THE LAST WEST
G. B. WARREN
Copyright Canada, 1919
By G. B. Warren
October Daybreak on Boundary Bay The Last Arete The Great Divide Above the Clouds Winter Sunset in the Cascade Range Beside the Ocstall Jansen's Curse The Survey Cook A Raid on the Seal Rookeries The Coast of British Columbia Vancouver Victoria, B. C.
Paolo's Virginia (A Spring Phantasy)
To you who have lifted the veil of mists o'er-blown And gazed in the eyes of dawn when night had flown— Have felt in your hearts a thrill of sheer delight As you scanned the scene below from some alpine height— I extend this fleeting glimpse across a world Of forest and meadow land—at last unfurled— Through vistas of soaring peaks with frosted crest In the fiorded wonderland of this—last—west.
October Daybreak on Boundary Bay
A skyline bold and clear Of cold sharp corniced snow, Where, bulking huge, the mass of Baker's cone Shadows the world below.
'Tis bright with promise now! That flood and field Still shrouded in the mystery of night, Will shortly be revealed.
The wildfowl on the bay Call to the distant flight Of ducks, that swoop from out the realms of space, Seeking a place to light.
Sounds through the waking hours The beating of countless wings, Faint voices floating through the upper air In softest whisperings.
A blush of coming day Flooding the eastern sky, Fresh rosy Dawn climbing the rampart hills, Forces the night to fly:
Then from his lair the sun Leaps forth. The fading gleam Of silver moon and silent stars is quenched. Day reigns once more supreme.
The Last Arete
Alpinist— Excelsior, there's nought we may not dare! Why, now, confess defeat, when plain in sight Looms the stern peak—to which we've toiled and fought Up many a mountain gorge and soaring height? It were a shame if we should now go back And, leaving all we've won, retrace our track.
Undaunted by the circling mists we camped, Laid siege; while hail and snow went storming by, Assaulted through the brilliant mists; that wrapped A veil, impenetrable to the eye, Around the wastes of ice, the snowfields bare And craggy peaks that pierce the upper air.
We scorned to own defeat, when lost to sight, 'Mid cloud and snowstorm, was that summit cold; But started out the morn e're yet the sun The highest cornices had edged with gold. See now! the noonday glare reveals our fate Above a rampart white and sharp arete.
Guide— Crevasses open-mouthed have reft the face Of brightly gleaming ice, that upward led. Their clear green depths a gap impassable present Across the glacier slope ahead; Save on yon steep and scintillating slope Which promises success to axe and rope.
Alpinist— Roped man to man we'll scale the giddy height: Step after step cut up those slopes of snow That, gleaming spotless in the noonday light, Curve out of sight above and far below. What rumbled? (G.) From yon distant cliff was hurled An avalanche which shakes this snowy world.
Guide— The rocks I've gained through chimneys rough and steep That crumble at a careless touch, and send A rattling train of rubble bounding down The icy slopes, which great crevasses rend. Re-entrant over here the mountain dips Into a gulf, which eddying mists eclipse.
Perched on this tottering and steep arete, One hardly dares to even whisper low; Lest, crashing from their crumbling pedestals, The rotten crags through empty space will go Two thousand feet down, where the hard neve Is packed by ice that avalanched that way.
I'll anchor fast, and hold the rope, that you By hand and foot and alpenstock may scale. A traverse of the skyline rocks we'll make And yon last gleaming slope of snow assail. It leads up to a virgin mountain's head, On which our feet will be the first to tread.
* * * *
The highest of a glacier covered range, Its proud and lofty crest at length hath bowed Before the bold attack of alpinists Undaunted by the steeps or storm or cloud; and all the dangers than in grim array The spirit of the mountain brought to play.
[*]The Great Divide
What strange emotions fill my breast! What flitting shadows of unrest Sweep o'er me as I stand beside The Rocky Mountains' "Great Divide."
That rustic arch, with letters bold Against the summit snowfields cold, Has power to wing my fancy far To this split streamlet's furthest bar.
The icy flood is cleft in twain, Its waters never meet again; Far east and to the furthest west Those wavelets hurry without rest.
The mind can hardly grasp such vast Extent of territory passed E're these two streams shall reach the sea, At different oceans to be free.
Through valleys wide and fertile plain, Where yellow fields of waving grain Are garnered for the wide world's store, One stream flows to a distant shore.
May be that harnessed it will drive The wheels which in some human hive Of industry are waiting for The power that it holds in store
To saw the timber, thresh the grain And even haul the loaded train By energy electrical As though some wizard wove a spell.
Such small beginnings mark this stream, It almost seems to be a dream That carries me in mind away Along its course to Hudson's Bay.
Far down the other branch we roam By smiling lakes, and watch the foam Of rapid streams that flow between Fair orchard lands and meadows green.
The silv'ry salmon leaps the falls; And everywhere insistent calls Arise from forest, stream and hill, To charm the sense or test the skill.
Oft times by restlessness oppressed, I long to see that lonely crest; And once again to dream beside The arch, that's lettered "Great Divide."
[*]A watershed of the Rockies—a stream passing beneath an arch on the summit is divided, one part being directed eastward and the other westward.
Above the Clouds
On the shores of a sea of mist I chanced to roam, Where sunlit the surface gleamed Whiter than foam.
But the voice of the restless main Was absent there, For the billows that rolled along Were waves of air;
And the isles of that silent sea Were mountain peaks That, far from the haunts of man, The wild goat seeks.
O, that day above the clouds Was bright and fair! With pines and the sparkling snow Unsullied there;
But, a thousand fathoms down A city street Was shrouded in sunless gloom Where shadows meet;
It knew not the fairer day And matchless view; That snowfields gleamed above And skies were blue:
That the clouds which gloomed below Were seas of light From another point of view At greater height.
Winter Sunset in the Cascade Range
Picture a world of snowfields Aglow in the sunset light, Great fir trees snow-flake laden And broken clouds piled white; While bathed in a silver sheen The pines on a crest are seen.
Would I could frame the language Worthy those sunset tints, Hued from saffron to coral, Aflame where the sunlight glints; And the clear steel blue of the sky Where the clouds had drifted by.
The daylight slowly faded. Weakly mere words convey The ivory white of snowflakes, Decking the hills that day; And the softening yellow tone That fell from the sun god's throne.
Far beyond wooded ridges Lit with a twilight ray, Sentinel like in the cloudland A nameless peak held sway; Keeping a silent guard O'er valleys by cloud wreaths barred.
'Twas crowned with flaming colours Of sunset's fleeting hour; Giving its best expression To nature's lavish dower E're the ebbing tide of day Should fade from the world away.
Then light melted softly to shadow And the blue of the sky turned grey, While a veil of deepening twilight Warned us to haste away, For the winter nights are bleak In the wilds by that lonely peak.
[*]Beside the Ocstall
I mused one day beside the Ocstall River Where trailing mists went drifting softly by; And waterfalls in thunderous voices calling, Their vaporous breath raised to a burdened sky.
What mystic spell? what strange compelling passion Did hold the sons of Britain toiling there? What charm was there in that great lonely region Enticing them from distant lands, more fair?
Fantastic cloud wreaths draped a sea of mountains: Forest and muskeg in the vales held sway; To win a fortune from those wild surroundings Men came, then could not from them break away.
They tried the lands where everlasting sunshine Caressed lush fruits and kissed the waves at play; But no place gripped them like this western outpost Where men with large ambitions hewed their way.
It was the challenge to the daring spirit Of vast resources in their native state. It was the lure of gold, romance of action, The chances of success where stakes were great.
[*]Ocstall River—a tributary of the Skeena near its mouth.
'Twas out upon a gold stampede, And Jan had always planned to lead. The man who has the greatest might, He surely must be in the right, Was part of Jansen's creed; For very skookum was this man, Built on a most ambitious plan; But with a domineering trait, Would have his own, no other way; And often had been heard to say: "I'll be no 'also ran.'" The river trip he hoped to make With an old-timer nicknamed Jake, Who'd hired a canoe; And with a bunch of sourdoughs Intended, e're the river rose In flood, to push on through. This man soon got himself disliked As up the rapid stream they piked And oft by rapids lined. His overbearing ways were met With keen expressions of regret He'd not been left behind. At length the crew a village saw Of Indians who had a store In goods where Jan did trade. The others knew their chance at last They could not get away too fast When off ashore he'd strayed. They threw his pack out on the bank, Their late companion's health they drank With hopes they'd never meet; But Jan, their move when he realized, Came hurrying greatly surprised, And flushed with angry heat. Some most profane remarks he made And said that he was not afraid To thrash the blooming crew, Their ancestors were not forgot, He hoped old Nick would make it hot For any that he knew. One parting curse did Jan call down, He hoped they all would surely drown Before they reached their goal; The waters be their winding sheet, That Hell would raise a double heat To welcome every soul. Then taking up his pack he set His face towards the trail that yet Along the river ran. But soon the blazes were no more, His path was barred by creeks, a score, Which now no bridges span. He felled the towering cottonwood, That graceful by the river stood, To bridge each torrent wide. But longest spans were swept away, By the wild waters in their play At the last creek he tried. So plunging in the torrent wild Which swept him helpless as a child, He braved its swollen tide. While raced along a branch he caught, That, waving from the shore long sought, Was like an arm outstretched. He pulled himself hand over hand Until his feet could feel the sand By eddying currents fetched. His pack was soaked with water through, There was no trail ahead he knew, But still kept on his way; And with determination strong Struggled the beach and cliffs along While held the light each day. At length he reached the little creek, The which he had set out to seek, And found some partners there. They had begun to pan the sand Which proved to be a golden strand At last to them laid bare. One day in camp the word went round That Jake and all his crew had drowned Between the canyon walls. Their staunch canoe was seen upturned Where white the boiling rapids churned Below the waterfalls.
* * * *
Small wonder if Jan's conscience woke And if that moral guardian spoke In accusation strong Against the words he had let fall, Beyond the power of recall, To get revenge for wrong.
Skookum—a Chinook word, meaning strong.
Sourdough—a seasoned prospector.
The Survey Cook
Deep in the Sunset Valley Ill fortune had detained; Bacon and beans were finished; Of flour, none remained.
But now with tents and blankets, Facing the backward track, All hands were feeling cheerful Save the cook—his looks were black.
They'd packed across the mountains Where trails were never known, Through leagues of heavy timber And rock slides overgrown;
Had bridged the swollen torrents By felling trees across; And scrambled through the canyons That walled the river's course.
The horses of the pack train Had died in dark despair When brought to face the prospect Of using goat trails there;
So man a beast of burden Himself was forced to be; The crew packed grub and blankets And the cook the cutlery,
The dishpans and the kettles, The basins and a pot, A battered old reflector, Cups, bowls and plates, Great Scott!
Cymbals and drums weren't in it When cook did have a spill; The crash of warlike music Echoed from hill to hill
As down his pack came bounding, Spurning the canyon walls, Scattering pots and dishes, Leaping the waterfalls.
The packers looked in terror To see the cook come too As past their dizzy erie The clanging luggage flew;
When anxiously they hailed him, The cook, he only swore: "If I survive this picnic So help me—nevermore."
A Raid on the Seal Rookeries
The tale was told by a hunter bold Of a sealing schooner's crew, Of a midnight raid where the breakers played On reefs that the offing strew.
"In Behring Sea they tell," said he, "How Hansen, in the 'Adele,' Waiting for night, with never a light, Dared the reefs and ocean swell.
"A rascal bold, in misdeeds grown old, He had raided far and wide; But never before in the sealers' lore Had the Pribilof reefs been tried.
"But an Aleut, by his sealskin boot And the grave of his father, swore For a keg of booze and a pair of shoes To sell their secret, and more.
"So Hansen knew to a yard or two Where the hidden ledges ran; And the breakers' roar on the reefs and shore Were guides to the daring man.
"The trailing kelp and a flash might help Where the phosphorus burned bright, For the deed was done past set of sun When the stars were hid from sight.
"The schooner's kedge to a rocky ledge, By a hempen cable tied, With silent stealth, for the raiders' health, Was lowered overside.
"Then with muffled oars they reached the shores Near a crowded rookery; Where the voice of seals, in loud appeals, Drowned the moan of wind and sea.
"There were clubbed ten score and some dozens more Of the seals which in panic came Like frightened sheep before the sweep Of the raiders' far-flung chain;
"For they took their stand, where the rocky land Slopes down to the surf-worn beach, To intercept the herd that swept Like a torrent, the sea to reach.
"Their dories lay in a tiny bay On a bit of sandy shore; And they loaded seals by heads or heels Till the boats would hold no more.
"On many a trip to the little ship The skiffs went back and fore, Till she streamed with blood in a crimson flood From the deck to the cabin door.
"The seals were piled in confusion wild On deck, by a seaman there; While the hold was stored and the cabin floored Whenever he'd time to spare,
"For they had to sail before the pale Light came of a breaking day; Lest the sealing guard should follow hard And capture them with their prey."
* * * *
"In the dawn's pale light that followed the night The sealing guard went round; But the bloody turf, by the edge of the surf, Was the only sign they found;
"For a curtain fell on the Behring swell And hid the schooner's flight; But they lay the blame on Hansen's name For the lawless deeds that night."
Pribilofs—a group of islands in Behring Sea, where the fur seal breeds.
Aleut—a native of the Aleutian Islands.
The Coast of British Columbia
On the far stretching coast of B. C., Where the hills and the seas interlace, Is a cruising ground yet unexcelled, Where the yachtsman can loiter or race.
And for those that of danger a spice Or variety's pleasures would know, There's a limitless sea to the west Where the free ocean breezes do blow.
There are harbours and fiords on a coast That is thousands of miles in extent; And new scenes that its windings unfold Fill those that explore with content.
Vancouver, Vancouver, Vancouver we'll sing all the way. Far away we may roam, but Vancouver's our home We remember, wherever we stray.
Vancouver, Vancouver, In summer time all the day long To sea we will roam, for afloat we're at home So we sway on our halyards with song.
Vancouver, Vancouver, The open gateway of the West. Her harbour's the port where vessels resort Of pleasure or profit in quest.
Vancouver, Vancouver, Her mountains a wonderland hold, Where the Lions on guard, carved in rock grey and hard, Have stood sentry for ages untold.
Vancouver, Vancouver, Of seamen intrepid we'll sing: Vancouver and Cook, great explorers, who took Possession in name of their king.
Bud of England grafted On a western tree, Favoured by the breezes Of a temperate sea.
Roses in the gardens Greet thy Christmastide, Broom upon the headlands Gilds the ocean side.
In thy dreamy moments Thou didst plan to be Queen upon the islands By the western sea.
A SPRING PHANTASY
Kelpies Frosties Fairies Paolo Virginia Cupid
SEASHORE AT THE MOUTH OF A CREEK
Paolo— Heart free, care free and free to roam am I Wherever fancy leads beneath the sky. I'll rest awhile and watch the kelpies play, They will be sporting on the sands to-day. Perhaps they'll tell me what my heart desires To know, and Cupid's dart inspires.
[Kelpies come up from the sea and sing in chorus:]
Join with us, dance with us, prance with us Over the sea. Roam with us, flee with us, be with us Where we may be
Sing with us, walk with us, talk with us Carelessly gay. Come with us, play with us, stray with us Where we may stray.
Paolo— Pray, kelpies, tell me what you find of joy, In what of work or play your hours employ.
Kelpies' Chorus— You can sing of the lakes and mountains And the freedom of open plains; But for spaces wide and untrammelled The ocean alone remains.
In the cradle of ocean surges We rock to heart's content. We've played on countless beaches And roam the sea's extent.
1st Kelpie— The sights that we view on our travels Are marvels that fill with delight; But chief is the phosphorescence Of the foaming seas, at night.
Paolo— I wish you would tell of those flashes That are such a wonderful sight.
1st Kelpie— Sparkling and darkling, dust of the milky way, Shifting and drifting, firefly legions at play; Fading and glowing, lights of a starry maze, Coming and going, drift of a luminous haze.
Tangling and spangling the waves with a wealth of light, Spraying and straying silently through the night; Dusting and flashing a light in our yeasty wake, Glowing and splashing wherever the waves we break.
Lacing and tracing the path of the evening breeze, Blazing and raising a light on the breaking seas; Ebbing and flowing, an ocean of liquid light, Finding and showing the reefs in the blackest night.
Paolo— There's much in what you say appeals to me; What else may you have learned along the margin of the sea?
1st Kelpie— There is a cove, secret from passing eyes, Beautiful as a dream of Paradise; Where, sheltered from the stormy waves that stray Unfettered down the sea's wide open way, The seaman oftentimes doth moor his barque In shaded bays, peaceful by day or dark. For there the salty tide finds calm repose, Sheltered from every boisterous wind that blows; And ripples, like faint shadows on a glass, Play lightly where the fitful breezes pass. Elsewhere the mirrored shores inverted stand, Trees foot to foot, hand clasping hand; And all the flitting clouds their faces see, Till sea and sky seem one in harmony. In that well guarded spot few sounds intrude To mar the quiet of its solitude. The beat of surges at the entrance seems A distant murmur from the land of dreams; While crickets chirruping and song birds gay, From valley and from hillside sound their lay.
Four miles of coastline do those arms surround Of cliff and delta, wood and open ground; Where stately fir and cedar trees are seen In contrast with the lighter shades of green; While on the rocks thick moss and lichen grow, And rough arbutus shrubs their shadows throw.
When sunset edges all the clouds with gold, And sea and shore with jewelled wealth untold, Those rocky cliffs a fitting setting form To hold that gem of ocean (safe in storm); And changing lights, warm and elusive, wear To match the shading of the sea and air.
A maid lives there, who often roams this way; We're here to greet her when she comes to-day.
Kelpies— Virginia, come and play with us awhile; Come, be our queen and on our revels smile. Or if we may but help you o'er the stream, Our labours shall a moment's frolic seem.
Virginia— Kelpies, too long you've roamed on mischief bent: Too long you've made the sky your nightly tent. I've oft been warned to shun your careless way And from your pranks and revels warned to stay. I dare not try to cross the swollen tide Unless some stronger arm is close beside.
Permit my arm to be this guide and stay: Pray give me leave to help you on your way.
Virginia— Kind sir, if you will take me by the hand, I'll thank you to assist to that far strand. No—Don't you lift me up—I didn't mean— Well—If you must—
How strong your arms have been.
Paolo— Virginia, did I hear the kelpies say? Yes, that's my name. What is your own, I pray? Call me Paolo, and if I may be Of any further help fair maid to thee, Allow me to attend you on your way.
Virginia— Thank you, I need no further help to-day.
Kelpies— Join with us, dance with us, prance with us Over the sea. Roam with us, flee with us, be with us Where we may be.
Paolo, turning from looking after Virginia— I'm in no mood to join your frolics now; Perhaps some other day you'll show me how You ride the combers on the ocean swell. I must be going now, Kelpies farewell.
[Paolo wandering disconsolate on snowshoes—Frosties bobbing up and down behind bushes and snowdrifts.]
Paolo— What goblins, what strange forms are these I see? I thought the haunts of men and sprites to flee And far from every human habitation Find solace for my grief mid desolation.
Stand forth yon elf and speak, that I may know These are no tricks that on my fancies grow.
[Frosties all dance out on the snow—Master Frosty steps forward with greeting:]
M. F.— I'm the master of the Frosties' band, On outpost duty from the Arctic land; You need not fear, 'Tis friends are here. Your lonely sorrow we can understand, And would in sympathy just clasp your hand. If for your grief You find relief In telling us the cause of all your woe, Your confidence we will respect, I know; And we'll be true As skies are blue.
Paolo— It is a story of a winsome maid That yester eve across my pathway strayed. That I was shy I can't deny; But if it will not weary you to hear, I'll try and tell you what I found so dear, When o'er a stream As in a dream I helped Virginia to the further shore, And lost my heart to her for evermore.
Last Night My Heart Was All Aglow
Paolo— The mist with pearls had beaded Each wayward strand of hair; And the light in her eyes was like sunshine. Would I had asked her there!
Refrain— Last night my heart was all aglow, I loved, I loved Virginia so; But wintry dawn has brought despair Of ever winning maid so fair.
Frosties' Chorus— Last night his heart was all aglow, Last night he loved Virginia so; But wintry dawn has brought despair Of ever winning maid so fair.
Paolo— And now when days seem dreary, And hope begins to wane, My thoughts run back and I wonder— Will we ever meet again.
Ever my heart is yearning For a voice that is far away: For a smile that is bright and cheering As sunshine and waves at play.
Paolo— Good morrow, Cupid. (C.) I salute thee too.
Paolo— What errand brings you out amid the snow? Perchance you've lost your way, rash Cupid. (C.) No. The harbinger of spring to lovers true, I started out while yet the snowflakes flew.
Paolo— You're late I fear, my hopes have sunk too low.
Cupid— Let not your drooping spirits fail, faint heart Did never yet assume that valiant part That finds a way in spite of what befall And wins at length to beauty's citadel.
Paolo— Thanks, Cupid, for your words of lofty cheer; My heart responds, I see my pathway clear.
I'll take Virginia in my arms and kiss her On lips and cheek and brow; I'll tell her how I love her, miss her, And when, and why, and how.
I'll draw my darling to my heart and hold her In fond and close embrace; I'll whisper softly how I've longed to fold her In all her girlish grace.
I'll look into her eyes, their love light showing, Small need of words we'll know; For tender glances sprung from hearts aglowing, With meaning overflow.
Cupid— Such sentiments as these I quite approve: I'm hopeful for the outcome of your love.
Cupid (turning to Frosties)— Who are these furry folk that round us stand? They seem like members of the Frosties' band.
Frosties (in chorus)— We are the elves of the Northern Light, Of the ice blink and the snow; We deck the moss with a silver floss, And make the frost flowers grow.
We place the fetters on stream and rill And encase the lakes and seas: We spread a carpet o'er vale and hill And drape the leafless trees.
Cupid— Won't you just tell dear Frosties In the language of song to-night Of those beauties and silent wonders That dwell in the Northern Light.
Sing of some thrilling vision Of those beams in endless train, Like the bars of a thousand searchlights; Sing to us Frosties again.
The Northern Lights
Master Frosty— Across the starry arches of the heavens Like mighty spokes of a revolving wheel; Or organ pipes that grouped in stately silence Await some master's touch to wake their peal;
The Northern Lights had strayed far down the vistas Of mellow air that mark the temperate zone; Their searchlight beams above the northern skyline A magic arch of changing lights had thrown.
They marched across the sky in long procession: From east to west their standards were unfurled, Summoning visions of the Arctic winter And whalers prisoned in a frozen world.
Then formed a tent, across the starry heavens, Woven of interlacing beams of light Flung lightly o'er the arches which supported, High overhead, the canopy of night.
Once more a wide and undulating archway Expressed in quivering jets of frosty flame, Against the background of the midnight shadows, With play of countless brilliant flashes, came;
While dark below flowed on the silent ocean: An anchored barque swayed slowly on the swell. And here and there a phosphorescent glimmer Showed where the trailing seaweed rose and fell.
Cupid— I thank you, Frosties, for your song and story About the Northern Lights in all their glory; But time is hasting on, I must be going. The sun through lengthened days is warmly glowing. Farewell Paolo too: what shall I say When I shall meet your maiden on my way?
Paolo— Haste, Cupid; haste: fly forth on rapid wing Bearing your dainty bow and feathered darts; And with the graceful practise of your arts Whisper into my darling's ear, or sing The sweetest messages that love can bring; And weave such tender dreams as spring imparts Where youth and beauty know each others hearts And feel the thrill that from such joy can spring. Sweet cherub, when you wing your arrow's flight, Speed it away with thoughts of love from me; And when it finds the heart that beats with mine, Full welcome to that breast I know 'twill be. When you reveal my message in love's light It's: (Dearest will you be my valentine).
Cupid— This errand suits me well, I'll not delay; But to the land of flowers will wing my way.
Farewell to Cupid
Frosties' Chorus— We are glad to have made your acquaintance And wish you had longer to stay; We are glad, we must say, to have met you, And wish you good luck on your way.
Farewell, my Cupid, Love speed you on your way. Farewell, dear Cupid, And au-revoir we'll say.
'Tis the time of the northward migration And ahead of the birds we must fly To where days are of endless duration; So in chorus we bid you good-bye.
Farewell, my Cupid, Love speed you on your way. Farewell, dear Cupid, And au-revoir we'll say.
(All in chorus)
Farewell to you, farewell to all, farewell to-day; Paolo, Cupid, Frosties each farewell must say.
[Virginia sitting on a bank of grass and spring flowers, with a band of fairies dancing around her in a ring.]
Spring Draweth Near
Fairies (in Chorus)— Spring is coming, hear the humming Of the bumble bees; Life is waking, buds are breaking, Love is in the breeze.
Refrain— Fairies sing for the spring Draweth near; Mirth and song now belong To the year.
Birdies wooing, ring doves cooing From each budding bough. All things mating, no one waiting, Love is calling now.
Larks are singing, swallows winging North, their rapid flight. Winter's ending, spring is sending Warmth and love and light.
Virginia— What strange emotions fill this breast? What flitting shadows of unrest Disturb me so? I have not ceased to long and dream Since I was lifted o'er that stream By Paolo.
In strong arms' clasp what can there be To thrill the heart in fancy free And leave behind A joy that is akin to pain, A longing to be held again By arms entwined?
[Enter Cupid during last words.]
Cupid— Good morning to you all, a fairy ring Delights my heart; I'll wait and hear you sing.
Virginia— We're glad you're back, you should avoid the snows Dear careless boy; some day you'll freeze your toes.
[Cupid fitting arrow to his bow—]
Virginia— No, don't you shoot your arrow; 'tisn't fair! You've learned too much already, spare oh spare My heart from further pain you cruel boy; What balm have you for wounds that peace destroy?
Cupid— Forbid the thought of Cupid causing pain; Nought else I seek but bringing joy again. I have a secret message to unfold To you, the sweetest lover ever told. I'll whisper softly in your dainty ear, So soft that even fairies will not hear.
[Cupid whispers his message.]
Virginia— Oh Cupid! (C.) How you blush, your burning cheek Tells plainer still than even lips can speak Of tenderness for Paolo that glows Within your heart, and now quite overflows.
Fairies— Blush of the early morning Heralds the coming day, Heralds the beam of sunshine Chasing the dark away.
Refrain— Blushing, blushing, Roses of deepest dye; Flushing, flushing Red as the sunlit sky.
Blushes those cheeks suffusing, Cupid's enchantments prove; Prove that the little archer Whispers to you of love.
Fairies— Paolo here at last! Where has he been in hiding? He ought to be ashamed, But we must not be chiding.
Paolo— I'm glad to find you all so bright and gay, Please, fairies, sing before you run away.
Fairy— We've played so long, the hours of morn will pass E're we can sip the dewdrops from the grass And glean the jewels from the lily's cup. The sunbeams now are gathering them up.
Then we must weave some garments for our queen. No lighter gossamer was ever seen Than spider web woven by fairy hands To wear when dancing on the moonlit sands.
So now good-bye, we all must skip away; (We'll take dear Cupid with us, if we may, To catch the butterflies and paint their wings.) We wish you all the joy that springtime brings,
[Fairies and Cupid Exit]
Paolo, turning to Virginia— 'Tis thoughts of you have sped me on my way; Virginia, dear, I seek your hand to-day.
[Paolo, taking Virginia's hands, looks into her eyes.]
Paolo— Deep in your eyes are glowing Lights that are soft and true; While in their centre mirrored Is the love that I feel for you.
Refrain— Though but reflections Mirrored in loving eyes, Such pretty fancies Deepen our glad surprise.
Love lights so true and tender, Framing my picture there, Rival in warmth and splendour Flashes from jewels rare.
Virginia— My love had wildly fluttered to be free, It beat its wings against the prison bars; But now I know it yearned but unto thee Of all beneath the sun and silent stars.
It sought with passion's ardency to reach Some haven wherein it could welcome rest; It only needed Cupid's dart to teach, The goal it sought for was within your breast.
[Paolo encircles Virginia with his arm]
Paolo— Your lips, for kisses ripe, In sweetest lines are laid; You lift your face to mine Unblushing, unafraid.
For love has confidence And nought but love repays The sweet confiding trust Your nestling touch conveys.