Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HEAVEN AND MEMORIES, by CHARLES V. H. ROBERTS

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HEAVEN AND MEMORIES, by            
First Line: Welcome, my beloved, to paradise!
Last Line: The cloud, where 'throned in his omnipotence sits god!
Subject(s): Farewell; Memory; Parting

Welcome, my Beloved, to Paradise!—
The portal ending thy sad mortal span;
Past griefs and shadows, all thy wanderings,
Deep buried in Divine Immensity.
Thy shining eyes and once remembered smile
Waft mystic winds and seething sprays of souls,—
The murmuring of our Love's Oblivion
Flung o'er the arches of eternity.

Wan wreaths evoke the labyrinths of spirits'
Deepest reaches. My lips, with God's, impress
A holy kiss upon thy brow—communion
Of thy soul with mine: Benediction touches us twain—
The apparelling of phantoms—no passage here
But those of angels, consecrated to their God.

At thy death last night, Beloved, my presence watched
Aside thy bed. Clasped thee close, much loving,—
More, so much more than thou knewest. I
Now glimpsed along thy wall's empaling grief
Soft footsteps—the heart-aches of thy friends below.
This very Heaven rocks in recollection!

I kissed thy fevered brow and lilied cheeks.
Afar the grieving stars dripped tears, tender
Lights came down to bear thy soul away.
"Does she move, or breathe?" "Speak—Speak!"
The frailty of thy life, in distance fading,
An inward victory by an outward loss.
Sleeping, thou wert austerely beautiful
And yet sublimely sad,—thy blood in crimson
Passioning pale and fearful of eternity.

Hark! the angels' greeting,—half-veiled blended
Cadences to Immortality,
Hidden choristers' divinist prayer,
A soul's soft winding clue of melody!
This strange device of music—magic in
The touch of God—upbears us in this timeless
Tide, where ages are but strains that mingle
In eternal waves and fade in stresses,
On the triads of the Infinite.

My soul's a dwelling now for memory,
Sweet even in the palace door of Heaven.
What meshes have I woven for thy spirit?
Weaved perhaps beneath a younger sun,
Weaved in truth before that sun was ever wrought
From off the Blazing Fabric of yon Deity!
Thine eyes were fountains in their cradle days,
To break the drought of sombre Destiny.
Scarce were our souls conceived before the stars,
Than Heaven was our final trysting place.

Beloved, thou art an inspiration, with
Immortal hands decked in rubies which
The fiercest suns could woo. Unimpassioned
Beauty in a royal flame, thy life
Is ever in its mirthful infancy
And still in thought supreme. E'er changing visions
Pass, laughing strangely, but so pure in mood.
Through groves of jeweled nets, o'erhang the ripened
Counsels of felicity—frail

But fadeless tender leaflets never drooping,—
Plastic spirits in immortal texture,—
An iridescent, opal, mystic, dreamful dreaming;
All joy, all reticence and prayer enact
And chant the mystery of the Trinity.

My snow-white swan upon an azure river,
In languors thou shalt ever be caressed,—
A silken stream through an emerald vale,
Brightly vast,—shadows quivering to
The falls of sleep. Thou hast the ecstasy
Of seeking, on the flow of Perfect Happiness attained,
Tranquil intermissions in repose,
Foam-bells teeming o'er eternal Play.

Still, still I peer in wistful membrances,
O'er tree-tops 'neath the stars—to mortals' earth.
Thy face, thy human voice, breath as tiny
Flakes of snow, wonder-filled in merriment!
Can'st thou not remember from afar
A little girl all shaking down her curls;
The garden of thy country-side, where the first
Dream petals of our love broke flower; whispers,
The secret kiss, the summer's afternoon,
The old pergola twined in climbing rose,
Thy tender arms around my shoulders thrown;
Farewells repeated o'er and o'er; rippling
Sounds, the evening green, with sweeter sweetness
In the air, our senses' ecstasy,
The caressive touches of thy hands—a fire
Unto thy finger tips—thy soul into my soul?

'Twas a wondrous tale of wondrous love!
Ah! Even here thy spirit eyes are tremulous
In tears. I dreamed of Allah's Paradise,
Stripped bare thy beating heart to flower there.
No, No! Thou need'st not worry lest I say it—
Though memory is oft the greatest ritual
Of enduring joy. A master-mistress
Of a bliss that's past, reflecting makes
Eternal bliss that's now. As we are minded
So our lives have been—erstwhile Beloved,
Could we be here in Paradise? Were this
Profane that I recall it all—unroll
In Heaven such tapestries of human love?

'Twere useless dear to try and break the spell.
I think these very memories are parts
Of that great Spark Divine, the ashes of
The past on incense-pyres of Happiness,
Urns of sweetest bliss from other worlds,
Cinders into beauty from the grave
Blown on breezes to eternity,
Soft-mysticism—amber glow of moonlight
Rich with shadows of an Orient night.

Beloved, adoring sadness in thy melodies,
Still all compensative was their tenderness.
In jewelled draperies around thee, bending low,
Thy beauty yielded beauty to the Dawn.
Dipped in passion as the rose, thy form,
Its perfume then was but the incense of thy soul.
These Immortal Tides are long enough to sing
And glow around the chalice of a perfect hour.
In sweetest liquor of the "times that were"
Accept a drop from o'er a crimson rim
The Sacrament was vowed upon His shrine.

Our wedding day!—October morn—the ancient
Church with vines on stones a-creeping—verdant
Trees, scattered blossoms—lullabies
Of mating birds! Oh! I thought, my bride, that noon
I walked the golden highway of the stars:
My soul dreamed naught could be—as such is here to-day.

Come! kneel, Beloved, in one appeal, though succor
Is not needed or denied; nor loss
Of one another's gain—cradled in
Divine Equality. A garden's 'round
Our souls for whispering to Him—no words
Of pleading here to solve prayer's mystery.

Eternal magic in eternal air,
Eternal music o'er eternal prayer!
Closer spirits, closer angels, closer
Souls—still closer, thee, Beloved! Majestic
Heaven! fill our beings, thy floods in solemn
Harmony uplift us to thy realms
Untrod,—thence thy sun-rays whirl us to
The cloud, where 'throned in His Omnipotence sits God!

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