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Red leaves and roses : poems / by Madison Cawein. Cawein, Madison Julius, 1865-1914. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-184-30604794 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Red leaves and roses : poems / by Madison Cawein. Cawein, Madison Julius, 1865-1914. G.P. Putnam, London ; New York : 1893. vi, 205 p. ; 16 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04378.04 KUK) Printing Master B92-184. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. RED LEAVES AND ROSES voems BEY MADISON CAWEIN AUTHOR OF "LYRICS AND IDYLS, X DAYS AND DREAMS," "' MOODS AND MEMORIES, ETC. G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS NEW YORK LONDON 27 West Twenty-third St. 24 Bedford Street, Strand Zbe tnfcherbocker Vress I 893 COPYRIGHT, 189g3 BY MADISON CAWEIN Printed and Bound by Zbe 1knickerbochcr jPress, Slew pLorh G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS 'To MY MOTHER PR OEM. OH, si al Ising of joy I only Remember as departedJoy Of life once glad that now is lonely Of love a treasure, no0w a toly Of grief, regret but makes the keener, Of longing disappointment mzars These wvill I sing-, and sit serene- Than song among the stars. Or shall I sing of faith once spoken Of vows heart-happy once with tears Of prom ised faith and vows long broken One hath remembered many years Of truth, the false but leaves the truer, Of trust, the doubt makes doubley sure - These will I sing, the noble doer Whose dauntless heart is utre. I will not sing of time mnade hateful, Of hope that only clings to hate; Of charity now grown ungrateful, And pi ide that cannot stand and wvait.- Of humbleness care hat/i imiparted, Of resignation born of ills, These will I sing, and stand high-hearted As hope upon the hills. Once on a throne of gold and scarlet I touched a chord and felt it break; I dreamed I zw'as a king-a varlet A king's amusement left to vwake.- Now on a star Gy longing lingers, While on a tomb I lean and read, And write with eager soul and fingers That life may give me heed. lv CONTENTS. Red Leaves and Roses Wild-Thorn and Lily The Idyl of the Standing-Stone Some Summer Days An Epic of South-Fork A Niello, Wreckage Hieroglyphs Siren Sands At the Lane's End Deep in the Forest One Night . The Elixir of Love The Spell . . . The Return The Letter . Wounded . . The Parting . The Daughter of the Snow Hildegard Urganda . . The Son of Evrawc Torquemada . . An Episode . . The Mameluke . . . The Slave . . . . PAGE .I 7 38 . 47 J 55 66 70 78 87 93 I15 . 123 125 . . . . 127 , . . . 129 131 . ' , I33 . , 136 . '39 . . . . I'43 . . I 157 , . . . i63 . . . . i66 . . , . i68 V CON TENTS. The Seven Devils of Mahomet John Davis, Boucanier Thamus Adventurers Voyagers America The Ocklawaha . The Minorcan The Spring in Florida Strategy The Whippoorwill Satan Sic Vos Non Vobis Once Resignation After Rain . Peace PAGE I70 172 176 I79 I80 I182 , . . i84 . . 189 I9I 193 '95 . . 1i96 198 200 202 . 205 vi RED LEAVES AND ROSES. I. A ND he had lived such loveless years That suffering had made him wise; And she had known no truer tears Than those of girlhood's eyes. And he, perhaps, had loved before- One who had wed one who had died So life for him had been but poor In love for which he sighed. In years and love she was so young Youth paused and beckoned at the gate, And bade her list love's birds that sung; She said that love should wait. One understood. One only knew The fields were faded, skies were gray, Nor saw the sad rose autumn blew There in her heedless May. I1 RED LEA VES AND ROSES. II. If he had come to her when May Danced down the wildwood,-every way Marked with white flowers, as if her gown Had torn and fallen,-it might be She had not met him with a frown, Nor used such love so bitterly. Or if he had but come when June Set stars and roses to one tune, And breathed in honeysuckle throats Clove-honey of her spicy mouth, His soul had found some sunny notes In hers to cheer the cloudy South. He came when Fall made mad the sky, And on the hills leapt like a cry Of battle; when the leaves were dead; To find a dreamy blonde in white, Thrust in whose hair one rose, blood-red, Glowed like the Summer's heart of light. He might have known, since leaves were blown, And in the woods great weeds were grown; Since nearing Winter wrecked the world, How love like his would seem absurd To her whose sinless lip had curled, Yet heard him to his latest word. 2 RED LEA VES AND ROSES. Still he was humble, and denied His tongue that instant's flush of pride, For he remembered how the gray Held heaven and earth, alas! and knew She wore the colors of the May, And to the May her heart was true. And so he left her: and the bud In her deep hair-one drop of blood Out of his life to weaken him:_ Again (the poison of his pain), Poppy, for her to crush and brim A goblet with, that he must drain. III. "Such days as these," one said, and bent Among the marigolds, all dew, And dripping zinnia stems, " are sent Out of the days our childhood knew; And it is these endearing those, So dearer now they are grown old Days, once imperfect with the rose, Sufficient with the marigold." "Such days as these," one said, and gazed Long with unlifted eyes that held Sad autumn nights, " our hopes have raised In futures that are mist-enspelled. 3 RED LEAVES AND ROSES. And so it is the fog blows in Days dearer through the death they paint One hard surrendering of sin One long ability to saint." IV. Gold deeds of hearts that have not kept Rare riches as a miser, when Pale lips have writhed and eyes have wept Among the toiling tribes of men, Each summer day gave man sweet alms Of silver in white lilies, while Each night, with healing, outstretched palms Stood Christlike with its starry smile. Will she remember this when dull Months drag their sadder hours by, With feet that crush the beautiful And leave the beautiful to die Or never see nor sit with lost Dreams withered 'mid the empty husks, And wait, neglectful of the frost, In dead delusions of the dusks V. He is as one who, treading salty scurf Of lonely sea-sands, hears the roaring rocks 4 RED LEAVES AND ROSES. Of some lost isle of misty crags and lochs; Who sees no sea, but, through a world of surf, Gray ghosts of gulls and screaming petrel flocks When from the deep's white ruin and wild wreck, Above the fog, beneath the ghostly gull, The iron ribs of some storm-shattered hull Loonms, packed with pirate treasure to the deck A century rotten: feels his wealth replete, When long-baulked ocean claims it; and one dull Wave flings derisive at despondent feet A skull, one doubloon rattling in the skull. VI. And when full Autumn sets the dahlia stems On fire with flowers, and the chill dew turns The maple trees, above geranium urns, To Emir tents, and strings with flawless gems The moon-flower and the wahoo-bush that burns; Calmly she sees the year grow sad and strange, And stands with one among the wilted walks Of the gray garden of the stern stone grange, And feels no sorrow for the frost-maimed stalks Since-though the wailing Autumn by her walks- Youth marks swift Spring on life's far mountain- range. Or she will lean to her old harpsichord; A youthful face beside her; and the glow 5 6 RED LEA VES AND ROSES. Of hickory on the hearth will baulk the blow Of blustering rain that beats the casement hard And sing of Summer and so thwart the snow. "Haply, some day, she yet may sit alone," He thinks, " within the shadow-saddened house, When on the gables stormy echoes moani, And in the closet gnaws the lonesome mouse And Memory come stealing down the stair From dusty attics where is piled the Past- Like so much rubbish that we hate to keep- And turn the knob; and, framed in frosty hair, A grave forgotten face look in at last, And she will know, and bow her head and weep." RED LEA VES A ND ROSES. WILD-THORN AND LILY. I. T HAT night, returning to the farm, we rode Before a storm. Uprolling from the west, Incessant with distending fire, loomed The multitudes of tempest ; towering, here A shadowy Shasta, there a cloudy Hood, Veined agonies of gold aurora-born Sierras of the storm. Vibrating on, Low rumblings of the thunder far away; The opening welkin shone one livid sheet, And all the firmament hung hewn with fire; Then leapt the thunder; and it seemed that hosts Of Heaven rushed to war with blazing shields And swords of splendor. Through the driven trees The large drops fell around us as we rode Along the locust avenue. And she- Was it the lightning that made weariness Of her dim countenance or memory With the regret, that, now the thing was done, A yearning fell upon her to be free, Because she loved him better than she knew, And must look backward on a barrier That intervening months had built between The possible and impossible God knows! . . 7 WILD- THORN A ND LIL Y. Yet, I had won her honestly with words Love only uttered out of its soul's truth, Her, when engaged to Julien. What else Had led us to elopement Well ; 't was done, The whole, mad, lovely, miserable affair. Who would avoid the consequence Not I " Since she is only woman, I am man, Strong with the fixed determination to Bear all the blame and burthen willingly." Scarce had we entered when high Heaven oped Vast gates of gold and doors of booming brass That dammed a deluge, and the deluge poured.- I thought of him then; for I felt that she Was thinking hard of Julien and his moods; My school friend Julien, whom she once had won To so believe she loved, and- Well! my play Was open as the morning, and as fair. His poverty and genius here, and here My wealth and platitude; and I had won. But it was hard for him. I did not dream That it would end so. And when Gwendolyn Used every tenderness-and that is much- I did not dream his easy temperament Were so effected of a wrong or right; His character, intensely sensitive, Would fall into extremes of morbidness, And egoism. Far different my own, Whose vigorous iron should not bend, but break 8 WILD- THORN AN AD LILFY. At one decisive blow: his should have sprung Elastic as fine-tempered steel that bends And so resumes its usual usefulness . . . A wan smile strained the corners of her mouth When from the porch into the parlor's blaze I led her. And her mother met us there, ifer mother and her father. And I saw The slow reflection of their happiness Gain in her eyes, as their approval grew From half-severe rebukes that were well meant. She had done well, and we were soon forgiven. But I resumed his letter when alone; His letter written her three months before. She had not read, and never should behold. I would not let the dead scrawl mar and soil My late-won joy, my testament of love. No ! I should read it, and I would destroy. Thoughts made of music for a last farewell, When he knew all and asked her to perpend Expressions of past things her gift of love Had given speech to in the happy days. And so I read II. "The rhyme is mine, but yours The thought and all the music, springing from The rareness of the love that dawned on me A little while to make my sad life glad. 9 WILD- THORN AND LILY. Should I regret the sunset it refused, Since all my morn was richer than the world Or that my day should stride without a change Of crimson, or of purple, or of gold, Into the barren blackness where the moon And all God's stars lay dead Should I complain, Upbraid or censure or one moment curse, I with my morning 'T is a memory That stains the midnight now: one wild-rose ray Laid like a finger pointing me the path I follow, and I go rejoicingly. Our love was very young (nor had it aged- If we had lived long lifetimes-once in me), When one day, strolling in the sun, you spoke Words I perceived should hint a coming change: I made three stanzas of the thought, you see; But now 't is like the sea-shell that suggests, And will associate us with the sea In its vague song and elfland workmanship. Yet it has lost a something that it had There by the far sand's foaming; something rare, A different beauty like an element: I wonder on what life will do When love is loser of all love; When life still longs to love anew And has not love enough:- I '11 turn my heart into a ray, And wait a day. to WILD-THORN AND LILY. I wonder on what love will hold When life is weary of all life; And life and love have both grown old W\Vith scars of sin and strife:- I '11 change my soul into a flower, And wait an hour. I wonder on why men forget The life that love made laugh; and why Weak women will remember yet The life that love made sigh: I '11 sing my thought into a song, And wait how long III, "And once you questioned of our mocking-bird, And of the German nightingale, and I, Knowing a sweeter bird than those sweet two, Made fast associates of birds and brooks And learned their numbers. Middle April made The path of lilac leading to your porch A rift of fallen Paradise ; a blue So full of fragrance that the birds that built Among the lilacs thought that God was there, And of God's goodness they would sing and sing, Till each new note led to diviner song. And waiting by the gate, that reached the lane, For you who gave sweet eloquence to all, The sunset and the lilacs and the spring, My heart was singing and it sang of you: IOI WILD-THORN AND LILY. Two glowworms are the jewels in Her ears, and underneath her chin A diamond like a firefly: There is no starlight in the sky When Gwendolyn stands in the maze Of woodbine of the portico, For all the stars are in her gaze, The night and stars I know. A clinging dream of haze the lawn She wears ; and like a bit of dawn Her fan with one red jewel pinned Among the boughs there breathes no wind When Gwendolyn comes down the path Of lilac from the portico, For all the breeze her coming hath, The beam and breeze I know. Two locust-blooms her hands, and slips Of eglantine her cheeks and lips, Her hair a hyacinth of gloom: The balmy buds give no perfume When Gwendolyn draws near to me, The gate beyond the portico, For all sweet essences is she, The fragrance that I know. Life, love, and faith are in her face, And in her presence sleep's soft grace; Her speech is my religion,-word Of God I hear ;-no mocking-bird, I2 WILD- THORN AND LIL Y. When Gwendolyn is by, may float One bubble from the portico, For all the birds nest in her throat, The song-birds that I know. IV. "The mocking-bird! And then weird fancy filled My soul with vision, and I saw a song Pursue a bird that was no bird-a voice Concealed in dim expressions of the Spring,- Who sits among the forests and the hills, With dark-blue eyes that muse upon the flowers,- Where we strolled anxious as the April hills: The sunbeam, all the day that fell Upon the fountain, Like laughter gurgling in the dell Below the mountain, Drank, with its sparkle, one by one The water words that seemed to run A melody,-the sunrays tell,- That never yet was done. The moonray, on the rocks that lay Where silence dallies, Where Echo haunts the wilder way Among the valleys, The livelong night upon the rocks Hung, hid among girl Echo's locks, 13 WILD-THORN AND LILY. To steal her voice,-the moonbeams say,- That mocks and only mocks. The shadow, lain where shadows meet Beneath the roses And thorns-the bitter and the sweet That life discloses,- Hugged with the rose-balm and the dew The crimson thorns that pierced it through; The mad unrest,-the shades repeat,- That now is false, now true. A fairy found the beam of gold, And ray of glitter; The shadow whose dark bosom's fold Held sweet and bitter; And made a bird beneath the thorn, Dark gray to haunt the night and morn, A voice of laughter,-it is told,- Love, mockery, and scorn. V. "Among the white haw-blossoms, where the creek Droned under drifts of dogwood and of haw, The red-bird, like a crimson blossom blown Against the snow-white bosom of the Spring, The chaste confusion of her lawny breast, Sang on, prophetic of serener days, As confident as June's completer hours. 14 WILD-THORN AND LILY. And I stood listening like a hind, who hears A wood-nymph breathing in a forest flute Among gray beeches of myth-haunted ways: And when it ceased, the memory of the air Blew like a syrinx in my brain: I made A lyric of the notes that men might know: Fly out with flirt and fluting- As flies a falling star From flaming star-beds shooting,- From where the roses are. Wing past, and sing me seven Songs of faint fragrances White sylphs have breathed in heaven, Or what such sweetness is. Sing on ! each burning feather Thrill, throbbing at thy throat; A song of glowworm weather, And of a firefly boat: Of red morns and a princess Who, changed to a perfume, Hid where yon lily winces, Or where yon roses bloom. No bird calls half so airy, No bird of dusk or dawn, O masking King of Fairy, 0 red-crowned Oberon! s5 WILD-THORN AND LILY. VI. Alas ! the nightingale I never heard. Yet I, remembering how your voice would thrill Me with exalted expectation, felt The placid-throated nightingale would win Into my soul in some soft way like this: Presentiments of nights that match the flowers With the prompt stars and wed them with a song. Of such, love whispered me when deep in dreams, I made my nightingale. It is a voice Heard in the April of our year of love Between the stars and roses There lies a summer-haunted lea, Where every breeze that blows is Another melody; Where every bud that pineth, Except the rose, divineth Each star is but a bee, Or golden moth that shineth. The star and rose are wiser Than all but love beneath the skies, For they are what the skies are And love hath made them wise No bee may hum and rifle, No moon-moth come and stifle, The love that never dies, The love that will not trifle. x6 WILD-THORN AND LILY. There is a bird that carries Song messages; and comes and goes 'Tween every star that tarries And every rose that blows: A bird that will not tire, Whose throat 's a throbbing lyre To sing each star a rose, And every rose a fire. VII. "0 Maytime woods! 0 MaytiIne lanes and hours How should she know But often of a night Beside the path where woodbine odors blew Between the drowsy eyelids of the dusk,- When, like a swarm of pearly moths, the moon Hung silvering long windows of her room,- I stood among the shrubs. The dark house slept. I looked and listened, for-I know not what . Some tremor of her gown: a velvet leaf's Unfolding to caresses of the spring; A rustle of her footstep ; like the dew That rolls avowal from a tulip's lips That burn with scarlet ; or the whispered word Of something lovelier than new leaf or dew- The word young lips half murmur in a dream: Serene with sleep light visions load her eyes, And underneath her window blooms a quince. The night is a sultana who doth rise 17 WIL D- THORN AND LIL Y. In slippered caution to admit a prince, Who her black eunuchs and her lord defies. I dream that dreams besiege her, while the breeze Pelts me with petals of the quince and lifts The Balm-of-Gilead buds, and seems to squeeze Aroma on aroma through sweet rifts Of Eden, dripping through the rainy trees. Along the path the buckeye trees begin To heap their hills of blossoms. Oh, that they Grew Romeo ladders where her windows win The moonlight and the odor-that must pray About her soul-so I might enter in! A dream, to see the balsam scent erase Its dim intrusion ; and the starry night Conclude majestic pomp ; the virgin grace Of every bud abashed before the white, Pure passion-flower of her innocent face! VIII. "And once, in early May, a brush-bird sang Among the garden bushes; and you asked If the suave song stayed knocking at my heart. I smiled some answer, and, behold, that night Found that my heart had locked this fancy in: Rain, rain and a ribbon of song Uncurled where the blossoms are sprinkled I18 WILD- THORN AND LILY. The brush-sparrow sings, and I long For the silver-sweet throat, that has tinkled, To sing in the bloom and the rain, Sing again, and again, and again, Under my window pane. Rain, rain and the trickling tips Of the million pink blooms of the quinces; And I hear the song rill from her lips, The lute-haunted lips of my princess: O girl in the rain and the bloom, Sing again in the pelting perfume, Sweetheart, under my room! Rain, rain and the dripping of drops From the cups of the blossoms they load, or Leave laughing, on tipsiest tops; And eyes of the sunbeam and odor: There, under the bloom-blowing tree, A face like a flower to see, Love is looking at me. Ix. "Once in the village I had heard a song, A melody that I would bring and sing If such amused you. But, among your hills, Majestic sunsets and the serious stars Made discord of its words, that seemed as stale As musty parlors where the village moped. I9 WILD-THORN AND LILY. Look, lovely eyes, and let me know The timid flower, her love hath cherished, Fades not before the fruit shall show, Seen in the pure truth of your glow Whence all distrust hath perished, Lift, winsome lips, and let me take The sacred whisper of her spirit To mine in kisses, that shall make Mute marriage of our souls, and wake High faith that shall inherit. x. "And so I wrote another filled with birds, Deliberate twilight and eve's punctual star And made the music of that song obey The metre of my own and melody: Only to hear that you love me, Only to feel it is true Stars and the gloaming above me, I in the gloaming with you. Staining through violet fire A twilight of poppy and gold, Red as a heart with desire, Rich with a secret untold. Deep where the shadow is doubled, Deep where the blossoms are long, 20 WILD- THORN AND LILY. 21 Listen !-deep love in the bubbled Breath of a mocking-bird's song. Dearest, to know you are dearer, Drawing the skies from afar ! . . . Stars and the heavens the nearer By but one maiden-my star. XI. "Confronted with the certainty that I Had no approval but my prompting hope's, Who had not dreaded disappointment there! The shadow of a heart's unformed denial, That should take form and soon confirm the doubt ! The doubt that would content itself with this: If I might hold her by the hand,- Her hands so like the hands of Peace,- Her heart would hear and understand My heart's demand, And all her idling cease. If she would let my eyes look in Her eyes with all the look of Truth, Her soul might see how mine would win Her, without sin, In all her lovely youth. If I might kiss her mouth, and lead The kiss up to her eyes and hair, WILD-THORN AND LILY. There is no prayer that so could plead,- And find sure heed,- My love's divine despair. XII. And uninstructed smiled and wrote ' despair.' Severe, yet eager of the shade that should Some day come stealing through my silent door To sit unbidden through the lonely hours.- But now 't was summer, and all living things, The lowly flowers and the common bees, Became divine interpreters for me: Say that he cannot tell her how he loves her,- Words of much adoration often fail,- When but a lock that loosens, glove that gloves her, Clothe her coy femininity in mail. So many humble wisdoms to express what The language of devotion is denied; Ambassadors to make the woman guess what Her heart's surrendered fortress hath defied. A bird to bruit his bashfulness-perpend him! A bee to lisp the secret that is she; His pure appeal the blossom to defend him . . Resistless pleaders, bird and bloom and bee. 22 WVILD-THORN AND LILY. XIII. "So was my love acknowledged. For I thought You loved me as love led me to believe: And then, no matter where I walked or went Among, the hills, the woods, or quiet fields, All had a poetry so intimate, So happy and so ready that for me 'T was but to stoop and gather as I went, As one goes reaching roses in the June. Three withered wvild ones that I gathered then I send you now. Their scent and bloom are dust: I. What wild flower shows perfection As perfect as thy features are, I leave to the election Of each deciding star Wild morning-glory or (who knows ) Wild phlox, wild snowdrop or wild rose XWhat cascade hath suspicion Of sparkle such as eyes like these, I leave to the decision Of each proclaiming breeze The wind that kisses buds awake, And rolls the ripple on the lake. What bird shall sing the naming Of all the music that thou art, 23 WILD-THORN AND LILY. I leave to the proclaiming Of my electing heart: My heart, whose love is as thy soul An infinite, adoring whole. 2. What witch then hast thou met, Who wrought this amulet The charm that makes each look, love, A bud that blows; Thy face an open book, love, Whose language is the rose, Than wisdom wiser yet. What fairy of the wood, To whom thou once wast good, Gave thee this gift - Thy words, love, Should be pure gold; Thy voice as singing birds, love, Out of the Mays of old, Whom love hath still pursued. What goblin of the glade This white enchantment made, That haunts thy maiden presence As might the moon; Thy throat's, thy hand's white essence Of starlight soft with June Upon a cool cascade 24 WILD-THORN AND LILY. What wizard of the cave Hath made my soul thy slave To dream of thee when sleeping, And when awake My anxious spirit keeping 'Neath spells that will not break, Until thy love shall save! 3. Dear, (though given conclusion to), Songs, no memory surrenders, Still their music breathe in you Silence meditation renders Audible with notes it knew. Heart, when all the flowers are dead, Perfumes, that the soul remembers Were included in their red,- Making June of long December,- From your hand and face are shed. Dear, when night denies a star, Darkness will not suffer, seeing Song and fragrance are not far; Starlight of the summer being In the loveliness you are. 25 WILD- THORN AND LILY. XIV. "Revealing distant vistas where, I thought, I saw your love stand as 'mid lily blooms, Long angel goblets molded out of stars, Pouring aroma at your feet: and life Took fire with thoughts your soul must help you read: A song; and songs (who doth not know) Reveal no music but is thine. Thou singest, and the waters flow, The breezes blow, the sunbeams shine, And all the sad earth is divine. Low laughter; and I look away; The day may drowse, the night may dream, I walk beneath sweet skies of May On ways where play the bud and beam, And hear a bird and forest stream. A thought-and then it seems to me Lost lifetimes 'mid the stars arise, Rain memories of the Heaven on thee; And it may be from Paradise Hast felt an angel lover's eyes. XV. "But is it well to tell you what I thought When I beheld no change beyond the moods 26 WILD- THORN AND LIL Y. That gloomed and glistened in your raven eyes When I sat singing 'neath one steadfast star Of morning with no phantoms of strange fears To slay the look or word that helped me sing: When song came easier than come buds in spring, That make the barren boughs one pomp of pearls; Oh, let the graceless day go past, And let the night be full of song. When life and life are one at last, And love no more shall long, 'T is sweet midsummer of the dream, And all the dreams thou hast Are nearer than they seem. Once thou didst dream in autumn of Death with cadaverous eyes that gazed Deep in a shadow. . . It was love Whose beaming eyes were raised From the crowned sorrow that unrolled Strange splendor; and amazed, Love didst thou then behold. And we should know now, it is said, The dead are nearer than we know. And when they tell thee I am dead Thine eyes shall see it so; But I shall feel in every beat, And soul-song of thy woe My love live more complete. 27 WILD-TFORAr AND LILY. xvI. "One evening I would have you talk with mne. Impatience hurt me in your short replies. And I who had refused,-because we dread Approaching horror of our lives made maimed,- The inevitable, could not help but see Some secret change was here.-That night I dreamed I wandered 'mid old ruins, where the snake And scorpion crawled in poison-spotted heat; Plague-bloated bulks of hideous vine and root Wrapped fallen fanes; and bristling cacti bloomed Blood-red and death-white on forgotten tombs. And from my soul went forth a bitter cry To pierce the silence that was packed with death And pale presentiment. And so I went, A white flame beckoning before my face, And in mine ears sounds of primordial seas That boasted preadamic gods and men: A flame before and far beyond a voice But, lo, the white flame when I reached for it Became thin ashes like a dead man's dust; And when I thought I should behold the sea, Stagnation, turned to filth and rottenness, Rolled out a swamp ; the voice became a stench. If we should pray together now For sunshine and for rain, And thou shouldst get fair weather now, 28 WILD-THORN AND LILY. And I the clouds again, Would rain and ray keep single, Or for the rainbow mingle Dear, if this should be made to me, That I had asked for light, And God had given shade to me, And thou shouldst know no night, Would all thy daylight tarry Or night and morning marry If God should give me winter, love, And give thy life the spring, And icicles should splinter, love, While all the wild birds sing, Would thine walk by and glitter, Forgetful mine is bitter XVII. "So on the anguish of a dying hope A baby hope was nourished; all in vain. For at the last, although we parted friends, The friendship lay like sickness on my soul, That saw all gladness perish from the world, And love build up a sepulchre forhope. And could you learn forgetfulness, And teach my heart how to forget; And I unlearn all fretfulness, 29 WILD-THORN AND LILY. And teach your soul that still will fret The mornings of the world would burn Before us and we should not turn, For we should not regret. Could you but know why sorrow treads Upon the heels of joy alway; And I how each to-morrow treads With shadowy steps upon to-day; No change or time would then surprise Our lives with what our lives were wise, But one should see and say. If you could stand exterior with Your dreams that still exalt desire And I could live superior with The soul that makes my thoughts aspire; Long stairways would the stars unroll To lift our love up, soul by soul, To some celestial fire. XVIII. "There fell no words of comfort from your lips. Not that I asked for pity; that had been As fire to the scalded or dry bread Unto the famished fallen 'mid the sands But all your actions said that I was wrong, And how, I know not and have ceased to care; Still standing like one stricken blind at noon, 30 WILD-THORN AND LILY. WXho gropes and fumbles feeling all grow strange That once was so familiar; cursing God Who locks him in with darkness and despair.- Your judgment had been juster had it had A lesser love than mine to judge.-O love, Where lay the justice of thy judge in this - ' If thou hadst praised thy God as long As thou hast praised my hands and eyes, Think of the sweetness of the song That now has only sighs ! Think of the trust that had been strong! The hope that had been wise! 'If thou hadst bade my heart be more Than life, because thy life was sad, Thou hadst had all till I were poor To make thy sorrow glad. Thou cam'st a beggar to my door, And had more than I had. 'If thou hadst showed me how to love, Nor played with love as children play, The dove had still remained the dove, And never flown away. My love is, and shall be, above The love that lasts a day !' 31 WILD-THORN AND LILY. XIX. And haply it was this One soul, that still Demanded more than it could well return; And, searching inward, yet could never pierce Beyond its superficiality. You did not know ; but I had felt in me The rich fulfilment of a rare accord, And could not, though the longing lay like song And music on me, win your soul's response Were it well, lifting me Eyes that give heed, Down in your soul to see Thought, the affinity Of act and deed Knowing what naught may tell Of heart and soul Yet, were the knowledge whole, And were it well WTere it well, giving true Love all enough, Still to discover new Depths of true love for you, Infinite love Feeling what naught may tell Of heart and soul Yet, were the knowledge whole, And were it well 32 WILD- THORN AND LIL Y. XX. "What else but, laboring for some good, to lift Ourselves above the despotism of self, All egoism strangling strength and hope! Art, our intensest and our truest love, Immaculateness that has never sped Beyond her lover with his love all soul. I followed beauty, and my ardor prayed Your features would be blotted from my brain, Nor mar the gratitude I owed to God. I prayed; and see !-the influence of your eyes !- I have no song to tell thee The love that I would sing; The song that should enspell thee, The words that should so quell thee That all thy life would cling Around my heart to-morrow- For all my songs are sorrow. My strength is not a giant To hold thee with strong hands, To make thee less defiant, Thy spirit more compliant With all my love demands: Alas ! my love is meekness, And all my strength is weakness. What hope have I to hover When wings refuse to rise- 3 33 WILD-THORN AND LILY. To wing to thee, my lover, Where all the nights discover No darkness like thine eyes When life and hope lie dreaming On thee who art but seeming! XXI. I prayed; and for a time felt strong as strength, And held both hands out to the loveliness That lured in the ideal. And I felt Compelling power upon me that would lift My face to heaven to behold the sun, And bend it back to earth to see the flowers. I learned long lessons 'twixt a look and look: Breezes and linden blooms, Sunshine and showers; Rain, that the May perfumes, Cupped in the flowers: Clouds and the leaves that patter Beryls of greenest glare; WVet rifts of skies that scatter Sapphires the Sylphides shake, When their loose fillets break, Out of their radiant hair. Oh, for some song and lute! Wings that should pinion Song for Love's swift pursuit 34 WILD- THORN A ND LIL Y. In Youth's dominion ! Searching in all serenest 1-ours and buds and eyes, Saying, ' 0 thou who queerest Hearts, from thy lovely land Reach me no hidden hand Over the worldly wise XXII. Thus would I scatter grain around my life To lure cloud-colored doves into my soul, And find them turn black ravens while they flew. The old, dull, helpless aching at the heart, As if some scar had turned a wound again. While idle grief stared at the brutal past, Which held a loss that made the past more rich Than Earth's rich arts: that marvelled how it came Such puny folly should usurp love's high Proud pedestal of life that held your form In. sculptured Parian lying strewn in shards. And oft I shook myself,-for nightmares weighed Each sense,-and seemed to wake ; yet evermore Beheld a death's-head grinning at my lips. So when the opening of the door doth thrill My soul with sudden knowledge he is come, I shall remember and forget them still, The rough ways of the coarser world, until His lips bend to me and my lips are dumb. 35 WILD-THORN AND LILY. Then I shall not remember: but shall leave All recollection to the worldly race My fact hath so accomplished. Let them grieve The pale bereavements that do not bereave, And in new epochs take my higher place.... Who knocks -The night scouts every hill and heath; And round my door are minions of the night; And like a falchion, riven from its sheath, The wind swings, and the tempest grinds black teeth Around me and my wild, hand-hollowed light. Who knocks the door is open !-And I see The midnight groping with distorted fists To throttle courage hurled upon her knee; Hold high my candle, for it so may be Love is bewildered in the rainy mists.- No wandering wisp, to haunt the gusty rain With brimstone flicker, fading as it flies !- The door is open; will he knock again The door is open ; shall it be in vain And ceremony still delay the wise \Vrho knocks in darkness waits till tempests pass. The door is closed: but morning lights shall thrust 36 WILD- THORN AN D LIL Y. It open: and the sun shall shine and mass White splendor where once stained a colored glass, And toil and time-motes in a little dust." XXIII. And I had read, read to the bitter close Half hearing lone surmises of the rain And trouble of the wfind. At last I rose And went to Gwvendolyn. She did not know The kiss I gave her had a shudder in it; Nor how the form of Julien rose between Me and her lips, a bullet in his heart. 37 RED LEAVES AND ROSES. THE IDYL OF THE STANDING-STONE. I. S HE knows its windings and its crooks, The wild flowers of its lovely woods, The trumpet-vine's Red-Riding-Hoods, The lily's story books The iris, whose blue bonnets let Mab faces laugh from many a net Along the fairy brooks. He knows its shallows and its pools, The rugged stairs of rock that go Climbing through water-fall and flow, Where haunt the minnow schools; The grass and sedge where haunts the snipe, The bob-white where the berry 's ripe, And whom the echo fools. She seeks the bleeding-heart and phlox, The touch-me-not whose bushes fill The old stones of the ruined mill She wades among the rocks; Her feet are rose-pearl in the stream; Her eyes are blossom-blue ; a beam Gleams on her light-brown locks. 38 THE ID FL OF THE S TA NDING-S TONE. He comes with fishing bait and line To angle in the darker deeps, Where all the sounding forest sleeps Of sycamore and pine; And now and then a shadow swoops Around him of a hawk or groups Of pearl-gray clouds that shine. And will he see, if they should meet, How she is fairer than each flower Her apron fills and in that hour Feel life is incomplete He stops below ; she walks above- The brook one blossom, white as love, Floats fragrant to his feet. And she-should she behold the tan Of manly face and honest eyes, Would her heart know nobilities To make him more than man She drops one blossom-has she heard Soft whistling of a man-or bird, Whose dreamy quavers ran They knew; but then-they did not meet; Yet some divulging influence Had touched them with the starry lens God holds to make hearts beat; 39C 40 THE IDYL OF THE STANDING-STONE. That made her heart one haunting wish, And his-forgetful of the fish, One flower at his feet. . . II. The sassafras twigs had just lit up The yellow stars of their fragrant candles, And the dog-wood brimmed each brown-stained cup With April the brown bough dandies; When down the orchard, whose apple blooms- Say, Ho, the hum o' the humble bee !- Were woven of morn on the elfland looms, A sense of Spring in the sprinkled glooms, A glimpse of the Spring-'t was she. The maple as red as the delicate flush Of an afterglow where the west was crimson And the red-haw tree in the wing-whipped hush Wdith its milk-white blossoms and greening limbs on; And up in the wood where the oak-tree strung,- Say, Hleigh, the rap o' the sapsucker !- Gray buds in bunches, as if they hung The fairies' belfries with bells that swung,- Was he with a heart for her. Ay ! white the bloom of the rattle-weed, And white the bloom of the plum and cherry: And red as a stain the red-bud's brede, THE IDYL OF THE STANDING-STONE. And a flower the color of sherry-; And he saw her in the orchard drift,- And, ho ! the dew from the web that slips !- And she saw him in the woodland rift; And he had given his life to lift Her pure face to his lips. And the plantain there as odorous as The heliotrope in his mother's garden;- When the beam from the hollow did seem to pass, And the ray on the hills to harden; For she had smiled, and the sun fell flat, And, heigh, the wasp i' the pawpaw bell !- And she had beckoned-and more in that To him than Spring on her hills who sat, Or the wide white world could tell. III. The teasel and the horsemint spread The hillsides with pink sunset thrown On earth around The Standing-Stone That ripples in its rocky bed: There are no treasuries that hold Gold richer than the daisies' gold That crowd its mouth and head. Deep harvest, and a mower stands Among the morning wheat and whets 41 42 THE IDYL OF THE STANDING-STONE. His scythe, and for a space forgets The labor of the ripened lands; Then bends, and through the dewy grain His cradle hisses, and again He swings it in his hands. And she beholds him where he mows On acres whence the water sends Faint music of reflecting bends And falls that interblend with flows She stands among the old bee-gums, Where all the apiary hums, A simple bramble-rose. She hears him whistling as he leans To circling sweeps the rabbits fly, And sighs and smiles and knows not why, Nor what her heart's sweet secret means He rests upon his scythe and sees Her smiling 'mid the hives of bees Beneath the flowering-beans. The peacock-purple lizard creeps Along the fence-rail ; and the drone Of insects makes the country lone With dreaming where the water sleeps She hears him singing as he swings His scythe ; he thinks of other things Than toil and, singing, reaps. THE IDYL OF THE STANDILVG-STON.E. 43 IV. SONG. Into the woods they went again Over the fields of oats; A reaper he and the binders twain, Out of the acres of go/den grain In where the lily 1roats Were brimmed with 1he summer rain. hungkf on a bozg/iz a reaper's hook. Over the fields of oats, A nd a maiden here with a merry look, And a laugh that rljpp ed out of 1/i brook, Out of the wild birds' throats, For t1/e kiss that the reaper took. Out of the woods the reaper went Over 1/e fields of wheat, A nd a binder by wit/h a fice that blent A //of life that is innocent, All of love that is sZweet, WFrit in her soul's young testament. W/o t1e/ maiden to keep the tryst, Over the fields of wheat S/e, his folly had onzly kissed She, he hadgiven, to kiss whose wrist, His wzhole strong lif e made sweet She who had seen and wist 44 THE IDYL OF THE STANDING-STOATE. V. Her only pearls are beads of hail, Her only diamonds are the dews Such jewels never can grow stale, Nor any value lose. Among the millet beards she stands The languid wind lolls everywhere There are wild roses in her hands, One wild rose in her hair. To-morrow where the shade is warm Among the June-ripe wheat she '11 stop, And from one daisy-loaded arm One yellow daisy drop. She meets his brown eyes, glad and grave, With blue eyes where the dreams are sweet He is her lover and her slave, And mows among the wheat. When buds broke on the apple trees She wore an apple-blossom dress, And walked with him on clover leas, And made him guess and guess. When goose-plums ripened in the rain Plum-colored was her gown of red; THE ID YL OF THE S TA NDIArG-S TONE. They strolled along the creek-road lane- He had her heart she said. When apples thumped the droughty land A russet color was her gown. A hunter came, and wooed her hand, A stranger from the town. When grapes hung purple in the hot, They missed her dark-blue hood and dress; And one tanned vintager forgot The purple of the press. When snow made grave-stones of each sheaf Her gown was whiter than the snow, Her rubies redder than the leaf The autumn forests know. What wounds her splendid shame conceals- Men will but kiss her if she sigh And never ask. And she -she feels How all her life 's a lie. VI. In spring the hairy-vetchling strewed Blue morning blots on moss and leaf,- The little Esau of the wood Whose soul sat smiling in its grief 45 46 THE IDYL OF THE STANTDIAG-STONE. In spring he looked along the earth- No month, he thought, holds so much grace, No month of spring, such grace and mirth, As the true April of her face. In fall the frail gerardia Hung signs of sunset and of dawn On root and rock, as if to draw Eyes ere the careless feet pass on.- And will you blame her in pursuit Of butterflies, who does not dream A flower loosened by her foot Drifts helpless with her down the stream RED LEA VES AND ROSES. SOME SUMMER DAYS. I. F you should find her standing there Among the tiger-lily blooms, That lose rich jewels everywhere Among the woodland gleams and glooms, You would confess her over-fair, A cousin of the wood's perfumes. The afternoon is dead with heat; And all the drowsy shadow sleeps Like toil arm-pillowed in the wheat Beside the scythe with which he reaps A blazing knight whose arms defeat The shades, the day rides down the deeps. There is no sound more distant than The bell that haunts the hazy hill No nearer than the locust's span Of sound that makes the silence shrill And now there comes a sun-brown man Through tiger-lilies of the rill. And they will go; and in the end Trhe west will glow, the east will pale, And then the glow and pallor blend 47 SOME SUMMER DA VS. Like moonlight on a shifting sail; And in the woods he 'II speak and bend His tan-dark face that laughs a tale. The dusk will flash and fade away Through heavy orange, rose, and red, And leave the heavens violet gray Above a gipsy-lily bed; And they will go, and he will say No words to her but love hath said. Ten million stars the night will win Above them, and one firefly Pulse like a tangled starbeam in The cedar dark against the sky; And he will lift her bashful chin And speak, and she will not deny. And when the moon, like the great book Of judgment, golden with the light Of God, lies open o'er yon nook Of darkest hill and wildest height, Together they will cross the brook And reach the gate and kiss good-night. II. And oft he wipes his hand along The beaded fire of his brow Hard toil has heated ; and the strong 48 SOME SUMMER DA YS. Face flushes fuller health as now He fills his hay-fork with a song, And, tossing it, again doth bow. And now he stops to look away Across the sun-fierce hills and meads No rolling cloud has cooled to-day; And from his face the brawny beads Drip ; and he marks the hills of hay, The fields of maize, the fields of weeds. He sees wild walls of tempest build Black battlements along the west, Black breastworks that are thunder-filled And bares his brow ; and on his chest The sweat of toil is cooled ; and stilled The pulse of toil within his breast. A strong wind brings the odorous death Of far hay-makings, and the scent Is good within his nostrils' breath; The mighty trees are bowed, that leant For none yet, as when Power saith " Bow down !" and stalwart slaves are bent. He laughs, long-gazing as he goes Along the elder-sweetened lane: He feels the storm wind as it blows 4 49 SOME SUMMER DA YS. Across the sheaves of golden grain, And stops to pull one bramble-rose, And watch the silver slanting rain. And there among low trees the farm Dreams in a martin-haunted place; He marks the far-off streaks of storm That with the driven thunders race; He sees his baby on her arm, And in the door her smiling face. III. Below the sunset's range of rose, Below the heaven's bending blue, Down woodways where the balsam grows, And milk-weed tufts are gray with dew, A Jersey heifer stops and lows; The cows come home by one, by two. There is no star yet ; but the smell Of hay and pennyroyal mix With herb-aromas of the dell Where the root-hidden cricket ticks Among the iron-weeds a bell Clangs near the rail-fenced clover-ricks. She waits upon the slope beside The windlassed well the plum-trees shade, The well-curb that the goose-plums hide; 5o SOME SUMMER DA YS. Her light hand on the bucket laid, Unbonneted she waits, glad-eyed, Her dress as simple as her braid. She sees fawn-colored backs among The sumachs now ; a tossing horn Some clashing bell of copper rung Long shadows lean upon the corn, And all the day dies insect-stung, Where clouds float crimson skeins of yarn. Below the pleasant moon, that tips The tree-tops cf the hillside, fly The evening bats ; the twilight slips Some fireflies like spangles by; She meets him, and their happy lips Touch where glad glories dro wn the sky. He takes her bucket, and they speak Of married hopes while in the grass The plum lies glowing as her cheek The patient cows look back or pass, WNNhile in the west one golden streak Burns as if God gazed through a glass. IV. The skies are amber blue and green Before the coming of the sun And all the deep hills sleep serene St SOME SUMMER DA YS. As pale enchantment, never done; The morning mists drag down or lean On woods in which vague whispers run. Birds wake; and on the vine-grown knob, Above the brook, a twittering Confuses songs day cannot rob The building birds of where they swing And now a sudden throat will throb Wild music, and the thrush will sing. The sun is up ; the hills are heaped With instant splendor ; and the vales Surprised with shimmers that are steeped In purple where the white mist trails; The water-fall, the rock it leaped, Are burning gold that foams and fails. He drives his horses to the plow Along the vineyard slopes, that bask Dew-beaded grapes, half-ripened now, In sun-shot shafts the shadows mask;- He feels the morning like a vow Of faith that helps him with his task. Before him, soaring through the mist, The wild hawk drifts gray wings and screams; Its dewy back gleams, sunbeam-kissed, Above the wood that drips and dreams; 52 SOME SUMMER DA YS. He guides the plow with one strong fist; The soil rolls back in level seams. Packed to the right the sassafras Lifts leafy walls of spice that shade The blackberries, whose tendrils mass Big berries in the coolness made; They drop black ripeness on the grass Where fallen trumpet-flowers fade. White on the left the fence and trees That mark the garden; and the smoke Uncurling in the early breeze; The roof beneath the acorn oak;- He turns his team, and turning sees The damp, dark soil his coulter broke. Bees buzz ; and o'er the berries poise Leani-bodied wasps; loud blackbirds turn Across the corn ; there is a noise Of eager wings and winds that burn;- And now he seems to hear her voice, The song she sings to help her churn. V. There are no clouds that drift around The moon's pearl-kindled crystal, (white As some sky-summoned spirit wound In raiment lit with limbs of light,) 53 SOME SUMMER DA YS. That have not softened like the sound Of harps when Heaven forgets to smite. The vales are deeper than the dark, And darker than the vales the woods That mounting hill and meadow mark With broad, blurred lines of solitudes Far off a fox-hound bays and barks Impatient of the calm that broods. And though the night is never still, Yet what we name its noises makes Its silence :-now a whippoorwill; A frog whose hoarser tremor breaks And now the insect sounds that fill The hush; an owl that hoots and wakes They lean against the gate that leads Into the lane that lies between The yard and orchard ; flowers and weeds Are odorous,-as if the keen Scents day poured in hot leaves and seeds Night's dews distil from out the green. Their infant sleeps. They feel the peace Of something done that God has blessed, Soft as the pulse that will not cease There in the cloud that haunts the west The peace that love shall still increase While soul in soul still finds its rest. 54 RED LEA VES AND ROSES. AN EPIC OF SOUTH-FORK. I. THE wild brook gleams on the sand and ripples Over the rocks of the riffle ; brimming Under the elms like a nymph whose nipples Lift and vanish and shine in swimming, Under the linns aud the ash-trees lodging, Loops of the limpid waters lie, Shaken of schools of the minnows, dodging The sudden wings of the butterfly. Lower, the loops are lips of laughter Over the stones and the crystal gravel Lower, the lips are a look seen after Song and laughter that lips unravel Lengths of the shadowy water, shaken Of the dropping bark of the sycamore, Where the water-snake, that the noises waken, Slides like a crooked root from shore. Peace of the forest ; the peace made dimmer Than dreams. And now a wing that winnows The willow leaves with their shadows slimmer In the shallow there than a school of minnows 55 5 AN EPIC OF SOUTH-FORK. Calm of the creek ; and a huge tree twisted, Ringed and turned to a tree of pearl A gray-eyed man who is farmer-fisted, And a dark-eyed, sinewy country girl. The brow of the man is gnarled and wrinkled With the weight of the words that have just been spoken; And the girl has smiled and her eyes have twinkled, Though the bonds and the bands of her love are broken: She smiles, nor knows how the days have knotted Her to the heart of the man who says: " Let us follow the paths that we think allotted I will go my ways and you your ways. " And the man between us is your decision. Worse or better he is your lover.- Shall I name him worse that the long Elysian Prize he wins where I discover Only the hell of the luckless chooser - Shall I name him better or hold him more Since he is winner and I am loser, His life 's made rich and mine made poor" "I tell you now as I oft and ever Have told," she answered, the laughter dying Down in her eyes, " that his words have never Held me so-but you think me lying, 56 AN EPIC OF SOUTH-FORK. And you are wrong. And I think it better To part forever than still to dwell With the sad distrust, like an evil tetter, On our lives forever, and so farewell." And she turned away; and he watched her going, The girlish pride in her eyes a-smoulder: He saw her go, and his limbs were glowing Fever that parched. And he stood, one shoulder Slouched to the tree ; and he saw her stooping There by the bank with a cautious foot, Straighten, and tear from her breast the drooping Lilies and fasten the Pleurisy-root. With its orange fire he saw her passing On and on, and the blood beat, burning His brain to blisters ; an endless massing Of wounds and bruises of deathless yearning. -Butterflies sucked in the moist sand-alleys A fairy fleet of Ionian sails Were their wings ; or the sails of pirate galleys, Maroon and yellow, for elfland gales. He watched her going; and harder, thicker The pulse of his breath and his heart's hard throbbing. -How should he know that her heart was sicker How should he know that her soul was sobbing 57 AN EPIC OF SOUTH-FORK. She never looked back: and he saw her vanish In swirls of the startled butterflies, Like a storm of flowers, and could not banish The look of love from his face and eyes. II. He heard the cocks crow out the lonely hours. How long the night and very far the dawn ! It seemed long months since he had seen the flowN ers, The leaves, the sunlight, and the beehived lawn Had heard the thrush flute in the tangled showers. His burning eyes ached, staring at the black Stolidity of midnight. Would it send No cool reprieve unto his mind,-a rack Of inquisition,-tortures to unbend, That stretched him forward and now strained him back Invisible and sad and undivulged,- The thought that made him think of summer walks Through woods on which the sudden perfumes bulged, The bird-songs and the brilliant-blossomed stalks And that young freedom which their talk indulged. 58 AN EPIC OF SOUTH-FORK. Oh, strong appeal ! And he would almost yield; When, firmly forward, he could feel her fault Oppose the error of a rock-luie shield, And to resisting phalanxes cry halt- And, lo ! bright cohorts broken on the field. O mulct of morning, to the despot night Count down unminted gold, and let the day Walk free from dreadful dungeons, and delight Herself on mountains of the violet ray, Clad in white maidenhood and maiden white! A melancholy coast, plunged deep in dream And death and silence, stretched the drizzling dark, Therein he heard a round-eyed screech-owl scream In lamentation, and a watch-dog bark, A voiced oblivion, at night's hollow stream. And then hope moved him to divide the blinds To see if those bright sparkles were a star's Or only his hot eyeballs', which the mind's Commotion weighed.-No slightest ravel mars With glimmer heaven's swart tapestry he finds. Yet he remained refreshed, until the first Exploring crevices of Aztec morn, 59 AN EPIC OF SOUTH-FORK. Dim cracks of treasure, Eldorados burst: Then could he face his cowardice and scorn This weakness which his manhood had immersed. It knew no barriers now. And where it went Each twisting path was musical with birds Each weed was richer with diviner scent; For love sought love with such expressive words That dawn's delivery was less eloquent. III. Who is it hunts with his dog There where the heron is flying Gray in the feathering fog Over the hillside that 's lying, There by the butternut log Where night heard the screech-owl crying Who is it hunts in the brush Under the linns and the beeches, Here where the Fork is a blush In the rocks that the noon never reaches Here where the bank is a crush Of flags with a bloom like the peach's He is handsome and supple and tall, Blond-haired and vigorous-chested, Blue-eyed as the bud by the fall 6o AN EPIC OF SOUTH-FORK. Where he listens,-his rifle half rested, Half leaned on the crumbling stone-wall,- And his face, it rarely has jested. He waits ; and the sun on the dew Of the cedars and leaves of the bushes Strikes glittering frostiness through. . . If a covey of partridges flushes What good will a Winchester do, Or the dog to his feet that he crushes As something breaks strong through the weeds Where the buck-bushes toss and the higher Snakeroot with its spiring seeds, Wild carrots, are trammelling wire Round the path to the creek-road that leads . Shalt he know, shall he see ere he fire . From the leaves of the wind-shaken wood Thick drops of the night-dew are falling. Ile is gone from the place where he stood Just there where the black crowv is calling. There is blood on the weeds: is it blood Down the face of the man that is crawling Red blood or a smudge of the dawn And he lies with his gray eyes wide staring Stiff, still at the sun: he has drawn 6z AN EPIC OF SOUTH-FORK. His limbs in a heap: and the faring Bee-martins light near and are gone: But the tomtit and wren, they are daring. It is noon; and the wood-dove is deep In the calm of its cooing; and over The tops of the forest trees sweep The shadows of buzzards that hover The wild-hawk sails on as asleep, And the bob-white is whistling from cover. It is dusk; and the wild flowvvers wilt With the sadness of crime in their faces The blue wild petunias tilt To the larkspur in death-darkened places On the wild sweet-williams are spilt The sunset or guiltier traces It is night ; and the hoot-owlet mocks The dove of the day with weird weeping: The creek is a groan 'mid the rocks \Vhere the 'coon 1through the briers is creeping Through the woods snaps the bark of the fox- But the dead, they are deaf in their sleeping. IV. Night flies and day is here,- God's fairer ultimate Of causes never clear 62 AN EPIC OF SOUTH-FORK. To lives that will not wait;- Day dies and night is near, And love is over-late. A storm has rent great limbs, And bent the wooded ridge; Each swollen shallow swims lead-deep below the bridge; The drift, that breaks and brims, Floats lighter than the midge. Dusk dies and night is gray With shadows and with rain; The forests sound and sway Like monsters wrenched with pain; Night deepens on the way- And shall she wait in vain The Fork is whirling wreck Of field and hill and wood And many a moon-wan fleck Floats where the rock-fence stood;- A current rolls break-neck Above the washed-out blood. Night deepens: and she waits Expectant in despair: The Fork has reached the gates, 63 AN EPIC OF SOUTH-FORK. The wood's wreck everywhere. Night deepens ; and she hates The man that will not dare. She sees the lightning rush Blaze-boiling hells above; She hears the thunder crush I-leaven as if devils clove- Bowed in the lightning's flush Through wind and rain comes love. He comes she feels, and stands The rushing waters o'er Her feet, and on her hands And bair the rains that pour, And sees the instant lands Light-looming from her door. Night deepens; but she knows Love will not fail to send Reprieve to her young woes, And one day's errors mend.- The wild stream foams and flows In booming fall and bend.- Again the lightnings light The night like some wild torch; The waters foam and fight; 64 AN EPIC OF SOUTH-FORK. 6 And one uprooted larch Drives down, with something white Wedged in it, by her porch. She stoops: the lurid rain Beats on her back and head- Ay ! he Itath come again With livid lips once red! A bullet in his brain The night hath brought him-dead! 5 RED LEA VES AND ROSES. A NIELLO. I. I T is not early spring and yet Of lamb's-tongue banks above the stream And blotted banks of violet My heart will dream. Is it because the wind-flower apes The beauty that was once her brow, That the white thought of it stili shapes The April now Because the wild-rose learned to blush In tune with cheeks of maidenhood, I find full Junetide in bare brush And empty wood Why will I think how young she died !- Straight, barren death stalks down the trees, The hard-eyed hours by his side That kill and freeze. II. When orchards are in bloom again My heart will bound, my blood will beat, 66 A NIELLL 0. To hear the red-bird so repeat On apple boughs his strain; His blithe, loud song, heard through the rain In summer, now among the bloom,- Where all the bees and hornets boom,- Inviting to remain. When orchards are in bloom once more, Evasions of dear dreams will draw My feet, like some persistent law, Through blossoms to her door And I shall ask her, as before, " To let me help her at the well" And fill her pail; and long to tell My secret, o'er and o'er. I shall not speak until we quit The farm-gate, buried in its stain Of orchards all in bloom again, And see the wood-dove sit And call ; and through the blossoms flit The cat-bird crying while he flies; Then bashfully I '11 praise her eyes, And cheeks with gladness lit. And it may be that she will place Her trust in me as once before,- When orchards are in bloom once more, With all her sweet girl grace: 67 A NIELL 0. And we shall tarry till a trace Of sunset dyes the heaven, and then- To tell her all ; and bend again To kiss her quiet face ! And homeward, humming, I shall go Along the cricket-chirring ways, WThen all the west, one crimson blaze, Blooms as if orchards blow Piled petals in it. I shall know Glad youth once more and have her here, Who has been dead this many a year, To make my old heart glow. III. I would not die when Springtime lifts The white world to her maiden mouth, And heaps its cradle with gay gifts, Breeze-blown from out the singing south: Too glad for death the wind and rain Too heedless for earth's wildest woe The young hypocrisy of pain That will not let you know. I would not die when Summer shakes Her daisied locks below her hips, And, naked as a star that takes A cloud, into the water slips: 68 A NIELL 0. 69 Too rich were earth for my poor needs In egotism of loveliness; The apathy that never heeds If grief be more or less. But I would die when Autumn goes, The wild rain dripping from her hair, Through forests where the wild wind blows Death and the red wreck everywhere Sweet as love's last farewells and tears To fall asleep in the sad days, With patience and with faith that nears The mist that God shall raise. RED LEAVES AND ROSES. WRECKAGE. S UCH love has drifted out of dreams Under the moon of a Florida night, Over the beach with its silver seams, White as a sail is white; Such days have entered into some lives Out of the love that the nights have borne, Over the waves where the vapor drives, Mists that the stars have torn; Such songs have welded two hearts and hands Out of the sea and the summer moon, Out of the stars and the mists and sands, Setting two lives in tune Days of love and the love will keep Truth and hope and the faith as one- Care will sing and the hate will weep Loss that the love begun. 70 WRECKA GE. I. Parting he said to her: " We are not true to them, Gifts of the seasons: the night and the morning, Love and the loss of all love, that 's a clew to them, Trust that is hope, and a faith never scorning. Have you considered the life that regretfully Foldeth weak arms to the fate it could master Slave of all circumstance, sadly and fretfully Whines for the comfort that cometh no faster" They had come down to the ocean that, bellowing, Boiled on the sand and the shells that were broken; All of the season was faded and yellowing; All of their misery of love had been spoken. It had befallen the heavens were lowering; Over the sea, like the wraith of a wrecker, Clamored the gull ; and the mist in the showering East seemed the ghost of a lofty three-decker. Infinite foam; and the boom of the hollowing Breakers that buried the rocks to their shoulders Battle and boast of the deep in the wallowing World of the waves where the red sunset smoulders. Long was the leap of the foam on the thunderous Beach; and each end of the beach was a flying 71 WRECKA GE. Toss of the spray. us; Doing, be hope of Yet, if it came to the " Strive with and have striven, Weaker than all that " Let our cares vanish under us now, and not dying! " part he has said to her master "-What grief could is woman, he dead to her, There in the weeds and the waves that are driven ! Where, in the morning, farewells they have taken, now Must be repeated with tears, though the sailor Sailed with a laugh, that her kiss will not waken now, Sealed with the salt on the lips that are paler. 2. All day the rain drove, falling Upon the sombre sea; All day, his wet sail hauling, The sailor tacked a-lea; And through the wild rain calling, I heard her calling me. At dusk the gull clanged, drifting Above the boiling brine; And, through the wan west sifting, 72 WRECKA GE. Streamed one wan sunset line And, to my gray eyes lifting, Her sad eyes gazed in mine. All night the wind wailed, sighing Along the wreck-strewn coast; All night the surf, defying, Rolled thunder in and boast All night I heard her crying, A ghost that called a ghost 3. The balm of the night and the glory, The music and scent of the sea, Are a part of our lives, and the story Of thee and of me.- The stars of the night, and the whiteness Of foam on the stretch of the sand, The foam that is flung, and the lightness Of hand within hand. No sail on the ocean; no sailor On shore, and the winds all asleep And thy face in the starlight far paler Than women who weep. A mist on the deep that was ghostly; A moon in the deep of the skies; The mist and the moon, they were mostly In thee and thine eyes. 73 WRECKA GE. No sea-gull to vanish with gleaming Of wings, but the swing of the spray And a sense of unutterable dreaming That bore me away. No wind and no wing, but their essence, And all that is grayest and dim, In the mermaiden grace of thy presence, In look and in limb. That night of strange cries ! and to perish So out of our lives that were bare, Yet ached with the yearning to cherish With patience and prayer. For thou wast a sea-mist made woman, And I was a sound of the sea Made man-but nothing was human In thee and in me. 4. And one had sought the deep that glasses The face of God and His majesty And one still sought the gulf that passes Life and its mystery. Time and tears and the days that ever Burden the back of the days to be; Strife and grief and the seas that sever Love in a ship at sea. 74 WRECKA GE. One had come where the reef rolled broken Foam of the baulked waves everywhere; Waves that tangle the weeds and oaken Wreck and a dead man's hair. One had come where the sand laid livid Paths of ease which the sea-gulls share The wing of the gull in the light less vivid Light than the gladness there. Winds that gallop with strength and splendor Steeds of the surf with their streaming manes Surf that batters the coast's defender, Surf that the rock disdains Storm that hunts in his sounding sandals, llounds of thunder he holds with chains, Light that leaps like the spear he handles, Storm and the rush of rains. Wrenching the wreck of the world asunder, Black rebellion of hell and night Wrath and roar of the rocks and thunder,- Might and the curse of might.- Beating the drift and the hush together, Waves and wind that the morn makes white Calm and peace of the dove-dyed weather.- Light and the grace of light. Clouds blow by and the storm 's forgotten. Savage coasts where the sea-cow feeds. 75 WRECKA GE. W0ash of weeds and the sea weeds rotten. And a dead face in the weeds. None to know him or name him brother; Only the savage in feathers and beads; The South Sea Islander, fitting another Flint in the shaft he speeds. Clouds blow up and the sea-gulls gather; Clouds blow up and the evening falls; The lightning leaps and the sad sands lather, Rolling the waves in walls: Who shall tell her, sweetheart or sister, Her who sings as the tempest calls Suns that beat on his face and blister Wind or the wave that crawls This was his hope: that, by the ocean sitting, Dawn would compel her grave eyes to behold, Between the foam ridge and the sea-gull's flitting, His body rolled. All was not as it was before they parted She said she would remember, and forgot He said he would forget her, angry-hearted, And yet could not. 76 WRECKAGE. 77 She never knew: and, had she known, she surely Had given pity when she could not give Her love to him, who loved her madly, purely, And bade him live . . Between the seaweed and the rocks the slanted Hulk of a wreck: beyond the sand and wave, Worn with the wind and with the cactus planted, His nameless grave. RED LEAVES AND ROSES. HIEROGLYPHS. I. M Y dreams are older than the trees, Being but newer forms of change Some savage dreamed mine; and 't was these De Leon sought where seas were strange. My thoughts are older than the earth Being of beauty ages wrought; Old when creation gave them birth, When Homer sang them, Shakespeare thought. 2. If souls could travel with their thought Beyond the farthest arcs that span Worlds of imaginative man, Where thought is lightning fraught; One would explore the stars, and one The science of each moon and sun Long evolutions wrought. And one would seek out Hell; and, wise In tortures of the damned, return To tell us how they freeze or burn, And where God's red Hell lies; 78 HIEROGL YPHS. And one would look on Heaven; and, mute With memories of harp and lute, Sit silent as the skies. But I-on condor wings would sweep Back to cosmogony, and sit In firmaments volcano-lit, And see creation heap The awful Andes, vague and vast, Around the Inca-peopled past, While deep roared out to deep. 3. Out of it all but this remains I was with one who passed wide chains Of the Cordilleras, whose peaks Lock in the wilds of Yucatan, Chiapas and Honduras. Weeks- And then a city that no man Had ever seen ; so dim and old, No chronicle has ever told The history of men who piled Its temples and huge teocallis Among mimosa-blooming valleys; Or how its altars were defiled With human blood ; whose idols there With stony eyes still stand and stare. 79 HIEROGL YPHS. So old the moon can only know How old, since ancient forests grow On mighty wall and pyramid. Huge ceibas, whose trunks were scarred With ages, and dense yuccas, hid Fanes, and the cacti, scarlet-starred. I looked upon its paven ways, And saw it in its pride and praise, When from the lordly palace one, A victim, walked with prince and priest, Who turned brown faces to the east In worship of the rising sun: At night ten thousand temple spires On gold burnt everlasting fires. Uxmal Palenque or Copan I know not. Only how no man Had ever seen; and still my soul Believes it vaster than the three. Volcanic rock walled in the whole, Lost in the woods as in some sea. I only read its hieroglyphs, Perused its monster monoliths Of death, gigantic heads ; and read The pictured codex of its fate, The perished Toltec ; while in hate Mad monkeys cursed me, as if dead Priests of its past had taken form To guard their ruined shrines from harm. 80 HIEROGL YPHS. 81 4. And then it was as if I talked Of flowers and beauty, like a God; Mid Montezuma's priests who walked Obedient to my nod. From Mexic levels breezes blew O'er green magueys, cacao fields I stood among caciques, a crew With plumes and golden shields. In raiment made of humming-birds Brown slave-girls danced. All Anahuac Stood, grim with strange obsidian swords, Around the idol's rock. And up the temple's winding stair Of pyramid we wound and went. The bloomed vanilla drenched the air W0ith all its tropic scent. Volcanoes walled us in ; and I Walked crowned with flaming cactus-flowers, Beneath the golden, Aztec sky, Lord of the living hours. When, lo! five priests who led me to A jasper stone of sacrifice !- Then deep within my soul I knew My pride's ignoble price. 6 8E2ZEROGL YPHS. A sixth priest, robed in cochineal, Received me at the altar's stone; I saw the flint-blade, sharp as steel, That in his high hand shone. 0 God! to dream that they would bind- W\Vith pomp and pageant of their love- M\e to the rock, and never blind Mine eyes to that above ! I felt the flint hack through my breast, And in my agony did raise Wild eyes, a little wlhile to rest Upon their idol's face. Just God ! the priest tore out my heart To hold it beating to the sun- And pain beheld Love's scarlet part In life that was undone. Torn out, I felt my heart still beat- How sweet to die if thou wert mine ! "- MNy heart, cast at the idol's feet Knew that the face was thine! 5. She was a maiden like a dream. She led me where volcanic dust 82 HIEROGL YPFS. Rained in a scoriac mountain stream. The Andes rose in snow, or thrust Black craters belching stones and steam. She was an Inca princess when I was a cavalier of Spain, Who frowned among Pizarro's mnen And watched the New World rent with pain- No grace of God could save me then !-- And it was she who led me far To gaze on caves of Inca gold; Until we came where, warrior On warrior, an army rolled In savage panoply of war. Fierce faces chiselled out of stone Were not so stern.-Down underneath I heard the sullen earthquake groan; Above me, red eruptions seeth; And set my teeth and stood alone. And then she pled and was denied.- They laid me where the lava crawled Red rivers down the mountain side. I felt the slow, slow hell-heat scald; And as it closed, she leapt and died. 83 HIEROGL YPHS. 6. In farther planets there are men who talk With beaming eyes and brows that burn with thought; Pure souls whose sentiments need but be born To be expressed. Where speech of mouth and tongue Were barbarous discord. WXThere no voice imparts Thought, but divulging eye and sensitive brow. Superior planets far beyond our sphere, And nearer God than ages shall combine To lift our world up with its wrangling woes. Worlds that are strange to sickness and disease Of mind or body; perfect mentally, Past what we name perfection here on Earth,- And physically. Morally divine As creeds have taught us God's high Heaven is. Worlds where Love makes no playmate of vile Lust; Where I-lope makes no companion of Despair; Where Power can not trample with fierce feet; And, impotent, the iron hand of Might Surrenders its red weal)on unto Mind ; WNhere Truth and Thought are wedded, in one rule Of far progressions, whose white child is Love. So have I thought, and longed to leave sad Earth To live anew on some sublimer sphere; A world so higher, lovelier than is this, 84 HIZEROGL VPZIS. So spiritually perfected and refined, Should one behold, behold! one would fall prone In worship and astonishment ; and all The exaltation of celestial peace Declare within his soul, " Yea, this is Heaven! How long, 0 sinner, hast thou dwelt in Hell 7. An iron despotism the day's: A brutal anarchy the night's What hope for hope when day betrays To night's ignoble spites! For once I prayed for gulfs of gold, And eve spread pools of sombre blood; Clean skies of stars, and skies behold- Malignant with the scud. And so I marvel not that he, Gray-haired and palsied, hugs his stove While I my youth, which once was she, Have buried with my love. 8. All thoughts of Nature are its forms: Life, love and death: these God began: Sun-systems that are still in storms, Evolving worlds to perfect man. 85 86 HIEEROGL YPHS. Thoughts are the forms of Mind: and plumb Effects to causes : Calculate From intellect the mighty sum Of truth as spirit ultimate. RED LEA VES AND ROSES. SIREN SANDS. 1. THE rhododendrons sleep and take The dewdrops they would weep away, Among palmettoes of the lake Beyond the bay. Shores where we watched the eve reveal Her cloudy sanctuaries, while The bay lay lavaed into steel For mile on mile. We watched the purple coast confuse Soft outlines with the graying light And towards the gulf a vessel lose Itself in night. We saw the sea-gulls dip and soar; The wild-fowl gather past the pier And from rich skies, as from God's door, Gold far and near. Two foreign seamen passed and we Heard mellow Spanish; like twin stars, Where they lounged smoking we could see Their faint cigars. 87 SIREN SANDS. Night; and the heavens stained and strewn 'With stars dark waters realized, Until their light the brightening moon Epitomized. Night-but the pine-wood balms will wake; Buds laugh the dew-drop from each face; The bay will burn and on the lake The ripple race. Far coasts detach deep purple from The blue horizon, and the day Behold the sunburnt sailor come To sail away. The bird that dreamed at dusk, at dawn Will sing again.-And who shall pine Not I ! for thou, when night is gone, Wilt still be mine. 2. Through halls of columned scarlet Like some dim queen, the Dusk Trails stately skirts of musk, Hung in each ear a starlet, Weird jewels of the Jinn; And golden 'neath her chin The moon, a gem-like tusk. 88 SIREN SANDS. There lies a ghostly glory Along the sea and sand, That, like a knightly band From lands of sacred story, Kneels on the ray-red spray A crusade stopped to pray Beneath God's shielding hand. Up flaming mountains millions In burning pentecosts; Love's beauty-blinding hosts, And radiance-raised pavilions Among celestial flowers- Earth's sense of angel hours, The after ghosts of ghosts. Music that melts in moonlight, Out of the summer breeze; Fireflies, moonlight, and foaming Susurrus of the seas. Music that drifts from perfume, Soft as the touch of a hand; Dreams and stars and the ocean, And two on the fluted sand. Glimmers of vague reflections, And the white flame of the foam 89 SIREN SA NDS. Pale on the purple a vessel, And a song to sing it home. And I dream the dream of the music, And the firefly spark that floats, For the music is glittering magic, And the flies are its golden notes. And again you are singing the story Of the brown old coast and sea, Of the lives that lived for passion, In an old-world melody: SONG. " Over the hills where the winds a;-e waking All is lone as the soul of me; Over the hills where the stars are shaking, Breton hills by the sea. " These were with me to tell me often How she pined in her Croisic home, Winds that sing and the stars that soften Over the miles of foam. " Fishers' nets and the sailor faces, Sad salt-marshes and granite piers, Brown, loud coast where the long foam races- A nd a parting full of tears. 90 SIREN SA NDS. "A gray sail's ghost where the autumn lies on Wrraiths of the mist and the squall-blownz rain; Her dark, girl eyes that search the horizon, Grave wit/h a hauntingpain. Stars may burn or the wild winds whistle Over the rocks where the sea-gulls rave- AMy heart is bleak as the wind-worn thistle Dead on her sea-side grave. And I hear the harsh reef's hunger For a noble ship at sea, And the voices of mermaids singing The sea's old tragedy; Till I am the doomed ship's pilot, And you are the mermaiden, Who lures him on to the wrecking And into her arms again. 4. Sad as sad eyes that ache with tears The stars of night shine through the leaves And barren as the nunlike years, The shades that darkness weaves. The summer sunset marched long hosts Of gold adown one golden peak, 91 SIREN SANDS. That flamed and fell; and now gray ghosts WXatch where the moon is weak. Appealing years and eyes that weep; Moon-mists that beckon or conceal; Wan thoughts naught-medicines to sleep Wan wounds that will not heal. And heaven now hoarse with storm, that slips Wild angles of the jagged light;- I kiss the wild rain from her lips, And shield her from the night. A moaning tremor in the trees; And all the stars packed with black death;- I hold her by the neck and knees And kiss away her breath. Hell and hag Night drive on the rain;- I hold her by the hair and plead: She beats my face with blows again, With hands that burn and bleed. The thunder plants deep cohorts on The volleying heights-I should have known How long it is that she is gone, And I how long alone! 92 RED LEA VES AND ROSES. AT THE LANE'S END. I. N 0 more to strip the roses from The rose-boughs of her porch's place !- I dreamed last night that I was home Beside a rose-her face. I must have smiled asleep-who knows - The rose aroma filled the lanie; I saw her white hand's lifted rose That called me home again. And yet when I awoke-so wan, An old face wet with icy tears !- Somehow, it seems, sleep had misdrawn A love gone thirty years. 2. The clouds roll up and the clouds roll down Over the roofs of the little town; Out in the hills, where the pike winds by Fields of clover and bottoms of rye, You will hear no sound but the barking cough Of the striped chipmunk where the lane leads off; 93 A T THE LANE'S END. You will hear no bird but the sapsucker Far off in the forest,-that seems to purr, As the warm wind fondles its tops, grown hot Like the docile back of an ocelot; You will see no thing but the shine and shade Of briers that climb and of weeds that wade The glittering creeks of the sun, that fills The dusty road and the red-keel hills: And all day long in the pennyroy'l The grasshoppers at their anvils toil; Thick click of their tireless hammers thrum, And the wheezy belts of their bellows hum Tinkers who solder the silence and heat To make the loneliness more complete. Around old rails where the blackberries Are reddening ripe, and the bumble bees Are a drowsy rustle of Summer's skirts, And the bobwhite's wing is the fan she flirts, Under the hill, through the iron-weeds, And blue mist-flow ers and milk-weeds, leads The path forgotten of all but one- Where elder bushes are sick with sun And wild raspberries branch big blue veins On the face of the rock, where the old spring rains Its sparkling splinters of molten spar On the gravel bed where the tadpoles are, You will find the pales of the fallen fence, And the tangled orchard and vineyard, dense 94 AT THE LANE'S END. With the weedy neglect of thirty years; The garden there,-where the soft sky clears Like an old, sweet face that has dried its tears;- The garden plot where the cabbage grew And the pompous pumpkin ; and beans that blew Balloons of white by the melon patch; Maize; and tomatoes that seemed to catch Oblong amber and agate balls Thrown from the sun in the frosty Falls The rows of currents and gooseberries, And the balsam-gourd with its honey-bees And here was a nook for the princess-plumes, And the snap-dragons and the poppy blooms, Mother's sweet-williams and pansy flowers, And the morning-glory's bewildered bowers Tipping their cornucopias up For the humming-birds that came to sup And over it all was the Sabbath peace Of the land whose lap was the love of these And the old log-house where my innocence died, With my boyhood buried side by side. Shall a man with a face as withered and gray As the wasp-nest stowed in a loft away, Where the hornets haunt and the mortar drops From the loosened logs of the clapboard tops That vice has aged, as the rotting rooms The rain where memories haunt the glooms; A hitch in his joints like the rheum that gnars 95 A T THE LANE'S END. In the rasping hinge of the door that jars; A harsh, cracked throat like the old stone flue Where the swallows build the summer through Shall a man, I say, with the spider sins That the coarse years spin, in the outs and ins Of his soul, returning to see once more His boyhood's home, where his life was poor With toil and tears and their fretfulness, But rich with health and the hopes that bless The unsoiled wealth of a vigorous youth; Shall he not take comfort and know the truth In its threadbare raiment of falsehood -Yea! In his crumbled past he shall kneel and pray, Like a pilgrim come to the shrine again Of the homely saints that shall soothe his pain, And arise and depart made clean from stain 3. Years of care cannot erase Visions of the hills and trees Closing in the dam and race; Nor the mile-long memories Of the mill-stream's lovely place. How the sunsets used to stain Mirror of the water lying Under eaves made dark with rain Where the red-bird, nestward-flying, Lit to try one bar again. 96 AT THE LANE'S END. Dingles, hills, and woods and springs, Where we came in calm and storm, Swinging in the grape-vine swings, Wading where the rocks were warm, With our fishing nets and strings. Here the road plunged down the hill, Under ash and chinquapin,- Where the grasshoppers would drill Ears of silence with their din,- To the willow-girdled mill. There the path beyond the ford Takes the woodside, just below Shallows that the lilies sword, Where the scarlet blossoms blow Of the trumpet-vine and gourd. Summer winds that sink with heat, On the pelted waters winnow Moony petals, that repeat Crescents, where the startled minnow Beats a glittering retreat. Summer winds, that bear the scent Of the iron-weed and mint, Weary with sweet freight and spent, On the deeper pools imprint Stumbling steps the ripples dent. 7 97 A T THE LA NE'S END. Summer winds that split the husk Of the peach and nectarine, Blow beyond the crimson dusk Hazy skirts, but faintly seen, Spilling balms of dew and musk. Where with balls of bursting juice Summer sees the red wild-plum Strew the gravel ; ripened loose, Autumn hears the pawpaw drum Plumpness on the rocks that bruise Here we found the water-beech, Some forgotten August noon, With its hornet-nest in reach, Like a Fairyland balloon, Full of bustling fairy speech. Some invasion sure it was: For we heard the captains scold Waspish cavalry a-buzz,- Troopers uniformed in gold Sable-slashed,-to charge on us. Could I find the sedgy angle, Where the dragon-flies would turn Slender fittings into spangle On the sunlight or would burn Where the berries made a tangle, 98 A T THE LANE'S END. Sparkling green and brazen blue Rendezvoused about the stream Turbaned gay banditti, who, Brigands of the bloom and beam, Drunken were with honey-dew. Could I find the pond that lay Where vermilion blossoms showered Fragrance down the daisied way And the sassafras embowered Sap and spice of early May In the twilight might I seek The old mill ! Its weather-beaten Wheel and gable by the creek; And its warping roof; worm-eaten, Dusty rafters worn and weak. Where old shadows haunt old places, Loft and hopper, stair and bin; Ghostly with the dust that laces Webs that usher phantoms in, Wistful with remembered faces. While the frogs' grave litanies Drowse in far-off antiphone, Supplicating, till the eyes Of dead friendships,-long alone In the dingy corners,-rise. 99 100 A T THE LANE'S END. Moonrays or the splintered slip Of a star.-In twinkling darkle Of the night the fire-flies dip- As if Night betrayed the sparkle Of rich jewels through a rip. And once more my boyhood crosses, With a corn-sack for the meal, Through the sprinkled ferns and mosses, To the gray mill's lichened wheel, Where the water drips and tosses. RED LEA VES AND ROSES. DEEP IN THE FOREST. I. A COIGNE. THE hills hang woods around, and green below Dark, breezy boughs of beeches mats the moss, Crisp with the brittle hulls of last year's nuts The water hums one bar there; and a glow Of gold lies steady where the trailers toss Red, toppling bugles and a rock abuts; In spots the wild-phlox and oxalis blow Where beech roots bulge the loam, and welt across The whole dense hillside in protruding ruts. And where the sumach brakes grow dusk and dense, Among the briers, yellow violets, Lamb's-tongues and wind-flowers bloom ; the agaric In dampness crowds; a fungus, made intense With gold and crimson and wax-white, that sets The May-apples along the terraced creek At gay defiance. Where the old rail-fence Divides the hollow, there the bee-bird whets His bill, and there the elder hedge is thick. 1OI DEEP IN YHE FOREST. No one can miss it; for two cat-birds nest, Calling all morning, in the trumpet-vine; And there at noon the pewee sits and floats A woodland welcome ; and his very best At eve the blue-jay sings, as if to sign The record of its loveliness with notes At night the moon stoops over it to rest, And unreluctant stars ; where waters shine There runs a whisper as of windswept oats. II. EVASION. And shall I seek upon the hills For hints the orchards follow Where wild-plum trees make wan the hills And apple-trees the hollow, Beneath the soaring swallow In red-bud brakes and flowery Acclivities of berry; In dog-wood dingles showery With dew the sun makes merry, And drifts of swarming cherry In valleys of wild strawberries, And of the white May-apple Or cloud-like trees of hawberries, With which the south-winds grapple, And all the broad brook dapple 102 DEEP IN THE FOREST. Whose eyes are dark forgetfulness,- To see the forest's daughter,- Whose feet are bee-like fretfulness, Strive like a running water In boughs that kissed and caught her. To see you, yet to find you not, To seek you and continue; With hurrying hands that bind you not, Since one may never win you With striving soul and sinew. In pearly, peach-blush distances Light limbs that have evaded The eager heart's persistences, The rock-paved brook that waded, With chestnut branches shaded. o presence, like the primrose's, Still hold me in your power! With rainy scents of dim roses, That led me for an hour To find this one frail flower. III. THE WOOD-SPIRIT. Ah me ! I still remember How flushed, before the shower, The dusk was, like a scarlet rose, Or blood-red poppy flower. 103 DEEP IN THE FOREST. The heaven hath stars; the moonlight Lays blurs upon the grain- You may not know it from white frost, The moonlight on the rain. And all the forest utters A restless moan in rest, For all the deep,- dull shadow lies Like iron in its breast. I mark the shocks of shadow, I mark the unmown corn, The white, weird moonlight overhead- Would God I 'd ne'er been born! I sit alone and listen; The far leaves sound and sigh; The dew drips from the bearded grain, The mist slips from the sky.- I hear her whisper whispers, And breathe in yon gray place Her feet are easier than the dew, And than the mist her face. She will not hear me, never! This spirit made for song, Who dwelleth in the young, young oak, The old, old oaks among. 104 DEEP IN THE FOREST. Her limbs are molded moonlight; Her breasts are silver moons; She glimmers and she glitters where The purple shadow swoons. And now she knows I love her, She says that I have died, And laughs and dances in the mist That haunts the forestside. When winds run mad in woodlands And mad the black rain sings, I see her mad hair blow and blow Dark as a raven's wings. When winds are tamed and tethered, And meadows bright as frost, I will not walk within the wood For fear my soul be lost. I seek her and she flees me; I follow through the mist- The mist ! the mist will freeze me dead Ere her shy lips be kissed! IV. OWL ROOST. The slope is a mass of vines: If you walk in the daylight there, 105 DEEP IN THE FOREST. A glimmering twilight shines 'Neath vines that are everywhere; Each trunk, that a creeper twines, Lifts strong and brown and fair A column ; and all is grave As a cathedral nave. No grass to carpet the feet: And the fox-grape tendrils lace So thick that the noonday heat Is chill as a murdered face: And the winds for miles repeat The fugue of a rolling bass: The deep leaves twinkle and turn, And jets of the sunlight burn. A white-backed spider weaves Gray webs between the trees- Witches who watch their sieves-; The honey and bumble-bees Drop droning among the leaves- Fairies whose masks are these-; At dusk the screech-owls croon- Hobgoblins of the moon. At dark I will not go Under its canopy No glittering starbeams know; No new-moon hanging high,- zo6 DEEP IN THE FOREST. Like an Indian warrior's bow, With a star that seems to fly The arrow of gold it shot:- At dark I will not, will not ! At dawn, if my mood be dim, And the day be a cloudless one, Under its leaf and limb I '11 walk, though my heart doth shun Its shade, and I feel the grim Horror of something done Here in the years long past, That God makes known at last. V. MOSS AND FERN. Where bank the brakes of bramble there Wrapped with the trailing rose, Through canes where waters ramble there, And where the wild pink grows- Who knows Beyond the reach of maid or man, Here 's Pan. Where, by the creek, whose pebbles make A foothold for the mint The gray-blue flags like rel)els make 107 DEEP IN THE FOREST. A fallen rebel tint- Since from the A hint, Old-World woods he ran, Of Pan. Deep in the hollow of the hills Ferns deeper than the knees Long clouds drift down, that love the hills, And bring the gradual breeze- To please, Since Syrinx fled beyond his scan, God Pan. In woods whose beeches break upon The peace like some wise word; Where sun-shot shadows shake upon Our dream or flits a bird, You 've heard The flute whose Grecian notes began With Pan. Far in, where mosses lay for us Still carpets of green plush; Where bloom and bee and ray for us Burn on the budded flush, A hush May sound the satyr hoof a span Of Pan. ro8 DEEP IN THE FORES T. In woods whose thrushes sing to us, And brooks dance sparkling heels; Whose wild aromas cling to us, While woodland worship kneels,- Who steals Beside us, haunch and face of tan, But Pan! VI. WOODLAND WATERS. Through leaves of the nodding trees, Where creepers swing in the breeze Red bag-pipes made for the bees, Whose slogan is droning and drawling; Where the columbine scatters its bells, And the wild bleeding-heart its shells, O'er mosses and rocks of the dells The brook of the forest is falling. You can hear it under the hill When the wind in the wood is still, And, strokes of a fairy drill, Sounds the bill of the yellow-hammer: By solomon's-seal it slips, Cohosh and the grass that drips- log DEEP IN THE FOREST. The laugh of an Undine's lips, The sound of its falls that stammer. I doze in the woods: and the scent Of the honeysuckle is blent With the spice of a Sultan's tent, And my dream with the East's enmeshed- A slave girl sings; and I hear The languor of lute-strings near, And a dancing-girl of Cashmere In the harem of good Er Reshid. From ripples of Irak lace She flashes the amorous grace Of her naked limbs and her face, While her golden anklets tinkle: Then over mosaicked floors Open seraglio doors Of cedar: by twos, by fours,- Like stars that tremble and twinkle,- While the dulcimers sing unseen, The handmaids come of the queen, 'Neath silvern lamps, one sheen Of jewels of Afrite treasure: And I see the Arabia rise Of the Nights that were rich and wise, Beautiful, dark, in the eyes Of Zubeideh, the Queen of Pleasure. IIO DEEP Ifa THE FOREST. II VII. THE THORN-TREE. The night is sad with silver and the day is glad with gold, And the woodland silence listens to a legend never old, Of the Lady of the Fountain, whom the fairy peo- ple know, With her limbs of samite whiteness and her hair of golden glow, Whom the boyish south-wind seeks for and the girl- ish-stepping rain, Wahom the sleepy leaves still whisper men shall never see again; She whose Vivien charms were mistress of the magic Merlin knew, That could change the dew to glow-worms and the glow-worms into dew. There 's a thorn-tree in the forest, and the fairies know the tree, With its branches gnarled and wrinkled as a face with sorcery; But the Maytime brings it clusters of a rainy fra- grant white, Like the bloom-bright brows of beauty or a hand of lifted light. 112 DEEP IN THE FORES T. And all day the silence whispers to the sunray of the morn How the bloom is lovely Vivien and how Merlin is the thorn: How she won the doting wizard with her naked loveliness Till he told her demon secrets that but made his magic less: How she charmed him and enchanted in the thorn- tree's thorns to lie Forever with his passion that should never dim or die: And with wicked laughter looking on this thing that she had done, Like a visible aroma lingered sparkling in the sun, Just to stoop and kiss the pathos of an elflock of his beard, In the mockery of parting and mock pity of his weird: How her magic had forgotten that " who bends to give a kiss Will but bring the curse upon them of the person whose it is ": So the silence tells the secret.-And at night the fairies see How the tossing bloom is Vivien, who is struggling to be free, In the thorny arms of Merlin, who forever is the tree. DEEP IN THE FORES T. VIII. THE HAMADRYAD. She stood among the longest ferns The valley held ; and in her hand One blossom like the light that burns Vermilion o'er a sunset land; And round her hair a twisted band Of pink-pierced mountain-laurel bloonms And darker than dark dusks that stand Below the star-communing glooms, Her eyes and hair that shed perfumes. I saw the silver sandals on Her pearl-white feet that seemed too chaste To tread true gold: her face like dawn On splendid peaks that lord a waste Of solitude lost gods have graced; White arms and hands; firm, faultless hips- Bound with the girdling silver, chased With acorn cup and crown and tips Of oak-leaves-whence the chiton slips. Limbs that the gods call loveliness ! The grace and glory of all Greece Wrought in one marble shape were less Than the perfection that were these.- 8 I13 Ir4 DEEP IN THE FOREST. I saw her; and time seemed to cease For me-And, lo! I lived my old Greek life again of classic ease, Barbarian as the myths that rolled Me back into the Age of Gold. RED LEA VES AND ROSES. ONE NIGHT. I. A NIGHT of rain. The wind is out. And I had wished it otherwise- A wind to sweep the scudding skies And burn big stars above the rout; Stars ; and my eyes should meet her eyes; Confront the siren of her sighs; The dimples of her cheeks that pout; Should see her calmness all surmise When I have said I love her lies-- And for that very love she dies. II. What breasts this wind has ! As it runs Around each unprotected tree Its foggy eyes I seem to see, Inhuman, yet a woman's ones; They blaze nor wink, as lionly As some bayed beast that will not flee The pine knots and derides the guns. Or is it but the crime that 's she! Who makes such treachery of me, Dread substance of my phantasy XX5 ONE NIGHT. III. And now the boughs and whipping rain Confuse them . . . Ah ! her gaze is tense As song with lovely influence- And it would pain to see her pain Yet she must die-with every sense Strung to beholding knowledge, whence My awful wound be whole again. The rain is dark ; the night is dense. Not with more silence Innocence Appeals to God than my defence. IV. And when she leaves (no one perceives !) The old gray manor where the eight Old locusts,-gnarly shadows,-freight With mossy dreariness its eaves, One moment at the iron gate She '11 tarry. Then, with breath abate, Come rustling through the autumn leaves. And I shall take both hands and sate My mouth on her's and say, " You're late" She '11 laugh to hear I had to wait . . V. O passion of lost vows, revive Imagination, and renew The ardor of love's language you i i6 ONE NIGHT. For love's rose-altar kept alive ! Your priestly oaths that rang with dew And starlight ! Think that she is true As beautiful.-But thought must thrive Here on her falseness, and pursue Deed with determined strength to do The dastardy she drags me to VI. And we shall walk before the wind; Tlhe shuffling leaves about wet feet Our ruin as the wood's complete Because one creature so has sinned And has not suffered. She shall meet No murder in my eyes ; no heat Of fate in holding hand that 's pinned To her's. To make her trust to beat, I '11 kiss her hair, deep as deep wheat, Like affluent Summer's-saying " Sweet." VII. And should I bungle in this thing, This purpose that must leave her dead, And cure this fever in my head - There is no wisdom that may bring Soul satisfaction, when is shed No redder blood than intent's red The baulked intention still will ring II7 ONE NIGH T. Fiend noises ; voices that have led Desire onward to be fed With failure when success seemed said. VIII. When we have reached the precipice That mocks the battling of the sea, And wallows out black rocks, that knee The giant surf and roar and hiss, I will not cease to coax and be The anxious lover. Trusting she Will not suspect my farewell kiss Until it turns a curse, and we Sway for an instant totteringly, And she has shrieked some prayer at me. Ix. O let me see no anguish there, No pain ! but terror and the frown Of crime's apprisal and renown Of my life's injury, that bare This horror with its bloody crown No pity, Lord! For if her gown, Suspending looseness of her hair, Delay the plunge . . . the night is brown . . My heel must crush her white face down, And Hell and Heaven see her drown. I TS RED LEA VES AND ROSES. THE ELIXIR OF LOVE. " HOLD it possible that he 'Who idolizes one that 's dead, And dreams of her incessantly With visions toil has fed, May cease and say, ''T is mine at last To live and love the love that 's past The joy without the grief and pain. The dead shall live and love again."' And he had loved her till for him His love had grown an ideal part He saw her standing fair and dim, Nor saw her withered heart: And labored on; for, truth to say, His pleasure wvas not in the way Of love accomplished, but love's thought That justified the time he wrought. And kept such trysts as phantoms keep, Pale distances about his soul;- And moved like one who walks asleep, Attaining no sure goal: And blither than a lighter heart liI THE ELIXIR OF LOVE. At crucible and glass retort He labored ; for his love was prism To irisate toil's egoism. He drained wan draughts from out a cup, A globe of vague and flaming gold, Held from the darkness, brimming up, By something white and cold, That touched faint lips against its brim, Like flakes of foam ; and soft and slim, Stooped out of fiery-bound abysses To print his brow with icy kisses. At last within his trembling hand An ancient flask burnt starry rose The starlight of a lonely land, Whose mountains no one knows: And in the liquid, like a flower, A star-like face bloomed for an hour, To slowly fade into a skull That mocked all that was beautiful. Though all his life had been so strange, Yet stranger than his life was she Who led him from his room to range 'Mid graves and mystery. Who led him to her own sad tomb, Where he could read within the gloom The name of her who lay within With all of silence, naught of sin. 120 THE ELLXYR OF LOVE. Untainted, as it seemed, or made By skeleton kisses yet more fair; And thus he found her and so laid Her darkness depths of hair Upon his shoulder; and the pearls, Around her neck and in her curls, Not paler than the kingly calm On brows and breasts without a qualm. And through the night, beneath the moon, Across the windy hill, the gloom Of forests where the leaves lay strewn, HIe brought her to his room: And in the awfulness of death, That filled her wide eyes with its breath, He set her in a carven chair Where the still moon could kiss her hair. One moment stood as if to think; Then to her lips, grown strangely red, His fierce elixir pressed, and " Drink Drink life and love ! " he said. And if it drank-he did not know, Absorbed upon the brow's wild woe; Or if it rose dispassionate, With eyes of stone and lips of hate. Still as Fall-frozen ice its face; And thin its voice as drizzled rain 121 2THE ELIXIR OF LOVE. And, coil on coil, on silk and lace Its quiet locks remain. Nor breathed its bosom while it spake, Like one whose mind is half awake, Or lapsing to enchanted sleep A century long in some old keep. And stooping o'er it whispered low- A sound as soft as any lyre, Or moonbeams beating on the snow An unavailing fire:- "XWhat is this life you give -Your toil What is your love a thing to soil Life with its unfulfilled desire - There is no demon half so dire ! " And where before was quietness, Was violence and scorn and evil, Yet all the form was passionless, A corpse that held a devil.. . And who shall say what hands were its That made around his throat these pits, That left him strangled ! or the one Who placed by him this skeleton! I886. I22 RED LEAVES AND ROSES. THE SPELL. A ND we have met but twice or thrice,- Three times enough to make me love !- I praised your hair once and your glove, Your foot, your gown-you were like ice And yet this might suffice, my love, And yet this might suffice. Saint John hath told me what to do: If I can find the ferns that grow, The fernseed that the fairies know, To sprinkle fernseed in my shoe, And haunt the steps of you, my dear, And haunt the steps of you. You 'd see the poppy-pods dip here, The blow-puff of the thistle slip, And no wind breathing-but my lip Next to your anxious cheek and ear; And you would know me near, my love, And you would know me near. On wood-paths I would tread your gown You 'd know it was no brier; then I 'd whisper vows of love again, 123 T4HE SPELL. And see your quick face flush and frown,- And then to kiss it down, my dear, And then to kiss it down. You'd muse at home, or read, or knit, And know it was my hands that blotted The page, or all your needles knotted, And in your anger cry a bit; And I would laugh at it, my love, And I would laugh at it. The secrets you should say in prayer, Should I not know or, should you sing, The one you think of or the thing That makes you stare at empty air, And feel that I am there, my dear, And feel that I am there But when the whole sweet truth is said, It is my soul that follows you; It needs no fernseed in the shoe,- Unless the heart's red love be dead,- To win you and to wed, my love, To win you and to wed. 124 RED LEAVES AND ROSES. THE RETURN. A BROWN wing beat the apple leaves and shook One blossom on her hair. Then seemed to float Deliberate bubbles. In her shaded book She found romantic interest. No look Betrayed the tumult in her trembling throat. The bird sang on. A dreamy wind came down From one white cloud of afternoon and fanned The leaking petals on her book and gown Aind touched her hair: she curved a quiet frown, And smoothed it with a single-jewelled hand. The ribbon of her hair dipped on her brow- And then she knew he watched her: 'T was his breath That moved the blossom on the apple bough; His eyes that made the wood-thrush cease. And now Her cheek went crimson, now as white as death. Then on the dappled page his shadow; yes, Not unexpected, yet her haste assumed 125 126 THE RE TURN. Fright's startle ; and rich laughter did confess His presence there, like some long-lost caress Of noble manhood, where the thick trees bloomed. Quickly she rose and all her gladness sent Sweet welcome to him. Her his unhurt arm Drew unresisted; and the soldier lent Fond lips to hers. She wept. And so they went Deep in the orchard toward the old brick farm. RED LEAVES AND ROSES. THE LETTER. L ONG shadows towards the east ; and in the west A garnet conflagration, wherein rolled One cloud like some great gnarly log of gold Each gabled casement of the farm seemed dressed In ghostly roses love made manifest. And she had brought his letter here to read, Upon the porch, that faced the locust glade To watch the summer twilight burn and fade, And breathe the dewy scent of wood and weed, Forget all care and her sick soul to feed. And on his face her fancy mused a while: Dark hair, dark eyes-" And now he has a beard Dark as his hair,"-she smiled ; yet almost feared, It changed him so, she could not reconcile Her heart to that which hid his lips and smile. Then tried to feature, but could only see The beardless man who bent to her and kissed Her and their child and left them to enlist. She heard his horse grind in the gravel. He Waved them adieu and rode to fight with Lee. 127 TTE LETTER. And all around her drowsed the hushful hum Of evening insects. And his letter spoke Youthful caresses to her, nor awoke One echo of the bugle or the drum, But their whole future in one kiss did sum. The stars were thick now; and the western blush Drained into darkness. With a dreamy sigh She rocked her chair.--It must have been the cry Of infancy that made her rise and rush To where their child slept, and to hug and hush. Then she returned. But now her ease was gone. She knew not what, she felt some unknown fear Press tight'ning at her heart-strings ; and a tear Her eyelids scalded; and her cheeks grew wan As helpless sorrow's, and her white lips drawn. With stony eyes she grieved against the skies, A slow, dull, aching agony that knew Few tears, and saw no answer shining to Her unasked questions from the stars' still eyes " Where Peace delays and where her soldier lies " They could have answered. One was far away Beyond the field that belched black batteries All the red day: 'mong picket silences, On woodland mosses, in a suit of gray, Shot through the heart, one by his rifle lay. I28 RED LEAVES AND ROSES. WOUNDED. I T was in August that they brought her news Of his bad wounds; the leg that he must lose. And August passed, and when October raised Red rebel standards on the hills that blazed, They brought a haggard wreck that did abuse The youth whose strength their village had amazed. An ailing spectre of the happy lad, The five months husband, whom his country had Enlisted, strong for war ; returning this, Whose broken countenance she feared to kiss, While health's remembrance stood beside him sad, And wept for that which was no longer his. They brought him on a litter; and the day Was glad and beautiful. It seemed that May In woodland rambles had forgot her path Of season, and, disrobing for a bath, By the autumnal waters of some bay, With her white nakedness had conquered Wrath. Far otherwise she wished it: wind and rain The sky, one gray commiserative pain; 9 129 WOUNDED. 730 Sleet, and the stormy drift of frantic leaves Harsh frost and misery, that one perceives Has bit the hazel of her hair ; again Has carved grave care around her mouth that grieves. Theirs-a mute meeting of the eyes; she stooped And kissed him once: one long dark side-lock drooped Its braid against the bandage of his breast; \Vith feeble hands he stroked it and caressed, Then all his happiness in one look grouped Saying, " Now I am home, I crave but rest." Once it was love ! but then the battle killed All that sweet nonsense of his youth, and filled The heart with sterner madness.-Ah, well '! Peace Mlust blot it out with patience, whose surcease Is never hasty.-Yet, as God hath willed With war or peace Who shapes wise ends at ease. What else for them but, where their mortal lot Of weak existence dragged rent ends, to knot The frail unravel up !-Love (still afraid Days will increase the burthen on it laid), Seeks consolation that consoleth not, And side by side with Sorrow waits the Shade. RED LEAVES AND ROSES. THE PARTING. S HE passed the thorn-trees, whose gaunt shadows tossed Their sprawling spiders round her; and the breeze, Beneath the ashen mnoon, was full of frost, And mouthed and mumbled in the sickly trees, Like some starved hag who sees her children freeze. Dry-eyed she waited by their sycamore. Lone stars made misty blotches in the sky. And all the wretched willows on the shore Looked faded as a jaundiced cheek or eye. She felt their pity and could only sigh. His skiff had ground upon the river rocks. Whistling he came into the shadow made By that dead branch, from which the sea-gull mocks The flood. And strong his boyish hands were laid In hers. And she no weakness had betrayed. Her speech was quiet while his greeting kiss Stung through her hair. She did not dare to lift 13I THTE PA R TING. The knowledge of her anguished eyes to his, When tears smote crystal in her throat. One rift Of heartache humored might set all adrift. Anger and shame were his. She meekly heard. And then the oar-locks sounded, and her brain Remembered he had said no farewell word And hard emotion swept her, and again Left her as silent as a carven pain. ... She, in the bld sad farm-house, wearily Resumed the drudgery of her common lot, Regret remembering. . .. 'Midst old vices he, Who would have trod on and somehow did not, The wildflower, that had brushed his feet, forgot. 132 RED LEAVES AND ROSES. THE DAUGHTER OF THE SNOW. T HOUGH the panther's footprints show, And the wild-cat's, in the snow, You will never find a trace Of the footsteps of a certain Maiden with a paler face Than the drifts that fill and curtain Hillside, valley, and the wood, Where the hunter's wigwam stood In the starving solitude. What white beast hath grown the fur For the whiter limbs of her - Raiment of the frost and ice To her supple beauty fitting; Wampum strouds as white as rice, Mantle, of the frost's weird knitting, Wrapping face and hair complete Fingers gloved with sparkle ; feet Moccasined with beaded sleet. 'Though he knew she made a haunt Of the dell, it did not daunt: Where the hoar-frost carved each tree Out of virgin alabaster, I133 134 THE DA UGHTER OF THE SNOW. And spun hairy bud and bee On each autumn-withered aster By the frozen waterfall He could hear the cold quail call O'er the spangled chaparral. Where the beech-tree and the larch Built a shining triumph arch For the morning marching down Hosts of silver-armored leaders Where each hemlock had a crown, And huge diadems the cedars Where the long icicle shone, There he found her standing lone Like a mist-wraith changed to stone. And she led him many a mile With her hand-wave and her smile, And the printless swiftness of Feet of fog, and frosty flutter Of her raiment; now above Now below the boughs of utter WVinter whiteness. Led him on Till the dawn and day were gone, And the evening star hung wan. . Hunters found him dead, they tell, In the winter-wasted dell, THE DA UGHTER OF THE SNOW. 135 WVith his quiver and his bow, Where the cascade runs a rafter Made of crystal and of snow; Where he listened to her laughter, Promises, that were as far As the secrets of a star, Leading on the warrior. And her countenance is this Haunting his ; and this the kiss On faint mouth and fainter eyes Of her lip's divine December This her triumph that defies Love the winter stars remember Sought her, met her; and 't is she Clinging to him, neck and knee, Where his limbs sank wearily. RED LEA VES AND ROSES. HILDEGARD. I. IT was Hildegard who came From the forest of the mountain She whose hair is like the flame Of a sunset-fevered fountain You may know her by her eyes, Dauntless eyes of bitter beryl, Where the anguish never dies, And the suffering soul sits sterile In such haze as ever lies On the unsailed seas of peril. II. It was Hildegard. I knew By no sound or sight she trembled Near me, lighter than the dew In the sessions of assembled Flowers. Hers some influence Of soft, serpent magnetism, Vanquishing my every sense With essential mesmerism Holding me beneath the lens Of her will's compelling prism. 136 HILDEGA R DD. III. I cannot escape. She treads Noiseless as the forest flowers Walked on by the wind; their heads Pavements for the mottled hours She is brilliant as the trees Where young blossoms are unsheathing; She is lissome as the ease Of the woodland water's wreathing; She is subtle as the breeze Through the Summer's tresses breathing. IV. If she sings who is it hears But my spirit, that forever Her strange singing moves to tears And to happy laughter never Babylonian necromance, Oldest witcheries that arrow Strains ensorcelling, and glance Through the life's bewildered marrow, While the soul lies lost in trance, Helpless if such heal or harrow. V. She has bound me with her gaze, While her white hands weigh my shoulders; And my weak will swings and sways I37 HILDEGA RD. To her gaze that burns and smolders. She has led me far away Under boughs where Summer dallies: Over peaks of purple day, Far away through Eden alleys: Though the way be one long May It will end in Winter valleys. VI. Brazen earthquake treads the peaks Iron skies are crusts that sunder, Where the lightning's lava leaks Vomiting the hosts of thunder. Still she kisses me. Dark red With my heart's blood are her kisses: Then her arms fall cold and dead, And my mouth her kisses misses- She is gone; and in her stead Flies a milk-white snake that hisses. 138 RED LEA VES A AD ROSES. U RGANDA. I T is Sir Elid of the Sword, Of whom King Lisuarte hath heard These three long years no wished-for word. His armor dofft, he comes in fur And velvet, all the w-arrior, And takes her hand and kisses her. " Thrice have I heard the Summer sigh For drowsy poppies that must die, Seen sadder Autumn, fading, lie,"- So said Helis and said with tears;- "Thrice welcome, Elid, though long years Of silence fed my love with fears ! " He said to her: To thee alone wrest " My own, my best, Witch ! wilt 1/iou This hourfrom me . . . shall be con- fessed The thing that will not let me rest. 139 URGANDA. " It was at Hallowmas I spurred Through woods wherein no wild thing stirred, No sound of brook, no song of bird. "When softly down a tangled way A dim fair woman, white as day, Rode on a palfry misty gray. " Upon her brow a circlet burned Of jewels, and the fire inurned Changed with her thoughts, and turned and turned.- I stared like him, who, wild and pale, Spurs, hag-led, through the night and hail. When, lo ! adown a forest vale An angel with the Holy Grail ! " It vanishes ; but, once beheld, The longing heart is never quelled, Its loveliness hath so enspelled.- " She vanished. And I rode alone Behind a voice that did intone, 'Urganda is she, the Unknown. " ' And never shalt thou clasp the form Of her who leads thee by a charm To follow on through sun and storm.' 140 URGA NDA. ' " I can not stay for weal or w oe. E'en now her magic bids me go, Soft-summoning through wind and snow.". Helis with sweetest songs beguiles His hollow face until it smiles, And with her lute shapes sweeter wiles Till kingly figures, woven in Thle windy arras, seem to win Strange, ghostly life, and slay and sin. Until her deep hair's golden glow Sweeps his dark curls as, praying low, She kneels a marble-sculptured Woe. 'T were well to leave him here to rest, Aweary with his haggard quest, All in gray fur and velvet dressed.. At midnight through the vaulted roof She heard armed steps of ringing proof; She heard a charger's iron hoof. The leaded lattice banked one glare Of moonlight in the frosty air ;- Hag shapes delayed her everywhere. I4I UR GA NDA. Sir Elid in the moonlight's beam, Stiff, staring as if still a-dream, Rode downward to the rushing stream. In casque and corselet was he dressed, And sang like one in goodly jest, " I ride upon my love's last quest." Straight onward by some mighty will Into the river that should kill He rode and sang, and so was still. Not wider than its eyes are his That stare, where icy eddies kiss His lips, where all the horror is. Strong through the reeds the snow seems blown. What leans above him still as stone, And laughs as when the night-winds moan If thou shouldst find him, 0 beware Thy kiss ! for where the death 's most fair, Helis, Helis, she kissed him there i885. I142 RED LEAVES AND ROSES. THE SON OF EVRAWC. BEYOND the walls, past wood and twilight field, The Usk slipped onward under wharf and wvall Of old Caerlleon, rolling in, it seemed, The heathen blood of all of Arthur's wars. So she had left him, and he leaned alone Within the carven casement, where a ray Of sunset laid a bleeding spear athwart The dark oak hall and made the arras drip. And now life's bitterness took Peredur By all his heart's strings, smiting. lie would go, Equipped for quest, through all the savagery Of mountain and of forest. And this girl- Forget her ! and- her game of shuttlecock; This Angharad ; this child the Court had spoiled And he remembered how he once had rode, Spurring his piebald stallion down the square Upon the King's quest, and a girl had laughed From some bedragoned balcony of walls That faced the gateway ; and in passing he Had glimpsed her beauty ; it was she. Befell That snow had fallen and the winter wood Lay carpeted with silence. And he rode Into a vista where a raven lay Slain of a hawk ; some blood-drops dyed the snow: He lost himself in quaint comparisons, I143 THE SON OF E VRA WC. Of how the sifted drift was as her skin; The raven's feathers as her heavy hair And in her cheeks the health of maidenhood Red as the blood-drops: so he sat and dreamed: When one rode up in angry steel and spoke Thrice to no answer, and in anger dashed A gauntlet in his face and made at him: And how he slew him and rode over him Fiercer than fire : how he had returned To find her fairer than their Gwenddolen, Crowned beauty of the beautiful at Court, WVith Gwenhwyvar, and fair among the fair. And while he mused he thought he heard her voice: Or was it fancy teasing him to hear Her lute below the creepered walls, whose leaves Bathed with continual sunset all the court, Beside the ceaseless whisper of the foam Of many fountains. Sweeter mockery Had never held him: and he heard her sing: "Ask me not now to sing to thee Songs I have loved to sing before I love thee not ; it can not be; The dream is done ; the song is o'er. "Yet hold my hands; look deep into The heartbreak of my eyes that bore Glad welcome erst and now adieu, Adieu in eyes thou dost adore. 144 THE SON OF EVRA WC. "And thou shalt kiss my mouth and brow; Smooth through my hair hands as of yore When once 't was love and I and thou Forevermore, forevermore. "Thou shalt not weep; I will not weep; I love thee not; should I regret - Nay! let me sing my songs and sleep, Sleep and forget, sleep and forget." 0 bird of spring," he said, " when flowers are gone Thy song will winter underneath the pine: God give thou find no winter in thy heart Whenas dost find the frost invades thy voice Ah, lovelier than thy song, one sings of thee Long ballads in each heartbeat, but in vain: Thou dost not heed, thou wilt not hear his songs. Or if thou dost 't is very wantonness Whose interest apes indifference ; or words, A moiety, of mockery; and this To one who 'd love thee over all belief, Above all women and against all men." She thrummed her lute. He listened and then laughed, Love's life ' Our Dagonet might teach me sense, The folly that I am !-WShat ! have I slept A sennight in the taking of the moon, IO 145 THE SON OF EVRA WC. Or danced sleep-footed with the forest fays ! One would imagine . . . No! . . 0 silken skirts Of wantonness ! whose devil's influence Parades Caerlleon corridors with lies And vanity, coquet the faithless court Into a harlot !-Ho ! a page, a page !- God's wounds! my horse, my arms; I will away !" And many knights he passed, nor saw; who asked What quest he rode. Inscrutable deeds behind His visor, and along his sullen spear Adventure bitter as a burning ray, Into the night he galloped with the stars. . . And one lone night two years thereafter.-Lost Within a forest wilder than wild Dean, With neither wind nor water through its leaves, That hung as turned to stone above the moss And grass, that wrapped the scaly rocks, death- dry, And barren torrents; where he had not found Or man or hut, or slot of boar or deer Through miles and miles of lamentable trees And twisted thorns ; beneath the autumn moon, Pale as a nun's face seen in cloistered walks, Above dead tree-tops, like the rugged rock Of melancholy cliffs, he saw wild walls Of some vague castle thrust weird battlements And hoary towers like a wizard's dream. r46 THE SON OF E VRA WC. Great greedy weeds and burs and briers packed Its moat and roadway; at the very gate Weeds deeper than a man; their ancient stalks Devoured with the dust and spider webs, Or smothered with the slime where croaked the toad. And Peredur against the portal rode, Alnd wvith his spear-point beat upon its bolts A sounding, minute. But no wolf-bound barked, Only dull echoes of interior walls And hollow rock that arched the empty halls. And once again his truncheon shook the gate And roused a round-eyed owl that screamed and b)linked, Iike some fierce gargoyle, on the bartizan; And from a crevice, like an olmnen, hurled A frantic bat. And then lhe heard a grate, Concealed within the gloomy battlements, Slid sloNwly, and a lean, gaunlt, red-haired youth, Lit with a link, addressed him. And he saw That famine hlad suink hollows in his cheeks, And fixed gaunt misery in mouth and eyes. This one retired to return afgain Undid harsh chains and shot back stubborn bolts; And stiff with rust the snarling hinges swung. And Peredur beheld neglected courts P'athetic with dead leaves ; and mournful walls Round which huge oaks thrust mistletoe and boughs 147 THE SON OF E VRA WC. Of livid leaves, that seemed hooked, headlong hands Of murder, or distorted faces come Out of the goblin wood to scoff at him. And he dismounted. And in clanking mail Strode down the hall ; and in the hall beheld Youths, lean and auburn-haired around the hearth Some eighteen of an equal height, and clad Alilke in dingy garments that looked worn And old. And these w ere like to him who first Ilad bade him welcome. And they greeted him, And disarrayed, and bade him to a seat. And now an inner door flung wide ; and, lo, Five maidens, like five forest flowers, came, I)ark-eyed, dark-haired. Behold, the queen of these Wlias Anngharad. Clad in a ragged robe Of faded satin, that had once been rich. She looked at Peredur. And he beheld The hair again far blacker than the bird That flies athwart the milk-white moon; the skin Inviolably white as wind-flowers blown Among the mighty gospels of the trees And in her cheeks, the rose of maidenhood Red as round berries winter bushes spot The dimpled drift with under loaded boughs. 148 THE SON OF EVRA WC. She knew him or forgot to ask his name, But blushed, and welcomed. And they sat and talked Until the niglt waxed late. And as they talked He marked long fasting in each face, and longed To ask but asked not. So the night waxed late. And then two nuns came ; sandalled silence in Frail footsteps, and pale caution on pale lips. One brought a jar of wvine, and one brought bread, Six loaves of wheaten flour. And these said, 4 God bear us witness, Lady, this is all! :Now is our Convent barren as thy board; " And so departed. And they sat and ate. The wind upon the forest and the rain Upon the turrets. Had he heard a sigh Or was it but the echo of his owvn, Born of great weariness, that broke his rest A dream, a dream. The elfin storm is on, And sows the woods with witchcraft, and the leaves Are chased by imps of darkness through the hail And hurling rain ; the wind is wild with leaves. Again he slept. The rain among the trees, The wind upon the turrets. Had he moaned Now that he lay awake and heard the wind 149 THE SON OF EVRA WC. Hoot on the towers like a green-eyed owl The rain and wind; the night is black with rain. Upon the forest like a voice the wind; And on the turrets, lilk-e swift feet, the rain. Now was he sure 't was weeping ; and arose And found her at his door ; and took her hand, That like a soft persuasion lay in his. He felt long sobbings shake her and so asked "Tell me, my sister, wherefore dost thou weep " And Angharacl, " Yea ; I will tell thee, lord.-- M'y name is Angharad. My father held An Earldom under Arthur, yea, the first In all his Kingdom: and this palace too WVas his with cantrevs to the vest and east. When I was but a girl Earl Addanc met And loved me. Once, when hunting, he came here And sought my father and demanded me. He said he loved me, and would have but me To grace his bed and board, this Earl. But I- I did not love him, being but a child, My father's only child, I could not love. And so my father said this might not be. The Earl was wrath. I heard his furious stride Beneath my casement ; double demons pinched His evil eyes and twenty gnarled his face. He cursed us ere he rode beyond our walls. Then I was sent to Camelot and there I150 THE SON OF EVRA WC. Became a woman of young Gwenhwyvar, Until my father's death two years agone, When I returned, a Countess, to find war With Addanc here around beleagured walls. So hath he stripped me of my appanage Save this one keep, whose strength hath held him long, Brave with my foster brothers: thou hast seen The eighteen youths whose valor will not yield. But what avails their valor and their will Against hard hunger now our larder lacks, And lacks the Convent too whereon we leaned And Addanc comes to-norroNx morn, the truce For our one day's deliberation done. If he prevail-the thought is like hot hands Here on my brain-his oath is ' that the night Shall see me given over to his grooms.' " She wept with tremblings. Then said Peredur: " Thou shalt not wveep, my sister. And this Earl- If he be early call me not too late. Fear not. I will not go until my swkord Hath. crossed the sword of so much wickedness, And proved this base ambition. Go and sleep." . . A morning gray with mist that gathered drops Of drizzle on uncomfortable leaves. And now the mist divided: ghostly mail, Spears and limp pennons, and the shadowy steeds 151 TRE SON OF EVRA WC. Of shadowy knights and chieftains. And it seemed A phantom army come to lay dim siege To phantom walls whose warriors were ghosts. Afar a bugle flourished in the fog, Disconsolate, no echo of the wood To bear its music burden. To the moat Advanced a herald. And within the wall The grate was opened, and the gaunt-eyed youth Held parley with him, " How the Earl would make End of the long dispute to-day, and leave, Twixt three a single combat to decide." So Peredur bade arm him, and prepare His horse for battle ; and bade give their Earl His answer for the Castle, " That one knight Would try the hauberks of the banded three." And he rode forth: and one rode up and scoffed,- A knight in russet armor with loud words, "Small means to large results, forsooth ! Thou boast ! A vicious palate hath thy appetite, That feasted long with hunger and must now Conclude the banquet with three deaths !-Sir Death, Here is thy death !" and hacked at Peredur A weighty stroke that gashed his chain camail. But, rising in stiff stirrups, ere he passed Two-handed swung the sword of Peredur, 152 THE SON OF E VRA WC. And helhn and head of him who fell were twain, Split like an apple. And the walls were glad. Then came another clad in silver mail As he were Galahad, and in the mist Glimmered like moonlight. And with levelled spear Demanded: " Whence and what art thou This stroke Was never fathered by long fasting."-Then Quoth Peredur, " I am of Arthur's Court."- " A goodly service truly that of his ! Know, all his knights that I have met have died."- Quoth Peredur: " Thy falsehood choke thee dead Between thy teeth, liar, I nail thy lie And at his gorget hurled his ponderous spear Ere that one met him spurring at full speed Disdainful. And the desperate stroke of him Who had worked wonders with the Table Round, Glanced shattering from the sloping shield, while he, Bent o'er his stallion's crupper, rolled ; his tongue Cleft at the root. And all the walls were glad. Now came a third: a black knight and a black Enormous steed. No words he wasted. But, The fierce spears splintered, from the baldrics burned Swift blades ; and Battle held his breath awhile To watch the great shields rock beneath great blows, 153 THE SON OF EVRA WC. Oppose, deploy, as hilt to hilt they hewed At heaume and gorget. And the battle bright Upon the splintered greaves from many wounds. Then Peredur, his whole strength wrencl'ing at Unyielding effort of his foeman's shield, Beat down his guard and smote-And Addanc lay Beneath the son of Evrawc whose swift hands Razed off his casque and laid a blind blade bare Across hot eyes, and set a heel of steel Upon his throat and said: " Thou coward curse What woman wilt thou war with now -'T is well Thy features are thus evil and might breed Nightmares among the scullions, or thou Hadst been one span the shorter !-Villainy, Out of thy ugly head speak ! " . . . Cursing he, A stricken bulk, growled, " Let me live " ; and so The sword slid from fierce eyes and from his neck The heel. And he arose to make in full Due restitution of her lands to her He had harassed and robbed. And so in time This was fulfilled. But Peredur remained, For, to be near her and to do for her WVas almost happiness,-until the land Acknowledged her with all obedience.- Her rights established, what more now remained To lend excuse unto his long delay - And so he went to her and sought her from 154 THE SON OF E VRA WC. Among her maidens, and bespoke her how "He would ride hence and would but say fare- well. " Dost thou then so desire " she. And he Ground iron strides along the lofty hall And so returned with iron strides and said " Ay, by my God ! Who knows I have not fought For thee but still against thee. 'T is my curse. I caine not here to woo. Thou wouldst but laugh. - Hlaply thou last forgotten-yea, thou hast- A son of Evrawc, Evrawc of the North, Who loved thee once . . hast memory of him yet . . . Look in his eyes once more and say farewell." This shall not be, my soul." lie heard her low Voice pleading softly, and new life leapt up: He heard her as men hear the voice of hope Upon despair's black brink, and see one star Bloom, like a lily with a heart of fire Throbbing within it, slowly out of night. And each word was as welcomle as a rose Dropped from the rosy lips of laughing Spring: I have remembered ; think'st thou I have not - O son of Evrawc, thou who couldst not read, 'Neath bells of folly and a merry mask, A girl's dear secret through her tinsel acts. 155 THE SON OF EVRA WC. Or, was not thine but fancy -Ah, too true, I heard the vapid ending of a tale Coquetry had begun for different end.- But, if thou wilt, we can read on ; mayhap It ends in wnedlock.-Both were wrong. The one Because his love was blind, impetuous, Nor saw the love that would have proved 't was love, Not lust, before surrender. Th' other: that She sought for wisdom in the frivolous, And so made falsehood of her heart's high truth, Deceived more than deceiving.-Wilt thou go He had no rhetoric to make reply; Only his arms around her, and his eyes Upon her eyes, and kisses on her mouth. Long time they stood.-Outside the sunset flung Barbaric glory on the autumn wood.- And lifting up her face he said to her:- " Thou hast thy lute Come, let me sing to thee. Then shalt thou sing thy song, and if it please No better than two years agone, why, love, We will-ride forth together to the Queen And Gwenhwyvar shall kiss thee and confess Thou art her fairest flower of loveliness, And give thee to me who will wear thee here." 1 56 RED LEA VES AND ROSES. TORQUEMADA. W HAT doth the Archbishop, his chapter, of Toledo I)o they doze and yawn above Some dull dry bull Pope Sextus sent to rot I cry, Awake ! 0 prelates militant Spain's king is less than king as I am less Than Paul !-(And what a distance !) -Look around; Observe and dare !-I write above my seal, A grave Dominican, to postulate I'acheco, Marquis de Villena, croaks Wise truth into your excellencies' ears King lienry's heir is illegitimate Blanche of Navarre cast off, his Impotence Gave us a wanton out of Portugal For queen ; Joanna, who bore him this heir 'TIhe cuckold king parades, a bastard, now. Look ! all the Court laughs--secretly ; but masks Are but for slaves; the people's smile is free Of all concealment; and the word still wags About this son, who is his favorite's, Bertrand la Cueva's ; whom the king himself Made warm familiar with Joanna's bed. Sweet infamy ! Absolve one-at the stake I57 TORQUEMADA. Confess the other-with the axe that hews The neck of state asunder ! Is it well, Prelates and ministers Be merciful !- Lest the disease of this delicious fruit, Our Kingdom of Castile, corrode the core, Why not pare off all rottenness and leave The healthy pulp ! The throne, the populace, The Church, and God demand the overthrow, Deponement or the abnegation of This Henry, named the Fourth, the impotent !- Alphonso lives. (It is my guarded hope That brothers of such kings have no long life.)- Am I impatient 't is the tonsure helps. My native town, Valladolid, did sow The priestly germ, amlbition: there it had Poor soil indeed, and blew to Cordova, And sunned its torpor in a woman's smile, And grew a tenderness too insecure When frosts were out. Required hardiness, And found it there at Zaragossa; (where Fat father Lopcs, bluff Dominican, Mly youth confuted with wise nonsense, and Astonished Spain with disputation in The public controversies of the monks.) Transplanted to the Court, 0 splendid speed Sure hath its growth been. Now a Cardinal's red Is promised by the bud that tops its stem. TORQ UEMADA. My Isabella, daughter and dear child; The incarnation of my dear ideal; Pure crucifix of my religious love; Sweet cross which my ambition guards and holds; How have I through the saintly medium Of the confessional impressed thy ear ! Plouglled up the early meadows of thy soul For fruitful increase ! In thy maiden heart Insinuated subtleties of seed Shall ripen to a queen crowned with a crown From welded gold of Arragon and Castile Hlow I this son of John, the Second named, Prince Ferdinand of swarthy Arragon,- (Grant absolution, holy mother mine! Thus thy advancement and thy mastery Would I obtain !)-have on her fancy limned In morning colors of proud chivalry Till he a sceptred paladin of love And beaming manhood stands! She dreams, she dreams What-Heaven knows ! 'T is, haply, of a star She saw when but a babe and in the arms Of somle sad nurse. A star that laughed above A space of Moorish balcony that hung Above a water full of upset stars, Reflected glimmers of old palace fetes A star she reached for, cried for, claimed and claimed But never got; that blew young promises, Court promises, centupled from the tips 159 TORQUEMA DA. Of golden fingers at her infant eyes.- Well ! when this girl is grown to be a queen What if one, Torquemada, clothe her star In palpable approach and give it her !- When she is queen, three steadfast purposes Havegrown their causes to divine results. No young imagination did I train \Vith such endeavor and for no reward.- How oft I told her of the gifts of kings And queens, while pensively she sat and heard Absorbed upon my face ! her missal, crushed 'Neath one propped elbow, its bent careless leaves Rich with illuminated capitals Of gold and purple, open on her lap. Felicity discoursed of who adhere To God's true Vicar and our Holy Church: Beatitude and all the ceaseless bliss, Celestial, of eternal Paradise, As everlasting as the hearts that have Protected Heaven and its only Faith:- " Walk not on ways that lead but to despair, The easy ways of Satan ; rather thorns For naked feet that will not falter if Retentive of the arm of our true Church, Who urges weariness with comfortings Low whispered in the tuneless ear of Care."- " Do some digress "-" Oh, many, many, yea! And there 's necessity ! we should annul, Pluck out the canker that contaminates, i6o TOR Q UEMA DA. Destroys the milk-white beauty of our rose. God's persecution ! they confront our faith With brows of stigmatizing error writ In Hell's red handwriting. Shall such persist No ! Heaven demands an end to all this shame! "- Her pledge she gave me then: " When queen, for Spain The Inquisition ! Let the saints record A mattock of deracination to Extirpate Heresy."-And I -Oh, I 1But Torqueniada a Dominican ! Blind Spain hastes blindly onward, happy for Her hellward plunge. Our need is absolute. Conclusion to these monster heresies Or their most imminent consequence ! The throne, Which is derived directly from high God, Meseenis should champion God in any cause And if it will not, we will teach it to.- O Spain, Spain, Spain ! awake ! start up and crush These multiplying madnesses that mouth Their paradoxes at the Cross and shriek Black blasphemies e'en in the face of Christ !- O miserable Religion, is thy pride So fallen here ! thy tenement of strength So powerless ! Then where 's security, When steadfast principle is insecure, And God's own pillars rock and none resists - But I have tempered, at a certain heat, A heart of womanhood ; and have so wrought II i6i TORQ UE MA DA. The metal of a mind within the forge Of holy discourse, that Toledo's steel Springs not so true as my reforming sword, Which carves out worship to a perfect whole.- Imperial Isabella ! patroness ! Protectress of pure faith ! sweet Catholic Our Church's dear concern ! its bell ! its book Tribunal and its godly Act of Faith ! This need is first: to make her sceptred queen Of wide Castile. To make, (the second need), Him, whom Ximenes, my friend Cordelier Shall serve as minister, King Ferdinand, Her wedded consort. And the third great need, The last,-which still is first,-to scour from Spain These Moors, who make a brimstone-odious lait Of that rich region of Granada, which Like some vile sore of scaly leprosy Scabs Spain's fair face. Delay not. Let the Church Divide attention then 'twixt heretics And unclean Jews. So wash her garments clean !- King Henry falls. God and St. Dominick Aid my endeavor ! and the Holy See Build firm foundations !-Let the corner-stone Of our most holy Inquisition here Be mortared with the blood of heretics That its strong structure may endure !-(And I - Made Grand Inquisitor and Cardinal !) I G2 RED LEAVES AND ROSES. AN EPISODE. I. SAINT DOMINICK, Pope Innocent, Thou holy host, Lyons once bent On Languedoc, may God the Father Plunge you in everlasting Hell And may the blood of those who fell At Beziers together gather In torrents of eternal pain, And on your souls beat boiling rain II. And Mountfort !-It was given me, For I had prayed incessantly, To be the David to this giant.- An Albigensian warrior My husband was. He, in the war, The Pope had thundered on defiant Thoulouse and outlawed Languedoc, Stood with Earl Raymond like a rock. III. The walls of B1ziers cried loud And Carcassonne's, red in their cloud i63 1 N EPISODE. Of blood, disease, and conflagration, For vengeance !-When he left me here, With my twvo babes, I felt no fear. The crusade's excommunication Poured clown its holy Catholics To crush and burn us heretics. IV. At Carcassonne he fell. And there My babes died famished. And despair And torture mine within their prison 'fill Mother of our God Portrayed This Mountfort's (leath. On me were laid Blessed hands of powner in a vision. The saints' own cause could I refuse, That led me to besieged Thoulouse V. No arrow mine, no arbalist A sling, a stone, a woman's wrist God and his virgin Mother aided.- Their engines rocked our walls. I felt The time had come and, praying, knelt Then from the sling my hair had braided Launched at De Mountfort's bassinet The rock where eyebrow eyebrow met. i64 AN EPISODE. T65 VI. Not mine his death. Of Carcassonne Our Lady's hand had aimed the stone, That slew this monster that was master !- Saint Dominick and Innocent, A woman was the instrument, Our Holy Lady's the disaster Two armies saw her whirl the sling, And afterward-no liurman thing. RED LEAVES AND ROSES. THE MAMELUKE. I. SHE was a queen. 'Midst mutes and slaves, A mameluke, I loved her. -Waves Dashed not more hopelessly the paves Of her high marble palace-stair Than lashed my love my heart's despair. - As souls in Hell dream Paradise, I suffered, yet forgot me there Beneath Rommaneh's houri eyes. II. A slave who ate his own mad heart And served her beauty, but might dart No amon ous glance at any part. I foand her on a low divan,- Taifi leather's perfumed tan,- Beneath her, cushions stuffed with down A slave-girl with an ostrich fan Sat by her in a golden gown. III. "0 boy, thy lute ! "-Fair lutanist, She loved my voice.-Beside her wrist, i66 THE MA MEL UKE. Hooped with a blaze of amethyst, Her balass-ruby-crusted lute: Gold-welted stuff, like some rich fruit, Her raiment, diamond-showered, rolled Folds pigeon-purple, whence one foot Drooped in an anklet-twist of gold. IV. I sat and sang with all the fire That boiled within my blood's desire, That made me more than slave and higher: And at the end my passion durst Quench with one burning kiss its thirst. - O eunuchs ! had her face a scorn When through this heart your daggers burst And dare ye say I died forlorn i67 RED LEA VES A ND ROSES. THE SLAVE. H E waited till within her tower Her taper signalled him the hour. He was a prince 1oth fair and brave. What hope for him to love her slave He of the Persian dynasty; And she the Queen of Araby !- No Peri singing to a star Upon the sea were lovelier. I helped her drop the silken rope. He clomb aflame with love and hope. I drew the dagger from my gown And cut the ladder, leaning down. Oh, wild the face, and wild the fall Her cry was wilder than them all. I heard her cry, I heard him groan, And stood as merciless as stone. ,j68 THE SLA VE. i6 The eunuchs came ; fierce scimitars Stirred in the torch-lit corridors. She spoke like one who prays in sleep, And bade me strike or she would leap. I bade her leap, the time was short And kept the dagger for my heart. She leapt. I put their blades aside And smiling in their faces--died. RED LEAVES AND ROSES. THE SEVEN DEVILS OF MAHOMET. THERE is a legend, lost in some old dusty Tome of the East, -and who shall ques- tion it - Concluding ancient wisdom, rather musty, Wherein much war and wickedness and wit Insult and wrath and love and shame are writ. Wherein is written that, when Mahomet Fled out of Mecca from the people's wrath, He met a shadow standing in his path, A naked horror blacker than hewn jet. It in one hand held out a flaming jewel, Wherein fierce colors burnt and blent like eyes Of seven fires as a single fuel: The horror said, " God cursed them for their lies. These are the seven devils of the wise And 1 am Satan !" And the Prophet saw The purposes of Allah, and replied, " God, set them free ! And what shall be denied To these except life's hope" His word was law. Since then the seven devils have descended From nation unto nation past the ken I 70 THE SEVEN DEVILS OF MAHOMET. 171 Of Mahomet, who left us undefended Of any amulet of sword or pen 'Gainst demons boring at the brains of men: So many maggots that will spend their spite In sadness, fear and scorn, despair and rage, Envy and jealousy, on fool and sage, The seven devils with us day and night. 172 RED LEAV ES AND ROSES. JOHN DAVIS, BOUCANIER. H IGHI time, high time, good gentlemen, to sail the Spanish :Main! Three months we 'e watched for galleons and treas- ure bound for Spain; Three months ! and not a vessel, neither barque nor brigantine ! No Cartagena plate-ship or I)e Dios have wl e seen ! Our sails sleep idle as the wind, our ships as gulls or waves; And shall inaction rot us like a gang of shackle(l slaves ! Up, Boucaniers ! the land is wide and wider far the sea- Somewhere between the dusk and dawn and (ldtsl some hope must be; Some ship somewhere or city there beneath the Indian sky, What matter whether east or west or if men live or die, Or fight or yield on ship or field !-Trhe main for me and mine !- To cram our ports against their ports and see the battle-line 70HN DPA VIS, B(UCIA NIER. Ifour on their d(ecks with naked necks the dirks be- tween our teeth; And sail or sinlkS our flag is there, we Boucaniers beneath ! And what availed your patron saints, lago or Saint Marc, Lanceros, Adelantados, against Ravenau's barque o butchers of good jean Ribault, well might your cheeks turn pale WVhen MoNltebaro's brigantine shook to the breeze her sail ! Around the coasts where New Spain boasts the haughtiness of Old, [ier tyranny and bigotry and sordid greed for gold, From east to west and north to south among the Carib Isles, Swift as revenge the Frenchmnan swept across the foaming miles. The spirit of Pierre-le-Grand and of his gallant crew, Who took a galleon with a boat, be with me and with you ! Prime arquebus and sharpen blade, and let the guns look brave As burnish of the sunlight's beam upon the sun-lit wave ! 17,3 174 YOHN DA VIS, BOUCANIER. And all be glad as when we had Granada in our hold, And stabbed the city's sentinels and took the city's gold: New Spain's good homes and churches, aye, will not forget too soon The Boucanier, John Davis, he who taught their Dons a tune, Dutch serenades to frighten maids beneath the yellow moon. What helped the Latin of their monks to curse what Satan blessed ! Bright pieces, broad, -of-eight and plate we counted in our chest. And now that we may double or may treble every piece, Pipe up the anchor, boatswain ! and before the hawser cease, Let every sail salute the gale and every rope be taunt, The Devil take all care and-us, if jaundiced colors daunt ! The sea-gulls dip and dive and float, and swim and soar again, Be merry, merry gentlemen, and drink " the Ships of Spain ! " High-hearted as the sea-gulls soar, and as the case may go, YOHN DA VIS, BOUCANIER. 175 A round Dutch oath for wealth and health and-to Spain's overthrow. Doff caps and follow; though the prize be overfat or lean, Kneel down and give her thanks who leads, Dame Fortune who is queen ! Upon our prow she guides us now against San Augustine. P6RED LEA VES A ND ROSES. 'l' IATM US. A NI) it is sai(l that Thamus sailed Off islands of Azgean seas No seamen yet had ever hailed, No merchant yet had sailed to these, Phoenician or the Chersonese. And lying all becalmed, 't is told, [How won(lerful with peace that night Rolled out of dusk and dreamy gold One star, whose splendor seemed to wriite Laws that were mightier than might. Like shadows on a shadow-ship The dark-haired, dark-eyed sailors lay, When from the island seemed to slip, Borne overhead and far away, A voice that " Thamus !" seemed to say. Then silence ; and the languid Greek, The louTnging Cretan, watched the sky, Or in carousal ceased to speak And sing. Again came rolling by The voice, and " Thamus! " in its cry. 176 THA MUS. All were awake: tall, swarthy men With bated breath stood listening, Or gravely scanned the shore. And then, Although they saw no living thing, Again they heard the summons ring. And " Thamus ! " sounded shore and sea And at the third call leaned the Greek Full facing toward the isle; and he Cried to the voice and bade it speak The mission, message it would seek. " Thou shalt sail on to such a place Among the pagan seas," it said, " To such a land; and thou shalt face Against it when the east is red, And cry aloud ' Great Pan is dead !'" As fearful of unholy word Their souls stood stricken with strange fear. Then Thamus said, " Yea, I have heard. Yet 't is my purpose still to steer Straight on. That land shall never hear !" And so they sailed that night; and came Into an unknown sea; and there The east burnt like a sword of flame A Cyclops forges ; straight the air Lay sick with calm; the morn was fair. I2 177 T7 THIA MUS. Then double dread was theirs; and dread Was Thamus' ; and he raised his hand And shouted, " Pan ! great Pan is dead !" And all the twilight-haunted land Cried, " Pan is dead !" from peak to strand. They saw pale shrines and temples nod Among the shaken trees ; and pale Wild forms of goddess and of god Crawl forth with crumbling limbs and trail Woe, till the dim land grew one wail.- What tripods groaned -Serapis first Within Canopus' temples heard The word, and his brute granite burst A monster bulk. Dodona stirred And bowed huge oaks before the word, That left them thunder-riven. Fell On Aphaca where, marble-hewn, The marble Venus had a well That burnt white fire like a moon- And, lo ! her loveliness lay strewn. Then o'er Cilicia passed, and bent Sarpedon's oracle with scorn, Apollo-Yea ! the god lay rent, And Delphos dumb. And, lo ! the morn O'er Bethlehem where Christ lay born. 178 RED LEA V"ES AND ROSES. ADVENTURERS. S EEMING LY over the hill-tops, Possibly under the hills, A tireless wing that never drops, And a song that never stills. Epics heard on the star's lips Lyrics read in the dew - To be the song at our finger tips, And live the world anew! Cavaliers of the Cortes kind, Bold and stern and strong,- And, oh, for a fine and muscular mind To sing a new world's song! Sailing seas of the silver morn, Winds of the balm and spice, To put the old-world art to scorn At the price of any price ! Danger, death, but the hope high! God's, if the purpose fail ! Into the deeds of a vaster sky Sailing a dauntless sail. 179 RED LEA VES AND ROSES. VOYAGE RS. W HO will tell me where the pale Blossoms of our childhood blow - Levels under hills that trail Morning summits in the glow, Crimson, o'er a crimson sail Whence our manhood entered on The unknowable, unseen; Cavaliers who still have gone Sailing a frail brigantine On from voyaging dawn to dawn. Leons seeking lands of song, Fabled fountains spouting spray Where their anchors drop among Corals of some blooming bay, And the swarthy natives throng. "Shoulder axe and arquebuse ! "- Rolls the region past yon range Of sierras, vaporous, Rich with gold and wild and strange, Still evading them and us. 1 80 VO YA GERS. Who may find it -Though your zeal Darien summits doth subdue, Your Balboa eyes reveal But a vaster sea come to; New endeavor for your keel. Yet !-who sails with face set hard Westward, while reward still flies Eastward, where the starbeams sward Meadows of the graveless skies, He may find it-afterward. RED LEA VES AND ROSES. AMERICA. T HESE are the days when Strength sits wisdom- lipped, With eagle thoughts that soar above the storm Convulsing ledges of the rocks of Wrong. 0 Liberty, thy tongue is thunder-tipped; Thy words are senates that can slay or charm; Thy voice is battle in a freedom song. America, what hates may touch thy hands! Disdains insult thy majesty of brow ! Oppressions brave the mercy of thine eyes !-- Behind thee dies the darkness from the lands! Before thee mounts the glory of the Now Around thee sit the sessions of the skies These are the days when Progress leans to heed The lessons of the heavens and of God, The golden texts of morning and of night: The science of the suns hath taught her speed No precedent of kingdoms makes her nod! Brow-bound with bolts, her feet are shod with light ! i82 A MERICAA. America, beneath thy awful heel What iron tyrannies, that crushed the poor, Wrifhe scorpion lengths abolished with their ire !- Around thine arms, that are not wrapped in steel, What old-world injuries have failed to moor Barques thou hast beacon'd like a pillar'd fire ! Dark Monarchies, the darker days divide, And swords of Superstition and of Lust Fall shattered from the -necks of Truth and Mind. One onward principle, achieving pride One starward purpose over empires' dust Strewn with the fetters that no more shall bind. Humanity, thy human gyves are rent; The Christian actual looks up again Through God-progressions of eternity: Behold ! the pagan, Violence, is spent His idol, Ignorance, lies burst in twain Before the splendor of the Christ to be 183 RED LEAVES AND ROSES. THE OCKLAWAHA. RIVER, winding from the west, Winding to the River May, Often hath the Indian pressed Through your black-gums and your mosses, Where the alligator crosses Still some lily-paven bay, Basking there in lazy rest. Still the spider-lily loops Sprawling flowers, peels of pearl, Where the green magnolia stoops Buds to yellow-lily bonnets; Where, the morning dew upon its Golden funnels, curl on curl The festooning jasmine droops. Who may paint the beauty of Orchids blooming late in June, Bristling on the boughs above ! Cypress-trees where many a flower Long lianas' tendrils shower On the deer that come at noon Muzzles in cool depths to shove. 184 THE OCKLA WAHA. H Lilied inlets where the teal Dabble 'mid the water-grasses, That some treasure seem to seal With white blooms that star the river Bays the swift kingfishers shiver Into circles as each passes O'er their mirrors that reveal. Bends, reflecting root and moss, Where the tall palmettoes throng, Over live-oaks tower and toss Panther necks whose heads are heavy Hamaks where the perfumes levy Tribute from the birds in song, From the mocking-birds that cross. Logs the turtles haunt ; and deeps Of lagoons the searching crane Wades; and where the heron sleeps; Where the screaming limpkins listen, And the leaping mullet glisten; Bream and bass dart by again, And the dark didapper sweeps. Codcoochee, Codcoochee, Still the huge magnolias bloom And the tangled Cherokee, Where the blazing-star spreads splendor 185 i86 THE OCKLA WA HA. Through the forest, and the tender Discs of the hibiscus loom, Trailing over bush and tree. Osceola, Osceola, Phantoms of your vanquished race From the starlight seem to draw Stern invasion. Mossy regions Swarm the Seminole's lost legions, Threatening war-paint on each face.- Dead, long dead for Florida ! RED LEA VES AND ROSES. THE MINORCAN. I. THE mocking-bird may sing Loud welcomes in the spring The farewell of our nightingales Prevails, prevails ! No grief may hush their song: In sleep they sing the clearer- It 's " home, home, home," the whole night long- What wonder that we feel our wrong The nearer II. Hibiscus blooms surprise The swamp with rosy eyes; The Balearic girl but knows Our rose, our rose No slavery may undo Her dream it makes the purer, With " love, love, love," the long night through,- To make the day's long heartbreak too The surer. 187 THE MIATORCA N. III. The wind from out the west Would teach our souls unrest; We will not hear until hath ceased The East, the East No sorrow wakes to weep But th' olive's whisper hushes It 's " rest, rest, rest," while night doth keep The weight of memory asleep That crushes. IV. Deep ocean brings us shells;- Adieus and dead farewells, Surf-couriers of its swiftest foam From home, from home! But when the ,stars are high, Its slumberous voices cherish The heart with " hope," that will deny Despair until we wake to sigh Or perish. 188 RED LEA VES AND ROSES. THE SPRING IN FLORIDA. C RAB-APPLES make the western belt Of hamak one gay holiday of pink, And through palmetto depths, on breaths like felt, The jasmine odors sink. There blows a blur of peach and pearl Around the villa by the river's side; The guava blossoms and the orange-trees whirl Aroma far and wide. i'e courts her ! " sings the mocking-bird, " He courts her, and she misses This word or that she might have heard, Had he not drawn a sweeter word From her sweet lips with kisses. lie courts her !" Chameleons bask bright bodies there, Where lemons powder stars above the way; The fragrance holds its heart out and the air Embalms it in a ray. Strange lilies laugh mute mouths of musk And stun the zephyr, where the loaded light I89 THE SPRING IN FL ORIDA. Shines with japonicas. And tusk on tusk Magnolias bud in sight. The red-bird's song is, " Haste, haste, haste Nor wait till morn to marry- Mayhap you'll find hath gone to waste The poppy that the stalk once graced: The moments may not tarry, So marry ! " There the verandah, spilled and spun With deep bignonia, bulging one full frame Of scarlet foam, seems pouring for the sun A cataract of flame. The oleander hedges soak The dusk with sweetness; and the gray moss heaps Ghost raiment round the aloe and live-oak Where the bronze fountain leaps. "Oh, love, love, love ! " the wood-dove coos, " Oh, love, love, love forever ! They, who the crimson rose refuse, The lily's whiteness too may lose- So choose thou now or never! Oh, love, love, love ! " Igo RED LEA VES AND ROSES. STRATEGY. A ND is it madness still to hope For ways made blue with vetchlings' eyes, Beyond the creek-road and the slope Far as the gray hawk flies A bird may beat a crippled wing To lure me from its brush-built nest A sudden throat may sit and sing Its wildwood happiest. Beyond the orchard hills be hills Of knee-deep huckleberries, green \Vith little bell-blooms, summer fills To plumpness of the bean. O season of the sassafras i O animal, the rathe months hold, Kick happy heels in deeps of grass And roll in deeper gold ! Confusing strategy ! for frost With ice seams every flower-bed! Where once each stalk an Edgar tossed, Tom shakes a shivering head. 191 192 STRA TEG Y. Where once the gladiola shook A wand of folly in the sun, That humped stock hath a grizzly look- The poor, pale Fool is done. A sorry beard my rose-bush hath, An old king's, where the sleet 's a tear For this dead lily in my path- Cordelia and Lear. RED LEA VES AND ROSES. THE WIHIPPOORWILL. I. A BOVE long woodland ways that led To dells the stealthy twilights tread The west was hot geranium-red And still, and still, Along old lanes, the locusts sow With clustered pearls the Maytimes know, Out of the crimson afterglow, We heard the homeward cattle low, And then the far-off, far-off woe Of " whippoorwill ! " of ' whippoorwill II. Beneath the idle beechen boughs We heard the cow-bells of the cows Come slowly jangling towards the house And still, and still, Beyond the light that would not die Out of the scarlet-haunted sky, Beyond the evening-star's white eye Of glittering chalcedony, Drained out of dusk the plaintive cry Of " whippoorwill! " of " whippoorwill ! '3 193 194 THE WHIPPOOR WILL. JII. What is there in the moon, that swims A naked bosom o'er the limbs, That all the wood with magic dims While still, while still, Among the trees whose shadows grope 'Mid ferns and flow'rs the dew-drops ope,- Lost in faint deeps of heliotrope Above the clover-sweetened slope,- IRetreats, despairing past all hope, The whippoorwill, the whippoorwill. RED LEA VES A ND ROSES. SATAN. SJTILL shall I stand the everlasting hate Colossal Chaos builded 'neath thine eyes, The symbol of all evil, that defies Thy victory, and vanquished still can wait. Scar me again with such vast force as late Hurled abrupt thunder and archangel cries 'Mid fiery whirlwinds of the terrible skies Down the deep's roar against Hell's monster gate! Thy wrath cannot abolish or make less Me, an eternal wile opposed to wrath: No purpose shalt thou have and I no plan! Behold thy Eden's vanished loveliness ! Why hast thou set a sword within its path, And cursed and exiled thine own image, Man I95 RED LEAVES AND ROSES. SIC VOS NON VOBIS. JF on the thorns thy feet be bruised to-morrow, And far the fierce sands glare, Unbind thy temples ! thank life for its sorrow, Its longing and despair ! With love within, what heart shall fail and wither, Athirst for rivered hills Moaning, " Mine! mine ! what hate hath led me hither Unto a sky that kills !" Unworthy thou ! if faith should sink and falter Blind hand and blinder eye Bind the blind hope upon thy doubt's old altar And stab it till it die. Think not hast hugged no happiness and never Communed with lovely sleep; Had night before thine eyeballs-night forever To lead thee to the deep. Ay ! wouldst thou have thy self-love for a burden, A fardle bound with tears, i96 sIC VOS NON VOBIS. I97 To sweat beneath and gain at last as guerdon From hands of wasted years ! Coaxing lewd stars to light thee, feebler, thinner Than phantoms in the moon; I)ead stars and all the darkness of the inner Self's deader plenilune: To see at last,-beneath Death's sterner learning, -Through sockets sealed with frost, The awful sunsets of red heavens burning God's baffling pentecost. RED LEA VES A ND ROSES. ONCE. Q NCE when the morning on the curling breakers, Along the foaming sand, Flashed expectation, by the ocean's acres Love took command. And so we sailed, AEolian music melting 'Around our silken sails; The bubbled foam our prow of sandal pelting With rainbow gales. We watched the beach, with sprawling cactus hate- ful And gnarled palmetto, pass Beyond our vision where Life once walked fateful With Time's slow glass. And yet, and yet, who might forget the beauty Of dim and fragile shells, That strewed sad shores of Patience and of Duty Like asphodels ! Harsh rocks of Care where Faith's meek flow'r suffices To lead Love up and on, I 98 OZNCE.' To levels, that the Bible's lily spices, Divine with dawn! Still, still we went, Love laughing at to-morrow, Past sunny isle and cape Three were we now:-mny Soul and Love and- Sorrow, A tall, grave shape. And still we went, Love at the golden rudder, Till all the day lay late, \Vhen, lo ! beside him, like an icy shudder, Stood pallid Elate. And still we went, Love seeing me no other: None crowned with bleeding thorn, None armed with violence, and now another- Unyielding Scorn. Beholding then, Love, who had once commi-anded Alone, now summoned Pride; The darker three, against the bright two banded, Stood side by side. On through the night our boat went drifting, drift- ing; My stricken soul alone, A white face cold as moonlit marble lifting To moan and moan. I99 RED LEA VES AND ROSES. RESIGNATION. IF Grief must fill my heart with tears, and Time Abate no hour Of tyranny with any laughing rhyme,- Be Grief my dower. If days must sing to my attentive soul Joy's cradle-song, Nor lift one grave note in the lovely whole, 0 Joy, be long. Bring me pale flowers of the handselled hills, To braid and lay On coffined brows, sad separation fills With death's dismay. Dreams, dreams to drug my soul's life-cup with pure Ideal love; Glad lips and eyes whose beauties still allure The world above. A harp to hold between lax knees and smite With prayers and tears For night bereaved by day, and day by night, Through bitter years. 200 RESIGNA TION. A lute to hug unto the heart, and make Youth's tripping tune Of Maytime's lily that but fades to wake The rose of June. Up bars of stars, the golden notes of skies, On night's black page Let the moon's music of pale pathos rise To teach young age. Upon the mountains of the morning lands, An unsealed book Let Love's nude childhood lift in happy hands And old age look. Apportion, 0 my God, the hope or fear, The grief or glee ! Thine be the purpose of each smile, each tear Eternally. 20I 0RED LEA VES AND ROSES. AFTER RAIN. T 0 see the blossom-bosomed Day again, With all the star-white Hours in her train, Laugh out of pearl-lights in the golden ray, That, leaning on the woodland wildness, blends A sprinkled amber with the showers that lay Their oblong emeralds on the leafy ends! To see her bend with maiden-braided brows Above the wildflower sidewise with its strain Of dewy happiness, to kiss again Each drop to death ! Or, under rainy boughs, With fingers fragrant as the woodland rain, Gather the sparkles from the sycamore, To set within each core Of crimson roses girdling her hips Where each bud dreams and drips! Smoothing her blue-black hair,-where many a tusk Of iris flashes fairy falchions, sheen Around blue banners of the Fairy Queen,- Is it a Naiad singing in the dusk, That haunts the spring, where all the moss is musk With footsteps of the flowers on the banks Or but a wild-bird voluble with thanks 202 A FTER RA IN. Balm for each blade of grass: the hours prepare A festival each weed 's invited to: Each bee is drunken with the honied air And all the heaven is eloquent with blue The wet hay glitters, and the harvester Tinkles his scythe,-as twinkling as the dew- That shall not spare Blossom or brier in its sweeping path And, ere it cut one swath, Rings them they die and tells them to prepare. What is the spice that haunts each glen and glade A Dryad's lips, who slumbers in the shade A Faun, who lets the heavy ivy-wreath Slip to his thigh as, reaching up, he pulls The chestnut-blossoms in whole bosomfuls A sylvan Spirit, whose sweet mouth will breathe Her viewless presence near us, while we wade The brook, whose wisdom knows no other song Than that the bird sings where it builds beneath The wild-rose and sits singing all day long Oh, let me sit with silence for a space ! A little while forgetting that fierce part Of man that struggles in the toiling mart Where God can look into my heart's own heart From unsoiled heights made amiable with grace: And where the sermons that the old oaks keep 203 204 A FTER RA IN. Can steal into me.-And what better then Than turning to the moss a quiet face To fall asleep a little while to sleep And dream of wiser worlds and wiser men. i886. RED LEAVES AND ROSES. PEACE. 1. W HEN rose-leaves 'neath the rose-bush lie, And lilies bloom and lilacs die, When days fall sadder than a sigh, Lay me asleep Where breezes blow the rose-leaves by, Lay me asleep. II. When to the dusty, dreary day The lonely clouds bring cooling gray, And languidly the tree-tops sway And flowers there, The silence and the shade will pray, And flowers there. III. And shouldst thou stop, 0 shed no tear To flaw the pallid peace that 's here The woodland whisper far and near That 's weary grown; Nor bring the world to jar the ear That 's weary grown. 205