Page:The roamer and other poems (1920).djvu/118

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Book IV

"O fair young face," a voice began aloof
When, dark, the Roamer woke, "how few there be
That pass this limit with such lips as thine,
An-hungered and athirst!" and nigh him rose
An old man's form against the doubtful sky.
Flowers of the desert held he in his hand,
Slight, grass-like spears that bore a bloom minute,
Whereof he seemed to proffer flower and stem.
"Take, eat," he said, "the food the waste provides."
The wondering Roamer pressed them to his lips,
And, scarce the leaf withdrawn, it seemed from thence
The very bloom and odor of the grape
Moved, flower and fragrance, in his racing blood,
And bore his soul aloft on vital tides.
"What faëry herb, what bright immortal root
Distils, like sap within the virgin bark,
Its rich elixir in this humble plant?
What desert realm? What hermitage?" He gazed