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- Rose and Roof-Tree - 6/13 -


Loth blushes faint and maidenly--rich Breeze, Still doth thy honeyed blowing bring a shade Of sad foreboding. In thy hand is laid The power to build or blight rich fruit of trees, The deep, cool grass, and field of thick-combed grain.

Even so my Love may bring me joy or woe, Both measureless, but either counted gain Since given by her. For pain and pleasure flow Like tides upon us of the self-same sea. Tears are the gems of joy and misery!

IV.

THE LOVER'S YEAR

Thou art my morning, twilight, noon, and eve, My Summer and my Winter, Spring and Fall; For Nature left on thee a touch of all The moods that come to gladden or to grieve The heart of Time, with purpose to relieve From lagging sameness. So do these forestall In thee such o'erheaped sweetnesses as pall Too swiftly, and the taster tasteless leave.

Scenes that I love to me always remain Beautiful, whether under summer's sun Beheld, or, storm-dark, stricken across with rain. So, through all humors, thou 'rt the same sweet one: Doubt not I love thee well in each, who see Thy constant change is changeful constancy.

V.

NEW WORLDS.

With my beloved I lingered late one night. At last the hour when I must leave her came: But, as I turned, a fear I could not name Possessed me that the long sweet evening might Prelude some sudden storm, whereby delight Should perish. What if Death, ere dawn, should claim One of us? What, though living, not the same Each should appear to each in morning-light?

Changed did I find her, truly, the next day: Ne'er could I see her as of old again. That strange mood seemed to draw a cloud away, And let her beauty pour through every vein Sunlight and life, part of me. Thus the lover With each new morn a new world may discover.

VI.

WEDDING-NIGHT.

At night, with shaded eyes, the summer moon In tender meditation downward glances At the dark earth, far-set in dim expanses, And, welcomer than blazoned gold of noon, Down through the air her steady lights are strewn. The breezy forests sigh in moonlit trances, And the full-hearted poet, waking, fancies The smiling hills will break in laughter soon.

Oh thus, thou gentle Nature, dost thou shine On me to-night. My very limbs would melt, Like rugged earth beneath yon ray divine, Into faint semblance of what they have felt: Thine eye doth color me, O wife, O mine, With peace that in thy spirit long hath dwelt!

LOVE'S DEFEAT.

A thousand times I would have hoped, A thousand times protested; But still, as through the night I groped, My torch from me was wrested, and wrested.

How often with a succoring cup Unto the hurt I hasted! The wounded died ere I came up; My cup was still untasted,-- Untasted.

Of darkness, wounds, and harsh disdain Endured, I ne'er repented. 'T is not of these I would complain: With these I were contented,-- Contented.

Here lies the misery, to feel No work of love completed; In prayerless passion still to kneel, And mourn, and cry: "Defeated Defeated!"

MAY AND MARRIAGE.

THE LOVER WHO THINKS.

Dost thou remember, Love, those hours Shot o'er with random rainy showers, When the bold sun would woo coy May? She smiled, then wept--and looked another way.

We, learning from the sun and season, Together plotted joyous treason 'Gainst maiden majesty, to give Each other troth, and henceforth wedded live.

But love, ah, love we know is blind! Not always what they seek they find When, groping through dim-lighted natures, Fond lovers look for old, ideal statures.

What then? Is all our purpose lost? The balance broken, since Fate tossed Uneven weights? Oh well beware That thought, my sweet: 't were neither fit nor fair!

Seek not for any grafted fruits From souls so wedded at the roots; But whatsoe'er our fibres hold, Let that grow forth in mutual, ample mold!

No sap can circle without flaw Into the perfect sphere we saw Hanging before our happy eyes Amid the shade of marriage-mysteries;

But all that in the heart doth lurk Must toward the mystic shaping work: Sweet fruit and bitter both must fall When the boughs bend, at each year's autumn-call.

Ah, dear defect! that aye shall lift Us higher, not through craven shift Of fault on common frailty;--nay, But twofold hope to help with generous stay!

I shall be nearer, understood: More prized art thou than perfect good. And since thou lov'st me, I shall grow Thy other self--thy Life, thy Joy, thy Woe!

THE FISHER OF THE CAPE.

At morn his bark like a bird Slips lightly oceanward-- Sail feathering smooth o'er the bay And beak that drinks the wild spray. In his eyes beams cheerily A light like the sun's on the sea, As he watches the waning strand, Where the foam, like a waving hand Of one who mutely would tell Her love, flutters faintly, "Farewell."

But at night, when the winds arise And pipe to driving skies, And the moon peers, half afraid, Through the storm-cloud's ragged shade, He hears her voice in the blast That sighs about the mast, He sees her face in the clouds As he climbs the whistling shrouds; And a power nerves his hand, Shall bring the bark to land.

SAILOR'S SONG.

The sea goes up; the sky comes down. Oh, can you spy the ancient town,-- The granite hills so hard and gray, That rib the land behind the bay? O ye ho, boys! Spread her wings! Fair winds, boys: send her home! O ye ho!

Three years? Is it so long that we Have lived upon the lonely sea? Oh, often I thought we'd see the town, When the sea went up, and the sky came down. O ye ho, boys! Spread her wings! Fair winds, boys: send her home!


Rose and Roof-Tree - 6/13

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