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Not the dawn, ere yet the imprisoning night has half released her,
More desires the sun's full face of cheer, than we,
Well as yet we love the strength of the iron-tongued north-easter,
Yearn for wind to meet us as we front the sea.
All thy ways are good, O wind, and all the world should fester, Were thy fourfold godhead quenched, or stilled thy strife:
Yet the waves and we desire too long the deep south-wester, Whence the waters quicken shoreward, clothed with life.
Yet the field not made for ploughing save of keels nor harrowing Save of storm-winds lies unbrightened by thy breath:
Banded broad with ruddy samphire glow the sea-banks narrowing Westward, while the sea gleams chill and still as death.
Sharp and strange from inland sounds thy bitter note of battle,
Blown between grim skies and waters sullen-souled,
Till the baffled seas bear back, rocks roar and shingles rattle, Vexed and angered and anhungered and acold.
IN TIME OF MOURNING
"RETURN," we dare not as we fain Would cry from hearts that yearn: Love dares not bid our dead again Return.
O hearts that strain and burn As fires fast fettered burn and strain ! Bow down, lie still, and learn.
The heart that healed all hearts of pain No funeral rites inurn:
Its echoes, while the stars remain,
A SEQUENCE OF SONNETS ON THE DEATH OF ROBERT BROWNING
THE clearest eyes in all the world they read
With sense more keen and spirit of sight more true
Than burns and thrills in sunrise, when the dew Flames, and absorbs the glory round it shed,
As they the light of ages quick and dead, Closed now, forsake us: yet the shaft that slew
Can slay not one of all the works we knew,
Nor death discrown that many-laurelled head.
The works of words whose life seems lightning wrought,
And moulded of unconquerable thought, And quickened with imperishable flame, Stand fast and shine and smile, assured that nought
May fade of all their myriad-moulded fame,
Nor England's memory clasp not Browning's name.
That brings not forth save shadows. What art thou,
To dream, albeit thou breathe upon his brow,
That power on him is given thee,-that thy breath
Can make him less than love acclaims him now,
And hears all time sound back the word it saith?
What part hast thou then in his glory, Death?
But he to him, who knows what gift is thine, Death? Hardly may we think or hope when we Pass likewise thither where to-night is he, Beyond the irremeable outer seas that shine
And darken round such dreams as half divine
Some sunlit harbor in that starless sea Where gleams no ship to windward or to lee,
To read with him the secret of thy shrine. There too, as here, may song, delight, and love,
The nightingale, the sea-bird, and the dove,
Fuit with joy the splendor of the sky Till all beneath wax bright as all above: But none of all that search the heavens, and try The sun, may match the sovereign eagle's eye.
Among the wondrous ways of men and time He went as one that ever found and sought And bore in hand the lamplike spirit of thought
To illume with instance of its fire sublime
The dusk of many a cloudlike age and clime.
No spirit in shape of light and darkness wrought.
No faith, no fear, no dream, no rapture, nought
That blooms in wisdom, nought that burns in crime, No virtue girt and armed and helmed with light, No love more lovely than the snows are white.
What secret thing of splendor or of shade
Surmised in all those wandering ways wherein
Man, led of love and life and death and sin, Strays, climbs, or cowers, allured, absorbed, afraid,
Might not the strong and sunlike sense invade
Of that full soul that had for aim to win Light, silent over time's dark toil and din,
Life, at whose touch death fades as dead things fade?
O spirit of man, what mystery moves in thee
That he might know not of in spirit, and
The heart within the heart that seems to strive,
The life within the life that seems to be, And hear through all thy storms that whirl and drive,
The living sound of all men's souls alive?
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
INDEX OF POETS
EBB: ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING (1806-1861)....
ROBERT BROWNING (1812-1889)..