They glanced about the prairie.

Their faces were constrained.

In various ways aforetime

They had misled the state,

Yet did it so politely

Their henchmen thought them great.

They sat beneath a hedge and spake

No word, but had a smoke.

A satchel passed from hand to hand.

Next day, the deadlock broke.

IX. What Semiramis Said

The moon's a steaming chalice

Of honey and venom-wine.

A little of it sipped by night

Makes the long hours divine.

But oh, my reckless lovers,

They drain the cup and wail,

Die at my feet with shaking limbs

And tender lips all pale.

Above them in the sky it bends

Empty and gray and dread.

To-morrow night 'tis full again,

Golden, and foaming red.

X. What the Ghost of the Gambler Said

Where now the huts are empty,

Where never a camp-fire glows,

In an abandoned canyon,

A Gambler's Ghost arose.

He muttered there, "The moon's a sack

Of dust." His voice rose thin:

"I wish I knew the miner-man.

I'd play, and play to win.

In every game in Cripple-creek

Of old, when stakes were high,

I held my own. Now I would play

For that sack in the sky.

The sport would not be ended there.

'Twould rather be begun.

I'd bet my moon against his stars,

And gamble for the sun."

XI. The Spice-tree

This is the song

The spice-tree sings:

"Hunger and fire,

Hunger and fire,

Sky-born Beauty--

Spice of desire,"

Under the spice-tree

Watch and wait,

Burning maidens

And lads that mate.

The spice-tree spreads

And its boughs come down

Shadowing village and farm and town.

And none can see

But the pure of heart

The great green leaves

And the boughs descending,

And hear the song that is never ending.

The deep roots whisper,

The branches say:--

"Love to-morrow,

And love to-day,

And till Heaven's day,

And till Heaven's day."

The moon is a bird's nest in its branches,

The moon is hung in its topmost spaces.

And there, to-night, two doves play house

While lovers watch with uplifted faces.

Two doves go home

To their nest, the moon.

It is woven of twigs of broken light,

With threads of scarlet and threads of gray

And a lining of down for silk delight.

To their Eden, the moon, fly home our doves,

Up through the boughs of the great spice-tree;--

And one is the kiss I took from you,

And one is the kiss you gave to me.

XII. The Scissors-grinder

(What the Tramp Said)

The old man had his box and wheel

For grinding knives and shears.

No doubt his bell in village streets

Was joy to children's ears.

And I bethought me of my youth

When such men came around,

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