Puslapio vaizdai
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IN ABSENCE.

I.

THE storm that snapped our fate's one ship in twain
Hath blown my half o' the wreck from thine apart.
O Love! O Love! across the gray-waved main
To thee-ward strain my eyes, my arms, my heart.
I ask my God if e'en in His sweet place,
Where, by one waving of a wistful wing,

My soul could straightway tremble face to face
With thee, with thee, across the stellar ring-
Yea, where thine absence I could ne'er bewail
Longer than lasts that little blank of bliss
When lips draw back, with recent pressure pale,
To round and redden for another kiss-

Would not my lonesome heart still sigh for thee
What time the drear kiss intervals must be?

II.

So do the mottled formulas of Sense

Glide snakewise through our dreams of Aftertime; So errors breed in reeds and grasses dense

That bank our singing rivulets of rhyme.

By Sense rule Space and Time; but in God's Land
Their intervals are not, save such as lie
Betwixt successive tones in concords bland
Whose loving distance makes the harmony.

Ah, there shall never come 'twixt me and thee
Gross dissonances of the mile, the year;
But in the multichords of ecstasy

Our souls shall mingle, yet be featured clear,
And absence, wrought to intervals divine,
Shall part, yet link, thy nature's tone and mine.

III.

Look down the shining peaks of all my days
Base-hidden in the valleys of deep night,

So shalt thou see the heights and depths of praise
My love would render unto love's delight;
For I would make each day an Alp sublime

Of passionate snow, white-hot yet icy-clear,
-One crystal of the true-loves of all time

Spiring the world's prismatic atmosphere; And I would make each night an awful vale Deep as thy soul, obscure as modesty, With every star in heaven trembling pale

O'er sweet profounds where only Love can see.

Oh, runs not thus the lesson thou hast taught?—

| When life's all love, 'tis life: aught else, 'tis naught.

IV.

Let no man say, He at his lady's feet

Lays worship that to Heaven alone belongs ;
Yea, swings the incense that for God is meet
In flippant censers of light lover's songs.
Who says it, knows not God, nor love, nor thee;
For love is large as is yon heavenly dome :
In love's great blue, each passion is full free
To fly his favorite flight and build his home.

Did e'er a lark with skyward-pointing beak
Stab by mischance a level-flying dove?
Wife-love flies level, his dear mate to seek :
God-love darts straight into the skies above.

Crossing, the windage of each other's wings
But speeds them both upon their journeyings.

BALTIMORE, 1874.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT.

I.

O AGE that half believ'st thou half believ'st,

Half doubt'st the substance of thine own half doubt, And, half perceiving that thou half perceiv'st,

Stand'st at thy temple door, heart in, head out! Lo! while thy heart's within, helping the choir,

Without, thine eyes range up and down the time, Blinking at o'er-bright science, smit with desire

To see and not to see. Hence, crime on crime. Yea, if the Christ (called thine) now paced yon street, Thy halfness hot with His rebuke would swell; Legions of scribes would rise and run and beat His fair intolerable Wholeness twice to hell.

Nay (so, dear Heart, thou whisperest in my soul), 'Tis a half time, yet Time will make it whole.

II.

Now at thy soft recalling voice I rise

Where thought is lord o'er Time's complete estate, Like as a dove from out the gray sedge flies

To tree-tops green where cooes his heavenly mate. From these clear coverts high and cool I see

How every time with every time is knit, And each to all is mortised cunningly,

And none is sole or whole, yet all are fit. Thus, if this Age but as a comma show

'Twixt weightier clauses of large-worded years, My calmer soul scorns not the mark: I know This crooked point Time's complex sentence clears. Yet more I learn while, Friend! I sit by thee : Who sees all time, sees all eternity.

III.

If I do ask, How God can dumbness keep

While Sin creeps grinning through His house of Time, Stabbing His saintliest children in their sleep,

And staining holy walls with clots of crime?—
Or, How may He whose wish but names a fact
Refuse what miser's-scanting of supply
Would richly glut each void where man hath lacked
Of grace or bread?—or, How may Power deny
Wholeness to th' almost-folk that hurt our hope-
These heart-break Hamlets who so barely fail
In life or art that but a hair's more scope

Had set them fair on heights they ne'er may scale?—
Somehow by thee, dear Love, I win content :

Thy Perfect stops th' Imperfect's argument.

IV.

By the more height of thy sweet stature grown,
Twice-eyed with thy gray vision set in mine,

I ken far lands to wifeless men unknown,

I compass stars for one-sexed eyes too fine. No text on sea-horizons cloudily writ,

No maxim vaguely starred in fields or skies, But this wise thou-in-me deciphers it :

Oh, thou 'rt the Height of heights, the Eye of eyes.

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