why all this rain?
in the wet adventure
in the abandoned woods
growing like the wind
which carries the wolves
your eyes alone
open in the dark
Portion of this yew
Is a man my grandsire knew,
Bosomed here at its foot:
This branch may be his wife,
A ruddy human life
Now turned to a green shoot.
These grasses must be made
Of her who often prayed,
Last century, for repose;
And the fair girl long ago
Whom I often tried to know
May be entering this rose.
You talk of riders on the flat, of nerve and pluck and pace --
Not one in fifty has the nerve to ride a steeplechase.
It's right enough, while horses pull and take their faces strong,
To rush a flier to the front and bring the field along;
Bur what about the last half-mile, with horses blown and beat --
When every jump means all you know to keep him on his feet.
When any slip means sudden death -- with wife and child to keep --
It needs some nerve to draw the whip and flog him at the leap --
To the tune "Courtyard Filled with Fragrance"
A humble wild-rose, pink and slender,
Was plucked and placed in a bright bouquet,
Beside a Jacqueminot’s royal splendour,
And both in my lady’s boudoir lay.
Said the haughty bud, in a tone of scorning,
‘I wonder why you are called a rose?
Your leaves will fade in a single morning;
No blood of mine in your pale cheek glows.
‘Your course green stalk shows dust of the highway,
You have no depths of fragrant bloom;
And what could you learn in a rustic byway
To fit you to lie in my lady’s room?
Two centuries' winter storms have lashed the changing sands of Falmouth's shore,
Deep-voiced, the winds, swift winged, wild, have echoed there the ocean's roar.
But though the north-east gale unleashed, rage-blind with power, relentless beat,
The sturdy light-house sheds its beam on waves churned white beneath the sleet.
And still when cold and fear are past, and fields are sweet with spring-time showers,
Mystic, the gray age-silent hills breathe out their souls in fair mayflowers.
Over the tops of the houses
Twilight and sunset meet.
The green, diaphanous dusk
Sinks to the eager street.
Astray in the tangle of roofs
Wanders a wind of June.
The dial shines in the clock-tower
Like the face of a strange-scrawled moon.
The narrowing lines of the houses
Palely begin to gleam,
And the hurrying crowds fade softly
Like an army in a dream.
Red o'er the forest peers the setting sun,
The line of yellow light dies fast away
That crowned the eastern copse: and chill and dun
Falls on the moor the brief November day.
Now the tired hunter winds a parting note,
And Echo hide good-night from every glade;
Yet wait awhile, and see the calm heaves float
Each to his rest beneath their parent shade.
It nests in the hollow of my pelvis, I carry it with both hands, as if
offering my stomach, as if it were pulling me forward.
At night the sun leaks from it, it turns cold, I sleep with it
beside my head, I breath for it.
Sometimes I dream of hammers.
I am hammering it back into sand, the sand we melt into glass,
the glass we blow into bottles.
This stone is fifteen green bottles with nothing inside.
The morning mist is cleared away,
Yet still the face of Heaven is grey,
Nor yet this autumnal breeze has stirred the grove,
Faded yet full, a paler green
Skirts soberly the tranquil scene,
The red-breast warbles round this leafy cove.
Sweet messenger of "calm decay,"
Saluting sorrow as you may,
As one still bent to find or make the best,
In thee, and in this quiet mead,
The lesson of sweet peace I read,
Rather in all to be resigned than blest.