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Wrestled with wandering Israel,

Past Yabbok brook the livelong night, And heaven's mazed signs stood still

In the dim tract of Penuel. (1853)

XIII

MADELINE

I

Thou art not steep'd in golden languors,
No tranced summer calm is thine,

Ever varying Madeline.
Thro’ light and shadow thou dost range,

Sudden glances, sweet and strange,
Delicious spites and darling angers,

And airy forms of flitting change.

2

Smiling, frowning, evermore,
Thou art perfect in love-lore.
Revealings deep and clear are thine
Of wealthy smiles : but who may know
Whether smile or frown be fleeter ?
Whether smile or frown be sweeter,

Who may know?
Frowns perfect-sweet along the brow
Light-glooming over eyes divine,
Like little clouds sun-fringed, are thine,

Ever varying Madeline.
Thy smile and frown are not aloof

H one another,
She sa? each is dearest brother;
I wou silken sheeny woof

shot into each other.
All day within

The doors mystery is thine;
The blue fly süning, evermore,
Behind the moulad

love-lore,
Or from the crevice peer

deline.
Old faces glimmer'd thro.

Old footsteps trod the upper
Old voices called her from with

She only said, "My life is dnces ;

He cometh not,” she said
She said, “I am aweary, awe

I would that I were deadées,

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And o'er black brows drops down
A sudden-curved frown:
But when I turn away,
Thou, willing me to stay,
Wooest not, nor vainly wranglest;

But, looking fixedly the while,
All my bounding heart entanglest

In a golden-netted smile;
Then in madness and in bliss,
If my lips should dare to kiss
Thy taper fingers amorously,
Again thou blushest angerly;
And o'er black brows drops down

A sudden-curved frown.
(1853)

XIV
THE MERMAN

I

Who would be
A merman bold,
Sitting alone,
Singing alone
Under the sea,
With a crown of gold,
On a throne ?

2

e

I would be a merman bold; I would sit and sing the whole of the day; I would fill the sea-halls with a voice of power; But at night I would roam abroad and play With the mermaids in and out of the rocks, Dressing their hair with the white sea-flower; And holding them back by their flowing locks I would kiss them often under the sea, And kiss them again till they kiss'd me

Laughingly, laughingly; And then we would wander away, away To the pale-green sea-groves straight and high, Chasing each other merrily.

3 There would be neither moon nor star; But the wave would make music above us afarLow thunder and light in the magic night

Neither tmoon nor star.

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We would call aloud in the dreamy dells,
Call to each other and whoop and cry

All night, merrily, merrily;
They would pelt me with starry spangles and shells,
Laughing and clapping their hands between,

All night, merrily, merrily:
But I would throw to them back in mine
Turkis and agate and almondine :
Then leaping out upon them unseen
I would kiss them often under the sea,
And kiss them again till they kiss'd me

Laughingly, laughingly.
Oh! what a happy life were mine
Under the hollow-hung ocean green!
Soft are the moss-beds under the sea;

We would live merrily, merrily. (1853)

XV
THE MERMAID

I
Who would be
A mermaid fair,
Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,
In a golden curl
With a comb of pearl
On a throne ?

2

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Heline.

quld be a mermaid fair; a
Sliy
myself the whole of the day;

b
I wou.

earl I would comb my hair ; a
All day within - I would sing and say, és

The doors umystery loves not me?"
The blue fly süning, eve12
Behind the moulado
love-ringlets would fall

,
Or from the crevice peer.

in e Old faces glimmer'd thro e Old footsteps trod the upper

rold Old voices called her from with

She only said, “ My life is dn

He cometh not,” she said
She said, “I am aweary, awr

I would that I were deac

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From his coiled sleeps in the central deeps
Would slowly trail himself sevenfold
Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the gate
With his large calm eyes for the love of me.
And all the mermen under the sea
Would feel their immortality
Die in their hearts for the love of me.

3
But at night I would wander away, away,

I would fling on each side my low-flowing locks, And lightly vault from the throne and play

With the mermen in and out of the rocks ; We would run to and fro, and hide and seek,

On the broad sea-wolds in the crimson shells,

Whose silvery spikes are nighest the sea.
But if any came near I would call, and shriek,
And adown the steep like a wave I would leap

From the diamond-ledges that jut from the dells ;
For I would not be kiss'd by all who would list,
Of the bold merry mermen under the sea ;
They would sue me, and woo me, and flatter me,
In the purple twilights under the sea ;
But the king of them all would carry me,
Woo me, and win me, and marry me,
In the branching jaspers under the sea ;
Then all the dry pied things that be
In the hueless mosses under the sea
Would curl round my silver feet silently,
All looking up for the love of me.
And if I should carol aloud, from aloft
All things that are forked, and horned, and soft
Would lean out from the hollow sphere of the sea,

All looking down for the love of me. (1853)

XVI
SUPPOSED CONFESSIONS
OF A SECONDRATE SENSITIVE MIND NOT IN UNITY

WITH ITSELF
Oh God! my God! have mercy now.
I faint, I fall. Men say that thou
Did'st die for me, for such as me,
Patient of ill, and death, and scorn,
And that my sin was as a thorn
Among the thorns that girt thy brow,

Wounding thy soul.—That even now,
In this extremest misery
Of ignorance, I should require
A sign ! and if a bolt of fire
Would rive the slumbrous summer-noon
While I do pray to thee alone,
Think my belief would stronger grow !
Is not my human pride brought low?
The boastings of my spirit still ?
The joy I had in my

freewill
All cold, and dead, and corpse-like grown?
And what is left to me, but thou,
And faith in thee? Men pass me by ;
Christians with happy countenances-
And children all seem full of thee !
And women smile with saint-like glances
Like thine own mother's when she bowed
Above thee, on that happy morn
When angels spake to men aloud,
And thou and peace to earth were born.
Goodwill to me as well as all-

I one of them: my brothers they :
Brothers in Christ-a world of peace

And confidence, day after day;
And trust and hope till things should cease,

And then one Heaven receive us all.

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How sweet to have a common faith!
To hold a common scorn of death !
And at a burial to hear

The creaking cords which wound and eat
Into my human heart, whene'er
Earth goes to earth, with grief, not fear,

With hopeful grief, were passing sweet!
A grief not uninformed, and dull,
Hearted with hope, of hope as full
As is the blood with life, or night
And a dark cloud with rich moonlight.
To stand beside a grave, and see
The red small atoms wherewith we
Are built, and smile in calm, and say

“These little motes and grains shall be
"Clothed on with immortality
“More glorious than the noon of day.

"All that is pass'd into the flowers,

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