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My heart was like a prophet to my heart,
And told me I should love. A crowd of hopes,
That sought to sow themselves like winged seeds,
Born out of everything I heard and saw,
Flutter'd about my senses and my soul;

And vague desires, like fitful blasts of balm

To one that travels quickly, made the air

Of Life delicious, and all kinds of thought,

That verged upon them, sweeter than the dream

Dream'd by a happy man, when the dark East,
Unseen, is brightening to his bridal morn.

And sure this orbit of the memory folds

For ever in itself the day we went

To see her. All the land in flowery squares,

Beneath a broad and equal-blowing wind,
Smelt of the coming summer, as one large cloud

Drew downward: but all else of Heaven was pure

l'p to the Sun, and May from verge to verge,

And May with me from head to heel. And now,
As tho' 'twere yesterday, as tho' it were
The hour just flown, that morn with all its sound,
(For those old Mays had thrice the life of these,)
Rings in mine ears. The steer forgot to graze,
And, where the hedge-row cuts the pathway, stood,
Leaning his horns into the neighbour field,
And lowing to his fellows. From the woods
Came voices of the well-contented doves.
The lark could scarce get out his notes for joy,
But shook his song together as he near'd
His happy home, the ground. To left and right,

The cuckoo told his name to all the hills;

'The mellow ouzel Auted in the elm;

The redcap whistled; and the nightingale
Sang loud, as tho' he were the bird of day.

And Eustace turn'd, and smiling said to me, "Hear how the bushes echo! by my life,

These birds have joyful thoughts. Think you

they sing Like poets, from the vanity of song? Or have they any sense of why they sing?

And would they praise the heavens for what they

have ?"

And I made answer, “Were there nothing else

For which to praise the heavens but only love,

That only love were cause enough for praise.”

Lightly he laugh’d, as one that read my thought, And on we went; but ere an hour had pass'd, We reach'd a meadow slanting to the North; Down which a well-worn pathway courted us To one green wicket in a privet hedge; This, yielding, gave into a grassy walk


Thro' crowded lilac-ambush trimly pruned;

And one warm gust, full-fed with perfume, blew

Beyond us, as we enter'd in the cool.

The garden stretches southward. In the midst

A cedar spread his dark-green layers of shade.
The garden-glasses shone, and momently
The twinkling laurel scatter'd silver lights.

“ Eustace,” I said,

“ this wonder keeps the


He nodded, but a moment afterwards

He cried, “ Look! look !" Before he ceased I


And, ere a star can wink, beheld her there.

For up the porch there grew an Eastern rose, That flowering high, the last night's gale had


And blown across the walk. One arm aloft

Gown'd in pure white, that fitted to the shapeHolding the bush, to fix it back, she stood.

A single stream of all her soft brown hair

Pour'd on one side: the shadow of the flowers

Stole all the golden gloss, and, wavering
Lovingly lower, trembled on her waist-
Ah, happy shade—and still went wavering down,
But, ere it touch'd a foot, that might have danced
The greensward into greener circles, dipt,
And mix'd with shadows of the common ground !
But the full day dwelt on her brows, and sunn'd

Her violet eyes, and all her Hebe bloom,
And doubled his own warmth against her lips,

And on the bounteous wave of such a breast

As never pencil drew. Half light, half shade,

She stood, a sight to make an old man young.

So rapt, we near'd the house; but she, a Rose In roses, mingled with her fragrant toil, Nor heard us come, nor from her tendance turn'd

Into the world without; till close at hand,

And almost ere I knew mine own intent,

This murmur broke the stillness of that air

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