Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-?)
"From Songs at the Start (1884). Miss Guiney is a young poet of exceptional promise." (Sharp)
The Atoning Yesterday
Ye daffodilian days, whose fallen towers
Shielded our paradisal prime from ill,
Fair Past, fair motherhood! let come what will,
We, being yours, defy the anarch powers.
For us the happy tidings fell, in showers
Enjewelling the wind from every hill;
We drained the sun against the winter's chill;
Our ways were barricadoed in with flowers:
And if from skyey minsters now unhoused,
Earth's massy workings at the forge we hear,
The black roll of the congregated sea,
And war's live hoof: O yet, last year, last year
We were the lark-lulled shepherdlings, that drowsed
Grave-deep, at noon, in grass of Arcady!
Among the Flags
In Doric Hall, Massachussetts State House
Dear witnesses, all-luminous, eloquent,
Stacked thickly on the tessellated floor!
The soldier-blood stirs in me, as of yore
In sire and grandsire who to battle went:
I seem to know the shaded valley tent,
The armed and bearded men, the thrill of war,
Horses that prance to hear the cannon roar,
Shrill bugle-calls, and camp-fire merriment.
And as fair symbols of heroic things,
Not void of tears mine eyes must e'en behold
These banners lovelier as the deeper marred:
A panegyric never writ for kings
On every tarnished staff and tattered fold;
And by them, tranquil spirits standing guard.
(Text from American Sonnets)