Poppy and Mandragora, by Madison Cawein
Let us go far from here!
Here there is sadness in the early year:
Here sorrow waits where joy went laughing late:
The sicklied face of heaven hangs like hate
Above the woodland and the meadowland;
And Spring hath taken fire in her hand
Of frost and made a dead bloom of her face,
Which was a flower of marvel once and grace,
And sweet serenity and stainless glow.
Delay not. Let us go.
Let us go far away
Into the sunrise of a fairer May:
Where all the nights resign them to the moon,
And drug their souls with odor and soft tune,
And tell their dreams in starlight: where the hours
Teach immortality with fadeless flowers;
And all the day the bee weights down the bloom,
And all the night the moth shakes strange perfume,
Like music, from the flower-bells' affluence.
Let us go far from hence.
Why should we sit and weep,
And yearn with heavy eyelids still to sleep?
Forever hiding from our hearts the hate,—
Death within death,—life doth accumulate,
Like winter snows along the barren leas
And sterile hills, whereon no lover sees
The crocus limn the beautiful in flame;
Or hyacinth and jonquil write the name
Of Love in fire, for each passer-by.
Why should we sit and sigh?
We will not stay and long,
Here where our souls are wasting for a song;
Where no bird sings; and, dim beneath the stars,
No silvery water strikes melodious bars;
And in the rocks and forest-covered hills
No quick-tongued echo from her grotto fills
With eery syllables the solitude—
The vocal image of the voice that wooed—
She, of wild sounds the airy looking-glass.
Our souls are tired, alas!
What should we say to her?—
To Spring, who in our hearts makes no sweet stir:
Who looks not on us nor gives thought unto:
Too busy with the birth of flowers and dew,
And vague gold wings within the chrysalis;
Or Love, who will not miss us; had no kiss
To give your soul or the sad soul of me,
Who bound our hearts to her in poesy,
Long since, and wear her badge of service still.—
Have we not served our fill?
We will go far away.
Song will not care, who slays our souls each day
With the dark daggers of denying eyes,
And lips of silence! … Had she sighed us lies,
Not passionate, yet falsely tremulous,
And lent her mouth to ours in mockery; thus
Smiled from calm eyes as if appreciative;
Then, then our love had taught itself to live
Feeding itself on hope, and recompense.
But no!—So let us hence.
So be the Bible shut
Of all her Beauty, and her wisdom but
A clasp for memory! We will not seek
The light that came not when the soul was weak
With longing, and the darkness gave no sign
Of star-born comfort. Nay! why kneel and whine
Sad psalms of patience and hosannas of
Old hope and dreary canticles of love?—
Let us depart, since, as we long supposed,
For us God's book was closed.