Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

* And all things work together for the good
Of those' - it makes me sick to quote him — last
Gript my hand hard, and with God bless-you went.
I stood like one that had received a blow:
I found a hard friend in his loose accounts,
A loose one in the hard grip of his hand,
A curse in his God-bless-you: then my eyes
Pursued him down the street, and far away,
Among the honest shoulders of the crowd,
Read rascal in the motions of his back,
And scoundrel in the supple-sliding knee.”
“ Was he so bound, poor soul ?" said the good

wife;
“ So are we all: but do not call him, love,
Before you prove him, rogue, and proved, forgive.
His gain is loss; for he that wrongs his friend
Wrongs himself more, and ever bears about
A silent court of justice in his breast,
Himself the judge and jury, and himself
The prisoner at the bar, ever condemn'd:
And that drags down his life : then comes what
Hereafter: and he meant, he said he meant,
Perhaps he meant, or partly meant, you well.”

6. With all his conscience and one eye askew! Love, let me quote these lines, that you may learn A man is likewise counsel for himself, Too often, in that silent court of yours • With all his conscience and one eye askew, So false, he partly took himself for true; Whose pious talk, when most his heart was dry, Made wet the crafty crowsfoot round his eye ; Who, never naming God except for gain, So never took that useful name in vain ; Made Him his catspaw and the Cross his tool, And Christ the bait to trap his dupe and fool; Nor deeds of gift, but gifts of grace he forged,

comes

6

And snakelike slimed his victim ere he gorged ;
And oft at Bible meetings, o'er the rest
Arising, did his holy oily best,
Dropping the too rough H in Hell and Heaven,
To spread the Word by which himself had thriven'
How like you this old satire ? ”

“ Nay,” she said, “I loathe it; he had never kindly heart,

or ever cared to better his own kind,
Who first wrote satire, with no pity in it.
But will you hear my dream, for I had one
That altogether went to music? Still
It awed me.”

Then she told it, having dream'd Of that same coast.

a

But round the North, a light, A belt, it seem'd, of luminous vapour, lay, And ever in it a low musical note Swelld up and died; and, as it swell’d, a ridge Of breaker issued from the belt, and still Grew with the growing note, and when the note Had reach'd a thunderous fulness, on those cliffs Broke, mixt with awful light (the same as that Living within the belt) whereby she saw That all those lines of cliffs were cliffs no more, But huge cathedral fronts of every age, Grave, florid, stern, as far as eye could see, One after one: and then the great ridge drew, Lessening to the lessening music, back, And past into the belt and swellid again Slowly to music: ever when it broke The statues, king or saint, or founder fell; Then from the gaps and chasms of ruin left Came men and women in dark clusters round, Some crying, “ Set them up! they shall not fall!" And others “ Let them lie, for they have fall’n ”

And still they strove and wrangled : and she grieved
In her strange dream, she knew not why, to find
Their wildest wailings never out of tune
With that sweet note; and ever as their shrieks
Ran highest up the gamut, that great wave
Returning, while none mark'd it, on the crowd
Broke, mixt with awful light, and show'd their eyes
Glaring, and passionate looks, and swept away
The men of flesh and blood, and men of stone,
To the waste deeps together.

“ Then I fixt
My wistful eyes on two fair images,
Both crown'd with stars and high among the stars,
The Virgin Mother standing with her child
High up on one of those dark minster-fronts -
Till she began to totter, and the child
Clung to the mother, and sent out a cry
Which mixt with little Margaret's, and I woke,
And my dream awed me :— well — but what are

dreams ? Yours came but from the breaking of a glass, And mine but from the crying of a child.” “ Child? No!” said he, “but this tide's roar, and

his, Our Boanerges with his threats of doom, And loud-lung'd Antibabylonianisms (Altho' I grant but little music there) Went both to make your dream : but if there were A music harmonizing our wild cries, Sphere-music such as that you dream'd about, Why, that would make our passions far too like The discords dear to the musician. No One shriek of hate would jar all the hymns of heaven: True Devils with no ear, they howl in tune With nothing but the Devil I”

66. True' indeed! One of our town, but later by an hour

news.

Here than ourselves, spoke with me on the shore;
While you were running down the sands, and made
The dimpled flounce of the sea-furbelow flap,
Good man, to please the child. She brought strange
Why were you silent when I spoke to-night?
I had set my heart on your forgiving him
Before

you knew. We must forgive the dead.” “ Dead! who is dead ?

“ The man your eye pursued. A little after you had parted with him, He suddenly dropt dead of heart-disease.”

“ Dead ? he ? of heart-disease ? what heart had be To die of ? dead I”

“Ah, dearest, if there be A devil in man, there is an angel too, And if he did that wrong you charge him with, His angel broke his heart. But your rough voice (You spoke so loud) has roused the child again. Sleep, little birdie, sleep! will she not sleep Without her little birdie ?' well then, sleep, And I will sing you · birdie.'”

Saying this, The woman half turn'd round from him she loved, Left him one hand, and reaching thro' the night Her other, found (for it was close beside) And half embraced the basket cradle-head With one soft arm, which, like the pliant bough Thiat moving moves the nest and nestling, sway's The cradle, while she sang this baby song.

ورو

What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.

VOL. II.

13

Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till the little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.
What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
Let me rise and fly away.
Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till the little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,

Baby too shall fly away.
“She sleeps : let us too, let all evil, sleep.
He also sleeps — another sleep than ours.
He can do no more wrong: forgive him, dear,
And I shall sleep the sounder !”

Then the man,
“ His deeds yet live, the worst is yet to come.
Yet let your sleep for this one night be sound:
I do forgive him I”

“ Thanks, my love,” she said, “ Your own will be the sweeter," and they slept.

TITHONUS.

THE woods decay, the woods decay and fall, The vapours weep their burthen to the ground, Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath, And after many a summer dies the swan. Me only cruel immortality Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms, Here at the quiet limit of the world,

« VorigeDoorgaan »