Eurydice eludes the dark
To follow Orpheus, the Lark
That leads her to the dawn
With rhapsodies of star-delight,
Till, looking backward in his flight,
He finds that she is gone.
Against the royal Blue,
A Mist rebellious flew—
A night-born, wind-uplifted shade
That for an angry moment stayed,
Then wept itself away.
The Earth with moistened eyes
Beholds the sunlit skies
Again: but never to forget
The Cloud whose life-drops mingle yet
With her maternal clay.
Like inland streams, O Sea,
Through joy and pain
All nature dreams of thee;
Nor more appears
Thy life in mist or rain
Than in our tears.
The world, they tell us, dwindles,
When matched with other spheres;
And yet in all their amplitudes
No place for human tears.
How sterile is the sunshine,
How masculine the blue,
That breeds no shadow, nor betrays
A memory of dew!
Do you remember, little cloud,
This morning when you lay—
A mist along the river—what
The waters had to say?
And how the many-colored flowers
That on the margin grew
All promised when the day was done
To leave their tints to you?
For a recitation, click the play button:[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/95460604″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
“The Mist”: Later Lyrics, p. 33; Poetry, p. 62. December 1900. A lark is any of a number of songbirds (family Alaudidae); only one, the Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris), lives in North America. Eurydice and her husband Orpheus are figures in Greek mythology; dismayed by the death of his wife, Orpheus travels to the underworld to win her return; in the poem, the mist is Eurydice.
“The Shower”: Lyrics, p. 51; Poetry, p. 57. August 1895.
“Tides”: Father Tabb, p. 190; Poetry, p. 69. July 1909.
“Desert-Orbs”: Later Lyrics, p. 15; Poetry, p. 151. July 1909.
“A Legacy”: Child Verse, p. 10; Poetry, p. 59. 1899.