And time from the reel of the rolling spheres
His silver threads with the raven wove;
But never the stain of a mother’s tears
Soiled the shining web of their happy years.
When the wrinkled mask of the years they wore,
And the raven hair of their youth was gray,
Their love grew deeper, and more and more;
For he was a lover for aye and aye,
And ever her beautiful, brave Chaske.
Through the wrinkled mask of the hoary years
To the loving eyes of the lover aye
The blossom of beautiful youth appears.
At last, when their locks were as white as snow,
Beloved and honored by all the band,
They silently slipped from their lodge below,
And walked together, and hand in hand,
O’er the Shining Path to the Spirit-land,
Where the hills and the meadows for aye and aye
Are clad with the verdure and flowers of May,
And the unsown prairies of Paradise
Yield the golden maize and the sweet wild rice.
There, ever ripe in the groves and prairies,
Hang the purple plums and the luscious berries,
And the swarthy herds of the bison feed
On the sun-lit slope and the waving mead;
The dappled fawns from their coverts peep,
And countless flocks on the waters sleep;
And the silent years with their fingers trace
No furrows for aye on the hunter’s face.
The Flower of my heart nursed into bloom by her loving care and ofttimes watered with her tears
Fair morning sat upon the mountain-top,
Night skulking crept into the mountain-chasm.
The silent ships slept in the silent bay;
One broad blue bent of ether domed the heavens,
One broad blue distance lay the shadowy land,
One broad blue vast of silence slept the sea.
Now from the dewy groves the joyful birds
In carol-concert sang their matin songs
Softly and sweetly—full of prayer and praise.
Then silver-chiming, solemn-voiced bells
Rung out their music on the morning air,
And Lisbon gathered to the festival
In chapel and cathedral. Choral hymns
And psalms of sea-toned organs mingling rose
With sweetest incense floating up to heaven,
Bearing the praises of the multitudes;
And all was holy peace and holy happiness.
A rumbling of deep thunders in the deep;
The vast sea shuddered and the mountains groaned;
Up-heaved the solid earth—the nether rocks
Burst—and the sea—the earth—the echoing heavens
Thundered infernal ruin. On their knees
The trembling multitudes received the shock,
And dumb with sudden terror bowed their heads
To toppling spire and plunging wall and dome.