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- Rose and Roof-Tree - 1/13 -


ROSE AND ROOF-TREE:

POEMS

by

GEORGE PARSONS LATHROP

[Illustration: JESSAMINE]

Upon the enchanted ladder of his rhymes, Round after round and patiently The poet ever upward climbs.

_DEDICATION_.

_I need give my verse no hint as to whom it sings for. The rose, knowing her own right, makes servitors of the light-rays to carry her color. So every line here shall in some sense breathe of thee, and in its very face bear record of her whom, however unworthily, it seeks to serve and honor._

CONTENTS.

WINDFALLS.

ROSE AND ROOF-TREE MUSIC OF GROWTH A SONG LONG AGO MELANCHOLY CONTENTMENT

PART FIRST.

AN APRIL ARIA THE BOBOLINK THE SUN-SHOWER JUNE LONGINGS A RUNE OF THE RAIN THE SONG-SPARROW FAIRHAVEN BAY CHANT FOR AUTUMN BEFORE THE SNOW THE GHOSTS OF GROWTH THE LILY-POND

PART SECOND.

FIRST GLANCE "THE SUNSHINE OF THINE EYES" "WHEN, LOOKING DEEPLY IN THY FACE" WITHIN A YEAR THE SINGING WIRE MOODS OF LOVE: I. In Absence II. Heart's Fountain III. South-Wind Song IV. The Lover's Year V. New Worlds VI. Wedding-Night LOVE'S DEFEAT MAY AND MARRIAGE THE FISHER OF THE CAPE SAILOR'S SONG JESSAMINE GRIEF'S HERO A FACE IN THE STREET THE BATHER HELEN AT THE LOOM "O WHOLESOME DEATH" BURIAL-SONG FOR SUMNER ARISE, AMERICAN! THE SILENT TIDE

WINDFALLS.

ROSE AND ROOF-TREE.

O wayward rose, why dost thou wreathe so high, Wasting thyself in sweet-breath'd ecstasy?

"The pulses of the wind my life uplift, And through my sprays I feel the sunlight sift;

"And all my fibres, in a quick consent Entwined, aspire to fill their heavenward bent.

"I feel the shaking of the far-off sea, And all things growing blend their life with me:

"When men and women on me look, there glows Within my veins a life not of the rose.

"Then let me grow, until I touch the sky, And let me grow and grow until I die!"

So, every year, the sweet rose shooteth higher, And scales the roof upon its wings of fire,

And pricks the air, in lovely discontent, With thorns that question still of its intent.

But when it reached the roof-tree, there it clung, Nor ever farther up its blossoms flung.

O wayward rose, why hast thou ceased to climb? Hast thou forgot the ardor of thy prime?

"O hearken!"--thus the rose-spray, listening,-- "With what weird music sweet these full hearts ring!

"What mazy ripples of deep, eddying sound, Rise, touch the roof-tree old, and drift around,

"Bearing aloft the burden musical Of joys and griefs from human hearts that fall!

"Green stem and fair, flush'd circle I will lay Along the roof, and listen here alway;

"For rose and tree, and every leafy growth That toward the sky unfolds with spiry blowth,

"No purpose hath save this, to breathe a grace O'er men, and in men's hearts to seek a place.

"Therefore, O poet, thou who gav'st to me The homage of thy humble sympathy,

"No longer vest thy verse in rose-leaves frail:-- Let the heart's voice loud through thy pćan wail!"

* * * * *

Lo, at my feet the wind of autumn throws A hundred turbulent blossoms of the rose,

Full of the voices of the sea and grove And air, and full of hidden, murmured love,

And warm with passion through the roof-tree sent; Dew-drenched with tears;--all in one wild gush spent!

MUSIC OF GROWTH.

Music is in all growing things; And underneath the silky wings Of smallest insects there is stirred A pulse of air that must be heard. Earth's silence lives, and throbs, and sings.

If poet from the vibrant strings Of his poor heart a measure flings, Laugh not, that he no trumpet blows: It may be that Heaven hears and knows His language of low listenings.

A SONG LONG AGO.

Through the pauses of thy fervid singing Fell crystal sound That thy fingers from the keys were flinging Lightly around: I felt the vine-like harmonies close clinging About my soul; And to my eyes, as fruit of their sweet bringing, The full tear stole!

MELANCHOLY.


Rose and Roof-Tree - 1/13

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