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cease:

Not that I feel that hunger after fame, Which souls of a half-greatness are

beset with ; But that the memory of noble deeds Cries shame upon the idle and the vile, And keeps the heart of Man forever up To the heroic level of old time. To be forgot at first is little pain To a heart conscious of such high intent As must be deathless on the lips of

men; But, having been a name, to sink and be A something which the world can do

without, Which, having been or not, would

never change The lightest pulse offate, - thisis indeed A cup of bitterness the worst to taste, And this thy heart shall empty to the

dregs. Endless despair shall be thy Caucasus, And memory thy vulture ; thou wilt find Oblivion far lonelier than this peak, Behold thy destiny! Thou think'st it

much That I should brave thee, miserable

god! But I have braved a mightier than

thou, Even the tempting of this soaring heart, Which might have made me, scarcely

less than thou, A god among my brethren weak and

blind, Scarce less than thou, a pitiable thing To be down-trodden into darkness

Thou and all strength shall crumble,

except Love, By whom, and for whose glory, ye shall And, when thou art but a dim moaning

heard From out the pitiless glooms of Chaos, I Shall be a power and a memory, A name to fright all tyrants with, a light Unsetting as the pole-star, a great voice Heardin the breathless pauses ofthe fight By truth and freedom ever aged with

wrong: Clear as a silver trumpet, to awake Huge echoes that from age to age live on In kindred spirits, giving them a sense Of boundless power from boundless

suffering wrung: And manya glazing eye shall smile to see The memory of my triumph (for to meet Wrong with endurance, and to overcome The present with a heart that looks

beyond, Aretriumph), like a prophet eagle, perch Upon the sacred banner of the Right. Evil springs up. and flowers, and bears

no seed, And feeds the green earth with its swift

decay, Leaving it richer for thegrowth of truth; But Good, once put in action or in

thought, Like a strong oak, doth from its boughs

shed down The ripe germs of a forest. Thou,

weak god, Shalt fadeand be forgotten! but this soul, Fresh-living still in the serene abyss, Inevery heaving shall partake, that grows From heart to heart among the sons of

men, As the ominous hum before the earth

quake runs Far through the Ægean from roused

isle to isle, Foreboding wreck to palacesand shrines, And mighty rents in many a cavernous That darkens the free light to man :

This heart, Unscarred by thy grim vulture, as the

truth Grows but more lovely 'neath the heala

soon.

But now I am above thee, for thou art The bungling workmanship of fear, the

block That awes the swart Barbarian ; but I Am what myself have made, -a nature

wise With finding in itself the types of all, With watching from the dim verge of

the time Whatthingstobeare visible in thegleams Thrown forward on them from the

luminous past, Wise with the historyofits own frail heart, With reverence and sorrow, and with

love, Broad as the world, for freedom and for

and claws

man.

error

(): Harpies blind that fain would soil it,

shall In all the throbbing exultations share That wait on freedom's triumphs, and

in all Thegloriousagoniesofmartyr-spirits, Sharp lightning-throes to split the

jagged clouds That veil the future, showing them the

end, Pain's thorny crown for constancy and

truth, Girding the temples likea wreath of stars. This is a thought, that, like the fabled

laurel, Makes my faith thunder-proof; and thy

dread bolts Fall on me like the silent flakes of snow On the hoar brows of aged Caucasus : But, O thought far more blissful, they

can rend This cloud of flesh, and make my soul

a star!

Part of that awful Presence which doth

haunt The palaces of tyrants, to hunt off, With its grim eyes and fearful whisper

ings And hideous sense of utter loneliness, All hope of safety, all desire of peace, All but the loathed forefeeling of blank

death, Part of that spirit which doth ever brood In patient calm on the unpilfered nest Of man's deep heart, till mighty

thoughts grow fledged To sail with darkening shadow o'er

the world, Filling with dread such souls as dare

not trust In the unfailing energy of Good, Until they swoop, and their pale quarry

make Of some o'erbloated wrong,

that spirit which Scatters great hopes in the seed-field Like acorns ainong grain, to grow and

be A roof for freedom in all coming time!

But no, this cannot be ; for ages yet, In solitude unbroken, shall I hear The angry Caspian to the Euxine shout And Euxine answer with a muffled roar, On either side storming the giant walls Of Caucasus with leagues of climbing

foam (Less, from my height, than flakes of

downy snow, That draw back baffled but to hurl again, Snatched up

in wrath and horrible tur. moil, Mountain on mountain, as the Titans

erst, My brethren, scaling the high seat of

Jove, Heaved Pelion upon Ossa's shoulders

broad In vain emprise. The moon will come

of man,

Unleash thy crouching thunders now,

O Jove ! Free this high heart, which, a poor

captive long; Doth knock to be let forth, this heart

which still, In its invincible manhood, overtops Thy puny godship, as this mountain

doth The pines that moss its roots. O, even

now, While from my peak of suffering I look

down, Beholding with a far-spread gush of

hope The sunrise of that Beauty, in whose

face, Shone all around with love, no man

shall look But straightway like a god he is uplift Unto the throne long empty for his

sake, And clearly oft foreshadowed in wide

dreams By his free inward nature, which nor

thou, Nor any anarch after thee, can bind From working its great doom, — now,

now set free This essence, not to die, but to become

and go

With her monotonous vicissitude ; Once beautiful, when I was free to walk Among my fellows, and to interchange The influence benign of loving eyes, But now by aged use grown weari. Therefore, great heart, bear up! thou

some;

art but type Of what all lofty spirits endure, that

fain Would win men back to strength and

peace through love: Each hath his lonely peak, and on each

heart Envy, or scorn, or hatred, tears lifelong With vulture beak; yet the high soul

is left ; And faith, which is but hope grown

wise ; and love And patience, which at last shall over

come. 1843.

and on

SONG.

False thought I most false I for how

could I endure These crawling centuries of lonely woe Unshamed by weak complaining, but

for thee, Loneliest, save me, of all created things, Mild-eyed Astarte, my best comforter, With thy pale smile of sad benignity? Year after year will pass away and

seem To me, in mine eternal agony, But as the shadows of dumb summer

clouds, Which I have watched so often darken

ing o'er The vast Sarmatian plain, league-wide

at first, But, with still swiftness, lessening on Till cloud and shadow meet and mingle

where The

gray horizon fades into the sky, Far, far to northward. Yes, for ages

yet Must I lie here upon my altar huge, A sacrifice for man. Sorrow will be, As it hath been, his portion ; endless

doom, While the immortal with the mortal

linked Dreams of its wings and pines for what

it dreams, With upward yearn unceasing. Better For wisdom is meek sorrow's patient

child, And empire over self, and all the

deep Strong charities that make men seem

like gods; And love, that makes them be gods,

from her breasts Sucks in the milk that makes mankind

one blood. Good never comes unmixed, or so it

seems, Having two faces, as some images Are carved, of foolish gods; one face

is ill; But one heart lies beneath, and that is

good, As are all hearts, when we explore their

depths.

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SO:

Tearfully, All the fair and sunny past, All its openness and truth, Ever fresh and green in thee As the moss is in the sea.

Thy little heart, that hath with love
Grown colored like the sky above,
On which thou lookest ever, —

Can it know

All the woe
Of hope for wliat returneth never,
All the sorrow and the longing,
To these hearts of ours belonging?
Out on it! no foolish pining

For the sky

Dims thine eye, Or for the stars so calmly shining; Like thee let this soul of mine Take hue from that wherefor I long,

Self-stayed and high, serene and strong, Not satisfied with

hoping — but divine. Violet ! dear violet !

Thy blue eyes are only wet With joy and love of Him who sent thee, And for the fulfilling sense Of that glad obedience Which made thee all that Nature meant

thee! 1841.

Gazing upon me, Rosaline !
There is no sorrow in thine eyes,
But evermore that meek surprise,
O God I thy gentle spirit tries
To deem me guiltless, Rosaline !

Above thy grave the robin sings,
And swarms of bright and happy things
Flit all about with sunlit wings,
But I am cheerless, Rosaline !
The violets on the hillock toss,
The gravestone is o'ergrown with moss;
For nature feels not any loss,
But I am cheerless, Rosaline !

ROSALINE.

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Thou look'dst on me all yesternight.
Thine eyes were blue, thy hair was bright
As when we murmured our troth-plight
Beneath the thick stars, Rosaline !
Thy hair was braided on thy head,
As on the day we two were wed,
Mine eyes scarce knew if thou wert

dead,
But my shrunk heart knew, Rosaline !
The death-watch ticked behind the wall,
The blackness rustled like a pall,
The moaning wind did rise and fall
Among the bleak pines, Rosaline !
My heart beat thickly in mine ears :
The lids may shut out fleshly fears,
But still the spirit sees and hears,
Its eyes are lidless, Rosaline !
A wildness rushing suddenly,
A knowing some ill shape is nigh,
A wish for death, a fear to die,
Is not this vengeance, Rosaline?
A loneliness that is not lone,
A love quite withered up and gone,
A strong soultrampled from its throne,
What wouldst thou further, Rosaline?
'Tis drear such moonless nightsas these,
Strange sounds are out upon the breeze,
And the leaves shiver in the trees,
And then thou comest, Rosaline !
I seem to hear the mourners go,
With long black garments trailing slow,
And plumes anodding to and fro,
As once I heard them, Rosaline i
Thy shroud is all of snowy white,
And, in the middle of the night,
Thou standest moveless and upright,

The stars came out; and, one by one,
Each angel from his silver throne
Looked down and saw what I had done:
I dared not hide me, Rosaline !
I crouched; Ifeared thy corpse would cry
Against me to God's quiet sky,
I thought I saw the blue lips try
To utter something, Rosaline !

I waited with a maddened grin
To hear that voice all icy thin
Slide forth and tell my deadly sin
To hell and heaven, Rosaline !
But no voice came, and then it seemad,
That, if the very corpse had screamed,
The sound like sunshine glad had

streamed Through that dark stillness, Rosaline !

And then, amid the silent night,
I screamed with horrible delight,
And in my brain an awful light
Did seem to crackle, Rosaline !
It is my curse! sweet memories fall
From me like snow, - and only all
Of that one night, like cold worms, crawl
My doomed heart over, Rosaline !

Why wilt thou haunt me withthineeyes,
Wherein such blessed memories,
Such pitying forgiveness lies,
Than hate more bitter, Rosaline?
Woe's me! I know that love so high
As thine, true soul, could never die,
And with mean clayin churchyard lie, –
Would it might be so, Rosaline !

1841.

For, in mere weeds, and stones, and

springs, He found a healing power profuse. Men granted that his speech was wise,

But, when a glance they caught Of his slim grace and woman's eyes, They laughed, and called him good-for

naught. Vet after he was dead and gone,

And e'en his memory dim,
Earth seemed more sweet to live upon,
More full of love, because of him.
And day by day more holy grew

Each spot where he had trod,
Till after-poets only knew
Their first-bom brother as a god.

1842.

THE SHEPHERD OF KING

ADMETUS.

THE TOKEN.

THERE came a youth upon the earth,

Some thousand years ago, Whose slender hands were nothing

worth, Whether to plough, or reap, or sow. Upon an empty tortoise-shell

He stretched some chords, and drew Music that made men's bosoms swell Fearless, or brimmed their eyes with

dew. Then King Admetus, one who had

Pure taste by right divine, Decreed his singing not too bad To hear between the cups of wine : And so, well pleased with being soothed

Into a sweet half-sleep, Three times his kingly beard he

smoothed, And made him viceroy o'er his sheep. His words were simple words enough,

And yet he used them so, That what in other mouths was rough In his seemed musical and low. Men called him but a shiftless youth,

In whom no good they saw; And yet, unwittingły, in truth, They made bis careless words their law. They knew not how he learned at all,

For idly, hour by hour, He sat and watched the dead leaves fall, Or mused upon a common flower. It seemed the loveliness of things

Did teach him all their use,

It is a mere wild rosebud,

Quite sallow now, and dry, Yet there's something wondrousin it,

Some gleams of days gone by, Dear sights and sounds that are to me The very moons of memory, And stir my heart's blood far below Its short-lived waves of joy and woe. Lips must fade and roses wither,

All sweet times be o'er, They only smile, and, murmuring

“Thither!" Stay with us no more : And yet ofttimes a look or smile, Forgotten in a kiss's while, Years after from the dark will start, And flash across the trembling beart. Thou hast given me many roses,

But never one, like this, O'erfloods both sense and spirit

With such a deep, wild bliss; We must have instincts that glean up Sparse drops of this life in the cup, Whose taste shall give us all that we Can prove of immortality. Earth's stablest things are shadows,

And, in the life to come

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