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Lyrics and idyls / by Madison Julius Cawein. Cawein, Madison Julius, 1865-1914. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-188-30608471 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. Lyrics and idyls / by Madison Julius Cawein. Cawein, Madison Julius, 1865-1914. J.P. Morton, [Louisville] : 1890. 194 p. ; 19 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04382.03 KUK) Printing Master B92-188. 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. LYRICS AND IDYLS BY MADISON JULIUS GAWEIN. JOHN P. MORTON COMPANY. I 890 UWIU) U)M0. COPYRIGHTED BY M. J. CAWEIN. TO James Lane ATlen AND Rnoxtt Ilurtns hilson, WITH REGARD AND APPRECIATION FOR THE HIGH STAND- ARD OF BEAUTY THE EXCELLENCY OF THEIR WORK, PROSE AND POETICAL. HAS GIVEN TO SOUTHERN LITERATURE. This page in the original text is blank. CONTENTS. WITr 4KARPE AfD PYPN. IDEAL DIVINATnON. ....... THE BEAUTIFUL, ....... OVERSEAS.. PORPH YROGENITA.. ORIENTAL ROMANCE. ...... LOVE I HAD BANISHED..... HE TELLS ............ SHE SPEAKS-. ..... UNCERTAINTY, . FALL. BENEATH THE BEECHES ..... ANDALIA. NOERA. JULIA. LORA. BLA NCH. . .. ... . . PHYLLIS. VALK YRIEN... .. .. .. . MOTHS. As IT IS. ............ THOUGHTS. AFTER THE TOURNAMENT, . . . AMONG THE ACRES OF THE WOOD LOVE A-MILKING . .............. .. .. ... . 9 ... .. ... .. .. ............... 13 ... .. ... . .. ......... 16 ... .. .. .. ... .. . 19 ... .. . . .. .. ........ 24 ............ . .. .. ... . 24 ... .. .. ... .. .. .26 . .... .. . . .. .29 .................... ... .. .. 31 ... .. . .. . .. 34 .... . .... ....... 36 ........... ... .. .. .38 ... .. .. .. ... ....41 .................. ... .. . .44 ... .. ... .. ................46 ... ... . .. .... ....... 48 ... ..... .. ... .. . 49 ... .. .. ... .. . ..52 ...... .. .. ........ 54 ... .. . . .. .. .... 56 ... .. .. ... ................57 ... .. .. ... .. ................ 59 .. ........ ..... 61 ..................... .. .. .. .63 CONTENTS. ROMANTIC LOVE ..... ...... ....... PASTORAL LOV O V .E................ IMMORTAI, . SLEEP. GHOSTLY WEATHER ................. THE BRIDLE-PATH. . ............... NOONING. THE LOG-BRIDGE. THE OLD FARM ................... AMONG THE KNoBs, ................ GARGAPHIE,. ROSICgUCIAN. HIS SONG .................... . . APOCALYPSE. ILLUSION. DUTY AND LOVE, . ................ .......65 .6... . G8 ..... 70 ..... 72 ..... 76 ..... 81 ..... 83 ..... 86 ..... 90 ..... 94 .. ... 97 .. . ..100 . 102 ..... 103 . 104 S14AVES ArID SnADOWS. BLODEUWEDD, ......................... 107 THE LADY OF VERNE,..... ..... .... .. .. . 113 THE SUCCUBA,.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . ... . 119 His FIRST MISTRESS.. ................ 128 BEFORE THE BALL, ... . . ................ 131 M ASKS... ... . .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 134 HAUNTED .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. . 138 UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE ......... . .. . .. . . 144 REVISITED.... ... . .. . ..... . ....... . 148 LOST LOVE, . ... ..... 151 LYANNA.... . .. ..............1...... .. M53 GLORAMONE,........ .............. . 0.. 1G0 THE CAVERNS OF KAF ..................... 168 THE SPIRIT OF THE VAN .......... . . . .... 176 TII SPIRIT OF THE STAR .. . ............... .......... .... 182 AT NINEVEH.. .................... 189 ROMAUNT OP THE OAK ....... ......... ... . 192 6 Utito Jarpq apd pype. This page in the original text is blank. IDEAL DIVINATION. WOJOW I have thought of her, 1 Her I have never seen!- Now from a raying air Slhe, like a romance queen, Flowers a face serene, Radiant in raven hair. Now in a balsam scent Laughs from the stars that gleam; Naked and redolent, Bends to me breasts of beam, Eyes that will make me dream, Throat that the dimples dent. (9) 2 IDEAL DIVINATION. Love is all vain to me So: and as dust severe, Faith: and a barren tree, Truth: and a bitter tear, Joy: for I wait and hear Her who can never be. Living we learn to know Life is not worth its pain; Living we find a woe Under each joy we gain; Fardled of hope we strain Whither no hope may know. Life is too credulous Of Time who beckons on. Memory still serves us thus- Gauging the coming dawn By a day dead and gone, Day that's a part of us. Soul-of life's sins so mocked, Clayed in the flesh and held, Ever rebellicn rocked, 10 IDEAL DIVINATION. Battling, forever quelled, Yearning on heaven spelled Over of stars-lies locked Supine where torrents pour Hellward; on crags that high, Scarred of the thunder, gore Heaven: the vulture's eye Swims, and the harpies' cry Clangs through the ocean's roar. Notes of aeolian light Calling it hears her lips: Scorched by her burning white Arms and her armored hips, Slimy each monster slips Back to its native night. Rules she some brighter star Inviolable queen Of what the destinies are She with her light unseen Leading my life; a sheen Loftier than beauty far. 11 12 IDEAL DI VINATION. Oh! in my dreams she lies With me and fondles me: Amaranths are her eyes; And her hair, shadowy Curlings of scent; and she Breathes at my heart and sighs. If with its slaves I I-ear All of life's tyranny,- Worm for the worm,-I care Naught if my spirit be Hers in eternity- Hers who did make it dare. THE BEAUTIFUL. F moires of placid glitter 0 The moon is knitter, Under low jade-dark branches The blue night blanches; Upon yon torrent's arrow Gleams sink, as narrow As each blown tress of some soft sorceress Spell-haunted slumbering in a wilderness. o soul, who dreamest, ponder:- Thy witch, thy love, what wonder Of charms conceals her from thee powerless! On balmy lakes of glimmer Cool sheets of shimmer Burn glassy, as if inner Sea-castles,-thinner Than peeled pearl-crystal curlings,- (13) 14 THE BEA UTIFUL. Through eddy whirlings Sprayed glow of lucid battlement and spire, The smoldering silver of their smothered fire. And hers, thy love's enchanted, Where are her towers planted!- Heart ! that thou could'st besiege them with thy lyrell By sands of ruffled beaches On terraced reaches Of rolling roses, blowing Mouths red as glowing Cheeks of the folk of Fairy, A palace airv With pointed casements, thrusts of piercing light, Piled full of melody and marble-white Where beauty, veiled and hidden, Smiles who my life hath bidden Come by her wisdom accoladed knight The blue night's sweetness settles Like hyacinth petals Bowed by a weight of teary Dew-dayward. Weary THE BEA UTIFUL. 15 One mocking-bird, moon-saddened, Sobs on; and gladdened, My soul, dissolving, largens to the lie Named Death by fearful lips. Love, tell me why I may not have thee tender Mix with thee feel thy splendor Expand me like a bud beneath God's eye OVERSEAS. HEN fall winds morns with mist, it seems, W In soul I am a part of it; Librating on the humid beams, A form of frost, I float and flit From dreams to dreams.... An old chateau sleeps 'mid the hills Of France; an avenue of sorbs Conceals it; drifts of daffodils Bloom by a scutcheoned gate with barbs Like iron bills. I pass the gate unquestioned, yet I feel announced. Broad holm-oaks make Dark pools of restless violet. Between thick bramble banks a lake- As in a net (16) OVERSEAS. 17 The tangled scales twist-silvers glad. Gray, mossy turrets swell above The feathering foliage. Leafv clad Rise ivied walls. A spot for love, The garden sad. Lean, angular windows, awkward seen From distant lanes with hawthorn hedged, Beam broadly on the nectarine Espaliered and the peach-tree, wedged Twixt drifts of green. Cool-babbling a fountain falls From gryphons' mouths in porphyry; Clear-eddying swim its carp; white balls Of lilies dip it when the bee Hugged in them drawls. Large butterflies, each with a face Of Faery on its wings, recline Beheaded pansies blown that chase Each other-down the shade and shine Boughs interlace. 18 0 OVERSEAS. And roses I roses soft as vair, Glorying o'er statues and the old Brass dial; Pompadours that wear Their royalty of purple and gold With saucy air. Her scarf, her lute, whose ribbons breathe The perfume of her touch; her gloves, Modeling the daintiness they sheathe; Her fan, a Watteau, gay with loves, Lie there beneath A bank of eglantines that heaps A sunny blondness. Naive-eyed, With lips as suave as they, she sleeps. The romance by her open wide O'er which she weeps. PORPHYROGENITA. I WAS it when Kriemhild was queen Leoella-have forgotten:- Rode we through the Rhineland seen Of a lo(w moon white as cotton I, a knight or troubadour Thou, a princess tho' a poor Damsel of the Royal Closes I have dreamed it somewhere sure Reading of Kriemhilda's roses. II Or from Venice with thee fled To the Levant, Graciosa Thou, some doge's daughter dead- Titian painted thee or Rosa- (19) 20 PORPHYROGENI TA. I, that gondolier whose barque Glided by thy palace dark- Near San Marco Casa d'Oro- All thy casement sprang a-spark At my barcarolle's "Teoro." III Klaia, one of Egypt, yea, Languid as its sacred lily, Didst with me a year and day Love upon the Isle of Philm k-a priest of Isis Sweet, 'Neath the date-palms did we meet By a temple's pillared marble While from its star-still retreat Sunk the nightingale's wild warble IV Have I dreamed it-I. a slave; From thy lattice, 0 Sultana! Veilless, thy slight hand did wave Me a Persian rose, sweet manna Of thy lips' kiss in its heart PORPHYROGENITA. 21 And through my Chaldwan art, With thy Khalit's bags of treasure, From Damascus did we start Westward to some land of pleasure V Was it thou or haply thou- Thou or thou, thou wast so dearest That thy memory holds me now Like a passion; lying nearest To dead evolutions of Death to life and life to love: Truth invisible but clearest To the soul that looks above. ORIENTAL ROMANCE. JR EYOND lost seas of summer she W Dwelt on an island of the sea, Last scion of that dynasty, Queen of a race forgotten long.- With lips of light and eyes of song, From seaward groves of blowing lemon, She called me in her native tongue, Low-leaned on some rich robe of Yemen. I was a king. Three moons we drove Across green gulfs, the crimson clove And cassia spiced, to meet her love. Stuffed was my barque with gums and gold, Strips of rare sandalwood grown old With odor; and pink pearls of Oman, Large as her nipples virgin-cold, And myrrh less fragrant than this woman. (22) ORIENTAL ROMANCE. 23 From Bassora I came. We saw Her condor castle, on a claw Of savage precipice, o'erawe Besieging of the roaring spray; Like some white opal rough it lay Above us, all its towers a-taper, Wherefrom, like an aroma, day Struck splintered lights of sapphirine vapor. Lamenting caverns dark, that keep Sonorous beatings of the deep, Moaned demon-haunted 'neath the steep. Fair as the moon whose beams are shed In Ramadan, the queen, who led My soul unto her island bowers, I found-yea, lying young and dead Among her maidens and her flowers. LOVE I HAD BANISHED. b OVE I had banished away for a day, Banished a thorn to the thorns of Scorn, Passing, behold how he lay like a ray, Lay like the creamiest cluster of may, Clad on with myrrh and with morn! Stricken of bitterness fleet were my feet, Fleet to the side which my heart had denied; Fain for his laughter, a seat at his sweet Side, and hard kisses to heal him and heat The ice of his wounded pride. Holding him there, with the night lying light As plumes that are stirred of a sleeping bird; Crushing him close to me, slight beat the white Rose of his members, like rain that is bright 'Neath the sun riding kingly and spurred. (24) LOVE I HAD BANISHfED. 25 Kissing him there iti the glow and the blow, Glow of the blue and blow of the dew, Leaned to him, happy and slow as the flow Of stars that thirst trembling through darkness, Blush was his cheeks' hale hue. [leaned low, Blossoming limbs that breathed rare, and as bare As beauty who dreams in the gray moonbeams; Glamorous gold fell his hair that was fair Lit of his eyes, starring lustrous the lair Of curls that were shadowy gleams. Love, I had taken for mate, as the late Hours crept slow through the shy night's glow, Stole from me leaving a weight as of fate, Fate and all scorn, and the harshness of hate, Hard on my slumbering woe. Love, I had held to my breast and caressed, Hiding him deep in the eyes of sleep, Waking had flown from the nest he had pressed, Pressed with his fondling limbs, and the rest- Remembrance that only can weep. 8 HE TELLS. I YOU ask how I knew that I knew it - Like the king in an Asian tale, I wandered on deserts that panted With noon to a castle enchanted, That Afrits had reared in a vale; A vale where the sunlight lay pale As moonlight. And round it and through it I searched and I searched. Like the tale II No eunuch black-browed as a Marid Prevented me. Silences seemed- Nude slaves with the kohl and the henne In eyes and on fingers-so many White whispers in dimness that dreamed (26) HE TELLS. 27 Where censers of ambergris steamed: And I came on a colonnade quarried From silvery marble, it seemed. III And here a wide court rose estraded: Fierce tulips, like carbuncles, bloomed Mid jonquil and jessamine glories; Strange birds like the cockatoos, lories, Spread wings, like great blossoms, illumed, Or splashed in the fountain perfumed; Kept captive by network of braided Spun gold where low galleries gloomed. IV From nipples of five bending Peries Of gold that was auburn, in rays The odorous fountain sprang calling: I heard throughi the white water's falling- More sweet than the lauziter of sprays, Than songs of our happiest days- A music sighed soft, as if fairies Touched wind-harps whose chords were of rays. 28 HE TELLS. V I searched through long corridors paneled With sandal, whose doorways hung draped With stuffs of the Chosroes, gadded With Indian gold. Up the corded Stone stairway's bronze dragons that gaped:; Through moon-spangled hangings escaped- Twixt pillars of juniper channeled- To a room constellated and draped. VI As in legends-of visions a vassal One hears, yet beholds naught, and hears A voice that encourages yearnings;- More subtle than aloes-wood burnings, The chamber sings filled for the ears With melody; nothing appears:- My life found your soul such a castle, Your love is the music it hears. SHE SPEAKS. TV AST night you told me where we, parting, waited, ORIC Of love somehow I'd known before you told- Long, long ago this love, perhaps, was fated, F'or why was it made suddenly so old "Dear things we have and in their own truth cherish, Born with us seem, and as ourselves shall last Part of our lives we can not let them perish Out of our present's future or its past" Then is it strange, dazed by that wider wonder, I, walking in the woods the morrow's dawn, Should marvel not that by my feet and under, The wildflowers now were purer than those gone (29) 30 SHE SPEAKS. The woodbird's silver warble sunk completer The sun whirled whiter, lordlier o'er the noon That night, sweet God ! hung starrier, holier, sweeter, In Babylonian witchcraft of the moon All love bath emanations: 2n ideal Beats, beats within all beauty. I was moved No more when, dreamed, my spiritual dream rose real, Than by what virtue, God divined, I loved. UNCERTAINTY. T will not be to-day and yet I I think and dream it will; and let The slow uncertainty devise So many sweet excuses met With many dull confuting lies. The panes were sweated with the dawn: Through their drilled dimness, shriveled drawn, The aigret of one princess-feather, One monk's-hood tuft with oilets wan, I glimpsed, dead in the slaying weather. This morning when my window's chintz I drew-how gray the day was !-since I saw him, yea, all days are gray!- I gazed out on my dripping quince Defruited, torn, then turned away ( 31) 82 UNCERTAINTY. To weep and did not weep, but felt A colder anguish than did melt About the tearful-visaged year. Then flung the casement wide and smelt The Autumn sorrow: Rotting near The rain-soaked sunflowers, wooden bleached, Up whose poor bodies ashen reached Nipped morning-glories, seeded o'er With dangling aiglets, whence beseeched One blue bloom's brilliant palampore. The podded hollyhocks, vague, tall, Wind-battered sentries, by the wall Rustled their tatters; dripped and dripped The fog thick on them. Dying all The tarnished, drooping zinneas tipped. I felt the death and loved it; yea, To have it nearer, sought the gray, Chill, fading close. Yet could not weep; But only sigh some " well-a-way," And yearn with heaviness to sleep. UNCERTAINTY. 83 Mine were the fog, the frosty stalks, The weak lights on the leafy walks, The shadows shivering with the cold; The torpid cricket's dreary talks, The last. dim, ruined marigold. But when to-night the moon swings low- A great marsh-marigold of glow- And all my garden with the sea Moans, then the palmer mist, I trow, A shadow '1l bring to comfort me. FALL. FAR off a wind sprung, and I heard A Wide oceans of the woods reply- The herald of some royal word From bannered trumpet blown to die On hills that held the sky. The pomp of forests seemed to meet Bluff monarchs on a cloth of gold, Where berries of the bitter-sweet, Which, splitting, show the coals they hold, Sowed gems of topaz old. Where, under tents of maples, bredes Of smooth carnelians oval, red The spice-bush spangled; where, like beads, The dog-wood's rounded rubies -fed With color-blushed and bled. (34) FALL. So with my dream my soul went out, And marked, mid richness cavalier, A minne-singer-lips a-pout; A voice of sleep and sunlight clear; A rose stuck in his ear: Eyes dancing, like old German wine, All mirth and moonlight; naught to spare Of slender beard, that curls a line Above his lip-bow humbly there A hazel heap of hair. His blue baretta's sweeping plume A gleam of whiteness droops; his hose, Puffed at the thighs, of purple loom; His tawny doublet, slashed with rose, A dangling dag ger shows; A slim lute slants his breast. I hear The leaf-crisp coming of his foot- No wonder that the regnant Year Bends on his beauty blushes mute, And sighs to be his lute. 35 BENEATH THE BEECHES. I t LONG, oh long to lie 'Neath beechen branches, twisted Green twixt the summer sky; The'woodland shadows nigh- Brown dryads sunbeam-wristed:- The live-long day to dream Beside a wildwood stream. II I long, oh long to hear The claustral forest's breathings, Sounds soothing to the ear; The yellow-hammer near, Beam-bright, thrid wild-vine wreathings: The live-long day to cross Slow o'er the nut-strewn moss. (36) BENEATH THE BEECHES. 37 III I long, oh long to see The nesting red-bird singing Glad on the wood-rose tree; To watch the breezy bee, Half in the wild-flower, swinging; God's live-long day to pass Deep in cool forest grass. IV Oh you, so belted in With mart and booth and steeple, Brick alley-ways of Sin, What hope for you to win Ways free of pelf and peopleI Ways of the leaf and root And soft Mygdonian flute! ANDALIA. I eONG, that did waken you, S Song, that had taken you, Has not forsaken vou: Still with the Spring My mad and merriest Part of the veriest Season and cheeriest; You, who can bring Airs that the birds have taught you; Grace that the winds have brought you; Mien that the lilies laughed you; Thoughts that the high stars waft vou- Are you a human thing (38) ANDALIA. II Dreams-are you aught with them You who are fraught with them; You, like their thought, with them Beautiful too. Life-you 're a gleam of it; Love-you're a dream of it; Hope-you 're a beam of it Bound in the blue Gray of big eyes that are often Laughter and languor; that soften On to me sweetly and slowly Out with your soul that is holy, So purer than dew. III Face, like the sweetest of Perfumes, completest of Flowers God's fleetest of Months ever bear. Sleep, who walk crisper, sleep, Than the frost, lisper sleep, 39 40 ANDALIA. Have you a whisper, sleep, Soft as her hair Night and the stars did spin it; Stars and the night are in it; Let but one ray of it bind me, And, did the blind Fates blind me, Fair I should know her, fair I IV Love-has it mated you Love, that has waited you, Love, that was fated you Here for a while. Song, can you sing in me Fuller, or bring in me Peace, that will cling in me So through all trial, Such as her smile like the morning's- Fashioning luminous warnings, Rose, of a passion unspoken: Love, 't is your seal and its token- The light of her smile. NOERA. NOEIRA, when sad Fall J, H4is grayed the fallow; Leaf-eramped the wood-brook's brawl In pool and shallow; When sober wood-walks all Strange shadows hallow: Noe-ra, when gray gold And golden gray The crackling hlo10ws fold By every way, Thee shall these eyes behold, Dear bit of May When webs are cribs for dew, And gossainers, Long streaks of silver-blue; 4 (41) I O'RA. When silence stirs One dead leaf's rusting hue Among criisp burs. Noera, in the wood Or mid the grain, Thee, with the hoiden mood Of wind and rain Fresh in thy sunny blood, Sweetheart, again Noera, when the corn Reaped on the fields Deep aster stars adorn With purple shields, Defying the forlorn Decay death wields: Noera, haply then, Thou being with me, Each ruined greenwood glen Will bud and be Spring's with the Spring again, The Spring in thee. 42 NOERA. Thou of the breezy tread, Feet of the breeze; Thou of the sun-beam head, Heart like a bee's; Face like a woodland-bred Anemone's. Thou to October's death An April part Bring, while she taketh breath Against Death's dart; No';ra, one who hath Made mine a heart. Come with our golden year, Come as its gold: With thy same laughing, clear, Loved voice of old; In thy cool hair one dear, Wild marigold. 43 JULIA. I YOU, who know such Mays as blow The cowslips by the ways, dear, The mountain-pink whose heart, you'd think, The thorn-pierced sparrow's blood did drink, In their wise way, how-can you say - Is it you're like such Mays, dear' In moods that run from shade to sun, A thoughtful gloom; like wild perfume, A winning smile that laughs down guile- Dear day I so go such days, dear. I In you some song keeps trying long, Like some song bird, for flight, child; And when you speak all up your cheek A crystal blush will faintly flush (44) JULIA. So saintly sweet I and at your feet All shadow turns to light, child. You may not know, but it is so, If you but look, hark I far a brook Foams white through buds ! for of the woods I know you are some sprite, child. m Yes, yes; I swear that what 's your hair Is but the soft-spun wind, love: Why, when you move it is as Love Hid in your grace and feet to face Peeped roguishly; and well I see This Love is not a blind Love. Laugh, and I hear, in each pink ear Wood-blossoms strain, dew-words of rain Slip musical, for you are all Of music to my mind, love. 46 LORA. L ORA is her name that slips Nearly love between the lips; You must know she is so wise All she does is lift her eyes At her name and that replies- She 's so wise, is Lora. II Lora is her name that makes All the heart a chord that shakes; When she speaks, she is so blessed, Life's hard riddle none has guessed Softens, and the soul 's caressed By the words of Lora. (46) LORA. 47 III Lora is her name that brings Kisses as of airy things. l1onied hum of bees that deep In the rumpled blue-bells creep, Buoyant sun-hearts forests keep For their shadows' lives, such leap In the life of Lora. IV Lora, when I find your face, Round your white neck I will lace One firm arm, and so will woo Your small mouth, as fresh as dew, With quick kisses, love, that you Follow must where hearts are true, Somewhere, somewhere, Lora. BLANCH. d LANCH is adorable and wise B As-glad winds teaching birds to sing: Steal thou and gaze deep in her eyes;- Such scholars of the starry skies! -Canst marvel at the thing Nay. Blanch, like some red bud that blows, Hoards honey in her sunny heart: Study her smile; wouldst not suppose She from some warm, white, serious rose Had learned the happy art Aye. Words that tarry on her tongue Fall more than musical thereof: And why 'Tis this: her soul was strung A harp at birth to hope that sung, Now hope is joined with love. (48) PHYLLIS. OF I were her lover I'd wade through the clover Over five fields or more; Over the meadows To stand with the shadows, The shadows that circle her door. I 'd walk through the clover Yes, by her; And over and over I 'd sigh her, "Your eyes are as brown As a Night's looking down On waters that sleep With the moon in their deep If I were her lover to sigh her. (49) 60 PHIYLLIS. II If I were her lover I'd wade through the clover Over five fields or more; And deep in the thickets Or there by the pickets, White pickets that fence ir. her dolor, I 'd lean in the clover- The crisper For the dews that are over- And whisper, "Your lips are as rare As the dewberries there, Half ripe and as red, On the honey-dew fed-" If I were her lover to whisper. III If I were her lover I 'd wade through the clover Over five fields or more; And watch in the twinkle PHYLLIS. 51 Of stars that sprinkle The paradise over her door. And there in the clover I'd reach her; And over and over I'd teach her, A love without sighs, Of laughterful eyes, That reckoned each second The pause of a kiss, A kiss and . . . that is If I were her lover to teach her. VALKYRIEN. I W[EVER a thought of aught save slaughter, Slaughter that smears the spears that thunder! Anger of ax that shines, like a water Gashed in the night of the levin's wonder. Darts in the eye and their bleak barbs bristling, Shaking the heart ere the lance hath stroken; Hum of arrows and broad-swords' whistling; Strength, like an ash, unbowed, unbroken. By the eye of Odin, whose frown is war!- Think of the vikings' daughters who wear Gold on their hips, and the weights of their hair Gold-bound red as the beard of Thor! The virgin who brims in the well her jar- To rape then butcher! a kingdom's ravish Yours for the s weat and the blood you lavish ! 152) VALKYRIEN. 53 II Wraths are the pinions of Hate who clamors- Hooked wings hovering over the carrion,- Joy of the blade the helm that hammers!- Songs of slaughter: The gnarling clarion Rings to the revel and sings: with strangling Fury it fires the brain to battle: Strength shocks strength: in its brass bray wrangling Siniters are smitten: the harsh hills rattle, The hard seas rumble, the sharp winds wail. Think!-were it better by hollow-eyed Hel To rot with cowards or boast and yell Hoarse toasts o'er skulls of the boisterous ale High in Valhalla, where life wends well !- The warrior vault of its shields wild curses Laughs to the roar of the berserk verses MOTHS. I when the fiery ' Glow-worm in briery Banks of the moon-mellowed bowers Sparkles-so hazily Pinioned and airily Delicate !-warily Float to buds, lazily, Moths that are kin to the flowers. II White as the dreamiest Beams that the creamiest Rose of the garden that dozes Nestles; that burn in it, Held in the heart of its Heart like a part of its Perfume, to turn in it Dew, flit the moths to the roses. (54) MOTHS. 55 'II Slow as the forming of Dew in the warming of Stars, brush their mouths on the petals; Open these swing to them, Deep to their sunniest Soul, where the honeiest Spice is, to fling to them Nard through the twilight that settles. ... IV So to all tremulous Souls come the emulous Angels of Love. Else would perish, Crushed, all the good in such: Touched, the pure presence of Love to the essence of Light, a white flood, in such Flatters-aroma they cherish. 55 AS IT IS. AN'S are the learnings of his books- J2-i What is all knowledge that he knows Beside the wit of winding brooks, The wisdom of the summer rose! How soil distils the scent in flowers Baffles his science: Heaven-dyed, How, from the palette of His hours. God colors gives them, hath defied. What broad religion of the light, Ere stars in heaven beat burning tunes, Stains all the hollow edge of night With glory as of molten moons Why sorrow i more strange than mirth, And death than birth and afterward, What sweetness in the bitter earth Makes life's mortality so hard (56) THOUGHTS. MONV the may-apple or l Solitude cyclamen- Star-perfect as a star- In woodland glade and glen, Blossoms when breezes woo, With language of the dew, Up to the broken blue Of lonesome skies, do you Know or do I, love II Can wild anemones Think -for they tremble so; As if two cousin bees This side then that bent low.- 57) 68 THOUGITS. When the soft sunlight links, Braided of dew-drop winks, Crowns 'round each head that shrinks,- What its heart's aura thinks Know you or I, love ... III Know, when the Springtide trod By in a blowing blush, Wise as a gaze of God Holding 1ll Heaven a-hush, Love was her thought and love Through the vast soul above Wrought so, they sprang thereof, Thought into thoughts, were wove Symbols of living love. AFTER THE TOURNAMENT. I ND shall it be when white thorns flake J With blossoms all the budding brake, The rustle of one lifting leaf Will whisper low; And one be near thee as thy grief- And wilt thou know II Or shall it be, when blows and dies The forest columbine, two eyes Will bloom against thine faint as frost Thou, deep in dreams, Wilt hark what plaintive winds sigh, lost In life that seems (69) 60 AFTER THE TOURNAMENT. III Or shall it be where rocks slope, smooth With water-wear, where vague lights soothe; One in an old lute will beseech Thy listening ears With Provence melodies, that reach The soul like tears IV Yes; this will be-Loop thy white arm Beneath my hair . .. so; let thy warm Blue eyes dream on me for a space, A little while; Love, it will rest me; and thy face- Ah, let it smile. V Now art thou thou. Yet-let thy hair A golden fragrance fall; thy fair Full throat bend low; thy kiss be hot With life not dry With anguish. Sweet my Evalott I Now let me die. AMONG THE ACRES OF THE WOOD. KNOW, I know, IThe way doth go, Athwart a greenwood glade, oh !- White gleam the wild-plumes in that glade, White as the bosom of the maid Who stooping sits and milks and sings Among the dew-dashed clover-rings, When fades the flush, the henna-blush, Of evening's glow, an orange slow, And all the winds are are laid, oh I it I wot, I wot, And is it not Right o'er the viney hill Say! where the wild-grapes mat and make Penthouses to each bramble-brake, (61 ) 62 AMONG THE ACRES OF THE WOOD. And dangle plumes of fragrant blooms Where leaking sunbeams string the glooms With beryl beads where sprinkled weeds Blue blossoms fill and shrill, oh shrill, Sings all night long one whijppoorwill III I ween, I ween The path is green 'Neath beechen boughs that let Gay glances of the bashful sky Gleam usward like a girlish eye. At night one far and lambent star Shines limpid, like a watching Lar; 'Mid branching buds a tangled bud. Where in the acres of the wood Blow strips of wet, wild violet, There only we have trysting met. LOVE A-MILKING. I GOARD no more hope! believe me I" t -" Thou wouldst not make me poor 1"- " Wouldst lead me to deceive me As many a maid before, To win me then to leave me- Say no more, sir, say no more!" "Love trusts! sweet faith! thereof, my lass, Trust wins to. trust above, my lass- Love 's older than our love, my lass, Not wiser than of yore." II "Thy love is over simple To woo one on the leas; One's kirtle torn; in wimple Unbusked; tanned by the breeze." -"Thou needest but that dimple- On thy knees, Love, on thy knees! (63) 64 LOVE A-MILKING. "What's wiser than thine eyes, my lass Thy heart-Beneath God's skies, my lass, Love! wiser than the wise, my lass We blind! 't is Love who sees. I1 " 'Low apple blossoms breaking Pay me the kiss dost owe." -"'T is thine, thine be the taking." -"Aboon the afterglow Three kiss-soft stars are waking- Walk slow, my love, walk slow." "More dear the dusk for dew, my lad; More sweet the stars when few, my lad; Life' trials, when love is true, my lad, Are lighter than we know." ROMANTIC LOVE. I S it not sweet to know- The moon hath told me so- That in some lost romance, love, Long lost to us below, A knight with casque and lance, love, A thousand years ago, I kissed you from a trance, love,- The moon hath told me so. I Or were it strange to wis The stars have told me this- Once sang a nightingale, love, On some old isle of Greece; A wizard loved its wail, love, (65) 66 ROMANTIC LO YE. That it might never cease, From the full notes a woman, More lovely than one human, Devised-so goes the tale, love,- The stars have told me this. III Is it not quaint to tell- The flowers remember well- Was once a rose that blew, love, Pale in a haunted dell; And one, a Fairy true, love, By loving broke the spell, And loI the rose was-you, love,- The flowers remember well. rV To moon and flower and star We are not what we are: Sometimes, from o'er that sea, love, Whose scolloped sands are far- From shores of Destiny, love,- ROMANTIC LOVE. 67 The winds that wing and war, Will waft a thought that glistens To memory who listens, Reminding thee and me, love, We are not what we are. PASTORAL LOVE. HE pied pinks tilt in the wind that worries- Oh, the wind and the tan o' her cheek; And the close sun sleeps on the rye nor hurries- And what shall a lover speak The toad-flax flowers in flaxen hollows- Oh, the bloom and her yellow hair; And the greenwood brook a wood-way follows- 'Shall say to the shy and fair The gray trees stoop where the daylight sprinkles- Hey, the day and the shine i' her eye; And a gray bird pipes and a wild brook tinkles And what may a maid reply (68) PASTORAL LOVE. C Hey, the hills when the evening settles! Oh the Edens within her eyes I Say, the tryst mid the dropping petals I Lo, the low replies! "Yes, when the west is a blur of roses - But what o' the buds o' thy cheeks, my dear "Yes, when there 's rest and the twilight closes "- " And love is breathed in the ear." IMMORTAL. "Aii SK what thou wilt! long hast thou lived with flowers And dreams and trod the way Of pleasure-for one ray- Ask what thou wilt of all thy lived-out hours." And shall it be, when stooping to me there He said, "She sleeps," and I Dreaming divined his sigh, And felt fierce lips moist-crushed to mouth and hair No: Shall it be, when that mad night his fingers Held from my brow the curls, Dropping like unstrung pearls Words of his love fell-words whose memory lingers (70) IMMORTAL. 71 No: Shall it be, when, while the distant sea Gleamed, folded breast to breast, With hope his heart expressed, "Such all thy present, 0 futurity !" No: Shall it be, when, belted with his arms, Looked in my soul his soul, Embracing with the whole Truths of our eyes, our lives laughed drugged with charms No I No I-that hour wherein he left me lost I Stunned, fallen and despised Before the world he prized, When, God forgive me! when I loved him most! SLEEP. L OOK in my eyes! oh the mild and mysterious Deeps of thy eyes that are holy with rest!- Sigh to me! yes, as thy cousin, imperious Love, might, with lips that are soft and delirious, Soft with such pureness as blesses the blessed. Fold all my soul in the mild and mysterious Might of thy rest. All the night for thy love, all the night! while the gladdening Presence of dark as a legend of old Speaks in me poesy; none of the saddening Prose of the day that is sad with the maddening Heart of unrest that is heartless and cold. All the night for thy love, all the night! and its gladdening Beauty of old. ' 72) SLEEP. 78 Scorn is not thine. nor is hate; but the bubbling Fountains of strength that are youthful with morns; Hurt is not thine of remembrance; the troubling Bruises of waking whose fingers keep doubling- Doubling on temples life's cares that are thorns. Thine are the hours of the stars and the bubbling Wells of the morns. Pride and the passion of greed that do worry us, Mix with and brutalize; sorrow and spite At the heart that's an-ache with the tears that will hurry us On in the iron of anguish to bury us- Touch them and calm with thy fingers of white. Make all these passions and pains, that do worry us, Night with the night. Thine are the mansions of slumber; the flowery Fields of the visions that blossom the dreams; Thine the high mountains of peace that lie showery Under the stars; and the valleys of bowery, Balmy forgettings made misty with streams. Thine the white halcyon mansions, the flowery Pastures of dreams. 6 74 SLEEP. Stay for me; standby me; stoop to me; pray for me! Pray, my Madonna, the incense of prayer! Mother of hope! whose kind eves are a-ray for me, Vestal with goodness, that fills all the day for me New with a vigor that masters despair. Stay for me; be of me breath of me; pray for me, Sister of Prayer I GHOSTLY WEATHER. QPITE'S flaws of drizzle hoot and hiss 9 Through dodging lindens whistled through: The dead's own days be days like this- Yea: let me sit and be with you, Here in your willow-chair whose seat Spreads scarlet plush. Hark! how the gusts In sad Leolian cracks repeat Mild moans. They haunt your rooms, whose dusts Van-wind each ornament and chair: That locked in memory where you died. Since angels stood there saintly fear Guards each dark angle, mournful-eyed. Through this dim eve stoop your dim face; Gray gaze, like rain-drops', dimly deep; A soft gray cloudiness of lace, Stand near me while I sleep, I sleep. (75) THE BRIDLE-PATH. HROUGH meadows of the iron-weeds, Whose purple blooms flash, slipping Twice-twinkling drops of dewy beads, The thin path twists and winding leads Through woodland hollows dripping; Down to a creek with bedded reeds; On to the lilied dam that feeds The mill, whose wheel through willow-bredes Winks, the white water whipping. II It wends through meads of mint and brush Where silvery seeds sink drowsy, Or sail along the heatful hush: Past where the bobwhite in the bush Has built a nest, and frowsy (76) THE BRIDLE-PATH. Hides calling clear. A split through crush Of crowded saplings low and lush; A seam by pools of flag and rush Where blows the brier-rose blowsy. III Across the ragweed fallow-lot Whose low rail-fence encumbers The dense-packed berries ripening hot; Where on the summer one far spot Of gray the gray hawk slumbers. Then in the greenwood where the rot Of leaves and loam smells cool; and shot With dotting dark the touch-me-not Swings curling horns in numbers. IV Around brown rocks that bulge and lie Deep in damp ferns and mosses,- Like giants, each lounged on his thigh To watch some forest quarry die,- The path toils steep; then crosses 77 78- THE BRIDLE-PATH. A bramble-bridge; up-whirring nigh A wood-dove startles, 'thwart the sky A jarring light: rock-babbling by The brook its diamonds tosses. V Ho I through the wildwood then we go In pulse of shade and singing; Where pale-pink sorrel-grasses grow; The vari-colored toadstools sow And swell dark soils, bestringing Rough red-oak roots. Where, swinging low Their green burs, limbs rub when each slow Faint forest wind sounds. Fresh the flow Of hidden waters ringing. VI While far away among the cane, Or spice-bush belts, the tinkle Of one stray bell drifts yet again, Lost near some lone and leafy lane Where smooth the red ruts wrinkle.. THE BJRJDLE-PA7H. .9 Fills all the skies a grayish stain Of smoky blue. A hint of rain. The sun is hid. Hard down the grain A gust dents; and a sprinkle VII The dimpled dust has drilled. Hark !-one Big mouthful of the thunder- Gruff. Scurrying with the dust we run Into a whiff of hay and sun, Of cribs and barns; and under The martin-builded eaves, where dun The sparrows house with fussy fun, 'Will it be done soon as begun" We wonder and we wonder. VIII A crashing wedge of stormy light Vibrating blinds, and dashes A monster elm to splinters white. Hush : then a fit of rain that bright The tumbled straw-stacks lashes. 80 THE BRIDLE-PA TH. The rain is over. Left and right Foregatbering gales of green delight, Fresh rain-scents of each holt and height Where each blade drips and flasbes. ix A ghostly gold grows slowly through The crumbled clouds; and woven From rainy rose to rainy blue A strange, sweet dotting as of dew Dies into trembling doven. High-buoyed in rack now one or two White stars shine slight-the pirate clew To Night's rich hoard. The west's a hue Of bruised pomegranate cloven. NOONING. I EAK winds that make the water wink, White clouds that sail from lands of Fable To white Utopias vague, and sink Down gulfs of blue unfathomable: Their rolling shadows diifting O'er fields of forest lifting Wild peaks of purple range that loom and link. II Warm knolls whereon the Nooning dreams; In droning dells that bask in brightness, Low-lulled with hymns of mountain streams' Far-foaming falls of windy whiteness; Where from the glooming hollow, With cawing crows that follow, The hunted hawk wings wearily and screams. (81) 82 NOONING. HII Thick-buzzing heat the dryness fills Where ever some hoarse locust's whirring; No answering voice shouts in the hills Receding echoes far-recurring- As when the dawning dimpled, With hazel twilight wimpled, From dewy tops called o'er responding rills. IV Wan with sweet summer tips the deep Hot heaven with the high sun hearted- A wide May-apple bloom asleep With golden-pistiled petals parted.- Now, could befall,-her pouting Cheeks anger-red-from sprouting Rock-mosses some white wildwood dream might leap. THE LOG-BRIDGE. LAST month, where the low log-bridge is laid t O'er the woodland brook, in the belts o' the shade, To the right, to the left pink-packed, was made A gloaming glory of scented tangle Bv the bramble-roses deep-that wade High-heaped on the sides-when they bloomed to fade, And wilting powdered the ruts, and swayed To the waters beneath loose loops of spangle: Wide eyes of buff which the pale lids braid, Murmurous-soft with the bees a-wrangle. II This month-'t is August-the lane that leads To the bramble-bridge runs waste with weeds, That lift bright saffron. Light satin seeds Of thistle-fleece blow by you hazy; (83) 84 THE LOG-BRIDGE. Starry the hedge with the thousand bredes Of the yellow daisy-like sweet-eyed creeds Peacefully praying;-now by you speeds A butterfly sumptuous with mottle and lazy. Dull yellowish-white, where the blue-bird pleads, The sumach's, tassel tilts low as the daisy. III All golden the spot in the noon's gold shine, Where the yellow-bird sits with eyes of wine And swings and whistles; where line on line In coils of warmth the sunbeams nestle; Where cool by the pool (where the crawfish, fine As a shadow's shadow, darts dim) to mine The damp creek-clay, with their peevish whine Come mason-hornets and roll and wrestle Wet balls of earth to their breasts, and twine Cylindrical nests on the joists o' the trestle. IV Where the horsemint shoots through the grasses high, On the root-thick rivage that roofs, a dry Gray knob that bristles with pink, the sigh Of crickets is sharp'neath the dead leaves' bosoms. THE LOG-1RIDGE. 85 At twilight sad you will hear the cry Of a passing bird flit twittering by; And the frogs' grave antiphons rise and die; And here to drink come the wild opossums, Where lithe on those roots two lizards lie Brown-backed like the bark, or stir the blossoms. THE OLD) FARM. jORMERED and verandaed cool, Locust-girdled on the hill, Stained with weather-wear and full Of weird whispers, at the will Of the sad winds' rise and lull; I remember, stood it there Brown above the woodland deep In a scent of lavender, With slow shadows locked in sleep, Or the warm light everywhere. I remember how the spring, Liberal-lapped, bewildered its Squares of orchard murmuring; Kissed with budded puffs and bits, Where the wood-thrush came to sing. (86) THlE OLD FARM. 87 Barefoot so at first she trod, A pale beggar maid, adown The quaint quiet, till the god With the seen sun for a crown And the firmament for rod, Graced her nobly, wedding her- Her Cophetua; and so All the hill, one breathing blur, Burst in blossom; peachy blow; Wonderstricken whiteness pure. Seckel, blackheart, palpitant Rained their bleaching strays; and white Bulged the damson bent a-slant; Russet-tree and romanite Seemed beneath deep drifts to pant. And it stood there, brown and gray, In the bee-boom and the bloom, In the murmur and the day, In the passion and perfume, Grave as age among the gay. 88 THE OLD FARM. Good with laughter romped the clear Bovish voices 'round its walls; Rare wild-roses were the dear Girlish faces in its halls, Music-haunted year to year. Far before it meadows full Of green pennyroyal sank; Clover dots like bits of wool Pinched from lambs; and now a bank Bright of color; and the cool Brown-blue shadows undefined Of the clouds rolled overhead- Curdled mists that kept the wind Fresh with rain and fluting shed Song among the valleys kind. Where in mint and gipsy-lily Ran the rocky brook away; Musical among the billy Solitudes its flashing spray, Sunlight-soft or forest-stilly. THE OLD FARAI. Buried in thick sassafras, Half-way up the copsy lill, Moved some cowbell's muffled brass; And the ruined water-mill Loomed half-hid in cane and grass. I remember; stands it yet On the hilltop, in the musk Of damp meads, while violet Deepens all the dreaming dusk Droning over holy wet. With the slightest dew while low One long tear of scarlet gashes, Tattered, the broad primrose glow Westward, and in weakest splashes Lilac stars the heavens sow Sleeps it still among its roses Dewy yellow, while the choir Of the lonesome insects dozes And the white moon drifting higher Brightens and the darkness closes- Sleeps it still among its roses 7 89 AMONG THE KNOBS. HERE is a place embanked with brush Three wooded knobs beyond, Lost in a valley where the lush Wild eglantine blows blonde. Where light the dogwoods earliest Their torches of white fires, And bee-bewildered east and west The red-haws build their spires. The wan wild-apples' flowery sprays Blur through the misty gloom A pensive pink; and by lone ways The close blackberries bloom. (90) A MONG THE KNOBS. I love the spot: A shallow brook Slips from the forest near, Bird-haunted; flags in many a nook; Its rustling depths so clear The minnows glimmer where they glide Above its rocky bed- A long, dear, boyhood's brook, not wide, Which has its sparkling head Among the rainy hills, and drops By four low waterfalls-. Wild music of an hundred stops- Between the leafy walls Against the water-gate, that hangs A rude portcullis dull Of wan-washed wood, whose clumsy fangs The cress makes beautiful. The bright green dragon-flies about The seeding grasses swim; The streaked wasps worrying in and out, Dart fretfully and slim. 91 AMONG THE KNOBS. Here in the moon-gold moss that glows Like jets of moonlight, dies The weak anemone; and blows Some flower less blue than skies. And, where in April tenderly The dewy primrose made A thin, peculiar fragrance, we In the pellucid shade Found wild strawberries half-abud; In May, long berries fresh Hung pallid-pink as wood-bird's blood On many a trailing mesh. Once from that hill a farmhouse mid Large orchards-cozy brown In lilacs and brave roses hid- With picket-fence looked down. O'er ruins now the roses guard; The plum and seckel-pear And apricot rot on the sward Their wasted ripeness there. 92 AMONG THE KNOBS. 98 But when low huckleberries blow Their waxen bells I '11 tread Those dear accustomed ways that go Dim down that orchard; led To that avoided spot which seems The haunt of vanished Springs; Lost as the hills in drowsy dreams Of visionary things. GARGAPHIE. Succincdw sacra Dianx.-OvrD. I INHERE the ragged sunlight lay PTawny on thick ferns and gray On dark waters; dimmer, Lone and deep, the cypress grove Shadowed whisperings and wove Braided lights, like those that love On the pearl plumes of a dove Pale to gleam and glimmer. II There centennial pine and oak Into stormy basses broke; Hollow rocks gloomed slanting Echoy; in dim arcade Looming with loose moss that made Sunshine streaks in tatters laid. Oft a wild hart, hunt afrayed, Plunged the water panting. (94) GARGAPHIE. III Poppies of a sleepy gold Mooned the gold-green twilights old Of its vistas, making Fuzzy puffs of flame. And pale Stole some slim deer down a dale Haunting; and the nightingale Throbbed not near-the olden tale All its hurt heart breaking. IV There the hazy serpolet, Glinting cistus, blooming wet, Blushed on bank and boulder; There the cyclamen, as wan As weak footprints of the Dawn, Carpeted the spotted lawn; There the nude nymph, dripping drawn, Basked a peachy shoulder. V In the citrine shadows there What tall presences and fair, White and godly gracious, Hidden where the rock-rose.grew, 95 GARGA PHIE. Watched through eyeballs of the dew Or from sounding oaks, and knew All the mystery of blue Heaven vaulted spacious! VI Guarded that Bcootian Valley so no foot of man Soiled its silence holy With profaning tread-save one, The Hyantian: Act-won, He beheld-What god might shun Fate, Diana's wrath called on, With what magic molyI VII Lost it lies, like one who sleeps In serene enchantment. Keeps Beautiful in beamy Beauty of its blooms that be Wisdoms; hope, its high stars see, Near in fountains; deity In wise wind-words of each tree Gargaphie the dreamy. 96 ROSICRUCIAN. HEN leas of white-blown clover V Smell thinly of the rain; When long drops wrinkle over Low lime-leaves in the lane; Among the dwindling acres Whence troop the harvest-makers, Tanned reapers, freckled rakers, Wild heart, be wild again. Where running trumpet-flowers, Elf war-horns red as brass, The old elm swaying showers Among its root-grown grass; Where green the daylight streaming Sets all the wild-birds dreaming, Between the real and seeming, Dim love, what words shall pass (97) ROSCR UCIA N. When from the mustard fragrant Brown bees break rough with gold; And breezes trailing vagrant Spill half the spice they hold; When heights begin to glimmer, And shadows, slipping slimmer, Crouch by the woodland dimmer, What secrets shall be told II Where moonbeam-tangled reaches A mock-bird fills with moan, And one fall's breaking bleaches A gray glow down its stone; My soul shall wait to meet you; My heart shall hold and heat you; My love shall so complete you That death will not be known. Though of frail mist your members That waver faltering white; Your eyes dark stars whose embers Grow gradually bright, 98 ROSICR UCIA N. 99 Not mine, dim love, to miss you; But mine to clasp and kiss you; Mine well to know this is you, To have you with the night. Lone sings the lonesome cricket; Wet, wood aromas smell; Deep in the shapeless thicket The owl the hours doth tell; Strange love, my lips shall name you- Though demons rise to shame you In angels' eyes and blame you- Of heaven, my heaven, though came you From Heaven or from Hell. HIS SONG. WING to me how I pine to blow WThe flower beneath thy lattice low- Then wouldst thou cull me, sweet, and wear A captive in thy slumberous hair, Thy hair Sing to me how I yearn to shine Yon pearly star above yon pine Thou gazest on-I, of the skies, Should thus be taken to thine eyes, Thine eyes Sing to me how I 'd be the breeze Which dips the dandelioned leas Thy footsteps find-I, of the south, Might live a kiss upon thy mouth, Thy mouth (100) HIS SONG. Sing to me how my heart doth long To be the burden of some song Thou lovest; so myself might be The melody of memory To thee. 'AX-,, 101 APOCALYPSE. la EFORE I found you I had found I Of your true eyes the open book (Where re-created heaven wound Its wisdom with it) in the brook. Ah, when I found you, looking in Those Scriptures of your eyes, above All earth, o'ersoared earth's vulture, Sin, So apotheosized to love. And searching yet beneath it, saw The soul impatient of the sod- What wonder then your love should draw Me to the nearer love of God. 't02) ILLUSION. HAVE loved beauty but to find it mortal- All dearest things are born but for a tear; I haye loved life whose cold hand points a portal, That near, is never near. I have loved men and learned we are not brothers- 0 brother blindness that must end in pain I I have loved women, more than all the others, And found them false and vain. Made unseen stars my keblabs of devotion; Prayed for attainment and remained a clod: Strange gods have worshiped wildly while the ocean Told of no god but God. Then in myself, all world beliefs laid level, I searched, and found a little jealous dust Hiding a tiny jewel-Ah! the evil! That soiled the soul with lust. 103) DUTY AND LOVE. I h HAT makes thee beautiful, Answer, ah, answer- "It is that dutiful Souls are all beautiful: 'Tis that romance or Glamour of spirit Hearts of high merit Of Heaven inherit- Hast thou an answer" II What makes thee loveable, Answer, ah, answer- "Love; for, thereof, able Souls are made loveable: 'T is that which chance or Birth, of the woman Gives to illumine That which is human- Hast thou an answer" (104 goape5 ar d Stadows. A15) This page in the original text is blank. BLODEUWEDD. Jf OT to that demon's son, whom Arthur erst JR For prophecy, at old Caerleon durst Grace wisely, Merlin,-not to him alone Did those lost learnings of high magic, done With mystery of marvels, then belong: Taliesin, now, hath told us in a song Of one at Arvon, Math of Gwynedd, lord Of some vague cantrevs of the North, whose sword Beat back and slew the monarch of the South Through puissance of Gwydion. His mouth Was wise with wondrous witchcraift; for his word Wrought the invisible visible and stirred Eyes with a seeming sight that, so deceived, The mind conceited shapes and shapes believed; (107) 108 BLODFUWEDD. Wrought flesh creations from air elements, For, let him wish, the winds were wan with tents, And brassy blasts of war from bugles brayed, And shocking hosts of battle clanged and swayed, And at a word were naught. With little care Steeds rich-accoutered and pied hounds, as fair, Limber and wiry as the dogs of Earth, From forest fungus fashioned and gave birth To lives of twice twelve hours, wherein they moved Existences, and form perfections proved.... Now to Caer Dathyl Math through Gwydion,- The son of Don,-the daughter dark of Don, The silver-circled Arianrod, had brought;- A southern rose of beauty, friendship sought For full espousal. When the maiden came Said Math, "Art thou a virgin" like a flame, Mantling, her answer angered, " Verily, I know not other, lord, than that. I be ! " So wrought he then through magic that the form Of her boy baby chubby on her arm Cuddled and cooed. "A Mary yea!" laughed Math, "Forsooth, another Mary!" then in wrath BLODEUIWEDD. 109 Set harsh hands on the babe and fiercely flung Far in the salt sea; but the hard winds clung Fast to the Elfin and the lithe waves swept Him safely strandward dry. Some fishers kept Him thus unseaed and christened Dylan, Fair Son of the Wave, and fostered him with care. Nor really was this hers. But Gwydion, Brother to Arianrod, before the sun Had time to touch it with one golden glaive, Some dim small body on the castle pave In raven velvet seized; and hiding he Stole this from court to subtly raise and be A comely youth. In time to Arianrod Brought, swearing by the rood and blood of God This was his sister's son. Quoth she, "More shame Dost thou disgrace thee with to mix our name With this dishonor, brother, than myself I" And waxing wroth burst Gwydion, "The elf Is thine, God's curse! " and daggered her with looks. And she in turn waxed fiery saying, " Books Of wisdom I have read as well as thou! And, yea, upon thy folly, listen, now 110 BLODEUWEDD. I lay a threefold destiny: The first- Until I name him, nameless is he !-Cursed Be they who give him arms with palsy! nor Sha!l he bear such until I arm for war: And lastly, know, however high h s birth, He shall not wed a woman of the Earth, Malignity! to shame me with thy sin !" So passed into her tower and locked her in. But Gwydion, departing with the youth, Sware he would compass her; if not through truth, Through wiles of learned magic. And he wrought So that unbending Arianrod was brought To name the lad. Again he fashioned that, Through boisterous enchantments fierce, he gat Her to give arms. But then, not for his life, Howbeit, might he get him to a wife. Persisting desperate, anon the thing Wrought in him blusterous as an early Spring. Now Llew the youth was named. And Gwydion Made his complaint to Math, the mighty son Of Mathonwy. BLODEU WEDD. 111 Said he: "Despair not. We By cherms, illusions and white sorcery Will seek to make-for have we not such powers -A woman for him out of forest flowers." And so they toiled together one wan night, When the gray moon hung low and watched, a white, Wild witch's face behind a mist. They took Blossoms of briers by a bloomy brook Shed from the womby hills; and phantom blooms Of yellow broom that filtered faint perfumes; Thin, rare, frail primroses of rainy smell, Weak pink, cirque-clustered in a glow-worm dell; Wild-apple sprigs that tipsied bells of blaze And in far, haunted hollows made a haze Of ghostly, scattered fragrance; plaintive blue Of hollow harebells hoary with the dew; Kingcups as golden as the large, low stars; And lilies which, rolled limpid in long bars Like sleepy starshine, swayed aslant and spilled Slim nectar-cups of musk the rain had chilled; Sweet, wildwood wind-flowers, paly, slight of gloss, Dimpling rough oak-roots bulging the green moss; 112 BLODEUVEDD. Lone on the elfin uplands pulled the buds, That burned like spurts of moonlight when it suds The rainy clouds, of blossoming meadow-sweet, And made a woman tall; from crown to feet Complete in beauty. One far lovelier Than Branwen daughter of the gray King Llyr; Than that dark daughter of Leodegrance, The stately Gwenhevar. And old romance Dreamed in the open Bibles of her eyes; Music her motion; and her speech, soft sighs Of an acknowledged love for love again; Yet in her face no least suggested pain, But hope, high heart, and happiness of life. So Blodeuwedd they named her and as wife- Fair aspect of wild flowers baptized with dew- Gave that next morning to the happy Liew. THE LADY OF VERNE. ADY VALORA'S villa at Verne, D With its old, low terraces staired with stone; A statue here and a fluted urn Under fragrant limes; and the land so lone With the calling of rooks when the west was a-burn. My Lady of Verne was tall and fair- With locks dark hazel, and face white rose; Why, her long gray eyes and her noble hair, Her slender lips and her classic nose, Made song of my heart like a beautiful air. Down the orchard aisles to a dingled stream One spring we strolled; and the treey hills In the south loomed blue as a fairy dream; And I found for her hair dim daffodils- Thin cups of gold full of moonislh beam. (113) 114 THE LADY OP VERNE. For her bosom a spray from a hawthorn tree I tore with words as dead as this tongue; And the bees in the bloom boomed honeyly While she laughed at my words and merrily sung, "My Lady of Verne, what loves hai. she! " What to her was the gaze I gave Of desperate hope in a soul distressed! Love at her feet cringed dumb as a slave! Her lips by a laugh more golden were pressed- Yet her smile waned away like the light from a wave. And we walked in the sunset. So to her home We came by the east. Slow settling, drear With its five faint stars and a crescent of foam, The twilight dusked. And we heard by the mere One distant bittern boom and drum. Can a heart be serious so and gay- What a riddle unread was she to me I When I kissed her fingers and turned away, "Valora of Verne "-why, what cared she Though a soft light made her eyes more gray! THE LADY OF VERNE. Though she lingered to watch me, that might be!- A slim moonbeam in the woodbine-maze, When I turned, was her muslin drapery, Strange white that vanished in haunting haze- My Lady of Verne, why, what cared she ! II The sheaves of the Autumn hba long lain bound; The bhrvests of Autumn had long been past; And the latest snows fell, deepening around, And the eery heavens scowled overcast; And alone in her room Valora I found. Sad and lovely. The young Earl's bride,- A queen of dreams,-at an oriel leant, Pale as the buds on her warm hair tied; The dented satin, flung stormily, bent Like beaten silver rippling wide. I mark, as I steal to her side, two tears Are vaguely large in her beautiful eyes, As large and pure as the pearls she wears o)n her lace-looped bosom's sanctities: So I say what I know, "Then, it appears" . 116 THE LADY OF VERNE. And stop with, it seems, my soul in my eyes,- "That you are not happy, Valora of Verne. Is there that at your heart which-well, denies These mocking mummeries True and stern Is the voice of the soul that never lies. " Words of the lips are not words of the heart I For hearts have a speech so different from speech, go secret, Valora, too holy for art!- Never mistaken I-and men could not preach Mine from that love yours said me a part. "All! all I-my God !-and my all !-now life Is what to me and-to you" She turned With a hard look saying, "Coward! his wife ! His wife! do you bear-Did you dare Had I spurned Your love -Yet I loved vou ... coward !"-A knife, As she wheeled and caught at a cabinet- A fang of scintillant steel, keen, cold- Fell savagely twinkling; some curio met Among Asian antiques bronze and gold, Mystical, curiously graven and set. 116 THE LADY OF VERNE. "My Bactrian dagger! the prick of which Through its ancient poison is death! . . . If o-E If you think you must love me-then". . . and rich Was the speech of her eyes in their poignant glow, And my soul met hers at its passionate pitcb. And I whispered " Yes," for my brain had thought A wild thought through-" why, lire were a hell To us so asunder! " And the blade I caught With no nervous hand and she leaned and-well, I stabbed her throat in its hollow, so naught Might dabble its beauty. She tottered there To a carven chair. I studied the blade WVith its white-gold handle thick with the glare Of devils in jewels, wildly inlaid; Then my breast to the poisonous point rent bare. One stain of blood on her throat and one Dark red on my heart. And I held her and stood Where a buhl clock ticked; and the sinking sun Through the dull, sad eve burst banked with blood And fell-One moment and all were done. 117 118 THE LADY OF VERNE. "When the young Earl comes," she whispered," He He will leave us together. How deep the night!- Do you hear the dance and the revelry" "Yes; and your cheeks are wet and white, 3So cold I so cold ! Valora, to me." THE SUCCUTBA. HAVE dreams where I believe I am prince of some dim palace; One at morn my Genevieve Is at night the Lady Alice Long, long dead, who was my bride; And she glowers at my side Paly as a crystal chalice Filled with fire diamond-dyed. I have dreams and I shall die Wondering on them. I remember In my sleep her icy eye Draws me with its mournful ember Up a castle's stairs that pave Alabaster to the wave, Ghostly in the gray November, And my soul is all her slave. '119) 120 THE SUCCUBA. Walls of darkness and of night Slit with casements tall of fire, Ruby or a glowing white: As the wind breathes lower, higher, Round the towers spirit things Whisper, and a moaning sings In the strings of each huge lyre Set upon its four chief wings. In its corridors at tryst Flame-eyed phantoms meet. Its sparry Halls are misty amethyst, Battlemented 'neath the starry Dome of death that none has known; Heavens with the green stars sown Low and large, and all their barry Beams blown on an ocean lone. Can it be a witch is she Or a vampire, who is whiter Than the spirits of the sea For my dreams inform her brighter THlE SUCCUBA. 125 Than the faint foam-blossoms. Lo, All this passion is my foe! For her love lies tighter, tighter On my heart than utter woe. I but vaguely know I live Two pale lives of sweetest sorrow, Where my love must give and give Passion, that its soul must borrow Of the living, to the dead, To the dear unhallowed; And should I be death's to-morrow, If I knew I could not dread. Lo, my dreams have drowned that place In all moon-white fl')wers: lilies Like the influence of a face; Knots of pearly amaryllis; Cactus-bulks with pulpy blooms Puffy in the silver glooms; White each hill with daffadillies O'er the olive ocean looms. 9 THE SUCCUBA. But to me their fragrance seems Poison; and their lambent luster, Spun of twilight and of dreams, Poison; and each frosty cluster Hides a serpent's fang. And I, Longing at an oriel high, In my soul make ache to muster Heart to breathe of them and die. Then I feel big eyes as bright As the sea-stars. Gray with glitter Swims unto me, wound with light, She. Deep hangings sway and flitter Loves and deeds of Amadis Darkly worked. And lo, this is She the night brings, sweet and bitter, With a bliss that is not bliss. Still I kiss her eyes and hair; Smooth her tresses till their golden Glimmer sparkles. Everywhere Shapes of strange aromas, holden 126 THE SUCCUBA. Of her halls, about us troop Foggy forms, that float and stoop On slow swells of rolling, olden Music odorous loop in loop. Yet I see beneath it all,- All this sorcery,-a devil, Beautiful and grandly tall, Broods with shadowy eyes of evil. And I know, each lilac morn, In that land a cactus-thorn, Monstrous on some lonely level, Blooms for her I may not scorn. I have dreams where I believe I am prince of some dim palace; One at morn my Genevieve Is at night the Lady Alice Long, long dead.-Who may be brave Held and haunted of the grave When through some unholy malice One a prince is and a slave. 127 HIS FIRST MISTRESS. REIGN OF LOUIS XIV. HRICE on the lips and twice on the eyes I kiss you or ever I kiss your bosom- When love is true would you have it wise, Wise as the world goes No; 't is a blossom Lovely and wise since it's lovely; content To live or to die as its folly pleases: Life is a rose and the rose's scent- Love, that 's born with the rose-nor ceases. If I tell you the Marquis will die, will you smile And laugh when he 's dead-This powder, my lily, That shows like an innocent sweet in the phial- Do not touch itl breathe distant!-a poison Exili Used a life to discover. Its formula left 128) HIS FIRST MISTRES'S. 129 To a pupil, (well worthy the master!) the prudent And pious Sainte Croix. Him, of teacher bereft, The devil, I deem, must have taken as student. Quite a dealer in death. And ours was a case That those difficult drugs of his laboratory Demanded. I visited; found him; his face Bent over a sublimate, safe from the hoary Light particles, masked with a mask of fine glass. I told him your danger, Marie, and expounded Our passion, despair, with many an "alas!" He smiled while a paste in a mortar he pounded. Three fistfuls of Louis-he'd do it, he said: A delicate dust, gum, liquid and metal Crushed, crucibled -" Stay! tie this mask on your head; You see, but a grain on this fuchsia's petal Has shriveled and blasted it-look how it dries A perilous pulver . . . could Satan make better ... To mix with that present of perfumes-she dies, And who is the wiser Or, say, in a letter 130 HIS FIRST MIS7RESS. "To the husband of her who has smiled on you since Another grows bald "-And he poured in a bottle The subtlty.-" Bah! be he beggar or prince, If he kiss but the seal the venom will throttle." "Well," I thought, "I will test ere I risk." Slyly drew My stilleto; approached to the bandlet, that tightly Supported his mask, its keen point-it was true: Where it cracked he fell dead-he but breathed of it lightly. Your letter is sealed and is sent. You are mine. By now he has broken the wax . . . If there flutters Some dust in his nostrils, yes, who will divine That this has assassined Our alchemist utters No word I-you are happy and I-oh, I feel That I love and am loved.-The tidings comes heavy To-night to the King; you are there; you will reel- Will faint I-Now away to the royal levee. BEFORE THE BALL. S to my soul-'t is a pathos of passion; As to my life-has a flavor of sin. What would you have when such is the fashion Was and will be of the world we are in Yes, I have loved-and have you have you reckoned The cost of a love.-I can tell you: as much As a soul-Mine, a woman's: I learned it that second I knew that I loved, and to death mine were such. And his love bu v dissembled that ardor's pure beauty. I endured undeceived nor pretended; and gave All that the wisdom demanded-my duty, For I loved. And the world-why, I was his slave,- Should it worry I pleased him Propriety sorrowed, Uprolling her eyes as occasion; she-well, A lie overglossed with a modesty borrowed. And I was but woman, the end was-I fell. ' 131) 132 BEFORE THE BAhL. Through love No; the woman; that visible woman Men usually know. Heart knows how we know Of its innermore beauty, the luminous human Distinction that's character !-Look at the glow Of the moon that is new; 't is the slenderest sickle Of ray. So the flesh gleams the feeblest line Of light, that's the soul; should the sun of Love prickle, Mark, the whole glory of woman di vine. Yes, I know how it is. I have glimmered my season Prolonged of suffusion. You think it is strange That I let you, say-love me but why not my reason Requires illusions. They give me that change Which quiets remembrance. You kiss me, I wonder; When you say, "You are beautiful," well, am I glad If I laugh you declaim on my form," How no blunder Of nature discords," if I sigh am I sad How you stare at my eyes! and my lips-must they languish For kisses to redden My eyes must be bright As this jewel I drown in my hair, with its anguish BEFORE THE BALL. 133 Of tortuous fire that quivers, to-night. Tears may be.-This showy that silly white flower Were lovelier for me its simplicity-no I The gem I prefer to th' exotic. The hour Has struck: I am ready: my fan: let us go. MASKS. CucUus non faeit monachum. LIVE it down as you have spoken You could live it ere you knew What love was-" a bauble broken Foolish of a thing untrue."- You, Viola, with your beauty Cloistered die a nun! No; you- You must live, and 't is your duty. There 's your poniard; for the second In this tazza dropped; the blood On it scarcely hard. I reckoned Happily that hour we stood There beside your palace stairway, Cowled with my Franciscan hood, When I said there was a bare way. (184) MASKS. 135 In the transept there I found it- Your revenge. I saw him wild Stalking to the church; around it Dogged him marking how lie smiled In the moonlight where hie waited. When the great clock beating dialed Ten, I knew he would be mated. Heaven or the deed's own devil !- Hardly had his sword and plume Vanished in the dusk, than, level On the long lagune, did loom Into moonlight-woven arches Her slim gondola; all gloom; One swart gondolier; no torches. -Shadowy gondolas kept bringing Revellers; and far the night Rang with merriment and singing.- From the imbricated light Of the oar-vibrating water, Gliding up the stairway, white, Velvet-masked-the count's own daughter. 186 MASKS. Quickly met her: whispered, "Flora, Gaston.-Mia, till they go One brief moment here, Siora. She'll perceive us; she below With the duchess diamonis sparkling Round the inviolable glow Of her throat-Must pass us darkling; "'T is Viola! "-And I drew her In the old neglected pile- Under her close mask I knew her, By the chin, the lips, the smile. Through the marble-foliated Window fell the moonrays. While All the maskers passed we waited. I had drawn the dagger. Turning Called her by her name. Some lie Of a passion sighed; her burning Cheek on mine when, wavering by, In the flare hi form bejeweled Gleamed. My very blood burned dry With the hate his presence fueled. MASKS. My revenge: Up-pushing slightly Cowl, the mask fell and revealed Balka as the poniard whitely Flashed. The hollow dark re-pealed One long shriek but once repeated. Yet, I stabbed her thrice. She reeled Dead. I thought of you. The heated Horror on my hands, I tarried Like the silence. Drawn aside On her face the mask hung married To her camphor-pallor. Wide Eyes with terror-stone. One second I regretted, then defied All remorse. Your beauty beckoned, And I left her. You had pointed Me this way. I walked the way Clear-eyed and . . . it has anointed Us fast lovers will you say Yes or for no love go nun it Let this cowled love grow gray -- Learn to hate him, you 've begun it. 137 HAUNTED. I WfI THOUT a moon when night comes on There is a sighing in its trees As of sad lips that no one sees; And the strange forest dwindling, large Beyond fenced fields, seems shadowy drawn Into its shadows. Faint and wan By the westeriaed portico Stealing I go; Through gardens where the weeds are rank; Where, here and there in patch and bank, Rise clumped close spiarees whose blooms Seem dots of starlight; and the four Syringas sweet heap, powdered o'er, Thin flower-beakers of perfumes; And the dead flowering-almond tree (138) HA UNTED. 139 Once maiden-pink. Still bower on bower The roses climb in blushing flower- And from the roses shall I see Her sad, sad eyes shine-like the flowers That nestle dew-drops hours on hours, Fistful, as if reproaching me II When midnight comes it brings a moon: A scent is strewn Of honey and wild-thorns broadcast Beneath the stars. When I have passed Under dark cedars, darker pines, To beds of red petunias, Cornflower and blue columbine; Azaleas mauve half-choked with gras,- Wide peonies like wisps of shine; 'Neath cloying honey-suckle vines, Piled deep and trammeled with the gourd And morning-glory.; drained the hoard Of rich aroma; oft have heard The plaintive note of some lost bird Trickle through night, awakened where, 140 HA UN TED. 'Neath its thick lair of twisted twigs, The jarring and incessant grigs Hummed. Scent-drugged so, the tepid air Made all my soul as heavy as Dew-poppied grass. II And when the moon rose flushed and full,- Like some sea-seen hesperian pool, A splash of gold through tangling trees,- There came slow sighings in the trees As of sad lips that no one sees. And when all in a mystic space Her orb swam, amiable white, Right in yon shattered casement high, Made of a whisper and a sigh I thought her face Formed in a mist of tears; so slight, So beautiful, its pensive grace Was like an olden melody. IV I know long-angled on its floors, Where windows greet the anxious East, HA UNTED. The moonshine pours White squares of glitter and, at least, Gives glimmer to its moaning halls: Sleep-tapestried, dim corridores Wake whispers; by its wasted walls Stand shadows; and where streaked dusts lay Their undisturbed, deep gray, Walk vision-footed. I below Hear the wind's sighings come and go Through one great buckeye near her room.- Ah! know I not how those broad flues Of her old home the winds make hoarse Their deep throats growl and boom With wafts that slink through avenues Of summer, singing in their course Where blossoms drip, to swing them back. Oh! how I fear it! and the craek Dry, warping stairs give; and the black That drapes each room the mind informs To fling from closets phantom arms! . . V I see her face beseeching pressed To the ruged, oaken floor; distressed, Pinched in her blind and praying hands; 10 141 HA UN TED. So desolate with anguish I wrenched With all remorse mind understands: Weak, writhen; still I scoffed and fled So unrelenting ! when again Back soul-forgiving stole, fast-clenched In staring eyes all the hard pain, Cramped to dilation, with a groan Found-huddled hush-as stone as stone, Her white and dead! VI Yes, there is moan In all its crannies and lean shades Make melancholy rooms where braids The lacy moonlight. Slow have flown The years! the years! and I have known An anguish and remorse far worse Than usual life's, and live, it seems, Because to live is but a curse.. VII There lies their burying-place; that ground Arched o'er with rusty iron; stone, 142 HA UNTED. Mossy, squares in a spot for dreams. Wild just the same; its roses waste Limp, placid petals; and here some Lie loose like puflg of foam On bold unhealthy weeds; displaced, Strew wiltings here my feet around. Mad roses and mad thorns. Here moan In Autumn noons gray wood-doves, and The sad days slumber bland. Mi ..... 143 UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE. HjOW I love you! do you know O That my love anticipated, Years ago, your love and waited Fearful of no No . . . Dry with heat and hot with hay, Where yon strip of daisied hollow Shady, circling beeches follow Shall we wile away What half hours the daylight hath- See, the hardy harvest makers Straighten, reapers red and rakers, O'er the last mown swath. Like a gold flower falls the sun; Tenuous brightness all the heaven By the subtle weaver, Even, One rich weft is spun . ... 144) UNDER THE GREEN WOOD TREE. 146 Why, I loved you from the time- You remember, do you not- It was in your orchard-plot, I was reading rhyme- No! but reading; and 't was thus: "By the blue Trinacrian sea, Far in pastoral Sicily With Theocritus," When you asked I told you that Awkwardly; for you had found Me long-lounged upon the ground Drowsily a-chat With the sage-Boccaccio. And I thought Lauretta grew Tall before me; and when you Came upon meso, Thought it was she: so the book Old Decameron in calf, In the weeds tossed with a laugh, And arose to look 146 UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE. In Lauretta's eyes and thus Found them yours. Well, was I red, When the tome's name asked, I said, "It-Theocritus." You had come for cherries; these Ardently I climbed for while You encouraged with a smile Me who sought to please. Ah, love, two short years agone !- I shall ne'er forget how you In that dainty dress of blue Muslin-No-A lawn- While my hand unsparingly In your apron's sag, red-stained, Rich the juicy ripeness rained, Looked beneath that tree. And I asked you-for, you know, To my eyes those serious eyes Held such true philosophies I- I( you 'd read Rousseau. UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE. 147 "His Confessions"-" No."-"A chance Somewhat similar in June, At the castle quaint of Toune, Over there in France, "Aim befell and"-well, was it Gallant then, you higher dressed, Dropping cherries on your breast To indulge his wit May I kiss those lips that glow - Look, the golden gleam has narrowed To one rent of rose, deep-arrowed Yonder-let us go. REVISITED. I WPLIFTED darkness and the owl-light breaks, Scuds the wild land pursuing patch with patch, As when deep camomile a swift wind shakes. How clumsily I raised the crazy latch I ... So.-When yon black bulk, light-absorbing, rakes Again the moon's bald disk- Out; and the storm may snatch Again wet hair pulled lank with wind and rain Two hours since.-There sweeps the beams again A dark cloud-besom from the ragged plain . Now! . . . Soul, be thine the risk! . II Close to the fellside hugs the bramble hollow Whining with wind, a pausing wind that grieves (148) RE VISITVD. 149 Through the one crippled ash, whose nervous leaves, Sleep-worried, rattle wooden as the lips Of dead men kissing. There a gnarled vine slips Up a humped, cloven rock, that seems to wallow A gorgon head of ugly writhings; heaves When heaped abruptly on it, flare! Burst rain and tempest-glare.- This fled, I follow A thorny slip of path until Is passed the storm-scarred hill. III Shall I not then be breathless, sinking sense, For ghastlier yet to come -No! sterner strength Is in my soul!-Beyond the hill the dense, Dead wood remains and then-that livid length Of mooning waters spectral and immense With sullen storm and night. There, if the ghoulish wind- Which knows well as I know how I have sinned; -Will cease to curse me, wakeful in its spite, Disturbed with horror only of my soul, I '11 find among cramped reeds, the storm has thinned, 160 REVISITED. His wide white eyes, metallic in the light Of the impassive moon: In gusty roll Of washing ripples, webby, slippery locks Dabbling and dead: Or wedged among sharp rocks, Wild-pinched and water-stranglei white, His faded face that mocks. LOST LOVE. LOVED her madly. For-so wrought Young Love divining isles of Truth Large in the central seas of Youth- "Love will be loved," I thought. Once when I brought a rare wild-pink To place among her plants, the wise, Still guerdon of her speaking eyes Said more than thanks, I think. Oh, you frail Marguerital oh, Weak woman in the woman! You Speak I can such hearts be all but true To hearts that love them so ! She loved another. AhI too well I have the story in my soul I- A weary tale the weary whole Of how she loved and fell. (161) LOST LOVE. I loved her so! . . . Remembering of My mad grief then, I wonder why It is such griefs grow dull and die While lives still live and love. Strange, is it not For grief was dear To me as she once. A regret It is now; just to make eyes wet And lift a big lump here. Yet, had she lived as dead in shame As now in death, love would have used Pride's pitying pencil and abused The memory of her name. This makes me thank my God, who led My broken life in sunlight of This pure affection, that my love Lives by her being dead. 152 LYANNA. HE Summer came over the southern ocean, Girdled with tire, tiaraed with light; Laughter her eyes and her lips a potion To quaff, to kindle, and know its might; A shadow that sparkled and flashed; a motion Blushed from the uttermost South, and I, Of the race of the Sylphs, far over the ocean Followed her up the sky. An exile aye to the mists that muster, Pulsing with pearl and braided with blue, Large, luminous ghosts in the hazy bluster Low of the winds, where my brother-crew, (153) LYANNA. When the day dreams up, in their bright bands cluster, Ranges of glitter through cloudy gold, At the gates of the Dawn, whose limbs are lustre, To wait till her gates unfold. And the Summer murmured me " Follow I follow I" Whispered and promising whispered. "Love! "- Winged with the wings of the sweeping swallow Followed I wings of the drifting dove: "Love, and a mortal," and fain would I follow; "Love, and immortal," my flight was strong; "Life! " and my life seemed vain and hollow; "Love!" and my heart was song. Fleet as the winds are fleet, yea, and fleeter Far than the stars, that throbbed like foam Through the billowy blue, in musical meter Winnowed our wings; and the golden gloam Rang; and life was a passion completer Than Edens of flowers; and faith a lyre That sang at the heart to make hope sweeter, And hope, a leaping fire. 154 L YANNA. So to the North our wings went maying Resonant ways, till a castle shone Gaunt on great cliffs, and the late skies graying O'er walls of war and its towers lone. A fall of steps to the sea where spraying Thundered the breakers; and terrace and stair, Rock o'er the waters, rose rosy and raying Deep in the sunset glare. A dew drop burns when the dawn lights prickle; All of my being tingled to light, Blossomed against her tarrying fickle, White on the terraced height. Beauty that stood like a moon in sickle, A slender moon that the winds bleach bleak, With its hue like honeys that drop and trickle From combs whose wax is weak. In dreams I came to her, lo I as a vision: Yea, in her sleep as a dream was wound: Of her vestal chastity held: a prison Her innermost spirit that took and bound. 155 LYANNA. And her rest I stole, for sleep in derision Mocked at my hope for a love that slept: And her soul I awakened. Lo! it had risen And answered my soul and wept. " Lyanna, I hoop thee with arms of fire! "- My words like kisses were sparks that smote,- " Lyanna, my life is a single wire, Thy love is its single note. Hast thou known me thus Shall it sound entire, Full as the angels' who hover and harp To the glory that's God, like one silver lyre Borne in a beam that is sharp . . . "Gladdened a splendor of rose, a splendor Out of the East and the ruby bloom Hiding-what, love Two eyes that are tender Two lips that are sweet, and limbs of perfume And fragrant fire And who was the sender To thee of this lover" And bending low Honeyed my speech as a flower's that, slender, Buds when the wild stars blow. 156 LYANNA. 157 Seemed all her passionate pulses to quicken; Flowed all her soul to her eyes; but Sleep Trembled her voice so it seemed to thicken With a love that was sighing to weep:- "Yea, I divined thee, yea, and was stricken; Light was thy messenger-dove of love. Alas! I divined, and I seemed to sicken, To perish and pine thereof. "White are the clouds, but I knew thee whiter Than dazzling domes of the Dawn, I knew; Bright are God's stars, but thine eyes were brighter, Brighter and burning blue. And my love was thine, though it held thee slighter Than breezes bruiting it murmuring by; And waited and yearned and the yearning tighter Than tears in the hearts that die. "'Lyanna I Lyanna!' thou calledst ever: 'Lyanna !' A ripple of rays that came: 'Lyanna, thy name is like light foreverl' And I marveled at my name. 11 168 LYANNA. For the word was such as if stars should sever To an utterance slow of syllabled beams; 'Lyanna! Lyanna!' I turned, but never Informed thee more than my dreams, "Thou walkedst a beauty afar; a glitter Of gleaming aroma; and I amoan Flung thee mine arms; and thy gaze was bitter Was calmer and sterner than stone; Avoiding thou passedst in scorn. Oh, fitter The hate of all heaven to me than this ! Yea, scorn I-and I wept, when oh! a flitter Of fire, a laugh, and a kiss." . . . So I won her then. And the lungs of the thunder Trumpeted tempest; and dark the seas Lunged at the walls like a roaring wonder, And the black rain buzzed like bees. "Lyanna, my bride I," And the heavens asunder Rushed-chasms of glaring storm where ran The thunder's cataracts rolling under- For, behold, her race was man. LYANNA. 169 Mine, of the elements. At the moth-white portal Of dreams stood the soul with her name. I saw Lyanna and said, " Of the utterly mortal Mine the eternal lot and law!- Thou lovest me"-"Ohl and I love thee I"-"Immortal Is mine through thy love,-for thou lovest I "-'T is said, Behold I when they came in the morn, a-startle Were lips with, " Lyanna is dead I" GLORAMONE. HE moonbeams on the hollies glow fPale where she left me; and the snow Lies bleak as moonshine on the graves, Ribbed with each gust that shakes and waves Ancestral cedars by her tomb. She was more beautiful for death In death's dim loveliness. The gloom, The iciness that takes the breath, The sense of worms, were not too strong To keep me from beholding long. I stole into the mystery of Her old, armorial tomb; and Love Sighed all its romance in my heart: (160) GLORA MORE. Soft indistinctness of pale lips Breathed on my hair; faint finger tips Fluttered their starlight on my brow; Vague kisses on my eyes and now, Hard on my lips, an aching sense Qf vampire winning. And I heard Her name slow-syllabled-a word Of haunting harmony-and then Low-throated, " Thou ! at last, 't is thou " And far off shadowy sighs again. How madly strange that this should be I For, had she loved me when of earth, It were not now so marvelous, So marvelous remembering me With dead for living love, though worth Less, yes, far less to both of us. And long I wondered listening there, What deed of mine or thought hath wrought This love from hate in after-life She giveth back" and everywhere Around my life I thought and thought And-nothing; only, how my love 161 GLORAMONE. Had still persisted for her hate That made her Appolonio's wife. Her hate ! her lovely hate I-for of Her naught I found unlovely-and I felt she did not understand My passion, so 'twere well to wait. And now I knew her presence near, I full in life; yet had no fear There in the sombre silence, mark. And it was dark, yes, deathful dark: But when I slowly drew away The pall, death modeled with her face,- From face and limbs it fell and lay Rich in the dust,-the shrouded place Was glittering daggered by the spark Of one rare ruby at her throat, Red-hearted with star-arrowy throbs That made it pulse. And note on note The blackness fought with finest sobs Of glimmering as of that stone. Lustrous and large against her throat As her large eyes when they could see. 162 GLORAMONE. 163 And standing by her corpse alone I doubted not her loving me. Red essence of an hundred stars In fretful crimson through and through Its bezels beat, when, bending down, My hot lips kissed her heart. And scars Of veiny scarlet and of blue, Flame-hearted, blurred the midnight and The vault rang; and I felt her hand Like fire in mine. And, lo, a frown Broke up her face as gently as A breeze that jolts the graining grass And spills its rain-drops. When this passed, Through song-soft slumber binding fast, Slow smiles dreamed outward beautiful, And with each smile I heard the dull Deep music of her heart and saw, As by some necromantic law, Faint tremblings of a lubric light Float through white temples and white throat; And each long pulse was as a note, That gathering, like a strong surprise GLORA MONE. With all its happiness, again Left her arch lips one wistful smile That lingered languidly. Yet pain Slept 'neath her eyelids, wasted white, Insufferable.. .. Did those eyes Grow wide unto my kisses-Yea, They were unsealed! And all the fire Of that dark ruby at her throat, Arrow by arrow, in them smote; And as some harmony entire Was she, but how, I can not say. And forth into the night I brought Her beautiful, and o'er the snow, Where moonbeams on the hollies glow, I led her. And her feet no print. No lightest trace in frost, no dint Left of their nakedness. I thought, "The moonlight fills them with its glow And covers; and the tomb was black, Then this strong light-yes! " turning back My eyes met hers; and as I turned, Flashing centupled facets, burned 164 GLORAMONE. That red gem at her throat; and I Pondered its ardor for a while: How came it there, and when, and why Who set it at her throat again, Why was it there So studying Lquestioned. And a far, strange smile Filled all her face, and secret pain Gave to her words a bitter ring: "Thou ! thou! alas ! " she said and sighed; And if I am not dead, 't was thou ! Canst thou remember of it now" Yes." And she leaned unto me, eyed Like some wise serpent that bath still Lain all night on wild rocks to stare At amaranthine stars until Its eyes have learned their glassy glare. And then I took her by the wrists And drew her to me. Faintly felt The sorrow of her hair, whose mists Fell twilight-deep and dimly smelt Still of the worm and tomb. And she Smiled on me with such sorcery 166 GLORAMONE. As well might win a soul from God To fiends and furies. And I trod On white enchantments and was long A song and harp-string to a song, Love's battle in my blood. And there, Kissing her throat, her mouth, her hair, I stole the jewel from her throat With crafty fingers, to admire The witchcraft of its fevered fire. It in the hollow of my hand A rosy spasm seemed to float Red, red with anger: then a brand Touched scorching, and I felt it run Swift in my pulses like a sun Of torrid poison. And I marked My palm brim full with blood; a-glow Big drops globed beadings, oozing slow, Like holly-berries, on the snow. Then all the night contracting darked Upon me and I heard a sigh, So like a moan, 't was as if years Of anguish bore it; and the sky Swam near me as when seen through tear. GLORAMONE. 167 And she was gone. In ghostly gloom Of swart, scarred pines a crumbling tomb Loomed like a mist. Carved in its stone, Above the grated portal deep, Glimmered the legend of her sleep, "Death crowned with Death one, Gloranmne." THE CAVERNS OF KAF. [LOVE SENSUAL.] ANE Benreddin, I have heard, W Near the town of Mosul sleeping, In a dream beheld a bird Wonderful with plumes of sweeping Azure crowned pomegranate-red. Seeming near him, while it fled Brilliant as a blossom, peeping Down the Tigris him it led. Following, the creature came To a haggard valley, shouldered Under peaks that had no name, Where it vanished: on the bouldered (168) THE CAVERNS OF KAF. Savageness a woman fair In a white simarre rose there, Beckoning; around hersmouldered Pensive lights of purple air. Then he found himself in vast Caves of sardonyx, whose ceiling Domed one chrysoberyl. Blast In blast of music, stealing From an aural glory, nears; Waxing on his eager ears, Far recedes in clashes pealing Psalteries and dulcimers. Wildly sculptured walls did heave Slabs of story, where, embattled, Warred Amshaspand and the Deev; Over all two splendors rattled Arms of heaven, arms of hell; Forms of flame that seemed to swell Godlike: Aherman who battled With Ormuzd he might not quell. 169 170 THE CA VERNQS OF KAF. And Benreddin wondered till The reverberant rapture drifting, Strong beyond his utmost will, Rolled him onward where, high lifting Pillar and entablature, Vast with emblem, yawned a door- Valves of liquid lightning shifting In and out and up and o'er . . . Walls of serpentine deep-domed Gray with agate and with beryl; Tortuous diaper crusted foamed Rough with jewels; and as peril Difficult a colonnade Ran of satin-spar to fade Far in labyrinths of sterile Tiger-eye that twisting grayed. Dizzy stones of magic price Crammed volute and loaded corbel; Iridescent shafts of ice Leapt: with long reechoed warble THE CA VERNS OF KAF. 171 Waters unto waters sang; Curling arc and column sprang Into fire as each marble Fountain flung its drift that rang. And against him, filled with sound, Surfs of resonant colors jetted; Sun-circumferences that wound Out of arcades crescent-fretted, Mists of citron and of roon, Lemon lights that mocked the moon, Shot with scarlet veined and netted, Beating golden hearts of tune. Discs of rose-nasturtium; Orbs of down-dilating splendor; In whose cores did slowly come Spots like serpent eyes that slender Glared with undecided beams; Panting through dissolving gleams Hissings of clear fire tender As an houri's breath who dreams. 172 THE CA YERNS OF HAP. Characters of Arabic, Cabalistic, red as coral. Through vague violet veils did prick Changing; as if fierce at quarrel Iran wrote of Turan there Hate and scorn, or everywhere Wrought swift talisman and moral Stern the Afrits might not dare. Sunset splendors drew him on To a cavern's crystal hollow, Hewn of alabaster wan, Lucid, whence his gaze could follow Far transparent flights in flights Rolling, drowned in sounding lights Glaucous gold; he like some swallow OYer a lake the morning smites. Curved the vault mosaiced in With the sensuous limbs of Peries: Restless eyes of Deevs and Jinn In the walls watched. Unseen faeries THE VA VERNS OF KAF. 173 From the dim dome rained and tossed Flowers of fire full of frost, Flowers of frost a fire that carries Smoldering an incense lost. Through the air, in groups of grace, Naked odalisques of heaven Of Arabian gold did lace Flaming censers, spouting seven Jets of burning perfume green; To each globe of garnet, seen As it swung, new form was given Hippogrif or roFmarine. Aloes, nard and ambergris; Saffron, cinnamon and civet; All aromas strange that kiss Sense with scent and hold and rivet Soul to soul,-that have grown dull With life's lassitude;-to lull, These with amorous hands did give it, Vaporous and beautiful. 12 1 THE CA VEERNS OF KAF And Benreddin's passive soul, To hot eyes intoxicated, Ached. And sucking at the whole Nipple of flushed Pleasure, sated Sucked unsatisfied. It saw Cheeks of light without ai flaw; Breasts of bloom with breathings bated; Limbs translucent nearer draw. Houri eyes and wafted hair Brilliant blackness. Then a thunder Of hoarse music, that did bear Upward, organed in the under Caverns of the demon world. Koran scrolls in glisten curled Sparkling by him; and a wonder Of coerulean mottoes swirled. Then one long note made of sighs,- A muezzin cry repeated Dying downward,-filled with eyes,- Melting from him,-passion-heated; 174 THE CA VERNS OF KAF. 175 Saddening into sounds of spray Choral. Then one rocking ray Angry burned and angry fleeted From intensest blood to gray.... And, 't is told, this life was young, Young that sun-dawn. When the darting, Anguish-throated bulbuls sung, Through the silent starlight starting, One, a Baghdad merchant, led By the white light on its head, Found a hoary shadow. Parting Hair from face, Benreddin-dead. THE SPIRIT OF THE VAN. [LOVE IDEAL. ] A IDSUMMER-NIGHT; the Van; through night's wan noon, Wading the storm-scud of an eve of storm, Pale o'er Carmarthen's peaks the mounting moon. Hills of Carmarthen I sullen heights that swarm Girdling lone waters as gaunt wizards might Crouch guarding some enchanted gem of charm- Hills of Carmarthen, that for me each night Reecho prayers and pleadings one long year Unanswered, made to listening waters white!- The bitter blue of Winter, and the clear Calm eyes of girlish Springtide, and the slow Brown gaze of languid Summer, and the cheer, Bleak-eyed, of tristful Autumn saw me so, Unhappy, lost among the hollow hills. 1176) THE SPIRIT OF THE VAN. Should any ripple tremble into glow, When yeasty moonshine sprays the foam, there thrills Heart's expectation through fleet veins and high "'T is she! " each pulse with exultation shrills. But 't is not-never! Once ... and then would I Had lain abolished so beholding! . . . World, What sadder hast than beauty that must die- Drugged so with beauty, if some fiend had curled Stiff talons through long hair, and twisting tight, Scoffed," Burn and be! " launch into hell had hurled Me satisfied to happiness-Love's white Bloom heavenizing hell-I, unamerced, Shackled with tortures, well might mock hell's spite. -Immortal memory of light, I thirst ! O shining star-stain to what being wove, In that 1 love thee am I so accursed Oh, make me mad with love, with all thy love! Who bruit it to these wilds when midnights gloom Storms or drip gold the sibylline stars above;- When thy high favors all heaven's wealth consume, Foil to thy potent presence,-and make mad Me with a madness sick as from perfume. 177 178 THE SPIRIT OF THE VAN. Sleep may I not now for soft sleep is sad. Cheated of thee, sad are all tearful dreams, Haunted by shining sorrowings unclad.- Strange, tyrannous hope in life that only seems1 And seeming hope forever needs must pine Hugging this vanishment of form-fixed beams !- Though thou be wrought from elements divine, And I crass et .-h exalted, which will think, "Since I am thine this makes me hope thee mine," Must I, its usual phantom, the still brink Of thy lone lake bewilder nightly Yearn Toward that vast vision of a moment's wink When, glassing out great circles, which did urn Some intense essence of interior light,- As clouds that clothe the moon unbinding burn, Ruptured, mtands forth her orb, triumphant white,- Middle the Van churned foam like feathering fire, Dilating ivory. Expectant night Tip-toed attentive, fearful to suspire; And there up-soared-what glittering majesty What goddess sensed with glory and desire One instant's moiety whirled up to be- Love! and sucked down where burst a brassy black THE SPIRIT OF THE VAN. 179 O'er cloven waves that sighed for ecstacy. In multifarious colors swallowed back- Pale pearl and lilac, asphodel and rose, Tempestuous crocus curling crack in crack. And I alone to marvel as who knows He is not dead and yet it seems he is, Tranced but in body while the spirit glows.- 0 world-sweet face I brow one wide angel kiss I High immortality!-to image such Dance starlight in a lily's loveliness.- Waste-bound with moony gold, too gross to clutch Such queening chastity, though clear as gum On almugs globed and fragrance to the touch: And hair-not hair ! lithe rays that seemed to come Strained through the bubble of a chrysolite, Soft quivering of light that clung and clomb. Such left me such; deep on my soul's quick sight Eternal seared; my life-a stealing shade Scouting the day and aident of the night: A raver to the hoary hills which laid Their dumb society in ruth on who Shunned all companionship of man and maid: 180 THE SPIRIT OF THE VAN. Boon comrade of the mountain blossoms blue: Instructed intimate of trees that they- Wise as the legendary world that drew Oracles from lips in oaks-might, haply, say Prophetic precepts to me: how were won A spirit loved to love an one of clay: In vain. When one day, log-like in the sun Beside his cave, where twisted mandrakes rank, Puce, hairy henbane coppery blossoms spun, Wrinkled as Magic, I a grizzled, lank Squat something startled; naught save skin and hair; With eyes wherein two demons brewed and drank Disputing dreams, which made them shrink or glare; Familiars who, beholding me draw near, Croaked lips of famine, lean fangs grinning bare, "Woo her with combs of running honey clear, And white loaves of a seven-times bolted wheat. Climb to thy love and crawl! fear not and fear! " This have I done these many months. Repeat Vows low-lipped sunk with passionate offering Of loaves o'erbolted, honey seven-times-sweet. THE SPIRIT OF THE VAN. Still woe and woe is mine. Now I but bring My simple self to-night, ungifted, see; Myself unto thee !-Shall this clay still cling Clogging fulfillment thy love's mastery Be balked by flesh No !-plunge it deep and fly Dowr' to thy mounted throne of majesty I Gathering bright limbs one splendid instant-die To epochs o' th' elements! for one kiss Forfeit this human immortality! Breathe with thy breathing waters, laugh and hiss Where lion-tawnyness extending creeps Orb into disc there 'round thy templed blissI Dream, dream o'er wave-blue lazuli which heaps, Rude-hewn, rough, rugged turret, wall, and dome, Thy glaucous chambers where the green day sleeps! Dead not with death !- What secrets hath thy home Not mine then storied in exultant foam !- Deeper, down deeper ! mark me, yea, I come! 181 THE SPIRIT OF THE STAR. [WOVE SPIRITUAL.] 5HERE is love for love; the heaven f Teems with possibilities; Earth has such as heaven has given, Earth and all her sister seas. Heaven and earth and sea is gladder For it; only man is sadder, Waxing wise in night for driven Drift of light he never sees. There are lives for lives; and beauty Born for beauty; for your earth Faith celestial given as booty To mortality of worth; (182) THE SPIRIT OF THE STAR. Song for every song; unfolding Hope for dying hope; a holding Duty towards aspiring duty Godly as the laws of birth. Earth and ocean are prolific Of wild wonders as our sky; With fine shapes of fair, terrific, Who, if loved, shall never die: DTemons rugged as their mountains; Spirits sunny as their fountains; Sylphids of the wind pacific As the stars they tremble by. I was lonely; long had waited For the sweet eternal sleep; Watching where the worlds dilated, Waned or wasted in the deep. Where beneath my star a planet Whirled and shone like glowing granite, While around it swung and grated Orbs of fire sweep in sweep. 183 184 THE SPIRIT OF THE STAR. I wan sad; the silence wilted On me like a scentless bud Fading ere it blows. The quilted Clouds, like bursts of beating blood, Streamed beneath me; and the starry Still serene above bent barry,- Thick with golden splashes tilted,- Seemed with arms of angels strewed. I was loveless with a yearning After love that never came; All my being's fineness burning Outward, to no blufhing shame Immolated; but a splendor Of intention that was tender To compulsion; all returning On my love with fiercer flame. So I left the stars whose lances Shook their arrowy gold in heat Of hard hyacinth; the glances Of their million moony feet THE SPIRIT OF THE STAR. 186 Ranged about me leaving. Beating Downward, left them still repeating Far farewells; the trembling trances Of their white eyes falling sweet. Came unto your moon; vast alleys Of white jasper cleaving hills Of chalcedony, whose valleys Cataracting crystal fills. Twixt two mountains-like a vision Seen through jewel-gates Elysian- Growing as a music dallies Into forms of dreams it thrills,- Long walls rose of beaming nacre Cloudy; coiling peace around Acre upon arching acre Of a city without bound: Caryatids alternated With Atlantes sculpture-weighted; And its gates-some god the maker- Leaves of symboled diamond. 186 THE SPIRIT OF THE STAR. In the pure light rocking, swimming Domes of dazzle swirl on swirl, Lifted columned temples brimming Oval roofs of silver curl; Galleries of spar that sparkled; Pillared palaces that darkled Moonstone, opal; and, far dimming, Aqueducts of ghostly pearl. Streaming steeples sharp of diedal Emblem, each an obelisk Wrought of lividness, whose needle Balanced bubble, crescent, disc; Some of diamond, like a blister Frozen; some of topaz, glister Vinous; and each burning middle Dazzled like the eyes of Risk. Still I left it and descended Worldward. For the longing drew Me, and drawing me was blended With your Earth I never knew. THE SPIRIT OF THE STAR. And did star and moon forsake me, I had answered what did take me Worldward, where it lay a splendid Blossom in a sea of dew. And when night came, lo, above you Sleeping by your folded sheep, O'er the hills I rose; to love you Came, and kissed you in your sleep. And the destinies had brought it So I told you, you who thought it Not so strange that I should love you, I a spirit of the deep. Ah, you knew how she had found you Sometime in some life not sad; Won your soul to hers and bound you With chaste kisses that were glad. Days forget, but nights remember; Arid my love shall live an ember In you when the world around you Scoffs at this as one who 's mad: 187 188 THE SPIRIT OF THE STAR. Idol Beauty ! be one petal To its passion-flower! far Past Earth's ignorance-a metal Rusting that reflects no star!- Live beyond men lest they shawme you I Lest their shame, not I, should blame you! Dream I and when the shadows settle, Be the dream you dream you are I AT NINEVEH. was that Syrian slave who loved a king " Asyrian, with love that lived to hold "No hope beyond the madnes of the thing." And she was beautiful as noons of gold; And amorous as nights that swoon their stars O'er lands of romance. And the tale is told How, clad with day, between ranked warriors Steel-lustrous, down the hall of audience, 'Mid pillared trophies of barbaric wars, She came unto his throne and asked, " Lord, whence Is love and why" He, musing on her, said: "0 slave, man's love lies with the gods and hence, is (189) AT NINE VEH. "Divine, is known but of the Spirithead. [why, 'Why' dost thou question there! we know not Unless 't is love which makes us deathless dead." Smiled; and the woman passioning each eye With all the love that stammered in her blood, Dumb with wild language, clasped her hands on high, And in her veiling hair knelt, sobbing: " Good, 0 king, thy answer! for, behold, I love!- What freak of fate hath set this bitter brood, "Urned dusts of kings, between this love, whereof The rubric reads, 'The ashes of your dead Shall shriek dishonored,' yet I dare " . . . " Enough !" He, motioning. Then for a second fed His gaze along her faultless form and face, Pointing cried, " Rhana ! strike me off her head !" A tall deep-chested slave with tawny grace Strode at the mandate from the press. A form Royally favored. Deep a night-dark lace, 190 AT NINE VEH. Her thick hair twisting to one supple arm, Flashed broad a blade the other. Rising shone With light the swift death-fell; and dripping warm Lifting the head he stood before the throne. And ho who scowled there, "By the gods, 't is well I When slaves begin to babble "-As hewn stone Stern stood the slave, a son of Israel. Then striding on the monarch, in his eye The wrath of heaven and the hate of hell, Shrieked, " Lust! I loved her I look on us and die I" Swifter than fire clove him to the brain. Kissing that head he held fell with the cry- Loud in the fury of the stabbing rain A thousand weapons thrust against him slain- " Judge, God of Israel, between us twain!" 191 ROMAUNT OF THE OAK. "3 RIDE to death, for my love is shame The Lady Maurine of noble name, "Whose love is a lie !-Though life be long Is love the wiser-Love made song "Of all my life; and the soul, that crept Before, arose like a star and leapt: "Still leaps, though it holds love less than true, Than noble, though pure as a spark of dew." The crest of his foeman, a heart of white In a bath of fire, burned the night. The stranger knight rode on and sung. His lance in the lover stuck and clung..... (192) ROMA UNT OF THE OAK. What woman is this in the weary dawn With the wildwood shadows standing wan Who kneels, one hand on her straining breast, One hand on the dead man's bosom pressed Her face is dim as the dead's; as cold As his tarnished armor of steel and gold She hales him under the olden oak, Whose ruined trunk the wild-vines choke. She stands him stiff, in his foreign arms, In its hollow heart: "Be safe from storms," She laughs. And his cloven casque is placed On his brow; and his riven shield is braced. She sings, as she gathers the forest flowers, "The dead have brides, and the dead are ours." And stares and stares.-When the moon arose Laughed, as it grew a full-blown rose, " The wreath on my hair as the moon is fresh, Eke the braid on his brow, on his neck the mesh. 193 194 ROMA UNT OF THE OAK. "Ho, moon, shalt shrivel; wild roses gay, Shall wilt; my heart, shalt wither away." Where the ghostly paths with the shade were dark The wild roes stalked, and stood as stark As phantoms with eyes of flame, or fled- Like silence pursued-down the darkness dead. And the night grew harsh with the tempest's cry. In the oak with her warrior she would lie. When she heard his harness rattle and groan As the storm beat the oak and its boughs were blown, She shrunk in sobbing, "He 's calling me, 'Come, shelter thee from the fiends dost see.' " He knows; for his eyes are balls of heat Glowing the love of his heart's dead beat. " Wilt thou make it warm-this living heart With thy heart of dust-Now who shall part" . . . They found her closed in his armored arms.- Had he claimed his bride on that night of storms