But huge cathedral fronts of every age, Grave, florid, stern, as far as eye could see, One after one : and then the great ridge


Who, never naming God except for gain, So never took that useful name in vain, Made Him his catspaw and the Cross his

tool, And Christ the bait to trap his dupe and

fool; Nor deeds of gift, but gifts of grace he

forged, And snake-like slimed his victim ere he

gorged; And oft at Bible meetings, o'er the rest Arising, did his holy oily best, Dropping the too rough H in Hell and

Heaven, To spread the Word by which himself

had thriven." How like you this old satire?'

“Nay,' she said, 'I loathe it : he had never kindly heart, Nor ever cared to better his own kind, Who first wrote satire, with no pity in it. But will you hear my dream, for I had one That altogether went to music? Still It awed me.

Lessening to the lessening music, back, And past into the belt and swelld again Slowly to music : ever when it broke The statues, king or saint, or founder fell ; Then from the gaps and chasms of ruin

left Came men and women in dark clusters

round, Some crying, “Set them up! they shall

not fall !” And others “Let them lie, for they have

fall'n.” And still they strove and wrangled : and

she grieved In her strange dream, she knew not why,

to find Their wildest wailings never out of tune With that sweet note; and ever as their

shrieks Ran highest up the gamut, that great wave Returning, while none mark'd it, on the

crowd Broke, mixt with awful light, and show'd

their eyes Glaring, and passionate looks, and swept

away The men of flesh and blood, and men of

stone, To the waste deeps together.

Then she told it, having dream'd Of that same coast.

'- But round the North, a light, A belt, it seem'd, of luminous vapour, lay, And ever in it a low musical note Swell’d up and died; and, as it swell’d, a

ridge Of breaker issued from the belt, and still Grew with the growing note, and when

the note Had reach'd a thunderous fullness, on

those cliffs Broke, mixt with awful light (the same as

that Living within the belt) whereby she saw That all those lines of cliffs were cliffs

no more,

Then I fixi My wistful eyes on two fair images, Both crown'd with stars and high among

the stars, – The Virgin Mother standing with her

child High up on one of those dark minster.

frontsTill she began to totter, and the child

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"Child? No!' said he, “but this tide's

roar, and his, Our Boanerges with his threats of doom, And loud-lung'd Antibabylonianisms (Altho' I grant but little music there) Went both to make your dream : but if

there were A music harmonizing our wild cries, Sphere-music such as that you dream'd

about, Why, that would make our passions far

too like The discords dear to the musician. No-One shriek of hate would jar all the hymns

of heaven : True Devils with no ear, they howl in

tune With nothing but the Devil !'

* Ah, dearest, if there be A devil in man, there is an angel too, And if he did that wrong you charge him

with, His angel broke his heart. But your

rough voice (You spoke so loud) has roused the child

again. Sleep, little birdie, sleep! will she not sleep Without her little birdie?” well then,

sleep, And I will sing you “birdie.”'

Saying this, The woman half turn'd round from him

she loved, Left him one hand, and reaching thro'

the night Her other, found (for it was close beside) And half embraced the basket cradle-head With one soft arm, which, like the pliant

bough That moving moves the nest and nestling,

sway'd The cradle, while she sang this baby song.

""True” indeed! One of our town, but later by an hour Here than ourselves, spoke with me on

the shore ; While you were running down the sands,

and made The dimpled flounce of the sea-furbelow

flap, Good man, to please the child. She

brought strange news. Why were you silent when I spoke to

night? I had set my heart on your forgiving him Before you knew. We must forgive the


What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let em fly away.
Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till the little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby.says, like little birdie,
Let me rise and fly away.
Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till the little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby too shall fly away.

Those marriage-bells, echoing in ear and

heartBut cast a parting glance at me, you saw, As who should say 'Continue.' Well, he

had One golden hour--of triumph shall I say? Solace at least-before he left his home.

'She sleeps : let us too, let all evil,

sleep. He also sleeps-another sleep than ours. He can do no more wrong : forgive him,

dear, And I shall sleep the sounder !'

Would you had seen him in that hour

of his ! He moved thro' all of it majesticallyRestrain'd himself quite to the close--but


Then the man, His deeds yet live, the worst is yet to

come. Yet let your sleep for this one night be

sound : I do forgive him !

*Thanks, my love,' she said, "Your own will be the sweeter,' and they


Whether they were his lady's marriage

bells, Or prophets of them in his fantasy, I never ask'd : but Lionel and the girl Were wedded, and our Julian came again Back to his mother's house among the

pines. But these, their gloom, the mountains and

the Bay, The whole land weigh’d him down as

Ætna does The Giant of Mythology: he would go, Would leave the land for ever, and had

gone Surely, but for a whisper, 'Go not yet,' Some warning, and divinely as it seem'd By that which follow'd—but of this I deem As of the visions that he told--the event Glanced back upon them in his after lise, And partly made them--tho' he knew it



[This poem is founded upon a story in Boccaccio.

A young lover, Julian, whose cousin and foster-sister, Camilla, has been wedded to his friend and rival, Lionel, endeavours to narrate the story of his own love for her, and the strange sequel of it. He speaks of having been haunted in delirium by visions and the sound of bells, sometimes tolling for a funeral, and at last ringing for a marriage ; but he breaks away, overcome, as he approaches the Event, and a witness to it completes the tale.)

He flies the event : he leaves the event

to me : Poor Julian-how he rush'd away; the


And thus he stay'd and would not look

at her No not for months: but, when the eleventh

moon After their marriage lit the lover's Bay, Heard yet once more the tolling bell, and


Of black and bands of silver, which the

moon Struck from an open grating overhead High in the wall, and all the rest of her Drown'd in the gloom and horror of the


Would you could toll me out of life, but

foundAll sostly as his mother broke it to himA crueller reason than a crazy ear, For that low knell tolling his lady deadDead—and had lain three days without a

pulse : All that look'd on her had pronounced

her dead. And so they bore her (for in Julian's land They never nail a dumb head up in elm), Bore her free-faced to the free airs of

heaven, And laid her in the vault of her own kin.

It was my wish,' he said, 'to pass, to

sleep, To rest, to be with her—till the great day Peal'd on us with that music which rights


What did he then ? not die : he is here

and haleNot plunge headforemost from the moun

tain there, And leave the name of Lover's Leap: not

he : He knew the meaning of the whisper

now, Thought that he knew it. This, I

stay'd for this ; O love, I have not seen you for so long. Now, now, will I go down into the grave, I will be all alone with all I love, And kiss her on the lips. She is his no

more : The dead returns to me, and I go down To kiss the dead.'

And raised us hand in hand.' And kneel

ing there Down in the dreadful dust that once was

man, Dust, as he said, that once was loving

hearts, Hearts that had beat with such a love as

mineNot such as mine, no, nor for such as

her-He softly put his arm about her neck And kiss'd her more than once, till help

less death And silence made him bold—nay, but I

wrong him, He reverenced his dear lady even in death; But, placing his true hand upon her heart, O, you warm heart,' he moan'd, not

even death Can chill you all at once :' then starting,

thought His dreams had come again. “Do I

wake or sleep? Or am I made immortal, or my love Mortal once more?' It beat--the heart

-it beat : Faint—but it beat : at which his own began To pulse with such a vehemence that it

drown's The feebler motion underneath his hand. But when at last his doubts were satisfied,

The fancy stirr'd him so He rose and went, and entering the dim

vault, And, making there a sudden light, beheld All round about him that which all will

be. The light was but a flash, and went again. Then at the far end of the vault he saw His lady with the moonlight on her face; Her breast as in a shadow-prison, bars

He raised her softly from the sepulchre, And, wrapping her all over with the

cloak Hecame in, and now striding fast, and now Sitting awhile to rest, but evermore Holding his golden burthen in his arms, So bore her thro' the solitary land Back to the mother's house where she was


And you shall give me back when he

returns. *Stay then a little,' answer'd Julian, 'here, And keep yourself, none knowing, to

yourself ; And I will do your will. I may not stay, No, not an hour ; but send me notice of

him When he returns, and then will I return, And I will make a solemn offering of you To him you love.' And faintly she

replied, * And I will do your will, and none shall


There the good mother's kindly minis

tering, With half a night's appliances, recalld Her fluttering life : she rais'd an eye that

ask'd •Where?' till the things familiar to her

youth Had made a silent answer : then she spoke Here ! and how came I here?' and

learning it (They told her somewhat rashly as I think) At once began to wander and to wail, 'Ay, but you know that you must give

me back : Send ! bid him come ;' but Lionel was

awayStung by his loss had vanish'd, none knew

where. He casts me out,' she wept, 'and goes'

--a wail That seeming something, yet was nothing,

born Not from believing mind, but shatter'd

nerve, Yet haunting Julian, as her own reproof At some precipitance in her burial. Then, when her own true spirit had re

turn'd, O yes, and you,' she said, “and none but

you.' For you have given me life and love again, And none but you yourself shall tell him

of it,

Not know? with such a secret to be

known. But all their house was old and loved

them both, And all the house had known the loves

of both; Had died almost to serve them any way, And all the land was waste and solitary : And then he rode away ; but after this, An hour or two, Camilla's travail came Upon her, and that day a boy was born, Heir of his face and land, to Lionel.

And thus our lonely lover rode away, And pausing at a hostel in a marsh, There fever seized upon him : myself was

then Travelling that land, and meant to rest

an hour ; And sitting down to such a base repast, It makes me angry yet to speak of it— : I heard a groaning overhead, and climb'd The moulder'd stairs (for everything was

vile) And in a loft, with none to wait on him, Found, as it seem'd, a skeleton alone, Raving of dead men's dust and beating


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