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Melts mist-like into this bright hour, and this
I scarce believe, and all the rich to come
Reels, as the golden Autumn woodland reels
Athwart the smoke of burning leaves. Forgive me,
I waste my heart in signs : let be. My bride,
Yoked in all exercise of noble end,
And so thro' those dark gates across the wild That no man knows. Indeed I love thee: come,
Yield thyself up: my hopes and thine are one :
So closed our tale, of which I give you all
The random scheme as wildly as it rose:
The words are mostly mine ; for when we ceased There came a minute's pause, and Walter said, • I wish she had not yielded !' then to me, • What, if you drest it up poetically!'
, So pray'd the men,
the women: I
Yet how to bind the scatter'd scheme of seven
Together in one sheaf? What style could suit ?
The men required that I should give throughout
The sort of mock-heroic gigantesque,
With which we banter'd little Lilia first :
The women—and perhaps they felt their power, For something in the ballads which they sang,
Or in their silent influence as they sat,
Had ever seem'd to wrestle with burlesque.
And drove us, last, to quite a solemn close
They hated banter, wish'd for something real,
Not make her true-heroic, true-sublime ?
Or all, they said, as earnest as the close ?
Which yet with such a framework scarce could be.
Then rose a little feud betwixt the two,
Betwixt the mockers and the realists :
And yet to give the story as it rose,
And maybe neither pleased myself nor them.
But Lilia pleased me, for she took no part In our dispute : the sequel of the tale Had touch'd her ; and she sat, she pluck'd the grass, She flung it from her, thinking : last, she fixt
A showery glance upon her aunt and said
• You—tell us what we are' who might have
For she was cramm’d with theories out of books,
But that there rose a shout : the gates were closed
At sunset and the crowd were swarming now,
To take their leave, about the garden rails.
So I and some went out to these : we climb'd
The slope to Vivian-place, and turning saw
The happy vallies half in light and half
Gray halls alone among their massive groves ;
Trim hamlets ; here and there a rustic tower
Half-lost in belts of hop and breadths of wheat ;
• Look there, a garden !' said my college friend The Tory member's elder son and there ! God bless the narrow sea which keeps her off, And keeps our Britain, whole within herself, A nation yet, the rulers and the ruled
Some sense of duty, something of a faith,
Some reverence for the laws ourselves have made,
Some patient force to change them when we will,
Like an old woman, and down rolls the world
In mock heroics stranger than our own;
Like our wild Princess with as wise a dream
As some of theirs-God bless the narrow seas !
I wish they were a whole Atlantic broad.'
• Have patience,' I replied, ' ourselves are full