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..

He said, “Yea, truly, and my damsel sits
Before her in the house; and also, sir,
She said to me, ’I have not worked, as yet,
The garment of betrothal.’” And he said,
“’Tis not the manner of our kin to speak
Concerning matters that a woman rules;
But hath thy mother brought a damsel home,
And let her see thy face, then all is one
As ye were wed.”  He answered, “Even so,
It matters nothing; therefore hear me, sir: 
The damsel being mine, I am content
To let her do according to her will;
And when we shall return, so surely, sir,
As I shall find her by my mother’s side,
Then will I take her”; and he left to speak;
His father answering, “Son, thy words are good.”

BOOK VI.

Night.  Now a tent was pitched, and Japhet sat
In the door and watched, for on a litter lay
The father of his love.  And he was sick
To death; but daily he would rouse him up,
And stare upon the light, and ever say,
“On, let us journey”; but it came to pass
That night, across their path a river ran,
And they who served the father and the son
Had pitched the tents beside it, and had made
A fire, to scare away the savagery
That roamed in that great forest, for their way
Had led among the trees of God. 
                                  The moon
Shone on the river, like a silver road
To lead them over; but when Japhet looked,
He said, “We shall not cross it.  I shall lay
This well-beloved head low in the leaves,—­
Not on the farther side.”  From time to time,
The water-snakes would stir its glassy flow
With curling undulations, and would lay
Their heads along the bank, and, subtle-eyed,
Consider those long spirting flames, that danced,
When some red log would break and crumble down;
And show his dark despondent eyes, that watched,
Wearily, even Japhet’s.  But he cared
Little; and in the dark, that was not dark,
But dimness of confused incertitude,
Would move a-near all silently, and gaze
And breathe, and shape itself, a maned thing
With eyes; and still he cared not, and the form
Would falter, then recede, and melt again
Into the farther shade.  And Japhet said: 
“How long?  The moon hath grown again in heaven,
After her caving twice, since we did leave
The threshold of our home; and now what ’vails
That far on tumbled mountain snow we toiled,
Hungry, and weary, all the day; by night
Waked with a dreadful trembling underneath,
To look, while every cone smoked, and there ran
Red brooks adown, that licked the forest up,
While in the pale white ashes wading on
We saw no stars?—­what ’vails if afterward,
Astonished with great silence, we did move
Over the measureless, unknown desert mead;
While all the day, in rents and crevices,
Would lie the lizard and the serpent kind,
Drowsy; and in the night take fearsome shapes,

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