Page images

And such a brightness in his eye,
As if the ocean and the sky
Within him had lit up and nurst
A soul God gave him not at first,
To comprehend their majesty.

IV. We were not cruel, yet did sunder His white wing from the blue waves under And bound it, while his fearless eyes Shone up to ours in calm surprise, As deeming us some ocean wonder!

We bore our ocean bird unto
A grassy place, where he might view
The flowers that curtsey to the bees,
The waving of the tall green trees,
The falling of the silver dew.

vi. But flowers of earth were pale to him Who had seen the rainbow fishes swim; And when earth's dew around him lay He thought of ocean's wingéd spray, And his eye waxéd sad and dim.

VII. The green trees round him only made A prison with their darksome shade; And drooped his wing, and mournéd he For his own boundless glittering seaAlbeit he knew not they could fade.


Then One her gladsome face did bring,
Her gentle voice's murmuring,
In ocean's stead his heart to move
And teach him what was human love-
He thought it a strange, mournful thing.

He lay down in his grief to die,
(First looking to the sea-like sky
That hath no waves!) because, alas!
Our human touch did on him pass,
And with our touch, our agony.



[ocr errors]

Thou bay-crowned living One that o'er the bay

crowned Dead art bowing, And o'er the shadeless moveless brow the vital

shadow throwing, And o'er the sighless songless lips the wail and music

wedding, And dropping o'er the tranquil eyes, the tears not

of their shedding !


Take music from the silent Dead, whose meaning

is completer, Reserve thy tears for living brows, where all such tears are meeter,

VOL. II.—5

And leave the violets in the grass to brighten where

thou treadest! No flowers for her! no need of flowers-albeit

“bring flowers,' thou saidest.


Yes, flowers, to crown the 'cup and sute!' since

both may come to breaking. Or flowers, to greet the bride!' the heart's own

beating works its aching. Or flowers, to soothe the captive's' sight, from

earth's free bosom gathered, Reminding of his earthly hope, then withering as it



But bring not near the solemn corse, a type of

human seeming. Lay only dust’s stern verity upon the dust un

dreaming And while the calm perpetual stars shall look upon

it solely, Her spherèd soul shall look on them, with eyes

more bright and holy.

Nor mourn, O living One, because her part in life

was mourning. Would she have lost the poet's fire for anguish of

the burning? The minstrel harp, for the strained string? the tri

pod, for the afflated Woe? or the vision, for those tears in which it shone

dilated ?


Perhaps she shuddered while the world's cold hand

her brow was wreathing, But never wronged that mystic breath which

breathed in all her breathing, Which drew from rocky earth and man, abstractions

high and moving, Beauty, if not the beautiful, and love, if not the loving.

VII. Such visionings have paled in sight; the Saviour

she descrieth, And little recks who wreathed the brow which on

His bosom lieth. The whiteness of His innocence o'er all her gar

ments flowing, There, learneth she the sweet 'new song,' she will

not mourn in knowing.


Be happy, crowned and living One! and, as thy

dust decayeth, May thine own England say for thee, what now for

Her it sayethAlbeit softly in our ears her silver song was ringing, The foot-fall of her parting soul is softer than her



*Do you think of me as I think of you ?'

From her poem written during the voyage to the Cape.


'Do you think of me as I think of you, My friends, my friends ??—She said it from the sea, The English minstrel in her minstrelsy, While, under brighter skies than erst she knew, Her heart grew dark, and groped there, as the blind, To reach across the waves friends left behind'Do you think of me as I think of you?'

It seemed not much to ask-as I of you?
We all do ask the same. No eyelids cover
Within the meekest eyes, that question over.
And little in the world the Loving do
But sit (among the rocks ?) and listen for
The echo of their own love evermore-
‘Do you think of me as I think of you ??


Love-learned she had sung of love and love,-
And like a child that, sleeping with dropt head
Upon the fairy-book he lately read,
Whatever household noises round him move,
Hears in his dream some elfin turbulence,
Even so, suggestive to her inward sense,
All sounds of life assumed one tune of love.

« PreviousContinue »