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For dear Guercino's fame (to which in power
And since he did not work thus earnestly
At all times, and has else endured some wrongI took one thought his picture struck from me, And spread it out, translating it to song. My love is here. Where are you, dear old friend? How rolls the Wairoa at your world's far end? This is Ancona, yonder is the sea.
Aн, did you once see Shelley plain,
But you were living before that,
And also you are living after;
I crossed a moor, with a name of its own
'Mid the blank miles round about:
For there I picked up on the heather
STAND still, true poet that you are!
I know you; let me try and draw you. Some night you'll fail us: when afar
You rise, remember one man saw you, Knew you, and named a star!
My star, God's glow-worm! Why extend That loving hand of his which leads you, Yet locks you safe from end to end
Of this dark world, unless he needs you, Just saves your light to spend?
His clenched hand shall unclose at last,
Accept the coming ages' duty,
That day, the earth's feast-master's brow Shall clear, to God the chalice raising; "Others give best at first, but thou
"Forever set'st our table praising, "Keep'st the good wine till now!"
Meantime, I'll draw you as you stand,
With few or none to watch and wonder: I'll say—a fisher, on the sand
By Tyre the old, with ocean-plunder, A netful, brought to land.
Who has not heard how Tyrian shells
And coloured like Astarte's eyes
And each bystander of them all
-To get which, pricked a king's ambition; Worth sceptre, crown and ball.
Yet there's the dye, in that rough mesh,
Enough to furnish Solomon
Such hangings for his cedar-house,
Most like the centre-spike of gold
Which burns deep in the blue-bell's womb What time, with ardours manifold,
The bee goes singing to her groom, Drunken and overbold.
Mere conchs! not fit for warp or woof!
Till cunning come to pound and squeeze And clarify, refine to proof
The liquor filtered by degrees, While the world stands aloof.
And there's the extract, flasked and fine,
And Hobbs, Nobbs, Stokes and Nokes combine
Hobbs hints blue,-straight he turtle eats: Nobbs prints blue,-claret crowns his cup: Nokes outdares Stokes in azure feats,
Both gorge. Who fished the murex up? What porridge had John Keats?
MASTER HUGUES OF SAXE-GOTHA.
HIST, but a word, fair and soft!
Forth and be judged, Master Hugues! Answer the question I've put you so oft:
What do you mean by your mountainous fugues? See, we're alone in the loft,—
I, the poor organist here,
Hugues, the composer of note,
Dead though, and done with, this many a year:
See, the church empties apace:
Fast they extinguish the lights.
Hallo there, sacristan! Five minutes' grace!
See, our huge house of the sounds,
Bids the last loiterer back to his bounds!
-O you may challenge them, not a response Get the church-saints on their rounds!
(Saints go their rounds, who shall doubt?
Up nave, down chancel, turn transept about,