Twice

I took my heart in my hand
(O my love, O my love),
I said: Let me fall or stand,
Let me live or die,
But this once hear me speak-
(O my love, O my love)-
Yet a woman's words are weak;
You should speak, not I.

You took my heart in your hand
With a friendly smile,
With a critical eye you scanned,
Then set it down,
And said: It is still unripe,
Better wait a while;
Wait while the skylarks pipe,
Till the corn grows brown

As you set it down it broke-


Twelve Months After

Hullo! here’s my platoon, the lot I had last year.
‘The war’ll be over soon.’
‘What ’opes?’
‘No bloody fear!’
Then, ‘Number Seven, ’shun! All present and correct.’
They’re standing in the sun, impassive and erect.
Young Gibson with his grin; and Morgan, tired and white;
Jordan, who’s out to win a D.C.M. some night;
And Hughes that’s keen on wiring; and Davies (’79),
Who always must be firing at the Boche front line.

. . . .
‘Old soldiers never die; they simply fide a-why!’


Tristia

I have studied the Science of departures,
in night’s sorrows, when a woman’s hair falls down.
The oxen chew, there’s the waiting, pure,
in the last hours of vigil in the town,
and I reverence night’s ritual cock-crowing,
when reddened eyes lift sorrow’s load and choose
to stare at distance, and a woman’s crying
is mingled with the singing of the Muse.

Who knows, when the word ‘departure’ is spoken
what kind of separation is at hand,
or of what that cock-crow is a token,


Trilogy Of Passion 02 Elegy

When man had ceased to utter his lament,

A god then let me tell my tale of sorrow.

What hope of once more meeting is there now
In the still-closed blossoms of this day?
Both heaven and hell thrown open seest thou;
What wav'ring thoughts within the bosom play
No longer doubt! Descending from the sky,
She lifts thee in her arms to realms on high.

And thus thou into Paradise wert brought,

As worthy of a pure and endless life;
Nothing was left, no wish, no hope, no thought,


Trench Duty

Shaken from sleep, and numbed and scarce awake,
Out in the trench with three hours’ watch to take,
I blunder through the splashing mirk; and then
Hear the gruff muttering voices of the men
Crouching in cabins candle-chinked with light.
Hark! There’s the big bombardment on our right
Rumbling and bumping; and the dark’s a glare
Of flickering horror in the sectors where
We raid the Boche; men waiting, stiff and chilled,
Or crawling on their bellies through the wire.
‘What? Stretcher-bearers wanted? Some one killed?’


Travel Song

‘COME, before the summer passes
Let us seek the mountain land:’
So they called me, happy playmates,
And we left the dawn-lit strand:
Riding on till later sunbeams slanted
On dark hills and downward-plunging streams,
And the solemn forest softly chanted
Old, old dreams.

From the pass, we saw in glory
Wave on purple wave unrolled
To the cloud-encircled summit
Floating high, alone and cold:
Like that altar-stone, by men of Athens


Tranen des Vaterlandes

Wir sind doch nunmehr ganz, ja mehr denn ganz verheeret!
Der frecher Völker Schar, die rasende Posaun,
Das vom Blut fette Schwert, die donnernde Karthaun
Hat aller Schweiß und Fleiß und Vorrat aufgezehret.

Die Türme stehn in Glut, die Kirch ist umgekehret,
Das Rathaus liegt im Graus, die Starken sind zerhaun,
Die Jungfraun sind geschänd't, und wo wir hin nur schaun,
Ist Feuer, Pest und Tod, der Herz und Geist durchfähret.

Hier durch die Schanz und Stadt rinnt allzeit frisches Blut.


To Thomas Butts

To my friend Butts I write
My first vision of light,
On the yellow sands sitting.
The sun was emitting
His glorious beams
From Heaven’s high streams.
Over sea, over land,
My eyes did expand
Into regions of air,
Away from all care;
Into regions of fire,
Remote from desire;
The light of the morning
Heaven’s mountains adorning:
In particles bright,
The jewels of light
Distinct shone and clear.
Amaz’d and in fear


Tom Merritt

At first I suspected something --
She acted so calm and absent-minded.
And one day I heard the back door shut,
As I entered the front, and I saw him slink
Back of the smokehouse into the lot,
And run across the field.
And I meant to kill him on sight.
But that day, walking near Fourth Bridge,
Without a stick or a stone at hand,
All of a sudden I saw him standing,
Scared to death, holding his rabbits,
And all I could say was, "Don't, Don't, Don't,"
As he aimed and fired at my heart.


To Walt Whitman In America

Send but a song oversea for us,
Heart of their hearts who are free,
Heart of their singer, to be for us
More than our singing can be;
Ours, in the tempest at error,
With no light but the twilight of terror;
Send us a song oversea!

Sweet-smelling of pine-leaves and grasses,
And blown as a tree through and through
With the winds of the keen mountain-passes,
And tender as sun-smitten dew;
Sharp-tongued as the winter that shakes
The wastes of your limitless lakes,


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - fire