A Greek Girl

I may not weep, not weep, and he is dead.
A weary, weary weight of tears unshed
Through the long day in my sad heart I bear;
The horrid sun with all unpitying glare
Shines down into the dreary weaving-room,
Where clangs the ceaseless clatter of the loom,
And ceaselessly deft maiden-fingers weave
The fine-wrought web; and I from morn till eve
Work with the rest, and when folk speak to me
I smile hard smiles; while still continually
The silly stream of maiden speech flows on:--


A Garden In Chicago

In the mid-city, under an oiled sky,
I lay in a garden of such dusky green
It seemed the dregs of the imagination.
Hedged round by elegant spears of iron fence
My face became a moon to absent suns.
A low heat beat upon my reading face;
There rose no roses in that gritty place
But blue-gray lilacs hung their tassels out.
Hard zinnias and ugly marigolds
And one sweet statue of a child stood by.

A gutter of poetry flowed outside the yard,
Making me think I was a bird of prose;


A Friend's Song for Simoisius

The breath of dew, and twilight's grace,
Be on the lonely battle-place;
And to so young, so kind a face,
The long, protecting grasses cling!
(Alas, alas,
The one inexorable thing!)

In rocky hollows cool and deep,
The bees our boyhood hunted sleep;
The early moon from Ida's steep
Comes to the empty wrestling-ring.
(Alas, alas,
The one inexorable thing!)

Upon the widowed wind recede
No echoes of the shepherd's reed,
And children without laughter lead


A Fairy Tale

On winter nights beside the nursery fire
We read the fairy tale, while glowing coals
Builded its pictures. There before our eyes
We saw the vaulted hall of traceried stone
Uprear itself, the distant ceiling hung
With pendent stalactites like frozen vines;
And all along the walls at intervals,
Curled upwards into pillars, roses climbed,
And ramped and were confined, and clustered leaves
Divided where there peered a laughing face.
The foliage seemed to rustle in the wind,


A Child's Laughter

ALL the bells of heaven may ring,
All the birds of heaven may sing,
All the wells on earth may spring,
All the winds on earth may bring
All sweet sounds together---
Sweeter far than all things heard,
Hand of harper, tone of bird,
Sound of woods at sundawn stirred,
Welling water's winsome word,
Wind in warm wan weather,

One thing yet there is, that none
Hearing ere its chime be done
Knows not well the sweetest one
Heard of man beneath the sun,
Hoped in heaven hereafter;


A Baby's Death

A little soul scarce fledged for earth
Takes wing with heaven again for goal
Even while we hailed as fresh from birth
A little soul.

Our thoughts ring sad as bells that toll,
Not knowing beyond this blind world's girth
What things are writ in heaven's full scroll.

Our fruitfulness is there but dearth,
And all things held in time's control
Seem there, perchance, ill dreams, not worth
A little soul.



The little feet that never trod
Earth, never strayed in field or street,


A child said, What is the grass

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
hands;
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
of the vegetation.


A Domestic Tragedy

I

Clorinda met me on the way
As I came from the train;
Her face was anything but gay,
In fact, suggested pain.
"Oh hubby, hubby dear!" she cried,
"I've awful news to tell. . . ."
"What is it, darling?" I replied;
"Your mother -- is she well?"
II
"Oh no! oh no! it is not that,
It's something else," she wailed,
My heart was beating pit-a-pat,
My ruddy visage paled.
Like lightning flash in heaven's dome
The fear within me woke:
"Don't say," I cried, "our little home
Has all gone up in smoke!"


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