To My Friend - Ode III

Be void of feeling!
A heart that soon is stirr'd,
Is a possession sad
Upon this changing earth.

Behrisch, let spring's sweet smile
Never gladden thy brow!
Then winter's gloomy tempests
Never will shadow it o'er.

Lean thyself ne'er on a maiden's
Sorrow-engendering breast.
Ne'er on the arm,
Misery-fraught, of a friend.

Already envy
From out his rocky ambush
Upon thee turns
The force of his lynx-like eyes,

Stretches his talons,
On thee falls,
In thy shoulders


To France

What is the gift we have given thee, Sister?
What is the trust we have laid in thy hand?
Hearts of our bravest, our best, and our dearest,
Blood of our blood we have sown in thy land.

What for all time will the harvest be, Sister?
What will spring up from the seed that is sown?
Freedom and peace and goodwill among Nations,
Love that will bind us with love all our own.

Bright is the path that is opening before us,
Upward and onward it mounts through the night:
Sword shall not sever the bonds that unite us


To F.W.F

Farrar, when o’er Goodwin’s page
Late I found thee poring,
From the hydrostatic Sage
Leaky Memory storing,
Or when groaning yesterday
Needlessly distracted
By some bright erratic ray,
Through a sphere refracted,—

Then the quick words, oft suppressed,
In my fauces fluttered;
Thoughts not yet in language drest
Pleasing to be uttered.
He that neatly gilds the pill
Hides the drug but vainly,
So, in chance-sown words, I will
Speak the matter plainly.


To England at the Outbreak of the Balkan War

A cloud has lowered that shall not soon pass o'er.
The world takes sides: whether for impious aims
With Tyranny whose bloody toll enflames
A generous people to heroic war;
Whether with Freedom, stretched in her own gore,
Whose pleading hands and suppliant distress
Still offer hearts that thirst for Righteousness
A glorious cause to strike or perish for.
England, which side is thine? Thou hast had sons
Would shrink not from the choice however grim,
Were Justice trampled on and Courage downed;


To Doctor Lang

Little, perhaps, thou valuest verse of mine—
Little hast read of what my hand has wrought,
Yet I with thy brave memory would entwine
The muse’s amaranths. For thou well hast fought
For freedom; well her sacred lessons taught;
Well baffled wrong; and delved with far design
Into those elements where treasures shine
Excelling those wherewith our hills are fraught.
And when thy glorious grey head shall make
One spot all-hallowed for the coming days—


To Coelia

WHEN, Coelia, must my old day set,
   And my young morning rise
In beams of joy so bright as yet
   Ne'er bless'd a lover's eyes?
My state is more advanced than when
   I first attempted thee:
I sued to be a servant then,
   But now to be made free.

I've served my time faithful and true,
   Expecting to be placed
In happy freedom, as my due,
   To all the joys thou hast:
Ill husbandry in love is such
   A scandal to love's power,
We ought not to misspend so much


To Be In Love

To be in love
Is to touch with a lighter hand.
In yourself you stretch, you are well.
You look at things
Through his eyes.
A cardinal is red.
A sky is blue.
Suddenly you know he knows too.
He is not there but
You know you are tasting together
The winter, or a light spring weather.
His hand to take your hand is overmuch.
Too much to bear.
You cannot look in his eyes
Because your pulse must not say
What must not be said.
When he
Shuts a door-
Is not there


To An Inconstant Mistress

I loved thee once, I'll love no more,
Thine be the grief as is the blame,
Thou art not what thou wast before,
What reason I should be the same?
He that can love unloved again
Hath better store of love than brain;
God send me love my debts to pay,
While unthrifts fool their love away.

Nothing could have my love o'erthrown,
If thou hadst still continued mine;
Nay, if thou hadst remained thine own,
I might perchance have yet been thine.
But thou thy freedom did recall,


The Halt Before Rome--September 1867

Is it so, that the sword is broken,
Our sword, that was halfway drawn?
Is it so, that the light was a spark,
That the bird we hailed as the lark
Sang in her sleep in the dark,
And the song we took for a token
Bore false witness of dawn?

Spread in the sight of the lion,
Surely, we said, is the net
Spread but in vain, and the snare
Vain; for the light is aware,
And the common, the chainless air,
Of his coming whom all we cry on;
Surely in vain is it set.

Surely the day is on our side,


To a Fallen Elm

Old Elm that murmured in our chimney top
The sweetest anthem autumn ever made
And into mellow whispering calms would drop
When showers fell on thy many coloured shade
And when dark tempests mimic thunder made
While darkness came as it would strangle light
With the black tempest of a winter night
That rocked thee like a cradle to thy root
How did I love to hear the winds upbraid
Thy strength without while all within was mute
It seasoned comfort to our hearts desire
We felt thy kind protection like a friend


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