At the foot of the Stairs.
Maidenlike, love’s question waiving,
Nought she said,
While I stood my answer craving,
Coldly she with hand extended,
Said, “Good night,”
And ere well the words were ended,
Took to flight
Past me, deep obeisance making.
Well she knew
She with her my heart was taking
Torn in two.
At the stairway’s foot half dreaming
Still I stayed;
From my heart my love poured streaming
Towards the maid.
For one blissful moment standing
Paused she there;
Fell the lamplight from the landing
On her hair,
And her eyes, like starlight sparkling,
Clear were seen,
But, alas! the staircase darkling
Down the staircase through the gloaming,
Smiled she then,
As though heaven itself were coming
Down to men!
Raised her hand and from her tresses
Plucked a rose
Which amid her locks’ caresses,
Breathed upon it love’s own dower,
And for answer dropped the flower
At my feet.
John Davies was born at Cardigan in 1834, and died April 24, 1892. He was, I believe, a carpenter by trade. He published one little volume, “Caniadau Ossian Gwent” (Hughes & Son, Wrexham), but he left a large mass of unpublished matter. No one of our poets is simpler or purer, or writes so lovingly of birds and flowers.
With fluttering wing and dewy breast,
Soars upward like a spirit strong,
From reedy nest,
The gentle lark,
To tune on high his matin song.
A nameless charm flows from thy lay,
Whose music heard
Drives care and sorrow far away.
The sleeping world lies still as death;
Above, we hear thee singing clear,
’Mid’st morning rays,
Which speaks of peace to mortal ear.
And blithesome is thy joyous flight!
In floods of sunshine sparkling bright,
From skies serene
Thy song unseen
Angelic music seems to me.
Like stars beside the sun,
So by this book
Earth’s volumes look:
Their glory fades before its light,
For on its leaves the splendour bright
Of God’s own face hath shone.
’Tis like some fair seashell—
Bend down thine ear
And thou shalt hear
The river on the golden strand
And sound of harps in that fair land—
Or wail of souls in hell!
Oh fair the glade where dewy primrose bloweth,
And fair the quiet slope of hillside clear,
Which, girdled with the sheen
Of glorious summer green,
Its smiling face like some tall seraph showeth,
And in its sunlit lap the modest mere.