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POEMS.

CLARIBEL.

A MELODY.

WHERE Claribel low-lieth

The breezes pause and die, Letting the rose-leaves fall But the solemn oak-tree sigheth, Thick-leaved, ambrosial, With an ancient melody Of an inward agony, Where Claribel low-lieth.

At eve the beetle boometh

Athwart the thicket lone: At noon the wild bee hummeth About the mossed headstone: At midnight the moon cometh

And looketh down alone. Her song the lintwhite swelleth, The clear-voiced mavis dwelleth, The callow throstle lispeth, The slumbrous wave outwelleth, The babbling runnel crispeth, The hollow grot replieth Where Claribel low-lieth.

LILIAN.

AIRY, fairy Lilian,
Flitting, fairy Lilian,
When I ask her if she love me,
Clasps her tiny hands above me,
Laughing all she can;

She'll not tell me if she love me,
Cruel little Lilian.

When my passion seeks Pleasance in love-sighs, She, looking through and through me Thoroughly to undo me,

Smiling, never speaks: So innocent-arch, so cunning-simple, From beneath her gathered wimple

Glancing with black-beaded eyes, Till the lightning laughters dimple The baby-roses in her cheeks; Then away she flies.

Prithee weep, May Lilian! Gayety without eclipse Wearieth me, May Lilian : Through my very heart it thrilleth When from crimson-threaded lips Silver-treble laughter trilleth: Prithee weep, May Lilian.

Praying all I can,

If prayers will not hush thee,
Airy Lilian,

Like a rose-leaf I will crush thee,
Fairy Lilian.

ISABEL.

EYES not down-dropt nor over-bright, but fed With the clear-pointed flame of chastity, Clear without heat, undying, tended by

Pure vestal thoughts in the translucent fane Of her still spirit; locks not wide dispread,

Madonna-wise on either side her head
Sweet lips whereon perpetually did reign
The summer calm of golden charity,
Were fixed shadows of thy fixed mood,

Revered Isabel, the crown and head,
The stately flower of female fortitude,

Of perfect wifehood and pure lowlihead. The intuitive decision of a bright

And thorough-edged intellect to part

Error from crime; a prudence to withhold; The laws of marriage charactered in gold Upon the blanched tablets of her heart; A love still burning upward, giving light To read those laws; an accent very low In blandishment, but a most silver flow Of subtle-paced counsel in distress, Right to the heart and brain, though undescried, Winning its way with extreme gentleness Through all the outworks of suspicious pride ; A courage to endure and to obey; A hate of gossip parlance, and of sway, Crowned Isabel, through all her placid life, The queen of marriage, a most perfect wife.

The mellowed reflex of a winter moon;
A clear stream flowing with a muddy one,
Till in its onward current it absorbs

With swifter movement and in purer light
The vexed eddies of its wayward brother:
A leaning and upbearing parasite,
Clothing the stem, which else had fallen quite,

With clustered flower-bells and ambrosial orbs

Of rich fruit-bunches leaning on each otherShadow forth thee :-the world hath not another (Though all her fairest forms are types of thee, And thou of God in thy great charity,) Of such a finished chastened purity.

MARIANA.

“Mariana in the moated grange.”—Measure for Measure.

I.

WITH blackest moss the flower-plots
Were thickly crusted, one and all :
The rusted nails fell from the knots

That held the peach to the garden-wall.
The broken sheds looked sad and strange :
Unlifted was the clinking latch;
Weeded and worn the ancient thatch
Upon the lonely moated grange.

She only said, "My life is dreary,
He cometh not," she said;
She said, "I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead!"

II.

Her tears fell with the dews at even;

Her tears fell ere the dews were dried;
She could not look on the sweet heaven,
Either at morn or eventide.
After the flitting of the bats,

When thickest dark did trance the sky,
She drew her casement-curtain by,
And glanced athwart the glooming flats.
She only said, "The night is dreary,
He cometh not," she said;
She said, "I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead!"

MARIANA.

III.

Upon the middle of the night,

Waking she heard the night-fowl crow:
The cock sung out an hour ere light:
From the dark fen the oxen's low
Came to her without hope of change,
In sleep she seemed to walk forlorn,
Till cold winds woke the gray-eyed morn
About the lonely moated grange.

She only said, "The day is dreary,
He cometh not," she said;

She said, "I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead!

""

IV.
About a stone-cast from the wall
A sluice with blackened waters slept,
And o'er it many, round and small,

The clustered marish-mosses crept.
Hard by a poplar shook alway,

All silver-green with gnarled bark : For leagues no other tree did mark The level waste, the rounding gray.

She only said, "My life is dreary,
He cometh not," she said;
She said, "I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead!"

V.

And ever when the moon was low,
And the shrill winds were up and away,
In the white curtain, to and fro,

She saw the gusty shadow sway.
But when the moon was very low,

And wild winds bound within their cell,
The shadow of the poplar fell
Upon her bed, across her brow.

She only said, "The night is dreary,
He cometh not," she said;

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