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For dear Guercino's fame (to which in power
And glory comes this picture for a dower,
Fraught with a pathos so magnificent)


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.



Ан, did you once see Shelley plain,
And did he stop and speak to you,
And did you speak to him again?
How strange it seems and new!


But you were living before that,
And also you are living after;
And the memory I started at-
My starting moves your laughter!


I crossed a moor, with a name of its own
And a certain use in the world no doubt,
Yet a hand's-breadth of it shines alone
'Mid the blank miles round about:


For there I picked up on the heather
And there I put inside my breast
A moulted feather, an eagle-feather!
Well, I forget the rest.



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,
I know, and let out all the beauty:
My poet holds the future fast,

Accept the coming ages' duty,

Their present for this past.


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
Enclosed the blue, that dye of dyes
Whereof one drop worked miracles,
And coloured like Astarte's eyes
Raw silk the merchant sells?


And each bystander of them all

Could criticize, and quote tradition

How depths of blue sublimed some pall

-To get which, pricked a king's ambition; Worth sceptre, crown and ball.


Yet there's the dye, in that rough mesh,
The sea has only just o'er-whispered!
Live whelks, each lip's beard dripping fresh,
As if they still the water's lisp heard
Through foam the rock-weeds thresh.


Enough to furnish Solomon

Such hangings for his cedar-house,
That, when gold-robed he took the throne
In that abyss of blue, the Spouse
Might swear his presence shone


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 priced and saleable at last!

And Hobbs, Nobbs, Stokes and Nokes combine

To paint the future from the past,

Put blue into their line.


Hobbs hints blue,-straight he turtle eats: Nobbs prints blue,-claret crowns his cup:

Nokes outdares Stokes in azure feats,

Both gorge.
What porridge had John Keats?

Who fished the murex up?



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:
Let's have a colloquy, something to quote,
Make the world prick up its ear!


See, the church empties apace:

Fast they extinguish the lights.

Hallo there, sacristan! Five minutes' grace!
Here's a crank pedal wants setting to-rights,
Baulks one of holding the base.


See, our huge house of the sounds,

Hushing its hundreds at once,

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?
-March, with the moon to admire,
Up nave, down chancel, turn transept about,
Supervise all betwixt pavement and spire,
Put rats and mice to the rout-

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