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In mosses mixt with violet
| So sweet a face, such angel grace, Her cream-white mule his pastern set: In all that land had never been :
And fleeter now she skimm'd the plains Cophetua sware a royal oath :
THE VISION OF SIN.
I had a vision when the night was late : She look'd so lovely, as she sway'd
A youth came riding toward a palace-gate. The rein with dainty finger-tips,
He rode a horse with wings, that would A man had given all other bliss,
have flown, And all his worldly worth for this,
But that his heavy rider kept him down. To waste his whole heart in one kiss
And from the palace came a child of sin, Upon her perfect lips.
And took him by the curls, and led him in,
Expecting when a fountain should arise :
A sleepy light upon their brows and lips
As when the sun, a crescent of eclipse, Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
Dreams over lake and lawn, and isles and Thy tribute wave deliver :
capes – No more by thee my steps shall be,
Suffused them, sitting, lying, languid For ever and for ever.
By heaps of gourds, and skins of wine, Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea,
and piles of grapes.
Then methought I heard a mellow sound,
Gathering up from all the lower ground; But here will sigh thine alder tree, Narrowing in to where they sat assembled
And here thine aspen shiver ; Low voluptuous music winding trembled, And here by thee will hum the bee, Wov'n in circles : they that heard it For ever and for ever.
| Panted hand in hand with faces pale, A thousand suns will stream on thee, Swung themselves, and in low tones reA thousand moons will quiver ;
plied ; But not by thee my steps shall be, Till the fountain spouted, showering wide For ever and for ever.
Sleet of diamond-drift and pearly hail ;
Storm'd in orbs of song, a growing gale ; HER arms across her breast she laid ; Till thronging in and in, to where they
She was more fair than words can say : 1 waited, Bare-footed came the beggar maid As 't were a hundred-throated nightin. Before the king Cophetua.
gale, In robe and crown the king stept down, The strong tempestuous treble throbb'd To meet and greet her on her way ;
and palpitated ; “It is no wonder,” said the lords, Ran into its giddiest whirl of sound, “She is more beautiful than day.” Caught the sparkles, and in circles,
Purple gauzes, golden hazes, liquid mazes, As shines the moon in clouded skies, Flung the torrent rainbow round:
She in her poor attire was seen : Then they started from their places, One praised her ankles, one her eyes, | Moved with violence, changed in hue,
One her dark hair and lovesome mien. Caught each other with wild grimaces,
Half-invisible to the view,
| Unheeded : and detaching, fold by fold, Wheeling with precipitate paces
From those still heights, and, slowly To the melody, till they flew,
drawing near, Hair, and eyes, and limbs, and faces, | A vapor heavy, hueless, formless, cold, Twisted hard in fierce embraces,
Came floating on for many a month and Like to Furies, like to Graces,
year, Dash'd together in blinding dew : Unheeded : and I thought I would have Till, kill'd with some luxurious agony,
spoken, The nerve-dissolving melody
And warn'd that madman ere it grew too Flutter'd headlong from the sky.
But, as in dreams, I could not. Mine
was broken, And then I look'd up toward a mountain- When that cold vapor touch'd the palace tract,
gate, That girt the region with high cliff and And link'd again. I saw within my head lawn :
A gray and gap-tooth'd man as lean as I saw that every morning, far withdrawn Beyond the darkness and the cataract, Who slowly rode across a wither'd heath, God made himself an awful rose of dawn, And lighted at a ruin'd inn, and said :
| Well I know, when I am gone, • Wrinkled ostler, grim and thin!
How she mouths behind my back Here is custom come your way; Take my brute, and lead him in,
“ Virtue ! - to be good and just — Stuff his ribs with mouldy hay.
Every heart, when sifted well,
Is a clot of warmer dust, “ Bitter barmaid, waning fast !
Mix'd with cunning sparks of hell See that sheets are on my bed ; What ! the flower of life is past :
“Oh! we two as well can look It is long before you wed.
Whited thought and cleanly life
As the priest, above his book “Slip-shod waiter, lank and sour, Leering at his neighbor's wife.
At the Dragon on the heath! Let us have a quiet hour,
“ Fill the cup, and fill the can : Let us hob-and-nob with Death.
Have a rouse before the morn :
Every moment dies a man, “I am old, but let me drink ;
Every moment one is born.
“Drink, and let the parties rave : That my youth was half divine.
They are fill’d with idle spleen ; “ Wine is good for shrivell'd lips,
Rising, falling, like a wave,
For they know not what they mean When a blanket wraps the day, When the rotten woodland drips,
“He that roars for liberty And the leaf is stamp'd in clay.
Faster binds a tyrant's power; “Sit thee down, and have no shame,
And the tyrant's cruel glee
Forces on the freer hour.
“Fill the can, and fill the cup:
All the windy ways of men “Let me screw thee up a peg :
Are but dust that rises up, Let me loose thy tongue with wine : And is lightly laid again. Callest thou that thing a leg? Which is thinnest ? thine or mine ? “Greet her with applausive breath,
Freedom, gayly doth she tread ; “Thou shalt not be saved by works : | In her right a civic wreath, Thou hast been a sinner too :
In her left a human head.
She is of an ancient house : “Fill the cup, and fill the can :
And I think we know the hue
Of that cap upon her brows.
“Let her go ! her thirst she slakes
Where the bloody conduit runs : “ We are men of ruin'd blood ;
Then her sweetest meal she makes Therefore comes it we are wise.
On the first-born of her sons.
“Drink to lofty hopes that cool -
Visions of a perfect State: “Name and fame! to fly sublime Drink we, last, the public fool,
Thro'the courts, the camps, the schools, Frantic love and frantic hate. Is to be the ball of Time, Bandied by the hands of fools. “Chant me now some wicked stave,
Till thy drooping courage rise, “Friendship!- to be two in one -- | And the glow-worm of the grave Let the canting liar pack !
1 Glimmer in thy rheumy eyes.
"Fear not thou to loose thy tongue;
Set thy hcary fancies free ; What is loathsome to the young
Savors well to thee and me.
“Youthful hopes, by scores, to all,
When the locks are crisp and curl'd; Unto me my maudlin gall
And my mockeries of the world.
“Change, reverting to the years,
When thy nerves could understand What there is in loving tears,
And the warmth of hand in hand.
“Fill the cup, and fill the can!
Mingle madness, mingle scorn! | Dregs of life, and lees of man :
Yet we will not die forlorn."
“Tell me tales of thy first love –
April hopes, the fools of chance ; Till the graves begin to move,
The voice grew faint: there came a fur. And the dead begin to dance.
ther change :
Once more uprose the mystic mountain, “Fill the can, and fill the cup :
range : All the windy ways of men
Below were men and horses pierced with
worms, Are but dust that rises up,
And slowly quickening into lower forms; And is lightly laid again.
By shards and scurt of salt, and scuin
of dross, “ Trooping from their mouldy dens The chap-fallen circle spreads :
Old plash of rains, and refuse patch'd
with moss. Welcome, fellow-citizens,
Then some one spake : “Behold ! it was Hollow hearts and empty heads !
Of sense avenged by sense that wore with “ You are bones, and what of that?
time." Every face, however full,
Another said : “ The crime of sense bePadded round with flesh and fat,
came Is but modell’d on a skull.
The crime of malice, and is equal blame."
And one: “He had not wholly quench'd “Death is king, and Vivat Rex!
his power; Tread a measure on the stones, A little grain of conscience made him Madam - if I know your sex, From the fashion of your bones. At last I heard a voice upon the slope
Cry to the summit, “ Is there any hope ?” “No, I cannot praise the fire
To which an answer peal'd from that In your eye -- nor yet your lip:
high land, All the more do I admire
But in a tongue no man could understand ; Joints of cunning workmanship. And on the glimmering limit far with:
drawn “Lo! God's likeness - the ground. God made Himself an awful rose of dawn.
Neither modell’d, glazed, or framed : Buss me, thou rough sketch of man,
Far too naked to be shamed !
** Drink to Fortune, drink to Chance,
While we keep a little breath ! Drink to heavy Ignorance !
Hob-and-nob with brother Death !
COME not, when I am dead,
Todrop thy foolish tears upon my grave,
wouldst not save.
“ Thou art mazed, the night is long,
And the longer night is near : What! I am not all as wrong
As a bitter jest is dear.
Child, if it were thine error or thy crime
I care no longer, being all unblest :
Wed whom thou wilt, but I am sick of
BREAK, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea ! Pass on, weak heart, and leave me where
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.
O well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay !
And the stately ships go on
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
Will never come back to me.
Yon orange sunset waning slow :
THE POET'S SONG
THE rain had fallen, the Poet arose,
He pass'd by the town and out of the To glass herself in dewy eyes
street, That watch me from the glen below. A light wind blew from the gates of tho
sun, Ah, bear me with thee, smoothly borne, And waves of shadow went over the Dip forward under starry light,
wheat, And move me to my marriage-morn, And he sat him down in a lonely place,
And round again to happy night. And chanted a melody loud and sweet,