The garden stretches southward. In the

midst A cedar spread his dark-green layers of

shade. The garden-glasses shone, and momently The twinkling laurel scatter'd silver lights. * Eustace,' I said, “this wonder keeps

the house.' He nodded, but a moment afterwards He cried, “Look! look !' Before he

ceased I turn'd, And, ere a star can wink, beheld her there. For up the porch there grew an

Eastern rose, That, flowering high, the last night's gale

had caught, And blown across the walk. One arm

aloftGown'd in pure white, that fitted to the

shapeHolding the bush, to fix it back, she

stood. A single stream of all her soft brown hair Pour'd on one side : the shadow of the

flowers Stole all the golden gloss, and, wavering Lovingly lower, trembled on her waistAh, happy shade--and still went waver

ing down, But, ere it touch'd a foot, that might

have danced The greensward into greener circles, dipi, And mix'd with shadows of the common

ground ! But the full day dwelt on her brows, and

sunn'd Her violet eyes, and all her Hebe bloom, And doubled his own warmth against her

lips, And on the bounteous wave of such a

breast As never pencil drew. Half light, half


She stood, a sight to make an old man

young. So rapt, we neard the house ; but she,

a Rose In roses, mingled with her fragrant toil, Nor heard us come, nor from her tend

ance turn'd Into the world without ; till close at hand, And almost ere I knew mine own intent, This murmur broke the stillness of that

air Which brooded round about her :

* Ah, one rose, One rose, but one, by those fair fingers

cull’d, Were worth a hundred kisses press’d on

lips Less exquisite than thine.'

She look'd : but all Suffused with blushes-neither self

possess'd Nor startled, but betwixt this mood and

that, Divided in a graceful quiet-paused, And dropt the branch she held, and turn

ing, wound Her looser hair in braid, and stirr'd her

lips For some sweet answer, tho' no answer

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And shaping faithful record of the glance That graced the giving—such a noise of

life Swarm'd in the golden present, such a

voice Call’d to me from the years to come, and

such A length of bright horizon rimm'd the

dark. And all that night I heard the watchman

peal The sliding season : all that night I heard The heavy clocks knolling the drowsy

hours. The drowsy hours, dispensers of all good, O’er the mute city stole with folded wings, Distilling odours on me as they went To greet their fairer sisters of the East. Love at first sight, first-born, and heir

to all, Made this night thus. Henceforward

squall nor storm Could keep me from that Eden where

she dwelt. Light pretexts drew me : sometimes a

Dutch love For tulips ; then for roses, moss or musk, To grace my city-rooms; or fruits and

cream Served in the weeping elm ; and more

and more

A word could bring the colour to my

A thought would fill my eyes with happy

Love trebled life within me, and with

The year increased.

The daughters of the year,
One after one, thro' that still garden

pass’d :
Each garlanded with her peculiar flower
Danced into light, and died into the

shade ;
And each in passing touch'd with some

new grace
Or seem'd to touch her, so that day by

Like one that never can be wholly known,
Her beauty grew ; till Autumn brought

an hour
For Eustace, when I heard his deep 'I

Breathed, like the covenant of a God, to

From thence thro' all the worlds : but I

rose up
Full of his bliss, and following her dark

Felt earth as air beneath me, till I reach'd
The wicket-gate, and found her standing

There sat we down upon a garden

Two mutually enfolded ; Love, the third,
Between us, in the circle of his arms
Enwound us both ; and over many a

Of waning lime the gray cathedral towers,
Across a hazy glimmer of the west,
Reveald their shining windows : from

them clash'd
The bells; we listen'd ; with the time

we play'd;

Yet might I tell of meetings, of fare.

wellsOf that which came between, more sweet

than each, In whispers, like the whispers of the

leaves That tremble round a nightingale-in


We spoke of other things ; we coursed

about The subject most at heart, more near

and near, Like doves about a dovecote, wheeling

round The central wish, until we settled there. Then, in that time and place, I spoke

to her, Requiring, tho' I knew it was mine own, Yet for the pleasure that I took to hear, Requiring at her hand the greatest gift, A woman's heart, the heart of her I loved; And in that time and place she answer'd

me, And in the compass of three little words, More musical than ever came in one, The silver fragments of a broken voice, Made me most happy, faltering, “I am

thine.' Shall I cease here? Is this enough to

say That my desire, like all strongest hopes, By its own energy fulfilld itself, Merged in completion ? Would you

learn at full How passion rose thro' circumstantial

grades Beyond all grades develop'd ? and indeed I had not staid so long to tell you all, But while I mused came Memory with

sad eyes, Holding the folded annals of my youth ; And while I mused, Love with knit

brows went by; And with a flying finger swept my lips, And spake, “Be wise : not easily for

given Are those, who setting wide the doors

that bar The secret bridal chambers of the heart, Let in the day.' Here, then, my words

have end.

Which perfect Joy, perplex'd for utter

ance, Stole from her sister Sorrow. Might I

not tell of difference, reconcilement, pledges

given, And vows, where there was never need

of vows, And kisses, where the heart on one wild

leap Hung tranced from all pulsation, as above The heavens between their fairy fleeces

pale Sow'd all their mystic gulfs with fleeting

stars; Or while the balmy glooming, crescent


Spread the light haze along the river.

shores, And in the hollows; or as once we met Unheedful, tho' beneath a whispering rain Night slid down one long stream of

sighing wind, And in her bosom bore the baby, Sleep. But this whole hour your eyes have

been intent On that veil'd picture-veil'd, for what it

holds May not be dwelt on by the common day. This prelude has prepared thee. Raise

thy soul ; Make thine heart ready with thine eyes :

the time Is come to raise the veil.

Behold her there,

As I beheld her ere she knew my heart, My first, last love; the idol of my youth, The darling of my manhood, and, alas ! Now the most blessed memory of mine


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With farmer Allan at the farm abode William and Dora. William was his son, And she his niece. He often look'd at

them, And often thought, I'll make them man

and wife.' Now Dora felt her uncle's will in all, And yeafn’d towards William ; but the

youth, because He had been always with her in the

house, Thought not of Dora.

Then there came a day When Allan call'd his son, and said,

• My son : I married late, but I would wish to see My grandchild on my knees before I die: And I have set my heart upon a match. Now therefore look to Dora ; she is well To look to; thrifty too beyond her age. She is my brother's daughter : he and I Had once hard words, and parted, and

he died In foreign lands ; but for his sake I bred His daughter Dora : take her for your

wife; For I have wish'd this marriage, night

and day, For many years.' But William answer'd

short; • I cannot marry Dora ; by my life, I will not marry Dora.' Then the old

Consider, William : take a month to

think, And let me have an answer to my wish ; Or, by the Lord that made me, you shall

pack, And never more darken my doors again.' But William answerd madly ; bit his lips, And broke away. The more he look'd

at her The less he liked her; and his ways were

harsh; But Dora bore them meekly. Then

before The month was out he left his father's

house, And hired himself to work within the

fields; And half in love, half spite, he woo'd and

wed A labourer's daughter, Mary Morrison. Then, when the bells were ringing,

Allan call'd His niece and said : “My girl, I love you

well ; But if you speak with him that was my

son, Or change a word with her he calls his

wife, My home is none of yours. My will is

law.' And Dora promised, being meek. She

thought, It cannot be : my uncle's mind will

change !' And days went on, and there was born

a boy To William ; then distresses came on him; And day by day he passid his father's gate,


Was wroth, and doubled up his hands,

and said :

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