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Fronting her silent in the glass-
"Him, the Carver, a hand to aid,
"Let Robbia's craft so apt and strange
"Make me a face on the window there,
"And let me think that it may beguile
"To say, 'What matters it at the end?
"I did no more while my heart was warm
"Than does that image, my pale-faced friend.'
"Where is the use of the lip's red charm,
"Unless we turn, as the soul knows how,
But long ere Robbia's cornice, fine
(And, leaning out of a bright blue space,
Eyeing ever, with earnest eye
And quick-turned neck at its breathless stretch,
The Duke had sighed like the simplest wretch
Some subtle moulder of brazen shapes"Can the soul, the will, die out of a man "Ere his body find the grave that gapes?
"John of Douay shall effect my plan,
"In the very square I have crossed so oft: "That men may admire, when future suns "Shall touch the eyes to a purpose soft,
"While the mouth and the brow stay brave in bronze
"Admire and say, 'When he was alive
"How he would take his pleasure once!'
"And it shall go hard but I contrive
"To listen the while, and laugh in my tomb "At idleness which aspires to strive."
So! While these wait the trump of doom,
Still, I suppose, they sit and ponder
Only they see not God, I know,
The soldier-saints who, row on row,
Burn upward each to his point of bliss
Since, the end of life being manifest,
He had burned his way thro' the world to this.
I hear you reproach, "But delay was best,
"For their end was a crime."-Oh, a crime will do As well, I reply, to serve for a test,
As a virtue golden through and through,
And prove its worth at a moment's view!
Must a game be played for the sake of pelf?
The true has no value beyond the sham:
When your table's a hat, and your prize, a dram.
Stake your counter as boldly every whit,
If you choose to play!-is my principle.
The counter our lovers staked was lost
Is, the unlit lamp and the ungirt loin,
How strive you? De te, fabula!
THE rain set early in to-night,
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And, last, she sat down by my side And called me. When no voice replied,
She put my arm about her waist,
And made her smooth white shoulder bare,
And all her yellow hair displaced,
And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,
And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair,
Too weak, for all her heart's endeavour,
To set its struggling passion free
From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
And give herself to me for ever.