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A glimmering shoulder under gloom
Of cavern pillars; on the swell
The silver lily heaved and fell;
From him that on the mountain lea
By dancing rivulets fed his flocks,
To him who sat upon the rocks,
“ COME NOT, WHEN I AM DEAD.”
COME not, when I am dead,
To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave, To trample round my fallen head,
And vex the unhappy dust thou would'st not save. There let the wind sweep and the plover cry;
But thou, go by.
Child, if it were thine error or thy crime,
I care no longer, being all unblest;
And I desire to rest.
Go by, go by.
He clasps the crag with hookéd hands;
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls ;
THE TALKING OAK.
ONCE more the gate behind me falls ;
Once more before my face
That stand within the chace.
Beyond the lodge the city lies,
Beneath its drift of smoke ;
I turn to yonder oak !
For when my passion first began,
Ere that which in me burned,
Could hope itself returned ;
To yonder oak within the field
I spoke without restraint,
Than Papist unto Saint.
Though what he whispered under Heaven
None else could understand; I found him garrulously given,
A babbler in the land.
But since I heard him make reply
Is many a weary hour; "Twere well to question him, and try
If yet he keeps the power.
Hail, hidden to the knees in fern,
Broad oak of Sumner-chace, Whose topmost branches can discern
The roofs of Sumner-place!
Say thou, whereon I carved her name,
If ever maid or spouse, As fair as my Olivia, came
To rest beneath thy boughs ?
“O Walter, I have sheltered here
Whatever maiden grace The good old Summers, year by year,
Made ripe in Sumner-chace :
“ Old Summers, when the monk was fat,
And, issuing shorn and sleek, Would twist his girdle tight, and pat
The girls upon the cheek,
“ Ere yet, in scorn of Peter's-pence,
And numbered bead, and shrift, Bluff Harry broke into the spence,
And turned the cowls adrift:
66 And I have seen some score of those
Fresh faces, that would thrive
When his man-minded offset rose
To chase the deer at five;
“ And all that from the town would stroll,
Till that wild wind made work, In which the gloomy brewer's soul
Went by me, like a stork:
“ The slight she-slips of loyal blood,
And others, passing praise, Strait-laced, but all-too-full in bud
For puritanic stays:
66 And I have shadowed many a group
Of beauties, that were born
Or while the patch was worn;
" And, leg and arm with love-knots gay,
About me leaped and laughed The modish Cupid of the day,
And shrilled his tinsel shaft.
“I swear (and else may insects prick
Each leaf into a gall)
Is three times worth them all ;
“ For those and theirs, by Nature's law,
Have faded long ago;
Your own Olivia blow,
“ From when she gambolled on the greens,
A baby-germ, to when
Could number five from ten.
" I swear, by leaf, and wind, and rain,
(And hear me with thine ears,) That, though I circle in the grain
Five hundred rings of years
6 Yet, since I first could cast a shade,
Did never creature pass So slightly, musically made,
So light upon the grass :
“For as to fairies, that will flit
To make the greensward fresh, I hold them exquisitely knit,
But far too spare of flesh.”
O, hide thy knotted knees in fern,
And overlook the chace;
The roofs of Sumner-place.
But thou, whereon I carved her name,
That oft hast heard my vows, Declare when last Olivia came
To sport beneath thy boughs.
“ O yesterday, you know, the fair
Was holden at the town;