Imágenes de páginas

That these so dewy lips should be the same As those I stooped to kiss

And heard my harrowing half-spoken name, A little ere the one who bowed above her, Our father and her very constant lover, Rose stoical, and we knew that she was dead. Then I, who could not understand or share His antique nobleness,

Being unapt to bear

The insults which time flings us for our proof,

Fled from the horrible roof

Into the alien sunshine merciless,

The shrill satiric fields ghastly with day Raging to front God in his pride of sway And hurl across the lifted swords of fate That ringed Him where He sat

My puny gage of scorn and desolate hate Which somehow should undo Him, after all!

That this girl face, expectant, virginal,

Which gazes out at me

Boon as a sweetheart, as if nothing loth

(Save for the eyes, with other presage stored)

To pledge me troth,

And in the kingdom where the heart is lord Take sail on the terrible gladness of the


Whose winds the gray Norns keep,

That this should be indeed

The flesh which caught my soul, a flying seed,

Out of the to and fro

Of scattering hands where the seedsman Mage,

Stooping from star to star and age to age Sings as he sows!

That underneath this breast

Nine moons I fed

Deep of divine unrest,

While over and over in the dark she said, "Blessed! but not as happier children blessed"

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

God, how with time and change
Thou makest thy footsteps strange!
Ah, now I know

They play upon me, and it is not so
Why, 't is a girl I never saw before,
A little thing to flatter and make weep,
To tease until her heart is sore,

Then kiss and clear the score;

A gypsy run-the-fields,

A little liberal daughter of the earth, Good for what hour of truancy and mirth The careless season yields

Hither-side the flood of the year and yonder

of the neap;

Then thank you, thanks again, and twenty light good-byes,

O shrined above the skies,

Frown not, clear brow,

Darken not, holy eyes!!

Thou knowest well I know that it is thou

Only to save from such memories

As would unman me quite,

Here in this web of strangeness caught

And prey to troubled thought

Do I devise

These foolish shifts and slight;

Only to shield me from the afflicting sense Of some waste influence

Which from this morning face and lustrous hair

Breathes on me sudden ruin and despair.
In any other guise,

With any but this girlish depth of gaze,

Your coming had not so unsealed and


The dusty amphoras where I had stored
The drippings of the winepress of my days.
I think these eyes foresee,

Now in their unawakened virgin time,
Their mother's pride in me,

And dream even now, unconsciously,

Upon each soaring peak and sky-hung lea

You pictured I should climb.

Broken premonitions come,

Shapes, gestures visionary,

Not as once to maiden Mary

The manifest angel with fresh lilies came
Intelligibly calling her by name;

But vanishingly, dumb,

Thwarted and bright and wild,

As heralding a sin-defiled,

Earth-encumbered, blood-begotten, passionate man-child,

Who yet should be a trump of mighty call Blown in the gates of evil kings

To make them fall;

Who yet should be a sword of flame before
The soul's inviolate door

To beat away the clang of hellish wings;
Who yet should be a lyre

Of high unquenchable desire
In the day of little things,—
Look where the amphoras,
The yield of many days,

Trod by my hot soul from the pulp of self,

And set upon the shelf

In sullen pride

The Vineyard-master's tasting to abideO mother mine!

Are these the bringings-in, the doings fine
Of him who used to praise?

Emptied and overthrown
The jars lie strown.

These, for their flavor duly nursed,
Drip from the stopples vinegar accursed;
These, I thought honied to the very seal,
Dry, dry, a little acid meal,

A pinch of mouldy dust,

Sole leavings of the amber-mantling must;
These rude to look upon,

But flasking up the liquor dearest won,
Through sacred hours and hard,

With watchings and with wrestlings and with grief,

Even of these, of these in chief,

The stale breath sickens reeking from the shard.

Nothing is left. Aye, how much less than naught!

What shall be said or thought

Of the slack hours and waste imaginings,
The cynic rending of the wings,

Known to the froward, that unreckoning


Whereof this brewage was the precious part, Treasured and set away with furtive boast? O dear and cruel ghost,

Be merciful, be just!

See, I was yours and I am in the dust.

Then look not so, as if all things were well! Take your eyes from me, leave me to my


Or else, if gaze they must,

« AnteriorContinuar »