The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 25

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"Is there never a peace for the sinner Whose sin is in this, that he mars The light of his worship of Beauty, Forgetting the flower for the stars?"

"Behold him, my Sister immortal, And doubt that he knoweth his shame, Who raves in the shadow for sweetness, And gloats on the ghost of a flame!

"His sin is his sin, if he suffers, Who wilfully straitened the truth; And his doom is his doom, if he follows A lie without sorrow or ruth."

And another from uttermost verges Ran out with a terrible voice-- "Let him go--it is well that he goeth, Though he break with the lot of his choice!"

"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."

"My Queen," said the first of the Voices, "He hunteth a perilous wraith, Arrayed with voluptuous fancies And ringed with tyrannical faith.

"Wound up in the heart of his error He must sweep through the silences dire, Like one in the dark of a desert Allured by fallacious fire."

And she faltered, and asked, like a doubter, "When he hangs on those s.p.a.ces sublime With the Terror that knoweth no limit, And holdeth no record of Time--

"Forgotten of G.o.d and the demons-- Will he keep to his fancy amain?

Can he live for that horrible chaos Of flame and perpetual rain?"

But an answer as soft as a prayer Fell down from a high, hidden land, And the words were the words of a language Which none but the G.o.ds understand.

Daniel Henry Deniehy

Take the harp, but very softly for our brother touch the strings: Wind and wood shall help to wail him, waves and mournful mountain-springs.

Take the harp, but very softly, for the friend who grew so old Through the hours we would not hear of--nights we would not fain behold!

Other voices, sweeter voices, shall lament him year by year, Though the morning finds us lonely, though we sit and marvel here: Marvel much while Summer cometh, trammelled with November wheat, Gold about her forehead gleaming, green and gold about her feet; Yea, and while the land is dark with plover, gull, and gloomy glede, Where the cold, swift songs of Winter fill the interlucent reed.

Yet, my harp--and oh, my fathers! never look for Sorrow's lay, Making life a mighty darkness in the patient noon of day; Since he resteth whom we loved so, out beyond these fleeting seas, Blowing clouds and restless regions paved with old perplexities, In a land where thunder breaks not, in a place unknown of snow, Where the rain is mute for ever, where the wild winds never go: Home of far-forgotten phantoms--genii of our peaceful prime, Shining by perpetual waters past the ways of Change and Time: Haven of the harried spirit, where it folds its wearied wings, Turns its face and sleeps a sleep with deep forgetfulness of things.

His should be a grave by mountains, in a cool and thick-mossed lea, With the lone creek falling past it--falling ever to the sea.

His should be a grave by waters, by a bright and broad lagoon, Making steadfast splendours hallowed of the quiet, shining moon.

There the elves of many forests--wandering winds and flying lights-- Born of green, of happy mornings, dear to yellow summer nights, Full of dole for him that loved them, then might halt and then might go, Finding fathers of the people to their children speaking low-- Speaking low of one who, failing, suffered all the poet's pain, Dying with the dead leaves round him--hopes which never grow again.


Far in the ways of the hyaline wastes--in the face of the splendid Six of the sisters--the star-dowered sisters ineffably bright, Merope sitteth, the shadow-like wife of a monarch unfriended Of Ades--of Orcus, the fierce, the implacable G.o.d of the night.

Merope--fugitive Merope! lost to thyself and thy lover, Cast, like a dream, out of thought, with the moons which have pa.s.sed into sleep, What shall avail thee? Alcyone's tears, or the sight to discover Of Sisyphus pallid for thee by the blue, bitter lights of the deep-- Pallid, but patient for sorrow? Oh, thou of the fire and the water, Half with the flame of the sunset, and kin to the streams of the sea, Hast thou the songs of old times for desire of thy dark-featured daughter, Sweet with the lips of thy yearning, O Aethra! with tokens of thee-- Songs that would lull her, like kisses forgotten of silence where speech was Less than the silence that bound it as pa.s.sion is bound by a ban; Seeing we know of thee, Mother, we turning and hearing how each was Wrapt in the other ere Merope faltered and fell for a man?

Mortal she clave to, forgetting her birthright, forgetting the lordlike Sons of the many-winged Father, and chiefs of the plume and the star, Therefore, because that her sin was the grief of the grand and the G.o.dlike, Sitteth thy child than a morning-moon bleaker, the faded, and far.

Ringed with the flower-like Six of the Seven, arrayed and anointed Ever with beautiful pity, she watches, she weeps, and she wanes, Blind as a flame on the hills of the Winter in hours appointed For the life of the foam and the thunder-- the strength of the imminent rains.

Who hath a portion, Alcyone, like her? Asterope, fairer Than sunset on snow, and beloved of all brightness, say what is there left Sadder and paler than Pleione's daughter, disconsolate bearer Of trouble that smites like a sword of the G.o.ds to the break of the heft?

Demeter, and Dryope, known to the forests, the falls, and the fountains, Yearly, because of their walking and wailing and wringing of hands, _Are_ they as one with this woman?--of Hyrie, wild in the mountains, Breaking her heart in the frosts and the fires of the uttermost lands?

_These_ have their bitterness. This, for Persephone, that for Oechalian Homes, and the lights of a kindness blown out with the stress of her shame: One for her child, and one for her sin; but thou above all art an alien, Girt with the halos that vex thee, and wrapt in a grief beyond name.

Yet sayeth Sisyphus--Sisyphus, stricken and chained of the minioned Kings of great darkness, and trodden in dust by the feet of the Fates-- "Sweet are the ways of thy watching, and pallid and perished and pinioned, Moon amongst maidens, I leap for thy love like a G.o.d at the gates-- Leap for the dreams of a rose of the heavens, and beat at the portals Paved with the pain of unsatisfied pleadings for thee and for thine!

But Zeus is immutable Master, and these are the walls the immortals Build for our sighing, and who may set lips at the lords and repine?

Therefore," he saith, "I am sick for thee, Merope, faint for the tender Touch of thy mouth, and the eyes like the lights of an altar to me; But, lo, thou art far; and thy face is a still and a sorrowful splendour!

And the storm is abroad with the rain on the perilous straits of the sea."

After the Hunt

Underneath the windy mountain walls Forth we rode, an eager band, By the surges and the verges and the gorges, Till the night was on the land-- On the hazy, mazy land!

Far away the bounding prey Leapt across the ruts and logs, But we galloped, galloped, galloped on, Till we heard the yapping of the dogs-- The yapping and the yelping of the dogs.

Oh, it was a madly merry day We shall not so soon forget, And the edges and the ledges and the ridges Haunt us with their echoes yet-- Echoes, echoes, echoes yet!

While the moon is on the hill Gleaming through the streaming fogs, Don't you hear the yapping of the dogs-- The yapping and the yelping of the dogs?

Rose Lorraine

Sweet water-moons, blown into lights Of flying gold on pool and creek, And many sounds and many sights Of younger days are back this week.

I cannot say I sought to face Or greatly cared to cross again The subtle spirit of the place Whose life is mixed with Rose Lorraine.

What though her voice rings clearly through A nightly dream I gladly keep, No wish have I to start anew Heart fountains that have ceased to leap.

Here, face to face with different days, And later things that plead for love, It would be worse than wrong to raise A phantom far too fain to move.

But, Rose Lorraine--ah! Rose Lorraine, I'll whisper now, where no one hears-- If you should chance to meet again The man you kissed in soft, dead years, Just say for once "He suffered much,"

And add to this "His fate was worst Because of me, my voice, my touch."

There is no pa.s.sion like the first!

If I that breathe your slow sweet name, As one breathes low notes on a flute, Have vext your peace with word of blame, The phrase is dead--the lips are mute.

Yet when I turn towards the wall, In stormy nights, in times of rain, I often wish you could recall Your tender speeches, Rose Lorraine.

Because, you see, I thought them true, And did not count you self-deceived, And gave myself in all to you, And looked on Love as Life achieved.

Then came the bitter, sudden change, The fastened lips, the dumb despair.

The first few weeks were very strange, And long, and sad, and hard to bear.

No woman lives with power to burst My pa.s.sion's bonds, and set me free; For Rose is last where Rose was first, And only Rose is fair to me.

The faintest memory of her face, The wilful face that hurt me so, Is followed by a fiery trace That Rose Lorraine must never know.

I keep a faded ribbon string You used to wear about your throat; And of this pale, this perished thing, I think I know the threads by rote.

G.o.d help such love! To touch your hand, To loiter where your feet might fall, You marvellous girl, my soul would stand The worst of h.e.l.l--its fires and all!

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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 25 summary

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