The mountain harebell bent to the stone,
A chime in the sensitive breast,
And whispered low in a plaintive tone,
"Look not on the skies, but on me alone.
My love is warmest and best.
"I lean so close to your quiet heart,
Caress you with perfume and dew.
The skies can have in your joy no part.
Your life and mine from the same earth start.
You glow in my brighter blue."
"Your incense never my love can allure,
O exquisite, soft-hued flower.
My thought is not of your petals pure.
I know that the infinite skies endure,
While you are the bloom of an hour."
* * * * *
Once Pleasure came to a Heart and plead,
"Oh, let me in, and rejoice!
All the bliss of life in a feast I spread.
The soul of Art is passionless, dead,
Though wooing with siren voice.
"No more in weary work will you tire,—
Free, but for love's rosy bands.
I'll thrill you sweetly with laughter and lyre,
Bewilder with joy of fulfilled desire.—
Your Art never gives, but demands."
"Away, O Pleasure!" the Heart replied.
"I yearn to obey your appeal,
But will not suffer you here to bide
Unless content as a thing aside
From the nobler motive I feel.
"For Art immortal has blessed my gifts
With visions daring, divine.
Your bliss elusive beyond me drifts.
I toil for Art, and my spirit lifts
A sacrifice to her shrine."