Ballads of Lost Haven eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 55 pages of information about Ballads of Lost Haven.

    And the sea rose, rocked and tilted
    Like a beaker in the hand,
    Till the moon-hung tide broke tether
    And stampeded in for land.

    All day long with doom portentous,
    Shreds of pennons shrieked and flew
    Over Ys; and black fear shuddered
    On the hearthstone all night through.

    Fear, which freezes up the marrow
    Of the heart, from door to door
    Like a plague went through the city,
    And filled up the devil’s score;

    Filled her tally of the craven,
    To the sea-wind’s dismal note;
    While a panic superstition
    Took the people by the throat.

    As with morning still the sea rose
    With vast wreckage on the tide,
    And their pasture rills, grown rivers,
    Thundered in the mountain side,

    “Vengeance, vengeance, gods to vengeance!”
    Rose a storm of muttering;
    And the human flood came pouring
    To the palace of the king.

    “Save, O king, before we perish
    In the whirlpools of the sea,
    Ys thy city, us thy people!”
    Growled the king then, “What would ye?”

    But his wolf’s eyes talked defiance,
    And his bearded mouth meant scorn. 
    “O our king, the gods are angry;
    And no longer to be borne

    “Is the shameless face that greets us
    From thy windows, at thy side,
    Smiling infamy.  And therefore
    Thou shall take her up, and ride

    “Down with her into the sea’s mouth,
    And there leave her; else we die,
    And thy name goes down to story
    A new word for cruelty.”

    Ah, but she was fair, this woman! 
    Warm and flaxen waved her hair;
    Her blue Breton eyes made summer
    In that bleak December air.

    There she stood whose burning beauty
    Made the world’s high roof tree ring,
    A white poppy tall and wind-blown
    In the garden of the king.

    Her throat shook, but not with terror;
    Her eyes swam, but not with fear;
    While her two hands caught and clung to
    The one man they had found dear.

    “Lord and lover,”—­thus she smiled him
    Her last word,—­“it shall be so,
    Only the sea’s arms shall hold me,
    When from out thine arms I go.”

    Swore he, “By the gods, my mistress,
    Thou shall have queen’s burial. 
    Pearls and amber shall thy tomb be;
    Shot with gold and green thy pall.

    “And a million-throated chorus
    Shall take up thy dirge to-night;
    Where thy slumber’s starry watch-fires
    Shall a thousand years be bright.”

    Then they brought the coal-black stallion,
    Chafing on the bit.  Astride
    Sprang the young king; shouted, “Way there!”
    Caught the girl up to his side;

    And a path through that scared rabble
    Rode in pageant to the sea. 
    And the coal-black mane was mingled
    With gold hair against his knee.

Project Gutenberg
Ballads of Lost Haven from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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