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THE BROOK ;

AN IDYL.

6

HERE, by this brook, we parted; I to the East And he for Italy—too late—too late : One whom the strong sons of the world despise ; For lucky rhymes to him were scrip and share,

And mellow metres more than cent for cent;

Nor could he understand how money breeds,

Thought it a dead thing; yet himself could make

The thing that is not as the thing that is.

O had he lived !

In our schoolbooks we say,

Of those that held their heads above the crowd,

They flourish'd then or then; but life in him

Could scarce be said to flourish, only touch'd

On such a time as goes before the leaf,
When all the wood stands in a mist of green,
And nothing perfect : yet the brook he loved,
For which, in branding summers of Bengal,
Or ev'n the sweet half-English Neilgherry air
I panted, seems, as I re-listen to it,
Prattling the primrose fancies of the boy,
To me that loved him ; for “O brook,” he says,
“O babbling brook,” says Edmund in his rhyme,
“Whence come you ?” and the brook, why not?

replies.

I come from haunts of coot and hern,

I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,

To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,

Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorps, a little town,

And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip's farm I flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
• But I go on for ever.

Poor lad, he died at Florence, quite worn out, Travelling to Naples. There is Darnley bridge, It has more ivy ; there the river; and there Stands Philip's farm where brook and river meet.

I chatter over stony ways,

In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,

I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret

By many a field and fallow,
And

many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.

'But Philip chatter'd more than brook or bird ; Old Philip; all about the fields you caught His weary daylong chirping, like the dry High-elbow'd grigs that leap in summer grass.

I wind about, and in and out,

With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,

And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake

Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak

Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.

• darling Katie Willows, his one child !

A maiden of our century, yet most meek;

A daughter of our meadows, yet not coarse ;

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