You come to me quiet as rain not yet fallen

You come to me quiet as rain not yet fallen
Afraid of how you might fail yourself your
dress seven summers old is kept open
in memory of sex, smells warm, of boys,
and of the once long grass.
But we are colder now; we have not
Love’s first magic here. You come to me
Quiet as bulbs not yet broken
Out into sunlight.

The fear I see in your now lining face
Changes to puzzlement when my hands reach
For you as branches reach. Your dress
Does not fall easily, nor does your body


Yet Gentle Will the Griffin Be

(What Grandpa told the Children)

The moon? It is a griffin's egg,
Hatching to-morrow night.
And how the little boys will watch
With shouting and delight
To see him break the shell and stretch
And creep across the sky.
The boys will laugh. The little girls,
I fear, may hide and cry.
Yet gentle will the griffin be,
Most decorous and fat,
And walk up to the milky way
And lap it like a cat.


Written at Florence

O WORLD, in very truth thou art too young;
When wilt thou learn to wear the garb of age?
World, with thy covering of yellow flowers,
Hast thou forgot what generations sprung
Out of thy loins and loved thee and are gone?
Hast thou no place in all their heritage
Where thou dost only weep, that I may come
Nor fear the mockery of thy yellow flowers?
   O world, in very truth thou art too young.
The heroic wealth of passionate emprize
Built thee fair cities for thy naked plains:


XXXVI

When we met first and loved, I did not build
Upon the event with marble. Could it mean
To last, a love set pendulous between
Sorrow and sorrow ? Nay, I rather thrilled,
Distrusting every light that seemed to gild
The onward path, and feared to overlean
A finger even. And, though I have grown serene
And strong since then, I think that God has willed
A still renewable fear . . . O love, O troth . . .
Lest these enclasped hands should never hold,
This mutual kiss drop down between us both


XXXI

Thou comest ! all is said without a word.
I sit beneath thy looks, as children do
In the noon-sun, with souls that tremble through
Their happy eyelids from an unaverred
Yet prodigal inward joy. Behold, I erred
In that last doubt ! and yet I cannot rue
The sin most, but the occasion--that we two
Should for a moment stand unministered
By a mutual presence. Ah, keep near and close,
Thou dovelike help ! and, when my fears would rise,
With thy broad heart serenely interpose:
Brood down with thy divine sufficiencies


XXI

Say over again, and yet once over again,
That thou dost love me. Though the word repeated
Should seem ' a cuckoo-song,' as thou dost treat it,
Remember, never to the hill or plain,
Valley and wood, without her cuckoo-strain
Comes the fresh Spring in all her green completed.
Beloved, I, amid the darkness greeted
By a doubtful spirit-voice, in that doubt's pain
Cry, ' Speak once more--thou lovest ! ' Who can fear
Too many stars, though each in heaven shall roll,
Too many flowers, though each shall crown the year ?


Wounded

Is it not strange? A year ago to-day,
With scarce a thought beyond the hum-drum round,
I did my decent job and earned my pay;
Was averagely happy, I'll be bound.
Ay, in my little groove I was content,
Seeing my life run smoothly to the end,
With prosy days in stolid labour spent,
And jolly nights, a pipe, a glass, a friend.
In God's good time a hearth fire's cosy gleam,
A wife and kids, and all a fellow needs;
When presto! like a bubble goes my dream:
I leap upon the Stage of Splendid Deeds.


Wreath the Bowl

Wreath the bowl
With flowers of soul,
The brightest Wit can find us,
We'll take a flight
Towards heaven to-night,
And leave dull earth behind us.
Should Love amid
The wreaths be hid
That Joy, the enchanter, brings us,
No danger fear,
While wine is near --
We'll drown him if he stings us.
Then, wreath the bowl
With flowers of soul,
The brightest Wit can find us.
We'll take a flight
Towards heaven to-night,
And leave dull earth behind us.

'Twas nectar fed


Wreck of the Schooner Samuel Crawford

'Twas in the year of 1886, and on the 29th of November,
Which the surviving crew of the "Samuel Crawford" will long remember,
She was bound to Baltimore with a cargo of pine lumber;
But, alas! the crew suffered greatly from cold and hunger.

'Twas on December 3rd when about ten miles south-west
Of Currituck light, and scudding at her best;
That a heavy gale struck her a merciless blow,
Which filled the hearts of the crew with fear and woe.

Then the merciless snow came down, hiding everything from view,


Worked-Out Mine

On summer nights when moonbeams flow
And glisten o’er the high, white tips,
And winds make lamentation low,
As through the ribs of shattered ships,
And steal about the broken brace
Where pendant timbers swing and moan,
And flitting bats give aimless chase,
Who dares to seek the mine alone?

The shrinking bush with sable rims
A skeleton forlorn and bowed,
With pipe-clay white about its limbs
And at its feet a tattered shroud;
And ghostly figures lurk and groan,


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