One with the Heaven above
Am I its bliss:
Part of its truth and love,
And what God is.
I heal the soul and mind:
I work their cures:
Not Grief, that rends Mankind,
But Joy endures.

Be glad, just for to-day!
O heart, be glad!
Cast all your cares away!
Doff all that 's sad!
Put of your garments gray
Be glad to-day!
Be merry while you-can;
For life is short
It seemeth but a span
Before we part.
Let each maid take her man,
And dance while dance she can:
Life's but a little span
Be merry while you can.

What were this life without her?
Joy, whose young face is sweet
With dreams that flit about her,
And rapture wild of feet!

With hope, that knows no languor,
And love, that knows no sighs,
And mirth, like some rich anger,
High-sparkling in her eyes.

Come! bid adieu to Sorrow;
And arm in arm with Joy,
We 'll journey towards Tomorrow,
And let no Care decoy

Our souls from all clean Pleasures,
That take from Time's lean hand
The hour-glass he treasures,
And change to gold its sand.

Will You Forget?

In years to come, will you forget,
Dear girl, how often we have met?
And I have gazed into your eyes
And there beheld no sad regret
To cloud the gladness of their skies,
While in your heart-unheard as yet
Love slept, oblivious of my sighs?
In years to come, will you forget?

Ah, me! I only pray that when,
In other days, some man of men
Has taught those eyes to laugh and weep
With joy and sorrow, hearts must ken
When love awakens in their deep,
I only pray some memory then,
Or sad or sweet, you still will keep
Of me and love that might have been.

Meeting And Parting

When from the tower, like some sweet flower,
The bell drops petals of the hour,
That says the world is homing,
My heart puts off its garb of care
And clothes itself in gold and vair,
And hurries forth to meet her there
Within the purple gloaming.

It's Oh! how slow the hours go,
How dull the moments move!
Till soft and clear the bells I hear,
That say, like music, in my ear,
'Go meet the one you love.'

II.
When curved and white, a bugle bright,
The moon blows glamour through the night,
That sets the world a-dreaming,
My heart, where gladness late was guest,
Puts off its joy, as to my breast
At parting her dear form is pressed,
Within the moon's faint gleaming.

It's Oh! how fast the hours passed!
They were not slow enough!
Too soon, too soon, the sinking moon
Says to my soul, like some sad tune,
'Come! part from her you love.'

When Spring Comes Down The Wildwood Way

When Spring comes down the wildwood way,
A crocus in her ear,
Sweet in her train, returned with May,
The Love of Yester-year
Will follow, carolling his lay,
His lyric lay,
Whose music she will hear.

The crowfoot in the grass shall glow,
And lamp his way with gold;
The snowdropp toss its bells of snow,
The bluebell's blue unfold,
To glad the path that Love shall go,
High-hearted go,
As often in the days of old.

The way he went when hope was keen,
Was high in girl and boy:
Before the sad world came between
Their young hearts and their joy:
Their hearts, that Love has still kept clean,
Kept whole and clean,
Through all the years' annoy.

How long it seems until the spring!
Until his heart shall speak
To hers again, and make it sing,
And with its great joy weak!
When on her hand he'll place the ring,
The wedding-ring,
And kiss her mouth and cheek!

Between the darkness and the day
As, lost in doubt, I went my way,
I met a shape, as faint as fair,
With star-like blossoms in its hair:
Its body, which the moon shone through,
Was partly cloud and partly dew:
Its eyes were bright as if with tears,
And held the look of long-gone years;
Its mouth was piteous, sweet yet dread,
As if with kisses of the dead:
And in its hand it bore a flower,
In memory of some haunted hour.
I knew it for the Dream I'd had
In days when life was young and glad.
Why had it come with love and woe
Out of the happy Long-Ago?
Upon my brow I felt its breath,
Heard ancient. words of faith and death,
Sweet with the immortality
Of many a fragrant memory:
And to my heart again I took
Its joy and sorrow in a look,
And kissed its eyes and held it fast,
And bore it home from out the past
My Dream of Beauty and of Truth,
I dreamed had perished with my Youth.

The Closed Door

SHUT it out of the heart — this grief,
O Love, with the years grown old and hoary!
And let in joy that life is brief,
And give God thanks for the end of the story.
The bond of the flesh is transitory,
And beauty goes with the lapse of years —
The brow's white rose and the hair's dark glory —
God be thanked for the severing shears!
Over the past, Heart, waste no tears!
Over the past and all its madness,
Its wine and wormwood, hopes and fears,
That never were worth a moment's sadness.
Here she lies who was part o' its gladness,
Wife and mistress, and shared its woe,
The good of life as well as its badness,—
Look on her face and see if you know.
Is this the face? — yea, ask it slow! —
The hair, the form, that we used to cherish? —
Where is the glory of long-ago?
The beauty we said would never perish.—
Like a dream we dream, or a thought we nourish,
Nothing of earth immortal is:
This is the end however we flourish —
All that is fair must come to this.

Reed Call For April

When April comes, and pelts with buds
And apple-blooms each orchard space,
And takes the dog-wood-whitened woods
With rain and sunshine of her moods,
Like your fair face, like your fair face:
It's honey for the bloom and dew,
And honey for the heart!
And, oh, to be away with you
Beyond the town and mart.

II.

When April comes, and tints the hills
With gold and beryl that rejoice,
And from her airy apron spills
The laughter of the winds and rills,
Like your young voice, like your young voice:
It's gladness for God's bending blue,
And gladness for the heart!
And, oh, to be away with you
Beyond the town and mart.

III.

When April comes, and binds and girds
The world with warmth that breathes above,
And to the breeze flings all her birds,
Whose songs are welcome as the words
Of you I love, of you I love:
It's music for all things that woo,
And music for the heart!
And, oh, to be away with you
Beyond the town and mart.

A Song For Yule

Sing, Hey, when the time rolls round this way,
And the bells peal out, 'Tis Christmas Day;
The world is better then by half,
For joy, for joy;
In a little while you will see it laugh
For a song's to sing and a glass to quaff,
My boy, my boy.
So here's to the man who never says nay!
Sing, Hey, a song of Christmas-Day!


II


Sing, Ho, when roofs are white with snow,
And homes are hung with mistletoe;
Old Earth is not half bad, I wis-
What cheer! what cheer!
How it ever seemed sad the wonder is
With a gift to give and a girl to kiss,
My dear, my dear.
So here's to the girl who never says no!
Sing, Ho, a song of the mistletoe!


III


No thing in the world to the heart seems wrong
When the soul of a man walks out with song;
Wherever they go, glad hand in hand,
And glove in glove,
The round of the land is rainbow-spanned,
And the meaning of life they understand
Is love, is love.
Let the heart be open, the soul be strong,
And life will be glad as a Christmas song.

The Heaven-Born

Not into these dark cities,
These sordid marts and streets,
That the sun in his rising pities,
And the moon with sorrow greets,
Does she, with her dreams and flowers,
For whom our hearts are dumb,
Does she of the golden hours,
Earth's heaven-born Beauty, come.

Afar 'mid the hills she tarries,
Beyond the farthest streams,
In a world where music marries
With color that blooms and beams;
Where shadow and light are wedded,
Whose children people the Earth,
The fair, the fragrant-headed,
The pure, the wild of birth.

Where Morn with rosy kisses
Wakes ever the eyes of Day;
And, winds in her radiant tresses,
Haunts every wildwood way:
Where Eve, with her mouth's twin roses,
Her kisses sweet with balm,
The eyes of the glad Day closes,
And, crowned with stars, sits calm.

There, lost in contemplation
Of things no mortal sees,
She dwells, the incarnation
Of idealities;
Of dreams, that long have fired
Men's hearts with joy and pain,
The far, the dear-desired,
Whom no man shall attain.

O heart,-that beat the bird's blithe blood,
The blithe bird's strain, and understood
The song it sang to leaf and bud,-
What dost thou in the wood?

O soul,-that kept the brook's glad flow,
The glad brook's word to sun and moon,-
What dost thou here where song lies low,
And dead the dreams of June?

Where once was heard a voice of song,
The hautboys of the mad winds sing;
Where once a music flowed along,
The rain's wild bugle's ring.

The weedy water frets and ails,
And moans in many a sunless fall;
And, o'er the melancholy, trails
The black crow's eldritch call.

Unhappy brook! O withered wood!
O days, whom Death makes comrades of!
Where are the birds that thrilled the blood
When Life struck hands with Love?

A song, one soared against the blue;
A song, one silvered in the leaves;
A song, one blew where orchards grew
Gold-appled to the eaves.

The birds are flown; the flowers, dead;
And sky and earth are bleak and gray:
Where Joy once went, all light of tread,
Grief haunts the leaf-wild way.

I heard the forest's green heart beat
As if it heard the happy feet
Of one who came, like young Desire:
At whose fair coming birds and flowers
Sprang up, and Beauty, filled with fire,
Touched lips with Song amid the bowers
And Love led on the dancing Hours.

II.

And then I heard a voice that rang,
And to the leaves and blossoms sang:
'My child is Life: I dwell with Truth:
I am the Spirit glad of Birth:
I bring to all things joy and youth:
I am the rapture of the Earth.
Come look on me and know my worth.'

III.

And then the woodland heaved a sigh,
As if it saw a shape go by
A shape of sorrow or of dread,
That seemed to move as moves a mist,
And left the leaves and flowers dead,
And with cold lips my forehead kissed,
While phantoms all around held tryst.

IV.

And then I heard a voice that spoke
Unto the fading beech and oak:
'I am the Spirit of Decay,
Whose child is Death, that means relief:
I breathe and all things pass away:
I am Earth's glory and its grief.
Come look on me: thy time is brief.'

A Song Of Cheer

Be of good cheer, and have no fear
Of Fortune or Tomorrow:
To Hope's low whisper lend an ear
And turn away from Sorrow.

Time out of mind the soul is blind
To things God sends as blessings:
And Fortune often proves unkind
Merely in foolish guessings.

Within the soul we bear the whole
Of Hell and also Heaven;
And 'twixt the two is set the goal
Of dreams our lives have driven.

What counts above all deeds is Love,
And Friendship, that, remember,
In heart-beats keeps Life's record of
Its April and December.

To every one come rain and sun,
And calm and stormy weather:
What helps is not what Life has done,
But Life and Love together.

Of sun and rain and joy and pain
The web of Life is woven;
And ever through it runs the skein
Of Hope, with strand uncloven.

Now high in air it glitters fair;
Now dims beyond divining;
But still the thread winds golden there,
Although no longer shining.

Be of good cheer and have no fear
Of any care or sorrow;
The clouds at last will disappear,
And the sun will shine tomorrow.

The Grasshopper I

What joy you take in making hotness hotter,
In emphasising dulness with your buzz,
Making monotony more monotonous!
When Summer comes, and drouth hath dried the water
In all the creeks, we hear your ragged rasp
Filling the stillness. Or, as urchins beat
A stagnant pond whereon the bubbles gasp,
Your switch-like music whips the midday heat.
O bur of sound caught in the Summer's hair,
We hear you everywhere!

We hear you in the vines and berry-brambles,
Along the unkempt lanes, among the weeds,
Amid the shadeless meadows, gray with seeds,
And by the wood 'round which the rail-fence rambles,
Sawing the sunlight with your sultry saw.
Or, like to tomboy truants, at their play
With noisy mirth among the barn's deep straw,
You sing away the careless summer-day.
O brier-like voice that clings in idleness
To Summer's drowsy dress!

You tramp of insects, vagrant and unheeding,
Improvident, who of the summer make
One long green mealtime, and for winter take
No care, aye singing or just merely feeding!
Happy-go-lucky vagabond, 'though frost
Shall pierce, ere long, your green coat or your brown,
And pinch your body, let no song be lost,
But as you lived into your grave go down
Like some small poet with his little rhyme,
Forgotten of all time.

The joys that touched thee once, be mine!
The sympathies of sky and sea,
The friendships of each rock and pine,
That made thy lonely life, ah me!
In Tempe or in Gargaphie.

Such joy as thou didst feel when first,
On some wild crag, thou stood'st alone
To watch the mountain tempest burst,
With streaming thunder, lightning-sown,
On Latmos or on Pelion.

Thy awe! when, crowned with vastness, Night
And Silence ruled the deep's abyss;
And through dark leaves thou saw'st the white
Breasts of the starry maids who kiss
Pale feet of moony Artemis.

Thy dreams! when, breasting matted weeds
Of Arethusa, thou didst hear
The music of the wind-swept reeds;
And down dim forest-ways drew near
Shy herds of slim Arcadian deer.

Thy wisdom! that knew naught but love
And beauty, with which love is fraught;
The wisdom of the heart-whereof
All noblest passions spring-that thought
As Nature thinks, 'All else is naught.'

Thy hope! wherein To-morrow set
No shadow; hope, that, lacking care
And retrospect, held no regret,
But bloomed in rainbows everywhere,
Filling with gladness all the air.

These were thine all: in all life's moods
Embracing all of happiness:
And when within thy long-loved woods
Didst lay thee down to die-no less
Thy happiness stood by to bless.

Let us mix a cup of Joy
That the wretched may employ,
Whom the Fates have made their toy.

Who have given brain and heart
To the thankless world of Art,
And from Fame have won no part.

Who have labored long at thought;
Starved and toiled and all for naught;
Sought and found not what they sought….

Let our goblet be the skull
Of a fool; made beautiful
With a gold nor base nor dull:

Gold of madcap fancies, once
It contained, that, sage or dunce,
Each can read whoever runs.

First we pour the liquid light
Of our dreams in; then the bright
Beauty that makes day of night.

Let this be the must wherefrom,
In due time, the mettlesome
Care-destroying drink shall come.

Folly next: with which mix in
Laughter of a child of sin,
And the red of mouth and chin.

These shall give the tang thereto,
Effervescence and rich hue
Which to all good wine are due.

Then into our cup we press
One wild kiss of wantonness,
And a glance that says not less.

Sparkles both that give a fine
Lustre to the drink divine,
Necessary to good wine.

Lastly in the goblet goes
Sweet a love-song, then a rose
Warmed upon her breast's repose.

These bouquet our drink. Now measure
With your arm the waist you treasure
Lift the cup and,'Here's to Pleasure!'

Hilda Of The Hillside

Who is she, like the spring, who comes down
From the hills to the smoke-huddled town?
With her peach-petal face
And her wildflower grace,
Bringing sunshine and gladness to each sorry place?
Her cheeks are twin buds o' the brier,
Mixed fervors of snow and of fire;
Her lips are the red
Of a rose that is wed
To dew and aroma when dawn is o'erhead:
Her eyes are twin bits o' the skies,
Blue glimpses of Paradise;
The strands of her hair
Are sunlight and air
Herself is the argument that she is fair,
This girl with the dawn in her eyes.

II.

If Herrick had looked on her face
His lyrics had learned a new grace:
Her face is a book
Where each laugh and each look,
Each smile is a lyric, more sweet than a brook:
Her words they are birds that are heard
Singing low where the roses are stirred,
The buds of her lips,
Whence each of them slips
With music as soft as the fragrance that drips
From a dew-dreaming bloom;
With their sound and perfume
Making all my glad heart a love-haunted room.

III.

But she she knows nothing of love!
She she with the soul of a dove,
Who dwells on the hills,
Knowing naught of the ills
Of the vales, of the hearts that with passion she fills:
For whom all my soul
Is a harp from which roll
The songs that she hears not, the voice of my love,
This girl who goes singing above.

When by the wall the tiger-flower swings
A head of sultry slumber and aroma;
And by the path, whereon the blown rose flings
Its obsolete beauty, the long lilies foam a
White place of perfume, like a beautiful breast-
Between the pansy fire of the west,
And poppy mist of moonrise in the east,
This heartache will have ceased.

The witchcraft of soft music and sweet sleep-
Let it beguile the burthen from my spirit,
And white dreams reap me as strong reapers reap
The ripened grain and full blown blossom near it;
Let me behold how gladness gives the whole
The transformed countenance of my own soul-
Between the sunset and the risen moon
Let sorrow vanish soon.

And these things then shall keep me company:
The elfins of the dew; the spirit of laughter
Who haunts the wind; the god of melody
Who sings within the stream, that reaches after

The flow'rs that rock themselves to his caress:
These of themselves shall shape my happiness,
Whose visible presence I shall lean upon,
Feeling that care is gone.

Forgetting how the cankered flower must die;
The worm-pierced fruit fall, sicklied to its syrup;
How joy, begotten 'twixt a sigh and sigh,
Waits with one foot forever in the stirrup,-
Remembering how within the hollow lute
Soft music sleeps when music's voice is mute;
And in the heart, when all seems black despair,
Hope sits, awaiting there.

The Puritans' Christmas

Their only thought religion,
What Christmas joys had they,
The stern, staunch Pilgrim Fathers who
Knew naught of holiday?

A log-church in the clearing
'Mid solitudes of snow,
The wild-beast and the wilderness,
And lurking Indian foe.

No time had they for pleasure,
Whom God had put to school;
A sermon was their Christmas cheer,
A psalm their only Yule.

They deemed it joy sufficient,-
Nor would Christ take it ill,-
That service to Himself and God
Employed their spirits still.

And so through faith and prayer
Their powers were renewed,
And souls made strong to shape a World,
And tame a solitude.

A type of revolution,
Wrought from an iron plan,
In the largest mold of liberty
God cast the Puritan.

A better land they founded,
That Freedom had for bride,
The shackles of old despotism
Struck from her limbs and side.

With faith within to guide them,
And courage to perform,
A nation, from a wilderness,
They hewed with their strong arm.

For liberty to worship,
And right to do and dare,
They faced the savage and the storm
With voices raised in prayer.

For God it was who summoned,
And God it was who led,
And God would not forsake the love
That must be clothed and fed.

Great need had they of courage!
Great need of faith had they!
And lacking these-how otherwise
For us had been this day!

That day we wandered 'mid the hills,—so lone
Clouds are not lonelier,—the forest lay
In emerald darkness 'round us. Many a stone
And gnarly root, gray-mossed, made wild our way:
And many a bird the glimmering light along
Showered the golden bubbles of its song.
Then in the valley, where the brook went by,
Silvering the ledges that it rippled from,
An isolated slip of fallen sky,
Epitomizing heaven in its sum,
An iris bloomed—blue, as if, flower-disguised,
The gaze of Spring had there materialized.
I have forgotten many things since then
Much beauty and much happiness and grief;
And toiled and dreamed among my fellow-men,
Rejoicing in the knowledge life is brief.
''T is winter now,' so says each barren bough;
And face and hair proclaim 't is winter now.
I would forget the gladness of that spring!
I would forget that day when she and I,
Between the bird-song and the blossoming,
Went hand in hand beneath the soft spring sky!
Much is forgotten, yea— and yet, and yet,
The things we would we never can forget.
Nor I how May then minted treasuries
Of crowfoot gold; and molded out of light
The sorrel's cups, whose elfin chalices
Of limpid spar were streaked with rosy white.
Nor all the stars of twinkling spiderwort,
And mandrake moons with which her brows were girt.
But most of all, yea, it were well for me,
Me and my heart, that I forget that flower,
The wild blue iris, azure fleur-de-lis,
That she and I together found that hour.
Its recollection can but emphasize
The pain of loss, remindful of her eyes.

That day we wandered 'mid the hills,-so lone
Clouds are not lonelier, the forest lay
In emerald darkness round us. Many a stone
And gnarly root, gray-mossed, made wild our way:
And many a bird the glimmering light along
Showered the golden bubbles of its song.

Then in the valley, where the brook went by,
Silvering the ledges that it rippled from,-
An isolated slip of fallen sky,
Epitomizing heaven in its sum,-
An iris bloomed-blue, as if, flower-disguised,
The gaze of Spring had there materialized.

I have forgotten many things since then-
Much beauty and much happiness and grief;
And toiled and dreamed among my fellow-men,
Rejoicing in the knowledge life is brief.
''Tis winter now,' so says each barren bough;
And face and hair proclaim 'tis winter now.

I would forget the gladness of that spring!
I would forget that day when she and I,
Between the bird-song and the blossoming,
Went hand in hand beneath the soft May sky!-
Much is forgotten, yea-and yet, and yet,
The things we would we never can forget.

Nor I how May then minted treasuries
Of crowfoot gold; and molded out of light
The sorrel's cups, whose elfin chalices
Of limpid spar were streaked with rosy white:
Nor all the stars of twinkling spiderwort,
And mandrake moons with which her brows were girt.

But most of all, yea, it were well for me,
Me and my heart, that I forget that flower,
The blue wild iris, azure fleur-de-lis,
That she and I together found that hour.
Its recollection can but emphasize
The pain of loss, remindful of her eyes.

There is a scent of roses and spilt wine
Between the moonlight and the laurel coppice;
The marble idol glimmers on its shrine,
White as a star, among a heaven of poppies.
Here all my life lies like a spilth of wine.
There is a mouth of music like a lute,
A nightingale that sigheth to one flower;
Between the falling flower and the fruit,
Where love hath died, the music of an hour.

II.

To sit alone with memory and a rose;
To dwell with shadows of whilom romances;
To make one hour of a year of woes
And walk on starlight, in ethereal trances,
With love's lost face fair as a moon-white rose,
To shape from music and the scent of buds
Love's spirit and its presence of sweet fire,
Between the heart's wild burning and the blood's,
Is part of life and of the soul's desire.

III.

There is a song to silence and the stars,
Between the forest and the temple's arches;
And down the stream of night, like nenuphars,
The tossing fires of the revellers' torches.
Here all my life waits lonely as the stars.
Shall not one hour of all those hours suffice
For resignation God hath given as dower?
Between the summons and the sacrifice
One hour of love, th' eternity of an hour?

IV.

The shrine is shattered and the bird is gone;
Dark is the house of music and of bridal;
The stars are stricken and the storm comes on;
Lost in a wreck of roses lies the idol,
Sad as the memory of a joy that's gone.
To dream of perished gladness and a kiss,
Waking the last chord of love's broken lyre,
Between remembering and forgetting, this
Is part of life and of the soul's desire.

By The Annisquam

A Far bell tinkles in the hollow,
And heart and soul are fain to follow:
Gone is the rose and gone the swallow:
Autumn is here.

The wild geese draw at dusk their harrow
Above the 'Squam the ebb leaves narrow:
The sea-winds chill you to the marrow:
Sad goes the year.

Among the woods the crows are calling:
The acorns and the leaves are falling:
At sea the fishing-boats are trawling:
Autumn is here.

The jay among the rocks is screaming,
And every way with crimson streaming:
Far up the shore the foam is creaming:
Sleep fills the Year.

The chipmunk on the stones is barking;
The red leaf every path is marking,
Where hills lean to the ocean harking:
Autumn is here.

The fields are starry with the aster,
Where Beauty dreams and dim Disaster
Draws near through mists that gather faster:
Farewell, sweet Year.

Beside the coves driftwood is burning,
And far at sea white sails are turning:
Each day seems filled with deeper yearning:
Autumn is here.

'Good-bye! good-bye!' the Summer's saying:
'Brief was my day as songs of Maying:
The time is come for psalms and praying:
Good-bye, sweet Year.'

Brown bend the ferns by rock and boulder;
The shore seems greyer; ocean older:
The days are misty; nights are colder:
Autumn is here.

The cricket in the grass is crying,
And sad winds in the old woods sighing;
They seem to say, 'Sweet Summer's dying:
Weep for the Year.

'She's wreathed her hair with bay and berry,
And o'er dark pools, the wild-fowl ferry,
Leans dreaming 'neath the wilding cherry:
Autumn is here.

'Good-bye! good-bye to Summer's gladness:
To all her beauty, mirth and madness:
Come sit with us and dream in sadness:
So ends the Year.'

Little Messages Of Joy And Hope

Take Heart

Take heart again. Joy may be lost awhile.
It is not always Spring.
And even now from some far Summer Isle
Hither the birds may wing.

II.

Touchstones

Hearts, that have cheered us ever, night and day,
With words that helped us on the rugged way,
The hard, long road of life to whom is due
More than the heart can ever hope to pay
Are they not touchstones, soul-transmuting true
All thoughts to gold, refining thus the clay?

III.

Fortune

Fortune may pass us by:
Follow her flying feet.
Love, all we ask, deny:
Never admit defeat.
Take heart again and try.
Never say die.

IV

Be Glad

Be glad, just for to-day!
O heart, be glad!
Cast all your cares away!
Doff all that 's sad!
Put of your garments gray
Be glad to-day!
Be merry while you-can;
For life is short
It seemeth but a span
Before we part.
Let each maid take her man,
And dance while dance she can:
Life's but a little span
Be merry while you can.

V.

Carpe Diem

Blow high, blow low!
No longer borrow
Care of tomorrow:
Take joy of life, and let care go!

VI.

Joy Speaks

One with the Heaven above
Am I its bliss:
Part of its truth and love,
And what God is.
I heal the soul and mind:
I work their cures:
Not Grief, that rends Mankind,
But Joy endures.

VII.

For The Old

These are the things I pray Heaven send us still,
To blow the ashes of the years away,
Or keep aglow forever 'neath their gray
The fire that warms when Life's old house grows chill:
First Faith, that gazed into our youth's bright eyes;
Courage, that helped us onward, rain or sun;
Then Hope, who captained all our deeds well done;
And, last, the dream of Love that never dies.

There is a voice that calls to me; a voice that cries deep down;
That calls within my heart of hearts when Summer doffs her crown:
When Summer doffs her crown, my dear, and by the hills and streams
The spirit of September walks through gold and purple gleams:
It calls my heart beyond the mart, beyond the street and town,
To take again, in sun or rain, the oldtime trail of dreams.

Oh, it is long ago, my dear, a weary time since we
Trod back the way we used to know by wildwood rock and tree:
By mossy rock and tree, dear Heart, and sat below the hill,
And watched the wheel, the old mill-wheel, turn round on Babbit's mill:
Or in the brook, with line and hook, to dronings of the bee,
Waded or swam, above the dam, and drank of joy our fill

The ironweed is purple now; the blackeyed-Susans nod;
And by its banks, weighed down with wet, blooms bright the goldenrod:
Blooms bright the goldenrod, my dear, and in the mist of morn
The gray hawk soars and screams and soars above the dripping corn:
And by the pool, cerulean cool, the milkweed bursts its pod,
As through the air the wild fanfare rings of the hunter's horn.

The hunter's horn we heard, my dear, that echoed 'mid the rocks,
And cheered the hounds whose belling bay trailed far behind the fox:
Trailed far behind the fox, dear Heart, whose den we oft had seen,
A cave-like place within the woods wild-hid in trailing green:
Old Owlet's Roost, wherein we used to search, with tangled locks,
For buried gold, where, we were told, the bandit's lair had been.

O gladness of the long-gone years! O boyhood's days and dreams!
Again my soul would trace with you the oldtime Woods and streams:
The oldtime woods and streams, dear Heart, and seek again, I guess,
The buried gold, we sought of old, and find it none the less
Still in the ground, fast sealed and bound, among the glooms and gleams,
As long ago we left it so, the gold of Happiness.

First of the insect choir, in the spring
We hear his faint voice fluttering in the grass,
Beneath some blossom's rosy covering
Or frond of fern upon a wildwood pass.

When in the marsh, in clamorous orchestras,
The shrill hylodes pipe; when, in the haw's
Bee-swarming blooms, or tasseling sassafras,
Sweet threads of silvery song the sparrow draws,
Bow-like, athwart the vibrant atmosphere,
Like some dim dream low-breathed in slumber's ear,
We hear his 'Cheer, cheer, cheer.'

II.

All summer through the mellowing meadows thrill
To his blithe music. Be it day or night,
Close gossip of the grass, on field and hill
He serenades the silence with delight:

Silence, that hears the melon slowly split
With ripeness; and the plump peach, hornet-bit,
Loosen and fall; and everywhere the white,
Warm, silk-like stir of leafy lights that flit
As breezes blow; above which, loudly clear,
Like joy who sings of life and has no fear,
We hear his 'Cheer, cheer, cheer.'

III.

Then in the autumn, by the waterside,
Leaf-huddled; or along the weed-grown walks,
He dirges low the flowers that have died,
Or with their ghosts holds solitary talks.

Lover of warmth, all day above the click
And crunching of the sorghum-press, through thick
Sweet steam of juice; all night when, white as chalk,
The hunter's-moon hangs o'er the rustling rick,
Within the barn 'mid munching cow and steer,
Soft as a memory the heart holds dear,
We hear his 'Cheer, cheer, cheer.'

IV.

Kinsman and cousin of the Faëry Race,
All winter long he sets his sober mirth,
That brings good-luck to many a fire-place,
To folk-lore song and story of the hearth.

Between the back-log's bluster and the slim
High twittering of the kettle, sounds that hymn
Home-comforts, when, outside, the starless Earth
Is icicled in every laden limb,
Defying frost and all the sad and sear,
Like love that dies not and is always near,
We hear his 'Cheer, cheer, cheer.'

I Heard his step upon the moss;
I glimpsed his shadow in the stream;
And thrice I saw the brambles toss
Wherein he vanished like a dream.

A great beech aimed a giant stroke
At my bent head, in mad alarm;
And then a chestnut and an oak
Struck at me with a knotted arm.

The brambles clutched at me; and fear
For one swift instant held me fast
Just long enough to let me hear
His windlike footsteps vanish past.

The brushwood made itself more dense,
And looped my feet with green delay;
And, threatening every violence,
The rocks and thorns opposed my way.

But still I followed; strove and strained
In spite of all the wood devised
To hold me back, and on him gained
The deity I had surprised.

The genius of the wood, whose flute
Had led me far; at first, to see
The imprint of his form and foot
Upon the moss beneath the tree.

A bird piped warning and he fled:
I saw a gleam of gold and green:
The woodland held its breath for dread
That its great godhead would be seen.

Could I but speak him face to face,
And for a while his joy behold,
What visions there might then take place,
What myst'ries of the woods be told!

And well I knew that he was near
By that soft sound the water made
Upon its rock; and by the fear
The wind unto the leaves betrayed.

And by the sign bough made to bough,
The secret signal, brusque and brief,
That said, 'On guard! He's looking now!'
And pointed at me every leaf.

Then suddenly the way lay wide;
The brambles ceased to clutch and tear;
And even the grim trees shrunk aside,
And motioned me, 'He's there! he's there!'

A ruse! I knew it for a ruse,
To thwart my search at last. But I
Had been a fool to follow clues,
And let the god himself pass by.

And then the wood in mighty mirth
Laughed at me, all its bulk a-swing;
It roared and bent its giant girth
As if it'd done a clever thing.

But I, on whom its scorn was spent,
Said not a word, but turned away:
To me this truth was evident
No man may see the gods to-day.

What wood-god, on this water's mossy curb,
Lost in reflections of earth's loveliness,
Did I, just now, unconsciously disturb?
I, who haphazard, wandering at a guess,
Came on this spot, wherein, with gold and flame
Of buds and blooms, the season writes its name.
Ah, me! could I have seen him ere alarm
Of my approach aroused him from his calm!
As he, part Hamadryad and, mayhap,
Part Faun, lay here; who left the shadow warm
As wildwood rose, and filled the air with balm
Of his sweet breath as with ethereal sap.


II


Does not the moss retain some vague impress,
Green dented in, of where he lay or trod?
Do not the flow'rs, so reticent, confess
With conscious looks the contact of a god?
Does not the very water garrulously
Boast the indulgence of a deity?
And, hark! in burly beech and sycamore
How all the birds proclaim it! and the leaves
Rejoice with clappings of their myriad hands!
And shall not I believe, too, and adore,
With such wide proof?-Yea, though my soul perceives
No evident presence, still it understands.


III


And for a while it moves me to lie down
Here on the spot his god-head sanctified:
Mayhap some dream he dreamed may lingert brown
And young as joy, around the forestside;
Some dream within whose heart lives no disdain
For such as I whose love is sweet and sane;
That may repeat, so none but I may hear
As one might tell a pearl-strung rosary
Some epic that the trees have learned to croon,
Some lyric whispered in the wild-flower's ear,
Whose murmurous lines are sung by bird and bee,
And all the insects of the night and noon.


IV


For, all around me, upon field and hill,
Enchantment lies as of mysterious flutes;
As if the music of a god's good-will
Had taken on material attributes
In blooms, like chords; and in the water-gleam,
That runs its silvery scales from stream to stream;
In sunbeam bars, up which the butterfly,
A golden note, vibrates then flutters on
Inaudible tunes, blown on the pipes of Pan,
That have assumed a visible entity,
And drugged the air with beauty so, a Faun,
Behold, I seem, and am no more a man.

Inspiration.

All who have toiled for Art, who've won or lost,
Sat equal priests at her high Pentecost;
Only the chrism and sacrament of flame,
Anointing all, inspired not all the same.


Apportionment.

How often in our search for joy below
Hoping for happiness we chance on woe.

Victory.

They who take courage from their own defeat
Are victors too, no matter how much beat.

Preparation.

How often hope's fair flower blooms richest where
The soul was fertilized with black despair.

Disillusion.

Those unrequited in their love who die
Have never drained life's chief illusion dry.

Success.

Success allures us in the earth and skies:
We seek to win her, but, too amorous,
Mocking, she flees us. Haply, were we wise,
We would not strive and she would come to us.

Science.

Miranda-like, above the world she waves
The wand of Prospero; and, beautiful,
Ariel the airy, Caliban the dull,
Lightning and steam, are her unwilling slaves.

Echo.

Dweller in hollow places, hills and rocks,
Daughter of Silence and old Solitude,
Tip-toe she stands within her cave or wood,
Her only life the noises that she mocks.

The Universal Wind.

Wild son of Heav'n, with laughter and alarm,
Now East, now West, now North, now South he goes,
Bearing in one harsh hand dark death and storm,
And in the other, sunshine and a rose.

Compensation.

Yea, whom He loves the Lord God chasteneth
With disappointments, so that this side death,
Through suffering and failure, they know Hell
To make them worthy in that Heaven to dwell
Of Love's attainment, where they come to be
Parts of its beauty and divinity.

Poppies.

Summer met Sleep at sunset,
Dreaming within the south,
Drugged with his soul's deep slumber,
Red with her heart's hot drouth,
These are the drowsy kisses
She pressed upon his mouth.

Her Eyes And Mouth.

There is no Paradise like that which lies
Deep in the heavens of her azure eyes:
There is no Eden here on Earth that glows
Like that which smiles rich in her mouth's red rose.

Her Soul.

To me not only does her soul suggest
Palms and the peace of tropic shore and wood,
But, oceaned far beyond the golden West,
The Fortunate Islands of true Womanhood.

Her Face.

The gladness of our Southern spring; the grace
Of summer; and the dreaminess of fall
Are parts of her sweet nature. Such a face
Was Ruth's, methinks, divinely spiritual.

The Old Home Ii

They've torn the old house down, that stood,
Like some kind mother, in this place,
Hugged by its orchard and its wood,
Two sturdy children, strong of race.

This formal place makes no appeal.
I miss the old time happiness
And peace, which often here did heal
The cares of life, the heart's distress.

The shrubs, which snowed their blossoms on
The walks, wide-stretching from the doors
Like friendly arms, are dead and gone,
And over all a grand house soars.

Within its front no welcome lies,
But pride's aloofness; wealth, that stares
From windows, cold as haughty eyes,
The arrogance of new-made heirs.

Its very flowers breathe of cast;
And even the Springtide seems estranged,
In that stiff garden, caught, held fast,
All her wild beauty clipped and changed.

'T is not the Spring, that once I knew,
Who made a glory of her face,
And robed in shimmering light and dew
Moved to wild music in this place.

How fair she walked here with her Hours,
Pouring forth colors and perfumes,
And with her bosom heaped with flowers
Climbed by the rose-vines to its rooms.

Or round the old porch, 'mid the trees,
Fluttered a flute of bluebird-song;
Or murmuring with a myriad bees
Drowsed in the garden all day long.

How Summer, with her apron full
Of manna, shook the red peach down;
Or, stretched among the shadows cool,
Wove for her hair a daisy crown.

Or with her crickets, night and day,
Gossiped of many a faery thing,
Her sweet breath warm with scents of hay
And honey, purple-blossoming.

How Autumn, trailing tattered gold
And scarlet, in the orchard mused,
And of the old trees taking hold
Upon the sward their ripeness bruised.

Or, past its sunset window-panes,
Like thoughts that drift before old eyes,
Whirled red leaves and the ragged rains,
And crows, black-blown, about the skies.

How Winter, huddled in her hood
Of snow and sleet, crouched by its flues;
Or, rushing from the stormy wood,
Rapped at its doors with windy news.

Or in the firelight, through the pane,
Watched Comfort crown with cheer the hearth,
Or Love lead in his Yuletide train
Of hospitality and mirth. . . .

It lived. The house was part of us.
It was not merely wood and stone,
But had a soul, a heart, that thus
Grappled and made us all its own.

The lives that with its life were knit,
In some strange way, beyond the sense,
Had gradually given to it
A look of old experience.

A look, which I shall not forget,
No matter where my ways may roam.
I close my eyes: I see it yet
The old house that was once my home.

Bertrand De Born

The burden of the sometime years,
That once my soul did overweigh,
Falls from me, with its griefs and fears,
When gazing in thine eyes of gray;
Wherein, behold, like some bright ray
Of dawn, thy heart's fond love appears,
To cheer my life upon its way.

Thine eyes! the daybreak of my heart!
That give me strength to do and dare;
Whose beauty is a radiant part
Of all my songs; the music there;
The morning, that makes dim each care,
And glorifies my mind's dull mart,
And helps my soul to do and dare.

God, when He made thy fresh fair face,
And thy young body, took the morn
And made thee like a rose, whose race
Is not of Earth; without a thorn,
And dewed thee with the joy that's born
Of love, wherein hope hath its place
Like to the star that heralds morn.

I go my way through town and thorp:
In court and hall and castle bower
I tune my lute and strike my harp:
And often from some twilight tower
A lady drops to me a flower,
That bids me scale the moat's steep scarp,
And climb to love within her bower.

I heed them not, but go my ways:
What is their passion unto me!
My songs are only in thy praise;
Thy face alone it is I see,
That fills my heart with melody
My sweet aubade! that makes my days
All music, singing here in me!

One time a foul knight in his towers
Sneered thus: 'God's blood! why weary us
With this one woman all our hours!
Sing of our wenches! amorous
Yolande and Ysoarde here! Not thus
Shalt sing, but of our paramours!

What is thy Lady unto us!'
And then I flung my lute aside;
And from its baldric flew my sword;
And down the hall 't was but a stride;
And in his brute face and its word
My gauntlet; and around the board
The battle, till all wild-beast-eyed
He lay and at his throat my sword.

Thou dost remember in Provence
The vile thing that I slew; and how
With my good jongleurs and my lance
Kept back his horde! The memory now
Makes fierce my blood and hot my brow
With rage. Ah, what a madman dance
We led them, and escaped somehow!

Oft times, when, in the tournament,
I see thee sitting yet uncrowned;
And bugles blow and spears are bent,
And shields and falchions clash around,
And steeds go crashing to the ground;
And thou dost smile on me, 'though spent
With war, again my soul is crowned:

And I am fire to strike and slay;
Before my face there comes a mist
Of blood; and like a flame I play
Through the loud lists; all who resist
Go down like corn; until thy wrist,
Kneeling, I kiss; the wreath they lay
Of beauty on thy head's gold mist.

And then I seize my lute and sing
Some chanson or some wild aubade
Full of thy beauty and the swing
Of swords and love which I have had
Of thee, until, with music mad,
The lists reel with thy name and ring
The echoed words of my aubade.

I am thy knight and troubadour,
Bertrand de Born, whom naught shall part
From thee: who art my life's high lure,
And wild bird of my wilder heart
And all its music: yea, who art
My soul's sweet sickness and its cure,
From which, God grant! it ne 'er shall part.

The Land Of Illusion

So we had come at last, my soul and I,
Into that land of shadowy plain and peak,
On which the dawn seemed ever about to break
On which the day seemed ever about to die.


II


Long had we sought fulfillment of our dreams,
The everlasting wells of Joy and Youth;
Long had we sought the snow-white flow'r of Truth,
That blooms eternal by eternal streams.


III


And, fonder still, we hoped to find the sweet
Immortal presence, Love; the bird Delight
Beside her; and, eyed with sidereal night,
Faith, like a lion, fawning at her feet.


IV


But, scorched and barren, in its arid well,
We found our dreams' forgotten fountain-head;
And by black, bitter waters, crushed and dead,
Among wild weeds, Truth's trampled asphodel.


V


And side by side with pallid Doubt and Pain,
Not Love, but Grief did meet us there: afar
We saw her, like a melancholy star,
Or pensive moon, move towards us o'er the plain.


VI


Sweet was her face as song that sings of home;
And filled our hearts with vague, suggestive spells
Of pathos, as sad ocean fills its shells
With sympathetic moanings of its foam.


VII


She raised one hand and pointed silently,
Then passed; her eyes, gaunt with a thirst unslaked,
Were worlds of woe, where tears in torrents ached,
Yet never fell. And like a winter sea,-


VIII


Whose caverned crags are haunts of wreck and wrath,
That house the condor pinions of the storm,-
My soul replied; and, weeping, arm in arm,
To'ards those dim hills, by that appointed path,


IX


We turned and went. Arrived, we did discern
How Beauty beckoned, white 'mid miles of flowers,
Through which, behold, the amaranthine Hours
Like maidens went each holding up an urn;


X


Wherein, it seemed-drained from long chalices
Of those slim flow'rs-they bore mysterious wine;
A poppied vintage, full of sleep divine
And pale forgetting of all miseries.


XI


Then to my soul I said, 'No longer weep.
Come, let us drink; for hateful is the sky,
And earth is full of care, and life's a lie.
So let us drink; yea, let us drink and sleep.'


XII


Then from their brimming urns we drank sweet must,
While, all around us, rose-crowned faces laughed
Into our eyes; but hardly had we quaffed
When, one by one, these crumbled into dust.


XIII


And league on league the eminence of blooms,
That flashed and billowed like a summer sea,
Rolled out a waste of thorns and tombs; where bee
And butterfly and bird hung dead in looms


XIV


Of worm and spider. And through tomb and brier,
A thin wind, parched with thirsty dust and sand,
Went wailing as if mourning some lost land
Of perished empire, Babylon or Tyre.


XV


Long, long with blistered feet we wandered in
That land of ruins, through whose sky of brass
Hate's Harpy shrieked; and in whose iron grass
The Hydra hissed of undestroyable Sin.


XVI


And there at last, behold, the House of Doom,-
Red, as if Hell had glared it into life,
Blood-red, and howling with incessant strife,-
With burning battlements, towered in the gloom.


XVII


And throned within sat Darkness.-Who might gaze
Upon that form, that threatening presence there,
Crowned with the flickering corpse-lights of Despair,
And yet escape sans madness and amaze?


XVIII


And we had hoped to find among these hills
The House of Beauty!-Curst, yea, thrice accurst,
The hope that lures one on from last to first
With vain illusions that no time fulfills!


XIX


Why will we struggle to attain, and strive,
When all we gain is but an empty dream?-
Better, unto my thinking, doth it seem
To end it all and let who will survive;


XX


To find at last all beauty is but dust;
That love and sorrow are the very same;
That joy is only suffering's sweeter name;
And sense is but the synonym of lust.


XXI


Far better, yea, to me it seems to die;
To set glad lips against the lips of Death-
The only thing God gives that comforteth,
The only thing we do not find a lie.

The Land Of Candy

There was once a little boy —
So my father told me — who
Never cared for any toy,
But just sweet things, as boys do,
Cakes and comfits, cream and ice,
All the things that boys think nice,
That they like, but ought not to;
Doctors say so, more or less,
And their parents, too, I guess:
But they don't know everything. —
Boys know something, too, by jing.


II
Well, this little boy he cried
Day and night for sweet things; ate
Cake and candy soon and late —
That is, if they did n't hide
All such things in some good place
Where he could n't find them. So,
One day, when they did n't know,
In the park he met a man, —
Funniest man you ever saw, —
In a suit of red and tan,
Thin, and straighter than a straw,
Like a stick of candy; and
This old man just took his hand,
Led him off to Candyland.


III
First place that they came to, why,
Was a wood that reached the sky;
Forest of Stick Candy. My!
How the little boy made it fly!
Why, the tree trunks were as great,
Big around as, at our gate,
Are the sycamores; the whole
Stripéd like a barber's pole:
And the ground was strewn and strown
With the pieces winds had blown
From the branches: and as fast
As one fell another grew
In its place; and, through and through,
Each was better than the last.


IV
After this they came into
A great grove of Sugar-Plums,
And an orchard, such as few
Ever saw, of Creams and Gums,
Marshmallow and Chocolate,
Where the boy just ate and ate
Till he was brimful and felt
As, I guess, a turkey feels
On Thanksgiving; to its belt
Stuffed with chestnuts. And the seals
At the circus, that I saw,
Looked just like that boy, I know,
When he'd eaten bushels —pshaw!
Loads of all that candy. Oh!
He just lay down there and sighed
When he couldn't eat no more,
Though he'd eaten more than four
Boys could eat, yes, twenty-four,
And he just lay there and cried,
Cried to eat more. And the man,
The Stick-Candy Man, he said
Never a word; just smiled instead
Sweet as any candy can.


V
When they'd rested there awhile,
That old man with his sweet smile
Took him by the hand and said,
'Don't you think it's time for bed?'
But the boy he shook his head:
'I want cakes and ice cream now;
Then I'll go and not before.' —
Wish that I could show you how
Sweet that old man smiled then! Sweet? —
It was just like honeyed heat
Trickling down from head to feet,
Or just like a candy store
Flung right at you. But the boy,
At that smile, felt no great joy,
But as if he'd eaten more
Than he ought to. 'I feel ill,'
Said he. 'If I had a drink
I'd feel better. — Say, I think
I smell water. What's that hill?
Is it snow?' — The old man smiled,
Smiled that smile again, and, quick, —
For it made him feel so sick, —
From him turned the boy; and, — 'Child,'
Like some melting sugar-stick,
Drooled the old man, 'I'll be bent,
Or be eaten, it's not snow:
But to me it's evident,
If you really want to know,
That hill's ice-cream. Feel the chill
On my neck now….If you will
We will go there.' — And they went:
Found a stranger country still,
Filled with greater wonderment.

VI
The very ground was sugar there;
And all around them, everywhere,
Great cakes grew up like mushrooms; some
No bigger than a baby's thumb,
And others huge as hats they wear
In picture books of pirate kings:
And some were jelly-cakes; great rings
Of reddest jelly; macaroons
And sponge-cakes like enormous moons:
And every kind of cake there is
Just overrun the premises.
And in the middle of the land
A mountain, they had seen afar,
Of Ice-Cream towered white and grand;
Such mountains as there only are
In Candyland. And from it fell
Two fountains: one of Lemonade,
The other Sodawater. — Well,
The little boy just took a spade
And dug into that mountainside
And ate and ate, and cried and cried,
Because he could n't eat it all,
Nor all the cakes that grew around,
Like mushrooms, from the sugary ground;
Nor drink up every waterfall
Of Soda and of Lemonade. —
(I wish that I'd been there to aid!
Don't you? I know I'd done my best. —
And father said he knew, or guessed,
That that old man felt sorry, too,
Because the boy just had to rest.
And I felt sorry. Would n't you?)


VII
And that big hill would never melt:
Just stayed the same. No sooner than
One took a spoonful it began
To grow back in its place. One dealt
It out in shovelfuls still
There was no less in that huge hill.
And fast — yes, faster than one knew,
The mushroom-cakes around you grew;
Wherever one was taken, why,
Up came another, better by
A long ways: and it were no use
To try to drink the fountains dry:
They ran the more; a perfect sluice,
My father said, that played the deuce
With any little boy that'd try.


VIII
So in that land a long, long time,
At least a month, he stayed. Each day
Was like the other. — (Sometime I'm
A-going to Candyland and stay
A year, or longer; yes, you bet!
No matter what my parents say.) —
What happened next? — why, I forget.
But one day in the Orchard where
Cream Candies grew —or was it in
The Woods of Candystick? or there
Where brown the Sugarlands begin
Of Mushroom-cakes? — the old man found
The boy flat, lying on the ground,
The sugar-earth kicked up around,
And cakes and cream knocked all about
And broken into bits, and he
Just crying fit to kill; all out,
And sick of everything, you see.
And when the old man smiled and smiled
That smile again, the boy went wild,
And shook his fist right in his face
And shrieked out at him, 'You Disgrace!
Get out! You make me sick!' — A stone
(You see rock-candy strewed the place
Just like the stones that strew our own)
He picked and aimed and would have thrown
And knocked the old man's head right off,
Had he not stopped him, with a cough,
Saying, 'My boy! why, this won't do!
What ails you, eh?' — The boy said, 'You! —
Don't smile at me! — I'll break your head!
You sugar-coated pill! with this! —
I'm sick of sweets and you,' he said,
'Your face so like a candy-kiss? —
What ails me? — Eggs! and bacon! bread!
And milk and toast and chicken-wings,
One never has here! things they fed
Me on at home! those are the things! —
Take me back home where I can eat
The things I never wanted once —
But now I want them! bread and meat! —
Oh, was n't I an awful dunce! —
Now, you old sinner, take me back! ' —
And with those words the old man's face
Fell in a frown that seemed to crack
It all to pieces. All grew black
About the little boy a space;
But when it lightened up once more
Why, there! he was n't any place
But right in front of their big door —
His home. —I say! my! he was glad;
And hurried in, a different lad
From him who had gone out. — And he,
From that time on, took toast and tea,
And milk and eggs, and never teased,
As once he used to tease, for cakes
And candy and such things! — My sakes!
But were n't both his parents pleased!

Not they the great
Who build authority around a State,
And firm on calumny and party hate
Base their ambition. Nor the great are they
Who with disturbance make their way,
Mindful of but to-day
And individual ends that so compel
They know not what they do, yet do it well.
Butthey the great.
Who sacrifice their honor for the State
And set their seal
Upon the writing, consecrate,
Of time and fate,
That says, 'He suffered for a People's weal:
Or, calm of soul and eye,
Helped to eliminate
The Madness that makes Progress its wild cry,
And for its policy
Self, a divinity,
That on illusions thrives,
And knows not whither its desire drives
Till on the rocks its headlong vessel rives.'

II.

God of the wise,
On whom the People wait,
And who at last all evils wilt abate,
Make Thou more keen men's eyes:
Let them behold how Thou at length wilt bring,
From turmoil and confusion now that cling
About the Nation's feet,
Order and calm and peace
With harmony of purpose, wing to wing
As out of Chaos sprang
Light and its co-mate, Law, when loud Thy summons rang
High instruments of power never to cease,
Spirits of destiny,
Who from their lofty seat
Shall put down hate and strife's insanity,
And all contentions old that eat
The country to the quick:
And Common-Sense, the Lion-Heart now sick,
Forth from his dungeon cell
Go free,
With Song, his bold Blondél;
And, stretching forth a stalwart arm
To laboring land and sea,
With his glad coming warm
The land to one accord, one sympathy
Of soul; whose strength shall stand
For something more than gold to all the land,
Making more sure the ties
Of freedom and equality
And Progress; who, unto the watchful skies,
Unfurls his banner and, with challenging hand,
Leads on the world's emprise.

III.

God of the just and wise,
Behold! why is it that our mortal eyes
Are not more open to the good that lies
Around our feet? the blessings in disguise
That go with us about our daily deeds
Attending all our needs?
Why is it that, so rich and prodigal,
We will complain
Of Nature her whose liberal hand,
Summer and spring and fall,
Pours out abundance on the Land?
Cotton and oil and grain
O God, make men more sane!
Help them to understand
And trust in her who never failed her due;
Who never camped with Famine and his crew
Or made ally
Of the wild House of old Calamity!
But always faithfully,
Year after generous year,
From forth her barque of plenty, stanch of sail,
Poured big abundance. What did lies avail,
Or what did fear
To make her largess fail? They who descry,
Raising a hue and cry,
Disaster's Harpies darkening the sky
Each month that comes and goes, are they not less
Of insight than the beasts of hill and field,
Who take no worry, knowing Earth will yield
Her usual harvest a sufficiency
For all and more; yea, even enough to bless
The sons of Greed, who make a market of lies
And blacken blessings unto credulous eyes,
Turning them curses, till on every hand
They see, as Speculation sees,
God's benefactions rain, and sun, and snow
Working destruction in the land,
The camping-ground of old hostilities,
Changing all joy to woe
With visitations of her wrath withal,
Proclaiming her, our mother Nature, foe
Undeviating, to our hopes below
Nature, who never yet has failed to bless us all.

IV.

By the long leagues of cotton Texas rolls,
And Mississippi bolls;
By the wide seas of wheat
The far Dakotas beat
Against the barriers of the mountainland:
And by the miles of maize
Nebraska lays
Like a vast carpet in
Her House of Nights and Days,
Where, glittering, in council meet
The Spirits of the Cold and Heat,
With old Fertility whose heart they win:
By all the wealth replete
Within our scan,
From Florida to where the snows begin,
Made manifest of Nature unto Man
Behold!
The Land is as a mighty scroll unrolled,
Whereon God writes His name
In harvest: green and gold
And russet making fair as oft of old
Each dædal part He decorates the same
With splendors manifold
Of mountains and of rivers, fruits and flowers;
Sealing each passage of the rubric Hours
With esoteric powers
Of life and love, and all their mystery,
Through which men yet may see
The truth that shall refute the fool that cries,
'God has forgot us and our great emprise!'

V.

Of elemental mold
God made our Country, wombing her with gold
And veining her with copper, iron, and coal.
Making her strong for her appointed goal.
High on her eagled peaks His rainbow gleams
Its mighty message: in her mountain streams
His voice is heard: and on the wind and rain
Ride Potencies
And Portents of His purpose, while she dreams
Of great achievements, great activities,
And, weariless of brain,
From plain to busy plain,
And peak to plateau, with unresting hand,
Along the laboring land,
She speeds swift train on train,
Feeling the urge in her of energies,
That bear her business on
From jubilant dawn to dawn,
From where the snow makes dumb
Alaskan heights, to where, like hives of bees,
The prairies hum
With cities; while around her girdling seas
Ships go and come,
Servants and slaves of her vast industries.

VI.

And He, who sits above,
And, watching, sees
Her dreams become great actualities,
Out of His love
Will He continue to bestow
Blessings upon her, even more and more,
Until their store
Shall pass the count of all the dreams we know?
Why heed
The sordid souls that worship Greed?
The vampire lives that feed,
Feast and grow fat
On what they name the Proletariat;
Wringing with blood and sweat,
From forth the nation's muscle, heart, and brain,
The strength that keeps her sane:
They, too, shall have their day and cease to be.
Ignoble souls, who, for a market, set
Before the People's eyes
A scarecrow train
Of fabrications, rumors, antic lies
Of havoc and calamity,
Panic appearances of Famine, War,
That for the moment bar
The path of Truth and work their selfish gain.

VII.

God of the simple and the wise,
Grant us more light; and lead
The great adventure to its mighty end!
From Thy o'erarching skies
Still give us heed,
And make more clear the way that onward lies.
Not wealth now is her need,
The great Republic's, Wealth, the child of Greed,
Nay, nay! O God, but for the dream we plead,
The dream as well as deed,
The Dream of Beauty which shall so descend
From Thee, and with her inmost being blend,
That it shall help her cause
More than all temporal laws. . . .

VIII.

Now, for her soul's increase,
And spirit's peace,
Curb the bright dæmon Speed;
Grant her release
From strife; and let the joy that springs
From love of lowly things
Possess her soul and plead
For work that counts for something to the heart,
And grows immortal part
Of life the work called Art;
And let Love lead
Her softly all her days; with quiet hand
Sowing the fruitful land
With spiritual seed
Of wisdom from which blossoms shall expand
Of vital beauty, and her fame increase
More than the wealth of all the centuries.

IX.

God of the wise,
The meek and humble, who still look to Thee,
Holding to sanity
And truth and purpose of the great emprise,
Keep her secure,
And beautiful and pure
As when in ages past Thou didst devise,
Saying within Thy heart, 'She shall endure!
A great Republic!' Let her course be sure,
O God, and, in detraction's spite,
Unquestionably right;
And in the night,
If night there must be, light a beacon light
To guide her safely through the strife,
The conflict of her soul, with passions rife.
Oh, raise some man of might,
Whose mind shall put down storm and stress of life,
And kindle anew the lamp whose light shall burn,
A Pharos, in the storms,
That shall arise and with confusion shake
Foundations of the walls of Civilization:
A pillar of flame, behold,
Like that of old,
Which Israel followed and its bondage brake,
Leading each night-lost Nation
To refuge in her arms,
Freedom's, away from all the Tyrannies
Of all the Centuries,
Safe on her heart to learn
To hush its heart's alarms.

A March Voluntary (Wind And Cloud)

Winds that cavern heaven and the clouds
And canyon with cerulean blue,
Great rifts down which the stormy sunlight crowds
Like some bright seraph, who,
Mailed in intensity of silver mail,
Flashes his splendor over hill and vale,
Now tramp, tremendous, the loud forest through:
Or now, like mighty runners in a race,
That swing, long pace to pace,
Sweep 'round the hills, fresh as, at dawn's first start,
They swept, dew-dripping, from
The crystal-crimson ruby of her heart,
Shouting the dim world dumb.
And with their passage the gray and green
Of the earth 's washed clean;
And the cleansing breath of their might is wings
And warm aroma, we know as Spring's,
And sap and strength to her bourgeonings.

II.

My brow I bare
To the cool, clean air,
That blows from the crests of the clouds that roll,
Pearl-piled and berged as floes of Northern Seas,
Banked gray and thunder-low
Big in the heaven's peace;
Clouds, borne from nowhere that we know,
With nowhere for their goal;
With here and there a silvery glow
Of sunlight chasming deeps of sombre snow,
Great gulfs that overflow
With sky, a sapphire-blue,
Or opal, sapphire-kissed,
Wide-welled and deep and swiftly rifting through
Stratas of streaming mist;
Each opening like a pool,
Serene, cerule,
Set 'round with crag-like clouds 'mid which its eye gleams cool.

III.

What blue is bluer than the bluebird's blue!
'T is as if heaven itself sat on its wings;
As if the sky in miniature it bore
The fields and forests through,
Bringing the very heaven to our door;
The daybreak of its back soft-wedded to
The sunset-auburn of its throat that sings.
The dithyrambics of the wind and rain
Strive to, but cannot, drown its strain:
Again, and yet again
I hear it where the maples tassel red,
And blossoms of the crab round out o'erhead,
And catkins make the willow-brake
A gossamer blur around the lake
That lately was a stream,
A little stream locked in its icy dream.

IV.

Invisible crystals of aerial ring,
Against the wind I hear the bluebird fling
Its notes; and where the oak's mauve leaves uncurl
I catch the skyey glitter of its wing;
Its wing that lures me, like some magic charm,
Far in the woods
And shadowy solitudes:
And where the purple hills stretch under purple and pearl
Of clouds that sweep and swirl,
Its music seems to take material form;
A form that beckons with cerulean arm
And bids me see and follow,
Where, in the violet hollow,
There at the wood's far turn,
On starry moss and fern,
She shimmers, glimmering like a rainbowed shower,
The Spirit of Spring,
Diaphanous-limbed, who stands
With honeysuckle hands
Sowing the earth with many a firstling flower,
Footed with fragrance of their blossoming,
And clad in heaven as is the bluebird's wing.

V.

The tumult and the booming of the trees,
Shaken with shoutings of the winds of March
No mightier music have I heard than these,
The rocking and the rushing of the trees,
The organ-thunder of the forest's arch.
And in the wind their columned trunks become,
Each one, a mighty pendulum,
Swayed to and fro as if in time
To some vast song, some roaring rhyme,
Wind-shouted from sonorous hill to hill
The woods are never still:
The dead leaves frenzy by,
Innumerable and frantic as the dance
That whirled its madness once beneath the sky
In ancient Greece, like withered Corybants:
And I am caught and carried with their rush,
Their countless panic borne away,
A brother to the wind, through the deep gray
Of the old beech-wood, where the wild Marchday
Sits dreaming, filling all the boisterous hush
With murmurous laughter and swift smiles of sun;
Conspiring in its heart and plotting how
To load with leaves and blossoms every bough,
And whispering to itself, 'Now Spring's begun!
And soon her flowers shall golden through these leaves!
Away, ye sightless things and sere!
Make room for that which shall appear!
The glory and the gladness of the year;
The loveliness my eye alone perceives,
Still hidden there beneath the covering leaves,
My song shall waken! flowers, that this floor
Of whispering woodland soon shall carpet o'er
For my sweet sisters' feet to tread upon,
Months kinder than myself, the stern and strong,
Tempestuous-loving one,
Whose soul is full of wild, tumultuous song;
And whose rough hand now thrusts itself among
The dead leaves; groping for the flowers that lie
Huddled beneath, each like a sleep-closed eye:
Gold adder's-tongue and pink
Oxalis; snow-pale bloodroot blooms;
May-apple hoods, that parasol the brink,
Screening their moons, of the slim woodland stream:
And the wild iris; trillium, white as stars
And bluebells, dream on dream:
With harsh hand groping in the glooms,
I grasp their slenderness and shake
Their lovely eyes awake,
Dispelling from their souls the sleep that mars;
With heart-disturbing jars
Clasping their forms, and with rude finger-tips,
Through the dark rain that drips
Lifting them shrinking to my stormy lips,

VI.

'Already spicewood and the sassafras,
Like fragrant flames, begin
To tuft their boughs with topaz, ere they spin
Their beryl canopies a glimmering mass,
Mist-blurred, above the deepening grass.
Already where the old beech stands
Clutching the lean soil as it were with hands
Taloned and twisted, on its trunk a knot,
A huge excrescence, a great fungous clot,
Like some enormous and distorting wart,
My eyes can see how, blot on beautiful blot
Of blue, the violets blur through.
The musky and the loamy rot
Of leaf-pierced leaves; and, heaven in their hue,
The little bluets, crew on azure crew,
Prepare their myriads for invasion too.

VII.

'And in my soul I see how, soon, shall rise,
Still hidden to men's eyes,
Dim as the wind that 'round them treads,
Hosts of spring-beauties, streaked with rosy reds,
And pale anemones, whose airy heads,
As to some fairy rhyme,
All day shall nod in delicate time:
And now, even now, white peal on peal
Of pearly bells, that in bare boughs conceal
Themselves, like snowy music, chime on chime,
The huckleberries to my gaze reveal
Clusters, that soon shall toss
Above this green-starred moss,
That, like an emerald fire, gleams across
This forest-side, and from its moist deeps lifts
Slim, wire-like stems of seed;
Or, lichen-colored, glows with many a bead
Of cup-like blossoms: carpets where, I read,
When through the night's dark rifts
The moonlight's glimpsing splendor sifts,
The immaterial forms
With moonbeam-beckoning arms,
Of Fable and Romance,
Myths that are born of whispers of the wind
And foam of falling waters, music-twinned,
Shall lead the legendary dance;
The dance that never stops,
Of Earth's wild beauty on the green hill-tops.'

VIII.

The youth, the beauty and disdain
Of birth, death does not know,
Compel my heart with longing like to pain
When the spring breezes blow,
The fragrance and the heat
Of their soft breath, whose musk makes sweet
Each woodland way, each wild retreat,
Seem saying in my ear, 'Hark, and behold!
Before a week be gone
This barren woodside and this leafless wold
A million flowers shall invade
With argent and azure, pearl and gold,
Like rainbow fragments scattered of the dawn,
Here making bright, here wan
Each foot of earth, each glen and glimmering glade,
Each rood of windy wood,
Where late gaunt Winter stood,
Shaggy with snow and howling at the sky;
Where even now the Springtime seems afraid
To whisper of the beauty she designs,
The flowery campaign that she now outlines
Within her soul; her heart's conspiracy
To take the world with loveliness; defy
And then o'erwhelm the Death that Winter throned
Amid the trees, with love that she hath owned
Since God informed her of His very breath,
Giving her right triumphant over Death.
And, irresistible,
Her heart's deep ecstasy shall swell,
Taking the form of flower, leaf, and blade,
Invading every dell,
And sweeping, surge on surge,
Around the world, like some exultant raid,
Even to the heaven's verge.
Soon shall her legions storm
Death's ramparts, planting Life's fair standard there,
The banner which her beauty hath in care,
Beauty, that shall eventuate
With all the pomp and pageant and the state,
That are apart of power, and that wait
On majesty, to which it, too, is heir.'

IX.

Already purplish pink and green
The bloodroot's buds and leaves are seen
Clumped in dim cirques; one from the other
Hardly distinguished in the shadowy smother
Of last year's leaves blown brown between.
And, piercing through the layers of dead leaves,
The searching eye perceives
The dog's-tooth violet, pointed needle-keen,
Lifting its beak of mottled green;
While near it heaves
The May-apple its umbrous spike, a ball,
Like to a round, green bean,
That folds its blossom, topping its tight-closed parasol:
The clustered bluebell near
Hollows its azure ear,
Low leaning to the earth as if to hear
The sound of its own growing and perfume
Flowing into its bloom:
And softly there
The twin-leaf's stems prepare
Pale tapers of transparent white,
As if to light
The Spirit of Beauty through the wood's green night.

X.

Why does Nature love the number five?
Five-whorled leaves and five-tipped flowers?
Haply the bee that sucks i' the rose,
Laboring aye to store its hive,
And humming away the long noon hours,
Haply it knows as it comes and goes:
Or haply the butterfly,
Or moth of pansy-dye,
Flitting from bloom to bloom
In the forest's violet gloom,
It knows why:
Or the irised fly; to whom
Each bud, as it glitters near,
Lends eager and ardent ear.
And also tell
Why Nature loves so well
To prank her flowers in gold and blue.
Haply the dew,
That lies so close to them the whole night through,
Hugged to each honeyed heart,
Perhaps the dew the secret could impart:
Or haply now the bluebird there that bears,
Glad, unawares,
God's sapphire on its wings,
The lapis-lazuli
O' the clean, clear sky,
The heav'n of which he sings,
Haply he, too, could tell me why:
Or the maple there that swings,
To the wind's soft sigh,
Its winglets, crystal red,
A rainy ruby twinkling overhead:
Or haply now the wind, that breathes of rain
Amid the rosy boughs, it could explain:
And even now, in words of mystery,
That haunt the heart of me,
Low-whispered, dim and bland,
Tells me, but tells in vain,
And strives to make me see and understand,
Delaying where
The feldspar fire of the violet breaks,
And the starred myrtle aches
With heavenly blue; and the frail windflower shakes
Its trembling tresses in the opal air.

Intimations Of The Beautiful

I

The hills are full of prophecies
And ancient voices of the dead;
Of hidden shapes that no man sees,
Pale, visionary presences,
That speak the things no tongue hath said,
No mind hath thought, no eye hath read.

The streams are full of oracles,
And momentary whisperings;
An immaterial beauty swells
Its breezy silver o'er the shells
With wordless speech that sings and sings
The message of diviner things.

No indeterminable thought is theirs,
The stars', the sunsets' and the flowers';
Whose inexpressible speech declares
Th' immortal Beautiful, who shares
This mortal riddle which is ours,
Beyond the forward-flying hours.

II

It holds and beckons in the streams;
It lures and touches us in all
The flowers of the golden fall-
The mystic essence of our dreams:
A nymph blows bubbling music where
Faint water ripples down the rocks;
A faun goes dancing hoiden locks,
And piping a Pandean air,
Through trees the instant wind shakes bare.

Our dreams are never otherwise
Than real when they hold us so;
We in some future life shall know
Them parts of it and recognize
Them as ideal substance, whence
The actual is-(as flowers and trees,
From color sources no one sees,
Draw dyes, the substance of a sense)-
Material with intelligence.

III

What intimations made them wise,
The mournful pine, the pleasant beech?
What strange and esoteric speech?-
(Communicated from the skies
In runic whispers)-that invokes
The boles that sleep within the seeds,
And out of narrow darkness leads
The vast assemblies of the oaks.

Within his knowledge, what one reads
The poems written by the flowers?
The sermons, past all speech of ours,
Preached by the gospel of the weeds?-
O eloquence of coloring!
O thoughts of syllabled perfume!
O beauty uttered into bloom!
Teach me your language! let me sing!

IV

Along my mind flies suddenly
A wildwood thought that will not die;
That makes me brother to the bee,
And cousin to the butterfly:
A thought, such as gives perfume to
The blushes of the bramble-rose,
And, fixed in quivering crystal, glows
A captive in the prismed dew.

It leads the feet no certain way;
No frequent path of human feet:
Its wild eyes follow me all day;
All day I hear its wild heart beat:
And in the night it sings and sighs
The songs the winds and waters love;
Its wild heart lying tranced above,
And tranced the wildness of its eyes.

V

Oh, joy, to walk the way that goes
Through woods of sweet-gum and of beech!
Where, like a ruby left in reach,
The berry of the dogwood glows:
Or where the bristling hillsides mass,
'Twixt belts of tawny sassafras,
Brown shocks of corn in wigwam rows!

Where, in the hazy morning, runs
The stony branch that pools and drips,
The red-haws and the wild-rose hips
Are strewn like pebbles; and the sun's
Own gold seems captured by the weeds;
To see, through scintillating seeds,
The hunters steal with glimmering guns!

Oh, joy, to go the path which lies
Through woodlands where the trees are tall!
Beneath the misty moon of fall,
Whose ghostly girdle prophesies
A morn wind-swept and gray with rain;
When, o'er the lonely, leaf-blown lane,
The night-hawk like a dead leaf flies!

To stand within the dewy ring
Where pale death smites the boneset blooms,
And everlasting's flowers, and plumes
Of mint, with aromatic wing!
And hear the creek,-whose sobbing seems
A wild-man murmuring in his dreams,-
And insect violins that sing.

Or where the dim persimmon tree
Rains on the path its frosty fruit,
And in the oak the owl doth hoot,
Beneath the moon and mist, to see
The outcast Year go,-Hagar-wise,-
With far-off, melancholy eyes,
And lips that sigh for sympathy.

VI

Towards evening, where the sweet-gum flung
Its thorny balls among the weeds,
And where the milkweed's sleepy seeds,-
A faery Feast of Lanterns,-swung;
The cricket tuned a plaintive lyre,
And o'er the hills the sunset hung
A purple parchment scrawled with fire.

From silver-blue to amethyst
The shadows deepened in the vale;
And belt by belt the pearly-pale
Aladdin fabric of the mist
Built up its exhalation far;
A jewel on an Afrit's wrist,
One star gemmed sunset's cinnabar.

Then night drew near, as when, alone,
The heart and soul grow intimate;
And on the hills the twilight sate
With shadows, whose wild robes were sown
With dreams and whispers;-dreams, that led
The heart once with love's monotone,
And memories of the living-dead.

VII

All night the rain-gusts shook the leaves
Around my window; and the blast
Rumbled the flickering flue, and fast
The storm streamed from the dripping eaves.
As if-'neath skies gone mad with fear-
The witches' Sabboth galloped past,
The forests leapt like startled deer.

All night I heard the sweeping sleet;
And when the morning came, as slow
As wan affliction, with the woe
Of all the world dragged at her feet,
No spear of purple shattered through
The dark gray of the east; no bow
Of gold shot arrows swift and blue.

But rain, that whipped the windows; filled
The spouts with rushings; and around
The garden stamped, and sowed the ground
With limbs and leaves; the wood-pool filled
With overgurgling.-Bleak and cold
The fields looked, where the footpath wound
Through teasel and bur-marigold.

Yet there's a kindness in such days
Of gloom, that doth console regret
With sympathy of tears, which wet
Old eyes that watch the back-log blaze.-
A kindness, alien to the deep
Glad blue of sunny days that let
No thought in of the lives that weep.

VIII

This dawn, through which the Autumn glowers,-
As might a face within our sleep,
With stone-gray eyes that weep and weep,
And wet brows bound with sodden flowers,-
Is sunset to some sister land;
A land of ruins and of palms;
Rich sunset, crimson with long calms,-
Whose burning belt low mountains bar,-
That sees some brown Rebecca stand
Beside a well the camel-band
Winds down to 'neath the evening star.

O sunset, sister to this dawn!
O dawn, whose face is turned away!
Who gazest not upon this day,
But back upon the day that's gone!
Enamored so of loveliness,
The retrospect of what thou wast,
Oh, to thyself the present trust!
And as thy past be beautiful
With hues, that never can grow less!
Waiting thy pleasure to express
New beauty lest the world grow dull.

IX

Down in the woods a sorcerer,
Out of rank rain and death, distills,-
Through chill alembics of the air,-
Aromas that brood everywhere
Among the whisper-haunted hills:
The bitter myrrh of dead leaves fills
Wet valleys (where the gaunt weeds bleach)
With rainy scents of wood-decay;-
As if a spirit all the day
Sat breathing softly 'neath the beech.

With other eyes I see her flit,
The wood-witch of the wild perfumes,
Among her elfin owls,-that sit,
A drowsy white, in crescent-lit
Dim glens of opalescent glooms:-
Where, for her magic, buds and blooms
Mysterious perfumes, while she stands,
A thornlike shadow, summoning
The sleepy odors, that take wing
Like bubbles from her dewy hands.

X

Among the woods they call to me-
The lights that haunt the wood and stream;
Voices of such white ecstasy
As moves with hushed lips through a dream:
They stand in auraed radiances,
Or flash with nimbused limbs across
Their golden shadows on the moss,
Or slip in silver through the trees.

What love can give the heart in me
More hope and exaltation than
The hand of light that tips the tree
And beckons far from marts of man?
That reaches foamy fingers through
The broken ripple, and replies
With sparkling speech of lips and eyes
To souls who seek and still pursue.

XI

Give me the streams, that counterfeit
The twilight of autumnal skies;
The shadowy, silent waters, lit
With fire like a woman's eyes!
Slow waters that, in autumn, glass
The scarlet-strewn and golden grass,
And drink the sunset's tawny dyes.

Give me the pools, that lie among
The centuried forests! give me those,
Deep, dim, and sad as darkness hung
Beneath the sunset's somber rose:
Still pools, in whose vague mirrors look-
Like ragged gypsies round a book
Of magic-trees in wild repose.

No quiet thing, or innocent,
Of water, earth, or air shall please
My soul now: but the violent
Between the sunset and the trees:
The fierce, the splendid, and intense,
That love matures in innocence,
Like mighty music, give me these!

XII

When thorn-tree copses still were bare
And black along the turbid brook;
When catkined willows blurred and shook
Great tawny tangles in the air;
In bottomlands, the first thaw makes
An oozy bog, beneath the trees,
Prophetic of the spring that wakes,
Sang the sonorous hylodes.

Now that wild winds have stripped the thorn,
And clogged with leaves the forest-creek;
Now that the woods look blown and bleak,
And webs are frosty white at morn;
At night beneath the spectral sky,
A far foreboding cry I hear—
The wild fowl calling as they fly?
Or wild voice of the dying Year?

XIII

And still my soul holds phantom tryst,
When chestnuts hiss among the coals,
Upon the Evening of All Souls,
When all the night is moon and mist,
And all the world is mystery;
I kiss dear lips that death hath kissed,
And gaze in eyes no man may see,
Filled with a love long lost to me.

I hear the night-wind's ghostly glove
Flutter the window: then the knob
Of some dark door turn, with a sob
As when love comes to gaze on love
Who lies pale-coffined in a room:
And then the iron gallop of
The storm, who rides outside; his plume
Sweeping the night with dread and gloom.

So fancy takes the mind, and paints
The darkness with eidolon light,
And writes the dead's romance in night
On the dim Evening of All Saints:
Unheard the hissing nuts; the clink
And fall of coals, whose shadow faints
Around the hearts that sit and think,
Borne far beyond the actual's brink.

XIV

I heard the wind, before the morn
Stretched gaunt, gray fingers 'thwart my pane,
Drive clouds down, a dark dragon-train;
Its iron visor closed, a horn
Of steel from out the north it wound.-
No morn like yesterday's! whose mouth,
A cool carnation, from the south
Breathed through a golden reed the sound
Of days that drop clear gold upon
Cerulean silver floors of dawn.

And all of yesterday is lost
And swallowed in to-day's wild light-
The birth deformed of day and night,
The illegitimate, who cost
Its mother secret tears and sighs;
Unlovely since unloved; and chilled
With sorrows and the shame that filled
Its parents' love; which was not wise
In passion as the day and night
That married yestermorn with light.

XV

Down through the dark, indignant trees,
On indistinguishable wings
Of storm, the wind of evening swings;
Before its insane anger flees
Distracted leaf and shattered bough:
There is a rushing as when seas
Of thunder beat an iron prow
On reefs of wrath and roaring wreck:
'Mid stormy leaves, a hurrying speck
Of flickering blackness, driven by,
A mad bat whirls along the sky.

Like some sad shadow, in the eve's
Deep melancholy-visible
As by some strange and twilight spell-
A gaunt girl stands among the leaves,
The night-wind in her dolorous dress:
Symbolic of the life that grieves,
Of toil that patience makes not less,
Her load of fagots fallen there.-
A wilder shadow sweeps the air,
And she is gone…. Was it the dumb
Eidolon of the month to come?

XVI

The song birds-are they flown away?
The song birds of the summer time,
That sang their souls into the day,
And set the laughing hours to rhyme.
No catbird scatters through the bush
The sparkling crystals of its song;
Within the woods no hermit-thrush
Thridding with vocal gold the hush.

All day the crows fly cawing past:
The acorns drop: the forests scowl:
At night I hear the bitter blast
Hoot with the hooting of the owl.
The wild creeks freeze: the ways are strewn
With leaves that clog: beneath the tree
The bird, that set its toil to tune,
And made a home for melody,
Lies dead beneath the snow-white moon.

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