The Cardinal And His Lady
The redbird is the core of fire at the heart of by still living;
And his little lady is the soft ashes covering the half-seen embers."
The flame of my life burns low
Under the cluttered days,
Like a fire of leaves.
But always a little blue, sweet-smelling smoke
Goes up to God.
A Clear Night
I have worn this day as a fretting, ill-made garment,
Impatient to be rid of it.
And lo, as I drew it off over my shoulders
This jewel caught in my hair.
Let Me Grow Lovely
Let me grow lovely, growing old--
So many fine things do:
Laces, and ivory, and gold,
And silks need not be new;
And there is healing in old trees,
Old streets a glamour hold;
Why may not I, as well as these,
Grow lovely, growing old?
Some days my thoughts are just cocoons- all cold, and dull and blind,
They hang from dripping branches in the grey woods of my mind;
And other days they drift and shine - such free and flying things!
I find the gold-dust in my hair, left by their brushing wings.
My life is a tree,
Yoke-fellow of the earth;
By roots too deep for remembrance,
To stand hard against the storm,
To fill by Place.
(But high in the branches of my green tree there is a wild
Wind-free are the wings of my bird: she hath built no
Dropp’d feather from the wings of God
My little songs and snatches are,
So light He does not hear them fall
As He goes by, from star to star.
Dropp’d feathers from the wings of God
I find, and braid them in my hair;
Men heed them not--they only make
My soul unto herself more fair.
To-day I have grown taller from walking with the trees,
The seven sister-poplars who go softly in a line;
And I think my heart is whiter for its parley with a star
That trembled out at nightfall and hung above the pine.
The call-note of a redbird from the cedars in the dusk
Woke his happy mate within me to an answer free and fine;
And a sudden angel beckoned from a column of blue smoke -
Lord, who am I that they should stoop - these holy folk of thine?
Apple and Rose
My little daughter is a tea-rose,
Satin to the touch,
Wine to the lips,
And a faint, delirious perfume.
But my little son
Is a June apple,
Firm and cool,
And scornful of too much sweetness,
But full of tang and flavor
And better than bread to the hungry.
O wild winds, and clumsy, pilfering bees,
With the whole world to be wanton in,
Will you not spare my little tea-rose?
And O ruthless blind creatures,
Who lay eggs of evil at the core of life,
Pass by my one red apple,
That is so firm and sound!
I Shall Be Loved As Quiet Things
I shall be loved as quiet things
Are loved--white pigeons in the sun,
Curled yellow leaves that whisper down
One after one;
The silver reticence of smoke
That tells no secret of its birth
Among the fiery agonies
That turn the earth;
Cloud-islands; reaching arms of trees;
The frayed and eager little moon
That strays unheeded through a high
The thunder of my heart must go
Under the muffling of the dust--
As my gray dress has guarded it
The grasses must;
[...] Read more