To Alfred Tennyson - 1883

Familiar with thy melody,
We go debating of its power,
As churls, who hear it hour by hour,
Contemn the skylark's minstrelsy -

As shepherds on a Highland lea
Think lightly of the heather flower
Which makes the moorland's purple dower,
As far away as eye can see.

Let churl or shepherd change his sky,
And labour in the city dark,
Where there is neither air nor room -
How often will the exile sigh
To hear again the unwearied lark,
And see the heather's lavish bloom!


Silver Nails

A man was crucified. He came to the city a stranger,
was accused, and nailed to a cross. He lingered hanging.
Laughed at the crowd. "The nails are iron," he
said, "You are cheap. In my country when we crucify
we use silver nails. . ." So he went jeering. They
did not understand him at first. Later they talked about
him in changed voices in the saloons, bowling alleys, and
churches. It came over them every man is crucified
only once in his life and the law of humanity dictates
silver nails be used for the job. A statue was erected


The World's All Right

Be honest, kindly, simple, true;
Seek good in all, scorn but pretence;
Whatever sorrow come to you,
Believe in Life's Beneficence!

The World's all right; serene I sit,
And cease to puzzle over it.
There's much that's mighty strange, no doubt;
But Nature knows what she's about;
And in a million years or so
We'll know more than to-day we know.
Old Evolution's under way --
What ho! the World's all right, I say.

Could things be other than they are?
All's in its place, from mote to star.


To a Fallen Elm

Old Elm that murmured in our chimney top
The sweetest anthem autumn ever made
And into mellow whispering calms would drop
When showers fell on thy many coloured shade
And when dark tempests mimic thunder made
While darkness came as it would strangle light
With the black tempest of a winter night
That rocked thee like a cradle to thy root
How did I love to hear the winds upbraid
Thy strength without while all within was mute
It seasoned comfort to our hearts desire
We felt thy kind protection like a friend


Simon Lee The Old Huntsman

With an incident in which he was concerned
In the sweet shire of Cardigan,
Not far from pleasant Ivor-hall,
An old Man dwells, a little man,--
'Tis said he once was tall.
For five-and-thirty years he lived
A running huntsman merry;
And still the centre of his cheek
Is red as a ripe cherry.
No man like him the horn could sound,
And hill and valley rang with glee
When Echo bandied, round and round
The halloo of Simon Lee.
In those proud days, he little cared
For husbandry or tillage;


To A. L. Persuasions to Love

THINK not, 'cause men flattering say
You're fresh as April, sweet as May,
Bright as is the morning star,
That you are so ; or, though you are,
Be not therefore proud, and deem
All men unworthy your esteem :
For, being so, you lose the pleasure
Of being fair, since that rich treasure
Of rare beauty and sweet feature
Was bestow'd on you by nature
To be enjoy'd ; and 'twere a sin
There to be scarce, where she hath bin
So prodigal of her best graces.
Thus common beauties and mean faces


To A Young Lady

In vain, fair Maid, you ask in vain,
My pen should try th' advent'rous strain,
And following truth's unalter'd law,
Attempt your character to draw.
I own indeed, that generous mind
That weeps the woes of human kind,
That heart by friendship's charms inspired,
That soul with sprightly fancy fired,
The air of life, the vivid eye,
The flowing wit, the keen reply--
To paint these beauties as they shine,
Might ask a nobler pen than mine.


Yet what sure strokes can draw the Fair,


To a Mistress Dying

Lover. YOUR beauty, ripe and calm and fresh
   As eastern summers are,
Must now, forsaking time and flesh,
   Add light to some small star.

Philosopher. Whilst she yet lives, were stars decay'd,
   Their light by hers relief might find;
But Death will lead her to a shade
   Where Love is cold and Beauty blind.

Lover. Lovers, whose priests all poets are,
   Think every mistress, when she dies,
Is changed at least into a star:
   And who dares doubt the poets wise?


To a Lady asking him how long he would love her

IT is not, Celia, in our power
   To say how long our love will last;
It may be we within this hour
   May lose those joys we now do taste;
The Blessed, that immortal be,
From change in love are only free.

Then since we mortal lovers are,
   Ask not how long our love will last;
But while it does, let us take care
   Each minute be with pleasure past:
Were it not madness to deny
To live because we're sure to die?


To a Friend

Well, Lizzie Anderson! seventeen men--and
the baby hard to find a father for!

What will the good Father in Heaven say
to the local judge if he do not solve this problem?
A little two-pointed smile and--pouff!--
the law is changed into a mouthful of phrases.


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - change