Made toward us, like a wader in the surf, Beyond the brook, waist-deep in meadow


Ilad Katie; not illiterate; nor of those Who dabbling in the fount of fictive

tears, And nursed by mealy-mouth'd philan

thropies, Divorce the Feeling from her mate the


‘She told me. She and James had

quarrell’d. Why? What cause of quarrel? None, she said,

no cause; James had no cause : but when I prest the

"O Katie, what I suffer'd for your sake! For in I went, and call’d old Philip out To show the farm : full willingly he rose : He led me thro' the short sweet-smelling

lanes Of his wheat-suburb, babbling as he went. He praised his land, his horses, his ma

chines; He praised his ploughs, his cows, his

hogs, his dogs; He praised his hens, his geese, his guinea

hens; His pigeons, who in session on their roofs Approved him, bowing at their own de


serts :

I learnt that James had flickering jea

lousies Which anger'd her. Who anger'd James?

I said. But Katie snatch'd her eyes at once from

mine, And sketching with her slender pointed

foot. Some figure like a wizard pentagram On garden gravel, let my query pass Unclaim'd, in flushing silence, till I ask'd If James were coming. “Coming every

day," She answer'd, “ever longing to explain, But evermore her father came across With some long-winded tale, and broke

him short; And James departed vext with him and

Then from the plaintive mother's teat he

took Her blind and shuddering puppies, nam

ing each, And naming those, his friends, for whom

they were : Then crost the common into Darnley


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To show Sir Arthur's deer. In copse and

fern Twinkled the innumerable ear and tail. Then, seated on a serpent-rooted beech, He pointed out a pasturing colt, and said : “That was the four-year-old I sold the

Squire." And there he told a long long-winded tale Of how the Squire had seen the colt at

grass, And how it was the thing his daughter

wish'd, And how he sent the bailiff to the farm To learn the price, and what the price he

ask'd, And how the bailiffswore that he was mad,

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I steal by lawns and grassy plots,

I slide by hazel covers ;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots

That grow for happy lovers.
I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,

Among my skimming swallows ; I make the netted sunbeam dance Against my sandy shallows.

But he stood firm; and so the matter

hung; He gave them line : and five days after

that He met the bailiff at the Golden Fleece, Who then and there had offer'd something

more, But he stood firm ; and so the matter

hung; He knew the man; the colt would fetch

its price ; He gave them line : and how by chance

at last (It might be May or April, he forgot, The last of April or the first of May) He found the bailiff riding by the farm, And, talking from the point, he drew him

in, And there he mellow'd all his heart with

ale, Until they closed a bargain, hand in hand.

I murmur under moon and stars

In brambly wildernesses ;
I linger by my shingly bars ;

I loiter round my cresses ;

And out again I curve and flow

To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.

Yes, men may come and go ; and these

are gone, All gone. My dearest brother, Edmund,

sleeps, Not by the well-known stream and rustic

spire, But unfamiliar Arno, and the dome Of Brunelleschi ; sleeps in peace : and

he, Poor Philip, of all his lavish waste of


Remains the lean P. W. on his tomb :
I scraped the lichen from it Katie walks
By the long wash of Australasian seas
Far off, and holds her head to other stars,
And breathes in converse seasons. All

are gone.'

“Then, while I breathed in sight of

haven, he, Poor fellow, could he help it? recom

menced, And ran thro' all the coltish chronicle, Wild Will, Black Bess, Tantivy, Tallyho, Reform, White Rose, Bellerophon, the

Jilt, Arbaces, and Phenomenon, and the rest, Till, not to die a listener, I arose, And with me Philip, talking still; and so We turn'd our foreheads from the falling

sun, And following our own shadows thrice as

long As when they follow'd us from Philip's

door, Arrived, and found the sun of sweet

content Re-risen in Katie's eyes, and all things


So Lawrence Aylmer, seated on a style In the long hedge, and rolling in his mind Old waifs of rhyme, and bowing o'er the

brook A tonsured head in middle age forlorn, Mused, and was mute. On a sudden a

low breath Of tender air made tremble in the hedge The fragile bindweed-bells and briony

rings ;

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And he lookd up. There stood a maiden

near, Waiting to pass. In much amaze he

stared On eyes a bashful azure, and on hair In gloss and hue the chestnut, when the

shell Divides threefold to show the fruit with

in : Then, wondering, ask'd her “Are you from

the farm ?' “Yes' answer'd she. “Pray stay a little :

pardon me; What do they call you?' Katie.' That

were strange. What surname?' • Willows.' No!'

That is my name.' • Indeed!' and here he look'd so self

perplext, That Katie laugh’d, and laughing blush'd

till he Laugh'd also, but as one before he wakes, Who feels a glimmering strangeness in his

dream. Then looking at her ; «Too happy, fresh

and fair, Too fresh and fair in our sad world's best

bloom, To be the ghost of one who bore your

name About these meadows, twenty years ago.'

Here is a story which in rougher shape Came from a grizzled cripple, whom I saw Sunning himself in a waste field alone Old, and a mine of memories—who had

served, Long since, a bygone Rector of the place, And been himself a part of what he told.


Sir AYLMER AYLMER, that almighty

man, The county God, in whose capacious hall, Hung with a hundred shields, the family

tree Sprang from the midriff of a prostrate

kingWhose blazing wyvern weathercock'd the

spire, Stood from his walls and wing'd his entry.

gates And swang besides on many a windy

signWhose eyes from under a pyramidal head Saw from his windows nothing save his

own What lovelier of his own had he than her, His only child, his Edith, whom he loved As heiress and not heir regretfully? But 'he that marries her marries her name' This fiat somewhat soothed himself and

wife, His wife a faded beauty of the Baths,

• Have you not heard ?' said Katie,

• we came back. We bought the farm we tenanted before. Am I so like her ? so they said on board. Sir, if you knew her in her English days, My mother, as it seems you did, the days That most she loves to talk of, come with

me. My brother James is in the harvest-field : But she--you will be welcome--O, come

in !'

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