Page images
[blocks in formation]


Thou merely, at the day's last sigh,

Hast felt thy soul prolong the tone; And I have heard the night-wind cry

And deemed its speech mine own.

A little while a little love

The scattering autumn hoards for us

Whose bower is not yet ruinous Nor quite unleaved our songless grove. Only across the shaken boughs

We hear the flood-tides seek the sea, Anu deep in both our hearts they rouse

One wail for thee and me.

A SONNET is a moment's monument,

Memorial from the Soul's eternity

To one dead deathless hour. Look that it be, Whether for lustral rite or dire portent, Of its own arduous fullness reverent:

Carve it in ivory or in ebony,

As Day or Night may rule; and let Time see Its flowering crest impearled and orient.

A sonnet is a coin: its face reveals

The soul,-its converse, to what Power 'tis due:Whether for tribute to the august appeals

Of Life, or dower in Love's high retinue, It serve; or, 'mid the dark wharf's cavernous

breath, In Charon's palm it pay the toll to Death.

A little while a little love

May yet be ours who have not said

The word it makes our eyes afraid To know that each is thinking of. Not yet the end: be our lips dumb

In smiles a little season yet: I'll tell thee, when the end is come,

How we may best forget.


[ocr errors]


So it is, my dear.
All such things touch secret strings

For heavy hearts to hear.
So it is, my dear.

Get thee behind me. Even as, heavy-curled,

Stooping against the wind, a charioteer

Is snatched from out his chariot by the hair, So shall Time be; and as the void car, hurled Abroad by reinless steeds, even so the world:

Yea, even as chariot-dust upon the air,

It shall be sought and not found anywhere.
Get thee behind me, Satan. Oft unfurled,
Thy perilous wings can beat and break like lath

Much mightiness of men to win thee praise.

Leave these weak feet to tread in narrow ways. Thou still, upon the broad vine-sheltered path, Mayst wait the turning of the phials of wrath

For certain years, for certain months and days.

Very like indeed:
Sea and sky, afar, on high,

Sand and strewn seaweed, -
Very like indeed.


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Consider the sea's listless chime:

Time's self it is, made audible, -

The murmur of the earth's own shell. Secret continuance sublime

Is the sea's end: our sight may pass

No furlong further. Since time was, This sound hath told the lapse of time.

- The Sea-Limits.


High grace, the dower of queens; and therewithal

Some wood-born wonder's sweet simplicity;

A glance like water brimming with the sky Or hyacinth-light where forest-shadows fall; Such thrilling pallor of cheeks doth enthral

The heart; a mouth whose passionate forms imply

All music and all silence held thereby; Deep golden locks, her sovereign coronal; A round reared neck, meet column of Love's shrine

To cling to when the heart takes sanctuary;

Hands which for ever at Love's bidding be, And soft-stirred feet still answering to his sign:

These are her gifts, as tongue may tell them o'er. Breathe low her name, my soul; for that means

Being a daughter borne to God,
Mother of Christ from stall to rood,
And wife unto the Holy Ghost:-
Oh when our need is uttermost,
Think that to such as death may strike
Thou once wert sister sisterlike!
Thou headstone of humanity,
Groundstone of the great Mystery,
Fashioned like us, yet more than we!



[graphic][merged small][merged small][graphic]
« PreviousContinue »