There is my spirit’s home and my soul’s
The rest are only inns on the traveller’s road.
I see your red-gold hair and know
How white the hidden skin must be,
Though sun-kissed face and fingers show
The fervour of the noon-day glow,
The keenness of the sea.
My longing fancies ebb and flow,
Still circling constant unto this;
My great desire (ah, whisper low)
To plant on thy forbidden snow
The rosebud of a kiss.
The scarlet flower would spread and grow,
Your whiteness change and flush,
Be still, my reckless heart, beat slow,
’T is but a dream that stirs thee so!)
To one transparent blush.
Was it worth while to forego our wings
To gain these dextrous hands ?
Truly they fashion us wonderful things
As the fancy of man demands.
But—to fly! to sail through the lucid air
From crest to violet crest
Of these great grey mountains, quartz-veined and bare,
Where the white clouds gather and rest.
Even to flutter from flower to flower,—
To skim the tops of the trees,—
In the roseate light of a sun-setting hour
To drift on a sea-going breeze.
Ay, the hands have marvellous skill
To create us curious things,—
Baubles, playthings, weapons to kill,—
But—I would we had chosen wings!
Heart, my heart, thou hast found thy home!
From gloom and sorrow thou hast come forth,
Thou who wast foolish, and sought to roam
’Neath the cruel stars of the frozen North.
Thou hast returned to thy dear delights;
The golden glow of the quivering days,
The silver silence of tropical nights,
No more to wander in alien ways.
Here, each star is a well-loved
To me and my heart at the journey’s end.
These are my people, and this my land,
I hear the pulse of her secret soul.
This is the life that I understand,
Savage and simple and sane and whole.
Washed in the light of
a clear fierce sun,—
Heart, my heart, the journey is done.
See! the painted piece of the skies,
Where the rose-hued opal of sunset lies.
Hear the passionate Koel calling
From coral trees, where the dusk is falling.
See my people, slight limbed and tall.
The maiden’s bosom they scorn to cover:
The breasts that shall call and enthral her lover,
Things of beauty, are free to all.
Free to the eyes, that think no shame
That a girl should bloom like a forest flower.
Who hold that Love is a sacred flame,—
Outward beauty a God-like dower.