Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE ANGEL OF MADEIRA, by CHARLES V. H. ROBERTS
First Line: Each eve I lie a-musing on madeira's hills
Last Line: To awake o'er the myrtle grave time alone has lent.
Subject(s): Death; Heaven; Love - Loss Of; Dead, The; Paradise
Each eve I lie a-musing on Madeira's hills,
Erewhile below the sea-tales full of mystery:
The Life that was my Love has flown o'er waves and rills,
Into the jeweled shrine of God's Eternity.
By night and day she sleeps here in a churchyard, features cold
Beneath the sable robes of Death,immortal Beauty
Majestic sweet,all gleams of earthly glories rolled
In long-lost loves, to sacred greater purity.
From purple domes and stately towers, Funchal's sunlight
Gilds her grave in saffron garb; flowers, halfhidden
In the mosses green, fleck our lore of love laden
With the rarest dew of Paradise. Disguised at night
In mazes, opal, iridescent and benign,
These petals peera nest of glow-wormso'er her mound,
Whispering the saddest requiem of human kind.
Suddenly towards moon-rise, deep slumbers all around,
In grieving winds and ebbing tides suffused with tears,
Came the fairest angel, poised in flowery
Wings and draperies 'round her drooping low; background
An architrave with higher temple front, subtly
Wrought in flaunted lace and silver tinted vine.
The thinnest veil obscured her face: nearer she drew
And gazed; in radiance stooped as mortal maid; entwined
My neck, caressed my cheek, then kissed my lipsa chaste
Sweet kiss, soft and warm and thrilled with life. Her face
She turned, then slipped away as adown the brighter circle of the moon
A chariot appeared: she rose from sylvan hill.
Are nimble joys of youth by newer sorrows rent,
As dark processions dissolve a dream from Heaven, sent
To awake o'er the myrtle grave Time alone has lent.
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