THE MOTHER’s DREAM.
Let me write now and tell you of my dream.
It was upon the midnight of All Saints.
Sudden before me your four brothers knelt;
They wore no shrouds, no vestiges of flesh;
Groping in darkness, with abysmal eyes,
Weeping before their mother thus they came
To tell their memories of other days.
“ Mother, the dawning of the bygone days!
We four together, from beneath the ground,
Today have sought once more your little door
To tap on it, companioned by the storm.
Mother, be not afraid, no strangers we!
And, lonely in your slumber, wait at least
And let us watch your face in death’s dark night! ”
“Mother, the holiness of bygone days!
Out of my heart, ’neath our poor graveyard’s earth,
Mother, a flower of love for you has grown!”
“Mother, the sweetness of the bygone days!
For you two jars with my salt tears are filled.”
“Mother, the happiness of bygone days!
For you have burning roses, flowers of hope,
Sprung into fiery blossom from my soul!”
“ O mother, the heroic manliness
Of bygone days! Out of my breast-bones now
Two shields for your protection have been wrought.”
“Mother, your peerless beauty in the past!
How many furrows now have marked your brow!”
(Thus spake your eldest brother). “All alone
Under your roof-tree, how can you endure?
These seven years, we seven times have tapped
Upon your little door, but till to-night
We never yet have found the door unclosed.
What traveler do you await to-night?
Behold, your fragile hut is tottering,
Like to a heap of mouldering cofiin-boards.
See how the leaves, storm-rent, fall from the trees!
The guiltless doves are dying in the brook,
And still upon the threshold of your home,
Mother, the black snakes lick our dried-up blood.
The garden has no leaf, no fruit, no brier.
We four together have been through the hut,
And at the sight of us our broken swords
Gave out once more a single flash of light.
Empty the larder was, and in the barn
A white lamb bleated, biting at its hoofs.
Mother, the plenty of the bygone days!
The love and pity of the bygone days!
How can you live here in your empty hut,
Here in your empty hut how can you live?”
The four were mute; but when I spoke your, name
And sobbed tempestuously in my dream,
They wildly, with bowed heads, began to weep.
“But still,” I said, “your brother is alive—
The little one, who did not see you die.
It is for him alone I live to-day.”
Then they burst forth, and poured upon mine eyes
The terrible black tear drops of the dead.
“A brother, oh, we have a brother yet,
A brother, oh, a brother in the world!
Mother, the misery of coming days!
Hereafter, how shall we to earth return?
Now how, oh, how shall we to earth return?”
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