At a lunar eclipse

Thy shadow, Earth, from Pole to Central Sea,
Now steals along upon the Moon's meek shine
In even monochrome and curving line
Of imperturbable serenity.

How shall I link such sun-cast symmetry
With the torn troubled form I know as thine,
That profile, placid as a brow divine,
With continents of moil and misery?

And can immense Mortality but throw
So small a shade, and Heaven's high human scheme
Be hemmed within the coasts yon arc implies?

Is such the stellar gauge of earthly show,
Nation at war with nation, brains that teem,
Heroes, and women fairer than the skies? Posted by Picasa

She revisits alone the Church of her marriage

I have come to the church and chancel,
Where all's the same!
- Brighter and larger in my dreams
Truly it shaped than now, meseems,
Is its substantial frame.
But, anyhow, I made my vow,
Whether for praise or blame,
Here in this church and chancel
Where all's the same.

Where touched the check-floored chancel
My knees and his?
The step looks shyly at the sun,
And says, "'Twas here the thing was done,
For bale or else for bliss!"
Of all those there I least was ware
Would it be that or this
When touched the check-floored chancel
My knees and his!

Here in this fateful chancel
Where all's the same,
I thought the culminant crest of life
Was reached when I went forth the wife
I was not when I came.
Each commonplace one of my race,
Some say, has such an aim -
To go from a fateful chancel
As not the same.

Here, through this hoary chancel
Where all's the same,
A thrill, a gaiety even, ranged
That morning when it seemed I changed
My nature with my name.
Though now not fair, though gray my hair,
He loved me, past proclaim,
Here in this hoary chancel,
Where all's the same.
 Posted by Picasa

My Cicely (17-) (Final)

A feeling stirred in me and strengthened
That SHE was not my Love,
But she of the garth, who lay rapt in
Her long reverie.

And thence till to-day I persuade me
That this was the true one;
That Death stole intact her young dearness
And innocency.

Frail-witted, illuded they call me;
I may be. 'Tis better
To dream than to own the debasement
Of sweet Cicely.

Moreover I rate it unseemly
To hold that kind Heaven
Could work such device--to her ruin
And my misery.

So, lest I disturb my choice vision,
I shun the West Highway,
Even now, when the knaps ring with rhythms
From blackbird and bee;

And feel that with slumber half-conscious
She rests in the church-hay,
Her spirit unsoiled as in youth-time
When lovers were we.
 Posted by Picasa

My Cicely (17-) (V)

For, on my ride hither, I'd halted
Awhile at the Lions,
And her--her whose name had once opened
My heart as a key--

I'd looked on, unknowing, and witnessed
Her jests with the tapsters,
Her liquor-fired face, her thick accents
In naming her fee.

"O God, why this seeming derision!"
I cried in my anguish:
"O once Loved, O fair Unforgotten -
That Thing--meant it thee!

"Inurned and at peace, lost but sainted,
Were grief I could compass;
Depraved--'tis for Christ's poor dependent
A cruel decree!"

I backed on the Highway; but passed not
The hostel. Within there
Too mocking to Love's re-expression
Was Time's repartee!

Uptracking where Legions had wayfared,
By cromlechs unstoried,
And lynchets, and sepultured Chieftains,
In self-colloquy,
(tbc) Posted by Picasa

My Cicely (17-) (IV)

- "Then, where dwells the Canon's kinswoman,
My friend of aforetime?"--
('Twas hard to repress my heart-heavings
And new ecstasy.)

"She wedded."--"Ah!"--"Wedded beneath her -
She keeps the stage-hostel
Ten miles hence, beside the great Highway -
The famed Lions-Three.

"Her spouse was her lackey--no option
'Twixt wedlock and worse things;
A lapse over-sad for a lady
Of her pedigree!"

I shuddered, said nothing, and wandered
To shades of green laurel:
Too ghastly had grown those first tidings
So brightsome of blee!
(tbc) Posted by Picasa

My Cicely (17-) (III)


No highwayman's trot blew the night-wind
To me so life-weary,
But only the creak of the gibbets
Or waggoners' jee.

Triple-ramparted Maidon gloomed grayly
Above me from southward,
And north the hill-fortress of Eggar,
And square Pummerie.

The Nine-Pillared Cromlech, the Bride-streams,
The Axe, and the Otter
I passed, to the gate of the city
Where Exe scents the sea;

Till, spent, in the graveacre pausing,
I learnt 'twas not my Love
To whom Mother Church had just murmured
A last lullaby.
(tbc) Posted by Picasa