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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 24

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Euterpe

Child of Light, the bright, the bird-like! wilt thou float and float to me, Facing winds and sleets and waters, flying glimpses of the sea?

Down amongst the hills of tempest, where the elves of tumult roam-- Blown wet shadows of the summits, dim sonorous sprites of foam?

Here and here my days are wasted, shorn of leaf and stript of fruit: Vexed because of speech half spoken, maiden with the marvellous lute!

Vexed because of songs half-shapen, smit with fire and mixed with pain: Part of thee, and part of Sorrow, like a sunset pale with rain.



Child of Light, the bright, the bird-like! wilt thou float and float to me Facing winds and sleets and waters, flying glimpses of the sea?

All night long, in fluent pauses, falling far, but full, but fine, Faultless friend of flowers and fountains, do I hear that voice of thine-- All night long, amidst the burden of the lordly storm, that sings High above the tumbled forelands, fleet and fierce with thunderings!

Then and then, my love, Euterpe, lips of life replete with dreams Murmur for thy sweet, sharp fragments dying down Lethean streams: Murmur for thy mouth's marred music, splendid hints that burn and break, Heavy with excess of beauty: murmur for thy music's sake.

All night long, in fluent pauses, falling far, but full, but fine, Faultless friend of flowers and fountains, do I hear that voice of thine.

In the yellow flame of evening sound of thee doth come and go Through the noises of the river, and the drifting of the snow: In the yellow flame of evening--at the setting of the day-- Sound that lightens, falls and lightens, flickers, faints and fades away.

I am famished of thy silence--broken for the tender note Caught with its surpa.s.sing pa.s.sion--caught and strangled in thy throat!

We have nought to help thy trouble--nought for that which lieth mute On the harpstring and the lutestring and the spirit of the lute.

In the yellow flame of evening sound of thee doth come and go Through the noises of the river, and the drifting of the snow.

Daughter of the dead red summers! Men that laugh and men that weep Call thee Music--shall I follow, choose their name, and turn and sleep?

What thou art, behold, I know not; but thy honey slakes and slays Half the want which whitens manhood in the stress of alien days!

Even as a wondrous woman, struck with love and great desire, Hast thou been to me, Euterpe! half of tears and half of fire.

But thy joy is swift and fitful; and a subtle sense of pain Sighs through thy melodious breathing, takes the rapture from thy strain, Daughter of the dead red summers! Men that laugh and men that weep Call thee Music--shall I follow, choose their name, and turn and sleep?

Ellen Ray

A quiet song for Ellen-- The patient Ellen Ray, A dreamer in the nightfall, A watcher in the day.

The wedded of the sailor Who keeps so far away: A shadow on his forehead For patient Ellen Ray.

When autumn winds were driving Across the chafing bay, He said the words of anger That wasted Ellen Ray: He said the words of anger And went his bitter way: Her dower was the darkness-- The patient Ellen Ray.

Your comfort is a phantom, My patient Ellen Ray; You house it in the night-time, It fronts you in the day; And when the moon is very low And when the lights are grey, You sit and hug a sorry hope, My patient Ellen Ray!

You sit and hug a sorry hope-- Yet who will dare to say, The sweetness of October Is not for Ellen Ray?

The bearer of a burden Must rest at fall of day; And you have borne a heavy one, My patient Ellen Ray.

At Dusk

At dusk, like flowers that shun the day, Shy thoughts from dim recesses break, And plead for words I dare not say For your sweet sake.

My early love! my first, my last!

Mistakes have been that both must rue; But all the pa.s.sion of the past Survives for you.

The tender message Hope might send Sinks fainting at the lips of speech, For, are you lover--are you friend, That I would reach?

How much to-night I'd give to win A banished peace--an old repose; But here I sit, and sigh, and sin When no one knows.

The stern, the steadfast reticence, Which made the dearest phrases halt, And checked a first and finest sense, Was not my fault.

I held my words because there grew About my life persistent pride; And you were loved, who never knew What love could hide!

This purpose filled my soul like flame: To win you wealth and take the place Where care is not, nor any shame To vex your face.

I said "Till then my heart must keep Its secrets safe and unconfest;"

And days and nights unknown to sleep The vow attest.

Yet, oh! my sweet, it seems so long Since you were near; and fates r.e.t.a.r.d The sequel of a struggle strong, And life is hard--

Too hard, when one is left alone To wrestle pa.s.sion, never free To turn and say to you, "My own, Come home to me!"

Safi

Strong pinions bore Safi, the dreamer, Through the dazzle and whirl of a race, And the earth, raying up in confusion, Like a sea thundered under his face!

And the earth, raying up in confusion, Pa.s.sed flying and flying afar, Till it dropped like a moon into silence, And waned from a moon to a star.

Was it light, was it shadow he followed, That he swept through those desperate tracts, With his hair beating back on his shoulders Like the tops of the wind-hackled flax?

"I come," murmured Safi, the dreamer, "I come, but thou fliest before: But thy way hath the breath of the honey, And the scent of the myrrh evermore!"

His eyes were the eyes of a watcher Held on by luxurious faith, And his lips were the lips of a longer Amazed with the beauty of Death.

"For ever and ever," he murmured, "My love, for the sweetness with thee, Do I follow thy footsteps," said Safi, "Like the wind on a measureless sea."

And, fronting the furthermost s.p.a.ces, He kept through the distances dim, Till the days, and the years, and the cycles Were lost and forgotten by him.

When he came to the silver star-portals, The Queen of that wonderful place Looked forth from her towers resplendent, And started, and dreamed in his face.

And one said, "This is Safi the Only, Who lived in a planet below, And housed him apart from his fellows, A million of ages ago.

"He erred, if he suffers, to clutch at High lights from the wood and the street; Not caring to see how his brothers Were content with the things at their feet."

But she whispered, "Ah, turn to the stranger!

He looks like a lord of the land; For his eyes are the eyes of an angel, And the thought on his forehead is grand!

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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 24 summary

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