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Then, in the boyhood of the year,
She seemed a part of joyous Spring:
Now on some twisted ivy-net,
And fleeter now she skimmed the plains Than she whose elfin prancer springs By night to eery warblings, When all the glimmering moorland rings With jingling bridle-reins.
As she fled fast through sun and shade,
The rein with dainty finger-tips,
FLOW down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
No more by thee my steps shall be,
Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea
But here will sigh thine alder tree
A thousand suns will stream on thee,
THE BEGGAR MAID.
HER arms across her breast she laid;
She was more fair than words can say: Barefooted came the beggar maid
Before the King Cophetua.
In robe and crown the king stept down,
“She is more beautiful than day.”
As shines the moon in clouded skies,
One her dark hair and lovesome mien. So sweet a face, such angel grace,
In all that land had never been: Cophetua sware a royal oath:
"This beggar maid shall be my queen!”
THE VISION OF SIN.
I HAD a vision when the night was late :
Then methought I heard a mellow sound,
Ran into its giddiest whirl of sound,
Moved with violence, changed in hue,
And then I looked up toward a mountain-tract, That girt the region with high cliff and lawn: I saw that every morning, far withdrawn Beyond the darkness and the cataract, God made himself an awful rose of dawn, Unheeded: and detaching, fold by fold, From those still heights, and, slowly drawing near, A vapor heavy, hueless, formless, cold, Came floating on for many a month and year, Unheeded: and I thought I would have spoken, And warned that madman ere it grew too late : But, as in dreams, I could not. Mine was broken, When that cold vapor touched the palace gate, And linked again. ` I saw within my head A gray and gap-toothed man as lean as death, Who slowly rode across a withered heath, And lighted at a ruined inn, and said:
"Wrinkled ostler, grim and thin!
Here is custom come your way;
Stuff his ribs with mouldy hay.
"Bitter barmaid, waning fast!
See that sheets are on my bed;
"Slip-shod waiter, lank and sour, At The Dragon on the heath! Let us have a quiet hour,
Let us hob-and-nob with Death.
"I am old, but let me drink;
That my youth was half divine.
"Wine is good for shrivelled lips,
When a blanket wraps the day, When the rotten woodland drips,
And the leaf is stamped in clay.
"Sit thee down, and have no shame,
"Let me screw thee up a peg:
Let me loose thy tongue with wine: Callest thou that thing a leg?
Which is thinnest? thine or mine?
"Thou shalt not be saved by works: Thou hast been a sinner too : Ruined trunks on withered forks, Empty scarecrows, I and you!
"Fill the cup, and fill the can :
Have a rouse before the morn: Every moment dies a man,
Every moment one is born.
"We are men of ruined blood;
Therefore comes it we are wise. Fish are we that love the mud, Rising to no fancy-flies.