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And no more their lamentation might the maid- | And the sheathéd Wrath of Sigurd lies still ens hold aback,
by his mighty side. But the sound of their bitter mourning was as Then cometh an elder of days, a man of the if red-handed wrack
ancient times, Ran wild in the Burg of the Niblungs, and the Who is long past sorrow and joy, and the fire were master of all.
steep of the bale he climbs; And he kneeleth down by Sigurd, and bareth
the Wrath to the sun Then the voice of Gunnar, the war-king, cried out o'er the weeping hall:
That the beams are gathered about it, and
from hilt to blood-point run, “Wail on, O women forsaken, for the mightiest
And wide o'er the plain of the Niblungs doth woman born! Now the hearth is cold and joyless, and the
the Light of the Branstock glare, waste bed lieth forlorn.
Till the wondering mountain-shepherds on that
star of noontide stare, Wail on, but amid your weeping lay hand to the glorious dead,
And fear for many an evil; but the ancient That not alone for an hour may lie Queen with the war-flame on his shoulder, nor thinks
man stands still Brynhild's head: For here have been heavy tidings, and the
of good or of ill,
Till the feet of Brynhild's bearers on the topMightiest under shield
most bale are laid, Is laid on the bale high-builded in the Ni
And her bed is dight 15 by Sigurd's; then he blungs' ballowed field. Fare forth! for he abideth, and we do All
sinks the pale white blade father wrong
And lays it 'twixt the sleepers, and leaves them
there aloneIf the shining Valhall's pavement await their feet o'erlong."
He, the last that shall ever behold them,-and
his days are well-nigh done.
Then they took the body of Brynhild in the Then is silence over the plain; in the noon raiment that she wore,
shine the torches pale, And out through the gate of the Niblungs As the best of the Niblung Earl-folk16 bear fire the holy corpse they bore,
to the builded bale: And thence forth to the mead of the people, Then a wind in the west ariseth, and the white and the high-built shielded bale:
flames leap on high, Then afresh in the open meadows breaks forth | And with one voice crieth the people a great the women's wail
and mighty cry, When they see the bed of Sigurd and the glit. And men cast up hands to the Heavens, and tering of his gear;
pray without a word, And fresh is the wail of the people as Bryn. As they that have seen God's visage, and the bild draweth anear,
voice of the Father have heard. 200 And the tidings go before her that for twain the bale is built,
They are gone—the lovely, the mighty, the That for twain is the oak-wood shielded and
hope of the ancient Earth: the pleasant odours spilt.
It shall labour and bear the burden as before
that day of their birth; There is peace on the bale of Sigurd, and It shall groan in its blind abiding for the day the gods look down from on high,
that Sigurd hath sped, And they see the lids of the Volsung close shut And the hour that Brynhild hath hastened, and against the sky,
the dawn that waketh the dead; As he lies with his shield beside him in the It shall yearn, and be oft-times holpen, and hauberk all of gold,
forget their deeds no more, That has not its like in the heavens, nor has Till the new sun beams on Baldur, and the earth of its fellow told;
happy sealess shore.* And forth from the Helm of Aweing14 are the
15 prepared sunbeams flashing wide,
16 The nobles, or warriors, as opposed to the churls. * Alluding to the new heaven, that is to arise
after the Twilight of the Gods, when Baldur 14 Or the Helm of Dread, won by the slaying of
Good shall be the dragon Fafnir.
reign in the seats of the old gods.
Hel and 207. course Socialism, in which Morris was niuch 1 Alluding to the old Thracian legend of Ibilointerested in his later life.
THE VOICE OF TOIL*
ALGERNON CHARLES SWINI heard men saying, Leave hope and praying,
FROM ATALANTA IN CALYDON
on winter's When Earth was younger mid toil and hunger, When the hounds of spring are
traces, In hope we strove, and our hands were strong; Then great men led us, with words they fed us,
The mother of monthst in meadow or plain And bade us right the earthly wrong.
Fills the shadows and windy places
With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain; Go read in story their deeds and glory,
And the brown bright nightingale amorous Their names amidst the nameless dead; Is half assuaged for Itylus, Turn then from lying to us slow-dying
For the Thracian ships and the foreign faces, In that good world to which they led;
The tongueless vigil, and all the pain.
Where fast and faster our iron master, Come with bows bent and with emptying of The thing we made, for ever drives,
quivers, Bids us grind treasure and fashion pleasure Maiden most perfect, lady of light, For other hopes and other lives.
16 With a noise of winds and many rivers,
With a clamour of waters, and with might; Where home is a hovel and dull we grovel, Bind on thy sandals, 0 thou most feet, Forgetting that the world is fair;
Over the splendour and speed of thy feet; Where no babe we cherish, lest its very soul For the faint east quickens, the wan west perish;
shivers, Where mirth is crime, and love a snare.
Round the feet of the day and the feet of the night.
16 Who now shall lead us, what god shall heed us As we lie in the hell our hands have won ?
Where shall we find her, how shall we sing For us are no rulers but fools and befoolers,
to her, The great are fallen, the wise men gone.
Fold our hands round her knees, and cling?
O that man's heart were I heard men saying, Leave tears and praying,
as fire and could
spring to her, The sharp knife heedeth not the sheep;
Fire, or the strength of the streams that Are we not stronger than the rich and the
For the stars and the winds are unto her When day breaks over dreams and sleep?
As raiment, as songs of the harp-player; Come, shoulder to shoulder ere the world
For the risen stars and the fallen cling to her,
And the southwest-wind and the west-wind Help lies in nought but thee and me;
sing. Hope is before us, the long years that bore us Bore leaders more than men may be. 32 For winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
And in green underwood and cover
32 older! The Cause spreads over land and sea;
The full streams feed on flower of rushes, Now the world shaketh, and fear awaketh,
Ripe grasses trammel a travelling foot, And joy at last for thee and me.
40 • This poem, now printed in Morris's Poems by i Artemis. or Dlana, the goddess of the moon :
the Way, was first published, in 1885, in a also the goddess of the hunt--see next staoza. pamphlet called Chants for Socialists.
Compare Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, iv, ('ause" mentioned in the last stanza is of
mela and Procne.
The faint fresh flame of the young year | All is reaped now; no grass is left to mow; flushes
And we that sowed, though all we fell on From leaf to flower and flower to fruit;
sleep, And fruit and leaf are as gold and fire,
She would not weep.
21 And the oat is heard above the lyre, I And the hoofèd heel of a satyr crushes
Let us go hence and rest; she will not love. The chestnut-husk at the chestnut-root. 40 She shall not hear us if we sing hereof,
Vor see love's ways, how sore they are and And Pan by noon and Bacchus by night,
And though she saw all heaven in flower above, And soft as lips that laugh and hide,
She would not love.
28 The laughing leaves of the trees divide, And screen from seeing and leave in sight Let us give up, go down; she will not care. The god pursuing, the maiden hid. 48 | Though all the stars made gold of all the air,
And the sea moving saw before it move The ivy falls with the Bacchanal's hair One moon-flower making all the foam-flowers Over her eyebrows hiding her eyes;
fair, The wild vine slipping down leaves bare Though all those waves went over us, and drove
Her bright breast shortening into sighs; Deep down the stifling lips and drowning hair, The wild vine slips with the weight of its
She would not care.
35 leaves, But the berried ivy catches and cleaves
Let us go hence, go hence; she will not see. To the limbs that glitter, the feet that scare Sing all once more together; surely she, The wolf that follows, the fawn that flies. 56 She, too, remembering days and words that
were, A LEAVE-TAKING
Will turn a little toward us, sighing; but we,
We are hence, we are gone, as though we had Let us go hence, my songs; she will not hear.
not been there. Let us go hence together without fear;
Way, and though all men seeing had pity on me, Keep silence now, for singing-time is over,
She would not see.
HYUY TO PROSERPINE*
(AFTER THE PROCLAMATION IN ROME OF THE
L'icisti, Galilæe Full of blown sand and foam; what help is I have lived long enough, having seen one thing, here?
that love hath an end; There is no help, for all these things are so, Goddess and maiden and queen, be near me And all the world is bitter as a tear;
now and befriend. And how these things are, though ye strove to Thou art more than the day or the morrow, the show,
seasons that laugh or that weep; She would not know.
14 For these give joy and sorrow; but thou, Pros.
erpina, sleep. Let us go home and hence; she will not weep. Sweet is the treading of wine, and sweet the We gave love many dreams and days to keep, feet of the dove; Flowers without scent, and fruits that would
* Proserpine, or Proserpina, was the Roman god.
dess of death and the under world. The Saying, “If thou wilt, thrust in thy sickle and Latin motto set before
this poem **Thou hast conquered, Galilean." The words are traditionally ascribed to the dying Em.
peror Julian--Julian "the apostate," who had 2 Names for bacchanals, or frenzied votaries of
been brought up as a Christian but who reBacchus.
verted to paganism after his accession to the That is, pastoral, out-of-door music takes the throne. The poem attempts to portray the
place of indoor, festal song : Pan supplants sentiment of expiring paganism ; Swinburne Anollo. An oat is a shepherd's pipe made of called it "the death-sons of spiritual decain oat stem,
But a goodlier gift is thine than foam of the Why should he labour and bring fresh grief to grapes or love.
blacken his years? Yea, is not even Apollo, with hair and harp- Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world string of gold,
has grown gray from thy breath; A bitter God to follow, a beautiful God to We have drunken of things Lethean, and fed bebold
on the fulness of death. I am sick of singing; the bays burn deep and Laurel is green for a season, and love sweet chafe; I am fain
for a day; To rest a little from praise and grievous pleas. But love grows bitter with treason, and laurel ure and pain.
outlives not May. For the Gods we know not of, who give us our Sleep, shall we sleep after all? for the world daily breath,
is not sweet in the end; We know they are cruel as love or life, and For the old faiths loosen and fall, the new lovely as death.
years ruin and rend. O Gods dethroned and deceased, cast forth, Fate is a sea without shore, and the soul is a wiped out in a day!
rock that abides; From your wrath is the world released, re- But her ears are vexed with the roar and her deemed from your chains, men say.
face with the foam of the tides. New Gods are crowned in the city, their flow- O lips that the live blood faints in, the leavings ers have broken your rods;
of racks and rods! They are merciful, clothed with pity, the young O ghastly glories of saints, dead limbs of gibcompassionate Gods.
beted Gods ! But for me their new device is barren, the days Though all men abase them before you in are bare;
spirit, and all knees bend, Things long past over suffice, and men forgot. I kneel not, neither adore you, but standing, ten that were.
look to the end. Time and the Gods are at strife: ye dwell in all delicate days and pleasant, all spirits and the midst thereof,
sorrows are cast Draining a little life from the barren breasts Far out with the foam of the present that of love.
sweeps to the surf of the past; 1 say to you, cease, take rest; yea, I say to you Where beyond the extreme sea-wall, and beall, be at peace,
tween the remote sea-gates, Till the bitter milk of her breast and the bar. Waste water washes, and tall ships founder, ren bosom shall ccase.
and deep death waits: Wilt thou yet take all, Galilean ? but these thou Where, mighty with deepening sides, clad about shalt not take,
with the seas as with wings, The laurel, the palms, and the pæan, the breasts And impelled of invisible tides, and fulfilled of the nymphs in the brake;
of unspeakable things, Breasts more soft than a dove's, that tremble White-eyed and poisonous-finned, shark-toothed with tenderer breath;
and serpentine-curled, And all the wings of the Loves, and all the joy Rolls, under the whitening wind of the future, before death;
the wave of the world. All the feet of the hours that sound as a single | The depths stand naked in sunder behind it, lyre,
the storms flee away; Dropped and deep in the flowers, with strings in the hollow before it the thunder is taken that flicker like fire.
and shared as a prey; More than these wilt thou give, things fairer In its sides is the north-wind bound; and its than all these things?
salt is of all men's tears; Nay, for a little we live, and life hath mutable With light of ruin, and sound of changes, and wings.
pulse of years; A little while and we die; shall life not thrive with travail of day after day, and with trouble as it may
of hour upon hour; For no man under the sky lives twice, outliving And bitter as blood is the spray; and the his day.
crests are as fangs that devour: And grief is a grievous thing, and a man hath And its vapour and storm of its steam as the enough of his tears:
sighing of spirits to be;
And its noise as the noise in a dream; and its Ye were all so fair that are broken; and one depth as the roots of the sea:
more fair than ye all. And the height of its heads as the height of the But I turn to her still, having seen she shall utmost stars of the air;
surely abide in the end; And the ends of the earth at the might thereof Goddess and maiden and queen, be near me tremble, and time is made bare.
now and befriend. Will ye bridle the deep sea with reins, will ye o daughter of earth, of my mother, her crown chasten the high sea with rods?
and blossom of birth, Will ye take her to chain her with chains, who I am also, I also, thy brother; I go as I came is older than all ye Gods
unto earth. All ye as a wind shall go by, as a fire shall yeIn the night where thine eyes are as moons are pass and be past;
in heaven, the night where thou art, Ye are Gods, and behold ye shall die, and the Where the silence is more than all tunes, where waves be upon you at last.
sleep overflows from the heart, In the darkness of time, in the deeps of the Where the poppies are sweet as the rose in our years, in the changes of things,
world, and the red rose is white, Ye shall sleep as a slain man sleeps, and the And the wind falls faint as it blows with the world shall forget you for kings. 70
fume of the flowers of the night, Though the feet of thine high priests tread And the murmur of spirits that sleep in the
where thy lords and our forefathers trod, shadow of Gods from afar Though these that were Gods are dead, and Grows dim in thine ears and deep as the deep thou being dead art a God,
dim soul of a star,
100 Though before thee the throned Cytherean be In the sweet low light of thy face, under heavfallen, and hidden her head,
ens untrod by the sun, Yet thy kingdom shall pass, Galilean, thy dead | Let my soul with their souls find place, and shall go down to thee dead.
forget what is done and undone. Of the maiden thy mother, men sing as a god- Thou art more than the Gods who number the dess with grace clad around;
days of our temporal breath; Thou art throned where another was king; For these give labour and slumber; but thou,
where another was queen she is crowned. Proserpina, death. Yea, once we had sight of another; but now Therefore now at thy feet I abide for a season she is queen, say these.
in silence. I know Not as thine, not as thine was our mother, a I shall die as my fathers died, and sleep as they blossom of flowering seas,1
sleep; even so. Clothed round with the world's desire as with For the glass of the years is brittle wherein we raiment, and fair as the foam,
gaze for a span; And fleeter than kindled fire, and a goddess A little soul for a little bears up this corpse and mother of Rome.
which is man.2 For thine came pale and a maiden, and sister So long I endure, no longer; and laugh not to sorrow; but ours,
again, neither weep. Her deep hair heavily laden with odour and For there is no God found stronger than death; colour of flowers,
and death is a sleep. White rose of the rose-white water, a silver splendour, a flame,
PRELUDE OF SONGS BEFORE SUNRISE* Bent down unto us that besought her, and earth Between the green bud and the red
grew sweet with her name. For thine came weeping, a slave among slaves, Youth sat and sang by Time, and shed
From eyes and tresses flowers and tears, and rejected; but she Came flushed from the full-flushed wave, and
From heart and spirit hopes and fears, imperial, her foot on the sea,
? Adapted from Epictetus. And the wonderful waters knew her, the winds * Swinburne's Songs Before Sunrise, published in and the viewless ways,
1871, and dedicated to Joseph Mazzini, the
Italian patriot, are a noteworthy contribution And the roses grew rosier, and bluer the sea- to the poetry of political and religious freeblue stream of the bays.
dom. They were mainly inspired by the long
struggle for a free and united Italy. The parYe are fallen, our lords, by what token? we wist tial union of Italy, effected in 1861, was comthat ye should not fall.
pleted by the occupation of Rome in 1870. but the government was monarchical, and
not republican, as the more ardent revolu1 Venus, horn of the foam.
tionists had hoped.