To the King

[Upon His Majesty's Happy Return.]

The rising sun complies with our weak sight,
First gilds the clouds, then shows his globe of light
At such a distance from our eyes, as though
He knew what harm his hasty beams would do.

But your full majesty at once breaks forth
In the meridian of your reign. Your worth,
Your youth, and all the splendour of your state,
(Wrapped up, till now, in clouds of adverse fate!)
With such a flood of light invade our eyes,
And our spread hearts with so great joy surprise,


To The Harbormaster

I wanted to be sure to reach you;
though my ship was on the way it got caught
in some moorings. I am always tying up
and then deciding to depart. In storms and
at sunset, with the metallic coils of the tide
around my fathomless arms, I am unable
to understand the forms of my vanity
or I am hard alee with my Polish rudder
in my hand and the sun sinking. To
you I offer my hull and the tattered cordage
of my will. The terrible channels where
the wind drives me against the brown lips


To The Genius Of Mr. John Hall. On His Exact Translation Of

Tis not from cheap thanks thinly to repay
Th' immortal grove of thy fair-order'd bay
Thou planted'st round my humble fane, that I
Stick on thy hearse this sprig of Elegie:
Nor that your soul so fast was link'd in me,
That now I've both, since't has forsaken thee:
That thus I stand a Swisse before thy gate,
And dare, for such another, time and fate.
Alas! our faiths made different essays,
Our Minds and Merits brake two several ways;
Justice commands I wake thy learned dust,
And truth, in whom all causes center must.


To the Comet of 1843

Thy purpose, heavenly stranger, who may tell
But Him, who linked thee to the starry whole?
Wherefore, in this our darkness, be it ours
To must upon thee in thy high career,
As of some wandering symphony from amidst
Those highest stellar harmonies that track
Through infinite space and the great rounds of time
The mighty marches of creation.
Behold, how high thou travellest in heaven!
Myriads of wondering human spirits here,
Duly each night with upturned looks seek out
The mystery of thy advent.


To The Chosen One

Hand in hand! and lip to lip!

Oh, be faithful, maiden dear!
Fare thee well! thy lover's ship

Past full many a rock must steers
But should he the haven see,

When the storm has ceased to break,
And be happy, reft of thee,--

May the Gods fierce vengeance take!

Boldly dared is well nigh won!

Half my task is solved aright;
Ev'ry star's to me a sun,

Only cowards deem it night.
Stood I idly by thy side,

Sorrow still would sadden me;
But when seas our paths divide,


To the Chief Musician upon Nabla A Tyndallic Ode

I.

I come from fields of fractured ice,
Whose wounds are cured by squeezing,
Melting they cool, but in a trice,
Get warm again by freezing.
Here, in the frosty air, the sprays
With fernlike hoar-frost bristle,
There, liquid stars their watery rays
Shoot through the solid crystal.


II.

I come from empyrean fires --
From microscopic spaces,
Where molecules with fierce desires,
Shiver in hot embraces.
The atoms clash, the spectra flash,
Projected on the screen,


To Tan-Ch'iu

My friend is lodging high in the Eastern Range,
Dearly loving the beauty of valleys and hills.
At green Spring he lies in the empty woods,
And is still asleep when the sun shines on igh.
A pine-tree wind dusts his sleeves and coat;
A peebly stream cleans his heart and ears.
I envy you, who far from strife and talk
Are high-propped on a pillow of blue cloud.

Li Po
tr. Waley


To Sarah

I

One happy year has fled, Sall,
Since you were all my own,
The leaves have felt the autumn blight,
The wintry storm has blown.
We heeded not the cold blast,
Nor the winter's icy air;
For we found our climate in the heart,
And it was summer there.

II

The summer's sun is bright, Sall,
The skies are pure in hue;
But clouds will sometimes sadden them,
And dim their lovely blue;
And clouds may come to us, Sall,
But sure they will not stay;


To Robert Nichols

(From Frise on the Somme in February, 1917, in answer to a letter saying: “I am just finishing my ‘Faun’s Holiday.’ I wish you were here to feed him with cherries.”)


Here by a snowbound river
In scrapen holes we shiver,
And like old bitterns we
Boom to you plaintively:
Robert, how can I rhyme
Verses for your desire—
Sleek fauns and cherry-time,
Vague music and green trees,
Hot sun and gentle breeze,
England in June attire,
And life born young again,
For your gay goatish brute


To Ripley Alien 1-4

Always your face like a space
(Destination: beautiful) ship
Empties its mote of closeup trace
Down screens that blink blank blip

Somewhere between countdown
And coma time is a line
Where waking centuries often
Drained against that measure we find

Our blood redshifts (direction: west)
Until film can clone one sun
With stars both whole and gone

Attending every sequel
We pray for an intent equal
To our interest


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