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Some blue peaks in the distance rose,
And white against the cold-white sky,
Shone out their crowning snows.

One willow over the river wept,

And shook the wave as the wind did sigh;
Above in the wind was the swallow,
Chasing itself at its own wild will,
And far thro' the marish green and still
The tangled water-courses slept,

Shot over with purple, and green, and yellow.


The wild swan's death-hymn took the soul
Of that waste place with joy

Hidden in sorrow: at first to the ear
The warble was low, and full and clear;
And floating about the under-sky,
Prevailing in weakness, the coronach stole
Sometimes afar, and sometimes anear;
But anon her awful jubilant voice,
With a music strange and manifold,
Flow'd forth on a carol free and bold;
As when a mighty people rejoice

With shawms, and with cymbals, and harps of gold,
And the tumult of their acclaim is roll'd

Thro' the open gates of the city afar,

To the shepherd who watcheth the evening star.
And the creeping mosses and clambering weeds,
And the willow-branches hoar and dank,
And the wavy swell of the soughing reeds,
And the wave-worn horns of the echoing bank,
And the silvery marish-flowers that throng
The desolate creeks and pools among,
Were flooded over with eddying song.





Now is done thy long day's work;
Fold thy palms across thy breast,
Fold thine arms, turn to thy rest.
Let them rave.

Shadows of the silver birk

Sweep the green that folds thy grave. Let them rave.


Thee nor carketh care nor slander;
Nothing but the small cold worm
Fretteth thine enshrouded form.
Let them rave.

Light and shadow ever wander
O'er the green that folds thy grave.
Let them rave.


Thou wilt not turn upon thy bed;
Chaunteth not the brooding bee
Sweeter tones than calumny?
Let them rave.

Thou wilt never raise thine head
From the green that folds thy grave.
Let them rave.


Crocodiles wept tears for thee;
The woodbine and eglatere

Drip sweeter dews than traitor's tear.
Let them rave.

Rain makes music in the tree

O'er the green that folds thy grave.
Let them rave.


Round thee blow, self-pleached deep,
Bramble-roses, faint and pale,
And long purples of the dale.
Let them rave.

These in every shower creep

Thro' the green that folds thy grave. Let them rave.


The gold-eyed kingcups fine;
The frail bluebell peereth over
Rare broidry of the purple clover.
Let them rave.

Kings have no such couch as thine,
As the green that folds thy grave.
Let them rave.


Wild words wander here and there;
God's great gift of speech abused
Makes thy memory confused:
But let them rave.

The balm-cricket carols clear
In the green that folds thy grave.
Let them rave.





VOICE of the summer-wind,

Joy of the summer-plain,

Life of the summer-hours,
Carol clearly, bound along.
No Tithon thou as poets feign
(Shame fall 'em they are deaf and blind)
But an insect lithe and strong,
Bowing the seeded summer-flowers.
Prove their falsehood and thy quarrel,
Vaulting on thine airy feet.

Clap thy shielded sides and carol,

Carol clearly, chirrup sweet.

Thou art a mailéd warrior in youth and strength complete;

Armed cap-a-pie,

Full fair to see;
Unknowing fear,

Undreading loss,

A gallant cavalier,

Sans peur et sans reproche,
In sunlight and in shadow,
The Bayard of the meadow.


I would dwell with thee,
Merry grasshopper,
Thou art so glad and free,

And as light as air;

Thou hast no sorrow or tears,

Thou hast no compt of years,

No withered immortality,

But a short youth sunny and free.

Carol clearly, bound along,
Soon thy joy is over,
A summer of loud song,

And slumbers in the clover.
What hast thou to do with evil
In thine hour of love and revel,
In thy heat of summer-pride,
Pushing the thick roots aside
Of the singing flowerèd grasses,

That brush thee with their silken tresses?
What hast thou to do with evil,
Shooting, singing, ever springing
In and out the emerald glooms,
Ever leaping, ever singing,


Lighting on the golden blooms?



ERE yet my heart was sweet Love's tomb,
Love laboured honey busily.

I was the hive, and Love the bee,

My heart the honey-comb.

One very dark and chilly night

Pride came beneath and held a light.

The cruel vapours went through all,
Sweet Love was withered in his cell;
Pride took Love's sweets, and by a spell
Did change them into gall;

And Memory though fed by Pride
Did wax so thin on gall,

Awhile she scarcely lived at all.

What marvel that she died?



[In an unpublished drama, written very early.]
THE varied earth, the moving heaven,
The rapid waste of roving sea,
The fountain-pregnant mountains riven
To shapes of wildest anarchy,
By secret fire and midnight storms

That wander round their windy cones,

The subtle life, the countless forms
Of living things, the wondrous tones

Of man and beast are full of strange
Astonishment and boundless change.
The day, the diamonded night,

The echo, feeble child of sound,
The heavy thunder's griding might,
The herald lightning's starry bound,
The vocal spring of bursting bloom,
The naked summer's glowing birth,
The troublous autumn's sallow gloom,
The hoarhead winter paving earth

With sheeny white, are full of strange
Astonishment and boundless change.
Each sun which from the centre flings
Grand music and redundant fire,
The burning belts, the mighty rings,
The murmurous planets' rolling choir,
The globe-filled arch that, cleaving air,
Lost in its own effulgence sleeps,
The lawless comets as they glare,


And thunder through the sapphire deeps
In wayward strength, are full of strange
Astonishment and boundless change.



You cast to ground the hope which once was mine :
But did the while your harsh decree deplore,
Embalming with sweet tears the vacant shrine,
My heart, where Hope had been and was no more.

So on an oaken sprout

A goodly acorn grew;

But winds from heaven shook the acorn out,


And filled the cup with dew.




LIFE and Thought have gone away
Side by side,

Leaving door and windows wide:
Careless tenants they !

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