A Blackbird Singing

It seems wrong that out of this bird,
Black, bold, a suggestion of dark
Places about it, there yet should come
Such rich music, as though the notes'
Ore were changed to a rare metal
At one touch of that bright bill.

You have heard it often, alone at your desk
In a green April, your mind drawn
Away from its work by sweet disturbance
Of the mild evening outside your room.

A slow singer, but loading each phrase
With history's overtones, love, joy
And grief learned by his dark tribe


A Bill for the Better Promotion of Oppression on the Sabbath Day

Forasmuch as the Canter's and Fanatic's Lord
Sayeth peace and joy are by me abhorred;
And would fill each Sunday with gloom and pain
For all too poor his regard to obtain;
And forasmuch as the laws heretofore
Have not sufficiently squeezed the poor
Be it therefore enacted by Commons, King
And Lords, a crime for any thing
To be done on the Sabbath by any rank
Excepting the rich. No beer may be drank,
Food eaten, rest taken, away from home,
And each House shall a Sunday prison become;


A Better Answer

Dear Cloe, how blubber'd is that pretty Face?
Thy cheek all on fire, and thy hair all uncurl'd:
Pr'ythee quit this caprice; and (as old Falstaf says)
Let us e'en talk a little like folks of this world.

How can'st thou presume, thou hast leave to destroy
The beauties, which Venus but lent to thy keeping?
Those looks were design'd to inspire love and joy:
More ord'nary eyes may serve people for weeping.

To be vexed at a trifle or two that I writ,
Your judgment at once, and my passion you wrong:


A Ballad of Ducks

The railway rattled and roared and swung
With jolting and bumping trucks.
The sun, like a billiard red ball, hung
In the Western sky: and the tireless tongue
Of the wild-eyed man in the corner told
This terrible tale of the days of old,
And the party that ought to have kept the ducks.
"Well, it ain't all joy bein' on the land
With an overdraft that'd knock you flat;
And the rabbits have pretty well took command;
But the hardest thing for a man to stand
Is the feller who says 'Well I told you so!


A Ballad

To that dear nymph, whose pow'rful name
Does every throbbing nerve inflame
(As the soft sound I low repeat,
My pulse unequal measures beat),
Whose eyes I never more shall see,
That once so sweetly shin'd on thee;
Go, gentle wind! and kindly bear
My tender wishes to the fair.
Hoh, ho, ho, &c.

Amidst her pleasures let her know
The secret anguish of my woe,
The midnight pang, the jealous hell,
Does in this tortur'd bosom dwell:
While laughing she, and full of play,


6th April 1651 L'Amitie To Mrs. M. Awbrey

Soule of my soule! my Joy, my crown, my friend!
A name which all the rest doth comprehend;
How happy are we now, whose sols are grown,
By an incomparable mixture, One:
Whose well acquainted minds are not as neare
As Love, or vows, or secrets can endeare.
I have no thought but what's to thee reveal'd,
Nor thou desire that is from me conceal'd.
Thy heart locks up my secrets richly set,
And my breast is thy private cabinet.
Thou shedst no teare but what but what my moisture lent,
And if I sigh, it is thy breath is spent.


16. Of Gluttony and Feasting

He shows a fool in every wise
Who day and night forever hies
From feast to feat to fill his paunch
And make his figure round and staunch,
As though his mission he were filling
By drinking too much wine and swilling
And bringing hoar-frost o’er the grape.
In to the fool’s ship toss the ape,
He kills all reason, is not sage,
And will regret it in old age.
His head and hands will ever shake,
His life a speedy end may take,
For wine’s a very harmful thing,
And man shows no strong reasoning


He came unto His own, and His own received Him not

As Christ the Lord was passing by,
He came, one night, to a cottage door.
He came, a poor man, to the poor;
He had no bed whereon to lie.

He asked in vain for a crust of bread,
Standing there in the frozen blast.
The door was locked and bolted fast.
‘Only a beggar!’ the poor man said.

Christ the Lord went further on,
Until He came to a palace gate.
There a king was keeping his state,
In every window the candles shone.


I Have Lived With Shades

I

I have lived with shades so long,
And talked to them so oft,
Since forth from cot and croft
I went mankind among,
   That sometimes they
   In their dim style
   Will pause awhile
   To hear my say;

II

And take me by the hand,
And lead me through their rooms
In the To-be, where Dooms
Half-wove and shapeless stand:
   And show from there
   The dwindled dust
   And rot and rust
   Of things that were.

III


How Great My Grief Triolet

How great my grief, my joys how few,
Since first it was my fate to know thee!
- Have the slow years not brought to view
How great my grief, my joys how few,
Nor memory shaped old times anew,
   Nor loving-kindness helped to show thee
How great my grief, my joys how few,
   Since first it was my fate to know thee?


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