And the dread, like mist in sunshine,

Furled serenely from her mind.

“ Once my love, my love forever,

Flesh or spirit still the same; If I missed the hour of trysting,

Do not think my faith to blame, I, alas, was made a captive,

As from Holy Land I came.

“ On a green spot in the desert,

Gleaming like an emerald star, Where a palm-tree, in lone silence,

Yearning for its mate afar, Droops above a silver runnel,

Slender as a scimitar,

“ There thou'lt find the humble postern

To the castle of my foe;
If thy love burn clear and faithful,

Strike the gateway, green and low, Ask to enter, and the warder

Surely will not say thee no.” Slept again the aspen silence,

But her loneliness was o'er; Round her heart a motherly patience

Wrapt its arms for evermore; From her soul ebbed back the sorrow,

Leaving smooth the golden shore. Donned she now the pilgrim scallop,

Took the pilgrim staff in hand ; Like a cloud-shade, flitting eastward,

Wandered she o’er sea and land ; And her footsteps in the desert

Fell like cool rain on the sand.

[blocks in formation]

Soon, beneath the palm-tree's shadow,

Knelt she at the postern low;
And thereat she knocketh gently,

Fearing much the warder's no;
All her heart stood still and listened,

As the door swung backward slow.

There she saw no surly warder

With an eye like bolt and bar; Through her soul a sense of music

Throbbed,—and, like a guardian Lar, On the threshold stood an angel,

Bright and silent as a star. Fairest seemed he of God's seraphs,

And her spirit, lily-wise, Blossomed when he turned upon her

The deep welcome of his eyes, Sending upward to that sunlight

Al its dew for sacrifice.

Then she heard voice come onward

Singing with a rapture new,
As Eve heard the songs in Eden,

Dropping earthward with the dew;
Well she knew the happy singer,

Well the happy song she knew. Forward leaped she o'er the threshold,

Eager as a glancing surf;
Fell from her the spirit's languor,

Fell from her the body's scurf;-
'Neath the palm next day some Arabs

Found a corpse upon the turf.


RIPPLING through thy branches goes the sun

shine, Among thy leaves that palpitate forever; Ovid in thee a pining Nymph had prisoned, The soul once of some tremulous inland river, Quivering to tell her woe, but, ah! dumb, dumb


While all the forest, witched with slumberous

moonshine, Holds

up its leaves in happy, happy silence, Waiting the dew, with breath and pulse sus

pended, I hear afar thy whispering, gleamy islands, And track thee wakeful still amid the wide-hung


Upon the brink of some wood-nestled lakelet,
Thy foliage, like the tresses of a Dryad,
Dripping about thy slim white stem, whose shadow
Slopes quivering down the water's dusky quiet,
Thou shrink’st as on her bath's edge would some

startled Dryad.
Thou art the go-between of rustic lovers ;
Thy white bark has their secrets in its keeping;
Reuben writes here the happy name of Patience,
And thy lithe boughs hang murmuring and weep-

ing Above her, as she steals the mystery from thy


Thou art to me like


beloved maiden, So frankly coy, so full of trembly confidences ; Thy shadow scarce seems shade, thy pattering leaf

lets Sprinkle their gathered sunshine o'er my senses, And Nature gives me all her summer confidences. Whether my heart with hope or sorrow tremble, Thou sympathizest still; wild and unquiet, I fling me down; thy ripple, like a river, Flows valleyward, where calmness is, and by it My heart is floated down into the land of quiet.



I sat one evening in my room,

In that sweet hour of twilight When blended thoughts, half light, half gloom,

Throng through the spirit's skylight;
The flames by fits curled round the bars,

Or up the chimney crinkled,
While embers dropped like falling stars,

And in the ashes tinkled.

I sat and mused; the fire burned low,

And, o'er my senses stealing, Crept something of the ruddy glow

That bloomed on wall and ceiling ; My pictures (they are very few,—

"The heads of ancient wise men) Smoothed down their knotted fronts, and grew

As rosy as excisemen.
My antique high-backed Spanish chair

Felt thrills through wood and leather,
That had been strangers since whilere,

'Mid Andalusian heather, The oak that made its sturdy frame

His happy arms stretched over The ox whose fortunate hide became

The bottom's polished cover. It came out in that famous bark

That brought our sires intrepid, Capacious as another ark

For furniture decrepit ;

« ElőzőTovább »