Maurice Thompson

An Allegory

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"Soulless," they said, but I was blind
To all things save the hazel deeps,
Unruffled by a gust of wind,
Wherein thy wondrous spirit sleeps,
"A spirit there, but not a soul!"
Kept ringing heavily in my ears,
But still I heard the passion roll
Of music from the coming years.


It was a May-day dream of Heaven.
Was it a fancy and no more?
I thought the gales of Fate had driven
My bark upon a golden shore.
I saw the drowsy lotus droop
Beside the curled and solemn palm,
And in the sheeny distance stoop
The fresher, greener groves of balm.
Ah, this was glorious as a strain
Of martial music heard afar,
And sweet as flutes when peace again
Folds up the tattered flags of war!


"Soulless!" I shouted back the word
From the cool deeps I revelled in,
And peeping from the waves I stirred,
Saw Helios where the sun had been!
The Persian peach-blooms flushed and fell,
Through glary flecks of shade and sun,
In many a vision-haunted dell
Like those of sweet Helusion.
All lovely things personified
Looked each at each and gladly smiled,
And joy by joy was multiplied,
Until young Hope, the fair-haired child,
Stood forth and beckoned with her hand,
And murmured through her parted lips,
Like a boat that murmureth to the land,
When safely moored it rolls and dips:--
"Come hither, I have that for thee
Which neither gold nor fame can buy,
Which it were worth thy life to see,
If thou could's only look and die!"
Dear Hope, she blushed and kissed a rose,
And coyly tossed it at my feet,
While Joy sprang from a deep repose,
Her red lips pouting passion-sweet!


Eremia, the mountains sleep,
The twilight shimmers down the west;
Close up mine eyes, lest I should weep;
All nature slumbers, let me rest!
Eremia, I fold my hands;
I close mine eyes, but farther see;
I rest, but wander many lands,
And traverse many seas with thee!


"Cold, soulless, false, designing, all
That you could wish her not to be,
Is the bright maiden whom you call
Angelic in your ecstacy."
Too true, too true, I see it now,--
There is no passion that can wake
A sympathy in such as thou,
Though all the cords of being break.
Still there is something passing sweet
In every withering memory,
Whose restless and unwearying feet
Go pattering down the Past to thee!
Calling across the hush of night,
Soft voices start me from my dreams;
Far in the starry deeps of light
A vision of thy beauty gleams!

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Maurice Thompson