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ALVMNVS BOOK FVND







THE LIFTED CUP



THE LIFTED CUP



BY
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

1921



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.



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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
their pages.



CONTENTS

I

THE SECRET 3
u WE WHO GIVE OUR HEARTS IN SPRING " 4

.THE HOURS 5

CONFESSION 6

THE CAPTIVE 7

IN SOME TO-MORROW 8

THE PASSING JUNE 9

TRANSFORMATION 10

UNSUNG 1 1

II

THE STAR 15

UNREST 16

THE DREAM 17

PROTEST 1 8

THE ALTAR 19

Two THAT PASS 2O

"FAME AND THE MUSE" 21

SEVEN SONGS 22

THE MIRACLE 23
ix



CONTENTS

THE WALL 24

THE HAUNTED HEART 25

THE VEIL 26

III

THE WATERFALL 29

MARSH-GRASS 3O

APPLE-TREES 3 1

IN THE GREEN MOUNTAINS 32

UNVEILED 33

VISION 34

ONE STAR 35

THE GREEN TREE IN THE FALL 36

IN WHATSOEVER STATE 37

THE SNARE 38

THE DRAGON-FLY 39

IV

PRESENCE 43

THE AVENUE 45

THE QUEST 46



THE DOOR 49

PRESCIENCE 5O

REVISITED 5 1



CONTENTS

TRANSIENCE 52

THE FESTAL HEART 53

TO-DAY 54

MY SONGS 55

THE RADIANT Loss 56

POSSESSION 57



THE LIFTED CUP

I



THE LIFTED CUP

i
THE SECRET

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
IN SPRING"

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.



THE HOURS

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 !



CONFESSION

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.



THE CAPTIVE

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.



TRANSFORMATION

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.



10



UNSUNG

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.



11



II



II

THE STAR

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.



15



UNREST

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.



16



THE DREAM

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!



PROTEST

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 ! "



18



THE ALTAR

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.



19



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.



20



"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

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 !



22



THE MIRACLE

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.



23



THE WALL

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 ?



24



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

fear,

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.



THE VEIL

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.



26



Ill



Ill

THE WATERFALL

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.



29



MARSH. GRASS

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 ?



30



APPLE-TREES

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.



31



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.



32



UNVEILED

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 !



33



VISION

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 !



34



ONE STAR

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.



35



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.



36



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.



37



THE SNARE

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.



38



THE DRAGON-FLY

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 !



39



IV



IV
PRESENCE

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,
43



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!



THE AVENUE

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!



45



THE QUEST

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,



46



V
THE DOOR

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.



49



PRESCIENCE

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 ?



50



REVISITED

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.



51



TRANSIENCE

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.



52



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 ?



53



TO-DAY

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 !



54



MY SONGS

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.



55



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 !



56



POSSESSION

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.



57



tgfce XUbcnsfoe Jhrss

CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS
U S A



THIS BOOK IS DUE ON THE LAST DATE
STAMPED BELOW

AN INITIAL FINE OF 25 CENTS

WILL BE ASSESSED FOR FAILURE TO RETURN
THIS BOOK ON THE DATE DUE. THE PENALTY
WILL INCREASE TO SO CENTS ON THE FOURTH
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OVERDUE.




27 1933



JUL 25*940



LD 21-50m-l, 3



48876-i



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY





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Online LibraryJessie Belle RittenhouseThe lifted cup → online text (page 1 of 1)