Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IN AN ANCIENT LAND, by HARRY RANDOLPH BLYTHE

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

IN AN ANCIENT LAND, by            
First Line: Upon the cliff of an ancient stream
Last Line: Dreams that their love would find a way.
Subject(s): Hearts; Love

UPON the cliff of an ancient stream,
A snow-white palace towers high,
And round it hanging gardens dream
Under the spell of a moonlit sky.

From where the waters sigh and sing,
Kissing the marble as they flow,
The stairs which lead to that old king
Far up the fountained gardens go.

Calm Midnight with soft-sandaled tread
Her silent way has come and gone,
And now the pale stars overhead
Watch for the heralds of the dawn.

Hark! from the still heights there above,
The strains of heavenly music rise,
'T is an exultant song of love,
The honeyed notes of Paradise.

Lo! on the palace balcony
Which clustered vine has made its own,
Veiled in the moonlight's mystery
A maiden stands and sings alone.

Her fingers lightly skim the lyre,
But the fierce longings of her soul
Leap into living notes of fire
And over the ebon river roll.

Scarce dies the music from her throat
In soft, fine frenzy on the air,
When down on the stream she sees a boat
And hears a step upon the stair.

Up the long flight with panting pace,
Climbing the sculptured, flowery hill,
Her lover hurries to her embrace;
Breathless she stands there, mute and still.

He passes the ponderous palace gates,
With secret keys he gains the halls,
Reaches the alcove where she waits
And at her feet in worship falls,

While that old king who bade him come
On pain of death his court to pay,
Sleeps on, nor in his slumber dumb
Dreams that their love would find a way.

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