by: George Sterling (1869-1926)

      EEP ye her brow with starshine crost
      And bind with ghostly light her hair,
      O powers benign, lest I accost
      Song's peaceless angel unaware!
      One eve her whisper came to earth,
      As eastward woke a thorny star,
      To tell me of her kingdom's worth
      And what her liberations are:
      She hath the Edens in her gift
      And songs of sovereignties unborn;
      In realms agone her turrets lift,
      Wrought from the purples of the morn.
      Where swings to foam the dusky sea,
      She waits with sapphires in her hand
      Whose light shall make thy spirit be
      Lost in a still, enchanted land.
      Musing, she hears the subtle tunes
      From chords where faery fingers stray--
      A rain of pearl from crumbling moons
      Less clear and delicate than they.
      The strain we lost and could not find
      Think we her haunted heart forgets?
      She weaves it with a troubled wind
      And twilight music that regrets.
      Often she stands, unseen, aloof,
      To watch beside an ocean's brink
      The gorgeous, evanescent woof
      Cast from the loom of suns that sink.
      Often, in eyries of the West,
      She waits a lover from afar--
      Frailties of blossom on her breast
      And o'er her brow the evening star.
      She stands to greet him unaware,
      Who cannot find her if he seek:
      A sigh, a scent of heavenly hair--
      And oh, her breath is on his cheek!

"White Magic" is reprinted from The House of Orchids and Other Poems. George Sterling. San Francisco: A. M. Robertson, 1911.




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