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HEARKEN the voices of the ancient deep,
How, evermore and evermore, arise
From its unsolaced bosom moans and sighs,
That with the heart of man communion keep!
Oft dwellers by the strand awake from sleep,
Perplexed by importuning wave-borne cries;
And oft to thoughts unvoiced receive replies,
At which they weep, yet know not why they weep.
To Glaucus they have listened unaware :
He now is mighty in the mighty seas,
Breather of rushing gale or gentle breeze,
Propitious to the toiling sailor's prayer;
And yet he once, with studious, trembling care,
Gave gifts the jealous Ocean to appease,
And from the murmuring, sea-loved, sacred trees
Wrought mast and beam, upon the deep to fare.
That hour when he from mortal frailty passed,
And all its wonder, he remembers yet:
The wine-dark water when the sun was set,
The netted fish upon the herbage cast,
The tasted plant; the leap, the billows vast,
Above his head in vaulted ceiling met;
The trident and the foam-flower coronet,
Wherewith the God of Waves endowed him last.
He now is subtle in all subtle lore,
The heritage of gray
Poseidon's race ;
But still, half human-hearted, would retrace
His fated way, and still he haunts the shore.
Hence lives his voice through winds' and waves' uproar,
And often, for a fleeting moment's space,
the beach he lays a fondling face, And murmurs in a tongue beloved from yore.
Or now he bids the streams that hither flow
Take flowery tribute from the meadows wide,
And branch and shaft from leaning forest-side;
He gathers all, and rocks them to and fro!
But what shall he upon the shore bestow ?
Pale-tressèd seaweeds, parted from the tide,
And shells within whose
rosy crypts abide Faint echoes of the strains the tritons blow.
Oh, yet, perchance, along the border green
That waves above the fruitless silver sands,
Its crafty leaves the magic plant expands :
But taste not, finding it, thou searcher keen!
grows no herb within the Sea's demesne
That could restore thee to these pleasant lands;
Else had lamenting Glaucus broke his bands,
And slept amid the grassy hills serene.
SEND me thorns a half year through,
Branches hung with frozen dew,
Blight-leaf feuds and blanching hates,
(If ye will) ye cankered Fates :
your leaden seasons' toil To fair weather lends a foil ! 'Gainst December how June glows, – Hey! the color of the rose !
Bid the morning of my day
· (If ye will) be dull and gray ;
Chase afar the shining hours
With a scourge of braided showers,
Lightning-flash, and thunder-crack:
But at eve the cloudy rack
Blossoms like a garden-close, -
Hey! the color of the rose !
Beauty, on whom homage waits,
I appeal to thee from Fates.
As my year and as my day
Genial turn from cold and gray,
Let the selfsame sign bespeak
Thy rich heart upon thy cheek.
Up the gracious June warmth goes,
Hey! the color of the rose !
Is it not strange, To-morrow,
Thou hast so ill requited
Thy lover so long plighted —
Sworn not to change, To-morrow,
Sworn not to change, — and yet,
We two have never met!
Is it not strange, To-morrow?
Where dost thou bide, To-morrow ? In depths, on heights sublime ? Where dost thou hide, To-morrow ? Past night, beyond the prime ? Art cradled with the rose, Charm-wrapt from frosts and snows, Through all the winter moons, Until the south wind blows, Till spring-tide overflows, Till all the land is June's ? Where dost thou hide, To-morrow? Thou callest, and I hear thee ; I haste, but come not near thee : Where dost thou guide, To-morrow ?
What largess shall I bring,
What sole and precious thing?
I so serve thee That I
all deserve thee,
And claim my own, To-morrow?
Appoint the trysting place
Where thou wilt show thy face,
And me more tender grace
Than thou hast shown, To-morrow.
I give thee pledges, - aye,
I put in pawn To-day ;
But thou giv'st none, To-morrow.
I am too flush and free,
To lavish all on thee!
Wilt thou atone, To-morrow ?