A Lament

Horace: Book II, Elegy 8

"Eripitur nobis iam pridem cara puella---"


While she I loved is being torn
From arms that held her many years,
Dost thou regard me, friend, with scorn,
Or seek to check my tears?

Bitter the hatred for a jilt,
And hot the hates of Eros are;
My hatred, slay me as thou wilt,
For thee'd be gentler far.

Can I endure that she recline
Upon another's arm? Shall they
No longer call that lady "mine"
Who "mine" was yesterday?


A Hymn to the Moon

Written in July, in an arbour


Thou silver deity of secret night,
Direct my footsteps through the woodland shade;
Thou conscious witness of unknown delight,
The Lover's guardian, and the Muse's aid!
By thy pale beams I solitary rove,
To thee my tender grief confide;
Serenely sweet you gild the silent grove,
My friend, my goddess, and my guide.
E'en thee, fair queen, from thy amazing height,
The charms of young Endymion drew;
Veil'd with the mantle of concealing night;


A Hyde Park Larrikin

You may have heard of Proclus, sir,
If you have been a reader;
And you may know a bit of her
Who helped the Lycian leader.
I have my doubts -- the head you "sport"
(Now mark me, don't get crusty)
Is hardly of the classic sort --
Your lore, I think, is fusty.

Most likely you have stuck to tracts
Flushed through with flaming curses --
I judge you, neighbour, by your acts --
So don't you damn my verses.

But to my theme. The Asian sage,
Whose name above I mention,


A Hill

In Italy, where this sort of thing can occur,
I had a vision once - though you understand
It was nothing at all like Dante's, or the visions of saints,
And perhaps not a vision at all. I was with some friends,
Picking my way through a warm sunlit piazza
In the early morning. A clear fretwork of shadows
From huge umbrellas littered the pavement and made
A sort of lucent shallows in which was moored
A small navy of carts. Books, coins, old maps,
Cheap landscapes and ugly religious prints
Were all on sale. The colors and noise


A Hedge Of Rubber Trees

The West Village by then was changing; before long
the rundown brownstones at its farthest edge
would have slipped into trendier hands. She lived,
impervious to trends, behind a potted hedge of
rubber trees, with three cats, a canary—refuse
from whose cage kept sifting down and then
germinating, a yearning seedling choir, around
the saucers on the windowsill—and an inexorable
cohort of roaches she was too nearsighted to deal
with, though she knew they were there, and would
speak of them, ruefully, as of an affliction that


A Greeting

Good morning, Life--and all
Things glad and beautiful.
My pockets nothing hold,
But he that owns the gold,
The Sun, is my great friend--
His spending has no end.

Hail to the morning sky,
Which bright clouds measure high;
Hail to you birds whose throats
Would number leaves by notes;
Hail to you shady bowers,
And you green field of flowers.

Hail to you women fair,
That make a show so rare
In cloth as white as milk--
Be't calico or silk:
Good morning, Life--and all


A Glee For Winter

HENCE, rude Winter! crabbed old fellow,
Never merry, never mellow!
Well-a-day! in rain and snow
What will keep one’s heart aglow?
Groups of kinsmen, old and young,
Oldest they old friends among;
Groups of friends, so old and true
That they seem our kinsmen too;
These all merry all together
Charm away chill Winter weather.

What will kill this dull old fellow?
Ale that ’s bright, and wine that ’s mellow!
Dear old songs for ever new;
Some true love, and laughter too;


A Game of Lawn Tennis

What wonder that I should be dreaming
Out here in the garden to-day?
The light through the leaves is streaming,--
Paulina cries, "Play!"

The birds to each other are calling,
The freshly-cut grasses smell sweet;
To Teddy's dismay, comes falling
The ball at my feet.

"Your stroke should be over, not under!"
"But that's such a difficult way!"

The place is a springtide wonder
Of lilac and may;

Of lilac, and may, and laburnum,
Of blossom,--We're losing the set!


A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An Infant Of Twelve Months

Through airy roads he wings his instant flight
To purer regions of celestial light;
Enlarg'd he sees unnumber'd systems roll,
Beneath him sees the universal whole,
Planets on planets run their destin'd round,
And circling wonders fill the vast profound.
Th' ethereal now, and now th' empyreal skies
With growing splendors strike his wond'ring eyes:
The angels view him with delight unknown,
Press his soft hand, and seat him on his throne;
Then smilling thus: 'To this divine abode,


A Friend's Song for Simoisius

The breath of dew, and twilight's grace,
Be on the lonely battle-place;
And to so young, so kind a face,
The long, protecting grasses cling!
(Alas, alas,
The one inexorable thing!)

In rocky hollows cool and deep,
The bees our boyhood hunted sleep;
The early moon from Ida's steep
Comes to the empty wrestling-ring.
(Alas, alas,
The one inexorable thing!)

Upon the widowed wind recede
No echoes of the shepherd's reed,
And children without laughter lead


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