1866 -- Addressed To The Old Year

Art thou not glad to close
Thy wearied eyes, O saddest child of Time,
Eyes which have looked on every mortal crime,
And swept the piteous round of mortal woes?

In dark Plutonian caves,
Beneath the lowest deep, go, hide thy head;
Or earth thee where the blood that thou hast shed
May trickle on thee from thy countless graves!

Take with thee all thy gloom
And guilt, and all our griefs, save what the breast,
Without a wrong to some dear shadowy guest,
May not surrender even to the tomb.


136 Syllables at Rocky Mountain Dharma Center

Tail turned to red sunset on a juniper crown a lone magpie cawks.

Mad at Oryoki in the shrine-room -- Thistles blossomed late afternoon.

Put on my shirt and took it off in the sun walking the path to lunch.

A dandelion seed floats above the marsh grass with the mosquitos.

At 4 A.M. the two middleaged men sleeping together holding hands.

In the half-light of dawn a few birds warble under the Pleiades.

Sky reddens behind fir trees, larks twitter, sparrows cheep cheep cheep
cheep cheep.


And ask ye why these sad tears stream

'And ask ye why these sad tears stream?'

‘Te somnia nostra reducunt.’
OVID.

And ask ye why these sad tears stream?
Why these wan eyes are dim with weeping?
I had a dream–a lovely dream,
Of her that in the grave is sleeping.

I saw her as ’twas yesterday,
The bloom upon her cheek still glowing;
And round her play’d a golden ray,
And on her brows were gay flowers blowing.

With angel-hand she swept a lyre,
A garland red with roses bound it;


Oh, if that Rainbow up there

Oh, if that rainbow up there,
Spanning the sky past the hill,
Slenderly, tenderly fair
Shining with colours that thrill,
Oh, if that rainbow up there,
Just for a moment could reach
Through the wet slope of the air
Here where I stand on the beach!

Here where the waves wash the strand,
Swing itself lovingly low,
Let me catch fast with one hand,
Climb its frail rigging and go.
Climb its frail rigging and go?
Where is its haven of rest?
Out in the gleam and the glow


Did You Never Know

Did you never know, long ago, how much you loved me --
That your love would never lessen and never go?
You were young then, proud and fresh-hearted,
You were too young to know.

Fate is a wind, and red leaves fly before it
Far apart, far away in the gusty time of year --
Seldom we meet now, but when I hear you speaking,
I know your secret, my dear, my dear.


Fighting Mac

A Life Tragedy

A pistol shot rings round and round the world;
In pitiful defeat a warrior lies.
A last defiance to dark Death is hurled,
A last wild challenge shocks the sunlit skies.
Alone he falls, with wide, wan, woeful eyes:
Eyes that could smile at death -- could not face shame.

Alone, alone he paced his narrow room,
In the bright sunshine of that Paris day;
Saw in his thought the awful hand of doom;
Saw in his dream his glory pass away;


Frost To-Night

Apple-green west and an orange bar,
And the crystal eye of a lone, one star . . .
And, "Child, take the shears and cut what you will,
Frost to-night -- so clear and dead-still."

Then, I sally forth, half sad, half proud,
And I come to the velvet, imperial crowd,
The wine-red, the gold, the crimson, the pied, --
The dahlias that reign by the garden-side.

The dahlias I might not touch till to-night!
A gleam of the shears in the fading light,
And I gathered them all, -- the splendid throng,


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