Those Graves In Rome

There are places where the eye can starve,
But not here. Here, for example, is
The Piazza Navona, & here is his narrow room
Overlooking the Steps & the crowds of sunbathing
Tourists. And here is the Protestant Cemetery
Where Keats & Joseph Severn join hands
Forever under a little shawl of grass
And where Keats's name isn't even on
His gravestone, because it is on Severn's,
And Joseph Severn's infant son is buried
Two modest, grassy steps behind them both.
But you'd have to know the story--how bedridden


There is a Tavern in the Town

There is a tavern in the town, in the town,
And there my true love sits him down, sits him down,
And drinks his wine 'mid laughter free,
And never, never thinks of me.
Fare thee well, for I must leave thee,
Do not let this parting grieve thee,
And remember that the best of friends must part, must part.
Adieu, adieu, kind friends, adieu, adieu, adieu!
I can no longer stay with you, stay with you,
I'll hang my harp on a weeping willow tree,
And may the world go well with thee.


The Young Soldier

It is not death
Without hereafter
To one in dearth
Of life and its laughter,

Nor the sweet murder
Dealt slow and even
Unto the martyr
Smiling at heaven:

It is the smile
Faint as a (waning) myth,
Faint, and exceeding small
On a boy's murdered mouth.


The Wanderings of Oisin Book III

Fled foam underneath us, and round us, a wandering and milky smoke,
High as the Saddle-girth, covering away from our glances the tide;
And those that fled, and that followed, from the foam-pale distance broke;
The immortal desire of Immortals we saw in their faces, and sighed.

I mused on the chase with the Fenians, and Bran, Sceolan, Lomair,
And never a song sang Niamh, and over my finger-tips
Came now the sliding of tears and sweeping of mist-cold hair,
And now the warmth of sighs, and after the quiver of lips.


The Wanderings of Oisin Book I

S. Patrick. You who are bent, and bald, and blind,
With a heavy heart and a wandering mind,
Have known three centuries, poets sing,
Of dalliance with a demon thing.

Oisin. Sad to remember, sick with years,
The swift innumerable spears,
The horsemen with their floating hair,
And bowls of barley, honey, and wine,
Those merry couples dancing in tune,
And the white body that lay by mine;
But the tale, though words be lighter than air.
Must live to be old like the wandering moon.


The White Foxglove

Reynard, the fox, was asked to a party.
"Come", they said, in your Sunday best,
For we like good form, tho' the fun be hearty;
So all who dance must be formally dressed:
Black tail-coat and a shirt-front gleaming.
Brushed and burnished each dancing shoe,
Pantaloons with a silk braid seaming,
Clean white gloves of the snowiest hue.
This most especially -
Very especially -
Snow-white gloves of a spotless hue.

Reynard, the fox, as he dressed (says the fable)
Dreamed of the dance and his lady love,


The Wild Common

The quick sparks on the gorse bushes are leaping,
Little jets of sunlight-texture imitating flame;
Above them, exultant, the peewits are sweeping:
They are lords of the desolate wastes of sadness their screamings proclaim.

Rabbits, handfuls of brown earth, lie
Low-rounded on the mournful grass they have bitten down to the quick.
Are they asleep? -- Are they alive? -- Now see, when I
Move my arms the hill bursts and heaves under their spurting kick.


The Watchman

And for fear of Him the keepers did shake and become as dead men. ­-Matthew 28 and 4


My Claudia, it is long since we have met,
So kissed, so held each other heart to heart!
I thought to greet thee as a conqueror comes,
Bearing the trophies of his prowess home,
But Jove hath willed it should be otherwise­
Jove, say I? Nay, some mightier stranger-god
Who thus hath laid his heavy hand on me,
No victor, Claudia, but a broken man
Who seeks to hide his weakness in thy love.


The Watch on Deck

Becalmed upon the equatorial seas,
   A ship of gold lay on a sea of fire;
   Each sail and rope and spar, as in desire,
Mutely besought the kisses of a breeze;
Low laughter told the mariners at ease;
   Sweet sea-songs hymned the red sun's fun'ral pyre:
   Yet One, with eyes that never seemed to tire,
Watched for the storm, nursed on the thunder's knees.

Thou watcher of the spirit's inner keep,
Scanning Death's lone, illimitable deep,
   Spread outward to the far immortal shore!


The Wanderers

OVER the sea our galleys went,
With cleaving prows in order brave
To a speeding wind and a bounding wave--
   A gallant armament:
Each bark built out of a forest-tree
   Left leafy and rough as first it grew,
And nail'd all over the gaping sides,
Within and without, with black bull-hides,
Seethed in fat and suppled in flame,
To bear the playful billows' game;
So, each good ship was rude to see,
Rude and bare to the outward view.
   But each upbore a stately tent
Where cedar pales in scented row


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