11. QUIS UT DEUS?
In the old church, thro' Gothic windows drifting,
Stealthily crept the sun's departing rays;
Incense its misty pillars was uplifting
In drifts of vapour; as I turned my gaze
On crumbling frescoes, fear upon me came;
What visions! In a dreadful bath of flame
A hundred heads, and mitres, rods were borne,
With crosses, crowns, and swords and maces pent.
A mighty Angel, like the smile of morn,
Stood o'er the throng, that with the fire was blent.
His countenance, the sun in heaven's field.
And "quis ut deus" he upon his shield
In flashes bore: dire, conquering was he.
Then from the side, where surged on frenziedly
Eddies of mist and smoke, Death to him pressed,
And from behind, to be unseen, in haste
To the word "deus" with a bone he traced
"Ego", and fell to tittering at his jest.
12. PASTEL (TO JULIUS ZEYER).
I love the roads that have not at their edges
Dark houses, but are fringed with garden-hedges.
Walls ivy-clad on all sides greet the eye:
So peaceful 'tis, and rare the passer-by,
His tread rings hollow; spring-tide best of all, —
Meseems, youth pulses in the ageing wall:
When in the throng of trees the leaves first glitter,
When in his home the titmouse starts to twitter,
On the white birches, 'mid the clod-born scent,
And ancient poplars pondering are bent
To palace-casements, with spring's advent filled;