When blossoms are the sweetest; when the sea,
Sparkling and blue, cries to the sun in joy,
Or, silent, pale, and misty waits the night,
Till the moon, pushing through the veiling cloud,
Hangs naked in its heaving solitude:
When feathery pines wave up and down the shore,
And the vast deep above holds gentle stars,
And the vast world beneath hides him from me!
The crimson dawn breaks through the clouded
And waking breezes round the casement pipe;
They blow the globes of dew from opening buds,
And steal the odors of the sleeping flowers.
The swallow calls its young ones from the eaves,
To dart above their shadows on the lake,
Till its long rollers redden in the sun,
And bend the lances of the mirrored pines.
Who knows the miracle that brings the morn?
Still in my house I linger, though the night—
The night that hides me from myself is gone.
Light robes the world, but strips me bare again.
I will not follow on the paths of day.
I know the dregs within its crystal hours;
The bearers of my cups have served me well;
I drained them, and the bearers come no more.
Rise, morning, rise, for those believing souls
Who seek completion in day’s garish light.
My casement I will close, keep shut my door,
Till day and night are only dreams to me.
MEMORY IS IMMORTAL.
Time passed, as passes time with common
Whose thoughts and wishes end with every day;
For whom no future is, whose present hours
Reveal no looming shade of that which was.
But Memory is immortal, for
To me, from heaven or hell, to me, once more!
As birds that migrate choose the ocean wind
That beats them helpless, while it steers them home,
So I was this way driven—I chose this way—
Of old my dwelling-place, where all my race
Are buried. At first I was enchanted here;
Impossible appeared the pall, the shroud;
And in my spell I trod the grassy streets,
Where in the summer days mild oxen drew
The bristling hay, and in the winter snows
The creaking masts and knees for mighty ships,
Whose hulls were parted on the coral reefs,
Or foundered in the depth of Arctic nights.
I wandered through the gardens rank and waste,
Wonderful once, when I was like the flowers;
Along the weedy paths grew roses still,
Surviving empire, but remaining queens.
My mood established by the
(Slumber with slumber, dream with dream should be)
I sought a mansion on the lonely shore,
From which, his feet made level with his head,
Its occupant was gone. I lived alone.
Whoso, beneath this roof, had played his part
In life’s deep tragedy, not here