Untitled 4

Mother! Darling mother, you are seeking me I know,
And I feel thy love will follow through the world where'er I go;
But I cannot come, dear mother; I am sadly altered now:
The once fair wreath of innocence that garlanded my brow
Has faded ne'er to bloom again; and from the things of yore-
The fair, the good, the beautiful - I'm severed ever-more.
My onward way must be a path of darkness and of pain,
But I must tread it all alone - I cannot come again.

Of all the changes that have come, I know that this will be,


Uncle Harry

Oh, never let on to your own true love
That ever you drank a drop;
That ever you played in a two-up school
Or slept in a sly-grog shop;
That ever a bad girl nursed you round –
That ever you sank so low.
But she pulled you through, and it's only you
And your old mate Harry know.

"Billy the Link" they called you then,
And it makes me sad to think
Of the strenuous days when it took three cops
And a pimp to couple the Link.
"Mister Linkhurst" they call you now,
And your kitchen garden grows;


Undesired Revenge

Sorrow and sin have worked their will
For years upon your sovereign face,
And yet it keeps a faded trace
Of its unequalled beauty still,
As ruined sanctuaries hold
A crumbled trace of perfect mould
In shrines which saints no longer fill.

I knew you in your splendid morn,
Oh, how imperiously sweet!
I bowed and worshipped at your feet,
And you received my love with scorn.
Now I scorn you. It is a change,
When I consider it, how strange
That you, not I, should be forlorn.


Under Siege

Here on the slopes of hills, facing the dusk and the cannon of time
Close to the gardens of broken shadows,
We do what prisoners do,
And what the jobless do:
We cultivate hope.

***
A country preparing for dawn. We grow less intelligent
For we closely watch the hour of victory:
No night in our night lit up by the shelling
Our enemies are watchful and light the light for us
In the darkness of cellars.

***
Here there is no "I".
Here Adam remembers the dust of his clay.

***


Uncle Joe's Hail Columbia

Uncle Joe comes home a singing,
Hail, Columby!
Glorious times de Lord is bringin' --
Now let me die.
Fling the chains into the ribber --
Lay de burden by;
Dar is one who will delibber --
Now let me die.

Ring de Bells in eb'ry steeple!
Raise the Flag on high!
De Lord has come to Sabe the people --
Now let me die.

Bressed days, I lib to see dem,
Hail Columby!
I hab drawn a breff of freedom --
Now let me die.
Ninety years I bore the burden,
Den he heard me cry;


Tz'u No. 7

To the tune of "Rinsing Silk Stream"

Let not the deep cup be filled
with rich, amber-colored wine;
My mind was eased of sorrow
even before I was drunk.
Distant bells have already echoed
in the evening breeze.

My dream is broken
as the scent of incense vanishes.
Too small, the hairpin of the gold
of warding-off-cold
loosens its hold of my tresses.

I awake to find myself blankly facing
the red flickering glow
of the candle.


Tz'u No. 6 Waiting For You

To the tune of "Red Lips"

Lonely in my secluded chamber,
A thousand sorrows fill every inch
of my sensitive being.

Regretting that spring has so soon passed,
That rain drops have hastened the falling followers,
I lean over the balustrade,
Weary and depressed.

Where is my beloved?

Only the fading grassland
stretches endlessly toward the horizon;
Anxiously I watch the road for your return.


Two Loves

One said; "Lo, I would walk hand-clasped with thee
Adown the ways of joy and sunlit slopes
Of earthly song in happiest vagrancy
To pluck the blossom of a thousand hopes.
Let us together drain the wide world's cup
With gladness brimméd up!"

And one said, "I would pray to go with thee
When sorrow claims thee; I would fence thy heart
With mine against all anguish; I would be
The comforter and healer of thy smart;
And I would count it all the wide world's gain
To spare or share thy pain!"


To The Rev. George Coleridge

Notus in fratres animi paterni.
Hor. Carm. lib.II.2.

A blesséd lot hath he, who having passed
His youth and early manhood in the stir
And turmoil of the world, retreats at length,
With cares that move, not agitate the heart,
To the same dwelling where his father dwelt;
And haply views his tottering little ones
Embrace those agéd knees and climb that lap,
On which first kneeling his own infancy
Lisp'd its brief prayer. Such, O my earliest Friend!
Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy.


Tuesday Before Easter

"Fill high the bowl, and spice it well, and pour
The dews oblivious: for the Cross is sharp,
The Cross is sharp, and He
Is tenderer than a lamb.

"He wept by Lazarus' grave--how will He bear
This bed of anguish? and His pale weak form
Is worn with many a watch
Of sorrow and unrest.

"His sweat last night was as great drops of blood,
And the sad burthen pressed Him so to earth,
The very torturers paused
To help Him on His way.

"Fill high the bowl, benumb His aching sense


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