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Wrapt in drifts of lurid smoke
On the misty river-tide.

X. Thro' the hubbub of the market I steal, a wasted frame, It crosses here, it crosses there, Thro’ all that crowd confused and loud, The shadow still the same; And on my heavy eyelids My anguish hangs like shame.


Alas for her that met me,
That heard me softly call,
Came glimmering thro' the laurels
At the quiet evenfall,
In the garden by the turrets
Of the old manorial hall.


Would the happy spirit descend,
From the realms of light and song,
In the chamber or the street,
As she looks among the blest,
Should I fear to greet my friend
Or to say “Forgive the wrong,
Or to ask her, “Take me, sweet,
To the regions of thy rest”?



But the broad light glares and beats,
And the shadow flits and fleets
And will not let me be;
And I loathe the squares and streets,

And the faces that one meets,
Hearts with no love for me:
Always I long to creep
Into some still cavern deep,
There to weep, and weep, and weep
My whole soul out to thee.


[Poems 1842.]
BREAK, break, break,

On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
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

To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,

And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,

At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead

Will never come back to me.

IN THE VALLEY OF CAUTERETZ. (Gedichtet 1861 (Mem. pg. 398); gedruckt in “Enoch Arden Etc."

1864.] All along the valley, stream that flashest white, Deepening thy voice with the deepening of the night, All along the valley, where thy waters flow,

I walk'd with one I loved two and thirty years ago.
All along the valley, while I walk'd to-day,
The two and thirty years were a mist that rolls away;
For all along the valley, down thy rocky bed,
Thy living voice to me was as the voice of the dead,
And all along the valley, by rock and cave and tree,
The voice of the dead was a living voice to me.


[Aus: “Lancelot and Elaine”, 1859.]
SWEET is true love tho' given in vain, in vain;
And sweet is death who puts an end to pain:
I know not which is sweeter, no, not I.

Love, art thou sweet? then bitter death must be:
Love, thou art bitter; sweet is death to me.
O Love, if death be sweeter, let me die.

Sweet love, that seems not made to fade away, Sweet death, that seems to make us loveless clay, I know not which is sweeter, no, not I.

I fain would follow love, if that could be;
I needs must follow death, who calls for me;
Call and I follow, I follow! let me die.

[Aus: “The Promise of May”, 1882.]
O HAPPY lark, that warblest high

Above thy lowly nest,
O brook, that brawlest merrily by

Thro' fields that once were blest,
O tower spiring to the sky,

O graves in daisies drest,

O Love and Life, how weary am I,

And how I long for rest.


[The Holy Grail etc., 1869.]
Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower—but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

Aus :


[Erzählung Bellicents, der Halbschwester Arthurs. But let me tell thee now another tale: For Bleys, our Merlin's master, as they say, Died but of late, and sent his cry to me, To hear him speak before he left his life. Shrunk like a fairy changeling lay the mage; And when I enter'd told me that himself And Merlin ever served about the King, Uther, before he died; and on the night When Uther in Tintagil past away Moaning and wailing for an heir, the two Left the still King, and passing forth to breathe, Then from the castle gateway by the chasm Descending thro’ the dismal night-a night In which the bounds of heaven and earth were lostBeheld, so high upon the dreary deeps It seem'd in heaven, a ship, the shape thereof A dragon wing'd and all from stem to stern Bright with a shining people on the decks,

And gone as soon as seen.

And then the two Dropt to the cove, and watch'd the great sea fall, Wave after wave, each mightier than the last, Till last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame: And down the wave and in the flame was borne A naked babe, and rode to Merlin's feet, Who stoopt and caught the babe, and cried “The King! Here is an heir for Uther!” And the fringe Of that great breaker, sweeping up the strand, Lash'd at the wizard as he spake the word, And all at once all round him rose in fire, So that the child and he were clothed in fire. And presently thereafter follow'd calm, Free sky and stars: “And this same child,” he said, “Is he who reigns; nor could I part in peace Till this were told.” And saying this the seer Went thro' the strait and dreadful pass of death, Not ever to be question’d any more Save on the further side; but when I met Merlin, and ask'd him if these things were truth The shining dragon and the naked child Descending in the glory of the seas – He laugh'd as is his wont, and answer'd me In riddling triplets of old time, and said:

“Rain, rain, and sun! a rainbow in the sky! A young man will be wiser by and by; An old man's wit may wander ere he die.

Rain, rain, and sun! a rainbow on the lea! And truth is this to me, and that to thee; And truth or clothed or naked let it be.

Rain, sun, and rain! and the free blossom blows: Sun, rain, and sun! and where is he who knows? From the great deep to the great deep he goes."

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