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And left her woman, lovelier in her mood
Than in her mould that other, when she came
From barren deeps to conquer all with love ;
Deep in the night I woke : she, near me, held
A volume of the Poets of her land :
There to herself, all in low tones, she read.
Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white ; Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk ; Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font : The fire-fly wakens : waken thou with me.
Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost, And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.
Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.
Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.
Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
Into my bosom and be lost in me.'
I heard her turn the page ; she found a small Sweet Idyl, and once more, as low, she read :
Come down, 0 maid, from yonder mountain height:
What pleasure lives in height (the shepherd sang)
In height and cold, the splendour of the hills ?
But cease to move so near the Heavens, and cease
To glide a sunbeam by the blasted Pine,
With Death and Morning on the Silver Horns,
Nor find him dropt upon the firths of ice,
To roll the torrent out of dusky doors :
But follow ; let the torrent dance thee down
To find him in the valley ; let the wild
So waste not thou ; but come ; for all the vales
Await thee; azure pillars of the hearth
Thy shepherd pipe, and sweet is every sound,
The moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees.'
So she low-toned ; while with shut eyes I lay
Listening ; then look'd. Pale was the perfect face ; The bosom with long sighs labour'd ; and meek
Seem’d the full lips, and mild the luminous eyes,
And the voice trembled and the hand.
Brokenly, that she knew it, she had fail'd
In sweet humility ; had fail'd in all ;
That all her labour was but as a block
Left in the quarry ; but she still were loth,
Against the sons of men, and barbarous laws.
She pray'd me not to judge their cause from her
power In knowledge : something wild within her breast, A greater than all knowledge, beat her down.
And she had nursed me there from week to week :
Much had she learnt in little time. In part
It was ill counsel had misled the girl
Ah fool, and made myself a Queen of farce !
Choked, and her forehead sank upon her hands,
And her great heart thro' all the faultful Past
Went sorrowing in a pause I dared not break ;