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And one, a full-fed river winding slow
And one, the reapers at their sultry toil.
And one, a foreground black with stones and slags, Beyond, a line of heights, and higher
All barr'd with long white cloud the scornful crags, And highest, snow and fire.
And one, an English home
gray twilight pour'd
Nor these alone, but every landscape fair,
Or gay, or grave, or sweet, or stern, was there,
Or the maid-mother by a crucifix,
In tracts of pasture sunny-warm, Beneath branch-work of costly sardonyx Sat smiling, babe in arm.
Or in a clear-wall'd city on the sea,
Or thronging all one porch of Paradise,
Or mythic Uther's deeply-wounded son
And watch'd by weeping queens.
Or hollowing one hand against his ear,
The wood-nymph, stay'd the Ausonian king to hear Of wisdom and of law.
Or over hills with peaky tops engrail'd,
And many a tract of palm and rice, The throne of Indian Cama slowly sail'd A summer fann'd with spice.
Or sweet Europa's mantle blue unclasp'd,
Or else flushed Ganymede, his rosy thigh
Nor these alone: but every legend fair
Then in the towers I placed great bells that swung,
And with choice paintings of wise men I hung
For there was Milton like a seraph strong,
And there the world-worn Dante grasp'd his song,
And somewhat grimly smiled.
And there the Ionian father of the rest;
Above, the fair hall-ceiling stately-set
Below was all mosaic choicely plann'd
Of this wide world, the times of every land
The people here, a beast of burden slow,
Here rose, an athlete, strong to break or bind
And here once more like some sick man declined,
But over these she trod: and those great bells
And thro' the topmost Oriels' color'd flame
And all those names, that in their motion were Full-welling fountain-heads of change, Betwixt the slender shafts were blazon'd fair
In diverse raiment strange:
Thro' which the lights, rose, amber, emerald, blue, Flush'd in her temples and her eyes,
And from her lips, as morn from Memnon, drew Rivers of melodies.
No nightingale delighteth to prolong
More than my soul to hear her echo'd song
Singing and murmuring in her feastful mirth,
Lord over Nature, Lord of the visible earth,
Communing with herself: "All these are mine,
Making sweet close of his delicious toils -
To mimic heaven; and clapt her hands and cried, "I marvel if my still delight
In this great house so royal-rich, and wide,
"O all things fair to sate my various eyes!
"O God-like isolation which art mine, I can but count thee perfect gain, What time I watch the darkening droves of swine
That range on yonder plain.
"In filthy sloughs they roll a prurient skin,
Then of the moral instinct would she prate,
"I take possession of man's mind and deed.
Full oft the riddle of the painful earth
Yet not the less held she her solemn mirth,
And so she throve and prosper'd: so three years
Lest she should fail and perish utterly,
When she would think, where'er she turn'd her sight
Wrote "Mene, mene," and divided quite
Deep dread and loathing of her solitude