Wind Flowers

The Dream of Poor Bazin

Jerry Stratton

What if the Three Musketeers were journalists in Washington, DC? What if journalists were swashbuckling, swaggering, hard-drinking warriors of truth? Find out in Jerry Stratton’s The Dream of Poor Bazin.

Impression Du Matin

    • The Thames nocturne of blue and gold
    • Changed to a Harmony in gray:
    • A barge with ochre-colored hay
    • Dropt from the wharf: and chill and cold
    • The yellow fog came creeping down
    • The bridges, till the houses’ walls
    • Seemed changed to shadows, and St. Paul’s
    • Loomed like a bubble o’er the town.
    • Then suddenly arose the clang
    • Of waking life; the streets were stirred
    • With country waggons: and a bird
    • Flew to the glistening roofs and sang.
    • But one pale woman all alone,
    • The daylight kissing her wan hair,
    • Loitered beneath the gas lamp’s flare,
    • With lips of flame and heart of stone.

Magdalen Walks

    • The little white clouds are racing over the sky,
    • And the fields are strewn with the gold of the flower of March
    • The daffodil breaks underfoot, and the tasselled larch
    • Sways and swings as the thrush goes hurrying by.
    • A delicate odor is borne on the wings of the morning breeze,
    • The odor of leaves, and of grass, and of newly upturned earth,
    • The birds are singing for joy of the Spring’s glad birth,
    • Hopping from branch to branch on the rocking trees,
    • And all the woods are alive with the murmur and sound of Spring,
    • And the rosebud breaks into pink on the climbing brier,
    • And the crocus-bed is a quivering moon of fire
    • Girdled round with the belt of an amethyst ring.
    • And the plane to the pine-tree is whispering some tale of love
    • Till it rustles with laughter and tosses its mantle of green
    • And the gloom of the wych-elm’s hollow is lit with the iris sheen
    • Of the burnished rainbow throat and the silver breast of a dove.
    • See! the lark starts up from his bed in the meadow there,
    • Breaking the gossamer threads and the nets of dew,
    • And flashing a-down the river, a flame of blue!
    • The kingfisher flies like an arrow, and wounds the air.

Athanasia

    • To that gaunt House of Art which lacks for naught
    • Of all the great things men have saved from Time,
    • The withered body of a girl was brought
    • Dead ere the world’s glad youth had touched its prime,
    • And seen by lonely Arabs lying hid
    • In the dim wound of some black pyramid.
    • But when they had unloosed the linen band
    • Which swathed the Egyptian’s body,- lo! was found
    • Closed in the wasted hollow of her hand
    • A little seed, which sown in English ground
    • Did wondrous snow of starry blossoms bear,
    • And spread rich odors through our springtide air.
    • With such strange arts this flower did allure
    • That all forgotten was the asphodel,
    • And the brown bee, the lily’s paramour,
    • Forsook the cup where he was wont to dwell,
    • For not a thing of earth it seemed to be,
    • But stolen from some heavenly Arcady.
    • In vain the sad narcissus, wan and white
    • At its own beauty, hung across the stream,
    • The purple dragon-fly had no delight
    • With its gold-dust to make his wings a-gleam,
    • Ah! no delight the jasmine-bloom to kiss,
    • Or brush the rain-pearls from the eucharis.
    • For love of it the passionate nightingale
    • Forgot the hills of Thrace, the cruel king,
    • And the pale dove no longer cared to sail
    • Through the wet woods at time of blossoming,
    • But round this flower of Egypt sought to float,
    • With silvered wing and amethystine throat.
    • While the hot sun blazed in his tower of blue
    • A cooling wind crept from the land of snows,
    • And the warm south with tender tears of dew
    • Drenched its white leaves when Hesperos uprose
    • Amid those sea-green meadows of the sky
    • On which the scarlet bars of sunset lie.
    • But when o’er wastes of lily-haunted field
    • The tired birds had stayed their amorous tune,
    • And broad and glittering like an argent shield
    • High in the sapphire heavens hung the moon,
    • Did no strange dream or evil memory make
    • Each tremulous petal of its blossoms shake?
    • Ah no! to this bright flower a thousand years
    • Seemed but the lingering of a summer’s day,
    • It never knew the tide of cankering fears
    • Which turn a boy’s gold hair to withered gray,
    • The dread desire of death it never knew,
    • Or how all folk that they were born must rue.
    • For we to death with pipe and dancing go,
    • Nor would we pass the ivory gate again,
    • As some sad river wearied of its flow
    • Through the dull plains, the haunts of common men,
    • Leaps lover-like into the terrible sea!
    • And counts it gain to die so gloriously.
    • We mar our lordly strength in barren strife
    • With the world’s legions led by clamorous care,
    • It never feels decay but gathers life
    • From the pure sunlight and the supreme air,
    • We live beneath Time’s wasting sovereignty,
    • It is the child of all eternity.

Serenade: For Music

    • The western wind is blowing fair
    • Across the dark Aegean sea,
    • And at the secret marble stair
    • My Tyrian galley waits for thee.
    • Come down! the purple sail is spread,
    • The watchman sleeps within the town.
    • O leave thy lily-flowered bed,
    • O lady mine come down, come down!
    • She will not come, I know her well,
    • Of lover’s vows she hath no care,
    • And little good a man can tell
    • Of one so cruel and so fair.
    • True love is but a woman’s toy,
    • They never know the lover’s pain,
    • And I who loved as loves a boy.
    • Must love in vain, must love in vain.
    • O noble pilot tell me true
    • Is that the sheen of golden hair?
    • Or is it but the tangled dew
    • That binds the passion-flowers there?
    • Good sailor come and tell me now
    • Is that my lady’s lily hand?
    • Or is it but the gleaming prow,
    • Or is it but the silver sand?
    • No! no! ’tis not the tangled dew,
    • ’Tis not the silver-fretted sand,
    • It is my own dear Lady true
    • With golden hair and lily hand!
    • O noble pilot steer for Troy,
    • Good sailor ply the laboring oar,
    • This is the Queen of life and joy
    • Whom we must bear from Grecian shore!
    • The waning sky grows faint and blue,
    • It wants an hour still of day,
    • Aboard! aboard! my gallant crew,
    • O Lady mine away! away!
    • O noble pilot steer for Troy,
    • Good sailor ply the laboring oar,
    • O loved as only loves a boy!
    • O loved for ever evermore!

Endymion: For Music

    • The apple trees are hung with gold,
    • And birds are loud in Arcady,
    • The sheep lie bleating in the fold,
    • The wild goat runs across the wold,
    • But yesterday his love he told,
    • I know he will come back to me.
    • O rising moon! O Lady moon!
    • Be you my lover’s sentinel,
    • You cannot choose but know him well,
    • For he is shod with purple shoon,
    • You cannot choose but know my love,
    • For he a shepherd’s crook doth bear,
    • And he is soft as any dove,
    • And brown and curly is his hair.
    • The turtle now has ceased to call
    • Upon her crimson-footed groom,
    • The gray wolf prowls about the stall,
    • The lily’s singing seneschal
    • Sleeps in the lily-bell, and all
    • The violet hills are lost in gloom.
    • O risen moon! O holy moon!
    • Stand on the top of Helice,
    • And if my own true love you see,
    • Ah! if you see the purple shoon,
    • The hazel crook, the lad’s brown hair,
    • The goat-skin wrapped about his arm,
    • Tell him that I am waiting where
    • The rushlight glimmers in the Farm.
    • The falling dew is cold and chill,
    • And no bird sings in Arcady,
    • The little fauns have left the hill,
    • Even the tired daffodil
    • Has closed its gilded doors, and still
    • My lover comes not back to me.
    • False moon! False moon! O waning moon!
    • Where is my own true lover gone,
    • Where are the lips vermilion,
    • The shepherd’s crook, the purple shoon?
    • Why spread that silver pavilion,
    • Why wear that veil of drifting mist?
    • Ah! thou hast young Endymion,
    • Thou hast the lips that should be kissed!

La Bella Donna Del Mia Mente

    • My limbs are wasted with a flame,
    • My feet are sore with travelling,
    • For calling on my Lady’s name
    • My lips have now forgot to sing.
    • O Linnet in the wild-rose brake
    • Strain for my Love thy melody,
    • O Lark sing louder for love’s sake
    • My gentle Lady passeth by.
    • She is too fair for any man
    • To see or hold his heart’s delight,
    • Fairer than Queen or courtezan
    • Or moon-lit water in the night.
    • Her hair is bound with myrtle leaves,
    • (Green leaves upon her golden hair!)
    • Green grasses through the yellow sheaves
    • Of autumn corn are not more fair.
    • Her little lips, more made to kiss
    • Than to cry bitterly for pain,
    • Are tremulous as brook-water is,
    • Or roses after evening rain.
    • Her neck is like white melilote
    • Flushing for pleasure of the sun,
    • The throbbing of the linnet’s throat
    • Is not so sweet to look upon.
    • As a pomegranate, cut in twain,
    • White-seeded, is her crimson mouth,
    • Her cheeks are as the fading stain
    • Where the peach reddens to the south.
    • O twining hands! O delicate
    • White body made for love and pain!
    • O House of Love! O desolate
    • Pale flower beaten by the rain!

Chanson

    • A ring of gold and a milk-white dove
    • Are goodly gifts for thee,
    • And a hempen rope for your own love
    • To hang upon a tree.
    • For you a House of Ivory
    • (Roses are white in the rose-bower)!
    • A narrow bed for me to lie
    • (White, O white is the hemlock flower)!
    • Myrtle and jessamine for you
    • (O the red rose is fair to see)!
    • For me the cypress and the rue
    • (Fairest of all is rosemary)!
    • For you three lovers of your hand
    • (Green grass where a man lies dead)!
    • For me three paces on the sand
    • (Plant lilies at my head)!