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THE WORLD WELL LOST (XVI)
WILL you receive me if I come, the last
Of many pilgrims, to your languid arms?
I came not near you in your brilliant past,
But you had then much less resistless charms.
I loved you as one loves the brightest thing,
I scorned you as one scorns pride recognized,—
Now what I hardly hummed before, I sing!
The world may know you now, how dearly prized!
I am so tired of sunlight, of gold years,
Of sun-paled silks, and rose-leaves, and rose-scent,
That, yearning for your pallor, of your tears
Athirst, I would but follow where you went,
And for your winter, O my friend, my strange
And trivial summer willingly exchange.
THE WORLD WELL LOST (XVIl)
AH! dearest, did we love each other more,
Our greatest loss were nothing to our gain,
And safe at sea, we should behold the shore,
Or on the hill look down upon the plain.
What were our loss? The world and what it can.
The old world left behind or far below,
How easy to forget the. rage of man
In our new world where love would have us go.
What were our greatest loss? Old loves, old friends,
The hope of new delights and new desires.
But our love should be love that never ends,
Love always old and new that never tires,
Love that is friendship, friendship that is love,
Love that is utmost, love that is enough.
LOVE, DEATH, AND ART
LORD, give me Love! give me the silent bliss
Of meeting souls, of answering eyes and hands;
The comfort of one heart that understands;
The thrill and rapture of Love's sealing kiss.
Or grant me—lest I weary of all this—
The quiet of Death's unimagined lands,
Wherein the longed-for Tree of Knowledge stands,
Where Thou art, Lord—and the great mysteries.
Nay, let me sing, my God, and I'll forego,
Love's smiling mouth, Death's sweetlier smiling eyes.
Better my life long mourn in glorious woe,
Than love unheard in a mute Paradise—
For no grief, no despair, can quail me long,
While I can make these sweet to me in song.
ADAM AND EVE
WHEN Adam fell asleep in Paradise
He made himself a helpmeet as he dreamed;
And lo! she stood before his waking eyes,
And was the woman that his vision seemed.
She knelt beside him there in tender awe
To And the living fountain of her soul,
And so in either's eyes the other saw
The light they missed in Heaven, and knew the goal
Thrice blessed Adam, husband of thine Eve!
She brought thee for her dowry death and shame;
She taught thee one may worship and deceive;
But yet thy dream and she were still the same;
Nor ever in the desert turned thine eyes
Towards Lilith by the brooks of Paradise.
LIKE a musician that with flying finger
Startles the voice of some new instrument,
And, though he know that in one string are blent
All its extremes of sound, yet still doth linger
Among the lighter threads, fearing to start
The deep soul of that one melodious wire,
Lest it, unanswering, dash his high desire,
And spoil the hopes of his expectant heart;—
Thus, with my mistress oft conversing, I
Stir every lighter theme with careless voice,
Gathering sweet music and celestial joys
From the harmonious soul o'er which I fly;
Yet o'er the one deep master-chord I hover,
And dare not stoop, fearing to tell—I love her.