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I CLIMB the hill: from end to end,
No gray old grange, or lonely fold,
Or low morass and whispering reed, Or simple stile from mead to mead, Or sheepwalk up the windy wold;
Nor hoary knoll of ash and haw
That hears the latest linnet trill, Nor quarry trenched along the hill, And haunted by the wrangling daw;
Nor runlet tinkling from the rock ;
Nor pastoral rivulet that swerves
To left and right through meadowy curves, That feed the mothers of the flock;
But each has pleased a kindred eye,
UNWATCHED the garden bough shall sway,
This maple burn itself away ;
Unloved, the sunflower, shining fair,
Ray round with flames her disk of seed,
With summer spice the humming air ;
Unloved, by many a sandy bar,
The brook shall babble down the plain, At noon, or when the lesser wain Is twisting round the polar star;
Uncared for, gird the windy grove,
And flood the haunts of hern and crake;
Till from the garden and the wild
And year by year the landscape grow
As year by year the laborer tills
His wonted glebe, or lops the glades; And year by year our memory fades From all the circle of the hills.
We leave the well-beloved place
Will shelter one of stranger race.
We go, but ere we go from home,
As down the garden-walks I move, Two spirits of a diverse love Contend for loving masterdom.
One whispers, here thy boyhood sung
Long since its matin song, and heard
In native hazels tassel-hung.
The other answers, "Yea, but here
Thy feet have strayed in after hours With thy lost friend among the bowers, And this hath made them trebly dear."
These two have striven half the day,
That will not yield each other way.
I turn to go: my feet are set
To leave the pleasant fields and farms;
To one pure image of regret.
On that last night before we went
Methought I dwelt within a hall,
And maidens with me; distant hills
A river sliding by the wall.
The hall with harp and carol rang,
They sang of what is wise and good And graceful. In the centre stood A statue veiled, to which they sang;
And which, though veiled, was known to me, The shape of him I loved, and love
Forever: then flew in a dove,
And brought a summons from the sea:
And when they learnt that I must go,
At anchor in the flood below;
And on by many a level mead,
And shadowing bluff that made the banks,
Of iris, and the golden reed;
And still, as vaster grew the shore,
And rolled the floods in grander space,
The maidens gathered strength and grace,
And presence lordlier than before;
And I myself, who sat apart
And watched them, waxed in every limb;
The pulses of a Titan's heart;
As one would sing the death of war,
Until the forward-creeping tides
A great ship lift her shining sides.
The man we loved was there on deck,
Whereat those maidens, with one mind,
Bewailed their lot; I did them wrong: "We served thee here," they said, so long, And wilt thou leave us now behind?
So rapt I was, they could not win
And while the wind began to sweep
A music out of sheet and shroud,
We steered her toward a crimson cloud That landlike slept along the deep.
THE time draws near the birth of Christ;
A single church below the hill
Is pealing, folded in the mist.
A single peal of bells below,
That wakens at this hour of rest: A single murmur in the breast, That these are not the bells I know.
Like strangers' voices here they sound,
THIS holly by the cottage-eave,
Our father's dust is left alone
And silent under other snows:
There in due time the woodbine blows
The violet comes, but we are gone.