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Katharine Tynan

Slow Spring

O year, grow slowly. Exquisite, holy,
The days go on
With almonds showing the pink stars blowing
And birds in the dawn.

Grow slowly, year, like a child that is dear,
Or a lamb that is mild,
By little steps, and by little skips,
Like a lamb or a child.

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Lambs

He sleeps as a lamb sleeps,
Beside his mother.
Somewhere in yon blue deeps
His tender brother
Sleeps like a lamb and leaps.

He feeds as a lamb might,
Beside his mother.
Somewhere in fields of light
A lamb, his brother,
Feeds, and is clothed in white.

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Nymphs

Where are ye now, O beautiful girls of the mountain,
Oreads all ?
Nothing at all stirs here save the drip of the fountain;
Answers our call
Only the heart-glad thrush, in the Vale of Thrushes;
Stirs in the brake
But the dew-bright ear of the hare in his couch of rushes
Listening, awake.

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The Last Question: (For B. A. Bingham)

They lifted up his weary head,
Stained with a dark and bitter dew:
'How does the battle go?' he said.

Sir, it is victory,' -- when he heard
He smiled the darkening shadows through
And died as blithe as a singing bird.

On the stained grass as on a bed
Dying he lay and well content --
'Sir, it is victory,' they said.

So smiling, smiling all the way,
To the undying Dead he went
As to a heavenly holiday.

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The Truce of God

After Suvla


Now to the stricken doe
And the wounded hind
There comes the Mercy of God
That is cool and kind.

To the hapless creature He made
He giveth rest.
All the woes of the world
Lie on His breast.

The tender Physician giveth
The drug of sleep,
Lest that His dove, His daughter,
Awake and weep.

Beyond all dreams of delight
Is the quiet peace,

[...] Read more

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Easter

Bring flowers to strew His way,
Yea, sing, make holiday;
Bid young lambs leap,
And earth laugh after sleep.

For now He cometh forth
Winter flies to the north,
Folds wings and cries
Amid the bergs and ice.

Yea, Death, great Death is dead,
And Life reigns in his stead;
Cometh the Athlete
New from dead Death's defeat.

Cometh the Wrestler,
But Death he makes no stir,
Utterly spent and done,
And all his kingdom gone.

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The Last Parting

He is not dead. They do not know,
Who pity her, her secret ease,
How he is near her, how they go,
Her hand in his.

The last sad parting now is done.
She can look back as from afar
And pity her whose dearest one
Went to the War.

Now he is with her every day;
There is no salt dividing sea.
She leans on him in the old way,
Her staff is he.

The folk as they come in and out
Wonder at her pale joy: the while
She in the lightest fear or doubt
Turns to his smile.

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The Widow

When she smiles her love draws nigh,
When she weeps he doth depart,
And returns to the Heavens high
With an unwounded heart.

God would suffer him no such wrong
As that he should see her tears
Lest his heart be sad among
His young joyous peers.

Therefore shall her tears be dried,
Therefore her poor lips will smile,
So her darling by her side
May sit down awhile.

So she bends her will to learn
Patience high and heavenly mirth,
That her soldier may return
To his own hearth.

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His Footstep

To Lady Wemyss


The boy will come no more
Although I listen and long;
The sound of his foot on the floor
Was like an old song.

His foot had the music in it,
And now the music's dumb --
Like the song of the lark or linnet
Glad that Spring's come.

There's nothing stirring at all, --
'Tis quiet all by yourself, --
But a wee mouse in the wall,
The clock ticks on the shelf.

Like the song of the lark or linnet,
That's singing early and soon,

[...] Read more

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The Weeping Babe

She kneels by the cradle
Where Jesus doth lie;
Singing, Lullaby, my Baby!
But why dost Thou cry?

The babes of the village
Smile sweetly in sleep;
And lullaby, my Baby,
That ever dost weep!

I've wrapped Thee in linen,
The gift of the Kings;
And wool, soft and fleecy,
The kind Shepherd brings.

Now smile, little Jesus,
Whom naught can defile;
All gifts will I give Thee
An thou wilt but smile.

[...] Read more

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