Page images
PDF
EPUB

VII,

[ocr errors]

.

See-for a couch to their ambrosial limbs

Even as their golden load of splendour presses
The fragrant thyme, a billowing cloud up-swims

Of springing flowers beneath their deep caresses,
Hyacinth, lotus, crocus, wildernesses
Of bloom .. but clouds of sunlight and of dew

Dropping rich balm, round the dark pine-woods curled
That the warm wonder of their in-woven tresses,
And all the secret blisses that they knew,

Where beauty kisses truth

In heaven's deep heart of youth,
Might still be hidden, as thou art, from the heartless world.

VIII.

Even as we found thy book, below these rocks

Perchance that strange great eagle's feather lay, When Ganymede, from feeding of his flocks

On Ida, vanished thro' the morning gray:
Stranger it seemed, if thou couldst cast away
Those golden musics as a thing of nought,

A dream for which no longer thou hadst need !
Ah, was it here then that the break of day
Brought thee the substance for the shadow, taught

Thy soul a swifter road

To ease it of its load
And watch this world of shadows as a dream recede ?

[ocr errors]

IX.

We slept! Darkling we slept! Our busy schemes,

Our cold mechanic world a-while was still ;
But O, their eyes are blinded even in dreams

Who from the heavenlier Powers with-draw their will:
Here did the dawn with purer light fulfil
Thy happier eyes than ours, here didst thou see

The quivering wonder-light in flower and dew,
The quickening glory of the haunted hill,
The Hamadryad beckoning from the tree,

The Naiad from the stream;

While from her long dark dream
Earth woke, trembling with life, light, beauty, through and

through.

1

X.

And the everlasting miracle of things

Flowed round thee, and this dark earth opposed no bar, And radiant faces from the flowers and springs

Dawned on thee, whispering, Knowest thou whence we are?
Faintly thou heardst us calling thee afar
As Hylas heard, swooning beneath the wave,

Girdled with glowing arms, while wood and glen
Echoed his name beneath that rosy star;
And thy farewell came faint as from the grave

For very bliss; but we

Could neither hear nor see;
And all the hill with Hylas! Hylas! rang again.

XI.

But there were deeper love-tales for thine ears

Than mellow-tongued Theocritus could tell : Over him like a sea two thousand years

Had swept. They solemnized his music well! Farewell! What word could answer but farewell, From thee, O happy spirit, that couldst steal

So quietly from this world at break of day? What voice of ours could break the silent spell Beauty had cast upon thee, or reveal

The gates of sun and dew

Which oped and let thee through
And led thee heavenward by that deep enchanted way?

XII.

Yet here thou mad'st thy choice: Love, Wisdom, Power,

As once before young Paris, they stood here !
Beneath them Ida, like one full-blown flower,

Shed her bloom earthward thro' the radiant air
Leaving her rounded fruit, their beauty, bare
To the everlasting dawn; and, in thy palm

The golden apple of the Hesperian isle
Which thou must only yield to the Most Fair;
But not to Juno’s great luxurious calm,

Nor Dian's curved white moon,

Gav'st thou the sunset's boon,
Nor to foam-bosomed Aphrodite's rose-lipped smile.

XII.

Here didst thou make the eternal choice a-right,

Here, in this hallowed haunt of nymph and faun,
They stood before thee in that great new light,

The three great splendours of the immortal dawn,
With all the cloudy veils of Time with-drawn
Or only glistening round the firm white snows

Of their pure beauty like the golden dew
Brushed from the feathery ferns below the lawn;
But not to cold Diana's morning rose,

Nor to great Juno's frown

Cast thou the apple down,
And, when the Paphian raised her lustrous eyes anew,

XIV.

Thou from thy soul didst whisper—in that heaven

Which yearns beyond us! Lead me up the height ! How should the golden fruit to one be given

Till your three splendours in that Sun unite Where each in each ye move like light in light? How should I judge the rapture till I know

The pain? And like three waves of music there They closed thee round, blinding thy blissful sight With beauty and, like one roseate orb a-glow,

They bore thee on their breasts

Up the sun-smitten crests
And melted with thee smiling into the Most Fair.

XV.

Upward and onward, ever as ye went

The cities of the world nestled beneath Closer, as if in love, round Ida, blent

With alien hills in one great bridal-wreath Of dawn-flushed clouds; while, breathing with your breath, New heavens mixed with your mounting bliss. Deep eyes,

Beautiful eyes, imbrued with the world's tears Dawned on you, beautiful gleams of Love and Death Flowed thro' your questioning with divine replies

From that ineffable height

Dark with excess of light
Where the Ever-living dies and the All-loving hears.

XVI.

For thou hadst seen what tears upon man's face

Bled from the heart or burned from out the brain, And not denied or cursed, but couldst embrace

Infinite sweetness in the heart of pain,
And heardst those universal choirs again
Wherein like waves of one harmonious sea

All our slight dreams of heaven are singing still,
And still the throned Olympians swell the strain,
And, hark, the burden of all-Come unto Me!

Sky into deepening sky

Melts with that one great cry;
And the lost doves of Ida moan on Siloa's hill.

XVII.

I gather all the ages in my song

And send them singing up the heights to thee!
Chord by æonian chord the stars prolong

Their passionate echoes to Eternity:
Earth wakes, and one orchestral symphony
Sweeps o'er the quivering harp-strings of man-kind;

Grief modulates into heaven, hate drowns in love,
No strife now but of love in that great sea
Of song! I dream! I dream! Mine eyes grow blind :

Chords that I not command

Escape the fainting hand; Tears fall. Thou canst not hear. Thou’rt still too far above.

XVIII.

Farewell! What word should answer but farewell

From thee, O happy spirit, whose clear gaze Discerned the path-olear, but unsearchable

Where Olivet sweetens, deepens, Ida's praise,
The path that strikes as thro' a sun-lit haze
Through Time to that clear reconciling height

Where our commingling gleams of god-head dwell;
Strikes thro' the turmoil of our darkling days
To that great harmony where, like light in light,

Wisdom and Beauty still

Haunt the thrice-holy hill, And Love, immortal Love what answer but farewell ?

ALFRED NOYES.

NINETY DAYS' LEAVE-NOWHERE.

[ocr errors]

Soon after I returned home vants, our light kit, and our on leave last

year,

I ran across dogs into a couple of coman old friend in the town near partments and steamed out of which I was staying.

His he cantonment station in a Christian name is Wisdom, downpour of unseasonable rain, and, after a long and useful and in equally unseasonablelife's work, he is spending the though welcome-coolness. autumn of his days in a Foun- Our destination was a littledation, built and endowed by known country far away in an Archbishop, housed in a the interior of the Himalayas, noble pile of brick, and in- whose name and whereabouts habited by a score of old I shall withhold till I succeed gownsmen” like himself. To in reaching it, for the followbelong to this Hospital implies ing chronicle is one of unsucthat a member is not only of cessful endeavour and of ultilocal birth but of irreproach- mate failure. able character, and to be Away up through the plains nominated to fill a vacancy is of the Punjab we rolled that & source of pride and con- night, and early next morning gratulation to the recipient arrived at the terminus of the and his relatives.

line, and exchanged steam for

horse - flesh,-horse-flesh of an Wisdom shook me kindly by emaciated but wiry type, that the hand, and, in answer to did not realise how innutritious my inquiries after his health, was the hill grass on which it replied, “I'm just 'NOHOW,' had to sustain life, but did sir,—just "NOHOW'"; and it realise that, though it was all struck me then and there that, collar - work, the sooner the had I possessed his power of stage was covered the sooner terge speech, I might have would

rest. Eighty saved myself, and my hearers, miles in & tonga brought us many long - winded explana- to P

explana- to P, and we drove up to tions as to where I had been the Dak Bungalow,—not dustduring my last shooting trip smothered as usual, but coated by saying — "Just Nowhere, with mud, for the rain had sir, -just NOWHERE.” But accompanied us. ‘'

The bunthough too late for that, I can galow Khansamah promised still paraphrase friend Wisdom us tea in five minutes, but and call this little story “A before it appeared an English trip to Nowhere," or something lady came out and told us that of that sort.

& case of smallpox had been

discovered among her servants On the 15th April a brother that day, and that orders had officer named Addington and accordingly been sent by the I paoked ourselves, our ser- Local Civil Authority for the

come

.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »