A Hidden Life and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about A Hidden Life and Other Poems.

“O lady!” he said, “’tis a mighty horse;
The Prophet himself might have rode a worse. 
I felt beneath me his muscles’ play,
As he tore to the battle, like fiend, away. 
I forgot him, and swept at the traitor weeds,
And they fell before me like broken reeds;
Dropt their heads, as a boy doth mow
The poppies’ heads with his unstrung bow. 
They fled.  The faithful follow at will. 
I turned.  And lo! he was under me still. 
Give him water, lady, and barley to eat;
Then come and help me to fetter my feet.”

He went to the terrace, she went to the stall,
And tended the horse like a guest in the hall;
Then to the singer in haste returned. 
The fire of the fight in his eyes yet burned;
But he said no more, as if in shame
Of the words that had burst from his lips in flame. 
She left him there, as at first she found,
Seated in fetters upon the ground.

But the sealed fountain, in pulses strong,
O’erflowed his silence, and burst in song.

        “Oh! the wine
        Of the vine
          Is a feeble thing;
        In the rattle
        Of battle
          The true grapes spring.

        “When on force
        Of the horse,
          The arm flung abroad
        Is sweeping,
        And reaping
          The harvest of God.

        “When the fear
        Of the spear
          Makes way for its blow;
        And the faithless
        Lie breathless
          The horse-hoofs below.

        “The wave-crest,
        Round the breast,
          Tosses sabres all red;
        But under,
        Its thunder
          Is dumb to the dead.

        “They drop
        From the top
          To the sear heap below;
        And deeper,
        Down steeper,
          The infidels go.

        “But bright
        Is the light
          On the true-hearted breaking;
        Rapturous faces,
        Bent for embraces,
          Wait on his waking.

        “And he hears
        In his ears
          The voice of the river,
        Like a maiden,
        Love-laden,
          Go wandering ever.

        “Oh! the wine
        Of the vine
          May lead to the gates;
        But the rattle
        Of battle
          Wakes the angel who waits.

        “To the lord
        Of the sword
          Open it must;
        The drinker,
        The thinker,
          Sits in the dust.

        “He dreams
        Of the gleams
          Of their garments of white: 
        He misses
        Their kisses,
          The maidens of light.

        “They long
        For the strong,
          Who has burst through alarms,
        Up, by the labour
        Of stirrup and sabre,
          Up to their arms.

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A Hidden Life and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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