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A white-hair'd shadow roaming like a dream
The ever silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
Who madest him thy chosen, that he seem'd
To his great heart none other than a God!
I ask'd thee, “ Give me immortality.”
Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
Like wealthy men who care not how they give.
But thy strong Hours indignant work'd their wills,
And beat me down and marr'd and wasted me,
And tho' they could not end me, left me maim'd
To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
Immortal age beside immortal youth,
And all I was, in ashes. Can thy love,
Thy beauty, make amends, tho' even now,
Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
To hear me ? Let me go: take back thy gift:
Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly race of men,
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
Where all should pause, as is most meet for all ?

A soft air fans the cloud apart; there comes A glimpse of that dark world where I was born. Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure, And bosom beating with a heart renew'd. Thy cheek begins to redden thro' the gloom, Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine, Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise, And shake the darkness from their loosen'd manes, And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.

Lol ever thus thou growest beautiful

In silence, then before thine answer given
Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek.

Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true ?
“ The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts."

my blood

Ay me! ay me! with what another heart
In days far-off, and with what other eyes
I used to watch — if I be he that watch'd -
The lucid outline forming round thee; saw
The dim curls kindle into sunny rings;
Changed with thy mystic change, and felt
Glow with the glow that slowly crimson'd all
Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay,
Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy-warm
With kisses balmier than half-opening buds
Of April, and could hear the lips that kiss'd
Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet,
Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing,
While Ilion like a mist rose into towers.

up

Yet hold me not forever in thine East: How can my nature longer mix with thine ? Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam Floats from those dim fields about the homes Of happy men that have the power to die, And grassy barrows of the happier dead. Release me, and restore me to the ground; Thou seëst all things, thou wilt see my grave: Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn; I earth in earth forget these empty courts, And thee returning on thy silver wheels.

IDYLLS OF THE KING.

Flos Regum Arthurus."

JOSEPH OF EXE

DEDICATION.

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THESE to his memory since he held them dear,
Perchance as finding there unconsciously
Some image of himself - I dedicate,
I dedicate, I consecrate with tears
These Idylls.

And indeed he seems to me
Scarce other than my own ideal knight,
“Who reverenced his conscience as his king ;
Whose glory was, redressing human wrong;
Who spake no slander, no, nor listened to it;
Who loved one only and who clave to her" -
Her — over all whose realms to their last isle,
Commingled with the gloom of imminent war
The shadow of his loss moved like eclipse,
Darkening the world. We have lost him: he is gone
We know him now: all narrow jealousies
Are silent; and we see him as he moved,
How modest, kindly, all accomplish'd, wise,
With what sublime repression of himself,
And in what limits, and how tenderly;
Not swaying to this faction or to that;
Not making his high place the lawless perch
Of wing'd ambitions, nor a vantage ground
For pleasure; but thro' all this tract of years
Wearing the white flower of a blameless life,
Before a thousand peering littlenesses,
In that fierce light which beats upon a throne,
And blackens every blot: for where is he,
Who dares foreshadow for an only son
A lovelier life, a more unstain'd, than his ?
Or how should England dreaming of his sons
Hope more for these than some inheritance
Of such a life, a heart, a mind as thine,
Thou noble Father of her Kings to be,
Laborious for her people and her poor.
Voice in the rich dawn of an ampler day -

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