I begin through the grass once again to be bound to the Lord;
I can see, through a face that has faded, the face full of rest
Of the earth, of the mother, my heart with her heart in accord,
As I lie mid the cool green tresses that mantle her breast
I begin with the grass once again to be bound to the Lord.
By the hand of a child I am led to the throne of the King
For a touch that now fevers me not is forgotten and far,
And His infinite sceptred hands that sway us can bring
Me in dreams from the laugh of a child to the song of a star.
On the laugh of a child I am borne to the joy of the King.
THE MAN TO THE ANGEL
I have wept a million tears:
Pure and proud one, where are thine,
What the gain though all thy years
In unbroken beauty shine?
All your beauty cannot win
Truth we learn in pain and sighs:
You can never enter in
To the circle of the wise.
They are but the slaves of light
Who have never known the gloom,
And between the dark and bright
Willed in freedom their own doom.
Think not in your pureness there,
That our pain but follows sin:
There are fires for those who dare
Seek the throne of might to win.
Pure one, from your pride refrain:
Dark and lost amid the strife
I am myriad years of pain
Nearer to the fount of life.
When defiance fierce is thrown
At the god to whom you bow,
Rest the lips of the Unknown
Tenderest upon my brow.
The blue dusk ran between the streets: my love was winged within my mind,
It left to-day and yesterday and thrice a thousand years behind.
To-day was past and dead for me, for from to-day my feet had run
Through thrice a thousand years to walk the ways of ancient Babylon.
On temple top and palace roof the burnished gold flung back the rays
Of a red sunset that was dead and lost beyond a million days.
The tower of heaven turns darker blue, a starry sparkle now begins;
The mystery and magnificence, the myriad beauty and the sins
Come back to me. I walk beneath the shadowy multitude of towers;
Within the gloom the fountain jets its pallid mist in lily flowers.
The waters lull me and the scent of many gardens, and I hear
Familiar voices, and the voice I love is whispering in my ear.
Oh real as in dream all this; and then a hand on mine is laid:
The wave of phantom time withdraws; and that young Babylonian maid,
One drop of beauty left behind from all the flowing of that tide,
Is looking with the self-same eyes, and here in Ireland by my side.
Oh light our life in Babylon, but Babylon has taken wings,
While we are in the calm and proud procession of eternal things.
ARTHUR CHRISTOPHER BENSON
"Soon!" says the Snowdrop, and smiles at the motherly earth,
"Soon!—for the Spring with her languors comes stealthily on
Snow was my cradle, and chill winds sang at my birth;
Winter is over—and I must make haste to be gone!"
"Soon," says the Swallow, and dips to the wind-ruffled stream,
"Grain is all garnered—the Summer is over and done;
Bleak to the eastward the icy battalions gleam,
Summer is over—and I must make haste to be gone!"
"Soon—ah, too soon!" says the Soul, with a pitiful gaze,
"Soon!—for I rose like a star, and for aye would have shone...!