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Redeem'd it from the charge of nothingness
Or else we loved the man, and prized his work ;
I know not: but we sitting, as I said,
The cock crew loud; as at that time of year
The lusty bird takes every hour for dawn:
Then Francis, muttering, like a man ill used,
“ There now
that's nothing !” drew a little back,
And drove his heel into the smoulder'd log,
That sent a blast of sparkles up the flue :
And so to bed ; where yet in sleep I seem’d
To sail with Arthur under looming shores,
Point after point, till on to dawn, when dreams
Begin to feel the truth and stir of day,
To me, methought, who waited with a crowd,
There came a bark that, blowing forward, bore
King Arthur like a modern gentleman
Of stateliest port ; and all the people cried,
“ Arthur is come again : he cannot die.”
Then those that stood upon the hills behind
Repeated — “Come again, and thrice as fair ;"
And, further inland, voices echoed — “Come
With all good things, and war shall be no more.”
At this a hundred bells began to peal,
That with the sound I woke, and heard indeed
The clear church-bells ring in the Christmas morn.
This morning is the morning of the day,
When I and Eustace from the city went
To see the Gardener's Daughter; I and he,
Brothers in art; a friendship so complete
Portion'd in halves between us, that we grew
The fable of the city where we dwelt.
My Eustace might have sat for Hercules;
So muscular he spread, so broad of breast.
He, by some law that holds in love, and draws
The greater to the lesser, long desired
A certain miracle of symmetry,
A miniature of loveliness, all grace
and closed in little ; — Juliet, she So light of foot, so light of spirit — oh, she To me myself, for some three careless moons, The summer pilot of an empty heart Unto the shores of nothing! Know you not Such touches are but embassies of love, To tamper with the feelings, ere he found Empire for life? but Eustace painted her, And said to me, she sitting with us then, “ When will you paint like this ? ” and I replied, (My words were half in earnest, half in jest,) “ 'Tis not your work, but Love's. Love, unperceived, A more ideal Artist he than all, Came, drew your pencil from you, made those eyes Darker than darkest pansies, and that hair More black than ashbuds in the front of March." And Juliet answer'd laughing, “Go and see The Gardener's daughter : trust me, after that, You scarce can fail to match his masterpiece.” And up we rose, and on the spur we went.
Not wholly in the busy world, nor quite Beyond it, blooms the garden that I love.
News from the humming city comes to it
In sound of funeral or of marriage bells,
And, sitting muffled in dark leaves, you hear
The windy clanging of the minster clock;
Although between it and the garden lies
A league of grass, wash'd by a slow broad stream,
That, stirr'd with languid pulses of the oar,
Waves all its lazy lilies, and creeps on,
Barge-laden, to three arches of a bridge
Crown'd with the minster-towers.
Are dewy-fresh, brows'd by deep-udder'd kine,
And all about the large lime feathers low,
The lime a summer home of murmurous wings.
In that still place she, hoarded in herself,
Grew, seldom seen: not less among us lived
Her fame from lip to lip. Who had not heard
Of Rose, the Gardener's daughter? Where was he,
So blunt in memory, so old at heart,
At such a distance from his youth in grief,
That, having seen, forgot? The common mouth,
So gross to express delight, in praise of her