In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII [all 133 poems]

Original Text: 
Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poems, ed. Hallam Lord Tennyson and annotated by Alfred Lord Tennyson (London: Macmillan, 1908).
1Strong Son of God, immortal Love,
2  Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
3  By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
4Believing where we cannot prove;
5Thine are these orbs of light and shade;
6  Thou madest Life in man and brute;
7  Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot
8Is on the skull which thou hast made.
9Thou wilt not leave us in the dust:
10  Thou madest man, he knows not why,
11  He thinks he was not made to die;
12And thou hast made him: thou art just.
13Thou seemest human and divine,
14  The highest, holiest manhood, thou.
15  Our wills are ours, we know not how;
16Our wills are ours, to make them thine.
17Our little systems have their day;
18  They have their day and cease to be:
19  They are but broken lights of thee,
20And thou, O Lord, art more than they.
21We have but faith: we cannot know;
22  For knowledge is of things we see;
23  And yet we trust it comes from thee,
24A beam in darkness: let it grow.
25Let knowledge grow from more to more,
26  But more of reverence in us dwell;
27  That mind and soul, according well,
28May make one music as before,
29But vaster. We are fools and slight;
30  We mock thee when we do not fear:
31  But help thy foolish ones to bear;
32Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light.
33Forgive what seem'd my sin in me;
34  What seem'd my worth since I began;
35  For merit lives from man to man,
36And not from man, O Lord, to thee.
37Forgive my grief for one removed,
38  Thy creature, whom I found so fair.
39  I trust he lives in thee, and there
40I find him worthier to be loved.
41Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
42  Confusions of a wasted youth;
43  Forgive them where they fail in truth,
44And in thy wisdom make me wise.
1849.
2.1I held it truth, with him who sings
2.2  To one clear harp in divers tones,
2.3  That men may rise on stepping-stones
2.4Of their dead selves to higher things.
2.5But who shall so forecast the years
2.6  And find in loss a gain to match?
2.7  Or reach a hand thro' time to catch
2.8The far-off interest of tears?
2.9Let Love clasp Grief lest both be drown'd,
2.10  Let darkness keep her raven gloss:
2.11  Ah, sweeter to be drunk with loss,
2.12To dance with death, to beat the ground,
2.13Than that the victor Hours should scorn
2.14  The long result of love, and boast,
2.15  `Behold the man that loved and lost,
2.16But all he was is overworn.'
3.1Old Yew, which graspest at the stones
3.2  That name the under-lying dead,
3.3  Thy fibres net the dreamless head,
3.4Thy roots are wrapt about the bones.
3.5The seasons bring the flower again,
3.6  And bring the firstling to the flock;
3.7  And in the dusk of thee, the clock
3.8Beats out the little lives of men.
3.9O, not for thee the glow, the bloom,
3.10  Who changest not in any gale,
3.11  Nor branding summer suns avail
3.12To touch thy thousand years of gloom:
3.13And gazing on thee, sullen tree,
3.14  Sick for thy stubborn hardihood,
3.15  I seem to fail from out my blood
3.16And grow incorporate into thee.
4.1O Sorrow, cruel fellowship,
4.2  O Priestess in the vaults of Death,
4.3  O sweet and bitter in a breath,
4.4What whispers from thy lying lip?
4.5`The stars,' she whispers, `blindly run;
4.6  A web is wov'n across the sky;
4.7  From out waste places comes a cry,
4.8And murmurs from the dying sun:
4.9"And all the phantom, Nature, stands --
4.10  With all the music in her tone,
4.11  A hollow echo of my own, --
4.12A hollow form with empty hands."
4.13And shall I take a thing so blind,
4.14  Embrace her as my natural good;
4.15  Or crush her, like a vice of blood,
4.16Upon the threshold of the mind?
5.1To Sleep I give my powers away;
5.2  My will is bondsman to the dark;
5.3  I sit within a helmless bark,
5.4And with my heart I muse and say:
5.5O heart, how fares it with thee now,
5.6  That thou should'st fail from thy desire,
5.7  Who scarcely darest to inquire,
5.8"What is it makes me beat so low?"
5.9Something it is which thou hast lost,
5.10  Some pleasure from thine early years.
5.11  Break, thou deep vase of chilling tears,
5.12That grief hath shaken into frost!
5.13Such clouds of nameless trouble cross
5.14  All night below the darken'd eyes;
5.15  With morning wakes the will, and cries,
5.16"Thou shalt not be the fool of loss."
6.1I sometimes hold it half a sin
6.2  To put in words the grief I feel;
6.3  For words, like Nature, half reveal
6.4And half conceal the Soul within.
6.5But, for the unquiet heart and brain,
6.6  A use in measured language lies;
6.7  The sad mechanic exercise,
6.8Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.
6.9In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er,
6.10  Like coarsest clothes against the cold:
6.11  But that large grief which these enfold
6.12Is given in outline and no more.
7.1One writes, that `Other friends remain,'
7.2  That `Loss is common to the race' --
7.3  And common is the commonplace,
7.4And vacant chaff well meant for grain.
7.5That loss is common would not make
7.6  My own less bitter, rather more:
7.7  Too common! Never morning wore
7.8To evening, but some heart did break.
7.9O father, wheresoe'er thou be,
7.10  Who pledgest now thy gallant son;
7.11  A shot, ere half thy draught be done,
7.12Hath still'd the life that beat from thee.
7.13O mother, praying God will save
7.14  Thy sailor, -- while thy head is bow'd,
7.15  His heavy-shotted hammock-shroud
7.16Drops in his vast and wandering grave.
7.17Ye know no more than I who wrought
7.18  At that last hour to please him well;
7.19  Who mused on all I had to tell,
7.20And something written, something thought;
7.21Expecting still his advent home;
7.22  And ever met him on his way
7.23  With wishes, thinking, "here to-day,"
7.24Or "here to-morrow will he come."
7.25O somewhere, meek, unconscious dove,
7.26  That sittest ranging golden hair;
7.27  And glad to find thyself so fair,
7.28Poor child, that waitest for thy love!
7.29For now her father's chimney glows
7.30  In expectation of a guest;
7.31  And thinking "this will please him best,"
7.32She takes a riband or a rose;
7.33For he will see them on to-night;
7.34  And with the thought her colour burns;
7.35  And, having left the glass, she turns
7.36Once more to set a ringlet right;
7.37And, even when she turn'd, the curse
7.38  Had fallen, and her future Lord
7.39  Was drown'd in passing thro' the ford,
7.40Or kill'd in falling from his horse.
7.41O what to her shall be the end?
7.42  And what to me remains of good?
7.43  To her, perpetual maidenhood,
7.44And unto me no second friend.
8.1Dark house, by which once more I stand
8.2  Here in the long unlovely street,
8.3  Doors, where my heart was used to beat
8.4So quickly, waiting for a hand,
8.5A hand that can be clasp'd no more --
8.6  Behold me, for I cannot sleep,
8.7  And like a guilty thing I creep
8.8At earliest morning to the door.
8.9He is not here; but far away
8.10  The noise of life begins again,
8.11  And ghastly thro' the drizzling rain
8.12On the bald street breaks the blank day.
9.1A happy lover who has come
9.2  To look on her that loves him well,
9.3  Who 'lights and rings the gateway bell,
9.4And learns her gone and far from home;
9.5He saddens, all the magic light
9.6  Dies off at once from bower and hall,
9.7  And all the place is dark, and all
9.8The chambers emptied of delight:
9.9So find I every pleasant spot
9.10  In which we two were wont to meet,
9.11  The field, the chamber, and the street,
9.12For all is dark where thou art not.
9.13Yet as that other, wandering there
9.14  In those deserted walks, may find
9.15  A flower beat with rain and wind,
9.16Which once she foster'd up with care;
9.17So seems it in my deep regret,
9.18  O my forsaken heart, with thee
9.19  And this poor flower of poesy
9.20Which little cared for fades not yet.
9.21But since it pleased a vanish'd eye,
9.22  I go to plant it on his tomb,
9.23  That if it can it there may bloom,
9.24Or, dying, there at least may die.
10.1Fair ship, that from the Italian shore
10.2  Sailest the placid ocean-plains
10.3  With my lost Arthur's loved remains,
10.4Spread thy full wings, and waft him o'er.
10.5So draw him home to those that mourn
10.6  In vain; a favourable speed
10.7  Ruffle thy mirror'd mast, and lead
10.8Thro' prosperous floods his holy urn.
10.9All night no ruder air perplex
10.10  Thy sliding keel, till Phosphor, bright
10.11  As our pure love, thro' early light
10.12Shall glimmer on the dewy decks.
10.13Sphere all your lights around, above;
10.14  Sleep, gentle heavens, before the prow;
10.15  Sleep, gentle winds, as he sleeps now,
10.16My friend, the brother of my love;
10.17My Arthur, whom I shall not see
10.18  Till all my widow'd race be run;
10.19  Dear as the mother to the son,
10.20More than my brothers are to me.
11.1I hear the noise about thy keel;
11.2  I hear the bell struck in the night:
11.3  I see the cabin-window bright;
11.4I see the sailor at the wheel.
11.5Thou bring'st the sailor to his wife,
11.6  And travell'd men from foreign lands;
11.7  And letters unto trembling hands;
11.8And, thy dark freight, a vanish'd life.
11.9So bring him; we have idle dreams:
11.10  This look of quiet flatters thus
11.11  Our home-bred fancies. O to us,
11.12The fools of habit, sweeter seems
11.13To rest beneath the clover sod,
11.14  That takes the sunshine and the rains,
11.15  Or where the kneeling hamlet drains
11.16The chalice of the grapes of God;
11.17Than if with thee the roaring wells
11.18  Should gulf him fathom-deep in brine;
11.19  And hands so often clasp'd in mine,
11.20Should toss with tangle and with shells.
12.1Calm is the morn without a sound,
12.2  Calm as to suit a calmer grief,
12.3  And only thro' the faded leaf
12.4The chestnut pattering to the ground:
12.5Calm and deep peace on this high wold,
12.6  And on these dews that drench the furze,
12.7  And all the silvery gossamers
12.8That twinkle into green and gold:
12.9Calm and still light on yon great plain
12.10  That sweeps with all its autumn bowers,
12.11  And crowded farms and lessening towers,
12.12To mingle with the bounding main:
12.13Calm and deep peace in this wide air,
12.14  These leaves that redden to the fall;
12.15  And in my heart, if calm at all,
12.16If any calm, a calm despair:
12.17Calm on the seas, and silver sleep,
12.18  And waves that sway themselves in rest,
12.19  And dead calm in that noble breast
12.20Which heaves but with the heaving deep.
13.1Lo, as a dove when up she springs
13.2  To bear thro' Heaven a tale of woe,
13.3  Some dolorous message knit below
13.4The wild pulsation of her wings;
13.5Like her I go; I cannot stay;
13.6  I leave this mortal ark behind,
13.7  A weight of nerves without a mind,
13.8And leave the cliffs, and haste away
13.9O'er ocean-mirrors rounded large,
13.10  And reach the glow of southern skies,
13.11  And see the sails at distance rise,
13.12And linger weeping on the marge,
13.13And saying; `Comes he thus, my friend?
13.14  Is this the end of all my care?'
13.15  And circle moaning in the air:
13.16`Is this the end? Is this the end?'
13.17And forward dart again, and play
13.18  About the prow, and back return
13.19  To where the body sits, and learn
13.20That I have been an hour away.
14.1Tears of the widower, when he sees
14.2  A late-lost form that sleep reveals,
14.3  And moves his doubtful arms, and feels
14.4Her place is empty, fall like these;
14.5Which weep a loss for ever new,
14.6  A void where heart on heart reposed;
14.7  And, where warm hands have prest and closed,
14.8Silence, till I be silent too.
14.9Which weep the comrade of my choice,
14.10  An awful thought, a life removed,
14.11  The human-hearted man I loved,
14.12A Spirit, not a breathing voice.
14.13Come, Time, and teach me, many years,
14.14  I do not suffer in a dream;
14.15  For now so strange do these things seem,
14.16Mine eyes have leisure for their tears;
14.17My fancies time to rise on wing,
14.18  And glance about the approaching sails,
14.19  As tho' they brought but merchants' bales,
14.20And not the burthen that they bring.
15.1If one should bring me this report,
15.2  That thou hadst touch'd the land to-day,
15.3  And I went down unto the quay,
15.4And found thee lying in the port;
15.5And standing, muffled round with woe,
15.6  Should see thy passengers in rank
15.7  Come stepping lightly down the plank,
15.8And beckoning unto those they know;
15.9And if along with these should come
15.10  The man I held as half-divine;
15.11  Should strike a sudden hand in mine,
15.12And ask a thousand things of home;
15.13And I should tell him all my pain,
15.14  And how my life had droop'd of late,
15.15  And he should sorrow o'er my state
15.16And marvel what possess'd my brain;
15.17And I perceived no touch of change,
15.18  No hint of death in all his frame,
15.19  But found him all in all the same,
15.20I should not feel it to be strange.
16.1To-night the winds begin to rise
16.2  And roar from yonder dropping day:
16.3  The last red leaf is whirl'd away,
16.4The rooks are blown about the skies;
16.5The forest crack'd, the waters curl'd,
16.6  The cattle huddled on the lea;
16.7  And wildly dash'd on tower and tree
16.8The sunbeam strikes along the world:
16.9And but for fancies, which aver
16.10  That all thy motions gently pass
16.11  Athwart a plane of molten glass,
16.12I scarce could brook the strain and stir
16.13That makes the barren branches loud;
16.14  And but for fear it is not so,
16.15  The wild unrest that lives in woe
16.16Would dote and pore on yonder cloud
16.17That rises upward always higher,
16.18  And onward drags a labouring breast,
16.19  And topples round the dreary west,
16.20A looming bastion fringed with fire.
17.1What words are these have fall'n from me?
17.2  Can calm despair and wild unrest
17.3  Be tenants of a single breast,
17.4Or sorrow such a changeling be?
17.5Or doth she only seem to take
17.6  The touch of change in calm or storm;
17.7  But knows no more of transient form
17.8In her deep self, than some dead lake
17.9That holds the shadow of a lark
17.10  Hung in the shadow of a heaven?
17.11  Or has the shock, so harshly given,
17.12Confused me like the unhappy bark
17.13That strikes by night a craggy shelf,
17.14  And staggers blindly ere she sink?
17.15  And stunn'd me from my power to think
17.16And all my knowledge of myself;
17.17And made me that delirious man
17.18  Whose fancy fuses old and new,
17.19  And flashes into false and true,
17.20And mingles all without a plan?
18.1Thou comest, much wept for: such a breeze
18.2  Compell'd thy canvas, and my prayer
18.3  Was as the whisper of an air
18.4To breathe thee over lonely seas.
18.5For I in spirit saw thee move
18.6  Thro' circles of the bounding sky,
18.7  Week after week: the days go by:
18.8Come quick, thou bringest all I love.
18.9Henceforth, wherever thou may'st roam,
18.10  My blessing, like a line of light,
18.11  Is on the waters day and night,
18.12And like a beacon guards thee home.
18.13So may whatever tempest mars
18.14  Mid-ocean, spare thee, sacred bark;
18.15  And balmy drops in summer dark
18.16Slide from the bosom of the stars.
18.17So kind an office hath been done,
18.18  Such precious relics brought by thee;
18.19  The dust of him I shall not see
18.20Till all my widow'd race be run.
19.1'Tis well; 'tis something; we may stand
19.2  Where he in English earth is laid,
19.3  And from his ashes may be made
19.4The violet of his native land.
19.5'Tis little; but it looks in truth
19.6  As if the quiet bones were blest
19.7  Among familiar names to rest
19.8And in the places of his youth.
19.9Come then, pure hands, and bear the head
19.10  That sleeps or wears the mask of sleep,
19.11  And come, whatever loves to weep,
19.12And hear the ritual of the dead.
19.13Ah yet, ev'n yet, if this might be,
19.14  I, falling on his faithful heart,
19.15  Would breathing thro' his lips impart
19.16The life that almost dies in me;
19.17That dies not, but endures with pain,
19.18  And slowly forms the firmer mind,
19.19  Treasuring the look it cannot find,
19.20The words that are not heard again.
20.1The Danube to the Severn gave
20.2  The darken'd heart that beat no more;
20.3  They laid him by the pleasant shore,
20.4And in the hearing of the wave.
20.5There twice a day the Severn fills;
20.6  The salt sea-water passes by,
20.7  And hushes half the babbling Wye,
20.8And makes a silence in the hills.
20.9The Wye is hush'd nor moved along,
20.10  And hush'd my deepest grief of all,
20.11  When fill'd with tears that cannot fall,
20.12I brim with sorrow drowning song.
20.13The tide flows down, the wave again
20.14  Is vocal in its wooded walls;
20.15  My deeper anguish also falls,
20.16And I can speak a little then.
21.1The lesser griefs that may be said,
21.2  That breathe a thousand tender vows,
21.3  Are but as servants in a house
21.4Where lies the master newly dead;
21.5Who speak their feeling as it is,
21.6  And weep the fulness from the mind:
21.7  "It will be hard," they say, "to find
21.8Another service such as this."
21.9My lighter moods are like to these,
21.10  That out of words a comfort win;
21.11  But there are other griefs within,
21.12And tears that at their fountain freeze;
21.13For by the hearth the children sit
21.14  Cold in that atmosphere of Death,
21.15  And scarce endure to draw the breath,
21.16Or like to noiseless phantoms flit;
21.17But open converse is there none,
21.18  So much the vital spirits sink
21.19  To see the vacant chair, and think,
21.20"How good! how kind! and he is gone."
22.1I sing to him that rests below,
22.2  And, since the grasses round me wave,
22.3  I take the grasses of the grave,
22.4And make them pipes whereon to blow.
22.5The traveller hears me now and then,
22.6  And sometimes harshly will he speak:
22.7  "This fellow would make weakness weak,
22.8And melt the waxen hearts of men."
22.9Another answers, `Let him be,
22.10  He loves to make parade of pain
22.11  That with his piping he may gain
22.12The praise that comes to constancy.'
22.13A third is wroth: "Is this an hour
22.14  For private sorrow's barren song,
22.15  When more and more the people throng
22.16The chairs and thrones of civil power?
22.17"A time to sicken and to swoon,
22.18  When Science reaches forth her arms
22.19  To feel from world to world, and charms
22.20Her secret from the latest moon?"
22.21Behold, ye speak an idle thing:
22.22  Ye never knew the sacred dust:
22.23  I do but sing because I must,
22.24And pipe but as the linnets sing:
22.25And one is glad; her note is gay,
22.26  For now her little ones have ranged;
22.27  And one is sad; her note is changed,
22.28Because her brood is stol'n away.
23.1The path by which we twain did go,
23.2  Which led by tracts that pleased us well,
23.3  Thro' four sweet years arose and fell,
23.4From flower to flower, from snow to snow:
23.5And we with singing cheer'd the way,
23.6  And, crown'd with all the season lent,
23.7  From April on to April went,
23.8And glad at heart from May to May:
23.9But where the path we walk'd began
23.10  To slant the fifth autumnal slope,
23.11  As we descended following Hope,
23.12There sat the Shadow fear'd of man;
23.13Who broke our fair companionship,
23.14  And spread his mantle dark and cold,
23.15  And wrapt thee formless in the fold,
23.16And dull'd the murmur on thy lip,
23.17And bore thee where I could not see
23.18  Nor follow, tho' I walk in haste,
23.19  And think, that somewhere in the waste
23.20The Shadow sits and waits for me.
24.1Now, sometimes in my sorrow shut,
24.2  Or breaking into song by fits,
24.3  Alone, alone, to where he sits,
24.4The Shadow cloak'd from head to foot,
24.5Who keeps the keys of all the creeds,
24.6  I wander, often falling lame,
24.7  And looking back to whence I came,
24.8Or on to where the pathway leads;
24.9And crying, How changed from where it ran
24.10  Thro' lands where not a leaf was dumb;
24.11  But all the lavish hills would hum
24.12The murmur of a happy Pan:
24.13When each by turns was guide to each,
24.14  And Fancy light from Fancy caught,
24.15  And Thought leapt out to wed with Thought
24.16Ere Thought could wed itself with Speech;
24.17And all we met was fair and good,
24.18  And all was good that Time could bring,
24.19  And all the secret of the Spring
24.20Moved in the chambers of the blood;
24.21And many an old philosophy
24.22  On Argive heights divinely sang,
24.23  And round us all the thicket rang
24.24To many a flute of Arcady.
25.1And was the day of my delight
25.2  As pure and perfect as I say?
25.3  The very source and fount of Day
25.4Is dash'd with wandering isles of night.
25.5If all was good and fair we met,
25.6  This earth had been the Paradise
25.7  It never look'd to human eyes
25.8Since our first Sun arose and set.
25.9And is it that the haze of grief
25.10  Makes former gladness loom so great?
25.11  The lowness of the present state,
25.12That sets the past in this relief?
25.13Or that the past will always win
25.14  A glory from its being far;
25.15  And orb into the perfect star
25.16We saw not, when we moved therein?
26.1I know that this was Life, -- the track
26.2  Whereon with equal feet we fared;
26.3  And then, as now, the day prepared
26.4The daily burden for the back.
26.5But this it was that made me move
26.6  As light as carrier-birds in air;
26.7  I loved the weight I had to bear,
26.8Because it needed help of Love:
26.9Nor could I weary, heart or limb,
26.10  When mighty Love would cleave in twain
26.11  The lading of a single pain,
26.12And part it, giving half to him.
27.1Still onward winds the dreary way;
27.2  I with it; for I long to prove
27.3  No lapse of moons can canker Love,
27.4Whatever fickle tongues may say.
27.5And if that eye which watches guilt
27.6  And goodness, and hath power to see
27.7  Within the green the moulder'd tree,
27.8And towers fall'n as soon as built --
27.9Oh, if indeed that eye foresee
27.10  Or see (in Him is no before)
27.11  In more of life true life no more
27.12And Love the indifference to be,
27.13Then might I find, ere yet the morn
27.14  Breaks hither over Indian seas,
27.15  That Shadow waiting with the keys,
27.16To shroud me from my proper scorn.
28.1I envy not in any moods
28.2  The captive void of noble rage,
28.3  The linnet born within the cage,
28.4That never knew the summer woods:
28.5I envy not the beast that takes
28.6  His license in the field of time,
28.7  Unfetter'd by the sense of crime,
28.8To whom a conscience never wakes;
28.9Nor, what may count itself as blest,
28.10  The heart that never plighted troth
28.11  But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;
28.12Nor any want-begotten rest.
28.13I hold it true, whate'er befall;
28.14  I feel it, when I sorrow most;
28.15  'Tis better to have loved and lost
28.16Than never to have loved at all.
29.1The time draws near the birth of Christ:
29.2  The moon is hid; the night is still;
29.3  The Christmas bells from hill to hill
29.4Answer each other in the mist.
29.5Four voices of four hamlets round,
29.6  From far and near, on mead and moor,
29.7  Swell out and fail, as if a door
29.8Were shut between me and the sound:
29.9Each voice four changes on the wind,
29.10  That now dilate, and now decrease,
29.11  Peace and goodwill, goodwill and peace,
29.12Peace and goodwill, to all mankind.
29.13This year I slept and woke with pain,
29.14  I almost wish'd no more to wake,
29.15  And that my hold on life would break
29.16Before I heard those bells again:
29.17But they my troubled spirit rule,
29.18  For they controll'd me when a boy;
29.19  They bring me sorrow touch'd with joy,
29.20The merry merry bells of Yule.
30.1With such compelling cause to grieve
30.2  As daily vexes household peace,
30.3  And chains regret to his decease,
30.4How dare we keep our Christmas-eve;
30.5Which brings no more a welcome guest
30.6  To enrich the threshold of the night
30.7  With shower'd largess of delight
30.8In dance and song and game and jest?
30.9Yet go, and while the holly boughs
30.10  Entwine the cold baptismal font,
30.11  Make one wreath more for Use and Wont,
30.12That guard the portals of the house;
30.13Old sisters of a day gone by,
30.14  Gray nurses, loving nothing new;
30.15  Why should they miss their yearly due
30.16Before their time? They too will die.
31.1With trembling fingers did we weave
31.2  The holly round the Chrismas hearth;
31.3  A rainy cloud possess'd the earth,
31.4And sadly fell our Christmas-eve.
31.5At our old pastimes in the hall
31.6  We gambol'd, making vain pretence
31.7  Of gladness, with an awful sense
31.8Of one mute Shadow watching all.
31.9We paused: the winds were in the beech:
31.10  We heard them sweep the winter land;
31.11  And in a circle hand-in-hand
31.12Sat silent, looking each at each.
31.13Then echo-like our voices rang;
31.14  We sung, tho' every eye was dim,
31.15  A merry song we sang with him
31.16Last year: impetuously we sang:
31.17We ceased: a gentler feeling crept
31.18  Upon us: surely rest is meet:
31.19  "They rest," we said, "their sleep is sweet,"
31.20And silence follow'd, and we wept.
31.21Our voices took a higher range;
31.22  Once more we sang: "They do not die
31.23  Nor lose their mortal sympathy,
31.24Nor change to us, although they change;
31.25"Rapt from the fickle and the frail
31.26  With gather'd power, yet the same,
31.27  Pierces the keen seraphic flame
31.28From orb to orb, from veil to veil."
31.29Rise, happy morn, rise, holy morn,
31.30  Draw forth the cheerful day from night:
31.31  O Father, touch the east, and light
31.32The light that shone when Hope was born.
32.1When Lazarus left his charnel-cave,
32.2  And home to Mary's house return'd,
32.3  Was this demanded -- if he yearn'd
32.4To hear her weeping by his grave?
32.5"Where wert thou, brother, those four days?"
32.6  There lives no record of reply,
32.7  Which telling what it is to die
32.8Had surely added praise to praise.
32.9From every house the neighbours met,
32.10  The streets were fill'd with joyful sound,
32.11  A solemn gladness even crown'd
32.12The purple brows of Olivet.
32.13Behold a man raised up by Christ!
32.14  The rest remaineth unreveal'd;
32.15  He told it not; or something seal'd
32.16The lips of that Evangelist.
33.1Her eyes are homes of silent prayer,
33.2  Nor other thought her mind admits
33.3  But, he was dead, and there he sits,
33.4And he that brought him back is there.
33.5Then one deep love doth supersede
33.6  All other, when her ardent gaze
33.7  Roves from the living brother's face,
33.8And rests upon the Life indeed.
33.9All subtle thought, all curious fears,
33.10  Borne down by gladness so complete,
33.11  She bows, she bathes the Saviour's feet
33.12With costly spikenard and with tears.
33.13Thrice blest whose lives are faithful prayers,
33.14  Whose loves in higher love endure;
33.15  What souls possess themselves so pure,
33.16Or is there blessedness like theirs?
34.1O thou that after toil and storm
34.2  Mayst seem to have reach'd a purer air,
34.3  Whose faith has centre everywhere,
34.4Nor cares to fix itself to form,
34.5Leave thou thy sister when she prays,
34.6  Her early Heaven, her happy views;
34.7  Nor thou with shadow'd hint confuse
34.8A life that leads melodious days.
34.9Her faith thro' form is pure as thine,
34.10  Her hands are quicker unto good:
34.11  Oh, sacred be the flesh and blood
34.12To which she links a truth divine!
34.13See thou, that countess reason ripe
34.14  In holding by the law within,
34.15  Thou fail not in a world of sin,
34.16And ev'n for want of such a type.
35.1My own dim life should teach me this,
35.2  That life shall live for evermore,
35.3  Else earth is darkness at the core,
35.4And dust and ashes all that is;
35.5This round of green, this orb of flame,
35.6  Fantastic beauty; such as lurks
35.7  In some wild Poet, when he works
35.8Without a conscience or an aim.
35.9What then were God to such as I?
35.10  'Twere hardly worth my while to choose
35.11  Of things all mortal, or to use
35.12A tattle patience ere I die;
35.13'Twere best at once to sink to peace,
35.14  Like birds the charming serpent draws,
35.15  To drop head-foremost in the jaws
35.16Of vacant darkness and to cease.
36.1Yet if some voice that man could trust
36.2  Should murmur from the narrow house,
36.3  `The cheeks drop in; the body bows;
36.4Man dies: nor is there hope in dust:'
36.5Might I not say? "Yet even here,
36.6  But for one hour, O Love, I strive
36.7  To keep so sweet a thing alive."
36.8But I should turn mine ears and hear
36.9The moanings of the homeless sea,
36.10  The sound of streams that swift or slow
36.11  Draw down Æonian hills, and sow
36.12The dust of continents to be;
36.13And Love would answer with a sigh,
36.14  "The sound of that forgetful shore
36.15  Will change my sweetness more and more,
36.16Half-dead to know that I shall die."
36.17O me, what profits it to put
36.18  An idle case? If Death were seen
36.19  At first as Death, Love had not been,
36.20Or been in narrowest working shut,
36.21Mere fellowship of sluggish moods,
36.22  Or in his coarsest Satyr-shape
36.23  Had bruised the herb and crush'd the grape,
36.24And bask'd and batten'd in the woods.
37.1Tho' truths in manhood darkly join,
37.2  Deep-seated in our mystic frame,
37.3  We yield all blessing to the name
37.4Of Him that made them current coin;
37.5For Wisdom dealt with mortal powers,
37.6  Where truth in closest words shall fail,
37.7  When truth embodied in a tale
37.8Shall enter in at lowly doors.
37.9And so the Word had breath, and wrought
37.10  With human hands the creed of creeds
37.11  In loveliness of perfect deeds,
37.12More strong than all poetic thought;
37.13Which he may read that binds the sheaf,
37.14  Or builds the house, or digs the grave,
37.15  And those wild eyes that watch the wave
37.16In roarings round the coral reef.
38.1Urania speaks with darken'd brow:
38.2  `Thou pratest here where thou art least;
38.3  This faith has many a purer priest,
38.4And many an abler voice than thou.
38.5`Go down beside thy native rill,
38.6  On thy Parnassus set thy feet,
38.7  And hear thy laurel whisper sweet
38.8About the ledges of the hill.'
38.9And my Melpomene replies,
38.10  A touch of shame upon her cheek:
38.11  `I am not worthy ev'n to speak
38.12Of thy prevailing mysteries;
38.13`For I am but an earthly Muse,
38.14  And owning but a little art
38.15  To lull with song an aching heart,
38.16And render human love his dues;
38.17"But brooding on the dear one dead,
38.18  And all he said of things divine,
38.19  (And dear to me as sacred wine
38.20To dying lips is all he said),
38.21"I murmur'd, as I came along,
38.22  Of comfort clasp'd in truth reveal'd;
38.23  And loiter'd in the master's field,
38.24And darken'd sanctities with song."
39.1With weary steps I loiter on,
39.2  Tho' always under alter'd skies
39.3  The purple from the distance dies,
39.4My prospect and horizon gone.
39.5No joy the blowing season gives,
39.6  The herald melodies of spring,
39.7  But in the songs I love to sing
39.8A doubtful gleam of solace lives.
39.9If any care for what is here
39.10  Survive in spirits render'd free,
39.11  Then are these songs I sing of thee
39.12Not all ungrateful to thine ear.
40.1Old warder of these buried bones,
40.2  And answering now my random stroke
40.3  With fruitful cloud and living smoke,
40.4Dark yew, that graspest at the stones
40.5And dippest toward the dreamless head,
40.6  To thee too comes the golden hour
40.7  When flower is feeling after flower;
40.8But Sorrow -- fixt upon the dead,
40.9And darkening the dark graves of men, --
40.10  What whisper'd from her lying lips?
40.11  Thy gloom is kindled at the tips,
40.12And passes into gloom again.
41.1Could we forget the widow'd hour
41.2  And look on Spirits breathed away,
41.3  As on a maiden in the day
41.4When first she wears her orange-flower!
41.5When crown'd with blessing she doth rise
41.6  To take her latest leave of home,
41.7  And hopes and light regrets that come
41.8Make April of her tender eyes;
41.9And doubtful joys the father move,
41.10  And tears are on the mother's face,
41.11  As parting with a long embrace
41.12She enters other realms of love;
41.13Her office there to rear, to teach,
41.14  Becoming as is meet and fit
41.15  A link among the days, to knit
41.16The generations each with each;
41.17And, doubtless, unto thee is given
41.18  A life that bears immortal fruit
41.19  In those great offices that suit
41.20The full-grown energies of heaven.
41.21Ay me, the difference I discern!
41.22  How often shall her old fireside
41.23  Be cheer'd with tidings of the bride,
41.24How often she herself return,
41.25And tell them all they would have told,
41.26  And bring her babe, and make her boast,
41.27  Till even those that miss'd her most
41.28Shall count new things as dear as old:
41.29But thou and I have shaken hands,
41.30  Till growing winters lay me low;
41.31  My paths are in the fields I know.
41.32And thine in undiscover'd lands.
42.1Thy spirit ere our fatal loss
42.2  Did ever rise from high to higher;
42.3  As mounts the heavenward altar-fire,
42.4As flies the lighter thro' the gross.
42.5But thou art turn'd to something strange,
42.6  And I have lost the links that bound
42.7  Thy changes; here upon the ground,
42.8No more partaker of thy change.
42.9Deep folly! yet that this could be --
42.10  That I could wing my will with might
42.11  To leap the grades of life and light,
42.12And flash at once, my friend, to thee.
42.13For tho' my nature rarely yields
42.14  To that vague fear implied in death;
42.15  Nor shudders at the gulfs beneath,
42.16The howlings from forgotten fields;
42.17Yet oft when sundown skirts the moor
42.18  An inner trouble I behold,
42.19  A spectral doubt which makes me cold,
42.20That I shall be thy mate no more,
42.21Tho' following with an upward mind
42.22  The wonders that have come to thee,
42.23  Thro' all the secular to-be,
42.24But evermore a life behind.
43.1I vex my heart with fancies dim:
43.2  He still outstript me in the race;
43.3  It was but unity of place
43.4That made me dream I rank'd with him.
43.5And so may Place retain us still,
43.6  And he the much-beloved again,
43.7  A lord of large experience, train
43.8To riper growth the mind and will:
43.9And what delights can equal those
43.10  That stir the spirit's inner deeps,
43.11  When one that loves but knows not, reaps
43.12A truth from one that loves and knows?
44.1If Sleep and Death be truly one,
44.2  And every spirit's folded bloom
44.3  Thro' all its intervital gloom
44.4In some long trance should slumber on;
44.5Unconscious of the sliding hour,
44.6  Bare of the body, might it last,
44.7  And silent traces of the past
44.8Be all the colour of the flower:
44.9So then were nothing lost to man;
44.10  So that still garden of the souls
44.11  In many a figured leaf enrolls
44.12The total world since life began;
44.13And love will last as pure and whole
44.14  As when he loved me here in Time,
44.15  And at the spiritual prime
44.16Rewaken with the dawning soul.
45.1How fares it with the happy dead?
45.2  For here the man is more and more;
45.3  But he forgets the days before
45.4God shut the doorways of his head.
45.5The days have vanish'd, tone and tint,
45.6  And yet perhaps the hoarding sense
45.7  Gives out at times (he knows not whence)
45.8A little flash, a mystic hint;
45.9And in the long harmonious years
45.10  (If Death so taste Lethean springs),
45.11  May some dim touch of earthly things
45.12Surprise thee ranging with thy peers.
45.13If such a dreamy touch should fall,
45.14  O, turn thee round, resolve the doubt;
45.15  My guardian angel will speak out
45.16In that high place, and tell thee all.
46.1The baby new to earth and sky,
46.2  What time his tender palm is prest
46.3  Against the circle of the breast,
46.4Has never thought that "this is I:"
46.5But as he grows he gathers much,
46.6  And learns the use of "I," and "me,"
46.7  And finds "I am not what I see,
46.8And other than the things I touch."
46.9So rounds he to a separate mind
46.10  From whence clear memory may begin,
46.11  As thro' the frame that binds him in
46.12His isolation grows defined.
46.13This use may lie in blood and breath,
46.14  Which else were fruitless of their due,
46.15  Had man to learn himself anew
46.16Beyond the second birth of Death.
47.1We ranging down this lower track,
47.2  The path we came by, thorn and flower,
47.3  Is shadow'd by the growing hour,
47.4Lest life should fail in looking back.
47.5So be it: there no shade can last
47.6  In that deep dawn behind the tomb,
47.7  But clear from marge to marge shall bloom
47.8The eternal landscape of the past;
47.9A lifelong tract of time reveal'd;
47.10  The fruitful hours of still increase;
47.11  Days order'd in a wealthy peace,
47.12And those five years its richest field.
47.13O Love, thy province were not large,
47.14  A bounded field, nor stretching far;
47.15  Look also, Love, a brooding star,
47.16A rosy warmth from marge to marge.
48.1That each, who seems a separate whole,
48.2  Should move his rounds, and fusing all
48.3  The skirts of self again, should fall
48.4Remerging in the general Soul,
48.5Is faith as vague as all unsweet:
48.6  Eternal form shall still divide
48.7  The eternal soul from all beside;
48.8And I shall know him when we meet:
48.9And we shall sit at endless feast,
48.10  Enjoying each the other's good:
48.11  What vaster dream can hit the mood
48.12Of Love on earth? He seeks at least
48.13Upon the last and sharpest height,
48.14  Before the spirits fade away,
48.15  Some landing-place, to clasp and say,
48.16"Farewell! We lose ourselves in light."
49.1If these brief lays, of Sorrow born,
49.2  Were taken to be such as closed
49.3  Grave doubts and answers here proposed,
49.4Then these were such as men might scorn:
49.5Her care is not to part and prove;
49.6  She takes, when harsher moods remit,
49.7  What slender shade of doubt may flit,
49.8And makes it vassal unto love:
49.9And hence, indeed, she sports with words,
49.10  But better serves a wholesome law,
49.11  And holds it sin and shame to draw
49.12The deepest measure from the chords:
49.13Nor dare she trust a larger lay,
49.14  But rather loosens from the lip
49.15  Short swallow-flights of song, that dip
49.16Their wings in tears, and skim away.
50.1From art, from nature, from the schools,
50.2  Let random influences glance,
50.3  Like light in many a shiver'd lance
50.4That breaks about the dappled pools:
50.5The lightest wave of thought shall lisp,
50.6  The fancy's tenderest eddy wreathe,
50.7  The slightest air of song shall breathe
50.8To make the sullen surface crisp.
50.9And look thy look, and go thy way,
50.10  But blame not thou the winds that make
50.11  The seeming-wanton ripple break,
50.12The tender-pencil'd shadow play.
50.13Beneath all fancied hopes and fears
50.14  Ay me, the sorrow deepens down,
50.15  Whose muffled motions blindly drown
50.16The bases of my life in tears.
51.1Be near me when my light is low,
51.2  When the blood creeps, and the nerves prick
51.3  And tingle; and the heart is sick,
51.4And all the wheels of Being slow.
51.5Be near me when the sensuous frame
51.6  Is rack'd with pangs that conquer trust;
51.7  And Time, a maniac scattering dust,
51.8And Life, a Fury slinging flame.
51.9Be near me when my faith is dry,
51.10  And men the flies of latter spring,
51.11  That lay their eggs, and sting and sing
51.12And weave their petty cells and die.
51.13Be near me when I fade away,
51.14  To point the term of human strife,
51.15  And on the low dark verge of life
51.16The twilight of eternal day.
52.1Do we indeed desire the dead
52.2  Should still be near us at our side?
52.3  Is there no baseness we would hide?
52.4No inner vileness that we dread?
52.5Shall he for whose applause I strove,
52.6  I had such reverence for his blame,
52.7  See with clear eye some hidden shame
52.8And I be lessen'd in his love?
52.9I wrong the grave with fears untrue:
52.10  Shall love be blamed for want of faith?
52.11  There must be wisdom with great Death:
52.12The dead shall look me thro' and thro'.
52.13Be near us when we climb or fall:
52.14  Ye watch, like God, the rolling hours
52.15  With larger other eyes than ours,
52.16To make allowance for us all.
53.1I cannot love thee as I ought,
53.2  For love reflects the thing beloved;
53.3  My words are only words, and moved
53.4Upon the topmost froth of thought.
53.5"Yet blame not thou thy plaintive song,"
53.6  The Spirit of true love replied;
53.7  "Thou canst not move me from thy side,
53.8Nor human frailty do me wrong.
53.9"What keeps a spirit wholly true
53.10  To that ideal which he bears?
53.11  What record? not the sinless years
53.12That breathed beneath the Syrian blue:
53.13"So fret not, like an idle girl,
53.14  That life is dash'd with flecks of sin.
53.15  Abide: thy wealth is gather'd in,
53.16When Time hath sunder'd shell from pearl."
54.1How many a father have I seen,
54.2  A sober man, among his boys,
54.3  Whose youth was full of foolish noise,
54.4Who wears his manhood hale and green:
54.5And dare we to this fancy give,
54.6  That had the wild oat not been sown,
54.7  The soil, left barren, scarce had grown
54.8The grain by which a man may live?
54.9Or, if we held the doctrine sound
54.10  For life outliving heats of youth,
54.11  Yet who would preach it as a truth
54.12To those that eddy round and round?
54.13Hold thou the good: define it well:
54.14  For fear divine Philosophy
54.15  Should push beyond her mark, and be
54.16Procuress to the Lords of Hell.
55.1Oh, yet we trust that somehow good
55.2  Will be the final goal of ill,
55.3  To pangs of nature, sins of will,
55.4Defects of doubt, and taints of blood;
55.5That nothing walks with aimless feet;
55.6  That not one life shall be destroy'd,
55.7  Or cast as rubbish to the void,
55.8When God hath made the pile complete;
55.9That not a worm is cloven in vain;
55.10  That not a moth with vain desire
55.11  Is shrivell'd in a fruitless fire,
55.12Or but subserves another's gain.
55.13Behold, we know not anything;
55.14  I can but trust that good shall fall
55.15  At last -- far off -- at last, to all,
55.16And every winter change to spring.
55.17So runs my dream: but what am I?
55.18  An infant crying in the night:
55.19  An infant crying for the light:
55.20And with no language but a cry.
56.1The wish, that of the living whole
56.2  No life may fail beyond the grave,
56.3  Derives it not from what we have
56.4The likest God within the soul?
56.5Are God and Nature then at strife,
56.6  That Nature lends such evil dreams?
56.7  So careful of the type she seems,
56.8So careless of the single life;
56.9That I, considering everywhere
56.10  Her secret meaning in her deeds,
56.11  And finding that of fifty seeds
56.12She often brings but one to bear,
56.13I falter where I firmly trod,
56.14  And falling with my weight of cares
56.15  Upon the great world's altar-stairs
56.16That slope thro' darkness up to God,
56.17I stretch lame hands of faith, and grope,
56.18  And gather dust and chaff, and call
56.19  To what I feel is Lord of all,
56.20And faintly trust the larger hope.
57.1"So careful of the type?" but no.
57.2  From scarped cliff and quarried stone
57.3  She cries, "A thousand types are gone:
57.4I care for nothing, all shall go.
57.5"Thou makest thine appeal to me:
57.6  I bring to life, I bring to death:
57.7  The spirit does but mean the breath:
57.8I know no more." And he, shall he,
57.9Man, her last work, who seem'd so fair,
57.10  Such splendid purpose in his eyes,
57.11  Who roll'd the psalm to wintry skies,
57.12Who built him fanes of fruitless prayer,
57.13Who trusted God was love indeed
57.14  And love Creation's final law --
57.15  Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
57.16With ravine, shriek'd against his creed --
57.17Who loved, who suffer'd countless ills,
57.18  Who battled for the True, the Just,
57.19  Be blown about the desert dust,
57.20Or seal'd within the iron hills?
57.21No more? A monster then, a dream,
57.22  A discord. Dragons of the prime,
57.23  That tare each other in their slime,
57.24Were mellow music match'd with him.
57.25O life as futile, then, as frail!
57.26  O for thy voice to soothe and bless!
57.27  What hope of answer, or redress?
57.28Behind the veil, behind the veil.
58.1Peace; come away: the song of woe
58.2  Is after all an earthly song:
58.3  Peace; come away: we do him wrong
58.4To sing so wildly: let us go.
58.5Come; let us go: your cheeks are pale;
58.6  But half my life I leave behind:
58.7  Methinks my friend is richly shrined;
58.8But I shall pass; my work will fail.
58.9Yet in these ears, till hearing dies,
58.10  One set slow bell will seem to toll
58.11  The passing of the sweetest soul
58.12That ever look'd with human eyes.
58.13I hear it now, and o'er and o'er,
58.14  Eternal greetings to the dead;
58.15  And "Ave, Ave, Ave," said,
58.16"Adieu, adieu," for evermore.
59.1In those sad words I took farewell:
59.2  Like echoes in sepulchral halls,
59.3  As drop by drop the water falls
59.4In vaults and catacombs, they fell;
59.5And, falling, idly broke the peace
59.6  Of hearts that beat from day to day,
59.7  Half-conscious of their dying clay,
59.8And those cold crypts where they shall cease.
59.9The high Muse answer'd: "Wherefore grieve
59.10  Thy brethren with a fruitless tear?
59.11  Abide a little longer here,
59.12And thou shalt take a nobler leave."
60.1O Sorrow, wilt thou live with me
60.2  No casual mistress, but a wife,
60.3  My bosom-friend and half of life;
60.4As I confess it needs must be;
60.5O Sorrow, wilt thou rule my blood,
60.6  Be sometimes lovely like a bride,
60.7  And put thy harsher moods aside,
60.8If thou wilt have me wise and good.
60.9My centred passion cannot move,
60.10  Nor will it lessen from to-day;
60.11  But I'll have leave at times to play
60.12As with the creature of my love;
60.13And set thee forth, for thou art mine,
60.14  With so much hope for years to come,
60.15  That, howsoe'er I know thee, some
60.16Could hardly tell what name were thine.
61.1He past; a soul of nobler tone:
61.2  My spirit loved and loves him yet,
61.3  Like some poor girl whose heart is set
61.4On one whose rank exceeds her own.
61.5He mixing with his proper sphere,
61.6  She finds the baseness of her lot,
61.7  Half jealous of she knows not what,
61.8And envying all that meet him there.
61.9The little village looks forlorn;
61.10  She sighs amid her narrow days,
61.11  Moving about the household ways,
61.12In that dark house where she was born.
61.13The foolish neighbors come and go,
61.14  And tease her till the day draws by:
61.15  At night she weeps, `How vain am I!
61.16How should he love a thing so low?'
62.1If, in thy second state sublime,
62.2  Thy ransom'd reason change replies
62.3  With all the circle of the wise,
62.4The perfect flower of human time;
62.5And if thou cast thine eyes below,
62.6  How dimly character'd and slight,
62.7  How dwarf'd a growth of cold and night,
62.8How blanch'd with darkness must I grow!
62.9Yet turn thee to the doubtful shore,
62.10  Where thy first form was made a man;
62.11  I loved thee, Spirit, and love, nor can
62.12The soul of Shakspeare love thee more.
63.1Tho' if an eye that's downward cast
63.2  Could make thee somewhat blench or fail,
63.3  Then be my love an idle tale,
63.4And fading legend of the past;
63.5And thou, as one that once declined,
63.6  When he was little more than boy,
63.7  On some unworthy heart with joy,
63.8But lives to wed an equal mind;
63.9And breathes a novel world, the while
63.10  His other passion wholly dies,
63.11  Or in the light of deeper eyes
63.12Is matter for a flying smile.
64.1Yet pity for a horse o'er-driven,
64.2  And love in which my hound has part,
64.3  Can hang no weight upon my heart
64.4In its assumptions up to heaven;
64.5And I am so much more than these,
64.6  As thou, perchance, art more than I,
64.7  And yet I spare them sympathy,
64.8And I would set their pains at ease.
64.9So mayst thou watch me where I weep,
64.10  As, unto vaster motions bound,
64.11  The circuits of thine orbit round
64.12A higher height, a deeper deep.
65.1Dost thou look back on what hath been,
65.2  As some divinely gifted man,
65.3  Whose life in low estate began
65.4And on a simple village green;
65.5Who breaks his birth's invidious bar,
65.6  And grasps the skirts of happy chance,
65.7  And breasts the blows of circumstance,
65.8And grapples with his evil star;
65.9Who makes by force his merit known
65.10  And lives to clutch the golden keys,
65.11  To mould a mighty state's decrees,
65.12And shape the whisper of the throne;
65.13And moving up from high to higher,
65.14  Becomes on Fortune's crowning slope
65.15  The pillar of a people's hope,
65.16The centre of a world's desire;
65.17Yet feels, as in a pensive dream,
65.18  When all his active powers are still,
65.19  A distant dearness in the hill,
65.20A secret sweetness in the stream,
65.21The limit of his narrower fate,
65.22  While yet beside its vocal springs
65.23  He play'd at counsellors and kings,
65.24With one that was his earliest mate;
65.25Who ploughs with pain his native lea
65.26  And reaps the labour of his hands,
65.27  Or in the furrow musing stands;
65.28"Does my old friend remember me?"
66.1Sweet soul, do with me as thou wilt;
66.2  I lull a fancy trouble-tost
66.3  With "Love's too precious to be lost,
66.4A little grain shall not be spilt."
66.5And in that solace can I sing,
66.6  Till out of painful phases wrought
66.7  There flutters up a happy thought,
66.8Self-balanced on a lightsome wing:
66.9Since we deserved the name of friends,
66.10  And thine effect so lives in me,
66.11  A part of mine may live in thee
66.12And move thee on to noble ends.
67.1You thought my heart too far diseased;
67.2  You wonder when my fancies play
67.3  To find me gay among the gay,
67.4Like one with any trifle pleased.
67.5The shade by which my life was crost,
67.6  Which makes a desert in the mind,
67.7  Has made me kindly with my kind,
67.8And like to him whose sight is lost;
67.9Whose feet are guided thro' the land,
67.10  Whose jest among his friends is free,
67.11  Who takes the children on his knee,
67.12And winds their curls about his hand:
67.13He plays with threads, he beats his chair
67.14  For pastime, dreaming of the sky;
67.15  His inner day can never die,
67.16His night of loss is always there.
68.1When on my bed the moonlight falls,
68.2  I know that in thy place of rest
68.3  By that broad water of the west,
68.4There comes a glory on the walls;
68.5Thy marble bright in dark appears,
68.6  As slowly steals a silver flame
68.7  Along the letters of thy name,
68.8And o'er the number of thy years.
68.9The mystic glory swims away;
68.10  From off my bed the moonlight dies;
68.11  And closing eaves of wearied eyes
68.12I sleep till dusk is dipt in gray;
68.13And then I know the mist is drawn
68.14  A lucid veil from coast to coast,
68.15  And in the dark church like a ghost
68.16Thy tablet glimmers to the dawn.
69.1When in the down I sink my head,
69.2  Sleep, Death's twin-brother, times my breath;
69.3  Sleep, Death's twin-brother, knows not Death,
69.4Nor can I dream of thee as dead:
69.5I walk as ere I walk'd forlorn,
69.6  When all our path was fresh with dew,
69.7  And all the bugle breezes blew
69.8Reveill´e to the breaking morn.
69.9But what is this? I turn about,
69.10  I find a trouble in thine eye,
69.11  Which makes me sad I know not why,
69.12Nor can my dream resolve the doubt:
69.13But ere the lark hath left the lea
69.14  I wake, and I discern the truth;
69.15  It is the trouble of my youth
69.16That foolish sleep transfers to thee.
70.1I dream'd there would be Spring no more,
70.2  That Nature's ancient power was lost:
70.3  The streets were black with smoke and frost,
70.4They chatter'd trifles at the door:
70.5I wander'd from the noisy town,
70.6  I found a wood with thorny boughs:
70.7  I took the thorns to bind my brows,
70.8I wore them like a civic crown:
70.9I met with scoffs, I met with scorns
70.10  From youth and babe and hoary hairs:
70.11  They call'd me in the public squares
70.12The fool that wears a crown of thorns:
70.13They call'd me fool, they call'd me child:
70.14  I found an angel of the night;
70.15  The voice was low, the look was bright;
70.16He look'd upon my crown and smiled:
70.17He reach'd the glory of a hand,
70.18  That seem'd to touch it into leaf:
70.19  The voice was not the voice of grief,
70.20The words were hard to understand.
71.1I cannot see the features right,
71.2  When on the gloom I strive to paint
71.3  The face I know; the hues are faint
71.4And mix with hollow masks of night;
71.5Cloud-towers by ghostly masons wrought,
71.6  A gulf that ever shuts and gapes,
71.7  A hand that points, and palled shapes
71.8In shadowy thoroughfares of thought;
71.9And crowds that stream from yawning doors,
71.10  And shoals of pucker'd faces drive;
71.11  Dark bulks that tumble half alive,
71.12And lazy lengths on boundless shores;
71.13Till all at once beyond the will
71.14  I hear a wizard music roll,
71.15  And thro' a lattice on the soul
71.16Looks thy fair face and makes it still.
72.1Sleep, kinsman thou to death and trance
72.2  And madness, thou hast forged at last
72.3  A night-long Present of the Past
72.4In which we went thro' summer France.
72.5Hadst thou such credit with the soul?
72.6  Then bring an opiate trebly strong,
72.7  Drug down the blindfold sense of wrong
72.8That so my pleasure may be whole;
72.9While now we talk as once we talk'd
72.10  Of men and minds, the dust of change,
72.11  The days that grow to something strange,
72.12In walking as of old we walk'd
72.13Beside the river's wooded reach,
72.14  The fortress, and the mountain ridge,
72.15  The cataract flashing from the bridge,
72.16The breaker breaking on the beach.
73.1Risest thou thus, dim dawn, again,
73.2  And howlest, issuing out of night,
73.3  With blasts that blow the poplar white,
73.4And lash with storm the streaming pane?
73.5Day, when my crown'd estate begun
73.6  To pine in that reverse of doom,
73.7  Which sicken'd every living bloom,
73.8And blurr'd the splendour of the sun;
73.9Who usherest in the dolorous hour
73.10  With thy quick tears that make the rose
73.11  Pull sideways, and the daisy close
73.12Her crimson fringes to the shower;
73.13Who might'st have heaved a windless flame
73.14  Up the deep East, or, whispering, play'd
73.15  A chequer-work of beam and shade
73.16Along the hills, yet look'd the same.
73.17As wan, as chill, as wild as now;
73.18  Day, mark'd as with some hideous crime,
73.19  When the dark hand struck down thro' time,
73.20And cancell'd nature's best: but thou,
73.21Lift as thou may'st thy burthen'd brows
73.22  Thro' clouds that drench the morning star,
73.23  And whirl the ungarner'd sheaf afar,
73.24And sow the sky with flying boughs,
73.25And up thy vault with roaring sound
73.26  Climb thy thick noon, disastrous day;
73.27  Touch thy dull goal of joyless gray,
73.28And hide thy shame beneath the ground.
74.1So many worlds, so much to do,
74.2  So little done, such things to be,
74.3  How know I what had need of thee,
74.4For thou wert strong as thou wert true?
74.5The fame is quench'd that I foresaw,
74.6  The head hath miss'd an earthly wreath:
74.7  I curse not nature, no, nor death;
74.8For nothing is that errs from law.
74.9We pass; the path that each man trod
74.10  Is dim, or will be dim, with weeds:
74.11  What fame is left for human deeds
74.12In endless age? It rests with God.
74.13O hollow wraith of dying fame,
74.14  Fade wholly, while the soul exults,
74.15  And self-infolds the large results
74.16Of force that would have forged a name.
75.1As sometimes in a dead man's face,
75.2  To those that watch it more and more,
75.3  A likeness, hardly seen before,
75.4Comes out -- to some one of his race:
75.5So, dearest, now thy brows are cold,
75.6  I see thee what thou art, and know
75.7  Thy likeness to the wise below,
75.8Thy kindred with the great of old.
75.9But there is more than I can see,
75.10  And what I see I leave unsaid,
75.11  Nor speak it, knowing Death has made
75.12His darkness beautiful with thee.
75.13I leave thy praises unexpress'd
75.14  In verse that brings myself relief,
75.15  And by the measure of my grief
75.16I leave thy greatness to be guess'd;
75.17What practice howsoe'er expert
75.18  In fitting aptest words to things,
75.19  Or voice the richest-toned that sings,
75.20Hath power to give thee as thou wert?
75.21I care not in these fading days
75.22  To raise a cry that lasts not long,
75.23  And round thee with the breeze of song
75.24To stir a little dust of praise.
75.25Thy leaf has perish'd in the green,
75.26  And, while we breathe beneath the sun,
75.27  The world which credits what is done
75.28Is cold to all that might have been.
75.29So here shall silence guard thy fame;
75.30  But somewhere, out of human view,
75.31  Whate'er thy hands are set to do
75.32Is wrought with tumult of acclaim.
76.1I leave thy praises unexpress'd
76.2  In verse that brings myself relief,
76.3  And by the measure of my grief
76.4I leave thy greatness to be guess'd;
76.5What practice howsoe'er expert
76.6  In fitting aptest words to things,
76.7  Or voice the richest-toned that sings,
76.8Hath power to give thee as thou wert?
76.9I care not in these fading days
76.10  To raise a cry that lasts not long,
76.11  And round thee with the breeze of song
76.12To stir a little dust of praise.
76.13Thy leaf has perish'd in the green,
76.14  And, while we breathe beneath the sun,
76.15  The world which credits what is done
76.16Is cold to all that might have been.
76.17So here shall silence guard thy fame;
76.18  But somewhere, out of human view,
76.19  Whate'er thy hands are set to do
76.20Is wrought with tumult of acclaim.
77.1Take wings of fancy, and ascend,
77.2  And in a moment set thy face
77.3  Where all the starry heavens of space
77.4Are sharpen'd to a needle's end;
77.5Take wings of foresight; lighten thro'
77.6  The secular abyss to come,
77.7  And lo, thy deepest lays are dumb
77.8Before the mouldering of a yew;
77.9And if the matin songs, that woke
77.10  The darkness of our planet, last,
77.11  Thine own shall wither in the vast,
77.12Ere half the lifetime of an oak.
77.13Ere these have clothed their branchy bowers
77.14  With fifty Mays, thy songs are vain;
77.15  And what are they when these remain
77.16The ruin'd shells of hollow towers?
78.1What hope is here for modern rhyme
78.2  To him, who turns a musing eye
78.3  On songs, and deeds, and lives, that lie
78.4Foreshorten'd in the tract of time?
78.5These mortal lullabies of pain
78.6  May bind a book, may line a box,
78.7  May serve to curl a maiden's locks;
78.8Or when a thousand moons shall wane
78.9A man upon a stall may find,
78.10  And, passing, turn the page that tells
78.11  A grief, then changed to something else,
78.12Sung by a long-forgotten mind.
78.13But what of that? My darken'd ways
78.14  Shall ring with music all the same;
78.15  To breathe my loss is more than fame,
78.16To utter love more sweet than praise.
79.1Again at Christmas did we weave
79.2  The holly round the Christmas hearth;
79.3  The silent snow possess'd the earth,
79.4And calmly fell our Christmas-eve:
79.5The yule-log sparkled keen with frost,
79.6  No wing of wind the region swept,
79.7  But over all things brooding slept
79.8The quiet sense of something lost.
79.9As in the winters left behind,
79.10  Again our ancient games had place,
79.11  The mimic picture's breathing grace,
79.12And dance and song and hoodman-blind.
79.13Who show'd a token of distress?
79.14  No single tear, no mark of pain:
79.15  O sorrow, then can sorrow wane?
79.16O grief, can grief be changed to less?
79.17O last regret, regret can die!
79.18  No -- mixt with all this mystic frame,
79.19  Her deep relations are the same,
79.20But with long use her tears are dry.
80.1"More than my brothers are to me," --
80.2  Let this not vex thee, noble heart!
80.3  I know thee of what force thou art
80.4To hold the costliest love in fee.
80.5But thou and I are one in kind,
80.6  As moulded like in Nature's mint;
80.7  And hill and wood and field did print
80.8The same sweet forms in either mind.
80.9For us the same cold streamlet curl'd
80.10  Thro' all his eddying coves, the same
80.11  All winds that roam the twilight came
80.12In whispers of the beauteous world.
80.13At one dear knee we proffer'd vows,
80.14  One lesson from one book we learn'd,
80.15  Ere childhood's flaxen ringlet turn'd
80.16To black and brown on kindred brows.
80.17And so my wealth resembles thine,
80.18  But he was rich where I was poor,
80.19  And he supplied my want the more
80.20As his unlikeness fitted mine.
81.1If any vague desire should rise,
81.2  That holy Death ere Arthur died
81.3  Had moved me kindly from his side,
81.4And dropt the dust on tearless eyes;
81.5Then fancy shapes, as fancy can,
81.6  The grief my loss in him had wrought,
81.7  A grief as deep as life or thought,
81.8But stay'd in peace with God and man.
81.9I make a picture in the brain;
81.10  I hear the sentence that he speaks;
81.11  He bears the burthen of the weeks
81.12But turns his burthen into gain.
81.13His credit thus shall set me free;
81.14  And, influence-rich to soothe and save,
81.15  Unused example from the grave
81.16Reach out dead hands to comfort me.
82.1Could I have said while he was here,
82.2  "My love shall now no further range;
82.3  There cannot come a mellower change,
82.4For now is love mature in ear"?
82.5Love, then, had hope of richer store:
82.6  What end is here to my complaint?
82.7  This haunting whisper makes me faint,
82.8"More years had made me love thee more.'
82.9But Death returns an answer sweet:
82.10  "My sudden frost was sudden gain,
82.11  And gave all ripeness to the grain,
82.12It might have drawn from after-heat."
83.1I wage not any feud with Death
83.2  For changes wrought on form and face;
83.3  No lower life that earth's embrace
83.4May breed with him, can fright my faith.
83.5Eternal process moving on,
83.6  From state to state the spirit walks;
83.7  And these are but the shatter'd stalks,
83.8Or ruin'd chrysalis of one.
83.9Nor blame I Death, because he bare
83.10  The use of virtue out of earth:
83.11  I know transplanted human worth
83.12Will bloom to profit, otherwhere.
83.13For this alone on Death I wreak
83.14  The wrath that garners in my heart;
83.15  He put our lives so far apart
83.16We cannot hear each other speak.
84.1Dip down upon the northern shore,
84.2  O sweet new-year delaying long;
84.3  Thou doest expectant nature wrong;
84.4Delaying long, delay no more.
84.5What stays thee from the clouded noons,
84.6  Thy sweetness from its proper place?
84.7  Can trouble live with April days,
84.8Or sadness in the summer moons?
84.9Bring orchis, bring the foxglove spire,
84.10  The little speedwell's darling blue,
84.11  Deep tulips dash'd with fiery dew,
84.12Laburnums, dropping-wells of fire.
84.13O thou, new-year, delaying long,
84.14  Delayest the sorrow in my blood,
84.15  That longs to burst a frozen bud
84.16And flood a fresher throat with song.
85.1When I contemplate all alone
85.2  The life that had been thine below,
85.3  And fix my thoughts on all the glow
85.4To which thy crescent would have grown;
85.5I see thee sitting crown'd with good,
85.6  A central warmth diffusing bliss
85.7  In glance and smile, and clasp and kiss,
85.8On all the branches of thy blood;
85.9Thy blood, my friend, and partly mine;
85.10  For now the day was drawing on,
85.11  When thou should'st link thy life with one
85.12Of mine own house, and boys of thine
85.13Had babbled "Uncle" on my knee;
85.14  But that remorseless iron hour
85.15  Made cypress of her orange flower,
85.16Despair of Hope, and earth of thee.
85.17I seem to meet their least desire,
85.18  To clap their cheeks, to call them mine.
85.19  I see their unborn faces shine
85.20Beside the never-lighted fire.
85.21I see myself an honor'd guest,
85.22  Thy partner in the flowery walk
85.23  Of letters, genial table-talk,
85.24Or deep dispute, and graceful jest;
85.25While now thy prosperous labor fills
85.26  The lips of men with honest praise,
85.27  And sun by sun the happy days
85.28Descend below the golden hills
85.29With promise of a morn as fair,
85.30  And all the train of bounteous hours
85.31  Conduct by paths of growing powers,
85.32To reverence and the silver hair;
85.33Till slowly worn her earthly robe,
85.34  Her lavish mission richly wrought,
85.35  Leaving great legacies of thought,
85.36Thy spirit should fail from off the globe;
85.37What time mine own might also flee,
85.38  As link'd with thine in love and fate,
85.39  And, hovering o'er the dolorous strait
85.40To the other shore, involved in thee,
85.41Arrive at last the blessed goal,
85.42  And He that died in Holy Land
85.43  Would reach us out the shining hand,
85.44And take us as a single soul.
85.45What reed was that on which I leant?
85.46  Ah, backward fancy, wherefore wake
85.47  The old bitterness again, and break
85.48The low beginnings of content.
86.1This truth came borne with bier and pall
86.2  I felt it, when I sorrow'd most,
86.3  'Tis better to have loved and lost,
86.4Than never to have loved at all --
86.5O true in word, and tried in deed,
86.6  Demanding, so to bring relief
86.7  To this which is our common grief,
86.8What kind of life is that I lead;
86.9And whether trust in things above
86.10  Be dimm'd of sorrow, or sustain'd;
86.11  And whether love for him have drain'd
86.12My capabilities of love;
86.13Your words have virtue such as draws
86.14  A faithful answer from the breast,
86.15  Thro' light reproaches, half exprest,
86.16And loyal unto kindly laws.
86.17My blood an even tenor kept,
86.18  Till on mine ear this message falls,
86.19  That in Vienna's fatal walls
86.20God's finger touch'd him, and he slept.
86.21The great Intelligences fair
86.22  That range above our mortal state,
86.23  In circle round the blessed gate,
86.24Received and gave him welcome there;
86.25And led him thro' the blissful climes,
86.26  And show'd him in the fountain fresh
86.27  All knowledge that the sons of flesh
86.28Shall gather in the cycled times.
86.29But I remain'd, whose hopes were dim,
86.30  Whose life, whose thoughts were little worth,
86.31  To wander on a darken'd earth,
86.32Where all things round me breathed of him. '
86.33O friendship, equal-poised control,
86.34  O heart, with kindliest motion warm,
86.35  O sacred essence, other form,
86.36O solemn ghost, O crowned soul!
86.37Yet none could better know than I,
86.38  How much of act at human hands
86.39  The sense of human will demands
86.40By which we dare to live or die.
86.41Whatever way my days decline,
86.42  I felt and feel, tho' left alone,
86.43  His being working in mine own,
86.44The footsteps of his life in mine;
86.45A life that all the Muses deck'd
86.46  With gifts of grace, that might express
86.47  All-comprehensive tenderness,
86.48All-subtilising intellect:
86.49And so my passion hath not swerved
86.50  To works of weakness, but I find
86.51  An image comforting the mind,
86.52And in my grief a strength reserved.
86.53Likewise the imaginative woe,
86.54  That loved to handle spiritual strife
86.55  Diffused the shock thro' all my life,
86.56But in the present broke the blow.
86.57My pulses therefore beat again
86.58  For other friends that once I met;
86.59  Nor can it suit me to forget
86.60The mighty hopes that make us men.
86.61I woo your love: I count it crime
86.62  To mourn for any overmuch;
86.63  I, the divided half of such
86.64A friendship as had master'd Time;
86.65Which masters Time indeed, and is
86.66  Eternal, separate from fears:
86.67  The all-assuming months and years
86.68Can take no part away from this:
86.69But Summer on the steaming floods,
86.70  And Spring that swells the narrow brooks,
86.71  And Autumn, with a noise of rooks,
86.72That gather in the waning woods,
86.73And every pulse of wind and wave
86.74  Recalls, in change of light or gloom,
86.75  My old affection of the tomb,
86.76And my prime passion in the grave:
86.77My old affection of the tomb,
86.78  A part of stillness, yearns to speak:
86.79  "Arise, and get thee forth and seek
86.80A friendship for the years to come.
86.81"I watch thee from the quiet shore;
86.82  Thy spirit up to mine can reach;
86.83  But in dear words of human speech
86.84We two communicate no more."
86.85And I, "Can clouds of nature stain
86.86  The starry clearness of the free?
86.87  How is it? Canst thou feel for me
86.88Some painless sympathy with pain?"
86.89And lightly does the whisper fall:
86.90  `'Tis hard for thee to fathom this;
86.91  I triumph in conclusive bliss,
86.92And that serene result of all.'
86.93So hold I commerce with the dead;
86.94  Or so methinks the dead would say;
86.95  Or so shall grief with symbols play
86.96And pining life be fancy-fed.
86.97Now looking to some settled end,
86.98  That these things pass, and I shall prove
86.99  A meeting somewhere, love with love,
86.100I crave your pardon, O my friend;
86.101If not so fresh, with love as true,
86.102  I, clasping brother-hands, aver
86.103  I could not, if I would, transfer
86.104The whole I felt for him to you.
86.105For which be they that hold apart
86.106  The promise of the golden hours?
86.107  First love, first friendship, equal powers,
86.108That marry with the virgin heart.
86.109Still mine, that cannot but deplore,
86.110  That beats within a lonely place,
86.111  That yet remembers his embrace,
86.112But at his footstep leaps no more,
86.113My heart, tho' widow'd, may not rest
86.114  Quite in the love of what is gone,
86.115  But seeks to beat in time with one
86.116That warms another living breast.
86.117Ah, take the imperfect gift I bring,
86.118  Knowing the primrose yet is dear,
86.119  The primrose of the later year,
86.120As not unlike to that of Spring.
87.1Sweet after showers, ambrosial air,
87.2  That rollest from the gorgeous gloom
87.3  Of evening over brake and bloom
87.4And meadow, slowly breathing bare
87.5The round of space, and rapt below
87.6  Thro' all the dewy-tassell'd wood,
87.7  And shadowing down the horned flood
87.8In ripples, fan my brows and blow
87.9The fever from my cheek, and sigh
87.10  The full new life that feeds thy breath
87.11  Throughout my frame, till Doubt and Death,
87.12Ill brethren, let the fancy fly
87.13From belt to belt of crimson seas
87.14  On leagues of odour streaming far,
87.15  To where in yonder orient star
87.16A hundred spirits whisper "Peace."
88.1I past beside the reverend walls
88.2  In which of old I wore the gown;
88.3  I roved at random thro' the town,
88.4And saw the tumult of the halls;
88.5And heard once more in college fanes
88.6  The storm their high-built organs make,
88.7  And thunder-music, rolling, shake
88.8The prophet blazon'd on the panes;
88.9And caught once more the distant shout,
88.10  The measured pulse of racing oars
88.11  Among the willows; paced the shores
88.12And many a bridge, and all about
88.13The same gray flats again, and felt
88.14  The same, but not the same; and last
88.15  Up that long walk of limes I past
88.16To see the rooms in which he dwelt.
88.17Another name was on the door:
88.18  I linger'd; all within was noise
88.19  Of songs, and clapping hands, and boys
88.20That crash'd the glass and beat the floor;
88.21Where once we held debate, a band
88.22  Of youthful friends, on mind and art,
88.23  And labour, and the changing mart,
88.24And all the framework of the land;
88.25When one would aim an arrow fair,
88.26  But send it slackly from the string;
88.27  And one would pierce an outer ring,
88.28And one an inner, here and there;
88.29And last the master-bowman, he,
88.30  Would cleave the mark. A willing ear
88.31  We lent him. Who, but hung to hear
88.32The rapt oration flowing free
88.33From point to point, with power and grace
88.34  And music in the bounds of law,
88.35  To those conclusions when we saw
88.36The God within him light his face,
88.37And seem to lift the form, and glow
88.38  In azure orbits heavenly-wise;
88.39  And over those ethereal eyes
88.40The bar of Michael Angelo?
89.1Wild bird, whose warble, liquid sweet,
89.2  Rings Eden thro' the budded quicks,
89.3  O tell me where the senses mix,
89.4O tell me where the passions meet,
89.5Whence radiate: fierce extremes employ
89.6  Thy spirits in the darkening leaf,
89.7  And in the midmost heart of grief
89.8Thy passion clasps a secret joy:
89.9And I -- my harp would prelude woe --
89.10  I cannot all command the strings;
89.11  The glory of the sum of things
89.12Will flash along the chords and go.
90.1Witch-elms that counterchange the floor
90.2  Of this flat lawn with dusk and bright;
90.3  And thou, with all thy breadth and height
90.4Of foliage, towering sycamore;
90.5How often, hither wandering down,
90.6  My Arthur found your shadows fair,
90.7  And shook to all the liberal air
90.8The dust and din and steam of town:
90.9He brought an eye for all he saw;
90.10  He mixt in all our simple sports;
90.11  They pleased him, fresh from brawling courts
90.12And dusty purlieus of the law.
90.13O joy to him in this retreat,
90.14  Immantled in ambrosial dark,
90.15  To drink the cooler air, and mark
90.16The landscape winking thro' the heat:
90.17O sound to rout the brood of cares,
90.18  The sweep of scythe in morning dew,
90.19  The gust that round the garden flew,
90.20And tumbled half the mellowing pears!
90.21O bliss, when all in circle drawn
90.22  About him, heart and ear were fed
90.23  To hear him as he lay and read
90.24The Tuscan poets on the lawn:
90.25Or in the all-golden afternoon
90.26  A guest, or happy sister, sung,
90.27  Or here she brought the harp and flung
90.28A ballad to the brightening moon:
90.29Nor less it pleased in livelier moods,
90.30  Beyond the bounding hill to stray,
90.31  And break the livelong summer day
90.32With banquet in the distant woods;
90.33Whereat we glanced from theme to theme,
90.34  Discuss'd the books to love or hate,
90.35  Or touch'd the changes of the state,
90.36Or threaded some Socratic dream;
90.37But if I praised the busy town,
90.38  He loved to rail against it still,
90.39  For "ground in yonder social mill
90.40We rub each other's angles down,
90.41"And merge," he said, "in form and gloss
90.42  The picturesque of man and man."
90.43  We talk'd: the stream beneath us ran,
90.44The wine-flask lying couch'd in moss,
90.45Or cool'd within the glooming wave;
90.46  And last, returning from afar,
90.47  Before the crimson-circled star
90.48Had fall'n into her father's grave,
90.49And brushing ankle-deep in flowers,
90.50  We heard behind the woodbine veil
90.51  The milk that bubbled in the pail,
90.52And buzzings of the honied hours.
91.1He tasted love with half his mind,
91.2  Nor ever drank the inviolate spring
91.3  Where nighest heaven, who first could fling
91.4This bitter seed among mankind;
91.5That could the dead, whose dying eyes
91.6  Were closed with wail, resume their life,
91.7  They would but find in child and wife
91.8An iron welcome when they rise:
91.9'Twas well, indeed, when warm with wine,
91.10  To pledge them with a kindly tear,
91.11  To talk them o'er, to wish them here,
91.12To count their memories half divine;
91.13But if they came who past away,
91.14  Behold their brides in other hands;
91.15  The hard heir strides about their lands,
91.16And will not yield them for a day.
91.17Yea, tho' their sons were none of these,
91.18  Not less the yet-loved sire would make
91.19  Confusion worse than death, and shake
91.20The pillars of domestic peace.
91.21Ah dear, but come thou back to me:
91.22  Whatever change the years have wrought,
91.23  I find not yet one lonely thought
91.24That cries against my wish for thee.
92.1When rosy plumelets tuft the larch,
92.2  And rarely pipes the mounted thrush;
92.3  Or underneath the barren bush
92.4Flits by the sea-blue bird of March;
92.5Come, wear the form by which I know
92.6  Thy spirit in time among thy peers;
92.7  The hope of unaccomplish'd years
92.8Be large and lucid round thy brow.
92.9When summer's hourly-mellowing change
92.10  May breathe, with many roses sweet,
92.11  Upon the thousand waves of wheat,
92.12That ripple round the lonely grange;
92.13Come: not in watches of the night,
92.14  But where the sunbeam broodeth warm,
92.15  Come, beauteous in thine after form,
92.16And like a finer light in light.
93.1If any vision should reveal
93.2  Thy likeness, I might count it vain
93.3  As but the canker of the brain;
93.4Yea, tho' it spake and made appeal
93.5To chances where our lots were cast
93.6  Together in the days behind,
93.7  I might but say, I hear a wind
93.8Of memory murmuring the past.
93.9Yea, tho' it spake and bared to view
93.10  A fact within the coming year;
93.11  And tho' the months, revolving near,
93.12Should prove the phantom-warning true,
93.13They might not seem thy prophecies,
93.14  But spiritual presentiments,
93.15  And such refraction of events
93.16As often rises ere they rise.
94.1I shall not see thee. Dare I say
94.2  No spirit ever brake the band
94.3  That stays him from the native land
94.4Where first he walk'd when claspt in clay?
94.5No visual shade of some one lost,
94.6  But he, the Spirit himself, may come
94.7  Where all the nerve of sense is numb;
94.8Spirit to Spirit, Ghost to Ghost.
94.9O, therefore from thy sightless range
94.10  With gods in unconjectured bliss,
94.11  O, from the distance of the abyss
94.12Of tenfold-complicated change,
94.13Descend, and touch, and enter; hear
94.14  The wish too strong for words to name;
94.15  That in this blindness of the frame
94.16My Ghost may feel that thine is near.
95.1How pure at heart and sound in head,
95.2  With what divine affections bold
95.3  Should be the man whose thought would hold
95.4An hour's communion with the dead.
95.5In vain shalt thou, or any, call
95.6  The spirits from their golden day,
95.7  Except, like them, thou too canst say,
95.8My spirit is at peace with all.
95.9They haunt the silence of the breast,
95.10  Imaginations calm and fair,
95.11  The memory like a cloudless air,
95.12The conscience as a sea at rest:
95.13But when the heart is full of din,
95.14  And doubt beside the portal waits,
95.15  They can but listen at the gates,
95.16And hear the household jar within.
96.1By night we linger'd on the lawn,
96.2  For underfoot the herb was dry;
96.3  And genial warmth; and o'er the sky
96.4The silvery haze of summer drawn;
96.5And calm that let the tapers burn
96.6  Unwavering: not a cricket chirr'd:
96.7  The brook alone far-off was heard,
96.8And on the board the fluttering urn:
96.9And bats went round in fragrant skies,
96.10  And wheel'd or lit the filmy shapes
96.11  That haunt the dusk, with ermine capes
96.12And woolly breasts and beaded eyes;
96.13While now we sang old songs that peal'd
96.14  From knoll to knoll, where, couch'd at ease,
96.15  The white kine glimmer'd, and the trees
96.16Laid their dark arms about the field.
96.17But when those others, one by one,
96.18  Withdrew themselves from me and night,
96.19  And in the house light after light
96.20Went out, and I was all alone,
96.21A hunger seized my heart; I read
96.22  Of that glad year which once had been,
96.23  In those fall'n leaves which kept their green,
96.24The noble letters of the dead:
96.25And strangely on the silence broke
96.26  The silent-speaking words, and strange
96.27  Was love's dumb cry defying change
96.28To test his worth; and strangely spoke
96.29The faith, the vigour, bold to dwell
96.30  On doubts that drive the coward back,
96.31  And keen thro' wordy snares to track
96.32Suggestion to her inmost cell.
96.33So word by word, and line by line,
96.34  The dead man touch'd me from the past,
96.35  And all at once it seem'd at last
96.36The living soul was flash'd on mine,
96.37And mine in this was wound, and whirl'd
96.38  About empyreal heights of thought,
96.39  And came on that which is, and caught
96.40The deep pulsations of the world,
96.41Æonian music measuring out
96.42  The steps of Time -- the shocks of Chance--
96.43  The blows of Death. At length my trance
96.44Was cancell'd, stricken thro' with doubt.
96.45Vague words! but ah, how hard to frame
96.46  In matter-moulded forms of speech,
96.47  Or ev'n for intellect to reach
96.48Thro' memory that which I became:
96.49Till now the doubtful dusk reveal'd
96.50  The knolls once more where, couch'd at ease,
96.51  The white kine glimmer'd, and the trees
96.52Laid their dark arms about the field:
96.53And suck'd from out the distant gloom
96.54  A breeze began to tremble o'er
96.55  The large leaves of the sycamore,
96.56And fluctuate all the still perfume,
96.57And gathering freshlier overhead,
96.58  Rock'd the full-foliaged elms, and swung
96.59  The heavy-folded rose, and flung
96.60The lilies to and fro, and said,
96.61"The dawn, the dawn," and died away;
96.62  And East and West, without a breath,
96.63  Mixt their dim lights, like life and death,
96.64To broaden into boundless day.
97.1You say, but with no touch of scorn,
97.2  Sweet-hearted, you, whose light-blue eyes
97.3  Are tender over drowning flies,
97.4You tell me, doubt is Devil-born.
97.5I know not: one indeed I knew
97.6  In many a subtle question versed,
97.7  Who touch'd a jarring lyre at first,
97.8But ever strove to make it true:
97.9Perplext in faith, but pure in deeds,
97.10  At last he beat his music out.
97.11  There lives more faith in honest doubt,
97.12Believe me, than in half the creeds.
97.13He fought his doubts and gather'd strength,
97.14  He would not make his judgment blind,
97.15  He faced the spectres of the mind
97.16And laid them: thus he came at length
97.17To find a stronger faith his own;
97.18  And Power was with him in the night,
97.19  Which makes the darkness and the light,
97.20And dwells not in the light alone,
97.21But in the darkness and the cloud,
97.22  As over Sinaï's peaks of old,
97.23  While Israel made their gods of gold,
97.24Altho' the trumpet blew so loud.
98.1My love has talk'd with rocks and trees;
98.2  He finds on misty mountain-ground
98.3  His own vast shadow glory-crown'd;
98.4He sees himself in all he sees.
98.5Two partners of a married life --
98.6  I look'd on these and thought of thee
98.7  In vastness and in mystery,
98.8And of my spirit as of a wife.
98.9These two -- they dwelt with eye on eye,
98.10  Their hearts of old have beat in tune,
98.11  Their meetings made December June
98.12Their every parting was to die.
98.13Their love has never past away;
98.14  The days she never can forget
98.15  Are earnest that he loves her yet,
98.16Whate'er the faithless people say.
98.17Her life is lone, he sits apart,
98.18  He loves her yet, she will not weep,
98.19  Tho' rapt in matters dark and deep
98.20He seems to slight her simple heart.
98.21He thrids the labyrinth of the mind,
98.22  He reads the secret of the star,
98.23  He seems so near and yet so far,
98.24He looks so cold: she thinks him kind.
98.25She keeps the gift of years before,
98.26  A wither'd violet is her bliss:
98.27  She knows not what his greatness is,
98.28For that, for all, she loves him more.
98.29For him she plays, to him she sings
98.30  Of early faith and plighted vows;
98.31  She knows but matters of the house,
98.32And he, he knows a thousand things.
98.33Her faith is fixt and cannot move,
98.34  She darkly feels him great and wise,
98.35  She dwells on him with faithful eyes,
98.36"I cannot understand: I love."
99.1You leave us: you will see the Rhine,
99.2  And those fair hills I sail'd below,
99.3  When I was there with him; and go
99.4By summer belts of wheat and vine
99.5To where he breathed his latest breath,
99.6  That City. All her splendour seems
99.7  No livelier than the wisp that gleams
99.8On Lethe in the eyes of Death.
99.9Let her great Danube rolling fair
99.10  Enwind her isles, unmark'd of me:
99.11  I have not seen, I will not see
99.12Vienna; rather dream that there,
99.13A treble darkness, Evil haunts
99.14  The birth, the bridal; friend from friend
99.15  Is oftener parted, fathers bend
99.16Above more graves, a thousand wants
99.17Gnarr at the heels of men, and prey
99.18  By each cold hearth, and sadness flings
99.19  Her shadow on the blaze of kings:
99.20And yet myself have heard him say,
99.21That not in any mother town
99.22  With statelier progress to and fro
99.23  The double tides of chariots flow
99.24By park and suburb under brown
99.25Of lustier leaves; nor more content,
99.26  He told me, lives in any crowd,
99.27  When all is gay with lamps, and loud
99.28With sport and song, in booth and tent,
99.29Imperial halls, or open plain;
99.30  And wheels the circled dance, and breaks
99.31  The rocket molten into flakes
99.32Of crimson or in emerald rain.
100.1Risest thou thus, dim dawn, again,
100.2  So loud with voices of the birds,
100.3  So thick with lowings of the herds,
100.4Day, when I lost the flower of men;
100.5Who tremblest thro' thy darkling red
100.6  On yon swoll'n brook that bubbles fast
100.7  By meadows breathing of the past,
100.8And woodlands holy to the dead;
100.9Who murmurest in the foliaged eaves
100.10  A song that slights the coming care,
100.11  And Autumn laying here and there
100.12A fiery finger on the leaves;
100.13Who wakenest with thy balmy breath
100.14  To myriads on the genial earth,
100.15  Memories of bridal, or of birth,
100.16And unto myriads more, of death.
100.17O, wheresoever those may be,
100.18  Betwixt the slumber of the poles,
100.19  To-day they count as kindred souls;
100.20They know me not, but mourn with me.
101.1I climb the hill: from end to end
101.2  Of all the landscape underneath,
101.3  I find no place that does not breathe
101.4Some gracious memory of my friend;
101.5No gray old grange, or lonely fold,
101.6  Or low morass and whispering reed,
101.7  Or simple stile from mead to mead,
101.8Or sheepwalk up the windy wold;
101.9Nor hoary knoll of ash and hew
101.10  That hears the latest linnet trill,
101.11  Nor quarry trench'd along the hill
101.12And haunted by the wrangling daw;
101.13Nor runlet tinkling from the rock;
101.14  Nor pastoral rivulet that swerves
101.15  To left and right thro' meadowy curves,
101.16That feed the mothers of the flock;
101.17But each has pleased a kindred eye,
101.18  And each reflects a kindlier day;
101.19  And, leaving these, to pass away,
101.20I think once more he seems to die.
102.1Unwatch'd, the garden bough shall sway,
102.2  The tender blossom flutter down,
102.3  Unloved, that beech will gather brown,
102.4This maple burn itself away;
102.5Unloved, the sun-flower, shining fair,
102.6  Ray round with flames her disk of seed,
102.7  And many a rose-carnation feed
102.8With summer spice the humming air;
102.9Unloved, by many a sandy bar,
102.10  The brook shall babble down the plain,
102.11  At noon or when the lesser wain
102.12Is twisting round the polar star;
102.13Uncared for, gird the windy grove,
102.14  And flood the haunts of hern and crake;
102.15  Or into silver arrows break
102.16The sailing moon in creek and cove;
102.17Till from the garden and the wild
102.18  A fresh association blow,
102.19  And year by year the landscape grow
102.20Familiar to the stranger's child;
102.21As year by year the labourer tills
102.22  His wonted glebe, or lops the glades;
102.23  And year by year our memory fades
102.24From all the circle of the hills.
103.1We leave the well-beloved place
103.2  Where first we gazed upon the sky;
103.3  The roofs, that heard our earliest cry,
103.4Will shelter one of stranger race.
103.5We go, but ere we go from home,
103.6  As down the garden-walks I move,
103.7  Two spirits of a diverse love
103.8Contend for loving masterdom.
103.9One whispers, "Here thy boyhood sung
103.10  Long since its matin song, and heard
103.11  The low love-language of the bird
103.12In native hazels tassel-hung."
103.13The other answers, "Yea, but here
103.14  Thy feet have stray'd in after hours
103.15  With thy lost friend among the bowers,
103.16And this hath made them trebly dear."
103.17These two have striven half the day,
103.18  And each prefers his separate claim,
103.19  Poor rivals in a losing game,
103.20That will not yield each other way.
103.21I turn to go: my feet are set
103.22  To leave the pleasant fields and farms;
103.23  They mix in one another's arms
103.24To one pure image of regret.
104.1On that last night before we went
104.2  From out the doors where I was bred,
104.3  I dream'd a vision of the dead,
104.4Which left my after-morn content.
104.5Methought I dwelt within a hall,
104.6  And maidens with me: distant hills
104.7  From hidden summits fed with rills
104.8A river sliding by the wall.
104.9The hall with harp and carol rang.
104.10  They sang of what is wise and good
104.11  And graceful. In the centre stood
104.12A statue veil'd, to which they sang;
104.13And which, tho' veil'd, was known to me,
104.14  The shape of him I loved, and love
104.15  For ever: then flew in a dove
104.16And brought a summons from the sea:
104.17And when they learnt that I must go
104.18  They wept and wail'd, but led the way
104.19  To where a little shallop lay
104.20At anchor in the flood below;
104.21And on by many a level mead,
104.22  And shadowing bluff that made the banks,
104.23  We glided winding under ranks
104.24Of iris, and the golden reed;
104.25And still as vaster grew the shore
104.26  And roll'd the floods in grander space,
104.27  The maidens gather'd strength and grace
104.28And presence, lordlier than before;
104.29And I myself, who sat apart
104.30  And watch'd them, wax'd in every limb;
104.31  I felt the thews of Anakim,
104.32The pulses of a Titan's heart;
104.33As one would sing the death of war,
104.34  And one would chant the history
104.35  Of that great race, which is to be,
104.36And one the shaping of a star;
104.37Until the forward-creeping tides
104.38  Began to foam, and we to draw
104.39  From deep to deep, to where we saw
104.40A great ship lift her shining sides.
104.41The man we loved was there on deck,
104.42  But thrice as large as man he bent
104.43  To greet us. Up the side I went,
104.44And fell in silence on his neck;
104.45Whereat those maidens with one mind
104.46  Bewail'd their lot; I did them wrong:
104.47  "We served thee here," they said, "so long,
104.48And wilt thou leave us now behind?"
104.49So rapt I was, they could not win
104.50  An answer from my lips, but he
104.51  Replying, "Enter likewise ye
104.52And go with us:" they enter'd in.
104.53And while the wind began to sweep
104.54  A music out of sheet and shroud,
104.55  We steer'd her toward a crimson cloud
104.56That landlike slept along the deep.
105.1The time draws near the birth of Christ;
105.2  The moon is hid, the night is still;
105.3  A single church below the hill
105.4Is pealing, folded in the mist.
105.5A single peal of bells below,
105.6  That wakens at this hour of rest
105.7  A single murmur in the breast,
105.8That these are not the bells I know.
105.9Like strangers' voices here they sound,
105.10  In lands where not a memory strays,
105.11  Nor landmark breathes of other days,
105.12But all is new unhallow'd ground.
106.1To-night ungather'd let us leave
106.2  This laurel, let this holly stand:
106.3  We live within the stranger's land,
106.4And strangely falls our Christmas-eve.
106.5Our father's dust is left alone
106.6  And silent under other snows:
106.7  There in due time the woodbine blows,
106.8The violet comes, but we are gone.
106.9No more shall wayward grief abuse
106.10  The genial hour with mask and mime;
106.11  For change of place, like growth of time,
106.12Has broke the bond of dying use.
106.13Let cares that petty shadows cast,
106.14  By which our lives are chiefly proved,
106.15  A little spare the night I loved,
106.16And hold it solemn to the past.
106.17But let no footstep beat the floor,
106.18  Nor bowl of wassail mantle warm;
106.19  For who would keep an ancient form
106.20Thro' which the spirit breathes no more?
106.21Be neither song, nor game, nor feast;
106.22  Nor harp be touch'd, nor flute be blown;
106.23  No dance, no motion, save alone
106.24What lightens in the lucid east
106.25Of rising worlds by yonder wood.
106.26  Long sleeps the summer in the seed;
106.27  Run out your measured arcs, and lead
106.28The closing cycle rich in good.
107.1Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
107.2  The flying cloud, the frosty light:
107.3  The year is dying in the night;
107.4Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
107.5Ring out the old, ring in the new,
107.6  Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
107.7  The year is going, let him go;
107.8Ring out the false, ring in the true.
107.9Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
107.10  For those that here we see no more;
107.11  Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
107.12Ring in redress to all mankind.
107.13Ring out a slowly dying cause,
107.14  And ancient forms of party strife;
107.15  Ring in the nobler modes of life,
107.16With sweeter manners, purer laws.
107.17Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
107.18  The faithless coldness of the times;
107.19  Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
107.20But ring the fuller minstrel in.
107.21Ring out false pride in place and blood,
107.22  The civic slander and the spite;
107.23  Ring in the love of truth and right,
107.24Ring in the common love of good.
107.25Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
107.26  Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
107.27  Ring out the thousand wars of old,
107.28Ring in the thousand years of peace.
107.29Ring in the valiant man and free,
107.30  The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
107.31  Ring out the darkness of the land,
107.32Ring in the Christ that is to be.
108.1It is the day when he was born,
108.2  A bitter day that early sank
108.3  Behind a purple-frosty bank
108.4Of vapour, leaving night forlorn.
108.5The time admits not flowers or leaves
108.6  To deck the banquet. Fiercely flies
108.7  The blast of North and East, and ice
108.8Makes daggers at the sharpen'd eaves,
108.9And bristles all the brakes and thorns
108.10  To yon hard crescent, as she hangs
108.11  Above the wood which grides and clangs
108.12Its leafless ribs and iron horns
108.13Together, in the drifts that pass
108.14  To darken on the rolling brine
108.15  That breaks the coast. But fetch the wine,
108.16Arrange the board and brim the glass;
108.17Bring in great logs and let them lie,
108.18  To make a solid core of heat;
108.19  Be cheerful-minded, talk and treat
108.20Of all things ev'n as he were by;
108.21We keep the day. With festal cheer,
108.22  With books and music, surely we
108.23  Will drink to him, whate'er he be,
108.24And sing the songs he loved to hear.
109.1I will not shut me from my kind,
109.2  And, lest I stiffen into stone,
109.3  I will not eat my heart alone,
109.4Nor feed with sighs a passing wind:
109.5What profit lies in barren faith,
109.6  And vacant yearning, tho' with might
109.7  To scale the heaven's highest height,
109.8Or dive below the wells of Death?
109.9What find I in the highest place,
109.10  But mine own phantom chanting hymns?
109.11  And on the depths of death there swims
109.12The reflex of a human face.
109.13I'll rather take what fruit may be
109.14  Of sorrow under human skies:
109.15  'Tis held that sorrow makes us wise,
109.16Whatever wisdom sleep with thee.
110.1Heart-affluence in discursive talk
110.2  From household fountains never dry;
110.3  The critic clearness of an eye,
110.4That saw thro' all the Muses' walk;
110.5Seraphic intellect and force
110.6  To seize and throw the doubts of man;
110.7  Impassion'd logic, which outran
110.8The hearer in its fiery course;
110.9High nature amorous of the good,
110.10  But touch'd with no ascetic gloom;
110.11  And passion pure in snowy bloom
110.12Thro' all the years of April blood;
110.13A love of freedom rarely felt,
110.14  Of freedom in her regal seat
110.15  Of England; not the schoolboy heat,
110.16The blind hysterics of the Celt;
110.17And manhood fused with female grace
110.18  In such a sort, the child would twine
110.19  A trustful hand, unask'd, in thine,
110.20And find his comfort in thy face;
110.21All these have been, and thee mine eyes
110.22  Have look'd on: if they look'd in vain,
110.23  My shame is greater who remain,
110.24Nor let thy wisdom make me wise.
111.1Thy converse drew us with delight,
111.2  The men of rathe and riper years:
111.3  The feeble soul, a haunt of fears,
111.4Forgot his weakness in thy sight.
111.5On thee the loyal-hearted hung,
111.6  The proud was half disarm'd of pride,
111.7  Nor cared the serpent at thy side
111.8To flicker with his double tongue.
111.9The stern were mild when thou wert by,
111.10  The flippant put himself to school
111.11  And heard thee, and the brazen fool
111.12Was soften'd, and he knew not why;
111.13While I, thy nearest, sat apart,
111.14  And felt thy triumph was as mine;
111.15  And loved them more, that they were thine,
111.16The graceful tact, the Christian art;
111.17Nor mine the sweetness or the skill,
111.18  But mine the love that will not tire,
111.19  And, born of love, the vague desire
111.20That spurs an imitative will.
112.1The churl in spirit, up or down
112.2  Along the scale of ranks, thro' all,
112.3  To him who grasps a golden ball,
112.4By blood a king, at heart a clown;
112.5The churl in spirit, howe'er he veil
112.6  His want in forms for fashion's sake,
112.7  Will let his coltish nature break
112.8At seasons thro' the gilded pale:
112.9For who can always act? but he,
112.10  To whom a thousand memories call,
112.11  Not being less but more than all
112.12The gentleness he seem'd to be,
112.13Best seem'd the thing he was, and join'd
112.14  Each office of the social hour
112.15  To noble manners, as the flower
112.16And native growth of noble mind;
112.17Nor ever narrowness or spite,
112.18  Or villain fancy fleeting by,
112.19  Drew in the expression of an eye,
112.20Where God and Nature met in light;
112.21And thus he bore without abuse
112.22  The grand old name of gentleman,
112.23  Defamed by every charlatan,
112.24And soil'd with all ignoble use.
113.1High wisdom holds my wisdom less,
113.2  That I, who gaze with temperate eyes
113.3  On glorious insufficiencies,
113.4Set light by narrower perfectness.
113.5But thou, that fillest all the room
113.6  Of all my love, art reason why
113.7  I seem to cast a careless eye
113.8On souls, the lesser lords of doom.
113.9For what wert thou? some novel power
113.10  Sprang up for ever at a touch,
113.11  And hope could never hope too much,
113.12In watching thee from hour to hour,
113.13Large elements in order brought,
113.14  And tracts of calm from tempest made,
113.15  And world-wide fluctuation sway'd
113.16In vassal tides that follow'd thought.
114.1'Tis held that sorrow makes us wise;
114.2  Yet how much wisdom sleeps with thee
114.3  Which not alone had guided me,
114.4But served the seasons that may rise;
114.5For can I doubt, who knew thee keen
114.6  In intellect, with force and skill
114.7  To strive, to fashion, to fulfil --
114.8I doubt not what thou wouldst have been:
114.9A life in civic action warm,
114.10  A soul on highest mission sent,
114.11  A potent voice of Parliament,
114.12A pillar steadfast in the storm,
114.13Should licensed boldness gather force,
114.14  Becoming, when the time has birth,
114.15  A lever to uplift the earth
114.16And roll it in another course,
114.17With thousand shocks that come and go,
114.18  With agonies, with energies,
114.19  With overthrowings, and with cries
114.20And undulations to and fro.
115.1Who loves not Knowledge? Who shall rail
115.2  Against her beauty? May she mix
115.3  With men and prosper! Who shall fix
115.4Her pillars? Let her work prevail.
115.5But on her forehead sits a fire:
115.6  She sets her forward countenance
115.7  And leaps into the future chance,
115.8Submitting all things to desire.
115.9Half-grown as yet, a child, and vain --
115.10  She cannot fight the fear of death.
115.11  What is she, cut from love and faith,
115.12But some wild Pallas from the brain
115.13Of Demons? fiery-hot to burst
115.14  All barriers in her onward race
115.15  For power. Let her know her place;
115.16She is the second, not the first.
115.17A higher hand must make her mild,
115.18  If all be not in vain; and guide
115.19  Her footsteps, moving side by side
115.20With wisdom, like the younger child:
115.21For she is earthly of the mind,
115.22  But Wisdom heavenly of the soul.
115.23  O, friend, who camest to thy goal
115.24So early, leaving me behind,
115.25I would the great world grew like thee,
115.26  Who grewest not alone in power
115.27  And knowledge, but by year and hour
115.28In reverence and in charity.
116.1Now fades the last long streak of snow,
116.2  Now burgeons every maze of quick
116.3  About the flowering squares, and thick
116.4By ashen roots the violets blow.
116.5Now rings the woodland loud and long,
116.6  The distance takes a lovelier hue,
116.7  And drown'd in yonder living blue
116.8The lark becomes a sightless song.
116.9Now dance the lights on lawn and lea,
116.10  The flocks are whiter down the vale,
116.11  And milkier every milky sail
116.12On winding stream or distant sea;
116.13Where now the seamew pipes, or dives
116.14  In yonder greening gleam, and fly
116.15  The happy birds, that change their sky
116.16To build and brood; that live their lives
116.17From land to land; and in my breast
116.18  Spring wakens too; and my regret
116.19  Becomes an April violet,
116.20And buds and blossoms like the rest.
117.1Is it, then, regret for buried time
117.2  That keenlier in sweet April wakes,
117.3  And meets the year, and gives and takes
117.4The colours of the crescent prime?
117.5Not all: the songs, the stirring air,
117.6  The life re-orient out of dust
117.7  Cry thro' the sense to hearten trust
117.8In that which made the world so fair.
117.9Not all regret: the face will shine
117.10  Upon me, while I muse alone;
117.11  And that dear voice, I once have known,
117.12Still speak to me of me and mine:
117.13Yet less of sorrow lives in me
117.14  For days of happy commune dead;
117.15  Less yearning for the friendship fled,
117.16Than some strong bond which is to be.
118.1O days and hours, your work is this
118.2  To hold me from my proper place,
118.3  A little while from his embrace,
118.4For fuller gain of after bliss:
118.5That out of distance might ensue
118.6  Desire of nearness doubly sweet;
118.7  And unto meeting when we meet,
118.8Delight a hundredfold accrue,
118.9For every grain of sand that runs,
118.10  And every span of shade that steals,
118.11  And every kiss of toothed wheels,
118.12And all the courses of the suns.
119.1Contemplate all this work of Time,
119.2  The giant labouring in his youth;
119.3  Nor dream of human love and truth,
119.4As dying Nature's earth and lime;
119.5But trust that those we call the dead
119.6  Are breathers of an ampler day
119.7  For ever nobler ends. They say,
119.8The solid earth whereon we tread
119.9In tracts of fluent heat began,
119.10  And grew to seeming-random forms,
119.11  The seeming prey of cyclic storms,
119.12Till at the last arose the man;
119.13Who throve and branch'd from clime to clime,
119.14  The herald of a higher race,
119.15  And of himself in higher place,
119.16If so he type this work of time
119.17Within himself, from more to more;
119.18  Or, crown'd with attributes of woe
119.19  Like glories, move his course, and show
119.20That life is not as idle ore,
119.21But iron dug from central gloom,
119.22  And heated hot with burning fears,
119.23  And dipt in baths of hissing tears,
119.24And batter'd with the shocks of doom
119.25To shape and use. Arise and fly
119.26  The reeling Faun, the sensual feast;
119.27  Move upward, working out the beast,
119.28And let the ape and tiger die.
120.1Doors, where my heart was used to beat
120.2  So quickly, not as one that weeps
120.3  I come once more; the city sleeps;
120.4I smell the meadow in the street;
120.5I hear a chirp of birds; I see
120.6  Betwixt the black fronts long-withdrawn
120.7  A light-blue lane of early dawn,
120.8And think of early days and thee,
120.9And bless thee, for thy lips are bland,
120.10  And bright the friendship of thine eye;
120.11  And in my thoughts with scarce a sigh
120.12I take the pressure of thine hand.
121.1I trust I have not wasted breath:
121.2  I think we are not wholly brain,
121.3  Magnetic mockeries; not in vain,
121.4Like Paul with beasts, I fought with Death;
121.5Not only cunning casts in clay:
121.6  Let Science prove we are, and then
121.7  What matters Science unto men,
121.8At least to me? I would not stay.
121.9Let him, the wiser man who springs
121.10  Hereafter, up from childhood shape
121.11  His action like the greater ape,
121.12But I was born to other things.
122.1Sad Hesper o'er the buried sun
122.2  And ready, thou, to die with him,
122.3  Thou watchest all things ever dim
122.4And dimmer, and a glory done:
122.5The team is loosen'd from the wain,
122.6  The boat is drawn upon the shore;
122.7  Thou listenest to the closing door,
122.8And life is darken'd in the brain.
122.9Bright Phosphor, fresher for the night,
122.10  By thee the world's great work is heard
122.11  Beginning, and the wakeful bird;
122.12Behind thee comes the greater light:
122.13The market boat is on the stream,
122.14  And voices hail it from the brink;
122.15  Thou hear'st the village hammer clink,
122.16And see'st the moving of the team.
122.17Sweet Hesper-Phosphor, double name
122.18  For what is one, the first, the last,
122.19  Thou, like my present and my past,
122.20Thy place is changed; thou art the same.
123.1Oh, wast thou with me, dearest, then,
123.2  While I rose up against my doom,
123.3  And yearn'd to burst the folded gloom,
123.4To bare the eternal Heavens again,
123.5To feel once more, in placid awe,
123.6  The strong imagination roll
123.7  A sphere of stars about my soul,
123.8In all her motion one with law;
123.9If thou wert with me, and the grave
123.10  Divide us not, be with me now,
123.11  And enter in at breast and brow,
123.12Till all my blood, a fuller wave,
123.13Be quicken'd with a livelier breath,
123.14  And like an inconsiderate boy,
123.15  As in the former flash of joy,
123.16I slip the thoughts of life and death;
123.17And all the breeze of Fancy blows,
123.18  And every dew-drop paints a bow,
123.19  The wizard lightnings deeply glow,
123.20And every thought breaks out a rose.
124.1There rolls the deep where grew the tree.
124.2  O earth, what changes hast thou seen!
124.3  There where the long street roars, hath been
124.4The stillness of the central sea.
124.5The hills are shadows, and they flow
124.6  From form to form, and nothing stands;
124.7  They melt like mist, the solid lands,
124.8Like clouds they shape themselves and go.
124.9But in my spirit will I dwell,
124.10  And dream my dream, and hold it true;
124.11  For tho' my lips may breathe adieu,
124.12I cannot think the thing farewell.
125.1That which we dare invoke to bless;
125.2  Our dearest faith; our ghastliest doubt;
125.3  He, They, One, All; within, without;
125.4The Power in darkness whom we guess;
125.5I found Him not in world or sun,
125.6  Or eagle's wing, or insect's eye;
125.7  Nor thro' the questions men may try,
125.8The petty cobwebs we have spun:
125.9If e'er when faith had fall'n asleep,
125.10  I heard a voice `believe no more'
125.11  And heard an ever-breaking shore
125.12That tumbled in the Godless deep;
125.13A warmth within the breast would melt
125.14  The freezing reason's colder part,
125.15  And like a man in wrath the heart
125.16Stood up and answer'd "I have felt."
125.17No, like a child in doubt and fear:
125.18  But that blind clamour made me wise;
125.19  Then was I as a child that cries,
125.20But, crying, knows his father near;
125.21And what I am beheld again
125.22  What is, and no man understands;
125.23  And out of darkness came the hands
125.24That reach thro' nature, moulding men.
126.1Whatever I have said or sung,
126.2  Some bitter notes my harp would give,
126.3  Yea, tho' there often seem'd to live
126.4A contradiction on the tongue,
126.5Yet Hope had never lost her youth;
126.6  She did but look through dimmer eyes;
126.7  Or Love but play'd with gracious lies,
126.8Because he felt so fix'd in truth:
126.9And if the song were full of care,
126.10  He breathed the spirit of the song;
126.11  And if the words were sweet and strong
126.12He set his royal signet there;
126.13Abiding with me till I sail
126.14  To seek thee on the mystic deeps,
126.15  And this electric force, that keeps
126.16A thousand pulses dancing, fail.
127.1Love is and was my Lord and King,
127.2  And in his presence I attend
127.3  To hear the tidings of my friend,
127.4Which every hour his couriers bring.
127.5Love is and was my King and Lord,
127.6  And will be, tho' as yet I keep
127.7  Within his court on earth, and sleep
127.8Encompass'd by his faithful guard,
127.9And hear at times a sentinel
127.10  Who moves about from place to place,
127.11  And whispers to the worlds of space,
127.12In the deep night, that all is well.
128.1And all is well, tho' faith and form
128.2  Be sunder'd in the night of fear;
128.3  Well roars the storm to those that hear
128.4A deeper voice across the storm,
128.5Proclaiming social truth shall spread,
128.6  And justice, ev'n tho' thrice again
128.7  The red fool-fury of the Seine
128.8Should pile her barricades with dead.
128.9But ill for him that wears a crown,
128.10  And him, the lazar, in his rags:
128.11  They tremble, the sustaining crags;
128.12The spires of ice are toppled down,
128.13And molten up, and roar in flood;
128.14  The fortress crashes from on high,
128.15  The brute earth lightens to the sky,
128.16And the great Æon sinks in blood,
128.17And compass'd by the fires of Hell;
128.18  While thou, dear spirit, happy star,
128.19  O'erlook'st the tumult from afar,
128.20And smilest, knowing all is well.
129.1The love that rose on stronger wings,
129.2  Unpalsied when he met with Death,
129.3  Is comrade of the lesser faith
129.4That sees the course of human things.
129.5No doubt vast eddies in the flood
129.6  Of onward time shall yet be made,
129.7  And throned races may degrade;
129.8Yet, O ye mysteries of good,
129.9Wild Hours that fly with Hope and Fear,
129.10  If all your office had to do
129.11  With old results that look like new;
129.12If this were all your mission here,
129.13To draw, to sheathe a useless sword,
129.14  To fool the crowd with glorious lies,
129.15  To cleave a creed in sects and cries,
129.16To change the bearing of a word,
129.17To shift an arbitrary power,
129.18  To cramp the student at his desk,
129.19  To make old bareness picturesque
129.20And tuft with grass a feudal tower;
129.21Why then my scorn might well descend
129.22  On you and yours. I see in part
129.23  That all, as in some piece of art,
129.24Is toil cöoperant to an end.
130.1Dear friend, far off, my lost desire,
130.2  So far, so near in woe and weal;
130.3  O loved the most, when most I feel
130.4There is a lower and a higher;
130.5Known and unknown; human, divine;
130.6  Sweet human hand and lips and eye;
130.7  Dear heavenly friend that canst not die,
130.8Mine, mine, for ever, ever mine;
130.9Strange friend, past, present, and to be;
130.10  Loved deeplier, darklier understood;
130.11  Behold, I dream a dream of good,
130.12And mingle all the world with thee.
131.1Thy voice is on the rolling air;
131.2  I hear thee where the waters run;
131.3  Thou standest in the rising sun,
131.4And in the setting thou art fair.
131.5What art thou then? I cannot guess;
131.6  But tho' I seem in star and flower
131.7  To feel thee some diffusive power,
131.8I do not therefore love thee less:
131.9My love involves the love before;
131.10  My love is vaster passion now;
131.11  Tho' mix'd with God and Nature thou,
131.12I seem to love thee more and more.
131.13Far off thou art, but ever nigh;
131.14  I have thee still, and I rejoice;
131.15  I prosper, circled with thy voice;
131.16I shall not lose thee tho' I die.
132.1O living will that shalt endure
132.2  When all that seems shall suffer shock,
132.3  Rise in the spiritual rock,
132.4Flow thro' our deeds and make them pure,
132.5That we may lift from out of dust
132.6  A voice as unto him that hears,
132.7  A cry above the conquer'd years
132.8To one that with us works, and trust,
132.9With faith that comes of self-control,
132.10  The truths that never can be proved
132.11  Until we close with all we loved,
132.12And all we flow from, soul in soul.
133.1O true and tried, so well and long,
133.2  Demand not thou a marriage lay;
133.3  In that it is thy marriage day
133.4Is music more than any song.
133.5Nor have I felt so much of bliss
133.6  Since first he told me that he loved
133.7  A daughter of our house; nor proved
133.8Since that dark day a day like this;
133.9Tho' I since then have number'd o'er
133.10  Some thrice three years: they went and came,
133.11  Remade the blood and changed the frame,
133.12And yet is love not less, but more;
133.13No longer caring to embalm
133.14  In dying songs a dead regret,
133.15  But like a statue solid-set,
133.16And moulded in colossal calm.
133.17Regret is dead, but love is more
133.18  Than in the summers that are flown,
133.19  For I myself with these have grown
133.20To something greater than before;
133.21Which makes appear the songs I made
133.22  As echoes out of weaker times,
133.23  As half but idle brawling rhymes,
133.24The sport of random sun and shade.
133.25But where is she, the bridal flower,
133.26  That must be made a wife ere noon?
133.27  She enters, glowing like the moon
133.28Of Eden on its bridal bower:
133.29On me she bends her blissful eyes
133.30  And then on thee; they meet thy look
133.31  And brighten like the star that shook
133.32Betwixt the palms of paradise.
133.33O when her life was yet in bud,
133.34  He too foretold the perfect rose.
133.35  For thee she grew, for thee she grows
133.36For ever, and as fair as good.
133.37And thou art worthy; full of power;
133.38  As gentle; liberal-minded, great,
133.39  Consistent; wearing all that weight
133.40Of learning lightly like a flower.
133.41But now set out: the noon is near,
133.42  And I must give away the bride;
133.43  She fears not, or with thee beside
133.44And me behind her, will not fear.
133.45For I that danced her on my knee,
133.46  That watch'd her on her nurse's arm,
133.47  That shielded all her life from harm
133.48At last must part with her to thee;
133.49Now waiting to be made a wife,
133.50  Her feet, my darling, on the dead
133.51  Their pensive tablets round her head,
133.52And the most living words of life
133.53Breathed in her ear. The ring is on,
133.54  The `wilt thou' answer'd, and again
133.55  The `wilt thou' ask'd, till out of twain
133.56Her sweet "I will" has made you one.
133.57Now sign your names, which shall be read,
133.58  Mute symbols of a joyful morn,
133.59  By village eyes as yet unborn;
133.60The names are sign'd, and overhead
133.61Begins the clash and clang that tells
133.62  The joy to every wandering breeze;
133.63  The blind wall rocks, and on the trees
133.64The dead leaf trembles to the bells.
133.65O happy hour, and happier hours
133.66  Await them. Many a merry face
133.67  Salutes them -- maidens of the place,
133.68That pelt us in the porch with flowers.
133.69O happy hour, behold the bride
133.70  With him to whom her hand I gave.
133.71  They leave the porch, they pass the grave
133.72That has to-day its sunny side.
133.73To-day the grave is bright for me,
133.74  For them the light of life increased,
133.75  Who stay to share the morning feast,
133.76Who rest to-night beside the sea.
133.77Let all my genial spirits advance
133.78  To meet and greet a whiter sun;
133.79  My drooping memory will not shun
133.80The foaming grape of eastern France.
133.81It circles round, and fancy plays,
133.82  And hearts are warm'd and faces bloom,
133.83  As drinking health to bride and groom
133.84We wish them store of happy days.
133.85Nor count me all to blame if I
133.86  Conjecture of a stiller guest,
133.87  Perchance, perchance, among the rest,
133.88And, tho' in silence, wishing joy.
133.89But they must go, the time draws on,
133.90  And those white-favour'd horses wait;
133.91  They rise, but linger; it is late;
133.92Farewell, we kiss, and they are gone.
133.93A shade falls on us like the dark
133.94  From little cloudlets on the grass,
133.95  But sweeps away as out we pass
133.96To range the woods, to roam the park,
133.97Discussing how their courtship grew,
133.98  And talk of others that are wed,
133.99  And how she look'd, and what he said,
133.100And back we come at fall of dew.
133.101Again the feast, the speech, the glee,
133.102  The shade of passing thought, the wealth
133.103  Of words and wit, the double health,
133.104The crowning cup, the three-times-three,
133.105And last the dance; -- till I retire:
133.106  Dumb is that tower which spake so loud,
133.107  And high in heaven the streaming cloud,
133.108And on the downs a rising fire:
133.109And rise, O moon, from yonder down,
133.110  Till over down and over dale
133.111  All night the shining vapour sail
133.112And pass the silent-lighted town,
133.113The white-faced halls, the glancing rills,
133.114  And catch at every mountain head,
133.115  And o'er the friths that branch and spread
133.116Their sleeping silver thro' the hills;
133.117And touch with shade the bridal doors,
133.118  With tender gloom the roof, the wall;
133.119  And breaking let the splendour fall
133.120To spangle all the happy shores
133.121By which they rest, and ocean sounds,
133.122  And, star and system rolling past,
133.123  A soul shall draw from out the vast
133.124And strike his being into bounds,
133.125And, moved thro' life of lower phase,
133.126  Result in man, be born and think,
133.127  And act and love, a closer link
133.128Betwixt us and the crowning race
133.129Of those that, eye to eye, shall look
133.130  On knowledge; under whose command
133.131  Is Earth and Earth's, and in their hand
133.132Is Nature like an open book;
133.133No longer half-akin to brute,
133.134  For all we thought and loved and did,
133.135  And hoped, and suffer'd, is but seed
133.136Of what in them is flower and fruit;
133.137Whereof the man, that with me trod
133.138  This planet, was a noble type
133.139  Appearing ere the times were ripe,
133.140That friend of mine who lives in God,
133.141That God, which ever lives and loves,
133.142  One God, one law, one element,
133.143  And one far-off divine event,
133.144To which the whole creation moves.
Publication Start Year: 
1850
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: