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My cheek is cold and white, alas !
My heart beats loud and fast :
O press it close to thine again,
Where it will break at last !



O, my Luve 's like a red, red rose

That's newly sprung in June;
O, my Luve 's like the melodie

That 's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,

So deep in luve am I;
And I will love thee still, my dear,

Till a' the seas gang dry;
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,

And the rocks melt wi' the sun ;
I will luve thée still, my dear,

While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve !

And fare thee weel a while !
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.


I WONDER do you feel to-day

As I have felt, since, hand in hand,
We sat down on the grass, to stray

In spirit better through the land,
This morn of Rome and May?
For me, I touch'd a thought, I know,

Has tantalized me many times,
(Like turns of thread the spiders throw

Mocking across our path) for rhymes
To catch at and let go.
Help me to hold it! First it left

The yellowing fennel, run to seed
There, branching from the brickwork's cleft,

Some old tomb's ruin ; yonder weed
Took up the floating weft,
Where one small orange cup amass'd

Five beetles, — blind and green they grope
Among the honey-meal: and last,

Everywhere on the grassy slope
I traced it. Hold it fast!
The champaign with its endless fleece

Of feathery grasses everywhere!
Silence and passion, joy and peace,

An everlasting wash of air —
Rome's ghost since her decease.
Such life there, through such lengths of hours,

Such miracles perform'd in play,
Such primal naked forms of flowers,

Such letting Nature have her way
While Heaven looks from its towers!
How say you? Let us, O my dove,

Let us be unashamed of soul,
As earth lies bare to heaven above!

How is it under our control
To love or not to love ?
I would that you were all to me,

You that are just so much, no more.
Nor yours, nor mine, - nor slave nor free!

Where does the fault lie? what the core
Of the wound, since wound must be ?
I would I could adopt your will,

See with your eyes, and set my heart
Beating by yours, and drink my fill

At your soul's springs, — your part, my part
In life, for good and ill.
No. I yearn upward, touch you close,

Then stand away. I kiss your cheek,
Catch your soul's warmth, - I pluck the rose

And love it more than tongue can speak —
Then the good minute goes.
Already how am I so far
· Out of that minute ? Must I go

Still like the thistle-ball, no bar,
'Onward, whenever light winds blow,
Fix'd by no friendly star ?
Just when I seem'd about to learn !

Where is the thread now ? Off again!
The old trick! Only I discern —

Infinite passion, and the pain Of finite hearts that yearn.



I SAT with Doris, the shepherd maiden :

Her crook was laden with wreathèd flowers ; I sat and woo'd her through sunlight wheeling,

And shadows stealing, for hours and hours. And she, my Doris, whose lap encloses

Wild summer roses of rare perfume, The while I sued her, kept hush'd and hearken'd

Till shades had darken'd from gloss to gloom. She touch'd my shoulder with fearful finger :

She said, “ We linger; we must not stay ; My flock 's in danger, my sheep will wander :

Behold them yonder — how far they stray !”
I answer'd bolder, “Nay, let me hear you

And still be near you, and still adore ;
No wolf nor stranger will touch one yearling ;

Ah! stay, my darling, a moment more!
She whisper'd, sighing: “There will be sorrow

Beyond to-morrow, if I lose to-day ;
My fold unguarded, my flock unfolded,

I shall be scolded, and sent away.” Said I, replying: “If they do miss you,

They ought to kiss you when you get home; And well rewarded by friends and neighbor

Should be the labor from which you come.“They might remember,” she answered meekly,

“That lambs are weakly and sheep are wild ; But if they love me 't is none so fervent ;

I am a servant, and not a child.” Then each hot ember glowed quick within me,

And love did win me to swift reply : Ah! do but prove me, and none shall bind you

Nor fray nor find you, until I die.”
She blushed and started, and stood awaiting,

As if debating in dreams divine ;
But I did brave them - I told her plainly

She doubted vainly; she must be mine.
So we, twin-hearted, from all the valley

Did rouse and rally the nibbling ewes,
And homeward drove them, we two together,

Through blooming heather and gleaming dews. That simple duty fresh grace did lend her

My Doris tender, my Doris true :

That I, her warder, did always bless her,

And often press her to take her due.
And now in beauty she fills my dwelling

With love excelling and undefiled;
And love doth guard her, both fast and fervent,
No more a servant, nor yet a child.



SHE was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;
Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A spirit, yet a woman too !
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine ;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death ;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill ;
A perfect woman, nobly plann'd,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.


COME to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth;
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say: My love ! why sufferest thou ?
Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.


Oh, loosen the snood that you wear, Janette,
Let me tangle a hand in your hair - my pet ;
For the world to me had no daintier sight
Than your brown hair veiling your shoulder white ;

Your beautiful dark brown hair — my pet. It was brown with a golden gloss, Janette, It was finer than silk of the floss — my pet ; 'T was a beautiful mist falling down to your wrist, ’T was a thing to be braided, and jewell’d, and kiss'd

'T was the loveliest hair in the world — my pet.
My arm was the arm of a clown, Janette,
It was sinewy, bristled, and brown — my pet ;
But warmly and softly it loved to caress
Your round white neck and your wealth of tress,

Your beautiful plenty of hair — my pet.
Your eyes had a swimming glory, Janette.
Revealing the old, dear story — my pet ;
They were gray with that chasten'd tinge of the sky
When the trout leaps quickest to snap the fly,

And they match'd with your golden hair — my pet.
Your lips — but I have no words, Janette -
They were fresh as the twitter of birds — my pet,
When the spring is young, and roses are wet,
With the dew-drops in each red bosom set,

And they suited your gold brown hair — my pet.
Oh, you tangled my life in your hair, Janette,
T was a silken and golden snare — my pet ;

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