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Here gold and silver glimmer everywhere,

Through gracious twilight, down the solemn aisles; A cloud of incense dims the dreamy air,

As up yon stair a long procession files.

They reach the altar; priests and chorus-boys

Are all enrobed in scarlet draped in white; How quiet! Not the shadow of a noise

Disturbs the pious meaning of the sight.

Then like a constellation, star by star,

The golden candlesticks have burst in bloom; Now like great winds from Paradise afar

The glorious organ pipes begin to boom.

The sweet, sharp voices of the bird-like boys

Respond to deep-toned chantings of the priest; O what a call to heaven's transcendent joys

Beside the Bridegroom at His wedding feast !

Yon sculptured angel with the golden wings

Seems beckoning to a blissful realm above; Ah, is it true, that song the choir-boy sings,

Of endless life, of everlasting love?


And then my gaze falls on a wooden saint

Whose wooden feet long in this niche have stood; Poor little doll! Your lips, through gaudy paint,

Seem saying “I would help you if I could.”

O wooden saint, outside, on yonder square,

The Inquisition fixed its fearful stake;
O, whisper not the horrors that were there,

And all enacted for Religion's sake!

Down yonder street, housed in yon rambling pile,

Are hideous Aztec idols, all a-grin ;-
Nay, do not shirk my question with a smile,-

Those Gods, like yours, presumed to pardon sin!

There stands the Aztec sacrificial stone;

Above it frightful Aztec idols scowl;
They heard ten thousand human victims groan,

And heard a million maddened votaries howl!

Perplexed, confused between the warring creeds,

I can not tell which way to turn, in sooth.
My anxious soul, beset by sorest needs,
Like Pilate, still is asking “What is Truth?

· ?

O, breathe me, wooden saint, one precious word!

Come, tell me, as we two forever part,Will all these prayers in heaven at last be heard,

Or end forever at your wooden heart?


Here every honey-hearted sweet
In fruits of gold and red
The heavy-laden tropic trees
With rich profusion shed.
Here buff and scarlet blossoms hang
From vines of glossy green,
And humming birds, with ruby throats,
Like floating flames are seen.

Here pink and purple passion-flowers
Hang scarfs of airy silk,
And claret-clouded orchids bloom
By orchids white as milk.
Here red and yellow mangoes cling,
Here citrons bend the twigs,
Here green and golden melons trail,
Here swing delicious figs.

What gorgeous flowers, what luscious fruits
Unknown to me before!
I gaze in wonder on them now,
But soon shall see no more.
Their blaze of glory stills the speech,
Their brilliance blinds the eyes;
What Tyrian tints, what heavenly hues,
Like flaming sunset skies!


No Northern violet opens here
Its baby eyes of blue;
No daisy lifts from tufted grass
To drink the morning dew.
No oak tree ever quivers here
In wanton winds of heaven;
Ah, I am but a stranger, too,
Here for a moment driven.

Yet, Beauty ever hand in hand
With Sadness still is met;
These glories only fill my heart
With longing and regret.
What sorrow haunts this scented air
For bliss once all my own;
Yes, Love and Joy should both be mine,
Yet here am I alone!


Beside the Danube let me sit And view the scene before me,

While olden griefs and olden joys On spirit wings flit o'er me.

This is the stream in song renowned, Far-famed in storied pages,

Whose shores are haunted by the dreams Of lost romantic ages.

And yet, О Danube, as I muse Beside your rippling waters,

I think not of your chivalry, Your splendid sons and daughters.

Forgotten are your mounts and vales, Your peasant-cots, your castles,

Your Kings and Queens, your peace, your wars, Your noblemen, your vassals.

I think of one who sang to me In years gone by forever,

Of lovers, who one night in June Rowed on you, Danube River.

O, I remember still that night, Your city lights a-glimmer,

And how the mellow moon arose And made your wavelets shimmer.

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