If I should pray, my prayer would be
For gratitude unlimited :
For gratitude so vast and deep,
That it would move my soul to weep
Great tears, and all the words I said
To be as organ notes sublime,
FuU-throati d flowing words of rhyme,
Whose like no mortal eye hath read.

Then would I kneel before the God
Whose matchless genius made the earth ;
The Poet-God, who sows the hours
With all the scented hosts of flowers.
Who gives the little winds their birth,
Who doth unloose the sea-song's might
To shake the very stars at night.
And fling the foam-flakes high in mirth.

Whose mind is fragrant as a grove
Of cedar trees in summer rain,
Whose thoughts dead poets gathered up,
And poured within the brimming cup
They offered to the world in vain.
Whose whisper masters caught, and wrote
Into their music note by note,
Immortal, haunting, strain on strain.

Whose image is revealed to all
Great lovers in the loved one's face.
Whose passion mystical and deep
Kindles the holy fires that sleep
Within the heart's most secret place.
Whose breath is incense on the shrine
Of earthly love, burning divine
And changeless, through all time and space !

The All-Mother's Awakening

To-day the still, deep mind of the Earth
Has steeped in longing her wistful eyes,
A sense of wonder and glad surprise
Thrills thro' her heart with a thought of birth.

The grave All-Mother looks up and smiles,
Her breath comes balmy from sunlit mouth,
Her bosom bare to the ardent south
Is fanned by perfume from fruitful miles.

All winter long has the dear Earth slept
In drifts of snow, 'neath the bane of frost,
Her children sought for the Mother lost,
Yet found her not, and in anguish wept.

All winter long have my senses cried
For warmth of sun, and the blue of sky,
The hard north answered to mock my sigh,
And all the glory of life denied.

The cold mists drifting on land and sea,
Like ghosts of passions burnt out and chill,
Smote heart and soul with the fear of ill,
That cast its awfulness over me.

The dank gray sails, and the dank gray shore,
They melted each in the other's face,
With clammy kiss, in a wan embrace
That left them colder than e'en before.

And thro' the boughs of the moss-grown trees
The sap flowed sluggish, or not at all,
While here and there would a dead leaf fall,
Like thought of harrowing memories.

Then from the heart of the Universe
There rose a wail of unending woe,
An anguished prayer from the deeps below:
' Oh ! Mother, lift from our souls the curse!'

'Oh! Mother, quicken thy sacred womb,
With fire that throbs in the veins of Spring,
Behold the numbness of everything,
And only thou can avert the doom.'

' Oh ! Mother, hear us !' But silent still
The Earth slept on, as it were in death.
Her ice-bound bosom stirred not with breath,
So fast she lay 'neath the winter's will.

I joined my prayer to the wind and trees,
I joined my cry to the striving soil,
I said, 'Oh ! Mother, our endless toil
Has made us sicken with miseries.

' Rise up ! and help us again to live,
Rise up ! uncover thy fruitful breast,
We faint in winter's unrestful rest,
We burn with longings to love and give.'

And as I spoke came a voice more strong
Than all creation's, o'er land and sea
It called our Mother to ecstasy,
And lo ! she stirred, who had slept so long.

She stirred, she opened her drowsy eyes,
And bending down from the dome above,
Beheld the form of embodied Love,
As Spring stepped Earthward from Paradise.

The Laying Of Ghosts

Oh ! weary ghosts, be still !
Sad spectres of long dead delights,
Wan spirits of the days and nights
Wherein of joy we drank our fill,
Lie deep beneath the sod of years.
To-day, to-day is mine !
Ye shall not blight its fragrant flowers,
Nor mar the passing of its hours,
That love has rendered all divine,
By woeful sighs and falling tears.

This is the sphere of life,
Wherein the long forgotten dead
Unwelcome should forbear to tread,
Within my veins hot blood runs rife,
But ye are colder than the grave !
What would ye have of me?
What price that penance did not pay,
What sacrifice of human clay?
Must my delight again set free
Be tethered to a witless slave?

While still upon this earth
Ye lived, and 'neath the joyous sun
Were warm and fair to look upon,
I blest the hour that gave ye birth,
And all my life laid at your feet.
The homage of my youth
I daily offered at your shrine,
Nor counted dear those gifts of mine
Which sapped the very strength of truth,
And left her poor and incomplete.

Nor did condemn the lust,
The soul destroying tyranny,
With which ye wrought my misery,
For in my heart was endless trust,
My spirit, dauntless, knew no fear.
Ye cry that ye were slain
Alas ! it was not I who slew,
For all my hopes were buried too
Within that hour of death and pain,
And there remained not e'en a tear.

Nay, it was fate whose hand
Upraised to strike the awful blow
Decreed that ye must die, and go
Lamented to that shadow land
Of lost illusions perished soon !
Wherein the once-time-young
Thro' countless ages seek, nor find,
Their vanished youth ; with wandering mind
They sing the songs that once they sung,
But never may complete the tune.

Hence—hence ! it is not yet
The hour wherein I too must pass,
The sand runs still within the glass,
And I would live and fain forget
Those bygone things that once ye were.
My lips have touched the rose,
And in its perfumed breast the dew
Has quenched my thirst; and lo! anew
The petals of my heart unclose,
My pulses throb, my senses stir.

Ye shall not steal this day,
For love has risen to my aid,
See, I am brave and undismayed!
Hence—hence ! all things must pass away,
Back to your graves, obscure and deep !
I read aloud love's prayer,
Lift not again your haunting eyes
T'wards my new-found Paradise,
Lie still beside my lost despair,
And I command you—Sleep, Sleep, Sleep!