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Sydney Thompson Dobell

Epigram On The Death Of Edward Forbes

NATURE, a jealous mistress, laid him low.
He woo’d and won her; and, by love made bold,
She show’d him more than mortal man should know,
Then slew him lest her secret should be told.

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Epitaph II

On The Death of Edward Forbes

Nature, a jealous mistress, laid him low.
He woo'd and won her; and, by love made bold,
She showed him more than mortal man should know,
Then slew him lest her secret should be told.

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Epitaph I

On A Portrait Presented To J. Y. Simpson, M.D. (Afterwards Sir James Simpson)

Unto myself my better self you gave.
I give yourself yourself: but ah, my friend,
In how inverse a ratio! To amend
The unjust return these thanks are all I have,
Except a sigh, when that poor 'all' is o'er,
To feel, alas, no less your debtor than before.

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Sleeping And Waking

I Had a dream-I lay upon thy breast,
In that sweet place where we lay long ago:
I thought the morning woodbine to and fro
With playful shadows whipped away my rest,
And in my sleep I cried to thee, too blest,


'Rise, oh my love, the morning sun is bright,
Let us arise, oh love, let us arise;
The flowers awake, the lark is in the skies,
I will array myself in my delight,
And we will-' and I woke to death and night!

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Woe Is Me

Far in the cradling sky,
Dawn opes his baby eye,
Then I awake and cry,
Woe is me!


Morn, the young hunter gay,
Chases the shadows gray,
Then I go forth and say,
Woe is me!


Noon! drunk with oil and wine,
Tho' not a grief is thine,
Yet shalt thou shake with mine!
Woe is me!


Eve kneeleth sad and calm,
Bearing the martyr's palm;

[...] Read more

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On Receiving A Book From Dante Rossetti

Since he is Poet of whom gods ordain
Some most anthropic and perhuman act
Whereby his manhood shall so man his fact
That but his man of man is born again,
And since humanity is most humane,
Not at our pyramid's base, where we have tact
Of dust and supersurge the common tract
Of being, but up there, where form doth reign
To apex, let a Poet ask no fame
But that which, high o'er floods of Life and Death
From singing arks Ararat echoeth
To Ararat, and let him rather be,
Oh Poet, writ on yonder page by thee
Than hear what vulgar breath should make his world-wide name.

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New-Year's Eve

As when at twelve o'clock
Strong January opes the gates of Life
And we that were so cabined and so dark
Within the round tower of the rounded year
Feel the far Spring blown in on us and look
Straight to the primroses, and with the swallow
Skim thro' the dawns of daffodils and up
To bluebell skies, and from the bluebell skies,
Like a wild hawk upon a flight of doves,
Swoop upon June and Paradise, and on
Beyond the bounds of Eden to an Earth
Boss'd with great purples of new-clustered wine
Betwixt the tented harvests red and gold,
And so into a cloud, and know no more--

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Fragment of Ballad

How shall I sing? the thing I crave
To say is speechless as a Lover's trance.
How shall I give to thee
What even now is all so wholly thine
That but by losing thee in me
Or me in thee it never can be mine?


As a sliding wave of sliding sea
Before my following hand doth dance
Ever and ever onward to the shore,
And breaks and is a thousand things at once,
And from the moment's multiplicity
Takes itself up again into a wave:


So all I feel and see
Breaks to the thousand-fold of Fate and Chance,
But from the moment's multiplicity
Takes itself up into the thought of thee.

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Dedicatory

Beauty is One. But that so equal gold,
Run in the apt and kindly difference
Of each receptive and significant sense,
Configures to our many-minded mould.
Therefore, oh Love, though I no more behold
That sometime world where summer eloquence
I saw and spake, (adding nor time nor tense,
But singing forth the silent music old),
Yet walled in winter cities still sing I;
For conscious of thy beauty mere and whole,
The perfect unit of thy face and soul
(Thy face thy soul confest to mortal eye,
Thy soul thy face by new perceptions known),
Thy One becomes my Many. Take thine own.

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Jerusalem

If God so raise the Dead, shall He pass by
The Captive and the immemorable chain?
Fud(ce)a capta!-taken but not slain-
And cursèd not to die-ah, not to die?
Then come out of thine ages, thou art free!
Live but one Greek in old Thermopylæ,
And Greece is saved! Dark stands the Northern Fate
At Europe's open door; upon her nod
To pass that breach a hundred nations wait.
What! shall we meet her with the bayonet?
As the West sets the Sun 'twixt sea and sky
In that Great Gate, Immortal! let us set
Thy doom; quit Destiny with Destiny,
Meet Fate by Fate, and fill the gap with God.

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