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Alice Meynell (Элис Мейнелл)

To O——, of Her Dark Eyes

Across what calm of tropic seas,
    'Neath alien clusters of the nights,
Looked, in the past, such eyes as these!
    Long-quenched, relumed, ancestral lights!

The generations fostered them;
    And steadfast Nature, secretwise—
Thou seedling child of that old stem—
    Kindled anew thy dark-bright eyes.

Was it a century or two
    This lovely darkness rose and set,
Occluded by grey eyes and blue,
    And Nature feigning to forget?

Some grandam gave a hint of it—
    So cherished was it in thy race,
So fine a treasure to transmit
    In its perfection to thy face.

Some father to some mother's breast
    Entrusted it, unknowing. Time
Implied, or made it manifest,
    Bequest of a forgotten clime.

Hereditary eyes! But this
    Is single, singular, apart:—
New-made thy love, new-made thy kiss,
    New-made thy errand to my heart.

Alice Meynell's other poems:
  1. In Sleep
  2. The Laws of Verse
  3. The Moon to the Sun
  4. “I Am the Way”
  5. To Sylvia

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