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In Memoriam A.H.H.

         
            CIII.
             
      On that last night before we went
          From out the doors where I was bred,
          I dream’d a vision of the dead,
      Which left my after-morn content.

      Methought I dwelt within a hall,
          And maidens with me: distant hills
          From hidden summits fed with rills
      A river sliding by the wall.

      The hall with harp and carol rang.
          They sang of what is wise and good
          And graceful. In the centre stood
      A statue veil’d, to which they sang;

      And which, tho’ veil’d, was known to me,
          The shape of him I loved, and love
          For ever: then flew in a dove
      And brought a summons from the sea:

      And when they learnt that I must go
          They wept and wail’d, but led the way
          To where a little shallop lay
      At anchor in the flood below;

      And on by many a level mead,
          And shadowing bluff that made the banks,
          We glided winding under ranks
      Of iris, and the golden reed;

      And still as vaster grew the shore
          And roll’d the floods in grander space,
          The maidens gather’d strength and grace
      And presence, lordlier than before;

      And I myself, who sat apart
          And watch’d them, wax’d in every limb;
          I felt the thews of Anakim,
      The pulses of a Titan’s heart;

      As one would sing the death of war,
          And one would chant the history
          Of that great race, which is to be,
      And one the shaping of a star;

      Until the forward-creeping tides
          Began to foam, and we to draw
          From deep to deep, to where we saw
      A great ship lift her shining sides.

      The man we loved was there on deck,
          But thrice as large as man he bent
          To greet us. Up the side I went,
      And fell in silence on his neck:

      Whereat those maidens with one mind
          Bewail’d their lot; I did them wrong:
          ‘We served thee here’ they said, ‘so long,
      And wilt thou leave us now behind?’

      So rapt I was, they could not win
          An answer from my lips, but he
          Replying, ‘Enter likewise ye
      And go with us:’ they enter’d in.

      And while the wind began to sweep
          A music out of sheet and shroud,
          We steer’d her toward a crimson cloud
      That landlike slept along the deep.
       


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