Obrazy na stronie

In that fine air I tremble, all the past

Melts mist-like into this bright hour, and this

I scarce believe, and all the rich to come
Reels, as the golden Autumn woodland reels

Athwart the smoke of burning flowers. Forgive me,

I waste my heart in signs: let be. My bride,
My wife, my life. O we will walk this world,

Yoked in all exercise of noble end,

And so thro' those dark gates across the wild

That no man knows.

Indeed I love thee : come,

Yield thyself up: my hopes and thine are one:
Accomplish thou my manhood and thyself

Lay thy sweet hands in mine and trust to me.'


Here closed our compound story, which at first
Had only meant to banter little maids

With mock-heroics and with parody:

But slipt in some strange way, crost with burlesque,

From mock to earnest, even into tones

Of tragic, and with less and less of jest
To such a serious end, that Lilia fixt

A showery glance upon her Aunt and said,

• You — tell us what we are ;' who there began
A treatise, growing with it, and might have flow'd
In axiom worthier to be grav'n on rock,
Than all that lasts of old-world hieroglyph,

Or lichen-fretted Rune and arrowhead;

But that there rose a shout: the gates were closed
At sundown, and the crowd were swarming now,
To take their leave, about the garden rails.
And I and some went out, and mingled with them.
And there we saw Sir Walter where he stood,
Before a tower of crimson holly-oaks,
Among six boys, head under head, and look'd

No little lily-handed Baronet he,

A great broad-shoulder'd genial Englishman,

A lord of fat prize-oxen and of sheep,

A raiser of huge melons and of pine,

A patron of some thirty charities,
A pamphleteer on guano and on grain,

A quarter-sessions chairman, abler none;
Fair-hair'd and redder than a windy morn;

Now shaking hands with him, now him, of those

That stood the nearest now address’d to speech Who spoke few words and pithy, such as closed

Welcome, farewell, and welcome for the year

To follow: a shout arose again, and made

The long line of the approaching rookery swerve

From the elms, and shook the branches of the deer From slope to slope thro' distant ferns, and rang

Beyond the bourn of sunset; 0, a shout

More joyful than the city-roar that hails
Premier or king! Why don't these acred Sirs


up their parks some dozen times a year And let the people breathe ? So thrice they cried,

I likewise, and in groups they stream'd away.

But we went back to the Abbey, and sat on,

So much the gathering darkness charm’d: we sat Saying little, rapt in nameless reverie,



the future man : the walls

Blacken'd about us, bats wheel'd, and owls whoop'd,

And gradually the powers of the night,
That range above the region of the wind,

, Deepening the courts of twilight broke them up

Thro' all the silent spaces of the worlds,

Beyond all thought into the Heaven of Heavens.

Last little Lilia, rising without sound,

Disrobed the glimmering statue of Sir Ralph
From those rich silks, and home well-pleased we went.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »