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What; are these the guests whose glances

Seemed like sunshine gleaming round me? These the wild, bewildering fancies, That with dithyrambic dances,

As with magic circles, bound me?

Ah! how cold are their caresses!

Pallid cheeks, and haggard bosoms! Spectral gleam their snow-white dresses, And from loose, dishevelled tresses

Fall the hyacinthine blossoms !

O my songs! whose winsome measures

Filled my heart with secret rapture!
Children of my golden leisures !
Must even your delights and pleasures

Fade and perish with the capture ?

Fair they seemed, those songs sonorous,

When they came to me unbidden;
Voices single, and in chorus,
Like the wild birds singing o'er us

In the dark of branches hidden.

Disenchantment! Disillusion !

Must each noble aspiration Come at last to this conclusion, Jarring discord, wild confusion,

Lassitude, renunciation ?

Not with steeper fall nor faster,

From the sun's serene dominions,
Not through brighter realms nor vaster,
In swift ruin and disaster,

Icarus fell with shattered pinions !

Sweet Pandora ! dear Pandora !

Why did mighty Jove create thee Coy as Thetis, fair as Flora, Beautiful as young Aurora,

If to win thee is to hate thee?

No, not hate thee! for this feeling

Of unrest and long resistance
Is but passionate appealing,
A prophetic whisper stealing

O'er the chords of our existence.

Him whom thou dost once enamour,

Thou, beloved, never leavest;
In life's discord, strife, and clamour,
Still he feels thy spell of glamour;

Him of Hope thou ne'er bereavest.

Weary hearts by thee are lifted,

Struggling souls by thee are strengthened, Clouds of fear asunder rifted, Truth from falsehood cleansed and sifted,

Lives, like days in summer, lengthened !

Therefore art thou ever dearer,

o Sibyl, my deceiver ! For thou mak’st each mystery clearer, And the unattained seems nearer,

When thou fill'st my heart with fever!

Muse of all the Gifts and Graces!

Though the fields around us wither, There are ampler realms and spaces, Where no foot has left its traces;

Let us turn and wander thither!

flight the Second.


O gift of God! O perfect day:
Whereon shall no man work, but play;
Whereon it is enough for me!
Not to be doing, but to be!
Through every fibre of my brain,
Through every nerve, through every vein,
I feel the electric thrill, the touch
Of life, that seems almost too much.
I hear the wind among the trees
Playing celestial symphonies;
I see the branches downward bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.
And over me unrolls on high
The splendid scenery of the sky,
Where through a sapphire sea the sun
Sails like a golden galleon,
Towards yon cloudland in the West,
Towards yon Islands of the Blest,
Whose steep sierra far uplifts
Its craggy summits white with drifts.

Blow, winds! and waft through all the rooms
The snow-flakes of the cherry-blooms!
Blow, winds! and bend within my reach
The fiery blossoms of the peach!

O Life and Love! O happy throng
Of thoughts, whose only speech is song!
O heart of man! canst thou not be
Blithe as the air is, and as free?

THE CHILDREN'S HOUR. Between the dark and the daylight,

When the night is beginning to lower, Comes a pause in the day's occupations

That is known as the Children's Hour. I hear in the chamber above me

The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,

And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,

Descending the broad hall stair, Grave Alice and laughing Allegra,

And Edith with golden hair. A whisper and then a silence;

Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together

To take me by surprise.
A sudden rush from the stairway,

A sudden raid from the hall !
By three doors left unguarded

They enter my castle wall! They climb up into my turret

O'er the arms and back of my chair; If I try to escape they surround me;

They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,

Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen

In his Mouse Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,

Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old moustache as I am
Is not a match for



I have you fast in my fortress,

And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon,

In the round-tower of my heart.
And there will I keep you for ever,

Yes, for ever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,

And moulder in dust away!


UNDER Mount Etna he lies,

It is slumber, it is not death; For he struggles at times to arise, And above him the lurid skies

Are hot with his fiery breath.

The crags are piled on his breast,

The earth is heaped on his head; But the groans of his wild unrest, Though smothered and half suppressed,

Are heard, and he is not dead.

And the nations far away

Are watching with eager eyes;

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