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Her coming made him better; and they stayed
Together at my father's,—for I played,
As I remember, with the lady's shawl ;
I might be six years old :--but, after all,
She left him.”

“ Why, her heart must have been tough ; How did it end?”

“ And was not this enough? They met, they parted.”

“ Child, is there no more? ”

“Something within that interval which bore The stamp of why they parted, how they met; Yet, if thine aged eyes disdain to wet Those wrinkled cheeks with youth's remembered

tears, Ask me no more; but let the silent years Be closed and cered over their memory, As yon mute marble where their corpses lie.” I urged and questioned still: she told me how All bappened—but the cold world shall not know.

190

THE WOODMAN AND THE NIGHTINGALE..

A WOODMAN, whose rough heart was out of tune
(I think such hearts yet never came to good,)
Hated to hear, under the stars or moon,
One nightingale in an interfluous wood
Satiate the hungry dark with melody ;-
And, as a vale is watered by a flood,
Or as the moonlight fills the open sky
Struggling with darkness—as a tuberose
Peoples some Indian dell with scents which lie
Like clouds above the flower from which they rose,
The singing of that happy nightingale
In this sweet forest, from the golder close
Of evening till the star of dawn may fail,
Was interfused upon the silentness ;
The folded roses and the violets pale
Heard her within their slumbers, the abyss
Of heaven with all its planets ; the dull ear
Of the night-cradled earth; the loneliness
of the circumfluous waters,—every sphere
And every flower and beam and cloud and wave,
And every wind of the mute atmosphere,

And every beast stretched in its rugged cave,
And
every

bird lulled on its mossy bough,
And every silver moth, fresh from the grave
Which is its cradle-ever from below
Aspiring like one who loves too fair, too far,
To be consumed within the purest glow
Of one serene and unapproached star,
As if it were a lamp of earthly light,
Unconscious as some human lovers are,
Itself how low, how high, beyond all height
The heaven where it would perish and every

form That worshipped in the temple of the night Was awed into delight, and by the charm Girt as with an interminable zone, Whilst that sweet bird, whose music was a storm

Of sound, shook forth the dull oblivion
Out of their dreams; harmony became love
In every soul but one.

And so this man returned with axe and saw
At evening close from killing the tall treen,
The soul of whom by nature's gentle law
Was each a wood-nymph, and kept ever green
The pavement and the roof of the wild copse,
Chequering the sunlight of the blue serene

With jagged leaves,—and from the forest tops
Singing the winds to sleep-or weeping oft
Fast showers of aërial water drops
Into their mother's bosom, sweet and soft,
Nature's pure tears which have no bitterness ;-
Around the cradles of the birds aloft
They spread themselves into the loveliness
Of fan-like leaves, and over pallid flowers
Hang like moist clouds : or, where high branches

kiss,
Make a green space among the silent bowers,
Like a vast fane in a metropolis,
Surrounded by the columns and the towers
All overwrought with branch-like traceries
In which there is religion--and the mute
Persuasion of unkindled melodies,
Odours and gleams and murmurs, which the lute
Of the blind pilot-spirit of the blast
Stirs as it sails, now grave and now acute,
Wakening the leaves and waves ere it has past
To such brief unison as on the brain
One tone, which never can recur, has cast,
One accent never to return again

MISERY-A FRAGMENT.

COME, be happy !sit near me,
Shadow-vested Misery ;
Coy, unwilling, silent bride,
Mourning in thy robe of pride,
Desolation-deified !

Come, be happy !-sit near me :
Sad as I may seem to thee,
I am happier far than thou,
Lady, whose imperial brow
Is endiademed with woe.

Misery! we have known each other
Like a sister and a brother
Living in the same lone home,
Many years—we must live some
Hours or ages yet to come.

'Tis an evil lot, and yet
Let us make the best of it;
If love can live when pleasure dies,
We too will love, till in our eyes
This heart's Hell seem Paradise.

Come, be happy !-lie thee down
On the fresh grass newly mown,
VOL. III.

13

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