Madison Julius Cawein Poems >>
Accolon Of Gaul: Part I

"Thou askest with thy studious eyes again,
 Here where the restless forest hears the main
 Toss in a troubled sleep and moan. Ah, sweet,
 With joy and passion the kind hour's replete;
 And what wild beauty here! where roughly run
 Huge forest shadows from the westering sun,
 The wood's a subdued power gentle as
 Yon tame wild-things, that in the moss and grass
 Gaze with their human eyes. Here grow the lines
 Of pale-starred green; and where yon fountain shines
 Urned in its tremulous ferns, rest we upon
 This oak-trunk of God's thunder overthrown
 Years, years agone; not where 'tis rotted brown
 But where the thick bark's firm and overgrown
 Of clambering ivy blackly berried; where
 Wild musk of wood decay just tincts the air,
 As if some strange shrub on some whispering way,
 In some dewed dell, while dreaming of one May,
 In longing languor weakly tried to wake
 One sometime blossom and could only make
 Ghosts of such dead aromas as it knew,
 And shape a specter, budding thin as dew,
 To haunt these sounding miles of solitude.
 Troubled thou askest, Morgane, and the mood,
 Unfathomed in thine eyes, glows rash and deep
 As that in some wild-woman's found on sleep
 By some lost knight upon a precipice,
 Whom he hath wakened with a laughing kiss.
 As that of some frail, elfin lady white
 As if of watery moonbeams, filmy dight,
 Who waves diaphanous beauty on some cliff
 That drowsing purrs with moon-drenched pines; but if
 The lone knight follow, foul fiends rise and drag
 Him crashing down, while she, tall on the crag,
 Triumphant mocks him with glad sorcery
 Till all the wildwood echoes shout with glee.
 As that bewildering mystery of a tarn,
 Some mountain water, which the mornings scorn
 To anadem with fire and leave gray;
 To which some champion cometh when the Day
 Hath tired of breding on his proud, young head
 Flame-furry blooms and, golden chaplet