Debris eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 71 pages of information about Debris.
I stumbled and caught in the moth and dust
What hardly a sense of my soul believes—­
A mold-stained package of parchment leaves! 
A hideous bat flapped into my face! 
O’ercome with horror, I fled the place,
And stood again with my curious guide
On the solid floor, at the chancel’s side. 
But, lo! in a moment the age-bowed seer
Was a darkly frowning cavalier,
Gazing no longer in woeful trance,
Vengeance blazed in his every glance. 
Then a mocking laugh rang the Mission o’er,
And I stood alone by the chapel door;
And, save for the mold-stained parchment leaves,
I had thought it the vision that night-mare weaves. 
Hardly a sense of my soul believes,
Yet I held in my hand the parchment leaves. 
Careful I noted them, one by one,
Each was a letter in rhyming run,
Written over and over, in tenderest strain,
By fingers that never will write again. 
I strung them together, a tale to tell,
And named it “The Mystery of Carmel.” 
And these are the letters I found that day,
In the mission ruin, old and gray—­
    The Mission Carmel of Monterey: 


Oh, holy father, list thee to my prayer! 
  I may not kneel to thee as others kneel,
And tell my heart-aches with the suppliant’s air,
  But fiercer burns the fire I must conceal.

My soul is groping in the mists of doubt,
  The sunlight and the shadows all are gone,
Only a cold, gray cloud my life’s about,
  Nor ever vision of a fairer dawn.

A father ne’er my brow in loving smoothed,
  Nor taught my baby tongue to lisp his name;
No mother’s voice my childish sorrows soothed,
  Nor sought my wild, imperious will to tame.

Yet ran my life, like some bright bubbling spring,
  Too full of thoughtless happiness to care
If that the future might more gladness bring,
  Or might its skies be clouded or be fair.

Afar upon the purple hills of Spain—­
  Since waned the moons of half a year ago—­
I sported, reckless as the laughing main,
  Nor dreamed in life a thought of grief to know.

To-day I pine here in a chain whose gall
  Is bitterer than drop of wormwood brought
From that salt sea where nothing lives, and all
  The recompense my willfulness has brought.

Oh, holy father, list thee to my prayer! 
  And though I may not kneel as others kneel,
And tell my heart-aches with a suppliant air,
  I crave they grace a sickened soul to heal.

Here, close beside this sacred font of gold,
  My humble prayer, oh, father, I will lay,
With all its weight of misery untold;
  And wait impatient that which thou wilt say


When to the font, this morn, my lips I pressed,
  A fairy’s gift my fingers trembled o’er;
A sweeter prayer ne’er smile of angel blessed,
  Nor gemmed a tiar that the priesthood wore.

Project Gutenberg
Debris from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook