To Ruth Chatterton

By George Sterling


Hear I the fragile music of the fay?
    What ancient magic holds me? Now at last
    I seem to find the wonder of the Past,
Known before Time had touched the world to grey.
Some vanished star has found me with its ray,
    That once in seas of old romance was glassed;
    A shadow of enchantment softly cast
By some lost moon is on my heart to-day.

Yours is the charm that perished long ago
(Or so we thought). Now listening, I know
    Forgotten spells are on the air tonight,
        And dreams that haunt me in an irrsed band.
        Your captive unconditional I stand,
Wounded deliriously by sound and sight.


No more of Helen's beauty, nor the hand
    Of Circe waving would my visions be,
    Foe western sunsets long have saddened me,
Watched as the surf was on the twilight strand,
Till now my dream is of a nameless land—
    A realm of rains and grass beside the sea,
    Where roams a gray-eyed princess, dryad-free,
On paths between the forest and the sand.

Again my dream has change, till sea and wind
    Seem far away, and in a garden-close
        Translucent flowers touch the calm with musk,
On yellow marbles delicately twined,
    Where, silent as her heavy-petalled rose,
        A golden queen sits in a golden dusk.

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