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Some think fireflies pretty, when they mix But bless you, it's dear — it's dear! fowls, i' the corn and mingle,
wine, at double the rate!
55 Or thrid the stinking hemp till the stalks of They have clapped a new tax upon salt; it seem a-tingle.
and what oil pays passing the gate, Late August or early September, the stun It's a horror to think of. And so, the villa ning cicala is shrill,
for me, not the city! And the bees keep their tiresome whine Beggars can scarcely be choosers: but still
round the resinous firs the - ah, the pity, the pity! hill.
Look, two and two go the priests, then the Enough of the seasons ! I spare you the
monks with cowls and sandals, months of the fever and chill.
And the penitents dressed in white shirts,
a-holding the yellow candles:
One, he carries a flag up straight, and Ere you open your eyes in the city, the
another a cross with handles; blessed church-bells begin.
And the Duke's guard brings up the rear, No sooner the bells leave off than the dili for the better prevention of scandals: gence rattles in:
Bang-whang-whang goes the drum, tootleYou get the pick of the news, and it costs te-tootle the fife. you never a pin.
Oh, a day in the city-square, there is no By and by there's the travelling doctor such pleasure in life!
gives pills, lets blood, draws teeth; Or the Pulcinello-trumpet breaks up the market beneath.
LOVE AMONG THE RUINS At the post-office, such a scene-picture
(1855) the new play, piping hot! And a notice how, only this morning, three Where the quiet-colored end of evening liberal thieves were shot.
smiles Above it, behold the Archbishop's most
Miles and miles fatherly of rebukes;
On the solitary pastures where our sheep, And beneath, with his crown and his lion,
Half-asleep, some little new law of the Duke's! Tinkle homeward through the twilight, Or a sonnet with flowery marge, to the stray or stop Reverend Don So-and-so,
Aѕ thеу crop Who is Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarca, Saint Was the site, once, of a city great and Jerome, and Cicero,
gay, “And moreover,” (the sonnet goes rhym
(So they say), ing), “the skirts of Saint Paul has Of our country's very capital, its prince reached,
Ages since Having preached us those six Lent Held his court in, gathered councils, wield
lectures more unctuous than ever be ing far preached."
Peace or war. Noon strikes: here sweeps the procession!
our Lady borne smiling and smart With a pink gauze gown all spangles, and Now, — the country does not even boast a seven swords stuck in her heart!
tree, Bang-whang whang goes the drum, tootle
As you see, te-tootle the fife:
To distinguish slopes of verdure, certain No keeping one's haunches still — it's the rills greatest pleasure in life.
From the hills
Intersect and give a name to (else they And I know, while thus the quiet-colored run Into one)
Smiles to leave
50 Where the domed and daring palace shot To their folding, all our many-tinkling its spires
fleece, Up like fires,
In such peace; O'er the hundred-gated circuit of a wall And the slopes and rills in undistinguished Bounding all,
grav Made of marble, men might march on nor be pressed
That a girl with eager eyes and yellow Twelve abreast.
Waits me there
In the turret, whence the charioteers And such plenty and perfection, see, of caught soul grass
For the goal,
When the king looked, where she looks Such a carpet as, this summer-time, o'er now, breathless, dumb spreads
Till I And embeds Every vestige of the city, guessed alone, But he looked upon the city, every side, Stock or stone
Far and wide, Where a multitude of men breathed joy All the mountains topped with temples, all and woe
the glades' Long ago;
Colonnades, Lust of glory pricked their hearts up, All the causeys, bridges, aqueducts, — and dread of shame
then, Struck them tame;
All the men! And that glory and that shame alike, the When I do come, she will speak not; she gold
embrace Now, — the single little turret that re
Of my face. mains
Ere we rush, we extinguish sight On the plains,
and speech By the caper overrooted, by the gourd
Each on each. Overscored, While the patching houseleek's head of In one year they sent a million fighters blossom winks
forth Through the chinks –
South and North, Marks the basement whence a tower in And they built their gods a brazen pillar ancient time
high Sprang sublime;
As the sky, And a burning ring, all round, the chariots Yet reserved a thousand chariots in full traced
force As they raced;
Gold, of course. And the monarch and his minions and his Oh heart! oh blood that freezes, blood that dames
burns! Viewed the games.
Was the poor heart's, ere the wanderer
For whole centuries of folly, noise, and sin!
Shut them in, With their triumphs and their glories and the rest!
Love is best.
Love to be saved for it, proffered to, spent
(1855) Ah, did you once see Shelley plain,
And did he stop and speak to you, And did you speak to him again?
How strange it seems and new!
(1855) All that I know
Of a certain star
(Like the angled spar)
5 Now a dart of blue: Till my friends have said
They would fain see, too, My star that dartles the red and the blue! Then it stops like a bird; like a flower,
hangs furled : They must solace themselves with the
Saturn above it. What matter
to me if their star is a world? Mine has opened its soul to me; there
fore I love it.
But you were living before that,
And also you are living after; And the memory I started at
My starting moves your laughter!
WOMEN AND ROSES
(1855) I dream of a red-rose tree. And which of its roses three Is the dearest rose to me? Round and round, — like a dance of snow In a dazzling drift, - as its guardians, go 5 Floating the women faded for ages, Sculptured in stone, on the poet's pages. Then follow women fresh and gay, Living and loving and loved today. Last, in the rear, flee the multitude of
maidens, Beauties yet unborn. — And all, to one
cadence, They circle their rose on my rose-tree. Dear rose, thy term is reached; Thy leaf hangs loose and bleached: Bees pass it unimpeached. Stay then, stoop, since I cannot climb, You, great shapes of the antique time!
How shall I fix you,
freeze you, Break my heart at your feet to please
you? Oh, to possess and be possessed ! Hearts that beat 'neath each pallid breast! Once but of love, the poesy, the passion, Drink but once and die! - In vain: the
same fashion, They circle their rose on my rose-tree. Dear rose, thy joy's undimmed, 25 Thy cup is ruby-rimmed, Thy cup's heart nectar-brimmed. Deep, as drops from a statue's plinth The bee sucked in by the hyacinth, So will I bury me while burning, Quench like him at a plunge my yearning, Eyes in your eyes, lips on your lips ! Fold me fast where the cincture slips, Prison all my soul in eternities of pleasure, Girdle me for once! — But no: the old
measure, They circle their rose on my rose-tree. Dear rose without a thorn, Thy bud's the babe unborn, First streak of a new morn. Wings, lend wings for the cold, the
clear! What is far conquers what is near. Roses will bloom, nor want beholders, Sprung from the dust where our flesh
moulders. What shall arrive with the cycle's change? A novel grace and a beauty strange. I will make an Eve, be the artist that
began her, Shaped her to his mind! Alas! in like
TWO IN THE CAMPAGNA
I wonder do you feel today
As I have felt since, hand in hand, We sat down on the grass,
to stray In spirit better through the land, This morn of Rome and May ?
- I touched a thought, I know, Has tantalized me many times (Like turns of thread the spiders throw,
Mocking, across our path) for rhymes To catch at and let go.
10 Help me to hold it! First it left
The yellowing fennel, run to seed There, branching from the brickwork's
cleft, Some old tomb's ruin; yonder weed Took up the floating weft, Where one small orange cup amassed Five beetles — blind and green they
grope Among the honey-meal; and last,
Everywhere on the grassy slope I traced it. Hold it fast!
They circle their rose on my rose-tree.
LOVE IN A LIFE
Room after room,
find her, —