Trouvee

Oh, why should a hen
have been run over
on West 4th Street
in the middle of summer?

She was a white hen
--red-and-white now, of course.
How did she get there?
Where was she going?

Her wing feathers spread
flat, flat in the tar,
all dirtied, and thin
as tissue paper.

A pigeon, yes,
or an English sparrow,
might meet such a fate,
but not that poor fowl.

Just now I went back
to look again.
I hadn't dreamed it:
there is a hen


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Two Portraits

You say, as one who shapes a life,
That you will never be a wife,

And, laughing lightly, ask my aid
To paint your future as a maid.

This is the portrait; and I take
The softest colors for your sake:

The springtime of your soul is dead,
And forty years have bent your head;

The lines are firmer round your mouth,
But still its smile is like the South.

Your eyes, grown deeper, are not sad,
Yet never more than gravely glad;

And the old charm still lurks within


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Trixie

Dogs have a sense beyond our ken -
At least my little Trixie had:
Tail-wagging when I laughed, and when
I sighed, eyes luminously sad.
And if I planned to go away,
She'd know, oh, days and days before:
Aye, dogs I think are sometimes fey,
They seem to sense our fate in store.

Now take the case of old Tome Low;
With flowers each week he'd call on me.
Dear Trixie used to love him so,
With joyous jump upon his knee.
Yet when he wandered in one day,
Her hair grew sudden stark with dread;


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Trees Against The Sky

Pines against the sky,
Pluming the purple hill;
Pines . . . and I wonder why,
Heart, you quicken and thrill?
Wistful heart of a boy,
Fill with a strange sweet joy,
Lifting to Heaven nigh -
Pines against the sky.

Palms against the sky,
Failing the hot, hard blue;
Stark on the beach I lie,
Dreaming horizons new;
Heart of my youth elate,
Scorning a humdrum fate,
Keyed to adventure high -
Palms against the sky.

Oaks against the sky,
Ramparts of leaves high-hurled,


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Tranquilism

I call myself a Tranquilist;
With deep detachment I exist,
From friction free;
While others court the gilded throng
And worship Women, Wine and Song,
I scorn the three.
For I have reached the sober age
When I prefer to turn a page
Beside the fire,
And from the busy mart of men
To meditative book and pen
With grace retire.

If you are craving peace of mind,


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Tristia

I have studied the Science of departures,
in night’s sorrows, when a woman’s hair falls down.
The oxen chew, there’s the waiting, pure,
in the last hours of vigil in the town,
and I reverence night’s ritual cock-crowing,
when reddened eyes lift sorrow’s load and choose
to stare at distance, and a woman’s crying
is mingled with the singing of the Muse.

Who knows, when the word ‘departure’ is spoken
what kind of separation is at hand,
or of what that cock-crow is a token,


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Trilogy Of Passion 03 Atonement

Passion brings reason--who can pacify

An anguish'd heart whose loss hath been so great?
Where are the hours that fled so swiftly by?

In vain the fairest thou didst gain from fate;
Sad is the soul, confused the enterprise;

The glorious world, how on the sense it dies!

In million tones entwined for evermore,

Music with angel-pinions hovers there,
To pierce man's being to its inmost core,

Eternal beauty has its fruit to bear;
The eye grows moist, in yearnings blest reveres


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Trilogy Of Passion 02 Elegy

When man had ceased to utter his lament,

A god then let me tell my tale of sorrow.

What hope of once more meeting is there now
In the still-closed blossoms of this day?
Both heaven and hell thrown open seest thou;
What wav'ring thoughts within the bosom play
No longer doubt! Descending from the sky,
She lifts thee in her arms to realms on high.

And thus thou into Paradise wert brought,

As worthy of a pure and endless life;
Nothing was left, no wish, no hope, no thought,


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Trilogy Of Passion 01 To Werther

Once more, then, much-wept shadow, thou dost dare

Boldly to face the day's clear light,
To meet me on fresh blooming meadows fair,

And dost not tremble at my sight.
Those happy times appear return'd once more.

When on one field we quaff'd refreshing dew,
And, when the day's unwelcome toils were o'er,

The farewell sunbeams bless'd our ravish'd view;
Fate bade thee go,--to linger here was mine,--
Going the first, the smaller loss was thine.

The life of man appears a glorious fate:


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Transfiguration

Mysterious death! who in a single hour
Life's gold can so refine
And by thy art divine
Change mortal weakness to immortal power!

Bending beneath the weight of eighty years
Spent with the noble strife
of a victorious life
We watched her fading heavenward, through our tears.

But ere the sense of loss our hearts had wrung
A miracle was wrought;
And swift as happy thought
She lived again -- brave, beautiful, and young.

Age, pain, and sorrow dropped the veils they wore


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