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And called him by his name, complaining loud,
Or, clotted into points and hanging loose,
Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere,
And slowly answered Arthur from the barge: “ The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfils himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world. Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me? I have lived my life, and that which I have done May He within himself make pure ! but thou, If thou shouldst never see my face again,
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by
prayer Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy
voice Rise like a fountain for me night and day. For what are men better than sheep or goats That nourish a blind life within the brain, If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer Both for themselves and those who call them
friend? For so the whole round earth is every way Bound by gold chains about the feet of God. But now farewell. I am going a long way With these thou seest-if indeed I go (For all my mind is clouded with a doubt) To the island-valley of Avilion ; Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow, Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies Deep-meadowed, happy, fair with orchard-lawns And bowery hollows crowned with summer sea, Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.”
So said he, and the barge with oar and sail Moved from the brink, like some full-breasted swan, That, fluting a wild carol, ere her death, Ruffles her pure cold plume, and takes the flood With swarthy webs. Long stood Sir Bedivere Revolving many memories, till the hull Looked one black dot against the verge of dawn, Ard on the meer the wailing died away.
Here ended Hall, and our last light, that long Had winked and threatened darkness, flared and
At which the Parson, sent to sleep with sound,
Redeemed it from the charge of nothingness-
THE GARDENER'S DAUGHTER;
This morning is the morning of the day
My Eustace might have sat for Hercules; So muscular he spread, so broad a breast. He, by some law that holds in love, and draws The greater to the lesser, long desired A certain miracle of symmetry, A miniature of loveliness, all grace Summed up and closed in little ;-Juliet, she So light of foot, so light of spirit-oh, she To me myself, for some three careless moons, The summer pilot of an empty heart Unto the shores of nothing! Know you not Such touches are but embassies of love, To tamper with the feelings, ere he found Empire for life ? but Eustace painted her, And said to me, she sitting with us then, • When will you paint like this ? ” and I replied, (My words were half in earnest, half in jest,) 'Tis not your work, but Love's. Love unper
ceived. A more ideal Artist he than all, Came, drew your pencil from you, made those eyes Darker than darkest pansies, and that hair More black than ashbuds in the front of March.” And Juliet answered laughing, “ Go and see The Gardener's daughter: trust me, after that, You scarce can fail to match his masterpiece.” And up we rose, and on the spur we went.
Not wholly in the busy world, nor quite Beyond it, blooms the garden that I love. News from the humming city comes to it In sound of funeral or of marriage bells; And, sitting muffled in dark leaves, you hear The windy clanging of the minster clock; Although between it and the garden lies A league of grass, washed by a slow broad stream, That, stirred with languid pulses of the oar, Waves all its lazy lilies, and creeps on, Barge-laden, to three arches of a bridge Crowned with the minster-towers.
The fields between Are dewy-fresh, browsed by deep-uddered kine, And all about the large lime feathers low, The lime a summer home of murmurous wings.
In that still place she, hoarded in herself, Grew, seldom seen : not less among us lived Her fame from lip to lip. Who had not heard Of Rose, the Gardener's daughter? Where was
he, So blunt in memory, so old at heart, At such a distance from his youth in grief, That, having seen, forgot? The common inouth, So gross to express delight, in praise of her Grew oratory. Such a lord is Love, And Beauty such a mistress of the world.
And if I said that Fancy, led by Love, Would play with flying forms and images, Yet this is also true, that, long before I looked upon her, when I heard her name My heart was like a prophet to my heart, And told me I should love. A crowd of hopes, That sought to sow themselves like winged seeds, Born out of every thing I heard and saw, Fluttered about my senses and my soul ; And vague desires, like fitful blasts of balm To one that travels quickly, made the air Of Life delicious, and all kinds of thought, That verged upon them, sweeter than the dream Dreamed by a happy man, when the dark East, Unseen, is brightening to his bridal morn.
And sure this orbit of the memory folds Forever in itself the day we went To see her. All the land in flowery squares, Beneath a broad and equal-blowing wind, Smelt of the coming summer, as one large cloud Drew downward: but all 'else of Heaven was pure Up to the Sun, and May from verge to verge, And May with me from head to heel. And now, As though 'twere yesterday, as though it were