Слике страница
PDF
ePub

By Henry Meade Bland

Because there is a rosy memory
of stream and flower and a face divine
Woven with high crag and lilied lea,
I, Inno, child of the Dawn and the White Sunshine
Write these soft rhymes and dare to call them mine.
Now in sweet fancy I am again a boy,
And lose myself among the ancient pine,
Climbing the highest cliff in silent joy,
Lone as lorn Paris driven by fate from song-built Troy.

How can I read the glacier chronicle,
of heaped moraine, or rock-wall scarred and seamed:
Its story seems to fall sardonical
Upon the yearning soul that once has dreamed
On labyrinthine mind or once has deemed,
That he has found perfection in a face:
And all the magic of that face is reamed
Into his brain, woven in immortal lace,
Whose beauty only an eternal love can trace.

Too many memories ensnare the heart,
And seem to hold it from the days to be.
I shall forget the things of which I was a part:
I turn my gaze upon the flowered lea,
The joyous thrush is rhyming now for me,
The waterfall is singing hour by hour:
Make me, oh Crag, of thine eternity!
Give me, oh Vale, the glory of thy dower!
Touch me, I pray, with thy strong majesty and power!

Clear as a star reflected in the deep
of silent Mirror Lake, that face to me!
No breath of air breaks in upon the sleep
Of jewelled water, shining radiantly:
Thus in that quiet lake of memory
(As in the silver pool) upon the star
I look with eager wondering eye and see
The meteor-flash of beauty from afar;
And fain would turn the key, the sacred past unbar.

I walk in silence by the mossed stream,
The ousel sings, the summer clouds are high;
My mind runs only to a single theme-
An eager face that ever flashes nigh.
I gaze the long prospect to the tender sky:
Lo, it is there, and ever seems to rise.
Then comes the gray dove's plaintive loving cry
Only to be broken by a sweet surprise;-
Through the dark oak leaves gleam those eager talking eyes.
And yet how often I linger on the trail,
Eager to catch the first night-melody of Pan
Floating afar from shadowy rock and dale!
How often do I hear the joyous clan
of fairy and nymph, a merry caravan,
Hurry at eve from tree or leafy bower;
Or when the new moon leads the starry van
How often come deep voices, hour by hour,
Spoke by the thundrous fall in majesty and power.

Perhaps the Master-Mind has subtly given
This, the great glory of the primal world,
Scarred with old-time and with the thunder riven,
Where by His foot the stream of streams lies curled;
That, turning thence to where in power is whirled
The wheel by which He shapes the soul of man,
One may adore the flash divine unfurled
Upon the brow of smiling child, or span
The way unfolding life's inexplicable plan.

All the sweet harmonies of Eden-Time
Are here. The Winds in summer melody
The water-ousel song; the rippled rhyme
Of snowy waters, and the minstrelsy
of immemorial pine. Such harmony
Greek Homer played; on such a steep he sang
When that he fashioned fair and joyously
The throne of Jove: And, as his music rang,
Straightway the temple of the gods in glory sprang.

Once on the trail I stood while sombre clouds
Loomed threat'ningly around the Valley rim,
Swaying in ominous, shadowy, eager, crowds-
Dark offspring of the summery seraphim,
Who sang a deep, titanic, snow-born, hymn;
Then came the thunder, not a single crash,
But like the shout of hosting cherubim:
The day was night, and fiercely lash on lash,
Wild dome and spire signaled many a fiery flash.

There gleams the rainbow over Vernal Fall
There glows the great Nevada, haloed white,
And stubborn Half Dome lifts his granite wall
Where bold Tenaya flashes mystic light.
The clear Mercedes wings in gentle flight
Where the Great Fall is singing evermore!
The Bridal Maiden laughs, a radiant sprite.
There gleams El Capitan, and o'er and o'er
Recounts his thunder-scars. Be silent and adore!

A hundred thousand years of mountain bloom!-
The tall Oenotheras, the mimulus, the blue
Pentstamon, fabric woven in the loom
Of Juno; violets dipped in heathery dew,
Lilies and daisies and all the lightsome crew
of rose or heartsease for which lovers yearn,
Each, in a wonder, spring by spring renew,-

Nepenthe, asphodel and quiet rue,
And all the fine embroidery of leaf and fern!

In such a vale beloved Endymion
Reclined when Adonais secret-dwelt
Within his bower deep-hidden from the sun;
Where twilight mysteries forever melt
Into the starlight, and through the night is felt
Strange presences unseen. In such a vale
The star-crowned Bard of shining Avon dealt
With Fate, creating ghost or phantom pale
Telling of love and war in many a sweet-sung tale.

The great Earth-Mother carved, long, long ago,
And fretted these high crags, and gently drew
Her finger in the sand. She taught the snow
The way of the stream. She hung the rose with dew.
She hollowed out the caves, and tuned anew
The hills to low Aeolian refrain:
She gave the sky its deep eternal blue:
She changed the snow to singing summer rain;
And trailed the hills, an endless golden chain.

Here fair Niam, the Oread of the Wind,
Waits on the shadowy river's flowerd stream,
Moaning and sighing because she cannot find
Her lover. She waits where gleam on gleam
The lightning flashes in a joy supreme,
Till longing sweet o'er-fills her eyes of blue,
Waits the old tryst upon the hills of Dream,
He saw her spring fairer than poet's pen
And now she spreads her couch in many a sunlit hue.

And here star-eyed Idalean Venus rose,
Bewitching messenger from gods to men.
Greek Hermes, so the Attic story goes,
Said she was born of foam: clear to his ken
He saw her spring fairer than poet's pen
Ever set forth. He erred. The magic One,
Sweet Love, leapt from the glorious rainbow when
The great Fall is wed unto the noonday Sun,
Fairest of all beauty great Poesy has spun.

Here on a flowery day came John o' the Mountain,
And shaped he many a far and deep-hid trail.
He saw with loving eye each stream and fountain
And sought each secret of the rain-bowed vale;
Until the white-winged angel, Israefale,
Touched him and beckoned, and gently upward led
Him over the Range of Light; and now his tale
Is told in flower and stream and sunset red,
And every tree the wilding folk have tenanted.

And I, too, came and saw, and loved; and listened
To the divine song of cataract and air;
Gazed where the starry domes in wonder glistened,
Where the high towering pine and fir were ever fair;

Dreamed by the river, watched with tender care
The robin build, and happy, hour by hour,
Trailed through the meadow where the debonair
Sunshiny blossoms made a witching bower,
Fashioned of buttercups the happy children's dower.

All the long summer afternoons me-seemed
To have been carried away to Aidenn-Land,
Where sweet the smiling leaves of lotus dreamed.
The spiced pine soothed with many a fragrant hand
The happy brook laughed over the silver sand
Only by Pan's wild flutes was the silence broken
While rosy Iris arched her flashing band.
Love drank libations from his chalice oaken
And a new friendship smiled with many a happy token.

[merged small][graphic][subsumed][ocr errors]

The Mate's Revenge

By Tom Devine

LIGHTING HANS BENSON, skipper seen amid his shaggy eyebrows and whisof the schooner “Carrier Dove," kers that grew well over his cheek bones,

stood on the poop deck with his showed his weak nature. They were of lean legs far apart. One hand was hold a washed blue color, flecked with muddy ing the binoculars to his eyes and the specks, and, yet they held a repulsive other was savagely sawing circles in the gleam. air. He was looking aloft at the jigger He was named about twenty years ago top mast Slim Anderson was painting. at Guymas, Mexico, by the wit of the His actions showed anger; his voice and ship's crew, to perpetuate the memory of words disgust.

a fight between Carlos Schuler, a second "Hey aloft, there! Yes, you, you slab- mate, and Fighting Hans. This Carlos sided, beach-coming swab, cover them was a cunning scoundrel, half Mexican there holidays. Where? Holy salt mack- and half German, who had gone ashore eral, can't yer see? On your port. Don and drank some of the liquor courage the yer port! Oh, limped-eyed saints above, peons extract from cactus. A little of can you see that corn-planter looking to this juice inside the waistband of a his starboard? Yes, that's the spot, now Mexican forecasts a tempest of dark paint, paint it! By the brimstone smells words, punctuated by the glint of dag. of Hell, he's dropped his brush! I never gers, and followed by a nice quiet funseen such an awkward potato pl-"

eral. He got no farther in his tirade. Some- When he came aboard he was carrying thing rubbed against his leg. It was quite a cargo in his hold, besides a deck Davy Jones, his black tom cat. He picked load of one quart in his hip pocket. He the cat up, smuggled him in the hollow was looking for trouble and Fighting of his arm, and as he stroked its back Hans. He found both. They exchanged with his tarry hand, he went below. Davy sarcastic greetings and some six-cylinder Jones was his only friend. Fighting Hans compliments, remarkable in themselves lavished all his rough affection on him; for length and strength. But this was confided his joys to him; his sorrows, salt in old wounds so they shut their his misgivings, and if he ever spoke a mouths and hands and proceeded to setcivil word it was to his cat.

tle their troubles. Yet, with all his cussedness, Fighting Carlos, true to his Mexican blood, Hans was mis-named. He did not belong whipped out a dagger and made for that to that old school of skippers who argued part of the skipper located behind the with a belaying pin. He was a fault-find third button of his shirt. Fighting Hans ing, nagging old woman of the sea. Still, avoided him with a nimble sidestep; his bodily appearance was that of a reached out and snatched the bottle from fighter. He was built square from his his pocket. With a deft, backhand blow hips up. Even his whiskers had square he broke the bottle on the mate's shouloutlines and his head-Take another look der. He crumpled on the deck with a at the name and judge for yourself. muffled clatter that ended in a slap as

He had sailed and hauled ropes since his face hit the hot deck. he was a boy. Consequently his arms Carlos staggered to his feet, still were nearly as large, and long as his clutching the dagger. He made at Fightlegs. But his eyes, when they could be ing Hans again, chattering like a monkey

« ПретходнаНастави »