Then all night long through
heaven, with stately to and fro,
To music of no measure, the gorgeous dancers go.
The stars are great and splendid,
beryl and gold and blue,
And there are dreams for Malyn that never will come true.
Yet for one golden Yule-tide
their royal guest is she,
Among the wintry mountains beside the Northern sea.
A SAILOR’S WEDDING
There is a Norland laddie
who sails the round sea-rim,
And Malyn of the mountains is all the world to him.
The Master of the Snowflake, bound upward from the line,
He smothers her with canvas along the crumbling brine.
He crowds her till she buries and shudders from his hand,
For in the angry sunset the watch has sighted land;
And he will brook no gainsay who goes to meet his bride.
But their will is the wind’s will who traffic on the tide.
Make home, my bonny schooner! The sun goes down to light
The gusty crimson wind-halls against the wedding night.
She gathers up the distance,
and grows and veers and swings,
Like any homing swallow with nightfall in her wings.
The wind’s white sources glimmer with shining gusts of rain;
And in the Ardise country the spring comes back again.
It is the brooding April, haunted and sad and dear,
When vanished things return not with the returning year.
Only, when evening purples the light in Malyn’s dale,
With sound of brooks and robins, by many a hidden trail,
With stir of lulling rivers along the forest floor,
The dream-folk of the gloaming come back to Malyn’s door.
The dusk is long and gracious, and far up in the sky
You hear the chimney-swallows twitter and scurry by.
The hyacinths are lonesome and white in Malyn’s room;
And out at sea the Snowflake is driving through the gloom.
The whitecaps froth and freshen; in squadrons of white surge
They thunder on to ruin, and smoke along the verge.
The lift is black above them, the sea is mirk below,
And down the world’s wide border they perish as they go.
They comb and seethe and founder, they mount and glimmer and flee,
Amid the awful sobbing and quailing of the sea.
They sheet the flying schooner in foam from stem to stern,
Till every yard of canvas is drenched from clew to ear’n’.
And where they move uneasy, chill is the light and pale;
They are the Skipper’s daughters, who dance before the gale.
They revel with the Snowflake, and down the close of day
Among the boisterous dancers she holds her dancing way;
And then the dark has kindled the harbor light alee,
With stars and wind and sea-room upon the gurly sea.
The storm gets up to windward