From the Hills of Dream by Fiona Macleod

 

THROUGH THE IVORY GATE

 

UNDER THE EVENING STAR

Poor little songs, children of sorrow, go.
A wind may take you up, and blow you far.
My heart will go with you, too, wherever you go.

As the little leaves in the wood they pass:
The wind has lifted them, and the wind is gone.
Have I too not heard the wind come, and pass?

The secret dews fall under the Evening Star,
And there is peace I know in the west: yet, if there be no dawn,
The secret dews fall under the Evening Star.

THE ENCHANTED VALLEYS

By the Gate of Sleep we enter the Enchanted Valleys.
White soundless birds fly near the twilit portals:
Follow, and they lead to the Silent Alleys.

Grey pastures are there, and hush'd spell-bound woods,
And still waters, girt with unwhispering reeds:
Lost dreams linger there, wan multitudes:

They haunt the grey waters, the alleys dense and dim,
The immemorial woods of timeless age,
And where the forest leans on the grey sea's rim.

Nothing is there of gladness or of sorrow:
What is past can neither be glad nor sad:
It is past: there is no dawn: no to-morrow.

THE VALLEY OF WHITE POPPIES

BETWEEN the grey pastures and the dark wood
A valley of white poppies is lit by the low moon:
It is the grave of dreams, a holy rood.

It is quiet there: no wind doth ever fall.
Long, long ago a wind sang once a heart-sweet rune.
Now the white poppies grow, silent and tall.

A white bird floats there like a drifting leaf:
It feeds upon faint sweet hopes and perishing dreams
And the still breath of unremembering grief.

And as a silent leaf the white bird passes,
Winnowing the dusk by dim forgetful streams.
I am alone now among the silent grasses.

THE VALLEY OF SILENCE

In the secret Valley of Silence
No breath doth fall;
No wind stirs in the branches;
No bird doth call:
As on a white wall
A breathless lizard is still,
So silence lies on the valley
Breathlessly still.

In the dusk-grown heart of the valley
An altar rises white:
No rapt priest bends in awe
Before its silent light:
But sometimes a flight
Of breathless words of prayer
White-wing'd enclose the altar,
Eddies of prayer.

DREAM MEADOWS

Girt with great garths of shadow
Dim meadows fade in grey:
No moon lightens the gloaming,
The meadows know no day:
But pale shapes shifting
From dusk to dusk, or lifting
Frail wings in flight, go drifting
Adown each flowerless way.

These phantom-dreams in shadow
Were once in wild-rose flame;
Each wore a star of glory,
Each had a loved sweet name:
Now they are nameless, knowing
Nor star nor flame, but going
Whither they know not, flowing
Waves without wind or aim.

But later through the gloaming
The Midnight-Shepherd cries:
The trooping shadows follow
Making a wind of sighs:
The fold is hollow and black;
No pathway thence, no track;
No dream ever comes back
Beneath those silent skies.

GREY PASTURES

In the grey gloaming where the white moth flies --
When I, quiet dust on the forgetful wind,
Shall be untroubled by any breath of sighs --

It may be I shall fall like dew upon
The still breath of grey pastures such as these
Wherein I wander now twixt dusk and. dawn.

See, in this phantom bloom I leave a kiss:
It was given me in fire; now it is grey dust:
Mayhap I may thrill again at the touch of this.

LONGING

Would I were the cool wind that's blowing from the sea,
Each loneliest valley I would search till I should come to thee.

In the dew on the grass is your name, dear, i' the leaf on the tree --
O would I were the cool wind that's blowing from the sea.

O would I were the cool wind that's blowing far from me --
The grey silence, the grey waves, the grey wastes of the sea.

REMEMBRANCE

No more: let there be no more said.
It is over now, the long hope, the beautiful
dream.
The poor body of love in his grave is laid.

I had dreamed his shining eyes eternal, alas!
Now, dead love, I know, can never rise again.
Never, never again shall I see even his shadow pass.

A star has ceased to shine in my lonely skies.
Sometimes I dream I see it shining in my heart,
As a bird the windless pool over which it flies.

No : no more: I will not say what I see, there:
Sorrow has depths within depths . . . silence is best:
Farewell, Dead Love: no more the same road we fare.

THE SINGER IN THE WOODS

"Were Memory but a voice......

WHERE moongrey-thistled dunes divide the woods from the sea
Sometimes a phantom drifts like smoke from tree to tree:
His voice is as the thin faint song when the wind wearily
Sighs in the grass, and sighing dies, barely it comes to me.

Sometimes I hear the sighing voice along the shadowy shore;
Sometimes wave-borne it comes, as when on labouring oar
Dying men sigh once, and die, at the closing of the door
They hear below the muffled tides or the dull drowning roar.

Sometimes he passes through the caves where twilight dies:
His voice like mist from a valley then doth rise,
Or in a windy flight of gathered sighs
Is blown like perishing smoke against the midnight skies.

But oftenest in the dark woods I hear him sing
Dim, half-remembered things where the old mosses cling,
To the old trees, and the faint wandering eddies bring.
The phantom echoes of a phantom Spring.

Lost in the dark gulf of the woods, his song sinks low:
I listen : and hear only the long, inevitable, slow.
Falling of wave on wave, the sighing flow:
And in the silence my heart sobbing its old woe.

REQUIEM

In the sunken city of Murias
     A golden Image dwells:
The sea-song of the trampling waves
     Is as muffled bells
    Where He dwells
     In the city of Murias.

In the sunken city of Murias
      A golden Image gleams: 
The loud noise of the moving seas
      Is as woven beams,
     Where He dreams
      In the city of Murias.

In the sunken city of Murias,
     Deep, deep beneath the sea
The Image sits and hears Time break
     The heart I gave to thee 
     And thou to me,
     In the city of Murias.

In the sunken city of Murias
     Long, oh so long ago
Our souls were wed when the world was young:
     Are we old now, that we know
     This silent woe
     In the city of Murias?

In the sunken city of Murias
    A graven Image dwells:
The sound of our little sobbing prayer
    Is as muffled bells
    Where He dwells
    In the city of Murias.

 

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