Young Henry

Air -- "Drummer Boy of Waterloo"

I
Young Henry was as faithful boy
As ever stood on the American soil,
And he did enlist, without a doubt,
When the rebellion was broke out.
II
He was his parents' only son,
And only child he was but one,
That was a girl aged seventeen,
Henry called her his May Queen.
III
Young Henry said, "Dear sister May,
What do you think my friends will say?
For now my name is on the roll,
And I down south will have to go."
IV


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Young Blood

"But, sir," I said, "they tell me the man is like to die!" The Canon shook his head indulgently. "Young blood, Cousin," he boomed. "Young blood! Youth will be served!"
-- D'Hermonville's Fabliaux.


He woke up with a sick taste in his mouth
And lay there heavily, while dancing motes
Whirled through his brain in endless, rippling streams,
And a grey mist weighed down upon his eyes
So that they could not open fully. Yet
After some time his blurred mind stumbled back
To its last ragged memory -- a room;


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You Should at Times Go Out

You should at times go out
from where the faithful kneel,
visit the slums of doubt
and feel what the lost feel;

you should at times walk on,
away from your friends' ways,
go where the scorned have gone,
pass beyond blame and praise;

and at times you should quit
(ah yes) your sunny home,
sadly awhile should sit,
even, in wrong's dark room,

or ever, suddenly,
by simple bliss betrayed,
you shall be forced to flee,
unloved, alone, afraid.


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You Say, Columbus with His Argosies

You say, Columbus with his argosies
Who rash and greedy took the screaming main
And vanished out before the hurricane
Into the sunset after merchandise,
Then under western palms with simple eyes
Trafficked and robbed and triumphed home again:
You say this is the glory of the brain
And human life no other use than this?
I then do answering say to you: The line
Of wizards and of saviours, keeping trust
In that which made them pensive and divine,
Passes before us like a cloud of dust.


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You Can Have It

My brother comes home from work
and climbs the stairs to our room.
I can hear the bed groan and his shoes drop
one by one. You can have it, he says.

The moonlight streams in the window
and his unshaven face is whitened
like the face of the moon. He will sleep
long after noon and waken to find me gone.

Thirty years will pass before I remember
that moment when suddenly I knew each man
has one brother who dies when he sleeps
and sleeps when he rises to face this life,


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You Asked How formerly Even Now She Is Turning, Saying Everything I Always Wanted Her to Say

At the end there were straws
in her glove compartment, I'd split them open
to taste the familiar bitter residue, near the end
I ate all her Percodans, hungry to know
how far they could take me.
A bottle of red wine each night moved her along
as she wrote, I feel too much, again and again.

You asked how and I said, Suicide, and you asked
how and I said, An overdose, and then
she shot herself, and your eyes filled
with wonder, so I added, In the chest, so you
wouldn't think


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Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe,--
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,"
Said Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;


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Written In Australia

THE WIDE sun stares without a cloud:
Whipped by his glances truculent
The earth lies quivering and cowed.
My heart is hot with discontent:
I hate this haggard continent.

But over the loping leagues of sea
A lone land calls to her children free:
My own land holding her arms to me—
But oh, the long loping leagues of sea.

The grey old city is dumb with heat;
No breeze comes leaping, naked, rude,
Adown the narrow, high-walled street;


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Winter Heavens

Sharp is the night, but stars with frost alive
Leap off the rim of earth across the dome.
It is a night to make the heavens our home
More than the nest whereto apace we strive.
Lengths down our road each fir-tree seems a hive,
In swarms outrushing from the golden comb.
They waken waves of thoughts that burst to foam:
The living throb in me, the dead revive.
Yon mantle clothes us: there, past mortal breath,
Life glistens on the river of the death.
It folds us, flesh and dust; and have we knelt,


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Window Shopper

I stood before a candy shop
Which with a Christmas radiance shone;
I saw my parents pass and stop
To grin at me and then go on.
The sweets were heaped in gleamy rows;
On each I feasted - what a game!
Against the glass with flatted nose,
Gulping my spittle as it came;
So still I stood, and stared and dreamed,
Savouring sweetness with my eyes,
Devouring dainties till it seemed
My candy shop was paradise.

I had, I think, but five years old,
And though three-score and ten have passed,


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