ON A PICTURE BY PUVIS DE CHAVANNES.
A spacious land lies large in broad daylight;
A warm wind healthily goes to and fro,
As a dear woman here might come and go;
In courtesy the trees incline their height,
Rustling their robes as folk at a wedding might;
And full of flowers the grass, by scythes laid low,
Scents the sunshine, while peeps the weak willow
Into pride’s paradise in waters bright.
A patriarchal people dwell in peace
And plenty perfect without wealth’s increase;
Nursed in the lap of lowland hills, their homes
Are gay with flowers; both morn and evening airs
Are guests within their doors; and for their prayers
Cows safely calve, bees build big honeycombs.
Their couch the pliant strength of lusty grass,
Cool shade of leaves their canopy, “Alas,”
Sing many maidens, crouched upon their knees
Or lain full-length among the flowers for ease,
“Alas, how slow, how slow,
Time’s hobby-horse does go.”
Some hold their hands above their heads, to touch
And handle—Eve-forgetting—fruit, so much
Their cheeks’ colour yet cool unlike their cheeks.
Their taste-stung tongues still tell, how “Every week’s
A week of weeks; so slow
Time’s hobby-horse can go.”
To idle hearts the day is weariness,
And to lax limbs the land heart’s heaviness;
For all their hearts are healed: long time ago
Hunter Love satisfied hung up his bow.
Their song dies down as slow
As Time’s play-horse can go.
LOVE LIES BLEEDING.SONG FROM A FAIRY TALE.
Love lies bleeding,
On flesh which swords have stricken.
Should sweet blood clot and thicken?
How could they slay him so,
When were pleading
Such eyes as his, you know?
Such eyes, such woe!
THE LITTLE BROWN WOOD-MOUSE.
A little brown wood-mouse
His ample fur cloak doffed,
Then tied his comforter
Before he left the house;
’Twas lamb’s wool, bleached and soft.
To see his tail was there,
He turned his head;
Then off he sped,
To look if beech-nuts were
Silver or red.
The sun makes dust on the highways;
The wind pokes fun at the geese;
With feathers blown all sideways,
In walking they find no ease.
Let them spread wings, in it rushes,
As though to bulge out a sail;
Away they’re blown, on the bushes
To wreck like yawls in a gale.
LES CHERCHEUSES DE POUX.AFTER ARTHUR RIMBAULD.
When, forehead full of torments hot and red,
The child invokes white crowds of hazy dreams,
Two sisters tall and sweet draw near his bed,
Whose fingers frail nails tip with silv’ry gleams.
The child before a window open wide,
Where blue air bathes a maze of flowers, they sit;
And in his heavy hair dew falls, while glide
Their fingers terrible with charm through it.
So hears he sing their breath which dread hush curbs;
How rich with rose and leafy sweets it is!
It sometimes a salival lisp disturbs
On th’ lip drawn back, or deep desires to kiss.
Through perfumed silences their lashes black
Beat slow; from soft electric fingers he,
In colourless grey indolence, hears crack
’Neath tyrant nails the death of each small flea.
Then wells in him the wine of idleness,
Delirious power, the harmonica’s soft sigh:
The child still feels to their long drawn caress
Ceaselessly heave and swoon a wish to cry.
To work at sunrise nor till sunset rest,
Week’s end spliced in week’s end: ’twas thus he wrought;
Tools blunt—not patience tempered by hot thought.
With eager bare arms leant across her breast
He chiselled chin or cheek, and, where they pressed,
His labour’s sweat made bright the marble bust.
At length she stands amid the workshop dust
In proudest pose of loveliness undressed.
His work once stayed, he, weakened by long strife,
Falls like a swathe from summer-heat’s keen scythe:
So sees he, waking at the day’s decease,—
Not the sea-mothered mother of all life,
Then vanished—but alone, alive he sees
A naked woman quailing at the knees.
ON A DRAWING BY C.H.S.
Deep-noted thy bucolic peace,
Such as no rose-lured insect hum
Or witty water-splash can tease;
In staid divine delirium
Entranced till princely Palma come
T. STURGE MOORE.
Moore, T. Sturge. “Five Titles.” The Dial, vol. 2, 1892, p. 15-16. Dial Digital Edition, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2018-2020. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019. https://1890s.ca/dialv2-moore-seven-titles/