—September 15, 1893
In day from some titanic past it seems
As if a thread divine of memory runs;
Born ere the Mighty One began his dreams,
Or yet were stars and suns.
But here an iron will has fixed the bars;
Forgetfulness falls on earth’s myriad races,
No image of the proud and morning stars
Looks at us from their faces.
Yet yearning still to reach to those dim heights,
Each dream remembered is a burning-glass,
Where through to darkness from the light of lights
Its rays in splendour pass.
—September 15, 1893
To A Poet
be not led away.
Lured by the colour of the sun-rich day.
The gay romances of song
Unto the spirit-life doth not belong.
Though far-between the hours
In which the Master of Angelic Powers
Lightens the dusk within
The Holy of Holies; be it thine to win
Rare vistas of white light,
Half-parted lips, through which the Infinite
Murmurs her ancient story;
Hearkening to whom the wandering planets hoary
Waken primeval fires,
With deeper rapture in celestial choirs
Breathe, and with fleeter motion
Wheel in their orbits through the surgeless ocean.
So, hearken thou like these,
Intent on her, mounting by slow degrees,
Until thy song’s elation
Echoes her multitudinous meditation.
—November 15, 1893
The Place of Rest
—The soul is its own witness and its own refuge.
Unto the deep the deep heart goes.
It lays its sadness nigh the breast:
Only the mighty mother knows
The wounds that quiver unconfessed.
It seeks a deeper silence still;
It folds itself around with peace,
Where thoughts alike of good or ill
In quietness unfostered, cease.
It feels in the unwounding vast
For comfort for its hopes and fears:
The mighty mother bows at last;
She listens to her children’s tears.
Where the last anguish deepens—there—
The fire of beauty smites through pain,
A glory moves amid despair,
The Mother takes her child again.
—December 15, 1893
Dark head by the fireside brooding,
Sad upon your ears
Whirlwinds of the earth intruding
Sound in wrath and tears:
Tender-hearted, in your lonely
Sorrow I would fain
Comfort you, and say that only
Gods could feel such pain.
Only spirits know such longing
For the far away;
And the fiery fancies thronging
Rise not out of clay.