Maiden Ecstasy

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Chatto & Windus, Piccadilly, 1880 - English poetry - 136 pages
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Page 87 - ... leaves are crisp and dry, And hop like famished sparrows o'er the grass ; When murky streams, turned noiselessly awry, Round little icebergs pass ; When hungry winds creep stealthily along And paw the shivering rushes, — wooded dale Hears not the Maid of Song ; Mute in the silence of the nightingale. But when the passage birds of Spring Burst like warm winds into the melting wood, That thaws to hanging verdure while they sing To earn love's livelihood, "Tis then the joyous Maid of Song reveals...
Page 87 - The Shepherdess.' The opening stanzas of ' The Maid of Song ' will show the poet's sympathy with outward nature, his line sense of allegorical fitness, and his easy command of rich, expressive melody. When Autumn leaves are crisp and dry, And hop like famished sparrows o'er the grass ; When murky streams, turned noiselessly awry, Round little icebergs pass ; When hungry winds creep stealthily along And paw the shivering rushes, — wooded dale Hears not the Maid of Song ; Mute in the silence of...
Page 63 - ... Cold is she in the gust Whose vulture-sweep whirls o'er her lover's mound ; That blows about the autumnal dust ; That has a pausing sound ; And she can trace it from its furthest bourne To where it stops, and where the dust it lays ; Yet does it journey but to mourn While at her heart it stays. The world's so busy stir Is like a past ; the sound of wedding-bells Has some lost meaning, and to her Of former being tells, Where love once found in memory a home, Distant as now the soul from infant...
Page 63 - ... for sighs the smiles of all her years, And, not yet sad, a serious morrow teach. Consider, again, the extreme tenderness — the utterances that come as from bated breath and with brimming eyes — of these stanzas descriptive of ' The Heart-Broken ' : — Cold is she in the gust Whose vulture-sweep whirls o'er her lover's mound ; That blows about the autumnal dust ; That has a pausing sound ; And she can trace it from its furthest bourne To where it stops, and where the dust it lays ; Yet does...
Page 49 - ... In this way, one speedily comes to appreciate the author's grasp of his catastrophe and the thorough and satisfying close of his study. As an example of effective climax, take this of ' The Visionary,' whose enthusiasm had led her to feel that she was looking into Paradise through the sunlight : — While yet her spirit climbed the dizzy height Step after step into eternal day, Her eyes seemed watchful of the guiding light Till glistened one last ray, When, resting in the solemn vault of night,...
Page 106 - ... following of psychological detail, great success in grappling with grave and even (as in the ' Actress') terrible issues, and singular concentration and selfcommand. Take the following from ' The Lost Angel ' as a specimen of effective description reached by very simple yet ingenious combinations : — She springs to maidenhood As a bright arrow skyward darts, And, while she learns o'er earnest thoughts to brood, Her early dream departs. Things that have life without its cares, The enticing flower,...
Page 34 - And, as a nymph from out the billow leaps, From her soul's fount she springs. Draped in her gossamer, where'er she goes A pliant fold her inmost grace repeats, While at her heart burns red the panting rose That on her bosom beats; But not the eyelash flame that hidden glows...
Page 33 - On tiptoe poised amid a world of Song, As though sweet sounds allured her to the chase, She steps into the dance and threads a throng Of limbs that dazzle space, Till music drops, and the tired notes among She triumphs in the race. As one whose heart o'erruns the pregnant chords Of the soul's tongue, so glides the dancing girl When passion's flood in music's steps she fords With nimble, circling swirl Of limb more fluent than the flow of words, As dizzily they whirl.

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