Troth with the Dead

The moon is broken in twain, and half a moon
Before me lies on the still, pale floor of the sky;
The other half of the broken coin of troth
Is buried away in the dark, where the still dead lie.
They buried her half in the grave when they laid her away;
I had pushed it gently in among the thick of her hair
Where it gathered towards the plait, on that very last day;
And like a moon in secret it is shining there.

My half shines in the sky, for a general sign
Of the troth with the dead I pledged myself to keep;

Translation of Petrarch's Rima, Sonnet 134

I FIND no peace, and all my war is done;
I fear and hope; I burn and freeze like ice;
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;
And nought I have, and all the world I seize on;
That looseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison
And holdeth me not, yet can I 'scape nowise;
Nor letteth me live nor die at my device, [by my own choice]
And yet of death it giveth none occasion.
Withouten eyen, I see; and without tongue I plain; [lament]
I desire to perish, and yet I ask health;

Tourists

In a strange town in a far land
They met amid a throng;
They stared, they could not understand
How life was sudden song.
As brown eyes looked in eyes of grey
Just for a moment's space,
Twin spirits met with sweet dismay
In that strange place.

And then the mob that swept them near
Reft them away again;
Two hearts in all the world most dear
Knew puzzlement and pain.
They barely brushed in passing by,
A wildered girl and boy,

Tom's Garland

upon the Unemployed


Tom—garlanded with squat and surly steel
Tom; then Tom’s fallowbootfellow piles pick
By him and rips out rockfire homeforth—sturdy Dick;
Tom Heart-at-ease, Tom Navvy: he is all for his meal
Sure, ’s bed now. Low be it: lustily he his low lot (feel
That ne’er need hunger, Tom; Tom seldom sick,
Seldomer heartsore; that treads through, prickproof, thick
Thousands of thorns, thoughts) swings though. Commonweal
Little I reck ho! lacklevel in, if all had bread:

Tomes

There is a section in my library for death
and another for Irish history,
a few shelves for the poetry of China and Japan,
and in the center a row of imperturbable reference books,
the ones you can turn to anytime,
when the night is going wrong
or when the day is full of empty promise.

I have nothing against
the thin monograph, the odd query,
a note on the identity of Chekhov's dentist,
but what I prefer on days like these
is to get up from the couch,
pull down The History of the World,

Tomes

There is a section in my library for death
and another for Irish history,
a few shelves for the poetry of China and Japan,
and in the center a row of imperturbable reference books,
the ones you can turn to anytime,
when the night is going wrong
or when the day is full of empty promise.

I have nothing against
the thin monograph, the odd query,
a note on the identity of Chekhov's dentist,
but what I prefer on days like these
is to get up from the couch,
pull down The History of the World,

Two Women

I know two women, and one is chaste
And cold as the snows on a winters waste,
Stainless ever I act and thought
(As a man, born dumb, in speech errs not) .
But she has malice toward her kind,
A cruel tongue and a jealous mind.
Void of pity and full of greed,
She judges the world by her narrow creed;
A brewer of quarrels, a breeder of hate,
Yet she holds the key to ‘Society’s’ Gate.

The other woman, with heart of flame,
Went mad for a love that marred her name:
And out of the grave of her murdered faith

Two Truths

Darling,' he said, 'I never meant
To hurt you;' and his eyes were wet.
'I would not hurt you for the world:
Am I to blame if I forget?'

'Forgive my selfish tears!' she cried,
'Forgive! I knew that it was not
Because you meant to hurt me, sweet-
I knew it was that you forgot!'

But all the same, deep in her heart
Rankled this thought, and rankles yet,-
'When love is at its best, one loves
So much that he cannot forget.'

Two Sunsets

In the fair morning of his life,
When his pure heart lay in his breast,
Panting, with all that wild unrest
To plunge into the great world's strife

That fills young hearts with mad desire,
He saw a sunset. Red and gold
The burning billows surged and rolled,
And upward tossed their caps of fire.

He looked. And as he looked the sight
Sent from his soul through breast and brain
Such intense joy, it hurt like pain.
His heart seemed bursting with delight.

So near the Unknown seemed, so close

Two Sonnets In Memory

(Nicola Sacco -- Bartolomeo Vanzetti)
Executed August 23, 1927


I

As men have loved their lovers in times past
And sung their wit, their virtue and their grace,
So have we loved sweet Justice to the last,
That now lies here in an unseemly place.
The child will quit the cradle and grow wise
And stare on beauty till his senses drown;
Yet shall be seen no more by mortal eyes
Such beauty as here walked and here went down.
Like birds that hear the winter crying plain

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