O Maytime Woods, by Madison Cawein

From the idyll "Wild Thorn and Lily"

  O Maytime woods! O Maytime lanes and hours!
  And stars, that knew how often there at night
  Beside the path, where woodbine odors blew
  Between the drowsy eyelids of the dusk,—
  When, like a great, white, pearly moth, the moon
  Hung silvering long windows of your room,—
  I stood among the shrubs! The dark house slept.
  I watched and waited for—I know not what!—
  Some tremor of your gown: a velvet leaf's
  Unfolding to caresses of the Spring:
  The rustle of your footsteps: or the dew
  Syllabling avowal on a tulip's lips
  Of odorous scarlet: or the whispered word
  Of something lovelier than new leaf or rose—
  The word young lips half murmur in a dream:

  Serene with sleep, light visions weigh her eyes:
       And underneath her window blooms a quince.
  The night is a sultana who doth rise
       In slippered caution, to admit a prince,
  Love, who her eunuchs and her lord defies.

  Are these her dreams? or is it that the breeze
       Pelts me with petals of the quince, and lifts
  The Balm-o'-Gilead buds? and seems to squeeze
       Aroma on aroma through sweet rifts
  Of Eden, dripping through the rainy trees.

  Along the path the buckeye trees begin
       To heap their hills of blossoms.—Oh, that they
  Were Romeo ladders, whereby I might win
       Her chamber's sanctity!—where dreams must pray
  About her soul!—That I might enter in!—

  A dream,—and see the balsam scent erase
       Its dim intrusion; and the starry night
  Conclude majestic pomp; the virgin grace
       Of every bud abashed before the white,
  Pure passion-flower of her sleeping face.