It was most awful. When the moon was full,
I’ve seen them fish at night, in the middle watch,
When she got low. I’ve seen them plunge like stones,
And come up fighting with a fish as long,
Ay, longer than my arm; and they would sail,—
When they had struck its life out,—they would sail
Over the deck, and show their fell, fierce eyes,
And croon for pleasure, hug the prey, and speed
Grand as a frigate on a wind.”
She must be called ‘The Eagle’ after these.
And, Martin, ask your wife about the songs
When you go in at dinner-time.”
THE NIGHTINGALE HEARD BY THE UNSATISFIED HEART.
When in a May-day hush
Chanteth the Missel-thrush
The harp o’ the heart makes answer with murmurous stirs;
When Robin-redbreast sings,
We think on budding springs,
And Culvers when they coo are love’s remembrancers.
thou in the trance of light
Stayest the feeding night,
And Echo makes sweet her lips with the utterance wise,
And casts at our glad feet,
In a wisp of fancies fleet,
Life’s fair, life’s unfulfilled, impassioned prophecies.
central thought full well
Thou hast the wit to tell,
To take the sense o’ the dark and to yield it so;
The moral of moonlight
To set in a cadence bright,
And sing our loftiest dream that we thought none did know.
have no nest as thou,
Bird on the blossoming bough,
Yet over thy tongue outfloweth the song o’ my soul,
Chanting, “forego thy strife,
The spirit out-acts the life,
But MUCH is seldom theirs who can perceive THE WHOLE.
drawest a perfect lot
All thine, but holden not,
Lie low, at the feet of beauty that ever shall bide;
There might be sorer smart
Than thine, far-seeing heart,
Whose fate is still to yearn, and not be satisfied.”
I passed an inland-cliff precipitate;
From tiny caves peeped many a soot-black poll;
In each a mother-martin sat elate,
And of the news delivered her small soul.
Fantastic chatter! hasty, glad, and gay,
Whereof the meaning was not ill to tell:
“Gossip, how wags the world with you to-day?”
“Gossip, the world wags well, the world wags well.”
And heark’ning, I was sure their little ones
Were in the bird-talk, and discourse was made
Concerning hot sea-bights and tropic suns,
For a clear sultriness the tune conveyed;—
And visions of the sky as of a cup
Hailing down light on pagan Pharaoh’s sand,
And quivering air-waves trembling up and up,
And blank stone faces marvellously bland.