網頁圖片
PDF

... years

How would the victim to the flamen | That what I prayed for I would fain releap,

ceive. And life for life's redemption paid hold My moon is set; my vision set with her; cheap!

No more can worship vain my pulses

stir. But what resource when she herself de Goddess Triform, I own thy triple spell, scends

My heaven's queen, - queen, too, of my From her blue throne, and o'er her vas earth and hell!

sal bends
That shape thrice-deified by love, those
eyes

THE BLACK PREACHER.
Wherein the Lethe of all others lies?
When my white queen of heaven's re-

A BRETON LEGEND. moteness tires, Herself against her other self conspires, Ar Carnac in Brittany, close on the bay, Takes woman's nature, walks in mortal They show you a church, or rather the ways,

gray and And finds in my remorse her beauty's Ribs of a dead one, left there to bleach praise ?

With the wreck lying near on the crest Yet all would I renounce to dream again of the beach, The dream in dreams fulfilled that made Roofless and splintered with thundermy pain,

stone, My noble pain that heightened all my l 'Mid lichen - blurred gravestones all

alone; With crowns to win and prowess-breed- | 'T is the kind of ruin strange sights to ing tears;

see Nay, would that dream renounce once That may have their teaching for you more to see

and me. Her from her sky there looking down at me !

Something like this, then, my guide had

to tell,

Perched on a saint cracked across when Goddess, reclimb thy heaven, and be he fell ; once more

But since I might chance give his meanAn inaccessible splendor to adore, L ing a wrench, A faith, a hope of such transcendent | He talking his putois and I Englishworth

French, As bred ennobling discontent with earth; I'll put what he told me, preserving the Give back the longing, back the elated

tone, mood

In a rhymed prose that makes it half his, That, fed with thee, spurned every half my own.

meaner good; Give even the spur of impotent despair | An abbey-church stood here, once on a That, without hope, still bade aspire and dare;

Built as a death - bed atonement for Give back the need to worship, that still crime: pours

T was for somebody's sins, I know not Down to the soul the virtue it adores !

whose ;

But sinners are plenty, and you can Nay, brightest and most beautiful, deem

choose. naught

Though a cloister now of the duskThese frantic words, the reckless wind winged bat, of thought;

'T was rich enough once, and the Still stoop, still grant, - I live but in brothers grew filt, thy will ;

| Looser in girdle and purpler in jowl, Be what thou wilt, but be a woman still! Singing good rest to the founder's lost Vainly I cried, nor could myself believe

soul.

VII.

[ocr errors]

foot,

[ocr errors]

But one day came Northmen, and lithe That do with thy whole might, or thou tongues of fire

shalt rue ; Lapped up the chapter-house, licked off For no man is wealthy, or wise, or the spire,

brave, And left all a rubbish-heap, black and In that quencher of might - be's and dreary,

would-be's, the grave.' Where only the wind sings miserere. Bid by the Bridegroom, Tomorrow,'

ye said, No priest has kneeled since at the altar's And To-morrow was digging a trench

for your bed; Whose crannies are searched by the Ye said, 'God can wait; let us finish our

nightshade's root, Nor sound of service is ever heard, | Ye had wearied Him, fools, and that Except from throat of the unclean bird, last knock was mine!” Hooting to unassoiled shapes as they pass

But I can't pretend to give you the In midnights unholy his witches' mass,

sermon, Or shouting “Ho! ho!” from the belfry Or say if the tongue were French, Latin,

or German; As the Devil's sabbath-train whirls by Whatever he preached in, I give you my

word But once a year, on the eve of All-Souls, | The meaning was easy to all that heard ; Through these arches dishallowed the Famous preachers there have been and organ rolls,

be, Fingers long fleshless the bell-ropes But never was one so convincing as he ; work,

So blunt was never a begging friar, The chimes peal muffled with sea-mists No Jesuit's tongue so barbed with fire, mirk,

Cameronian never, nor Methodist, The skeleton windows are traced anew | Wrung gall out of Scripture with such a On the baleful flicker of corpse lights twist.

high

blue,

And the ghosts must come, so the legend And would you know who his hearers saith,

must be ? To a preaching of Reverend Doctor I tell you just what my guide told me: Death.

Excellent teaching men have, day and

night, Abbots, monks, barons, and ladies fair From iwo earnest friars, a black and a Hear the dull summons and gather white, there :

The Dominican Death and the Carmelite No rustle of silk now, no clink of mail,

Life; Nor ever a one greets his church-mate And between these two there is never pale ;

strife, No knight whispers love in the châte- For each has his separate office and laine's ear,

station, His next-door neighbor this five hundred And each his own work in the congregayear;

tion; No monk has a sleek benedicite

Whoso to the white brother deafens his For the great lord shadowy now as he;

ears, Nor needeth any to hold his breath, And cannot be wrought on by blessings Lest he lose the least word of Doctor or tears, Death.

Awake in his coffin must wait and wait,

In that blackness of darkness that means He chooses his text in the Book Divine, I

too late, Tenth verse of the Preacher in chapter And come once a year, when the ghostpine:

bell tolls, "Whatsoever thy hand shall find thee As till Doomsday it shall on the eve of to do,

All-Souls,

To hear Doctor Death, whose words For even our honeymoons must wane, smart with the brine

Convicted of green cheese by Reason. Of the Preacher, the tenth verse of chapter nine.

And none will seem so safe from change,

Nor in such skies benignant hover,

As this, beneath whose witchery strange ARCADIA REDIVIVA.

You tread on rose-leaves with your

lover. I, WALKING the familiur street, While a crammed horse-car jingled The glass unfilled all tastes can fit, through it,

As round its brim Conjecture dances; Was lifted from my prosy feet

For not Mephisto's self hath wit And in Arcadia ere I knew it.

To draw such vintages as Fancy's. Fresh gward for gravel soothed my tread, When our pulse beats its minor key, And shepherd's pipes my ear de- When play-time halves and schoollighted;

time doubles, The riddle may be lightly read :

Age fills the cup with serious tea, I met two lovers newly plighted. Which once Dame Clicquot starred

with bubbles. They murmured by in happy care,

New plans for paradise devising, "Fie, Mr. Graybeard! Is this wise ? Just as the moon, with pensive stare, Is this the moral of a poet, O'er Mistress Craigie's pines was Who, when the plant of Eden dies,

Is privileged once more to sow it?

rising.

Astarte, known nigh threescore years,

Me to no speechless rapture urges; Them in Elysium she enspheres,

Queen, from of old, of thaumaturges.

" That herb of clay-disdaining root, | Froin stars secreting what it feeds on, Is burnt-out passion's slag and soot

Fit soil to strew its dainty seeds on ?

The railings put forth bud and bloom, “Pray, why, if in Arcadia once, The house fronts all with myrtles twine Need one so soon forget the way there? them,

Or why, once there, be such a dunce And light-winged Loves in every room ! As not contentedly to stay there ?" Make nests, and then with kisses line them.

Dear child, 't was but a sorry jest,

| And from my heart I hate the cynic O sweetness of untasted life!

Who makes the Book of Life a nest O dream, its own supreme fulfilment! For comments staler than rabbinic. O hours with all illusion rife, As ere the heart divined what ill If Love his simple spell but keep, meant!

Life with ideal eyes to flatter,

The Grail itself were crockery cheap Et ego," sighed I to myself,

To Every-day's communion-platter. And strove some vain regrets to bridle, “ Though now laid dusty on the shelf, One Darby is to me well known, Was hero once of such an idyl!

Who, as the hearth between them

blazes, “An idyl ever dewly sweet,

Sees the old moonlight shine on Joan, Although since Adam's day recited, And float her youthward in its hazes. Whose measures time them to Love's feet,

He rnbs his spectacles, he stares, Whose sense is every ill requited." | 'T is the same face that witched him

early ! Maiden, if I may counsel, drain

He gropes for his remaining hairs, Each drop of this enchanted season, Is this a fleece that feels so curly ?

“Good heavens! but now 't was winter And, when the Autumn comes, to flee gray,

Wherever sunshine beckons thee!
And I of years had more than plenty;
The almanac 's a fool! "Tis May!

PALINODE. – DECEMBER.
Hang family Bibles! I am twenty!

Like some lorn abbey now, the wood “Come, Joan, your arm; we'll walk the Stands roofless in the bitter air; room

In ruins on its floor is strewed The lane, I mean - do you remem- The carven foliage quaint and rare, ber?

| And homeless winds complain along How confident the roses bloom,

The columned choir once thrilled with As if it ne'er could be December!

song. “Nor more it shall, while in your eyes | And thou, dear nest, whence joy and My heart its summer heat recovers,

praise And you, howe'er your mirror lies,

The thankful oriole used to pour, Find your old beauty in your lover's." Swing'st empty while the north winds

chase

Their snowy swarms from Labrador: THE NEST.

But, loyal to the happy past,

I love thee still for what thou wast.
MAY

Ah, when the Summer graces flee
When oaken woods with buds are pink, From other nests more deur than thou,
And new-come birds each morning And, where June crowded once, I see
sing,

Only bare trunk and disleaved bough; When fickle May on Summer's brink When springs of life that gleamed and Pauses, and knows not which to fling,

gushed Whether fresh bud and bloom again, Run chilled, and slower, and are hushed; Or hoar-frost silvering hill and plain,

When our own branches, naked long, Then from the honeysuckle gray

The vacant nests of Spring betray, The oriole with experienced quest Nurseries of passion, love, and song Twitches the fibrous bark away,

That vanished as our year grew gray ; The cordage of his hammock-nest, When Life drones o'er à tale twice told Cheering his labor with a note

O’er embers pleading with the cold, Rich as the orange of his throat.

I'll trust, that, like the birds of Spring, High o'er the loud and dusty road

Our good goes not without repair, The soft gray cup in safety swings, But only flies to soar and sing To brim ere August with its load

Far off in some diviner air, Of downy breasts and throbbing Where we shall find it in the calms wings,

Of that fair garden 'neath the palms. O'er which the friendly elm-tree heaves An emerald roof with sculptured eaves. Below, the noisy World drags by

A YOUTHFUL EXPERIMENT IN ENG

LISH HEXAMETERS.
In the old way, because it must,
The bride with heartbreak in her eye,

IMPRESSIONS OF HOMER.
The mourner following hated dust:
Thy duty, wingëd flame of Spring, SOMETIMES come pauses of calm, when
Is but to love, and fly, and sing.

the rapt bard, holding his heart

back, Oh, happy life, to soar and sway

Over his deep mind muses, as when o'er Above the life by mortals led,

awestricken ocean Singing the merry months away, Poises a heapt cloud luridly, ripening Master, not slave of daily bread,

the gale and the thunder;

[merged small][ocr errors]

Slow rolls onward the verse with a long From him the charm is slipping still,

swell heaving and swinging, And drops, ere he suspect the ill, Seeming to wait till, gradually wid'ning Into the inexorable sea.

from far-off horizons, Piling the deeps up, heaping the gladhearted surges before it,

ESTRANGEMENT. Gathers the thought as a strong wind

darkening and cresting the tumult. The path from me to you that led, Then every pause, every heave, each Untrodden long, with grass is grown,

trough in the waves, has its mean-, Mute carpet that his lieges spread
ing;

Before the Prince Oblivion
Full-sailed, forth like a tall ship steadies ( When he goes visiting the dead.

the theme, and around it, Leaping beside it in glad strength, run- | And who are they but who forget ? ning in wild glee beyond it

You, who my coming could surmise Harmonies billow exulting and floating Ere any hint of me as yet the soul where it lists them,

Warned other ears and other eyes, Swaying the listener's fantasy hither and See the path blurred without regret. thither like driftweed.

But when I trace its windings sweet

With saddened steps, at every spot BIRTHDAY VERSES.

That feels the memory in my feet,

Each grass-blade turns forget-me-not, WRITTEN IN A CHILD'S ALBUM. Where murmuring bees your name

repeat.
'T was sung of old in hut and hall
How once a king in evil hour

PHOEBE.
Hung musing o'er his castle wall,
And, lost in idle dreams, let fall

ERE pales in Heaven the morning star, Into the sea his ring of power.

| A bird, the loneliest of its kind,

Hears Dawn's faint footfall from afar
Then, let him sorrow as he might, While all its mates are dumb and blind.
And pledge his daughter and his throne
To who restored the jewel bright, It is a wee sad-colored thing,
The broken spell would ne'er unite; As shy and secret as a maid,
The grim old ocean held its own. That, ere in choir the robins ring,

Pipes its own name like one afraid.
Those awful powers on man that wait,
On man, the beggar or the king,

It seems pain-prompted to repeat
To hovel bare or hall of state

The story of some ancient ill, A magic ring that masters fate

But Phæbe ! Phæbe ! sadly sweet With each succeeding birthday bring Is all it says, and then is still. Therein are set four jewels rare : It calls and listens. Earth and sky, Pearl winter, summer's ruby blaze, Hushed by the pathos of its fate, Spring's emerald, and, than all more fair, Listen : no whisper of reply Fall's pensive opal, doomed to bear Comes from its doom-dissevered mate. A heart of fire bedreamed with haze.

Phoebe! it calls and calls again,
To him the simple spell who knows And Ovid, could he but have heard,
The spirits of the ring to sway,

Had hung a legendary pain
Fresh power with every sunrise flows, About the memory of the bird;
And roval pursuivants are those
That Ay his mandates to obey.

A pain articulate so long

In penance of some mouldered crime But he that with a slackened will Whose ghost still flies the Furies' thong Dreams of things past or things to be, Down the waste solitudes of time.

« 上一頁繼續 »