An Epistle Containing the Strange Medical Experience of Kar

Karshish, the picker-up of learning's crumbs,
The not-incurious in God's handiwork
(This man's-flesh he hath admirably made,
Blown like a bubble, kneaded like a paste,
To coop up and keep down on earth a space
That puff of vapour from his mouth, man's soul)
--To Abib, all-sagacious in our art,
Breeder in me of what poor skill I boast,
Like me inquisitive how pricks and cracks
Befall the flesh through too much stress and strain,
Whereby the wily vapour fain would slip


An Elegie. On The Death Of Mrs. Cassandra Cotton, Only Sist

Hither with hallowed steps as is the ground,
That must enshrine this saint with lookes profound,
And sad aspects as the dark vails you weare,
Virgins opprest, draw gently, gently neare;
Enter the dismall chancell of this rooome,
Where each pale guest stands fixt a living tombe;
With trembling hands helpe to remove this earth
To its last death and first victorious birth:
Let gums and incense fume, who are at strife
To enter th' hearse and breath in it new life;
Mingle your steppes with flowers as you goe,


Ambition's Trail

If all the end of this continuous striving
Were simply to attain,
How poor would seem the planning and contriving
The endless urging and the hurried driving
Of body, heart and brain!

But ever in the wake of true achieving,
There shine this glowing trail –
Some other soul will be spurred on, conceiving,
New strength and hope, in its own power believing,
Because thou didst not fail.

Not thine alone the glory, nor the sorrow,
If thou doth miss the goal,


An Australian Symphony

Not as the songs of other lands
   Her song shall be
Where dim Her purple shore-line stands
   Above the sea!
As erst she stood, she stands alone;
Her inspiration is her own.
From sunlit plains to mangrove strands
Not as the songs of other lands
   Her song shall be.

O Southern Singers! Rich and sweet,
   Like chimes of bells,
The cadence swings with rhythmic beat
   The music swells;
But undertones, weird, mournful, strong,
Sweep like swift currents thro' the song.


An Appeal to My Countywomen

You can sigh o'er the sad-eyed Armenian
Who weeps in her desolate home.
You can mourn o'er the exile of Russia
From kindred and friends doomed to roam.

You can pity the men who have woven
From passion and appetite chains
To coil with a terrible tension
Around their heartstrings and brains.

You can sorrow o'er little children
Disinherited from their birth,
The wee waifs and toddlers neglected,
Robbed of sunshine, music and mirth.

For beasts you have gentle compassion;


An Adventure in the Life of King James V of Scotland

On one occasion King James the Fifth of Scotland, when alone, in disguise,
Near by the Bridge of Cramond met with rather a disagreeable surprise.
He was attacked by five gipsy men without uttering a word,
But he manfully defended himself with his sword.

There chanced to be a poor man threshing corn in a barn near by,
Who came out on hearing the noise so high;
And seeing one man defending himself so gallantly,
That he attacked the gipsies with his flail, and made them flee.

Then he took the King into the barn,


An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow

The word goes round Repins,
the murmur goes round Lorenzinis,
at Tattersalls, men look up from sheets of numbers,
the Stock Exchange scribblers forget the chalk in their hands
and men with bread in their pockets leave the Greek Club:
There's a fellow crying in Martin Place. They can't stop him.

The traffic in George Street is banked up for half a mile
and drained of motion. The crowds are edgy with talk
and more crowds come hurrying. Many run in the back streets
which minutes ago were busy main streets, pointing:


Among the Pines

Here let us linger at will and delightsomely hearken
Music aeolian of wind in the boughs of pine,
Timbrel of falling waters, sounds all soft and sonorous,
Worshipful litanies sung at a bannered shrine.

Deep let us breathe the ripeness and savor of balsam,
Tears that the pines have wept in sorrow sweet,
With its aroma comes beguilement of things forgotten,
Long-past hopes of the years on tip-toeing feet.

Far in the boskiest glen of this wood is a dream and a silence­
Come, we shall claim them ours ere look we long;


Alone, Looking for Blossoms Along the River

The sorrow of riverside blossoms inexplicable,
And nowhere to complain -- I've gone half crazy.
I look up our southern neighbor. But my friend in wine
Gone ten days drinking. I find only an empty bed.

A thick frenzy of blossoms shrouding the riverside,
I stroll, listing dangerously, in full fear of spring.
Poems, wine -- even this profusely driven, I endure.
Arrangements for this old, white-haired man can wait.

A deep river, two or three houses in bamboo quiet,
And such goings on: red blossoms glaring with white!


Alone And Repentant

A friend I possess, whose whispers just said,
"God's peace!" to my night-watching mind.
When daylight is gone and darkness brings dread,
He ever the way can find.

He utters no word to smite and to score;
He, too, has known sin and its grief.
He heals with his look the place that is sore,
And stays till I have relief.

He takes for his own the deed that is such
That sorrows of heart increase.
He cleanses the wound with so gentle a touch,
The pain must give way to peace.


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