“Nay, thou mayst cry, the omen is not thine,
Thou aged priestess of fell doom, and fate.
It is not blood: thy gods are making wine,
They spilt the must outside their city gate,
“And stained their azure pavement with the lees:
They will not listen though thou cry aloud.
Old Chance, thy dame, sits mumbling at her ease,
Nor hears; the fair hag, Luck, is in her shroud.
“They heed not, they withdraw the sky-hung sign,
Thou hast no charm against the favorite race;
Thy gods pour out for it, not blood, but wine:
There is no justice in their dwelling-place!
“Safe in their father’s house the boys
Though thy fell brood doth stark and silent lie;
Their unborn sons may yet despoil thy nest:
Cry, thou black prophetess! lift up! cry, cry!”
When I hear the waters fretting,
When I see the chestnut letting
All her lovely blossom falter down, I think, “Alas the day!”
Once with magical sweet singing,
Blackbirds set the woodland ringing,
That awakes no more while April hours wear themselves away.
In our hearts fair hope lay
Sweet as air, and all beguiling;
And there hung a mist of bluebells on the slope and down the dell;
And we talked of joy and splendor
That the years unborn would render,
And the blackbirds helped us with the story, for they knew it well.
Piping, fluting, “Bees
April’s here, and summer’s coming;
Don’t forget us when you walk, a man with men, in pride and joy;
Think on us in alleys shady,
When you step a graceful lady;
For no fairer day have we to hope for, little girl and boy.
“Laugh and play, O lisping
Lull our downy sons and daughters;
Come, O wind, and rock their leafy cradle in thy wanderings coy;
When they wake we’ll end the measure
With a wild sweet cry of pleasure,
And a ‘Hey down derry, let’s be merry! little girl and boy!’”
SEA-MEWS IN WINTER TIME.
I walked beside a dark gray sea.
And said, “O world, how cold thou art!
Thou poor white world, I pity thee,
For joy and warmth from thee depart.
“Yon rising wave licks off the snow,
Winds on the crag each other chase,
In little powdery whirls they blow
The misty fragments down its face.
“The sea is cold, and dark its rim,
Winter sits cowering on the wold,
And I beside this watery brim,
Am also lonely, also cold.”
I spoke, and drew toward a rock,
Where many mews made twittering sweet;
Their wings upreared, the clustering flock
Did pat the sea-grass with their feet.
A rock but half submerged, the sea
Ran up and washed it while they fed;
Their fond and foolish ecstasy
A wondering in my fancy bred.