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Fitted already on their golden string,
Shall soon leap earthward with exulting flight
To thrid the dark heart of that evil faith
Whose trust is in the clumsy arms of Force,
The ozier hauberk of a ruder
? Freedom! thou other name for happy Truth, Thou warrior-maid, whose steel-clad feet were never Out of the stirrup, nor thy lance uncouched, Nor thy fierce eye enticèd from its watch, Thou hast learned now, by hero-blood in vain Poured to enrich the soil which tyrants reap; By wasted lives of prophets, and of those Who, by the promise in their souls upheld, Into the red arms of a fiery death Went blithely as the golden-girdled bee Sinks in the sleepy poppy's cup of flame By the long woes of nations set at war, That so the swollen torrent of their wrath May find a vent, else sweeping off like straws The thousand cobweb threads, grown cable-huge By time's long gathered dust, but cobwebs still, Which bind the Many that the Few may gain Leisure to wither by the drought of ease What heavenly germs in their own souls were sown; By all these searching lessons thou hast learned To throw aside thy blood-stained helm and spear And with thy bare brow daunt the enemy's front, Knowing that God will make the lily stalk, In the soft grasp of naked Gentleness, Stronger than iron spear to shatter through The sevenfold toughness of Wrong's idle shield.
THE sunset scarce had dimmed away
Into the twilight's doubtful gray;
One long cloud o'er the horizon lay,
’Neath which, a streak of bluish white,
Wavered between the day and night;
Over the pine trees on the hill
The trembly evening-star did thrill,
And the new moon, with slender rim,
Through the elm arches gleaming dim,
Filled memory's chalice to the brim.
On such an eve the heart doth grow
Full of surmise, and scarce can know
If it be now or long ago,
Or if indeed it doth exist;
A wonderful enchanted mist
From the new moon doth wander out,
Wrapping all things in mystic doubt,
So that this world doth seem untrue,
And all our fancies to take hue
From some life ages since gone through.
The maiden sat and heard the flow
Of the west wind so soft and low
The leaves scarce quivered to and fro;
Unbound, her heavy golden hair
Rippled across her bosom bare,
Which gleamed with thrilling snowy white
Far through the magical moonlight:
The breeze rose with a rustling swell,
And from afar there came the smell
Of a long-forgotten lily-bell.
The dim moon rested on the hill,
But silent, without thought or will,
Where sat the dreamy maiden still;
And now the moon's tip, like a star,
Drew down below the horizon's bar;
To her black noon the night hath grown,
Yet still the maiden sits alone,
Pale as a corpse beneath a stream
And her white bosom still doth gleam
Through the deep midnight like a dream.
Cloudless the morning came and fair,
And lavishly the sun doth share
His gold among her golden hair,
Kindling it all, till slowly so
A glory round her head doth glow;
A withered flower is in her hand,
That grew in some far distant land,
And, silently transfigured,
With wide calm eyes, and undrooped head,
They found the stranger-maiden dead.
A youth, that morn, 'neath other skies,
Feit sudden tears burn in his eyes,
And his heart throng with memories;
All things without him seemed to win
Strange brotherhood with things within,
And he forever felt that he
Walked in the midst of mystery,
And thenceforth, why, he could not tell,
His heart would curdle at the smell
Of his once-cherished lily-bell.
Something from him had passed away;
Some shifting trembles of clear day,
Through starry crannies in his clay,
Grew bright and steadfast, more and more,
Where al] had been dull earth before;
And, through these chinks, like him of old,
His spirit converse high did hold
With clearer loves and wider powers,
That brought him dewy fruits and flowers
From far Elysian groves and bowers.
Just on the farther bound of sense,
Unproved by outward evidence,
But known by a deep influence
Which through our grosser clay doth shine
With light unwaning and divine,
Beyond where highest thought can fly
Stretcheth the world of Mystery -
And they not greatly overween
Who deem that nothing true hath been
Save the unspeakable Unseen.
One step beyond life's work-day things,
One more beat of the soul's broad wings,
One deeper sorrow sometimes brings
The spirit into that great Vast
Where neither future is nor past;
None knoweth how he entered there,
But, waking, finds his spirit where
He thought an angel could not soar,
And, what he called false dreams before,
The very air about his door.
These outward seemings are but shows
Whereby the body sees and knows;
Far down beneath, forever flows
A stream of subtlest sympathies
That make our spirits strangely wise
In awe, and fearful bodings dim
Which, from the sense's outer rim,
Stretch forth beyond our thought and sight,
Fine arteries of circling light,
Pulsed outward from the Infinite.
HOPE first the youthful Poet leads,
And he is glad to follow her;
Kind is she, and to all his needs
With a free hand doth minister.
But, when sweet Hope at last hath fled,
Cometh her sister, Memory;
She wreathes Hope's garlands round her head,
And strives to seem as fair as she.
Then Hope comes back, and by the hand
She leads a child most fair to see,
Who with a joyous face doth stand
Uniting Hope and Memory.
So brighter grew the Earth around,
And bluer grew the sky above;
The Poet now his guide hath found,
And follows in the steps of Love.
TO VOLUME OF POEMS ENTITLED
The gentle Una I have loved,
The snowy maiden, pure and mild,
Since ever by her side I roved,
Through ventures strange, a wondering child,
In fantasy a Red Cross Knight,
Burning for her dear sake to fight.
If there be one who can, like her,
Make sunshine in life's shady places,
One in whose holy bosom stir
As many gentle household graces
And such I think there needs must be
Will she accept this book from me ?
GENTLE, Lady, be thy sleeping,
Peaceful may thy dreamings be,
While around thy soul is sweeping,
Dreamy-winged, our melody;
Chant we, Brothers, sad and slow,
Let our song be soft and low
As the voice of other years,
Let our hearts within us melt,
To gentleness, as if we felt
The dropping of our mother's tears.
Lady! now our song is bringing
Back again thy childhood's hours -
Hearest thou the humbee singing
Drowsily among the flowers ?