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Large dowries doth the raptured eye
To the young spirit present
When first she is wed;

And like a bride of old
In triumph led,

With music and sweet showers
Of festal flowers,

Unto the dwelling she must sway.
Well hast thou done, great artist Memory,
In setting round thy first experiment

With royal frame-work of wrought gold;
Needs must thou dearly love thy first essay,
And foremost in thy various gallery

Place it, where sweetest sunlight falls
Upon the storied walls;

For the discovery

And newness of thine art so pleased thee,
That all which thou hast drawn of fairest


Or boldest since, but lightly weighs
With thee unto the love thou bearest
The first-born of thy genius.
Ever retiring thou dost gaze
On the prime labor of thine early days:
No matter what the sketch might be;

Whether the high field on the bushless Pike,
Or even sand-built ridge

Of heaped hills that mound the sea,

Overblown with murmurs harsh,

Or even a lowly cottage whence we see

Stretch'd wide and wild the waste enormous marsh,

Where from the frequent bridge,

Like emblems of infinity,

The trenched waters run from sky to sky;

Or a garden bower'd close

With plaited alleys of the trailing rose,
Long alleys falling down to twilight grots,
Or opening upon level plots

Of crowned lilies, standing near

Purple-spiked lavender:

Whither in after-life retired
From brawling storms,
From weary wind,

With youthful fancy reinspired,

We may hold converse with all forms

Of the many-sided mind,

And those whom passion hath not blinded,
Subtle-thoughted, myriad-minded.

My friend, with you to live alone,
Were how much better than to own
A crown, a sceptre, and a throne!
O strengthen me, enlighten me !
I faint in this obscurity,
Thou dewy dawn of memory.



A SPIRIT haunts the year's last hours
Dwelling amid these yellowing bowers:
To himself he talks ;

For at eventide, listening earnestly,
At his work you may hear him sob and sigh
In the walks;

Earthward he boweth the heavy stalks
Of the mouldering flowers:
Heavily hangs the broad sunflower

Over its grave i' the earth so chilly;
Heavily hangs the hollyhock,
Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.


The air is damp, and hush'd, and close,
As a sick man's room when he taketh repose
An hour before death;

My very heart faints and my whole soul grieves
At the moist rich smell of the rotting leaves,
And the breath

Of the fading edges of box beneath,
And the year's last rose.

Heavily hangs the broad sunflower
Over its grave i' the earth so chilly;
Heavily hangs the hollyhock,

Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.



MYSTERY of mysteries,
Faintly smiling Adeline,
Scarce of earth nor all divine,
Nor unhappy, nor at rest,

But beyond expression fair
With thy floating flaxen hair;

Thy rose-lips and full blue eyes

Take the heart from out my breast. Wherefore those dim looks of thine, Shadowy, dreaming Adeline?


Whence that aery bloom of thine,
Like a lily which the sun
Looks thro' in sad decline,

And a rose-bush leans upon,
Thou that faintly smilest still,

As a Naiad in a well,
Looking at the set of day,
Or a phantom two hours old

Of a maiden past away,
Ere the placid lips be cold?
Wherefore those faint smiles of thine,
Spiritual Adeline?


What hope or fear or joy is thine?
Who talketh with thee, Adeline?

For sure thou art not all alone:

Do beating hearts of salient springs Keep measure with thine own?

Hast thou heard the butterflies What they say betwixt their wings? Or in stillest evenings

With what voice the violet woos
To his heart the silver dews?

Or when little airs arise,
How the merry bluebell rings

To the mosses underneath?
Hast thou look'd upon the breath
Of the lilies at sunrise ?

Wherefore that faint smile of thine,
Shadowy, dreaming Adeline?


Some honey-converse feeds thy mind,
Some spirit of a crimson rose
In love with thee forgets to close
His curtains, wasting odorous sighs
All night long on darkness blind.
What aileth thee? whom waitest thou
With thy soften'd, shadow'd brow,
And those dew-lit eyes of thine,
Thou faint smiler, Adeline?

5. Lovest thou the doleful wind

When thou gazest at the skies?
Doth the low-tongued Orient

Wander from the side of the morn,
Dripping with Sabæan spice
On thy pillow, lowly bent

With melodious airs lovelorn,
Breathing Light against thy face,
While his locks a-drooping twined

Round thy neck in subtle ring
Make a carcanet of rays,

And ye talk together still,
In the language wherewith Spring
Letters cowslips on the hill?
Hence that look and smile of thine,
Spiritual Adeline.


WITH a half-glance upon the sky
At night he said, "The wanderings
Of this most intricate Universe
Teach me the nothingness of things."
Yet could not all creation pierce
Beyond the bottom of his eye.

He spake of beauty: that the dull
Saw no divinity in grass,

Life in dead stones, or spirit in air;

Then looking as 't were in a glass,
He smooth'd his chin and sleek'd his hair,
And said the earth was beautiful.

He spake of virtue: not the gods
More purely, when they wish to charm
Pallas and Juno sitting by:
And with a sweeping of the arm,
And a lack-lustre dead-blue eye,
Devolved his rounded periods.

Most delicately hour by hour
He canvass'd human mysteries,
And trod on silk, as if the winds
Blew his own praises in his eyes,
And stood aloof from other minds
In impotence of fancied power.

With lips depress'd as he were meek,
Himself unto himself he sold:
Upon himself himself did feed:
Quiet, dispassionate, and cold,
And other than his form of creed,
With chisell'd features clear and sleek.


THE poet in a golden clime was born,
With golden stars above;

Dower'd with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn,
The love of love

He saw thro' life and death, thro' good and ill,
He saw thro' his own soul.

The marvel of the everlasting will,

An open scroll,

Before him lay: with echoing feet he threaded
The secretest walks of fame:

The viewless arrows of his thoughts were headed And wing'd with flame,

Like Indian reeds blown from his silver tongue, And of so fierce a flight,

From Calpe unto Caucasus they sung,

Filling with light

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