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Or a garden bowered close

With plaited alleys of the trailing rose,
Long alleys falling down to twilight grots,
Or opening upon level plots
Of crowned lilies, standing near
Purple-spiked lavender:
Whether in after life retired
From brawling storms,
From weary wind,
With youthful fancy reinspired,
We may hold converse with all forms
Of the many-sided mind,
And those whom passion had not blinded,
Subtle-thoughted, myriad-minded,

My friend, with you to live alone,
Were how much better than to own
A crown, a sceptre, and a throne.
O strengthen me, enlighten me!
I faint in this obscurity,
Thou dewy dawn of memory.



A SPIRIT haunts the year's last hours,
Dwelling amid these yellowing bowers:
To himself he talks;

For at eventide, listening earnestly,
At his work you may hear him sob and sigh
In the walks;

Earthward he boweth the heavy stalks Of the mouldering flowers:

Heavily hangs the broad sunflower
Over its grave i' the earth so chilly⚫
Heavily hangs the hollyhock,
Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.


The air is damp, and hushed, and close,
As a sick man's room when he taketh repose
An hour before death

My very heart faints and my whole soul grieves At the moist rich smell of the rotting leaves, And the breath

Of the fading edges of box beneath, And the year's last rose.

Heavily hangs the broad sunflower
Over its grave i' the earth so chilly;
Heavily hangs the hollyhock,
Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.


MYSTERY of mysteries,
Faintly smiling Adeline,
Scarce of earth nor all divine,
Nor unhappy, nor at rest,

But beyond expression fair,
With thy floating flaxen hair;
Thy rose-lips and full blue eyes

Take the heart from out my breast.
Wherefore those dim looks of thine,
Shadowy, dreaming Adeline?

Whence that aery bloom of thine,
Like a lily which the sun
Looks through in his sad decline,
And a rose-bush leans upon,
Thou that faintly smilest still,

As a Naiad in a well,
Looking at the set of day,
Or a phantom two hours old
Of a maiden past away,

Ere the placid lips be cold?
Wherefore those faint smiles of thine,
Spiritual Adeline ?

What hope or fear or joy is thine?
Who talketh with thee, Adeline ?

For sure thou art not all alone:

Do beating hearts of salient springs Keep measure with thine own?

Hast thou heard the butterflies What they say betwixt their wings? Or in stillest evenings

With what voice the violet woos
To his heart the silver dews?
Or when little airs arise,
How the merry bluebell rings

To the mosses underneath?
Hast thou looked upon the breath
Of the lilies at sunrise ?
Wherefore that faint smile of thine,
Shadowy, dreaming Adeline ?

Some honey-converse feeds thy mind,
Some spirit of a crimson rose
In love with thee forgets to close

His curtains, wasting odorous sighs
All night long on darkness blind.
What aileth thee? whom waitest thou
With thy softened, shadowed brow,

And those dew-lit eyes of thine,
Thou faint smiler, Adeline?

Lovest thou the doleful wind

When thou gazest at the skies?
Doth the low-tongued Orient

Wander from the side o' the morn,
Dripping with Sabæan spice
On thy pillow, lowly bent

With melodious airs lovelorn,

Breathing light against thy face,
While his locks a-dropping twined
Round thy neck in subtle ring
Make a carcanet of rays
And ye talk together still,
In the language wherewith Spring
Letters cowslips on the hill?
Hence that look and smile of thine,
Spiritual Adeline.



WITH a half-glance upon the sky
At night he said, "The wanderings
Of this most intricate Universe
Teach me the nothingness of things."
Yet could not all creation pierce
Beyond the bottom of his eye.


He spake of beauty: that the dull
Saw no divinity in grass,

Life in dead stones, or spirit in air;
Then looking as 'twere in a glass,

He smoothed his chin and sleeked his hair,
And said the earth was beautiful.


He spake of virtue: not the gods
More purely, when they wish to charm
Pallas and Juno sitting by:

And with a sweeping of the arm,
And a lack-lustre dead-blue eye,
Devolved his rounded periods.


Most delicately hour by hour
He canvassed human mysteries,
And trod on silk, as if the winds
Blew his own praises in his eyes,
And stood aloof from other minds
In impotence of fancied power.


With lips depressed as he were meek,
Himself unto himself he sold:
Upon himself himself did feed:
Quiet, dispassionate, and cold,
And other than his form of creed,
With chiselled features clear and sleek.


THE poet in a golden clime was born,
With golden stars above;

Dowered with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn,
The love of love.

He saw through life and death, through good and ill,
He saw through his own soul.

The marvel of the everlasting will,
An open scroll,

Before him lay: with echoing feet he threaded
The secret'st walks of fame :

The viewless arrows of his thoughts were headed And winged with flame,

Like Indian reeds blown from his silver tongue,
And of so fierce a flight,

From Calpe unto Caucasus they sung,

Filling with light

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