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LOVE AND DEATH-THE BALLAD OF ORIANA.
LOVE AND DEATH.
Winds were blowing, waters flowing,
WHAT time the mighty moon was gather
ing light Love paced the thymy plots of Paradise, And all about him rolld his lustrous eyes ; When, turning round a cassia, full in view, Death, walking all alone beneath a yew, And talking to himself, first met his sight : You must begone,' said Death, these
walks are mine.' Love wept and spread his sheeny vans
for flight; Yet ere he parted said, “This hour is
thine : Thou art the shadow of life, and as the
tree Stands in the sun and shadows all be
neath, So in the light of great eternity Life eminent creates the shade of death ; The shadow passeth when the tree shall
fall, But I shall reign for ever over all.'
In the yew-wood black as night,
Oriana, Ere I rode into the fight,
She stood upon the castle wall,
Oriana : She watch'd my crest among them all,
THE BALLAD OF ORIANA.
My heart is wasted with my woe,'
snow, And loud the Norland whirlwinds blow,
Oriana, Alone I wander to and fro,
The bitter arrow went aside,
Oh! narrow, narrow was the space,
Oriana. Loud, loud rung out the bugle's brays,
Ere the light on dark was growing,
Oriana, At midnight the cock was crowing,
Combing her hair
Dressing their hair with the white sea
flower; And holding them back by their flowing
locks I would kiss them often under the sea, And kiss them again till they kiss'd me
Laughingly, laughingly; And then we would wander away, away To the pale-green sea-groves straight and
high, Chasing each other merrily.
III. There would be neither moon nor star ; But the wave would make music above
us afar-Low thunder and light in the magic night
Neither moon nor star. We would call aloud in the dreamy dells, Call to each other and whoop and cry
All night, merrily, merrily ; They would pelt me with starry spangles
and shells, Laughing and clapping their hands be
All night, merrily, merrily :
And still as I comb'd I would sing and
say, • Who is it loves me? who loves not me?' I would comb my hair till my ringlets
Low adown, low adown, From under my starry sea- bud crown
Low adown and around,
Over the throne
at the gate With his large calm eyes for the love of
And all the mermen under the sea
Who would be A mermaid fair, Singing alone,
But at night I would wander away, away, I would fling on each side my low
flowing locks, And lightly vault from the throne and play With the mermen in and out of the
In the purple twilights under the sea ; But the king of them all would carry
me, Woo me, and win me, and marry me, In the branching jaspers under the sea ; Then all the dry pied things that be In the hueless mosses under the sea Would curl round my silver feet silently, All looking up for the love of me. And if I should carol aloud, from aloft All things that are forked, and horned,
and soft Would lean out from the hollow sphere of
What hope or fear or joy is thine ?
Do beating hearts of salient springs
Hast thou heard the butterflies
Or in stillest evenings
Or when little airs arise,
To the mosses underneath ?
Hast thou look'd upon the breath
Of the lilies at sunrise ? Wherefore that faint smile of thine, Shadowy, dreaming Adeline ?
All looking down for the love of me.
MYSTERY of mysteries,
Faintly smiling Adeline,
Scarce of earth nor all divine, Nor unhappy, nor at rest,
But beyond expression fair
Some honey-converse feeds thy mind,
Some spirit of a crimson rose
His curtains, wasting odorous sighs All night long on darkness blind.
What aileth thee? whom waitest thou
And those dew-lit eyes of thine,
Encircles all the heart, and feedeth The senses with a still delight
Of dainty sorrow without sound,
Like the tender amber round, Which the moon about her spreadeth, Moving thro' a fleecy night.
Lovest thou the doleful wind
When thou gazest at the skies ?
Dripping with Sabæan spice
With melodious airs lovelorn,
Round thy neck in subtle ring
And ye talk together still,
Letters cowslips on the hill ?
You love, remaining peacefully,
To hear the murmur of the strise,
But enter not the toil of life. Your spirit is the calmed sea,
Laid by the tumult of the fight. You are the evening star, alway
Remaining betwixt dark and bright: Lull'd echoes of laborious day
Come to you, gleams of mellow light
What can it matter, Margaret,
What songs below the waning stars The lion-heart, Plantagenet,
Sang looking thro' his prison bars ?
Exquisite Margaret, who can tell The last wild thought of Chatelet,
Just ere the falling axe did part
Even in her sight he loved so well?
O SWEET pale Margaret,
O rare pale Margaret, What lit your eyes with tearful power, Like moonlight on a falling shower ? Who lent you, love, your mortal dower
Of pensive thought and aspect pale,
Your melancholy sweet and frail As perfume of the cuckoo-flower ? From the westward-winding flood, From the evening-lighted wood,
From all things outward you have
won A tearful grace, as tho' you stood
Between the rainbow and the sun. The very smile before you speak,
That dimples your transparent cheek,
A fairy shield your Genius made
And gave you on your natal day. Your sorrow, only sorrow's shade,
Keeps real sorrow far away.
You are not less divine,
Than your twin-sister, Adeline.
Touch'd with a somewhat darker hue,
But ever trembling thro' the dew