A Descriptive Poem on the Silvery Tay

Beautiful silvery Tay,
With your landscapes, so lovely and gay,
Along each side of your waters, to Perth all the way;
No other river in the world has got scenery more fine,
Only I am told the beautiful Rhine,
Near to Wormit Bay, it seems very fine,
Where the Railway Bridge is towering above its waters sublime,
And the beautiful ship Mars,
With her Juvenile Tare,
Both lively and gay,
Does carelessly lie By night and by day,
In the beautiful Bay
Of the silvery Tay.
Beautiful, beautiful silvery Tay,


A Dedication - To K.S.G

Fair Saxon, in my lover's creed,
My love were smaller than your meed,
And you might justly deem it slight,
As wanting truth as well as sight,
If, in that image which is shrined
Where thoughts are sacred, you could find
A single charm, or more or less,
Than you to all kind eyes possess.
To me, even in the happiest dreams,
Where, flushed with love's just dawning gleams,
My hopes their radiant wings unfurl,
You're but a simple English girl,
No fairer, grace for grace arrayed,
Than many a simple Southern maid;


A December Day

Blue, blue is the sea to-day,
Warmly the light
Sleeps on St. Andrews Bay --
Blue, fringed with white.

That's no December sky!
Surely 'tis June
Holds now her state on high,
Queen of the noon.

Only the tree-tops bare
Crowning the hill,
Clear-cut in perfect air,
Warn us that still

Winter, the aged chief,
Mighty in power,
Exiles the tender leaf,
Exiles the flower.

Is there a heart to-day,
A heart that grieves
For flowers that fade away,


A Daily Joy to be Alive

No matter how serene things
may be in my life,
how well things are going,
my body and soul
are two cliff peaks
from which a dream of who I can be
falls, and I must learn
to fly again each day,
or die.

Death draws respect
and fear from the living.
Death offers
no false starts. It is not
a referee with a pop-gun
at the startling
of a hundred yard dash.

I do not live to retrieve
or multiply what my father lost
or gained.


A Curse for Kings

A curse upon each king who leads his state,
No matter what his plea, to this foul game,
And may it end his wicked dynasty,
And may he die in exile and black shame.

If there is vengeance in the Heaven of Heavens,
What punishment could Heaven devise for these
Who fill the rivers of the world with dead,
And turn their murderers loose on all the seas!

Put back the clock of time a thousand years,
And make our Europe, once the world's proud Queen,
A shrieking strumpet, furious fratricide,


A Cry from South Africa

On building a chapel at Cape Town, for the Negro slaves of the colony, in 1828.


Afric, from her remotest strand,
Lifts to high heaven one fetter'd hand,
And to the utmost of her chain
Stretches the other o'er the main:
Then, kneeling 'midst ten thousand slaves,
Utters a cry across the waves,
Of power to reach to either pole,
And pierce, like conscience, through the soul,
Though dreary, faint, and low the sound,
Like life-blood gurgling from a wound,
As if her heart, before it broke,


A Country Life

A bird that I don't know,
Hunched on his light-pole like a scarecrow,
Looks sideways out into the wheat
The wind waves under the waves of heat.
The field is yellow as egg-bread dough
Except where (just as though they'd let
It live for looks) a locust billows
In leaf-green and shade-violet,
A standing mercy.
The bird calls twice, "Red clay, red clay";
Or else he's saying, "Directly, directly."
If someone came by I could ask,
Around here all of them must know --
And why they live so and die so --


A Coast View

High ’mid the shelves of a grey cliff, that yet
Riseth in Babylonian mass above,
In a benched cleft, as in the mouldered chair
Of grey-beard Time himself, I sit alone,
And gaze with a keen wondering happiness
Out o’er the sea. Unto the circling bend
That verges Heaven, a vast luminous plain
It stretches, changeful as a lover’s dream—
Into great spaces mapped by light and shade
In constant interchange—either ‘neath clouds
The billows darken, or they shimmer bright
In sunny scopes of measureless expanse.


A Coast View

High 'mid the shelves of a grey cliff, that yet
Riseth in Babylonian mass above,
In a benched cleft, as in the mouldered chair
Of grey-beard Time himself, I sit alone,
And gaze with a keen wondering happiness
Out o'er the sea. Unto the circling bend
That verges Heaven, a vast luminous plain
It stretches, changeful as a lover's dream --
Into great spaces mapped by light and shade
In constant interchange -- either 'neath clouds
The billows darken, or they shimmer bright
In sunny scopes of measureless expanse.


A City Winter

1
I understand the boredom of the clerks
fatigue shifting like dunes within their eyes
a frightful nausea gumming up the works
that once was thought aggression in disguise.
Do you remember? then how lightly dead
seemed the moon when over factories
it languid slid like a barrage of lead
above the heart, the fierce inventories
of desire. Now women wander our dreams
carrying money and to our sleep's shame
our hands twitch not for swift blood-sunk triremes
nor languorous white horses nor ill fame,


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