Could be rehearsed its scenes of love or hate.
Upon the ancient walls my pictures hung,
Of men and women, strong and beautiful,
Whose shoulders pushed along the world’s great wheel;
Landscapes, where cloud and mountain rose as one,
Where rivers crept in secret vales, or rolled
Past city walls, whose towers and palaces
By slaves were builded, and by princes fallen!
And books whose pages ever told one tale,
The tale of human love, in joy or pain,
The seed of our last hope—Eternity.
Days glided by, this mirage cheating all;
Morn came, eve went, and we were tranquil still.
If form, and sound, and color fail to show,
By poet’s, painter’s, sculptor’s noble touch,
The subtle truth of Nature, can I tell
How Nature poised my mind in light and shade?
But Memory is immortal, and
She advanced, silent, slow, a muffled shape.
One moonlight night I walked through long white lanes;
The sky and sea were like a frosted web;
The air was heavy with familiar scents,
Which travelled down the wind, I knew from where—
The fragrance of a grove of Northern pines.
My feet were hastening thither—and my heart!
At last I stood before a funeral mound,
From which I fled when vanished love and life—
Long years ago—fled from my father’s house;
Banished myself, to banish him I loved—
His broken history and his early grave.
And in the moonlight Memory floated on,
Immortal, with my now immortal Love!
Impelled by memory in a wayward mood,
Reluctant, yearning, with a faithless mind,
I sought once more a long neglected spot,
A wooded upland bordered by the sea,
Whose tides were swirling up the reedy sands,
Or floating noiseless in the yellow marsh.
My way was wild. The winds, awaking, smote
My face, but as I passed a ruined wall
Brambles and vines and waving blossoms dashed
A frolic-welcome, like a summer rain.
Shouldering the hills against the murky east
Stood stalwart oaks, and in the mossy sod
Below the trembling birches whispered me,
“Not here!” I reached the silence-loving pines,
And lingered. The mists swept from the wooded hills,
And, rolling seaward, hid the anchored ships.
So, happy, dreaming an old dream again,
Of keeping tryst in secret on the knoll,
I wandered on, listening in dreamy maze
To sounds I thought familiar,—the approach
Of well-known footsteps in the leafy path,—
A murmuring voice calling me by name!
Through the pine shafts the sunless light of dawn
Stole. Day was come. My dream would be fulfilled!
Above the hills the sky began to blaze,
And ushering morn the west flushed rosy-red;
Then, the Sun leaping from his bed of