« ПретходнаНастави »
By the rose-flesh mushrooms, undivulged
Last evening-nay, in to-day's first dew Yon sudden coral nipple bulged,
Where a freaked fawn-coloured flaky crew Of toad-stools peep indulged.
And yonder, at foot of the fronting ridge
That takes the turn to a range beyond,
Where the water is stopped in a stagnant pond Danced over by the midge.
The chapel and bridge are of stone alike,
Blackish-grey and mostly wet;
See here again, how the lichens fret
Poor little place, where its one priest comes
On a festa-day, if he comes at all,
Gathered within that precinct small
Or climb from the hemp-dresser's low shed,
Or the wattled cote where the fowlers spread Their gear on the rock's bare juts.
It has some pretension too, this front,
With its bit of fresco half-moon-wise
Set over the porch, Art's early wont :
'T is John in the Desert, I surmise, But has borne the weather's brunt
Not from the fault of the builder, though,
For a pent-house properly projects Where three carved beams make a certain show,
Dating-good thought of our architect's 'Five, six, nine, he lets you know.
And all day long a bird sings there,
And a stray sheep drinks at the pond at times; The place is silent and aware ;
It has had its scenes, its joys and crimes, But that is its own affair.
My perfect wife, my Leonor,
Oh heart, my own, oh eyes, mine too, Whom else could I dare look backward for,
With whom beside should I dare pursue The path grey heads abhor ?
For it leads to a crag's sheer edge with them ;
Youth, flowery all the way, there stopsNot they ; age threatens and they contemn,
Till they reach the gulf wherein youth drops, One inch from our life's safe hem!
With me, youth led . . . I will speak now,
No longer watch you as you sit Reading by fire-light, that great brow
And the spirit-small hand propping it, Mutely, my heart knows how
When, if I think but deep enough,
You are wont to answer, prompt as rhyme ;
Response your soul seeks many a time,
This path back, is it not in pride
To an age so blest that, by its side,
At first, 't was something our two souls
In each now : on, the new stream rolls,
The great Word which makes all things new,
How will the change strike me and you
Your heart anticipate my heart,
See and make me see, for your part,
But who could have expected this
When we two drew together first
Just for the obvious human bliss,
To satisfy life's daily thirst With a thing men seldom miss?
Let us lean and love it over again,
Break the rosary in a pearly rain, And gather what we let fall !
What did I say?—that a small bird sings
All day long, save when a brown pair Of hawks from the wood float with wide wings
Strained to a bell : 'gainst noon-day glare You count the streaks and rings.
'T is better; then the silence grows To that degree, you half believe
It must get rid of what it knows, Its bosom does so heave.
Arm in arm and cheek to cheek,
While my heart, convulsed to really speak, Lay choking in its pride.
And pity and praise the chapel sweet,
And wish for our souls a like retreat, And wonder at the moss.
Stoop and kneel on the settle under,
Look through the window's grated square : Nothing to see! For fear of plunder,
The cross is down and the altar bare, As if thieves don't fear thunder.
We stoop and look in through the grate,
See the little porch and rustic door, Read duly the dead builder's date;
Then cross the bridge that we crossed before, Take the path again- but wait !
Oh moment one and infinite !
The water slips o'er stock and stone; The West is tender, hardly bright:
How grey at once is the evening grownOne star, its chrysolite !
We two stood there with never a third,
But each by each, as each knew well : The sights we saw and the sounds we heard,
The lights and the shades made up a spell Till the trouble grew and stirred.
Oh, the little more, and how much it is !
And the little less, and what worlds away! How a sound shall quicken content to bliss,
Or a breath suspend the blood's best play, And life be a proof of this !
Had she willed it, still had stood the screen
So slight, so sure, 'twixt my love and her: