An Anthology of Modern Bohemian Poetry/Women

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WOMEN

 

What sings evening o'er the kingdoms, over towns and seed-strewn ground,
O'er the paths in mystery shrouded, o'er the dusk when dews abound?
Whose the hands in Western gardens, when 'neath heaven their glow they pour,
Pluck you roses as in welcome when a thousand years are o'er.

When ye come, from toiling weary, when love's day has reached its end,
Black earth's breath, like the foreboding of the future doth ascend,
And the mighty towns of brothers on the golden sky-line tower,
A dream of metals, gleaming gardens, living rhythms, marble power.

And in suns that far off vanish, and are quenched and once more beam,
White extended hands of women like a lustre are agleam,
And from age to age they lure you, from before your gaze disperse,
With their beauty's silent gesture, they like fate, unknown, converse.

Potent, lustrous hands, our longing whither do ye bear away?
Into what awakened gardens, that bewitched for ages lay?
Into what calm places, where, 'mid grief of mighty pomp awakes
Melody of polar birds above the melancholy lakes.

Clouds of thoughts like islands rise aloft within the sea of light,
All bedecked with phosphorescent vegetation lunar-bright,
And the tremor of our hearts is on the shores the wafted strains,
Ere the anchored vessels cast aside their silver mooring-chains.

Faces, steeped in love, o'er ocean to the silent country flow,
Where a range of spirit worlds like flaming fires tower up and glow,

And like branches that together are entwined, the boundless skies
Quiver in the morning beams that from the cosmic forest rise.

 

"The Hands."