A BRIEF way up Parnassus’ slope,
Only, I may go:
Held by clasp of little fingers,
Cooing cry that with me lingers,
To the vale below.
Another treads where I may not,
Strikes the ringing lyre;
Another reaches the charmed spot
Of my heart’s desire.
O fair soul, a little way
I bear you company;
Then with “ God speed! ” back once more,
Heart in me with longing sore,
Eyes tear-dim, I flee.
See, the embers on the hearth
I must make to glow;
What time you climb the mountain slope,
Singing as you go.
You may chant before the shrine,
I — croon lullabies.
You may tend the fire divine ;
Ah, for me, that spark must shine
In my baby’s eyes !
Alice Williams Brotherton.