To Winter

"Blow, blow, thou winter wind."
Away from here,
And I shall greet thy passing breath
Without a tear.

I do not love thy snow and sleet
Or icy flows;
When I must jump or stamp to warm
My freezing toes.

For why should I be happy or
E'en be merry,
In weather only fitted for
Cook or Peary.

My eyes are red, my lips are blue
My ears frost bitt'n;
Thy numbing kiss doth e'en extend
Thro' my mitten.

I am cold, no matter how I warm
Or clothe me;


To Waken An Old Lady

Old age is
a flight of small
cheeping birds
skimming
bare trees
above a snow glaze.
Gaining and failing
they are buffeted
by a dark wind --
But what?
On harsh weedstalks
the flock has rested --
the snow
is covered with broken
seed husks
and the wind tempered
with a shrill
piping of plenty.


To The Man Of The High North

My rhymes are rough, and often in my rhyming
I've drifted, silver-sailed, on seas of dream,
Hearing afar the bells of Elfland chiming,
Seeing the groves of Arcadie agleam.

I was the thrall of Beauty that rejoices
From peak snow-diademed to regal star;
Yet to mine aerie ever pierced the voices,
The pregnant voices of the Things That Are.

The Here, the Now, the vast Forlorn around us;
The gold-delirium, the ferine strife;
The lusts that lure us on, the hates that hound us;


To the People Of the Future

This single link was else respected
By people of the days that gone –
There’s written on its tablet sacred
That Love and Life is one.
But you’re not they, you live like arrows
Of dreams that fly through skies and earth,
And in your flight, unite, my fellows,
The Love and Death.

They said in their pledge eternal
That they are slaves of the bad past,
That they were born in dust infernal,
And will return again to dust.
Your heedless brightness was aroused


To the Painter Preparing to Draw M.M.H

Be not too forward, painter; 'tis
More for thy fame, and art, to miss
All other faces, than come near
The Lady, that expecteth here.
Be wise, and think it less disgrace
To draw an angel, than her face;
For in such forms, who is so wise
To tell thee where thy error lies?
But since all beauty (that is known)
Is in her virgin sweetness one,
How can it be, that painting her
But every look should make thee err?
But thou art resolute I see;
Yet let my fancy walk with thee:


To the Obelisk

DURING THE GREAT FROST, 1881.


Thou sign-post of the Desert! Obelisk,
Once fronting in thy monumental pride
Egypt's fierce sun, that blazing far and wide,
Sheared her of tree and herb, till like a disk
Her waste stretched shadowless, and fraught with risk
To those who with their beasts of burden hied
Across the seas of sand until they spied
Thy pillar, and their flagging hearts grew brisk:

Now reared beside out Thames so wintry grey,
Where blocks of ice drift with the drifting stream,


To the Memory of Sarah Livingston

BEYOND where billows roll or tempests vex
Is gone the gentlest of the gentle sex!
---Her brittle bark on life's wild ocean tost
Unequal to the conflict soon was lost.
Severe her sufferings! much, alas, she bore,
Then sunk beneath the storm & rose no more.
But when th' Archangel's awful trump shall sound
And vibrate life thro all the deep profound
Her renovated vessel will be seen,
Transcendant floating on the silver stream!
All beauteous to behold! serene she glides
Borne on by mildest & propitious tides;


To the Etruscan Poets

Dream fluently, still brothers, who when young
Took with your mother's milk the mother tongue,

In which pure matrix, joining world and mind,
You strove to leave some line of verse behind

Like still fresh tracks across a field of snow,
Not reckoning that all could melt and go.


To The Author Of Glare

There comes a time when the story turns into twenty
different stories and soon after that he academy of shadows
retreats to the cave of a solitary boy in a thriving

metropolis where no one remembers the original story
whic is, of course, a sign of its great success: to be forgotten
implies you were once known, and that is something we

can prize more than the gesture greater than the achievement:
but I wander from the main point: the main point is one
among many fine dots so fine you need a microscope to see them


You Can Have It

My brother comes home from work
and climbs the stairs to our room.
I can hear the bed groan and his shoes drop
one by one. You can have it, he says.

The moonlight streams in the window
and his unshaven face is whitened
like the face of the moon. He will sleep
long after noon and waken to find me gone.

Thirty years will pass before I remember
that moment when suddenly I knew each man
has one brother who dies when he sleeps
and sleeps when he rises to face this life,


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