Puslapio vaizdai
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To flit down the shadow-shot-with-gleam,
Betwixt hanging leaves and starlit stream,
Hither, thither, to and fro,

Silent, aimless, dayless, slow
(Aimless? Field-mice? True, they're slain,
But the night-philosophy hoots at pain,
Grips, eats quick, and drops the bones
In the water beneath the bough, nor moans
At the death life feeds on). Robin, pray
Come away, come away

To the cultus of night. Abandon the day.
Have more to think and have less to say.
And cannot you walk now? Bah! don't hop!
Stop!

Look at the owl, scarce seen, scarce heard,
O irritant, iterant, maddening bird!"

BALTIMORE, 1880.

A SONG OF THE FUTURE.

SAIL fast, sail fast,

Ark of my hopes, Ark of my dreams;
Sweep lordly o'er the drownèd Past,

Fly glittering through the sun's strange beams;
Sail fast, sail fast.

Breaths of new buds from off some drying lea
With news about the Future scent the sea:
My brain is beating like the heart of Haste :
I'll loose me a bird upon this Present waste;
Go, trembling song,

And stay not long; oh, stay not long :
Thou 'rt only a gray and sober dove,
But thine eye is faith and thy wing is love.

BALTIMORE, 1878.

OPPOSITION.

OF fret, of dark, of thorn, of chill,

Complain no more; for these, O heart,

Direct the random of the will

As rhymes direct the rage of art.

The lute's fixt fret, that runs athwart
The strain and purpose of the string,
For governance and nice consort

Doth bar his wilful wavering.

The dark hath many dear avails;

The dark distils divinest dews;
The dark is rich with nightingales,

With dreams, and with the heavenly Muse.

Bleeding with thorns of petty strife,
I'll ease (as lovers do) my smart
With sonnets to my lady Life

Writ red in issues from the heart.

What grace may lie within the chill
Of favor frozen fast in scorn!
When Good's a-freeze, we call it Ill!
This rosy Time is glacier-born.

BALTIMORE, 1879-80.

Of fret, of dark, of thorn, of chill,
Complain thou not, O heart; for these

Bank-in the current of the will
To uses, arts, and charities.

ROSE-MORALS.

I.-RED.

WOULD that my songs might be

What roses make by day and night-
Distillments of my clod of misery
Into delight.

Soul, could'st thou bare thy breast
As
yon red rose, and dare the day,

All clean, and large, and calm with velvet rest?
Say yea-say yea!

Ah, dear my Rose, good-bye;

The wind is up; so; drift away.

That songs from me as leaves from thee may fly, I strive, I pray.

II.-WHITE.

Soul, get thee to the heart

Of yonder tuberose: hide thee there— There breathe the meditations of thine art Suffused with prayer.

BALTIMORE, 1875.

Of spirit grave yet light,

How fervent fragrances uprise

Pure-born from these most rich and yet most white

Virginities!

Mulched with unsavory death,

Grow, Soul! unto such white estate,

That virginal-prayerful art shall be thy breath,

Thy work, thy fate.

CORN.

TO-DAY the woods are trembling through and through
With shimmering forms, that flash before my view,
Then melt in green as dawn-stars melt in blue.
The leaves that wave against my cheek caress
Like women's hands; the embracing boughs express
A subtlety of mighty tenderness;
The copse-depths into little noises start,
That sound anon like beatings of a heart,
Anon like talk 'twixt lips not far apart.

The beech dreams balm, as a dreamer hums a song;
Through that vague wafture, expirations strong

Throb from young hickories breathing deep and long
With stress and urgence bold of prisoned spring
And ecstasy of burgeoning.

Now, since the dew-plashed road of morn is dry,
Forth venture odors of more quality

And heavenlier giving. Like Jove's locks awry,
Long muscadines

Rich-wreathe the spacious foreheads of great pines,
And breathe ambrosial passion from their vines.
I pray with mosses, ferns and flowers shy
That hide like gentle nuns from human eye
To lift adoring perfumes to the sky.

I hear faint bridal-sighs of brown and green
Dying to silent hints of kisses keen
As far lights fringe into a pleasant sheen.

I start at fragmentary whispers, blown
From undertalks of leafy souls unknown,
Vague purports sweet, of inarticulate tone.

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