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ASHBY STERRY.


_REGRETS._

I.

O for the look of those pure grey eyes--
Seeming to plead and speak--
The parted lips and the deep-drawn sighs,
The blush on the kissen cheek!

II.

O for the tangle of soft brown hair,
Lazily blown by the breeze;
The fleeting hours unshadowed by care,
Shaded by tremulous trees!

III.

O for the dream of those sunny days,
With their bright unbroken spell,
And the thrilling sweet untutored praise--
From the lips once loved so well!

IV.

O for the feeling of days agone,
The simple faith and the truth,
The spring of time and life's rosy dawn--
O for the love and the youth!

[Decoration]


_DAISY'S DIMPLES._

I.

Little dimples so sweet and soft,
Love the cheek of my love:
The mark of Cupid's dainty hand,
Before he wore a glove.

II.

Laughing dimples of tender love
Smile on my darling's cheek;
Sweet hallowed spots where kisses lurk,
And play at hide and seek.

III.

Fain would I hide my kisses there
At morning's rosy light,
To come and seek them back again
In silver hush of night.


_A LOVER'S LULLABY._

I.

Mirror your sweet eyes in mine, love,
See how they glitter and shine!
Quick fly such moments divine, love,
Link your lithe fingers in mine!

II.

Lay your soft cheek against mine, love,
Pillow your head on my breast;
While your brown locks I entwine, love,
Pout your red lips when they 're prest!

III.

Mirror your fate, then, in mine, love;
Sorrow and sighing resign:
Life is too short to repine, love,
Link your fair future in mine!




[Decoration]

ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE.

1837.


_A MATCH._

If love were what the rose is,
And I were like the leaf,
Our lives would grow together
In sad or singing weather,
Blown fields or flowerful closes,
Green pleasure or grey grief;
If love were what the rose is,
And I were like the leaf.

If I were what the words are,
And love were like the tune,
With double sound or single
Delight our lips would mingle,
With kisses glad as birds are
That get sweet rain at noon;
If I were what the words are,
And love were like the tune.

If you were life, my darling,
And I your love were death,
We 'd shine and snow together
Ere March made sweet the weather
With daffodil and starling
And hours of fruitful breath;
If you were life, my darling,
And I your love were death.

If you were thrall to sorrow,
And I were page to joy,
We 'd play for lives and seasons
With loving looks and treasons
And tears of night and morrow
And laughs of maid and boy;
If you were thrall to sorrow,
And I were page to joy.

If you were April's lady,
And I were lord in May,
We 'd throw with leaves for hours
And draw for days with flowers,
Till day like night were shady
And night were bright like day;
If you were April's lady,
And I were lord in May.

If you were queen of pleasure,
And I were king of pain,
We 'd hunt down love together,
Pluck out his flying-feather,
And teach his feet a measure,
And find his mouth a rein;
If you were queen of pleasure,
And I were king of pain.


_RONDEL._

Kissing her hair I sat against her feet,
Wove and unwove it, wound and found it sweet;
Made fast therewith her hands, drew down her eyes,
Deep as deep flowers and dreamy like dim skies;
With her own tresses bound and found her fair,
Kissing her hair.

Sleep were no sweeter than her face to me,
Sleep of cold sea-bloom under the cold sea;
What pain could get between my face and hers?
What new sweet thing would love not relish worse?
Unless, perhaps, white death had kissed me there,
Kissing her hair?

[Decoration]


_SONG._

FROM "FELISE."

O lips that mine have grown into
Like April's kissing May,
O fervent eyelids letting through
Those eyes the greenest of things blue,
The bluest of things gray,

If you were I and I were you,
How could I love you, say?
How could the roseleaf love the rue,
The day love nightfall and her dew,
Though night may love the day?




[Decoration]

ALFRED TENNYSON.

1809-1892.


_THE BUGLE SONG._

FROM "THE PRINCESS."

The splendour falls on castle walls
And snowy summits old in story:
The long light shakes across the lakes,
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going!
O sweet and far from cliff and scar
The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying:
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

O love, they die in yon rich sky,
They faint on hill or field or river:
Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
And grow for ever and for ever.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.

[Decoration]


_BREAK, BREAK, BREAK._

Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.


[Illustration: Full-page Plate]


_TEARS, IDLE TEARS._

FROM "THE PRINCESS."

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.

Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more.

[Decoration]


_SWEET AND LOW._

FROM "THE PRINCESS."

Sweet and low, sweet and low,
Wind of the western sea,
Low, low, breathe and blow,
Wind of the western sea!
Over the rolling waters go,
Come from the dying moon, and blow,
Blow him again to me;
While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,
Father will come to thee soon;
Rest, rest, on mother's breast,
Father will come to thee soon;
Father will come to his babe in the nest,
Silver sails all out of the west
Under the silver moon:
Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.


_TURN, FORTUNE, TURN THY WHEEL._

FROM "THE MARRIAGE OF GERAINT."

Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel and lower the proud;
Turn thy wild wheel thro' sunshine, storm, and cloud;
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate.

Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel with smile or frown;
With that wild wheel we go not up or down;
Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great.

Smile and we smile, the lords of many lands;
Frown and we smile, the lords of our own hands;
For man is man and master of his fate.

Turn, turn thy wheel above the staring crowd;
Thy wheel and thou are shadows in the cloud;
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate.


_VIVIEN'S SONG._

FROM "MERLIN AND VIVIEN."

In Love, if Love be Love, if Love be ours,
Faith and unfaith can ne'er be equal powers:
Unfaith in aught is want of faith in all.

It is the little rift within the lute,
That by and by will make the music mute,
And ever widening slowly silence all.

The little rift within the lover's lute
Or little pitted speck in garnered fruit,
That rotting inward slowly moulders all.

It is not worth the keeping: let it go:
But shall it? answer, darling, answer, no.
And trust me not at all or all in all.




[Decoration]

WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY.

1811-1863.


_AT THE CHURCH GATE._

FROM "PENDENNIS."

Although I enter not,
Yet round about the spot
Ofttimes I hover:
And near the sacred gate,
With longing eyes I wait,
Expectant of her.

The Minster bell tolls out
Above the city's rout,
And noise and humming:
They 've hushed the Minster bell:
The organ 'gins to swell:
She 's coming, she 's coming!

My lady comes at last,
Timid, and stepping fast,
And hastening hither,
With modest eyes downcast:
She comes--she 's here--she 's past--
May heaven go with her!

Kneel, undisturbed, fair saint!
Pour out your praise or plaint
Meekly and duly;
I will not enter there,
To sully your pure prayer
With thoughts unruly.

But suffer me to pace
Round the forbidden place,
Lingering a minute;
Like outcast spirits who wait
And see through heaven's gate
Angels within it.


_THE MAHOGANY TREE._

Christmas is here;
Winds whistle shrill,
Icy and chill,
Little care we:
Little we fear
Weather without
Sheltered about
The Mahogany Tree.

Once on the boughs
Birds of rare plume
Sang, in its bloom;
Night-birds are we:
Here we carouse,
Singing like them,
Perched round the stem
Of the jolly old tree.

Here let us sport,
Boys, as we sit;
Laughter and wit
Flashing so free.
Life is but short--
When we are gone,
Let them sing on,
Round the old tree.

Evenings we knew,
Happy as this;
Faces we miss,
Pleasant to see.
Kind hearts and true,
Gentle and just,
Peace to your dust!
We sing round the tree.

Care, like a dun,
Lurks at the gate:
Let the dog wait;
Happy we 'll be!
Drink, every one;
Pile up the coals,
Fill the red bowls,
Round the old tree.

Drain we the cup.--
Friend, art afraid?
Spirits are laid
In the Red Sea.
Mantle it up;
Empty it yet;
Let us forget,
Round the old tree.

Sorrows, begone!
Life and its ills,
Duns and their bills,
Bid we to flee.
Come with the dawn,
Blue-devil sprite,
Leave us to-night,
Round the old tree.




[Decoration]

GEORGE WALTER THORNBURY.

1828-1876.


_DAYRISE AND SUNSET._

When Spring casts all her swallows forth
Into the blue and lambent air,
When lilacs toss their purple plumes
And every cherry-tree grows fair,--
Through fields with morning tints a-glow
I take my rod and singing go.

Where lilies float on broad green leaves
Below the ripples of the mill,
When the white moth is hovering
In the dim sky so hushed and still,
I watch beneath the pollard ash
The greedy trout leap up and splash.

Or down where golden water flowers
Are wading in the shallow tide,
While still the dusk is tinged with rose
Like a brown cheek o'erflushed with pride--
I throw the crafty fly and wait;
Watching the big trout eye the bait.

It is the lover's twilight-time,
And there 's a magic in the hour,
But I forget the sweets of love
And all love's tyranny and power,
And with my feather-hidden steel
Sigh but to fill my woven creel.

Then upward darkling through the copse
I push my eager homeward way,
Through glades of drowsy violets
That never see the golden day.
Yes!



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