By Annie Macdonell
NAY, Love, but stay thy blame ;
For if men have their claim,
The day’s but theirs—
Poor gift, the day of heat and cares !
Thou hast the night, the calm cool night,
When the soul’s garden blooms in sight,
With roses tinted by the moon’s soft smile,
On that far fringed horizon isle.
The night, the long sweet night is thine,
Then I awake, and find thee, soul of mine.
Ah, rushing hours beneath the sun !
Ah, fevered crying haste, have done !
Yet let your coursing swifter run !
Now let the still night fall.
I hear the water lapping ‘gainst the wall,
I open wide my door unto the sea
Whence Death, thy keeper, brings thee back to me.
So mild he waits without, yet laughs at Life,
That cannot give her hirelings such a wife.
Day, have I not paid the toll ?
My body given the whole
That will let pass my soul ?
The roses of the morn lie thick on my Love’s bier,
And she is risen ; she is no longer here.
A star upon the stern she beckons me.
Sweet Death, one dawn, let me go back with thee,
Sweet Death, take me from out the noisy light
Into thy night, thy comforting still night.
Yea, soon, for my Love’s sake,
Sweet Death my hand will take,
And I shall not awake
Till past the blooming isle.
Then shall my eyelids quiver ‘neath her smile,
And I shall gaze, and from my Love’s clear eyes
Shall learn her slow wide learning, and be wise,
Shall learn the speech they speak across the sea :
Tis a large language my Love speaks to me.
Then far beyond to sail,
And further further coasts to hail,
And ventures shall not fail.
And missionary dreams my Love and I
We ll hover mid the world’s troubled sky,
And sleeping men to discontent shall tease,
To venture further skies and wider seas.
Have I not guessed the meaning of the dark ?
Thy hand, O Death ! To-night let me embark.
Macdonell, Annie. “Reiselust.” The Yellow Book, vol. 3, October 1894, pp. 153-154. Yellow Book Digital Edition, edited by Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2010-2014. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019. https://1890s.ca/YBV3_macdonnell_reiselust/