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Title: Song-Surf
Author: Rice, Cale Young, 1872-1943
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Song-Surf" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

by The Kentuckiana Digital Library.)


By the Same Author

    Nirvana Days
    Yolanda of Cyprus
    A Night in Avignon
    Charles di Tocca
    Many Gods









These poems, first published as "Song-Surf" in 1900, by a firm which
failed before the book, left the press, were republished with additions
as the "lyrics" of "Plays & Lyrics," by Hodder & Stoughton, of London,
in 1905. Revision and omissions have been made for this volume of a
uniform edition in which they now appear.


WITH OMAR                          3

JAEL                              16

TO THE SEA                        22

THE DAY-MOON                      25

A SEA-GHOST                       27

ON THE MOOR                       29

THE CRY OF EVE                    31

MARY AT NAZARETH                  35

ADELIL                            38

INTIMATION                        40

IN JULY                           41

FROM ABOVE                        44

BY THE INDUS                      45

EVOCATION                         47

THE CHILD GOD GAVE                49

THE WINDS                         51

TRANSCENDED                       54


AUTUMN                            57

SHINTO                            58

MAYA                              60

A JAPANESE MOTHER                 62

THE DEAD GODS                     64


THE DYING POET                    70

THE OUTCAST                       73

APRIL                             76

AUGUST GUESTS                     78

TO A DOVE                         79

AT TINTERN ABBEY                  81

OH, GO NOT OUT                    83

HUMAN LOVE                        85

ASHORE                            86

THE VICTORY                       88

AT WINTER'S END                   89

MOTHER-LOVE                       91

TO A SINGING WARBLER              93

    I. THE WORLD'S, AND MINE      95
   II. LOVE-CALL IN SPRING        96
  III. MATING                     97
   IV. UNTOLD                     98
    V. LOVE-WATCH                 99
   VI. AT AMALFI                  99
  VII. ON THE PACIFIC            101

THE ATONER                       103

TO THE SPRING WIND               104

THE RAMBLE                       105

RETURN                           108

LISETTE                          111

FROM ONE BLIND                   113

IN A CEMETERY                    114

WAKING                           116

STORM-EBB                        117

LINGERING                        119

FAUN-CALL                        121

THE LIGHTHOUSEMAN                123

SERENITY                         125

WANTON JUNE                      127

SPIRIT OF RAIN                   129

TEARLESS                         131

SUNSET-LOVERS                    133

THE EMPTY CROSS                  135

UNBURTHENED                      137

TO HER WHO SHALL COME            139

STORM-TWILIGHT                   142

SLAVES                           143


BEFORE AUTUMN                    147

FULFILMENT                       149

LAST SIGHT OF LAND               151

SILENCE                          153



    I sat with Omar by the Tavern door,
    Musing the mystery of mortals o'er,
      And soon with answers alternate we strove
    Whether, beyond death, Life hath any shore.

    "_Come, fill the cup," said he. "In the fire of Spring
    Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling.
      The Bird of Time has but a little way
    To flutter--and the Bird is on the Wing._"

    "The Bird of Time?" I answered. "Then have I
    No heart for Wine. Must we not cross the Sky
      Unto Eternity upon his wings--Or,
    failing, fall into the Gulf and die?"

    "_Ay; so, for the Glories of this World sigh some,
    And some for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
      But you, Friend, take the Cash--the Credit leave,
    Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!_"

    "What! take the Cash and let the Credit go?
    Spend all upon the Wine the while I know
      A possible To-morrow may bring thirst
    For Drink but Credit then shall cause to flow?"

    "_Yea, make the most of what you yet may spend,
    Before we too into the Dust descend;
      Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
    Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and--sans End!_"

    "Into the Dust we shall descend--we must.
    But can the soul not break the crumbling Crust
      In which he is encaged? To hope or to
    Despair he will--which is more wise or just?"

    "_The worldly hope men set their hearts upon
    Turns Ashes--or it prospers: and anon,
      Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face,
    Lighting a little hour or two--is gone_."

    "Like Snow it comes--to cool one burning Day;
    And like it goes--for all our plea or sway.
      But flooding tears nor Wine can ever purge
    The Vision it has brought to us away."

    "_But to this world we come and Why not knowing,
    Nor Whence, like water willy-nilly flowing;
      And out of it, as Wind along the waste,
    We know not Whither, willy-nilly blowing_."

    "True, little do we know of _Why_ or _Whence_.
    But is forsooth our Darkness evidence
      There is no Light?--the worm may see no star
    Tho' heaven with myriad multitudes be dense."

    "_But, all unasked, we're hither hurried Whence?
    And, all unasked, we're Whither hurried hence?
      O, many a cup of this forbidden Wine
    Must drown the memory of that insolence._"

    "Yet can not--ever! For it is forbid
    Still by that quenchless Soul within us hid,
      Which cries, 'Feed--feed me not on Wine alone,
    For to Immortal Banquets I am bid.'"

    "_Well oft I think that never blows so red
    The Rose as where some buried Cæsar bled:
      That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
    Dropt in her lap from some once lovely Head._"

    "Then if, from the dull Clay thro' with Life's throes,
    More beautiful spring Hyacinth and Rose,
      Will the great Gardener for the uprooted soul
    Find Use no sweeter than--useless Repose?"

    "_We cannot know--so fill the cup that clears
    To-day of past regret and future fears:
      To-morrow!--Why, To-morrow we may be
    Ourselves with Yesterday's sev'n thousand Years._"

    "No Cup there is to bring oblivion
    More during than Regret and Fear--no, none!
      For Wine that's Wine to-day may change and be
    Marah before to-morrow's Sands have run."

    "_Myself when young did eagerly frequent
    Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
      About it and about: but evermore
    Came out by the same Door where in I went._"

    "The doors of Argument may lead Nowhither,
    Reason become a Prison where may wither
      From sunless eyes the Infinite, from hearts
    All Hope, when their sojourn too long is thither."

    "_Up from Earth's Centre thro' the Seventh Gate
    I rose, and on the throne of Saturn sate,
      And many a Knot unravelled by the Road--
    But not the Master-knot of Human fate._"

    "The Master-knot knows but the Master-hand
    That scattered Saturn and his countless Band
      Like seeds upon the unplanted heaven's Air:
    The Truth we reap from them is Chaff thrice fanned."

    "_Yet if the Soul can fling the Dust aside
    And naked on the air of Heaven ride,
      Wer't not a shame--wer't not a shame for him
    In this clay carcase crippled to abide?_"

    "No, for a day bound in this Dust may teach
    More of the Sáki's Mind than we can reach
      Through æons mounting still from Sky to Sky--
    May open through all Mystery a breach."

    "_You speak as if Existence closing your
    Account, and mine, should know the like no more;
      The Eternal Sáki from that Bowl has poured
    Millions of bubbles like us, and will pour._"

    "Bubbles we are, pricked by the point of Death.
    But, in each bubble, may there be no Breath
      That lifts it and at last to Freedom flies,
    And o'er all heights of Heaven wandereth?"

    "_A moment's halt--a momentary taste
    Of Being from the Well amid the Waste--
      And Lo--the phantom Caravan has reached
    The Nothing it set out from--Oh, make haste!_"

    "And yet it should be--it should be that we
    Who drink shall drink of Immortality.
      The Master of the Well has much to spare:
    Will He say, 'Taste'--then shall we no more be?"

    "_The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
    Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit
      Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
    Nor all your tears wash out a word of it._"

    "And were it other, might we not erase
    The Letter of some Sorrow in whose place
      No truer sounding, we should fail to spell
    The Heart which yearns behind the mock-world's Face?"

    "_Well, this I know; whether the one True Light
    Kindle to Love, or Wrath-consume me, quite,
      One flash of it within the Tavern caught
    Better than in the Temple lost outright._"

    "In Temple or in Tavern 't may be lost.
    And everywhere that Love hath any Cost
      It may be found; the Wrath it seems is but
    A Cloud whose Dew should make its power most."

    "_But see His Presence thro' Creation's veins
    Running Quicksilver-like eludes your pains;
      Taking all shapes from Máh to Máhi; and
    They change and perish all--but He remains._"

    "All--it may be. Yet lie to sleep, and lo,
    The soul seems quenched in Darkness--is it so?
      Rather believe what seemeth not than seems
    Of Death--until we know--_until we know_."

    "_So wastes the Hour--gone in the vain pursuit
    Of This and That we strive o'er and dispute.
      Better be jocund with the fruitful Grape
    Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit._"

    "Better--unless we hope that grief is thrown
    Across our Path by urgence of the Unknown,
      Lest we may think we have no more to live
    And bide content with dim-lit Earth alone."

    "_Then, strange, is't not? that of the myriads who
    Before us passed the door of Darkness through
      Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
    Which to discover we must travel too?_"

    "Such is the Ban! but even though we heard
    Love in Life's All we still should crave the word
      Of one returned. Yet none is _sure_, we know,
    Though they lie deep, they are by Death deterred."

    "_Send then thy Soul through the Invisible
    Some letter of the After-life to spell:
      And by and by thy Soul returned to thee
    But answers, 'I myself am Heaven and Hell.'_"

    "From the Invisible, he does. But sent
    Thro' Earth, where living Goodness tho' 'tis blent
      With Evil dures, may he not read the Voice,
    'To make thee but for Death were toil ill spent'?"

    "_Well, when the Angel of the darker drink
    At last shall find us by the river-brink
      And offering his Cup invite our souls
    Forth to our lips to quaff, we shall not shrink._"

    "No. But if in the sable Cup we knew
    Death without waking were the wilful brew,
      Nobler it were to curse as Coward Him
    Who roused us into light--then light withdrew."

    "_Then Thou who didst with pitfall and with gin
    Beset the Road I was to wander in,
      Thou wilt not with Predestined Evil round
    Enmesh, and then impute my fall to sin._"

    "He will not. If one evil we endure
    To ultimate Debasing, oh, be sure
      'Tis not of Him predestined, and the sin
    Not His nor ours--but Fate's He could not cure."

    "_Yet, ah, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
    That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close!
      The Nightingale that on the branches sang,
    Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows?_"

    "So does it seem--no other joys like these!
    Yet Summer comes, and Autumn's honoured ease;
      And wintry Age, is't ever whisperless
    Of that Last Spring, whose Verdure may not cease?"

    "_Still, would some winged Angel ere too late
    Arrest the yet unfolded roll of Fate,
      And make the stern Recorder otherwise
    Enregister, or quite obliterate!_"

    "To otherwise enregister believe
    He toils eternally, nor asks Reprieve.
      And could Creation perfect from his hands
    Have come at Dawn, none overmuch should grieve."

    So till the wan and early scent of day
    We strove, and silent turned at last away,
      Thinking how men in ages yet unborn
    Would ask and answer--trust and doubt and pray.


    Jehovah! Jehovah! art Thou not stronger than gods of the heathen?
    I slew him, that Sisera, prince of the host Thou dost hate.
    But fear of his blood is upon me, about me is breathen
    His spirit--by night and by day come voices that wait.

    Athirst and affrightened he fled from the star-wrought waters of Kishon.
    His face was as wool when he swooned at the door of my tent.
    The Lord hath given him into the hand of perdition,
    I smiled--but he saw not the face of my cunning intent.

    He thirsted for water: I fed him the curdless milk of the cattle.
    He lay in the tent under purple and crimson of Tyre.
    He slept and he dreamt of the surge and storming of battle.
    Ah ha! but he woke not to waken Jehovah's ire.

    He slept as he were a chosen of Israel's God Almighty.
    A dog out of Canaan!--thought he I was woman alone?
    I slipt like an asp to his ear and laughed for the sight he
    Would give when the carrion kites should tear to his bone.

    I smote thro' his temple the nail, to the dust, a worm, did I bind him.
    My heart was a-leap with rage and a-quiver with scorn.
    And I danced with a holy delight before and behind him--
    I that am called blessèd o'er all unto Judah born.

    "Aye, come, I will show thee, O Barak, a woman is more than a warrior,"
    I cried as I lifted the door wherein Sisera lay.
    "To me did he fly and I shall be called his destroyer--
    I, Jael, who am subtle to find for the Lord a way!"

    "Above all the daughters of men be blest--of Gilead or Asshur,"
    Sang Deborah, prophetess, then, from her waving palm.
    "Behold her, ye people, behold her the heathen's abasher;
    Behold her the Lord hath uplifted--behold and be calm!

    "The mother of him at the window looks out thro' the lattice to listen--
    Why roll not the wheels of his chariot? why does he stay?
    Shall he not return with the booty of battle, and glisten
    In songs of his triumph--ye women, why do ye not say?"

    And I was as she who danced when the Seas were rended asunder
    And stood, until Egypt pressed in to be drowned unto death.
    My breasts were as fire with the glory, the rocks that were under
    My feet grew quick with the gloating that beat in my breath.

    At night I stole out where they cast him, a sop to the jackal and raven.
    But his bones stood up in the moon and I shook with affright.
    The strength shrank out of my limbs and I fell, a craven,
    Before him--the nail in his temple gleamed bloodily bright.

    Jehovah! Jehovah! art Thou not stronger than gods of the heathen?
    I slew him, that Sisera, prince of the host Thou dost hate.
    But fear of his blood is upon me, about me is breathen
    His spirit--by day and by night come voices that wait.

    I fly to the desert, I fly to the mountain--but they will not hide me.
    His gods haunt the winds and the caves with vengeance that cries
    For judgment upon me; the stars in their courses deride me--
    The stars Thou hast hung with a breath in the wandering skies.

    Jehovah! Jehovah! I slew him, the scourge and sting of Thy Nation.
    Take from me his spirit, take from me the voice of his blood.
    With madness I rave--by day and by night, defamation!
    Jehovah, release me! Jehovah! if still Thou art God!


    Art thou enraged, O sea, with the blue peace
    Of heaven, so to uplift thine armèd waves,
    Thy billowing rebellion 'gainst its ease,
    And with Tartarean mutter from cold caves,
    From shuddering profundities where shapes
    Of awe glide thro' entangled leagues of ooze,
    To hoot thy watery omens evermore,
    And evermore thy moanings interfuse
    With seething necromancy and mad lore?

    Or, dost thou labour with the drifting bones
    Of countless dead, thou mighty Alchemist,
    Within whose stormy crucible the stones
    Of sunk primordial shores, granite and schist,
    Are crumbled by thine all-abrasive beat?
    With immemorial chanting to the moon,
    And cosmic incantation, dost thou crave
    Rest to be found not till thy wild be strewn
    Frigid and desert over earth's last grave?

    Thou seemest with immensity mad, blind--
    With raving deaf, with wandering forlorn;
    Parent of Demogorgon whose dire mind
    Is night and earthquake, shapeless shame and scorn
    Of the o'ermounting birth of Harmony.
    Bound in thy briny bed and gnawing earth
    With foamy writhing and fierce-panted tides,
    Thou art as Fate in torment of a dearth
    Of black disaster and destruction's strides.

    And how thou dost drive silence from the world,
    Incarnate Motion of all mystery!
    Whose waves are fury-wings, whose winds are hurled
    Whither thy Ghost tempestuous can see
    A desolate apocalypse of death.
    Oh, how thou dost drive silence from the world,
    With emerald overflowing, waste on waste
    Of flashing susurration, dashed and swirled
    O'er isles and continents that shrink abased!

    Nay, frustrate Hope art thou, of the Unknown,
    Gathered from primal mist and firmament;
    A surging shape of Life's unfathomed moan,
    Whelming humanity with fears unmeant.
    Yet do I love thee, O, above all fear,
    And loving thee unconquerably trust
    The runes that from thy ageless surfing start
    Would read, were they revealed, gust upon gust,
    That Immortality is might of heart!


          So wan, so unavailing,
    Across the vacant day-blue dimly trailing!

          Last night, sphered in thy shining,
    A Circe--mystic destinies divining;

          To-day but as a feather
    Torn from a seraph's wing in sinful weather,

          Down-drifting from the portals
    Of Paradise, unto the land of mortals.

          Yet do I feel thee awing
    My heart with mystery, as thy updrawing

          Moves thro' the tides of Ocean
    And leaves lorn beaches barren of its motion;

          Or strands upon near shallows
    The wreck whose weirded form at night unhallows

          The fisher maiden's prayers--
    "For _him_!--that storms may take not unawares!"

          So wan, so unavailing,
    Across the vacant day-blue dimly trailing!

          But Night shall come atoning
    Thy phantom life thro' day, and high enthroning

          Thee in her chambers arrased
    With star-hieroglyphs, leave thee unharassed

          To glide with silvery passion,
    Till in earth's shadow swept thy glowings ashen.


    Oh, fisher-fleet, go in from the sea
      And furl your wings.
    The bay is gray with the twilit spray
      And the loud surf springs.

    The chill buoy-bell is rung by the hands
      Of all the drowned,
    Who know the woe of the wind and tow
      Of the tides around.

    Go in, go in! Oh, haste from the sea,
      And let them rest--
    A son and one who was wed and one
      Who went down unblest.

    Aye, even as I, whose hands at the bell
      Now labour most.
    The tomb has gloom, but Oh, the doom
      Of the drear sea-ghost!

    He evermore must wander the ooze
      Beneath the wave,
    Forlorn--to warn of the tempest born,
      And to save--to save!

    Then go, go in! and leave us the sea,
      For only so
    Can peace release us and give us ease
      Of our salty woe.



    I met a child upon the moor
      A-wading down the heather;
    She put her hand into my own,
      We crossed the fields together.

    I led her to her father's door--
      A cottage mid the clover.
    I left her--and the world grew poor
      To me, a childless rover.


    I met a maid upon the moor,
      The morrow was her wedding.
    Love lit her eyes with lovelier hues
      Than the eve-star was shedding.

    She looked a sweet good-bye to me,
      And o'er the stile went singing.
    Down all the lonely night I heard
      But bridal bells a-ringing.


    I met a mother on the moor,
      By a new grave a-praying.
    The happy swallows in the blue
      Upon the winds were playing.

    "Would I were in his grave," I said,
      "And he beside her standing!"
    There was no heart to break if death
      For me had made demanding.


    Down the palm-way from Eden in the mid-night
    Lay dreaming Eve by her outdriven mate,
    Pillowed on lilies that still told the sweet
    Of birth within the Garden's ecstasy.
    Pitiful round her face that could not lose
    Its memory of God's perfecting was strewn
    Her troubled hair, and sigh grieved after sigh
    Along her loveliness in the white moon.
    Then sudden her dream, too cruelly impent
    With pain, broke and a cry fled shuddering
    Into the wounded stillness from her lips--
    As, cold, she fearfully felt for his hand,
    And tears, that had before ne'er visited
    Her lids with anguish, drew from her the moan:

    "Oh, Adam! What have I dreamed?
    Now do I understand His words, so dim
    To creatures that had quivered but with bliss!
    Since at the dusk thy kiss to me, and I
    Wept at caresses that were once all joy,
    I have slept, seeing through Futurity
    The uncreated ages visibly!
    Foresuffering phantoms crowded in the womb
    Of Time, and all with lamentable mien
    Accusing without mercy, thee and me!
    And without pity! for tho' some were far
    From birth, and without name, others were near--
    Sodom and dark Gomorrah--from whose flames
    Fleeing one turned ... how like her look to mine
    When the tree's horror trembled on my taste!
    And Babylon upbuilded on our sin;
    And Nineveh, a city sinking slow
    Under a shroud of sandy centuries
    That hid me not from the buried cursing eyes
    Of women who e'er-bitterly gave birth!
    Ah, to be mother of all misery!
    To be first-called out of the earth and fail
    For a whole world! To shame maternity
    For women evermore--women whose tears
    Flooding the night, no hope can wipe away!
    To see the wings of Death, as, Adam, thou
    Hast not, endlessly beating, and to hear
    The swooning ages suffer up to God!
    And Oh, that birth-cry of a guiltless child
    In it are sounding of our sin and woe,
    With prophesy of ill beyond all years!
    Yearning for beauty never to be seen--
    Beatitude redeemless evermore!

    "And I whose dream mourned with all motherhood
    Must hear it soon! Already do soft skill,
    Assuasive lulls, enticings and quick tones
    Of tenderness--that will like light awake
    The folded memory children shall bring
    Out of the dark--move in me longingly.
    Yet thou, Adam, dear fallen thought of God,
    Thou, when thou too shall hear humanity
    Cry in thy child, wilt groaning wish the world
    Back in unsummoned Void! and, woe! wilt fill
    God's ear with troubled wonder and unrest!"

    Softly he soothed her straying hair, and kissed
    The fever from her lips. Over the palms
    The sad moon poured her peace into their eyes,
    Till Sleep, the angel of forgetfulness,
    Folded again dark wings above their rest.


    I know, Lord, Thou hast sent Him--
    Thou art so good to me!--
    But Thou hast only lent Him,
        His heart's for Thee!

    I dared--Thy poor hand-maiden--
    Not ask a prophet-child:
    Only a boy-babe laden
        For earth--and mild.

    But this one Thou hast given
    Seems not for earth--or me!
    His lips flame truth from heaven,
        And vanity

    Seem all my thoughts and prayers
    When He but speaks Thy Law;
    Out of my heart the tares
        Are torn by awe!

    I cannot look upon Him,
    So strangely burn His eyes--
    Hath not some grieving drawn Him
        From Paradise?

    For Thee, for Thee I'd live, Lord!
    Yet oft I almost fall
    Before Him--Oh, forgive, Lord,
        My sinful thrall!

    But e'en when He was nursing,
    A baby at my breast,
    It seemed He was dispersing
        The world's unrest.

    Thou bad'st me call Him "Jesus,"
    And from our heavy sin
    I know He shall release us,
        From Sheol win.

    But, Lord, forgive! the yearning
    That He may sometimes be
    Like other children, learning
        Beside my knee,

    Or playing, prattling, seeking
    For help--comes to my heart....
    Ah sinful, Lord, I'm speaking--
        How good Thou art!


    Proud Adelil! Proud Adelil!
    Why does she lie so cold?
      (I made her shrink, I made her reel,
        I made her white lids fold.)

    We sat at banquet, many maids,
    She like a Valkyr free.
      (I hated the glitter of her braids,
        I hated her blue eye's glee!)

    In emerald cups was poured the mead;
    Icily blew the night.
      (But tears unshed and woes that bleed
        Brew bitterness and spite.)

    "A goblet to my love!" she cried,
    "Prince where the sea-winds fly!"
     (Her love!--it was for that he died,
       And for it she should die.)

    She lifted the cup and drank--she saw
    A heart within its lees.
      (I laughed like the dead who feel the thaw
        Of summer in the breeze.)

    They looked upon her stricken still,
    And sudden they grew appalled.
      ("It is thy lover's heart!" I shrill
        As the sea-crow to her called.)

    Palely she took it--did it give
    Ease there against her breast?
      (Dead--dead she swooned, but I cannot live,
        And dead I shall not rest.)


    All night I smiled as I slept,
      For I heard the March-wind feel
    Blindly about in the trees without
      For buds to heal.

    All night in dreams, for I smelt,
      In the rain-wet woods and fields,
    The coming flowers and the glad green hours
      That summer yields.

    All night--and when at dawn
      I woke with the blue-bird's cheep,
    Winter with all its chill and pall
      Seemed but a sleep.


    This path will tell me where dark daisies dance
    To the white sycamores that dell them in;
    Where crow and flicker cry melodious din,
    And blackberries in ebon ripeness glance
    Luscious enticings under briery green.
    It will slip under coppice limbs that lean
    Brushingly as the slow-belled heifer pants
        Toward weedy water-plants
    That shade the pool-sunk creek's reluctant trance.

    I shall find bell-flower spires beside the gap
    And lady phlox within the hollow's cool;
    Cedar with sudden memories of Yule
    Above the tangle tipped with blue skullcap.
    The high hot mullein fond of the full sun
    Will watch and tell the low mint when I've won
    The hither wheat where idle breezes nap,
        And fluffy quails entrap
    Me from their brood that crouch to escape mishap.

    Then I shall reach the mossy water-way
    That gullies the dense hill up to its peak,
    There dally listening to the eerie eke
    Of drops into cool chalices of clay.
    Then on, for elders odorously will steal
    My senses till I climb up where they heal
    The livid heat of its malingering ray,
        And wooingly betray
    To memory many a long-forgotten day.

    There I shall rest within the woody peace
    Of afternoon. The bending azure frothed
    With silveryness, the sunny pastures swathed,
    Fragrant with morn-mown clover and seed-fleece;
    The hills where hung mists muse, and Silence calls
    To Solitude thro' aged forest halls,
    Will waft into me their mysterious ease,
        And in the wind's soft cease
    I shall hear hintings of eternities.


    What do I care if the trees are bare
    And the hills are dark
    And the skies are gray.

    What do I care for chill in the air
    For crows that cark
    At the rough wind's way.

    What do I care for the dead leaves there--
    Or the sullen road
    By the sullen wood.

    There's heart in my heart
    To bear my load!
    So enough, the day is good!


    Thou art late, O Moon,
        I have waited thee long.
    The nightingale's flown to her nest,
        Sated with song.
    The champak hath no odour more
    To pour on the wind as he passeth o'er--
        But my heart it will not rest.

    Thou art late, O Love,
        For the moon is a-wane.
    The kusa-grass sighs with my sighs,
        Burns with my pain.
    The lotus leans her head on the stream--
    Shall I not lean to thy breast and dream,
        Dream ere the night-cool dies?

    Thou art late, O Death,
        For he did not come!
    A pariah is my heart,
        Cast from him--dumb!
    I cannot cry in the jungle's deep--
    Is it not time for the Tomb--and Sleep?
        O Death, strike with thy dart!


(NIKKO, JAPAN, 1905)

    Dim thro' the mist and cryptomeria
        Booms the temple bell,
    Down from the tomb of Iêyasü
        Yearning, as a knell.

    Down from the tomb where many an æon
        Silently has knelt;
    Many a pilgrimage of millions--
        Still about it felt.

    Still, for I see them gather ghostly
        Now, as the numb sound
    Floats, an unearthly necromancy,
        From the past's dead ground.

    See the invisible vast millions,
        Hear their soundless feet
    Climbing the shrine-ways to the gilded
        Carven temple's seat.

    And, one among them--pale among them--
        Passes waning by.
    What is it tells me mystically
        That strange one was I?...

    Weird thro' the mist and cryptomeria
        Dies the bell--'tis dumb.
    After how many lives returning
        Shall I hither come?

    Hither again! and climb the votive
        Ever mossy ways?
    Who shall the gods be then, the millions
        Meek, entreat or praise?


    "Give me a little child
    To draw this dreary want out of my breast,"
        I cried to God.
    "Give, for my days beat wild
    With loneliness that will not rest
    But under the still sod!"

    It came--with groping lips
    And little fingers stealing aimlessly
        About my heart.
    I was like one who slips
    A-sudden into Ecstasy
    And thinks ne'er to depart.

    "Soon he will smile," I said,
    "And babble baby love into my ears--
        How it will thrill!"
    I waited--Oh, the dread,
    The clutching agony, the fears!--
    He was so strange and still.

    Did I curse God and rave
    When they came shrinkingly to tell me 'twas
        A witless child?
    No ... I ... I only gave
    One cry ... just one ... I think ... because ...
    You know ... he never smiled.


    The East Wind is a Bedouin,
        And Nimbus is his steed;
    Out of the dusk with the lightning's thin
    Blue scimitar he flies afar,
        Whither his rovings lead.
            The Dead Sea waves
            And Egypt caves
        Of mummied silence laugh
    When he mounts to quench the Siroc's stench
        And to wrench
        From his clutch the tyrant's staff.

    The West Wind is an Indian brave
        Who scours the Autumn's crest.
    Dashing the forest down as a slave,
    He tears the leaves from its limbs and weaves
        A maelstrom for his breast.
            Out of the night
            Crying to fright
        The earth he swoops to spoil--
    There is furious scathe in the whirl of his wrath,
        In his path
        There is misery and moil.

    The North Wind is a Viking--cold
        And cruel, armed with death!
    Born in the doomful deep of the old
    Ice Sea that froze ere Ymir rose
        From Niflheim's ebon breath.
            And with him sail
            Snow, Frost, and Hail,
        Thanes mighty as their lord,
    To plunder the shores of Summer's stores--
        And his roar's
        Like the sound of Chaos' horde.

    The South Wind is a Troubadour;
        The Spring 's his serenade.
    Over the mountain, over the moor,
    He blows to bloom from the winter's tomb
        Blossom and leaf and blade.
            He ripples the throat
            Of the lark with a note
        Of lilting love and bliss,
    And the sun and the moon, the night and the noon,
        Are a-swoon--
        When he woos them with his kiss.


    I who was learnèd in death's lore
      Oft held her to my heart
    And spoke of days when we should love no more--
      In the long dust, apart.

    "Immortal?" No--it could not be,
      Spirit with flesh must die.
    Tho' heart should pray and hope make endless plea,
      Reason would still outcry.

    She died. They wrapped her in the dust--
      I heard the dull clod's dole,
    And then I knew she lived--that death's dark lust
      Could never touch her soul!


    We are not lovers, you and I,
      Upon this sunny lane,
    But children who have never known
      Love's joy or pain.

    The trees we pass, the summer brook,
      The bird that o'er us darts--
    We do not know 'tis they that thrill
      Our childish hearts.

    The earth-things have no name for us,
      The ploughing means no more
    Than that they like to walk the fields
      Who plough them o'er.

    The road, the wood, the heaven, the hills
      Are not a World to-day--
    But just a place God's made for us
      In which to play.


    I know her not by fallen leaves
        Or resting heaps of hay;
    Or by the sheathing mists of mauve
        That soothe the fiery day.

    I know her not by plumping nuts,
        By redded hips and haws,
    Or by the silence hanging sad
       Under the wind's sere pause.

    But by her sighs I know her well--
        They are like Sorrow's breath;
    And by this longing, strangely still,
        For something after death.



    Lowly temple and torii,
    Shrine where the spirits of wind and wave
    Find the worship and glory we
    Give to the one God great and grave--

    Lowly temple and torii,
    Shrine of the dead, I hang my prayer
    Here on your gates--the story see
    And answer out of the earth and air.

    For I am Nature's child, and you
    Were by the children of Nature built.
    Ages have on you smiled--and dew
    On you for ages has been spilt--

    Till you are beautiful as Time
    Mossy and mellowing ever makes:
    Wrapped as you are in lull--or rhyme
    Of sounding drum that sudden breaks.

    This is my prayer then, this: that I
    Too may reverence all of life,
    Lose no power and miss no high
    Awe, of a world with wonder rife!

    That I may build in spirit fair
    Temples and torii on each place
    That I have loved--Oh, hear it, Air,
    Ocean and Earth, and grant your grace!



    Pale sampans up the river glide,
      With set sails vanishing and slow;
    In the blue west the mountains hide,
      As visions that too soon will go.

    Across the rice-lands, flooded deep,
      The peasant peacefully wades on--
    As, in unfurrowed vales of sleep,
      A phantom out of voidness drawn.

    Over the temple cawing flies
      The crow with carrion in his beak.
    Buddha within lifts not his eyes
      In pity or reproval meek;

    Nor, in the bamboos, where they bow
      A respite from the blinding sun,
    The old priest--dreaming painless how
      Nirvana's calm will come when won.

    "All is illusion, _Maya_, all
      The world of will," the spent East seems
    Whispering in me; "and the call
      Of Life is but a call of dreams."



    The young stork sleeps in the pine-tree tops,
        Down on the brink of the river.
    My baby sleeps by the bamboo copse--
    The bamboo copse where the rice field stops:
        The bamboos sigh and shiver.

    The white fox creeps from his hole in the hill;
        I must pray to Inari.
    I hear her calling me low and chill--
    Low and chill when the wind is still
        At night and the skies hang starry.

    And ever she says, "He's dead! he's dead!
        Your lord who went to battle.
    How shall your baby now be fed,
    Ukibo fed, with rice and bread--
        What if I hush his prattle?"

    The red moon rises as I slip back,
        And the bamboo stems are swaying.
    Inari was deaf--and yet the lack,
    The fear and lack, are gone, and the rack,
        I know not why--with praying.

    For though Inari cared not at all,
        Some other god was kinder.
    I wonder why he has heard my call,
    My giftless call--and what shall befall?...
        Hope has but left me blinder!


    I thought I plunged into that dire Abyss
    Which is Oblivion, the house of Death.
    I thought there blew upon my soul the breath
    Of time that was but never more can be.

    Ten thousand years within its void I thought
    I lay, blind, deaf, and motionless, until--
    Though with no eye nor ear--I felt the thrill
    Of seeing, heard its phantoms move and sigh.

    First one beside me spoke, in tones that told
    He once had been a god--"Persephone,
    Tear from thy brow its withered crown, for we
    Are king and queen of Tartarus no more;
    And that wan, shrivelled sceptre in thy hand,
    Why dost thou clasp it still? Cast it away,
    For now it hath no virtue that can sway
    Dull shades or drive the Furies to their spoil.

    "Cast it away, and give thy palm to mine:
    Perchance some unobliterated spark
    Of memory shall warm this dismal Dark.
    Perchance--Vain! vain! love could not light such gloom."

    He sank.... Then in great ruin by him moved
    Another as in travail of some thought
    Near unto birth; and soon from lips distraught
    By aged silence, fell, with hollow woe:

    "Ah, Pluto, dost thou, one time lord of Styx
    And Acheron make moan of night and cold?
    Were we upon Olympus as of old
    Laughter of thee would rock its festal height.

    "But think, think thee of me, to whom or gloom
    Or cold were more unknown than impotence!
    See the unhurlèd thunderbolt brought hence
    To mock me when I dream I still am Jove!"

    Too much it was: I withered in the breath;
    And lay again ten thousand lifeless years;
    And then my soul shook, woke--and saw three biers
    Chiselled of solid night majestically.

    The forms outlaid upon them were enwound
    As with the silence of eternity.
    Numbing repose dwelt o'er them like a sea,
    That long hath lost tide, wave and roar, in death.

    "Ptah, Ammon, and Osiris are their names,"
    A spirit hieroglyphed unto my soul.
    "Ptah, Ammon, and Osiris--they who stole
    The heart of Egypt from the God of gods:

    "Aye, they! and these!" pointing to many wraiths
    That stood around--Baal, Ormuzd, Indra, all
    Whom frightened ignorance and sin's appall
    Had given birth, close-huddled in despair.

    Their eyes were fixed upon a cloven slope
    Down whose descent still other forms a-fresh
    From earth were drawn, by the unceasing mesh
    Of Time to their irrevocable end.

    "They are the gods," one said--"the gods whom men
    Still taunt with wails for help."--Then a deep light
    Upbore me from the Gulf, and thro' its might
    I heard the worlds cry, "God alone is God!"


    O call to your mate, bob-white, bob-white,
      And I will call to mine.
    Call to her by the meadow-gate,
      And I will call by the pine.

    Tell her the sun is hid, bob-white,
      The windy wheat sways west.
    Whistle again, call clear and run
      To lure her out of her nest.

    For when to the copse she comes, shy bird,
      With Mary down the lane
    I'll walk, in the dusk of the locust tops,
      And be her lover again.

    Ay, we will forget our hearts are old,
      And that our hair is gray.
    We'll kiss as we kissed at pale sunset
      That summer's halcyon day.

    That day, can it fade?... ah, bob, bob-white,
      Still calling--calling still?
    We're coming--a-coming, bent and weighed,
      But glad with the old love's thrill!


    Swing in thy splendour, O silent sun,
    Drawing my heart with thee over the west!
    Done is its day as thy day is done,
              Fallen its quest!

    Swoon into purple and rose, then die:
    Tho' to arise again out of the dawn:
    Die as I praise thee, ere thro' the Dark Lie
              Of death I am drawn!

    Sunk? art thou sunken? how great was life!
    I like a child could cry for it again--
    Cry for its beauty, pang, fleeting and strife,
              Its women, its men!

    For, how I drained it with love and delight!
    Opened its heart with the magic of grief!
    Reaped every season--its day and its night!
            Loved every sheaf!

    Aye, not a meadow my step has trod,
    Never a flower swung sweet to my face,
    Never a heart that was touched of God,
            But taught me its grace.

    Off from my lids then a moment yet,
    Fingering Death, for again I must see
    Lifted by memory all that I met
            Under Time's lee.

    There!... I'm a child again--fair, so fair!
    Under the eyes does a marvel not burn?
    Speak they not vision--and frenzy to dare,
            That still in me yearn?...

    Youth! my wild youth!--O, blood of my heart,
    Still you can answer with swirling the thought!
    Still like the mountain-born rapid can dart,
            Joyous, distraught!...

    Love, and her face again! there by the wood!--
    Come, thou invisible Dark with thy mask!
    Shall I not learn if she lives? and could
            I more of thee ask?...

    Turn me away from the ashen west,
    Where love's sad planet unveils to the dusk.
    Something is stealing like light from my breast--
            Soul from its husk ...

    Soft!... Where the dead feel the buried dead,
    Where the high hermit-bell hourly tolls,
    Bury me, near to the haunting tread
            Of life that o'errolls.


    I did not fear,
    But crept close up to Christ and said,
    "Is he not here?"

    They drew me back--
    The seraphs who had never bled
    Of weary lack--

    But still I cried,
    With torn robe, clutching at His feet,
    "Dear Christ! He died

    "So long ago!
    Is he not here? Three days, unfleet
    As mortal flow

    "Of time I've sought--
    Till Heaven's amaranthine ways
    Seem as sere nought!"

    A grieving stole
    Up from His heart and waned the gaze
    Of His clear soul

    Into my eyes.
    "He is not here," troubled He sighed.
    "For none who dies

    "Beliefless may
    Bend lips to this sin-healing Tide,
    And live alway."

    Then darkness rose
    Within me, and drear bitterness.
    Out of its throes

    I moaned, at last,
    "Let me go hence! Take off the dress,
    The charms Thou hast

    "Around me strown!
    Beliefless too am I without
    His love--and lone!"

    Unto the Gate
    They led me, tho' with pitying doubt.
    I did not wait

    But stepped across
    Its portal, turned not once to heed
    Or know my loss.

    Then my dream broke,
    And with it every loveless creed--
    Beneath love's stroke.


    A laughter of wind and a leaping of cloud,
      And April, oh, out under the blue!
    The brook is awake and the blackbird loud
        In the dew!

    But how does the robin high in the beech,
      Beside the wood with its shake and toss,
    Know it--the frenzy of bluets to reach
        Thro' the moss!

    And where did the lark ever learn his speech?
      Up, wildly sweet, he's over the mead!
    Is more than the rapture of earth can teach
        In its creed?

    I never shall know--I never shall care!
      'Tis, oh, enough to live and to love!
    To laugh and warble and dream and dare
        Are to prove!


    The wind slipt over the hill
      And down the valley.
    He dimpled the cheek of the rill
      With a cooling kiss.
    Then hid on the bank a-glee
      And began to rally
    The rushes--Oh,
      I love the wind for this!

    A cloud blew out of the west
      And spilt his shower
    Upon the lily-bud crest
      And the clematis.
    Then over the virgin corn
      Besprinkled a dower
    Of dew-gems--And,
      I love the cloud for this!



    Thy mellow passioning amid the leaves,
    That tremble dimly in the summer dusk,
    Falls sad along the oatland's sallow sheaves
    And haunts above the runnel's voice a-husk
    With plashy willow and bold-wading reed.
    The solitude's dim spell it breaketh not,
    But softer mourns unto me from the mead
    Than airs that in the wood intoning start,
    Or breath of silences in dells begot
    To soothe some grief-wan soul with sin a-smart.


    A votaress art thou of Simplicity,
    Who hath one fane--the heaven above thy nest;
    One incense--love; one stealing litany
    Of peace from rivered vale and upland crest.
    Yea, thou art Hers, who makes prayer of the breeze,
    Hope of the cool upwelling from sweet soils,
    Faith of the darkening distance, charities
    Of vesper scents, and of the glow-worm's throb
    Joy whose first leaping rends the care-wound coils
    That would earth of its heavenliness rob.


    But few, how few her worshippers! For we
    Cast at a myriad shrines our souls, to rise
    Beliefless, unanointed, bound not free,
    To sacrificing a vain sacrifice!
    Let thy lone innocence then quickly null
    Within our veins doubt-led and wrong desire--
    Or drugging knowledge that but fills o'erfull
    Of feverous mystery the days we drain!
    Be thy warm notes like an Orphean lyre
    To lead us to life's Arcady again!


(June, 1903)

    O Tintern, Tintern! evermore my dreams
    Troubled by thy grave beauty shall be born;
    Thy crumbling loveliness and ivy streams
    Shall speak to me for ever, from this morn;
    The wind-wild daws about thy arches drifting,
    Clouds sweeping o'er thy ruin to the sea,
    Gray Tintern, all the hills about thee, lifting
    Their misty waving woodland verdancy!

    The centuries that draw thee to the earth
    In envy of thy desolated charm,
    The summers and the winters, the sky's girth
    Of sunny blue or bleakness, seek thy harm.
    But would that I were Time, then only tender
    Touch upon thee should fall as on I sped;
    Of every pillar would I be defender,
    Of every mossy window--of thy dead!

    Thy dead beneath obliterated stones
    Upon the sod that is at last thy floor,
    Who list the Wye not as it lonely moans
    Nor heed thy Gothic shadows grieving o'er.
    O Tintern, Tintern! trysting-place, where never
    Are wanting mysteries that move the breast,
    I'll hear thy beauty calling, ah, for ever--
    Till sinks within me the last voice to rest!


    Oh, go not out upon the storm,
    Go not, my sweet, to Swalchie pool!
    A witch tho' she be dead may charm
          Thee and befool.

    A wild night 'tis! her lover's moan,
    Down under ooze and salty weed,
    She'll make thee hear--and then her own!
          Till thou shalt heed.

    And it will suck upon thy heart--
    The sorcery within her cry--
    Till madness out of thee upstart,
          And rage to die.

    For him she loved, she laughed to death!
    And as afloat his chill hand lay,
    "Ha, ha! to hell I sent his wraith!"
          Did she not say?

    And from his finger strive to draw
    The ring that bound him to her spell?
    Till on her closed his hand whose awe
          No curse could quell?

    Oh, yea! and tho' she struggled pale,
    Did it not hold her cold and fast,
    Till crawled the tide o'er rock and swale,
          To her at last?

    Down in the pool where she was swept
    He holds her--Oh, go not a-near!
    For none has heard her cry but wept
          And died that year.


    We, spoke of God and Fate,
    And of that Life--which some await--
        Beyond the grave,
    "It will be fair," she said,
    "But love is here!
    I only crave thy breast
    Not God's when I am dead.
    For He nor wants nor needs
        My little love.
    But it may be, if I love thee
    And those whose sorrow daily bleeds,
    He knows--and somehow heeds!"


    What are the heaths and hills to me?
        I'm a-longing for the sea!
    What are the flowers that dapple the dell,
    And the ripple of swallow-wings over the dusk;
    What are the church and the folk who tell
    Their hearts to God?--my heart is a husk!
        (I'm a-longing for the sea!)

    Aye! for there is no peace to me--
        But on the peaceless sea!
    Never a child was glad at my knee,
    And the soul of a woman has never been mine.
    What can a woman's kisses be?--
    I fear to think how her arms would twine.
        (I'm a-longing for the sea!)

    So, not a home and ease for me--
        But still the homeless sea!
    Where I may swing my sorrow to sleep
    In a hammock hung o'er the voice of the waves,
    Where I may wake when the tempests heap
    And hurl their hate--and a brave ship saves.
        (I'm a-longing for the sea!)

    Then when I die, a grave for me--
        But in the graveless sea!
    Where is no stone for an eye to spell
    Thro' the lichen a name, a date and a verse.
    Let me be laid in the deeps that swell
    And sigh and wander--an ocean hearse!
        (I'm a-longing for the sea!)


    See, see!--the blows at his breast,
      The abyss at his back,
    The perils and pains that pressed,
      The doubts in a pack,
    That hunted to drag him down
      Have triumphed? and now
    He sinks, who climbed for the crown
      To the Summit's brow?

    No!--though at the foot he lies,
      Fallen and vain,
    With gaze to the peak whose skies
      He could not attain,
    The victory is, with strength--
      No matter the past!--
    He'd dare it again, the dark length,
      And the fall at last!


    The weedy fallows winter-worn,
    Where cattle shiver under sodden hay.
    The plough-lands long and lorn--
        The fading day.

    The sullen shudder of the brook,
    And winds that wring the writhen trees in vain
    For drearier sound or look--
        The lonely rain.

    The crows that train o'er desert skies
    In endless caravans that have no goal
    But flight--where darkness flies--
        From Pole to Pole.

    The sombre zone of hills around
    That shrink in misty mournfulness from sight,
    With sunset aureoles crowned--
        Before the night.


    The seraphs would sing to her
    And from the River
    Dip her cool grails of radiant Life.
    The angels would bring to her,
    Sadly a-quiver,
    Laurels she never had won in earth-strife.

    And often they'd fly with her
    O'er the star-spaces--
    Silent by worlds where mortals are pent.
    Yea, even would sigh with her,
    Sigh with wan faces!
    When she sat weeping of strange discontent.

    But one said, "Why weepest thou
    Here in God's heaven--
    Is it not fairer than soul can see?"
    "'Tis fair, ah!--but keepest thou
    Not me depriven
    Of some one--somewhere--who needeth most me?

    "For tho' the day never fades
    Over these meadows,
    Tho' He has robed me and crowned--yet, yet!
    Some love-fear for ever shades
    All with sere shadows--
    Had I no child _there_--whom I forget?"


    "Beauty! all--all--is beauty?"
      Was ever a bird so wrong!
    "No young in the nest, no mate, no duty?"
      Ribald! is this your song?

    "Glad it is ended," are you?
      The Spring and its nuptial fear?
    "And freedom is better than love?" beware you,
      There will be May next year!

    "Beauty!" again, still "beauty"?
      Wait till the winter comes!
    Till kestrel and hungry kite seek booty
      And the bleak cold benumbs!

    Wait? nay, fling it to heaven
      The false little song you prate!
    Too sweet are its fancies not to leaven
      Even the rudest fate!




    The world may hear
    The wind at his trees,
    The lark in her skies,
    The sea on his leas;
    May hear Song rise
    On words as immortal
    As any that sound
    Thro' Heaven's Portal.
    But I have a music they can never know--
    The touch of you, soul of you, heart of you, Oh!
    All else that is said or sung 's but a part of you--
            Be it forever so!



    Not only the lark but the robin too
    (Oh, heart o' my heart, come into the wood!)
    Is singing the air to gladness new
          As the breaking bud
          And the freshet's flood!

    Not only the peeping grass and the scent--
    (Oh, love o' my life, fly unto me here!)
    Of violets coming ere April's spent--
          But the frog's shrill cheer
          And the crow's wild jeer!

    Not only the blue, not only the breeze,
    (Oh, soul o' my heart, why tarry so long!)
    But sun that is sweeter upon the trees
          Than rills that throng
          To the brooklet's song!

    Oh, heart o' my heart, oh, heart o' my love,
    (Oh soul o' my soul, haste unto me, haste!)
    For spring is below and God is above--
          But all is a waste
          Without thee--haste!



    The bliss of the wind in the redbud ringing!
      What shall we do with the April days!
    Kingcups soon will be up and swinging--
      What shall we do with May's!

    The cardinal flings, "They are made for mating!"
      Out on the bough he flutters, a flame.
    Thrush-flutes echo, "For mating's elating!
      Love is its other name!"

    They know! know it! but better, oh, better,
      Dearest, than ever a bird in Spring,
    Know we to make each moment debtor
      Unto love's burgeoning!



    Could I, a poet,
    Implant the truth of you,
    Seize it and sow it
    As Spring on the world.
    There were no need
    To fling (forsooth) of you
    Fancies that only lovers heed!
    No, but unfurled,
    The bloom, the sweet of you,
    (As unto me they are opened oft)
    Would with their beauty's breath repeat of you
    All that my heart breathes loud or soft!



    My love's a guardian-angel
      Who camps about thy heart,
    Never to See thine enemy,
      Nor from thee turn apart.

    Whatever dark may shroud thee
      And hide thy stars away,
    With vigil sweet his wings shall beat
      About thee till the day.



    Come to the window, you who are mine.
      Waken! the night is calling.
    Sit by me here--with the moon's fair shine
      Into your deep eyes falling.

    The sea afar is a fearful gloom;
      Lean from the casement, listen!
    Anear it breaks with a faery spume,
      Spraying the rocks that glisten.

    The little white town below lies deep
      As eternity in slumber.
    O, you who are mine, how a glance can reap
      Beauties beyond all number!

    And, how as sails that at anchor ride
      Our spirits rock together
    On a sea of love--lit as this tide
      With tenderest star-weather!

    Till the gray dawn is redd'ning up,
      Over the moon low-lying.
    Come, come away--we have drunk the cup:
      Ours is the dream undying!



    A storm broods far on the foam of the deep;
      The moon-path gleams before.
    A day and a night, a night and a day,
      And the way, love, will be o'er.

    Six thousand wandering miles we have come
      And never a sail have seen.
    The sky above and the sea below
      And the drifting clouds between.

    Yet in our hearts unheaving hope
      And light and joy have slept.
    Nor ever lonely has seemed the wave
      Tho' heaving wild it leapt.

    For there is talismanic might
      Within our vows of love
    To breathe us over all seas of life--
      On to that Port, above,

    Where the great Captain of all ships
      Shall anchor them or send
    Them forth on a vaster Voyage, yea,
      On one that shall not end.

    And upon _that_ we two, I think,
      Together still shall sail.
    Oh, may it be, my own, or may
      We perish in death's gale!


    Winter has come in sackcloth and ashes
    (Penance for Summer's enverdured sheaves).
    Bitterly, cruelly, bleakly he lashes
    His limbs that are naked of grass and leaves.

    He moans in the forest for sins unforgiven
    (Sins of the revelous days of June)--
    Moans while the sun drifts dull from the heaven,
    Giftless of heat's beshriving boon.

    Long must he mourn, and long be his scourging,
    (Long will the day-god aloof frown cold),
    Long will earth listen the rue of his dirging--
    Till the dark beads of his days are told.


      Ah, what a changeling!
    Yester you dashed from the west,
      Altho' it is Spring,
    And scattered the hail with maniac zest
    Thro' the shivering corn--in scorn
    For the labour of God and man.
    And now from the plentiful South you haste,
      With lovingest fingers,
    To ruefully lift and wooingly fan
    The lily that lingers a-faint on the stalk:
      As if the chill waste
      Of the earth's May-dreams,
    The flowers so full of her joy,
      Were not--as it seems--
    A wanton attempt to destroy.


    Down the road which asters tangle,
    Thro' the gap where green-briar twines,
    By the path where dry leaves dangle
    Sere from the ivy vines

    We go--by sedgy fallows
    And along the stifled brook,
    Till it stops in lushy mallows
    Just at the bridge's crook.

    Then, again, o'er fence, thro' thicket,
    To the mouth of the rough ravine,
    Where the weird leaf-hidden cricket
    Chirrs thro' the weirder green,

    There's a way, o'er rocks--but quicker
    Is the beat of heart and foot,
    As the beams above us flicker
    Sun upon moss and root!

    And we leap--as wildness tingles
    From the air into our blood--
    With a cry thro' golden dingles
    Hid in the heart of the wood.

    Oh, the wood with winds a-wrestle!
    With the nut and acorn strown!
    Oh, the wood where creepers trestle
    Tree unto tree o'ergrown!

    With a climb the ledging summit
    Of the hill is reached in glee.
    For an hour we gaze off from it
    Into the sky's blue sea.

    But a bell and sunset's crimson
    Soon recall the homeward path.
    And we turn as the glory dims on
    The hay-field's mounded math.

    Thro' the soft and silent twilight
    We come, to the stile at last,
    As the clear undying eyelight
    Of the stars tells day is past.


    Ah, it was here--September
    And silence filled the air--
    I came last year to remember,
    And muse, hid away from care.
    It was here I came--the thistle
    Was trusting her seed to the wind;
    The quail in the croft gave whistle
    As now--and the fields lay thinned.

    I know how the hay was steeping,
    Brown mows under mellow haze;
    How a frail cloud-flock was creeping
    As now over lone sky-ways.
    Just there where the catbird's calling
    Her mock-hurt note by the shed,
    The use-worn wain was stalling
    In the weedy brook's dry bed.

    And the cricket, lone little chimer
    Of day-long dreams in the vines,
    Chirred on like a doting rhymer
    O'er-vain of his firstling lines.
    He's near me now by the aster,
    Beneath whose shadowy spray
    A sultry bee seeps faster
    As the sun slips down the day.

    And there are the tall primroses
    Like maidens waiting to dance.
    They stood in the same shy poses
    Last year, as if to entrance
    The stately mulleins to waken
    From death and lead them around:
    And still they will stand untaken,
    Till drops their gold to the ground.

    Yes, it was here--September
    And silence round me yearned.
    Again I've come to remember,
    Again for musing returned
    To the searing fields' assuaging,
    And the falling leaves' sad balm:
    Away from the world's keen waging--
    To harvest and hills and calm.


    Oh ... there was love in her heart--no doubt of it--
          Under the anger.
    But see what came out of it!

    Not a knave, he!--A smitten rhyme-smatterer,
          Cloaking in languor
    And heartache to flatter her.

    And just as a woman will--even the best of them--
          She yielded--brittle.
    God spare me the rest of them!

    For! though but kisses--she swore!--he had of her,
          Was it so little?
    She thought 'twas not bad of her,

    Said I would lavish a burning hour-full
          On any grisette.
    And silenced me, powerful!

    But she was mine, and blood is inflammable--
          For a Lisette!
    My rage was undammable....

    Could a stiletto's one prick be prettier?
          Look at the gaping.
    No?--then you're her pitier!

    Pah! she's the better, and I ... I'm your prisoner.
          Loose me the strapping--
    I'll lay one more kiss on her.


    I cannot say thy cheek is like the rose,
    Thy hair like rippled sunbeams, and thine eyes
    Like violets, April-rich and sprung of God.
    My barren gaze can never know what throes
    Such boons of beauty waken, tho' I rise
    Each day a-tremble with the ruthless hope
    That light will pierce my useless lids--then grope
    Till night, blind as the worm within his clod.

    Yet unto me thou art not less divine,
    I touch thy cheek--and know the mystery hid
    Within the twilight breeze; I smooth thy hair
    And understand how slipping hours may twine
    Themselves into eternity: yea, rid
    Of all but love, I kiss thine eyes and seem
    To see all beauty God Himself may dream.
    Why then should I o'ermuch for earth-sight care?


    When Autumn's melancholy robes the land
    With silence, and sad fadings mystical
    Of other years move thro' the mellow fields,
    I turn unto this meadow of the dead,
    Strewn with the leaves stormed from October trees,
    And wonder if my resting shall be dug
    Here by this cedar's moan or under the sway
    Of yonder cypress--lair of winds that rove
    As Valkyries sent from Valhalla's court
    In search of worthy slain.
    And sundry times with questioning I tease
    The entombed of their estate--seeking to know
    Whether 'tis sweeter in the grave to feel
    The oblivion of Nature's silent flow,
    Or here to wander wistful o'er her face.
    Whether the harvesting of pain and joy
    Which men call Life ends so, or whether death
    Pours the warm chrism of Immortality
    Into each human heart whose glow is spent.

    And oft the Silence hears me. For a voice
    Of sighing wind may answer, or a gaze,
    Though wordless, from a marble seraph's face.
    Or sometimes from unspeakable deeps of gold,
    That ebb along the west, revealings wing
    And tremble, like ethereal swift tongues
    Unskilled of human speech, about my heart--
    Till youth, age, death, even earth's all, it seems,
    Are but brave moments wakened in that Soul,
    To whom infinities are as a span,
    Eternities as bird-flights o'er the sun,
    And worlds as sands blown from Sahara's wilds
    Into the ceaseless surging of the sea....

    Then twilight hours lead back my wandered spirit
    From out the wilderness of mystery
    Whence none may find a path to the Unknown,
    And chastened to content I turn me home.


    Oh, the long dawn, the weary, endless dawn,
    When sleep's oblivion is torn away
    From love that died with dying yesterday
    But still unburied in the heart lies on!

    Oh, the sick gray, the twitter in the trees,
    The sense of human waking o'er the earth!
    The quivering memories of love's fair birth
    Now strown as deathless flowers o'er its decease!

    Oh, the regret, and oh, regretlessness,
    Striving for sovranty within the soul!
    Oh, fear that life shall never more be whole,
    And immortality but make it less!


    Dusking amber dimly creeps
      Over the vale,
    Lit by the kildee's silver sweeps,
      Sad with his wail.

    Eastward swing the silent clouds
      Into the night.
    Burdens of day they seem--in crowds
      Hurled from earth's sight.

    Tilting gulls whip whitely far
      Over the lake,
    Tirelessly on o'er buoy and spar
      Till they o'ertake

    Shadow and mingled mist--and then
      Vanish to wing
    Still the bewildering night-fen,
      Where the waves ring.

    Dusking amber dimly dies
      Out of the vale.
    Dead from the dunes the winds arise--
      Ghosts of the gale.


    I lingered still when you were gone,
      When tryst and trust were o'er,
    While memory like a wounded swan
      In sorrow sung love's lore.

    I lingered till the whippoorwill
      Had cried delicious pain
    Over the wild-wood--in its thrill
      I heard your voice again.

    I lingered and the mellow breeze
      Blew to me sweetly dewed--
    Its touch awoke the sorceries
      Your last caresses brewed.

    But when the night with silent start
      Had sown her starry seed,
    The harvest which sprang in my heart
      Was loneliness and need.


    Oh, who is he will follow me
        With a singing,
    Down sunny roads where windy odes
        Of the woods are ringing?

    Where leaves are tossed from branches lost
        In a tangle
    Of vines that vie to clamber high--
        But to vault and dangle!

    Oh, who is he?--His eye must be
        As a lover's
    To leap and woo the chicory's hue
        In the hazel-hovers!

    His hope must dance like radiance
        That hurries
    To scatter shades from the silent glades
        Where the quick hare scurries.

    And he must see that Autumn's glee
        And her laughter
    From his lips and heart will quell all smart--
        Of before and after!


    When at evening smothered lightnings
    Burn the clouds with fretted fires;
    When the stars forget to glisten,
    And the winds refuse to listen
    To the song of my desires,
        Oh, my love, unto thee!

    When the livid breakers angered
    Churn against my stormy tower;
    When the petrel flying faster
    Brings an omen to the master
    Of his vessel's fated hour--
        Oh, the reefs! ah, the sea!

    Then I climb the climbing stairway,
    Turn the light across the storm;
    You are watching, fisher-maiden
    For the token-flashes laden
    With a love death could not harm--
       Lo, they come, swift and free!

    _One_--that means, "I think of thee!"
        _Two_--"I swear me thine!"
    _Three_--Ah, hear me tho' you sleep!--
        Is, that I know thee mine!
    Thro' the darkness, One, Two, Three,
        All the night they sweep:
    Thro' raging darkness o'er the deep,
        One--and Two--and Three.


    And could I love it more--this simple scene
    Of cot-strewn hills and fields long-harvested,
    That lie as if forgotten were all green,
        So bare, so dead!

    Or could my gaze more tenderly entwine
    Each pallid beech and silvery sycamore
    Outreaching arms in patience to divine
        If winter's o'er?

    Ah no, the wind has blown into my veins
    The blue infinity of sky, the sense
    Of meadows free to-day from icy pains--
         From wintry vents.

    And sunny peace more virgin than the glow
    Falling from eve's first star into the night,
    Brings hope believing what it ne'er can know
       With mortal sight.


      I knew she would come!
      Sarcastic November
      Laughed cold and glum
      On the last red ember
      Of forest leaves.
      He was laughing, the scorner,
      At me forlorner
      Than any that grieves--
    Because I asked him if June would come!

      But I knew she would come
      When snow-hearted winter
      Gripped river and loam,
      And the wind sped flinter
      On icy heel,
      I was chafing my sorrow
      And yearning to borrow
      A hope that would steal
    Across the hours--till June should come.

      And now she is here--
      The wanton!--I follow
      Her steps, ever near,
      To the shade of the hollow
      Where violets blow:
      And chide her for leaving,
      Tho' half believing
      She taunted me so,
    To make her abided return more dear.



          Spirit of rain--
    With all thy mountain mists that wander lonely
          As a gray train
    Of souls newly discarnate seeking new life only!

          Spirit of rain!
    Leading them thro' dim torii, up fane-ways onward
          Till not in vain
    They tremble upon the peaks and plunge rejoicing dawnward.

          Spirit of rain!
    So would I lead my dead thoughts high and higher,
          Till they regain
    Birth and the beauty of a new life's fire.


    Brown dropping of leaves,
    Soft rush of the wind,
    Slow searing of sheaves
      On the hill;
    Green plunging of frogs,
    Cool lisp of the brook,
    Far barking of dogs
      At the mill;
    Hot hanging of clouds,
    High poise of the hawk,
    Flush laughter of crowds
      From the Ridge;
    Nut-falling, quail-calling,
    Wheel-rumbling, bee-mumbling--
    Oh, sadness, gladness, madness,
    Of an autumn day at the bridge!


    Do women weep when men have died?
            It cannot be!
    For I have sat here by his side,
    Breathing dear names against his face,
    That he must list to, were his place
            Over God's throne--
    Yet have I wept no tear and made no moan.

    Do women weep--not gaze stone-eyed?
            Grief seems in vain.
    Do women weep?--I was his bride--
    They brought him to me cold and pale--
    Upon his lids I saw the trail
            Of deathly pain.
    They said, "Her tears will fall like autumn rain."

    I cannot weep! Not if hot tears,
            Dropped on his lids,
    Might burn him back to life and years
    Of yearning love, would any rise
    To flood the anguish from my eyes--
            And I'm his bride!
    Ah me, do women weep when men have died?


    Upon how many a hill,
    Across how many a field,
    Beside how many a river's restful flowing,
    They stand, with eyes a-thrill,
    And hearts of day-rue healed,
    Gazing, O wistful sun, upon thy going!

    They have forgotten life,
    Forgotten sunless death;
    Desire is gone--is it not gone for ever?
    No memory of strife
    Have they, or pain-sick breath.
    No hopes to fear or fears hope cannot sever.

    Silent the gold steals down
    The west, and mystery
    Moves deeper in their hearts and settles darker.
    'Tis faded--the day's crown;
    But strange and shadowy
    They see the Unseen as night falls stark and starker.

    Like priests whose altar fires
    Are spent, immovable
    They stand, in awful ecstasy uplifted.
    Zephyrs awake tree-lyres,
    The starry deeps are full,
    Earth with a mystic majesty is gifted.

    Ah, sunset-lovers, though
    Time were but pulsing pain,
    And death no more than its eternal ceasing,
    Would you not choose the throe,
    Hold the oblivion vain,
    To have beheld so many a day's releasing?


    The eve of Golgotha had come,
    And Christ lay shrouded in the garden Tomb:
    Among the olives, Oh, how dumb,
    How sad the sun incarnadined the gloom!

    The hill grew dim--the pleading cross
    Reached empty arms toward the closing gate.
    Jerusalem, oh, count thy loss!
    Oh, hear ye! hear ye! ere it be too late!

    Reached bleeding arms--but how in vain!
    The murmurous multitude within the wall
    Already had forgot His pain--
    To-morrow would forget the cross--and all!

    They knew not Rome, before its sign,
    Bending her brow bound with the nations' threne,
    Would sweep all lands from Nile to Rhine
    In servitude unto the Nazarene.

    Nor knew that millions would forsake
    Ancestral shrines great with the glow of time,
    And lifting up its token shake
    Aeons with thrill of love or battle's crime.

    With empty arms aloft it stood:
    Ah, Scribe and Pharisee, ye builded well!
    The cross emblotted with His blood
    Mounts, highest Hope of men, against earth's hell!


    Not grief nor the sunny wine
    Of gladness steeps my spirit as I gaze
    Over these meads that lie engarmented
    In stubble robes of winter-weary brown.
    For, as those solitary trees afar
    Have reached unbudding boughs to the dim day
    And melted on the infinite calm of space,
    So have I reached, and am no more distraught
    With the quivering pangs of memory's yesterday.
    But the boon of blue skies deeper than despair,
    Of rest that rises as a tide of sleep,
    Of care borne on the plumes of swan-swift clouds
    Away to the sullen shades of the low west,
    Have lulled my soul with soft infinitude--
    And lent it faith's illimitable Peace.


    Her voice is vibrant beauty dipt
    In dreams of infinite sorrow and delight.
    Thro' an awaiting soul 'tis slipt
    And lo, words spring that breathe immortal.



    Out of the night of lovelessness I call
    Thee, as, in a chill chamber where no rays
    Of unbelievable light and freedom fall,
    Might cry one manacled! And tho' the ways
    Thou'lt come I cannot see; tho' my heart's sore
    With emptiness when morning's silent grays
    Wake me to long aloneness; yet I know
    Thou hast been with me, who like dawn wilt go
    Beside me, when I have found thee, evermore!


    So in the garden of my heart each day
    I plant thee a flower. Now the pansy, peace,
    And now the lily, faith--or now a spray
    Of the climbing ivy, hope. And they ne'er cease
    Around the still unblossoming rose of love
    To bend in fragrant tribute to her sway.
    Then--for thy shelter from life's sultrier suns,
    The oak of strength I set o'er joy that runs
    With brooklet glee from winds that grieve above.


    But where now art thou? Watching with love's eye
    The eve-star wander? Listening through dim trees
    Some thrilled muezzin of the forest cry
    From his leafy minaret? Or by the sea's
    Blue brim, while the spectral moon half o'er it hangs
    Like the faery isle of Avalon, do these
    My yearnings speak to thee of days thy feet
    Have never trod?--Sweet, sweet, oh, more than sweet,
    My own, must be our meeting's mystic pangs.


    And will be soon! For last night near to-day,
    Dreaming, God called me thro' the space-built sphere
    Of heaven and said, "Come, waiting one, and lay
    Thine ear unto my Heart--there thou shalt hear
    The secrets of this world where evils war."
    Such things I heard as must rend mortal clay
    To tell, and trembled--till God, pitying,
    Said, "Listen" ... Oh, my love, I heard thee sing
    Out of thy window to the morning star!


    Tossing, swirling, swept by the wind,
        Beaten abaft by the rain,
    The swallows high in the sodden sky
        Circle oft and again.

    They rise and sink and drift and swing,
        Twitterless in the chill;
    A-haste, for stark is the coming dark
        Over the wet of the hill.

    Wildly, swiftly, at last they stream
        Into their chimney home.
    A livid gash in the west, a crash--
        Then silence, sadness, gloam.


    A host of bloody centuries lie prone
    Upon the fields of Time--but still the wake
    Of Progress loud is haunted with the groan
    Of myriads, from whose peaceful veins, to slake
    His scarlet thirst, has War, fierce Polypheme
    Of fate, insatiately drunk life's stream.
    We bid the courier lightning leap along
    Its instant path with spirit speed--command
    Stars lost in night-eternity to throng
    Before the magnet eye of Science--stand
    On Glory's peak and triumphingly cry
    Out mastery of earth and sea and air.
    But unto War's necessity we bare
    Our piteous breasts--and impotently die.


    Tho' thou hast ne'er unpent thy pain's delight
    Upon these airs, bird of the poet's love,
    Yet must I sing thy singing! For the Night
    Has poured her jewels o'er the lap of heaven
    As they who hear thee say thou dost above
    The wood such ecstasies as were not given
    By nestling breasts of Venus to the dove.


    Oft have I watched the moon with her fair gold
    Still clung to by the tattered mists of day
    Arise and look for thee. Then hope grew bold.
    And almost I could see how the near laurels
    Would tremble with thy trembling: but the sway
    Of bards who wreathed thee with unfading chorals
    Has held my longing lips from this poor lay.


    But take it now. And if the lark--who is
    Too high for earth--may vie for praise with thee
    In aery rhapsody, yet it is his
    To sing of day and joy, while thou of sorrow
    And night o'erhovering singest. So thou'lt be
    More dear than he--till hearts shall cease to borrow
    From grief the healing for life's mystery.


    To drift with the drifting clouds,
    And blow with the blow of breezes,
    To ripple with waves and murmur with caves
    To soar, as the sea-mew pleases!

    To dip with the dipping sails,
    And burn with the burning heaven--
    My life! my soul! for the infinite roll
    Of a day to wildness given!


    Summer's last moon has waned--
    As amber fires
          Of an Aztec shrine.
    The invisible breath of coming death has stained
    The withering leaves with its nepenthean wine--
          Autumn's near.

    Winds in the woodland moan--
    As memories
          Of a chilling yore.
    Magnolia seeds like Indian beads are strown
    From crimson pods along the earth's sere floor--
          Autumn's near.

    Solitude slowly steals,
    Her silent way
           By the songless brook.
    At the gnarly yoke of a solemn oak she kneels,
    The musing joy of sadness in her look--
           Autumn's near.

    Yes, with her golden days--
    When hope and toil
          Are at peace and rest--
    Autumn is near, and the tired year 'mid praise
    Lies down with leaf and blossom on his breast--
          Autumn's near.


    A-bask in the mellow beauty of the ripening sun,
    Sad with the lingering sense of summer's purpose done,
    The shorn and searing fields stretch from me one by one
                  Along the creek.

    The corn-stalks drop their shadows down the fallow hill;
    Wearing autumnal warmth the farm sleeps by the mill,
    Around each heavy eave low smoke hangs blue and still--
                 Life's flow is weak.

    Along the weedy roads and lanes I walk--or pause--
    Ponder a fallen nut or quirking crow whose caws
    Seem with prehuman hintings fraught or ancient awes
                Of forest deeps.

    Of forest deeps the pale-face hunter never trod,
    Nor Indian, with the silent stealth of Nature shod;
    Deeps tense with the timelessness and solitude of God,
                  Who never sleeps.

    And many times has Autumn, on her harvest way,
    Gathered again into the earth leaf, fruit, and spray;
    Here many times dwelt rueful as she dwells to-day,
                  The while she reaps.


    The clouds in woe hang far and dim:
      I look again, and lo,
    Only a faint and shadow line
      Of shore--I watch it go.

    The gulls have left the ship and wheel
      Back to the cliff's gray wraith.
    Will it be so of all our thoughts
      When we set sail on Death?

    And what will the last sight be of life
      As lone we fare and fast?
    Grief and the face we love in mist--
      Then night and awe too vast?

    Or the dear light of Hope--like that,
      Oh, see, from the lost shore
    Kindling and calling "Onward, you
      Shall reach the Evermore!"


    Silence is song unheard,
      Is beauty never born,
    Is light forgotten--left unstirred
      Upon Creation's morn.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Song-Surf" ***

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large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.