Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field one Night

Vigil strange I kept on the field one night;
When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side that day,
One look I but gave which your dear eyes return'd with a look I shall never forget,
One touch of your hand to mine O boy, reach'd up as you lay on the ground,
Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle,
Till late in the night reliev'd to the place at last again I made my way,
Found you in death so cold dear comrade, found your body son of responding kisses, (never again on earth responding,)


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Voices

EACH small gleam was a voice
-A lantern voice-
In little songs of carmine, violet, green, gold.
A chorus of colors came over the water;
The wondrous leaf-shadow no longer wavered,
No pines crooned on the hills
The blue night was elsewhere a silence
When the chorus of colors came over the water,
Little songs of carmine, violet, green, gold.

Small glowing pebbles
Thrown on the dark plane of evening
Sing good ballads of God
And eternity, with soul's rest.
Little priests, little holy fathers


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Vision X

There in the middle of the field, by the side of a crystalline stream, I saw a bird-cage whose rods and hinges were fashioned by an expert's hands. In one corner lay a dead bird, and in another were two basins -- one empty of water and the other of seeds. I stood there reverently, as if the lifeless bird and the murmur of the water were worthy of deep silence and respect -- something worth of examination and meditation by the heard and conscience.


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Verse-Making Was Least of My Virtues

Verse-making was least of my virtues: I viewed with despair
Wealth that never yet was but might be--all that verse-making were
If the life would but lengthen to wish, let the mind be laid bare.
So I said, "To do little is bad, to do nothing is worse"--
And made verse.

Love-making,--how simple a matter! No depths to explore,
No heights in a life to ascend! No disheartening Before,
No affrighting Hereafter,--love now will be love ever more.
So I felt "To keep silence were folly:"--all language above,


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Venevil

Fair Venevil hastened with tripping feet
Her lover to meet.
He sang, so it rang o'er the church far away:
"Good-day! Good-day!"

And all the little birds sang right merrily their lay:
"Midsummer Day
Brings us laughter and play;
But later know I little, if she twines her wreath so gay!"

She twined him a wreath of the flowers blue:
"My eyes for you!"
He tossed it and caught it and to her did bend:
"Good-by, my friend!"
And loudly he exulted at the field's far distant end:


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Velvet Shoes

Let us walk in the white snow
In a soundless space;
With footsteps quiet snd slow,
At a tranquil pace,
Under veils of white lace.

I shall go shod in silk,
And you in wool,
White as white cow's milk,
More beautiful
Than the breast of a gull.

We shall walk through the still town
In a windless peace;
We shall step upon white down,
Upon silver fleece,
Upon softer than these.

We shall walk in velvet shoes:
Wherever we go
Silence will fall like dews


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Variations on the Word Love

This is a word we use to plug
holes with. It's the right size for those warm
blanks in speech, for those red heart-
shaped vacancies on the page that look nothing
like real hearts. Add lace
and you can sell
it. We insert it also in the one empty
space on the printed form
that comes with no instructions. There are whole
magazines with not much in them
but the word love, you can
rub it all over your body and you
can cook with it too. How do we know
it isn't what goes on at the cool


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Uriel

(In memory of William Vaughn Moody)

I

Uriel, you that in the ageless sun
Sit in the awful silences of light,
Singing of vision hid from human sight, --
Prometheus, beautiful rebellious one!
And you, Deucalion,
For whose blind seed was brought the illuming spark,
Are you not gathered, now his day is done,
Beside the brink of that relentless dark --
The dark where your dear singer's ghost is gone?

II

Imagined beings, who majestic blend


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Upon Watts' Picture Sic Transit

"What I spent I had; what I saved, I lost; what I gave, I have."

But yesterday the tourney, all the eager joy of life,
The waving of the banners, and the rattle of the spears,
The clash of sword and harness, and the madness of the strife;
To-night begin the silence and the peace of endless years.

( One sings within.)

But yesterday the glory and the prize,
And best of all, to lay it at her feet,
To find my guerdon in her speaking eyes:
I grudge them not, -- - they pass, albeit sweet.


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Upon the Circumcision

Ye flaming Powers, and wingèd Warriors bright,
That erst with music, and triumphant song,
First heard by happy watchful Shepherds’ ear,
So sweetly sung your joy the clouds along,
Through the soft silence of the listening night,—
Now mourn; and if sad share with us to bear
Your fiery essence can distill no tear,
Burn in your sighs, and borrow
Seas wept from our deep sorrow,
He who with all Heaven’s heraldry whilere
Entered the world, now bleeds to give us ease.
Alas! how soon our sin
Sore doth begin


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