Your Looks Have Touched My Soul

Your looks have touched my soul with bright
Ineffable emotion;
As moonbeams on a stormy night
Illume with transitory light
A seagull on her lonely flight
Across the lonely ocean.

Fluttering from out the gloom and roar,
On fitful wing she flies,
Moon-white above the moon-washed shore;
Then, drowned in darkness as before,
She's lost, as I when lit no more
By your beloved eyes.


Your Laughter

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest


Your Catfish Friend

If I were to live my life
in catfish forms
in scaffolds of skin and whiskers
at the bottom of a pond
and you were to come by
one evening
when the moon was shining
down into my dark home
and stand there at the edge
of my affection
and think, "It's beautiful
here by this pond.I wish
somebody loved me,"
I'd love you and be your catfish
friend and drive such lonely
thoughts from your mind
and suddenly you would be
at peace,
and ask yourself, "I wonder


You Can Have It

My brother comes home from work
and climbs the stairs to our room.
I can hear the bed groan and his shoes drop
one by one. You can have it, he says.

The moonlight streams in the window
and his unshaven face is whitened
like the face of the moon. He will sleep
long after noon and waken to find me gone.

Thirty years will pass before I remember
that moment when suddenly I knew each man
has one brother who dies when he sleeps
and sleeps when he rises to face this life,


Yet Gentle Will the Griffin Be

(What Grandpa told the Children)

The moon? It is a griffin's egg,
Hatching to-morrow night.
And how the little boys will watch
With shouting and delight
To see him break the shell and stretch
And creep across the sky.
The boys will laugh. The little girls,
I fear, may hide and cry.
Yet gentle will the griffin be,
Most decorous and fat,
And walk up to the milky way
And lap it like a cat.


Yesterday and Today XII

The gold-hoarder walked in his palace park and with him walked his troubles. And over his head hovered worries as a vulture hovers over a carcass, until he reached a beautiful lake surrounded by magnificent marble statuary.


Years Have Passed

Years have passed and only sounds of waters have come to my ears,
To-day, indeed, I may even count the ripples around the fishing net.

The pattern of the maple leaves in Autumn dyed with the rain -
Beautiful in the deep mountain!

The sound of the mountain brook gives an illusion of rain drops,
Yet the calm of the waning moon shines over all.

Even in our wandering journey,
The lonely moon accompanies us lighting us from the sky,
The waning moon I used to gaze at in the Royal City.

Undying affection!


XXXII

The first time that the sun rose on thine oath
To love me, I looked forward to the moon
To slacken all those bonds which seemed too soon
And quickly tied to make a lasting troth.
Quick-loving hearts, I thought, may quickly loathe;
And, looking on myself, I seemed not one
For such man's love !--more like an out-of-tune
Worn viol, a good singer would be wroth
To spoil his song with, and which, snatched in haste,
Is laid down at the first ill-sounding note.
I did not wrong myself so, but I placed


XXIX Heart's Heaven

Sometimes she is a child within mine arms,
Cowering beneath dark wings that love must chase,--
With still tears showering and averted face,
Inexplicably fill'd with faint alarms:
And oft from mine own spirit's hurtling harms
I crave the refuge of her deep embrace,--
Against all ills the fortified strong place
And sweet reserve of sovereign counter-charms.

And Love, our light at night and shade at noon,
Lulls us to rest with songs, and turns away


XII. Written at a Convent

IF chance some pensive stranger, hither led,
His bosom glowing from majestic views,
The gorgeous dome, or the proud landscape's hues,
Should ask who sleeps beneath this lowly bed --
'Tis poor Matilda! To the cloister'd scene,
A mourner, beauteous and unknown, she came,
To shed her tears unseen; and quench the flame
Of fruitless love: yet was her look serene
As the pale midnight on the moon-light isle --
Her voice was soft, which e'en a charm could lend,
Like that which spoke of a departed friend,


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