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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 140/175 -


And so from sight of tears that fell like rain, And sounds of sobbing smothered close and low, I turned my white face to the window-pane, To say good-night to thee before I go.

Good-night! good-night! I do not fear the end, The conflict with the billows dark and high; And yet, if I could touch thy hand, my friend, I think it would be easier to die;

If I could feel through all the quiet waves Of my deep hair thy tender breath a-thrill, I could go downward to the place of graves With eyes a-shine and pale lips smiling still;

Or it may be that, if through all the strife And pain of parting I should hear thy call, I would come singing back to sweet, sweet life, And know no mystery of death at all.

It may not be. Good-night, dear friend, good-night! And when you see the violets again, And hear, through boughs with swollen buds a-white, The gentle falling of the April rain,

Remember her whose young life held thy name With all things holy, in its outward flight, And turn sometimes from busy haunts of men To hear again her low good-night! good-night!

Hester A. Benedict [18 -

REQUIESCAT

Bury me deep when I am dead, Far from the woods where sweet birds sing; Lap me in sullen stone and lead, Lest my poor dust should feel the Spring.

Never a flower be near me set, Nor starry cup nor slender stem, Anemone nor violet,

Lest my poor dust remember them.

And you - wherever you may fare - Dearer than birds, or flowers, or dew - Never, ah me, pass never there, Lest my poor dust should dream of you.

Rosamund Marriott Watson [1863-1911]

THE FOUR WINDS

Wind of the North, Wind of the Norland snows, Wind of the winnowed skies and sharp, clear stars - Blow cold and keen across the naked hills, And crisp the lowland pools with crystal films, And blur the casement-squares with glittering ice, But go not near my love.

Wind of the West, Wind of the few, far clouds, Wind of the gold and crimson sunset lands - Blow fresh and pure across the peaks and plains, And broaden the blue spaces of the heavens, And sway the grasses and the mountain pines, But let my dear one rest.

Wind of the East, Wind of the sunrise seas, Wind of the clinging mists and gray, harsh rains - Blow moist and chill across the wastes of brine, And shut the sun out, and the moon and stars, And lash the boughs against the dripping eaves, Yet keep thou from my love.

But thou, sweet wind! Wind of the fragrant South, Wind from the bowers of jasmine and of rose! - Over magnolia glooms and lilied lakes And flowering forests come with dewy wings, And stir the petals at her feet, and kiss The low mound where she lies.

Charles Henry Luders [1858-1891]

THE KING'S BALLAD

Good my King, in your garden close, (Hark to the thrush's trilling) Why so sad when the maiden rose Love at your feet is spilling? Golden the air and honey-sweet, Sapphire the sky, it is not meet Sorrowful faces should flowers greet, (Hark to the thrush's trilling).

All alone walks the King to-day. (Hark to the thrush's trilling) Far from his throne he steals away Loneness and quiet willing. Roses and tulips and lilies fair Smile for his pleasure everywhere, Yet of their joyance he takes no share, (Hark to the thrush's trilling).

Ladies wait in the palace, Sire, (Hark to the thrush's trilling) Red and white for the king's desire, Love-warm and sweet and thrilling; Breasts of moonshine and hair of night, Glances amorous, soft and bright, Nothing is lacking for your delight, (Hark to the thrush's trilling).

Kneels the King in a grassy place, (Hark to the thrush's trilling) Little flowers under his face With his warm tears are filling. Says the King, "Here my heart lies dead Where my fair love is buried, Would I were lying here instead!" (Hark to the thrush's trilling).

Joyce Kilmer [1886-1918]

HELIOTROPE

Amid the chapel's chequered gloom She laughed with Dora and with Flora, And chattered in the lecture-room, - That saucy little sophomora! Yet while, as in her other schools, She was a privileged transgressor, She never broke the simple rules Of one particular professor.

But when he spoke of varied lore, Paroxytones and modes potential, She listened with a face that wore A look half fond, half reverential. To her, that earnest voice was sweet, And, though her love had no confessor, Her girlish heart lay at the feet Of that particular professor.

And he had learned, among his books That held the lore of ages olden, To watch those ever-changing looks, The wistful eyes, the tresses golden, That stirred his pulse with passion's pain And thrilled his soul with soft desire, And bade fond youth return again, Crowned with its coronet of fire.

Her sunny smile, her winsome ways, Were more to him than all his knowledge, And she preferred his words of praise To all the honors of the college. Yet "What am foolish I to him?" She whispered to her heart's confessor. "She thinks me old and gray and grim," In silence pondered the professor.

Yet once when Christmas bells were rung Above ten thousand solemn churches, And swelling anthems grandly sung Pealed through the dim cathedral arches, - Ere home returning, filled with hope, Softly she stole by gate and gable, And a sweet spray of heliotrope Left on his littered study-table.

Nor came she more from day to day Like sunshine through the shadows rifting: Above her grave, far, far away, The ever-silent snows were drifting; And those who mourned her winsome face Found in its stead a swift successor And loved another in her place - All, save the silent old professor.

But, in the tender twilight gray, Shut from the sight of carping critic, His lonely thoughts would often stray From Vedic verse and tongues Semitic, Bidding the ghost of vanished hope Mock with its past the sad possessor Of the dead spray of heliotrope That once she gave the old professor.

Harry Thurston Peck [1856-1914]


The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 140/175

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