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While blissful tears blinded my sight
By star-shine and by moonlight,

I to thee my troth did plight,

She stood upon the castle-wall,

She watch'd my crest among them all,

She saw me fight, she heard me call,
When forth there stept a foeman tall,

Atween me and the castle-wall,

The bitter arrow went aside,
Oriana :

The false, false arrow went aside,

The damned arrow glanced aside,

And pierced thy heart, my love, my bride, Oriana!

Thy heart, my life, my love, my bride,

Oh! narrow, narrow was the space,

Loud, loud rung out the bugle's brays,

Oh! deathful stabs were dealt apace,
The battle deepen'd in its place,


But I was down upon my face,

They should have stabb'd me where I lay, Oriana !

How could I rise and come away,


How could I look upon the day?

They should have stabb'd me where I lay, Oriana

They should have trod me into clay,


O breaking heart that will not break,

O pale, pale face so sweet and meek,

Thou smilest, but thou dost not speak,
And then the tears run down my cheek,
Oriana :

What wantest thou? whom dost thou seek, Oriana ?

I cry aloud: none hear my cries,

Thou comest atween me and the skies,


I feel the tears of blood arise

Up from my heart unto my eyes,

Within thy heart my arrow lies,

O cursed hand! O cursed blow!

O happy thou that liest low,

Oriana !

All night the silence seems to flow

Beside me in my utter woe,


A weary, weary way I go,


When Norland winds pipe down the sea,


I walk, I dare not think of thee,


Thou liest beneath the greenwood tree,

I dare not die and come to thee,


I hear the roaring of the sea,


Two children in two neighbor villages
Playing mad pranks along the heathy leas;
Two strangers meeting at a festival;
Two lovers whispering by an orchard wall ·

Two lives bound fast in one with golden ease;
Two graves grass-green beside a gray church-tower,
Wash'd with still rains and daisy-blossomed ;
Two children in one hamlet born and bred;
So runs the round of life from hour to hour.



WHO would be
A merman bold,
Sitting alone,
Singing alone

Under the sea,

With a crown of gold,
On a throne?


I would be a merman bold;

I would sit and sing the whole of the day;
I would fill the sea-halls with a voice of power;
But at night I would roam abroad and play
With the mermaids in and out of the rocks,
Dressing their hair with the white sea-flower;
And holding them back by their flowing locks
I would kiss them often under the sea,

And kiss them again till they kiss'd me
Laughingly, laughingly;

And then we would wander away, away
To the pale-green sea-groves straight and high,
Chasing each other merrily.


There would be neither moon nor star;

But the wave would make music above us afar-
Low thunder and light in the magic night –
Neither moon nor star.

We would call aloud in the dreamy dells,
Call to each other and whoop and cry
All night, merrily, merrily;

They would pelt me with starry spangles and shells,

Laughing and clapping their hands between,

All night, merrily, merrily:

But I would throw to them back in mine
Turkis and agate and almondine :
Then leaping out upon them unseen
I would kiss them often under the sea,

And kiss them again till they kiss'd me
Laughingly, laughingly.

Oh! what a happy life were mine
Under the hollow-hung ocean green!
Soft are the moss-beds under the sea;
We would live merrily, merrily.



WHO would be
A mermaid fair,
Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,
In a golden curl

With a comb of pearl,
On a throne?


I would be a mermaid fair;

I would sing to myself the whole of the day;
With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair;
And still as I comb'd I would sing and say,
"Who is it loves me? who loves not me?"
I would comb my hair till my ringlets would fall,
Low adown, low adown,

From under my starry sea-bud crown

Low adown and around,

And I should look like a fountain of gold
Springing alone

With a shrill inner sound,

Over the throne

In the midst of the hall;

Till that great sea-snake under the sea

From his coiled sleeps in the central deeps

Would slowly trail himself sevenfold

Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the gate

With his large calm eyes for the love of me.

And all the mermen under the sea

Would feel their immortality

Die in their hearts for the love of me.


But at night I would wander away, away,

I would fling on each side my low-flowing locks, And lightly vault from the throne and play

With the mermen in and out of the rocks; We would run to and fro, and hide and seek,

On the broad sea-wolds in the crimson shells,
Whose silvery spikes are nighest the sea.
But if any came near I would call, and shriek,
And adown the steep like a wave I would leap

From the diamond-ledges that jut from the dells;
For I would not be kiss'd by all who would list,
Of the bold merry mermen under the sea;
They would sue me, and woo me, and flatter me,
In the purple twilights under the sea;
But the king of them all would carry me,
Woo me, and win me, and marry me,
In the branching jaspers under the sea;
Then all the dry pied things that be
In the hueless mosses under the sea
Would curl round my silver feet silently,
All looking up for the love of me.

And if I should carol aloud, from aloft
All things that are forked, and horned, and soft
Would lean out from the hollow sphere of the sea,
All looking down for the love of me.


My hope and heart is with thee thou wilt be
A latter Luther, and a soldier-priest

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To scare church-harpies from the master's feast;
Our dusted velvets have much need of thee:
Thou art no Sabbath-drawler of old saws,
Distill'd from some worm-canker'd homily;
But spurr'd at heart with fieriest energy
To embattail and to wall about thy cause
With iron-worded proof, hating to hark
The humming of the drowsy pulpit-drone
Half God's good Sabbath, while the worn-out clerk
Browbeats his desk below. Thou from a throne
Mounted in heaven wilt shoot into the dark
Arrows of lightnings. I will stand and mark.


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