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There would be neither moon nor star;
But the wave would make music above us afar— Low thunder and light in the magic night—
Neither moon nor star.
We would call aloud in the dreamy dells,
They would pelt me with starry spangles and shells
But I would throw them back in mine
O! what a happy life were mine
WHO would be
With a comb of pearl,
I would be a mermaid fair;
I would sing to myself the whole of the day;
I would comb my hair till my ringlets would fall,
From under my starry sea-bud crown
And I should look like a fountain of gold
With a shrill inner sound,
Over the throne
In the midst of the hall;
Till that great sea-snake under the sea
Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the gate
And all the mermen under the sea
Would feel their immortality
Die in their hearts for the love of me.
But at night I would wander away, away,
I would fling on each side my low-flowing locks And lightly vault from the throne and play With the mermen in and out of the rocks; We would run to and fro, and hide and seek, On the broad sea-wolds i' the crimson shells, Whose silvery spikes are nighest the sea. But if any came near, I would call and shriek, And adown the steep like a wave I would leap From the diamond ledges that jut from the dells. For I would not be kissed by all who would list, Of the bold merry mermen under the sea; They would sue me, and woo me, and flatter me, In the purple twilights under the sea; But the king of them all would carry me, Woo me, and win me, and marry me, In the branching jaspers under the sea; Then all the dry pied things that be In the hueless mosses under the sea Would curl round my silver feet silently, All looking up for the love of me.
And if I should carol aloud, from aloft
All things that are forked, and horned, and soft, Would lean out from the hollow sphere of the sea, All looking down for the love of me.
SONNET TO J. M. K.
My hope and heart is with thee-thou wilt be
To scare church-harpies from the master's feast;
THE LADY OF SHALOTT.
ON either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
And up and down the people go,
Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
And the silent isle embowers
By the margin, willow-veiled,
By slow horses; and unhailed,
Skimming down to Camelot :
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Only reapers, reaping early
Down to towered Camelot :
THERE she weaves by night and day
To look down to Camelot..
She knows not what the curse may be,
And little other care hath she,
And moving through a mirror clear
There the river eddy whirls,