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CHORIC SONG.

There is sweet music here that softer falls Than petals from blown roses on the

grass, Or night-dews on still waters between

walls Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass ; Music that gentlier on the spirit lies, Than tir'd eyelids upon tir'd eyes ; Music that brings sweet sleep down from

the blissful skies. Here are cool mosses deep, And thro' the moss the ivies creep, And in the stream the long-leaved flowers

weep, And from the craggy ledge the poppy

hangs in sleep.

With winds upon the branch, and there Grows green and broad, and takes no

care, Sun-steep'd at noon, and in the moon Nightly dew-fed ; and turning yellow Falls, and floats adown the air. Lo ! sweeten'd with the summer light, The full-juiced apple, waxing over

mellow, Drops in a silent autumn night. All its allotted length of days, The flower ripens in its place, Ripens and fades, and falls, and hath no

toil, Fast-rooted in the fruitful soil.

II.

Why are we weigh'd upon with heaviness, And utterly consumed with sharp distress, While all things else have rest from

weariness? All things have rest : why should we toil

alone, We only toil, who are the first of things, And make perpetual moan, Still from one sorrow to another thrown: Nor ever fold our wings, And cease from wanderings, Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy

balm ; Nor harken what the inner spirit sings, • There is no joy but calm !' Why should we only toil, the roof and

crown of things?

iv. Hateful is the dark-blue sky, Vaulted o'er the dark-blue sea. Death is the end of life ; ah, why Should life all labour be? Let us alone. Time driveth onward fast, And in a little while our lips are dumb. Let us alone. What is it that will last ? All things are taken from us, and become Portions and parcels of the dreadful Past. Let us alone. What pleasure can we

have To war with evil? Is there any peace In ever climbing up the climbing wave ? All things have rest, and ripen toward

the grave In silence ; ripen, fall and cease : Give us long rest or death, dark death, or

dreamful ease.

How sweet it were, hearing the down

ward stream, With half-shut eyes ever to seem Falling asleep in a half-dream! To dream and dream, like yonder amber

light,

III.

Lo! in the middle of the wood,
The folded leaf is woo'd from out the bud

VII.

Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on

the height; To hear each other's whisper'd speech ; Eating the Lotos day by day, To watch the crisping ripples on the beach, And tender curving lines of creamy spray; To lend our hearts and spirits wholly To the influence of mild-minded melan

choly; To muse and brood and live again in

memory, With those old faces of our infancy Heap'd over with a mound of grass, Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an

urn of brass !

But, propt on beds of amaranth and

moly, How sweet (while warm airs lull us,

blowing lowly) With half-dropt eyelid still, Beneath a heaven dark and holy, To watch the long bright river drawing

slowly His waters from the purple hill--To hear the dewy echoes calling From cave to cave thro' the thick-twined

vineTo watch the emerald-colour'd water

falling Thro' many a wov'n acanthus-wreath

divine ! Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling

brine, Only to hear were sweet, stretch'd out

beneath the pine.

VI.

VIII.

Dear is the memory of our wedded lives, And dear the last embraces of our wives And their warm tears : but all hath

suffer'd change ; For surely now our household hearths are

cold : Our sons inherit us: our looks are

strange : And we should come like ghosts to

trouble joy. Or else the island princes over-bold Have eat our substance, and the minstrel

sings Before them of the ten years' war in Troy, And our great deeds, as half-forgotten

things. Is there confusion in the little isle ? Let what is broken so remain. The Gods are hard to reconcile : 'Tis hard to settle order once again. There is confusion worse than death, Trouble on trouble, pain on pain, Long labour unto aged breath, Sore task to hearts worn out by many wars And eyes grown dim with gazing on the

pilot-stars.

The Lotos blooms below the barren

peak : The Lotos blows by every winding creek : All day the wind breathes low with

mellower tone : Thro' every hollow cave and alley lone Round and round the spicy downs the

yellow Lotos-dust is blown. We have had enough of action, and of

motion we, Rolld to starboard, rolld to larboard,

when the surge was seething free, Where the wallowing monster spouted

his foam-fountains in the sea. Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an

equal mind, In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie

reclined On the hills like Gods together, careless

of mankind.

Sung by the morning star of song, who

made His music heard below;

Dan Chaucer, the first warbler, whose

sweet breath Preluded those melodious bursts that fill The spacious times of great Elizabeth

With sounds that echo still.

And, for a while, the knowledge of his art Held me above the subject, as strong

gales Hold swollen clouds from raining, tho’

my heart,
Brimful of those wild tales,

For they lie beside their nectar, and the

bolts are hurld Far below them in the valleys, and the

clouds are lightly curl'd Round their golden houses, girdled with

the gleaming world: Where they smile in secret, looking over

wasted lands, Blight and famine, plague and earthquake,

roaring deeps and fiery sands, Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and

sinking ships, and praying hands. But they smile, they find a music centred

in a doleful song Steaming up, a lamentation and an

ancient tale of wrong, Like a tale of little meaning tho' the

words are strong; Chanted from an ill-used race of men that

cleave the soil, Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with

enduring toil, Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and

wine and oil ; Till they perish and they suffer-some,

'tis whisper'd-down in hell Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian

valleys dwell, Resting weary limbs at last on beds of

asphodel. Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet

than toil, the shore Than labour in the deep mid-ocean, wind

and wave and oar ; Oh rest ye, brother mariners, we will not

wander more.

Charged both mine eyes with tears. In

every land I saw, wherever light illumineth, Beauty and anguish walking hand in hand

The downward slope to death.

Those far-renowned brides of ancient

song Peopled the hollow dark, like burning

stars, And I heard sounds of insult, shame, and

wrong,
And trumpets blown for wars ;

And clattering flints batter'd with clanging

hoofs : And I saw crowds in column'd sanctu

aries ; And forms that pass'd at windows and on

roofs Of marble palaces ;

'A DREAM OF FAIR WOMEN.

I READ, before my eyelids dropt their

shade, 'The Legend of Good Women,' long ago

Corpses across the threshold; heroes tall

Dislodging pinnacle and parapet Upon the tortoise creeping to the wall ;

Lances in ambush set;

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