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- In Divers Tones - 10/14 -


Still you climb the windy hill, Still the hillside fronts the dawn, Fronts the clustering village still.

On the bare hill-summit waves Still the lonely poplar-tree. Where the blue lake-water raves, Still the plover pipe and flee.

Still you climb from windy pier, Where the white gull drops and screams, Through the village grown so dear, Till you reach my heaven of dreams.

Ah, the place we used to meet, I and she,--where sharp you turn, Shun the curious village street, Lurk thro' hollows, hide in fern!

Then; the old house, ample-eaved, Night-long quiet beneath the stars,-- How the maples, many-leaved, Screened us at the orchard bars!

Path by which her feet have gone, Still you climb the windy hill; Still the hillside fronts the dawn, Fronts the clustering village still;

But no longer she, my own, Treads you, save as dreams allow. And these eyes in dreams alone Dare to look upon you now.

TOUT OU RIEN.

Love, if you love me, love with heart and soul! I am not liberal as some lovers are, Accepting small return, and scanty dole, Gratefully glad to worship from afar.

Ah, love me passionately, or not at all! For love that counts the cost I have small need. My fingers would with laughing scorn let fall That poor half-love so many lovers heed.

Then be mine wholly,--body, soul, and brain! Your memory shall outlive kings. For Time Forgets his cunning and assails in vain Her whose name rings along the poet's rhyme.

SALT.

O breath of wind and sea, Bitter and clear, Now my faint soul springs free, Blown clean from fear!

O hard sweet strife, O sting Of buffeting salt! Doubt and despair take wing, Failure, and fault.

I dread not wrath or wrong,-- Smile, and am free; Strong while the winds are strong, The rocks, the sea.

Heart of my heart, tho' life Front us with storm, Love will outlast the strife, More pure, more warm.

KHARTOUM.

Set in the fierce red desert for a sword, Drawn and deep-driven implacably! The tide Of scorching sand that chafes thy landward side Storming thy palms; and past thy front outpoured The Nile's vast dread and wonder! Late there roared (While far off paused the long war, long defied) Mad tumult thro' thy streets; and Gordon died, Slaughtered amid the yelling rebel horde!

Yet, spite of shame and wrathful tears, Khartoum, We owe thee certain thanks, for thou hast shown How still the one a thousand crowds outweighs,-- Still one man's mood sways millions,--one man's doom Smites nations;--and our burning spirits own Not sordid these nor unheroic days!

LIBERTY.

[From the French of Louis Honore Fréchette]

A child, I set the thirsting of my mouth To the gold chalices of loves that craze. Surely, alas, I have found therein but drouth, Surely has sorrow darkened o'er my days. While worldlings chase each other madly round Their giddy track of frivolous gayety, Dreamer, my dream earth's utmost longings bound: One love alone is mine, my love is Liberty.

I have sung them all;--youth's lightsomeness that fleets, Pure friendship, my most fondly cherished dreams, Wild blossoms and the winds that steal their sweets, Wood odors, and the star that whitely gleams. But our hearts change; the spirit dulls its edge In the chill contact with reality; These vanished like the foam-bells on the sedge: I sing one burden now, my song is Liberty.

I drench my spirit in ecstasy, consoled, And my gaze trembles toward the azure arc, When in the wide world-records I behold Flame like a meteor God's finger thro' the dark But if, at times, bowed over the abyss Wherein man crawls toward immortality,-- Beholding here how sore his suffering is, I make my prayer with tears, it is for Liberty.

TO THE MEMORY OF SIDNEY LANIER.

Sullenly falls the rain, Still hangs the dripping leaf, And ah, the pain!-- The slow, dull ache of my grief, That throbs--"In vain, in vain,-- You have garnered your sheaf!"

You have garnered your sheaf, with the tares Therein, and unripe wheat,-- All that Death spares, Who has come with too swift feet, Not turning for any prayers Nor all who entreat.

They entreated with tears. But I-- Ah me, all I can say Is only a cry! I had loved you many a day, Yet never had fate drawn nigh My way to your way.

My spirit made swift with love Went forth to you in your place Far off and above Tho' we met not face to face, My Elder Brother, yet love Had pierced through space!

ON READING THE POEMS OF SIDNEY LANIER.

Poet and Flute-player, that flute of thine To me must ever seem thy perfect sign! Tho' strenuously with breath divine inspired, To thy strait law is due thy deathless line.

TO BLISS CARMAN,

WITH A COPY OF LANG'S "HELEN OF TROY."

This antique song, new sung in fashion new, From me, half silent fallen, with love to you, O singer of unvexed scenes and virgin themes In strait, quaint, ancient metres, thronged with dreams!

A BALLADE OF PHILOMELA.

From gab of jay and chatter of crake The dusk wood covered me utterly. And here the tongue of the thrush was awake. Flame-floods out of the low bright sky Lighted the gloom with gold-brown dye,


In Divers Tones - 10/14

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