Villanelle at Sundown

Turn your head. Look. The light is turning yellow.
The river seems enriched thereby, not to say deepened.
Why this is, I'll never be able to tell you.

Or are Americans half in love with failure?
One used to say so, reading Fitzgerald, as it happened.
(That Viking Portable, all water spotted and yellow--

remember?) Or does mere distance lend a value
to things? --false, it may be, but the view is hardly cheapened.
Why this is, I'll never be able to tell you.


Vickery's Mountain

Blue in the west the mountain stands,
And through the long twilight
Vickery sits with folded hands,
And Vickery’s eyes are bright.

Bright, for he knows what no man else
On earth as yet may know:
There’s a golden word that he never tells,
And a gift that he will not show.

He dreams of honor and wealth and fame,
He smiles, and well he may;
For to Vickery once a sick man came
Who did not go away.

The day before the day to be,
“Vickery,” said the guest,


VI. Evening, as slow thy placid shades descend..

EVENING, as slow thy placid shades descend,
Veiling with gentlest hush the landscape still,
The lonely battlement, and farthest hill
And wood; I think of those that have no friend;
Who now perhaps, by melancholy led,
From the broad blaze of day, where pleasure flaunts,
Retiring, wander 'mid thy lonely haunts
Unseen; and mark the tints that o'er thy bed
Hang lovely, oft to musing fancy's eye
Presenting fairy vales, where the tir'd mind
Might rest, beyond the murmurs of mankind,


Verses Wrote on Her Death-Bed at Bath, to Her Husband in London

Thou, who dost all my worldly thoughts employ,
Thou pleasing source of all my earthly joy:
Thou tend'rest husband, and thou best of friends,
To thee this first, this last adieu I send.
At length the conqu'ror death asserts his right,
And will for ever veil me from thy sight.
He wooes me to him with a chearful grace;
And not one terror clouds his meagre face.
He promises a lasting rest from pain;
And shews that all life's fleeting joys are vain.
Th' eternal scenes of heav'n he sets in view,


Verses Addressed to the Imitator of the First Satire of the Second Book Of Horace

In two large columns on thy motley page
Where Roman wit is strip'd with English rage;
Where ribaldry to satire makes pretence,
And modern scandal rolls with ancient sense:
Whilst on one side we see how Horace thought,
And on the other how he never wrote;
Who can believe, who view the bad, the good,
That the dull copyist better understood
That spirit he pretends to imitate,
Than heretofore that Greek he did translate?
Thine is just such an image of his pen,
As thou thyself art of the sons of men,


Verse For a Certain Dog

Such glorious faith as fills your limpid eyes,
Dear little friend of mine, I never knew.
All-innocent are you, and yet all-wise.
(For Heaven's sake, stop worrying that shoe!)
You look about, and all you see is fair;
This mighty globe was made for you alone.
Of all the thunderous ages, you're the heir.
(Get off the pillow with that dirty bone!)

A skeptic world you face with steady gaze;
High in young pride you hold your noble head,
Gayly you meet the rush of roaring days.
(Must you eat puppy biscuit on the bed?)


Venevil

Fair Venevil hastened with tripping feet
Her lover to meet.
He sang, so it rang o'er the church far away:
"Good-day! Good-day!"

And all the little birds sang right merrily their lay:
"Midsummer Day
Brings us laughter and play;
But later know I little, if she twines her wreath so gay!"

She twined him a wreath of the flowers blue:
"My eyes for you!"
He tossed it and caught it and to her did bend:
"Good-by, my friend!"
And loudly he exulted at the field's far distant end:


Variations of Greek Themes

I
A HAPPY MAN
(Carphyllides)

When these graven lines you see,
Traveler, do not pity me;
Though I be among the dead,
Let no mournful word be said.

Children that I leave behind,
And their children, all were kind;
Near to them and to my wife,
I was happy all my life.

My three sons I married right,
And their sons I rocked at night;
Death nor sorrow ever brought
Cause for one unhappy thought.

Now, and with no need of tears,


Vanitas Vanitatum Vanitas

My trust in nothing now is placed,

Hurrah!
So in the world true joy I taste,

Hurrah!
Then he who would be a comrade of mine
Must rattle his glass, and in chorus combine,
Over these dregs of wine.

I placed my trust in gold and wealth,

Hurrah!
But then I lost all joy and health,

Lack-a-day!
Both here and there the money roll'd,
And when I had it here, behold,
From there had fled the gold!

I placed my trust in women next,

Hurrah!
But there in truth was sorely vex'd,


V. To the River Tweed

O TWEED! a stranger, that with wand'ring feet
O'er hill and dale has journey'd many a mile,
(If so his weary thoughts he might beguile)
Delighted turns thy beauteous scenes to greet.
The waving branches that romantick bend
O'er thy tall banks, a soothing charm bestow;
The murmurs of thy wand'ring wave below
Seem to his ear the pity of a friend.
Delightful stream! tho' now along thy shore,
When spring returns in all her wonted pride,
The shepherd's distant pipe is heard no more,


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