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WHAT words are these have fall'n from me?
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;
Hung in the shadow of a heaven?
And staggers blindly ere she sink?
And all my knowledge of myself;
And made me that delirious man
And mingles all without a plan ?
THOU Comest, much wept for: such a breeze
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,
Henceforth, wherever thou may'st roam,
So may whatever tempest mars
Mid-ocean, spare thee, sacred bark ;
So kind an office hath been done,
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
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,
Would breathing thro' his lips impart
The life that almost dies in me;
That dies not, but endures with pain,
THE Danube to the Severn gave
The darken'd heart that beat no more;
And in the hearing of the wave.
There twice a day the Severn fills;
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,
I brim with sorrow drowning song.
The tide flows down, the wave again
THE lesser griefs that may be said,
That breathe a thousand tender vows,
Where lies the master newly dead;
Who speak their feeling as it is,
And weep the fullness from the mind:
My lighter moods are like to these,
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,
I SING to him that rests below,
And, since the grasses round me wave,
And make them pipes whereon to blow.
The traveller hears me now and then,
And sometimes harshly will he speak ;
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.
THE path by which we twain did go,
And we with singing cheer'd the way,
And crown'd with all the season lent,
And glad at heart from May to May:
Who broke our fair companionship,
And spread his mantle dark and cold;
And dull'd the murmur on thy lip;
And bore thee where I could not see
And think, that somewhere in the waste
The Shadow sits and waits for me.
Now, sometimes in my sorrow shut,
Alone, alone, to where he sits,
Who keeps the keys of all the creeds,
And looking back to whence I came,
And crying, how changed from where it ran
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,
Moved in the chambers of the blood:
And many an old philosophy
On Argive heights divinely sang,
To many a flute of Arcady.
AND was the day of my delight
If all was good and fair we met,
This earth had been the Paradise
Since Adam left his garden yet.
And is it that the haze of grief
Makes former gladness loom so great?
That sets the past in this relief?