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The earliest pipe of half-awaken’d birds

To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmeri

square ;

So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

“ Dear as remember'd kisses after death,

And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feign’d
On lips that are for others ; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret ;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more.”

She ended with such passion that the tear, She sang of, shook and fell, an erring pearl

Lost in her bosom : but with some disdain

Answer'd the Princess · If indeed there haunt

About the moulder'd lodges of the Past
So sweet a voice and vague, fatal to men,
Well needs it we should cram our ears with wool

And so pace by : but thine are fancies hatch'd

In silken-folded idleness ; nor is it

Wiser to weep a true occasion lost,

But trim our sails, and let old bygones be,

While down the streams that float us each and all

To the issue, goes, like glittering bergs of ice,
Throne after throne, and molten on the waste

Becomes a cloud : for all things serve their time
Toward that great year of equal mights and rights,
Nor would I fight with iron laws, in the end
Found golden : let the past be past ; let be
Their cancell'd Babels : tho' the rough kex break
The starr'd mosaic, and the wild goat hang
Upon the shaft, and the wild figtree split

Their monstrous idols, care not while we hear

A trumpet in the distance pealing news
Of better, and Hope, a poising eagle, burns

Above the unrisen morrow :' then to me ;

• Know you no song of your own land,' she said,

• Not such as moans about the retrospect,

But deals with the other distance and the hues

Of promise ; not a death’s-head at the wine.'

Then I remember'd one myself had made What time I watch'd the swallow winging south From mine own land, part made long since, and part Now while I sang, and maidenlike as far As I could ape their treble, did I sing.

• O Swallow, Swallow, flying, flying South, Fly to her, and fall upon her gilded eaves,

And tell her, tell her what I tell to thee.

O tell her, Swallow, thou that knowest each, That bright and fierce and fickle is the South,

And dark and true and tender is the North.

• 0 Swallow, Swallow, if I could follow, and light Upon her lattice, I would pipe and trill, And cheep and twitter twenty million loves.

• O were I thou that she might take me in,

And lay me on her bosom, and her heart

Would rock the snowy cradle till I died.

• Why lingereth she to clothe her heart with love,

Delaying as the tender ash delays
To clothe herself, when all the woods are green?

• O tell her, Swallow, that thy brood is flown:

Say to her, I do but wanton in the South

But in the North long since my nest is made.

«0 tell her, brief is life but love is long,

And brief the sun of summer in the North,

And brief the moon of beauty in the South.


0 Swallow, flying from the golden woods, Fly to her, and pipe and woo her, and make her mine, And tell her, tell her, that I follow thee.'

I ceased and all the ladies, each at each,

Like the Ithacensian suitors in old time,

Stared with great eyes, and laugh'd with alien lips,
And knew not what they meant ; for still my voice
Rang false : but smiling · Not for thee,' she said,

• 0 Bulbul, any rose of Gulistan Shall burst her veil: marsh-divers, rather, maid,

Shall croak thee sister, or the meadow-crake

Grate her harsh kindred in the grass : and this

A mere love-poem ! O for such, my friend,
We hold them slight : they mind us of the time
When we made bricks in Egypt. Knaves are men,
That lute and flute fantastic tenderness,

And dress the victim to the offering up,

And paint the gates of Hell with Paradise,

And play the slave to gain the tyranny.

Poor soul! I had a maid of honour once ;

She wept her true eyes blind for such a one,

A rogue of canzonets and serenades.

I loved her. Peace be with her ! she is dead.

So they blaspheme the muse! but great is song
Used to great ends : ourself have often tried
Valkyrian hymns, or into rhythm have dash'd

The passion of the prophetess ; for song
Is duer unto freedom, force and growth

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