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THE SLEEPING BEAUTY.
Year after year unto her feet,
She lying on her couch alone, Across the purple coverlet, The maiden's jet-black hair has grown, On either side her trancéd form
Forth streaming from a braid of pearl: The slumbrous light is rich and warm, And moves not on the rounded curl.
The silk star-broidered coverlid
Unto her limbs itself doth mould Languidly ever; and, amid
Her full black ringlets downward rolled, Glows forth each softly-shadowed arm
With bracelets of the diamond bright: Her constant beauty doth inform
Stillness with love, and day with light.
She sleeps: her breathings are not heard
That lie upon her charmed heart.
The gold-fringed pillow lightly prest: She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells A perfect form in perfect rest.
All precious things, discovered late,
To those that seek them issue forth; For love in sequel works with fate,
And draws the veil from hidden worth. He travels far from other skies
His mantle glitters on the rocks
A fairy Prince, with joyful eyes,
The bodies and the bones of those
Or scattered blanching in the grass.
They perished in their daring deeds." This proverb flashes through his head, "The many fail: the one succeeds."
He comes, scarce knowing what he seeks: He breaks the hedge: he enters there : The color flies into his cheeks:
He trusts to light on something fair; For all his life the charm did talk
About his path, and hover near With words of promise in his walk,
And whispered voices at his ear.
More close and close his footsteps wind;
He stoops-to kiss her-on his knee. "Love, if thy tresses be so dark,
How dark those hidden eyes must be!"
A touch, a kiss! the charm was snapt.
And barking dogs, and crowing cocks; A fuller light illumined all,
A breeze through all the garden swept,
A sudden hubbub shook the hall,
The hedge broke in, the banner blew,
The parrot screamed, the peacock squalled,
And last with these the king awoke,
And yawned, and rubbed his face, and spoke,
How say you? we have slept, my lords.
Pardy," returned the king, "but still
In courteous words returned reply: But dallied with his golden chain, And, smiling, put the question by.
And on her lover's arm she leant,
And round her waist she felt it fold, And far across the hills they went
In that new world which is the old: Across the hills, and far away
Beyond their utmost purple rim,
And deep into the dying day
“I'd sleep another hundred years,
O love, for such another kiss; " "O wake forever, love," she hears,
"O love, 'twas such as this and this." And o'er them many a sliding star,
And many a merry wind was borne, And, streamed through many a golden bar, The twilight melted into morn.
"O eyes long laid in happy sleep!"
"O happy sleep, that lightly fled!" "O happy kiss, that woke thy sleep!"
"O love, thy kiss would wake the dead! And o'er them many a flowing range
Of vapor buoyed the crescent-bark, And, rapt through many a rosy change, The twilight died into the dark.
"A hundred summers! can it be?
And whither goest thou, tell me where !" "O seek my father's court with me, For there are greater wonders there." And o'er the hills, and far away
Beyond their utmost purple rim, Beyond the night, across the day, Through all the world she followed him.
So, Lady Flora, take my lay,
O, to what uses shall we put
The wildweed-flower that simply blows?
But any man that walks the mead
A meaning suited to his mind. And liberal applications lie
In Art like Nature, dearest friend; So 'twere to cramp its use, if I Should hook it to some useful end.
You shake your head. A random string
To fall asleep with all one's friends;
And learn the world, and sleep again;
As wild as aught of fairy lore; And all that else the years will show,
The Poet-forms of stronger hours, The vast Republics that may grow,
The Federations and the Powers; Titanic forces taking birth
In divers seasons, divers climes; For we are Ancients of the earth,
And in the morning of the times.