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This name, whoever chance to call,
Perhaps your smile may win!
Nay do not smile! mine eyelids fall
Over mine eyes, and feel withal
The sudden tears within.
Is there a leaf that greenly grows
Where summer meadows bloom, But gathereth the winter snows, And changeth to the hue of those, If lasting till they come?
Is there a word, or jest, or game,
But time encrusteth round
With sad associate thoughts the same?
And so to me my very name
Assumes a mournful sound.
My brother gave that name to me
When we were children twain;
When names acquired baptismally
Were hard to utter, as to see
That life had any pain.
No shade was on us then, save one
Of chesnuts from the hill-
And through the wood our laugh did run
As part thereof! The mirth being done,
He calls me by it still.
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.
Nay, do not smile! I hear in it
What none of you can hear!
The talk upon the willow seat,
The bird and wind that did repeat
Around, our human cheer.
I hear the birth-day's noisy bliss,
My sisters' woodland glee,—
My father's praise I did not miss,
When stooping down he cared to kiss
The poet at his knee.
And voices, which to name me, aye
Their tenderest tones were keeping!-
To some I never more can say
An answer, till God wipes away
In heaven, these drops of weeping.
My name to me a sadness wears;
No murmurs cross my mind:
Now God be thanked for these thick tears,
Which show, of those departed years,
Sweet memories left behind!
Now God be thanked for years enwrought
With love which softens yet!
Now God be thanked for every thought
Which is so tender, it hath caught
Earth's guerdon of regret!
The earth may sadden, not remove,
Our love divinely given;
And e'en that mortal grief shall prove
The immortality of love,
And lead us nearer Heaven.
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.
HARK! Music speaks from out the woods and streams;
Amidst the winds, amidst the harmonious rain :
It fills the voice with sweets, the eye with beams;
It stirs the heart; it charms the sting from pain.
Great Memory hoards it 'midst her golden themes;
The wise man keeps it with his learned gain;
The minstrel hears it in his listening dreams;
And no one, save the fool, doth deem it vain.
Whatever thing doth bring a joy unstained
Unto the soul, if rightly understood,
Is one more ingot to our fortune gained,
Is wisdom to the wise, good to the good.
'Sing then, divine one!"-Thus a lover sighed To one who sate beside him fair and young, Preluding with coquettish conscious pride,
And checked the half-born music on her tongue.
Sing, maiden,-gentle maiden!
Sing for me, sing to me;
With a heart not overladen,
Nor too full of glee.
Give thy voice its way divine;
Let thine eyes, sweet spirits, shine;
Not too bright but also tender,
Softness stealing balf their splendour.
Sing, but touch a sadder strain,
Till our eyes are hid in rain.
Tell of those whose hopes are wrecked
On that cruel strand,-neglect;
Widow poor and unbefriended;
Virgin dreams in ruin ended;
All the pleasure, all the pain
That bideth from the world's disdain.
Sing,—an airier, blither measure,
Full and overflown with pleasure;
Sing, with smiles and dimpling mouth,
Opening like the sunny South,
When it breathes amongst the roses,
And a thousand thousand sweets discloses.
Sing, fair child of music, sing
Like a sparkling murmuring river,
Running its blue race for ever;
Like the sounds that haunt the Sun,
When the god's bright day is done;
Like the voice of dreaming Night,
Tender, touching, airy, light;
Not a wind, but just a breeze
Moving in the citron trees;
Like the first sweet murmur creeping
O'er Love's lips (when pride is sleeping),
Love's first unforgotten word,
By maiden in the silence heard,
Heard, hoarded, and repeated oft,
In mimic whisper, low and soft,--
Yet what matter for the strain,
Be it joy, or be it pain,
So thy now imprisoned Voice,
In its matchless strength rejoice;
So it burst its fetters strong,
And soar forth on winged Song.
To the Evening Wind.
SPIRIT that breathest through my lattice, thou
That coolst the twilight of the sultry day,
Gratefully flows thy freshness round my brow;
Thou hast been out upon the deep at play,
Riding all day the wild blue waves till now,
Roughening their crests, and scattering high their spray,
And swelling the white sail. I welcome thee
To the scorched land, thou wanderer of the sea!
Nor I alone-a thousand bosoms round
Inhale thee in the fulness of delight;
And languid forms rise up, and pulses bound
Livelier, at coming of the wind at night;