Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“
[blocks in formation]

By the many hundred years red-rusted,
Rough iron-spik'd, ripe fruit-o'ercrusted,
My sentinel to guard the sands
To the water's edge. For, what expands
Before the house, but the great opaque
Blue breadth of sea without a break ?
While, in the house, for ever crumbles
Some fragment of the frescoed walls,
From blisters where a scorpion sprawls.
A girl bare-footed brings, and tumbles
Down on the pavement, green-flesh melons,
And says there's news to-day - the king
Was shot at, touch'd in the liver-wing,
Goes with his Bourbon arm in a sling :

She hopes they have not caught the felons.
Italy, my Italy !
Queen Mary's saying serves for me

(When fortune's malice

Lost her Calais)
Open my heart and you will see
Gray'd inside of it, "Italy."
Such lovers old are I and she :
So it always was, so shall ever be.

[merged small][ocr errors]

THE BISHOP ORDERS HIS TOMB AT SAINT PRAXED'S CHURCH

ROME, 15

Your ghost will walk, you lover of trees,

(If our loves remain)

In an English lane, By a cornfield-side a-flutter with poppies. Hark, those two in the hazel coppice A boy and a girl, if the good fates please,

Making love, say,

The happier they ! Draw yourself up from the light of the

moon, And let them pass, as they will too soon,

With the beanflower's boon,
And the blackbird's tune,
And May, and June !

VANITY, saith the preacher, vanity!
Draw round my bed : is Anselm keeping

back ? Nephews — sons mine . . . ah God, I know

not ! Well — She, men would have to be your mother

once, Old Gandolf envied me, so fair she was ! What's done is done, and she is dead be

side, Dead long ago, and I am Bishop since, And as she died so must we die ourselves, And thence ye may perceive the world's a

dream. Life, how and what is it? As here I lie In this state-chamber, dying by degrees, Hours and long hours in the dead night, I

ask, “Do I live, am I dead ?Peace, peace

seems all. Saint Praxed's ever was the church for

peace; And so, about this tomb of mine. I fought With tooth and nail to save my niche, ye

know :

II

What I love best in all the world
Is a castle, precipice-encurld,
In a gash of the wind-griev'd Apennine.
Or look for me, old fellow of mine,
(If I get my head from out the mouth
O' the grave, and loose my spirit's bands,
And come again to the land of lands) –
In a sea-side house to the farther South,
Where the bakd cicala dies of drouth,
And one sharp tree — 't is a cypress

stands,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

- Old Gandolf cozen'd me, despite my ’T was ever antique-black I meant ! How care ;

else Shrewd was that snatch from out the Shall ye contrast my frieze to come becorner South

neath ? He graced his carrion with, God curse the The bas-relief in bronze ye promis'd me, same !

Those Pans and Nymphs ye wot of, and Yet still my niche is not so cramp'd but perehance thence

Some tripod, thyrsus, with a vase or so, One sees the pulpit on the epistle-side, The Saviour at his sermon on the mount, And somewhat of the choir, those silent Saint Praxed in a glory, and one Pan seats,

Ready to twitch the Nymph's last garment
And up into the aëry dome where live

off,
The angels, and a sunbeam's sure to lurk : And Moses with the tables ... but I know
And I shall fill my slab of basalt there, Ye mark me not! What do they whisper
And 'neath my tabernacle take my rest,

thee,
With those nine columns round me, two and Child of my bowels, Anselm ? Ah, ye hope
two,

To revel down my villas while I gasp The odd one at my feet where Anselm Brick'd o'er with beggar's mouldy traverstands :

tine Peach-blossom marble all, the rare, the Which Gandolf from his tomb-top chuckles ripe

at ! As fresh-pour'd red wine of a mighty pulse, Nay, boys, ye love me - all of jasper, then ! - Old Gandolf with his paltry onion-stone. ’T is jasper ye stand pledged to, lest I Put me where I may look at him! True grieve peach,

My bath must needs be left behind, alas ! Rosy and flawless : how I earn'd the prize ! One block, pure green as a pistachio-nut, Draw close : that conflagration of my There's plenty jasper somewhere in the church

world- What then? So much was sav'd if And have I not Saint Praxed's ear to pray aught were miss'd !

Horses for ye, and brown Greek manuMy sons, ye would not be my death ? Go scripts, dig

And mistresses with great smooth marbly The white-grape vineyard where the oil

limbs ? press stood,

That's if ye carve my epitaph aright, Drop water gently till the surface sink, Choice Latin, pick'd phrase, Tully's every And if ye find . . . Ah God, I know not,

word,

No gaudy ware like Gandolf's second line — Bedded in store of rotten figleaves soft, Tully, my masters ? Ulpian serves his And corded up in a tight olive-frail,

need ! Some lump, ah God, of lapis lazuli,

And then how shall I lie through centuries, Big as a Jew's head cut off at the nape,

And hear the blessed mutter of the mass, Blue as a vein o'er the Madonna's breast And see God made and eaten all day long, Sons, all have I bequeathed you, villas, all, And feel the steady candle-flame, and taste That brave Frascati villa with its bath, Good strong thick stupefying incenseSo, let the blue lump poise between my

smoke ! knees,

For as I lie here, hours of the dead night, Like God the Father's globe on both his Dying in state and by such slow degrees, hands

I fold my arms as if they clasp'd a crook, Ye worship in the Jesu Church so gay, And stretch my feet forth straight as stone For Gandolf shall not choose but see and

can point, burst !

And let the bedclothes, for a mortcloth,
Swift as a weaver's shuttle fleet our years :

drop
Man goeth to the grave, and where is he? Into great laps and folds of sculptor's work:
Did I say, basalt for my slab, sons ? And as yon tapers dwindle, and strange
Black -

thoughts

[ocr errors][merged small]

II...

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

vase

Grow, with a certain humming in my ears, As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
About the life before I liv'd this life, And quench its speed i’ the slushy sand.
And this life too, popes, cardinals and
priests,
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach

i
Saint Praxed at his sermon on the mount, Three fields to cross till a farm appears ;
Your tall pale mother with her talking eyes, A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And new-found agate urns as fresh as day, And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And marble's language, Latin pure, dis And a voice less loud, through joys and
creet,

fears,
Aha, ELUCESCEBAT quoth our friend ? Than the two hearts beating each to each !
No Tully, said I, Ulpian at the best !
Evil and brief hath been my pilgrimage.
All lapis, all, sons ! Else I give the Pope PARTING AT MORNING
My villas! Will ye ever eat my heart ?
Ever your eyes were as a lizard's quick, Round the cape of a sudden came the sea,
They glitter like your mother's for my And the sun look'd over the mountain's rim:
soul,

And straight was a path of gold for him,
Or ye would heighten my impoverish'd And the need of a world of men for me.

frieze,
Piece out its starv'd design, and fill my

EVELYN HOPE
With grapes, and add a vizor and a Term,
And to the tripod ye would tie a lynx BEAUTIFUL Evelyn Hope is dead !
That in his struggle throws the thyrsus Sit and watch by her side an hour.
down,

That is her book-shelf, this her bed ;
To comfort me on my entablature

She pluck'd that piece of geraniumWherein I am to lie till I must ask,

flower, “Do I live, am I dead ?” There, leave me, Beginning to die too, in the glass ; there !

Little has yet been changed, I think: For ye have stabb’d me with ingratitude

The shutters are shut, no light may pass To death : ye wish it — God, ye wish it ! Save two long rays thro'the hinge's chink.

Stone Gritstone, a-crumble ! Clammy squares Sixteen years old when she died ! which sweat

Perhaps she had scarcely heard my name ; As if the corpse they keep were oozing It was not her time to love ; beside, through

Her life had many a hope and aim,
And no more lapis to delight the world ! Duties enough and little cares,
Well, go! I bless ye.

Fewer tapers

And now was quiet, now astir, there,

Till God's hand beckon'd unawares, But in a row: and, going, turn your backs And the sweet white brow is all of her. - Ay, like departing altar-ministrants, And leave me in my church, the church for Is it too late then, Evelyn Hope ? peace

What, your soul was pure and true, That I may watch at leisure if he leers – The good stars met in your horoscope, Old Gandolf — at me, from his onion-stone, Made you of spirit, fire and dew – As still he envied me, so fair she was ! And, just because I was thrice as old

And our paths in the world diverged so

wide, MEETING AT NIGHT

Each was nought to each, must I be told ?

We were fellow mortals, nought beside ?
The gray sea and the long black land ;
And the yellow half-moon large and No, indeed! for God above
low :

Is great to grant, as mighty to make,
And the startled little waves that leap And creates the love to reward the love :
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,

I claim you still, for my own love's sake!

!

[ocr errors]

snare

shall say)

[merged small][ocr errors]

Delay'd it may be for more lives yet, What else should he be set for, with his
Through worlds I shall traverse, not a

staff ?
few :

What, save to waylay with his lies, en-
Much is to learn, much to forget
Ere the time be come for taking you. All travellers who might find him posted

there,
But the time will come, at last it will, And ask the road ? I guess’d what skull-
When, Evelyn Hope, what meant (I like laugh

Would break, what crutch 'gin write my In the lower earth, in the years long still,

epitaph That body and soul so pure and gay? For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare, Why your hair was amber, I shall divine, And your mouth of your own geranium’s | If at his counsel I should turn aside red

Into that ominous tract which, all agree, And what you would do with me, in fine, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly In the new life come in the old one's I did turn as he pointed : neither pride stead.

Nor hope rekindling at the end descried,

So much as gladness that some end
I have liv'd (I shall say) so much since

might be.
then,
Given up myself so many times,

For, what with my whole world-wide
Gain'd me the gains of various men,

wandering, Ransack'd the ages, spoil'd the climes ; What with my search drawn out thro' Yet one thing, one, in my soul's full scope,

years, my hope Either I miss'd or itself miss'd me :

Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope And I want and find you, Evelyn Hope ! With that obstreperous joy success would What is the issue ? let us see !

bring,

I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring I lov'd you, Evelyn, all the while !

My heart made, finding failure in its
My heart seem'd full as it could hold;

scope.
There was place and to spare for the frank
young smile,

As when a sick man very near to death
And the red young mouth, and the hair's Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and
young gold.

end So hush, — I will give you this leaf to The tears and takes the farewell of each keep :

friend, See, I shut it inside the sweet cold And hears one bid the other go, draw breath hand!

Freelier outside, (“since all is o'er,” he There, that is our secret : go to sleep !

saith, You will wake, and remember, and

“ And the blow fallen no grieving can understand.

amend ;o)

[ocr errors][merged small]

While some discuss if near the other

graves “CHILDE ROLAND TO THE DARK Be room enough for this, and when a day TOWER CAME"1

Suits best for carrying the corpse away,

With care about the banners, scarves and My first thought was, he lied in every staves, word,

And still the man hears all, and only craves That hoary cripple, with malicious eye He may not shame such tender love and Askance to watch the working of his lie

stay. On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that purs’d and Thus, I had so long suffer'd, in this quest, scor'd

Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ Its edge, at one more victim gain'd So many times among “ The Band " -- to thereby

wit, 1 See Edgar's song in “ Lear."

The knights who to the Dark Tower's As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair search address'd

In leprosy; thin dry blades prick'd the Their steps -- that just to fail as they,

mud seem'd best.

Which underneath look'd kneaded up And all the doubt was now should I

with blood.
be fit?
One stiff blind horse, his every

bone

a-stare, So, quiet as despair, I turn'd from him, Stood stupefied, however he came there :

That hateful cripple, out of his highway Thrust out past service from the devil's Into the path he pointed. All the day

stud! Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Alive ? he might be dead for aught I Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. know,

With that red, gaunt and collop'd neck For mark ! no sooner was I fairly found

a-strain, Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, And shut eyes underneath the rusty Than, pausing to throw backward a last

mane ; view

Seldom went such grotesqueness with such O'er the safe road, 't was gone ; gray plain

woe ; all round :

I never saw a brute I hated so; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. He must be wicked to deserve such pain. I might go on; nought else remain'd to do.

I shut my eyes and turn'd them on my So, on I went. I think I never saw

heart. Such starv'd ignoble nature ; nothing As a man calls for wine before he fights, throve :

I ask'd one draught of earlier, happier For flowers as well expect a cedar sights, grove !

Ere fitly I could hope to play my part. But cockle, spurge, according to their law Think first, fight afterwards - -the soldier's Might propagate their kind, with none to

art : awe,

One taste of the old time sets all to You'd think ; a burr had been a treasure rights. trove.

Not it! I fancied Cuthbert's reddening No ! penury, inertness and grimace,

face In some strange sort, were the land's Beneath its garniture of curly gold, portion. "See

Dear fellow, till I almost felt him fold Orshut your eyes," said Nature peevishly, An arm in mine to fix me to the place, “It nothing skills : I cannot help my case : That way he us'd. Alas, one night's dis'T is the Last Judgment's fire must cure this place,

Out went my heart's new fire and left it Calcine its clods and set my prisoners

cold. free.”

Giles then, the soul of honor - there he If there push'd any ragged thistle-stalk

stands Above its mates, the head was chopp'd ; Frank as ten years ago when knighted the bents

first. Were jealous else. What made those What honest man should dare (he said) holes and rents

he durst. In the dock's harsh swarth leaves, bruis'd Good — but the scene shifts faugh! as to baulk

what hangman hands All hope of greenness? 'Tis a brute must Pin to his breast a parchment ? His own walk

bands Pashing their life out, with a brute's in Read it. Poor traitor, spit upon and tents.

curst!

grace !

« AnkstesnisTęsti »