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The daisy, lovely on both sides, in short,
All the sweet cups to which the bees resort,
Look'd lordly forth with many-window'd ken; A land of trees, which reaching round about,
In shady blessing stretch'd their old arms out,
And a young orange either side the door.
The door was to the wood, forward, and square,
By some supposed the work of fairy hands,
There's wont to be, at conscious times like these,
'T is like thy patient valour thus to keep,
ARIADNE. A Fr AGMENT.
The moist and quiet morn was scarcely breaking,
MAHMOUD. There came a man, making his hasty moan Before the Sultan Mahmoud on his throne, And crying out—“My sorrow is my right, And I will see the Sultan, and to-night.” “Sorrow,” said Mahmoud, “is a reverend thing: I recognise its right, as king with king; Speak on.” “A fiend has got into my house,” Exclaim'd the staring man, “and tortures us: One of thine officers;–he comes, the abhorr'd, And takes possession of my house, my board, My bed: I have two daughters and a wife, [life.” And the wild villain comes, and makes me mad with “Is he there now !” said Mahmoud. “No; he left The house when I did, of my wits bereft; And laugh'd me down the street, because I vow’d I'd bring the prince himself to lay him in his shroud. I'mmad with want—I'm mad with misery, [thee!” And 0 thou Sultan Mahmoud, God cries out for The Sultan comforted the man, and said, “Go home, and I will send thee wine and bread,” (For he was poor,) “and other comforts. Go; And, should the wretch return, let Sultan Mahmoud know.” In three days' time, with haggard eyes and beard, And shaken voice, the suitor re-appeard, [word, And said, “He’s come.”—Mahmoud said not a But rose and took four slaves, each with a sword, And went with the vex'd man. They reach the place, And hear a voice, and see a woman's face, That to the window flutter'd in affright: “Go in,” said Mahmoud, “and put out the light; But tell the females first to leave the room; And when the drunkard follows them, we come.” The man went in. There was a cry, and hark 1 A table falls, the window is struck dark: Forth rush the breathless women ; and behind With curses comes the fiend in desperate mind. In vain: the sabres soon cut short the strife, [life. And chop the shrieking wretch, and drink his bloody “Now light the light,” the Sultan cried aloud. "Twas done; he took it in his hand, and bow’d Over the corpse, and look'd upon the face; Then turn'd, and knelt, and to the throne of grace Put up a prayer, and from his lips there crept Some gentle words of pleasure, and he wept. In reverent silence the beholders wait, Then bring him at his call both wine and meat; And when he had refresh'd his noble heart, He bade his host be blest, and rose up to depart. The man amazed, all mildness now, and tears, Fell at the Sultan's feet with many prayers, And begg'd him to vouchsafe to tell his slave The reason first of that command he gave About the light; then, when he saw the face, Why he knelt down; and, lastly, how it was That fare so poor as his detain'd him in the place. The Sultan said, with a benignant eye, “Since first I saw thee come, and heard thy cry, I could not rid me of a dread, that one By whom such daring villanies were done Must be some lord of mine, ay, e'en perhaps a son. Whoe'er he was, I knew my task, but fear'd A father's heart, in case the worst appear'd :
For this I had the light put out; but when
POWER AND GENTLENESS.
I’ve thought, at gentle and ungentle hour, Of many an act and giant shape of power; Of the old kings with high exacting looks, Sceptred and globed; of eagles on their rocks, With straining feet, and that fierce mouth and drear, Answering the strain with downward drag austere; Of the rich-headed lion, whose huge frown All his great nature, gathering, seems to crown; Of towers on hills, with foreheads out of sight In clouds, or shown us by the thunder's light, Or ghastly prison, that eternally Holds its blind visage out to the lone sea; And of all sunless, subterranean deeps The creature makes, who listens while he sleeps, Avarice; and then of those old earthly cones, That stride, they say, over heroic bones; And those stone heaps Egyptian, whose small doors Look like low dens under precipitous shores; And him, great Memnon, that long sitting by In seeming idleness, with stony eye, Sang at the morning's touch, like poetry; And then of all the fierce and bitter fruit Of the proud planting of a tyrannous foot, Of bruised rights, and flourishing bad men, And virtue wasting heavenwards from a den; Brute force, and fury; and the devilish drouth Of the fool cannon's ever-gaping mouth; And the bride-widowing sword; and the harsh bray The sneering trumpet sends across the fray; And all which lights the people-thinning star That selfishness invokes, the horsed war, Panting along with many a bloody mane.
I've thought of all this pride, and all this pain, And all the insolent plenitudes of power, And I declare, by this most quiet hour, Which holds in different tasks by the fire-light Me and my friends here, this delightful night, That power itself has not one half the might Of gentleness. "Tis want to all true wealth ; The uneasy madman's force, to the wise health; Blind downward beating, to the eyes that see; Noise to persuasion, doubt to certainty; The consciousness of strength in enemies, Who must be strain'd upon, or else they rise; The battle to the moon, who all the while, High out of hearing, passes with her smile; The tempest, trampling in his scanty run, To the whole globe, that basks about the sun : Or as all shrieks and clangs, with which a sphere, Undone and fired, could rake the midnight ear, Compared with that vast dumbness nature keeps
Throughout her starry deeps, Most old, and mild, and awful, and unbroken, Which tells a tale of peace beyond whate'er was spoken.
THE GLOVE AND THE LIONS.
KING FRANcis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport, And one day, as his lions fought, sat looking on the court; The nobles fill'd the benches, and the ladies in their pride, And 'mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with one for whom he sigh'd : And truly ’twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show, Valour and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below. [jaws; Ramp'd and roar'd the lions, with horrid laughing They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws; With wallowing might and stifled roar they roll'd on one another, Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a thunderous smother ; The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air; Said Francis then, “Faith, gentlemen, we're better here than there.” De Lorge's love o'erheard the king, a beauteous lively dame With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which alway seem'd the same; She thought, the count my lover is brave as brave can be ; He surely would do wondrous things to show his love of me; King, ladies, lovers, all look on ; the occasion is divine; I'll drop my glove to prove his love; great glory shall be mine. She dropp'd her glove to prove his love, then look’d at him and smiled; [wild : He bow'd, and in a moment leap'd among the lions The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regain'd the place, Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady's face. “By God!” said Francis, “rightly done!” and he rose from where he sat; “No love,” quoth he, “but vanity, sets love a task like that.” —e
AN ANGEL IN THE HOUSE.
How sweet it were, if without feeble fright, Or dying of the dreadful beauteous sight, An angel came to us, and we could bear To see him issue from the silent air At evening in our room, and bend on ours His divine eyes, and bring us from his bowers News of dear friends, and children who have never Been dead indeed,—as we shall know for ever. Alas! we think not what we daily see About our hearths, angels, that are to be, Or may be if they will, and we prepare Their souls and ours to meet in happy airA child, a friend, a wife whose soft heart sings In unison with ours, breeding its future wings.
A HEAVEN UPON EARTH.
For there are two heavens, sweet, Both made of love, one, inconceivable Even by the other, so divine it is; The other, far on this side of the stars, By men call'd home, when some blest pair are met As we are now ; sometimes in happy talk, Sometimes in silence, each at gentle task Of book, or household need, or meditation, By summer-moon, or curtain'd fire in frost; And by degrees there come, not always come, Yet mostly,–other, smaller inmates there, Cherubic-faced, yet growing like those two, Their pride and playmates, not without meek fear, Since God sometimes to his own cherubim Takes those sweet cheeks of earth. And so twixtjoy, And love, and tears, and whatsoever pain Man fitly shares with man, these two grow old; And if indeed blest thoroughly, they die In the same spot, and nigh the same good hour, And setting suns look heavenly on their grave.
- -oTHE RAWENNA PINE FOREST.
A heavy spot the forest looks at first, To one grim shade condemn'd, and sandy thirst, Chequer'd with thorns, and thistles run to seed, Or plashy pools half-cover'd with green weed, About whose sides the swarming insects fry In the hot sun, a noisome company ; But, entering more and more, they quit the sand At once, and strike upon a grassy land, From which the trees as from a carpet rise In knolls and clumps, in rich varieties. The knights are for a moment forced to rein Their horses in, which, feeling turf again, Thrill, and curvet, and long to be at large To scour the space, and give the winds a charge, Or pulling tight the bridles as they pass, Dip their warm mouths into the freshening grass: But soon in easy rank, from glade to glade, Proceed they, coasting underneath the shade; Some bearing to the cool their placid brows, Some looking upward through the glimmering Or peering into spots that inwardly [boughs, Open green glooms, and half-prepared to see The lady cross it, that, as stories tell, Ran loud and torn before a knight of hell. Various the trees and passing foliage here, Wild pear, and oak, and dusky juniper, With briony between in trails of white, And ivy, and the suckle's streaky light, And moss, warm gleaming with a sudden mark, Like growths of sunshine left upon the bark; And still the pine, flat-topp'd, and dark, and tall, In lordly right predominant o'er all. Anon the sweet birds, like a sudden throng Of happy children, ring their tangled song From out the greener trees; and then a cloud Of cawing rooks breaks o'er them, gathering loud Like savages at ships; and then again Nothing is heard but their own stately train, Or ring-dove that repeats his pensive plea, Or startled gull up-screaming toward the sea.