Слике страница

If she knew how she came to drop so soundly
Asleep of a sudden, and there continue
The whole time, sleeping as profoundly
As one of the boars my father would pin you
'Twixt the eyes where life holds garrison,
- Jacynth, forgive me the comparison !
But where I begin my own narration
Is a little after I took my station
To breathe the fresh air from the balcony,
And, having in those days a falcon eye,
To follow the hunt thro' the open country,
From where the bushes thinlier crested
The hillocks, to a plain where 's not one tree.
When, in a moment, my ear was arrested
By-was it singing, or was it saying,
Or a strange musical instrument playing
In the chamber ?-and, to be certain,
I pushed the lattice, pulled the curtain,
And there lay Jacynth asleep,
Yet as if a watch she tried to keep,
In a rosy sleep along the floor
With her head against the door ;
While in the midst, on the seat of state,
Was a queen-the Gipsy woman late,
With head and face downbent
On the lady's head and face intent:
For, coiled at her feet like a child at ease,
The lady sat between her knees,
And o'er them the lady's clasped hands met,
And on those hands her chin was set,
And her upturned face met the face of the crone
Wherein the eyes had grown and grown
As if she could double and quadruple
At pleasure the play of either pupil
-Very like, by her hands' slow fanning,
As up and down like a gor-crow's flappers

They moved to measure, or like bell-clappers.
I said, “Is it blessing, is it banning,
“ Do they applaud you or burlesque you-
“ Those hands and fingers with no flesh on?"
But, just as I thought to spring in to the rescue,
At once I was stopped by the lady's expression :
For it was life her eyes were drinking
From the crone's wide pair above unwinking,
-Life's pure fire, received without shrinking,
Into the heart and breast whose heaving
Told you no single drop they were leaving,
--Life, that filling her, passed redundant
Into her very hair, back swerving
Over each shoulder, loose and abundant,
As her head thrown back showed the white throat

And the very tresses shared in the pleasure,
Moving to the mystic measure,
Bounding as the bosom bounded.
I stopped short, more and more confounded,
As still her cheeks burned and eyes glistened,
As she listened and she listened.
When all at once a hand detained me,
The selfsame contagion gained me,
And I kept time to the wondrous chime,
Making out words and prose and rhyme,
Till it seemed that the music furled
Its wings like a task fulfilled, and dropped
From under the words it first had propped,
And left them midway in the world.
Word took word as hand takes hand,
I could hear at last, and understand;
And when I held the unbroken thread,
The Gipsy said :-

“ And so at last we find my tribe,

“ And so I set thee in the midst, “ And to one and all of them describe “ What thou saidst and what thou didst, " Our long and terrible journey through, “ And all thou art ready to say and do “ In the trials that remain. “ I trace them the vein and the other vein “That meet on thy brow and part again “ Making our rapid mystic mark; " And I bid my people prove and probe “ Each eye's profound and glorious globe “ Till they detect the kindred spark “ In those depths so dear and dark, “ Like the spots that snap and burst and flee, “ Circling over the midnight sea. “ And on that round young cheek of thine “ I make them recognise the tinge, “ As when of the costly scarlet wine “ They drip so much as will impinge “ And spread in a thinnest scale afloat

One thick gold drop from the olive's coat “ Over a silver plate whose sheen “ Still thro' the mixture shall be seen. “ For so I prove thee, to one and all, “Fit, when my people ope their breast, “ To see the sign, and hear the call, “ And take the vow, and stand the test “ Which adds one more child to the rest“When the breast is bare and the arms are wide, " And the world is left outside. “For there is probation to decree, “ And many and long must the trials be “ Thou shalt victoriously endure, “ If that brow is true and those eyes are sure. “ Like a jewel-finder's fierce assay “ Of the prize he dug from its mountain-tomb,-

" Let once the vindicating ray “ Leap out amid the anxious gloom, " And steel and fire have done their part, “And the prize falls on its finder's heart : “ So, trial after trial past, “ Wilt thou fall at the very last “ Breathless, half in trance “ With the thrill of the great deliverance, “ Into our arms for evermore; “ And thou shalt know, those arms once curled “ About thee, what we knew before, “ How love is the only good in the world. “ Henceforth be loved as heart can love, “ Or brain devise, or hand approve ! “ Stand up, look below, “ It is our life at thy feet we throw “ To step with into light and joy ; “ Not a power of life but we employ “ To satisfy thy nature's want. “ Art thou the tree that props the plant, " Or the climbing plant that seeks the tree“ Canst thou help us, must we help thee ? “ If any two creatures grew into one, “ They would do more than the world has done ; “ Though each apart were never so weak, " Yet through the world should we vainly seek " For the sum of knowledge and the might “ Which in such union grew their right : “ So, to approach at least that end, “ And blend,-as much as may be, blend “ Thee with us or us with thee," As climbing plant or propping tree, “ Shall some one deck thee over and down, “ Up and about, with blossoms and leaves ? " Fix his heart's fruit for thy garland-crown, “ Cling with his soul as the gourd-vine cleaves,

“ Die on thy boughs and disappear “ While not a leaf of thine is sere? “ Or is the other fate in store, “ And art thou fitted to adore, “ To give thy wondrous self away, “ And take a stronger nature's sway? 6 I foresee and I could foretell “ Thy future portion, sure and well : “But those passionate eyes speak true, speak true, “Let them say what thou shalt do ! “Only be sure thy daily life, " In its peace or in its strife, “ Never shall be unobserved ; “We pursue thy whole career, " And hope for it, or doubt, or fear. “ Lo, hast thou kept thy path or swerved, “ We are beside thee in all thy ways, “ With our blame, with our praise, “ Our shame to feel, our pride to show, “ Glad, angry_but indifferent, no ! “ Whether it be thy lot to go, “For the good of us all, where the haters meet, “In the crowded city's horrible street; “ Or thou step alone through the lone morass “Where never sound yet was “ Save the dry quick clap of the stork's bill, “For the air is still, and the water still, “ When the blue breast of the dripping coot “ Dives under, and all is mute. “So, at the last shall come old age, “ Decrepit as befits that stage; “ How else wouldst thou retire apart “ With the hoarded memories of thy heart, “And gather all to the very least “ Of the fragments of life's earlier feast, “Let fall through eagerness to find

« ПретходнаНастави »