Tommy's Dead

You may give over plough, boys,
You may take the gear to the stead,
All the sweat o' your brow, boys,
Will never get beer and bread.
The seed's waste, I know, boys,
There's not a blade will grow, boys,
'Tis cropped out, I trow, boys,
And Tommy's dead.

Two Portraits

You say, as one who shapes a life,
That you will never be a wife,

And, laughing lightly, ask my aid
To paint your future as a maid.

This is the portrait; and I take
The softest colors for your sake:

The springtime of your soul is dead,
And forty years have bent your head;

The lines are firmer round your mouth,
But still its smile is like the South.

Your eyes, grown deeper, are not sad,
Yet never more than gravely glad;

And the old charm still lurks within
The cloven dimple of your chin.

Twa Sisters O' Binnorie

There were twa sisters sat in a bow'r;
(Binnorie, O Binnorie!)
A knight cam' there, a noble wooer,
By the bonny mill-dams o' Binnorie.
He courted the eldest wi' glove and ring,
(Binnorie, O Binnorie!)
But he lo'ed the youngest aboon a' thing,
By the bonny mill-dams o' Binnorie.
The eldest she was vexed sair,
(Binnorie, O Binnorie!)
And sair envìed her sister fair,
By the bonny mill-dams o' Binnorie.

To Urania

Everything has its limit, including sorrow.
A windowpane stalls a stare. Nor does a grill abandon
a leaf. One may rattle the keys, gurgle down a swallow.
Loneliness cubes a man at random.
A camel sniffs at the rail with a resentful nostril;
a perspective cuts emptiness deep and even.
And what is space anyway if not the
body's absence at every given
point? That's why Urania's older than sister Clio!
In daylight or with the soot-rich lantern,
you see the globe's pate free of any bio,

To Thomas Butts

To my friend Butts I write
My first vision of light,
On the yellow sands sitting.
The sun was emitting
His glorious beams
From Heaven’s high streams.
Over sea, over land,
My eyes did expand
Into regions of air,
Away from all care;
Into regions of fire,
Remote from desire;
The light of the morning
Heaven’s mountains adorning:
In particles bright,
The jewels of light
Distinct shone and clear.
Amaz’d and in fear

To the Union Savers of Cleveland

Men of Cleveland, had a vulture
Sought a timid dove for prey
Would you not, with human pity,
Drive the gory bird away?

Had you seen a feeble lambkin,
Shrinking from a wolf so bold,
Would ye not to shield the trembler,
In your arms have made its fold?

But when she, a hunted sister,
Stretched her hands that ye might save,
Colder far than Zembla's regions,
Was the answer that ye gave.

To The Pious Memory Of The Accomplished Young Lady Mrs. Anne Killigrew

Thou youngest virgin-daughter of the skies,
Made in the last promotion of the Blest;
Whose palms, new pluck'd from Paradise,
In spreading branches more sublimely rise,
Rich with immortal green above the rest:
Whether, adopted to some neighbouring star,
Thou roll'st above us, in thy wand'ring race,
Or, in procession fix'd and regular,
Mov'd with the Heavens' majestic pace:
Or, call'd to more superior bliss,
Thou tread'st, with seraphims, the vast abyss.
What ever happy region is thy place,

To The Painter Of An Ill-drawn Picture of Cleone

Sooner I'd praise a Cloud which Light beguiles,
Than thy rash Hand which robs this Face of Smiles;
And does that sweet and pleasing Air control,
Which to us paints the fair CLEONE's Soul.
'Tis vain to boast of Rules or labour'd Art;
I miss the Look that captivates my Heart,
Attracts my Love, and tender Thoughts inspires;
Nor can my Breast be warm'd by common Fires;
Nor can ARDELIA love but where she first admires.
Like Jupiter's, thy Head was sure in Pain
When this Virago struggl'd in thy Brain;

To The One Of Fictive Music

Sister and mother and diviner love,
And of the sisterhood of the living dead
Most near, most clear, and of the clearest bloom,
And of the fragrant mothers the most dear
And queen, and of diviner love the day
And flame and summer and sweet fire, no thread
Of cloudy silver sprinkles in your gown
Its venom of renown, and on your head
No crown is simpler than the simple hair.

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