Through Pleasant Paths

Through pleasant paths, through dainty ways,
   Love leads my feet;
Where beauty shines with living rays,
   Soft, gentle, sweet;
The placid heart at random strays,
And sings, and smiles, and laughs and plays,
And gathers from the summer days
   Their light and heat,
That in its chambers burn and blaze
   And beam and beat.

I throw myself among the ferns
   Under the shade,
And watch the summer sun that burns
   On dell and glade;
To thee, my dear, my fancy turns,


Month of September

I, from a window where the Meuse is wide,
Looked eastward out to the September night;
The men that in the hopeless battle died
Rose, and deployed, and stationed for the fight;
A brumal army, vague and ordered large
For mile on mile by some pale general,-
I saw them lean by companies to the charge,
But no man living heard the bugle-call.

And fading still, and pointing to their scars,
They fled in lessening clouds, where gray and high
Dawn lay along the heaven in misty bars;


To Speak of Woe That Is in Marriage

"The hot night makes us keep our bedroom windows open.
Our magnolia blossoms.Life begins to happen.
My hopped up husband drops his home disputes,
and hits the streets to cruise for prostitutes,
free-lancing out along the razor's edge.
This screwball might kill his wife, then take the pledge.
Oh the monotonous meanness of his lust. . .
It's the injustice . . . he is so unjust--
whiskey-blind, swaggering home at five.
My only thought is how to keep alive.
What makes him tick?Each night now I tie


Only in Sleep

Only in sleep I see their faces,
Children I played with when I was a child,
Louise comes back with her brown hair braided,
Annie with ringlets warm and wild.

Only in sleep Time is forgotten --
What may have come to them, who can know?
Yet we played last night as long ago,
And the doll-house stood at the turn of the stair.

The years had not sharpened their smooth round faces,
I met their eyes and found them mild --
Do they, too, dream of me, I wonder,
And for them am I too a child?


Oh You Are Coming

Oh you are coming, coming, coming,
How will hungry Time put by the hours till then? --
But why does it anger my heart to long so
For one man out of the world of men?

Oh I would live in myself only
And build my life lightly and still as a dream --
Are not my thoughts clearer than your thoughts
And colored like stones in a running stream?

Now the slow moon brightens in heaven,
The stars are ready, the night is here --
Oh why must I lose myself to love you,
My dear?


Like Barley Bending

Like barley bending
In low fields by the sea,
Singing in hard wind
Ceaselessly;

Like barley bending
And rising again,
So would I, unbroken,
Rise from pain;

So would I softly,
Day long, night long,
Change my sorrow
Into song.


lollyby, lolly, lollyby

Last night, whiles that the curfew bell ben ringing,
I heard a moder to her dearie singing
"Lollyby, lolly, lollyby."
And presently that chylde did cease hys weeping,
And on his moder's breast did fall a-sleeping,
To "lolly, lolly, lollyby."

Faire ben the chylde unto his moder clinging,
But fairer yet the moder's gentle singing,--
"Lollyby, lolly, lollyby."
And angels came and kisst the dearie smiling
In dreems while him hys moder ben beguiling
With "lolly, lolly, lollyby!"


In White Frost's Early Version Of Design

A dented spider like a snow drop white
On a white Heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of lifeless satin cloth -
Saw ever curious eye so strange a sight? -
Portent in little, assorted death and blight
Like the ingredients of a witches' broth? -
The beady spider, the flower like a froth,
And the moth carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The blue prunella every child's delight.
What brought the kindred spider to that height?
(Make we no thesis of the miller's plight.)


Frost To-Night

Apple-green west and an orange bar,
And the crystal eye of a lone, one star . . .
And, "Child, take the shears and cut what you will,
Frost to-night -- so clear and dead-still."

Then, I sally forth, half sad, half proud,
And I come to the velvet, imperial crowd,
The wine-red, the gold, the crimson, the pied, --
The dahlias that reign by the garden-side.

The dahlias I might not touch till to-night!
A gleam of the shears in the fading light,
And I gathered them all, -- the splendid throng,


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