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- Old Spookses' Pass - 20/37 -

Of the morning glory, Shaking all their banners bright From the mill, eaves hoary. Swallows turn'd glossy throats, Timorous, uncertain, When to hear their matin notes, Peep'd she thro' her curtain, Shook the mill-stream sweet and clear, With its silver laughter-- Shook the mill from flooring sere Up to oaken ratter. "Bouche-Mignonne" it cried "come down! "Other flowers are stirring; "Pierre with fingers strong and brown "Sets the wheel a-birring."

Bouche-Mignonne her distaff plies Where the willows shiver, Round the mossy mill-wheel flies; Dragon-flies a-quiver-- Flash a-thwart the lily-beds, Pierce the dry reed's thicket: Where the yellow sunlight treads Chants the friendly cricket. Butterflies about her skim (Pouf! their simple fancies!) In the willow shadows dim Take her eyes for pansies! Buzzing comes a velvet bee Sagely it supposes Those red lips beneath the tree Are two crimson roses! Laughs the mill-stream wise and bright It is not so simple Knew it, since she first saw light Ev'ry blush and dimple! "Bouche-Mignonne" it laughing cries "Pierre as the bee is silly "Thinks two morning stars thine eyes-- "And thy neck a lily!"

Bouche-Mignonne when shadows crept From the vine-dark hollows; When the mossy mill-wheel slept Curv'd the airy swallows. When the lilies clos'd white lids Over golden fancies-- Homeward drove her goats and kids Bright the gay moon dances. With her light and silver feet, On the mill-stream flowing, Come a thousand perfumes sweet, Dewy buds are blowing. Comes an owl and grely flits Jewell'd ey'd and hooting-- Past the green tree where she sits Nightingales are fluting Soft the wind as rust'ling silk On a courtly lady, Tinkles down the flowing milk Huge and still and shady-- Stands the mill-wheel resting still. From its loving labor, Dances on the tireless rill Gay as lute or tabor! "Bouche-Mignonne" it laughing cries "Do not blush and tremble; "If the night has ears and eyes "I'll for thee disemble! "Loud and clear and sweet I'll sing "Oh my far way straying, "I will hide the whisper'd thing "Pierre to thee is saying. "Bouche-Mignonne, good night, good night! "Ev'ry silver hour "I will toss my lilies white "'Gainst thy maiden bower!"


One time he dream'd beside a sea, That laid a mane of mimic stars; In fondling quiet on the knee, Of one tall, pearl'd, cliff--the bars; Of golden beaches upward swept, Pine-scented shadows seaward crept.

The full moon swung her ripen'd sphere As from a vine; and clouds as small As vine leaves in the opening year Kissed the large circle of her ball. The stars gleamed thro' them as one sees Thro' vine leaves drift the golden bees.

He dream'd beside this purple sea, Low sang its tranced voice, and he-- He knew not if the wordless strain Made prophecy of joy or pain; He only knew far stretch'd that sea, He knew its name--Eternity!

A shallop with a rainbow sail, On the bright pulses of the tide, Throbb'd airily; a fluting gale Kiss'd the rich gilding of its side; By chain of rose and myrtle fast, A light sail touch'd the slender mast.

"A flower-bright rainbow thing," he said To one beside him, "far too frail "To brave dark storms that lurk ahead, "To dare sharp talons of the gale. "Belov'd, thou woulds't not forth with me "In such a bark on such a sea?"

"First tell me of its name?" she bent Her eyes divine and innocent On his. He raised his hand above Its prow, and answ'ring swore, "'Tis Love!" "Now tell," she ask'd, "how is it built, Of gold or worthless timber gilt?"

"Of gold," he said. "Whence named?" asked she, The roses of her lips apart, She paus'd--a lily by the sea-- Came his swift answer, "From my heart!" She laid her light palm in his hand. "Let loose the shallop from the strand!"


I marvel if my heart, Hath any room apart, Built secretly its mystic walls within; With subtly warded key. Ne'er yielded unto me-- Where even I have surely never been.

Ah, surely I know all The bright and cheerful hall With the fire ever red upon its hearth; My friends dwell with me there, Nor comes the step of Care To sadden down its music and its mirth.

Full well I know as mine, The little cloister'd shrine No foot but mine alone hath ever trod; There come the shining wings-- The face of one who brings The pray'rs of men before the throne of God.

And many know full well, The busy, busy cell, Where I toil at the work I have to do, Nor is the portal fast, Where stand phantoms of the past, Or grow the bitter plants of darksome rue.

I know the dainty spot (Ah, who doth know it not?) Where pure young Love his lily-cradle made; And nestled some sweet springs With lily-spangled wings-- Forget-me-nots upon his bier I laid.

Yet marvel I, my soul, Know I thy very whole, Or dost thou hide a chamber still from me? Is it built upon the wall? Is it spacious? is it small? Is it God, or man, or I who holds the key?


"No," said old Farmer Downs to me, "I ain't the facts denyin', That all young folks in love must be, As birds must be a-flyin'. Don't go agin sech facts, because I'm one as re-specks Natur's laws.

"No, sir! Old Natur knows a thing Or two, I'm calculatin', She don't make cat-fish dance and sing, Or sparrow-hawks go skatin'; She knows her business ev'ry time, You bet your last an' lonely dime!

Old Spookses' Pass - 20/37

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