They May Rail at this Life

They may rail at this life -- from the hour I began it
I found it a life full of kindness and bliss;
And, until they can show me some happier planet,
More social and bright, I'll content me with this.
As long as the world has such lips and such eyes
As before me this moment enraptured I see,
They may say what they will of their orbs in the skies,
But this earth is the planet for you, love, and me.

In Mercury's star, where each moment can bring them
New sunshine and wit from the fountain on high,


The Progress of Poesy

Awake, Aeolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
From Helicon's harmonious springs
A thousand rills their mazy progress take:
The laughing flowers that round them blow
Drink life and fragrance as they flow.
Now the rich stream of Music winds along,
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Thro' verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign;
Now rolling down the steep amain,
Headlong, impetuous, see it pour;
The rocks and nodding groves re-bellow to the roar.

Oh! Sov'reign of the willing soul,


The Poet VIII

He is a link between this and the coming world.
He is
A pure spring from which all thirsty souls may drink.


He is a tree watered by the River of Beauty, bearing
Fruit which the hungry heart craves;
He is a nightingale, soothing the depressed
Spirit with his beautiful melodies;
He is a white cloud appearing over the horizon,
Ascending and growing until it fills the face of the sky.
Then it falls on the flows in the field of Life,
Opening their petals to admit the light.


The Poem Cat

Sometimes the poem
doesn't want to come;
it hides from the poet
like a playful cat
who has run
under the house
& lurks among slugs,
roots, spiders' eyes,
ledge so long out of the sun
that it is dank
with the breath of the Troll King.

Sometimes the poem
darts away
like a coy lover
who is afraid of being possessed,
of feeling too much,
of losing his essential
loneliness-which he calls
freedom.

Sometimes the poem
can't requite


The Playground of Life XIX

One hour devoted to the pursuit of Beauty
And Love is worth a full century of glory
Given by the frightened weak to the strong.


From that hour comes man's Truth; and
During that century Truth sleeps between
The restless arms of disturbing dreams.


In that hour the soul sees for herself
The Natural Law, and for that century she
Imprisons herself behind the law of man;
And she is shackled with irons of oppression.


That hour was the inspiration of the Songs


The Owl And The Sparrow

In elder days, in Saturn's prime,
Ere baldness seized the head of Time,
While truant Jove, in infant pride,
Play'd barefoot on Olympus' side,
Each thing on earth had power to chatter,
And spoke the mother tongue of nature.
Each stock or stone could prate and gabble,
Worse than ten labourers of Babel.
Along the street, perhaps you'd see
A Post disputing with a Tree,
And mid their arguments of weight,
A Goose sit umpire of debate.
Each Dog you met, though speechless now,
Would make his compliments and bow,


The Life of Love XVI

Spring


Come, my beloved; let us walk amidst the knolls,
For the snow is water, and Life is alive from its
Slumber and is roaming the hills and valleys.
Let us follow the footprints of Spring into the
Distant fields, and mount the hilltops to draw
Inspiration high above the cool green plains.


Dawn of Spring has unfolded her winter-kept garment
And placed it on the peach and citrus trees; and
They appear as brides in the ceremonial custom of
the Night of Kedre.



The Ballad Of Casey's Billy-Goat

You've heard of "Casey at The Bat,"
And "Casey's Tabble Dote";
But now it's time
To write a rhyme
Of "Casey's Billy-goat."

Pat Casey had a billy-goat he gave the name of Shamus,
Because it was (the neighbours said) a national disgrace.
And sure enough that animal was eminently famous
For masticating every rag of laundry round the place.
For shirts to skirts prodigiously it proved its powers of chewing;
The question of digestion seemed to matter not at all;


The Autumn Thistles

The morning sky is white with mist, the earth
White with the inspiration of the dew.
The harvest light is on the hills anew,
And cheer in the grave acres' fruitful girth.
Only in this high pasture is there dearth,
Where the gray thistles crowd in ranks austere,
As if the sod, close-cropt for many a year,
Brought only bane and bitterness to birth.

But in the crisp air's amethystine wave
How the harsh stalks are washed with radiance now,
How gleams the harsh turf where the crickets lie


Summer

Some men there are who find in nature all
Their inspiration, hers the sympathy
Which spurs them on to any great endeavor,
To them the fields and woods are closest friends,
And they hold dear communion with the hills;
The voice of waters soothes them with its fall,
And the great winds bring healing in their sound.
To them a city is a prison house
Where pent up human forces labour and strive,
Where beauty dwells not, driven forth by man;
But where in winter they must live until


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