The Wizard in the Street

[Concerning Edgar Allan Poe]


Who now will praise the Wizard in the street
With loyal songs, with humors grave and sweet —
This Jingle-man, of strolling players born,
Whom holy folk have hurried by in scorn,
This threadbare jester, neither wise nor good,
With melancholy bells upon his hood?

The hurrying great ones scorn his Raven's croak,
And well may mock his mystifying cloak
Inscribed with runes from tongues he has not read
To make the ignoramus turn his head.


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The wind

(THE TALE)

Cometh the Wind from the garden, fragrant and full of sweet singing--
Under my tree where I sit cometh the Wind to confession.

"Out in the garden abides the Queen of the beautiful Roses--
Her do I love and to-night wooed her with passionate singing;
Told I my love in those songs, and answer she gave in her blushes--
She shall be bride of the Wind, and she is the Queen of the Roses!"

"Wind, there is spice in thy breath; thy rapture hath fragrance Sabaean!"


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The Way

At first a mere thread of a footpath half blotted out by the grasses
Sweeping triumphant across it, it wound between hedges of roses
Whose blossoms were poised above leaves as pond lilies float on the water,
While hidden by bloom in a hawthorn a bird filled the morning with singing.

It widened a highway, majestic, stretching ever to distant horizons,
Where shadows of tree-branches wavered, vague outlines invaded by sunshine;
No sound but the wind as it whispered the secrets of earth to the flowers,


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The Widow and Her Son XXI

Night fell over North Lebanon and snow was covering the villages surrounded by the Kadeesha Valley, giving the fields and prairies the appearance of a great sheet of parchment upon which the furious Nature was recording her many deeds. Men came home from the streets while silence engulfed the night.

In a lone house near those villages lived a woman who sat by her fireside spinning wool, and at her side was her only child, staring now at the fire and then at his mother.


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The Whitest Man I Know

HE’S acruisin’ in a pearler with a dirty nigger crew,
Abuyin’ pearls and copra for a stingy Spanish Jew,
And his face is tann’d like leather ’neath a blazin’ tropic Sun,
And he’s workin’ out a penance for the things he hasn’t done.
Round the Solomons he runs, tradin’ beads and castoff guns,
Buyin’ pearls from grinnin’ niggers, loadin copra by the ton;
And he’ll bargain and he’ll smile, but he’s thinkin’ all the while
Of the penance that he’s workin’ out for sins he hasn’t done.


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The Well

At sixteen I believed the moonlight
could change me if it would.
          I moved my head
on the pillow, even moved my bed
as the moon slowly
crossed the open lattice.

I wanted beauty, a dangerous
gleam of steel, my body thinner,
my pale face paler.
          I moonbathed
diligently, as others sunbathe.
But the moon's unsmiling stare
kept me awake. Mornings,
I was flushed and cross.

It was on dark nights of deep sleep
that I dreamed the most, sunk in the well,


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The Way of Wooing

A maiden sat at her window wide,
Pretty enough for a Prince's bride,
Yet nobody came to claim her.
She sat like a beautiful picture there,
With pretty bluebells and roses fair,
And jasmine-leaves to frame her.
And why she sat there nobody knows;
But this she sang as she plucked a rose,
The leaves around her strewing:
"I've time to lose and power to choose;
'T is not so much the gallant who woos,
But the gallant's WAY of wooing!"

A lover came riding by awhile,
A wealthy lover was he, whose smile


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The Wattle Tree

Winter is not yet gone - but now
The birds are carolling from the bough.
And the mist has rolled away
Leaving more beautiful the day.
The sun is out - O come with me
To look upon the wattle tree!


Let misers hoard and hide their gold;
Here there is treasure-trove untold,
In yellow blossom, mass on mass
Spread out for wayfarers who pass
With hearts to feel, and eyes to see
How lovely is the wattle tree.


O strange, O magical! to forget
For a moment care and fret,


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The Voice

I dreamed a Voice, of one God-authorised,
Cried loudly thro’ the world, ‘Disarm! Disarm! ’
And there was consernation in the camps;
And men who strutted under braid and lace
Beat on their medalled breasts, and wailed,
‘Undone! ’
The word was echoed from a thousand hills,
And shop and mill, and factory and forge,
Where throve the awful industries of death,
Hushed into silence. Scrawled upon the doors,
The passer read, ‘Peace bids her children
Starve.’


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The Universal Route

As we journey along, with a laugh and a song,
We see, on youth’s flower-decked slope,
Like a beacon of light, shining fair on the sight,
The beautiful Station of Hope.

But the wheels of old Time roll along as we climb,
And our youth speeds away on the years;
And with hearts that are numb with life’s sorrows we come
To the mist-covered Station of Tears.

Still onward we pass, where the milestones, alas!
Are tombs of our dead, to the West,
Where glitters and gleams, in the dying sunbeams,


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