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A WOMAN'S QUESTION.

}RE I trust my fate to thee. Or place my hand in thine, Before I let thy future give Color and form to mine, Before I peril all for thee, question thy soul to-night for me.

I hreak all slighter bonds, nor feel

A shadow of regret: Is there one link within the Past That holds thy spirit yet? Or is thy faith as clear and free as that which I can pledge to thee?

Does there within my dimmest dreams .

A possible future shine,
Wherein thy life could henceforth breathe,

Untouched, unshared by mine?
If so, at any pain or cost, O, tell me before all is lost.

Look deeper still. If thou canst feel,

Within thy inmost soul, That thou has kept a portion back, While I have staked the whole, Let no false pity spare the blow, but in true mercy tell me so.

Is there within thy heart a need

That mine cannot fulfill? One chord that any other hand Could better wake or still? Speak now — lest at some future day my whole life wither and decay.

Lives there within thy nature hid

The demon-spirit change, Shedding a passing glory still On all things new and strange? It may not be thy fault alone — but shield my heart against thy own.

Couldst thou withdraw thy hand one day

And answer to my claim,
That Fate, and that to-day's mistake —
Not thou — had been to blame?
Some soothe their conscience thus; but thou wilt surely
warn and save me now.

Nay, answer not—I dare not hear,
The words would come too late;

Yet I would spare thee all remorse,
So, comfort thee, my Fate,—
Whatever on my heart may fall — remember, I would
risk it all!

Adelaide Anne Procter.

DORIS.

SAT with Doris, the shepherd maiden:

Her crook was laden with wreathed flowers;
I sat and wooed her through sunlight wheeling,
And shadows stealing, for hours and hours.

And she, my Doris, whose lap encloses
Wild summer roses of rare perfume,

The while I sued her, kept hushed and hearkened
Till shades had darkened from gloss to gloom.

She touched my shoulder with fearful finger:
She said, "We linger; we must not stay;

My flock's in danger, my sheep will wander:
Behold them yonder—how far they stray!"

I answered bolder, "Nay, let me hear you,
And still be near you, and still adore;

No wolf nor stranger will touch one yearling;
Ah! stay, my darling, a moment more."

She whispered, sighing: "There will be sorrow
Beyond to-morrow, if I lose to-day;

My fold unguarded, my flock unfolded,
I shall be scolded, and scut away."

Said I, replying: "If they do miss you,
They ought to kiss you, when you get home;

And well rewarded by friend and neighbor
Should be the labor from which you come."

"They might remember." she answered meekly,
"That lambs are weakly, aud sheep are wild;

But if they love me 'tis none so fervent;
I am a servant, and not a child."

Then each hot ember glowed quick within me,
And love did win me to swift reply:

"Ah! do but prove me, and none shall bind you Nor fray nor find you, until I die."

She blushed and started, and stood awaiting,

As if debating in dreams divine;
But I did brave them—I told her plainly

She doubted vainly; she must be mine.

So we, twin-hearted, from all the valley
Did rouse and rally the nibbling ewes,

Aud homeward drove them, we two together,
Through blooming heather and gleaming dews.

That simple duty fresh grace did lend her—

My Doris tender, my Doris true:
That I, her warder, did always bless her,

And often press her, to take her due.

And now in beauty she fills my dwelling

With love excelling and undefiled; And love doth guard her, both fast and fervent,

No more a servant, nor yet a child.

Arthur J. Munby.

SAD ARE THEY WHO KNOW NOT LOVE.

SAD are they who know not love, But, far from passion's tears and

Drift down a moonless sea, and pass The silver coasts of fain,' isles.

And sadder they whose longing lips Kiss empty air, and never touch

The dear warm mouth of thoae they love
Waiting, wasting, suffering much!

But clear as amber, sweet as musk,
Is life to those whose lives unite;

They walk in Allah's smile by day.
And nestle in his heart by night.

Tiiomas Bailey Aldricii.

O SWALLOW, FLYING SOUTH.

SWALLOW, Swallow, flying, flying South, Fly to her, and fall upon her gilded eaves, ~7«r 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.

O 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.

O 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.

O 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.

Alfred Tennyson.

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"Good day to you!" at last I said;

She turned her head to see me.
"Good day!" she said, with lifted head;

Her eyes looked soft and dreamy.

And all the while she milked and milked

The grave cow heavy-laden: I've seen grand ladies, plumed and silked,

But not a sweeter maiden.

But not a sweeter, fresher maid

Than this in homely cotton, Whose pleasant face and silky braid

I have not yet forgotten.

Seven springs have passed since then, as I

Count with a sober sorrow; Seven springs have come and passed me by,

And spring sets in to-morrow.

I've half a mmd to shake myself
Free, just for once, from London,

To set my work upon the shelf,
And leave it done or undone;

To run down by the early train,
Whirl down with shriek and whistle,

And feel the bluff north blow again,
And mark the sprouting thistle

Set up on waste patch of the lane
Its green and tender bristle;

And spy the scarce-blown violet banks,
Crisp primrose-leaves and others.

And watch the lambs leap at their pranks,
And butt their patient mothers.

Alas! one point in all my plan
My serious thoughts demur to:

Seven years have passed for maid and man,
Seven years have passed for her too.

Perhaps my rose is over-blown,

Not rosy, or too rosy;
Perhaps in farm-house of her own

Some husband keeps her cosy,
Where I should show a face unknown,—

Good-bye, my wayside posy!

Christina Georgina Rossetti.

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'HE western wind is blowing fair

Across the dark ./Egean sea, ?j And at the secret marble stair

My Tyrlan galley waits for thee. Come down! the purple sail is spread,

The watchman sleeps within the town; O leave thy lily-flowered bed,

O Lady mine, come down, come down!

She will not come. I know her well,

Of lover's vows she hath no care, And little good a man can tell

Of one so cruel and so fair. True love is but a woman's toy,

They never know the lover's pain, And I who loved as loves a boy

Must love in vain, must love in vain.

O noble pilot, tell me true,
Is that the sheen of golden hair?

Or is it but the tangled dew
That binds the passion-tlowers there?

Good sailor, come and tell me now

Is that my lady's lily hand? Or is it but the gleaming prow,

Or is it but the silver sand?

No! no! 'tis not the tangled dew,

Tis not the silver-fretted sand, It is my own dear lady true

With golden hair and lily hand! O noble pilot, steer for Troy!

Good sailor, ply the laboring oar! This is the Queen of life and joy

Whom we must bear from Grecian shorel

The waning sky grows faint and blue

It wants an hour still of day: Aboard! aboard! my gallant crew

O Lady mine, away! away! O noble pilot, steer for Troy!

Good sailor, ply the laboring oar I O loved as only loves a boy!

O loved forever, evermore!

Oscar Wilde.

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