Unwelcome

|WE were young, we were merry, we were very very wise,
And the door stood open at our feast,
When there passed us a woman with the West in her eyes,
And a man with his back to the East.

O, still grew the hearts that were beating so fast,
The loudest voice was still.
The jest died away on our lips as thy passed,
And the rays of July struck chill.

The cups of red wine turned pale on the board,
The white bread black as soot.
The hound forgot the hand of her lord,
She fell down at his foot.


Unto This Last

They brought my fair love out upon a bier—
Out from the dwelling that her smile made sweet,
Out from the life that her life made complete,
Into the glitter of the garish street—
And no man wept, save I, for that dead dear.
And then the dark procession wound along,
Like a black serpent with a snow-white bird
Held in its fangs. I think God said a word
To death, as He in His chill heaven heard
Her voice so sweeter than His seraph’s song.

And so Death took away her flower-sweet breath


Unto one who lies at rest

Unto one who lies at rest
'Neath the sunset, in the West,
Clover-blossoms on her breast.

Lover of each gracious thing
Which makes glad the summer-tide,
From the daisies clustering
And the violets purple-eyed,
To those shy and hidden blooms
Which in forest coverts stay,
Sending wandering perfumes
Out as guide to show the way,
All she knew, to all was kind;
None so humble or so small
That she did not seek and find
Silent friendship from them all.
Moss-cups, tiarella leaves,


Under the Harvest Moon

Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.

Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.


Uncle Harry

Oh, never let on to your own true love
That ever you drank a drop;
That ever you played in a two-up school
Or slept in a sly-grog shop;
That ever a bad girl nursed you round –
That ever you sank so low.
But she pulled you through, and it's only you
And your old mate Harry know.

"Billy the Link" they called you then,
And it makes me sad to think
Of the strenuous days when it took three cops
And a pimp to couple the Link.
"Mister Linkhurst" they call you now,
And your kitchen garden grows;


Understand That This Is a Dream

Real as a dream
What shall I do with this great opportunity to fly?
What is the interpretation of this planet, this moon?
if I can dream that I dream / and dream anything dreamable / can I dream
I am awake / and why do that?
When I dream in a dream that I wake / up what
happens when I try to move?
I dream that I move
and the effort moves and moves
till I move / and my arm hurts
Then I wake up / dismayed / I was dreaming / I was waking
when I was dreaming still / just now.
and try to remember next time in dreams


Tz'u No. 9 Weary

To the tune of "Rinsing Silk Stream"

Saddened by the dying spring, I am too weary
to rearrange my hair.
Plum flowers, newly fallen, drift about the courtyard
in the evening wind.
The moon looks pale and light clouds float
to and fro.

Incense lies idle in the jade duck-shaped burner.
The cherry-red bed-curtain is drawn close,
concealing its tassels.
Can Tung-Hsi's horn still ward off the cold?


Tz'u No. 7

To the tune of "Rinsing Silk Stream"

Let not the deep cup be filled
with rich, amber-colored wine;
My mind was eased of sorrow
even before I was drunk.
Distant bells have already echoed
in the evening breeze.

My dream is broken
as the scent of incense vanishes.
Too small, the hairpin of the gold
of warding-off-cold
loosens its hold of my tresses.

I awake to find myself blankly facing
the red flickering glow
of the candle.


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."


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - red