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“Trooping from their mouldy dens
The chap-fallen circle spreads : Welcome, fellow-citizens,
Hollow hearts and empty heads !
• You are bones, and what of that?
Every face, however full, Padded round with flesh and fat,
Is but modell’d on a skull.
Death is king, and Vivat Rex !
Tread a measure on the stones, Madam--if I know your sex,
From the fashion of your bones.
“No, I cannot praise the fire
In your eye-nor yet your lip : All the more do I admire
Joints of cunning workmanship. *Lo ! God's likeness—the ground-plan
Neither modell’d, glazed, nor framed : Buss me, thou rough sketch of man,
Far too naked to be shamed !
The voice grew faint : there came a further
change : Once more uprose the mystic mountain
range : Below were men and horses pierced with
worms, And slowly quickening into lower forms; By shards and scurf of salt, and scum of
dross, Old plash of rains, and refuse patch'd
with moss. Then some one spake : Behold ! it was
a crime Of sense avenged by sense that wore with
time.' Another said: “The crime of sense
became The crime of malice, and is equal blame.' And one : He had not wholly quench’d
his power ; A little grain of conscience made him sour.' At last I heard a voice upon the slopes Cry to the summit, “Is there any hope?' To which an answer peal’d from that high
land, But in a tongue no man could understand ; And on the glimmering limit far with
drawn God made Himself an awful rose of dawn.
* Drink to Fortune, drink to Chance,
While we keep a little breath! Drink to heavy Ignorance !
Hob-and-nob with brother Death !
• Thou art mazed, the night is long,
And the longer night is near :
TO E. L., ON HIS TRAVELS IN
ILLYRIAN woodlands, echoing falls Of water, sheets of summer glass,
The long divine Peneïan pass, The vast Akrokeraunian walls,
Tomohrit, Athos, all things fair,
With such a pencil, such a pen,
You shadow forth to distant men, I read and felt that I was there :
You might have won the Poet's name,
If such be worth the winning now, And gain'd a laurel for your brow Of sounder leaf than I can claim ; But you have made the wiser choice,
A life that moves to gracious ends
Thro' troops of unrecording friends, A deedful life, a silent voice : And you have miss'd the irreverent doom
Of those that wear the Poet's crown: Hereafter, neither knave nor clown Shall hold their orgies at your tomb. For now the Poet cannot die,
Nor leave his music as of old,
But round him ere he scarce be cold Begins the scandal and the cry : Proclaim the faults he would not show : Break lock and seal : betray the trust : Keep nothing sacred : 'tis but just The many-headed beast should know.' Ah shameless : for he did but sing
A song that pleased us from its worth ; No public life was his on earth, No blazon'd statesman he, nor king.
And trust me while I turn'd the page,
And track'd you still on classic ground,
I grew in gladness till I found My spirits in the golden age.
For me the torrent ever pour'd
And glisten’d-here and there alone
A glimmering shoulder under gloom
Of cavern pillars ; on the swell
The silver lily heaved and fell; And many a slope was rich in bloom
He gave the people of his best :
His worst he kept, his best he gave. My Shakespeare's curse on clown and
knave Who will not let his ashes rest!
From him that on the mountain lea
By dancing rivulets fed his flocks,
To him who sat upon the rocks, And fluted to the morning sea.
Who make it seem more sweet to be
The little life of bank and brier,
The bird that pipes his lone desire And dies unheard within his tree,
BREAK, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea ! And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.
LONG lines of cliff breaking have left a
chasm; And in the chasm are foam and yellow
sands; Beyond, red roofs about a narrow wharf In cluster; then a moulder'd church ; and
higher A long street climbs to one tall-towerd
mill; And high in heaven behind it a gray down With Danish barrows; and a hazelwood By autumn nutters haunted, flourishes Green in a cuplike hollow of the down.
Here on this beach a hundred years ago, Three children of three houses, Annie Lee, The prettiest little damsel in the port, And Philip Ray the miller's only son, And Enoch Arden, a rough sailor's lad Made orphan by a winter shipwreck, play'd Among the waste and lumber of the shore, Hard coils of cordage, swarthy fishing
nets, Anchors of rusty fluke, and boats up
drawn ; And built their castles of dissolving sand To watch them overflow'd, or following up And flying the white breaker, daily left The little footprint daily wash'd away.
A narrow cave ran in beneath the cliff : In this the children play'd at keeping
house. Enoch was host one day, Philip the next, While Annie still was mistress ; but at
times Enoch would hold possession for a week : * This is my house and this my little wife.' * Mine too' said Philip turn and turn
about :' When, if they quarrell’d, Enoch stronger
made Was master : then would Philip, his blue
eyes All flooded with the helpless wrath of
tears, Shriek out I hate you, Enoch,' and at
this The little wife would weep for company, And pray them not to quarrel for her sake, And say she would be little wife to both.
Than Enoch. Likewise had he served a
year On board a merchantman, and made
himself Full sailor ; and he thrice had pluck'd a
life From the dread sweep of the down-stream
ing seas : And all men look'd upon him favourably : And ere he touch'd his one-and-twentieth
May He purchased his own boat, and made a
home For Annie, neat and nestlike, halfway up The narrow street that clamber'd toward
But when the dawn of rosy childhood
past, And the new warmth of life's ascending
sun Was felt by either, either fixt his heart On that one girl; and Enoch spoke his
love, But Philip loved in silence ; and the girl Seem'd kinder unto Philip than to him; But she loved Enoch ; tho she knew it
Then, on a golden autumn eventide, The younger people making holiday, With bag and sack and basket, great and
small, Went nutting to the hazels. Philip stay'd (His father lying sick and needing him) An hour behind; but as he climb’d the hill, Just where the prone edge of the wood
began To feather toward the hollow, saw the
pair, Enoch and Annie, sitting hand-in-hand, His large gray eyes and weather-beaten
face All-kindled by a still and sacred fire, That burn'dàs on an altar. Philip look'd, And in their eyes and faces read his doom ; Then, as their faces drew together,
groan'd, And slipt aside, and like a wounded life Crept down into the hollows of the wood; There, while the rest were loud in merry
making, Had his dark hour unseen, and rose and
past Bearing a lifelong hunger in his heart.
And would if ask'd deny it. Enoch set
home For Annie : and so prosper'd that at last A luckier or a bolder fisherman, A carefuller in peril, did not breathe For leagues along that breaker-beaten
So these were wed, and merrily rang
the bells, And merrily ran the years, seven happy
years, Seven happy years of health and com
petence, And mutual love and honourable toil ; With children; first a daughter. In him
woke, With his first babe's first cry, the noble
wish To save all earnings to the uttermost, And give his child a better bringing-up Than his had been, or hers; a wish re
new'd, When two years after came a boy to be The rosy idol of her solitudes, While Enoch was abroad on wrathful seas, Or often journeying landward ; for in truth Enoch's white horse, and Enoch's ocean
spoil In ocean-smelling osier, and his face, Rough-redden'd with a thousand winter
gales, Not only to the market-cross were known, But in the leafy lanes behind the down, Far as the portal-warding lion-whelp, And peacock.yewtree of the lonely Hall, Whose Friday fare was Enoch's minister.
Taking her bread and theirs : and on him
fell, Altho'a grave and staid God-fearing man, Yet lying thus inactive, doubt and gloom. He seemd, as in a nightmare of the night, To see his children leading evermore Low miserable lives of hand-to-mouth, And her, he loved, a beggar : then he
pray'd ‘Save them from this, whatever comes to
me.' And while he pray'd, the master of that
ship Enoch had served in, hearing his mis
chance, Came, for he knew the man and valued
him, Reporting of his vessel China-bound, And wanting yet a boatswain. Would he
go? There yet were many weeks before she
sail'd, Sail'd from this port. Would Enoch
have the place ? And Enoch all at once assented to it,' Rejoicing at that answer to his prayer.
Then came a change, as all things
human change. Ten miles to northward of the narrow port Open'd a larger haven : thither used Enoch at times to go by land or sea ; And once when there, and clambering on
a mast In harbour, by mischance he slipt and fell : A limb was broken when they lifted him ; And while he lay recovering there, his wife Bore him another son, a sickly one : Another hand crept too across his trade
So now that shadow of mischance
appear'd No graver than as when some little cloud Cuts off the fiery highway of the sun, And isles a light in the offing : yet the
wife-When he was gone--the children-what
to do? Then Enoch lay long-pondering on his
plans; To sell the boat-and yet he loved her
wellHow many a rough sea had he weather'd
in her! He knew her, as a horseman knows his