Page images
PDF
EPUB

A NIGHT IN CUBA.

Youth's wild young feet were made to dance for joy;

Youth's sweet wild heart was made to leap with bliss; O revel in your glory, splendid boy,

For all the world is craving for your kiss!

In Cuban skies, the palm's imperial crest

Lifts plumes forever free from winter snows; No frost shall ever blight the lily's breast,

Nor dim the glory of the ardent rose.

Remember, while that flower is free from frost,

That bud forever free from winter blight, Youth, once escaping, is forever lost,

His feet have wings more swift than swallows' flight!

NOON IN THE TROPICS.

A violet ocean and a violet sky;
A glistening beach of red and yellow sands;
A promontory where one palm-tree stands;
Green orange groves, gold-fruited, far and nigh;
Here clumps of cocoanuts soar to the sky,
Here spread the sugar and tobacco lands;
Here, deftly tilled by swarthy negro hands,
Pineapple fields in burning sunshine lie.

Ah, what relief, should summer pass away,
And bring this gorgeous pageant to a close !
Once more to see a dark November day
Shake down his dead leaves while the north wind blows!
Once more to see December, cold and gray,
From leaden clouds sweep swirls of fluttering snows!

A MEXICAN WAYSIDE STATION.

A red-hot sun is blazing fiercely down

On red-hot hills of dreary desert sand;
The ragged sage-brush all is scorched to brown,

And gray with dust the mesquite bushes stand.

Like grizzled ghosts the cactus thickets lift

Their gaunt, gnarled fingers, barbed with spines for claws; Thorn-girdled, thrusting from a rocky rift,

Are serried teeth of aloes sharp as saws.

A stockade wall surrounds a hut of mud,

Where naked urchins romp with mangy curs; Dumb as a painted post, with scarlet hood,

A mongrel native stares but never stirs.

An ancient bucket hangs above a well,

The well-rope dangling from a crooked stick; Here beggars swarm, their harrowing tales to tell,

Where hobbling hunchbacks crowd the maimed and sick.

And here a broken wooden plough is left,

Discarded with a battered wooden wheel, And here like shipwrecked seamen, all bereft,

Two oxen by a shattered wagon kneel.

A MEXICAN WAYSIDE STATION.

On brazen zinnias withering blazes beat,

The hollyhock in thirsty anguish dies; The prickly-pears, a-blister in the heat,

Ooze out their sickly syrup for the flies.

But here a-swing from cracks of mud-built walls,

There blooms a peerless lovely yellow rose; Her sweetness all the Northern Spring recalls,

New-born at melting of the northern snows.

And here, like Patience, still she waits and waits

In burning suns that doom her soon to die, Yet never breathes a murmur at the fates

Who forced her exile from her native sky.

The railroad trains pass thundering North and South,

And bear rich gifts to others far away;. But here she lingers in the land of drought,

Forgotten as she fades from day to day.

Here one by one her golden petals fall,

Yet hear no sighs borne on her fragrant breath; O Rose of Patience! Life soon takes your all,

And leaves you to an unregretted death.

And so, my heart, in patience still you wait,

While fame and fortune come and pass me by; The great world rumbles on in pomp and state,

It would not answer though it heard you cry.

A MEXICAN WAYSIDE STATION.

So, glorious dreams, here I can only sit

With folded hands and watch you fade from view; I smile in silence as I see you flit,

Yet all my life is lost in losing you.

« PreviousContinue »