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VI. He fell as doth the tempter ever fall, Even in the gaining of his loathsome

end; God doth not work as man works, but

makes all The crooked paths of ill to goodness

tend; Let him judge Margaret! If to be the

thrall Of love, and faith too generous to

defend Its very life from him she loved, be sin, What hope of grace may the seducer win?

Grim-hearted world, that look'st with

Levite eyes
On those poor fallen by too much

faith in man, She that upon thy freezing threshold

lies, Starved to more sinning by thy sav

age ban, Seeking that refuge because foulest vice

More godlike than thy virtue is,

whose span

IV. .tever is weak falsehood's destiny That her thick mask turns crystal to

let through The unsuspicious eyes of honesty ; But Margaret's heart was too sincere

and true Aught but plain truth and faithfulness

to see, And Mordred's for a time a little grew To be like hers, won by the mild reproof Of those kind eyes that kept all doubt


Shuts out the wretched only, - is more

free To enter Heaven than thou wilt ever be !

VIII. Thou wilt not let her wash thy dainty

feet With such salt things as tears, or

witb rude hair Dry them, soft Pharisee, that sit'st at

meat With him who made her such, and

speak’st him fair, Leaving God's wandering lamb the

while to bleat Unheeded, shivering in the pitiless


Full oft they mat, as dawn and twilight

meet In northern cli nes; she full of grow

ing day

air :

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XII. She could not figure forth a happy fate, Even for this lite from heaven so

newly come ; The earth must needs be doubly desc

late To him scarce parted from a fairer

home : Such boding heavier on her bosom site One night, as, standing in the twi

light gloam, She strained her eyes beyond that dizzy

verge At whose foot faintly breaks the future's surge.

XIII. Poor little spirit ! naught but shame Nurse the sick heart whose lifeblood

nurses thine : Yet not those only; love hath tri

umphed so, As for thy sake makes sorrow more

divine : And yet, though thou be pure, the world

is foe To purity, if born in such a shrine ; And, having trampled it for struggling

thence, Smiles to itself, and calls it Providence.

and woe


And so, though altered Mordred came

less oft, And winter frowned where spring

had laughed before, In his strange eyes, yet half her sad

ness doffed, And in her silent patience loved him

more : Sorrow had made her soft heart yet

more soft, And a new life within her own she

bore Which made her tenderer, as she felt

it move Beneath her breast, a refuge for her



and press

its eyes

This babe, she thought, would surely

bring him back, And be a bond forever them between ; Before its eyes the sullen tempest-rack Would fade, and leave the face of

heaven serene ; And love's return doth more than fill

the lack, Which in his absence withered the

heart's green ; And yet a dim foreboding still would

flit Between her and her hope to darken it.

XIV. As thus she mused, a shadow seemed

to rise From out her thought, and turn to

dreariness All blissful hopes and sunny memories,

And the quick blood would curdle up About her heart, which seemed to shut And hush itself, as who with shud

dering guess Harks through the gloom and dreads

e'en now to feel Through his hot breast the icy slide of steel.

xv. But, at that heart-beat, while in dread In the low wind the honeysuckles


she was,

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XVIII. The apathy, ere a erime resolved is

done, Is scarce less dreadful than remorse

for crime ;

XXI. Day wore at last: the evening star

arose, And throbbing in the sky grew red

and set ; Then with a guilty, wavering step he

goes To the hid nook where they so on

had met

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XXIV. His heart went out within him like a

spark Dropt in the sea ; wherever he made

bold Toturn hiseyes, he saw, all stiffandstark, Pale Margaret lying dead ; the lavish

gold Of her loose hair seemed in the cloudy

dark To spread a glory, and a thousand

Came flocking in the sunburnt peas

antry, And knights and dames with stately

antique cheer, Blazing with pomp, as if all faërie Had emptied her quaint halls, or, as

it were, The illuminated margeof some old book, While we were gazing, life and motion



It grew up like a darkness everywhere, Filling the vast cathedral ;- sud

denly, From the dense mass a boy's clear

treble broke Like lightning, and the full-toned choir



XXVIII. When all were entered, and the roving

eyes Of all were stayed, some upon faces

bright, Someonthepriests, someon the traceries That decked the slumber of a marble

knight, And all the rustlings over that arise

From recognizing tokens of delight, When friendly glances meet, then

silent ease Spread o'er the multitude by slow degrees.

XXIX. Then swelled the organ: up through

choir and nave The music trembled with an inward

thrill Of bliss at its own grandeur: wave on

wave Its flood of mellow thunder rose, until The hushed air shivered with the throb

it gave, Then, poising for a moment, it stood

still, And sankand rose again, to burstinspray That wandered into silence far away.

Through gorgeous windows shone the

sun aslant, Brimming the church with gold and

purple mist, Meet atmosphere to bosom that rich

chant, Where fifty voices in one strand did

twist, Their varicolored tones, and left no want To the delighted soul, which sank

abyssed In the warm music cloud, while, far

below, The organ heaved its surges to and fro.

its song,

xxx. Like to a mighty heart the music seemed, That yearns with melodies it cannot

speak, Until, in grand despair of what it

dreamed, In the agony of effort it doth break, Yet triumphs breaking; on it rushed

and streamed And wantoned in its might, as when

a lake, Long pent among the mountains, bursts

its walls And in one crowding gush leaps forth

and falls.

XXXIII. As if a lark should suddenly drop dead

While the blue air yet trembled with So snapped at once that music's golden

thread, Struck by a nameless fear that leapt

along From heart to heart, and like a shadow

spread With instantaneous shiver through

the throng, So that some glanced behind, as half A hideous shape of dread were stand

ing there.


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