A Dream of Foxes

fox

who
can blame her for hunkering
into the doorwells at night,
the only blaze in the dark
the brush of her hopeful tail,
the only starlight
her little bared teeth?

and when she is not satisfied
who can blame her for refusing to leave,
Master Of The Hunt, why am i
not feeding, not being fed?

the coming of fox

one evening i return
to a red fox
haunched by my door.

i am afraid
although she knows
no enemy comes here.


A Discontented Sugar Broker

A gentleman of City fame
Now claims your kind attention;
East India broking was his game,
His name I shall not mention:
No one of finely-pointed sense
Would violate a confidence,
And shall I go
And do it? No!
His name I shall not mention.

He had a trusty wife and true,
And very cosy quarters,
A manager, a boy or two,
Six clerks, and seven porters.
A broker must be doing well
(As any lunatic can tell)
Who can employ
An active boy,
Six clerks, and seven porters.


A Dilettante

Good friend, be patient: goes the world awry?
well, can you groove it straight with all your pains?
and, sigh or scold, and, argue or intreat,
what have you done but waste your part of life
on impotent fool's battles with the winds,
that will blow as they list in spite of you?

Fie, I am weary of your pettish griefs
against the world that's given, like a child
who whines and pules because his bread's not cake,
because the roses have those ugly thorns
that prick if he's not careful of his hands.


A Dialogue

Man. SWEETEST Saviour, if my soul
   Were but worth the having,
Quickly should I then control
   Any thought of waving.
But when all my care and pains
Cannot give the name of gains
To Thy wretch so full of stains,
What delight or hope remains?

Saviour. What, child, is the balance thine,
   Thine the poise and measure?
If I say, 'Thou shalt be Mine,'
   Finger not My treasure.
What the gains in having thee
Do amount to, only He
Who for man was sold can see;


A Cry from South Africa

On building a chapel at Cape Town, for the Negro slaves of the colony, in 1828.


Afric, from her remotest strand,
Lifts to high heaven one fetter'd hand,
And to the utmost of her chain
Stretches the other o'er the main:
Then, kneeling 'midst ten thousand slaves,
Utters a cry across the waves,
Of power to reach to either pole,
And pierce, like conscience, through the soul,
Though dreary, faint, and low the sound,
Like life-blood gurgling from a wound,
As if her heart, before it broke,


A cry from an indian wife

My forest brave, my Red-skin love, farewell;
We may not meet to-morrow; who can tell
What mighty ills befall our little band,
Or what you'll suffer from the white man's hand?
Here is your knife! I thought 'twas sheathed for aye.
No roaming bison calls for it to-day;
No hide of prairie cattle will it maim;
The plains are bare, it seeks a nobler game:
'Twill drink the life-blood of a soldier host.
Go; rise and strike, no matter what the cost.
Yet stay. Revolt not at the Union Jack,


A Christmas Carol

The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world's desire.)

The Christ-child stood at Mary's knee,
His hair was like a crown.


A Christ-child Day in Australia

A COPPER concave of a sky
Hangs high above my head.
Vague thunder sullenly goes by
With dragging, muffled tread.

The hot air faints upon the grass,
And at its bitter breath,
Ten thousand trembling flower-souls pass,
With fragrant sighs, to death.

There comes no breeze. No breeze has sprung
And sweetly blown for days.
Dead air in silent sheets has hung,
Smooth wavering sheets of haze.

The very birds that erstwhile soared


A Child's Nightmare

Through long nursery nights he stood
By my bed unwearying,
Loomed gigantic, formless, queer,
Purring in my haunted ear
That same hideous nightmare thing,
Talking, as he lapped my blood,
In a voice cruel and flat,
Saying for ever, "Cat! ... Cat! ... Cat!..."

That one word was all he said,
That one word through all my sleep,
In monotonous mock despair.
Nonsense may be light as air,
But there's Nonsense that can keep
Horror bristling round the head,
When a voice cruel and flat


A Child's Fancy

"Hush, hush! Speak softly, Mother dear,
So that the daisies may not hear;
For when the stars begin to peep,
The pretty daisies go to sleep.

"See, Mother, round us on the lawn,
With soft white lashes closely drawn,
They've shut their eyes so golden-gay,
That looked up through the long, long day.

"But now they're tired of all the fun--
Of bees and birds, of wind and sun
Playing their game at hide-and-seek;--
Then very softly let us speak."

A myriad stars above the child


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - child