Gerald Massey: My Lyrical Life XIV.

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THERE lives a Voice within me, a guest-angel of my
And its bird-like warbles win me, till the tears
            a-tremble start;
Up evermore it springeth, like some magic melody,
And evermore it singeth this sweet song of songs
            to me—
    "This world is full of beauty, as other worlds
    And, if we did our duty, it might be as full of


Morn's budding, bright, melodious hour comes
            sweetly as of yore;
Night's starry tendernesses dower with glory
But there be million hearts accursed, where no
            glad sunbursts shine,
And there be million souls athirst for Life's
            immortal wine.
This world is full of beauty, as other worlds
And, if we did our duty, it might be as full of

If faith, and hope, and kindness passed, as coin,
            'twixt heart and heart,
Up through the eye's tear-blindness, how the
            sudden soul should start!
The dreary, dim, and desolate, would wear a sunny
And Love should spring from buried Hate, like
            flowers from Winter's tomb.
This world is full of beauty, as other worlds
And, if we did our duty, it might be as full of

Were truth our uttered language, Spirits might
            talk with men,
And God-illumined earth should see the Golden
            Age again;
The burthened heart should soar in mirth like
            Morn's young prophet-lark,
And Misery's last tear wept on earth quench Hell's
            last cunning spark!
This world is full of beauty, as other worlds
And, if we did our duty, it might be as full of

We hear the cry for bread with plenty smiling all
Hill and valley in their bounty blush for Man
            with fruitage crowned.
What a merry world it might be, opulent for all,
            and aye,
With its lands that ask for labour, and its wealth
            that wastes away!
This world is full of beauty, as other worlds
And, if we did our duty, it might be as full of

The leaf-tongues of the forest, and the flower-lips
            of the sod—
The happy Birds that hymn their raptures in the
            ear of God—
The summer wind that bringeth music over land
            and sea,
Have each a voice that singeth this sweet song of
            songs to me—
    "This world is full of beauty, as other worlds above;
    And, if we did our duty, it might be as full of love.


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THERE'S no dearth of kindness
    In this world of ours;
Only in our blindness
    We gather thorns for flowers!
Outwardly we are spurning—
    Trampling one another!
While we are inly yearning
    At the name of "Brother!"

There's no dearth of kindness
    Or love among mankind,
But in darkling loneness
    Hooded hearts grow blind!
Full of kindness tingling,
    Soul is shut from soul,
When they might be mingling
    In one kindred whole.

There's no dearth of kindness,
    Though it be unspoken;
From the heart it sendeth
    Smiles of heaven in token
That there be none so lowly,
    But have some angel-touch:
Yet, nursing loves unholy,
    We live for self too much!

As the wild-rose bloweth,
    As runs the happy river,
Kindness freely floweth
    In the heart for ever.
But if men will hanker
    Ever for golden dust,
Best of hearts will canker,
    Brightest spirits rust.

There's no dearth of kindness
    In this world of ours;
Only in our blindness
    We gather thorns for flowers!
O cherish God's best giving,
    Falling from above,—
Life were not worth living,
    Were it not for Love.


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UNITE ye now, a Brother-band,
With dauntless will, and stalwart hand:
We are but few, toil-tried, and true,
Yet hearts beat high to dare and do:
        And who would not a Champion be
        In Labour's Knightlier Chivalry?

We fight! but bear no bloody brand,
We fight to free our Fatherland:
We fight that smiles of love may glow
On lips where curses quiver now!
        Hurrah! Hurrah! true Warriors we,
        In Labour's Knightlier Chivalry!

Ah! there be eyes that ache to see
The day-dawn of our victory:
Lives full of heart-break with us plead,
And Watchers weep, and Martyrs bleed:
        O! who would not a Champion be
        In Labour's Knightlier Chivalry?

Work, Brothers mine; work, brain and hand:
To free our labour and our land;
That Love's Millennial morn may rise
On happy hearts and blessèd eyes.
        Hurrah! Hurrah! true Workers be
        In Labour's Knightlier Chivalry.


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OUR world oft turns in gloom, and Life hath many
            a perilous way,
Yet there's no path so desolate and thorny, cold
            and gray,
But Beauty like a Beacon burns above the dark of
And as an Alchemist she turns all things to golden
On human hearts her presence droppeth precious
            manna down;
On human brows her glory gathers like a coming
Her smile lights up Life's troubled stream, and
            Love, the swimmer! lives;
And O, 'tis good to battle for the guerdon that she
Come let us worship Beauty with the Knightly
            faith of old,
O Chivalry of Labour toiling for the Age of

The first-fruits of the Past at Beauty's shrine are
            offered up,
From which a vintage meet for Gods she crusheth
            in her cup:
And from the living Present doth she press the
            rare new wine,
To glad the hearts of all her Lovers with a draught
Earth's crowning miracle! she comes! with blessing
            lips, that part
Like mid-May's rose flushed open with the fragrance
            of her heart:
And life turns to her colour—kindles with her 
            light—like flowers
That garner up the golden fire, and suck the
            mellow showers.
Come let us worship Beauty with the Knightly
            faith of old,
O Chivalry of Labour toiling for the Age of Gold!

Come let us worship Beauty where the budding
            Spring doth flower,
And lush green leaves and grasses breathe out!
            sweeter hour by hour;
Or Summer's tide of splendour floods the lap o' the
            World once more,
With riches like a sea that surges jewels on its
Come feel her ripening influence when Morning
            feasts our eyes—
Through open gates of glory—with a glimpse of
Or queenly Night sits crownèd, smiling down the
            purple gloom,
And Stars, like Heaven's fruitage, melt i' the
            glory of their bloom.
Come let us worship Beauty with the Knightly
            faith of old,
O Chivalry of Labour toiling for the Age of

Come from the den of darkness and the City's soil
            of sin,
Put on your radiant Manhood, and the Angel's
            blessing win!
Where wealthier sunlight's shed from Heaven, like
            welcome-smiles of God,
And Earth's blind yearnings leap to life in flowers
            from out the sod:
Come worship Beauty in the forest-temple, dim and
Where stands Magnificence dreaming! and God
            burneth in the bush:
Or where the old hills worship with their silence
            for a psalm,
Or Ocean's weary heart doth keep the sabbath of
            its calm.
Come let us worship Beauty with the Knightly
            faith of old,
O Chivalry of Labour toiling for the Age of

Come let us worship Beauty: she hath subtle
            power to start
Heroic word and deed out-flashing from the humblest
Great feelings will gush unawares, and freshly as
            the first
Rich Rainbow that up startled Heaven in tearful
            splendour burst.
O blessed are her lineaments, and wondrous are
            her ways
To picture God's dim likeness in the faded human
Our bliss shall richly overbrim like sunset in the
And we shall dream immortal dreams, and banquet
            with the Blest:
Come let us worship Beauty with the Knightly
            faith of old,
O Chivalry of Labour toiling for the Age of Gold!


* "The argument from beauty is monstrous to Democracts."
Spectator, April 27, 1889.


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HIGH hopes that burned like Stars sublime
    Go down i' the Heaven of Freedom,
And true hearts perish in the time
    We bitterliest need 'em;
But never sit we down and say
    There's nothing left but sorrow;
We walk the Wilderness To-day,
    The Promised Land To-morrow.

Our Birds of song are silent now;
    Few are the flowers blooming;
Yet life is in the frozen bough,
    And Freedom's Spring is coming;
And Freedom's tide creeps up alway,
    Though we may strand in sorrow;
And our good Bark, a-ground To-day,
    Shall float again To-morrow!

'Tis weary watching wave by wave,
    And yet the Tide heaves onward;
We climb, like Corals, grave by grave,
    That pave a pathway sunward;
We are driven back, for our next fray
    A newer strength to borrow,
And where the Vanguard camps To-day
    The Rear shall rest To-morrow!

Through all the long, dark night of years
    The People's cry ascendeth,
And Earth is wet with blood and tears,
    But our meek sufferance endeth.
The Few shall not for ever sway,
    The Many moil in sorrow;
The Powers of Hell are strong To-day,
    The Christ shall rise To-morrow!

Though hearts brood o'er the Past, our eyes
    With smiling Futures glisten;
For, lo! Our day bursts up the skies!
    Lean out your souls and listen!
The world is rolling Freedom's way,
    And ripening with her sorrow:
Take heart! who bear the Cross To-day
    Shall wear the Crown To-morrow.

O Youth! flame-earnest, still aspire,
    With energies immortal!
To many a heaven of Desire
    Our yearning opes a portal.
And though Age wearies by the way,
    And hearts break in the furrow,
Youth sows the golden grain To-day,—
    The Harvest comes To-morrow.

Build up heroic lives, and all
    Be like a sheathen sabre,
Ready to flash out at God's call,
    O Chivalry of Labour!
Triumph and Toil are twins, though they
    Be singly born in Sorrow;
And 'tis the Martyrdom To-day
    Brings victory To-morrow.


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Braveheart, the ardent Socialist,
    Fierce hater of all Wrong,
Told us how Low and Lofty kissed,
    And sang their Wedding-Song.

"The Problem's solved," laughed Pessimist;
      Now comes the Golden Year;
"When Peeress is by Peasant kissed,
      And Peasantess by Peer!"


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BEHOLD the Rainbow! how its Arch
    Of glory spans a world of green!
    Like Bridge of Triumph, all unseen,
We passed through on the Midnight march!

Midsummer Morn her silvery gray
    Rain-veil up-lifteth fold on fold;
    And purple-tinged and topped with gold
The clouds grow fleecy and float away

High o'er the Violet-shadowed Hills
    That take from them their soft attire:
    With fragrance and with sheeny fire
All the blue round of Æther fills:

The air is like Heaven rippling down:
    The sweet South winds waft open wide
    The gates of Glory for the tide
Of Summer: Lo! the flowers strewn

In spray of white and waves of gold
    That glide along the fresh green ground:
    Such throng of blessings dances round
The Earth's old heart; lo! these unfold!

Wee cups of flowery wine brim high,
    By the way-side, on brier and bush;
    As lifted in a waiting hush
By unseen hands for passers by.

Her ripe cheek on the air, red Rose!
    She leaneth from her fragrant bower;
    Like lady from her latticed tower;
And by sweet force of beauty blows!

Glad to the heart with a golden dream,
    The little daisies lift the head;
    Their wee lips glister wet and red;
Their look is thankful as a hymn.

The wildest weed the wind hath sown,
    The commonest grass, is glorified,
    Even as the Tulip in her pride;
The Trumpet of her beauty blown.

At faëry palace-portals peer
    Quick eyes of Birds that sing i' the sun;
    Their hearts with music overrun;
Listens each leafy forest ear.

All Life lies in a bath of balm,
    And feels the lavish glory flow:
    Nothing to do but thrill and grow
In strength, and joy, and luscious calm.

Now Love breathes dewier delight,
    In cool green ways, and tender gloom;
    Being hath such a dazzling bloom;
Its sun of bliss grows over-bright.

And young maids feel love stir the blood
    To wanton with the kissing leaves
    And branches; and the quick sap heaves
And dances with new life in flood.

Till blown to its hidden heart with sighs,
    Love's red rose blooms in cheeks so dear,
    And like rich jewels upward peer
Love-thoughts that swim through melting eyes.

O balmy Morn! O tender type!
    What tearful wooings of the May
    Have brought about this bridal-day
Of Earth the rathe with June the ripe!

But, we must turn where Greed for Toil
    Hath closed and clasped this picture-book;
    Where Nature hath a Gnome-like look,
And from her features dies the smile.



PLEASANTLY rings the Chime that calls to Bridal-
        hall or Kirk;
But Hell might gloatingly pull for the peal that
        wakes the babes to work!
"Come, little Children," the Mill-bell rings, and
        drowsily they run,
Little old Men and Women, and human worms
        who have spun
The life of Infancy into silk; and fed, Child,
        Mother, and Wife,
The Factory's smoke of torment, with the fuel of
        human life.
O weird white face, and weary bones, and whether
        they hurry or crawl,
You know them by the Factory-stamp, they wear
        it one and all.
The Factory-Fiend in a grim hush waits till all are
        in, and he grins
As he shuts the door on the fair, green world
        without, and hell begins!
The least faint living rose of health from the
        childish cheek he strips,
To run the thorn in a Mother's heart: and ever he
        sternly grips
His sacrifice; with Life's soiled waters turns his
        'wildering wheels;
And shouts, till his rank breath thickens the air,
        and the Child's brain Devil-ward reels.

From Cockcrow until Starlight, very patiently they
A sea of human faces turning sadly up to God.
O wan white winter world that hides no coloured
        dreams of Spring!
No summer sunshine brightens; no buds blossom;
        no birds sing.
In at the window Nature looks, and sings, and
        smiles them forth,
To walk with her, and talk with her, and tread
        the summering Earth;
And drink the air that cools the heart in pathways
        dim with dew;
While the miracle of Morning raises glorified life
But they are shut from the heavenly largess; they
        must stint and moil,
Though Death stare ghastly in their face, and life
        is endless toil.
Did you mark how vacantly they eyed the land of
The Flower of Sleep into their eyes, your heart
        would ache to press.
The moving glory of the heavens, their pomp and
Flame in their shadowed faces, but no soul comes
        up to see.
They see no Angels lean to them; they stretch no
Melodious Beauty sings to them; they do not

Yet here, where the sweet flower of life may hoard
        no precious dew,
To feed its heart of greenness, keep the glory of
        its hue;
Here, where the fingers of Work and Want are
        writing silent, slow,
Their warrant for the grave on many a Mother's
        darling's brow;
Here, where the Fiend doth trample out the soul-
        sparks day by day;
Here, where such seed of God is rotting in the
        killing clay;
Some Saviour-Seraph walks the waves of sorrow
        and of sin,
And some poor wrestler doth not sink the wrecking
        gulfs within;
And aye she rises with her charge in loving arms
As Morn emerges out of night, her love-star on
        her breast.



IN a grand old Gothic Palace,
The Lady Laura dwells:
It crowns the warm green valleys, high
As the surge of summer swells.
There, with her emerald chalice, Spring
Kneels, offering beauty's wine;
There, in a land of enchantment, sing
The birds through shower and shine.
'Tis a noble solitude serene,
Where the sudden glory glows!
In a happy nook of nestling green,
That Virginal flower blows,—
Just in the sweetness of the bud,
Brimming with brightness and balm;
The tenderest glimpse of Womanhood
Golden, and sweet, and calm.
She is the Lily of the land;
Born neither to spin nor toil:
She can rest her fair cheek on her dainty white
While the human honey-bees moil.
O the world of rich visions that peer in her
Around her what fantasies dance!
As she leans in her air of paradise,
And the bower of dalliance:
But her earnest life is sorrowfully
O'ershadowed from above:
She knows the ache of Life's mystery,
And she feels the hurt of Love.
The Lady Laura's soul is sad
For the suffering under the sun:
She looks on the world, and is only glad
For the Duties to be done.
She might have moved by in the pageant grand,
Sweet slip of a lordly line!
Nor soiled the glory of her white hand,
And fairy fingers fine;
And swam in this world's wine and oil,
With those who sink for the next,
Faint with delight, and plundered Toil
With no strange thought perplexed.
The burnished stream would have bravely borne
Her, dancing down in its whirl;
And the dark wreck-kingdom have proudly worn
On its bosom the pure queen-pearl.
But Sorrow hath touched her young, young years,
When their rose-light was smiling and fair;
And her eyes have wept the sharp, sharp tears,
That pierce through all mirage of air.
Ah, the Poor! with her finer sense she hears
How they moan in their cloud of care.
They will tell you down in the valleys
What the Orphan Heiress hath done;
How the grand old Gothic Palace
With Love's new wine doth run.
She is Dawn on the cold hill-tops that divide
The Poor from their neighbour Rank;
The first bright wave of a sluggish tide,
That hath overleapt its bank.
And to Lady Laura by window and door,
Hearts climb with the Roses up,
Their blessings to breathe, and their pride to pour,
In many a brimming cup.
Rebel hindrance she treads queenly down,
Where it stands in her Throne's high way.
O Factory-Fiend with the fearful frown,
She blooms in your Desert to-day!



THE lady Light hath Daughters seven,
    In sovereign state sit smiling fair
    On seats of cloud; but through the air
They float on sunbeams down from Heaven:

For they their lofty home will leave,
    To winnow, on their golden plumes,
    Through Ocean-bowers, and water-glooms;
And wondrous spells of beauty weave

To clothe the Sea-shells in their trance
    So lone and cold, with coloured lights,
    And jewel-flames; till their dim Night's
Alive with shapes of radiance.

On Alpine heights a little Flower
    From its snow-cradle soft doth reach;
    And with its tiny hands beseech
Thy vesture-hem, Eternal Power!

Then straightway help of heaven descends,
    And vital influences run
    Down golden ladders of the sun,
And pleading life wins spirit-friends.

Thus souls in barrenest solitude
    Oft bring the kindly powers down,
    To lighten on them with a crown,
Or cheer them with immortal food.

And thus on one poor Worker's sight
    Dawns Lady Laura through the mirk,
    Much marvelling how there may lurk
A presence touched with tender light.

His life stands still to hear what fate
    Comes with the step of mystery;
    And hushed for some event to be,
In conscious calm the waters wait.

She sees a prayer for rest and air
    In every face, but, in his eyes
    Alone, are childish memories;
And his the only spirit there

That waves the Seraph-wand of fire,
    To fright the Serpent flickering near.
    One jewel in that dark Mine! and clear
It flashes as she brightens nigher.

And all beside how dull and grim!
    O saintly show of maiden grace,
    From out a golden mist, her face
Comes floating, floating on to him.

Daughter of Light! she seems to swim,
    As on the wings of a mighty love;
    Sad-smiling his blind world above;
Sunning that human forest dim.

She speaks to him; she takes his hand;
    With such a gracious tenderness!
    The tears against his eyelids press;
Life's waste in sudden flower doth stand.

As when the spirit of Winter old
    Passes away in a dream of spring,
    The quick buds burst, and shimmering
All into fluttering wings unfold,

And wave so strong, and thrill so free,
    As they the wakened world would wing
    Along the warm way of the Spring,
Where they are drawn deliciously:

So from his life a burst of wings
    Is thrilling leaf-like for the light;
    And in that Splendour's wake of white,
They make melodious murmurings.

Light, Music, Fragrance, seem to kiss
    And swathe him in a bloom of fire;
    Make shining beauty his attire,
And bury his dead past in bliss.

At her soft touch ethereal dies
    The old dark, as Morning's spear of light
    Doth gently touch the dying night,
And from it Day, a white Spirit, doth rise.



THE Lady Laura took him, in her kind and queenly
From out that cruel iron world, to the tender
        human day.
There all the folded bloom of life like a banner
        rich unfurled,
And waved luxuriant in the air of a glad and
        glorious world.

She fed his mind, she led his mind, through vistas
        strange and sweet;
Ah, blessèd boon to toil and lay the fruitage at
        her feet!
She took his widowed Mother; oh, the full and
        flowing hand!
To rest her weary bones from toil, and live upon
        her land.

Their barren world of poverty with flowers she
        girdled round,
Till life that toiled with bleeding feet could walk
        on softer ground.
My Lady comes; my Lady goes; his being doth
A breaking sea of rapture; every wave uplifts a

Like dungeoned foe that seeth the King's Daughter
        walking nigh,
He blesseth the revealing dark for the beauty
        thronèd high,
And in the beating of his heart, and flashing of
        his eye,
A new life climbeth,—waving glory,—as she
        passeth by.

My Lady comes; my Lady goes; he can see her
        day by day,
And bless his eyes with her beauty, and with
        blessings strew her way.
My Lady comes; my Lady goes; she passes from
        his sight,
As daylight dies into the skies, and at her gate
        stands Night.



AH, little thinks my Lady
    Of the subtle seedling sown;
But, fruitful was the silence
    Where its secret life hath grown.
From human love's great ocean
    It draws the nursing springs;
And 'tis fed on desert manna
    That her fragrant beauty brings.

Ah, little thinks my Lady,
    As the days and seasons roll,
How she took him by the hand,
    To pass into his soul.
There she lives in a light of smiles;
    And like a soft caress,
Her voice goes soothing, soothing
    With a kiss of tenderness.

O Love, though shut without, will laugh
    All barriers above;
And higher as they mount, still grows
    The stature of mighty Love.
And bud by bud, the climbing seed
    Into a tall tree springs!
Ah, little thinks my Lady
    What the Bird in the branches sings!



"SHE smiled on me, she smiled on me,
    I think as I sit alone;
And my heart o'er its tender secret
    Is brooding with love's sweet moan.

"She smiled on me, she smiled on me,
    And that soft smile of light,
In a happy silence, through my life
    Goes circling out of sight.

"She smiled on me, she smiled on me,
    And I walk in a glory now;
'Tis writ on my cheek in a rose of pride;
    'Tis read in a light on my brow.

"She smiled on me, she smiled on me,
    And my soul with bliss doth ache;
So many a clue to happiness,
    I know not which to take!

"She smiled on me, she smiled on me,
    And the human world goes by—
In a sound as of Angels talking,
    And a feel as if Heaven swam nigh.

"She stooped to kiss me with her smile,
    Through the clouds where I darkly lay;
As she glided through my night, My Moon!
    High on her heavenly way.

"She stooped to kiss me with her smile,
    And life soared up in flame!
But, for my worship, not my kiss,
    The glorious phantom came.

"She smiled on me, she smiled on me;
    Ah me, that in her smiles
My heart might break, in a wide love-wave,
    On her bosom's happy Isles!"



"HEIGH-HO!   She will never be mine:
            Never! never. I know
        The grasp of gold
        My Jewel will hold:
            She is Lofty and I am Low.

"Heigh-ho! but my heart like a Bird
            On wings of the night will go,
        To make its love-nest
        In that heaven of her breast,
            'Neath the heaven of her eyes all aglow.

"Heigh-ho! in dreams she is mine,
            All mine: and how can I know
        But she loves me in dream,
        With no drawn sword a-gleam,
            'Twixt the kisses of Lofty and Low?"



"I LOVE a lady all so far above
Me, she can never hear the name of love;
I only whisper to my heart in low
Dark sayings what my Lady must not know;
But, had I only a minute's space to live,
And she beside me, I would pray her give
Me on the mouth one dear and holy kiss;
And straightway a warm stream of paradise
Would gush and gladden all the gulf of death,
A calm of blessèd faces take mine eyes;
A hurricane of harpings take my breath:
All heavèn would bend brooding down to meet
Me, in that gracious stooping of my Sweet;
And, at her touch, my soul should enter bliss."



"JUST a smile i' the face of Nature,
Just a mirror of May-morn,
Is the shining, comely creature,
Worshipped by the peasant-born.

"Beauty has no rarer blossom,
Budding fain, or flowering fair;
Nestling to a Mother's bosom,
If a Lover's hand should dare.

"She is graceful as the greenly
Waving boughs in summer wind;
And her beauty calm and queenly
Wears its royal crown of mind.

"Might I bear Love's shield above her;
Might I snood her silken hair;
How my heart would round her hover
On the tender wings of care!

"Ah, dear Heaven, all blessings shower
On her sweet life's balmy bud;
Till it lift immortal flower,
Blooming in the fields of God."



A DAZZLING wonder in the dark of Dreams,
His heart-hid Jewel gleams;
And for a peerless richness it will range
The zones of radiant change.
Breathing soft hues the glorious thing doth shine,
With lustres Opaline.
The shifting Sapphire lovingly beguiles,
With dewy azure smiles.
The Ruby now with soul of crimson yearns,
Or like a blood-drop burns.
The Topaz in transparent hand doth hold
Imprisoned flame of gold.
Now twinkles from soft shade the Emerald tender,
A drop of cool green splendour.
Or, with love-drooping eye, the Pearl o' the deep
Melts in a sea of sleep.
And now, wide ope, it lights the inner night,
A starry Chrysolite.
And aye, for a peerless preciousness doth range
The zones of radiant change.



AS earliest flowers, the sweet first-love of Spring,
Are tenderest in their fragrance—saintliest pure,
Love's firstlings, budding in the heart, unfold
Most precious sweet of all the lusty year;
And all his life is with their fragrance filled.
In shy and shady nooks he steals, to brood
O'er what his heart for worship lifteth up.

With a ripe flush in his warm face the Dawn
Withdraws the veil of dew-mist from the shape
Of Beauty sleeping on the lap of Earth:
So down into his secret soul he peers,
Thinking of all her dear sweet womanly ways,
To see the veilèd Beauty through the mist,
And bows to bless her where she lies alight,
Unconscious of the reddening dawn of love.
A face, like nestling luxury of flowers;
Soft hair, on which Light drops a diadem;
The sweetest eyes,—ah, when in their far heaven
Shall Love rise up and beckon with the palm?—
And all the beauty hid from mortal gaze
Like lily-bud in leaves of cool green light.

His happy eyes o'erflow with holy dew,
Gathered in that rich air of secret love.
Anon his heart goes wandering like a wind
That reels through meads of spice, o'er hills of myrrh,
Drunk with flower-fragrance, and the wine of love,
And making music at the lightest touch,
Till faint with sweets it wearies into rest.



LADY of the forest
Is the Silver Birk;
Shimmering in the sunshine;
Shivering at the mirk;
Rocking in her rapture;
A dancing Psaltress slim!
Floating on the Wind-wave
With a foam-light swim:
Rustling in her richness,
The Lady of the land;
Veilèd when the gloaming
Is gray with shadows grand;
'Mid the dance of colours
And semitones of green,
Gleams this daintier Spirit
That in leafdom is the Queen.
Of all the Trees o' the forest,
He loves the Silver Birk,
Shimmering in the sunshine,
Shivering at the mirk,
So like the Lady Laura
In her purity and grace;
Dreaming in its shadow,
Often rose her face!
And as when a Sunburst
Makes golden the green Aisles,
The Woodland water smileth,
So his heart within him smiles.



ONE Summer eve he sat beneath the white Grace
        of the Wood;
Where Birds of Thought so often brought his love
        ambrosial food;
When all the spirits of the flowers stole forth i'
        the hush of night,
And all the greenwood slumbered softly in a dream
        of light.
The world lay in a purple calm, and tenderness of
In every pulse of being lived the tenderness of
He had wrestled with his passion,—caught up in
        its strong caress—
Voluptuous as a Bride of Fire, with arms as
He had wept his pain in a fiery rain, and a calm
        fell from afar,
As a vision of sweet Peace comes treading down
        the spears of war.
Then in a trembling confidence of love to himself
        he talked,
And sang above his whispering heart, that felt
        what Spirit walked.


"We cannot lift the wintry pall
    From buried life; nor bring
Back, with Love's passionate thinking, all
    The glory of the Spring.
But soft along the old green way
    We feel her breath of gold;
Glad ripples round her presence play,
    She comes! and all is told.

"So in Her absence Memory
    Aye strives, but cannot paint
The Vision of her majesty;
    The Sweetness of my Saint.
She comes! like dawn in spring her fame!
    My winter-world doth melt;
The thorns with flowers are a-flame!
    She smiles! and all is felt."


Is it a vision! or the pure pale face
Of Lady Laura, visible through the trees?
Strange fire consumes the rich dew of her eyes!
Trembles her lip; her soul, though very calm,
Gleams like a naked sword from its soft sheath.
Ah, she has found his secret in its nest!
And will she crush him with her killing scorn?
He dare not know. She speaks; he scarcely hears,
So loud the blood goes singing through his brain.
"I am no longer Mistress at the Hall;
False friends have robbed me of my Home; they keep
My Lands until the Law shall do me right.
I leave To-morrow morn. I think you have
The mounting spirit to rise where'er you fall,
And shall rejoice to mark your fortunes shine.
She paused; he raised his eyes to hers, and saw
The unuttered something that could not be told!
Her rustling robe thrilled all his life, and then
The sound of footsteps died upon the night.



LIKE one caught in the Tempest's arms unseen,
Dashed overboard unheard, and left to fight
With the mad waves, blindfolded by the gloom,
All through that desolate dark he wrestled lone;
Tossing tumultuous in a storm of soul;
And lived his life o'er in the agony stern,
As on the drowning rushes all the past.

Again he saw her in the Silk-Mill stand
Complete in beauty, crowned with meekest calm,
As missioned Angel down to Hell wings when
Some suffering Spirit's time is up in Heaven.
He went with her among the Poor where fell
Her smile as sunshine on a harvest land;
And from the folded flowers of thorny life,
Her presence charmed a kindlier spirit forth;
He, hoarding up their blessings in his heart.

He saw her in the Spring-dawns gliding down,
Like Morning on the world, its Comforter.
Darkened into himself, he watched, all eye,
Like Spirit that sees its mortal love go past,
Itself invisible.
                             In languorous noons
Of summer, when, a Shape of fragrant warmth,
Nature seems glowing through her sumptuous robe,
With all her beauty bosoming tenderly;
And from behind the mask of leaves and flowers,
Her passion takes you with ambrosial breath;
He in the cool, green shadows would lie down,
O'er him the trees a lowe of glimmering gold,
To kiss where the beloved foot had touched,
And sanctified the sod her skirt had swept,
With Lover's lip of fire, and fondling cheek,
All tingling through and through with fervid life.
He saw the visible Divinity
O' the time and place, taking her twilight walk,
Starrily moving in an air of glory;
The serious sea-blue dreaming in her eyes;
Her lofty graces robed about with heaven;
And drank the wine of wonder as she went.

Ah, happy times, when on the top of life
He saw her beauty's daily sunrise, heard
Her voice, and breathed the air made holy by her,
And in her presence cloud-like sunned himself,
With a sweet silent awe; while all his heart
With rich love trembled as 'twould break for bliss;
Like shaken dews in jewelled cups of morn!

Ah, happy nights, and lustrous darks, in which
He watched her window when the house was mute,
And Silence took the place in loving arms,
Where the tall Chestnuts hushed her beauty round,
Uplifting in their hands a light of flowers!
There with its speechless yearning strove his heart,
O'erflowing till the night was filled with love.
How often through the winter wind and rain,
His spirit fluttered to her, winged with blessings.
And he stood clothed and warmed with thoughts of her;
And through the darkness and the cold, his love
Glowed like a watch-fire in a wilderness;
Or glistened upward in a light of tears;
Soul-diamonds of the purest water—tears
Like dewdrops in the flower-cups held toward Heaven;
Such as the Angels wear for jewels in heaven.
Ah, happy times that wave their sad farewells,
To come no more, no more, O Nevermore!
To him, who, tasting the forbidden tree,
Now sat at Eden gates, and they were closed.

Sudden a thought struck new life through him as strikes
Land at the swimmer's feet who gives up lost!
He who could die for her, could he not live
For her, and help her win her rightful throne?
He sat not down on shore to mourn his wreck;
Not his the heart to wail when he might work.

That night hath passed; but from its death-bed rose
A Star, to sing and sparkle in his soul,
And light him to some crowned accomplishment.



O MIGHTY mystery London, there be Children still,
        who hold
Her Palaces are silver-roofed, her pavements are of
And blindly in that dark of fate, they grope for the
        golden prize,
For somewhere hidden in her heart the charmèd
        treasure lies.
Such glory burning in the skies, she lifts her crown
        of light
Above the dark, we see not what we trample in the
O merry world of London! O aching world of
How many a soul hath stooped to thee, and lost its
        starry throne!
There Circe brims her sparkling ruby, dancing
All scruples down with wicked eye, and the crazed
        lover quaffs,
Until the fires of Hell have left white ashes on his
And there they pass whose tortured heart the worm
        that dies not grips.
The stricken crawl apart to die. There, many a
        bosom heaves
With merry laughters mournful as the dancing of
        dead leaves.
There griping Greed rich-heaps the yellow wealth
        of Bank and Shop,
As Autumn leaves grow goldenest when rotten-ripe
        to drop:
And many melt the marrow of their Manhood, sere
        its bloom,
In Passion's serpent arms, and with her kiss of fire
And Vanity sideling seeks a mirror in each passing
But through the dark some luminous lives flash up
        and pray Heaven's grace.

All beauteous stand her Idols shining on their
        azure height,
And from their fairy heaven lean veiled Shapes,
        half-dim, half-bright;
They draw us with a dream delicious to the aching
Arms stretched with longing, bosom sweets, ripe
        lips, and merry Brides;
Beds of lilies and roses! low sweet music, worlds
And day by day, on each highway, from many a
        sunny shire,
The country life comes green to wither for the
        hungry fire.
All into London leaping, leaping flows the human
Where, wreck at heart, or prize in arms, the waves
        flash merrily.
With a prayer to God on high, he sees the tumult,
        hears the strife,
And dives, from out the gulfs to snatch a jewel
        worth a life.
The Lady Laura leaneth like a bending heaven
And his life is safely steadied by the anchor of
        his love.

Three times into the City ran and breathed the
        news of Spring:
Sweet Primrose-time is come again, and silver
        showers sing.
The cloudy imagery of heaven sails o'er him day
        by day,
He watches parching as the Palm when rain floats
        far away,
All thirsty, as the Hero's soul with glory's burning
And yearning, as the dying yearn for a death-bed
        in the South!
For Spring's warm breath, and bright caress, and
        pleasant feel of leaves,
And all her beauty moist with morn, his heart
        within him grieves.
The country memories rich inlaid, so fragrantly are
As spice-winds whisper something low, or sings a
        prisoned Bird.
The green-woods beckon spirit-like through dreams
        of azure sky;
All heaven looks out from a flower as from his
        Beloved's eye,
And visions of a lovelier-lighted life go shining by.

Above that wilderness o' the weary oft he sat
His soul was working with the waves that, ever
        and anon,
Revealed the proud wave-wrestler Hope forever
        battling on!
And ever through the dark the Lady Laura smiling
The night was free and all his own, life rose
Full-honeyed with its folded Spring, his shut heart
        bud-like flowered.
Upon the stream that pined all day, the calm of
        heaven doth rest;
Its Star of love, though far above, keeps bridal on
        its breast.
Pure, painèd Loveliness! she walks a world of
        wrong and guile,
Yet nightly looketh in his face with the same
        sweet, patient smile.
While ever and forever goeth up to God for doom,
The City's breath of life and death, in glory or in
And there it rings each spirit round, of light or
        darkness woven,
And they shall wake and walk their self-unfolded
        hell or heaven.
Nightly a merry harvest-home the Devil in London
And gathers on the shores of hell the wreck of
        human lives.



A LONELY life, a lonely lot;
        He climbs his mountain day by day;
        But finds beside the stoniest way
Love's wild rock-honey, and fainteth not.

He sees the Vision shine afar 
        Sweet Wedded lives in happy home;
        And strains his eyes against the gloom,
Like Nuns that throb at prison-bar,

Wooed by a dear and dazzling dream,
        When through the mirk Love's glory burns.
        The hearth of Home warm welcome yearns;
His face is glowing with the gleam

And sparkle of their brimming cup,
        Who round the Home-Altar dance and sing,
        All in a golden marriage-ring,
And light with love Life's picture up.

They sit in nestling nook, and see
        The ripening promise of the years;
        The budding quicks, the springing ears;
Flowers honey-wet, and fruits to be.

As bridal-gifts from God above,
        The Children bring their glad new spring;
        Past joy's refrain their voices ring,
All loud with mirth, or lown with love.

Fine actions feed Love's holy fire,
        Like sandal-wood of fragrant gold;
        Till heavenward, glorious to behold,
It breaks, in many a splendid spire.

There, hand in hand, they reach across
        A double range of rich delights;
        And climb in safety where the heights
Of Life have many a chasm of Loss.

A happy soul goes singing aloft,
        Ere closes their day-book of bliss,
        So gently claspèd with a kiss,
While loving eyes grow still more soft.

"O Blessèd Bird that soars and sings,
And moves in heaven on triumphing wings;
        Then drops to rest
        Within my breast,
And aye some balm of blessing brings

"O Flower of mine, Life's stream may start
Thy trembling leaves, but cannot thwart
        Love's calm below,
        Where wed roots grow
In twin strength, smiling heart to heart

"O crest of beauty on my brow;
O light of love upon my prow;
        To the death-dark
        I row my bark;
You gild with glory as we go

'Tis merry to walk the deck of life,
        Though billows beat, and wild winds blow,
        And proudly feel they rest below;
That precious freightage, Weans and Wife.

But, he drifts on, in lonely bark,
        Past shining home, and singing isle.
        Fine Apparition, with a smile
Like spirit-music! in the dark

Her sudden beauty lightens near,
        And bows him to the knees in prayer.
        He needs long draughts of heavenly air,
Who dives to clutch a pearl so dear.

"I may not reach to wreathe you yet, dear friend,
Although of your great courtesy you bend
Toward me that stand a-tip-toe as you bow;
I must mount higher ere I crown your brow,
And lead you forth where all the world may

The dear good Angel you have been to me



"THE Larch is snooding her tresses
    In a twine of the daintiest green;
With fresh spring-breath the Hawthorn heaves
    His breast to the sunny sheen.
A shower of spring-green sprinkles the Lime;
    A shower of spring-gold the Broom;
And each rathe tint of the tender time
    Wakes the wish that my Lady were Home.

"In the Coppice, the dear Primroses
    Are the smile of each dim green nook,
Gravely gladsome; sunny but cool
    With the sound of the gurgling brook.
And by the wayside in a burst of delight
    From the world of Fairy and Gnome,
All the Flowers are crowding to see the sight
    At their Windows.   My Lady, come Home!

"The Country's growing glorious
    Quietly day by day;
The colour of April comes and goes
    In a blush to meet the May.
And the spring-rains steal from their heaven of
    In a veil of tender gloam,
With a splendid sparkle for every blade:
    Dear my Lady, come Home!

"The Spirit of Gladness floating
    Goes up in a sound of song:
Robin sings in the rich eve-lights;
    The Throstle all day long:
The Lark in his heaven that soars above
    Each morn with more distant dome;
All sweet! but sweeter the voice we love.
    Come Home, my Lady, come Home!

"Your Apple-blooms are fragrant
    Beyond the breath of the South;
Every bud, for an airy kiss,
    Is lifting a rosy wee mouth.
A greener glory hour by hour,
    And a peep of ruddier bloom,
But the leafy world waiteth its Human Flower.
    Dear my Lady, come Home!

"Our thoughts are as the Violets
    Around the Ash-tree root,
That breathe the earliest hints of Spring
    At their lofty lady's foot,
And wonder why she still delays—
    When the sea of life is a-foam
With flowers—to crown her in these glad days.
    Come Home, my Lady, come Home!

"Come! feel the deepening dearness
    About the grand old place.
Come! let us see the cordial smile
    Once more in our Lady's face.
Winter was dreary: of waiting we weary:
    Best of all joy-bringers, come!
Spread bonny white sails! blow balmy spring-
    And bring my Lady Home!



To-day, with his work done, the Victor stands;
His brows are bound by Lady Laura's hands.
He conquered.   To her feet he brought the prize.
Twin worlds of bliss rose throbbing in her eyes;
Sparkled her smiling soul like that of a child,
And smiling, all her life in love-light smiled.

She gloweth happy as the tender South,
When Spring doth kiss her on the flowery mouth.
The lilies white upon the stream of life
Stir with the sweet feel of its dancing strife.
If but one favouring breath of fortune move,
Into his bosom drops the fruit of love.

Then from the heart's heaven a sweet simple grace
Came blushing all the secret in her face;
He looked into the windows of her eyes
To see Love, sitting by the hearth, arise
And let him in, and lead him to his throne,
For love and worship through all worlds his own.

On her white holy hand the ring of gold
Exults its branch of glory to enfold.
Comes forth in greeting all the country side,
To welcome Lady Laura home, a Bride.
Ring, merry bells, ring, blithesome bridal bells!
To the tune of happy hearts your triumph swells.

Upon his life now leaneth fragrantly
The rose of her ripe beauty rare to see.
In honeyed light, and sweet with pleasant showers,
Lies all the land, a coloured flame of flowers,
And with a sidelong grace smiles of the sight;
Heaven shakes its bridal torch and laughs delight.



"MY life lay like a Sea-bud, dark upon the watery
That feels when Spring is in the world, and striveth
        to unfold;
The breath of Love passed o'er me, and the Spring
        went laughing by,
Till on a sudden I was 'ware, Belovèd, thou wert
The Bird of Love to my window came, and sang a
        strain divine;
Sweet Bird! he makes his nest, I said, 'neath other
        eaves than mine:
But many a day hath come and gone, and still he
        sits and sings
His song of happy futures, and of dear remembered

"My life went darkling like the Earth, nor knew it
        shone a Star
To that dear Heaven on which it hung in worship
        from afar.
O, many bared their bravery like flowers to the
She might have ranged Elysian fields, but nestled
        down by me:
A King upon his Throne would have smiled her to
        his side;
But, with a lowly majesty she came to me, my Bride,
And grandly gave her love to me, the dearest thing on
Like one who gives a jewel, all unweeting of its

"O, was it an Immortal Child, left by a fair Dream-
Seen in a world of vision with mine eyes stretched
Or was the Image pictured, by the sun of another
In secret soul, that I might know its living form my
I say not; but, when luminous she floated on to
Methought she flamed from out the mist of some far
The hiding Love just stirring the spring-roses of her
The picture of sweet Saintliness; the glory and the

"'Twas when the Earth her green lap spreads for
        Summer's gorgeous gifts;
And plump for kisses of the Sun, her ripened cheek
When May among her flowers was caught in lusty
        arms of June;
She newly strung my harp of life, and played its
        sweetest tune.
O, I had been content to live in a Cottage of the
So I might see and bless her, when she chanced to
        pass that way;
But she came down from her heaven, with a look that
And I clasp my heart's sweet Vision; lo! a nestling
        human Bride



CALM is their sheltered shore of life, caressed
By gentle tides of peace, whose murmurs are
Of storms at rest, and sorrows sanctified.

But not for them alone the honey-time,
And bliss of being! hearts were all too full
Of lusty longing for all human good;
Their happiness was only meant to share.
That luminous revealer, hallowing Love,
Gave them the Seeing eye, not drooping lid.
His Chosen are but caught up into Heaven,
For wider vision of a suffering Earth.
Their doubled bliss ran over to make rich,
And freshen with a spring of joyful life
The poor world kneeling at the feet of theirs.
And not forgotten was that Factory-world,
Which like a doomed Ship far away i' the night
Pleaded—each port-hole lighted up for help!

Christ bleeding on the Cross for Centuries?
And still His Poor their long redemption wait—
Still tempted of the Devil in the Desert.
Still are they, crouching by the fireless hearth,
In the dead winter often driven to burn
The furniture of life to make a fire,
And scare the gaunt wolf Hunger, whose eyes glare
In at the window lit with bloody lust!

Sometimes a cry runs throbbing through the night,
As though Creation quickened with the birth
Of new life strange and monstrous in our world.
Then startled Fear from his high lattice looks,
With face as white as death-touched Want's below.
There rage a people like a forest a-fire!
Grim on the banner Labour's challenge claims,
"Leave to live working, or die fighting."


Sends forth his Guards, and to his pillow slinks.
Red Murder leaps up sudden in their midst;
The gathering of fierce suffering breaks in blood:
Begins again the old long agony,
And Order reigns! though many a day the Ghost
Of Revolution at his Banquet sits,
And standeth Sentry at his door o' nights.

O hopeless Poor, and impotently Rich!
O hurrying host of battling enmities,
That, fighting, feel no earthquake rock the ground!
O human world, that pants without the pale
Of harmony, the universal law,
Like Soul, with troublous wail, shut out of bliss!
Shall it not come, the time of which we dream,
To crown long years of strife, and blood, and tears,
When from the Book the Poet's thought shall step
Clothed on with human lineaments, and live?
And this Ideal of our hopeful Brave
Stoop down and dwell with us in daily life,
And Earth and Heaven mix in each other's arms?

They deem so, who, with visionary eyes,
Have seen it, glassed in mirrors of the mind:
And held communion with that world to come;
Our wedded pair: their faith made quick by love:
They look within—its likeness comes that way.
And they will make their outer life a dial,
On which the inner light may rise and shine;
And touch with radiance soft some sullen spot
Where falls the shadow of evil, till a smile
Dawns on its face as it turns up to God.
Ho for the New World and its Golden Age
Of delicate dream-work, and of rich romance!

They bought the Factory: turned its stream of toil
To a flood of Joy, on Lady Laura's lands.
There Life, whose dark and stagnant waters
With hideous things, in merry radiance runs;
Brightens with health, and breaks in frolic spray;
Peeps through a garland green, and laughs in
Its rest, blessèd as though the calm high heavens
Had looked it into some transfiguring trance,
Then with light-hearted morrow sparkling on—
So to the dark arch Death, through which it runs
In sheen and shadow for the shoreless sea.
They built their other world, wherein the Poor
Might grow the flower of Hope, and fruit of Love;
And human trees, with outstretched arms of cheer,
Might mingle music, wreathe in bud and bloom,
And in their branches nest the birds of God,
That in immortal beauty whitely hover,
But come not down to build while boughs are

No more were little Children left to prowl
In mental darkness Vermin-like for prey,
With the masked human likeness lost in grime.
No more the tiny Orphans peer above
The Dock, to laugh blind Justice in the face.
She takes her bandage off to look at them!
Then folds them to her breast to Mother them.
Hear how the Children in the Schoolroom sing!


"Up in the morning early,
    While yet the grass is pearly,
            The air is bright and cool;
    All clad in our best graces,
    With happy Morning-faces,
            We wend our way to School

"To-day is life in blossom,
    With Heartsease in each bosom,
            And all is beautiful:
    A Spirit, within us springing,
    At Heaven's Gate will be singing
            Thanks for the Children's School

"'Tis here we learn to lighten
    The human lot, and brighten
            The day most dark with dool;
    And lay up Childhood's treasure,
    To reap immortal pleasure;
            In Lady Laura's School

"We sun us in its brightness,
    We clothe us with its Whiteness—
            As doth the Wayside Pool
    That holds from morn till even,
    Its bit of purest heaven,—
            In Lady Laura's School

"The Summer Earth rejoices;
    With hers we lift our Voices,
            And Heaven blends the whole:
     And when God's Angels cover us,
    They draw the darkness over us,
            And bless the Children's School


They were denounced as Socialists; tabooed
By Clericals, as enemies of God,
And held accursed as foes of Capital,
But answered not, save by their Godward work.
They raised no Paupers: grew no Criminals,
Nor asked for Rates in aid of Poverty:
Where all were Workers there was wealth for all!

They Bought and Sold, they Ploughed, and Sowed,
        and Reaped.
Cheapness, Free Trade, and such Economy
As suck their strength from human blood and
Feeding on Beauty's waste, and Childhood's spring;
Shredding with wintry hand life's leafy prime;
They bowed not down to—Baal of the strife
That gives the Devil his own vantage-ground,
Where each man's hand is at his Brother's throat;
The Knight in golden mail combats the Naked,
And hearts must run with never-tiring wheels;
The weak go down; the Victors merciless
Still wield the Sword of Selfish interest,
To win their crown of Individual gain,
And throne of Isolation cold and lone,
Their Iceberg in a sea of misery!

Not this, but life of freedom, law of love;
The Wine-press trod by each, the Cup for all;
In this serener world—this Morning Star
That rises out of Chaos and old night,
Like throbbing heart of some Millennial Day.
Here, life is no soul-sickening round of toil;
No need to blink the Spirit's longing sight.
Here, simple Childhood opens vernal eyes,
And young blood dances through the veins of
White Cottage Homes rise from the sea of green,
Like clouds where happy spirits sit and sing
The old wild-briar of Labour, grafted bears
The radiant Roses of a warmer world;
With kindlier nurture blossoms forth anew,
A glory of Flowers, and wears immortal green.
Breaks the stern granite, sparkling into beauty,
And precious jewels glow from common stones:
Soft white hands smoothe the brow of wrinkled
The gentle balm of Love makes hard eyes soft,
And melted hearts to swim through woe-worn
With sweet and delicate human tenderness.
The trampled battle-field of sin-scarred faces
Is healèd with the harvest of ripe love;
Its frowning furrows crowned with golden smiles.

Over their World where Passion hurtled down
Burning instead of beauty, as its sun,
And all around was black eternal night;
Love's radiant shadow sheds an atmosphere
Of soft celestial brightness, calm, and peace.
Here Life goes hand in hand with happy things;
In lovely shadow-lands with Spirits talks;
There with all gracious Shapes of Beauty moves,
And wins Their motion, majesty, and mien;
And rears his temple rich for God, inlaid
With precious jewels and colours fair, and cries,
"Behold how good and joyful a thing it is
To dwell together in peace and unity,
And work to win the perfect humanhood

Thus Lady Laura and her peasant Lord
Built o'er the dead past their proud monument,
That signals to far times their Guild of love:
And God was with them smiling on their work.
They wrought not without hindrance, sorrow and
Who work for Freedom win not in an hour;
Their cost of conquest never can be summed.
They toil and toil through many a bitter day,
And dark, when false friends flee, and true ones
The seed of that great Truth from which shall
The forest of the future, and give shade
To those who reap the harvest, must be watched
With faith that fails not, fed with rain of tears,
And walled around with life that fought and fell.


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