Worship

This is he, who, felled by foes,
Sprung harmless up, refreshed by blows
He to captivity was sold,
But him no prison-bars would hold:
Though they sealed him in a rock,
Mountain chains he can unlock:
Thrown to lions for their meat,
The crouching lion kissed his feet:
Bound to the stake, no flames appalled,
But arched o’er him an honouring vault.
This is he men miscall Fate,
Threading dark ways, arriving late,
But ever coming in time to crown


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;


Would You Know

Would you know the kind of maid
Sets my heart a flame-a?
Eyes must be downcast and staid,
Cheeks must flush for shame-a!
She may neither dance nor sing,
But, demure in everything,
Hang her head in modest way
With pouting lips that seem to say,
"Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me, kiss me,
Though I die of shame-a!"
Please you, that's the kind of maid
Sets my heart a flame-a!

When a maid is bold and gay
With a tongue goes clang-a,
Flaunting it in brave array,
Maiden may go hang-a!


Winnie

When I went by the meadow gate
The chestnut mare would trot to meet me,
And as her coming I would wait,
She'd whinney high as if to greet me.
And I would kiss her silky nose,
And stroke her neck until it glistened,
And speak soft words: I don't suppose
She understand - but how she listened!

Then in the war-net I was caught,
Returning three black winters older;
And when the little mare I sought
The farmer told me he had sold her.
And so time passed - when in the street


Words

The world does not need words. It articulates itself
in sunlight, leaves, and shadows. The stones on the path
are no less real for lying uncatalogued and uncounted.
The fluent leaves speak only the dialect of pure being.
The kiss is still fully itself though no words were spoken.

And one word transforms it into something less or other--
illicit, chaste, perfunctory, conjugal, covert.
Even calling it a kiss betrays the fluster of hands
glancing the skin or gripping a shoulder, the slow


Woman Work

I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The can to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind


Without You

Without you every morning would feel like going back to work after a holiday,
Without you I couldn't stand the smell of the East Lancs Road,
Without you ghost ferries would cross the Mersey manned by skeleton crews,
Without you I'd probably feel happy and have more money and time and nothing to do with it,
Without you I'd have to leave my stillborn poems on other people's doorsteps, wrapped in brown paper,
Without you there'd never be sauce to put on sausage butties,


Without You

My Pillow gazes upon me at night
Empty as a gravestone;
I never thought it would be so bitter
To be alone,
Not to lie down asleep in your hair.

I lie alone in a silent house,
The hanging lamp darkened,
And gently stretch out my hands
To gather in yours,
And softly press my warm mouth
Toward you, and kiss myself, exhausted and weak-
Then suddenly I'm awake
And all around me the cold night grows still.
The star in the window shines clearly-
Where is your blond hair,
Where your sweet mouth?


With Lullay, Lullay

With lullay, lullay, like a child,
Thou sleepest too long, thou art beguiled!
"My darling dear, my daisy flower,
Let me," quoth he, "lie in your lap."
"Lie still," quoth she, "my paramour,
Lie still hardily, and take a nap."
His head was heavy, such was his hap,
All drowsy, dreaming, drowned in sleep,
That of his love he took no keep,
With hey, lullay, etc.

With ba, ba, ba, and bas, bas, bas!
She cherished him both cheek and chin
That he wist never where he was;
He had forgotten all deadly sin!


With an Identity Disc

If ever I dreamed of my dead name
High in the heart of London, unsurpassed
By Time for ever, and the Fugitive, Fame,
There seeking a long sanctuary at last,

I better that; and recollect with shame
How once I longed to hide it from life's heats
Under those holy cypresses, the same
That shade always the quiet place of Keats,

Now rather thank I God there is no risk
Of gravers scoring it with florid screed,
But let my death be memoried on this disc.
Wear it, sweet friend. Inscribe no date nor deed.


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