A Mother Gazes Upon Her Daughter

Is she not lovely! Oh! when, long ago,
My own dead mother gazed upon my face,
As I stood blushing near in bridal snow,
I had not half her beauty and her grace.

Yet that fond mother praised, the world caressed,
And ONE adored me -- how shall HE who soon
Shall wear my gentle flower upon his breast,
Prize to its utmost worth the priceless boon?

Shall he not gird her, guard her, make her rich,
(Not as the world is rich, in outward show,)
With all the love and watchful kindness which


A Midsummer Noon in the Australian Forest

A MIDSUMMER NOON IN THE AUSTRALIAN FOREST

Not a bird disturbs the air!
There is quiet everywhere;
Over plains and over woods
What a mighty stillness broods.

Even the grasshoppers keep
[All the birds and insects keep]
Where the coolest shadows sleep;
Even the busy ants are found
Resting in their pebbled mound;
Even the locust clingeth now
In silence to the barky bough:
And over hills and over plains
Quiet, vast and slumbrous, reigns.

Only there's a drowsy humming


A May-Day Madrigal

The sun shines fair on Tweedside, the river flowing bright,
Your heart is full of pleasure, your eyes are full of light,
Your cheeks are like the morning, your pearls are like the dew,
Or morning and her dew-drops are like your pearls and you.

Because you are a princess, a princess of the land,
You will not turn your lightsome eyes a moment where I stand,
A poor unnoticed poet, a-making of his rhymes;
But I have found a mistress, more fair a thousand times.

`Tis May, the elfish maiden, the daughter of the Spring,


A Map of Verona

Quelle belle heure, quels bons bras
me rendront ces régions d'où mes
sommeils et mes moindres mouvements?


A map of Verona is open, the small strange city;
With its river running round and through, it is river-embraced,
And over this city for a whole long winter season,
Through streets on a map, my thoughts have hovered and paced.

Across the river there is a wandering suburb,
An unsolved smile on a now familiar mouth;
Some enchantments of earlier towns are about you:
Once I was drawn to Naples in the south.


A Lovers' Quarrel

I.

Oh, what a dawn of day!
How the March sun feels like May!
All is blue again
After last night's rain,
And the South dries the hawthorn-spray.
Only, my Love's away!
I'd as lief that the blue were grey,

II.

Runnels, which rillets swell,
Must be dancing down the dell,
With a foaming head
On the beryl bed
Paven smooth as a hermit's cell;
Each with a tale to tell,
Could my Love but attend as well.

III.


A Lost Opportunity

One dark, dark night--it was long ago,
The air was heavy and still and warm -
It fell to me and a man I know,
To see two girls to their father's farm.

There was little seeing, that I recall:
We seemed to grope in a cave profound.
They might have come by a painful fall,
Had we not helped them over the ground.

The girls were sisters. Both were fair,
But mine was the fairer (so I say).
The dark soon severed us, pair from pair,
And not long after we lost our way.

We wandered over the country-side,


A Loom of Years

In the light of the silent stars that shine on the struggling sea,
In the weary cry of the wind and the whisper of flower and tree,
Under the breath of laughter, deep in the tide of tears,
I hear the Loom of the Weaver that weaves the Web of Years.

The leaves of the winter wither and sink in the forest mould
To colour the flowers of April with purple and white and gold:
Light and scent and music die and are born again
In the heart of a grey-haired woman who wakes in a world of pain.


A Little Litany

When God turned back eternity and was young,
Ancient of Days, grown little for your mirth
(As under the low arch the land is bright)
Peered through you, gate of heaven--and saw the earth.

Or shutting out his shining skies awhile
Built you about him for a house of gold
To see in pictured walls his storied world
Return upon him as a tale is told.

Or found his mirror there; the only glass
That would not break with that unbearable light
Till in a corner of the high dark house


A Little Girl's Prayer

Grant me the moment, the lovely moment
That I may lean forth to see
The other buds, the other blooms,
The other leaves on the tree:

That I may take into my bosom
The breeze that is like his brother,
But stiller, lighter, whose faint laughter
Exhoes the joy of the other.

Above on the blue and white cloud-spaces
There are small clouds at play.
I watch their remote, mysterious play-time
In the other far-away.

Grant I may hear the small birds singing
the song that the silence knows...


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