by Iain James Robb




When daybreak comes, it falls a pall pást mé,

For it descends too soon for woken sight to see

A shade of any gladness in its dew's first blisters:

All my dreams of daylight are in darkling whispers

Of far-past nights of her who never comes to me.

She has been taken ere from the green world and she

Returns no longer to my room her vanished dust: I am

As a frail sailor on a voyage to a shrouded sea:

All gone to gardens underground, my white maid Miriam.

Now blooms not the moon's light hornéd smile,

For it brightens none the velvet shadows of my night,

For all the star-lipped clouds let down no starry fall,

Not as by far more fair as all her hair fell bright.

Will we meet afresh in Heaven, only stars can tell,

Yet ever made as mute as her beyond this island earth,

And too remote to view her as I always am,

My damson-eyed dead damsel, dearest Miriam,

With her gaze that glares on memory's fast-dying hearth.


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What is all the foison of this poisoned earth

Beside her tongue's lost music? Glad I am,

At times to lean beside a homeside hearth,

Warmed by the thoughts of Miriam.

I yearn to live with eve's peace through,

To soothe my sticken soul, and am

At grief to end my cherished grieving, to

Forget my deadly-dear, dead Miriam.

I flounder with past thoughts of you,

And to all else, other musings, dead I am,

As you, my last lost lovely Miriam:

But I find no peace in Heaven's blue.


When daybreak spells the gentler end

Of storm-wracked midnight's ruby rays,

Her gaze that's lost now keeps one friend,

In softer rays where virgin Venus plays.

As darker eagles which within that sphere

Take of a milk and lupin-lavender,

Of all that face She bears down here,

Her lashes tame their black in her-

Mine own sad mistress whó wás ás

The summer's shadow on first days

The wintry footsteps make, of months

As frail as were young amaranths.

I know not how their autumn was,

What voice their veils of silence; as

Soft tides that race and chase the seas

That chased her name into the breeze,

The silence of her eyes wás ás

Faint shaping waves of twilight rain,

That nestled on the night-blue grain,

More blue than blue of August was.


Yet nightingales take with their flights

Her voice and make her sleek meek mates,

As crystal eyes weep through the nights

In memory of those ways she held

Their beams, in hers who spelled their fates,

More than the ways of mortals hold.

They are all doomed ever so to be,

Those shuttered diamonds of the dark,

Those eyes of night that weep for she,

The shadow on my sight's frail bark-

That rides those icy waters ‘fore the dawn grows bold,

And rides the heights of air in hopes of warmer gold:

And though the darkened lids of vision hide

Life's sight, when leaves are also laid

Upon the flower that will flounder when its flame is hid,

They hold the bloom where dreams reside.