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Nor all Calamity's hugest waves

found; Who seems a promontory of rock That, compassed round with turbulent

sound, In middle

the surging shock, Tempest-buffeted, citadel-crowned.






(1863) O mighty-mouthed inventor of harmonies, O skilled to sing of Time or Eternity, God-gifted organ-voice of England,

Milton, a name to resound for ages; Whose Titan angels, Gabriel, Abdiel, Starred from Jehovah's gorgeous armories, Tower, as the deep-domed empyrean

Rings to the roar of an angel onset Me rather all that bowery loneliness, The brooks of Eden mazily murmuring, 10 And bloom profuse and cedar arches

Charm, — as a wanderer out in ocean, Where some refulgent sunset of India Streams o'er a rich ambrosial ocean isle, And crimson-hued the stately palm

woods Whisper in odorous heights of even.

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Once in a golden hour

I cast to earth a seed: Up there came a flower,

The people said, a weed.


All along the valley, stream that flashest

white, Deepening thy voice with the deepening of

the night, All along the valley, where thy waters

flow, I walked with one I loved, two and thirty

years ago. All along the valley, while I walked today,

5 The two and thirty years were a mist that

rolls'away; For along the valley, down thy rocky bed, Thy 'living voice to me was as the voice of

the dead; And all along the valley, by rock and cave

To and fro they went

Through my garden-bower; And, muttering discontent,

Cursed me and my Aower. Then it grew so tall

It wore a crown of light; But thieves from o'er the wall

Stole the seed by night, –



Sowed it far and wide

By every town and tower, Till all the people cried,

“Splendid is the flower." Read my little fable:

He that runs may read. Most can raise the flowers now,

For all have got the seed.

and tree,

The voice of the dead was a living voice

to me.



And some are pretty enough,

And some are poor indeed: And now again the people

Call it but a weed.

“Old priest, who mumble worship in your

quire, Old monk and nun, ye scorn the world's

desire, Yet in your frosty cells ye feel the fire! 440 The fire of heaven is not the flame of hell.


(1864) Dear, near and true no truer Time him

self Can prove you, though he make you ever

“The fire of heaven is on the dusty ways, The wayside blossoms open to the blaze; The whole wood-world is one full peal of

praise : The fire of heaven is not the fame of hell. 445


"The fire of heaven is lord of all things

good, And starve not thou this fire within thy

blood, But follow Vivien through the fiery food! The fire of heaven is not the fame of hell!"


Dearer and nearer, as the rapid of life Shoots to the fall — take this, and pray

that he Who wrote it, honoring your sweet faith

in him, May trust himself; and after praise and

scorn, As one who feels the immeasurable world, Attain the wise indifference of the wise ; And after autumn past — if left to pass His autumn into seeming-leafless days – Draw toward the long frost and longest

night, Wearing his wisdom lightly, like the

fruit Which in our winter woodland looks a


Then turning to her squire, “This fire of

heaven, This old sun-worship, boy, will rise again, And beat the Cross to earth, and break the

And all his Table."




Queen Guinevere had fled the court, and

sat There in the holy house at Almesbury Weeping, none with her save a little maid, A novice. One low light betwixt them

burned Blurred by the creeping mist; for all

abroad, Beneath a moon unseen albeit at full, The white mist, like a face-cloth to the

face, Clung to the dead earth; and the land was



(1885) The Fire of Heaven But now the wholesome music of the

wood Was dumbed by one from out the hall of

Mark, A damsel-errant, warbling, as she rode The woodland alleys, — Vivien, with her




For hither had she Aed, her cause of

flight Sir Modred; he that like a subtle beast 10 Lay couchant with his eyes upon

throne, Ready to spring, waiting a chance. For


“The fire of heaven has killed the barren

cold, And kindled all the plain and all the wold;

435 The new leaf ever pushes off the old: The fire of heaven is not the flame of hell.


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But, if a man were halt, or 'hunched, in

him By those whom God had made full-limbed

and tall, Scorn was allowed as part of his defect, And he was answered softly by the King And all his Table. So Sir Lancelot

holp To raise the prince, who rising twice or

thrice Full sharply smote his knees, and smiled,

and went; But, ever after, the small violence done Rankled in him, and ruffled all his heart, As the sharp wind that ruffles all day

long A little bitter pool about a stone On the bare coast.






For thus it chanced one morn when all

the court, Green-suited, buť with plumes that mocked

the may, Had been their wont

-a-maying and returned, That Modred still in green, all ear and

eye, Climbed to the high top of the garden

wall To spy some secret scandal if he might; And saw the Queen who sat betwixt her

best Enid, and lissome Vivien, of her court The wiliest and the worst. And more

than this He saw not, for Sir Lancelot passing

by Spied where he couched, and as the gar

dener's hand Picks from the colewort a green cater

pillar, So from the high wall and the flowering

grove Of grasses Lancelot plucked him by the

heel, And cast him as a worm upon the way. 35 But when he knew the prince though

marred with dust, He, reverencing king's blood in a bad man, Made such excuses as he might, and these Full knightly without scorn. For in those

days No knight of Arthur's noblest dealt in


But when Sir Lancelot told This matter to the Queen, at first she

laughed Lightly, to think of Modred's dusty fall; Then shuddered, as the village wife who

cries, “I shudder, one steps across my

grave;" Then laughed again, but faintlier, for in

deed She half-foresaw that he, the subtle beast, Would track her guilt until lie found, and

hers Would be for evermore





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