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*If you be, what I think you, some

sweet dream, I would but ask you to fulfil yourself: But if you be that Ida whom I knew, I ask you nothing: only, if a dream, Sweet dream, be perfect. I shall die to

night. Stoop down and seem to kiss me ere I die.'

Last I woke sane, but well-nigh close

to death For weakness: it was evening: silent

light Slept on the painted walls, wherein were

wrought Two grand designs; for on one side arose The women up in wild revolt, and storm’d At the Oppian law. Titanic shapes, they

crammid The forum, and half-crush'd among the

rest A dwarf-like Cato cower’d. On the

other side Hortensia spoke against the tax; behind, A train of dames : by axe and eagle sat, With all their foreheads drawn in Roman

scowls, And half the wolf's-milk curdled in their

veins, The fierce triumvirs; and before them

paused Hortensia, pleading : angry was her face.

I could no more, but lay like one in

trance, That hears his burial talk'd of by his

friends, And cannot speak, nor move, nor make

one sign, But lies and dreads his doom. She turn'd;

she paused; She stoop'd; and out of languor leapt a

cry; Leapt fiery Passion from the brinks of

death; And I believed that in the living world My spirit closed with Ida's at the lips; Till back I fell, and from mine arms she

rose Glowing all over noble shame ; and all Her falser self slipt from her like a robe, And left her woman, lovelier in her mood Than in her mould that other, when she

came From barren deeps to conquer all with

love ; And down the streaming crystal dropt ;

and she Far-fleeted by the purple island-sides,

I saw the forms: I knew not where I

was :

They did but look like hollow shows;

nor more Sweet Ida : palm to palm she sat: the

dew Dwelt in her eyes, and softer all her shape And rounder seem'd: I moved : I sigh’d:

a touch Came round my wrist, and tears upon my

hand : Then all for languor and self-pity ran

Sweet Idyl, and once more, as low, she

read :

Naked, a double light in air and wave, To meet her Graces, where they deck'd

her out For worship without end; nor end of mine, Stateliest, for thee ! but mute she glided

forth, Nor glanced behind her, and I sank and

slept, Fill'd thro’ and thro’ with Love, a happy


Deep in the night I woke : she, near

me, held A volume of the Poets of her land : There to herself, all in low tones, she read.

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the

white; Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk ; Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry

font : The fire-fly wakens: waken thou with me.

*Come down, O maid, from yonder

mountain height : What pleasure lives in height (the

shepherd sang) In height and cold, the splendour of the

hills ? But cease to move so near the Heavens,

and cease To glide a sunbeam by the blasted Pine, To sit a star upon the sparkling spire; And come, for Love is of the valley, come, For Love is of the valley, come thou down And find him; by the happy threshold, he, Or hand in hand with Plenty in the maize, Or red with spirted purple of the vats, Or foxlike in the vine ; nor cares to walk With Death and Morning on the silver

horns, Nor wilt thou snare him in the white ravine, Nor find him dropt upon the firths of ice, That huddling slant in furrow-cloven falls To roll the torrent out of dusky doors : But follow ; let the torrent dance thee

down To find him in the valley ; let the wild Lean-headed Eagles yelp alone, and leave The monstrous ledges there to slope, and

spill Their thousand wreaths of dangling

water-smoke, That like a broken purpose waste in air : So waste not thou ; but come ; for all the

vales Await thee ; azure pillars of the hearth Arise to thee; the children call, and I Thy shepherd pipe, and sweet is every

sound, Sweeter thy voice, but every sound is

sweet ; Myriads of rivulets hurrying thro’ the lawn,

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a small

The moan of doves in immemorial elms, And murmuring of innumerable bees.'

So she low-toned ; while with shut eyes

I lay

And her great heart thro' all the faultful

Past Went sorrowing in a pause I dared not

break; Till notice of a change in the dark world Was lispt about the acacias, and a bird, That early woke to feed her little ones, Sent from a dewy breast a cry for light : She moved, and at her feet the volume fell.

Blame not thyself too much,' I said,

* nor blame Too much the sons of men and barbarous

laws; These were the rough ways of the world

till now. Henceforth thou hast a helper, me, that

know The woman's cause is man's : they rise or


Listening ; then look'd. Pale was the

perfect face; The bosom with long sighs labour'd; and

meek Seem'd the full lips, and mild the lumi

nous eyes, And the voice trembled and the hand.

She said Brokenly, that she knew it, she had failid In sweet humility; had fail'd in all ; That all her labour was but as a block Left in the quarry; but she still were loth, She still were loth to yield herself to one That wholly scorn'd to help their equal

rights Against the sons of men, and barbarous

laws. She pray'd me not to judge their cause

from her That wrong'd it, sought far less for truth

than power In knowledge : something wild within

her breast, A greater than all knowledge, beat her

down. And she had nursed me there from week

to week : Much had she learnt in little time. In part It was ill counsel had misled the girl To vex true hearts : yet was she but a

girl* Ah fool, and made myself a Queen of

farce ! When comes another such ? never, I think, Till the Sun drop dead from the signs.'

Her voice Choked, and her forehead sank upon her


Together, dwarf'dor godlike, bond or free: For she that out of Lethe scales with man The shining steps of Nature, shares with

man His nights, his days, moves with him to

one goal, Stays all the fair young planet in her

handsIf she be small, slight-natured, miserable, How shall men grow? but work no more

alone! Our place is much : as far as in us lies We two will serve them both in aiding


Will clear away the parasitic forms
That seem to keep her up but drag her


Will leave her space to burgeon out of all
Within her-let her make herself her own
To give or keep, to live and learn and be
All that not harms distinctive womanhood.
For woman is not undevelopt man,
But diverse : could we make her as the man,

That once was mine! what woman taught

you this?'

Sweet Love were slain : his dearest bond

is this, Not like to like, but like in difference. Yet in the long years liker must they grow; The man be more of woman, she of man ; He gain in sweetness and in moral height, Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw

the world; She mental breadth, nor fail in childward

care, Nor lose the childlike in the larger mind; Till at the last she set herself to man, Like perfect music unto noble words ; And so thesetwain, upon the skirts of Time, Sit side by side, full-summ'd in all their

powers, Dispensing harvest, sowing the To-be, Self-reverent each and reverencing each, Distinct in individualities, But like each other ev'n as those who love. Then comes the statelier Eden back to

men : Then reign the world's great bridals,

chaste and calm : Then springs the crowning race of human

kind. May these things be!'

Sighing she spoke 'I fear They will not.'

‘Dear, but let us type them now In our own lives, and this proud watch

word rest Of equal ; seeing either sex alone Is half itself, and in true marriage lies Nor equal, nor unequal : each fulfils Defect in each, and always thought in

thought, Purpose in purpose, will in will, they grow, The single pure and perfect animal, The two-celld heart beating, with one full

stroke, Life.'

And again sighing she spoke : - A dream

* Alone,' I said, “from earlier than I

know, Immersed in rich foreshadowings of the

world, I loved the woman : he, that doth not,

lives A drowning life, besotted in sweet self, Or pines in sad experience worse than

death, Or keeps his wing'd affections clipt with

crime : Yet was there one thro' whom I loved

her, one Not learned, save in gracious household

ways, Not perfect, nay, but full of tender wants, No Angel, but a dearer being, all dipt In Angel instincts, breathing Paradise, Interpreter between the Gods and men, Who look'd all native to her place, and

yet On tiptoe seem'd to touch upon a sphere Too gross to tread, and all male minds

perforce Sway'd to her from their orbits as they

moved, And girdled her with music. Happy he With such a mother ! faith in womankind Beats with his blood, and trust in all

things high Comes easy to him, and tho' he trip and

fall He shall not blind his soul with clay.'

But I,' Said Ida, tremulously, ‘so all unlikeIt seems you love to cheat yourself with

words : This mother is your model. I have heard Of your strange doubts : they well might

be : I seem

And so thro' those dark gates across the

wild That no man knows. Indeed I love

thee : come, Yield thyself up : my hopes and thine are

one : Accomplish thou my manhood and thy

self; Lay thy sweet hands in mine and trust to


A mockery to my own self. Never,

Prince ;
You cannot love me.'

Nay but thee ' I said ‘From yearlong poring on thy pictured

eyes, Ere seen I loved, and loved thee seen,

and saw Thee woman thro' the crust of iron moods That mask'd thee from men's reverence

up, and forced Sweet love on pranks of saucy boyhood :

now, Giv'n back to life, to life indeed, thro'

thee, Indeed I love : the new day comes, the

light Dearer for night, as dearer thou for faults Lived over : lift thine eyes ; my doubts

are dead, My haunting sense of hollow shows : the

change, This truthful change in thee has kill'd it.

Look up, and let thy nature strike on

mine, Like yonder morning on the blind half

world ; Approach and fear not ; breathe upon my

brows; In that fine air I tremble, all the past Melts mist-like into this bright hour, and

this Is mom to more, and all the rich to-come Reels, as the golden Autumn woodland

Athwart the smoke of burning weeds.

Forgive me,
I waste my heart in signs : let be. My

My wife, my life. O we will walk this

Yoked in all exercise of noble end,

CONCLUSION. So closed our tale, of which I give you all The random scheme as wildly as it rose : The words are mostly mine ; for when

we ceased There came a minute's pause, and Walter

said, “I wish she had not yielded !' then to me, • What, if you drest it up poetically !! So pray'd the men, the women : I gave

assent : Yet how to bind the scattered scheme of

seven Together in one sheaf? What style could

suit ? The men required that I should give

throughout The sort of mock-heroic gigantesque, With which we banter'd little Lilia first : The women--and perhaps they felt their

power, For something in the ballads which they

sang, Or in their silent influence as they sat, Had ever seem'd to wrestle with burlesque, And drove us, last, to quite a solemn

closeThey hated banter, wish'd for something

real, A gallant fight, a noble princess-why Not make her true-heroic-true-sublime ? Or all, they said, as earnest as the close ?

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