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Ioläus The man that was a ghost   By: (1871-)

Book cover

First Page:

IOLÄUS

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

A SON OF CAIN: POEMS. Cr. 8vo. 3/6 net.

IN THE WAKE OF THE PH[OE]NIX: POEMS. F'cap. 8vo. 3/6 net.

IOLÄUS:

THE MAN THAT WAS A GHOST

BY

JAMES A. MACKERETH

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON NEW YORK, BOMBAY AND CALCUTTA

1913

TO THE MEMORY OF MY FRIEND ARTHUR RANSOM

HAIL AND FAREWELL

To A.R.

We range the ringing slopes of life; but you Scale the last summit, high in lonelier air, Whose dizzy pinnacle each soul must dare For valedictions born and ventures new. From dust to spirit climb, O brave and true! Strong in the wisdom that is more than prayer; High o'er the mists of pain and of despair, Mount to the vision, and the far adieu.

Merged in the vastness, with a calm surmise Mount, lonely climber, brightened from afar; Whose soul is secret as the evening star; Whose steps are toward the ultimate surprise: No dubious morrow dims those daring eyes Divinely lit whence truth's horizons are.

The sonnets in this volume have previously appeared in the columns of "The Academy," "The Eye Witness," and "The Yorkshire Observer." My thanks are due to the Editors of these publications for their kind permission to republish.

J.A.M.

Stocka House, Cottingley, Bingley.

CONTENTS

Title Poem: Page

Ioläus 13

Sonnets:

The Return 67 The Soul and the Sea 69 Nations Estranged 71 The Passing Bell 73 Condemned 75 To America. I. 77 " II. 79 To Italy. I. 81 " II. 83

IOLÄUS:

THE MAN THAT WAS A GHOST

Gold light across the golden coomb; The sun went west with horns of fire; Athwart the sweet, sea breathing room The swallows swooped; the village spire Glowed red against a gleam of broom; While earth its scented secrets told, There, silent, sunset aureoled, Sat Ioläus, mild and old.

In distance large the moving ships Sailed on into the evening skies. He gazed, and saw not. In eclipse He tensely sat, like one who grips Some semblance that his dream descries, With such a look of far surprise That half uncanny seemed the man, So warped with age, so weirdly wan: He had such ghostly eyes.

Then half to self, and half to me, Aloof in passion and lone despair, He spoke like one whose secrets flee From silence unaware: Now plaintively from a grief gone blind, Heavy with cumbering care, Now, thrilling thought like a white sea wind, His words, the echoes of his mind, Haunted the air:

... 'Tis gone like the roses of long ago: Yet a dawn's impassioned thrill Makes blush the blossom's virgin snow Far on in a faery hill. Two faces there in the glamour glow In a place that is strangely still.

On the rim of the world is a ruined tower Sky poised above wide sea foam, Where a beautiful spirit waits hour by hour, Far eyed 'gainst a dawn like a phantom flower, Till a ghostly lover comes home....

To leeward spread the freshening deep Purple beneath a rosy gleam. From a high, mist engirdled steep Thin anthems to the orient beam Came faint as languid waves of sleep That lap the lonely strands of dream.

We sank our anchor solemnly Into that lustrous, splendid sea; For we, that chased the summer's smile Across the world a wondering while, Hailed at the heart the Happy Isle, The haunted shores of Faëry!

Beyond a gently heaving brine We broke with oars a trembling bay. The swerving water, like rare wine, Slid iridescent from our way... Continue reading book >>




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