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And when the tide of combat stands, Perfume and flowers fall in showers, That lightly rain from ladies' hands.


How sweet are looks that ladies bend
On whom their favors fall!
For them I battle till the end,

To save from shame and thrall:
But all my heart is drawn above,

My knees are bowed in crypt and shrine: I never felt the kiss of love,

Nor maiden's hand in mine.
More bounteous aspects on me beam,

Me mightier transports move and thrill;
So keep I fair through faith and prayer
A virgin heart in work and will.


When down the stormy crescent goes,
A light before me swims,
Between dark stems the forest glows,
I hear a noise of hymns:
Then by some secret shrine I ride;

I hear a voice, but none are there;
The stalls are void, the doors are wide,
The tapers burning fair.

Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth,
The silver vessels sparkle clean,
The shrill bell rings, the censer swings,
And solemn chants resound between.


Sometimes on lonely mountain-meres
I find a magic bark;

I leap on board: no helmsman steers:
I float till all is dark.

A gentle sound, an awful light!
Three angels bear the holy Grail :

With folded feet, in stoles of white,
On sleeping wings they sail.
Ah, blessed vision! blood of God!

My spirit beats her mortal bars,
As down dark tides the glory slides,
And star-light mingles with the stars.


When on my goodly charger borne
Through dreaming towns I go,

The cock crows ere the Christmas morn,
The streets are dumb with snow.
The tempest crackles on the leads,

And, ringing, spins from brand and mail;
But o'er the dark a glory spreads,
And gilds the driving hail.

I leave the plain, I climb the height;
No branchy thicket shelter yields;
But blessed forms in whistling storms
Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields.


A maiden knight-to me is given
Such hope, I know not fear

I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven
That often meet me here.

I muse on joy that will not cease,

Pure spaces clothed in living beams, Pure lilies of eternal peace,

Whose odors haunt my dreams; And, stricken by an angel's hand, This mortal armor that I wear, This weight and size, this heart and eyes, Are touched, are turned to finest air.


The clouds are broken in the sky,
And through the mountain-walls
A rolling organ-harmony

Swells up, and shakes and falls. Then move the trees, the copses nod, Wings flutter, voices hover clear: "O just and faithful knight of God!

Ride on the prize is near." So pass I hostel, hall, and grange; By bridge and ford, by park and pale, All-armed I ride, whate'er betide, Until I find the holy Grail.


SWEET Emma Moreland of yonder town Met me walking on yonder way, "And have you lost your heart?" she said; "And are you married yet, Edward Gray?

Sweet Emma Moreland spoke to me :
Bitterly weeping I turned away:
"Sweet Emma Moreland, love no more
Can touch the heart of Edward Gray.

"Ellen Adair she loved me well,

Against her father's and mother's will: To-day I sat for an hour and wept,

By Ellen's grave, on the windy hill.

"Shy she was, and I thought her cold; Thought her proud, and fled over the sea; Filled I was with folly and spite,

When Ellen Adair was dying for me.

"Cruel, cruel the words I said!

Cruelly came they back to-day: "You're too slight and fickle,' I said,

To trouble the heart of Edward Gray.'


"There I put my face in the grass—
Whispered, Listen to my despair:
I repent me of all I did:
Speak a little, Ellen Adair!'

"Then I took a pencil, and wrote
On the mossy stone, as I lay,
Here lies the body of Ellen Adair;
And here the heart of Edward Gray!'

"Love may come, and love may go,

And fly, like a bird, from tree to tree: But I will love no more, no more,

Till Ellen Adair come back to me.

"Bitterly wept I over the stone:

Bitterly weeping I turned away:
There lies the body of Ellen Adair!
And there the heart of Edward Gray!




O PLUMP head-waiter at The Cock,
To which I most resort,
How goes the time? "Tis five o'clock.
Go fetch a pint of port:

But let it not be such as that

You set before chance-comers,
But such whose father-grape grew fat
On Lusitanian summers.

No vain libation to the Muse,
But may she still be kind,
And whisper lovely words, and use
Her influence on the mind.

To make me write my random rhymes,
Ere they be half-forgotten;
Nor add and alter, many times,
Till all be ripe and rotten.

I pledge her, and she comes and dips
Her laurel in the wine,
And lays it thrice upon my lips,
These favored lips of mine;
Until the charm have power to make
New life-blood warni the bosom,
And barren commonplaces break
In full and kindly blossom.

I pledge her silent at the board;
Her gradual fingers steal
And touch upon the master-chord
Of all I felt and feel.

Old wishes, ghosts of broken plans,
And phantom hopes assemble;
And that child's heart within the man's
Begins to move and tremble.

Through many an hour of summer suns
By many pleasant ways,
Against its fountain upward runs
The current of my days:
I kiss the lips I once have kissed;
The gas-light wavers dimmer;
And softly, through a vinous mist,

My college friendships glimmer.

I grow in worth, and wit, and sense,
Unboding critic-pen,

Or that eternal want of pence,
Which vexes public men,
Who hold their hands to all, and cry
For that which all deny them—
Who sweep the crossings, wet or dry,
And all the world go by them.

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