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    BALLADS AND OTHER POEMS   Table of Contents     QUATRAINS

Ray, H. Cordelia
Poems

- CHANSONS D'AMOUR

CHANSONS D'AMOUR

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The Dawn of Love


Within my, casement came one night
The fairy Moon, so pure and white.
Around my brow a coronet
Of shining silver quaintly act
With rainbow gems, she there did place;
But when I turned my wistful face,
Lo! she had vanished, and my gaze
Saw naught save shadows 'mid the haze.

I felt a throb within my heart,
In which sad sorrow had no part;
Within my soul a yearning grew,
So sweet it thrilled me through and through.
A flute's soft warble echoed nigh,
As if an angel fluttered by;
And on my lips there fell a kiss;--
Speak! fairy moon, interpret this!

The Siren Bird


A little bird, a tender bird,
Flew singing 'neath my eaves;
Its note was one that in the soul!
Unrest and yearning leaves.

'Twas not the bluebird on the branch,
'Twas not the lark on high,
Sending delicious melody
From deeps of pearly sky.
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'Twas not the robin to his mate,
Piercing the matin air,
'Twas not the dove in shady wood,
Pouring mysterious prayer.

What are thou, art thou, wee, wee bird
Bathed in ecstatic song?
Those burnished plumes, that siren strain
Must to strange realms belong.

'Twas Love came singing 'neath my eaves,
My heart's eaves, tenderly;
And this the burthen of his song;
"Sweet, may I dwell with thee?"

O mystic bird, come home to me!
Here dwell and muse and sing;
Lull me forever with that strain,
Fold me beneath thy wing!

Reunited


Sang a maiden in a meadow;
O so lonely though so fair;
And her plaintive carol fluttered
Like, a psalm along the air.

Soon a youth came gaily tripping,
Full of fawn-like, airy grace;
And he heard the maiden singing,
And he looked in her sweet face.

In her lovely face so mournful,
Where her star-eyes gleamed with tears,
And he said: "Fair maid, take comfort!
For I've loved thee many years,
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"Oft thou camest like a vision,
Flinging wide thy golden hair,
While thine eyes, so sweet, so holy,
Seemed to make for me a prayer.

"Long I've sought thee in the meadow,
List'ning ever, for thy song;
Thou art she, that radiant vision,
To each other we belong."

Light he tripped along the mountains,
With the maiden by the hand;
And I heard her joyous carol
Echoing through the summer land.

Love's Vista


Love oped a vista rare with stars
That overshone a dewy height;
Glad-Heart enwrapt in dreams, saw naught
Save radiance and bloom and light.

The fairest dove sang in the boughs
The sweetest songs that e'er were heard;
Glad-Heart strayed reckless down the glade,
Lured strangely by the cooing bird.

Yes! strangely lured, till suddenly
The dove did moan and wail, and lo!
The stars went out in darkness: all
Was bitterness and gloom and woe.

Ah! haste, Glad-Heart, go back, go back!
The vistas are not bloomy now;
Veiled is the dewy height: henceforth
Unto the tempest bare thy brow.
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Yet sweet, sweet dove, when life is drear,
Come chant again that dreamy lay;
O tender Love, send shining stars.
To light her soul, once more, some day.

My Spirit's Complement


Thy life that touched the edges of my life,
All glistening and moist with sunlit dew.
They touched, they paused--then drifted wide apart,
Each gleaming with a rare prismatic hue.

'Twas but a touch! the edges of a life
Alone encolored with the rose, yet la!
Each fibre started into strange unrest,
And then was stilled, lulled to a rhythmic flow

Perchance our spirits clasp on some fair isle,
Bright with the sheen of reveries divine;
Or list'ning to such strains as chant the stars,
In purest harmony their tendrils twine.

God grant our souls may meet in paradise,
After the mystery of life's sweet pain;
And find the strange prismatic hues of earth
Transmuted to the spotless light again.

Recompensed?


She roamed the meadows long in hope
That in some sunny dingle fair,
She'd meet her youth with golden hair,
Giving to her some little care;
Alas! unloved she seemed to grope.
He was not there, in vain her prayer.
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One morn she saw him; 'gainst her will
Her waiting heart did faster beat;
And yet he came not her to greet,
Nor did his eyes her sad eyes meet.
"O wayward heart!" she said, "be still!
It is not he! it cannot be!

"Ah! welladay! my dream is o'er.
I must the bitter truth believe;
Why still my soul with hopes deceive?
'Twas he! and yet the more I grieve
I love him better than before
Ah! if he knew, he'd love me too."

The Messengers


Sat a damsel on the hillside
In the fading afternoon,
When the Summer flung her roses
In the grassy lap of June;
Came three elves and danced around her,
Blithesome, sprightly creatures they,
Like the birds that soar above us,
Or glad children at their play.

Said the first one: "Damsel, follow!
With us to the forest hie;
Lisping streams will bid thee welcome,
As they mirror back the sky.
Sad-eyed doves will coo a greeting
As they flutter "mid the leaves."
Said the damsel: "Nay, I cannot,
For my tender mother grieves."

Said the second: "Damsel, hear me!
We have there a home for thee,
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Where we've built fair jess'mine bowers
Through the sunny greenery.
We will dance at early morning,
And sing quiet lays at eve."
Said the damsel: "Nay, entreat not,
For my mother much would grieve."

Said the third one: "Damsel, Damsel!
Love is waiting for thee there,
With a wreath of shining moonbeams
Twined about his flowing hair.
He has taught soft flutes to quiver
With the music of his heart.
Little Damsel, charming Damsel,
Wilt not come and do thy part?

Then the damsel rose and followed
To the dreamy forest glade,
And a tranquil, rippling cadence
Was the only sound she made.
Had the lisping streams enticed her?
Were the jess'mine bowers so fair?
Or was it a mystic heart-call
That is potent everywhere?

O Restless Heart, Be Still!


O restless heart, be still!
'Tis thine by peaceful founts to rove;
Why comes the cruel archer Love
To shoot with reckless will?
Peace! restless heart, be still!

Calm, restless heart, so calm,
Thou ling'redst dreamily to wait
Where sang the ringdove to his mate,
A quiet, holy psalm.
Calm, restless heart, so calm!
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Now, restless heart, 'tie done!
No longer under starry skies
Thou'lt stray with yearning in thine eyes;
And yet, poor fluttered one,
Is comfort 'neath the sun?

Nay! nay! but sure 'twere best
That Love should fold thee 'neath his wing
And to thy soul sweet snatches sing;
Yet it must be confessed
It is not surely rest!

Boat Song


O rocking boat, rocking boat poised on the wave,
Sway gently, sway gently; the bird to his nest
Is speeding, while Day with the airiest tread,
Approaches the wond'rous rose-courts of the West.

O rocking boat, rocking boat cradled 'mid foam,
Glide swiftly, glide swiftly, for there on the shore,
In dreams 'neath the trysting tree, murm'ring my name,
Is she whom my heart will enshrine evermore.

O rocking boat, rocking boat, low swings the moon,
The stars kiss the billows, I may not delay;
Draw nearer, draw nearer, I see the trees stir;
We're moored and my darling is mine, mine for aye!

Cuckoo Song


Cuckoo, glad cuckoo, Oh! where wilt thou rest to-night.
Cuckoo, fly southward and find a new nest to-night.
Birds that are roaming
Far 'mid the gloaming,
Hie to their leafy home
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When they have ceased to roam.
But where is thine,
Ay, and where mine?

Hesperus, silver star, glow in the West to-night?
Restless I wander and cannot find rest to-night.
Golden thou gleamest,
And ever seemest
Like eye of seraph fair,
Lone in the radiant air.
Fair evening Queen,
What may it mean?

There's a sweet singing bird comes to my breast to-night,
Fluttering strangely, builds there a nest to-night.
Cuckoo, hast sent him,
And swift wings lent him?
Hesperus, sunset star!
Comes he from thee afar?
Love is his name,
Me shall he claim?

    Little Fay's Thanksgiving   Table of Contents     QUATRAINS