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Thomas Sturge Moore

Silence Sings

SO faint, no ear is sure it hears,
So faint and far;
So vast that very near appears
My voice, both here and in each star
Unmeasured leagues do bridge between;
Like that which on a face is seen
Where secrets are;
Sweeping, like veils of lofty balm,
Tresses unbound
O'er desert sand, o'er ocean calm,
I am wherever is not sound;
And, goddess of the truthful face,
My beauty doth instill its grace
That joy abound.

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The Dying Swan

O SILVER-THROATED Swan
Struck, struck! A golden dart
Clean through thy breast has gone
Home to thy heart.
Thrill, thrill, O silver throat!
O silver trumpet, pour
Love for defiance back
On him who smote!
And brim, brim o'er
With love; and ruby-dye thy track
Down thy last living reach
Of river, sail the golden light—
Enter the sun's heart—even teach
O wondrous-gifted Pain, teach Thou
The God of love, let him learn how

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Rowers Chant

Row till the land dip 'neath
The sea from view.
Row till a land peep up,
A home for you.

Row till the mast sing songs
Welcome and sweet.
Row till the waves, out-stripped,
Give up dead beat.

Row till the sea-nymphs rise
To ask you why
Rowing you tarry not
To hear them sigh.

Row till the stars grow bright
Like certain eyes.
Row till the noon be high
As hopes you prize.

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The Rower's Chant

ROW till the land dip 'neath
The sea from view.
Row till a land peep up,
A home for you.

Row till the mast sing songs
Welcome and sweet,
Row till the waves, outstripped,
Give up, dead beat.

Row till the sea-nymphs rise
To ask you why
Rowing you tarry not
To hear them sigh.

Row till the stars grow bright
Like certain eyes.
Row till the noon be high
As hopes you prize.

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A Duet

'FLOWERS nodding gaily, scent in air,
Flowers posied, flowers for the hair,
Sleepy flowers, flowers bold to stare----'
'O pick me some!'

'Shells with lip, or tooth, or bleeding gum,
Tell-tale shells, and shells that whisper Come,
Shells that stammer, blush, and yet are dumb----'
'O let me hear.'

'Eyes so black they draw one trembling near,
Brown eyes, caverns flooded with a tear,
Cloudless eyes, blue eyes so windy clear----'
'O look at me!'

'Kisses sadly blown across the sea,
Darkling kisses, kisses fair and free,
Bob-a-cherry kisses 'neath a tree----'
'O give me one!'

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To Memory

O deeper than the noontide seems when blue,
Conceived as of yet finer woof than air,
Where, as clouds form, folk cherished, moments rare,
Fitfully gleam and pass . . . romance all true,
Yet never real enough, thou wild deceit,
Drug us till we, no longer what we are,
Love as we loved ! . . . Reluming star by star
Night falls and tears with thy far glances meet.

Thou dream of dreams, which most we can retrieve
And least forget, for thee dramatic truth
Drapes in fresh silks the tragedy of youth.
Yet as they act, our eyes, once blind, perceive
Much those performers are too fond to note
Till phantom sobs catch in a shrivelled throat.

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Idleness

O idleness, too fond of me,
Begone, I know and hate thee!
Nothing canst thou of pleasure see
In one that so doth rate thee;

For empty are both mind and heart
While thou with me dost linger;
More profit would to thee impart
A babe that sucks its finger.

I know thou hast a better way
To spend these hours thou squand'rest;
Some lad toils in the trough to-day
Who groans because thou wand'rest;

A bleating sheep he dowses now
Or wrestles with ram's terror;
Ah, 'mid the washing's hubbub, how
His sighs reproach thine error!

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Renaissance

O happy soul, forget thy self!
This that has haunted all the past,
That conjured disappointments fast,
That never could let well alone;
That, climbing to achievement's throne,
Slipped on the last step; this that wove
Dissatisfaction's clinging net,
And ran through life like squandered pelf:--
This that till now has been thy self
Forget, O happy soul, forget.

If ever thou didst aught commence,--
Set'st forth in springtide woods to rove,--
Or, when the sun in July throve,
Didst plunge into calm bay of ocean
With fine felicity in motion,--
Or, having climbed some high hill's brow,
Thy toil behind thee like the night,
Stoodst in the chill dawn's air intense;--
Commence thus now, thus recommence:

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Aforetime

Dear exile from the hurrying crowd,
At work I muse to you aloud;
Thought on my anvil softens, glows,
And I forget our art has foes;
For life, the mother of beauty, seems
A joyous sleep with waking dreams.
Then the toy armoury of the brain
Opining, judging, looks as vain
As trowels silver gilt for use
Of mayors and kings, who have to lay
Foundation stones in hope they may
Be honoured for walls others build.
I, in amicable muse,
With fathomless wonder only filled,
Whisper over to your ear
Listening two hundred odd miles north,
And give thought chase that, were you here,
Our talk would never run to earth.

Man can answer no momentous question:

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A Sicilian Idyll

(First Scene) Damon
I thank thee, no;
Already have I drunk a bowl of wine . . .
Nay, nay, why wouldst thou rise?
There rolls thy ball of worsted! Sit thee down;
Come, sit thee down, Cydilla,
And let me fetch thy ball, rewind the wool,
And tell thee all that happened yesterday.

Cydilla
Thanks, Damon; now, by Zeus, thou art so brisk,
It shames me that to stoop should try my bones.

Damon
We both are old,
And if we may have peaceful days are blessed;
Few hours of bouyancy will come to break
The sure withdrawal from us of life's flood.

Cydilla

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