An Inventor

Not yet!

I thought this time 'twas done at last,
the workings perfected, the life in it;
and there's the flaw again, the petty flaw,
the fretting small impossibility
that has to be made possible.

To work!
so many more months lost on a wrong tack;
and months and months may so be lost again,
who knows? until they swell a tale of years
counted by failures. No time to sit down
with folded arms to moan for the spent toil,
for on, on, glide the envious treacherous hours


An excerpt from Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus

iiGloria

Praise the wet snow
falling early.
Praise the shadow
my neighor's chimney casts on the tile roof
even this gray October day that should, they say,
have been golden.
Praise
the invisible sun burning beyond
the white cold sky, giving us
light and the chimney's shadow.
Praise
god or the gods, the unknown,
that which imagined us, which stays
our hand,
our murderous hand,
and gives us
still,
in the shadow of death,
our daily life,


An Epitaph

Interr'd beneath this marble stone,
Lie saunt'ring Jack and idle Joan.
While rolling threescore years and one
Did round this globe their courses run;
If human things went ill or well;
If changing empires rose or fell;
The morning passed, the evening came,
And found this couple still the same.
They walk'd and eat, good folks: what then?
Why then they walk'd and eat again:
They soundly slept the night away:
They did just nothing all the day:
And having buried children four,


An Elegie. Princesse Katherine Borne, Christened, Buried, I

You, that can haply mixe your joyes with cries,
And weave white Ios with black Elegies,
Can caroll out a dirge, and in one breath
Sing to the tune either of life, or death;
You, that can weepe the gladnesse of the spheres,
And pen a hymne, in stead of inke, with teares;
Here, here your unproportion'd wit let fall,
To celebrate this new-borne funerall,
And greete that little greatnesse, which from th' wombe
Dropt both a load to th' cradle and the tombe.

Bright soule! teach us, to warble with what feet


An Elective Course

LINES FOUND AMONG THE PAPERS OF A HARVARD UNDERGRADUATE

The bloom that lies on Fanny's cheek
Is all my Latin, all my Greek;
The only sciences I know
Are frowns that gloom and smiles that glow;
Siberia and Italy
Lie in her sweet geography;
No scolarship have I but such
As teaches me to love her much.

Why should I strive to read the skies,
Who know the midnight of her eyes?
Why should I go so very far
To learn what heavenly bodies are!
Not Berenice's starry hair


An Australian Symphony

Not as the songs of other lands
   Her song shall be
Where dim Her purple shore-line stands
   Above the sea!
As erst she stood, she stands alone;
Her inspiration is her own.
From sunlit plains to mangrove strands
Not as the songs of other lands
   Her song shall be.

O Southern Singers! Rich and sweet,
   Like chimes of bells,
The cadence swings with rhythmic beat
   The music swells;
But undertones, weird, mournful, strong,
Sweep like swift currents thro' the song.


An Asphodel

O dear sweet rosy
unattainable desire
...how sad, no way
to change the mad
cultivated asphodel, the
visible reality...

and skin's appalling
petals--how inspired
to be so Iying in the living
room drunk naked
and dreaming, in the absence
of electricity...
over and over eating the low root
of the asphodel,
gray fate...

rolling in generation
on the flowery couch
as on a bank in Arden--
my only rose tonite's the treat
of my own nudity.


An answer to Various Bards

Well, I've waited mighty patient while they all came rolling in,
Mister Lawson, Mister Dyson, and the others of their kin,
With their dreadful, dismal stories of the Overlander's camp,
How his fire is always smoky, and his boots are always damp;
And they paint it so terrific it would fill one's soul with gloom --
But you know they're fond of writing about "corpses" and "the tomb".
So, before they curse the bushland, they should let their fancy range,
And take something for their livers, and be cheerful for a change.


An Anniversary On The Hymeneals Of My Noble kinsman, Tho. S

I.
The day is curl'd about agen
To view the splendor she was in;
When first with hallow'd hands
The holy man knit the mysterious bands
When you two your contracted souls did move
Like cherubims above,
And did make love,
As your un-understanding issue now,
In a glad sigh, a smile, a tear, a vow.

II.
Tell me, O self-reviving Sun,
In thy perigrination
Hast thou beheld a pair
Twist their soft beams like these in their chast air?


Amours de Voyage, Canto V

There is a city, upbuilt on the quays of the turbulent Arno,
Under Fiesole's heights,--thither are we to return?
There is a city that fringes the curve of the inflowing waters,
Under the perilous hill fringes the beautiful bay,--
Parthenope, do they call thee?--the Siren, Neapolis, seated
Under Vesevus's hill,--are we receding to thee?--
Sicily, Greece, will invite, and the Orient;--or are we turn to
England, which may after all be for its children the best?




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