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,
Spice of desire,"
Under the spice-tree
Watch and wait,
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:--
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,Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>