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Hark, now I push its wicket, the moss
Hinders the hinges and makes them wince! She must have reached this shrub ere she turned, As back with that murmur the wicket swung; For she laid the poor snail, my chance foot spurned, To feed and forget it the leaves among.
Down this side of the gravel-walk
She went while her robe's edge brushed the box: And here she paused in her gracious talk
To point me a moth on the milk-white phlox. Roses, ranged in valiant row,
I will never think that she passed you by! She loves you noble roses, I know;
But yonder, see, where the rock-plants lie!
This flower she stopped at, finger on lip,
Stooped over, in doubt, at settling its claim;
Speech half-asleep or song half-awake?
Roses, if I live and do well,
I may bring her, one of these days, To fix you fast with as fine a spell,
Fit you each with his Spanish phrase;
But do not detain me now; for she lingers
Flower, you Spaniard, look that you grow not,
Mind, the shut pink mouth opens never! For while it pouts her fingers wrestle,
Twinkling the audacious leaves between, Till round they turn and down they nestleIs not the dear mark still to be seen?
Where I find her not, beauties vanish;
Is there no method to tell her in Spanish
June's twice June since she breathed it with me? Come, bud, show me the least of her traces,
Treasure my lady's lightest footfall!
II. SIBRANDUS SCHAFNABURGENSIS.
Plague take all your pedants, say I!
He who wrote what I hold in my hand, Centuries back was so good as to die, Leaving this rubbish to cumber the land;
This, that was a book in its time,
Printed on paper and bound in leather, Last month in the white of a matin-prime Just when the birds sang all together,
Into the garden I brought it to read,
And under the arbute and laurustine Read it, so help me grace in my need,
From title-page to closing line. Chapter on chapter did I count,
As a curious traveller counts Stonehenge; Added up the mortal amount;
And then proceeded to my revenge.
Yonder's a plum-tree with a crevice
An owl would build in, were he but sage;
When he'd be private, there might he spend
Into this crevice I dropped our friend.
Splash, went he, as under he ducked,
-At the bottom, I knew, rain-drippings stagnate; Next a handful of blossoms I plucked
To bury him with, my bookshelf's magnate;
Half a cheese, and a bottle of Chablis;
Now, this morning, betwixt the moss
And sat in the midst with arms akimbo:
And, de profundis, accentibus lætis,
Here you have it, dry in the sun,
Oh, well have the droppings played their tricks! Did he guess how toadstools grow, this fellow? Here's one stuck in his chapter six!
How did he like it when the live creatures Tickled and toused and browsed him all over, And worm, slug, eft, with serious features,
Came in, each one, for his right of trover? -When the water-beetle with great blind deaf face Made of her eggs the stately deposit, And the newt borrowed just so much of the preface As tiled in the top of his black wife's closet?
All that life and fun and romping,
All that frisking and twisting and coupling,
While slowly our poor friend's leaves were swamping
To the play-house at Paris, Vienna or Munich,
And danced off the ballet with trousers and tunic.
Come, old martyr! What, torment enough is it?
See the snug niche I have made on my shelf!
SOLILOQUY OF THE SPANISH CLOISTER.
GR-R-R―there go, my heart's abhorrence!
God's blood, would not mine kill you!
At the meal we sit together: