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I WILL not rail, or grieve when torpid eld
Frosts the slow-journeying blood, for I shall see
The lovelier leaves hang yellow on the tree, The nimbler brooks in icy fetters held. Methinks the aged eye that first bebeld
The fitful ravage of December wild,
Then knew himself indeed dear Nature's child, Seeing the common doom, that all compelled. No kindred we to her belovëd broods
If, dying these, we drew a selfish breath ; But one path travel all her multitudes,
And none dispute the solemn Voice that saith : ‘Sun to thy setting; to your autumn, woods ;
Stream to thy sea; and man unto thy death 1'
POET, whose unscarr'd feet have trodden Hell,
By what grim path and dread environing
Of fire couldst thou that dauntless footstep bring And plant it firm amid the dolorous cell Of darkness where perpetually dwell
The spirits cursed beyond imagining ?
Or else is thine a visionary wing,
No wilder path than thou thyself dost go,
Which having rent I gaze around, and know What tragic wastes of gloom, before unseen,
Curtaiu the soul that strives and sins below.
FEBRUARY IN ROME.
WHEN Roman fields are red with cyclamen,
And in the palace-gardens you may find,
Under great leaves and sheltering briony-bind, Clusters of cream-white violets, O then The ruined city of immortal men
Must smile, a little to her fate resigned ;
And through her corridors the slow warm wind Gush harmonies beyond a mortal ken. Such soft favonian airs upon a flute,
Such shadowy censers burning live perfume,
Shall lead the mystic city to her tomb; Nor flowerless springs, nor autumns without fruit, Nor summer mornings when the winds are mute,
Trouble her soul till Rome be no more Rome.
ON A LUTE FOUND IN A SARCOPHAGUS.
What curled and scented sun-girls, almond-eyed,
With lotus blossoms in their hands and hair,
Have made their swarthy lovers call them fair, With these spent strings, when brutes were deified, And Memnon in the sunrise sprang and cried,
And love-winds smote Bubastis, and the bare
Black breasts of carven Pasht received the prayer Of suppliants bearing gifts from far and wide ! This lute has outsung Egypt; all the lives
Of violent passion, and the vast calm art
That lasts in granite only, all lie dead ;
As fresh as when its fluting smote the heart
(A Sonnet in Dialogue.)
Phoebus. WHAT voice is this that wails above the deep?
The waters in a fiery blaze Proclaim the godhead of my healing rays. Alcyone. No god can sow where fate hath stood to reap. Phoebus. Hold, wringing hands ! cease, piteous tears,
to fall. Alcyone. But grief must rain and glut the passionate sea, Phoebus. Thou shall forget this ocean and thy wrong,
And I will bless the dead, though past recall. Alcyone. What can'st thou give to me or him in me? Phoebus. A name in story and a light in song.