Why Do Ye Call The Poet Lonely
Why do ye call the poet lonely,
Because he dreams in lonely places?
He is not desolate, but only
Sees, where ye cannot, hidden faces.
To my Mother
Mother, to whose valiant will
Battling long ago,
What the heaping years fulfil,
Light and song, I owe;
Send my little book afield,
Fronting praise or blame
With the shining flag and shield
Of your name.
With what doubting eyes, oh sparrow,
Thou regardest me,
Underneath yon spray of yarrow,
Fear me not, oh little sparrow,
Bathe and never fear,
For to me both pool and yarrow
And thyself are dear.
To the distance! Ah, the distance!
Blue and broad and dim!
Peace is not in burgh or meadow,
But beyond the rim.
Aye, beyond it, far beyond it;
Follow still my soul,
Till this earth is lost in heaven,
And thou feel'st the whole.
I heard the city time-bells call
Far off in hollow towers,
And one by one with measured fall
Count out the old dead hours;
I felt the march, the silent press
Of time, and held my breath;
I saw the haggard dreadfulness
Of dim old age and death.
To My Wife
Though fancy and the might of rhyme,
That turneth like the tide,
Have borne me many a musing time,
Beloved, from thy side.
Ah yet, I pray thee, deem not, Sweet,
Those hours were given in vain;
Within these covers to thy feet
I bring them back again.
Think not, because thine inmost heart means well,
Thou hast the freedom of rude speech: sweet words
Are like the voices of returning birds
Filling the soul with summer, or a bell
That calls the weary and the sick to prayer.
Even as thy thought, so let thy speech be fair.
With The Night
O doubts, dull passions, and base fears,
That harassed and oppressed the day,
Ye poor remorses and vain tears,
That shook this house of clay:
All heaven to the western bars
Is glittering with the darker dawn;
Here with the earth, the night, the stars,
Ye have no place: begone!
The Poet's Possession
Think not, oh master of the well-tilled field,
This earth is only thine; for after thee,
When all is sown and gathered and put by,
Comes the grave poet with creative eye,
And from these silent acres and clean plots,
Bids with his wand the fancied after-yield,
A second tilth and second harvest, be,
The crop of images and curious thoughts.
As a weed beneath the ocean,
As a pool beneath a tree
Answers with each breath or motion
An imperious mastery;
So my spirit swift with passion
Finds in every look a sign,
Catching in some wondrous fashion
Every mood that governs thine.
In a moment it will borrow,
Flashing in a gusty train,
Laughter and desire and sorrow
Anger and delight and pain.