IX. Songs From The Turret.


In the day my thoughts are tender
When I muse on my ladye fair.
There is never one to offend her,
For each is pure as a prayer.
They float like spirits above her,
About her and always near;
And they scarce dare sigh that they love her,
Because she would blush to hear.

But in dreams my thoughts grow bolder;
And close to my lips of fire,
I reach out my arms and enfold her,
My ladye, my heart's desire.
And she who, in earthly places,
Seems cold as the stars above,
Unmasks in those fair dream spaces
And gives me love for love.

Oh day, with your thoughts of duty
Cross over the sunset streams,
And give me the night of beauty
And love in the Land of Dreams.
For there in the mystic, shady,
Fair isle of the Slumber Sea,
I read the heart of my ladye
That here she hides from me.


Some day, some beauteous day,
Joy will come back again.
Sorrow must fly away.

Hope, on her harp will play
The old inspiring strain
Some day, some beauteous day.

Through the long hours I say,
"The night must fade and wane,
Sorrow must fly away."

The morn's bewildering ray
Shall pierce the night of rain,
Some day, some beauteous day.

Autumn shall bloom like May,
Delight shall spring from pain;
Sorrow must fly away.

Though on my life, grief's gray
Bleak shadow long hath lain,
Some day, some beauteous day,
Sorrow must fly away.


When love is lost, the day sets toward the night.
Albeit the morning sun may still be bright,
And not one cloud ship sails across the sky.
Yet from the places where it used to lie,
Gone is the lustrous glory of the light.

No splendor rests on any mountain height,
No scene spreads fair, and beauteous, to the sight.
All, all seems dull and dreary to the eye,
When love is lost.

Love lends to life its grandeur and its might,
Love goes, and leaves behind it gloom and blight.
Like ghosts of time the pallid hours drag by,
And grief's one happy thought is that we die.
Ah! what can recompense us for its flight,
When love is lost.


Life is a ponderous lesson book, and Fate
The teacher. When I came to love's fair leaf
My teacher turned the page and bade me wait.
"Learn first," she said, "love's grief";
And o'er and o'er through many a long to-morrow
She kept me conning that sad page of sorrow.

Cruel the task; and yet it was not vain.
Now the great book of life I know by heart.
In that one lesson of love's loss and pain
Fate doth the whole impart.
For, by the depths of woe, the mind can measure
The beauteous unsealed summits of love's pleasure.

Now, with the book of life upon her knee,
Fate sits! the unread page of love's delight
By her firm hand is half concealed from me,
And half revealed to sight.
Ah Fate! be kind! so well I learned love's sorrow,
Give me its full delight to learn to-morrow.


If I were a rain drop, and you were a leaf,
I would burst from the cloud above you
And lie on your breast in a rapture of rest,
And love you, love you, love you.

If I were a brown bee, and you were a rose,
I would fly to you, love, nor miss you;
I would sip and sip from your nectared lip,
And kiss you, kiss you, kiss you.

If I were a doe, dear, and you were a brook,
Ah, what would I do then, think you?
I would kneel by your bank, in the grasses dank,
And drink you, drink you, drink you.


Time owes me such a heavy debt,
How can he ever make things right?
For suns that with no promise set
To help me greet the morning light,

For dreams that no fruition met,
For joys that passed from bud to blight,
Time owes me such a heavy debt;
How can he ever make things right?

For passions balked, with strain and fret
Of hopes delayed, or perished quite,
For kisses that I did not get
On many a love impelling night,
Time owes me such a heavy debt;
How can he ever make things right?


As the king bird feeds on the heart of the bee,
So would I feed on the sweets of thee.

As the south wind kisses the leaf at will,
From the leaf of thy lips I would drink my fill.

As the sun pries into the heart of a rose,
I would pry in thy heart, and its thoughts disclose.

As a dewdrop mirrors the loving sky,
I would see myself in thy tear wet eye.

As the deep night shelters the day in its arms,
I would hide thee, dear, from the world's alarms.


Now do I know how Paradise doth seem,
Now do I know the deep red depths of hell.
Swift from those fair supernal heights I fell
To burning flames of hades, in a dream.
Methought my ladye rested by a stream
Which rippled through the verdure of a dell.
She lay like Eve; dear God, I dare not tell
Of her perfections; of the glow and gleam
Of tinted flesh, and undulating hair,
Of sudden thigh, and sweetly rounded breast.
Then, like a cloud, he came, from God knows where,
And on her eyes and mouth mad kisses pressed.
I fell, and fell, through leagues of scorching space,
And always saw his lips upon her face.


Love is the source of all supreme delight,
Love is the bitter fountain of despair;
Who follows Love shall stand upon the height,
Yet through the darkest depths, Love, too, leads there.

Courage needs he who would with bold Love fare,
Let him set forth with all his strength bedight;
Yet in his heart this song to banish care--
"Love is the source of all supreme delight."

And he must sing this song both day and night,
Though he be led down shadowy pathways where
Black waters moan, through valleys struck with blight,
"Love is the bitter fountain of despair."

Let him be brave, and bravely let him dare
Whate'er betide, and feel no coward fright.
Who shares the worst, the best deserves to share;
Who follows Love shall stand upon the height.

Ah! sweet is peace to those who faced the fight,
And bright the crown those faithful ones shall wear,
Who whispered, when the shadows veiled their sight,
"Yet through the darkest depths, Love, too, leads there."

To hearts that best know Love, his dark is fair,
His sorrow gladness, and his wrong is right.
All joys lie waiting on his winding stair;
All ways, ail paths of Love lead to the light.
Love is the source.


My ladye's eyes are wishing wells,
Wherein I gaze with silent yearning;
Deep in their depths my future dwells.
My ladye's eyes are wishing wells,
But not one sign my fate foretells,
While my poor heart with love is burning.
My ladye's eyes are wishing wells,
Wherein I gaze with silent yearning.


Three things my ladye seemeth like to me--
She seems like moonlight on a waveless sea.

And like the delicate fragrance, which exhales,
When Day's warm garments brush the dewy vales.

And when my heart grows weary of earth's sound,
She seems like silence--restful and profound.


The moon flower, grown from a slip so slender,
Has burst in a star bloom, full and white.
The air is filled with a perfume tender,
The breath that blows from that garden height.
Yet moments lag that should take their flight
On wings, like the wings of a homing dove,
And the world goes wrong where it should go right,
For this is a night that is lost to love.

Again, like a queen, who would rashly spend her
Dower of wealth in a single night,
The proud moon seems, on her track of splendor,
Enriching the world with her silver light.
She flings on the crest of each billow a bright
Pure gem, from the casket of jewels above.
But I sigh as I gaze on the glorious sight,
"This is a night that is lost to love."

Oh, I would that the moon might never wend her
Way through the skies in royal might,
Till the haughty heart of my lady surrender
And the faithful love of a life requite.
For the moon was made for a lover's delight;
And grayer than gloom must its luster prove
To the soul that sighs under sorrow's blight,
"This is a night that is lost to love."


Fate, have pity upon my plight,
And the heart of my lady to mercy move.
For the saddest words that youth can write
Are, "This is a night that is lost to love."


As the waves of the outgoing sea
Leave the rocks and the drift wood bare,
When your thoughts are for others than me,
My heart is the strand of despair--
Where bleak suns glare,
And Joy, like a desolate mourner, gropes
In the wrecks of broken hopes.

As the incoming waves of the sea,
The rocks and the sandbar hide,
When your thoughts flow back to me,
My heart leaps up on the tide--
Where my glad hopes ride
With joy at the wheel, and the sun above
In a glorious sky of love.


There was a bard all in the olden time,
When bards were men to whom the world gave ear,
And song an art the great gods deemed sublime,
Who sought to make his willful lady hear
By weaving strange new melodies of rhyme,
Which voiced his love, his sorrow, and his fear.

Sweetheart, my soul is heavy now with fear,
Lest thou shalt frown upon me for all time.
Ah! would that I had skill to weave a rhyme
Worthy to win the favor of thine ear.
Tho' all the world were deaf, if thou didst hear
And smile, my song would seem to me sublime.

But ah! too vast, too awful and sublime,
Is my great passion, born of grief and fear,
To clothe in verse. Why, if the world could hear
And understand my love, then for all time,
So long as there was sound or listening ear,
All space would ring and echo with my rhyme.

Such passion seems belittled by a rhyme--
It needs the voice of nature. The sublime,
Loud thunder crash, that hurts the startled ear,
And stirs the heart with awe, akin to fear,
The weird, wild winds of equinoctial time;
These voices tell my love, wouldst thou but hear.

And listening at the flood tides, thou might'st hear
The love I bear thee surging through the rhyme
Of breaking billows, many a moon full time.
Why, I have heard thee call the sea sublime,
When every wave but voiced the anguished fear
Of my man's heart to thy unconscious ear.

Vain, then, the hope that thou wilt lend thine ear
To any song of mine, or deign to hear
My lays of longing or my strains of fear.
Vain is the hope to weave for thee a rhyme,
Or sweet or sad, or subtle or sublime,
Which wins thy gracious favor for all time.

Oh, cruel time! my lady will not hear,
Though in her ear love sings a song sublime,
And my sad rhyme ends, like my love, in fear.

Bright like the comforting blaze on the hearth,
Sweet like the blooms on the young apple tree,
Fragrant with promise of fruit yet to be
Are the home-keeping maidens of earth.

Better and greater than talent is worth,
And where is the glory of brush or of pen
Like the glory of mothers and molders of men--
The home-keeping women of earth?

Crowned since the great solar system had birth,
They reign unsurpassed in their beautiful sphere.
They are queens who can look in God's face without fear--
The home-keeping women of earth.
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.