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Sweet neighbours, whisper low instead,

" This sinner was a loving one

And now her spinning is all done." And let the door ajar remain,

In case he should pass by anon ;
And leave the wheel out very plain,-

That HE, when passing in the sun,
May see the spinning is all done.


FIVE months ago, the stream did flow,

The lilies bloomed within the sedge,
And we were lingering to and fro,
Where none will track thee in this snow,

Along the stream, beside the hedge.
Ah, Sweet, be free to love and go!

For if I do not hear thy foot,
The frozen river is as mute,
The flowers have dried down to the root :
And why, since these be changed since May,

Shouldst thou change less than they?

And slow, slow as the winter snow,

The tears have drifted to mine eyes ;
And my poor cheeks, five months ago
Set blushing at thy praises so,

Put paleness on for a disguise.
Ah, Sweet, be free to praise and go!

For if my face is turned too pale,
It was thine oath that first did fail,-
It was thy love proved false and frail :
And why, since these be changed enow,

Should I change less than thou ?


I STAND by the river where both of us stood
And there is but one shadow to darken the flood;
And the path leading to it, where both used to pass,
Has the step but of one, to take dew from the grass,-

One forlorn since that day.
The flowers of the margin are many to see ;
None stoops at my bidding to pluck them for me.
The bird in the alder sings loudly and long,–
My low sound of weeping disturbs not his song,

As thy vow did, that day. I stand by the river, I think of the vow; Oh, calm as the place is, vow-breaker, be thou ! I leave the flower growing, the bird unreproved ; Would I trouble thee rather than them, my beloved,

And my lover that day? Go, be sure of my love, by that treason forgiven ; Of my prayers, by the blessings they win thee from

Heaven ; Of my grief---(guess the length of the sword by the

sheath's) By the silence of life, more pathetic than death's !

Go,-be clear of that day !


SLEEP, little babe, on my knee,

Sleep, for the midnight is chill,
And the moon has died out in the tree,

And the great human world goeth ill.
Sleep, for the wicked agree :

Sleep, let them do as they will.

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Sleep, thou hast drawn from my breast

The last drop of milk that was good; And now, in a dream, suck the rest,

Lest the real should trouble thy blood.
Suck, little lips dispossessed,

As we kiss in the air whom we would.
O lips of thy father ! the same,

So like! Very deeply they swore
When he gave me his ring and his name,

To take back, I imagined, no more ! And now is all changed like a game,

Though the old cards are used as of yore? Sleep. “Void in law," said the courts. Something wrong

In the forms? Yet, “Till death part us two, I, James, take thee, Jessie,” was strong,

And ONE witness competent. True Such a marriage was worth an old song,

Heard in Heaven, though, as plain as the New. Sleep. Sleep, little child, his and mine!

Her throat has the antelope curve, And her cheek just the colour and line

Which fade not before him nor swerve :
Yet she has no child !--the divine

Seal of right upon loves that deserve.
My child! though the world take her part,

Saying, “ She was the woman to choose,
He had eyes, was a man in his heart,”–

We twain the decision refuse :
We . . . weak as I am, as thou art, .

Cling on to him, never to loose.

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He thinks that, when done with this place,

All's ended ? he 'll new-stamp the ore? Yes, Cæsar's—but not in our case.

Let him learn we are waiting before
The grave's mouth, the Heaven's gate, God's face,

With implacable love evermore.
He's ours, though he kissed her but now;

He's ours, though she kissed in reply ;
He's ours, though himself disavow,

And God's universe favour the lie;
Ours to claim, ours to clasp, ours below,

Ours above, ... if we live, if we die.
Ah baby, my baby, too rough

Is my lullaby? What have I said?
Sleep! When I 've wept long enough

I shall learn to weep softly instead,
And piece with some alien stuff

My heart to lie smooth for thy head.
Two souls met upon thee, my sweet ;

Two loves led thee out to the sun :
Alas, pretty hands, pretty feet,

If the one who remains (only one)
Set her grief at thee, turned in a heat

To thine enemy,—were it well done ?
May He of the manger stand near

And love thee! An infant He came
To His own who rejected Him here,

But the Magi brought gifts all the same I hurry the cross on my Dear !

My gifts are the griefs I declaim ! Sleep


ENOUGH! we're tired, my heart and I.

We sit beside the headstone thus,

And wish that name were carved for us. The moss reprints more tenderly

The hard types of the mason's knife,

As Heaven's sweet life renews earth's life With which we're tired, my heart and I.

You see we're tired, my heart and I.

We dealt with books, we trusted men,

And in our own blood drenched the pen, As if such colours could not fly.

We walked too straight for fortune's end,

We loved too true to keep a friend ; At last we're tired, my heart and I.

How tired we feel, my heart and I !

We seem of no use in the world ;

Our fancies hang grey and uncurled About men's

eyes indifferently ; Our voice which thrilled you so, will let

You sleep ; our tears are only wet : What do we here, my heart and I? So tired, so tired, my heart and I !

It was not thus in that old time

When Ralph sat with me 'neath the lime To watch the sunset from the sky.

“Dear love, you 're looking tired,” he said :

I, smiling at him, shook my head.
'T is now we're tired, my heart and I.
So tired, so tired, my heart and I !

Though now none takes me on his arm
To fold me close and kiss me warm

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