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“ How they 'll greet us!”. - and all in a moment his roan
Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone;
And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate,
With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.


Then I cast loose my buff-coat, each holster let fall,
Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,

Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer;
Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or good,
Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.
And all I remember is, friends flocking round
As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground,
And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine,
Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)
Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent.



HERE the quiet-colored end of evening smiles

Miles and miles
On the solitary pastures where our sheep,

Tinkle homeward through the twilight, stray or stop

· As they crop,

Was the site once of a city great and gay,

(So they say)
Of our country's very capital, its prince

Ages since
Held his court in, gathered councils, wielding far

Peace or war.

Now, — the country does not even boast a tree,

As you see,
To distinguish slopes of verdure, certain rills

From the hills
Intersect and give a name to, (else they run

Into one)

Where the domed and daring palace shot its spires

Up like fires
O'er the hundred-gated circuit of a wall

Bounding all,
Made of marble, men might march on nor be prest,

Twelve abreast.

And such plenty and perfection, see, of grass

Never was!
Such a carpet as, this summer-time, o'erspreads

And embeds
Every vestige of the city, guessed alone,

Stock or stone —

Where a multitude of men breathed joy and woe

Long ago;
Lust of glory pricked their hearts up, dread of shame

Struck them tame;
And that glory and that shame alike, the gold

Bought and sold.

Now, — the single little turret that remains

On the plains,
By the caper overrooted, by the gourd

While the patching houseleek's head of blossom winks

Through the chinks

Marks the basement whence a tower in ancient time

Sprang sublime,
And a burning ring all round, the chariots traced

As they raced,
And the monarch and his minions and his dames

Viewed the games.

And I know, while thus the quiet-colored eve

Smiles to leave
To their folding, all our many-tinkling fleece

In such peace,

And the slopes and rills in undistinguished gray

Melt away

That a girl with eager eyes and yellow hair

Waits me there
In the turret, whence the charioteers caught soul

For the goal,
When the king looked, where she looks now, breathless, dumb,

Till I come.

But he looked upon the city, every side,

Far and wide,
All the mountains topped with temples, all the glades'

All the causeys, bridges, aqueducts, -- and then,

All the men !

When I do come, she will speak not, she will stand,

Either hand
On my shoulder, give her eyes the first embrace

Of my face,
Ere we rush, ere we extinguish sight and speech

Each on each.

In one year they sent a million fighters forth

South and north,
And they built their gods a brazen pillar high

As the sky,
Yet reserved a thousand chariots in full force, -

Gold, of course.

O heart! O blood that freezes, blood that burns !

Earth's returns
For whole centuries of folly, noise, and sin !

Shut them in,
With their triumphs and their glories and the rest.

Love is best!


ET 'S contend no more, Love,

Strive nor weep, · All be as before, Love,

- Only sleep!


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