xt780g3gxm3t https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt780g3gxm3t/data/mets.xml Cawein, Madison Julius, 1865-1914. 1899  books b92-188-30609941 English G.P. Putnam's sons, : New York ; London : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Myth and romance  : being a book of verses / by Madison Cawein. text Myth and romance  : being a book of verses / by Madison Cawein. 1899 2002 true xt780g3gxm3t section xt780g3gxm3t 

Myth and Romance

    Being a Book of Verses

New York and London
dtte 3nickerbacktr Vrtes


        COPvRIvcT, z8qq

tSbe knickerbocker press, Sew fort



 This page in the original text is blank.



   Myth and Romance
   Genius Loci..   . ..
   The Rain-Crow.
   The Harvest Moon.
   The Old Water-Mill .
   Anthem of Dawn    .
   Dithyrambics   .
   Hymn to Desire
   The Last Song .
   Romaunt of the Oak
   Morgan le Fay .
   The Dream of Roderick
   Zyps of Zirl .
   The Glowworm .
   The Purple Valleys
   The Land of Illusion
   Spirit of Dreams
   To a Wind-Flower.




The Soul . . . . . . . . . . .         55
Conscience  . . . . . . . . . .        55
Youth ...   .  .  . .  . .  .  .   .   56
Life's Seasons..   . . . . . ..        57
Old Homes . . . . . . . . . .          58
Field and Forest Call.. . . . . .      59
Meeting in Summer.   .  . .      . .   60
Swinging . .    .   , . . . . . .      6i
Rosemary ...... . . ..             . 62
Ghost Stories . . . . . . . . .        63
Dolce far Niente . . . . . . . .       64
Words ........... . 66
Reasons . ......... . 67
Evasion......... .                     67
In May   .    . . . . . .        . .   68
Will you Forget . . . . . . . .       69
Clouds of the Autumn Night             70
The Glory and the Dream...        .    71
Snow and Fire . . . . . . . . .        7I
Restraint...   . .    ....      .  .   72
Why Should I Pine . . . . . . .       72
When Lydia Smiles  . . . . . . .       73
The Rose.  . . . . . . . . . .         74
A Ballad of Sweethearts. . . . . .     74
Her Portrait. . . . . . . . . .        75
A Song for Yule  . . . . . . . .       76
The Puritans' Christmas. . . .      .  77
Spring.  . .  .  . .  .  . .  .  .  .  79
Lines.     . ...... .. . . . . 79
When Ships put out to Sea....          8o
The " Kentucky".    .  .               8I
Quatrains.   .   .    .   ......    .  82
Processional. ..      ...     .        84




There is no rhyme that is half so sweet
As the song of the wind in the rippling wheat;
There is no mlietre that 's half so fine
As the lilt of the brook under rock and vine;
And the loveliest liric I ever heard
Was the wildwood strain of a forest bird..-
If the wind and the brook and the bird would teach
My heart their beautiful parts of speech,
And the natural art that they say these with,
Mly soul would sing of beauty and myth
In a rhyme and a metre that none before
Have sung in. their love, or dreamed in their lore,
And the world would be richer one poet the more.

 This page in the original text is blank.




 This page in the original text is blank.

Myth and

W    HEN I go forth to greet the glad-faced Spring,
       Just at the time of opening apple-buds,
When brooks are laughing, winds are whispering,
  On babbling hillsides or in warbling woods,
  There is an unseen presence that eludes
Perhaps a Dryad, in whose tresses cling
  The loamy odors of old solitudes,
Who, from her beechen doorway, calls ; and leads
  My soul to follow; now with dimpling words
  Of leaves; and now with syllables of birds;
While here and there-is it her limbs that swing 
Or restless sunlight on the moss and weeds 


Or, haply, 't is a Naiad now who slips,
  Like some white lily, from her fountain's glass,
While from her dripping hair and breasts and hips,
  The moisture rains cool music on the grass.
  Her have I heard and followed, yet, alas !
Have seen no more than the wet ray that dips
  The shivered waters, wrinkling where I pass
But, in the liquid light, where she doth hide,
  I have beheld the azure of her gaze
  Smiling; and, where the orbing ripple plays,
Among her minnows I have heard her lips,
Bubbling, make merry by the waterside.

Or now it is an Oread-whose eyes
  Are constellated dusk-who stands confessed,
As naked as a flow'r ; her heart's surprise,



   Like morning's rose, mantling her brow and
   She, shrinking from my presence, all distressed
 Stands for a startled moment ere she flies,
   Her deep hair blowing, up the mountain crest,
 Wild as a mist that trails along the dawn.
   And is 't her footfalls lure me or the sound
   Of airs that stir the crisp leaf on the ground 
 And is 't her body glimmers on yon rise 
 Or dog-wood blossoms snowing on the lawn 

Now 't is a Satyr piping serenades
   On a slim reed. Now Pan and Faun advance
Beneath green-hollowed roofs of forest glades,
  Their feet gone mad with music: now, per-
  Sylvanus sleeping, on whose leafy trance
The Nymphs stand gazing in dim ambuscades
  Of sun-embodied perfume.-Myth, Romance,
Where'er I turn, reach out bewildering arms,
  Compelling me to follow. Day and night
  I hear their voices and behold the light
Of their divinity that still evades,
And still allures me in a thousand forms.

W    HAT wood-god, on this water's mossy curb,
       Lost in reflections of earth's loveliness,
Did I, just now, unconsciously disturb 
  I, who haphazard, wandering at a guess,
Came on this spot, wherein, with gold and flame
Of buds and blooms, the season writes its name.-


Ah, me! could I have seen him ere alarm
  Of my approach aroused him from his calm!
  As he, part Hamadryad and, mayhap,
Part Faun, lay here ; who left the shadow warm
  As wild-wood rose, and filled the air with balm
  Of his sweet breath as with ethereal sap.


Does not the moss retain some vague impress,
  Green dented in, of where he lay or trod
Do not the flow'rs, so reticent, confess
  With conscious looks the contact of a god 
Does not the very water garrulously
Boast the indulgence of a deity 
And, hark ! in burly beech and sycamore
  How all the birds proclaim it ! and the leaves
  Rejoice with clappings of their myriad hands!
And shall not I believe, too, and adore,
  With such wide proof -Yea, though my soul
  No evident presence, still it understands.


And for a while it moves me to lie down
  Here on the spot his god-head sanctified:
Mayhap some dream he dreamed may lingert
  And young as joy, around the forestside;
Some dream within whose heart lives no disdain
For such as I whose love is sweet and sane
That may repeat, so none but I may hear-
  As one might tell a pearl-strung rosary-
  Some epic that the trees have learned to croon,



Some lyric whispered in the wild-flower's ear,
  Whose murmurous lines are sung by bird and
  And all the insects of the night and noon.


For, all around me, upon field and hill,
  Enchantment lies as of mysterious flutes
As if the music of a god's good-will
  Had taken on material attributes
In blooms, like chords; and in the water-gleam,
That runs its silvery scales from stream to stream
In sunbeam bars, up which the butterfly,
  A golden note, vibrates then flutters on-
  Inaudible tunes, blown on the pipes of Pan,
That have assumed a visible entity,
  And drugged the air with beauty so, a Faun,
  Behold, I seem, and am no more a man.

Rain- Crow


C AN freckled August, - drowsing warm and
  Beside a wheat-shock in the white-topped mead,
In her hot hair the oxeyed daisies wound,-
  o bird of rain, lend aught but sleepy heed
  To thee  when no plumed weed, no feather'd
Blows by her; and no ripple breaks the pond,
  That gleams like flint between its rim of grasses,
  Through which the dragonfly forever passes
            Like splintered diamond.


Drouth weights the trees, and from the farmhouse
  The locust, pulse-beat of the summer day,
Throbs ; and the lane, that shambles under leaves
  Limp with the heat-a league of rutty way-
  Is lost in dust; and sultry scents of hay
Breathe from the panting meadows heaped with
  Now, now, 0 bird, what hint is there of rain,
  In thirsty heaven or on burning plain,
            That thy keen eye perceives 
But thou art right. Thou prophesiest true.
  For hardly hast thou ceased thy forecasting,
When, up the western fierceness of scorched blue,
  Great water-carrier winds their buckets bring
  Brimming with freshness.  How their dippers
And flash and rumble! lavishing dark dew
  On corn and forestland, that, streaming wet,
  Their hilly backs against the downpour set,
            Like giants vague in view.
The butterfly, safe under leaf and flower,
  Has found a roof, knowing how true thou art
The bumble-bee, within the last half-hour,
  Has ceased to hug the honey to its heart;
  While in the barnyard, under shed and cart,
Brood-hens have boused.-But 1, who scorned thy
  Barometer of the birds,-like August there,-
  Beneath a beech, dripping from foot to hair,
            Like some drenched truant, cower.


Harvest Moon
G  LOBED    in Heav'n's tree of azure, golden
  As some round apple hung
High in hesperian boughs, thou hangest yellow
  The branch-like mists among:
Within thy light a sunburnt youth, named Health,
  Rests 'mid the tasseled shocks, the tawny stubble;
And by his side, clad on with rustic wealth
  Of field and farm, beneath thy amber bubble,
A nut-brown maid, Content, sits smiling still:
  While through the quiet trees,
  The mossy rocks, the grassy hill,
Thy silvery spirit glides to yonder mill,
  Around whose wheel the breeze
And shimmering ripples of the water play,
As, by their mother, little children may.
Sweet spirit of the moon, who walkest,-lifting
  Exhaustless on thy arm,
A pearly vase of fire,-through the shifting
  Cloud-halls of calm and storm,
Pour down thy blossoms! let me hear them come,
  Pelting with noiseless light the twinkling thickets,
Making the darkness audible with the hum
  Of many insect creatures, grigs and crickets:
Until it seems the elves hold revelries
  By haunted stream and grove;
  Or, in the night's deep peace,
The young-old presence of Earth's full increase
  Seems telling thee her love,
Ere, lying down, she turns to rest, and smiles,
Hearing thy heart beat through the myriad miles.


Th e Old

W    ILD ridge on ridge the wooded hills arise,
       Between whose breezy vistas gulfs of skies
Pilot great clouds like towering argosies,
And hawk and buzzard breast the azure breeze.
With many a foaming fall and glimmering reach
Of placid murmur, under elm and beech,
The creek goes twinkling through long glows and
Of woodland quiet, poppied with perfumes:
The creek, in whose clear shallows minnow-schools
Glitter or dart; and by whose deeper pools
The blue kingfishers and the herons haunt;
That, often startled from the freckled flaunt
Of blackberry-lilies-where they feed and hide-
Trail a lank flight along the forestside
With eery clangor. Here a sycamore,
Smooth, wave-uprooted, builds from shore to shore
A headlong bridge ; and there, a storm-hurled oak
Lays a long dam, where sand and gravel choke
The water's lazy way. Here mistflower blurs
Its bit of heaven ; there the oxeye stirs
Its gloaming hues of bronze and gold; and here,
A gray cool stain, like dawn's own atmosphere,
The dim wild-carrot lifts its crumpled crest
And over all, at slender flight or rest,
The dragon-flies, like coruscating rays
Of lapis-lazuli and chrysoprase,
Drowsily sparkle through the summer days
And, dewlap-deep, here from the noontide heat
The bell-hung cattle find a cool retreat:
And through the willows girdling the hill,
Now far, now near, borne as the soft winds will,
Comes the low rushing of the water-mill.



Ah, lovely to me from a little child,
How changed the place! wherein once, undefiled,
The glad communion of the sky and stream
Went with me like a presence and a dream.
Where once the brambled meads and orchardlands
Poured ripe abundance down with mellow hands
Of summer; and the birds of field and wood
Called to me in a tongue I understood;
And in the tangles of the old rail-fence
Even the insect tumult had some sense,
And every sound a happy eloquence;
And more to me than wisest books can teach,
The wind and water said ; whose wvo:ds did reach
My soul, addressing their magnificent speech,
Raucous and rushing, from the old mill-wheel,
That made the rolling mill-cogs snore and reel,
Like some old ogre in a fairy-tale
Nodding above his meat and mug of ale.

How memory takes me back the ways that lead-
As when a boy-through woodland and through
    mead !
To orchards fruited ; or to fields in bloom
Or briary fallows, like a mighty room,
Throuh which the winds swing censers of
And where deep blackberries spread miles of fruit
A splendid feast, that stayed the ploughboy's foot
When to the tasseling acres of the corn
He drove his team, fresh in the primrose morn
And from the liberal banquet, nature lent,
Took dewy handfuls as he whistling went.-
A boy once more I stand with sunburnt feet
And watch the harvester sweep down the wheat
Or laze with warm limbs in the unstacked straw


Nearby the thresher, whose insatiate maw
Devours the sheaves, hot drawling out its hum-
Like some great sleepy bee, above a bloom,
Made drunk with honey-while, grown big with
The bulging sacks receive the golden rain.
Again I tread the valley, sweet with hay,
And hear the bob-white calling far away,
Or wood-dove cooing in the elder-brake
Or see the sassafras bushes madly shake
As swift, a rufous instant, in the glen
The red-fox leaps and gallops to his den
Or, standing in the violet-colored gloam,
Hear roadways sound with holiday riding home
From church, or fair, or bounteous barbecue,
Which the wvho]e country to some village drew.

How spilled with berries were its summer hills,
And strewn with walnuts were its autumn rills-
And chestnut burs ! fruit of the spring's long
When from their tops the trees seemed streaming
Of slender silver, cool, crepuscular,
And like a nebulous radiance shone afar.
And maples ! how their sappy hearts would gush
Broad troughs of syrup, when the winter bush
Steamed with the sugar-kettle, day and night,
And all the snow was streaked with firelight.
Then it was glorious! the mill-dam's edge,
One slant of frosty crystal, laid a ledge
Of pearl across; above which, sleeted trees
Tossed arms of ice, that, clashing in the breeze,
Tinkled the ringing creek with icicles,
Thin as the peal of Elfland's Sabbath bells:


A sound that in my city dreams I hear,
That brings before me, under skies that clear,
The old mill in its winter garb of snow,
Its frozen wheel, a great hoar beard below,
And its West windows, two deep eyes aglow.

Ah, ancient mill, still do I picture o'er
Thy cobwebbed stairs and loft and grain-strewn
Thy door,-like some brown, honest hand of toil,
And honorable with labor of the soil,-
Forever open; through which, on his back
The prosperous farmer bears his burs.ing sack.
And while the miller measures out his toll,
Again I hear, above the cogs' loud roll,-
That makes stout joist and rafter groan and sway,-
The harmless gossip of the passing day:
Good country talk, that tells how so-and-so
Has died or married; how curculio
And codling-moth have ruined half the fruit,
And blight plays mischief with the grapes to boot;
Or what the news from town ; next county fair
How well the crops are looking everywhere:
Now this, now that, on which their interests fix,
Prospects for rain or frost, and politics.
While, all around, the sweet smell of the meal
Filters, warm-pouring from the grinding wheel
Into the bin ; beside which, mealy white,
The miller looms, dim in the dusty light.

Again I see the miller's home, between
The crinkling creek and hills of beechen green
Again the miller greets me, gaunt and brown,
WVho oft o'erawed me with his gray-browed frown
And rugged mien : again he tries to reach
My youthful mind with fervid scriptural speech.-


For he, of all the country-side confessed,
The most religious was and happiest;
A Methodist, and one whom faith still led,
No books except the Bible had he read-
At least so seemed it to my younger head.-
All things in earth and heav'n he'd prove by this,
Be it a fact or mere hypothesis;
For to his simple wisdom, reverent,
" The Bible says " was all of argument.-
God keep his soul ! his bones were long since laid
Among the sunken gravestones in the shade
Of those black-lichened rocks, that wall around
The family burying-ground with cedars crowned
Where bristling teasel and the brier combine
With clambering wood-rose and the wild-grape vine
To hide the stone whereon his name and dates
Neglect, with mossy hand, obliterates.

of Dawn


T HEN up the orient heights to the zenith, that
       balanced the crescent,-
Up and far up and over,-the heaven grew
Vibrant with rose and with ruby from the hands of
    the harpist Dawn,
Smiting symphonic fire on the firmament's barbi ton:
And the East was a priest who adored with offerings
    of gold and of gems,
And a wonderful carpet unrolled for the inaccessible



Of the glistening robes of her limbs; that, lily and
Swept glorying on and on through temples of cloud
    and mist.
Then out of the splendor and richness, that burned
    like a magic stone,
The torrent suffusion that deepened and dazzled
    and broadened and shone,
The pomp and the pageant of color, triumphal
    procession of glare,
The sun, like a king in armor, breathing splendor
    from feet to hair,
Stood forth with majesty girdled, as a hero who
    towers afar
Where the bannered gates are bristling hells and
    the walls are roaring war
And broad on the back of the world, like a
    Cherubin's fiery blade,
The effulgent gaze of his aspect fell in glittering


Then billowing blue, like an ocean, rolled from the
    shores of morn to even:
And the stars, like rafts, went down : and the
    moon, like a ghost-ship, driven,
A feather of foam, from port to port of the cloud-
    built isles that dotted,
With pearl and cameo, bays of the day, her
    canvas webbed and rotted,
Lay lost in the gulf of heaven : while over her
    mixed and melted
The beautiful children of Morn, whose bodies are


The beautiful daughters of Dawn, who, over and
    under and after
The rivered radiance, wrestled ; and rainbowed
    heaven with laughter
Of halcyon sapphire. - 0 Dawn ! thou visible
And hallelujah of Heaven ! hosanna of Earth



WRAPPED round of the night, as a monster is
         wrapped of the ocean,
Down, down through vast storeys of darkness,
    behold, in the tower
Of the heaven, the thunder ! on stairways of cloudy
Colossal of tread, like a giant, from echoing hour
    to hour
Goes striding in rattling armor .
The Nymph, at her billow-roofed dormer
Of foam ; and the Sylvan-green-housed-at her
    window of leaves appears;
-As a listening woman, who hears
The approach of her lover, who comes to her arms
    in the night;
And, loosening the loops of her locks,
With eyes full of love and delight,
From the couch of her rest in ardor and haste
The Nymph, as if breathed of the tempest, like
    fire surprises



The riotous bands of the rocks,
That face with a roar the shouting charge of the seas.
The Sylvan,-through troops of the trees,
Whose clamorous clans with gnarly bosoms keep
Themselves on the guns of the wind,-goes wheeling
    and whirling.
The Nymph, of the waves' exultation upheld, her
    green tresses
Knotted with flowers of the hollow white foam,
    dives screaming;
Then bounds to the arms of the storm, who boister-
    ously presses
Her hair and wild form to his breast that is panting
    and streaming.
The Sylvan,-hard-pressed by the wind, the Pan-
    footed air,-
On the violent backs of the hills,-
Like a flame that tosses and thrills
From peak to peak when the world of spirits is out,-
Is borne, as her rapture wills,
With glittering gesture and shout:
Now here in the darkness, now there,
From the rain-like sweep of her hair,-
Bewilderingly volleyed o'er eyes and o'er lips,-
To the lambent swell of her limbs, her breasts and
    her hips,
She flashes her beautiful nakedness out in the glare
Of the tempest that bears her away,-
That bears me away !
Away, over forest andfoam, over tree and spray,
Far swifter than thought, far swifter than sound
    or than flame,
Over ocean and pine,
In arms of tumultuous shadow and shine .


Though Sylvan and Nymph do not
Exist, and only what
Of terror and beauty I feel and I name
As parts of the storm, the awe and the rapture
That here in the tempest are mine,-
The two are the same, the two are forever the same.



Beautiful-bosomed, 0 night, in thy noon
Move with majesty onward ! bearing, as lightly
As a singer may bear the notes of an exquisite tune,
The stars and the moon
Through the clerestories high of the heaven, the
    firmament's halls;
Under whose sapphirine walls,
June, hesperian June,
Robed in divinity wanders. Daily and nightly
The turquoise touch of her robe, that the violets
The silvery fall of her feet, that lilies are,
Fill the land with languorous light and perfume.-
Is it the melody mute of burgeoning leaf and of
The music of Nature, that silently shapes in the
Immaterial hosts
Of spirits that have the flowers and leaves in their
That I hear, that I hear
Invisible ghosts,-
Who whisper in leaves and glimmer in blossoms
    and hover


In color and fragrance and loveliness, breathed
    from the deep
World-soul of the mother,
Nature ;-who, over and over,
Both sweetheart and lover.
Goes singing her songs from one sweet month to
    the other,-
That appear, that appear
In forest and field, on hill-land and lea,
As crystallized harmony,
Materialized melody,
An uttered essence peopling far and near
The hyaline atmosphere  . . .
Behold how it sprouts from the grass and blooms
    from flower and tree !
In waves of diaphanous moonlight and mist,
In fugue upon fugue of gold and of amethyst,
Around me, above me it spirals; now slower, now
Like symphonies born of the thought of a musical
-o music of Earth! 0 God who the music
    inspired !
Let me breathe of the life of thy breath
And so be fulfilled and attired
In resurrection, triumphant o'er time and o'er death!

Hymn to
M   OTHER of visions, with lineaments dulcet
         as numbers
Breathed on the eyelids of love by music that


Secretly, sweetly, 0 presence of fire and snow,
Thou comest mysterious,
In beauty imperious,
Clad on with dreams and the light of no world that
    we know.
Deep to my innermost soul am I shaken,
Helplessly shaken and tossed,
And of thy tyrannous yearnings so utterly taken,
My lips, unsatisfied, thirst
Mine eyes are accurst
With longings for visions that far in the night are
And mine ears, in listening lost,
Yearn, yearn for the note of a chord that will
    never awaken.


Like palpable music thou comest, like moonlight
    and far,-
Resonant bar upon bar,-
The vibrating lyre
Of the spirit responds with melodious fire,
As thy fluttering fingers now grasp it and ardently
With flame and with flake,
The chords of existence, the instrument star-sprung.
Whose frame is of clay, so wonderfully molded
    from mire.


Vested with vanquishment, come, 0 Desire, Desire
Breathe in this harp of my soul the audible angel
    of love!
Make of my heart an Israfel burning above,


A lute for the music of God, that lips, which are
    mortal, but stammer!
Smite every rapturous wire
With golden delirium, rebellion and silvery clamor,
Crying-" Awake! awake!
Too long hast thou slumbered ! too far from the
    regions of glamour,
With its mountains of magic, its fountains of Fay,
    the spar-sprung,
Hast thou wandered away, 0 Heart
Come, oh, come and partake
Of necromance banquets of beauty; and slake
Thy thirst in the waters of art,
That are drawn from the streams
Of love and of dreams.


"Come, oh, come !
No longer shall language be dumb
Thy vision shall grasp-
As one doth the glittering hasp
Of a dagger made splendid with gems and with
The wonder and richness of life, not anguish and
    hate of it merely.
And out of the stark
Eternity, awful and dark,
Immensity silent and cold,-
Universe-shaking as trumpets, or thunderous metals
That cymbal ; yet pensive and pearly
And soft as the rosy unfolding of petals,
Or crumbling aroma of blossoms that wither too
The majestic music of Death, where he plays
On the organ of eons and days."



THOU, oh, thou !
      Thou of the chorded shell and golden plec-
          trum ! thou
Of the dark eyes and pale pacific brow
Music, who by the plangent waves,
Or in the echoing night of labyrinthine caves,
Or on God's mountains, lonely as the stars,
Touchest reverberant bars
Of immemorial sorrow and amaze;-
Keeping regret and memory awake,
And all the immortal ache
Of love that leans upon the past's sweet days
In retrospection !-now, oh, now,
Interpreter and heart-physician, thou,
Who gazest on the heaven and the hell
Of life, and singest each as well,
Touch with thy all-mellifluous finger-tips,
Or thy melodious lips,
This sickness named my soul,
Making it whole,
As is an echo of a chord,
Or some symphonic word,
Or sweet vibrating sigh,
That deep, resurgent still doth rise and die
On thy voluminous roll;
Part of the beauty and the mystery
That axles Earth with song; and as a slave,
Swings it around and 'round on each sonorous pole,
'Mid spheric harmony,
And choral majesty,
And diapasoning of wind and wave;
And speeds it on its far elliptic way
'Mid vasty anthemings of night and day.-



o cosmic cry
Of two eternities, wherein we see
The phantasms, Death and Life,
At endless strife
Above the silence of a monster grave.


BEYOND       the Northern  Lights, in regions
Of twilight, where the world is glacier planted,
And pale as Loki in his cavern when
The serpent's slaver burns him to the bones,
I saw the phantasms of gigantic men,
The prototypes of vastness, quarrying stones;
Great blocks of winter, glittering with the morn's
And evening's colors,-wild prismatic tones
Of boreal beauty.-Like the three gray Norns,
Silence and solitude and terror loomed
Around them where they labored. Walls arose,
Vast as the Andes when creation boomed
Insurgent fire; and through the rushing snows
Enormous battlements of tremendous ice,
Bastioned and turreted, 1 saw arise.

But who can sing the workmanship gigantic
  That reared within its coruscating dome
The roaring fountain, hurling an Atlantic
  Of streaming ice that flashed with flame and
An opal spirit, various and many formed,-
In whose clear heart reverberant fire stormed,-


  Seemed its inhabitant; and through pale halls,
        And deep diaphanous walls,
        And corridors of whiteness,
        Auroral colors swarmed,
        As rosy-flickering stains,
Or lambent green, or gold, or crimson, warmed
The pulsing crystal of the spirit's veins
        With ever-changing brightness.
And through the Arctic night there went a voice,
As if the ancient Earth cried out, " Rejoice
        My heart is full of lightness


Here well might Thor, the god of war,
Harness the whirlwinds to his car,
While, mailed in storm, his iron arm
Heaves high his hammer's lava-form,
And red and black his beard streams back,
Like some fierce torrent scoriac,
Whose earthquake light glares through the night
Around some dark volcanic height;
And through the skies Valkyrian cries
Trumpet, as battleward he flies,
Death in his hair and havoc in his eyes.


Still in my dreams I hear that fountain flowing;
Beyond all seeing and beyond all knowing;
Still in my dreams I see those wild walls glowing
  With hues, Aurora-kissed;
And through huge halls fantastic phantoms going,
  Vast shapes of snow and mist,-
Sonorous clarions of the tempest blowing,-
  That trail dark banners by,



  Cloudlike, underneath the sky
  Of the caverned dome on high,
  Carbuncle and amethyst.-
  Still I hear the ululation
  Of their stormy exultation,
  Multitudinous, and blending
  In hoarse echoes, far, unending
  And, through halls of fog and frost,
  Howling back, like madness lost
  In the moonless mansion of
  Its own demon-haunted love.

Still in my dreams I hear the mermaid singing;
The mermaid music at its portal ringing;
The mermaid song, that hinged with gold its door,
  And, whispering evermore,
  Hushed the ponderous hurl and roar
  And vast atolian thunder
  Of the chained tempests under
  The frozen cataracts that were its floor.-
And, blinding beautiful, I still behold
The mermaid there, combing her locks of gold,
While, at her feet, green as the Northern Seas,
Gambol her flocks of seals and walruses;
While, like a drift, her dog-a Polar bear-
Lies by her, glowering through his shaggy hair.

O wondrous house, built by supernal hands
  In vague and ultimate lands !
Thy architects were behemoth wind and cloud,
  That, laboring loud,
Mountained thy world foundations and uplifted
  Thy skyey bastions drifted



Of piled eternities of ice and snow ;
  Where storms, like ploughmen, go,
Ploughing the deeps with awful hurricane;
  Where, spouting icy rain,
The huge whale wallows; and through furious hail
  Th' explorer's tattered sail
Drives like the wing of some terrific bird,
  Where wreck and famine herd.-
Home of the red Auroras and the gods!
HIe who profanes thy perilous threshold,-where
  The ancient centuries lair,
And, glacier-throned, thy monarch, Winter, nods,-
  Let him beware!
Lest, coming on that hoary presence there,
  Whose pitiless band,
  Above that hungry land,
An iceberg wields as sceptre, and whose crown
  The North Star is, set in a band of frost,
He, too, shall feel the bitterness of that frown,
  And, turned to stone, forevermore be lost.


  T  HE day is dead; and in the west
       The slender crescent of the moon-
  Diana's crystal-kindled crest-
  Sinks hillward in a silvery swoon.
  What is the murmur in the dell 
  The stealthy whisper and the drip -
  A Dryad with her leaf-light trip 
  Or Naiad o'er her fountain well -
  Who, with white fingers for her comb,
  Sleeks her blue hair, and from its curls
  Showers slim minnows and pale pearls,


And hollow music of the foam.
What is it in the vistaed ways
That leans and springs, and stoops and
    sways -
The naked limbs of one who flees 
An Oread who hesitates
Before the Satyr form that waits,
Crouching to leap, that there she sees
Or under boughs, reclining cool,
A Hlamadryad, like a pool
Of moonlight, pale