Troopin

(Our Army in the East)

Troopin', troopin', troopin' to the sea:
'Ere's September come again -- the six-year men are free.
O leave the dead be'ind us, for they cannot come away
To where the ship's a-coalin' up that takes us 'ome to-day.
We're goin' 'ome, we're goin' 'ome,
Our ship is at the shore,
An' you must pack your 'aversack,
For we won't come back no more.
Ho, don't you grieve for me,
My lovely Mary-Ann,
For I'll marry you yit on a fourp'ny bit
As a time-expired man.

Yarrow Visited

September, 1814

And is this -Yarrow? -This the stream
Of which my fancy cherished
So faithfully, a waking dream,
An image that hath perished?
O that some minstrel's harp were near
To utter notes of gladness
And chase this silence from the air,
That fills my heart with sadness!

Written in London. September, 1802

. O Friend! I know not which way I must look
For comfort, being, as I am, opprest,
To think that now our life is only drest
For show; mean handy-work of craftsman, cook,
Or groom! -- We must run glittering like a brook
In the open sunshine, or we are unblest:
The wealthiest man among us is the best:
No grandeur now in nature or in book
Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense,
This is idolatry; and these we adore:
Plain living and high thinking are no more:

Warsaw

I was in Warsaw when the first bomb fell;
I was in Warsaw when the Terror came -
Havoc and horror, famine, fear and flame,
Blasting from loveliness a living hell.
Barring the station towered a sentinel;
Trainward I battled, blind escape my aim.
ENGLAND! I cried. He kindled at the name:
With lion-leap he haled me. . . . All was well.

To Elsie

The pure products of America
go crazy--
mountain folk from Kentucky

or the ribbed north end of
Jersey
with its isolate lakes and

valleys, its deaf-mutes, thieves
old names
and promiscuity between

devil-may-care men who have taken
to railroading
out of sheer lust of adventure--

and young slatterns, bathed
in filth
from Monday to Saturday

to be tricked out that night
with gauds
from imaginations which have no

To Ellen, At The South

The green grass is growing,
The morning wind is in it,
'Tis a tune worth the knowing,
Though it change every minute.

'Tis a tune of the spring,
Every year plays it over,
To the robin on the wing,
To the pausing lover.

O'er ten thousand thousand acres
Goes light the nimble zephyr,
The flowers, tiny feet of shakers,
Worship him ever.

Hark to the winning sound!
They summon thee, dearest,
Saying; "We have drest for thee the ground,
Nor yet thou appearest.

The Halt Before Rome--September 1867

Is it so, that the sword is broken,
Our sword, that was halfway drawn?
Is it so, that the light was a spark,
That the bird we hailed as the lark
Sang in her sleep in the dark,
And the song we took for a token
Bore false witness of dawn?

Spread in the sight of the lion,
Surely, we said, is the net
Spread but in vain, and the snare
Vain; for the light is aware,
And the common, the chainless air,
Of his coming whom all we cry on;
Surely in vain is it set.

The Troubles of Matthew Mahoney

In a little town in Devonshire, in the mellow September moonlight,
A gentleman passing along a street saw a pitiful sight,
A man bending over the form of a woman on the pavement.
He was uttering plaintive words and seemingly discontent.

"What's the matter with the woman?" asked the gentleman,
As the poor, fallen woman he did narrowly scan.
"There's something the matter, as yer honour can see,
But it's not right to prate about my wife, blame me."

The September Rose

To sighs of morning air, that froze,-
(With her lips opened for a say),
How curiously has smiled the rose
On a September fleeting day!

And how has she ever dared
To greet, with air of springy queens,
The single blue-tit, in the bare
Shrubs fleshing in the orb of wings;

To bloom with steadfast dream that later,
Just leaving her cold bed in rest,
She’ll cling, the last and dissipated,
To a young hostess’s charming breast!

The Return

All afternoon my father drove the country roads
between Detroit and Lansing. What he was looking for
I never learned, no doubt because he never knew himself,
though he would grab any unfamiliar side road
and follow where it led past fields of tall sweet corn
in August or in winter those of frozen sheaves.
Often he'd leave the Terraplane beside the highway
to enter the stunned silence of mid-September,
his eyes cast down for a sign, the only music
his own breath or the wind tracking slowly through

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