Ballads eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 53 pages of information about Ballads.
And still and again as he ran, the valley rang with his cries. 
All day long in the land, by cliff and thicket and den,
He ran his lunatic rounds, and howled for the flesh of men;
All day long he ate not, nor ever drank of the brook;
And all day long in their houses the people listened and shook —
All day long in their houses they listened with bated breath,
And never a soul went forth, for the sight of the priest was death.

Three were the days of his running, as the gods appointed of yore,
Two the nights of his sleeping alone in the place of gore: 
The drunken slumber of frenzy twice he drank to the lees,
On the sacred stones of the High-place under the sacred trees;
With a lamp at his ashen head he lay in the place of the feast,
And the sacred leaves of the banyan rustled around the priest. 
Last, when the stated even fell upon terrace and tree,
And the shade of the lofty island lay leagues away to sea,
And all the valleys of verdure were heavy with manna and musk,
The wreck of the red-eyed priest came gasping home in the dusk. 
He reeled across the village, he staggered along the shore,
And between the leering tikis crept groping through his door.

There went a stir through the lodges, the voice of speech awoke;
Once more from the builded platforms arose the evening smoke. 
And those who were mighty in war, and those renowned for an art
Sat in their stated seats and talked of the morrow apart.

II.  THE LOVERS

Hark! away in the woods—­for the ears of love are sharp —
Stealthily, quietly touched, the note of the one-stringed harp. {2d}
In the lighted house of her father, why should Taheia start? 
Taheia heavy of hair, Taheia tender of heart,
Taheia the well-descended, a bountiful dealer in love,
Nimble of foot like the deer, and kind of eye like the dove? 
Sly and shy as a cat, with never a change of face,
Taheia slips to the door, like one that would breathe a space;
Saunters and pauses, and looks at the stars, and lists to the seas;
Then sudden and swift as a cat, she plunges under the trees. 
Swift as a cat she runs, with her garment gathered high,
Leaping, nimble of foot, running, certain of eye;
And ever to guide her way over the smooth and the sharp,
Ever nearer and nearer the note of the one-stringed harp;
Till at length, in a glade of the wood, with a naked mountain above,
The sound of the harp thrown down, and she in the arms of her love. 
“Rua,”—­“Taheia,” they cry—­“my heart, my soul, and my eyes,”
And clasp and sunder and kiss, with lovely laughter and sighs,
“Rua!”—­“Taheia, my love,”—­“Rua, star of my night,
Clasp me, hold me, and love me, single spring of delight.”

And Rua folded her close, he folded her near and long,
The living knit to the living, and sang the lover’s song: 

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Ballads from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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