« PreviousContinue »
Thy curse it was to see and hear
And dearly thou didst rue it.
"Thou sow'st no gold, and shalt not reap!' Muttered Earth, turning in her sleep; "Come home to the eternal deep!" Murmured a voice, and a wide sweep Of wings through thy soul's hush did creep,
As of thy doom o'erflying;
It seemed as thy strong heart would leap
But not with fear of dying;
Men could not fathom thy deep fears,
Of bitter self-denying ;,
So once, when, high above the spheres,
Of brothers who denied it;
Star-crowned, thou dost possess the deeps
Of God, and thy white body sleeps
Patient watch beside it.
Poet! underneath the turf,
Soft thou sleepest, free from morrow; Thou hast struggled through the surf
Of wild thoughts, and want, and sorrow; Now, beneath the moaning pine,
Full of rest thy body lieth, While, far up in pure sunshine, Underneath a sky divine,
Her loosed wings thy spirit trieth; Oft she strove to spread them here, But they were too white and clear For our dingy atmosphere.
Thy body findeth ample room
By the silent river;
But thy spirit found the earth
Which it dreamed of ever;
And of that more grievous crime,
An ideal too sublime
For the low-hung sky of Time.
The calm spot where thy body lies
It is so still and holy;
Thy body sleeps serenely there,
Lily-white so wholly :
Thy spirit parted as it came,
Gentle as a maiden;
Now it hath its full of rest,
Sods are lighter on its breast
Than the great prophetic guest
Wherewith it was laden.
THE SHEPHERD OF KING ADMETUS.
THERE came a youth upon the earth,
Some thousand years ago,
Whose slender hands were nothing worth,
He made a lyre, and drew therefrom
Music so strange and rich,
That all men loved to hear, — and some
But King Admetus, one who had
Pure taste by right divine,
And so, well-pleased with being soothed
Into a sweet half-sleep,
Three times his kingly beard he smoothed, And made him viceroy o'er his sheep.
His words were simple words enough
And yet he used them so,
That what in other mouths was rough
Men called him but a shiftless youth,
In whom no good they saw; And yet, unwittingly, in truth, They made his careless words their law.
They knew not how he learned at all,
He sat and watched the dead leaves fall,
It seemed the loveliness of things