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Whether there dropp'd by some too careless hand,
Ere the Eternal had ordain'd the day?
One song it sang :
Ever with echoes of old ocean rang.
Sang of the sea,
That trembles in the tender blue;
Burnt with dull carmine through and through, Slow smouldering in the summer sky,
Lies low along the fading west; How sweet to watch its splendors die,
Wave-cradled thus, and wind-caress'd! The soft breeze freshens ; leaps the spray
To kiss our cheeks with sudden cheer; Upon the dark edge of the bay
Light-houses kindle far and near, And through the warm deeps of the sky
Steal faint star-clusters, while we rest In deep refreshment, thou and I,
Wave-cradled thus, and wind-caress’d. How like a dream are earth and heaven,
Star-beam and darkness, sky and sea; Thy face, pale in the shadowy even,
Thy quiet eyes that gaze on me!
Thou dearest! We are at life's best,
THE GOLDEN SILENCE
What though I speak no other word ?
Is silence shame? Is patience wrong? —
At least, one song of mine was heard : One echo from the mountain air,
One ocean murmur, glad and free One sign that nothing grand or fair
In all this world was lost to me. I will not wake the sleeping lyre ;
I will not strain the chords of thought ; The sweetest fruit of all desire
Comes its own way, and comes unsought. Though all the bards of earth were dead,
And all their music pass'd away, What Nature wishes should be said
She 'll find the rightful voice to say ! Her heart is in the shimmering leaf,
The drifting cloud, the lonely sky, And all we know of bliss or grief
She speaks in forms that cannot die.
The silent star, the pathless sea,
THE BLESSED DAMOZEL THE blessèd damozel lean'd out
From the gold bar of Heaven ;
Of waters still’d at even ;
And the stars in her hair were seven.
No wrought flowers did adorn,
For service meetly worn;
Was yellow like ripe corn.
One of God's choristers;
From that still look of hers;
Had counted as ten years.
(To one, it is ten years of years.
. . . Yet now, and in this place, Surely she lean'd o'er me — her hair
Fell all about my face...
The whole year sets apace.)
That she was standing on;
The which is Space begun;
She scarce could see the sun.
Of ether, as a bridge ;
With flame and darkness ridge
Spins like a fretful midge. Around her, lovers, newly met
In joy no sorrow claims, : Spoke evermore among themselves
Their rapturous new names;
Went by her like thin flames.
Out of the circling charm;
The bar she lean'd on warm,
Along her bended arm.
Time like a pulse shake fierce
Within the gulf to pierce
The stars sang in their spheres.
Was like a little feather
She spoke through the still weather.
Had when they sang together. (Ah sweet! Even now, in that bird's song,
Strove not her accents there,
Possess'd the mid-day air,
Down all the echoing stair ?)
For he will come,” she said. “Have I not pray'd in Heaven ? — on earth,
Lord, Lord, has he not pray'd ?
And shall I feel afraid ?
And he is clothed in white,
To the deep wells of light;
And bathe there in God's sight.
Occult, withheld, untrod,
With prayer sent up to God;
Each like a little cloud.
That living mystic tree
Is sometimes felt to be,
Saith his Name audibly.
I myself, lying so,
Shall pause in, hush'd and slow,
Or some new thing to know.”
Yea, one wast thou with me
To endless unity
Was but its love for thee ?) “We two,” she said, "will seek the groves
Where the lady Mary is,
Are five sweet symphonies,
Margaret, and Rosalys.
“Circlewise sit they, with bound locks
And foreheads garlanded;
Weaving the golden thread,
Who are just born, being dead.
Then will I lay my cheek
Not once abash'd or weak :
My pride, and let me speak.
To Him round whom all souls
Bow'd with their aureoles :
To their citherns and citoles. “There will I ask of Christ the Lord
Thus much for him and me: -
With Love, only to be,
Together, I and he.”
Less sad of speech than mild, —
The light thrill’d towards her, fill'd With angels in strong level flight.
Her eyes pray'd, and she smiled. (I saw her smile.) But soon their path
Was vague in distant spheres :
The golden barriers,
DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI,
IN THE MIST SITTING all day in a silver mist,
In silver silence all the day,
Save for the low, soft hiss of spray And the lisp of sands by waters kiss'd,
As the tide draws up the bay,