Why Weepest Thou?

Why weepest thou?
A few more hours dreary,
And thy spirit, the world weary
Beneath the icy hand of death must bow;
But the fetters then will fall,
And the soul redeemed from thrall,
Will upwards mount in joy, tho’ chainéd now
Why weepest thou?
The great Eternal One,
Round whom the planets roll,
Beholds each suffering soul
Prostrate in mortal grief before His Throne;
He numbers every tear,
He stills the throb of fear,
He guides us to our heavenly native zone
The great Eternal One.

Too soon, alas! too soon I plunged into the world with tone and clang,
And they scarcely comprehended what the Poet wildly sang.
Not the spirit‐glance deep gazing into nature's inmost soul,
Not the mystic aspirations that the Poet's words unroll.
Cold and spiritless and silent—yea, with scorn received they me,
Whilst on meaner brows around me wreath'd the laurel crown I see.
And I, who in my bosom felt the godlike nature glow,
I wore the mask of folly while I sang of deepest woe.
But, courage! years may pass—this mortal frame be laid in earth,
But my spirit reign triumphant in the country of my birth!

Jesus To The Soul Savonarola

Air Soul, created in the primal hour,
Once pure and grand,
And for whose sake I left my throne and power
At God’s right hand
By this sad heart, pierced through because I love thee
Let love and mercy to contrition move thee.
Cast off the sins thy holy beauty veiling,
Spirit divine!
Vain against thee the host of hell assailing
My strength is thine.
Drink from my side the wine of life immortal,
And love will lead thee back to Heaven’s portal.
Quench in my light the flame of low desire,
Crush doubt and fear;
Even to my glory may each soul aspire,
If victor here.
Die now to earth, with earthly vanity,
And live for evermore in Heaven with me.

I, for thy sake, was pierced with many sorrows,
And bore the Cross;
Yet heeding not the galling of the arrows,
The shame or loss.
So, faint not thou, whate’er the burden be,
Bear with it bravely, even to Calvary.
Still shall my spirit urge if thou delayest,
My hand sustain;
My blood wash out thy errors if thou strayest
Plead I in vain?
An hour is coming when the judgment loometh;
Repent, fair soul, ere yet that hour cometh.

Hymn To The Cross. Savonarola

Jesus, refuge of the weary,
Object of the spirit’s love,
Fountain in life’s desert dreary,
Saviour from the world above!
Oh, how oft Thine eyes, offended,
Gazed upon the sinner’s fall;
Yet, Thou on the Cross extended,
Bore the penalty of all!
For our human sake enduring
Tortures infinite in pain;
By Thy death our life assuring,
Conquerors through Thee we reign.
Still we passed the Cross in scorn,
Breathing no repentant vow,
Though from ’neath the circling thorn,
Dropped the blood‐sweat off Thy brow.
Yet, Thy sinless death hath brought us
Life eternal, peace and rest;
What Thy grace alone hath taught us,
Calms the sinner’s stormy breast.
Jesus, would my heart were burning
With more vivid love for Thee!
Would mine eyes were ever turning
To Thy Cross of agony!
Would that on that Cross suspended
I the martyr’s palm might win—
Where the Lord, the heaven‐descended,
Sinless suffered for my sin!

Cross of torture! may’st thou rend me
With thy fierce, unearthly dole;
Welcome be the pangs that lend me
Strength to crush sin in my soul.
So, in pain and rapture blending,
Might my fading eyes grow dim,
While the freed heart rose, ascending
To the circling Seraphim.
Then in glory, parted never
From the blessed Saviour’s side,
Graven on my heart for ever
Be the Cross, and Crucified!

The Young Patriot Leader

Oh! he stands beneath the sun, that glorious Fated One
Like a martyr or conqueror, wearing
On his brow a mighty doom, be it glory, be it gloom,
The shadow of a crown it is bearing.
At his Cyclopean stroke the proud heart of man awoke,
Like a king from his lordly down‐lying;
And whereso’er he trod, like the footstep of a God,
Was a trail of light the gloom outvying.
In his beauty and his youth, the Apostle of the Truth,
Goes he forth with the words of salvation,
And a noble madness falls on each spirit he enthralls,
As he chants his wild Pæans to the nation.
As a tempest in its force, as a torrent in its course,
So his words fiercely sweep all before them,

And they smite like two‐edged swords, those undaunted thunder‐words,
On all hearts, as tho’ angels did implore them.
See our pale cheeks how they flush, as the noble visions rush
On our soul’s most dark desolation,
And the glorious lyric words, Right, Freedom, and our Swords!
Wake the strong chords of life to vibration.
Aye; right noble, in good sooth, seemed he battling for the truth,
When he poured the full tide of his scorn
Down upon the tyrant’s track, like an Alpine cataract:
Ah! such men wait an Æon to be born.
So he stood before us then, one of God’s eternal men,
Flashing eye, and hero mould of stature,
With a glory and a light circling round his brow of might,
That revealed his right royal kingly nature.
Lo! he leadeth on our bands, Freedom’s banner in his hands,
Let us aid him, not with words, but doing;
With the marches of the brave, prayers of might that strike and save,
Not a slaving spirit’s abject suing.
Thus in glory is he seen, tho’ his years are yet but green,
The anointed as head of our nation;
For high Heaven hath decreed that a soul like his must lead,
Let us kneel, then, in deep adoration.
Oh! his mission is divine; dash down the Lotus wine
Too long is your trancéd sleep abiding;
For by Him who gave us life, we shall conquer in the strife,
So we follow but that Young Chief’s guiding.

Human lives are silent teaching,
Be they earnest, mild, and true
Noble deeds are noblest preaching
From the consecrated Few.
Poet‐Priests their anthems singing,
Hero‐sword on corslet ringing,
When Truth’s banner is unfurled;
Youthful preachers, genius‐gifted,
Pouring forth their souls uplifted,
Till their preaching stirs the world;

Each must work as God has given
Hero hand or poet soul;
Work is duty while we live in
This weird world of sin and dole.
Gentle spirits, lowly kneeling,
Lift their white hands up appealing
To the Throne of Heaven’s King
Stronger natures, culminating,
In great actions incarnating
What another can but sing.

Pure and meek‐eyed as an angel,
We must strive—must agonise;
We must preach the saints’ evangel
Ere we claim the saintly prize.
Work for all, for work is holy,
We fulfil our mission solely
When, like Heaven’s arch above,
Blend our souls in one emblazon,
And the social diapason
Sounds the perfect chord of love.

Life is combat, life is striving,
Such our destiny below;
Like a scythéd chariot driving
Through an onward pressing foe.
Deepest sorrow, scorn, and trial
Will but teach us self‐denial;
Like the alchymists of old,
Pass the ore through cleansing fire
If our spirits would aspire
To be God’s refinéd gold.

We are struggling in the morning
With the spirit of the night;
But we trample on it scorning
Lo! the eastern sky is bright.
We must watch. The day is breaking;
Soon, like Memnon’s statue waking
With the sunrise into sound,
We shall raise our voice to Heaven,
Chant a hymn for conquest given,
Seize the palm, nor heed the wound.

We must bend our thoughts to earnest,
Would we strike the idols down;
With a purpose of the sternest
Take the Cross, and wait the Crown.
Sufferings human life can hallow,
Sufferings lead to God’s Valhalla;
Meekly bear, but nobly try,
Like a man with soft tears flowing,
Like a God with conquest glowing
So to love, and work, and die!

Have We Done Well For Ireland?

O Country, writhing in thy chain
With fierce, wild efforts to be free,
Not seeing that with every strain
The bonds close firmer over thee;
Or grasping blindly in thy hate
The temple pillars of the State,
To hurl them down on friend and foe,
Crushed in one common overthrow
Can none of all thy Poet band
Preach nobler aims, loved Ireland?
As David drove with magic chords
The Evil Spirit back to night;
As Moses by his mighty words
Led Egypt’s bondmen up to light;
Hast thou no Poet, strong to calm
Thy troubled soul with holy psalm?
Or trusted Chief, who, safely on
Across the fatal Rubicon,
Could lead thee with pure heart and hand
To Freedom—my own Ireland?
By those doomed men, in dull despair
Slow wasting in a dungeon’s gloom;
By all youth’s fiery heart can dare
Quenched in the prison’s living tomb
By the corroding felon chain,
That tortures with Promethean pain
Of vultures gnawing at the core
Of their lost lives for evermore
I ask you, People of our Land,
Have ye done well for Ireland?
By History traced on dungeon walls,
By scaffolds, chains, and exiles’ tears,
Slow marking, as the shadow falls,
The mournful sequence of the years;

By genius crushed and progress barred,
By noble aspirations marred,
Till with a smouldering fire’s life
They burn in deadly hate and strife
I ask you, Rulers of our Land,
Have ye done well for Ireland?
O Men! these men are brothers too,
Tho’ frenzied by a fatal dream,
Their living souls were meant to do
Some noble work in God’s great scheme,
Perchance to hew down, branch and root,
The tree that bore such bitter fruit;
But, left unguided in the Right,
They grope out blindly in the night
Of their dark passions; striking down
Their Country’s proud hopes with their own.
But now, ye say, the Land hath rest
Aye, with the death weights on her eyes;
And fettered arms across her breast,
And mail’d hands stifling down her cries.
So rests a corpse within the grave
O’er which the charnal grasses wave.
Oh, better far some kindly word
To stay the vengeance‐lifted sword,
Or Love, with queenly, outstretched hand,
To soothe thee—fated Ireland!

Has the line of the Patriots ended,
The race of the heroes failed,
That the bow of the mighty, unbended,
Falls slack from the hands of the quailed?
Or do graves lie too thick in the grass
For the chariot of Progress to pass?

Did the men of the past ever falter?
The stainless in name and fame.
They flung life’s best gifts on the altar
To kindle the sacrifice flame,
Till it rose like a pillar of light
Leading up from Egyptian night.

Oh! hearts all aflame, with the daring
Of youth leaping forth into life!
Have ye courage to lift up, unfearing,
The banner fallen low in the strife,
From hands faint through life’s deepest loss,
And bleeding from nails of the cross?

Can ye work on as they worked—unaided,
When all but honour seemed lost?
And give to your Country, as they did,
All, without counting the cost?
For the children have risen since then
Up to the height of men.

Now, swear by those pale martyr‐faces,
All worn by the furrows of tears,
By the lost youth no morrow replaces,
By all their long‐wasted years,
By the fires trod out on each hearth,
When the Exiles were driven forth;

By the young lives so vainly given,
By the raven hair blanched to grey,
By the strong spirits crushed and riven,
By the noble aims faded away,
By their brows, as the brows of a king,
Crowned by the circlet of suffering—
To strive as they strove, yet retrieving
The cause from all shadow of blame,
In the Congress of Peoples achieving
A place for our nation and name;
Not by war between brothers in blood,
But by glory made perfect through good.

We are blind, not discerning the promise,
’Tis the sword of the Spirit that kills;
Give us Light, and the fetters fall from us,
For the strong soul is free when it wills.
Not our wrongs but our sins make the cloud
That darkens the land like a shroud.

With this sword like an Archangel’s gleaming,
Go war against Evil and Sin,
’Gainst the falsehood, and meanness, and seeming
That stifle the true life within.
Your bonds are the bonds of the soul,
Strike them off, and you spring to the goal!

O men who have passed through the furnace,
Assayed like the gold, and as pure!
By your strength can the weakest gain firmness
The strongest may learn to endure,
When once they have chosen their part,
Though the sword may drive home to each heart.

O Martyrs! The scorners may trample
On the broken hearts strewed in their path;
But the young race, all flushed by example,
Will awake to the duties it hath,
And re‐kindle your own torch of Truth
With the passionate splendours of youth!

We stand in the light of a dawning day,
With its glory creation flushing;
And the life‐currents up from the pris’ning clay
Through the world’s great heart are rushing.
While from peak to peak of the spirit land
A voice unto voice is calling:
The night is over, the day is at hand,
And the fetters of earth are falling!

Yet, faces are pale with a mystic fear
Of the strife and trouble looming;
And we feel that mighty changes are near,
Tho’ the Lord delayeth his coming.

For the rent flags hang from each broken mast,
And down in the ocean’s surges
The shattered wreck of a foundering Past
Sinks mid the night wind’s dirges.

But the world goes thundering on to the light,
Unheeding our vain presages;
And nations are cleaving a path to Right
Through the mouldering dust of ages.
Are we, then, to rest in a chill despair,
Unmoved by these new elations;
Nor carry the flag of our Island fair
In the onward march of nations?

Shall our hands be folded in slumber, when
The bonds and the chains are shattered;
As stony and still as enchanted men,
In a cave of darkness fettered?
The cave may be dark, but we’ll flash bright gleams
Of the morning’s radiance on it,
And tread the New Path, tho’ the noontide beams,
As yet, fall faintly upon it.

For souls are around us, with gifts divine,
Unknown and neglected dying;
Like the precious ore in a hidden mine,
Unworked and as useless lying.
We summon them forth to the banded war,
The sword of the Spirit using,
To come with their forces from near and far,
New strength with our strength infusing.

Let each bear a torch with the foremost bands,
Through the Future’s dark outgoing;
Or stand by the helm, mid the shoals and sands
Of the river of life fast flowing.

Or as guides on the hills, with a bugle note,
Let us warn the mountain ranger
Of the chasms that cross and the mists that float
O’er his upward path of danger.

For the chasms are deep, and the river is strong,
And the tempest is wildly waking;
We have need of brave hands to guide us along
The path which the Age is taking.
With our gold and pearls let us build the State;
Faith, courage, and tender pity
Are the gems that shine on the golden gate
Of the Angels’ Heavenly city.

O People! so richly endowed with all
The splendours of spirit power,
With the poet’s gift and the minstrel‐soul,
And the orator’s glorious dower;
Are hearts not amongst us, or lips to vow,
With patriot fervour breathing,
To crown with their lustre no alien brow
While the thorn our own is wreathing.

Ev’n lovelier gifts on our lowly poor,
Kind Nature lavishly showers,
As the gold rain falls on the cottage door,
Of the glowing laburnam flowers;
The deathless love for their Country and God
Undimmed through the ages keeping,
Tho’ the fairest harvests that grew on our sod
Were left for the stangers’ reaping.

The gentle grace that to commonest words
Gives a rare and tender beauty;
With the zeal that would face a thousand swords
For their Country, home and duty.

Still breathing the prayer for their Motherland
Her wrongs and her sorrows taught them;
Tho’ the scaffold’s doom, or the felon‐brand,
Were the only gifts she brought them.

But we, let us bring her—as eastern kings,
At the foot of Christ low kneeling
The gold that symbols our costliest things,
And myrrh for the spirit’s healing
Oh, Brothers! be with us, our aim is high,
The highest of man’s vocation:
With these priceless jewels, that round us lie,
To build up a noble Nation.

The Ideal.From Schiller

So wilt thou, Faithless! from me sever,
With all thy brilliant phantasy?
With all thy joys and sorrows never
For prayers or tears come back to me?
Oh, golden time of youthful life!
Can nothing, Swift One, stay thy motion?
In vain! thy waves, with ruthless strife,
Flow on to the eternal ocean.

Quenched are the glorious suns that glowing
Bright o’er my youthful pathway shone,
And thoughts the prescient heart o’erflowing
With burning inspirations, gone.
For ever fled the trusting faith
In visions of my youthful dreaming,
Reality has risen to scathe
Their all too fair and godlike gleaming.

As once with wild desire entreating,
Pygmalion the stone enclasped,
’Till o’er the marble pale lips fleeting
Life, hope, and passion glowed at last;

So, around Nature’s cold form weaving
My youthful arms, her lips I pressed,
Until her lifeless bosom heaving,
Throbbed life‐like on my poet‐breast.

An answering chord to passion’s lyre
Within her silent frame I woke;
She gave me back my kiss of fire,
And in my heart’s deep language spoke.
Then lived for me the tree, the flower,
The silver streams in music sang;
All soulless things in that bright hour,
With echoes of my spirit rang.

The while it sought with eager strife,
To clasp Creation with its arm,
And spring incarnated to life
In deed, or word, or sound, or form.
How glorious then the world upfolded,
Within its shrouding calyx seen!
How little when Time’s hand unroll’d it!
That little, oh! how poor and mean!

But, as the wayward, rippling motion
Of some bright rock‐stream gathers strength,
Until, in kingly waves of ocean,
It dashes down the height at length:
With storm, and sound, and power, crushing
The granite rock, or giant tree;
Proud in its chainless fury rushing,
To mingle with the rolling sea.

So, filled with an immortal daring,
No chains of care around his form,
Hope’s impress on his forehead bearing,
The youth sprang forth amid Life’s storm.

Ev’n to dim ether’s palest star
Wing’d fancy bore him on untiring;
Nought was too high, and nought too far,
For those strong pinions’ wild aspiring!

How swiftly did they bear him, dashing
Through all youth’s fiery heart could dare!
How danced before life’s chariot flashing
Bright aërial visions there!
Love in her sweetest beauty gleaming,
Fortune with golden diadem crown’d,
Truth like the glittering sunlight streaming,
Fame with her starry circlet bound!

Alas! those bright companions guided
Through only half of life’s dark way;
All false and fleeting, none abided
With the lone wanderer to stray.
First light, capricious Fortune vanished
Still love of lore consumed his youth;
But doubt’s dark tempest rose and banished
The sun‐bright form of radiant Truth.

I saw the sacred crown degraded,
Of Fame, upon a common brow
And, ah! ’ere yet life’s summer faded,
I saw Love’s sweetest spring‐flowers bow.
And ever silenter, and ever
Lonelier grew the dreary way
Scarce even could hope, with frail endeavour
Shed o’er the gloom a ghastly ray.

But who, amid the train false‐hearted,
Stayed lovingly with me to roam
Still from my side remains unparted,
And follows to my last dark home?

Thou, who with joys and sorrows blending,
Thy gentle hand to soothe each wound,
And bear life’s burdens, ever lending,
Thou, Friendship, early sought and found.

And thou, with Friendship wedded ever,
To calm the tempest of the soul
Exhaustless study! wearying never,
Creating while the ages roll.
Still the world‐temple calm uprearing,
Tho’ grain on grain thou can’st but lay,
And striking, with a ceaseless ceasless daring,
Time’s minutes, days, and years away.

And Erick roamed in distant lands,
But cannot fly his weary fate;
Before him in the lonely night,
Before him in the noonday bright,
His guilty wife for ever stands,
A thing of loathing and of hate.
Alone, as under blight and ban,
He roams, a saddened, weary man.
Yet yearnings came to him at last,
And, drawn as by a spirit hand,
He homeward turned, his wanderings past,
To his own distant Swedish land;
And rose up with a spirit grace,
As pleading to him for her life,
Before him, with her angel face,
His beautiful, his sinning wife.

The ship sailed fast through storm and wrack,
The ship sailed slow the Isles between,
And Erick, watching on the deck,
Saw rise before him, low and green,
The Swedish Sweedish shores in level lines,
The fringèd shores of lordly pines:
A spirit’s touch, a spirit’s power,
Seemed on him at that magic hour.

He stood within his castle halls,
The grass grew rank around the gate,
The weeds hung from the mouldering walls,
And all around was desolate.
The bridal room was closed from sight,
For none had dared to enter in,
Since by God’s awful, searching light
The sinner had confessed her sin.
Her golden ring of hellish ban
Still lay upon the marble floor,
Her broken ring—the fatal sign
Of love that could return no more.
And nought the purple curtains stirred
Save the drear night‐wind’s mournful gust,
And golden crown and silken veil
Lay mouldering in the silent dust.
A bitter cry, a mournful cry,
Was wrung by grief from Erick’s breast.
She sinned, he said, but suffered, too,
Could penitence the sin undo,
Her sinning soul had rest.
If God can pity, why should I
Relentless doom a soul to die
Unpardoned, and unblest?
Christ did not scorn the sinner’s touch:
Shall man avenge sin overmuch,
And crush the heart‐woe riven?
Fain would I say one word of grace
Ere yet I meet her face to face,
Before the throne in Heaven.

Then led as by a spirit’s might,
He wandered forth into the night,
And rested not till he stood
By the lone Chapel in the wood.
And she that night in bitter woe,
Low kneeling by the closèd gate,
Poured out the grief those only know
By God and man left desolate.
Nought but the sacred owl heard her moan
Of inarticulate agony,
As down upon the threshold stone
She sank, and prayed that she might die.
O piteous sound of vain despair,
That mournful wailing by the gate;
That wailing of a ruined soul,
Downfallen from its high estate!
She wrung her wasted hands the while,
And pressed her forehead to the bar,
As if within that holy aisle
God’s pardon yet might come to her.
The cruel moon lit up the sward,
And pierced the guilty soul within,
That blighted form, all seared and marred
With deadly consciousness of sin;
The form that threw no shadow more
Besides God’s holy temple door;
And the awful moon, sharp, cold, and clear,
Struck through her like the Avenger’s spear.
O saddest sight beneath its light,
That humbled, suffering creature!
For all too heavy lay the doom.

Upon her human nature.
The curse of sin that none forego,
The agony, the pain, the strife,
The sullied soul, the wasted life,
Sin’s endless heritage of woe.
She prayed as only those can pray
Who pray to be forgiven;
She wept as only those can weep
Who fear to forfeit Heaven.
With outstretched hands and streaming eyes
She pleads to Heaven, imploring,
As if her cries could pierce the skies,
Where angels stand adoring.
O writhing hands! O wasted hands!
Flung out with frenzied gesture,
As if they fain would touch the hem
Of Christ’s fair flowing vesture.
Bitter the dole of that sinning soul,
Outcast of Earth and Heaven;
And her cry went up like a wail from Hell,
Across the night‐wind driven.

The Fountain In The Forest.From Lamartine

Lonely stream of rushing water,
From the rock that gave thee birth,
Hast thou fallen, O Naiad's daughter!
Mingling with the common earth?
Shall Carrara's snowy marble
Never more thy waves inurn;
That with wild and plaintive warble,
By their broken temple mourn?

Nor thy dolphins lying shattered,
Fling their columns up again,
That in radiant glory scattered,
Fell to the earth a jewelled rain
Must the bending beeches only,
Veil thy desolate decay,
Spreading solemnly and lonely
O'er thy waters, dark as they?

Pallid Autumn‐leaves are lying
On thy hollow marble tomb,
And the willows round it sighing,
Wave their bannerets of gloom.
Still thou flowest ever, ever
Like a loving heart that gives
Smiles and blessings, though it never
Meeteth smile from one who lives.

Roughest rocks to polished beauty
Changing as thou flowest on;
Such the Poet's heaven‐taught duty,
Mid the stony‐hearted throng!
Thus thy voice to me hath spoken,
Falling, falling from on high,
As a chord in music, broken
By a gently‐murmured sigh.

Ah! what sad yet glorious vision
Of my youth thy scenes unroll,
When I felt the Poet's mission
Kindling first within my soul;
When the passion and the glory
Of the far‐off future years,
Shone in radiant light before me,
Through the present dimm'd by tears.

Can thy stream recall the shadow
Of the spirit‐haunted boy,
Who in sunlight, through the meadow,
Roamed in deep and wondrous woundrous joy?
Yet bright memory still reaches,
All athwart thy glistening beams,
Where, beneath the shading beeches,
Lay the sunny child of dreams;

Weaving fancies bright as morning,
With its purple and its gold;
Strong to trample down earth's scorning
With the faith of men of old.
Ready life itself to render
At the shrine to which he bowed,
Knowing not the transient splendour
Gilded but the tempest‐cloud.

On my heart was still'd the laughter,
Cold the clay around the dead,
When I came in years long after
Here to rest my weary head.
Waked the sad tears fast and warm,
Once again the ancient place,
Till, like droppings of the storm,
They fell heavy on thy face.

Human voice was none to hear me
In that silence of the tomb;
But thy waters, sobbing near me,
Seemed responsive to the gloom;
And I flung my thoughts all idly
On thy current in a dream,
Like the pale leaves scattered widely
On thy autumn‐drifted stream.

Yet 'twas in that mournful hour
Rose the spirit's mighty words;
Never soul could know its power
Until sorrow swept the chords
Blended with each solemn feature
Of the lonely scenes I trod,
For the sacred love of Nature
Is the Poet's hymn to God.

Did He hear the words imploring
Of a strong heard tempest‐riven?
Did the tears of sorrow pouring
Rise like incense up to Heaven?
Ah! the heart that mutely prayeth
From the ashes of the past,
Finds the strength that ever stayeth,
Of the Holy, round it cast!

But the leaf in winter fadeth,
And the cygnet drops her plumes:
Time in passing ever shadeth
Human life in deeper glooms;
So, perchance, with white hair streaming,
In my age to thee I'll turn
Muse on life, with softened dreaming,
By thy broken marble urn.

While thy murmuring waters falling
dropp by dropp upon the plain,
Seem like spirit‐voices calling
Spirit‐voices not in vain;
For life's fleeting course they teach me,
With life's endless source on high,
Past and future thus may reach me,
While I learn from thee to die.

O stream! hath thy lonely torrent
Many ages yet to run?
O life! will thy mournful current
See many a setting sun?
I know not; but both are passing
From the sunlight into gloom
Yet the light we left will meet us
Once again beyond the tomb!

Oh! for pinions to bear me sunward,
Ever and ever higher and onward;
With a glance of pride, and a wing of might,
Cleaving a path through the starry skies,
As the soul of a poet that heavenward flies,
Daring the depths of the Infinite.
Soaring and singing, still upward aspire,
Trailing a path through the crimson fire,
Bathing in oceans of purple and gold,
Treading the glory that men behold,
Like far‐off fields of Elysian light,
Where angels walk in radiance bright;
And never to rest till the goal is won,
And I furl my wings at the blazing sun
I alone, the Conquering One!
Then, said Love, I will lend thee mine;
And with strange enchantments, and many a sign,
He bound on me the wings divine.
Onward, onward—higher, higher,
Seemed to bear me those wings of fire;
Over the earth, the clouds, the moon,
Till the portals of Heaven glittered soon.
But, ah! too near the Sun of Truth
I passed, in the vain, proud spirit of youth;
And Love’s cement could not, tho’ strong,
Retain the glowing pinions on;
And they fell from my heart, and left it bare;
And so I sank down weeping there,
Into the fathomless sea of despair.

Long I lay in depth of dole,
Till a Voice like a trumpet stirred my soul:
My wings, it said, will bear thee far,
Over yon highest glittering star.
Glorious thoughts of high emprize,
These will lift thee to the skies,
Where the goal of glory lies.
Trust thy own undaunted will,
Let ambition’s spirit fill
All thy being, till no height
Seems too distant or too bright,
Through the stars of upper air,
For a soul like thine to dare.
Then upon my spirit came
Flooding glory, like a flame;
And I soared away from the mountain height,
Filled with a strange and mad delight:
Away, away, over march and fen,
Over the heads of my fellow‐men;
Hearing their choral praises rise,
As I soared away through the pathless skies,
In ever‐echoing symphonies.
But never a rest till I reached the star
Ambition had pointed out afar;
Alas! I knew not the dazzling ray
Of its glory was made for no mortal sight
And I sank back dazed with excess of light.
Still the proud wings bore me on,
I knew not whether, my sight was gone;
But I heard the tempest raging round,
And the rolling thunder’s terrible sound,
As if all fierce passions were unbound.
And the wings Ambition had tied so fast,
Were rent from my soul by the tempest blast;
And down I sank to earth again,
Like the dead eagle on the plain,
By the blasting lightning slain.

Then I heard a low Voice near,
Murmuring softly in my ear:
Shall I give thee wings of power,
Wings that will thy spirit dower,
With a strength that, angel‐wise,
Up will waft thee to the skies?
Passing, unscathed, the Sun of Truth,
Fatal to wings of Love in sooth;
Past the false but glittering light,
Whose glory dimm’d thy mortal sight;
On, through the trackless firmament,
Where the wings Ambition lent,
By the stormy winds were rent.
Onward still, and ever higher,
Past the solar central fire,
Past the hymning angel choir;
Till thou standest at the Throne
Of the great Eternal One.
Ever more to dwell on high,
Breathing like a harmony,
Through the unnumber’d worlds that lie
Far in yon blue Infinity
Wilt thou have these wings of mine?
Murmured that low Voice divine.
Yet my touch is cold and chill,
Horror through thy heart would thrill,
Pale dismay thy bosom fill,
Could’st thou see me face to face.
Never one of human race
Could that dreadful sight behold;
Mortal lips have never told,
All the terrors that abide,
All the gloom, yet kingly pride,
In the pale form at thy side.
Ha! the cold sweat on thy brow,
As I bind them on thee now:

Canst thou bear the touch of pain,
For the glory thou shalt gain?
Then I asked, with faltering breath
Thy name, dread Spirit? and he saith
I who give these wings am Death!

An Appeal To Ireland

The sin of our race is upon us,
The pitiless, cruel disdain
Of brother for brother, tho’ coiling
Round both is the one fatal chain;
And aimless and reckless and useless
Our lives pass along to the grave
In tumults of words that bewilder,
And the conflicts of slave with slave.

Yet shadows are heavy around us,
The darkness of sin and of shame,
While the souls of the Nation to slumber
Are lulled by vain visions of fame;
True hearts, passion‐wasted, and breaking
With sense of our infinite wrong,
Oh! wake them, nor dread the awaking,
We need all the strength of the strong.

For we rage with senseless endeavours
In a fever of wild unrest,
While glory lies trampled, dishonoured,
Death‐pale, with a wound in her breast;
Had we loosened one chain from the spirit,
Had we strove from the ruin of things
To build up a Temple of Concord,
More fair than the palace of Kings;

Our name might be heard where the Nations
Press on to the van of the fight,
Where Progress makes war upon Evil,
And Darkness is scattered by Light.

They have gold and frankincense and myrrh
To lay at the feet of their King,
But we—what have we but the wine‐cup
Of wrath and of sorrow to bring?

Let us ask of our souls, lying under
The doom of this bondage and ban,
Why we, made by God high as Angels,
Should fall so much lower than man;
Some indeed have been with us would scale
Heav’n’s heights for life‐fire if they dare
But the vultures now gnaw at their hearts
Evermore on the rocks of Despair.

Let us think, when we stand before God,
On the Day of the Judgment roll,
And He asks of the work we have done
In the strength of each God‐like soul;
Can we answer—“Our prayers have gone up
As light from the stars and the sun,
And Thy blessing came down on our deeds
As a crown when the victory’s won.

“We fought with wild beasts, wilder passions,
As of old did the saints of God,
Tho’ our life‐blood ran red in the dust
Of the fierce arena we trod;
We led up Thy people triumphant
From Egypt’s dark bondage of sin,
And made the fair land which Thou gavest
All glorious without and within.

“We changed to a measure of music
The discord and wail of her days,
For sorrow gave garments of gladness,
For scorn of her enemies praise;

We crowned her a Queen in the triumph
Of noble and beautiful lives,
While her chariot of Freedom rolled on
Through the crash of her fallen gyves.”

I ask of you, Princes, and Rulers,
I ask of you, Brothers around,
Can ye thus make reply for our people
When the Nations are judged or crowned?
If not, give the reins of the chariot
To men who can curb the wild steeds
They are nearing the gulf, in this hour
We appeal by our wrongs and our needs.

Stand back and give place to new leaders;
We need them—some strong gifted souls,
From whose lips, never touched by a falsehood,
The heart’s richest eloquence rolls.
True Patriots by grandeur of purpose,
True men by the power of the brain:
The chosen of God to lift upward
His Ark with hands clear of all stain.

We need them to tend the Lord’s vineyard,
As shepherds to watch round His fold,
With brave words from pure hearts outpouring,
As wine from a chalice of gold;
That the souls of the Nation uplifted,
May shine in new radiance of light,
As of old stood the Prophets transfigured
In glory with Christ on the height.

Far out where the grand western sunsets
Flush crimson the mountain and sea,
And the echoes of Liberty mingle
With the roar of the waves on the lea;

Where over the dim shrouded passes
The clouds fling a rainbow‐hued arch,
And through giant‐rent portals a people
Go forth on their sad, solemn march:

I had dreams of a future of glory
For this fair motherland of mine,
When knowledge would bring with its splendours
The Human more near the Divine.
And as flash follows flash on the mountains,
When lightnings and thunders are hurled,
So would throb in electrical union
Her soul with the soul of the world.

For we stand too apart in our darkness,
As planets long rent from the sun,
And the mystical breath of the spirit
Scarce touches our hearts sweeping on.
I appeal from this drear isolation
To earth, to the mountains, and sky
Must we die as of thirst in a desert,
While full tides of life pass us by?

Yet still, through the darkness and sorrow,
I dream of a time yet to be,
When from mountain and ocean to Heaven
Will rise up the Hymn of the Free.
When our Country, made perfect through trial,
White‐robed, myrtle‐crowned, as a Bride,
Will stand forth, “a Lady of Kingdoms,”
Through Light and through Love glorified.

Shall we tread the dust of ages,
Musing, dreamlike, on the past,
Seeking on the broad earth’s pages
For the shadows Time hath cast;
Waking up some ancient story,
From each prostrate shrine or hall,
Old traditions of a glory
Earth may never more recall?

Poets thoughts of sadness breathing,
For the temples overthrown;
Where no incense now is wreathing,
And the gods are turned to stone.
Wandering by the graves of heroes,
Shrouded deep in classic gloom,
Or the tombs where Egypt’s Pharaohs
Wait the trumpet and the doom.

By the city, desert‐hidden,*
Which Judea’s mighty king
Made the Genii, at his bidding,
Raise by magic of his ring;
By the Lake Asphaltian wander,
While the crimson sunset glow
Flings its radiance, as we ponder
On the buried towns below.

By the Cromleach, sloping downward,
Where the Druid’s victim bled;
By those Towers, pointing sunward,
Hieroglyphics none have read:
In their mystic symbols seeking,
Of past creeds and rites o’erthrown,
If the truths they shrined are speaking
Yet in Litanies of Stone.

By the Temple of the Muses,
Where the climbers of the mount
Learned the soul’s diviner uses
From the Heliconian fount.
By the banks of dark Illyssus,
Where the Parcæ walked of old,
In their crowns of white narcissus,
And their garments starred with gold.

By the tomb of queenly Isis,
Where her fallen prophets wail,
Yet no hand has dared the crisis
Of the lifting of the vail.
By the altar which the Grecian
Raised to God without a name;
By the stately shrine Ephesian,
Erostratus burned for fame.

By the Libyan shrine of Ammon,
Where the sands are trod with care,
Lest we, bending to examine,
Start the lion from his lair.
Shall we tread the halls Assyrian,
Where the Arab tents are set;
Trace the glory of the Tyrian,
Where the fisher spreads speads his net?

Shall we seek the “Mene, mene,”
Wrote by God upon the wall,
While the proud son of Mandane
Strode across the fated hall?
Shall we mourn the Loxian’s lyre,
Or the Pythian priestess mute?
Shall we seek the Delphic fire,
Though we’ve lost Apollo’s lute?

Ah! the world has sadder ruins
Than these wrecks of things sublime;
For the touch of man’s misdoings
Leaves more blighted tracks than Time.
Ancient lore gives no examples
Of the ruins here we find—
Prostrate souls for fallen temples,
Mighty ruins of the mind.

We had hopes that rose as proudly
As each sculptured marble shrine;
And our prophets spake as loudly
As their oracles divine.
Grand resolves of giant daring,
Such as Titans breathed of old;
Brilliant aims their front uprearing,
Like a temple roofed with gold.

Souls of fire, like columns pointing,
Flamelike, upward to the skies;
Glorious brows, which God’s anointing
Consecrated altar‐wise.
Stainless hearts, like temples olden,
None but priest hath ever trod;
Hands as pure as were the golden
Staves which bore the ark of God.

Oh! they built up radiant visions,
Like an iris after rain;
How all Paradise traditions
Might be made to live again.
Of Humanity’s sad story,
How their hand should turn the page,
And the ancient primal glory,
Fling upon this latter age.

How with Godlike aspirations,
Up the souls of men would climb,
Till the fallen, enslavéd nations
Trod in rhythmic march sublime;
Reaching heights the people knew not,
Till their Prophet Leaders led—
Bathed in light that mortals view not,
While the spirit life lies dead.

How the pallid sons of labour,
They should toil, and toil to raise,
Till a glory, like to Tabor,
Once again should meet earth’s gaze.
How the poor, no longer keeping
Count of life alone by groans,
With the strong cry of their weeping,
Start the angels on their thrones.

Ah! that vision’s bright ideal,
Must it fade and perish thus?
Must its fall alone be real?
Are its ruins trod by us?
Ah! they dreamed an Eldorado,
Given not to mortal sight;
Yet the souls that walk in shadow,
Still bend forward to its light.

Earnest dreamers, sooth we blame not
If ye failed to reach the goal—
If the glorious Real came not
At the strong prayer of each soul.
By the path ye’ve trod to duty,
Blessings yet to man may flow,
Though the proud and stately beauty
Of your structure lieth low.

Low as that which Salem mourneth,
On Moriah’s holy hill;
While the heathen proudly scorneth,
Yet the wrecks are glorious still:
Like the seven columns frowning,
On the desert city down;
Or the seven cedars crowning
Lofty Lebanon.

Poet wanderer, hast thou bent thee
O’er such ruins of the soul?
Pray to God that some Nepenthe
May efface that hour of dole.
We may lift the shrine and column,
From the dust which Time hath cast;
Choral chants may mingle solemn,
Once again where silence passed;

But the stately, radiant palace,
We had built up in our dreams,
With Hope’s rainbow‐woven trellis,
And Truth’s glorious sunrise beams;
Our aims of towering stature,
Our aspirations vain,
And our prostrate human nature
Who will raise them up again?

The Parable Of Life

He treads alone the burning sand
Of the fiery desert plain;
No human heart is near to love,
No human hands sustain.
There are spirits dread in that region wild,
And they howl in the desert blast;
There are spirits lost, who wail and weep
As viewless they hurry past.

There are forms that man never looked upon,
Nor mortal eye could bear—
The terrible sight of an angel’s brow,
On which is stamped despair.
No lofty palm‐tree casts a shade,
Gusheth no silvery well,
Where the stately Giraffe stoops down to drink,
Or cometh the soft Gazelle.

For the desert islands of waving green
Are far, oh! far away;
And never a spot can the wanderer find
To rest from the noontide ray.
Oh! weary, weary, the changeless, waste,
Of that burning desert sand;
Oh! weary, weary, the changeless changless sky,
Of that blasted fiery land!

Weary to listen, with straining sense,
For the step or the voice of man;
To watch in despair, till the sun goes down,
For the wandering caravan.
But the sun goes down, and the white stars rise,
And never a sound is heard,
Save the roar of the Lion, the Panther’s howl,
Or the scream of the carrion bird.

Still on the pale young wanderer goes
On, without fear or dread,
The hot sand burning beneath his feet,
The hot sun above his head:
On, tho’ never his fevered lips
Have been cooled in the desert springs;
For the soul that is filled with the Spirit of God,
Recks little of earthly things.

On, tho’ never the bending fruit
Of the palm‐tree meets his hand;
No food, no rest, no shelter for him
In all that terrible land.
And the powers of Hell seem gathering round
That frail and gentle form,
But, sublime in the strength of faith, he stands
Unmoved, amid the storm.

The spirit is strong, but the flesh is weak,
He hath borne what a mortal can;
And down on the desolate waste he sinks,
A fainting, dying man.
Now the hot samiri approaches fast,
The desert wind of dread;
Glaring upon the horizon’s verge,
Like a pillar fiery red.

Onward it comes in its lurid light,
Like a giant form of death,
Blasting the earth, and air, and sky,
With its scorching, deadly breath.
The sands rise high as the billows at sea,
Raging when tempest‐tossed:
Ah! the fiery column has reached him now
Pale wanderer—thou art lost!

It drinks the blood from his youthful cheek,
It burns up the life within;
And fiercely around him it dashes and whirls,
With a wild, unearthly din.
Then he seems to hear a silvery flow,
Soft gushing, like Paradise streams;
For of such whom the desert kills, it is said,
These are the dying dreams.

And he lifts his head from the burning waste;
But in place of the silvery fall,
He sees but that lurid, fiery cloud
Encircling him as a pall.
Nearer and nearer it gathers round,
Stifling the half‐breathed prayer,
And the fainting hands dropp weary down,
That were lifted in mute despair.

There’s an hour of dread for human souls,
When help there seemeth none,
And the powers of Hell rage fierce around
The God‐forsaken one;
’Tis the hour of dread, when souls are tired,
And angels are bending down,
Watching each one that resisteth to death,
To weave for him the crown.

But an hour more dark, a trial more dread,
That Weary‐one hath known;
For now he must fight the Lord of Hell,
In the desolate waste alone.
Oh! the burning breath of the fiery wind,
Hunger, and thirst, and woe—
What are they all to that strange, lone strife
With man’s dark Demon‐foe?

What terrible form the Tempter chose.
Saw never a mortal eye
Did he come in the flame, or the thunder‐cloud,
Or flash as the lightning by?
Was his blasted brow as the midnight black,
Or wreathed with a lurid light,
Like the livid rays that play on the ice
In the gloom of a polar night?

None can tell; but the subtle words
He poured in the wanderer’s ears,
Are echoed to us from that desert wild,
Through the long, long course of years.
And ages many have shadowed the earth
Since human woes began,
Yet still, with the self‐same words and lures,
He tempteth the sons of man.

Woe, woe to the suffering soul, unless
Sustained, O God, by Thee,
Who hears in its anguish the Tempter’s words
“Fall down, and worship me.”
Woe to the soul that ascends the mount
Of pomp, and power, and pride,
With the glories of earth within his reach,
And the Demon at his side.

But Christ, with His meek and holy brow,
Shuns not the deadly strife;
For His soul is strong in the armour of faith,
And His sword is the Word of Life.
The soul is strong, tho’ the human frame
May faint ’neath the chastening rod;
And the Demon‐foe recognises there
The mortal and the God.

With the radiant light of a stainless soul,
As a crown upon His brow,
How He forces the trembling Chief of Hell
To bend in homage low.
Thus, with His foot on the serpent’s head,
He stands a triumphant king;
But the serpent fangs that have pierced His heel,
Sorrow and Death must bring.

How glorious now is that frail, weak form,
Strong in the spirit within,
Standing alone in the desert of life,
Conquering Hell and Sin.
And we must tread the desert too,
Where want and woe assail;
We must war, like Christ, with the Prince of Hell,
We—human, weak, and frail.

The Tempter will come in those moments of life,
When the soul is dark with fears,
And we sit by the empty urn of joy,
Filling it with our tears;
When those we love, as shadows pass,
And we tread life’s desert lone,
Without hope in heaven, or love upon earth,
Wearily ever on.

It is then he will lead us to doubt upon God,
Doubt in His love for us;
And the murmuring soul he will tempt to ask
“Why must I suffer thus?”
And pleasure and power will seem so near,
If we but kneel to him
O God, keep from us the Tempter far,
When faith is burning dim!

O Christ, who hast known the Tempter’s strength,
Bend from Thy throne of light;
Aid in the terrible strife with Hell,
Aid with Thy power and might.
Teach us to fight as Thou hast fought;
To conquer as Thou hast done;
That angels may bring from the starry skies
The plan for the conquering one.

For never yet was the Tempter foiled
By the might of Jehovah’s name,
But holy joys in the sufferer’s heart.
Like blessed angels came.
And the terrible strife, and the desert drear,
Will pass like earthly things;
But the soul that has conquered will rest in peace,
’Neath angels’ shadowing wings.

Full seven years have passed and flown
But years o’er Thekla lightly pass,
As rose leaves, falling one by one,
From roses on the summer grass.
“It is our bridal day,” she said;
“We’re bidden to a christ’ning feast
I’ll wear the robe I had when wed,
The robe I love of all the best.
“I’ll wear my crown of jewels rare:
On brow and bosom let them shine;
Yet diamonds in my golden hair
Were dull beside these eyes of mine!”
She laughed aloud before the glass.
“Some women’s hair would turn to grey
With cares, ere half the years did pass
I’ve numbered since my wedding day.

“But they were mothers—fools, I trow.
Life’s current all too quickly runs;
I would not give my beauty now
For all their goodly race of sons.”
She sprang upon her palfrey white,
While Erick held the broidered broiderd rein,
And showered down her veil of light
Upon the flowing, silky mane.
The guests rose up in wonderment
Such beauty never had been seen
And bowed before her as she went,
As if she were a crownéd queen.
The knights pressed round with words of praise,
And murmured homage in her ear,
And swore to serve her all their days,
E’en die for her—would she but hear.
But vainly, all in vain they sought
One answering smile of love to win.
Upon her soul there lieth nought
Save that one only, deadly sin.
“I pray you now I fain would have
So fair an angel hold my child,”
The mother said; and smiling smilling , gave
To Thekla’s arms her infant mild.
Advancing slow, with stately air,
Beside the font she took her place,
The infant, like a rosebud fair,
Nestling amid her bosom’s lace.
She lays it on the bishop’s arm,
The while he makes the blessed sign,
And sains it safe from ghostly harm
By Father, Spirit, Son Divine.
Then reaches out her hands again
To take it—but with moaning sound,
Like one distraught with sudden pain,
Falls pale and fainting to the ground.

“She has no children,” Erick said,
As pleading for the strange mischance;
“This only grief since we were wed
Has saddened sore her life, perchance.”
“She has no children!” murmured low
The happy mothers, gathered near;
“No child to love her—bitter woe;
No child to kiss her on her bier!”
But graver matrons shook the head:
“That witchlike beauty bodes no good;
Witch hands can never hold, ’tis said,
A child just blessed by holy rood.”
They raised her up; she spake no word,
But slowly drooped her tearful eyes;
The rushing wave was all she heard,
The whirling wheels, the infants’ cries.
And Erick said, with bitter smile:
“You play the mother all too ill;
Madonnas do not suit your style.”
Her thoughts were by the lonely mill.
They set her on her palfrey white;
She heeds not all their taunting sneers,
But showers down her veil of light,
To hide the conscious, guilty tears.
They rode through all his vast estate,
But rode in silence—he behind,
Sore pondering on his childless fate,
With ruffled brow and moody mind.
They rode through shadowy forest glades,
By meadows filled with lowing kine,
By streams that ran like silver threads
Down from the dark‐fringed hills of pine.
“Alas!” he thought, “no child of mine
When I am dead shall take my place;
Must all the wealth of all my line
Pass to a hated kinsman’s race?

“Now, by my sword, I’d give up all,
Wealth, fame, and glory, all I’ve won,
So that within my father’s hall
Beside me stood a noble son!”
He saw her white veil floating back
Along the twilight gray and still,
Like ghostly shadows on her track
Her thoughts were by the lonely mill.
And now they neared the ancient church,
The ancient church where they were wed!
The moonlight full upon the porch
Shone bright, and Erick raised his head.
O Heaven! There upon the lawn
The palfrey’s shadow stands out clear,
But Thekla’s shadow—it is gone!
Nor form nor floating veil is there.
He spurred his steed with bitter cry:
“Could she have fallen in deathly swoon?”
But no, there, slowly riding by,
He sees her by the bright full moon.
With gesture fierce he seized her rein:
“ Woman or fiend! Look, if you dare,
The palfrey casts a shadow plain,
But yours—O horror!—is not there!”
She gathered close her silken veil,
And wrung her hands, and prayed for grace,
While down from Heaven the calm moon pale
Looked like God’s own accusing face.
He flung aside the broidered rein:
“O woe the day that we were wed!
A witch bride to my arms I’ve ta’en,
Branded by God’s own finger dread.”
She followed, weeping, step by step,
Led by the unseen hand of Fate,
Still keeping in the shadows deep,
Until they reached the castle gate.

He strode across the corridor,
And rolling back upon its ring
The curtain curtan of her chamber door,
He motioned her to enter in.
She laid aside her silken veil,
The golden circlet from her head,
And waited, motionless and pale,
Like one uprisen from the dead.
Could she deny, e’en if she would?
The moonlight wrapped her like a sheet.
And in the accusing light she stood,
As if before God’s judgment‐seat.
Brief were his questions, stern his wrath;
A doom seemed laid on her to tell,
How, with the ring of plighted troth,
Her hand had wrought the murd’rous spell.
How she had marred his ancient line,
And broke the life‐chord that should bless,
And sent the seven fair souls to pine
Back to the shades of nothingness
That so her beauty might not wane,
Her glorious beauty—fatal good;
Yet one she would not lose to gain
The rights of sacred motherhood.
And still she told the tale as cold
The witch‐fire burning in her eyes
As if it were some legend old,
Drawn from a poet’s memories.
He cursed her in his bitter wrath,
He cursed her by her children dead,
He cursed the ring of plighted troth,
He cursed the day when they were wed.
Fierce and more fierce his accents rose:
“Away!” he cried, “false hag of sin:
I see through all this painted gloze
The black and hideous soul within.

“Oh! false and foul, thou art to me
A devil—not a woman fair!
Like coiling snakes I seem to see
Each twisted tress of golden hair.
“I hate thee, as I hate God’s foe.
Forth from my castle halls this night:
I could not breathe the air, if so
Thy poison breath were here to blight.”
She cowered, shivered, spake no word,
But fell before him at his feet,
As if an angel of the Lord
Had smote her at the judgment‐seat.
And on her heart there came at last
The dread, deep consciousness of sin,
That ghastly spectre which had cast
Upon her life this suffering.
And from her hand the gold ring fell
Her wedding ring—and broke in twain;
The fatal ring that wrought the spell,
The accursed ring of love and pain.
The spell seemed broken then: the word
Came, softly breath’d: “Oh, pardon! grace!”
And pleadingly to her dread lord
She lifted up her angel face
With golden tresses all unbound,
Still lovely through her shame and loss,
Around his feet her arms she wound,
As sinner might around the cross.
He dashed her twining hands aside,
He spurned her from him as she knelt.
“O hateful beauty!” Erick cried,
“The source of all thy hellish guilt.
“Pray for a cloud that can eclipse
That long, white streak of moonlight pale.
No word of grace from mortal lips
Can bring a ruined soul from Hell.

“Away! I would not pardon, not
(I swear it by the holy rood)
Unless upon that hated spot
An angel with a lily stood!”
She shuddered in the moonlight pale,
That doomed and banned her from his sight,
Then rose up with a bitter wail,
And fled away into the night!

Shadows From Life

Vain the love that looketh upward; we may worship, may adore;
From the heart's o'erflowing chalice all the tide of feeling pour;
Dash our souls against the barriers that divide us from the shrine;
Fling the incense; pour libations—aye, of life's own ruddy wine;
But, the angel we gaze up to, calm as form of pictured saint,
From its golden mist of glory bendeth never to our plaint plant;
Heedeth not if crushed the temple where the altar fires burned,
For the doom runs through the ages—Love was never yet returned.
page: 90
Thus it was he loved a lady: never priest in Ispahàn
So adored when mount and ocean morning's flashing glories span.
Never sun‐god in its glory, marching stately from the east,
Crimson‐robed and cloud‐attended, heeded less the praying priest,
Than the lady that pale lover, while her lonely path she took
O'er the spirit's glittering summits, with her proud and queenly look;
Like that Roman Sybil bearing in her hands the mystic scroll,
And her large eyes looking onward where the future ages roll.

So, in lone and lofty beauty, she stood high above the world,
Never heeding, dashing neathward, how life's stormy billows curled;
As a pine upon the mountain, warring tempests raging round,
As an island peak of ocean, with the starry midnight crowned.
How could she who trod the pathway of the spirit's starry zones
Stoop to listen, bending earthward, to a lover's murmuring tones? —
While her ear was gathering music from Creation's golden chords,
List the human tears low falling, with the pleading human words?

And could he, who tracked the eagle borne on through cloud and light,
With her glorious regnant beauty filling soul and sense and sight,

Stoop to gaze on me, half‐blasted by fierce Passion's fiery skies,
Only Love, the love of woman, burning strangely in my eyes?
Oh! I've watched his glance dilating, as it rested where afar
Rose her lofty brow, as riseth the pale glory of a star;
Heard the world's praise hymning round her, saw his cheek of flushing pride,
Whilst I, writhing in heart‐agony, all calmly sat beside.

No rays of genius crowning, such as brows like hers enrol,
With no flashing thoughts, like North‐lights, rushing up my darkened darkned soul;
Waking but his earnest feelings with, perchance, my graver words,
While her spirit, like a tempest, swept the range of Passion's chords.
Oh, Woman! calmest sufferer! what deep agony oft lies
In thy low, false‐hearted laughter, glancing bright through tearless eyes!
And how little deemed he truly that the calmest eyes he met
Were but Joy's funereal torches, on Life's ruined altar set.

How could I light up his nature, with no glory in my own?
Soul like his, that throbbed and glittered in the radiance of her throne.
Bitter came the words of plaining:—Why should fate to me deny
All the beauty of the mortal, all the soul to deify?
What had she done, then, for Heaven, so that Heaven should confer
Every gift, to make man prostrate at her feet as worshipper?

Raised her high enough to scorn him—aye, to trample in disdain
On the heart flung down before her—heart that I had died to gain!

Trod his love down calmly, queenly, like a mantle 'neath her feet,
While with lordly spirit‐monarchs she moved proudly to her seat,
Grand as eagle in the zenith, with the noonday radiance crowned
Lone and icy as an Alp‐peak, with the circling glaciers round.
But an echo of all beauty through her fine‐toned spirit rang,
As a golden harp re‐echoes to each passing music clang,
Till in thrilling, clear vibrations rang her poet‐words in air,
Summoning souls to lofty duties, as an Angelus to prayer.

Oh! she flung abroad her fancies, free as waves dash off the foam
As the palm‐tree flings its branches on the blue of Heaven's dome,
With a genius‐shadow dark'ning in the stillness of her eyes
With her rainbow‐spirit arching half the circle of the skies,
Like a dark‐browed Miriam chanting songs of triumph on the foe,
As the rushing waters bore them to the Hades halls below,
Till up through the startled ether, down the far horizon's rim,
Clashed the swords of men in music to her lofty prophet‐hymn.

But no beauty thrill'd my nature, noon, or night or sunset skies;
For the only heaven I gazed on was the heaven of his eyes—

I'd have bartered Freedom, Justice, People's rights, or native Land,
All the island homes of Ocean, for one pressure of his hand;
Trembling, weak, a coward spirit, only wishing low to lie,
As a flower beneath his footstep, breathe my life out, and so die.
Yet he liked me—aye, he liked me—'twas the phrase—O saints above!
Cold and cruel sounds this liking from the lips of one we love.

They said that he was dying; could I longer silence keeping,
Only pour forth my deep passion in my chamber lonely weeping?
I reck'd not if 'twere womanly, cold convention little heeding,
But in mine his hand enfolding, said, with tearful raised eyes pleading
"She hath left you, left you lonely—sorrow's harvest death may reap;
I say not—love me; let me only watch here by you and weep! "
Then he said, his pale brow raising, with a faint, unquiet smile,
And with saddest eyes upgazing upon mine for all the while

"Sweetest friend, this sorrow‐blighted, faded form, and searéd heart,
To pale death, I fear, are plighted, yet 'twere bitter now to part;
For the chords of life are shaken by a sympathy so true,
And they tremble, in vibration, with a pleasure strange and new.

Still, no love‐dream may be cherished—ah! the time of love is o'er
Youthful heart, by passion blighted, can be kindled never more;
But if sympathy thou darest with a heart so wrecked as mine,
I will give thee back the rarest kindred souls can inter twine."

And so bending coldly, gently, on my brow he placed his lips;
While, I trembling in the shadow of that faint and brief eclipse,
Murmur'd:—"Tell me, tell me truly, do you love her then so well? "
And the hot tears, all unruly, through my twinèd fingers fell,
And I sank down there unheeding so of maidenhood or wrong,
While I told him, weeping, pleading, how I'd loved him, loved him long;
Seen my hopes all faded, perished, spread around in pale dismay,
Wept their pallid corses over—I alone, like Niobe!

Thank God, that no cruel scorning dimm'd his starry eyes divine,
Softly, tender, earnest gazing down the tearful depths of mine—
But with warmest splendours resting on the paleness of his cheek,
As the roseate tinted sunset on a snowy Alpine peak,
Bent he down upon my shoulder, murmuring loverlike and low,
While his breathing softly trembled on my pale lips lying so:

"Ah! such deep and tender loving hath recall'd me from the grave
And this heart with soft approving bids you keep the life you gave;

"Woman's soothing grief to lighten hath a mystic healing power,
And their sympathy can brighten man's most dark and destined hour.
Let the holy words be spoken that bind soul to soul for life;
Let me place the symbol token on this hand—my wedded wife! "
Oh! never yet did an angel breathe diviner words of bliss,
Never mortal heard evangel of a joy like unto this;
In my gladness, smiling, weeping, knelt I down before him there,
Blessing God with wild words leaping from my full heart's inward prayer;

And a glory, ruddy, golden‐hued, streamed down on me from high,
As with lifted hands enfolden gazed I up into the sky
Ever brighter, flashing downward, till my pained eyes ached with light,
And I turned from gazing sunward back to earth's more calm delight.
But—was it spell, or was it charm? —when I turned me to the room,
Fading seem'd the loved one's form, half in light and half in gloom
Throbb'd my brain in wild confusion, slowly died his words in air,
All around me seemed illusion, save that streaming golden glare.

On my fevered eyelids aching, madly press'd my hands I keep
Then arose like one awaking from a strange and magic sleep;
Round I gazed in wild amazement for the glorious light that shone,
Was morn streaming through my casement, but it shone on me alone!
The last cold words he had written still lay there beside my bed;
The last flowers he had given lay beside them, faded, dead;
Life's lonely bitter desolation was true, for aye, I deem,
But, joy's blessed revelations, that—oh, that—was but a dream!