Practice Book
by Leland Powers
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My gratitude to publishers who have generously permitted the reprinting of copyrighted selections, I would here publicly express. To Little, Brown & Company I am indebted for the use of the extract called "Eloquence," which is taken from a discourse by Daniel Webster; to Small, Maynard & Company for the poem "A Conservative," taken from a volume by Mrs. Gilman, entitled "In This Our World;" to the Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company for the poems by Mr. Burton; and to Longmans, Green & Company for the extracts from the works of John Ruskin. The selections from Sill and Emerson are used by permission of, and by special arrangement with, Houghton, Mifflin & Company, publishers of their works.

The quotations under the headings "Exercises for Elemental Vocal Expression" and "Exercises for Transition," with a few exceptions, are taken from "The Sixth Reader," by the late Lewis B. Monroe, and are here reprinted through the courtesy of the American Book Company.



* * * * *


BROOK, THE Alfred, Lord Tennyson

CAVALIER TUNES Robert Browning I. Give a Rouse. II. Boot and Saddle.

COLUMBUS Joaquin Miller

COMING OF ARTHUR, THE Alfred, Lord Tennyson

CONSERVATIVE, A Charlotte Perkins Gilman

EACH AND ALL Ralph Waldo Emerson

ELAINE Alfred, Lord Tennyson

ELOQUENCE Daniel Webster



FEZZIWIG BALL, THE Charles Dickens

FIVE LIVES Edward Rowland Sill


HERVE RIEL Robert Browning

IF WE HAD THE TIME Richard Burton

LADY OF SHALOTT, THE Alfred, Lord Tennyson


LIFE AND SONG Sidney Lanier

LOCHINVAR Sir Walter Scott


MY LAST DUCHESS Robert Browning

MY STAR Robert Browning

PIPPA PASSES, Extracts from Robert Browning I. Day. II. The Year's at Spring.

RHODORA, THE Ralph Waldo Emerson

RING AND THE BOOK, THE, Extract from Robert Browning



SCENE FROM KING HENRY IV—"Falstaff's Recruits" William Shakespeare


SELF-RELIANCE Ralph Waldo Emerson

TALE, THE—From The Two Poets of Croisic Robert Browning


TRUTH AT LAST Edward Rowland Sill

WORK John Ruskin


The exercises under each chapter have primarily the characteristics of that chapter, and secondarily the characteristics of the other two chapters.



MIND ACTIVITIES DOMINATED BY A CONSCIOUSNESS OF Power, Largeness, Freedom, Animation, Movement.

1. "Ho! strike the flag-Staff deep, Sir Knight—ho! scatter flowers, fair maids: Ho! gunners, fire a loud salute—ho! gallants, draw your blades."

* * * * *

2. "Awake, Sir King, the gates unspar! Rise up and ride both fast and far! The sea flows over bolt and bar."

* * * * *

3. "I would call upon all the true sons of New England to co-operate with the laws of man and the justice of heaven."

* * * * *

4. "Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane, And Volmond, emperor of Allemaine, Apparelled in magnificent attire, With retinue of many a knight and squire, On St. John's eve at vespers proudly sat, And heard the priest chant the Magnificat."

* * * * *

5. "Then the master, With a gesture of command, Waved his hand; And at the word, Loud and sudden there was heard All around them and below The sound of hammers, blow on blow, Knocking away the shores and spurs. And see! she stirs! She starts,—she moves,—she seems to feel The thrill of life along her keel, And, spurning with her foot the ground, With one exulting, joyous bound, She leaps into the ocean's arms!"

* * * * *

6. "Under his spurning feet, the road Like an arrowy Alpine river flowed, And the landscape sped away behind, Like an ocean flying before the wind."

* * * * *

7. "The wind, one morning sprang up from sleep, Saying, 'Now for a frolic! now for a leap! Now for a madcap galloping chase! I'll make a commotion in every place!'"

* * * * *

8. "O hark! O hear! how thin and clear, And thinner, clearer, farther going! O sweet and far, from cliff and scar, The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!"

* * * * *

9. "It is done! Clang of bell and roar of gun! Send the tidings up and down. How the belfries rock and reel! How the great guns, peal on peal, Fling the joy from town to town!"

* * * * *

10. "O sacred forms, how proud you look! How high you lift your heads into the sky! How huge you are, how mighty and how free! Ye are the things that tower, that shine; whose smile Makes glad—whose frown is terrible; whose forms, Robed or unrobed, do all the impress wear Of awe divine."



MIND ACTIVITIES DOMINATED BY A CONSCIOUSNESS OF Reflection OR Processes OF Thought, Clearness, Definiteness.

1. "Beyond the street a tower,—beyond the tower a moon,—beyond the moon a star,—beyond the Star, what?"

* * * * *

2. "Once more: speak clearly, if you speak at all; Carve every word before you let it fall; Don't, like a lecturer or dramatic star, Try overhard to roll the British R; Do put your accents in the proper spot; Don't—let me beg you—don't say 'How?' for 'What?' And when you stick on conversation's burrs, Don't strew the pathway with those dreadful urs."

* * * * *

3. "To be, or not to be; that is the question:— Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep,— No more:"

* * * * *

4. "I should say sincerity, a deep, great, genuine sincerity, is the first characteristic of all men in any way heroic. Not the sincerity that calls itself sincere; that is ... oftenest self-conceit mainly. The great man's sincerity is of the kind he cannot speak of, is not conscious of."

* * * * *

5. "Brutus. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius.

Lucius. I will, my lord. (Exit.)

Brutus. It must be by his death: and for my part, I know no cause to spurn at him, But for the general. He would be crown'd:— How that might change his nature, there's the question. It is the bright day that brings forth the adder; And that craves wary walking. Crown him?—That:— And then, I grant, we put a sting in him, That at his will he may do danger with."

* * * * *

6. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God."

* * * * *

7. "Just in proportion as the writer's aim, consciously or unconsciously, comes to be the transcribing, not of the world, not of mere fact, but of his sense of it, he becomes an artist; his work a fine art, and good art in proportion to the truth of his presentment of that sense. Truth! there can be no merit, no craft at all, without that. And further, all beauty is in the long run only fineness of truth, or what we call expression, the finer accommodation of speech to that vision within."

* * * * *

8. "For the Universe has three children, born at one time, which reappear, under different names, in every system of thought, whether they be called cause, operation, and effect; or, theologically, the Father, the Spirit, and the Son; but which we call here, the Knower, the Doer, and the Sayer. These stand respectively for the love of truth, for the love of good, and for the love of beauty. These three are equal. Each of these three has the power of the others latent in him, and his own patent."




1. "My friend, if thou hadst all the artillery of Woolwich trundling at thy back in support of an unjust thing, and infinite bonfires visibly waiting ahead of thee, to blaze centuries long for thy victory on behalf of it, I would advise thee to call halt, to fling down thy baton, and say, 'In Heaven's name, No!'"

* * * * *

2. "Flower in the crannied wall, I pluck you out of the crannies;— Hold you here, root and all, in my hand, Little flower—but if I could understand What you are, root and all, and all in all, I should know what God and man is."

* * * * *

3. "Who but the locksmith could have made such music? A gleam of sun shining through the unsashed window and checkering the dark workshop with a broad patch of light fell full upon him, as though attracted by his sunny heart."

* * * * *

4. "Portia You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand, Such as I am; though for myself alone, I would not be ambitious in my wish, To wish myself much better; yet, for you, I would be trebled twenty times myself; A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times more rich;"

* * * * *

5. "Listen to the water-mill; Through the livelong day, How the clicking of its wheels Wears the hours away! Languidly the autumn wind Stirs the forest leaves, From the fields the reapers sing, Binding up their sheaves; And a proverb haunts my mind, As a spell is cast; 'The mill can never grind With the water that is past.'"

* * * * *

6. "Roaming in thought over the Universe, I saw the little that is good steadily hastening towards immortality. And the vast all that is called evil I saw hastening to merge itself, and become lost and dead."

* * * * *

7. "We one day descried some shapeless object drifting at a distance. At sea, everything that breaks the monotony of the surrounding expanse attracts attention. It proved to be the mast of a ship that must have been completely wrecked; for there were the remains of handkerchiefs, by which some of the crew had fastened themselves to this spar, to prevent their being washed off by the waves.

"There was no trace by which the name of the ship could be ascertained. The wreck had evidently drifted about for many months; clusters of shell-fish had fastened about it, and long sea-weeds flaunted at its sides. But where, thought I, are the crew? Their struggle has long been over. They have gone down amidst the roar of the tempest. Their bones lie whitening among the caverns of the deep. Silence, oblivion, like the waves, have closed over them, and no one can tell the story of their end."

* * * * *

8. "Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar when I put out to sea; But such a tide as moving seems asleep, too full for sound and foam, When that which drew from out the boundless deep turns again home."

* * * * *

9. "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."


1. "O, how our organ can speak with its many and wonderful voices!— Play on the soft lute of love, blow the loud trumpet of war, Sing with the high sesquialtro, or, drawing its full diapason, Shake all the air with the grand storm of its pedals and stops."

* * * * *

2. "The combat deepens. On, ye brave, Who rush to glory or the grave! Wave, Munich! all thy banners wave, And charge with all thy chivalry!

"Ah! few shall part where many meet! The snow shall be their winding sheet, And every turf beneath their feet Shall be a soldier's sepulcher."

* * * * *

3. "Lo, dim in the starlight their white tents appear! Ride softly! ride slowly! the onset is near More slowly! more softly! the sentry may hear! Now fall on the foe like a tempest of flame! Strike down the false banner whose triumph were shame! Strike, strike for the true flag, for freedom and fame!"

* * * * *

4. "Hush! hark! did stealing steps go by? Came not faint whispers near? No!—The wild wind hath many a sigh Amid the foliage sere."

* * * * *

5. "Her giant form O'er wrathful surge, through blackening storm, Majestically calm, would go, Mid the deep darkness, white as snow! But gentler now the small waves glide, Like playful lambs o'er a mountain's side. So stately her bearing, so proud her array, The main she will traverse for ever and aye. Many ports will exult at the gleam of her mast. Hush! hush! thou vain dreamer! this hour is her last!"

* * * * *

6. "Hark! distant voices that lightly Ripple the silence deep! No; the swans that, circling nightly, Through the silver waters sweep.

"See I not, there, a white shimmer? Something with pale silken shrine? No; it is the column's glimmer, 'Gainst the gloomy hedge of pine."

* * * * *

7. "Hark, below the gates unbarring! Tramp of men and quick commands! ''Tis my lord come back from hunting,' And the Duchess claps her hands.

"Slow and tired came the hunters; Stopped in darkness in the court. 'Ho, this way, ye laggard hunters! To the hall! What sport, what sport.'

"Slow they entered with their master; In the hall they laid him down. On his coat were leaves and blood-stains, On his brow an angry frown."

* * * * *

8. "Now clear, pure, hard, bright, and one by one, like to hailstones, Short words fall from his lips fast as the first of a shower,— Now in twofold column, Spondee, Iamb, and Trochee, Unbroke, firm-set, advance, retreat, trampling along,— Now with a sprightlier springiness, bounding in triplicate syllables, Dance the elastic Dactylics in musical cadences on; Now, their voluminous coil intertangling like huge anacondas, Roll overwhelmingly onward the sesquipedalian words."


* * * * *


On the sea and at the Hogue, sixteen hundred ninety-two, Did the English fight the French,—woe to France! And the thirty-first of May, helter-skelter through the blue, Like a crowd of frightened porpoises a shoal of sharks pursue, Came crowding ship on ship to Saint Malo on the Rance, With the English fleet in view.

'Twas the squadron that escaped, with the victor in full chase; First and foremost of the drove, in his great ship, Damfreville; Close on him fled, great and small, Twenty-two good ships in all; And they signalled to the place, "Help the winners of a race! Get us guidance, give us harbor, take us quick—or quicker still, Here's the English can and will!"

Then the pilots of the place put out brisk and leapt on board; "Why, what hope or chance have ships like these to pass?" laughed they: "Rocks to starboard, rocks to port, all the passage scarred and scored, Shall the 'Formidable' here with her twelve and eighty guns, Think to make the river-mouth by the single narrow way, Trust to enter where 'tis ticklish for a craft of twenty tons, And with flow at full beside? Now 'tis slackest ebb of tide. Reach the mooring? Rather say, While rock stands or water runs, Not a ship will leave the bay!"

Then was called a council straight. Brief and bitter the debate: "Here's the English at our heels; would you have them take in tow All that's left us of the fleet, linked together stern and bow, For a prize to Plymouth Sound?— Better run the ships aground!" (Ended Damfreville his speech.) "Not a minute more to wait! Let the captains all and each Shove ashore, then blow up, burn the vessels on the beach! France must undergo her fate. Give the word!"—But no such word Was ever spoke or heard; For up stood, for out stepped, for in struck amid all these A captain? A lieutenant? A mate—first, second, third? No such man of mark, and meet With his betters to compete! But a simple Breton sailor pressed by Tourville for the fleet— A poor coasting pilot he, Herve Riel the Croisickese.

And "What mockery or malice have we here?" cries Herve Riel; "Are you mad, you Malouins? Are you cowards, fools, or rogues? Talk to me of rocks and shoals, me who took the soundings, tell On my fingers every bank, every shallow, every swell, 'Twixt the offing here and Greve, where the river disembogues? Are you bought by English gold? Is it love the lying's for? Morn and eve, night and day, Have I piloted your bay, Entered free and anchored fast at the foot of Solidor. Burn the fleet and ruin France? That were worse than fifty Hogues! Sirs, they know I speak the truth! Sirs, believe me there's a way! Only let me lead the line, Have the biggest ship to steer, Get this 'Formidable' clear, Make the others follow mine, And I lead them, most and least, by a passage I know well, Right to Solidor, past Greve, And there lay them safe and sound; And if one ship misbehave,— Keel so much as grate the ground, Why, I've nothing but my life,—and here's my head!" cries Herve Riel.

Not a minute more to wait. "Steer us in, then, small and great! Take the helm, lead the line, save the squadron!" cried its chief. "Captains, give the sailor place! He is Admiral, in brief." Still the north-wind, by God's grace! See the noble fellow's face As the big ship with a bound, Clears the entry like a hound, Keeps the passage as its inch of way were the wide sea's profound! See, safe through shoal and rock, How they follow in a flock. Not a ship that misbehaves, not a keel that grates the ground, Not a spar that comes to grief! The peril, see, is past, All are harbored to the last, And just as Herve Riel hollas "Anchor!"—sure as fate, Up the English come, too late.

So, the storm subsides to calm; They see the green trees wave On the heights o'erlooking Greve. Hearts that bled are stanched with balm. "Just our rapture to enhance, Let the English rake the bay, Gnash their teeth and glare askance As they cannonade away! Neath rampired Solidor pleasant riding on the Rance!" Now hope succeeds despair on each captain's countenance! Out burst all with one accord, "This is Paradise for hell! Let France, let France's king, Thank the man that did the thing!" What a shout, and all one word, "Herve Riel!" As he stepped in front once more, Not a symptom of surprise In the frank blue Breton eyes, Just the same man as before.

Then said Damfreville, "My friend, I must speak out at the end, Though I find the speaking hard. Praise is deeper than the lips; You have saved the King his ships, You must name your own reward. Faith, our sun was near eclipse! Demand whate'er you will, France remains your debtor still Ask to heart's content, and have! or my name's not Damfreville!"

Then a beam of fun outbroke On the bearded mouth that spoke, As the honest heart laughed through Those frank eyes of Breton blue: "Since I needs must say my say, Since on board the duty's done, And from Malo roads to Croisic Point, what is it but a run?— Since 'tis ask and have, I may— Since the others go ashore— Come! A good whole holiday! Leave to go and see my wife, whom I call the Belle Aurore!" That he asked, and that he got—nothing more. Name and deed alike are lost: Not a pillar nor a post In his Croisic keeps alive the feat as it befell; Not a head in white and black On a single fishing-smack, In memory of the man but for whom had gone to wrack All that France saved from the fight whence England bore the bell. Go to Paris; rank on rank Search the heroes flung pell-mell On the Louvre, face and flank! You shall look long enough ere you come to Herve Riel. So, for better and for worse, Herve Riel, accept my verse! In my verse, Herve Riel, do thou once more Save the squadron, honor France, love thy wife, the Belle Aurore!


* * * * *



Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the West,— Through all the wild border his steed was the best! And, save his good broadsword, he weapon had none,— He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone. So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war, There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.


He stayed not for brake, and he stopped not for stone; He swam the Eske river where ford there was none. But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate, The bride had consented, the gallant came late; For a laggard in love and a dastard in war Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.


So boldly he entered the Netherby hall, 'Mong bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all: Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword (For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word) "Oh, come ye in peace here, or come ye in war, Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?"


"I long wooed your daughter—my suit you denied; Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide; And now am I come, with this lost love of mine, To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine. There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar."


The bride kissed the goblet; the knight took it up; He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup. She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh, With a smile on her lip and a tear in her eye. He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar; "Now tread we a measure?" said young Lochinvar.


So stately his form, and so lovely her face, That never a hall such a galliard did grace; While her mother did fret and her father did fume, And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume, And the bride-maidens whispered, "'Twere better by far To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar."


One touch to her hand and one word in her ear, When they reached the hall door, and the charger stood near; So light to the croup the fair lady he swung So light to the saddle before her he sprung: "She is won! we are gone! over bank, bush, and scar; They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young Lochinvar.


There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby clan; Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran; There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee; But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see. So daring in love, and so dauntless in war, Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?


* * * * *


1. "DAY."

Day! Faster and more fast; O'er night's brim, day boils at last: Boils, pure gold, o'er the cloud-cup's brim Where spurting and suppressed it lay, For not a froth-flake touched the rim Of yonder gap in the solid gray, Of the eastern cloud, an hour away; But forth one wavelet, then another curled, Till the whole sunrise, not to be suppressed, Rose, reddened, and its seething breast Flickered in bounds, grew gold, then overflowed the world.

Oh Day, if I squandered a wavelet of thee, A mite of my twelve hours' treasure, The least of thy gazes or glances, (Be they grants thou art bound to or gifts above measure) One of thy choices or one of thy chances, (Be they tasks God imposed thee or freaks at thy pleasure) —My day, if I squander such labor or leisure, Then shame fall on Asolo, mischief on me!



The year's at the spring And day's at the morn; Morning's at seven; The hillside's dew-pearled; The lark's on the wing; The snail's on the thorn: God's in his heaven— All's right with the world!


* * * * *


Old Fezziwig laid down his pen, and looked up at the clock, which pointed to the hour of seven. He rubbed his hands; adjusted his capacious waistcoat; laughed all over himself, from his shoes to his organ of benevolence; and called out in a comfortable, oily, rich, fat, jovial voice: "Yo ho, there! Ebenezer! Dick!"

A living and moving picture of Scrooge's former self, a young man, came briskly in, accompanied by his fellow-prentice.

"Yo ho, my boys!" said Fezziwig. "No more work to-night. Christmas eve, Dick. Christmas, Ebenezer! Let's have the shutters up, before a man can say Jack Robinson! Clear away, my lads, and let's have lots of room here!"

Clear away! There was nothing they wouldn't have cleared away, or couldn't have cleared away, with old Fezziwig looking on. It was done in a minute. Every movable was packed off, as if it were dismissed from public life forevermore; the floor was swept and watered, the lamps were trimmed, fuel was heaped upon the fire; and the warehouse was as snug and warm and dry and bright a ball-room as you would desire to see upon a winter's night.

In came a fiddler with a music-book, and went up to the lofty desk, and made an orchestra of it, and tuned like fifty stomach-aches. In came Mrs. Fezziwig, one vast substantial smile. In came the three Miss Fezziwigs, beaming and lovable. In came the six young followers whose hearts they broke. In came all the young men and women employed in the business. In came the housemaid, with her cousin the baker. In came the cook, with her brother's particular friend, the milkman. In they all came one after another; some shyly, some boldly, some gracefully, some awkwardly, some pushing, some pulling; in they all came, anyhow and everyhow. Away they all went, twenty couple at once; hands half round and back again the other way; down the middle and up again; round and round in various stages of affectionate grouping; old top couple always turning up in the wrong place; new top couple starting off again, as soon as they got there; all top couples at last, and not a bottom one to help them. When this result was brought about, old Fezziwig, clapping his hands to Stop the dance, cried out, "Well done!" and the fiddler plunged his hot face into a pot of porter especially provided for that purpose.

There were more dances, and there were forfeits, and more dances, and there was cake, and there was negus, and there was a great piece of Cold Roast, and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled, and there were mince pies, and plenty of beer. But the great effect of the evening came after the Roast and Boiled, when the fiddler struck up "Sir Roger de Coverley." Then old Fezziwig stood out to dance with Mrs. Fezziwig. Top couple, too; with a good stiff piece of work cut out for them; three or four and twenty pair of partners, people who were not to be trifled with; people who would dance, and had no notion of walking.

But if they had been twice as many,—four times,—old Fezziwig would have been a match for them and so would Mrs. Fezziwig. As to her, she was worthy to be his partner in every sense of the term. A positive light appeared to issue from Fezziwig's calves. They shone in every part of the dance. You couldn't have predicted, at any given time, what would become of 'em next. And when old Fezziwig and Mrs. Fezziwig had gone all through the dance,—advance and retire, turn your partner, bow and courtesy, corkscrew, thread the needle and back again to your place,—Fezziwig "cut,"—cut so deftly, that he appeared to wink with his legs.

When the clock struck eleven this domestic ball broke up. Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig took their stations, one on either side of the door, and, shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out, wished him or her a Merry Christmas. When everybody had retired but the two 'prentices, they did the same to them; and thus the cheerful voices died away, and the lads were left to their beds, which were under a counter in the back shop.

* * * * *



I come from haunts of coot and hern, I make a sudden sally, And sparkle out among the fern, To bicker down a valley.


By thirty hills I hurry down, Or slip between the ridges; By twenty thorps, a little town, And half a hundred bridges.


I chatter over stony ways, In little sharps and trebles, I bubble into eddying bays, I babble on the pebbles.


With many a curve my banks I fret By many a field and fallow, And many a fairy foreland set With willow-weed and mallow.


I chatter, chatter, as I flow To join the brimming river; For men may come, and men may go, But I go on forever.


I wind about and in and out, With here a blossom sailing, And here and there a lusty trout, And here and there a grayling.


And here and there a foamy flake Upon me as I travel With many a silvery water-break Above the golden gravel.


I steal by lawns and grassy plots, I slide by hazel covers, I move the sweet forget-me-nots That grow for happy lovers.


I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance, Among my skimming swallows; I make the netted sunbeam dance Against my sandy shallows.


I murmur, under moon and stars In brambly wildernesses, I linger by my shingly bars, I loiter round my cresses.


And out again I curve and flow To join the brimming river; For men may come, and men may go, But I go on forever.

* * * * *



[Used by permission, from "Nature in Verse," copyrighted, 1895, by Silver, Burdett & Company.]

Oh, such a commotion under the ground When March called, "Ho, there! ho!" Such spreading of rootlets far and wide, Such whispering to and fro. And "Are you ready?" the Snowdrop asked; "'Tis time to start, you know." "Almost, my dear," the Scilla replied; "I'll follow as soon as you go." Then, "Ha! ha! ha!" a chorus came Of laughter soft and low From the millions of flowers under the ground— Yes—millions—beginning to grow.

"I'll promise my blossoms," the Crocus said, "When I hear the bluebirds sing." And straight thereafter Narcissus cried, "My silver and gold I'll bring." "And ere they are dulled," another spoke, "The Hyacinth bells shall ring." And the violet only murmured, "I'm here," And sweet grew the breath of spring. Then, "Ha! ha! ha!" a chorus came Of laughter soft and low From the millions of flowers under the ground— Yes—millions—beginning to grow.

Oh, the pretty, brave things! through the coldest days, Imprisoned in walls of brown, They never lost heart though the blast shriek loud, And the sleet and the hail came down, But patiently each wrought her beautiful dress, Or fashioned her beautiful crown; And now they are coming to brighten the world, Still shadowed by winter's frown; And well may they cheerily laugh, "Ha! ha!" In a chorus soft and low, The millions of flowers hid under the ground— Yes—millions—beginning to grow.

* * * * *



King Charles, and who'll do him right now? King Charles, and who's ripe for fight now? Give a rouse: here's, in hell's despite now, King Charles!

Who gave me the goods that went since? Who raised me the house that sank once? Who helped me to gold I spent since? Who found me in wine you drank once?

Cho. King Charles, and who'll do him right now? King Charles, and who's ripe for fight now? Give a rouse: here's, in hell's despite now, King Charles!

To whom used my boy George quaff else, By the old fool's side that begot him? For whom did he cheer and laugh else, While Noll's damned troopers shot him.

Cho. King Charles, and who'll do him right now? King Charles, and who's ripe for fight now? Give a rouse: here's, in hell's despite now, King Charles!


Boot, saddle, to horse, and away! Rescue my castle before the hot day Brightens to blue from its silvery gray.

Cho. Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!

Ride past the suburbs, asleep as you'd say; Many's the friend there, will listen and pray "God's luck to gallants that strike up the lay!"

Cho. Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!

Forty miles off, like a roebuck at bay, Flouts Castle Brancepeth the Roundhead's array: Who laughs, "Good fellows ere this, by my fay,

Cho. Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!"

Who? My wife Gertrude; that, honest and gay, Laughs when you talk of surrendering, "Nay! I've better counsellors; what counsel they?

Cho. Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!"


* * * * *


From Stratford-on-Avon a lane runs westward through the fields a mile to the little village of Shottery, in which is the cottage of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare's sweetheart and wife.

How often in the summer tide, His graver business set aside, Has stripling Will, the thoughtful-eyed, As to the pipe of Pan Stepped blithsomely with lover's pride Across the fields to Anne!

It must have been a merry mile, This summer-stroll by hedge and stile, With sweet foreknowledge all the while How sure the pathway ran To dear delights of kiss and smile, Across the fields to Anne.

The silly sheep that graze to-day, I wot, they let him go his way, Nor once looked up, as who should say: "It is a seemly man." For many lads went wooing aye Across the fields to Anne.

The oaks, they have a wiser look; Mayhap they whispered to the brook: "The world by him shall yet be shook, It is in nature's plan; Though now he fleets like any rook Across the fields to Anne."

And I am sure, that on some hour Coquetting soft 'twixt sun and shower, He stooped and broke a daisy-flower With heart of tiny span, And bore it as a lover's dower Across the fields to Anne.

While from her cottage garden-bed She plucked a jasmine's goodlihede, To scent his jerkin's brown instead; Now since that love began, What luckier swain than he who sped Across the fields to Anne?

The winding path wheron I pace, The hedgerows green, the summer's grace, Are still before me face to face; Methinks I almost can Turn poet and join the singing race Across the fields to Anne!


* * * * *


The green things growing, the green things growing, The faint sweet smell of the green things growing! I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve, Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing.

Oh the fluttering and the pattering of those green things growing! How they talk each to each, when none of us are knowing; In the wonderful white of the weird moonlight Or the dim dreamy dawn when the cocks are crowing.

I love, I love them so—my green things growing! And I think that they love me, without false showing; For by many a tender touch, they comfort me so much, With the soft mute comfort of green things growing.

And in the rich store of their blossoms glowing, Ten for one I take they're on me bestowing: Oh, I should like to see, if God's will it may be, Many, many a summer of my green things growing!

But if I must be gathered for the angels' sowing, Sleep out of sight a while like the green things growing, Though dust to dust return, I think I'll scarcely mourn, If I may change into green things growing.


* * * * *


1. There is a saying which is in all good men's mouths; namely, that they are stewards or ministers of whatever talents are entrusted to them. Only, is it not a strange thing that while we more or less accept the meaning of that saying, so long as it is considered metaphorical, we never accept its meaning in its own terms? You know the lesson is given us under the form of a story about money. Money was given to the servants to make use of: the unprofitable servant dug in the earth, and hid his Lord's money. Well, we in our poetical and spiritual application of this, say that of course money doesn't mean money—it means wit, it means intellect, it means influence in high quarters, it means everything in the world except itself.

2. And do you not see what a pretty and pleasant come-off there is for most of us in this spiritual application? Of course, if we had wit, we would use it for the good of our fellow-creatures; but we haven't wit. Of course, if we had influence with the bishops, we would use it for the good of the church; but we haven't any influence with the bishops. Of course, if we had political power, we would use it for the good of the nation; but we have no political power; we have no talents entrusted to us of any sort or kind. It is true, we have a little money, but the parable can't possibly mean anything so vulgar as money; our money's our own.

3. I believe, if you think seriously of this matter, you will feel that the first and most literal application is just as necessary a one as any other—that the story does very specially mean what it says—plain money; and that the reason we don't at once believe it does so, is a sort of tacit idea that while thought, wit and intellect, and all power of birth and position, are indeed given to us, and, therefore, to be laid out for the Giver,—our wealth has not been given to us; but we have worked for it, and have a right to spend it as we choose. I think you will find that is the real substance of our understanding in this matter. Beauty, we say, is given by God—it is a talent; strength is given by God—it is a talent; but money is proper wages for our day's work—it is not a talent, it is a due. We may justly spend it on ourselves, if we have worked for it.

4. And there would be some shadow of excuse for this, were it not that the very power of making the money is itself only one of the applications of that intellect or strength which we confess to be talents. Why is one man richer than another? Because he is more industrious, more persevering, and more sagacious. Well, who made him more persevering and more sagacious than others? That power of endurance, that quickness of apprehension, that calmness of judgment, which enable him to seize opportunities that others lose, and persist in the lines of conduct in which others fail—are these not talents?—are they not, in the present state of the world, among the most distinguished and influential of mental gifts?

5. And is it not wonderful, that while we should be utterly ashamed to use a superiority of body in order to thrust our weaker companions aside from some place of advantage, we unhesitatingly use our superiorities of mind to thrust them back from whatever good that strength of mind can attain? You would be indignant if you saw a strong man walk into a theatre or lecture-room, and, calmly choosing the best place, take his feeble neighbor by the shoulder, and turn him out of it into the back seats or the street. You would be equally indignant if you saw a stout fellow thrust himself up to a table where some hungry children are being fed, and reach his arm over their heads and take their bread from them.

6. But you are not the least indignant, if, when a man has stoutness of thought and swiftness of capacity, and, instead of being long-armed only, has the much greater gift of being long-headed—you think it perfectly just that he should use his intellect to take the bread out of the mouths of all the other men in the town who are in the same trade with him; or use his breadth and sweep of sight to gather some branch of the commerce of the country into one great cobweb, of which he is himself the central spider, making every thread vibrate with the points of his claws, and commanding every avenue with the facets of his eyes. You see no injustice in this.

7. But there is injustice; and, let us trust, one of which honorable men will at no very distant period disdain to be guilty. In some degree, however, it is indeed not unjust; in some degree it is necessary and intended. It is assuredly just that idleness should be surpassed by energy; that the widest influence should be possessed by those who are best able to wield it; and that a wise man at the end of his career, should be better off than a fool. But for that reason, is the fool to be wretched, utterly crashed down, and left in all the suffering which his conduct and capacity naturally inflict? Not so.

8. What do you suppose fools were made for? That you might tread upon them, and starve them, and get the better of them in every possible way? By no means. They were made that wise people might take care of them. That is the true and plain fact concerning the relations of every strong and wise man to the world about him. He has his strength given him, not that he may crush the weak, but that he may support and guide them. In his own household he is to be the guide and the support of his children; out of his household he is still to be the father, that is, the guide and support, of the weak and the poor; not merely of the meritoriously weak and the innocently poor, but of the guilty and punishably poor; of the men who ought to have known better—of the poor who ought to be ashamed of themselves.

9. It is nothing to give pension and cottage to the widow who has lost her son; it is nothing to give food and medicine to the workman who has broken his arm, or the decrepit woman wasting in sickness. But it is something to use your time and strength in war with the waywardness and thoughtlessness of mankind to keep the erring workman in your service till you have made him an unerring one; and to direct your fellow-merchant to the opportunity which his dullness would have lost.

10. This is much; but it is yet more, when you have fully achieved the superiority which is due to you, and acquired the wealth which is the fitting reward of your sagacity, if you solemnly accept the responsibility of it, as it is the helm and guide of labor far and near. For you who have it in your hands, are in reality the pilots of the power and effort of the State. It is entrusted to you as an authority to be used for good or evil, just as completely as kingly authority was ever given to a prince, or military command to a captain. And according to the quantity of it you have in your hands, you are arbiters of the will and work of the nation; and the whole issue, whether the work of the State shall suffice for the State or not, depends upon you.

11. You may stretch out your sceptre over the heads of the laborers, and say to them, as they stoop to its waving, "Subdue this obstacle that has baffled our fathers; put away this plague that consumes our children; water these dry places, plough these desert ones, carry this food to those who are in hunger; carry this light to those who are in darkness; carry this life to those who are in death;" or on the other side you may say: "Here am I; this power is in my hand; come, build a mound here for me to be throned upon, high and wide; come, make crowns for my head, that men may see them shine from far away; come, weave tapestries for my feet, that I may tread softly on the silk and purple; come, dance before me, that I may slumber; so shall I live in joy, and die in honor." And better than such an honorable death it were, that the day had perished wherein we were born.

12. I trust that in a little while there will be few of our rich men, who, through carelessness or covetousness, thus forfeit the glorious office which is intended for their hands. I said, just now, that wealth ill-used was as the net of the spider, entangling and destroying; but wealth well-used, is as the net of the sacred Fisher who gathers souls of men out of the deep. A time will come—I do not think it is far from us—when this golden net of the world's wealth will be spread abroad as the flaming meshes of morning cloud over the sky; bearing with them the joy of the light and the dew of the morning, as well as the summons to honorable and peaceful toil.


* * * * *


[This poem is taken from "The Poems of Sidney Lanier," copyrighted 1891, and published by Charles Scribner's Sons.]

If life were caught by a clarionet, And a wild heart, throbbing in the reed, Should thrill its joy and trill its fret, And utter its heart in every deed,

"Then would this breathing clarionet Type what the poet fain would be; For none o' the singers ever yet Has wholly lived his minstrelsy,

"Or clearly sung his true, true thought, Or utterly bodied forth his life, Or out of life and song has wrought The perfect one of man and wife;

"Or lived and sung, that Life and Song Might each express the other's all, Careless if life or art were long Since both were one, to stand or fall:

"So that the wonder struck the crowd, Who shouted it about the land: His song was only living aloud, His work, a singing with his hand!"


* * * * *


1. When public bodies are to be addressed on momentous occasions, when great interests are at stake, and strong passions excited, nothing is valuable in speech farther than as it is connected with high intellectual and moral endowments. Clearness, force, and earnestness are the qualities which produce conviction. True eloquence, indeed, does not consist in speech. It cannot be brought from far. Labor and learning may toil for it, but they will toil in vain. Words and phrases may be marshalled in every way, but they cannot compass it. It must exist in the man, in the subject, and in the occasion.

2. Affected passion, intense expression, the pomp of declamation, all may aspire to it; they cannot reach it. It comes, if it come at all, like the outbreaking of volcanic fires, with spontaneous, original, native force. The graces taught in the schools, the costly ornaments and studied contrivances of speech, shock and disgust men, when their own lives, and the fate of their wives, their children, and their country, hang on the decision of the hour. Then words have lost their power, rhetoric is vain, and all elaborate oratory contemptible. Even genius itself then feels rebuked and subdued, as in the presence of higher qualities.

3. Then patriotism is eloquent; then self-devotion is eloquent. The clear conception, outrunning deductions of logic, the high purpose, the firm resolve, the dauntless spirit, speaking on the tongue, beaming from the eye, informing every feature, and urging the whole man onward, right onward to his object,—this, this is eloquence; or rather it is something greater and higher than all eloquence,—it is action, noble, sublime, god-like action.


* * * * *


Does a man ever give up hope, I wonder,— Face the grim fact, seeing it clear as day? When Bennen saw the snow slip, heard its thunder Low, louder, roaring round him, felt the speed Growing swifter as the avalanche hurled downward, Did he for just one heart-throb—did he indeed Know with all certainty, as they swept onward, There was the end, where the crag dropped away? Or did he think, even till they plunged and fell, Some miracle would stop them? Nay, they tell That he turned round, face forward, calm and pale, Stretching his arms out toward his native vale. As if in mute, unspeakable farewell, And so went down.—'Tis something if at last, Though only for a flash, a man may see Clear-eyed the future as he sees the past, From doubt, or fear, or hope's illusion free.


* * * * *


1. What is wise work, and what is foolish work? What the difference between sense and nonsense, in daily occupation? There are three tests of wise work:—that it must be honest, useful and cheerful.

It is Honest. I hardly know anything more strange than that you recognize honesty in play, and do not in work. In your lightest games, you have always some one to see what you call "fair-play." In boxing, you must hit fair; in racing, start fair. Your English watchword is "fair-play," your English hatred, "foul-play." Did it never strike you that you wanted another watchword also, "fair-work," and another and bitterer hatred,—"foul-work"?

2. Then wise work is Useful. No man minds, or ought to mind, its being hard, if only it comes to something; but when it is hard and comes to nothing, when all our bees' business turns to spiders', and for honey-comb we have only resultant cobweb, blown away by the next breeze,—that is the cruel thing for the worker. Yet do we ever ask ourselves, personally, or even nationally, whether our work is coming to anything or not?

3. Then wise work is Cheerful, as a child's work is. Everybody in this room has been taught to pray daily, "Thy Kingdom come." Now if we hear a man swearing in the streets we think it very wrong, and say he "takes God's name in vain." But there's a twenty times worse way of taking His name in vain than that. It is to ask God for what we don't want. If you don't want a thing don't ask for it: such asking is the worst mockery of your King you can insult Him with. If you do not wish for His kingdom, don't pray for it. But if you do, you must do more than pray for it; you must work for it. And, to work for it, you must know what it is.

4. Observe, it is a Kingdom that is to come to us; we are not to go to it. Also it is not to come all at once, but quietly; nobody knows how. "The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation." Also, it is not to come outside of us, but in our hearts: "The Kingdom of God is within you." Now if we want to work for this Kingdom, and to bring it, and to enter into it, there's one curious condition to be first accepted. We must enter into it as children, or not at all; "Whosoever will not receive it as a little child shall not enter therein." And again, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."

5. Of such, observe. Not of children themselves, but of such as children. It is the character of children we want and must gain. It is modest, faithful, loving, and because of all these characters it is cheerful. Putting its trust in its father, it is careful for nothing—being full of love to every creature, it is happy always, whether in its play or in its duty. Well, that's the great worker's character also. Taking no thought for the morrow; taking thought only for the duty of the day; knowing indeed what labor is, but not what sorrow is; and always ready for play—beautiful play.


* * * * *


Our human speech is naught, Our human testimony false, our fame And human estimation words and wind. Why take the artistic way to prove so much? Because, it is the glory and good of Art, That Art remains the one way possible Of speaking truth, to mouths like mine, at least. How look a brother in the face and say "Thy right is wrong, eyes hast thou, yet art blind, Thine ears are stuffed and stopped, despite their length, And, oh, the foolishness thou countest faith!" Say this as silvery as tongue can troll— The anger of the man may be endured, The shrug, the disappointed eyes of him Are not so bad to bear—but here's the plague, That all this trouble comes of telling truth, Which truth, by when it reaches him, looks false, Seems to be just the thing it would supplant, Nor recognizable by whom it left; While falsehood would have done the work of truth. But Art,—wherein man nowise speaks to men, Only to mankind,—Art may tell a truth Obliquely, do the thing shall breed the thought, Nor wrong the thought, missing the mediate word. So may you paint your picture, twice show truth, Beyond mere imagery on the wall,— So, note by note, bring music from your mind, Deeper than ever the Adante dived,— So write a book shall mean, beyond the facts, Suffice the eye, and save the soul besides.

* * * * *


1. To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,—that is genius.

Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost, and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment. Familiar as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plato and Milton is that they all set at naught books and tradition, and spoke not what men but what they thought.

2. A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.

3. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.

4. There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.

5. Not for nothing one face, one character, one fact makes much impression on him, and another none. This sculpture in the memory is not without preestablished harmony. The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray.

6. We but half express ourselves, and we are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents. It may be safely trusted as proportionate and of good issues, so it be faithfully imparted, but God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise shall give him no peace. It is a deliverance which does not deliver. In the attempt his genius deserts him; no muse befriends; no invention, no hope.

7. Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being.

8. And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers and benefactors, obeying the Almighty effort and advancing on Chaos and the Dark.


* * * * *



In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes, I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods, Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook, To please the desert and the sluggish brook. The purple petals, fallen in the pool, Made the black water with their beauty gay; Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool, And court the flower that cheapens his array. Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why This charm is wasted on the earth and sky, Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! I never thought to ask, I never knew: But in my simple ignorance, suppose The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.


* * * * *


Little thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked clown, Of thee from the hill-top looking down; The heifer that lows in the upland farm, Far-heard, lows not thine ear to charm; The sexton, tolling his bell at noon, Deems not that great Napoleon Stops his horse, and lists with delight, Whilst his files sweep round yon Alpine height; Nor knowest thou what argument Thy life to thy neighbor's creed has lent. All are needed by each one; Nothing is fair or good alone.

I thought the sparrow's note from heaven, Singing at dawn on the alder bough; I brought him home, in his nest, at even; He sings the song, but it cheers not now, For I did not bring home the river and sky;— He sang to my ear,—they sang to my eye.

The delicate shell lay on the shore; The bubbles of the latest wave Fresh pearls to their enamel gave, And the bellowing of the savage sea Greeted their safe escape to me. I wiped away the weeds and foam, I fetched my sea-born treasures home; But the poor, unsightly, noisome things Had left their beauty on the shore With the sun and the sand and the wild uproar.

The lover watched his graceful maid, As 'mid the virgin train she strayed, Nor knew her beauty's best attire Was woven still by the snow-white choir. At last she came to his hermitage, Like the bird from the woodlands to the cage;— The gay enchantment was undone; A gentle wife, but fairy none.

Then I said, "I covet truth; Beauty is unripe childhood's cheat; I leave it behind with the games of youth:"— As I spoke, beneath my feet The ground-pine curled its pretty wreath, Running over the club-moss burrs; I inhaled the violet's breath; Around me stood the oaks and firs; Pine cones and acorns lay on the ground; Over me soared the eternal sky, Full of light and of deity; Again I saw, again I heard, The rolling river, the morning bird;— Beauty through my senses stole; I yielded myself to the perfect whole.


* * * * *


[This poem is taken from the complete works of Joaquin Miller, copyrighted, published by the Whitaker Ray Company, San Francisco.]

Behind him lay the gray Azores, Behind the gates of Hercules; Before him not the ghost of shores, Before him only shoreless seas. The good mate said, "Now must we pray, For lo! the very stars are gone. Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say!" "Why, say, 'Sail on! sail on! and on!'"

"My men grow mutinous by day, My men grow ghastly pale and weak." The stout mate thought of home; a spray Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek. "What shall I say, brave Admiral, say, If we sight naught but seas at dawn?" "Why, you shall say at break of day, 'Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!'"

They sailed, and sailed, as winds might blow, Until at last the blanched mate said: "Why, now, not even God would know Should I and all my men fall dead. These very winds forget their way, For God from these dread seas has gone. Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say"— He said, "Sail on! sail on! and on!"

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate: "This mad sea shows its teeth to-night. He curls his lips, he lies in wait With lifted teeth as if to bite! Brave Admiral, say but one good word: What shall we do when hope is gone?" The words leapt like a leaping sword, "Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!"

Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck, And peered through darkness. Ah, that night Of all dark nights! And then a speck— A light! A light! A light! A light! It grew, a starlit flag unfurled! It grew to be Time's burst of dawn, He gained a world; he gave that world Its grandest lesson: "On! sail on!"


* * * * *



That's my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now; Fra Pandolf's hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands. Will't please you sit and look at her? I said. "Fra Pandolf" by design, for never read Strangers like you that pictured countenance, The depth and passion of its earnest glance, But to myself they turned (since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I) And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst, How such a glance came there; so, not the first Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 'twas not Her husband's presence only, called that spot Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps Fra Pandolf chanced to say, "Her mantle laps Over my Lady's wrist too much," or "Paint Must never hope to reproduce the faint Half-flush that dies along her throat;" such stuff Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough For calling up that spot of joy. She had A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad, Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er She looked on, and her looks went everywhere Sir, 'twas all one! My favor at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule She rode with round the terrace—all and each Would draw from her alike the approving speech, Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame This sort of trifling? Even had you skill In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will Quite clear to such an one, and say "Just this "Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss, "Or there exceed the mark"—and if she let Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse, —E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose Never to stoop. Oh, Sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands As if alive. Will't please you rise? We'll meet The company below, then. I repeat The Count your Master's known munificence Is ample warrant that no just pretence Of mine for dowry will be disallowed; Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go Together down, Sir. Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!


* * * * *


What a pretty tale you told me Once upon a time —Said you found it somewhere (scold me!) Was it prose or rhyme, Greek or Latin? Greek, you said, While your shoulder propped my head.

Anyhow there's no forgetting This much if no more, That a poet (pray, no petting!) Yes, a bard, sir, famed of yore, Went where such like used to go, Singing for a prize, you know.

Well, he had to sing, nor merely Sing, but play the lyre; Playing was important clearly Quite as singing; I desire, Sir, you keep the fact in mind For a purpose that's behind.

There stood he, while deep attention Held the judges round, —Judges able, I should mention, To detect the slightest sound Sung or played amiss: such ears Had old judges, it appears!

None the less he sang out boldly, Played in time and tune Till the judges, weighing coldly Each note's worth, seemed, late or soon, Sure to smile "In vain one tries Picking faults out: take the prize!"

When, a mischief! Were they seven Strings the lyre possessed? Oh, and afterwards eleven, Thank you! Well, sir—who had guessed Such ill luck in store?—it happed One of those same seven strings snapped.

All was lost, then! No! a cricket (What "cicada"? Pooh!) —Some mad thing that left its thicket For mere love of music—flew With its little heart on fire Lighted on the crippled lyre.

So that when (Ah, joy!) our singer For his truant string Feels with disconcerted finger, What does cricket else but fling Fiery heart forth, sound the note Wanted by the throbbing throat?

Ay and, ever to the ending, Cricket chirps at need, Executes the hand's intending, Promptly, perfectly,—indeed Saves the singer from defeat With her chirrup low and sweet.

Till, at ending, all the judges Cry with one assent "Take the prize—a prize who grudges Such a voice and instrument? Why, we took your lyre for harp, So it shrilled us forth F sharp!"

Did the conqueror spurn the creature, Once its service done? That's no such uncommon feature In the case when Music's son Finds his Lotte's power too spent For aiding soul development.

No! This other, on returning Homeward, prize in hand, Satisfied his bosom's yearning: (Sir! I hope you understand!) —Said "Some record there must be Of this cricket's help to me!"

So he made himself a statue: Marble stood, life-size; On the lyre, he pointed at you, Perched his partner in the prize; Never more apart you found Her, he throned, from him, she crowned.

That's the tale: its application? Somebody I know Hopes one day for reputation Through his poetry that's—Oh, All so learned and so wise And deserving of a prize!

If he gains one, will some ticket, When his statue's built, Tell the gazer "'Twas a cricket Helped my crippled lyre, whose lilt Sweet and low, when strength usurped Softness' place i' the scale, she chirped?

"For as victory was nighest, While I sang and played,— With my lyre at lowest, highest, Right alike,—one string that made 'Love' sound soft was snapt in twain Never to be heard again,—

"Had not a kind cricket fluttered, Perched upon the place Vacant left, and duly uttered 'Love, Love, Love,' whene'er the bass Asked the treble to atone For its somewhat sombre drone."

But you don't know music! Wherefore Keep on casting pearls To a—poet? All I care for Is—to tell him a girl's "Love" comes aptly in when gruff Grows his singing. (There, enough!)


* * * * *


Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star In his steep course? So long he seems to pause On thy bald, awful head, O sovereign Blanc! The Arve and Arveiron at thy base Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form, Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines, How silently! Around thee, and above, Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black, An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it As with a wedge. But when I look again It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine, Thy habitation from eternity.

O dread and silent Mount! I gazed upon thee Till thou, still present to the bodily sense, Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer I worshipped the Invisible alone. Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,— So sweet we know not we are listening to it,— Thou, the mean while wast blending with my thought. Yea, with my life, and life's own secret joy; Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused, Into the mighty vision passing—there, As in her natural form, swelled vast to heaven.

Awake, my soul! not only passive praise Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears, Mute thanks, and secret ecstasy! Awake, Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake! Green vales and icy cliffs! all join my hymn!

Thou first and chief, sole sovereign of the vale! O, struggling with the darkness all the night, And visited all night by troops of stars, Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink,— Companion of the morning-star at dawn, Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn Co-herald—wake! O wake! and utter praise! Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth? Who filled thy countenance with rosy light? Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?

And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad! Who called you forth from night and utter death, From dark and icy caverns called you forth, Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks, Forever shattered, and the same forever? Who gave you your invulnerable life, Your strength, your speed, your fury and your joy, Unceasing thunder, and eternal foam? And who commanded,—and the silence came,— "Here let the billows stiffen and have rest?"

Ye ice-falls! ye that from the mountain's brow Adown enormous ravines slope amain— Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice, And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge! Motionless torrents! silent cataracts! Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the sun Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet?

"God!" let the torrents, like a shout of nations, Answer! and let the ice-plain echo, "God!" "God!" sing, ye meadow streams, with gladsome voice Ye pine groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds And they, too, have a voice, yon piles of snow, And in their perilous fall shall thunder, "God!"

Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost! Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest! Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain storm! Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds! Ye signs and wonders of the elements! Utter forth "God!" and fill the hills with praise!

Thou too, hoar mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene Into the depth of clouds that veil thy breast,— Thou too, again, stupendous mountain! thou That, as I raise my head, awhile bowed low In adoration, upward from thy base Slow traveling, with dim eyes suffused with tears, Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud To rise before me,—rise, oh, ever rise! Rise, like a cloud of incense, from the earth! Thou kingly spirit, throned among the hills, Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven, Great Hierarch! tell thou the silent sky, And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun, Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.


* * * * *


All that I know Of a certain star Is, it can throw (Like the angled spar) Now a dart of red, Now a dart of blue, Till my friends have said They would fain see, too

My star that dartles the red and the blue! Then it stops like a bird; like a flower, hangs furled; They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it. What matter to me if their star is a world? Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.


* * * * *


The garden beds I wandered by One bright and cheerful morn, When I found a new-fledged butterfly A-sitting on a thorn, A black and crimson butterfly, All doleful and forlorn.

I thought that life could have no sting To infant butterflies, So I gazed on this unhappy thing With wonder and surprise, While sadly with his waving wing He wiped his weeping eyes.

Said I, "What can the matter be? Why weepest thou so sore? With garden fair and sunlight free And flowers in goodly store—" But he only turned away from me And burst into a roar.

Cried he, "My legs are thin and few Where once I had a swarm! Soft fuzzy fur—a joy to view— Once kept my body warm, Before these flapping wing-things grew, To hamper and deform!"

At that outrageous bug I shot The fury of mine eye; Said I, in scorn all burning hot, In rage and anger high, "You ignominious idiot! Those wings are made to fly!"

"I do not want to fly," said he, "I only want to squirm!" And he drooped his wings dejectedly, But still his voice was firm; "I do not want to be a fly! I want to be a worm!"

O yesterday of unknown lack! To-day of unknown bliss! I left my fool in red and black, The last I saw was this,— The creature madly climbing back Into his chrysalis.


* * * * *


Five mites of monads dwelt in a round drop That twinkled on a leaf by a pool in the sun. To the naked eye they lived invisible; Specks, for a world of whom the empty shell Of a mustard-seed had been a hollow sky.

One was a meditative monad, called a sage; And, shrinking all his mind within, he thought: "Tradition, handed down for hours and hours, Tells that our globe, this quivering crystal world, Is slowly dying. What if, seconds hence, When I am very old, yon shimmering dome Come drawing down and down, till all things end?" Then with a weazen smirk he proudly felt No other mote of God had ever gained Such giant grasp of universal truth.

One was a transcendental monad; thin And long and slim in the mind; and thus he mused: "Oh, vast, unfathomable monad-Souls! Made in the image"—a hoarse frog croaks from the pool— "Hark! 'twas some god, voicing his glorious thought In thunder music! Yea, we hear their voice, And we may guess their minds from ours, their work. Some taste they have like ours, some tendency To wiggle about, and munch a trace of scum." He floated up on a pin-point bubble of gas That burst, pricked by the air, and he was gone.

One was a barren-minded monad, called A positivist; and he knew positively: "There is no world beyond this certain drop. Prove me another! Let the dreamers dream Of their faint gleams, and noises from without, And higher and lower; life is life enough." Then swaggering half a hair's breadth, hungrily He seized upon an atom of bug and fed.

One was a tattered monad, called a poet; And with shrill voice ecstatic thus he sang: "Oh, the little female monad's lips! Oh, the little female monad's eyes! Ah, the little, little, female, female monad!"

The last was a strong-minded monadess, Who dashed amid the infusoria, Danced high and low, and wildly spun and dove Till the dizzy others held their breath to see.

But while they led their wondrous little lives AEonian moments had gone wheeling by. The burning drop had shrunk with fearful speed; A glistening film—'twas gone; the leaf was dry. The little ghost of an inaudible squeak Was lost to the frog that goggled from his stone; Who, at the huge, slow tread of a thoughtful ox Coming to drink, stirred sideways fatly, plunged, Launched backward twice, and all the pool was still.


* * * * *



LEODOGRAN, the King of Cameliard, Had one fair daughter, and none other child; And she was fairest of all flesh on earth, Guinevere, and in her his one delight.

For many a petty king ere Arthur came Ruled in this isle and, ever waging war Each upon other, wasted all the land; And still from time to time the heathen host Swarm'd over seas, and harried what was left. And so there grew great tracts of wilderness, Wherein the beast was ever more and more, But man was less and less. . . .

* * * * *

And thus the land of Cameliard was waste, Thick with wet woods, and many a beast therein, And none or few to scare or chase the beast; So that wild dog and wolf and boar and bear Came night and day, and rooted in the fields, And wallow'd in the gardens of the King.

* * * * *

. . . . . And King Leodogran Groan'd for the Roman legions here again And Caesar's eagle. . . . .

* * * * *

He knew not whither he should turn for aid.

But—for he heard of Arthur newly crown'd, . . . . . . . . . —the King Sent to him, saying, 'Arise and help us thou! For here between the man and beast we die.'

And Arthur yet had done no deed of arms, But heard the call and came; and Guinevere Stood by the castle walls to watch him pass; But since he neither wore on helm or shield The golden symbol of his kinglihood, But rode, a simple knight among his knights, And many of these in richer arms than he, She saw him not, or marked not, if she saw, One among many, tho' his face was bare. But Arthur, looking downward as he past, Felt the light of her eyes into his life Smite on the sudden, yet rode on, and pitch'd His tents beside the forest. Then he drave The heathen; after, slew the beast, and fell'd The forest, letting in the sun, and made Broad pathways for the hunter and the knight And so returned.

For while he linger'd there, A doubt that ever smoulder'd in the hearts Of those great lords and barons of his realm Flashed forth and into war; for most of these, Colleaguing with a score of petty kings, Made head against him crying: "Who is he That should rule us? Who hath proven him King Uther's son?"

And, Arthur, passing thence to battle, felt Travail, and throes and agonies of the life, Desiring to be join'd with Guinevere, And thinking as he rode: "Her father said That there between the man and beast they die. Shall I not lift her from this land of beasts Up to my throne and side by side with me? What happiness to reign a lonely king?

* * * * *

. . . . But were I join'd with her, Then might we live together as one life, And reigning with one will in everything Have power on this dark land to lighten it, And power on this dead world to make it live."

* * * * *

When Arthur reached a field of battle bright With pitch'd pavilions of his foe, the world Was all so clear about him that he saw The smallest rock far on the faintest hill, And even in high day the morning star.

* * * * *

. . . . But the Powers who walk the world, Made lightnings and great thunders over him, And dazed all eyes, till Arthur by main might, And mightier of his hands with every blow, And leading all his knighthood, threw the kings.

* * * * *

So like a painted battle the war stood Silenced, the living quiet as the dead, And in the heart of Arthur joy was lord.

* * * * *

Then quickly from the foughten field he sent . . . . . . . . . Sir Bedivere . . . . . . . . . to King Leodogran, Saying, "If I in aught have served thee well, Give me thy daughter Guinevere to wife."

Whom when he heard, Leodogran in heart Debating—"How should I that am a king, However much he holp me at my need, Give my one daughter saving to a king, And a king's son"?—lifted his voice, and call'd A hoary man, his chamberlain, to whom He trusted all things, and of him required His counsel: "Knowest thou aught of Arthur's birth?"

* * * * *

Then while the King debated with himself,

* * * * *

. . . . . there came to Cameliard,

* * * * *

Lot's wife, the Queen of Orkney, Bellicent; Whom . . . . . . . . the King Made feast for, as they sat at meat:

* * * * *

'Ye come from Arthur's court. Victor his men Report him! Yea, but ye—think ye this king— So many those that hate him, and so strong, So few his knights, however brave they be— Hath body enow to hold his foeman down?'

'O King,' she cried, 'and I will tell thee: few, Few, but all brave, all of one mind with him; For I was near him when the savage yells Of Uther's peerage died, and Arthur sat Crowned on the dais, and all his warriors cried, "Be thou the King, and we will work thy will Who love thee," Then the King in low deep tones, And simple words of great authority, Bound them by so straight vows to his own self That when they rose, knighted from kneeling, some Were pale as at the passing of a ghost, Some flush'd, and others dazed, as one who wakes Half blinded at the coming of a light.

'But when he spake, and cheer'd his Table Round With large, divine, and comfortable words, Beyond my tongue to tell thee—I beheld From eye to eye thro' all their Order flash A momentary likeness of the King;

* * * * *

'And there I saw mage Merlin, whose vast wit And hundred winters are but as the hands Of loyal vassals toiling for their liege.

'And near him stood the Lady of the Lake, Who knew a subtler magic than his own— Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful. She gave the King his huge cross-hilted sword, Whereby to drive the heathen out: a mist Of incense curl'd about her, and her face Wellnigh was hidden in the minster gloom; But there was heard among the holy hymns A voice as of the waters, for she dwells Down in a deep—calm, whatsoever storms May shake the world—and when the surface rolls, Hath power to walk the waters like our Lord.'

Thereat Leodogran rejoiced, but thought To sift his doubtings to the last, and ask'd, Fixing full eyes of question on her face, 'The swallow and the swift are near akin, But thou art closer to this noble prince, Being his own dear sister;'

* * * * *

. . . . . . . . 'What know I? For dark my mother was in eyes and hair, And dark in hair and eyes am I; . . . . . . yea and dark was Uther too, Wellnigh to blackness; but this king is fair Beyond the race of Britons and of men.

'But let me tell thee now another tale:

* * * * *

. . . . . . . . on the night When Uther in Tintagil past away Moaning and wailing for an heir, Merlin Left the still King, and passing forth to breathe,

* * * * *

Beheld, so high upon the dreary deeps It seem'd in heaven, a ship, the shape thereof A dragon wing'd and all from stem to stern Bright with a shining people on the decks, And gone as soon as seen. . . . . . He . . . . . .watch'd the great sea fall, Wave after wave, each mightier than the last, Till last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame: And down the wave and in the flame was borne A naked babe, and rode to Merlin's feet, Who stoopt and caught the babe, and cried, "The King!"

* * * * *

And presently thereafter follow'd calm, Free sky and stars: "And this same child," he said, "Is he who reigns." . . . .

* * * * *

. . . . . . And ever since the Lords Have foughten like wild beasts among themselves, So that the realm has gone to wrack; but now, This year, when Merlin—for his hour had come— Brought Arthur forth, and sat him in the hall, Proclaiming, "Here is Uther's heir, your King," A hundred voices cried: "Away with him! No king of ours!" . . . . .

* * * * *

. . . . Yet Merlin thro' his craft, And while the people clamor'd for a king, Had Arthur crown'd; but after, the great lords Banded, and so brake out in open war.

* * * * *

. . . . and Merlin in our time Hath spoken also, . . . . . Tho' men may wound him that he will not die, But pass, again to come, and then or now Utterly smite the heathen under foot, Till these and all men hail him for their king.'

. . . . . King Leodogran rejoiced, But musing 'Shall I answer yea or nay?' Doubted, and drowsed, nodded and slept, and saw, Dreaming a slope of land that ever grew, Field after field, up to a height, the peak Haze-hidden, and thereon a phantom king, Now looming, and now lost; and on the slope The sword rose, the hind fell, the herd was driven, Fire glimpsed; and all the land from roof and rick, In drifts of smoke before a rolling wind, Stream'd to the peak, and mingled with the haze And made it thicker; while the phantom king Sent out at times a voice; and here or there Stood one who pointed toward the voice, the rest Slew on and burnt, crying, 'No king of ours, No son of Uther, and no king of ours;' Till with a wink his dream was changed, the haze Descended, and the solid earth became As nothing, but the king stood out in heaven, Crown'd. And Leodogran awoke, and sent

* * * * *

Back to the court of Arthur answering yea.

Then Arthur charged his warrior whom he loved And honor'd most, Sir Lancelot, to ride forth And bring the Queen, and watched him from the gates: And Lancelot past away among the flowers— For then was latter April—and return'd— Among the flowers, in May, with Guinevere. To whom arrived, by Dubric the high saint, Chief of the church in Britain, and before The stateliest of her altar-shrines, the King That morn was married, while in stainless white, The fair beginners of a noble time, And glorying in their vows and him, his knights Stood around him, and rejoicing in his joy. Far shone the fields of May thro' open door, The sacred altar blossom'd white with May, The sun of May descended on their King, They gazed on all earth's beauty in their Queen, Roll'd incense, and there past along the hymns A voice as of the waters, while the two Sware at the shrine of Christ a deathless love. And Arthur said, 'Behold, thy doom is mine. Let chance what will, I love thee to the death!' To whom the Queen replied with drooping eyes, 'King and my Lord, I love thee to the death!' And holy Dubric spread his hands and spake: 'Reign ye, and live and love, and make the world Other, and may the Queen be one with thee, And all this Order of thy Table Round Fulfil the boundless purpose of their King!'

* * * * *

And Arthur's knighthood sang before the King:—

'Blow trumpet, for the world is white with May!! Blow trumpet, the long night hath roll'd away! Blow thro' the living world—"Let the King reign!"

'Shall Rome or Heathen rule in Arthur's realm? Flash brand and lance, fall battle-axe on helm, Fall battle-axe, and flash brand! Let the King reign!

'Strike for the King and live! his knights have heard That God hath told the King a secret word. Fall battle-axe and flash brand! Let the King reign!

* * * * *

'Strike for the King and die! and if thou diest, The king is king, and ever wills the highest. Clang battle-axe, and clash brand! Let the King reign!

* * * * *

'The King will follow Christ, and we the King, In whom high God hath breathed a secret thing. Fall battle-axe, and clash brand! "Let the King reign!"

And Arthur and his knighthood for a space Were all one will, and thro' that strength the King Drew in the petty princedoms under him, Fought, and in twelve great battles overcame The heathen hordes, and made a realm and reign'd.


* * * * *


Elaine the fair, Elaine the lovable, Elaine, the lily maid of Astolat, High in her chamber up a tower to the east Guarded the sacred shield of Lancelot; Which first she placed where morning's earliest ray Might strike it, and awaken her with the gleam; Then fearing rust or soilure, fashion'd for it A case of silk, and braided thereupon All the devices blazon'd on the shield In their own tinct, and added, of her wit, A border fantasy of branch and flower, And yellow-throated nestling in the nest. Nor rested thus content, but day by day Leaving her household and good father, climb'd That eastern tower, and entering barr'd the door, Stript off the case, and read the naked shield, Now guess'd a hidden meaning in his arms, Now made a pretty history to herself Of every dint a sword had beaten in it, And every scratch a lance had made upon it, Conjecturing when and where: this cut is fresh; That ten years back; this dealt him at Caerlyle; That at Cearleon; this at Camelot; And ah, God's mercy what a stroke was there! And here a thrust that might have kill'd, but God Broke the Strong lance and roll'd his enemy down, And saved him; so she lived in fantasy.


* * * * *



On either side the river lie Long fields of barley and of rye, That clothe the wold and meet the sky; And thro' the field the road runs by To many-tower'd Camelot And up and down the people go, Gazing where the lilies blow Round an island there below, The Island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver, Little breezes, dusk and shiver Thro' the wave that runs for ever By the island in the river Flowing down to Camelot. Four gray walls, and four gray towers, Overlook a space of flowers, And the silent isle imbowers The lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow-veil'd, Slide the heavy barges trail'd By slow horses; and unhail'd The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd Skimming down to Camelot: But who hath seen her wave her hand? Or at the casement seen her stand? Or is she known in all the land, The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early In among the bearded barley, Hear a song that echoes cheerly, From the river winding clearly, Down to tower'd Camelot; And by the moon the reaper weary, Piling sheaves in uplands airy, Listening, whispers "'Tis the fairy Lady of Shalott."


There she weaves by night and day A magic web with colors gay. She has heard a whisper say, A curse is on her if she stay To look down to Camelot. She knows not what the curse may be, And so she weaveth steadily, And little other care hath she, The Lady of Shalott.

And moving thro' a mirror clear That hangs before her all the year, Shadows of the world appear. There she sees the highway near Winding down to Camelot; There the river eddy whirls, And there the surly village-churls, And the red cloaks of market-girls, Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad, An abbot on an ambling pad, Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad, Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad, Goes by to tower'd Camelot; And sometimes thro' the mirror blue The knights come riding two and two; She hath no loyal knight and true, The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights To weave the mirror's magic sights, For often thro' the silent nights A funeral, with plumes and lights, And music, went to Camelot: Or when the moon was overhead, Came two young lovers lately wed: "I am half sick of shadows" said The Lady of Shalott.


A bow-shot from her bower-eaves, He rode between the barley sheaves, The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves, And flamed upon the brazen greaves Of bold Sir Lancelot. A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd To a lady in his shield, That sparkled on the yellow field, Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter'd free, Like to some branch of stars we see Hung in the Golden Galaxy. The bridle bells rang merrily As he rode down to Camelot; And from his blazon'd baldric slung A mighty silver bugle hung, And as he rode his armor rung, Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather. The helmet and the helmet-feather Burned like one burning flame together, As he rode down to Camelot; As often through the purple night, Below the starry clusters bright, Some bearded meteor, trailing light, Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd; On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode; From underneath his helmet flow'd His coal-black curls as on he rode, As he rode down to Camelot. From the bank and from the river He flashed into the crystal mirror, "Tirra lirra" by the river Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom, She made three paces thro' the room, She saw the water-lily bloom, She saw the helmet and the plume, She looked down to Camelot. Out flew the web and floated wide; The mirror cracked from side to side; "The curse is come upon me," cried The Lady of Shalott.


In the stormy east-wind straining, The pale yellow woods are waning, The broad stream in his banks complaining, Heavily the low sky raining Over tower'd Camelot; Down she came and found a boat Beneath a willow left afloat, And round about the prow she wrote The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river's dim expanse Like some bold seer in a trance, Seeing all his own mischance— With a glassy countenance Did she look to Camelot. And at the closing of the day She loosed the chain, and down she lay; The broad stream bore her far away, The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white That loosely flew to left and right— The leaves upon her falling light— Thro' the noises of the night She floated down to Camelot; And as the boat-head wound along The willowy hills and fields among, They heard her singing her last song, The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy, Chanted loudly, chanted lowly, Til' her blood was frozen slowly, And her eyes were darken'd wholly, Turn'd to tower'd Camelot. For ere she reached upon the tide The first house by the water-side, Singing in her song she died. The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony, By garden-wall and gallery, A gleaming shape she floated by, Dead-pale between the houses high, Silent into Camelot. Out upon the wharfs they came, Knight and burgher, lord and dame, And round the prow they read her name The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? and what is here? And in the lighted palace near Died the sound of royal cheer; And they crossed themselves for fear, All the knights at Camelot: But Lancelot mused a little space; He said "She has a lovely face; God in his mercy lend her grace, The Lady of Shalott."


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