While Summer Suns O'er the Gay Prospect Play'd

While summer suns o'er the gay prospect play'd,
Through Surrey's verdant scenes, where Epsom spread
'Mid intermingling elms her flowery meads,
And Hascombe's hill, in towering groves array'd,
Rear'd its romantic steep, with mind serene,
I journey'd blithe. Full pensive I return'd;
For now my breast with hopeless passion burn'd,
Wet with hoar mists appear'd the gaudy scene,
Which late in careless indolence I pass'd;
And Autumn all around those hues had cast
Where past delight my recent grief might trace.


While Lounging In A Chair

While lounging in a chair, I looked up at the ceiling
Where, teasing my imagination,
A circle hangs above the quiet lamp,
And spins just like a ghostly shadow.

Within the flicker there's a trace of autumn sunset:
As if, above the rooftop and the garden,
Unable to fly off, afraid to land,
Dark flocks of blackbirds circle. . .

No, it's not wings I hear, but hooves at the front gate!
I hear the trembling hands . . .
How chill the pallor of a lovely face!
How bitter parting's whisper! . .


When Someone Says Alexandria

When someone says: "Alexandria,"
I see the white walls of a house,
a small garden row of gillyflowers,
an autumn evening's pale sunlight
and hear the music of distant flutes.

When someone says: "Alexandria,"
I see stars above the hushed city,
drunken sailors in dark quarters,
a dancing girl performing the "wasp,"
and hear tambourines and the noise of fights.

When someone says "Alexandria,"
I see a pale purple sunset above the green sea,
the flickering of furry stars


When Life Is But A Round Of Crushing Care

When life is but a round of crushing care
And, a great heap of stones, lies heavy on us,
There suddenly, God knows how, why, upon us
A joyous mood descends... Of balmy air
A breath comes from the past and, o'er us drifting,
Invades the heart, its fearful burden lifting.

At times with autumn's coming is it so,
When empty lie the fields, when bare the groves are,
And paler turn the skies - and of a sudden, over
The darkened earth a damp wind starts to blow.
A fallen leaf it chases with elation


What The Dog Perhaps Hears

If an inaudible whistle
blown between our lips
can send him home to us,
then silence is perhaps
the sound of spiders breathing
and roots mining the earth;
it may be asparagus heaving,
headfirst, into the light
and the long brown sound
of cracked cups, when it happens.
We would like to ask the dog
if there is a continuous whir
because the child in the house
keeps growing, if the snake
really stretches full length
without a click and the sun
breaks through clouds without


Wedding Song

The tale of the Count our glad song shall record

Who had in this castle his dwelling,
Where now ye are feasting the new-married lord,

His grandson of whom we are telling.
The Count as Crusader had blazon'd his fame,
Through many a triumph exalted his name,
And when on his steed to his dwelling he came,

His castle still rear'd its proud head,
But servants and wealth had all fled.

'Tis true that thou, Count, hast return'd to thy home,

But matters are faring there ill.


Very True, the Linnets Sing

Very true, the linnets sing
Sweetest in the leaves of spring:
You have found in all these leaves
That which changes and deceives,
And, to pine by sun or star,
Left them, false ones as they are.
But there be who walk beside
Autumn's, till they all have died,
And who lend a patient ear
To low notes from branches sere.


Veterans' Cemetery

The ceremonies of the day have ceased,
Abandoned to the ragged crow's parade.
The flags unravel in the caterpillar's feast.
The wreaths collapse onto the stones they shade.

How quietly doves gather by the gate
Like souls who have no heaven and no hell.
The patient grass reclaims its lost estate
Where one stone angel stands as sentinel.

The voices whispering in the burning leaves,
Faint and inhuman, what can they desire
When every season feeds upon the past,
And summer's green ignites the autumn's fire?


Variation on a Theme

June 30th, 1919

Notably fond of music, I dote on a
clearer tone
Than ever was blared by a bugle or zoomed
by a saxophone;
And the sound that opens the gates for me of
a Paradise revealed
Is something akin to the note revered by the
blesséd Eugene Field,
Who sang in pellucid phrasing that I perfectly
will recall
Of the clink of the ice in the pitcher that the
boy brings up the hall.
But sweeter to me than the sparrow's song or
the goose's autumn honks


Unto one who lies at rest

Unto one who lies at rest
'Neath the sunset, in the West,
Clover-blossoms on her breast.

Lover of each gracious thing
Which makes glad the summer-tide,
From the daisies clustering
And the violets purple-eyed,
To those shy and hidden blooms
Which in forest coverts stay,
Sending wandering perfumes
Out as guide to show the way,
All she knew, to all was kind;
None so humble or so small
That she did not seek and find
Silent friendship from them all.
Moss-cups, tiarella leaves,


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