What the Ghost of the Gambler Said

Where now the huts are empty,
Where never a camp-fire glows,
In an abandoned cañon,
A Gambler's Ghost arose.
He muttered there, "The moon's a sack
Of dust." His voice rose thin:
"I wish I knew the miner-man.
I'd play, and play to win.
In every game in Cripple-creek
Of old, when stakes were high,
I held my own. Now I would play
For that sack in the sky.
The sport would not be ended there.
'Twould rather be begun.
I'd bet my moon against his stars,
And gamble for the sun.


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What the Coal-Heaver Said

The moon's an open furnace door
Where all can see the blast,
We shovel in our blackest griefs,
Upon that grate are cast
Our aching burdens, loves and fears
And underneath them wait
Paper and tar and pitch and pine
Called strife and blood and hate.

Out of it all there comes a flame,
A splendid widening light.
Sorrow is turned to mystery
And Death into delight.


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What Semiramis Said

The moon's a steaming chalice,
Of honey and venom-wine.
A little of it sipped by night
Makes the long hours divine.
But oh, my reckless lovers,
They drain the cup and wail,
Die at my feet with shaking limbs
And tender lips all pale.
Above them in the sky it bends
Empty and gray and dead.
To-morrow night 'tis full again,
Golden, and foaming red.


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What Counsel Has the Hooded Moon

What counsel has the hooded moon
Put in thy heart, my shyly sweet,
Of Love in ancient plenilune,
Glory and stars beneath his feet -- -
A sage that is but kith and kin
With the comedian Capuchin?

Believe me rather that am wise
In disregard of the divine,
A glory kindles in those eyes
Trembles to starlight. Mine, O Mine!
No more be tears in moon or mist
For thee, sweet sentimentalist.


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What A Writer

what i liked about e.e. cummings
was that he cut away from
the holiness of the
word
and with charm
and gamble
gave us lines
that sliced through the
dung.

how it was needed!
how we were withering
away
in the old
tired
manner.

of course, then came all
the e.e. cummings
copyists.
they copied him then
as the others had
copied Keats, Shelly,
Swinburne, Byron, et
al.

but there was only
one


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Welsh Landscape

To live in Wales is to be conscious
At dusk of the spilled blood
That went into the making of the wild sky,
Dyeing the immaculate rivers
In all their courses.
It is to be aware,
Above the noisy tractor
And hum of the machine
Of strife in the strung woods,
Vibrant with sped arrows.
You cannot live in the present,
At least not in Wales.
There is the language for instance,
The soft consonants
Strange to the ear.
There are cries in the dark at night
As owls answer the moon,


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We'll go no more a-roving

SO, we'll go no more a-roving
   So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
   And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
   And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
   And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
   And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
   By the light of the moon.


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Welcome And Farewell

Quick throbb'd my heart: to norse! haste, haste,

And lo! 'twas done with speed of light;
The evening soon the world embraced,

And o'er the mountains hung the night.
Soon stood, in robe of mist, the oak,

A tow'ring giant in his size,
Where darkness through the thicket broke,

And glared with hundred gloomy eyes.

From out a hill of clouds the moon

With mournful gaze began to peer:
The winds their soft wings flutter'd soon,

And murmur'd in mine awe-struck ear;


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Week-Night Service

The five old bells
Are hurrying and eagerly calling,
Imploring, protesting
They know, but clamorously falling
Into gabbling incoherence, never resting,
Like spattering showers from a bursten sky-rocket dropping
In splashes of sound, endlessly, never stopping.

The silver moon
That somebody has spun so high
To settle the question, yes or no, has caught
In the net of the night’s balloon,
And sits with a smooth bland smile up there in the sky
Smiling at naught,


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