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ARRIVAL IN SPIRIT-LAND.
'Tis just six months ago, beloved, to-day, Since Death rode by upon his pallid steed, And plucked thee from the wayside, like a reed, Then sank his spurs into his iron gray. 'Tis just six months to-day, since, out of breath, He sat thee on the shores of Acheron; And called grim Charon, who, with grizzly frown, Did ferry thee across the stream of Death. 'Tis just six months, to-day, since thy fair feet First pressed the borders of the spirit-land, And thou didst give the angels thy white hand, Who thy arrival came with flowers to greet— Six months, to-day, since thou, at Eden's gate, Seated with them, didst all glad news of earth relate. XXVII.
MY THOUGHTS HANG ON THE GATES OF PARADISE.
Thou'st taken all ray thoughts to heaven with thee; I cannot chain them in their cells below, But through the bolts and bars away they go, Till on the borders of th' empyrean sky, Disconsolate, they perch on Eden's gate, And, pressing their fair faces 'gainst the grate, There rapt, they hang a-gazing in on thee; Arrayed in purple of eternity. There rapt, they watch thee pace celestial bowers: There rapt, survey the sylphs entwine thy hair With blossoms nurtured in seraphic air. There rapt, behold thee clasp the white-winged hours, Until heaven's jealous porter them espies, And, sore offended, shuts the gates of Paradise.
Twelve years, Adhemar, thou didst rule my heart— Twelve years usurp its realms from zone to zone— Twelve years serenely sit upon its throne, Despite of many a rival's pointed dart. Twelve years thou wert the shepherd of the flocks That gathered in its Caaba to hear Thee preach of beauty, truth, faith, hope, love, cheer. Twelve years thou cam'st at dawn upon the rocks That gird my soul, to talk with Poesy, And watch my thoughts at play among the flowers, Like lambs; or wrestling with the rosy hours; Or bathing in the founts of minstrelsy. 0 Death! how couldst thou such a monarch slay! And leave my heart-world to a base plebeian sway?
EXCHANGE OF LOVE-LETTERS
We met and gazed into each other's eyes, When from the violet brinks our spirits rose, And leaning over kissed with thrilling throes, That broke along the air in sobbing sighs. Entranced they wept—exchanged betrothal letters, Then downward to their silent prisons fled, And by the lamp of Hope these letters read, And felt the happier for Love's fatal fetters :— But Hate below, and envious Saint above, Between them placed a gulf impassable; Yet, on the opposing shores they stood for all, Sending love-missives by heaven's carrier-dove; And, flinging kisses over to each other, All glowing from the fires warm hearts can never smother. XXX.
0, Had these fancied shores the gift of speech— Could they recount the countless vows they heard, Winging the air like Paradisian-bird— Had they the power of Love, Faith, Hope, to preach, They'd tell a sadder tale of love and madness Than ever the Bosphorus mermaids told Of lofty Hero and Leander bold. They'd tell how on these banks we paced in sadness, And mutely, by the pale moon, wooed like fairies, The while, convulsed with Love's delicious spasm, Our hands stretched forth and clasped across the chasm, Holding us vis-ct-vis, like statuaries, Until Death, passing by on his white steed, Drew up, and struck the one down like a helpless reed.