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“The way is long to his son's abode, 200 “

"They've caught her to Westholm's Little brother."

saddle-bow, (O Mother, Mary Mother,

Sister Helen,

240 The way is long, between Hell and Heaven!) And her moonlit hair gleams white in its

flow." “A lady's here, by a dark steed brought, “Let it turn whiter than winter snow, Sister Helen, 205

Little brother!" So darkly clad, I saw her not.”

(O Mother, Mary Mother, “See her now or never see aught,

Woe-withered gold, between Hell and
Little brother!”
Heaven!)

245 (O Mother, Mary Mother, What more to see, between Hell and Heaven?)

“O Sister Helen, you heard the bell,

Sister Helen! “Her hood falls back, and the moon shines More loud than the vesper-chime it fell.” fair,

"No vesper-chime, but a dying knell, Sister Helen,

Little brother!” 250 On the Lady of Ewern's golden hair."

(O Mother, Mary Mother, “Blest hour of my power and her despair, His dying knell, between Hell and Heaven!)

Little brother!” 215

(O Mother, Mary Mother, “Alas! but I fear the heavy sound, Hour blest and banned, between Hell and

Sister Helen; Heaven!

Is it in the sky or in the ground?” 255 “Pale, pale her cheeks, that in pride did

“Say, have they turned their horses round,

Little brother?” glow, Sister Helen,

(O Mother, Mary Mother, ’Neath the bridal-wreath three days ago.”

What would she more, between Hell and

Heaven?) "One morn for pride and three days for woe,

Little brother!” "They have raised the old man from his (O Mother, Mary Mother, knee,

260 Three days, three nights, between Hell and

Sister Helen, Heaven!)

And they ride in silence hastily."

“More fast the naked soul doth flee, Her clasped hands stretch from her bend

Little brother!" ing head,

225

(O Mother, Mary Mother, 265 Sister Helen; The naked soul, between Hell and Heaven!) With the loud wind's wail her sobs are wed.”

“Flank to flank are the three steeds gone, “What wedding-strains hath her bridal

Sister Helen, bed,

But the lady's dark steed goes alone. Little brother?" (O Mother, Mary Mother, 230

“And lonely her bridegroom's soul hath flown,

270 What strain but death's, between Hell and

Little brother." Heaven?)

(O Mother, Mary Mother, “She may not speak, she sinks in a swoon,

The lonely ghost, between Hell and Heaven!)

Sister Helen,She lifts her lips and gasps on the moon.” “Oh the wind is sad in the iron chill, “Oh! might I but hear her soul's blithe

Sister Helen, 275 tune,

235 And weary sad they look by the hill." Little brother!” “But he and I are sadder still, (O Mother, Mary Mother,

Little brother!” Her woe's dumb cry, between Hell and

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Heaven!)

Most sad of all, between Hell and Heaven!)

221

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“See, see the wax has dropped from its O love, my love! if I no more should see place,

281 Thyself, nor on the earth the shadow of Sister Helen,

thee, And the flames are winning up apace!" Nor image of thine eyes in any spring,

| “Yet here they burn but for a space, How then should sound upon Life's dark

Little brother!” 285 ening slope,

(O Mother, Mary Mother, The ground-whirl of the perished leaves of Here for a space, between Hell and Heaven!) Hope,

The wind of Death's imperishable wing? “Ah! what white thing at the door has crossed,

XIX. SILENT NOON
Sister Helen,

Your hands lie open in the long fresh Ah! what is this that sighs in the frost?"290

grass, “A soul that's lost as mine is lost,

The finger-points look through like rosy
Little brother!”

blooms:
(O Mother, Mary Mother,
Your eyes smile peace.

The pasture Lost, lost, all lost, between Hell and Heaven!)

gleams and glooms ’Neath billowing skies that scatter and

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All round our nest, far as the eye can From THE HOUSE OF LIFE

pass,

5 THE SONNET

Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge

Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawA Sonnet is a moment's monument,

thorn-hedge. Memorial from the Soul's eternity,

'Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass. To one dead deathless hour. Look that it Deep in the sun-searched growths the be,

dragon-fly Whether for lustral rite or dire portent,

Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the

a Of its own arduous fulness reverent: 5

sky:Carve it in ivory or in ebony,

So this winged hour is dropped to us from As Day or Night may rule; and let Time

above.

Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless Its flowering crest impearled and orient.

dower, A Sonnet is a coin: its face reveals

This close-companioned inarticulate hour The soul, -its converse, to what Power

When twofold silence was the song of love. 't is due:Whether for tribute to the august appeals

XCVII. A SUPERSCRIPTION Of Life, or dower in Love's high retinue, It serve; or, 'mid the dark wharf's cav- Look in my face; my name is Might-haveernous breath,

been; In Charon's palm it pay the toll to Death.

I am also called No-more, Too-late, Fare

well;

Unto thine ear I hold the dead-sea shell IV. LOVESIGHT

Cast up thy Life's foam-fretted feet beWhen do I see thee most, beloved one?

tween; When in the light the spirits of mine eyes Unto thine eyes the glass where that is Before thy face, their altar, solemnize The worship of that Love through thee which had Life's form and Love's, but by made known?

my spell Or when in the dusk hours, (we two alone,) Is now a shaken shadow intolerable, Close-kissed and eloquent of still replies, 6 Of ultimate things unuttered the frail Thy twilight-hidden glimmering visage lies,

seen

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Mark me, how still I am! But should And my soul only sees thy soul its own? there dart

screen,

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One moment through thy soul the soft sur- To those who in the sleepy region stay, prise

Lulled by the singer of an empty day. Of that winged Peace which lulls the breath of sighs,

Folk say, a wizard to a northern king Then shalt thou see me smile, and turn At Christmas-tide such wondrous things apart

did show,

30 Thy visage to mine ambush at thy heart, That through one window men beheld the Sleepless with cold commemorative eyes. spring,

And through another saw the summer

glow, WILLIAM MORRIS (1834–1896) And through a third the fruited vines a

row, From THE EARTHLY PARADISE While still, unheard, but in its wonted way,

Piped the drear wind of that December AN APOLOGY

day. Of Heaven or Hell I have no power to sing,

So with this Earthly Paradise it is, I cannot ease the burden of your fears, If ye will read aright, and pardon me, Or make quick-coming death a little thing, Who strive to build a shadowy isle of bliss Or bring again the pleasure of past years, Midmost the beating of the steely sea, Nor for my words shall ye forget your Where tossed about all hearts of men tears,

must be;

40 Or hope again for aught that I can say, Whose ravening monsters mighty men The idle singer of an empty day.

shall slay,

Not the poor singer of an empty day. But rather, when aweary of your mirth,

, From full hearts still unsatisfied ye sigh,

PROLOGUE And, feeling kindly unto all the earth, 10 Grudge every minute as it passes by, Forget six counties overhung with Made the more mindful that the sweet smoke, days die

Forget the snorting steam and piston Remember me a little then, I pray,

Ι

stroke, The idle singer of an empty day.

Forget the spreading of the hideous town;

Think rather of the pack-horse on the The heavy trouble, the bewildering care down, That weighs us down who live and earn And dream of London, small, and white, our bread, 16 and clean,

5 These idle verses have no power to bear; The clear Thames bordered by its gardens So let me sing of names remembered,

green; Because they, living not, can ne'er be Think, that below bridge the green lapping

dead, Or long time take their memory quite Smite some few keels that bear Levantine away

staves, From us poor singers of an empty day. Cut from the yew wood on the burnt-up

hill, Dreamer of dreams, born out of my due And pointed jars that Greek hands toiled time,

to fill, Why should I strive to set the crooked And treasured scanty spice from some far straight?

sea, Let it suffice me that my murmuring Florence gold cloth, and Ypres napery, rhyme

And cloth of Bruges, and hogsheads of Beats with light wing against the ivory Guienne; gate,

25 While nigh the thronged wharf Geoffrey Telling a tale not too importunate

Chaucer's pen

waves

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they,

and gray;

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Moves over bills of lading—'mid such But battered, rent, and rusted sore, and times

15 Shall dwell the hollow puppets of my The men themselves, are shrivelled, bent,

rhymes. A nameless city in a distant sea,

And as they lean with pain upon their White as the changing walls of faërie,

spears Thronged with much people clad in an- Their brows seem furrowed deep with cient guise

more than years; I now am fain to set before your eyes; For sorrow dulls their heavy sunken eyes; There, leave the clear green water and Bent are they less with time than miseries.

55

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the quays,

And pass betwixt its marble palaces,

ATALANTA'S RACE Until ye come unto the chiefest square; A bubbling conduit is set midmost there, Atalanta, daughter of King Schøneus, not And und about it now the naidens willing to lose her virgin's estate, made it a throng,

law to all suitors that they should run a race

25 With jest and laughter, and sweet broken

with her in the public place, and if they

failed to overcome her should die unresong,

venged; and thus many brave men perished. Making but light of labor new begun While in their vessels gleams the morning

At last came Milanion, the son of Amphi

damus, who, outrunning her with the help sun.

of Venus, gained the virgin and wedded On one side of the square a temple her.

stands, Wherein the gods worshipped in ancient Through thick Arcadian woods a hunter lands

30 went, Still have their altars; a great market-place Following the beasts up, on a fresh spring Upon two other sides fills all the space,

day; And thence the busy hum of men comes But since his horn-tipped bow, but seldom forth;

bent, But on the cold side looking toward the Now at the noontide naught had happed north

to slay, A pillared council-house may you behold, Within a vale he called his hounds away, 5 Within whose porch are images of gold, 36 Hearkening the echoes of his lone voice Gods of the nations who dwelt anciently cling About the borders of the Grecian sea. About the cliffs and through the beechPass now between them, push the brazen trees ring.

door, And standing on the polished marble floor But when they ended, still awhile he stood, Leave all the noises of the square behind; And but the sweet familiar thrush could Most calm that reverent chamber shall hear,

42 And all the day-long noises of the wood, 10 Silent at first, but for the noise you made | And o'er the dry leaves of the vanished When on the brazen door your hand you year laid

His hounds' feet pattering as they drew To shut it after you,—but now behold 45 anear, The city rulers on their thrones of gold, And heavy breathing from their heads low Clad in most fair attire, and in their hands

hung, Long carven silver-banded ebony wands; To see the mighty cornel bow unstrung. Then from the dais drop your eyes and see

Then smiling did he turn to leave the Soldiers and peasants standing reverently place,

15 Before those elders, round a little band SI But with his first step some new fleeting Who bear such arms as guard the English thought land,

A shadow cast across his sunburnt face:

ye find,

20

and won,

new,

25

I think the golden net that April brought Which at the first of folk were wellnigh From some warm world his wavering soul bare; had caught;

But pressing on, and going more hastily, For, sunk in vague sweet longing, did he Men hurrying too he 'gan at last to see.

go Betwixt the trees with doubtful steps and Following the last of these, he still pressed slow.

on,

50

Until an open space he came unto, Yet howsoever slow he went, at last Where wreaths of fame had oft been lost The trees grew sparser, and the wood was done;

For feats of strength folk there were wont Whereon one farewell, backward look he to do. cast,

And now our hunter looked for something Then, turning round to see what place was won,

Because the whole wide space was bare, With shaded eyes looked underneath the and stilled

55 sun,

The high seats were, with eager people And o'er green meads and new-turned fur- filled.

rows brown Beheld the gleaming of King Schæneus' There with the others to a seat he gat, town.

Whence he beheld a broidered canopy,

'Neath which in fair array King Schæneus So thitherward he turned, and on each sat side

Upon his throne with councillors thereby; The folk were busy on the teeming land, 30 And underneath his well-wrought seat and And man and maid from the brown fur- high,

61 rows cried,

He saw a golden image of the Sun, Or midst the newly blossomed vines did | A silver image of the Fleet-foot One.

stand, And as the rustic weapon pressed the hand A brazen altar stood beneath their feet Thought of the nodding of the well-filled Whereon a thin flame flickered in the wind; ear,

Nigh this a herald clad in raiment meet 66 Or how the knife the heavy bunch should Made ready even now his horn to wind, shear.

35 | By whom a huge man held a sword, in

twined Merry it was: about him sung the birds, With yellow flowers; these stood a little The spring flowers bloomed along the firm

space dry road,

From off the altar, nigh the startingThe sleek-skinned mothers of the sharp- place.

70 horned herds Now for the barefoot milking-maidens And there two runners did the sign abide, lowed;

Foot set to foot,-a young man slim and While from the freshness of his blue abode, fair, Glad his death-bearing arrows to forget, 41 Crisp-haired, well-knit, with firm limbs The broad sun blazed, nor scattered often tried plagues as yet.

In places where no man his strength may

spare; Through such fair things unto the gates | Dainty his thin coat was, and on his hair 75

A golden circlet of renown he wore, And found them open, as though peace And in his hand an olive garland bore.

were there; Wherethrough, unquestioned of his race or But on this day with whom shall he conname,

45

tend? He entered, and along the streets 'gan fare, A maid stood by him like Diana clad

a

he came,

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