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Enoch Arden, &c.   By: (1809-1892)

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Enoch Arden Aylmer's Field Sea Dreams The Grandmother Northern Farmer Miscellaneous. Tithonus The Voyage In the Valley of Cauteretz The Flower Requiescat The Sailor Boy The Islet The Ringlet A Welcome to Alexandra Ode sung at the Opening of the International Exhibition A Dedication Experiments. Boadicea In Quantity Specimen of a Translation of the Iliad in Blank Verse


Long lines of cliff breaking have left a chasm; And in the chasm are foam and yellow sands; Beyond, red roofs about a narrow wharf In cluster; then a moulder'd church; and higher A long street climbs to one tall tower'd mill; And high in heaven behind it a gray down With Danish barrows; and a hazelwood, By autumn nutters haunted, flourishes Green in a cuplike hollow of the down.

Here on this beach a hundred years ago, Three children of three houses, Annie Lee, The prettiest little damsel in the port, And Philip Ray the miller's only son, And Enoch Arden, a rough sailor's lad Made orphan by a winter shipwreck, play'd Among the waste and lumber of the shore, Hard coils of cordage, swarthy fishing nets, Anchors of rusty fluke, and boats updrawn, And built their castles of dissolving sand To watch them overflow'd, or following up And flying the white breaker, daily left The little footprint daily wash'd away.

A narrow cave ran in beneath the cliff: In this the children play'd at keeping house. Enoch was host one day, Philip the next, While Annie still was mistress; but at times Enoch would hold possession for a week: 'This is my house and this my little wife.' 'Mine too' said Philip 'turn and turn about:' When, if they quarrell'd, Enoch stronger made Was master: then would Philip, his blue eyes All flooded with the helpless wrath of tears, Shriek out 'I hate you, Enoch,' and at this The little wife would weep for company, And pray them not to quarrel for her sake, And say she would be little wife to both.

But when the dawn of rosy childhood past, And the new warmth of life's ascending sun Was felt by either, either fixt his heart On that one girl; and Enoch spoke his love, But Philip loved in silence; and the girl Seem'd kinder unto Philip than to him; But she loved Enoch; tho' she knew it not, And would if ask'd deny it. Enoch set A purpose evermore before his eyes, To hoard all savings to the uttermost, To purchase his own boat, and make a home For Annie: and so prosper'd that at last A luckier or a bolder fisherman, A carefuller in peril, did not breathe For leagues along that breaker beaten coast Than Enoch. Likewise had he served a year On board a merchantman, and made himself Full sailor; and he thrice had pluck'd a life From the dread sweep of the down streaming seas: And all me look'd upon him favorably: And ere he touch'd his one and twentieth May He purchased his own boat, and made a home For Annie, neat and nestlike, halfway up The narrow street that clamber'd toward the mill.

Then, on a golden autumn eventide, The younger people making holiday, With bag and sack and basket, great and small, Went nutting to the hazels. Philip stay'd (His father lying sick and needing him) An hour behind; but as he climb'd the hill, Just where the prone edge of the wood began To feather toward the hollow, saw the pair, Enoch and Annie, sitting hand in hand, His large gray eyes and weather beaten face All kindled by a still and sacred fire, That burn'd as on an altar. Philip look'd, And in their eyes and faces read his doom; Then, as their faces drew together, groan'd, And slipt aside, and like a wounded life Crept down into the hollows of the wood; There, while the rest were loud in merrymaking, Had his dark hour unseen, and rose and past Bearing a lifelong hunger in his heart... Continue reading book >>

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