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Adams, Arthur

· Arthur Henry Adams: Civilization · Arthur Henry Adams: And Yet · Arthur Henry Adams: Sydney · Arthur Henry Adams: Maoriland · Arthur Henry Adams: My Love · Arthur Henry Adams: Lovers · Arthur Henry Adams: China 1899 · Arthur Henry Adams: Grey Eyes · Arthur Henry Adams: Just A Woman

Arthur Henry Adams: Civilization

 

Civilization

One moment mankind rides the crested wave,
A moment glorious, beyond recall;
And then the wave, with slow and massive fall,
Obliterates the beauty that it gave.
When discrowned king and manumitted slave
Are free and equal to be slaves of all,
Democracies in their wide freedom brawl,
And go down shouting to a common grave.
So one by one the petals of the rose
Shrivel and fade, and all its splendour goes
Back to the earth; and in her arms embraced
Through wintry centuries the dead seeds sleep
Till spring comes troubling them, and they unleap,
Once more their petals on the world to waste.

Arthur Adams
(1872-1936)
Civilization
(from The Sonnet in Australasia)

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Adams, Arthur, Archive A-B, Archive A-B


Arthur Henry Adams: And Yet

 

 And Yet

They drew him from the darkened room,
Where, swooning in a peace profound,
Beneath a heavy fragrance drowned
Her grey form glimmered in the gloom.
Death smoothed from her each sordid trace
Of Life; at last he read the scroll;
For all the meaning of her soul
Flowered upon her perfect face.
“In other worlds her soul finds scope;
Her spirit lives; she is not dead,”
In his dulled ear they said and said,
Suave-murmuring the ancient Hope.
“You loved her; she was worthy love.
Think you her spheral soul can cease?
Nay, she has ripened to release
From this bare earth, and waits above.”
His brain their clamour heard aloof;
He, too, had said the self-same thing;
But now his heart was quivering
For more than comfort — parched for proof.
He put them from him. “Let me be;
You proffer in my bitter need
The coward comfort of a creed
That tears her soul apart from me.
“She waits in no drear Heaven afar.
Her woman’s soul in all its worth,
Yearning for me, for homely earth,
No gates of beaten gold could bar.
“No, she is near me, ever close;
One with the world, but free again;
One with the breezes and the rain;
One with the mountain and the rose.
“She knows me not; her voice is dumb;
But aching through the twilight peers,
And, unremembering, yet with tears,
She strives to say she cannot come.
“Yes, she is changed, but not destroyed;
The words that were her soul are hushed;
The gem that was her heart is crushed —
Its fragments white stars in the void.
“And I shall see her in disguise;
In the grey vistas of the street
A face that hints of her I meet;
Whispers her soul from alien eyes.
“In Time’s great garden, spring on spring,
The blossoms glow; then at a breath
Their petals flutter down to death —
Ah love, how brief your blossoming!
“Death has but severed part from part.
Borne on an ever-moving air
The fragrance of her life somewhere
Freshens some lonely wistful heart!
“No word of hers can God forget;
Her laughter Time dare not disperse;
It shakes the tense-strung universe,
And with the chord it trembles yet.
“Each mood of hers, each fancy slight,
In deep pulsations, ring on ring,
Dilating, ever-widening,
Ripples across the outer night.
“Her life with deathless charm was fraught,
And God with smiles remembers now
The puzzled pucker of her brow
Ruffled with sudden gusts of thought.
“And in His cosmic memory wise
Still live her subtle features thin,
Her dear iconoclastic chin,
The grave enigma of her eyes.
“And if beyond she might draw breath.
And know that I was not with her,
The wistful eyes of her despair
Would be more desolate than death.
“But not to meet her in the wide
Night-spaces I must wander through;
To kiss the pretty pout I knew,
And nevermore to hear her chide;
“To speak those childish words that were
So foolish-sweet, so passionate-wise;
Her subtle fragrance recognise
And hear the whispers of her hair! . . .
“Her sun has set; but still, sublime,
She is a star, of God a part;
She is a petal at the heart
Of the eternal flower of Time.
“I triumph so beyond regret,
I win her immortality:
Where, Death, your vaunted victory?
Where, Grave, your sting? And yet — and yet——!”

Arthur Adams
(1872-1936)
And Yet

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Adams, Arthur, Archive A-B, Archive A-B


Arthur Henry Adams: Sydney

Sydney

In her grey majesty of ancient stone
She queens it proudly, though the sun’s caress
Her piteous cheeks, ravished of bloom, confess,
And her dark eyes his bridegroom glance have know.
Robed in her flowing parks, serene, alone,
She fronts the east; and with the tropic stress
Her smooth brow ripples into weariness;
Yet hers the sea for footstool, and for throne
A continent predestined. Round her trails
The turbid squalor of her streets, and dim
Into the dark heat-haze her domes flow up;
Her long lean fingers, with their grey-old nails,
Giving her thirsty lips to the cool brim
Of the bronze beauty of her harbour’s cup.

Arthur Adams
(1872-1936)
Sydney

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Adams, Arthur, Archive A-B, Archive A-B


Arthur Henry Adams: Maoriland

Maoriland

Maoriland, my mother!
Holds the earth so fair another?
O, my land of the moa and Maori,
Garlanded grand with your forests of kauri,
Lone you stand, only beauty your dowry,
Maoriland, my mother!
Older poets sing their frozen
England in her mists enshrouded;
Newer lands my Muse has chosen,
‘Neath a Southern sky unclouded;
Set, a solitary gem,
In Pacific’s diadem.
Land of rugged white-clad ranges,
Standing proud, impassive, lonely;
Ice and snow, where never change is,
Save the mighty motion only
Where through valleys seared and deep
Slow the serpent glaciers creep.
Land of silent lakes that nestle
Deep as night, girt round with forest;
Water never cut by vessel,
In whose mirror evermore rest
Green-wrapt mountain-side and peak,
Reddened by the sunset’s streak.
Land of forests richly sweeping,
By the rata’s red fire spangled;
Where at noonday night is sleeping,
Where, beneath the creepers tangled,
Come the tui’s liquid calls
And the plash of waterfalls.
Land where fire from Earth’s deep centre
Fights for breath in anguish furied,
Till she from the weight that pent her
Flings her flames out fiercely lurid;
Where the geysers hiss and seethe,
And the rocks groan far beneath.
Land of tussocked plain extending
In the distant blue to mingle,
Where wide rivers sigh unending
Over weary wastes of shingle;
Cold as moonlight is their flow
From the glacier-ice and snow.
Land where torrents pause to dally
‘Neath the toi’s floating feather,
Where the flax-blades in the valley
Whisper stealthily together,
And within the cabbage-trees
Hides the dying evening breeze.
Land where all winds whisper one word,
“Death!” — though skies are fair above her.
Newer nations white press onward:
Her brown warriors’ fight is over —
One by one they yield their place,
Peace-slain chieftains of her race.
Land where faces find no furrow,
With the flush of life elated;
Where no grief is, save the sorrow
Of a pleasure that is sated;
Land of children lithe and slim,
Fresh of face and long of limb.
Land of fair enwreathëd cities,
Wide towns that the green bush merge in;
Land whose history unwrit is —
Memory hath no chaster virgin!
Land that is a starting place
For a newer, nobler race.
Maoriland, my mother!
Holds the Earth so fair another?
O, my land of the moa and Maori,
Garlanded grand with your rata and kauri,
Lone you stand, only beauty your dowry,
Maoriland, my mother!

Arthur Adams
(1872-1936)
Maoriland

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Adams, Arthur, Archive A-B, Archive A-B


Arthur Henry Adams: My Love

 

My Love

She has tender eyes that tell
All her prim, set lips suppress —
Daring thoughts that ever dwell
Prisoned in her bashfulness;
Hints of sudden tenderness
That within her breast rebel.
Till her bosom’s fall and swell
Tell her meaning all too well,
To her heart’s demure distress.
She has soft, smooth cheeks that flame
As she nestles close, so close,
With the new half-joy, half-shame,
That within her bosom glows,
And each fevered feature shows.
Her hot pulses beat acclaim
Of the hopes she dare not tame,
Fervid thoughts she cannot name —
Till I kiss her, and she knows.
She has clinging arms of white,
Little hands and fingers fine,
And she holds me tight, so tight;
While her eager arms entwine
Deep I drink her kisses’ wine.
Hush! I feel through all her slight,
Trembling figure love’s delight,
And she knows that all is right,
And her bosom beats with mine.

Arthur Adams
(1872-1936)
My Love

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Adams, Arthur, Archive A-B, Archive A-B


Arthur Henry Adams: Lovers

 

Lovers

I thought, because we had been friends so long,
That I knew all your dear lips dared intend
Before they dawned to speech. Our thoughts would blend,
I dreamed, like memories that faintly throng.
Your voice dwelt in me like an olden song.
Petal, I thought, from petal I could rend
The blossom of your soul, and at the end
Find still the same sweet fragrance. I was wrong.
Last evening in our eyes love brimmed to birth;
Our friendship faded, lost in passion’s mist.
We had been strangers only! Here, close-caught
Against my heart the dim face I had sought
So long! And now the only thing on earth—
Your piteous mouth, a-tremble to be kissed!

Arthur Adams
(1872-1936)
Lovers

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Adams, Arthur, Archive A-B, Archive A-B


Arthur Henry Adams: China 1899

China 1899

She lies, a grave disdain all her defence,
Too imperturbable for scorn. She hears
Only the murmur of the flowing years
That thunder slowly on her shores immense
And ebb away in moaning impotence.
Giants enduring, she and Time are peers—
Her dream-hazed eyes knowing no hopes, no tears,
Her glance a langour-lidded insolence.
And though the rabble of the restless West
In her deserted courts set their rash sway,
She heeds them not; as when the sun, withdrawn
From his untarnished sky, knows it distressed
By storm of weakling stars, that he at dawn
Will wither with one ruthless glance away.

Arthur Adams
(1872-1936)
China 1899

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Adams, Arthur, Archive A-B, Archive A-B


Arthur Henry Adams: Grey Eyes

 

Grey Eyes

She glanced across the path to me,
Grey eyes!
Her looks were kisses plain to see.
I gave her glances back to her —
Glad eyes!
She saw the lifting of despair.
From memory a face looked out,
Dim eyes!
No years could sour that love to doubt.
My soul would nevermore be lone —
Bride’s eyes!
Hearts still were waiting for my own.
Our souls uncurtained then, perchance —
Deep eyes!
Each built an epoch in a glance.
Out of her fellowship so free
Light eyes!
She gave some gladness unto me.
And I gave? As we turned apart —
Dead eyes!
I saw the shudder in her heart.

Arthur Adams
(1872-1936)
Grey Eyes

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Adams, Arthur, Archive A-B, Archive A-B


Arthur Henry Adams: Just A Woman

  

Just A Woman

You ask me why I love her;
Not a charm can you discover!
Would you see
The heart that a shut rose is,
And whose beauty ne’er uncloses
Save for me?
She is not rich or clever,
But her speeches thrill me ever,
And with bliss
My heart her whisper flutters,
Though the wisest word she utters
Is a kiss.
All evil things have shunned her,
And with a wide-eyed wonder
Is she tasked,
What lavish god has given
In her earth so much of heaven
All unasked?
She has no gifts or graces,
But the gladness in her face is
Sought of kings;
She cannot chant a measure,
But her heart with a grave pleasure
Ever sings.
Her gown is of the whitest
But the hem is soiled the slightest:
Little worth,
She has no wings to fly with,
And she prefers to hie with
Me on earth.
There is no hint of heaven
Or glimpse of deep thought even
In her eyes;
She is warm and she is human,
Just a weak and wilful woman —
Not too wise.
Her thousand beauties singing,
I have not said how clinging
Are her arms;
But, not loved and not the lover
Dare you ever hope discover
Half her charms?

Arthur Adams
(1872-1936)
Just A Woman

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Adams, Arthur, Archive A-B, Archive A-B, THEATRE


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