouding, shudder to black;In the light of him there is music thro’ the poplar and river-sedge,Renovation, chirp of brooks, hum of the forest–an […]

Hard Weather

Story type: Poetry

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Bursts from a rending East in flawsThe young green leaflet’s harrier, swornTo strew the garden, strip the shaws,And show our Spring with banner torn.Was ever such virago morn?The wind has teeth, the wind has claws.All the wind’s wolves through woods are loose,The wild wind’s falconry aloft.Shrill underfoot the grassblade shrews,At gallop, clumped, and down the […]

Seed-Time

Story type: Poetry

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I Flowers of the willow-herb are wool;Flowers of the briar berries red;Speeding their seed as the breeze may rule,Flowers of the thistle loosen the thread.Flowers of the clematis drip in beard,Slack from the fir-tree youngly climbed;Chaplets in air, flies foliage seared;Heeled upon earth, lie clusters rimed. II Where were skies of the mantle stainedOrange and […]

The South-Wester

Story type: Poetry

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Day of the cloud in fleets! O dayOf wedded white and blue, that sailImmingled, with a footing rayIn shadow-sandals down our vale! –And swift to ravish golden meads,Swift up the run of turf it speeds,Thy bright of head and dark of heel,To where the hilltop flings on sky,As hawk from wrist or dust from wheel,The […]

I Demeter devastated our good land,In blackness for her daughter snatched below.Smoke-pillar or loose hillock was the sand,Where soil had been to clasp warm seed and throwThe wheat, vine, olive, ripe to Summer’s ray.Now whether night advancing, whether day,Scarce did the baldness show:The hand of man was a defeated hand. II Necessity, the primal goad […]

I know him, February’s thrush,And loud at eve he valentinesOn sprays that paw the naked bushWhere soon will sprout the thorns and bines. Now ere the foreign singer thrillsOur vale his plain-song pipe he pours,A herald of the million bills;And heed him not, the loss is yours. My study, flanked with ivied firAnd budded beech […]

I The shepherd, with his eye on hazy South,Has told of rain upon the fall of day.But promise is there none for Susan’s drouth,That he will come, who keeps in dry delay.The freshest of the village three years gone,She hangs as the white field-rose hangs short-lived;And she and Earth are oneIn withering unrevived.Rain! O the […]

Aneurin’s Harp

Story type: Poetry

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I Prince of Bards was old Aneurin;He the grand Gododin sang;All his numbers threw such fire in,Struck his harp so wild a twang; –Still the wakeful Briton borrowsWisdom from its ancient heat:Still it haunts our source of sorrows,Deep excess of liquor sweet! II Here the Briton, there the Saxon,Face to face, three fields apart,Thirst for […]

I Young captain of a crazy bark!O tameless heart in battered frame!Thy sailing orders have a mark,And hers is not the name. II For action all thine iron clanksIn cravings for a splendid prize;Again to race or bump thy planksWith any flag that flies. III Consult them; they are eloquentFor senses not inebriate.They trust thee […]

Men And Man

Story type: Poetry

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I Men the Angels eyed;And here they were wild waves,And there as marsh descried;Men the Angels eyed,And liked the picture bestWhere they were greenly dressedIn brotherhood of graves. II Man the Angels marked:He led a host through murk,On fearful seas embarked;Man the Angels marked;To think without a nay,That he was good as they,And help him […]

Solon

Story type: Poetry

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I The Tyrant passed, and friendlier was his eyeOn the great man of Athens, whom for foeHe knew, than on the sycophantic fryThat broke as waters round a galley’s flow,Bubbles at prow and foam along the wake.Solidity the Thunderer could not shake,Beneath an adverse wind still stripping bare,His kinsman, of the light-in-cavern look,From thought drew, […]

Periander

Story type: Poetry

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I How died Melissa none dares shape in words.A woman who is wife despotic lordsCount faggot at the question, Shall she live!Her son, because his brows were black of her,Runs barking for his bread, a fugitive,And Corinth frowns on them that feed the cur. II There is no Corinth save the whip and curbOf Corinth, […]

Bellerophon

Story type: Poetry

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I Maimed, beggared, grey; seeking an alms; with nodOf palsy doing task of thanks for bread;Upon the stature of a God,He whom the Gods have struck bends low his head. II Weak words he has, that slip the nerveless tongueDeformed, like his great frame: a broken arc:Once radiant as the javelin flungRight at the centre […]

Hawk or shrike has done this deedOf downy feathers: rueful sight!Sweet sentimentalist, inviteYour bosom’s Power to intercede. So hard it seems that one must bleedBecause another needs will bite!All round we find cold Nature slightThe feelings of the totter-knee’d. O it were pleasant with youTo fly from this tussle of foes,The shambles, the charnel, the […]

Manfred

Story type: Poetry

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I Projected from the bilious Childe,This clatterjaw his foot could setOn Alps, without a breast beguiledTo glow in shedding rascal sweat.Somewhere about his grinder teeth,He mouthed of thoughts that grilled beneath,And summoned Nature to her feudWith bile and buskin Attitude. II Considerably was the worldOf spinsterdom and clergy rackedWhile he his hinted horrors hurled,And she […]

Young Reynard

Story type: Poetry

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I Gracefullest leaper, the dappled fox-cubCurves over brambles with berries and buds,Light as a bubble that flies from the tub,Whisked by the laundry-wife out of her suds.Wavy he comes, woolly, all at his ease,Elegant, fashioned to foot with the deuce;Nature’s own prince of the dance: then he seesMe, and retires as if making excuse. II […]

I Flat as to an eagle’s eye,Earth hung under Attila.Sign for carnage gave he none.In the peace of his disdain,Sun and rain, and rain and sun,Cherished men to wax again,Crawl, and in their manner die.On his people stood a frost.Like the charger cut in stone,Rearing stiff, the warrior host,Which had life from him alone,Craved the […]

Hernani

Story type: Poetry

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Cistercians might crack their sidesWith laughter, and exemption get,At sight of heroes clasping brides,And hearing–O the horn! the horn!The horn of their obstructive debt! But quit the stage, that note appliesFor sermons cosmopolitan,Hernani. Have we filched our prize,Forgetting . . .? O the horn! the horn!The horn of the Old Gentleman!

Archduchess Anne

Story type: Poetry

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1–I In middle age an evil thingBefell Archduchess Anne:She looked outside her wedding-ringUpon a princely man. II Count Louis was for horse and arms;And if its beacon waved,For love; but ladies had not charmsTo match a danger braved. III On battlefields he was the bowBestrung to fly the shaft:In idle hours his heart would flowAs […]

The Two Masks

Story type: Poetry

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Melpomene among her livid people,Ere stroke of lyre, upon Thaleia looks,Warned by old contests that one museful rippleAlong those lips of rose with tendril hooksForebodes disturbance in the springs of pathos,Perchance may change of masks midway demand,Albeit the man rise mountainous as Athos,The woman wild as Cape Leucadia stand. II For this the Comic Muse […]

I Queen Theodolind has builtIn the earth a furnace-bed:There the Traitor Nail that spiltBlood of the anointed Head,Red of heat, resolves in shame:White of heat, awakes to flame.Beat, beat! white of heat,Red of heat, beat, beat! II Mark the skeleton of fireLightening from its thunder-roof:So comes this that saw expireHim we love, for our behoof!Red […]

1–I When the South sang like a nightingaleAbove a bower in May,The training of Love’s vine of flameWas writ in laws, for lord and dameTo say their yea and nay. II When the South sang like a nightingaleAcross the flowering night,And lord and dame held gentle sport,There came a young princess to Court,A frost of […]

I Ladies who in chains of wedlockChafe at an unequal yoke,Not to nightingales give hearing;Better this, the raven’s croak. II Down the Prado strolled my seigneur,Arm at lordly bow on hip,Fingers trimming his moustachios,Eyes for pirate fellowship. III Home sat she that owned him master;Like the flower bent to groundRain-surcharged and sun-forsaken;Heedless of her hair […]

I Sword in length a reaping-hook amainHarald sheared his field, blood up to shank:‘Mid the swathes of slain,First at moonrise drank. II Thereof hunger, as for meats the knife,Pricked his ribs, in one sharp spur to reachHome and his young wife,Nigh the sea-ford beach. III After battle keen to feed was he:Smoking flesh the thresher […]

Under yonder beech-tree single on the greensward,Couched with her arms behind her golden head,Knees and tresses folded to slip and ripple idly,Lies my young love sleeping in the shade.Had I the heart to slide an arm beneath her,Press her parting lips as her waist I gather slow,Waking in amazement she could not but embrace me:Then […]

Carols nature, counsel men.Different notes as rook from wrenHear we when our steps begin,And the choice is cast within,Where a robber raven’s taleUrges passion’s nightingale. Hark to the three. Chimed they in one,Life were music of the sun.Liquid first, and then the caw,Then the cry that knows not law. I As the birds do, so […]

I chanced upon an early walk to spyA troop of children through an orchard gate:The boughs hung low, the grass was high;They had but to lift hands or waitFor fruits to fill them; fruits were all their sky. They shouted, running on from tree to tree,And played the game the wind plays, on and round.‘Twas […]

I See the sweet women, friend, that lean beneathThe ever-falling fountain of green leavesRound the white bending stem, and like a wreathOf our most blushful flower shine trembling through,To teach philosophers the thirst of thieves:Is one for me? is one for you? II – Fair sirs, we give you welcome, yield you place,And you shall […]

Earth And Man

Story type: Poetry

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I On her great venture, Man,Earth gazes while her fingers dint the breastWhich is his well of strength, his home of rest,And fair to scan. II More aid than that embrace,That nourishment, she cannot give: his heartInvolves his fate; and she who urged the startAbides the race. III For he is in the listsContentious with […]

I Enter these enchanted woods,You who dare.Nothing harms beneath the leavesMore than waves a swimmer cleaves.Toss your heart up with the lark,Foot at peace with mouse and worm,Fair you fare.Only at a dread of darkQuaver, and they quit their form:Thousand eyeballs under hoodsHave you by the hair.Enter these enchanted woods,You who dare. II Here the […]

I He who has looked upon EarthDeeper than flower and fruit,Losing some hue of his mirth,As the tree striking rock at the root,Unto him shall the marvellous taleOf Callistes more humanly comeWith the touch on his breast than a hailFrom the markets that hum. II Now the youth footed swift to the dawn.‘Twas the season […]

I Last night returning from my twilight walkI met the grey mist Death, whose eyeless browWas bent on me, and from his hand of chalkHe reached me flowers as from a withered bough:O Death, what bitter nosegays givest thou! II Death said, I gather, and pursued his way.Another stood by me, a shape in stone,Sword-hacked […]

He rises and begins to round,He drops the silver chain of sound,Of many links without a break,In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake,All intervolved and spreading wide,Like water-dimples down a tideWhere ripple ripple overcurlsAnd eddy into eddy whirls;A press of hurried notes that runSo fleet they scarce are more than one,Yet changeingly the trills repeatAnd linger […]

Melampus

Story type: Poetry

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I With love exceeding a simple love of the thingsThat glide in grasses and rubble of woody wreck;Or change their perch on a beat of quivering wingsFrom branch to branch, only restful to pipe and peck;Or, bristled, curl at a touch their snouts in a ball;Or cast their web between bramble and thorny hook;The good […]

I When by Zeus relenting the mandate was revoked,Sentencing to exile the bright Sun-God,Mindful were the ploughmen of who the steer had yoked,Who: and what a track showed the upturned sod!Mindful were the shepherds, as now the noon severeBent a burning eyebrow to brown evetide,How the rustic flute drew the silver to the sphere,Sister of […]

My Theme

Story type: Poetry

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Of me and of my theme think what thou wilt:The song of gladness one straight bolt can check.But I have never stood at Fortune’s beck:Were she and her light crew to run atiltAt my poor holding little would be spilt;Small were the praise for singing o’er that wreck.Who courts her dooms to strife his bended […]

Camelus Saltat

Story type: Poetry

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What say you, critic, now you have becomeAn author and maternal?–in this trap(To quote you) of poor hollow folk who rapOn instruments as like as drum to drum.You snarled tut-tut for welcome to tum-tum,So like the nose fly-teased in its noon’s nap.You scratched an insect-slaughtering thunder-clapWith that between the fingers and the thumb.It seemeth mad […]

Avert, High Wisdom, never vainly wooed,This threat of War, that shows a land brain-sick.When nations gain the pitch where rhetoricSeems reason they are ripe for cannon’s food.Dark looms the issue though the cause be good,But with the doubt ’tis our old devil’s trick.O now the down-slope of the lunaticIllumine lest we redden of that brood.For […]

I An English heart, my commandant,A soldier’s eye you have, awakeTo right and left; with looks askantOn bulwarks not of adamant,Where white our Channel waters break. II Where Grisnez winks at DungenessAcross the ruffled strip of salt,You look, and like the prospect less.On men and guns would you lay stress,To bid the Island’s foemen halt. […]

I, wakeful for the skylark voice in men,Or straining for the angel of the light,Rebuked am I by hungry ear and sight,When I behold one lamp that through our fenGoes hourly where most noisome; hear againA tongue that loathsomeness will not affrightFrom speaking to the soul of us forthrightWhat things our craven senses keep from […]

I Strike not thy dog with a stick!I did it yesterday:Not to undo though I gainedThe Paradise: heavy it rainedOn Kobold’s flanks, and he lay. II Little Bruno, our long-ear pup,From his hunt had come back to my heel.I heard a sharp worrying sound,And Bruno foamed on the ground,With Koby as making a meal. III […]

Judge mildly the tasked world; and disinclineTo brand it, for it bears a heavy pack.You have perchance observed the inebriate’s trackAt night when he has quitted the inn-sign:He plays diversions on the homeward line,Still that way bent albeit his legs are slack:A hedge may take him, but he turns not back,Nor turns this burdened world, […]

That Garden of sedate PhilosophyOnce flourished, fenced from passion and mishap,A shining spot upon a shaggy map;Where mind and body, in fair junction free,Luted their joyful concord; like the treeFrom root to flowering twigs a flowing sap.Clear Wisdom found in tended Nature’s lapOf gentlemen the happy nursery.That Garden would on light supremest verge,Were the long […]

A Certain People

Story type: Poetry

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As Puritans they prominently wax,And none more kindly gives and takes hard knocks.Strong psalmic chanting, like to nasal cocks,They join to thunderings of their hearty thwacks.But naughtiness, with hoggery, not lacksWhen Peace another door in them unlocks,Where conscience shows the eyeing of an oxGrown dully apprehensive of an Axe.Graceless they are when gone to frivolousness,Fearing […]

An inspiration caught from dubious huesFilled him, and mystic wrynesses he chased;For they lead farther than the single-faced,Wave subtler promise when desire pursues.The moon of cloud discoloured was his Muse,His pipe the reed of the old moaning waste.Love was to him with anguish fast enlaced,And Beauty where she walked blood-shot the dews.Men railed at such […]

Her son, albeit the Muse’s liveryAnd measured courtly paces rouse his taunts,Naked and hairy in his savage haunts,To Nature only will he bend the knee;Spouting the founts of her distilleryLike rough rock-sources; and his woes and wantsBeing Nature’s, civil limitation dauntsHis utterance never; the nymphs blush, not he.Him, when he blows of Earth, and Man, […]

Unhappy poets of a sunken prime!You to reviewers are as ball to bat.They shadow you with Homer, knock you flatWith Shakespeare: bludgeons brainingly sublimeOn you the excommunicates of Rhyme,Because you sing not in the living Fat.The wiry whizz of an intrusive gnatIs verse that shuns their self-producing time.Sound them their clocks, with loud alarum trump,Or […]

Earth’s Secret

Story type: Poetry

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Not solitarily in fields we findEarth’s secret open, though one page is there;Her plainest, such as children spell, and shareWith bird and beast; raised letters for the blind.Not where the troubled passions toss the mind,In turbid cities, can the key be bare.It hangs for those who hither thither fare,Close interthreading nature with our kind.They, hearing […]

Grace And Love

Story type: Poetry

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Two flower-enfolding crystal vases sheI love fills daily, mindful but of one:And close behind pale morn she, like the sunPriming our world with light, pours, sweet to see,Clear water in the cup, and into meThe image of herself: and that being done,Choice of what blooms round her fair garden runIn climbers or in creepers or […]

Internal Harmony

Story type: Poetry

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Assured of worthiness we do not dreadCompetitors; we rather give them hailAnd greeting in the lists where we may fail:Must, if we bear an aim beyond the head!My betters are my masters: purely fedBy their sustainment I likewise shall scaleSome rocky steps between the mount and vale;Meanwhile the mark I have and I will wed.So […]

The State Of Age

Story type: Poetry

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Rub thou thy battered lamp: nor claim nor begHonours from aught about thee. Light the young.Thy frame is as a dusty mantle hung,O grey one! pendant on a loosened peg.Thou art for this our life an ancient egg,Or a tough bird: thou hast a rudderless tongue,Turning dead trifles, like the cock of dung,Which runs, Time’s […]

Rich labour is the struggle to be wise,While we make sure the struggle cannot cease.Else better were it in some bower of peaceSlothful to swing, contending with the flies.You point at Wisdom fixed on lofty skies,As mid barbarian hordes a sculptured Greece:She falls. To live and shine, she grows her fleece,Is shorn, and rubs with […]

Martin’s Puzzle

Story type: Poetry

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I There she goes up the street with her book in her hand,And her Good morning, Martin! Ay, lass, how d’ye do?Very well, thank you, Martin!–I can’t understand!I might just as well never have cobbled a shoe!I can’t understand it. She talks like a song;Her voice takes your ear like the ring of a glass;She […]

I Now farewell to you! you areOne of my dearest, whom I trust:Now follow you the Western star,And cast the old world off as dust. II From many friends adieu! adieu!The quick heart of the word therein.Much that we hope for hangs with you:We lose you, but we lose to win. III The beggar-king, November, […]

To J. M.

Story type: Poetry

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Let Fate or Insufficiency provideMean ends for men who what they are would be:Penned in their narrow day no change they seeSave one which strikes the blow to brutes and pride.Our faith is ours and comes not on a tide:And whether Earth’s great offspring, by decree,Must rot if they abjure rapacity,Not argument but effort shall […]

On a starred night Prince Lucifer uprose.Tired of his dark dominion swung the fiendAbove the rolling ball in cloud part screened,Where sinners hugged their spectre of repose.Poor prey to his hot fit of pride were those.And now upon his western wing he leaned,Now his huge bulk o’er Afric’s sands careened,Now the black planet shadowed Arctic […]

I see a fair young couple in a wood,And as they go, one bends to take a flower,That so may be embalmed their happy hour,And in another day, a kindred mood,Haply together, or in solitude,Recovered what the teeth of Time devour,The joy, the bloom, and the illusive power,Wherewith by their young blood they are enduedTo […]

The Star Sirius

Story type: Poetry

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Bright Sirius! that when Orion palesTo dotlings under moonlight still art keenWith cheerful fervour of a warrior’s mienWho holds in his great heart the battle-scales:Unquenched of flame though swift the flood assails,Reducing many lustrous to the lean:Be thou my star, and thou in me be seenTo show what source divine is, and prevails.Long watches through, […]

Sense And Spirit

Story type: Poetry

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The senses loving Earth or well or illRavel yet more the riddle of our lot.The mind is in their trammels, and lights notBy trimming fear-bred tales; nor does the willTo find in nature things which less may chillAn ardour that desires, unknowing what.Till we conceive her living we go distraught,At best but circle-windsails of a […]

Though I am faithful to my loves lived through,And place them among Memory’s great stars,Where burns a face like Hesper: one like Mars:Of visages I get a moment’s view,Sweet eyes that in the heaven of me, too,Ascend, tho’ virgin to my life they passed.Lo, these within my destiny seem glassedAt times so bright, I wish […]

A roar thro’ the tall twin elm-treesThe mustering storm betrayed:The South-wind seized the willowThat over the water swayed. Then fell the steady delugeIn which I strove to doze,Hearing all night at my windowThe knock of the winter rose. The rainy rose of winter!An outcast it must pine.And from thy bosom outcastAm I, dear lady mine.

Shemselnihar

Story type: Poetry

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O my lover! the night like a broad smooth waveBears us onward, and morn, a black rock, shines wet.How I shuddered–I knew not that I was a slave,Till I looked on thy face:- then I writhed in the net.Then I felt like a thing caught by fire, that her starGlowed dark on the bosom of […]

Thy greatest knew thee, Mother Earth; unsouredHe knew thy sons. He probed from hell to hellOf human passions, but of love defloweredHis wisdom was not, for he knew thee well.Thence came the honeyed corner at his lips,The conquering smile wherein his spirit sailsCalm as the God who the white sea-wave whips,Yet full of speech and […]

When I would image her features,Comes up a shrouded head:I touch the outlines, shrinking;She seems of the wandering dead. But when love asks for nothing,And lies on his bed of snow,The face slips under my eyelids,All in its living glow. Like a dark cathedral city,Whose spires, and domes, and towersQuiver in violet lightnings,My soul basks […]

Fair Mother Earth lay on her back last night,To gaze her fill on Autumn’s sunset skies,When at a waving of the fallen lightSprang realms of rosy fruitage o’er her eyes.A lustrous heavenly orchard hung the West,Wherein the blood of Eden bloomed again:Red were the myriad cherub-mouths that pressed,Among the clusters, rich with song, full fain,But […]

‘Sirs! may I shake your hands?My countrymen, I see!I’ve lived in foreign landsTill England’s Heaven to me.A hearty shake will do me good,And freshen up my sluggish blood.’ Into his hard right hand we struck,Gave the shake, and wish’d him luck. ‘–From Austria I come,An English wife to win,And find an English home,And live and […]

Cassandra

Story type: Poetry

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I Captive on a foreign shore,Far from Ilion’s hoary wave,Agamemnon’s bridal slaveSpeaks Futurity no more:Death is busy with her grave. II Thick as water, bursts remoteRound her ears the alien din,While her little sullen chinFills the hollows of her throat:Silent lie her slaughter’d kin. III Once to many a pealing shriek,Lo, from Ilion’s topmost tower,Ilion’s […]

I The old grey mother she thrummed on her knee:There is a rose that’s ready;And which of the handsome young men shall it be?There’s a rose that’s ready for clipping. My daughter, come hither, come hither to me:There is a rose that’s ready;Come, point me your finger on him that you see:There’s a rose that’s […]

The Young Usurper

Story type: Poetry

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On my darling’s bosomHas dropped a living rosy bud,Fair as brilliant HesperAgainst the brimming flood.She handles him,She dandles him,She fondles him and eyes him:And if upon a tear he wakes,With many a kiss she dries him:She covets every move he makes,And never enough can prize him.Ah, the young Usurper!I yield my golden throne:Such angel bands […]

Night, like a dying mother,Eyes her young offspring, Day.The birds are dreamily piping.And O, my love, my darling!The night is life ebb’d away:Away beyond our reach!A sea that has cast us pale on the beach;Weeds with the weeds and the pebblesThat hear the lone tamarisk rooted in sand SwayWith the song of the sea to […]

Marian

Story type: Poetry

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I She can be as wise as we,And wiser when she wishes;She can knit with cunning wit,And dress the homely dishes.She can flourish staff or pen,And deal a wound that lingers;She can talk the talk of men,And touch with thrilling fingers. II Match her ye across the sea,Natures fond and fiery;Ye who zest the turtle’s […]

Phantasy

Story type: Poetry

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I Within a Temple of the Toes,Where twirled the passionate Wili,I saw full many a market rose,And sighed for my village lily. II With cynical Adrian then I took flightTo that old dead city whose carolBursts out like a reveller’s loud in the night,As he sits astride his barrel. III We two were bound the […]

Should thy love die;O bury it not under ice-blue eyes!And lips that deny,With a scornful surprise,The life it once lived in thy breast when it wore no disguise. Should thy love die;O bury it where the sweet wild-flowers blow!And breezes go by,With no whisper of woe;And strange feet cannot guess of the anguish that slumbers […]

The Old Chartist

Story type: Poetry

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Whate’er I be, old England is my dam!So there’s my answer to the judges, clear.I’m nothing of a fox, nor of a lamb;I don’t know how to bleat nor how to leer:I’m for the nation!That’s why you see me by the wayside here,Returning home from transportation. II It’s Summer in her bath this morn, I […]

I ‘Heigh, boys!’ cried Grandfather Bridgeman, ‘it’s time before dinnerto-day.’He lifted the crumpled letter, and thumped a surprising ‘Hurrah!’Up jumped all the echoing young ones, but John, with the starch inhis throat,Said, ‘Father, before we make noises, let’s see the contents of thenote.’The old man glared at him harshly, and twinkling made answer: ‘Toobad!John Bridgeman, […]

Not vainly doth the earnest voice of manCall for the thing that is his pure desire!Fame is the birthright of the living lyre!To noble impulse Nature puts no ban.Nor vainly to the Sphinx thy voice was raised!Tho’ all thy great emotions like a sea,Against her stony immortality,Shatter themselves unheeded and amazed.Time moves behind her in […]

Modern Love

Story type: Poetry

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I By this he knew she wept with waking eyes:That, at his hand’s light quiver by her head,The strange low sobs that shook their common bedWere called into her with a sharp surprise,And strangled mute, like little gaping snakes,Dreadfully venomous to him. She layStone-still, and the long darkness flowed awayWith muffled pulses. Then, as midnight […]

How low when angels fall their black descent,Our primal thunder tells: known is the painOf music, that nigh throning wisdom went,And one false note cast wailful to the insane.Now seems the language heard of Love as rainTo make a mire where fruitfulness was meant.The golden harp gives out a jangled strain,Too like revolt from heaven’s […]

Juggling Jerry

Story type: Poetry

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I Pitch here the tent, while the old horse grazes:By the old hedge-side we’ll halt a stage.It’s nigh my last above the daisies:My next leaf ‘ll be man’s blank page.Yes, my old girl! and it’s no use crying:Juggler, constable, king, must bow.One that outjuggles all’s been spyingLong to have me, and he has me now. […]

I When the Head of BranWas firm on British shoulders,God made a man!Cried all beholders. Steel could not resistThe weight his arm would rattle;He, with naked fist,Has brain’d a knight in battle. He marched on the foe,And never counted numbers;Foreign widows knowThe hosts he sent to slumbers. As a street you scan,That’s towered by the […]

The Crown Of Love

Story type: Poetry

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O might I load my arms with thee,Like that young lover of RomanceWho loved and gained so gloriouslyThe fair Princess of France! Because he dared to love so high,He, bearing her dear weight, shall speedTo where the mountain touched on sky:So the proud king decreed. Unhalting he must bear her on,Nor pause a space to […]

I Now, this, to my notion, is pleasant cheer,To lie all alone on a ragged heath,Where your nose isn’t sniffing for bones or beer,But a peat-fire smells like a garden beneath.The cottagers bustle about the door,And the girl at the window ties her strings.She’s a dish for a man who’s a mind to be poor;Lord! […]

The old grey Alp has caught the cloud,And the torrent river sings aloud;The glacier-green Rosanna singsAn organ song of its upper springs.Foaming under the tiers of pine,I see it dash down the dark ravine,And it tumbles the rocks in boisterous play,With an earnest will to find its way.Sharp it throws out an emerald shoulder,And, thundering […]

Now ’tis Spring on wood and wold,Early Spring that shivers with cold,But gladdens, and gathers, day by day,A lovelier hue, a warmer ray,A sweeter song, a dearer ditty;Ouzel and throstle, new-mated and gay,Singing their bridals on every spray –Oh, hear them, deep in the songless City!Cast off the yoke of toil and smoke,As Spring is […]

To A Nightingale

Story type: Poetry

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O nightingale! how hast thou learntThe note of the nested dove?While under thy bower the fern hangs burntAnd no cloud hovers above!Rich July has many a skyWith splendour dim, that thou mightst hymn,And make rejoice with thy wondrous voice,And the thrill of thy wild pervading tone!But instead of to woo, thou hast learnt to coo:Thy […]

Now the frog, all lean and weak,Yawning from his famished sleep,Water in the ditch doth seek,Fast as he can stretch and leap:Marshy king-cups burning nearTell him ’tis the sweet o’ the year. Now the ant works up his moundIn the mouldered piny soil,And above the busy groundTakes the joy of earnest toil:Dropping pine-cones, dry and […]

I When Sir Gawain was led to his bridal-bed,By Arthur’s knights in scorn God-sped:-How think you he felt?O the bride withinWas yellow and dry as a snake’s old skin;Loathly as sin!Scarcely faceable,Quite unembraceable;With a hog’s bristle on a hag’s chin! –Gentle Gawain felt as should we,Little of Love’s soft fire knew he:But he was the […]

Autumn Even-Song

Story type: Poetry

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The long cloud edged with streaming greySoars from the West;The red leaf mounts with it away,Showing the nestA blot among the branches bare:There is a cry of outcasts in the air. Swift little breezes, darting chill,Pant down the lake;A crow flies from the yellow hill,And in its wakeA baffled line of labouring rooks:Steel-surfaced to the […]

The Three Maidens

Story type: Poetry

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There were three maidens met on the highway;The sun was down, the night was late:And two sang loud with the birds of May,O the nightingale is merry with its mate. Said they to the youngest, Why walk you there so still?The land is dark, the night is late:O, but the heart in my side is […]

Swept from his fleet upon that fatal nightWhen great Poseidon’s sudden-veering wrathScattered the happy homeward-floating GreeksLike foam-flakes off the waves, the King of CreteHeld lofty commune with the dark Sea-god.His brows were crowned with victory, his cheeksWere flushed with triumph, but the mighty joyOf Troy’s destruction and his own great deedsPassed, for the thoughts of […]

Come to me in any shape!As a victor crown’d with vine,In thy curls the clustering grape, –Or a vanquished slave:‘Tis thy coming that I crave,And thy folding serpent twine,Close and dumb;Ne’er from that would I escape;Come to me in any shape!Only come! Only come, and in my breastHide thy shame or show thy pride;In my […]

Merrily ‘mid the faded leaves,O Robin of the bright red breast!Cheerily over the Autumn eaves,Thy note is heard, bonny bird;Sent to cheer us, and kindly endear usTo what would be a sorrowful timeWithout thee in the weltering clime:Merry art thou in the boughs of the lime,While thy fadeless waistcoat glows on thy breast,In Autumn’s reddest […]

The Longest Day

Story type: Poetry

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On yonder hills soft twilight dwellsAnd Hesper burns where sunset dies,Moist and chill the woodland smellsFrom the fern-covered hollows uprise;Darkness drops not from the skies,But shadows of darkness are flung o’er the valeFrom the boughs of the chestnut, the oak, and the elm,While night in yon lines of eastern pinesPreserves alone her inviolate realmAgainst the […]

The daisy now is out upon the green;And in the grassy lanesThe child of April rains,The sweet fresh-hearted violet, is smelt and loved unseen. Along the brooks and meads, the daffodilIts yellow richness spreads,And by the fountain-headsOf rivers, cowslips cluster round, and over every hill. The crocus and the primrose may have gone,The snowdrop may […]

I The spirit of Romance dies not to thoseWho hold a kindred spirit in their souls:Even as the odorous life within the roseLives in the scattered leaflets and controlsMysterious adoration, so there glowsAbove dead things a thing that cannot die;Faint as the glimmer of a tearful eye,Ere the orb fills and all the sorrow flows.Beauty […]

Sunrise

Story type: Poetry

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The clouds are withdrawnAnd their thin-rippled mist,That stream’d o’er the lawnTo the drowsy-eyed west.Cold and greyThey slept in the way,And shrank from the rayOf the chariot East:But now they are gone,And the bounding lightLeaps thro’ the barsOf doubtful dawn;Blinding the stars,And blessing the sight;Shedding delightOn all below;Glimmering fields,And wakening wealds,And rising lark,And meadows dark,And idle […]

July

Story type: Poetry

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I Blue July, bright July,Month of storms and gorgeous blue;Violet lightnings o’er thy sky,Heavy falls of drenching dew;Summer crown! o’er glen and gladeShrinking hyacinths in their shade;I welcome thee with all thy pride,I love thee like an Eastern bride.Though all the singing days are doneAs in those climes that clasp the sun;Though the cuckoo in […]

A blackbird in a wicker cage,That hung and swung ‘mid fruits and flowers,Had learnt the song-charm, to assuageThe drearness of its wingless hours. And ever when the song was heard,From trees that shade the grassy plotWarbled another glossy bird,Whose mate not long ago was shot. Strange anguish in that creature’s breast,Unwept like human grief, unsaid,Has […]

I would I were the drop of rainThat falls into the dancing rill,For I should seek the river then,And roll below the wooded hill,Until I reached the sea. And O, to be the river swiftThat wrestles with the wilful tide,And fling the briny weeds asideThat o’er the foamy billows drift,Until I came to thee! I […]

Sorrows And Joys

Story type: Poetry

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Bury thy sorrows, and they shall riseAs souls to the immortal skies,And there look down like mothers’ eyes. But let thy joys be fresh as flowers,That suck the honey of the showers,And bloom alike on huts and towers. So shall thy days be sweet and bright;Solemn and sweet thy starry night,Conscious of love each change […]

Song–Autumn

Story type: Poetry

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When nuts behind the hazel-leafAre brown as the squirrel that hunts them free,And the fields are rich with the sun-burnt sheaf,‘Mid the blue cornflower and the yellowing tree;And the farmer glows and beams in his glee; O then is the season to wed thee a bride!Ere the garners are filled and the ale-cups foam;For a […]

Thou to me art such a springAs the Arab seeks at eve,Thirsty from the shining sands;There to bathe his face and hands,While the sun is taking leave,And dewy sleep is a delicious thing. Thou to me art such a dreamAs he dreams upon the grass,While the bubbling coolness nearMakes sweet music in his ear;And the […]

The flower unfolds its dawning cup,And the young sun drinks the star-dews up,At eve it droops with the bliss of day,And dreams in the midnight far away. So am I in thy sole, sweet glancePressed with a weight of utterance;Lovingly all my leaves unfold,And gleam to the beams of thirsty gold. At eve I droop, […]

Antigone

Story type: Poetry

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The buried voice bespake Antigone. ‘O sister! couldst thou know, as thou wilt know,The bliss above, the reverence below,Enkindled by thy sacrifice for me;Thou wouldst at once with holy ecstasyGive thy warm limbs into the yearning earth.Sleep, Sister! for Elysium’s dawning birth, –And faith will fill thee with what is to be!Sleep, for the Gods […]

No, no, the falling blossom is no signOf loveliness destroy’d and sorrow mute;The blossom sheds its loveliness divine; –Its mission is to prophecy the fruit. Nor is the day of love for ever dead,When young enchantment and romance are gone;The veil is drawn, but all the future dreadIs lightened by the finger of the dawn. […]

I cannot lose thee for a day,But like a bird with restless wingMy heart will find thee far away,And on thy bosom fall and sing,My nest is here, my rest is here; –And in the lull of wind and rain,Fresh voices make a sweet refrain,‘His rest is there, his nest is there.’ With thee the […]

Daphne

Story type: Poetry

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Musing on the fate of Daphne,Many feelings urged my breast,For the God so keen desiring,And the Nymph so deep distrest. Never flashed thro’ sylvan valleyVisions so divinely fair!He with early ardour glowing,She with rosy anguish rare. Only still more sweet and lovelyFor those terrors on her brows,Those swift glances wild and brilliant,Those delicious panting vows. […]

Under boughs of breathing May,In the mild spring-time I lay,Lonely, for I had no love;And the sweet birds all sang for pity,Cuckoo, lark, and dove. Tell me, cuckoo, then I cried,Dare I woo and wed a bride?I, like thee, have no home-nest;And the twin notes thus tuned their ditty, –‘Love can answer best.’ Nor, warm […]

There stands a singer in the street,He has an audience motley and meet;Above him lowers the London night,And around the lamps are flaring bright. His minstrelsy may be unchaste –‘Tis much unto that motley taste,And loud the laughter he provokesFrom those sad slaves of obscene jokes. But woe is many a passer byWho as he […]

Song–Spring

Story type: Poetry

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When buds of palm do burst and spreadTheir downy feathers in the lane,And orchard blossoms, white and red,Breathe Spring delight for Autumn gain;And the skylark shakes his wings in the rain; O then is the season to look for a bride!Choose her warily, woo her unseen;For the choicest maids are those that hideLike dewy violets […]

Pastorals

Story type: Poetry

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I How sweet on sunny afternoons,For those who journey light and well,To loiter up a hilly riseWhich hides the prospect far beyond,And fancy all the landscape lyingBeautiful and still; Beneath a sky of summer blue,Whose rounded cloudlets, folded soft,Gaze on the scene which we awaitAnd picture from their peacefulness;So calmly to the earth incliningFloat those […]

Take thy lute and singBy the ruined castle walls,Where the torrent-foam falls,And long weeds wave:Take thy lute and sing,O’er the grey ancestral grave!Daughter of a King,Tune thy string. Sing of happy hours,In the roar of rushing time;Till all the echoes chimeTo the days gone by;Sing of passing hoursTo the ever-present sky; –Weep–and let the showersWake […]

The silence of preluded song –AEolian silence charms the woods;Each tree a harp, whose foliaged stringsAre waiting for the master’s touchTo sweep them into storms of joy,Stands mute and whispers not; the birdsBrood dumb in their foreboding nests,Save here and there a chirp or tweet,That utters fear or anxious love,Or when the ouzel sends a […]

Never, O never,Since dewy sweet FloraWas ravished by Zephyr,Was such a thing heardIn the valleys so hollow!Till rosy Aurora,Uprising as ever,Bright Phosphor to follow,Pale Phoebe to sever,Was caught like a birdTo the breast of Apollo! Wildly she flutters,And flushes all overWith passionate muttersOf shame to the hushOf his amorous whispers:But O such a loverMust win […]

Follow me, follow me,Over brake and under tree,Thro’ the bosky tanglery,Brushwood and bramble!Follow me, follow me,Laugh and leap and scramble!Follow, follow,Hill and hollow,Fosse and burrow,Fen and furrow,Down into the bulrush beds,‘Midst the reeds and osier heads,In the rushy soaking damps,Where the vapours pitch their camps,Follow me, follow me,For a midnight ramble!O! what a mighty fog,What […]

Two wedded lovers watched the rising moon,That with her strange mysterious beauty glowing,Over misty hills and waters flowing,Crowned the long twilight loveliness of June:And thus in me, and thus in me, they spake,The solemn secret of fist love did wake. Above the hills the blushing orb arose;Her shape encircled by a radiant bower,In which the […]

Fair and false! No dawn will greetThy waking beauty as of old;The little flower beneath thy feetIs alien to thy smile so cold;The merry bird flown up to meetYoung morning from his nest i’ the wheatScatters his joy to wood and wold,But scorns the arrogance of gold. False and fair! I scarce know why,But standing […]

A breath of the mountains, fresh born in the regions majestic,That look with their eye-daring summits deep into the sky.The voice of great Nature; sublime with her lofty conceptions,Yet earnest and simple as any sweet child of the green lowly vale.

The song of a nightingale sent thro’ a slumbrous valley,Low-lidded with twilight, and tranced with the dolorous sound,Tranced with a tender enchantment; the yearning of passionThat wins immortality even while panting delirious with death.

Twilight Music

Story type: Poetry

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Know you the low pervading breezeThat softly singsIn the trembling leaves of twilight trees,As if the wind were dreaming on its wings?And have you marked their still degreesOf ebbing melody, like the stringsOf a silver harp swept by a spirit’s handIn some strange glimmering land,‘Mid gushing springs,And glisteningsOf waters and of planets, wild and grand!And […]

Angelic Love

Story type: Poetry

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Angelic love that stoops with heavenly lipsTo meet its earthly mate;Heroic love that to its sphere’s eclipseCan dare to join its fateWith one beloved devoted human heart,And share with it the passion and the smart,The undying blissOf its most fleeting kiss;The fading graceOf its most sweet embrace:-Angelic love, heroic love!Whose birth can only be above,Whose […]

Grey with all honours of age! but fresh-featured and ruddyAs dawn when the drowsy farm-yard has thrice heard Chaunticlere.Tender to tearfulness–childlike, and manly, and motherly;Here beats true English blood richest joyance on sweet English ground.

The Sleeping City

Story type: Poetry

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A Princess in the eastern talePaced thro’ a marble city pale,And saw in ghastly shapes of stoneThe sculptured life she breathed alone; Saw, where’er her eye might range,Herself the only child of change;And heard her echoed footfall chimeBetween Oblivion and Time; And in the squares where fountains played,And up the spiral balustrade,Along the drowsy corridors,Even […]

Lakes where the sunsheen is mystic with splendour and softness;Vales where sweet life is all Summer with golden romance:Forests that glimmer with twilight round revel-bright palaces;Here in our May-blood we wander, careering ‘mongst ladies and knights.

Like to some deep-chested organ whose grand inspiration,Serenely majestic in utterance, lofty and calm,Interprets to mortals with melody great as its burthenThe mystical harmonies chiming for ever throughout the bright spheres.

Picture some Isle smiling green ‘mid the white-foaming ocean; –Full of old woods, leafy wisdoms, and frolicsome fays;Passions and pageants; sweet love singing bird-like above it;Life in all shapes, aims, and fates, is there warm’d by one great human heart.

A brook glancing under green leaves, self-delighting, exulting,And full of a gurgling melody ever renewed –Renewed thro’ all changes of Heaven, unceasing in sunlight,Unceasing in moonlight, but hushed in the beams of the holier orb.

Keen as an eagle whose flight towards the dim empyreanFearless of toil or fatigue ever royally wends!Vast in the cloud-coloured robes of the balm-breathing OrientLo! the grand Epic advances, unfolding the humanest truth.

See’st thou a Skylark whose glistening winglets ascendingQuiver like pulses beneath the melodious dawn?Deep in the heart-yearning distance of heaven it flutters –Wisdom and beauty and love are the treasures it brings down at eve.

Love within the lover’s breastBurns like Hesper in the west,O’er the ashes of the sun,Till the day and night are done;Then when dawn drives up her car –Lo! it is the morning star. Love! thy love pours down on mineAs the sunlight on the vine,As the snow-rill on the vale,As the salt breeze in the […]

The Snowdrop is the prophet of the flowers;It lives and dies upon its bed of snows;And like a thought of spring it comes and goes,Hanging its head beside our leafless bowers.The sun’s betrothing kiss it never knows,Nor all the glowing joy of golden showers;But ever in a placid, pure repose,More like a spirit with its […]

The moon is alone in the skyAs thou in my soul;The sea takes her image to lieWhere the white ripples rollAll night in a dream,With the light of her beam,Hushedly, mournfully, mistily up to the shore.The pebbles speak lowIn the ebb and the flow,As I when thy voice came at intervals, tuned to adore:Nought other […]

When April with her wild blue eyeComes dancing over the grass,And all the crimson buds so shyPeep out to see her pass;As lightly she loosens her showery locksAnd flutters her rainy wings;Laughingly stoopsTo the glass of the stream,And loosens and loopsHer hair by the gleam,While all the young villagers blithe as the flocksGo frolicking round […]

John Lackland

Story type: Poetry

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A wicked man is bad enough on earth;But O the baleful lustre of a chiefOnce pledged in tyranny! O star of dearthDarkly illumining a nation’s grief!How many men have worn thee on their brows!Alas for them and us! God’s precious giftOf gracious dispensation got by theft –The damning form of false unholy vows!The thief of […]

Chillianwallah

Story type: Poetry

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Chillanwallah, Chillanwallah!Where our brothers fought and bled,O thy name is natural musicAnd a dirge above the dead!Though we have not been defeated,Though we can’t be overcome,Still, whene’er thou art repeated,I would fain that grief were dumb. Chillianwallah, Chillianwallah!‘Tis a name so sad and strange,Like a breeze through midnight harpstringsRinging many a mournful change;But the wildness […]

What is the name of King Ringang’s daughter?Rohtraut, Beauty Rohtraut!And what does she do the livelong day,Since she dare not knit and spin alway?O hunting and fishing is ever her play!And, heigh! that her huntsman I might be!I’d hunt and fish right merrily!Be silent, heart! And it chanced that, after this some time, –Rohtraut, Beauty […]

And–‘Yonder look! yoho! yoho!Nancy is off!’ the farmer cried,Advancing by the river side,Red-kerchieft and brown-coated;–‘So,My girl, who else could leap like that?So neatly! like a lady! ‘Zounds!Look at her how she leads the hounds!’And waving his dusty beaver hat,He cheered across the chase-filled water,And clapt his arm about his daughter,And gave to Joan a courteous […]