University of Virginia Library

Search this document 

a poem and pilgrimage in the Holy Land

collapse section 
expand section 

The given page the student scanned:
Started—reviewed, nor might withstand.
He turned; the celibate was gone;
Over the gulf he hung alone:
Alone, but for the comment caught
Or dreamed, in face seen far below,
Upturned toward the Palm in thought,
Or else on him—he scarce might know.
Fixed seemed it in assent indeed
Which indexed all? It was the Swede.
Over the Swede, upon the stair—
Long Bethel-stair of ledges brown
Sloping as from the heaven let down—
Apart lay Vine; lowermost there,


Rolfe he discerned; nor less the three,
While of each other unaware,
In one consent of frame might be.
How vaguely, while yet influenced so
By late encounter, and his glance
Rested on Vine, his reveries flow
Recalling that repulsed advance
He knew by Jordan in the wood,
And the enigma unsubdued—
Possessing Ruth, nor less his heart
Aye hungering still, in deeper part
Unsatisfied. Can be a bond
(Thought he) as David sings in strain
That dirges beauteous Jonathan,
Passing the love of woman fond?
And may experience but dull
The longing for it? Can time teach?
Shall all these billows win the lull
And shallow on life's hardened beach?—