Flower of the World

Wherever men sinned and wept,
I wandered in my quest;
At last in a Garden of God
I saw the Flower of the World.

This Flower had human eyes,
Its breath was the breath of the mouth;
Sunlight and starlight came,
And the Flower drank bliss from both.

Whatever was base and unclean,
Whatever was sad and strange,
Was piled around its roots;
It drew its strength from the same.

Whatever was formless and base
Pass'd into fineness and form;
Whatever was lifeless and mean
Grew into beautiful bloom.

A Dirge For Kings

Strange are the bitter things
God wreaks on cruel Kings;
Sad is the cup drunk up
By Kings accurst.
In secret ways and strong
God doth avenge man's wrong.
The least, God saith, is Death,
And Life the worst.

Sit under the sweet skies;
Think how Kings set and rise,
Think, wouldst thou know the woe
In each proud breast?
Sit on the hearth and see
Children look up to thee—
Think, wouldst thou own a throne,
Or lowly rest?

Ah, to grow old, grow old,
Upon a throne of gold—

Bicycle Song

Changed in a trice you find me,
Man, my master of yore!
Vainly you seek to bind me,
For I'm your Slave no more.
Fast as you fly behind me,
I now fly on before!

Out from my prison breaking,
Wherein so long I lay,
Into my lungs I'm taking
Draughts of the glad new Day—
Out! where the world is waking!
Presto! up and away!

Praise to the Luck which sent me
This magical Wheel I ride,
For now I know God meant me
To match Man, side by side!
Wings the good Lord hath lent me,
And oh, the world is wide!

Two Songs of a Fool

I

A speckled cat and a tame hare
Eat at my hearthstone
And seep there;
And both look up to me alone
For learning and defence
As I look up to Providence.

I start out of my sleep to think
Some day I may forget
Their food and drink;
Or, the house door left unshut,
The hare may run till it's found
The horn's sweet note and the tooth of the hound.

I bear a burden that might well try
Men that do all by rule,
And what can I
That am a wandering-witted fool


Two Songs From a Play

I

I saw a staring virgin stand
Where holy Dionysus died,
And tear the heart out of his side.
And lay the heart upon her hand
And bear that beating heart away;
Of Magnus Annus at the spring,
As though God's death were but a play.

Another Troy must rise and set,
Another lineage feed the crow,
Another Argo's painted prow
Drive to a flashier bauble yet.
The Roman Empire stood appalled:
It dropped the reins of peace and war
When that fierce virgin and her Star


Two Words

'God' is composed of letters three,
But if you put an 'l'
Before the last it seems to me
A synonym for Hell.
For all of envy, greed and hate
The human heart can hold
Respond unto the devil's bait
Of Gold.

When God created Gold to be
For our adorning fit,
I little think he dreamed that we
Would come to worship it.
But when you ruefully have scanned
The chronicles of Time,
You'll find that lucre lends a hand


Two Women

I know two women, and one is chaste
And cold as the snows on a winters waste,
Stainless ever I act and thought
(As a man, born dumb, in speech errs not) .
But she has malice toward her kind,
A cruel tongue and a jealous mind.
Void of pity and full of greed,
She judges the world by her narrow creed;
A brewer of quarrels, a breeder of hate,
Yet she holds the key to ‘Society’s’ Gate.

The other woman, with heart of flame,
Went mad for a love that marred her name:
And out of the grave of her murdered faith


Two Sinners

There was a man, it was said one time,
Who went astray in his youthful prime.
Can the brain keep cool and the heart keep quiet
When the blood is a river that’s running riot?
And boys will be boys the old folks say,
And the man is better who’s had his day.

The sinner reformed; and the preacher told
Of the prodigal son who came back to the fold.
And Christian people threw open the door,
With a warmer welcome than ever before.
Wealth and honour were his to command,
And a spotless woman gave him her hand.


Two swimmers wrestled on the spar

201

Two swimmers wrestled on the spar—
Until the morning sun—
When One—turned smiling to the land—
Oh God! the Other One!

The stray ships—passing—
Spied a face—
Upon the waters borne—
With eyes in death—still begging raised—
And hands—beseeching—thrown!


Two Wishes XI

In the silence of the night Death descended from God toward the earth. He hovered above a city and pierced the dwellings with his eyes. He say the spirits floating on wings of dreams, and the people who were surrendered to the Slumber.

When the moon fell below the horizon and the city became black, Death walked silently among the houses -- careful to touch nothing -- until he reached a palace. He entered through the bolted gates undisturbed, and stood by the rich man's bed; and as Death touched his forehead, the sleeper's eyes opened, showing great fright.


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