Two Wishes XI

In the silence of the night Death descended from God toward the earth. He hovered above a city and pierced the dwellings with his eyes. He say the spirits floating on wings of dreams, and the people who were surrendered to the Slumber.

When the moon fell below the horizon and the city became black, Death walked silently among the houses -- careful to touch nothing -- until he reached a palace. He entered through the bolted gates undisturbed, and stood by the rich man's bed; and as Death touched his forehead, the sleeper's eyes opened, showing great fright.


Twenty-Fifth Sunday After Trinity

The bright-haired morn is glowing
O'er emerald meadows gay,
With many a clear gem strewing
The early shepherd's way.
Ye gentle elves, by Fancy seen
Stealing away with night
To slumber in your leafy screen,
Tread more than airy light.

And see what joyous greeting
The sun through heaven has shed,
Though fast yon shower be fleeting,
His beams have faster sped.
For lo! above the western haze
High towers the rainbow arch
In solid span of purest rays:
How stately is its march!


Troilus And Criseyde Book 03

Incipit prohemium tercii libri.

O blisful light of whiche the bemes clere
Adorneth al the thridde hevene faire!
O sonnes lief, O Ioves doughter dere,
Plesaunce of love, O goodly debonaire,
In gentil hertes ay redy to repaire!
O verray cause of hele and of gladnesse,
Y-heried be thy might and thy goodnesse!

In hevene and helle, in erthe and salte see
Is felt thy might, if that I wel descerne;
As man, brid, best, fish, herbe and grene tree
Thee fele in tymes with vapour eterne.


Trivia or, the Art of Walking the Streets of London excer

Thus far the Muse has trac'd in useful lays
The proper implements for wintry ways;
Has taught the walker, with judicious eyes,
To read the various warnings of the skies.
Now venture, Muse, from home to range the town,
And for the public safety risk thy own.

For ease and for dispatch, the morning's best;
No tides of passengers the street molest.
You'll see a draggled damsel, here and there,
From Billingsgate her fishy traffic bear;
On doors the sallow milk-maid chalks her gains;


Trilogy Of Passion 01 To Werther

Once more, then, much-wept shadow, thou dost dare

Boldly to face the day's clear light,
To meet me on fresh blooming meadows fair,

And dost not tremble at my sight.
Those happy times appear return'd once more.

When on one field we quaff'd refreshing dew,
And, when the day's unwelcome toils were o'er,

The farewell sunbeams bless'd our ravish'd view;
Fate bade thee go,--to linger here was mine,--
Going the first, the smaller loss was thine.

The life of man appears a glorious fate:


To W. Hohenzollern, on Resuming The Conning Tower

Well William, since I wrote you long ago--
As I recall, one cool October morning--
(I have The Tribune files. They clearly show
I gave you warning).

Since when I penned that consequential ode,
The world has seen a vast amount of slaughter,
And under many a Gallic bridge has flowed
A lot of water.

I said when your people ceased to strafe,
That when you'd put an end to all this war stuff,
And all the world was reasonably safe
I'd write some more stuff.


To W. Hohenzollern, on Discontinuing The Conning Tower

William, it was, I think, three years ago--
As I recall, one cool October morning--
(You have The Tribune files; I think they'll show
I gave you warning).

I said, in well-selected words and terse,
In phrases balanced, yet replete with power,
That I should cease to pen the prose and verse
Known as The Tower
That I should stop this Labyrinth of Light--
Though stopping make the planet leaden-hearted--
Unless you stop the well-known Schrecklichkeit
Your nation started.


To the United States Senate

And must the Senator from Illinois
Be this squat thing, with blinking, half-closed eyes?
This brazen gutter idol, reared to power
Upon a leering pyramid of lies?

And must the Senator from Illinois
Be the world's proverb of successful shame,
Dazzling all State house flies that steal and steal,
Who, when the sad State spares them, count it fame?

If once or twice within his new won hall
His vote had counted for the broken men;
If in his early days he wrought some good —


Yee Bow

They got me into the Sunday-school
In Spoon River
And tried to get me to drop Confucius for Jesus.
I could have been no worse off
If I had tried to get them to drop Jesus for Confucius.
For, without any warning, as if it were a prank,
And sneaking up behind me, Harry Wiley,
The minister's son, caved my ribs into my lungs,
With a blow of his fist.
Now I shall never sleep with my ancestors in Pekin,
And no children shall worship at my grave.


Yarrow Visited

September, 1814

And is this -Yarrow? -This the stream
Of which my fancy cherished
So faithfully, a waking dream,
An image that hath perished?
O that some minstrel's harp were near
To utter notes of gladness
And chase this silence from the air,
That fills my heart with sadness!

Yet why? -a silvery current flows
With uncontrolled meanderings;
Nor have these eyes by greener hills
Been soothed, in all my wanderings.
And, through her depths, Saint Mary's Lake
Is visibly delighted;


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