THE GOLDEN JOURNEY
by: William Vaughn Moody
- LL day he
drowses by the sail
- With dreams of her, and all night long
- The broken waters are at song
- Of how she lingers, wild and pale,
- When all the temple lights are dumb,
- And weaves her spells to make him come.
- The wide sea traversed, he will stand
- With straining eyes, until the shoal
- Green water from the prow shall roll
- Upon the yellow strip of sand --
- Searching some fern-hid tangled way
- Into the forest old and grey.
- Then he will leap upon the shore,
- And cast one look up at the sun,
- Over his loosened locks will run
- The dawn breeze, and a bird will pour
- Its rapture out to make life seem
- Too sweet to leave for such a dream.
- But all the swifter will he go
- Through the pale, scattered asphodels,
- Down mote-hung dusk of olive dells,
- To where the ancient basins throw
- Fleet threads of blue and trembling zones
- Of gold upon the temple stones.
- There noon keeps just a twilight trace;
- Twixt love and hate, and death and birth,
- No man may choose; nor sobs nor mirth
- May enter in that haunted place.
- All day the fountain sphynx lets drip
- Slow drops of silence from her lip.
- To hold the porch-roof slender girls
- Of milk-white marble stand arow;
- Doubt never blurs a single brow,
- And never the noon's faintness curls
- From their expectant hush of pride
- The lips the god has glorified.
- But these things he will barely view,
- Or if he stay to heed them, still
- But as the lark the lights that spill
- From out the sun it soars unto,
- Where, past the splendors and the heats,
- The sun's heart's self forever beats.
- For wide the brazen doors will swing
- Soon as his sandals touch the pave;
- The anxious light inside will wave
- And tremble to a lunar ring
- About the form that lieth prone
- Before the dreadful altar-stone.
- She will not look or speak or stir,
- But with drowned lips and cheeks death-white
- Will lie amid the pool of light,
- Until, grown faint with thirst of her,
- He shall bow down his face and sink
- Breathless beneath the eddying brink.
- Then a swift music will begin,
- And as the brazen doors shut slow,
- There will be hurrying to and fro,
- And lights and calls and silver din,
- While through the star-freaked swirl of air
- The god's sweet cruel eyes will stare.
MORE POEMS BY WILLIAM VAUGHN MOODY
"The Golden Journey" is
reprinted from Poems and Plays of William Vaughn Moody.
William Vaughn Moody. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1912.