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And, though the chamber was black as night,
He saw my face, for it was so white;
I gazed in his eyes, and he shrieked in pain,
And I knew he would never sleep again,
And back to my grave went silently,
And soon my baby was brought to me;
My son and daughter beside me rest,
My little baby is on my breast;
Our bed is warm, and our grave is deep,
105 But he cannot sleep, he cannot sleep !
"O Mary, go and call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home,
Across the sands of Dee;'
The western wind was wild and dank with foam,
And all alone went she.
The creeping tide crept up along the sand,
And o'er and o'er the sand,
And round and round the sand,
As far as eye could see.
The blinding mist came down, and hid the land :
And never home came she.
“Oh! is it weed, or fish, or floating hair
A tress of golden hair,
A drownèd maiden's hair,
Above the nets at sea ?
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair
Among the stakes on Dee.'
They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
The cruel crawling foam,
The cruel hungry foam,
To her grave beside the sea :
But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home
Across the sands of Dee.
Softly! she is lying
With her lips apart :
Softly! she is dying
Of a broken heart.
Whisper ! she is going
To her final rest :
Whisper ! life is growing
Dim within her breast.
Gently ! she is sleeping,
She has breathed her last :
Gently! while you' are weeping,
She to Heaven has past.
Charles Gamage Eastman.
Her sufferings ended with the day!
Yet lived she at its close,
And breathed the long long night away
In statuelike repose.
But when the Sun in all his state
Illumed the eastern skies,
She passed through glory's morning gate,
And walked in Paradise.
The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-haired shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.
Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man-
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
Who madest him thy chosen, that he seemed
To his great heart none other than a God!
I asked thee, “Give me immortality.'
Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
Like wealthy men who care not how they give.
But thy strong Hours indignant worked their wills,
And beat me down and marred and wasted me,
And though they could not end me, left me maimed 20
To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
Immortal age beside immortal youth,
And all I was, in ashes. Can thy love,
Thy beauty, make amends, though even now,
Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
To hear me ? Let me go: take back thy gift :
Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly race of men,
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
Where all should pause, as is most meet for all ?
A soft air fans the cloud apart ; there comes A glimpse of that dark world where I was born. Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure, 35 And bosom beating with a heart renewed. Thy cheek begins to redden through the gloom, Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine, Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise, 40 And shake the darkness from their loosened manes, And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.
Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful
In silence, then before thine answer given
Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek.
Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
• The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.'
Ay me! ay me! with what another heart
In days far-off, and with what other eyes
I used to watch—if I be he that watched-
The lucid outline forming round thee; saw
The dim curls kindle into sunny rings;
Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood 55
Glow with the glow that slowly crimsoned all
Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay,
Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy-warm
With kisses balmier than half-opening buds
Of April, and could hear the lips that kissed
Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet,
Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing,
While Ilion like a mist rose into towers.
Yet hold me not for ever in thine East: How can my nature longer mix with thine?
Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet
Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam
Floats up from those dim fields about the homes
Of happy men that have the power to die,
And grassy barrows of the happier dead.
Release me, and restore me to the ground;
Thou seëst all things, thou wilt see my grave;
Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn;
I earth in earth forget these empty courts,
75 And thee returning on thy silver wheels.
Alfred Tennyson. CCXCIX THE DAYS THAT ARE NO MORE. 'Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean : Tears from the depth of some divine despair Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes, In looking on the happy Autumn-fields, And thinking of the days that are no more.
5 * Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail, That brings our friends up from the underworld, Sad as the last which reddens over one, That sinks with all we love below the verge ; So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
“Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more. 15
Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret ;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more.'