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Through many a woven acanthus-wreath divine! Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine, Only to hear were sweet, stretched out beneath the pine.


The Lotos blooms below the barren peak:
The Lotos blows by every winding creek :
All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone;
Through every hollow cave and alley lone

Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotosdust is blown.

We have had enough of action, and of motion we, Rolled to starboard, rolled to larboard, when the surge was seething free,

Where the wallowing monster spouted his foamfountains in the sea.

Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind,

In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined
On the hills like Gods together, careless of man-


For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are hurled

Far below them in the valleys, and the clouds are lightly curled

Round their golden houses, girdled with the gleaming world;

Where they smile in secret, looking over wasted


Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery sands,

Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and praying hands.

But they smile, they find a music centred in a doleful song

Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of


【 a tale of little meaning, though the words are


Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the soil,

Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil,

Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and wine and


Till they perish and they suffer-some, 'tis whispered-down in hell

Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys


Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel. Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the


Than labor in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar;

O rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander




I READ, before my eyelids dropt their shade,
"The Legend of Good Women," long ago
Sung by the morning star of song, who made
His music heard below;


Dan Chaucer, the first warbler, whose sweet breath Preluded those melodious bursts, that fill

The spacious times of great Elizabeth

With sounds that echo still.


And, for a while, the knowledge of his art

Held me above the subject, as strong gales

Hold swollen clouds from raining, though my heart, Brimful of those wild tales,


Charged both mine eyes with tears. In every land
I saw, wherever light illumineth,
Beauty and anguish walking hand in hand
The downward slope to death.


Those far-renowned brides of ancient song Peopled the hollow dark, like burning stars, And I heard sounds of insult, shame, and wrong, And trumpets blown for wars;


And clattering flints battered with clanging hoofs:
And I saw crowds in columned sanctuaries;
And forms that passed at windows and on roofs
Of marble palaces;


Corpses across the threshold; heroes tall
Dislodging pinnacle and parapet
Upon the tortoise creeping to the wall;
Lancers in ambush set;


And high shrine-doors burst through with heated blasts

That run before the fluttering tongues of fire; White surf wind-scattered over sails and masts, And ever climbing higher;


Squadrons and squares of men in brazen plates,
Scaffolds, still sheets of water, divers woes,
Ranges of glimmering vaults with iron grates,
And hushed seraglios.

[blocks in formation]


So shape chased shape as swift as, when to land
Bluster the winds and tides the self-same way,
Crisp foam-flakes scud along the level sand,
Torn from the fringe of spray.


I started once, or seemed to start, in pain,

Resolved on noble things, and strove to speak, As when a great thought strikes along the brain, And flushes all the cheek.


And once my arm was lifted to hew down
A cavalier from off his saddle-bow,
That bore a lady from a leaguered town ;
And then, I know not how,


All those sharp fancies, by down-lapsing thought Streamed onward, lost their edges, and did creep Rolled on each other, rounded, smoothed, and brought

Into the gulfs of sleep.


At last methought that I had wandered far

In an old wood: fresh-washed in coolest dew, The maiden splendors of the morning star Shook in the steadfast blue.


Enormous elm-tree boles did stoop and lean

Upon the dusky brushwood underneath

Their broad curved branches, fledged with clearest


New from its silken sheath.


The dim red morn had died, her journey done,
And with dead lips smiled at the twilight plain,
Half-fallen across the threshold of the sun,
Never to rise again.


There was no motion in the dumb dead air,
Not any song of bird or sound of rill ;
Gross darkness of the inner sepulchre
Is not so deadly still


As that wide forest. Growths of jasmine turned
Their humid arms festooning tree to tree,
And at the root through lush green grasses burned
The red anemone.


I knew the flowers, I knew the leaves, I knew
The tearful glimmer of the languid dawn
On those long, rank, dark wood-walks drenched in

Leading from lawn to lawn.


The smell of violets, hidden in the green,
Poured back into my empty soul and frame
The times when I remember to have been
Joyful and free from blame.


And from within me a clear under-tone

Thrilled through mine ears in that unblissful clime,

"Pass freely through! the wood is all thine own, Until the end of time."

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