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Looked down, half-pleased, half-frightened, As dashed about the drunken leaves The random sunshine lightened!
O, nature first was fresh to men,
You moved her at your pleasure.
'Tis vain! in such a brassy age
I could not move a thistle;
Scarce answer to my whistle;
But what is that I hear? a sound
And Works on Gardening through there,
The withered Misses! how they prose
From England to Van Diemen.
But these, though fed with careful dirt,
That blows upon its mountain, The vilest herb that runs to seed Beside its native fountain.
And I must work through months of toil,
To grow my own plantation.
I will not vex my bosom: Enough, if at the end of all
A little garden blossom.
ST. AGNES' EVE.
DEEP on the convent-roof the snows
The shadows of the convent-towers
Make Thou my spirit pure and clear
Or this first snowdrop of the year
As these white robes are soiled and dark, To yonder shining ground;
As this pale taper's earthly spark,
So in mine earthly house I am,
Break up the heavens, oh Lord! and far,
In raiment white and clean.
He lifts me to the golden doors;
For me the Heavenly Bridegroom waits,
One sabbath deep and wideA light upon the shining seaThe Bridegroom with his bride!
My good blade carves the casques of men,
The shattering trumpet shrilleth high, The hard brands shiver on the steel, The splintered spear-shafts crack and fly, The horse and rider reel:
They reel, they roll in clanging lists,
And when the tide of combat stands, Perfume and flowers fall in showers, That lightly rain from ladies' hands.
How sweet are looks that ladies bend
To save from shame and thrall:
My knees are bowed in crypt and shrine: I never felt the kiss of love,
Nor maiden's hand in mine.
More bounteous aspects on me beam,
Me mightier transports move and thrill; So keep I fair through faith and prayer A virgin heart in work and will.
When down the stormy crescent goes,
I hear a voice, but none are there;
Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth,
Sometimes on lonely mountain-meres
I leap on board: no helmsman steers:
A gentle sound, an awful light!
With folded feet, in stoles of white,
My spirit beats her mortal bars,
When on my goodly charger borne
And, ringing, spins from brand and mail;
I leave the plain, I climb the height;
A maiden knight-to me is given
I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven
I muse on joy that will not cease,
Pure spaces clothed in living beams, Pure lilies of eternal peace,
Whose odors haunt my dreams; And, stricken by an angel's hand, This mortal armor that I wear, This weight and size, this heart and eyes, Are touched, are turned to finest air.
The clouds are broken in the sky,