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But he anger'd me all the more, an' I said "You were keeping with her,

When I was a-loving you all along an' the same as before." An' he didn't speak for a while, an' he anger'd me more and more.

Then he patted my hand in his gentle way, "Let bygones be!"

"Bygones! you kept yours hush'd," I said, "when you married me!

By-gones ma' be come-agains; an' she-in her shame an' her sin

You'll have her to nurse my child, if I die o' my lying in! You'll make her its second mother! I hate her-an' I hate you!"

Ah, Harry, my man, you had better ha' beaten me black an' blue

Than ha' spoken as kind as you did, when I were so crazy wi' spite,

"Wait a little, my lass, I am sure it 'ill all come right."


An' he took three turns in the rain, an' I watch'd him, an' when he came in

I felt that my heart was hard, he was all wet thro' to the skin,

An' I never said "off wi' the wet," I never said "on wi' the dry,"

So I knew my heart was hard, when he came to bid me goodbye.

"You said that you hated me, Ellen, but that isn't true, you know;

I am going to leave you a bit-you'll kiss me before I go?"


"Going! you're going to her-kiss her-if you will," I said

I was near my time wi' the boy, I must ha' been light i' my head

"I had sooner be cursed than kiss'd!"-I didn't know well what I meant,

But I turn'd my face from him, an' he turn'd his face an' he went.


And then he sent me a letter, "I've gotten my work to do; You wouldn't kiss me, my lass, an' I never loved any

but you;

I am sorry for all the quarrel an' sorry for what she wrote, I ha' six weeks' work in Jersey an' go to-night by the boat."


An' the wind began to rise, an' I thought of him out

at sea,

An' I felt I had been to blame; he was always kind to me. "Wait a little, my lass, I am sure it 'ill all come right". An' the boat went down that night-the boat went down that night.


[Ballads and Poems 1880.]


I WAS the chief of the race-he had stricken my father dead

But I gather'd my fellows together, I swore I would strike off his head.

Each of them look'd like a king, and was noble in birth as in worth,

And each of them boasted he sprang from the oldest race upon earth.

Each was as brave in the fight as the bravest hero of song, And each of them liefer had died than have done one another a wrong.

He lived on an isle in the ocean-we sail'd on a Friday


He that had slain my father the day before I was born.


And we came to the isle in the ocean, and there on the shore was he.

But a sudden blast blew us out and away thro' a boundless sea.


And we came to the Silent Isle that we never had touch'd at before,

Where a silent ocean always broke on a silent shore, And the brooks glitter'd on in the light without sound, and the long waterfalls

Pour'd in a thunderless plunge to the base of the mountain walls,

And the poplar and cypress unshaken by storm flourish'd up beyond sight,

And the pine shot aloft from the crag to an unbelievable height,

And high in the heaven above it there flicker'd a songless lark,

And the cock couldn't crow, and the bull couldn't low, and the dog couldn't bark.

And round it we went, and thro' it, but never a murmur, a breath

It was all of it fair as life, it was all of it quiet as death, And we hated the beautiful Isle, for whenever we strove to speak

Our voices were thinner and fainter than any flittermouse-shriek;

And the men that were mighty of tongue and could raise such a battle-cry

That a hundred who heard it would rush on a thousand lances and die

O they to be dumb'd by the charm!-so fluster'd with anger were they

They almost fell on each other; but after we sail'd away.


And we came to the Isle of Shouting, we landed, a score of wild birds

Cried from the topmost summit with human voices and words;

Once in an hour they cried, and whenever their voices peal'd

The steer fell down at the plow and the harvest died from the field,

And the men dropt dead in the valleys and half of the cattle went lame,

And the roof sank in on the hearth, and the dwelling broke into flame;

And the shouting of these wild birds ran into the hearts of my crew,

Till they shouted along with the shouting and seized one another and slew;

But I drew them the one from the other; I saw that we could not stay,

And we left the dead to the birds and we sail'd with our wounded away.


And we came to the Isle of Flowers: their breath met us out on the seas,

For the Spring and the middle Summer sat each on the lap of the breeze;

And the red passion-flower to the cliffs, and the dark-blue clematis, clung,

And starr'd with a myriad blossom the long convolvulus hung;

And the topmost spire of the mountain was lilies in lieu of snow,

And the lilies like glaciers winded down, running out below

Thro' the fire of the tulip and poppy, the blaze of gorse, and the blush

Of millions of roses that sprang without leaf or a thorn from the bush;

And the whole isle-side flashing down from the peak without ever a tree

Swept like a torrent of gems from the sky to the blue of the sea;

And we roll'd upon capes of crocus and vaunted our kith and our kin,

And we wallow'd in beds of lilies, and chanted the triumph of Finn,

Till each like a golden image was pollen'd from head to feet

And each was as dry as a cricket, with thirst in the middle-day heat.

Blossom and blossom, and promise of blossom, but never a fruit!

And we hated the Flowering Isle, as we hated the isle that was mute,

And we tore up the flowers by the million and flung them in bight and bay,

And we left but a naked rock, and in anger we sail'd



And we came to the Isle of Fruits: all round from the cliffs and the capes,

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