TO O——, OF HER DARK EYES
ACROSS what calm of tropic seas,
'Neath alien clusters of the nights,
Looked, in the past, such eyes as these?
Long-quenched, relumed, ancestral lights!
The generations fostered them;
And steadfast Nature, secretwise—
Thou seedling child of that old stem—
Kindled anew thy dark-bright eyes.
Was it a century or two
This lovely darkness rose and set,
Occluded by grey eyes and blue,
And Nature feigning to forget?
Some grandam gave a hint of it—
So cherished was it in thy race,
So fine a treasure to transmit
In its perfection to thy face.
Some father to some mother's breast
Entrusted it, unknowing. Time
Implied, or made it manifest,
Bequest of a forgotten clime.
Hereditary eyes! But this
Is single, singular, apart:—
New-made thy love, new-made thy kiss,
New-made thy errand to my heart.