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ANTHOLOGY OF MASSACHUSETTS POETS (56)

2006-08-28 19:24

    L'ENVOI

    WHEN the time for parting comes, and the day is on the wane, And the silent evening darkens over hill and over plain, And earth holds no more sorrow, no more grief, and no more pain, Shall we weary for the battle and the strife?

    When at last the trail is ending, and the stars are growing near, And we breathe the breath of conquest, and the voices that we hear Are the great companions' voices that have hallowed year on year, Shall we know an instant's grieving as we pass?

    Shall we pause a fleeting moment ere we grasp the eager hands, Take one last long look of wonder at the dimming of the lands, Love the earth one glowing moment ere we pass from its demands, Cull all beauty in its essence as we gaze?

    Or with not one backward longing shall we leap the last abyss, Scale the highest crags glad-hearted, fearful only lest the bliss Of an earth-remembering instant should delay the great sun's kiss- Consuming us within the flame?

    DOROTHEA LAWRENCE MANN TO IMAGINATION SUGGESTED BY MAXFIELD PARRISH'S "AIR CASTLES"

    O BEAUTEOUS boy a-dream, what visions sought Of pictures magical thy eyes unfold, What triumphs of celestial wonders wrought, What marvels from a breath of beauty rolled! Skyward and seaward on the clouds are scrolled, A mystic imagery of castled thought, A thousand worlds to lose,——or win and mould—— A radiant iridescence swiftly caught Of ever-changing glory, fancy-fraught.

    Blue wonder of the sea and luminous sky, A thousand wonders in thy dreamlit face,—— Eyes that behold afar the turrets high Of Ilium, and the transient mortal grace Of Deirdre's sadness, all the conquering race Of Athens, ——eyes that saw Eden's beauty lie In passionate adoration——visions trace Across the tender brooding of the sigh That wrecked a city and made chieftains die.

    Forward not backward turns the mystic shine Of those far-seeing orbs that track the gleam- The fleecy marvel of the cloud is line On line the wizard tracery of a dream. O lad, who buildest not of things that seem, Beyond what bounds of visioning divine Came that far smile, from what long-strayed sun- beam Caught thou the radiance, from what fostering vine The power to build and mould the deep design?

    Knowest thou the secret that thy brush would tell, Is all the dream a bubbled splendor white, Beyond those castles cloud-bound, does there dwell The eternal silence of the dark——or light? Will thy hand hold the pen which shall indict The symboled mystery-write the final knell Of rainbow fancy-is the distant sight A nothingless encircled by a spell Of gleaming bubbles wrought of beauty's shell?

    In vain to question, where the mystery Of Youth's short golden dream is lord and king. The eyes that farthest gaze in ecstasy, Were never meant to paint the immortal thing They see, nor understand the joy they bring. The misty baubles of the sky and sea Sail on. Dream still, bright-visioned boy, and fling The glittering mantle of thy thoughts that flee, Weaving us evermore thy shining pageantry.

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