Henry Laurie

(22 September 1837- 14 May 1922 / Comely Bank, Edinburgh)

Nora Poem by Henry Laurie


CALM and fair
Flows the stream of Nora’s life,
Moving with a lazy air
Far from strife.

Goddesses
Must have looked from just such eyes,
Full of still felicities,—
No surprise,

No endeavour
(For endeavour mars perfection),
And, one almost fancies, never
Strong affection.

Far too cold
Seems that face for dream of mine,
Though, if set in sculptured mould,
How divine!

As she stands
Looking from the window forth,
Gazing o’er the sunny lands
To the north,

Light and shade
Cross and quiver to and fro,
By the she-oak’s tresses made,
Waving slow

In the breeze;
But no varying light you trace,
Save from flittings such as these,
On her face.

Calmly moving
On her daily household ways,
Little can you see for loving,
Much for praise.

One alone
Sets her quiet life aglow,
And, whene’er she hears his tone,
Then, I know

That her form
Has a richer, fuller grace,
And the colour rushes warm
To her face.

From her eyes
All the hidden life peeps out,
From her lips strange melodies
Float about

All astir,
Thoughts and hopes, unguessed before,
Gleam, till Love can ask of her
Nothing more.

’Tis as though,
Walking on a charmèd shore,
Blind to all the gleam and glow
Which it bore,

On our sight
Flashed the flush of roses blowing,
Dewdrops sparkling in the light,
Rivers flowing;

For at last
One had come, whose star-tipt wand
Woke to gladness, as he passed
Through the land.

Shall we then
Grudge the favoured one his due?
Fate gives wands to other men,
Charmèd too!

Unaware
While we wander to and fro,
Flowers may blossom here and there
As we go.

Lives are bound
Each to each by secret spell,
And a fairy-land lies round
Us as well.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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