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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
8. 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 Lotos
dust 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 foam
fountains 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
kind. 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 gleam
ing world; Where they smile in secret, looking over wasted
lands, 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
Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of
wrong, ; 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
oil; Till they perish and they suffer-some, 'tis whis
pered-down in hell Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys
dwell, Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel. Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the
shore Than labor in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave
O rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander
A DREAM OF FAIR WOMEN.
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 fornis 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
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.
So shape chased shape as swift as, when to land
Bsuster 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
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
green, 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,
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
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."