Poems of Sentiment and Imagination/To — (Metta)

For works with similar titles, see To —.


The whole of this June day replete with roses,
Replete with perfume, loveliness, and bloom,
From dewy morn till sunset's portal closes,
From twilight till the midnight's starry gloom,
I offer up to thee, my loved and only—
I offer up to thee my thoughts and dreams,
And though alone, I can not then be lonely
While thus thy memory, like thy presence, seems.

All this soft sunshine through the white clouds glowing—
All this faint fragrance of the summer air—
All this sweet melody around me flowing
Of birds and breezes—all these blossoms fair—
This nameless influence of June's witching beauty
That thrills my pulses like old golden wine,
With a half wish that I could deem it duty,
And a sad joy, I offer on thy shrine.

My heart is full of tears that well up slowly,
And fall upon the breast from whence they stole;
A placid sorrow, made by patience holy,
Sits with bowed forehead in my silent soul!
The sunshine through the snowy clouds is stealing
Like a bride's glances through her bridal vail,
And so Hope glances through the shadowy feeling
That wraps it in a mantle soft and pale!

Oh, something in my heart pines on forever—
A wish, a want, a yearning still the same;
And when to question it I make endeavor,
The voice within me answers back thy name;
Oh, something in my heart moans on forever—
With a low sound that haunts me night and day!
And when to question it I make endeavor,
Alone—alone—alone! it seems to say.

But now, to-day, I hardly feel the pining—
The moaning of my heart is almost still—
For thy dear presence all around is shining.
Thy spirit all this loneliness doth fill!
I see thee, and 1 hear thee, and I know thee—
Though far away, I recognize thee near!
This bright June beauty, so like thine, doth show thee
Seen, yet impalpable, still lingering here.

The locust blossoms whitely wave and sparkle.
Tossing their chalices upon the breeze.
Filled with the dewy drops that burn and darkle
As they wave in and out among the trees.
Oh, these sweet locust-blossoms, tuned to dances.
In their white beauty yearning toward the sky,
Are only like thy many graceful fancies,
Restlessly beautiful, and pure, and high!

This brightness in the air, subdued and tender,
Is like the presence of thy radiant eyes;
And yon white cloud that glows with a soft splendor—
Such a young glory on thy forehead lies,
The waving of the spray in its sweet motion
Is hke the flowing of thy graceful hair!
Therefore for these I cherish a devotion,
That more than admiration of the fair.

But most, this lonely day, I'm thrilled and haunted
By this strange murmuring music in the trees—
Of all earth's melody the most enchanted—
This whispering of the leaflets and the breeze;
Oh! I am haunted—haunted by its sweetness;
It is so hke thine own low, loving tone—
It fills my ear with music to repleteness,
And fills my soul with harmony alone!

Yes, it is like thy voice, and like it only—
- Thy whispering, soothing, and mysterious voice!
It charms me from my sorrow wild and lonely—
My heart at its low murmur doth rejoice;
It seems to whisper my own name unto me,
As thou didst whisper it days long flown—
It seems to call on me and bless and woo rae
With tender dream, and thought, and yearning tone.

Ah! softly move the trees! and toward me bending,
They seem to woo me to their graceful arms;
The music and the motion sweetly blending,
Bewilder and allure me with their charms!
They seem to promise me a time affection,
A pity for my loneliness and grief—
A care, a love, a beautiful protection,
A sleep where weariness may find relief.

The sky is beauty and the air is sweetness—
The shining clouds like billows melt away;
The earth hath robed herself with love's completeness
This rosy, musical, and fragrant day.
I'm borne away upon its pinions golden,
To other times and scenes than these around—
My soul is floating upon mem'ries olden,
To a past world of feeling more profound —

To a past world seen with a young girl's vision—
Rose-tinted and ffold-liafhted Paradise!
Full of soft music and of paths elysian,
Lit even by the most bewildering skies—
By day unclouded, and by evening glowing
With the wild flashes of the mystic stars,
While 'neath their glory rivers ever flowing,
Ring molten notes of gold through silver bars!

In this past world, where thou and I, as fated.
Met by the dim, deep fountain of first love—
Drank from one cup with thrilling nectar freighted—
Then, with the angels smiling from above,
And roses in our path, and bosoms thrilling.
Together wandered through this Eden-land,
Our souls with beauty and with passion filling.
Led by a chain of light, linked hand in hand

In this past world, where the first storm burst o'er us,
And wrapped us up in terror and surprise—
And tore our clinging hands apart and bore us
Far from each other and our paradise—
And left us weak and wasted, sad and lonely.
Calling upon each other through the gloom—
Yet finding not and hearing echoes only,
Treading on thorns instead of velvet bloom!

Upon one errand since that fatal hour
Does my faint spirit through the wide earth roam;
Nerving its wing with hope's mysterious power.
To find thee, lost one, and to bring thee home.
O beautiful as light! and brave and tender!
Come back—come back to me! my soul doth cry;
But no reply thy distant soul doth render,
And time creeps onward slowly, wearily.

Now all the sky in radiant beauty blushes—
The golden sun woos the soft-swelling sea—
The west grows crimson and the far east flushes—
Oped are the portals of Eternity!
And this June day, her golden tresses streaming.
Her fair face and bright glances backward cast.
Her garments floating and her forehead beaming.
Steps through the gorgeous gate to wed the Past.

Twilight is here; and now begins the throbbing.
Wild, and no more subdued, of my dark heart;
The shadowy stillness listens to my sobbing.
Broken, and faint, and bitter; hot tears start
Large, slow, and fiery, from their founts unbidden,
And anguish frets and fevers my bent brow;
The language of my grief, from daylight hidden,
Finds its own utterance and expression now.

O there is something soothing in the splendor
Of the calm, shining, and most holy stars!
To me they ever have been true and tender.
Leaning from out their silver-sparkling cars,
To smile upon me in my moods of madness,
To hush my troubled thoughts and trance my tears.
To turn my anguish into softer sadness.
And fill me with sweet hopes in place of fears.

I sob no more, but sit and mark them stealing
From their blue-draperied chambers in the sky—
The many and the many still revealing
Their placid foreheads from their homes on high;
I see them with their still and reverent faces,
Come out to watch the earth in its fair sleep —
And bless them, smiling in their shining places,
For the calm guard that pleasantly they keep.

We used to sit and watch the shining heaven,
While locust-blossoms tossed upon the breeze —
We used to muse upon the " Pleiad seven,"
And whisper thrilling words on nights like these !
The stars are here ; the sounds to which I listen
Are those that used to be to us so dear —
The roses sigh — the wet leaves wave and glisten —
All have come back ! — but thou — thou art not here !