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The night seemed long, and long the twilight: With something like to hope, and all that day seemed,
Some tender words he ever found to say ; A vain thing seemed his flowery garden fair ; Though through the night still of his work he And still he felt as something heard him speak; dreamed,
Sometimes he praised her beauty, and sometimes And though his smooth-stemmed trees so nigh it Reproached her in a feeble voice and weak,
And at the last drew forth a book of rhymes, were, That thence he could behold the marble hair ;
Wherein were writ the tales of many climes,
And read aloud the sweetness hid therein
And when the sun went down, the frankincense Blinded with tears, his chisel up he caught,
Again upon the altar-flame he cast And, drawing near, and sighing, tenderly
That through the open window floating thence Upon the marvel of the face he wrought,
O'er the fresh odors of the garden passed ; E’en as he used to pass the long days by ;
And so another day was gone at last, But his sighs changed to sobbing presently,
And he no more his lovelorn watch could keep, And on the floor the useless steel he flung,
But now for utter weariness must sleep. And, weeping loud, about the image clung.
But the next morn, e'en while the incense-smoke “Alas!" he cried, “why have I made thee then, At sunrising curled round about her head, That thus thou mockest me? I know indeed
Sweet sound of songs the wonted quiet broke That many such as thou are loved of men, Down in the street, and he by something led, Whose passionate eyes poor wretches still will lead He knew not what, must leave his prayer unsaid, Into their net, and smile to see them bleed ; And through the freshness of the morn must see But these the Gods made, and this hand made thee The folk who went with that sweet minstrelsy ; Who wilt not speak one little word to me."
Damsels and youths in wonderful attire, Then from the image did he draw aback
And in their midst upon a car of gold To gaze on it through tears : and you had said,
An image of the Mother of Desire, Regarding it, that little did it lack
Wrought by his hands in days that seemed grown To be a living and most lovely maid ;
old, Naked it was, its unbound locks were laid Though those sweet limbs a garment did enfold. Over the lovely shoulders ; with one hand
Colored like flame, enwrought with precious Reached out, as to a lover, did it stand,
Most fit to be the prize of striving kings. The other held a fair rose over-blown ;
Then he remembered that the manner was No smile was on the parted lips, the eyes That fair-clad priests the lovely Queen should take Seemed as if even now great love had shown
Thrice in the year, and through the city pass, Unto them something of its sweet surprise, And with sweet songs the dreaming folk awake; Yet saddened them with half-seen mysteries,
And through the clouds a light there seemed to
About her glorious kindly deeds of old.
So his unfinished prayer he finished not,
hot, With nothing in his heart but vain desire, He clad himself with fresh attire and meet The ever-burning, unconsuming fire.
For that bright service, and with blossoms sweet
Entwined with tender leaves he crowned his head, No word indeed the moveless image said, And followed after as the goddess led. But with the sweet grave eyes his hands had wrought
So there he stood, that help from her to gain, Still gazed down on his bowed imploring head, Bewildered by that twilight midst of day ; Yet his own words some solace to him brought, Downcast with listening to the joyous strain Gilding the net wherein his soul was caught He had no part in, hopeless with delay
Of all the fair things he had meant to say: O dear companion of my new-found life,
For I am called thy lover and thy wife?
She reached her hand to him, and with kindeyes
Gazed into his; but he the fingers caught “O thou forgotten help, dost thou yet know And drew her to him, and midst ecstasies What thing it is I need, when even I,
Passing all words, yea, wellnigh passing thought,
As in his arms his living love he pressed.
But as his cheek touched hers he heard her say,
“Wilt thou not speak, Olove? why dost thou weep: Yet soon, indeed, before his door he stood, Art thou then sorry for this long-wished day, And, as a man awaking from a dream,
Or dost thou think perchance thou wilt not keep Seemed waked from his old folly; naught seemed This that thou holdest, but in dreamy sleep? good
Nay, let us do the bidding of the Queen, In all the things that he before had deemed And hand in hand walk through thy garden green; At least worth life, and on his heart there streamed
" Then shalt thou tell me, still beholding me, Cold light of day, — he found himself alone, Reft of desire, all love and madness gone.
Full many things whereof I wish to know,
And as we walk from whispering tree to tree Thus to his chamber at the last he came,
Still more familiar to thee shall I grow, And, pushing through the sti'i half-opened door, As when thou deemedst thou wast quite alone,
And such things shalt thou say unto me now He stood within ; but there, for very shame
A madman kneeling to a thing of stone."
And therewithal he spake some loving word, Since he had wrought that luckless marble maid. And she at first looked up in grave surprise Yet soft his thoughts were, and the very place and clung to him as somewhat grown afеard ;
When his deep voice and musical she heard, Seemed perfumed with some nameless heavenly air. Then cried aloud and said, “O mighty one ! So gaining courage, did he raise his face
What joy with thee to look upon the sun!”
Then into that fair garden did they pass,
And as the twain went o'er the dewy grass,
Beneath the risen moon could he behold Yet while he stood, and knew not what to do The bright tears trickling down, then, waxen bold, With yearning, a strange thrill of hope there came, He stopped and said, “ Ah, love, what meaneth A shaft of new desire now pierced him through, this? And therewithal a soft voice called his name, Seest thou how tears still follow earthly bliss ?” And when he turned, with eager eyes aflame, He saw betwixt him and the setting sun
Then both her white arms round his neck she The lively image of his lovéd one.
And sobbing said, “O love, what hurteth me? He trembled at the sight, for though her eyes, When first the sweetness of my life I knew, Her very lips, were such as he had made, Not this I felt, but when I first saw thee And though her tresses fell but in such guise A little pain and great felicity As he had wrought them, now was she arrayed Rose up within me, and thy talk e'en now In that fair garment that the priests had laid Made pain and pleasure ever greater grow." Upon the goddess on that very morn, Dyed like the setting sun upon the corn.
“O sweet," he said, “this thing is even love,
Whereof I told thee; that all wise men fear, Speechless he stood, but she now drew anear, But yet escape not; nay, to gods above, Simple and sweet as she was wont to be, Unless the old tales lie, it draweth near. And once again her silver voice rang clear, But let my happy ears, I pray thee, hear Filling his soul with great felicity,
Thy story too, and how thy blessed birth. And thus she spoke, "Wilt thou not come to me, Has made a heaven of this once lonely earth."
“My sweet," she said, " as yet I am not wise, Have wrought for him this long-desired day ; Or stored with words, aright the tale to tell, In sign whereof, these things that pass away, But listen : when I opened first mine eyes Wherein mine image men have well arrayed, I stood within the niche thou knowest well, I give thee for thy wedding gear, 0 maid.' And from mine hand a heavy thing there fell Carved like these flowers, nor could I see things and laid bare all her perfect loveliness,
“Therewith her raiment she put off froin her, clear,
And, smiling on me, came yet more anear, And but a strange confused noise could hear.
And on my mortal lips her lips did press, “At last mine eyes could see a woman fair, And said, “Now herewith shalt thou love no less But awful as this round white moon o'erhead, Than Psyche loved my son in days of old ; So that I trembled when I saw her there, Farewell, of thee shall many a tale be told.' For with my life was born some touch of dread,
“ And even with that last word was she gone, And therewithal I heard her voice that said,
How, I know not, and I my limbs arrayed • Come down, and learn to love and be alive,
In her fair gifts, and waited thee alone For thee, a well-prized gift, to-day I give.'
Ah, love, indeed the word is true she said, “ Then on the floor I stepped, rejoicing much, For now I love thee so, I grow afraid Not knowing why, not knowing anght at all, Of what the gods upon our heads may send Till she reached out her hand my breast to touch, I love thee so, I think upon the end." And when her fingers thereupon did fall,
What words he said ? How can I tell again Thought came unto my life, and therewithal
What words they said beneath the glimmering I knew her for a goddess, and began
light, To murmur in some tongue unknown to man.
Some tongue they used unknown to loveless men “And then indeed not in this guise was I, As each to each they told their great delight, No sandals had I, and no saffron gown,
Until for stillness of the growing night But naked as thou knowest utterly,
Their soft sweet murmuring words seemed growE'en as my limbs beneath thine hand had grown, ing loud, And this fair perfumed robe then fell adown And dim the moon grew, hid by fleecy cloud. Over the goddess' feet and swept the ground, And round her loins a glittering belt was bound. “But when the stammering of my tongue she JAMES FITZ_JAMES AND ELLEN. heard
"THE LADY OF THE LAKE." Upon my trembling lips her hand she laid,
A FOOTSTEP struck her ear,
And Snowdoun's graceful Knight was near.
She turned the hastier, lest again
The prisoner should renew his strain.
“O welcome, brave Fitz-James !” she said ;
“How may an almost orphan maid "" Thy body, lifeless till I gave it life,
Pay the deep debt ” “O, say not so ! A certain man, my servant, well hath wrought, To me no gratitude you owe. I give thee to him as his love and wife,
Not mine, alas ! the boon to give,
And bid thy noble father live;
With Scotland's King thy suit to aid.
No tyrant he, though ire and pride “Bide thou his coming by the bed-head there,
May lead his better mood aside. And when thou seest him set his eyes upon
Come, Ellen, come ; 't is more than time, Thine empty niche, and hear'st him cry for care,
He holds his court at moming prime.” Then call him by his name, Pygmalion,
With beating heart and bosom wrung,
As to a brother's arm she clung.
Gently he dried the falling tear,
And gently whispered hope and cheer ;
Her faltering steps half led, half stayed, “With that she said what first I told thee, love, Through gallery fair and high arcade, And then went on, ‘Moreover thou shalt say Till, at his touch, its wings of pride That I, the daughter of almighty Jove,
A portal arch unfolded wide.
Within 't was brilliant all and light,
As wreath of snow, on mountain breast,
· Yes, fair ; the wandering poor Fitz-James
Then forth the noble Douglas sprung,
“Malcolm,come forth!" And, at the word Down knelt the Grame to Sootland's Lord.
“For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues, | Tones of tremulous emotion trailed upon the morn-
the ancient trees. And sought, amid thy faithful clan, But the holy, blessed secrets it becomes me not A refuge for an outlawed man,
to tell : Dishonoring thus thy loyal name,
Life had met another meaning, fetching water Fetters and warder for the Græme!'
from the well ! His chain of gold the King unstrung, Down the rural lane they sauntered. He the burThe links o'er Malcolm's neck he flung,
den-pitcher bore; Then gently drew the glittering band, She, with dewy eyes downlooking, grew more beauAnd laid the clasp on Ellen's hand.
teous than before ! SIR WALTER SCOTT.
When they neared the silent homestead, up he
raised the pitcher light; Like a fitting crown he placed it on her hair of
wavelets bright : FETCHING WATER FROM THE WELL.
Emblems of the coming burdens that for love of
him she'd bear, Early on a sunny morning, while the lark was Calling every burden blessed, if his love but lightsinging sweet,
ed there. Came, beyond the ancient farm-house, sounds of Then, still waving benedictions, further, further lightly tripping feet.
off he drew, 'T was a lowly cottage maiden going, — why, let While his shadow seemed a glory that across the young hearts tell,
pathway grew. With her homely pitcher laden, fetching water Now about her household duties silently the maidfrom the well,
en went, Shadows lay athwart the pathway, all along the And an ever-radiant halo o'er her daily life was quiet lane,
blent. And the breezes of the morning moved them to Little knew the aged matron as her feet like music and fro again.
fell, O'er the sunshine, o'er the shadow, passed the What abundant treasure found she fetching water maiden of the farm,
from the well ! With a charméd heart within her, thinking of
no ill nor harın. Pleasant, surely, were her musings, for the nodding leaves in vain
A MAIDEN WITH A MILKING-PAIL. Sought to press their bright'ning image on her
ever-busy brain. Leaves and joyous birds went by her, like a dim,
What change has made the pastures sweet, half-waking dream ;
And reached the daisies at my feet, And her soul was only conscious of life's gladdest
And cloud that wears a golden hem ? summer gleam.
This lovely world, the hills, the sward, At the old lane's shady turning lay a well of water
They all look fresh, as if our Lord bright,
But yesterday had finished them. Singing, soft, its hallelujah to the gracious morning light.
And here's the field with light aglow : Fern-leaves, broad and green, bent o'er it where
How fresh its boundary lime-trees show! its silv'ry droplets fell,
And how its wet leaves trembling shine! And the fairies dwelt beside it, in the spotted Between their trunks come through to me foxglove bell.
The morning sparkles of the sea, Back she bent the shading fern-leaves, dipt the Below the level browzing line.
pitcher in the tide, Drew it, with the dripping waters flowing o'er its I see the pool, more clear by half glazed side.
Than pools where other waters laugh But before her arm could place it on her shiny, Up at the breasts of coot and rail.
There, as she passed it on her way, By her side a youth was standing ! - Love re I saw reflected yesterday joiced to see the pair |
A maiden with a milking-pail.