Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 280 pages of information about Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II..

“Sir,” quoth the woman, “I will do this thing,
So thou keep faith with me, and yet return. 
But will the Voice, think you, forbear to chide,
Nor that Unseen, who calleth, buffet thee,
And drive thee on?”
                   He saith, “It will keep faith. 
Fear not.  I have prevailed, for I besought,
And lovingly it answered.  I shall rest,
And dwell with thee till after my three sons
Come from the chase.”  She said, “I let them forth
In fear, for they are young.  Their slaves are few. 
The giant elephants be cunning folk;
They lie in ambush, and will draw men on
To follow,—­then will turn and tread them down.” 
“Thy father’s house unwisely planned,” said he,
“To drive them down upon the growing corn
Of them that were their foes; for now, behold,
They suffer while the unwieldy beasts delay
Retirement to their lands, and, meanwhile, pound
The damp, deep meadows, to a pulpy mash;
Or wallowing in the waters foul them; nay,
Tread down the banks, and let them forth to flood
Their cities; or, assailed and falling, shake
The walls, and taint the wind, ere thirty men,
Over the hairy terror piling stones
Or earth, prevail to cover it.” 
                                   She said,
“Husband, I have been sorry, thinking oft
I would my sons were home; but now so well
Methinks it is with me, that I am fain
To wish they might delay, for thou wilt dwell
With me till after they return, and thou
Hast set thine eyes upon them.  Then,—­ah, me! 
I must sit joyless in my place; bereft,
As trees that suddenly have dropped their leaves,
And dark as nights that have no moon.” 
                                         She spake: 
The hope o’ the world did hearken, but reply
Made none.  He left his hand on her fair locks
As she lay sobbing; and the quietness
Of night began to comfort her, the fall
Of far-off waters, and the winged wind
That went among the trees.  The patient hand,
Moreover, that was steady, wrought with her,
Until she said, “What wilt thou?  Nay, I know. 
I therefore answer what thou utterest not.
Thou lovest me well, and not for thine own will
Consentest to depart
.  What more?  Ay, this: 
I do avow that He which calleth thee,
Hath right to call; and I do swear, the Voice
Shall have no let of me, to do Its will
.”

BOOK II

Now ere the sunrise, while the morning star
Hung yet behind the pine bough, woke and prayed
The world’s great shipwright, and his soul was glad
Because the Voice was favorable.  Now
Began the tap o’ the hammer, now ran forth
The slaves preparing food.  They therefore ate
In peace together; then Niloiya forth
Behind the milk-white steers went on her way;
And the great Master-builder, down the course
Of the long river, on his errand sped,

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Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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