Atalanta in the South
ATALANTA IN THE SOUTH.
By Roberts Brothers.
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge.
THOSE DEAR SOUTHERN FRIENDS
Whose unfailing kindness and hospitality made the half year passed in New Orleans one of the pleasantest of my life, I dedicate this Romance in a loving and grateful remembrance.
Before the beginning of years
There came to the making of man
Time with a gift of tears;
Grief, with a glass that ran;
And the high gods took in hand
Fire, and the falling of tears,
And a measure of sliding sand
From under the feet of the years;
And wrought with weeping and laughter,
And fashioned with loathing and love,
With life before and after,
And death beneath and above,
For a day and a night and a morrow,
That his strength might endure for a span,
With travail and heavy sorrow,
The holy spirit of man.
Eyesight and speech they wrought
For the veils of the soul therein,
A time for labor and thought,
A time to serve and to sin;
They gave him light in his ways,
And love, and a space for delight,
And beauty, and length of days,
And night, and sleep in the night.
His speech is a burning fire;
With his lips he travaileth;
In his heart is a blind desire,
In his eyes foreknowledge of death;
He weaves, and is clothed with derision;
Sows, and he shall not reap;
His life is a watch or a vision
Between a sleep and a sleep.
Atlantia in Calydon: Swinburne.