I stand within the stony, arid town,
I gaze for ever on the narrow street;
I hear for ever passing up and down,
The ceaseless tramp of feet.

I know no brotherhood with far-lock'd woods,
Where branches bourgeon from a kindred sap;
Where o'er moss'd roots, in cool, green solitudes,
Small silver brooklets lap.

No em'rald vines creep wistfully to me,
And lay their tender fingers on my bark;
High may I toss my boughs, yet never see
Dawn's first most glorious spark.

When to and fro my branches wave and sway,
Answ'ring the feeble wind that faintly calls,
They kiss no kindred boughs but touch alway
The stones of climbing walls.

My heart is never pierc'd with song of bird;
My leaves know nothing of that glad unrest,
Which makes a flutter in the still woods heard,
When wild birds build a nest.

There never glance the eyes of violets up,
Blue into the deep splendour of my green:
Nor falls the sunlight to the primrose cup,
My quivering leaves between.

Not mine, not mine to turn from soft delight
Of wood-bine breathings, honey sweet, and warm;
With kin embattl'd rear my glorious height
To greet the coming storm!

Not mine to watch across the free, broad plains
The whirl of stormy cohorts sweeping fast;
The level, silver lances of great rains,
Blown onward by the blast.

Not mine the clamouring tempest to defy,
Tossing the proud crest of my dusky leaves:
Defender of small flowers that trembling lie
Against my barky greaves.

Not mine to watch the wild swan drift above,
Balanced on wings that could not choose between
The wooing sky, blue as the eye of love,
And my own tender green.

And yet my branches spread, a kingly sight,
In the close prison of the drooping air:
When sun-vex'd noons are at their fiery height,
My shade is broad, and there

Come city toilers, who their hour of ease
Weave out to precious seconds as they lie
Pillow'd on horny hands, to hear the breeze
Through my great branches die.

I see no flowers, but as the children race
With noise and clamour through the dusty street,
I see the bud of many an angel face--
I hear their merry feet.

No violets look up, but shy and grave,
The children pause and lift their chrystal eyes
To where my emerald branches call and wave--
As to the mystic skies.


BOUCHE-MIGNONNE lived in the mill,
Past the vineyards shady,
Where the sun shone on a rill
Jewelled like a lady.

Proud the stream with lily-bud,
Gay with glancing swallow;
Swift its trillion-footed flood
Winding ways to follow;

Coy and still when flying wheel
Rested from its labour;
Singing when it ground the meal,
Gay as lute or tabor.

'Bouche-Mignonne,' it called, when red
In the dawn were glowing
Eaves and mill-wheel, 'leave thy bed;
Hark to me a-flowing!'

Bouche-Mignonne awoke, and quick
Glossy tresses braided.
Curious sunbeams clustered thick;
Vines her casement shaded

Deep with leaves and blossoms white
Of the morning-glory,
Shaking all their banners bright
From the mill-eaves hoary.

Swallows turned their glossy throats,
Timorous, uncertain,
When, to hear their matin notes,
Peeped she thro' her curtain.

Shook the mill-stream sweet and clear
With its silvery laughter;
Shook the mill, from flooring sere
Up to oaken rafter.

'Bouche-Mignonne!' it cried, 'come down;
Other flowers are stirring:
Pierre, with fingers strong and brown,
Sets the wheel a-birring.'

Bouche-Mignonne her distaff plies
Where the willows shiver;
Round the mossy mill-wheel flies;
Dragon-flies, a-quiver,

Flash athwart the lily-beds,
Pierce the dry reeds' thicket;
Where the yellow sunlight treads,
Chants the friendly cricket.

Butterflies about her skim-
Pouf! their simple fancies
In the willow shadows dim
Take her eyes for pansies.

Buzzing comes a velvet bee;
Sagely it supposes
Those red lips beneath the tree
Are two crimson roses.

Laughs the mill-stream wise and bright-
It is not so simple;
Knew it, since she first saw light,
Every blush and dimple.

'Bouche-Mignonne!' it laughing cries,
'Pierre as bee is silly;
Thinks two morning stars thine eyes,
And thy neck a lily.'

Bouche-Mignonne, when shadows crept
From the vine-dark hollows,
When the mossy mill-wheel slept,
Curved the airy swallows,

When the lilies closed white lids
Over golden fancies,
Homeward drove her goats and kids.
Bright the gay moon dances

With her light and silver feet,
On the mill-stream flowing;
Come a thousand perfumes sweet,
Dewy buds are blowing;

Comes an owl and greyly flits,
Jewel-eyed and hooting,
Past the green tree where she sits;
Nightingales are fluting;

Soft the wind as rustling silk
On a courtly lady;
Tinkles down the flowing milk;
Huge and still and shady

Stands the mill-wheel, resting still
From its loving labour.
Dances on the tireless rill,
Gay as lute or tabor;

'Bouche-Mignonne!' it laughing cries,
'Do not blush and tremble;
If the night has ears and eyes,
I'll for thee dissemble;

'Loud and clear and sweet I'll sing
On my far way straying;
I will hide the whispered thing
Pierre to thee is saying.

'Bouche-Mignonne, good night, good night!
Every silver hour
I will toss my lilies white
'Gainst thy maiden bower.'

Between The Wind And Rain

'The storm is in the air,' she said, and held
Her soft palm to the breeze; and looking up,
Swift sunbeams brush'd the crystal of her eyes,
As swallows leave the skies to skim the brown,
Bright woodland lakes. 'The rain is in the air.
'O Prophet Wind, what hast thou told the rose,
'That suddenly she loosens her red heart,
'And sends long, perfum'd sighs about the place?
'O Prophet Wind, what hast thou told the Swift,
'That from the airy eave, she, shadow-grey,
'Smites the blue pond, and speeds her glancing wing
'Close to the daffodils? What hast thou told small bells,
'And tender buds, that--all unlike the rose--
'They draw green leaves close, close about their breasts
'And shrink to sudden slumber? The sycamores
'In ev'ry leaf are eloquent with thee;
'The poplars busy all their silver tongues
'With answ'ring thee, and the round chestnut stirs
'Vastly but softly, at thy prophecies.
'The vines grow dusky with a deeper green--
'And with their tendrils snatch thy passing harp,
'And keep it by brief seconds in their leaves.
'O Prophet Wind, thou tellest of the rain,
'While, jacinth blue, the broad sky folds calm palms,
'Unwitting of all storm, high o'er the land!
'The little grasses and the ruddy heath
'Know of the coming rain; but towards the sun
'The eagle lifts his eyes, and with his wings
'Beats on a sunlight that is never marr'd
'By cloud or mist, shrieks his fierce joy to air
'Ne'er stir'd by stormy pulse.'
'The eagle mine,' I said: 'O I would ride
'His wings like Ganymede, nor ever care
'To drop upon the stormy earth again,--
'But circle star-ward, narrowing my gyres,
'To some great planet of eternal peace.'.
'Nay,' said my wise, young love, 'the eagle falls
'Back to his cliff, swift as a thunder-bolt;
'For there his mate and naked eaglets dwell,
'And there he rends the dove, and joys in all
'The fierce delights of his tempestuous home.
'And tho' the stormy Earth throbs thro' her poles--
'With tempests rocks upon her circling path--
'And bleak, black clouds snatch at her purple hills--
'While mate and eaglets shriek upon the rock--
'The eagle leaves the hylas to its calm,
'Beats the wild storm apart that rings the earth,
'And seeks his eyrie on the wind-dash'd cliff.
'O Prophet Wind! close, close the storm and rain!'

Long sway'd the grasses like a rolling wave
Above an undertow--the mastiff cried;
Low swept the poplars, groaning in their hearts;
And iron-footed stood the gnarl'd oaks,
And brac'd their woody thews against the storm.
Lash'd from the pond, the iv'ry cygnets sought
The carven steps that plung'd into the pool;
The peacocks scream'd and dragg'd forgotten plumes.
On the sheer turf--all shadows subtly died,
In one large shadow sweeping o'er the land;
Bright windows in the ivy blush'd no more;
The ripe, red walls grew pale--the tall vane dim;
Like a swift off'ring to an angry God,
O'erweighted vines shook plum and apricot,
From trembling trellis, and the rose trees pour'd
A red libation of sweet, ripen'd leaves,
On the trim walks. To the high dove-cote set
A stream of silver wings and violet breasts,
The hawk-like storm swooping on their track.
'Go,' said my love, 'the storm would whirl me off
'As thistle-down. I'll shelter here--but you--
'You love no storms!' 'Where thou art,' I said,
'Is all the calm I know--wert thou enthron'd
'On the pivot of the winds--or in the maelstrom,
'Thou holdest in thy hand my palm of peace;
'And, like the eagle, I would break the belts
'Of shouting tempests to return to thee,
'Were I above the storm on broad wings.
'Yet no she-eagle thou! a small, white, lily girl
'I clasp and lift and carry from the rain,
'Across the windy lawn.'
With this I wove
Her floating lace about her floating hair,
And crush'd her snowy raiment to my breast,
And while she thought of frowns, but smil'd instead,
And wrote her heart in crimson on her cheeks,
I bounded with her up the breezy slopes,
The storm about us with such airy din,
As of a thousand bugles, that my heart
Took courage in the clamor, and I laid
My lips upon the flow'r of her pink ear,
And said: 'I love thee; give me love again!'
And here she pal'd, love has its dread, and then
She clasp'd its joy and redden'd in its light,
Till all the daffodils I trod were pale
Beside the small flow'r red upon my breast.
And ere the dial on the slope was pass'd,
Between the last loud bugle of the Wind
And the first silver coinage of the Rain,
Upon my flying hair, there came her kiss,
Gentle and pure upon my face--and thus
Were we betroth'd between the Wind and Rain.

I MIND him well, he was a quare ould chap,
Come like meself from swate ould Erin's sod;
He hired me wanst to help his harvest in-
The crops was fine that summer, praised be God!

He found us, Rosie, Mickie, an' meself,
Just landed in the emigration shed;
Meself was tyin' on their bits of clothes;
Their mother-rest her tender sowl!-was dead.

It's not meself can say of what she died:
But 'twas the year the praties felt the rain,
An' rotted in the soil; an' just to dhraw
The breath of life was one long hungry pain.

If we wor haythens in a furrin land,
Not in a country grand in Christian pride,
Faith, then a man might have the face to say
'Twas of stharvation me poor Sheila died.

But whin the parish docthor come at last,
Whin death was like a sun-burst in her eyes-
They looked straight into Heaven-an' her ears
Wor deaf to the poor children's hungry cries,

He touched the bones stretched on the mouldy sthraw:
'She's gone!' he says, and drew a solemn frown;
'I fear, my man, she's dead.' 'Of what?' says I.
He coughed, and says, 'She's let her system down!'

'An' that's God's truth!' says I, an' felt about
To touch her dawney hand, for all looked dark;
An' in me hunger-bleached, shmall-beatin' heart,
I felt the kindlin' of a burnin'spark.

'O by me sowl, that is the holy truth!
There's Rosie's cheek has kept a dimple still,
An' Mickie's eyes are bright-the craythur there
Died that the weeny ones might eat their fill.'

An' whin they spread the daisies thick an' white
Above her head that wanst lay on me breast,
I had no tears, but took the childher's hands,
An' says, 'We'll lave the mother to her rest.'

An' och! the sod was green that summer's day,
An' rainbows crossed the low hills, blue an' fair;
But black an' foul the blighted furrows stretched,
An' sent their cruel poison through the air.

An' all was quiet-on the sunny sides
Of hedge an' ditch the stharvin' craythurs lay,
An' thim as lacked the rint from empty walls
Of little cabins wapin' turned away.

God's curse lay heavy on the poor ould sod,
An' whin upon her increase His right hand
Fell with'ringly, there samed no bit of blue
For Hope to shine through on the sthricken land.

No facthory chimblys shmoked agin the sky.
No mines yawned on the hills so full an' rich;
A man whose praties failed had nought to do
But fold his hands an' die down in a ditch.

A flame rose up widin me feeble heart,
Whin, passin' through me cabin's hingeless dure,
I saw the mark of Sheila's coffin in
The grey dust on the empty earthen flure.

I lifted Rosie's face betwixt me hands;
Says I, 'Me girleen, you an' Mick an' me
Must lave the green ould sod an' look for food
In thim strange countries far beyant the sea.'

An' so it chanced, whin landed on the sthreet,
Ould Dolan, rowlin' a quare ould shay
Came there to hire a man to save his wheat,
An' hired meself and Mickie by the day.

'An' bring the girleen, Pat,' he says, an' looked
At Rosie, lanin' up agin me knee;
'The wife will be right plaised to see the child,
The weeney shamrock from beyant the sea.

'We've got a tidy place, the saints be praised!
As nice a farm as ever brogan trod.
A hundered acres-us as never owned
Land big enough to make a lark a sod.'

'Bedad,' says I, 'I heerd them over there
Tell how the goold was lyin' in the sthreet,
An' guineas in the very mud that sthuck
To the ould brogans on a poor man's feet.'

'Begorra, Pat,' says Dolan, 'may ould Nick
Fly off wid thim rapscallions, schaming rogues,
An' sind thim thrampin' purgatory's flure
Wid red hot guineas in their polished brogues!'

'Och, thin,' says I, 'meself agrees to that!'
Ould Dolan smiled wid eyes so bright an' grey;
Says he, 'Kape up yer heart; I never kew
Since I come out a single hungry day.

'But thin I left the crowded city sthreets-
Th'are men galore to toil in thim an' die;
Meself wint wid me axe to cut a home
In the green woods beneath the clear, swate sky.

'I did that same; an' God be praised this day!
Plenty sits smilin' by me own dear dure;
An' in them years I never wanst have seen
A famished child creep tremblin' on me flure.'

I listened to ould Dolan's honest words:
That's twenty years ago this very spring,
An' Mick is married, an' me Rosie wears
A swateheart's little shinin' goulden ring.

'Twould make yer heart lape just to take a look
At the green fields upon me own big farm;
An' God be praised! all men may have the same
That owns an axe an' has a strong right arm!

Malcolm's Katie: A Love Story - Part Ii.

The South Wind laid his moccasins aside,
Broke his gay calumet of flow'rs, and cast
His useless wampun, beaded with cool dews,
Far from him, northward; his long, ruddy spear
Flung sunward, whence it came, and his soft locks
Of warm, fine haze grew silver as the birch.
His wigwam of green leaves began to shake;
The crackling rice-beds scolded harsh like squaws:
The small ponds pouted up their silver lips;
The great lakes ey'd the mountains, whisper'd 'Ugh!'
'Are ye so tall, O chiefs? Not taller than
Our plumes can reach.' And rose a little way,
As panthers stretch to try their velvet limbs,
And then retreat to purr and bide their time.
At morn the sharp breath of the night arose
From the wide prairies, in deep struggling seas,
In rolling breakers, bursting to the sky;
In tumbling surfs, all yellow'd faintly thro'
With the low sun--in mad, conflicting crests,
Voic'd with low thunder from the hairy throats
Of the mist-buried herds; and for a man
To stand amid the cloudy roll and moil,
The phantom waters breaking overhead,
Shades of vex'd billows bursting on his breast,
Torn caves of mist wall'd with a sudden gold,
Reseal'd as swift as seen--broad, shaggy fronts,
Fire-ey'd and tossing on impatient horns
The wave impalpable--was but to think
A dream of phantoms held him as he stood.
The late, last thunders of the summer crash'd,
Where shrieked great eagles, lords of naked cliffs.
The pulseless forest, lock'd and interlock'd
So closely, bough with bough, and leaf with leaf,
So serf'd by its own wealth, that while from high
The moons of summer kiss'd its green-gloss'd locks;
And round its knees the merry West Wind danc'd;
And round its ring, compacted emerald;
The south wind crept on moccasins of flame;
And the fed fingers of th' impatient sun
Pluck'd at its outmost fringes--its dim veins
Beat with no life--its deep and dusky heart,
In a deep trance of shadow, felt no throb
To such soft wooing answer: thro' its dream
Brown rivers of deep waters sunless stole;
Small creeks sprang from its mosses, and amaz'd,
Like children in a wigwam curtain'd close
Above the great, dead, heart of some red chief,
Slipp'd on soft feet, swift stealing through the gloom,
Eager for light and for the frolic winds.
In this shrill moon the scouts of winter ran
From the ice-belted north, and whistling shafts
Struck maple and struck sumach--and a blaze
Ran swift from leaf to leaf, from bough to bough;
Till round the forest flash'd a belt of flame.
And inward lick'd its tongues of red and gold
To the deep, tranied inmost heart of all.
Rous'd the still heart--but all too late, too late.
Too late, the branches welded fast with leaves,
Toss'd, loosen'd, to the winds--too late the sun
Pour'd his last vigor to the deep, dark cells
Of the dim wood. The keen, two-bladed Moon
Of Falling Leaves roll'd up on crested mists
And where the lush, rank boughs had foiled the sun
In his red prime, her pale, sharp fingers crept
After the wind and felt about the moss,
And seem'd to pluck from shrinking twig and stem
The burning leaves--while groan'd the shudd'ring wood.
Who journey'd where the prairies made a pause,
Saw burnish'd ramparts flaming in the sun,
With beacon fires, tall on their rustling walls.
And when the vast, horn'd herds at sunset drew
Their sullen masses into one black cloud,
Rolling thund'rous o'er the quick pulsating plain,
They seem'd to sweep between two fierce red suns
Which, hunter-wise, shot at their glaring balls
Keen shafts, with scarlet feathers and gold barbs,
By round, small lakes with thinner, forests fring'd,
More jocund woods that sung about the feet
And crept along the shoulders of great cliffs;
The warrior stags, with does and tripping fawns,
Like shadows black upon the throbbing mist
Of Evening's rose, flash'd thro' the singing woods--
Nor tim'rous, sniff'd the spicy, cone-breath'd air;
For never had the patriarch of the herd
Seen limn'd against the farthest rim of light
Of the low-dipping sky, the plume or bow
Of the red hunter; nor when stoop'd to drink,
Had from the rustling rice-beds heard the shaft
Of the still hunter hidden in its spears;
His bark canoe close-knotted in its bronze,
His form as stirless as the brooding air,
His dusky eyes too, fix'd, unwinking, fires;
His bow-string tighten'd till it subtly sang
To the long throbs, and leaping pulse that roll'd
And beat within his knotted, naked breast.
There came a morn. The Moon of Falling Leaves,
With her twin silver blades had only hung
Above the low set cedars of the swamp
For one brief quarter, when the sun arose
Lusty with light and full of summer heat,
And pointing with his arrows at the blue,
Clos'd wigwam curtains of the sleeping moon,
Laugh'd with the noise of arching cataracts,
And with the dove-like cooing of the woods,
And with the shrill cry of the diving loon
And with the wash of saltless, rounded seas,
And mock'd the white moon of the Falling Leaves.
'Esa! esa! shame upon you, Pale Face!
'Shame upon you, moon of evil witches!
'Have you kill'd the happy, laughing Summer?
'Have you slain the mother of the Flowers
'With your icy spells of might and magic?
'Have you laid her dead within my arms?
'Wrapp'd her, mocking, in a rainbow blanket.
'Drown'd her in the frost mist of your anger?
'She is gone a little way before me;
'Gone an arrow's flight beyond my vision;
'She will turn again and come to meet me,
'With the ghosts of all the slain flowers,
'In a blue mist round her shining tresses;
'In a blue smoke in her naked forests--
'She will linger, kissing all the branches,
'She will linger, touching all the places,
'Bare and naked, with her golden fingers,
'Saying, 'Sleep, and dream of me, my children
''Dream of me, the mystic Indian Summer;
''I, who, slain by the cold Moon of Terror,
''Can return across the path of Spirits,
''Bearing still my heart of love and fire;
''Looking with my eyes of warmth and splendour;
''Whisp'ring lowly thro' your sleep of sunshine?
''I, the laughing Summer, am not turn'd
''Into dry dust, whirling on the prairies,--
''Into red clay, crush'd beneath the snowdrifts.
''I am still the mother of sweet flowers
''Growing but an arrow's flight beyond you--
''In the Happy Hunting Ground--the quiver
''Of great Manitou, where all the arrows
''He has shot from his great bow of Pow'r,
''With its clear, bright, singing cord of Wisdom,
''Are re-gather'd, plum'd again and brighten'd,
''And shot out, re-barb'd with Love and Wisdom;
''Always shot, and evermore returning.
''Sleep, my children, smiling in your heart-seeds
''At the spirit words of Indian Summer!''
'Thus, O Moon of Falling Leaves, I mock you!
'Have you slain my gold-ey'd squaw, the Summer?'
The mighty morn strode laughing up the land,
And Max, the labourer and the lover, stood
Within the forest's edge, beside a tree;
The mossy king of all the woody tribes,
Whose clatt'ring branches rattl'd, shuddering,
As the bright axe cleav'd moon-like thro' the air,
Waking strange thunders, rousing echoes link'd
From the full, lion-throated roar, to sighs
Stealing on dove-wings thro' the distant aisles.
Swift fell the axe, swift follow'd roar on roar,
Till the bare woodland bellow'd in its rage,
As the first-slain slow toppl'd to his fall.
'O King of Desolation, art thou dead?'
Thought Max, and laughing, heart and lips, leap'd on
The vast, prone trunk. 'And have I slain a King?
'Above his ashes will I build my house--
No slave beneath its pillars, but--a King!'
Max wrought alone, but for a half-breed lad,
With tough, lithe sinews and deep Indian eyes,
Lit with a Gallic sparkle. Max, the lover, found
The labourer's arms grow mightier day by day--
More iron-welded as he slew the trees;
And with the constant yearning of his heart
Towards little Kate, part of a world away,
His young soul grew and shew'd a virile front,
Full-muscl'd and large statur'd, like his flesh.
Soon the great heaps of brush were builded high,
And like a victor, Max made pause to clear
His battle-field, high strewn with tangl'd dead.
Then roar'd the crackling mountains, and their fires
Met in high heaven, clasping flame with flame.
The thin winds swept a cosmos of red sparks
Across the bleak, midnight sky; and the sun
Walk'd pale behind the resinous, black smoke.
And Max car'd little for the blotted sun,
And nothing for the startl'd, outshone stars;
For Love, once set within a lover's breast,
Has its own Sun--it's own peculiar sky,
All one great daffodil--on which do lie
The sun, the moon, the stars--all seen at once,
And never setting; but all shining straight
Into the faces of the trinity,--
The one belov'd, the lover, and sweet Love!
It was not all his own, the axe-stirr'd waste.
In these new days men spread about the earth,
With wings at heel--and now the settler hears,
While yet his axe rings on the primal woods,
The shrieks of engines rushing o'er the wastes;
Nor parts his kind to hew his fortunes out.
And as one drop glides down the unknown rock
And the bright-threaded stream leaps after it,
With welded billions, so the settler finds
His solitary footsteps beaten out,
With the quick rush of panting, human waves
Upheav'd by throbs of angry poverty;
And driven by keen blasts of hunger, from
Their native strands--so stern, so dark, so dear!
O, then, to see the troubl'd, groaning waves,
Throb down to peace in kindly, valley beds;
Their turbid bosoms clearing in the calm
Of sun-ey'd Plenty--till the stars and moon,
The blessed sun himself, has leave to shine
And laugh in their dark hearts! So shanties grew
Other than his amid the blacken'd stumps;
And children ran, with little twigs and leaves
And flung them, shouting, on the forest pyres,
Where burn'd the forest kings--and in the glow
Paus'd men and women when the day was done.
There the lean weaver ground anew his axe,
Nor backward look'd upon the vanish'd loom,
But forward to the ploughing of his fields;
And to the rose of Plenty in the cheeks.
Of wife and children--nor heeded much the pangs
Of the rous'd muscles tuning to new work.
The pallid clerk look'd on his blister'd palms
And sigh'd and smil'd, but girded up his loins
And found new vigour as he felt new hope.
The lab'rer with train'd muscles, grim and grave,
Look'd at the ground and wonder'd in his soul,
What joyous anguish stirr'd his darken'd heart,
At the mere look of the familiar soil,
And found his answer in the words--'_Mine own!_'
Then came smooth-coated men, with eager eyes,
And talk'd of steamers on the cliff-bound lakes;
And iron tracks across the prairie lands;
And mills to crush the quartz of wealthy hills;
And mills to saw the great, wide-arm'd trees;
And mills to grind the singing stream of grain;
And with such busy clamour mingled still
The throbbing music of the bold, bright Axe--
The steel tongue of the Present, and the wail
Of falling forests--voices of the Past.
Max, social-soul'd, and with his practised thews,
Was happy, boy-like, thinking much of Kate,
And speaking of her to the women-folk;
Who, mostly, happy in new honeymoons
Of hope themselves, were ready still to hear
The thrice told tale of Katie's sunny eyes
And Katie's yellow hair, and household ways:
And heard so often, 'There shall stand our home--
'On yonder slope, with vines about the door!'
That the good wives were almost made to see
The snowy walls, deep porches, and the gleam
Of Katie's garments flitting through the rooms;
And the black slope all bristling with burn'd stumps
Was known amongst them all as 'Max's House.'

* * * * *

O, Love builds on the azure sea,
And Love builds on the golden sand;
And Love builds on the rose-wing'd cloud,
And sometimes Love builds on the land.

* * * * *

O, if Love build on sparkling sea--
And if Love build on golden strand--
And if Love build on rosy cloud--
To Love these are the solid land.

* * * * *

O, Love will build his lily walls,
And Love his pearly roof, will rear,--
On cloud or land, or mist or sea--
Love's solid land is everywhere!

* * * * *

Malcolm's Katie: A Love Story - Part Iv.

From his far wigwam sprang the strong North Wind
And rush'd with war-cry down the steep ravines,
And wrestl'd with the giants of the woods;
And with his ice-club beat the swelling crests.
Of the deep watercourses into death,
And with his chill foot froze the whirling leaves
Of dun and gold and fire in icy banks;
And smote the tall reeds to the harden'd earth;
And sent his whistling arrows o'er the plains,
Scatt'ring the ling'ring herds--and sudden paus'd
When he had frozen all the running streams,
And hunted with his war-cry all the things
That breath'd about the woods, or roam'd the bleak
Bare prairies swelling to the mournful sky.
'White squaw,' he shouted, troubl'd in his soul,
'I slew the dead, wrestl'd with naked chiefs
'Unplum'd before, scalped of their leafy plumes;
'I bound sick rivers in cold thongs of death,
'And shot my arrows over swooning plains,
'Bright with the Paint of death--and lean and bare.
'And all the braves of my loud tribe will mock
'And point at me--when our great chief, the Sun,
'Relights his Council fire in the moon
'Of Budding Leaves.' 'Ugh, ugh! he is a brave!
'He fights with squaws and takes the scalps of babes!
'And the least wind will blow his calumet--
'Fill'd with the breath of smallest flow'rs--across
'The warpaint on my face, and pointing with
'His small, bright pipe, that never moved a spear
'Of bearded rice, cry, 'Ugh! he slays the dead!'
'O, my white squaw, come from thy wigwam grey,
'Spread thy white blanket on the twice-slain dead;
'And hide them, ere the waking of the Sun!'

* * * * *

High grew the snow beneath the low-hung sky,
And all was silent in the Wilderness;
In trance of stillness Nature heard her God
Rebuilding her spent fires, and veil'd her face
While the Great Worker brooded o'er His work.

* * * * *

'Bite deep and wide, O Axe, the tree,
What doth thy bold voice promise me?'

* * * * *

'I promise thee all joyous things,
That furnish forth the lives of kings!

* * * * *

'For ev'ry silver ringing blow,
Cities and palaces shall grow!'

* * * * *

'Bite deep and wide, O Axe, the tree,
Tell wider prophecies to me.'

* * * * *

'When rust hath gnaw'd me deep and red;
A nation strong shall lift his head!

* * * * *

'His crown the very Heav'ns shall smite,
Aeons shall build him in his might!'

* * * * *

'Bite deep and wide, O Axe, the tree;
Bright Seer, help on thy prophecy!'

* * * * *

Max smote the snow-weigh'd tree and lightly laugh'd.
'See, friend,' he cried to one that look'd and smil'd,
'My axe and I--we do immortal tasks--
We build up nations--this my axe and I!'
'O,' said the other with a cold, short smile,
'Nations are not immortal! is there now
'One nation thron'd upon the sphere of earth,
'That walk'd with the first Gods, and saw
'The budding world unfold its slow-leav'd flow'r?
'Nay; it is hardly theirs to leave behind
'Ruins so eloquent, that the hoary sage
'Can lay his hand upon their stones, and say:
''These once were thrones!' The lean, lank lion peals
'His midnight thunders over lone, red plains,
'Long-ridg'd and crested on their dusty waves,
'With fires from moons red-hearted as the sun;
'And deep re-thunders all the earth to him.
'For, far beneath the flame-fleck'd, shifting sands,
'Below the roots of palms, and under stones
'Of younger ruins, thrones, tow'rs and cities
'Honeycomb the earth. The high, solemn walls
'Of hoary ruins--their foundings all unknown
'(But to the round-ey'd worlds that walk
'In the blank paths of Space and blanker Chance).
'At whose stones young mountains wonder, and the seas'
'New-silv'ring, deep-set valleys pause and gaze;
'Are rear'd upon old shrines, whose very Gods
'Were dreams to the shrine-builders, of a time
'They caught in far-off flashes--as the child
'Half thinks he can remember how one came
'And took him in her hand and shew'd him that
'He thinks, she call'd the sun. Proud ships rear high
'On ancient billows that have torn the roots
'Of cliffs, and bitten at the golden lips
'Of firm, sleek beaches, till they conquer'd all,
'And sow'd the reeling earth with salted waves.
'Wrecks plunge, prow foremost, down still, solemn slopes,
'And bring their dead crews to as dead a quay;
'Some city built before that ocean grew,
'By silver drops from many a floating cloud,
'By icebergs bellowing in their throes of death,
'By lesser seas toss'd from their rocking cups,
'And leaping each to each; by dew-drops flung
'From painted sprays, whose weird leaves and flow'rs
'Are moulded for new dwellers on the earth,
'Printed in hearts of mountains and of mines.
'Nations immortal? where the well-trimm'd lamps
'Of long-past ages, when Time seem'd to pause
'On smooth, dust-blotted graves that, like the tombs
'Of monarchs, held dead bones and sparkling gems?
'She saw no glimmer on the hideous ring
'Of the black clouds; no stream of sharp, clear light
'From those great torches, pass'd into the black
'Of deep oblivion. She seem'd to watch, but she
'Forgot her long-dead nations. When she stirr'd
'Her vast limbs in the dawn that forc'd its fire
'Up the black East, and saw the imperious red
'Burst over virgin dews and budding flow'rs,
'She still forgot her molder'd thrones and kings,
'Her sages and their torches, and their Gods,
'And said, 'This is my birth--my primal day!'
'She dream'd new Gods, and rear'd them other shrines,
'Planted young nations, smote a feeble flame
'From sunless flint, re-lit the torch of mind;
'Again she hung her cities on the hills,
'Built her rich towers, crown'd her kings again,
'And with the sunlight on her awful wings
'Swept round the flow'ry cestus of the earth,
'And said, 'I build for Immortality!'
'Her vast hand rear'd her tow'rs, her shrines, her thrones;
'The ceaseless sweep of her tremendous wings
'Still beat them down and swept their dust abroad;
'Her iron finger wrote on mountain sides
'Her deeds and prowess--and her own soft plume
'Wore down the hills! Again drew darkly on
'A night of deep forgetfulness; once more
'Time seem'd to pause upon forgotten graves--
'Once more a young dawn stole into her eyes--
'Again her broad wings stirr'd, and fresh clear airs,
'Blew the great clouds apart;--again Time said,
''This is my birth--my deeds and handiwork
''Shall be immortal.' Thus and so dream on
'Fool'd nations, and thus dream their dullard sons.
'Naught is immortal save immortal--Death!'
Max paus'd and smil'd: 'O, preach such gospel, friend,
'To all but lovers who most truly love;
'For _them_, their gold-wrought scripture glibly reads
'All else is mortal but immortal--Love!'
'Fools! fools!' his friend said, 'most immortal fools!--
'But pardon, pardon, for, perchance, you love?'
'Yes,' said Max, proudly smiling, 'thus do I
'Possess the world and feel eternity!'
Dark laughter blacken'd in the other's eyes:
'Eternity! why, did such Iris arch
'Ent'ring our worm-bored planet, never liv'd
'One woman true enough such tryst to keep!'
'I'd swear by Kate,' said Max; 'and then, I had
'A mother, and my father swore by her.'
'By Kate? Ah, that were lusty oath, indeed!
'Some other man will look into her eyes,
'And swear me roundly, 'By true Catherine!'
'And Troilus swore by Cressed--so they say.'
'You never knew my Kate,' said Max, and pois'd
His axe again on high, 'But let it pass--
'You are too subtle for me; argument
'Have I none to oppose yours with--but this,
'Get you a Kate, and let her sunny eyes
'Dispel the doubting darkness in your soul.'
'And have not I a Kate? pause, friend, and see.
'She gave me this faint shadow of herself
'The day I slipp'd the watch-star of our loves--
'A ring--upon her hand--she loves me, too;
'Yet tho' her eyes be suns, no Gods are they
'To give me worlds, or make me feel a tide
'Of strong Eternity set towards my soul;
'And tho' she loves me, yet am I content
'To know she loves me by the hour--the year--
'Perchance the second--as all women love.'
The bright axe falter'd in the air, and ripp'd
Down the rough bark, and bit the drifted snow,
For Max's arm fell, wither'd in its strength,
'Long by his side. 'Your Kate,' he said; 'your Kate!'
'Yes, mine, while holds her mind that way, my Kate;
'I sav'd her life, and had her love for thanks;
'Her father is Malcolm Graem--Max, my friend,
'You pale! what sickness seizes on your soul?'
Max laugh'd, and swung his bright axe high again:
'Stand back a pace--a too far reaching blow
'Might level your false head with yon prone trunk--
'Stand back and listen while I say, 'You lie!
'That is my Katie's face upon your breast,
'But 'tis my Katie's love lives in my breast--
'Stand back, I say! my axe is heavy, and
'Might chance to cleave a liar's brittle skull.
'Your Kate! your Kate! your Kate!--hark, how the woods
'Mock at your lie with all their woody tongues,
'O, silence, ye false echoes! not his Kate
'But mine--I'm certain I will have your life!'
All the blue heav'n was dead in Max's eyes;
Doubt-wounded lay Kate's image in his heart,
And could not rise to pluck the sharp spear out.
'Well, strike, mad fool,' said Alfred, somewhat pale;
'I have no weapon but these naked hands.'
'Aye, but,' said Max, 'you smote my naked heart!
'O shall I slay him?--Satan, answer me--
'I cannot call on God for answer here.
'O Kate--!'
A voice from God came thro' the silent woods
And answer'd him--for suddenly a wind
Caught the great tree-tops, coned with high-pil'd snow,
And smote them to and fro, while all the air
Was sudden fill'd with busy drifts, and high
White pillars whirl'd amid the naked trunks,
And harsh, loud groans, and smiting, sapless boughs
Made hellish clamour in the quiet place.
With a shrill shriek of tearing fibres, rock'd
The half-hewn tree above his fated head;
And, tott'ring, asked the sudden blast, 'Which way?'
And, answ'ring its windy arms, crash'd and broke
Thro' other lacing boughs, with one loud roar
Of woody thunder; all its pointed boughs
Pierc'd the deep snow--its round and mighty corpse,
Bark-flay'd and shudd'ring, quiver'd into death.
And Max--as some frail, wither'd reed, the sharp
And piercing branches caught at him,
As hands in a death-throe, and beat him to the earth--
And the dead tree upon its slayer lay.
'Yet hear we much of Gods;--if such there be,
'They play at games of chance with thunderbolts,'
Said Alfred, 'else on me this doom had come.
'This seals my faith in deep and dark unfaith!
'Now Katie, are you mine, for Max is dead--
'Or will be soon, imprison'd by those boughs,
'Wounded and torn, sooth'd by the deadly palms
'Of the white, trait'rous frost; and buried then
'Under the snows that fill those vast, grey clouds,
'Low-sweeping on the fretted forest roof.
'And Katie shall believe you false--not dead;
'False, false!--And I? O, she shall find me true--
'True as a fabl'd devil to the soul
'He longs for with the heat of all hell's fires.
'These myths serve well for simile, I see.
'And yet--Down, Pity! knock not at my breast,
'Nor grope about for that dull stone my heart;
'I'll stone thee with it, Pity! Get thee hence,
'Pity, I'll strangle thee with naked hands;
'For thou dost bear upon thy downy breast
'Remorse, shap'd like a serpent, and her fangs
'Might dart at me and pierce my marrow thro'.
'Hence, beggar, hence--and keep with fools, I say!
'He bleeds and groans! Well, Max, thy God or mine
'Blind Chance, here play'd the butcher--'twas not I.
'Down, hands! ye shall not lift his fall'n head;
'What cords tug at ye? What? Ye'd pluck him up
'And staunch his wounds? There rises in my breast
'A strange, strong giant, throwing wide his arms
'And bursting all the granite of my heart!
'How like to quiv'ring flesh a stone may feel!
'Why, it has pangs! I'll none of them. I know
'Life is too short for anguish and for hearts--
'So I wrestle with thee, giant! and my will
'Turns the thumb, and thou shalt take the knife.
'Well done! I'll turn thee on the arena dust,
'And look on thee--What? thou wert Pity's self,
'Stol'n in my breast; and I have slaughter'd thee--
'But hist--where hast thou hidden thy fell snake,
'Fire-fang'd Remorse? Not in my breast, I know,
'For all again is chill and empty there,
'And hard and cold--the granite knitted up.
'So lie there, Max--poor fond and simple Max,
''Tis well thou diest: earth's children should not call
'Such as thee father--let them ever be
'Father'd by rogues and villains, fit to cope
'With the foul dragon Chance, and the black knaves
'Who swarm'd in loathsome masses in the dust.
'True Max, lie there, and slumber into death.'

* * * * *