The Hundred Best English Poems

The Hundred Best English Poems

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ANONYMOUS. 1. Madrigal. Love not me for comely grace,For my pleasing eye or face;Nor for any outward part,No, nor for my constant heart:For those may fail or turn to ill,So thou and I shall sever:Keep therefore a true woman's eye,And love me still, but know not why;So hast thou the same reason stillTo doat upon me ever. 1609 Edition.

MATTHEW ARNOLD. 2. The Forsaken Merman. Come, dear children, let us away;Down and away below.Now my brothers call from the bay;Now the great winds shorewards blow;Now the salt tides seawards flow;Now the wild white horses play,Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.Children dear, let us away.This way, this way. Call her once before you go.Call once yet.In a voice that she will know:"Margaret! Margaret!"Children's voices should be dear(Call once more) to a mother's ear:Children's voices, wild with pain.Surely she will come again.Call her once and come away.This way, this way."Mother dear, we cannot stay."The wild white horses foam and fret.Margaret! Margaret! Come, dear children, come away down.Call no more.One last look at the white-wall'd town,And the little grey church on the windy shore.Then come down.She will not come though you call all day.Come away, come away. Children dear, was it yesterdayWe heard the sweet bells over the bay?In the caverns where we lay,Through the surf and through the swell,The far-off sound of a silver bell?Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep,Where the winds are all asleep;Where the spent lights quiver and gleam;Where the salt weed sways in the stream;Where the sea-beasts rang'd all roundFeed in the ooze of their pasture-ground;Where the sea-snakes coil and twine,Dry their mail and bask in the brine;Where great whales come sailing by,Sail and sail, with unshut eye,Round the world for ever and aye?When did music come this way?Children dear, was it yesterday? Children dear, was it yesterday(Call yet once) that she went away?Once she sate with you and me,On a red gold throne in the heart of the sea,And the youngest sate on her knee.She comb'd its bright hair, and she tended it well,When down swung the sound of the far-off bell.She sigh'd, she look'd up through the clear green sea.She said; "I must go, for my kinsfolk prayIn the little grey church on the shore to-day.'Twill be Easter-time in the world—ah me!And I lose my poor soul, Merman, here with thee."I said; "Go up, dear heart, through the waves.Say thy prayer, and come back to the kind sea-caves."She smil'd, she went up through the surf in the bay.Children dear, was it yesterday? Children dear, were we long alone?"The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan.Long prayers," I said, "in the world they say.Come," I said, and we rose through the surf in the bay.We went up the beach, by the sandy downWhere the sea-stocks bloom, to the white-wall'd town.Through the narrow pav'd streets, where all was still,To the little grey church on the windy hill.From the church came a murmur of folk at their prayers,But we stood without in the cold blowing airs.We climb'd on the graves, on the stones, worn with rains,And we gaz'd up the aisle through the small leaded panes.She sate by the pillar; we saw her clear:"Margaret, hist! come quick, we are here....