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Blooms of the berry / Madison Julius Cawein. Cawein, Madison Julius, 1865-1914. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-187-30608359 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. Blooms of the berry / Madison Julius Cawein. Cawein, Madison Julius, 1865-1914. John P. Morton, Louisville : 1887. 202 p. ; 18 cm. Coleman The author's first book. BAL 2986. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04381.12 KUK) Printing Master B92-187. 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. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. BY MADISON J. CAWEIN. " I fain would tune my fancy to your key."-Sir/John Suckl'ing. LOUISVILLE: JOHN P. MORTON AND COMPANY, PRINTERS. i887 COPYR IGiHTED By MADISON J. CAWEIN. x887 PROEM. W INE-WARM winds that sigh and sing, Led me, wrapped in many moods, Thro' the green sonorous woods Of belated Spring; Till I came where, glad with heat, Waste and wild the fields were strewvn, Olden as the olden moon, At my weary feet; Wild and white with starry bloom, One far milky-way that dashed, When some mad wind o'er it flashed, Into billowy foam. I, bewildered, gazed around, As one on whose heavy dreams Comes a sudden burst of beams, Like a mighty sound. If the grander flowers I sought, But these berry-blooms to you, Evanescent as their dew, Only these I brought. JULY 3, i887. This page in the original text is blank. I.-BY WOLD AND WOOD. This page in the original text is blank. BY WOLD AND WOOD. THE HOLLOW. I. FLEET swallows soared and darted 'Neath empty vaults of blue; Thick leaves close clung or parted To let the sunlight through; Each wild rosa, honey-hearted, Bowed full of living dew. II. Down deep, fair fields of Heaven, Beat wafts of air and balm, From southllmost islands driven And continents of calm; Bland winds by which were given Hid hints of rustling palm. III. High birds soared high to hover; Thick leaves close clung to slip; Wild rose and snowy clover Were warm for winds to dip, And one ungentle lover, A bee with robber lip. BBOOOMS OF THE BERRY. IV. Dart on, 0 buoyant swallow! Kiis leaves and willing rose! Whose musk the sly winds follow, Ar.d bee that booming goes;- But in this quiet hollow I'll walk, which no one knows. V. None save the moon that shineth At night through rifted trees; The lonely flower that twineth Frail blooms that no one sees; The whippoorwill that pineth; Th sad, sweet-swaying breeze; VI. The lone white stars that glitter; The stream's complaining wave; Gray bats that dodge and flitter; Black crickets hid that rave; And -ne whose life is bitter, And one white head stone grave. 8 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. BY WOLD AND WOOD. I. G REEN, watery jets of light let through The rippling foliage drenched with dew; Bland glow-worm glamours warm and dim Above the mystic vistas swim, 'Where, 'round the fountain's oozy urn, The limp, loose fronds of limber fern Wave dusky tresses thin and wet, Blue-filleted with violet. O'er roots that writhe in snaky knots The moss in amber cushions clots; From wattled walls of brier and brush The elder's misty attars gush; And, Argus-eyed, by knoll and bank The affluient wild rose flowers rank; And stol'n in shadowy retreats, In black, rich soil, your vision greets The colder undergrowths of woods, Damp, lushy-leaved, whose gloomier moods Turn all the life beneath to death And rottenness for their own breath. M ty-apples waxen-stemmed and large With their bloom-screening breadths of targe; Wake robins dark-green leaved, their stems lipped with green, oval clumps of gems, 9 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY As if some woodland Bacchus there A-braiding of his yellow hair Wit'h ivy-to] had idly tost His thvrsus there, and so had lost. Low blood root with its pallid bloom, The red lift of its mother's womb Through all its ardent pulses fine Beating in scarlet veins of wine. And where the knotty eyes of trees Stare wide. like Fauns' at Dryades That lave smooth limbs in founts of spar, Shines mary a wild-flower's tender star. II. The scumnmy pond sleeps lazily, Clid thick with lilies, and the bee Reels boisterous as a Bassarid Above the bloated green frog hid In lush wa 1 calamus and grass, Beside the water's stagnant glass. The piebald dragon-fly, like one A-weary of the world and sun, Ccmes blir dly blundering along, A pedagogue, gaunt, lean, and long, Large-heac ed naturalist with wvise, Great, glar'ng goggles on his eyes. And dry aid hot the fragrant mint Pours grateful odors without stint 10 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. From cool, clay banks of cressy streams, Rare as the musks of rich hareems, And hot as some sultana's breath With turbulent passions or with death. A haze of floating saffron; sound Of shy, crisp creepings o'er the ground; The dip and stir of twig and leaf; Tempestuous gusts of spices brief From elder bosks and sassafras; Wind-cuffs that dodge the laughing grass; Sharp, sudden songs and whisperings That hint at untold hidden things, Pan and Sylvanus that of old Kept sacred each wild wood and wold. A wily light beneath the trees Quivers and dusks with ev'ry breeze; Mayhap some Hamadryad who, Culling her morning meal of dew From frail accustomed cups of flowers- Some Satyr watching through the bowers- Had, when his goat hoof snapped and pressed A brittle branch, shrunk back distressed, Startled, her wild, tumultuous hair Bathing her limbs one instant there. I I BLOOMS OF THE BERRY ANTICIPATION. ,TINDY the sky and mad; Surly the gray March day; Bleak the forests and sad, Sad for the beautiful May. On maples tasseled with red No blitie bird swinging sung; The broo.c in its lonely bed Compa.ined in an unknown tongue. We walked in the wasted wood: IHer face as the Spring's was fair, Her blood was the Spring's own blood, The Spring's her radiant hair. And we found in the windy wild One cowering violet, Like a frail and tremulous child In the 'aked leaves bowed and wet. And I sighed at the sight, with pain For the May's warm face in the wood, May's pa-sions of sun and rain, May's .-aiment of bloom and of bud. But she slid when she saw me sad, " Tho' the world be gloomy as fate, And we -earn for the days to be glad, Dear heart, we can afford to wait. 12 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. "For, know, one beautiful thing On the dark day's bosom curled, Makes the wild day glad to sing, Content to smile at the world. For the sinless world is fair, And man's is the sin and gloom; And dead are the days that were, But what are the days to come "Be happy, dear heart, and wait! For the past is a memory: Tho' to-day seem somber as fate, Who knows what to-morrow will be" And the May came on in her charms, With a twinkle of rustling feet; Blooms stormed from her luminous arms, And honey of smiles that were sweet. Now I think of her words that day, This day that I longed so to see, That finds her dead with the May, And the March but a memory. 13 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. A LAMENT. I. W HITE moons may come, white moons may go, She sleeps where wildwood blossoms blow, Nor knowF she of the rosy June, Star-silver flowers o'er her strewn, The pearly paleness of the moon,- Alas! how should she know! II. The downs moth at evening comes To suck thin honey from wet blooms; Long, lazy clouds that swimming high Brood white about the western sky, Grow red us molten iron and lie Above the fragrant glooms. III. Rare odor,, of the weed and fern, Dry whisp rings of dim leaves that turn, A sound o;' hidden waters lone Frothed bubbling down the streaming stone, And now z wood-dove's plaintive moan Drift from the bushy burne. I4 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. IV. Her garden where deep lilacs blew, Where on old walls old roses grew Head-heavy with their mellow musk, Where, when the beetle's drone was husk, She lingered in the dying dusk, No more shall know that knew. V. When orchards, courting the wan Spring, Starred robes of buds around them fling, Their beauty now to her is naught, Once a sweet passion, when she fraught Dark curls with blooms that nodding caught Impulse from the bee's wing. VI. White moons may come, white moons may go, She sleeps where wildwood blossoms blow; Cares naught for fairy fern or weed, White wand'rings of the plumy seed, Of hart or hind she takes no heed; Alas! her head lies low! 15 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. DISTANCE. I. I DREAMED last night once more I stood Knee-deep in purple clover leas; YVour old home glimmered thro' its wood Of dark and melancholy trees, Where ev'ry sudden summer breeze That wantoned o'er the solitude The water's melody pursued, And slk epy hummings of the bees. II. And ankle-deep in violet blooms Methovght I saw you standing there, A lawny light among the glooms, A crown of sunlight on your hair; Wild songsters singing every where Made lightning with their glossy plumes; About ycu clung the wild perfumes And swooned along the shining air. III. And then you called me, and my ears Grew fattered with the music, led Ir fancy sack to sweeter years, Far sweeter years that now are dead; And at your summons fast I sped, Buoyant JS one a goal who nears. Ah! lost, dead love! I woke in tears; For as I neared you farther fled! x6 BLOOMfS OF THE BERRY. ASPIRATION. GOD knows I strive against low lust and vice, Wound in the net of their voluptuous hair; God knows that all their kisses are as ice To me who do not care. God knows, against the front of Fate I set Eyes still and stern, and lips as bitter prest; Raised clenched and ineffectual palms to let Her rock-like pressing breast! God knows what motive such large zeal insDires, God knows the star for which I climb and crave, God knows, and only God, the eating fires That in my bosom rave. I will not fall! I will not; thou dost lie! Deep Hell! that seethest in thy simmering pit; Thy thousand throned horrors shall not vie, Or ever compass it! But as thou sinkest from my soul away, So shall I rise, rolled in the morning's rose, Beyond this world, this life, this little day- God knows! God knows! God knoWs! 2 1 7 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY SPRING TWILIGHT. T HE sun set late, and left along the West One furious ruby rare, whose rosy rays Poured in a slumb'rous cloud's pear-curdled breast, Blossomed to peachy sprays. The sun set late, and wafts of wind arose, And cuffed the blossom from the blossoming quince; Shatter red attar vials of the rose, And made the clover wince. By dusking forests, thro' whose fretful boughs In flying fragments shot the evening's flame, Adown the tangled lane the quiet cows With dreary tinklings came. The sun set late; but hardly had he gone When o',r the moon's gold-litten crescent there, Clean Phosphor, polished as a precious stone, Pulsed in fair deeps of air. As from faint stars the glory waned and waned, "he fussy insects made the garden shrill; Beyond the luminous pasture lands complained Cone lonely whippoorwill. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY . FRAGMENTS. I. STARS. T HE fields of space gleam bright, as if some ancient giant, old As the moon and her extinguished mountains, Had dipp d his fingers huge into the twilight's sea of gold And sprinkled all the heavens from these fountains. IL GHOSTS. In soft sad nights, when all the still lagoon Lolls in a wealth of golden radiance, I sit like one enchanted in a trance, And see them 'twixt the haunted mist and moon. Lascivious eyes 'neath snow-pale sensual brows, Flashing hot, killing lust, and tresses light, Lose, satin streaming, purple as the night, Night when the storm sings and the forest bows. And then, meseeins, along the wild, fierce hills A wthisper and a rustle of fleet feet, As if tempestuous troops of Maenads meet To drain deep bowls and shout and have their wills. 19 BL( , OF THE BERRY. And once I see large, lustrous limbs revealed, Moth-white and iawny, 'twixt sonorous trees; And then a song, faint as of fairy seas, Lulls all my senses till my eyes are sealed. III. MOONRISE AT SEA. With lips that were hoarse with a fury Of foam and of winds that are strewn, Of s. orm and of turbulent hurry, Tl-e ocean roared, heralding soon A birth of miraculous glory, Of madness, affection-the moon. And soon from her waist with a slipping Aid shudder and clinging of light, With a loos'ning and pushing and ripping Of the raven-laced bodice of Night, With a silence of feet and a dripping Tl-e goddess came, virginal white. And the air was alive with the twinkle Aild tumult of silver-shod feet, The hurling of stars, and the sprinkle Of loose, lawny limbs and a sweet Murmur and whisper and tinkle Of beam-weaponed moon spirits fleet. 20 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. THE RAIN. W E stood where the fields were tawny, WN'here the redolent woodland was warm, And the summer above us, now lawny, Was alive with the l)ulse winds of storm. And we watched weak wheat waves lighten. And wince and hiss at each gust, And the turbulent maples whiten, And the lane grow gray with dust. White flakes from the blossoming cherry, Pink snows of the peaches were blown, And star-fair blooms of the berry And the dogwood's flowers were strewn. And the luminous hillocks grew sullied, And shadowed and thrilled with alarm, When the body of the blackness was gullied With the rapid, keen flame of the storm. And the birds to dry coverts had hurried, And the musical rillet ran slow, And the buccaneer bee was worried, And the red lilies swung to and fro. 21 B22OBOMOS OF THE BERRY. Till the elf-cuirassiers of the showers Came, bright with slant lances of rain, And charged the bare heads of the flowers, And trampled the grass of the plain. And t62 armies of the leaves were shattered, Thei- standards drenched, heavy and lank; And the iron weed's purple was spattered, And the lily lay broke on the bank. But high in the storm was the swallow, And Wle rain-strong voice of the fill In the 5ough-grottoed dingle sang hollow To the sky-blue flags on its wall. But the storm and its clouds passed over, And ltft but one cloud in the West, Wet wafts th it were fragrant with clover, And the sun low sunken to rest; SAoft spices of rain-studded poppies, Of honey unfilched of a bee, And balm of the mead and the coppice, And musk of the rain-breathing tree. Then the cloud in the West was riven, And bubbled and bLursten with gold, Blown out through deep gorges of hea en, And spilled on the wood and the wold. 22 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. TO S. McK. I. HTALL we forget how, in our day, The Sabine fields about us lay In amaranth and asphodel, And bubbling, cold BandUsian well, Fair Pyrrhas haunting every way In dells of forest faun and fay, Moss-lounged within the fountain's spray, How drained we wines too rare to tell, Shall we forget The fine Falernian or the ray Of fiery Caecuban, while gay We heard B icchantes shout and yell, Filled full of Bacchus, and so fell To dreaming of some Lydia; Shall we forget II. If we forget in after years, Mly comrade, all the hopes and fears That hovered all our walks around When ent'ring on that mystic ground 23 24 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. Of ghostly legends, where one hears By bandit towers the chase that nears TI-ro' cracking woods, the oaths and cheers Of demon huntsman, horn and hound; If we forget. Lenora's lover and her tears, Fi,-rce Wallenstein, satanic sneers Xf the red devil Goethe bound,- WXhy then, forsooth, they soon are found In burly stoops of German beers, If we forget I BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. MORNING AND NIGHT. FRo.M " THE TRIUMPH OF MUSIC." Fresh from bathing in orient fountains, In wells of rock water and snow, Comes the Dawn with her pearl-brimming fingers O'er the thyme and the pines of yon mountain; Where she steps young blossoms fresh blow. And sweet as the star-beams in fountains, And soft as the fall of the dew, Wet as the hues of the rain-arch, To me was the Dawn when on mountains Pearl-capped o'er the hyaline blue, Saint-fair and pure thro' the blue, Her spirit in dimples comes dancing, In dimples of light and of fire, Planting her footprints in roses On the floss of the snow-drifts, while glancing Large on her brow is her tire, Gemmed with the morning-star's fire. But sweet as the incense from altars, And warm as the light on a cloud, Sad as the wail of bleak woodlands, To me was the Night when she falters In the sorrowful folds of her shroud, In the far-blowing black of her shroud, 3 2 5 26 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. O'er the flower-strewn bier of her lover, Th, Day lying faded and fair In the red-curtained chambers of air. When disheveled I've seen her uncover He gold-girdled raven of hair- All hooped with the gold of the even- And for this sad burial prepare, The spirit of Night in the heaven To me was most wondrously fair, So fa r that I wished it were given To die in the rays of her hair, Die wrapped in her gold-girdled hair. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. THE TOLL-MAN'S DAUGHTER. ONCE more the June with her great moon Poured harvest o'er the golden fields; Once more her days in hot, bright shields She bore from morn to drooping noon. A rhymer, sick of work and rhyme, Disheartened by a poor success, I sought the woods to loll the time In one long month of quietness. It was the time when one will thrill For indolent fields, serener skies: For Nature's softening subtleties Of higher cloud and gullied rill. When crumpled poppies strew the halls Of all the East, where mounts the Dawn, And in the eve the skyey lawn Gold kingcups heap 'neath Night's gray walls. The silver peace of distant wolds, Of far-seen lakes a glimmering dance, Fresh green of undulating hills, Old woodlands silent with romance. Intenser stars, a lazier moon, The moonlit torrent on the peak, And at one's side a maiden meek And lovely as the balmy June. 27 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. The toll-gate stood beside the road, The highway from the city's smoke; Its long, fvell white-washed spear-point broke The clean sky o'er the pike and showed The draugh;-horse where his rest should be. The locusts tall with shade on shade The trough of water cool beneath, Fro m heat and toil a Sabbath made. Beyond were pastures where the kine Would browse, and where a young bull roared; And herc would pass a peeping hoard Of duck and brood in waddling line. A week fle-v by on wings of ease. I walked along a rutty lane; I stoppeCd to list some picker's strain Sung in a patch of raspberries. Upon the fence's lanky rails I leaned to stare into great eyes Glooming jeneath a bonnet white Bowed 'neath a chin of dimpled prize. Phcebe, the toll-man's daughter she; ' knew her by a slow, calm smile, Whose source seemed distant many a mile, Brimming h.er eyes' profundity. Elastic as .;. filly's tread Her molest step, and full and warm The graceful contour of her form BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. Harmonious swelled from foot to head. And such a head !-You'd thought that there The languid night, in frowsy bliss, Had curled brown rays for her deep hair And stained them with the starlight's kiss. A face as beautiful and bright, As crystal fair as twilight skies, Lit with the stars of hazel eyes, And lashed with black of dusky night. She stood waist-deep amid the briers; Above in twisted lengths were rolled The sunset's tangled whorls of gold, Blown from the West's mist-fueled fires. A shuddering twilight dashed with gold D)own smouldering hills the fierce day fell, And bubbling over star on star The night's blue cisterns 'gan to well, With the dusk crescent of his wings A huge crane cleaves the wealthy West, While up the East a silver breast Of chastity the full moon brings. For her, I knew, where'er she trod, Each dew-drop raised a limpid glass To flash her beauty from the grass; That wild flowers bloomed along the sod, Or, whispering, murmured when she smiled; The wood-bird hushed to hark her song, 29 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. Or, all ena nored, from his wild Before her feet flew flutt'ring long. The brook droned mystic melodies, Eddied in laughter when she kissed -With naked feet its amethyst Of waters stained by blooming trees. THE BERRIERS. MORN. DOWN si ver precipices drawn rhe red-wine cataracts of dawn Pour soundless torrents wide and far, Deluging each warm, floating star. A sound of winds and brooks and wings, Sweet woodland-fluted carolings, Star radiance dashed on moss and fern, Wet leaves that quiver, breathe, and burn; Wet hills hung heavily with woods, Dew-drenched and drunken solitudes Faint-mi rmuring elfin canticles; Sound, 1 ght, and spicy boisterous smells, And flowers and buds; tumultuous bees, Wind-wafts and genii of the trees. T'hro' br ers that trammel, one by one, With swinging pails comes laughing on 30 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY.Y3 A troop of youthful berriers, Their wet feet glitt'ring where they pass Thro' dew-drop studded tufts of grass: And oh! their cheers, their merry cheers, Wake Echo on her shrubby rock, Whom dale and mountain answering mock With rapid fairy horns, as if Each mossy hill and weedy cliff Had its imperial Oberon, Who, seeking his Titania hid In bloomy covets him to shun, In kingly wrath had called and chid. EVENING. Cloud-feathers oozing rich with light, Slow trembling in the locks of Night, Her dusky waist with sultry gold Girdled and buckled fold on fold. High stars; a sound of bleating flocks; Gray, burly shadows fall'n 'mid rocks, Like giant curses overthrown By some Arthurian champion; Soft-swimming sorceries of mist Haunting glad glens of amethyst; Low tinklings in dim clover dells Of bland-eyed kine with brazen bells; And where the marsh in reed and grass Burrns angry as a shattered glass, 31 32 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY The flies blur sudden blasts of shine, Like wasted draughts of amber wine Spun high by reeling Bacchanals Wher, Bacchus bredes his curling hair With vine-leaves, and from ev'ry lair Voluptuous Maenads lovely calls. They come, they come, a happy throng, The berriers with gibe and song; Deep pails brimmed black to tin-white eaves With lu cious fruit kept cool with leaves Of aromatic sassafras, 'Twixt which some sparkling berry slips, Like laughter, from the purple mass, Wine-swollen as Silenus' lips. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. 33 HARVESTING. I. NOON. THE tanned and sultry noon climbs high Up gleaming reaches of the sky; Below the balmy belts of pines The cliff-lunged river laps and shines; Adown the aromatic dell Sifts the warm harvest's musky smell. And, oh! above one sees and hears The brawny-throated harvesters; Their red brows beaded with the heat, By twos and threes among the wheat Flash their hot sickles' slenderness In loops of shine; and sing, and sing, Like some mad troop of piping Pan, Along the hills that swoon or ring With sounds of Ariel airiness That haunted freckled Caliban: "0 ho! 0 ho ! 'tis noon, I say; The roses blow. Away, away, above the hay The burly bees to the roses gay Hum love-tunes all the livelong day, So low! so low! The roses' Minnesingers they." 3'LOOMS OF THE BERRY. II. TWILIGHT. Up velvet lawns of lilac skies The tavny moon begins to rise Behinc. low blue-black hills of trees, As rises from faint Siren seas, To rock in purple deeps, hip-hid, A virgin-bosom'd Oceanid. Gaunt shadows crouch by rock and wood, Like hairy Satyrs, grim and rude, Till th! white Dryads of the moon Come noiseless in their silver shoon To beautify them with their love. The sweet, sad notes I hear, I hear, Beyond dim pines and mellow hills, Of some fair maiden harvester, The lovely Limnad of the grove Whose singing charms me while it kills: "0 deep! 0 deep! the twilight rare Pales on to sleep; And fair, so fair! fades the rich air. The fo-intain shines in its ferny lair, Where the cold Nymph sits in her oozy hair To weep, to weep, For a mortal youth who is not there." 34 BRLOOMS OF THE BERRY5 GOING FOR THE COWS. I. THE juice-big apples' sullen gold, Like lazy Sultans laughed and lolled 'Mid heavy mats of leaves that lay Green-flatten'd 'gainst the glaring day; And here a pear of rusty brown, And peaches on whose brows the down Waxed furry as the ears of Pan, And, like Diana's cheeks, whose tan Burnt tender secresies of fire, Or wan as Psyche's with desire Of lips that love to kiss or taste Voluptuous ripeness there sweet placed. And down the orchard vistas he,- Barefooted, trousers out at knee, Face shadowing from the sloping sun A hat of straw, brim-sagging broad,- Came, lowly whistling some vague tune, Upon the sunbeam-sprinkled road. Lank in his hand a twig with which In boyish thoughtlessness he crushed Rare pennyroyal myriads rich In pungent souls that warmly gushed. Before him whirled in rattling fear The saffron-bellied grasshopper; 35 L LOOOMS OF THE BERRY. And ringing from the musky dells Came faint the cows' melodious bells, Where whimpering like a fretful hound The fojuntain bubbled up in sound. II. Yellow as sunset skies and pale As fairy clouds that stay or sail Thro' azure vaults of summer, blue As summer heavens the violets grew; And mosses on which spurts of light Fell laughing, like the lips one might Feign for a Hebe or a girl Whosz mouth heat-lightens up with pearl; Limp ferns in murmuring shadows shrunk And ,.ilent as if stunned or drunk With aloist aromas of the wood; Dry r istlings of the quietude; On silver fronds' thin tresses new Cold limpid blisters of the dew. Across the rambling fence she leaned: A gingham gown to ankles bare; Her artless beauty, bonnet-screened, Tempestuous with its stormy hair. A rain-crow gurgled in a vine,- She heard it not-a step she hears; The wild rose smelt like delicate wine,- She knew it not-'tis he that nears. 36 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. With smiles of greeting all her face Grew musical; with rustic grace He leant beside her, and they had Some parley, with light laughter glad; I know not what; I know but this, Its final period was a kiss. SONG OF THE SPIRITS OF SPRING. I. W AFTED o'er purple seas. From gold Hesperides, Mixed with the southern breeze, Hail to us spirits! Dripping with fragrant rains, Fire of our ardent veins, Life of the barren plains, Woodlands and germs that the woodland inherits. II. Wan as the creamy mist, Tinged with pale amethyst, Warm with the sun that kissed Vine-tangled mountains Looming o'er tropic lakes, Where ev'ry air that shakes Tamarisk coverts makes Music that haunts like the falling of fountains. 37 38 ILOOMS OF THE BERRY. III. SWift are our flashing feet, Fleet with the winds that meet, MWinds that, blown, billow sweet, And with light porous, Boom with the drunken bees, Sigh with the surge of seas, Rush with the rush of trees, Birds and wvild wings and of torrents sonorous. IV. Stars in our liquid eyes, S ars of the darkest skies, And on our fingers lies Starlight; and shadows, Unmooned, of nights that creep Hide in our tresses deep, And in our limbs white sleep Dreams like a baby in asphodel meadows. V. Music of many streams, Strength of a million beams, Fare and sainted dreams, Murmuring lowly, Pilse on hot lips of light, 'Which, what they kiss of blight, Quicken and blossom white, Raise to be beautiful, perfect, and holy. 38 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. VI. Oh, will you sit and wait, When fields, erst desolate, Now are intoxicate With life that flowers Purple with love and rife With their fierce budded life, Passion and rosy strife Drained from warm winds and the turbulent showers VII. Nay! at our feet you'll lie: For the winds lullaby, For our completest sky, And largess flying Of pinky pearls of blooms, For the one bee that booms, And the warm-spilled perfumes Forget for a moment already we're dying! 39 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. THE SPIRITS OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS. [VOICES SINGING.] FIRST CHORUS. E RE the birth of Death and of Time, Ere the birth of Hell and its torments, Ere the ozbs of heat and of rime And the winds to the heavens were as garments, Worm-like in the womb of Space, Worm-like from her monster womb, We sprur g, a myriad race Of thunder and tempest and gloom. SECOND CHORUS. As from the evil good Springs like a fire, As bland beatitude Wells from the dire, So was the Chaos brood Of us the sire. FIRST CHORUS. We had lain for gaunt ages asleep 'Neath her breast in a bulk of torpor, When down through the vasts of the deep Clove (. sound like the notes of a harper; 40 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY4 Clove a sound, and the horrors grew Tumultuous with turbulent night, With whirlwinds of blackness that blew, And storm that was godly in might. And the walls of our prison were shattered Like the crust of a fire-wrecked world; Like torrents of clouds that are scattered On the face of the Night we are hurled. SECOND CHORUS. Us, in unholy thought Patiently lying, Eons of violence wrought, Violence defying. When on a mighty wind,- Born of a godly mind Large with a motive kind,- Girdled with wonder, Flame and a strength of song Rushed in a voice along, Burst and, lo! we were strong- Strong as the thunder. FIRST CHORUS. We lurk in the upper spaces, Where the oceans of tempest are born, Where the scowls of our shadowy faces Are safe from the splendors of morn, 4 41 42BL9OMS OF THE BERRY. Our homes are wrecked worlds and each planet Whose su n is a light that is sped; Bleak moons whose cold bodies of granite Are hollcw and flameless and dead. SECOND CHORUS. We in the living sun Live like a passion; Ere all his stars begun W\e and the sun were one, As God did fashion. Lo! from our burning hands, Fung like inspired brands, H urled we the stars, like sands Whirled in the ocean; And all our breath was life, Life to those worlds and rife AV ith ever-moving strife, Passion for motion. FIRST CHORUS. Our beds are the tombs of the mortals; We feed on their crimes and the thought That falters and halts at the portals Of acti ns, intentions unwrought. We cover -he face of to-morrow; We frow n in the hours that be; We breathe in the presence of sorrow, And death and destruction are we. 42 BLOOMS OF THE BERR Y. SECOND CHORUS. We are the hope and ease, joy and the pleasure, Authors of love and peace, Love that shall never cease, Free as the azure. Birth of our eyes-the might, Power and strength of light, Victor o'er death and night, Flesh and its yearnings: And from our utt'rance streams Beauty with burnings After completer dreams, Fuller discernings. Morning and birth are ours, Dew that is blown From our light lips like flowers; Clouds and the beating showers, Stars that are sown; Song and the bursting buds, Life of the many floods, Winds that are strown. Ye in your darkness are Dark and infernal; Subject to death and mar! But in the spaces far, Like our effulgent star, We are eternal! 43 BL 9OMS OF THE BERRY. TO SORROW. I. O TEAR-EYED goddess of the marble brow, Who showerest snows of tresses on the night Of anguished tenrples ! lonely watcher, thou Who bendest o'er the couch of life's dead light! Who in the hollow hours of night's noon Rockect the cradle of the child, Whose fever-blooded eyeballs seek the moon To cool their pilses wild. Thou who dost stoop to kiss a sister's cheek, Which rules the alabastar death with youth; Thou who art mad and strangely meek,- Empress of passions, couth, uncouth, We kneel to thee! II. O Sorrow, when -he sapless world grows white, And singing gathers on her springtide robes, On some bleak steep which takes the ruby light Of day, braid in thy locks the spirit globes Of cool, weak sr owdrops dashed with frozen dew, And hasten to the leas below Where Spring may wandered be from the rich blue Which rims yon clouds of snow. From the pied c-ocus and the violet's hues, Think then hcw thou didst rake the bosoming snow, To show some mother the soft blues Of baby eyes. the sparkling glow Of cimple-dotted cheeks. 44 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. III. On some hoar upland, hoar with clustered thorns, Hard by a river's wind-blown lisp of waves, Sit with young white-skinned Spring, whose dewy morns Laugh in his pouting cheeks which Health enslaves. There feast thee on the brede of his long hair, Where half-grown roses royal blaze. And cool-eyed primroses wide-disked bare, Frail stars of moonish haze, Contented lie wound in his breathing arms- 'Tis meet that grief should mingle with the wan, That blue of calms and gloom of storms Reign on the burning throne of dawn To glorify the world. IV. Or in the peaceful calm of stormy evens, When the sick, bloodless West doth winding spread A sheeted shroud of silver o'er the heavens And brooches it with one rich star's gold head, Low lay thee down beside a nmountain lake, Which dimples at the twilight's sigh, Couched on plush mosses 'neath green bosks that shake Storm fragrance from on high,- The cold, pure spice of rain-drenched forests deep,- And gorge thy grief upon the nightingale, Who with the hush a war doth keep That bubbles down the starlit vale To Silence's rapt ear. 45 46 ,OOMS OF THE BERRY THE PASSING OF THE BEAUTIFUL. O N southern winds shot through with amber light, Breeding soft. balm, and clothed in cloudy white, The lily-fingered Spring came o'er the hills Waking the crccus and the daffodils. O'er the cold etrth she breathed a tender sigh,- The maples sang and flung their banners high, Their crimson-tasseled pennons, and the elm Bound his dark brows with a green-crested helm. Beneath the masky rot of Autumn's leaves, Under the forest's myriad naked eaves, Life woke and rose in gold and green and blue, Robed in the star-light of the twinkling dew. With timid tre d adown the barren wood Spring held her way, when, lo! before her stood White-mantled Winter wagging his white head, Stormy his brow, and stormily he said:- "Sole lord of terror, and the fiend of storm, Crowned king of despots, my envermeiled arm Slew tihese vast woodlands crimsoning all their bowers! Thou, Spirit of Beauty, with thy bursting flowers, Swollen with pride, wouldst thou usurp my throne, Long planted here deep in the waste's wild moan Sworn foe of beauty, with a band of ice I'll strangle thee tho' thou be welcomer thrice !" So round her hroat a band of blasting frost, Her sainted tlhroat of snow, he coiled and crossed, 46 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. 47 And cast her on the dark, unfeeling mold; Her tender blossoms, blighted in the fold Of her warm bosoms, trembling bowed their brows In holy meekness, or in scattered rows Huddled about her white and silent feet, Or on pale lips laid fond last kisses sweet, And died: lilacs all musky for the May, And bluer violets, and snow drops lay Silent and dead, but yet divinely fair, Like ice gems glist'ning in Spring's lovely hair. The Beautiful, so innocent, sweet, and pure, Why must thou perish, and the evil still endure Too soon must pass the Beautiful away! Too long doth Terror hold anarchal sway! Alas! sad heart, bow not beneath the pain, Time changeth all, the Beautiful wakes again! We can not question such; a higher power Knows best what bud is ripest in its flower; Silently plucks it at the fittest hour. 4dLOOMS OF THE BERRY. A NOVEMBER SKETCH. T HE hoa -frost hisses 'neath the feet, And the worm-fence's straggling length, Smote by the morning's slanted strength, Sparkles one rib of virgin sleet. To withered fields the crisp breeze talks, And sdlently and sadly lifts The bronz'd leaves from the beech and drifts Them wadded down the woodland walks. Reluctantly and one by one The worthless leaves sift slowly down, And tiro' the mournful vistas blown Drop rustling, and their rest is won. Wniere stands the brook beneath its fall, Thin-scaled with ice the pool is bound, fAnd )n the pebbles scattered 'round The ooze is frozen; one and all Whgnite a, rare crystals shining fair. There stirs no life: the faded wood Mourns sighing, and the solitude Seems shaken with a mighty care. 48 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY4 Decay and silence sadly drape The vigorous limbs of oldest trees, The rotting leaves and rocks whose knees Are shagged with moss, with misty crape. To sullenness the surly crow All his derisive feeling yields, And o'er the barren stubble-fields Flaps cawless, wrapped in hungry woe. The eve comes on: the teasel stoops Its spike-crowned head before the blast; The tattered leaves drive whirling past Like skeletons in whistling troops. The pithy elder copses sigh; Their broad blue combs with berries weighed, Like heavy pendulums are swayed With ev'ry gust that hurries by. Thro' matted walls of tangled brier That hedge the lane, the sumachs thrust Their scarlet torches red as rust, Burning with flames of stolid fire. The evening's here-cold, hard, and drear; The lavish West with bullion bright Of molten silver walls the night Far as one star's thin rays appear. 5 49 50 BL'OOAMS OF THE BERRY. Wedged toward the West's cold luridness The wild geese fly 'neath roseless domes; The wildl cry of the leader comes Distant and harsh with loneliness. The pale VWest dies, and in its cup Bubble on bubble pours the night: The East glows with a mystic light; The stars are keen; the moon is up. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY5 THE WHITE EVENING. FROM gray, bleak hills 'neath steely skies Thro' beards of ice the forests roar; Along the river's humming shore The skimming skater bird-like flies. On windy meads where wave white breaks, Where fettered briers' glist'ning hands Reach to the cold moon's ghastly lands, Hoots the lorn owl, and crouching quakes. With frowsy snow blanched is the world; Stiff sweeps the wind thro' murmuring pines, Then fiend-like deep-entangled whines Thro' the dead oak, that vagrant twirled Phantoms the cliff o'er the wild wold: Ghost-vested willows rim the stream, Low hang lank limbs where in a dream The houseless hare leaps o'er the cold On snow-tressed crags that twinkling flash, Like champions mailed for clanking war, Glares down large Phosphor's quiv'ring star, Where teeth of foam the fierce seas gnash. St 52 BBOOMS OF THE BERRY Slim o'er the tree-tops weighed with white The count-y church's spire doth swell, A scintilla ing icicle, While fitfully the village light In sallow stars stabs the gray dark; HDmeward the creaking wagons strain Thro' knee-deep drifts; the steeple's vane A flitting ghost whirls in its sark. Down from t.he flaky North with clash, Swathed in his beard of flashing sleet, With steeds of winds that jangling beat Life from the world, and roaring dash,- Loud Winter ! ruddy as a rose Blown by the June's mild, musky lips; The high moon dims her horn that dips, And fiold on fold roll down the snows. BLOOMS OF THE BERR Y SUMMER. I. N OW Lucifer ignites her taper bright To greet the wild-flowered Dawn, Who leads the tasseled Summer draped with light Down heaven's gilded lawn. Hark to the minstrels of the woods, Tuning glad harps in haunted solitudes! List to the rillet's music soft, The tree's hushed song: Flushed from her star aloft Comes blue-eyed Summer stepping meek along. II. And as the lusty lover leads her in, Clad in soft blushes red, With breezy lips her love he tries to win, Doth many a tear-drop shed: While airy sighs, dyed in his heart, Like Cupid's arrows, flame-tipped o'er her dart. He bends his yellow head and craves The timid maid For one sweet kiss, and laves Her rose-crowned locks with tears until 'tis paid. 53 B5BJOMS OF THE BERRY. III. Come to the forest or the musky meadows Brown with their mellow grain; Come where .he cascades shake green shadows, Where tawny orchards reign. Come where 'all reapers ply the scythe, Where golde:n sheaves are heaped by damsels blithe: Come to the rock-rough mountain old, Tree-pierced and wild; Where freckled flowers paint the wold, Hail laughing Summer, sunny-haired, blonde child! IV. Come where ,he dragon-flies in coats of blue Fiit o'er the wvildwood streams, And fright the wild bee from the honey-dew Where it long-sipping dreams. Come where the touch-me-nots shy peep Gold-horned and speckled from the cascades steep: Come where the daisies by the rustic bridge Display their eyes, Or where the lilied sedge From emerald forest-pools, lance-like, thick rise. V. Corme where the wild deer feed within the brake As red as oak and strong; Come where romantic echoes wildly wake Old hill to mystic song. 54 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY5 Come to the vine-hung woodlands hoary, Come to the realms of hunting song and story; But come when Summer decks the land With garb of gold, With colors myriad as the sand- A birth-fair child, tho' thousand summers old. VI. Come where the trees extend their shining arms Unto the star-sown skies; Displaying wrinkled age in limb-gnarled charms When Night, moon-eyed, brown lies Upon their bending lances seen With fluttered pennons in the moon's broad sheen. Come where the pearly dew is spread Upon the rose; Come where the fire-flies wed The drowsy Night flame-stained with sudden glows. VII. Come to the vine-dark dingle's whispering glens White with their blossoms pale; Come to the willowed weed-haired lakes and fens; Come to the tedded vale. Come all, and greet the brown-browed child With lips of honey red as a poppy wild, Clothed in her vernal robes of old, Her lhair with wheat All tawny as with gold; Hail Summer with her sandaled grain-bound feet! 55 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. NIGHT. L 0! where the car of Day down slopes of flame On burnished axle quits the drowsy skies! And as his snor ing steeds of glowing brass Rush 'peath the earth, a glimmering dust of gold From their fiercez hoofs o'er heaven's azure meads Rolls to yon star that burns beneath the moon. With sclemn tre:ad and holy-stoled, star-bound, The Ni ght step:; in, sad votaress, like a nun, To pace lone corridors of th' ebon-arched sky. How sad! how beautiful! her raven locks Pale-filleted with stars that dance their sheen On her deep, holy eyes, and woo to sleep, Sleep or the ea eful slumber of white Death! How calm o'er 'his great water, in its flow Silent and vast, smoothes yon cold sister sphere, Her lucid chasteness feathering the wax-white foam! As o'er a troubled brow falls calm content: As clear-eyed chastity in this bleak world Tinges and softens all the darker dross. See, where the roses blow at the wood's edge In manor a langiid bloom, bowed to the moon And the. dim ri 'er's lisp; sleep droops their lids With damask lashes trimmed and fragile rayed, BLOOMS OF THE BERRY Which the mad, frolic bee-rough paramour- So often kissed beneath th' enlivening sun. How cool the breezes touch the tired head With unseen fingers long and soft! and there From its white couch of thorn-tree blossoms sweet, Pillowed with one milk cluster, floating, swooning, Drops the low nocturne of a dreaming bird, Ave Maria, nun-like, slumb'ring sung. See, there the violet mound in many an eye, A deep-blue eye, meek, delicate, and sad, As Sorrow's own sad eyes, great with far dreams, When haltingly she bends o'er Lethe's waves Falt'ring to drink, and falt'ring still remains. The Night with feet of moon-tinged mist swept o'er Them now, but as she passed she bent and kissed Each modest orb that selfless hung as tho' Thought-freighted low; then groped her train of jet Which billowing by did merely waft the sound Of a brief gust to each wild violet, To kiss each eye and laugh; then shed a tear Upon each downward face which nestled there. She weeping from her silent vigil turns, As some pale mother from her cradled child, Frail, sick, and wan, with kisses warm and songs Wooed to a peaceful ease and tranquil rest, When the rathe cock crows to the graying East. 57 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. DAWN. 1. 'MIST on the mountain height X Silvery creeping; Incrrnate beads of light Eloom-cradled sleeping, Dripped from the brow of Night. II. Shailows, and winds that rise Cver the mountain; Stars ill the spar that lies Cold in the fountain, Pals as the quickened skies. III. Sheep in the wattled folds Dreamily bleating, Dinm on the thistled wolds, Where, glad with meeting, Moin the thin Night enfolds. IV. Sleen on the moaning sea Hushing his trouble; Rest on the cares that be Hued in Life's bubble, Calrn on the woes of me. . . BLOOMS OF THE BERRY 59 V. Mist from the mountain height Hurriedly fleeting; Star in the locks of Night Throbbing and beating, Thrilled with the coming light. VI. Flocks on the musky strips; Pearl in the fountain; 'Winds from 1he forest's lips Red on the mountain; Dawn from the Orient trips. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. JUNE. I, HOTLY burns the amaryllis WI ith its stars of red; Whitely rise the stately lilies From the lily bed; Withered shrinks the wax May-apple 'Neath its parasol; Chi'ly dies the violet dapple In its earthly hall. II. Ma-:ch is but a blust'ring liar, April a sad love, May a milkmaid from the byre Flirting in the grove. June is rich in many blossoms, she 's the one I 'll woo; Health swells in her sunny bosoms, ' he 's my sweetheart true. 60 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. THE JESSAMINE AND THE MORNING-GLORY. O N a sheet of silver the morning-star lay Fresh, white as a baby child, And laughed and leaped in his lissome way, On my parterre of flowers smiled. For a morning-glory's spiral bud Of shell-coned tallness slim Stood ready to burst her delicate hood And bloom on the dawning dim: A princess royal in purple born To beauty and pride in the balmy morn. II. And she shook her locks at the morning-star And her raiment scattered wide; Low laughed at a hollyhock's scimnetar, Its jewels of buds to deride. The pomegranate near, with fingers of flame, The hot-faced geraniums nigh, Their proud heads bowed to the queenly dame For they knew her state was high: The fuchsia like a bead of blood Bashfully blushed in her silvery hood. 6i BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. III. Ali wit that this child of the morning light Was queen of the morn and them, That the orient star in his beams of white VWas her prince in a diadem; For lavish hie showered those pearls that flash And clu ;ter the front of her smock; From his lordly fingers of rays did dash Down zephyrs her crib to rock. But a jessamine pale 'neath the arbor grew, Meek, selfless, and sweet, and a virgin true. IV. But the morning-glory disdained her birth, Of her c iastity made a scorn: I marvel," she said, " if thy mother earth Was not sick when thou wast born! Thoa art rale as an infant an hour dead- WNan thing, dost weary our eye !" And she weakly laughed and stiffened her head And turned to her love i' the sky. But the jessamine turned to the rose beside With a heavy glance and but sadly sighed. V. And the orient grew to a wealth of bars 'Neath which foam-fires churned, 62 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. 63 And the princess proud saw her lord of stars In a torrid furnace burned; And the giant of life with his breath of flame Glared down with one red eye, And 'neath his breath this gorgeous dame In her diamonds did wilt and die; But the jessamine fragrant waxed purer with light; For my lady's bosom I culled it that night. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. TR E HEREMITE TOAD. A HUMAN skull in a church-yard lay; For the church was a wreck, and the tombstones old On the graves of their dead were rotting away To the like of their long-watched mould. And an heremi'.e toad in this desolate seat Had made him an hermitage long agone, Where the ivy frail with its delicate feet Could creep o'er his cell of bone. And the ground was dark, and the springing dawn, When it struck from the tottering stones of each grave A glimmering silver, the dawn drops wan This skull and its ivy would lave. The night her crescent had thinly hung From a sing.e star o'er the shattered wall, And its feeble light on the stone was flung Where I sat to hear him call. And I heard this heremite toad as he sate In the gloora of his ghastly hermitage, To himself ard the gloom all hollowly prate, Like a misanthropic sage: 64 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. "0, beauty is well and is wealth to all, But wealth without beauty makes fair; And beauty with wealth brings wooers tall Whom she snares in her golden hair. "Tho' beauty be well and be wealth to all, And wealth without beauty draw men, Beauty must come to the vaulted wall, And what is wealth to her then . This skeleton face was beautiful erst; These sockets could mammonites sway; So she barter'd her beauty for gold accurs'd- But both have vanished away. "But beauty is well when the mind it reveals More beautiful is than the head; For beauty and wealth the tomb congeals, But the mind grows lovelier dead." And he blinked at the moon from his grinning cell, And the darnels and burdocks around Bowed down in the night, and I murmured " Well !" For I deemed his judgment sound. 6 65 6 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. THE HEART OF SPRING. I. W HITEN, 0 whiten, ye clouds of fleece! Whiten like lilies floating above, Blown wild about like a flock of white geese! But never, 0 never; so cease! so cease! Never as white as the throat of my love! II. Blue-black flight on the mountain peaks, Blacker the locks of my maiden love! Silvery star 'mid the evening streaks Over the torrent that flashes and breaks, Brighter the eyes of my laughing love! III. Horn of a new moon golden 'mid gold, Broken, luted in the tarn's close skies; Shattered and beaten, wave-like and cold, Crisper my love's locks fold on fold, Cooler vnd brighter where dreaming she lies! IV. Silvery star o'er the precipice snow, Mist in -.he vale where the rivulet sings, Dropping from ledge to ledge below, Where we stood in the roseate glow, Softer tLe voice of her whisperings! 66 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. 67 V. Sound o' May winds in the blossoming trees, Sweeter the breeze my love's breath brings! Song of wild birds on the morning breeze, Song o' wild birds and murmur o' wild bees, Sweeter my love's voice when she sings! VI. To the star of dawning bathed with dew, Blow, moony Sylph, your bugle of gold! Blow thro' the hyaline over the blue, Blow from the sunset the morning lands thro', Let the star of love of our love be told! 8 BLoOMS OF THE BERRY THIE OL D HOUSE BY THE MERE. F IVE rotten gables look upon Wan rotting roses and rank weeds, Old iron gates on posts of stone, Dim dangles where the vermin breeds. Five rotten gables black appear Abov bleak yews and cedars sad, And thence they see the sleepy mere In laz r lilies clad. At mor. the slender dragon-fly, A burnished ray of light, darts past; The knightly bee comes charging by Winding a surly blast. At noon amid the fervid leaves The quarreling insects gossip hot, find thro' the grass the spider weaves A weft with silver shot. At eve the hermit cricket rears His vesper song in shrillful shrieks; Trhe bat a blund'ring voyage steers Bene, th the sunset's streaks. The slimy worm gnaws at the bud, The lkatydid talks dreamily; The suLen owl in monkish hood Chants in the old beech tree. 68 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY 6 At night the blist'ring dew comes down And lies as white as autumn frost Upon the green, upon the brown, You'd deem each bush a ghost. The crescent moon with golden prow Plowvs thro' the frothy cloud and 's gone A large blue star comes out to glow Above the house alone. The oozy lilies lie asleep On glist'ring beds of welt'ring leaves; The starlight through the trees doth peep, And fairy garments weaves. And in the mere, all lily fair, A maiden's corpse floats evermore, Naked, and in her raven hair Wrapped o'er and o'er. And when the clock of yon old town Peals midnight o'er the fenny heath, In haunted chambers up and down Marches the pomp of Death; And stiff, stiff silks make rustlings, Sweep sable satins murmuringly; And then a voice so sweetly sings An olden melody. And foam-white creatures flit and dance Along the dusty galleries, 69 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. With long, loose locks that strangely glance And dtmon-glaring eyes. But in one chamber, when the moon Casts h.-r cold silver wreath on wreath, Holds there proud state on ghastly throne The skeleton Death. SUBSTRATUM. H EAR you ro music in the creaks Made by the sallow grasshopper, Who in the hot weeds sharply breaks Thle mellow dryness with his cheer Or did you by the hearthstones hear The cricket's kind, shrill strain when frost Worked mysteries of silver near Upon the ctsement's panes, and lost Without the gate-post seemed a sheeted ghost Or through the dank, dim Springtide's night Green miistrels of the marshlands tune Their hoarse lyres in the pale twilight, Hailing the sickle of the moon From flag-thronged pools that glassed her lune Or in the S-immer, dry and loud, The hare cicada whirr aboon His long lay in a poplar's cloud, Whe:n the thin heat rose wraith-like in a shroud 70 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY . The cloud that lids the naked moon, And smites the myriad leaves with night Of stormy lashes, livid strewn With veins of branched and splintered light; The fruitful glebe with blossoms white, The thistle's purple plume; the tears Pearling the matin buds' delight, Contain a something, it appears, 'Neath their real selves-a poetry that cheers. Nor scoff at those who on the wold See fairies whirling in the shine Of prodigal moons, whose lavish gold Paves wood-ways, forests wild with vine, Wheil all the wilderness with wine Of tipsy dew is dazed; nor say Our God's restricted to confine His wonders solely to the day, That yields the abstract tangible to clay. Ponder the entrance of the Morn When from her rubric forehead far Shines one clean star, and the dead tarn, The wooded river 's red as war: Where arid splinters of the scar Lock horns above a blue abyss, How roses prank each icy bar, While piled aloft the mountains press, Fling dawn below from many a hoary tress. 71 72 BLOOMS OF TEE BERRY. The jutting crags, all stubborn-veined With iron life, where eaglets scream In dizzy flocks, and cleave the stained Mist-rair bows of the mountain stream; Thus youi will drink the thickest cream Of nature if you do not scan The bald external; and must deem A plan existent in a plan- As life in thrifty trees or soul in man. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY7 ALONG THE OHIO. A THWART a sky of brass rich ribs of gold; A bullion bulk the wide Ohio lies; Beneath the sunset, billowing manifold, The purple hill-tops rise. And lo! the crescent of a crystal moon, And great cloud-feathers flushed with crimson light Drifting above the pureness of her lune, Rent from the wings of night. A crescent boat slips o'er the burnished stream; A silver wake, that broadens far behind, Follows in ripples, and the paddles gleam Against the evening wind. So, in this solitude and evening hush, Again to me the Old Kentucky glooms Behold the red man lurking in yon bush In paint and eagle plumes. And now the breaking of the brittle brush- An altered forehead hirsute swells in view, And now comes stealing down the river's gush The dip of the canoe. 7 73 74BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. The wigwams glimmer in night's settling waves, And, wildly clad, around the camp-fire's glow Sit long-hairedl chieftains 'mid their wily braves, Each grasping his war-bow. But now yon boat on fading waters fades; The ostrich-feathered clouds have lost their light, And from the West, like somber sachem shades, Gallop the shades of night. The broad Onio wavers 'neath the stars, Ard many murmurs whisper 'mid the woods- Tumultuous inournings of dead warriors For their lost solitudes. And like a silver curl th' Ohio lies Among the earth's luxuriance of hair; Majestic as she met the red man's eyes- As beautiful and fair. No marvel that the warrior's love waxed flame Fighting for thee, Kentucky, till he wound Inseparably 'round thee that old name Of dark and bloody ground! But peace to those wild braves whose bones are thine! Aid peace to those rude pioneers whose moon Of glory rose, 'mid stars of lesser shine, In na ne of Daniel Boone! 74 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. Peace ! peace " the lips of all thy forests roar The rivers mutter peace unto thy strand: Thy past is dead, and let us name thee o'er, THE HOSPITABLE LAND! THE OHIO FALLS. H ERE on this jutting headland, where the trees Spread a dusk carpet or the sun to cast And count his golden guineas on, we'll stay For hence is the best prospect of the Falls, Whose roar no more astounds the startled ear, As when we bent and marked it from the bridge Seething beneath and bounding like a steed- A tameless steed with mane of flNing spray- Between the pillars rising sheer above. But mark how soft its clamor now is grown, Incessant rush like that of vernal groves When, like some sweet surprise, a wand'ring wind, Precursor of the coming rain, rides down From a gray cloud and sets their leafy tongues A-gabbing of the fresh, impending shower. There runs the dam, and where its dark line cuts The river's sheen, already you may see She ripples glancing to the fervid sun, As if the waves had couched a hundred spears 7 5 B7OOMS OF THE BERRY. And tossed a bundred plumes of fleecy foam In answer to tne challenge of the Falls, Blown on his bugle from the battlements Of his subaqueous city's rocky walls. And now you see their maddened coursers charge, Hear wavy hcof-strokes on the jagged stones, That pave the pathway of the current, beat, While billowing they ride to ringing lists, With shout ani yell, and toss their hundred plumes, And shock their riply spears in tournament Upon the opposing billows' shining shields. Now -,nks a pennon, but 'tis raised again; There falls or breaks a spear or sparkling sword; A shat ered helmet flies in flakes of foam And on the frightened wind hisses away: And o'er it al! you hear the sound, the roar Of waves tha. fall in onset or that strive. On, on they come, a beautiful, mad troop! On, on, along the sandy banks that fling Red pebble-frickled arms far out to stay The riotous waves that ride and hurl along In ca-que and shield and wind their wat'ry horns. And there wlere thousand oily eddies whirl, And turn and turn like busy wheels of steel, Is the Big Ecdy, whose deep bottom none As yet have felt with sounding plummet-line. Like a huge giant, wily in its strength, 76 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. The Eddy lies; and bending from the shore The spotted sycamores have looked and looked, Watching his motions as a schoolboy might A sleeping serpent coiled upon his path. So long they've watched that their old backs have grown Hump'd, gnarl'd, and crooked, nor seem they this to heed, But gaze and gaze, and from the glossy waves Their images stare back their wonderment. Mayhap they've seen the guardian Genius lie At its dark bottom in an oozy cave Of shattered rock, recumbent on his mace Of mineral; his locks of dripping green Circling a crown of ore; his fishy eyes Dull with the monotony of his aqueous realms. But when the storm 's abroad and smites the waves With stinging lashes of the myriad rain, Or scars with thunder some ancestral oak, Sire of a forest, then he wakes in wrath, And on the dark foundations of the stream Stands monarch of the flood in iron crown, And murmurs till the tempest fiends above Stand stark with awe, and all the eddy breaks To waves like those whose round and murky bulks, Ribbed white with foam, wallow like battened swine Along yon ridge of ragged rock o'erstrewn With petrifactions of Time's earliest dawn; Mollusks and trilobites and honey-combs 7 7 7 BLoOMS OF THE BERRY Of ccral white; and here and there a mass Of what seems writhing reptiles there convolved, And in one moment when the change did come, Whicii made find unmnade continents and seas, That teemed and groaned with dire monstrosities, Had froze their glossy spines to sable stones. There where uprises a dun knoll o'erstrewn With Flack and rotten stumps in the mid river, Erst rose an island green and beautiful With willows, beeches, dappled sycamores; Corn Island, on whose rich and fertile soil The early pioneers a colony Attempted once to found, ere ever this Fair " City of the Falls "-now echoing to The tingling bustle of its busy trade- Was dreamed of. Here the woodman built His rude log labin ; here he sowed his maize Here saw it tassel 'neath the Summer's smile, And glance lize ranks of feathered Indians thro' The misty vistas of the broken woods; Here reaped and sheaved its wealth of ivory ears WXhen Autumn came like a brown Indian maid Tripping from the pink sunset o'er the hills, That blushed for love and cast beneath her feet Untold of gold in leaves and yellow fruit. Here lived the pioneer and here he died, And mingled his rough dust with the raw earth Of that long isle which now disported stands, 78 BLOOMS OF THE BERR Y. And nothing save a bed of limestone rock,- Where in the quarry you may see the blast Spout heavenward the dust and dirt and stone, And flap and pound its echoes 'round the hills Like giant strokes of some huge airy hammer,- And that lone mound of stumpy earth to show That there once stood an isle as rich and fair As any isle that rises up to kiss The sun and dream in tropic seas of balm. There lies the other half of what was once Corn Island; a broad channel flows between. And this low half, mantled with a dwarf growth Of what was once high brakes and forest land, Goose Island now is named. In the dim morn, Ere yet the East assumes her faintest blush, Here may you hear the melancholy snipe Piping, or see her paddling in the pools That splash the low bed of the rocky isle. Once here the Indian stole in natural craft From brush to brush, his head plumes like a bird Flutt'ring and nodding 'mid the undergrowth; In his brown hand the pliant, polished bow, And at his back his gaudy quiver filled With tufted arrows headed with blue flint. And while the deep flamingo-colored West Flamed on his ruddy cheek its airy fire, Strung his quick bow and thro' the gray wild goose, 79 8o BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. That rose with. clamor from the rushy pool, Launched a fleet barb, crested with quills-perchance Plucked yestere'en from its dead mate's gray wing To decorate the painted shaft that should Dabble to-day their white in its mate's blood;- It falling, gasping at its moccasined feet, Its wild life breathed away, while the glad brave Whooped to the sunset, and yon faint blue hills Answered his exultation with a whoop. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. THE RUINED MILL. T HERE is the ruined water-mill With its rotten wheel, that stands as still As its image that sleeps in the glassy pool Where the water snake coils dim and cool In the flaky light of the setting sun Showering his gold in bullion. And the languid daisies nod and shine By the trickling fall in a starry line; The drowsy daisies with eyes of gold- Large as the eyes of a queen of old Dreaming of rev2is by day and night- Coyly o'erdropped with lashes white. The hawk sails high in the sleepy air, The buzzard on wings as strong and fair Circles and stoops 'neath the lazy cloud, And crows in the wood are cawing aloud. Will ye enter with me this ruined mill When the shades of night its chambers fill, Stand and lurk in the heavy dark Like scowling fiends, each eye a spark, A spark of moonlight shot thro' gloom While a moist, rank, stifling, dead perfume Of rotting timbers and rotting grain, And roofs all warped with the sun and rain 81 BL9BOOMS OF THE BERRY Ma'kes of the stagnant air a cell, In the haunted chambers broods like a spell A spell that makes the awed mind run To the thoughts of a hidden skeleton, A skeleton ghastly and livid and lank 'Neath the mossy floors in a cellar dank, Grinning and glow'ring, moisture wet, In its hollow eyes a mad regret. Or with me enter when the evening star In the saffron heaven is sparkling afar, In all its glory of light divine, Like a diarmond bathed in kingly wine. Or when the heavens hang wild and gray, And the chIlly clouds are hurrying away Like the driven leaves of an Autumn day; When the right-rain sounds on the sodden roof, And the sp der lulls in his dusty woof; When the wv et wind whines like a hound that's lashed, 'Round the crazy angles strongly dashed, Or wails in a cranny-'tis she who plays On her air) harp sad, olden lays, And sings and moans in a room above Of a vague despair and a blighted love. You will see her sit on the shattered sill, Her sable tresses dropped loose at will; And down in the West 'neath the storm's black bank A belt of wild green, cold, livid, and lank, And a cresient moon, like a demon's barque, 82 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY, 83 Into the green dips a horn from the dark, While a lurid light of ghoulish gold On the eldrich creature falls strangely cold. Her insane eyes bulge mad with desire, And her face's beauty is darkly dire; For she sees in the pool, that solidly lies 'Neath the mill's great wheel and the stormy skies, Her murdered lover lie faint and white, A haunting horror, a loadstone's might Drawing and dragging her soul from its seat T'o the glimmering ice of his ghastly feet. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. FROST. 1WV7HITE artist he, who, breezeless nights, From tin -ling stars jocosely whirls, A harlequin in spangled tights, His wane a pot of pounded pearls. The field a hasty pallet; for, In thin or thick, with daub and streak, It stretches from the barn-gate's bar To the bleached ribbon of the creek. A ;reat geometer is he; For, on the creek's diaphanous silk, Splhere, cone, and star exquisitely hie's drawn in crystal lines of milk. Most delicate, his talent keen On caser.ent panes he lavishes, In -many a .illiputian scene Of vagu, white hives and milky bees, That sparking in still swarms delight, Or bow the jeweled bells of flowers;- Of dim, deep landscapes of the night, Hanging down limpid domes quaint showers 84 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY Of feathery stars and meteors Above an upland's glimmering ways, Where gambol 'neath the feverish stars The erl-king and the fleecy fays. Or last, one arabesque of ferns, Chrysanthemums and mistletoe, And death-pale roses bunched in urns That with an innate glory glow. In leafless woodlands saturnine, Where reckless winds, like goblins mad, Screech swinging in each barren vine, His wagship shapes a lesson sad: When slyly touched by his white hand Of Midas-magic, forests old Dariuses of pomp then stand Barbaric-crowned with living gold. Patrician state, plebeian blood Soon foster sybarites, and they, Squand'ring their riches, wood by wood, Die palsied wrecks debauched and gray. 8LOOMS OF THE BERRY. INVOCATION. I. O LIFE! 0 Death! 0 God! Have I not striven H ave I not known thee, God, As thy stars know Heaven Have I not held thee true, True as thy deepest, Sweet and immaculate blue, Cf nights that feel thy dew Have I not known thee true, O God that keepest II. C God, my father, God Didst give me fire To rise above the clod, And soar, aspire! V/hat tho' I strive and strive, And all my life says live, The sneerful scorn of men But beats it down again; And, 0 ! sun-centered high, O God! grand poet! Beneath thy tender sky Each day new Keatses die, And thou dost know it! 86 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. III. They know thee beautiful! They know thee bitter! And all their eyes are full, O God ! most beautiful! Of tears that glitter. Thou art above their tears Thou art beyond their years; Thou sittest, God of Hosts, Among thy glorious ghosts, So high and holy; And canst thou know the tears, The strivings and the fears, O God of godly peers! Of such so lowly IV. They who were fondly fain To tell what mother pain Of Nature makes the rain; They who were glad to know The sorrow of her snow, Of her wild winds the woe; The magic of her light, The passion of her night, And of her death the might; 87 88 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. They who had tears and sighs For every bud that dies V1, hile the dew on it lies; They who had utterance for Each warm, rose-hearted star That stammers from afar; The demon of vast seas, The lips of lyric trees, Lays of sonorous bees; The fragrance-fays that dower Each wildwood bosk and bower With its faint musk of flower; Of Time the feverish flight; Earth, man, and, last, man's right To thee, 0 Infinite! BLOOMS OF THE BERRY8 FAIRIES. ON the tremulous coppice, From her plenteous hair, Large golden-rayed poppies Of moon-litten air The Night hath flung there. In the fern-favored hollow The fire-flies fleet Uncertainly follow Pale phantoms of heat, Druid shadows that meet. Hidden flowers are fragrant; The night hazes furl O'er the solitudes vagrant In purple and pearl, Sway-swinging and curl. From moss-cushioned valley Where the red sunlight fails, Rocks where musically The hollow spring wails, And the limber fern trails, 8 89 B0BOWOO S OF THE BERRY Wish a ripple and twinkle Of luminous arms, Of voices that tinkle, And feet that are storms Of chaste, naked charms, Lil e echoes that revel O)n hills, where the brier Vaults roofs of dishevel And green, greedy fire, They come as a choir. At the root of the mountain Where the dim forest lies, By the spar-spouting fountain Where the low lily dies, With their star-stinging eyes. They gather sweet singing in voices that seem Faint ringing and clinging In dreams that we dream, In visions that gleam. Sweet lisping of kisses, Dry rustle of hair; A footfall that hisses Like a leaf in the air When the brown boughs are bare. go BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. The music that scatters From love-litten eyes; The music that flatters In words and low sighs, In laughter that dies: "Come hither, come hither, In the million-eyed night, Ere the moon-flowers wither And the harvester white, Morning reaps them with light. "Come hither, where singing Is pleasant as tears, Or dead kisses, clinging To the murdering years, In memory's ears. "Come hither where kisses Are waiting for you, For lips and long tresses, As for wild flowers blue The moon-heated dew. "Come hither from coppice And violet dale, The mountain whose top is In vapors that sail With pearly hail pale. 91 9 LLOOMS OF TEE BERRY W'7y tarry come hither While the molten moon beams, Ere the golden spark wither Of the glow-worm that gleams Like a star in still streams!" THE TRYST. H AD fallen a fragrant shower; The leaves were dripping yet; Eac'i fern and rain-weighed flower Around were gleaming wet; On f;v'ry bosky bower A million gems were set. The dust's moist odors sifted Cool with the summer rain, Mixed with the musk that drifted From orchard and from plain;- Her garden's fence white lifted It; length along the lane. The moon the clouds had shattered In curdled peaks of pearl; The honeysuckle scattered Warm odors from each curl, Where the white moonlight, flattered, Hung molten 'round a girl. 92 BLOOMS OF THE BERRRY9 Then grew the night completer With light and cloud and air; Aromas sweet blew sweeter, Sweet flowers fair, more fair; Fleet feet and fast grew fleeter Thro' that fair sorceress there. AN ANTIQUE. MILDEWED and gray the marble stairs Rise from their balustraded urns To where a chiseled satyr glares From a luxuriant bed of ferns; A pebbled walk that labyrinths 'Twixt parallels of verdant box To where, broad-based on grotesque plinths, 'Mid cushions of moss-padded rocks, Rises a ruined pleasure-house, Of shattered column, broken dome, Where, reveling in thick carouse, The buoyant ivy makes its home. And here from bank, and there from bed, Down the mad rillet's jubilant lymph, The lavish violet's odors shed In breathings of a fountain nymph. 93 94 BLOOMS OF THE PERRY And where, in lichened hoariness, The broken marble dial-plate Basks in the Summer's sultriness, Rich houri roses palpitate. Volup-:uous, languid with perfumes, As were the beauties that of old, In damask satins, jeweled plumes, With powdered gallants here that strolled. When slender rapiers, proud with gems, Snetred at the sun their haughty hues, And Touchstone wit and apothegms Lau lhed down the long, cool avenues. Two pleated bowers of woodbine pave, 'Netth all their heaviness of musk, Two fountains of pellucid wave, With sunlight-tessellated dusk. Beholding these, I seem to feel An exodus of earthly sight, An influx of ecstatic weal Poured thro' my eyes in jets of light. And so I see the fountains twain Of hate and love in Arden there; The time of regal Charlemagne, Of Roland and of Oliver. 94 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY9 Rinaldo of Montalban's towers Sleeps by the spring of hate; above Bows, spilling all his face with flowers, Angelica, who quaffed of love. A GUINEVERE. S ULLEN gold down all the sky, In the roses sultry musk; Nightingales hid in the dusk Yonder sob and sigh. You are here; and I could weep, Weep for joy and suffering. Where is he " He'd have me sing;- There he sits asleep. Think not of him! he is dead For the moment to us twain; He were dead but for this pain Drumming in my head. "Am I happy " Ask the fire When it bursts its bounds and thrills Some mad hours as it wills If those hours tire. 95 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. He had gold. As for the rest- Well you. know how they were set, Saying that I must forget, And twas for the best. I forget ! but let it go!- Kiss me as you did of old. There! your kisses are not cold! Can you love me so, Knowing what I am to him Sitting in his gouty chair On the breezy terrace where Amber fire-flies swim Yes "-Your cheek a tear-drop wets, But your kisses on my lip Fall as warm as bees that sip Sweets from violets. See ! Ihe moon has risen white As this bursten lily here Rocking on the dusky mere Like a silent light. Let u3 walk. We soon must part- All too soon! but he mav miss! Give me but another kiss; It wil. heat my heart 96 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. And the bitter winter there. So; we part, my Launcelot, My true knight! and am I not Your true Guinevere Oft they parted thus they tell In that mystical romance. Were they placed, think you, perchance, For such love in hell No! it can not, can not be! Love is God and God is love, And they live and love above, Guinevere and he! I must go now. See! there fell, Molten into purple light, One wild star. Kiss me good-night; And, once more, farewell! 9 97 98 LOOMIS OF THE BERRY. CLOUDS. bLL through the tepid Summer night The starless sky had poured a cool Monotony of pleasant rain In music beautiful. And far an hour I'd sat to watch Clouds moving on majestic feet, Had heard down avenues of night Their hearts of thunder beat; Saw ponderous limbs far-veined with gold Pul.,e fiery life o'er wood and plain, While, scattered, fell from monstrous palms The largess of the rain; Beholding at each lightning's flash The generous silver on the sod, In me.-k devotion bowed, I thanked These almoners of God. 98 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY . NO MORE. I. THE slanted storm tossed at their feet The frost-nipped Autumn leaves; The park's high pines were caked with sleet And ice-spears armed the eaves. They strolled adown the pillared pines To part where wet and twisted vines About the gate-posts flapped and beat. She watched him dimming in the rain Along the river's misty shore, And laughed with lips that sneered disdain "To meet no more !" II. 'Mong heavy roses weighed with dew The chirping crickets hid; Down the honeysuckle avenue Creaked the green katydid. The scattered stars smiled thro' the pines; Thro' stately windows draped with vines The rising moonlight's silver blew. He stared at lips proud, white, and dead, A chiseled calm that wore; Despair moaned on the lips that said "To meet no more." 99 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY DESERTED. A BROKEN rainbow on the skies of May Touching the sodden roses and low clouds, And it wet clkuds like scattered jewels lost: Upon the heaven of a soul the ghost Of a great love, perfect in its pure ray, Touching the roses moist of memory To die within che Present's grief of clouds- A brolen rainbow on the skies of May. A flashing hurmming-bird amid strange flowers, Or red or white; its darting length of tongue Suckiig and drinking all the cell-stored sweet, And now the ;urfeit and the hurried fleet: A love that put into expanding bowers Of one's large heart a tongue's persuasive powers To cream with joy, and riffled, so was gone-- A flashing humming-bird amid strange flowers. A foamy moo.n which thro' a night of fleece Moves amber-girt into a bulk of dark, And, jost to e ,re, rims all the black with froth: A love of smiLes, that, tinctured like a moth, Moved thro' a soul's night-dun and made a peace- More bland than Melancholy's white-to cease In blanks of 'rime zoned with pale Memory's spark- A foamy moo l that brinks a storm with fleece. 100 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. A blaze of living thunder-not a leap- Momental spouting balds the pildd storm, The ghastly mountains and the livid ocean, The pine-roared crag, then blots the sight's commotion: A love that swiftly pouring bared the deep, Which cleaves white Life from Death, Death from white Sleep, And, ceasing, gave a brain one blur of storm- Blank blast of midnight, love for Death and Sleep. THE DREAM OF CHRIST. I SAW her twins of eyelids listless swoon Mesmeric eyes, Like the mild lapsing of a lulling tune On wide surprise, While slow the graceful presence of a moon Mellowed the purple skies. And had she dreamed or had in fancy gone As one who sought To hail the influx of a godly dawn Of heavenly thought, Trod trembling o'er old sainted hill and lawn With intense angels fraught I01 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. Sailed thr,' majestic domes of the deep night By isles of stars, Wland'rinfg like some pure blessing warm with light From worldly jars To the hi:,h halls of morning, pearly white, Ar d heaped with golden bars. Past temples vast, deluged with sandy seas, W Vose ruins stand Like bleaching bones of dead monstrosities Crashed to the land, Smupendoals homes of cursed idolatries Fallen to dust and sand. Ugly and bestial gods caked thick with gold- Tl-eir hideousness Blaspheming Christ-'mid shattered altars rolled Tc rottenness, Their sla, es abolished and their priests of old Trodden to nothingness. Thro' Syrian plains curtained with curling mist TI-e grass she trailed, Where the shy floweret, by the dew-drop kissed, Sweet blushing quailed; And drowned in purple vales of amethyst The moon-mad bulbuls wailed. On glimmering wolds had seemed to hear the bleat Of folded flocks; 102 BLOOMS OF THE BERRE 103 Seen broad-browed sages pass with sandaled feet And hoary locks, While swimming in a bath of molten heat A great star glorious rocks. In fancy o'er a beaming baby bent- Cradled amiss In a rude manger-on its brow to print One holy kiss, While down the slant winds faint aromas went And anthems deep of bliss. . And then she woke. The winter moon above Burst on her sight; And with strange sweetness all her dream was wove In its far flight, For jubilant bells rocked booming " peace and love" Down all the aisles of night. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. TO AUTU MN. I OFT' have met thee, Autumn, wandering Beside a misty stream, thy locks flung wild; Thy cheeks a hectic flush more fair than Spring, As if on theo the scarlet copse had smiled. Or thee I've se.-n a twisted oak beneath, Thy gentle eyes with foolish weeping dim, Beneath a faded oak from whose tinged leaves Thou woundedst drowsy wreaths, while the soft breath Of Morn did kiss thy locks and make them swim Far out behind, brown as the rustling sheaves. Oft have I thee upon a hillock seen, Dreain-visaged, all agaze at glimpses faint Of glimmering woods that glanced the hills between With Indian faces from thy airy paint. Or I have met thee 'twixt two dappled hills Within a dingled valley nigh a fall, Clasped in thy tinted hand a ruddy flower, And lo vly stooping where the leaf-dammed rills Went babbling low thro' wildwood's arrased hall, Where burned the beech and maples glared their power. Oft have I seen thee in a ruined mill, Wheie basked the crimson creeper serpentine; Where fallen leaves did stir and rustle chill, And saw thee rest beneath a wild grape-vine. 104 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. lo5 While Echo, sad amid his deep-voiced mountains- More sad than erst-did raise a dreamy speech And call thee to his youthful, amorous arms, Where splashed the murmuring forest's limpid fountains; And tho' his words thy pink-shell ears did reach, Thou wouldst not heed or guile him with thy charms. Once saw thee in a hollow girt with trees, A-dream amid the harvest's tawny grain; Thy plushy cheek faint flushing in the breeze, In thy deep eyes a drowsy sky's blue stain. And where within the woodland's twilight path The cloud-winged skies did peep all speechless down, And stirred the gaudy leaves with fragrant breath, I've seen thee walk, nor fear the Winter's wrath; There drop asleep clad in thy gipsy gown, While Echo bending o'er dropp'd tears upon thy wreath. .BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. AN ADDRESS TO NIGHT. L IKE some sad spirit from an unknown shore Thou coinest with two children in thine arms: Flushed, poppied Sleep, whom mortals aye adore, Her flowing raiment sculptured to her charms. Soft on thy bosom in pure baby rest Clasped as a fair white rose in musky nest; But on thy cther, like a thought of woe, Her brother, lean, cold Death doth thin recline, To thee as dear as she, thy maid divine, Whose frowzy hair his hectic breathings blow In poppied ringlets billowing all her marble brow. Oft have I taken Sleep from thy vague arms Anc fondled her faint head, with poppies wreath'd, Within my bosom's depths, until its storms With her were hushed and I but mildly breath'd. And then this child, 0 Night! with frolic art Arose prom rest, and on my panting heart Blew bubbles of dreams where elfin worlds were lost, Until my airy soul smiled light on me From some far land too dim for day to see, And wandered in a shape of limpid frost Within a dusky dale where soundless streams did flee. 106 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY 107 Welcome to Earth, 0 Night the saintly garbed! Slip meek as love into the Day's flushed heart! Drop in a dream from where the meteors orbed Wander past systems scorning map or chart; Or sit aloft, thy hands brimmed full of stars, Or come in garb of storms 'mid thunder jars, When lightning-frilled gleams wide thy cloud-frounced dress, Then art thou grand! but, oh, when thy pure feet Along the star-strewn floors of Heaven beat, And thy cool breath the heated world doth bless, Thou art God's angel of true love and gentleness! BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. THE HERON. EVENING. AS slatghter red the long creek crawls From solitary forest walls, Out where the eve's wild glory falls. One wiry leg drowned in his breast, Neck-shrunk, flame-gilded with the West, Stark-stately he the evening wears. NIGHT. The vwhimp'ring creek breaks on the stone; The rnew moon came, but now is gone; White, tingling stars wink out alone. Lank specter of wet, windy lands, The rielancholy heron stands; The3n, clamoring, dives into the stars. o08 BLOOMS OF T7E BERRY0 A DIRGE. 1. LIFE has fled; she is dead, Sleeping in the flow'ry vale Where the fleeting shades are shed Ghost-like o'er her features pale. Lay her 'neath the violets wild, Lay her like a dreaming child 'Neath the waving grass Where the shadows pass. II. Gone she has to happy rest With white flowers for her pillow; Moons look sadly on her breast Thro' an ever-weeping willow. Fold her hands, frail flakes of snow, Waxen as white roses blow Like herself so fair, Free from world and care. III. Twine this wreath of lilies wan 'Round her sculptured brow so white; Let her rest here, white as dawn, Like a lily quenched in night. log BLOOMS OF THE BERRY W' eath this rosebud wild and pale, Wreath it 'mid her fingers frail; On her dreamless breast Let it dreaming rest. IV. Gently, gently lay her down, Gently lay her form to sleep; Gently let her soul be blown .Mar away, while low we weep. Hvsh! the earth no more can harm her Now that choirs of angels charm her! Dreams of life are brief; Naught amendeth grief. V. Sp'ked away! speed away! Angels called her here to sleep; Lev us leave her here to stay: Speed away! and, speeding, weep. Where the roses blow and die, 'Nc ath them she a rose doth lie Wilted in the grass Where the shadows pass. Ito0 BLOOMS OF THE BERR Y. THE HAUNTED HOUSE. I. T HE shadows sit and stand within its door Like uninvited guests and poor, And all the long, hot summer day A dry green locust whirs its roundelay, And the shadows halt at the door. The sheeted iron upon the roof Stretches its weary hide and cracks; The spider weaves his windy woof In dingy closet cracks, And all a something lacks. The freckled snake crawls o'er the floor, Tongues at the shadows in the door, And where the musty mosses run Basks in the sun. I1. The children of the fathers sleep Beneath the melancholy pines; Earth-worms within grim skulls forever creep And the glow-worm shines; The orchards in the meadow deep Lift up their stained, gnarled arms, Mossed, lichened where limp lizards peep. No youth swells up to make them leap I I I X BLOOMS OF THE BERRY And cry against the storms; No blossom lulls their age asleep, Eaci wind brings sad alarms. Big-bellied apples gold or bell-round pears No maiden gathers now; The moistures drip great reeking tears Frorn each old, crippled bough. III. The or:hards are yellow and solitary, The winds beat down their hands; The sunlight is sad and the moonlight is dreary, The hum of the country is lonesome and weary, And the bees go by in bands To cther happier lands. The glasses are rotting in walk and in bower; The orchards smell dank and rank As a clamber where lay for a lonely hour A corjpse unclad in the taper's glower, Chill, white, and lank. So the bees go by in murmurous bands, Drowsily wand'ring to happier lands Where the lilies draggle the bank. IV. in the desolate halls are lying, GolI, blood-red, and browned, Shriveled leaves of Autumn dying, 112 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY And the shadows o'er them flying Turn them 'round and 'round, Make a dreary sound Thro' the echoing chambers crying In the haunted house. V. Gazing down in her white shroud From the edging cloud Comes at night the dimpled moon, Comes, and like a ghost is gone 'Neath the flying cloud O'er the haunted house. Io I I3 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. PERLE DES JARDINS. \A7HAT am I, and what is he Who can cull and tear a heart, As one might a rose for sport In Its royalty What am I, that he has made All this love a bitter foam, Elown about a life of loam Thatt must break and fade He who of my heart could make Hollow crystal where his face Like a passion had its place Hoiy and then break! Shatter with insensate jeers!- B3ut these weary eyes are dry, earless clear, and if I die Th y shall know no tears. Yet my heart weeps;-let it weep! Let it weep in sullen pain, And this anguish in my brain Cryr itself to sleep. 11x4 BLOOMS OF THE BERR Y. Ah! the afternoon is warm, And yon fields are glad and fair; Many happy creatures there Thro' the woodland swarm. All the summer land is still, And the woodland stream is dark WNhere the lily rocks its barque Just below the mill. If they found me icy there 'Mid the lilies and pale whorls Of the cresses in my curls Wet of raven hair- Fool and coward! are you such Would you have him thus to know That you died for utter woe And despair o'ermuch No! my face a marble bust! As the Sphynx, impassioned, stern Passions hid, as in an urn, Burnt to bitter dust ! And I'll write him as he wrote, Making, with his worded scorn, Tyrant,-crowned with stinging thorn,- His cold, cruel note. 115 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. You'll forget," he says, " and I Fec:l 'tis better for us twain: It -nay give you some small pain, But, 'twill soon be by. You ire dark, and Maud is light; I am dark and it is said Opposites are better wed;- So I think I'm right." You are dark and Maud is fair !" I could laugh at this excuse If this aching, mad abuse WVerf. not more than hair! But I'll write him as a-glad Some few happy words and light, Touching on some past delight, That last year we had. Not one line of broken vows, Sighs or hurtful tears unshed, Faithless lips far better dead, Nor a withered rose. But a rose, this Perle to wear,- Perle des Jardins delicate With faint fragrant life elate,- When he weds her there. BLOOM1S OF THE BERRY. So ; 'tis finished ! It is well' Go, thou rose! I have no tear, Kiss, or word for thee to bear, And no woe to tell. Only be thus full of life, Cold and calm, impassionate, Filled with neither love nor hate, When he calls her wife! OSSIAN'S POEMS. H ERE I have heard on hills the battle clash Roar to the windy sea that roared again: When, drunk with wrath, upon the clanking plain Barbaric kings did meet in war and dash Their mailed thousands down, heard onset crash Like crags contending 'gainst the battering main. Torrents of helms, beaming like streams of rain, Blue-billowing 'neath the pale moon's fitful flash; Saw the scared moon hang over the black wood Like a pale wreath of foam; shields, spears, and swords Shoot green as meteors thro' the steely flood, Or shine like ripples 'round their heathen lords Standing like stubborn rocks, whence the wild wave Of war circled in steel and foamned out brave on brave. 117 This page in the original text is blank. II.-IN MYTHIC SEAS. This page in the original text is blank. IN MYTHIC SEAS. IN MYTHIC SEAS. XN EATH saffron stars and satin skies, dark-blue, Between dim sylvan isles, a happy two, We sailed, and from the siren-haunted shore, All mystic in its mist, the soft gale bore The Siren's song, while on the ghostly steeps Strange foliage grew, deeps folding upon deeps, That hung and beamed with blossom and with bud, Thick-powdered, pallid, or like urns of blood Dripping, and blowing from wide mouths of blooms On our bare brows cool gales of sweet perfumes. While from the yellow stars that splashed the skies O'er our light shallop dropped soft mysteries Of calm and sleep, until the yellower moon Rose full of fire above a dark lagoon; And as she rose the nightingales on sprays Of heavy, shadowy roses burst in praise Of her wild loveliness, with boisterous pain Wailing far off around a ruined fane. And 'round our lazy keel that dipped to swing The spirits of the foam came whispering; II BLOC)MS OF THL BLERY. And from dank Neptune's coral-columned caves Heard the Oceanids rise thro' the waves; Saw their ;mooth limbs cold-glimmering in the spray, TuLmultuoI.s bosoms panting with their play; Their oozy tresses, tossed unto the breeze, Flash sea-g-reen brightness o'er the tumbled seas. 'Mid columned isles, glance vaguely thro' the trees, We watcht d the Satyrs chase the Dryades; Heard Pan's fierce trebles and the Triton's horn Sound from the rock-lashed foam when rose the Morn With chilly fingers dewing all the skies, That blushed for love and closed their starry eyes. The Naiac saw sweet smiling, in white mist, Half hidden in a bay of amethyst Her polished limbs, and at her hollow ear A shell's pink labyrinth held up to hear Dim echoes of the Siren's haunting strains Ernprisoned in its chords of crimson veins. Aud stealiig wily from a grove of pines The Oreac in cincture of green vines, O:ne twinkling foot half buried in the red Of a deep dimpled, crumpled poppy bed- Like to thc star of eve, when, lapsing low, Faint clouls that with the sunset colors glow Slip down in scarlet o'er its crystal white, It shining, tear-like, partly veils its light. Her wine-ied lips half-parted in surprise, And expe( tation in her bright blue eyes, W'iile slyl- from a young oak coppice peers BLOOM11S 0F THE BERRY. The wanton Faun with furry, pointed ears. He leaps, she flies as flies the startled nymph When Pan pursues her from her wonted lymph. Diana sees, and on her wooded hills Stays her fair band, the stag hounds' clamor stills. Already nearer glow the Oread's charms; To seize them Faunus strains his hairy arms- A senseless statue of white, weeping stone Fills his embrace; the Oread is gone. The stag-hounds bay, Dian resumes the chase, While the astonished Faun's bewildered face Paints all his wonderment, and, wondering, He bends above the sculpture of the spring. We sailed; and many a morn of breathing balm, Purpureal, graced us in that season calm; And it was life to thee and me and love With the fair myths below, our God above, To sail in golden sunsets and emerge In golden morns upon a fretless surge. But ah, alas ! the stars that dot the blue Shine not alway; the clouds must gather too. I knew not how it came, but in a while Myself I found cast on an arid isle Alone and barkless, soaked and wan with dread, The seas in wrath and thunder overhead, Deep down in coral caverns my pale love, No myths below, no God, it seemed, above. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY THE DEAD OREAD. HJER heart is still and leaps no more With holy passion when the breeze, Her whilom playmate, as before, Co-nes with the language of the bees, Sad songs her mountain ashes sing And :iidden fountains' whispering. Her 2alm, white feet, erst fleet and fast As Daphne's when a Faun pursued, No more will dance like sunlight past The dim-green vistas of the wood, Where ev'ry quailing floweret Smiled into life where they were set. Hers were the limbs of living light Most beautiful and virginal, God-graceful and as godly white, Ard wild as beautiful withal, And hyacinthine curls that broke In color when a wind awoke, The wild aromas weird that haunt Mcist bloomy dells and solitudes Abou her presence seemed to pant, The happy life of all her moods; BLOOMS OF THE BERRY Ambrosial smiles and amorous eyes Whose luster would a god surprise. Her grave be by a dripping rock, A mossy dingle of the hill, Remote from Bacchanals that mock, Wine-wild, the long, mad nights and still, Where no unhallowed Pan with lust May mar her melancholy dust. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY APHRODITE. APOLLO never smote a lovelier strain, 1When swan-necked Hebe paused her thirsty bowl A-spark]k- with its wealth of nectar-draughts To lend a list'ner's ear and smile on him, As that the Tritons blew on wreathed horns When Aphrodite, the cold ocean-foam Bursting its bubbles, from the hissing snow Whirled her nude form on Hyperion's gaze, Naked a-id fresh as Indian Ocean shell Dashed landward from its bed of sucking sponge Aid brar ching corals by the changed monsoon. Wind- ocked she swung her white feet on the sea, And music raved down the slant western winds; With swollen jowls the Tritons puffed the conch, Where, breasting with cold bosoms the green waves, That laughed in ripples at Love's misty feet, Oceanids with dimple-dented palms Smote si lewise the pale bubbles of the foam, Which wove a silver iris 'round her form. -Vhere dolphins tumbling stained the garish arch Nereides sang, braiding their wet locks, "Dr flung them streaming on the broken foam, Fill evetlde showed her loveliest of stars- Lost passion-flower of the sinking sun- 126 BLOUMS 0'F THE BERRY. 127 In the cool sheen of shadowy waters deep, That moaned wild sea-songs at the Sirens' cavesi Then in a hollow pearl, o'er moon-white waves, The creatures of the ocean danced their queen, Till Cytherea like a rosy mist Beneath the star rose blushing from the deep. On the pearled sands of a moon-glassing sea Beneath the moon, narcissus-like, they met, She naked as a star and crowned with stars, Child of the airy foam and queen of love. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. PERSEPHONE. 0 HADES! 0 false gods! false to yourselves! -0 Hades, 'twas thy brother gave her thee Without a mother's sanction or her knowledge! He bare her to the horrid gulfs below, And made her queen, a shadowy queen of shades, Queen of the fiery flood and mournful realms Of grat'ng iron and the clank of chains. On blossomed plains in far Trinacria A maiden, the dark cascade of whose hair Seemed gleaming rays of midnight 'mid the stars, Rays slc wly bright'ning 'neath a mellow moon, She 'mid the flowers with the Oceanids Sought 1Echo's passion, loved Narcissus pale, Ghast s:aring in the mirror of a lake, Whose smoothness brake his image, flickering seen. i.'en with the fast tears of his dewy eyes. A. shape there rose with iron wain and steeds 'Mid sallow fume of sulphur and pale fires; its coun enance meager, and its eyes e'en such Xs the wild, ghastly sulphur. In its arms, Its sooty arms, where like to supple steel The muscles rigid lay, unto its breast, Such as Its arms, it rushed her fragile form As bosomed bulks of tempest in their joy BLOOMS OF THE BERRY With arms of winds drag to their black embrace A fairy mist of white that flecks the summer With shadeless wings of gauze, and 'tis no more Heaved on the rapture of its thundering heart. The snowy flowers shuddered and grew still With withered faces bowed, and on the stream- Where all the day it was their wont to stand In silent sisterhood down-gazing at their charms- Withered and limp and dead laid their fair brows. Flames hissed aloft like fiery whips of snakes Blasting and killing all the fragrant sprites That make the dewy zephyrs their dim haunts. O foam-fair daughters of Oceanus! In vain you seek your mate and chide the flowers For hiding her 'neath their broad, snowy palms; Nor is she hidden in that pearly shell, Which, like a pinky babe cast from the sea, Moans at your pallid feet washed with white spray. But, sitting by the tumbling blue of waves, Mourn to your billows on the foamy sands The falseness of the god who grasps the storm' BLOOMS OF THE BERRY DEMETER. D EME1 ER sad! the wells of sorrow lay Eterna' gushing in thy lonely path. Methinks I see her now-an awful shape rall o'er a dragon team in frenzied search From Argive plains unto the jeweled shores Of the remotest Ind, where Usha's hand Tinged her grief-cloven brow with kindly touch, And Sc-vitar wheeled genial thro' the skies O'er palmy regions of the faneless Brahm. In melancholy search I see her roam O'er the steel) peaks of Himalayas keen With the unmellowed frosts of Boreal storms, Then back again with that wild mother woe Writ in the anguished fire of her eyes,- Back w lere old Atlas groans 'neath weight of worlds, And th-2 Cimmerian twilight glooms the soul. Deep was her sleep in Persia's haunted vales, Where nany a languid Philomela moaned The bu; sting sorrow of a bursting soul. I see h r nigh Ionia's swelling seas Cull from the sands a labyrinthine shell, And hark the mystery of its eery voice 130 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. Float from the hollow windings of its curl, Then cast it far into the aseedy sea To view the salt-spray flash, like one soft plume Dropped from the wings of Eros, 'gainst the flame Of Helios' car down-sloping toward his bath. I see her beg a coral flute of red From a tailed Triton and on Ithakan rocks High seated at the starry death of day When Selene rose from off her salty couch To smile a glory on her face of sorrow, Pipe forth sad airs that made the Sirens aweep In their green caves beneath the sodden sands, And hoar Poseidon clear his wrinkled front And still his surgy clamors to a sigh. This do I see, and more ah ' yes, far more I see her, 'mid the lonely groves of Crete, The wild hinds fright from the o'ervaulted green Of thickest boscage, tangling their close covert, With horror of her torches and her Awail, a Persephone ! Persephone "' till tlhe pines Of rugged Dicte shuddered thro' their cones, And Echo shrieked clown in her deepest chasms A wild reply unto her wild complaint; As wild as when she voiced those maidens' woe, Athenian tribute to stern Minos, king. When coiling grim the Mlinotaur they saw Far in his endless labvrinth of stone. 131 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY DIONYSOS. " f 0 DJONYSOS! Dionysos! the ivy-crowned! 0 let me sing thy triumph ere I die !" Withini my sleep a Maenad came to me: A harp of crimson agate strung with gold Wailed 'neath her waxen fingers, and her heart 'Neatlh the white gauze, thro' which a moonlight shone, Kept time with its wild throbbings to her song. "Aege: s sleeps, 0 Dionysos! sleeps Pale '-ieath the tumbling waves that sing his name Eternally at my dew-glist'ning feet. And so he died, 0 Dionysos! died! 0 let mie sing thy triumph ere I die! With the shrill syrinx and the kissing clang Of sil-er cymbals clashed by Ethiopes swart, 0, pard-drawn youth, thou didst awake the world To joy and pleasure with thy sunny wine! Mad's' India bow and the dun, flooding Nile Grow purple in the radiance of the wine Cast from the richness of Silenus' cup, Whiles yet the heavens of heat saw dances wild Whirl -mid the redness of the Libic sands, Which greedy drank the Bacchanalian draught I. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. Spun from the giddy bowl, a rose-tinged mist, O'er the slant edge, red twinkling in the eye Of brazen Ra, fierce turning overhead. What made gold Horus smile with golden lips Anubis dire forget his ghosts to lead To Hell's profoundness, and then stay to sip One winking bubble from the wine-god's cup What made Osiris, 'mid the palms of Nile, Leave Isis dreaming, and the frolic Pan's Harsh trebles follow as a roaring bull, Far as the gleaming temples of Indra, And mourned in Memphis by his tawny priests It was thy joys, sun-nourished fire of wine! The brimming purple of the hollow gold They tasted and they worshiped-gods themselves: 'Wan Echo sat once in a spiral shell; She, from its sea-dyed maziness of pearl, Saw the mixed pageant dancing on the strand, Where Nereus slept upon an isle of crags, And o'er the slope of his far-foaming head The strangeness of the orgies wildly cried, Till the frore god shook many a billow curl, Serened his face and stretched a welcome hand With civil utt'rance for the Bacchus horn. But now there tarries in her eye-balls' disks That nomad troop, and naught her tongue may say Save jostling words that haunt her muffled ears Like feeble wave-beats in a deep sea-cave. 133 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY 'Ah the white stars, 0 Dionysos! now Have, dropped their glittering blossoms slowly down Behinad the snowy mountains in the West. AegE us sleeps, hushed by my murmuring harp, And I have sung thy triumph; let me die !" HACKELNBERG. W HEN down the Hartz the echoes swarm tHe rides beneath the sounding storm With mad " halloo !" and wild alarm Of hound and horn-a wonder, With his hunter black as night, Ban-dogs fleet and fast as light, And a stag as silver white Drives before, like mist, in flight, Glimmering 'neath the bursten thunder. 7he were-wolf shuns his ruinous track, Long-lhowling hid in braken black; Around the forests reel and crack And mountain torrents tumble; A-nd the spirits of the air Whistling whirl with scattered hair, Teeth that flash and eyes that glare, 'R;ound him as he chases there With a noise of rains that rumble. 134 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY 135 From thick Thuringian thickets growl Fierce, fearful monsters black and foul; And close before him a stritch-owl Wails like a ghost unquiet Then the clouds aside are driven And the moonlight, stormy striven, Falls around the castle riven Of the Dumburg, and the heaven Maddens then with blacker riot. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY THE LIMNAD. I. T HE lake she haunts lies dreamily 'Neath sleepy boughs of melody, A nd far away an olden sea, An olden sea booms mellow; And the sunset's glamours smite Ifs clean water with strong light Wov'n to wondrous flowers, where fight Breezy blue and winking white, Ruby red and tarnished yellow. II. 'Mid green rushes there that swing, Flowering flags where voices sing When low winds are murmuring, Murmuring to stars that glitter; B ossom-white with purple locks, 'Neath unfolded starry flocks, Ir. the dusky waves she rocks, Rocks and all the landscape mocks With a song most sweet and bitter. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. III. Low it comes like sighs in dreams; Tears that fall in burning streams; Then a sudden burst of beams. Beams of song that soar and wrangle, Till the woods are taken quite, And red stars are waxen white, Lilies tall, bowed left and right, Gasp and die with very might Of the serpent notes that strangle. IV. Dark, dim, and sad on mournful lands White-throated stars heaped in her hands, Like wild-wood buds, the Twilight stands, The Twilight standing lingers, Till the Limnad coming sings Witcheries whose beauty brings A great moon from hidden springs, Mad with amorous quiverings, Feet of fire and silver fingers. V. In the vales Auloniads, On the mountains Oreads, On the meads Leimoniads, That in naked beauty glisten; 1 2 137 138 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY Pan and Satyrs, Dryades, Fountain-lisping Naiades, Foam-lipped Oceanides, Breathless 'mid their seas or trees, Stay mad sports to look and listen. VI. Large-limbed, Egypt-eyed she stands- Night on dim and ghostly lands, And in rapture from her hands Some wild molten stars are shaken. Let her stand and rushes swing; Let lank flags dip murmuring, Low, lost winds come like a wing; They will waken though she sing, But one mortal ne'er will waken. BIOOMS OF THE BEER E THE MERMAID. T HE moon in the East is glowing: I sit by the moaning sea; The mists down the sea are blowing, Dowvn the sea all dewily. The sands at my feet are shaking, The stars in the sky are wan; The mists for the shore are making, With a glimmer drifting on. From the mist comes a song, sweet wailing In the voice of a love-lorn maid, And I hear her gown soft trailing As she doth lightly wade. The night hangs pale above me Upon her starry throne, And I know the maid doth love me Who maketh such sweet moan. From out the mist comes tripping A Mermaiden full fair, Across the white sea skipping With locks of tawny hair. 139 BBOOMS OF THE BERRY Her locks with sea-ooze dripping She wrings with a snowy hand; Her dress is thinly clipping Two breasts which perfect stand. Oh, she was fair as the heaven On an autumnal eve, And my love to her was given When I saw how she did grieve. Amort o'er the sea came speeding This sea sprite samite-clad, And my heart for love was bleeding, But its beating I forbade. On the strand where the sand was rocking She stood and sang an air, And the winds in her hair kept locking Their fingers cool and bare. Soft in her arms did she fold me, While sweet and low she moaned; Her love and her grief she told me, And the ocean sighed and groaned. Bt I stilled my heart's wild beating, For I knew her love was dim; Full coldly received her greeting, Tho' my life burnt in each limb. 1.40 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. In my ear right sweet she was sighing With the voice of the pink-veined shells; Her arms 'round my neck kept tying, And gazed in mine eyes' deep wells. With her kisses cold did she woo me, But I dimmed my heart's wild beat; With the stars of her eyes did she sue me, But their passion did mine defeat. With the cloud of her sea-dipped tresses She veiled her beautiful face;- And oh! how I longed for her kisses And sighed for her soft embrace! But out in the mist she went wailing When the dawn besilvered the night, With her robes of samite trailing In the foam-flowers sad and white. Like a spirit grieved went moaning In a twilight over the sea, And it seemed the night was groaning, And my heart beat wild in me. But I hushed my heart's fierce beating, For a Mermaid false was she; Yet I sighed at her faintly fleeting Across the dim, dark sea. 141 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY The moon all withered is glowing, The mist and she are gone; My heart to ice is growing, And I sob at the coming dawn. THE PUNISHMENT OF LOKE. orHE gods of Asaheim, incensed with Loke, A whirlwind yoked with thunder-footed steeds, And, carried thus, boomed o'er the booming seas, Far as the teeming wastes of Jotunheim, To punish Loke for all his wily crimes. They found him sitting nigh a mountain-force, Which hashing roared from crags of ribbed snow, Lamenting strange and weird in rushing notes Of the old Strbmkarl, who therein smote a harp And sang in mystic syllables of runes. For 'tis the wild man's harp and voice you hear: He sits behind the crackling cataract Within a grotto dim of mist and foam, His long, thin beard, white as the flying spray Flung to the midnight in a sounding cave By the blind fish that leap against the winds; Gemmed with the large dews of the cataract, Swings in the sucking breeze, and swinging beats 1 42 BL.OOM fS 0F THE BER RY. Time to his harp's strains quav'ring soft and sad Beneath the talons of his pale, lean hand. And all the waters, leaping, tingling shake Like shivering stars within the frozen skies, WN'hen as the Giants of Frost rule o'er the deep, And nip their buds with fingers hoar of ice. Here banished found they mischief-making Loke Beneath the faint arch of young Bifrost sate, His foxy face between large, naked knees; Deep, wily eyes fixed on the darting fish In seeming thought, but aye one corner wan Flashed at the Asas where they clustered fair, Soft on a mountain's aged locks of snow, Their tawny tresses ruddy in the wind. Then great-limbed Thor sprang wind-like forth:- Red was his beard forked with the livid light, That clings among the tempest's locks of bale, Or fillets her tumultuous temples black, And drops with wild confusion on the hills; And thro' his beard, like to the storm's strong voice, His sullen words were strained, and when he spake The oldest forests bowed their crowns of leaves, And barmy skulls of mead half-raised were stayed Within Valhalla, and heroes great were dumb. As when, the horror of the spear-shock o'er, And all the plains and skies of Thule are gorged BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. With gore and screams of those that fight or die, The Valkyries in their far-glimmering helms Flash from the windy sunset's mists of red Unto the chalk-faced dead,-whose beaten casques And sea-swol'n shields, with sapless, red-hewn limbs, Wave 'mid the dead-green billows, stormy-browed, That roar along the Baltic's wintry coast, And wail amid the iron-circled coves,- To cull dead heroes for the hall of shields,- Where yells the toast and rings the tournament,- A dumboess falls upon the shattered field; The clinging billows 'mid the restless dead Moan o'er their wide-stretched eyes and glassy sleep; And all the blood-blurred banners, gustless, dark Hard ashen faces waiting for the choice. The thunderer did Lok6 shrewd ensnare, Incensed for pristine evil wrought on him, When erst dark Loke deflowered his spouse, fair Sif The blue-eyed, of her golden, baby locks. Him the Asas dragged beneath a burning mount Into a cavern black, by earthquakes rent When Earth was young to heave her spawn of Trolls, The vermin which engendered in the corpse Of Ymer huge, whose flesh did make the world. Here where the stars ne'er shone, nor nature's strains Of legendary woodlands, peaks, and streams Ere came, they pinned him supine to the rocks, AThose frigid touch filed at his brittle bones, 144 BLOOMS OF THE BERR '4 And tore a groan from lips of quiv'ring froth, That made the warty reptiles cold and huge Hiss from their midnight lairs and blaze great eyes. Lone in the night he heard the white bear roar From some green-glancing berge that stemmed dark seas With all its moan of torrents foaming down The ice-crags of its crystal mountain crests. And 'neath the firry steep a wild swine shrieked, And fought the snarling wolf; his midriff ripped With spume-flaked ivories where the moss was brok'n Far down wvithin the horror of a gorge; And once he saw souls of dead mortals whirl With red-strown hair within the Arctic skies, And all his stolid face was eddied o'er By one faint smile, which grimly flash'd and pass'd, And he knew not its stonyness had changed. And all was rock above him, rock beneath: And all the clammy crawling things that spat Black venom at him frcm deep dens of rock, And that swart boundless flood of flowing death, Which with its sooty spray clung to a cliff And slid beside his marble gaze, to him Were as the rock that curled above and hung; Were as the rock that spread beneath and pierced; For as to the blind to him were lidless eves. And pity 'twas not darker than it was, And crammed with terrors populous as Hel's I3 145 SE LO.OMS OF THE BERRY. Or that cursed dome of corpses, Naastrand dire, W hose roofs and walls of yawning serpents slick Hang writhing down, flat heads-reed-beds of snakes- From whose red, hissing fangs flow slimy streams Of blist'ring venom, gath'ring to a flood, Wherein the basest shades eternal wade And feel the anguish crawling down the neck, Or glue the hair, or glut the dull, dead ear, Or choke the blasted eye until it swims In lurid pain and blazes 'gainst the source. The roar of waters and the wail of Dines When whirlwinds roll the granite bowlders down From flinty crags of storm to bellowing seas- On noisome winds the howls of torture roll, And rising die, cause the live dome to writhe, And swift pour down a tempest steep of woe. Huge Skade, of Winter daughter, giantess, One twisting serpent hung above Loke's head, So that the blistering slaver might splash down Upon his chalky face, and torture him,- For so the Asas willed for his vast crimes. But Lok6's wife, Sigin, endured not this, And brooked not to behold her husband's pain. She sale herself beside his writhen limbs, And held a cup to cull the venomed dew Which flamed the scowling blackness as it fell. To him she spake, who swelled his breast and groaned 146 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY4 E'en as some mighty sea, when 'neath its waves The huge leviathan by whalers chased,- Cleaving thick waters in his spinning flight, The barbed harpoon feasting on his life,-- Rolls up pale mounded billows o'er black fins Far in the North Atlantic's sounding seas:- " 0 Lok6! lock those wide-drawn eyes of thine, And let white silver-lidded slumber fall In the soft utterance of my low speech' And I will flutter all my amber curls To cast wind currents o'er thy pallid brow!- Drink deepest sleep, for, see, I catch thy doom!- So pale thy face which glimmers thro' the night! So pale! and knew I death as mortals know I'd say that he mysterious had on thee Laid hands of talons and so slain thy soul! So still! and all the night bears down my heart! So pale !-and sleep is lost to thee and me!- Sleep, that were welcome in this heavy gloom!- It clings to me like pestilential fogs! I seem but clodded filth and float in filth! It chokes my words and claws them from my tongue To sound as dull confused as the boom Heard thro' the stagnant earth when armies meet With ring of war-ax on the brazen helms, And all the mountains clash unto the sound Of shocking spears that splinter on gray ore! For by dead banks of stone my words are yelled 147 4 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY While yet they touch the tongue to grasp the thought; And all the creatures huddled in their holes Creep forth to glare and hiss them back again! Yet, for thy love, 0 Lok6, could I brave All trebled horrors that wise Odin may Heap on, and, sufflring, love thee all the more! " For thou dost love me, and this life is naught Without thy majesty of form and mind, For, dark to all, alone art fair to me! And to thy level and thy passions all I raise the puny hillock of my soul, Tho' oft it droops below thy lofty height, Far 'mid the crimson clouds of windless dawns Reaching the ruby of a glorious crest. And then aspire I not, but cower in awe Down 'mid low, printless winds that take no morn.- "At least my countenance may win from thee A reflex of that alabaster cold That stones thy brow, and pale in kindred woe! And when this stony brow of thine is cleft By myriad furrows, tortures of slow Time, And all the beauties of thy locks are past, Now glossy as the brown seal's velvet fur, Their drifts of winter strown around this cave To gray the glutton gloom that hangs like lead,- For Idunn's fruit is now debarred thy lips, And thou shalt age e'en as I age with thee!- 148 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. Then will the thought of that dread twilight cheer The burthen of thy anguish; for wilt thou Not in the great annihilation aid Of gods and worlds, that roll thro' misty grooves Of cycled ages to wild Ragnaroke Then shalt thou joy! for all those stars which glue Their blinking scales unto old Ymer's skull In clots shall fall and as this brooding night Sticks to and gluts us till we strangling clutch With purple lips for air-and feel but frost Drag laboring down the throat to swell the freight That cuddles to the heart and clogs its life, So shall those falling flakes spread sea-like far In lakes of flame and foggy pestilence O'er the hot earth, and drown all men and gods. " But, oh, thy face ! pale, pale its marble gleams Thro' the thick night! and low the serpent wreathes And twists his scaly coils that livid hang Above thee alabaster as a shrine!- Oh, could I kiss the lips toward which he writhes And yield them the last spark of living flame That burns in my wan blood, and, yielding-die! Oh, could I gaze once more into large eyes Whose liquid depths glassed domes of molten stars, And see them as they glowed when Morning danced O'er scattered flowers from the rosy hills That lined the orient skies beneath one star When first we met and loved among the pines, I49 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY The melancholy pines that plumed the cliffs And rocked and sang unto the smooth fiords Like old wild women to their sleeping babes! Then could I die e'en as the mortals die, And smile in dying !-But the reptile baulks All effort to behold, or on white lips To feast the ardor of my vain desire! Thy face alone shines on my straining sight Like some dim moon beneath a night of mist,- And now the creatures come to feel at me- The serpent swings above and darts his fang, And I can naught but hold the cup and breathe." Then thro' the blackness of the dripping cave Tumultuous spake he, rage his utterance; Large as the thunder when it lunging rolls, Heavy with earthquake and portending ruin, Tempestuous words o'er everlasting seas Dumb with the silence of eternal ice; His eyes in horrid spasms, and his throat, Corded and gnarled with veins of boisterous blood, Swollen with fury, and stern, wintery lips Flaked with rebellious foam and agony For thwarted rage and baulkment of designs. Rash vaunter of loud wrath, one brawny fist, Convulsed with clenchment in its gyve of ore, Clutched mad defiance and bold blasphemy, Headlong for battle-launching at all gods That bow meek necks before high Odin's throne; l oo BLOOMIS OF THE BERRY. Yet all unhurled (and vain as mists of morn, Or foam wvind-wasted on the sterile sands Of rainy seas where Ran, from whistling caves Wa tching the tempest ravened dragon wreck, Feels 'twixt lean miser fingers slippery Already oily gold of Vikings' drowned. Reverberated, the loud-scoffing rock All his unburdened l)lasT)lemies again Flung back a million fold from riotous throats In which demoniac laughter howled and roared, Bellowing tremendous tumtult, till his ears, Flooded and gorged with maniac curses, grew Stunned, deaf and senseless, and the rebel words, Erst rolled and thundered in his godly speech, Recoiled in oaths that, shrunk in serpent loops, Coiled mad anathemas of violence, Voluminous-ringed, about his heart of ice, That now in wasted wrath of bitter foam,- Which burst and bare big ineffectual groans, Wretched and huge with infinite weariness,- Spent all its storm of ponderous misery. Her sorrow found some vent in rain of tears, And all the cave was dumb and dead with night, Unbroken save of Sigin's heaving sobs, Or the baulked god's deep groans where chain'd he lay To see the spotted serpent crisp above And aye gape poison at his lidless eyes. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. And when her bowl was brimmed till one more drop Had cast the filth white o'er the scorching edge, Into the black, deep flood beside she poured Its stagnant torture; one second's tithe the time- The reptile's bale blurs all his milky cheek, Burns to his bones; he starting fell, stiff twists The sinewy steel that hugs his massive limbs And shrieks so loud within those solitudes, The caverns yawn unto the stormy skies, The orey mountains rock and groan for fear, High spew their fiery thunders, smoke, and stones. And this all in a mist-land dim and numb, Where giants reign, rude kings in holds of ice Based crag-like on high vivid frozen cliffs, The bandit castles of the Northern wastes. Beneath the shimmering dance of Arctic lights, Which lamp them on, they storm to fight the gods; Swathed in their stubborn mail of sleet and snow, Embattled 'mid the clouds with fiends of ruin, In militant throng-legions scorn the gods; From yawning trumpets wrought of whirling clouds Snarl war to Thor, who, in his goat-dragged wain, Hurls thundering forth to fight their lowering troops, That lift black 'scutcheons of tempests orbed, Great brands of wind, and slings of whistling storm, From which are flung their hurricanes of hail. With such they oft withstand the strength of Thor's Dwarf-stithied mace, Mjolner, when he rings 152 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. To find admittance to their brains of mist, And, cleaving, drives them to their barren realms, Where echoes of lost wars and wars to be Rumble 'mid ruined icebergs to the caves, Or clang with northern shock of icy spears; While Balder, from the abyss of deathful fogs Restored, smiles kindlier on the whit'ning lands. Here Loke is doomed to lie in tortures chained Until that last dread twilight of the gods, Wild Ragnaroke, when Odin's self shall pass: The moon and sun consumed, the fiery host From Muspelheim shall flaming split the heavens, Blot out the stars with lustre of their arms; And down the squared legions led by Surt Swift whirl in fogs of flame to war with gods; Nor Thor avail, but suffocated fall In contest with the Midgard serpent vast. All men and gods abolished with the world, Which into an abyss of fume and flame Sinks like a meteor of the Summer night, That slides into the gold of burning eve And with eve's gold is burning, blent and lost. But, like an exhalation, from the wreck A new and lovelier world with juster gods And better men shall rise, and soar away On wings of Love thro' skies where Truth displays The glory of her form, Wisdom her eyes.- Behold! the Golden Age again returns! I53 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY SEA DREAMS. I. O i, to see in the night in a May moon's light A nymph from siren caves, With a crown of pearl, sea-gems in each curl Dance down white, star-stained waves! Oh, to list in the gloam by the pearly foam Of a sad, far-sounding shore The strain of the shell of an ocean belle From caves where the waters roar! With a hollow shell drift up in the moon Jo sigh in my ears this ocean tune:- II. "Wilt follow, wilt follow to caverns hollow, That echo the tumbling spry Wilt follow thy queen to islands green, Vague islands of witchery o follow, follow to grottoes hollow, And isles in a purple sea, Where rich roses twine and the lush woodbine Weaves a musky canopy!" BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. III. Oh, to float in the gloam on the bubbly foam With her lily face above! Oh, to lie in a barque and a wild song hark, And a billow-nymph to love! I'd lie at her feet and my heart should beat To the music of her sighs; But the stars in her face my passion should trace, Unseen all the stars of the skies. IV. Away, away with the witch of spray To her Aidenn islands far; And the blue above, drunk-mad with love, Dance down each singing star. Leave, leave to the heaven its morning star In a cloud of bolted snow, To laugh at the world and herald far Our wedlock and joy below. 155 This page in the original text is blank. III.-IN THE GARDENS OF FALERINA. This page in the original text is blank. IN THE GARDENS OF FALERINA. FALERINA. T HE night is hung above us, love, With heavy stars that love us, love, With clouds that curl in purple and pearl, And winds that whisper of us, love: On burly hills and valleys, that lie dimmer, The amber foot-falls of the moon-sylphs glimmer. The moon is still a crescent, love; And here with thee 'tis pleasant, love, To sit and dream in its thin gleam, And list thy sighs liquescent, love: To see thy eyes and fondle thy dark tresses, Set on warm lips imperishable kisses. The sudden-glaring fire-flies Swim o'er the hollow gyre-wise, And spurt and shine like jostled wine At lips on which desire lies: Or like the out-flashed hair of elf or fairy In rapid morrice whirling feat and airy. iBLOOMS OF THE BERRY Up,-all the blue West sundering,- A cteamy cloud comes blundering O'er star and steep, and opening deep Gro vs gold with silent thundering: Gold flooding crystal crags immeasurable, Lost Avalons of old Romance and Fable. The bee dreams in the cherry bloom That sways above the berry bloom; The katydid grates where she's hid In leafy deeps of dreary gloom: The for ming dew is globing on the grasses, Like rich spilled gems of some dark queen that passes. The nere brief gusts are wrinkling; A thousand ripples twinkling Have caught the stars on polished spars Theii rustling ridges sprinkling: And all the shadow lurking in its bosom Is touched and bursten into golden blossom. Stoop! and my being flatter, love; With sudden starlight scatter, love, From then starry grace of thy rare face, Whos might can make or shatter, love! Come, raiment love in love's own radiant garments, And kir dle all my soul to rapturous torments! 1 60 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY Bow all thy beauty to me, love, Lips, eyes, and hair to woo me, love, As bows and blows some satin rose Snow-soft and tame, that knew thee, love, Unto the common grass, that worshiping cowers, Dowering its love with all her musk of flowers. THE DREAM. M Y dream was such: It seemed the afternoon Of some deep tropic day, and yet a moon Stood round and full with largeness of white gleams High in a Heaven that knew not a sun's beams; A vast, still Heaven of unremembered dreams. Long, lawny lengths of perishable cloud Hung in a West o'er rolling forests bowed; Clouds raining colors, gold and violet That, opening, seemed from hidden worlds to let Down hints of mystic beauty and old charms Wrought of frail creatures fair with silvery forms. And all about me fruited orchards grew Of quince and peach and dusty plums of blue; Wan apricots and apples red with fire, Kissed into ripeness by some sun's desire, 14 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY And big with juice; and on far, fading hills, Down which it seemed a hundred torrent rills Flashed leaping silver, vines and vines and vines Of purple vintage swollen with cool wines; Pale pleasant wines and fragrant as the June, Their delicate life robbed from the foam-fair moon. And from the clouds o'er this sweet world there dripp'd An odorous music strange and feverish lipped, That swung and swooned and panted in mad sighs, Invoking at each wave sad rapturous eyes Of lFmpid, willowy beings fair as night, Decked spangly with crisp flower-like stars of white; Dim honeyed booming of the boisterous bee In purple myriads of faint fleurs-de-lis; Of sirf far-foaming on forgotten strands Of immemorial seas in fairy lands Of melting passion, who, with crimson lips Of many shells laid to each swell that dips, Sigh secret hope of unrequited love In murmurous language to wan winds above. t6z BLOOMS OF TEE BERRY. HAWKING. I. I SEE them still, when poring o'er Old volumes of romantic lore, Ride forth to hawk in days of yore, By woods and promontories; Knights in gold lace, plumes and gems, Maidens crowned with anadems,- Whose falcons on round wrists of milk Sit in jesses green of silk,- From bannered Miraflores. II. The laughing earth is young with dew; The deeps above are violet blue; And in the East a cloud or two Empearled with airy glories: And with laughter, jest and singing, Silver bells of falcons ringing, Hawkers, rosy with the dawn, Gayly ride o'er hill and lawn From courtly Miraflores. x63 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. III. The torrents silver down the crags; Down dim-green vistas browse the stags; And from wet beds of reeds and flags The frightened lapwing hurries; And the brawny wild-boar peereth At the cavalcade that neareth; 'Uft his shaggy-throated grunt Brings the king and court to hunt At royal Miraflores. IV. rhe M'ay itself in soft sea-green Is Oriana, Spring's high queen, And Amadis beside her seen Some prince of Fairy stories: Where her castle's ivied towers Drowse above her budded bowers, Flaps the heron thro' the sky, And the wild swan gives a cry By woody Miraflores. x64 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY6 LA BEALE ISOUD. I. W ITH bloodshot eyes the morning rose Upon a world of gloom and tears ; A kindred glance queen Isoud shows- Come night, come morn, cease not her fears. The fog-clouds whiten all the vale, The sunlight draws them to its love; The diamond dews wash ev'rv dale, Where bays the hunt within the grove. Her lute-the one her touch he taught To wake beneath the stars a song Of swan-caught music-is as naught And on yon damask lounge is flung. Down o'er her cheeks her hair she draws In golden rays 'twixt lily tips, And gazes sad on gloomy shaws 'Neath which had often touched their lips. II. With irised eyes, from morn to noon, And noon to middle night she stoops From her high lattice 'neath the moon, Hoping to see him 'mid the groups i65 BLBOOMS OF THE BERRY. Of mail-swathed braves come jingling by. Ar.d once there came a dame in weft All pearl besprent, as when the sky A springtide day hath wept and left A stormy eve one flash of gems. "'Mid neatherds he's a naked waif Uilwitted," said she, lipping scorn: And shook deep curls with a weak laugh Tilh clinked the gold thick in them worn. III. "How long to wait !" and far she bent From her tall casement toward the lawn; A prospect of a wide extent Glassed in her eyes and hateful shown. Along the white lake windy crags BlUe with coarse brakes and ragged pines; A baDdit keep with trembling flags; And barren scars, and waste marsh lines, And now a palfried dame and knight. Deep deer-behaunted forests old, Whose sinewy boughs dark blocked the cave Of Heav'n o'er Earth; a blasted hold 'Mid livid fields; a torrent's wave. And o'er the bridge whose marble arched The torrent's foam, dim in the dew Of morning, one all glimmering marched In glittering steel from helm to shoe, With lance whose fang smote back the dawn. i66 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. IV. Selled on a barb whose trappings shone Red brass,-a morning star of jousts Upon the dawning beaming lone Burst from the hills' empurpled crusts. A lying star, whose double tongue Was slave to gold: " I saw him die!- 'Tis ruth, for he was brave and young,- I saw him in the close clay lie." Then passed he rattling from the court. So grief in furrows ploughed her front's Smooth surface wan, and toward the eve,- The bloodshot eve upon the mounts, Who o'er day's flow'ry bier did grieve And bow her melancholy star,- O'er teenful eyes she bent the light Of her crown-crescent's gem, and far She lingered till the full-mooned night Showered ripple-stars the gray mere o'er. V. And I'm like her who trims a flame Of sickly color, bowing low To balk the wind; in wanton game One stoops in secret toward her brow With wind-bulged cheeks, a quick breath sends- And then the world is blind with gloom, And filled with phantoms and with fiends, That strain huge eyes and jibe her doom." i67 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY Thus thought Isoud in her despair. Of Launcelot then thoughts grew on, And Arthur's lovely queen away In castled courts of Caerleon, And all their joy and dalliance gay. Until she could have thawed the spars Of her clear-fountained eyes to t'ears, And gush wild grief long-seared by wars Of passionate anguish and great fears: "Oh Tristram gone! oh death in life !" Soft down below in the thick dark A fountain throbbed monotonous foam, Unseen within the starlit park, Deep in the tower's shadowed dome. "And thus my heart drums frigid life In hateful gloom of fear and woe! One flood of sorrow, cataract-rife, My full-flush heart streams come and go Since Tristram's gone and I'm alone !" VI. Then sunk the moon, and far away, Beside the bickering lake, the towers Of bandit braves shone tall and gray, Like specters in her lonely hours. And 'twixt the nodding grove and lake A glimmering fawn stalked thro' the night; And with full brow the musks did take, Then bowed to drink-she veiled her sight i68 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY6 And moaning said, " Death is but life! The fawn 'mid lilies from the mere Sucks genial draughts to dull its thirsts O fondest spirit, art thou near Draw to thy soul this soul that bursts The vivid lilies to the stars Clasp their white eyes and sink to sleep: O anguish, to thy burning wars Lock my sad heart and drag it deep 1"- Albeit she slept, she dreamed in grief. I5 i69 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. BELTENEBROS AT MIRAFLORES. I. T HE quickening East climbs to yon star, That, cradled, rocks herself in morn; The liquid silver broad'ning far Dawn drencheth cliff, holt, down and tarn. The trembling splendors gild the sky, Breath'd from her tawny champion's lips; The clear green dews above me lie, Their lustre the dark eyelash tips Of Oriana sitting by. The crested cock 'mid his stout dames Crows from the purple-clover hill; His glossy coat the morn enflames, And all his leaping heart doth thrill. His curving tail sickles the plume That rosy nods against his eye. Laughs from deep beds of twinkling bloom The lilied East when wand'reth nigh My Oriana in the gloom. The rooks swarm clatt'ring 'round the tow'rs; The falcon jingles in the air; The bursting dawn around him show'rs A clinging glory of wan glare. 170 BLOOMS OF THE BERRYY From the green knoll the shouting hunt With swollen cheeks clangs his alarms; Mayhap I hear the bristler's grunt: But where my Oriana charms The wood, hushed is its ev'ry haunt. The willowed lake is cool with cloud Breaking and dimming into shreds, Which gauze the azure, thinly crowd The mist-pink Wrest with hazy threads. A wild swan ruffles o'er the mere Soft as the drifting of a soul; A double swan she doth appear In mirage fixed 'twixt pole and pole When Oriana singeth near. II. Spring high into the shuddering stars, O florid sunset, burning gold Flash on our eyeballs lurid bars To beam them with air-fires cold! The blowing dingles soak with light, The purple coppice hang with blaze; But where we stand a meeker white Bloom on us thro' the hill's soft haze, For Oriana stars the night! Float from the East, 0 silver world, Unto the ocean of the West; 171 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. And the foam-sparkles upward hurled, That fringe the twilight's surging crest, Snatch up and gather 'round thy brow In lustrous twine of rosy heat, And rain on us its starry glow,- O fragment of the evetide's sheet,-- And Oriana's eyes o'erflow. o courting cricket, with thy pipe Now shrill true love thro' the warm grain o feathered buds, that nodding stripe The blue glen's night, sigh love again! Thou glimmering bird, that aye doth wail From some wind-wavered branch of snow, Sweep down the moonlit, hay-sweet dale Thy bubbled anguish, swooning low, For Oriana walks the vale! The moon comes sowing all the eve With myriad star-grains of her light; The torrent on the crag doth grieve; The glittering lake is smooth with night. O mellow lights that o'er us slide, o wrinkled woods that ridge the steep, O bearded stems that billowing glide, With laughing night-dews happy weep, For Oriana '11 be my bride! I72 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY' THE IDEAL. T HEE have I seen in some waste Arden old, A white-browed maiden by a foaming stream, With eyes profound and locks like threaded gold, And features like a dream. Upon thy wrist the jessied falcon fleet, A silver poniard chased with imageries Hung at a buckled belt, while at thy feet The gasping heron dies. Have fancied thee in some quaint ruined keep A maiden in chaste samite, and her mien Like that of loved ones visiting our sleep, Or of a fairy queen. She, where the cushioned ivy dangling hoar Disturbs the quiet of her sable hair, Pores o'er a volume of romantic lore, Or hums an olden air. Or a fair Bradamant both brave and just, Intense with steel, her proud face lit with scorn, At heathen castles, demons' dens of lust, Winding her bugle horn. 173 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY Just as stern Artegal; in chastity A second Britomart; in hardihood Like him who 'mid King Charles' chivalry A pillared sunbeam stood. Or one in Avalon's deep-dingled bowers, On which old yellow stars and v aneless moons Look softly, while white downy-lipped flowers Lisp faint and fragrant tunes. Where haze-like creatures with smooth houri forms Stoop thro' the curling clouds and float and smile, While calm as hope in all her dreamy charms Sleeps the enchanted isle, And where cool, heavy bow'rs unstirred entwine, Upon a headland breasting purple seas, A crystal castle like a thought divine Rises in mysteries. And there a sorceress full beautiful Looks down the surgeless reaches of the deep, And, bubbling from her lily throat, songs lull The languid air to sleep. About her brow a diadem of spars, At her fair casement seated fleecy white Heark'ning wild sirens choiring to the stars Thro' all the raven night. 174 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY 175 And when she bends above the glow-lit w aves She sees the sea-king's templed city old Wrought from huge shells and labyrinthine caves Ribbed red with rusty gold. But nor the sirens' nor the ocean king's Love will she heed, but still sits yearning there To have the secret bird that vaguely sings Her aching heart to share. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. TREACHERY. 1. C AME a spicy smell of showers On the purple wings of night, And a pearl-encrusted crescent On the lake looked still and white, While a sound of distant singing From the vales rose sad and light. II. Dripped the musk of sodden roses From their million heavy sprays, And the nightingales were sobbing Of the roses amorous praise Where the raven down of even Caught the moonlight's bleaching rays. III. And the turrets of the palace, From its belt of ancient trees, On the mountain rose romantic White as foam from troubled seas; And the murmur of an ocean Smote the chords of ev'ry breeze. 176 BLOOMS OF THE BERRRYr . IV. Where the moon shone on the terrace And its fountain's lisping foam; Where the bronzen urns of flowers Breathed faint perfume thro' the gloam, By the alabaster Venus 'Neath the quiet stars we'd roam. V. And we stopped beside the statue Of the marble Venus there Deeply pedestaled 'mid roses, Who their crimson hearts laid bare, Breathing out their lives in fragrance At her naked feet and fair. VI. And we marked the purple dingles Where the lazy vapors lolled, Like thin, fleecy ribs of moonlight Touched with amethyst and gold; And we marked the wild deer glimmer Like dim specters where they strolled. VII. VT'. But from out those treach'rous roses Crept a serpent and it stung, 17 7 178 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY Poisoned him who'd tuned my heart-strings Till for him alone they sung, Froze the nerves of hands that only From its chords a note had wrung. VIII. Now the nightingales in anguish To cold, ashen roses moan; Now a sound of desolate wailing In the darkened palace lone From a harp LEolian quavers Broken on an empty throne. BLOOMS OF TILE BERRY. ORLANDO MAD. I. N mail of black my limbs I girt, Angelica! And when the bugles clanged the charge, The rolling battle's bristling marge Beheld me a black storm of war Dash on the foe; While Durindana glittering far Made many a foeman mouth the dirt In bleeding woe:- For thou didst fire me to the war 'Mid many a Paynim scimetar, Angelica! II. No more the battle fires my blood, Angelica! No more gay lists flaunt all their guiles, And chivalry's charge, and beauty's smiles! I wander lone the thistly wold When night-snows fall, And crispy frosts the wild grass hold. Great knights go glimmering thro' the wood, The clarion's call 179 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. Wakes War upon his desert wold- I see the dawning breaking cold, Angelica! III. When Southern winds sowed all the skies, Angelica! With bloom-storms of the flowering May; When all the battle-field was gay With scented garb of sainted flowers, I found a stream Cold as thy heart to paramours! Deep as the depth of thy blue eyes! And like a dream I found a grotto 'mid the flowers, Cool 'mid the sunlight-sprinkled bowers, Angelica! Iv. My casque I dofft to scoop the fount, Angelica! With beaded pureness bubbling cool- It clashed into the purling pool ;- Thy name lay chiseled in the rock, And underneath- And then meseemed deep night did block My steel-chained heart in one huge mount Foreshadowing death!- i80 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY 181 fedoro deep in every rock! The Moorish name my soul did mock, Angelica ! V. No more wild war my veins ensteeps, Angelica! No more gay lists flaunt all their guiles!- White wastes before me miles on miles With one low, ruby sunset bound- Thou fleest before, I follow on: a far off sound Of oceans gnawing at dark steeps Swells to a roar.- 'Mid foam thou smil'st: I spurn the ground- I sink, I swim, waves hiss around- Oh, could I sink 'neath the profound, And think of thee no more! BLOOMS OF THE BERRY THE HAUNTED ROOM. ITS casements' diamond disks of glass Stare myriad on a terrace old, Where urns, unkempt with ragged grass, Foam o'er with frothy cold. The snow rounds o'er each stair of stone; The frozen fount is hooped with pearl; Dovn desolate walks, like phantoms lone, Thin, powd'ry snow-wreaths whirl. And to each rose-tree's stem that bends With silver snow-combs, glued with frost, It seems each summer rosebud sends I,:s airy, scentless ghost. The stiff Elizabethan pile Chatters with cold thro' all its panes, Andi rumbling down each chimney file The mad wind shakes his reins. Lone in the Northern angle, dim Ak ith immemorial dust, it lay, Where each gaunt casement's stony rim Stared lidless to the day. 182 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY8 Drear in the Northern angle, hung With olden arras dusky, where Tall, shadowy Tristrams fought and sung For shadowy Isolds fair. Lies by a dingy cabinet A tarnished lute upon the floor; A talon-footed chair is set Grotesquely by the door. A carven, testered bedstead stands With rusty silks draped all about; And like a moon in murky lands A mirror glitters out. Dark in the Northern angle, where In musty arras eats and clings The drowsy moth; and frightened there The wild wind sighs and sings Adown the roomy flue and takes And swings the ghostly mirror till It shrieks and creaks, then pulls and shakes The curtains with a will. A starving mouse forever gnaws Behind a polished panel dark, And 'long the floor its shadow draws A poplar in the park. I have been there when blades of light Stabbed each dull, stained, and dusty pane; 183 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. I 'nave been there at dead of night, But never will again. SE e grew upon my vision as Heat sucked from the dry summer sod; Ir taffetas as green as grass Silent and faint she trod; Aid angry jewels winked and frowned In serpent coils on neck and wrist. And 'round her dainty waist was wound A zone of silver mist. A-id icy fair as some bleak land Her pale, still face stormed o'er with night Of raven tresses, and her hand W\ras beautiful and white. Btfore the ebon mirror old Full tearfully she made her moan, Anid then a cock crew far and cold; I looked and she was gone. AE if had come a sullying breath And from the limpid mirror passed, Her presence past, like some near death Leaving my blood aghast. Tlo' I've been there when blades of light Stabbed each dull, stained, and dusty pane; Tho' I've been there at dead of night, T never will again. iS4 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. SERENADE. B Y the burnished laurel line Glimmering flows the singing stream; Oily eddies crease and shine O'er white pebbles, white as cream. Richest roses bud or die All about the splendid park; Fountains glass a wily eye Where the fawns browse in the dark. Amber-belted through the night Floats the alabaster moon, Stooping o'er th' acacia white Where my mandolin I tune. By the twinkling mere I sing Where lake-lilies stretch pale eyes, And a bulbul there doth fling Music at the moon who flies. With a broken syrinx there, From enameled beds of buds, Rises Pan in hoof and hair- Moonlight his dim sculpture floods. i6 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY The pale jessamines have felt 'The large passion of her gaze; See ! they part-their glories melt 'Round her in a starry haze. THE MIRROR. N antfque mirror this, I like it not at all, In this lonely room where the goblin gloom Scowls from the arrased wall. A mystic mirror framed In ebon, wildly carved; And the prisoned air in the crevice there Moans like a man that's starved. A trutbful mirror where, In the broad, chaste light of day, From the window's arches, like fairy torches, Red roses swing and sway. They Llush and bow and gaze, Proud beauties desolate, In their tresses cold the sunlight's gold, In their hearts a jealous hate. I 86 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY7 A small green worm that gnaws, For the nightingale that low Each eve doth rave, the passionate slave Of the wild white rose below. The night-bird wails below; The stars creep out above; And the roses soon in the sultry moon Shall palpitate with love. The night-bird sobs below; The roses blow and bloom; Thro' the diamond panes the moonlight rains In the dim unholy room. Ancestors grim that stare Stiff, starched, and haughty down From the oaken wall of the noble hall Put on a sterner frown. The old, bleak castle clock Booms midnight overhead, And the rose is wan and the bird is gone When walk the shrouded dead. And grim ancestors gaunt In smiles and tears faint flit; By the mirror there they stand and stare, And weep and sigh to it. 187 I88 B L 0 OOMS OF THE BERR Y. Tn rare, rich ermine earls With rapiers jeweled rare, Wvith a powdered throng of courtiers long Pass with stiff and stately air. W1/ith diamonds and perfumes In ruff and golden lace, 'Tall ladies pass by the looking-glass, Each sighing at her face. An awful mirror this, I like i, not at all, In this lonely room where the goblin gloom Scowls from the arrased wall. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. THE RIDE. S HE rode o'er hill, she rode o'er plain, She rode by fields of barley, By morning-glories filled with rain, And beechen branches gnarly. She rode o'er plain, she rode o'er hill, By orchard land and berry; Her face was buoyant as the rill, Her eyes and heart were merry. A bird sang here, a bird sang there, Then blithely sang together, Sang sudden greetings every where, " Good-morrow!" and " good weather!" The sunlight's laughing radiance Laughed in her radiant tresses; The bold breeze set her curls a-dance, Made red her lips with kisses. "Why ride ye here, why ride ye there, Why ride ye here so merry The sunlight living in your hair, And in your cheek the cherry 189 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY 'Why ride ye with your sea-green plumes, Your sea-green silken habit, By balmy bosks of faint perfumes Where squats the cunning rabbit " "The morning's feet are wrought of gold, The.t hunter's horn is jolly; Sir Richard bold was rich and old, W..s old and melancholy. "A wise they'd have me to his bed, And to the kirk they hurried; But r.ow, gramercy! he is dead, Perdie! is dead and buried. ;I ride by tree, I ride by rill, I r.de by rye and clover, For by the kirk beyond the hill Awaits a better lover." Igo BLOOMS OF THE BERRY9 THE SLEEPER. S HE sleeps and dreams; one milk-white, lawny arm Pillowing her heavy hair, as might cold Night Meeting her sister Day, with glory warm, Subside in languor on her bosom's white. The naked other on the damask cloth,- White, smooth, and light as the light thistle-down, Or the pink, fairy, fluffy evening moth On June-drunk beds of roses red,-lies thrown. And one sweet cheek, kissed with the enamored moon, brown l)ale with anger at the liberty, While, dusk in darkness, at the favor shown The pouting other frowns still envity. Hangs fall'n in folds the rich, dark covering, With fretfulness thrust partly from her breast; As through storm-broken clouds the moon might spring, From this the orb of one pure bosom prest. She sleeps; and where the silent moonbeams sink Thro' diamond panes,-soft as a ghost of snow,- In wide, white jets, the lion-fur seems to drink With tawny jaws its wasted, winey glow. 19I BLOOMS OF THE BERRY Light-lidded s eep and holy dreams to her, Unborn of feverish sorrow or of care, Soft as the gust that makes the arras stir, Tangling goid moonbeams in her fragrant hair. A MELODY. I. T HERE be Fairies bright of eye, Who the wild-flowers warders are; There be Fairies subtlety Nourished in a blossom's star; Fairies tripping merrily Singing in faint echoes far, Singing fairy melodies Murrrnired by the burly bees, By the wild brown bees. II. Well I wot that Fairies be there,- Fairies, Fairies that at eve Lurking in a blossom.-lair, In some rose-bud's scented hair From white beams of starlight weave 192 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY9 Glinting gown and shining shoe. I have proven sure and true Fairies be there, fays of dew, Lying laughing in its spark Floating in a rose's sark; Singing fairy melodies, When asleep the dusty bees Can not steal their melodies, Fairy melodies. I'7 193 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY THE ELF'S SONG. I. W HERE thronged poppies with globed shields Of fierce red Warrior all the harvest fields Is my bed. Here I tumble with the bee, Robber bee of low degree Gay with dust: Wit ye of a bracelet bold Broadly belting him with gold It was I who bound it on When a-gambol on the lawn- It can never rust. II. Where the glow-worm lights his lamp There am I; Where within the grasses damp Crickets cry. Cheer'ly, cheer'ly in the burne Where the lins the torrents churn Into foam, 194 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. Leap I on a whisp of broom,- Cheer'ly, cheer'ly through the gloom,- All aneath a round-cheeked moon, Treading on her silver shoon Lightly o'er the gloam. III. Or the cowslip on the bent Lift her head, Or the glow-worm's lamp be spent, Whitely dead: 'Neath lank ferns I laughing lie, 'Neath the ferns full warily Hid away, Where the drowsy musk-rose blows And a fussy runnel flows, Sleeping with the Fadry Under leafy canopy All the holyday. 195 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY THE NIXES' SONG. V AGUE, vague 'neath darkling waves, With emerald-curving caves For the arched skies, Red-walled with dark dull gold The Nixes' city old Deep-glimmering lies. And thro' the long green nights the spangling spars Twinkle like milky stars. Where the wind-ripple plays On tufts of dipping sprays Sparkling we rock; With blooming fingers bare Comb down our golden hair In many a lock; While, poured o'er naked ease of cool, moist limbs, An amber glamour swims. Or in the middle night When cold damp fire-flies light Pale flitting brands Down all the woodland aisles, With swift mysterious smiles Link we white hands, And where the moonlight haunts the drowsy lake Bask in its silver wake. i96 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. 197 Come join, come join our dance While the warm starbeams glance, And the kind moon Spills all her flowers of light At the dark feet of Night, And soon, full soon, Thou'lt sleep in shadowy halls where dim and cold Our city's walled with gold. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY "THE FAIRY RADE." I. A I me! why stood I on the bent When Summer wept o'er dying June! I saw the Fairy Folk ride faint Aneath the moon. II. The haw-trees hedged the russet lea Where cuckoo-buds waxed rich with gold; The wealthy corn rose yellowly Endlong the wold. III. Betwixt the haw-trees and the mead " The Fairy Rade " came glimmering on; A creamy cavalcade did speed O'er the green lawn. IV. The night was ringing with their reins; Loud laughed they till the cricket hushed The whistles on their coursers' manes Shrill music gushed. 198 BLOOMS OF THE BERRYY 9 V. The whistles tagged their horses' manes All crystal clear; on these a wind Forever played, and waked the plains Before, behind, VI. These flute-notes and the Fairy song Took the dim holts with many a qualm, And eke their silver bridles rung A far-off psalm. VII. All rid upon pale ouphen steeds With flying tails, uncouthly seen; Each wore a scarf athwart his weeds Of freshest green. VIII. And aye a beam of silver light Fairer than moonshine danced aboon, And shook their locks-a glimmering white Not of the moon. Ix. Small were they that the hare-bell's blue Had helmeted each tiny head; Save one damsel, who, tall as two, The Faeries led. 199 200 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY X. Long tresses floated from a tire Of diamond sparks, which cast a light, And o'er her white sark shook, in fire Rippling the night. XI. I would have thrown me 'neath her feet, And told her all my dole and pain, There while her rein was jingling sweet O'er all the plain. XII. Alas! a black and thwarting cock Crew from the thatch with long-necked cry- The Elfin queen and her wee flock In the night did die. BLOOMS OF THE BERRY. IN AN OLD GARDEN. THE Autumn pines and fades Upon the withered trees; And over there, a choked despair, You hear the moaning breeze. The violets are dead; Dead the tall hollyhocks, That hang like rags on the wind-crushed flags, And the lilies' livid stocks. The wild gourd clambers free Where the clematis was wont; Where nenuphars waxed thick as stars Rank weeds stagnate the font. Yet in my dreams I hear A tinkling mandolin; In the dark blue light of a fragrant night Float in and out and in. And the dewy vine that climbs To my lady's lattice sways, And behind the vine there come to shine Two pleasant eyes and gaze. 201 BLOOMS OF THE BERRY And now a perfume comes, A swift Favonian gust; And the shrinking grass where it doth pass Bows slave-like to the dust. In dreams I see her drift A mist of drapery; In her jeweled shawl divinely tall, A Dian deity. The moon broods high and full O'er the broken Psyche cold, And there she stands her dainty hands And thin wrists warm with gold. But lovers now are dead, The air is stung with frosts; And naught may you find save the homeless wind, Dead violets' ghosts and ghosts. 202