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My whole life long I learned to love; I saw two beings in the hues of youth
Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
Of woods and cornfields, and the abodes of
Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke
Arising from such rustic roofs;—the hill
Of trees, in circular array-so fixed,
These two, a maiden and a youth, were there A boundary between the things misnamed Gazing—the one on all that was beneath ; Death and existence: sleep hath its own world, Fair as herself—but the boy gazed on her; And a wide realm of wild reality;
And both were young, and one was beauAnd dreams in their development have tiful; breath,
And both were young-yet not alike in And tears, and tortures, and the touch of youth. joy;
As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge, They leave a weight upon our waking The maid was on the eve of womanhood; thoughts;
The boy had fewer summers; but his heart They take a weight from off our waking Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye toils;
There was but one beloved face on earth,
He had no breath, no being, but in hers; They pass like spirits of the past,—they She was his voice; he did not speak to her, speak
But trembled on her words; she was his
Which colored all his objects;-he had ceased
The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and
But she in these fond feelings had no share: A breath to forms which can outlivę all Her sighs were not for him; to her he was flesh.
Even as a brother—but no more; 't was
Of a time-honored race. It was a name Which pleased him, and yet pleased him notand why?
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream: Time taught him a deep answer—when she The Boy was sprung to manhood. In the loved
wilds Another. Even now she loved another; Of fiery climes he made himself a home, And on the summit of that hill she stood And his soul drank their sunbeams; he was Looking afar, if yet her lover's steed
girt Kept pace with her expectancy, and flew. With strange and dusky aspects; he was not
Himself like what he had been; on the sea
There was a mass of many images
Couched among fallen columns, in the shade The Boy of whom I spake ;-he was alone, Of ruined walls that had survived the names And pale, and pacing to and fro. Anon Of those who reared them; by his sleeping He sate him down, and seized a pen and side traced
Stood camels grazing, and some goodly steeds Words which I could not guess of; then he Were fastened near a fountain; and a man leaned
Clad in a flowing garb did watch the while, His bowed head on his hands, and shook, as While many of his tribe slumbered around; 't were
And they were canopied by the blue skyWith a convulsion—then arose again; So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful, And with his teeth and quivering hands did That God alone was to be seen in Heaven.
tear What he had written; but he shed no tears. And he did calm himself, and fix his brow Into a kind of quiet. As he paused, A change came o'er the spirit of my dream : The lady of his love reëntered there; The Lady of his love was wed with one She was serene and smiling then; and yet Who did not love her better. In her home, She knew she was by him beloved; she A thousand leagues from his,her native knew
homeHow quickly comes such knowledge! that She dwelt, begirt with growing infancy, his heart
Daughters and sons of Beauty. But behold! Was darkened with her shadow, and she saw Upon her face there was the tint of grief, That he was wretched; but she saw not all. The settled shadow of an inward strife, He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp And an unquiet drooping of the eye, He took her hand; a moment o'er his face As if its lid were charged with unshed tears. A tablet of unutterable thoughts
What could her grief be?-She had all she Was traced; and then it faded as it came.
loved ; He dropped the hand he held, and with slow And he who had so loved her was not there steps
To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish, Retired; but not as bidding her adien, Or ill-repressed affection, her pare thoughts. For they did part with mutual smiles. He What could her grief be?—she had loved him passed
not, From out the massy gate of that old Hall; Nor given him cause to deem himself beAnd, mounting on his steed, he went his way; loved; And ne'er repassed that hoary threshold Nor could he be a part of that which preyed
Upon her mind--a spectre of the past.
Of melancholy is a fearful gift;
What is it but the telescope of truth?
Making the cold reality too real !
made The starlight of his Boyhood. As he stood, | A change came o'er the spirit of my dream: Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came
The Wanderer was alone, as heretofore; The self-same aspect, and the quivering The beings which surrounded him were gone, shock
Or were at war with him; he was a mark That in the antique oratory shook
For blight and desolation-compassed round His bosom in its solitude; and then
With Hatred and Contention; Pain was As in that hour—a moment o'er his face
mixed The tablet of unutterable thoughts
In all which was served up to him; until, Was traced, and then it faded as it came;
Like to the Pontic monarch of old days, And he stood calm and quiet; and he spoke He fed on poisons; and they had no power, The fitting vows, but heard not his own But were a kind of nutriment. He lived words;
Through that which had been death to many And all things reeled around him; he could
And made him friends of mountains. With Not that which was, nor that which should have been
And the quick spirit of the Universe, But the old mansion, and the accustomed He held his dialogues! and they did teach hall,
To him the magic of their mysteries; And the remembered chambers, and the To him the book of Night was opened wide, place,
And voices from the deep abyss revealed The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the A marvel and a secret-Be it so.
shadeAll things pertaining to that place and hour, And her who was his destiny--came back
My dream was past: it had no further And thrust themselves between him and the
It was of a strange order, that the doom What business had they there at such a time? Of these two creatures should be thus traced
Almost like a reality-the one
eyes, They had not their own lustre, but the look
ASK ME NO MORE. Which is not of the earth; she was become The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts Ask me no more: the moon may draw the Were combinations of disjointed things;
sea; And forms impalpable, and unperceived The cloud may stoop from heaven and take Of others' sight, familiar were to hers.
the shape, And this the world calls frenzy ; but the With fold to fold, of mountain or of cape. wise
But, О too fond, when have I answered thee? Have a far deeper madness, and the glance
Ask me no more.
IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.
Ask me no more: what answer should I give ?
I love not hollow cheek or faded eye;
Yet, O my friend, I will not have thee die ! Ask me no more, lest I should bid thee live;
Ask me no more.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
Ask me no more: thy fate and mine are
IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.
An August evening, on a balcony
That overlooked a woodland and a lake,
I sat in the still air, and talked with one
Poured through the windows, gaping sumWHEN we two parted
mer-wide, In silence and tears,
A flood of notes that, flowing outward, swept
To the last ripple of the orchard trees.
Colder thy kiss;
Than I could dream of then-0, even now
I dare not dwell upon my passion,-more
Than life itself I loved her, and still love. The dew of the morning
The white enchantment of her dimpled hand
Lay soft in mine! I looked into her eyes;
I knew I was unworthy, but I felt
That I was noble if she did but smile.
And light is thy fame;
A light of stars shone round her head; I saw
The sombre shores that gloomed the lake And share in its shame.
The shadows settling on the distant hills; They name thee before me,
I heard the pleasant music of the night, A knell to mine ear;
Brought by the wind, a vagrant messenger, A shudder comes o'er me
From the deep forest and the broad, sweet
But when she spoke, and her pervasive voice
Stole on me till I trembled to my knees, Too deeply to tell.
1 pressed my lips to hers—then round me
glowed In secret we met
A sudden light, that seemed to flash me on, In silence I grieve,
Beyond myself, beyond the fainting stars. That thy heart could forget,
Then all the bleak disheartenings of a life Thiy spirit deceive.
That had not been of pleasure faded off,