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Louise Imogen Guiney

Guiney, a poet, essayist, literary critic, and biographer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1861. She published nearly twenty books of poetry and prose and was a renowned scholar of seventeenth-century poetry. Guiney died in 1920.

By This Poet

4

Borderlands

Through all the evening,
All the virginal long evening,
Down the blossomed aisle of April it is dread to walk alone;
For there the intangible is nigh, the lost is ever-during;
And who would suffer again beneath a too divine alluring,
Keen as the ancient drift of sleep on dying faces blown?

Yet in the valley,
At a turn of the orchard alley,
When a wild aroma touched me in the moist and moveless air,
Like breath indeed from out Thee, or as airy vesture round
   Thee,
Then was it I went faintly, for fear I had nearly found Thee,
O Hidden, O Perfect, O Desired! O first and final Fair!

Emily Brontë

What sacramental hurt that brings
The terror of the truth of things
Had changed thee? Secret be it yet.
’T was thine, upon a headland set,
To view no isles of man’s delight,
With lyric foam in rainbow flight,
But all a-swing, a-gleam, mid slow uproar,
Black sea, and curved uncouth sea-bitten shore.

The Light of the House

Beyond the cheat of Time, here where you died, you live;
You pace the garden walk, secure and sensitive;
You linger on the stair: Love’s lonely pulses leap!
The harpsichord is shaken, the dogs look up from sleep. 

Here, after all the years, you keep the heirdom still;
The youth and joy in you achieve their olden will,
Unbidden, undeterred, with waking sense adored;
And still the house is happy that hath so dear a lord.

To every inmate heart, confirmed in cheer you brought,
Your name is as a spell midway of speech and thought,
And to a wonted guest (not awestruck heretofore),
The sunshine that was you floods all the open door.