'What did she leave?' . . .
Only these hungry miser-words, poor heart!
Not 'Did she love?' 'Did she suffer?' 'Was she sad
From this green, bright and tossing world to part?'
No word of 'Do they miss her? do they grieve?'
Only this wolf-thought for the gold she had . . .
'What did she leave?'
Did he forget? . . . I do not remember,
All I had of him once I still have to-day;
He was lovely to me as the word, 'amber,'
As the taste of honey and the smell of hay.
What if he forget if I remember ?
What more of love have you than I to say ?
I have and hold him still in the word, 'amber,'
Taste of honey brings him, he comes back with the hay.
BRING out your dead before you reap
From lips beloved infection dread;
Above such brows ye dare not weep!
Bring out your dead
Into the street from breast or bed,
Lest ye too sicken into sleep
That recks not of the Bellman's tread.
Thrice foolish heart! Why do you heap
Corpse upon corpse--conspire to spread
Corruption on all else you keep?
Bring out your dead!
I will not have roses in my room again,
Nor listen to sonnets of Michael Angelo
To-night nor any night, nor fret my brain
With all the trouble of things that I should know.
I will be as other women-come and go
Careless and free, my own self sure and sane,
As I was once . . .then suddenly you were there
With your old power . . . roses were everywhere
And I was listening to Michael Angelo.
You give me no portent of impermanence
Though before sun goes you are long gone hence,
Your bright, inherited crown
Withered and fallen down.
It seems that your blue immobility
Has been for ever, and must for ever be.
Man seems the unstable thing,
Fevered and hurrying.
So free of joy, so prodigal of tears,
Yet he can hold his fevers seventy years,
Out-wear sun, rain and frost,
By which you are soon lost.
A STREET at night, a silent square
That mirth forbids;
Whose windows, with drawn lips and narrowed lids,
Resent the intruder's stare.
Where winds are cautious in their play,
Where only steals
Some meager brougham on its muffled wheels
Before the portals grey.
But suddenly a window swings,
A hand is laid
For one white moment on the balustrade,
And benediction brings.
I linger . . . but, O influence malign
I watch a snail
Crawl casually along the painted rail,
Where I had built a shrine!
Here in a quiet and dusty room they lie,
Faded as crumbled stone or shifting sand,
Forlorn as ashes, shrivelled, scentless, dry -
Meadows and gardens running through my hand.
In this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams;
A cedar in this narrow cell is thrust
That will drink deeply of a century's streams;
These lilies shall make summer on my dust.
Here in their safe and simple house of death,
Sealed in their shells, a million roses leap;
Here I can blow a garden with my breath,
And in my hand a forest lies asleep.
The Wood And The Shore
The low bay melts into a ring of silver,
And slips it on the shore's reluctant finger
Though in an hour the tide will turn, will tremble,
Forsaking her because the moon persuades him.
But the black wood that leans and sighs above her
No tide can turn, no moon can slave nor summon.
Then comes the dark: on sleepy, shell-strewn beaches,
O'er long pale leagues of sand and cold, clear water
She hears the tide go out towards the moonlight.
The wood still leans… weeping she turns to seek him,
And his black hair all night is on her bosom.
Wild Geese Across the Moon
REEDS, snake-like, coiled in the mist
Where the low fog drives:
The muddy cough of the stream that strives
To free its throat from the clot of reed,
As they fight it out the water and the weed--
While the fog, above, takes turn and twist:
Men, these are your lives!
Wild Geese across the moon:
As some hand that unrolls
And scratches black names upon blood-red scrolls;
So seem these shadows, dipping, dying,
Black shapes on the red moon, screaming, flying,
Till the fog blots out, or late or soon:
Men, these are your souls!
ASK not my pardon! For if one hath need
Once to forgive the god that he hath raised,
No further creed
Can that god give; but 'neath the soul who praised
Lies bruisèd like a reed.
Let your dark plume, in passing leave a stain
On my plume's whiteness: call you bitter, sweet:
Give plague, or pain:
But cringe not, fallen and fawning at my feet,
By that to rise again.
No! go your wild and mad way, and seem at least
The god you were . . . assume your aureole:
Make me no priest
To wash hands in the waters of your soul,
Before I go to feast!