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Airy, fairy Lilian,

Flitting, fairy Lilian,
When I ask her if she love me,
Claps her tiny hands above me,

Laughing all she can;
She '11 not tell me if she love me,

Cruel little Lilian.

When my passion seeks Pleasance in love-sighs, She, looking through and through me Thoroughly to undo me, Smiling, never speaks: So innocent-arch, so cunning-simple, From beneath her gathered wimple

Glancing with black-beaded eyes, Till the lightning laughters dimple The baby-roses in her cheeks; Then away she flies.

Prithee weep, May Lilian!
Gayety without eclipse

Wearieth me, May Lilian: Through my very heart it thrilleth

When from crimson-threaded lips Silver-treble laughter trilleth:

Prithee weep, May Lilian.

Praying all I can,
If prayers will not hush thee,

Airy Lilian,
Like a rose-leaf I will crush thee,

Fairy Lilian.


Eyes not down-dropt nor over-bright, but fed
With the clear-pointed flame of chastity,
Clear without heat, undying, tended by

Pure vestal thoughts in the translucent fane
Of her still spirit; locks not wide dispread,
Madonna-wise on either side her head;
Sweet lips whereon perpetually did reign
The summer calm of golden charity,
Were fixed shadows of thy fixed mood,

Revered Isabel, the crown and head, The stately flower of female fortitude,

Of perfect wifehood and pure lowlihead.

The intuitive decision of a bright
And thorough-edged intellect to part

Error from crime; a prudence to withhold;

The laws of marriage charactered in gold
Upon the blanched tablets of her heart;
A love still burning upward, giving light
To read those laws; an accent very low
In blandishment, but a most silver flow

Of subtle-paced counsel in distress,
Right to the heart and brain, though undescned,

Winning its way with extreme gentleness
Through all the outworks of suspicious pride;
A courage to endure and to obey;
A hate of gossip parlance, and of sway,
Crowned Isabel, through all her placid life,
The queen of marriage, a most perfect wife.

The mellowed reflex of a winter moon;
A clear stream flowing with a muddy one,
Till in its onward current it absorbs With swifter movement and in purer light
The vexed eddies of its wayward brother:
A leaning and upbearing parasite,
Clothing the stem, which else had fallen quite,
With clustered flower-bells and ambrosial orbs

Of rich fruit-bunches leaning on each other —
Shadow forth thee:— the world hath not another

(Though all her fairest forms are types of thee,

And thou of God in thy great charity)

Of such a finished chastened purity.

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