Truly Great

My walls outside must have some flowers,
My walls within must have some books;
A house that's small; a garden large,
And in it leafy nooks.

A little gold that's sure each week;
That comes not from my living kind,
But from a dead man in his grave,
Who cannot change his mind.

A lovely wife, and gentle too;
Contented that no eyes but mine
Can see her many charms, nor voice
To call her beauty fine.

Where she would in that stone cage live,
A self-made prisoner, with me;


True Enjoyment

Vainly wouldst thou, to gain a heart,

Heap up a maiden's lap with gold;
The joys of love thou must impart,

Wouldst thou e'er see those joys unfold.
The voices of the throng gold buys,

No single heart 'twill win for thee;
Wouldst thou a maiden make thy prize,

Thyself alone the bribe must be.

If by no sacred tie thou'rt bound,

Oh youth, thou must thyself restrain!
Well may true liberty be found,

Tho' man may seem to wear a chain.
Let one alone inflame thee e'er,


Transfiguration

Mysterious death! who in a single hour
Life's gold can so refine
And by thy art divine
Change mortal weakness to immortal power!

Bending beneath the weight of eighty years
Spent with the noble strife
of a victorious life
We watched her fading heavenward, through our tears.

But ere the sense of loss our hearts had wrung
A miracle was wrought;
And swift as happy thought
She lived again -- brave, beautiful, and young.

Age, pain, and sorrow dropped the veils they wore


Train Ride

For Horace Gregory

After rain, through afterglow, the unfolding fan
of railway landscape sidled onthe pivot
of a larger arc into the green of evening;
I remembered that noon I saw a gradual bud
still white; though dead in its warm bloom;
always the enemy is the foe at home.
And I wondered what surgery could recover
our lost, long stride of indolence and leisure
which is labor in reverse; what physic recall the smile
not of lips, but of eyes as of the sea bemused.
We, when we disperse from common sleep to several


Tom the Lunatic

Sang old Tom the lunatic
That sleeps under the canopy:
'What change has put my thoughts astray
And eyes that had so keen a sight?
What has turned to smoking wick
Nature's pure unchanging light?

'Huddon and Duddon and Daniel O'Leary.
Holy Joe, the beggar-man,
Wenching, drinking, still remain
Or sing a penance on the road;
Something made these eyeballs weary
That blinked and saw them in a shroud.

'Whatever stands in field or flood,
Bird, beast, fish or man,
Mare or stallion, cock or hen,


Tortures

Nothing has changed.
The body is susceptible to pain,
it must eat and breathe air and sleep,
it has thin skin and blood right underneath,
an adequate stock of teeth and nails,
its bones are breakable, its joints are stretchable.
In tortures all this is taken into account.

Nothing has changed.
The body shudders as it shuddered
before the founding of Rome and after,
in the twentieth century before and after Christ.
Tortures are as they were, it's just the earth that's grown smaller,


Torto Volitans Sub Verbere Turbo Quem Pueri Magno In Gyro Vacua Atria Circum Intenti Ludo Exercent

Of pearies and their origin I sing:
How at the first great Jove the lord of air
Impelled the planets round the central sun
Each circling within each, until at last
The winged Mercury moves in molten fire.
And which of you, ye heavenly deities,
That hear the endless music of the spheres,
Hast given to man the secret of the Top?
Say, was it thou, O Fun, that dost prefer,
Before all temples, liberty and play?
Yes, yes, ’twas only thou, thou from the first
Wast present when the Roman children came


Tor House

If you should look for this place after a handful
of lifetimes:
Perhaps of my planted forest a few
May stand yet, dark-leaved Australians or the coast
cypress, haggard
With storm-drift; but fire and the axe are devils.
Look for foundations of sea-worn granite, my fingers
had the art
To make stone love stone, you will find some remnant.
But if you should look in your idleness after ten
thousand years:
It is the granite knoll on the granite


Too Late

Had we but met in other days,
Had we but loved in other ways,
Another light and hope had shone
On your life and my own.

In sweet but hopeless reveries
I fancy how your wistful eyes
Had saved me, had I known their power
In fate's imperious hour;

How loving you, beloved of God,
And following you, the path I trod
Had led me, through your love and prayers,
To God's love unawares:

And how our beings joined as one
Had passed through checkered shade and sun,


Today

This is To-day, a child in white and blue
Running to meet me out of Night who stilled
The ghost of Yester-eve; this is fair Morn
The mother of To-morrow. And these clouds
That chase the sunshine over gleaming hills
Are thoughts, delighting in the golden change
And the ceremony of their drifting state.

This is To-day. To-morrow might bring death,—
And Life, the gleeful madrigal of birds,
Be drowned in glimmer of sleep. To-day I know
How sweet it is to spend these eyes, and boast


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