A broken column and a fallen fane,
A chain of crumbling arches down the plain,
A group of brown-faced children by a stream,
A scarlet-skirted maiden standing near,
A monk, a beggar, and a muleteer,
And lo! it is no longer now a dream.
These are the Alps, and there the Apennines;
The fertile plains of Lombardy between;
Beyond Val d’Arno with its flocks and vines,
These granite crags are gray monastic shrines
Perched on the cliffs like old dismantled forts;
And far to seaward can be dimly seen
The marble splendor of Venetian courts;
While one can all but hear the mournful rhythmic beat
Of white-lipped waves along the sea-paved street.
O childless mother of dead empires, we,
The latest born of all the western lands,
In fancied kinship stretch our infant hands
Across the intervening seas to thee.
Thine the immortal twilight, ours the dawn,
Yet we shall have our names to canonize,
Our past to haunt us with its solemn eyes,
Our ruins, when this restless age is gone.
LUCIUS HARWOOD FOOTE.
THE SCARF OF IRIS.
Something magical is near me—hidden,
Shaken out in mystic odors, caught unseen in the mid-air.
Life is waking, palpitating; souls of flowers are drawing nigh;
Flitting birds with fluted warble weave between the earth and sky;
And a soft excitement welling from the inmost heart of things
Such a sense of exaltation, such a call to rapture brings,
That my heart—all tremulous with a virgin wonderment—
Waits and yearns and sings in carols of the rain and sunshine blent,
Knowing more will be revealed with the dawning every day—
For the fairy scarf of Iris falls across the common way.
To the left as you rode you saw, far on the horizon, rising to the height of your eye, the mountains of the Channel Islands. Then the deep sapphire of the Pacific, fringed with the soft, unchanging white of the surf and the yellow of the shore. Then the town like a little map, and the lush greens of the wide meadows, the fruit-groves, the lesser ranges—all vivid, fertile, brilliant, and pulsating with vitality.
STEWART EDWARD WHITE,
in The Mountains.