Transcience

Nay, do not grieve tho' life be full of sadness,
Dawn will not veil her spleandor for your grief,
Nor spring deny their bright, appointed beauty
To lotus blossom and ashoka leaf.

Nay, do not pine, tho' life be dark with trouble,
Time will not pause or tarry on his way;
To-day that seems so long, so strange, so bitter,
Will soon be some forgotten yesterday.

Nay, do not weep; new hopes, new dreams, new faces,
The unspent joy of all the unborn years,
Will prove your heart a traitor to its sorrow,


Tom O'Roughley

'THOUGH logic-choppers rule the town,
And every man and maid and boy
Has marked a distant object down,
An aimless joy is a pure joy,'
Or so did Tom O'Roughley say
That saw the surges running by.
'And wisdom is a butterfly
And not a gloomy bird of prey.
'If little planned is little sinned
But little need the grave distress.
What's dying but a second wind?
How but in zig-zag wantonness
Could trumpeter Michael be so brave?'
Or something of that sort he said,
'And if my dearest friend were dead


Tomb of Iases

Iases here I lie. To whom this proud
City for youth and beauty gave much fame.
The learned wise admired me, and the crowd
Of simpletons. From both I had the same

Joy. But the Hermes and Narcissus fashion
Wasted and killed me. Traveller, you will not blame,
If Alexandrian. You know the passion
Of our life here, the pleasure and the flame.


Today

This is To-day, a child in white and blue
Running to meet me out of Night who stilled
The ghost of Yester-eve; this is fair Morn
The mother of To-morrow. And these clouds
That chase the sunshine over gleaming hills
Are thoughts, delighting in the golden change
And the ceremony of their drifting state.

This is To-day. To-morrow might bring death,—
And Life, the gleeful madrigal of birds,
Be drowned in glimmer of sleep. To-day I know
How sweet it is to spend these eyes, and boast


To Victory

Return to greet me, colours that were my joy,
Not in the woeful crimson of men slain,
But shining as a garden; come with the streaming
Banners of dawn and sundown after rain.

I want to fill my gaze with blue and silver,
Radiance through living roses, spires of green
Rising in young-limbed copse and lovely wood,
Where the hueless wind passes and cries unseen.

I am not sad; only I long for lustre, --
Tired of the greys and browns and the leafless ash.
I would have hours that move like a glitter of dancers


To Various Persons Talked To All At Once

You have helped hold me together.
I'd like you to be still.
Stop talking or doing anything else for a minute.
No. Please. For three minutes, maybe five minutes.
Tell me which walk to take over the hill.
Is there a bridge there? Will I want company?
Tell me about the old people who built the bridge.
What is "the Japanese economy"?
Where did you hide the doctor's bills?
How much I admire you!
Can you help me to take this off?
May I help you to take that off?
Are you finished with this item?


To Time

Time! on whose arbitrary wing
The varying hours must flag or fly,
Whose tardy winter, fleeting spring,
But drag or drive us on to die---
Hail thou! who on my birth bestowed
Those boons to all that know thee known;
Yet better I sustain thy load,
For now I bear the weight alone.
I would not one fond heart should share
The bitter moments thou hast given;
And pardon thee---since thou couldst spare
All that I loved, to peace or Heaven.
To them be joy or rest---on me
Thy future ills shall press in vain;


To the Vesper Sparrow

Sing the last word of the day!
Voice of the sparrow belated!
What hast thou seen by the way?
What hast thou loved most or hated?
Sadness to melody mated,
What is the grudge thou wouldst pay?

Work, is it sadder than play?
Sorrow or joy sooner sated?
Dreams the sweet blossom of May
To what dull fruitage 't is fated?
When life and death are translated,
Seems Death or Life the more gay?

Linger, shy singer, O stay!
Though the swift night has abated
Sky, lake, and woodland to gray.


To the Superior Animal

To sum up all, I'm old -- and that's
A fact the years decide;
It is a common thing with cats
And not a thing to hide.

But to feel what it is -- how kind
How true to love and law
For this you must be quite resigned
And not avoid its paw.

It does not come as reckless foe
A shrinking prey to take,
But with soft footstep that we know
By comfort in its wake.

Though it spoils something -- that is true,
Which we must learn to lack
And takes alike from me and you


To the Snake

Green Snake, when I hung you round my neck
and stroked your cold, pulsing throat
as you hissed to me, glinting
arrowy gold scales, and I felt
the weight of you on my shoulders,
and the whispering silver of your dryness
sounded close at my ears --


Green Snake--I swore to my companions that certainly
you were harmless! But truly
I had no certainty, and no hope, only desiring
to hold you, for that joy,
which left
a long wake of pleasure, as the leaves moved
and you faded into the pattern


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