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The Call

By Norman Gale

“Now she was deserted by her husband, and there was a
man would die for her.”

THO’ the mist is on the mountain, yet the sun is on the sea.
Don’t you hear me calling, comrade, calling you to follow
    me ?
For my love is for your bosom, and my hand is for your hand,
Don’t you hear me calling, comrade ? Will you never under-
    stand ?

Here I want you, in the country, where the cowslip nods asleep,
Where the palm is by the water, where the peace is doubly deep ;
Where the finches chirp at matins in a green and lovely land—
Don’t you hear, my thorn and blossom ? Don’t you feel to under-
    stand ?

If my voice is not melodious, lo, the thrush shall aid my voice ;
Ev’ry linnet in the orchard has a trill to praise my choice :
Shall I bide a barren singer in this valley full of mist,
Unennobled, unattended, wanting you, and all unkissed ?


                        By Norman Gale 281

Oceans part us, leagues divide us ; but our spirits know a link ;
Why should you not come, my dearest, thinking warmly as you
    think ?
Must I call you by a singing who should call you by my soul,
Call you by a part, beloved, who should call you by the whole ?

By this pear-tree robed for bridal, by the sun and by the dew,
By the nightingale that tells me midnight melodies of you,
By the virgin streamlet flowing ever faithful to its spouse,
Here I set my heart before you, promise of a happy house !

Is your blood the blood of battle ? Have you courage for the
    fight ?
Can the lane content you always with its barren and its bright ?
Do you feel the glow of mating in the heart where I would be,
When you hear me calling, calling, calling you to come to me ?

Well I know my spirit travels over meadowland and steep,
Soon its whisper in your tresses will arouse my dove from sleep ;
‘Tis a message calls to daring, ’tis a voice that bids you wake—
Let it fall as balm upon you, balm to help the strong heart-break.

Come at once o’er mead and mountain, sending first that ghostly
Felt by souls that kiss together tho’ no earthly lips are near ;
Bring my country Heaven, dearest, finer fruit and sweeter dew,
Bring across the leagues that part us all the honey, love, of you.

Take me, trust me. Stars may fail us, friends may leave us.
    What is this ?
God shall watch us plight together with, as only priest, a kiss.


                        282 The Call
If we lose we also gain, for life is chance, and chances blend—
Are you coming to the valley ? Answer thro’ the darkness,

I am standing in the valley ; slumber takes your golden head,
But my spirit flies to stir you in the whiteness of your bed—
In that garden where are clustered in the keeping of the south
All the lilies of your bosom, and the rosebud of your mouth.

Don’t you hear me calling, comrade, don’t you hear me calling
For the fragrance of your coming and the freedom of your feet ?
O, my love is for your loving, and my help is for your hand—
Don’t you hear me calling, comrade? Will you never under-
    stand ?

MLA citation:

Gale, Norman. “The Call.” The Yellow Book, vol. 5, April 1895, pp. 280-282. 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.