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The Yule Guest
by [?]

“With the stars white in heaven,
And peace upon the sea,
With all my world in your white arms
You gave yourself to me.

“For that one night, my Yanna,
Within the dying year,
Was it not well to love, and now
Can it be well to fear?”

“O Garvin, there is heartache
In tales that are half told;
But ah, thy cheek is pale to-night,
And thy poor hands are cold!

“Tell me the course, the voyage,
The ports, and the new stars;
Did the long rollers make green surf
On the white reefs and bars?”

“O Yanna, Adrianna,
Though easily I found
The set of those uncharted tides
In seas no line could sound,

“And made without a pilot
The port without a light,
No log keeps tally of the knots
That I have sailed to-night.

“It fell about mid-April;
The Trades were holding free;
We drove her till the scuppers hissed
And buried in the lee.

* * * * *

“O Yanna, Adrianna,
Loose hands and let me go!
The night grows red along the East,
And in the shifting snow

“I hear my shipmates calling,
Sent out to search for me
In the pale lands beneath the moon
Along the troubling sea.”

“O Garvin, bonny Garvin,
What is the booming sound
Of canvas, and the piping shrill,
As when a ship comes round?”

“It is the shadow boatswain
Piping his hands to bend
The looming sails on giant yards
Aboard the Nomansfriend.

“She sails for Sunken Harbor
And ports of yester year;
The tern are shrilling in the lift,
The low wind-gates are clear.

“O Yanna, Adrianna,
The little while is done.
Thou wilt behold the brightening sea
Freshen before the sun,

“And many a morning redden
The dark hill slopes of pine;
But I must sail hull-down to-night
Below the gray sea-line.

“I shall not hear the snowbirds
Their morning litany,
For when the dawn comes over dale
I must put out to sea.”

“O Garvin, bonny Garvin,
To have thee as I will,
I would that never more on earth
The dawn came over hill.”

* * * * *

Then on the snowy pillow,
Her hair about her face,
He laid her in the quiet room,
And wiped away all trace

Of tears from the poor eyelids
That were so sad for him,
And soothed her into sleep at last
As the great stars grew dim.

Tender as April twilight
He sang, and the song grew
Vague as the dreams which roam about
This world of dust and dew:

“O Yanna, Adrianna,
Dear Love, look forth to sea
And all year long until the yule,
Dear Heart, keep watch for me!

“O Yanna, Adrianna,
I hear the calling sea,
And the folk telling tales among
The hills where I would be.

“O Yanna, Adrianna,
Over the hills of sea
The wind calls and the morning comes,
And I must forth from thee.

“But Yanna, Adrianna,
Keep watch above the sea;
And when the weary time is o’er,
Dear Life, come back to me!”

“O Garvin, bonny Garvin–“
She murmurs in her dream,
And smiles a moment in her sleep
To hear the white gulls scream.

Then with the storm foreboding
Far in the dim gray South,
He kissed her not upon the cheek
Nor on the burning mouth,

But once above the forehead
Before he turned away;
And ere the morning light stole in,
That golden lock was gray.

“O Yanna, Adrianna–“
The wind moans to the sea;
And down the sluices of the dawn
A shadow drifts alee.