Upon the Sand

All love that has not friendship for its base,
Is like a mansion built upon the sand.
Though brave its walls as any in the land,
And its tall turrets lift their heads in grace;
Though skillful and accomplished artists trace
Most beautiful designs on every hand,
And gleaming statues in dim niches stand,
And mountains play in some flow'r-hidden place:

Yet, when from the frowning east a sudden gust
Of adverse fate is blown, or sad rains fall
Day in, day out, against its yielding wall,


Upon the Priory Grove, His Usual Retirement

Hail sacred shades! cool, leavy House!
Chaste treasurer of all my vows,
And wealth! on whose soft bosom laid
My love's fair steps I first betrayed:
Henceforth no melancholy flight,
No sad wing, or hoarse bird of night,
Disturb this air, no fatal throat
Of raven, or owl, awake the note
Of our laid echo, no voice dwell
Within these leaves, but Philomel.
The poisonous ivy here no more
His false twists on the oak shall score,
Only the woodbine here may twine
As th'emblem of her love and mine;


Upon A Lowering Of Morning

Well, with the day I see the clouds appear,
And mix the light with darkness everywhere;
This threatening is, to travellers that go
Long journeys, slabby rain they'll have, or snow.
Else, while I gaze, the sun doth with his beams
Belace the clouds, as 'twere with bloody streams;
This done, they suddenly do watery grow,
And weep, and pour their tears out where they go.

Comparison.

Thus 'tis when gospel light doth usher in
To us both sense of grace and sense of sin;


Up North

Oh, Bill and Joe to the north have gone,
A green shirt on their back;
There are not many ewes and lambs
Along Kokoda track.

There are not many ewes and lambs,
But men in single file
Like sheep along a mountain pad
Walk mile on sweating mile;

And each half-hour they change the lead,
Though I have never read
Where any fat bell-whether was
Shot, in the mountains, dead.

The only sheep they muster there
Leap through the mind at night;
'Twould be as red as marking time


Under a Telephone Pole

I am a copper wire slung in the air,
Slim against the sun I make not even a clear line of shadow.
Night and day I keep singing--humming and thrumming:
It is love and war and money; it is the fighting and the
tears, the work and want,
Death and laughter of men and women passing through
me, carrier of your speech,
In the rain and the wet dripping, in the dawn and the
shine drying,
A copper wire.


Underwater Autumn

Now the summer perch flips twice and glides
a lateral fathom at the first cold rain,
the surface near to silver from a frosty hill.
Along the weed and grain of log he slides his tail.

Nervously the trout (his stream-toned heart
locked in the lake, his poise and nerve disgraced)
above the stirring catfish, curves in bluegill dreams
and curves beyond the sudden thrust of bass.

Surface calm and calm act mask the detonating fear,
the moving crayfish claw, the stare
of sunfish hovering above the cloud-stained sand,


Tz'u No. 8

To the tune of "Rinsing Silk Stream"

My courtyard is small, windows idle,
spring is getting old.
Screens unrolled cast heavy shadows.
In my upper-story chamber, speechless,
I play on my jasper lute.

Clouds rising from distant mountains
hasten the fall of dusk.
Gentle wind and drizzling rain
cause a pervading gloom.
Pear blossoms can hardly keep from withering,
but droop.


Tz'u No. 6 Waiting For You

To the tune of "Red Lips"

Lonely in my secluded chamber,
A thousand sorrows fill every inch
of my sensitive being.

Regretting that spring has so soon passed,
That rain drops have hastened the falling followers,
I lean over the balustrade,
Weary and depressed.

Where is my beloved?

Only the fading grassland
stretches endlessly toward the horizon;
Anxiously I watch the road for your return.


Tz'u No. 4

To the tune of "Like a Dream"

Last night a sprinkling of rain,
a violent wind.

After a deep sleep, still not recovered
from the lingering effect of wine,
I inquired of the one rolling up the screen;
But the answer came: "The cherry-apple blossoms
are still the same."

"Oh, don't you know, don't you know?
The red must be getting thin,
while the green is becoming plump."


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