With royal frame-work of wrought gold;
Needs must thou dearly love thy first essay,
And foremost in thy various gallery

Place it, where sweetest sunlight falls
Upon the storied walls;

For the discovery
And newness of thine art so pleased thee,
That all which thou hast drawn of fairest

Or boldest since, but lightly weighs
With thee unto the love thou bearest
The first-born of thy genius. Artist-like,
Ever retiring thou dost gaze
On the prime labor of thine early days:
No matter what the sketch might be;
Whether the high field on the bushless Pike,
Or even a sand-built ridge
Of heaped hills that mound the sea,
Overblown with murmurs harsh,
Or even a lowly cottage whence we see
Stretched wide and wild the waste enormous marsh,
Where from the frequent bridge,
Like emblems of infinity,
The trenched waters run from sky to sky;
Or a garden bowered close
With plaited alleys of the trailing rose,

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Long alleys falling down to twilight grots,
Or opening upon level plots
Of crowned lilies, standing near
Purple-spiked lavender:
Whether in after life retired
From brawling storms,
From weary wind,
With youthful fancy reinspired,

hold converse with all forms
Of the many-sided mind,
And those whom passion had not blinded,
Subtle-thoughted, myriad-minded,
My friend, with you to live alone,
Methinks were better than to own
A crown, a sceptre, and a throne.
O strengthen me, enlighten me!
I faint in this obscurity,
Thou dewy dawn of memory.



A spirit haunts the year's last hours,
Dwelling amid these yellowing bowers :

To himself he talks;
For at eventide, listening earnestly,
At his work you may hear him sob and sigh

In the walks ;

Earthward he boweth the heavy stalks Of the mouldering flowers :

Heavily hangs the broad sunflower

Over its grave i’ the earth so chilly; Heavily hangs the hollyhock,

Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.


The air is damp, and hushed, and close,
As a sick man's room when he taketh repose

An hour before death;

My very heart faints and my whole soul grieves At the moist rich smell of the rotting leaves,

And the breath

Of the fading edges of box beneath, And the year's last rose.

Heavily hangs the broad sunflower

Over its grave i' the earth so chilly; Heavily hangs the hollyhock,

Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.


MYSTERY of mysteries,

Faintly smiling Adeline,
Scarce of earth nor all divine,
Nor unhappy, nor at rest,

But beyond expression fair,

With thy floating flaxen hair; Thy rose-lips and full blue eyes

Take the heart from out my breast. Wherefore those dim looks of thine, Shadowy, dreaming Adeline ?

Whence that aery bloom of thine,

Like a lily which the sun Looks through in his sad decline,

And a rose-bush leans upon,

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