For the keeper was one, so full of pride,
He linkt a dead man there to a spectral

For he, if he had not been a Sultan of

brutes, Would he have that hole in his side?

But what will the old man say?
He laid a cruel snare in a pit
To catch a friend of mine one stormy

day ;
Yet now I could even weep to think of it ;
For what will the old man say
When he comes to the second corpse in
the pit ?

x. Friend, to be struck by the public foe, Then to strike him and lay him low,

That were a public merit, far,
Whatever the Quaker holds, from sin ;
But the red life spilt for a private blow-
I swear to you, lawful and lawless war
Are scarcely even akin.

O me, why have they not buried me deep

Is it kind to have made me a grave so

Me, that was never a quiet sleeper ?
Maybe still I am but half-dead ;
Then I cannot be wholly dumb ;
I will cry to the steps above my head
And somebody, surely, some kind heart

will come
To bury me, bury me
Deeper, ever so little deeper.




My life has crept so long on a broken wing
Thro' cells of madness, haunts of horror and fear,
That I come to be grateful at last for a little thing :
My mood is changed, for it fell at a time of year
When the face of night is fair on the dewy downs,
And the shining daffodil dies, and the Charioteer
And starry Gemini hang like glorious crowns
Over Orion's grave low down in the west,
That like a silent lightning under the stars
She seem'd to divide in a dream from a band of the blest,
And spoke of a hope for the world in the coming wars-
. And in that hope, dear soul, let trouble have rest,
Knowing I tarry for thee,' and pointed to Mars
As he glow'd like a ruddy shield on the Lion's breast.

And it was but a dream, yet it yielded a dear delight
To have look'd, tho' but in a dream, upon eyes so fair,
That had been in a weary world my one thing bright;
And it was but a dream, yet it lighten'd my despair
When I thought that a war would arise in defence of the right,
That an iron tyranny now should bend or cease,

The glory of manhood stand on his ancient height,
Nor Britain's one sole God be the millionnaire :
No more shall commerce be all in all, and Peace
Pipe on her pastoral hillock a languid note,
And watch her harvest ripen, her herd increase,
Nor the cannon-bullet rust on a slothful shore,
And the cobweb woven across the cannon's throat
Shall shake its threaded tears in the wind no more.


And as months ran on and rumour of battle grew,

It is time, it is time, O passionate heart,' said I
(For I cleaved to a cause that I felt to be pure and true),

It is time, O passionate heart and morbid eye,
That old hysterical mock-disease should die.'
And I stood on a giant deck and mix'd my breath
With a loyal people shouting a battle cry,
Till I saw the dreary phantom arise and fly
Far into the North, and battle, and seas of death.

[ocr errors]

Let it go or stay, so I wake to the higher aims
Of a land that has lost for a little her lust of gold,
And love of a peace that was full of wrongs and shames,
Horrible, hateful, monstrous, not to be told;
And hail once more to the banner of battle unroll'd !
Tho' many a light shall darken, and many shall weep
For those that are crush'd in the clash of jarring claims,
Yet God's just wrath shall be wreak'd on a giant liar ;
And many a darkness into the light shall leap,
And shine in the sudden making of splendid names,
And noble thought be freër under the sun,
And the heart of a people beat with one desire ;
For the peace, that I deem'd no peace, is over and done,
And now by the side of the Black and the Baltic deep,
And deathful-grinning mouths of the fortress, flames
The blood-red blossom of war with a heart of fire.

Let it flame or fade, and the war roll down like a wind,
We have proved we have hearts in a cause, we are noble still,
And myself have awaked, as it seems, to the better mind;
It is better to fight for the good than to rail at the ill ;
I have felt with my native land, I am one with my kind,
I embrace the purpose of God, and the doom assign'd.




These to His Memory-since he held

them dear, Perchance as finding there unconsciously Some image of himself—I dedicate, I dedicate, I consecrate with tearsThese Idylls.

Before a thousand peering littlenesses,
In that herce light which beats upon a

And blackens every blot : for where is he,
Who dares foreshadow for an only son
A lovelier life, a more unstain'd, than his ?
Or how should England dreaming of his

sons Hope more for these than some inheritance Of such a life, a heart, a mind as thine, Thou noble Father of her Kings to be, Laborious for her people and her poorVoice in the rich dawn of an ampler dayFar-sighted summoner of War and Waste To fruitful strifes and rivalries of peaceSweet nature gilded by the gracious gleam Of letters, dear to Science, dear to Art, Dear to thy land and ours, a Prince

indeed, Beyond all titles, and a household name, Hereafter, thro' all times, Albert the


And indeed He seems to me Scarce other than my own ideal knight, • Who reverenced his conscience as his

king; Whose glory was, redressing human wrong; Who spake no slander, no, nor listen'd

to it; Who loved one only and who clave to

herHer-over all whose realms to their last

isle, Commingled with the gloom of imminent

war, The shadow of His loss drew like eclipse, Darkening the world. We have lost

him : he is gone : We know him now: all narrow jealousies Are silent ; and we see him as he moved, How modest, kindly, all-accomplish'd,

wise, With what sublime repression of himself, And in what limits, and how tenderly ; Not swaying to this faction or to that ; Not making his high place the lawless

perch Of wing'd ambitions, nor a vantage

ground For pleasure ; but thro' all this tract of

Break not, O woman's heart, but still

endure; Break not, for thou art Royal, but endure, Remembering all the beauty of that star Which shone so close beside Thee, that

ye made One light together, but has past and leaves The Crown a lonely splendour.

May all love, His love, unseen but felt, o'ershadow Thee, The love of all Thy sons encompass Thee, The love of all Thy daughters cherish

Thee, The love of all Thy people comfort Thee, Till God's love set Thee at his side again! LEODOGRAN, the King of Cameliard, Had one fair daughter, and none other

years Wearing the white flower of a blameless




child; And she was fairest of all flesh on earth, Guinevere, and in her his one delight.

For many a petty king ere Arthur came Ruled in this isle, and ever waging war Each upon other, wasted all the land ; And still from time to time the heathen

host Swarmd overseas, and harried what was

left. And so there grew great tracts of wilder

ness, Wherein the beast was ever more and

more, But man was less and less, till Arthur

came. For first Aurelius lived and fought and

died, And after him King Uther fought and died, But either faild to make the kingdom

one. And after these King Arthur for a space, And thro' the puissance of his Table

Round, Drew all their petty princedoms under

Came night and day, and rooted in the

fields, And wallow'd in the gardens of the King. And ever and anon the wolf would steal The children and devour, but now and

then, Her own brood lost or dead, lent her

fierce teat To human sucklings; and the children,

housed In her foul den, there at their meat would

growl, And mock their foster-mother on four feet, Till, straighten’d, they grew up to wolf

like men, Worse than the wolves. And King

Leodogran Groan'd for the Roman legions here again, And Cæsar's eagle : then his brother king, Urien, assail'd him : last a heathen horde, Reddening the sun with smoke and earth

with blood, And on the spike that split the mother's

heart Spitting the child, brake on him, till,

amazed, He knew not whither he should turn for aid.


Their king and head, and made a realm,

and reign’d.

And thus the land of Cameliard was

waste, Thick with wet woods, and many a beast

therein, And none or few to scare or chase the

beast; So that wild dog, and wolf and boar and


But--for he heard of Arthur newly

crown'a, Tho' not without an uproar made by those Who cried, 'He is not Uther's son'-the

King Sent to him, saying, 'Arise, and help us

thou ! For here between the man and beast we


And Arthur yet had done no deed of arms,

This is the son of Gorlois, not the King ; This is the son of Anton, not the King.'

But heard the call, and came : and

Guinevere Stood by the castle walls to watch him

pass; But since he neither wore on helm or

shield The golden symbol of his kinglihood, But rode a simple knight among his

knights, And many of these in richer arms than he, She saw him not, or mark'd not, if she

saw, One among many, tho' his face was bare. But Arthur, looking downward as he past, Felt the light of her eyes into his life Smite on the sudden, yet rode on, and

pitch'd His tents beside the forest. Then he

drave The heathen, after, slew the beast, and

fellid The forest, letting in the sun, and made Broad pathways for the hunter and the

knight And so return'd.

And Arthur, passing thence to battle,

felt Travail, and throes and agonies of the

life, Desiring to be join'd with Guinevere; And thinking as he rode, “Her father said That there between the man and beast

they die. Shall I not lift her from this land of beasts Up to my throne, and side by side with

me? What happiness to reign a lonely king, Vext-Oye stars that shudder over me, O earth that soundest hollow under me, Vext with waste dreams ? for saving I be

join'd To her that is the fairest under heaven, I seem as nothing in the mighty world, And cannot will my will, nor work my

work Wholly, nor make myself in mine own

realm Victor and lord. But were I join'd with

her, Then might we live together as one life, And reigning with one will in everything Have power on this dark land to lighten

it, And power on this dead world to make it


For while he linger'd there,

For whil, A doubt that ever smoulder'd in the hearts Of those great Lords and Barons of his

realm Flash'd forth and into war : for most of

these, Colleaguing with a score of petty kings, Made head against him, crying, Who

is he That he should rule us ? who hath proven

him King Uther's son? for lo ! we look at

him, And find nor face nor bearing, limbs nor

voice, Are like to those of Uther whom we


Thereafter-as he speaks who tells the

tale When Arthur reach'd a field-of-battle

bright With pitch'd pavilions of his foe, the

world Was all so clear about him, that he saw The smallest rock far on the faintest hill, And even in high day the morning star.

« ElőzőTovább »