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Far off from human neighbourhood,

Thou wert born, on a summer morn,
A mile beneath the cedar-wood.
Thy bounteous forehead was not fann'd

With breezes from our oaken glades,
But thou wert nursed in some delicious land

Of lavish lights, and floating shades: And flattering thy childish thought

The oriental fairy brought,

At the moment of thy birth, From old well-heads of haunted rills, And the hearts of purple hills,

And shadow'd coves on a sunny shore,

The choicest wealth of all the earth,
Jewel or shell, or starry ore,
To deck thy cradle, Eleänore.


Or the yellow-banded bees,
Thro' half-open lattices
Coming in the scented breeze,

Fed thee, a child, lying alone,

With whitest honey in fairy gardens cull'd-
A glorious child, dreaming alone,

In silk-soft folds, upon yielding down,
With the hum of swarming bees
Into dreamful slumber lull’d.

Who may minister to thee?
Summer herself should minister

To thee, with fruitage golden-rinded

On golden salvers, or it may be,
Youngest Autumn, in a bower
Grape-thicken'd from the light, and blinded

With many a deep-hued bell-like flower
Of fragrant trailers, when the air

Sleepeth over all the heaven,
And the crag that fronts the Even,

All along the shadowing shore,
Crimsons over an inland mere,

Eleanore !

4 How may full-sail'd verse express,

How may measured words adore

The full-flowing harmony


Of thy swan-like stateliness,

Eleanore ?
The luxuriant symmetry
Of thy floating gracefulness,

Every turn and glance of thine,
Every lineament divine,

And the steady sunset glow,
That stays upon thee? For in thee

Is nothing sudden, nothing single;
Like two streams of incense free

From one censer, in one shrine,

Thought and motion mingle,
Mingle ever. Motions flow
To one another, even as tho'
They were modulated so

To an unheard melody,
Which lives about thee, and a sweep

Of richest pauses, evermore
Drawn from each other mellow-deep ;
Who may express thee, Eleanore ?

I stand before thee, Eleänore;

I see thy beauty gradually unfold,
Daily and hourly, more and more.
I muse, as in a trance, the while

Slowly, as from a cloud of gold,
Comes out thy deep ambrosial smile.
I muse, as in a trance, whene'er

The languors of thy love-deep eyes
Float on to me. I would I were

So tranced, so rapt in ecstacies,
To stand apart, and to adore,
Gazing on thee for evermore,
Serene, imperial Eleänore !

Sometimes, with most intensity
Gazing, I seem to see
Thought folded over thought, smiling asleep,
Slowly awaken'd, grow so full and deep
In thy large eyes, that, overpower'd quite,
I cannot veil, or droop my sight,
But am as nothing in its light:




As tho' a star, in inmost heaven set,
Ev'n while we gaze on it,
Should slowly round his orb, and slowly grow
To a full face, there like a sun remain
Fix'd—then as slowly fade again,

And draw itself to what it was before ;

So full, so deep, so slow,

Thought seems to come and go
In thy large eyes, imperial Eleanore.

As thunder-clouds that,, hung on high, ,

(Rooit the world with doubt and fear,
Floating thro' an evening atmosphere,
Grow golden all about the sky;
In thee all passion becomes passionless,
Touch'd by thy spirit's mellowness,
Losing his fire and active might

In a silent meditation,

into a still delight,

And luxury of contemplation : As waves that up a quiet cove

Rolling slide, and lying still

Shadow forth the banks at will "Or sometimes they swell and move,

Pressing up against the land,
With motions of the outer sea :

And the self-same influence

Controlleth all the soul and sense
Of Passion gazing upon thee.
His bow-string slacken'd, languid Love,

Leaning his cheek upon his hand,
Droops both his wings, regarding thee,

And so would languish evermore,
Serene, imperial Eleänore.

But when I see thee roam, with tresses unconfined,
While the amorous, odorous wind
Breathes low between the sunset and the moon;

Or, in a shadowy saloon,
On silken cushions half reclined ;

I watch thy grace; and in its place
My heart a charmed slumber keeps,

While I muse upon thy face ;
And a languid fire creeps

Thro' my veins to all my frame,


Dissolvingly and slowly: soon


and then, as in a swoon, xinoong With dinning sound my ears are rife,

My tremulous tongue faltereth,
I lose my colour, I lose my breath,

I drink the cup of a costly death,
Brimm'd with delirious draughts of warmest life.

I die with my delight, before

I hear what I would hear from thee;

Yet tell my name again to me,
I would be dying evermore,

So dying ever, Eleänore. (1853)


In yonder chair ? see him sit,

I SEE the wealthy miller yet,

His double chin, his portly size,
And who that knew him could forget

The busy wrinkles round his eyes?
The slow wise smile that, round about

His dusty forehead drily curl'd,
Seem'd half-within and half-without,
And full of dealings with the world ?

Three fingers round the old silver cup-
I see his gray eyes twinkle yet

At his own jest-gray eyes lit up
With summer lightnings of a soul

So full of summer warmth, so glad,
So healthy, sound, and clear and whole,
His memory scarce can make me sad.

Yet fill

mý, glass: give me one kiss :
My own sweet Alice, we must die.
There's somewhat in this world amiss

Shall be unriddled by and by.
There's somewhat flows to us in life,

But more is taken quite away.
Pray, Alice, pray, my darling wife,

That we may die the self-same day.


4 Have I not found a happy earth?

I least should breathe a thought of pain. Would God renew me from my birth

I'd almost live my life again.
So sweet it seems with thee to walk,

And once again to woo thee mine-
It seems in after-dinner talk
Across the walnuts and the

wineTo be the long and listless boy

Late-left an orphan of the squire, Where this old mansion mounted high

Looks down upon the village spire: For even here, where I and you

Have lived and loved alone so long, Each morn my sleep was broken thro'

By some wild skylark's matin song. And oft I heard the fender dove

alone, In firry woodlands making moan; But ere I saw your eyes, my love,

I had no motion of my own.
For scarce my life with fancy play'd

Before I dream'd that pleasant dreamStill hither thither idly sway'd

Or from the bridge I'lean'd to hear

The milldam rushing down with noise,
And see the minnows everywhere

In crystal eddies glance and poise,
The tall flag-flowers when they sprung

Below the range of stepping-stones,
Or those three chestnuts near, that hung

In masses thick with milky cones.
But, Alice, what an hour was that,

When after roving in the woods ('Twas April then), I came and sat

Below the chestnuts, when their buds Were glistening to the breezy blue;

And on the slope, an absent fool,
I cast me down, nor thought of you,

But angled in the higher pool.
A love-song I had somewhere read,

An echo from a measured strain,

Still in those long mosses in the stream.


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