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Locksley Hall, that in the distance overlooks the sandy tracts,
And the hollow ocean-ridges roaring into cataracts.
Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest,
Did I look on great Orion sloping slowly to the West.
Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising through the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid.
Here about the beach I wandered, nourishing a youth sublime
With the fairy tales of science, and the long result of Time;
When the centuries behind me like a fruitful land
When I clung to all the present for the promise that it closed:
When I dipt into the future far as human eye could
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be.
In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the Robin's breast;
In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;
In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnished dove;
In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.
Then her cheek was pale and thinner than should be for one so young,
And her eyes on all my motions with a mute observance hung.
And I said, "My cousin Amy, speak, and speak the truth to me,
Trust me, cousin, all the current of my being sets to thee."
On her pallid cheek and forehead came a color and a light,
As I have seen the rosy red flushing in the northern night.
And she turned-her bosom shaken with a sudden storm of sighs—
All the spirit deeply dawning in the dark of hazel
Saying, “I have hid my feelings, fearing they should do me wrong;
Saying, "Dost thou love me, cousin?" weeping, “I have loved thee long."
Love took up the glass of Time, and turned it in his glowing hands;
Every moment, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden
Love took up the harp of Life, and smote on all the chords with might;
Smote the chord of Self, that, trembling, passed in music out of sight.
Many a morning on the moorland did we hear the copses ring,
And her whisper thronged my pulses with the fulness of the Spring.
Many an evening by the waters did we watch the stately ships,
And our spirits rushed together at the touching of the lips.
O my cousin, shallow-hearted! O my Amy, mine
O the dreary, dreary moorland! O the barren, barren shore!
Falser than all fancy fathoms, falser than all songs have sung,
Puppet to a father's threat, and servile to a shrewish tongue!
Is it well to wish thee happy?-having known me-to decline
On a range of lower feelings and a narrower heart than mine!
Yet it shall be: thou shalt lower to his level day by day,
What is fine within thee growing coarse to sympathize with clay.
As the husband is, the wife is; thou art mated with a clown,
And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee down.
He will hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel force,
Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse.
What is this? his eyes are heavy: think not they are glazed with wine.
Go to him: it is thy duty: kiss him: take his hand in thine.
It may be my lord is weary, that his brain is overwrought:
Soothe him with thy finer fancies, touch him with thy lighter thought.
He will answer to the purpose, easy things to understand
Better thou wert dead before me, though I slew thee with my hand!
Better thou and I were lying, hidden from the heart's disgrace,
Rolled in one another's arms, and silent in a last embrace.
Cursed be the social wants that sin against the strength of youth!
Cursed be the social lies that warp us from the living truth!
Cursed be the sickly forms that err from honest Nature's rule!
Cursed be the gold that gilds the straitened forehead of the fool!
Well,-'tis well that I should bluster!-Hadst thou less unworthy proved—
Would to God-for I had loved thee more than ever wife was loved.
Am I mad, that I should cherish that which bears but bitter fruit?
I will pluck it from my bosom, though my heart be at the root.
Never, though my mortal summers to such length of years should come
As the many-wintered crow that leads the clanging rookery home.
Where is comfort? in division of the records of the
Can I part her from herself, and love her, as I knew her, kind?
I remember one that perished: sweetly did she speak and move:
Such a one do I remember, whom to look at was to love.
Can I think of her as dead, and love her for the love she bore ?...
No-she never loved me truly: love is love forever
Comfort? comfort scorned of devils! this is truth the poet sings,
That a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier things.
Drug thy memories, lest thou learn it, lest thy heart be put to proof,
In the dead; unhappy night, and when the rain is
on the roof.
Like a dog, he hunts in dreams, and thou art staring at the wall,
Where the dying night-lamp flickers, and the shadows rise and fall.
Then a hand shall pass before thee, pointing to his drunken sleep,
To thy widowed marriage-pillows, to the tears that thou wilt weep.
Thou shalt hear the "Never, never," whispered by the phantom years,
And a song from out the distance in the ringing of thine ears