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First Line: Ah, how the eye on the picture stops
Last Line: Shall it be as I have said?
Subject(s): Gifts & Giving; Life

AH, how the eye on the picture stops
Where the lights of memory shine!
My friend, to thee I will leave the sea,
If only this be mine,
For the thought of the breeze in the tops of the trees
Stirs my blood like wine!

I will leave the sea and leave the ships,
And the light-house, taper and tall,
The bar so low, whence the fishers go,
And the fishers' wives and all,
If thou wilt agree to leave to me
This picture for my wall.

I leave thee all the palaces,
With their turrets in the sky --
The hunting-grounds, the hawks and hounds --
They please nor ear nor eye;
But the sturdy strokes on the sides o' the oaks
Make my pulses fly.

The old cathedral, filling all
The street with its shadow brown,
The organ grand, and the choiring band,
And the priest with his shaven crown;
'T is the wail of the hymn in the wildwood dim,
That bends and bows me down.

The shepherd piping to his flock
In the merry month of the May,
The lady fair with the golden hair,
And the knight so gallant and gay --
For the wood so drear that is pictured here,
I give them all away.

I give the cities and give the sea,
The ships and the bar so low,
And fishers and wives whose dreary lives
Speak from the canvas so;
And for all of these I must have the trees --
The trees on the hills of snow!

And shall we be agreed, my friend?
Shall it stand as I have said?
For the sake of the shade wherein I played,
And for the sake of my dead,
That lie so low on the hills of snow,
Shall it be as I have said?

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