They were grave in a way divining
How childhood was taking wings,
And the wonder world was shining
With vast eternal things.
The solemn twilight fluttered
Like the plumes of seraphim,
And they felt what things were uttered
In the sunset voice of Him.
They lingered long, for dearer
Than home were the mountain places
Where God from the stars dropt nearer
Their pale, dreamy faces.
Their very hearts from beating
They stilled in awed delight.
For Spirit and children were meeting
In the purple, ample night.
Dusk its ash-grey blossoms sheds on violet skies
Over twilight mountains where the heart-songs rise,
Rise and fall and fade again from earth to air:
Earth renews the music sweeter. Oh, come there.
Come, ma cushla, come, as in ancient times
Rings aloud and the underland with faery chimes.
Down the unseen ways as strays each tinkling fleece
Winding ever onward to a fold of peace,
So my dreams go straying in a land more fair;
Half I tread the dew-wet grasses, half wander there.
Fade your glimmering eyes in a world grown cold:
Come, ma cushla, with me to the mountain’s fold,
Where the bright ones call us waving to and fro:
Come, my children, with me to the Ancient go.
—October 15, 1896
A Dawn Song
While the earth is dark and grey
How I laugh within: I know
In my breast what ardours gay
From the morning overflow.
Though the cheek be white and wet
In my heart no fear may fall:
There my chieftain leads, and yet
Ancient battle-trumpets call.
Bend on me no hasty frown
If my spirit slight your cares:
Sunlike still my joy looks down
Changing tears to beamy airs.
Think me not of fickle heart
If with joy my bosom swells
Though your ways from mine depart:
In the true are no farewells.
What I love in you I find
Everywhere. A friend I greet
In each flower and tree and wind—
Oh, but life is sweet, is sweet.
What to you are bolts and bars
Are to me the hands that guide
To the freedom of the stars
Where my golden kinsmen bide.
From my mountain top I view:
Twilight’s purple flower is gone,
And I send my song to you
On the level light of dawn.
—November 15, 1896