Thebais - Book Two

Now Jove’s Command fulfill’d, the Son of May
Quits the black Shades and slowly mounts to Day.
For lazy Clouds in gloomy Barriers rise,
Obstruct the God, and intercept the Skies;
No Zephyrs here their airy pinions move,
To spread his progress to the Realms above.
Scarce can he steer his dark laborious Flight,
Lost and encumber’d in the Damps of Night:
There roaring Tides of Fire his Course withstood,
Here Styx in nine wide Circles roll’d his Flood.
Behind old Laius trod th’ infernal Ground,


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Thebais - Book One - part III

Oh race confed’rate into crimes, that prove
Triumphant o’er th’ eluded rage of Jove!
This wearied arm can scarce the bolt sustain,
And unregarded thunder rolls in vain:
Th’ o’erlaboured Cyclops from his task retires,
Th’ Æolian forge exhausted of its fires.
For this, I suffered Phœbus’ steeds to stray,
And the mad ruler to misguide the day;
When the wide earth to heaps of ashes turned,
And heaven itself the wand’ring chariot burned.
For this, my brother of the wat’ry reign


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The Yellow Gas

The yellow gas is fired from street to street
past rows of heartless homes and hearths unlit,
dead churches, and the unending pavement beat
by crowds - say rather, haggard shades that flit

round nightly haunts of their delusive dream,
where'er our paradisal instinct starves: -
till on the utmost post, its sinuous gleam
crawls in the oily water of the wharves;

where Homer's sea loses his keen breath, hemm'd
what place rebellious piles were driven down -
the priestlike waters to this task condemn'd


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The Wreck of the Steamer London

'Twas in the year of 1866, and on a very beautiful day,
That eighty-two passengers, with spirits light and gay,
Left Gravesend harbour, and sailed gaily away
On board the steamship "London,"
Bound for the city of Melbourne,
Which unfortunately was her last run,
Because she was wrecked on the stormy main,
Which has caused many a heart to throb with pain,
Because they will ne'er look upon their lost ones again.

'Twas on the 11th of January they anchored at the Nore;


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The Women of the West

They left the vine-wreathed cottage and the mansion on the hill,
The houses in the busy streets where life is never still,
The pleasures of the city, and the friends they cherished best:
For love they faced the wilderness -- the Women of the West.

The roar, and rush, and fever of the city died away,
And the old-time joys and faces -- they were gone for many a day;
In their place the lurching coach-wheel, or the creaking bullock chains,
O'er the everlasting sameness of the never-ending plains.


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The Woman and the Wife

I--THE EXPLANATION

"You thought we knew," she said, "but we were wrong.
This we can say, the rest we do not say;
Nor do I let you throw yourself away
Because you love me. Let us both be strong,
And we shall find in sorrow, before long,
Only the price Love ruled that we should pay:
The dark is the end of every day,
And silence is the end of every song.

"You ask me for one more proof that I speak right,
But I can answer only what I know;
You look for just one lie to make black white,


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The Winter Lakes

Out in a world of death far to the northward lying,
Under the sun and the moon, under the dusk and the day;
Under the glimmer of stars and the purple of sunsets dying,
Wan and waste and white, stretch the great lakes away.

Never a bud of spring, never a laugh of summer,
Never a dream of love, never a song of bird;
But only the silence and white, the shores that grow chiller and dumber,
Wherever the ice winds sob, and the griefs of winter are heard.


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The Widow

Grief hath pacified her face;
Even hope might share so still a place;
Yet, on the silence of her heart,
Haply, if a strange footfall start,
Or a chance word of ecstasy
Cry through dim cloistered memory,
Into her eyes her soul will steal
To gaze into the irrevocable --
As if death had not power to keep
One who has loved her long asleep.

Now all things lovely she looks on
Seem lovely in oblivion;
And all things mute what shall not be
Richer than any melody.


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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.


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The Wanderlust

The Wanderlust has lured me to the seven lonely seas,
Has dumped me on the tailing-piles of dearth;
The Wanderlust has haled me from the morris chairs of ease,
Has hurled me to the ends of all the earth.
How bitterly I've cursed it, oh, the Painted Desert knows,
The wraithlike heights that hug the pallid plain,
The all-but-fluid silence, -- yet the longing grows and grows,
And I've got to glut the Wanderlust again.

Soldier, sailor, in what a plight I've been!
Tinker, tailor, oh what a sight I've seen!


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