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Morn broadened on the borders of the dark,
Ere I saw her who clasped in her last trance
Her murdered father's head, or Joan of Arc,
A light of ancient France;


Or her, who knew that Love can vanquish Death, Who kneeling, with one arm about her king, Drew forth the poison with her balmy breath, Sweet as new buds in Spring.


No memory labors longer from the deep

Gold-mines of thought to lift the hidden ore That glimpses, moving up, than I from sleep To gather and tell o'er


Each little sound and sight. With what dull pain
Compassed, how eagerly I sought to strike
Into that wondrous track of dreams again!
But no two dreams are like.


As when a soul laments, which hath been blest,
Desiring what is mingled with past years,
In yearnings that can never be exprest
By signs or groans or tears;


Because all words, though culled with choicest art,
Failing to give the bitter of the sweet,

Wither beneath the palate, and the heart
Faints, faded by its heat.


O SWEET pale Margaret,
O rare pale Margaret,
What lit your eyes with tearful power,
Like moonlight on a falling shower?
Who lent you, love, your mortal dower

Of pensive thought and aspect pale,
Your melancholy, sweet and frail
As perfume of the cuckoo-flower?
From the westward-winding flood,
From the evening-lighted wood,

From all things outward you have won A tearful grace, as though you stood Between the rainbow and the sun.

The very smile before you speak,
That dimples your transparent cheek,
Encircles all the heart, and feedeth
The senses with a still delight

Of dainty sorrow without sound,
Like the tender amber round,
Which the moon about her spreadeth,
Moving through a fleecy night.

You love, remaining peacefully,

To hear the murmur of the strife,
But enter not the toil of life.
Your spirit is the calmed sea,

Laid by the tumult of the fight.
You are the evening star, alway

Remaining betwixt dark and bright: Lulled echoes of laborious day

Come to you, gleams of mellow light
Float by you on the verge of night.

What can it matter, Margaret,

What songs below the waning stars

The lion-heart, Plantagenet,

Sang looking through his prison bars?
Exquisite Margaret, who can tell
The last wild thought of Chatelet,
Just ere the falling axe did part
The burning brain from the true heart,
Even in her sight he loved so well?

A fairy shield your Genius made

And gave you on your natal day. Your sorrow, only sorrow's shade,

Keeps real sorrow far away. You move not in such solitudes,

You are not less divine, But more human in your moods,

Than your twin-sister, Adeline. Your hair is darker, and your eyes

Touched with a somewhat darker hue,
And less aërially blue,

But ever trembling through the dew
Of dainty-woful sympathies.

O sweet pale Margaret,

O rare pale Margaret,

Come down, come down, and hear me speak: Tie up the ringlets on your cheek: The sun is just about to set. The arching limes are tall and shady, And faint, rainy lights are seen, Moving in the leavy beech. Rise from the feast of sorrow, lady, Where all day long you sit between Joy and woe, and whisper each. Or only look across the lawn,

Look out below your bower-eaves,
Look down, and let your blue eyes dawn
Upon me through the jasmine-leaves.


O BLACKBIRD! sing me something well: While all the neighbors shoot thee round, I keep smooth plats of fruitful ground, Where thou may'st warble, eat and dwell.

The espaliers and the standards all

Are thine; the range of lawn and park: The unnetted blackhearts ripen dark, All thine, against the garden wall.

Yet, though I spared thee all the spring,
Thy sole delight is, sitting still,
With that gold dagger of thy bill
To fret the summer jenneting.

A golden bill! the silver tongue,
Cold February loved, is dry:
Plenty corrupts the melody
That made thee famous once, when young:

And in the sultry garden-squares,

Now thy flute-notes are changed to coarse, I hear thee not at all, or hoarse

As when a hawker hawks his wares.

Take warning! he that will not sing
yon sun prospers in the blue,
Shall sing for want, ere leaves are new,
Caught in the frozen palms of Spring.




FULL knee-deep lies the winter snow,
And the winter winds are wearily sighing:
Toll ye the church-bell sad and slow,
And tread softly and speak low,
For the old year lies a-dying.

Old year, you must not die;
You came to us so readily,
You lived with us so steadily,
Old year, you shall not die.


He lieth still: he doth not move:
He will not see the dawn of day.
He hath no other life above.

He gave me a friend, and a true, true-love,
And the New-year will take 'em away.
Old year, you must not go;

So long as you have been with us,
Such joy as you have seen with us,
Old year, you shall not go.


He frothed his bumpers to the brim;
A jollier year we shall not see.
But though his eyes are waxing dim,
And though his foes speak ill of him,
He was a friend to me.

Old year, you shall not die;

We did so laugh and cry with you,
I've half a mind to die with you,
Old year, if you must die.



He was full of joke and jest,
But all his merry quips are o'er.

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