Winter Sleep

I know it must be winter (though I sleep) --
I know it must be winter, for I dream
I dip my bare feet in the running stream,
And flowers are many, and the grass grows deep.

I know I must be old (how age deceives!)
I know I must be old, for, all unseen,
My heart grows young, as autumn fields grow green,
When late rains patter on the falling sheaves.

I know I must be tired (and tired souls err) --
I know I must be tired, for all my soul
To deeds of daring beats a glad, faint roll,


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Winter Evening

When snow falls against the window,
Long sounds the evening bell...
For so many has the table
Been prepared, the house set in order.

From their wandering, many
Come on dark paths to this gateway.
The tree of grace is flowering in gold
Out of the cool sap of the earth.

In stillness, wanderer, step in:
Grief has worn the threshold into stone.
But see: in pure light, glowing
There on the table: bread and wine.


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Wind in the Beechwood

The glorying forest shakes and swings with glancing
Of boughs that dip and strain; young, slanting sprays
Beckon and shift like lissom creatures dancing,
While the blown beechwood streams with drifting rays.
Rooted in steadfast calm, grey stems are seen
Like weather-beaten masts; the wood, unfurled,
Seems as a ship with crowding sails of green
That sweeps across the lonely billowing world.

O luminous and lovely! Let your flowers,
Your ageless-squadroned wings, your surge and gleam,


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William House and Family

I

Come all kind friends, both far and near,
Come listen to me and you shall hear --
It's of a family and their fate,
All about them I will relate.
II
They once did live at Edgerton,
They once did live at Muskegon,
From there they went to Chicago,
Which proved their fatal overthrow.
III
It was William House's family,
As fine a family as you see --
His family was eleven in all,
I do not think it was very small.
IV
Two children died some years ago,
Before they went to Chicago,


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Where She Told Her Love

I saw her crop a rose
Right early in the day,
And I went to kiss the place
Where she broke the rose away
And I saw the patten rings
Where she o'er the stile had gone,
And I love all other things
Her bright eyes look upon.
If she looks upon the hedge or up the leafing tree,
The whitethorn or the brown oak are made dearer things to me.

I have a pleasant hill
Which I sit upon for hours,
Where she cropt some sprigs of thyme
And other little flowers;
And she muttered as she did it


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Where I have lost, I softer tread

104

Where I have lost, I softer tread—
I sow sweet flower from garden bed—
I pause above that vanished head
And mourn.

Whom I have lost, I pious guard
From accent harsh, or ruthless word—
Feeling as if their pillow heard,
Though stone!

When I have lost, you'll know by this—
A Bonnet black—A dusk surplice—
A little tremor in my voice
Like this!

Why, I have lost, the people know
Who dressed in flocks of purest snow
Went home a century ago


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While Gazing on the Moon's Light

While gazing on the moon's light,
A moment from her smile I turn'd,
To look at orbs that, more bright,
In lone and distant glory burn'd.
But too far
Each proud star,
For me to feel its warming flame;
Much more dear
That mild sphere,
Which near our planet smiling came;
Thus, Mary, be but thou my own,
While brighter eyes unheeded play,
I'll love those moonlight looks alone
That bless my home and guide my way.

The day had sunk in dim showers,
But midnight now, with lustre meet,


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Wild Dreams of a New Beginning

There's a breathless hush on the freeway tonight
Beyond the ledges of concrete
restaurants fall into dreams
with candlelight couples
Lost Alexandria still burns
in a billion lightbulbs
Lives cross lives
idling at stoplights
Beyond the cloverleaf turnoffs
'Souls eat souls in the general emptiness'
A piano concerto comes out a kitchen window
A yogi speaks at Ojai
'It's all taking pace in one mind'
On the lawn among the trees
lovers are listening
for the master to tell them they are one


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