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But after these were sleeping, a full tide Rose with ground-swell, which, on the foremost rocks Touching, upjetted in spirts of wild sea-smoke, And scaled in sheets of wasteful foam, and fell In vast sea-cataracts-ever and anon Dead claps of thunder from within the cliffs Heard through the living roar. At this the child, Their little Margaret, cradled near them, made A wail which, howsoever slight, aroused The mother, and the father suddenly cried, “ A wreck, a wreck!” then turn’d, and groaning

said :

“Forgive! How many will say, 'Forgive,' and find A sort of absolution in the sound To hate a little longer! No; the sin That neither God nor man can well forgive, Hypocrisy, I saw it in him at once. It is not true that second thoughts are best, But first, and third, which are a riper first, Too ripe, too late! they come too late for use. Ah, love, there surely lives in man and beast Something divine to warn them of their foes : And such a sense, when first I lighted on him, Said, “trust him not;' but after, when I came To know him more, I lost it, knew him less; Fought with what seem'd my own uncharity; Sat at his table, drank his costly wines, Made more and more allowance for his talk, Went further, fool! and trusted him with all, All my poor scrapings from a dozen years Of dust and deskwork : there is no such mine, None; but a gulf of ruin, swallowing gold, Not making. Ruin'd! ruin’d! the sea roars Ruin: a fearful night!”

“ Not fearful; fair," Said the good wife, “ if every star in heaven San make it fair: you do but hear the tide. Had you ill dreams ?

O yes,” he said, “I dream'd
Of such a tide swelling toward the land,
And I from out the boundless outer deep
Swept with it to the shore, and enter'd one
Of those dark caves that run beneath the cliffs.
I thought the motion of the boundless deep
Bore through the cave, and I was heaved upon it
In darkness: then I saw one lonely star
Larger and larger. What a world,' I thought,
* To live in ;' but in moving on I found
Only the landward exit of the cave,
Bright with the sun upon the stream beyond:
And near the light a giant woman sat,
All over earthy,

like a piece of earth,
A pickaxe in her hand : then out I slipt
Into a land all sun and blossom, trees
As high as heaven, and every bird that sings :
And here the firelight flickering in my eyes
Awoke me.”

“ That was then your dream,” she said ; “ Not sad, but sweet.”

“ So sweet, I lay," said he,
“ And mused upon it, drifting up the stream
In fancy, till I slept again, and pieced
The broken vision; for I dream'd that still
The motion of the great deep bore me on,
And that the woman walk'd upon the brink :
I wonder'd at her strength, and ask'd her of it:
• It came,' she said, .by working in the mines :'
Oh, then, to ask her of my shares, I thought;
And ask'd ; but not a word; she shook her head.
And then the motion of the current ceas'd,
And there was rolling thunder; and we reach'd

a
But she, with her strong feet, up the steep hill
Trod out a path ; I follow'd; and at top
She pointed seaward : there a fleet of glass,
That seem'd a fleet of jewels under me,
Sailing along before a gloomy cloud

,

That not one moment ceased to thunder, past
In sunshine : right across its track there lay,
Down in the water, a long reef of gold,
Or what seem'd gold; and I was glad at first
To think that in our often-ransack'd world
Still so much gold was left; and then I fear'd
Lest that gay navy there should splinter on it,
And fearing wav'd my arm to warn them off ;
An idle signal, for the brittle fleet
(I thought I could have died to save it)
Touch’d, clink'd, and clash'd, and vanish'd, and I

woke,
I heard the clash so clearly. Now, I see,
My dream was life; the woman honest Work ;
And my poor venture but a fleet of glass
Wreck'd on a reef of visionary gold.”

Nay," said the kindly wife to comfort him, “ You raised your arm, you tumbled down and

broke The glass with little Margaret's medicine in it; And, breaking that, you made and broke your

dream : A trifle makes a dream; a trifle breaks.”

“No trifle,” groan'd the husband; “yesterday I met him suddenly in the street, and ask'd That which I ask'd the woman in my dream. Like her, he shook his head. * Show me the books!' He dodged me with a long and loose account.

The books, the books!' but he, he could not wait, Bound on a matter he of life and death: When the great Books (see Daniel seven, the tenth) Were open'd, I should find he meant me well; And then began to bloat himself, and ooze All over with the fat affectionate smile That makes the widow lean. My dearest friend, Have faith, have faith! We live by faith,' said he; * And all things work together for the good

Of those '-it makes me sick to quote him-last
Gript my hand hard, and with God-bless-you went.
I stood like one that had received a blow:
I found a hard friend in his loose accounts,
A loose one in the hard grip of his hand,
A curse in his God-bless-you : then my eyes
Pursued him down the street, and far away,
Among the honest shoulders of the crowd,
Read rascal in the motions of his back,
And scoundrel in the supple sliding knee.”

“Was he so bound, poor soul ?” said the good wife; “ So are we all : but do not call him, love, Before you prove him, rogue, and proved, forgive. His gain is loss; for he that wrongs his friend Wrongs himself more, and ever bears about A silent court of justice in his breast, Himself the judge and jury, and himself The prisoner at the bar, ever condemn’d: And that drags down his life: then comes what

comes

Hereafter; and he meant, he said he meant,
Perhaps he meant, or partly meant, you well.”

66. With all his conscience and one eye askew'Love, let me quote these lines, that you may learn A man is likewise counsel for himself, Too often, in that silent court of yours· With all his conscience and one eye askew, So false, he partly took himself for true; Whose pious talk, when most his heart was dry, Made wet the crafty crow's-foot round his eye; Who, never naming God except for gain, So never took that useful name in vain ; Nor deeds of gift, but gifts of grace he forged, And snakelike slimed his victim ere he gorged, Made God his cat’s-paw, and the cross his tool, And Christ the snare to trap a fledgling fool; And oft at Bible meetings, o'er the rest

Arising, did his holy oily best,
Dropping the too rough H in Hell and Heaven,
To spread the word by which himself had thriven.
How like you this old satire ?”

Nay,” she said, I loathe it: he had never kindly heart, Nor ever cared to better his own kind, Who first wrote satire, with no pity in it. But will you hear my dream, for I had one That altogether went to music ? still, It awed me. Well I dream'd that round the north A light--a belt of luminous vapor-lay, And ever in it a low musical note Swelld up and died; and, as it swell’d, a ridge Of breakers came from out the belt, and still Grew with the growing note, and when the note Had reach'd a thunderous fulness, on these cliffs Broke, mixt with awful light (the same as that Which lived within the belt), by which I saw That all these lines of cliffs were cliffs no more, But huge cathedral fronts of every age:Grave, florid, stern, as far as eye could see, One after one; and then the great ridge drew, Lessening to the lessening music, back, And past into the belt and swellid again To music: ever when it broke I saw The statues, saint, or king, or founder fall; Then from the gaps of ruin which it left Came men and women in dark clusters round, Some crying, "Set them up! they shall not fall! And others · Let them lie, for they have fall’n.' And still they strove and wrangled ; and I grieved In

my strange dream, I knew not why, to find Their wildest wailings never out of tune With that sweet note; and ever when their shrieks Ran highest up the gamut, that great wave Returning—though none mark’d it-on the crowd Broke, mix’d with awful light, and show'd their eyes

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