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me ?

hope ?

her now

III

Less than divine that she might mate with By me conjectured, but conjectured so

As things I touch far fainter substance If mortal merely, could my nature cope

show. With such o'ermastery of maddening Was it mine eyes' imposture I have seen

Flit with the moonbeams on from shade to If Goddess, could she feel the blissful woe

sheen That women in their self-surrender know? Through the wood-openings? Nay, I see

Out of her heaven new-lighted, from her Long she abode aloof there in her heaven,

brow Far as the grape-bunch of the Pleiad seven The hair breeze-scattered, like loose mists Beyond my madness' utmost leap; but

that blow here

Across her crescent, goldening as they go Mine eyes have feigned of late her rapture High-kirtled for the chase, and what was near,

shown, Moulded of mind-mist that broad day dis- Of maiden rondure, like the rose halfpels,

blown. Here in these shadowy woods and brook- If dream, turn real! If a vision, stay ! lulled dells.

Take mortal shape, my philtre's spell obey !

If hags compel thee from thy secret sky Have no heaven-babitants e'er felt a void

With gruesome

incantations, why not I, In hearts sublimed with ichor unalloyed ? Whose only magic is that I distil E'er longed to mingle with a mortal fate A potion, blent of passion, thought, and Intense with pathos of its briefer date ?

will, Could she partake, and live, our human Deeper in reach, in force of fate more rich, stains ?

Than e'er was juice wrung by Thessalian Even with the thought there tingles through witch

From moon-enchanted herbs, - a potion Sense of unwarned renewal; I, the dead,

brewed Receive and house again the ardor fled, Of my best life in each diviner mood ? As once Alcestis; to the ruddy brim Myself the elixir am, myself the bowl Feel masculine virtue flooding every limb, Seething and mantling with my soul of soul. And life, like Spring returning, brings the Taste and be humanized: what though the key

cup, That sets my senses from their winter free, With thy lips frenzied, shatter ? Drink it Dancing like naked fauns too glad for shame.

If but these arms may clasp, o'erquited so, Her passion, purified to palest flame, My world, thy heaven, all life means I Can it thus kindle? Is her purpose this ?

shall know. I will not argue, lest I lose a bliss That makes me dream Titbonus' fortune mine,

Sure she hath heard my prayer and granted (Or what of it was palpably divine

half, Ere came the fruitlessly inmortal gift;) As Gods do who at mortal madness laugh. I cannot curb my hope's imperious drift Yet if life's solid things illusion seem, That wings with fire my dull mortality; Why may not substance wear the mask of Though fancy-forged, 't is all I feel or see.

dream ? In sleep she comes; she visits me in dreams,

And, as her image in a thousand streams, My Goddess sinks; round Latmos' darken- So in my veins, that her obey, she sees, ing brow

Floating and flaming there, her images Trembles the parting of her presence now, Bear to my little world's remotest zone Faint as the perfume left upon

Glad messages of her, and her alone. By her limbs' pressure or her feet that With silence-sandalled Sleep she comes to pass

me,

my veins

up !

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V

IV

the grass

crown

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VI

(But softer-footed, sweeter-browed, than Within the soul's shrine ? Could

my

fallen she)

star In motion gracious as a seagull's wing, Be set in heaven again by prayers and tears And all her bright limbs, moving, seem to And quenchless sacrifice of all my years, sing:

How would the victim to the flamen leap. Let me believe so, then, if so I may And life for life’s redemption paid hold With the night's bounty feed my beggared cheap !

day. In dreams I see her lay the goddess down But what resource when she herself deWith bow and quiver, and her crescent

scends

From her blue throne, and o'er her vassal Flicker and fade away to dull eclipse

bends As down to mine sbe deigns her longed-for That shape thrice-deified by love, those lips;

eyes And as her neck my happy arms enfold, Wherein the Lethe of all others lies ? Flooded and lustred with her loosened gold, When

my
white

queen of heaven's remoteShe whispers words each sweeter than a

ness tires, kiss:

Herself against her other self conspires, Then, wakened with the shock of sudden Takes woman's nature, walks in mortal bliss,

ways, My arms are empty, my awakener fled, And finds in my remorse her beauty's And, silent in the silent sky o'erhead,

praise ? But coldly as on ice - plated snow, she Yet all would I renounce to dream again gleams,

The dream in dreams fulfilled that made Herself the mother and the child of dreams.

my pain, My noble pain that heightened all my

years Gone is the time when phantasms could With crowns to win and prowess-breeding appease

tears; My quest phantasmal and bring cheated Nay, would that dream renounce once more

ease; When, if she glorified my dreams, I felt Her from her sky there looking down at Through all my limbs a change immortal

melt At touch of hers illuminate with soul. Not long could I be stilled with Fancy's Goddess, reclimb thy heaven, and be once

dole; Too soon the mortal mixture in me caught An inaccessible splendor to adore, Red fire from her celestial flame, and A faith, a hope of snch transcendent worth fought

As bred ennobling discontent with earth; For tyrannous control in all my veins: Give back the longing, back the elated My fool's prayer was accepted; what re

mood mains ?

That, fed with thee, spurned every meaner Or was it some eidolon merely, sent

good; By her who rules the shades in banishment, Give even the spur of impotent despair To mock me with her semblance? Were That, without hope, still bade aspire and it thus,

dare; How 'scape I shame, whose will was trai- Give back the need to worship, that still torous ?

pours What shall compensate an ideal dimmed ? Down to the soul the virtue it adores ! How blanch again my statue virgin-limbed, Soiled with the incense-smoke her chosen Nay, brightest and most beautiful, deem priest

naught Poured more profusely as within decreased These frantic words, the reckless wind of The fire unearthly, fed with coals from far thought:

to see

me !

VII

more

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ARCADIA REDIVIVA

In that quencher of might-be's and would

be's, the grave.' Bid by the Bridegroom, To-morrow, ye

said, And To-morrow was digging a trench for

your bed; Ye said, 'God can wait; let us finish our

wine;' Ye had wearied Him, fools, and that last

knock was mine!"

I, WALKING the familiar street,
While a crammed horse-car jingled

through it,
Was lifted from my prosy feet

And in Arcadia ere I knew it.

But I can't pretend to give you the ser

mon, Or say if the tongue were French, Latin,

or German; Whatever he preached in, I give you my

word The meaning was easy to all that heard; Famous preachers there have been and be, But never was one so convincing as he; So blunt was never a begging friar, No Jesuit's tongue so barbed with fire, Cameronian never, nor Methodist, Wrung gall out of Scripture with such a

twist.

Fresh sward for gravel soothed my tread,

And shepherd's pipes my ear delighted; The riddle may be lightly read:

I met two lovers newly plighted. They murmured by in happy care,

New plans for paradise devising, Just as the moon, with pensive stare,

O’er Mistress Craigie's pines was rising. Astarte, known nigh threescore years,

Me to no speechless rapture urges; Them in Elysium she enspheres,

Queen, from of old, of thaumaturges.

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And would you know who his hearers must

be ? I tell you just what my guide told me: Excellent teaching men have, day and

night, From two earnest friars, a black and a

white, The Dominican Death and the Carmelite

Life; And between these two there is never

strife, For each has his separate office and station, And each his own work in the congrega

tion; Whoso to the white brother deafens his

ears, And cannot be wrought on by blessings or

tears, Awake in his coffin must wait and wait, In that blackness of darkness that means

too late, And come once a year, when the ghost-bell

tolls, As till Doomsday it shall on the eve of

All-Souls, To hear Doctor Death, whose words smart

with the brine Of the Preacher, the tenth verse of chap

ter nine.

“ An idyl ever newly sweet,

Although since Adam's day recited, Whose measures time them to Love's feet,

Whose sense is every ill requited." Maiden, if I may counsel, drain

Each drop of this enchanted season, For even our honeymoons must wane,

Convicted of green cheese by Reason.

And none will seem so safe from change,

Nor in such skies benignant hover, As this, beneath whose witchery strange

You tread on rose-leaves with your lover

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“ Fie, Mr. Graybeard! Is this wise ?

Is this the moral of a poet,
Who, when the plant of Eden dies,

Is privileged once more to sow it ? “ That herb of clay-disdaining root,

From stars secreting what it feeds on, Is burnt-out passion's slag and soot

Fit soil to strew its dainty seeds on ?

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WHEN oaken woods with buds are pink,

And new-come birds each morning sing, When fickle May on Summer's brink

Pauses, and knows not which to fling, Whether fresh bud and bloom again, Or boar-frost silvering hill and plain, Then from the honeysuckle gray

The oriole with experienced quest
Twitches the fibrous bark away,

The cordage of his hammock-nest,
Cheering his labor with a note
Rich as the orange of his throat.
High o'er the loud and dusty road

The soft gray cup in safety swings,
To brim ere August with its load

Of downy breasts and throbbing wings, O’er which the friendly elm-tree heaves An emerald roof with sculptured eaves.

“ Pray, why, if in Arcadia once, Need one soon forget the way

there ? Or why, once there, be such a dunce

As not contentedly to stay there ?” Dear child, 't was but a sorry jest,

And from my heart I hate the cynic Who makes the Book of Life a nest

For comments staler than rabbinic.

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If Love his simple spell but keep,

Life with ideal eyes to flatter, The Grail itself were crockery cheap

To Every-day's communion-platter.

One Darby is to me well known,

Who, as the hearth between them blazes, Sees the old moonlight shine on Joan,

And float her youthward in its hazes.

Below, the noisy World drags by

In the old way, because it must, The bride with heartbreak in her eye,

The mourner following hated dust: Thy duty, winged flame of Spring, Is but to love, and fly, and sing.

He rubs his spectacles, he stares, – 'T is the same face that witched him

early ! He gropes for his remaining hairs,

Is this a fleece that feels so curly ?

Oh, happy life, to soar and sway

Above the life by mortals led, Singing the merry months away,

Master, not slave of daily bread, And, when the Autumn comes, to flee Wherever sunshine beckons thee!

PALINODE - DECEMBER

“Good heavens! but now't was winter

gray, And I of years had more than plenty; The almanac 's a fool! 'T is May!

Hang family Bibles! I am twenty !

Like some lorn abbey now, the wood

Stands roofless in the bitter air;

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