Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RENUNCIATION, by MATHILDE BLIND



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RENUNCIATION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The air is full of the peal of bells
Last Line: Of the lord's bow now breaks into flower.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lake, Claude
Subject(s): Marriage; Courtship; Flowers; Loss; Weddings; Husbands; Wives


(When ich Dich liebe was geht es Dich an?)



I.

THE air is full of the peal of bells,
The rhythmical pealing of marriage bells;
But athwart and above their ringing --
Throbbing clear like the light of a star
Lost in the sunrise -- I hear afar
The skylark's jubilant singing.



II.

The clouds all woollen and white on high,
Like flocks of heavenly sheep go by,
Go through heaven's sapphire meadows;
While here on the earth's green meadows, deep
In sapphire flowers, our earthly sheep
Loll in their loitering shadows.



III.

Come, we will sit by the wayside here,
They must cross this field to the chapel, dear,
The loved by the side for her lover.
Grey, through the glimmer of vernal green,
Its time-worn tower may just be seen
Through the yews which curtain it over.



IV.

Nay, little brother, why should I pine?
Dare a violet ask that the sun should shine,
The shining sun shine for it solely?
Lowly it lifteth its meek blue eye,
And yields up its soul to the sun on high,
Nor asks for love, loving so wholly.



V.

He passed by the garden where, snow-white and red,
I tended the flowers which give us our bread,
And watered my lilies and roses;
He passed and repassed both early and late,
And lingering, often would lean on the gate
While I tied for him one of my posies.



VI.

Day after day would he pass this way,
And his smiling was sweet as the flowers of May,
Or the scent of the bee-haunted clover;
And a softer flame seemed to light up his eye
Than the lily-white moon's in the rose-hued sky,
Ere the blush of the May-day is over.



VII.

Aye, day after day he would stop on his way,
While the trees were in leaf and the meadows were gay,
And the curled little lambs were grazing;
As he went, or returned in the waning light
From the smoke-capped city whose lamps by night
Turn the black clouds red with their blazing.



VIII.

It's a year to-day when the young sun sets
Since I gave him that first bunch of violets
From the root on the grave of our mother.
Though thou seest them not with the bodily eye,
The language of flowers much better than I
I know that thou knowest, my brother.



IX.

Violets -- then golden daffodils
Which the light of the sun like a wine-cup fills --
Tall tulips like flames upspringing --
Golden-brown wallflowers bright as his locks --
Marigolds -- balsams -- and perfumed stocks
Whose scent's like a blackbird's singing.



X.

You see, my darling, I never forget!
Aye, those were your own very words -- ere yet
Our father lost his all in yon city,
Where the people, they say, in their struggle for gold,
Become like wild beasts, and the feeble and old
Are trampled upon without pity.



XI.

Poor father was better to-day: for the smile
Of the sun seemed to gladden him too for awhile
As he sat by the bright little casement,
With buttercups heaped on his knees without stint,
Which, deeming them childishly fresh from the mint,
He counted in chuckling amazement.



XII.

The air is full of the peal of bells --
The rhythmical pealing of marriage bells!
And there floats o'er the fields, o'er the fallows,
Borne on the wind with the wind-blown chimes,
From the old house hidden in older limes,
A chatter of maidens and swallows.



XIII.

Ah, give me the flowers! -- the last year was all
In tune with the flowers from the spring to the fall,
And with singing of birds in the bowers;
And once -- ah, look not so angry, dear! --
He whispered so softly I scarce could hear,
"You yourself are the flower of all flowers!"



XIV.

But oh, when the wind was loud in the trees,
When the fluttering petals snowed down on the leas,
And the dim sun went out like an ember,
He stood by the gate all drenched with the mist,
And I gave him my last Christmas rose, which he kissed
For the last time that last of November.



XV.

Say, could he help if a hope as sweet
As the wild thyme had sprouted under his feet?
If his face in my heart is enfolden,
As the sun-smit globes of the summer rain
Reflect and hold and refract again
The sun, the eternally golden.



XVI.

He cometh, he cometh, oh brother, there!
Ah would that you saw the glint of his hair,
For he looks like that saint in the story
Whom you loved so to hear of in days of old,
Till he lit up your dreams with his curls of gold,
Exhaling a mystical glory.



XVII.

The unseen wings of the morning air
Fan his brow and ruffle his hair
As he steps with a stately measure;
White daisies under his feet are spread,
White butterflies hover above his head,
White clouds high up in the azure:



XVIII.

Pelt him with sunlit April rain,
Rain which ripens the earth-hid grain,
Which brings up the grass and the heather!
Hark at the peal of the bridal bells,
How their musical chiming swells and swells
As they enter the church door together.



XIX.

Let us go hence now -- 'tis over -- the twain
One will they be when they pass here again:
All my flowers in their pathway I scatter;
Though he forget me as yesterday's rose,
My heart with a sweet tender feeling o'erflows:
If I love him, to whom can it matter?



XX.

Yea, let us go now; the stile, love, is here:
Henceforth I live but for thee. What! a tear
Splashed on thy hand? Nay, a drop from the shower
That has passed over, for yon, on that dark
Ominous cloud, dearest brother, the arc
Of the Lord's bow now breaks into flower.






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