the tree cut,
dawn breaks early
at my little window
Her green eyes change to yellow. This
Is open season. In a glass maze
Lovers play a cat and mouse.
Good cat! He coaxes sparks from her fur.
Furrow his forehead.
His tears drop like red pears.
She scratches the tree bole and purrs.
Her tongue rasps the wrong way.
He sorts through his mind like an attic.
Wherever?-A meadow mouse
Peers from her compact.
Take that thought away!
SWIFTLY walk o’er the western wave,
Spirit of Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave,–
Where, all the long and lone daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear
Which make thee terrible and dear,–
Swift be thy flight!
Wrap thy form in a mantle grey,
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day;
Kiss her until she be wearied out.
Then wander o’er city and sea and land,
Touching all with thine opiate wand–
When I arose and saw the dawn,
I sigh’d for thee;
When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree,
And the weary Day turn’d to his rest,
Lingering like an unloved guest,
I sigh’d for thee.
Thy brother Death came, and cried,
‘Wouldst thou me?’
Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed,
Murmur’d like a noontide bee,
‘Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me?’–And I replied,
‘No, not thee!’
Death will come when thou art dead,
Soon, too soon–
Sleep will come when thou art fled.
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, beloved Night–
Swift be thine approaching flight,
Come soon, soon!
Mighty eagle! thou that soarest
O’er the misty mountain forest,
And amid the light of morning
Like a cloud of glory hiest,
And when night descends defiest
The embattled tempests’ warning!
Ah! faint are her limbs, and her footstep is weary,
Yet far must the desolate wanderer roam;
Though the tempest is stern, and the mountain is dreary,
She must quit at deep midnight her pitiless home.
I see her swift foot dash the dew from the whortle,
As she rapidly hastes to the green grove of myrtle;
And I hear, as she wraps round her figure the kirtle,
‘Stay thy boat on the lake,–dearest Henry, I come.’
High swelled in her bosom the throb of affection,
As lightly her form bounded over the lea,
And arose in her mind every dear recollection;
‘I come, dearest Henry, and wait but for thee.’
How sad, when dear hope every sorrow is soothing,
When sympathy’s swell the soft bosom is moving,
And the mind the mild joys of affection is proving,
Is the stern voice of fate that bids happiness flee!
Oh! dark lowered the clouds on that horrible eve,
And the moon dimly gleamed through the tempested air;
Oh! how could fond visions such softness deceive?
Oh! how could false hope rend, a bosom so fair?
Thy love’s pallid corse the wild surges are laving,
O’er his form the fierce swell of the tempest is raving;
But, fear not, parting spirit; thy goodness is saving,
In eternity’s bowers, a seat for thee there.
We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly!–yet soon
Night closes round, and they are lost forever:
Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings
One mood or modulation like the last.
We rest.–A dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise.–One wandering thought pollutes the day;
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:
It is the same!–For, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free:
Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability.
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