Torto Volitans Sub Verbere Turbo Quem Pueri Magno In Gyro Vacua Atria Circum Intenti Ludo Exercent

Of pearies and their origin I sing:
How at the first great Jove the lord of air
Impelled the planets round the central sun
Each circling within each, until at last
The winged Mercury moves in molten fire.
And which of you, ye heavenly deities,
That hear the endless music of the spheres,
Hast given to man the secret of the Top?
Say, was it thou, O Fun, that dost prefer,
Before all temples, liberty and play?
Yes, yes, ’twas only thou, thou from the first
Wast present when the Roman children came


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Tombstones in the Starlight

I. The Minor Poet

His little trills and chirpings were his best.
No music like the nightingale's was born
Within his throat; but he, too, laid his breast
Upon a thorn.


II. The Pretty Lady

She hated bleak and wintry things alone.
All that was warm and quick, she loved too well-
A light, a flame, a heart against her own;
It is forever bitter cold, in Hell.

III. The Very Rich Man

He'd have the best, and that was none too good;
No barrier could hold, before his terms.


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To Winter

Stay, season of calm love and soulful snows!
There is a subtle sweetness in the sun,
The ripples on the stream's breast gaily run,
The wind more boisterously by me blows,
And each succeeding day now longer grows.
The birds a gladder music have begun,
The squirrel, full of mischief and of fun,
From maples' topmost branch the brown twig throws.
I read these pregnant signs, know what they mean:
I know that thou art making ready to go.
Oh stay! I fled a land where fields are green


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To The One Of Fictive Music

Sister and mother and diviner love,
And of the sisterhood of the living dead
Most near, most clear, and of the clearest bloom,
And of the fragrant mothers the most dear
And queen, and of diviner love the day
And flame and summer and sweet fire, no thread
Of cloudy silver sprinkles in your gown
Its venom of renown, and on your head
No crown is simpler than the simple hair.

Now, of the music summoned by the birth
That separates us from the wind and sea,
Yet leaves us in them, until earth becomes,


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To the Air of Lorelei

I.

Alone on a hillside of heather,
I lay with dark thoughts in my mind,
In the midst of the beautiful weather
I was deaf, I was dumb, I was blind.
I knew not the glories around me,
I counted the world as it seems,
Till a spirit of melody found me,
And taught me in visions and dreams.


II.

For the sound of a chorus of voices
Came gathering up from below,
And I heard how all Nature rejoices,
And moves with a musical flow.
O strange! we are lost in delusion,


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To the Additional Examiner for 1875

Queen Cram went straying
Where Tait was swaying,
In just hands weighing,
With care immense,
Dry proofs made pleasant
By Routh or Besant
For one who hasn’t
Got too much sense.
Nor marked how, quicker
Than mounts the liquor
In brains made thicker
By College beer,
The murderous maiden,
Mistake, walks laden
With tips forgotten and slips so queer.

How, like a spider,
She still spreads wider,
O’er bookwork, rider,
And problem too,
Her flimsy curtain


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To Sarah

I

One happy year has fled, Sall,
Since you were all my own,
The leaves have felt the autumn blight,
The wintry storm has blown.
We heeded not the cold blast,
Nor the winter's icy air;
For we found our climate in the heart,
And it was summer there.

II

The summer's sun is bright, Sall,
The skies are pure in hue;
But clouds will sometimes sadden them,
And dim their lovely blue;
And clouds may come to us, Sall,
But sure they will not stay;


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To Robert Nichols

(From Frise on the Somme in February, 1917, in answer to a letter saying: “I am just finishing my ‘Faun’s Holiday.’ I wish you were here to feed him with cherries.”)


Here by a snowbound river
In scrapen holes we shiver,
And like old bitterns we
Boom to you plaintively:
Robert, how can I rhyme
Verses for your desire—
Sleek fauns and cherry-time,
Vague music and green trees,
Hot sun and gentle breeze,
England in June attire,
And life born young again,
For your gay goatish brute


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Your Poem

My poem may be yours indeed
In melody and tone,
If in its rhythm you can read
A music of your own;
If in its pale woof you can weave
Your lovelier design,
'Twill make my lyric, I believe,
More yours than mine.

I'm but a prompter at the best;
Crude cues are all I give.
In simple stanzas I suggest -
'Tis you who make them live.
My bit of rhyme is but a frame,
And if my lines you quote,
I think, although they bear my name,
'Tis you who wrote.


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Young Laughters, and My Music

Young laughters, and my music! Aye till now
The voice can reach no blending minors near;
'Tis the bird's trill because the spring is here
And spring means trilling on a blossomy bough;
'Tis the spring joy that has no why or how,
But sees the sun and hopes not nor can fear--
Spring is so sweet and spring seems all the year.
Dear voice, the first-come birds but trill as thou.

Oh music of my heart, be thus for long:
Too soon the spring bird learns the later song;
Too soon a sadder sweetness slays content


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