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Can one love twice? can you be ever

loved As Enoch was? what is it that you ask?' 'I am content' he answer'd to be loved A little after Enoch.' 'O'she cried, Scared as it were, dear Philip, wait a

while : If Enoch comes—but Enoch will not

comeYet wait a year, a year is not so long : Surely I shall be wiser in a year : O wait a little !' Philip sadly said • Annie, as I have waited all my life I well may wait a little.' *Nay'she

cried *I am bound : you have my promise-in

a year : Will you not bide your year as I bide

mine?' And Philip answer'd ‘I will bide my

She spoke ; and in one moment as it

were, While yet she went about her household

ways, Ey'n as she dwelt upon his latest words, That he had loved her longer than she

knew, That autumn into autumn flash'd again, And there he stood once more before her

face, Claiming her promise. “Is it a year?'

she ask'd. Yes, if the nuts' he said 'be ripe again : Come out and see.' But she-she put

him off — So much to look to-such a change-a

monthGive her a month-she knew that she was

bound A month-no more. Then Philip with

his eyes Full of that lifelong hunger, and his voice Shaking a little like a drunkard's hand, • Take your own time, Annie, take your

own time.' And Annie could have wept for pity of

him ; And yet she held him on delayingly With many a scarce-believable excuse, Trying his truth and his long-sufferance, Till half-another year had slipt away.

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Here both were mute, till Philip glanc.

ing up Beheld the dead flame of the fallen day Pass from the Danish barrow overhead; Then fearing night and chill for Annie,

rose And sent his voice beneath him thro' the

wood. Up came the children laden with their

spoil ; Then all descended to the port, and there At Annie's door he paused and gave his

hand, Saying gently · Annie, when I spoke to

you, That was your hour of weakness. I was

wrong, I am always bound to you, but you are

free.' Then Annie weeping answer'd 'I am

bound.'

By this the lazy gossips of the port, Abhorrent of a calculation crost, Began to chafe as at a personal wrong. Some thought that Philip did but trifle

with her; Some that she but held off to draw him on; And others laugh'd at her and Philip too, As simple folk that knew not their own

minds, And one, in whom all evil fancies clung Like serpent eggs together, laughingly

Would hint at worse in either. Her own

son Was silent, tho' he often look'd his wish; But evermore the daughter prest upon her To wed the man so dear to all of them And lift the household out of poverty; And Philip's rosy face contracting grew Careworn and wan ; and all these things

fell on her Sharp as reproach.

So these were wed and merrily rang the

bells, Merrily rang the bells and they were wed. But never merrily beat Annie's heart. A footstep seem'd to fall beside her path, She knew not whence; a whisper on her

ear, She knew not what; nor loved she to be left Alone at home, nor ventured out alone. What aild her then, that ere she enter'd,

often Her hand dwelt lingeringly on the latch, Fearing to enter : Philip thought he knew : Such doubts and fears were common to

her state, Being with child : but when her child was

born, Then her new child was as herself renew'd, Then the new mother came about her

heart, Then her good Philip was her all-in-all, And that mysterious instinct wholly died.

At last one night it chanced That Annie could not sleep, but earnestly Pray'd for a sign .my Enoch is he gone?' Then compass'd round by the blind wall

of night Brook'd not the expectant terror of her

heart, Started from bed, and struck herself a light, Then desperately seized the holy Book, Suddenly set it wide to find a sign, Suddenly put her finger on the text, • Under the palm-tree.' That was nothing

to her : No meaning there: she closed the Book

and slept : When lo ! her Enoch sitting on a height, Under a palm-tree, over him the Sun : 'He is gone,' she thought, “he is happy,

he is singing Hosanna in the highest : yonder shines The Sun of Righteousness, and these be

palms Whereof the happy people strowing cried “Hosanna in the highest !” Here she

woke, Resolved, sent for him and said wildly to

him “There is no reason why we should not

wed.' *Then for God's sake,' he answer'd, 'both

our sakes, So you will wed me, let it be at once.'

And where was Enoch? prosperously

saila The ship ‘Good Fortune,' tho’ at setting

forth The Biscay, roughly ridging eastward,

shook And almost overwhelm'd her, yet unvext She slipt across the summer of the world, Then after a long tumble about the Cape And frequent interchange of foul and fair, She passing thro' the summer world again, The breath of heaven came continually And sent her sweetly by the golden isles, Till silent in her oriental haven.

There Enoch traded for himself, and

bought Quaint monsters for the market of those

times, A gilded dragon, also, for the babes.

Less lucky her home-voyage : at first

indeed Thro' many a fair sea-circle, day by day, Scarce-rocking, her full-busted figure-head Stared o'er the ripple feathering from her

bows : Then follow'd calms, and then winds

variable, Then baffling, a long course of them ; and

And Enoch's comrade, careless of himself, Fire-hollowing this in Indian fashion, fell Sun-stricken, and that other lived alone. In those two deaths he read God's warn

ing 'wait.

last

Storm, such as drove her under moonless

heavens Till hard upon the cry of breakers' came The crash of ruin, and the loss of all But Enoch and two others. Half the

night, Buoy'd upon floating tackle and broken

spars, These drifted, stranding on an isle at morn Rich, but the loneliest in a lonely sea.

No want was there of human sustenance, Soft fruitage, mighty nuts, and nourishing

roots; Nor save for pity was it hard to take The helpless life so wild that it was tame. There in a seaward-gazing mountain-gorge They built, and thatch'd with leaves of

palm, a hut, Half hut, half native cavern. So the

three, Set in this Eden of all plenteousness, Dwelt with eternal summer, ill-content.

The mountain wooded to the peak, the

lawns And winding glades high up like ways to

Heaven, The slender coco's drooping crown of

plumes, The lightning flash of insect and of bird, The lustre of the long convolvuluses That coild around the stately stems, and

ran Ev'n to the limit of the land, the glows And glories of the broad belt of the world, All these he saw; but what he fain had

seen He could not see, the kindly human face, Nor ever hear a kindly voice, but heard The myriad shriek of wheeling ocean-fowl, The league-long roller thundering on the

reef, The moving whisper of huge trees that

branch'd And blossom’d in the zenith, or the sweep Of some precipitous rivulet to the wave, As down the shore he ranged, or all day

long Sat often in the seaward-gazing gorge, A shipwreck'd sailor, waiting for a sail : No sail from day to day, but every day The sunrise broken into scarlet shafts Among the palms and fernsand precipices; The blaze upon the waters to the east ; The blaze upon his island overhead ; The blaze upon the waters to the west ; Then the great stars that globed them

selves in Heaven, The hollower-bellowing ocean, and again The scarlet shafts of sunrise-but no sail.

For one, the youngest, hardly more than

boy, Hurt in that night of sudden ruin and

wreck, Lay lingering out a five-years' death-in

ife. They could not leave him. After he was

gone, The two remaining found a fallen stem ;

There often as he watch'd or seem'd to

watch, So still, the golden lizard on him paused, A phantom made of many phantoms

moved Before him haunting him, or he himself Moved haunting people, things and places,

known Far in a darker isle beyond the line ; The babes, their babble, Annie, the small

house, The climbing street, the mill, the leafy

lanes, The peacock-yewtree and the lonely Hall, The horse he drove, the boat he sold, the

chill November dawns and dewy-glooming

downs, The gentle shower, the smell of dying

leaves, And the low moan of leaden-colour'd seas.

Came suddenly to an end. Another ship (She wanted water) blown by baffling

winds, Like the Good Fortune, from her destined

course, Stay'd by this isle, not knowing where

she lay : For since the mate had seen at early dawn Across a break on the mist-wreathen isle The silent water slipping from the hills, They sent a crew that landing burst away In search of stream or fount, and filld the

shores With clamour. Downward from his

mountain gorge Stept the long-hair'd long-bearded solitary, Brown, looking hardly human, strangely

clad, Muttering and mumbling, idiotlike it

seem'd, With inarticulate rage, and making signs They knew not what : and yet he led the

way To where the rivulets of sweet water ran; And ever as he mingled with the crew, And heard them talking, his long-bounden

tongue Was loosen'd, till he made them under

stand ; Whom, when their casks were fill'd they

took aboard : And there the tale he utter'd brokenly, Scarce-credited at first but more and more, Amazed and melted all who listen'd to it : And clothes they gave him and free pas

sage home; But oft he work'd among the rest and

shook His isolation from him. None of these Came from his country, or could answer

Once likewise, in the ringing of his ears, Tho' faintly, merrily–far and far away-He heard the pealing of his parish bells; Then, tho' he knew not wherefore, started

up Shuddering, and when the beauteous

hateful isle Return'd upon him, had not his poor heart Spoken with That, which being every

where Lets none, who speaks with Him, seem

all alone, Surely the man had died of solitude.

Thus over Enoch’s early-silvering head The sunny and rainy seasons came and

went Year after year. His hopes to see his own, And pace the sacred old familiar fields, Not yet had perish’d, when his lonely

him,

If question'd, aught of what he cared to

doom

know.

And dull the voyage was with long delays, The vessel scarce sea-worthy; but ever

more

His fancy fled before the lazy wind Returning, till beneath a clouded moon He like a lover down thro' all his blood Drew in the dewy meadowy morning

breath Of England, blown across her ghostly wall: And that same morning officers and men Levied a kindly tax upon themselves, Pitying the lonely man, and gave him it : Then moving up the coast they landed him, Ev'n in that harbour whence he sail'd

before.

His eyes upon the stones, he reach'd the

home Where Annie lived and loved him, and

his babes In those far-off seven happy years were

born; But finding neither light nor murmur there (A bill of sale gleam'd thro' the drizzle)

crept Still downward thinking dead or dead to

me !'

Down to the pool and narrow wharf he

went, Seeking a tavern which of old he knew, A front of timber-crost antiquity, So propt, worm-eaten, ruinously old, He thought it must have gone; but he

was gone Who kept it; and his widow Miriam

Lane, With daily-dwindling profits held the

house ; A haunt of brawling seamen once, but now Stiller, with yet a bed for wandering men. There Enoch rested silent many days.

There Enoch spoke no word to any one, But homeward-home-- what home? had

he a home? His home, he walk'd. Bright was that

afternoon, Sunny but chill ; till drawn thro' either

chasm, Where either haven open'd on the deeps, Roll'd a sea-haze and whelm'd the world

in gray; Cut off the length of highway on before, And left but narrow breadth to left and

right Of wither'd holt or tilth or pasturage. On the nigh-naked tree the robin piped Disconsolate, and thro' the dripping haze The dead weight of the dead leaf bore it

down : Thicker the drizzle grew, deeper the

gloom ; Last, as it seem’d, a great mist-blotted light Flared on him, and he came upon the

place.

But Miriam Lane was good and garru

lous, Nor let him be, but often breaking in, Told him, with other annals of the port, Not knowing-Enoch was so brown, so

bow'd, So broken-all the story of his house. His baby's death, her growing poverty, How Philip put her little ones to school, And kept them in it, his long wooing her, Her slow consent, and marriage, and the

birth Of Philip's child : and o'er his counten

ance No shadow past, nor motion : any one, Regarding, well had deem'd he felt the tale

Then down the long street having slowly.

stolen, His heart foreshadowing all calamity,

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