Слике страница

Or have they any sense of why they sing?
And would they praise the heavens for what they have ?”
And I made answer, “ Were there nothing else
For which to praise the heavens but only love,
That only love were cause enough for praise."

Lightly he laugh’d, as one that read my thought,
And on we went; but ere an hour had pass’d,
We reach'd a meadow slanting to the North ;
Down which a well-worn pathway courted us
To one green wicket in a privet hedge ;
This, yielding, gave into a grassy walk
Thro' crowded lilac-ambush trimly pruned ;
And one warm gust, full-fed with perfume, blew
Beyond us, as we enter'd in the cool.
The garden stretches southward. In the midst
A cedar spread his dark-green layers of shade.
The garden-glasses shone, and momently
The twinkling laurel scatter'd silver lights.

Eustace,” I said, “ this wonder keeps the house."
He nodded, but a moment afterwards
He cried, “ Look! look !” Before he ceased I turn'd,
And, ere a star can wink, beheld her there.


up the porch there grew an Eastern rose, That, flowering high, the last night's gale had caught, And blown across the walk. One arm aloft

Gown'd in pure white, that fitted to the shape-
Holding the bush, to fix it back, she stood.
A single stream of all her soft brown hair
Pour'd on one side : the shadow of the flowers
Stole all the golden gloss, and, wavering
Lovingly lower, trembled on her waist-
Ah, happy shade—and still went wavering down,
But, ere it touch'd a foot, that might have danced
The greensward into greener circles, dipt,
And mix'd with shadows of the common ground !
But the full day dwelt on her brows, and sunn'd
Her violet eyes, and all her Hebe-bloom,
And doubled his own warmth against her lips,
And on the bounteous wave of such a breast
As never pencil drew. Half light, half shade,
She stood, a sight to make an old man young.

So rapt, we near'd the house ; but she, a Rose
In roses, mingled with her fragrant toil,
Nor heard us come, nor from her tendance turn'd

Into the world without ; till close at hand,
And almost ere I knew mine own intent,

This murmur broke the stillness of that air

Which brooded round about her :

"Ah, one rose, One rose, but one, by those fair fingers.cull’d, Were worth a hundred kisses press'd on lips

Less exquisite than thine."

She look'd: but all

Suffused with blushes-neither self-possess'd
Nor startled, but betwixt this mood and that,
Divided in a graceful quiet-paused,
And dropt the branch she held, and turning, wound
Her looser hair in braid, and stirrd her lips
For some sweet answer, though no answer came,
Nor yet refused the rose, but granted it,
And moved away, and left me, statue-like,
In act to render thanks.

I, that whole day,
Saw her no more, although I linger'd there
Till every daisy slept, and Love's white star
Beam'd thro’ the thicken'd cedar in the dusk.

So home we went, and all the livelong way With solemn gibe did Eustace banter me.

Now,” said he, “will you climb the top of Art.

[ocr errors]

You cannot fail but work in hues to dim

The Titianic Flora. Will


My Juliet ? you, not you,—the Master, Love,
A more ideal Artist he than all."

So home I went, but could not sleep for joy,
Reading her perfect features in the gloom,
Kissing the rose she gave me o’er and o’er,
And shaping faithful record of the glance
That graced the giving--such a noise of life
Swarm'd in the golden present, such a voice
Call’d to me from the years to come, and such
A length of bright horizon rimm'd the dark.
And all that night I heard the watchmen peal
The sliding season : all that night I heard
The heavy clocks knolling the drowsy hours.
The drowsy hours, dispensers of all good,
O’er the mute city stole with folded wings,
Distilling odours on me as they went
To greet their fairer sisters of the East.

Love at first sight, first-born, and heir to all,
Made this night thus. Henceforward squall nor storm
Could keep me from that Eden where she dwelt.
Light pretexts drew me: sometimes a Dutch love
For tulips ; then for roses, moss or musk,
To grace my city-rooms; or fruits and cream
Served in the weeping elm ; and more and more
A word could bring the colour to my cheek ;
A thought would fill my eyes with happy dew;
Love trebled life within me, and with each
The year increased.

The daughters of the year,
One after one, thro’ that still garden pass'd :
Each garlanded with her peculiar flower
Danced into light, and died into the shade ;
And each in passing touch'd with some new grace
Or seem'd to touch her, so that day by day,
Like one that never can be wholly known,
Her beauty grew ; till Autumn brought an hour
For Eustace, when I heard his deep “I will,”
Breathed, like the covenant of a God, to hold
From thence thro' all the worlds : but I rose up

« ПретходнаНастави »