Overseas

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Non numero horas nisi serenas

When Fall drowns morns in mist, it seems
In soul I am a part of it;
A portion of its humid beams,
A form of fog, I seem to flit
From dreams to dreams....

An old château sleeps 'mid the hills
Of France: an avenue of sorbs
Conceals it: drifts of daffodils
Bloom by a 'scutcheoned gate with barbs
Like iron bills.

I pass the gate unquestioned; yet,
I feel, announced. Broad holm-oaks make
Dark pools of restless violet.
Between high bramble banks a lake, -
As in a net

The tangled scales twist silver, - shines....
Gray, mossy turrets swell above
A sea of leaves. And where the pines
Shade ivied walls, there lies my love,
My heart divines.

I know her window, slimly seen
From distant lanes with hawthorn hedged:
Her garden, with the nectarine
Espaliered, and the peach tree, wedged
'Twixt walls of green.

Cool-babbling a fountain falls
From gryphons' mouths in porphyry;
Carp haunt its waters; and white balls
Of lilies dip it when the bee
Creeps in and drawls.

And butterflies - each with a face
Of faery on its wings - that seem
Beheaded pansies, softly chase
Each other down the gloom and gleam
Trees interspace.

And roses! roses, soft as vair,
Round sylvan statues and the old
Stone dial - Pompadours, that wear
Their royalty of purple and gold
With wanton air....

Her scarf, her lute, whose ribbons breathe
The perfume of her touch; her gloves,
Modeling the daintiness they sheathe;
Her fan, a Watteau, gay with loves,
Lie there beneath

A bank of eglantine, that heaps
A rose-strewn shadow. - Naïve-eyed,
With lips as suave as they, she sleeps;
The romance by her, open wide,
O'er which she weeps.

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