To Friendship drink, and then to Love,
And last to Loyalty!
The first of these were not enough
Without the last, through whom we prove
That Love is Love, and right enough
What Friendship's self may be.
So here 's to Loyalty!

A sword he wears, but never a mask,
So all the world may see.
Let Friendship set him any task,
Or Love no question doth he ask,
But draws his sword and does his task,
And never takes a fee.
So here's to loyalty!

O voice of ecstasy and lyric pain,
Divinely throated and divinely heard
Among old England's songsters! Sprite or bird,
Haunting the woods of song with raptured strain!
In whose wild music Love is born and slain.
And young Desire cries ever a battle word,
And Passion goes, ready with kiss or sword,
To make us captive or set free again.
Above the flowery meads of English song,
Enchantment-sweet, her golden numbers pour,
Commanding and compelling, like Desire!
O nightingale and lark, how o'er the throng
Of all thy sister singers thou dost soar,
Filled with seraphic love and Sapphic fire!

Night and the sea, and heaven overhead
Cloudless and vast, as 'twere of hollowed spar,
Wherein the facets gleamed of many a star,
And the half-moon a crystal radiance shed.
Then suddenly, with burning banners spread,
In pale celestial armour, as for war,
Into the heaven, flaming from afar,
The Northern Lights their phalanxed splendours led.
Night, for the moment, seemed to catch her breath,
And earth gazed, silent with astonishment,
As spear on spear the auroral armies came;
As when, triumphant over hell and death,
The victor angels thronged God's firmament
With sword on sword and burning oriflamme.

The Boy Columbus

And he had mused on lands each bird,
That winged from realms of Falerina,
O'er seas of the Enchanted Sword,
In romance sang him, till he heard
Vague foam on Islands of Alcina.

For rich Levant and old Castile
Let other seamen freight their galleys;
With Polo he and Mandeville
Through stranger seas a dreamy keel
Sailed into wonder-peopled valleys.

Far continents of flow'r and fruit,
Of everlasting spring; where fountains
'Mid flow'rs, with human faces, shoot;
Where races dwell, both man and brute,
In cities under golden mountains.

Where cataracts their thunders hurl
From heights the tempest has at mercy;
Vast peaks that touch the moon, and whirl
Their torrents down of gold and pearl;
And forests strange as those of Circe.

Let rapiered Love lute, in the shade
Of royal gardens, to the Palace
And Court, that haunt the balustrade
Of terraces and still parade
Their vanity and guile and malice.

Him something calls diviner yet
Than Love, more mighty than a lover;
Heroic Truth that will not let
Deed lag; a purpose, westward set,
In eyes far-seeing to discover.

ABOVE the world a glare
Of sunset — guns and spears;
An army, no one hears,
Of mist and air:
Long lines of bronze and gold,
Huge helmets, each a cloud;
And then a fortress old
There in the night that phantoms seem to crowd.
A face of flame; a hand
Of crimson alchemy
Is waved: and, solemnly,
At its command,
Opens a fiery well,
A burning hole,
From which a stream of hell,
A river of blood, in frenzy, seems to roll.
And there, upon a throne,
Like some vast precipice,
Above that River of Dis,
Behold a King! alone!
Around whom shapes of blood
Take form: each one the peer
Of those, who, in the wood
Of Dante's Hell froze up the heart with fear.
Then shapes, that breast to breast
Gallop to face a foe:
And through the crimson glow
Th' imperial crest
Of him whose banner flies
Above a world that burns,
A raven in the skies,
And as it flies into a Death's-Head turns.
The wild trees writhe and twist
Their gaunt limbs, wrung with fear:
And now into my ear
A word seems hissed;
A message, filled with dread,
A dark, foreboding word,—
'Behold! we are the dead,
Who here on Earth lived only by the sword!'

Where rise the brakes of bramble there,
Wrapped with the trailing rose;
Through cane where waters ramble, there
Where deep the sword-grass grows,
Who knows?
Perhaps, unseen of eyes of man,
Hides Pan.

Perhaps the creek, whose pebbles make
A foothold for the mint,
May bear, where soft its trebles make
Confession, some vague hint,
(The print,
Goat-hoofed, of one who lightly ran,)
Of Pan.

Where, in the hollow of the hills
Ferns deepen to the knees,
What sounds are those above the hills,
And now among the trees?
No breeze!
The syrinx, haply, none may scan,
Of Pan.

In woods where waters break upon
The hush like some soft word;
Where sun-shot shadows shake upon
The moss, who has not heard
No bird!
The flute, as breezy as a fan,
Of Pan?

Far in, where mosses lay for us
Still carpets, cool and plush;
Where bloom and branch and ray for us.
Sleep, waking with a rush
The hush
But sounds the satyr hoof a span
Of Pan.

O woods, whose thrushes sing to us,
Whose brooks dance sparkling heels;
Whose wild aromas cling to us,
While here our wonder kneels,
Who steals
Upon us, brown as bark with tan,
But Pan?

After Autumn Rain

The hillside smokes
With trailing mist around the rosy oaks;
While sunset builds
A gorgeous Asia in the west she gilds.
Auroral streaks
Sword through the heavens' Himalayan peaks:
In which, behold,
Burn mines of Indian ruby and of gold.
A moment and
A shadow stalks between it and the land.
A mist, a breath,
A premonition, with the face of death,
Turning to frost
The air it breathes, like some invisible ghost.
Then, wild of hair,
Demons seem streaming to their fiery lair:
A chasm, the same
That splits the clouds' face with a leer of flame.
The wind comes up
And fills the hollow land as wine a cup.
Around and round
It skips the dead leaves o'er the forest's ground.
A myriad fays
And imps seem dancing down the withered ways.
And far and near
It makes of every bush a whisperer;
Telling dark tales
Of things that happened in the ghostly vales:
Of things the fox
Barks at and sees among the haunted rocks:
At which the owl
Hoots, and the wolf-hound cringes with a growl.
Now on the road
It walks like feet too weary for their load.
Shuffling the leaves,
With stormy sighs, onward it plods and heaves;
Till in the hills
Among the red death there itself it kills.
And with its death
Earth, so its seems, draws in a mighty breath.
And, like a clown
Who wanders lost upon a haunted down,
Turns towards the east,
Fearful of coming goblin or of beast,
And sees a light,
The jack-o'-lantern moon, glow into sight..

Upon the Siren-haunted seas, between Fate's mythic shores,
Within a world of moon and mist, where dusk and daylight wed,
I see a phantom galley and its hull is banked with oars,
With ghostly oars that move to song, a song of dreams long dead:

'Oh, we are sick of rowing here!
With toil our arms are numb;
With smiting year on weary year
Salt-furrows of the foam:
Our journey's end is never near,
And will no nearer come
Beyond our reach the shores appear
Of far Elysium.'


Within a land of cataracts and mountains old and sand,
Beneath whose heavens ruins rise, o'er which the stars burn red,
I see a spectral cavalcade with crucifix in hand
And shadowy armor march and sing, a song of dreams long dead:

'Oh, we are weary marching on!
Our limbs are travel-worn;
With cross and sword from dawn to dawn
We wend with raiment torn:
The leagues to go, the leagues we've gone
Are sand and rock and thorn
The way is long to Avalon
Beyond the deeps of morn.'


They are the curs'd! the souls who yearn and evermore pursue
The vision of a vain desire, a splendor far ahead;
To whom God gives the poet's dream without the grasp to do,
The artist's hope without the scope between the quick and dead:

I, too, am weary toiling where
The winds and waters beat;
When shall I ease the oar I bear
And rest my tired feet?
When will the white moons cease to glare,
The red suns veil their heat?
And from the heights blow sweet the air
Of Love's divine retreat?

A Street Of Ghosts

The drowsy day, with half-closed eyes,
Dreams in this quaint forgotten street,
That, like some old-world wreckage, lies,
Left by the sea's receding beat,
Far from the city's restless feet.

Abandoned pavements, that the trees'
Huge roots have wrecked, whose flagstones feel
No more the sweep of draperies;
And sunken curbs, whereon no wheel
Grinds, nor the gallant's spur-bound heel.

Old houses, walled with rotting brick,
Thick-creepered, dormered, weather-vaned,
Like withered faces, sad and sick,
Stare from each side, all broken paned,
With battered doors the rain has stained.

And though the day be white with heat,
Their ancient yards are dim and cold;
Where now the toad makes its retreat,
'Mid flower-pots green-caked with mold,
And naught but noisome weeds unfold.

The slow gray slug and snail have trailed
Their slimy silver up and down
The beds where once the moss-rose veiled
Rich beauty; and the mushroom brown
Swells where the lily tossed its crown.

The shadowy scents, that haunt and flit
Along the walks, beneath the boughs,
Seem ghosts of sweethearts here who sit,
Or wander 'round each empty house,
Wrapped in the silence of dead vows.

And, haply, when the evening droops
Her amber eyelids in the west,
Here one might hear the swish of hoops,
Or catch the glint of hat or vest,
As two dim lovers past him pressed.

And, instant as some star's slant flame,
That scores the swarthy cheek of night,
Perhaps behold Colonial dame
And gentleman in stately white
Go glimmering down the pale moonlight.

In powder, patch, and furbelow,
Cocked-hat and sword; and every one,
Tory and whig of long ago,
As real as in the days long done,
The courtly days of Washington.

Lords Of The Visionary Eye

I CAME upon a pool that shone,
Clear, emerald-like, among the hills,
That seemed old wizards round a stone
Of magic that a vision thrills.
And as I leaned and looked, it seemed
Vague shadows gathered there and here —
A dream, perhaps the water dreamed
Of some wild past, some long-dead year….
A temple of a race unblessed
Rose huge within a hollow land,
Where, on an altar, bare of breast,
One lay, a man, bound foot and hand.
A priest, who served some hideous god,
Stood near him on the altar stair,
Clothed on with gold; and at his nod
A multitude seemed gathered there.
I saw a sword descend; and then
The priest before the altar turned;
He was not formed like mortal man,
But like a beast whose eyeballs burned.
Amorphous, strangely old, he glared
Above the victim he had slain,
Who lay with bleeding bosom bared,
From which dripped slow a crimson rain.
Then turned to me a face of stone
And mocked above the murdered dead,
That fixed its cold eyes on his own
And cursed him with a look of dread.
And then, it seemed, I knew the place,
And how this sacrifice befell:
I knew the god, the priest's wild face,
I knew the dead man — knew him well.
And as I stooped again to look,
I heard the dark hills sigh and laugh,
And in the pool the water shook
As if one stirred it with a staff.
And all was still again and clear:
The pool lay crystal as before,
Temple and priest were gone; the mere
Had closed again its magic door.
A face was there; it seemed to shine
As round it died the sunset's flame —
The victim's face?— or was it mine?—
They were to me the very same.
And yet, and yet — could this thing be? —
And in my soul I seemed to know,
At once, this was a memory
Of some past life, lived long ago.
Recorded by some secret sense,
In forms that we as dreams retain;
Some moment, as experience,
Projects in pictures on the brain.

Minions Of The Moon

Through leafy windows of the trees
The full moon shows a wrinkled face,
And, trailing dim her draperies
Of mist from place to place,
The Twilight leads the breeze.

And now, far-off, beside a pool,
Dusk blows a reed, a guttural note;
Then sows the air around her full
Of twinkling disc and mote,
And moth-shapes soft as wool.

And from a glen, where lights glow by,
Through hollowed hands she sends a call,
And Solitude, with owlet cry,
Answers: and Evenfall
Steps swiftly from the sky.

And Mystery, in hodden gray,
Steals forth to meet her: and the Dark
Before him slowly makes to sway
A jack-o'-lantern spark
To light him on his way.

The grasshopper its violin
Tunes up, the katydid its fife;
The beetle drums; the grig makes din,
Informing Elfin life
Night's revels now begin.

And from each side along the way
Old Witchcraft waves a batlike hand,
And summons forth the toadstool gray
To point the path to Faeryland,
Where all man's longings stray.


The snail puts forth two staring horns
And down the toadstool slides;
The wind sits whispering in the thorns
Of one unseen who hides:
Of him, the Sprite,
With glowworm light,
Who watchmans secrets of the Night.

The bee sleeps in the berry-bloom;
The bird dreams on its nest;
The moon-moth swoons through drowsed perfume
Upon a fragrant quest:
It seeks for him,
The Pixy slim,
Who tags with wet each wildflower's rim.

The milkwort leans an ear of pink
And listens for the dew;
The fireflies in the wildrose wink
That seems to listen too:
For her, the Fay,
With sword-like ray,
Who opens buds at close of day.

The moon, that dares not come too near,
Keeps to the highest hill;
The little brook it seems, for fear
Of something strange, is still:
The Mystery,
It well may be,
That talks to it of Faerie.

She sleeps; he sings to her. The day was long,
And, tired out with too much happiness,
She fain would have him sing of old Provence;
Quaint songs, that spoke of love in such soft tones,
Her restless soul was straight besieged of dreams,
And her wild heart beleagured of deep peace,
And heart and soul surrendered unto sleep.
Like perfect sculpture in the moon she lies,
Its pallor on her through heraldic panes
Of one tall casement's gulèd quarterings.
Beside her couch, an antique table, weighed
With gold and crystal; here, a carven chair,
Whereon her raiment,-that suggests sweet curves
Of shapely beauty,-bearing her limbs' impress,
Is richly laid: and, near the chair, a glass,
An oval mirror framed in ebony:
And, dim and deep,-investing all the room
With ghostly life of woven women and men,
And strange fantastic gloom, where shadows live,
Dark tapestry,-which in the gusts-that twinge
A grotesque cresset's slender star of light
Seems moved of cautious hands, assassin-like,
That wait the hour.
She alone, deep-haired
As rosy dawn, and whiter than a rose,
Divinely breasted as the Queen of Love,
Lies robeless in the glimmer of the moon,
Like Danaë within the golden shower.
Seated beside her aromatic rest,
In rapture musing on her loveliness,
Her knight and troubadour. A lute, aslope
The curious baldric of his tunic, glints
With pearl-reflections of the moon, that seem
The silent ghosts of long-dead melodies.
In purple and sable, slashed with solemn gold,
Like stately twilight o'er the snow-heaped hills,
He bends above her.
Have his hands forgot
Their craft, that they pause, idle on the strings?
His lips, their art, that they cease, speechless there?
His eyes are set.... What is it stills to stone
His hands, his lips? and mails him, head and heel,
In terrible marble, motionless and cold?
Behind the arras, can it be he feels,
Black-browed and grim, with eyes of sombre fire,
Death towers above him with uplifted sword?

Hymn To Spiritual Desire


Mother of visions, with lineaments dulcet as numbers
Breathed on the eyelids of Love by music that slumbers,
Secretly, sweetly, O presence of fire and snow,
Thou comest mysterious,
In beauty imperious,
Clad on with dreams and the light of no world that we know:
Deep to my innermost soul am I shaken,
Helplessly shaken and tossed,
And of thy tyrannous yearnings so utterly taken,
My lips, unsatisfied, thirst;
Mine eyes are accurst
With longings for visions that far in the night are forsaken;
And mine ears, in listening lost,
Yearn, waiting the note of a chord that will never awaken.


Like palpable music thou comest, like moonlight; and far,-
Resonant bar upon bar,-
The vibrating lyre
Of the spirit responds with melodious fire,
As thy fluttering fingers now grasp it and ardently shake,
With laughter and ache,
The chords of existence, the instrument star-sprung,
Whose frame is of clay, so wonderfully molded of mire.


Vested with vanquishment, come, O Desire, Desire!
Breathe in this harp of my soul the audible angel of Love!
Make of my heart an Israfel burning above,
A lute for the music of God, that lips, which are mortal, but stammer!
Smite every rapturous wire
With golden delirium, rebellion and silvery clamor,
Crying-'Awake! awake!
Too long hast thou slumbered! too far from the regions of glamour
With its mountains of magic, its fountains of faery, the spar-sprung,
Hast thou wandered away, O Heart!'

Come, oh, come and partake
Of necromance banquets of Beauty; and slake
Thy thirst in the waters of Art,
That are drawn from the streams
Of love and of dreams.


'Come, oh, come!
No longer shall language be dumb!
Thy vision shall grasp-
As one doth the glittering hasp
Of a sword made splendid with gems and with gold-
The wonder and richness of life, not anguish and hate of it merely.
And out of the stark
Eternity, awful and dark,
Immensity silent and cold,-
Universe-shaking as trumpets, or cymbaling metals,
Imperious; yet pensive and pearly
And soft as the rosy unfolding of petals,
Or crumbling aroma of blossoms that wither too early,-
The majestic music of God, where He plays
On the organ, eternal and vast, of eons and days.'

The Lamp At The Window

Like some gaunt ghost the tempest wails
Outside my door; its icy nails
Beat on the pane: and Night and Storm
Around the house, with furious flails
Of wind, from which the slant sleet hails,
Stalk up and down; or, arm in arm,
Stand giant guard; the wild-beast lair
Of their fierce bosoms black and bare.
My lamp is lit, I have no fear.
Through night and storm my love draws near.
Now through the forest how they go,
With whirlwind hoofs and manes of snow,
The beasts of tempest, Winter herds!
That lift huge heads of mist and low
Like oxen; beasts of air that blow
Ice from their nostrils; winged like birds,
And bullock-breasted, onward hurled,
That shake with tumult all the world.
My lamp is set where love can see,
Who through the tempest comes to me.
I press my face against the pane,
And seem to see, from wood and plain,
In phantom thousands, stormy pale,
The ghosts of forests, tempest-slain,
Vast wraiths of woodlands, rise and strain
And rock wild limbs against the gale;
Or, borne in fragments overhead,
Sow night with horror and with dread.
He comes! my light is as an arm
To guide him onward through the storm.
I hear the tempest from the sky
Cry, eagle-like, its battle-cry;
I hear the night, upon the peaks,
Send back its condor-like reply;
And then again come booming by
The forest's challenge, hoarse as speaks
Hate unto hate, or wrath to wrath,
When each draws sword and sweeps the path.
But let them rage! through darkness far
My bright light leads him like a star.
The cliffs, with all their plumes of pines,
Bow down high heads: the battle-lines
Of all the hills, that iron seams,
Shudder through all their rocky spines:
And under shields of matted vines
The vales crouch down: and all the streams
Are hushed and frozen as with fear
As from the deeps the winds draw near.
But let them come! my lamp is lit!
Nor shall their fury flutter it.
Now 'round and 'round, with stride on stride,
In Boreal armor, darkness-dyed,
I hear the thunder of their strokes
The heavens are rocked on every side
With all their clouds: and far and wide
The earth roars back with all its oaks.
Still at the pane burns bright my light
To guide him onward through the night;
To lead love through the night and storm
Where my young heart shall make him warm.

The Ballad Of The Rose

Booted and spurred he rode toward the west,
A rose, from the woman who loved him best,
Lay warm with her kisses there in his breast,
And the battle beacons were burning.

As over the draw he galloping went,
She, from the gateway's battlement,
With a wafted kiss and a warning bent
'Beware of the ford at the turning!'

An instant only he turned in his sell,
And lightly fingered his petronel,
Then settled his sword in its belt as well,
And the horns to battle were sounding.

She watched till he reached the beacon there,
And saw its gleam on his helm and hair,
Then turned and murmured, 'God keep thee, Clare!
From that wolf of the hills and his hounding.'

And on he rode till he came to the hill,
Where the road turned off by the ruined mill,
Where the stream flowed shallow and broad and still,
And the battle beacon was burning.

Into the river with little heed,
Down from the hill he galloped his steed
The water whispered on rock and reed,
'Death hides by the ford at the turning!'

And out of the night on the other side,
Their helms and corselets dim descried,
He saw ten bandit troopers ride,
And the horns to battle were blaring.

Then he reined his steed in the middle ford,
And glanced behind him and drew his sword,
And laughed as he shouted his battle-word,
'Clare! Clare! and my steel needs airing!'

Then down from the hills at his back there came
Ten troopers more. With a face of flame
Red Hugh of the Hills led on the same,
In the glare of the beacon's burning.

Again the cavalier turned and gazed,
Then quick to his lips the rose he raised,
And kissed it, crying, 'Now God be praised!
And help her there when mourning!'

Then he rose in his stirrups and loosened rein,
And shouting his cry spurred on amain
Into the troopers to slay and be slain,
While the horns to battle were blowing.

With ten behind him and ten before,
And the battle beacon to light the shore,
Small doubt of the end in his mind he bore,
With her rose in his bosom glowing.

One trooper he slew with his petronel,
And one with his sword when his good steed fell,
And they haled him, fighting, from horse and sell
In the light of the beacon's burning.

Quoth Hugh of the Hills, 'To yonder tree
Now hang him high where she may see;
Then bear this rose and message from me
'The ravens feast at the turning.''

Deep in the wood of willow-trees
The summer sounds and whispering breeze
Bound me as if with glimmering arms
And spells of witchcraft, sorceries,
That filled the wood with phantom forms,
And held me with their faery charms.


Within the wood they laid their snare.
The invisible web was everywhere:
I felt it clasp me with its gleams,
And mesh my soul from feet to hair
In weavings of intangible beams,
Woven with dim and delicate dreams.


As dream by dream passed shadowy,
One came; an antique pageantry
Of Faeryland: it marched with pride
Of faery horns blown silverly
Around the Elf-prince and his bride,
Who rode on steeds of milk-white stride.


Then from the shadow of a pool
The water-fays rose beautiful;
I saw them wring their long green hair,
And felt their eyes gaze emerald-cool,
And from their fresh lips, everywhere,
Their rainy laughter dew the air.


And through the willow-leaves I saw,
As in a crystal without flaw,
Slim limbs and faces sly of eye,
Elves, piping on gnat-flutes of straw,
Thin as the violin of a fly,
Or clashing cricket-cymbals by.


And then I saw the warted gnomes
Creep, beetle-backed, from rocky combs,
Lamped with their jewelled talismans,
Rubies that torch their caverned homes,
Green grottoes, where their treasure-clans
Intrigue and thwart our human plans.


And near them, foam-frail, flower-fair,
Sun-sylphids shook their showery hair,
And from their blossom-houses blew
Musk wood-rose kisses everywhere,
Or, prisoned in a dropp of dew,
Twinkled an eye of sapphire-blue.


And imps, wasp-bodied; ouphs, that guard
The Courts of Oberon, their lord,
Bee-bellied, hornet-headed things,
Went by, each with his whining sword,
Fanning the heat with courier wings,
Bound on some message of the King's.


And pansy-tunicked, gowned in down,
The lords and ladies of the crown,
Beautiful and bright as butterflies,
Passed, marching to some Faery Town,
While dragoned things, mailed to the eyes,.
Soldiered their way in knightly wise.


Then, suddenly, the finger-tips,
Faint, moth-like, and the flower-lips
Of some one on my eye-lids pressed:
And as a moonbeam, silvering, slips
Out of a shadow, tangle-tressed
A Dream, I'd known, stood manifest.


A Dream I'd known when but a child,
That lived within my soul and smiled
Far in the world of faery lore;
By whom my heart was oft beguiled,
And who invested sea and shore
With her fair presence evermore.


She drew me in that stately band
That marched with her to Faeryland:
Again her words I understood,
Who smiling reached to me her hand,
And filled me with beatitude....
This happened in the willow wood.

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.

Romaunt Of The Oak

'I rode to death, for I fought for shame
The Lady Maurine of noble name,

'The fair and faithless!-Though life be long
Is love the wiser?-Love made song

'Of all my life; and the soul that crept
Before, arose like a star and leapt:

'Still leaps with the love that it found untrue,
That it found unworthy.-Now run me through!

'Yea, run me through! for meet and well,
And a jest for laughter of fiends in hell,

'It is that I, who have done no wrong,
Should die by the hand of Hugh the Strong,

'Of Hugh her leman!-What else could be
When the devil was judge twixt thee and me?

'He splintered my lance, and my blade he broke-
Now finish me thou 'neath the trysting oak!' ...

The crest of his foeman,-a heart of white
In a bath of fire,-stooped i' the night;

Stooped and laughed as his sword he swung,
Then galloped away with a laugh on his tongue....

But who is she in the gray, wet dawn,
'Mid the autumn shades like a shadow wan?

Who kneels, one hand on her straining breast,
One hand on the dead man's bosom pressed?

Her face is dim as the dead's; as cold
As his tarnished harness of steel and gold.

O Lady Maurine! O Lady Maurine!
What boots it now that regret is keen?

That his hair you smooth, that you kiss his brow
What boots it now? what boots it now?...

She has haled him under the trysting oak,
The huge old oak that the creepers cloak.

She has stood him, gaunt in his battered arms,
In its haunted hollow.-'Be safe from storms,'

She laughed as his cloven casque she placed
On his brow, and his riven shield she braced.

Then sat and talked to the forest flowers
Through the lonely term of the day's pale hours.

And stared and whispered and smiled and wept,
While nearer and nearer the evening crept.

And, lo, when the moon, like a great gold bloom
Above the sorrowful trees did loom,

She rose up sobbing, 'O moon, come see
My bridegroom here in the old oak-tree!

'I have talked to the flowers all day, all day,
For never a word had he to say.

'He would not listen, he would not hear,
Though I wailed my longing into his ear.

'O moon, steal in where he stands so grim,
And tell him I love him, and plead with him.

'Soften his face that is cold and stern
And brighten his eyes and make them burn,

'O moon, O moon, so my soul can see
That his heart still glows with love for me!' ...

When the moon was set, and the woods were dark,
The wild deer came and stood as stark

As phantoms with eyes of fire; or fled
Like a ghostly hunt of the herded dead.

And the hoot-owl called; and the were-wolf snarled;
And a voice, in the boughs of the oak-tree gnarled,

Like the whining rush of the hags that ride
To the witches' sabboth,-crooned and cried.

And wrapped in his mantle of wind and cloud
The storm-fiend stalked through the forest loud.

When she heard the dead man rattle and groan
As the oak was bent and its leaves were blown,

And the lightning vanished and shimmered his mail,
Through the swirling sweep of the rain and hail,

She seemed to hear him, who seemed to call,-
'Come hither, Maurine, the wild leaves fall!

'The wild leaves rustle, the wild leaves flee;
Come hither, Maurine, to the hollow tree!

'To the trysting tree, to the tree once green;
Come hither, Maurine! come hither, Maurine!' ...

They found her closed in his armored arms-
Had he claimed his bride on that night of storms?

The End Of The Century

There are moments when, as missions,
God reveals to us strange visions;
When, within their separate stations,
We may see the Centuries,
Like revolving constellations
Shaping out Earth's destinies.

I have gazed in Time's abysses,
Where no smallest thing Earth misses
That was hers once. 'Mid her chattels,
There the Past's gigantic ghost
Sits and dreams of thrones and battles
In the night of ages lost.

Far before her eyes, unholy
Mist was spread; that darkly, slowly
Rolled aside, like some huge curtain
Hung above the land and sea;
And beneath it, wild, uncertain,
Rose the wraiths of memory.

First I saw colossal spectres
Of dead cities: Troy once Hector's
Pride; then Babylon and Tyre;
Karnac, Carthage, and the gray
Walls of Thebes, Apollo's lyre
Built; and Rome and Nineveh.

Empires followed: first, in seeming,
Old Chaldea lost in dreaming;
Egypt next, a bulk Memnonian
Staring from her pyramids;
Then Assyria, Babylonian
Night beneath her hell-lit lids.

Greece, in classic white, sidereal
Armored; Rome, in dark, imperial
Purple, crowned with blood and fire,
Down the deeps barbaric strode;
Gaul and Britain stalking by her,
Skin-clad and tattooed with woad.

All around them, rent and scattered,
Lay their gods with features battered,
Brute and human, stone and iron,
Caked with gems and gnarled with gold;
Temples, that did once environ
These, in wreck around them rolled.

While I stood and gazed and waited,
Slowly night obliterated
All; and other phantoms drifted
Out of darkness pale as stars;
Shapes that tyrant faces lifted,
Sultans, kings, and emperors.

Man and steed in ponderous metal
Panoplied, they seemed to settle,
Condors gaunt of devastation,
On the world: behind their march
Desolation; conflagration
Loomed before them with her torch.

Helmets flamed like fearful flowers;
Chariots rose and moving towers;
Captains passed; each fierce commander
With his gauntlet on his sword:
Agamemnon, Alexander,
Cæsar, each led on his horde.

Huns and Vandals; wild invaders:
Goths and Arabs; stern Crusaders:
Each, like some terrific torrent,
Rolled above a ruined world;
Till a cataract abhorrent
Seemed the swarming spears uphurled.

Banners and escutcheons, kindled
By the light of slaughter, dwindled
Died in darkness; the chimera
Of the Past was laid at last.
But, behold, another era
From her corpse rose, vague and vast.

Demogorgon of the Present!
Who in one hand raised a Crescent,
In the other, with submissive
Fingers, lifted up a Cross;
Reverent and yet derisive
Seemed she, robed in gold and dross.

In her skeptic eyes professions
Of great faith I saw; expressions,
Christian and humanitarian,
Played around her cynic lip;
Still I knew her a barbarian
By the sword upon her hip.

And she cherished strange eidolons,
Pagan shadows Platos, Solons
From whose teachings she indentured
Forms of law and sophistry;
Seeking still for truth she ventured
Just so far as these could see.

When she vanished, I uplifting
Eyes to where the dawn was rifting
Darkness, lo! beheld a shadow
Towering on Earth's utmost peaks;
'Round whom morning's eldorado
Rivered gold in blinding streaks.

On her brow I saw the stigma
Still of death; and life's enigma
Filled her eyes: around her shimmered
Folds of silence; and afar,
Faint above her forehead, glimmered
Lone the light of one pale star.

Then a voice, above or under
Earth, against her seemed to thunder
Questions, wherein was repeated,
'Christ or Cain?' and'God or beast?'
And the Future, shadowy-sheeted,
Turning, pointed towards the East.

Deep In The Forest


Ah, shall I follow, on the hills,
The Spring, as wild wings follow?
Where wild-plum trees make wan the hills,
Crabapple trees the hollow,
Haunts of the bee and swallow?

In redbud brakes and flowery
Acclivities of berry;
In dogwood dingles, showery
With white, where wrens make merry?
Or drifts of swarming cherry?

In valleys of wild strawberries,
And of the clumped May-apple;
Or cloudlike trees of haw-berries,
With which the south winds grapple,
That brook and byway dapple?

With eyes of far forgetfulness,-
Like some wild wood-thing's daughter,
Whose feet are beelike fretfulness,-
To see her run like water
Through boughs that slipped or caught her.

O Spring, to seek, yet find you not!
To search, yet never win you!
To glimpse, to touch, but bind you not!
To lose, and still continue,
All sweet evasion in you!

In pearly, peach-blush distances
You gleam; the woods are braided
Of myths; of dream-existences….
There, where the brook is shaded,
A sudden splendor faded.

O presence, like the primrose's,
Again I feel your power!
With rainy scents of dim roses,
Like some elusive flower,
Who led me for an hour!


Where rise the brakes of bramble there,
Wrapped with the trailing rose;
Through cane where waters ramble, there
Where deep the sword-grass grows,
Who knows?
Perhaps, unseen of eyes of man,
Hides Pan.

Perhaps the creek, whose pebbles make
A foothold for the mint,
May bear,-where soft its trebles make
Confession,-some vague hint,
(The print,
Goat-hoofed, of one who lightly ran,)
Of Pan.

Where, in the hollow of the hills
Ferns deepen to the knees,
What sounds are those above the hills,
And now among the trees?-
No breeze!-
The syrinx, haply, none may scan,
Of Pan.

In woods where waters break upon
The hush like some soft word;
Where sun-shot shadows shake upon
The moss, who has not heard-
No bird!-
The flute, as breezy as a fan,
Of Pan?

Far in, where mosses lay for us
Still carpets, cool and plush;
Where bloom and branch and ray for us
Sleep, waking with a rush-
The hush
But sounds the satyr hoof a span
Of Pan.

O woods,-whose thrushes sing to us,
Whose brooks dance sparkling heels;
Whose wild aromas cling to us,-
While here our wonder kneels,
Who steals
Upon us, brown as bark with tan,
But Pan?


The night is sad with silver and the day is glad with gold,
And the woodland silence listens to a legend never old,
Of the Lady of the Fountain, whom the faery people know,
With her limbs of samite whiteness and her hair of golden glow,
Whom the boyish South Wind seeks for and the girlish-stepping Rain;
Whom the sleepy leaves still whisper men shall never see again:
She whose Vivien charms were mistress of the magic Merlin knew,
That could change the dew to glowworms and the glowworms into dew.
There's a thorn tree in the forest, and the faeries know the tree,
With its branches gnarled and wrinkled as a face with sorcery;
But the Maytime brings it clusters of a rainy fragrant white,
Like the bloom-bright brows of beauty or a hand of lifted light.
And all day the silence whispers to the sun-ray of the morn
How the bloom is lovely Vivien and how Merlin is the thorn:
How she won the doting wizard with her naked loveliness
Till he told her daemon secrets that must make his magic less.

How she charmed him and enchanted in the thorn-tree's thorns to lie
Forever with his passion that should never dim or die:
And with wicked laughter looking on this thing which she had done,
Like a visible aroma lingered sparkling in the sun:
How she stooped to kiss the pathos of an elf-lock of his beard,
In a mockery of parting and mock pity of his weird:
But her magic had forgotten that 'who bends to give a kiss
Will but bring the curse upon them of the person whose it is':
So the silence tells the secret.-And at night the faeries see
How the tossing bloom is Vivien, who is struggling to be free,
In the thorny arms of Merlin, who forever is the tree.


She stood among the longest ferns
The valley held; and in her hand
One blossom, like the light that burns
Vermilion o'er a sunset land;
And round her hair a twisted band
Of pink-pierced mountain-laurel blooms:
And darker than dark pools, that stand

Below the star-communing glooms,
Her eyes beneath her hair's perfumes.

I saw the moonbeam sandals on
Her flowerlike feet, that seemed too chaste
To tread true gold: and, like the dawn
On splendid peaks that lord a waste
Of solitude lost gods have graced,
Her face: she stood there, faultless-hipped,
Bound as with cestused silver,-chased
With acorn-cup and crown, and tipped
With oak leaves,-whence her chiton slipped.

Limbs that the gods call loveliness!-
The grace and glory of all Greece
Wrought in one marble shape were less
Than her perfection!-'Mid the trees
I saw her-and time seemed to cease
For me.-And, lo! I lived my old
Greek life again of classic ease,
Barbarian as the myths that rolled
Me back into the Age of Gold.

About the time when bluebells swing
Their elfin belfries for the bee
And in the fragrant House of Spring
Wild Music moves; and Fantasy
Sits weaving webs of witchery:
And Beauty's self in silence leans
Above the brook and through her hair
Beholds her face reflected there,
And wonders what the vision means
About the time when bluebells swing,
I found a path of glooms and gleams,
A way that Childhood oft has gone,
That leads into the Wood of Dreams,
Where, as of old, dwell Fay and Faun,
And Faërie dances until dawn;
And Elfland calls from her blue cave,
Or, starbright, on her snow-white steed,
Rides blowing on a silver reed
That Magic follows like a slave
I found a path of glooms and gleams.

And in that Wood I came again
On old enchantments. There, behold,
I saw them pass, a kingly train,
Fable and Legend, wise and old,
In garb of glimmering green and gold:
While far away forgotten bells
And horns of Faërie made faint sound;
And all the anxious heaven around
And earth grew gossamered with spells,
And whirled with ouphen feet again.

And, lo, I saw the ancient Hall
Of Story rise, where Dreams conspire
With Words and Music to enthrall
The Yearning of the soul's desire,
Holding it fast with charméd fire:
Where Glamour bows in servitude;
And, Lord of Ecstasy and Awe,
Song, with his henchmen, Lore and Law,
Sits 'mid the mighty Brotherhood
Of Beauty in that twilight Hall.

Then far away the forest rang
With something more than bugle calls:
A voice, a summons wild that sang,
As if Adventure in his halls
Awoke; or Daring on the walls
Shouted to Youth to take his stand
Before the wizard-guarded tower
Where Love, within her secret bower,
Beckons him on with moon-white hand
Why was it that the forest rang?

And then I knew: It was my Sprite,
My Witch, whose spells had led me far:
Who held me with the old delight,
And drew my soul beyond the bar
Of all the real, like a star.
How long ago, how far that day,
Since first I met her in the wild!
And on my face her white face smiled,
And my child fears she soothed away!
Ay! ay! 'twas she -my airy Sprite!

And on my heart again the hour
Flashed as when first she gazed at me;
Her loveliness clothed on with power
And joy and godlike mystery,
A portion of Earth's ecstasy:
Again I felt, in ways unknown,
Down in my soul a memory waken
Of some far kiss once given and taken,
That made me hers, her very own,
Once every year for one brief hour. . . .

A Dryad laughed among the trees;
A Naiad flashed with limbs a-spark;
A Satyr reached rough arms to seize;
A Faun foot danced adown the dark
To music of rude pipes of bark:
Earth crowded all its shapes-around,
Myths, bare and beautiful of breast,
'Mid whom pursuing passion pressed,
Wild, Pan-like, leaping from the ground.
A Dryad laughed among the trees.

Then Elfdom, in a starlike rain,
To right and left rose blossoms slim;
And urged its Joy in twinkling train
Down many a flower and rainbow rim
Of moonbeam. Fancy sat with Whim:
And from the ferns gleamed glowworm eyes,
Where Faërie held its Court; and, green,
An impish spirit ran between,
With Puck-like laughter of surprise,
And firefly flickerings, wild as rain.

Then suddenly a light that grew,
And in the light my Witch! who stood,
As crystal-evident as dew,
Weaving a spell that made the wood
Take on a dream's similitude:
And, lo, through radiance and perfume
I saw Romance, crowned with a crown,
And Chivalry come riding down,
On two great steeds, all gold and gloom,
Round whom the splendor grew and grew. . . .

And of the Dream the forest dreams
Again my soul becomes a part:
Again my magic armor gleams;
Again beneath its steel my heart
Throbs all impatient for the start.
Again the towers of Time and Chance
Loom grimly, where, forever fair,
Wrapped in the glory of her hair,
Beauty lies bound by Necromance,
The Beauty that we know in dreams.

And, as before, again I smile,
Delaying still to break the spell,
Facing the gateway of old Guile,
Where hangs the slug-horn that shall knell
Defiance to the Courts of Hell.
'Then Elfdom, in a starlike rain,
To right and left rose blossom-slim.'
What though around me, torch on torch,
The eyes of Danger, glowering, wait!
What though Death heaves a sword of hate
Beneath the gate's enchanted arch!
I raise the horn again and smile.

What now, O Night, shall make me pause?
I face the darkness of the tomb,
That stirs with clank of iron claws,
And threatenngs of gigantic doom,
The monster in the granite gloom.
And then full in the face of Night
I hurl my challenge, blast on blast
The drawbridge thunders; and the vast
Echoes with batlike wings in flight.
There is no thing to give me pause.

My heart sings, bounding to its quest.
I mount the stairs to where she sleeps,
A rose upon her brow and breast,
And in her long hair's golden deeps
The glory of the youth she keeps.
I kneel again; I clasp her there;
I kiss her mouth; but, lo, behold!
Her beauty crumbles into mold,
'And all the castle goes in air,
And with it all my heart's high quest. . . .

And in the wood I wake again.
The Dream is gone as is the child,
Who followed far in rapture's train,
And by a vision was beguiled,
The Witch, the Presence undefiled,
Whose call still sounds o'er holt and hollow,
An elfin bugle, in the morn;
And in the eve a faery horn,
Bidding the dreaming heart to follow,
The child in man that hears again. . . .

For what we dream is never lost.
Dreams mold the soul within the clay.
The rapture and the pentecost
Of beauty shape our lives some way:
They are the beam, the guiding ray,
That Nature dowers us with at birth,
And, like the light upon the crown
Of some dark hill, that towers down,
Point us to Heaven, not to Earth,
Above the world where dreams are lost.

That Night When I Came To The Grange

The trees took on fantastic shapes
That night when I came to the grange;
The very bushes seemed to change;
This seemed a hag's head, that an ape's:
The road itself seemed darkly strange
That night when I came to the grange.

The storm had passed, but still the night
Cloaked with deep clouds its true intent,
And moody on its way now went
With muttered thunder and the light,
Torch-like, of lightning that was spent
Flickering the mask of its intent.

Like some hurt thing that bleeds to death,
Yet never moves nor heaves a sigh,
Some last drops shuddered from the sky:
The darkness seemed to hold its breath
To see the sullen tempest die,
That never moved nor heaved a sigh.

Within my path, among the weeds,
The glow-worm, like an evil eye,
Glared malice; and the boughs on high
Flung curses at me, menaced deeds
Of darkness if I passed them by:
They and the glow-worm's glaring eye.

The night-wind rose, and raved at me,
Hung in the tree beside the gate;
The gate that snarled its iron hate
Above the gravel, grindingly,
And set its teeth to make me wait,
Beside the one tree near the gate.

The next thing that I knew a bat
Out of the rainy midnight swept
An evil blow: and then there crept,
Malignant with its head held flat,
A hiss before me as I stept,
A fang, that from the midnight swept.

I drew my dagger then, the blade
That never failed me in my need;
'Twere well to be prepared; indeed,
Who knew what waited there? what shade,
Or substance, banded to impede
My entrance of which there was need.

The blade, at least, was tangible
Among the shadows I must face;
Its touch was real; and in case
Hate waylaid me, would serve me well;
I needed something in that place
Among the shadows I must face.

The dead thorn took me by surprise,
A hag-like thing with twisted clutch;
From o'er the wall I felt it touch
My brow with talons; at my eyes
It seemed to wave a knotted crutch,
A hag-like thing with twisted clutch.

A hound kept howling in the night;
He and the wind were all I heard:
The wind that maundered some dark word
Of wrong, that nothing would make right,
To every rain-dropp that it stirred:
The hound and wind were all I heard.

The grange was silent as the dead:
I looked at the dark face of it:
Nowhere was any candle lit:
It looked like some huge nightmare head
With death's-head eyes. I paused a bit
To study the dark face of it.

And then I rang and knocked: I gave
The great oak door loud blow on blow:
No servant answered: wild below
The echoes clanged as in a cave:
The evil mansion seemed to know
Who struck the door with blow on blow.

Silence: no chink of light to say
That he and his were living there,
That sinful man with snow-white hair,
That creature, I had come to slay;
That wretched thing, who did not dare
Reveal that he was hiding there.

I broke my dagger on the door,
Yet woke but echoes in the hall:
Then set my hands unto the wall
And clomb the ivy as before
In boyhood, to a window tall,
That was my room's once in that hall.

At last I stood again where he,
That vile man with the sneering face,
That fiend, that foul spot on our race,
Had sworn none of our family
Should ever stand again: the place
Was dark as his own devil's face.

I stood, and felt as if some crime
Closed in on me, hedged me around:
It clutched at me from closets; bound
Its arms around me; time on time
I turned and grasped; but nothing found,
Only the blackness all around.

The darkness took me by the throat:
I could not hear but felt it hiss
'Take this, you hound! and this! and this!'
Then, all at once, afar, remote,
I heard a door clang. Murder is
More cautious yet, whose was that hiss?

Oh, for a light! The blackness jeered
And mouthed at me; its sullen face
Was as a mask on all the place,
From which two sinister sockets leered;
A death's-head, that my eyes could trace,
That stared me sullen in the face.

Then silence packed the hall and stair
And crammed the rooms from attic down,
Since that far door had clanged; its frown
Upon the darkness, everywhere,
Had settled; like a graveyard gown
It clothed the house from attic down.

And then I heard a groan and one
Long sigh then silence. Who was near?
Was it the darkness at my ear
That mocked me with a deed undone?
Or was it he, who waited here,
To kill me when I had drawn near?

I drew my sword then: stood and stared
Into the night, that was a mask
To all the house, that made my task
A hopeless one. Ah! had it bared
Its teeth at me what more to ask!
My sword had gone through teeth and mask!

It was not fair to me; my cause!
The villain darkness bound my eyes.
Why, even the moon refused to rise.
It might have helped me in that pause,
Before I groped the room, whose size
Seemed monstrous to my night-bound eyes.

What was it that I stumbled on?
God! for a light that I might see!
There! something sat that stared at me
Some loathsome, twisted thing the spawn
Of hell and midnight. Was it he?
God! for a light that I might see!

And then the moon! thank Heaven! the moon
Broke through the clouds, a face chalk-white:
Now then, at last, I had a light!
And then I saw the thing seemed hewn
From marble at the moment's sight,
Bathed in the full moon's wistful white.

He sat, or rather crouched, there dead:
Her dagger in his heart that girl's:
His open eyes as white as pearls
Malignant staring overhead:
One hand clutched full of torn-out curls.
Her dagger in his heart that girl's.

I knew the blade. Why, I had seen
The thing stuck in her gipsy hair,
Worn as they wear them over there
In Spain: its gold hilt crusted green
With jade-like gems of cruel glare.
She wore it in her gipsy hair.

She called it her'green wasp, ' and smiled
As if of some such deed she dreamed:
And yet to me she always seemed
A child, a little timid child,
Who at a mouse has often screamed
And yet of deeds like this she dreamed.

Where was she now? Some pond or pool
Would yield her body up some day.
Poor little waif, that'd gone astray!
And I! oh God! how great a fool
To know so long and yet delay!
Some pond would yield her up some day.

The world was phantomed with the mist
That night when I came from the grange.
So, she had stabbed him. It was strange.
Who would have thought that she who kiss'd
Would kill him too! Well, women change.
Their curse is on the lonely grange!

At The Lane's End

No more to strip the roses from
The rose-boughs of her porch's place!
I dreamed last night that I was home
Beside a rose her face.

I must have smiled in sleep who knows?
The rose aroma filled the lane;
I saw her white hand's lifted rose
That called me home again.

And yet when I awoke so wan,
An old face wet with icy tears!
Somehow, it seems, sleep had misdrawn
A love gone thirty years.


The clouds roll up and the clouds roll down
Over the roofs of the little town;
Out in the hills where the pike winds by
Fields of clover and bottoms of rye,
You will hear no sound but the barking cough
Of the striped chipmunk where the lane leads off;
You will hear no bird but the sapsuckers
Far off in the forest, that seems to purr,
As the warm wind fondles its top, grown hot,
Like the docile back of an ocelot:
You will see no thing but the shine and shade
Of briers that climb and of weeds that wade
The glittering creeks of the light, that fills
The dusty road and the red-keel hills
And all day long in the pennyroy'l
The grasshoppers at their anvils toil;
Thick click of their tireless hammers thrum,
And the wheezy belts of their bellows hum;
Tinkers who solder the silence and heat
To make the loneliness more complete.
Around old rails where the blackberries
Are reddening ripe, and the bumble-bees
Are a drowsy rustle of Summer's skirts,
And the bob-white's wing is the fan she flirts.
Under the hill, through the iron weeds,
And ox-eyed daisies and milkweeds, leads
The path forgotten of all but one.
Where elder bushes are sick with sun,
And wild raspberries branch big blue veins
O'er the face of the rock, where the old spring rains
Its sparkling splinters of molten spar
On the gravel bed where the tadpoles are,
You will find the pales of the fallen fence,
And the tangled orchard and vineyard, dense
With the weedy neglect of thirty years.
The garden there, where the soft sky clears
Like an old sweet face that has dried its tears;
The garden plot where the cabbage grew
And the pompous pumpkin; and beans that blew
Balloons of white by the melon patch;
Maize; and tomatoes that seemed to catch
Oblong amber and agate balls
Thrown from the sun in the frosty falls:
Long rows of currants and gooseberries,
And the balsam-gourd with its honey-bees.
And here was a nook for the princess-plumes,
The snap-dragons and the poppy-blooms,
Mother's sweet-williams and pansy flowers,
And the morning-glories' bewildered bowers,
Tipping their cornucopias up
For the humming-birds that came to sup.
And over it all was the Sabbath peace
Of the land whose lap was the love of these;
And the old log-house where my innocence died,
With my boyhood buried side by side.
Shall a man with a face as withered and gray
As the wasp-nest stowed in a loft away,
Where the hornets haunt and the mortar drops
From the loosened logs of the clap-board tops;
Whom vice has aged as the rotting rooms
The rain where memories haunt the glooms;
A hitch in his joints like the rheum that gnats
In the rasping hinge of the door that jars;
A harsh, cracked throat like the old stone flue
Where the swallows build the summer through;
Shall a man, I say, with the spider sins
That the long years spin in the outs and ins
Of his soul returning to see once more
His boyhood's home, where his life was poor
With toil and tears and their fretfulness,
But rich with health and the hopes that bless
The unsoiled wealth of a vigorous youth;
Shall he not take comfort and know the truth
In its threadbare raiment of falsehood? Yea!
In his crumbled past he shall kneel and pray,
Like a pilgrim come to the shrine again
Of the homely saints that shall soothe his pain,
And arise and depart made clean from stain!


Years of care can not erase
Visions of the hills and trees
Closing in the dam and race;
Not the mile-long memories
Of the mill-stream's lovely place.

How the sunsets used to stain
Mirror of the water lying

Under eaves made dark with rain!
Where the red-bird, westward flying,
Lit to try one song again.

Dingles, hills, and woods, and springs,
Where we came in calm and storm,
Swinging in the grape-vine swings,
Wading where the rocks were warm,
With our fishing-nets and strings.

Here the road plunged down the hill,
Under ash and chinquapin,
Where the grasshoppers would drill
Ears of silence with their din,
To the willow-girdled mill.

There the path beyond the ford
Takes the woodside, just below
Shallows that the lilies sword,
Where the scarlet blossoms blow
Of the trumpet-vine and gourd.

Summer winds, that sink with heat,
On the pelted waters winnow
Moony petals that repeat
Crescents, where the startled minnow
Beats a glittering retreat.

Summer winds that bear the scent
Of the iron-weed and mint,
Weary with sweet freight and spent,
On the deeper pools imprint
Stumbling steps in many a dent.

Summer winds, that split the husk
Of the peach and nectarine,
Trail along the amber dusk
Hazy skirts of gray and green,
Spilling balms of dew and musk.

Where with balls of bursting juice
Summer sees the red wild-plum
Strew the gravel; ripened loose,
Autumn hears the pawpaw drum
Plumpness on the rocks that bruise:

There we found the water-beech,
One forgotten August noon,
With a hornet-nest in reach,
Like a fairyland balloon,
Full of bustling fairy speech.

Some invasion sure it was;
For we heard the captains scold;
Waspish cavalry a-buzz,
Troopers uniformed in gold,
Sable-slashed, to charge on us.

Could I find the sedgy angle,
Where the dragon-flies would turn
Slender flittings into spangle
On the sunlight? or would burn
Where the berries made a tangle

Sparkling green and brassy blue;
Rendezvousing, by the stream,
Bands of elf-banditti, who,
Brigands of the bloom and beam,
Drunken were with honey-dew.

Could I find the pond that lay
Where vermilion blossoms showered
Fragrance down the daisied way?
That the sassafras embowered
With the spice of early May?

Could I find it did I seek
The old mill? Its weather-beaten
Wheel and gable by the creek?
With its warping roof; worm-eaten,
Dusty rafters worn and weak.

Where old shadows haunt old places,
Loft and hopper, stair and bin;
Ghostly with the dust that laces
Webs that usher phantoms in,
Wistful with remembered faces.

While the frogs' grave litanies
Drowse in far-off antiphone,
Supplicating, till the eyes
Of dead friendships, long alone
In the dusky corners, rise.

Moonrays or the splintered slip
Of a star? within the darkling
Twilight, where the fire-flies dip
As if Night a myriad sparkling
Jewels from her hands let slip:

While again some farm-boy crosses,
With a corn-sack for the meal,
O'er the creek, through ferns and mosses
Sprinkled by the old mill-wheel,
Where the water drips and tosses.

The Black Knight

I had not found the road too short,
As once I had in days of youth,
In that old forest of long ruth,
Where my young knighthood broke its heart,
Ere love and it had come to part,
And lies made mockery of truth.
I had not found the road too short.

A blind man, by the nightmare way,
Had set me right when I was wrong.-
I had been blind my whole life long-
What wonder then that on this day
The blind should show me how astray
My strength had gone, my heart once strong.
A blind man pointed me the way.

The road had been a heartbreak one,
Of roots and rocks and tortured trees,
And pools, above my horse's knees,
And wandering paths, where spiders spun
'Twixt boughs that never saw the sun,
And silence of lost centuries.
The road had been a heartbreak one.

It seemed long years since that black hour
When she had fled, and I took horse
To follow, and without remorse
To slay her and her paramour
In that old keep, that ruined tower,
From whence was borne her father's corse.
It seemed long years since that black hour.

And now my horse was starved and spent,
My gallant destrier, old and spare;
The vile road's mire in mane and hair,
I felt him totter as he went:-
Such hungry woods were never meant
For pasture: hate had reaped them bare.
Aye, my poor beast was old and spent.

I too had naught to stay me with;
And like my horse was starved and lean;
My armor gone; my raiment mean;
Bare-haired I rode; uneasy sith
The way I'd lost, and some dark myth
Far in the woods had laughed obscene.
I had had naught to stay me with.

Then I dismounted. Better so.
And found that blind man at my rein.
And there the path stretched straight and plain.
I saw at once the way to go.
The forest road I used to know
In days when life had less of pain.
Then I dismounted. Better so.

I had but little time to spare,
Since evening now was drawing near;
And then I thought I saw a sneer
Enter into that blind man's stare:
And suddenly a thought leapt bare,-
What if the Fiend had set him here!-
I still might smite him or might spare.

I braced my sword: then turned to look:
For I had heard an evil laugh:
The blind man, leaning on his staff,
Still stood there where my leave I took:
What! did he mock me? Would I brook
A blind fool's scorn?-My sword was half
Out of its sheath. I turned to look:

And he was gone. And to my side
My horse came nickering as afraid.
Did he too fear to be betrayed?-
What use for him? I might not ride.
So to a great bough there I tied,
And left him in the forest glade:
My spear and shield I left beside.

My sword was all I needed there.
It would suffice to right my wrongs;
To cut the knot of all those thongs
With which she'd bound me to despair,
That woman with her midnight hair,
Her Circe snares and Siren songs.
My sword was all I needed there.

And then that laugh again I heard,
Evil as Hell and darkness are.
It shook my heart behind its bar
Of purpose, like some ghastly word.
But then it may have been a bird,
An owlet in the forest far,
A raven, croaking, that I heard.

I loosed my sword within its sheath;
My sword, disuse and dews of night
Had fouled with rust and iron-blight.
I seemed to hear the forest breathe
A menace at me through its teeth
Of thorns 'mid which the way lay white.
I loosed my sword within its sheath.

I had not noticed until now
The sun was gone, and gray the moon
Hung staring; pale as marble hewn;-
Like some old malice, bleak of brow,
It glared at me through leaf and bough,
With which the tattered way was strewn.
I had not noticed until now.

And then, all unexpected, vast
Above the tops of ragged pines
I saw a ruin, dark with vines,
Against the blood-red sunset massed:
My perilous tower of the past,
Round which the woods thrust giant spines.
I never knew it was so vast.

Long while I stood considering.-
This was the place and this the night.
The blind man then had set me right.
Here she had come for sheltering.
That ruin held her: that dark wing
Which flashed a momentary light.
Some time I stood considering.

Deep darkness fell. The somber glare
Of sunset, that made cavernous eyes
Of those gaunt casements 'gainst the skies,
Had burnt to ashes everywhere.
Before my feet there rose a stair
Of oozy stone, of giant size,
On which the gray moon flung its glare.

Then I went forward, sword in hand,
Until the slimy causeway loomed,
And huge beyond it yawned and gloomed
The gateway where one seemed to stand,
In armor, like a burning brand,
Sword-drawn; his visor barred and plumed.
And I went toward him, sword in hand.

He should not stay revenge from me.
Whatever lord or knight he were,
He should not keep me long from her,
That woman dyed in infamy.
No matter. God or devil he,
His sword should prove no barrier.-
Fool! who would keep revenge from me!

And then I heard, harsh over all,
That demon laughter, filled with scorn:
It woke the echoes, wild, forlorn,
Dark in the ivy of that wall,
As when, within a mighty hall,
One blows a giant battle-horn.
Loud, loud that laugh rang over all.

And then I struck him where he towered:
I struck him, struck with all my hate:
Black-plumed he loomed before the gate:
I struck, and found his sword that showered
Fierce flame on mine while black he glowered
Behind his visor's wolfish grate.
I struck; and taller still he towered.

A year meseemed we battled there:
A year; ten years; a century:
My blade was snapped; his lay in three:
His mail was hewn; and everywhere
Was blood; it streaked my face and hair;
And still he towered over me.
A year meseemed we battled there.

'Unmask!' I cried. 'Yea, doff thy casque!
Put up thy visor! fight me fair!
I have no mail; my head is bare!
Take off thy helm, is all I ask!
Why dost thou hide thy face?-Unmask!'-
My eyes were blind with blood and hair,
And still I cried, 'Take off thy casque!'

And then once more that laugh rang out
Like madness in the caves of Hell:
It hooted like some monster well,
The haunt of owls, or some mad rout
Of witches. And with battle shout
Once more upon that knight I fell,
While wild again that laugh rang out.

Like Death's own eyes his glared in mine,
As with the fragment of my blade
I smote him helmwise; huge he swayed,
Then crashed, like some cadaverous pine,
Uncasqued, his face in full moonshine:
And I-I saw; and shrank afraid.
For, lo! behold! the face was mine.

What devil's work was here!-What jest
For fiends to laugh at, demons hiss!-
To slay myself? and so to miss
My hate's reward?-revenge confessed!-
Was this knight I?-My brain I pressed.-
Then who was he who gazed on this?-
What devil's work was here!--What jest!

It was myself on whom I gazed-
My darker self!-With fear I rose.-
I was right weak from those great blows.-
I stood bewildered, stunned and dazed,
And looked around with eyes amazed.-
I could not slay her now, God knows!-
Around me there a while I gazed.

Then turned and fled into the night,
While overhead once more I heard
That laughter, like some demon bird
Wailing in darkness.-Then a light
Made clear a woman by that knight.
I saw 'twas she, but said no word,
And silent fled into the night.

The North Shore

September On Cape Ann

The partridge-berry flecks with flame the way
That leads to ferny hollows where the bee
Drones on the aster. Far away the sea
Points its deep sapphire with a gleam of grey.
Here from this height where, clustered sweet, the bay
Clumps a green couch, the haw and barberry
Beading her hair, sad Summer, seemingly,
Has fallen asleep, unmindful of the day.
The chipmunk barks upon the old stone wall;
And in the shadows, like a shadow, stirs
The woodchuck where the boneset's blossom creams.
Was that a phoebe with its pensive call?
A sighing wind that shook the drowsy firs?
Or only Summer waking from her dreams?


In An Annisquam Garden

Old phantoms haunt it of the long ago;
Old ghosts of old-time lovers and of dreams:
Within the quiet sunlight there, meseems,
I see them walking where those lilies blow.
The hardy phlox sways to some garment's flow;
The salvia there with sudden scarlet streams,
Caught from some ribbon of some throat that gleams,
Petunia-fair, in flounce and furbelow.
I seem to hear their whispers in each wind
That wanders mid the flowers. There they stand!
Among the shadows of that apple-tree!
They are not dead, whom still it keeps in mind,
This garden, planted by some lovely hand
That keeps it fragrant with its memory.


The Elements

I saw the spirit of the pines that spoke
With spirits of the ocean and the storm:
Against the tumult rose its tattered form,
Wild rain and darkness round it like a cloak.
Fearful it stood, limbed like some twisted oak,
Gesticulating with one giant arm,
Raised as in protest of the night's alarm,
Defiant still of some impending stroke.
Below it, awful in its majesty,
The spirit of the deep, with rushing locks,
Raved: and above it, lightning-clad and shod,
Thundered the tempest. Thus they stood, the three;
Terror around them; while, upon the rocks,
Destruction danced, mocking at man and God.


Night And Storm At Gloucester

I heard the wind last night that cried and wept
Like some old skipper's ghost outside my door;
And on the roof the rain that tramped and tore
Like feet of seamen on a deck storm-swept.
Against the pane the Night with shudderings crept,
And crouched there wailing; moaning ever more
Its tale of terror; of the wrath on shore,
The rage at sea, bidding all wake who slept.
And then I heard a voice as old as Time;
The calling of the mother of the world,
Ocean, who thundered on her granite crags,
Foaming with fury, meditating crime.
And then, far off, wild minute guns; and, hurled
Through roaring surf, the rush of sails in rags.


The Voice Of Ocean

A cry went through the darkness; and the moon,
Hurrying through storm, gazed with a ghastly face,
Then cloaked herself in scud: the merman race
Of surges ceased; and then th' Æolian croon
Of the wild siren, Wind, within the shrouds
Sunk to a sigh. The ocean in that place
Seemed listening; haunted, for a moment's space,
By something dread that cried against the clouds.
Mystery and night; and with them fog and rain:
And then that cry again as if the deep
Uttered its loneliness in one dark word:
Her horror of herself; her Titan pain;
Her monsters; and the dead that she must keep,
Has kept, alone, for centuries, unheard.



I saw the daughters of the ocean dance
With wind and tide, and heard them on the rocks:
White hands they waved me, tossing sunlit locks,
Green as the light an emerald holds in trance.
Their music bound me as with necromance
Of mermaid beauty, that for ever mocks,
And lured me as destruction lures wild flocks
Of light-led gulls and storm-tossed cormorants.
Nearer my feet they crept: I felt their lips:
Their hands of foam that caught at me, to press,
As once they pressed Leander: and, straightway,
I saw the monster-ending of their hips;
The cruelty hid in their soft caress;
The siren-passion ever more to slay.


A Bit Of Coast

One tree, storm-twisted, like an evil hag,
The sea-wind in its hair, beside a path
Waves frantic arms, as if in wild-witch wrath
At all the world. Gigantic, grey as slag,
Great boulders shoulder through the hills, or crag
The coast with danger, monster-like, that lifts
Huge granite, round which wheel the gulls and swifts,
And at whose base the rotting sea-weeds drag.
Inward the hills are wooded; valley-cleft;
Tangled with berries; vistaed dark with pines;
At whose far end, as 'twere within a frame,
Some trail of water that the ocean left
Gleams like a painting where one white sail shines,
Lit with the sunset's poppy-coloured flame.


Autumn At Annisquam

The bitter-sweet and red-haw in her hands,
And in her hair pale berries of the bay,
She haunts the coves and every Cape Ann way,
The Indian, Autumn, wandered from her bands.
Beside the sea, upon a rock, she stands,
And looks across the foam, and straight the grey
Takes on a sunset tone, and all the day
Murmurs with music of forgotten lands.
Now in the woods, knee-deep among the ferns,
She walks and smiles and listens to the pines,
The sweetheart pines, that kiss and kiss again,
Whispering their love: and now she frowns and turns
And in the west the fog in ragged lines
Rears the wild wigwams of the tribes of rain.


Storm Sabbat

Against the pane the darkness, wet and cold,
Pressed a wild face and raised a ragged arm
Of cloud, clothed on with thunder and alarm
And terrible with elemental gold.
Above the fisher's hut, beyond the wold,
The wind, a Salem witch, rushed shrieking harm,
And swept her mad broom over every farm
To devil-revels in some forest old.
Hell and its-hags, it seemed, held court again
On every rock, trailing a tattered gown
Of surf, and whirling, screaming, to the sea
Elf-locks, fantastic, of dishevelled rain;
While in their midst death hobbled up and down
Monstrous and black, with diabolic glee.


The Aurora

Night and the sea, and heaven overhead
Cloudless and vast, as 'twere of hollowed spar,
Wherein the facets gleamed of many a star,
And the half-moon a crystal radiance shed.
Then suddenly, with burning banners spread,
In pale celestial armour, as for war,
Into the heaven, flaming from afar,
The Northern Lights their phalanxed splendours led.
Night, for the moment, seemed to catch her breath,
And earth gazed, silent with astonishment,
As spear on spear the auroral armies came;
As when, triumphant over hell and death,
The victor angels thronged God's firmament
With sword on sword and burning oriflamme.



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.


An Abandoned Quarry

The barberry burns, the rose-hip crimsons warm,
And haw and sumach hedge the hill with fire,
Down which the road winds, worn of hoof and tire,
Only the blueberry-picker plods now from the farm.
Here once the quarry-driver, brown of arm,
Wielded the whip when, deep in mud and mire,
The axle strained, and earned his daily hire,
Labouring bareheaded in both sun and storm.
Wild-cherry now and blackberry and bay
Usurp the place: the wild-rose, undisturbed,
Riots, where once the workman earned his wage,
Whose old hands rest now, like this granite grey,
These rocks, whose stubborn will whilom he curbed,
Hard as the toil that was his heritage.


A Pool Among The Rocks

I know a pool, whose crystalline repose
Sleeps under walls of granite, whence the pine
Leans looking at its image, line for line
Repeated with the sumach and wild-rose
That redden on the rocks; where, at day's close,
The sunset dreams, and lights incarnadine
Dark waters and the place seems brimmed with wine,
A giant cup that splendour overflows.
Night, in her livery of stars and moon,
Stoops to its mirror, gazing steadily;
And, saddened by her beauty, drops one tear,
A falling star; while round it sighs the rune
Of winds, conspirators that sweep from sea,
Whispering of things that fill the heart with fear.


High On A Hill

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.

An Ode - In Commemoration Of The Founding, Of The Massachusetts Bay Colony In The Year 1623.

They who maintained their rights,
Through storm and stress,
And walked in all the ways
That God made known,
Led by no wandering lights,
And by no guess,
Through dark and desolate days
Of trial and moan:
Here let their monument
Rise, like a word
In rock commemorative
Of our Land's youth;
Of ways the Puritan went,
With soul love-spurred
To suffer, die, and live
For faith and truth.
Here they the corner-stone
Of Freedom laid;
Here in their hearts' distress
They lit the lights
Of Liberty alone;
Here, with God's aid,
Conquered the wilderness,
Secured their rights.
Not men, but giants, they,
Who wrought with toil
And sweat of brawn and brain
Their freehold here;
Who, with their blood, each day
Hallowed the soil,
And left it without stain
And without fear.


Yea; here, from men like these,
Our country had its stanch beginning;
Hence sprang she with the ocean breeze
And pine scent in her hair;
Deep in her eyes the winning,
The far-off winning of the unmeasured West;
And in her heart the care,
The young unrest,
Of all that she must dare,
Ere as a mighty Nation she should stand
Towering from sea to sea,
From land to moantained land,
One with the imperishable beauty of the stars
In absolute destiny;
Part of that cosmic law, no shadow mars,
To which all freedom runs,
That wheels the circles of the worlds and suns
Along their courses through the vasty night,
Irrevocable and eternal as is Light.


What people has to-day
Such faith as launched and sped,
With psalm and prayer, the Mayflower on its way?
Such faith as led
The Dorchester fishers to this sea-washed point,
This granite headland of Cape Ann?
Where first they made their bed,
Salt-blown and wet with brine,
In cold and hunger, where the storm-wrenched pine
Clung to the rock with desperate footing. They,
With hearts courageous whom hope did anoint,
Despite their tar and tan,
Worn of the wind and spray,
Seem more to me than man,
With their unconquerable spirits. Mountains may
Succumb to men like these, to wills like theirs,
The Puritan's tenacity to do;
The stubbornness of genius; holding to
Their purpose to the end,
No New-World hardship could deflect or bend;
That never doubted in their worst despairs,
But steadily on their way
Held to the last, trusting in God, who filled
Their souls with fire of faith that helped them build
A country, greater than had ever thrilled
Man's wildest dreams, or entered in
His highest hopes. 'Twas thins that helped them win
In spite of danger and distress,
Through darkness and the din
Of winds and waves, unto a wilderness,
Savage, unbounded, pathless as the sea,
That said, 'Behold me! I am free!'
Giving itself to them for greater things
Than filled their souls with dim imaginings.


Let History record their stalwart names,
And catalogue their fortitude, whence grew,
Swiftly as running flames,
Cities and civilazation:
How from a meeting-house and school,
A few log-huddled cabins, Freedom drew
Her rude beginnings. Every pioneer station,
Each settlemeat, though primitive of tool,
Had in it then the making of a Nation;
Had in it then the roofing of the plains
With tragic; and the piercing through and through
Of forests with the iron veins
Of industry.
Would I could make you see
How these, laboriously,
These founders of New England, every hour
Faced danger, death, and misery,
Conquering the wilderness;
With supernatural power
Changing its features; all its savage glower
Of wild barbarity, fierce hate, duress,
To something human, something that could bless
Mankind with peace and lift its heart's elation;
Something at last that stood
For universal brotherhood,
Astonishing the world, a mighty Nation,
Hewn from the solitude.
Iron of purpose as of faith and daring,
And of indomitable will,
With axe and hymn-book still I see them faring,
The Saxon Spirit of Conquest at their side
With sword and flintlock; still I see them stride,
As to some Roundhead rhyme,
Adown the aisles of Time.


Can praise be simply said of such as these?
Such men as Standish, Winthrop, Endicott?
Such souls as Roger Conant and John White?
Rugged and great as trees,
The oaks of that New World with which their lot
Was cast forever, proudly to remain.
That world in which each name still stands, a light
To beacon the Ship of State through stormy seas.
Can praise be simply said
Of him, the younger Vane,
Puritan and patriot,
Whose dedicated head
Was laid upon the block
In thy name, Liberty!
Can praise be simply said of such as he!
Needs must the soul unlock
All gates of eloquence to sing of these.
Such periods,
Such epic melodies,
As holds the utterance of the earlier gods,
The lords of song, one needs
To sing the praise of these!
No feeble music, tinklings frail of glass;
No penny trumpetings; twitterings of brass,
The moment's effort, shak'n from pigmy bells,
Ephemeral drops from small Pierian wells,
With which the Age relieves a barren hour.
But such large music, such melodious power,
As have our cataracts,
Pouring the iron facts,
The giant acts
Of these: such song as have our rock-ridged deep
And mountain steeps,
When winds, like clanging eagles, sweep the storm
On tossing wood and farm:
Such eloquence as in the torrent leaps,
Where the hoarse canyon sleeps,
Holding the heart with its terrific charm,
Carrying its roaring message to the town,
To voice their high achievement and renown.


Long, long ago, beneath heaven's stormy slope,
In deeds of faith and hope,
Our fathers laid Freedom's foundations here,
And raised, invisible, vast,
Embodying naught of doubt or fear,
A monument whose greatness shall outlast
The future, as the past,
Of all the Old World's dynasties and kings.
A symbol of all things
That we would speak, but cannot say in words,
Of those who first began our Nation here,
Behold, we now would rear!
A different monument! a thought, that girds
Itself with granite; dream made visible
In rock and bronze to tell
To all the Future what here once befell;
Here where, unknown to them,
A tree took root; a tree of wondrous stem;
The tree of high ideals, which has grown,
And has not withered since its seed was sown,
Was planted here by them in this new soil,
Who watered it with tears and blood and toil:
An heritage we mean to hold,
Keeping it stanch and beautiful as of old.
For never a State,
Or People, yet was great
Without its great ideals; branch and root
Of the deep tree of life where bud and blow
The dreams, the thoughts, that grow
To deeds, the glowing fruit.


The morn, that breaks its heart of gold
Above the purple hills;
The eve, that spills
Its nautilus splendor where the sea is rolled;
The night, that leads the vast procession in
Of stars and dreams,
The beauty that shall never die or pass:
The winds, that spin
Of rain the misty mantles of the grass,
And thunder-raiment of the mountain-streams;
The sunbeams, needling with gold the dusk
Green cowls of ancient woods;
The shadows, thridding, veiled with musk,
The moon-pathed solitudes,
Call to my Fancy, saying, 'Follow! follow!'
Till, following, I see,
Fair as a cascade in a rainbowed hollow,
A dream, a shape, take form,
Clad on with every charm,
The vision of that Ideality,
Which lured the pioneer in wood and hill,
And beckoned him from earth and sky;
The dream that cannot die,
Their children's children did fulfill,
In stone and iron and wood,
Out of the solitude,
And by a forthright act
Create a mighty fact
A Nation, now that stands
Clad on with hope and beauty, strength and song,
Eternal, young, and strong,
Planting her heel on Wrong,
Her starry banner in triumphant hands....
Within her face the rose
Of Alleghany dawns;
Limbed with Alaskan snows,
Floridian starlight in her eyes,
Eyes stern as steel yet tender as a fawn's,
And in her hair
The rapture of her river; and the dare,
As perishless as truth,
That o'er the crags of her Sierras flies,
Urging the eagle ardor through her veins,
Behold her where,
Around her radiant youth,
The spirits of the cataracts and plains,
The genii of the floods and forests, meet,
In rainbow mists circling her brow and feet:
The forces vast that sit
In session round her; powers paraclete,
That guard her presence; awful forms and fair,
Making secure her place;
Guiding her surely as the worlds through space
Do laws sidereal; edicts, thunder-lit,
Of skyed eternity, in splendor borne
On planetary wings of night and morn.


Behold her! this is she!
Beautiful as morning on the summer sea,
Yet terrible as is the elemental gold
That cleaves the tempest and in angles clings
About its cloudy temples. Manifold
The dreams of daring in her fearless gaze,
Fixed on the future's days;
And round her brow, a strand of astral beads,
Her soul's resplendent deeds;
And at her front one star,
Refulgent hope,
Like that on morning's slope,
Beaconing the world afar.
From her high place she sees
Her long procession of accomplished acts,
Cloud-wing'd refulgences
Of thoughts in steel and stone, of marble dreams,
Lift up tremendous battlements,
Sun-blinding, built of facts;
While in her soul she seems,
Listening, to hear, as from innumerable tents,
Æonian thunder, wonder, and applause
Of all the heroic ages that are gone;
Feeling secure
That, as her Past, her Future shall endure,
As did her Cause
When redly broke the dawn
Of fierce rebellion, and, beneath its star,
The firmaments of war
Poured down infernal rain,
And North and South lay bleeding 'mid their slain.
And now, no less, shall her Cause still prevail,
More so in peace than war,
Through the thrilled wire and electric rail,
Carrying her message far;
Shaping her dream
Within the brain of steam,
That, with a myriad hands,
Labors unceasingly, and knits her lands
In firmer union; joining plain and stream
With steel; and binding shore to shore
With bands of iron; nerves and arteries,
Along whose adamant forever pour
Her concrete thoughts, her tireless energies.