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'He loved but only thee!

That love is transient too.

The wild hawk's bill doth dabble still
I' the mouth that vowed thee true.
Will he open his dull eyes,

When tears fall on his brow?

Behold, the death-worm to his heart

Is a nearer thing than thou,

Margret, Margret.'


Her face was on the ground

None saw the agony.

But the men at sea did that night agree
They heard a drowning cry.
And when the morning brake,
Fast rolled the river's tide,

With the green trees waving overhead,

And a white corse laid beside.

Margret, Margret.


A knight's bloodhound and he

The funeral watch did keep;

With a thought o' the chase he stroked its face

As it howled to see him weep.

A fair child kissed the dead,

But shrank before its cold.

And alone yet proudly in his hall
Did stand a baron old.

Margret, Margret.


Hang up my harp again!

I have no voice for song.
Not song but wail, and mourners pale
Not bards, to love belong.

O failing human love!

O light, by darkness known!

O false, the while thou treadest earth!
O deaf beneath the stone!

Margret, Margret.


so find we profit,

By losing of our prayers.



To rest the weary nurse has gone.

An eight-day watch had watched she, Still rocking beneath sun and moon

The baby on her knee,

Till Isobel its mother said

'The fever waneth-wend to bed,

For now the watch comes round to me.'


Then wearily the nurse did throw
Her pallet in the darkest place

Of that sick room, and slept and dreamed.
For, as the gusty wind did blow
The night-lamp's flare across her face,
She saw, or seemed to see, but dreamed,
That the poplars tall on the opposite hill,
The seven tall poplars on the hill,
Did clasp the setting sun until

His rays dropped from him, pined and still
As blossoms in frost!

Till he waned and paled, so weirdly crossed,
To the colour of moonlight which doth pass
Over the dank ridged churchyard grass.

The poplars held the sun, and he

The eyes of the nurse that they should not see Not for a moment, the babe on her knee, Though she shuddered to feel that it grew to be Too chill, and lay too heavily.


She only dreamed; for all the while
'Twas Lady Isobel that kept
The little baby,—and it slept
Fast, warm, as if its mother's smile,
Laden with love's dewy weight,
And red as rose of Harpocrate
Dropt upon its eyelids, pressed
Lashes to cheek in a sealed rest.


And more, and more smiled Isobel
To see the baby sleep so well—

She knew not that she smiled.
Against the lattice, dull and wild

Drive the heavy droning drops,

Drop by drop, the sound being one-
As momently time's segments fall

On the ear of God, who hears through all
Eternity's unbroken monotone.

And more and more smiled Isobel
To see the baby sleep so well—

She knew not that she smiled.
The wind in intermission stops
Down in the beechen forest,
Then cries aloud

As one at the sorest,
Self-stung, self-driven,

And rises up to its very tops,
Stiffening erect the branches bowed,
Dilating with a tempest-soul

The trees that with their dark hands break Through their own outline and heavily roll Shadows as massive as clouds in heaven, Across the castle lake.

And more and more smiled Isobel
To see the baby sleep so well;

She knew not that she smiled;

She knew not that the storm was wild. Through the uproar drear she could not hear The castle clock which struck anear

She heard the low, light breathing of her child.

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O sight for wondering look!
While the external nature broke
Into such abandonment,

While the very mist heart-rent
By the lightning, seemed to eddy

Against nature, with a din,
A sense of silence and of steady
Natural calm appeared to come
From things without, and enter in
The human creature's room.


So motionless she sate,

The babe asleep upon her knees,

You might have dreamed their souls had gone Away to things inanimate,

In such to live, in such to moan;

And that their bodies had ta'en back,
In mystic change, all silences

That cross the sky in cloudy rack,
Or dwell beneath the reedy ground
In waters safe from their own sound.
Only she wore

The deepening smile I named before,
And that a deepening love expressed;
And who at once can love and rest?


In sooth the smile that then was keeping
Watch upon the baby sleeping,
Floated with its tender light
Downward, from the drooping eyes

Upward, from the lips apart,

Over cheeks which had grown white
With an eight-day weeping.

All smiles come in such a wise,

Where tears shall fall or have of old-
Like northern lights that fill the heart
Of heaven in sign of cold.

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