To Sensibility

In SENSIBILITY'S lov'd praise
I tune my trembling reed,
And seek to deck her shrine with bays,
On which my heart must bleed!

No cold exemption from her pain
I ever wish to know;
Cheer'd with her transport, I sustain
Without complaint her woe.

Above whate'er content can give,
Above the charm of ease,
The restless hopes and fears, that live
With her, have power to please.

Where, but for her, were Friendship's power
To heal the wounded heart,
To shorten sorrow's ling'ring hour,


To Roses in the Bosom of Castara

Ye blushing virgins happy are
   In the chaste nunnery of her breasts--
For he'd profane so chaste a fair,
   Whoe'er should call them Cupid's nests.

Transplanted thus how bright ye grow!
   How rich a perfume do ye yield!
In some close garden cowslips so
   Are sweeter than i' th' open field.

In those white cloisters live secure
   From the rude blasts of wanton breath!--
Each hour more innocent and pure,
   Till you shall wither into death.

Then that which living gave you room,


To Robert Batty, M.D., on His Giving Me a Lock of Milton's Hair

It lies before me there, and my own breath
Stirs its thin outer threads, as though beside
The living head I stood in honoured pride,
Talking of lovely things that conquer death.
Perhaps he pressed it once, or underneath
Ran his fine fingers when he leant, blank-eyed,
And saw in fancy Adam and his bride
With their heaped locks, or his own Delphic wreath.

There seems a love in hair, though it be dead.
It is the gentlest, yet the strongest thread
Of our frail plant,--a blossom from the tree


Z---------'s Dream

I dreamt last night; and in that dream
My boyhood's heart was mine again;
These latter years did nothing seem
With all their mingled joy and pain,
Their thousand deeds of good and ill,
Their hopes which time did not fulfil,
Their glorious moments of success,
Their love that closed in bitterness,
Their hate that grew with growing strength,
Their darling projects -- dropped at length,
And higher aims that still prevail, --
For I must perish ere they fail, --
That crowning object of my life,


Young Mother

Her baby was so full of glee,
And through the day
It laughed and babbled on her knee
In happy play.
It pulled her hair all out of curl
With noisy joy;
So peppy she was glad her girl
Was not a boy.

Then as she longed for it to sleep,
To her surprise
It just relaxed within her keep
With closing eyes.
And as it lay upon her breast
So still its breath,
So exquisite its utter rest
It looked like death.


Ylladmar

Her hair was, oh, so dense a blur
Of darkness, midnight envied her;
And stars grew dimmer in the skies
To see the glory of her eyes;
And all the summer rain of light
That showered from the moon at night
Fell o'er her features as the gloom
Of twilight o'er a lily-bloom.

The crimson fruitage of her lips
Was ripe and lush with sweeter wine
Than burgundy or muscadine
Or vintage that the burgher sips
In some old garden on the Rhine:
And I to taste of it could well
Believe my heart a crucible


You're right

234

You're right—"the way is narrow"—
And "difficult the Gate"—
And "few there be"—Correct again—
That "enter in—thereat"—

'Tis Costly—So are purples!
'Tis just the price of Breath—
With but the "Discount" of the Grave—
Termed by the Brokers—"Death"!

And after that—there's Heaven—
The Good Man's—"Dividend"—
And Bad Men—"go to Jail"—
I guess—


You taught me Waiting with Myself

740

You taught me Waiting with Myself—
Appointment strictly kept—
You taught me fortitude of Fate—
This—also—I have learnt—

An Altitude of Death, that could
No bitterer debar
Than Life—had done—before it—
Yet—there is a Science more—

The Heaven you know—to understand
That you be not ashamed
Of Me—in Christ's bright Audience
Upon the further Hand—


Youth Renewed

When one who has wandered out of the way
Which leads to the hills of joy,
Whose heart has grown both cold and grey,
Though it be but the heart of a boy -
When such a one turns back his feet
From the valley of shadow and pain,
Is not the sunshine passing sweet,
When a man grows young again?

How gladly he mounts up the steep hillside,
With strength that is born anew,
And in his veins, like a full springtide,
The blood streams through and through.
And far above is the summit clear,


Youth and Age

Youth that rides the wildest horse,
Youth that throws the deadliest steer,
Spending strength without remorse,
Grappling with the ghosts of fear,
Knows it only holds to-day
All it freely flings away.

Youth that rides a race with Death
When the frightened cattle break,
Living in the moment’s breath,
Risking all for honour’s sake,
Lightly knows it holds in fee
Life and immortality.

Age that rides the spavined grey,


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