New Poems - Robert Louis Stevenson - 1918 edition Scanned and proofed by David Price, email email@example.com
PRAYER LO! IN THINE HONEST EYES I READ THOUGH DEEP INDIFFERENCE SHOULD DROWSE MY HEART, WHEN FIRST THE BLACKBIRD SINGS I DREAMED OF FOREST ALLEYS FAIR ST. MARTIN'S SUMMER DEDICATION THE OLD CHIMAERAS, OLD RECEIPTS PRELUDE THE VANQUISHED KNIGHT TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF NORTHERN LIGHTS THE RELIC TAKEN, WHAT AVAILS THE SHRINE? ABOUT THE SHELTERED GARDEN GROUND AFTER READING "ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA" I KNOW NOT HOW, BUT AS I COUNT SPRING SONG THE SUMMER SUN SHONE ROUND ME YOU LOOKED SO TEMPTING IN THE PEW LOVE'S VICISSITUDES DUDDINGSTONE STOUT MARCHES LEAD TO CERTAIN ENDS AWAY WITH FUNERAL MUSIC TO SYDNEY HAD I THE POWER THAT HAVE THE WILL O DULL COLD NORTHERN SKY APOLOGETIC POSTSCRIPT OF A YEAR LATER TO MARCUS TO OTTILIE THIS GLOOMY NORTHERN DAY THE WIND IS WITHOUT THERE AND HOWLS IN THE TREES A VALENTINE'S SONG HAIL! CHILDISH SLAVES OF SOCIAL RULES SWALLOWS TRAVEL TO AND FRO TO MESDAMES ZASSETSKY AND GARSCHINE TO MADAME GARSCHINE MUSIC AT THE VILLA MARINA FEAR NOT, DEAR FRIEND, BUT FREELY LIVE YOUR DAYS LET LOVE GO, IF GO SHE WILL I DO NOT FEAR TO OWN ME KIN I AM LIKE ONE THAT FOR LONG DAYS HAD SATE VOLUNTARY ON NOW, ALTHOUGH THE YEAR BE DONE IN THE GREEN AND GALLANT SPRING DEATH, TO THE DEAD FOR EVERMORE TO CHARLES BAXTER I WHO ALL THE WINTER THROUGH LOVE, WHAT IS LOVE? SOON OUR FRIENDS PERISH AS ONE WHO HAVING WANDERED ALL NIGHT LONG STRANGE ARE THE WAYS OF MEN THE WIND BLEW SHRILL AND SMART MAN SAILS THE DEEP AWHILE THE COCK'S CLEAR VOICE INTO THE CLEARER AIR NOW WHEN THE NUMBER OF MY YEARS WHAT MAN MAY LEARN, WHAT MAN MAY DO SMALL IS THE TRUST WHEN LOVE IS GREEN KNOW YOU THE RIVER NEAR TO GREZ IT'S FORTH ACROSS THE ROARING FOAM AN ENGLISH BREEZE AS IN THEIR FLIGHT THE BIRDS OF SONG THE PIPER TO MRS. MACMARLAND TO MISS CORNISH TALES OF ARABIA BEHOLD, AS GOBLINS DARK OF MIEN STILL I LOVE TO RHYME LONG TIME I LAY IN LITTLE EASE FLOWER GOD, GOD OF THE SPRING COME, MY BELOVED, HEAR FROM ME SINCE YEARS AGO FOR EVERMORE ENVOY FOR "A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES" FOR RICHMOND'S GARDEN WALL HAIL, GUEST, AND ENTER FREELY! LO, NOW, MY GUEST SO LIVE, SO LOVE, SO USE THAT FRAGILE HOUR AD SE IPSUM BEFORE THIS LITTLE GIFT WAS COME GO, LITTLE BOOK - THE ANCIENT PHRASE MY LOVE WAS WARM DEDICATORY POEM FOR "UNDERWOODS" FAREWELL THE FAR-FARERS COME, MY LITTLE CHILDREN, HERE ARE SONGS FOR YOU HOME FROM THE DAISIED MEADOWS EARLY IN THE MORNING I HEAR ON YOUR PIANO FAIR ISLE AT SEA LOUD AND LOW IN THE CHIMNEY I LOVE TO BE WARM BY THE RED FIRESIDE AT LAST SHE COMES MINE EYES WERE SWIFT TO KNOW THEE FIXED IS THE DOOM MEN ARE HEAVEN'S PIERS THE ANGLER ROSE, HE TOOK HIS ROD SPRING CAROL TO WHAT SHALL I COMPARE HER WHEN THE SUN COMES AFTER RAIN LATE, O MILLER TO FRIENDS AT HOME I, WHOM APOLLO SOMETIME VISITED TEMPEST TOSSED AND SORE AFFLICTED VARIANT FORM OF THE PRECEDING POEM I NOW, O FRIEND, WHOM NOISELESSLY THE SNOWS SINCE THOU HAST GIVEN ME THIS GOOD HOPE, O GOD GOD GAVE TO ME A CHILD IN PART OVER THE LAND IS APRIL LIGHT AS THE LINNET ON MY WAY I START COMIC, HERE IS ADIEU TO THE CITY IT BLOWS A SNOWING GALE NE SIT ANCILLAE TIBI AMOR PUDOR TO ALL THAT LOVE THE FAR AND BLUE THOU STRAINEST THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN FERN TO ROSABELLE NOW BARE TO THE BEHOLDER'S EYE THE BOUR-TREE DEN SONNETS FRAGMENTS AIR OF DIABELLI'S EPITAPHIUM EROTII DE M. ANTONIO AD MAGISTRUM LUDI AD NEPOTEM IN CHARIDEMUM DE LIGURRA IN LUPUM AD QUINTILIANUM DE HORTIS JULII MARTIALIS AD MARTIALEM IN MAXIMUM AD OLUM DE COENATIONE MICAE DE EROTIO PUELLA AD PISCATOREM
I ASK good things that I detest, With speeches fair; Heed not, I pray Thee, Lord, my breast, But hear my prayer.
I say ill things I would not say - Things unaware: Regard my breast, Lord, in Thy day, And not my prayer.
My heart is evil in Thy sight: My good thoughts flee: O Lord, I cannot wish aright - Wish Thou for me.
O bend my words and acts to Thee, However ill, That I, whate'er I say or be, May serve Thee still.
O let my thoughts abide in Thee Lest I should fall: Show me Thyself in all I see, Thou Lord of all.
LO! IN THINE HONEST EYES I READ
LO! in thine honest eyes I read The auspicious beacon that shall lead, After long sailing in deep seas, To quiet havens in June ease.
Thy voice sings like an inland bird First by the seaworn sailor heard; And like road sheltered from life's sea Thine honest heart is unto me.
THOUGH DEEP INDIFFERENCE SHOULD DROWSE
THOUGH deep indifference should drowse The sluggish life beneath my brows, And all the external things I see Grow snow-showers in the street to me, Yet inmost in my stormy sense Thy looks shall be an influence.
Though other loves may come and go And long years sever us below, Shall the thin ice that grows above Freeze the deep centre-well of love? No, still below light amours, thou Shalt rule me as thou rul'st me now.
Year following year shall only set Fresh gems upon thy coronet; And Time, grown lover, shall delight To beautify thee in my sight; And thou shalt ever rule in me Crowned with the light of memory.
MY HEART, WHEN FIRST THE BLACK-BIRD SINGS
MY heart, when first the blackbird sings, My heart drinks in the song: Cool pleasure fills my bosom through And spreads each nerve along.
My bosom eddies quietly, My heart is stirred and cool As when a wind-moved briar sweeps A stone into a pool
But unto thee, when thee I meet, My pulses thicken fast, As when the maddened lake grows black And ruffles in the blast.
I DREAMED OF FOREST ALLEYS FAIR
I DREAMED of forest alleys fair And fields of gray-flowered grass, Where by the yellow summer moon My Jenny seemed to pass.
I dreamed the yellow summer moon, Behind a cedar wood, Lay white on fields of rippling grass Where I and Jenny stood.
I dreamed - but fallen through my dream, In a rainy land I lie Where wan wet morning crowns the hills Of grim reality.
I am as one that keeps awake All night in the month of June, That lies awake in bed to watch The trees and great white moon.
For memories of love are more Than the white moon there above, And dearer than quiet moonshine Are the thoughts of her I love.
Last night I lingered long without My last of loves to see. Alas! the moon-white window-panes Stared blindly back on me.
To-day I hold her very hand, Her very waist embrace - Like clouds across a pool, I read Her thoughts upon her face.
And yet, as now, through her clear eyes I seek the inner shrine - I stoop to read her virgin heart In doubt if it be mine -
O looking long and fondly thus, What vision should I see? No vision, but my own white face That grins and mimics me.
Once more upon the same old seat In the same sunshiny weather, The elm-trees' shadows at their feet And foliage move together.
The shadows shift upon the grass, The dial point creeps on; The clear sun shines, the loiterers pass, As then they passed and shone.
But now deep sleep is on my heart, Deep sleep and perfect rest. Hope's flutterings now disturb no more The quiet of my breast.
ST. MARTIN'S SUMMER
AS swallows turning backward When half-way o'er the sea, At one word's trumpet summons They came again to me - The hopes I had forgotten Came back again to me.
I know not which to credit, O lady of my heart! Your eyes that bade me linger, Your words that bade us part - I know not which to credit, My reason or my heart.
But be my hopes rewarded, Or be they but in vain, I have dreamed a golden vision, I have gathered in the grain - I have dreamed a golden vision, I have not lived in vain.
MY first gift and my last, to you I dedicate this fascicle of songs - The only wealth I have: Just as they are, to you.
I speak the truth in soberness, and say I had rather bring a light to your clear eyes, Had rather hear you praise This bosomful of songs
Than that the whole, hard world with one consent, In one continuous chorus of applause Poured forth for me and mine The homage of ripe praise.
I write the finis here against my love, This is my love's last epitaph and tomb. Here the road forks, and I Go my way, far from yours.
THE OLD CHIMAERAS, OLD RECEIPTS
THE old Chimaeras, old receipts For making "happy land," The old political beliefs Swam close before my hand.
The grand old communistic myths In a middle state of grace, Quite dead, but not yet gone to Hell, And walking for a space,
Quite dead, and looking it, and yet All eagerness to show The Social-Contract forgeries By Chatterton - Rousseau -
A hundred such as these I tried, And hundreds after that, I fitted Social Theories As one would fit a hat!
Full many a marsh-fire lured me on, I reached at many a star, I reached and grasped them and behold - The stump of a cigar!
All through the sultry sweltering day The sweat ran down my brow, The still plains heard my distant strokes That have been silenced now.
This way and that, now up, now down, I hailed full many a blow. Alas! beneath my weary arm The thicket seemed to grow.
I take the lesson, wipe my brow And throw my axe aside, And, sorely wearied, I go home In the tranquil eventide.
And soon the rising moon, that lights The eve of my defeat, Shall see me sitting as of yore By my old master's feet.
BY sunny market-place and street Wherever I go my drum I beat, And wherever I go in my coat of red The ribbons flutter about my head.
I seek recruits for wars to come - For slaughterless wars I beat the drum, And the shilling I give to each new ally Is hope to live and courage to die.
I know that new recruits shall come Wherever I beat the sounding drum, Till the roar of the march by country and town Shall shake the tottering Dagons down.
For I was objectless as they And loitering idly day by day; But whenever I heard the recruiters come, I left my all to follow the drum.
THE VANQUISHED KNIGHT
I HAVE left all upon the shameful field, Honour and Hope, my God, and all but life; Spurless, with sword reversed and dinted shield, Degraded and disgraced, I leave the strife.
From him that hath not, shall there not be taken E'en that he hath, when he deserts the strife? Life left by all life's benefits forsaken, O keep the promise, Lord, and take the life.
TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF NORTHERN LIGHTS
I SEND to you, commissioners, A paper that may please ye, sirs (For troth they say it might be worse An' I believe't) And on your business lay my curse Before I leav't.
I thocht I'd serve wi' you, sirs, yince, But I've thocht better of it since; The maitter I will nowise mince, But tell ye true: I'll service wi' some ither prince, An' no wi' you.
I've no been very deep, ye'll think, Cam' delicately to the brink An' when the water gart me shrink Straucht took the rue, An' didna stoop my fill to drink - I own it true.
I kent on cape and isle, a light Burnt fair an' clearly ilka night; But at the service I took fright, As sune's I saw, An' being still a neophite Gaed straucht awa'.
Anither course I now begin, The weeg I'll cairry for my sin, The court my voice shall echo in, An' - wha can tell? - Some ither day I may be yin O' you mysel'.
THE RELIC TAKEN, WHAT AVAILS THE SHRINE?
THE relic taken, what avails the shrine? The locket, pictureless? O heart of mine, Art thou not worse than that, Still warm, a vacant nest where love once sat?
Her image nestled closer at my heart Than cherished memories, healed every smart And warmed it more than wine Or the full summer sun in noon-day shine.
This was the little weather gleam that lit The cloudy promontories - the real charm was That gilded hills and woods And walked beside me thro' the solitudes.
The sun is set. My heart is widowed now Of that companion-thought. Alone I plough The seas of life, and trace A separate furrow far from her and grace.
ABOUT THE SHELTERED GARDEN GROUND
ABOUT the sheltered garden ground The trees stand strangely still. The vale ne'er seemed so deep before, Nor yet so high the hill.
An awful sense of quietness, A fulness of repose, Breathes from the dewy garden-lawns, The silent garden rows.
As the hoof-beats of a troop of horse Heard far across a plain, A nearer knowledge of great thoughts Thrills vaguely through my brain.
I lean my head upon my arm, My heart's too full to think; Like the roar of seas, upon my heart Doth the morning stillness sink.
AFTER READING "ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA"
AS when the hunt by holt and field Drives on with horn and strife, Hunger of hopeless things pursues Our spirits throughout life.
The sea's roar fills us aching full Of objectless desire - The sea's roar, and the white moon-shine, And the reddening of the fire.
Who talks to me of reason now? It would be more delight To have died in Cleopatra's arms Than be alive to-night.
I KNOW NOT HOW, BUT AS I COUNT
I KNOW not how, but as I count The beads of former years, Old laughter catches in my throat With the very feel of tears.
THE air was full of sun and birds, The fresh air sparkled clearly. Remembrance wakened in my heart And I knew I loved her dearly.
The fallows and the leafless trees And all my spirit tingled. My earliest thought of love, and Spring's First puff of perfume mingled.
In my still heart the thoughts awoke, Came lone by lone together - Say, birds and Sun and Spring, is Love A mere affair of weather?
THE SUMMER SUN SHONE ROUND ME
THE summer sun shone round me, The folded valley lay In a stream of sun and odour, That sultry summer day.
The tall trees stood in the sunlight As still as still could be, But the deep grass sighed and rustled And bowed and beckoned me.
The deep grass moved and whispered And bowed and brushed my face. It whispered in the sunshine: "The winter comes apace."
YOU LOOKED SO TEMPTING IN THE PEW
YOU looked so tempting in the pew, You looked so sly and calm - My trembling fingers played with yours As both looked out the Psalm.
Your heart beat hard against my arm, My foot to yours was set, Your loosened ringlet burned my cheek Whenever they two met.
O little, little we hearkened, dear, And little, little cared, Although the parson sermonised, The congregation stared.
AS Love and Hope together Walk by me for a while, Link-armed the ways they travel For many a pleasant mile - Link-armed and dumb they travel, They sing not, but they smile.
Hope leaving, Love commences To practise on the lute; And as he sings and travels With lingering, laggard foot, Despair plays obligato The sentimental flute.
Until in singing garments Comes royally, at call - Comes limber-hipped Indiff'rence Free stepping, straight and tall - Comes singing and lamenting, The sweetest pipe of all.
WITH caws and chirrupings, the woods In this thin sun rejoice. The Psalm seems but the little kirk That sings with its own voice.
The cloud-rifts share their amber light With the surface of the mere - I think the very stones are glad To feel each other near.
Once more my whole heart leaps and swells And gushes o'er with glee; The fingers of the sun and shade Touch music stops in me.
Now fancy paints that bygone day When you were here, my fair - The whole lake rang with rapid skates In the windless winter air.
You leaned to me, I leaned to you, Our course was smooth as flight - We steered - a heel-touch to the left, A heel-touch to the right.
We swung our way through flying men, Your hand lay fast in mine: We saw the shifting crowd dispart, The level ice-reach shine.
I swear by yon swan-travelled lake, By yon calm hill above, I swear had we been drowned that day We had been drowned in love.
STOUT MARCHES LEAD TO CERTAIN ENDS
STOUT marches lead to certain ends, We seek no Holy Grail, my friends - That dawn should find us every day Some fraction farther on our way.
The dumb lands sleep from east to west, They stretch and turn and take their rest. The cock has crown in the steading-yard, But priest and people slumber hard.
We two are early forth, and hear The nations snoring far and near. So peacefully their rest they take, It seems we are the first awake!
- Strong heart! this is no royal way, A thousand cross-roads seek the day; And, hid from us, to left and right, A thousand seekers seek the light.
AWAY WITH FUNERAL MUSIC
AWAY with funeral music - set The pipe to powerful lips - The cup of life's for him that drinks And not for him that sips.
NOT thine where marble-still and white Old statues share the tempered light And mock the uneven modern flight, But in the stream Of daily sorrow and delight To seek a theme.
I too, O friend, have steeled my heart Boldly to choose the better part, To leave the beaten ways of art, And wholly free To dare, beyond the scanty chart, The deeper sea.
All vain restrictions left behind, Frail bark! I loose my anchored mind And large, before the prosperous wind Desert the strand - A new Columbus sworn to find The morning land.
Nor too ambitious, friend. To thee I own my weakness. Not for me To sing the enfranchised nations' glee, Or count the cost Of warships foundered far at sea And battles lost.
High on the far-seen, sunny hills, Morning-content my bosom fills; Well-pleased, I trace the wandering rills And learn their birth. Far off, the clash of sovereign wills May shake the earth.
The nimble circuit of the wheel, The uncertain poise of merchant weal, Heaven of famine, fire and steel When nations fall; These, heedful, from afar I feel - I mark them all.
But not, my friend, not these I sing, My voice shall fill a narrower ring. Tired souls, that flag upon the wing, I seek to cheer: Brave wines to strengthen hope I bring, Life's cantineer!
Some song that shall be suppling oil To weary muscles strained with toil, Shall hearten for the daily moil, Or widely read Make sweet for him that tills the soil His daily bread.
Such songs in my flushed hours I dream (High thought) instead of armour gleam Or warrior cantos ream by ream To load the shelves - Songs with a lilt of words, that seem To sing themselves.
HAD I THE POWER THAT HAVE THE WILL
HAD I the power that have the will, The enfeebled will - a modern curse - This book of mine should blossom still A perfect garden-ground of verse.
White placid marble gods should keep Good watch in every shadowy lawn; And from clean, easy-breathing sleep The birds should waken me at dawn.
- A fairy garden; - none the less Throughout these gracious paths of mine All day there should be free access For stricken hearts and lives that pine;
And by the folded lawns all day - No idle gods for such a land - All active Love should take its way With active Labour hand in hand.
O DULL COLD NORTHERN SKY
O DULL cold northern sky, O brawling sabbath bells, O feebly twittering Autumn bird that tells The year is like to die!
O still, spoiled trees, O city ways, O sun desired in vain, O dread presentiment of coming rain That cloys the sullen days!
Thee, heart of mine, I greet. In what hard mountain pass Striv'st thou? In what importunate morass Sink now thy weary feet?
Thou run'st a hopeless race To win despair. No crown Awaits success, but leaden gods look down On thee, with evil face.
And those that would befriend And cherish thy defeat, With angry welcome shall turn sour the sweet Home-coming of the end.
Yea, those that offer praise To idleness, shall yet Insult thee, coming glorious in the sweat Of honourable ways.
APOLOGETIC POSTSCRIPT OF A YEAR LATER
IF you see this song, my dear, And last year's toast, I'm confoundedly in fear You'll be serious and severe About the boast.
Blame not that I sought such aid To cure regret. I was then so lowly laid I used all the Gasconnade That I could get.
Being snubbed is somewhat smart, Believe, my sweet; And I needed all my art To restore my broken heart To its conceit.
Come and smile, dear, and forget I boasted so, I apologise - regret - It was all a jest; - and - yet - I do not know.
YOU have been far, and I Been farther yet, Since last, in foul or fair An impecunious pair, Below this northern sky Of ours, we met.
Now winter night shall see Again us two, While howls the tempest higher, Sit warmly by the fire And dream and plan, as we Were wont to do.
And, hand in hand, at large Our thoughts shall walk While storm and gusty rain, Again and yet again, Shall drive their noisy charge Across the talk.
The pleasant future still Shall smile to me, And hope with wooing hands Wave on to fairy lands All over dale and hill And earth and sea.
And you who doubt the sky And fear the sun - You - Christian with the pack - You shall not wander back For I am Hopeful - I Will cheer you on.
Come - where the great have trod, The great shall lead - Come, elbow through the press, Pluck Fortune by the dress - By God, we must - by God, We shall succeed.
YOU remember, I suppose, How the August sun arose, And how his face Woke to trill and carolette All the cages that were set About the place.
In the tender morning light All around lay strange and bright And still and sweet, And the gray doves unafraid Went their morning promenade Along the street.
THIS GLOOMY NORTHERN DAY
THIS gloomy northern day, Or this yet gloomier night, Has moved a something high In my cold heart; and I, That do not often pray, Would pray to-night.
And first on Thee I call For bread, O God of might! Enough of bread for all, - That through the famished town Cold hunger may lie down With none to-night.
I pray for hope no less, Strong-sinewed hope, O Lord, That to the struggling young May preach with brazen tongue Stout Labour, high success, And bright reward.
And last, O Lord, I pray For hearts resigned and bold To trudge the dusty way - Hearts stored with song and joke And warmer than a cloak Against the cold.
If nothing else he had, He who has this, has all. This comforts under pain; This, through the stinging rain, Keeps ragamuffin glad Behind the wall.
This makes the sanded inn A palace for a Prince, And this, when griefs begin And cruel fate annoys, Can bring to mind the joys Of ages since.
THE WIND IS WITHOUT THERE AND HOWLS IN THE TREES
THE wind is without there and howls in the trees, And the rain-flurries drum on the glass: Alone by the fireside with elbows on knees I can number the hours as they pass. Yet now, when to cheer me the crickets begin, And my pipe is just happily lit, Believe me, my friend, tho' the evening draws in, That not all uncontested I sit.
Alone, did I say? O no, nowise alone With the Past sitting warm on my knee, To gossip of days that are over and gone, But still charming to her and to me. With much to be glad of and much to deplore, Yet, as these days with those we compare, Believe me, my friend, tho' the sorrows seem more They are somehow more easy to bear.
And thou, faded Future, uncertain and frail, As I cherish thy light in each draught, His lamp is not more to the miner - their sail Is not more to the crew on the raft. For Hope can make feeble ones earnest and brave, And, as forth thro' the years I look on, Believe me, my friend, between this and the grave, I see wonderful things to be done.
To do or to try; and, believe me, my friend, If the call should come early for me, I can leave these foundations uprooted, and tend For some new city over the sea. To do or to try; and if failure be mine, And if Fortune go cross to my plan, Believe me, my friend, tho' I mourn the design I shall never lament for the man.
A VALENTINE'S SONG
MOTLEY I count the only wear That suits, in this mixed world, the truly wise, Who boldly smile upon despair And shake their bells in Grandam Grundy's eyes. Singers should sing with such a goodly cheer That the bare listening should make strong like wine, At this unruly time of year, The Feast of Valentine.
We do not now parade our "oughts" And "shoulds" and motives and beliefs in God. Their life lies all indoors; sad thoughts Must keep the house, while gay thoughts go abroad, Within we hold the wake for hopes deceased; But in the public streets, in wind or sun, Keep open, at the annual feast, The puppet-booth of fun.
Our powers, perhaps, are small to please, But even negro-songs and castanettes, Old jokes and hackneyed repartees Are more than the parade of vain regrets. Let Jacques stand Wert(h)ering by the wounded deer - We shall make merry, honest friends of mine, At this unruly time of year, The Feast of Valentine.
I know how, day by weary day, Hope fades, love fades, a thousand pleasures fade. I have not trudged in vain that way On which life's daylight darkens, shade by shade. And still, with hopes decreasing, griefs increased, Still, with what wit I have shall I, for one, Keep open, at the annual feast, The puppet-booth of fun.
I care not if the wit be poor, The old worn motley stained with rain and tears, If but the courage still endure That filled and strengthened hope in earlier years; If still, with friends averted, fate severe, A glad, untainted cheerfulness be mine To greet the unruly time of year, The Feast of Valentine.
Priest, I am none of thine, and see In the perspective of still hopeful youth That Truth shall triumph over thee - Truth to one's self - I know no other truth. I see strange days for thee and thine, O priest, And how your doctrines, fallen one by one, Shall furnish at the annual feast The puppet-booth of fun.
Stand on your putrid ruins - stand, White neck-clothed bigot, fixedly the same, Cruel with all things but the hand, Inquisitor in all things but the name. Back, minister of Christ and source of fear - We cherish freedom - back with thee and thine From this unruly time of year, The Feast of Valentine.
Blood thou mayest spare; but what of tears? But what of riven households, broken faith - Bywords that cling through all men's years And drag them surely down to shame and death? Stand back, O cruel man, O foe of youth, And let such men as hearken not thy voice Press freely up the road to truth, The King's highway of choice.
HAIL! CHILDISH SLAVES OF SOCIAL RULES
HAIL! Childish slaves of social rules You had yourselves a hand in making! How I could shake your faith, ye fools, If but I thought it worth the shaking. I see, and pity you; and then Go, casting off the idle pity, In search of better, braver men, My own way freely through the city.
My own way freely, and not yours; And, careless of a town's abusing, Seek real friendship that endures Among the friends of my own choosing. I'll choose my friends myself, do you hear? And won't let Mrs. Grundy do it, Tho' all I honour and hold dear And all I hope should move me to it.
I take my old coat from the shelf - I am a man of little breeding. And only dress to please myself - I own, a very strange proceeding. I smoke a pipe abroad, because To all cigars I much prefer it, And as I scorn your social laws My choice has nothing to deter it.
Gladly I trudge the footpath way, While you and yours roll by in coaches In all the pride of fine array, Through all the city's thronged approaches. O fine religious, decent folk, In Virtue's flaunting gold and scarlet, I sneer between two puffs of smoke, - Give me the publican and harlot.
Ye dainty-spoken, stiff, severe Seed of the migrated Philistian, One whispered question in your ear - Pray, what was Christ, if you be Christian? If Christ were only here just now, Among the city's wynds and gables Teaching the life he taught us, how Would he be welcome to your tables?
I go and leave your logic-straws, Your former-friends with face averted, Your petty ways and narrow laws, Your Grundy and your God, deserted. From your frail ark of lies, I flee I know not where, like Noah's raven. Full to the broad, unsounded sea I swim from your dishonest haven.
Alone on that unsounded deep, Poor waif, it may be I shall perish, Far from the course I thought to keep, Far from the friends I hoped to cherish. It may be that I shall sink, and yet Hear, thro' all taunt and scornful laughter, Through all defeat and all regret, The stronger swimmers coming after.
SWALLOWS TRAVEL TO AND FRO
SWALLOWS travel to and fro, And the great winds come and go, And the steady breezes blow, Bearing perfume, bearing love. Breezes hasten, swallows fly, Towered clouds forever ply, And at noonday, you and I See the same sunshine above.
Dew and rain fall everywhere, Harvests ripen, flowers are fair, And the whole round earth is bare To the moonshine and the sun; And the live air, fanned with wings, Bright with breeze and sunshine, brings Into contact distant things, And makes all the countries one.
Let us wander where we will, Something kindred greets us still; Something seen on vale or hill Falls familiar on the heart; So, at scent or sound or sight, Severed souls by day and night Tremble with the same delight - Tremble, half the world apart.
TO MESDAMES ZASSETSKY AND GARSCHINE
THE wind may blaw the lee-gang way And aye the lift be mirk an' gray, An deep the moss and steigh the brae Where a' maun gang - There's still an hoor in ilka day For luve and sang.
And canty hearts are strangely steeled. By some dikeside they'll find a bield, Some couthy neuk by muir or field They're sure to hit, Where, frae the blatherin' wind concealed, They'll rest a bit.
An' weel for them if kindly fate Send ower the hills to them a mate; They'll crack a while o' kirk an' State, O' yowes an' rain: An' when it's time to take the gate, Tak' ilk his ain.
- Sic neuk beside the southern sea I soucht - sic place o' quiet lee Frae a' the winds o' life. To me, Fate, rarely fair, Had set a freendly company To meet me there.
Kindly by them they gart me sit, An' blythe was I to bide a bit. Licht as o' some hame fireside lit My life for me. - Ower early maun I rise an' quit This happy lee.
TO MADAME GARSCHINE
WHAT is the face, the fairest face, till Care, Till Care the graver - Care with cunning hand, Etches content thereon and makes it fair, Or constancy, and love, and makes it grand?
MUSIC AT THE VILLA MARINA
FOR some abiding central source of power, Strong-smitten steady chords, ye seem to flow And, flowing, carry virtue. Far below, The vain tumultuous passions of the hour Fleet fast and disappear; and as the sun Shines on the wake of tempests, there is cast O'er all the shattered ruins of my past A strong contentment as of battles won.
And yet I cry in anguish, as I hear The long drawn pageant of your passage roll Magnificently forth into the night. To yon fair land ye come from, to yon sphere Of strength and love where now ye shape your flight, O even wings of music, bear my soul!
Ye have the power, if but ye had the will, Strong-smitten steady chords in sequence grand, To bear me forth into that tranquil land Where good is no more ravelled up with ill; Where she and I, remote upon some hill Or by some quiet river's windless strand, May live, and love, and wander hand in hand, And follow nature simply, and be still.
From this grim world, where, sadly, prisoned, we Sit bound with others' heart-strings as with chains, And, if one moves, all suffer, - to that Goal, If such a land, if such a sphere, there be, Thither, from life and all life's joys and pains, O even wings of music, bear my soul!
FEAR NOT, DEAR FRIEND, BUT FREELY LIVE YOUR DAYS
FEAR not, dear friend, but freely live your days Though lesser lives should suffer. Such am I, A lesser life, that what is his of sky Gladly would give for you, and what of praise. Step, without trouble, down the sunlit ways. We that have touched your raiment, are made whole From all the selfish cankers of man's soul, And we would see you happy, dear, or die. Therefore be brave, and therefore, dear, be free; Try all things resolutely, till the best, Out of all lesser betters, you shall find; And we, who have learned greatness from you, we, Your lovers, with a still, contented mind, See you well anchored in some port of rest.
LET LOVE GO, IF GO SHE WILL
LET love go, if go she will. Seek not, O fool, her wanton flight to stay. Of all she gives and takes away The best remains behind her still.
The best remains behind; in vain Joy she may give and take again, Joy she may take and leave us pain, If yet she leave behind The constant mind To meet all fortunes nobly, to endure All things with a good heart, and still be pure, Still to be foremost in the foremost cause, And still be worthy of the love that was. Love coming is omnipotent indeed, But not Love going. Let her go. The seed Springs in the favouring Summer air, and grows, And waxes strong; and when the Summer goes, Remains, a perfect tree.
Joy she may give and take again, Joy she may take and leave us pain. O Love, and what care we? For one thing thou hast given, O Love, one thing Is ours that nothing can remove; And as the King discrowned is still a King, The unhappy lover still preserves his love.
I DO NOT FEAR TO OWN ME KIN
I DO not fear to own me kin To the glad clods in which spring flowers begin; Or to my brothers, the great trees, That speak with pleasant voices in the breeze, Loud talkers with the winds that pass; Or to my sister, the deep grass.
Of such I am, of such my body is, That thrills to reach its lips to kiss. That gives and takes with wind and sun and rain And feels keen pleasure to the point of pain.
Of such are these, The brotherhood of stalwart trees, The humble family of flowers, That make a light of shadowy bowers Or star the edges of the bent: They give and take sweet colour and sweet scent; They joy to shed themselves abroad; And tree and flower and grass and sod Thrill and leap and live and sing With silent voices in the Spring.
Hence I not fear to yield my breath, Since all is still unchanged by death; Since in some pleasant valley I may be, Clod beside clod, or tree by tree, Long ages hence, with her I love this hour; And feel a lively joy to share With her the sun and rain and air, To taste her quiet neighbourhood As the dumb things of field and wood, The clod, the tree, and starry flower, Alone of all things have the power.
I AM LIKE ONE THAT FOR LONG DAYS HAD SATE
I AM like one that for long days had sate, With seaward eyes set keen against the gale, On some lone foreland, watching sail by sail, The portbound ships for one ship that was late; And sail by sail, his heart burned up with joy, And cruelly was quenched, until at last One ship, the looked-for pennant at its mast, Bore gaily, and dropt safely past the buoy; And lo! the loved one was not there - was dead. Then would he watch no more; no more the sea With myriad vessels, sail by sail, perplex His eyes and mock his longing. Weary head, Take now thy rest; eyes, close; for no more me Shall hopes untried elate, or ruined vex.
For thus on love I waited; thus for love Strained all my senses eagerly and long; Thus for her coming ever trimmed my song; Till in the far skies coloured as a dove, A bird gold-coloured flickered far and fled Over the pathless waterwaste for me; And with spread hands I watched the bright bird flee And waited, till before me she dropped dead. O golden bird in these dove-coloured skies How long I sought, how long with wearied eyes I sought, O bird, the promise of thy flight! And now the morn has dawned, the morn has died, The day has come and gone; and once more night About my lone life settles, wild and wide.
HERE in the quiet eve My thankful eyes receive The quiet light. I see the trees stand fair Against the faded air, And star by star prepare The perfect night.
And in my bosom, lo! Content and quiet grow Toward perfect peace. And now when day is done, Brief day of wind and sun, The pure stars, one by one, Their troop increase.
Keen pleasure and keen grief Give place to great relief: Farewell my tears! Still sounds toward me float; I hear the bird's small note, Sheep from the far sheepcote, And lowing steers.
For lo! the war is done, Lo, now the battle won, The trumpets still. The shepherd's slender strain, The country sounds again Awake in wood and plain, On haugh and hill.
Loud wars and loud loves cease. I welcome my release; And hail once more Free foot and way world-wide. And oft at eventide Light love to talk beside The hostel door.
ON NOW, ALTHOUGH THE YEAR BE DONE
ON now, although the year be done, Now, although the love be dead, Dead and gone; Hear me, O loved and cherished one, Give me still the hand that led, Led me on.
IN THE GREEN AND GALLANT SPRING
IN the green and gallant Spring, Love and the lyre I thought to sing, And kisses sweet to give and take By the flowery hawthorn brake.
Now is russet Autumn here, Death and the grave and winter drear, And I must ponder here aloof While the rain is on the roof.
DEATH, TO THE DEAD FOR EVERMORE
DEATH, to the dead for evermore A King, a God, the last, the best of friends - Whene'er this mortal journey ends Death, like a host, comes smiling to the door; Smiling, he greets us, on that tranquil shore Where neither piping bird nor peeping dawn Disturbs the eternal sleep, But in the stillness far withdrawn Our dreamless rest for evermore we keep.
For as from open windows forth we peep Upon the night-time star beset And with dews for ever wet; So from this garish life the spirit peers; And lo! as a sleeping city death outspread, Where breathe the sleepers evenly; and lo! After the loud wars, triumphs, trumpets, tears And clamour of man's passion, Death appears, And we must rise and go.
Soon are eyes tired with sunshine; soon the ears Weary of utterance, seeing all is said; Soon, racked by hopes and fears, The all-pondering, all-contriving head, Weary with all things, wearies of the years; And our sad spirits turn toward the dead; And the tired child, the body, longs for bed.
TO CHARLES BAXTER
ON THE DEATH OF THEIR COMMON FRIEND, MR. JOHN ADAM, CLERK OF COURT.
OUR Johnie's deid. The mair's the pity! He's deid, an' deid o' Aqua-vitae. O Embro', you're a shrunken city, Noo Johnie's deid! Tak hands, an' sing a burial ditty Ower Johnie's heid.
To see him was baith drink an' meat, Gaun linkin' glegly up the street. He but to rin or tak a seat, The wee bit body! Bein' aye unsicken on his feet Wi' whusky toddy.
To be aye tosh was Johnie's whim, There's nane was better teut than him, Though whiles his gravit-knot wad clim' Ahint his ear, An' whiles he'd buttons oot or in The less ae mair.
His hair a' lang about his bree, His tap-lip lang by inches three - A slockened sort 'mon,' to pree A' sensuality - A droutly glint was in his e'e An' personality.
An' day an' nicht, frae daw to daw, Dink an' perjink an' doucely braw, Wi' a kind o' Gospel ower a', May or October, Like Peden, followin' the Law An' no that sober.
Whusky an' he were pack thegether. Whate'er the hour, whate'er the weather, John kept himsel' wi' mistened leather An' kindled spunk. Wi' him, there was nae askin' whether - John was aye drunk.
The auncient heroes gash an' bauld In the uncanny days of auld, The task ance fo(u)nd to which th'were called, Stack stenchly to it. His life sic noble lives recalled, Little's he knew it.
Single an' straucht, he went his way. He kept the faith an' played the play. Whusky an' he were man an' may Whate'er betided. Bonny in life - in death - this twae Were no' divided.
An' wow! but John was unco sport. Whiles he wad smile about the Court Malvolio-like - whiles snore an' snort Was heard afar. The idle winter lads' resort Was aye John's bar.
What's merely humorous or bonny The Worl' regairds wi' cauld astony. Drunk men tak' aye mair place than ony; An' sae, ye see, The gate was aye ower thrang for Johnie - Or you an' me.
John micht hae jingled cap an' bells, Been a braw fule in silks an' pells, In ane o' the auld worl's canty hells Paris or Sodom. I wadnae had him naething else But Johnie Adam.
He suffered - as have a' that wan Eternal memory frae man, Since e'er the weary worl' began - Mister or Madam, Keats or Scots Burns, the Spanish Don Or Johnie Adam.
We leuch, an' Johnie deid. An' fegs! Hoo he had keept his stoiterin' legs Sae lang's he did's a fact that begs An explanation. He stachers fifty years - syne plegs To's destination.
I WHO ALL THE WINTER THROUGH
I WHO all the winter through Cherished other loves than you, And kept hands with hoary policy in marriage-bed and pew; Now I know the false and true, For the earnest sun looks through, And my old love comes to meet me in the dawning and the dew.
Now the hedged meads renew Rustic odour, smiling hue, And the clean air shines and tinkles as the world goes wheeling through; And my heart springs up anew, Bright and confident and true, And my old love comes to meet me in the dawning and the dew.
LOVE, WHAT IS LOVE?
LOVE - what is love? A great and aching heart; Wrung hands; and silence; and a long despair. Life - what is life? Upon a moorland bare To see love coming and see love depart.
SOON OUR FRIENDS PERISH
SOON our friends perish, Soon all we cherish Fades as days darken - goes as flowers go. Soon in December Over an ember, Lonely we hearken, as loud winds blow.
AS ONE WHO HAVING WANDERED ALL NIGHT LONG
AS one who having wandered all night long In a perplexed forest, comes at length In the first hours, about the matin song, And when the sun uprises in his strength, To the fringed margin of the wood, and sees, Gazing afar before him, many a mile Of falling country, many fields and trees, And cities and bright streams and far-off Ocean's smile:
I, O Melampus, halting, stand at gaze: I, liberated, look abroad on life, Love, and distress, and dusty travelling ways, The steersman's helm, the surgeon's helpful knife, On the lone ploughman's earth-upturning share, The revelry of cities and the sound Of seas, and mountain-tops aloof in air, And of the circling earth the unsupported round:
I, looking, wonder: I, intent, adore; And, O Melampus, reaching forth my hands In adoration, cry aloud and soar In spirit, high above the supine lands And the low caves of mortal things, and flee To the last fields of the universe untrod, Where is no man, nor any earth, nor sea, And the contented soul is all alone with God.
STRANGE ARE THE WAYS OF MEN
STRANGE are the ways of men, And strange the ways of God! We tread the mazy paths That all our fathers trod.
We tread them undismayed, And undismayed behold The portents of the sky, The things that were of old.
The fiery stars pursue Their course in heav'n on high; And round the 'leaguered town, Crest-tossing heroes cry.
Crest-tossing heroes cry; And martial fifes declare How small, to mortal minds, Is merely mortal care.
And to the clang of steel And cry of piercing flute Upon the azure peaks A God shall plant his foot:
A God in arms shall stand, And seeing wide and far The green and golden earth, The killing tide of war,
He, with uplifted arm, Shall to the skies proclaim The gleeful fate of man, The noble road to fame!
THE WIND BLEW SHRILL AND SMART
THE wind blew shrill and smart, And the wind awoke my heart Again to go a-sailing o'er the sea, To hear the cordage moan And the straining timbers groan, And to see the flying pennon lie a-lee.
O sailor of the fleet, It is time to stir the feet! It's time to man the dingy and to row! It's lay your hand in mine And it's empty down the wine, And it's drain a health to death before we go!
To death, my lads, we sail; And it's death that blows the gale And death that holds the tiller as we ride. For he's the king of all In the tempest and the squall, And the ruler of the Ocean wild and wide!
MAN SAILS THE DEEP AWHILE
MAN sails the deep awhile; Loud runs the roaring tide; The seas are wild and wide; O'er many a salt, o'er many a desert mile, The unchained breakers ride, The quivering stars beguile.
Hope bears the sole command; Hope, with unshaken eyes, Sees flaw and storm arise; Hope, the good steersman, with unwearying hand, Steers, under changing skies, Unchanged toward the land.
O wind that bravely blows! O hope that sails with all Where stars and voices call! O ship undaunted that forever goes Where God, her admiral, His battle signal shows!
What though the seas and wind Far on the deep should whelm Colours and sails and helm? There, too, you touch that port that you designed - There, in the mid-seas' realm, Shall you that haven find.
Well hast thou sailed: now die, To die is not to sleep. Still your true course you keep, O sailor soul, still sailing for the sky; And fifty fathom deep Your colours still shall fly.
THE COCK'S CLEAR VOICE INTO THE CLEARER AIR
THE cock's clear voice into the clearer air Where westward far I roam, Mounts with a thrill of hope, Falls with a sigh of home.
A rural sentry, he from farm and field The coming morn descries, And, mankind's bugler, wakes The camp of enterprise.
He sings the morn upon the westward hills Strange and remote and wild; He sings it in the land Where once I was a child.
He brings to me dear voices of the past, The old land and the years: My father calls for me, My weeping spirit hears.
Fife, fife, into the golden air, O bird, And sing the morning in; For the old days are past And new days begin.
NOW WHEN THE NUMBER OF MY YEARS
NOW when the number of my years Is all fulfilled, and I From sedentary life Shall rouse me up to die, Bury me low and let me lie Under the wide and starry sky. Joying to live, I joyed to die, Bury me low and let me lie.
Clear was my soul, my deeds were free, Honour was called my name, I fell not back from fear Nor followed after fame. Bury me low and let me lie Under the wide and starry sky. Joying to live, I joyed to die, Bury me low and let me lie.
Bury me low in valleys green And where the milder breeze Blows fresh along the stream, Sings roundly in the trees - Bury me low and let me lie Under the wide and starry sky. Joying to live, I joyed to die, Bury me low and let me lie.
WHAT MAN MAY LEARN, WHAT MAN MAY DO
WHAT man may learn, what man may do, Of right or wrong of false or true, While, skipper-like, his course he steers Through nine and twenty mingled years, Half misconceived and half forgot, So much I know and practise not.
Old are the words of wisdom, old The counsels of the wise and bold: To close the ears, to check the tongue, To keep the pining spirit young; To act the right, to say the true, And to be kind whate'er you do.
Thus we across the modern stage Follow the wise of every age; And, as oaks grow and rivers run Unchanged in the unchanging sun, So the eternal march of man Goes forth on an eternal plan.
SMALL IS THE TRUST WHEN LOVE IS GREEN
SMALL is the trust when love is green In sap of early years; A little thing steps in between And kisses turn to tears.
Awhile - and see how love be grown In loveliness and power! Awhile, it loves the sweets alone, But next it loves the sour.
A little love is none at all That wanders or that fears; A hearty love dwells still at call To kisses or to tears.
Such then be mine, my love to give, And such be yours to take:- A faith to hold, a life to live, For lovingkindness' sake:
Should you be sad, should you be gay, Or should you prove unkind, A love to hold the growing way And keep the helping mind:-
A love to turn the laugh on care When wrinkled care appears, And, with an equal will, to share Your losses and your tears.
KNOW YOU THE RIVER NEAR TO GREZ
KNOW you the river near to Grez, A river deep and clear? Among the lilies all the way, That ancient river runs to-day From snowy weir to weir.
Old as the Rhine of great renown, She hurries clear and fast, She runs amain by field and town From south to north, from up to down, To present on from past.
The love I hold was borne by her; And now, though far away, My lonely spirit hears the stir Of water round the starling spur Beside the bridge at Grez.
So may that love forever hold In life an equal pace; So may that love grow never old, But, clear and pure and fountain-cold, Go on from grace to grace.
IT'S FORTH ACROSS THE ROARING FOAM
IT'S forth across the roaring foam, and on towards the west, It's many a lonely league from home, o'er many a mountain crest, From where the dogs of Scotland call the sheep around the fold, To where the flags are flying beside the Gates of Gold.
Where all the deep-sea galleons ride that come to bring the corn, Where falls the fog at eventide and blows the breeze at morn; It's there that I was sick and sad, alone and poor and cold, In yon distressful city beside the Gates of Gold.
I slept as one that nothing knows; but far along my way, Before the morning God rose and planned the coming day; Afar before me forth he went, as through the sands of old, And chose the friends to help me beside the Gates of Gold.
I have been near, I have been far, my back's been at the wall, Yet aye and ever shone the star to guide me through it all: The love of God, the help of man, they both shall make me bold Against the gates of darkness as beside the Gates of Gold.
AN ENGLISH BREEZE
UP with the sun, the breeze arose, Across the talking corn she goes, And smooth she rustles far and wide Through all the voiceful countryside.
Through all the land her tale she tells; She spins, she tosses, she compels The kites, the clouds, the windmill sails And all the trees in all the dales.
God calls us, and the day prepares With nimble, gay and gracious airs: And from Penzance to Maidenhead The roads last night He watered.
God calls us from inglorious ease, Forth and to travel with the breeze While, swift and singing, smooth and strong She gallops by the fields along.
AS IN THEIR FLIGHT THE BIRDS OF SONG
AS in their flight the birds of song Halt here and there in sweet and sunny dales, But halt not overlong; The time one rural song to sing They pause; then following bounteous gales Steer forward on the wing: Sun-servers they, from first to last, Upon the sun they wait To ride the sailing blast.
So he awhile in our contested state, Awhile abode, not longer, for his Sun - Mother we say, no tenderer name we know - With whose diviner glow His early days had shone, Now to withdraw her radiance had begun. Or lest a wrong I say, not she withdrew, But the loud stream of men day after day And great dust columns of the common way Between them grew and grew: And he and she for evermore might yearn, But to the spring the rivulets not return Nor to the bosom comes the child again.
And he (O may we fancy so!), He, feeling time forever flow And flowing bear him forth and far away From that dear ingle where his life began And all his treasure lay - He, waxing into man, And ever farther, ever closer wound In this obstreperous world's ignoble round, From that poor prospect turned his face away.
AGAIN I hear you piping, for I know the tune so well, - You rouse the heart to wander and be free, Tho' where you learned your music, not the God of song can tell, For you pipe the open highway and the sea. O piper, lightly footing, lightly piping on your way, Tho' your music thrills and pierces far and near, I tell you you had better pipe to someone else to-day, For you cannot pipe my fancy from my dear.
You sound the note of travel through the hamlet and the town; You would lure the holy angels from on high; And not a man can hear you, but he throws the hammer down And is off to see the countries ere he die. But now no more I wander, now unchanging here I stay; By my love, you find me safely sitting here: And pipe you ne'er so sweetly, till you pipe the hills away, You can never pipe my fancy from my dear.
TO MRS. MACMARLAND
IN Schnee der Alpen - so it runs To those divine accords - and here We dwell in Alpine snows and suns, A motley crew, for half the year: A motley crew, we dwell to taste - A shivering band in hope and fear - That sun upon the snowy waste, That Alpine ether cold and clear.
Up from the laboured plains, and up From low sea-levels, we arise To drink of that diviner cup The rarer air, the clearer skies; For, as the great, old, godly King From mankind's turbid valley cries, So all we mountain-lovers sing: I to the hills will lift mine eyes.
The bells that ring, the peaks that climb, The frozen snow's unbroken curd Might yet revindicate in rhyme The pauseless stream, the absent bird. In vain - for to the deeps of life You, lady, you my heart have stirred; And since you say you love my life, Be sure I love you for the word.
Of kindness, here I nothing say - Such loveless kindnesses there are In that grimacing, common way, That old, unhonoured social war. Love but my dog and love my love, Adore with me a common star - I value not the rest above The ashes of a bad cigar.
TO MISS CORNISH
THEY tell me, lady, that to-day On that unknown Australian strand - Some time ago, so far away - Another lady joined the band. She joined the company of those Lovelily dowered, nobly planned, Who, smiling, still forgive their foes And keep their friends in close command.
She, lady, as I learn, was one Among the many rarely good; And destined still to be a sun Through every dark and rainy mood:- She, as they told me, far had come, By sea and land, o'er many a rood:- Admired by all, beloved by some, She was yourself, I understood.
But, compliment apart and free From all constraint of verses, may Goodness and honour, grace and glee, Attend you ever on your way - Up to the measure of your will, Beyond all power of mine to say - As she and I desire you still, Miss Cornish, on your natal day.
TALES OF ARABIA
YES, friend, I own these tales of Arabia Smile not, as smiled their flawless originals, Age-old but yet untamed, for ages Pass and the magic is undiminished.
Thus, friend, the tales of the old Camaralzaman, Ayoub, the Slave of Love, or the Calendars, Blind-eyed and ill-starred royal scions, Charm us in age as they charmed in childhood.
Fair ones, beyond all numerability, Beam from the palace, beam on humanity, Bright-eyed, in truth, yet soul-less houris Offering pleasure and only pleasure.
Thus they, the venal Muses Arabian, Unlike, indeed, the nobler divinities, Greek Gods or old time-honoured muses, Easily proffer unloved caresses.
Lost, lost, the man who mindeth the minstrelsy; Since still, in sandy, glittering pleasances, Cold, stony fruits, gem-like but quite in- Edible, flatter and wholly starve him.
BEHOLD, AS GOBLINS DARK OF MIEN
BEHOLD, as goblins dark of mien And portly tyrants dyed with crime Change, in the transformation scene, At Christmas, in the pantomime,
Instanter, at the prompter's cough, The fairy bonnets them, and they Throw their abhorred carbuncles off And blossom like the flowers in May.
- So mankind, to angelic eyes, So, through the scenes of life below, In life's ironical disguise, A travesty of man, ye go:
But fear not: ere the curtain fall, Death in the transformation scene Steps forward from her pedestal, Apparent, as the fairy Queen;
And coming, frees you in a trice From all your lendings - lust of fame, Ungainly virtue, ugly vice, Terror and tyranny and shame.
So each, at last himself, for good In that dear country lays him down, At last beloved and understood And pure in feature and renown.
STILL I LOVE TO RHYME
STILL I love to rhyme, and still more, rhyming, to wander Far from the commoner way; Old-time trills and falls by the brook-side still do I ponder, Dreaming to-morrow to-day.
Come here, come, revive me, Sun-God, teach me, Apollo, Measures descanted before; Since I ancient verses, I emulous follow, Prints in the marbles of yore.
Still strange, strange, they sound in old-young raiment invested, Songs for the brain to forget - Young song-birds elate to grave old temples benested Piping and chirruping yet.
Thoughts? No thought has yet unskilled attempted to flutter Trammelled so vilely in verse; He who writes but aims at fame and his bread and his butter, Won with a groan and a curse.
LONG TIME I LAY IN LITTLE EASE
LONG time I lay in little ease Where, placed by the Turanian, Marseilles, the many-masted, sees The blue Mediterranean.
Now songful in the hour of sport, Now riotous for wages, She camps around her ancient port, As ancient of the ages.
Algerian airs through all the place Unconquerably sally; Incomparable women pace The shadows of the alley.
And high o'er dark and graving yard And where the sky is paler, The golden virgin of the guard Shines, beckoning the sailor.
She hears the city roar on high, Thief, prostitute, and banker; She sees the masted vessels lie Immovably at anchor.
She sees the snowy islets dot The sea's immortal azure, And If, that castellated spot, Tower, turret, and embrasure.
FLOWER GOD, GOD OF THE SPRING
FLOWER god, god of the spring, beautiful, bountiful, Cold-dyed shield in the sky, lover of versicles, Here I wander in April Cold, grey-headed; and still to my Heart, Spring comes with a bound, Spring the deliverer, Spring, song-leader in woods, chorally resonant; Spring, flower-planter in meadows, Child-conductor in willowy Fields deep dotted with bloom, daisies and crocuses: Here that child from his heart drinks of eternity: O child, happy are children! She still smiles on their innocence, She, dear mother in God, fostering violets, Fills earth full of her scents, voices and violins: Thus one cunning in music Wakes old chords in the memory: Thus fair earth in the Spring leads her performances. One more touch of the bow, smell of the virginal Green - one more, and my bosom Feels new life with an ecstasy.
COME, MY BELOVED, HEAR FROM ME
COME, my beloved, hear from me Tales of the woods or open sea. Let our aspiring fancy rise A wren's flight higher toward the skies; Or far from cities, brown and bare, Play at the least in open air. In all the tales men hear us tell Still let the unfathomed ocean swell, Or shallower forest sound abroad Below the lonely stars of God; In all, let something still be done, Still in a corner shine the sun, Slim-ankled maids be fleet of foot, Nor man disown the rural flute. Still let the hero from the start In honest sweat and beats of heart Push on along the untrodden road For some inviolate abode. Still, O beloved, let me hear The great bell beating far and near- The odd, unknown, enchanted gong That on the road hales men along, That from the mountain calls afar, That lures a vessel from a star, And with a still, aerial sound Makes all the earth enchanted ground. Love, and the love of life and act Dance, live and sing through all our furrowed tract; Till the great God enamoured gives To him who reads, to him who lives, That rare and fair romantic strain That whoso hears must hear again.
SINCE YEARS AGO FOR EVERMORE
SINCE years ago for evermore My cedar ship I drew to shore; And to the road and riverbed And the green, nodding reeds, I said Mine ignorant and last farewell: Now with content at home I dwell, And now divide my sluggish life Betwixt my verses and my wife: In vain; for when the lamp is lit And by the laughing fire I sit, Still with the tattered atlas spread Interminable roads I tread.
ENVOY FOR "A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES"
WHETHER upon the garden seat You lounge with your uplifted feet Under the May's whole Heaven of blue; Or whether on the sofa you, No grown up person being by, Do some soft corner occupy; Take you this volume in your hands And enter into other lands, For lo! (as children feign) suppose You, hunting in the garden rows, Or in the lumbered attic, or The cellar - a nail-studded door And dark, descending stairway found That led to kingdoms underground: There standing, you should hear with ease Strange birds a-singing, or the trees Swing in big robber woods, or bells On many fairy citadels:
There passing through (a step or so - Neither mamma nor nurse need know!) From your nice nurseries you would pass, Like Alice through the Looking-Glass Or Gerda following Little Ray, To wondrous countries far away. Well, and just so this volume can Transport each little maid or man Presto from where they live away Where other children used to play. As from the house your mother sees You playing round the garden trees, So you may see if you but look Through the windows of this book Another child far, far away And in another garden play. But do not think you can at all, By knocking on the window, call That child to hear you. He intent Is still on his play-business bent. He does not hear, he will not look, Nor yet be lured out of this book. For long ago, the truth to say, He has grown up and gone away; And it is but a child of air That lingers in the garden there.
FOR RICHMOND'S GARDEN WALL
WHEN Thomas set this tablet here, Time laughed at the vain chanticleer; And ere the moss had dimmed the stone, Time had defaced that garrison. Now I in turn keep watch and ward In my red house, in my walled yard Of sunflowers, sitting here at ease With friends and my bright canvases. But hark, and you may hear quite plain Time's chuckled laughter in the lane.
HAIL, GUEST, AND ENTER FREELY!
HAIL, guest, and enter freely! All you see Is, for your momentary visit, yours; and we Who welcome you are but the guests of God, And know not our departure.
LO, NOW, MY GUEST
LO, now, my guest, if aught amiss were said, Forgive it and dismiss it from your head. For me, for you, for all, to close the date, Pass now the ev'ning sponge across the slate; And to that spirit of forgiveness keep Which is the parent and the child of sleep.
SO LIVE, SO LOVE, SO USE THAT FRAGILE HOUR
SO live, so love, so use that fragile hour, That when the dark hand of the shining power Shall one from other, wife or husband, take, The poor survivor may not weep and wake.
AD SE IPSUM
DEAR sir, good-morrow! Five years back, When you first girded for this arduous track, And under various whimsical pretexts Endowed another with your damned defects, Could you have dreamed in your despondent vein That the kind God would make your path so plain? Non nobis, domine! O, may He still Support my stumbling footsteps on the hill!
BEFORE THIS LITTLE GIFT WAS COME
BEFORE this little gift was come The little owner had made haste for home; And from the door of where the eternal dwell, Looked back on human things and smiled farewell. O may this grief remain the only one! O may our house be still a garrison Of smiling children, and for evermore The tune of little feet be heard along the floor!
GO, LITTLE BOOK - THE ANCIENT PHRASE
GO, little book - the ancient phrase And still the daintiest - go your ways, My Otto, over sea and land, Till you shall come to Nelly's hand.
How shall I your Nelly know? By her blue eyes and her black brow, By her fierce and slender look, And by her goodness, little book!
What shall I say when I come there? You shall speak her soft and fair: See - you shall say - the love they send To greet their unforgotten friend!
Giant Adulpho you shall sing The next, and then the cradled king: And the four corners of the roof Then kindly bless; and to your perch aloof, Where Balzac all in yellow dressed And the dear Webster of the west Encircle the prepotent throne Of Shakespeare and of Calderon, Shall climb an upstart.
There with these You shall give ear to breaking seas And windmills turning in the breeze, A distant undetermined din Without; and you shall hear within The blazing and the bickering logs, The crowing child, the yawning dogs, And ever agile, high and low, Our Nelly going to and fro.
There shall you all silent sit, Till, when perchance the lamp is lit And the day's labour done, she takes Poor Otto down, and, warming for our sakes, Perchance beholds, alive and near, Our distant faces reappear.
MY LOVE WAS WARM
MY love was warm; for that I crossed The mountains and the sea, Nor counted that endeavour lost That gave my love to me.
If that indeed were love at all, As still, my love, I trow, By what dear name am I to call The bond that holds me now
DEDICATORY POEM FOR "UNDERWOODS"
TO her, for I must still regard her As feminine in her degree, Who has been my unkind bombarder Year after year, in grief and glee, Year after year, with oaken tree; And yet betweenwhiles my laudator In terms astonishing to me - To the Right Reverend The Spectator I here, a humble dedicator, Bring the last apples from my tree.
In tones of love, in tones of warning, She hailed me through my brief career; And kiss and buffet, night and morning, Told me my grandmamma was near; Whether she praised me high and clear Through her unrivalled circulation, Or, sanctimonious insincere, She damned me with a misquotation - A chequered but a sweet relation, Say, was it not, my granny dear?
Believe me, granny, altogether Yours, though perhaps to your surprise. Oft have you spruced my wounded feather, Oft brought a light into my eyes - For notice still the writer cries. In any civil age or nation, The book that is not talked of dies. So that shall be my termination: Whether in praise or execration, Still, if you love me, criticise!
FAREWELL, and when forth I through the Golden Gates to Golden Isles Steer without smiling, through the sea of smiles, Isle upon isle, in the seas of the south, Isle upon island, sea upon sea, Why should I sail, why should the breeze? I have been young, and I have counted friends. A hopeless sail I spread, too late, too late. Why should I from isle to isle Sail, a hopeless sailor?
THE broad sun, The bright day: White sails On the blue bay: The far-farers Draw away.
Light the fires And close the door. To the old homes, To the loved shore, The far-farers Return no more.
HOME, MY LITTLE CHILDREN, HERE ARE SONGS FOR YOU
COME, my little children, here are songs for you; Some are short and some are long, and all, all are new. You must learn to sing them very small and clear, Very true to time and tune and pleasing to the ear.
Mark the note that rises, mark the notes that fall, Mark the time when broken, and the swing of it all. So when night is come, and you have gone to bed, All the songs you love to sing shall echo in your head.
COME FROM THE DAISIED MEADOWS
HOME from the daisied meadows, where you linger yet - Home, golden-headed playmate, ere the sun is set; For the dews are falling fast And the night has come at last. Home with you, home and lay your little head at rest, Safe, safe, my little darling, on your mother's breast. Lullaby, darling; your mother is watching you; she'll be your guardian and shield. Lullaby, slumber, my darling, till morning be bright upon mountain and field. Long, long the shadows fall. All white and smooth at home your little bed is laid. All round your head be angels.
EARLY IN THE MORNING I HEAR ON YOUR PIANO
EARLY in the morning I hear on your piano You (at least, I guess it's you) proceed to learn to play. Mostly little minds should take and tackle their piano While the birds are singing in the morning of the day.
FAIR ISLE AT SEA
FAIR Isle at Sea - thy lovely name Soft in my ear like music came. That sea I loved, and once or twice I touched at isles of Paradise.
LOUD AND LOW IN THE CHIMNEY
LOUD and low in the chimney The squalls suspire; Then like an answer dwindles And glows the fire, And the chamber reddens and darkens In time like taken breath. Near by the sounding chimney The youth apart Hearkens with changing colour And leaping heart, And hears in the coil of the tempest The voice of love and death. Love on high in the flute-like And tender notes Sounds as from April meadows And hillside cotes; But the deep wood wind in the chimney Utters the slogan of death.
I LOVE TO BE WARM BY THE RED FIRESIDE
I LOVE to be warm by the red fireside, I love to be wet with rain: I love to be welcome at lamplit doors, And leave the doors again.
AT LAST SHE COMES
AT last she comes, O never more In this dear patience of my pain To leave me lonely as before, Or leave my soul alone again.
MINE EYES WERE SWIFT TO KNOW THEE
MINE eyes were swift to know thee, and my heart As swift to love. I did become at once Thine wholly, thine unalterably, thine In honourable service, pure intent, Steadfast excess of love and laughing care: And as she was, so am, and so shall be. I knew thee helpful, knew thee true, knew thee And Pity bedfellows: I heard thy talk With answerable throbbings. On the stream, Deep, swift, and clear, the lilies floated; fish Through the shadows ran. There, thou and I Read Kindness in our eyes and closed the match.
FIXED IS THE DOOM
FIXED is the doom; and to the last of years Teacher and taught, friend, lover, parent, child, Each walks, though near, yet separate; each beholds His dear ones shine beyond him like the stars. We also, love, forever dwell apart; With cries approach, with cries behold the gulph, The Unvaulted; as two great eagles that do wheel in air Above a mountain, and with screams confer, Far heard athwart the cedars. Yet the years Shall bring us ever nearer; day by day Endearing, week by week, till death at last Dissolve that long divorce. By faith we love, Not knowledge; and by faith, though far removed, Dwell as in perfect nearness, heart to heart. We but excuse Those things we merely are; and to our souls A brave deception cherish. So from unhappy war a man returns Unfearing, or the seaman from the deep; So from cool night and woodlands to a feast May someone enter, and still breathe of dews, And in her eyes still wear the dusky night.
MEN ARE HEAVEN'S PIERS
MEN are Heaven's piers; they evermore Unwearying bear the skyey floor; Man's theatre they bear with ease, Unfrowning cariatides! I, for my wife, the sun uphold, Or, dozing, strike the seasons cold. She, on her side, in fairy-wise Deals in diviner mysteries, By spells to make the fuel burn And keep the parlour warm, to turn Water to wine, and stones to bread, By her unconquered hero-head. A naked Adam, naked Eve, Alone the primal bower we weave; Sequestered in the seas of life, A Crusoe couple, man and wife, With all our good, with all our will, Our unfrequented isle we fill; And victor in day's petty wars, Each for the other lights the stars. Come then, my Eve, and to and fro Let us about our garden go; And, grateful-hearted, hand in hand Revisit all our tillage land, And marvel at our strange estate, For hooded ruin at the gate Sits watchful, and the angels fear To see us tread so boldly here. Meanwhile, my Eve, with flower and grass Our perishable days we pass; Far more the thorn observe - and see How our enormous sins go free - Nor less admire, beside the rose, How far a little virtue goes.
THE ANGLER ROSE, HE TOOK HIS ROD
THE angler rose, he took his rod, He kneeled and made his prayers to God. The living God sat overhead: The angler tripped, the eels were fed
WHEN loud by landside streamlets gush, And clear in the greenwood quires the thrush, With sun on the meadows And songs in the shadows Comes again to me The gift of the tongues of the lea, The gift of the tongues of meadows.
Straightway my olden heart returns And dances with the dancing burns; It sings with the sparrows; To the rain and the (grimy) barrows Sings my heart aloud - To the silver-bellied cloud, To the silver rainy arrows.
It bears the song of the skylark down, And it hears the singing of the town; And youth on the highways And lovers in byways Follows and sees: And hearkens the song of the leas And sings the songs of the highways.
So when the earth is alive with gods, And the lusty ploughman breaks the sod, And the grass sings in the meadows, And the flowers smile in the shadows, Sits my heart at ease, Hearing the song of the leas, Singing the songs of the meadows.
TO WHAT SHALL I COMPARE HER?
TO what shall I compare her, That is as fair as she? For she is fairer - fairer Than the sea. What shall be likened to her, The sainted of my youth? For she is truer - truer Than the truth.
As the stars are from the sleeper, Her heart is hid from me; For she is deeper - deeper Than the sea. Yet in my dreams I view her Flush rosy with new ruth - Dreams! Ah, may these prove truer Than the truth.
WHEN THE SUN COMES AFTER RAIN
WHEN the sun comes after rain And the bird is in the blue, The girls go down the lane Two by two.
When the sun comes after shadow And the singing of the showers, The girls go up the meadow, Fair as flowers.
When the eve comes dusky red And the moon succeeds the sun, The girls go home to bed One by one.
And when life draws to its even And the day of man is past, They shall all go home to heaven, Home at last.
LATE, O MILLER
LATE, O miller, The birds are silent, The darkness falls. In the house the lights are lighted. See, in the valley they twinkle, The lights of home. Late, O lovers, The night is at hand; Silence and darkness Clothe the land.
TO FRIENDS AT HOME
TO friends at home, the lone, the admired, the lost The gracious old, the lovely young, to May The fair, December the beloved, These from my blue horizon and green isles, These from this pinnacle of distances I, The unforgetful, dedicate.
I, WHOM APOLLO SOMETIME VISITED
I, WHOM Apollo sometime visited, Or feigned to visit, now, my day being done, Do slumber wholly; nor shall know at all The weariness of changes; nor perceive Immeasurable sands of centuries Drink of the blanching ink, or the loud sound Of generations beat the music down.
TEMPEST TOSSED AND SORE AFFLICTED
TEMPEST tossed and sore afflicted, sin defiled and care oppressed, Come to me, all ye that labour; come, and I will give ye rest. Fear no more, O doubting hearted; weep no more, O weeping eye! Lo, the voice of your redeemer; lo, the songful morning near.
Here one hour you toil and combat, sin and suffer, bleed and die; In my father's quiet mansion soon to lay your burden by. Bear a moment, heavy laden, weary hand and weeping eye. Lo, the feet of your deliverer; lo, the hour of freedom here.
VARIANT FORM OF THE PRECEDING POEM
COME to me, all ye that labour; I will give your spirits rest; Here apart in starry quiet I will give you rest. Come to me, ye heavy laden, sin defiled and care opprest, In your father's quiet mansions, soon to prove a welcome guest. But an hour you bear your trial, sin and suffer, bleed and die; But an hour you toil and combat here in day's inspiring eye. See the feet of your deliverer; lo, the hour of freedom nigh.
I NOW, O FRIEND, WHOM NOISELESSLY THE SNOWS
I NOW, O friend, whom noiselessly the snows Settle around, and whose small chamber grows Dusk as the sloping window takes its load:
* * * * *
The kindly hill, as to complete our hap, Has ta'en us in the shelter of her lap; Well sheltered in our slender grove of trees And ring of walls, we sit between her knees; A disused quarry, paved with rose plots, hung With clematis, the barren womb whence sprung The crow-stepped house itself, that now far seen Stands, like a bather, to the neck in green. A disused quarry, furnished with a seat Sacred to pipes and meditation meet For such a sunny and retired nook. There in the clear, warm mornings many a book Has vied with the fair prospect of the hills That, vale on vale, rough brae on brae, upfills Halfway to the zenith all the vacant sky To keep my loose attention. . . . Horace has sat with me whole mornings through: And Montaigne gossiped, fairly false and true; And chattering Pepys, and a few beside That suit the easy vein, the quiet tide, The calm and certain stay of garden-life, Far sunk from all the thunderous roar of strife. There is about the small secluded place A garnish of old times; a certain grace Of pensive memories lays about the braes: The old chestnuts gossip tales of bygone days. Here, where some wandering preacher, blest Lazil, Perhaps, or Peden, on the middle hill Had made his secret church, in rain or snow, He cheers the chosen residue from woe. All night the doors stood open, come who might, The hounded kebbock mat the mud all night. Nor are there wanting later tales; of how Prince Charlie's Highlanders . . .
* * * * *
I have had talents, too. In life's first hour God crowned with benefits my childish head. Flower after flower, I plucked them; flower by flower Cast them behind me, ruined, withered, dead. Full many a shining godhead disappeared. From the bright rank that once adorned her brow The old child's Olympus
* * * * *
Gone are the fair old dreams, and one by one, As, one by one, the means to reach them went, As, one by one, the stars in riot and disgrace, I squandered what . . .
There shut the door, alas! on many a hope Too many; My face is set to the autumnal slope, Where the loud winds shall . . .
There shut the door, alas! on many a hope, And yet some hopes remain that shall decide My rest of years and down the autumnal slope.
* * * * *
Gone are the quiet twilight dreams that I Loved, as all men have loved them; gone! I have great dreams, and still they stir my soul on high - Dreams of the knight's stout heart and tempered will. Not in Elysian lands they take their way; Not as of yore across the gay champaign, Towards some dream city, towered . . . and my . . . The path winds forth before me, sweet and plain, Not now; but though beneath a stone-grey sky November's russet woodlands toss and wail, Still the white road goes thro' them, still may I, Strong in new purpose, God, may still prevail.
* * * * *
I and my like, improvident sailors!
* * * * *
At whose light fall awaking, all my heart Grew populous with gracious, favoured thought, And all night long thereafter, hour by hour, The pageant of dead love before my eyes Went proudly, and old hopes with downcast head Followed like Kings, subdued in Rome's imperial hour, Followed the car; and I . . .
SINCE THOU HAST GIVEN ME THIS GOOD HOPE, O GOD
SINCE thou hast given me this good hope, O God, That while my footsteps tread the flowery sod And the great woods embower me, and white dawn And purple even sweetly lead me on From day to day, and night to night, O God, My life shall no wise miss the light of love; But ever climbing, climb above Man's one poor star, man's supine lands, Into the azure steadfastness of death, My life shall no wise lack the light of love, My hands not lack the loving touch of hands; But day by day, while yet I draw my breath, And day by day, unto my last of years, I shall be one that has a perfect friend. Her heart shall taste my laughter and my tears, And her kind eyes shall lead me to the end.
GOD GAVE TO ME A CHILD IN PART
GOD gave to me a child in part, Yet wholly gave the father's heart: Child of my soul, O whither now, Unborn, unmothered, goest thou?
You came, you went, and no man wist; Hapless, my child, no breast you kist; On no dear knees, a privileged babbler, clomb, Nor knew the kindly feel of home.
My voice may reach you, O my dear- A father's voice perhaps the child may hear; And, pitying, you may turn your view On that poor father whom you never knew.
Alas! alone he sits, who then, Immortal among mortal men, Sat hand in hand with love, and all day through With your dear mother wondered over you.
OVER THE LAND IS APRIL
OVER the land is April, Over my heart a rose; Over the high, brown mountain The sound of singing goes. Say, love, do you hear me, Hear my sonnets ring? Over the high, brown mountain, Love, do you hear me sing?
By highway, love, and byway The snows succeed the rose. Over the high, brown mountain The wind of winter blows. Say, love, do you hear me, Hear my sonnets ring? Over the high, brown mountain I sound the song of spring, I throw the flowers of spring. Do you hear the song of spring? Hear you the songs of spring?
LIGHT AS THE LINNET ON MY WAY I START
LIGHT as the linnet on my way I start, For all my pack I bear a chartered heart. Forth on the world without a guide or chart, Content to know, through all man's varying fates, The eternal woman by the wayside waits.
COME, HERE IS ADIEU TO THE CITY
COME, here is adieu to the city And hurrah for the country again. The broad road lies before me Watered with last night's rain. The timbered country woos me With many a high and bough; And again in the shining fallows The ploughman follows the plough.
The whole year's sweat and study, And the whole year's sowing time, Comes now to the perfect harvest, And ripens now into rhyme. For we that sow in the Autumn, We reap our grain in the Spring, And we that go sowing and weeping Return to reap and sing.
IT BLOWS A SNOWING GALE
IT blows a snowing gale in the winter of the year; The boats are on the sea and the crews are on the pier. The needle of the vane, it is veering to and fro, A flash of sun is on the veering of the vane. Autumn leaves and rain, The passion of the gale.
NE SIT ANCILLAE TIBI AMOR PUDOR
THERE'S just a twinkle in your eye That seems to say I MIGHT, if I Were only bold enough to try An arm about your waist. I hear, too, as you come and go, That pretty nervous laugh, you know; And then your cap is always so Coquettishly displaced.
Your cap! the word's profanely said. That little top-knot, white and red, That quaintly crowns your graceful head, No bigger than a flower, Is set with such a witching art, Is so provocatively smart, I'd like to wear it on my heart, An order for an hour!
O graceful housemaid, tall and fair, I love your shy imperial air, And always loiter on the stair When you are going by. A strict reserve the fates demand; But, when to let you pass I stand, Sometimes by chance I touch your hand And sometimes catch your eye.
TO ALL THAT LOVE THE FAR AND BLUE
TO all that love the far and blue: Whether, from dawn to eve, on foot The fleeing corners ye pursue, Nor weary of the vain pursuit; Or whether down the singing stream, Paddle in hand, jocund ye shoot, To splash beside the splashing bream Or anchor by the willow root:
Or, bolder, from the narrow shore Put forth, that cedar ark to steer, Among the seabirds and the roar Of the great sea, profound and clear; Or, lastly if in heart ye roam, Not caring to do else, and hear, Safe sitting by the fire at home, Footfalls in Utah or Pamere:
Though long the way, though hard to bear The sun and rain, the dust and dew; Though still attainment and despair Inter the old, despoil the new; There shall at length, be sure, O friends, Howe'er ye steer, whate'er ye do - At length, and at the end of ends, The golden city come in view.