Trees Against The Sky

Pines against the sky,
Pluming the purple hill;
Pines . . . and I wonder why,
Heart, you quicken and thrill?
Wistful heart of a boy,
Fill with a strange sweet joy,
Lifting to Heaven nigh -
Pines against the sky.

Palms against the sky,
Failing the hot, hard blue;
Stark on the beach I lie,
Dreaming horizons new;
Heart of my youth elate,
Scorning a humdrum fate,
Keyed to adventure high -
Palms against the sky.

Oaks against the sky,
Ramparts of leaves high-hurled,


Twilight Thoughts

The God of the day has vanished,
The light from the hills has fled,
And the hand of an unseen artist
Is painting the west all red.
All threaded with gold and crimson,
And burnished with amber dye,
And tipped with purple shadows,
The glory flameth high.

Fair, beautiful world of ours!
Fair, beautiful world, but oh,
How darkened by pain and sorrow,
How blackened by sin and woe.
The splendour pales in the heavens
And dies in a golden gleam,
And alone in the hush of twilight,


Twilight in the Alps

I love the hour that comes, with dusky hair
And dewy feet, along the Alpine dells
To lead the cattle forth. A thousand bells
Go chiming after her across the fair
And flowery uplands, while the rosy flare
Of sunset on the snowy mountain dwells,
And valleys darken, and the drowsy spells
Of peace are woven through the purple air.

Dear is the magic of this hour: she seems
To walk before the dark by falling rills,
And lend a sweeter song to hidden streams;
She opens all the doors of night, and fills


Travel Song

‘COME, before the summer passes
Let us seek the mountain land:’
So they called me, happy playmates,
And we left the dawn-lit strand:
Riding on till later sunbeams slanted
On dark hills and downward-plunging streams,
And the solemn forest softly chanted
Old, old dreams.

From the pass, we saw in glory
Wave on purple wave unrolled
To the cloud-encircled summit
Floating high, alone and cold:
Like that altar-stone, by men of Athens


To Virgil

Written at the Request of the Mantuans for the Nineteenth Centenary of
Virgil's Death


Roman Virgil, thou that singest
Ilion's lofty temples robed in fire,
Ilion falling, Rome arising,
wars, and filial faith, and Dido's pyre;

Landscape-lover, lord of language
more than he that sang the Works and Days,
All the chosen coin of fancy
flashing out from many a golden phrase;

Thou that singest wheat and woodland,
tilth and vineyard, hive and horse and herd;
All the charm of all the Muses


To the Virginian Voyage

YOU brave heroic minds
   Worthy your country's name,
   That honour still pursue;
   Go and subdue!
Whilst loitering hinds
   Lurk here at home with shame.

Britons, you stay too long:
   Quickly aboard bestow you,
   And with a merry gale
   Swell your stretch'd sail
With vows as strong
   As the winds that blow you.

Your course securely steer,
   West and by south forth keep!
   Rocks, lee-shores, nor shoals
   When Eolus scowls
You need not fear;


Your Feet

When I cannot look at your face
I look at your feet.
Your feet of arched bone,
your hard little feet.
I know that they support you,
and that your sweet weight
rises upon them.
Your waist and your breasts,
the doubled purple
of your nipples,
the sockets of your eyes
that have just flown away,
your wide fruit mouth,
your red tresses,
my little tower.
But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,


You Meaner Beauties of the Night

You meaner beauties of the night,
That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number than your light;
You common people of the skies,
What are you when the sun shall rise?

You curious chanters of the wood,
That warble forth Dame Nature's lays,
Thinking your voices understood
By your weak accents; what's your praise
When Philomel her voice shall raise?

You violets that first appear,
By your pure purple mantles known,
Like the proud virgins of the year,
As if the spring were all your own;


You Ask Me, Why, Tho' Ill at Ease

You ask me, why, tho' ill at ease,
Within this region I subsist,
Whose spirits falter in the mist,
And languish for the purple seas.
It is the land that freemen till,
That sober-suited Freedom chose,
The land, where girt with friends or foes
A man may speak the thing he will;
A land of settled government,
A land of just and old renown,
Where Freedom slowly broadens down
From precedent to precedent:

Where faction seldom gathers head,


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