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Poem by Gerald Massey
Earth, garnisht bride-like, bares her bosom to the nestling Night, Who hath come down in glory from the golden halls of light, Ten thousand tender, starry eyes, smile o'er the world at rest, The weary world—husht like an infant on its mother's breast! The grand old hills uplift their foreheads in rich-sleeping light That in the storm-war stagger, neath the leaping thunder's might— When the red lightning-dagger, smites the black clouds, blazing- bright, How proudly grand, and still they stand, worshipping God to-night! No green tide sweeps the sea of leaves, no wind-sigh stirs the sod, While Holiness broods dove-like on the soul, begetting God. The flowers have hung their cups, with gems of their own sweetness wrought, And muse upon their silken stems, in extacy of thought, They have banquetted on beauty, at the fragrant Eve's red lips, And fold in charmed rest, with crowns upon their velvet tips Sweet hour! thou wak'st the feeling mortals never know by day, For Angel-eyes look down, and read the spirit neath the clay, Even while I list such music stealeth in upon my soul, As though adown heaven's stair of stars, the seraph-harpings stole. Or I could grasp the immortal part of life, and soar, and soar, Such strong wings take me, and my heart hath found such hidden lore! It flings aside the weight of years, and lovingly goes back To that sweet time, the dear old time, that glistens on it track! Life's withered leaves grow green again, and fresh with Childhood's spring, As I am welcomed back once more, within its rainbow-ring:— The Past with all its gather'd charms, beckons me back in joy, And loving hearts, and open arms, re-clasp me as a boy. The voices of the loved and lost, are stirring at my heart, And Memory's miser'd treasures, leap to life, with sudden start,— As through her darkened chambers, warm and glad sunlight creeps in, And Langsyne glimpst in glorious tears, my toil-worn heart doth win. Thou art looking, smiling on me, as thou hast lookt and smiled, Mother, And I am sitting by thy side, at heart a very child Mother! I'm with the now in soul, sweet Mother, much as in those hours, When all my wealth was in thy love, and in the birds and flowers, When the long summer days were short, for my glad soul to live, The happy fullness of the bliss, each golden hour could give. When Heaven sang to my innocence, and every nodding grove And forest ach'd with music, as a young heart aches with love. When life opt like a flower, where clung my lips, to quaff its honey, And joys thronged like a shower of gold king-cups in meadows sunny, Sweet thoughts of happiness and home, what business have ye here! And yet I bless ye, that ye come, to free the strangling tear. Dear thoughts! how eloquent ye tell, that I am changed now, I cannot choose but weep, and press to earth my burning brow. I'll tell thee, Mother! since we met, stern changes have come o'er me, Then life smiled like a paradise, the world was all before me. O! I was full of trustful faith, and in my glee and gladness, Deemed not that others had begun as bright, whose end was madness. I knew not smiles could light up eyes, like sunset's laughing glow On some cold stream, which burns above, while all runs dark below; That on love's sunny sea, great souls go down, while some grown cold, Seal up affection's living spring, and sell their love for gold; How they on whom we'd stakt the heart, forget the early vow, And they who swore to love through life, would pass all coldly now; How in the soul's dark hour, Love's temple-veil is rent in twain, As the heart quivers thorn-crown'd on the cross of fiery pain. And shattered idols—broken dreams, come crowding on my brain, As speaks the spirit-voice of days, that never come again. It tells of golden moments lost—heart sered—blind Passion's thrall; Love's spring-tide blossoms run to waste, life's honey turn'd to gall. It tells how many and often, high resolve, and struggle strong, Shapt on the anvil of my heart, have died upon my tongue. I left thee, Mother, in sweet May, the merry month of flowers! To toil away in dusky gloom, the golden summer-hours. I left my world of love behind, with soul for life a-thirsting, My burning eyelid dropt no tear, although my heart was bursting. For I had knit my soul to climb, with poverty its burden, Give me but time, O, give me time, and I would win the guerdon. Ah! Mother, many a heart that all my aspiration cherisht, Hath fallen in the trampling strife, and in the life-march perisht. We see the bleeding victims lie upon the world's grim altar, And one by one young feelings die, and dark doubts make us falter. Mother, the world hath wreakt its part on me, with scathing power, Yet the best life that heaves my heart runs for thee at this hour. And by these holy yearnings, by these eyes with sweet tears wet, I know there wells a spring of love, through all my being yet.
Gerald Massey's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org