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THE FLUTE-PLAYER

AND OTHER POEMS

BY FRANCIS HOWARD WILLIAMS



NEW YORK AND LONDON
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
THE KNICKERBOCKER PRESS



COPYRIGHT, 1894

BY
FRANCIS HOWARD WILLIAMS

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London
BY G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS



Printed and Bound by

Cbc Knickerbocker press, Vtew fiork
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS



CONTENTS.



THE FLUTE-PLAYER i

To BEAUTY : AN ODE 9

THE INNER VISION 13

RIZZIO 19

WOMAN o' THE-WATCH ...... 24

MAGDALENE 37

THE WOOD ROBIN 41

SERVUS SERVORUM DEI 43

THE SEA 46

AN ANSWER 47

ARS LOQUITUR 48

WINTER RAIN 49

PHAEDRA 51

AN IONIAN FRIEZE 52

A DREAMER 53

COMPENSATION 55

AVE AMERICA : AN ODE 57

SONNETS.

UNCROWNED 67

KARMA . 68

EARTH AND NIGHT 69

Sic ITUR AD ASTRA 70

AN EARLY-APRIL MORNING . r-r 7 1

FINIS CORONAT OPUS 72

ELECTRA 73

BEDTIME 74

DECORATION DAY 75

A SONNET OF SILENCE . . . r . 76
iii



2108796



iv Contents.

I'AGE

VICTOR HUGO (MAY 22, 1885) .... 77

WALT WHITMAN, (MAY 31, 1886) . ... 78

WALT WHITMAN, (MARCH 26, 1892) ... 79

To JOHN KEATS So

To HERBERT SPENCER 81

AN IDLE DAY : A SEQUENCE OF SONNETS.

I. SALVE 85

II. HEART OF THE NIGHT .... 86

III. PROMISE OF DAWN 87

IV. DAYBREAK IN THE WOODS ... 88

V. A WOODLAND POET 89

VI. THE FARMYARD 90

VII. BLENDED VOICES 91

VIII. CLOVER 92

IX. WHISPERS OF THE CORN .... 93

X. MID-MORN 94

XI. A WAY-SIDE SPRING 95

XII. HALF WAY TO ARCADY .... 96

XIII. A WILD ROSE 97

XIV. ROADWAY DUST 98

XV. WHEAT BILLOWS 99

XVI. REMEMBRANCE 100

XVII. ASPIRATION 101

XVIII. CLOUD-MAGIC 102

XIX. THE BROOK 103

XX. THE TWILIGHTS 104

XXI. PERSPECTIVE 105

XXII. FANTASY 106

XXIII. NOCTURNE 107

XXIV. VALE . . . . . . .108

A PRIMROSE PATH : SONGS AND TRIFLES.

BETWEEN . . . . . . . . in

CRADLE SONG 112

CAPRICE . 114

A SERENADE . . . . . . . 115



Contents. v

PAGE

A PRIMROSE PATH : SONGS AND TRIFLES. (Cent.)

LOVE CAME TO ME 116

FLOWER o' THE SEA 117

MARGUERITE ng

THE WAY o' THE WORLD . . . . .120

PHILOSOPHY-IN-LlTTLE 121

CUPID AND JUSTICE 122

A RONDEAU OF VASSAR . . . . .123

EVOLUTION OF THE POET 124

BALLADE TO A BOOKMAN 124

A RONDEAU IN REPLY 125

BALLADE . . . . . . . .126

RONDEAU 127

Acknowledgments are due to the Publishers of The Atlantic Monthly,
Harper's Weekly, Lippincotfs Magazine, The Independent, and other
periodicals, for permission to reprint in this volume certain pieces of verse
which originally appeared in the pages under their control.



THE FLUTE-PLAYER.



'"THRICE a score of candles, flaring, A n bravely flare
1 Fashion shadows on the wall, fetffii f ' he

While the loftier lights are glaring Jg5bj n
Over all the festival ; the symphony.



With a visage melancholy And albeit each

one thinketh

Meditates the dark Bassoon, but of his own

part, yet the

Glows the 'Cello's face as jolly wholeness of the

* * symphony suf-

As a yellow harvest-moon. fereth no mar-

nng thereby ;

Lean the Oboe and eager, For, of a truth, u

. ls here as with

With a sharp, uplifted chin : the music of

. humanity, to the

Bald and red, and seeming meagre whi ch tho 1 ail

. , - -T- . must contribute,

In hlS Drams, the first VlOlm : many an one

furmsheth a
note that is but a discord to that of his fellow.



But the Flute with shoulders bended ^nd one player

thinketh but of

And his scantly silvered head, being done with

as small pain as

Ah ! what present joys are blended may be, and

1 another reckon-

With the sorrows that are fled. h how he shall

expend the wage
of his labor in rioting and wantonness.



Why, tho' haply he remembers
Vanished gleams of Paradise,



2 The Mute-Player.

But the Flute- Glow love's unextinguishcd embers

Player, who . . '

siueth \veii Deeply in his faded eyes ?

stricken in
years, seemeth
to have learned
somewhat of the

secret of life, Strange that songs forever borrow
that hath found From the past their sweetest lay !

Truth in the .,

sweet shows of Strange that every silver morrow

Nature. So that

no sooner hath Has a golden yesterday !

the music begun,

than he seeth,

as it were by the

inner eye of the a . ,

spirit, himself a Strange ! the flutist, bowed and

lad.

slender,

Marks no more the baton's lead,
As he breathes a message tender
Thro' his mild and mellow reed.



For the player in his dreaming

And the gay i ir t_

Allegro Sees himself again a boy,

quickeneth his - . j> i 11 j.u

pulses. Finding real all the seeming

Of life's sudden cup of joy ;



And full soon Heal " S the ffetted mUslc " n g in g

he groweth Down the corridors of art,

ware of the

hood hofman Hears love's voice eternal singing
Thro' the chambers of his heart ;



Feels a touch of tenderest meaning

For his sweet-o'- ~ . . , .

heart cometh Steal into his soul again,

tripping adown . . . , .,

a green country As a maid o er April greening

lane.

Saunters down a country lane ;



The Flute-Player. 3

There is nothing to dissemble, And io ! she is

Naught to fear in love's behest, onTandVe'r ' k

Where the violets lie a-tremble fs^a ba!s^m g

In the heaven of her breast. to his eves -

Is it but the morning's blessing

That the maiden looks so fair ? J h . e P1 ^y e . r .

dallyeth with

Is it but the warm caressing the vision.
Of the sunlight in her hair ?

(Suddenly a dulcet blending T hen cometh a
Of the strings and oboe _ he

Marks the gay allegro's ending regretful' 11 aU

In a flood of harmony. thereof>

Then in slow and solemn number

The adagio begins,
Fraught with harmonies that

Gloriously the violins.) weii, r and'

* forasmuch as all

the players obey

the wand of him

... . who leadeth, the

Haply some melodious motion, end thereof is

Born of music's eloquence, foTveni'y

T ,, , i TI A" Obedience is

Lulls to slumber like a potion the gate to

Ravishing the spirit's sense ; Knowiedfe'is 111

Truth, and
Truth is Beauty.

For again the old Flute-Player

Dreams away o'er land and sea,
Idle as a sunburnt strayer

In the fields of Arcady.



4 The Flute-Player.

There, within his vision standing.

\et the players

are sordid Smiles the love of all his life.

being but blind

followers, L^g a maiden bud expanding

wedded each to . .

his own husks. TO the flower he calls his wife.

And the stately, cadenced measure

Of the rich adagio,
Woven thro' remembered pleasure,

Woofed of half-forgotten woe,

And betimes Comes with wisdom of the ages
Fiut^iayer Pulsing in its ebb and flow,

swe'et-o'-heart Laden with the lore of sages

From the land of Long-Ago.

And a cottage in the sunlight
NOW become Sheds the glory of the sun,

Wherein magic, from his one light,
Many lights of love has won ;

And he heareth For the low voice of a woman,

the babble of /~U'U > i i t.

children in the Children s laughter, merry cries,

fng]e Come in tones divinely human

From an earthly Paradise.



And ere he well " W e \\ I l ove fa em J " j n a broken

knoweth, the

time hath pas't Whisper 'neath the murmurous trees;

to the ripe o the

year and ' Well I love them ! " partly spoken

middle-age hath

com e- Thro' the sympathetic keys.



The Flute-Player. 5

" Is it better pain and pleasure And lo , he

To remember or forget ? starteth as the

measure of the

Is it '? Ah! they change the measure ; mus j c changeth

* to the stately

This is sure the minuet ! " Minuet.

And the player all sedately

Scans his notes with eyesight worn,

While the movement lapses stately
As a breeze among the corn, p^t^of his

dreams ariseth
before him, and

Till the tones a subtler meaning n i a n s teth h apacel er

Garner from the vanished years, ^MSr?

O'er life's fields of harvest gleaning '^^{^f" 1

Aftermath of many tears. wi ^ h / r n a i v t ins '

* and dulled the

lustre of his
eyes.

Fleet before him evanescent

Seasons thro' their courses run,
Light as dewdrops iridescent

In the laughter of the sun ;

And the robin of the ring-time

Learns to pipe a lovelier tune ;
And the bride of early springtime

Is the sweeter wife of June.



Comes the warm, sun-soaked Septem-

i And it pleaseth

Der, him well to

Life's wine red upon the lees ; thTSughter ' s
Comes the rimy-lipped November, grandchildren
Children's children at his knees.



The Flute-Player.



Onward, ever onward speeding,

and their right '

merry pother What is this the old man sees ?

that come unto

him from the "f i s the baton deftly leading

bars of the ' .

lively Scherzo. Thro' the scherzo s harmonies.



Suddenly in tones supernal,

S n hatn S P ut Earthward borne in lordlier rhyme,
o?reaHty! tmenlS Comes the boom of waves eternal,
Breaking on the sands of time.

Forio! the Whence the rapture in the gazing

fromVutaVs'the Of the aged flutist's eyes ?
sound of the Whence the tenderness amazing

instruments

dieth away. j n ^g we ddcd harmonies ?

Why should he, thro' every turning
more^he wand Of the mellow symphony,

of the leader. pj ay ^ gingle ^^ then spurning

All control, seem but to be

Sunder^nd' " Fluting fast and ever faster
Di e v 7neb^ckon- Thro' the music's crowded bars,
ing from the L e( j ^y a ce i es tial master

firmament.

Beating time among the stars ?



The Flute- Ah ! he hears a cadence woven,

are^ravishTwith As a thread of song might be,

vast harmonies ~ . . . _. ,

ineffable. By a more divine Beethoven

Thro' a mightier symphony.



The Flute-Player. 7

In his fading eyes the story

Of a life is written fair ;
O'er his brow a summer glory

Warms the winter in his hair.

And he breath-

And as down remembered valleys melody through
Love and youth together stroll, The "o'nes grow

rr>t .i_ a A n'/i 11 celestial, for lo !

1 hro the flute s mellifluent alleys the Flute-Player
He is breathing out his soul. -SffiS^

eth out divinely.



Struck with sudden admiration, Andaiithe

,,, players stand

Falls the leader s nerveless hand ; dumb, being

, . / j- i ,_ wrought upon

ConSClOUS Of dlVine elation, by a deep awe ;

All the men in wonder stand ;



In their eyes strange fires are burning ;

Each melodic voice is mute, c^inue^h' 6

Save the pure impassioned yearning

Of the liquid-throated flute.

It is the Finale.

Every movement has been rendered

Sanctified from days of yore, And, of a truth,

All the instruments have tendered SSTw^fio

Reverence to the glorious score.



tones be blended
in harmony and
A 11 L i j A i i discord, yet 't is

All have mingled in the heaven the pleading of

T TJJJ,. j A tne single voice

Born of wedded tone and tone ; that reacheth to

IT,, c i , . i the everlasting

The finale must be given ears.

By the soulful flute alone.



8 The Flute-Player.

Many men shall ^ y ^g symphony, tho' blended

mingle in the * '

world but 'tis j n accordance loud and long,

the naked soul

which must Sinks at last, when all is ended.

come alone to

the altar-steps TO the pleading of a song.

of God;



Still the candles) weirdly flaring,
Fashion shadows on the wall,

Still the loftier lights are glaring
Over all the festival.

Hark ! Is this a sigh or singing
Jiet e h fl i g Dying on the listening air ?

Sllence - 'T is the flute's voice, upward winging

Like a music-laden prayer.

And a hush in benediction
SwTngSs O'er the bended man is shed ;
Death that glorifies affliction

Wreathes an aureole 'round his
head.

The symphony

is finish't, but . .

its last chords And his fingers still are pressing

havebeen sound- ,-. . . , ....

ed beyond the VOlCClcSS keys With loving art,

*T hi'oniy the Still the silent flute caressing

Flute-Player , .. r i i

who hath heard On the silence of his heart.

the final
harmony.



TO BEAUTY: AN ODE.



" I ^HERE comes a sure uplifting of the soul ;

Forth leaps a light late shadowed in eclipse
Before my seeking gaze the vapors roll

Backward, and bursts the new apocalypse !
In this large moment, Spirit of Beauty, thou
That dost possess me with thy loveliness,
I am elate to feel thee, know thee mine,
To wrap my being in the sense of joy
Which is thy being, till thou dost endow
My soul with love heroic and the stress
Of high endeavor. Life hath no alloy,
So touched upon by thee, but grows divine
In potency of action, power of nobleness.



ii.



An hour of youth that dreams of no hereafter,
A day of toil amid encircling fears,

The comradeship of human loves and laughter,
The sanctifying grace of human tears ;

A weary waiting through the years that cumber,
A weary sowing that the world may reap,
9



IO To Beauty : An Ode.

A silent drooping of the head to slumber,

A silent closing of the eyes to sleep.
And this is life, which thy fair ministries

Have made to me a dream of solemn joys,
In candid sunlight, with the somnolent bees,
In glorious glooms of forest sacristies,

In green recesses where the fret and noise
Of the defeated, despicable world

Come not to break the bliss of solitude.
Ah ! beacon hurled

From God's hand into trackless nights of

mind,

By thy fair light I find
The hidden flaws of the philosophies,

The nerveless food
Of earth-bred natures barren of the skies.

III.

What time the Spring had wantoned with the trees
And wrought a pallor over Arcady,
Thou earnest to me robed as one might be
Who ministered to Love's high revelries,
And didst uplift me with thy starry eyes,
Till I, divine in thy divinity,
Encompassed heaven in being loved of thee,
And drew from Paradise

Delight to a sad world all rapturously.
To touch thy hair the sun had quit the skies ;
And joy upon thy brow had fallen on sleep,
Being surfeited with sweets which still did keep
The portals of thy uncompanioned lips ;



To Beauty : A n Ode. \ i

And in the woven cadence of thy sighs

I heard Love's song wherethrough light

laughter slips,

Life's undertone that cannot choose but weep.
And I spread wide my arms, but thou wert gone ;
Naught left but memory's mocking counterpart,

The wafted fragrance of thy outblown hair,
Subtle as odors of the Summer's heart ;

And in the lambent and unpeopled air
A vision fading as a dream at dawn.



IV.



Is it but Fancy that doth sometimes cheat
Our wayward pulses into quietude,
A stern necessity of joy, a mood
Begotten of much yearning upon thee,

Spirit that bearest wings upon thy feet

And laurel on thy white unageing brows,
Spirit of streams and woodland minstrelsy
And Art's high heritage that with faith endows

Lives else all incomplete ?

I only know thou dost vouchsafe delight,
Born of the morning and the sweet-breath'd
night

And silent hills that lift their fronts to woo
The upper air's yet deeper silences,
The while the thoughtful twilight hovers nigh

To stay the fretting of the leaves, as who
Should murmur : u Peace a little, it is I,"
And ever in profounder whispers, " Peace " ;






12 To llcauty : An Ode.

The pale light fading from clear winnowed skies

As fleeting colors from the face of Fear ;
A bird-song that releases rhapsodies,
And dies into the lucent solitude
With such divine decadence, that I hear

Remembered music in an interlude
Of visions alien grown to un remembering eyes.



v.



And I shall never lose thee ; thou dost keep

Tryst with my soul.

In patins wrought of daisies on the meads,
In violets lifting scented lips to God,
Haply in songs that flood the aisles of sleep,
Upon the fretting of unceasing needs
I feel the soothing and the sure control

Of thy cool fingers. In each greening sod
Is written thy evangel, and the ways

Thy feet have trod
Are redolent of all fair flowers that are,

While in thy deep commemorative gaze
Peace lingers like an upward-pointing star.



THE INNER VISION.

\ ADHERE the sky in sleep and silence dreams

away the drowsy days,
And the sunlit spaces shimmer in the films of

golden haze,
Great Antonio, he of Spezzia, slowly thro' the

seasons wrought,
Striving ever to embody that which his profounder

thought
Found elusive as a perfume, or the melody that

dwells
(Heard thro' misty miles of distance,) in the pulses

of the bells ;
Till at last the storied canvas in triumphant colors

bore,

Perfect as a strain of music 'prisoned thus forever-
more,
One fair form enfolded in the rare celestial light

it wore.

Here, where fountains lightly lisp of love to roses

leaning low,
Staunch in friendship, dwelt the kinsmen Valentine

and Angelo ;
Valentine was brave and brawny, hot the blood

within his veins ;

13



14 77/6' Inner Vision.

His the strength to show compassion to the weak-
ness it disdains ;

His the supple nerve and sinew, and the step which
lightly trod ;

His the shoulders of a hero and the temples of a
god.

But for Angelo the thoughtful, dreaming ever of a
goal,

Where eternal wreaths of laurel wait to crown the
victor soul,

Life was but the budding promise of a later, fairer
flower ;

Joy the prelude to an anthem ; love the folly of
an hour ;

Pride of strength the badge of weakness ; gentle-
ness the test of power.

So when wide the fame was bruited of Antonio's

matchless skill,
And the finished picture proved the triumph of

creative will,
These two, singly, looked upon its tender curve

and living line,
Gloried in its wealth of color, recognized the

touch divine,
Saw and loved and praised it, each to other, with

unstinted breath,
Saying, "T is a thing immortal, Tonio was not

made for death ! "
And as Valentine enkindled with the beauty and

the grace



The Inner Vision. 1 5

Of the masterful creation, stirred his life to quicker

pace,
And the wild blood, in its flood-tide, painted

passion on his face.

"Ah!" he sighed, "what deeper rapture, in a

world grown gray with prayer,
Than to lose one's sense of being in the perfume of

her hair ;
In one mad transcendent moment, " Quick, with

hand uplifted high,
" Hold ! " cried Angelo in pallor, " Stay thy word

of blasphemy !
By Our Lady's gracious presence," (here he crossed

himself in haste)
"Thou, tho' more than friend or brother, shalt not

find mine ear debased
To the level of thy lewdness. Hath some Circe

turned us swine ?
Is the world with dregs so drunken that it cannot

taste the wine ? "
Then, hot flaming in his anger, "Thou art mad,"

quoth Valentine ;
" Mad the word and mad the gesture ; thou hast

o'er thy parchments bent
Till thy blood hath lost true color and thy flame of

life is spent ;
Thou wouldst preach a stern evangel as our

holiest heritage,-

On youth's fair unruffled forefront write the mes-
sages of age.



1 6 The Inner Vision.

Is it sin to worship Beauty wheresoe'er its shrine

may be ?

Is it shame to wed the pulses of a wide humanity ?
Thou, mayhap, canst chant a paean to the joys of

dead desire,
Since no Circe hath debased thee till thou darest to

admire
Fair and fatal Aphrodite, born of Foam and bred

of Fire ! "

"What!" spake Angelo, uprising, "Aphrodite!

Heaven be kind !
Nay, \ is thou art mad of surety ; overfeeding dulls

thy mind ;
'T is Antonio's chiefest glory that his work bespeaks

his heart ;
He ne'er found in pagan harlots lips to lure the

kiss of Art.
That fair form upon his canvas is our Blessed

Lady, she

More divine for being human, earthlier for divinity.
In the false pride of thy power, thou hast scorned

to kiss the rod ;
Thou hast dared to flaunt thine offal in the very

face of God !
But enough ! Words fall to folly ; test of truth

alone is wise ;
'T is the master who shall tell us whether in those

radiant eyes
Gleams the fire of wanton Venus or the Virgin's

Paradise."



The Inner Vision. i /

So they strode [with eager footsteps to the cool
pavilion where

Sat Antonio, grave, and aureoled in a wealth of
wintered hair ;

Put before him all the quarrel which so deep their
souls had stirred ;

Vehemently questioned, then awaited his decisive
word.

As they ceased the master slowly lifted his pro-
phetic eyes,

While a smile, half hid, betokened more of sadness
than surprise :

"Ye, my sons, have yet to learn the deepest,
holiest truth in art ;

Each beholder sees before him only that which
fills his heart ;

Eyes anointed by the spirit's finer touch to nobler
sight

Ever catch the dawn of angel faces through Cim-
merian night ;

But to him whose soul is fettered in the meshes of
desire

Saints are satyrs tho' the artist dip his brush in
living fire.

Thou, oh Angelo, hast pondered long on visions
heavenly fair,

Till the beautiful Madonna smiles upon thee every-
where ;

But for thce, my strong-thewed, lusty Valentine,
with heart of flame,



1 8 The Inner Vision.

Thy luxurious Venus tempts thee till thy lips pro-
nounce her name.
For the answer to your question, know, my sons,

ye both are wrong,

All the beauties on my canvas to humanity belong ;
Through the weary years I labored, seeking a

celestial sign,
Then I painted simply Woman, finding nothing

more divine."
Here Antonio paused. In silence, heart to heart,

and hand to hand,
Stood the friends with lowered eyelids, humbler

each to understand ;
And their chastened ears grew conscious of the

callings of the sea,
Lighter than the lambent rumor of the wind across

the lea,
Softer than the sunlight sleeping on the slopes of

A ready.



RIZZIO.

(A FRAGMENT.)

HOLYROOD, March 9, 1566. A banquet table
in disorder. At back, the Countess of Argyle,
swooning in her chair. Grouped apart, their swords
red with the blood of Rizzio, stand the lords
Darnley, Morton, Ruthven, Lindsay, and George
Douglass. Seated near the centre is Mary Stuart,
leaning despairingly upon the table, her face buried
in her hands. Rizzio, wounded unto death, is at
her feet, clinging to her girdle and striving to reach
her face.

Rizzio.

EE how they stand apart, these lords, whose

hands

Have bungled i' the work, else had their points
Made me a cleaner exit. They mayhap,
Granting short shrift, would yet bestow a balm
To soothe the pang and poison of the end.
My Queen ! thy throat is stung to sudden flowers,
Tinct with strange colors new begot of love ;
May I not kiss thee on the mouth and eyes,
Seeing how sternly this gaunt foe denies
All quarter to the vanquished ?
19



2o Rizzio.

Let me hear

The old, quick breathing, breaking to desire,
To lull the sense and turn the pulses mad.
I am a penitent ; ah, gracious Love,
Be thou my rosary, and let me tell
My sins upon thy perfectness ; as here.
Where shadows make a twilight of thy hair,
I 've dared to feel myself a very god.
Or here, renascent in thy eyes, have dreamed
That no diviner beacon burns in heaven.
O ! little mouth, half rounded to a song,
Swift shuddering with an indrawn lisp of love,
My soul hath lost itself to compass thee
And rues no whit the barter.

Mary.

Prithee peace !
For God's love turn thy gaze to heaven.

Rizzio.

And so
Gaze still, my Queen, on thee.

Nay, nay, fear not ;

The poisoned chalice destined to my lips
Is sweeter that I drain it at thy feet.
Ah ! the wounds rankle ! It will not be long,
For see how gorgeous the cold stone hath grown
In colors of my life



Rizzio. 2 1

Mary.

Mother of pain !
Be thou compassionate

Rizzio.

There were no need

To pray compassion did God please to grant
But one hour longer ; but the ebb hath set
Strong on the scarlet sea.

Cease weeping, Sweet,
Libations such as this become divine
In being offered.

Mary.

Ay. But on the same
Sad altar of my heart I lay a heart's
Petition. I, who brought a song from France,
Have heard but thunder from these Scottish hills,
And for the cates and dainties of delight
Have been made drunk with blood.

Sweet Heaven, hear

A prayer for justice, and endow the arm
Of him whose life is yet a part of mine
With puissance to right a hideous wrong.

Rizzio.
Nay, nay ; leave justice ; I would speak of love.



22

Mary,

And love is justice.

Ah, poor clammy brows !
And kindly eyes that I have found so fair !
Would God a queen were not so poor a thing,
Beggared of easement to a friend .

Rizzio.

But stoop

A little nearer till I feel thee through,
And catch life's light distilment spent like wine
Upon the lip's curve. So ! thine eyes are fires,
Quenched and relighted where the drooping lids
Turn gold to umber. Ah, yet nearer, Sweet ;
My lips are hot, but soon shall wed wet clay,
And grow less passionate when my mouth is filled
With pitiless earth.

Methinks, in faith, to ask
A hearing loverwise were little now,
For that the warmth of my embrace falls off
In touching Death.

Mary.

Nay, I am here, look up ;
Start not so wild !

Rizzio (brokenly).

The fragrance of thy breath
Fades to the faint remembrance of a joy
Too fine to linger.


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Online LibraryFrancis Howard WilliamsThe flute-player and other poems → online text (page 1 of 5)