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Days and dreams : poems / by Madison Cawein. Cawein, Madison Julius, 1865-1914. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-199-30751817 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. Days and dreams : poems / by Madison Cawein. Cawein, Madison Julius, 1865-1914. G.P. Putnam, New York : 1891. vi, 173 p. ; 19 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04497.04 KUK) Printing Master B92-199. 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. DAYS AND DREAMS POEMS BY MADISON CAWEIN AUTHOR OF LYRICS AND IDYLS," THE TRIUMPH OF MUSIC,` ETC., ETC. G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS NEW YORK LONDON .7 West Twenty-third St. n King William St., Strand 4e nickhtrbochrk tress i89i COPYRIGHT, 1891 BY MADISON CAWEIN Zbe Itnicherbocker preps, Vew Work Printed and Bound by G. P. Putnam's Sons TO JAMES WIIITCOMB RILEY WITH ADMIRATION AND REGARD o lyrist of the lowly and the true, The song I souzht for you Hides yet unsung. What hope for me to find, Lost in the drdal mind, The living utterance with lovely tongue! To say, as erst was sung By Ariosto of Knight-errantry,- Through lands of Poesy, Song's Paladin, knight of the dream and day, The wizard. shield you sway Of that Atlantes power, sweet and terse, The skyey-builded verse. The shield that dazzles, brilliant with surprise, Our unanointed eyes.- Oh, had I written as 't were worthy you, Each line, a spark of dew,- As once Ferdusi shone in Persia,- Had strung each rosy spray Of the unfolding flower of each song; And Iran's bulbul tongue Had sobbed its heart out o'er the fountain's slab In gardens of Afrasiab. iv CON TEN TS. ONF DAY AND ANOTHER . DA.YS AND DREAMS .93 DEITY ..... 95 SELF . . . 97 SELF AND SOUL . 99 'rIlE DREAM OF DREAD 102 DEATH E IN LIFE . . 105 THiE EYE OF ALL-SAINTS - 110 MATER DOLOROSA .II6 THE OLD INN . . . . . . 119 LAST DAYS . . 121 THE RONMANZA . . . . . . . 123 MIY ROMANCE 1 125 THE EPic . . . . .. 127 TrHF BLIND HARPER 129 ELPHIN . . . . . . . . 13I PRE-ORDINATION I34 AT THE STILE. . . . . . . I38 vi CONTENTS. JA e TiuE ALCALDE'S DAUGHTER . . . . . 140 AT THE CORREGIDOR'S . 2..42 THfE PORTRAIT . . 145 TSMAEL . . . . . . 150 A PRE-EXISTENCE . . . . 154 BEHRAM AND EDDETMIA . . . . . . 153 TiE KITALIF AND TilE ARAB . . i66 ONE DAY AND ANOTHER. PART 1. I. He 7vcais musing. U EREIN the dearness of her is The thirty perfect days of June Made one, in beauty and in bliss Were not more white to have to kiss, To love not more in tune. And oft I think she is too true, Too innocent for our day; For in her eyes her soul looks new- Two crowfoot-blossoms watchet-blue Are not more soft than they. I DA YS AND DREAMS. So good, so kind is she to me, In darling ways and happy words, Sometimes my heart fears she may be Too much with God and secretly Sweet sister to the birds. 2. Becoming impatient. The owls are quavering, two, now three, And all the green is graying; The owls our trysting dials be- There is no time for staying. I wait you where this buckeye throws Its tumbled shadow over Wood-violet and the bramble-rose, Long lady-fern and clover. Spice-seeded sassafras weighs deep Rough rail and broken paling, Where all day long the lizards sleep Like lichen on the railing. 2 ONE DA Y AND ANO TILER. Behind you you will feel the moon's Gold stealing like young laughter And mists-gray ghosts of picaroons- Its phantom treasure after. And here together, youth and youth, Love will be doubly able; Each be to each as true as truth, And dear as fairy fable. The owls are calling and the maize With fallen dew is dripping- Ah, girlhood, through the dewy haze Come like a moonbeam slipping. 3. Be humis. There is a fading inward of the day, And all the pansy sunset hugs one star To eastward dwindling all the land is gray, While barley meadows westward smoulder far. 3 DA YS AND DREAMS. Now to your glass will you pass For the last time Pass, Humming that ballad we know - Here while I wait it is late And is past time- Late, And love's hours they go, they go. There is a drawing downward of the night; The wedded Heaven wends married to the Moon; Above, the heights hang golden in her light, Below, the woods bathe dewy in the June. There through the dew is it you Coming lawny You, Or a moth in the vines You !-at your throat I may note Twinkling tawny, Note, A glow-worm, your brooch that shines. 4 ONE DA Y AND ANOTHER. 5 4. Saie steaks. How many smiles in the asking - Herein I can not deceive you My " yes " in a " no " was a-masking, Nor thought, dear, once to grieve you. I hid. The humming-bird happiness here Danced up i' the blood . . but what are words When the speech of two souls all truth affords Affirmative, negative what in love's ear - I wished to say " yes " and somehow said " no The woman within me knew you would know, For it held you six times dear. He speaks. So many hopes in a wooing !- Therein you could not deceive me The heart was here and the hope pursuing, Knew that you loved, believe me.- DA YS AND DREAMS. Bunched bells o' the blush pomegranate-to fix At your throat ; three drops of fire they are And the maiden moon and the maiden star Sink silvery over yon meadow ricks. Will you look -till I hug your head back, so- For I know it is "yes" though you whisper " no, "- And my kisses, sweet, are six. 5. She speaks. Could I recall every joy that befell me There in the past with its anguish and bliss, Here in my heart it has whispered to tell me, These were no joys to this. Were it not well if our love could forget them, Veiling the was with the dawn of the is. Dead with the past we should never regret them, These were no joys to this. 6 ONE DA Y A ND ANO THER. When they were gone and the present stood speechful, Ardent with word and with look and with kiss, What though we know that their eyes are beseech- ful, These were no joys to this. Is it not well to have more of the spirit, Living high futures this earthly must miss Less of the flesh with the past pining near it - Such is the joy of this. 6. Shie sing]rs. We will leave reason, Dear, for a season Reason were treason Since yonder nether Foot-hills are clad now In nothing sad now; We will be glad now, Glad as this weather. 7 DA YS AND DREAMS. Heart and heart ! in the Maytime, Maytime, Youth and Love take playtime, playtime. I in the dairy ; you are the airy Majesty passing ; Love is the fairy Bringing us two together. He sings. Starlight in masses Of mist that passes, Stars in the grasses Star-bud and flower Laughingly know us; Secretly show us Earth is below us And for the hour Soul has soul. In the Maytime, Maytime, Youth and Love take playtime, playtime. You are a song ; a singer I hear it Whispered in star and in flower ; the spirit, Love, is the power. 8 ONE DA Y ANVD A NO THER. 7. He speaks. And say we can not wed us now, Since roses and the June are here, Meseems, beneath the beechen bough 'T is just as sweet, my doubly dear, To swear anew each old love vow, And love another year. When breathe green woodlands through and through Wild scents of heliotrope and rain, Where deep the moss mounds cool with dew, Beyond the barley-blowing lane, More wise than wedding, is to woo- So we will woo again. All night I lie awake and mark The hours by no clanging clock, But in the dim and dewy dark Far crowing of some punctual cock Until the lyric of the lark Mounts and Morn's gates unlock. 9 DA YS AND DREAMS. And would you be a nun and miss All this delightful ache of love Not have the moon for what she is Love's honey-horn God holds above- No world, for worlds are in a kiss If worlds are good enough. So say we can not wed us now, Since roses and the June are here We 'II stroll beneath the doddered bough, Heaven's mated songsters singing near, To swear anew each old love vow, And love another year. S. Ile oqpens his hear.t And had we lived in the days Of the Khalif Haroun er Reshid, We had loved, as the story says, Did the Sultan's favorite one And the Persian Emperor's son Ali ben Bekkar, he Of the Kisra dynasty. IO ONE DA 1' AND A.4NOTHER. Do you know the story well Of the Khalif Hlaroun's sultana - When night on the palace fell, A slave through a secret door, Low-arched on the Tigris' shore, By a hidden winding stair Ben Bekkar brought to his fair Then there was laughter and mirth, And feasting and singing together, In a chamber of marvellous worth; In a chamber vaulted high On columns of ivory; Its dome, like the irised skies, Mooned over with peacock eyes; And the curtains and furniture, Damask and juniper. Ten slave-girls-so many blooms- Stand sconcing tamarisk torches, Silk-clad from the Irak looms; Ten handmaidens serve the feast, Each like to a star in the East; rI DA YS AND DREAMS. Ten singers, their lutes a-tune, Each like to a bosomed moon. For her in the stuff of Merv Blue-clad, unveiled, and jewelled, No metaphor made may serve; Scarved deep with her own dark hair, The jewels like fire-flies there- Blossom and moon and star, The Lady Shemsennehar. The zone embracing her waist,- The ransom of forty princes,- But her form more priceless is placed Carbuncles of Istakhar In her coronet burning are- Though gems of the Jamshid race, Far rarer the gem of her face. Tall-shaped like the letter I, With a face like an Orient morning; Eyes of the bronze-black sky; l)2 ONE DA Y A ND ANO OTHER. Lips, of the pomegranate split, With the light of her language lit Cheeks, which the young blood dares Make blood-red anemone lairs. Kohled with voluptuous look, From opaline casting-bottles, Handmaidens over them shook Rose-water, and strewed with bloom Mosaics old of the room; Torch-rays on the walls made bars, Or minted down golden dinars. Roses of Rocknabad, Hyacinths of Bokhara;- Not a spray of cypress sad ; Narcissus and jessamine o'er Carved pillar and cedarn door Pomegranates and bells of clear Tulips of far Kashmeer. And the chamber glows like a flower Of the Tuba, or vale of El Liwa; 1 3 DA YS AND DREAMS. And the bronzen censers glower; And scents of ambergris pour With myrrh brought out of Lahore, And musk of Khoten, and good Aloes and sandal-wood. Rubies, a tragacanth-red, Angered in armlet and anklet Dragon-like eyes that bled: Bangles and necklaces dangled Diamonds, whose prisms were angled, Over veil and from coiffure, each Or apricot-colored or peach. And Ghoram now smites her lute, Sings loves of Mejnoon and Leila, Or amorous ghazals may suit:- And the flambeaux snap and wave Barbaric on free and slave, Rich fabrics and bezels of gems, And roses in anadems. 14 ONE DA Y AND ANO 7TIER. Sherbets in ewers of gold, Fruits in salvers carnelian Flagons of grotesque mold, Made of a sapphire glass, Stained with wine of ShirAz Shaddock and melon and grape On plate of an antique shape Vases of frost and of rose, An alabaster graven, Filled with the mountain snows Goblets of mother-of-pearl, One filigree silver-swirl; Vessels of gold foamed up With spray of spar on the cup.- When a slave bursts in with the cry " The eunuchs ! the Khalif's eunuchs With scimitars bared draw nigh Vesif and Afif and lhe, Chief of the hideous three, AIesrour ! the Sultan 's seen 'Mid a hundred weapons' sheen !" I5 )DA YS A ND DREAMS. We, never had parted, no ! As parted those lovers fearful But kissing you so and so, When they came they had found us dead On the flowers our blood dyed red Our lips together and The dagger in my hand. 9. She speaks, inusiieg. O cities built by music ! lyres of love Strung to a songful sea ! did I but own One harp chord of one broken barbiton What had I builded for our life thereof In docile shadows under bluebell skies A home upon the poppied edge of eve, Beneath lone peaks the splendors never leave, In lemon orchards whence the egret flies. Where pitying gray the pitiless eyes of Death Blight no slight bud unfostered, I have thought; Deep, lily-deep, pearl-pale daturas, fraught With dewy fragrance like an angel's breath. I 6 ONE DA Y ACND A NO THER. Sleep in the days ; the twilights tuned and tame Through mockbirds throating to attentive stars; Each morn outrivalling each in opal bars Eves preaching beauty with rose-tongues of flame. 0 country by the undiscovered sea! The dream infolds thee and the way is dim- With head not high, what if I follow him, Love--Nvith the madness and the melody I0. Ile, afteer a pause, li4htly. An elf there is who stables the hot Red wasp that stings o' the apricot An elf who rowels his spiteful bay, L ike a mote on a ray, away, away; An elf who saddles the hornet lean To din i' the ear o' the swinging bean Who hunts with a hat cocked half awry The bottle-blue o' the dragon-fly 0 ho, 0 hi ! Oh, well know I. I17 -DA YS AND DREAMS. An elf there is where the clover tips A horn whence the summer leaks and drips, Where lanthorns of mustard-flowers bloom, In the dusk awaits the bee's dull boom Gay gold brocade from head to knee, Who robs the caravan bumble-bee; Big bags of honey bee-inerchants pay To the bandit elf of the Fairy way,- O ho, 0 hey ! I have heard them say. Another ouphen the butterflies know, Who paints their wings like the buds that blow; Flowers, staining the dew-drops through, Seals their colors in tubes of dew; Colors to dazzle the butterflies' wing- The evening moth is another thing: The butterfly's glory he got at dawn, The moon-moth's got when the moon was wan; He it is, that the hollyhocks hear, Who dangles a brilliant i' each one's ear; Teases at noon the pane's green fly, And lights at night the glow-worm's eye 0 ho, 0 hi ! Oh, well know I. I 8 ONE DA Y AND ANOTZHER. But the dearest elf, so the poets say, Is the elf who hides in an eye of gray Who curls in a dimple and slips along TFhe strings of a lute or a lover's song Shines in a scent, or wings a rhyme, And laughs in the bells of a wedding chime Hides unhidden, where none may know, In her bosom's blossom or throat's blue bow- O ho, 0 ho !-a friend or foe II. She, ser-ious/i. Who the loser, who the winner, If the Fancy fail as preacher - None who loved was yet beginner Though another's love-beseecher Love's revealment 's of the inner Life and deity, the teacher. Who may falsify the feeling To the lover who is loser - I9 DA YS AND DREAMS. Has she felt :-the mere revealing Of the passion 's his accuser; She conceals it ; the concealing Is her own love's self-abuser. One hath said, no flower knoweth Of the fragrance it revealeth Song, its soul that overfloweth, Never nightingale's heart feeleth- Such the love the spirit groweth, Love unconscious if it healeth. 12. Hre. Handsels of anemones The surrendered hours Pour about the sweet Spring's knees- Crowding babies of the breeze, Her unstudied flowers. When 't is dawn, bestowing Day Strews with coins of golden 20 ONE DA Y AND ANO THER. Every furlong of his way- Like a Sultan gone to pray At a Kaaba olden. Warlock Night, when dips the dark, Opens, tire on tire, Windows of an heavenly ark, Whence the stars swarm, spark on spark, Butterflies of fire. With the night, the day, the spring,- Godly chords of beauty,- We the instrument will string Of our lives and love shall sing Songs of truth and duty. I 3. ShZe. How it was I can not tell, For I know not where nor why, And the beautiful befell In a land that does not lie 2 1 DA YS AND DREAMS. East or West where mortals dwell- But beneath a vaguer sky. Was it in the golden ages, Or the iron, that I heard, In prophetic speech of sages, How had come a snowy bird 'Neath whose wing lay written pages Of an unknown loxer's word I forget ; you may remember How the earthquake shook our ships How our city, one huge ember, Blazed within the thick eclipse When you found me-deep December Sealed on icy eyes and lips. I forget. No one may say Pre-existences are true: Here 's a flower dies to-day, Resurrected blooms anew Death is dumb and Life is gray- Who shall doubt what God can do 22 ONE DA Y AN-D A NO THER. 14. ale. As to this, nothing to tell, You being all my belief Doubt may not enter or dwell 1lere where your image is chief, Royal, to quicken or quell, Swaying no sceptre of grief. Wise with the wisdom of Spring- D)ew-drops, a world in each prism, Gems from the universe ring Free of all creed and all schism, Peads that are speechless but bring (God-uttered God aphorism. See how the synod is met There of the planets to preach us- Freed from the frost's oubliette, Here how the flowers beseech us- Were it not well to forget Winter and night as they teach us 23 24 DA YS AND DREAMS. Dew-drop, a bud, and a star, These-each a separate thought Over man's logic how far !- God to a unit hath wrought- Love, making these what they are, For without love they were naught. Millions of stars ; and they roll Over your path that is white, Here where we end the long stroll.- Seen of the innermost sight, All of the love of my soul Kisses your spirit. Good-night. OATE DA Y AND ANOTHER. PART 11. 1. Sihe d.elays, meditating. Sad skies and a foggy rain Dripping from streaming eaves; Over and over again Dead drop of the trickling leaves And the woodward winding lane, And the hill with its shocks of sheaves, One scarce perceives. Must I go in such sad weather By the lane or over the hill Where the splitting milk-weed's feather Dim, diamond-like rain-drops fill Or where, ten stars together, Buff ox-eyes rank the rill By the old corn-mill 25 DA YS A ND DREAMS. The creek by this is swollen, And its foaming cascades sound And the lilies, smeared with pollen, In the race look dull and drowned;- 'T is the path we oft have stolen To the bridge, that rambles round With willows crowned. Through a bottom wild with berry Or packed with the iron-weeds, With their blue combs washed and very Purple; the sorghum meads Glint green near a wilding cherry; Where the high wild-lettuce seeds The fenced path leads. A bird in the rain beseeches And the balsams' budding balls Smell drenched by the way which reaches The wood where the water falls Where the warty water-beeches Hang leaves one blister of galls, The mill-wheel drawls. 26 0NE DA Y AND ANOTHER. My shawl instead of a bonnet ! Though the wood be soaking yet Through the wet to the rock I '11 run it- How sweet to meet in the wet !- Our rock with the vine upon it, Each flower a fiery jet-. He won't forget ! 2. He speaks, rowing. Deep are the lilies here that lay Lush, lambent leaves along our way, Or pollen-dusty bob and float White nenuphars about our boat This side the woodland we have reached Two rapid strokes our skiff is beached. There is no path. Heaped foxgrapes choke Huge trunks they wrap. This giant oak Floods from the Alleghanies bore To wedge here by this sycamore; Its wounded bulk, heart-rotted white, Lights ghostly foxfire in the night. 27 DA YS AND DREAMS. Now oar we through this willow fringe The bulging shore that bosks,-a tinge Of green mists down the marge ;-where old, Scarred cottonwoods build walls of shade With breezy balsam pungent; bowled Around vined trunks the floods have made Concentric hollows. On we pass. As we pass, we pass, we pass, In daisy jungles deep as grass, A bubbling sparrow flirts above In wood-words with its woodland love: A white-streaked woodpecker afar Knocks: slant the sun dashed, each a star, Three glittering jays flash over: slim The piping sand-snipes skip and skim Before us: and a finch or thrush- Who may discover where such sing - The silence rinses with a gush Of mellow music gurgling. On we pass, and onward oar To yon long lip of ragged shore, 28 ONE DA Y AND ANOTHER. Where from yon rock spouts, babbling frore A ferny spring; where dodging by Rests sulphur-disced that butterfly Mallows, rank crowded in for room, 'Mid wild bean and wild mustard bloom; Where fishers 'neath those cottonwoods Last Spring encamped those ashes say And charcoal boughs.-'T is long till buds !- Here who in August misses May le speaks, resting. here the shores are irised ; grasses Clump the water gray that glasses Broken wood and deepened distance: Far the musical persistence Of a field-lark lingers low In the west where tulips blow. WVhite before us flames one pointed Star ; and Day hath Night anointed 29 DA YS AND DREAMS. King ; from out her azure ewer Pouring starry fire, truer Than true gold. Star-crowned he stands With the starlight in his hands. Will the moon bleach through the ragged Tree-tops ere we reach yon jagged Rock, that rises gradually Pharos of our homeward valley. Down the dusk burns golden-red Embers are the stars o'erhead. At my soul some Protean elf is You 're Simaetha, I am Delphis You are Sappho and her Phaon- I. We love. There lies a ray on All the dark AEolian seas 'Round the violet Lesbian leas. On we drift. He loves you. Nearer Looms our island. Rosier, clearer The Leucadian cliff we follow, Where the temple of Apollo 30 ONE DA Y AND ANO THER. Lifts a pale and pillared fire- Strike, oh, strike the Lydian lyre Out of Hellas blows the breeze Singing to the Sapphic seas. 4. li' siiugs. Night, Night, 't is night. The moon before to love us, And all the moonlight tangled in the stream: Love, love, my love, and all the stars above us, The stars above and every star a dream. In odorous purple, where the falling warble Of water cascades and the plunged foam glows, A columned ruin heaps its sculptured marble Curled with the chiselled rebeck and the rose. Shie sings. Sleep, Sleep, sweet Sleep sleeps at the drifting tiller, And in our sail the Spirit of the Rain- 3 1 DA YS AND DREAMS. Love, love, my love, ah bid thy heart be stiller, And, hark! the music of the harping main. What flowers are those that blow their balm unto us Bow white their brows' aromas each a flame Ah, child, too kind the love we know, that knew us, That kissed our eyes that we fmight see the same. Re. Night ! night ! good night ! no dream it is to vanish, The temple and the nightingale are there The thornless roses bruising none to banish, The moon and one wild poppy in thy hair. She. Night ! night ! good night ! and love's own star be- fore thee, And love's star-image in the starry sea Yes, yes, ah yes ! a presence to watch o'er thee- Night ! night! good night and good the gods to thee! 32 0ONVE DA Y AND ANO THER. 5. Homeieard /hrouggh flowers : she speaks. o simple offerings of the common hills; Love's lowly names, that make you trebly sweet One johnny-jump-tup, but an apron-full Of starry crowfoot, making mossy dells L)im with heaven's morning blue ; dew-dripping plumes Of waxen "dog-mouths "; red the tippling cups Of gypsy-lilies all along the creek, Where dull the freckled silence sleeps, and dark 'Ihe water runs when, at high noon, the cows W\ade knee-deep and the heat hums drowsy with Ilhe drone of dizzy flies ;-one Samson-flower Blue-streaked and crystal as a summer's cloud White violets, milk-weed, scarlet Indian-pinks, All fragile-scented and familiar as Pink baby faces and blue infant eyes. O fair suggestions of a life more fair ! Love's fragrant whispers of an untaught faith, High habitations 'neath a godlier blue 33 DA YS A4ND DREAMS. Beyond the sin of Earth, in heavens prepared- What is it -halcyon to utter calm, Faith such as wrinkled wisdom, doubting, has Yearned for and sought in miser'd lore of worlds, And vainly -Love -Oh, have I learned to live 6. He speaks. Would you have known it seeing it Could you have seen it being it Waving me out of the budding land Sunbeam-jewelled a bloom-white hand, Wafting me life and hope and love, Life with the hope of the love thereof, Love. W_-- XVhat is the value of knowing it Only the worth of owing it; Need of the bud contents the light Dew at dawn and nard at night, Beauty, aroma, honey at heart, Which is debtor, part for part, Heart 34 ONE DA Y A ND ANOTHER. Thoughts, when the heart is heedable, Then to the heart are readable; I in the texts of your eyes have read Deep as the depth of the living dead, Measures of truth in unsaid song Learned from the soul to haunt me long, Song. Love perpends each laudable Thought of the soul made audible, Said in gardens of bliss or pain Moonlight rays in drops of rain, Feels the faith in its sleep awake, Wish of the silent words that shake Sleep. 7. .She hunis and muses. If love I have had of thee thou hadst of me, iVo loss was in giving it over; Could I give aught but that I had of thee, Beeing no more than thy lover 3 5 DA YS AND DREAMAS. And let it cease. When what befalls befalls, You cannot love me less, Loving me much now. Neither weeks nor walls, With bitterest distress, Shall all avail. Despair will find reprieve, Though dark the soul be tossed, In past possession of that love you grieve, The love which you have lost. Ponder the morning, or the midnight moon, The wilding of the wold, The morning slitting from night's brown cocoon Wide wings of flaxen gold: The moon that, had not darkness been before, Had never shone to lead; And think that, though you are, you are not poor, Since you have loved indeed, From flower to star read upward; you shall see The purposes of loss, Deep hierograms of gracious deity, And comfort in your cross. 36 ONE DAY A ND ANOT THER. 8. She speaks. Sunday shall we ride together Not the root-rough, rambling way Through the woods we went that day, In the sultry summer weather, Past the Methodist Camp-Meeting, Where religion helped the hymn Gather volume, and a slim Minister with textful greeting Welcomed us and still expounded. From the service on the hill We had rode three hills and still Far away the singing sounded. Nor that road through weed and berry Drowsy days led me and you To the old-time barbecue, Where the country-side made merry. 37 DA YS AND DREAMS. Dusty vehicles together; Darkies with the horses by 'Neath the soft Kentucky sky, And a smell of bark and leather When you smiled, "Our modern tourney: Gallantry and politics Dinner, dance and intermix." As we went the homeward journey 'Twixt hot chaparrals and thickets, Heard brisk fiddles, scraping still, Drone and thump the quaint quadrille, Like a worried band of crickets.- Neither road. The shady quiet Of that way by beech and birch, Winding to the ruined church On the Fork that sparkles by it. 38 ONVE DA Y AND ,4ANO7THER. Where the silent Sundays listen For the preacher whom we bring, In our hearts to preach and sing Week-day shade to Sabbath glisten. 9. He, at parting. Yes, to-morrow ; when the morn, Pentecost of flame, uncloses Portals that the stars adorn, Whence a goldeni presence throws his Fiery swords and burning roses At the wide wood's world of wall, Spears of sparkle at each fall Then together let us ride Down deep-wood cathedral places, Where the pillgrim wild-flowers hide, Praying Sabbath in their faces Where in truest untaught phrases, Worship in each rhythmic word, Sings no migratory bird . 39 40 DA YS ANID DREAMS. Pearl on pearl the high stars dight Jewels of divine devices 'Round the Afric throat of Night; Where yon misty glimmer rises Soon the white moon crystallizes Out of darkness, like a spell.- Late, 't is late. Till dawn, farewell. ONE DA Y AND A NOTHER. PART III. I. Now rests the season in forgetfulness, Careless in beauty of maturity; The ripened roses 'round brown temples, she Fulfils completion in a dreamy guess: Now Time grants night the more and day the less The gray decides ; and brown Dim golds and reds in dulling greens express Themselves and broaden as the year goes dow i. Sadder the croft where, thrusting gray and high Tlheir balls of seeds, the hoary onions die, Where, Falstaff-like, buff-bellied pumpkins lie Deeper each wilderness; Sadder the blue of hills that lounge along The lonesome west ; sadder the song Of the wild red-bird in the leafage yellow, Deeper and dreamier, aye ! 41 DA YS AND DREAMS. Than woods or waters, leans the languid sky Above lone orchards where the cider-press Drips and the russets mellow. Nature grows liberal ; under woodland leaves The beech-nuts' burs their little pockets poke, Plump with the copper of the nuts that choke; Above our bristling way the spider weaves A glittering web for which the Dawn designs Thrice twenty rows of sparkles. By the oak, That rolls old roots in many gnarly lines, The acorn thimble, smoothly broke, Shines by its saucer. On sonorous pines The far wind organs ; but the forest here To no weak breeze hath woke; Far off the wind, but crumbling near and near,- Each tingling twig expectant, and the gray Surmise of heaven pilots it the way, Rippling the leafy spiries, Until the wildwood, one exultant sway, Booms, and the sunlight, arrowing through it, shines Visible applause you hear. 42 ONE DA Y AND AAOFTHER. How glows the garden ! though the white mists keep The vagabond in flowers reminded of Decay that comes to slay in open love, When the full moon hangs cold and night is deep, Unheeding such their cardinal colors leap Gay in the crescent of the blade of death Spaced innocents in swaths lhe weeps to real), Waiting his scythe a breath, To gravely lay them dead with one last sweep.- Long, long admire 'Tlheir splendors manifold The scarlet salvia showered wvith spurts of fire Cascading lattices, dark vines that creelp, Nightshade and cypress ; there the marigold Burning-a shred of orange sunset caught And elfed in petals that eve's goblins brought From elfland ; there, predominant red, The dahlia lifts its head By the white balsams' red-bruised horns of honey, In humming spaces sunny. The crickets singing dirges noon and night For morn-born flowers, at dusk already dead, 43 DA YS ANAD DREAMS. For dusk-dead flowers weep While tired Summer white, Where yonder aster whispering odor rocks,- The withered poppies knotted in her locks,- Sighs, 'mong her sleepy hollyhocks asleep. 2 . The hips were reddening on the rose, The haws hung slips of fire; We went the woodland way that goes Up hills of branch and briar. The hooked thorn held her gown and seemed Imploring her be staying The sunlight of herself that beamed Beside it gently swaying. Low bent the golden saxifrage Its yellow bells like bangles The foxglove fluttered. Like a page- From out the rail-fence angles- With crimson plume the sumach, hosed In Lincoln green, attended My lady of the elder, posed In blue-black jewels splendid. 44 ONE DA Y AIND ANO HER. And as we mounted up the hill The rocky path that stumbled Spread smooth ; and all the day was still And odorous with urnbled Tops of wild-carrots drying gray And there, soft-sunned before us, An orchard dwindling away With dappled boughs bent o'er us. An orchard where the pippin fell Worm-bitten, bruised, and dusty And hornet-stung, each like a bell, The Bartlett ripened rusty The smell of tawny peach and plum, That offered luscious yellow ; Of wasp and bee the hidden huml, Made all the warm air mellow. And on we went where many-hued Hung wild the morning-glory, 'Their blue balloons in shadows, dewed With frost-white dew-drops hoary; 6DA YS AND DREAMS. In bush and burgrass far away Beneath us stretched the valley, Cleft by one creek that laughed with day And babbled musically. The brown, the bronze, the gray, the red Of weed and briar ran riot Flush to dark woodland walls that led To nooks of whispering quiet. Long, feathering bursts of golden-rod Ran golden woolly patches- Bloom-sunsets of the withered sod The dying sumner catches. Then o'er the hills, loose-tumbling rolled-- O'erleaping expectation- The sunset, flaming marigold, A system's conflagration: And homeward turning, she and I WVent as one self in being- God met us in the earth and sky And Love had purged our seeing. 46 ONE DA Y A ND A NO THER. 3. Say, my dear, 0 my dear, These are the eves for speaking There is no wight will work us spite Beneath the sunset's streaking. Yes, my dear, 0 my dear, These are the eves for telling To walk together in starry weather Ere springs o' the moon are welling. 0 my dear, yes, my dear, These are the dusks for staying; When twilight dreams of night who seems Among long-purples praying. " No, my dear ! "-" Yes, my dear!" These are the nights to kiss it Times twice-a-twenty: they grow a-plenty On lips that will not miss it. 4. To dream where silence sleeps A sorrow's sleep that sighs; 47 D4A YS AND DREAMS. Where all heaven's azure peeps Blue from one wildflower's eyes Where, in reflecting deeps,- Of cloudier woods and skies,- Another gray world lies. Divining God from things Humble as weeds and bees From songs the free bird sings Learn all are vain but these In light-delighted springs, WVise, star-familiar trees, Seek love's philosophies. 5. Here where the days are dimmest, Each old, big-hearted tree Gives bounteous sympathy Here where dead nights sit grimmest In druid company; Here where the days are dimmest. 4g ONE DA Y AND ANOTHER. Leaves of my lone communion, Leaves ; and the listening sigh Of silence wanders by; While on my soul the union Is-of the wood and sky- Leaves of my lone communion. And eyes with tears are aching, While life waits wistfully For love that may not be In visions vain of waking Lives all it can not see.- And eyes with tears are aching, And eyes with tears are aching. 6. And here alone I sit and see it so. A vale of willows swelling into knobs, A bulwark eastward. Sloping low Westward the scooping waters flow Under a rocky culvert's arch that throbs With clanging wheels of transient trains that go 3 49 DA YS AND DREAMS. Screaming to north and south. Here all the weary waters, stagnant stayed, Sleep at the culvert's mouth The current's hungry hiccup still afraid, Haply, that I should never know The secret 'neath the striate scum o' the stream The devil and the dream, I, dropping gravels so the echo sob Mocking and thin as music of a shade In shades that wring from rocks a hollow woe, Complaining phantoms of faint whispers rob. There, up the valley where the lank grass leaps Blades each a crooked kris, The currents strike or miss Dream melodies: No wide-belled mallow sleeps Monandrous flowers oval as a kiss; No mandrake curling convolutions up Loops heavy blossoms, each a conical cup That swoons moon-nectar and a serpent's hiss No tiger-lily, where the crayfish play, Mirrors a savage face, a copper hue Streaked with a crimson dew; 5o ONE DA Y ANAD A NOTHER. No dragonfly in endless error keeps Sewing the pale-gold gown of day With tangled stitches of a burning blue,- Whose brilliant body but a needle is, An azurn and incarnate ray - But here, where haunted with the shade, The dull stream stales and dies, Are beauties none or few, Such sinister and new And one at widest noon-gaze shrinks afraid Beneath the timid skies So, if you ask me why I answer this You know not ; only where the kildees wade There in the foamy scum, There where the wet rocks ail,- Low rocks to which the water-reptiles come, Basking pied bodies in the brindled shade,- Dim as a bubble's prism on the grail Below, an angled sparkle rayed, While lights and shadows aid From breeze-blown clouds that lounge at sunny loss, 5 I DA YS AND DREAMS. Deep down, a sense of wavy features quail The heart ; with lips that writhe and fade And clench ; tough, rooty limbs that twist and cross, And flabby hair of smoky moss. A brimstone sunset. And at night The twinkling flies in will-o'-the-wisp dance wheel Through copse and open, all a gnomish green. I hear the water, and the wave is white There where the boulder plants a keel, And each taunt ripple 's sheen.- Where instant insects dot The dark with spurts of sulphur-bright, Beneath the hazy height, No bitter-almond trees make wan the night, Building bloom ridges of a ghostly lustre, But white-tops tossing cluster over cluster Huge-seen within that twilight spot- As if a hill-born giant, half asleep, Had dropped his night-cap while he drove his sheep 52 ONE DA Y AND A NVO THER. Foldward through fallow browns And foxy grays,-a something crowns The knoll-is it the odorous peak Of one June-savory timothy stack Now, one dead ash behind, A weak moon shows a withered cheek Of Quaker quiet, wasted o'er the vines' Appentice ruins roofing pillared pines Beyond these, back and back, An oak-wood stretches black- And here the whining were-wolves of the wind Snuff snarling: but their eyes are blind, Although their fangs are fierce And though they never pierce Bieyond the bad, bedevilled woodland streak, I hear them, yes, I hear A padding o' footsteps near, A prowling pant in ear And can not fly !-yes !-no What horror holds mne -That uncoiling slow, Sure, mastering chimera there, Hooping firm unseen feelers 'round my neck- 53 DA YS AND DREAMS. A binding, bruising coil The waters burn and boil; The fire-flies the dappled darkness fleck With impish dabs of blazing wizard's oil Deep, deep into the black eye of the beck I stare, magnetic fixed, and little reck If all the writhing shadow slips, Dripping around me, to the eyes and hips, Where grinning murder leers with lupine lips. 7. What can it mean for me what have I done to her I in our freedom of love as a sun to her; She to our liberty goddess and slumberless Moon of the stars shining silver and numberless: Who on my life, that was thorny and showery, Came-and made dewyness; smiled-and made flowery Mine! the affinitized one of humanity Mine ! the elected of soul over vanity- What have I done to her, what have I done! 54 ONE DAY AND ANOTHER. What can it mean for me what have I said to her I, who have idolized, worshipped, and pled to her; Sung for her, laughed for her, sorrowed and sighed for her, Lived for her, hated and gladly had died for her See ; she has written me thus ! she has written me- Sooner would dagger or serpent had smitten me ! Would they had shrivelled or ever they'd read of it Eyes, that are wide to the bitterest dread of it- What have I said to her, what have I said ! What shall I make of it, I, who am trembling Fearful of loss -Oh, enamored, dissembling Flamne !-of the candle that burning, but gtlttering, Flatters the moth that comes circling and fluttering Out of the summer night ; trusting, importunate, Quitting cool flowers for this-O unfortunate !- Such has she been to me making me such to her, Slaying me, saying I never was much to her- What shall I make of it, what can I make ! Love, in thy everglades, moaning and motionless Look, I have fallen ; the evil is potionless: 55 DA YS AAND DREAMS. I, with no thought but the heavens that lock us in, Set naked feet 'mid the cottonmouth, moccasin Under wild-roses, the Cherokee, eying me:- In the sweet blue with the egrets that, flying me, Loosened like blooms from magnolias, rose slenderly White and pale pink; where the mocking-bird ten- derly Sang, making vistas of mosses melodious, Wandered unheeding my steps in the odious Slime that was venom; I followed the fiery Violet curve of thy star falling wiry- So was I lost in night, thus am undone Have I not told to her-living alone for her- Purposed unfoldments of love I had sown for her Here in the soil of my soul their variety Endless ; and ever she answered with piety.- See ! it has come to this . . . all the tale's suavity At the ninth chapter grows stupid with gravity Duller than death all our beautiful history- Close it !-the finis is more than a mystery.- Yes, I will tell her this ; yes, I will tell. ONE DA Y AND AN OTHER. 57 8. I seemn to hear her speak and see That blue-hung room. Her perfume comes From lavender folds vined dreamily- A-blossom with brocaded blooms,- A stuff of Orient looms. Again I hear her speak and back, Where steals the showery sunlight, piles A whatnot dainty bric-a-brac Beside a tall clock; each glazed tile's Blue-patterned profile smiles. I hear her say, " Ah, had we known, Could what has been have ever been - And now ! " . . . HoIw hurt the hard ache shone In eyes whose sadness seemed to lean On something far, unseen ! And as in sleep my own self seems Outside my suffering self: I flush In mists of undetermined dreams Behold her musing in that hush Of lilac light and plush. DA YS AND DREAMS. Smiling but tortured. Yes, I feel Despite that face, not seeming sad, In those calm temples thoughts like steel Remorseless bore. I had gone mad Had I once deemed her glad. Unconsciously, with eyes that yearn To pierce beyond the present far, Searching some future hope, I turn;- There in her garden one fierce star, Beyond the window's bar,- Vermilion as a storm-sunk sun,- A phyllocactus -all the life Of torrid middays in but one Rich crimson bloom-flames red as strife And near it, rankly rife- Deep coreopsis --heavy hues Of soft seal-bronze and satiny gold, Sway girandoles whose jets of dews Burn points of starlight diamond-cold, Warm-colored, manifold.- 5 8 ONE LA Y AND ANOTHER. She dare not speak ; I can not. Yet An intercourse 'twixt brain and brain Goes feverish on.-Crushed, smelling wvet, Through silken curtains drift again Verbena-scents of rain. I in the doorway turn and stay Angry her cameo beauty mark Set in that smile--Oh ! w-ill she say No farewell no regret one spark Of hope to cheer the dark That sepia-sketch-conceive it so- Ak roguish head with jaunty eyes Laughing beneath a rose-chapeau, Silk-masked, unmasking-it denies The full-faced flower surprise; Hung o'er her davenport . . . We read The true beneath the false ; perceive The smile that hides the ache.-Indeed [ZViose soul unmasks . . .not mine !-I grieve Here, here, but laugh and leave.... 59 DA YS A ND DREAMS. 9. Beyond the knotty apple-trees That fade about the old brick-barn, Its tattered arms and tattered knees A scare-crow tosses to the breeze Among the shocks of corn. All things grow gray in earth and sky; The cold wind sounding drearily Makes all the rusty branches fly The rustling leaves a-rotting lie The year is waning wearily. At night I hear the far wild geese Honk in frost-bitten heavens, under Arcturus. Though I seem to cease Outside myself and sleep in peace, I drowse awake and wonder. I know torn thistles by the creek Hang hairy with the frost ; the tented Brown acres of the corn stretch bleak And ghostly in the moonlight, weak In hollows bitter-scented. So ONE DA Y AND A ATO THER. Dream back the ways we strolled at morn Through woods of summer ever singing Moon-trysts beneath the crooked thorn, The tasselled ineads of cane and corn Their restless shadows swinging. I stand and oar our boat among The dripping lilies of the river I reach her hat the grape-vine long Struck in the stream; we sing a song, That song . . . I wake and shiver. And then my feverish mind reverts To our sad words and sadder parting In days long gone ; and, oh ! it hurts Within here, for the soul asserts Mine the fool fault from starting. And I must lie awake and think Of her with such regrets as gladly No unrebuking conscience shrink; And hear the wild-fowls' clangor sink Through plaintive starlight sadly. 6i DA YS AND DREAMS. When all are overflown and deep The stoic night is left forsaken, For company I well would weep, Since all my spirit fears to sleep, Sleep of such visions shaken. Grave visions of dead deeds that flaw Our waking hours, ever hauinting; Else were we, lacking love and law, Rude scare-crow things of sticks and straw Undaunted and undaunting I0. The sun a splintered splendor was In sober trees that broke and blurred, That afternoon we went together In droning hum and whirling buzz, Where bard the dinning locust whirred, Through fields of golden-rod a-feather. So sweet it was to look and lean To your young face and feel the light Of eyes that fondled mine unsaddened 62 ONE DA Y A ND ANAOTHER. The laugh that left lips more serene; The words that blossomed like the white Life-everlasting there and gladdened. Maturing Summer, you were fraught With wiser beauties then than now Parades rich Autumn's red November This stuns: there dreams no subtle thought As then on hinting bush and bough-- But now I am alone. remember. Through iron-weeds and roses And bronzing beech and oak, Old porches it discloses, Above the briars and roses Fall's feeble sunbeams soak. Neglected walks that tangle The dodder-strangled grass Its chimney shows one angle Heaped with dead leaves that spangle The paths that round it pass. 63 DA YS AND DREAMS. The early mists that bury And hide them in its rooms, From spider closets-very Dim with old webs-will hurry Out in the raining glooms. They haunt each stair and basement They stand on hearth and porch; Lean from each paneless casement, Or in the moonlight's lacement Fly with a phantom torch. There is a sense of frost here And gusts that sob away Of something that was lost here, Long, long ago was lost here, But what, they can not say. There croons no owl to startle Despondency within; No raven o 'er its portal To scare the daring mortal And guard its cellared sin. 64 ONE DA Y AND A NO THER. The creaking road descries it This side the dusty toll; The farmer passing eyes it None stops t' philosophize it, This symbol of a soul. 1 2. Though the dog-tooth violet come With the shower, And the wild-bee haunt and hum Every flower, We shall never wend as when Love laughed leading us from men Over violet vale and glen, Where the red-bird sang an hour, And we heard the partridge drum. Here October shadows pray, Till one stills Joyance, where for buried May Sob the rills: 66 DA YS AND DREAMS. So love's vision has arisen Of the long ago: I listen- Memory, tears in eyes that glisten Points but Indiana hills Fading dark-blue far away ONE DA Y A ND ANO THER. PART IV. I. When in her cloudy chiton Spring freed the donjoned rills, And trumpeting, a Triton, Wind-war was on the hills O'er ways, hope's buds bedizen, Long ways the glory lies on, Love spread us an horizon Of gold beyond life's ills. When Summer came with sickle Stuck in a sheaf of gleams, And eves were honey-trickle From bee-hives of the beams; Scrolls of the days blue-blotted, Scrolls of the night star-dotted, To love and us allotted A world of woven dreams. 67 DA YS AND DREAMS. When Autumn waited tired- A fair-faced heretic- Auto-de-I's Frost fired In Winter's Bishopric Our loves, a song had started, Grew with the song sad-hearted, Sweet loves long-sworn were parted, Though life for love was si1k. Now is the Winter waited 'Neath skies of frozen gold, Or raining heavens hated Of winds that curse and scold.- Shall this be so: that never Shall sunlight snowlight sever Forever and forever The heart wait winter-cold 2. Soft music bring that seems to weep All this dull sorrow of the soul Vague music soft to utter sleep, Sleep and undying dole: 68 ONE DA Y AND ANOTHER. Forgetting not-forgotten most- How love is wvell though lost. So weary, oh ! and yet so fain In silent service of the heart Still feeling if it be in vain Love's spirit hath His part And if in death God grant the rest Life were but kind at best. 3. Last night I slept till midnight Then woke, and far away A cock crowed ; lonely and distant Came mournful a watch-dog's bay But lonelier, slower the tedious Old clock ticked on towards day. And what a day !-remember The morns of a Summer and Spring, That bound two lives together Each morn a wedding ring Of dew and dreams and sparkle, Of flowers and birds a-wing 69I 0DA YS AND DREAMS. Broad morns when I strolled the garden Awaiting one the rose Expected, fresh in its blushes- The Giant of Battle that grows A head of radiance and fragrance, The champion of the close. Not in vain did I wait, departed Summer, this morning mocks; 'Mid the powdery crystal and crimson Of your hollow hollyhocks; Your fairy-bells and poppies, And the bee that in them rocks. Cool-clad 'mid the pendulous purple Of the morning-glory vine, By the giant pearls pellucid Of the peonies a-line, The snapdragons' and the pansies' Deep-colored jewel mine. Shall I ever see my mealy, Drunk dusty-millers gay My lady-slippers bashful 70 ONE DA Y A ND A NO THEER. Of butterfly and ray; My gillyflowers as spicy Each as a day of May Oh, dear when I think of the handfuls Of little gold coin a-mass, My bachelor's-buttons scatter Over the garden grass Of the marigold that boasts its One bit of burning brass More bitter I feel the winter Tighten to spirit and heart And dream of the days remembered As lost-of the past a part; Of the ways we went, all blotted, Tear-blotted on love's chart. And I see the mill and the diamonds Of foam tossed from its wheel Red lilies tumbled together, The madcap wind at heel And the timid veronicas' blossoms- Those prayers the woods conceal. 7 1 DA YS A ND DREA MS, The wild-cat gray of the meadows That the ox-eyed daisies dot, Fawn-eyed and a leopard-yellow, That tangle a tawny spot- As if some panther tired Lay dozing tame and hot. Ah ! back again with the present, With winds that pinch and twist Each leaf in their peevish passion, And whirl wherever they list; With the morning hoary and nipping, Whose mailsolean mist Builds white a tomb for the daylight- A frosty, shaggy fog, That fits gray wigs on the cedars, And furs with wool each log; Carpets with satin the meadow, And velvets white the bog. Alone at morn-indifferent Alone at eve-I sigh; 72 ONE DA Y AND ANOTHER. And wait, like the wind complaining, Complain and know not why; But ailing and longing and hating Because I cannot die. flow dull are the sunsets ! dreary Cold, hard and harsh and dead! Far richer were those of August, One stain of wine-dark red- The juice of a mulberry vintage- To the new moon overhead. B'ut now I sit with the sighing Dead wests of a dying year! Like the fallen leaves and the acorns Am worthless and feel as sear; For the soul and the body sicken, And the heart 's one scalding tear. And I stare from my window ! The darkness, Like a bravo,'his cloak throws on The moon, like a hidden lanthorn, Glitters-or dagger drawn 4 73 DA YS A ND DREAMS. All my heart cries out beseeching: "Strike here ! strike and be gone 4. When friends are sighing Round one and one Nearer is lying, Nearer the sun, When one is dying And all is done I may remember, You may forget Words, each an ember, Burning here yet- In dead December One will regret. Love we have given, Over and o'er, All, who has driven Us from his door, Is he forgiven When he is poor 74 ONE DA Y AND A NOTHER. What if you wept once, What though he knew! What if he slept once! Still he was true, If he but kept once Something of you. Never forgetful, Love may forget; Froward and fretful, Child, he will fret; Ever regretful, He will regret. Love would be sweeter If we but knew; Lives be completer To themselves true Hearts more in metre, Truth looking through. Flesh never near it, Being impure, Mind must endear it 75 6DA YS AND DREAMS. Making it sure- Love in the spirit, That will endure. So when to-morrow Ceases and we Quit this we borrow, Mortality, Such chastens sorrow So it may see. There will be weeping, Weary and deep,- God's be the keeping Of those that weep !- When our loved, sleeping, Sleep their long sleep Then they are dearer Than we're aware Character clearer, Being more fair; Then they are nearer, Nearer by prayer. 76 ONE DA Y A4ND A NO THE R. 5. 77 They will not say I can not live beyond the weary night, But then I know that I shall die before comes morning's light. How frail is flesh !-but you '11 forgive me now I tell you how I loved you, love you ; and the pain it gives to leave you now This could not be on earth ; the flesh, that clothes the soul of me- Ordained at birth a sacrifice to this heredity- Denied, forbade.-Ah, you have seen the bright spots in my cheeks Grow hectic, as before comes night blood dyes the sunset's streaks Consumption. " But I promised you my love "- 't is left forlorn Of life God summons unto him, and is it then for- sworn - 78 DA YS AWND DREAMS. Oh, I was glad in love of you; but think: if I had died Ere babe of mine had come to be a solace at your side Had it been little then, your grief, when Heaven had made us one In everything that 's good on earth and then the good undone No ! no !-and had I lived to raise a boy we saw each day Bud into beauty, with that blight born in him that must slay Just when we cherish him the most, and youthful, sunny pride Sits on his curly front, he pines and dies ere I have died. Whose fault -not mine ! but hers or his, that an- cestor who gave Escutcheon to our humble house-a death's-head and a grave. ONE DA Y AND A NO TI A'. 79 Beneath the pomp of those grim arms we live and may not move; Nor faith, nor fame, nor wealth avail to hurl them down, nor love. How could I tell you this -not then ! when all the world wvas spun Of morning colors for our love to walk and dance upon. I could not tell you how disease hid here a viper germ, Precedence slowly claiming and so slowly fixing firm. And when I broke our plighted troth and would not tell you why, I loved you, thinking " time enough when I have come to die." Draw off my rings and let my hands rest so . the wretched cough Will interrupt my feeble speech and will not be put off. . 80 DA YS AND DREAMS. Ah, anyhow, my anodyne is this-to feel that you Are near me, that your healthy hand soothes mine's unhealthy dew. And that your heart excuses all, and that you will not fret Because you understand me now and never will forget.- Now bring me roses pale and pure and tell me death 's a lie, -Late was it hard for me to live, now it is hard to die. ONE DA Y AND ANO THER. 8 PART V. I. Vased in her bedroom window, white As her glad girlhood, never lost, I smelt the roses ; and the night Outside was fog and frost. What though I claimed her dying there God nor one angel understood Nor cared, who from loved feet to hair Had changed to mist her blood. Love, love had claimed us long, and long Our hearts sang harp-strung, late and soon But God !-God jangles thus the song And makes discord of tune. What lily llier than her face ! More virgin than her lips I kissed When morn like God, with gold and grace Broke massed in mist ! broke massed in mist 8I DA YS AND DREAMS. 2. Love, to your face farewell now, Pillowed a flower on flowers; Eyes, white-weighed with a spell now; Lips, with nothing to tell now, That bade adieu to ours. Dear, is your soul so daggered There by a world that hates Love-is he ever laggard Hope-is her face so haggard You, who are one with the Fates Never to wait to-morrow Under such worldly skies Never to sleep with sorrow Hour by hour to borrow Joy that has only sighs Sweet, farewell forever; And a burning tear or two- Will they reach your knowledge ever, And touch through the dreams that sever My life from the life of you 82 ONE DA Y AND A2VOTHER. o Life, in my flesh so fearful Medicine me this pain ! Thy eyes with a science cheerful, But mine, with a mystery tearful, Tearful and slumber-fain. Love, to your lips farewell now- Your spirit through them I kiss Lips-so sealed with a spell now! Lips, with nothing to tell now But this ! but this ! but this ! 3. So long it seems since last I saw her face, So long ago it seems, Like some sad soul, in unconjectured space, Lost in the happiness of some dead grace Remembered-I. And, oh ! a little while The sorrow stabs and Death conceals no smile From Love bowed weeping in a thorny place- So long ago, our love is what are dreams ! 8,3 DA YS AND DREAMS. Since she is gone no more I feel the light, Since she is gone beyond, Burst like a revelation out of night,- Golden convictions of far futures bright,- Whiles clouds around the west take marble tones; For Hope sits sighing in a place of stones, Dark locks dishevelled and face very white,- Since she is gone and life 's an iron bond. Now she is dead the doubt Love dulled with awe, Now she is dead to me, Questions the wisdom of diviner law. Self-solved of self I search to find a flaw- O egotism of Earth's fools and slaves !- For Faith leans thoughtful in a place of graves, On that unseen from this seen known to draw, Now she is dead and it is hard to see. 4. Ridged and bleak the gray forsaken Twilight at the night has guessed, Where no star of dusk has taken Flame unshaken in'the west. 84 ONE DA Y AND AANOTER. All the day the woodlands dying Moaned, and drippings as of grief Tossed from barren boughs with sighing Death of flying twig and leaf. Ash, to be a dream unbroken, Past the ironies of Fate ! Born a tree ; with branches oaken Dear unspoken intimate. Who may say that man has never Lived the mighty hearts of trees Graduating Godward ever, The Forever finds through these Colors, we have lived, are cherished Odors, we have been, are ours Entity alone has perished; Beauty-nourished souls were flowers. Music, when the fancy guesses, Lifts us loftier thoughts among Spirit that the flesh distresses, But expresses self with song... 85 DA YS A ND DREA MS. Heaven in darkness bends upbraiding Without moonlight, without star; Darkness and the reason aiding, All but fading phantoms are. Still philosophy is saying: " Now that hope with life seems gone, Some are cursing, some are praying, God smiles raying in the dawn! 5. Wild weather ; the whip of the sleet On the shuttered casement tapping; A shadow from face to feet, Like a shroud, my spirit wrapping, Wild weather ; and how is she Now the sting of the storm beats serried, Over the stone and the tree Of the grave where she is buried Wild weather ; I cannot weep- But the skies weep on and worry; So I sleep, and dream in my sleep How I hear dim garments hurry... 86 ONE DA Y AND ANAO THER. Star weather and footsteps of stars And I see white raiment glisten, Like the glow on the face of Mars When the stars to the angels listen. And with me I see how she stands With lips high thought has weighted With testifying hands, And eyes with purity mated. Have I spoken and have I kneeled To the prayer I worship, I wonder - What waits on her lips that are sealed God-sealed and who shall sunder I sob, " Oh your stay was long ! You are come, but your feet were laggard, With mansuetude and song For a heart your death has daggered." And I lift wet eyes to her Unutterable with weeping, And beg for the loves that were, Now passed into Heaven's keeping . . 87 DA YS AND DREAMS. I wake and a clock tolls three- And the night and the storm lie serried On the testament that 's she, Closed, clasped, and forever buried. 6. The night is shrewd with storm and sleet Each loose-warped casement raps or groans I hear the wailing woodland beat The teinpest with long blatant moans, Like one who fears defeat. And sitting here beyond the storm, Alone within the lonely house, It seems of Sleep the Fairy charm Weaves incantations ; even the mouse That scratched has come to harm. And in this grave light, stolen o'er Familiar objects, grown severe, I 'm strange-as, opening a door, One finds one's dead self standing near, One knew not dead before. 88 ONE DA Y A ND A NOTHER. The old stair rings with growling gusts Each hearth's flue gasps a gorgon throat That snores and sleeps ; the spectral dusts, Which yonder Shawnee war-gear coat, Whose quiver hangs and rusts, Are shaken ; till I feel that he, Who wore it in the wild war-dance, And died in it, fills shadowy Its wampumed skins ; its plume, perchance, Shakes, scowling eyes at me. And so the Swedenbcrge I toss Aside, contented with the dark That takes me. O'er the fire-light cross Pass where the andirons spit and spark, And ponder o'er her loss. Or from the flaw-splashed window yearn Out toward the waste, where sway and dip Dank, dark December boughs, where burn Some late last leaves, that icy drip No matter where you turn. 89 0DA YS AND DREAMS. Where sodden soil, you scarce have trod, Fills oozy footprints ; and the night So ugly that it mocks at God, Creating monsters which the sight Fancies, unseen, abroad. The months I count: how long it seems Since that bland summer when with her, There on her porch, in rainy gleams We watched the mellow lightning stir In rain-,clouds gray as dreams ! When all the west a torn gold sheet- Swift openings of some Titan's forge- Laid bald with storm ; in quivering heat Pitched precipice and nightmare gorge, Where thunder torrents beat. And strong the wind was as again Storm lit the instant earth ; and how The wood sprang out one virent stain We read no more-lost is it now !- In Romance of a Reign; go ON'E DA Y AND ANO THER. A tale of nowhere ; then that we Were reading till we heard the plunge Of distant thunder sullenly, And left to mark long lightnings lunge Convulsions fiery. What worlds love wrought us, dreaming there, Of sorcery and necromance ! With spirits lustrous of the air, A land like one great pearl, a trance Of floods and forests fair. Where white-faced flowers sang and thought Where fragrant birds flew, brilliant-blown, In winging odors ; feather-fraught With light, where breathing colors shone, On throbbing music brought. Or built us some snug country home Among the hills ; with terraces Vine-hung and orchared o'er the foam Of the Ohio, far one sees Wind crimson in the gloam. 91 92 DA YS AND DREAMS. And this ! and this !-alone ! alone ! To hear the sweep of winter rain, The missiled sleet's sharp arrows blown; Dark shadow on the freezing pane, And on my heart a moan ! DA YS AND DREAMS. DAYS AND DREAMS. HE dreamed of hills so deep with woods Storm-barriers on the summer sky Are not more dark, where plunged loud floods Down rocks of sullen dye. Flat ways were his where sparsely grew Gnarled, iron-colored oaks, with rifts, Between dead boughs, of Eden-blue Ways where the speedwell lifts Its shy appeal, and spreading far- The gold. the fallen gold of dawn Staining each blossom's balanced star- Hollows of cowslips wan. Where 'round the feet the lady-smiock And pearl-pale lady-slipper creep White butterflies upon them rock Or seal-brown suck and sleep. 93 DA YS AND DREAMS. At eve the west shoots crooked fire Athwart a half-moon leaning low While one white, arrowy star throbs higher In curdled honey-glow. Was it some elfin euphrasy That purged his spirit so that there Blue harebells, by those ways that be, Seemed summoning to prayer For all the death within him prays Not he-his higher self, whose love Fire-filled the flesh. Its light still stays Touched by the soul above. They found him dead his songs beside, Six stairs above the din and dust Of life: and that for which he died Denied him even a crust. 94 DEZTY. DEITY. NO personal; a God divinely crowned With gold and raised upon a golden throne Deep in a golden glory, whence he nods Man this or that-and little more than man And shalt thou see Him individual Not till the freed intelligence hath sought Ten hundred hundred years to rise and love, Piercing the singing cycles under God,- Their iridescent evolutions orbed In wild prismatic splendors,-shall it see- Through God-propinquity become a god- See, lightening out of spheric harmonies, Resplendencies of empyrean light, Prisms and facets of ten million beams Starring a crystal of berainbowed rays, And in this-eyes of burning sapphire, eyes 95 DA YS AND DREAMS. Deep as the music of the beautiful; And o'er the eyes, limpid hierarchal brows, As they were lilies of seraphic fire; Lips underneath, of trembling ruby-lips Whose tongue 's a chord, and every sound a song: Cherubic faces of intensity In multiplying myriads to a word Forming the unit-God ; Supremity (Creative and ubiquitous. From this Thy intellect, detached, expelled and breathed Exaltant into flesh endowed with soul, One sparkle of the Essence clothed with clay.- O high development ! devolvings up From matter to unmattered potencies, Up to the source and fountain of all mind, Beauty and truth, inviolable Love, And so resumed and reabsorbed in God, One more expression of eternity ! SELF. SELF. A SUFI debauchee of dreams Spake this :-From Sodomite to Peri Earth tablets us ; we live and are Man's own long commentary. Is one begat in Bassora, One lies in Damietta dying- The plausibilities of God All possibles o'eriying. But burns the lust within the flesh- Hell 's but a homily to Heaven,- Put then the individual first, And of thyself be shriven. Neither in adamant nor brass The scrutinizing eye records it The arm is rooted in the heart, The heart that rules and lords it. 7 97 98 DA YS AND DREAMS. Be that it is and thou art all; And what thou art so thou hast written Thee of the lutanists of Love, Or of the torture-smitten. SELF AND SOUL. SELF AND SOUL. IT came to me in my sleep, And I rose from my sleep and went Out in the night to weep, Over the bristling bent. With my soul, it seemed, I stood Alone in a moaning wood. And my soul said, gazing at me, " Shall I show you another land Than other this flesh can see " And took into hers my hand.- We passed from the wood to a heath As starved as the ribs of Death. Three skeleton trees we pass, Bare bones on an iron moor, Where every leaf and the grass Was a thorn and a thistle hoar. 99 DA YS AND DREAMS. And my soul said, looking on me, " The past of your lhfe you see. " And a swine-herd passed with his swine, Deformed; and I heard him growl; Two eyes of a sottish shine Leered under two brows as foul. And my soul said, " This is the lust That soils my limbs with the dust." And a goose wife hobbled by On a crutch, with the devil's geese A-mumbling how life is a lie, And cursing my soul without cease. And my soul said, " This is desire; The meaning of life is higher." And we came to a garden, close To a hollow of graves and tombs; A garden as red as a rose Hung over of obscene glooms; The heart of each rose was a spark That smouldered or splintered the dark. 100 SELF AND SOUL. And I was aware of a girl With a wild-rose face, who came With a mouth like a shell's split pearl, Rose-clad in a robe of flame; And she plucked the roses and gave, And my flesh was her veriest slave. She vanished. My lips would have kissed The flowers she gave me with sighs, But they writhed in my hands and hissed, In their hearts were a serpent's eyes. And my soul said, "Pleasure is she; The joys of the flesh you see. " And I bowed with a heart too weary, That longed for rest, for sleep; And my eyes were heavy and teary, And yearned for a way to weep. And my soul smiled, " This may be! Fil/you know me and follow me" 10I DA YS AND DREAMS. THE DREAM OF DREAD. I HAVE lain for an hour or twain Awake, and the tempest is beating On the roof, and the sleet on the pane, And the winds are three enemies meeting And I listen and hear it again, My name, in the silence, repeating. Then dumbness of death that must slay, Till the midnight is burst like a bubble And out of the darkness a ray- 'T is she! the all beautiful double; With a face like the breaking of day, Eyes dark with the magic of trouble. I move not; she lies with her lips At mine; and I feel she is drawing My life from my heart to their tips, My heart where the horror is gnawing 102 THE DREAM OF DREAD. My life in a thousand slow sips, My flesh with her sorcery awing. She binds me with merciless eyes; She drinks of my blood, and I hear it Drain up with a shudder and rise To the lips, like the serpent's, that steer it And she lies and she laughs as she lies, Saying, " Lo, thy affinitized spirit Then I hear-as if torturing swords Had shivered and torments had grated Hoarse iron deep under ; and words As of sins that howled out and awaited A fiend who lashed into their hords, And a demon who lacerated. And I shriek and lie clammy and stark, As the curse of a devil mounts higher, Up-out of damnation and dark, Up-a hobble of hoofs that is dire I feel that his mouth is a spark, His features, of filth and of fire.- I03 104 DA IS AND DREAMS. " To thy body's corruption, thy grave ! Thy hell ! from which thou hast stolen ! " And a blackness rolls down like a wave With a clamor of tongues that are swollen- And I feel that my flesh is the slave Of a-vampire, diakka, eidolon DEA TIJ IN LIFE. DEATH IN LIFE. W ITHIN my veins it beats AV / And burns within my brain; For when the year is sad and sear I dream the dream again. Ah ! over young am I God knows ! yet in this sleep More pain and woe than women know I know, and doubly deep ! . Seven towers of shaggy rock Rise red to ragged skies, Built in a marsh that, black and harsh, To dead horizons lies. Eternal sunset pours, Around its warlock towers, A glowing urn where garnets burn With fire-dripping flowers. 105 DA YS AND DREAMS. O'er bat-like turrets high, Stretched in a scarlet line, The crimson cranes through rosy rains Drop like a ruby wine. Once in the banquet-hall These scarlet storks are heard I sit at board with men o' th' sword And knights of noble word Cased all in silver mail But he, I love and fear, In glittering gold beside me bold Sits like a lover near. Wild music echoes in The hollow towers there Behind bright bars o' his visor, stars Beam in his eyes and glare. Wild music oozes from Arched ceilings, caked with white Groined pearl ; and floors like mythic shores That sing to seas of light. io6 DEA TI! IN LIFE. Wild music and a feast, And one's beloved near In burning mail-why am I pale, So pale with grief and fear Red heavens and slaughter-red The marsh to west and east; Seven slits of sky, seven casements high, Flare on the blood-red feast. Our torches tall are these, Our revel torches seven, That spill from gold soft splendors old- The hour of night-eleven. No word. The sparkle aches In cups of diamond-spar, That prism the light of ruddy white In royal wines of war. No word. Rich plate that rays, Splashes of splitting fires, Off beryl brims; while sobs and swims Enchantment of lost lyres, 107 DA VS A ND DREAMS. I lean to him I love, And in the silence say: "Would thy dear grace reveal thy face, If love should crave and pray " Grave Silence, like a king, At that strange feast is set Grave Silence still as the soul's will, That rules the reason yet. But when I speak, behold! The charm is snapped, for low Speaks out the mask o' his golden casque, " At midnight be it so ! " And Silence waits severe, Till one sonorous tower, Owl-swarmed, that looms in glaring glooms, Sounds slow the midnight hour. Three strokes ; the knights arise, The palsy from them flung, To meward mock like some hoarse rock When wrecking waves give tongue. log DEA TH IN LIFE. Six strokes ; and wailing out The music hoots away; The fiery glimmer of eve dies dimmer, The red grows ghostly gray. Nine strokes; and dropping mould The crumbling hall is lead; The plate is rust, the feast is dust, The banqueters are dead. Twelve strokes pound out and roll; The huge walls writhe and shake O'er hissing things with taloned wings- Christ Jesus, let me wake Then rattling in the night His iron visor slips- In rotting mail a death's-head pale Kisses my loathing lips. Two hell-fierce lusts its eyes, Sharp-pointed like a knife, That flaming seem to say, " NVo dream! Nzo dream ! the truth of Life ! " log DA YS A ND DREA MS. THE EVE OF ALL-SAINTS. I. THIS is the tale they tell, Of an Hallowe'en; This is the thing that befell Me and the village Belle, Beautiful Aimee Dean. 2. Did I love her -God and she, They know and I ! And love was the life of me- Whatever else may be, Would God that I could die I IO THE EVE OF ALL-SAINTS. 3. That All-Saints' eve was dim The frost lay white Under strange stars and a slim Moon in the graveyard grim, An Autumn ghost of light. 4. They told her: " Go alone, With never a word, To the burial plot's unknown Grave with the grayest stone, When the clock on twelve is heard 5. "Three times around it pass, With never a sound; Each time a wisp of grass And myrtle pluck, and pass Out of the ghostly ground- I I I DA YS AND DREAMS. 6. "And the bridegroom thal 's to be At smiling wait, With a face like mist to see, With graceful gallantry Will bow you to the gate." 7. She laughed at this, and so Bespoke us how To the burial place she 'd go And I was glad to know, For I 'd be there to bow. 8. An acre from the farm The homestead graves Lay walled from sun and storm Old cedars of priestly form Around like sentinel slaves. 11I2 THE EVE OF ALL-SAINTS. 9. I loved, but never could say Such words to her, And waited from day to day, Nursing the hope that lay Under the doubts that were.- I0. She passed 'neath the iron arch Of the legended ground, And the moon like a twisted torch Burned over one lonesome larch; She passed with never a sound. II. Three times had the circle traced, Three times had bent To the grave that the myrtle graced Three times, then softly faced Homeward, and slowly went. I1I3 DA YS AND DREAMS. 12. Had the moonlight changed me so Or fear undone Her stepping strange and slow Did she see and did not know Or loved she another one '3. Who knows -She turned to flee With a face so white That it haunts and will haunt me; The wind blew gustily, The graveyard gate clanged tight 14. Did she think it me or-what, Clutching her dress Her face so pinched that not A star in a stormy spot Shows half as much distress. I114 ThRE EVE OF ALL-SAINTS. I 1 J 5. Did I speak did she answer aught O God! had I said Aimee, 't is I ! " but naught !- And the mist and the moon distraught Stared with me on her-dead.. i 6. This is the tale they tell Of the Hallowe'en; This is the thing that befell Me and the village Belle, Beautiful Aimee Dean. DA YS AND DREAMS. MATER DOLOROSA. THE nuns sing, " ora pro nobis," The lancets glitter above; And the beautiful Virgin whose robe is Woven of infinite love, Infinite love and sorrow, Prays for them there on high;- Who has most need of her prayers,-to-morrow Shall tell them,-they or I Up in the hills together We loved, where the world seemed true Our world of the whin and heather, Our skies of a nearer blue, A blue from which one borrows A faith that helps one die- O Mother, sweet Mother of Sorrows, None needs such more than I! I i6 MA TER DOLOROSA. We lived, we loved unwedded- Love's sin and its shame that slays !- No ill of the year we dreaded, No day of its coming days Its coming days, their many Trials by morn and night, And I know no land, not any, Where love's lilies grow so white Was he false to me, my Mother! Or I to him, my God !- Who gave thee right, 0 brother To take God's right and rod! God's rod of avenging morrows, And the life here in my side ! O Mother, God's Mother of Sorrows, For both I would have died ! By the wall of the Chantry kneeling, I pray and the organ rings Gloria! gloria!" pealing, "Sancta Mfaria " sings 117 II 8 DA YS AND DREAMS. They will find us dead to-morrow By the wall of their nunnery, o Mother, sweet Mother of Sorrow ! His unborn babe and me. THE OLD INN. THE OLD INN. I. R ED-WINDING from the sleepy town, One takes the lone, forgotten lane Straight through the hills. A brush-bird brown Bubbles in thorn-flowers sweet with rain Light shivers sink the gleaming grain The cautious drip of higher leaves The lower dips that drip again.- Above the tangled tops it heaves Its gables and its haunted eaves. 2. One creeper, gnarled to bloomlessness, O'er-forests all its eastern wall; The sighing cedars rake and press Dark boughs along the panes they sprawl; While, where the sun beats, breaks a drawl l l9 120 DA YS AND DREAMS. Of hiving wasps; one bushy bee, Gold-dusty, hurls along the hall To hum into a crack.-To me The shadows seem too scared to flee. 3. Of ragged chimneys martins make Huge pipes of music ; twittering here Build, breed, and roost.-My footfalls wake Strange stealing echoes, till I fear I '11 meet my pale self coming near My phantom face as in a glass; Or one men murdered, buried-where Dim in gray, stealthy glimmer, pass With lips that seem to moan " Alas." LAS T DA YS, LAST DAYS. A YE ! heartbreak of the tattered hills, And mourning of the raining sky ! Heartbreak and mourning, since God wills, Are mine, and God knows why! The brutal wind that herds the storm In hail-big clouds that freeze along, As this gray heart are doubly warm With thrice the joy of song. I held one dearer than each day Of life God sets in limpid gold-- What thief hath stole that gem away To leave me poor and old ! The heartbreak of the hills be mine, Of trampled twig and mired leaf, Of rain that sobs through thorn and pine An unavailing grief! 6 12 1 I22 DAYS AND DREAMS. The sorrow of the childless skies' Good-nightzs, long said, yet never said, As when I kissed my child's blue eyes And lips ice-dumb and dead. THE ROMANZA. THE ROMANZA. IN a kingdom of mist and moonlight, Or ever the world was known, Past leagues of unsailed water, There reigned a king with a daughter That shone like a starry stone. The day grew out o' the moonlight But never a day was there. The king was wise as hoary, And his daughter, like the glory Of seven kingdoms, fair. And the night dimmed over the moonlight,- And ever the mtist was gray,- With slips of dull stars, bluer W here the princess met her wooer, A page like the month o' BMay. I2 3 1DA YS AND DREAMS. In her eyes the mist, and the moonlight In hair of a crumpled gold; By day they wooed a-hawking, A-hawking laughed, a-mocking The good, white king and old. On the sea the mist, and the moonlight Poured pale to the lilies' tins;- At eve, when the hawks were feeding, In courts to the kennels leading, He kissed her mouth and lips. On towers the mist, and the moonlight On a dead face staring up;- His kingly couch was ready, Put and her hand was steady Giving the poisoned cup. 124 M Y R OMA NCE. MY ROMANCE. IF it so befalls that the midnight hovers In mist no moonlight breaks, The leagues of years my spirit covers, And myself myself forsakes. And I live in a land of stars and flowers, White cliffs by a silver sea; And the pearly points of her opal towers From the mountains beckon me. And I think that I know that I hear her calling From a casement bathed with light- The music of waters in waters falling To palms from a rocky height. And I feel that I think my love 's awaited By the romance of her charms; That her feet are early and mine belated In a world that chains my arms. I2 5 I26 D A YS ANAD DREAMS. But I break my chains and the rest is easy- In the shadow of the rose Snow-white, that blooms in her garden breezy, We meet and no one knows. To dream sweet dreams and kiss sweet kisses The world-it may live or die; The world that forgets, the soul that misses The life that has long gone by. We speak old vows that have long been spoken, And weep a long-gone woe,- For you must know our hearts were broken Hundreds of years ago. THE EPIC. THE EPIC. T" 0arms ! " the battle bugles blew. The daughter of their Earl was she, Lord of a thousand swords and true He but a squire of low degree. The horns of war blew up to horse He kissed her mouth ; her face was white God grant they bear thee back no corse! "- "God give I win my spurs to-night !" Each watch-tower's blazing beacon scarred A blood-blot in the wounded dark She heard knights gallop battleward, And from the turret leaned to mark. "My God, deliver me and mine I My child ! my God ! " all night she prayed: She saw the battle beacons shine; She saw the battle beacons fade. I27 128 DA YS AND DREAMS. They brought him on a bier of spears.- For him-the death-won spurs and name; For her-the sting of secret tears, And convent walls to hide her shame. THE BLIND HARPER. THE BLIND HARPER. A ND thus it came my feet were led To wizard walls that hairy hung Old as their rock the moss made dead And, like a ditch of fire flung Around it, uncouth flowers red Thrust spur and fang and tongue. And here I harped. Did dead men list Or was it hollow hinges gnarred Huge, iron scorn in donjon-twist And when I thought a face sword-scarred Would curse me, lo! a woman kissed At me hands ringed and starred. And so I sang ; for she had leaned Rare beauty to me, dark and tall I sang of Love, whose Court is queened Of Alienor the virginal, I129 DA YS ANISD DREAMS. Nor saw how rolled on me a fiend Wolf-eyeballs from the wall. Oh, how I sang ! until she laughed Red lips that made lute harmony; I sang of knights who fought and quaffed To Love's own paragon, Marie- Nor saw the suzerain whose shaft WVas bowed and bent on me. And I had harped until she wept; But when I sang of Ermengarde Of Anjou,-where her Court is kept By brave, by beauty, and by bard,- She turned a raven there and swept Me, like a fury, 'ward. A bleeding beak had pierced my sight; A crimson claw each cheek had lined One glimpse: wild walls of threatening night Heaped raven battlements behind A moat of blazing serpents bright- And then I wandered blind. I130 ELPHIN.' ELPHIN. THE eve was a burning copper, The night was a boundless black Where wells of the lightning crumbled And boiled with blazing rack, When I came to the coalblack castle With the wild rain on my back. Thrice under its goblin towers, Where the causey of rock was laid, Thrice, there at its spider portal, My scornful bugle brayed, But never a warder questioned,- An owl's was the answer made. When the heaven above was blistered One scald of blinding storm, And the blackness clanged like a cavern Of iron where demons swarm, 131 DA YS AND DREAMS. I rode in the court of the castle With the shield upon my arm. My sword unsheathed and certain Of the visor of my casque, My steel steps challenged the donjon My gauntlet should unmask; But never a knight or varlet To stay or slay or ask. My heels on the stone ground iron, My fists on the bolts clashed steel;- In the hall, the roar of the torrent, In the turret, the thunder's peal;- And I found her there in the turret Alone by her spinning-wheel. She spun the flax of a spindle, And I wondered on her face She spun the flax of a spindle, And I marvelled on her grace; She spun the flax of a spindle, And I watched a little space. I 3 2 ELPHrV. But nerves of my manhood weakened; The heart in my breast was wvax; Myself but the hide of an image Out-stuffed with the hards of flax She spun and she smiled a-spinning A spindle of blood-red flax. She spun and she laughed a-spinning The blood of my veins in a skein; But I knew how the charm was mastered, And snapped in the hissing vein; So she wove but a fiery scorpion That writhed from her hands again. Fleeing in rain and in tempest, Saw by the cataract's bed,- Cancers of ulcerous fire, Wounds of a bloody red,- Its windows glare in the darkness Eyes of a dragon's head. 133 DA YS AND DREAMS. PRE-ORDINATION. S HE bewitched me in my childhood, And the witch's charm is hidden- Far beyond the wicked wildwood I shall find it, I am bidden. She commands me, she who bound me With soft sorcery to follow; In a golden snare who wound me To her bosom's snowy hollow. Comes a night-dark stallion sired Of the wind ; a mare his mother Whom Thessalian madness fired, And the hurricane his brother. Then my soul delays no longer: Though the night around is scowling, Keenly mount him blacker, stronger Than the tempest that is howling. 134 PRE-ORDINA TION. At our ears wild shadows whistle Brazen forks the lightning o'er us Flames ; and huge the thunder's missile Bursts behind us, drags before us. Over fire-scorched fields of stubble Iron forests dark with wonder Evil marshes black with trouble Nightmare torrents thundering under In the thorn that past us races, Harelipped hags like crovs are rocking; Stunted oaks have dwarf-like faces Gnarled that leer an impish mocking Rocks, in which the storm is hooting, Thrust a humpbacked murder over Bristling heaths, dead thistles shooting, Raven-haunted gibbets cover: Each and all are passed, like water Under-rolled into a cavern, Till we see the Devil's daughter Waiting at the Devil's tavern. 1 3 DA YS AND DREAMS. And we stay ; I drain the beaker In her hand ; the draught is fire World-remembrances grow weaker, And my spirit, one desire. Course it ! course it ! Darkness passes Like an uprolled banner tattered Walled before us mountain masses Rise like centuries unscattered. And the storm flies ragged. Slowly Comes a moon of copper-color, And the evil night grows holy, Mists the wild ride growing duller. In the round moon's angry scanning, Demon-swift cross spider arches Of the web-thick bridges spanning Chas ms of her kingdom's marches. We have reached her kingdom, olden As the sea that sighs its sadness; Rocks and trees and sands are golden, And the air a golden gladness. 136 PRE-ORDINA TION. 137 Shapely ingots are the flowers, And the waters, amber brightness Gold-bright song-birds in the bowers Sing with eyes of diamond whiteness. And she meets me with a chalice Like the Giamschid ruby burning, And I drain it without malice, To her towers of topaz turning. Many hundred years forgetting All that 's earth: within her power I possess her: naught regretting Since each year is as an hour. DA YS AND DREAMS. AT THE STILE. OUNG Harry leapt over the stile and kissed Y her, Over the stile the stars a-winking; He thought it was Mary-'t was Mary's sister- And love hath a way of thinking. Thy pail, sweetheart, I will take and carry."- Over the stile the stars hang yellow.- "Just to the spring, my sweetheart Harry."- And love is a heartless fellow. "Thou saidst me yea when the frost did shower Over the stile from stars a-shiver."- "I say thee nay now the cherry-trees flower, And love is taker and giver." "0 false ! thou art false to me, sweetheart ! "- Over the stile the stars a-glister.- I3 8 AT THE STILE. I39 "To thee, the stars, and myself, sweetheart, I never was aught save Mary's sister. "Sweet Mary's sister and thou my Harry, Her Harry and mine, but mine the weeping In a month or twain you two will marry- And I in my grave be sleeping." Alone among the meadows of millet, Over the sti]e the stars pursuing, Somnc tears in her pail as she stoops to fill it- And love hath a way of doing. DA YS AND DREAMS. THE ALCALDE'S DAUGHTER. THE times they had kissed and parted That night were over a score; Each time that the cavalier started, Each time she would swear him o'er. "Thou art going to Barcelona !- To make Naxera thy bride! Seduce the Lady Yona !- And thy lips have lied ! have lied! "I love thee ! I love thee, thou knowest' And thou shalt not give away The love to my life thou owest; And my heart commands thee stay !- "I say thou hast lied and liest !- For where is there war in the state Thou goest, by Heaven the highest! To choose thee a fairer mate. 140 THE ALCALDE'S DA UGHTER. "Wilt thou go to Barcelona When thy queen in Toledo is To wait on the haughty Yona, When thou hast these lips to kiss " And they stood in the. balcony over The old Toledo square: And weeping she took for her lover A red rose out of her hair. And they kissed farewell ; and higher The moon made amber the air: And she drew for the traitor and liar A stiletto out of her hair. When the night-watch lounged through the quiet With the stir of halberds and swords, Not a bravo was there to defy it, Not a gallant to brave with words. One man, at the corner's turning, Quite dead. And they stoop or stand- In his heart a dagger burning, And a red rose crushed in his hand. 141 DA VS AND DREAMS. AT THE CORREGIDOR'S. TO Don Odora says Donna De Vine: "I vield to thy long endeavor !- At my balcony be on the stroke of nine, And, Signor, am thine forever This beauty but once had the Don descried As she quit the confessional ; followed; "XWhat a foot for silk ! a face for a bride- Hem-! " the rest Odora swallowed. And with vows as soft as his oaths were sweet Her heart he barricaded; And pressed this point with a present meet, And that point serenaded. XVhat else could the enemy do but yield To a handsome importuning ' A gallant blade with a lute for shield All night at her lattice mooning ! 142 A T THE CORREG!DOR'S. CQue es estrella! 0 lily of girls! Here 's that for thy fierce duenna: A purse of pistoles and a rosary o' pearls And gold as yellow as henna. "She will drop from thy balcony's rail, my sweet My seraph 'a this silken ladder; And then-sweet then !-my soul at thy feet No lover of lovers gladder ! " And the end of it was !-But I will not say How he won to the room of the lady Alh ! to love is life and to live is gay, For the rest-a maravedi! Now comes her betrothed from the wars, and he, A Count of the Court Castilian, A Don Diabolus, sword at knee, And moustaches-uncivilian. And his is a jealous love ; and-for He marks that this marriage makes sadder- He watches, and sees a robber to her, Or gallant, ascend a ladder. 143 144 DA YS AND DREAMS. So he pushes inquiry unto her room, With his naked sword demanding- An Alquazil with the face of Doom, Sure of a stout withstanding. And weapon to weapon they foined and fought; Diabolus' thrusts were vicious; Three thrusts to the floor Odora had brought, A fourth was more malicious, Through the offered bosom of Donna De Vine- And this is the Count's condition Was he right, was he wrong the question is mine, To judge-for the Inquisition. THE PORTRAIT. THE PORTRAIT. IN some quaint Nurnberg maler-atelier Uprummaged. When and where was never clear, Nor yet how he obtained it. When, by whom wT vas painted-who shall say itself a gloom Resisting inquisition. I opine It is a Dflrer. Humph -that touch, this line Are not deniable ; distinguished grace In the pure oval of the noble face; The color badly tarnished. Half in light Extend it, so incline ; the exquisite Expression leaps abruptly: piercing scorn, Imperial beauty ; icy, each a thorn Of light-disdainful eyes and . . . well! no use! Effaced and but beheld, a sad abuse Of patience. Often, vaguely visible, The portrait fills each feature, making swvell The soul with hope: avoiding face and hair 7 145) DA YS AND DREAMS. Alive with lively warmth ; astonished there ' Occult substantial ! " you exult, wAhen, ho Vou hold a blur; an undetermined glow Dislimns a daub-Restore -ah, I have tried Our best restorers, all ! it has defied. . . Storied, mysterious, say, mayhap a ghost Lives in the canvas ; hers, some artist lost, A duchess', haply. Her he worshipped; dared Not tell he worshipped ; from his window stared Of Nuremburg one sunny morn when she Passed paged to court Her cold nobility Loved, lived for like a purpose ; seized and plied A feverish brush-her face ! despaired and died. The narrow Judengasse ; gables frown Around a skinny usurer's, where brown And dirty in a corner long it lay, Heaped in a pile of riff-raff, such as-say, Retables done in tempora and old Panels by Wohlgernuth ; stiff paintings cold Of martyrs and apostles, names forgot Holbeins and Durers, say, a haloed lot I146 THE PORTRAIT. Of praying saints, madonnas: such, perchance, Mid wine-stained purples mothed; a whole romance Of crucifixes, rosaries ; inlaid Arms Saracen-elaborate ; a strayed Niello of Byzantium ; rich work In bronze, of Florence here a delicate dirk, There holy patens. So, my ancestor, The first De Herancour, esteemed by far This piece most precious, most desirable Purchased and brought to Paris. It looked well In the dark panelling above the old Hearth of his room. The head's religious gold, The soft severity of the nun face, Made of the room an apostolic place Revered and feared.- Like soice lived scene I see That Gothic room ; its Flemish tapestry Embossed above the aged lintel, shield-- Deep Or-enthistled, in an Argent field Three Sable mallets--arms De Herancour, Carved with the torso of the crest that bore, I47 DA YS AND DREAMS. Outstretched, two mallets. Lozenge-paned, em- bayed, Its slender casements ; on a lectern laid, A vellum volume of black-lettered text Near by a blinking taper-as if vexed With silken gusts a nervous curtain sends, Behind which, maybe, daggered Murder bends;- Waxed floors of rosy oak, whereon the red Torchlight of Medicean wrath is shed, Down knightly corridors ; a carven couch Sword-s]ashed ; dark velvets of the chairs that crouch, It seems, with fright ; clear-clashing near, more near, The stir of searching steel. What find they here - 'T is St. Bartholomew's-a Huguenot Dead in his chair -dead ! violently shot With horror, eyes glued on a portrait there, Coiling his neck one blood line, like a hair Of finest fire ; the portrait, like a fiend,- Looking exalted visitation,-leaned I48 THE PORTRAIT. I 49 From its black panel ; in its eyes a hate Demonic ; hair-a glowing auburn, late A dimn, enduring golden. " Just one thread Of the fierce hair around his throat," they said, Twisting a burning ray, he-staring-dead." DA! YS AND DREA'AMS. ISMAEL. SMAEL, the Sultan, in the Ramazan, Girdled with guards and many a yataghan, Pachas and amnins, viziers wisdom-gray, And holy marabouts, betook his way Through Mekinez.-Written the angel's word, Of Eden's Kauther, reads, " Slay ! praying the Lord ! Pray ! slaying the victims ! " so the Sultan went, The Cruel Sultan, with this good intent. In white bournouse and sea-green caftan clad First to the mosque. Long each muezzin had Summoned the faithful unto prayer and let The "Allah Akbar ! " from each minaret, Call to their thousand lamps of blazing gold. Prostrated prayed the Sultan. On the old '1osaics of the mosque-whose hollow steamed With aloes-incense-lean ecstatics dreamed I So ISA1,2EL. On Allah and his Prophet, and how great Is God, and how unstable man's estate. Conviction on him, in this chanting low Of Koran texts, the Caliph's passion so Exalted rose,-lamps of religious awe, Loud smitings of the everlasting law On unbelievers,-trebly manifest The Faith's anointed sword he feels confessed. So from the mosque, whose arabesques above- The marvellous work of Oriental love- Seen with new splendors of Heaven's blue and gold, Applauding all, he, as the gates are rolled Ogival back to let the many forth, Cries war to all the unbelieving North. Soon have they passed the tight bazaar ; along Close, crooked streets, too narrow for the throng The place of owls and tombs ; the merloned wall, Camel and steed and ass. Projecting all Its towering battlements, his palace gray, 15 I DA YS AND DREAMS. Seraglios and courts, against the day Lifts, vanishes. And now, soul-set on hate, From Mekinez they pass the scalloped gate. Two dozing beggars, baking each a sore, Sprawl in the sun the city gate before; A leprous cripple and a thief, whose eyes- Burnt out with burning irol,-as supplies The law for thieves,-two fly-thick wounds blood- raw, Lifted shrill voices as they heard or saw Praised God, and flung into the dust each face With words of " victory and Allah's grace Attend our Caliph, Mouley-Ismael ! Even at the cost of ours his days be well !" And grimly smiling as he grimly passed, " While God most merciful, who is, shall last,- Now by Es Sirat !-will a liar's word And thief's prevail or prosper -Pray the Lord What ! at your lives' cost -my devout intent Even as 't is bidden let their necks be bent !- I 5 2 ISMAAEL. 153 Though words be pious, evil at the soul Naught is the prayer !-So let their prayer be whole. Nay ' give them gold ; but when the sequins cease From the slaves' hands, by these my Soudanese They die ! " he said ; and even as he said Rolled in the dust each writhing, withered head. And froxvning westward, as the day grew late, Four bleeding beads stared from the city gate 'Neath this inscription, for the passer-by, "There is no virtue but in God the High." DA YS AND DREAMS. A PRE-EXISTENCE. A N intimation of some previous life, Or dark dream, in the present dim-divined, Of some uncertain sleep-or lived or dreamed In some dead life-between a dusk and dawn From heathen battles to Toledo's gates, Far off defined, his corselet and camail, Damascened armet, shattered ; in an eve's Anger of brass a galloping glitter, one Rode arrow-wounded. And the city caught A cry before him and a wail behind, Of walls beleaguered ; battles ; conquered kings Triumphant Taric ; broken Spain and slaves, And I, a Moslem slave, a miser Jew's, Housed near the Tagus-squalid and alone Save for his slave, held dear-to beat and starve- Leaner than my lank shadow when the moon, 1 54 A iPRAE-EXZS TENCE. '55 A burning beacon, westerns ; and my bones A visible hunger ; famished with the fear, Soul-garb of slaves, I bore him-I, who held Him soul and self, more hated than his God, Stood silent ; fools had laughed ; I saw m way. WXar-time crops weapons ; and the blade I bought Was subtly pointed. For, I knew his ways The nightly nuptials of his jars of gems And bags of doublas-oh, I knew his ways. A shadow, w oven in the hangings, hid Till time said tow; gaunt from the hangings stole Behind him; humnped and stooping so, his heart Clove through the faded tunic, murrey-dyed Grinned exultation while the grim, slow blood Drenched black and darkened round the oblong wound, And his old face thinned grayer than morn's moon. Rubies from BadakhshAn in rose lights dripped Slim tears of poppy-purple crystal ; dull, Red, ember-pregnant, carbuncles wherein DA YS AND DREAMS. Fevered a captive crimson ; bugles wan Of cat-eyed hyacinths ; moon-emeralds With starry greenness stabbed ; in limpid stains Of liquid lilac, Persian amethysts; Fire-opals savage and mesmeric with Voluptuous flame, long, sweet, and sensuous as Soft eyes of Orient women ; sapphires beamed With talismanic violet, from tombs, Deev-guarded, of primordial Solimans Length-agonized with fire, diamonds of Golconda-This, a sandaled dervise bare Seven days, beneath a red Arabian sun, Seven nights, beneath a round Arabian moon, Under his tongue ; an Emeer's ransom, held Of some wild tribe. . . . Bleached in the per- ishing waste A Bedouin Arab found sand-strangled bones, A skeleton, vulture-torn, fierce in whose skull One blazing eye-the diamond. At Aleppo Bartered-a bauble for his desert love.- Jacinth and Indian pearl, gem jolting gem, Flashed, rutilating in the irised light, 156 A PRE-EXISTENCE. A rain of splintered fire; and his head, Long-haired, White-sLunk among them. Yet I took All-though his eyes burned in them ; though, meseemed, Each several jewel glared a separate curse. Well ! dead men work us mischief from the grave. Richer than all Castile and yet not dare Drink but frorn cups of Roman murra, spar Bowl-sprayed with fibrile gold ! spar sensitive Of poison I I, no slave, yet all a slave To fear a dead fool's malice !-Still, how else Feasting within the music of my halls, While perfumed beauty danced in sinuous robes, Diaphanous, more silken than those famed Of loomed Amorgos or of classic Kos, I)raining the unflawed murrhine, Xeres-brimmed, Had I reeled poisoned, dying wolfsbane-slain I 5 7 DA YS AND DREAMS. BEHRAM AND EDDETMA. AGAINST each prince now she had held her own, An easy victor for the seven years O'er kings and sons of kings ; Eddetma, she Who, when much sought in marriage, hating men, Espoused their ways to win beyond their worth Through martial exercise and hero deeds She, who accomplished in all warlike arts, Let cry through every kingdom of the kings " Eddetma weds with none but him who proves Himself her master in the push of arms, Her suitor's foeman she. And he who fails, So overcome of woman, woman-scorned, Disarmed, dishonored, yet shall he depart, Brow-bearing, forehead-stigmatized with fire, ' Behold, a freedman of Eddetma this.' " Let cry, and many princes put to shame, Pretentious courtiers small in thew and thigh, I5 8 BEHRAM AN!D EDDETM... Proud-palanquined from principalities Of Irak and of Hind and farther Sind. Though she was queenly as that Empress of The proud Amalekites, Tedmureh, and More beautiful, yet she had held her own. To Behrarn of the Territories, one Son of a Persian monarch swaying kings, Came bruit of her and her noised victories, Her maiden beauty and her warrior strength Eastward he journeyed from his father's court, WVith men and steeds and store of wealth and arms, To the rich city where her father reigned, Its seven citadels by Seven Seas. And messengered the monarch with a gift Of savage vessels wroughten out of gold, Of foreign fabrics stiff with gems and gold. Vizier-ambassadored the old king gave His answer to the suitor :-" 1, my son, What grace have I above the grace of God WVhat power is mine but a material What rule have I unto the substanceless I 59 DA IS AND DREA MS. Me, than the shadow of the Prophet's shade Less, God invests with power but of man; Man ! and the right beyond man's right is God's; His the dominion of the secret soul- And His her soul ! Now hath my daughter sworn, By all her vestal soul, that none shall know Her but her better in the listed field, Determining spear and sword. -Grant Fate thy trust; She hangs her hand upon to-morrow's joust, A prize to win.-My greeting and farewell." Informed Eddetma and the lists arose. Armored and keen with a Chorasmian mace, Davidean hauberk came she. Her the prince, Harnessed in scaly gold Arabian, met; So clanged the prologue of the battle. As Closer it waxed, Prince Behram, who a while Withheld his valor,-in that she he loved Opposed him and beset him, woman whom He had not scathed for the Chosroes' wealth,- Beheld his madness; how he were undone With shining shame unless he strove withal, Whirled fiery sword and smote; the bassinet i6o BEHRAA/ AND EDDE TMA. Rushed from the haughty face that long had scorned 'rhe wide world's vanquished royalty, and so Rushed on his own defeat. For like unto A moon gray clouds have caverned all the eve, The thunder splits and, virgin triumph, there She sails a silver aspect, vanquished so Was Behram by his blow. A wavering strength Swerved in its purpose; with no final stroke Stunned stood he and surrendered; stared and stared, All his strong life absorbed into her face, All the wild warrior, arrowed by her eyes, Tarred, and obedient to lip and look. Then she on him, as condor on a kite, Plunged pitiless and beautiful and fierce, One trophy more to added victories; Haled off his arms, amazement dazing him Seized steed and garb, confusion filling him And scoffed him forth brow-branded with his shame. Dazzled, six days he sat, a staring trance But on the seventh, casting stupor off, Rose, and the straitness of the case that held i6I 1DA YS AND DREAMS. Him as with manacles of knitted fire, Considered, and decided on a way. Once when Eddetma with a houri band Of high-born damsels, under eunuch guard, In the walled palace pleasaunce took her ease, Under a myrrh-bush by a fountain side, Where Afrits' nostrils snorted d'arnond rain In scooped cornelian, one, a dim, hoar head,- A patriarch mid gardener underlings,- Bent spreading gems and priceless ornaments Of jewelled amulets of hollow gold Sweet with imprisoned ambergris and musk Symbolic stones in sorcerous carcanets, Gem-talismans in cabalistic gold. Whereon the princess marvelled and bade ask, What did the elder with his riches there Who, questioned, mumbled in his bushy beard, " To buy a wife withal "; whereat they laughed As oafs when wisdom stumbles. Quoth a maid, With orient midnight in her starry eyes, And tropic music on her languid tongue, " And what if I should wed with thee, 0 beard i62 BEHiRAM AND EDDE Ti/A4. Grayer than nmy great-grandfather's, what then ' " One kiss, no more, and, child, thou wert divorced," He ; and the humor took them till the birds, That listened in the spice-tree and the plane, Sang gayly of the gray-beard and his kiss. Then (juoth the princess, "' T-hou wilt wed with him Ansada " mirth in her two eyes' gazelles, And gravity bird-nestled in her speech And took Ansada's hand and laid it in The old man's staggering hand, and he unbent Thin, wrinkled brows and on his staff arose, Weighed with the weight of many heavy years, And kissed her lcaning on his shaking staff, And heaped her bosom with an Amir's wealth, And left them-i laughing at his foolish beard. Now on the next day, as she took her ease With her glad troop of girlhood,-maidens who So many royal tulips seemed,-behold, Bowed with white years, upon a flowery sward The ancient with new jewelry and gems, Wherefrom the sun coaxed wizard fires and lit Glimmers in glowing green and pendent pearl, i63 DA YS AND DREAMS. Ultramarine and beaded, vivid rose; And so they stood to wonder, and one asked As yesternoon wherefore the father there Displayed his Sheikh locks and the genie gems -" Another marriage and another kiss - What ! doth the tomb-ripe court his youth again o aged, libertine in wish not deed ! O prodigal of wives as well as v'ealth Here stands thy damsel "; trilled the Peri-tall Diarra with the raven in her hair, Two lemon-flowers blowing in her cheeks, And took the dotard's jewels with the kiss In merry mockery. Ere the morrow's dawn, Bethought Eddetma: "Shall my handmaidens, Teasing a gray-beard's whim to wrinkled smiles, For withered kisses still divide his wealth While I stand idle, lose the caravan Whose least is notable -My right and mine- Betide me what betides." And with the morn Before the man,-for privily she came,- i64 BEHRAM AND EDDETMAL. i65 Stood habited as of her tire-maids In humble raiment. Now the ancient saw And knew her for the princess that she was, And kindling gladness of the knowledge made Two sparkling forges of his deep dark eyes Beneath the ashes of his priestly brows. Not timidly she came ; but coy approach Became the maiden of Eddetma's suite; And humbly answered he, "All my old heart Responsive to her quavering request- " The daughter of the king did give thee leave And thou wouldst well -Then wed with me forth- right. Thy hand, thy lips." So he arose and gave Her of barbaric jewelry and gems, And seized her hand and from her lips the kiss, When from his age, behold, the dotage fell, And from the man all palsied hoariness Victorious-eyed and amorous with youth, A god in ardent capabilities Resistless held her ; and she, swooning, saw Gloating the branded brow of Prince Behram. DA IS AND DREAMS. THE KHALIF AND THE ARAB. A Transcript. A MONG the tales, wherein it hath been told, In golden letters in a book of gold, Of Hatim Tai's hospitality, Who, substanceless in death and shadowy, Made men his guests upon that mountain top Whereon his tomb grayed from a thistle crop ; A tomb of rock where women hewn of stone, Rude figures, spread dishevelled hair; whose moan From dark to daybreak made the silence cry; The camel drivers, being tented nigh, " Ghouls or hyenas," shuddering would say But only girls of granite find at day:- And of that city, Sheddad son of Aad Built mid the Sebaa sands.-A king who had Dominion of the world and many kings.- Builded in pride and power out of things I 66 THE KHA LTF A XD 7TE A RA B. Unstable of the earth. For he had read Of Paradise, and to his soul had said, " Now in this life the like of Paradise I '11 build me and the Prophet's may despise, Knowing no need of that he promises." So for this city taxed the lands and seas, And Columned Irem, on a blinding height, Blazed in the desert like a chrysolite The manner of its building, it is told, Alternate bricks of silver and of gold How Sheddad with his women and his slaves, His thousand viziers, armored troops as waves Of ocean countless, God with awful flame- Shot sheer in thunder on him-God, his shame Confounded and abolished, ere his eyes Had glimpsed bright follies of that Paradise Lay blotted to a wilderness the land Accursed, and the city lost in sand Among such tales-who questions of their sooth - One is recorded of an Arab youth: The Khalif Hisham ben Abdulmelik Hunting one day, by some unwonted freak 167 6DA YS AND DREAMAS. Rode parted from his retinue and gave Chase to an antelope. Without or slave, Amir or vizier to a pasture place Of sheep he came, where dark, in tattered grace, Watched one, an Arab youth. And as it came The antelope drew off, with mouth of flame And tongue of fire to the youth he turned Shouting, " Ho ! fellow ! in what s chool hast learned! Seest not the buck escapes me worthless one O desert dullard ! " Rising in the sun, 0 ignorant," he said, " of that just worth Of those the worthy of our Muslim earth ! In that thou look'st upon me-what thou art As one fit for contempt, thou lack'st no part Of my disdain -Allah ! I would not own A dog of thine for friend no other known- Of speech a tyrant, manners of an ass ! " And flung him, rags and rage, into the grass. Provoked, astonished, wrinkled angrily, Hissed Hisham, "Slave! thou know'st me not I see ! " i68 THE KNA LIE AND THE ARAB. Calmly the youth, " Aye, verily I know, 0 mannerless ! thy tongue hath told me so, Thy tongue commanding ere it spake mejeace- Soon art thou known, nor late may knowledge cease. "0 dog ! I am thy Khalif ! by a hair Thy life hangs rav'ling." " May it dangle there Till thou art rotted !-Whiles, upon thy head Misfortunes shower !-Of his dwelling place, Allah, be thou forgetful _-What ! his grace Hisham ben NMerwan, king of many words--- Few generosities A flash of swords In drifts of dust and lo ' the Khalif's troops Surrounding ride. As when a merlin stoops Some stranger quarry, prey that swims the wind, Heron or eagle ; kenning not its kind There whence 't is cast until it, towering, feels An eagle's tearing talons, falling reels In broken circles downward-so the youth, I 69 DA YS AND DREAMS. An Arab fearless as the face of Truth Of all that made him instant of his death, Waited with eyes indifferent, equal breath. The palace reached, " Bring in the prisoner Before the Khalif," and he came as were He in no wise concerned: unquestioning went Chin bowed on breast, and on his feet a bent Dark gaze of scornful freedom unafraid, Till at the Khalif's throne his steps were staid And unsaluting, standing head held down, An armed attendant blazed him with a frown, " Dog of the Bedouins ! thy eyes rot out ! Insulter ! must the whole big world needs shout ' Commander of the Faithful,' so thou see " To him the Arab sneering, "Verily, Packsaddle of an ass." The Khalif's rage Exceeded now, and, " By my realm and rage Arab, thy hour is come, thy very last; Thy hope is vanished and thy life is past." 170 TIHE KHAIJF AND THE ARAB. The shepherd answered, "Aye -by Allah, then, o Hisham, if my time be stretched again, Unscissored of what Destiny ordain, Little or great, thy words give little pain." Then the chief Chamberlain, " 0 vilest one Of all the Arabs ! wilt thou not be done Bandying thy baseness with the Ruler of The Faithf ul " spat upon his face. A scoff Fiery made answer " There be some have heard The nonsense of our God, the text absurd, ' One day each soul whatever shall be prompt To bow before me and to give accompt.' " Then wroth indeed was Hisham; hotly said, " He braves us !-headsman, ho ! his peevish head See ; canst thou medicine its speech anew, Doctor its multiplying words to few; Divorce them well." So, where the Arab stood, Bound him ; made kneel upon the cloth of blood: With curving sword the headsman leaned at pause, I71I DA YS ASND DREAMS. And, even as 't is custom made of laws, To the descendant of the Prophet quoth, " 0 Khalif, shall I strike " " By Iblis' oath Strike " answered Hisham ; but again the slave Questioned ; and yet again the Khalif gave His nodded "yea "; and for the third time then He asked-and knowing neither men nor Jinn Might save him if the Khalif spake assent, Signalled the sword, the youth with body bent Laughed-till the wang-teeth of each jaw appeared, Laughed-as with scorn the King of kings he 'd beard, Insulting death. So, with redoubled spleen Roared Hisham. rising, " It is truly seen That thou art mad who mockest Azrael! The Arab answered: " Listen !-Once befell, Commander of the Faithful, that a hawk, A hungry hawk, pounced on a sparrow-cock And winging nestward with his meal in claw, To him the sparrow, for the creature saw 172 THIE KHALIE AND THE ARAB. The hawk's conceit, addressed this slyly, 'Oh, Most great, most royal, there is not, I know, That in me which will stay thy stomach's stress, I am too paltry for thy mightiness With which the hawk was pleased, and flattered so In his self-praise, lhe let the sparrow go." Then smiled the Khali' Hisham ; and a sign Staying the scimitar, that hung malign A threatening crescent, said, " God bless, preserve The Prophet whom all true believers serve Now by n-iy kinship to the Prophet, and Had he at first but spake us thus this hand Ifad ne'er been reckless, and instead of hate He had had all-except the Khalifate." Bade stuff his mouth with jewels and entreat Him courteously, then from the palace beat. THE END. I73