From the Hills of Dream by Fiona Macleod

FROM THE HEART OF A WOMAN

II

WHITE STAR OF TIME

Each love-thought in thy mind doth rise
    As some white cloud at even,
Till in sweet dews it falls on me
    Athirst for thee, my Heaven !

My Heaven, my Heaven, thou art so far!
    Stoop, since I cannot climb:
I would this wandering fire were lost
     In thee, white Star of Time !

GREEN BRANCHES

Wave, wave, green branches, wave me
      far away
To where the forest deepens and the hill-
     winds, sleeping, stay:
Where Peace doth fold her twilight wings,
     and through the heart of day
There goes the rumour of passing hours
     grown faint and grey.

Wave, wave, green branches, my heart like
    a bird doth hover
Above the nesting-place your green-gloom
    shadows cover:
O come to my nesting heart, come close,
    come close, bend over,
Joy of my heart, my life, my prince, my
    lover !

SHULE, SHULE, SHULE, AGRAH !

His face was glad as dawn to me,
His breath was sweet as dusk to me,
His eyes were burning flames to me,
        Shule, Shule, Shule, agrah !

The broad noon-day was night to me,
The full-moon night was dark to me,
The stars whirled and the poles span
The hour God took him far from me.

Perhaps he dreams in heaven now,
Perhaps he doth in worship bow,
A white flame round his foam-white brow,
        Shule, Shule, Shule, agrah !

I laugh to think of him like this,
Who once found all his joy and bliss
Against my heart, against my kiss,
       Shule, Shule, Shule, agrah !

Star of my joy, art still the same
Now thou hast gotten a new name ?
Pulse of my heart, my Blood, my Flame,
       Shule, Shule, Shule, agrah !

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I do not give the correct spelling of the Gaelic.  The line signifies,
"Move,  move, move to me, my Heart's Love."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LORD OF MY LIFE

He laid his dear face next to mine,
His eyes aflame burned close to mine,
His heart to mine, his lips to mine,
O he was mine, all mine, all mine.

Drunk with old wine of love I was,
Drunk as the wild bee in the grass:
Yea, as the wild bee in the grass,
Drunk, drunk, with wine of love I was!

His lips of life to me were fief,
Beneath him I was but a leaf
Blown by the wind, a shaken leaf,
Yea, as the sickle reaps the sheaf,
                                   My Grief !

He reaped me as a gathered sheaf !
His to be gathered, his the bliss,
But not a greater bliss than this!
All of the empty world to miss
For wild redemption of his kiss !
                                 My Grief !

For hell was lost, though heaven was brief
Sphered in the universe of thy kiss --
So cries to thee thy fallen leaf,
Thy gathered sheaf,
Lord of my life, my Pride, my Chief,
                                 My Grief!

ISLA

Isla, Isla, heart of my heart, it is you alone
     I am loving --
Pulse of my life, my flame, my joy, love is
     a bitter thing!
Love has its killing pain, they say -and you
     alone I am loving --
Isla, Isla, my pride, my king, love is a
     bitter thing !

Isla, Isla, in the underworld where the elfin-
     music is,
There we shall meet one day at last, as the
     wave with the wind o' the south!
Then you shall cry, "My Dream, my Queen!"
     and crown me with your kiss,
And I to my kingdom come, my king, my
     mouth to thy mouth !

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Isla, a frequent name in the Western Highlands, is pronounced Isle-a.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AN IMMORTAL

"For of mortal love an Immortal may be shapen."

Child of no mortal birth, that yet doth live,
Where loiterest thou, O blossom of our joy?
Unsummon'd hence, dost thou, knowing all, forgive?
Thy rainbow -rapture, doth it never cloy?
O exquisite dream, dear child of our desire,
On mounting wings flitt'st thou afar from here?
We cannot reach thee who dost never tire,--
Sweet phantom of delight, appear, appear !
How lovely must thou be, wrought in strange fashion
From out the very breath and soul of passion . . .
With eyes as proud as his, my lover, thy sire,
When seeking through the twilight of my hair
He finds the secret flame deep hidden there,
Twin torches suddenly flashing into fire.

THE VISION

In a fair place
Of whin and grass,
I heard feet pass
Where no one was.

I saw a face
Bloom like a flower--
Nay, as the rainbow-shower
Of a tempestuous hour.

It was not man, or woman:
It was not human:
But, beautiful and wild,
Terribly undefiled,
I knew an unborn child.

HUSHING SONG

Eily, Eily,
My bonnie wee lass:
The winds blow,
And the hours pass.

But never a wind
Can do thee wrong,
Brown Birdeen, singing
Thy bird-heart song.

And never an hour
But has for thee
Blue of the heaven
And green of the sea:
Blue for the hope of thee,

Eily, Eily;
Green for the joy of thee,
Eily, Eily.

Swing in thy nest, then,
Here on my heart,
Birdeen, Birdeen,
Here on my heart,
Here on my heart!

MO-LENNAV-A-CHREE

EILY, Eily, Eily, dear to me, dear and
sweet,
In dreams I am hearing the sound of your
little running feet --
The sound of your running feet that like the
sea-hoofs beat
A music by day and night, Eily, on the sands
of my heart, my Sweet !

Eily, blue i' the eyes, flower-sweet as children
are,
And white as the canna that blows with the
hill-breast wind afar,
Whose is the light in thine eyes-- the light
of a star ? -- a star
That sitteth supreme where the starry lights
of heaven a glory are !

Eily, Eily, Eily, put off your wee hands from
the heart o' me,
It is pain they are making there, where no
more pain should be:
For little running feet, an' wee white hands,
an' croodlin' as of the sea,
Bring tears to my eyes, Eily, tears, tears, out
of the heart o' me --
     Mo-lennav-a-chree,
     Mo-lennav-a-chree!

LULLABY

Levnnavan-mo,
Lennavan-mo,
Who is it swinging you to and fro,
With a long low swing and a sweet low croon,
And the loving words of the mother's rune ?

Lennavan-mo,
Lennavan-mo,
Who is it swinging you to and fro ?
I am thinking it is an angel fair,
The Angel that looks on the gulf from the lowest stair
And swings the green world upward by its leagues of sunshine hair.

Lennavan-mo,
Lennavan-mo,
Who swingeth you and the Angel to and fro?
It is He whose faintest thought is a world afar,
It is He whose wish is a leaping seven -moon'd star,
It is He, Lennavan-mo,
To whom you and I and all things flow.

Lennavan-mo,
Lennavan-mo,
It is only a little wee lass you are, Eily-mo-chree,
But as this wee blossom has roots in the depths of the sky,
So you are at one with the Lord of Eternity --
Bonnie wee lass that you are,
My morning-star,
Eily-mo-chree, Lennavan-mo,
     Lennavan-mo.

MY BIRDEEN

Oh bonnie birdeen,
   Sweet bird of my heart--
Tell me, my dear one,
   How shall we part?

He calls me, he cries
   Who is father to thee:
O birdeen, his eyes
   In these blue eyes I see.

Thou art wrought of our love,
   Of our joy that was slain:
My birdeen, my dove,
   My passion, my pain.

 

PULSE OF MY HEART

Are these your eyes, Isla,
That look into mine?
Is this smile, this laugh,
Thine?

Heart of me, dear,
O pulse of my heart,
This is our child, our child--
And . . . we apart !

Wrought of thy life, Isla,
Wrought in my womb,
Never to feel thy kiss ! --
Ah, bitter doom.

Hush, hush: within thine eyes
   His eyes I see
. . . .
Soft as a bird's sighs
Thy breathings rise!
. . . .
    If there be Paradise
    For him and me
       (Who hold it but a dream
        Because of bitter fate)
The first supernal gleam
Beyond the flame-swept gate
Shall be thine eyes when thou drawest near--
None other shall it be
Who his lost hands, with mine, and thine
In love refound shall intertwine . . . .
But now, alas, alas, we are far apart,
    My baby dear,
       Pulse of my Heart !

 

THE ROSE OF FLAME

Oh, fair immaculate rose of the world,
    rose of my dream, my Rose !
Beyond the ultimate gates of dream I have
    heard thy mystical call:
It is where the rainbow of hope suspends
    and the river of rapture flows --
And cool sweet dews from the wells of peace
    forever fall.

And all my heart is aflame because of the
    rapture and peace,
And I dream, in my waking dreams and deep
    in the dreams of sleep,
Till the high sweet wonderful call that shall
    be the call of release
Shall ring in my ears as I sink from gulf to
    gulf and from deep to deep --

Sink deep, sink deep beyond the ultimate
    dreams of all desire --
Beyond the uttermost limit of all that the
    craving spirit knows :
Then, then, oh then I shall be as the inner
    flame of thy fire,
O fair immaculate rose of the world, Rose
    of my Dream, my Rose !

 

THE UNDERSONG

I hear the sea-song of the blood in my heart,
I hear the sea-song of the blood in my ears:
And I am far apart,
And lost in the years.

But when I lie and dream of that which was
Before the first man's shadow flitted on the grass,
I am stricken dumb
With sense of that to come.

Is then this wildering sea-song but a part
Of the old song of the mystery of the years --
Or only the echo of the tired heart
And of tears?

 

THE LONELY HUNTER

Green branches, green branches, I see
   you beckon; I follow !
Sweet is the place you guard, there in the
   rowan-tree hollow.
There he lies in the darkness, under the frail
   white flowers,
Heedless at last, in the silence, of these
   sweet midsummer hours.

But sweeter, it may be, the moss whereon he
   is sleeping now,
And sweeter the fragrant flowers that may
   crown his moon-white brow:
And sweeter the shady place deep in an
   Eden hollow
Wherein he dreams I am with him--and,
   dreaming, whispers, " Follow ! "

Green wind from the green-gold branches,
   what is the song you bring ?
What are all songs for me, now, who no
   more care to sing?
Deep in the heart of Summer, sweet is life
   to me still,
But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts
   on a lonely hill.

Green is that hill and lonely, set far in a
   shadowy place;
White is the hunter's quarry, a lost-loved
   human face:
O hunting heart, shall you find it, with arrow
   of failing breath,
Led o'er a green hill lonely by the shadowy
   hound of Death?

Green branches, green branches, you sing of a
   sorrow olden,
But now it is midsummer weather, earth-
   young, sun-ripe, golden:
Here I stand and I wait, here in the rowan-
   tree hollow,
But never a green leaf whispers, "Follow,
   oh, Follow, Follow !"

O never a green leaf whispers, where the
   green-gold branches swing:
O never a song I hear now, where one was
   wont to sing.
Here in the heart of Summer, sweet is life to
   me still,
But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts
   on a lonely hill.

THE WHITE PEACE

It lies not on the sunlit hill
    Nor on the sunlit plain :
Nor ever on any running stream
    Nor on the unclouded main --

But sometimes, through the Soul of Man,
    Slow moving o'er his pain,
The moonlight of a perfect peace
    Floods heart and brain.

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