Two Children

Give me your hand, oh little one!
Like children be we two;
Yet I am old, my day is done
That barely breaks for you.
A baby-basket hard you hold,
With in it cherries four:
You cherish them as men do gold,
And count them o'er.

And then you stumble in your walk;
The cherries scattered lie.
You pick them up with foolish talk
And foolish glad am I,
When you wipe one quite clean of dust
And give it unto me;
So in the baby-basket just


Twenty Gallons of Sleep

MEASURE me out from the fathomless tun
That somewhere or other you keep
In your vasty cellars, O wealthy one,
Twenty gallons of sleep.

Twenty gallons of balmy sleep,
Dreamless, and deep, and mild,
Of the excellent brand you used to keep
When I was a little child.

I’ve tasted of all your vaunted stock,
Your clarets and ports of Spain,
The liquid gold of your famous hock,
And your matchless dry champagne.


Twenty Gallons of Sleep

Measure me out from the fathomless tun
   That somewhere or other you keep
In your vasty cellars, O wealthy one,
   Twenty gallons of sleep.

Twenty gallons of balmy sleep,
   Dreamless, and deep, and mild,
Of the excellent brand you used to keep
   When I was a little child.

I've tasted of all your vaunted stock,
   Your clarets and ports of Spain,
The liquid gold of your famous hock,
   And your matchless dry champagne.

Of your rich muscats and your sherries fine,


True Love

It is true love because
I put on eyeliner and a concerto and make pungent observations about the great issues of the day
Even when there's no one here but him,
And because
I do not resent watching the Green Bay Packer
Even though I am philosophically opposed to football,
And because
When he is late for dinner and I know he must be either having an affair or lying dead in the middle of the street,
I always hope he's dead.

It's true love because


Triple Feature

Innocent decision: to enjoy.
And the pathos
of hopefulness, of his solicitude:

--he in mended serape,
she having plaited carefully
magenta ribbons into her hair,
the baby a round half-hidden shape
slung in her rebozo, and the young son steadfastly
gripping a fold of her skirt,
pale and severe under a handed-down sombrero --
all regarding
the stills with full attention, preparing
to pay ad go in--
to worlds of shadow-violence, half-
familiar, warm with popcorn, icy


Travelling Bohemians

The prophetic tribe of the ardent eyes
Yesterday they took the road, holding their babies
On their backs, delivering to fierce appetites
The always ready treasure of pendulous breasts.

The men stick their feet out, waving their guns
Alongside the caravan where they tremble together,
Scanning the sky their eyes are weighted down
In mourning for absent chimeras.

At the bottom of his sandy retreat, a cricket
Watched passing, redoubles his song,
Cybele, who loves, adds more flower,


Tod's Amendment

The World hath set its heavy yoke
Upon the old white-bearded folk
Who strive to please the King.
God's mercy is upon the young,
God's wisdom in the baby tongue
That fears not anything.


Topsy-Turvy World

IF the butterfly courted the bee,
And the owl the porcupine;
If churches were built in the sea,
And three times one was nine;
If the pony rode his master,
If the buttercups ate the cows,
If the cats had the dire disaster
To be worried, sir, by the mouse;
If mamma, sir, sold the baby
To a gypsy for half a crown;
If a gentleman, sir, was a lady,—
The world would be Upside-down!
If any or all of these wonders
Should ever come about,
I should not consider them blunders,


To Various Persons Talked To All At Once

You have helped hold me together.
I'd like you to be still.
Stop talking or doing anything else for a minute.
No. Please. For three minutes, maybe five minutes.
Tell me which walk to take over the hill.
Is there a bridge there? Will I want company?
Tell me about the old people who built the bridge.
What is "the Japanese economy"?
Where did you hide the doctor's bills?
How much I admire you!
Can you help me to take this off?
May I help you to take that off?
Are you finished with this item?


To Rose

Rose, when I remember you,
Little lady, scarcely two,
I am suddenly aware
Of the angels in the air.
All your softly gracious ways
Make an island in my days
Where my thoughts fly back to be
Sheltered from too strong a sea.
All your luminous delight
Shines before me in the night
When I grope for sleep and find
Only shadows in my mind.

Rose, when I remember you,
White and glowing, pink and new,
With so swift a sense of fun
Altho' life has just begun;


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