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Emily Dickinson
If those I loved were lost The Crier's voice would tell me -- If those I loved were found The bells of Ghent would ring -- Did those I loved repose The Daisy would impel me. Philip -- when bewildered Bore his riddle in!
Emily Dickinson
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I taught myself to live simply and wisely, to look at the sky and pray to God, and to wander long before evening to tire my superfluous worries. When the burdocks rustle in the ravine and the yellow-red rowanberry cluster droops I compose happy verses about life's decay, decay and beauty. I come back. The fluffy cat licks my palm, purrs so sweetly and the fire flares bright on the saw-mill turret by the lake. Only the cry of a stork landing on the roof occasionally breaks the silence. If you knock on my door I may not even hear.
Anna Akhmatova
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Matthew Arnold
Who prop, thou ask'st in these bad days, my mind?-- He much, the old man, who, clearest-souled of men, Saw The Wide Prospect, and the Asian Fen, And Tmolus hill, and Smyrna bay, though blind. Much he, whose friendship I not long since won, That halting slave, who in Nicopolis Taught Arrian, when Vespasian's brutal son Cleared Rome of what most shamed him. But be his My special thanks, whose even-balanced soul, From first youth tested up to extreme old age, Business could not make dull, nor passion wild; Who saw life steadily, and saw it whole; The mellow glory of the Attic stage, Singer of sweet Colonus, and its child.
Matthew Arnold
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Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
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Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It's the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can't touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them They say they still can't see. I say, It's in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. Now you understand Just why my head's not bowed. I don't shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing It ought to make you proud. I say, It's in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care, 'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.
Maya Angelou
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Maya Angelou
A free bird leaps on the back Of the wind and floats downstream Till the current ends and dips his wing In the orange suns rays And dares to claim the sky. But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage Can seldom see through his bars of rage His wings are clipped and his feet are tied So he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill Of things unknown but longed for still And his tune is heard on the distant hill for The caged bird sings of freedom. The free bird thinks of another breeze And the trade winds soft through The sighing trees And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright Lawn and he names the sky his own. But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream His wings are clipped and his feet are tied So he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with A fearful trill of things unknown But longed for still and his Tune is heard on the distant hill For the caged bird sings of freedom.
Maya Angelou
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Maya Angelou
We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life. Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies old memories of pleasure ancient histories of pain. Yet if we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls. We are weaned from our timidity In the flush of love's light we dare be brave And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.
Maya Angelou
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Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
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Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village, though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound's the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost
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Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favour fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.
Robert Frost
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LONG since, I lived beneath vast porticoes, By many ocean-sunsets tinged and fired, Where mighty pillars, in majestic rows, Seemed like basaltic caves when day expired. The rolling surge that mirrored all the skies Mingled its music, turbulent and rich, Solemn and mystic, with the colours which The setting sun reflected in my eyes. And there I lived amid voluptuous calms, In splendours of blue sky and wandering wave, Tended by many a naked, perfumed slave, Who fanned my languid brow with waving palms. They were my slaves--the only care they had To know what secret grief had made me sad.
Charles Baudelaire
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Robert Frost
A stranger came to the door at eve, And he spoke the bridegroom fair. He bore a green-white stick in his hand, And, for all burden, care. He asked with the eyes more than the lips For a shelter for the night, And he turned and looked at the road afar Without a window light. The bridegroom came forth into the porch With, 'Let us look at the sky, And question what of the night to be, Stranger, you and I.' The woodbine leaves littered the yard, The woodbine berries were blue, Autumn, yes, winter was in the wind; 'Stranger, I wish I knew.' Within, the bride in the dusk alone Bent over the open fire, Her face rose-red with the glowing coal And the thought of the heart's desire. The bridegroom looked at the weary road, Yet saw but her within, And wished her heart in a case of gold And pinned with a silver pin. The bridegroom thought it little to give A dole of bread, a purse, A heartfelt prayer for the poor of God, Or for the rich a curse; But whether or not a man was asked To mar the love of two By harboring woe in the bridal house, The bridegroom wished he knew.
Robert Frost
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Robert Frost
Love at the lips was touch As sweet as I could bear; And once that seemed too much; I lived on air That crossed me from sweet things, The scent of -- was it musk From hidden grapevine springs Down hill at dusk? I had the swirl and ache From sprays of honeysuckle That when they're gathered shake Dew on the knuckle. I craved sweet things, but those Seemed strong when I was young; The petal of the rose It was that stung. Now no joy but lacks salt That is not dashed with pain And weariness and fault; I crave the stain Of tears, the aftermark Of almost too much love, The sweet of bitter bark And burning clove. When stiff and sore and scarred I take away my hand From leaning on it hard In grass and sand, The hurt is not enough: I long for weight and strength To feel the earth as rough To all my length.
Robert Frost
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Carl Sandburg
COOL your heels on the rail of an observation car. Let the engineer open her up for ninety miles an hour. Take in the prairie right and left, rolling land and new hay crops, swaths of new hay laid in the sun. A gray village flecks by and the horses hitched in front of the post-office never blink an eye. A barnyard and fifteen Holstein cows, dabs of white on a black wall map, never blink an eye. A signalman in a tower, the outpost of Kansas City, keeps his place at a window with the serenity of a bronze statue on a dark night when lovers pass whispering.
Carl Sandburg
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Carl Sandburg
Under the harvest moon, When the soft silver Drips shimmering Over the garden nights, Death, the gray mocker, Comes and whispers to you As a beautiful friend Who remembers. Under the summer roses When the flagrant crimson Lurks in the dusk Of the wild red leaves, Love, with little hands, Comes and touches you With a thousand memories, And asks you Beautiful, unanswerable questions.
Carl Sandburg
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William Shakespeare
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks, And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know, That music hath a far more pleasing sound. I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress when she walks treads on the ground. And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare.
William Shakespeare
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William Shakespeare
Those lips that Love's own hand did make Breathed forth the sound that said "I hate" To me that languished for her sake; But when she saw my woeful state, Straight in her heart did mercy come, Chiding that tongue that ever sweet Was used in giving gentle doom, And taught it thus anew to greet: "I hate" she altered with an end, That followed it as gentle day Doth follow night, who like a fiend From heaven to hell is flown away. "I hate" from hate away she threw, And saved my life, saying "not you."
William Shakespeare
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Claude McKay
Too green the springing April grass, Too blue the silver-speckled sky, For me to linger here, alas, While happy winds go laughing by, Wasting the golden hours indoors, Washing windows and scrubbing floors. Too wonderful the April night, Too faintly sweet the first May flowers, The stars too gloriously bright, For me to spend the evening hours, When fields are fresh and streams are leaping, Wearied, exhausted, dully sleeping.
Claude McKay
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Spike Milligan
Young are our dead Like babies they lie The wombs they blest once Not healed dry And yet - too soon Into each space A cold earth falls On colder face. Quite still they lie These fresh-cut reeds Clutched in earth Like winter seeds But they will not bloom When called by spring To burst with leaf And blossoming They sleep on In silent dust As crosses rot And helmets rust.
Spike Milligan
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I loved you, and I probably still do, And for a while the feeling may remain... But let my love no longer trouble you, I do not wish to cause you any pain. I loved you; and the hopelessness I knew, The jealousy, the shyness - though in vain - Made up a love so tender and so true As may God grant you to be loved again.
Alexander Pushkin
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The wondrous moment of our meeting... Still I remember you appear Before me like a vision fleeting, A beauty's angel pure and clear. In hopeless ennui surrounding The worldly bustle, to my ear For long your tender voice kept sounding, For long in dreams came features dear. Time passed. Unruly storms confounded Old dreams, and I from year to year Forgot how tender you had sounded, Your heavenly features once so dear. My backwoods days dragged slow and quiet -- Dull fence around, dark vault above -- Devoid of God and uninspired, Devoid of tears, of fire, of love. Sleep from my soul began retreating, And here you once again appear Before me like a vision fleeting, A beauty's angel pure and clear. In ecstasy my heart is beating, Old joys for it anew revive; Inspired and God-filled, it is greeting The fire, and tears, and love alive.
Alexander Pushkin
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Khalil Gibran
Spring Come, my beloved; let us walk amidst the knolls, For the snow is water, and Life is alive from its Slumber and is roaming the hills and valleys. Let us follow the footprints of Spring into the Distant fields, and mount the hilltops to draw Inspiration high above the cool green plains. Dawn of Spring has unfolded her winter-kept garment And placed it on the peach and citrus trees; and They appear as brides in the ceremonial custom of the Night of Kedre. The sprigs of grapevine embrace each other like Sweethearts, and the brooks burst out in dance Between the rocks, repeating the song of joy; And the flowers bud suddenly from the heart of Nature, like foam from the rich heart of the sea. Come, my beloved; let us drink the last of Winter's Tears from the cupped lilies, and soothe our spirits With the shower of notes from the birds, and wander In exhilaration through the intoxicating breeze. Let us sit by that rock, where violets hide; let us Pursue their exchange of the sweetness of kisses. Summer Let us go into the fields, my beloved, for the Time of harvest approaches, and the sun's eyes Are ripening the grain. Let us tend the fruit of the earth, as the Spirit nourishes the grains of Joy from the Seeds of Love, sowed deep in our hearts. Let us fill our bins with the products of Nature, as life fills so abundantly the Domain of our hearts with her endless bounty. Let us make the flowers our bed, and the Sky our blanket, and rest our heads together Upon pillows of soft hay. Let us relax after the day's toil, and listen To the provoking murmur of the brook. Autumn Let us go and gather grapes in the vineyard For the winepress, and keep the wine in old Vases, as the spirit keeps Knowledge of the Ages in eternal vessels. Let us return to our dwelling, for the wind has Caused the yellow leaves to fall and shroud the Withering flowers that whisper elegy to Summer. Come home, my eternal sweetheart, for the birds Have made pilgrimage to warmth and lest the chilled Prairies suffering pangs of solitude. The jasmine And myrtle have no more tears. Let us retreat, for the tired brook has Ceased its song; and the bubblesome springs Are drained of their copious weeping; and Their cautious old hills have stored away Their colorful garments. Come, my beloved; Nature is justly weary And is bidding her enthusiasm farewell With quiet and contented melody. Winter Come close to me, oh companion of my full life; Come close to me and let not Winter's touch Enter between us. Sit by me before the hearth, For fire is the only fruit of Winter. Speak to me of the glory of your heart, for That is greater than the shrieking elements Beyond our door. Bind the door and seal the transoms, for the Angry countenance of the heaven depresses my Spirit, and the face of our snow-laden fields Makes my soul cry. Feed the lamp with oil and let it not dim, and Place it by you, so I can read with tears what Your life with me has written upon your face. Bring Autumn's wine. Let us drink and sing the Song of remembrance to Spring's carefree sowing, And Summer's watchful tending, and Autumn's Reward in harvest. Come close to me, oh beloved of my soul; the Fire is cooling and fleeing under the ashes. Embrace me, for I fear loneliness; the lamp is Dim, and the wine which we pressed is closing Our eyes. Let us look upon each other before They are shut. Find me with your arms and embrace me; let Slumber then embrace our souls as one. Kiss me, my beloved, for Winter has stolen All but our moving lips. You are close by me, My Forever. How deep and wide will be the ocean of Slumber, And how recent was the dawn!
Khalil Gibran
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Katherine Mansfield
Outside the sky is light with stars; There's a hollow roaring from the sea. And, alas! for the little almond flowers, The wind is shaking the almond tree. How little I thought, a year ago, In the horrible cottage upon the Lee That he and I should be sitting so And sipping a cup of camomile tea. Light as feathers the witches fly, The horn of the moon is plain to see; By a firefly under a jonquil flower A goblin toasts a bumble-bee. We might be fifty, we might be five, So snug, so compact, so wise are we! Under the kitchen-table leg My knee is pressing against his knee. Our shutters are shut, the fire is low, The tap is dripping peacefully; The saucepan shadows on the wall Are black and round and plain to see.
Katherine Mansfield
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Always for the first time Hardly do I know you by sight You return at some hour of the night to a house at an angle to my window A wholly imaginary house It is there that from one second to the next In the inviolate darkness I anticipate once more the fascinating rift occurring The one and only rift In the facade and in my heart The closer I come to you In reality The more the key sings at the door of the unknown room Where you appear alone before me At first you coalesce entirely with the brightness The elusive angle of a curtain It's a field of jasmine I gazed upon at dawn on a road in the vicinity of Grasse With the diagonal slant of its girls picking Behind them the dark falling wing of the plants stripped bare Before them a T-square of dazzling light The curtain invisibly raised In a frenzy all the flowers swarm back in It is you at grips with that too long hour never dim enough until sleep You as though you could be The same except that I shall perhaps never meet you You pretend not to know I am watching you Marvelously I am no longer sure you know You idleness brings tears to my eyes A swarm of interpretations surrounds each of your gestures It's a honeydew hunt There are rocking chairs on a deck there are branches that may well scratch you in the forest There are in a shop window in the rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Two lovely crossed legs caught in long stockings Flaring out in the center of a great white clover There is a silken ladder rolled out over the ivy There is By my leaning over the precipice Of your presence and your absence in hopeless fusion My finding the secret Of loving you Always for the first time
Andre Breton
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The more we live, more brief appear Our life's succeeding stages; A day to childhood seems a year, And years like passing ages. The gladsome current of our youth, Ere passion yet disorders, Steals lingering like a river smooth Along its grassy borders. But as the careworn cheek grows wan, And sorrow's shafts fly thicker, Ye stars, that measure life to man, Why seem your courses quicker? When joys have lost their bloom and breath, And life itself is vapid, Why, as we reach the Falls of Death Feel we its tide more rapid? It may be strange--yet who would change Time's course to slower speeding, When one by one our friends have gone, And left our bosoms bleeding? Heaven gives our years of fading strength Indemnifying fleetness; And those of youth, a seeming length, Proportion'd to their sweetness.
Thomas Campbell
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Robert Browning
The grey sea and the long black land; And the yellow half-moon large and low; And the startled little waves that leap In fiery ringlets from their sleep, As I gain the cove with pushing prow, And quench its speed i' the slushy sand. Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach; Three fields to cross till a farm appears; A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch And blue spurt of a lighted match, And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears, Than the two hearts beating each to each!
Robert Browning
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Robert Browning
Escape me? Never-- Beloved! While I am I, and you are you, So long as the world contains us both, Me the loving and you the loth, While the one eludes, must the other pursue. My life is a fault at last, I fear-- It seems too much like a fate, indeed! Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed-- But what if I fail of my purpose here? It is but to keep the nerves at strain, To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall, And baffled, get up to begin again,-- So the chase takes up one's life, that's all. While, look but once from your farthest bound, At me so deep in the dust and dark, No sooner the old hope drops to ground Than a new one, straight to the selfsame mark, I shape me-- Ever Removed!
Robert Browning
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Robert Browning
Escape me? Never-- Beloved! While I am I, and you are you, So long as the world contains us both, Me the loving and you the loth, While the one eludes, must the other pursue. My life is a fault at last, I fear: It seems too much like a fate, indeed! Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed. But what if I fail of my purpose here? It is but to keep the nerves at strain, To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall, And, baffled, get up and begin again,-- So the chace takes up one's life, that's all. While, look but once from your farthest bound At me so deep in the dust and dark, No sooner the old hope goes to ground Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark, I shape me-- Ever Removed!
Robert Browning
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Robert Browning
I. You're my friend: I was the man the Duke spoke to; I helped the Duchess to cast off his yoke, too; So here's the tale from beginning to end, My friend! II. Ours is a great wild country: If you climb to our castle's top, I don't see where your eye can stop; For when you've passed the cornfield country, Where vineyards leave off, flocks are packed, And sheep-range leads to cattle-tract, And cattle-tract to open-chase, And open-chase to the very base Of the mountain where, at a funeral pace, Round about, solemn and slow, One by one, row after row, Up and up the pine-trees go, So, like black priests up, and so Down the other side again To another greater, wilder country, That's one vast red drear burnt-up plain, Branched through and through with many a vein Whence iron's dug, and copper's dealt; Look right, look left, look straight before,--- Beneath they mine, above they smelt, Copper-ore and iron-ore, And forge and furnace mould and melt, And so on, more and ever more, Till at the last, for a bounding belt, Comes the salt sand hoar of the great sea-shore, ---And the whole is our Duke's country. III. I was born the day this present Duke was--- (And O, says the song, ere I was old!) In the castle where the other Duke was--- (When I was happy and young, not old!) I in the kennel, he in the bower: We are of like age to an hour. My father was huntsman in that day; Who has not heard my father say That, when a boar was brought to bay, Three times, four times out of five, With his huntspear he'd contrive To get the killing-place transfixed, And pin him true, both eyes betwixt? And that's why the old Duke would rather He lost a salt-pit than my father, And loved to have him ever in call; That's why my father stood in the hall When the old Duke brought his infant out To show the people, and while they passed The wondrous bantling round about, Was first to start at the outside blast As the Kaiser's courier blew his horn Just a month after the babe was born. ````And,'' quoth the Kaiser's courier, ````since ````The Duke has got an heir, our Prince ````Needs the Duke's self at his side: '' The Duke looked down and seemed to wince, But he thought of wars o'er the world wide, Castles a-fire, men on their march, The toppling tower, the crashing arch; And up he looked, and awhile he eyed The row of crests and shields and banners Of all achievements after all manners, And ````ay,'' said the Duke with a surly pride. The more was his comfort when he died At next year's end, in a velvet suit, With a gilt glove on his hand, his foot In a silken shoe for a leather boot, Petticoated like a herald, In a chamher next to an ante-room, Where he breathed the breath of page and groom, What he called stink, and they, perfume: ---They should have set him on red Berold Mad with pride, like fire to manage! They should have got his cheek fresh tannage Such a day as to-day in the merry sunshine! Had they stuck on his fist a rough-foot merlin! (Hark, the wind's on the heath at its game! Oh for a noble falcon-lanner To flap each broad wing like a banner, And turn in the wind, and dance like flame!) Had they broached a white-beer cask from Berlin ---Or if you incline to prescribe mere wine Put to his lips, when they saw him pine, A cup of our own Moldavia fine, Cotnar for instance, green as May sorrel And ropy with sweet,---we shall not quarrel. IV. So, at home, the sick tall yellow Duchess Was left with the infant in her clutches, She being the daughter of God knows who: And now was the time to revisit her tribe. Abroad and afar they went, the two, And let our people rail and gibe At the empty hall and extinguished fire, As loud as we liked, but ever in vain, Till after long years we had our desire, And back came the Duke and his mother again. V. And he came back the pertest little ape That ever affronted human shape; Full of his travel, struck at himself. You'd say, he despised our bluff old ways? ---Not he! For in Paris they told the elf Our rough North land was the Land of Lays, The one good thing left in evil days; Since the Mid-Age was the Heroic Time, And only in wild nooks like ours Could you taste of it yet as in its prime, And see true castles, with proper towers, Young-hearted women, old-minded men, And manners now as manners were then. So, all that the old Dukes had been, without knowing it, This Duke would fain know he was, without being it; 'Twas not for the joy's self, but the joy of his showing it, Nor for the pride's self, but the pride of our seeing it, He revived all usages thoroughly worn-out, The souls of them fumed-forth, the hearts of them torn-out: And chief in the chase his neck he perilled On a lathy horse, all legs and length, With blood for bone, all speed, no strength; ---They should have set him on red Berold With the red eye slow consuming in fire, And the thin stiff ear like an abbey-spire! VI. Well, such as he was, he must marry, we heard: And out of a convent, at the word, Came the lady, in time of spring. ---Oh, old thoughts they cling, they cling! That day, I know, with a dozen oaths I clad myself in thick hunting-clothes Fit for the chase of urochs or buffle In winter-time when you need to muffle. But the Duke had a mind we should cut a figure, And so we saw the lady arrive: My friend, I have seen a white crane bigger! She was the smallest lady alive, Made in a piece of nature's madness, Too small, almost, for the life and gladness That over-filled her, as some hive Out of the bears' reach on the high trees Is crowded with its safe merry bees: In truth, she was not hard to please! Up she looked, down she looked, round at the mead, Straight at the castle, that's best indeed To look at from outside the walls: As for us, styled the ````serfs and thralls,'' She as much thanked me as if she had said it, (With her eyes, do you understand?) Because I patted her horse while I led it; And Max, who rode on her other hand, Said, no bird flew past but she inquired What its true name was, nor ever seemed tired--- If that was an eagle she saw hover, And the green and grey bird on the field was the plover. When suddenly appeared the Duke: And as down she sprung, the small foot pointed On to my hand,---as with a rebuke, And as if his backbone were not jointed, The Duke stepped rather aside than forward, And welcomed her with his grandest smile; And, mind you, his mother all the while Chilled in the rear, like a wind to Nor'ward; And up, like a weary yawn, with its pullies Went, in a shriek, the rusty portcullis; And, like a glad sky the north-wind sullies, The lady's face stopped its play, As if her first hair had grown grey; For such things must begin some one day. VII. In a day or two she was well again; As who should say, ````You labour in vain! ````This is all a jest against God, who meant ````I should ever be, as I am, content ```` And glad in his sight; therefore, glad I will be.'' So, smiling as at first went she. VIII. She was active, stirring, all fire--- Could not rest, could not tire--- To a stone she might have given life! (I myself loved once, in my day) ---For a shepherd's, miner's, huntsman's wife, (I had a wife, I know what I say) Never in all the world such an one! And here was plenty to be done, And she that could do it, great or small, She was to do nothing at all. There was already this man in his post, This in his station, and that in his office, And the Duke's plan admitted a wife, at most, To meet his eye, with the other trophies, Now outside the hall, now in it, To sit thus, stand thus, see and be seen, At the proper place in the proper minute, And die away the life between. And it was amusing enough, each infraction Of rule---(but for after-sadness that came) To hear the consummate self-satisfaction With which the young Duke and the old dame Would let her advise, and criticise, And, being a fool, instruct the wise, And, child-like, parcel out praise or blame: They bore it all in complacent guise, As though an artificer, after contriving A wheel-work image as if it were living, Should find with delight it could motion to strike him! So found the Duke, and his mother like him: The lady hardly got a rebuff--- That had not been contemptuous enough, With his cursed smirk, as he nodded applause, And kept off the old mother-cat's claws. IX. So, the little lady grew silent and thin, Paling and ever paling, As the way is with a hid chagrin; And the Duke perceived that she was ailing, And said in his heart, ````'Tis done to spite me, ````But I shall find in my power to right me!'' Don't swear, friend! The old one, many a year, Is in hell, and the Duke's self . . . you shall hear. X. Well, early in autumn, at first winter-warning, When the stag had to break with his foot, of a morning, A drinking-hole out of the fresh tender ice That covered the pond till the sun, in a trice, Loosening it, let out a ripple of gold, And another and another, and faster and faster, Till, dimpling to blindness, the wide water rolled: Then it so chanced that the Duke our master Asked himself what were the pleasures in season, And found, since the calendar bade him be hearty, He should do the Middle Age no treason In resolving on a hunting-party. Always provided, old books showed the way of it! What meant old poets by their strictures? And when old poets had said their say of it, How taught old painters in their pictures? We must revert to the proper channels, Workings in tapestry, paintings on panels, And gather up woodcraft's authentic traditions: Here was food for our various ambitions, As on each case, exactly stated--- To encourage your dog, now, the properest chirrup, Or best prayer to Saint Hubert on mounting your stirrup--- We of the house hold took thought and debated. Blessed was he whose back ached with the jerkin His sire was wont to do forest-work in; Blesseder he who nobly sunk ````ohs'' And ````ahs'' while he tugged on his grand-sire's trunk-hose; What signified hats if they had no rims on, Each slouching before and behind like the scallop, And able to serve at sea for a shallop, Loaded with lacquer and looped with crimson? So that the deer now, to make a short rhyme on't, What with our Venerers, Prickers and Yerderers, Might hope for real hunters at length and not murderers, And oh the Duke's tailor, he had a hot time on't! XI. Now you must know that when the first dizziness Of flap-hats and buff-coats and jack-boots subsided, The Duke put this question, ````The Duke's part provided, ````Had not the Duchess some share in the business?'' For out of the mouth of two or three witnesses Did he establish all fit-or-unfitnesses: And, after much laying of heads together, Somebody's cap got a notable feather By the announcement with proper unction That he had discovered the lady's function; Since ancient authors gave this tenet, ````When horns wind a mort and the deer is at siege, ````Let the dame of the castle prick forth on her jennet, ````And, with water to wash the hands of her liege ````In a clean ewer with a fair toweling, ```` Let her preside at the disemboweling.'' Now, my friend, if you had so little religion As to catch a hawk, some falcon-lanner, And thrust her broad wings like a banner Into a coop for a vulgar pigeon; And if day by day and week by week You cut her claws, and sealed her eyes, And clipped her wings, and tied her beak, Would it cause you any great surprise If, when you decided to give her an airing, You found she needed a little preparing? ---I say, should you be such a curmudgeon, If she clung to the perch, as to take it in dudgeon? Yet when the Duke to his lady signified, Just a day before, as he judged most dignified, In what a pleasure she was to participate,--- And, instead of leaping wide in flashes, Her eyes just lifted their long lashes, As if pressed by fatigue even he could not dissipate, And duly acknowledged the Duke's forethought, But spoke of her health, if her health were worth aught, Of the weight by day and the watch by night, And much wrong now that used to be right, So, thanking him, declined the hunting,--- Was conduct ever more affronting? With all the ceremony settled--- With the towel ready, and the sewer Polishing up his oldest ewer, And the jennet pitched upon, a piebald, Black-barred, cream-coated and pink eye-balled,--- No wonder if the Duke was nettled And when she persisted nevertheless,--- Well, I suppose here's the time to confess That there ran half round our lady's chamber A balcony none of the hardest to clamber; And that Jacynth the tire-woman, ready in waiting, Stayed in call outside, what need of relating? And since Jacynth was like a June rose, why, a fervent Adorer of Jacynth of course was your servant; And if she had the habit to peep through the casement, How could I keep at any vast distance? And so, as I say, on the lady's persistence, The Duke, dumb-stricken with amazement, Stood for a while in a sultry smother, And then, with a smile that partook of the awful, Turned her over to his yellow mother To learn what was held decorous and lawful; And the mother smelt blood with a cat-like instinct, As her cheek quick whitened thro' all its quince-tinct. Oh, but the lady heard the whole truth at once! What meant she?--Who was she?---Her duty and station, The wisdom of age and the folly of youth, at once, Its decent regard and its fitting relation--- In brief, my friend, set all the devils in hell free And turn them out to carouse in a belfry And treat the priests to a fifty-part canon, And then you may guess how that tongue of hers ran on! Well, somehow or other it ended at last And, licking her whiskers, out she passed; And after her,---making (he hoped) a face Like Emperor Nero or Sultan Saladin, Stalked the Duke's self with the austere grace Of ancient hero or modern paladin, From door to staircase---oh such a solemn Unbending of the vertebral column! XII. However, at sunrise our company mustered; And here was the huntsman bidding unkennel, And there 'neath his bonnet the pricker blustered, With feather dank as a bough of wet fennel; For the court-yard walls were filled with fog You might have cut as an axe chops a log--- Like so much wool for colour and bulkiness; And out rode the Duke in a perfect sulkiness, Since, before breakfast, a man feels but queasily, And a sinking at the lower abdomen Begins the day with indifferent omen. And lo, as he looked around uneasily, The sun ploughed the fog up and drove it asunder This way and that from the valley under; And, looking through the court-yard arch, Down in the valley, what should meet him But a troop of Gipsies on their march? No doubt with the annual gifts to greet him. XIII. Now, in your land, Gipsies reach you, only After reaching all lands beside; North they go, South they go, trooping or lonely, And still, as they travel far and wide, Catch they and keep now a trace here, trace there, That puts you in mind of a place here, a place there. But with us, I believe they rise out of the ground, And nowhere else, I take it, are found With the earth-tint yet so freshly embrowned: Born, no doubt, like insects which breed on The very fruit they are meant to feed on. For the earth---not a use to which they don't turn it, The ore that grows in the mountain's womb, Or the sand in the pits like a honeycomb, They sift and soften it, bake it and burn it--- Whether they weld you, for instance, a snaffle With side-bars never a brute can baffle; Or a lock that's a puzzle of wards within wards; Or, if your colt's fore-foot inclines to curve inwards, Horseshoes they hammer which turn on a swivel And won't allow the hoof to shrivel. Then they cast bells like the shell of the winkle That keep a stout heart in the ram with their tinkle; But the sand---they pinch and pound it like otters; Commend me to Gipsy glass-makers and potters! Glasses they'll blow you, crystal-clear, Where just a faint cloud of rose shall appear, As if in pure water you dropped and let die A bruised black-blooded mulberry; And that other sort, their crowning pride, With long white threads distinct inside, Like the lake-flower's fibrous roots which dangle Loose such a length and never tangle, Where the bold sword-lily cuts the clear waters, And the cup-lily couches with all the white daughters: Such are the works they put their hand to, The uses they turn and twist iron and sand to. And these made the troop, which our Duke saw sally Toward his castle from out of the valley, Men and women, like new-hatched spiders, Come out with the morning to greet our riders. And up they wound till they reached the ditch, Whereat all stopped save one, a witch That I knew, as she hobbled from the group, By her gait directly and her stoop, I, whom Jacynth was used to importune To let that same witch tell us our fortune. The oldest Gipsy then above ground; And, sure as the autumn season came round, She paid us a visit for profit or pastime, And every time, as she swore, for the last time. And presently she was seen to sidle Up to the Duke till she touched his bridle, So that the horse of a sudden reared up As under its nose the old witch peered up With her worn-out eyes, or rather eye-holes Of no use now but to gather brine, And began a kind of level whine Such as they used to sing to their viols When their ditties they go grinding Up and down with nobody minding: And then, as of old, at the end of the humming Her usual presents were forthcoming ---A dog-whistle blowing the fiercest of trebles, (Just a sea-shore stone holding a dozen fine pebbles,) Or a porcelain mouth-piece to screw on a pipe-end,--- And so she awaited her annual stipend. But this time, the Duke would scarcely vouchsafe A word in reply; and in vain she felt With twitching fingers at her belt For the purse of sleek pine-martin pelt, Ready to ptlt what he gave in her pouch safe,--- Till, either to quicken his apprehension, Or possibly with an after-intention, She was come, she said, to pay her duty To the new Duchess, the youthful beauty. No sooner had she named his lady, Than a shine lit up the face so shady, And its smirk returned with a novel meaning--- For it struck him, the babe just wanted weaning; If one gave her a taste of what life was and sorrow, She, foolish to-day, would be wiser tomorrow; And who so fit a teacher of trouble As this sordid crone bent well-nigh double? So, glancing at her wolf-skin vesture, (If such it was, for they grow so hirsute That their own fleece serves for natural fur-suit) He was contrasting, 'twas plain from his gesture, The life of the lady so flower-like and delicate With the loathsome squalor of this helicat. I, in brief, was the man the Duke beckoned From out of the throng, and while I drew near He told the crone---as I since have reckoned By the way he bent and spoke into her ear With circumspection and mystery--- The main of the lady's history, Her frowardness and ingratitude: And for all the crone's submissive attitude I could see round her mouth the loose plaits tightening, And her brow with assenting intelligence brightening, As though she engaged with hearty good-will Whatever he now might enjoin to fulfil, And promised the lady a thorough frightening. And so, just giving her a glimpse Of a purse, with the air of a man who imps The wing of the hawk that shall fetch the hernshaw, He bade me take the Gipsy mother And set her telling some story or other Of hill or dale, oak-wood or fernshaw, To wile away a weary hour For the lady left alone in her bower, Whose mind and body craved exertion And yet shrank from all better diversion. XIV. Then clapping heel to his horse, the mere curveter, Out rode the Duke, and after his hollo Horses and hounds swept, huntsman and servitor, And back I turned and bade the crone follow. And what makes me confident what's to be told you Had all along been of this crone's devising, Is, that, on looking round sharply, behold you, There was a novelty quick as surprising: For first, she had shot up a full head in stature, And her step kept pace with mine nor faltered, As if age had foregone its usurpature, And the ignoble mien was wholly altered, And the face looked quite of another nature, And the change reached too, whatever the change meant, Her shaggy wolf-skin cloak's arrangement: For where its tatters hung loose like sedges, Gold coins were glittering on the edges, Like the band-roll strung with tomans Which proves the veil a Persian woman's. And under her brow, like a snail's horns newly Come out as after the rain he paces, Two unmistakeable eye-points duly Live and aware looked out of their places. So, we went and found Jacynth at the entry Of the lady's chamber standing sentry; I told the command and produced my companion, And Jacynth rejoiced to admit any one, For since last night, by the same token, Not a single word had the lady spoken: They went in both to the presence together, While I in the balcony watched the weather. XV. And now, what took place at the very first of all, I cannot tell, as I never could learn it: Jacynth constantly wished a curse to fall On that little head of hers and burn it If she knew how she came to drop so soundly Asleep of a sudden and there continue The whole time sleeping as profoundly As one of the boars my father would pin you 'Twixt the eyes where life holds garrison, ---Jacynth forgive me the comparison! But where I begin asy own narration Is a little after I took my station To breathe the fresh air from the balcony, And, having in those days a falcon eye, To follow the hunt thro' the open country, From where the bushes thinlier crested The hillocks, to a plain where's not one tree. When, in a moment, my ear was arrested By---was it singing, or was it saying, Or a strange musical instrument playing In the chamber?---and to be certain I pushed the lattice, pulled the curtain, And there lay Jacynth asleep, Yet as if a watch she tried to keep, In a rosy sleep along the floor With her head against the door; While in the midst, on the seat of state, Was a queen---the Gipsy woman late, With head and face downbent On the lady's head and face intent: For, coiled at her feet like a child at ease, The lady sat between her knees And o'er them the lady's clasped hands met, And on those hands her chin was set, And her upturned face met the face of the crone Wherein the eyes had grown and grown As if she could double and quadruple At pleasure the play of either pupil ---Very like, by her hands' slow fanning, As up and down like a gor-crow's flappers They moved to measure, or bell-clappers. I said ````Is it blessing, is it banning, ````Do they applaud you or burlesque you--- ````Those hands and fingers with no flesh on?'' But, just as I thought to spring in to the rescue, At once I was stopped by the lady's expression: For it was life her eyes were drinking From the crone's wide pair above unwinking, ---Life's pure fire received without shrinking, Into the heart and breast whose heaving Told you no single drop they were leaving, ---Life, that filling her, passed redundant Into her very hair, back swerving Over each shoulder, loose and abundant, As her head thrown back showed the white throat curving; And the very tresses shared in the pleasure, Moving to the mystic measure, Bounding as the bosom bounded. I stopped short, more and more confounded, As still her cheeks burned and eyes glistened, As she listened and she listened: When all at once a hand detained me, The selfsame contagion gained me, And I kept time to the wondrous chime, Making out words and prose and rhyme, Till it seemed that the music furled Its wings like a task fulfilled, and dropped From under the words it first had propped, And left them midway in the world: Word took word as hand takes hand, I could hear at last, and understand, And when I held the unbroken thread, The Gipsy said:--- ````And so at last we find my tribe. ````And so I set thee in the midst, ````And to one and all of them describe ````What thou saidst and what thou didst, ````Our long and terrible journey through, ````And all thou art ready to say and do ````In the trials that remain: ````I trace them the vein and the other vein ````That meet on thy brow and part again, ````Making our rapid mystic mark; ````And I bid my people prove and probe ````Each eye's profound and glorious globe ````Till they detect the kindred spark ````In those depths so dear and dark, ````Like the spots that snap and burst and flee, ````Circling over the midnight sea. ````And on that round young cheek of thine ````I make them recognize the tinge, ````As when of the costly scarlet wine ````They drip so much as will impinge ````And spread in a thinnest scale afloat ````One thick gold drop from the olive's coat ````Over a silver plate whose sheen ````Still thro' the mixture shall be seen. ````For so I prove thee, to one and all, ````Fit, when my people ope their breast, ````To see the sign, and hear the call, ````And take the vow, and stand the test ````Which adds one more child to the rest--- ````When the breast is bare and the arms are wide, ````And the world is left outside. ````For there is probation to decree, ````And many and long must the trials be ````Thou shalt victoriously endure, ````If that brow is true and those eyes are sure; ````Like a jewel-finder's fierce assay ````Of the prize he dug from its mountain-tomb--- ````Let once the vindicating ray ````Leap out amid the anxious gloom, ````And steel and fire have done their part ````And the prize falls on its finder's heart; ``'So, trial after trial past, ````Wilt thou fall at the very last ````Breathless, half in trance ````With the thrill of the great deliverance, ````Into our arms for evermore; ````And thou shalt know, those arms once curled ````About thee, what we knew before, ````How love is the only good in the world. ````Henceforth be loved as heart can love, ````Or brain devise, or hand approve! ````Stand up, look below, ````It is our life at thy feet we throw ````To step with into light and joy; ````Not a power of life but we employ ````To satisfy thy nature's want; ````Art thou the tree that props the plant, ````Or the climbing plant that seeks the tree--- ````Canst thou help us, must we help thee? ````If any two creatures grew into one, ````They would do more than the world has done. ````Though each apart were never so weak, ````Ye vainly through the world should seek ````For the knowledge and the might ````Which in such union grew their right: ````So, to approach at least that end, ````And blend,---as much as may be, blend ````Thee with us or us with thee,--- ````As climbing plant or propping tree, ````Shall some one deck thee, over and down, ````Up and about, with blossoms and leaves? ````Fix his heart's fruit for thy garland crown, ````Cling with his soul as the gourd-vine cleaves, ````Die on thy boughs and disappear ````While not a leaf of thine is sere? ````Or is the other fate in store, ````And art thou fitted to adore, ````To give thy wondrous self away, ````And take a stronger nature's sway? ````I foresee and could foretell ````Thy future portion, sure and well: ````But those passionate eyes speak true, speak true, ````Let them say what thou shalt do! ````Only be sure thy daily life, ````In its peace or in its strife, ````Never shall be unobserved: ````We pursue thy whole career, ````And hope for it, or doubt, or fear,--- ````Lo, hast thou kept thy path or swerved, ````We are beside thee in all thy ways, ````With our blame, with our praise, ````Our shame to feel, our pride to show, ````Glad, angry---but indifferent, no! ````Whether it be thy lot to go, ````For the good of us all, where the haters meet ````In the crowded city's horrible street; ````Or thou step alone through the morass ````Where never sound yet was ````Save the dry quick clap of the stork's bill, ````For the air is still, and the water still, ````When the blue breast of the dipping coot ````Dives under, and all is mute. ````So, at the last shall come old age, ````Decrepit as befits that stage; ````How else wouldst thou retire apart ````With the hoarded memories of thy heart, ````And gather all to the very least ````Of the fragments of life's earlier feast, ````Let fall through eagerness to find ````The crowning dainties yet behind? ````Ponder on the entire past ````Laid together thus at last, ````When the twilight helps to fuse ````The first fresh with the faded hues, ````And the outline of the whole, ````As round eve's shades their framework roll, ````Grandly fronts for once thy soul. ````And then as, 'mid the dark, a glean ````Of yet another morning breaks, ````And like the hand which ends a dream, ````Death, with the might of his sunbeam, ````Touches the flesh and the soul awakes, ````Then------'' Ay, then indeed something would happen! But what? For here her voice changed like a bird's; There grew more of the music and less of the words; Had Jacynth only been by me to clap pen To paper and put you down every syllable With those clever clerkly fingers, All I've forgotten as well as what lingers In this old brain of mine that's but ill able To give you even this poor version Of the speech I spoil, as it were, with stammering ---More fault of those who had the hammering Of prosody into me and syntax, And did it, not with hobnails but tintacks! But to return from this excursion,--- Just, do you mark, when the song was sweetest, The peace most deep and the charm completest, There came, shall I say, a snap--- And the charm vanished! And my sense returned, so strangely banished, And, starting as from a nap, I knew the crone was bewitching my lady, With Jacynth asleep; and but one spring made I Down from the casement, round to the portal, Another minute and I had entered,--- When the door opened, and more than mortal Stood, with a face where to my mind centred All beauties I ever saw or shall see, The Duchess: I stopped as if struck by palsy. She was so different, happy and beautiful, I felt at once that all was best, And that I had nothing to do, for the rest, But wait her commands, obey and be dutiful. Not that, in fact, there was any commanding; I saw the glory of her eye, And the brow's height and the breast's expanding, And I was hers to live or to die. As for finding what she wanted, You know God Almighty granted Such little signs should serve wild creatures To tell one another all their desires, So that each knows what his friend requires, And does its bidding without teachers. I preceded her; the crone Followed silent and alone; I spoke to her, but she merely jabbered In the old style; both her eyes had slunk Back to their pits; her stature shrunk; In short, the soul in its body sunk Like a blade sent home to its scabbard. We descended, I preceding; Crossed the court with nobody heeding, All the world was at the chase, The courtyard like a desert-place, The stable emptied of its small fry; I saddled myself the very palfrey I remember patting while it carried her, The day she arrived and the Duke married her. And, do you know, though it's easy deceiving Oneself in such matters, I can't help believing The lady had not forgotten it either, And knew the poor devil so much beneath her Would have been only too glad for her service To dance on hot ploughshares like a Turk dervise, But, unable to pay proper duty where owing it, Was reduced to that pitiful method of showing it: For though the moment I began setting His saddle on my own nag of Berold's begetting, (Not that I meant to be obtrusive) She stopped me, while his rug was shifting, By a single rapid finger's lifting, And, with a gesture kind but conclusive, And a little shake of the head, refused me,--- I say, although she never used me, Yet when she was mounted, the Gipsy behind her, And I ventured to remind her, I suppose with a voice of less steadiness Than usual, for my feeling exceeded me, ---Something to the effect that I was in readiness Whenever God should please she needed me,--- Then, do you know, her face looked down on me With a look that placed a crown on me, And she felt in her bosom,---mark, her bosom--- And, as a flower-tree drops its blossom, Dropped me . . . ah, had it been a purse Of silver, my friend, or gold that's worse, Why, you see, as soon as I found myself So understood,---that a true heart so may gain Such a reward,---I should have gone home again, Kissed Jacynth, and soberly drowned myself! It was a little plait of hair Such as friends in a convent make To wear, each for the other's sake,--- This, see, which at my breast I wear, Ever did (rather to Jacynth's grudgment), And ever shall, till the Day of Judgment. And then,---and then,---to cut short,---this is idle, These are feelings it is not good to foster,--- I pushed the gate wide, she shook the bridle, And the palfrey bounded,---and so we lost her. XVI. When the liquor's out why clink the cannikin? I did think to describe you the panic in The redoubtable breast of our master the mannikin, And what was the pitch of his mother's yellowness, How she turned as a shark to snap the spare-rib Clean off, sailors say, from a pearl-diving Carib, When she heard, what she called the flight of the feloness ---But it seems such child's play, What they said and did with the lady away! And to dance on, when we've lost the music, Always made me---and no doubt makes you---sick. Nay, to my mind, the world's face looked so stern As that sweet form disappeared through the postern, She that kept it in constant good humour, It ought to have stopped; there seemed nothing to do more. But the world thought otherwise and went on, And my head's one that its spite was spent on: Thirty years are fled since that morning, And with them all my head's adorning. Nor did the old Duchess die outright, As you expect, of suppressed spite, The natural end of every adder Not suffered to empty its poison-bladder: But she and her son agreed, I take it, That no one should touch on the story to wake it, For the wound in the Duke's pride rankled fiery, So, they made no search and small inquiry--- And when fresh Gipsies have paid us a visit, I've Noticed the couple were never inquisitive, But told them they're folks the Duke don't want here, And bade them make haste and cross the frontier. Brief, the Duchess was gone and the Duke was glad of it, And the old one was in the young one's stead, And took, in her place, the household's head, And a blessed time the household had of it! And were I not, as a man may say, cautious How I trench, more than needs, on the nauseous, I could favour you with sundry touches Of the paint-smutches with which the Duchess Heightened the mellowness of her cheek's yellowness (To get on faster) until at last her Cheek grew to be one master-plaster Of mucus and focus from mere use of ceruse: In short, she grew from scalp to udder Just the object to make you shudder. XVII. You're my friend--- What a thing friendship is, world without end! How it gives the heart and soul a stir-up As if somebody broached you a glorious runlet, And poured out, all lovelily, sparklingly, sunlit, Our green Moldavia, the streaky syrup, Cotnar as old as the time of the Druids--- Friendship may match with that monarch of fluids; Each supples a dry brain, fills you its ins-and-outs, Gives your life's hour-glass a shake when the thin sand doubts Whether to run on or stop short, and guarantees Age is not all made of stark sloth and arrant ease. I have seen my little lady once more, Jacynth, the Gipsy, Berold, and the rest of it, For to me spoke the Duke, as I told you before; I always wanted to make a clean breast of it: And now it is made---why, my heart's blood, that went trickle, Trickle, but anon, in such muddy driblets, Is pumped up brisk now, through the main ventricle, And genially floats me about the giblets. I'll tell you what I intend to do: I must see this fellow his sad life through--- He is our Duke, after all, And I, as he says, but a serf and thrall. My father was born here, and I inherit His fame, a chain he bound his son with; Could I pay in a lump I should prefer it, But there's no mine to blow up and get done with: So, I must stay till the end of the chapter. For, as to our middle-age-manners-adapter, Be it a thing to be glad on or sorry on, Some day or other, his head in a morion And breast in a hauberk, his heels he'll kick up, Slain by an onslaught fierce of hiccup. And then, when red doth the sword of our Duke rust, And its leathern sheath lie o'ergrown with a blue crust, Then I shall scrape together my earnings; For, you see, in the churchyard Jacynth reposes, And our children all went the way of the roses: It's a long lane that knows no turnings. One needs but little tackle to travel in; So, just one stout cloak shall I indue: And for a stall, what beats the javelin With which his boars my father pinned you? And then, for a purpose you shall hear presently, Taking some Cotnar, a tight plump skinful, I shall go journeying, who but I, pleasantly! Sorrow is vain and despondency sinful. What's a man's age? He must hurry more, that's all; Cram in a day, what his youth took a year to hold. When we mind labour, then only, we're too old--- What age had Methusalem when he begat Saul? And at last, as its haven some buffeted ship sees, (Come all the way from the north-parts with sperm oil) I hope to get safely out of the turmoil And arrive one day at the land of the Gipsies, And find my lady, or hear the last news of her From some old thief and son of Lucifer, His forehead chapleted green with wreathy hop, Sunburned all over like an thiop. And when my Cotnar begins to operate And the tongue of the rogue to run at a proper rate, And our wine-skin, tight once, shows each flaccid dent, I shall drop in with---as if by accident--- ````You never knew, then, how it all ended, ````What fortune good or bad attended ````The little lady your Queen befriended?'' ---And when that's told me, what's remaining? This world's too hard for my explaining. The same wise judge of matters equine Who still preferred some slim four-year-old To the big-boned stock of mighty Berold, And, fur strong Cotnar, drank French weak wine, He also umst be such a lady's scorner! Smooth Jacob still rubs homely Esau: Now up, now down, the world's one see-saw. ---So, I shall find out some snug corner Under a hedge, like Orson the wood-knight, Turn myself round and bid the world good night; And sleep a sound sleep till the trumpet's blowing Wakes me (unless priests cheat us laymen) To a world where will be no furtiner throwing Pearls befare swine that Can't value them. Amen!
Robert Browning
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O my Luve's like a red, red rose That's newly sprung in June; O my Luve's like the melodie That's sweetly played in tune. As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry: Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi' the sun; I will luve thee still, my dear, While the sands o' life shall run. And fare thee weel, my only Luve, And fare thee weel awhile! And I will come again, my Luve, Tho' it ware ten thousand mile.
Robert Burns
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