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Whence, judge if he learn forthwith what the wind

Means in its moaning

by the happy prompt

Instinctive way of youth, I mean; for kind

Calm years, exacting their accompt

Of pain, mature the mind:


And some midsummer morning, at the lull
Just about daybreak, as he looks across
A sparkling foreign country, wonderful
To the sea's edge for gloom and gloss,
Next minute must annul,


Then, when the wind begins among the vines,
So low, so low, what shall it say but this?
"Here is the change beginning, here the lines
Circumscribe beauty, set to bliss
The limit time assigns."


Nothing can be as it has been before;
Better, so call it, only not the same.
To draw one beauty into our hearts' core,
And keep it changeless! such our claim;
So answered, - Nevermore!


Simple? Why this is the old woe o' the world ;
Tune, to whose rise and fall we live and die.
Rise with it, then! Rejoice that man is hurled
From change to change unceasingly,

His soul's wings never furled!


That's a new question; still replies the fact,
Nothing endures: the wind moans, saying so;
We moan in acquiescence: there's life's pact.
Perhaps probation- do I know?

God does endure his act!


Only, for man, how bitter not to grave

On his soul's hands' palms one fair good wise thing

Just as he grasped it! For himself, death's wave;
While time first washes - ah, the sting!-
O'er all he 'd sink to save.




Он, good gigantic smile o' the brown old earth, This autumn morning! How he sets his bones To bask i' the sun, and thrusts out knees and feet For the ripple to run over in its mirth;

Listening the while, where on the heap of stones The white breast of the sea-lark twitters sweet.


That is the doctrine, simple, ancient, true;


Such is life's trial, as old earth smiles and knows. you loved only what were worth your love, Love were clear gain, and wholly well for you: Make the low nature better by your throes! Give earth yourself, go up for gain above!




"As like as a Hand to another Hand!"
Whoever said that foolish thing,
Could not have studied to understand
The counsels of God in fashioning,
Out of the infinite love of his heart,
This Hand, whose beauty I praise, apart
From the world of wonder left to praise,
If I tried to learn the other ways
Of love, in its skill, or love, in its power.
"As like as a Hand to another Hand:"
Who said that, never took his stand,
Found and followed, like me, an hour,
The beauty in this, - how free, how fine

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To fear, almost, of the limit-line !
As I looked at this, and learned and drew,
Drew and learned, and looked again,
While fast the happy minutes flew,
Its beauty mounted into my brain,
And a fancy seized me; I was fain
To efface my work, begin anew,
Kiss what before I only drew;

Ay, laying the red chalk 'twixt my lips,
With soul to help if the mere lips failed,
I kissed all right where the drawing ailed,
Kissed fast the grace that somehow slips
Still from one's soulless finger-tips.


"Tis a clay cast, the perfect thing,
From Hand live once, dead long ago:
Princess-like it wears the ring

To fancy's eye, by which we know
That here at length a master found
His match, a proud lone soul its mate,
As soaring genius sank to ground
And pencil could not emulate

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The beauty in this, how free, how fine
To fear almost! of the limit-line.
Long ago the god, like me

The worm, learned, each in our degree
Looked and loved, learned and drew,
Drew and learned and loved again,
While fast the happy minutes flew,
Till beauty mounted into his brain
And on the finger which outvied

His art he placed the ring that's there,
Still by fancy's eye descried,

In token of a marriage rare :

For him on earth, his art's despair,
For him in heaven, his soul's fit bride.


Little girl with the poor coarse hand
I turned from to a cold clay cast

I have my lesson, understand

The worth of flesh and blood at last!
Nothing but beauty in a Hand?

Because he could not change the hue,
Mend the lines and make them true

To this which met his soul's demand, -
Would Da Vinci turn from you?
I hear him laugh my woes to scorn
"The fool forsooth is all forlorn

Because the beauty, she thinks best,
Lived long ago or was never born,
Because no beauty bears the test
In this rough peasant Hand! Confessed,
'Art is null and study void!'

So sayest thou? So said not I,
Who threw the faulty pencil by,
And years instead of hours employed,
Learning the veritable use

Of flesh and bone and nerve beneath
Lines and hue of the outer sheath,
If haply I might reproduce
One motive of the mechanism,

Flesh and bone and nerve that make
The poorest coarsest human hand
An object worthy to be scanned

A whole life long for their sole sake.

Shall earth and the cramped moment-space
Yield the heavenly crowning grace?
Now the parts and then the whole !
Who art thou, with stinted soul
And stunted body, thus to cry,

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'I love, shall that be life's strait dole?
I must live beloved or die!

This peasant hand that spins the wool
And bakes the bread, why lives it on,
Poor and coarse with beauty gone,
What use survives the beauty? Fool!"

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Go, little girl with the poor coarse hand!
I have my lesson, shall understand.




THERE is nothing to remember in me,
Nothing I ever said with a grace,
Nothing I did that you care to see,


Nothing I was that deserves a place your mind, now I leave you, set you


Conceded! In turn, concede to me,


Such things have been as a mutual flame. Your soul's locked fast; but, love for a key, You might let it loose, till I grew the same In your eyes, as in mine you stand: strange plea!


For then, then, what would it matter to me

That I was the harsh, ill-favored one?

We both should be like as pea and


It was ever so since the world begun : So, let me proceed with my reverie.


How strange it were if you had all me,
As I have all you in my heart and brain,
You, whose least word brought gloom or glee,
Who never lifted the hand in vain
Will hold mine yet, from over the sea!


Strange, if a face, when you thought of me,
Rose like your own face present now,

With eyes as dear in their due degree,

Much such a mouth, and as bright a brow, Till you saw yourself, while you cried ""T is She!"


Well, you may, you must, set down to me
Love that was life, life that was love;
A tenure of breath at your lips' decree,

A passion to stand as your thoughts approve,
A rapture to fall where your foot might be.


But did one touch of such love for me
Come in a word or a look of yours,
Whose words and looks will, circling, flee
Round me and round while life endures,
Could I fancy "As I feel, thus feels He;

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