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WILLIAM MORRIS

FROM

THE EARTHLY

ATALANTA VICTORIOUS.

But her late foe stopped short amidst his course,

One moment gazed upon her piteously, FROM "ATALANTA'S RACE," IN "THE EARTHLY

Then with a groan his lingering feet did force PARADISE."

To leave the spot whence he her eyes could see ; AND there two runners did the sign abide And, changed likeone who knows his time must be Foot set to foot, - a young man slim and fair, But short and bitter, without any word Crisp-haired, well knit, with tirm limbs often tried He knelt before the bearer of the sword; In places where no man his strength may spare ; Dainty his thin coat was, and on his hair

Then high rose up the gleaming deadly blade, A golden circlet of renown he wore,

Bared of its flowers, and through the crowded place And in his hand an olive garland bore.

Was silence now, and midst of it the maid

Went by the poor wretch at a gentle pace, But on this day with whom shall he contend? And he to hers upturned his sad white face ; A maid stood by him like Diana clad

Nor did his eyes behold another sight
When in the woods she lists her bow to bend, Ere on his soul there fell eternal night.
Too fair for one to look on and be glad,
Who scarcely yet has thirty summers had,
If he must still behold her from afar ;
Too fair to let the world live free from war.

ATALANTA CONQUERED.
She seemed all earthly matters to forget;

ATALANTA'S RACE," IN Of all tormenting lines her face was clear,

PARADISE.” Her wide gray eyes upon the goal were set Now has the lingering month at last gone by, Calm and unmoved as though no soul were near ; Again are all folk round the running place, But her foe trembled as a man in fear,

Nor other seems the dismal pageantry Nor from her loveliness one moment turned

Than heretofore, but that another face His anxious face with fierce desire that burned.

Looks o'er the smooth course ready for the race, Now through the hush there broke the trum- Stands on the spot he twice has looked upon.

For now, beheld of all, Milanion pet's clang Just as the setting sun made eventide.

But yet

what change is this that holds the Then from light feet a spurt of dust there sprang, maid ? And swiftly were they running side by side ;

Does she indeed see in his glittering eye But silent did the thronging folk abide

More than disdain of the sharp shearing blade, Until the turning-post was reached at last,

Some happy hope of help and victory? And round about it still abreast they passed.

The others seemed to say, “We come to die,

Look down upon us for a little while,
But when the people saw how close they ran,
When half-way to the starting point they were,

That dead, we may bethink us of thy smile." A cry of joy broke forth, whereat the man

But he — what look of mastery was this Headed the white-foot runner, and drew near

He cast on her ? why were his lips so red ? Unto the very end of all his fear; And scarce his straining feet the ground could feel, So looks not one who deems himself but dead,

Why was his face so flushed with happiness! And bliss unhoped for o'er his heart 'gan steal.

E'en if to death he bows a willing head ; Buit midst the loud victorious shouts he heard" So rather looks a god well pleased to find Her footsteps drawing nearer, and the sound Some earthly damsel fashioned to his mind. Of finttering raiment, and thereat afeard His flushed and eager face he turned around,

Why must she drop her lids before his gaze,

And even as she casts adown her eyes
And even then he felt her past him bound
Fleet as the wind, but scarcely saw her there

Redden to note his eager glance of praise,

And wish that she were clad in other guise ! Till on the goal she laid her fingers fair.

Why must the memory to her heart arise There stood she breathing like a little child Of things unnoticed when they first were heard, Amid some warlike clamor laid asleep,

Some lover's song, some answering maiden's word? For no victorious joy her red lips smiled, Her cheek its wonted freshness did but keep; What makes these longings, vague, without a No glance lit up her clear gray eyes and deep,

name, Though some divine thought softened all her face and this vain pity never felt before, As once more rang the trumpet through the place. This sudden languor, this contempt of fame,

This tender sorrow for the time past o'er, To win the day, though now but scanty space These doubts that grow each minute more and was left betwixt him and the winning place.

more? Why does she tremble as the time grows near, Short was the way unto such wingéd feet, And weak defeat and woful victory fear ? Quickly she gained upon him till at last

He turned about her eager eyes to meet, But while she seemed to hear her beating And from his hand the third fair apple cast. heart,

She wavered not, but turned and ran so fast Above their heads the trumpet blast rang out, After the prize that should her bliss fulfil, And forth they sprang; and she must play her That in her hand it lay ere it was still.

part ; Then flew her white feet, knowing not a doubt, Nor did she rest, but turned about to win Though slackening once, she turned her head Once more, an unblest woful victory – about,

And yet — and yet — why does her breath begin But then she cried aloud and faster fled

To fail her, and her feet drag heavily? Than e'er before, and all men deemed him Why fails she now to see if far or nigh dead.

The goal is ? why do her gray eyes grow dim ?

Why do these tremors run through every limb ? But with no sound he raised aloft his hand, And thence what seemed a ray of light there She spreads her arms abroad some stay to find flew

Else must she fall, irfdeed, and findeth this, And past the maid rolled on along the sand ; A strong man's arms about her body twined. Then trembling she her feet together drew, Nor may she shudder now to feel his kiss, And in her heart a strong desire there grew So wrapped she is in new, unbroken bliss : To have the toy ; some god she thought had Made happy that the foe the prize hath won, given

She weeps glad tears for all her glory done. That gift to her, to make of earth a heaven.

WILLIAM MORRIS.

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soul;

ACBAR AND NOURMAHAL.

Illumed by a wit that would fascinate sages,

Yet playful as Peris just loosed from their cages. FROM "THE LIGHT OF THE HAREM."

While her laugh, full of life, without any control Oh ! best of delights, as it everywhere is, But the sweet one of gracefulness, rung from her To be near the loved one, what a rapture is his Who in moonlight and music thus sweetly may And where it most sparkled no glance could disglide

cover, O'erthe Lake of Cashmere with that one by his side! In lip, cheek, oreyes, forshe brightened allover, – If woman can make the worst wilderness dear, Like any fair lake that the breeze is upon, Think, think what a heaven she must make of When it breaksinto dimples, and laughs in the sun. Cashmere !

Such, such were the peerless enchantments that

gave So felt the magnificent Son of Acbar,

Nourmahal the proud Lord of the East for her When from power and pompand the trophies of war

slave ; He flew to that valley, forgetting them all And though bright was his Harem, - a living With the Light of the Harem, his young Nour parterre mahal.

Of the flowers of this planet, — though treasures When free and uncrowned as the conqueror roved were there, By the banks of that lake, with his only beloved, For which Solomon's self might have given all He saw, in the wreaths she would playfully snatch

the store From the hedges, a glory his crown could not That the navy from Ophir e'er winged to his shore, match,

Yet dim before her were the smiles of them all, And preferred in his heart the least ringlet that And the Lightof his Harem was young Nourmahal!

curled Down her exquisite neck to the throne of the world !

THOMAS MOORE.

ROBERT BROWNING

There 's a beauty, forever unchangingly bright,

MEETING.
Like the long sunny lapse of a summer's day's light,
Shining on, shiningon, by no shadow made tender, THE gray sea, and the long black land;
Till love falls asleep in its sameness of splendor. And the yellow half-moon large and low;
This was not the beauty, -0, nothing like this, And the startled little waves, that leap
That to young Nourmahal gave such magic of bliss, In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
But that loveliness, ever in motion, which plays As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
Like the light upon autumn's soft shadowy days, And quench its speed in the slushy sand.
Now here and now there, giving warmth as it flies
From the lips to the cheek, from the cheek to the Then a mile of warm, sea-scented beach ;
eyes,

Three fields to cross, till a farm appears :
Now melting in mist and now breakingin gleams, A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
Like the glimpses a saint has of heaven in his And blue spurt of a lighted match,
dreams!

And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears, When pensive, it seemed as if that very grace, Than the two hearts, beating each to each. That charm of all others, was born with her face ; And when angry, - for even in the tranquillest

climes Light breezes will ruffle the flowers sometimes,

THE LADY'S LOOKING-GLASS. The short, passing anger but seemed to awaken New beauty, like flowers that are sweetest when CELIA and I, the other day, shaken.

Walked o'er the sand-hills to the sea : If tenderness touched her, the dark of her eye The setting sun adorned the coast, At once took a darker, a heavenlier dye,

His beams entire his fierceness lost : From the depth of whose shadow, like holy re And on the surface of the deep vealings

The winds lay only not asleep : Fronn innermost shrines, came the light of her The nymphs did, like the scene, appear feelings !

Serenely pleasant, calmly fair ; Then her mirth — 0, 't was sportive as ever Soft felt her words as flew the air. took wing

With secret joy I heard her say From the heart with a burst like the wild-bird That she would never miss one day in spring,

A walk so fine, a sight so gay,

But, О the change! The winds grow high,
Impending tempests charge the sky,
The lightning flies, the thunder roars,
The big waves lash the frightened shores.
Struck with the horror of the sight,
She turns her head and wings her flight;
And, trembling, vows she'll ne'er again
Approach the shore or view the main.

Dark was her hair ; her hand was white;

Her voice was exquisitely tender ; Her eyes were full of liquid light;

I never saw a waist so slender; Her every look, her every smile,

Shot right and left a score of arrows : I thought 't was Venus from her isle,

And wondered where she 'd left her sparrows

“Once more at least look back," said I,

• Thyself in that large glass descry :
When thou art in good humor drest,
When gentle reason rules thy breast,
The sun upon the calmest sea
Appears not half so bright as thee:
'T is then that with delight I rove
Upon the boundless depth of love :
I bless my chain, I hand my oar,
Nor think on all I left on shore.

She talked of politics or prayers,

Of Southey's prose or Wordsworth's sonnets, Of danglers or of dancing bears,

Of battles or the last new bonnets ;
By candle-light, at twelve o'clock,-

To me it mattered not a tittle,
If those bright lips had quoted Locke,

I might have thought they murmured Little.

Through sunny May, through sultry June,

I loved her with a love eternal ; I spoke her praises to the moon,

I wrote them to the Sunday Journal. My mother laughed; I soon found out

That ancient ladies have no feeling: My father frowned; but how should gout

See any happiness in kneeling?

“ But when vain doubt and groundless fear
Do that dear foolish bosom tear;
When the big lip and watery eye
Tell me the rising storm is nigh ;
'T is then thou art yon angry main
Deformed by winds and dashed by rain ;
And the poor sailor that must try
Its fury labors less than I.
Shipwrecked, in vain to land I make,
While love and fate still drive me back :
Forced to dote on thee thy own way,
I chide thee first, and then obey :
Wretched when from thee, vexed when nigh,
I with thee, or without thee, die."

MATTHEW PRIOR.

She was the daughter of a dean, —

Rich, fat, and rather apoplectic; She had one brother just thirteen,

Whose color was extremely hectic ; Her grandmother for many a year,

Had fed the parish with her bounty ; Her second cousin was a peer,

And lord-lieutenant of the county.

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Soft songs to Julia's cockatoo,

Fierce odes to famine and to slaughter,
And autographs of Prince Leeboo,

And recipes for elder water.
And she was flattered, worshipped, bored ;

Her steps were watched, her dress was noted; Her poodle-dog was quite adored ;

Her sayings were extremely quoted.
She laughed, - and every heart was glad,

As if the taxes were abolished ;
She frowned, — and every look was sad,

As if the opera were demolished.
She smiled on many just for fun,

I knew that there was nothing in it; I was the first, the only one,

Her heart had thought of for a minute. I knew it, for she told me so,

In phrase which was divinely moulded ; She wrote a charming hand, - and 0,

How sweetly all her notes were folded ! Our love was most like other loves,

A little glow, a little shiver, A rosebud and a pair of gloves,

And “Fly Not Yet," upon the river ; Some jealousy of some one's heir,

Some hopes of dying broken-hearted ; A miniature, a lock of hair,

The usual vows, — and then we parted. We parted : months and years rolled by ;

We met again four summers after. Our parting was all sob and sigh,

Our meeting was all mirth and laughter ! For in my heart's most secret cell

There had been many other lodgers ; And she was not the ball-room's belle,

But only Mrs. — Something - Rogers !

WINTHROP MACKWORTH PRAED.

THE FRIAR OF ORDERS GRAY. It was a friar of orders gray

Walked forth to tell his beads; And he met with a lady fair

Clad in a pilgrim's weeds.

“ Yow Christ thee save, thou reverend friar;

I pray thee tell to me, If ever at yon holy shrine

My true love thou didst see." “ And how should I know your true-love

From many another one ?" “0, by his cockle hat, and staff,

And by his sandal shoon.

“But chiefly by his face and mien,

That were so fair to view ;
His flaxen locks that sweetly curled,

And eyes of lovely blue."

“O lady, he's dead and gone !

Lady, he's dead and gone !
And at his head a green grass turf,

And at his heels a stone.

“Within these holy cloisters long

He languished, and he died, Lamenting of a lady's love,

And 'plaining of her pride.

“ Here bore him barefaced on his bier

Six proper youths and tall,
And many a tear bedewed his grave

Within yon kirk-yard wall."

“And art thou dead, thou gentle youth ?

And art thou dead and gone ? And didst thou die for love of me?

Break, cruel heart of stone !"

O weep not, lady, weep not so;

Some ghostly comfort seek ;
Let not vain sorrow rive thy heart,

Nor tears bedew thy cheek.”

“O do not, do not, holy friar,

My sorrow now reprove ;
For I have lost the sweetest youth

That e'er won lady's love.

“And now, alas ! for thy sad loss

I'll evermore weep and sigh : For thee I only wished to live,

For thee I wish to die."

“Weep no more, lady, weep no more,

Thy sorrow is in vain ; For violets plucked, the sweetest showers

Will ne'er make grow again.

“Our joys as wingéd dreams do fly;

Why then should sorrow last ? Since grief but aggravates thy loss,

Grieve not for what is past."

0 say

not so, thou holy friar ; I pray thee, say not so ; For since my true-love died for me,

'Tis meet my tears should flow.

“And will he never come again ?

Will he ne'er come again ? Ah ! no he is dead and laid in his grave,

Forever to remain.

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