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That the coming and going of the wind Brought pleasure there and left passion behind.

And wherever her airy footstep trod,
Her trailing hair from the grassy sod
Erased its light vestige, with shadowy


Like a sunny storm o'er the dark green



Rejoiced in the sound of her gentle feet;
I doubt not they felt the spirit that came
From her glowing fingers thro' all their

I doubt not the flowers of that garden This fairest creature from earliest spring
Thus moved through the garden minis-

All the sweet season of summer tide,
And ere the first leaf looked brown-she

The sweet lips of the flowers, and harm
not, did she

Make her attendant angels be.

She sprinkled bright water from the



On those that were faint with the sunny Three days the flowers of the garden fair, Like stars when the moon is awakened, were,


And out of the cups of the heavy flowers
She emptied the rain of the thunder

Or the waves of Baix, ere luminous
She floats up through the smoke of


If the flowers had been her own infants she

Could never have nursed them more tenderly.

And all killing insects and gnawing


And things of obscene and unlovely

She bore in a basket of Indian woof,
Into the rough woods far aloof,

And many an antenatal tomb,
Where butterflies dream of the life to

She left clinging round the smooth and

Edge of the odorous cedar bark.

She lifted their heads with her tender hands,

And on the fourth, the Sensitive Plant
And sustained them with rods and osier Felt the sound of the funeral chaunt,

And the steps of the bearers, heavy and

And the sobs of the mourners deep and

In a basket, of grasses and wild-flowers full,

The freshest her gentle hands could pull For the poor banished insects, whose intent,

Although they did ill, was innocent.

The weary sound and the heavy breath,
And the silent motions of passing death,
And the smell, cold, oppressive, and

Sent through the pores of the coffin

The dark grass, and the flowers among
the grass,

Were bright with tears as the crowd did

From their sighs the wind caught a
mournful tone,

And sate in the pines, and gave groan
for groan.

But the bee and the beamlike ephemeris
Whose path is the lightning's, and soft The garden, once fair, became cold and

moths that kiss


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Like the corpse of her who had been its Were bent and tangled across the walks ;
And the leafless network of parasite

Which at first was lovely as if in sleep,
Then slowly changed, till it grew a heap
To make men tremble who never weep.

Massed into ruin; and all sweet flowers.
Between the time of the wind and the

Swift summer into the autumn flowed, And frost in the mist of the morning | rode,

Though the noonday sun looked clear and bright,

Mocking the spoil of the secret night.


Paved the turf and the moss below.
The lilies were drooping, and white, and


Like the head and the skin of a dying


The rose leaves, like flakes of crimson And thistles, and nettles, and darnels


And the dock, and henbane, and hem-
lock dank,

Stretched out its long and hollow shank,
And stifled the air till the dead wind


And Indian plants, of scent and hue
The sweetest that ever were fed on dew,
Leaf by leaf, day after day,
Were massed into the common clay.


And the leaves, brown, yellow, and gray,

and red,

And white with the whiteness of what
is dead,

Like troops of ghosts on the dry wind
Their whistling noise made the birds

And the gusty winds waked the winged

Out of their birthplace of ugly weeds,
Till they clung round many a sweet
flower's stem,
Which rotted into the earth with them.

The water-blooms under the rivulet

Fell from the stalks on which they were


And the eddies drove them here and
As the winds did those of the upper air.
Then the rain came down, and the
broken stalks,

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And unctuous meteors from spray to spray
Crept and flitted in broad noonday
Unseen; every branch on which they

Then there steamed up a freezing dew By a venomous blight was burned and Which to the drops of the thaw-rain bit.


The Sensitive Plant like one forbid And a northern whirlwind, wandering Wept, and the tears within each lid about Of its folded leaves which together grew Like a wolf that had smelt a dead child Were changed to a blight of frozen glue.


Shook the boughs thus laden, and heavy and stiff,

And snapped them off with his rigid griff.

For the leaves soon fell, and the branches


By the heavy axe of the blast were hewn ;
The sap shrank to the root through

First there came down a thawing rain And its dull drops froze on the boughs again,

His breath was a chain which without a sound

The earth, and the air, and the water bound;

He came, fiercely driven, in his chariot

every pore

As blood to a heart that will beat no The Sensitive Plant was a leafless wreck ; But the mandrakes, and toadstools, and docks, and darnels,


For Winter came: the wind was his Rose like the dead from their ruined whip:


One choppy finger was on his lip:

He had torn the cataracts from the hills And they clanked at his girdle like manacles;


By the tenfold blasts of the arctic zone.
Then the weeds which were forms of
living death

Fled from the frost to the earth beneath.
Their decay and sudden flight from frost
Was but like the vanishing of a ghost!

When winter had gone and spring came



Whether the Sensitive Plant, or that
Which within its boughs like a spirit


Ere its outward form had known decay,
Now felt this change, I cannot say.

Whether that lady's gentle mind,
No longer with the form combined
Which scattered love, as stars do light,
Found sadness, where it left delight,
I dare not guess; but in this life
Where nothing is, but all things seem,
Of error, ignorance, and strife,
And we the shadows of the dream,

It is a modest creed, and yet
And under the roots of the Sensitive Pleasant if one considers it,
To own that death itself must be,
The moles and the dormice died for Like all the rest, a mockery.




The birds dropped stiff from the frozen That garden sweet, that lady fair,
And all sweet shapes and odours there,
And were caught in the branches naked In truth have never past away:
'Tis we, 'tis ours, are changed; not they.

and bare.

For love, and beauty, and delight,
There is no death nor change: their

Exceeds our organs, which endure
No light, being themselves obscure.

Till the thick stalk stuck like a murderer's stake,

Where rags of loose flesh yet tremble on high,

Infecting the winds that wander by.

Dim mirrors of ruin hang gleaming about;


Their moss rotted off them, flake by Or like sulphur-flakes hurled from a flake, mine of pale fire In fountains spout o'er it. In many a


From the stark night of vapours the dim rain is driven,

While the surf, like a chaos of stars, like

a rout

Of death-flames, like whirlpools of fire-
flowing iron
With splendour and terror the black ship

The pyramid-billows with white points

of brine

In the cope of the lightning inconstantly
As piercing the sky from the floor of

the sea.

A VISION OF THE SEA 'Tis the terror of tempest. The rags of The great ship seems splitting! it cracks

the sail

as a tree,

Are flickering in ribbons within the fierce gale:

While an earthquake is splintering its
root, ere the blast

Of the whirlwind that stripped it of
branches has past.
The intense thunder-balls which are rain-
ing from heaven

And when lightning is loosed, like a deluge from heaven, She sees the black trunks of the water- Have shattered its mast, and it stands black and riven.

spouts spin,

And bend, as if heaven was ruining in, The chinks suck destruction. The heavy Which they seemed to sustain with their dead hulk

terrible mass

On the living sea rolls an inanimate bulk, As if ocean had sunk from beneath them: Like a corpse on the clay which is they pass

To their graves in the deep with an

hungering to fold corruption around it. from the hold,



earthquake of sound,

And the waves and the thunders made One deck is burst up by the waters silent around


Leave the wind to its echo. The vessel, And it splits like the ice when the thawnow tossed breezes blow Through the low-trailing rack of the O'er the lakes of the desert! Who sit tempest, is lost on the other?

Is that all the crew that lie burying each


In the skirts of the thunder-cloud: now down the sweep Of the wind-cloven wave to the chasm Like the dead in a breach, round the of the deep foremast? Are those It sinks, and the walls of the watery Twin tigers, who burst, when the waters vale Whose depths of dread calm are unmoved by the gale,


In the agony of terror, their chains in the


(What now makes them tame, is what Than heaven, when, unbinding its starthen made them bold;) braided hair,

Who crouch, side by side, and have It sinks with the sun on the earth and the sea.

driven, like a crank,

The deep grip of their claws through the She clasps a bright child on her upvibrating plank. gathered knee, Are these all? Nine weeks the tall It laughs at the lightning, it mocks the vessel had lain mixed thunder

On the windless expanse of the watery Of the air and the sea, with desire and with wonder


Where the death-darting sun cast no shadow at noon,

It is beckoning the tigers to rise and

come near,

It would play with those eyes where the
radiance of fear

And there seemed to be fire in the beams
of the moon,
Till a lead-coloured fog gathered up from
the deep



Whose breath was quick pestilence;
then, the cold sleep
Crept, like blight through the ears of a
thick field of corn,
O'er the populous vessel. And even and But sleep deeply and sweetly, and so
be beguiled

While its mother's is lustreless.
not, my child,


With their hammocks for coffins the sea- Of the pang that awaits us, whatever men aghast that be, Like dead men the dead limbs of their So dreadful since thou must divide it comrades cast with me!

Down the deep, which closed on them Dream, sleep! This pale bosom, thy above and around, cradle and bed,

And the sharks and the dog-fish their Will it rock thee not, infant? 'Tis grave-clothes unbound,

beating with dread!


And were glutted like Jews with this manna rained down

what is life, what is death, what are we,

From God on their wilderness.


That when the ship sinks we no longer may be?

What! to see thee no more, and to feel thee no more?

after one The mariners died; on the eve of this day, When the tempest was gathering in cloudy array, But seven remained.

outshining the meteors; its bosom beats high,

heart-fire of pleasure has kindled its eye;


To be after life what we have been before? Six the thunder Not to touch those sweet hands? to look on those eyes,


has smitten, And they lie black as mummies on which Those lips, and that hair, all the Time has written smiling disguise

His scorn of the embalmer; the seventh, Thou yet wearest, sweet spirit, which from the deck I, day by day,

An oak-splinter pierced through his Have so long called my child, but breast and his back, which now fades away And hung out to the tempest, a wreck Like a rainbow, and I the fallen on the wreck. shower ?" Lo! the ship No more? more fair

At the helm sits a woman Is settling, it topples, the leeward ports


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