Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Or, by the body of Isis,

I'll snap his thin neck in twain !

Leave me to gaze at the landscape

Mistily stretching away, Where the afternoon's opaline tremors

O’er the mountains quivering play: Till the fiercer splendor of sunset

Pours from the west its fire, And melted, as in a crucible,

Their earthly forms expire; And the bald blear skull of the desert

With glowing mountains is crowned, That burning like molten jewels

Circle its temples round.
I will lie and dream of the past time,

Æons of thought away,
And through the jungle of memory

Loosen my fancy to play ;
When, a smooth and velvety tiger,

Ribbed with yellow and black,
Supple and cushion-footed

I wandered, where never the track Of a human creature had rustled

The silence of mighty woods, And, fierce in a tyrannous freedom, I knew but the law of

my moods. The elephant, trumpeting, started,

When he heard my footstep near, And the spotted giraffes fled wildly

In a yellow cloud of fear.

I sucked in the noontide splendor,

Quivering along the glade,
Or yawning, panting, and dreaming,

Basked in the tamarisk shade,
Till I hear my wild mate roaring,

As the shadows of night came on, To brood in the trees' thick branches

And the shadow of sleep was gone;

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

Then I roused, and roared in answer,

And unsheathed from my cushioned feet My curving claws, and stretched me,

And wandered my mate to greet. We toyed in the amber moonlight,

Upon the warm flat sand, And struck at each other our massive arms

How powerful he was and grand ! His yellow eyes flashed fiercely

As he crouched and gazed at me,

And his quivering tail, like a serpent,

Twitched curving nervously.
Then like a storm he seized me,

With a wild triumphant cry,
And we met, as two clouds in heaven

When the thunders before them fly.
We grappled and struggled together,

For his love, like his rage, was rude; And his teeth in the swelling folds of my neck

At times, in our play, drew blood.

Often another suitor

For I was flexile and fair-
Fought for me in the moonlight,

While I lay crouching there,
Till his blood was drained by the desert ;

And ruffled with triumph and power,
He licked me and lay beside me

To breathe him a vast half-hour, Then down to the fountain we loitered,

Where the antelopes came to drink;
Like a bolt we sprang upon them,

Ere they had time to shrink,
We drank their blood and crushed them,

And tore them limb from limb,
And the hungriest lion doubted

Ere he disputed with him.
That was a life to live for!

Not this weak human life,
With its frivolous bloodless passions,
Its

poor and petty strife!

Come to my arms, my hero,

The shadows of twilight grow,
And the tiger's ancient fierceness

In my veins begins to flow.
Come not cringing to sue me !

Take me with triumph and power,
As a warrior storms a fortress !

I will not shrink or cower.
Come, as you came in the desert,

Ere we were women and men,
When the tiger passions were in us,

And love as you loved me then !

W. W. STORY.

THE BURIAL OF MOSES.

“And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor ; but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day."

By Nebo's lonely mountain,

On this side Jordan's wave,
In a vale in the land of Moab

There lies a lonely grave.
And no man knows that sepulchre,

And no man saw it e'er,
For the angels of God upturn'd the sod

And laid the dead man there.

That was the grandest funeral

That ever pass'd on earth ;
But no man heard the trampling,

Or saw the train go forth

Noiselessly as the daylight

Comes back when night is done,
And the crimson streak on ocean's cheek

Grows into the great sun.

[graphic][subsumed]

Noiselessly as the spring-time

Her crown of verdure weaves, And all the trees on all the hills

Open their thousand leaves ;
So without sound of music,

Or voice of them that wept,
Silently down from the mountain's crown

The great procession swept.

« ForrigeFortsett »