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Stories in Verse   By: (1842-1911)

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First Page:

STORIES IN VERSE.

BY

HENRY ABBEY.

The sense of the world is short To love and be beloved.

EMERSON.

NEW YORK: A. D. F. RANDOLPH & CO., PUBLISHERS,

COR. BROADWAY AND NINTH STREET. 1869.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by HENRY L. ABBEY, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.

RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE: PRINTED BY H. O. HOUGHTON AND COMPANY.

TO

RICHARD GRANT WHITE,

WITH GRATITUDE FOR HIS FRIENDSHIP, AND WITH ADMIRATION FOR HIS ELEGANT SCHOLARSHIP.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

BLANCHE 1

KARAGWE, AN AFRICAN 28

DEMETRIUS 55

THE STRONG SPIDER 82

GRACE BERNARD 94

VEERA 112

BLANCHE:

AN EXHALATION FROM WITHERED VIOLETS.

I.

THE VENDER OF VIOLETS.

"Violets! Violets! Violets!" This was the cry I heard As I passed through the street of a city; And quickly my heart was stirred To an incomprehensible pity, At the undertone of the cry; For it seemed like the voice of one Who was stricken, and all undone, Who was only longing to die.

"Violets! Violets! Violets!" The voice came nearer still. "Surely," I said, "it is May, And out on valley and hill, The violets blooming to day, Send this invitation to me To come and be with them once more; I know they are dear as can be, And I hate the town with its roar."

"Violets! Violets! Violets!" Children of sun and of dew, Flakes of the blue of the sky, There is somebody calling to you Who seems to be longing to die; Yet violets are so sweet They can scarcely have dealings with death. Can it be, that the dying breath, That comes from the one last beat Of a true heart, turns to the flowers?

"Violets! Violets! Violets!" The crier is near me at last. With my eyes I am holding her fast. She is a lovely seller of flowers. She is one whom the town devours In its jaws of bustle and strife. How poverty grinds down a life; For, lost in the slime of a city, What is a beautiful face? Few are they who have pity For loveliness in disgrace. Yet she that I hold with my eyes, Who seems so modest and wise, Has not yet fallen, I am sure. She has nobly learned to endure. Large, and mournful, and meek, Her eyes seem to drink from my own. Her curls are carelessly thrown Back from white shoulder and cheek; And her lips seem strawberries, lost In some Arctic country of frost. The slightest curve on a face, May give an expression unmeet; Yet hers is so perfect and sweet, And shaped with such delicate grace, Its loveliness is complete.

"Violets! Violets! Violets!" I hear the cry once more; But not as I heard it before. It whispers no more of death; But only of odorous breath, And modest flowers, and life. I purchased a cluster, so rife With the touch of her tapering hand, I seem to hold it in mine. I would I could understand, Why a touch seems so divine.

II.

A FLOWER FOUND IN THE STREET.

To day in passing down the street, I found a flower upon the walk, A dear syringa, white and sweet, Wrung idly from the missing stalk.

And something in its odor speaks Of dark brown eyes, and arms of snow, And rainbow smiles on sunset cheeks The maid I saw a month ago.

I waited for her many a day, On the dear ground where first we met; I sought her up and down the way, And all in vain I seek her yet.

Syringa, naught your odor tells, Or whispers so I cannot hear; Speak out, and tell me where she dwells, In perfume accents, loud and clear.

Shake out the music of your speech, In quavers of delicious breath; The conscious melody may teach A lover where love wandereth.

If so you speak, with smile and look, You will not wither, but endure; And in my heart's still open book, Keep your white petals ever pure... Continue reading book >>




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