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THEFTS OF THE MORNING
BIND us the Morning, mother of the stars And of the winds that usher in the day! Ere her light fingers slide the eastern bars, A netted snare before her footsteps lay; Ere the pale roses of the mist be strown, Bind us the Morning, and restore our own!
With her have passed all things we held most dear,
Most subtly guarded from her amorous stealth;
We nothing gathered, toiling year by year, But she hath claimed it for increase of wealth;
Our gems make bright her crown, incrust her throne:
Bind us the Morning, and restore our own!
Their breath the darkling wood-bird wakes and thrills;
Us too they seek, but far adrift are thrown: Bind us the Morning, and restore our own!
Yea, cry her Thief! from where the light doth break
To where it merges in the western deep! If aught of ours she, startled, should forsake,
Such waifs the waiting Night for us will keep.
But stay not; still pursue her, falsely flown: Bind us the Morning, and restore our own!
How small a tooth hath mined the season's heart!
How cold a touch hath set the wood on fire, Until it blazes like a costly pyre
Built for some Ganges emperor, old and swart,
Soul-sped on clouds of incense! Whose the art
That webs the streams, each morn, with silver wire,
Delicate as the tension of a lyre, Whose falchion pries the chestnut-burr apart?
It is the Frost, a rude and Gothic sprite, Who doth unbuild the Summer's palaced wealth,
And puts her dear loves all to sword or flight;
Yet in the hushed, unmindful winter's night
spoiler builds again with jealous stealth,
And sets a mimic garden, cold and bright.
THE SOUL IN THE BODY
WHAT if the Soul her real life elsewhere holds,
Her faint reflex Time's darkling stream enfolds,
And thou and I, though seeming dwellers here,
Live somewhere yonder in the starlit sphere?
WHAT! dost thou pray that the outgone tide be rolled back on the strand, The flame be rekindled that mounted away from the smouldering brand, The past-summer harvest flow golden through stubble-lands naked and sere, The winter-gray woods upgather and quicken the leaves of last year? Thy prayers are as clouds in a drouth; regardless, unfruitful, they roll; For this, that thou prayest vain things, 't is a far cry to Heaven, my soul,
Oh, a far cry to Heaven!
Thou dreamest the word shall return, shot arrow-like into the air,
The wound in the breast where it lodged
be balmed and closed for thy prayer, The ear of the dead be unsealed, till thou whisper a boon once denied, The white hour of life be restored, that passed thee unprized, undescribed!
Thy prayers are as runners that faint, that fail, within sight of the goal,
For this, that thou prayest fond things, 't is a far cry to Heaven, my soul, Oh, a far cry to Heaven!
And cravest thou fondly the quivering sands shall be firm to thy feet,
The brackish pool of the waste to thy lips be made wholesome and sweet?
And cravest thou subtly the bane thou desirest be wrought to thy good,
As forth from a poisonous flower a bee conveyeth safe food?
For this, that thou prayest ill things, thy prayers are an anger-rent scroll; The chamber of audit is closed, 't is a far cry to Heaven, my soul, Oh, a far cry to Heaven!
THE MOTHER WHO DIED TOO SHE was so little-little in her grave,
The wide earth all around so hard and cold
She was so little! therefore did I crave My arms might still her tender form enfold.
She was so little, and her cry so weak When she among the heavenly children
She was so little- I alone might speak For her who knew no word nor her own