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"The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfils himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world. Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me?
I have lived my life, and that which I have done May He within himself make pure! but thou, If thou shouldst never see my face again, Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice Rise like a fountain for me night and day. For what are men better than sheep or goats That nourish a blind life within the brain, If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
For so the whole round earth is every way Bound by gold chains about the feet of God. But now farewell. I am going a long way With these thou seest — if indeed I go — (For all my mind is clouded with a doubt) To the island-valley of the Avilion;Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow, Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
Deep-meadowed, happy, fair with orchard-lawns And bowery hollows crowned with summer sea, Where I will heal me of my grievous wound."
So said he, and the barge with oar and sail Moved from the brink, like some full-breasted swan, That, fluting a wild carol ere her death, Ruffles her pure cold plume, and takes the flood With swarthy webs. Long stood Sir Bedivere Revolving many memories, till the hull Looked one black dot against the verge of dawn, And on the meer the wailing died away.
Here ended Hall, and our last light, that long Had winked and threatened darkness, flared and fell; At which the Parson, sent to sleep with sound, And waked with silence, grunted " Good!" but we Sat rapt: it was the tone with which he read — Perhaps some modern touches here and there Redeemed 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 smouldered log, That sent a blast of sparkles up the flue:
And so to bed; where yet in sleep I seemed
THE GARDENER'S DAUGHTER;
This morning is the morning of the day
My Eustace might have sat for Hercules;
To me myself, for some three careless moons,