The world is asleep!
A mantle covers up its face, its changeful voice is still;
The earth is cold and glittering, the evening air strikes chill;
A cross stands black against the red upon a lonely hill,
And shadows creep!
A hush over all!
The twilight dies upon the hill, the stars begin to shine;
A peace pervades the world’s greatest heart and slowly steal round mine,
Blue turns to purple, darker still, above where we recline
Night draws her dark pall.
The morn is ablaze!
A glory bursts upon the earth, upon its icy heart
The blood-red snow and frozen ground seem quite like things apart,
The sordid bricks are painted with Nature’s consummate art
In the sun’s rays!
The air holds a sob,
One long-drawn sob, a shuddering sob, an aching endless pang;
Long tears drip down upon the earth from where ice-fingers hang;
Its long teeth drawn the dying wolf roll tongue about its fang
Slows life-blood throb.
A song of pain
Flows through the ice-bound heart of earth, more fearful than a storm,
The dormant nerves a-tingle grow, the senses slowly form,
The solemn truth, yet glorious truth, makes earth’s heart slowly warm,
She smiles again.
A smile of sorrow!
I pace with numbed and heavy feet beneath grey cloisters old,
Upon the time-worn flags beside the crumbling bricks and mould,
There is no sorrow in the bricks, no happiness; just cold;
The same to-morrow.
The world is awake!
Awakened to the lovely morn when life is sweet and fresh,
Awakened to the shadow-nets cast by the green trees’ mesh,
All is in harmony with love; the only death is flesh,
And that we make.
There are shadows now;
A tiny cloud, caught in the breeze, the fickle breeze of Chance,
Thoughtless it strays, nor wonders why, where the young sunbeams dance,
The world is grey again, and I still feel Death’s poignant lance,
And wonder, “Where art thou?”
The words were but five;
With faces pitiless they stared at me, recked not my vacant look,
Knew not that they unto its depths my little cosmos shook,
Knew not my happiness and else too from me they sudden took!
Yet I am alive;
It seems a sin
To live my life and learn to smile, to speak again and laugh,
To soon forget the place she held, nor miss her ready staff;
It seems as though my heart-aches were finger-marks on chaff
Blown smooth again.
My fellows roar!
Oh how I wish that I could fly away from death and pain,
Away where I could know of peace and happiness again,
Where ice is not and clouds are not, nor dark damp veils of rain,
Where tears are no more!
Sweet were the last
Few words – oh, woeful few they were – she ever spake to me,
And now her soul has passed the veil through which we may not see,
Her freedom now should make me glad, but, oh, the misery
Now her soul has passed.
There is no light
On all this teeming world of ours, no happiness, no love;
The purple stain of sin defiles the breast of the purest dove;
The long black swell will ever moan within the lonely cove;
The winds will sigh, the sea-gulls cry, wherever I may rove,
Ever in the night!
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