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THE golden gates of sleep unbar
Where strength and beauty met together,
Kindle their image like a star
In a sea of glassy weather.
Night, with all thy stars look down,—
Darkness, weep thy holiest dew,—
Never smiled the inconstant moon
On a pair so true.
Let eyes not see their own delight;—
Haste, swift Hour, and thy flight
Fairies, sprites, and angels keep her!
Holy stars, permit no wrong !
And return to wake the sleeper,
Dawn,- -ere it be long.
Oh joy! oh fear! what will be done
In the absence of the sun!
THERE late was One within whose subtle being,
As light and wind within some delicate cloud
That fades amid the blue noon's burning sky,
Genius and youth contended. None may know
The sweetness of the joy which made his breath
Fail, like the trances of the summer air,
When, with the Lady of his love, who then
First knew the unreserve of mingled being,
He walked along the pathway of a field
Which to the east a hoar wood shadowed o'er
But to the west was open to the sky.
There now the sun had sunk, but lines of gold
Hung on the ashen clouds, and on the points
Of the far level grass and nodding flowers
And the old dandelion's hoary beard,
And, mingled with the shades of twilight, lay
On the brown massy woods-and in the east
The broad and burning moon lingeringly rose
Between the black trunks of the crowded trees,
While the faint stars were gathering overhead.-
"Is it not strange, Isabel," said the youth,
"I never saw the sun? We will walk here
To-morrow; thou shalt look on it with me.'
That night the youth and lady mingled lay
In love and sleep-but when the morning came
The lady found her lover dead and cold.
Let none believe that God in mercy gave
That stroke. The lady died not, nor grew wild,
But year by year lived on-in truth I think
Her gentleness and patience and sad smiles,
And that she did not die, but lived to tend
Her aged father, were a kind of madness,
If madness 'tis to be unlike the world.
For but to see her were to read the tale
Woven by some subtlest bard, to make hard hearts
Dissolve away in wisdom-working grief;-
Her eyelashes were worn away with tears,
Her lips aud cheeks were like things dead-so pale;
Her hands were thin, and through their wandering veins
And weak articulations might be seen
Day's ruddy light. The tomb of thy dead self
Which one vexed ghost inhabits, night and day,
Is all, lost child, that now remains of thee !
"Inheritor of more than earth can give,
Passionless calm, and silence unreproved,
Whether the dead find, oh, not sleep! but rest,
And are the uncomplaining things they seem,
Or live, or drop in the deep sea of Love;
Oh, that like thine, mine epitaph were-Peace!"
This was the only moan she ever made.
THE odour from the flower is gone, Which like thy kisses breathed on me; The colour from the flower is flown, Which glowed of thee, and only thee!
A shrivelled, lifeless, vacant form,
It lies on my abandoned breast,
And mocks the heart which yet is warm
With cold and silent rest.
I weep-my tears revive it not !
I sigh-it breathes no more on me ;
Its mute and uncomplaining lot
Is such as mine should be.
LINES TO A CRITIC.
HONEY from silk-worms who can gather,
Or silk from the yellow bee?
The grass may grow in winter weather
As soon as hate in me.
Hate men who cant, and men who pray,
And men who rail like thee:
An equal passion to repay
They are not coy like me.
Or seek some slave of power and gold,
To be thy dear heart's mate;
Thy love will move that bigot cold,
Sooner than me, thy hate.
A passion like the one I prove
Cannot divided be;
I hate thy want of truth and love-
How should I then hate thee?