Rapt de Proserpine (French Edition)

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Like a loved ghost thy fabled flood Fleets through the dusky land; Where Scott, come home to die, has stood, My feet returning stand.

TRAUM - Le Rapt de Proserpine

A mist of memory broods and floats, The border waters flow; The air is full of ballad notes, Borne out of long ago. Twilight, and Tweed, and Eildon Hill, Fair and thrice fair you be; You tell me that the voice is still That should have welcomed me. When autumn suns are soft, and sea winds moan, And golden fruits make sweet the golden air, In gardens where the apple blossoms were, In these old springs before I walked alone; I pass among the pathways overgrown, Of all the former flowers that kissed your feet Remains a poppy, pallid from the heat, A wild poppy that the wild winds have sown.

And as the earth at night turns to a star, Loved long ago, and dearer than the sun, So in the spiritual place afar, At night our souls are mingled and made one, And wait till one night fall, and one dawn rise, That brings no noon too splendid for your eyes. The wind and the day had lived together, They died together, and far away Spoke farewell in the sultry weather, Out of the sunset, over the heather, The dying wind and the dying day. Never again, ah surely never Shall we wait and watch, where of old we stood, The low good-night of the hill and the river, The faint light fade, and the wan stars quiver, Twain grown one in the solitude.

By the example of certain Grecian mariners, who, being safely returned from the war about Troy, leave yet again their old lands and gods, seeking they know not what, and choosing neither to abide in the fair Phaeacian island, nor to dwell and die with the Sirens, at length end miserably in a desert country by the sea, is set forth the Vanity of Melancholy. There is a land in the remotest day, Where the soft night is born, and sunset dies; The eastern shores see faint tides fade away, That wash the lands where laughter, tears, and sighs, Make life, - the lands beneath the blue of common skies.

But in the west is a mysterious sea, What sails have seen it, or what shipmen known? With coasts enchanted where the Sirens be, With islands where a Goddess walks alone, And in the cedar trees the magic winds make moan. Eastward the human cares of house and home, Cities, and ships, and unknown Gods, and loves; Westward, strange maidens fairer than the foam, And lawless lives of men, and haunted groves, Wherein a God may dwell, and where the Dryad roves.

The Gods are careless of the days and death Of toilsome men, beyond the western seas; The Gods are heedless of their painful breath, And love them not, for they are not as these; But in the golden west they live and lie at ease. It is a quiet midland; in the cool Of twilight comes the God, though no man prayed, To watch the maids and young men beautiful Dance, and they see him, and are not afraid, For they are near of kin to Gods, and undismayed. Ah, would the bright red prows might bring us nigh The dreamy isles that the Immortals keep! But with a mist they hide them wondrously, And far the path and dim to where they sleep, - The loved, the shadowy lands along the shadowy deep.

The languid sunset, mother of roses, Lingers, a light on the magic seas, The wide fire flames, as a flower uncloses, Heavy with odour, and loose to the breeze. The red rose clouds, without law or leader, Gather and float in the airy plain; The nightingale sings to the dewy cedar, The cedar scatters his scent to the main. As waifs blown out of the sunset, flying, Purple, and rosy, and grey, the birds Brighten the air with their wings; their crying Wakens a moment the weary herds.

Pluton et Proserpine

Butterflies flit from the fairy garden, Living blossoms of flying flowers; Never the nights with winter harden, Nor moons wax keen in this land of ours. Great fruits, fragrant, green and golden, Gleam in the green, and droop and fall; Blossom, and bud, and flower unfolden, Swing, and cling to the garden wall. The waking song and the dying measure Meet, and the waxing and waning light Meet, and faint with the hours of pleasure, The rose of the sea and the sky is white. Why from the dreamy meadows, More fair than any dream, Why will you seek the shadows Beyond the ocean stream?

Through straits of storm and peril, Through firths unsailed before, Why make you for the sterile, The dark Kimmerian shore? There no bright streams are flowing, There day and night are one, No harvest time, no sowing, No sight of any sun;. No sound of song or tabor, No dance shall greet you there; No noise of mortal labour, Breaks on the blind chill air. Are ours not happy places, Where Gods with mortals trod? Saw not our sires the faces Of many a present God?

Nay, now no God comes hither, In shape that men may see; They fare we know not whither, We know not what they be. Yea, though the sunset lingers Far in your fairy glades, Though yours the sweetest singers, Though yours the kindest maids,. Yet here be the true shadows, Here in the doubtful light; Amid the dreamy meadows No shadow haunts the night. We seek a city splendid, With light beyond the sun; Or lands where dreams are ended, And works and days are done.

Dear white bird, what way art thou winging, Where no grass grows, and no green tree? I looked at the far off fields and grey, There grew no tree but the cypress tree, That bears sad fruits with the flowers of May, And whoso looks on it, woe is he. And whoso eats of the fruit thereof Has no more sorrow, and no more love; And who sets the same in his garden stead, In a little space he is waste and dead. The weary sails a moment slept, The oars were silent for a space, As past Hesperian shores we swept, That were as a remembered face Seen after lapse of hopeless years, In Hades, when the shadows meet, Dim through the mist of many tears, And strange, and though a shadow, sweet.

So seemed the half-remembered shore, That slumbered, mirrored in the blue, With havens where we touched of yore, And ports that over well we knew. Then broke the calm before a breeze That sought the secret of the west; And listless all we swept the seas Towards the Islands of the Blest.

Beside a golden sanded bay We saw the Sirens, very fair The flowery hill whereon they lay, The flowers set upon their hair. Their old sweet song came down the wind, Remembered music waxing strong, Ah now no need of cords to bind, No need had we of Orphic song. Ah, Circe, Circe!

The Rape of Proserpina - Wikipedia

There was no sound of singing in the air; Failed or fled the maidens that were fair, No more for sorrow or joy were seen of us, No light of laughing eyes, or floating hair. The perfume, and the music, and the flame Had passed away; the memory of shame Alone abode, and stings of faint desire, And pulses of vague quiet went and came. Ah, Circe! Why had we ever sought the magic isle That seemed so happy in the days erewhile? Why did we ever leave it, where we met A world of happy wonders in one smile?

Back to the westward and the waning light We turned, we fled; the solitude of night Was better than the infinite regret, In fallen places of our dead delight. With altars of old sacrifice The shore is set, in mournful wise The mists upon the ocean brood; Between the water and the air The clouds are born that float and fare Between the water and the wood. Upon the grey sea never sail Of mortals passed within our hail, Where the last weak waves faint and flow; We heard within the poplar pale The murmur of a doubtful wail Of voices loved so long ago.

We scarce had care to die or live, We had no honey cake to give, No wine of sacrifice to shed; There lies no new path over sea, And now we know how faint they be, The feasts and voices of the Dead. Ah, flowers and dance! Glad life, sad life we did forego To dream of quietness and rest; Ah, would the fleet sweet roses here Poured light and perfume through the drear Pale year, and wan land of the west. Sad youth, that let the spring go by Because the spring is swift to fly, Sad youth, that feared to mourn or love, Behold how sadder far is this, To know that rest is nowise bliss, And darkness is the end thereof.

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France your country, as we know; Room enough for guessing yet, What lips now or long ago, Kissed and named you - Colinette. Nay, old ballads have a note Mournful, we would fain forget; No such sad old air should float Round your young brows, Colinette. Say, did Ronsard sing to you, Shepherdess, to lull his pain, When the court went wandering through Rose pleasances of Touraine? Ronsard and his famous Rose Long are dust the breezes fret; You, within the garden close, You are blooming, Colinette.

Have I seen you proud and gay, With a patched and perfumed beau, Dancing through the summer day, Misty summer of Watteau? Nay, so sweet a maid as you Never walked a minuet With the splendid courtly crew; Nay, forgive me, Colinette. The silk sail fills, the soft winds wake, Arise and tempt the seas; Our ocean is the Palace lake, Our waves the ripples that we make Among the mirrored trees. Nay, sweet the shore, and sweet the song, And dear the languid dream; The music mingled all day long With paces of the dancing throng, And murmur of the stream.

An hour ago, an hour ago, We rested in the shade; And now, why should we seek to know What way the wilful waters flow? There is no fairer glade. Come, he has fled; you are not you, And I no more am I; Delight is changeful as the hue Of heaven, that is no longer blue In yonder sunset sky. Nay, if we seek we shall not find, If we knock none openeth; Nay, see, the sunset fades behind The mountains, and the cold night wind Blows from the house of Death.

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What does the dim gaze of the dying find To waken dream or memory, seeing you? In your sweet eyes what other eyes are blue, And in your hair what gold hair on the wind Floats of the days gone almost out of mind? The flags below the shadowy fern Shine like spears between sun and sea, The tide and the summer begin to turn, And ah, for hearts, for hearts that yearn, For fires of autumn that catch and burn, For love gone out between thee and me.

A love has passed to the loves passed over, A month has fled to the months gone by; And none may follow, and none recover July and June, and never a lover May stay the wings of the Loves that hover, As fleet as the light in a sunset sky.


Serai-je nonnette? Ah, listen! July, and June brought flowers and love To you, but I would none thereof, Whose heart kept all through summer time A flower of frost and winter rime.

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  • Yours was true wisdom - was it not? At length at touch of autumn tide, When roses fell, and summer died, All in a dawning deep with dew, Love flew to me, love fled from you. The roses drooped their weary heads, I spoke among the garden beds; You would not hear, you could not know, Summer and love seemed long ago, As far, as faint, as dim a dream, As to the dead this world may seem. Kiss me, and say good-bye; Good-bye, there is no word to say but this, Nor any lips left for my lips to kiss, Nor any tears to shed, when these tears dry; Kiss me, and say, good-bye.

    You shall bring home your sheaves, Many, and heavy, and with blossoms twined Of memories that go not out of mind; Let this one sheaf be twined with poppy leaves When you bring home your sheaves.



    In garnered loves of thine, The ripe good fruit of many hearts and years, Somewhere let this lie, grey and salt with tears; It grew too near the sea wind, and the brine Of life, this love of mine. This sheaf was spoiled in spring, And over-long was green, and early sere, And never gathered gold in the late year From autumn suns, and moons of harvesting, But failed in frosts of spring.

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    • With other helpless folk about the gate, The gate called Beautiful, with weary eyes That take no pleasure in the summer skies, Nor all things that are fairest, does she wait; So bleak a time, so sad a changeless fate Makes her with dull experience early wise, And in the dawning and the sunset, sighs That all hath been, and shall be, desolate.

      He spake not truth, however wise, who said That happy, and that hapless men in sleep Have equal fortune, fallen from care as deep As countless, careless, races of the dead. Not so, for alien paths of dreams we tread, And one beholds the faces that he sighs In vain to bring before his daylit eyes, And waking, he remembers on his bed;. And one with fainting heart and feeble hand Fights a dim battle in a doubtful land, Where strength and courage were of no avail; And one is borne on fairy breezes far To the bright harbours of a golden star Down fragrant fleeting waters rosy pale.