I. Winter? Spring? Who knows? White buds from the plumtrees wing And mingle with the snows. No blue skies these flowers bring, Yet their fragrance augurs Spring. II. Oh, were the white waves, Far on the glimmering sea That the moonshine laves, Dream flowers drifting to me,— I would cull them, love, for thee. III. Moon, somnolent, white, Mirrored in a waveless sea, What fickle mood of night Urged thee from heaven to flee And live in the dawnlit sea? IV. Like mist on the leas, Fall gently, oh rain of Spring On the orange trees That to Ume's casement cling— Perchance, she'll hear the love-bird sing. V. Though love has grown cold The woods are bright with flowers, Why not as of old Go to the wildwood bowers And dream of--bygone hours! VI. Tell, what name beseems These vain and wandering days! Like the bark of dreams That from souls at daybreak strays They are lost on trackless ways.
Drifting Flowers of the Sea
Across the dunes, in the waning light,
The rising moon pours her amber rays,
Through the slumbrous air of the dim, brown night
The pungent smell of the seaweed strays—
From vast and trackless spaces
Where wind and water meet,
White flowers, that rise from the sleepless deep,
Come drifting to my feet.
They flutter the shore in a drowsy tune,
Unfurl their bloom to the lightlorn sky,
Allow a caress to the rising moon,
Then fall to slumber, and fade, and die.
White flowers, a-bloom on the vagrant deep,
Like dreams of love, rising out of sleep,
You are the songs, I dreamt but never sung,
Pale hopes my thoughts alone have known,
Vain words ne’er uttered, though on the tongue,
That winds to the sibilant seas have blown.
In you, I see the everlasting drift of years
That will endure all sorrows, smiles and tears;
For when the bell of time will ring the doom
To all the follies of the human race,
You still will rise in fugitive bloom
And garland the shores of ruined space.