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Triumph of music, and other lyrics / by Madison J. Cawein. Cawein, Madison Julius, 1865-1914. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-184-30604827 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. Triumph of music, and other lyrics / by Madison J. Cawein. Cawein, Madison Julius, 1865-1914. J.P. Morton, [Louisville, Ky.] : 1888. vi, 171 p. ; 16 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04378.06 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. Y:-X isnd 4 1 a:welq This page in the original text is blank. This page in the original text is blank. This page in the original text is blank. Ti'e Prirrijl1m of lVus5ic AND Otter Lyrics. BY MADISON J. CAWEIN. "1IHE O) Ar is HEARD ABOVE THE LYRE."-Swinburfe. [LINIITED.] JOHN P. MORTON AND COMPANY, i888 INSCRIBED TO WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS WVITH FRIENDSHIP AND ESTEEM. COPYRIGHT 1888 BY M. J. CAWEIN. CONTENTS. The Triumph of Music, What You WVill, In the South,. Pan,. . . Pax Vobiscum,. Mirabile Dictu,. Questionings, . Waiting. In Late Fall ..... Midwinter, Longing . In Middle Spring,. . Tyranny,. Visions,. .. . . . PAGE. .. . I .. . I0 .. . 12 .. . '5 .. . i8 .. . 20 .. . 22 . I . 23 .. . 26 . . 27 , , . 28 .. . 29 . . 3' .. . 32 I . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . I . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . I . I . .. . . . . . CON TEN TS. The Old Byway,. Diurnal, . The Wood Path, Deficiency,. He Who Loves,. The Monastery Croft, The Dryad,. "The Sweet o' the Year," With the Seasons,. Unattainable, Beyond.. Shadows. Check and Counter-Check, Semper Idem .. .. . Two Lives,. Forevermore, A Blown Rose,. To-morrow. Mnemosyne. The Sirens ....... The Vintager, . A Stormy Sunset, . . . - - - - - - 434 ...............36 ................38 ...............40 .., 42 .........-43 ............-44 ...............46 ...............48 ..............e5I . ----- - - 53 .... .... - .56 ................58 .6o . z ............62 .........- 64 ................68 ...............69 ................69 ...............70 .,...............71 ...,.,.. 72 iv .. . .. . CONVTENIVTS. On a Dial,.... ....... ........ 73 Unutterable,. ....... 74 Midsummer, .. . . .. ..... . 75 A Fairy Cavalier.... . . . . ........ 78 The Farmstead ........... ... ... 8o Five Fancies: L. Tlhe Gladiolas... . . . . .87 II. The Morning- Glories, .88 HI. The Tiger-Lil, 89 IV. Vengeance, go V. A Dead LiZy, . 92 My Suit . . ... . .. . . . 94 The Family Burying-Ground. . . 96 The Water-Maid. . ... . . . . . . . . .. 98 The Sea-King, ... ioo Where and What . . . . . . . . 103 The Spring ... . ., Lillita,..... . . . . 109 Artemis . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. .112 In November. . ... . . . . . . . . . ... Ii6 A Character. . ... . . . . . . . . . ... 117 A Mood .. I20 A Thought. . ... . . . . . . . . . . .. 122 v CONTENTS. Song. .. . Face to Face,. The Changeling, St. John's Eve, Lalage, Miriam. The Wind. Music, To .. . . . . Yule, The Troubadour, . . . Why. From Unbelief to Belief, The King,. .. I23 . 125 . . 130 , . 133 , 137 '44 . .146 . . 149 . .I53 .155 . .i6o . .i65 . .i66 ....1... . . . x69 vi THE TRIUMPH OF MUSIC. I TIHERE lay in a vale 'twixt lone mountains A garden entangled with flowers, Where the whisper of echoing fountains Stirred softly the musk-breathing bowers. Where torrents cast down from rock-masses, From caverns of red-granite steeps, With thunders sonorous clove passes And maddened dark gulfs with rash leaps, With the dolorous foam of their leaps. II And, oh, when the sunrays came heaping The foam of those musical chasms, With a scintillant dust as of diamonds, It seemed that white spirits were sweeping 2 THE TRIUMPH OF MUSIC. Down, down thro' those voluble chasms, Wild weeping in resonant spasms. And the wave from the red-hearted granite In veins rolled tumbling around; Meandered thro' shade-haunted forests Where many rock barriers did span it To dash it in froth and in sound: Where the nights with their great moons could wan it, Or star its dusk stillness profound. III And here in the night would I wander On woodways where fragrances kissed, By shadows where murmurings kissed; And here would I tarry to ponder When the moon in blue vales made a mist: Dim in forests of rank, rocking cedars, Whose wildness made glad with their scent, Whose boughs in the tempests were bent Like the pennons and plumes of fierce leaders, In the battle all ragged and rent. 2 THE TRIUMPH OF MUSIC3 IV And so when the moonshine was floating Far up on the mountain's bleak head, On the uttermost foam of the torrent, Would I string a wild harp while was gloating The moon on my blossomy bed. Or I lay where a fountain of blossoms Rained rustling from arches aloft, From the thick-scented arbors aloft, And I sang as the blossoms' white bosoms Pressed silk-smooth to mine and lay soft: I sang as their redolence stung me, And laughed on my blossomy couch, Till the fragrance and music had flung me Into shadows of sleep with their touch, The magic of exquisite touch. . V One night as I wondered and wandered In this my rare Aidenn of flowers, 3 4 TE TRIUAIPH OF MUSIC. I saw where I lingered and pondered A youth cast asleep mid the bowers: A youth on a mantle of satin, A poppy-red robe in the flowers. VI So I kissed his thin eyelids full tender, I kissed his high forehead and pale, I sighed as I kissed his black splendor Of curls that were kissed of the gale, That were moved of the balm-breathing gale. And he woke and cried out as if haunted:- " Oh God! for one note of that song! For a sob of that languishing song! Whose tumult of sorrow enchanted, And swept my weak spirit along !" VII Than I sate me upon the red satin And plunged a long look in his eyes; I bowed on the weft of red satin And kindled his love with my sighs. 4 7lHE TRIUMPH OF MUSIC. 5 With fingers of lightness set sobbing The chords of my harp in a song, Till I found that my heart was a-throbbing And sobbing to sing like a tongue, Was sobbing to mix with the song. VIll Then he cried, and his dark eyes keen glistened, " Lost! lost ! for that perilous music Oh God! for that tyrannous strain ! To which in my dreams I have listened, Ah, wretch! I have listened with pain !" And he tost on the garment of satin His deep raven darkness of hair, And the song at my lips was ungathered, And I sate there to marvel and stare. Ix Then I wrenched from my soul a wild glory Of music delirious with words, Of music that wailed a soul's story, THE TRIUMPH OF MUSIC. And trembled with god-uttered words, Or fell like the battling of swords. And in with it mixed all the beauty Of farewells and ravenous sighs, The heart that was broken for booty, Tears, rapture to know that one dies, Hell, heaven and laughter and cries. x In music the heart-ache of passion, The terror of souls that are lost, Cold, dizzying anguish of dying, All torments that beauty could fashion, Hot manacles of love and their cost. The bliss and the fury of dashing A soul into riotous love, While the smiting of harp-chords and crashing Of song like the winds were enwove With the stars that fall sounding above. xI Ah! why did the poppy-crowned slumber Seal up the rare light of his eyes 6 THE TRIUAMPH 0F MUSIC. With its silver of vapory pinions, The creature that sung in each number, To nest in his tired-out eyes, Like a bird that is sick of the skies. Yet he murmured so sad and so thrilling, " Oh God ! for a lifetime of song Oh life! for a world of such song For a heaven or hell and the killing. Mad angel or devil of song! Oh, the rapture engendlered in throwing On bubbles of music and song A soul to the anguish of loving, Until like a flower, full blowing, It is lost in a whirlwind most strong, It dies in a thunder of song!'' XII I had flung in my song the emotion Triumphant of heart and of soul, And I recked not the passionate ocean That rolled to abysses of dole, To infinite torture and dole. 7 THE TRIUMPH OF MUSIC. XIII So I sang and I harped till all weary I sunk on the red of that robe, Crouched down at his feet on the satin, While he slumbered with eyelashes teary Fringed dark o'er each eye-ball's dark globe. Then I wondered and said, " It is dreary To see him so still on this robe. And I sobbed and I sobbed, " Is he living, Or have I but slain with my song I" And it seemed that a demon was striving To strangle my heart with a thong, With terror and sorrow of wrong. XIV And I rent the wild harp in my madness, From his ashen brows furrowed the hair; Soft wafted dark curls from pale temples- They rustled with death -and the sadness Of his face so hopelessly fair! How I wailed to the stars of the heaven 8 THE TRIUMPH OF MUSIC. How they scoffed at and answered my grief In letters of flame, " Unforgiven! Thou deathless, whose voice is a thief, Forever and ever grief !" xv So I wept on the instrument broken, The instrument sweet of his death, The dagger that stabbed not to kill him, The dagger of song which had spoken, And ravished away his life's breath. So I wept, and my curls thick and golden Stormed entangled and showered "mid his; My arms around him were enfolden, My lips clave to his with a kiss, With the life and the love of a kiss. 9 WHAT YOU WILL. I W HEN the season was dry and the sun was hot And the hornet sucked gaunt on the apricot, And the ripe peach dropped to its seed a-rot, With a lean red wasp that stung and clung; When the hollyhocks, ranked in the garden-plot, More seed-pods had than blossoms, I wot, A weariness weighed on the tongue, That the drought of the season begot. II When the black grape bulged with the juice that burst Through its thick blue skin that was cracked with thirst, And the round gold pippins, the summer had nursed, In the yellowing leaves o' the orchards hung; WHAT YOU WILL. When the reapers, their lips with whistling pursed, To their sun-tanned brows in the corn were immersed, A lightness came over the tongue, And one sung as much as one durst. III When the skies of December gray dripped and dripped, And icicles eaves of the big barn tipped, And loud hens flew over the snow or slipped, And the north wind hooted and bit and stung, And the ears of the milkmaid, Miriam, nipped, And the chappy cheeks of the farm boy whipped, A goddess unloosened the tongue, And one's mouth with wild honey was lipped. I I IN THE SOUTH. [SERENA DE.] T HE dim verbena drugs the dusk With heavy lemon odors rare; Wan heliotropes Arabian musk Exhale into the dreamy air; A sad wind with long wooing husk Swoons in the roses there. The jasmine at thy casement flings Star-censers oozing rich perfumes; The clematis, long petaled, swings Deep clusters of dark purple blooms; With flowers like moons or sylphide wings Magnolias light the glooms. ZN THE SOUTHH' Awake, awake from sleep! Thy balmy hair, Unbounden deep on deep, Than blossoms fair, Who sweetest fragrance weep, Will fill the night with prayer. Awake, awake from sleep! And dreaming here it seems to me Some dryad's bosoms grow confessed Nude in the dark magnolia tree, That rustles with the murmurous West,- Or is it but a dream of thee That thy white beauty guessed In southern heavens above are rolled A million feverish gems, which burst From night's deep ebon caskets old, With inner fires that seem to thirst; Tall oleanders to their gold Drift buds where dews are nursed. 13 14 IN THE SOUTH. Unseal, unseal thine eyes, Where long her rod Queen Mab sways o'er their skies In realms of Nod ! Confessed, such majesties Will fill the night with God. Unseal, unseal thine eyes! PAN. I H AUNTER of green intricacies, Where the sunlight's amber laces Deeps of darkest violet; Wphere the ugly Satyr chases Shining Dryads, fair as Graces, Whose lithe limbs with dew are wet; Piper in hid mountain places, Where the blue-eyed Oread braces Winds which in her sweet cheeks set Of Aurora rosy traces, Whiles the Faun from myrtle mazes Watcheth with an eye of jet: What art thou and these dim races, Thou, 0 Pan! of many faces, Who art ruler yet PAN. 2 Tell me, piper, have I ever Heard thy hollow syrinx quiver Trickling music in the trees Where dark hazel copses shiver, Have I heard its dronings sever The warm silence, or the bees Ripple murmurings, that never Could be born of fall or river, Whisperings and subtleties, Melodies so very clever, None can doubt that thou, the giver, Master Nature's keys. 3 What glad awes of storm are given Thy mad power, which has striven,- Where the craggy forests glare,- In wild mockery, when Heaven Splits with thunder wedges driven PANY'. Red through night and rainy air' What art thou, whose presence, even While its fear the heart blath riven, Heals it with a prayer 3 1 7 PAX VOBISCUM. H ER violets in thine eyes The Springtide stained I know, Two bits of mystic skies On which the green turf lies, Whereon the violets blow. 2 I know the Summer wrought From thy sweet heart that rose, With that faint fragrance fraught, Its sad poetic thought Of peace and deep repose. 3 That Autumn, like some god, From thy delicious hair- Lost sunlight 'neath the sod - Shot up this golden-rod To toss it everywhere. PAX VORISCU/'[. '9 .4 That MWinter from thy breast The snowdrop's whiteness stole- Much kinder than the rest- Thy innocence confessed, The pureness of thy soul. MIRAB3ILE DICTU. T HERE lives a goddess in the WVest, An island in death-lonesome seas; No towered towns are hers confessed, No castled forts and palaces. Hers, simple worshipers at best, The buds, the birds, the l)ees. And she bath wonder-worlds of song So heavenly beautiful, and shed So sweetly from her honeyed tongue, The savage creatures, it is said, Hark marble-still their wilds among, And nightingales fall dead. I know her not, nor have I known; I only feel that she is there; For when my heart is most alone There broods communion on the air, Concedes an influence not its own, Miraculously fair. A1IIRARBLE DICTU. 2I Then fain is it to sing and sing, And then again to fly and fly Beyond the flight of cloud or wing, Far under azure arcs of sky. Its love at her chaste feet to fling, Behold her face and (lie. QUESTIONINGS. N OXV when wan winter sunscts be Canary-colored downvl the sky; When nights are starless utterly, And sleeted winds cuLt moaning by, One's memory keeps one company, And conscience puts his "when " and "why." Such inquisition, when alone, Wakes superstition in the head, A Gorgon face of hueless stone 'With staring eyes to terror wed, Stamped on her brow God's words, "Unknown! Behind the dead, behind the dead." And, oh! that weariness of soul That leans upon our dead, the clod And air have taken as a whole Through some mysterious period:- Life ! with thy questions of control: Death! with thy unguessed laws of God. WAITING. W ERE we in May now, while NV, Our souls are yearning, Sad hearts would bound and smile With red blood burning; Around the tedious dial No slow hands turning. Were we in May now, say, WRhat joy to know Her heart's streams pulse away In winds that blow, See graceful limbs of May Revealed to glow. Were we in May now, think What wealth she has; The dog-tooth violets pink, Wind-flowers like glass, About the wool brook's brink Dark sassafras. WAI2TIIVG. Nights, which the large stars strew Heav'n on heav'n rolled, Nights, whose feet flash with dew, Whose long locks hold Aromas cool and new, A moon's curved gold. This makes me sad in March; I long and long To see the red-bud's torch Flame far and strong, Hear on my vine-climbed porch The blue-bird's song. What else then but to sleep And cease from such; Dream of her and to leap At her white touch Ah me! then wake and weep, Weep overmuch. This is why day by day Time lamely crawls, 24 WAI TING. 25 Feet clogged with winter clay That never falls, While the dim month of May Me far off calls. IN LATE FALL. SUCH days as break the wild bird's heart; Such days as kill it and its songs; A death which knows a sweeter part Of days to which such death belongs. And now old eyes are filled with tears, As with the rain the frozen flowers; Time moves so slowly one but fears The burthen on his wasted powers. And so he stopped ;-and thou art dead! And that is found which once was feared A farewell to thy gray, gray head, A goodnight to thy goodly beard! MIDWINTER. T HE dew-drop from the rose that slips Hath not the sparkle of her lips, My lady's lips. Than her long braids of yellow hold The dandelion hath not more gold, Her braids like gold. The blue-bell hints not more of skies Than do the flowers in her eyes, My lady's eyes. The sweet-pea blossom doth not wear More dainty pinkness than her ear, My lady's ear. So, heigho! then, tho' skies be gray, My heart's a garden that is gay This sorry day. LONGING. W HEN rathe wind-flowers many peer All rain filled at blue April skies, As on one smiles one's lady dear With the big tear-drops in her eyes; When budded May-apples, I wis, Be hidden by lone greenwood creeks, Be bashful as her cheeks we kiss, Be waxen as her dimpled cheeks; Then do I pine for happier skies, Shy wild-flowers fair by hill and burn; As one for one's sweet lady's eyes, And her white cheeks might pine and yearn. IN MIDDLE SPRING. W IHEN the fields are rolled into naked gold, And a ripple of fire and pearl is blent With the emerald surges of wood and wvold Like a flower-foam bursting violent; When the dingles and deeps of the woodlands old Are glad with a sibilant life new sent, Too rare to be told are the manifold Swreet fancies that quicken redolent In the heart that no longer is cold. How it knows of the wings of the hawk. that swings From the drippled dew scintillant seen; Why the red-bird hides where it sings and sings In melodious quiverings of green; How the wind to the red-bud and dogwood brings Big pearls of worth and corals of sheen, Whiles he lisps to the strings of a lute that rings Of love in the South who is queen, WVhere the fountain of poesy springs. IN MIDDLE SPRING. Go seek in the ray for a sworded fay The chestIlLnt's buds into blooms that rips; And look in the brook that runs laughing gay For the nymiph with the laughing lips; In the brake for the dryad whose eyes are gray, From whose bosom the perfume drips; The faun hid away where the grasses sway Thick ivy low down on his hips, Pursed lips on a syrinx at play. So ho, for the rose, the Romeo rose, And the lyric he hides in his heart; And ho, for the epic the oak tree knows, Sonorous and mighty in art. The lily with woes that her white face shows Hath a satire she yearns to impart, But none of those, her hates and her foes, For a heart that sings but for sport, And shifts where the song-wind blows. TVRAN NY. T XHERE is not aught more merciless Than such fast lip-s that will not speak, That stir not if I curse or bless A God that made them weak. MIore madd'ning to one there is naught, Than such white eyelids sealed on eyes. Eyes vacant of the thing named thought, An exile in the skies. Ah, silent tongue ! ah, ear so dull! Hoxw angel utterances low Have wooed you! they more beautiful Than mortal harsh with woe! VISIONS. W HEN the snow was deep on the flower-beds, Anad the sleet was caked on the brier; When the frost was down in the brown bulbs' heads, And the ways were clogged with mire; When the wind to syringa and bare rose-tree Brought the phantoms of vanished flowers, And the (lays were sorry as sorry could be, And Time limped cursing his fardle of hours: Heigho! had I not a book and the logs And I swear that I was n't mistaken, But I heard the frogs croaking in far-off bogs, And the brush-sparrow's song in the braken. And I strolled by paths which the Springtide knew, In her mossy dells, by her ferny passes, Where the ground was holy with flowers and dew, And the insect life in the grasses. VISIONS. And I knew the Spring as a lover who knows His sweetheart, to whom he has given A kiss on the cheek that warmed its white rose, In her eyes brought the laughter of heaven. For a poem I'd read, a simple thing, A little lyric that had the power To make the brush-sparrow conme and sing, And the winter woodlands flower. 4 3v 3 THE OLD BYWAY ITS rotting fence one scarcely sees Through sumach and wild blackberries, Thick elder and the white wild-rose, Big ox-eyed daisies where the bees Hang droning in repose. The limber lizards glide away Gray on its moss and lichens gray; 'Warm butterflies float in the sun, Gay Ariels of the lonesome day; And there the ground squirrels run. The red-bird stays one note to lift; I-high overhead dark swallows drift; 'Neath sun-soaked clouds of beaten cream, Through which hot b)its of azure sift, The gray hawks soar and scream. TIlE OLD B YWAYY 35 Among the pungent weeds they fill Dry grasshoppers pipe with a will; And in the grass-grown ruts, where stirs The basking snake, mole-crickets shrill: O'er head the locust whirrs. At evening, wvhen the sad West turns To dusky Night a cheek that burns, The tree-toads in the wild-plumn sing. And ghosts of long-dead flowers and ferns The wind wakes whispering. I)IUR-Al.- I A AIMOLTEN ruby clear as wvine I L Along the east the- dawning swimiis [he morning-glories swing and shine, The night dews bead their satin rims The bees rob sweets from shrub and vine, The gold hangs on their limbs. sweet morn, the South, A royal lover, From his fragrant m-nouth, Sweet morn, the South Breathes on and over Keen scents of wild honey and rosy clover. 1I Bveside the wall the roses blow Long summer noons the winds forsake; Beside the wall the poppies glow So full of fire their hearts (10 ache The dipping butterflies come slow, Half dreaming, half awake. Sweet noontide, rest, A slave-girl weary With her babe at her breast; Sweet noontide, rest, The day grows dreary As soft limbs that are tired and eyes that are teary. III Along lone paths the cricket cries Sad summer nights that know the dew One mad star thwart the heavens flies Curved glittering on the glassy blue Now grows the big moon on the skies. IThe stars arc faint and few. Sweet night, breathe thou WN ith a passion taken From a Romeo's vow; Sweet night, breathe thou Like a beauty shaken Of amorous dreams that have made her waken. DIUA''VAL. THE WOOD-PATH. H ERE doth white Spring white violets show, Broadcast doth white, frail wind-flowers sow Through starry mosses amber-fair, As delicate as ferns that grow, Hart's-tongue and maiden-hair. Here fungus life is beautiful, White mushroom and the thick toad-stool As various colored as wild blooms; Existences that love the cool, Distinct in rank perfumes. Here stray the wandering cows to rest, The calling cat-bird builds her nest In spice-wood bushes dark and deep; Here raps the woodpecker his best, And here young rabbits leap. Tall butternuts and hickories, The pawpaw and persimmon trees, THE WOOD-P -PATH. 39 The beech, the chestnut, and the oak, Wall shadows huge, like ghosts of bees Through which gold sun-bits soak. Here to pale melancholy moons. In haunted nights of dreamy Junes, Wails wildly the weird whippoorwill, Whose mournful and demonic tunes Wild woods with phantoms fill. DEFICIENCY. A H, God! were I away, away, By woodland-belted hills! There might be more in Thy bright day Than my poor spirit thrills. The elder coppice, banks of blooms, The spice-wood brush, the field Of tumbled clover, and perfumes Hot, weedy pastures yield. The old rail-fence whose angles hold Bright briar and sassafras, Sweet priceless wild flowers blue and gold Starred through the moss and grass. The ragged path that winds unto Lone cow-behaunted nooks, Through brambles to the shade and dew Of rocks and woody brooks. DEFZCIENC Y. To see the minnows turn and gleam White sparkling bellies, all Shoot in gray schools adown the stream Let but a dead leaf fall. The buoyant pleasure and delight Of floating feathered seeds. (-'apricious wanderers soft and white Born of silk-bearing weeds. Ahl. God' were I away, away, Amiong wild woods and birds! Thiere were more soul within Thy day Than one might bless with words. 41 HE WHO LOVES. F OR him God's birds each merry morn MNake of wild throats melodious flute.s To trill such love from brush and thorn As might brim eyes of brutes: Who would believe of such a thing, That 'tis her heart which makes them sing For him the faultless skies of noon Grow farther in eternal blue, As heavens that buoy the balanced moon, And sow the stars and dew: Who would believe that such deep skies Are miracles only through her eyes For him mad sylphs adown domed nights Stud golden globules radiant, Or glass-green transient trails of lights Spin from their orbs and slant: Who would believe a soul were hers To make for him a universe THE MONASTERY CROFT. I B IG-STOMACHED, like friars Who ogle a nun, Quaff deep to their bellies' desires From the old abbey's tun, Grapes fatten with fires Warm-filtered from moon and from sun. As a novice who muses,- Lips a rosary tell, While her thoughts are-a love she refuses -Nay! mourns as not well: The ripe apple looses Its holding to rot where it fell. THE DRYAD. I HAVE seen her limpid eyes Large with gradual laughter rise Through wild-roses' nettles, Like twin blossoms grow and stare. Then a hating, envious air Whisked them into petals. I have seen her hardy cheek Like a molten coral leak Through the leafage shaded Of thick Chickasaws, and then, \Vhen I made more sure, again To a red plum faded. I have found her racy lips, And her graceful finger-tips, But a haw and berry; Glimmers of her there and here, just, forsooth, enough to cheer And to make me merry. THE DR Y YAD. Often on the ferny rocks Dazzling rimples of loose locks At me she hath shaken, And I've followed-'twas in vain- They had trickled into rain Sun-lit on the braken. Once her full limbs flashed on me, Naked where some royal tree Powdered all the spaces With wan sunlight and quaint shade. Such a haunt romance hath made For haun ched satyr-races. There, I wot, hid amorous Pan, For a sudden pleading ran Through the maze of myrtle, Whiles a rapid violence tossed All its flowerage,-'twas the lost Cooings of a turtle. 45 "THE SWEET O' THE VEAR." I H OW can I help from laughing while The daffodilies at me smile; The tickled dew winks tipsily In clusters of the lilac-tree; The crocuses and hyacinths Storm through the grassy labyrinths A mirth of gold and violet; And roses, bud by bud, Flash from each dainty-lacing net Red lips of maidenhood II How can I help from singing when The swallow and the hawk again Are noisy in the hyaline Of happy heavens clear as wine The robin lustily and shrill "THE SWVEET O' THE YEAR." Pipes on the timber-bosomed hill; And o'er the fallow skim the bold, Mad orioles that glow Like shining shafts of ingot gold Shot from the morning's bow [II I-How can I help from loving, dear, Since love is of the sweetened year The very vermin feel her power, And chip and chirrup hour by hour: It is the grasshopper at noon, The cricket's at it in the moon, Whiles lizzards glitter in the dew, And l)ats be on the wing; Such (lays of joy are short and few. Grant me thy love this spring. 47 WITH THE SEASONS. I Y OU will not lo-e me, sweet. "V17When this fair year is past; Or love now at my feet At others' feet be cast. You will not love me, sweet, When this fair year is past. 11 Now 'tis the Springtide, dear, The crocus cups hold flame Brimmed to the pregnant year. VWho crimsons as with shame. Now 'tis the Springtide, dear, The crocus cups hold flame. III Ah, heart, the Summer's queen, At her brown throat one rose WITH THE SEASONS. 49 The poppies now are seen With seed-pods thrust in rows. Dear heart, the Summer's queen, At her brown throat one rose. IV Now Autumn reigns, a prince Fierce, gipsy-dark; live gold Weighs down the fruited quince, The last chilled violet's told. The Autumn reigns, a prince, A despot crowned with gold. V Alas ! rude WVinter's king, Snow-driven from chin to head; No wild birds pipe and sing, The wild winds sing instead. Ah me! rude Winter's king, Snow-driven from chin to head. 5 50 WITH THE SEASONS. VI Weep now, you once who smiled, Sweet hope that had few fears! And this the end, my child !- Thyself, my shame and tears! Weep now, you once who smiled, Sweet hope, that had few fears! UNATTAINABLE. I W HAT though the soul be tired For that to which 'twas fired, The far, dear, still desired, Beyond the heaven's scope; Beyond us and above us, The thing we would have love us, That will know nothing of us, But only bids us hope. II It still behooves us ever From loving ne'er to sever. To love it though it never Reciprocate our care; For love, when freely given, Lets in soft hints of heaven In memories that leaven Black humors of despair. 5NA2Ul TT7AZIVABLE. III For in this life diurnal All earthly, gross, infernal, Conflicts with that eternal To make its love as lust; To rot the fairest flower Of thought which is a power, All happiness to sour, And burn our eyes with dust. IV Believe, some power higher Breathes in us this desire With purpose strange as fire, And soft though seeming hard; Who to such starved endeavor And wasted love, that never Seems recompensed, forever Gives in His way reward. 52 BEYOND. I H ANGS stormed with stars the night, Deep over deep, A majesty, a might, To feel and keep. 2 Al ! what is such and such, Love, canst thou tell' That shrinks-though 'tis not much- To weep farewell. 3 That hates the dawn and lark; Would have the wail,- Sobbed through the ceaseless dark,- O' the nightingale. BE YOAD. 4 Yes, earth, thy life were worth Not much to me, Were there not after earth Eternity. 5 God gave thee life to keep- And what hath life - Love, faith, and care, and sleep Where dreams are rife. 6 Death's sleep, whose shadows start The tears in eyes Of love, that fill the heart That breaks and dies. 7 And faith is never given Without some care, That leadeth us to heaven By ways of prayer. 54 BEYOND. 55 8 The nightingale and dark Are thine then here; Beyond, the light and lark Eternal there. SHADOWS. I H A! help !-'twas palpable! A ghost that thronged Up from the mind or hell Of one I wronged! 2 'Tis past and-silence !-naught!- A vision born Of the scared mind o'erwrought With dreams forlorn: 3 The bastard brood of Death And Sleep that wakes Grim fancies with its breath, And reason shakes. SHAD D WS. 57 4 Would that the grave could rot Like flesh the soul, Gnaw through with worms and not Leave it thus whole, 5 More than it was in earth Beyond the grave, Much more in death than birth To conscience slave ! CHECK AND COUNTER-CHECK. I V ENT all your coward's wrath Upon me so !- Yes, I have crossed your path And will not go! 2 Storm at me hate, and name Me all that's vile, Lust," ' filth," '" disease," and " shame," I only smile. 3 Me brute rage can not hurt, It only flings In your own eyes blind dirt That bites and stings. CHECK AND COUANTER-CHECK. 4 Rave at your like such whine, Your fellow-men, This wrath !-great God! and mine !- What is it then 5 No words! no oaths! such hate As devils smile When raw success cries " wait !" An d "afterwhile !" 6 A woman I and ill, A courtesan You wearied of, would kill. And you-a man! 7 You, you-unnamable! A thing there's not, Too base to burn in Hell, Too vile to rot. 59: SEMPER IDEM. I H OLD up thy head and crush Thy heart's despair; From thy wan temples brush The tear-wet hair. 2 Look on me thus as I Gaze upon thee; Nor question how nor why Such things can be. 3 Thou thought'st it love !-poor fool! That which was lust! Which made thee, beautiful, Vile as the dust! SEMPER IDEM. 6Y 4 Thy flesh I craved, thy face !-- Love shrinks at this- Now on thy lips to place One farewell kiss !- 5 Weep not, but die !-'tis given- And so-farewell !- Die !-that which makes death heaven, Makes life a hell. TWO LIVES. I 'T;'HERE is no God," one said, And love is lust When I am dead I'm dead, And all is dust. "Be merry while you can Before you're gray; With some wild courtesan Drink care away.". 2 One said, "A God there is, And God is love; Death is not death, but bliss, And life above. "Above all flesh is mind; And faith and truth God's gifts to poor mankind That make life youth." TWO LIVES. 63 _. One from a harlot's side Arose at morn; One cursing God had died That night forlorn. FOREVERMORE. I O HEART that vainly follows The flight of summer swallows, Far over holts and hollows, O'er frozen buds and flowers; To violet seas and levels, Where Love Time's locks dishevels With merry mimes and revels Of aphrodisiac Hours. II O Love who, dreaming, borrows Dead love from sad to-morrows, The broken heart that sorrows, The blighted hopes that weep; Pale faces pale with sleeping; Red eyelids red with weeping; Dead lips dead secrets keeping, That shake the deeps of sleep! FORE VER MORE. III o Memory that showers About the withered hours White, ruined, sodden flowers, Dead dust and bitter rain; Dead loves with faces teary; Dead passions wan and dreary; The weary, weary, weary, Dead heart-ache and the pain! IV o give us back the blisses, Lost madness of moist kisses, The youth, the joy, the tresses, The fragrant limbs of white The high heart like a jewel Alive with subtle fuel, LiDs beautiful and cruel, Eyes' incarnated light! 6 65 FORE VERMORE. V Instead of tears, wild laughter The old hot passions after, The houri sweets that dafter Made flesh and soul a slave! Enough of tearful sorrows; Enough of rank to-morrows; The life that whines and borrows But memories of the grave! VI The grave that breaks no netting Of care or spint's fretting, No long, long sweet forgetting For those who would forget; And those who stammer by it Hope of an endless quiet, Within them voiceless riot When they and it have met. 66 FORLE VEA' MORE. 67 VII And God we pray beseeching,- But Life with finger reaching, Stone-stern, remaineth teaching Our hearts to turn to stone; Then fain are we to follow The last, lorn, soaring swallow Past bourns of holt and hollow Forevermore alone. A BLOWN ROSE. L AY but a finger on That pallid petal sweet, It trembles gray and wan Beneath the passing feet. But soft! blown rose, we know A merriment of bloom, A life of sturdy glow,- But no such dear perfume. As some good bard, whose page Of life with beauty 's fraught, Grays on to ripe old age Sweet-mellowed through with though:. So when his hoary head Is wept into the tomb, The mind, which is not dead, Sheds round it rare perfume. TO-MORROW. A LORELEI full fair she sits I L Throned on the stream that dimly rolls; Still, hope-thrilled, with her wild harp knits To her from year to year men's souls. They hear her harp, they hear her song, Led by the wizard beauty high, Like blind brutes maddened rush along, Siilk at her cold feet, gasp and die. MNEMOSYNE. I N classic beauty, cold, immaculate, A voiceful sculpture, stern and still she stands, Upon her brow deep chiseled love and hate, That sorrow o'er dead roses in her hands. THE SIRENS. W AIL! wail! and smite your lyres' sonorous gold, And beckon naked beauty from the sea In arms and breasts and hips of godly mold, Dark, strangling hair carousing to the knee. In vain! in vain! and dull in unclosed ears To one loved voice sweet calling o'er the foam, Which in my heart like some strong hand appears To gently, firmly draw my vessel home. THE VINTAGER. A MONG the fragrant grapes she bows; i6 Long, violet clusters heap her hands; About her satyr throats find brows Flush at her smiled commands. And from her sunburnt throat at times, As bubbles burst on new-made wine, A happy fit of merry rhymes Rings down the hills of vine. From out one heart, remorseless sweet, She plucked the big-grape passion there; Trod in the wine-press of her feet, It grew into despair: Until she drained its honeyed must, Which, tingling inward part by part, Fierce mounted thro' her glowing bust And centered in her heart. A STORMY SUNSET. SOUL of my body! what a death For such a day of envious gloom, Unbroken passion of the sky! As if the pure, kind-hearted breath Of some soft power, ever nigh, Had, cleaving in the bitter sheath, Burst from its grave a gorgeous bloom. 2 The majesty of clouds that swarm. Expanding in a furious length Of molten-metal petals, flows Unutterable, and where the warm, Full fire is centered, swims and glows The evening star fresh-faced with strength, A shimmering rain-drop of the storm. ON A DIAL. T O-MORROW and to-morrow Is but to-day: The world wags but to borrow Time that grows gray:- (Grammercy! time's but sorrow And-well away! Since time hales but to sadness And to decay, Men needs wax fools for madness, Laugh, curse, and pray; Death grapples with their badness- The Devil 's to pay. UNUrTERABLE. T' - HERE is a sorrow in the wind to-night That haunteth me; she, like a penitent, Heaps on rent hairs the snow's thin ashes white And moans and moans, her swaying body bent. And Superstition gliding softly shakes With wasted hands, that vainly grope and seek, The rustling curtains; of each cranny makes Cold, ghostly lips that wailing fain would speak. MIDStTMME'1\. T HE red blood clings in her cheeks and stings Through their tan with a fever that lightens, And the clearness of heaven-born mountain springs In her dark eyes dusks and brightens. And her limbs are the limbs of an Atalanta who swings With the youths in. the sinewy games, When the hot air sings thro' the hair it flings, And the circus roars hoarse with their names, As they fly to the goal that flames. A voice as deep as wan waters that sweep Thro' the musical reeds of a river; A song of red reapers that bind and reap, With the ring of curved scythes that quiver. The note-like lisp of the pippins that leap, Ripe-mellowed to gold, to the ground; The murmurous sleep that the cool leaves keep On close lips that trickle with sound. .6fiUDSUMMER. And sweet is the beat of her glowing feet, And her smiles as wide heavens are gracious; And the creating might of her hands of heat As a god's or a goddess's spacious. The elastic veins thro' her heart that beat Are rich with a perishless fire, And her bosoms most sweet are the ardent seat Of a mother that never will tire. Wherever she fares her soft voice bears High powers of being that thicken In fruits, as the winds made Thessalian mares Of old mysteriously quicken; The apricots' juice and the juice of the pears, The wine great grape-clusters hold, These, these are her cares, and her wealth she declares In her corn's vast billows of gold. All hail to her lips, and her fruitful hips, And her motherly thickness of tresses; All hail to the sweetness that slips and drip's From her breasts which the light caresses. 76 MIDSUMMER. 77 A toiler, whose fair arm heaps and whips Great chariots that heavily creak; A. worker, who sweats on the groaning ships. And never grows weary or weak. A FAIRY CAVALIER. BY a mushroom in the moon, White as bud from budded berry, Silver buckles on my shoon,- Ho! the moon shines merry. Here I sit and drink my grog,- Stocks and tunic ouphen yellow, Skinned from belly of a frog,- Quite a fine, fierce fellow. My good cloak a bat's wing gave, And a beetle's wings my bonnet, And a moth's head grew the brave, Gallant feather on it. Faith! I have rich jewels rare, Rings and carcanets all studded Thick with spiders' eyes, that glare Like great rubies blooded. A FAIR Y CA VALIIER. And I swear, sirs, by my blade, "Sirrab, a good stabbing hanger !"- From a hornet's stinger made,- When I am in anger. Fill the lichen pottles up Honey pressed from hearts of roses; Cheek by jowl, up with each cup Till we hide our noses. Good, sirs !-marry !-O'tis the cock! Hey, away! the moon's lost fire! Ho ! the cock our dial and clock- Hide we 'neath this brier. 79 THE FARMSTEAD. V ES, a lovely homestead; there I In the Spring your lilacs blew Plenteous perfume everywhere; There your gladiolas grew, Parallels of scarlet glare. And the moon-hued primrose cool, Satin-soft and redolent; Honey-suckles beautiful, Baiming all the air with scent; Roses red or white as wool. Roses glorious and lush, Rich in tender-tinted dyes, Like a gay, tempestuous rush Of unnumbered butterflies Lighting on each bending bush. THE FAA'MSTEAD. Here the fire-bush and the box, And the wayward violets; Clumps of star-enameled phlox, And the myriad flowery jets Of the twilight four-o'clocks. Ah, the beauty of the place When the June made one great rose Full of musk and mellow grace, In the garden's humming close, Of her comely mother face! Bubble-like the hollyhocks Budded, burst and flaunted wide Gypsy beauty from their stocks. Morning-glories, bubble-dyed, Swung in lhoney-hearted flocks. Tawny tiger-lilies flung Doublets slashed with crimson on; Graceful slave-girls fair and young, Like Circassians, in the sun Alabaster lilies swung. 7 81 2THE FAR MS TEA D. Ah, the droning of the bee In his dusty pantaloons Tumbling in the fleurs-de-lis; In the drowsy afternoons Dreaming in the pink sweet-pea. Ah, the moaning wild-wood dove With its throat of amethyst Ruffled like a shining cove, Which a wind to pearl hath kissed, Moaning, moaning of its love. And the insects' gossip thin, From the summer hotness hid, In the leafy shadows green, Then at eve the katydid With its hard, unvaried din. Often from the whispering hills Lorn within the golden dusk,- Gold with gold of daffodils,- Thrilled into the garden's musk The wild wail of whippoorwills. 82 7HE FARMSTEAD. From the purple tangled trees, Like the white, full heart of night, Solemn with majestic peace, Swam the big moon veined with light, Like some gorgeous golden fleece. You were there with me, and you, In the magic of the hour, Almost swore that you could view Beading on each blade and flower Moony blisters of the dew. And each Fairy of our home- Fire-fly-its torch then lit In the honey-scented gloam, Dashing down the dusk with it, Like an instant flaming foam. And we heard the calling, calling, Of the wild owl in the brake Where the trumpet-vine hung crawling; Down the ledge into the lake Heard the sighing streamlet falling. 'S3 84 THE FARMSTEAD. Then we wandered to the creek, Where the water-lilies growing, Like fair maidens white and weak,- Naked in the brooklet's flowing,- Stooped to bathe a bashful cheek. And the moonbeams rippling goldtn Fell in saint-sweet aureoles On chaste bosoms half beholden, Till, meseemed, the dainty souls Of pale moon-fays, there enfolden In such beauty, dimly fainted Baby-cribbed within each bud, Till a night wind piney-tainted, Swooning over field and flood, Rocked them to a slumber sainted. Then a low, melodious bell Of some sleeping heifer tinkled In some berry-briered dell, As her satin dewlap wrinkled With the cud that made it swell. HFE FARMSSTEAD. And returning home we heard In a beech tree at the gate Some brown, dream-behaunted bird Singing of its absent mate, Of the mate that never heard. And you see. now I amn gray, Why within the old, old place, With such memories I stay, Fancy out your absent face Long since passed away. You were mine-yes, still are mine: And this frosty memory Reels about you as with wine Warmed into wild eyes which see All of you that is divine. Yes, I love it, and have grown Melancholy in that love And that memory alone Of perfection such, whereof You could sanctify a stone. 86O THE FARMSTEAD. And where'er your poppies swing- There we walk,-as if a bee Fanned them with his puny wing,- Down your garden shadowy In the hush the evenings bring. FIVE FANCIES. I THE GLAD IOLAS. A s TALL as the lily, as tall as the rose, And almost as tall as the hollyhocks, Ranked breast to breast in sentinel rows Stand the gladiola stocks. And some are red as the humming-bird's blood And some are pied as the butterfly race, And each is shaped like a velvet hood Gold-lined with delicate lace. For you know the goblins that come like musk To tumble and romp in the flowers' laps, When you see big fire-fly eyes in the dusk, Hang there their goblin caps. F88VE FANCIES II THE MORNING-GLORIES. They bloom up the fresh, green trellis In airy, vigorous ease, And their fragrant, sensuous honey Is best beloved of the bees. Oh! the rose knows the dainty secret How the morning-glory blows, For the rose told me the secret, And the jessamine told the rose. And the jessamine said at miidnight, Ere the red cock woke and crew, That the fays of queen Titania Came there to bathe in the dew. And the merry moonlight glistened On wet, long, yellow hair, And their feet on the flowers drowsy Trod softer than any air. g8 FIVE FANCIES. And their petticoats, gay as bubbles, They hung up every one On the morning-glories' tendrl ils Till their moonlight bath were done. But the red cock crew too early, And the fays left hurriedly, And this is why in the morning Their petticoats there you see. III THE TIGER-LILY. A sultan proud and tawny At elegant ease he stands, With his bare throat brown and scrawny, And his indolent, leaf-like hands. And the eunuch tulips that listen In their gaudy turbans so, With their scimetar leaves that glisten, Are guards of his seraglio; 89 FIVE FANTCIES. Where sultana roses musky, . Voluptuous in houri charms, With their bold breasts deep and dusky, Impatiently wait his arms. Tall, beautiful, sad, and slender, His Greek-girl dancing slaves, For the white-limbed lilies tender His royal hand he waves. While he watches them, softly smiling, His favorite rose that hour With a butterfly gallant is wiling In her attar-scented bower. IV VENGEANCE. Let it sink, let it sink On the pungent-petaled pink By those poppy puffs; go FIVE FANCIES.9 Fairy-fashioned downiness, Light, weak moth in furry dress Of white fluffy stuffs. II Where the thin light slipping sweet Dimples prints of Fairy feet On the white-rose blooms, One dim blossom delicate Droops a face all pale with hate, Dead with sick perfumes. III And I read the riddle wove In this rose's course of love For the fickle pink: Thou the rose's phantom art Stealing to the pink's false heart Vampire-like to drink. 91 FIVE FANCIES. X7 A DEAD LILY. I The South had saluted her mouth fill her mouth was sweet with the South. II And the North with his breathings low Made the blood in her veins like his snow. III And the West with his smiles and his art Poured his honey of life in her heart. IV And the East had in whisperings told His secrets more precious than gold. 92 FIVE FANCIES. V So she grew to a beautiful thought Which a godhead of love had wrought. VI As strange how the power begot it As why-but to kill it and rot it. 93 MY SUIT. F AITH! the Dandelion is To my mind too lowly; Then the winsome Violet Is, forsooth, too holy. There's the Touch-me-not--go to! What! a face that's speckled Like a buxom milking-maid's Which the sun hath freckled! And the Tiger-lily 's wild, Flirts, is fierce and haughty; And the Sweet-Brier Rose, I swear, Pricks you and is naughty. Columbine a fool's cap bath, Then she is too merry; Gossip, I would sooner woo Some plebeian Berry. MY St L T. .5 There's the shy Anemone,- Well-her face shows sorrow; Pale, goodsooth! alive to-day, Dead and gone to-morrow. And that big-eyed, fair-cheeked wench. The untoward Daisy, She's been wooed, aye! overmuch- Then she is too lazy. Pleasant persons are they all, And their virtues many; Faith, I know but good of all, And naught ill of any. Marry! 'tis a May-apple, Fair-skinned as a Saxon, Whom I woo, a fragrant thing Delicate and waxen. THE FAMILY BURYING-GROUND A WALL of crumbling stones doth keep Watch o'er long barrows where they sleep, Old chronicled grave-stones of its dead, On which oblivious mosses creep And lichens gray as lead. Warm days the lost cows as they pass Rest here and browse the juicy grass That springs about its sun-scorched stones; Afar one hears their bells' deep brass Waft melancholy tones. Here the wild morning-glory goes A-rambling as the myrtle grows, Wild morning-glories pale as pain, With holy urns, that hint at woes, The night hath filled with rain. THE FAMAI Y B UR YING-GRO UND. Here are blackberries largest seen, Rich, winey dark, whereon the lean Black hornet sucks, noons sick with heat, That bend not to the shadowed green The heavy bearded wheat. At dark, for its forgotten dead, A requiem, of no known wind said, Through ghostly cedars moans and throbs, While to thin starlight overhead The shivering screech-owl sobs. S 97 TIHE WATER.-MAID. T HERE she rose as white as death, Stars above and stars beneath; Where the ripples brake in splendor To a million, million starlets Twinkling on lake-lilies tender, Rocking to the ripple barlets. She, brow-belted with. white lilies, Rose and oared a shining shoulder To a downward-purpling boulder: With slim fingers soft and milky, Haled her from the spray-sprent lilies To a ledge, and sitting silky Sang unto the list'ning lilies, Sang and sang beneath the heaven, Belted, wreathed with lilies seven; Falsely sang a wild, wild ditty To a wool-white moon; Till a child both frail and pretty TKIE WA TER-MAD. .9 Found her singing on the boulder,- Dark locks on a milky shoulder,- 'Neath the wool-white moon. And the creature singing there Strangled him in her long hair. THE SEA-KING. I IN green sea-caverns dim, Deep down, A monarch pale and slim, Whose soul's a frown, He ruleth cold and grim In foamy crown: In green sea-caverns dim, Deep down. 2 He hears the Mermaid sing So sad ! Far off like some curs'd thing, That ne'er is glad, A vague, wild murmuring, That drives men mad: He hears the Mermaid sing So sad ! THE SEA-K/KG. 3 Strange monster bulks are there, That yawn Or roll huge eyes that glare And then are gone; Weird foliage passing fair Where clings the spawn: Strange monster bulks are there, That yawn. 4 What cares he for wrecked hulls These years! Red gold the water dulls! Grim, dead-men jeers On jaws of a thousand skulls Of mariners! What cares he for wrecked hulls These years! 101 7'0YE SEA-KING. Man's tears are loved of him, Deep down; Set in the foamy rim Of his frail crown To pearls the tear-drops dim Freeze at his frown: Man's tears are loved of him, Deep down. 6 Here be the halls of Sleep Full mute, Chill, shadowy, and deep, Where hangs no lute To make the still heart leap Of man or brute: Here be the halls of Sleep Full mute. 102 WHERE AND WHAT H ER ivied towers tall Old forests belt and bar, And oh! the West's dim mountain crests That line the blue afar. Her gardens face dark cliffs, That seeth against a sea As blue and deep as the eyes of Sleep With saddening mystery. Red sands roll leagues on leagues Ribbed of the wind and wave; The near warm sky l)ends from on high The pale b)row of a slave. And when the morning's beams Lie crushed on crag and bay, A wail of flutes and soft-strung lutes O'er the lone landI swoons away. WHERE AND WHA T The woods are 'roused from rest, A scent of earth and brine, By brake and lake the wild things wake, And torrents leap and shine. But she in one gray tower White-faced knows how he died, And a murderous scorn on her lips is born To curse his heart that lied. She smiles and sorrows not: I'Ah, death ! to know," she moans, "The gluttonous grave of the bitter wave Laughs loud above his bones !" She laugh- and hating yearns Out toward the surf's far reach, Like one in sleep, who, wild to weep, Hath only moans for speech. And when the suni had set, And crocus heavens had fed Their wan fire soon to a thorn-thin moon, The flocking stars that lei], I04 WRERE AND WHA 7' A breeze set in from sea Most odorous with spice, And streamed among big stars that hung Thin mists as white as ice. And then her eyes waxed large With one last hideous hope, And her throat she bent toward the firmament, Star-scattered scope on scope. The haunted night, that felt The rapture so accursed, Shook, loosening one green star that spun Wild down the dusk and burst. Fair was her face as Sin's; "Ah, wretch !" she wailed, " to know A wormy seat at Death's lean feet May not undo such woe! " The devil-wrangling pit Much dearer than God's deeps Of serious skies, where thought ne'er dies And memory never sleeps! 105 io6 WHERE AND WHAT ",And dearer far than both, Than Heaven or Hell, the jest, The godless lot to rot and rot, And not be cursed or blessed !" THE SPRING. "O Fens Bandusihe!" PUSH back the brambles, berry-blue, The hollowed spring is full in view; Deep tangled with luxuriant fern Its rock-imbedded crystal urn. Not for the loneliness that keeps The coigne wherein its silence sleeps; Not for wild butterflies that sway Their pansy pinions all the day Above its mirror; nor the bee, Nor dragon-fly which passing see Themselves reflected in its spar; Not for the one white, liquid star That twinkles in its firmament, Nor moon-shot clouds so slowly sent TTE SPRING. Athwart it when the kindly night Beads all its grasses with the light, Small jewels of the dimpled dew; Not for the day's reflected blue, Nor the quaint, dainty colored stones IThat dance within it where it moans; Not for all these I love to sit In silence and to gaze in it. But, know, a nymph with merry eyes Meets mine within its laughing skies; A graceful, naked nymph who plays All the long fragrant summer days With instant sight of bees and birds, And speaks with them in water-words. One for whose nakedness the air Weaves moony mists, and on whose hair, Unfilleted, the night will set That lone star as a coronet. log LI LLITA. C AN I forget how, when you stood 'Mid orchards whence spring bloom had fled, Stars made the orchards seem a-bud, And weighed the sighing boughs o'erhead With shining ghosts of blossoms dead! Or when you bowed, a lily tall, Above your August lilies slim, Transparent pale, that by the wall Like softest moonlight seemed to swim, Brimmed with faint fragrance to the brim. And in the cloud that lingered low- A silent pallor in the West- There stirred and beat a golden glow Of some great heart that could not rest, A heart of gold within its breast. LILLITA. Your heart, your life was in the wild, Your joy to hear the whip-poor-will Lament its love, when wafted mild The harvest drifted from the hill: The deep, deep wildwood where had trod The red deer o'er the fallen hush Of Fall's torn leaves, when the low tod Was frosty 'neath each berried bush. At dusk the whip-will still complains Above your lolling lilies, where Their faces white the moonlight stains, The dreamy stream flows far and fair Whisp'ring of rest an easeful air . o music of the falling rain, At night unto her painless rest Sound sweet and sad, then is she fain To see the wild flowers on her breast Lift moist, pure faces up again To breathe to God their fragrance blest. I I LILLITA. III Thick-pleated beeches long have crossed Old, mighty arms above her tomb Where oft I watch at night her ghost Bow to the wild-flower's full-blown bloon A mist of curls, where Summer lost Her tangled sunbeams and perfume. ARTEM IS. O FT of the hiding Oread wast thou seen At earliest morn, a tall imperial shape, High-buskined, dew-dripped, and on close, chaste curls, Long blackness of thick hair, the tipsy drops Caught from the dipping sprays of under bosks, Kissed of thy cheek and of thy shoulder brushed, Thy rosy cheek as haughty Hera's fair, Thy snow-soft shoulder luminous as light. Oft did the shaggy hills and solitudes Of Arethusa shout and ring and reel, Reverberate and echo merrily With the lad chiding of thy merry hounds, Big mouthed and musical, that on the stag, Or bristling wild-boar furious grew in quest, And thou, as keen, fleet-footed and clean-limbed, A _R 7'EJI Thou, thou, 0 goddess, with thy quivered crew, Most loveliest maids and fit to wed with gods, Rushed, swinging on the wind free limbs and lithe, Long as thy radiant locks flung free to blow And lighten in the wine-sharp air of morn. Ai me ! their throats, their lusty, dimpled throats, That made the hills sing and the wood-ways dance As if to Orphic strains, and gave them life! Ai me ! their bosoms' deepness and the soft, Sweet, happy beauty of their delicate limbs, That stormed the forest vacancies with light, Swift daylight of their splendor and made blow, Within the glad sonorous solitudes, Old germs of flowerets a century cold. The woodland Naiad whispered by her rock; The Hamadryad, limpid-eyed and wild, Expectant rustled by her usual oak, And laughed in wonder; and mad Pan himself Reeled piping fiercely down the dingled deeps With rollicking eye that rolled a brutish lust. 9 I1I3 "4 AR 7E 1, MIS. And did the unwed maiden, musing where Her father's well, beyond the god-graced hills Bubbled and babbled, hear the full, high cry Of the chaste huntress, while her dripping jar Unheeded brimmed, vowed with her chastity, And shorn gold hair to veil her virgin feet. But, ah! not when the saucy daylight swims, Filling the forests with a glamorous green, Let me behold thee, goddess! but, when dim The slow night settles on the haunted wild, And walks in sober sark, and heatful stars Shine out intensely and the echoy waste Far off, far off, in shudders palpitates Unto the Limnad's song unmerciful, Unmerciful and mad and bitter sweet Then come in all thy godhead, beautiful! Thou beautiful and gentle, as thou cam'st To lorn Endymion, who, in Lemnos once, Lone in the wizard magic of the wild, Wandered a gentle boy, unfriended, sad. It grew far off adown the stirring trees, I114 41'TE.1311S. 115 Thy silent beauty blossominig flowerlike, Between the tree trunks and the lacing limbs, Bright in the leaves that kissed for very joy And drunkenness of glory thus revealed. He saw it all, the naked brow and limbs, The polished silver of thy glossy breast, Alone, uncompanied of handmaidens; Like some full, splendid fruit Hesperian Not e'en for deities; thy sweet far voice Came tinkling on his wistful ear and lisped Like leaves that cling and slip to cling again. And on such perilous beauty that must kill, The poisonous favor of thy godliness, Feasting his every sense through eyes and ears, His soul exalted waxed and amorous,- Like the high gods who quaff deep golden bowls Of rosy nectar,-with immortal love.- And what remained, ah, what remained but death! IN NOVEMBER. N O windy white of wind-blown clouds is thine, No windy white but low and sodden gray,. That holds the melancholy skies and kills The wild song and the wild bird; yet, ai me! Thy melancholy skies and mournful woods, Brown, sighing forests dying that I love ! Thy long thick leaves deep, deep about my feet, Slow, weary feet that halt or falter on; Thy long, sweet, reddened leaves that burn and die With silent fever of the sickened wold. I love to hear in all thy windy coigns, Rain-wet and choked with bleached and rotting weeds, The baby-babble of the many leaves, That, fallen on barren ways, like fallen hopes Once held so high on all the Summer's heart Of strong majestic trees, now come to such, Would fainly gossip in hushed undertones,- Sad weak yet sweet as natures that have known True tears and hot in bleak remorseless days,- Of all their whilom glory vanished so. A CHARACTER. H E lived beyond us and we stood As pygmies to his every mood, Mere pupils at his beck and nod, That spoke the influence of a god. And oft we wondered, when his thought Made our humanity seem naught, If he, like Uther's mystic son, W\Tere not a birth for Avalon. When wand'ring 'neath the sighing trees, His soul waxed genial with the breeze, That, voiceful, from the piney glades Companioned seemed of Oreads; A Dryad life lived in each oak, And with its many leaf-tongues spoke, Glorying the deity whose power Gave it its life in sun and shower. By every violet-hallowed brook, A CHARA CTER. Where every bramble-matted nook Rippled and laughed with water-sounds, He walked as one on sainted grounds, Fearing intrusion on the spell That kept some fountain-spirit's well, Or woodland genius sitting where Brown racy berries kissed his hair. And when the wind far o'er the hill Had fall'n and left the wvildwood still As moonlight jets on quiet moss,- Beneath the pied boughs arched across Long limpid vistas, brimmed \vith ripe Green-swimming sunbeams, heard the pipe Of some hid follower of Pan And worshiper, half brute half man; Who, hairy-haunched, a savage rhyme Puffed in his reed to rudest time; With swollen jowl and rolling eye Danced boisterous where the silver sky Smiled in the forest's broken roof; The strident branch beneath his hoof I I8 A CHARACTER. Snapped on the sod which, in' erfused Between black roots, was crushed and bruised. And often when he wandered through Old forests at the fall of dew,- A lone Endymion who sought A higher beauty yet uncaught,- Some night, we thought, most surely he Were favored of her deity, And in the holy solitude Her sudden presence, long pursued, Unto his eyes would be confessed; The awful moonlight of her breast Come high with majesty and hold His heart's blood till his heart were cold, Unpulsed, unsinewed, all undone, And snatch his soul to Avalon. I I9 A MOOD. B OWED hearts that hold the saddest memories Are the most beautiful; and such make sweet Light happy moods of alien natures which Their sadness contacts, and so sanctifies. And such to me is an old, gabled house, Deserted and neglected and unknown Within the dreamy hollow of its hills, Dark, cedared hills and fruitless orchards sear; With but its host of shrouded memories Haunting its low and desolate rooms and halls, Its roomy hearths and cob-webbed crevices. Here in dim rainy noons I love to sit, And hear the running rain along the roof, The creak and crack of noises that are born Of unseen and mysterious agencies; The dripping footfalls of the wind adown A MOOOD. Lone winding stairways massy-banistered; A clapping door and then a sudden hush That brings a pleasant terror stiffening through The tingling veins and staring from the eyes. Then comes the running rain along the roof's Rain-rotten gables and on rain-stained walls Invokes vague images and memories Of all its sometime lords and mistresses, Until the stale material will assume All that 's cairvoyant, and the fine-strung ear In quaint far rooms or dusty corridors Hear wrinkled ladies all beruffled trail Long haughty silks "miraculously stiff." 121 A THOUGHT. A ND I have thought of youth which strains Ii Nearer its God to rise,- What were ambition and its pains Were life a cowardice! The grander souls that rose above Thought's noblest heights to tread, Found their endeavor in their love. And truth behind the dead. A secret glory in the tomb, A night that dawns in light, An intense presence veiled with gloom, And not an endless night. . .. Nepenthe of this struggling world, Thou who dost stay mad Care When her fury's scourge above is curled And we see her writhing hair! SONG. I FAR over the summer sea, Ere the white-eyed stars wax pale, From the groves where a nightingale Wails a mystical melody, I turn my ghostly sail Away, away, To follow a face I see Far over the summer sea. II Far over the summer sea, Ere the cliff which highest soars From the foam re-echoing shores Reddens all rosily, Where the witch-white water roars, Far on, far on, Thro' the night I follow thee Far over the summer sea. SO4SG. III Far over the summer sea, When the great gold moon low lies In the purple-deepened skies I drift on tearfully Till a spirit form doth rise Low down, low down, 'Twixt the orbed moon-and me Far over the summer sea. IV Far over the summer sea With thy foam-cold limbs wound sweet 'Round hair and throat and feet To slay me utterly; At each mad, hot heart beat A kiss, a kiss, To drain the soul with thee, Deep, deep in the summer sea. 124 FACE TO FACE. D EAD! and all the haughty fate Fair on throat and face of wax, White, calm hands crossed still and lax, Cold, impassionate! Dead! and no word whispered low At the dull ear now could wake One responsive chord or make One wan temple glow. Dead! and no hot tear would stir All that woman sweet and fair, Woman soul from feet to hair Which was once of her. God! and thus to die! and I- I must live though life be but One long, hard, monotonous rut, There to plod and-die ! FA2CE TO FACE. Creeds are well in such a case; But no sermon could have wrought More of faith than you have taught With your pale, dead face. And I see it as you see- One mistake, so very small! Yet so great it mangled all, Left you this and me ! Oft I pondered saying, " Sure She could never live such life !" And the truth stabbed like a knife When I found you pure. Pure, so pure ! and me bemoiled, Loathly as loathed vermin, just As weak souls are left of lust- Loveless, low, and soiled. Nay! I loved you then and love !-- Grand, great eyes, I see them yet, Set like luminous gems of jet In wax lids above. 126 IA CE TO FA CE. Lips--O poor, dumb, chideless lips! Once as red as life could make, Moist as wran wild roses wake When the wild dew drips. Hair-imperial, full, and warim As a Grace's, where one stone Precious lay ensnared and shone Like a star in storm. Eyes-at parting big with pain: God ! I see them and the tear In them-big as eyes of deer Led by lights and slain ! Life so true ! I falsely cursed- Lips that, curled with scorn and pride, Hurt me though I said t/:ey lied, While the true heart burst. Rest! my heart has suffered too: And this life had woe enough For the little dole of love Given to me and you. 127 FACE TO FACE. Can you hear me can you know What I am and how it came, You, beyond me like a flame, You, before me like the snow! Dead ! and all my heart a cup Hollowed for sad, bitter tears, Bitter in the bitter years Slowly brimming up. Sleep! 'fis well! but might have been Better !-yes, God knows it might! Better for me in His sight And my soul more clean. Sleep in very peace! but I With Earth's other fools will stay, Live 'mid laughter, day by day Mocking laugh and-die. You will know me now, I know, But in life had never known How, indeed, I was alone- But, tis better so. I128 FACE TO FACE. And I know you what you were, Faithful and-it were no use, Only to yourself abuse,- I shall tell you there. There beyond the lightning and The long clouds and utter skies, Moons and suns and stars that rise, Where we'll understand. I0 129 THE CHANGELING. I T HERE were Faeries two or three, And a high moon white as wool, Or a bloom in Faery, Where the star-thick blossoms be Star-like beautiful. II There were Faeries two or three, And a wind as fragrant as Spicy wafts from Arcady Rocked the sleeping honey bee In the clover grass. III There were Faeries two or three, Wee white caps and red wee shoon, Buckles at each dainty knee, ",We are come to comfort thee, With the silver moon." THE CHANGGEEIGAG. IV There were Faeries two or three, Buttercups brimmed up with dew, Winning faces sweet to see, Then mine eyes closed heavily: "Faeries, what would you " V There were Faeries two or three, And my babe was dreaming deep, White as whitest ivory, In its crib of ebony Rocked and crooned on sleep. VI There were Faeries two or three Standing in the mocking moon, And mine eyes closed drowsily, Drowsily and suddenly There my babe was gone. 13I THE CHANGELIANG. VII Now no Fairies two or three Loitered in the moon alone. Jesu, Marie, comfort me! What is this instead I see- Ugly skin and bone. VIII There were Fairies two or three Stood with buckles on red shoon, But with evil sorcery My sweet babe to Faery They did steal right soon. 132 ST. JOHN'S EVE. I D IZZILY round On the elf-hills white in the yellow moonlight To a sweet, unholy, ravishing sound Of wizard voices from underground, Their mazy dance the Elle-maids wound On St. John's Eve. II Beautiful white, Like a wreath of mist by the starbeams kissed; And frail, sweet faces bloomed out on the night From floating tresses of glow-worm light, That puffed like foam to the left and the right On St. John's Eve. ' ST. 70 HN'S EVE. III Warily there They flashed like a rill which the moonbeams fill, But I saw what a mockery all of them were With their hollow bodies, when the moonlit air Rayed out through their eyes with a sudden glare On St. John's Eve. IV Solemnly sweet, By the river's banks in the rushes' ranks, The Necks their sorrowful songs repeat: A music of winds over dipping wheat, Of moss-dulled cascades seemed to meet On St. John's Eve. V Drowsily swam The fire-flies fleet in eddies of heat; Through the willows a glimmer of gold harps came, 134 S. 7O _ 0HN'S EVE. And I saw their hair like a misty flame Bunched over white brows, too white to name, On St. John's Eve. VI Beggarly torn, A wizen chap in a red-peaked cap, All gray with the chaff and dust of the corn, And strong with the pungent scent of the barn, The Nis scowled under the flowering thorn On St. John's Eve. VII Merrily call The singing crickets in the twinkling thickets, And the Troll hill rose on pillars tall, Crimson pillars that ranked a hall Where the beak-nosed Trolls were holding a ball On St. John's Eve. 135 136 S7 OHN'S E VE. VIII Reveling flew From beakers of gold the wassail old; And she reached me a goblet brimmed bright with dew- But her wily witcheries well I knew, And the philtre over my shoulder threw On St. John's Eve. LALAGE. W HAT were sweet life without her WVho maketh all things sweet With smiles that dream about her, With dreams that come and fleet! Soft moods that end in languor; Soft words that end in sighs; Curved frownings as of anger; Cold silence of her eyes. Sweet eyes born but for slaying, Deep violet-dark and lost In dreams of whilom Maying In climes unstung of frost. Wild eyes shot through with fire God's light in godless years, Brimmed wine-dark with desire, A birth for dreams and tears. 138LAA GE. Dear tears as sweet as laughter, Low laughter sweet as love Unwound in ripples after Sad tears we knew not of. What if the day be lawless, What if the heart be dead, Such tears would make it flawless, Such laughter make it red. Lips that were curled for kisses, For loves and hates and scorns, Brows under gold of tresses, Brows beauteous as the Morn's. Imperial locks and tangled Down to the graceful hips; Hair where one might be strangled Carousing on thy lips. Rose-lovely lips that hover About the honeyed words, That slip wild bees from clover Whose sweets their sweet affords. 138 LALAGE. Though days be robbed of sunlight, White teeth make light thereof; Though nights unknown of onelight, Thine eyes were stars enough. Ab, lily-lovely features, Round temples, throat, and chin, Sweet gods of godless natures, Sweet love of loveless men! Still moods and slumberous fanned on To dreams that rock to sleep, Unmerciful abandon, That haunts or makes one weep. She walks as if with sorrows And all unknown of joy; Eyes fixed on dim to-morrows That all sad feet decoy. Yet she, a peer of pleasures, Tears from Time's taloned hand The hour-glass he treasures, And wastes its sullen san(I. 139 LALA GE. Makes of all hours a beaker Brimmed full of lordly wine, Cold gold of Life's mad liquor, And quaffs to me and mine. The love on lips grows fairer, Keen lights in eyes make wars, And throat and breast grow rarer Than the white-throated stars. Fleet smiles come fleet and faster And web the willing soul; Warm breasts of alabaster Have snared it as a whole. What then were hell or heaven, The fear of heaven or hell! Lost in the life thus given We well might bid farewell. To leap against thy bosoms! Live at thy ardent throat! Kiss clinging to its blossoms, Die kissing and not know 't! 140 LALA GE. Wound in tumultuous tresses Pulse like a naked hair, Held in long hands for kisses, And killed and never care. Clasped limb and marble member, Long raven hair with gold, To dream, forget, remember, Grow slowly still and cold. Feel earth and hell forever Remote from thee and me, Nor strong enough to sever Through all eternity. Feel godlike power for evil High throned within the heart, Should God and hell's arch devil Cast dice our souls to part: Part eyes hot as a jewel, Part covering deeps of curl, Sweet lips as sweet as cruel, And limbs of living pearl. 141 LALAGE. What if in the hereafter Our love must weep farewell 'Mid the hoarse, strident laughter Of devils deep in hell; We'll know that all infernal, All cactus-growth of time, Slays not that hour eternal That sinned with love to crime. Love, we could live all tearless, Remember and have breath, Of hell and heaven fearless In love more strong than death. When hope shall be forgotten And death be one with both, Flesh, soul, and spirit rotten And wrapped with clay in sloth, Take comfort, love, remember Love chastened with his rod, And member torn from member Would leave him still a god. 14:2 LALA GE. '43 Though soul from soul be riven, God knows we shall regret! In hell or highest heaven We never can forget! MIRIANI. W HITE clouds and buds and birds and bees, Low wind-notes piped from southern seas, Brought thee a rose-white offering, A flower-like baby with the Spring. She, as her April, gave to thee A soul of winsome vagary; Large, heavenly eyes, and tender, whence Shone the sweet mind's soft influence; Where all the winning woman, that Welled up in tears, high sparkling sat. She, with the dower of her May, Gave thee a nature that could sway Wild men with kindness, and a pride Which all their littleness denied. IRIMRIAM. Limbs wrought of lilies and a face Bright as a rose flower's, and a grace, God-taught, that clings like happiness In each chaste billow of thy dress. She, as her heavy June, brought down Night deeps of hair thy brow to crown; A voice so mild and musical It is as water-notes that fall O'er bars of pearl, and in thy heart Stamped like a jewel, that should start From thy pure face in smiles, and break Like radiance when it laughed or spake, Affection that is born of truth And goodness which make very youth. I I 145 THE WIND. T HE ways of the wind are eerie And I love them all, The blithe, the mad, and the dreary, Spring, Winter, and Fall. When it tells to the waiting crocus Its beak to show, And hangs on the wayside locust Bloom-bunches of snow. When it comes like a balmy blessing From the musky wood, The half-grown roses caressing Till their cheeks show blood. WVhen it roars in the Autumn season, And whines with rain Or sleet like a mind without reason, Or a soul in pain. THE WID.D. When the wood-ways once so spicy With bud and bloom Are desolate, sear, and icy As the icy tomb. 'When the wild owl crouched and frowsy In the rotten tree Wails dolorous, cold, and drowsy, His shuddering melody. Then I love to sit in December Where the big hearth sings, And dreaming forget and remember A host of things. And the wind-I hear how it strangles And gasps and sighs On the roof's sharp, shivering angles That front the skies. How it groans and romps and tumbles In attics o'erhead, In the great-throated chimney rumbles, Then all at once falls dead; 147 THE WVINVD. Till it comes like footsteps slipping Of a child on the stair, Or a quaint old gentleman tripping With heavily powdered hair. And my soul grows anxious hearted For those once dear- The long-lost loves departed In the wind draw near. And I seem to see their faces, Not one estranged, In their old accustomed places 'Round the wide hearth ranged. And the wind that waits and poises Where the shadows sway Makes their visionary voices Seem calling me far away. And I wake in tears to listen Again to the sobbing wind, Far out on the lands that glisten, Like the voice of one who sinned. 148 MUSIC. [A NOCTURNE.] T HE soul of love is harmony; as such All melodies, that with wide pinions beat Elastic bars, which mew it in the flesh, Till 't would away to kiss their throats and cling, Are kindred to the soul, and while they sway, Lords of its action molding all at will. Ah! neither was I I, nor knew the clay, For all my soul lay on full waves of song Reverberating 'twixt the earth and moon. O soft complaints, that haunted all the heart With dreams of love long cherished, love dreams found On sunset mountains gorgeous toward the 'West: Kisses-soft kisses bartered 'mid pale buds Of bursting Springs; and vows of fondest faith Kept evermore; and eyes whose witchery 1f50USIC. Might lure old saints down to the lowest hell For one swift glance,-sweet, melancholy eyes Yet full of hope and dimming o'er with tears, Stooping and gloating in a silver mist At Care's thin brow, and growing at his eyes. Voices of expectation rolling on To diapason of a mighty choir, 'Mid ever-swooning throbbings beating low, Wove in hoarse fabric thunders-and 0 soul! Wafted to caverns lost by hideous seas, One with the tumult 'neath o'ercircling tiers White with strange diamond spars and feathery gems. O holy music, wailing down long aisles To lose thyself 'neath arched welkins dashed With moons of crystal;-dying, dying down To passionate sobs, and then a silence vast, Vast as thy caves, or as the human soul, Oppressing all this being bulked in flesh Until it strained to burst its bounds and soar. Harp-tones! that shaped before the poised mind The home of Sleep far on a moonlit isle. 150 A USIC. 5 White Sleep, who from heaped myriad poppies weighed With baby slumbers, and from violet beds, Culled whiter dreams to fold against her heart In dewy clusters sparkling wet with tears; And on her shadowy pinions soaring high Winged 'neath the vault into oblivion, With all the echoes panting at pale feet To kiss the dreams, and o'er deep, wine-dark waves, Far, far away, lost-and a sound of stars Streaming from burning sockets into night About my soul, about my soul like fire. Oh, then what agony and bitter woe, Regret and noise of desolation vast As when all that one loves is torn away Forever with "farewell forevermore !" Oh, strife and panic and the rush of winds, Moist ashen brows with raven tresses torn That plunged against the bursting bolts of God, That ploughed the tempest curst with deepest night; Ruin and heartache, moans and demon eyes, Fierce, bestial eyes that cursed at very God; 151 152 mUSiC. Then blinding tears that wept for such and prayed, Tears blistering all the soul in haunting eyes, Eyes such as Death would fear to ponder on! Then dolorous bell-beats, battle as for light, Folds of oblivion, gaspings, silence, death. TO - "Lydia, dic, fier omnes Te deos oro W 5 CHAT are the subtleties Which woo me in her eyes To oaths she deems but lies, I can not tell, I can not tell, Nor will she. They are beyond my thought, For when I gaze I'm nought, My senses all unwrought, It is not well, it is not well, Now Lily! II What is the magic sweet Which makes hot pulses beat, A wayward tongue repeat A name for weeks, a name for weeks \Will, nill he I54 Ai me! the pleasant pain Falls sweetly on the brain Like some slow sunny rain, Whene'er she speaks, whene'er she speaks This Lily. III What is the witchery rare Which snares me in her hair So deeply that I dare, I dare not move, I dare not move,- Lie stilly In looks and winning ways The bloom of love she lays Like fire on all my days, And makes me love, and makes me love This Lily. Tof YULE. B EHOLD! it was night; and the wind and the rushing of snow on the wind, And the boom of the sea and the moaning of desolate pines that were thinned. And the halls of fierce Erick of Sogn with the clamor of wassail were filled, WVith the clash of great beakers of gold and the reek of the ale that-was spilled. For the Yule was upon them, the Yule, and they quaffed as from skulls of the slain, And sware out round oaths in hoarse wit, and long quaffing sware laughing again. Unharnessed from each shaggy throat that was hot with mad lust and with drink. The burly wild skins and barbaric tossed rent from their broad golden link. YULE. For the Yule was upon them, the Yule, and the " waes- heils" were shouted and roared By the Berserks, the eaters of fire, and the Jarls round the ponderous board. And huge on the hearth, that writhed hissing and bellied a bullion of gold, The yule-log, the half of an oak from the mountains, was royally rolled. And its warmth was a glory that glared and smote red through the width of the hall, To burnish wild-boar skins and swords and great war- axes hung on the wall. Till the maidens, who hurried big goblets that bubbled excessive with barm, Blushed rose to the gold of thick curls when the shining steel mirrored each charm. And Erick's one hundred gray skalds, at the nod and the beck of the king, With the stormy rolled music of an hundred wild harps made the castle re-echoing ring. 15 6 YULE. For the Yule. for the Yule was upon them, and battle and rapine were o'er, And Harold, the viking, the red, and his brother lay dead on the shore. For the harrier, Harold the red, and his merciless brother, black Ulf, With their men on the shore of the wintery sea were carrion cold for the wolf. Behold! for the battle was finished, the battle that boomed in the day With the rumble of shields that were shocked and the shatter of spears that did slay; With the hewing of swords that fierce lightened hot smoking with riotous blood, And the crush of the mace that was crashed through the helm and the brain that withstood; And the cursing and shrieking of men at their gods- at their gods whom they cursed, Till the caves of the ocean re-bellowed and storm on their struggling burst. 157 Y8ULE. And they fought in the flying and drifting and silence of covering snow, Till the wounded that lay with the dead, with the dead were stiff frozen in woe. And they fought; and the mystical flakes that were clutched of the maniac wind Drave sharp on the eyes of the kings, made the sight of their warriors blind. And they fought; and with leonine wrath were they met till the battle god, Thor, From his thunder-wheeled chariot rolled, making end of destruction and war. And they fell-like twin rocks of the mountain the ru- inous whirlwinds have hurled From their world-rooted crags to the ocean below with the strength of the world. And, lo! not in vain their loud vows! on the stern iron altars of War Their flesh, their own flesh, yea, the victim, their blood the libation to Thor. . .. I 58 YULE. 1 59 But a glitter and splendor of arms out of snow and the foam of the seas, And the terrible ghosts of the vikings and the gaunt- leted Valkyries. ... Yea, the halls of fierce Erick of Sogn with the turmoil of wassail are filled, WTith the steam of the flesh of the boar and the reek of the ale that is spilled. For the Yule and the vict'ry are theirs, and the "wacs- heils" are shouted and roared By the Berserks, the eaters of fire, and the Jarls 'round the ponderous board. THE TROUBADOUR. H E stood where all the rare voluptuous West, Like some mad Maenad wine-stained to the breast, Shot from delirious lips of ruby must Long, fierce, triumphant smiles wherein hot lust Swam like a feverish wine exultant tost High from a golden goblet and so lost. And all the West, and all the rosy WVest, Bathed his frail beauty, hair and throat and breast; And there he bloomed, a thing of rose and snows, A passion flower of men of snows and rose Beneath the casement of her old red tower Whereat the lady sat, as white a flower As ever blew in Provence, and the lace, Mist-like about her hair, half hid her face And all its moods which his sweet singing raised, Sad moods that censured it, sweet moods that praised. And where the white rose climbing over and over THE TR 0 UBAD 0 UR. Up to her wide-flung lattice like a lover, And gladiolas and deep fleurs-de-lis Held honey-cups up for the violent bee, Within her garden by the ivied wall, Where many a fountain falling musical Flamed fire-fierce in the eve against it flung, Like some mad nightingale the minstrel sung:- " The passion, O! of plunging through and through Lascivious curls star-litten as light dew, And jeweled thick, as is the bosomed dusk Dense scintillant with stars! Oh frenzy rare Of twisting curling fingers in thy hair! No touch of balm-beat winds from torrid seas Were half so satin-soft in sorceries! No god-like life so sweet as lost to lie Wrapped strand on strand deep in such hair and die, Ah love, sweet love! "The mounting madness and the rapturous pain With fingers wound in thick, cool curls to strain All the wild sight deep in thy perilous eyes So agate polished, where the thoughts that rise 12 i6i THE T-ROUBADOUR. Warm in the heart, like on a witch's glass Must forth in pictures beautiful and pass; No Siren sweetness wailed to lyres of gold, No naked beauty that the Greeks of old God-bosomed thro' the bursting foam did see Were potent, love, to tear mine eyes from thee, Ah love, sweet love! "Far o'er the sea of old time once a witch, The fair iEoean, Circe, dwelt, so rich In marvelous magic, cruel as a god, She made or unmade lovers at a nod; Ah, bitter love that made all loves but brute !- Ah, bitterer thou who mak'st my heart a lute To lie and languish for thee sad and mute, Strung high for utterance of the sweetest lay, Such magic music as Acrasia And all her lovers swooned to utter bliss,- And then not wake it with a single kiss, Ah! cruel, cruel love !" Knee-deep within the dew-damp grasses there, Against the stars, that now were everywhere I 62 THE TRO UBADO UR. Flung thro' the perfumed heav'ns of angel hands, And, linked in tangled labyrinths of bands Of soft rose-hearted flame and glimmer, rolled One vast immensity of mazy gold, He sang, like some hurt creature desolate, Heart-aching for the loss of some wild mate Hounded and speared to death of heartless men In old romantic Arden waste; and then Turned to the one white star,-which like a stone Of precious worth low on the heaven shone,- A white, sweet, lovely face and passed away From the warm flowers and the fountains' spray. And that fair lady in pale drapery, High in the quaint, red tower, did she sigh To see him, dimming down the purple night, Lone with his instrument die out of sight Far in the rose-pleached, musk-drunk avenues, Far in, far in amid the gleaming dews, And, left alone but with the sighing rush Of the wan fountains and the deep night hush, Weep to the melancholy stars above Half the lorn night for the desired love i63 164 THE TROUBADOUR. Or down the rush-strewn halls, where arras old Billowed with passage of her fold on fold, Even to the ponderous iron-studded gate, That shrieked with rust, steal from her lord and wait Deep in the dingled hyacinth and rose For him who sang so sweetly erst-who knows WHY W lHY smile high stars the happier after rain Why is strong love the stronger after pain Ai me! ai me! thou wotest not nor I! Why sings the wild swan heavenliest when it dies Why spake the dumb lips sweetest that we prize For maddening memories 0 why! 0 why! Why are dead kisses dearer when they're dead Why are dead faces lovelier vanished And why this heart-ache None can answer why! FROM UNBELIEF TO BELIEF. W HY come ye here to sighf that I, Who with crossed wrists so peaceless lie Before ye, am at rest, at rest ! For that the pistons of my blood No more in this machinery thud And on these eyes, that once were blest With magnetism of fire, are prest Thin, damp, pale eyelids for a sheath, Whereon the bony claw of Death Hlath set his coins of unseen lead, Stamped with the image of his head Why come ye here to weep for one, Who is forgotten when he's gone From ye and burthened with this rest Your God hath given him! unsought Of any prayers, whiles yet he wrought,- And with what sacrifices bought! Low, sweet communion mouth to mouth FROM UNBELIEF TO BELIEF. Of thoughts that dewed eternal drought Of Life's bald barrenncss,-a jest, An irony hath grown confessed Wien he's at rest ! when he's at rest Why come ye, fools !-ye lie! ye lie! Rashly! the grave, for such as I, Hath naught that lies as near this rest As your high Heaven lies near your Hell! I see why now that it is well That men but know the husk-like shell, Which like a fruit the being kept, That swinked and sported, woke and slept; From which that stern essential stept, That ichor-veined inhabitant Who makes me all myself, in all My moods the "I" original, That holds one orbit like a star, Distinct, to which a similar There never was, and be there can't. And as it is, it is the best That Death hath my poor body dressed i67 i68 FROM UNBELIEF TO BELIEF. In such fair semblance of a rest, Which soothes the hearts of those distressed; But, God! unto the dead the jest Of this his rest, of this his rest! THE KING. A BLOWN white bubble buoyed zenith-ward, 16 Up from the tremulous East the round moon swung Mist-murky, and the unsocial stars that thronged, Hot with the drought, thick down the empty West, Winked thirstily; no wind to rouse the leaves, That o'er the glaring road lolled palpitant, Withered and whitened of the weary dust From iron hoofs of that gay fellowship Of knights which gat at morn the king disguised; Whose mind was, "in the lists to joust and be An equal mid unequals, man with man :" Who from the towers of Edric passed, wherein Some nights he 'd sojourned, till one morn a horn Sang at dim portals, musical with dew, Wild echoes of wild woodlands and the hunt, Clear herald of the staunchest of his knights; And they to the great jousts at Camelot Rode pounding off, a noise of steel and steeds. 13 7H0E KAING. Thick in the stagnant moat the lilies lay Ghastly and rotting; hoarse with rusty chains The drawbridge hung before the barb6d grate; And far above along lone battlements, His armor moon-drenched, one great sentinel Clanked drowsily, and it was late in June. She at her lattice, lawny night-robed, leaned Dreaming of somewhat dear, and happy smiled From glorious eyes; a face like gracious nights, One silent brilliancy of steadfast stars Innumerable and delicate through the dusk: Long, loosened loops and coils of sensuous hair Rolled turbulence down naked neck and throat, That shamed the moonshine with a rival sheen. One stooped above her till his nostrils drank Rich, faint perfumes that blossomed in her hair, And 'round her waist hooped one strong arm and drew Her mightily to him; soft burying deep In crushed fresh linen warm with flesh his arie, Searched all her eyes until his own were drugged I 70 THE KING. Mad with their fire, quick one hungry kiss, Like anger bruised fierce on her breathless lips, Whispered, "And lov'st but one and he " "Sweet, sweet my lord, thou wotest well !" and then From love's stern beauty writhen into hate's Gnarled hideousness, he haled her sweet, white face Back, back by its large braids of plenteous hair Till her full bosom's clamorous speechlessness Stiff on the moon burst white, low mocked and laughed, ",The King, I wot, adulteress !" and a blade Glanced thin as ice plunged hard, hard in her heart. I7I