All Night, All Night

"I have been one acquainted with the night" - Robert Frost


Rode in the train all night, in the sick light. A bird
Flew parallel with a singular will. In daydream's moods and
attitudes
The other passengers slumped, dozed, slept, read,
Waiting, and waiting for place to be displaced
On the exact track of safety or the rack of accident.

Looked out at the night, unable to distinguish
Lights in the towns of passage from the yellow lights
Numb on the ceiling. And the bird flew parallel and still


Alfonso, Dressing to Wait at Table

Alfonso is a handsome bronze-hued lad
Of subtly-changing and surprising parts;
His moods are storms that frighten and make glad,
His eyes were made to capture women's hearts.

Down in the glory-hole Alfonso sings
An olden song of wine and clinking glasses
And riotous rakes; magnificently flings
Gay kisses to imaginary lasses.

Alfonso's voice of mellow music thrills
Our swaying forms and steals our hearts with joy;
And when he soars, his fine falsetto trills
Are rarest notes of gold without alloy.


Albert's Return

You've `eard `ow young Albert Ramsbottom
At the zoo up at Blackpool one year
With a stick with an `orse's `ead `andle
Gave a lion a poke in the ear?

The name of the lion was Wallace,
The poke in the ear made `im wild
And before you could say "Bob's yer uncle"
E'd upped and `e'd swallowed the child.

`E were sorry the moment `e done it;
With children `e'd always been chums,
And besides, `e'd no teeth in his muzzle,
And `e couldn't chew Albert on't gums.


Adonais

I weep for Adonais -he is dead!
O, weep for Adonais! though our tears
Thaw not the frost which binds so dear a head!
And thou, sad Hour, selected from all years
To mourn our loss, rouse thy obscure compeers,
And teach them thine own sorrow, say: "With me
Died Adonais; till the Future dares
Forget the Past, his fate and fame shall be
An echo and a light unto eternity!"

Where wert thou, mighty Mother, when he lay,
When thy Son lay, pierced by the shaft which flies
In darkness? where was lorn Urania


Afternoon Tea

As I was saying . . . (No, thank you; I never take cream with my tea;
Cows weren't allowed in the trenches -- got out of the habit, y'see.)
As I was saying, our Colonel leaped up like a youngster of ten:
"Come on, lads!" he shouts, "and we'll show 'em," and he sprang to the head of the men.
Then some bally thing seemed to trip him, and he fell on his face with a slam. . . .
Oh, he died like a true British soldier, and the last word he uttered was "Damn!"
And hang it! I loved the old fellow, and something just burst in my brain,


Agatha

SHE wanders in the April woods,
That glisten with the fallen shower;
She leans her face against the buds,
She stops, she stoops, she plucks a flower.
She feels the ferment of the hour:
She broodeth when the ringdove broods;
The sun and flying clouds have power
Upon her cheek and changing moods.
She cannot think she is alone,
As o’er her senses warmly steal
Floods of unrest she fears to own,
And almost dreads to feel.

Among the summer woodlands wide


After the Earthquake

After the first astounding rush,
after the weeks at the lake,
the crystal, the clouds, the water lapping the rocks,
the snow breaking under our boots like skin,
& the long mornings in bed. . .

After the tangos in the kitchen,
& our eyes fixed on each other at dinner,
as if we would eat with our lids,
as if we would swallow each other. . .

I find you still
here beside me in bed,
(while my pen scratches the pad
& your skin glows as you read)
& my whole life so mellowed & changed


After Many Years

The song that once I dreamed about,
   The tender, touching thing,
As radiant as the rose without,
   The love of wind and wing:
The perfect verses, to the tune
   Of woodland music set,
As beautiful as afternoon,
   Remain unwritten yet.

It is too late to write them now --
   The ancient fire is cold;
No ardent lights illume the brow,
   As in the days of old.
I cannot dream the dream again;
   But, when the happy birds
Are singing in the sunny rain,


Affliction

When thou didst entice to thee my heart,
I thought the service brave:
So many joys I writ down for my part,
Besides what I might have
Out of my stock of natural delights,
Augmented with thy gracious benefits.

I looked on thy furniture so fine,
And made it fine to me:
Thy glorious household-stuff did me entwine,
And 'tice me unto thee.
Such stars I counted mine: both heav'n and earth
Paid me my wages in a world of mirth.

What pleasures could I want, whose King I served?


Advice to a Prophet

When you come, as you soon must, to the streets of our city,
Mad-eyed from stating the obvious,
Not proclaiming our fall but begging us
In God's name to have self-pity,

Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range,
The long numbers that rocket the mind;
Our slow, unreckoning hearts will be left behind,
Unable to fear what is too strange.

Nor shall you scare us with talk of the death of the race.
How should we dream of this place without us?--
The sun mere fire, the leaves untroubled about us,


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