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WHAT words are these have fall'n from me?
Can calm despair and wild unrest

Be tenants of a single breast,

Or sorrow such a changeling be?

Or doth she only seem to take

The touch of change in calm or storm;
But knows no more of transient form
In her deep self, than some dead lake
That holds the shadow of a lark

Hung in the shadow of a heaven?
Or has the shock, so harshly given,
Confused me like the unhappy bark
That strikes by night a craggy shelf,

And staggers blindly ere she sink?
And stunn'd me from my power to think

And all my knowledge of myself;

And made me that delirious man
Whose fancy fuses old and new,
And flashes into false and true,

And mingles all without a plan ?


THOU Comest, much wept for: such a breeze
Compell'd thy canvas, and my prayer

Was as the whisper of an air

To breathe thee over lonely seas.

For I in spirit saw thee move

Thro' circles of the bounding sky,
Week after week: the days go by:
Come quick, thou bringest all I love.

Henceforth, wherever thou may'st roam,
My blessing, like a line of light,
Is on the waters day and night,
And like a beacon guards thee home.

So may whatever tempest mars

Mid-ocean, spare thee, sacred bark ;
And balmy drops in summer dark
Slide from the bosom of the stars.

So kind an office hath been done,
Such precious relics brought by thee;
The dust of him I shall not see

Till all my widow'd race be run.


'Tis well; 'tis something; we may stand Where he in English earth is laid, And from his ashes may be made

The violet of his native land.

'Tis little; but it looks in truth

As if the quiet bones were blest
Among familiar names to rest

And in the places of his youth.

Come then, pure hands, and bear the head That sleeps or wears the mask of sleep, And come, whatever loves to weep,

And hear the ritual of the dead.

Ah yet, ev'n yet, if this might be,
I, falling on his faithful heart,

Would breathing thro' his lips impart

The life that almost dies in me;

That dies not, but endures with pain,
And slowly forms the firmer mind,
Treasuring the look it cannot find,
The words that are not heard again.


THE Danube to the Severn gave

The darken'd heart that beat no more;
They laid him by the pleasant shore,

And in the hearing of the wave.

There twice a day the Severn fills;
The salt sea-water passes by,

And hushes half the babbling Wye,

And makes a silence in the hills.

The Wye is hush'd nor moved along,

And hush'd my deepest grief of all,
When fill'd with tears that cannot fall,

I brim with sorrow drowning song.

The tide flows down, the wave again
Is vocal in its wooded walls;
My deeper anguish also falls,
And I can speak a little then.


THE lesser griefs that may be said,

That breathe a thousand tender vows,
Are but as servants in a house

Where lies the master newly dead;

Who speak their feeling as it is,

And weep the fullness from the mind:
"It will be hard" they say
"to find
Another service such as this."

My lighter moods are like to these,
That out of words a comfort win;
But there are other griefs within,
And tears that at their fountain freeze;

For by the hearth the children sit

Cold in that atmosphere of Death,

And scarce endure to draw the breath,

Or like to noiseless phantoms flit:

But open converse is there none,
So much the vital spirits sink
To see the vacant chair, and think,
"How good! how kind! and he is gone."


I SING to him that rests below,

And, since the grasses round me wave,
I take the grasses of the grave,

And make them pipes whereon to blow.

The traveller hears me now and then,

And sometimes harshly will he speak ;
"This fellow would make weakness weak,

And melt the waxen hearts of men."

Another answers, "Let him be,

He loves to make parade of pain, That with his piping he may gain The praise that comes to constancy.”

A third is wroth, "Is this an hour

For private sorrow's barren song,

When more and more the people throng The chairs and thrones of civil power?

A time to sicken and to swoon,

When science reaches forth her arms

To feel from world to world, and charms Her secret from the latest moon ?"

Behold, ye speak an idle thing:

Ye never knew the sacred dust: I do but sing because I must, And pipe but as the linnets sing:

And unto one her note is gay,

For now her little ones have ranged; And unto one her note is changed, Because her brood is stol'n away.

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THE path by which we twain did go,
Which led by tracts that pleased us well,
Thro' four sweet years arose and fell,
From flower to flower, from snow to snow:

And we with singing cheer'd the way,

And crown'd with all the season lent,
From April on to April went,

And glad at heart from May to May:
But where the path we walk'd began
To slant the fifth autumnal slope,
As we descended following Hope,
There sat the Shadow fear'd of man;

Who broke our fair companionship,

And spread his mantle dark and cold;
And wrapt thee formless in the fold,

And dull'd the murmur on thy lip;

And bore thee where I could not see
Nor follow, tho' I walk in haste;

And think, that somewhere in the waste

The Shadow sits and waits for me.


Now, sometimes in my sorrow shut,
Or breaking into song by fits;

Alone, alone, to where he sits,
The Shadow cloak'd from head to foot,

Who keeps the keys of all the creeds,
I wander, often falling lame,

And looking back to whence I came,
Or on to where the pathway leads;

And crying, how changed from where it ran
Thro' lands where not a leaf was dumb;
But all the lavish hills would hum

The murmur of a happy Pan:

When each by turns was guide to each,

And Fancy light from Fancy caught,

And Thought leapt out to wed with Thought; Ere Thought could wed itself with Speech:

And all we met was fair and good,

And all was good that Time could bring,
And all the secret of the Spring

Moved in the chambers of the blood:

And many an old philosophy

On Argive heights divinely sang,
And round us all the thicket rang

To many a flute of Arcady.


AND was the day of my delight
As pure and perfect as I say?
The very source and fount of Day
Is dash'd with wandering isles of night.

If all was good and fair we met,

This earth had been the Paradise
It never look'd to human eyes

Since Adam left his garden yet.

And is it that the haze of grief

Makes former gladness loom so great?
The lowness of the present state,

That sets the past in this relief?

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