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While mother from her wheel or churn,
And may be from the milking shed,
There lifts an humble weary head
To watch and wish for my return
Across the camas' blossomed plain.”

He held his bent head very low, A sudden sadness in his air; Then turned and touched my yellow hair And took the long locks in his hand, Toyed with them, smiled, and let them go, Then thrummed about his saddle bow As thought ran swift across his face; Then turning sudden from his place, He gave some short and quick command. They brought the best steed of the band, They swung a bright sword at my side, He bade me mount and by him ride, And from that hour to the end I never felt the need of friend.

Far in the wildest quinine wood
We found a city old—so old,
Its very walls were turned to mould,
And stately trees upon them stood.
No history has mentioned it,
No map has given it a place;
The last dim trace of tribe and racem
The world's forgetfulness is fit.

It held one structure grand and mossed, Mighty as any častle sung, And old when oldest Ind was young,

With threshold Christian never cro

crossed;
A temple builded to the sun,
Along whose somber altar-stone
Brown bleeding virgins had been strown
Like leaves, when leaves are crisp and dun,
In ages ere the Sphinx was born,
Or Babylon had birth or morn.

My chief led up the marble stepHe ever led, broad blade in handWhen down the stones, with double hand Clutched to his blade, a savage leapt, Hot bent to barter life for life. The chieftain drove his bowie knife Full through his thick and broad breast-bone, And broke the point against the stone, The dark stone of the temple wall. I saw him loose his hold and fall Full length with head hung down the step; I saw run down a ruddy flood Of rushing pulsing human blood. Then from the crowd a woman crept And kissed the gory hands and face, And smote herself. Then one by one The dark crowd crept and did the same, Then bore the dead man from the place. Down darkened aisles the brown priests came, So picture-like, with sandaled feet And long gray dismal grass-wove gowns, So like the pictures of old time, And stood all still and dark of frowns, At blood upon the stone and street. So we laid ready hand to sword And boldly spoke some bitter word;

But they were stubborn still, and stood
Dark frowning as a winter wood,
And muttering something of the crime
Of blood upon the temple stone,
As if the first that it had known.

We turned toward the massive door
With clash of steel at heel, and with
Some swords all red and ready drawn.
I traced the sharp edge of my sword
Along the marble wall and floor
For crack or crevice; there was none.
From one vast mount of marble stone
The mighty temple had been cored
By nut-brown children of the sun,
When stars were newly bright and blithe
Of song along the rim of dawn,
A mighty marble monolith!

III

Through marches through the mazy wood, And may be through too much of blood, At last we came down to the seas. A city stood, white-walled and brown With age, in nest of orange trees; And this we won, and many a town And rancho reaching up and down, Then rested in the red-hot days Beneath the blossomed orange trees, Made drowsy with the drum of bees, And drank in peace the south-sea breeze, Made sweet with sweeping boughs of bays.

Well! there were maidens, shy at first, And then, erelong, not over-shy. Yet pure of soul and proudly chare. No love on earth has such an eye! No land there is is blessed or cursed With such a limb or grace of face, Or gracious form, or genial air! In all the bleak Northland not one Hath been so warm of soul to me As coldest soul by that warm sea, Beneath the bright hot centered sun.

No lands where any ices are
Approach, or ever dare compare
With warm loves born beneath the sun.
The one the cold white steady star,
The lifted shifting sun the one.
I grant you fond, I grant you fair,
I grant you honor, trust and truth,
And years as beautiful as youth,
And many years beyond the sun,
And faith as fixed as any star;
But all the Northland hath not one
So warm of soul as sun-maids are.

I was but in my boyhood then,
I count my fingers over, so,
And find it

years
and

years ago,
And I am scarcely yet of men.
But I was tall and lithe and fair,
With rippled tide of yellow hair,
And prone to mellowness of heart;
While she was tawny-red like wine,

With black hair boundless as the night.
As for the rest I knew my part,
At least was apt, and willing quite
To learn, to listen, and incline
To teacher warm and wise as mine.

O bright, bronzed maidens of the sun! So fairer far to look upon Than curtains of the Solomon, Or Kedar's tents, or anyone, Or anything beneath the sun! What followed then? What ! as been done, And said, and writ, and read, and sung? What will be writ and read again, While love is life, and life remain?While maids will heed, and men have tongue?

What followed then?

But let that pass.
I hold one picture in my heart,
Hung curtained, and not any part
Of all its dark tint ever has
Been looked upon by anyone.
But if, may be, one brave and strong
As liftings of the bristled sea
Steps forth from out the days to be
And knocks heart-wise, and enters bold
A rugged heart inured to wrong-
As one would storm a strong stronghold-
Strong-footed, and most passing fair
Of truth, and thought beyond her years,
We two will lift the crape in tears,
Will turn the canvas to the sun,
Will trace the features one by one
Of my dear dead, in still despair.

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