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A blue eye in the wood,

And on its brink a moment's space
All motionless they stood:
When, suddenly, the silence broke
With fifty bowstrings' twang,
And hurtling through the drowsy air
Full fifty arrows sang.

Ah, better for those gentlemen,
Than horn and slender spear,
Were morion and buckler true,
A-hunting of the deer.

Not one of that brave company
Shall hunt the deer again;
Some fell beside the Brownies' Pool,
Some dropt in dell or glen;
An arrow pierced Sir Morven's breast,
His horse plunged in the lake,
And swimming to the farther bank
He left a bloody wake.

Ah, what avails the silver horn,
And what the slender spear?
There's other quarry in the wood
Beside the fallow deer!

O'er ridge and hollow sped the horse

Besprent with blood and foam, Nor slackened pace until at eve He brought his master home.

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Helen Grap Cone


"Now since mine even is come at last,
For I have been the sport of steel,
And hot life ebbeth from me fast,
And I in saddle roll and reel, -
Come bind me, bind me on my steed!
Of fingering leech I have no need!
The chaplain clasped his mailed knee.
"Nor need I more thy whine and thee!
No time is left my sins to tell;
But look ye bind me, bind me well!"
They bound him strong with leathern

For the ride to the lady should be long.

Day was dying; the poplars fled,
Thin as ghosts, on a sky blood-red;
Out of the sky the fierce hue fell,

Fast, and fast, and they plunged therein, — But the viewless rider rode to win.

Out of the wood to the highway's light Galloped the great-limbed steed in fright; The mail clashed cold, and the sad owl cried,

And the weight of the dead oppressed his side.

Fast, and fast, by the road he knew;
And slow, and slow, the stars withdrew;
And the waiting heaven turned weirdly

As a garment worn of a wizard grim.
He neighed at the gate in the morning

She heard no sound before her gate,

And made the streams as the streams of Though very quiet was her bower.


All his thoughts as a river flowed,

Flowed aflame as fleet he rode,
Onward flowed to her abode,

Ceased at her feet, mirrored her face.
(Viewless Death apace, apace,
Rode behind him in that race.)

"Face, mine own, mine alone,
Trembling lips my lips have known,
Birdlike stir of the dove-soft eyne
Under the kisses that make them mine!
Only of thee, of thee, my need!
Only to thee, to thee, I speed!"
The Cross flashed by at the highway's turn;
In a beam of the moon the Face shone

Far behind had the fight's din died;
The shuddering stars in the welkin wide
Crowded, crowded, to see him ride.
The beating hearts of the stars aloof
Kept time to the beat of the horse's hoof.
"What is the throb that thrills so sweet?
Heart of my lady, I feel it beat!"
But his own strong pulse the fainter fell,
Like the failing tongue of a hushing bell.
The flank of the great-limbed steed was wet
Not alone with the started sweat.

Fast, and fast, and the thick black wood Arched its cowl like a black friar's hood;

All was as her hand had left it late:
The needle slept on the broidered vine,
Where the hammer and spikes of the pas

Her fashioning did wait.

On the couch lay something fair,
With steadfast lips and veiled eyne;
But the lady was not there.

On the wings of shrift and prayer,
Pure as winds that winnow snow,

Her soul had risen twelve hours ago.

The burdened steed at the barred gate stood,

No whit the nearer to his goal.
Now God's great grace assoil the soul
That went out in the wood!

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Happy be! for fair are ye!" the gentle singer told them,

But presently a buff-coat Bee came booming

up to scold them.

"Vanity, oh, vanity!

Young maids, beware of vanity!"
Grumbled out the buff-coat Bee,
Half parson-like, half soldierly.

The sweet-faced maidens trembled, with pretty, pinky blushes,

Convinced that it was wicked to listen to the Thrushes;

And when, that shady afternoon, I chanced that way to pass,

They hung their little bonnets down and looked into the grass.

All because the buff-coat Bee
Lectured them so solemnly :-
"Vanity, oh, vanity!

Young maids, beware of vanity!"


WHITE England shouldering from the sea, Green England in thy rainy veil,

Old island-nest of Liberty

And loveliest Song, all hail !

God guard thee long from scath and grief!

Not any wish of ours would mar
One richly glooming ivy-leaf,
One rosy daisy-star.

What! phantoms are we, spectre-thin,
Unfathered, out of nothing born?
Did Being in this world begin
With blaze of yestermorn?

Nay! sacred Life, a scarlet thread, Through lost unnumbered lives has run;

No strength can tear us from the dead;
The sire is in the son.

Nay through the years God's purpose glides,

And links in sequence deed with deed;
Hoar Time along his chaplet slides
Bead after jewel-bead.

O brother, breathing English air!
If both be just, if both be free,
A lordlier heritage we share
Than any earth can be:

If hearts be high, if hands be pure,
A bond unseen shall bind us still,
The only bond that can endure,
Being welded with God's will!

A bond unseen! and yet God speed
The apparent sign, when He finds good;
When in His sight it types indeed

That inward brotherhood.

For not the rose-and-emerald bow

Can bid the battling storm to cease, But leaps at last, that all may know The sign, not source, of peace.

Oh, what shall shameful peace avail, If east or west, if there or here, Men sprung of ancient England fail To hold their birthright dear?

If west or east, if here or there,
Brute Mammon sit in Freedom's place,
And judge a wailing world's despair
With hard, averted face?

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