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And deep into the dying day
The happy princess followed him.
" I'd sleep another hundred years,
O love, for such another kiss ; “ () wake forever, love,” she hears,
“ O love, 'twas such as this and this." And o'er them many a sliding star,
And many a merry wind was borne, And, streamed through many a golden bar,
The twilight melted into morn.
“O eyes long laid in happy sleep!”
“ O happy sleep, that lightly fled !” “O happy kiss, that woke thy sleep!”
“O love, thy kiss would wake the dead !” And o’er them many a flowing range
Of vapor buoyed the crescent-bark, And, rapt through many a rosy change,
The twilight died into the dark.
“ A hundred summers! can it be?
And whither goest thou, tell me where !" “O seek my father's court with me,
For there are greater wonders there.” And o'er the hills, and far away
Beyond their utmost purple rim, Beyond the night, across the day,
Through all the world she followed him.
So, Lady Flora, take my lay,
And if you find no moral there,
What moral is in being fair.
0, to what uses shall we put
The wildweed-flower that simply blows? And is there any moral shut
Within the bosom of the rose
But any man that walks the mead
In bud or blade, or bloom, may find,
A meaning suited to his mind.
In Art like Nature, dearest friend;
Should hook it to some useful end.
You shake your head. A random string
Your finer female sense offends. Well-were it not a pleasant thing
To fall asleep with all one's friends; To pass with all our social ties
To silence from the paths of men ; And every hundred years to rise
And learn the world, and sleep again ; To sleep through terms of mighty wars,
And wake on science grown to more, On secrets of the brain, the stars,
As wild as aught of fairy lore; And all that else the years will show,
The Poet-forms of stronger hours, The vast Republics that may grow,
The Federations and the Powers; Titanic forces taking birth
In divers seasons, divers climes ; For we are Ancients of the earth,
And in the morning of the times.
So sleeping, so aroused from sleep
Through sunny decades new and strange, Or gay quinquenniads, would we reap
The flower and quintessence of change.
Ah, yet would I—and would I might !
So much your eyes my fancy takeBe still the first to leap to light,
That I might kiss those eyes awake! For, am I right or am I wrong,
To choose your own you did not care; You'd have my moral from the song,
And I will take my pleasure there : And, am I right or am I wrong,
My fancy, ranging through and through, To search a meaning for the song,
Perforce will still revert to you; Nor finds a closer truth than this
All-graceful head, so richly curled, And evermore a costly kiss,
The prelude to some brighter world.
For since the time when Adam first
Embraced his Eve in happy hour, And every bird of Eden burst
In carol, every bud to flower, What eyes, like thine, have wakened hopes ?
What lips, like thine, so sweetly joined ? Where on the double rosebud droops
The fulness of the pensive mind; Which all too dearly self-involved,
Yet sleeps a dreamless sleep to me; A sleep by kisses undissolved,
That lets thee neither hear nor see : But break it. In the name of wife,
And in the rights that name may give, Are clasped the moral of thy life,
And that for which I care to live.
So, Lady Flora, take my lay,
And, if you find a meaning there, O whisper to your glass, and say,
“What wonder, if he thinks me fair ? " What wonder I was all unwise,
To shape the song for your delight, Like long-tailed birds of Paradise,
That float through Heaven, and cannot light ? Or old-world trains, upheld at court
By Cupid-boys of blooming hueBut take it earnest wed with sport,
And either sacred unto you.
My father left a park to me,
But it is wild and barren,
And waster than a warren :
It is not bad but good land,
That grows within the woodland.
O had I lived when song was great
In days of old Amphion,
Nor cared for seed or scion !
And legs of trees were limber,
And fiddled in the timber!
'Tis said he had a tuneful tongue,
Such happy intonation,
Wherever he sat down and sung
He left a small plantation ; Wherever in a lonely grove
He set up his forlorn pipes, The gouty oak began to move,
And flounder into hornpipes.
The mountain stirred its bushy crown,
And, as tradition teaches, Young ashes pirouetted down,
Coquetting with young beeches; And briony-vine and ivy-wreath
Ran forward to his rhyming, And from the valleys underneath
Came little copses climbing.
The linden broke her ranks and rent
The woodbine wreaths that bind her, And down the middle buzz! she went
With all her bees behind her:
With cypress promenaded,
By rivers gallopaded.
Came wet-shod alder from the wave,
Came yews, a dismal coterie; Each plucked his one foot from the
grave, Poussetting with a sloe-tree : Old elms came breaking from the vine,
The vine streamed out to follow, And, sweating rosin, plumped the pine
From many a cloudy hollow.
And wasn't it a sight to see,
When, ere his song was ended,
The country-side descended;