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But the cedars stood up motionless, each in a moonlight ringing, And the deer, half in the glimmer, strewed the hollows of the park.
And though sometimes she would bind me with her silver-corded speeches,
To commix my words and laughter with the converse and the jest, Oft I sat apart, and gazing on the river through the beeches, Heard, as pure the swans swam down it, her pure voice o'erfloat the rest.
In the morning, horn of huntsman, hoof of steed, and laugh of rider
Spread out cheery from the courtyard till we lost them in the hills; While herself and other ladies, and her suitors left beside her, Went a-wandering up the gardens through the laurels and abeles.
Thus, her foot upon the new-mown grass,-bareheaded,-with the flowing
Of the virginal white vesture gathered closely to her throat; With the golden ringlets in her neck just quickened by her going, And appearing to breathe sun for air, and doubting if to float,
Thus she drew me the first morning, out across into the garden: And I walked among her noble friends, and could not keep behind:
Spake she unto all and unto me, — “Behold, I am the warden Of the song-birds in these lindens, which are cages to their mind.
"But within this swarded circle, into which the lime-walk brings us,
Whence the beeches rounded greenly, stand away in reverent fear;
I will let no music enter, saving what the fountain sings us, Which the lilies round the basin may seem pure enough to hear.
"The live air that waves the lilies waves this slender jet of water, Like a holy thought sent feebly up from soul of fasting saint! Whereby lies a marble Silence, sleeping! (Lough the sculptor wrought her,) So asleep she is forgetting to say Hush! -a fancy quaint!
"Mark how heavy white her eyelids! not a dream between them lingers!
And the left hand's index droppeth from the lips upon the cheek: And the right hand, with the symbol rose held slack within the fingers,
Has fallen back within the basin, — yet this Silence will not speak!
"That the essential meaning growing may exceed the special symbol,
Is the thought as I conceive it: it applies more high and low. Our true noblemen will often through right nobleness grow humble. And assert an inward honor by denying outward show."
"Nay, your Silence," said I, “truly holds her symbol rose but slackly,
Yet she holds it or would scarcely be a Silence to our ken!