Page images

Became an outward breathing type, That into stillness past again,

And left a want unknown before; Although the loss that brought us pain, That loss but made us love the more,

With farther lookings on. The kiss,

The woven arms, seem but to be Weak symbols of the settled bliss,

The comfort, I have found in thee: But that God bless thee, dear-who wrought Two spirits to one equal mind— With blessings beyond hope or thought, With blessings which no words can find.

Arise, and let us wander forth

To yon old mill across the wolds; For look, the sunset, south and north, Winds all the vale in rosy folds, And fires your narrow casement glass,

Touching the sullen pool below: On the chalk-hill the bearded grass Is dry and dewless. Let us go.



O LOVE, Love, Love! O withering might!
O sun, that from thy noonday height
Shudderest when I strain my sight,
Throbbing through all thy heat and light,
Lo, falling from my constant mind,
Lo, parched and withered, deaf and blind
I whirl like leaves in roaring wind.


Last night I wasted hateful hours
Below the city's eastern towers:

I thirsted for the brooks, the showers:
I rolled among the tender flowers:

I crushed them on my breast, my mouth:
I looked athwart the burning drouth
Of that long desert to the south.


Last night, when some one spoke his name,
From my swift blood that went and came
A thousand little shafts of flame
Were shivered in my narrow frame.

O Love, O fire! once he drew

With one long kiss my whole soul through
My lips, as sunlight drinketh dew.


Before he mounts the hill, I know
He cometh quickly: from below
Sweet gales, as from deep gardens, blow
Before him, striking on my brow.

In my dry brain my spirit soon,
Down-deepening from swoon to swoon,
Faints like a dazzled morning moon.


The wind sounds like a silver wire,
And from beyond the noon a fire
Is poured upon the hills, and nigher
The skies stoop down in their desire;
And, isled in sudden seas of light,
My heart, pierced through with fierce delight,
Bursts into blossom in his sight.


My whole soul waiting silently,
All naked in a sultry sky,
Droops blinded with his shining eye:
I will possess him or will die.

I will grow round him in his place,

Grow, live, die looking on his face,
Die, dying clasped in his embrace.


THERE lies a vale in Ida, lovelier
Than all the valleys of Ionian hills.
The swimming vapor slopes athwart the glen,
Puts forth an arm, and creeps from pine to pine,
And loiters, slowly drawn. On either hand
The lawns and meadow ledges midway down
Hang rich in flowers, and far below them roars
The long brook falling through the cloven ravine
In cataract after cataract to the sea.
Behind the valley topmost Gargarus
Stands up and takes the morning; but in front
The gorges, opening wide apart, reveal
Troas and Ilion's columned citadel,
The crown of Troas.

Hither came at noon Mournful Enone, wandering forlorn Of Paris, once her playmate on the hills. Her cheek had lost the rose, and round her neck Floated her hair or seemed to float in rest. She, leaning on a fragment twined with vine, Sang to the stillness, till the mountain-shade Sloped downward to her seat from the


"O mother Ida, many-fountained Ida,
Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die.
For now the noonday quiet holds the hill:
The grasshopper is silent in the grass:
The lizard, with his shadow on the stone,
Rests like a shadow, and the cicala sleeps.
The purple flowers droop: the golden bee
Is lily cradled: I alone awake.


My eyes are full of tears, my heart of love,
My heart is breaking, and my eyes are dim,
And I am all aweary of my life.

"O mother Ida, many-fountained Ida, Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die.

Hear me O Earth, hear me O Hills, O Caves,
That house the cold crowned snake! O mountain


I am the daughter of a River-God;
Hear me, for I will speak, and build up all
My sorrow with my song, as yonder walls
Rose slowly to a music slowly breathed,
A cloud that gathered shape: for it may be
That, while I speak of it, a little while
My heart may wander from its deeper woe.

"O mother Ida, many-fountained Ida, Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. I waited underneath the dawning hills, Aloft the mountain lawn was dewy-dark, And dewy-dark aloft the mountain-pine : Beautiful Paris, evil-hearted Paris, Leading a jet-black goat white-horned, white-hooved, Came up from reedy Simois all alone.

"O mother Ida, harken ere I die.


Far-off the torrent called me from the cleft:

Far up the solitary morning smote

The streaks of virgin snow. With down-dropt eyes,

I sat alone: white breasted like a star

Fronting the dawn he moved; a leopard skin
Drooped from his shoulder, but his sunny hair
Clustered about his temples like a God's;
And his cheek brightened as the foam-bow brightens
When the wind blows the foam, and all my heart
Went forth to embrace him coming ere he came.

"Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. He smiled, and opening out his milk-white palm

Disclosed a fruit of pure Hesperian gold,
That smelt ambrosially, and while I looked
And listened, the full-flowing river of speech
Came down upon my heart.


'My own Enone, Beautiful-browed Enone, my own soul, Behold this fruit, whose gleaming rind engraven "For the most fair," would seem to award it thine, As lovelier than whatever Oread haunt The knolls of Ida, loveliest in all grace Of movement, and the charm of married brows.'


"Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. He prest the blossom of his lips to mine, And added, This was cast upon the board, When all the full-faced presence of the Gods Ranged in the halls of Peleus; whereupon Rose feud, with question unto whom 'twere due: But light-foot Iris brought it yester-eve, Delivering that to me, by common voice Elected umpire, Herè comes to-day Pallas and Aphrodite, claiming each This meed of fairest. Thou, within the cave Behind yon whispering tuft of oldest pine, Mayst well behold them unbeheld, unheard Hear all, and see thy Paris judge of Gods.'

"Dear mother Ida, harken ere I die. It was the deep midnoon: one silvery cloud Had lost his way between the piney sides Of this long glen. Then to the bower they came Naked they came to that smooth-swarded bower, And at their feet the crocus brake like fire, Violet, amaracus, and asphodel, Lotos and lilies: and a wind arose, And overhead the wandering ivy and vine, This way and that, in many a wild festoon

« PreviousContinue »