Added: Matalie Speed - Date: 02.05.2022 16:30 - Views: 26889 - Clicks: 2920
I HAVE not delved in the ruins of antiquity, nor moralized upon the past, as Byron did, but have kept, or tried to keep, two lines of Keats, two lines of Endymion, forever in mind while writing, and striven to the uttermost to make my lines worthy the text.
The puff-ball of the autumn ways is Puck's fat fist thrust threateningly out of the half-concealing weeds at the bee to whom the blossom offers her milk-white bosom. Like a pearl, dissolving in a goblet of golden wine, is the new moon in the drowning deeps of the sunset. The sea-pink and the tall wild bell-flower divide the honors of July; the one, pearly pink, the other, turquoise-azure, conspicuously placed in her flower-garland in fragrant fraternity, each proud of its showy loveliness and of the abundant beauty of the month that bore them.
Totools, large and little, overrun the woods to-day after a day and night of rain: red and yellow and white, green and saffron and gray; upright, sidewise; some with the woodland loam and leaves, upheaved with them, still strewing their tops; graceful and slender, or bloated and distorted they stand; poisonous-looking some of them, and of a blue mottled color, which, when broken, exude 7 a thin cobalt-colored watery juice that stains whatever it touches; some of them a burnt-umber brown and of enormous size, looking like huge flat hats, rims turned up, swollen with rain, rotting and reeking in the underwoods and filling the air with a fetid fungous odor.
Great clumps of the Mayapples, beaten down and ruined by the rain here and there by the wayside, show the smooth green and ripening yellow of their oval fruit, often too large and heavy for the stalk to support.
The elecampane and the black-eyed Susan, with their frank, wide eyes of gold and bronze; the thimble-weed, with its terminal greenish white blossoms and stiff thyrsus-like thimbles of green thrust from and over the surrounding briers and weeds; and the lacy white of the wild-carrot together with the bugled scarlet of the trumpet-vine, make a perfect riot of 8 color in an angle of an old worm-fence separating a bit of fallow-field from a bit of sown, wherein a bob-white keeps calling; repeatedly tying, as it were, with a thread of three notes, the stillness and the heat: the first two, soft, careful, and preliminary; the last one, whipped out emphatically, straight as a thread thrust through the eye of a needle, completing and forming the final knot to its own satisfaction and that also of the listening summer day.
Across a wooded vista a red-bird suddenly wings. Its flight is as the swift unfurling of a ribbon of living crimson uniting tree to tree, with a bright bowknot of silken song at either end. In the careless shadow of a flowering tree she sat—a witch whiter than a windflower.
Her song was all of poison,—hemlock,— the squeezing 9 of the dark juice through white fingers. A sound as of owlet wings kept time to her wild singing. At her feet lay a youth with closed eyes, whose lips and forehead she kissed repeatedly, each kiss leaving a mark as of a serpent's fang.
He was dead, and yet he seemed to live, his heart and soul, through her kisses, ashes and dust within him. His face was pinched into smiles that were not smiles. She laughed, and beneath her laugh the monkshood and nightshade covered themselves with poison-dripping blossoms, and the wild-rose was slimed with snails. The spirits of the tempest advance their embattled hosts, thunderous rank on rank, black with their shields of midnight.
Beneath the flashings of their terrible helmets and the hissing and rebounding rain of their 10 Vers Valley Head stud looking to suck and swallow, the hills lift up their writhing arms of trees, and the river, foaming with fear, hurls itself headlong at its banks. Twilight with her dusky locks binds up the beautiful eyes of day, whose head she pillows on flaming flowers,—tulip and poppy and rose.
Her voice is plaintive as echo's amid the rocks where sleeping waves in dull green mantles lie beneath the caverned cliff; or billows climb, white-shouldered, with long fingers of foam. Here are passion-flowers, purple of heart, bearing the cross, as it were, of some stainless flower-creed; acacias, too, spotless as the angel innocence of a babe, and expressing in fragrance what the poet thinks but cannot say.
A treasure seems concealed here where the moss is damp and deep, and the golden blossoms of the crowfoot and the wood-sorrel are spilled like little yellow coins. As I reached up among the blossoming clusters of the elder copse, was it a faun concealed in the boscage who blinded me with a storm of white stars showered into my face, or was it merely the wind that passed, low laughing to itself, and whispering of 13 forgotten things, lost long ago, and living now only in the land of dreams and song? Water lily, do the Nisses weave from you their nuptial raiment of white?
Or does the enamoured 14 Necken pluck you for his hair to lure some maiden mortal to his arms? Or the mermaid dew you with her tears when lamenting that she cannot be redeemed? I know the young Nisses weep because they cannot be saved. Often do I fancy them as seated on your broad green p, harping and singing sad songs of sad mortality in the light of the setting moon, the vibrant silver of their strings and the hollow gold of their harps sobbing like some wild bird in the silence of the night.
And often have you bent your pensive head in helpless meekness, making yourself a bud again, closing the wildness of their music into the imprisoning petals of your beautiful bosom, to give it forth again in perfume. Gems and crystals lay scattered around him, on marble the color of fire: sea-green chrysoprase and copalite from Zanzibar; spar the color of amber; alexandrines—green by day, by night purple or crimson— 16 from the Urals; iron, with red streaks of jasper through it; lapis-lazuli and chrysoberyl; fluorspar crystals, white, amethystine, pink and green; cairngorms, dark and clear as an Ethiope's eye; topazes, smoky and blue and wine-colored; and heaped high amid them, like violets smothered under the snows of spring, great sapphires mingled and mixed with the milky fire of many opals.
The great stars wax and wane, and the moon rises over gull-haunted crags, honeycombed with caves, in whose dark crevices the yellow mollusks cling like ingots of gold, and upon whose floors of green the red coral is strewn like branches of bleeding ruby.
I cannot help admiring the great gray hawk. How bold, how bright, 17 how swift he is!
Let him but show his shadow and the shrieking hens scatter, flying to cover; and the blood-red cock, that braggart of the barn-yard, hides his proud crest in fear. To-day I found a flower unknown to me,—a flower white as a pearl and spotted with crimson, as if some wild bird, stabbed with a thorn, had breathed its small life out upon the altar of its loveliness.
The demons of the deep, armored and helmeted with mist, swarm from the caves of the cliffs, howling to the legions of the 19 storm, driving some vessel, helpless and tattered of sail, toward them.
The new moon is the golden battlebow of a sylph; the evening star is the arrow with which it pierces the sunset. I saw the Spirits of Day and of Darkness meet. Whiter than the bloom of crystal were his cheeks; and hers, a hectic flush that seemed the reflection of some inward fire, like the scarlet of the autumn woods. To grace her drowsy head he wove for her a chaplet of poppied clouds. The morn, like some blear-eyed beggar, came trailing her tatters in, streaming with vapor, dark and dismal, 21 her sodden hair blinding her eyes.
The noon was clear; but now, as the sun sinks, the broadening black of one tremendous cloud breaks into peaks, creviced and ravined and rivered with burning gold, cascading and circling and cleaving their crags of storm. The thunder seems the sound of its mighty flowing. Nearer and nearer the blue lines of the rain shadow and streak the woods, the hills, and the heavens.
Now they plunge, big-dropped, crackling, and resilient, clamoring on the reverberating stones; so thin the film of spray of the shattered drops that the white-tufted dandelion loses not one light seed in the shelter of this rock, where, like a host of fairy helms, the rose bush bristles against the rain a myriad green buds. Again, and yet again, the thunder, breaking, travels ponderously along the clouds, the 22 gray-steel flash of the lightning like a torch before its rolling chariot.
To-day I am like one drifting, drifting, and beholding, as in a dream, never nearer, never farther away, a line of dim shore, cliffed and pined and cascaded, against the sunset's luminous seas. The noisome hollow of the wood was fetid with totools. The trees were crippled and swollen with wormy galls, and twisted like tortured things with disease, and distorted 28 with huge fungous growths.
Nearby, surrounded with such trees, a rushless and reedless pool lay stagnant and sullen in the sun, where to and newts and water-snakes abounded, breeding in the rankness of its slime and ooze. By the side of the pool, in the shadow of the rose-bush, like some lean yellow spider, or obscene larva, sat a man, hideous and old, with long, straggly gray beard and bristling eyebrows, through which his small eyes glittered like a snake's. Hatless and perfectly bald he sat,—a mirthless, a cruel smile, repugnant and unchanging, 29 wreathing his wrinkled face,—watching a viper devour a toad.
How long she had waited! It seemed ages since that morn, bloodshot of eye, arose from the couch of old Tithonos, and she, with kindred eyes of sleepless hours and tears, arose from Mark's hated side. From her casement she sees the castle lake, lilied and fountained, and far beyond the moated walls the forested mountains where Tristram, it is whispered, runs naked, a madman amid swineherds. Now sinks the sadder eve, bloodshot 31 of gaze as morn, over the shadowy bier of day bowing her melancholy star.
And so o'er their dead past her sorrowing fancy bends, lit with the light of tearful eyes.
Tristram naked and lost among vile men and barren hills and savage woods. Why could she not die! Yes, she would die! To-morrow should not gaze upon her misery,—the misery of Isoud the Beautiful! Why had God cursed her with this great, this sinful love? Yes, she would die. Morn would find her dead,— morn that she loved,— the fresh and radiant morn! And, sighing, from the window slow she turned, and took 32 her lute; touching its strings, she sang: "No more for me shall gray-robed Dawn look through Heaven's windows of the fog, or rain, or dew, The maiden Dawn with eyes of beautiful blue,".
Is it an iron harp smitten of iron hands? All day, all night, I hear them, rustling, warring, sighing or roaring with the wind, their few last, brown leaves beating their frantic tatters to and fro. The sound of their shriveled sorrow will not let me sleep. An ancient agony seems theirs, older than that which wrings the hearts of mortals. On autumn eves in the beautiful Indian Summer, sitting wrapt in contemplation of the sunset, the world seems compact of imagination.
As the fancy bodies forth, thought gives substance to things, and unrolling the Nubian curtains of night, behold, it is not the sunset that I see, but a sea of gold dotted with islands vermilion as the continents of Mars; their bowers and streams burning rose and pearl, among and beside which, robed in shadowy silver, sylphid shapes wander,—spirits, naked and beautiful as stars, flashing flame-like from the caverns of purple-pinnacled peaks, or leaning from the battlemented 37 blue of ethereal cities.
Changing, ever changing, now, behold, it is some mainland of isolated heaven, moving in mirage, forested with trees of ruby and silver, oozing and weeping gold and amber into lakes and rivers of gold, from whose crimson banks bronzed savages launch a crescent canoe.
Sleep came to me distilling dews of dreams, within whose diamond spheres an ethereal world lay of thought and scene. Methought that I was dead; that I was drowned; and, in a cavern vaster and bluer than night, before a shadowy presence of hoary foam and weedy shell, the presence of that Ancient of the Sea, I stood; the shadow of whose sceptre huge, a rib of cloudy pearl, lay white upon me.
Around him circled and sang the mermaids, chanting that song whose mystery fills—old and 38 unchanging—the mouths of the murmur-haunted shells of ocean. And, behold! I heard a mermaid tell in song, standing before that throned and ancient presence, how she had stolen and taken on the beauty and the likeness of a mortal maiden and lured with these the maiden's lover to save her apparently from the sea, dragging him down into its green depths.
And at the Ancient's feet she laid a body,—wan-faced with wide and ghastly eyes. I looked upon the face—and, lo! In the midst of it all, illuminated by the phosphorescent glow of mountainous waters, a barque is discovered, torn of sail, driving rudderless towards, and crashing thunderously upon opposing cliffs of granite, an island in a white whirl of booming surf.
Near the shore of a tropical island a youth lies, awaking slowly from a swoon. His despair on finding himself the sole survivor of the vessel, and cast on a desert island. Wearily, in search of food, he wanders inland. Coming upon what seems to him a beautiful lake, but which is really the crater of an extinct volcano filled with the sea and 40 connecting with the sea, he seats himself despondently beside it, lamenting his fate. A mermaid rises. Apparently all unconscious of his presence she proceeds to comb her hair, richly auburn as the auburn seaweed, with a comb of pearl, singing a song all the while such as only the shells and the caves of the deep have ever heard before.
She sings of the bliss that is in store for all mortals who, weary of life in the world of earth and air, visit the world of waters, and become vassals of the Sea King, deep down in his wonder caves of coral and of crystal. In the ecstasy of the moment, dazed as it were by her chanting, the youth extends her his hand. It is seized instantly in a grasp that he cannot resist even if he desired to; and the creature, changing her song from one of love-longing to one of triumph, drags him, still unresisting, fathoms deep, into the emerald 41 waters, casting him senseless upon the silvery sands of a coral cavern.
The green glimmer of the sea-cave, broken here and there with purple blurs and shafts of light, on his awakening, shows him where, at the far end of the mighty cavern, on a vast throne of piled-up, wave-welded gold and gems, treasures of wrecked ships, mingled with the skulls and bones of drowned men, looms a shadowy presence, weed-bearded and hoary with shells and pearls, crowned with a crown of ore set Vers Valley Head stud looking to suck and swallow, like gems, with the eyes of the drowned; his sceptre, a broken and mighty anchor of iron and gold.
Combing their long locks and circling around him, many mermaids sing.Vers Valley Head stud looking to suck and swallow
email: [email protected] - phone:(261) 861-4065 x 4845
The Complete Rhyming Dictionary