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New Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson

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New Poems - Robert Louis Stevenson - 1918 edition
Scanned and proofed by David Price, email
ccx074@coventry.ac.uk

New Poems

CONTENTS

PRAYER
LO! IN THINE HONEST EYES I READ
THOUGH DEEP INDIFFERENCE SHOULD DROWSE
MY HEART, WHEN FIRST THE BLACKBIRD SINGS
I DREAMED OF FOREST ALLEYS FAIR
ST. MARTIN'S SUMMER
DEDICATION
THE OLD CHIMAERAS, OLD RECEIPTS
PRELUDE
THE VANQUISHED KNIGHT
TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF NORTHERN LIGHTS
THE RELIC TAKEN, WHAT AVAILS THE SHRINE?
ABOUT THE SHELTERED GARDEN GROUND
AFTER READING "ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA"
I KNOW NOT HOW, BUT AS I COUNT
SPRING SONG
THE SUMMER SUN SHONE ROUND ME
YOU LOOKED SO TEMPTING IN THE PEW
LOVE'S VICISSITUDES
DUDDINGSTONE
STOUT MARCHES LEAD TO CERTAIN ENDS
AWAY WITH FUNERAL MUSIC
TO SYDNEY
HAD I THE POWER THAT HAVE THE WILL
O DULL COLD NORTHERN SKY
APOLOGETIC POSTSCRIPT OF A YEAR LATER
TO MARCUS
TO OTTILIE
THIS GLOOMY NORTHERN DAY
THE WIND IS WITHOUT THERE AND HOWLS IN THE TREES
A VALENTINE'S SONG
HAIL! CHILDISH SLAVES OF SOCIAL RULES
SWALLOWS TRAVEL TO AND FRO
TO MESDAMES ZASSETSKY AND GARSCHINE
TO MADAME GARSCHINE
MUSIC AT THE VILLA MARINA
FEAR NOT, DEAR FRIEND, BUT FREELY LIVE YOUR DAYS
LET LOVE GO, IF GO SHE WILL
I DO NOT FEAR TO OWN ME KIN
I AM LIKE ONE THAT FOR LONG DAYS HAD SATE
VOLUNTARY
ON NOW, ALTHOUGH THE YEAR BE DONE
IN THE GREEN AND GALLANT SPRING
DEATH, TO THE DEAD FOR EVERMORE
TO CHARLES BAXTER
I WHO ALL THE WINTER THROUGH
LOVE, WHAT IS LOVE?
SOON OUR FRIENDS PERISH
AS ONE WHO HAVING WANDERED ALL NIGHT LONG
STRANGE ARE THE WAYS OF MEN
THE WIND BLEW SHRILL AND SMART
MAN SAILS THE DEEP AWHILE
THE COCK'S CLEAR VOICE INTO THE CLEARER AIR
NOW WHEN THE NUMBER OF MY YEARS
WHAT MAN MAY LEARN, WHAT MAN MAY DO
SMALL IS THE TRUST WHEN LOVE IS GREEN
KNOW YOU THE RIVER NEAR TO GREZ
IT'S FORTH ACROSS THE ROARING FOAM
AN ENGLISH BREEZE
AS IN THEIR FLIGHT THE BIRDS OF SONG
THE PIPER
TO MRS. MACMARLAND
TO MISS CORNISH
TALES OF ARABIA
BEHOLD, AS GOBLINS DARK OF MIEN
STILL I LOVE TO RHYME
LONG TIME I LAY IN LITTLE EASE
FLOWER GOD, GOD OF THE SPRING
COME, MY BELOVED, HEAR FROM ME
SINCE YEARS AGO FOR EVERMORE
ENVOY FOR "A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES"
FOR RICHMOND'S GARDEN WALL
HAIL, GUEST, AND ENTER FREELY!
LO, NOW, MY GUEST
SO LIVE, SO LOVE, SO USE THAT FRAGILE HOUR
AD SE IPSUM
BEFORE THIS LITTLE GIFT WAS COME
GO, LITTLE BOOK - THE ANCIENT PHRASE
MY LOVE WAS WARM
DEDICATORY POEM FOR "UNDERWOODS"
FAREWELL
THE FAR-FARERS
COME, MY LITTLE CHILDREN, HERE ARE SONGS FOR YOU
HOME FROM THE DAISIED MEADOWS
EARLY IN THE MORNING I HEAR ON YOUR PIANO
FAIR ISLE AT SEA
LOUD AND LOW IN THE CHIMNEY
I LOVE TO BE WARM BY THE RED FIRESIDE
AT LAST SHE COMES
MINE EYES WERE SWIFT TO KNOW THEE
FIXED IS THE DOOM
MEN ARE HEAVEN'S PIERS
THE ANGLER ROSE, HE TOOK HIS ROD
SPRING CAROL
TO WHAT SHALL I COMPARE HER
WHEN THE SUN COMES AFTER RAIN
LATE, O MILLER
TO FRIENDS AT HOME
I, WHOM APOLLO SOMETIME VISITED
TEMPEST TOSSED AND SORE AFFLICTED
VARIANT FORM OF THE PRECEDING POEM
I NOW, O FRIEND, WHOM NOISELESSLY THE SNOWS
SINCE THOU HAST GIVEN ME THIS GOOD HOPE, O GOD
GOD GAVE TO ME A CHILD IN PART
OVER THE LAND IS APRIL
LIGHT AS THE LINNET ON MY WAY I START
COMIC, HERE IS ADIEU TO THE CITY
IT BLOWS A SNOWING GALE
NE SIT ANCILLAE TIBI AMOR PUDOR
TO ALL THAT LOVE THE FAR AND BLUE
THOU STRAINEST THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN FERN
TO ROSABELLE
NOW BARE TO THE BEHOLDER'S EYE
THE BOUR-TREE DEN
SONNETS
FRAGMENTS
AIR OF DIABELLI'S
EPITAPHIUM EROTII
DE M. ANTONIO
AD MAGISTRUM LUDI
AD NEPOTEM
IN CHARIDEMUM
DE LIGURRA
IN LUPUM
AD QUINTILIANUM
DE HORTIS JULII MARTIALIS
AD MARTIALEM
IN MAXIMUM
AD OLUM
DE COENATIONE MICAE
DE EROTIO PUELLA
AD PISCATOREM

New Poems

PRAYER

I ASK good things that I detest,
With speeches fair;
Heed not, I pray Thee, Lord, my breast,
But hear my prayer.

I say ill things I would not say -
Things unaware:
Regard my breast, Lord, in Thy day,
And not my prayer.

My heart is evil in Thy sight:
My good thoughts flee:
O Lord, I cannot wish aright -
Wish Thou for me.

O bend my words and acts to Thee,
However ill,
That I, whate'er I say or be,
May serve Thee still.

O let my thoughts abide in Thee
Lest I should fall:
Show me Thyself in all I see,
Thou Lord of all.

LO! IN THINE HONEST EYES I READ

LO! in thine honest eyes I read
The auspicious beacon that shall lead,
After long sailing in deep seas,
To quiet havens in June ease.

Thy voice sings like an inland bird
First by the seaworn sailor heard;
And like road sheltered from life's sea
Thine honest heart is unto me.

THOUGH DEEP INDIFFERENCE SHOULD DROWSE

THOUGH deep indifference should drowse
The sluggish life beneath my brows,
And all the external things I see
Grow snow-showers in the street to me,
Yet inmost in my stormy sense
Thy looks shall be an influence.

Though other loves may come and go
And long years sever us below,
Shall the thin ice that grows above
Freeze the deep centre-well of love?
No, still below light amours, thou
Shalt rule me as thou rul'st me now.

Year following year shall only set
Fresh gems upon thy coronet;
And Time, grown lover, shall delight
To beautify thee in my sight;
And thou shalt ever rule in me
Crowned with the light of memory.

MY HEART, WHEN FIRST THE BLACK-BIRD SINGS

MY heart, when first the blackbird sings,
My heart drinks in the song:
Cool pleasure fills my bosom through
And spreads each nerve along.

My bosom eddies quietly,
My heart is stirred and cool
As when a wind-moved briar sweeps
A stone into a pool

But unto thee, when thee I meet,
My pulses thicken fast,
As when the maddened lake grows black
And ruffles in the blast.

I DREAMED OF FOREST ALLEYS FAIR

I.

I DREAMED of forest alleys fair
And fields of gray-flowered grass,
Where by the yellow summer moon
My Jenny seemed to pass.

I dreamed the yellow summer moon,
Behind a cedar wood,
Lay white on fields of rippling grass
Where I and Jenny stood.

I dreamed - but fallen through my dream,
In a rainy land I lie
Where wan wet morning crowns the hills
Of grim reality.

II.

I am as one that keeps awake
All night in the month of June,
That lies awake in bed to watch
The trees and great white moon.

For memories of love are more
Than the white moon there above,
And dearer than quiet moonshine
Are the thoughts of her I love.

III.

Last night I lingered long without
My last of loves to see.
Alas! the moon-white window-panes
Stared blindly back on me.

To-day I hold her very hand,
Her very waist embrace -
Like clouds across a pool, I read
Her thoughts upon her face.

And yet, as now, through her clear eyes
I seek the inner shrine -
I stoop to read her virgin heart
In doubt if it be mine -

O looking long and fondly thus,
What vision should I see?
No vision, but my own white face
That grins and mimics me.

IV.

Once more upon the same old seat
In the same sunshiny weather,
The elm-trees' shadows at their feet
And foliage move together.

The shadows shift upon the grass,
The dial point creeps on;
The clear sun shines, the loiterers pass,
As then they passed and shone.

But now deep sleep is on my heart,
Deep sleep and perfect rest.
Hope's flutterings now disturb no more
The quiet of my breast.

ST. MARTIN'S SUMMER

AS swallows turning backward
When half-way o'er the sea,
At one word's trumpet summons
They came again to me -
The hopes I had forgotten
Came back again to me.

I know not which to credit,
O lady of my heart!
Your eyes that bade me linger,
Your words that bade us part -
I know not which to credit,
My reason or my heart.

But be my hopes rewarded,
Or be they but in vain,
I have dreamed a golden vision,
I have gathered in the grain -
I have dreamed a golden vision,
I have not lived in vain.

DEDICATION

MY first gift and my last, to you
I dedicate this fascicle of songs -
The only wealth I have:
Just as they are, to you.

I speak the truth in soberness, and say
I had rather bring a light to your clear eyes,
Had rather hear you praise
This bosomful of songs

Than that the whole, hard world with one consent,
In one continuous chorus of applause
Poured forth for me and mine
The homage of ripe praise.

I write the finis here against my love,
This is my love's last epitaph and tomb.
Here the road forks, and I
Go my way, far from yours.

THE OLD CHIMAERAS, OLD RECEIPTS

THE old Chimaeras, old receipts
For making "happy land,"
The old political beliefs
Swam close before my hand.

The grand old communistic myths
In a middle state of grace,
Quite dead, but not yet gone to Hell,
And walking for a space,

Quite dead, and looking it, and yet
All eagerness to show
The Social-Contract forgeries
By Chatterton - Rousseau -

A hundred such as these I tried,
And hundreds after that,
I fitted Social Theories
As one would fit a hat!

Full many a marsh-fire lured me on,
I reached at many a star,
I reached and grasped them and behold -
The stump of a cigar!

All through the sultry sweltering day
The sweat ran down my brow,
The still plains heard my distant strokes
That have been silenced now.

This way and that, now up, now down,
I hailed full many a blow.
Alas! beneath my weary arm
The thicket seemed to grow.

I take the lesson, wipe my brow
And throw my axe aside,
And, sorely wearied, I go home
In the tranquil eventide.

And soon the rising moon, that lights
The eve of my defeat,
Shall see me sitting as of yore
By my old master's feet.

PRELUDE

BY sunny market-place and street
Wherever I go my drum I beat,
And wherever I go in my coat of red
The ribbons flutter about my head.

I seek recruits for wars to come -
For slaughterless wars I beat the drum,
And the shilling I give to each new ally
Is hope to live and courage to die.

I know that new recruits shall come
Wherever I beat the sounding drum,
Till the roar of the march by country and town
Shall shake the tottering Dagons down.

For I was objectless as they
And loitering idly day by day;
But whenever I heard the recruiters come,
I left my all to follow the drum.

THE VANQUISHED KNIGHT

I HAVE left all upon the shameful field,
Honour and Hope, my God, and all but life;
Spurless, with sword reversed and dinted shield,
Degraded and disgraced, I leave the strife.

From him that hath not, shall there not be taken
E'en that he hath, when he deserts the strife?
Life left by all life's benefits forsaken,
O keep the promise, Lord, and take the life.

TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF NORTHERN LIGHTS

I SEND to you, commissioners,
A paper that may please ye, sirs
(For troth they say it might be worse
An' I believe't)
And on your business lay my curse
Before I leav't.

I thocht I'd serve wi' you, sirs, yince,
But I've thocht better of it since;
The maitter I will nowise mince,
But tell ye true:
I'll service wi' some ither prince,
An' no wi' you.

I've no been very deep, ye'll think,
Cam' delicately to the brink
An' when the water gart me shrink
Straucht took the rue,
An' didna stoop my fill to drink -
I own it true.

I kent on cape and isle, a light
Burnt fair an' clearly ilka night;
But at the service I took fright,
As sune's I saw,
An' being still a neophite
Gaed straucht awa'.

Anither course I now begin,
The weeg I'll cairry for my sin,
The court my voice shall echo in,
An' - wha can tell? -
Some ither day I may be yin
O' you mysel'.

THE RELIC TAKEN, WHAT AVAILS THE SHRINE?

THE relic taken, what avails the shrine?
The locket, pictureless? O heart of mine,
Art thou not worse than that,
Still warm, a vacant nest where love once sat?

Her image nestled closer at my heart
Than cherished memories, healed every smart
And warmed it more than wine
Or the full summer sun in noon-day shine.

This was the little weather gleam that lit
The cloudy promontories - the real charm was
That gilded hills and woods
And walked beside me thro' the solitudes.

The sun is set. My heart is widowed now
Of that companion-thought. Alone I plough
The seas of life, and trace
A separate furrow far from her and grace.

ABOUT THE SHELTERED GARDEN GROUND

ABOUT the sheltered garden ground
The trees stand strangely still.
The vale ne'er seemed so deep before,
Nor yet so high the hill.

An awful sense of quietness,
A fulness of repose,
Breathes from the dewy garden-lawns,
The silent garden rows.

As the hoof-beats of a troop of horse
Heard far across a plain,
A nearer knowledge of great thoughts
Thrills vaguely through my brain.

I lean my head upon my arm,
My heart's too full to think;
Like the roar of seas, upon my heart
Doth the morning stillness sink.

AFTER READING "ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA"

AS when the hunt by holt and field
Drives on with horn and strife,
Hunger of hopeless things pursues
Our spirits throughout life.

The sea's roar fills us aching full
Of objectless desire -
The sea's roar, and the white moon-shine,
And the reddening of the fire.

Who talks to me of reason now?
It would be more delight
To have died in Cleopatra's arms
Than be alive to-night.

I KNOW NOT HOW, BUT AS I COUNT

I KNOW not how, but as I count
The beads of former years,
Old laughter catches in my throat
With the very feel of tears.

SPRING SONG

THE air was full of sun and birds,
The fresh air sparkled clearly.
Remembrance wakened in my heart
And I knew I loved her dearly.

The fallows and the leafless trees
And all my spirit tingled.
My earliest thought of love, and Spring's
First puff of perfume mingled.

In my still heart the thoughts awoke,
Came lone by lone together -
Say, birds and Sun and Spring, is Love
A mere affair of weather?

THE SUMMER SUN SHONE ROUND ME

THE summer sun shone round me,
The folded valley lay
In a stream of sun and odour,
That sultry summer day.

The tall trees stood in the sunlight
As still as still could be,
But the deep grass sighed and rustled
And bowed and beckoned me.

The deep grass moved and whispered
And bowed and brushed my face.
It whispered in the sunshine:
"The winter comes apace."

YOU LOOKED SO TEMPTING IN THE PEW

YOU looked so tempting in the pew,
You looked so sly and calm -
My trembling fingers played with yours
As both looked out the Psalm.

Your heart beat hard against my arm,
My foot to yours was set,
Your loosened ringlet burned my cheek
Whenever they two met.

O little, little we hearkened, dear,
And little, little cared,
Although the parson sermonised,
The congregation stared.

LOVE'S VICISSITUDES

AS Love and Hope together
Walk by me for a while,
Link-armed the ways they travel
For many a pleasant mile -
Link-armed and dumb they travel,
They sing not, but they smile.

Hope leaving, Love commences
To practise on the lute;
And as he sings and travels
With lingering, laggard foot,
Despair plays obligato
The sentimental flute.

Until in singing garments
Comes royally, at call -
Comes limber-hipped Indiff'rence
Free stepping, straight and tall -
Comes singing and lamenting,
The sweetest pipe of all.

DUDDINGSTONE

WITH caws and chirrupings, the woods
In this thin sun rejoice.
The Psalm seems but the little kirk
That sings with its own voice.

The cloud-rifts share their amber light
With the surface of the mere -
I think the very stones are glad
To feel each other near.

Once more my whole heart leaps and swells
And gushes o'er with glee;
The fingers of the sun and shade
Touch music stops in me.

Now fancy paints that bygone day
When you were here, my fair -
The whole lake rang with rapid skates
In the windless winter air.

You leaned to me, I leaned to you,
Our course was smooth as flight -
We steered - a heel-touch to the left,
A heel-touch to the right.

We swung our way through flying men,
Your hand lay fast in mine:
We saw the shifting crowd dispart,
The level ice-reach shine.

I swear by yon swan-travelled lake,
By yon calm hill above,
I swear had we been drowned that day
We had been drowned in love.

STOUT MARCHES LEAD TO CERTAIN ENDS

STOUT marches lead to certain ends,
We seek no Holy Grail, my friends -
That dawn should find us every day
Some fraction farther on our way.

The dumb lands sleep from east to west,
They stretch and turn and take their rest.
The cock has crown in the steading-yard,
But priest and people slumber hard.

We two are early forth, and hear
The nations snoring far and near.
So peacefully their rest they take,
It seems we are the first awake!

- Strong heart! this is no royal way,
A thousand cross-roads seek the day;
And, hid from us, to left and right,
A thousand seekers seek the light.

AWAY WITH FUNERAL MUSIC

AWAY with funeral music - set
The pipe to powerful lips -
The cup of life's for him that drinks
And not for him that sips.

TO SYDNEY

NOT thine where marble-still and white
Old statues share the tempered light
And mock the uneven modern flight,
But in the stream
Of daily sorrow and delight
To seek a theme.

I too, O friend, have steeled my heart
Boldly to choose the better part,
To leave the beaten ways of art,
And wholly free
To dare, beyond the scanty chart,
The deeper sea.

All vain restrictions left behind,
Frail bark! I loose my anchored mind
And large, before the prosperous wind
Desert the strand -
A new Columbus sworn to find
The morning land.

Nor too ambitious, friend. To thee
I own my weakness. Not for me
To sing the enfranchised nations' glee,
Or count the cost
Of warships foundered far at sea
And battles lost.

High on the far-seen, sunny hills,
Morning-content my bosom fills;
Well-pleased, I trace the wandering rills
And learn their birth.
Far off, the clash of sovereign wills
May shake the earth.

The nimble circuit of the wheel,
The uncertain poise of merchant weal,
Heaven of famine, fire and steel
When nations fall;
These, heedful, from afar I feel -
I mark them all.

But not, my friend, not these I sing,
My voice shall fill a narrower ring.
Tired souls, that flag upon the wing,
I seek to cheer:
Brave wines to strengthen hope I bring,
Life's cantineer!

Some song that shall be suppling oil
To weary muscles strained with toil,
Shall hearten for the daily moil,
Or widely read
Make sweet for him that tills the soil
His daily bread.

Such songs in my flushed hours I dream
(High thought) instead of armour gleam
Or warrior cantos ream by ream
To load the shelves -
Songs with a lilt of words, that seem
To sing themselves.

HAD I THE POWER THAT HAVE THE WILL

HAD I the power that have the will,
The enfeebled will - a modern curse -
This book of mine should blossom still
A perfect garden-ground of verse.

White placid marble gods should keep
Good watch in every shadowy lawn;
And from clean, easy-breathing sleep
The birds should waken me at dawn.

- A fairy garden; - none the less
Throughout these gracious paths of mine
All day there should be free access
For stricken hearts and lives that pine;

And by the folded lawns all day -
No idle gods for such a land -
All active Love should take its way
With active Labour hand in hand.

O DULL COLD NORTHERN SKY

O DULL cold northern sky,
O brawling sabbath bells,
O feebly twittering Autumn bird that tells
The year is like to die!

O still, spoiled trees, O city ways,
O sun desired in vain,
O dread presentiment of coming rain
That cloys the sullen days!

Thee, heart of mine, I greet.
In what hard mountain pass
Striv'st thou? In what importunate morass
Sink now thy weary feet?

Thou run'st a hopeless race
To win despair. No crown
Awaits success, but leaden gods look down
On thee, with evil face.

And those that would befriend
And cherish thy defeat,
With angry welcome shall turn sour the sweet
Home-coming of the end.

Yea, those that offer praise
To idleness, shall yet
Insult thee, coming glorious in the sweat
Of honourable ways.

APOLOGETIC POSTSCRIPT OF A YEAR LATER

IF you see this song, my dear,
And last year's toast,
I'm confoundedly in fear
You'll be serious and severe
About the boast.

Blame not that I sought such aid
To cure regret.
I was then so lowly laid
I used all the Gasconnade
That I could get.

Being snubbed is somewhat smart,
Believe, my sweet;
And I needed all my art
To restore my broken heart
To its conceit.

Come and smile, dear, and forget
I boasted so,
I apologise - regret -
It was all a jest; - and - yet -
I do not know.

TO MARCUS

YOU have been far, and I
Been farther yet,
Since last, in foul or fair
An impecunious pair,
Below this northern sky
Of ours, we met.

Now winter night shall see
Again us two,
While howls the tempest higher,
Sit warmly by the fire
And dream and plan, as we
Were wont to do.

And, hand in hand, at large
Our thoughts shall walk
While storm and gusty rain,
Again and yet again,
Shall drive their noisy charge
Across the talk.

The pleasant future still
Shall smile to me,
And hope with wooing hands
Wave on to fairy lands
All over dale and hill
And earth and sea.

And you who doubt the sky
And fear the sun -
You - Christian with the pack -
You shall not wander back
For I am Hopeful - I
Will cheer you on.

Come - where the great have trod,
The great shall lead -
Come, elbow through the press,
Pluck Fortune by the dress -
By God, we must - by God,
We shall succeed.

TO OTTILIE

YOU remember, I suppose,
How the August sun arose,
And how his face
Woke to trill and carolette
All the cages that were set
About the place.

In the tender morning light
All around lay strange and bright
And still and sweet,
And the gray doves unafraid
Went their morning promenade
Along the street.

THIS GLOOMY NORTHERN DAY

THIS gloomy northern day,
Or this yet gloomier night,
Has moved a something high
In my cold heart; and I,
That do not often pray,
Would pray to-night.

And first on Thee I call
For bread, O God of might!
Enough of bread for all, -
That through the famished town
Cold hunger may lie down
With none to-night.

I pray for hope no less,
Strong-sinewed hope, O Lord,
That to the struggling young
May preach with brazen tongue
Stout Labour, high success,
And bright reward.

And last, O Lord, I pray
For hearts resigned and bold
To trudge the dusty way -
Hearts stored with song and joke
And warmer than a cloak
Against the cold.

If nothing else he had,
He who has this, has all.
This comforts under pain;
This, through the stinging rain,
Keeps ragamuffin glad
Behind the wall.

This makes the sanded inn
A palace for a Prince,
And this, when griefs begin
And cruel fate annoys,
Can bring to mind the joys
Of ages since.

THE WIND IS WITHOUT THERE AND HOWLS IN THE TREES

THE wind is without there and howls in the trees,
And the rain-flurries drum on the glass:
Alone by the fireside with elbows on knees
I can number the hours as they pass.
Yet now, when to cheer me the crickets begin,
And my pipe is just happily lit,
Believe me, my friend, tho' the evening draws in,
That not all uncontested I sit.

Alone, did I say? O no, nowise alone
With the Past sitting warm on my knee,
To gossip of days that are over and gone,
But still charming to her and to me.
With much to be glad of and much to deplore,
Yet, as these days with those we compare,
Believe me, my friend, tho' the sorrows seem more
They are somehow more easy to bear.

And thou, faded Future, uncertain and frail,
As I cherish thy light in each draught,
His lamp is not more to the miner - their sail
Is not more to the crew on the raft.
For Hope can make feeble ones earnest and brave,
And, as forth thro' the years I look on,
Believe me, my friend, between this and the grave,
I see wonderful things to be done.

To do or to try; and, believe me, my friend,
If the call should come early for me,
I can leave these foundations uprooted, and tend
For some new city over the sea.
To do or to try; and if failure be mine,
And if Fortune go cross to my plan,
Believe me, my friend, tho' I mourn the design
I shall never lament for the man.

A VALENTINE'S SONG

MOTLEY I count the only wear
That suits, in this mixed world, the truly wise,
Who boldly smile upon despair
And shake their bells in Grandam Grundy's eyes.
Singers should sing with such a goodly cheer
That the bare listening should make strong like wine,
At this unruly time of year,
The Feast of Valentine.

We do not now parade our "oughts"
And "shoulds" and motives and beliefs in God.
Their life lies all indoors; sad thoughts
Must keep the house, while gay thoughts go abroad,
Within we hold the wake for hopes deceased;
But in the public streets, in wind or sun,
Keep open, at the annual feast,
The puppet-booth of fun.

Our powers, perhaps, are small to please,
But even negro-songs and castanettes,
Old jokes and hackneyed repartees
Are more than the parade of vain regrets.
Let Jacques stand Wert(h)ering by the wounded deer -
We shall make merry, honest friends of mine,
At this unruly time of year,
The Feast of Valentine.

I know how, day by weary day,
Hope fades, love fades, a thousand pleasures fade.
I have not trudged in vain that way
On which life's daylight darkens, shade by shade.
And still, with hopes decreasing, griefs increased,
Still, with what wit I have shall I, for one,
Keep open, at the annual feast,
The puppet-booth of fun.

I care not if the wit be poor,
The old worn motley stained with rain and tears,
If but the courage still endure
That filled and strengthened hope in earlier years;
If still, with friends averted, fate severe,
A glad, untainted cheerfulness be mine
To greet the unruly time of year,
The Feast of Valentine.

Priest, I am none of thine, and see
In the perspective of still hopeful youth
That Truth shall triumph over thee -
Truth to one's self - I know no other truth.
I see strange days for thee and thine, O priest,
And how your doctrines, fallen one by one,
Shall furnish at the annual feast
The puppet-booth of fun.

Stand on your putrid ruins - stand,
White neck-clothed bigot, fixedly the same,
Cruel with all things but the hand,
Inquisitor in all things but the name.
Back, minister of Christ and source of fear -
We cherish freedom - back with thee and thine
From this unruly time of year,
The Feast of Valentine.

Blood thou mayest spare; but what of tears?
But what of riven households, broken faith -
Bywords that cling through all men's years
And drag them surely down to shame and death?
Stand back, O cruel man, O foe of youth,
And let such men as hearken not thy voice
Press freely up the road to truth,
The King's highway of choice.

HAIL! CHILDISH SLAVES OF SOCIAL RULES

HAIL! Childish slaves of social rules
You had yourselves a hand in making!
How I could shake your faith, ye fools,
If but I thought it worth the shaking.
I see, and pity you; and then
Go, casting off the idle pity,
In search of better, braver men,
My own way freely through the city.

My own way freely, and not yours;
And, careless of a town's abusing,
Seek real friendship that endures
Among the friends of my own choosing.
I'll choose my friends myself, do you hear?
And won't let Mrs. Grundy do it,
Tho' all I honour and hold dear
And all I hope should move me to it.

I take my old coat from the shelf -
I am a man of little breeding.
And only dress to please myself -
I own, a very strange proceeding.
I smoke a pipe abroad, because
To all cigars I much prefer it,
And as I scorn your social laws
My choice has nothing to deter it.

Gladly I trudge the footpath way,
While you and yours roll by in coaches
In all the pride of fine array,
Through all the city's thronged approaches.
O fine religious, decent folk,
In Virtue's flaunting gold and scarlet,
I sneer between two puffs of smoke, -
Give me the publican and harlot.

Ye dainty-spoken, stiff, severe
Seed of the migrated Philistian,
One whispered question in your ear -
Pray, what was Christ, if you be Christian?
If Christ were only here just now,
Among the city's wynds and gables
Teaching the life he taught us, how
Would he be welcome to your tables?

I go and leave your logic-straws,
Your former-friends with face averted,
Your petty ways and narrow laws,
Your Grundy and your God, deserted.
From your frail ark of lies, I flee
I know not where, like Noah's raven.
Full to the broad, unsounded sea
I swim from your dishonest haven.

Alone on that unsounded deep,
Poor waif, it may be I shall perish,
Far from the course I thought to keep,
Far from the friends I hoped to cherish.
It may be that I shall sink, and yet
Hear, thro' all taunt and scornful laughter,
Through all defeat and all regret,
The stronger swimmers coming after.

SWALLOWS TRAVEL TO AND FRO

SWALLOWS travel to and fro,
And the great winds come and go,
And the steady breezes blow,
Bearing perfume, bearing love.
Breezes hasten, swallows fly,
Towered clouds forever ply,
And at noonday, you and I
See the same sunshine above.

Dew and rain fall everywhere,
Harvests ripen, flowers are fair,
And the whole round earth is bare
To the moonshine and the sun;
And the live air, fanned with wings,
Bright with breeze and sunshine, brings
Into contact distant things,
And makes all the countries one.

Let us wander where we will,
Something kindred greets us still;
Something seen on vale or hill
Falls familiar on the heart;
So, at scent or sound or sight,
Severed souls by day and night
Tremble with the same delight -
Tremble, half the world apart.

TO MESDAMES ZASSETSKY AND GARSCHINE

THE wind may blaw the lee-gang way
And aye the lift be mirk an' gray,
An deep the moss and steigh the brae
Where a' maun gang -
There's still an hoor in ilka day
For luve and sang.

And canty hearts are strangely steeled.
By some dikeside they'll find a bield,
Some couthy neuk by muir or field
They're sure to hit,
Where, frae the blatherin' wind concealed,
They'll rest a bit.

An' weel for them if kindly fate
Send ower the hills to them a mate;
They'll crack a while o' kirk an' State,
O' yowes an' rain:
An' when it's time to take the gate,
Tak' ilk his ain.

- Sic neuk beside the southern sea
I soucht - sic place o' quiet lee
Frae a' the winds o' life. To me,
Fate, rarely fair,
Had set a freendly company
To meet me there.

Kindly by them they gart me sit,
An' blythe was I to bide a bit.
Licht as o' some hame fireside lit
My life for me.
- Ower early maun I rise an' quit
This happy lee.

TO MADAME GARSCHINE

WHAT is the face, the fairest face, till Care,
Till Care the graver - Care with cunning hand,
Etches content thereon and makes it fair,
Or constancy, and love, and makes it grand?

MUSIC AT THE VILLA MARINA

FOR some abiding central source of power,
Strong-smitten steady chords, ye seem to flow
And, flowing, carry virtue. Far below,
The vain tumultuous passions of the hour
Fleet fast and disappear; and as the sun
Shines on the wake of tempests, there is cast
O'er all the shattered ruins of my past
A strong contentment as of battles won.

And yet I cry in anguish, as I hear
The long drawn pageant of your passage roll
Magnificently forth into the night.
To yon fair land ye come from, to yon sphere
Of strength and love where now ye shape your flight,
O even wings of music, bear my soul!

Ye have the power, if but ye had the will,
Strong-smitten steady chords in sequence grand,
To bear me forth into that tranquil land
Where good is no more ravelled up with ill;
Where she and I, remote upon some hill
Or by some quiet river's windless strand,
May live, and love, and wander hand in hand,
And follow nature simply, and be still.

From this grim world, where, sadly, prisoned, we
Sit bound with others' heart-strings as with chains,
And, if one moves, all suffer, - to that Goal,
If such a land, if such a sphere, there be,
Thither, from life and all life's joys and pains,
O even wings of music, bear my soul!

FEAR NOT, DEAR FRIEND, BUT FREELY LIVE YOUR DAYS

FEAR not, dear friend, but freely live your days
Though lesser lives should suffer. Such am I,
A lesser life, that what is his of sky
Gladly would give for you, and what of praise.
Step, without trouble, down the sunlit ways.
We that have touched your raiment, are made whole
From all the selfish cankers of man's soul,
And we would see you happy, dear, or die.
Therefore be brave, and therefore, dear, be free;
Try all things resolutely, till the best,
Out of all lesser betters, you shall find;
And we, who have learned greatness from you, we,
Your lovers, with a still, contented mind,
See you well anchored in some port of rest.

LET LOVE GO, IF GO SHE WILL

LET love go, if go she will.
Seek not, O fool, her wanton flight to stay.
Of all she gives and takes away
The best remains behind her still.

The best remains behind; in vain
Joy she may give and take again,
Joy she may take and leave us pain,
If yet she leave behind
The constant mind
To meet all fortunes nobly, to endure
All things with a good heart, and still be pure,
Still to be foremost in the foremost cause,
And still be worthy of the love that was.
Love coming is omnipotent indeed,
But not Love going. Let her go. The seed
Springs in the favouring Summer air, and grows,
And waxes strong; and when the Summer goes,
Remains, a perfect tree.

Joy she may give and take again,
Joy she may take and leave us pain.
O Love, and what care we?
For one thing thou hast given, O Love, one thing
Is ours that nothing can remove;
And as the King discrowned is still a King,
The unhappy lover still preserves his love.

I DO NOT FEAR TO OWN ME KIN

I DO not fear to own me kin
To the glad clods in which spring flowers begin;
Or to my brothers, the great trees,
That speak with pleasant voices in the breeze,
Loud talkers with the winds that pass;
Or to my sister, the deep grass.

Of such I am, of such my body is,
That thrills to reach its lips to kiss.
That gives and takes with wind and sun and rain
And feels keen pleasure to the point of pain.

Of such are these,
The brotherhood of stalwart trees,
The humble family of flowers,
That make a light of shadowy bowers
Or star the edges of the bent:
They give and take sweet colour and sweet scent;
They joy to shed themselves abroad;
And tree and flower and grass and sod
Thrill and leap and live and sing
With silent voices in the Spring.

Hence I not fear to yield my breath,
Since all is still unchanged by death;
Since in some pleasant valley I may be,
Clod beside clod, or tree by tree,
Long ages hence, with her I love this hour;
And feel a lively joy to share
With her the sun and rain and air,
To taste her quiet neighbourhood
As the dumb things of field and wood,
The clod, the tree, and starry flower,
Alone of all things have the power.

I AM LIKE ONE THAT FOR LONG DAYS HAD SATE

I AM like one that for long days had sate,
With seaward eyes set keen against the gale,
On some lone foreland, watching sail by sail,
The portbound ships for one ship that was late;
And sail by sail, his heart burned up with joy,
And cruelly was quenched, until at last
One ship, the looked-for pennant at its mast,
Bore gaily, and dropt safely past the buoy;
And lo! the loved one was not there - was dead.
Then would he watch no more; no more the sea
With myriad vessels, sail by sail, perplex
His eyes and mock his longing. Weary head,
Take now thy rest; eyes, close; for no more me
Shall hopes untried elate, or ruined vex.

For thus on love I waited; thus for love
Strained all my senses eagerly and long;
Thus for her coming ever trimmed my song;
Till in the far skies coloured as a dove,
A bird gold-coloured flickered far and fled
Over the pathless waterwaste for me;
And with spread hands I watched the bright bird flee
And waited, till before me she dropped dead.
O golden bird in these dove-coloured skies
How long I sought, how long with wearied eyes
I sought, O bird, the promise of thy flight!
And now the morn has dawned, the morn has died,
The day has come and gone; and once more night
About my lone life settles, wild and wide.

VOLUNTARY

HERE in the quiet eve
My thankful eyes receive
The quiet light.
I see the trees stand fair
Against the faded air,
And star by star prepare
The perfect night.

And in my bosom, lo!
Content and quiet grow
Toward perfect peace.
And now when day is done,
Brief day of wind and sun,
The pure stars, one by one,
Their troop increase.

Keen pleasure and keen grief
Give place to great relief:
Farewell my tears!
Still sounds toward me float;
I hear the bird's small note,
Sheep from the far sheepcote,
And lowing steers.

For lo! the war is done,
Lo, now the battle won,
The trumpets still.
The shepherd's slender strain,
The country sounds again
Awake in wood and plain,
On haugh and hill.

Loud wars and loud loves cease.
I welcome my release;
And hail once more
Free foot and way world-wide.
And oft at eventide
Light love to talk beside
The hostel door.

ON NOW, ALTHOUGH THE YEAR BE DONE

ON now, although the year be done,
Now, although the love be dead,
Dead and gone;
Hear me, O loved and cherished one,
Give me still the hand that led,
Led me on.

IN THE GREEN AND GALLANT SPRING

IN the green and gallant Spring,
Love and the lyre I thought to sing,
And kisses sweet to give and take
By the flowery hawthorn brake.

Now is russet Autumn here,
Death and the grave and winter drear,
And I must ponder here aloof
While the rain is on the roof.

DEATH, TO THE DEAD FOR EVERMORE

DEATH, to the dead for evermore
A King, a God, the last, the best of friends -
Whene'er this mortal journey ends
Death, like a host, comes smiling to the door;
Smiling, he greets us, on that tranquil shore
Where neither piping bird nor peeping dawn
Disturbs the eternal sleep,
But in the stillness far withdrawn
Our dreamless rest for evermore we keep.

For as from open windows forth we peep
Upon the night-time star beset
And with dews for ever wet;
So from this garish life the spirit peers;
And lo! as a sleeping city death outspread,
Where breathe the sleepers evenly; and lo!
After the loud wars, triumphs, trumpets, tears
And clamour of man's passion, Death appears,
And we must rise and go.

Soon are eyes tired with sunshine; soon the ears
Weary of utterance, seeing all is said;
Soon, racked by hopes and fears,
The all-pondering, all-contriving head,
Weary with all things, wearies of the years;
And our sad spirits turn toward the dead;
And the tired child, the body, longs for bed.

TO CHARLES BAXTER

ON THE DEATH OF THEIR COMMON FRIEND, MR. JOHN ADAM, CLERK OF COURT.

OUR Johnie's deid. The mair's the pity!
He's deid, an' deid o' Aqua-vitae.
O Embro', you're a shrunken city,
Noo Johnie's deid!
Tak hands, an' sing a burial ditty
Ower Johnie's heid.

To see him was baith drink an' meat,
Gaun linkin' glegly up the street.
He but to rin or tak a seat,
The wee bit body!
Bein' aye unsicken on his feet
Wi' whusky toddy.

To be aye tosh was Johnie's whim,
There's nane was better teut than him,
Though whiles his gravit-knot wad clim'
Ahint his ear,
An' whiles he'd buttons oot or in
The less ae mair.

His hair a' lang about his bree,
His tap-lip lang by inches three -
A slockened sort 'mon,' to pree
A' sensuality -
A droutly glint was in his e'e
An' personality.

An' day an' nicht, frae daw to daw,
Dink an' perjink an' doucely braw,
Wi' a kind o' Gospel ower a',
May or October,
Like Peden, followin' the Law
An' no that sober.

Whusky an' he were pack thegether.
Whate'er the hour, whate'er the weather,
John kept himsel' wi' mistened leather
An' kindled spunk.
Wi' him, there was nae askin' whether -
John was aye drunk.

The auncient heroes gash an' bauld
In the uncanny days of auld,
The task ance fo(u)nd to which th'were called,
Stack stenchly to it.
His life sic noble lives recalled,
Little's he knew it.

Single an' straucht, he went his way.
He kept the faith an' played the play.
Whusky an' he were man an' may
Whate'er betided.
Bonny in life - in death - this twae
Were no' divided.

An' wow! but John was unco sport.
Whiles he wad smile about the Court
Malvolio-like - whiles snore an' snort
Was heard afar.
The idle winter lads' resort
Was aye John's bar.

What's merely humorous or bonny
The Worl' regairds wi' cauld astony.
Drunk men tak' aye mair place than ony;
An' sae, ye see,
The gate was aye ower thrang for Johnie -
Or you an' me.

John micht hae jingled cap an' bells,
Been a braw fule in silks an' pells,
In ane o' the auld worl's canty hells
Paris or Sodom.
I wadnae had him naething else
But Johnie Adam.

He suffered - as have a' that wan
Eternal memory frae man,
Since e'er the weary worl' began -
Mister or Madam,
Keats or Scots Burns, the Spanish Don
Or Johnie Adam.

We leuch, an' Johnie deid. An' fegs!
Hoo he had keept his stoiterin' legs
Sae lang's he did's a fact that begs
An explanation.
He stachers fifty years - syne plegs
To's destination.

I WHO ALL THE WINTER THROUGH

I WHO all the winter through
Cherished other loves than you,
And kept hands with hoary policy in marriage-bed and pew;
Now I know the false and true,
For the earnest sun looks through,
And my old love comes to meet me in the dawning and the dew.

Now the hedged meads renew
Rustic odour, smiling hue,
And the clean air shines and tinkles as the world goes wheeling through;
And my heart springs up anew,
Bright and confident and true,
And my old love comes to meet me in the dawning and the dew.

LOVE, WHAT IS LOVE?

LOVE - what is love? A great and aching heart;
Wrung hands; and silence; and a long despair.
Life - what is life? Upon a moorland bare
To see love coming and see love depart.

SOON OUR FRIENDS PERISH

SOON our friends perish,
Soon all we cherish
Fades as days darken - goes as flowers go.
Soon in December
Over an ember,
Lonely we hearken, as loud winds blow.

AS ONE WHO HAVING WANDERED ALL NIGHT LONG

AS one who having wandered all night long
In a perplexed forest, comes at length
In the first hours, about the matin song,
And when the sun uprises in his strength,
To the fringed margin of the wood, and sees,
Gazing afar before him, many a mile
Of falling country, many fields and trees,
And cities and bright streams and far-off Ocean's smile:

I, O Melampus, halting, stand at gaze:
I, liberated, look abroad on life,
Love, and distress, and dusty travelling ways,
The steersman's helm, the surgeon's helpful knife,
On the lone ploughman's earth-upturning share,
The revelry of cities and the sound
Of seas, and mountain-tops aloof in air,
And of the circling earth the unsupported round:

I, looking, wonder: I, intent, adore;
And, O Melampus, reaching forth my hands
In adoration, cry aloud and soar
In spirit, high above the supine lands
And the low caves of mortal things, and flee
To the last fields of the universe untrod,
Where is no man, nor any earth, nor sea,
And the contented soul is all alone with God.

STRANGE ARE THE WAYS OF MEN

STRANGE are the ways of men,
And strange the ways of God!
We tread the mazy paths
That all our fathers trod.

We tread them undismayed,
And undismayed behold
The portents of the sky,
The things that were of old.

The fiery stars pursue
Their course in heav'n on high;
And round the 'leaguered town,
Crest-tossing heroes cry.

Crest-tossing heroes cry;
And martial fifes declare
How small, to mortal minds,
Is merely mortal care.

And to the clang of steel
And cry of piercing flute
Upon the azure peaks
A God shall plant his foot:

A God in arms shall stand,
And seeing wide and far
The green and golden earth,
The killing tide of war,

He, with uplifted arm,
Shall to the skies proclaim
The gleeful fate of man,
The noble road to fame!

THE WIND BLEW SHRILL AND SMART

THE wind blew shrill and smart,
And the wind awoke my heart
Again to go a-sailing o'er the sea,
To hear the cordage moan
And the straining timbers groan,
And to see the flying pennon lie a-lee.

O sailor of the fleet,
It is time to stir the feet!
It's time to man the dingy and to row!
It's lay your hand in mine
And it's empty down the wine,
And it's drain a health to death before we go!

To death, my lads, we sail;
And it's death that blows the gale
And death that holds the tiller as we ride.
For he's the king of all
In the tempest and the squall,
And the ruler of the Ocean wild and wide!

MAN SAILS THE DEEP AWHILE

MAN sails the deep awhile;
Loud runs the roaring tide;
The seas are wild and wide;
O'er many a salt, o'er many a desert mile,
The unchained breakers ride,
The quivering stars beguile.

Hope bears the sole command;
Hope, with unshaken eyes,
Sees flaw and storm arise;
Hope, the good steersman, with unwearying hand,
Steers, under changing skies,
Unchanged toward the land.

O wind that bravely blows!
O hope that sails with all
Where stars and voices call!
O ship undaunted that forever goes
Where God, her admiral,
His battle signal shows!

What though the seas and wind
Far on the deep should whelm
Colours and sails and helm?
There, too, you touch that port that you designed -
There, in the mid-seas' realm,
Shall you that haven find.

Well hast thou sailed: now die,
To die is not to sleep.
Still your true course you keep,
O sailor soul, still sailing for the sky;
And fifty fathom deep
Your colours still shall fly.

THE COCK'S CLEAR VOICE INTO THE CLEARER AIR

THE cock's clear voice into the clearer air
Where westward far I roam,
Mounts with a thrill of hope,
Falls with a sigh of home.

A rural sentry, he from farm and field
The coming morn descries,
And, mankind's bugler, wakes
The camp of enterprise.

He sings the morn upon the westward hills
Strange and remote and wild;
He sings it in the land
Where once I was a child.

He brings to me dear voices of the past,
The old land and the years:
My father calls for me,
My weeping spirit hears.

Fife, fife, into the golden air, O bird,
And sing the morning in;
For the old days are past
And new days begin.

NOW WHEN THE NUMBER OF MY YEARS

NOW when the number of my years
Is all fulfilled, and I
From sedentary life
Shall rouse me up to die,
Bury me low and let me lie
Under the wide and starry sky.
Joying to live, I joyed to die,
Bury me low and let me lie.

Clear was my soul, my deeds were free,
Honour was called my name,
I fell not back from fear
Nor followed after fame.
Bury me low and let me lie
Under the wide and starry sky.
Joying to live, I joyed to die,
Bury me low and let me lie.

Bury me low in valleys green
And where the milder breeze
Blows fresh along the stream,
Sings roundly in the trees -
Bury me low and let me lie
Under the wide and starry sky.
Joying to live, I joyed to die,
Bury me low and let me lie.

WHAT MAN MAY LEARN, WHAT MAN MAY DO

WHAT man may learn, what man may do,
Of right or wrong of false or true,
While, skipper-like, his course he steers
Through nine and twenty mingled years,
Half misconceived and half forgot,
So much I know and practise not.

Old are the words of wisdom, old
The counsels of the wise and bold:
To close the ears, to check the tongue,
To keep the pining spirit young;
To act the right, to say the true,
And to be kind whate'er you do.

Thus we across the modern stage
Follow the wise of every age;
And, as oaks grow and rivers run
Unchanged in the unchanging sun,
So the eternal march of man
Goes forth on an eternal plan.

SMALL IS THE TRUST WHEN LOVE IS GREEN

SMALL is the trust when love is green
In sap of early years;
A little thing steps in between
And kisses turn to tears.

Awhile - and see how love be grown
In loveliness and power!
Awhile, it loves the sweets alone,
But next it loves the sour.

A little love is none at all
That wanders or that fears;
A hearty love dwells still at call
To kisses or to tears.

Such then be mine, my love to give,
And such be yours to take:-
A faith to hold, a life to live,
For lovingkindness' sake:

Should you be sad, should you be gay,
Or should you prove unkind,
A love to hold the growing way
And keep the helping mind:-

A love to turn the laugh on care
When wrinkled care appears,
And, with an equal will, to share
Your losses and your tears.

KNOW YOU THE RIVER NEAR TO GREZ

KNOW you the river near to Grez,
A river deep and clear?
Among the lilies all the way,
That ancient river runs to-day
From snowy weir to weir.

Old as the Rhine of great renown,
She hurries clear and fast,
She runs amain by field and town
From south to north, from up to down,
To present on from past.

The love I hold was borne by her;
And now, though far away,
My lonely spirit hears the stir
Of water round the starling spur
Beside the bridge at Grez.

So may that love forever hold
In life an equal pace;
So may that love grow never old,
But, clear and pure and fountain-cold,
Go on from grace to grace.

IT'S FORTH ACROSS THE ROARING FOAM

IT'S forth across the roaring foam, and on towards the west,
It's many a lonely league from home, o'er many a mountain crest,
From where the dogs of Scotland call the sheep around the fold,
To where the flags are flying beside the Gates of Gold.

Where all the deep-sea galleons ride that come to bring the corn,
Where falls the fog at eventide and blows the breeze at morn;
It's there that I was sick and sad, alone and poor and cold,
In yon distressful city beside the Gates of Gold.

I slept as one that nothing knows; but far along my way,
Before the morning God rose and planned the coming day;
Afar before me forth he went, as through the sands of old,
And chose the friends to help me beside the Gates of Gold.

I have been near, I have been far, my back's been at the wall,
Yet aye and ever shone the star to guide me through it all:
The love of God, the help of man, they both shall make me bold
Against the gates of darkness as beside the Gates of Gold.

AN ENGLISH BREEZE

UP with the sun, the breeze arose,
Across the talking corn she goes,
And smooth she rustles far and wide
Through all the voiceful countryside.

Through all the land her tale she tells;
She spins, she tosses, she compels
The kites, the clouds, the windmill sails
And all the trees in all the dales.

God calls us, and the day prepares
With nimble, gay and gracious airs:
And from Penzance to Maidenhead
The roads last night He watered.

God calls us from inglorious ease,
Forth and to travel with the breeze
While, swift and singing, smooth and strong
She gallops by the fields along.

AS IN THEIR FLIGHT THE BIRDS OF SONG

AS in their flight the birds of song
Halt here and there in sweet and sunny dales,
But halt not overlong;
The time one rural song to sing
They pause; then following bounteous gales
Steer forward on the wing:
Sun-servers they, from first to last,
Upon the sun they wait
To ride the sailing blast.

So he awhile in our contested state,
Awhile abode, not longer, for his Sun -
Mother we say, no tenderer name we know -
With whose diviner glow
His early days had shone,
Now to withdraw her radiance had begun.
Or lest a wrong I say, not she withdrew,
But the loud stream of men day after day
And great dust columns of the common way
Between them grew and grew:

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