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Poem by Duncan Campbell Scott
With a golden rolling sound Booming came a bell, From the aery in the tower Eagles fell; So with regal wings Hurled, and gleaming sound and power, Sprang the fatal spell. Ten a storm of burnished doves Gleaming from the cote Flurried by the almonry O’er the moat,-- Fell and soared and fell With the arc and iris eye Burning breast and throat. Avis heard the beaten bell Break the quiet space, Gathering softly in the room Round her face; And the sound of wings From the deeps of rosy gloom Rustled in the place. Nothing moved along the wall, Weltered on the floor; Only in the purple deep, Streaming o’er, Came the dream of sound Silent as the dale of sleep, Where the dreams are four. (One of love without a word, Wan to look upon, One of fear without a cry, Cowering stone, And the dower of life, Grief without a single sigh, Pain without a moan.) ”Avis-Avis!” Cried a voice; Then the voice was mute. ”Avis!” Soft the echo lay As the lute. Where she was she fell, Drowsy as mandragora, Trancèd to the root. Then she heard her mother's voice, Tender as a dove; Then her lover plain and sigh, "Avis--Love!" Like the mavis bird Calling, calling lonelily From the eerie grove. Then she heard within the vast Closure of the spell, Rolled and moulded into one Rounded swell, All the sounds that ever were Uttered underneath the sun, Heard in heaven or hell. In the arras moved the wind, And the window cloth Rippled like a serpent barred, Gray with wrath; In the brazier gold The wan ghost of a rose charred Fluttered like a moth. Tranquil lay her darkened eyes As the pools that keep Auras dim of fern and frond Dappled, deep, Dreamy as the map of Nod; Moveless was she as a wand In the wind of sleep. Then the birds began to cry From the crannied wall, Piping as the morning rose Mystical, Gray with whistling rain, Silver with the light that flows In the interval. Pallid poplars cast a shade, Twinkling gray and dun, Where the wind and water wove Into one All the linnet leaves, Greening from the mere and grove In the undern sun. Night fell with the ferny dusk, Planets paled and grew, Up, with lily and clarid turns Throbbing through, Rose the robin's song, Heart of home and love that burns beating in the dew. But she neither moved nor heard, Trancèd was her breath; Lip on charmèd lip was laid (One who saith "Love-Undone" and falls). Silent was she as a shade In the dells of death.
Duncan Campbell Scott
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