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النشر الإلكتروني

LXV.

THE COMMON GRAVE

Last night beneath the foreign stars I stood,
And saw the thoughts of those at home go by
To the great grave upon the hill of blood.
Upon the darkness they went visibly,
Each in the vesture of its own distress.
Among them there came One, frail as a sigh,
And like a creature of the wilderness
Dug with her bleeding hands, She neither cried
Nor wept ; nor did she see the many stark
And dead that lay unburied at her side.
All night she toiled; and at that time of dawn,
When Day and Night do change their More and Less,
And Day is more, I saw the melting Dark
Stir to the last, and knew she laboured on.

LXVI.

HOME: IN WAR-TIME,

SHE turned the fair page with her fairer hand-
More fair and frail than it was wont to be ;
O'er each remember'd thing he loved to see
She lingered, and as with a fairy's wand
Enchanted it to order. Oft she fanned
New motes into the sun; and as a bee
Sings through a brake of bells, so murmured she,
And so her patient love did understand
The reliquary room.

Upon the sill
She fed his favourite bird. “Ah, Robin, sing !
He loves thee." Then she touches a sweet string
Of soft recall, and towards the Eastern hill
Smiles all her soul-

for him who cannot hear The raven croaking at his carrion car.

LXVII.

DON QUIXOTE.

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BEHIND thy pasteboard, on thy battered hack,

Thy lean cheek striped with plaster to and fro,

Thy long spear levelled at the unseen foe,
And doubtful Sancho trudging at thy back,
Thou wert a figure strange enough, good lack !

To make wiseacredom, both high and low,

Rub purblind eyes, and (having watched thee go)
Despatch its Dogberrys upon thy track :
Alas! poor Knight! Alas! poor soul possest !

Yet would to-day, when Courtesy grows chill,
And life's fine loyalties are turned to jest,

Some fire of thine might burn within us still ! Ah ! would but one might lay his lance in rest,

And charge in earnest—were it but a mill.

LXVIII.

THE SEA CAVE.

HARDLY we breathe, although the air be free :
How massively doth awful Nature pile
The living rock like some cathedral aisle,
Sacred to silence and the solemn sea.
How that clear pool lies sleeping tranquilly,
And under its glassed surface seems to smile,
With many hues, a mimic grove the while
Of foliage submarine-shrub, flower, and tree.
Beautiful scene, and fitted to allure
The printless footsteps of some sea-born maid,
Who here, with her green tresses disarrayed,
'Mid the clear bath, unfearing and secure,
May sport at noontide in the caverned shade,
Cold as the shadow, as the waters pure.

LXIX.

ANGLING.

Go, take thine angle, and with practised line,

Light as the gossamer, the current sweep;

And if thou failest in the calm still deep, In the rough eddy may the prize be thine. Say thou'rt unlucky where the sunbeams shine ;

Beneath the shadow, where the waters creep,

Perchance the monarch of the brook shall leapFor fate is ever better than design. Still persevere ; the giddiest breeze that blows,

For thee may blow, with fame and fortune rife; Be prosperous—and what reck if it arose

Out of some pebble with the stream at strife, Or that the light wind dallied with the boughs ?

Thou art successful ;-—such is human life.

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