Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum

O steep and rugged Life, whose harsh ascent
Slopes blindly upward through the bitter night!
They say that on thy summit, high in light,
Sweet rest awaits the climber, travel-spent;
But I, alas, with dusty garments rent,
With fainting heart and failing limbs and sight,
Can see no glimmer of the shining height,
And vainly list, with body forward bent,
To catch athwart the gloom one wandering note
Of those glad anthems which (they say) are sung
When one emerges from the mists below:


Variation on a Theme

June 30th, 1919

Notably fond of music, I dote on a
clearer tone
Than ever was blared by a bugle or zoomed
by a saxophone;
And the sound that opens the gates for me of
a Paradise revealed
Is something akin to the note revered by the
blesséd Eugene Field,
Who sang in pellucid phrasing that I perfectly
will recall
Of the clink of the ice in the pitcher that the
boy brings up the hall.
But sweeter to me than the sparrow's song or
the goose's autumn honks


Vanitas Vanitatum Vanitas

My trust in nothing now is placed,

Hurrah!
So in the world true joy I taste,

Hurrah!
Then he who would be a comrade of mine
Must rattle his glass, and in chorus combine,
Over these dregs of wine.

I placed my trust in gold and wealth,

Hurrah!
But then I lost all joy and health,

Lack-a-day!
Both here and there the money roll'd,
And when I had it here, behold,
From there had fled the gold!

I placed my trust in women next,

Hurrah!
But there in truth was sorely vex'd,


Uriconium an Ode

It lieth low near merry England's heart
Like a long-buried sin; and Englishmen
Forget that in its death their sires had part.
And, like a sin, Time lays it bare again
To tell of races wronged,
And ancient glories suddenly overcast,
And treasures flung to fire and rabble wrath.
If thou hast ever longed
To lift the gloomy curtain of Time Past,
And spy the secret things that Hades hath,
Here through this riven ground take such a view.
The dust, that fell unnoted as a dew,


Uphill

DOES the road wind uphill all the way?
   Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
   From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
   A roof for when the slow, dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
   You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
   Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
   They will not keep you waiting at that door.


Upon A Snail

She goes but softly, but she goeth sure,
She stumbles not, as stronger creatures do.
Her journey's shorter, so she may endure
Better than they which do much farther go.
She makes no noise, but stilly seizeth on
The flower or herb appointed for her food,
The which she quietly doth feed upon
While others range and glare, but find no good.
And though she doth but very softly go,
However, 'tis not fast nor slow, but sure;
And certainly they that do travel so,
The prize they do aim at they do procure.

Comparison.


Two Lovers

Their eyes met; flashed an instant like swift swords
That leapt unparring to each other's heart,
Jarring convulsion through the inmost chords;
Then fell, for they had fully done their part.

She, in the manner of her folk unveiled,
Might have been veiled for all he saw of her;
Those sudden eyes, from which he reeled and quailed;
The old life dead, no new life yet astir.

His good steed bore him onward slow and proud:
And through the open lattice still she leant;


Tryste Noel

The Ox he openeth wide the Doore,
And from the Snowe he calls her inne,
And he hath seen her Smile therefor,
Our Ladye without Sinne.
Now soon from Sleep
A Starre shall leap,
And soone arrive both King and Hinde:
   ~Amen, Amen:~
But O, the Place co'd I but finde!

The Ox hath hush'd his voyce and bent
Trewe eyes of Pitty ore the Mow,
And on his lovelie Neck, forspent,
The Blessed layes her Browe.
Around her feet
Full Warme and Sweete
His bowerie Breath doth meeklie dwell:


To His Mistress

I

Why dost thou shade thy lovely face? O why
Does that eclipsing hand of thine deny
The sunshine of the Sun's enlivening eye?
II
Without thy light what light remains in me?
Thou art my life; my way, my light's in thee;
I live, I move, and by thy beams I see.
III
Thou art my life-if thou but turn away
My life's a thousand deaths. Thou art my way-
Without.thee, Love, I travel not but stray.
IV
My light thou art-without thy glorious sight
My eyes are darken'd with eternal night.


To His Mistress

Why dost thou shade thy lovely face? O why
Does that eclipsing hand of thine deny
The sunshine of the Sun's enlivening eye?

Without thy light what light remains in me?
Thou art my life; my way, my light's in thee;
I live, I move, and by thy beams I see.

Thou art my life-if thou but turn away
My life's a thousand deaths. Thou art my way-
Without.thee, Love, I travel not but stray.

My light thou art-without thy glorious sight
My eyes are darken'd with eternal night.


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - travel