previous next

     Then, like that basket, flush with summer fruit,
Dropped by the angels at the Prophet's foot,
     Came, unannounced, a gift of clustered sweetness,
Full-orbed, and glowing with the prisoned beams
     Of summery suns, and rounded to completeness
By kisses of the south-wind and the dew.
     Thrilled with a glad surprise, me thought I knew
The pleasure of the homeward-turning Jew,
     When Eshcol's clusters on his shoulders lay,
Dropping their sweetness on his desert way.

I said, “This fruit beseems no world of sin.
     Its parent vine, rooted in Paradise,
O'ercrept the wall, and never paid the price
     Of the great mischief,—an ambrosial tree,
Eden's exotic, somehow smuggled in,
     To keep the thorns and thistles company.”
Perchance our frail, sad mother plucked in haste
     A single vine-slip as she passed the gate,
Where the dread sword alternate paled and burned,
     And the stern angel, pitying her fate,
Forgave the lovely trespasser, and turned
     Aside his face of fire; and thus the waste
And fallen world hath yet its annual taste
     Of primal good, to prove of sin the cost,
And show by one gleaned ear the mighty harvest lost.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Eden (Georgia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1854 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: