Rich gift of God! A year of time! Shrewd mystic! Home of my heart! Thanks, Mary! O fearful heart and troubled brain! Is it the palm, the cocoa-palm, On the Indian Sea , by the isles of balm? Or is it a ship in the breezeless calm? A ship whose keel is of palm beneath, Whose ribs of palm have a palm-bark sheath, And a rudder of palm it steereth with.
Branches of palm are its spars and rails, Fibres of palm are its woven sails, And the rope is of palm that idly trails! What does the good shipbear so well? The cocoa-nut with its stony shell, And the milky sap of its inner cell. What are its jars, so smooth and fine, But hollowed nuts, filled with oil and wine, And the cabbage that ripens under the Line? Who smokes his nargileh, cool and calm?
The master, whose cunning and skill could charm Cargo and ship from the bounteous palm. In the cabin he sits on a palm-mat soft, From a beaker of palm his drink is quaffed, And a palm-thatch shields from the sun aloft I His dress is woven of palmy strands, And he holds a palm-leaf scroll in his hands, Traced with the Prophet 's wise commands! Of threads of palm was the carpet spun Whereon he kneels when the day is done, And the foreheads of Islam are bowed as one!
To him the palm is a gift divine, Wherein all uses of man combine,— House, and raiment, and food, and wine! And, in the hour of his great release, His need of the palm shall only cease With the shroud wherein he lieth in peace. No bird-song floated down the hill, The tangled bank below was still; No rustle from the birchen stem, No ripple from the water's hem. The dusk of twilight round us grew, We felt the falling of the dew; [ 54 ] For, from us, ere the day was done, The wooded hills shut out the sun.
But on the river's farther side We saw the hill-tops glorified,— A tender glow, exceeding fair, A dream of day without its glare. With us the damp, the chill, the gloom: With them the sunset's rosy bloom; While dark, through willowy vistas seen, The river rolled in shade between.
From out the darkness where we trod, We gazed upon those hills of God, Whose light seemed not of moon or sun.
We spake not, but our thought was one. We paused, as if from that bright shore Beckoned our dear ones gone before; And stilled our beating hearts to hear The voices lost to mortal ear! Sudden our pathway turned from night; The hills swung open to the light; Through their green gates the sunshine showed, A long, slant splendor downward flowed. They rise before me! Monadnock from Wachuset. So twilight deepened round us. Guided thus, O friend of mine! A sound as if from bells of silver, Or elfin cymbals smitten clear, Through the frost-pictured panes I hear.
A brightness which outshines the morning, A splendor brooking no delay, Beckons and tempts my feet away. I leave the trodden village highway For virgin snow-paths glimmering through A jewelled elm-tree avenue; Where, keen against the walls of sapphire, The gleaming tree-bolls, ice-embossed, Hold up their chandeliers of frost.
I walk the land of Eldorado , I touch its mimic garden bowers, Its silver leaves and diamond flowers! The flora of the mystic mine-world Around me lifts on crystal stems The petals of its clustered gems! This foregleam of the Holy City Like that to him of Patmos given, The white bride coming down from heaven! How flash the ranked and mail-clad alders, Through what sharp-glancing spears of reeds The brook its muffled water leads! Yon maple, like the bush of Horeb , Burns unconsumed: a white, cold fire Rays out from every grassy spire.
Each slender rush and spike of mullein, Low laurel shrub and drooping fern, Transfigured, blaze where'er I turn. How yonder Ethiopian hemlock Crowned with his glistening circlet stands! What jewels light his swarthy hands! Here, where the forest opens southward, Between its hospitable pines, As through a door, the warm sun shines.
The jewels loosen on the branches, And lightly, as the soft winds blow, Fall, tinkling, on the ice below. One instant flashing in the sunshine, Keen as a sabre from its sheath, Then lost again the ice beneath. I hear the rabbit lightly leaping, The foolish screaming of the jay, The chopper's axe-stroke far away; The clamor of some neighboring barn-yard, The lazy cock's belated crow, Or cattle-tramp in crispy snow. And, as in some enchanted forest The lost knight hears his comrades sing, And, near at hand, their bridles ring,— So welcome I these sounds and voices, These airs from far-off summer blown, This life that leaves me not alone.
For the white glory overawes me; The crystal terror of the seer Of Chebar's vision blinds me here. Thou stainless earth, lay not on me, Thy keen reproach of purity, If, in this august presence-chamber, I sigh for summer's leaf-green gloom And warm airs thick with odorous bloom! Let the strange frost-work sink and crumble, And let the loosened tree-boughs swing, Till all their bells of silver ring. Shine warmly down, thou sun of noontime, On this chill pageant, melt and move The winter's frozen heart with love.
And, soft and low, thou wind south-blowing, Breathe through a veil of tenderest haze Thy prophecy of summer days. Come with thy green relief of promise, And to this dead, cold splendor bring The living jewels of the spring! They cannot from their outlook see The perfect grace it hath for me; For there the flower, whose fringes through The frosty breath of autumn blew, Turns from without its face of bloom To the warm tropic of my room, As fair as when beside its brook The hue of bending skies it took.
So from the trodden ways of earth, Seem some sweet souls who veil their worth, And offer to the careless glance The clouding gray of circumstance. They blossom best where hearth-fires burn, To loving eyes alone they turn The flowers of inward grace, that hide Their beauty from the world outside. But deeper meanings come to me, My half-immortal flower, from thee! Man judges from a partial view, None ever yet his brother knew; The Eternal Eye that sees the whole May better read the darkened soul, And find, to outward sense denied, The flower upon its inmost side!
Was it a dim-remembered dream? Or glimpse through eons old? Draw near, more near, forever dear!
O days grown cold! O life grown old! O Love! How changed the summits vast and old!
Some vague, faint rumor to the vale Had crept—perchance a hunter's tale— Of its wild mirth of waters lost On the dark woods through which it tossed. Somewhere it laughed and sang; somewhere Whirled in mad dance its misty hair; [ 77 ] But who had raised its veil, or seen The rainbow skirts of that Undine? They sought it where the mountain brook Its swift way to the valley took; Along the rugged slope they clomb, Their guide a thread of sound and foam.
Height after height they slowly won; The fiery javelins of the sun Smote the bare ledge; the tangled shade With rock and vine their steps delayed. But, through leaf-openings, now and then They saw the cheerful homes of men, And the great mountains with their wall Of misty purple girdling all. The leaves through which the glad winds blew Shared the wild dance the waters knew; And where the shadows deepest fell The wood-thrush rang his silver bell.
Fringing the stream, at every turn Swung low the waving fronds of fern; From stony cleft and mossy sod Pale asters sprang, and golden-rod. And still the water sang the sweet, Glad song that stirred its gliding feet, And found in rock and root the keys Of its beguiling melodies. The weary seekers' slackening will. Lo there!
Its white scarf flutters in the air! So toiled they up the mountain-slope With faint and ever fainter hope; With faint and fainter voice the brook Still bade them listen, pause, and look. Meanwhile below the day was done; Above the tall peaks saw the sun Sink, beam-shorn, to its misty set Behind the hills of violet. The phantom of a waterfall Has led us at its beck and call. Not where they seem their signals fly, Their voices while we listen die; We cannot keep, however fleet, The quick time of their winged feet. Here, though unreached the goal we sought, Its own reward our toil has brought: The winding water's sounding rush, The long note of the hermit thrush, The turquoise lakes, the glimpse of pond And river track, and, vast, beyond Broad meadows belted round with pines, The grand uplift of mountain lines!
What matter though we seek with pain The garden of the gods in vain, If lured thereby we climb to greet Some wayside blossom Eden-sweet? To seek is better than to gain, The fond hope dies as we attain; Life's fairest things are those which seem, The best is that of which we dream. Then let us trust our waterfall Still flashes down its rocky wall, With rainbow crescent curved across Its sunlit spray from moss to moss.
And we, forgetful of our pain, In thought shall seek it oft again; Shall see this aster-blossomed sod, This sunshine of the golden-rod, [ 80 ] And haply gain, through parting boughs, Grand glimpses of great mountain brows Cloud-turbaned, and the sharp steel sheen Of lakes deep set in valleys green. So failure wins; the consequence Of loss becomes its recompense; And evermore the end shall tell The unreached ideal guided well. Our sweet illusions only die Fulfilling love's sure prophecy; And every wish for better things An undreamed beauty nearer brings.
For fate is servitor of love; Desire and hope and longing prove The secret of immortal youth, And Nature cheats us into truth. O kind allurers, wisely sent, Beguiling with benign intent, Still move us, through divine unrest, To seek the loveliest and the best! Go with us when our souls go free, And, in the clear, white light to be, Add unto Heaven's beatitude The old delight of seeking good! This name in some parts of Europe is given to the season we call Indian Summer , in honor of the good St. The title of the poem was suggested by the fact that the day it refers to was the exact date of that set apart to the Saint , the 11th of November.
How strange! In which time two were very sick, and Edward Tilley had like to have sounded with cold; the gunner also was sick unto death, but hope of trucking made him to go , and so remained all that day and the next night. At length we got clear of the sandy point and got up our sails, and within an hour or two we got under the weather shore, and then had smoother water and better sailing, but it was very gold, for the water froze on our clothes and made them many times like coats of iron.
We sailed six or seven leagues by the shore, but saw neither river nor creek; at length we met with a tongue of land, being flat off from the shore, with a sandy point. We bore up to gain the point, and found there a fair income or road of a bay, being a league over at the narrowest, and some two or three in length, but we made right over the land before us, and left the discovery of this income till the next day. We landed a league or two from them, and had much ado to put ashore anywhere, it lay so full of flat sands.