I know ’tis like asking a morning cloud
With a grim old mountain to stay,
But your love would soften its ruggedness,
And melt its roughness away.
I have seen a delicate rosy cloud,
A rough, gray cliff enfold,
Till his heart was warmed by its loveliness,
And his brow was tinged with its gold.
Oh, poor and mean does my life show
Compared with the beauty of thine,
Like a diamond embedded in granite
Your life would be set in mine;
But a faithful love should guard you,
And shelter you from life’s storm,
The rock must be shivered to atoms
Ere its treasure should come to harm.
How your sweet face has shone on me
From the tropics’ midnight sea,
When the sailors slept, and I kept watch
Alone with my God and thee.
I know your heart is relenting,
The tender look in your eyes
Seems like that sky’s soft splendor
When the sun was beginning to rise.
You need not veil their glorious light
With your eyelids’ cloud of snow,
A tell-tale bird with a crimson wing
On your cheek flies to and fro;
And whispers to me such blissful hope
That my foolish tears will start,
Ah, little bird! your fluttering wing
Is folded on my heart.
I might strive as well to melt to softness the soulless
Of some fair and saintly image, carven out of stone,
With my smile, as to stir you heart from its icy rest,
Or win a tender glance from your royal eyes, Ione;
But your sad smile lures me on, as toward some fatal rock
Is the fond wave drawn, but to break with passionate moan.
Break! to be spurned from its cold feet with a stony shock,
As you would spurn my suppliant heart from your feet, Ione.
Ione, there is a grave in the churchyard under the
The villagers shun like the unblest haunt of a ghost,
Dropped there out of a dark spring night, I remember still,
For a foreign ship had anchored that night on the coast;
On the gray stone tablet is written this one word “Rest.”
Did he who sleeps underneath seek for it vainly here?
What is the secret hidden there in the buried breast,
The secret deeper sunken by dripping rains each year.
When autumn’s bending boughs and harvests burdened
An early laborer, chancing to pass that way alone,
Saw a small glove gleaming whitely upon the mound,
And into the delicate wrist was woven “Ione,”
And he said as he dropped it again his eye did mark—
For this unknown, unhallowed grave had been shunned by all—
A narrow footpath winding through to the lofty wall,
That guards the wild grandeur and gloom of your father’s park.