Menken, Adah Isaacs
Gold and gleaming jewel shatter off their glory well in
the robes of royalty, but when we strain against the
whelming waves, the water gurgling down our drowning
throats, we shred them off, and hug the wet, cold rocks
Then old death goes moaning back from the steady
footing of life baffled.112Ah! is it too late for me to be wise.
Will my feeble hands fail me in the moveless stepping
back to the world?
Oh! if youth were only back!
Oh! if the years would only empty back their ruined
days into the lap of the present!
Oh! if yesterday would only unravel the light it wove
into the purple of the Past!
Ah! them might I be vigilant!
Then might the battle be mine!
Nor should my sluggish blood drip down the rocks till
the noon-tide sun should draw it up mistily in smoke.
Then should the heaviness of soul have dropped as
trees do their weight of rainy leaves.
Nor should the sweet leash of love have slipped from
my hungry life, and left me pining, drying for his strength.
I should have wrapt up my breathing in the naked
bosom of Nature, and she would have kissed me back to
sweetest comfort, and I would have drawn up from her
heart draughts of crusted nectar and promises of eternal
Oh! it is not the glittering garniture of God's things
that come quivering into the senses, that makes our lives
look white through the windings of the wilderness.
It is the soul's outflow of purple light that clashes up a
music with the golden blood of strong hearts.
Souls with God's breath upon them,
Hearts with Love's light upon them.