You Ask Me, Why, Tho' Ill at Ease

You ask me, why, tho' ill at ease,
Within this region I subsist,
Whose spirits falter in the mist,
And languish for the purple seas.
It is the land that freemen till,
That sober-suited Freedom chose,
The land, where girt with friends or foes
A man may speak the thing he will;
A land of settled government,
A land of just and old renown,
Where Freedom slowly broadens down
From precedent to precedent:

Where faction seldom gathers head,


Worldly Wisdom

If it were in my dead Past’s power
To let my Present bask
In some lost pleasure for an hour,
This is the boon I’d ask:

Re-pedestal from out the dust
Where long ago ‘twas hurled,
My beautiful incautious trust
In this unworthy world.

The symbol of my souls own truth –
I saw it go with tears –
The sweet unwisdom of my youth –
That vanished with the years.

Since knowledge brings us only grief,
I would return again
To happy ignorance and belief
In motives and in men.


Written On A Blank Space At The End Of Chaucer's Tale Of The Flowre And The Lefe

This pleasant tale is like a little copse:
The honied lines so freshly interlace,
To keep the reader in so sweet a place,
So that he here and there full-hearted stops;
And oftentimes he feels the dewy drops
Come cool and suddenly against his face,
And, by the wandering melody, may trace
Which way the tender-legged linnet hops.
Oh! what a power has white Simplicity!
What mighty power has this gentle story!
I, that do ever feel athirst for glory,
Could at this moment be content to lie


Written on a Blank Space

This pleasant tale is like a little copse:
The honied lines so freshly interlace,
To keep the reader in so sweet a place,
So that he here and there full-hearted stops;
And oftentimes he feels the dewy drops
Come cool and suddenly against his face,
And, by the wandering melody, may trace
Which way the tender-legged linnet hops.
Oh! what a power has white Simplicity!
What mighty power has this gentle story!
I, that do ever feel athirst for glory,
Could at this moment be content to lie


Written at an Inn at Henley

To thee, fair Freedom! I retire,
From flattery, cards, and dice, and din;
Nor art thou found in mansions higher
Than the low cot, or humble inn.

'Tis here with boundless power I reign,
And every health which I begin,
Converts dull port to bright champagne;
Such Freedom crowns it, at an inn.

I fly from pomp, I fly from plate,
I fly from Falsehood's specious grin;
Freedom I love, and form I hate,
And choose my lodgings, at an inn.

Here, waiter! take my sordid ore,


Willie Pennington

They called me the weakling, the simpleton,
For my brothers were strong and beautiful,
While I, the last child of parents who had aged,
Inherited only their residue of power.
But they, my brothers, were eaten up
In the fury of the flesh, which I had not,
Made pulp in the activity of the senses, which I had not,
Hardened by the growth of the lusts, which I had not,
Though making names and riches for themselves.
Then I, the weak one, the simpleton,
Resting in a little corner of life,


William and Emily

There is something about Death
Like love itself!
If with some one with whom you have known passion,
And the glow of youthful love,
You also, after years of life
Together, feel the sinking of the fire,
And thus fade away together,
Gradually, faintly, delicately,
As it were in each other's arms,
Passing from the familiar room --
That is a power of unison between souls
Like love itself!


Womanhood

She must be honest, both in thought and deed,
Of generous impulse, and above all greed;
Not seeking praise, or place, or power, or pelf,
But life’s best blessings for her higher self,
Which means the best for all.
She must have faith,
To make good friends of Trouble, Pain, and Death,
And understand their message.
She should be
As redolent with tender sympathy
As a rose is with fragrance.
Cheerfulness
Should be her mantle, even though her dress


With How Sad Steps, O Moon, Thou Climb'st the Sky

With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the sky,
"How silently, and with how wan a face!"
Where art thou? Thou so often seen on high
Running among the clouds a Wood-nymph's race!
Unhappy Nuns, whose common breath's a sigh
Which they would stifle, move at such a pace!
The northern Wind, to call thee to the chase,
Must blow to-night his bugle horn. Had I
The power of Merlin, Goddess! this should be:
And all the stars, fast as the clouds were riven,
Should sally forth, to keep thee company,


Work

Let me but do my work from day to day,
In field or forest, at the desk or loom,
In roaring market-place or tranquil room;
Let me but find it in my heart to say,
When vagrant wishes beckon me astray,
"This is my work; my blessing, not my doom;
"Of all who live, I am the one by whom
"This work can best be done in the right way."

Then shall I see it not too great, nor small,
To suit my spirit and to prove my powers;
Then shall I cheerful greet the labouring hours,
And cheerful turn, when the long shadows fall


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