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IN MEMORY



Elbert 6orton (Breene

OF THE Class of 1820

FUND GIVEN BY

Samuel Cotfin Eastman

OF THE Class of 1857






^



POEMS



Madge Morris, 'yfk



it



3



What know you of my souPs inherent strife.

By that calm faith untried which wells in thine !

How can you, from the knowledge of your life.
Write out a creed for mine ?



SAN FRANCISCO:
THE GOLDEN ERA COMPANY.

i88«;.






-"i/'^ ji^y



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



In Exchange
Brown University
JUL 17 1934



Wm. M. Hinton & Oo., Printers, 536 Clay St., San Francisco.



TD CiLLIFDRNIA,



QiiBEii of the Sunset T

"Hfithln the crnwn upDn tiiy' farhead glow

The crystal jbwbIs of BtErnal sna-wj

Ddwti at thy fBfit thB brnad Pacific cDwers,

And SumniBr bvep binds thy breast with'flawBrs.



PRE FACE,



This waif is hnrn of ErriErgBiicy, and timidly
launched on the rough sea of opinion, Critic, touch
it gently; it assumes nothing — has nothing to assume,'
and your scalpel can only pain its

AUTHOR,



CONTENTS.



Mystery of Carmel 9

The Crowning of Liberty 31

Two Days 33

Pearlie Has Gone Away 34

Only a Tramp 35

A Valentine 37

Love's Lamp 3g

A Picture 40

To Unknown 41

O, Speak it Not 42

After All 42

Wasted Hours 44

Life's Way 45

Garfield 46

The Difference 48

Enmaze 49

Why 50

"I Don't Care" 51

Beware 53

Put Flowers on My Grave 54

Coronals 55

The Hunter's Song 56

A Vision from the Tower 57

In the Foothills 59

A Stained Lily 60

Forever. ... 62

Which One? 63

Estrangement 64

Nay, Do Not Ask , 65

Opening the Gate for Papa 66

Bring Flowers 68

Hang up Your Stocking 68

Rocking the Baby 70

White HoneysucMe 71



CONTENTS.

The Flower I Love 72

Liberty's Bell 73

The Pale Boatman 76

Out in the Cold 77

Watching the Shadows 80

I Give Thee Back Thy Heart 81

In the Twilight .' 82

A Thought of Heaven 85

To Jennie 86

Light Beyond 87

Would You Care-? 88

Good-bye " 89

Consolance 90

When the Roses Go 91

A Regret 92

A Shattered Idol 93

Poor Little Joe 94

P ate 97

The Ghosts in the Heart 98

Old Aunt Lucy . , , 99

Unspoken Words , , loi

O! Take Away Your Flowers 103

Rain 104

I Love Him for His Eyes 105

Only !... 106

Somebody's Baby's Dead 107

The Withered Rosebud . ... 108

My Ships Have Come from Sea. , . . 109

Mount Whitney 112

Lilies 113

To E. R. W 115

Little Bertie 117

Wishes 118

Forgotten Heroes 119

Isolde to Sir Tristram 121

" Till the Sea Gives up Its Dead " 123

Fragments 125

The Sign of the Cross 129

Ephemerals 130

Changed 131

To Bertie i ^2



MYSTERY OF CARMEL.



The Mission floor was with weeds o'ergrown,
And crumbling and shaky its walls of stone ;
Its roof of tiles, in tiers and tiers,
Had stood the storms of a hundred years.
An olden, weird, medieval style
Clung to the mouldering, gloomy pile.
And the rythmic voice of the breaking waves
Sang a lonesome dirge in its land of graves.
Strangely awed, I felt, that day,
As I walked in the Mission old and gray —
The Mission Carmel at Monterey.

An ancient owl went fluttering by.
Scared from his haunt. His mournful cry
Wakened the echoes, till roof and wall
Caught and re-echoed the dismal call
Again and again, till it seemed to me
Some Jesuit soul, in mockery —
Stripped of Rosary, gown, and cowl —
Haunted the place, in this dreary owl.
Surely T shivered with fright that day,
Alone in the Mission old and gray —
The Mission Carmel at Monterey.



10 MYSTERY OF CARMEL.

Near the chapel vault was a dungeon grim,

And they say that many a chanted hymn

Has rung a knell on the moldy air

For luckless errant prisoned there,

As kneeling monk and pious nun

Sang orison at set of sun.

A single window, dark and small,

Showed opening in the heavy wall,

Nor other entrance seemed attained

That erst had human footstep gained.

I paused before the uncanny place,

And peered me into its darksome space.

Had it of secret aught to tell,

That locked-up darkness kept it well ?

I turned, and lo ! by my side there stood

A being of strangest naturehood.

Startled, I glanced him o'er and o'er,

Wondering I noted him not before.

His form was stooped with the weight of years,

And on his cheek was a trace of tears;

Over all his face a shade of pain.

That deepened and vanished, and came again.

Fixed he his woeful eyes on me —

Through my very soul they seemed to see.

And lightly he laid his hand on mine —

His hand was cold as the vestal shrine.

'•'Tis haunted," he said, "haunted, and he

Who dares at night-noon go with me

To this cursed place, by phantoms trod,



MYSTERY OF CARMEL. J

Must fear not devil, man, nor God."
"Tell me the story," I cried, "tell me!"
And frightened was I at my bravery,
A curious smile his thin lips curved,
That well had my bravery unnerved.
And this is the story he told that day
To me, in the Mission old and gray —
The Mission Carmel at Monterey.

" Each midnight, since have seventy years

Begun their cycle around the spheres.

Two faces have looked from that window there ;

One is a woman's young and fair,

With tender eyes and floating hair.

Love, and regret, and dumb despair,

Are told in each tint of the fair sweet face.

The other is crowned with a courtly grace,

Gazing, with all a lover's pride.

On the beautiful woman by his side.

Anon ! a change flits o'er his mien,

And baffled rage in his glance is seen.

Paler they grow as the hours go by.

With the pallor that comes with the summons to die.

Slowly fading, and shrinking away.

Clutched in the grasp of a gaunt decay,

Till the herald of morn on the sky is thrown;

Then a shriek, a curse, and a dying moan.

Comes from that death-black window there.

A mocking laugh rings out on the air.



12 MYSTERY OF CARMEL.

From that darkful place, in the nascent dawn,

And the faces that looked from the window are gone.

Seventy years, when the Spanish flag

Floated above yon beetling crag,

And this dearthful mission place was rife

With the panoply of busy life ;

Hard by, where yon canyon, deep and wide,

Sweeps it adown the mountain side,

A cavalier dwelt with his beautiful bride.

Oft to the priestal shrive went she ;

As often, stealthily, followed he.

The padre Sanson absolved and blessed

The penitent, and the sin-distressed,

Nor ever before won devotee

So wondrous reverence as he.

A-nigh, when the winds played wild and high,

And the ocean rocked it to the sky,

An earthquake trembled the shore along.

Hushing on lip of praise its song,

And jarred to its center this Mission strong.

When the mornmg broke with a summer sun,

The earth was at rest, the storm was done.

Still the Mission tower'd in its stately pride ;

Still the cottage smiled by the canyon-side ;

But never the priest was there to bless.

And the cottage roof was tenantless.

Vainly they sought for the padre, dead.

For the cottage dwellers ; amazed, they said

'Twas a miracle ; but since that day



MYSTERY OF CARMEL. 13

There's a ghost in the Mission old and gray —
The Mission Carmel at Monterey.

" A sequel there is to that tale," said he,
" Of the way and the truth, I hold the key."
" Show me the way," I cried ; " Show me
To the depth of this curious mystery !"
He waved me to follow; my heart stood still
Under the ban of a mightier will
Than mine. A terror of icy chill
O'er-shivered my being, from hand to brain,
Freezing the blood in each pulsing vein,
As I followed this most mysterious guide
Through the solid floor at the chancel side,
Into a passage whose stifling breath
Reeked with the pesdlence of death.
Down through a subterranean vault,
Over broken steps, with never a halt.
Till we stood in the midst of a spacious room,
A charnel-house in its shroud of gloom.
Only a window, narrov^ and small,
Left in the build of the heavy wall,
Through which the flickering sunbeams died.
Showed passway to the world outside.
Slowly my eyes to the darkness grew, '
And I saw in the gloom, or rather knew.
That my feet had touched two skeleton forms,
One closely clasped in the other's arms.
Recoiling, I shuddered and turned my face



14 MYSTERY OF CARMEL,

From the fleshlers mockery of embrace.

Again o'er a heap of rubbish and rust,

I stumbled and caught in the moth and dust

What hardly a sense of my soul believes —

A mold-stained package of parchment leaves !

A hideous bat flapped into my face !

O'ercome with horror, I fled the place,

And stood again with my curious guide

On the solid floor, at the chancel's side.

But, lo ! in a moment the age-bowed seer

Was a darkly frowning cavalier,

Gazing no longer m woeful trance;

Vengeance blazed in his every glance.

Then a mocking laugh rang the Mission o'er,

And I stood alone by the chapel door ;

And, save for the mold-stained parchment leaves,

I had thought it the vision that night-mare weaves.

Hardly a sense of my soul believes,

Yet I held in my hand the parchment lec(ves.

Careful I noted them, one by one,

Each was a letter in rhyming run.

Written over and over, in tenderest strain,

By fingers that never will write again.

1 strung them together, a tale to tell,

And named it "The Mystery of Carmel."

And these are the letters I found that day.

In the mission ruin, old and gray —

The Mission Carmel of Monterey :



MYSTERY OF CARMEL. 1 5

TO THE HOLY FATHER SANSON.

Oh, holy father, list thee to my prayer !

I may not kneel to thee as others kneel,
And tell my heart-aches with the suppliant's air,

But fiercer burns the fire I must conceal.

A father ne'er my brow in loving smoothed,
Nor taught my baby tongue to lisp his name ;

No mother's voice my childish sorrows soothed.
Nor sought my wild, imperious will to tame.

Yet ran my life, like some bright, bubbling spring,
Too full of thoughtless happiness to care

If that the future might more gladness bring.
Or might its skies be clouded or be fair.

Afar upon the purple hills of Spain —

Since waned the moons of half a year ago —

I sported, reckless as the laughmg main.

Nor dreamed in life a thought of grief to know.

To-day I pine here in a chain whose gall
Is bitterer than drop of wormwood brought

From that salt sea where nothing lives, and all
The recompense my willfulness has brought.

Oh, holy father, list thee to my prayer !

And though I may not kneel as others kneel,
And tell my heart-aches with a suppliant air,

I crave thy grace a sickened soul to heal.



1 6 MYSTERY OF CARMEL.

Here, close beside this sacred font of gold,
My humble prayer, oh, father, I will lay,
With all its weight of misery untold ;

And wait impatient that which thou wilt say.

Reyenita.
to reyenita.

When to the font, this morn, my lips I pressed,
A fairy's gift my fingers trembled o'er ;

A sweeter prayer ne'er smile of angel blessed.
Nor gemmed a tiar that the priesthood wore.

The secret of thy grief I may not know.
Since that thy lips refuse the tale to tell ;

Methinks, dear child, it was the sound of woe
That woke an echo in my heart's deep well.

The wail of a spirit that a-yearning gropes
In darkness for the sunlight that is fled ;

A broken idol in secret wept, and hopes —

Crushed hopes — that are to thee as are the dead.

A tender memory ling'ring yet of when

Each bounding pulse beat faster with its joy ;

A something that allured, and won, and then
With waking fled, and years may not destroy

The impress which it left upon thy brain.

But seek thee, child, grief's ravaging to stay;
Thy tears might fall as falls the show'ring rain,

They could not wash the heart's deep scars away.



MYSTERY OF CARMEL. 1 7



Repine thee not ; shroud not thy faith in gloom ;

Shrink not to meet a disappointment's frown ;
Away beyond the narrow bordered tomb,

Who here have borne the cross may wear the crown.

Sanson.

to sanson.

Whisper to him, fairies, whisper —

Whisper softly in his ear
That some one is waiting, waiting,

Listening his step to hear.

Fairies, if he knew his presence

Would a demon's spell allay,
Would he heed your timid whisperings ?

Would he — will he come to-day ?

REYENITA.
TO REYENITA.

Fairies whisper, ever whisper,

In the silence of the night.
And he hears their voiceless murmurings

Floating in the starry light.

And they tell him ; yes, they tell him,

All in accents sweet and clear,
Of the beautiful Hereafter

That is ever drawing near.

Of the loved ones waiting, waiting.
For his footfall on the shore j



l8 MYSTERY OF CARMEL.

They will welcome his appearing —
They will greet him o'er and o'er.

Sanson.
to sanson.

Oh, would the fairies to her whisper,
The truths which they to him impart,

Teach her a beautiful hereafter,
A Heaven to bless a tired heart.

Yet thinks she that the dear ones waiting
Would envy not the boon she craves —

To rear fair friendship's sacred altar

Where love and hope sleep in their graves.

She knows not that a loving welcome
Will wait her in a realm of light,

Naught of a future meeting whispers,
No faith illumes her soul's dark night.

All she has known has to her proven
A false, deluding, fleeting show ;

Can she, generous spirit, can she

Trust blindly what she does not know ?

But if for this she shuts against her
The heart that's shining in his eyes.

She'll bring the gift that for the Peri
Unbarred the gates of paradise.

Reyenita.



MYSTERY OF CARMEL. 1 9

TO REYENITA.

If she'll let him be her teacher

In the mysteries of life,
In the spirit's grand unfoldment

Far beyond this world of strife.

A sacred altar he will build her,

And dedicate to friendship true,
And this shall be their bond of union,

More constant than all others knew.

Sanson.
to sanson.

Kind teacher, henceforth be it mine
To kneel at friendship's sacred shrine,
And hope's bright budding flowers entwine

Into a garland for thy brow.
And thou shalt wait not for the hours
To woo thee to elysian bowers,

But wear it now.

Too long a dreamer I have been,
Too long life's dark side only seen ;
And if thou canst, while thus I kneel,
The mystery of life reveal,

Then gladly will I learn of thee.
For as on flowers the dewdrops fall,
As sunbeams break the storm-cloud's pall,



20 MYSTERY OF CARMEL.

As pardon comes to lives which blame
Has crushed beneath its weight, so came
Thy sympathy to me.

Reyenita.

to reyenita.

Life is love, and only love,
Love that had its source above.
It wreathes with flowers the chastening rod,
And diamond decks the throne of God.

Sanson.

to sanson.

If "life is love, and only love,"
Then never have I lived before ;

But for love's sake I'll sit me down
And careful con the lesson o'er,

I fain would win the shining goalj

So far away, so seeming fair,
But could not reach its hights alone ;
Then, teacher, take me, take me there.

Reyenita.
TO reyenita.

Thy teacher, then, will take thee there,
And ever watch with tender care,

To guard thy way to loftiest aim.

And his reward thy love shall claim.

Sanson.



MYSTERY OF CARMEL.



TO SANSON.



O, inconsistent teacher,

He'd knowledge give away ;

Fill head and heart, from tomes of art.
Then take me for his pay.

He'd kindly lead me to the realm
Where joyous freedom reigns,

He'd teach my soul love's sweet control,
Then claim it for his pains.



Reyenita.



TO reyenita.



Ah ! Reyenita, do not charge

To selfishness thy teacher's plea.
He seeks thine every wish to bless,
His deepest fault is loving thee.
" Heaven's kingdom," said the Nazarene,
" Is the heart ;" sweet fairy queen,
Thou rulest alone this realm of mine.
Canst say I have no place in thine ?

Sanson.

to sanson.

They boast of Ormuz' milk-white pearls,

The ruby's magic art,
And proudly wear the crystal drop

That fires the diamond's heart.



22 MYSTKRY OF CARMEL.

And these may admiration claim,
And countless wealth may sway.

But rarer gem was given to me,
One golden summer day.

Were all earth's costly jewels thrown

In one great glittering heap,
They could not buy, for e'en a day.

The gem I'd selfish keep.

Yet 'twas not won from pearly depths,
Nor gleaned from diamond mine,

Nor all the chemist's subtlery
Its substance could define.

It ne'er was set in band of gold

A dainty hand to grace,
Nor shone in diadem to deck

A brow of kingly race.

For me alone, a wizard spell

Lies prisoned in its beams.
Hours of enchanted ecstacy

And days of Eden dreams.

Wouldst know the precious gift with which

For worlds I would not part ?

The priceless jewel is thy love,

Its setting is my heart.

Reyenita.



MYSTERY OF CARMEL. 2$



SONG— TO REYENITA.



When midnight moon's soft gleaming

"Wrapped earth in splendor bright,
Methought two dark eyes, beaming

In tender, radiant light,
Smiled on me in my dreaming,

A smile of heavenly bliss.
And loving lips, with finger-tips,

Flung to my heart a kiss.
Then come, love, come again in my sleep, to me,
For I'm dreaming, I'm dreaming, I'm dreaming of thee.

Sweet eyes my slumber breaking,

I wondering, wondering sought ;
But eyes, and smile, at waking,
Had vanished like a thought.
And life may hence bring pleasures,

But never more the bliss,
When loving lips, with finger-tips,
Flung to my heart a kiss.
Then come, love, come again in my sleep, to me.
For I'm dreaming, I'm dreaming, I'm dreaming of thee.

Sanson.

to sanson.

I've a beautiful home, where I live in my dreams,
So joyous and happy — an Eden it seems ;



24 MYSTERY OF CARMEL.

All beautiful things in nature and art

Are blending to rapture the mind and the heart ;

No discords to jar, no dissensions arise,

'Tis calm as Italia's ever blue skies.

When kissed by the bright rosy blush of the morn.

And a voice of the spheres on the breezes is borne,

Soft as the murmur of sea-tinted shells,

Sweet as the chiming of far away bells ;

And grief cannot enter, nor trouble nor care,

And the proud, peerless prince of my soul, he is there.

In my beautiful home, in the cold world apart,
He holds me so close to his fast beating heart ;
More enchanting his voice than the syren-wrapt song,
O'er the wind-dimpled ocean soft floating along.
As he whispers his love in love's low, passioned tone,
Such home, and such love, no other has known.

Reyenita.

to reyenita.

O, let us leave this world behind —
Its gains, its loss, its praise, its blame —
Not seeking fame, nor fearmg shame,
Some far secluded land we'll find
And build thy dream-home, you and I,
And let this foolish world go by.
A paradise of love and bliss !
Delicious draughts in Eden bowers.



MYSTERY OF CARMEL. 2$

Of peace, and rest, and quiet hours,
We'll drink, for what we've missed in this.
The shafts of malice we'll defy^
And let this foolish world go by.

Sanson.



TO SANSON.

Life of my life, my soul's best part,
I could not live without thee now;
And yet this love must break my heart,
Or break a sacred vow.

Which shall it be ? an answer oft
From puzzling doubts I've sought to wake,
Must joy, or misery, hence be mine.
Must heart or promise break ?

Alone, Heaven's highest court would prove
A desolated land to me ;
Earth's barest, barren desert wild,
A paradise with thee.

Reyenita.

to reyenita.

Thou hast beamed on my pathway, a vision of light,

To guide and to bless from afar ;
To illume with thy smile the dead chill of the night.

My star, my bright, beautiful star.



26 MYSTKRY OF CARMEL.

The sun pales before thee, the moon is a blot
On the sky where thine own splendors are ;
And dark is the day where thy presence is not,
My star, my bright, beautiful star.

Sanson,
to sanson.

O love, do not call me a star !
'Tis too cold and bright, and too far
Away from your arms ; I would be
The life-drops that flow in your veins,
The pulses that throb in your heart.
My bosom should be the warm sea
Of forgetfulness, tinged with the stains
Of the sunset; when day-dreams depart.
You should drink at its fountain of kisses,
Drink mad of its fathomless deep,
Submerged in an ocean of blisses,
I'd be something to kiss and to keep.
Loving, and tender, and true,
I'd be nearer, oh ! nearer to you
Than the glittering meteors are;
Then, love, do not call me a star.

Reyenita.

to reyenita.

Thou 'st made for me an atmosphere of life ;

The very air is brighter from thme eyes,
They are so soft and beautiful, and rife

With all we can imagine of the skies.



MYSTERY OF CARMEL. 27

O woman, where is thy resistless power ;

I swore the livery of Heaven to grace,
Yet stand, to-day, a sacrilegious tower,

Perjured by the witchery in thy face.

Sanson.

to sanson.

Then, love, I'll give thee back thy perjured vow ;

I would not hold thee with one pleading breath ;
It may be best to leave the pathway now

That can but lead to death.

I shall not look in your dear eyes again,
Nor feel again the pressure of your hand ;

Divided by a moaning gulf of pain,
Apart, forevermore, we stand.

God gave you here a mission that's divine;

'Tis your heaven's truth to spread ;
Your life is beautiful, and blest — and mine?

Alas ! the sea cannot give up its dead.

Why prizes most, the heart, a joy it misses ? *

And why did God make mouths that kill with kisses?
I'll crush the agonies that burning swell.
And say farewell.

Reyenita.



28 MYSTERY OF CARMEL.

TO REYENITA.

" Farewell ?" No, not farewell ; I'll worship ever

Thy form divine.
No death's despair, no voice of doom shall sever

My heart fiom thme.

Thou'st crowned me with thy love and bade me wear it,

I kiss the shrine.
I will not give thee up; nay, here I swear it,

That thou art mine.



A desecrated holiness is o'er me,

I've held the Thr}sus cup;

I've dared the thunderbolts of Heaven for thee,

I will not give thee up.

Sanson.

World, farewell !

And thou pale taper light, by whose fast-dying flame
I write these words — the last my hand shall pen —
farewell ! What is 't to die ? To be shut in a dun-
geon's walls and starved to death ? She knows, and
soon will I. She sought to learn of me, and I to
teach to her, the mystery of lire. Ha! ha! Who
claimed her by the church's law has given us both to
learn the mystery of death. What v/as 't I loved?
The eyes that thrilled me through and through with
their magnetic subtlery ? They're there, set on my
face; but where 's their lifened light? What wast't I



MYSTERY OF CARMEL. 29

loved ? The mouth whose coral redness I have buried
in my own ? 'Tis there, shrunk 'gainst two rows of
dead pale pearls, and cold and colorless as lip of statue
carved in marble. Was it the form whose perfect
outline stamped it with divinity ? It 's there, but 'reft
of all its winsome roundness, and stiffening in the
chill of death. It makes me cold to look upon its
rigidness. But just this hour the breath went out ;
was 't that I loved ? 'Twas this I clasped and kissed.
What is it that we've christened love, that glamours
men to madness, and stains with falsehood virgin pur-
ity ? It made this gruesome charnel vault a part of
Heaven — it made him spring the bolt and lock us in.
Where is the creed's foundation? I've shrived a
thousand souls — I cannot now absolve my own. To
quench this awful thirst, I cut an artery in my arm
and sucked its blood. The ihirstiness did not cease.
They lied. 'Twas not the vultures at Prometheus'
heart, 'twas hunger at his vitals gnawed. The salt
drops that I swallowed from that vein have set my
brain on fire. What's that? The ground 's a-tremble
'neath my feet as touched with life. Earth, rend your
breast and let me in! For anything but this dire
darkness, made alive with vengeful eye-balls — his
eyes ! They glare with hate at me. I heard him
laugh but now. For anything but this most loving
corpse whose head caressmg rests it on my feet. Ah,
no, I did not mean it thus ; I would not get away
alone. I loved that corpse. It was the sweetest bit



30 MYSTERY OF CARMEL.

of human frailty that to man e'er brought a blessing
or a curse. I turned from Dias' holy grail to taste its
nectar. Hell, throw 'a-wide your sulphur-blazoned
gates, I'll grasp it in my arms and make the plunge !
Hist ! what was that ? I heard him laugh again.
Laugh, fiend, you cannot hurt me more. Ah ! Rey-
enita, mine in - life you were, in death you shall be
mine. When this clogged blood has stopped the
wheels of Hfe, I'll put my arms around your neck, I'll
lay my face against your frozen one, and thus I'll die.
When this foul place has crumbled to the sunlight,
som.e relic -hunting lunatic will stumble o'er our bones,
and pitiless will weave a tale for eyes more pitiless to
read. Death 's on me now. I feel his rattle in my


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