Ballads of Lost Haven eBook

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

    Among the kerseys blue; and I said,
    “Who is it, Babette, with lifted head,

    “And the startled look, possessed and strange,
    Under the paint—­secure from change?”

    “Ah, ’Sieur Jean, do ye not ken
    Of the eerie folk of Bareau Fen?”

    I blenched, and she knew too well I wist
    The fearsome fate of the goblin tryst.

    “The street is a cruel home, ’Sieur Jean,
    But a weird uncanny drives her on.

    “’Tis a bitter tale for Christian folk,
    How once she dreamed, and how she woke.”

    “Ay, ay!” I passed and reached the spring
    Where the poplars kept their whispering,

    Hid for an hour in the shade,
    In the rank marsh grass of a tiny glade.

    There crossed the moor from the town afar,
    In kirtle of white and cinnabar,

    A wanderer on that plain of tears,
    Bowed with a burden not of the years,

    As one that goeth sorrowing
    For many an unforgotten thing.

    To the crystal well as the sun drew low
    There came that harridan of woe.

    She stooped to drink; I heard her cry: 
    “Ah, God, how tired out am I!

    “I called him by the dearest name
    A girl may call; I have my shame.

    “‘Yet death is crueller than life,’
    Once they said, ‘for all the strife.’

    “And so I lived; but the wild will,
    Broken and bitter, drives to ill.

    “And now I know, what no one saith,
    That love is crueller than death.

    “How I did love him!  Is love too high,
    My God, for such lost folk as I?”

    Her tears went down to the grass by the well,
    In that passion of grief, and where they fell

    Windflowers trembled pale and white. 
    A craven I crept away from the sight;

    And turned me home to St. Louis’ Hall,
    Where the sunflowers burn by the eastern wall.

    The vesper frankincense that day
    Rose to the rafters and melted away,

    And was no more than a cloud that stirs
    Among the spires of Norway firs.

    And I said, “The holy solitude
    Of the hoary crypt and the wild green wood

    “Are one to the God I have never known,
    Whose kingdom has neither bourn nor throne.”


    Now I am old, and the years delay;
    But I know, I know, there will come a day,—­

    When April is over the Norland town. 
    And the loosened brooks from the hills go down,

    When tears have quenched the sorrow of time,—­
    Wherein the earth shall rebuild her prime,

    And the houses of dark be overthrown;
    When the goblin maids shall love their own,—­

    Their arms forever unlaced from their hold
    Of the earls of the sea on that alien wold,—­

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