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Gamaliel Bradford

Leaves

Down come the leaves,
Like fleeting years,
Or idle tears
Of love that grieves.

A tinkling trill,
A pallid flight
Like brief delight --
And all is still.

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Why?

Hist! Zop!
The world is all awry.
Think that you can mend it?
Take a turn and try.
Virtue gets a fall or two,
Vice careers on high.
I had rather sing myself,
Sick of asking why.

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Winds of Wrath

Silly little bird,
Singing of its love,
Sang and never heard
Winds of wrath above.

Winds of wrath came down,
Tossed the world about.
Bird and song were gone
When the stars came out.

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Who Cares?

Who cares,
Though age oppress,
And griefs distress,
And the long, long day
Rolls slow away
Its charge of pain?
Joy comes again
And charms our sight
With fresh delight.
Meantime—
Who cares?

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The Divagator

You think my songs are strange.
I think they are myself.
I let my fancy range—
The divagating elf.

Don't say my songs are common.
For though my soul I seek
In every man and woman,
I want my songs unique.

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Taken all Together

I've had a few diseases,
And trifled with despair,
Tried failure which displeases,
And coquetted with care.

But through the stormy weather
There come delicious days
When, taken altogether,
You half believe it pays.

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Rousseau

That odd, fantastic ass, Rousseau,
Declared himself unique.
How men persist in doing so,
Puzzles me more than Greek.

The sins that tarnish whore and thief
Beset me every day.
My most ethereal belief
Inhabits common clay.

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Things of Clay

Sing a little, play a little,
Laugh a little; for
Life is so extremely brittle,
Who would think of more?

Every long-laid project shatters,
Framed by things of clay:
He who knows that nothing matters
Smiles and slips away.

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The Dainty Virtue

She fled me through the meadow,
She fled me o'er the hill.
With such a fling she fled, oh,
She may be flying still.

But doubtless she grew weary
By thicket or by wood.—
A dainty virtue, dearie,
That fled when none pursued.

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Nerves

Nerves are most extraordinary,
Full of useful information,
At a moment's notice merry
With abounding cacchination,
Then with subtle transformation,
Dreary as a cemetery
Just prepared for occupation.—
Nerves are most extraordinary.

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