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She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She looked down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide ;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
“The curse is come upon me,” cried
The Lady of Shalott.
In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale-yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
Over tower'd Camelot:
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.
And down the river's dim expanse—
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance—
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.
Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right—
The leaves upon her falling light—
Through the noises of the night
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.
Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darken'd wholly,
Turn'd to tower'd Camelot;
For ere she reach’d upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.
Under tower of balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
A corse between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.
Who is this 1 and what is here 1
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they cross'd themselves for fear,
All the knights at Camelot: But Lancelot mused a little space; He said, “She has a lovely face; God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott.”
With farmer Allan at the farm abode William and Dora. William was his son, And she his niece. He often look'd at them,
And often thought “I'll make them man and
wife.” Now Dora felt her uncle's will in all, And yearn'd towards William; but the youth, because He had been always with her in the house, Thought not of Dora. Then there came a day
When Allan call'd his son, and said, “My son,
I married late; but I would wish to see
My grandchild on my knees before I die:
And I have set my heart upon a match.
Now therefore look to Dora; she is well
To look to; thrifty too beyond her age.
She is my brother's daughter: he and I
Had once hard words, and parted, and he died
In foreign lands; but for his sake I bred
His daughter Dora: take her for your wife;
For I have wish'd this marriage, night and day,
For many years.” But William answer'd short,
“I cannot marry Dora; by my life,
I will not marry Dora.” Then the old man
Was wroth, and doubled up his hands, and said,
“You will not, boy you dare to answer thus !
But in my time a father's word was law,
And so it shall be now for me. Look to't.
Consider: take a month to think, and give
An answer to my wish ; or by the Lord
That made me, you shall pack, and nevermore
Darken my doors again.” And William heard,
And answer'd something madly; bit his lips,
And broke away. The more he look'd at her
The less he liked her; and his ways were harsh;
But Dora bore them meekly. Then before
The month was out he left his father's house,
And hired himself to work within the fields;
And half in love, half spite, he wood and wed
A labourer's daughter, Mary Morrison.
Then, when the bells were ringing, Allan call'd
His niece and said, “My girl, I love you well;
But if you speak with him that was my son,
Or change a word with her he calls his wife,
My home is none of yours. My will is law.”
And Dora promised, being meek. She thought,
“It cannot be; my uncle's mind will changel"
And days went on, and there was born a boy To William ; then distresses came on him; And day by day he pass'd his father's gate, Heart-broken, and his father help'd him not. But Dora stored what little she could save, And sent it them by stealth, nor did they know Who sent it; till at last a fever seized On William, and in harvest time he died.
Then Dora went to Mary. Mary sat, And look'd with tears upon her boy, and thought Hard things of Dora. Dora came and said, “I have obey'd my uncle until now, And I have sinn'd, for it was all through me This evil came on William at the first. But, Mary, for the sake of him that's gone,
And for your sake, the woman that he chose,
And for this orphan, I am come to you:
You know there has not been for these five years
So full a harvest: let me take the boy,
And I will set him in my uncle's eye
Among the wheat; that when his heart is glad
Of the full harvest, he may see the boy,
And bless him for the sake of him that's gone.”
And Dora took the child and went her way
Across the wheat, and sat upon a mound
That was unsown, where many poppies grew.
Far off the farmer came into the field
And spied her not; for none of all his men
Dare tell him Dora waited with the child;
And Dora would have risen and gone to him,
But her heart fail'd her; and the reapers reap'd,
And the sun fell, and all the land was dark.
But when the morrow came, she rose and took
The child once more, and sat upon the mound;
And made a little wreath of all the flowers
That grew about, and tied it round his hat
To make him pleasing in her uncle's eye.
Then when the farmer pass'd into the field
He spied her, and he left his men at work
And came and said, “Where were you yesterday ?
Whose child is that What are you doing here !”
So Dora cast her eyes upon the ground
And answer'd softly, “This is William's child !”
“And did I not,” said Allan, “did I not
Forbid you, Dora !” Dora said again,
“Do with me as you will, but take the child
And bless him for the sake of him that's gone!”
And Allan said, “I see it is a trick
Got up betwixt you and the woman there.
I must be taught my duty, and by you!
You knew my word was law, and yet you dared
To slight it. Well—for I will take the boy;
But go you hence, and never see me more.”
So saying, he took the boy, that cried aloud And struggled hard. The wreath of flowers fell At Dora's feet. She bow’d upon her hands, And the boy's cry came to her from the field, More and more distant. She bow'd down her head, Remembering the day when first she came, And all the things that had been. She bow'd down And wept in secret; and the reapers reap'd, And the sun fell, and all the land was dark.
Then Dora went to Mary's house, and stood Upon the threshold. Mary saw the boy Was not with Dora. She broke out in praise To God, that help'd her in her widowhood. And Dora said, “My uncle took the boy; But, Mary, let me live and work with you : He says that he will never see me more.” Then answer'd Mary, “This shall never be, That thou shouldst take my trouble on thyself: And, now I think, he shall not have the boy, For he will teach him hardness, and to slight His mother; therefore thou and I will go, And I will have my boy, and bring him home; And I will beg of him to take thee back ; But if he will not take thee back again, Then thou and I will live within one house, And work for William's child, until he grows Of age to help us.”
. So the women kiss'd Each other, and set out, and reach'd the farm. The door was off the latch; they peep'd, and saw The boy set up betwixt his grandsire's knees, Who thrust him in the hollows of his arm, And clapp'd him on the hands and on the cheeks, Like one that loved him; and the lad stretch'dout And babbled for the golden seal, that hung From Allan's watch, and sparkled by the fire. Then they came in : but when the boy beheid His mother, he cried out to come to her, And Allan set him down; and Mary said: “O Father –if you let me call you so— I never came a-begging for myself, Or William, or this child; but now I come For Dora: take her back; she loves you well. O sir, when William died, he died at peace With all men ; for I ask'd him, and he said, He could not ever rue his marrying me; I had been a patient wife : but, sir, he said That he was wrong to cross his father thus. “God bless him " he said, “and may he never know The troubles I have gone through " turn'd His face and pass'd—unhappy that I am? But now, sir, let me have my boy, for you Will make him hard, and he will learn to slight His father's memory; and take Dora back, And let all this be as it was before.” So Mary said, and Dora hid her face By Mary. There was silence in the room; And all at once the old man burst in sobs :— “I have been to blame—to blame. I have kill’d my son. I have kill'd him—but I loved him—my dear son. May God forgive me!—I have been to blame. Kiss me, my children.” Then they clung about The old man's neck, and kiss'd him many times. And all the man was broken with remorse; And all his love came back a hundredfold : And for three hours he sobb'd o'er William's child, Thinking of William. So those four abode Within one house together; and as years Went forward, Mary took another mate; , But Dora lived unmarried till her death.
Two children in two neighbour villages
Playing mad pranks along the heathy leas;
Two strangers meeting at a festival;
Two lovers whispering by an orchard wall;
Two lives bound fast in one with golden case;
Two graves grass-green beside a gray church-tower,
Wash'd with still rains and daisy-blossomed;
Two children in one hamlet born and bred ;
So runs the round of life from hour to hour.
MR. DARLEY is the author of Sylvia or the May Queen, a poem devoted to summer and the fairies; the Manuscripts of Erdeley; Thomas à Becket, a tragedy; Ethelstan, a chronicle; and other pieces, narrative, lyrical and dramatic. He belongs to a new class of writers, of whom we have elsewhere noticed Robert BRowNING, and R. H. HoRNE. He has shown himself to be a true poet, of an original vein of thought, and an affluent imagination. In the preface to Ethelstan, he says, “I would fain build a cairn, or rude national monument, on some eminence of our Poetic Mountain, to a few amongst the many heroes of our race, sleeping even yet with no memorial there, or one hidden beneath the moss of ages. ‘Ethelstan' is the second stone, “Becket' was the first, borne thither by me for this homely pyramid; to rear it may be above my powers, but were it a mere mound of rubbish, it might re
The king in sackcloth at an oaken table in a small Cabi-
net. Enter his sister, Edgitha, abbess of Beverley, whom
Ethelstan. My sister! my born friend!
Why at this hour, [forth,
When none save night's rough minions venture
Was thy pale health so bold !
Edgitha. Is there no flush
Bespreads my cheek? that's health ! new life, my
Which joy to see thee brings. But out, alas !
What change in thee, what mournful change 4
Eth. Years! years!
Edg. Nay, thou'rt, if not in bloomiest youth's
Yet in its autumn.
Eth. Autumn is ever sere!
Youth saddens near its ending, like old age;
Or worse, for this hath better life at hand.
Edg. No 1 no ! that is not it, that is not it!
Eth. And then bethink thee, Sihtric's widow-
Kings wear not, like the peacocks, feather'd crowns;
Our goldenest have some iron in them too!
Edg: Ah! wouldst thou take meek sample from
Of our wise Saxon kings; who gave up power
Without a sigh to those who still sigh’d for it;
main untrampled and unscorned, from the sacredness of its purpose.” Aside from this object, his works would command respect; but their beauty is marred by an affected quaintness, by novel epithets, and occasional obscurities. His ruggedness of manner, interrupted by a frequent melody of expression, remind us of the old poets, whom he has carefully studied, and well described in one of the richest and most idiomatic specimens of recent prose, his Critical Essay prefixed to Moxon's edition of BEAUMont and Fletcher, in which he says, “You find tulips growing out of sandbanks, pluck Hesperian fruit from crab-trees, step from velvet turf upon sharp stubble.” “No prose or poetry,” says a judicious critic in Arcturus, “can be farther from the sonorous school of Addison, and nowhere can we find rythmical cadences of greater beauty, than in some occasional passages of DARLEy.”
And changed their glittering robes with russetweeds,
And turn'd their sceptres into crucifixes,
And bared their heads of all but tonsured crowns,
And lived out hermit lives in mossy cells,
Or died at Rome on saintly pilgrimage:
Were they not wise?
Eth. Wise for themselves they were !
Edg. Then wherefore not thou for thyself as well?
Wherefore, in thy loved town of Beverley,
Under thy patron saint, canonized John,
As servant dedicate through him to heaven,
Seek not thy temporal rest and peace eterne'
Wherefore withdraw not from the thorny ways
And unreclaimable wilderness of this world,
To the smooth-marbled aisle and cloister trim
Beside us; to these gardens paced by forms
Bland-whispering as their trees, and moving round
Each shrub they tend, softly as its own shadow 1
Wherefore retire thee not, wouldst thou enjoy
Calm raptures of ecstatic contemplation,
To yon elm-pillar'd avenue, sky roof’d,
That leads from Minster Church to Monastery,
Both by thyself embeautified, as if
But for thyself? Nothing disturbeth there
Save the grand hum of the organ heard within,
Or murmuring chorus that with faint low chime
Tremble to lift their voices up o'erhigh
Even in God's praises!—Here find happiness,
Here make thy quietary as thy sister, [she,
Once queen, hath done. Wherefore not, thou and
Abbot and abbess, side by side, return
To old companionship of innocence,
Our hearts re-purified at the altar's flame:
And thus let second childhood lead us, lovingly
As did the first, adown life's gentle slope,
To our unrocking cradle—one same grave?
Eth. I could, even now, sleep to the lullaby
Sung by Death's gossip, that assiduous crone,
Who hushes all our race!—if one hope fail,
One single, life-endearing hope—
Edg. Dear brother, [brow,
Take hope from my content!—though pale this
'Tis calm as if she smiled on it, yon Prioress
Of heaven's pure nunnery, whose placid cheer
O'erlooks the world beneath her; this wren's voice,
Though weak, preserveth lightsome tone and tenor,
Ne'er sick with joy like the still-hiccupping swal-
Ne'er like the nightingale's with grief. Believe me
Seclusion is the blessedest estate
Life owns; wouldst be amongst the bless'd on earth,
Eth. Ay—and what are my poor Saxons
To do without their king 1–
Edg. Have they not thanes
Eth. Without their father? their defender?
Now specially, when rumours of the Dane
Borne hither by each chill Norwegian wind,
Like evening thunder creep along the ocean
With many a mutter'd threat of morrow dire?
No! no I must not now desert my Saxons,
Who ne'er deserted me !
Edg. Is there none else
To king it!
Eth. None save the Etheling should; he cannot:
Childe Edmund is o'er-green in wit; though pre-
In that too for his years, and grown by exercise
Of arms, and practice of all manlike feats,
Which his bent towards them makes continual,
As young hawks love to use their beaks and wings
In coursing sparrows ere let loose at herons,—
Grown his full pitch of stature. Ah! dear sister,
Thy choice and lot with thy life's duties chime,
All cast for privacy. So best! our world
Hath need of such as thee and thy fair nuns,
And these good fathers of the monastery,
To teach youth, tend the poor, the sick, the sad,
Relume the extinguish'd lights of ancient lore,
Making each little cell a glorious lantern
To beam forth truth o'er our benighted age,
With other functions high, howe'er so humble,
Which I disparage not! But, dearest sister,
Even the care of our own soul becomes
A sin–base selfishness—when we neglect
All care for others; and self-love too oft
Is the dark shape in which the devil haunts
Nunneries, monkeries, and most privacies,
Where your devout recluse, devoted less
To God than self, works for his single weal;
When like that God he should, true catholic,
Advance the universal where he may.....
You see this penitential garb,
Yet call me best of men ;
Edg. It has been worn Long, long enow! 'Tis time it were put off. Eth. How soon will he put off his wretched O Edgitha [shroud! Edg. Pour all into my breast ! Thine is o'erflowing! Eth. No! Unbosom'd pain Is half dismiss'd. I’ll keep my punisher with me. Press me not! there is a way to crush the heart And still its aching as you bind the head When it throbs feverish. Edg. Have care of that! There is a way to secret suicide, By crushing the swoln heart until you kill. Beware ' self-death is no less sinful, given By sorrow's point conceal’d than by the sword. Eth. Nay, I am jocund; let's to supper! There! A king shall be his own house-knight, and serve. See what a feast! we Saxons love good cheer! [He takes from a cupboard pulse, bread, and trater.] Edg: Ah! when he will but smile, how he can smile ! "Tis feigning all! this death sits on his bosom Heavily as Night-Mara's horned steed: His cares for the whole realm oppress him too: And our book-learned Prior oft draws up From some deep fountain a clear drop of truth, Great natures are much given to melancholy.
A SONG FROM ETHELSTAN.
O'en the wild gannet's bath
Come the Norse coursers!
O'er the whale's heritance
Gloriously steering !
With beak'd heads peering,
Tossing their foam abroad,
Shaking white manes aloft,
Steeds of the Ocean'
O'er the Sun's mirror green Come the Norse coursers : Trampling its glassy breadth Into bright fragments' Hollow-back'd, huge-bosom'd, Fraught with mail'd riders, Clanging with hauberks, Shield, spear, and battle-axe, Canvas-wing'd, cable-rein'd, Steeds of the Ocean'
O'er the wind's ploughing-field
Come the Norse coursers!
By a hundred each ridden,
To the bloody feast bidden,
They rush in their fierceness
And ravine all round them "
Their shoulders enriching
With fleecy-light plunder,
Steeds of the Ocean'
SONG OF THE SUMMER WINDS.
Up the dale and down the bourne,
O'er the meadow swift we fly;
Now we sing, and now we mourn,
Now we whistle, now we sigh.
By the grassy-fringed river,
Through the murmuring reeds we sweep;
Mid the lily-leaves we quiver,
To their very hearts we creep.
Now the maiden rose is blushing
At the frolic things we say,
While aside her cheek we're rushing,
Like some truant bees at play.
Through the blooming groves we rustle,
Kissing every bud we pass,
As we did it in the bustle,
Scarcely knowing how it was.
Down the glen, across the mountain, O'er the yellow heath we roam,
Whirling round about the fountain Till its little breakers foam.
Bending down the weeping willows,
While our vesper hymn we sigh;
Then unto our rosy pillows
On our weary wings we hie.
There of idlenesses dreaming,
Scarce from waking we refrain,
Moments long as ages deeming
Till we're at our play again.
Down the dimpled green-sward dancing
Bursts a flaxen-headed bevy,
Bud-lipt boys and girls advancing,
Love's irregular little levy.
Rows of liquid eyes in laughter,
How they glimmer, how they quiver!
Sparkling one another after,
Like bright ripples on a river.
Tipsy band of rubious faces, Flush'd with joy's ethereal spirit,
Make your mocks and sly grimaces At love's self, and do not fear it.
HERE he, your law, vociferous wits, Strong son of the sounding anvil, sits; Black and sharp his eyebrow edge, His hand smites heavily as his sledge— At will he kindles bright discourse, Or blows it out, with blustrous force; The fiery talk, with dominant clamour, Moulds as hot metal with his hammer. Yet this swart sinewy boisterer, His wife and babe sit smiling near, All fairness with all feebleness in her arms, Safe in their innocence and in their charms.
Fool' I mean not That poor-soul’d piece of heroism, self-slaughter: Oh no! the miserablest day we live There's many a better thing to do than die!
Suffice to say, that smoother glade,
Kept greener by a deeper shade,
Never by antler'd form was trod;
Never was strown by that white crowd
Which nips with pettish haste the grass;
Never was lain upon by lass
In harvest time, when Love is tipsy,
And steals to coverts like a gipsy,
There to unmask his ruby face
In unreproved luxuriousness.
'Tis true, in brief of this sweet place,
What the tann'd moon-bearer did feign
Of one rich spot in his own Spain:
The part just o'er it in the skies
Is the true seat of Paradise.
Have you not oft, in the still wind,
Heard sylvan notes of a strange kind,
That rose one moment, and then fell,
Swooning away like a far knell ?
Listen!—that wave of perfume broke
Into sea-music, as I spoke,
Fainter than that which seems to roar
On the moon's silver-sanded shore,
When through the silence of the night
Is heard the ebb and flow of light.
Oh, shut the eye and ope the ear!
Do you not hear, or think you hear,
A wide hush o'er the woodland pass
Like distant waving fields of grass?—
Voices!—ho ! ho!—a band is coming,
Loud as ten thousand bees a-humming,
Or ranks of little merry men
Tromboning deeply from the glen,
And now as if they changed, and rung
Their citterns small, and riband-slung.
Over their gallant shoulders hung'—
A chant! a chant! that swoons and swells
Like soft winds jangling meadow-bells;
Now brave, as when in Flora's bower
Gay Zephyr blows a trumpet-flower;
Now thrilling fine, and sharp, and clear,
Like Dian's moonbeam dulcimer;
But mix'd with whoops, and infant laughter,
Shouts following one another after,
As on a hearty holyday
When youth is flush and full of May;
Small shouts, indeed, as wild bees knew
Both how to hum, and holloa too.
What! is the living meadow sown
With dragon-teeth, as long agone
Or is an army on the plains
Of this sweet clime, to fight with cranes!
Helmet and hauberk, pike and lance,
Gorget and glaive through the long grass glance;
Red-men, and blue-men, and buff-men, small,
Loud-mouth'd captains, and ensigns tall,