Page:Modern Czech Poetry, 1920.djvu/93

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Amid this grace, this sheen, this mighty spell,
This azure, purple, waves and corn agleam,
The drum-roll with a dismal clatter fell,
Where on parade the troops of warriors stream.

The earth, ere song-like, now in darkness quailed,
The moth to grass, the bird to cover fled.
The calm was by the thundering guns assailed,
The azure was with smoky dusk o'erspread.

And with embittered soul I homeward passed:
Yonder, where all is azure, mirth and bloom,
Where to the trees a mighty calm clings fast,
— There man is learning how to mete out doom.

“The heritage of Tantalus” (1881).


On the low churchyard wall
I read a book of songs:
And they were wild and passionate stanzas,
Wherein lips pressed to lips in close embrace;
Wherein bare hands
Were twined round lily-lustred bodies,
Wherein the blood like lava
Seethed to the brain; wherein 'twas wonder that
The heart-beat did not burst the bosom,
Wherein delight with love sang his majestic
Defiant, marvellous, exulting paean!
A fiery poppy's blossom
Pryingly peeped into my book,
And, as in concord, nodded,
As if a glowing flame
Had darted from the book
And changed into a blossom,