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The intuitive decision of a bright
And thorough-edged intellect to part

Error from crime; a prudence to withhold;
The laws of marriage character'd in gold
Upon the blanched tablets of her heart;
A love still burning upward, giving light
To read those laws; an accent very low
In blandishment, but a most silver flow

Of subtle-paced counsel in distress,
Right to the heart and brain, tho' undescried,
Winning its way with extreme gentleness
Thro' all the outworks of suspicious pride;
A courage to endure and to obey ;
A hate of gossip parlance, and of sway,
Crown'd Isabel, thro' all her placid life,
The queen of marriage, a most perfect wife.


The mellow'd reflex of a winter moon;
A clear stream flowing with a muddy one,
Till in its onward current it absorbs

With swifter movement and in purer light

The vexed eddies of its wayward brother :

A leaning and upbearing parasite,

Clothing the stem, which else had fallen quite,
With cluster'd flower-bells and ambrosial orbs

Of rich fruit-bunches leaning on each other-
Shadow forth thee :-the world hath not another
(Though all her fairest forms are types of thee,
And thou of God in thy great charity)

Of such a finish'd chasten'd purity. (1853)



LOWFLOWING breezes are roaming the broad valley dimmed in the gloaming:

Thoro' the black-stemmed pines only the far river shines. Creeping through blossomy rushes and bowers of roseblowing bushes,

Down by the poplar tall rivulets babble and fall.

Barketh the shepherd-dog cheerly; the grasshopper carolleth clearly;

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Deeply the turtle coos; shrilly the owlet halloos ; Winds creep; dews fall chilly: in her first sleep earth breathes stilly:

Over the pools in the burn watergnats murmur and mournda Sadly the far kine loweth: the glimmering water outfloweth Twin peaks shadowed with pine slope to the dark hyaline. Lowthroned Hesper is stayed between the two peaks; but the Naiad

Throbbing in mild unrest holds him beneath in her breast. The antient poetess singeth, that Hesperus all things. bringeth,

Smoothing the wearied mind: bring me my love, Rosalind. Thou comest morning and even; she cometh not morning

or even.

False-eyed Hesper, unkind, where is my sweet Rosalind? (1830)



I AM any man's suitor,

If any will be my tutor :

Some say this life is pleasant,

Some think it speedeth fast :

In time there is no present,
In eternity no future,

In eternity no past.

We laugh, we cry, we are born, we die,
Who will riddle me the how and the why?

The bulrush nods unto its brother,

The wheatears whisper to each other :

What is it they say? What do they there?

Why two and two make four? Why round is not square?

Why the rock stands still, and the light clouds fly?

Why the heavy oak groans, and the white willows sigh?
Why deep is not high, and high is not deep?

Whether we wake, or whether we sleep?
Whether we sleep, or whether we die?
How you are you? Why I am I?

Who will riddle me the how and the why?

The world is somewhat; it goes on somehow;
But what is the meaning of then and now?

I feel there is something; but how and what ?
I know there is somewhat; but what and why?
I cannot tell if that somewhat be I.

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The little bird pipeth-" why? why?"

In the summerwoods when the sun falls low
And the great bird sits on the opposite bough,
And stares in his face and shouts, "how? how?"
And the black owl scuds down the mellow twilight,
And chaunts, "how? how?" the whole of the night.
Why the life goes when the blood is spilt?

What the life is? where the soul may lie?
Why a church is with a steeple built;
And a house with a chimneypot ?

Who will riddle me the how and the what?
Who will riddle me the what and the why?





“Mariana in the moated grange.”—Measure for Measure.
WITH blackest moss the flower-plots

Were thickly crusted, one and all :
The rusted nails fell from the knots
That held the peach to the garden-wall.
The broken sheds look'd sad and strange :
Unlifted was the clinking latch;

Weeded and worn the ancient thatch

Upon the lonely moated grange.

She only said, "My life is dreary,
He cometh not," she said;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead!

Her tears fell with the dews at even;

Her tears fell ere the dews were dried;
She could not look on the sweet heaven,
Either at morn or eventide.
After the flitting of the bats,

When thickest dark did trance the sky,
She drew her casement-curtain by,
And glanced athwart the glooming flats.
She only said, "The night is dreary,
He cometh not," she said;

She said, "I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead!"

Upon the middle of the night,

Waking she heard the night-fowl crow:
The cock sung out an hour ere light:
Fromil thedark fen the oxen's low

Came to her without hope of change,


In sleep she seem'd to walk forlorn,
Till cold winds woke the gray-eyed morn
About the lonely moated grange.

She only said, "The day is dreary,
He cometh not," she said;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead!"

About a stone-cast from the wall

A sluice with blacken'd waters slept, And o'er it many, round and small, The cluster'd marish-mosses crept. Hard by a poplar shook alway,

All silver-green with gnarled bark:
For leagues no other tree did mark
The level waste, the rounding gray.

She only said, "My life is dreary,
He cometh not," she said;
She said, "I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!"

And ever when the moon was low,
And the shrill winds were up and
In the white curtain, to and fro,

She saw the gusty shadow sway.
But when the moon was very low,


And wild winds bound within their cell,
The shadow of the poplar fell

Upon her bed, across her brow.

She only said, "The night is dreary,

He cometh not," she said;

She said, "I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!"

All day within the dreamy house,

The doors upon their hinges creak'd ; The blue fly sung in the pane; the mouse Behind the mouldering wainscot shriek'd, Or from the crevice peer'd about.

Old faces glimmer'd thro' the doors,
Old footsteps trod the upper floors,
Old voices called her from without.

She only said, "My life is dreary,
He cometh not," she said;
She said, "I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead.'

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The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,
The slow clock ticking, and the sound
Which to the wooing wind aloof

The poplar made, did all confound
Her sense; but most she loathed the hour
When the thick-moted sunbeam lay
Athwart the chambers, and the day
Was sloping toward his western bower.
Then, said she, "I am very dreary,
He will not come," she said;
She wept, "I am aweary, aweary,
Oh God, that I were dead!"




CLEAR-HEADED friend, whose joyful scorn,
Edged with sharp laughter, cuts atwain
The knots that tangle human creeds,
The wounding cords that bind and strain
The heart until it bleeds,
Ray-fringed eyelids of the morn

Roof not a glance so keen as thine:
If aught of prophecy be mine,
Thou wilt not live in vain.


Low-cowering shall the Sophist sit;

Falsehood shall bare her plaited brow:
Fair-fronted Truth shall droop nord play


With shrilling shafts of subtle wit the, and soft
Nor martyr-flames, nor trenchar sphere of the sea,
Can do away that ancient lif

A gentler death shall Falsel
Shot thro' and thro' with cunt




Thy kingly, my God! have mercy now.
Until I fall. Men say that thou
And weary die for me, for such as me,
Those w of ill, and death, and scorn,
Like tot my sin was as a thorn


rns that girt thy brow,

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