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Charlotte Mary Mew

I So Liked Spring

I so liked Spring last year
Because you were here;-
The thrushes too-
Because it was these you so liked to hear-
I so liked you.

This year's a different thing,-
I'll not think of you.
But I'll like the Spring because it is simply spring
As the thrushes do.

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Sea Love

Tide be runnin' the great world over:
'Twas only last June month I mind that we
Was thinkin' the toss and the call in the breast of the lover
So everlastin' as the sea.

Heer's the same little fishes that sputter an swim,
Wi' the moon's old glim on the grey, wet sand;
An' him no more to me mor me to him
Than the wind goin' over my hand.

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From a Window

Up here, with June, the sycamore throws
Across the window a whispering screen;
I shall miss the sycamore more I suppose,
Than anything else on this earth that is out in green.
But I mean to go through the door without fear,
Not caring much what happens here
When I’m away: --
How green the screen is across the panes
Or who goes laughing along the lanes
With my old lover all the summer day.

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Song

Love love to-day, my dear
Love is not always here
Wise maids know how soon grows sere
The greenest leaf of Spring.
But no man knoweth
Whither it goeth
When the wind bloweth
So frail a thing.

Love love, my dear, to-day
If the ship's in the bay
If the bird has come your way
That sings on summer trees.
When his song faileth
And the ship saileth
No voice availeth
To call back these.

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A Quoi Bon Dire

Seventeen years ago you said
Something that sounded like Good-bye;
And everybody thinks that you are dead,
But I.

So I, as I grow stiff and cold
To this and that say Good-bye too;
And everybody sees that I am old
But you.

And one fine morning in a sunny lane
Some boy and girl will meet and kiss and swear
That nobody can love their way again
While over there
You will have smiled, I shall have tossed your hair.

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In The Fields

Lord when I look at lovely things which pass,
Under old trees the shadow of young leaves
Dancing to please the wind along the grass,
Or the gold stillness of the August sun on the August sheaves;
Can I believe there is a heavenlier world than this?
And if there is
Will the heart of any everlasting thing
Bring me these dreams that take my breath away?
They come at evening with the home-flying rooks and the scent
of hay,
Over the fields. They come in spring.

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Fin de Fête

Sweetheart, for such a day
One mustn't grudge the score;
Here, then, it's all to pay,
It's Good-night at the door.

Good-night and good dreams to you,—
Do you remember the picture-book thieves
Who left two children sleeping in a wood the long night through,
And how the birds came down and covered them with leaves?

So you and I should have slept,—But now,
Oh, what a lonely head!
With just the shadow of a waving bough
In the moonlight over your bed.

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My Heart is Lame

My heart is lame with running after yours so fast
Such a long way,
Shall we walk slowly home, looking at all the things we passed
Perhaps to-day?

Home down the quiet evening roads under the quiet skies,
Not saying much,
You for a moment giving me your eyes
When you could bear my touch.

But not to-morrow. This has taken all my breath;
Then, though you look the same,
There may be something lovelier in Love's face in death
As your heart sees it, running back the way we came;
My heart is lame.

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The Road to Kerity

Do you remember the two old people we passed
on the road to Kerity,
Resting their sack on the stones, by the drenched wayside,
Looking at us with their lightless eyes
through the driving rain, and then out again
To the rocks, and the long white line of the tide:
Frozen ghosts that were children once,
husband and wife, father, and mother,
Looking at us with those frozen eyes;
have you ever seen anything quite so chilled
or so old?
But we - with our arms about each other,
We did not feel the cold!

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The Sunlit House

White, through the gate it gleamed and slept
In shattered sunshine. The parched garden flowers
Their scarlet petals from the beds unswept
Like children unloved and ill-kept
Dreamed through the hours Two blue hydrangeas by the blistered door burned brown
Watched there, and no one in the town
Cared to go past it night or day
Though why this was they wouldn't say

But I, the stranger, knew that I must stay.
Pace up the weed-grown paths and down -
Till one afternoon - there is just a doubt -
Bit I fancy I heard a tiny shout -
From an upper window a bird flew out -
And I went my way.

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