Clinton Scollard (1860-?)
"From Pictures in Song, 1884; With Reed and Lyre, 1886; and Old and New World Lyrics, 1888." (Sharp)
The world is locked in sleep with perfect night.
Gazing from out my window I behold
The moon, a burnished bowl of gleaming gold,
Hung in mid-sky with azure wine brimmed bright.
The sentinel church-spire lifts its stately height,
And, where the vane upon its crest is bold,
A single wanderer from the starry fold
Shines cold and spectral with its twinkling light.
White are the roofs, in crystal garments all;
Unheard the murmuring streamlet's rhythmic flow--
Weird shapes upon the spotless waste of snow,
The tree trunks stand where their gaunt shadows fall.
Blest hour of rest--gift of a hand Divine!
What quiet, peace, tranquillity are thine!
At noon of night the goddess, silver-stoled,
Came with light foot across the moonlit land,
And breezes soft as blow o'er Samarcand
Stirred her free hair that glinted like clear gold;
Sweet were her smiling lips, as when of old
Vertumnus wooed her on the grassy strand
Of some swift Tuscan river overspanned
By sunny skies that knew no breath of cold.
So when the door of dawn grew aureate,
And broken was the dim night's peaceful hush
By harvesters uprisen to greet the morn,
They knew Pomona had passed by in state,
For on the apples was a rosier blush,
And on the grapes a richer lustre born.
Behold a billowy sea of golden spears
That to and fro in every breeze that blows
Tosses its amber waves and proudly shows
Bright scarlet poppies when the warm wind veers.
Hearken, and lo! there falls upon the ears
A song as mellow as the one that rose
From Boaz's fields at daytime's drowsy close
And thrilled his heart in those dim Hebrew years.
And the swart mower, leaning on his scythe
To catch the swelling music, clear and blythe,
Thinks, as his eyes with love-light brim and glow,
That she who sings, the while the bright beams fade,
Is far diviner than the lovely maid
Who gleaned in fields Judaean long ago.
A Triton, drowsy as the god of Sleep,
From horn uplifted pours a limpid stream
Athwart whose falling drops the sunbeams gleam
Through waving boughs that span the crystal deep.
From brooding branches bright-eyed nestlings peep,
The merry sylvan choirs are hushed in dream,
And all the voices of the mid-day seem
Within some slumbering warder's wakeless keep.
Into a shadowy, moss-rimmed pool like this,
Musing of dead delight and longed-for bliss,
The while the murmurous water lapped the shore,
Alluring nymphs, with smiles and amorous breath,
Drew the young Hylas down to meet his death
Amid the silvery reeds that noon of yore.
As perfect in their symmetry as thine,
O inarticulate marble lips, were those
My love once raised to mine, yet tinged with rose
And freighted with a redolence divine.
Her poise of head was queenly; fair and fine
Her alabaster arms that shamed the snows;
Her gracious bearing had thy pure repose,
And stately was she as the forest pine.
Knowledge sat throned upon her regal brow,
Round which her tresses rippled, bright as gold;
Sweet as a songbird's on a budding bough
The liquid voice that from her lips outrolled;
But lo! there came an awful change, and now
Thou, in thine icy hush, art not more cold!
(Text from American Sonnets)