Understanding

The years of my youth, my sensual life --
how clearly I see their meaning now.

What needless repentances, how futile....

But I did not understand the meaning then.

In the dissolute life of my youth
the desires of my poetry were being formed,
the scope of my art was being plotted.

This is why my repentances were never stable.
And my resolutions to control myself, to change
lasted for two weeks at the very most.


Understand That This Is a Dream

Real as a dream
What shall I do with this great opportunity to fly?
What is the interpretation of this planet, this moon?
if I can dream that I dream / and dream anything dreamable / can I dream
I am awake / and why do that?
When I dream in a dream that I wake / up what
happens when I try to move?
I dream that I move
and the effort moves and moves
till I move / and my arm hurts
Then I wake up / dismayed / I was dreaming / I was waking
when I was dreaming still / just now.
and try to remember next time in dreams


Under the Shadow of Kiley's Hill

This is the place where they all were bred;
Some of the rafters are standing still;
Now they are scattered and lost and dead,
Every one from the old nest fled,
Out of the shadow of Kiley's Hill.

Better it is that they ne'er came back --
Changes and chances are quickly rung;
Now the old homestead is gone to rack,
Green is the grass on the well-worn track
Down by the gate where the roses clung.

Gone is the garden they kept with care;
Left to decay at its own sweet will,


Ulysses and the Siren

Siren. COME, worthy Greek! Ulysses, come,
   Possess these shores with me:
The winds and seas are troublesome,
   And here we may be free.
Here may we sit and view their toil
   That travail in the deep,
And joy the day in mirth the while,
   And spend the night in sleep.

Ulysses. Fair Nymph, if fame or honour were
   To be attain'd with ease,
Then would I come and rest me there,
   And leave such toils as these.
But here it dwells, and here must I
   With danger seek it forth:


Turns and Movies Rose and Murray

After the movie, when the lights come up,
He takes her powdered hand behind the wings;
She, all in yellow, like a buttercup,
Lifts her white face, yearns up to him, and clings;
And with a silent, gliding step they move
Over the footlights, in familiar glare,
Panther-like in the Tango whirl of love,
He fawning close on her with idiot stare.
Swiftly they cross the stage. O lyric ease!
The drunken music follows the sure feet,
The swaying elbows, intergliding knees,
Moving with slow precision on the beat.


Tuesday In Whitsun-Week

"Lord, in Thy field I work all day,
I read, I teach, I warn, I pray,
And yet these wilful wandering sheep
Within Thy fold I cannot keep.

"I journey, yet no step is won -
Alas! the weary course I run!
Like sailors shipwrecked in their dreams,
All powerless and benighted seems."

What? wearied out with half a life?
Scared with this smooth unbloody strife?
Think where thy coward hopes had flown
Had Heaven held out the martyr's crown.

How couldst thou hang upon the cross,


Trafalgar Square

These verses have I pilfered like a bee
Out of a letter from my C. C. C.
In London, showing what befell him there,
With other things, of interest to me

One page described a night in open air
He spent last summer in Trafalgar Square,
With men and women who by want are driven
Thither for lodging, when the nights are fair.

No roof there is between their heads and heaven,
No warmth but what by ragged clothes is given,
No comfort but the company of those


Town Eclogues Thursday the Bassette-Table

SMILINDA and CARDELIA.CARDELIA.
THE bassette-table spread, the tallier come,
Why stays SMILINDA in the dressing-room ?
Rise, pensive nymph ! the tallier stays for you.

SMILINDA.
Ah ! Madam, since my SHARPER is untrue,
I joyless make my once ador'd alpieu.
I saw him stand behind OMBRELIA's Chair,
And whisper with that soft deluding air,
And those feign'd sighs that cheat the list'ng fair --

CARDELIA.
Is this the cause of your romantic strains ?


To Minnie

The red room with the giant bed
Where none but elders laid their head;
The little room where you and I
Did for awhile together lie
And, simple, suitor, I your hand
In decent marriage did demand;
The great day nursery, best of all,
With pictures pasted on the wall
And leaves upon the blind--
A pleasant room wherein to wake
And hear the leafy garden shake
And rustle in the wind--
And pleasant there to lie in bed
And see the pictures overhead--
The wars about Sebastopol,


To the Reader of These Sonnets

Into these Loves who but for Passion looks,
At this first sight here let him lay them by
And seek elsewhere, in turning other books,
Which better may his labor satisfy.
No far-fetch'd sigh shall ever wound my breast,
Love from mine eye a tear shall never wring,
Nor in Ah me's my whining sonnets drest;
A libertine, fantasticly I sing.
My verse is the true image of my mind,
Ever in motion, still desiring change,
And as thus to variety inclin'd,
So in all humours sportively I range.


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