Love’s Gifts.

Fain would I wreathe with pearls1
The waving tresses of thy soft brown hair,2
Fading to sunlight on thy shoulders fair ;3
Or throw of glancing gems an iris bright4
Blending in thousand hues of fairy light5
O’er that rich fall of curls.6
Thy snowy arms I’d clasp7
With links of gold so light and delicate,8
They’d be a symbol of thy love-bound fate :9
And gem-lit rings, whose every ray should tell10
Some feeling of his heart who loves thee well,11
Thy fingers slight should grasp.12
But ah ! I may not bring13
To thee the offerings of magic gold,14
Or in an ancient line thy name enfold ;15
And yet I would not that my gifts should be16
Unworthy the deep love I bear to thee,17
My joy of life’s sweet spring.18
Within my mind I’ll seek19
To form a wealthy treasure-house for thee ;20
Where pure and noble things thine eye shall see :21
The great and good of other times than ours,22
The dwellers in far lands and stranger bowers23
Again for thee shall speak.24
There thou shalt hear and love25
The voices of sweet poets of old times,26
Sounding so distantly like memory’s chimes ;27
And glorious forms of knight and warrior,28
Whose deeds the fervent spirit gladly stir,29
For thee shall live and move.30
The sea shall offer thee,31
Though not her pearls, yet fairer things than they,32
Opening her riches to thy mental eye.33
And earth her wondrous history shall unfold,34
Pictures of ages long gone by, unrolled,35
All marvelling thou shalt see.36
The stars shall lend their light37
To guide us on in nature’s wonder-land,38
Darting through vistas glorious and grand ;39
And thus all musically shall arise40
For us the harmony of earth and skies41
In silent hours of night.42
Thus would I cull for thee43
The fruits of genius and the wealth of thought,44
Those precious things with highest wisdom fraught,45
These will be gifts all beautiful and bright,46
And emblems meet, in their unfading light,47
Of love’s eternity.48