To O——, of Her Dark Eyes
Across what calm of tropic seas,
   ’Neath alien clusters of the nights,
Looked, in the past, such eyes as these?
   Long-quenched, relumed, ancestral lights!
The generations fostered them;
   And steadfast Nature, secretwise—
Thou seedling child of that old stem—
   Kindled anew thy dark-bright eyes.
Was it a century or two
   This lovely darkness rose and set,
Occluded by grey eyes and blue,
   And Nature feigning to forget?
Some grandam gave a hint of it—
   So cherished was it in thy race,
So fine a treasure to transmit
   In its perfection to thy face.
Some father to some mother’s breast
   Entrusted it, unknowing. Time
Implied, or made it manifest,
   Bequest of a forgotten clime.
Hereditary eyes! But this
   Is single, singular, apart:—
New-made thy love, new-made thy kiss,
   New-made thy errand to my heart.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created April 10, 2001; not revised.