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THE LAST CHANTEY
" And there was no more sea."
Thus said the Lord in the vault above the
cherubim, Calling to the angels and the souls in
their degree ;
On the smoke of Judgment Day,
we gather up the sea ?” Loud sang the souls of the jolly, jolly mari“ Plague upon the hurricanes that made
us furl and flee !
In the deep the Lord hath seen us —
sink the sea !"
And we drowsed the long tides idle till
Thy trumpets tore the sea." Then cried the soul of the stout Apostle
Paul to God : “Once we frapped a ship, and she labored
woundily. There were fourteen score of these, And they blessed Thee on their knees, When they learned Thy grace and glory
under Malta by the sea.” Loud
sang the souls of the jolly, jolly mari
ners, Plucking at their harps, and they plucked
unhandily: “Our thumbs are rough and tarred,
And the tune is something hard May we lift the Dipsea Chantey such as
seamen use at sea ?"
Then said the soul of Judas that betrayed
Him : “Lord, hast Thou forgotten Thy cove
nant with me?
away the sea !
Then said the souls of the gentlemen ad
venturers Fettered wrist to bar all for red iniquity :
“ Ho, we revel in our chains
O’er the sorrow that was Spain's ; Heave or sink it, leave or drink it, we
were masters of the sea !"
Up spake the soul of a gray Gothavn 'speck
shioner (He that led the flinching in the fleets of
fair Dundee) :
And the fish were struck for sale,
that wallow in the sea ?
Then said the soul of the angel of the Off
shore Wind : (He that bits the thunder when the bull
mouthed breakers flee) :
O'er Thy wonders on the deep,
take away the sea !” Loud sang the souls of the jolly, jolly mari“Nay, but we were angry, and a hasty
folk are we !
Till she foundered in foul weather,
a vengeance on the sea !”
Loud sang the souls of the jolly, jolly mari
ners, Crying : “Under Heaven, here is neither
land nor lea!
On the windless, glassy floor?
beat for open sea !” Then stooped the Lord, and he called the
good sea up to Him, And stablished His borders unto all
For to praise the Lord by measure
Him on the sea.
Then said the souls of the slaves that men
threw overboard : “ Kennelled in the picaroon a weary
band were we ; But Thy arm is strong to save, And it touched us on the wave,
Sun, wind and cloud shall fail not from
the face of it, Stringing, ringing spindrift nor the ful.
mar flying free,
And the ships shall
abroad To the glory of the Lord, Who heard the silly sailor men and gave
them back their sea !
Her fingers into mazy lines,
Twining her scarves across them all the It was a day of sun and rain,
while. Uncertain as a child's swift moods ; And I shall never spend again
One, two, three, four step forth, and, to So blithe a day among the woods.
Delicately and imperceptibly, Was it because the Gods were pleased Now swaying gently in a row, That they were awful in our eyes,
Now interthreading slow and rhythmiWhom we in very deed appeased
cally, With barley-cakes of sacrifice ?
Still with fixed eyes, monotonously still, The forest knew her and was glad,
Mysteriously, with smiles inanimate, And laughed for very joy to know
With lingering feet that undulate, Her child was with her ; then, grown With sinuous fingers, spectral hands that sad,
thrill, She wept, because her child must go.
The little amber-colored dancers move, And Alice, like a little Faun,
Like little painted figures on a screen, Went leaping over rocks and ferns,
Or phantom-dancers haply seen Coursing the shadow-race from dawn Among the shadows of a magic grove. Until the twilight-flock returns.
The music had the heat of blood,
A passion that no words can reach ; Was keen as even her rapture was.
We sat together, and understood
Our own heart's speech. The forest knew her and was glad,
We had no need of word or sign, And laughed and wept for joy and
The music spoke for us, and said This was the welcome that she had
All that her eyes could read in mine
Or mine in hers had read.
TO A PORTRAIT
A PENSIVE photograph
Watches me from the shelf beaten drums,
Ghost of old love, and half
Ghost of myself !
Watch me and love me yet —
Her waiting eyes !
None would believe, in very truth,
A maiden was so fair, they said.
And evermore they come and go,
With life and hope so sweet and high, In all the world how should they know
There is no one so tired as I.
How could they know they gave to me
The daily hope which made me fair, Sweet promises of things to be,
The happy things I was to share. The flowers painted round my face,
The magic seas and skies above, And many a fair enchanted place
Full of the summer time and love.
They set me in a fairy-land,
So much more real than they knew, And I was slow to understand
The pictures could not all come true.
But one by one, they died somehow,
None would believe a maid so sad.
From falling leaf to falling leaf,
How strange it was, through all the year, In all its joy and all its grief,
You did not know I loved you dear ; Through all the winter-time and spring,
You smiled and watched me come and go, Through all the summer blossoming,
How strange it was you did not know. Your face shone from my earth and sky,
Your voice was in my heart always, Days were as dreams when you were by,
And nights of dreaming linked the days; In my great joy I craved so much,
My life lay trembling at your hand, I prayed you for one magic touch,
How strange you did not understand ! From leaf to leaf, the trees are bare,
The autumn wind is cold and stern, And outlined in the clear sharp air
Lies a new world for me to learn ; Stranger than all, dear friend, to-day,
You take my hand and do not know A thousand years have passed away,
Since last year — when I loved you so.
They paint me still, but now I sit
Just for my neck and shoulder lines, And for the little lingering bit
Of color in my hair that shines.
And as a figure worn and strange
Into their groups I sometimes stray, To break the light, to mark their range
Of sun and shade, of grave and gay.
One with the leaves ; one with the dove
That moans and sighs a hundred days; How when we die our shades will rove,
Dropping at eve in coral bays
There we will moor our lonely ship
And wander ever with woven hands,