To M

Oh! did those eyes, instead of fire,
With bright, but mild affection shine:
Though they might kindle less desire,
Love, more than mortal, would be thine.

For thou art form'd so heavenly fair,
Howe'er those orbs may wildly beam,
We must admire, but still despair;
That fatal glance forbids esteem.

When Nature stamp'd thy beauteous birth,
So much perfection in thee shone,
She fear'd that, too divine for earth,
The skies might claim thee for their own.

Therefore, to guard her dearest work,


To Lucasta, I Laugh and Sing

I.

I laugh and sing, but cannot tell
Whether the folly on't sounds well;
But then I groan,
Methinks, in tune;
Whilst grief, despair and fear dance to the air
Of my despised prayer.

II.

A pretty antick love does this,
Then strikes a galliard with a kiss;
As in the end
The chords they rend;
So you but with a touch from your fair hand
Turn all to saraband.


To Lady Jane

Romance was always young.
You come today
Just eight years old
With marvellous dark hair.
Younger than Dante found you
When you turned
His heart into the way
That found the heavenly stair.

Perhaps we must be strangers.
I confess
My soul this hour is Dante's,
And your care
Should be for dolls
Whose painted hands caress
Your marvellous dark hair.

Romance, with moonflower face
And morning eyes,
And lips whose thread of scarlet prophesies


To Anthea, who may command him Anything

BID me to live, and I will live
   Thy Protestant to be;
Or bid me love, and I will give
   A loving heart to thee.

A heart as soft, a heart as kind,
   A heart as sound and free
As in the whole world thou canst find,
   That heart I'll give to thee.

Bid that heart stay, and it will stay
   To honour thy decree:
Or bid it languish quite away,
   And 't shall do so for thee.

Bid me to weep, and I will weep
   While I have eyes to see:
And, having none, yet will I keep


To an Antiquated Coquette

Phyllis, if you will not agree
To give me back my liberty,
In spite of you I must regain
My loss of time and break your chain.
You were mistaken if you thought
I was so grossly to be caught;
Or that I was so blindly bred,
As not to be in woman read.
Perhaps you took me for a fool,
Design'd alone your sex's tool;
Nay, you might think so made a thing,
That with a little fashioning,
I might in time for your dear sake,
That monster call'd a husband make:
Perhaps I might, had I not found


The Palace of Art

I built my soul a lordly pleasure-house,
Wherein at ease for aye to dwell.
I said, "O Soul, make merry and carouse,
Dear soul, for all is well."
A huge crag-platform, smooth as burnish'd brass
I chose. The ranged ramparts bright
From level meadow-bases of deep grass
Suddenly scaled the light.
Thereon I built it firm. Of ledge or shelf
The rock rose clear, or winding stair.
My soul would live alone unto herself
In her high palace there.


Preservation

My maiden she proved false to me;

To hate all joys I soon began,

Then to a flowing stream I ran,--
The stream ran past me hastily.

There stood I fix'd, in mute despair;

My head swam round as in a dream;

I well-nigh fell into the stream,
And earth seem'd with me whirling there.

Sudden I heard a voice that cried--

I had just turn'd my face from thence--

It was a voice to charm each sense:
"Beware, for deep is yonder tide!"

A thrill my blood pervaded now,


To ---

ONE word is too often profaned
   For me to profane it;
One feeling too falsely disdain'd
   For thee to disdain it;
One hope is too like despair
   For prudence to smother;
And pity from thee more dear
   Than that from another.

I can give not what men call love:
   But wilt thou accept not
The worship the heart lifts above
   And the heavens reject not,
The desire of the moth for the star,
   Of the night for the morrow,
The devotion to something afar


Through The Valley

(After James Thomson)
As I came through the Valley of Despair,
As I came through the valley, onmy sight,
More awful that the darkness of the night,
Shone glimpses of a Past that had been fair,
And memories of eyes that used to smile,
And wafts of perfume from a vanished isle,
As I came through the valley.

As I came through the valley I could see,
As I came through the valley, fair and far,
As drowning men look up and see a star,
The fading shore of my lost Used-to-be;


Three And One

Sometimes she seems so helpless and mild,
So full of sweet unreason and so weak,
So prone to some capricious whim or freak;
Now gay, now tearful, and now anger-wild,
By her strange moods of waywardness beguiled
And entertained, I stroke her pretty cheek,
And soothing words of peace and comfort speak;
And love her as a father loves a child.

Sometimes when I am troubled and sore pressed
On every side by fast advancing care,
She rises up with such majestic air,


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - despair