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And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But oh for the touch of a vanished hand,
Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, oh Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
THE POET'S SONG.
THE rain had fallen, the Poet arose,
He passed by the town, and out of the street, A light wind blew from the gates of the sun, And waves of shadow went over the wheat, And he sat him down in a lonely place,
And chanted a melody loud and sweet,
The swallow stopt as he hunted the bee,
The wild hawk stood with the down on his beak And stared, with his foot on the prey,
And the nightingale thought, "I have sung many
But never a one so gay,
For he sings of what the world will be
When the years have died away."
THE PRINCESS; A MEDLEY.
SIR WALTER VIVIAN all a summer's day
The neighboring borough with their Institute,
And me that morning Walter showed the house, Greek, set with busts: from vases in the hall Flowers of all heavens, and lovelier than their
Grew side by side; and on the pavement lay
And this," he said, "was Hugh's at Agincourt; And that was old Sir Ralph's at Ascalon: A good knight he! we keep a chronicle With all about him,"-which he brought, and I Dived in a hoard of tales that dealt with knights Half-legend, half-historic, counts and kings Who laid about them at their wills and died; And mixt with these, a lady, one that armed Her own fair head, and sallying through the gate, Had beat her foes with slaughter from her walls.
"O miracle of women," said the book, “ O noble heart who, being strait-besieged By this wild king to force her to his wish,
Nor bent, nor broke, nor shunned a soldier's death, But now when all was lost or seemed as lost
Her stature more than mortal in the burst
Of sunrise, her arm lifted, eyes on fire
Brake with a blast of trumpets from the gate,
She trampled some beneath her horses' heels,
So sang the gallant glorious chronicle; And, I all rapt in this, "Come out," he said, "To the Abbey: there is Aunt Elizabeth And sister Lilia with the rest.” We went
(I kept the book and had my finger in it)
Down through the park: strange was the sight to me;
There moved the multitude, a thousand heads:
Taught them with facts. One reared a font of stone,
And drew, from butts of water on the slope,
A little clock-work steamer paddling plied
A petty railway ran: a fire-balloon
Rose gem-like up before the dusky groves
And there through twenty posts of telegraph
They flashed a saucy message to and fro
Made noise with bees and breeze from end to end.
Strange was the sight and smacking of the time; And long we gazed, but satiated at length Came to the ruins. High-arched and ivy-claspt, Of finest Gothic, lighter than a fire,
Through one wide chasm of time and frost they
The park, the crowd, the house; but all within
And Lilia with the rest, and lady friends
From neighbor seats: and there was Ralph himself, A broken statue propt against the wall,
As gay as any. Lilia, wild with sport,
Half child, half woman as she was, had wound
That made the old warrior from his ivied nook
And there we joined them: then the maiden Aunt
And all things great; but we, unworthier, told
But honeying at the whisper of a lord;
But while they talked, above their heads I saw The feudal warrior lady-clad; which brought My book to mind; and opening this, I read Of old Sir Ralph a page or two that rang With tilt and tourney; then the tale of her That drove her foes with slaughter from her walls, And much I praised her nobleness, and "Where," Asked Walter, patting Lilia's head, (she lay Beside him,) "lives there such a woman now?"
Quick answered Lilia, "There are thousands now Such women, but convention beats them down: It is but bringing up; no more than that: You men have done it: how I hate you all! Ah, were I something great! I wish I were Some mighty poetess, I would shame you then, That love to keep us children! O, I wish That I were some great Princess, I would build Far off from men a college like a man's,
And I would teach them all that men are taught; We are twice as quick!" And here she shook aside
The hand that played the patron with her curls.
And one said, smiling, "Pretty were the sight If our old halls could change their sex, and flaunt With prudes for proctors, dowagers for deans, And sweet girl-graduates in their golden-hair. I think they should not wear our rusty gowns, But move as rich as Emperor-moths, or Ralph Who shines so in the corner; yet I fear, If there were many Lilias in the brood, However deep you might embower the nest, Some boy would spy it."
At this upon the sward