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- Rose and Roof-Tree - 5/13 -


The sunshine of thine eyes, Oh let it fall on me! Though I be but a mote of the air, I could turn to gold for thee!

"WHEN, LOOKING DEEPLY IN THY FACE."

When, looking deeply in thy face, I catch the undergleam of grace That grows beneath the outward glance, Long looking, lost as in a trance Of long desires that fleet and meet Around me like the fresh and sweet White showers of rain which, vanishing, 'Neath heaven's blue arches whirl, in spring; Suddenly then I seem to know Of some new fountain's overflow In grassy basins, with a sound That leads my fancy, past all bound, Into a region of retreat From this my life's bewildered heat. Oh if my soul might always draw From those deep fountains full of awe, The current of my days should rise Unto the level of thine eyes!

WITHIN A YEAR

I.

Lips that are met in love's Devotion sweet, While parting lovers passionately greet, And earth through heaven's arc more swiftly moves-- Oh, will they be less dear Within a year?

II.

Eyes in whose shadow-spell Far off I read That which to lovers taking loving heed Dear women's eyes full soon and plainly tell-- Oh, will you give such cheer This time a year?

III.

Behold! the dark year goes, Nor will reveal Aught of its purpose, if for woe or weal, Swift as a stream that o'er the mill-weir flows: Mayhap the end draws near Within the year!

IV.

Yet, darling, once more touch Those lips to mine. Set on my life that talisman divine; Absence, new friends, I fear not overmuch---- Even Death, should he appear Within the year!

THE SINGING WIRE.

Hark to that faint, ethereal twang That from the bosom of the breeze Has caught its rise and fall: there rang Ĉolian harmonies!

I looked; again the mournful, chords, In random rhythm lightly flung From off the wire, came shaped in words; And thus, meseemed, they sung.

"I, messenger of many fates, Strung to the tones of woe or weal, Fine nerve that thrills and palpitates With all men know or feel,--

"Oh, is it strange that I should wail? Leave me my tearless, sad refrain, When in the pine-top wakes the gale That breathes of coming rain.

"There is a spirit in the post; It, too, was once a murmuring tree; Its sapless, sad, and withered ghost Echoes my melody.

"Come close, and lay your listening ear Against the bare and branchless wood. Say, croons it not, so low and clear, As if it understood?"

I listened to the branchless pole That held aloft the singing wire; I heard its muffled music roll, And stirred with sweet desire:

"O wire more soft than seasoned lute, Hast thou no sunlit word for me? Though long to me so coyly mute, Sure she may speak through thee!"

I listened; but it was in vain. At first, the wind's old, wayward will Drew forth the tearless, sad refrain: That ceased, and all was still.

But suddenly some kindling shock Struck flashing through the wire: a bird, Poised on it, screamed and flew; the flock Rose with him, wheeled, and whirred.

Then to my soul there came this sense: "Her heart has answered unto thine; She comes, to-night. Go, hie thee hence! Meet her: no more repine!"

Mayhap the fancy was far-fetched; And yet, mayhap, it hinted true. Ere moonrise, Love, a hand was stretched In mine, that gave me--you!

And so more dear to me has grown, Than rarest tones swept from the lyre, The minor-movement of that moan In yonder singing wire.

Nor care I for the will of states. Or aught besides, that smites that string, Since then so close it knit our fates, What time the bird took wing!

MOODS OF LOVE.

I.

IN ABSENCE.

My love for thee is like a winged seed Blown from the heart of thy rare beauty's flower, And deftly guided by some breezy power To fall and rest, where I should never heed, In deepest caves of memory. There, indeed, With virtue rife of many a sunny hoar,-- Ev'n making cold neglect and darkness dower Its roots with life,--swiftly it 'gan to breed, Till now wide-branching tendrils it outspreads Like circling arms, to prison its own prison, Fretting the walls with blooms by myriads, And blazoning in my brain full summer-season: Thy face, whose dearness presence had not taught. In absence multiplies, and fills all thought.

II.

HEART'S FOUNTAIN.

Her moods are like the fountain's, changing ever, That spouts aloft a sudden, watery dome, Only to fall again in shattering foam, Just where the wedded jets themselves dissever, And palpitating downward, downward quiver, Unfolded like a swift ethereal flower, That sheds white petals in a blinding shower, And straightway soars anew with blithe endeavor.

The sun may kindle it with healthful fire; Upon it falls the cloud-gray's leaden load; At night the stars shall haunt the whirling spire: Yet these have but a transient garb bestowed. So her glad life, whate'er the hours impart, Plays still 'twixt heaven's cope and her own clear heart.

III.

SOUTH-WIND SONG.

Soft-throated South, breathing of summer's ease (Sweet breath, whereof the violet's life is made!) Through lips moist-warm, as thou hadst lately stayed 'Mong rosebuds, wooing to the cheeks of these


Rose and Roof-Tree - 5/13

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