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All within is dark as night :
In the windows is no light;
And no murmur at the door,
So frequent on its hinge before.

Close the door, the shutters close,

Or thro' the windows we shall see

The nakedness and vacancy
Of the dark deserted house.

Come away : no more of mirth

Is here or merry-making sound.
The house was builded of the earth,
And shall fall again to ground.

Come away : for Life and Thought
Here no longer dwell ;

But in a city glorious-
A great and distant city-have bought
A mansion incorruptible.

Would they could have stayed with us ! (1853)



HEAVEN weeps

above the earth all night till morn,
In darkness weeps, as all ashamed to weep,
Because the earth hath made her state forlorn
With self-wrought evils of unnumbered years,
And doth the fruit of her dishonour reap.
And all the day heaven gathers back her tears
Into her own blue eyes so clear and deep,
And showering down the glory of lightsome day,
Smiles on the earth's worn brow to win her

she may


O MAIDEN, fresher than the first green leaf
With which the fearful springtide flecks the lea,
Weep not, Almeida, that I said to thee

That thou hast half my heart, for bitter grief
Doth hold the other half in sovranty.
Thou art my heart's sun in love's crystalline:
Yet on both sides at once thou canst not shine :
Thine is the bright side of my heart, and thine
My heart's day, but the shadow of my heart,
Issue of its own substance, my heart's night
Thou can'st not lighten even with thy light,
All powerful in beauty as thou art.
Almeida, if my heart were substanceless,
Then might thy rays pass through to the other side,
So swiftly, that they nowhere would abide,
But lose themselves in utter emptiness.
Half-light, half-shadow, let my spirit sleep;

They never learned to love who never knew to weep. (1830)


O THOU whose fringed lids I gaze upon,
Through whose dim brain the winged dreams are borne,
Unroof the shrines of clearest vision,
In honour of the silverfleckéd morn:
Long hath the white wave of the virgin light
Driven back the billow of the dreamful dark.
Thou all unwittingly prolongest night,
Though long ago listening the poisèd lark,
With eyes dropt downward through the blue serene,

Over heaven's parapets the angels lean. (1830)


COULD I outwear my present state of woe
With one brief winter, and indue i' the spring
Hues of fresh youth, and mightily outgrow
The wan dark coil of faded suffering-
Forth in the pride of beauty issuing
A sheeny snake, the light of vernal bowers,
Moving his crest to all sweet plots of flowers
And watered vallies where the young birds sing;
Could I thus hope my lost delight's renewing,

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I straightly would command the tears to creep
From my charged lids; but inwardly I weep:
Some vital heat as yet my heart is wooing :
This to itself hath drawn the frozen rain


and melted it again.


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Though Night hath climbed her peak of highest noon,
And bitter blasts the screaming autumn whirl,
All night through archways of the bridgèd pearl,
And portals of pure silver walks the moon.
Walk on, my soul, nor crouch to agony,
Turn cloud to light, and bitterness to joy,
And dross to gold with glorious alchemy,
Basing thy throne above the world's annoy.
Reign thou above the storms of sorrow and ruth
That roar beneath; unshaken peace hath won thee:
So shalt thou pierce the woven glooms of truth;
So shall the blessing of the meek be on thee;
So in thine hour of dawn, the body's youth,

An honourable eld shall come upon thee.

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SHALL the hag Evil die with child of Good,
Or propagate again her loathéd kind,
Thronging the cells of the diseasèd mind,
Hateful with hanging cheeks, a withered brood,
Though hourly pastured on the salient blood ?
Oh! that the wind which bloweth cold or heat-
Would shatter and o'erbear the brazen beat
Of their broad vans, and in the solitude
Of middle space confound them, and blow back
Their wild cries down their cavern-throats, and slake
With points of blast-borne hail their heated eyne!
So their wan limbs no more might come between
The moon and the moon's reflex in the night,

Nor blot with floating shades the solar light.



THE pallid thunder-stricken sigh for gain,
Down an ideal stream they ever float,
And sailing on Pactolus in a boat,
Drown soul and sense, while wistfully they strain
Weak eyes upon the glistering sands that robe
The understream. The wise, could he behold
Cathedralled caverns of thick-ribbèd gold
And branching silvers of the central globe,
Would marvel from so beautiful a sight
How scorn and ruin, pain and hate could flow :
But Hatred in a gold cave sits below;
Pleached with her hair, in mail of argent light
Shot into gold, a snake her forehead clips,

And skins the colour from her trembling lips. (1830)

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Thou, from the first, unborn, undying love,
Albeit we gaze not on thy glories near,
Before the face of God did'st breathe and move,
Though night and pain and ruin and death reign here.
Thou foldest, like a golden atmosphere,

throne of the eternal God :
Passing through thee the edicts of his fear
Are mellowed into music, borne abroad
By the loud winds, though they uprend the sea,
Even from its central deeps : thine empery
Is over all: thou wilt not brook eclipse;
Thou goest and returnest to His lips
Like lightning : thou dost ever brood above
The silence of all hearts, unutterable Love.

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To know thee is all wisdom, and old age
Is but to know thee : dimly we behold thee
Athwart the veils of evil which infold thee.
We beat upon our aching hearts in rage ;

We cry for thee; we deem the world thy tomb.
As dwellers in lone planets look upon
The mighty disk of their majestic sun,
Hollowed in awful chasms of wheeling gloom,
Making their day dim, so we gaze on thee.
Come, thou of many crowns, white-robèd love,
Oh! rend the veil in twain : all men adore thee;
Heaven crieth after thee; earth waiteth for thee:
Breathe on thy winged throne, and it shall move
In music and in light o'er land and sea.


thee now,

And now—methinks I gaze upon
As on a serpent in his agonies
Awe-stricken Indians; what time laid low
And crushing the thick fragrant reeds he lies,
When the new year warm-breathed on the earth,
Waiting to light him with her purple skies,
Calls to him by the fountain to uprise.
Already with the pangs of a new birth
Strain the hot spheres of his convulsèd eyes,
And in his writhings awful hues begin
To wander down his sable-sheeny sides,
Like light on troubled waters: from within
Anon he rusheth forth with merry din,
And in him light and joy and strength abides;
And from his brows a crown of living light

Looks through the thick-stemmed woods by day and night. (1830)


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What time the mighty moon was gathering light
Love paced the thymy plots of Paradise,
And all about him roll'd his lustrous eyes ;
When, turning round a cassia, full in view
Death, walking all alone beneath a yew,
And talking to himself, first met his sight:
"Vou must begone,” said Death, “these walks are mine."

'e wept and spread his sheeny vans for flight;
ore he parted said, “This hour is thine:
art the shadow of life, and as the tree
in the sun and shadows all beneath,

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