The Lady of the Lake Canto 3 excerpt

CORONACH


He is gone on the mountain,
He is lost to the forest,
Like a summer-dried fountain,
When our need was the sorest.
The font, reappearing,
From the rain-drops shall borrow,
But to us comes no cheering,
To Duncan no morrow!

The hand of the reaper
Takes the ears that are hoary,
But the voice of the weeper
Wails manhood in glory.
The autumn winds rushing
Waft the leaves that are searest,


The Keeping

'The Keeping'



By
Charles L. East






Unto my keeping
wert thou given me,
that I might love thee
with all my soul
to the end of my days…
and adore thee in the autumn of my years.

I have loved thee beyond life's measure,
beyond the treasures of the earth or sea
or the boundless reaches of the deepening sky.

If the sun should quietly rise
upon a dreaded day…
and thy final sleeping mercifully unburden
the hours from me,


The Human Face

I. Soon

Of all the springtimes of the world
This one is the ugliest
Of all of my ways of being
To be trusting is the best

Grass pushes up snow
Like the stone of a tomb
But I sleep within the storm
And awaken eyes bright

Slowness, brief time ends
Where all streets must pass
Through my innermost recesses
So that I would meet someone

I don’t listen to monsters
I know them and all that they say
I see only beautiful faces
Good faces, sure of themselves


The Hammock's Complaint

Who thinks how desolate and strange
To me must seem the autumn's change,
When housed in attic or in chest,
A lonely and unwilling guest,
I lie through nights of bleak December,
And think in silence, and remember.

I think of hempen fields, where I
Once played with insects floating by,
And joyed alike in sun and rain,
Unconscious of approaching pain.
I dwell upon my later lot,
Where, swung in some secluded spot
Between two tried and trusted trees,
All summer long I wooed the breeze.


The Hill Maples

Here on a hill of the occident stand we shoulder to shoulder,
Comrades tried and true through a mighty swath of the years!
Spring harps glad laughter through us, and ministrant rains of the autumn
Sing us again the songs of ancient dolor and tears.

The glory of sunrise smites on our fair, free brows uplifted
When the silver-kirtled day steps over the twilight's bars;
At evening we look adown into valleys hearted with sunset,
And we whisper old lore together under the smouldering stars.


The Height of Land

Here is the height of land:
The watershed on either hand
Goes down to Hudson Bay
Or Lake Superior;
The stars are up, and far away
The wind sounds in the wood, wearier
Than the long Ojibwa cadence
In which Potàn the Wise
Declares the ills of life
And Chees-que-ne-ne makes a mournful sound
Of acquiescence. The fires burn low
With just sufficient glow
To light the flakes of ash that play
At being moths, and flutter away
To fall in the dark and die as ashes:
Here there is peace in the lofty air,


The Gloomy Night Is Gath'ring Fast

The gloomy night is gath'ring fast,
Loud roars the wild inconstant blast;
Yon murky cloud is filled with rain,
I see it driving o'er the plain;
The hunter now has left the moor,
The scatt'red coveys meet secure;
While here I wander, prest with care,
Along the lonely banks of Ayr.

The Autumn mourns her rip'ning corn
By early Winter's ravage torn;
Across her placid, azure sky,
She sees the scowling tempest fly;
Chill runs my blood to hear it rave:
I think upon the stormy wave,


The Ghost of the Past

We two kept house, the Past and I,
The Past and I;
I tended while it hovered nigh,
Leaving me never alone.
It was a spectral housekeeping
Where fell no jarring tone,
As strange, as still a housekeeping
As ever has been known.

As daily I went up the stair,
And down the stair,
I did not mind the Bygone there --
The Present once to me;
Its moving meek companionship
I wished might ever be,
There was in that companionship
Something of ecstasy.

It dwelt with me just as it was,


The Great Beech

With heart disposed to memory, let me stand
Near this monarch and this minstrel of the land,
Now that Dian leans so lovely from her car.
Illusively brought near by seeming falsely far,
In yon illustrious summit sways the tangled evening star.

From trembling towers of greenery there heaves
In glorious curves a precipice of leaves.
Superbly rolls thy passionate voice along,
Withstander of the tempest, grim and strong,
When at the wind's imperative thou burstest into song.


The Gardener XXI Why Did He Choose

Why did he choose to come to my
door, the wandering youth, when the
day dawned?
As I come in and out I pass by him
every time, and my eyes are caught by
his face.
I know not if I should speak to him
or keep silent. Why did he choose to
come to my door?
The cloudy nights in July are dark;
the sky is soft blue in the autumn; the
spring days are restless with the south
wind.
He weaves his songs with fresh
tunes every time.
I turn from my work and my eyes


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