xt7dr785j523 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7dr785j523/data/mets.xml Cawein, Madison Julius, 1865-1914. 1898  books b92-188-30608429 English J.P. Morton, : Louisville, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Idyllic monologues  : poems / by Madison Cawein ; old and new world verses. text Idyllic monologues  : poems / by Madison Cawein ; old and new world verses. 1898 2002 true xt7dr785j523 section xt7dr785j523 


Poems by Madison Cawein

  "Undertones" "Garden of Dreams"

  Publishers.. Louisville, Kentucky


    Copyrighted 1898




THIS collection of poems is entirely new with the exception of three
or four which appeared in two earlier volumes, published some
ten years ago. The reprinted poems have been carefully re-written,
and so changed throughout as to hardly bear any resemblance, except
that of subject, to the original.



The Brothers .........................

Geraldine .............................

The Moated Manse.......

The Forester...........

My Lady of Verne.......

An Old Tale Re-told .....

The Water Witch .......

At Nineveh............

How They Brought Aid to

On the Jellico Spur of the

A Confession ...........

Lilith ..................


,...................... .

.... .... .... ....



... ......................

Bryan's Station..  

Cumberlands ....

.......... I.....

Content ..........

Berrying .........

To a Pansy-Violet .

Heart of my Heart

















..... ..........





 Witnesses ............................. 94

 Wherefore ...... . ..................... 95

 Pagan ................................    96

 "The Fathers of our Fathers" ............... 97

- Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin ".99

Her Vivien Eyes .......   ................. IO0

There was a Rose ....................... 102

The Artist ............................. 103

Poetry and Philosophy ......  ............. I03

"Quo Vadis" ...............  ..............  04

To a Critic ..................     . ........  05



And one, perchance, will read and sigh:
What aimless songs! Why will he sing
Of nature that drags out her woe
Througb wind and rain, and sun, and snow,
From miserable spring to spring"
      Then put me av.

And one, perhaps, will read and say:
Whvy write of things across the sea;
Of men and women, far and near,
When we of things at home would bear-
Well, who would call this poetry "
      Then toss away.

A hopeless task have we, meseems,
At this late davy; whom fate bath made
Sad, bankrupt heirs of song; who, filled
With kindredyearnings, try to build
A towrer like theirs, that will not fade,
      Out of our dreams.


Only One Hundred and Fifty Copies Printed for Private Distribution.
                     A Few Copies For Sale.



The Brothers

    N T OT far from here, it lies beyond
          That low-hilled belt of woods.  We 'll take
          This unused lane where brambles make
    A wall of twilight, and the blond
    Brier-roses pelt the path and flake
    The margin waters of a pond.

    This is its fence -or that which was
    Its fence once- now, rock rolled from rock,
    One tangle of the vine and dock,
    Where bloom the wild petunias;
    And this its gate, the iron-weeds block,
    Hot with the insects' dusty buzz.

    Two wooden posts, wherefrom has peeled
    The weather-crumbled paint, still rise;
    Gaunt things -that groan when someone tries
    The gate whose hinges, rust-congealed,
    Snarl open :-on each post still lies
    Its carven lion with a shield.



The Brothers

We enter; and between great rows
Of locusts winds a grass-grown road;
And at its glimmering end,-o'erflowed
With quiet light,-the white front shows
Of an old mansion, grand and broad.
With grave Colonial porticoes.

Grown thick around it, dark and deep,
The locust trees make one vast hush;
Their brawny branches crowd and crush
Its very casements, and o'ersweep
Its rotting roofs; their tranquil rush
Haunts all its spacious rooms with sleep.

Still is it called The Locusts; though
None lives here now. A tale 's to tell
Of some dark thing that here befell;
A crime that happened years ago,
When by its walls, with shot and shell,
The war swept on and left it so.

For one black night, within it, shame
Made revel, while, all here about,
With prayer or curse or battle-shout,
Men died and homesteads leapt in flame:
Then passed the conquering Northern rout,
And left it silent and the same.



The Brothers

Why should I speak of what has been 
Or what dark part I played in all
Why ruin sits in porch and hall
Where pride and gladness once were seen;
And why beneath this lichened wall
The grave of Margaret is green.

Heart-broken Margaret! whose fate
Was sadder yet than his who won
Her hand-my brother Hamilton-
Or mine, who learned to know too late;
Who learned to know, when all was done,
And nothing could exonerate.

To expiate is still my lot,-
And, like the Ancient Mariner,
To show to others how things are
And what I am, still helps me blot
A little from that crime's red scar,
That on my soul is branded hot.

He was my only brother. She
A sister of my brother's friend.
They met, and married in the end.
And I remember well when he
Brought her rejoicing home, the trend
Of war moved towards us sullenly.



The Brothers

And scarce a year of wedlock when
Its red arms took him from his bride.
With lips by hers thrice sanctified
He left to ride with Morgan's men.
And I -I never could decide -
Remained at home. It happened then.

For days went by. And, oft delayed,
A letter came of loving word
Scrawled by some camp-fire, sabre-stirred,
Or by a pine-knot's fitful aid,
When in the saddle, armed and spurred
And booted for some hurried raid.

Then weeks went by. I do not know
How long it was before there came,
Blown from the North, the clarion fame
Of Morgan, who, with blow on blow,
Had drawn a line of blood and flame
From Tennessee to Ohio.

Then letters ceased; and days went on.
No word from him. The war rolled back,
And in its turgid crimson track
A rumor grew, like some wild dawn,
All ominous and red and black,
With news of our lost Hamilton,



The Brothers

That hinted death or capture. Yet
No thing was sure; till one day,-fed
By us,-some men rode up who said
They'd been with Morgan and had met
Disaster, and that he was dead,
My brother. -I and Margaret

Believed them. Grief was ours too:
But mine was more for her than him;
Grief, that her eyes with tears were dim;
Grief, that became the avenue
For love, who crowned the sombre brim
Of death's dark cup with rose-red hue.

In sympathy, -unconsciously
Though it be given -I hold, doth dwell
The germ of love that time shall swell
To blossom. Sooner then in me-
When close relations so befell-
That love should spring from sympathy.

Our similar tastes and mutual bents
Combined to make us intimates
From our first meeting. Different states
Of interest then our temperaments
Begot. Then friendship, that abates
No love, whose self it represents.



The Brothers

These led to talks and dreams: how oft
We sat at some wide window while
The sun sank o'er the hills' far file,
Serene; and of the cloud aloft
Made one vast rose; and mile on mile
Of firmament grew sad and soft.

And all in harmony with these
Dim clemencies of dusk, afar
Our talks and dreams went; while the star
Of evening brightened o'er the trees:
We spoke of home; the end of war:
We dreamed of life and love and peace.

How on our walks in listening lanes
Or confidences of the wood,
We paused to hear the dove that cooed;
Or gathered wild-flowers, taking pains
To find the fairest; or her hood
Filled with wild fruit that left deep stains.

No echo of the drum or fife,
No hint of conflict entered in
Our thoughts then. Will you call it sin-
Indifference to a nation's strife 
What side might lose, what side might win,
Both immaterial to our life.



The Brothers

Into the past we did not look;
Beyond what was we did not dream;
While onward rushed the thunderous stream
Of war, that, in its torrent, took
One of our own. No crimson gleam
Of its wild course around us shook.

At last we knew. And when we learned
How he had fallen, Margaret
Wept; and, albeit my eyes were wet,
Within my soul I half discerned
A joy that mingled with regret,
A grief that to relief was turned.

As time went on and confidence
Drew us more strongly each to each,
Why did no intimation reach
Its warning hand into the dense
Soul-silence, and confuse the speech
Of love's unbroken eloquence!

But, no! no hint to turn the poise,
Or check the impulse of our youth;
To chill it with the living truth
As with the awe of God's own voice;
No hint, to make our hope uncouth;
No word, to warn us from our choice.



The Brothers

To me a wall seemed overthrown
That social law had raised between;
And o'er its ruin, broad and green
A path went, I possessed alone;
The sky above seemed all serene;
The land around seemed all my own.

What shall I say of Margaret
To justify her part in this 
That her young heart was never his 
But had been mine since first we met 
So would you say ! - Enough it is
That when he left she loved him yet.

So passed the Spring, and Summer sped;
And early Autumn brought the day
When she her hand in mine should lay,
And I should take her hand and wed.
And still no hint that might gainsay,
No warning word of quick or dead.

The day arrived; and, with it born,
A battle, sullying the East
With boom of cannon, that increased,
And throb of musket and of horn:
Until at last, towards dusk, it ceased;
And men with faces wild and worn,



The Brothers

In fierce retreat swept past; now groups;
Now one by one; now sternly white,
Or blood-stained; now with looks whose fright
Said all was lost. Then sullen troops
That, beaten, still kept up the fight.
Then came the victors; shadowy loops

Of men and horse, that left a crowd
Of officers in hall and porch.....
While through the land around the torch
Circled, and many a fiery cloud
Marked out the army's iron march
In furrows red, that pillage plowed,

Here we were wedded. -Ask the years
How such could be, while over us
A sword of wrath swung ominous,
And on our cheeks its breath was fierce!
All I remember is -'t was thus,
And Margaret's eyes were wet with tears.

No other cause my memory sees
Save this, that night was set; and when
I found my home filled with armed men
With whom were all my sympathies
Of Union -why postpone it then
So argued conscience into peace.



The Brothers

And then it was, when night had passed
There came to me an orderly
With word of a confederate spy
Late taken, who, with head downcast,
Had asked one favor, this: " That I
Would see him ere he breathed his last."

I stand alone here. Heavily
My thoughts go back. Had I not gone,
The dead had still been dead ! -for none
Had yet believed his story-he,
My dead-deemed brother, Hamilton,
Who in the spy confronted me.

o you who never have been tried,
How can you judge me !-in my place
I saw him standing-who can trace
My heart thoughts then ! -I turned aside,
A thing of some unnatural race,
And did not speak; and so he died.

In hospital or prison, when
It was he lay; what had forbid
His home return so long: amid
What hardships he had suffered, then
I dared not ask; and when I did,
Long afterwards, inquire of men,



The Brothers

No thing I learned. But this I feel-
He who had so returned to life
Was not a spy. Through stress and strife,-
This makes my conscience hard to heal!-
He had escaped; he sought his wife;
He sought his home that should conceal.

And Margaret! Oh, pity her!
A criminal I sought her side,
Still thinking love was justified
In all for her-whatever were
The price, a brother thrice denied,
Or thrice a brother's murderer.

Since then long years have passed away.
And through those years, perhaps, you '11 ask
How to the world I wore my mask
Of honesty  -I can but say
Beyond my powers it was a task;
Before my time it turned me gray.

And when at last the ceaseless hiss
Of conscience drove, and I betrayed
All to her, she knelt down and prayed,
Then rose; and 'twixt us an abyss
Was opened; and she seemed to fade
Out of my life: I came to miss



The Brothers

The sweet attentions of a bride:
For each appealing heart's caress
In me, her heart assumed a dress
Of dull indifference; till denied
To me was all responsiveness;
And then I knew her love had died.

Ah, had she loaded me, perchance,
With wild reproach or even hate,
Such would have helped a hope to wait
Forgiveness and returned romance;
But 'twixt our souls, instead, a gate
She closed of silent tolerance.

Yet, 't was for love of her I lent
My soul to crime . . . I question me
Often, if less entirely
I 'd loved her, then, in that event,
She had been justified to see
The deed alone stand prominent.

The deed alone! But love records
In his own heart, I will aver,
No depth I did not feel for her
Beyond the plummet-reach of words:
And though there may be worthier,
No truer love this world affords



The Brothers

Than mine was, though it could not rise
Above itself. And so 't was best,
Perhaps, that she saw manifest
Its crime, that I, as saw her eyes,
Might see; and so, in soul confessed,
Some life atonement might devise.

Sadly my heart one comfort keeps,
That, towards the end, she took my hands
And said, as one who understands,
Had I but seen! But love that weeps,
Sees only as its loss commands,"
And sighed. Beneath this stone she sleeps.

Yes; I have suffered for that sin;
Yet in no instance would I shun
What I should suffer. Many a one,
Who heard my tale, has tried to win
Me to believe that Hamilton
It was not; and, though proven kin,

This had not saved him. Still the stain
Of the intention-had I erred
And 't was not he -had writ the word
Red on my soul that branded Cain;
For still my error had incurred
The fact of guilt that would remain.



The Brothers

Ah, love at best is insecure,
And lives with doubt and vain regret;
And hope and faith, with faces set
Upon the past, are never sure;
And through their fever, grief, and fret
The heart may fail that should endure.

For in ourselves, however blend
The passions that make heaven and hell,
Is evil not accountable
For most the good we comprehend 
And through these two, or ill, or well,
Man must evolve his spiritual end.

It is with deeds that we must ask
Forgiveness; for upon this earth,
Life walks alone from very birth
With death, hope tells us is a mask
For life beyond of vaster worth,
Where sin no more sets love a task.




      AH, Geraldine, lost Geraldine,
      IN    That night of love, when first we met,
            You have forgotten, Geraldine -
      I never dreamed you would forget.

      Ah, Geraldine, sweet Geraldine,
      More lovely than that Asian queen,
      Scheherazade, the beautiful,
      Who in her orient palace cool
      Of India, for a thousand nights
      And one, beside her monarch lay,
      Telling-while sandal-scented lights
      And music stole the soul away-
      Love tales of old Arabia,
      Full of enchantments and emprise-
      But no enchantments like your eyes.

      Ah, Geraldine, loved Geraldine,
      More lovely than those maids, I ween,
      Pampinea and Lauretta, who,
      In gardens old of dusk and dew,
      Sat with their lovers, maid and man,
      In stately days Italian,
      And in quaint stories, that we know
      Through grace of good Boccaccio,
      Told of fond loves, some false, some true,-
      But, Geraldine, none false as you.




Ah, Geraldine, lost Geraldine,
That night of love, when first we met,
You have forgotten, Geraldine-
I never dreamed you would forget.

'T was summer, and the moon swam high,
A great pale pearl within the sky:
And down that purple night of love
The stars, concurrent spark on spark,
Seemed fiery moths that swarmed above:
And through the roses, o'er the park,
Star-like the fire-flies filled the dark:
A mocking-bird in some deep tree,
Drowsy with dreams and melody,
Like a magnolia bud, that, dim,
Opens and pours its soul in musk,
Gave to the moonlight and the dusk
Its heart's pure song, its evening hymn.
Oh, night of love! when in the dance
Your heart thrilled rapture into mine,
As in a state of necromance
A mortal hears a voice divine.
Oh, night of love! when from your glance
I drank sweet death as men drink wine.

You wearied of the waltz at last.
I led you out into the night.
Warm in my hand I held yours fast.




Your face was flushed; your eyes were bright.
The moon hung like a shell of light
Above the lake, above the trees:
And borne to us with fragrances
Of roses that were ripe to fall,
The soul of music from the hall
Beat in the moonlight and the breeze,
As youth's wild heart grown weary of
Desire and its dream of love.

I held your arm and, for awhile,
We walked along the balmy aisle
Of flowers that, like velvet, dips
Unto the lake which lilies tile
Like stars; and hyacinths, like strips
Of heaven: and beside a fall,
That, down a ferned and mossy wall,
Fell in the lake,-deep, woodbine-wound,
A latticed summer-house we found;
A green kiosk,- through which the sound
Of waters and of breezes swayed,
And honeysuckle bugles played
Soft serenades of perfume sweet,-
Around which ran a rustic seat.
And seated in that haunted nook,-
I know not how it was,- a word,
A touch, perhaps, a sigh, a look,
Was father to the kiss I took;




Great things grow out of small I've heard.
And then it was I took between
My hands your face, loved Geraldine,
And gazed into your eyes, and told
The story ever new though old.
You did not look away, but met
My eyes with eyes whose lids were wet
With tears of truth; and you did lean
Your cheek to mine, sweet Geraldine,-
I never dreamed you would forget.

The night-wind and the water sighed:
And through the leaves, that stirred above,
The moonbeams swooned with music of
The dance -soft things in league with love:
I never dreamed that you had lied.

How all comes back now, Geraldine!
The melody; the glimmering scene;
Your angel face; and ev'n, between
Your lawny breasts, the heart-shaped jewel,-
To which your breath gave fluctuant fuel,-
A rosy star of stormy fire;
The snowy drift of your attire,
Lace-deep and fragrant: and your hair,
Disordered in the dance, held back
By one gemmed pin,-a moonbeam there,
Half-drowned within its night-like black.-




And I who sat beside you then,
Seemed blessed above all mortal men.

I loved you for the way you sighed;
The way you said, - I love but you;"
The smile with which your lips replied;
Your lips, that from my bosom drew
The soul; your looks, like undenied
Caresses, that seemed naught but true:
I loved you for the violet scent
That clung about you as a flower;
Your moods, where shine and shadow blent,
An April-tide of sun and shower;
You were my creed, my testament,
Wherein I read of God's high power.

Was it because the loving see
Only what they desire shall be
There in the well-beloved's soul,
Affection and affinity,
That I beheld in you the whole
Of my love's image  and believed
You loved as I did nor perceived
'T was but a mask, a mockery!

Ah, Geraldine, lost Geraldine,
That night of love, when first we met,
You have forgotten, Geraldine-
I never dreamed you would forget.


The Moated Manse

    AND now once more we stood within the walls
  Ak     Of her old manor near the riverside;
         Dead leaves lay rotting in its empty halls,
  And here and there the ivy could not hide
  The year-old scars, made by the Royalists' balls,
  Around the doorway, where so many died
  In that last effort to defend the stair,
  When Rupert, like a demon, entered there.

  The basest Cavalier who yet wore spurs
  Or drew a sword, I count him; with his grave
  Eyes 'neath his plumed hat like a wolf's whom curs
  Rouse, to their harm, within a forest cave;
  And hair like harvest; and a voice like verse
  For smoothness. Ay, a handsome man and brave! -
  Brave  - who would question it ! although 't is true
  He warred with one weak woman and her few.

   Lady Isolda of the Moated Manse,
   Whom here, that very noon, it happened me
   To meet near her old home. A single glance
   Told me 't was she. I marveled much to see



The Moated Manse

How lovely still she was! as fair, perchance,
As when Red Rupert thrust her brutally,-
Her long hair loosened,-down the shattered stair,
And cast her, shrieking, 'mid his followers there.


"She is for you! Take her ! I promised it!
She is for you ! "-he shouted, as he flung
Her in their midst. Then, on her poor hands (split,
And beaten by his dagger when she clung
Resisting him) and knees, she crept a bit
Nearer his feet and begged for death. No tongue
Can tell the way he turned from her and cursed,
Then bade his men draw lots for which were first.


 I saw it all from that low parapet,
 Where, bullet-wounded in the hip and head,
 I lay face-upward in the whispering wet,
 Exhausted 'mid the dead and left for dead.
 We had held out two days without a let
 Against these bandits. You could trace with red,
 From room to room, how we resisted hard
 Since the great door crashed in to their petard.

2 I


The Moated Manse

The rain revived me, and I leaned with pain
And saw her lying there, all soiled and splashed
And miserable; on her cheek a stain,
A dull red bruise, made when his hand had dashed
Her down upon the stones; the wretched rain
Dnpped from her dark hair; and hei hands were
Oh, for a musket or a petronel
With which to send his devil's soul to hell!

But helpless there I lay, no weapon near,
Only the useless sword I could not reach
His traitor's heart with, while I chafed to hear
The laugh, the insult and the villain speech
Of him to her. Oh, God! could I but clear
The height between and, hanging like a leech,
My fingers at his throat, there tear his base
Vile tongue out, yea, and lash it in his face!

But, badly wounded, what could I but weep
With rage and pity of my helplessness
And her misfortune! Could I only creep
A little nearer so that she might guess



The Moated Manse

I was not dead; that I my life would keep
But to avenge her ! - Oh, the wild distress
Of that last moment when, half-dead, I saw
Them mount and bear her swooning through the shaw.


Long time I lay unconscious. It befell
Some woodsmen found me, having heard the sound
Of fighting cease that, for two days, made dell
And dingle echo; ventured on the ground
For plunder; and it had not then gone well
With me, I fear, had not their leader found
That in some way I would repay his care;
So bore me to his hut and nursed me there.


How roughly kind he was. For weeks I hung
'Twixt life and death; health, like a varying, sick,
And fluttering pendulum, now this way swung,
Now that, until at last its querulous tick
Beat out life's usual time, and slowly rung
The long loud hours that exclaimed," Be quick !-
Arise!- Go forth! - Hear how her black wrongs call! -
Make them the salve to cure thy wounds withal "



The Moated Manse


They were my balsam: for, ere autumn came,
Weak still, but over eager to be gone,
I took my leave of him. A little lame
From that hip-wound, and somewhat thin and wan,
I sought the village. Here I. heard her name
And shame's made one. How Rupert passed one dawn,
And she among his troopers rode -astride
Like any man - pale-faced and feverish-eyed.


Which way these took they pointed, and I went
Like fire after. Oh, the thought was good
That they were on before! And much it meant
To know she lived still; she, whose image stood
Ever before me, making turbulent
Each heart-beat with her wrongs, that were fierce food
Unto my hate that, "s Courage !" cried, " Rest not!
Think of her there, and let thy haste be hot!"


But months passed by and still I had not found:
Yet here and there, as wearily I sought,
I caught some news: how he had held his ground
Against the Roundhead troops; or how he'd fought



The Moated Manse

Then fled, returned and conquered. Like a hound,
Questing a boar, I followed; but was brought
Never to see my quarry. Day by day
It seemed that Satan kept him from my way.


A woman rode beside him, so they said,
A fair-faced wanton, mounted like a man-
Isolda !-my Isolda! -better dead,
Yea, dead and damned! than thus the courtesan,
Bold, unreluctant, of such men ! A dread,
That such should be, unmanned me. Doubt began
To whisper at my heart.-But I was mad,
To insult her with such thoughts, whose love I had.


At last one day I rested in a glade
Near that same woodland which I lay in when
Sore wounded; and, while sitting in the shade
Of an old beach - what ! did I dream, or men
Like Rupert's own ride near me  and a maid -
Isolda or her spirit ! - Wildly then
I rose and, shouting, leapt upon my horse;
Unsheathed my sword and rode across their course.



The Moated Manse

Mainly I looked for Rupert, and by name
Challenged him forth:-" Dog! dost thou hide
    behind  -
Insulter of women! Coward! save where shame
And rapine call thee! God at last is kind,
And my sword waits ! "- Like an upbeating flame,
My voice rose to a windy shout; and blind
I seemed to sit, till, with an outstretched hand,
Isolda rode before me from that band.


Gerald! " she cried; not as a heart surprised
With gladness that the loved, deemed dead, still lives
But like the heart that long hath realized
Only misfortune and to fortune gives
No confidence, though it be recognized
As good. She spoke: - Lo, we are fugitives.
Rupert is slain. And I am going home."
Then like a child asked simply, "Wilt thou
    come . . .
Oh, I have suffered, Gerald, oh, my God!
What shame, what vileness ! Once my soul was clean-
Stained and defiled behold it !- I have trod
Sad ways of hell and horror. I have seen


The Moated Manse

And lived all depths of lust. Yet, oh, my God!
Blameless I hold myself of what hath been,
Though through it all, yea, this thou too must know,
I loved him! my betrayer and thy foe!"


Sobbing she spoke as if but half awake,
Her eyes far-fixed beyond me, far beyond
All hope of mine.-So it was for his sake,
His love, that she had suffered! . . . blind and fond,
For what return ! . . . And I to nurse a snake,
And never dream its nature would respond
With some such fang of venom! 'T was for this
That I had ventured all, to find her his!


At first half-stunned I stood; then blood and brain,
Like two stern judges, who had slept, awoke,
Rose up and thundered, " Slay her! " Every vein
And nerve responded, " Slay her at a stroke ! "-
And I had done it, but my heart again,
Like a strong captain in a tumult, spoke,
And the fierce discord fell. And quietly
I sheathed my sword and said, -I '11 go with thee,"



The Moated Manse


But this was my reward for all I 'd borne,
My loyalty and love! To see her eyes
Hollow from tears for him; her pale cheeks worn
With grief for him; to know them all for lies,
Her vows of faith to me; to come forlorn,
Where I had hoped to come on Paradibe,
On Hell's black gulf; and, as if not enough,
Soiled as she was and outcast, still to love!


Then rode one ruffian from the rest, clay-flecked
From spur to plume with hurry; seized my rein,
And -" What art thou," demanded, - who hast checked
Our way, and challenged  "- Then, with some disdain,
Isolda, " Sir, my kinsman did expect
Your captain here. What honor may remain
To me I pledge for him. Hold off thy hands!
He but attends me to the Moated Manse."


We rode in silence. And at twilight came
Into the Moated Manse.- Great clouds had grown
Up in the West, on which the sunset's flame
Lay like the hand of slaughter.-Very lone



The Moated Manse

Its rooms and halls: a splintered door that, lame,
Swung on one hinge; a cabinet o'erthrown;
Or arras torn; or blood-stain turning wan,
Showed us the way the battle once had gone.


We reached the tower-chamber towards the West,
In which on that dark day she thought to hide
From Rupert when, at last, 't was manifest
We could not hold the Manse. There was no pride
In her deep eyes now; nor did scorn invest
Her with such dignity as once defied
Him bursting in to find her standing here
Prepared to die like some dog-hunted deer.


She took my hand, and, as if naught of love
Had ever been between us, said, - "All know
The madness of that day when with his glove
He struck then slew my brother, and brought woe
On all our house; and thou, incensed above
The rest, came here, and made my foe thy foe.
But he had left. 'T was then I promised thee
My hand, but, ah! my heart was gone from me.



The Moated Manse


Yea, he had won me, this same Rupert, when
He was our guest. -Thou know'st how gallantry
And beauty can make heroes of all men
To us weak women ! -And so secretly
I vowed to be his wife. It happened then
My brother found him in some villainy;
The insult followed; he was killed . . . and thou
Dost still remember how I made a vow.


But still this man pursued me, and I held
Firm to my vow, albeit I loved him still,
Unknown to all, with all the love unquelled
Of first impressions, and against my will.
At last despair of winning me compelled
Him to the oath he swore: He would not kill,
But take me living and would make my life
A living death. No man should make me wife.


The war, that now consumes us, did, indeed,
Give him occasion.-I had not been warned,
When down he came against me in the lead
Of his marauders. With thy help I scorned



The Moated Manse

His mad attacks two days. I would not plead
Nor parley with him, who came hoofed and horned,
Like Satan's self in soul, and, with his aid,
Took this strong house and kept the oath he made.


Months passed. Alas! it needs not here to tell
What often thou hast heard - Of how he led
His troopers here now there; nor what befell
Me of dishonor. Oft I wished me dead,
Loathing my life, than which the nether hell
Hath less of horror . . . So we fought or fled
From place to place until a year had passed,
And Parliament forces hemmed us in at last.


Yea, I had only lived for this -to right
With death my wrongs sometime. And love and hate
Contended in my bosom when, that night
Before the fight that should decide our fate,
I entered where he slept. There was no light
Save of the stars to see by. Long and late
I leaned above him there, yet could not kill -
Hate raised the dagger but love held it still.



The Moa fed Manse

"The woman in me conquered. What a slave
To our emotions are we! To relent
At this long-waited moment ! - Wave on wave
Of pitying weakness swept me, and I bent
And kissed his face. Then prayed to God; and gave
My trust to God; and left to God th' event.-
I never looked on Rupert's face again,
For in that morning's combat -he was slain.

 Out of defeat escaped some scant three score
 Of all his followers. And night and day
 They fled; and while the Roundheads pressed them
 And in their road, good as a fortress, lay
 The Moated Manse, where their three score or more
 Might well hold out, I pointed them the way.
 And they are come, amid its wrecks to end
 The crime begun here.-Thou