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    Musidora's Vision   Table of Contents     Antigone and [OElig ]dipus

Ray, H. Cordelia
Poems

- BALLADS AND OTHER POEMS
- Echo's Complaint


Echo's Complaint


O rare Narcissus! sunny-haired!
O mild-eyed youth of godlike mien!
O thou that sittest by fair streams,
And in their trembling, silv'ry sheen
Thy lovely countenance dost view,
Turn but once more thy magic gaze
On one who utters sad complaint,
One who will love thee many days.

'Mid sylvan haunts I dwelt of yore,
Where morning mists shone wondrously,
And fountains flung their diadems
Of liquid rainbows. Unto me
Each day was gladness; grottoes cool
With trickling rills and murm'rous leaves,
Lured me to seek their spacious shades;
But not for these my spirit grieves.

When Dawn in rose-decked chariot strewed
Pale gold down Twilight's violet aisles,
I first beheld thee: ah! how fair!
I trembled 'neath thy radiant smiles.
Thou pensive, glidedst through the groves,
While I, unthought of, with the breeze
In lightness vying--followed near,
Did not some spell thy spirit seize?

I sighed: naught save the wanton wind
Returned my plaint. Thou, peerless youth,
Back tossed thy amber tresses; glad
Thou sangst, for me thou hadst no ruth
Day threw gold arrows o'er the plain,
And glist'ning grew each vine-clad height;
Stars robed in silver tissues, paced
To solemn music, welcoming Night,--
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109

Ere my sad soul could utter low
To thee its grief. Rememb'rest thou
That evening? All the lawns were bright
With lum'nous splendor; o'er the brow
Of you fair mount, the stately moon
Looked call-eyed on the sleeping world;
In the dim glades rare asters lay
On grassy banks, all dew-impearled.

On high Olympus mighty gods
Held carnival with matchless song.
Yea, earth was jubilant, yet I,
Apart from all the festive throng,
Told to thine ear my soul's complaint.
Thou didst not heed my spirit's moan;
Then pity now, O peerless one!
Oh! leave me not unloved and lone.

Gaze not within the sunlit stream
So ling'ringly, there but to see
What in my soul is mirrored: may
Not eyes of love thy mirror be?
Come, rare Narcissus! deign to smile
On Echo, nymph in sore distress,
Who ever, shadow-like, will go
With thee, till thou shalt love confess.

'Tis said I'm fair and love for thee
Will make me fairer, ay, as fair
As glorious Aphrodite, come
And let me kiss thy sunny hair,
Thy marble brow; ay, let me kiss
Thy dewy lips, thy peerless eyes.
One clasp from thee, one long love-clasp
Will change to joy-notes all my sighs.
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110

Thus wailed sad Echo: but to all
Her lamentation naught replied
Unmoved Narcissus; and the nymph,
Sweet Echo, thus in love sore tried,
Was seen no more; but on the breeze
Her voice was heard, her voice alone
Was left, -- an answ'ring cadence there
Love thrilling still its ling'ring tone.

    Musidora's Vision   Table of Contents     Antigone and [OElig ]dipus