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here no stony ground provokes the wrath of the farmer: smoothly the ploughshare runs through the soil, as
a keel through the water: all the year round the orange-groves are in blossom;
and grass grows more in a single night than a whole Canadian summer. Here, too, numberless herds run wild and unclaimed
in the prairies; here, too, lands may be had for the asking, and forests
of timber with a few blows of the axe are hewn and framed into houses.'
H. W. LONGFELLOW
1239 I ,
T was a lording's daughter, the fairest one of three, till, looking on an Englishman the fairest that eye
her fancy fell a turning. Long was the battle doubtful, which love with love did
to leave the master loveless or to kill the gallant
to put in practice either, alas ! it was a spight
unto the silly damsel !
But one must be refused, more mickle was the pain
that nothing could be used to turn them both to gain ;
then of the two the trusty knight was wounded with
alas she could not help it ! Thus art with arms contending was the victor of the
day, which by a gift of learning did bear the maid away. Then lullaby! the learned man hath got the lady gay,
and now my song is ended.
THENOT TO CLOE
'IS not the white or red
inhabits in your cheek that thus can wed
my mind to adoration; nor your eye,
though it be full and fair, your forehead high,
and smooth as Pelops' shoulder; not the smile
lies watching in those dimples to beguile
the easy soul; your hands and fingers long,
with veins enamelled richly; nor your tongue,
though it spoke sweeter than Arion's harp ;
your hair woven into many a curious warp,
able in endless error to enfold
the wandering soul; not the true perfect mould
of all your body, which as pure doth shew
in maiden whiteness as the Alpen snow;
all these, were but your constancy away,
would please me less than a black stormy day
the wretched seaman toiling through the deep.
But whilst this honoured strictness you do keep,
though all the plagues that e'er begotten were
in the great womb of air were settled here,
in opposition, I would, like the tree,
shake off those drops of weakness, and be free
even in the arm of danger.
'HE is a sea-god's daughter, may not she
'O Acis, my sweet Acis! shepherd sweet
awake,' she said, but no voice answered her;
· Acis, sweet Acis !' still she cried on · Acis,'
pausing to listen, but the echo went
dimmer and dimmer down the rocky shore
to snowy Naxos faintly and was lost.
Acis,' she said, and still she cried on 'Acis,'
then stooping with her hand upon the stone
she whispered 'Acis,' till her heart grew sick,
to see the fair young limb gory and crusht,
and plashy drops of blood about the grass.
CIS and Galatea whispering
with honied words under the shadowy cliff;-
how pleasant was it in the sultry noon!
they lay upon a grassy gradual slope;
and starry creepers threaded all about
in the grass roots and deep-eyed violets
of wealthy odour flushed the verdurous green;
and yellow lilies to the curving shore
and crisping ripple calms, a stone's throw off,
went sloping; while a fresh wind stole at ease
over the beach, along the fainting grass,
swaying the lilies; and the ivied cliff
made shadows cool and reared a lofty front
into the ambient air, a measureless height.
This was in Sicily, a wealthy coast,
three leagues from Etna southward looking east.
1243 TRUST ME NOT AT ALL OR ALL IN ALL
N Love, if Love be Love, if Love be ours,
faith and unfaith can ne'er be equal powers:
unfaith in aught is want of faith in all.
It is the little rift within the lute,
that by and by will make the music mute,
and ever widening slowly silence all,
the little rift within the lover's lute,
or little pitted speck in garnered fruit,
that rotting inward slowly moulders all.
It is not worth the keeping: let it go:
but shall it? answer, darling, answer, no.
And trust me not at all or all in all.
VISION OF LOVE
T was the spring, and newly risen day
peeped o'er the hamlets on the first of May;
my eyes too tender for the blaze of light,
still sought the shelter of retiring night,
when Love approached, in painted plumes arrayed;
the insidious god his rattling darts betrayed,
nor less his infant features, and the sly
sweet intimations of his threatening eye.
Such the Sigean boy is seen above
filling the goblet for imperial Jove;
such he, on whom the nymphs bestowed their charms,
Hylas, who perished in a Naiad's arms:
angry he seemed, yet graceful in his ire,
and added threats, not destitute of fire.
1 245 LANCELOT OVERTHROWN BY HIS OWN KIN
"HEY couched their spears and pricked their
steeds and thus, their plumes driven backwards by the wind they made in moving, all together down upon him bare, as a wild wave in the wide North-sea, green-glimmering toward the summit, bears, with all its stormy crests that smoke against the skies, down on a bark and overbears the bark, and him that helms it, so they overbore Sir Lancelot and his charger, and a spear down-glancing lamed the charger, and a spear pricked sharply his own cuirass, and the head pierced through his side and there snapt and remained.
'HEN with a rushing sound, th' assembly bend
diverse their steps: the rival rout ascend
the royal dome: whilst sad the Prince explores
the neighbouring main, and sorrowing treads the
there, as the waters o'er his hands he shed,
the royal suppliant to Minerva prayed:
O Goddess! who descending from the skies
vouchsafed thy presence to my wondering eyes;
by whose commands the raging deep I trace,
and seek my sire through storms and rolling seas;
hear from the heavens above, O warrior-maid,
descend once more propitious to my aid:
without thy presence, vain is thy command:
Greece and the rival train thy voice withstand.'
COR was his name unheard or unadored,
men called him Mulciber: and how he fell
from Heaven they fabled, thrown by angry Jove
sheer o'er the crystal battlements: from morn
to noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,
a summer's day; and with the setting sun
dropt from the zenith like a falling star,
on Lemnos, the Ægean isle. Thus they relate,
erring; for he with this rebellious rout
fell long before: nor aught availed him now
to have built in Heaven high towers, nor did he
by all his engines, but was headlong sent
with his industrious crew to build in Hell.
ONG while they then continued in that wize,
strokes, wounds, wards, weapons, all they did despise ;
ne either cared to ward, or perill shonne,
desirous both to have the battell donne;
ne either caréd life to save or spill,
ne which of them did winne, ne which were wonne;
so wearie both of fighting had their fill, that life itselfe seemd loathsome, and long safetie ill.
Whilst thus the case in doubtfull ballance hong,
unsure to whether side it would incline,
and all mens eyes and hearts, which there among
stood gazing, filled were with rufull tine
and secret feare, to see their fatall fine;
all suddenly they heard a troublous noyes,
that seemd some perilous tumult to desine,
confused with womens cries and shouts of boyes, such as the troubled theatres ofttimes annoyes.
T was a chosen plott of fertile land,
emongst wide waves sett, like a litle nest, as if it had by Natures cunning hand bene choycely pickéd out from all the rest, and laid forth for ensample of the best: no dainty flowre or herbe that growes on grownd, no arborett with painted blossomes drest
and smelling sweete, but there it might be fownd, to bud out faire, and her sweete smels throwe al arownd.