My love! He stood at my right hand,
His eyes were grave and sweet.
Methought he said, “In this far land,
O, is it thus we meet!
Ah, maid most dear, I am not here;
I have no place,—no part,—
No dwelling more by sea or shore,
But only in thy heart.”
O fair dove! O fond dove!
Till night rose over the bourne,
The dove on the mast, as we sailed fast,
Did mourn, and mourn, and mourn.
Daughters of Eve! your mother did not well:
She laid the apple in your father’s hand,
And we have read, O wonder! what befell,—
The man was not deceived, nor yet could stand:
He chose to lose, for love of her, his throne,—
With her could die, but could not live alone.
Daughters of Eve! he did not fall so low,
Nor fall so far, as that sweet woman fell;
For something better, than as gods to know,
That husband in that home left off to dwell:
For this, till love be reckoned less than lore,
Shall man be first and best for evermore.
Daughters of Eve! it was for your dear sake
The world’s first hero died an uncrowned king;
But God’s great pity touched the grand mistake,
And made his married love a sacred thing:
For yet his nobler sons, if aught be true,
Find the lost Eden in their love to you.
(A Humble Imitation.)
“And birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.”
It is the noon
And the world’s Great Light
Gone out, she widow-like doth carry her:
The moon hath veiled her face,
Nor looks on that dread place
Where He lieth dead in sealed sepulchre;
And heaven and hades, emptied, lend
Their flocking multitudes to watch and wait the end.
Tier above tier
Their wings new line the skies,
And shed out comforting light among the stars;
But they of the other place
The heavenly signs deface,
The gloomy brand of hell their brightness mars;
Yet high they sit in throned state,—
It is the hour of darkness to them dedicate.
And first and
Where the black shades are met,
The lord of night and hades leans him down;
His gleaming eyeballs show
More awful than the glow,
Which hangeth by the points of his dread crown;
And at his feet, where lightnings play,
The fatal sisters sit and weep, and curse their day.
Lo! one, with
eyes all wide,
As she were sight denied,
Sits blindly feeling at her distaff old;
One, as distraught with woe,
Letting the spindle go,
Her star y-sprinkled gown doth shivering fold;
And one right mournful hangs her head,
Complaining, “Woe is me! I may not cut the thread.