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William Roscoe

To La Sansoeur

I KNOW not how to call you light,
Since I myself was lighter;
Nor can you blame my changing plight
Who were the first inviter.

I know not which began to range
Since we were never constant;
And each when each began to change
Was found a weak remonstrant.

But this I know, the God of Love
Both shake his hand against us,
And scorning says we ne’er did prove
True passion—but pretences.

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The Master-Chord

LIKE a musician that with flying finger
Startles the voice of some new instrument,
And, though he know that in one string are blent
All its extremes of sound, yet still doth linger
Among the lighter threads, fearing to start
The deep soul of that one melodious wire,
Lest it, unanswering, dash his high desire,
And spoil the hopes of his expectant heart;
Thus, with my mistress oft conversing, I
Stir every lighter theme with careless voice,
Gathering sweet music and celestial joys
From the harmonious soul o’er which I fly;
Yet o’er the one deep master-chord I hover,
And dare not stoop, fearing to tell—I love her.

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Earth

SAD is my lot; among the shining spheres
Wheeling, I weave incessant day and night,
And ever, in my never-ending flight,
Add woes to woes, and count up tears on tears.
Young wives’ and new-born infants’ hapless biers
Lie on my breast, a melancholy sight;
Fresh griefs abhor my fresh returning light;
Pain and remorse and want fill up my years.
My happier children’s farther-piercing eyes
Into the blessed solvent future climb,
And knit the threads of joy and hope and warning;
But I, the ancient mother, am not wise,
And, shut within the blind obscure of time,
Roll on from morn to night, and on from night to morning.

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The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast

Come take up your Hats, and away let us haste
To the Butterfly's Ball, and the Grasshopper's Feast.
The Trumpeter, Gad-fly, has summon'd the Crew,
And the Revels are now only waiting for you.

So said little Robert, and pacing along,
His merry Companions came forth in a Throng.
And on the smooth Grass, by the side of a Wood,
Beneath a broad Oak that for Ages had stood,

Saw the Children of Earth, and the Tenants of Air,
For an Evening's Amusement together repair.
And there came the Beetle, so blind and so black,
Who carried the Emmet, his Friend, on his Back.

And there was the Gnat and the Dragon-fly too,
With all their Relations, Green, Orange, and Blue.
And there came the Moth, with his Plumage of Down,
And the Hornet in Jacket of Yellow and Brown;

[...] Read more

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