Old Spookses’ Pass, Malcolm’s Katie and Other Poems

by Isabella Valancy Crawford


 

SAID THE THISTLE-DOWN.


 

“If thou wilt hold my silver hair,
    O Lady sweet and bright;
I’ll bring thee, maiden darling, where
    Thy lover is to-night.
Lay down thy robe of cloth of gold—
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    Gold weigheth heavily,
Thy necklace wound in jewell’d fold,
    And hie thee forth with me.”

“O Thistle-down, dear Thistle-down,
    I’ve laid my robe aside;
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My necklace and my jewell’d crown,
    And yet I cannot glide
Along the silver crests of night
    With thee, light thing, with thee.
Fain would I try the airy flight,
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    What sayest thou to me?” [Page 112]

“If thou wilt hold my silver hair,
    O maiden fair and proud;
We’ll float upon the purple air
    High as yon lilied cloud.
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There is a jewel weighs thy heart;
    If thou with me wouldst glide
That cold, cold jewel place apart—
    The jewel of thy pride!”

“O Thistle-down, dear Thistle-down—
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    That jewel part I’ve set:
With golden robe and shining crown
    And cannot follow yet!
Fain would I clasp thy silver tress
    And float on high with thee;
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Yet somewhat me to earth doth press—
    What sayest thou to me?

“If thou wilt hold my silver hair
    O lady, sweet and chaste;
Well dance upon the sparkling air
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    And to thy lover haste.
A lily lies upon thy breast
    Snow-white as it can be—
It holds thee strong—sweet, with the rest
    Yield lilied chastity.”
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“O Thistle-down, false Thistle-down
    I’ve parted Pride and Gold;
Laid past my jewels and my crown—
    My golden robings’ fold. [Page 113]
I will not lay my lily past—
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    Love’s light as vanity
When to the mocking wind is cast
    The lily, Chastity.” [Page 114]