Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

of a child's resistless longing, to give even the gifts that are not solely to His glory, her song might have a fuller sweep, a wilder melody. Out of earthly hungers the music of earth is made. As she grew in spiritual aspiration, her verse attuned itself more and more to the echoes of a harmony heavenly if austere. Some of these devout lyrics are so individual her very personality flashes out before

you,
and

you hear her own lips chanting her own song. She is the figure in the stained glass window, saint or warrior, dimming the outer light to woo the eye to the ecclesiastical richness of the surrounding red and gold. Or she is a young knight riding at twilight to service in the chantry you have never sought, and

you
look

up

from your table spread with meat and wines and watch him in bewilderment of spirit; and the figures on the arras tremble, as it might be from the wind of his passing. And having once seen the erect slender body riding to his passion of prayer, you turn to the moving figures of the arras with new eyes, wondering if, begot of earthly looms, they are as beauti

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

new apr of its ou Clarenc says:

"On disastro with sc lessnes public; less; t. him, a cruel from the r opiur unde hear igno

C ima you DA

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

ge it fi

laser she

moments

you, and

of a child's resistless longing to give even the gifts that are not solely to His glory, her song might have a fuller sweep, a wilder melody. Out of earthly hungers the music of earth is made. As she grew in spiritual aspiration, her verse attuned itself more and more to the echoes of a harmony heavenly if austere. Some of these devout lyrics are so individual her very personality flashes out before

you hear her own Eps chanting her own song. She is the figure in the stained glass window, saint or warrior, dimming the outer light to woo the eye to the ecclesiastical richness of the surrounding red and gold. Or she is a young knight riding at twilight to service in the chantry you have never sought, and you look up from your table spread with meat and wines and watch him in bewilderment of spirit; and the figures on the arras tremble, as it might be from the wind of his passing. And having once seen the erect slender body riding to his passion of prayer, you turn to the moving figures of the arras with new eyes, wondering if, begot of earthly looms, they are as beauti

[graphic]

ful as you had thought. Here is no passion but the unfed passion of the soul, the life sustained not through plethora but lack, the everlasting verity of renunciation which is the pale reflex of the face of Christ. Her later work, the greater part of it, is again like the trembling of bare exquisite branches against a sunset sky, the sky of a gold and green limpidity a world away from roseate dawns. She was like a spirit withdrawn from a turmoil she would neither recognize nor enter, sitting in her tower above the world, spinning flowers out of frost.

The Martyr's Idyl (1899) she wrote with a fervor of devotional conviction, and in the same volume, a fringe upon the hem of its brocaded stateliness, is An Outdoor Litany, a cry full of earth's blood and tears, and more immediate to earth's children who also suffer than the high counsels of the abstinent:

“The spur is red upon the briar,
The sea-kelp whips the wave ashore;
The wind shakes out the colored fire
From lamps a-row on the sycamore;
The bluebird, with his fitting note,
Shows to wild heaven his wedding-coat;
The mink is busy; herds again

1

Go hillward in the honeyed rain;
The midges meet. I cry to Thee
Whose heart
Remembers each of these: Thou art

My God who hast forgotten me!" Here are beauties dear to the mortal mind to which an anguish of discontent is comprehensible because “it is common. Here is the sum and circle of nature, tagged with the everlasting paradox: the mindlessness and indifference of the beauty wherewith we are surrounded and our hunger to which it will not, because it cannot, minister. This is great writing: for here the soul walks unabashed, articulate, impassioned, the finite crying to the infinite, the perishing atom appealing to the sky of the universal over him. Perhaps there can be nothing greater in a dramatic sense, in our prison-house under the encircling sky, than the accusatory or challenging voice of the creature, through the unanswering framework of his mortal destiny, to the God Who created both him and it. Lear, in the storm that was unmindful of him, set his breath against its blast. When the cry breaks into hysteria, then the

« НазадПродовжити »