My doom so far as to perceive thereby
Hope of a wife. They make this thought too plain;
They wound me—O they cut me to the heart!
When have I said to any one of them,
“I am a blind and desolate man;—come here,
I pray you—be as eyes to me?” When said,
Even to her whose pitying voice is sweet
To my dark ruined heart, as must be hands
That clasp a lifelong captive’s through the grate,
And who will ever lend her delicate aid
To guide me, dark encumbrance that I am!—
When have I said to her, “Comforting voice,
Belonging to a face unknown, I pray
Be my wife’s voice?”
J. Never, my brother—no, You never have!
M. What could she think of me If I forgot myself so far? or what Could she reply?
J. You ask not as men ask Who care for an opinion, else perhaps, Although I am not sure—although, perhaps, I have no right to give one—I should say She would reply, “I will”
* * * * *
Man dwells apart, though not alone,
He walks among his peers unread;
The best of thoughts which he hath known.
For lack of listeners are not said.
Yet dreaming on earth’s clustered isles,
He saith “They dwell not lone like men,
Forgetful that their sunflecked smiles
Flash far beyond each other’s ken.”
He looks on God’s eternal suns
That sprinkle the celestial blue,
And saith, “Ah! happy shining ones,
I would that men were grouped like you!”
Yet this is sure, the loveliest star
That clustered with its peers we see,
Only because from us so far
Doth near its fellows seem to be.
SONGS OF SEVEN.
SEVEN TIMES ONE. EXULTATION.
There’s no dew left on the daisies and clover,
There’s no rain left in heaven:
I’ve said my “seven times” over and over,
Seven times one are seven.
I am old, so old, I can write a letter;
My birthday lessons are done;
The lambs play always, they know no better;
They are only one times one.
O moon! in the night I have seen you sailing
And shining so round and low;
You were bright! ah bright! but your light is failing—
You are nothing now but a bow.
You moon, have you done something wrong in heaven
That God has hidden your face?
I hope if you have you will soon be forgiven,
And shine again in your place.
O velvet bee, you’re a dusty fellow,
You’ve powdered your legs with gold!
O brave marsh marybuds, rich and yellow,
Give me your money to hold!
O columbine, open your folded wrapper,
Where two twin turtle-doves dwell!
O cuckoo pint, toll me the purple clapper
That hangs in your clear green bell!