The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,

The slow clock ticking, and the sound Which to the wooing wind aloof

The poplar made, did all confound Her sense; but most she loathed the hour

When the thick-moted sunbeam lay

Athwart the chambers, and the day Was sloping toward his western bower.

Then, said she, “I am very dreary,

He will not come,” she said ;
She wept, “I am aweary, aweary,

O God! that I were dead!"


CLEAR-HEADED friend, whose joyful scorn,
Edged with sharp laughter, cuts atwain

The knots that tangle human creeds,
The wounding cords that bind and strain

The heart until it bleeds, Ray-fringed eyelids of the morn

Roof not a glance so keen as thine:

If aught of prophecy be mine, Thou wilt not live in vain.

Low-cowering shall the Sophist sit;

Falsehood shall bare her plaited brow:

Fair-fronted Truth shall droop not now
With shrilling shafts of subtle wit.
Nor martyr-flames nor trenchant swords
Can do

away that ancient lie: A gentler death shall Falsehood die, Shot through and through with cunning words.

Weak Truth, a-leaning on her crutch,

Wan, wasted Truth, in her utmost need, Thy kingly intellect shall feed,

Until she be an athlete bold, And weary with a finger's touch Those writhed limbs of lightning speed;

Like that strange angel which of old, Until the breaking of the light, Wrestled with wandering Israel,

Past Yabbok brook the lingering night, And heaven's mazed signs stood still In the dim tract of Penuel.


Thou art not steeped in golden languors,
No tranced summer calm is thine,

Ever varying Madeline.
Through light and shadow thou dost range,

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

And airy forms of flitting change.

Smiling, frowning, evermore,
Thou are 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
From one another,

Each to each is dearest brother;
Hues of the silken sheeny woof
Momently shot into each other.

All the mystery is thine; Smiling, frowning, evermore, Thou art perfect in love-lore,

Ever varying Madeline.

A subtle, sudden flame,
By veering passion fanned,

About thee breaks and dances;
When I would kiss thy hand,
The flush of angered shame

O’erflows thy calmer glances,
And o'er black brows drops down
A sudden-curved frown:
But when I turn away,
Thou, willing me to stay,

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