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The Path of Dreams Poems

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To One Who Sleeps (Obiit, June 8th, 1894.) Tho' storm and summer shine for long have shedOr blight or bloom above thy quiet bed,Tho' loneliness and longing cry thee dead—Thou art not dead, belovèd. Still with meAre whilom hopings that encompass theeAnd dreams of dear delights that may not be.Asleep—adream perchance, dost thou forgetThe sometime sorrow and the fevered fret,Sting of salt tears and long unbreathed regret?Liest thou here thro' long sunshiny hours,Holding sweet converse with the springing flowers,Harking the singing of the warm sweet showersThat fall like happy tears ... dost hearThe birds that unafraid assail thine ear—And yet art silent when I whisper? Dear,Dost thou not hear? Lying so low beneath the bending grassIn long, still smiling tranced for aye—alas!Thou dost not harken when my footsteps pass.If haply I some tender thing should tellThee of the springtime flowers thou once loved well—Anemone and shining asphodel;Should steal from Nature some enchanted lay,Some bird-song lilted where green branches sway—Heart-music that could stir thy heart alway;Should call thee by the old fond name again,Should tell thee all a heart's enduring painAnd long rememb'ring, would'st thou mute remain?Alas! nor sigh nor song can thrill the earTuned to Israfel's music in the sphereWhere things to thee erst dear no more are dear.Thou dost not hear!

THE PATH OF DREAMS In Woodland Ways Out of the poignant glare, the shadeless heatOf summer noon, beseech thee follow meInto the dim, dream-haunted secrecyThe cool, green glooms, the grottoed deep retreat,Of yon old wood; down aisles of lichened trees—Grey Merlins clasped by lissom ViviensOf clinging vine—to cloistered sylvan glens,Where Nature weaves her fairest mysteries. Here let us rest a little—find surceaseFor feet grown weary of the thridded streetThat echoes ever to the ceaseless beatOf human tread;—a brief while know the easeOf dreamful rest, to slumb'rous languors stilledOn Orient rugs of dappled mosses spreadIn nooks where blossom, purple, white and red,The flowers Summer's lavish hands have spilled. Wild woodland creatures near us unafraid,Some strange enchantment doth the forest hold—Was that a sungleam, or a wand of goldBy tricksy Puck or wanton Ariel swayed?Old oaks and beeches open wide their doorsAnd hamadryads veiled in golden sheenFloating diaphanous o'er robes of greenWalk with still feet the forest's russet floors. Lo, here are fairies hid in flower-bells,There wood-nymphs fleeing from pursuing fauns,And naiads fleshed with hues of rosy dawnsLie dreaming by white streams in dusky dells;We tread dim paths untrod by foot of manAnd hark the horn of Dian ringing clear;While faint, elusive, thin—now far, now near,Meseems I hear the oaten pipe of Pan. And while o'erhead the plaining wood-dove grieves,The cardinal—a wingèd, scarlet flower—Sprays all the air with song, a golden showerOf flutes-notes sifting downward thro' the leaves.Ah, sweet enchantment doth the forest hold,For Nature's self doth haunt these woodland ways,My fevered brow on her cool breast she laysAnd care slips from me as a garment old.
Ashes of Roses Skies glooming overhead,Autumn winds sighing;Bare yonder garden bed,Flowers low lying.All their rich radiance fled,All their pale petals shed,Wan wraiths of Summer sped,In Autumn's closes;Crimson and cream and goldStrewn on earth's bosom cold,Mingling with umber mold—Ashes of roses. See, in yon waning WestRich roses blowingOn Heaven's palimpsestGod's message glowing;Rose hues and amethystDrenched in purpureate mist,Darkness with Day keeps tryst,Night's curtain closes;Quenched is the burning gold,Shadowed the upland wold,Day's fires grow dull and coldAshes of roses....