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Hast heard that Proserpina
(Once fooling) was snatched away
To partake the dark king's seat,
And the tears ran fast on her feet

To think how the sun shone yesterday?
With her ankles sunken in asphodel

She wept for the roses of earth which fell From her lap when the wild car drave to hell.

Heart, wilt thou go?

—“No, no !
“ Wise hearts are warmer so."


And what is this place not seen,
Where Hearts may hide serene ?
66'T is a fair still house well-kept,
Which humble thoughts have swept,

“And holy prayers made clean. “ There, I sit with Love in the sun, " And we two never have done Singing sweeter songs than are guessed by one."

Heart, wilt thou go?

“No, no !
« Warm hearts are fuller so."

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O Heart, O Love,- I fear
That Love may be kept too near.
Hast heard, O Heart, that tale,
How Love may be false and frail

To a Heart once holden dear?
“But this true Love of mine
“ Clings fast as the clinging vine,
“ And mingles pure as the grapes in wine."

Heart, wilt thou go?

—“ No, no !
“ Full hearts beat higher so."

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O Heart, O Love, beware!
Look up, and boast not there,
For who has twirled at the pin ?
'Tis the World, between Death and Sin,-
The World and the World's Despair !
And Death has quickened his pace

To the hearth, with a mocking face,
Familiar as Love, in Love's own place.

Heart, wilt thou go?

“ Still, no!
* High hearts must grieve even so."

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The house is waste to-day,—
The leaf has dropt from the spray,
The thorn, prickt through to the song :
If summer doeth no wrong

The winter will, they say.
Sing, Heart ! what heart replies ?

In vain we were calm and wise,
If the tears unkissed stand on in our eyes.

Heart, wilt thou go?

Ah, no!
“ Grieved hearts must break even so."

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Howbeit all is not lost.
The warın noon ends in frost,
And worldly tongues of promise,
Like sheep-bells die off from us

On the desert hills cloud-crossed :
Yet through the silence shall

Pierce the death-angels call,
And “Come up hither,” recover all.

Heart, wilt thou go?

“I go!
“ Broken hearts triumph so."


FACE to face in my chamber, my silent chamber, I saw

her : God and she and I only, there I sat down to draw her Soul through the clefts of confession,—“Speak, I am

holding thee fast, As the angel of resurrection shall do it at the last !"

My cup is blood-red

With my sin,” she said, “And I pour it out to the bitter lees, As if the angels of judgment stood over me strong at the


Or as thou wert as these."

When God smote His hands together, and struck out thy

soul as a spark Into the organized glory of things, from deeps of the

dark, Say, didst thou shine, didst thou burn, didst thou honour the power

in the form, As the star does at night, or the fire-fly, or even the little ground-worm?

“ I have sinned,” she said,

“For my seed-light shed Has smouldered away from His first decrees. The cypress praiseth the fire-fly, the ground-leaf praiseth

the worm ;

I am viler than these."

When God on that sin had pity, and did not trample

thee straight With His wild rains beating and drenching thy light

found inadequate;

When He only sent thee the north-wind, a little searching

and chill, To quicken thy flame_didst thou kindle and flash to the heights of His will ?

“ I have sinned,” she said,

“Unquickened, unspread My fire dropt down, and I wept on my knees : I only said of His winds of the north as I shrank from

their chill,

What delight is in these ?"

When God on that sin had pity, and did not meet it as such, But tempered the wind to thy uses, and softened the

world to thy touch, At least thou wast moved in thy soul, though unable to

prove it afar, Thou couldst carry thy light like a jewel, not giving it out like a star ?

“ I have sinned,” she said,

“ And not merited The gift He gives, by the grace He sees ! The mine-cave praiseth the jewel, the hill-side praiseth

the star ;

I am viler than these."

Then I cried aloud in my passion,—“Unthankful and

impotent creature, To throw up thy scorn unto God through the rents in

thy beggarly nature ! If He, the all-giving and loving, is served so unduly,

what then Hast thou done to the weak and the false and the changing,—thy fellows of men ?”

“ I have loved,she said,

(Words bowing her head As the wind the wet acacia-trees,)

“ I saw God sitting above me, but I ... I sat among men,

And I have loved these."


Again with a lifted voice, like a choral trumpet that takes The lowest note of a viol that trembles, and triumphing

breaks On the air with it solemn and clear,—“Behold! I have

sinned not in this ! Where I loved, I have loved much and well,-I have verily loved not amiss.

Let the living,” she said,

“Inquire of the dead, In the house of the pale-fronted images : My own true dead will answer for me, that I have not

loved amiss

In my love for all these.

“ The least touch of their hands in the morning, I keep it

by day and by night ; Their least step on the stair, at the door, still throbs

through me, if ever so light ; Their least gift, which they left to my childhood, far off

in the long-ago years, Is now turned from a toy to a relic, and seen through the crystals of tears.

Dig the snow," she said,

“ For my churchyard bed, Yet I, as I sleep, shall not fear to freeze, If one only of these my belovëds, shall love me with

heart-warm tears,

As I have loved these !

“ If I angered any among them, from thenceforth my own

life was sore ; If I fell by chance from their presence, I clung to their

memory more :

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