ALVMNVS BOOK FVND
THE LIFTED CUP
THE LIFTED CUP
JESSIE 13. HI 1TEN HOUSE
AUTHOR OF u THE DOOR OF DREAMS "5 EDITOR OF
"THE LITTLE BOOK OF MODERN VERSE." ETC.
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
(Cfcz ftifccrsidc press Cambridge
COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY JESSIE B. KITTENHOUSE
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
/ lift it up again to you,
This cup you poured for me,
As one before (in altar lifts
r Die cup of sanctity.
77/7,9 deep, full cup, tliis holy cup,
Your lips have touched and mine,
Is mystical, for you have turned
Die water into ivine.
THANKS are due to the editors of Harper s Mag
azine, McClures Magazine, Good Housekeeping,
Ainslefs Magazine, and The Kmart 8et for permis
sion to reprint poems which originally appeared in
THE SECRET 3
u WE WHO GIVE OUR HEARTS IN SPRING " 4
.THE HOURS 5
THE CAPTIVE 7
IN SOME TO-MORROW 8
THE PASSING JUNE 9
UNSUNG 1 1
THE STAR 15
THE DREAM 17
PROTEST 1 8
THE ALTAR 19
Two THAT PASS 2O
"FAME AND THE MUSE" 21
SEVEN SONGS 22
THE MIRACLE 23
THE WALL 24
THE HAUNTED HEART 25
THE VEIL 26
THE WATERFALL 29
APPLE-TREES 3 1
IN THE GREEN MOUNTAINS 32
ONE STAR 35
THE GREEN TREE IN THE FALL 36
IN WHATSOEVER STATE 37
THE SNARE 38
THE DRAGON-FLY 39
THE AVENUE 45
THE QUEST 46
THE DOOR 49
REVISITED 5 1
THE FESTAL HEART 53
MY SONGS 55
THE RADIANT Loss 56
THE LIFTED CUP
THE LIFTED CUP
I GO in vesture spun by hands
Upon no loom of earth,
I dwell within a shining house
That has no walls nor hearth;
I live on food more exquisite
Than honey of the bee,
More delicate than manna
It falls to nourish me;
But none may see my shining house,
Nor taste my food so rare,
And none may see my moon-spun robe
Nor my star-powdered hair.
WE WHO GIVE OUR HEARTS
WE who give our hearts in Spring,
Putting all the old life by,
We shall start with everything
Keen and glad beneath the sky.
We shall know the urge of grass
Parting each detaining clod,
Know the one sweet day they pass
Flowers, the spirit of the sod.
We are caught into the flame
Where the golden fire runs,
All its ardor is the same,
In the flesh and in the suns.
You can enchant the hours for me
So that they go I know not where,
Save only they are fleet as birds
That flash through sunlit air.
And all the hours that lie between
Oh, you have put on them a ban,
So that they creep through parching wastes
Like any caravan !
HEAR the words that I would speak,
Take the kiss that I would give,
If Life, the long-withholding,
Should one day bid us live,
But I bear a coward s heart,
Thinking only of the pain
When hands that clasp so closely
Shall be unclasped again.
ONLY a day ago, it seems,
The world was a wide, wide place,
And all my thoughts could wander far
On the four winds of space.
But now my thoughts are captive birds
That have no will for flight,
You shut them fast within your heart
All on an April night.
IN SOME TO-MORROW
ROMAN ways shall know our feet
Sometime in a golden Spring
When these hours sweet and fleet
Shall be but remembering.
Resting in the ilex shade
Of some path that Shelley knew,
I shall no more be afraid
To be true, as Life is true.
And at evening when we stand
In the flower-scented air
Rising always from that land
Like an incense fine and rare,
Lifted from the world apart,
Hushed so deep from frets and harms,
Beauty purging all my heart,
I shall turn unto your arms.
THE PASSING JUNE
I AM shut in as June goes by.
And can but see one little tree
Tossing its new leaves to the sky
With the old ecstasy.
And of the sky itself I see
Only a curving arc of blue,
That brings the larkspur dawn to me
And holds the evening true.
I am shut in as June goes by,
But every day you come to me,
And I am glad to lose the sky
And every dancing tree.
I SHALL be beautiful when you come back,
With beauty that is not of lips nor eyes,
And you will look at me with swift surprise
Seeing in me that loveliness I lack.
And you will wonder how this beauty grew,
In all the restless clamor of the days,
Not knowing that I walk in cloistered ways
Bearing within one rapt, still thought of you.
THE songs I have not sung to you
Will wake me in the night
And hover in the dark like birds
Whose wings are tipped with light.
Like birds with restless, eager wings
That quiver for their flight,
The songs I have not sung to you
Will wake me in the night.
You were aloof as a star in space
That holds alone its charted way,
You felt the cold and stellar air
Where winds of heaven play.
But now I know the lonely God
Who made all things from His desire,
Gave to the star the whitest flame
Because its heart is fire.
Now I shall know unrest again,
And all my heart that was so still
Will beat in me like troubled tides
And urge me to its will.
Now joy, like an ecstatic flame,
Will light the dark about my bed
But with the morning I shall know
That it was pain instead.
BEFORE I knew that you would come,
Before I knew that you would go,
I dreamed it all with the prescience
That one in dreams may know.
You gave to me one wild sweet kiss
That pierced me with a joy above
The joy of any other kiss,
For, oh, I dreamed it love!
ONCE to you a woman sang,
Craving love a human thing,
" Throne me not so high, my King !
In my heart her message rang.
But lest love should sink and tire
With his wings caught in a mesh,
I would cry, against the ftesh,
" Throne me higher, higher ! "
BETWEEN our lips a ghostly thing
Escapes and flies on noiseless wing,
It is my soul that would not mate
With your soul at the outer gate,
But sought the still and hidden shrine
Where pale lights bum to the divine,
My soul that could not worship there
Because it found the altar bare.
TWO THAT PASS
WE were but as two that pass
With a lingering word,
Yet for long its echoing
In my heart I heard.
Now you come and speak a word
Passionate and dear,
Then to-morrow you will go
And leave me wondering here.
"FAME AND THE MUSE"
FAME and the muse you would not yield,
For love was but a transient thing,
And so love waits above your door
With outspread wing.
For he must seek another one
Who will not his high gift refuse,
Since love alone can touch to fire
Fame and the muse.
SEVEN songs I made for you
In the briefest days;
Seven songs I made for you,
Longing for your praise.
Not of joy these fragile songs;
Oftener of pain ;
But the pain is joy, since you
Give me song again !
THEY told me miracles had gone
The way of childish tales,
And that to call them back again
Not any dream avails.
It may be so to duller folk
Who do not know like me
How cold gray skies may break to rose
And thrill with prophecy.
Now we two are heart to heart,
O most dear of all,
Who were held so long apart
By the sundering wall.
But so suddenly it fell,
At the final touch,
We are dazed and cannot tell
If we hope too much.
We would wait to know the sum
Of our joy and pain
But what if shadowy hands should come
And build the wall again ?
THE HAUNTED HEART
I AM not wholly yours, for I can face
A world without you in the years to be,
And think of love that has been given me
By other men, and wear it as a grace;
Yes, even in your arms there is a space
That yet might widen to infinity,
And deep within your eyes I still can see
Old memories that I cannot erase.
But let these ghostly tenants of the heart
Stay on unchallenged through the changing days
And keep their shadowy leaseholds without
Then if the hour should come when we must part,
We know that we shall go on haunted ways,
Each to the end inalienably dear.
LET the last veil remain between us two,
That we may keep love still a strange fair thing
Which comes each day with a new marvelling
And goes each night to dreams as fair and new.
Leave still unsaid the dearest word of all,
That I may wait more eagerly to hear,
But each day speak a word more deep and dear
That shall foretell the dearest word of all.
I WENT to see a waterfall
When days were dull of song,
And to its jubilant wild voice
I listened deep and long.
I thought that it would loose my dreams,
But, ah, it could not free
My bound heart, for it sang so loud
It drowned the song in me.
I SAW the marsh-grass blowing ;
It took me far away ;
For I was bom where marsh-grass
Was endlessly at play.
Its ripples were the gladdest things
That one could ever see,
So who would think that marsh-grass
Would bring the tears to me ?
MY childhood held a fairy sight
A thousand apple-trees,
All pink and white for my delight
And humming with the bees.
They grew upon a green hillside,
They sweetened all the air,
They spread a tent of blossoms wide
For my pavilion there.
I broke the branches at my will,
There was so vast a store;
From out my arms the sprays would spill,
But there were always more.
Now I go out from city ways
To see the apple-tree,
For if I miss her flowering days
The year goes ill with me.
IN THE GREEN MOUNTAINS
I DARE not look away
From beauty such as this,
Lest, while my glance should stray,
Some loveliness I miss.
The trees might choose to print
Their shadow on the lake;
The windless air might glint
With aspen leaves that shake.
Over the mountains there
A thin blue veil might drift ;
Then in a moment rare
This thin blue veil might lift.
Ah, I must pay good heed
To beauty such as this,
Lest, in some hour of need,
Its loveliness I miss.
TO-DAY the hills put off their haze
And stand so green and clear
That every peak remote and strange
Is intimate and near.
I can make out the very trees
That mass upon their sides,
And look deep into the white cloud
That swift above them rides.
But, oh, I would not have them stand
Unveiled by blowing air;
Give me the blue, blue mists again
That make them far and fair !
I CAME to the mountains for beauty,
And I find here the toiling folk,
On sparse little farms in the valleys,
Wearing their days like a yoke.
White clouds fill the valleys at morning ;
They are round like great billows at sea,
And roll themselves up to the hill-tops,
Still round as great billows can be.
The mists fill the valleys at evening ;
They are blue as the smoke in the fall,
And spread all the hills with a tenuous scarf
That touches the hills not at all.
These lone folk have looked on them daily,
Yet I see in their faces no light;
Oh, how can I show them the mountains
That are round them by day and by night !
ONE star over the mountains
Comes earlier than all,
And waits alone in the solemn sky
Until the darkness fall.
It parts the mist before it,
It sheds a golden light,
It watches while the evening melts
Into the purple night.
One star over the mountains,
Eternal and yet new,
One star over the mountains
My thought of you.
THE GREEN TREE IN THE FALL
DID you forget to bud in Spring,
O Green Tree in the Fall,
That now you wear these fresh young leaves
As for a coronal ?
All of your mates within the wood
Are in the crimson leaf,
They had their swift, enamored spring,
Their summertime too brief.
But you what chance befell that you
Were cheated of the Spring,
That now you cling so fast to leaves
Wherein no bird will sing ?
My heart is with you, little tree,
For I was cheated too,
And now I grasp at what I missed
And cling as fast as you.
IN WHATSOEVER STATE
I AM rebuked, O Beauty,
That I have murmured so,
When I see the stony places
Where yellow daisies grow.
Or when I see the milkweed,
In a tangled country lane,
Unfold her sea-shell blossoms
To call the bee again,
I know I need not trouble
To seek another place,
If I have aught of beauty
To offer up as grace.
MANY birds will fly away
From the cages that I build.,
Yet if one shall sing and stay,
I have all the joy I willed.
Many songs are in the air,
Flitting like evasive birds,
Ah, if I but one may snare
In the cage of words.
THE day was set to a beautiful theme
By the blue of a dragon-fly
That poised with his air) 7 wings agleam
On a flower, as I passed by.
So frail and so lovely a touch would destroy ;
He seemed but a fancy, a whim ;
Yet this gossamer thing is a breath of God s joy,
And Life is made perfect in him !
I WILL go back to Italy,
For well I know that there
Your feet will still come climbing
A worn, accustomed stair;
And we will stand at evening
On a little terrace hung
High up above the Arno,
While all the bridges flung
Across the wide, dark river
Are strung with golden light,
And straight before us rises
Miniato s jewelled height.
Then in late summer afternoons,
Just cooling from the heat,
We ll go again exploring
Each little narrow street,
And rest in dim old churches
And watch the pictured walls,
THE LIFTED CUP
While through the ancient, hallowed glass
The colored sunlight falls.
But I will not go near the North
Nor see the mountain snows,
Nor look upon that valley
Where the dread Piave flows,
Lest they should dare to tell me
That you are lying there
You who pervade the very day
Like warm, sun-lighted air!
IT was but two weeks since you died,
Yet you were strange and far
As one who had a lifetime dwelt
Upon an alien star,
When sudden in Manhattan streets
Your presence smote me through,
You had so loved the zest of life
Upon Fifth Avenue!
I WOULD go soon, for if I stay
You will have gone so far
I cannot find you in that place
Where the most radiant are.
And all eternity will be
But seeking after you,
But coming to some gate to find
That you have just passed through,
THERE was a door stood long ajar
That one had left for me,
While I went trying other doors
To which I had no key.
And when at last I turned to seek
The refuge and the light,
A gust of wind had shut the door
And left me in the night.
AH, there were those who twined their wreaths
From buds that I let fall,
So rich was I in blossoming time
That I had gifts for all;
But what if, when the day is chill
And flowers forget to blow,
I should go begging back the gifts
I gave them long ago ?
You and I came down here once
In our happiest days,
It was May and birds were singing
On the budding sprays.
Youth was high within us then,
We could laugh at time,
He could never touch us two
With his icy rime.
Now the boughs are black and bare,
Snows without a stain
I could never come in May
When life was quick again.
DID you come to me, indeed,
And will you come again ?
I know it but as leaves may know
The fresh, keen breath of rain
Then in a moment in the sky
The sun is shining plain.
I know it but as boughs may know,
When wild birds stop in flight,
If they will come that way again
Before the fall of night ;
I know it but as travellers know
Some swift and lovely sight.
THE FESTAL HEART
BY all the tests of human will
I should be weary now ;
Yet I am glad as any bird
That sings upon a bough.
For how shall weariness prevail,
Or hold me in its thrall,
When daily for your sake I keep
An inner festival ?
WHAT will it matter when I am dead
If they remember or forget
Those unborn, whom I shall not know,
Those who may live and love me yet ?
What will it matter if they praise
Or if they treasure some word I say ?
But, oh, it matters so very much
That you should think of me to-day !
I SANG my songs for you alone,
But all the others heard,
And thought that I had sung for them
Each half-revealing word ;
And on the four winds, back to me,
Like freight of winged seed,
Came song for song from all the rest
You only did not heed.
THE RADIANT LOSS
OH, I have lived to be so glad
You failed me long ago,
So glad you cast away the love
That I had lavished so,
So glad that you were dull and blind,
So glad you did not know !
For in a way I had not dreamed
I built my life anew,
And all the structure of my days
Into a wonder grew;
And, oh, you left me free to love
A greater one than you !
TiiFA r all may go, for I have known the one
Who will forever stay,
Though each day tells me until time is done
That he has gone away,
He is the light that breaks in dawns at sea,
The dream in mountain haze;
He is the soul of wistful things to me
In all the still procession of my days.
tgfce XUbcnsfoe Jhrss
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