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- In Divers Tones - 6/14 -


A SERENADE.

Love hath given the day for longing, And for joy the night. Dearest, to thy distant chamber Wings my soul its flight.

Though unfathomed seas divide us, And the lingering year, 'Tis the hour when absence parts not,-- Memory hath no tear.

O'er the charmed and silent river Drifts my lonely boat; From the haunted shores and islands Tender murmurs float,

Tender breaths of glade and forest, Breezes of perfume;-- Surely, surely thou canst hear me In thy quiet room!

Unto shore, and sky, and silence, Low I pour my song. All the spell, the summer sweetness,-- These to thee belong.

Thou art love, the trance and rapture Of the midnight clear! Sweet, tho' world on world withhold thee, I can clasp thee here.

OFF PELORUS.

Crimson swims the sunset over far Pelorus; Burning crimson tops its frowning crest of pine. Purple sleeps the shore and floats the wave before us, Eachwhere from the oar-stroke eddying warm like wine.

Soundless foams the creamy violet wake behind us; We but see the creaking of the labored oar; We have stopped our ears,--mad were we not to blind us, Lest our eyes behold our Ithaca no more.

See the purple splendor o'er the island streaming, O'er the prostrate sails and equal-sided ship! Windless hangs the vine, and warm the sands lie gleaming; Droop the great grape-clusters melting for the lip.

Sweet the golden calm, the glowing light elysian. Sweet were red-mouthed plenty mindless grown of pain. Sweeter yet behold--a sore-bewildering vision! Idly took we thought, and stopped our ears in vain.

Idly took we thought, for still our eyes betray us. Lo, the white-limbed maids, with love-soft eyes aglow, Gleaming bosoms bare, loosed hair, sweet hands to slay us, Warm lips wild with song, and softer throats than snow!

See the King! he hearkens,--hears their song,--strains forward,-- As some mountain snake attends the shepherd's reed. Now with urgent hand he bids us turn us shoreward,-- Bend the groaning oar now; give the King no heed!

Mark the luring music by his eyes' wild yearning, Eager lips, and mighty straining at the cords! Well we guess the song, the subtle words and burning, Sung to him, the subtle king of burning words.

"Much-enduring Wanderer, wondrous-tongued, come nigher! Sage of princes, bane of Ilion's lofty walls! Whatsoe'er in all the populous earth befalls We will teach thee, to thine uttermost desire."

So, we rise up twain, and make his bonds securer. Seethes the startled sea now from the surging blade. Leaps the dark ship forth, as we, with hearts grown surer, Eyes averse, and war-worn faces made afraid,

O'er the waste warm reaches drive our prow, sea-cleaving, Past the luring death, into the folding night. Home shall hold us yet, and cease our wives from grieving,-- Safe from storm, and toil, and flame, and clanging fight.

A BALLADE OF CALYPSO.

The loud black flight of the storm diverges Over a spot in the loud-mouthed main, Where, crowned with summer and sun, emerges An isle unbeaten of wind or rain. And here, of its sweet queen grown full fain,-- By whose kisses the whole broad earth seems poor,-- Tarries the wave-worn prince, Troy's bane, In the green Ogygian Isle secure.

To her voice our sweetest songs are dirges. She gives him all things, counting it gain. Ringed with the rocks and ancient surges, How could Fate dissever these twain? But him no loves nor delights retain; New knowledge, new lands, new loves allure; Forgotten the perils, and toils, and pain, In the green Ogygian Isle secure.

So he spurns her kisses and gifts, and urges His weak skiff over the wind-vext plain, Till the gray of the sky in the gray sea merges, And nights reel round, and waver, and wane. He sits once more in his own domain. No more the remote sea-walls immure.-- But ah, for the love he shall clasp not again In the green Ogygian Isle secure!

L'ENVOI. Princes, and ye whose delights remain, To the one good gift of the gods hold sure, Lest ye too mourn, in vain, in vain, Your green Ogygian Isle secure!

RAIN.

Sharp drives the rain, sharp drives the endless rain. The rain-winds wake and wander, lift and blow. The slow smoke-wreaths of vapor to and fro Wave, and unweave, and gather and build again. Over the far gray reaches of the plain-- Gray miles on miles my passionate thought must go,-- I strain my sight, grown dim with gazing so, Pressing my face against the streaming pane.

How the rain beats! Ah God, if love had power To voice its utmost yearning, even tho' Thro' time and bitter distance, not in vain, Surely Her heart would hear me at this hour, Look thro' the years, and see! But would She know The white face pressed against the streaming pane?

MIST.

Its hand compassionate guards our restless sight Against how many a harshness, many an ill! Tender as sleep, its shadowy palms distil Weird vapors that ensnare our eyes with light. Rash eyes, kept ignorant in their own despite, It lets not see the unsightliness they will, But paints each scanty fairness fairer still, And still deludes us to our own delight.

It fades, regathers, never quite dissolves. And ah that life, ah that the heart and brain Might keep their mist and glamour, not to know So soon the disenchantment and the pain! But one by one our dear illusions go, Stript and cast forth as time's slow wheel revolves.

THE TANTRAMAR REVISITED.

Summers and summers have come, and gone with the flight of the swallow; Sunshine and thunder have been, storm, and winter, and frost, Many and many a sorrow has all but died from remembrance, Many a dream of joy fall'n in the shadow of pain. Hands of chance and change have marred, or moulded, or broken, Busy with spirit or flesh, all I most have adored; Even the bosom of Earth is strewn with heavier shadows,-- Only in these green hills, aslant to the sea, no change! Here where the road that has climbed from the inland valleys and woodlands, Dips from the hill-tops down, straight to the base of the hills,-- Here, from my vantage-ground, I can see the scattering houses, Stained with time, set warm in orchards, and meadows, and wheat, Dotting the broad bright slopes outspread to southward and eastward, Wind-swept all day long, blown by the south-east wind. Skirting the sunbright uplands stretches a riband of meadow, Shorn of the laboring grass, bulwarked well from the sea, Fenced on its seaward border with long clay dikes from the turbid Surge and flow of the tides vexing the Westmoreland shores. Yonder, toward the left, lie broad the Westmoreland marshes,-- Miles on miles they extend, level, and grassy, and dim, Clear from the long red sweep of flats to the sky in the distance, Save for the outlying heights, green-rampired Cumberland Point; Miles on miles outrolled, and the river-channels divide them,-- Miles on miles of green, barred by the hurtling gusts.


In Divers Tones - 6/14

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