Sonnets From The Cherokee (May Mrs. Browning[1] Pardon Me)

University of Oklahoma Magazine 10 (January 1, 1922):11.

By Ruth Margaret Muskrat


My heart is like an opal, flashing fire

And flaming gleams of pointed light

At thy approach; or lying cold and white

When thou art gone; robbed of a dream's desire

Is left moon-white and dull; no darting flame

Or sapphire gleam to mark a sweet suspense.

But only still, benumbed indifference

Unwaked at thy soft whisper of my name.

Come now, I tire of waiting to know love;

Teach me to scorn indifference white and dim

For I would drain fate's cup of joy or strife;

Would play to the lost chord the vibrant hymn

That passion sings; my heart lifted above

Dull apathy; pulsating; knowing Life.



A Thousand, thousand years ago I lived

And waited for your coming then, as now,

Before the wailing waters taught me how

To weep; nor never knew how sad I grieved,

Nor with what empty pain my soul, bereaved

Through need of you, lifted its throbbing brow;

Until the softly whispered plighted vow,

Of sighing trees, from branches silver-leaved

Swept through my soul and waked me from my sleep.

Since then I've roamed a thousand worlds, I think

Seeking your face, too hungry souled to wait

For you to come to me; too sad to weep:

While chains of ages pass me, link by link;

Knowing that I shall find you soon or late.



What is this nameless something that I want,

Forever groping blindly, without light,--

A ghost of pain that does forever haunt

My days, and make my heart eternal night?

I think it is your face I long for,

Your eyes that read my soul at one warm glance;

Your lips that I nay touch with mine no more

Have left me in their stead a thrusting lance

Of fire that burns my lips and sears my heart

As all the dreary wanton years wear through

Their hopeless dragging days.  No Lover's art

Can lift full, heavy sorrow from my view

Or still my restless longing, purge my hate,

Because I learned I loved you, dear, too late.



Thou canst not turn away, beloved, so

Completely from my life; at thine own will

Withdraw the fullness of thy love until

My heart may no surcease of sorrow know

Through loving thee.  The scarlet evening's glow

Long after the Lord Sun[2] has gone; the thrill

Of his dear parting kiss must linger still

And point that crimson blush that pulses so.

Think you, beloved, after thou hast flung

Thy purple rove of love so close around

My life, that I could then forget?  No wrong

So great but that in loving thee I found

The secret to redress; and sorrow's song

Is sweet because you loved me long ago.

[1] Refers to Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning's work, Sonnets from the Portuguese.

[2] A Sun deity.