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My whole life long I learned to love; I saw two beings in the hues of youth
This hour my utmost art I prove Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill,
And speak my passion.—Heaven or hell? Green and of mild declivity; the last,
She will not give me heaven? 'T is well! As 't were the cape, of a long ridge of such,
Lose who may—I still can say,

Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
Those who win heaven, blest are they. But a most living landscape, and the wave

Of woods and cornfields, and the abodes of

ROBERT BROWNING.

men

I.

Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke
THE DREAM.

Arising from such rustic roofs;—the hill
Was crowned with a peculiar diadem

Of trees, in circular array-so fixed,
Our life is twofold : sleep hath its own Not by the sport of Nature, but of man:
world-

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,
They do divide our being; they become And that was shining on him; he had looked
A portion of ourselves as of our time, Upon it till it could not pass away;
And look like heralds of Eternity;

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
Like sibyls of the future; they have power sight,
The tyranny of pleasure and of pain; For his eye followed hers, and saw with
They make us what we were not--what hers,
they will ;

Which colored all his objects;-he had ceased
They shake us with the vision that's gone to live within himself; she was his life,
by,

The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
The dread of vanished shadows-are they Which terminated all; upon a tone,

A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and
Is not the past all shadow? What are they? flow,
Creations of the mind ?—the mind can make And his cheek change tempestuously—his
Substance, and people planets of its own

heart
With beings brighter than have been, and Unknowing of its cause of agony.
give

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
I would recall a vision, which I dreamed

much;
Perchance in sleep-for in itself a thought, For brotherless she was, save in the name
A slumbering thought, is capable of years, Her infant friendship had bestowed on him-
And curdles a long life into one hour. Herself the solitary scion left

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IV.

III.

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
And on the shore he was a wanderer;

There was a mass of many images
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream: Crowded like waves upon me, but he was
There was an ancient mansion; and before A part of all; and in the last he lay,
Its walls there was a steed caparisoned. Reposing from the noontide sultriness,
Within an antique oratory stood

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.

V.

more.

VI.

VIII.

see

the stars,

Of melancholy is a fearful gift;

What is it but the telescope of truth?
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream: Which strips the distance of its fantasies,
The Wanderer was returned—I saw him And brings life near in utter nakedness,
stand

Making the cold reality too real !
Before an altar, with a gentle bride ;
Her face was fair; but was not that which

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

men;

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

change. light:

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

out

Almost like a reality-the one
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream: To end in madness—both in misery.
The Lady of his love-01 she was changed,

LOED BTRON
As by the sickness of the soul ; her mind
Had wandered from its dwelling; and her

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.

IX.

VII.

IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.

297

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,
How should I greet thee?-
In silence and tears.

LORD BYRON.

ALFRED TEXNYSON.

more

Ask me no more: thy fate and mine are
sealed.

IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.
I strove against the stream and all in vain.
Let the great river take me to the main.

An August evening, on a balcony
No more, dear love, for at a touch I yield;

That overlooked a woodland and a lake,
Ask me no more!

I sat in the still air, and talked with one
Whose face shone fairer than the crescent

moon.
Just over-head, a violin and flute
Played prelude to a dance.

Their long-
WHEN WE TWO PARTED.

drawn chords

Poured through the windows, gaping sumWHEN we two parted

mer-wide, In silence and tears,

A flood of notes that, flowing outward, swept
Half broken-hearted,

To the last ripple of the orchard trees.
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold, I had not known her long, but loved her

Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold

Than I could dream of then-0, even now
Sorrow to this.

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
Sunk chill on my brow-

Lay soft in mine! I looked into her eyes;
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.

I knew I was unworthy, but I felt

That I was noble if she did but smile.
Thy vows are all broken,

And light is thy fame;
I hear thy name spoken,

A light of stars shone round her head; I saw

The sombre shores that gloomed the lake And share in its shame.

below;

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
Why wert thou so dear?

fields.
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well.

But when she spoke, and her pervasive voice
Long, long, shall I rue thee

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,

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