Edward John Chapman
A Memory
15th Sep 2021Posted in: Edward John Chapman, The Confederation Poets 0

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A MEMORY

BY

E.J.C.

[handwritten: Prof. E.J. Chapman, H of J.]


“Ich trage im Herzen viel Schlangen,

Und dich, Geliebte mein.” —Heine.


TORONTO:

LOVELL BROTHERS, PRINTERS, VICTORIAL HALL, MELINDA ST.


JULY, 1874

[unnumbered page]

[blank page]

[handwritten: Chapman, Edward John]

A MEMORY

BY

E.J.C.


“Ich trage im Herzen viel Schlangen,

Und dich, Geliebte mein.” —Heine.


TORONTO:

LOWELL BROTHERS, PRINTERS, VICTORIAL HALL, MELINDA ST.


JULY, 1874.

[stamp: DUPLICATE]

[handwritten: M.K.]

[unnumbered page]

[handwritten: PS8455

H382M4]

[stamp: 69566]

[handwritten: 2/758

29/9/1912]

[unnumbered page]

A MEMORY.


By E.J.C.


“Ich trage im Herzen viel Schlangen,

Und dich, Geliebte mein.” —Heine.


I.

The water-lilies gleam them fair,

   In the black ooze their roots I see—

If pulseless thou wert lying there,

   Dost think that she would weep for thee

The weeping of a single tear?

No gleam of tears the proud eyes know—

   The proud lips meet with icy press,

Keeping the whisper’d words so low

   The dead alone may hear their hiss—

Thou hadst thy warning: be it so! [unnumbered page]

II.

O Dream, that darkens Hope’s eclipse!

It was our bridal prime, methought—

Day purpled into Night—our lips

Each other in the darkness sought,

And meeting silently were press’d

In one long clasp, that clung, and drew

Soul into soul! If false or true,

I heeded not—I only knew

Thou wert all mine in that unrest

That held me with its vampire spell,

Till fled the faithless dream away—

And on my heart the dead hope fell

As falls upon a corpse the clay!

And through the night, and through the day,

Ever it came, the voice that said

With ceaseless mock—it better were,

O Fool, for thee, that thou wert dead,

Than live to fix thy love on her! [unnumbered page]

III.

Around the broad pine-belted hills

   The pale cloud-phantoms come and go:

The Night’s fast deepening shadow fills

   The silence of the woods below.

The wide mere glimmers far away,

   Betwixt its dark isles’ plumed tops—

On its far edge, with waning ray,

   The moon’s red crescent drops and drops.

The outlines of the Abbey wall,

   Gable and turret, grey and sere,

Across the blue starred irids fall

   That fringe afar the lonely mere.

I linger by the sculptured gate,

   Now tassell’d thick with odorous spray,

Beside the moss-grown fount where late

   She stood within the dying day—

And o’er the darkening waters threw

   The magic of her voice—whose tone

Comes back no more—or comes anew

   In Memory’s mocking dreams alone. [unnumbered page]

IV.

The boat is loosen’d from the land:

   With harsh clang sounds the signal bell—

And so, we take each others hand,

   And say our cold farewell!

O month of tender memories,

   Liv’st thou in one heart, or in two?

I look into her cruel eyes,

   And murmur “would I knew.” [unnumbered page]

V.

She sang a little German song—

   Du bist wie eine Blume—

My heart responded, all along,

   Du bist, ja eine Blume!

Now she is gone—but though, no more,

   Our hearts exchange their greeting—

My own keeps ever, o’er and o’er,

   Those old fond words repeating:

                         Du bist wie eine Blume!

                         Du bist wie eine Blume!

     [It may not perhaps be unnecessary to remind the English reader that the words eine Blume are dissyllables.] [unnumbered page]

VI.

The tumbled rocks lie thick between

The mountains grey and the forest green,

   Where we two wander’d, long ago—

We sat upon an old grey stone,

And saw the dropping moon go down

   Among the pointed pines below.

The wind, with forest odours fraught,

Across my lips’ mute longing brought

   The tresses of your loosen’d hair—

Your voice it took a softer tone—

Your hand lay lightly on my own,

   And lingered for a moment there.

So endeth our poor dream, you said—

The moon has dropt, the day is dead,

   The cold gleam of the stars alone,

Is left us now! Then silence fell

Again upon our hearts—and well

   Mine knew its one great hope was gone! [unnumbered page]

VII.

Dost thou remember how I gave to thee

A little flower on that far-off shore

Where the wild Danube dashes evermore

Through its cleft chasm to the distant sea.

And how, as we returned at eventide

Through the cool woods, with our companions gay,

I missed the flower—and said, O Cruel, say,

That which I gave thee, hast thou cast aside?

And how with low quick whisper you replied

Non, je l’ai gardé! —All the golden sky,

The rustling pine-boughs and the reeling ground,

And all my heart within me, then went round

In one wild dance and thrill of ecstasy!

Through its cleft rocks the river rushes on—

The pine woods darken to the twilight still—

But where art thou—and where the wondrous thrill

That fill’d my heart in those old days agone! [unnumbered page]

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