When The Wind Comes Up The Hill

Oh ! the wind among the trees,
How it stirs their wood to song !
Little whispered melodies.
All the winding road along.

Was there ever such a sound,
Breaking through a noontide still,
As this tune the trees have found.
When the wind comes up the hill !

A RIPPLE and a rush, and a mating thrash,
And, oh ! the month must be at May.
A blossom and a tree, and a honey-bee,
And, oh ! it's such a perfect day !

A meeting and a smile, and a sunlit mile.
And, oh ! the world is very young.
Come winter, storm or cold.
Love never can grow old.
And oh ! my little song is sung !

I weave my verses of smiles and tears,
Gathered and shed for you,
I bind them up in the hopes of years,
Dear, will you read them through?

I write my ballads of joy and pain,
Cast at your heedless feet,
I set the words to a lost refrain,
Sing it but once, my Sweet!

I breathe my life into rhyme and song,
What shall I gain thereby?
The verse is poor, and the tune is wrong,
Kiss them and let them die.

' Swift away, swift away,'
Sang the fickle swallow,
Oh ! the fickle swallow,
Flying to the sun !
'Come, my little brothers,
Bring your feathered mothers,
Come away, come away.
Each and every one.'

'Only stay, only stay,'
Sang the lonely poet.
Oh ! the lonely poet,
All among the snow !
Robin Redbreast heard, and said,
'I am here though summer's dead ;
Cheer up, cheer up,
I will never go!'

The Thrush's Song

' Oh ! bother,' sang the thrush,
'I'm in an awful rush,
For I've got to get ready for the Spring.
With feathers from my breast,
I'll line a cosy nest,
A terribly difficult thing !

'Before it is too late,
I'll have to find a mate,
And she must be dainty and small.
Obedient and sweet.
In jacket brown and neat,
And ready to come when I call.

' The robins are all wed
(Or so I've heard it said).
And the wind from the South it does blow.
The ice has felt the sun.
And winter must be done,
For a primrose is growing in the snow !'

A drop of dew that on a rose-bud clings,
A ray of sunshine in a world of Springs,
A bird, who singing from some hidden tree,
Is bathed in streams of endless melody,

An open flower you trod on as you passed,
The purple shadow that your passing cast,
A breath of wind that lingered on your brow,
An emerald leaf fresh shaken from the bough,

A smile of hope on lips that you delight,
A grateful word from one whom you requite
For some small service, or a little sigh
That fans your senses as it flutters by,
These things to you how much they mean!
While I?. . . . . . . . .

The Song Of The Watcher

At the early break of day,
When the river mists grow pink.
And the moon begins to sink,
Down along the southern way ;
When the gold mimosa tree
Rustles low and pleasantly.
To the little singing bird
That within her heart has stirred ;
I, the watcher at the window,
Thank the gods who made dawn lovely,
By creating you for me !

When the stately night steps down.
Silent footed, from the west,
With the moon against her breast
Folded in her cloudy gown ;
When the endless, sighing sea
Stretches to eternity.
Yearning for the pale-eyed star,
Long beloved, and yet so far ;
I, the watcher at the window,
Thank the gods who made night lovely,
By creating you for me !

North And South

Come with me, sweetheart, into Italy,
And press the burning goblet of the south
To those cold northern lips, until thy mouth
Relents beneath its draft of ecstasy.

Drink in the sun, made liquid in the breasts
Of purple grapes crushed lifeless for thy wine,
Until those over tranquil eyes of thine
Glow like twin lakes, on which the noontide rests.

Drink in the airs, those languid, vapoury sighs
Of Goddesses, whose souls live on in love,
Those amorous zephyrs, soft with plaint of dove
From flowery trees of Pagan Paradise :

Until thy brain grows hazy 'neath the fumes
Of pale camellias, passionately white,
Of scarlet roses dropping with delight
Their wanton petals in a shower of bloom.

Drink in the music of some ardent song,
Poured forth to die upon the wide, still lake,
Until the darkness seems to throb and break
In fiery stars whose pulses yearn and long.

And then drink in my love; the whole of me,
In one deep breath, one vast impassioned kiss,
That come what may, thou canst remember this :
That thou hast lived and loved in Italy.


The world 's a beautiful world to-day,
A flame of gold and a dusk of gray,

Where Autumn leaves toss their gaudy crests
O'er still deep lanes, where the twilight rests.

Just overhead as I ride along
A hopeful thrush charms his thought to song,

And all that 's joyous within me springs
To meet the promise of which he sings.

Away to Heaven the melting view
Is soft with raptures of endless blue;

The trees and meadows, the hills and plains,
Like music woven of countless strains

Submerge, entwine, till the eye can see
No shade that is not a harmony.

As part of nature's most perfect whole
Each humble object conceives a soul,

No tiny flower in the distance lost,
But gives its colour, nor counts the cost ;

No drop of dew, but its feeble ray
An atom cast in the pearly gray

Is shining there, unperceived, content,
A dim star set in earth's firmament.

My horse treads gently, and makes scarce sound,
His hoofs sink deep in the marshy ground,

Yet 'neath the touch of my curbing rein
I feel the youth in his veins complain,

He lifts his head, and his eager eyes
Gaze far away where the moorland lies,

He whinnies often, as though to say
I would be free on this perfect day !

He too is filled with a happiness
His dumb soul treasures but can't express,

And in that gladness of wind and sun
I know my beast and myself are one.

The way is lonely, no passer by
Disturbs the stillness, my horse and l

Possess the earth, and the rippling air
Divine elixir to banish care

Has brought new strength to my heart and mind,
And swept all sorrowful things behind.

Oh ! Joy of living when youth is ours!
Oh ! Earth my Mother, thy fragrant bowers

Could they be fairer if Angels trod
Beneath their trees at the will of God?

Could fabled Heaven e'er compensate
For one such day, when the year is late,

And all the Summer has come to dwell
In long warm moments of dim farewell?

When skies are pale with the tears that bless
The soil, in falling for happiness?

And winds are fragrant with scent that flows
From out the bosom of some lone rose?

And brooks are drowsy with dusty gleams,
And languid thoughts of their winter dreams?

The fields are vital, and nude, and gray
With future promise of fruitful clay?

Ah ! no, my being could not believe,
My heart desire, nor my soul conceive,

A world more perfect, more dear, more true,
Than this fair Eden I'm riding through.

Brother Filippo

Ring on! Oh endless vesper bell!
What can you know of that deep Hell
Upon this Earth, where men may dwell.

Ring on ! Your calling is in vain,
What holy rite can lull the pain
Of mortal Sin's Immortal stain.
* * * *
It was the heavy hour of noon,
When Nature still as in a swoon
Reclines beneath the spell of June.

I left the Monastery gate,
And sought the forest shade, to wait
For even hour, and meditate.

Upon the beads hung from my side
A silver Christus crucified.
God mocked, and scourged, and denied !

My missal in my hand I took,
And read within the Holy Book
How vain the joys a monk forsook.

I thought of Heaven, and all therein
I hoped by penitence to win;
My heart was free from mortal sin.

When lo ! as of enchanted spheres
A languid music smote my ears,
With vast delight, and vaster fears.

It was as if all deadly wrong
Grown honied sweet in magic song
Caressed my senses, deep and long.

My eyes upon the missal bent
Sprang upward, and in ravishment
Beheld a gaze on me intent.

The figure of a tender maid,
Within the larches' trembling glade
Clothed in sunlight and in shade—

Was bending o'er me, and her breast
Full worthy of a King's behest
She offered, that my head might rest.

She was most pale, and frail, and white,
Like moonlit mist on Summer's night,
Like memory of wan delight.

And thro' the tendrils of her hair
There blew a breath of scented air,
Of all sweet things from everywhere.

A limpid magic were her eyes,
Two mountain lakes, where sunlight lies
Enamoured, and of passion dies.

From out her lips proceeded words
More soft than distant pipe of herds,
More tender than the song of birds.

I know not what the tongue she spake,
But all my senses leapt to ache
With longing, for her asking's sake.

As in a dream I rose and pressed
Her bending slimness to my breast:
With eager kiss my mouth caressed

The flaming redness of her own,
All else on earth had nothing grown,
Save that we two were there alone.

Within my ears the rush of streams,
My vision shot with lurid gleams,
My spirit bathed in burning dreams!

A vital fragrance round her clung,
As if from earth's deep veins was wrung
The sap of springs for ever young.

It turned my blood to living fire,
The universe immense, entire,
Was bound in me, and my desire.

No mortal man was I, while still
I kissed and wreaked my ardent will
Upon that form of tender ill.

She cast her magic over me,
Her spell of Immortality,
That lost my soul Eternity.

The sunlight faded, and the day
As one affrighted fled away,
Suddenly tremulous and gray.

An icy wind sprang up, and blew
A shuddering breath along the dew,
It chilled my body thro' and thro'.

I sought the shelter of her hair,
But lo ! my sinful breast was bare,
My arms outstretched to empty air.

I wept aloud, in anguish cried,
The echoes hastened to deride !
She came no longer to my side.

And in her stead, with agony
Of dumb regret, most bitterly
My soul came forth, and looked on me !
* * * *
Within the forest's depth a bird
Began to twitter, and I heard
Trees stirring at its tender word.

I woke as from a searing dream,
Beside my feet a little stream
Grew rosy with a sunset beam.

The earth gave forth her fragrant store;
Obedient to Eternal law,
All things were even as before,

All things save I, who moaned, and stood
A stranger, in the tranquil wood.
My spirit shrank away, nor could

Refresh itself at Nature's breast,
Its lips were burnt, denied, caressed
Of sin, unholy and unblessed !

I knew it then ! fulfilled desires
Are in themselves Hell's deepest fires,
And man when highest he aspires

The more may fall beneath his lust.
And yet, ah ! Heaven, the while I thrust
My sense in penitential dust

I knew that thro' my misery
A tremor stole persistently,
Of rapture at her memory.

Shall I confess with spirit bent
That hour of awful ravishment?
Dear God, but slwuld I not repent'?

'Twere better that we two should die
A thousand deaths, my soul and I,
Than live an everlasting lie !

Oh soul ! What would you have me say,
To Him whose hand shall never stay-
Its vengeance on this woeful day !
* * * *
Ring on ! oh endless vesper bell !
What can you know of that deep Hell
Upon this earth where men may dwell,
And God, does He know? Who can tell