Sunday, October 31, 2010

... In love-craft, Hallow-eve ...

Happy Halloween, 2010 !!!

William Allingham. *

The Autumn's fairy gold turns pale,
And twilight closes fast and chill.
And dirge-like winds, with lengthening wail,
Moan low, or rise w ith whistle shrill:
In winter's night the year declines,
Yet gaily we that night receive.
For thick with happy stars it shines,
Its IHesper, Hallow-eve !
Fresh-dawning Hallow-eve !
Sweet, new-old Hallow-eve !
For what thou wert, for what thou art.
Thrice welcome, Hallow-eve!

It freezes ; but no frost on earth
The seasons of the soul can blight;
Here bloom at once a Spring of mirth,
A Summertide of joy to-night;
Though days grow short, the fire's a sun
That will not set without our leave ;
Our hearts are flowering, every one,
In the beams of Hallow-eve!
Bright-blazing Hallow-eve !
Warm-glowing Hallow-eve !
Far sweeter flowers than April's dowers
Are these of Hallow-eve !

'Tis fruit-time, too; who can may snatch
Gold apples from the branch or pail;
But Fire and Water closely watch
The treasure, as in fairy tale:
And sure this is a fairy hour
That lets the ghostly world retrieve
A little while its ancient power,
In right of Hallow-eve !
Mysterious Hallow-eve!
Weird-mantled Hallow-evc!
Much joy and pain have cause more vain
Than ours of Hallow-eve!

Heaven's stars were used as lamps, of old,
The mist from future time to clear ;
By earth-stars are our fortunes told,—
The nuts in constellation here :
Glimpse of the patterns, gay or dull,
From which the Fatal Spinsters weave,
Or work our lives, like Berlin wool,—
Is caught at Hallow eve !
Love-sybil Hallow-eve !
Heart-prophet Hallow-eve!
A nut can hold the story told
All through by Hallow-eve !

Now Love in cabbage-stalk can read
Papyrus-wealth of mystic lore ;
Or raise full-grown from garden seed
A human crop like that of yore.
To-night, beforo the wasted fire
A semblance turns the drying sleeve;
The treasured thought, the heart's desire,
Takes place at Hallow-eve!
Yet truly, Hallow-eve,
In love-craft, Hallow-eve,
Thy magic, arms with needless charms
Our witches,—Hallow-eve!

Come, then! let none look sourly grave,
Nor creak, this night, in rusty talk !
Let cares take flight before our stave
As ghosts at crowing of the cock!
How many things that are indeed
Mere ghosts and shadows men believe
The sole true substance!—Men whose creed
Despises Hallow-eve.
Without one Hallow-eve,
Or time like Hallow-eve,
Of loving mirth,—how great a dearth
Is theirs—dear Hallow-eve !

*published in
Howitt's journal of literature and popular progress, Volume 2
By William Howitt, Mary Botham Howitt

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