Слике страница
PDF
ePub

As if they played at being names
Still more distinguished, like the games
Of children. Turn our sport to earnest
With a visage of the sternest!
Bring the real times back, confessed
Still better than our very best!

II

“When I last saw Waring ..." (How all turned to him who spoke! You saw Waring? Truth or joke? In land-travel or sea-faring?) “We were sailing by Triest “Where a day or two we harboured: A sunset was in the West, “When, looking over the vessel's side, “One of our company espied “A sudden speck to larboard. “And as a sea-duck flies and swims “At once, so came the light craft up, With its sole lateen sail that trims And turns (the water round its rims “Dancing, as round a sinking cup) And by us like a fish it curled, “And drew itself up close beside, “ Its great sail on the instant furled, “And o'er its thwarts a shrill voice cried, (A neck as bronzed as a Lascar's) “Buy wine of us, you English Brig? “Or fruit, tobacco and cigars ? “A pilot for you to Triest? Without one, look you ne'er so big, “'They'll never let you up the bay! “We natives should know best.' “I turned, and 'just those fellows' way, “Our captain said, “The 'long-shore thieves “Are laughing at us in their sleeves.'

“In truth, the boy leaned laughing back;
“And one, half-hidden by his side
“ Under the furled sail, soon I spied,
“With great grass hat and kerchief black,
“Who looked up with his kingly throat,
“Said somewhat, while the other shook
“His hair back from his eyes to look
“Their longest at us; then the boat,
“I know not how, turned sharply round,
“Laying her whole side on the sea
As a leaping fish does; from the lee
“Into the weather, cut somehow
“Her sparkling path beneath our bow
"And so went off, as with a bound,
“Into the rosy and golden half
“O'the sky, to overtake the sun
And reach the shore, like the sea-calf
"Its singing cave; yet I caught one
Glance ere away the boat quite passed,
“And neither time nor toil could mar
“Those features: so I saw the last
“Of Waring!"-You? Oh, never star
Was lost here but it rose afar!
Look East, where whole new thousands are!
In Vishnu-land what Avatar?

RUDEL TO THE LADY OF TRIPOLI I KNOW a Mount, the gracious Sun perceives | First, when he visits, last, too, when he leaves The world; and, vainly favoured, it repays The day-long glory of his steadfast gaze By no change of its large calm front of snow. And underneath the Mount, a Flower I know He cannot have perceived, that changes ever

At his approach; and, in the lost endeavour
To live his life, has parted, one by one,
With all a flower's true graces, for the grace
Of being but a foolish mimic sun,
With ray-like florets round a disk-like face.
Men nobly call by many a name the Mount
As over many a land of theirs its large
Calm front of snow like a triumphal targe
Is reared, and still with old names, fresh names vie,
Each to its proper praise and own account:
Men call the Flower, the Sunflower, sportively.

hany a lanlike a triumphal tahnames vie,

Oh, Angel of the East, one, one gold look
Across the waters to this twilight nook,
-The far sad waters, Angel, to this nook!
Dear Pilgrim, art thou for the East indeed?
Go!-saying ever as thou dost proceed,
That I, French Rudel, choose for my device
A sunflower outspread like a sacrifice
Before its idol. See! These inexpert
And hurried fingers could not fail to hurt
The woven picture; 'tis a woman's skill
Indeed; but nothing baffled me, so, ill
Or well, the work is finished. Say, men feed
On songs I sing, and therefore bask the bees
On my flower's breast as on a platform broad:
But, as the flower's concern is not for these
But solely for the sun, so men applaud
In vain this Rudel, he not looking here
But to the East-the East! Go, say this, Pilgrim

dear!

CRISTINA

CHE should never have looked at me,
DIf she meant I should not love her!
There are plenty ... men, you call such,

I suppose . . . she may discover
All her soul to, if she pleases,

And yet leave much as she found them: But I'm not so, and she knew it

When she fixed me, glancing round them.

What? To fix me thus meant nothing?

But I can't tell ... there's my weakness ... What her look said !-no vile cant, sure,

About “need to strew the bleakness "Of some lone shore with its pearl-seed,

“That the Sea feels”-no“strange yearning "That such souls have, most to lavish

“Where there's chance of least returning."

Oh, we're sunk enough here, God knows!

But not quite so sunk that moments, Sure tho' seldom, are denied us,

When the spirit's true endowments
Stand out plainly from its false ones,

And apprise it if pursuing
Or the right way or the wrong way,

To its triumph or undoing.

There are flashes struck from midnights,

There are fire-flames noondays kindle, Whereby piled-up honours perish,

Whereby swoln ambitions dwindle, While just this or that poor impulse,

Which for once had play unstifled, Seems the sole work of a life-time

That away the rest have trifled.

Doubt you if, in some such moment,

As she fixed me, she felt clearly,
Ages past the soul existed,

Here an age 'tis resting merely,
And hence, fleets again for ages:

While the true end, sole and single,
It stops here for is, this love-way,

With some other soul to mingle?

Else it loses what it lived for,

And eternally must lose it;
Better ends may be in prospect,

Deeper blisses, if you choose it,
But this life's end and this love-bliss

Have been lost here. Doubt you whether
This she felt, as, looking at me,

Mine and her souls rushed together?
Oh, observe! Of course, next moment,

The world's honours, in derision,
Trampled out the light for ever:

Never fear but there's provision
Of the Devil's to quench knowledge

Lest we walk the earth in rapture!
-Making those who catch God's secret

Just so much more prize their capture. Such am I: the secret's mine now!

She has lost me, I have gained her! Her soul's mine: and, thus, grown perfect,

I shall pass my life's remainder,
Life will just hold out the proving

Both our powers, alone and blended-
And then, come the next life quickly!

This world's use will have been ended.

[blocks in formation]
« ПретходнаНастави »