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Who are these coming to the sacrifice ?

To what green altar, O mysterious priest, Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,

And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? What little town by river or sea shore, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,

Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn? And, little town, thy streets for evermore Will silent be; and not a soul to tell

Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede

Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed;

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! When old age shall this generation waste,

Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woo Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

SONG.

In a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne'er remember
Apollo's summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting ,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never penting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would 'twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
To know the change and feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbed sense to steal it,
Was never said in rhyme.

FAERY SONG.

Shed no tear! O! shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more! O! weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root's white core.
Dry your eyes! 0! dry your eyes !
For I was taught in Paradise
To ease my breast of melodies –

Shed no tear.

Overhead! look overhead !
'Mong the blossoms white and red –
Look up, look up. I flutter now
On this flush pomegranate bough.
See me! 'tis this silvery bill
Ever cures the good man's ill.

Shed no tear! O! shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Adieu, Adieu! – I fly, adieu ,
I vanish in the heaven's blue —

Adieu, Adieu!

TO SLEEP.

O soft embalmer of the still midnight!

Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleased eyes, embower'd from the light,

Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close,

In midst of this hymn, my willing eyes
Or wait the amen, ere thy poppy throws

Around my bed its lulling charities;

Then save me, or the passed day will shine Upon my pillow, breeding many woes ;

Save me from curious conscience, that still hoards Its strength, for darkness burrowing like a mole;

Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards, And seal the hushed casket of my soul.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.

(6 1806 – d 1861).

A CHILD'S THOUGHT OF GOD.

I.

They say that God lives very high;

But if you look above the pines
You cannot see our God; and why?

II.

And if you dig down in the mines

You never see Him in the gold; Though from Him all that's glory shines.

III.

God is so good, He wears a fold

Of heaven and earth across His face – Like secrets kept, for love, untold.

IV.

But still I feel that His embrace

Slides down by thrills, through all things made Through sight and sound of every place :

As if my tender mother laid

On my shut lips her kisses' pressure, Half-waking me at night, and said “Who kissed you through the dark, dear guesser?"

THE SOUL'S EXPRESSION.

With stammering lips and insufficient sound
I strive and struggle to deliver right
That music of my nature, day and night
With dream and thought and feeling interwound,
And inly answering all the senses round
With octaves of a mystic depth and height
Which step out grandly to the infinite
From the dark edges of the sensual ground.

This song of soul I struggle to outbear
Through portals of the sense, sublime and whole,
And utter all myself into the air:
But if I did it, - as the thunder-roll
Breaks its own cloud, my flesh would perish there,
Before that dread apocalypse of soul.

COMFORT.

Speak low to me, my Saviour, low and sweet
From out the ballelujahs, sweet and low,
Lest I should fear and fall, and miss Thee so
Who art not missed by any that entreat.
Speak to me as to Mary at Thy feet!
And if no precious gums my hands bestow,
Let my tears drop like amber while I go
In reach of Thy divinest voice complete
In humanest affection -- thus, in sooth,
To lose the sense of losing. As a child,
Whose song-bird seeks the wood for evermore,
Is sung to in its stead by mother's mouth
Till, sinking on her breast, love-reconciled,
He sleeps the faster that he wept before.

SONNET XXXIII.

(FROM "SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE.")

Yes, call me by pet-name! let me hear
The name I used to run at, when a child,
From innocent play, and leave the cowslips piled,
To glance up in some face that proved me dear
With the look of its eyes. I miss the clear

Fond voices which, being drawn and reconciled
HOEKZEMA, Poetry. 4th Ed.

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