In classic beauty, cold, immaculate,
A voiceful sculpture, stern and still she stands,
Upon her brow deep-chiselled love and hate,
That sorrow o'er dead roses in her hands.

Lying alone I dreamed a dream last night:
Methought that Joy had come to comfort me
For all the past, its suffering and slight,
Yet in my heart I felt this could not be.
All that he said unreal seemed and strange,
Too beautiful to last beyond to-morrow;
Then suddenly his features seemed to change,
The mask of joy dropped from the face of Sorrow.

The Rose Of Hope

The rose of Hope, how rich and red
It blooms, and will bloom on, 't is said,
Since Eve, in Eden days gone by,
Plucked it on Adam's heart to lie,
When out of Paradise they fled,
With Sorrow and o'erwhelming Dread,
It was this flower that comforted,
This Rose of Hope, that can not die.
God's Rose of Hope.
When darkness comes, and you are led
To think that Hope at last is dead,
Take down your Bible; read; and try
To see the light; and by and by
Hope's rose will lift again its head
God's Rose of Hope.

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.

Ah me! too soon the autumn comes
Among these purple-plaintive hills!
Too soon among the forest gums
Premonitory flame she spills,
Bleak, melancholy flame that kills.

Her white fogs veil the morn, that rims
With wet the moonflower's elfin moons;
And, like exhausted starlight, dims
The last slim lily-disk; and swoons
With scents of hazy afternoons.

Her gray mists haunt the sunset skies,
And build the west's cadaverous fires,
Where Sorrow sits with lonely eyes,
And hands that wake an ancient lyre,
Beside the ghost of dead Desire.

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.

There is a place among the Cape Ann hills
That looks from fir-dark summits on the sea,
Whose surging sapphire changes constantly
Beneath deep heavens, Morning windowsills,
With golden calm, or sunset citadels
With storm, whose towers the winds' confederacy
And bandit thunder hold in rebel fee,
Swooping upon the ilsher's sail that swells.
A place, where Sorrow ceases to complain,
And life's old Cares put all their burdens by,
And Weariness forgets itself in rest.
Would that all life were like it; might obtain
Its pure repose, its outlook, strong and high,
That sees, beyond, far Islands of the Blest.

The Death Of Love

So Love is dead, the Love we knew of old!
And in the sorrow of our hearts' hushed halls
A lute lies broken and a flower falls;
Love's house stands empty and his hearth lies cold.
Lone in dim places, where sweet vows were told,
In walks grown desolate, by ruined walls
Beauty decays; and on their pedestals
Dreams crumble and th' immortal gods are mold.
Music is slain or sleeps; one voice alone,
One voice awakes, and like a wandering ghost
Haunts all the echoing chambers of the Past-
The voice of Memory, that stills to stone
The soul that hears; the mind, that, utterly lost,
Before its beautiful presence stands aghast.

Far as the eye can see the land is grey,
And desolation sits among the stones
Looking on ruin who, from rocks like bones,
Stares with a dead face at the dying day.
Mounds, where the barberry and bay hold sway,
Show where homes rose once; where the village crones
Gossiped, and man, with many sighs and groans,
Laboured and loved and went its daily way.
Only the crow now, like a hag returned,
Croaks on the common that its hoarse voice mocks.
Meseems that here the sorrow of the earth
Has lost herself, and, with the past concerned,
Sits with the ghosts of dreams that haunt these rocks,
And old despairs to which man's soul gave birth.

After Long Grief

There is a place hung o'er of summer boughs
And dreamy skies wherein the gray hawk sleeps;
Where water flows, within whose lazy deeps,
Like silvery prisms where the sunbeams drowse,
The minnows twinkle; where the bells of cows
Tinkle the stillness; and the bobwhite keeps
Calling from meadows where the reaper reaps,
And children's laughter haunts an oldtime house:
A place where life wears ever an honest smell
Of hay and honey, sun and elder-bloom,-
Like some sweet, simple girl,-within her hair;
Where, with our love for comrade, we may dwell
Far from the city's strife, whose cares consume.-
Oh, take my hand and let me lead you there.

Loss molds our lives in many ways,
And fills our souls with guesses;
Upon our hearts sad hands it lays
Like some grave priest that blesses.

Far better than the love we win,
That earthly passions leaven,
Is love we lose, that knows no sin,
That points the path to Heaven.

Love, whose soft shadow brightens Earth,
Through whom our dreams are nearest;
And loss, through whom we see the worth
Of all that we held dearest.

Not joy it is, but misery
That chastens us, and sorrow;
Perhaps to make us all that we
Expect beyond To-morrow.

Within that life where time and fate
Are not; that knows no seeming:
That world to which death keeps the gate
Where love and loss sit dreaming.

Dark, drear, and drizzly, with vapor grizzly,
The day goes dully unto its close;
Its wet robe smutches each thing it touches,
Its fingers sully and wreck the rose.

Around the railing and garden-paling
The dripping lily hangs low its head:
A brood-mare whinnies; and hens and guineas
Droop, damp and chilly, beneath the shed.

In splashing mire about the byre
The cattle huddle, the farmhand plods;
While to some neighbor's a wagon labors
Through pool and puddle and clay that clods.

The day, unsplendid, at last is ended,
Is dead and buried, and night is come;
Night, blind and footless, and foul and fruitless,
With weeping wearied and sorrow dumb.

Ah, God! for thunder! for winds to sunder
The clouds and o'er us smite rushing bars!
And through wild masses of storm, that passes,
Roll calm the chorus of moon and stars.

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.

The End Of Summer

THE rose, that wrote its message on the noon's
Bright manuscript, has turned her perfumed face
Towards Fall, and waits, heart-heavy, for the moon's
Pale flower to take her place.
With eyes distraught, and dark disheveled hair,
The Season dons a tattered cloak of storm
And waits with Night that, darkly, seems to share
Her trouble and alarm.
It is the close of summer. In the sky
The sunset lit a fire of drift and sat
Watching the last Day, robed in empire, die
Upon the burning ghat.
The first leaf crimsons and the last rose falls,
And Night goes stalking on, her cloak of rain
Dripping, and followed through her haunted halls
By all Death's phantom train.
The sorrow of the Earth and all that dies,
And all that suffers, in her breast she bears;
Outside the House of Life she stops and cries
The burden of her cares.
Then on the window knocks with crooked hands,
Her tree-like arms to Heaven wildly-hurled:
Love hears her crying, 'Who then understands? —
Has God forgot the world?'

The Creaking Door

COME in, old Ghost of all that used to be! —
You find me old,
And love grown cold,
And fortune fled to younger company:
Departed, as the glory of the day,
With friends! — And you, it seems, have come to stay.—
'T is time to pray.
Come; sit with me, here at Life's creaking door,
All comfortless.—
Think, nay! then, guess,
What was the one thing, eh? that made me poor? —
The love of beauty, that I could not bind?
My dream of truth? or faith in humankind? —
But, never mind!
All are departed now, with love and youth,
Whose stay was brief;
And left but grief
And gray regret — two jades, who tell the truth; —
Whose children — memories of things to be,
And things that failed,— within my heart, ah me!
Cry constantly.
None can turn time back, and no man delay
Death when he knocks.—
What good are clocks,
Or human hearts, to stay for us that day
When at Life's creaking door we see his smile,—
Death's! at the door of this old House of Trial? —
Old Ghost, let's wait awhile.

The Waning Year

A Sense of something that is sad and strange;
Of something that is felt as death is felt,
As shadows, phantoms, in a haunted grange,
Around me seems to melt.

It rises, so it seems, from the decay
Of the dim woods; from withered leaves and weeds,
And dead flowers hanging by the woodland way
Sad, hoary heads of seeds.

And from the cricket's song, so feeble now
'T is like a sound heard in the heart, a call
Dreamier than dreams; and from the shaken bough,
From which the acorns fall.

From scents and sounds it rises, sadly slow,
This presence, that hath neither face nor form;
That in the woods sits like demented woe,
Whispering of wreck and storm.

A presence wrought of melancholy grief,
And dreams that die; that, in the streaming night,
I shall behold, like some fantastic leaf,
Beat at my window's light.

That I shall hear, outside my storm-lashed door,
Moan like the wind in some rain-tortured tree;
Or 'round my roof and down my chimney roar
All the wild night to me.

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.

'Teach me the wisdom of thy beauty, pray,
That, being thus wise, I may aspire to see
What beauty is, whence, why, and in what way
Immortal, yet how mortal utterly:
For, shrinking loveliness, thy brow of day
Pleads plaintive as a prayer, anemone.

'Teach me wood-wisdom, I am petulant:
Thou hast the wildness of a Dryad's eyes,
The shyness of an Oread's, wild plant:-
Behold the bashful goddess where she lies
Distinctly delicate!- inhabitant
Ambrosial-earthed, star-cousin of the skies.

'Teach me thy wisdom, for, thro' knowing, yet,
When I have drunk dull Lethe till each vein
Thuds full oblivion, I shall not forget;-
For beauty known is beauty; to sustain
Glad memories with life, while mad regret
And sorrow perish, being Lethe slain.'

'Teach thee my beauty being beautiful
And beauty wise?- My slight perfections, whole
As world, as man, in their creation full
As old a Power's cogitation roll.
Teach thee?- Presumption! thought is young and dull-
Question thy God what God is, soul what soul.'

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.


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.'


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.


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.

An old lane, an old gate, an old house by a tree;
A wild wood, a wild brook they will not let me be:
In boyhood I knew them, and still they call to me.

Down deep in my heart's core I hear them and my eyes
Through tear-mists behold them beneath the oldtime skies,
'Mid bee-boom and rose-bloom and orchardlands arise.

I hear them; and heartsick with longing is my soul,
To walk there, to dream there, beneath the sky's blue bowl;
Around me, within me, the weary world made whole.

To talk with the wild brook of all the long-ago;
To whisper the wood-wind of things we used to know
When we were old companions, before my heart knew woe.

To walk with the morning and watch its rose unfold;
To drowse with the noontide lulled on its heart of gold;
To lie with the night-time and dream the dreams of old.

To tell to the old trees, and to each listening leaf,
The longing, the yearning, as in my boyhood brief,
The old hope, the old love, would ease me of my grief.

The old lane, the old gate, the old house by the tree,
The wild wood, the wild brook they will not let me be:
In boyhood I knew them, and still they call to me.

UPON the iron crags of War I heard his terrible daughters
In battle speak while at their feet,
In gulfs of human waters,
A voice, intoning, 'Where is God?' in ceaseless sorrow beat:
And to my heart, in doubt, I said,
'God? — God's above the storm!
O heart, be brave, be comforted,
And keep your hearth-stone warm
For her who breasts the storm —
God's Peace, the fair of form.'
I heard the Battle Angels cry above the slain's red mountains,
While from their wings the lightnings hurled
Of Death's destroying fountains,
And thunder of their revels rolled around the ruined world:
Still to my heart, in fear, I cried,
'God? — God is watching there!
My heart,— oh, keep the doorway wide
Here in your House of Care,
For her who wanders there,
God's Peace, with happy hair.'
The darkness and the battle passed: and rushing on wild pinions
The hosts of Havoc shrieked their hate
And fled to Hell's dominions,—
And, lo! I heard, out in the night, a knocking at the gate:
And one who cried aloud to me:—
'The night and storm are gone!
Oh, open wide the door and see
Who waits here in the dawn! —
Peace, with God's splendor on
Back to the sad world drawn!'

The Other Woman

You have shut me out from your tears and grief
Over the man laid low and hoary.
Listen to me now: I am no thief!
You have shut me out from your tears and grief,
Listen to me, I will tell my story.

The love of a man is transitory.
What do you know of his past? the years
He gave to another his manhood's glory?
The love of a man is transitory.
Listen to me now: open your ears.

Over the dead have done with tears!
Over the man who loved to madness
Me the woman you met with sneers,
Over the dead have done with tears!
Me the woman so sunk in badness.

He loved me ever, and that is gladness!
There by the dead now tell her so;
There by the dead where she bows in sadness.
He loved me ever, and that is gladness!
Mine the gladness and hers the woe.

The best of his life was mine. Now go,
Tell her this that her pride may perish,
Her with his name, his wife, you know!
The best of his life was mine. Now go,
Tell her this so she cease to cherish.

Bury him then with pomp and flourish!
Bury him now without my kiss!
Here is a thing for your hearts to nourish,
Bury him then with pomp and flourish!
Bury him now I have told you this.

Thou, oh, thou!
Thou of the chorded shell and golden plectrum! thou
Of the dark eyes and pale pacific brow!
Music, who by the plangent waves,
Or in the echoing night of labyrinthine caves,
Or on God's mountains, lonely as the stars,
Touchest reverberant bars
Of immemorial sorrow and amaze;
Keeping regret and memory awake,
And all the immortal ache
Of love that leans upon the past's sweet days
In retrospection!-now, oh, now,
Interpreter and heart-physician, thou,
Who gazest on the heaven and the hell
Of life, and singest each as well,
Touch with thy all-mellifluous finger-tips,
Or thy melodious lips,
This sickness named my soul,
Making it whole,
As is an echo of a chord,
Or some symphonic word,
Or sweet vibrating sigh,
That deep, resurgent still doth rise and die
On thy voluminous roll;
Part of the beauty and the mystery
That axles Earth with song; and as a slave,
Swings it around and 'round on each sonorous pole,
'Mid spheric harmony,
And choral majesty,
And diapasoning of wind and wave;
And speeds it on its far elliptic way
'Mid vasty anthemings of night and day.
O cosmic cry
Of two eternities, wherein we see
The phantasms, Death and Life,
At endless strife
Above the silence of a monster grave.

The Rue-Anemone

Under an oak-tree in a woodland, where
The dreaming Spring had dropped it from her hair,
I found a flower, through which I seemed to gaze
Beyond the world and see what no man dare
Behold and live the myths of bygone days
Diana and Endymion, and the bare
Slim beauty of the boy whom Echo wooed;
And Hyacinthus whom Apollo dewed
With love and death: and Daphne, ever fair;
And that reed-slender girl whom Pan pursued.

I stood and gazed and through it seemed to see
The Dryad dancing by the forest tree,
Her hair wild blown: the Faun with listening ear,
Deep in the boscage, kneeling on one knee,
Watching the wandered Oread draw near,
Her wild heart beating like a honey-bee
Within a rose. All, all the myths of old,
All, all the bright shapes of the Age of Gold,
Peopling the wonder-worlds of Poetry,
Through it I seemed in fancy to behold.

What other flower, that, fashioned like a star,
Draws its frail life from earth and braves the war
Of all the heavens, can suggest the dreams
That this suggests? in which no trace of mar
Or soil exists: where stainless innocence seems
Enshrined; and where, beyond our vision far,
That inaccessible beauty, which the heart
Worships as truth and holiness and art,
Is symbolized; wherein embodied are
The things that make the soul's immortal part.

Haunters Of The Silence

There are haunters of the silence, ghosts that hold the heart and brain:
I have sat with them and hearkened; I have talked with them in vain:
I have shuddered from their coming, yet have run to meet them there,
And have cursed them and have blessed them and have loved them to despair.

At my door I see their shadows; in my walks I meet their ghosts;
Where I often hear them weeping or sweep by in withered hosts:
Perished dreams, gone like the roses, crumbling by like autumn leaves;
Phantoms of old joys departed, that the spirit eye perceives.

Oft at night they sit beside me, fix their eyes upon my face,
Demon eyes that burn and hold me, in whose deeps my heart can trace
All the past; and where a passion, as in Hell the ghosts go by,
Turns an anguished face toward me with a love that cannot die.

In the night-time, in the darkness, in the blackness of the storm,
Round my fireplace there they gather, flickering form on shadowy form:
In the daytime, in the noontide, in the golden sunset glow,
On the hilltops, in the forests, I have met them walking slow.

There are haunters of the silence, ghosts that hold the brain and heart:
In the mansion of my being they have placed a room apart:
There I hear their spectre raiment, see their shadows on the floor,
Where the raven, Sorrow, darkens Love's pale image o'er my door.

Above her, pearl and rose the heavens lay:
Around her, flowers flattered earth with gold,
Or down the path in insolence held sway-
Like cavaliers who ride the king's highway-
Scarlet and buff, within a garden old.

Beyond the hills, faint-heard through belts of wood,
Bells, Sabbath-sweet, swooned from some far-off town:
Gamboge and gold, broad sunset colors strewed
The purple west as if, with God imbued,
Her mighty palette Nature there laid down.

Amid such flowers, underneath such skies,
Embodying all life knows of sweet and fair,
She stood; love's dreams in girlhood's face and eyes,
Fair as a star that comes to emphasize
The mingled beauty of the earth and air.

Behind her, seen through vines and orchard trees,
Gray with its twinkling windows-like the face
Of calm old age that sits and dreams at ease-
Porched with old roses, haunts of honeybees,
The homestead loomed within a lilied space.

For whom she waited in the afterglow,
Star-eyed and golden 'mid the poppy and rose,
I do not know; I do not care to know,-
It is enough I keep her picture so,
Hung up, like poetry, in my life's dull prose.

A fragrant picture, where I still may find
Her face untouched of sorrow or regret,
Unspoiled of contact; ever young and kind;
The spiritual sweetheart of my soul and mind,
She had not been, perhaps, if we had met.

Above her, pearl and rose the heavens lay;
Around her, flowers scattered earth with gold,
Or down the path in insolence held sway
Like cavaliers who ride the elves' highway
Scarlet and blue, within a garden old.

Beyond the hills, faint-heard through belts of wood,
Bells, Sabbath-sweet, swooned from some far-off town;
Gamboge and gold, broad sunset colors strewed
The purple west as if, with God imbued,
Her mighty pallet Nature there laid down.

Amid such flowers, underneath such skies,
Embodying all life knows of sweet and fair,
She stood; love's dreams in girlhood's face and eyes,
White as a star that comes to emphasize
The mingled beauty of the earth and air.

Behind her, seen through vines and orchard trees,
Gray with its twinkling windows-like the face
Of calm old-age that sits and smiles at ease
Porched with old roses, haunts of honey-bees,
The homestead loomed dim in a glimmering space.

Ah! whom she waited in the afterglow,
Soft-eyed and dreamy 'mid the lily and rose,
I do not know, I do not wish to know;
It is enough I keep her picture so,
Hung up, like poetry, o'er my life's dull prose.

A fragrant picture, where I still may find
Her face untouched of sorrow or regret,
Unspoiled of contact, ever young and kind,
Glad spiritual sweetheart of my soul and mind,
She had not been, perhaps, if we had met.

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 roses mourn for her who sleeps
Within the tomb;
For her each lily-flower weeps
Dew and perfume.

In each neglected flower-bed
Each blossom droops its lovely head,
They miss her touch, they miss her tread,
Her face of bloom,
Of happy bloom.

The very breezes grieve for her,
A lonely grief;
For her each tree is sorrower,
Each blade and leaf.

The foliage rocks itself and sighs,
And to its woe the wind replies,
They miss her girlish laugh and cries,
Whose life was brief,
Was very brief.

The sunlight, too, seems pale with care,
Or sick with woe;
The memory haunts it of her hair,
Its golden glow.

No more within the bramble-brake
The sleepy bloom is kissed awake
The sun is sad for her dear sake,
Whose head lies low,
Lies dim and low.

The bird, that sang so sweet, is still
At dusk and dawn;
No more it makes the silence thrill
Of wood and lawn.

In vain the buds, when it is near,
Open each pink and perfumed ear,
The song it sings she will not hear
Who now is gone,
Is dead and gone.

Ah, well she sleeps who loved them well,
The birds and bowers;
The fair, the young, the lovable,
Who once was ours.

Alas! that loveliness must pass!
Must come to lie beneath the grass!
That youth and joy must fade, alas!
And die like flowers,
Earth's sweetest flowers!

Briar and fennel and chinquapin,
And rue and ragweed everywhere;
The field seemed sick as a soul with sin,
Or dead of an old despair,
Born of an ancient care.

The cricket's cry and the locust's whirr,
And the note of a bird's distress,
With the rasping sound of a grasshoppér,
Clung to the loneliness
Like burrs to a ragged dress.

So sad the field, so waste the ground,
So curst with an old despair,
A woodchuck's burrow, a blind mole's mound,
And a chipmunk's stony lair,
Seemed more than it could bear.

So solemn too, so more than sad,
So droning-lone with bees
I wondered what more could Nature add
To the sum of its miseries
And then I saw the trees.

Skeletons gaunt, that gnarled the place,
Twisted and torn they rose,
The tortured bones of a perished race
Of monsters no mortal knows.
They startled the mind's repose.

And a man stood there, as still as moss,
A lichen form that stared;
And an old blind hound, that seemed at loss,
Forever around him fared
With a snarling fang half-bared.

I looked at the man. I saw him plain.
Like a dead weed, gray and wan,
Or a breath of dust. I looked again
And man and dog were gone
Like wisps o' the graying dawn. . . .

Were they a part of the grim death'there?
Ragweed, fennel, and rue?
Or forms of the mind, an old despair,
That there into semblance grew
Out of the grief I knew?

A Broken Rainbow On The Skies Of May

A Broken rainbow on the skies of May,
Touching the dripping roses and low clouds,
And in wet clouds its scattered glories lost:
So in the sorrow of her soul the ghost
Of one great love, of iridescent ray,
Spanning the roses dim of memory,
Against the tumult of life's rushing crowds
A broken rainbow on the skies of May.
A flashing humming-bird among the flowers,
Deep-coloured blooms; its slender tongue and bill
Sucking the syrups and the calyxed myrrhs,
Till, being full of sweets, away it whirrs:
Such was his love that won her heart's rich bowers
To give to him their all, their honied showers,
The bloom from which he drank his body's fill
A flashing humming-bird among the flowers.
A moon, moth-white, that through long mists of fleece
Moves amber-girt into a bulk of black,
And, lost to vision, rims the black with froth:
A love that swept its moon, like some great moth,
Across the heaven of her soul's young peace;
And, smoothly passing, in the clouds did cease
Of time, through which its burning light comes back
A moon, moth-white, that moves through mists of fleece.
A bolt of living thunder downward hurled,
Momental blazing from the piled-up storm,
That instants out the mountains and the ocean,
The towering crag, then blots the sight's commotion:
Love, love that swiftly coming bared the world,
The deeps of life, 'round which fate's clouds are curled,
And, ceasing, left all night and black alarm
A bolt of living thunder downward hurled.

Athwart a sky of brass long welts of gold;
A path of gold the wide Ohio lies;
Beneath the sunset, billowing manifold,
The dark-blue hilltops rise.

And westward dips the crescent of the moon
Through great cloud-feathers, flushed with rosy ray,
That close around the crystal of her lune
The redbird wings of Day.

A little skiff slips o'er the burnished stream;
A fiery wake, that broadens far behind,
Follows in ripples; and the paddles gleam
Against the evening wind.

Was it the boat, the solitude and hush,
That with dead Indians peopled all the glooms?
That made each bank, meseemed, and every bush
Start into eagle-plumes?

That made me seem to hear the breaking brush,
And as the deer's great antlers swelled in view,
To hear the arrow twang from cane and rush,
That dipped to the canoe?

To see the glimmering wigwams by the waves?
And, wildly clad, around the camp-fires' glow,
The Shawnee chieftains with their painted braves,
Each grasping his war-bow?

But now the vision like the sunset fades,
The ribs of golden clouds have oozed their light;
And from the west, like sombre sachem shades,
Gallop the shades of night.

The broad Ohio glitters to the stars;
And many murmurs whisper in its woods
Is it the sorrow of dead warriors
For their lost solitudes?

The moon goes down; and like another moon
The crescent of the river twinkles there,
Unchanged as when the eyes of Daniel Boone
Beheld it flowing fair.

The Watcher On The Tower

The Voice of a Man

WHAT of the Night, O Watcher?

The Voice of a Woman

Yea, what of it?

The Watcher

A star has risen; and a wind blows strong.

Voice of the Man

The Night is dark.

The Watcher

But God is there above it.

Voice of the Woman

The Night is dark; the Night is dark and long.

Voice of the Man

What of the Night, O Watcher?

Voice of the Woman

Night of sorrow!

The Watcher

Out of the East there comes a sound, like song.

Voice of the Man

The Night is dark.

The Watcher

Have courage! There’s To-morrow!

Voice of the Woman

The Night is dark; the Night is dark and long.

Voice of the Man

What of the Night, O Watcher?

Voice of the Woman

Is it other?

The Watcher

I see a gleam; a thorn of light; a thong.

Voice of the Man

The Night is dark.

The Watcher

The Morning comes, my Brother.

Voice of the Woman

The Night is dark; the Night is dark and long.

Voice of the Man

What now, what now, O Watcher?

The Watcher

Red as slaughter
The Darkness dies. The Light comes swift and strong.

Voice of the Man

The Night was long.—What sayest thou, my Daughter?

Voice of the Woman

The Night was dark; the Night was dark and long.

Nearing Christmas

THE season of the rose and peace is past:
It could not last.
There's heartbreak in the hills and stormy sighs
Of sorrow in the rain-lashed plains and skies,
While Earth regards, aghast,
The last red leaf that flies.
The world is cringing in the darkness where
War left his lair,
And everything takes on a lupine look,
Baring gaunt teeth at every peaceful nook,
And shaking torrent hair
At every little brook.
Cancers of ulcerous flame his eyes, and — hark!
There in the dark
The ponderous stir of metal, iron feet;
And with it, heard around the world, the beat
Of Battle; sounds that mark
His heart's advance, retreat.
With shrapnel pipes he goes his monstrous ways;
And, screeching, plays
The hell-born music Havoc dances to;
And, following with his skeleton-headed crew
Of ravening Nights and Days,
Horror invades the blue.
Against the Heaven he lifts a mailed fist
And writes a list
Of beautiful cities on the ghastly sky:
And underneath them, with no reason why,
In blood and tears and mist,
The postscript, 'These must die!'
Change is the portion and chief heritage
Of every Age.
The spirit of God still waits its time.— And War
May blur His message for a while, and mar
The writing on His page,
To this our sorrowful star.
But there above the conflict, orbed in rays,
Is drawn the face
Of Peace; at last who comes into her own;
Peace, from whose tomb the world shall roll the stone,
And give her highest place
In the human heart alone.

Sleep Is A Spirit

Sleep is a spirit, who beside us sits,
Or through our frames like some dim glamour flits;
From out her form a pearly light is shed,
As from a lily, in a lily-bed,
A firefly's gleam. Her face is pale as stone,
And languid as a cloud that drifts alone
In starry heav'n. And her diaphanous feet
Are easy as the dew or opaline heat
Of summer.

Lo! with ears aurora pink
As Dawn's she leans and listens on the brink
Of being, dark with dreadfulness and doubt,
Wherein vague lights and shadows move about,
And palpitations beat like some huge heart
Of Earth the surging pulse of which we're part.

One hand, that hollows her divining eyes,
Glows like the curved moon over twilight skies;
And with her gaze she fathoms life and death
Gulfs, where man's conscience, like a restless breath
Of wind, goes wand'ring; whispering low of things,
The irremediable, where sorrow clings.

Around her limbs a veil of woven mist
Wavers, and turns from fibered amethyst
To textured crystal; through which symboled bars
Of silver burn, and cabalistic stars
Of nebulous gold.

Shrouding her feet and hair,
Within this woof, fantastic, everywhere,
Dreams come and go; the instant images
Of things she sees and thinks; realities,
Shadows, with which her heart and fancy swarm.

That in the veil take momentary form:
Now picturing heaven in celestial fire,
And now the hell of every soul's desire;
Hinting at worlds, God wraps in mystery,
Beyond the world we know and touch and see.

I Saw the daughters of the Dawn come dancing o'er the hills;
The winds of Morn danced with them, oh, and all the sylphs of air:
I saw their ribboned roses blow, their gowns, of daffodils,
As over eyes of sapphire tossed the wild gold of their hair.

I saw the summer of their feet imprint the earth with dew,
And all the wildflowers open eyes in joy and wonderment:
I saw the sunlight of their hands waved at each bird that flew,
And all the birds, as with one voice, to their wild love gave vent.

'And, oh I' I said, 'how fair you are I how fair! how very fair!
Oh, leap, my heart; and laugh, my heart! as laughs and leaps the Dawn!
Mount with the lark and sing with him and cast away your care!
For love and life are come again and night and sorrow gone!'

I saw the acolytes of Eve, the mystic sons of Night,
Come pacing through the ancient wood in hoods of hodden-grey;
Their sombre cloaks were pinned with stars, and each one bore a light,
A moony lanthorn, and a staff to help him on his way.

I heard their mantles rustle by, their sandals' whispering, sweep,
And saw the wildflowers bow their heads and close their lovely eyes:
I saw their shadows pass and pass, and with them Dreams and Sleep,
Like children with their father, went, in dim and ghostly guise.

'And, oh!' I said, 'how sad you are! how sad! how wondrous sad!
Oh, hush, my heart! be still, my heart! and, like the dark, be dumb!
Be as the wild-rose there that dreams the perfect hour it had,
And cares not if the day be past and death and darkness come.'

'Twas when the wind was blowing from the billow-breaking sea,
The grey and stormy sea, I heard her calling me,
And in the woods and on the ways where leaves were whirling down,
And weeds were rustling brown,
I caught a glimpse of face and feet, a glimmer of her gown.

And there between the forest and a strip of wandering sea,
Of dark and dreaming sea, I heard her laugh at me;
And, oh! her voice was bugle-wild as are the wind and rain,
And drew my heart again
With all the lures of all the past and joy more keen than pain.

Upon a fir-dark hilltop by the sunset-jewelled sea,
The old and wrinkled sea, she shook her hair at me,
And I caught a misty shimmer of her frosty gown and veil,
And her hand waved rosy pale,
And my heart was fain to follow her upon the old-time trail.

Within a ferny hollow by the mermaid-calling sea,
The far and foaming sea, she turned her face to me:
Again I saw her beauty; and again she held me fast,
As she'd held me in the past,
And let her wild heart beat to mine as beats the autumn blast.

Beside a rib of wreckage by the tempest-haunted sea,
The sad and severing sea, she bade good-bye to me:
Oh, paler than the foam her face, and wilder than the night,
When not a star gives light,
And rain and wind and winter sweep like harpies from the height.

Oh, she who joined her gipsy joy to sorrow of the sea,
The gaunt and ghostly sea, will come again to me:
When Autumn leads the wild-fowl home and lights, like wandering gleams,
The camp-fires of her dreams,
Again my heart shall hear her call upon the gale that streams.

The Lost Garden

Roses, brier on brier,
Like a hedge of fire,
Walled it from the world and rolled
Crimson 'round it; manifold
Blossoms, 'mid which once of old
Walked my Heart's Desire.

There the golden Hours
Dwelt; and 'mid the bowers
Beauty wandered like a maid;
And the Dreams that never fade
Sat within its haunted shade
Gazing at the flowers.

There the winds that vary
Melody and marry
Perfume unto perfume, went,
Whispering to the buds, that bent,
Messages whose wonderment
Made them sweet to carry.

There the waters hoary
Murmured many a story
To the leaves that leaned above,
Listening to their tales of love,
While the happiness thereof
Flushed their green with glory.

There the sunset's shimmer
'Mid the bowers, dimmer
Than the woods where Fable dwells,
And Romance her legends tells,
Wrought dim dreams and dimmer spells,
Filled with golden glimmer.

There at night the wonder
Of the moon would sunder
Foliage deeps with breast of pearl,
Wandering like a glimmering girl,
Fair of form and bright of curl,
Through the trees and under.

There the stars would follow,
Over hill and hollow,
Spirit shapes that danced the dew
From frail cups of sparry hue;
Firefly forms that fleeter flew
Than the fleetest swallow.

There my heart made merry;
There, 'mid bloom and berry,
Dreamed the dreams that are no more,
In that garden lost of yore,
Set in seas, without a shore,
That no man may ferry.

Where perhaps her lyre,
Wreathed with serest brier,
Sorrow strikes now; sad its gold
Sighing where, 'mid roses old,
Fair of face and dead and cold
Lies my Heart's Desire.