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A Lover's Litanies   By: (1851-1898)

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A Lover's Litanies


Eric Mackay

A Lover's Litanies


Eric Mackay

Author of "Love Letters of a Violinist," and "Gladys the Singer."



Field & Tuer, The Leadenhall Press, E.C. Simpkin, Marshall & Co.; Hamilton, Adams & Co.

New York: Scribner & Welford, 743 & 745, Broadway.

[Illustration: logo]


T 4,258.

[Illustration: Ave Maria!]



First Litany Virgo Dulcis 11

Second Litany Vox Amoris 25

Third Litany Ad Te Clamavi 39

Fourth Litany Gratia Plena 53

Fifth Litany Salve Regina 67

Sixth Litany Benedicta Tu 81

Seventh Litany Stella Matutina 95

Eighth Litany Domina Exaudi 109

Ninth Litany Lilium inter Spinas 123

Tenth Litany Gloria in Excelsis 137


First Litany.


First Litany.

Virgo Dulcis.


O thou refulgent essence of all grace! O thou that with the witchery of thy face Hast made of me thy servant unto death, I pray thee pause, ere, musical of breath, And rapt of utterance, thou condemn indeed My venturous wooing, and the wanton speed With which I greet thee, dear and tender soul! From out the fullness of my passion creed.


I am so truly thine that nevermore Shall man be found, this side the Stygian shore, So meek as I, so patient under blame, And yet, withal, so minded to proclaim His life long ardour. For my theme is just: A heart enslaved, a smile, a broken trust, A soft mirage, a glimpse of fairyland, And then the wreck thereof in tears and dust.


Thou wast not made for murder, yet a glance May murderous prove; and beauty may entrance, More than a syren's or a serpent's eye. And there are moments when a smother'd sigh May hint at comfort and a murmur'd "No" Give signs of "Yes," and Misery's overflow Make tears more precious than we care to tell, Though, one by one, our hopes we must forego.


I should have shunn'd thee as a man may shun His evil hour. I should have curst the sun That made the day so bright and earth so fair When first we met, delirium through the air Burning like fire! I should have curst the moon And all the stars that, dream like, in a swoon Shut out the day, the lov'd, the lovely day That came too late and left us all too soon.


I look'd at thee, and lo! from face to feet, I saw my tyrant, and I felt the beat Of my quick pulse. I knew thee for a queen And bow'd submissive; and the smile serene Of thy sweet face reveal'd the soul of thee. For I was wounded as a man may be Whom Eros tricks with words he will not prove; And all my peace of mind went out from me.


Oh, why didst cheer me with the thought of bliss, And wouldst not pay me back my luckless kiss? I sought thy side. I gave thee of my store One wild salute. A flame was at the core Of that first kiss; and on my mouth I feel The glow thereof, the pressure and the seal, As if thy nature, when the deed was done, Had leapt to mine in lightning like appeal.


If debts were paid in full I might require More than my kiss. I might, in time, aspire To some new bond, or re enact the first. For once, thou know'st, the love for which I thirst, The love for which I hunger'd in thy sight, Was not withheld. I deem'd thee, day and night, Mine own true mate, and sent thee token flowers To figure forth the hopes I'd fain indite.


Is this not so? Canst thou detend, in truth, The sunlike smile with which, in flush of youth, Thou didst accept my greeting, though so late, My love lorn homage when the voice of Fate Fell from thy lips, and made me twice a man Because half thine, in that betrothal plan Whereof I spake, not knowing how 'twould be When May had marr'd the prospects it began?


Can'st thou deny that, early in the spring, When daisies droop'd, and birds were fain to sing, We met, and talk'd, and walk'd, and were content In sunlit paths? An hour and more we spent In Keats's Grove... Continue reading book >>

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