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Title: Lilith - The Legend of the First Woman
Author: Collier, Ada Langworthy, 1843-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                     THE LEGEND OF THE FIRST WOMAN

                        ADA LANGWORTHY COLLIER

                        D. LOTHROP AND COMPANY
                      FRANKLIN AND HAWLEY STREETS

                           COPYRIGHT, 1885.
                         D. LOTHROP & COMPANY.


    That Eve was Adam’s second wife was a common Rabbinic
    speculation. Certain commentators on Genesis adopted this view,
    to account for the double account of the creation of woman, in
    the sacred text, first in Genesis i. 27, and second in Genesis
    xi. 18. And they say that Adam’s first wife was named Lilith,
    but she was expelled from Eden, and after her expulsion Eve was
    created. Abraham Ecchelensis gives the following account of
    Lilith and her doings: “There are some who do not regard
    spectres as simple devils, but suppose them to be of a mixed
    nature—part demoniacal, part human, and to have had their
    origin from Lilith, Adam’s first wife, by Eblis, prince of the
    devils. This fable has been transmitted to the Arabs, from
    Jewish sources, by some converts of Mohamet from Cabbalism and
    Rabbinism, who have transferred all the Jewish fooleries to the
    Arabs. They gave to Adam a wife formed of clay, along with Adam,
    and called her Lilith, resting on the Scripture: ‘Male and
    female created He them.’”—_Legends of the Patriarchs and
    Prophets.—Baring Gould._

    Lilith or Lilis.—In the popular belief of the Hebrews, a female
    spectre in the shape of a finely dressed woman, who lies in wait
    for, and kills children. The old Rabbins turned Lilith into a
    wife of Adam, on whom he begat demons and who still has power to
    lie with men and kill children who are not protected by amulets
    with which the Jews of a yet later period supply themselves as a
    protection against her. Burton in his _Anatomy of Melancholy_
    tells us: “The Talmudists say that Adam had a wife called Lilis,
    before he married Eve, and of her he begat nothing but devils.”
    A commentator on Skinner, quoted in the _Encyclopædia
    Metropolitana_, says that the English word _Lullaby_ is derived
    from Lilla, abi (begone, Lilith)! In the demonology of the
    Middle Ages, Lilis was a famous witch, and is introduced as such
    in the Walpurgis night scene in Goethe’s “Faust.”—_Webster’s

    Our word _Lullaby_ is derived from two Arabic words which mean
    “Beware of Lilith!”—_Anon._

    Lilith, the supposed wife of Adam, after she married Eblis, is
    said to have ruled over the city of Damascus.—_Legends of the
    Patriarchs and Prophets.—Baring Gould._

From these few and meagre details of a fabled existence, which are all
that the author has been able to collect from any source whatever, has
sprung the following poem. The poet feels quite justified in dissenting
from the statements made in the preceding extracts, and has not drawn
Lilith as there represented—the bloodthirsty sovereign who ruled
Damascus, the betrayer of men, the murderer of children. The Lilith of
the poem is transferred to the more beautiful shadow-world. To that
country which is the abode of poets themselves. And about her is wrapt
the humanizing element still, and everywhere embodied in the sweetest
word the human tongue can utter—_lullaby_. Some critics declare that
true literary art inculcates a lofty lesson—has a high moral purpose.
If poets and their work must fall under this rigorous rule, then alas
“Lilith” will knock at the door of public opinion with a trembling hand
indeed. If the poem have either moral aim or lesson of any kind (which
observe, gentle critic, it is by no means asserted that it has), it is
simply to show that the strongest intellectual powers contain no
elements adverse to the highest and purest exercise of the affectional
nature. That, in its true condition, the noblest, the most cultured
intellect, and the loveliest, sublimest moral and emotional qualities,
together weave the web that clothes the world’s great soul with
imperishable beauty. The possessor of highest intellectual capacity will
be also capable of highest developments in the latter qualities. The
woman of true intellect is the woman of truest affection. For the rest
let Lilith speak, whose life dropped unrecorded from the earliest world.
It is the poet’s hope that the chords of the mother-heart universal will
respond to the song of the childless one. That in the survival of that
one word _lullaby_, may be revivified the pathetic figure of one whose
home, whose hope, whose Eden passed to another. Whose name living in the
terrors of superstitious peoples, now lingers in Earth’s sweetest
utterance. That Pagan Lilith, re-baptized in the pure waters of maternal
love, shall breathe to heathen and Christian motherhood alike, that most
sacred love of Earth still throbbing through its tender lullaby.

                                                            A. L. C.

                         TO VALERIA.

    Broideries and ancient stuffs that some queen
      Wore; nor gems that warriors’ hilts encrusted;
    Nor fresh from heroes’ brows the laurels green;
      Nor bright sheaves by bards of eld entrusted
    To earth’s great granaries—I bring not these.
      Only thin, scattered blades from harvests gleaned
    Erewhile I plucked, may happen thee to please.
      So poor indeed, those others had demeaned
    Themselves to cull; or from their strong, firm hands
      Down dropped about their feet with careless laugh,
    Too broken for home gathering, these strands,
      Or else more useless than the idle chaff.
    But I have garnered them.  Yet, lest they seem
      Unworthy, and so shame Love’s offering,
    Amid the loose-bound sheaf stray flowers gleam.
      And fairer seeming make the gift I bring,
    Lilies blood-red, that lit the waving field,
      And now are knotted through the golden grain.
    Thou wilt not scorn the tribute I now yield,
      Nor even deem the foolish flowers vain.
    So take it, and if still too slight, too small
      It seem, think ’tis a bloom that grew anear,
    In other Springtime, the old garden wall.
      (That pale blue flower you will remember, dear.
    The heedless world, unseeing, passed it by,
      And left it to the bee and you.) Then say,
    “Because the hands that tended it are nigh
      No more, and little feet are gone away
    That round it trampled down the beaded grass,
      Sweeter to me it is than musky spray
    Of Southland; and dearer than days that pass
      In other summer-tides.” This simple song
    Read so, dear heart; Nay, rather white-souled one,
      Think ’tis an olden echo, wandered long
    From a low bed where ’neath the westering sun
      You sang. And if your lone heart ever said
    “Lo, she is gone, and cannot more be mine,”
      Say now, “She is not changed—she is not wed,—
    She never left her cradle bed. Still shine
      The pillows with the print of her wee head.”
    So, mother-heart, this song, where through still rings
      The strain you sang above my baby bed,
    I bring. An idle gift mayhap, that clings
      About old days forgotten long, and dead.
    This loitering tale, Valeria, take.
      Perchance ’tis sad, and hath not any mirth,
    Yet love thou it, for the weak singer’s sake,
      And hold it dear, though yet is little worth,
    This tale of Elder-world: of earth’s first prime,
      Of years that in their grave so long have lain,
    To-day’s dull ear, through poets’ tuneful rhyme
      No echo hears, nor mocking friar’s strain.

      _July_ 17, 1884.


                           BOOK I.

    Pure as an angel’s dream shone Paradise.
    Blue mountains hemmed it round; and airy sighs
    Of rippling waters haunted it. Dim glades,
    And wayward paths o’erflecked with shimmering shades,
    And tangled dells, and wilding pleasances,
    Hung moist with odors strange from scented trees.
    Sweet sounds o’erbrimmed the place; and rare perfumes,
    Faint as far sunshine, fell ’mong verdant glooms.
    In that fair land, all hues, all leafage green
    Wrapt flawless days in endless summer-sheen.
    Bright eyes, the violet waking, lifted up
    Where bent the lily her deep, fragrant cup;
    And folded buds, ’gainst many a leafy spray—
    The wild-woods’ voiceless nuns—knelt down to pray.
    There roses, deep in greenest mosses swathed,
    Kept happy tryst with tropic blooms, sun-bathed.
    No sounds of sadness surged through listening trees:
    The waters babbled low; the errant bees
    Made answer, murmurous; nor paled the hue
    The jonquils wore; nor chill the wild breath grew
    Of daisies clustered white in dewy croft;
    Nor fell the tasseled plumes as satin soft
    Upon the broad-leaved corn. Sweet all the day
    O’erflowed with music every woodland way;
    And sweet the jargonings of nested bird,
    When light the listless wind the forest stirred.
      Straight as the shaft that ’gainst the morning sun
    The slender palm uprears, the Fairest one—
    The first of womankind—sweet Lilith—stood,
    A gracious shape that glorified the wood.
    About her rounded shoulders warm and bare,
    Like netted sunshine fell her lustrous hair;
    The rosy flush of young pomegranate bells
    Dawned on her cheeks; and blue as in lone dells
    Sleep the Forget-me-nots, her eyes. With bent
    Brows, sullen-creased, swart Adam gazed intent
    Upon a leopard, crouched low in its place
    Beneath his feet. Not once in Lilith’s face
    He looked, nor sought her wistful, downcast eyes
    With shifting shadows dusk, and strange surprise.
    “O, Love,” she said, “no more let us contend!
    So sweet is life, anger, methinks, should end.
    In this, our garden bright, why dost thou claim
    Ever the highest place, the noblest name?
    Freely to both our Lord gave self-same sway
    O’er living things. Love, thou art gone astray!
    Twin-born, of equal stature, kindred soul
    Are we; like dowed with strength. Yon stars that roll
    Their course above, down-looking on my face,
    See yours as fair; in neither aught that’s base.
    Thy wife, not handmaid I, yet thou dost say,
    ‘I first in Eden rule.’ Thou, then, hast sway.
    Must I, my Adam, mutely follow thee?
    Run at thy bidding, crouch beside thy knee?
    Lift up (when thou dost bid me) timid eyes?
    Not so will Lilith dwell in Paradise.”
    “Mine own,” Adam made answer soft, “’twere best
    Thou didst forget such ills in noontide rest.
    Content I wake, the keeper of the place.
    Of equal stature? Yea! Of self-same grace?
    Nay, Love; recall those lately vanished eves,
    When we together plucked the plantain leaves;
    Yon leopard lowly stretched at my command
    Its lazy length beneath my soothing hand.
    At thee she snarled, disdaining half, to sheathe
    ’Neath thy soft pleading eyes her milk-white teeth.
    Oft, Love, in other times, in sheltered nook,
    We scattered pearly millet by the brook.
    Lo thine lay barren in the sand. Quick mine
    Upspringing sifts o’er pale blooms odors fine:
    Hateful thy chidings grow; each breeze doth bring
    Ever thy plaints—thy fretful murmuring.
    These many days I weary of thy sighs;
    Know, Lilith, I alone rule Paradise.”
    Thereat he rose, and quick at every stride
    The fawning leopard gambolled at his side.
      So fell the first dark shadow of Earth’s strife.
    With coming evil all the winds were rife.
    Lone lay the land with sense of dull loss paled.
    The days grew sick at heart; the sunshine failed;
    And falling waters breathed in silvery moan
    A hidden ail to starlit dells alone—
    As sometimes you have seen, ’neath household eaves,
    ’Mong scents of Springtime, in the budded leaves,
    The swallows circling blithe, with slant brown wing,
    Home-flying fleet, with tender chattering,
    And all the place o’errun with nested love—
    So have you come, when leaves hung crisp above
    The silent door. Yet not again, I ween,
    Those shining wings, cleaving the air, have seen
    Nor heard the gladsome swallows twittering there—
    Only the empty nests, low-hung and bare,
    Spake of the scattered brood.—So lonely were
    To Lilith grown her once loved haunts. Nor fair
    The starlit nights, slow-dropping fragrant dew,
    Nor the dim groves when dawn came shifting through.
    Far ’mong the hills the wood-doves’ moan she heard,
    Or in some nearer copse, a startled bird;
    Or the white moonshine ’mong green boughs o’erhead
    Wrought her full heart to tears. “Sweet peace,” she said,
    “Alas—lies slain!”
                        With musing worn, she brake
    At last her silence, and to Adam spake:
    “Beyond these walls I know not what may be—
    Islands low-fringed, or bare; or tranquil sea,
    Spaces unpeopled, wastes of burning sands,
    Green-wooded belts, enclasping summer lands,
    Or realms of dusky pines, or wolds of snow,
    Or jagged ice-peaks wrapt in purple glow,
    Or shadowy oceans lapped in fadeless sheen—
    Yet there were Paradise, were Lilith queen.
    To dally with my lord I was not meant;
    To soothe his idle whims, above him bent,
    Warm in my milk-white arms, lull his repose,
    Nor deep in subtle kisses drown his woes.
    Wherefore, since here no more dwells love, I fly
    To seek my home in other lands. For why
    Should Lilith wait since Adam’s empty state
    More dear he holds than Lilith desolate?”
    But answer soft made Adam at the word,
    For faint his dying love, yet coldly stirred
    Its ashen cerements: “Nay, love, our home
    Within these garden walls lies safe. Wouldst roam
    Without? Sweet peace, by loss, wilt thou restore
    One little loss, or miss it evermore?”
    “In goodly Eden, Adam, safely bide,
    But I, for peace, nor love, nor life,” she cried,
    “Submit to thee. Unto our Lord I own
    Allegiance true; my homage his alone.
    Oft have I watched the mists athwart yon peaks,
    Pursuing oft past coves and winding creeks,
    Have thought to touch their shining veil outspread,
    In happy days ere Love, alas, was dead;
    So now, farewell! Ere the new day shall break
    Adown their gleaming track, my way I take.”
    She turned; but ere the gate that looked without
    She reached, one fleeting moment paused in doubt
    Upon a river’s brink. In one swift glance
    All coming time she saw. A weird romance
    Wherein she traced great peoples yet unborn,
    New springing cycles, strange lands cleft with tarn
    Or pleasant vale, and green plains stretching far,
    And quiet bays, and many a shingly bar,
    And troubled seas, with bitter perils past,
    And elfin shapes that jeering flitted fast
    With scornful faces, leering lips that smiled,
    Or bursts of laughter through that vision wild.
    Uncertain, then, she stood, half loth to turn.
    “Against yon deepening sky, how dimly burn
    The stars, new-lit. Dear home, thou art so fair!”
    She fondly sighed.
                       Then sudden she was ’ware
    The angel near her paused, whose watchful care
    Guards Eden’s peaceful bounds. Serene, his air
    So tender-sweet, so pure the gentle face,
    She scarce dared look upon its subtle grace.
    Sad were his eyes; his words, rebuking, fell
    Soft as the moonshine clear, in sleeping dell.
    “My sister, go not hence, lest these gates bar
    Lilith forever out. From peace afar,
    Anger and pride shall lead through distant ways
    Thy feet reluctant, in the evil days.
    All is decreed. At yonder southern gate
    Behold! waits even now my princely mate.
    Thou can’st not tell which hath in our far land
    The highest place. Nay; nor, indeed, whose hand
    Hath grasped the noblest fame; nor yet divine
    Whose brows enwound with honor, brightest shine.
    In pleasant labor lurks no thought of pain;
    The greatest loss oft brings the noblest gain;
    The heart’s warm pulse feels not one throb of strife,
    And Love is holiest crown of human life.
    Ere thou didst sleep, beyond the rim of night
    I heard a voice that sang. The carol light,
    Scarce earth-born seemed.  So sweet the matchless strain,
    Its cadence weird, lowly to breathe again,
    Wrapt echo, listening, half forgot; and o’er
    And o’er, as joyous birds unprisoned soar,
    The free notes rose. And in the silence wide,
    Across the seas, across the night, I cried:
      O sinless soul, whose clear voice blithely rings
    ’Gainst the blue verge of stars! ’Tis Lilith sings
    The happy song of love. O Love! the tint
    Of light divine thou wearest. Thou hast no hint
    Of storm or turmoil, or of Sin’s rough ways,
    Whose feet to heaven climb, through darkest maze.
    Ah, Lilith, sure the love that basely weighs,
    That stoops to count its gifts, and hoarding, says,
    ‘Such and so many, these indeed are mine;
    I hold my treasure dear, nor covet thine;’
    This is not love; ’tis Thrift in borrowed dress,
    Deceiving thee. Love giveth free largess
    With open hand, clean as the whitest day;
    Yea, that it gave, forgetteth it straightway.
    Beyond these walls dwells bliss that lives not here?
    When thou hast bartered peace, outshining clear
    And storm-tossed wide, art wildly driven hence,
    The outer world gives thee no recompense.
    Each shining sphere that trembles in blue space
    Hath orbit true—its own familiar place.
    Nor doth the planet pale that gems the night
    Reel wanton down, the smallest star to smite.
    No twining vine, tendril, or springing shoot
    Ere taught thee so; for bud and leaf and root
    Doth its best self lift upward into light,
    Yet climbing still, scorns not the sacred right
    That shrines its fellow.
                             “So pattering rains
    The dark roots drink—and healthful juice slow drains
    Deep ’neath the mould; and with their secret toil
    Bear stainless, leaf and flow’r above the soil.
    Noblest the soul that self hath most forgot;
    Strongest the self which hath most humbly wrought;
    Purest the soul that in full light serene,
    Unquestioning, enwrapt, God’s field doth glean.
    I have seen worlds far hence; thy tender feet
    Bleeding, will tread their stony ways. And sweet
    Is love. And wedded love, grown cold and rude,
    More bitter-seeming makes dull solitude.
    Security is sweet; and light and warm
    The young heart beats, close shut from every harm.”
    “Yet,” Lilith answered slow, “in that still night
    Ere He, the garden’s Lord, passed from our sight,
    Hast thou forgot his words? ‘Lo this fair spot
    Made for your pleasance; see ye mar it not,
    Oh, twin-born pair! So richly dight with grace
    Of soul and stature; unto whom the place
    I give. Together rule. Bear equal sway
    O’er all that live herein.’  Hath Lilith sought
    A solitary reign? Hath she in aught
    Offended? Nay; ’tis Adam who doth break
    The compact. Therefore, unhindered let me take
    My way far hence. I shall not vex his soul
    With fretful plaints, where unknown stars shall roll,
    Far, far away,” she sighed.
                                “Yet ere these bounds
    Thy feet pass, linger. Lilith, list glad sounds
    That greet thine ear. Slow cycles will pass on
    And in the time-to-be-bright years, grow wan;
    Old planets fade, new stars shall dimly burn,
    But not to Eden’s peace shalt thou return.
    Oft from thy yearning heart glad hope shall fail.
    Thy fruit of life lift bloom all sere and pale.
    Certain, small comfort bides, when joy is gone,
    In Great or Less. Grim Sorrow waits to lead thee on.
    Sorrow! Thou hast not seen her pallid face.
    In thy most troubled dream she had no place”—
    “Nay, I depart,” she said, with lips grown chill.
    “Fearless and free, exiled, but princess still.”
    “I may not hinder thee,” the Angel sighed;
    “No soul unwilling here may ever bide.”
    Slow swung the verdant gates neath saddest eyes.
    _Lilith forever lost fair Paradise._

                          BOOK II.

    Soft stealing through the shade, and skirting swift
    The walls of Paradise, through night’s dark rift
    Lilith fled far; nor stopped lest deadly snare
    Or peril by the wayside lurked.
                                    The air
    Grew chill. Loud beat her heart, as through the wind
    Echoed, unseen, pursuing feet, behind.

      Adown the pathway of the mist she passed,
    And reached a weird, strange land at last.
    When morning flecked the dappled sky with red,
    And odors sweet from waking flowers were shed,
    Lilith beheld a plain, outstretching wide,
    With distant mountains seamed.
                                   Afar, a silvery tide
    The blue shore kissed.  And in that tropic glow
    Dim islands shone, palm-fringed, and low.
    In nearer space, like scarlet arrows flew
    Strange birds, or ’mong the reedy fens, or through
    Tall trees, of unknown leafage, glancing, went.
    Now Lilith seaward passed, and stooping, bent
    Her hollowed hand above the wave, and quaffed;
    For she was spent with wanderings wide.  Loud laughed
    She then, beholding on that silent shore
    Rare shells, that still faint in their pink lips bore
    Wild ocean-songs; and precious stones, that bright
    That dim sea’s marge, deep in the land of night
    Thick strewed.
                   Then glad, she lifted shining eyes,
    Loud crying there, “O Lilith, now arise,
    Great queen-triumphant! See how wildly fair
    Before me lies my realm! And from its air
    Soft, sensuous, new life as ruddy wine,
    My spirit drinks. Nor beauty so divine
    Hath Eden’s self. Look, where upon the sands
    The garish mosses spread with dainty hands,
    Like goblin network fine, each fairy frond.
    And dusky trees shut in broad fields beyond,
    And hang long trembling garlands, age-grown-gray,
    From topmost boughs adown, athwart the day;
    And sweet amid these wilds, bright dewy bells
    Ring summer chimes.  And soft in fragrant dells,
    ’Mong tender leaves, great spikes of scarlet flaunt
    About the pools—the errant wild bees’ haunt—
    And thick with bramble-blooms pink petals starred,
    And dew-stained buds of blue, the velvet sward.
    Scarce ripple stirred the sea; and inland wend
    Far bays and sedgy ponds; and rolling rivers bend.
    A land of leaf and fruitage in the glow
    Of palest glamours steeped. And far and low
    Great purple isles; and further still a rim
    Of sunset-tinted hills, that softly dim
    Shine ’gainst the day. “O world, new found,” she said,
    “With treasures heaped and odors rare, ’mong flowers shed,
    For whose dear sake I came o’er flinty ways,
    And paths with danger fraught; ’mong brambly sprays,
    With bleeding feet, and shoulders thorn-pierced deep.
    But perils past, fade fast. And I will weep
    My Eden lost no more.” And sweet and low
    As one who dreams, she said, “For now I know
    These mountain heights, these level plains, are mine.”
    She ceased, and inland quickly turned. “Fair shine
    Strange fruits thick-set, or blossoms lightly tossed
    Low at my feet.” Therewith, a dusk globe, crossed
    With golden bands, from bent boughs, stripped she. Through
    The gleaming sphere its nectrous juices drew,
    And thirsting cried—as one grown drunken: “Mine
    These fruits unknown, in thorny combs that shine,
    Or gray-green spikes that glow, dull on the sands.
    Fain would I pluck, out-reaching eager hands,
    Save that a marvel grows of ruddier rind
    Out-flinging fruity breath upon the wind,
    Beneath harsh spines half-hid. Nor drains
    My wilful spouse such nectars fine. Nor gains
    His patient care the fruitage rare, these plains
    That heaps unheeded. Nay, nor bearded grains
    Golding this goodly land, where Lilith reigns.”

    So passed the glad years on, and o’er her home—
    Its woods and mountains, its clear streams—to roam,
    She loved. The inmost throb of Nature’s heart
    She felt amid the grass. Each daintiest part
    Of Nature’s work she knew; each gain, each loss.
    And reverent watched on high the starry cross
    Gleaming, mute symbol in that southern dome
    Of One—the Promised One—of days to come.

    The rifted sea-shell on the shingly beach
    She scanned, pitying each inmate gone. Each
    Named. ’Mong beetling crags, the sea-bird’s home,
    Light-footed, went. Or, idly, in the foam
    Under the cocoa-palms, her fingers dipped,
    Much marveling to see where featly slipped
    Beneath the waves scaled creatures, crimson-dyed
    Or luminous: Barred-yellow, purple pied,
    Rose-tinted, opaline, or dight with stain,
    Rich as the rainbow streaks, when through the rain
    The Sun’s kiss falls. Much wondered she when bright
    By sedgy pools, flamingoes stalked. And light
    The startled ostrich bent his headlong flight
    O’er desert bare. And on the woody height
    Trooped zebras, velvet-brown.  The date’s green crest
    Beneath, the peaceful camels lay at rest.
    And slender-straight camelopards the boughs
    Down-drew, the lush-green leaves thereon to browse.
      Or oft ’mong oozy bogs, or through the fens,
    Fearless she went, when low, ’mong reedy dens
    The water-courses by, huge creatures slept,
    Or in the jungles spotted panthers crept,
    And in the thickets deadly serpents wound
    Like blossomed wreaths, their coils upon the ground.
      All forms of life she saw; with tenderest care
    Uplifting humblest sprays, or blooms most rare.
    Pierced the deep heart of Nature’s subtlest lore,
    Touched highest knowledge, probed the inmost core
    Of hidden things. She tracked each circling world
    And the wide sweep of billows lightly curled.
    Each page the Master writ she read, close furled
    In lotus blooms, or, ’mong the storm-clouds whirled;
    Or traced, star-lettered, on the flaming scroll
    The night unwinds toward the southern pole.
    And sometimes wiling idle days, she wove
    In quaint device, gems from her treasure-trove,
    Rare garlanded, or set in flashing zone
    Soft emerald, sapphire pale, and many a stone
    Out-gleaming amethyst. Her yellow hair
    Among, the glinting diamonds shone. And there
    The sultry topaz burned. And laughing, twined
    She round her bare white throat red rubies shrined
    In pearls.
               Or she among the haunts would rove
    That sheltered island birds; or in the grove,
    Or ’mong the rocky cliffs, where dainty nests
    They fashioned swift. She scaled the seaward crests,
    And on the sands piled turtle eggs, when all
    About hoarse-shrieked the water-fowl, or call
    Of plovers fell among the tangled glens,
    Or lonely bitterns’ boom came o’er the fens.
      So traversed she her realm, when mangoes green
    Baobabs by, showed freshest hues; and sheen
    Of silver touched acacias slight; and lone
    The solitary aloes, dreamed. The moan
    Of that far sea against the shore brake soft.
    And through that blossom-burdened land as oft
    She roamed and far, sweet sped the passing days.
    Till one dawned fairest, in whose noon-tide haze
    Sweet slumbering she lay; and dreamed-steeped still,
    Half conscious, caught the tinkle of a rill
    In far-off Paradise. More silver clear
    Across her thoughts, as once she loved to hear,
    Rippled the waters, low against the stones
    Where poised gemmed dragon-flies;  and sudden moans
    Shook ’mong blue flags. Waked, vague unrest
    And tender yearning rose within her breast,
    And longing love, that she ne’er more might still.
    When late upon her parting day smiled chill,
    Pensive she gazed upon the darkling land,
    With lingering feet o’er-passed the shining strand,
    And silent sat on an o’erhanging ledge,
    The sea o’erlooking. Far the horizon’s edge
    Athwart her gaze a rim of blue hills cleft,
    Whereat she sighed. “So rose, ere I them left,
    So smiled, the dim hills round my Eden home.
    But I—wherefore recall, when far I roam,
    Dreams vanished—gone? And now since long time dead
    Is that fair past, I fain would lay it low
    Where soft about it memories sweet may blow
    As summer winds the fallen leaves among.”
    Then passed her tender thoughts, and loud and glad
    As our morn wakens, strong that yesternight slept sad,
    She sang. The song triumphant upward swelled,
    Unsorrowed by soft dreams or thoughts of eld—
    As fresh the full, free, mellow notes did rise
    As the blithe skylark’s strain, anear the skies:

          High, high, bold Eagle, soar;
    I watch thy flight, above thy craggèd rock.
          Below thee, torrents roar,
    Down-bursting wild with angry shock
          Upon the vales. O proud bird, free,
          My spirit, mounting, follows thee,
          Still follows thee, still follows thee.

          O Sea—O Sea so wide!
    Far roll thy waves ere yet they find thy shore.
          I hear thy sullen tide
    Break ’neath the beetling cliffs with muffled roar.
          Afar, afar, O moaning Sea,
          My roving soul still follows thee,
          Still follows thee, still follows thee.

          O Whirlwind black—O strong!
    Thy scorching breath fierce burns the crouching land
          And thou dost sweep along
    The raveled clouds. O Whirlwind, see—
          My spirit rising, follows thee,
          Still follows thee, still follows thee.

          Nay, nay! My dauntless soul,
    Still higher than thy wing, O Eagle, soars,
          And wider still than roll
    Thy waves, and further than thy shores,
         My spirit flees—O Sea—O Sea
          No more it follows, follows thee.

          Whirlwind, more strong than thou
    My soul, that fearless leaps to thine embrace
          And thy stern, wrinkled brow
    Doth tender touch and soothingly,
          And vassal art thou still to me,
          That no more, Whirlwind, follows thee.

    Swift changed her mood, and darkened in her face.
    As sometimes in an open, sunny place
    The sudden dusks o’er crinkling waters run,
    So fell her thoughts to music. And as one
    That grieves, she sang.  That lay—soft, weirdly clear,
    The babbling waves made murmurous pause to hear:

    Fair land (she sang), O sun-steeped realm of mine,
    The Sun, thy lover, hath his farewell kiss.
              I only pine
              While dim stars shine.

    Strong is thy Day-god! yet his parting kiss
    Falls soft upon thy faltering lips. O land,
              Thou hast a bliss
              I ever miss.

    Fast comes the night, and warm, for thy dear sake,
    The shadows curtain dusk, thy lonely rest.
              I only wake
              My plaint to make.

    Fair land, my lover cold, doth careless take
    From my shut lips his flight. Here leaves me lone
              My moan to make,
              My heart to break.

    She ceased. But still the song did float and fade,
    As failing sunshine soft, in woodland glade.
    And Lilith, listening, heard—so wild, so shrill,
    Yet dream-like, far, again that tinkling rill
    In Paradise. And o’er her spirit swept
    A sadness bitter-sweet, as ’neath the green palms crept
    The wind, low-sighing, faint. As from lone nest
    A bird torn pinion lifts, striving to soar
    To shelter safe, so, Edenward once more
    Turned Lilith’s drooping thoughts.
                                       Uprose she then,
    And brooding, homeward slowly went again.

                          BOOK III.

    Wide through her realm she walked, and glad or lorn
    She mused. So, loitering, it chanced one morn
    When lone she sat upon a mountain height,
    One sudden stood anear, whose dark eyes bright
    Upon her shone. Pallid his face, and red
    His smileless lips. “Who art thou?” Lilith said,
    And faint a hidden pain her hot heart stirred,
    When low, and rarely sweet, his voice she heard.
    She looked, half-pleased—and half in strange surprise
    Shrank ’neath the gaze of those wild, starry eyes.
    “Oh, dame,” the stranger said, “where waters leap
    Bright glancing down, I rested oft, where steep
    Thy Eden o’er, bare-browed, a peak uprose.
    Naught craving bloom or fruitage—nay, nor those
    Frail joys Adam holds dear. One only boon
    I sought of all his heritage. Fair ’neath the moon
    I saw thee stand; and all about thy feet
    The night her perfume spilled, soft incense meet.
    Then low I sighed, when grew thy beauty on my sight,
    ‘Some comfort yet remains, if that I might
    From Adam pluck this perfect flower. Some morn—
    If I (some dreamed-of morn, perchance slow-born)
    This flawless bloom, white, fragrant, lustrous, pure
    For ever on my breast might hold secure.’
    Yea, for thy love, through darkling realms of night
    I followed thee, sharing thy fearful flight
    Unseen. Lo, when thy timid heart, behind
    Heard echoing phantom feet upon the wind,
    ’Twas I, pursuing o’er the day’s last brink;
    Wherefore, I now am here. O Lilith, think
    How over-much I love thee, and how sweet
    Were life with thee! O weary naked feet,
    With me each onward path wilt thou not tread?
    Or, if thou endest here thy quest,” he said,
    “Let me too bide with thee.”
                                 Made answer low
    Lilith thereto: “Meseems not long ago
    One stood at Eden’s gate like thee. But thy face
    Is darker, red thy lips. Of kingly race
    I know thee. Say, whence comest thou, O prince?”
    “Nay, then,” he sighed, “an outcast I, long since
    From Heaven thrust out; yet now, the curse is past,
    Nor mourn I Heaven lost, if at the last
    Thy love I win. Yea, where thou art, I know
    Is Heaven. And bliss, in sooth” (oh, soft and low,
    He said), “lives ever in thy smile.”
                                         His speech
    Thus ended. And toward the sandy beach
    He passed. Though long her eyes the stranger sought
    Where curved the distant shore, she saw him not.

    Soft through the trees the mottled shadows dropped
    When Lilith in her pleasance sat. Half-propped
    ’Gainst mossy trunk her slender length. Her hair
    In sunny web, enmeshed her elbows bare.
    Slowly the breeze swayed the mimosas slight
    As Eblis pushed aside the bent boughs light.
    “O dame,” he said, “it seemeth surely meet
    Earth’s richest gifts to lay at Lilith’s feet;
    Therefore I said ‘unto the fairest one,
    Things loveliest beneath the shining sun
    I bring.’ Since of all crafts in this young earth
    I am true master, unto her whose worth
    So much deserves, I bear this marble sphere,
    Whose hollowed husk, well polished, gleaming clear,
    Hides rarest fruit.” Therewith the globe he showed,
    The half whereof smooth-sparkling was: Half glowed
    With carven work; embossed with pale leaves light,
    And delicately sculptured birds in flight,
    And clustered flowers frail. Lilith drew near
    With beaming eyes, and laid the graven sphere
    Against her smiling lips; o’ertraced the vine
    That circled it with fingers slim. “Mine, mine
    Is it, O prince?” she cried. “I know not why
    Its beauty doth recall the winds’ long sigh
    That surged among the palms.  Methinks is dead
    Some summer-tide, that in its own sweet stead
    Hath left upon the stone its imaging.”
    Eblis replied: “On earth, is anything
    More fair? If such thou knowest, Lilith, speak.
    That I, for thee, surely would straightway seek.
    Say, if indeed thou findest anywhere,
    On land or sea, created things so rare?”
    And Lilith answered, “On this earth so round,
    Naught else so lovely anywhere I found.
    So shames it meaner work—so had I said—
    But see yon nodding palm that droops its head
    Low sighing o’er the wave. Bring me a bough
    So feathery-fine. Turn thy white sphere! Now
    On its cold, fair surface, Eblis, canst thou
    Such branches carve, or tender fronds, that we
    Bright waving on the cocoa, these may see?”
      And Eblis wrought till grew upon the stone
    Such airy boughs as on the cocoa shone.
    Then Lilith cried: “Skilled craftsman, proven thou!
    Didst thou, then, make my cocoa-tree? Thy bough
    Pale graven give the grace of its green crown
    When through it night winds gently slip adown.
    No charm of color, nor of change, nor glow
    Of blue noon sky, thy carven work doth show;
    Let dusk bees visit it—or sip the breath
    From thy chill marble buds.” Then, Lilith saith,
    “Eblis hath wroughten noblest on this earth.”
    He answered quick, “Poor bauble, little worth
    To Lilith! Ope thy slighted husk, reveal
    The miracle thy rough rind doth conceal!”

      He touched a hidden spring, and wide apart
    The riven sphere showed its white hollow heart,
    And in the midst a gem; the which he laid
    Within her hand. “Behold,” he said, “I made
    Most fair for thee this lustrous blood-red sard,
    And deftly traced its gleaming surface hard
    With carvings thick of bright acacias slim,
    Pomegranates lush and river-reeds. Its rim
    A spray of leaves enchased, white as with rime
    Night fallen. ‘Slow drags the lagging time,’
    I said, ‘till one day shines upon the breast
    Of her, whose perfect beauty worthiest
    It decks, this gem.’ The token, Lilith, take;
    If lovelier there be, for Eblis’ sake
    Keep silent; yet with me, oh Lilith, go
    Awhile from thine own land. Then shall I know
    The gem finds favor in thine eyes.”
                                         Then she
    Turned from her pleasance and all silently
    Passed to the sea, across the yellow strand
    That, glimmering, ringed her shadowy land.
    “Oh cool,” he said, “the lucent waves that fret
    The barren shore, and curl their scattered spray wet
    ’Gainst thy hand. Come! my longing pinnace waits
    To bear thee far. Her slender keel now grates
    Upon the beach; and swift her shapely prow
    Will skim the deep, as swallows’ fleet wing. Thou
    Seest! comely and strong it is. For thee
    Its golden sails, its purple canopy.
    With skin of spotted pard, I cushioned it.
    Ere the fresh breeze doth die, light let us flit
    Across the sea. No craft so proud, so staunch,
    Goes glancing through the foam.  I safely launch
    Her now, and speed to fairy isles. Come thou
    With me.”  And glad she crossed the burnished prow;
    And ’mong the thick furred rugs sat down. “Oh craft,
    Fair fashioned, lightly built, speed far,” she laughed;
    “To other lands bear Lilith safe.”
                                       As sailed
    They idly on, her slender hand she trailed
    Among the waves, and sudden cried, “Indeed,
    A craft stauncher than thine floats by. What need
    Hath it of helm, or prow, or silken sail,
    Sure harbor finding when the ocean gale
    Fast drives it onward?” A nut she drew, round,
    Rough, coarse-husked, forth from the wave. “Lo, I found,”
    She said, “this boat well built. The cocoa-tree
    Cast it amid the foam. Its pilot free,
    The summer wind; its port, the misty shore
    Of ocean isles. It fades from sight. ‘No more,’
    We say, ‘it sails the wild uncertain main,’
    But when the drifting days are gone, again
    We turn our prow, and reach the barren isles
    Where, stranded as we went, the nut. Now smiles
    Above; a bending tree. Aloud we cry,
    ‘A miracle is wrought!’ We draw anigh.
    Behold, the cocoa, towering, doth spring
    Forth from the brown nut’s heart. About it cling
    Sweet odors faint; and far stars trembling peep.
    When through its bowers cool the breezes creep.
    Strong, indeed, thy boat, well builded! I wis
    There be yet other craft as firm, Eblis,
    That o’er these trackless waters boldly glide.
    Brave Nautilus afar, doth fearless ride,
    With sails of gossamer. So, too, doth spread,
    To summer airs, his silken gleaming thread,
    The water-spider fleet, free sailor true
    That in the sunshine floats, beneath the blue,
    Glad skies. And through the deep, all sparkling, slip
    A thousand insect-swarms, that, rippling, dip
    Amid the merry waves. Bright voyagers
    That roam the sultry seas! Look, the wind stirs
    Our creaking sails! Thy pinnace flying o’er
    The ocean’s swell, fast leaves the fading shore;
    Yet faster still the Nautilus sails by,
    And darts the spider quick. And swifter fly
    The insect-fleets among the foam; yet think
    Not when among the billows wild doth sink
    Thy bounding boat, I fear. Nor would I slight
    Thy skill, that made it strong, and swift, and light,
    And trimmed it gayly, for my sake.”
                                        Now near
    A jutting shore Prince Eblis drew, where sheer
    The brown rocks rose. And just beyond, a slim
    Beach of white sand curved to the ocean’s brim.
    Thereto he came, and high upon the strand
    Drew the boat’s keel. “Welcome, fair queen, to land
    That Eblis rules,” he said. “I fain would show
    Thee what thou hast not seen in the warm glow
    Of thy glad home. This blighted shore of mine
    No verdure hath, nor bloom, nor fruits that shine
    ’Mong drooping boughs.  Far inland gloom lone peaks
    O’er blackened meads; or from their bare cones leaps
    Gaunt, crackling flame; or crawl like ashen veins
    The smouldering fires across the stricken plains.
    Deep in these yawning caves black shadows lie
    That shall be lifted never more. Come, I
    Enter! Know thou what treasure by the sea
    I gathered other time.” Therewith showed he
    Hid ’mong the high heaped rocks a dusky grot
    Where never sunshine fell. A dismal spot
    Where dank the sea-weeds coiled and cold the air
    Swept through. And stooping, Eblis downward rolled
    Before her webs of woven stuff, in fold
    Of purple sheen, enwrought with flecks of gold.
    Great wefts of scarlet and of blue, thick strewn
    With pearls, or cleft with discs of jacinth stone;
    And drifts of silky woof and samite white,
    And warps of Orient hues. Eblis light
    Wound round her neck a scarf of amber. Wide
    Its smooth folds sweeping flowed; and proud he cried,
    “Among these hills, in the still loom of night,
    I wrought for Lilith’s pleasing, all. And bright
    Have spun these webs, in blended morning hues
    And noontide shades and trail of silver dews—
    Hereon have set fair traceries of cloud-shine
    And tints of the far vales. The textures fine
    Glow with sweet thoughts of thee. And otherwhere
    Hast thou such fabrics seen, or colors rare
    As these?” Dawned in her eyes a swift delight,
    And low she cried, “Oh, wondrous is the sight,
    And much it pleaseth me. But yet,” she said,
    “Beside my knee one morn, its hooded head
    A Hagè reared. Its gliding shape so near
    To subtler music moved, than my dull ear
    Could catch. Its velvet skin I gently strake,
    Watching the light that o’er its heaped coils brake
    In glittering waves. Within its small, wise glance,
    Flame silent slept, or quick in baleful dance
    Before my startled gaze quivering did wake.
    Fair is thy woof, soft woven, yet the snake
    Out-dazzles it. The beetle that doth boom
    Its dull life out among the tangled gloom,
    Lift his wide wing above thy weft, or trail
    His splendor there, and thy poor web will pale;
    Yea, the red wayside lily that doth snare
    The girdled bee, is softer still, more fair
    Than finest woven cloth.” But tenderly
    She smoothed the gleaming folds. “Much pleaseth me,
    Natlhess,” she said, “such loveliness.” Then brought
    He tapestries of fleeces fine, well wrought
    In colors soft as woodland mosses’ tinge,
    Or glow of autumn blooms: Heavy with fringe
    Of downward sweeping gold; arras, where through
    Showed mottled stripes, or arabesques of blue,
    Broad zones of red, and tender grays, and hue
    Of dropping leaves. “Lilith,” he said, “when rolled
    The storm-tossed billows round these caves, behold
    I spun these daintily. ’Twere hard to find
    Such twisted weft or woven strand.” “Oh, kind,”
    She said, “is Eblis, unto whom I fain
    Would give due thanks. His gorgeous train
    But yesterday I saw the peacock spread;
    Bright in the sun gleamed his small crested head;
    His haughty neck wrinkled to green and blue,
    And since I needs must truly speak, I knew
    Not color rich as his: and I have seen
    The curious nest among the branches green,
    The busy weaver-bird plaits of thick leaves,
    And in and out its pliant meshes weaves;
    And since thou sayest ’twere hard to match thy fine,
    Strong, woven fabrics, watch the weaver twine
    His cunning wefts. Though still,” she said, “think not
    I scorn thy gifts, Prince Eblis; for I wot
    Their worth is greater than my tongue can say.”
      Then Eblis deeper in the cave led her a little way,
    And showed a stately screen of such fine art
    One almost felt the breeze that seemed to part
    The pictured boughs. And o’er the stirless lake
    Dreamed the swift, wimpling waters sudden brake
    Among the willows on its brink—and flowers
    Of scarlet, shining-clean from summer showers;
    And Eblis said, “Cold praise a friend should spare
    This picture true. Certain naught else will dare
    Vie with such beauty.”
                           Archly Lilith took
    The rose from her bright hair, and lightly shook
    The dewdrop from its heart. “I loving, touch,”
    She said, “these petals smooth. O, Eblis, such
    Give to thy painted blooms; give its cool sheen
    Of morningtide, the mossy, lush leaves green
    That fold it round. Give its faint, fragrant breath,
    When with the fickle breeze it dallieth.
    Nay, fairer still my rose than gilded screen,
    Though it be limned with perfect art, I ween.”
    Thereat smiled Eblis bitterly. “I bring
    One parting gift,” he said, “a dainty thing;
    Perchance in other time it will recall
    One who strove long and patiently through all
    These days to win thy praise.” An oval plane
    Of crystal gave he her; of fleck or stain
    Clear-gleaming. Of ivory carven fine
    The frame. And when she looked, “Divine,”
    He laughed, “the beauty it enshrines. Canst claim
    Aught else is fairer?” And Lilith again
    Gazed in the glass, her face beholding there,
    Her pink flushed cheeks, her yellow streaming hair.
    Quick came her breath. “O prince,” she slowly said,
    “Fair is the stranger. Bid those lips so red
    Speak once to Lilith. For methinks the voice
    Of such in music flowed. Let me rejoice
    Therein.” “O glorious counterfeit!” cried
    He. “Lovelier is not on this earth wide!
    Behold, sweet Lilith, ’tis thine own pure face
    That lends my happy mirror perfect grace
    It else had not. Bid thou thine image speak!
    No other happiness I elsewhere seek,
    If the soft tale she whispers be of me.”
    And Lilith answered gravely, “I know thee,
    Eblis. Master indeed of all crafts thou—
    Red Sard, and marble sphere, and agile prow
    Of pinnace light well wroughten were by thee
    And decked full fair. And, beauteous to see,
    Fine woven weft and web, and the tall screen
    O’errun with painted bloom, crystal, with gleam
    Of Lilith’s face—thou madest these. Mayhap
    Beetle and asp likewise didst tint—didst wrap
    The green about my rose, and richly fringe
    My cocoa-tree, or peacock’s train didst tinge
    With dazzling hues. Methought thou wert a prince,
    But now Lilith should humbly kneel, since
    Thou art far higher than she deemed, if thou
    Madest these wondrous things.” And lowly now
    As she would kneel, she drew anigh. But he
    Cried, shrinking, “Nay, I made them not.” And she
    Low questioned, “Eblis, tell me who then, did make
    Them all. Who set the creeping hooded snake
    And stealthy pard within the thorny brake,
    And spread the sea, and wreathed the waterfall
    With foam? Who reared the hoar hills, towering tall
    Above the lands?” With eyes wild flashing, low
    He groaned: “O Lilith, ask me not. My foe
    He was—he is. Trembles with wrath my frame
    If I but faintly breathe his awful name.”
    Lilith replied, “Meseemeth, master true
    Of every craft is He.”
                           Forth the two
    From that drear cavern passed. Ere the water’s brim
    They gained, he plucked the wilding reeds, that slim
    Stood by a brook. “My pipe I make, one strain
    Harmonious to wake. Nor yet again
    Shalt thou such fresh notes hear. Music like mine
    Methinks thou hast not known in any time.”
    He laid his pipe unto his lips, and blew
    A blast, wild, piercing, sweet. The far hills through
    It rung. And softer fell, yet wild and clear.
    It ceased. With drooping eyes, “Once I did hear
    A song as wildly clear, as sad,” she said,
    “In mine own realm.” And as she spoke, dark dread
    The sky grew with a coming storm. “Oh, haste,”
    He cried; “seek refuge ere this dreary waste
    Reeks with the rain!” And fast they sped
    Back to his ocean-cave. There safe, o’erhead
    They watched the piling clouds. With angry roar
    The baffled billows broke upon the rocks. O’er
    Them rushed the shrieking storm. Wild through the grot
    Wandered the prisoned wind, a troubled ghost that sought
    Repose. Or low did moan, and trembling, wail,
    Like some sore-hearted thing that hideth, pale,
    And dare not front the day; and wilder still,
    In chords melodious, swelled or sank, until
    She sighed, “Oh, this weird harp among the caves,
    Strange players hath! For loud as one that raves,
    It rises. Now more sweetly fade away
    Its mellow notes than thy thin pipes.” “One day,”
    He said, “mayhap my strain may please, when wind
    Doth not outpipe my slighted reeds. Unkind
    Thou art.” “The storm is past; to mine own land
    I would return,” she said.  And Eblis o’er the strand
    Led her. And homeward silent turned his prow
    That swiftly through the swirling waves did plow.
      But when they parted, Eblis mused, “I know
    No gift soever winneth her, rich though
    It be and seemly. Into this pure soul,
    Through fear of ill, I enter; or by goal
    Of future gain before it set.”
                                   So came
    He to her pleasance yet again. A flame
    Leaped high above a brazier that he bore,
    Its sweet, white, scented wood quick lapping o’er.
    With darkened face Eblis above her hung.
    “This hath, than my poor pipe, a keener tongue,”
    Smileless and stern, he said. “Oh, dame,
    List how the wild, crisp, crackling ruby flame
    Eats through the tender boughs. A trusty knave
    It is, that serves me well, and loud doth rave
    As tiger caged. When I do set it free,
    With angry fangs leaps on its prey. But see,
    It now sleeps harmlessly, till Eblis calls
    His faithful servant back. Lilith, when falls
    The red fire at thy feet, dost fear?” “Nay, nay,”
    She cried, and drew her white neck up.  “A way
    To tame it thou hast found. Believe me, since
    It is thy slave I too will bind it, prince.
    Should Lilith fear? Unfaltering, these eyes
    Have watched when rushing storm-clouds heaped the skies,
    And the black whirlwind, with loud, deafening roar,
    Beat the torn waves; or whirled against the shore
    The tumbling billows, with fierce lips that bit
    The shrinking land. And the wreathed lightnings split
    The cloud with thunder dread: or wildly burst
    Upon the sea the water-spout. Shall first
    She fear thy flame, who feared not these?” “Fit mate
    Art thou for Eblis,” answered he. “His fate
    Share, great-souled one. Thou wouldst not meanly shrink,
    Though his strong heart did fail. O Lilith, think!
    The crown of clustered worlds thou mayest find,
    If thou with him who loveth thee wilt bind
    Thy life.” “Nay, far happier seems to me
    Than eagle caged, the wild lark soaring free,”
    She said. And through her rose-pleached alleys strayed
    They to the sea. And tender music made
    That guileful voice; yet slow his wooing sped
    Those summer days. But when were dead
    And brown the crisping leaves, “Oh, love,” he said,
    “Of all the centuries, thou rarest bloom,
    Thy shut heart open wide. Its sweet perfume,
    Though I should die, fain would I parting drink.
    Sleeps yet thy love? From me no longer shrink,
    My Lilith. Oh, lift up thy tender eyes;
    In their blue depths doth happy morning rise;
    ’Tis night if they be closed.”
                                   She softly sighed;
    And ancient strife recalling, thus replied:
    “When dwelt a prince discrowned, well satisfied?
    And fallen, loving, still art thou a prince,
    And otherwhiles might sorrow bring me, since
    It might hap thou wouldst much desire her realm,
    Were Lilith thine; for princes seize the helm
    When Love lies moored, and bid the shallop seek
    Across the waves new lands. But Love is weak,
    And so, alas, the craft upon the sands
    Is dashed, while one, on-looking, wrings her hands.
    Such days I have outlived. Like Adam, thou
    Perchance will seek to bind the loosed. Then how
    (If one hath drunken wine of liberty)
    Shall she, athirst, rejoice; no longer free,
    Be glad?”
      “My love,” he said, “large-hearted lives,
    Full dowers thee, and royal bounty gives,
    Nor knoweth law, save Lilith’s wish alone.”
    “Why, then,” she answered, “on the polished stone
    That fronts yon hill, write, Eblis, in full day,
    That other time we read it clear, and say,
    ‘Hereon are graven all those early vows
    We whispered low aneath the summer boughs,’
    Write every word. That so the stone shall be
    Ever a witness mute twixt thee and me.
    Then shall I know thou seekest in me no thrall
    For after-days, if thou make compact. All
    Thou hast said, write now.”
                                Then on the stone,
    As she had said, graved Eblis, and thereon
    Did set his seal. So wedded they: and hand
    In hand the wide world roamed. Or in her land
    Abode. And oft, of hours, ere yet on earth
    He walked, she questioned.  Or he loosed with mirth
    Her yellow hair, down-streaming o’er his arm;
    And ’gainst his cheek her breath came sweet and warm;
    As through his dusky locks caressing played
    Her fingers slim; and shadows, half afraid,
    She saw in his wild eyes.
                              Or paths remote
    They trod, watching the white clouds rise and float
    Athwart the sky. Or by the listless main,
    Or ’neath the lotus bough, slow paced the twain.
    Or dragon-trees spread their cool leafy screen.
    And faint crept odors through the mangroves green,
    Where paused the pair upon the sandy shore.
    Love-tranced, unheeded, swiftly passed them o’er
    Glad summer days: till one hour softly laid
    At Lilith’s feet a fair, lone babe, that strayed
    From distant Dreamland far. So might one deem
    That looked upon its face. Or, it might seem
    From other climes, a rose-leaf blown apart,
    Down-fluttered there, to gladden Lilith’s heart.

                          BOOK IV.

    To that fair Elf-child other summers came;
    But Lilith walked, heart-hungered, filled with shame,
    Naught comforted. And in that shadow-land
    She sorrowing bore, in after-time, a band
    Of elfin babes, that waked dim echoes long
    Forgotten there, and ghastly bursts of song.
    Then Lilith saddened more, for that she knew
    The curse was fallen now. And cried she through
    Fast-falling tears, “Oh, me most desolate,
    That shall not know in any time the fate
    Of happier mothers! Nay, nor cool touch
    Of baby hands. Oh, longed-for, loved so much!
    Alas, my babes, ere yet hour-old ye fly,
    Out-spreading shining wings with jeering cry,
    Afar from me. Most hapless I, from whom
    The crown of motherhood, yet white with bloom,
    Falls blighted! Close in these empty arms fain
    Would I clasp my babes! My tender pain
    But once could ye not solace? Nay, ’tis vain;
    I shall not kiss their lips, nor hear again,
    As gladder mothers may, low-rippling, sweet,
    The laughter children bring about their feet.
    Oh, soulless ones, can ye not wait awhile,
    ’Till on your loveless lips I wake one smile?”
    But merrily out-laughed the phantom crew;
    On shining pinions white, swift seaward flew,
    Or upward rose, slow-fading in the blue;
    Or lured her trembling, green morasses through.
    And ’mong the frothy waves they vanished fast;
    Or shrieked with glee borne on the wintry blast,
    And wilder raised their warlock song.
    While fairer grew each day that elfin throng.

    To pluck the mangoes brown, fair Lilith sped
    One morn. Quick throbbed her heart. On mossy bed
    Lay all her babes. With face like morning, shone
    One there, and wide her yellow hair out-blown
    As ’twere in play. Red-flushed her cheeks, and deep
    About her lips the baby smiles. Asleep
    Was one, white-gleaming, pure as pearl unseen
    In sunless caves, close-shut. And one did lean
    Against his fellow, lithe, sun-flushed and brown,
    With rings of jetty hair that low adown
    His bosom streamed. And one there was, whose dream
    O’erflowed with laughter. And one did seem
    Half-waking. One, with dimpled arms in sleep
    Thrust elbow-deep in moss, that sure did weep
    Ere yet he slept, and on his cheek scarce dried
    The wilful tears.
                      Then low, pale Lilith cried
    As near she drew, down-bending tender eyes:
    “And are ye here, my babes; and will ye rise
    If I but break your sleep?” His naked feet
    One faintly moved as low she leant; and warm
    His slumbrous breath stirred ’gainst her circling arm,
    And slow aneath his closed lids slipped a waft
    Of wind, that loosed a trickling tear. Its craft
    The mother-heart forgot thereat. “At last,
    Close to my breast, my babes,” she cried, and fast
    Laughing, outstretched her eager hands and strong.
    Then lay with empty arms.
                              The elfin throng
    Breasted the pulsing air with mocking song.
    “Alas,” she said, “could ye not give one kiss—
    One tender clasp of hands! And must I miss
    Your throbbing hearts from my cold, barren breast,
    Ye soulless ones, that flout my lonely rest?”

      There, prostrate, long lay Lilith, and there, late
    ’Mid dew-fall, Eblis found his stricken mate.
    “O Eblis, say o’er me what curse hangs bare,
    For now no more,” she said, “this realm seems fair.
    Its fruits grow bitter, all its light falls chill.
    With thee, my prince, poor Lilith mates but ill—
    Earth-born, with angel linked. Alas, is left
    No joy to me, of my sweet ones bereft.
    Methinks soft baby lips might erewhile drain
    From Lilith’s famished heart its wildest pain.
    Wherefore, my Eblis, it were wise to seek
    Surcease of grief. That Lilith, is so weak
    Who wedded thee; and that she sinned, knew not.
    Yet, if we part, mayhap may follow naught
    Of other ills.”
                    “Sweet love,” he laughed, “o’er-late
    Thou art so timorous. At Eden’s gate
    Not so, what time the angel barred her way
    My Lilith stood. Shelter within my arms. Oh, say,
    Was not our young love sweet? Hath it grown cold?
    With me thou sharest endless life; nor old,
    Nor shrivelled, shalt thou be. And not one trace
    Of earth’s decay (sure doom of thy sad race)
    Shall taint thy babes. For lo, I give
    Thy soulless ones immortal youth. They live
    Without a pang. And yet, methinks the cry
    Of Earth adown the ages sounds, when die
    Its babes; and mothers bend dumb lips above,
    And fold still hands, that answer not their love.
    Lilith, doth not indeed my love outweigh
    Caresses missed from phantom babes? Astray
    From Eden long, here in this fair domain
    To bide; and through long cycles fearless reign
    Methinks were joy. In summer sheen
    Wide spreads thy land. The marge of islets green
    The palm-trees skirt. Soft shine the dusk lagoons
    And inland mountains. Mirk the jungle’s glooms,
    And fair thy fertile plains. Oh, sweet the glow
    When we together watch the day, that low
    Among the winds lies still. Shut lilies blow
    While here we wait. Come, for they fain would show
    Their golden hearts. Or, love, with me to float
    Were it not sweet, through flowery bays remote,
    Past coves and peaks? Or pierce yon ocean’s verge,
    And through wild tumbling waves our sails to urge?”
    “Yea, sweet is love,” she said, “and sweet to roam
    By listless currents lulled; or ’mid the foam
    Low dip our feathery oars,” she sighed, “yet sore
    Is still the mother-heart that hears no more
    The lisping tongues. And sad, when baby smiles
    Have left it desolate. And baby wiles
    Shall cheer it never more.”
                                “Yet,” Eblis said,
    “Lilith, no longer mourn. For I have read
    Upon a scroll as samite glistening white,
    All coming fate, close hid from human sight,
    Great peoples yet shall dwell in these dusk lands.
    Then shall thy children, shadowy bands
    That fly thy fond caress, with them abide
    In closest fellowship. And though they hide
    Sometimes from human ken their better selves,
    Still loved, remain these tricksy elves.
    Though yet indeed some quips and pranks they play,
    ’Tis but a jest, men know, when far away
    The flickering marsh-fires swift they light
    And children follow their false tapers bright
    Among the spongy bogs. The ship-lad smiles,
    When distant ’mid the waves the phantom isles
    Rise green. ’Tis but a harmless jest that sets
    On lonely plains, domes, mosques, and minarets,
    And o’er the desert sands, mirage uplifts
    When glimmering waves shine through deep rifts
    Of crested palms.
                      “Still dearer they when wide
    To undiscovered lands men boldly ride
    Across new seas, and turn their venturous prows.
    When tempests shriek, and wet about their brows
    The salt spray dashes fierce, one, watching, cries,
    ‘Good mates, no storm I fear, for yonder rise
    The Elf-babes ’mid the foam. Ye goblin crew,
    That sail these unknown seas, we follow you
    To harbor safe. Ho, ho! With beckoning hands,
    Wind-driven, loud they cry—My mates! the lands,
    The golden lands we seek, are ours!’

    “In Earth’s brown bosom pent, the hardy wight
    Long in deep caverns dwells; and hard doth smite
    The rocky caves. Nor sees the golden spoil
    Through weary days of wasted, lonely toil.
    From his wild eyes, far-flying hides the prize,
    Till desperate, angered, worn, aloud he cries:
    ‘Vain, vain! The caves my labor answer not,
    Nor yellow threads, that gleam in any grot.
    Hard, cruel, silent hills, my strength ye mock,
    And seal your treasures close in flinty rock;
    So, after toilsome years, sweet wife, I bring
    To thee no sparkling love-gift. Nay, nor anything
    To cheer our failing time.’

                                “Then round him hears
    He sturdy blows, and listening, almost fears
    He dreams. But swift the echoes rise, and still
    More loudly roll, and quick replies the hill.
    Reverberant, through all the caverns round,
    The uproar swells, and fills the world with sound.
    Then lists he once again. ‘With lusty shocks
    Your hammers ring against the hard-ribbed rocks—
    Goblins!’ he boldly shouts, ‘smite! smite! ye bring
    My treasure forth, dark-beating goblin wing
    Among the gleaming caves, whose dusk veins hold
    The gold. At last! At last, the ruddy gold!’

    “And lone, in stricken fields, the husbandman
    Sits pale, with anxious eyes that hopeless scan
    The burning sky. Hot lie the glimmering plain
    And uplands parched. ‘Behold, the bending grain,
    Fair in the springtide, now is dead; and dry
    The brooks. If yet the rainfall fail, we die
    Of famine sore. No bleating lambs I hear in fold
    Safe shut, nor lowing kine; nor on the wold
    The whir of mounting bird: Nor thrives about me
    Any living thing. So seemeth, end must be
    Of striving. Since all the land is cursed,
    What matter if by famine scorched, or thirst,
    We die?’ he saith.
                       “And thick the warlock swarm
    Above his head, wide-spreading dark wings warm,
    Fast flitted by. The waiting fields he stands
    Among. And laughing, claps exultant hands.
    ‘Good speed ye, Sprites! that bring the welcome cloud
    And pile the vapors thick,’ he shouts aloud.
    Oh! sweet shall bloom again the bending grain,
    And clothe afresh the wide, the wasted plain.
    The clouds sweep black. Ha, ha! Against my cheek
    The big drops fall. Merry the goblins shriek.
    Behold, they mount, they sink, they rise again.
    Ho, friendly elves, that bring the longed-for rain!’”

    Thereat, he, smiling, ceased. And when soft crept
    The listening stars across the sky, they slept
    Untroubled, ’neath the mango-trees.
                                        But when midway
    The night was spent, Prince Eblis waking lay.
    Soft Lilith’s breathing ’mong the droopt leaves stirred.
    And he, sore troubled, mused on every word
    That Lilith spake ere yet they slept. In all
    Foreseeing much of ill that might befall
    Their love. “O, queenly soul! Of finer grain
    Thou art than angels are. And more in brain
    Than man, I hold thee. Sooth, yet taints thee still
    One touch of womankind. And since so chill
    She finds her babes, must I forego my vow?
    For one flaw, Hope’s clear crystal break? Oh, how
    Ally her cause with mine! So doth she long
    For human love—a baby hand is strong
    To hurl my empire down. From her soft heart
    Red, baby lips can drain revenge, and start
    Unbidden tears. And pity wakes to life
    When ’mong dead embers she sits lone, and strife
    Is done.
             “Then, at Regret’s dull heels, lo, fast,
    Retrieving follows. Happy days long past
    She will recall. If so for love she yearn,
    Back to her early home once more will turn,
    Pardoning her wilful lord. And he again
    Shall win the woman I so love, and fain
    Would hold forever. Lilith, thou one balm
    Of my lost soul in all this world! Shall calm
    My sufferings, or love me, any one, save thee,
    When thou in Adam’s arms forgettest me?
    My only love! Nay, then, ’twere surely wise
    To shut these baby faces from her eyes,
    New seeds of wrath to sow, her hate so feed
    That all her rankling wounds afresh shall bleed.
    And in her ears ‘Good Adam!’ will I cry,
    Lest she forget Eden she lost thereby.
    Yea, ‘Adam!’ I will laugh. Till her red lips with guile
    O’erflow. And she shall curse him loud.  With subtlest wile
    Safe won, then shall she ever be mine own.
    Soul-bound to me in hate, more terrible than death
    In hate, that long outlasts Love’s puny breath—
    O cunning craft, that with the self-same blow
    Forever wins my love, and smites my foe!

    “Last night, when Lilith slept, lest I might mar
    Her dreams, from our green couch I rose, and far
    Passed silent. Know I not the spell that draws
    My feet unwilling, Edenward. Its laws
    I may not brave to rend my foe. Nor there
    The Angel pass, unseen. The night so fair,
    As prone among the glistening leaves I lay,
    On Adam shone. Not sad, as on a day
    Erstwhile he seemed. And I could almost swear
    The sound of silvery laughter on the air
    Fell soft. And a fleet footfall ’mong the flowers
    Scattered the dew. Yet ’mid those silent bowers
    Naught else I saw or heard save rippling flow
    Of waters, and the moonshine white. Oh, low
    Speak, Eblis, lest aloud the night may tell
    Thy secret to the stars. Yet it were well
    If lies the hidden cure for Lilith’s woe
    Close shut in Paradise.
                            “All would we know,
    If we, close hid without those verdant walls,
    Together watched. What fate soe’er befalls
    I care not, if with me she bide.”
                                      Down bent
    He o’er her hair, thick with the night-dew sprent.
    Soft kissed it, crying, “Love, the morn shines bright.
    Waken, my Lilith, now. Through lands of night
    Our happy course afar doth ever wend;
    Past smiling shores where mighty rivers bend,
    Past cove and cape and isle, and winding bay
    And still blue mists, that hang athwart the day.”
    Thereat she rose, and joyously they sped
    By broad lagoons where musky odors shed
    New blooms. About them coiled long wreaths of vine,
    And slim lianas drooped, and marish lichens fine.
    And fared they on o’er many a slanting beach
    And mountain crest; past many an open reach
    And forest wild—till over Paradise
    They saw the stars, clear, tender, loving, rise.
    Then ’neath the screen of those rose-girdled walls
    They hid without, listing the waterfalls,
    Or bird belated, twittering to its nest.
    So still the spot, the very grass to rest
    Seemed hushed.
                   The garden-close, a clinging rose o’ercrept.
    Its lustrous stem without that drooping swept
    Thick set with buds as tintless as the snows
    On sunless hills, when wild the north wind blows.

    Lilith a-tiptoe stood; upreaching, caught
    The swaying boughs. Her eyes with longing fraught
    Close scanned her old deserted home. Then came
    Upon her spirit sadness, as if blame
    Unuttered breathed through those remembered glades
    And touched the odors moist ’mong mirky shades.
    With wistful gaze, she traced each bosky dell,
    Each winding path. And sweet youth’s memories fell
    About her.
               Then was she ware of Adam, slow
    Pacing the pleasance-ways. With ruddy glow
    Fresh shone his cheeks, and crisp his hair out-blown
    By wanton winds. His lips were mirthful grown.
    Once he made pause hard by the coppice green
    That hid the watcher. Once the leafy screen
    So near he passed, from the overhanging edge
    He brushed a rose. The hindering hedge
    Quick through, in sudden blessing slim white hand
    Fain had she reached. “O Eden mine! Dear land,”
    She sighed. And springing warm the tender tide
    Of teardrops gemmed the roses at her side.

    So greets the weary wanderer once more
    His early home. The lintels worn, the door
    Age-stained; the iris clumps, in sheltered nook;
    The mill-wheel rotting o’er the shrunken brook;
    The sunny orchard, sloping west; and far
    And cold, above his mother’s grave, a star—
    Then quick unbidden tears, the heart’s warm rain,
    O’erflow his soul, and leave it pure again.
    So Lilith backward turned to holier days,
    Watching through misty tears where trod those ways
    Her feet in other times.
                             Sudden and sweet
    Came down those paths a glimpse of flying feet;
    A sound of girlish laughter smote the air.
    In jealous rage, Lilith uprose to dare
    The guarding Angel’s wrath. But, silver clear,
    The mocking laugh of Eblis caught her ear.
    “Thou hast forgot,” he said, “this peaceful land,
    Living, thou canst not enter.”
                                   But her hand
    Grasped once again the roses’ shining strand,
    And ’neath her guileful touch, like scarlet flame
    The snowy flowers burned. So, first Earth’s shame
    Around them set the spikèd thorns.
                                       Long there
    Pale Lilith looked, as coldly still and fair
    As carven stone. Then, with a fierce despair,
    A sense of utter loss, downbending there,
    With fingers hot she tore the hedge apart
    And laid thereto her face. With sorer smart
    She gazed again. For now, the twain at rest
    Were laid. Pure as a dream, Eve’s sinless breast
    A babe close pressed. One pink foot, small and warm,
    Among the leaves was hid. One dimpled arm
    Aneath her head.
                     Low Eblis sneered. “I wot
    In young Eve’s arms my Lilith is forgot.
    Oh, soon,” he said, “these earth-worms changeful turn—
    From the oped rose when red the shut buds burn.”
    But wild eyes on the babe she fixed. “Oh, blind,”
    She cried, “was I. Yea, if the wanton wind
    Doth mock, I will not chide. Was it for this
    I wandered far, and bartered Eden’s bliss?
    For this have lost the very bloom of life?
    So Adam comfort finds, not knowing strife!
    Look you, that fragile thing at Adam’s side—
    I heed her not. But Lilith is denied
    The treasure she so careless doth possess.
    See how the babe, scarce waking, doth caress
    The mother! Look! Oh, hear the mother croon
    Above her child! Ah, Eblis, love, I swoon—
    I shall not know such joy. Alas, to me
    No babe shall come! Accurséd may she be,
    Cursed Adam too. Thrice heavy on the head
    Of this poor babe my wrong be visited.”
    So, trembling, she brake off.
                                  “Fast fades the light,
    Sweet love. Once more to our dark realm of night
    Let us return,” he said.
                             As on fared they
    With merry jest, Eblis gan cheer the way.
    “Nay, otherwhiles mirth pleased,” she said. “Knowest thou
    What name she bears, who dwells in Eden now?
    When Lilith went, long tarried Adam lone?”
    She said. Replied he, “All to me is known
    Since that same hour you parted. What befell,
    To thee as we wend onward I will tell.

    “Calm morn in Eden streaked the skies with red,
    And flushed the waiting hills above the grassy bed
    Where Adam, joyless, saw new rise the sun,
    Unwinding golden webs night-vapors spun
    Athwart low meads. Slow, droning murmurs sent
    The waking bees, with bloom and fragrance blent.
    Unheeded poured her music blithesome Day
    The reedy brooks beside and shallows gray.
    For lone to Adam seemed the place, and cold;
    The landscape dumb, as one aneath the mould.
    For Lilith’s sake, no more was Eden fair.
    Bloomless the days, the nights bowed down with care.
    Oft pacing pathways dim, he saw the gleam
    Of strange-faced flowers beside the purling stream,
    Or toyed with circling leaves; or plucked the grass,
    And watched through rifted trees the clouds o’erpass;
    Wide roaming, heard the waters idly break
    Far ’gainst the curving beach.
                                   “And grieving, spake,
    ‘Oh, sweet with thee each hour—each wilding way,
    And sweet the memory of each gathered spray.
    Could you not wait, dear love? Or come once more?
    Yea, ’till you come, vain doth great Nature pour
    Her richest gifts.’ He paused, and heard alone
    Respondent fall, the wood-dove’s plaintive moan,
    And the spent winds among the scented glades.
    Moss-couched beneath the glinting forest shades,
    He gazed, when shadows o’er the hills crept light,
    Quick vanishing, like phantom fingers white,
    Until on mead, and mere, and sounding shore
    Eden found voice, sad plaining, ‘Never-more!’
    Long time he pondered on blue peaks remote
    When slow, as stranded ships that listless float,
    Moved by the sunset clouds. Or the white rack
    Swept o’er the garden walls.
                                 “‘Would I their track
    Might take,’ he said, ‘Lilith, so long you stay.
    Whom my soul follows sorrowing—alway.’
    Thus ever mourned he, comfortless; that so
    In after days the Master, in the glow
    Of morning-tide, the mother of the race
    Gave for his solacement.
                             “Oh, fair the face
    Young Eve bent o’er his sleep. Ere down the glade
    The startled fawn leaps swift, her glance dismayed
    Questions the hunter, mute. Such eyes—so brown,
    So soft, so winning, shy—that looked adown
    When Adam waked. Like vagrant tendrils, tossed
    Dark hair about her brows. And quaintly crossed
    Her hands upon her breast. Less red the dart
    That deepest cleaves the folded rose’s heart,
    Than her round cheeks. Not hers the regal air
    Of Lilith lost, the white arms, lissom, bare,
    The slender throat; the elbows dimpled deep, whereto
    Might scarcely reach Eve’s head.
                                     “Yet soft, as through
    Some pleasant dream, the summer’s spicy air
    Stirs odorous ’mong seaward gardens fair,
    In southland hid; so, gently, Eve straightway
    To Adam’s life unbidden came, to stay
    Forever there. Sure entrance then made she
    Into that heart untenanted by thee.
      “So, to some olden house, from whose shut doors
    One went erewhile, another comes. Its floors
    All empty sees. The lowly threshold worn,
    The moss-grown roof, the casements left forlorn.
    Amid the shadows round about him stands,
    Missing the footsteps passed to other lands,
    And whispers tenderly, ‘Since here no more
    The owner bides, what harm if on the floor
    I pass? Good chance it were the clambering vine
    About the porch with fingers deft to twine—
    To draw the curtains, ope the door. For who
    May know how soon these paths untended, through,
    He comes again, with weary, way-worn feet,
    Who made aforetime, other days so sweet.
    Wherefore, I enter now. For whose dear sake
    These vacant rooms, white, fragrant, clean, I make.
    And when, world-wearied, he returns, we twain
    Perchance together bide. Nor part again.’
    So Eve found refuge. Tender love, the spell
    Whereby she ruled. Peaceful the pair did dwell.
    Fast fled the happy years, till softly laid
    In her glad arms the babe—a winsome maid.”
    He ended there. Between them silence deep
    Fell, as they journeyed. And the furthest steep
    They crossed, that o’er their shadow-world rose high.
    Then saw they level plains, their home, anigh.
    And now, seeking her pleasance once again,
    They came to their own land. But all in vain
    His care. Silent she was, and oft did grieve,
    Till Eblis wrathful cried: “Because this Eve
    Adam holds dear, art mourning? Still dost yearn
    To mate his sordid soul? Or wouldst thou turn
    From summer land to Eden walls?
                                    “The man
    Belike, ne’er loved thee. So is it young Eve can
    His pulses sway. Is she not passing fair?
    Her fancies wild, it is her daily care
    To bend beneath his ever fickle will.
    Red-lipped and soft, she deftly rules him still,
    Though he wist not. Yet sweeter Lilith’s frown
    Than archest smile she wears. Great Soul! The crown
    Thou bearest of fadeless life. For fleeting dreams
    In Paradise, beside the winding streams,
    Wilt thou resign such boon? Thou art, in sooth,
    Of mold too firm for Adam’s love. In truth
    A prince—though fallen—consorts best with thee
    Say which were wise, with Eden’s lord to be,
    Or, shining high, the purer soul, the star
    That fadeless burns, and Eblis lights afar?
    Were it not grand through endless spaces hurled
    With me to drive, above a shrinking world
    Our chariot, wide?
                       “For I foresee when dawn
    Dark days upon our foes, and hope is gone.
    Wherefore, my Lilith, now, as seems thee good,
    Make choice.” Thereat she, turning where she stood,
    With kisses hung about his neck, and smiled,
    Crying, “Thine, Eblis, thine!” So were they reconciled.

                           BOOK V.

    And Lilith oft to Paradise returned,
    For fierce within her, bitter hatred burned,
    And better, dearer, seemed revenge than aught
    She else desired. The coppice oft she sought,
    Much hoping direful evil might be wrought
    Upon the love that bloomed in Eden.
    Oft strayed fair Eve; the little maid, beside,
    Plucking the lotus; or by sedgy moats,
    From ribbed papyrus broad, frail fairy boats
    Deft fashioning. Or Adam, watching, smiled,
    With flowery wreaths engarlanding the child.
    And laughed the pair, intent on pleasant toil,
    When blithe the child upheaped her fruity spoil—
    Great globes of red and gold. Or roguish face
    O’er feathery broods, or in the further space
    To count the small blue eggs, she sportive bent;
    And far her restless feet swift glancing went.
    It chanced one day she watched the careless flight
    Of vagrant butterflies, that circled light
    Uncertain, high, above a copse rose-wreathed;
    Then soft down-dropping, gaudy wings they sheathed
    Beside a darkling pool. The copse anear
    With yellow buds was strewn. And softly here
    She crept, deeming her little half-shut hand
    Might snare the fairest of that gleaming band.
    Yet ere she touched it, wide its wings outspread
    In flight.

               And still she, swift pursuing, sped
    Among the groves, till wearied, slept the maid
    Deep in the mid-day shadows, lowly laid.

    Without, stooped Lilith. And with fingers swift,
    Among the leaves she oped a small green rift,
    That she might see the child. The hedge was wet
    With starry blooms. Whereto her hand she set
    When she awaked, seeing each dainty frond
    Of fragrant ferns, dusk mirrored in the pond.
    The child came near the copse, much wondering:
    From glossy stems the smooth leaves sundering.
    And stooping o’er the rift, she saw there, low
    Against the hedge, a face like drifted snow,
    And soft eyes, blue as violets show
    Above the brooks; and hair that downward rolled
    Upon the ground in glittering strands of gold.
      Mute stood the maid, naught fearing, but amazed.
    Then nearer drew, and lingering, she gazed
    In those blue orbs. And smiling as she knelt,
    The stranger quickly loosed her shining belt
    Of gems. Flawless each stone whose pallid gleam
    Lit silent nooks, or slept by far-off stream
    Unheeded—pale pearls with shimmering light,
    From distant oceans plucked, blue sapphires bright,
    And diamonds rosy-cold, and burning red
    The rubies fine, and yellow topaz shed
    Its sultry glow, jasper, dull onyx white,
    Sardonyx, rare chalcèdon, streaked with light.
    Against her white breast that bright zone she laid,
    Then stretched it, flashing forth, toward the maid,
    And clasped it round her throat.
                                     A luring strain
    She sung, sweet as the pause of summer rain.
    So soft, so pure her voice, the child it drew
    Still nearer that green rift; and low there-through
    She laughing stroked the down-bent golden head
    With her soft baby hands. And parting, spread
    The silken hair about her little face,
    And kissed the temptress through the green-leaved space.
    Whereat fell Lilith snatched the babe and fled,
    Crying, as swift from Eden’s bounds she sped,
    And like a fallen star shone on her breast
    The child, “At last! at last! thy peaceful rest
    Ere long will cease. O helpless mourn, frail Eve,
    Uncomforted. O hapless mother, grieve,
    Since Lilith far from thee thy babe doth bear!
    She leaves thy loving arms, thy tender care.
    Nor canst thou follow anywhere my flight,
    When far we go athwart the falling night.
    Ah, little babe, close-meshed in yellow hair
    Thou liest pale! Fear not, thou art so fair,
    Much comfort lives in thee.”
                                 So ended she,
    And onward, hostile lands among, passed fleet
    Blue solitudes afar, till paused her feet,
    Where highest ’mong hoar climbing peaks, uprose
    A mountain crest.
                      It was the third day’s close.
    In those untrodden ways there was no sound,
    No sight of living thing, the barren heights around.
    No hum of insect life, no whirring wing of bird.
    Bare rocks alone, all fissured, blotched and blurred
    As with red stain of battle-fields unseen.
    Far, far below, still vales were shining green.
    And leaping downward swift, a mountain stream
    Crept soft to sleep, where meadow grasses dream.
    Wan, wayworn, there, the babe upon her knee,
    Lilith sat down. “O Eve,” she said, “on me
    The child smiles sweet! Fondle her silken hair
    If now thou canst, or clasp her small hands fair.
    Thou hast my Paradise. Lo, thine I bear
    Afar from thee. See, then! Its transient woe
    Thy babe e’en now forgets; and sweet and low
    It babbles on my knee. In sooth, not long
    Endure her griefs, and through my crooning song
    She kisses me, recalling not the place
    Whence she has come. Nay, nor her mother’s face.”
    Long time stayed Lilith in that land. More calm
    Each day she grew, for soft, like healing balm,
    The child’s pure love fell on her sin-sick soul.
    Now oft among the crags, fleet-footed, stole
    The maid, or lightly crossed the fertile plain.
    And blithesome sang among the growing grain
    That brake in billowy waves about her feet.
    But when the wheat full ripened was, and sweet,
    She plucked and ate. Thereat a shadowy pain,
    A sense of sorrow, stirred that childish brain,
    She wist not why. For it did surely seem
    Before her waking thought, with pallid gleam
    Of other days, dim pictures passed; of wood
    And stream, beyond these mountain rims. And stood,
    It seemed, midway a garden wide, a tree that bright
    Like silver gleamed, and broad boughs light
    Uplifted. Like ripened wheat the fruit thereon,
    When low the westering sun upon it shone.
    Then slow the maid did turn, and silent stand
    At Lilith’s side. And o’er that mountain land,
    Down-looking, mused. Or lifted pensive eyes,
    And gaze that questioned if in any wise
    She might perceive the land she longing sought;
    But of its stream, or garden, saw she naught.
    Thereat Lilith with white lips drew more near,
    And clasped in her lithe arms the child so dear.
    And once again fled swift, a shadowy shape,
    Across green fields.  And heard, through silence, break
    A voice she could not hush, that loudly wailed,
    “My babe! Give me my babe!”
                                And Lilith paled,
    And listening, heard, borne ever on the wind,
    The tread of feet fast following behind.
    Then westward turned, where once among new ways
    With Eblis she had trod in other days,
    When far they wandered. Thitherward she bent
    Her timid steps, the babe upon her breast,
    Until with travel worn her noontide rest
    She took. And now a land of alien blooms
    About them lay, outwafting strange perfumes.
    And quaint defiles, that sloped behind a bay;
    And level fields; and curly vines that lay
    Thick clustered o’er with unripe fruit; and bent
    Above them fragrant limes and spicy scent
    Of citron and of myrtle all the place
    Made sweet, and ’mid the trees, an open space
    They saw.
              Not far away a broad lagoon
    Burned like a topaz ’neath a crescent moon,
    For day was parting. Even-tide apace
    Drew on, and chill the night dews filled the place.
    Upon the waters dusky shadows clung,
    And ashen-gray the broad leaves drooping hung;
    Low ’mong the marish buds lay one that made
    Against the sudden dusk a duskier shade—
    Despairing arms upflinging to the sky,
    Smiting the silence with unheeded cry—
    “O mother, childless! Wife—of all bereft!
    Alas, my babe, not even thou art left
    To comfort me, in these last hopeless days,
    Shut out from Paradise. Through unknown ways
    I sought thee sorrowing. Oh, once again,
    My Adam, come! Is not this gnawing pain
    Of punishment enow, that thou unkind
    Art grown? Ah, never more shall I thee find?
    Alas, I ever was but weak. Alone
    I cannot live. Come but again, mine own.
    No longer leave me mourning, desolate.
    In tears I call thee. Oh, in tears I wait
    Thy sweet, forgiving kiss!”
                                Ended she so
    Her plaint. And ’mong the glistening leaves hid low,
    Lilith yet fiercer clasped the child
    When that lorn mother, tear-stained, weeping, wild,
    Poured forth her woe.
                          As one that wakes to life
    From peaceful dreams, leaps quick amid the strife
    Of morning hours, so now the maid to pass
    From Lilith’s arms strove hard. And loosed her clasp,
    And turned her shadowed face with plaintive moan
    And fond beseeching eyes, where lay her mother lone.
    But Lilith hardening, seized the child again,
    And from her ears shut out the mother’s pain
    With wilful hands.
                       So passed she quick away.
    Across the dusky path, low fallen, lay
    Pale Eve, till clear she saw the dawn’s pure ray,
    And as she looked, the voice of one she heard
    Anigh. Her heart to sudden joy was stirred.
    “Rise up, mine own,” he said, “no more apart
    We walk.” Then she arose, and cried, “Dear heart,
    Close hold me. So! Methinks I dreamed we were
    Parted long time.”
                       So went, the exiled pair
    From home thrust out, together—everywhere.
    And oft they journeyed on with sufferings spent
    To distant lands. And oft with labor bent
    Recalled the olden home, with brimming eyes,
    Hemmed in by mountains blue—lost Paradise.

    Meanwhile, to her own realm Lilith long since
    Was come, glad greeting Eblis. “O my prince,
    I have most bravely done. Our foes full sore
    Are smitten now. My guerdon o’er and o’er
    Thou wilt bestow, I ween, in kisses warm
    As my own southland’s breath. For I great harm
    Have wrought that hated pair. With feeble moan
    Lies Eve in a far land, thrust out. Alone,
    Deserted. And whence angered Adam flies
    I know not. Nay, nor what new world his eyes
    Behold. Nor even if he live.
                                 “But see!
    Sleeps on my breast the babe—Eve’s babe. And she
    Shall know no more its tender, sweet caress,
    Soft medicining woe. The wilderness
    Uncheered by love, is hers.”
                                 And by the sea,
    Peaceful abode, long time content, the three,
    Save that the child unmurmuring drooped.
    Then oft above her Lilith, singing, stooped,
    Striving to wake the baby smiles again
    About her wee, warm mouth. Vain wiles! And vain
    Her loving skill. All still she lay, and pale.
    As one at sea pines for a lonely vale
    Besprent with cuckoo flowers; the faint wild breath
    Of cradled buds, among the cloven elms, and saith,
    ‘I shall not see that place beyond the seas,
    Nor any more pluck red anemones
    In windless nooks.’
                        So seemed the child, and frail
    As one that weeps above dead joys. Then pale
    Grew Lilith as those wasting lips she pressed
    And kissed the filmy eyes, and kissing, blessed
    The child.
               But Eblis touched the hand so worn,
    The faded, wasted face. “Happy, thou mother lorn,
    Unseeing her,” he said. “This fragile thing
    To-day lies on thy breast. To-morrow’s wing
    Hath brushed it from thy sight.” Low Lilith sighed:
    “My Eblis, is this death?” And louder cried,
    “But thou art wise, and sure some hidden way
    From this sore hap canst find. O Eblis, say,
    Hast thou no spell whereby the child may live?
    O love, my realm thy recompense I give,
    If she be healed.”
                       “Nay; not Archangel’s craft
    Stays fleeting life, or turns Death’s nimble shaft,”
    He said. “Yet if,” she mused, “I laid again
    The child in young Eve’s arms, like summer rain,
    The mother’s love may yet restore again
    This shriveled life. And yet, must I resign
    The babe? Alas, my little one! Nay, mine
    No more!” Weeping she ceased.
                                  But after, bore
    The child far northward; the exiled pair o’er
    Many lands long seeking. Till from a crest
    Of barren hills Lilith looked down. At rest,
    The twain she saw, for it was eventide.
    And low they spoke of hidden snares beside
    Their unknown path, since unaware fared they
    Into this hostile spot. The dim wolds lay
    All bare beneath chill stars. And far away
    Were belts of pine, and dingy ocean shore,
    Like wrinkled lip. Cold was the land, and hoar
    With wintry rime.  Near by, its leafless boughs
    A thorn bush bent, with withered berries red.
    At sight thereof Adam, rejoicing, said,
    “My Eve, bide here. From yonder friendly tree
    The ripe fruit I will pluck and bring to thee.”
    “Oh, leave me not! This solitude I fear;
    The land about is chill,” she said, “and drear
    It seems to me.” But Adam answered, “Nay,
    Sore famished art thou, and not far away
    It is—nor long I stay.”
                             So parted he.
    Not long alone was Eve. Upstarted she
    Dismayed. A woman, most exceeding fair,
    Beside her stood, with coils of yellow hair,
    And blue eyes, calm as sleep among the hills’
    Dim lakes. Eve, frighted, shrank. As mountain rills,
    Sweet fell the stranger’s words. “My sister, one
    Is here that glad salutes thee. And since done
    Is now my quest, and here my journey ends,
    I bring a goodly gift. For elsewhere wends
    My pathway, Eve.
                     “Beside a coppice green,
    Brighter than gold, purer than silver sheen,
    In a fair garden, once a jewel shone.
    With it, compared in all the world, no stone.
    And low the Master set it shining clear
    Against the hedge, saying, ‘When she draws near
    She will perceive on whom I do bestow
    This moteless gem, that fellow doth not know.’
      “Now I without the copse that day was hid.
    Soft shone the jewel, as the moon amid
    The blue. And in the garden I saw thee,
    Where in the midst stood a fair wheaten tree
    As emerald green. Its ears, as rubies red,
    Fragrant as breath of musk, its odors spread.
    And white its shining grains as rifted snow.
    I looked again. And in thy fair hand, lo,
    Full ripe bright gleamed the yellow wheaten grain.
    Thou saidst, ‘Though I did eat, I live.  No pain
    Hath marred this pleasant feast.’
                                      “Then I the more
    Desired thy gem. ‘All things most goodly pour
    On Eve their gifts. But I am famished lone,’
    I said. And still against the hedge the stone
    Rayed like a frozen tear the pure Night shed—
    The which with trembling hand I seized, and fled
          “But now upon my soul weighs sore
    A dream. A voice called loud, ‘Straightway restore
    To Eve that which is hers; lest I, that bright
    Set it against the hedge, will quench its light.
    Yea, I will crumble it and quickly smite
    It into dust e’en from thy hand.’ Mine eyes
    I careless closed. But yesternight ‘Arise!’
    The stern voice cried. ‘Stay not at all. For lo,
    I wait not. Lest I scourge thee sorely, go!’
    Ah, Eve, though long upon my heart I wore
    This jewel rare, behold, I now restore
    Thine own!”
        Then Eve cried loud, “Ere my heart break,
    Give me my babe!  Where is she, for whose sake
    I sorrowed all these years—the little maid?”
    She said, through tender sobs.
                                   And Lilith laid
    Apart upon her breast her garment, dyed
    In blended hues. And stooping at Eve’s side,
    Gave back the child.
                         As one that ending quest
    Most perilous, safe harbor sees—at rest
    Among green hills—and enters glad therein,
    So Lilith was.
                   So passed she once again
    Into her land.
                   But Eve, like rain
    Long pent, upon the child poured swiftly down
    Sweet kisses. And again, twixt laugh and frown
    Divided, smoothed the baby face, and through
    Her fingers soft the silken hair she drew,
    And kissed again.
                      And with a vague surprise
    Recalled the stranger’s smile, the mournful eyes,
    Much marveling whence she fared. And said, “As pale
    She seemed as bramble-blooms in Eden’s vale.”

    When homeward Adam came, the child she set
    Upon his knee, saying, “Erewhile I met
    An angel. So to me she seemed, as there
    She stood. So tall, so yellow-haired, so fair;
    And lo, she brought again the babe.”
    She ended low. “Doubtless an angel, love, sith
    So you deem her,” he replied. And mused on all
    Eve told.
              And watching, saw a shadow fall
    Upon the child. And later, did recall
    Those words, sad pondering “so fair, so tall.”
    But nothing uttered.

                         In that land long time
    They lingered. And the child slow faded, till
    One day Eve frighted cried, “See, Adam, still
    She lies! Ah, little one, unseal those eyes!
    Rouse but awhile, ere waning daylight flies!”
    For she discerned not yet its doom, nor knew
    The hour was near.
                       But Adam, parting, drew
    Beneath the thorn, lest he might see the child.
    And all the lone hours through Eve, babbling, smiled
    Adown. And blew her warm breath o’er the cheeks
    So wan. “The night grows cold,” she said. “Sleep creeps
    Dull on my babe. The night grows cold and chill,”
    She said.
              Nor dreamed aneath those lids closed still,
    The death film hung.
                         A wind uprose, and swept
    Among the dry leaves heaped, where lowly slept
    The child. Cold grew the night and colder, till
    Against the east the dawn glowed daffodil,
    Above dun wolds white with new-fallen snow.
    So rose the day and widened into morning glow
    With rosy tints o’erstreaked, and faintly blurred
    With flecks of cloud.
                          Still lay the child, nor stirred.
    Dumb Eve looked down, nor knew Death’s pallid masque,
    And strove to wake the maid. In vain. Her task
    Was done. And as she gazed, a gentle grasp
    Soft loosed the dead from that cold mother’s clasp,
    And Lilith laid the babe in its chill bed—
    Straightened the limbs, and kissed the little head.
    And o’er the sleeper, kneeling, she did lean.
    Forth from her breast she drew, close folded, green,
    A sheath of leaves, bright shining, lustrous—wet
    With tears—that in those waxen hands she set.
    Then those shut leaves oped slow. And low and frail
    Bloomed ’mid the tintless snows a snow-drop pale.
    Soft Lilith said, “For this pale sleeper’s sake,
    O Eve, one kiss bestow. E’en thou canst take
    Pity on me. For thee new, happy days await,
    But I—I am forever desolate.
    For thee fresh love will bloom above this mould;
    For thee, in coming years, pure lips unfold;
    But I—no more, no more, shall feel the warm
    Breath ’gainst my breast. Nay, nor the baby arm
    Soft clasping me. Nor see the feet that pass
    Like falling music, through the waving grass.
    Therefore, one pardoning kiss give e’er I go
    To my own land, beyond this realm of snow.”
    And Eve, uprising, took the hand she gave,
    And weeping, kissed; and parted by that grave.

    Stood Adam, after-time, by that small mound.
    Low at their feet a sheaf of leaves Eve found,
    Wherein white flowers shone. “Oh, like,” she said,
    “To this was one abloom within the bed
    Where lies the child. And fair, O, passing fair,
    She was, and tall, with yellow gleaming hair,
    And cheeks soft flushed as fresh pomegranate bells;
    And dewy eyes, like violets in the dells,
    Who came. So, silent passed that stranger fair
    Who loved our babe. And e’er I well was ware,
    She vanished.”
                   Otherwhiles, “Of alien race
    She was,” Eve said. “A princess, with a face
    Surpassing fair, who trod the pathway bright
    Among the mists, beyond the rim of night
    To her own land.”
                      And oft in after-time,
    When Cain had lain in her young arms, and chime
    Of voices round her came, and clasp of hands,
    And thick with baby faces bloomed the lands,
    Eve silent sat, remembering that one child
    Among the snowdrops, in a Northern wild.
    And Lilith dwelt again in her own land;
    With Eblis still strayed far. And hand in hand
    They talked; the while her phantom brood in glee
    Laughed overhead. Then looking on the sea,
    Low voiced, she sang. So sweet the idle song,
    She said, “From Paradise, forgotten long,
    It comes. An elfin echo that doth rise
    Upward from summer seas to bending skies.
    In coming days, from any earthly shore
    It shall not fail. And sweet forever more
    Shall make my memory. That witching strain
    Pale Lilith’s love shall lightly breathe again.
    And Lilith’s bitter loss and olden pain
    O’er every cradle wake that sweet refrain.
    My memory still shall bloom. It cannot die
    While rings Earth’s cradle-song—sweet lullaby.”

    Slow passed dim cycles by, and in the earth
    Strange peoples swarmed; new nations sprang to birth.
    Then first ’mong tented tribes men shuddering spake
    Dread tales of one that moved, an unseen shape,
    ’Mong chilling mists and snow. A spirit swift,
    That dwelt in lands beyond day’s purple rift.
    Phantom of presage ill to babes unborn,
    Whose fast-sealed eyes ope not to earthly morn.
    “We heard,” they cried, “the Elf-babes shrilly scream,
    And loud the Siren’s song, when lightnings gleam.”
    Then they that by low beds all night did wake,
    Prayed for the day, and feared to see it break.

    When o’er the icy fjords cold rise white peaks,
    And fierce wild storms blot out the frozen creeks,
    The Finnish mother to her breast more near
    Draws her dear babe—clasps it in her wild fear
    Still closer to her heart. And o’er and o’er
    Through her weird song fall echoes from that lore
    That lived when Time was young, e’er yet the rime
    Of years lay on his brow. In that far prime
    Nature and man, couched ’neath God’s earliest sky,
    Heard clear-voiced spheres chant Earth’s first lullaby.
    Now, in the blast loud sings the Finn, and long,
    Nor knows that faint through her wild cradle-song
    Yet sweetly thrills the vanished Elf-babes’ cry,
    Nor dreams, as low she croons her lullaby,
    Still breathes through that sweet, lingering refrain
    Lilith the childless—and to life again,
    To love, she wakes.
                        The soft strain clearer rings
    As through the gathering storm that mother sings:

              Pile the strong fagot,
              Pale Lilith comes!
    Wild through the murky air goblin voices shout.
    Hark! Hearest thou not their lusty rout?
              Lilith comes!
              Listen, my babe!

              See how the dusk pines
              Tremble and crouch;
    Over wide wastes borne, white are the snow-wreaths blown,
    And loud the drear icy fjords shudder and moan;
              Lilith comes!
              Listen, my babe!

              Ah! Hear the wild din,
              Fierce o’er the linn,
    The sea-gull, affrighted, soars seaward away,
    And dark on the shores falls the wind-driven spray;
              Lilith comes!
              Listen, my babe!

              The shuddering ice
              Shivers. It cracks!
    Like a wild beast in pain, it cries to the wrack
    Of the storm-cloud overhead. The sea answers back—
              Dread Lilith comes!
              Listen, my babe!

              Near draws the wraith fair,
              Dull gleams her hair.
    Ah, strong one, so cruel—fierce breath of the North—
    The torches of heaven are lighting thee forth!
              Fell Lilith comes!
              Listen, my babe!

              Cold spirit of Snow,
              Ah, I fear thee!
    The sports of my hunter, the white fox, the bear,
    The spoils of our rivers are thine. Ah, then spare,
              Dread Lilith, spare
              The babe at my breast!

              Mercy, weird Lilith!
              Even sleeping,
    My babe lies so chill. See, the reindeer I give!
    Ah, lift thy dark wings, that my darling may live!
              Pale Lilith comes!
              Listen, my babe!

              Once, in the Northland,
              Pale crocus grew
    By half-wakened stream. It lay shriveled and low
    Ere the spring-time had come, in soft shroud of snow.
              Sad Lilith comes!
              Listen, my babe!

              Foul Vampire, drain not
              From my loved one
    The life-current red. O Demon, art breaking
    My heart while I plead? Ah, babe! Art thou waking?
              Lilith, I live!
              Closer my babe!

              Far o’er the dun wold,
              Baby, behold
    ’Mid the mist and the snow, fast, fast, and more fast—
    In the teeth of the blast—flies Lilith at last.
              Pale Lilith flies!
              Nearer, my babe!

    By Ganges still the Indian mother weaves
    Above her babe her mat of plantain leaves,
    And laughing, plaits. Or pausing, sweet and low
    Her voice blends with the river’s drowsy flow;
    The while she fitful sings that old, old strain,
    Forgetting that the love, the deathless pain
    Of wandering Lilith lives and throbs again
    When falls the tricksy Elf-babes’ mocking cry
    Faintly across her crooning lullaby—

      Ah, happy babe, that here may sleep
        Where the blue river winds along,
      And sweet the trysting bulbuls keep
        The night o’er-brimmed with pulsing song.

      Not so, mine own, as legends tell,
        In lands remote, beyond the day,
      The soulless babes of Lilith dwell,
        Or vanish ’mong the cold mists gray.

      Or oft in elfin glee they ride
        O’er burning deserts blown adrift,
      Or singing idly, idly glide
        Afar beyond Night’s purple rift.

      But thou, my babe, for thee shall grow
        The lilies, nodding by the stream;
      For thee, the poppy’s sleepy glow;
        For thee, the jonquil’s pallid gleam.

      My baby, sleep! Against the sky
        The pippul lifts its trembling crest.
      O baby, hush each wailing cry,
        Close to the holy river’s breast.

      Not here shall come that pale wraith fair,
        Who, wandering once in Northern lands,
      Bore o’er long reaches sere and bare
        The death-flower white, for baby hands.

      Fear not, mine own, the Elf-babes shrill,
        Nor Lilith tall, with brow of snow.
      They may not haunt thy slumbers still
        Where Ganges’ sacred waters flow.

    Where coral reefs gnaw with white cruel teeth
    The yellow surf, and the torn billows seethe—
    When shines the Southern Cross o’er placid isles,
    The Afric mother sits, and singing, smiles,
    Unheeding that a dead world’s hidden pain
    Beats wildly rhythmic through her pure refrain,
    And lingers softly still an echoed sigh
    Low in Earth’s cradle-song—sweet lullaby.
    A warning song of doom—a song of woe,
    Of terror wild, she sings, down bending low,
    The while bright gleams the Starry Cross above
    Yet tells to her no tale of tender love
    Of Him who lifteth after-time a cross
    That healeth all the wide world’s sin and loss.

    Ah, linger no longer ’mong blooms of the mangoes,
      Nor pluck the bright shells by the low sighing sea,
    Swift, swift, through the groves of the palms and acacias
      Comes Lilith, the childless one, seeking for thee.
    She will bind thee so fast in her yellow-gold hair—
    Ah, hasten, my children, of Lilith beware!

    Cold, cold are her cheeks as the spray of the wild sea,
      Red, red are her lips as the pomegranate’s bloom;
    Cold, cold are the kisses the phantom will give thee,
      Ah, cruel her kisses, that smell of the tomb.
    Hist, hist! ’tis the sorceress with yellow-gold hair—
    Oh! lullaby, baby—of Lilith beware.

    She flies to the jungle, with false tales beguiling,
      Ah, hear’st thou her elfin babes scream overhead!
    Close, close in her strong arms she bears my babe, smiling;
      She hath sucked the soft bloom from the lips of my dead.
    Now far speeds the vampire, with yellow-gold hair—
    Oh! lullaby, baby—of Lilith beware!

    Art frighted, my baby? Nay, then, thy mother
      Low singing enfolds thee all safe from the snare;
    Afar flit the Elf-babes ’mid gray, misty shadows,
      Afar flees the temptress with yellow-gold hair.
    Ah, heed not her songs in the still slumbrous air—
    Oh! lullaby, baby—of Lilith beware!

    When hawthorn-trees sift thick their rifted snow,
    The English mother o’er her babe sings low;
    Where red the cross burns on the ivied fane,
    Unwitting, pagan Lilith lives again—
    And softer sings, nor feels the wailing pain
    Still faintly surging through that low refrain;
    Nor dreams she hears Love’s early cradle cry
    Slow echoing through Earth’s song—sweet lullaby—
    And in the shadow of that cross, her strain
    Breathes sweetly; love, and hope, and ended pain.
    Softlier while that small arm closely clings
    About her heart, that mother peaceful sings:

      O babe, my babe, the light doth fade!
        My baby, sleep, while I do keep
      Close watch, where thou art lowly laid.
        Sweet dreams shall steep thy slumber deep.
      Ah, little feet, be still at last—
      Rest all the night, for day is past;
      One watches thee from yon blue sky,
      One watching here sings lullaby,
              Sings lullaby.

      Here on his bed the sunny head
        Lies still; and soft the brown eyes close;
      Sweet steals the breath, ’twixt lips as red,
        As dewy fresh, as new-born rose.
      O little lips, be hushed at last;
      Fear naught, sweetheart, though day be past.
      One looks adown from yon far sky,
      One close beside, sings lullaby,
              Sings lullaby.


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                        By CHARLOTTE M. YONGE.

        "   "   "   "   GREECE,     "     "     1.50
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        "   "   "   "   ENGLAND,    "     "     1.50
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tone which so many books of the present day lack.—_The Times, Canada._

A LITTLE WOMAN. Illustrated. 12mo.                  $1.00
A GIRL’S MONEY. Illustrated.  12mo.                  1.00
GRANDMA CROSBY’S HOUSEHOLD. Illustrated. 12mo.       1.00
GOOD-FOR-NOTHING POLLY. Illustrated. 12mo.           1.00
HOW TWO GIRLS TRIED FARMING. Illustrated. 12mo.      1.00
COOKING CLUB OF TU-WHIT HOLLOW. Illustrated. 12mo.   1.25
MRS. HURD’S NIECE. Illustrated. 12mo.                1.50
ANNA MAYLIE. Illustrated. 12mo.                      1.50
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Little Brown-Top.



_Each volume, 12mo, price_, $1.00.

Here we find the mountain camp-experience of the merry family, the
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12_mo, price_, $1.25.

Arthur Manley whom a villain tries to ruin, is the hero of this book.


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Pansy. (Mrs. G. R. Alden.)
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  From Different Standpoints.
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  12_mo_, _cloth_, $1.25 _Each._

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  What She Said, and What she Meant.

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  12_mo_, _cloth_, 75 cts. _Each._

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  Pansy’s Picture Book. 4to, board, $1.50; cloth, $2.00.
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Nora Perry.
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T. D. Wolsey, D.D., LL. D.
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                       MARGARET SIDNEY’S BOOKS.

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Margaret Sidney’s books are happily described as “strong and pure from
cover to cover,... bright and piquant as the mountain breezes, or a dash
on pony back of a June morning.” The same writer speaks of her as “An
American authoress who will hold her own in the competitive good work
executed by the many bright writing women of to-day.”

There are few better story writers than Margaret Sidney.—_Herald and

=Comments of the Secular and Religious Press=.


A charming work.... The home scenes in which these little Peppers are
engaged are capitally described.... Will find prominent place among the
higher class of juvenile presentation books.—_Religious Herald._

One of the best told tales given to the children for some time ... The
perfect reproduction of child-life in its minutest phases, catches one’s
attention at once.—_Christian Advocate._

A good book to place in the hands of every boy or girl.—Chicago


Will be hailed with eager delight, and found well worth
reading.—_Christian Observer._

An admirable Sunday-school book—_Arkansas Evangel._

We have followed with intense interest the story of David Folsom ... A
man poor, friendless, and addicted to drink;... the influence of little
Cricket;... the faithful care of aunt Phebe; all steps by which he
climbed to higher manhood.—_Woman at Work._


It is one of the finest pieces of American fiction that has been
published for some time.—_Newsdealers’ Bulletin_, New York.

It ought to attract wide attention from the simplicity of its style, and
the vigor and originality of its treatment.—_Chicago Herald._

This is a capital story illustrating New England life.—_Inter-Ocean_,

The characters of the story seem all to be studies from life.—_Boston

It is a New England tale, and its characters are true to the original type,
and show careful study and no little skill in portraiture.—_Christian
at Work_, New York.

To be commended to readers for excellent delineations, sparkling style,
bright incident and genuine interest.—_The Watchman._

A capital story; bright with excellent sketches of character. Conveys
good moral and spiritual lessons ... In short, the book is in every way
well done.—_Illustrated Christian Weekly._


A live boy writes: “This is about the best book that ever was written or
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D. LOTHROP & CO., Publishers, Boston.

                 Books of the Celebrated Prize Series.

The preparation of this famous series was a happy inspiration. No books
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Master and Pupil. $1.50.
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New $500 Prize Series.

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D. LOTHROP & CO., Publishers, Boston.

                     Lothrop’s Historical Library.

                    EDITED BY ARTHUR GILMAN, M. A.

AMERICAN PEOPLE. By Arthur Gilman, M. A.
INDIA. By Fannie Roper Feudge.
EGYPT. By Mrs. Clara Erskine Clement.
CHINA. By Robert K. Douglas.
SPAIN. By Prof. James Herbert Harrison.
SWITZERLAND. By Miss Harriet D. S. MacKenzie.
JAPAN, and its Leading Men. By Charles Lanman.
ALASKA: The Sitkan Archipelago. By Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore.

Other volumes in preparation.

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D. LOTHROP & CO., Publishers,

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                         Spare Minute Series.


From Dean Stanley. Introduction by Phillips Brooks.


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LIVING TRUTHS. From Charles Kingsley. Introduction by W. D. Howells.


From Theodore L. Cuyler, D. D. Introduction by Newman Hall, LL. B.


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