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Ay, if dynamite and revolver leave you courage

to be wiseWhen was age so cramm'd with menace? mad

ness? written, spoken lies?

85

Envy wears the mask of Love, and, laughing

sober fact to scorn, Cries to weakest as to strongest, “Ye are equals, equal-born.”

110 Equal-born? O, yes, if yonder hill be level with

the flat. Charm us, orator, till the lion look no larger

than the cat,

Till the cat thro' that mirage of overheated

language loom Larger than the lion-Demos end in working

its own doom.

115

Then, and here in Edward's' time, an age of

noblest English names,5 Christian conquerors took and flung the con

quer'd Christian into flames. Love your enemy, bless your haters, said the

Greatest of the great; Christian love among the Churches look'd the

twin of heathen hate. From the golden alms of Blessing man had

coin'd himself a curse: Rome of Cæsar, Rome of Peter, which was

crueller? which was worse? France had shown a light to all men, preach'd a

Gospel, all men's good; Celtic Demos? rose a Demon, shriek'd and slaked the light with blood.

90 Hope was ever on her mountain, watching till

the day begunCrown'd with sunlight-over darkness-from

the still unrisen sun. Have we grown at last beyond the passions of

the primal clan? “Kill your enemy, for you hate him," still,

"your enemy" was a man. Have we sunk below them? peasants maim the helpless horse, and drive

95 Innocent cattle under thatch, and burn the

kindlier brutes alive.: Brutes, the brutes are not your wrongers

burnt at midnight, found at morn, Twisted hard in mortal agony with their

offspring, born-unborn, Clinging to the silent mother! Are we devils?

are we men? Sweet Saint Francis of Assisi, would that he

were here again, He that in his Catholic wholeness used to call

the very flowers Sisters, brothers and the beasts—whose pains

are hardly less than ours! Chaos, Cosmos! Cosmos, Chaos! who can tell

how all will end? Read the wide world's annals, you, and take

their wisdom for your friend. Hope the best, but hold the Present fatal daughter of the Past,

105 Shape your heart to front the hour, but dream

100

Russia bursts our Indian barrier, shall we fight

her? shall we yield? Pause! before you sound the trumpet, hear the

voices from the field.9 Those three hundred millions under one Im

perial sceptre now, Shall we hold them? shall we loose them? take

the suffrage of the plow. Nay, but these would feel and follow Truth if

only you and you, vals of realm-ruining party, when you speak were wholly true.

120 Plowmen, shepherds, have I found, and more

than once, and still could find, Sons of God, and kings of men in utter noble

ness of mind, Truthful, trustful, looking upward to the prac

tised hustings-liar;10 So the higher wields the lower, while the lower

is the higher. Here and there a cotter's babe is royal-born by right divine;

125 Here and there my lord is lower than his oxen

or his swine. Chaos, Cosmos! Cosmos, Chaos! once again

the sickening game; Freedom, free to slay herself, and dying while

they shout her name. Step by step we gain'd a freedom known to

Europe, known to all; Step by step we rose to greatness,-thro' the tonguesters we may fall.

130 You that woo the Voices—tell them “old ex

perience is a fool,” Teach your flatter'd kings that only those who When the schemes and all the systems, kis

not that the hour will last. + Edward III (1312-1377), a contemporary of Timur. "Here"=Europe, as distinguished from Asia.

Chaucer, Wyclif, Langland, etc. 6 Probably the cruelties committed in the Peasant Revolt in France, as Tennyson refers to this later (p. 606, 1. 157, and n.), or possibly those practised by the Black Prince in the French War. Horrible deeds are recorded by Froissart in his account of the Jaquerie, e. g. Chron., Chap. CLXXXII and CLXXXIV.

7i. e. the French populace. Demos is the Greek word for the masses, the common people. The reference is to the French Revolution and the Gospel," then preached, of "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity."

8 An allusion to recent disturbances in Ireland.

cannot read can rule. øj. e. of those who work in the fields, or the laboring classes.

10 Hustings, the platform from which a political orator addresses the people at a Parliamentary election.

doms and republics fall, Something kindlier, higher, holier-all for et

and each for all?

135

All the full-brain, half-brain races, led by :

tice, Love and Truth; All the millions one at length with all the risus

of my youth?

All diseases quench'd by Science, no man be

or deaf, or blind; Stronger ever born of weaker, lustier bort

larger mind?

140

Earth at last a warless world, a single ruce

single tongueI have seen her far away-for is not Earth a

yet so young?

Every tiger madness muzzled, every serps***

passion killid, Every grim ravine a garden, every blos

desert till’d,

Robed in universal harvest up to either pa

she smiles, Universal ocean softly washing all her wirke

isles.

145

Pluck the mighty from their seat, but set no

meek ones in their place;"1 Pillory Wisdom in your markets, pelt your offal

at her face. Tumble Nature heel o'er head, and, yelling

with the yelling street, Set the feet above the brain and swear the brain

is in the feet. Bring the old dark ages back without the faith,

without the hope, Break the State, the Church, the Throne, and

roll their ruins down the slope. Authors-essayist, atheist, novelist, realist,

rhymester, play your part, Paint the mortal shame of nature with the

living hues of art. Rip your brothers' vices open, strip your own

foul passions bare; Down with Reticence, down with Reverence

forward-naked-let them stare. Feed the budding rose of boyhood with the

drainage of your sewer; Send the drain into the fountain, lest the stream

should issue pure. Set the maiden fancies wallowing in the troughs

of Zolaism,–12 Forward, forward, ay, and backward, down

ward too into the abysm! Do your best to charm the worst, to lower the

rising race of men; Have we risen from out the beast, then back

into the beast again? Only “dust to dust” for me that sicken at your

lawless din, Dust in wholesome old-world dust before the newer world begin.

150 Heated am I? you--you wonder-well, it

scarce becomes mine agePatience! let the dying actor mouth his last

upon the stage. Cries of unprogressive dotage ere the dotard

fall asleep? Noises of a current narrowing, not the music of

a deep? Ay, for doubtless I am old, and think gray

thoughts, for I am gray; After all the stormy changes shall we find a

changeless May? After madness, after massacre, Jacobinism and

Jacquerie, Some diviner force to guide us thro' the days

I shall not see? 11 V. St. Luke, i. 52.

12 i. e. the works (or certain notorious works) of Emile Zola, 1810-1902, the French novelist.

13 j. e. after terrible uprisings of the masses against or. ganized authority; uprising, as violent, or as lawless, as that of the Jacobins in the French Revolution of 1789 or of the Jaquerie, the revolt of the peasants against the French nobles in 1358.

Warless? when her tens are thousands, and br

thousands millions, thenAll her harvest all too narrow-who can facom

warless men?

Warless? war will die out late then. I:

ever? late or soon? Can it, till this outworn earth be dead as y

dead world the moon?

155

Dead the new astronomy calls her.On.

day and at this hour, In this gap between the sandhills, whence ve

see the Locksley tower, Here we met, our latest mceting-Amy-sitt

years ago She and I-the moon was falling greenish ter

a rosy glow, Just above the gateway tower, and even when

you see her nowHere we stood and claspt each other, swore the

seeming-deathless vow.Dead, but how her living glory lights the ha

the dune, the grass! Yet the moonlight is the sunlight, and the sc

himself will pass. Venus near her! smiling downward at the

earthlier earth of ours, Closer on the sun, perhaps a world of never faut

ing flowers.

13

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Is it well that while we range with Science,

glorying in the Time, City children soak and blacken soul and sense

in city slime?

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200

225

'orward, backward, backward, forward, in the

immeasurable sea, way'd by vaster ebbs and flows than can be

known to you or me. ll the suns--are these but symbols of innumerable man,

195 Tan or Mind that sees a shadow of the planner

or the plan? s there evil but on earth? or pain in every

peopled sphere? Vell, be grateful for the sounding watchword

"Evolution” here, volution ever climbing after some ideal good, ind Reversion ever dragging Evolution in the

mud. Vhat are men that He should heed us? cried

the king of sacred song;15 nsects of an hour, that hourly work their

brother insect wrong. Vhile the silent heavens roll, and suns along

their fiery way, ll their planets whirling round them, flash a

million miles a day. lany an aeon moulded earth before her highest, man, was born,

205 lany an aeon too may pass when earth is man

less and forlorn. larth so huge, and yet so bounded-pools of

salt, and plots of landhallow skin of green and azure-chains of

mountain, grains of sand! Only That which made us meant us to be might

ier by and by, let the sphere of all the boundless heavens

within the human eye, *The Greek poetess Sappho.. Cf. Song to the Evening lar, p. 505, and Don Juan, p. 518, Stan. CVII. 15 David; v. Psalms, viii. 4.

Nay, your pardon, cry your "Forward,” yours

are hope and youth, but IEighty winters leave the dog too lame to fol

low with the cry, Lame and old, and past his time, and passing

now into the night; Yet I would the rising race were half as eager

for the light.

Light the fading gleam of even? light the glim

mer of the dawn? Aged eyes may take the growing glimmer for the gleam withdrawn.

230

Far away beyond her myriad coming changes

earth will be Something other than the wildest modern

guess of you and me. Earth may reach her earthly-worst, or if she

gain her earthly-best, Would she find her human offspring this ideal

man at rest?

210

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Then a peal that shakes the portal-002

come to claim his bride, Her that shrank, and put me from her, shoti

and started from my side Silent echoes! You, my Leonard, use and 1

abuse your day, Move among your people, know them, fur

him who led the way, Strove for sixty widow'd years to be is

homelier brother men, Served the poor, and built the cottage, i

the school, and drain’d the fen. Hears he now the voice that wrong'd him's

shall swear it cannot be? Earth would never touch her worst, vesti

in fifty such as he Ere she gain her heavenly-best, a Gol

mingle with the game, Nay, there may be those about us wboo

neither see nor name, Felt within us as ourselves, the Powers of Grey

the Powers of Ill, Strowing balm or shedding poison in the lo !

tains of the will. Follow you the star that lights a desert font

way, yours or mine, Forward, till you see the Highest Humans

ture is divine. Follow Light, and do the Right-for mais

half-control his doomTill you find the deathless Angel seated in

vacant tomb. Forward, let the stormy moment fly and mic

with the past. I that loathed have come to love him. I

will conquer at the last. Gone at eighty, mine own age, and I and you

will bear the pall; Then I leave thee lord and master, latest i"

of Locksley Hall.

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THE THROSTLE (Included in Demeter and Other Poems, "Summer is coming, summer is coming.

I know it, I know it, I know it.
Light again, leaf again, life again, love son

Yes, my wild little Poet.
Sing the new year in under the blue.

Last year you sang it as gladly. “New, new, new, new!” Is it then so Dex

That you should carol so madly? “Love again, song again, nest again, F.

again," Never a prophet so crazy! And hardly a daisy as yet, little friend,

See, there is hardly a daisy.

260

.

Here to-night! the Hall to-morrow, when they

toll the chapel bell! Shall I hear in one dark room a wailing, “I

have loved thee well?

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Who gave me the goods that went since?
Who raised me the house that sank once?
Who helped me to gold I spent since?
Who found me in wine you drank once?

Chorus
King Charles, and who'll do him right now?
King Charles, and who's ripe for fight now?
Give a rouse: here's, in hell's despite now,
King Charles!

MY LAST DUCHESS"

FERRARA (From Dramatic Lyrics, 1842) That's my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now; Frà Pandolf's hand Worked busily a day, and there she stands.

1 The Duke in this poem, like Browning's Bishop who ordered “his tomb at St. Praxed's Church." is a characteristic product of the Italy of the Renaissance. He exemplifies Browning's favorite doctrine that we are not saved by taste, and that a fine appreciation of art and letters is by no means incompatible with a small, ignoble, and worldly nature.

2 An imaginary artist, as is Claus of Innsbruck.

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