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350

355

In other ages

360

Sleep, quiet with his poppy coronet :
For what there may be worthy in these rhymes
I partly owe to him : and thus, the chimes
Of friendly voices had just given place
To as sweet a silence, when I 'gan retrace
The pleasant day, upon a couch at ease.
It was a poet's house who keeps the keys
Of pleasure's temple. Round about were hung
The glorious features of the bards who sung

cold and sacred busts
Smiled at each other. (Happy he who trusts
To clear Futurity his darling fame !
Then there were fauns and satyrs taking aim
At swelling apples with a frisky leap
And reaching fingers, ʼmid a luscious heap
Of vine leaves. Then there rose to view a fane
Of liny marble, and thereto a train
Of nymphs approaching fairly o'er the sward :
One, loveliest, holding her white hand toward
The dazzling sun-rise : two sisters sweet
Bending their graceful figures till they meet
Over the trippings of a little child :
And some are hearing, eagerly, the wild
Thrilling liquidity of dewy, piping.
See, in another picture, nymphs are wiping
Cherishingly Diana's timorous limbs; -
A fold of lawny mantle dabbling swims
At the bath's edge, and keeps a gentle motion
With the subsiding crystal : as when ocean
Heaves calmly its broad swelling smoothness o'e
Its rocky marge, and balances once more
The patient weeds; that now unshent by foam
Feel all about their undulating home.
Sappho's meek head was there half smiling down

365

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At nothing ; just as though the earnest frown
Of over thinking had that moment gone
From off her brow, and left her all alone.

385

Great Alfred's too, with anxious, pitying eyes,
As if he always listened to the sighs
Of the goaded world ; and Kosciusko's worn
By horrid suffrance — mightily forlorn.
Petrarch, outstepping from the shady green,
Starts at the sight of Laura ; nor can wean

390
His eyes from her sweet face. Most happy they!
For over them was seen a free display
Of out-spread wings, and from between them shone
The face of Poesy : from off her throne
She overlook'd things that I scarce could tell. 395
The very sense of where I was might well
Keep Sleep aloof: but more than that there came
Thought after thought to nourish up the flame
Within my breast ; so that the morning light
Surprised me even from a sleepless night;

400 And up I rose refresh'd, and glad, and gay, Resolving to begin that very day These lines; and howsoever they be done, I leave them as a father does his son.

400

STANZAS.

In a drear-nighted December
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity :

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ASLEEP! O sleep a little while, white pearl !
And let me kneel, and let me pray to thee,
And let me call Heaven's blessing on thine eyes,
And let me breathe into the happy air,
That doth enfold and touch thee all about,
Vows of my slavery, my giving up,
My sudden adoration, my great love !

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Where the maidens sweet

Of the Market Street
Do meet in the dusk to revel.

There's the Barton rich

With dyke and ditch
And hedge for the thrush to live in,

And the hollow tree

For the buzzing bee,
And a bank for the wasp to hive in.

6.

And Oh, and Oh,

The daisies blow
And the primroses are awaken'd,

And the violets white

Sit in silver plight,
And the green bud 's as long as the spike end.

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Then who would go

Into dark Soho,
And chatter with dack'd hair'd critics,

When he can stay

For the new-mown hay,
And startle the dappled prickets?

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