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A fairy Prince, with joyful eyes,
And lighter-footed than the fox.

The bodies and the bones of those
That strove in other days to pass,
Are withered in the thorny close,

Or scattered blanching in the grass.
He gazes on the silent dead:


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;
The magic music in his heart
Beats quick and quicker, till he find
The quiet chamber far apart.
His spirit flutters like a lark,

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. There rose a noise of striking clocks, And feet that ran, and doors that clapt,

And barking dogs, and crowing cocks; A fuller light illumined all,

A breeze through all the garden swept,

A sudden hubbub shook the hall,
And sixty feet the fountain leapt.

The hedge broke in, the banner blew,
The butler drank, the steward scrawled,
The fire shot up, the martin flew,

The parrot screamed, the peacock squalled,
The maid and page renewed their strife,
The palace banged, and buzzed and clackt,
And all the long-pent stream of life
Dashed downward in a cataract.

And last with these the king awoke,
And in his chair himself upreared,

And yawned, and rubbed his face, and spoke,
By holy rood, a royal beard!


How say you? we have slept, my lords.
My beard has grown into my lap.”
The barons swore, with many words,
'Twas but an after-dinner's nap.

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Pardy," returned the king, "but still
My joints are something stiff or so.
My lord, and shall we pass the bill
I mentioned half an hour
? "
The chancellor, sedate and vain,
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
The happy princess followed him.


"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.

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"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,
And if you find no moral there,
Go look in any glass and say,
What moral is in being fair.

O, to what uses shall we put

The wildweed-flower that simply blows? And is there any moral shut Within the bosom of the rose

But any man that walks the mead
In bud or blade, or bloom, may find,
According as his humors lead,

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
Your finer female sense offends.
Well-were it not a pleasant thing

To fall asleep with all one's friends;
To pass with all our social ties

To silence from the paths of men; And every hundred years to rise

And learn the world, and sleep again ; To sleep through terms of mighty wars, And wake on science grown to more, On secrets of the brain, the stars,

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.

So sleeping, so aroused from sleep
Through sunny decades new and strange,
Or gay quinquenniads, would we reap
The flower and quintessence of change.

Ah, yet would I—and would I might !

So much your eyes my fancy takeBe still the first to leap to light,

That I might kiss those eyes awake! For, am I right or am I wrong,

To choose your own you did not care; You'd have my moral from the song,

And I will take my pleasure there : And, am I right or am I wrong,

My fancy, ranging through and through, To search a meaning for the song,

Perforce will still revert to you; Nor finds a closer truth than this

All-graceful head, so richly curled, And evermore a costly kiss,

The prelude to some brighter world.

For since the time when Adam first
Embraced his Eve in happy hour,
And every bird of Eden burst

In carol, every bud to flower,

What eyes, like thine, have wakened hopes? What lips, like thine, so sweetly joined ? Where on the double rosebud droops

The fulness of the pensive mind; Which all too dearly self-involved,

Yet sleeps a dreamless sleep to me;
A sleep by kisses undissolved,

That lets thee neither hear nor see:
But break it. In the name of wife,
And in the rights that name may give,
Are clasped the moral of thy life,

And that for which I care to live.

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