Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

With anxious softly-stepping haste

(To one, it is ten years of years. Our mother went where Margaret lay,

Yet now, and in this place, Fearing the sounds o'erhead - should

Surely she leaned o'er me her hair they

Fell all about my face. Have broken her long watched-for rest!

Nothing: the autumn fall of leaves.

The whole year sets apace.)
She stooped an instant, calm, and turned;
But suddenly turned back again ;

It was the rampart of God's house
And all her features seemed in pain That she was standing on;
With woe, and her eyes gazed and yearned. By God built over the sheer depth

The which is Space begun; For my part, I but hid my face,

So high, that looking downward thence And held my breath, and spoke no

She scarce could see the sun.
word :
There was none spoken; but I heard It lies in Heaven, across the flood
The silence for a little space.

Of ether, as a bridge.

Beneath the tides of day and night Our mother bowed herself and wept:

With flame and darkness ridge And both my arms fell, and I said, The void, as low as where this earth God knows I knew that she was Spins like a fretful midge.

dead.” And there, all white, my sister slept. Around her, lovers, newly met

'Mid deathless love's acclaims, Then kneeling, upon Christmas morn Spoke evermore among themselves A little after twelve o'clock

Their heart-remembered names; We said, ere the first quarter struck, And the souls mounting up to God “Christ's blessing on the newly born!" Went by her like thin flames.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

A Sonnet is a moment's monument,
Memorial from the Soul's eternity
To one dead deathless hour. Look that

it be,
Whether for lustral rite or dire portent,
of its own arduous fulness reverent:

WARMED by her hand and shadowed by

her hair As close she leaned and poured her heart

through thee, Whereof the articulate throbs accom

pany The smooth black stream that makes thy

whiteness fair, Sweet Auttering sheet, even of her breath That when, with sorrowing love and rev


erence meek, He stooped o'er sweet Colonna's dying bed, His Muse and dominant Lady, spirit


Oh let thy silent song disclose to me
That soul wherewith her lips and eyes agree
Like married music in Love's answering air.
Fain had I watched her when, at some

fond thought, Her bosom to the writing closelier press'd, And her breast's secrets peered into her

breast; When, through eyes raised an instant,

her soul sought My soul, and from the sudden confluence

caught The words that made her love the love


To urge

Her hand he kissed, but not her brow or

cheek. O Buonarrotti, - good at Art's fire


her chariot ! — even thus the Soul, Touching at length some sorely-chastened

goal, Earns oftenest but a little: her appeals Were deep and mute, — lowly her claim.

Let be: What holds for her Death's garner?

And for thee?


As when desire, long darkling, dawns,

and first The mother looks upon the new-born

child, Even so my Lady stood at gaze and

smiled When her soul knew at length the Love

it nurs’d. Born with her life, creature of poignant

thirst And exquisite hunger, at her heart Love

lay Quickening in darkness, till a voice that day Cried on him, and the bonds of birth

were burst. Now, shadowed by his wings, our faces

yearn Together, as his fullgrown feet now

range The grove, and his warm hands our

couch prepare : Till to his song our bodiless souls in turn Be born his children, when Death's nup

tial change Leaves us for light the halo of his hair.


SISTER HELEN “Why did you melt your waxen man,

Sister Helen? To-day is the third since you began.” “The time was long, yet the time ran,

Little brother."

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Three days to-day, between Hell and

Heaven!) “But if you have done your work aright,

Sister Helen, You'll let me play, for you said I might.” “Be very still in your play to-night,

Little brother."

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Third night, to-night, between Hell and

Heaven !) “You said it must melt ere vesper-bell,

Sister Helen; If now it be molten, all is well.”

nay, peace! you cannot tell,

Little brother."

(O Mother, Mary Mother, O what is this, between Hell and Heaven?) "Oh the waxen knave was plump to-day,

Sister Helen; How like dead folk he has dropped away!” “Nay now, of the dead what can you say,

Little brother?"

(O Mother, Mary Mother, What of the dead, between Hell and


“Even so,


GREAT Michelangelo, with age grown

bleak And uttermost labors, having once o'er

said All grievous memories on his long life

shed, This worst regret to one true heart could

speak : –

and sore,

“See, see, the sunken pile of wood, “Look, look, do you know them who Sister Helen,

they are, Shines through the thinned wax red as

Little brother?” blood!”

(O Mother, Mary Mother, “Nay now, when looked you yet on blood, Who should they be, between Hell and Little brother?

Heaven?) (O Mother, Mary Mother, How pale she is, between Hell and Heaven!)

"Oh, it's Keith of Eastholm rides so fast,

Sister Helen, “Now close your eyes, for they're sick For I know the white mane on the blast."

“The hour has come, has come at last, Sister Helen,

Little brother!” And I'll play without the gallery door.”

(O Mother, Mary Mother, “Aye, let me rest, I'll lie on the floor, Her hour at last, between Hell and Heaven!)

Little brother.”

(O Mother, Mary Mother, What rest to-night, between Hell and

“He has made a sign and called Halloo !

Sister Helen,
Heaven ?)

And he says that he would speak with

you. “Here high up in the balcony,

“Oh tell him I fear the frozen dew, Sister Helen,

Little brother." The moon flies face to face with me.'

(O Mother, Mary Mother, "Aye, look and say whatever you see,

Why laughs she thus, between Hell and
Little brother.”

(O Mother, Mary Mother,
What sight to-night, between Hell and

“The wind is loud, but I hear him cry,

Sister Helen.

That Keith of Ewern's like to die.” “Outside it's merry in the wind's wake, Sister Helen;

“And he and thou, and thou and I,

Little brother.” In the shaken trees the chill stars shake."

(O Mother, Mary Mother, “Hush, heard you a horse-tread as you spake,

And they and we, between Hell and Heaven!) Little brother?

(O Mother, Mary Mother, “Three days ago, on his marriage-morn, What sound to-night, between Hell and

Sister Helen,

He sickened, and lies since then forlorn."

“For bridegroom's side is the bride a thorn, “I hear a horse-tread, and I see,

Little brother?”
Sister Helen,

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Three horsemen that ride terribly.”

Cold bridal cheer, between Hell and Heaven!) “Little brother, whence come the three, Little brother?”

“Three days and nights he has laid abed, (O Mother, Mary Mother,

Sister Helen, Whence should they come, between Hell

And he prays in torment to be dead.” and Heaven?)

“The thing may chance, if he have

prayed, "They come by the hill-verge from

Little brother!”
Boyne Bar,

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Sister Helen,

If he have prayed, between Hell and And one draws nigh, but two are afar."



« EelmineJätka »