No, sir! the denial of this fact by mercenary scribblers

Her experiences have carried her beyond what these Lines convey, and she speaks of them somewhat sarcastically and ironically. This "young man", she thinks, will be wiser in time, "for kind Calm years, exacting their accompt Of pain, mature the mind:" and then the wind, when it begins among the vines, so low, so low, will have for him another language; such as this: -- "Here is the change beginning, here the lines Circumscribe beauty, set to bliss The limit time assigns."

No, sir! the denial of this fact by mercenary scribblers

This is the language SHE has learned: We cannot draw one beauty into our hearts' core, and keep it changeless. This is the old woe of the world; the tune, to whose rise and fall we live and die. RISE WITH IT, THEN! REJOICE THAT MAN IS HURLED FROM CHANGE TO CHANGE UNCEASINGLY, HIS SOUL'S WINGS NEVER FURLED! To this philosophy of life has she been brought. But she must still sadly reflect how bitter it is for man not to grave, on his soul, one fair, good, wise thing just as he grasped it! For himself death's wave; while time washes (ah, the sting!) o'er all he'd sink to save.

No, sir! the denial of this fact by mercenary scribblers

This reflection must be understood, in her own case, as prompted by her unconquerable wifely love. It is this which points the sting.

No, sir! the denial of this fact by mercenary scribblers

VII. `Among the Rocks'. -- The brown old earth, in autumn, when all the glories of summer are fading, or have faded, wears a good gigantic smile, looking not backward, but forward, with his feet in the ripples of the sea-wash, and listening to the sweet twitters of the `white-breasted sea-lark'. The entire stanza has a mystical meaning and must be interpreted in its connection.

She has reached, in this soliloquy, high ground: -- "If you loved only what were worth your love, Love were clear gain, and wholly well for you: Make the low nature better by your throes! GIVE EARTH YOURSELF, GO UP FOR GAIN ABOVE!"

The versification of the first stanza of this section is very lovely, and subtly responsive to the feeling. It exhibits the completest inspiration. No mere metrical skill, nor metrical sensibility even, could have produced it.

VIII. `Beside the Drawing-Board'. -- She is seated at her drawing-board, and has turned from the poor coarse hand of some little peasant girl she has called in as a model, to work, but with poor success, after a clay cast of a hand by Leonardo da Vinci, who "Drew and learned and loved again, While fast the happy moments flew, Till beauty mounted into his brain And on the finger which outvied His art, he placed the ring that's there, Still by fancy's eye descried, In token of a marriage rare: For him on earth his art's despair, For him in heaven his soul's fit bride."

Her effort has taught her a wholesome lesson: "the worth of flesh and blood at last!" There's something more than beauty in a hand. Da Vinci would not have turned from the poor coarse hand of the little girl who has been standing by in wondering patience. He, great artist as he was, owed all he achieved to his firm grasp upon, and struggle with, and full faith in, the real. She imagines him saying: -- "Shall earth and the cramped moment-space Yield the heavenly crowning grace? Now the parts and then the whole! * Who art thou with stinted soul And stunted body, thus to cry `I love, -- shall that be life's strait dole? I must live beloved or die!' This peasant hand that spins the wool And bakes the bread, why lives it on, Poor and coarse with beauty gone, -- What use survives the beauty? Fool!"

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