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Song-surf / by Cale Young Rice. Rice, Cale Young, 1872-1943. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-280-32596657 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. Song-surf / by Cale Young Rice. Rice, Cale Young, 1872-1943. Doubleday, Page & Co., New York : 1910. xi, 153 p. ; 20 cm. Coleman "These poems, first published as 'Song-surf' in 1900, by a firm which failed before the books left the press, were republished with additions as the 'lyrics' of 'Play & lyrics' by Hodder & Stoughton of London, in 1905."--Foreword. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1995. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04990.02 KUK) Printing Master B92-290. 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. SONG-SURF By the Same Author Nirvana Days Yolanda of Cyprus A Night in Avignon Charles di Tocca David Many Gods SONG-S URF BY CALE YOUNG RICE NEW YORK DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY MCMX ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGFS, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN COPYRIGHT, 1970, BY DOlUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY PUBLISHED, SEPTEMBER, 1910 TO MY SISTERS This page in the original text is blank. FOREWORD These poems, first published as " Song- Surf " in i900, by a firm which failed before the book left the press, were republished with additions as the "lyrics" of "Plays & Lyrics," by Hodder & Stoughton, of Lon- don, in I 905. Revision and omissions have been made for this volume of a uniform edition in which they now appear. This page in the original text is blank. CONTENTS WITH OMAR JAEL . . TO THE SEA THE DAY-MOON A SEA-GHOST ON THE MOOR THE CRY OF EVE . MARY AT NAZARETH ADELIL . INTIMATION IN JULY FROM ABOVE BY THE INDUS EVOCATION . THE CHILD GOD GAVE THE WINDS TRANSCENDED LOVE'S WAY TO CHILDHOOD AUTUMN SHINTO . MAYA . . PAGE 3 22 25 27 29 31 35 38 40 41 44 P 45 47 49 51 54 55 57 58 6o ix CONTENTS A JAPANESE MOTHER THE DEAD GODS. CALL TO YOUR MATE, BOB-WHITE THE DYING POET THE OUTCAST . APRIL AUGUST GUESTS . TO A DOVE. . AT TINTERN ABBEY OH, Go NOT OUT HUMAN LOVE . ASHORE . . THE VICTORY . AT WINTER'S END MOTHER-LOVE . TO A SINGING WARBLER SONGS TO A. H. R.: I. THE WORLD'S, AND MINE II. LOVE-CALL IN SPRING III. MATING . IV. UNTOLD . V. LOVE-WATCH VI. AT AMALFI VII. ON THE PACIFIC THE ATONER . . TO THE SPRING WIND. THE RAMBLE . . RETURN . . . LISETT'E . . PAGE 62 .. 64 68 70 .73 .. 76 78 79 83 . . 85 86 88 . 89 91 93 95 96 97 98 99 ..99 .. . 101 .. . 103 .. . 104 . . . I05 . IO8 . III CONTENTS FROM ONE BLIND IN A CEMETERY WAKING . STORM-EBB . LINGERING FAUN-CALL . THE LIGHTHOUSEMLAN SERENITY . WANTON JUNE SPIRIT OF RAIN TEARLESS . . SUNSET-LOVERS . THE EMPrY CROSS UNBURTHENED . To HER WHO SHALL COME STORM-TWILIGHT . SLAVES . AVOWAL TO THE NIGHTINGALE BEFORE AUTUMN . FULFILMENT . LAST SIGHT OF LAND . SILENCE . . PAGE . . . . 1 1 3 . . . . 114 . . . . II6 . . II7 . . . . II9 . . . . 121 . . I23 . . 125 127 . . . 129 131 133 '35 137 139 . . . I42 143 I44 147 I49 '5' 53 xi This page in the original text is blank. SONG-SURF This page in the original text is blank. WITH OMAR I SAT with Omar by the Tavern door, Musing the mystery of mortals o'er, And soon with answers alternate we strove Whether, beyond death, Life hath any shore. "Come, fill the cup," said he. "In the fire of Spring Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling. The Bird of Time has but a little way To flutter - and the Bird is on the Wing." "The Bird of Time" I answered. "Then have I No heart for Wine. Must we not cross the Sky Unto Eternity upon his wings - Or, failing, fall into the Gulf and die" 3 SONG-SURF "Ay; so, for the Glories of this World sigh some, And some for the Prophet's Paradise to come; But you, Friend, take the Cash - the Credit leave, Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!" "What ! take the Cash and let the Credit go Spend all upon the Wine the while I know A possible To-morrow may bring thirst For Drink but Credit then shall cause to flow" "Yea, make the most of what you yet may spend, Before we too into the Dust descend; Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie, Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and-sans End I" "Into the Dust we shall descend -we must. But can the soul not break the crumbling Crust In which he is encaged To hope or to Despair he will - which is more wise or just" 4 SONG-SURF "The worldly hope men set their hearts upon Turns Ashes -or it prospers: and anon, Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face, Lighting a little hour or two - is gone." "Like Snow it comes - to cool one burning Day; And like it goes - for all our plea or sway. But flooding tears nor WVine can ever purge The Vision it has brought to us away." "But to this world we come and Why not knowing, Nor Whence, like water willy-nilly flowing; And out of it, as Wind along the waste, We know not Whither, willy-nilly blowing." "True, little do we know of Why or Whence. But is forsooth our Darkness evidence There is no Light - the worm may see no star Tho' heaven with myriad multitudes be dense." 5 SONG-SURF "But, all unasked, we're hither hurried Whence And, all unasked, we're Whither hurried hence 0, many a cup of this forbidden IVine Must drown the memory of that insolence." "Yet can not -ever! For it is forbid Still by that quenchless Soul within us hid, Which cries, 'Feed - feed me not on Wine alone, For to Immortal Banquets I am bid.' " "Well oft I think that never blows so red The Rose as where some buried Cxsar bled: That every Hyacinth the Garden wears Dropt in her lap from some once lovely Head." "Then if, from the dull Clay thro' with Life's throes, More beautiful spring Hyacinth and Rose, Will the great Gardener for the uprooted soul Find Use no sweeter than-useless Repose" 6 SONG-SURF " We cannot know - so fill the cup that clears To-day of past regret and future fears: To-morrow/ -Why, To-morrow we may be Ourselves with Yesterday's sev'n thousand Years." "No Cup there is to bring oblivion More during than Regret and Fear-no, none6 For Wine that's Wine to-day may change and be Marah before to-rr )rrow's Sands have run." "Mlyself when young did eagerly frequent Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument A bout it and about: but evermore Came out by the same Door where in I went." "The doors of Argument may lead Nowhither, Reason become a Prison where may wither From sunless eyes the Infinite, from hearts All Hope, when their sojourn too long is thither." 7 SONG-SURF " Up from Earth's Centre thro' the Seventh Gate I rose, and on the throne of Saturn sate, And many a Knot unravelled by the Road- But not the Master-knot of Human fate." " The Master-knot knows but the Master-hand That scattered Saturn and his countless Band Like seeds upon the unplanted heaven's Air: The Truth we reap from them is Chaff thrice fanned." " Yct if the Soul can fling the Dust aside A nd naked on the air of Heaven ride, Wer't not a shame - wer't not a shame for him In this clay carcase crippled to abide " "No, for a day bound in this Dust may teach More of the Sdki's Mind than we can reach Through eons mounting still from Sky to Sky - May open through all Mystery a breach." 8 SONG-SURF " You speak as if Existence closing your Account, and mine, should know the like no more; The Eternal Sikifrom that Bowl has poured .Mfillions of bubbles like us, and will pour." "Bubbles we are, pricked by the point of Death. But, in each bubble, may there be no Breath That lifts it and at last to Freedom flies, And o'er all heights of Heaven wandereth" " A moment's halt - a momentary taste Of Being from the Well amid the Waste- And Lo -- the phantom Caravan has reached The Nothing it set out from - Oh, make haste!" "And yet it should be - it should be that we Who drink shall drink of Immortality. The Master of the Well has much to spare: Will He say, 'Taste'- then shall we no more be" SONG-SURF " The Moving Finger writes; and having writ, Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a line, Nor all your tears wash out a word of it." "And were it other, might we not erase The Letter of some Sorrow in whose place No truer sounding, we should fail to spell The Heart which yearns behind the mock-world's Face " "Well, this I know; whether the one True Light Kindle to Love, or Wrath-consume me, quite, One flash of it within the Tavern caught Better than in the Temple lost outright." "In Temple or in Tavern 't may be lost. And everywhere that Love hath any Cost It may be found; the Wrath it seems is but A Cloud whose Dew should make its power most." IO SONG-SURF "But see His Presence thro' Creation's veins Running Quicksilver-like eludes your pains; Taking all shapes from .lah, to Afahi; and They change and perish all - but He remains." "All - it may be. Yet lie to sleep, and lo, The soul seems quenched in Darkness -is it so Rather believe what seemeth not than seems Of Death - until we know - until we know." "So wastes the Hour - gone in the vain pursuit Of This and That we strive o'er and dispute. Better be jocund with the fruitful Grape Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit." "Better - unless we hope that grief is thrown Across our Path by urgence of the Unknown, Lest we may think we have no more to live And bide content with dim-lit Earth alone." SONG-SURF " Then, strange, is't not that of the myriads who Before us passed the door of Darkness through Not one returns to tell us of the Road, Which to discover we must travel too " "Such is the Ban! but even though we heard Love in Life's All we still should crave the word Of one returned. Yet none is sure, we know, Though they lie deep, they are by Death deterred." "Send then thy Soul through the Invisible Some letter of the After-life to spell: And by and by thy Soul returned to thee But answers, 'I myself am Heaven and Hell.'" "From the Invisible, he does. But sent Thro' Earth, where living Goodness tho' 'tis blent With Evil dures, may he not read the Voice, 'To make thee but for Death were toil ill spent'" I2 SONG-SURF "Well, when the Angel of the darker drink At last shall find us by the river-brink And offering his Cup invite our souls Forth to our lips to quaff, we shall not shrink." "No. But if in the sable Cup we knew Death without waking were the wilful brew, Nobler it were to curse as Coward Him Who roused us into light - then light withdrew." " Then Thou wio didst with pitfall and with gin Beset the Road I was to wander in, Thou wilt not with Predestined Evil round Enmesh, and then impute my fall to sin." "He will not. If one evil we endure To ultimate Debasing, oh, be sure 'Tis not of Him predestined, and the sin Not His nor ours - but Fate's He could not cure." SONG-SURF " Yet, ah, that Spring should vanish with the Rosel That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close The Nightingale that on the branches sang, Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows " "So does it seem -no other joys like these! Yet Summer comes, and Autumn's honoured ease; And wintry Age, is't ever whisperless Of that Last Spring, whose Verdure may not cease" "Still, would some winged Angel ere too late Arrest the yet unfolded roll of Fate, And make the stern Recorder otherwise Enregister, or quite obliterate I" "To otherwise enregister believe He toils eternally, nor asks Reprieve. And could Creation perfect from his hands Have come at Dawn, none overmuch should grieve." 14 SONG-SURF 15 So till the wan and early scent of day We strove, and silent turned at last away, Thinking how men in ages yet unborn Would ask and answer - trust and doubt and pray. JAEL JEHOVAHI JehovahI art Thou not stronger than gods of the heathen I slew him, that Sisera, prince of the host Thou dost hate. But fear of his blood is upon me, about me is breathen His spirit - by night and by day come voices that wait. Athirst and affrightened he fled from the star-wrought waters of Kishon. His face was as wool when he swooned at the door of my tent. The Lord hath given him into the hand of perdition, z6 SONG-SURF I smiled - but he saw not the face of my cunning intent. He thirsted for water: I fed him the curdless milk of the cattle. He lay in the tent under purple and crimson of Tyre. He slept and he dreamt of the surge and storming of battle. Ah ha! but he woke not to waken Jehovah's ire. He slept as he were a chosen of Israel's God Almighty. A dog out of Canaan! - thought he I was woman alone I slipt like an asp to his ear and laughed for the sight he Would give when the carrion kites should tear to his bone. ' 7 SONG-SURF I smote thro' his temple the nail, to the dust, a worm, did I bind him. My heart was a-leap with rage and a-quiver with scorn. And I danced with a holy delight before and behind him - I that am called blessed o'er all unto Judab born. "Aye, come, I will show thee, 0 Barak, a woman is more than a warrior," I cried as I lifted the door wherein Sisera lay. "To me did he fly and I shall be called his destroyer- I, Jael, who am subtle to find for the Lord a wayl" Above all the daughters of men be blest-of Gilead or Asshur," I8 SONG-SURF Sang Deborah, prophetess, then, from her waving palm. "Behold her, ye people, behold her the heathen's abasher; Behold her the Lord hath uplifted- behold and be calml "The mother of him at the window looks out thro' the lattice to listen - Why roll not the wheels of his chariot why does he stay Shall he not return with the booty of battle, and glisten In songs of his triumph -ye women, why do ye not say" And I was as she who danced when the Seas were rended asunder And stood, until Egypt pressed in to be drowned unto death. 19 SONG-SURF My breasts were as fire with the glory, the rocks that were under My feet grew quick with the gloating that beat in my breath. At night I stole out where they cast him, a sop to the jackal and raven. But his bones stood up in the moon and I shook with affright. The strength shrank out of my limbs and I fell, a craven, Before him -the nail in his temple gleamed bloodily bright. Jehovah! Jehovah! art Thou not stronger than gods of the heathen I slew him, that Sisera, prince of the host Thou dost hate. But fear of his blood is upon me, about me is breathen SONG-SURF His spirit -by day and by night come voices that wait. I fly to the desert, I fly to the mountain - but they will not hide me. His gods haunt the winds and the caves with vengeance that cries For judgment upon me; the stars in their courses deride me - The stars Thou hast hung with a breath in the wandering skies. Jehovah! Jehovah! I slew him, the scourge and sting of Thy Nation. Take from me his spirit, take from me the voice of his blood. With madness I rave - by day and by night, defamation! Jehovah, release me! Jehovah' if still Thou art God! 21 TO THE SEA ART thou enraged, 0 sea, with the blue peace Of heaven, so to uplift thine armed waves, Thy billowing rebellion 'gainst its ease, And with Tartarean mutter from cold caves, From shuddering profundities where shapes Of awe glide thro' entangled leagues of ooze, To hoot thy watery omens evermore, And evermore thy moanings interfuse With seething necromancy and mad lore Or, dost thou labour with the drifting bones Of countless dead, thou mighty Alchemist, Within whose stormy crucible the stones Of sunk primordial shores, granite and schist, Are crumbled by thine all-abrasive beat 22 SONG-SURF With immemorial chanting to the moon, And cosmic incantation, dost thou crave Rest to be found not till thy wild be strewn Frigid and desert over earth's last grave Thou seemest with immensity mad, blind - With raving deaf, with wandering forlorn; Parent of Demogorgon whose dire mind Is night and earthquake, shapeless shame and scorn Of the o'ermounting birth of Harmony. Bound in thy briny bed and gnawing earth With foamy writhing and fierce-panted tides, Thou art as Fate in torment of a dearth Of black disaster and destruction's strides. And how thou dost drive silence from the world, Incarnate Motion of all mystery! Whose waves are fury-wings, whose winds are hurled 23 SONG-SURF Whither thy Ghost tempestuous can see A desolate apocalypse of death. Oh, how thou dost drive silence from the world, With emerald overflowing, waste on waste Of flashing susurration, dashed and swirled O'er isles and continents that shrink abased! Nay, frustrate Hope art thou, of the Unknown, Gathered from primal mist and firmament; A surging shape of Life's unfathomed moan, Whelming humanity with fears unmeant. Yet do I love thee, 0, above all fear, And loving thee unconquerably trust The runes that from thy ageless surfing start Would read, were they revealed, gust upon gust, That Immortality is might of heart! 24 THE DAY-MOON So wan, so unavailing, Across the vacant day-blue dimly trailing! Last night, sphered in thy shining, A Circe - mystic destinies divining; To-day but as a feather Torn from a seraph's wing in sinful weather, Down-drifting from the portals Of Paradise, unto the land of mortals. Yet do I feel thee awing My heart with mystery, as thy updrawing Moves thro' the tides of Ocean And leaves lorn beaches barren of its motion; 25 SONG-SURF Or strands upon near shallows The wreck whose weirded form at night unhallows The fisher "For himl-that unawares! " maiden's storms prayers - may take not So wan, so unavailing, Across the vacant day-blue dimly trailing! But Night shall come atoning Thy phantom life thro' day, and high enthroning Thee in her chambers arrased With star-hieroglyphs, leave thee unharassed To glide with silvery passion, Till in earth's shadow swept thy glowings ashen. 26 A SEA-GHOST OH, fisher-fleet, go in from the sea And furl your wings. The bay is gray with the twilit spray And the loud surf springs. The chill buoy-bell is rung by the hands Of all the drowned, Who know the woe of the wind and tow Of the tides around. Go in, go in! Oh, haste from the sea, And let them rest - A son and one who was wed and one Who went down unblest. 27 SONG-SURF Aye, even as I, whose hands at the bell Now labour most. The tomb has gloom, but Oh, the doom Of the drear sea-ghost! He evermore must wander the ooze Beneath the wave, Forlorn -to warn of the tempest born, And to save - to save! Then go, go in! and leave us the sea, For only so Can peace release us and give us ease Of our salty woe. 28 ON THE MOOR I MET a child upon the moor A-wading down the heather; She put her hand into my own, We crossed the fields together. I led her to her father's door - A cottage mid the clover. I left her -- and the world grew poor To me, a childless rover. 2 I met a maid upon the moor, The morrow was her wedding. Love lit htr eyes with lovelier hues Than the eve-star was shedding. 29 SONG-SURF She looked a sweet good-bye to me, And o'er the stile went singing. Down all the lonely night I heard But bridal bells a-ringing. 3 I met a mother on the moor, By a new grave a-praying. The happy swallows in the blue Upon the winds were playing. "Would I were in his grave," I said, "And he beside her standing!" There was no heart to break if death For me had made demanding. 30 THE CRY OF EVE DOWN the palm-way from Eden in the mid- night Lay dreaming Eve by her outdriven mate, Pillowed on lilies that still told the sweet Of birth within the Garden's ecstasy. Pitiful round her face that could not lose Its memory of God's perfecting was strewn Her troubled hair, and sigh grieved after sigh Along her loveliness in the white moon. Then sudden her dream, too cruelly impent With pain, broke and a cry fled shuddering Into the wounded stillness from her lips- As, cold, she fearfully felt for his hand, And tears, that had before ne'er visited Her lids with anguish, drew from her the moan: 3' SONG-SURF "Oh, Adam! What have I dreamed Now do I understand His words, so dim To creatures that had quivered but with bliss! Since at the dusk thy kiss to me, and I Wept at caresses that were once all joy, I have slept, seeing through Futurity The uncreated ages visibly! Foresuffering phantoms crowded in the womb Of Time, and all with lamentable mien Accusing without mercy, thee and me! And without pity! for tho' some were far From birth, and without name, others were near - Sodom and dark Gomorrah-from whose flames Fleeing one turned . . . how like her look to mine When the tree's horror trembled on my taste! And Babylon upbuilded on our sin; And Nineveh, a city sinking slow Under a shroud of sandy centuries That hid me not from the buried cursing eyes Of women who e'er-bitterly gave birth! 32 SONG-SURF Ah, to be mother of all misery! To be first-called out of the earth and fail For a whole world! To shame maternity For women evermore - women whose tears Flooding the night, no hope can wipe away! To see the wings of Death, as, Adam, thou Hast not, endlessly beating, and to hear The swooning ages suffer up to God! And Oh, that birth-cry of a guiltless child In it are sounding of our sin and woe, With prophesy of ill beyond all years! Yearning for beauty never to be seen - Beatitude redeemless evermore! "And I whose dream mourned with all motherhood Must hear it soon! Already do soft skill, Assuasive lulls, enticings and quick tones Of tenderness - that will like light awake The folded memory children shall bring Out of the dark - move in me longingly. 33 34 SONG-SURF Yet thou, Adam, dear fallen thought of God, Thou, when thou too shalt hear humanity Cry in thy child, wilt groaning wish the world Back in unsummoned Void! and, woe! wilt fill God's ear with troubled wonder and unrest!" Softly he soothed her straying hair, and kissed The fever from her lips. Over the palms The sad moon poured her peace into their eyes, Till Sleep, the angel of forgetfulness, Folded again dark wings above their rest. MARY AT NAZARETH I KNow, Lord, Thou hast sent Him - Thou art so good to me! - But Thou hast only lent Him, His heart's for Thee! I dared -Thy poor hand-maiden - Not ask a prophet-child: Only a boy-babe laden For earth - and mild. But this one Thou hast given Seems not for earth - or me! His lips flame truth from heaven, And vanity 35 SONG-SURF Seem all my thoughts and prayers When He but speaks Thy Law; Out of my heart the tares Are torn by awe! I cannot look upon Him, So strangely burn His eyes - Hath not some grieving drawn Him From Paradise For Thee, for Thee I'd live, Lord! Yet oft I almost fall Before Him - Oh, forgive, Lord, My sinful thrall! But e'en when He was nursing, A baby at my breast, It seemed He was dispersing The world's unrest. 36 SONG-SURF Thou bad'st me call Him "Jesus," And from our heavy sin I know He shall release us, From Sheol win. But, Lord, forgive! the yearning That He may sometimes be Like other children, learning Beside my knee, Or playing, prattling, seeking For help - comes to my heart. . . Ah sinful, Lord, I'm speaking - How good Thou art! 37 ADELIL PROUD Adelil! Proud Adelil! Why does she lie so cold (I made her shrink, I made her reel, I made her white lids fold.) We sat at banquet, many maids, She like a Valkyr free. (I hated the glitter of her braids, I hated her blue eye's glee!) In emerald cups was poured the mead; Icily blew the night. (But tears unshed and woes that bleed Brew bitterness and spite.) 38 SONG-SURF "A goblet to my love!" she cried, "Prince where the sea-winds fly!" (Her love! - it was for that he died, And for it she should die.) She lifted the cup and drank - she saw A heart within its lees. (I laughed like the dead who feel the thaw Of summer in the breeze.) They looked upon her stricken still, And sudden they grew appalled. ("It is thy lover's heart!" I shrill As the sea-crow to her called.) Palely she took it -did it give Ease there against her breast (Dead - dead she swooned, but I cannot live, And dead I shall not rest.) 39 INTIMATION ALL night I smiled as I slept, For I heard the March-wind feel Blindly about in the trees without For buds to heal. All night in dreams, for I smelt, In the rain-wet woods and fields, The coming flowers and the glad green hours That summer yields. All night - and when at dawn I woke with the blue-bird's cheep, Winter with all its chill and pall Seemed but a sleep. 40 IN JULY THIs path will tell me where dark daisies dance To the white sycamores that dell them in; Where crow and flicker cry melodious din, And blackberries in ebon ripeness glance Luscious enticings under briery green. It will slip under coppice limbs that lean Brushingly as the slowv-belled heifer pants Toward weedy water-plants That shade the pool-sunk creek's reluctant trance. I shall find bell-flower spires beside the gap And lady phlox within the hollow's cool; Cedar with sudden memories of Yule Above the tangle tipped with blue skullcap. The high hot mullein fond of the full sun 41 SONG-SURF 42 Will watch and tell the low mint when I've won rhe hither wheat where idle breezes nap, And fluffy quails entrap Me from their brood that crouch to escape mishap. Then I shall reach the mossy water-way That gullies the dense hill up to its peak, There dally listening to the eerie eke Of drops into cool chalices of clay. Then on, for elders odorously will steal My senses till I climb up where they heal The livid heat of its malingering ray, And wooingly betray To memory many a long-forgotten day. There I shall rest within the woody peace Of afternoon. The bending azure frothed With silveryness, the sunny pastures swathed, Fragrant with morn-mown clover and seed-fleece; The hills where hung mists muse, and Silence calls SONG-SURF 43 To Solitude thro' aged forest halls, Will waft into me their mysterious ease, And in the wind's soft cease I shall hear hintings of eternities. FROM ABOVE WHAT do I care if the trees are bare And the hills are dark And the skies are gray. What do I care for chill in the air For crows that cark At the rough wind's way. What do I care for the dead leaves there - Or the sullen road By the sullen wood. There's heart iii my heart To bear my load! So enough, the day is goodl 44 BY THE INDUS THou art late, 0 Moon, Late, I have waited thee long. The nightingale's flown to her nest, Sated with song. The champak hath no odour more To pour on the wind as he passeth o'er - But my heart it will not rest. Thou art late, 0 Love, Late, For the moon is a-wane. The kusa-grass sighs with my sighs, Burns with my pain. 45 46 SONG-SURF The lotus leans her head on the stream - Shall I not lean to thy breast and dream, Dream ere the night-cool dies Thou art late, 0 Death, Late, For he did not comet A pariah is my heart, Cast from himr-dumbl I cannot cry in the jungle's deep - Is it not time for the Tomb -and Sleep 0 Death, strike with thy dart! EVOCATION (NIxKo, JAPAN, 1905) DIM thro' the mist and cryptomeria Booms the temple bell, Down from the tomb of IRyasd Yearning, as a knell. Down from the tomb where many an aeon Silently has knelt; Many a pilgrimage of millions - Still about it felt. Still, for I see them gather ghostly Now, as the numb sound Floats, an unearthly necromancy, From the past's dead ground. 47 SONG-SURF See the invisible vast millions, Hear their soundless feet Climbing the shrine-ways to the gilded Carven temple's seat. And, one among them - pale among them - Passes waning by. What is it tells me mystically That strange one was I . Weird thro' the mist and cryptomeria Dies the bell - 'tis dumb. After how many lives returning Shall I hither come Hither again! and climb the votive Ever mossy ways Who shall the gods be then, the millions Meek, entreat or praise THE CHILD GOD GAVE "GIVE me a little child To draw this dreary want out of my breast," I cried to God. "Give, for my days beat wild With loneliness that will not rest But under the still sod!" It came - with groping lips And little fingers stealing aimlessly About my heart. I was like one who slips A-sudden into Ecstasy And thinks ne'er to depart. "Soon he will smile," I said, "And babble baby love into my ears - 49 50 SONG-SURF How it will thrill!" I waited - Oh, the dread, The clutching agony, the -fears! - He was so strange and still. Did I curse God and rave When they came shrinkingly to tell me 'twas A witless child No . . . I . . . Ionly gave One cry . . . just one. . . I think . . because . . . You know . . . he never smiled THE WINDS THE East Wind is a Bedouin, And Nimbus is his steed; Out of the dusk with the lightning's thin Blue scimitar he flies afar, Whither his rovings lead. The Dead Sea waves And Egypt caves Of mummied silence laugh When he mounts to quench the Siroc's stench And to wrench From his clutch the tyrant's staff. The West Wind is an Indian brave Who scours the Autumn's crest. Dashing the forest down as a slave, 5T SONG-SURF He tears the leaves from its limbs and weaves A maelstrom for his breast. Out of the night Crying to fright The earth he swoops to spoil - There is furious scathe in the whirl of his wrath, In his path There is misery and moil. The North Wind is a Viking - cold And cruel, armed with death! Born in the doomful deep of the old Ice Sea that froze ere Ymir rose From Niflheim's ebon breath. And with him sail Snow, Frost, and Hail, Thanes mighty as their lord, To plunder the shores of Summer's stores - And his roar 's Like the sound of Chaos' horde. 52 SONG-SURF The South Wind is a Troubadour; The Spring 's his serenade. Over the mountain, over the moor, He blows to bloom from the winter's tomb Blossom and leaf and blade. He ripples the throat Of the lark with a note Of lilting love and bliss, And the sun and the moon, the night and t Are a-swoon - When he woos them with his kiss. 53 he noon, TRANSCENDED I wHo was learned in death's lore Oft held her to my heart And spoke of days when we should love no more - In the long dust, apart. "Immortal" No-it could not be, Spirit with flesh must die. Tho' heart should pray and hope make endless plea, Reason would still outcry. She died. They wrapped her in the dust - I heard the dull clod's dole, And then I knew she lived - that death's dark lust Could never touch her soul! 54 LOVE'S WAY TO CHILDHOOD WE ARE not lovers, you and I, Upon this sunny lane, But children who have never known Love's joy or pain. The trees we pass, the summer brook, The bird that o'er us darts - We do not know 'tis they that thrill Our childish hearts. The earth-things have no name for us, The ploughing means no more Than that they like to walk the fields Who plough them o'er. 55 SONG-SURF The road, the wood, the heaven, the hills Are not a World to-day - But just a place God's made for us In which to play. AUTUMN I KNOW her not by fallen leaves Or resting heaps of hay; Or by the sheathing mists of mauve That soothe the fiery day. I know her not by plumping nuts, By redded hips and haws, Or by the silence hanging sad Under the Nuind's sere pause. But by her sighs I know her well - They are like Sorrow's breath; And by this longing, strangely still, For something after death. 57 SHINTO (MIYAJIMA, JAPAN, I905) LOWLY temple and torii, Shrine where the spirits of wind and wave Find the worship and glory we Give to the one God great and grave - Lowly temple and torii, Shrine of the dead, I hang my prayer Here on your gates - the story see And answer out of the earth and air. For I am Nature's child, and you Were by the children of Nature built. Ages have on you smiled -and dew On you for ages has been spilt - 58 SONG-SURF Till you are beautiful as Time Mossy and mellowing ever makes: Wrapped as you are in lull - or rhyme Of sounding drum that sudden breaks. This is my prayer then, this: that I Too may reverence all of life, Lose no power and miss no high Awe, of a world with wonder rife! That I may build in spirit fair Temples and torii on each place That I have loved - Oh, hear it, Air, Ocean and Earth, and grant your gracel 59 MAYA (HIROSHIMA, JAPAN, 1905) PALE sampans up the river glide, With set sails vanishing and slow; In the blue west the mountains hide, As visions that too soon will go. Across the rice-lands, flooded deep, The peasant peacefully wades on - As, in unfurrowed vales of sleep, A phantom out of voidness drawn. Over the temple cawing flies The crow with carrion in his beak. Buddha within lifts not his eyes In pity or reproval meek; 60 SONG-SURF 6i Nor, in the bamboos, where they bow A respite from the blinding sun, The old priest - dreaming painless how Nirvana's calm will come when won. "All is illusion, Maya, all The world of will," the spent East seems Whispering in me; "and the call Of Life is but a call of dreams." A JAPANESE MOTHER (IN TIME OF WAR) THE young stork sleeps in the pine-tree tops, Down on the brink of the river. My baby sleeps by the bamboo copse - The bamboo copse where the rice field stops: The bamboos sigh and shiver. The white fox creeps from his hole in the hill; I must pray to Inari. I hear her calling me low and chill - Low and chill when the wind is still At night and the skies hang starry. And ever she says, "He's dead! he's dead! Your lord who went to battle. 62 SONG-SURF How shall your baby now be fed, Ukibo fed, with rice and bread - What if I hush his prattle" The red moon rises as I slip back, And the bamboo stems are swaying. Inari was deaf - and yet the lack, The fear and lack, are gone, and the rack, I know not why -with praying. For though Inan cared not at all, Some other god was kinder. I wonder why he has heard my call, My giftless call - and what shall befall. Hope has but left me blinder! 63 THE DEAD GODS I THOUGHT I plunged into that dire Abyss Which is Oblivion, the house of Death. I thought there blew upon my soul the breath Of time that was but never more can be. Ten thousand years within its void I thought I lay, blind, deaf, and motionless, until - Though with no eye nor ear - I felt the thrill Of seeing, heard its phantoms move and sigh. First one beside me spoke, in tones that told He once had been a god - "Persephone, Tear from thy brow its withered crown, for we Are king and queen of Tartarus no more; 64 SONG-SURF "And that wan, shrivelled sceptre in thy hand, Why dost thou clasp it still Cast it away, For now it hath no virtue that can sway Dull shades or drive the Furies to their spoil. " Cast it away, and give thy palm to mine: Perchance some unobliterated spark Of memory shall warm this dismal Dark. Perchance - Vain! vain! love could not light such gloom." He sank. . . . Then in great ruin by him moved Another as in travail of some thought Near unto birth; and soon from lips distraught By aged silence, fell, with hollow woe: "Ah, Pluto, dost thou, one time lord of Styx And Acheron make moan of night and cold Were we upon Olympus as of old Laughter of thee would rock its festal height. 65 SONG-SURF " But think, think thee of me, to whom or gloom Or cold were more unknown than impotence! See the unhurled thunderbolt brought hence To mock me when I dream I still am Jove!" Too much it was: I withered in the breath; And lay again ten thousand lifeless years; And then my soul shook, woke - and saw three biers Chiselled of solid night majestically. The forms outlaid upon them were enwound As with the silence of eternity. Numbing repose dwelt o'er them like a sea, That long hath lost tide, wave and roar, in death. "Ptah, Ammon, and Osiris are their names," A spirit hieroglyphed unto my soul. "Ptah, Ammon, and Osiris - they who stole The heart of Egypt from the God of gods: 66 SONG-SURF "Aye, they! and these!" pointing to many wraiths That stood around -Baal, Ormuzd, Indra, all Whom frightened ignorance and sin's appall Had given birth, close-huddled in despair. Their eyes were fixed upon a cloven slope Down whose descent still other forms a-fresh From earth were drawn, by the unceasing mesh Of Time to their irrevocable end. "They are the gods," one said - "the gods whom men Still taunt with wails for help."- Then a deep light Upbore me from the Gulf, and thro' its might I heard the worlds cry, "God alone is God!" 67 CALL TO YOUR MATE, BOB-WHITE o CALL to your mate, bob-white, bob-white, And I will call to mine. Call to her by the meadow-gate, And I will call by the pine. Tell her the sun is hid, bob-white, The windy wheat sways west. Whistle again, call clear and run To lure her out of her nest. For when to the copse she comes, shy bird, With Mary down the lane I'll walk, in the dusk of the locust tops, And be her lover again. 68 SONG-SURF 69 Ay, we will forget our hearts are old, And that our hair is gray. We'll kiss as we kissed at pale sunset That summer's halcyon day. That day, can it fade . . . ah, bob, bob-white, Still calling - calling still We're coming - a-coming, bent and weighed, But glad with the old love's thrill! THE DYING POET SWING in thy splendour, 0 silent sun, Drawing my heart with thee over the west! Done is its day as thy day is done, Fallen its quest! Swoon into purple and rose, then die: Tho' to arise again out of the dawn: Die as I praise thee, ere thro' the Dark Lie Of death I am drawn! Sunk art thou sunken how great was life! I like a child could cry for it again - Cry for its beauty, pang, fleeting and strife, Its women, its men! 70 SONG-SURF For, how I drained it with love and delight! Opened its heart with the magic of grief! Reaped every season - its day and its nightl Loved every sheaf! Aye, not a meadow my step has trod, Never a flower swung sweet to my face, Never a heart that was touched of God, But taught me its grace. Off from my lids then a moment yet, Fingering Death, for again I must see Lifted by memory all that I met Under Time's lee. There! . . . I'm a child again - fair, so fairI Under the eyes does a marvel not burn Speak they not vision -and frenzy to dare, That still in me yearn . . 7t SONG-SURF Youth! my wild youth! - 0, blood of my heart, Still you can answer with swirling the thought! Still like the mountain-born rapid can dart, Joyous, distraught! . . . Love, and her face again! there by the wood! - Come, thou invisible Dark with thy mask! Shall I not learn if she lives and could I more of thee ask . Turn me away from the ashen west, Where love's sad planet unveils to the dusk. Something is stealing like light from my breast - Soul from its husk . . . Soft! . . Where the dead feel the buried dead, Where the high hermit-bell hourly tolls, Bury me, near to the haunting tread Of life that o'errolls. THE OUTCAST I DID not fear, But crept close up to " Is he not here " Christ and said, They drew me back - The seraphs who had never bled Of weary lack - But still I cried, With torn robe, " Dear Christ! "So long ago! Is he not here As mortal flow 73 clutching at His feet, He died Three days, unfleet SONG-SURF "Of time I've sought - Till Heaven's amaranthine ways Seem as sere nought!" A grieving stole Up from His heart and waned the gaze Of His clear soul Into my eyes. "He is not here," troubled He sighed. "For none who dies "Beliefless may Bend lips to this sin-healing Tide, And live alway." Then darkness rose Within me, and drear bitterness. Out of its throes I moaned, at last, "Let me go hence! Take off the dress, The charms Thou hast 74 SONG-SURF "Around me strown! Beliefless too am I without His love-and lone!" Unto the Gate They led me, tho' with pitying doubt. I did not wait But stepped across Its portal, turned not once to heed Or know my loss. Then my dream broke, And with it every loveless creed - Beneath love's stroke. 75 APRIL A LAUGHTER of wind and a leaping of cloud, And April, oh, out under the blue! The brook is awake and the blackbird loud In the dew! But how does the robin high in the beech, Beside the wood with its shake and toss, Know it - the frenzy of bluets to reach Thro' the moss! And where did the lark ever learn his speech Up, wildly sweet, he's over the mead! Is more than the rapture of earth can teach In its creed 76 SONG-SURF I never shall know - I never shall caret 'Tis, oh, enough to live and to loveI To laugh and warble and dream and dare Are to prove! AUGUST GUESTS THE wind slipt over the hill And down the valley. He dimpled the cheek of the rill With a cooling kiss. Then hid on the bank a-glee And began to rally The rushes -Oh, I love the wind for this! A cloud blew out of the west And spilt his shower Upon the lily-bud crest And the clematis. Then over the virgin corn Besprinkled a dower Of dew-gems -And, I love the cloud for this! 78 TO A DOVE I THY mellow passioning amid the leaves, That tremble dimly in the summer dusk, Falls sad along the oatland's sallow sheaves And haunts above the runnel's voice a-husk With plashy willow and bold-wading reed. The solitude's dim spell it breaketh not, But softer mourns unto me from the mead Than airs that in the wood intoning start, Or breath of silences in dells begot To soothe some grief-wan soul with sin a-smart. 2 A votaress art thou of Simplicity, Who hath one fane - the heaven above thy nest; 79 SONG-SURF One incense - love; one stealing litany Of peace from rivered vale and upland crest. Yea, thou art Hers, who makes prayer of the breeze, Hope of the cool upwelling from sweet soils, Faith of the darkening distance, charities Of vesper scents, and of the glow-worm's throb Joy whose first leaping rends the care-wound coils That would earth of its heavenliness rob. 3 But few, how few her worshippers! For we Cast at a myriad shrines our souls, to rise Beliefless, unanointed, bound not free, To sacrificing a vain sacrifice! Let thy lone innocence then quickly null Within our veins doubt-led and wrong desire- Or drugging knowledge that but fills o'erfull Of feverous mystery the days we drain! Be thy warm notes like an Orphean lyre To lead us to life's Arcady again! 90 AT TINTERN ABBEY (June, 1903) 0 TINTERN, Tintern! evermore my dreams Troubled by thy grave beauty shall be born; Thy crumbling loveliness and ivy streams Shall speak to me for ever, from this morn; The wind-wild daws about thy arches drifting, Clouds sweeping o'er thy ruin to the sea, Gray Tintern, all the hills about thee, lifting Their misty waving woodland verdancy! The centuries that draw thee to the earth In envy of thy desolated charm, The summers and the winters, the sky's girth Of sunny blue or bleakness, seek thy harm. 8z 82 SONG-SURF But would that I were Time, then only tender Touch upon thee should fall as on I sped; Of every pillar would I be defender, Of every mossy window -of thy dead! Thy dead beneath obliterated stones Upon the sod that is at last thy floor, Who list the Wye not as it lonely moans Nor heed thy Gothic shadows grieving o'er. O Tintern, Tintern! trysting-place, where never Are wanting mysteries that move the breast, I'll hear thy beauty calling, ah, for ever - Till sinks within me the last voice to rest! OH, GO NOT OUT OH, GO not out upon the storm, Go not, my sweet, to Swalchie pool! A witch tho' she be dead may charm Thee and befool. A wild night 'tis! her lover's moan, Down under ooze and salty weed, She'll make thee hear - and then her own! Till thou shalt heed. And it will suck upon thy heart - The sorcery within her cry- Till madness out of thee upstart, And rage to die. 83 SONG-SURF For him she loved, she laughed to death! And as afloat his chill hand lay, "Ha, ha! to hell I sent his wraith!" Did she not say And from his finger strive to draw The ring that bound him to her spell Till on her closed his hand whose awe No curse could quell Oh, yea! and tho' she struggled pale, Did it not hold her cold and fast, Till crawled the tide o'er rock and swale, To her at last Down in the pool where she was swept He holds her - Oh, go not a-near! For none has heard her cry but wept And died that year. 84 HUMAN LOVE WE SPOKE of God and Fate, And of that Life -which some await - Beyond the grave. "It will be fair," she said, "But love is here! I only crave thy breast Not God's when I am dead. For He nor wants nor needs My little love. But it may be, if I love thee And those whose sorrow daily bleeds, He knows - and somehow heeds!" ASHORE WHAT are the heaths and hills to me I'm a-longing for the sea! What are the flowers that dapple the dell, And the ripple of swallow-wings over the dusk; What are the church and the folk who tell Their hearts to God - my heart is a husk I (I'm a-longing for the sea!) Aye! for there is no peace to me - But on the peaceless sea! Never a child was glad at my knee, And the soul of a woman has never been mine. What can a woman's kisses be - I fear to think how her arms would twine. (I'm a-longing for the sea!) 86 SONG-SURF So, not a home and ease for me - But still the homeless sea! Where I may swing my sorrow to sleep In a hammock hung o'er the voice of the waves, Where I may wake when the tempests heap And hurl their hate - and a brave ship saves. (I'm a-longing for the sea!) Then when I die, a grave for me - But in the graveless sea! Where is no stone for an eye to spell Thro' the lichen a name, a date and a verse. Let me be laid in the deeps that swell And sigh and wander -an ocean hearse! (I'm a-longing for the sea!) 87 THE VICTORY SEE, see! - the blows at his breast, The abyss at his back, The perils and pains that pressed, The doubts in a pack, That hunted to drag him down Have triumphed and now He sinks, who climbed for the crown To the Summit's brow No! - though at the foot he lies, Fallen and vain, With gaze to the peak whose skies He could not attain, The victory is, with strength - No matter the past! - He'd dare it again, the dark length, And the fall at last! 88 AT WINTER'S END THE weedy fallows winter-worn, Where cattle shiver under sodden hay. The plough-lands long and lorn- The fading day. The sullen shudder of the brook, And winds that wring the writhen trees in vain For drearier sound or look - The lonely rain. The crows that train o'er desert skies In endless caravans that have no goal But flight - where darkness flies - From Pole to Pole. 89 go SONG-SURF The sombre zone of hills around That shrink in misty mournfulness from sight, With sunset aureoles crowned - Before the night. MOTHER-LOVE THE seraphs would sing to her And from the River Dip her cool grails of radiant Life. The angels would bring to her, Sadly a-quiver, Laurels she never had won in earth-strife. And often they'd fly with her O'er the star-spaces - Silent by worlds where mortals are pent. Yea, even would sigh with her, Sigh with wan faces! When she sat weeping of strange discontent. But one said, "Why weepest thou Here in God's heaven - Is it not fairer than soul can see" 91 92 SONG-SURF " 'Tis fair, ah! - but keepest thou Not me depriven Of some one - somewhere - who needeth most me "For tho' the day never fades Over these meadows, Tho' He has robed me and crowned - yet, yet! Some love-fear for ever shades All with sere shadows - Had I no child there - whom I forget" TO A SINGING WARBLER "BEAUTY! all -all -is beauty" Was ever a bird so wrong! "No young in the nest, no mate, no duty" Ribald! is this your song "Glad it is ended," are you The Spring and its nuptial fear "And freedom is better than love " beware you, There will be May next year! "Beauty!" again, still "beauty" Wait till the winter comes! Till kestrel and hungry kite seek booty And the bleak cold benumbs! 93 94 SONG-SURF Wait nay, fling it to heaven The false little song you prate! Too sweet are its fancies not to leaven Even the rudest fate! SONGS TO A. H. R. I THE WORLD'S, AND MINE TiE world may hear The wind at his trees, The lark in her skies, The sea on his leas; May hear Song rise On words as immortal As any that sound Thro' Heaven's Portal. But I have a music they can never know - The touch of you, soul of you, heart of you, Oh! All else that is said or sung 's but a part of you - Be it forever so ! 95 SONG-SURF II LOVE-CALL IN SPRING NOT only the lark but the robin too (Oh, heart o' my heart, come into the wood!) Is singing the air to gladness new As the breaking bud And the freshet's floodl Not only the peeping grass and the scent - (Oh, love o' my life, fly unto me here!) Of violets coming ere April's spent - But the frog's shrill cheer And the crow's wild jeer! Not only the blue, not only the breeze, (Oh, soul o' my heart, why tarry so long!) But sun that is sweeter upon the trees Than rills that throng To the brooklet's song! SONG-SURF Oh, heart o' my heart, oh, heart o' my love, (Oh soul o' my soul, haste unto me, haste!) For spring is below and God is above - But all is a waste Without thee -hasteI III MATING THIE bliss of the wind in the redbud ringingl What shall we do with the April days! Kingcups soon will be up and swinging - What shall we do with May's! The cardinal flings, "They are made for mating!" Out on the bough he flutters, a flame. Thrush-flutes echo, "For mating's elating! Love is its other name!" 97 SONG-SURF They know! know it! but better, oh, better, Dearest, than ever a bird in Spring, Know we to make each moment debtor Unto love's burgeoning! IV UNTOLD COULD I, a poet, Implant the truth of you, Seize it and sow it As Spring on the world. There were no need To fling (forsooth) of you Fancies that only lovers heed! No, but unfurled, The bloom, the sweet of you, (As unto me they are opened oft) Would with their beauty's breath repeat of you All that my heart breathes loud or soft! 98 SONG-SURF V LOVE-WATCH MY LOVE'S a guardian-angel Who camps about thy heart, Never to flee thine enemy, Nor from thee turn apart. Whatever dark may shroud thee And hide thy stars away, With vigil sweet his wings shall beat About thee till the day. VI AT AMALFI Con: to the window, you who are mine. Waken! the night is calling. Sit by me here - with the moon's fair shine Into your deep eyes falling. 99 SONG-SURF The sea afar is a fearful gloom; Lean from the casement, listen! Anear it breaks with a faery spume, Spraying the rocks that glisten. The little white town below lies deep As eternity in slumber. 0, you who are mine, how a glance can reap Beauties beyond all number! And, how as sails that at anchor ride Our spirits rock together On a sea of love - lit as this tide With tenderest star-weather! Till the gray dawn is redd'ning up, Over the moon low-lying. Come, come away - we have drunk the cup: Ours is the dream undying! 100 SONG-SURF VII ON THE PACIFIC A STORM broods far on the foam of the deep; The moon-path gleams before. A day and a night, a night and a day, And the way, love, will be o'er. Six thousand wandering miles we have come And never a sail have seen. The sky above and the sea below And the drifting clouds between. Yet in our hearts unheaving hope And light and joy have slept. Nor ever lonely has seemed the wave Tho' heaving wild it leapt, 1IO SONG-SURF For there is talismanic might Within our vows of love To breathe us over all seas of life - On to that Port, above, Where the great Captain of all ships Shall anchor them or send Them forth on a vaster Voyage, yea, On one that shall not end. And upon that we two, I think, Together still shall sail. Oh, may it be, my own, or may We perish in death's gale! 102 THE ATONER WINTER has come in sackcloth and ashes (Penance for Summer's enverdured sheaves). Bitterly, cruelly, bleakly he lashes His limbs that are naked of grass and leaves. He moans in the forest for sins unforgiven (Sins of the revelous days of June) - Moans while the sun drifts dull from the heaven, Giftless of heat's beshriving boon. Long must he mourn, and long be his scourging, (Long will the day-god aloof frown cold), Long will earth listen the rue of his dirging - Till the dark beads of his days are told. 103 TO THE SPRING WIND AH, WHAT a changeling! Yester you dashed from the west, Altho' it is Spring, And scattered the hail with maniac zest Thro' the shivering corn - in scorn For the labour of God and man. And now from the plentiful South you haste, With lovingest fingers, To ruefully lift and wooingly fan The lily that lingers a-faint on the stalk: As if the chill waste Of the earth's May-dreams, The flowers so full of her joy, Were not - as it seems - A wanton attempt to destroy. rO4 THE RAMBLE DOWN the road which asters tangle, Thro' the gap where green-briar twines, By the path where dry leaves dangle Sere from the ivv vines We go - by sedgy fallows And along the stifled brook, Till it stops in lushy mallows Just at the bridge's crook. Then, again, o'er fence, thro' thicket, To the mouth of the rough ravine, Where the weird leaf-hidden cricket Chirrs thro' the weirder green, I05 SONG-SURF There's a way, o'er rocks - but quicker Is the beat of heart and foot, As the beams above us flicker Sun upon moss and root! And we leap - as wildness tingles From the air into our blood - With a cry thro' golden dingles Hid in the heart of the wood. Oh, the wood with winds a-wrestle! With the nut and acorn strown! Oh, the wood where creepers trestle Tree unto tree o'ergrown! With a climb the ledging summit Of the hill is reached in glee. For an hour we gaze off from it Into the sky's blue sea. zo6 SONG-SURF I07 But a bell and sunset's crimson Soon recall the homeward path. And we turn as the glory dims on The hay-field's mounded math. Thro' the soft and silent twilight We come, to the stile at last, As the clear undying eyelight Of the stars tells day is past. RETURN AH, IT was here - September And silence filled the air - I came last year to remember, And muse, hid away from care. It was here I came - the thistle Was trusting her seed to the wind; The quail in the croft gave whistle As now - and the fields lay thinned. I know how the hay was steeping, Brown mows under mellow haze; How a frail cloud-flock was creeping As now over lone sky-ways. Just there where the catbird's calling Her mock-hurt note by the shed, The use-worn wain was stalling In the weedy brook's dry bed. Io8 SONG-SURF And the cricket, lone little chimer Of day-long dreams in the vines, Chirred on like a doting rhymer O'er-vain of his firstling lines. He's near me now by the aster, Beneath whose shadowy spray A sultry bee seeps faster As the sun slips down the day. And there are the tall primroses Like maidens waiting to dance. They stood in the same shy poses Last year, as if to entrance The stately mulleins to waken From death and lead them around: And still they will stand untaken, Till drops their gold to the ground. Yes, it was here - September And silence round me yearned. Again I've come to remember, log o10 SONG-SURF Again for musing returned To the searing fields' assuaging, And the falling leaves' sad balm: Away from the world's keen waging - To harvest and hills and calm. LISETTE OH . . . there was love in her heart - no doubt of it- Under the anger. But see what came out of it! Not a knave, he! - A smitten rhyme-smatterer, Cloaking in languor And heartache to flatter her. And just as a woman will - even the best of them - She yielded - brittle. God spare me the rest of them! For! though but kisses - she swore! - he had of her, Was it so little She thought 'twas not bad of her, III SONG-SURF Said I would lavish a burning hour-full On any grisette. And silenced me, powerful! But she was mine, and blood is inflammable - For a Lisette! My rage was undammable. . Could a stiletto's one prick be prettier Look at the gaping. No - then you're her pitier! Pah! she's the better, and I . . . I'm your prisoner. Loose me the strapping - I'll lay one more kiss on her. XI2 FROM ONE BLIND I CANNOT say thy cheek is like the rose, Thy hair like rippled sunbeams, and thine eyes Like violets, April-rich and sprung of God. My barren gaze can never know what throes Such boons of beauty waken, tho' I rise Each day a-tremble with the ruthless hope That light will pierce my useless lids - then grope Till night, blind as the worm within his clod. Yet unto me thou art not less divine, I touch thy cheek - and know the mystery hid Within the twilight breeze; I smooth thy hair And understand how slipping hours may twine Themselves into eternity: yea, rid Of all but love, I kiss thine eyes and seem To see all beauty God Himself may dream. Why then should I o'ermuch for earth-sight care I 13 IN A CEMETERY WHEN Autumn's melancholy robes the land With silence, and sad fadings mystical Of other years move thro' the mellow fields, I turn unto this meadow of the dead, Strewn with the leaves stormed from October trees, And wonder if my resting shall be dug Here by this cedar's moan or under the sway Of yonder cypress - lair of winds that rove As Valkyries sent from Valhalla's court In search of worthy slain. And sundry times with questioning I tease The entombed of their estate - seeking to know Whether 'tis sweeter in the grave to feel The oblivion of Nature's silent flow, Or here to wander wistful o'er her face. Whether the harvesting of pain and joy 114 SONG-SURF Which men call Life ends so, or whether death Pours the warm chrism of Immortality Into each human heart whose glow is spent. And oft the Silence hears me. For a voice Of sighing wind may answer, or a gaze, Though wordless, from a marble seraph's face. Or sometimes from unspeakable deeps of gold, That ebb along the west, revealings wing And tremble, like ethereal swift tongues Unskilled of human speech, about my heart- Till youth, age, death, even earth's all, it seems, Are but brave moments wakened in that Soul, To whom infinities are as a span, Eternities as bird-flights o'er the sun, And worlds as sands blown from Sahara's wilds Into the ceaseless surging of the sea. . . . Then twilight hours lead back my wandered spirit From out the wilderness of mystery Whence none may find a path to the Unknown, And chastened to content I turn me home. 1tS WAKING OHt, THE long dawn, the weary, endless dawn, When sleep's oblivion is torn away From love that died with dying yesterday But still unburied in the heart lies on! Oh, the sick gray, the twitter in the trees, The sense of human waking o'er the earth! The quivering memories of love's fair birth Now strown as deathless flowers o'er its decease! Oh, the regret, and oh, regretlessness, Striving for sovranty within the soul! Oh, fear that life shall never more be whole, And immortality but make it less! iI6 STORM-EBB DUSKING amber dimly creeps Over the vale, Lit by the kildee's silver sweeps, Sad with his wail. Eastward swing the silent clouds Into the night. Burdens of day they seem - in crowds Hurled from earth's sight. Tilting gulls whip whitely far Over the lake, Tirelessly on o'er buoy and spar Till they o'ertake ''7 st8 SONG-SURF Shadow and mingled mist - and then Vanish to wing Still the bewildering night-fen, Where the waves ring. Dusking amber dimly dies Out of the vale. Dead from the dunes the winds arise - Ghosts of the gale. LINGERING I LINGERED still when you were gone, When tryst and trust were o'er, While memory like a wounded swan In sorrow sung love's lore. I lingered till the whippoorwill Had cried delicious pain Over the wild-wood - in its thrill I heard your voice again. I lingered and the mellow breeze Blew to me sweetly dewed- Its touch awoke the sorceries Your last caresses brewed. II9 120 SONG-SURF But when the night with silent start Had sown her starry seed, The harvest which sprang in my heart Was loneliness and need. FAUN-CALL OH, WHO is he will follow me With a singing, Down sunny roads where windy odes Of the woods are ringing Where leaves are tossed from branches lost In a tangle Of vines that vie to clamber high - But to vault and dangle! Oh, who is he - His eye must be As a lover's To leap and woo the chicory's hue In the hazel-hovers! 121 122 SONG-SURF His hope must dance like radiance That hurries To scatter shades from the silent glades Where the quick hare scurries. And he must see that Autumn's glee And her laughter From his lips and heart will quell all smart - Of before and after! THE LIGHTHOUSEMAN WnEN at evening smothered lightnings Burn the clouds with fretted fires; When the stars forget to glisten, And the winds refuse to listen To the song of my desires, Oh, my love, unto thee! When the livid breakers angered Churn against my stormy tower; When the petrel flying faster Brings an omen to the master Of his vessel's fated hour - Oh, the reefs! ah, the sea! Then I climb the climbing stairway, Turn the light across the storm; 123 124 SONG-SURF You are watching, fisher-maiden For the token-flashes laden With a love death could not harm - Lo, they come, swift and free! One- that means, "I think of thee!" Two-"I swear me thine!" Three - Ah, hear me tho' you sleep!- Is, that I know thee mine! rhro' the darkness, One, Two, Three, All the night they sweep: Thro' raging darkness o'er the deep, One - and Two - and Three. SERENITY AND could I love it more - this simple scene Of cot-strewn hills and fields long-harvested, That lie as if forgotten were all green, So bare, so dead! Or could my gaze more tenderly entwine Each pallid beech and silvery sycamore Outreaching arms in patience to divine If winter's o'er Ah no, the wind has blown into my veins The blue infinity of sky, the sense Of meadows free to-day from icy pains - From wintry vents. 125 126 SONG-SURF And sunny peace more virgin than the glow Falling from eve's first star into the night, Brings hope believing what it ne'er can know With mortal sight. WANTON JUNE I KNEW she would come! Sarcastic November Laughed cold and glum On the last red ember Of forest leaves. He was laughing, the scorner, At me forlorner Than any that grieves - Because I asked him if June would come! But I knew she would come When snow-hearted winter Gripped river and loam, And the wind sped flinter On icy heel, I27 SONG-SURF I was chafing my sorrow And yearning to borrow A hope that would steal Across the hours - till June should come. And now she is here - The wanton! -I follow Her steps, ever near, To the shade of the hollow Where violets blow: And chide her for leaving, Tho' half believing She taunted me so, To make her abided return more dear. 129 SPIRIT OF RAIN (MIYANOSHITA, JAPAN, I905) SPIRIT of rain - With all thy mountain mists that wander lonely As a gray train Of souls newly discarnate seeking new life only! Spirit of rain! Leading them thro' dim torii, up fane-ways onward Till not in vain They tremble upon the peaks and plunge rejoicing dawnward. Spirit of rain! So would I lead my dead thoughts high and higher, Till they regain Birth and the beauty of a new life's fire. I29 AUTUMN AT THE BRIDGE BROWN dropping of leaves, Soft rush of the wind, Slow searing of sheaves On the hill; Green plunging of frogs, Cool lisp of the brook, Far barking of dogs At the mill; Hot hanging of clouds, High poise of the hawk, Flush laughter of crowds From the Ridge; Nut-falling, quail-calling, Wheel-rumbling, bee-mumbling- Oh, sadness, gladness, madness, Of an autumn day at the bridgel 130 TEARLESS Do WOMEN weep when men have died It cannot be! For I have sat here by his side, Breathing dear names against his face, That he must list to, were his place Over God's throne - Yet have I wept no tear and made no moan. Do women weep - not gaze stone-eyed Grief seems in vain. Do women weep - I was his bride - They brought him to me cold and pale - Upon his lids I saw the trail Of deathly pain. They said, "Her tears will fall like autumn rain." I31 132 SONG-SURF I cannot weep! Not if hot tears, Dropped on his lids, Might burn hi i back to life and years Of yearning love, would any rise To flood the anguish from my eyes - And I'm his bride! Ah me, do women weep when men have died SUNSET-LOVERS UPON how many a hill, Across how many a field, Beside how many a river's restful flowing, They stand, with eyes a-thrill, And hearts of day-rue healed, Gazing, 0 wistful sun, upon thy going! They have forgotten life, Forgotten sunless death; Desire is gone - is it not gone for ever No memory of strife Have they, or pain-sick breath. No hopes to fear or fears hope cannot sever. Silent the gold steals down The west, and mystery 133 Moves deeper in their hearts and settles darker. 'Tis faded - the day's crown; But strange and shadowy They see the Unseen as night falls stark and starker. Like priests whose altar fires Are spent, immovable They stand, in awful ecstasy uplifted. Zephyrs awake tree-lyres, The starry deeps are full, Earth with a mystic majesty is gifted. Ah, sunset-lovers, though Time were but pulsing pain, And death no more than its eternal ceasing, Would you not choose the throe, Hold the oblivion vain, To have beheld so many a day's releasing SONG-SURF 134 THE EMPTY CROSS THE eve of Golgotha had come, And Christ lay shrouded in the garden Tomb: Among the olives, Oh, how dumb, How sad the sun incarnadined the gloom! The hill grew dim - the pleading cross Reached empty arms toward the closing gate. Jerusalem, oh, count thy loss! Oh, hear ye! hear ye! ere it be too late! Reached bleeding arms - but how in vain! The murmurous multitude within the wall Already had forgot His pain - To-morrow would forget the cross - and all! I35 SONG-SURF They knew not Rome, before its sign, Bending her brow bound with the nations' threne, Would sweep all lands from Nile to Rhine In servitude unto the Nazarene. Nor knew that millions would forsake Ancestral shrines great with the glow of time, And lifting up its token shake Aeons with thrill of love or battle's crime. With empty arms aloft it stood: Ah, Scribe and Pharisee, ye builded well! The cross emblotted with His blood Mounts, highest Hope of men, against earth's hell! 16 UNBURTHENED Not grief nor the sunny wine Of gladness steeps my spirit as I gaze Over these meads that lie engarmented In stubble robes of winter-weary brown. For, as those solitary trees afar Have reached unbudding boughs to the dim day And melted on the infinite calm of space, So have I reached, and am no more distraught With the quivering pangs of memory's yesterday. But the boon of blue skies deeper than despair, Of rest that rises as a tide of sleep, Of care borne on the plumes of swan-swift clouds Away to the sullen shades of the low west, Have lulled my soul with soft infinitude - And lent it faith's illimitable Peace. 137 SONG HER voice is vibrant beauty dipt In dreams of infinite sorrow and delight. Thro' an awaiting soul 'tis slipt And lo, words spring that breathe immortal 138 TO HER WHO SHALL COME OUT of the night of lovelessness I call Thee, as, in a chill chamber where no rays Of unbelievable light and freedom fall, Might cry one manacled! And tho' the ways Thou'lt come I cannot see; tho' my heart's sore With emptiness when morning's silent grays Wake me to long aloneness; yet I know Thou hast been with me, who like dawn wilt go Beside me, when I have found thee, evermore! 2 So in the garden of my heart each day I plant thee a flower. Now the pansy, peace, And now the lily, faith - or now a spray Of the climbing ivy, hope. And they ne'er cease 139 SONG-SURF Around the still unblossoming rose of love To bend in fragrant tribute to her sway. Then - for thy shelter from life's sultrier suns, The oak of strength I set o'er joy that runs With brooklet glee from winds that grieve above. 3 But where now art thou Watching with love's eye The eve-star wander Listening through dim trees Some thrilled muezzin of the forest cry From his leafy minaret Or by the sea's Blue brim, while the spectral moon half o'er it hangs Like the faery isle of Avalon, do these My yearnings speak to thee of days thy feet Have never trod - Sweet, sweet, oh, more than sweet, My own, must be our meeting's mystic pangs. 4 And will be soon! For last night near to-day, Dreaming, God called me thro' the space-built sphere SONG-SURF 141 Of heaven and said, " Come, waiting one, and lay Thine ear unto my Heart - there thou shalt hear The secrets of this world where evils war." Such things I heard as must rend mortal clay To tell, and trembled - till God, pitying, Said, "Listen" . . . Oh, my love, I heard thee sing Out of thy window to the morning star! STORM-TWILIGHT TOSSING, swirling, swept by the wind, Beaten abaft by the rain, The swallows high in the sodden sky Circle oft and again. They rise and sink and drift and swing, Twitterless in the chill; A-haste, for stark is the coming dark Over the wet of the hill. Wildly, swiftly, at last they stream Into their chimney home. A livid gash in the west, a crash- Then silence, sadness, gloam. 142 SLAVES A HOST of bloody centuries lie prone Upon the fields of Time - but still the wake Of Progress loud is haunted with the groan Of myriads, from whose peaceful veins, to slake His scarlet thirst, has War, fierce Polypheme Of fate, insatiately drunk life's stream. We bid the courier lightning leap along Its instant path with spirit speed - command Stars lost in night-eternity to throng Before the magnet eye of Science -stand On Glory's peak and triumphingly cry Out mastery of earth and sea and air. But unto War's necessity we bare Our piteous breasts - and impotently die. 143 AVOWAL TO THE NIGHTINGALE TMo' thou hast ne'er unpent thy pain's delight Upon these airs, bird of the poet's love, Yet must I sing thy singing! For the Night Has poured her jewels o'er the lap of heaven As they who hear thee say thou dost above The wood such ecstasies as were not given By nestling breasts of Venus to the dove. 2 Oft have I watched the moon with her fair gold Still clung to by the tattered mists of day Arise and look for thee. Then hope grew bold. And almost I could see how the near laurels Would tremble with thy trembling: but the sway Of bards who wreathed thee with unfading chorals Has held my longing lips from this poor lay. 144 SONG-SURF 145 3 But take it now. And if the lark - who is Too high for earth - may vie for praise with thee In aery rhapsody, yet it is his To sing of day and joy, while thou of sorrow And night o'erhovering singest. So thou'lt be More dear than he - till hearts shall cease to borrow From grief the healing for life's mystery. WILDNESS To drift with the drifting clouds, And blow with the blow of breezes, To ripple with waves and murmur with caves To soar, as the sea-mew pleases! To dip with the dipping sails, And burn with the burning heaven - My life! my soul! for the infinite roll Of a day to wildness given! x46 BEFORE AUTUMN SUMMER'S last moon has waned - Waned As amber fires Of an Aztec shrine. The invisible breath of coming death has stained The withering leaves with its nepenthean wine- Autumn's near. Winds in the woodland moan - Moan As memories Of a chilling yore. Magnolia seeds like Indian beads are strown From crimson pods along the earth's sere floor - Autumn's near. '47 SONG-SURF Solitude slowly steals, Steals Her silent way By the songless brook. At the gnarly yoke of a solemn oak she kneels, The musing joy of sadness in her look - Autumn's near. Yes, with her golden days - Days When hope and toil Are at peace and rest - Autumn is near, and the tired year 'mid praise Lies down with leaf and blossom on his breast- Autumn's near. 148 FULFILMENT A-BASK in the mellow beauty of the ripening sun, Sad with the lingering sense of summer's purpose done, The shorn and searing fields stretch from me one by one Along the creek. The corn-stalks drop their shadows down the fallow hill; Wearing autumnal warmth the farm sleeps by the mill, Around each heavy eave low smoke hangs blue and still - Life's flow is weak. Along the weedy roads and lanes I walk - or pause - Ponder a fallen nut or quirking crow whose caws Seem with prehuman hintings fraught or ancient awes Of forest deeps. I49 150 SONG-SURF Of forest deeps the pale-face hunter never trod, Nor Indian, with the silent stealth of Nature shod; Deeps tense with the timelessness and solitude of God, Who never sleeps. And many times has Autumn, on her harvest way, Gathered again into the earth leaf, fruit, and spray; Here many times dwelt rueful as she dwells to-day, The while she reaps. LAST SIGHT OF LAND THE clouds in woe hang far and dim: I look again, and lo, Only a faint and shadow line Of shore - I watch it go. The gulls have left the ship and wheel Back to the cliff's gray wraith. Will it be so of all our thoughts When we set sail on Death And what will the last sight be of life As lone we fare and fast Grief and the face we love in mist - Then night and awe too vast I5I 152 SONG-SURF Or the dear light of Hope - like that, Oh, see, from the lost shore Kindling and calling "Onward, you Shall reach the Evermorel" SILENCE SIENCE is song unheard, Is beauty never born, Is light forgotten - left unstirred Upon Creation's morn. THE END 153