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VIII.

She is a woman; one in whom
The spring-time of her childish years
Hath never lost its fresh perfume,
Though knowing well that life hath room
For many blights and many tears.

IX.

I love her with a love as still
As a broad river's peaceful might,
Which, by high tower and lowly mill,
Goes wandering at its own will,
And yet doth ever flow aright.

X.

And, on its full, deep breast serene,
Like quiet isles my duties lie;
It flows around them and between,
And makes them fresh and fair and green,
Sweet homes wherein to live and die.

1840.

SUMMER STORM.

UNTREMULOUS in the river clear, Toward the sky's image, hangs the imaged bridge;

So still the air that I can hear The slender clarion of the unseen midge; Out of the stillness, with a gathering creep,

Like rising wind in leaves, which now decreases,

Now lulls, now swells, and all the while increases,

The huddling trample of a drove of sheep Tilts the loose planks, and then as gradually ceases

In dust on the other side; life's emblem deep,

A confused noise between two silences, Finding at last in dust precarious peace. On the wide marsh the purple-blos

somed grasses

Soak up the sunshine; sleeps the brimming tide, Save when the wedge-shaped wake in silence passes

Of some slow water-rat, whose sinuous glide

Wavers the long green sedge's shade from side to siae;

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Hush! Still as death,

The tempest holds his breath As from a sudden will;

The rain stopsshort, but from the eaves You see it drop, and hear it from the leaves,

All is so bodingly still;
Again, now, now, again
Plashes the rain in heavy gouts,
The crinkled lightning
Seems ever brightening,
And loud and long
Again the thunder shouts
His battle-song,
One quivering flash,
One wildering crash,

Followed by silence dead and dull,
As if the cloud, let go,
Leapt bodily below

To whelm the earth in one mad over

throw,

And then a total lull.

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Gone, gone, so soon!

No more my half-crazed fancy there Can shape a giant in the air, No more I see his streaming hair, The writhing portent of his form ;The pale and quiet moon Makes her calm forehead bare, And the last fragments of the storm, Like shattered rigging from a fight at sea, Silent and few, are drif.ing over me.

1839.

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