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What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?

From rainbow clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see

As from thy presence showers a rain of melody:

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wrought

:

To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

Like a high-born maiden
In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden

Soul in secret hour

With music sweet as love which overflows her bower

Like a glow-worm golden
In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue

Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view:

Like a rose embowered
In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflowered,
Till the scent it gives

Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieves.

Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awakened flowers,-

All that ever was,

Joyous and clear and fresh,-thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, sprite or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine:

I have never heard

Praise of love or wine

That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus hymeneal

Or triumphal chant,

Matched with thine, would be all

But an empty vaunt

A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain?

What fields, or waves, or mountains?
What shapes of sky or plain?

What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

With thy clear keen joyance

Languor cannot be:
Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee:

Thou lovest, but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep,

Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream,

Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet, if we could scorn

Hate and pride and fear,

If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,

I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures

Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures

That in books are found,

Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know;
Such harmonious madness
From my lips would flow,

The world should listen then as I am listening now.

P. B. SHELLEY.

DEATH'S FINAL CONQUEST.

THE glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and crown

Must tumble down,

And in the dust be equal made

With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill;
But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still:

Early or late,

They stoop to fate,

And must give up their murmuring breath,
When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The garlands wither on your brow,

Then boast no more your mighty deeds;

Upon Death's purple altar now,

See, where the victor-victim bleeds:

Your heads must come

To the cold tomb,

Only the actions of the just

Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.

J. SHIRLEY.

HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM GHENT TO AIX.

I SPRANG to the stirrup, and Joris, and he;

I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;

"Good speed!" cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew; Speed!" echoed the wall to us galloping through;

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Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest,

And into the midnight we galloped abreast.

Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace
Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place;
I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight,
Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right,
Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit,
Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.

'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near
Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear;
At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see;
At Düffeld, 'twas morning as plain as could be;

And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half chime,
So Joris broke silence with, "Yet there is time!"

At Aerschot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
And against him the cattle stood black every one,
To stare thro' the mist at us galloping past,
And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,
With resolute shoulders, each butting away
The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray.

And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back
For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track;
And one eye's black intelligence,-ever that glance
O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance !
And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon
His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.

By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, "Stay spur! "Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her,

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We'll remember at Aix"-for one heard the quick wheeze Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and staggering knees, And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,

As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.

So we were left galloping, Joris and I,

Past Loos, and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky;
The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh,

'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff;
Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white,
And "Gallop," cried Joris, "for Aix is in sight!”

"How they'll greet us!"—and all in a moment his roan
Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone;
And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate,
With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.

Then I cast loose my buffcoat, each holster let fall,
Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,
Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer;
Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or good,
Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.

And all I remember is, friends flocking round

As I sate with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground,
And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine,
Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)
Was no more than his due who brought good news from

Ghent.

R. BROWNING.

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