The Heritage


FOR me with dew-spread gossamers —
Before the winds have stirred
Or Dawn awaked her choristers —
The grass is diapered;
For me from all the dappled trees
And the green woodland way
Birds chant in full voiced harmonies
Their hymn to-day.


My eyes are to the East: her face
The magic secret knows;
For look! how flushed the dome of space
With petal’d seas of rose!
The swaying vault’s high void unrolls
To one vast fan of flame;
For me all life on earth extols
Day’s awful name.


My tears are in the rain; my wrath
Is in the wind-vexed sea;
And in the sun’s star-border’d path
Is laughter made for me;
Lo! at mid-blossoming of morn
Beyond the meadow-ways
My thought is in quick spirals born
Of spangling haze.


For me at eve in circling dance
The coiling mist-wraiths blend
In silent valleys of Romance
Wherethrough slow streams descend.
My eyes are to the West, and swim
In fiery lakes of light,
For now her flaming seraphim
Announce the night.


So, on the day’s o’erarching scroll
Unseen, moves night’s away;
As night doth from her depths unroll
The banner of the day.
And, though in riddles men may deal,
I watch, in all, through all;
And know that none can from me steal
Their sure recall.


So in waste winter’s sheath there grows
The quivering bud of spring
That blooms to summer’s splendid rose
Fine odors squandering;
And in the seed she scattereth
I mark the unending chain
Of Death-in-Life and Life-in-Death
To Life again.


Mine on uncharted hills the snow;
The unforded rivers mine;
Mine are the eldrich woods below
That break the valley-line.
For me the clouds make tournament.
The ocean shifts her mood;
All Nature flaunts for my content
Her hardihood.


For me the Air, and Sea, and Earth
Are holy trinity;
I own my God in their high worth
And rich simplicity;
For me the myriad æons told,
The unnumbered ages run,
Are nothing, for I own naught old
Beneath the sun.