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Art thou near me? nearer? so!
Kiss me close upon the eyes,
That the earthly light may go
Sweetly, as it used to rise,

When I watched the morning-gray
Strike, betwixt the hills, the way
He was sure to come that day.



-no more vain words be said!The hosannas nearer roll.

Mother, smile now on thy Dead,

I am death-strong in my soul.
Mystic Dove alit on cross,

Guide the poor bird of the snows
Through the snow-wind above loss!


Jesus, Victim, comprehending
Love's divine self-abnegation,
Cleanse my love in its self-spending,
And absorb the poor libation!
Wind my thread of life up higher,
Up, through angels' hands of fire!—
I aspire while I expire.



A poet writes to his friend. PLACE-A room in Wycombe Hall. TIME-Late in the evening.

DEAR my friend and fellow-student, I would lean my spirit o'er you!

Down the purple of this chamber, tears should scarcely run at will.

I am humbled who was humble. Friend,-I bow my head before you.

You should lead me to my peasants,—but their faces are too still.

There's a lady-an earl's daughter, she is proud and she is noble,

And she treads the crimson carpet, and she breathes the perfumed air,

And a kingly blood sends glances up her princely eye to trouble,

And the shadow of a monarch's crown is softened in her hair.

She has halls among the woodlands, she has castles by the breakers,

She has farms and she has manors, she can threaten and command,

And the palpitating engines snort in steam across her acres,

As they mark upon the blasted heaven the measure of the land.

There are none of England's daughters who can show a prouder presence

Upon princely suitors praying, she has looked in her disdain.

She was sprung of English nobles, I was born of English peasants;

What was I that I should love her-save for competence to pain?

I was only a poor poet, made for singing at her casement,

As the finches or the thrushes, while she thought of other things.

Oh, she walked so high above me, she appeared to my abasement,

In her lovely silken murmur, like an angel clad in wings!

Many vassals bow before her as her carriage sweeps their door-ways;

She has blest their little children,-as a priest or queen were she.

Far too tender, or too cruel far, her smile upon the poor was,

For I thought it was the same smile which she used to smile on me.

She has voters in the commons, she has lovers in the palace;

And of all the fair court-ladies, few have jewels half as fine.

Oft the prince has named her beauty 'twixt the red wine and the chalice.

Oh, and what was I to love her? my beloved, my
VOL. I.-23

Yet I could not choose but love her. I was born to


To love all things set above me, all of good and all of fair.

Nymphs of mountain, not of valley, we are wont to call the Muses;

And in nympholeptic climbing, poets pass from mount to star.

And because I was a poet, and because the public praised me,

With a critical deduction for the modern writer's


I could sit at rich men's tables,—though the courtesies that raised me,

Still suggested clear between us the pale spectrum of the salt.

And they praised me in her presence;-'Will your book appear this summer?'

Then returning to each other-'Yes, our plans are for the moors.'

Then with whisker dropped behind me- There he is! the latest comer!

Oh, she only likes his verses! what is over, she endures.

'Quite low-born! self-educated! somewhat gifted though by nature,—

And we make a point of asking him,-of being very kind.

You may speak, he does not hear you! and besides, he writes no satire,—

* All the serpents kept by charmers, leave the natural sting behind.'

I grew scornfuller, grew colder, as I stood up there among them,

Till as frost intense will burn you, the cold scorning scorched my brow,—

When a sudden silver speaking, gravely cadenced, overrung them,

And a sudden silken stirring touched my inner nature through.

I looked upward and beheld her. With a calm and regnant spirit,

Slowly round she swept her eyelids, and said clear before them all

'Have you such superfluous honor, sir, that able to

confer it

You will come down, Mister Bertram, as my guest to Wycombe Hall?'

Here she paused,-she had been paler at the first word of her speaking,

But because a silence followed it, blushed somewhat, as for shame,

Then, as scorning her own feeling, resumed calmly— 'I am seeking

More distinction than these gentlemen think worthy of my claim.

'Ne'ertheless, you see, I seek it—not because I am a woman,'

(Here her smile sprang like a fountain, and, so, overflowed her mouth)

'But because my woods in Sussex have some purple shades at gloaming

Which are worthy of a king in state, or poet in his youth.

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