The Statue

I take you looking at the statue
the smile is yours and the stone is you
the stone is simple and the smile is playful
the smile is stolen and the stone is fallen
I ask you to stand and smile like that until
thinking you stone, time has forgotten you.
They say but really I forget

however picturesque
however figurative
whether so often and so quizzical
whoever it was crying in another voice ...
Let us sit like tailors. At least 1 am sure of this:
man or woman or beast I recall no face.


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The Song Of The Standard

Maiden most beautiful, mother most bountiful, lady of lands,
Queen and republican, crowned of the centuries whose years are thy sands,
See for thy sake what we bring to thee, Italy, here in our hands.

This is the banner thy gonfalon, fair in the front of thy fight,
Red from the hearts that were pierced for thee, white as thy mountains are white,
Green as the spring of thy soul everlasting, whose life-blood is light.

Take to thy bosom thy banner, a fair bird fit for the nest,


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The Song of Yesterday

I
But yesterday
I looked away
O'er happy lands, where sunshine lay
In golden blots,
Inlaid with spots
Of shade and wild forget-me-nots.

My head was fair
With flaxen hair,
And fragrant breezes, faint and rare,
And, warm with drouth
From out the south,
Blew all my curls across my mouth.

And, cool and sweet,
My naked feet
Found dewy pathways through the wheat;
And out again
Where, down the lane,
The dust was dimpled with the rain.

II


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The Sixth Sense

Fine is the wine that is in love with us,
The goodly bread we wait for from the oven,
And woman whom we have possessed, at last,
After we've suffered under yoke her own.

But what to do if a red sunset freezes
Above a sky that's drowning in cold,
Where there is silence and unearthly peace,
What can one do with the immortal ode?

You can't eat it, or drink, or even kiss ...
The moment fled, and next one now hovers,
And we wring hands, but yet once more miss -
We are condemned to miss and miss it over.


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The Sisters' Tragedy

A.D. 1670

AGLÄE, a widow.
MURIEL, her unmarried sister.


It happened once, in that brave land that lies
For half the twelvemonth wrapt in sombre skies,
Two sisters loved one man. He being dead,
Grief loosed the lips of her he had not wed,
And all the passion that through heavy years
Had masked in smiles unmasked itself in tears.
No purer love may mortals know than this,
The hidden love that guards another's bliss.
High in a turret's westward-facing room,


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The Sea to the Shore

Lo, I have loved thee long, long have I yearned and entreated!
Tell me how I may win thee, tell me how I must woo.
Shall I creep to thy white feet, in guise of a humble lover ?
Shall I croon in mild petition, murmuring vows anew ?

Shall I stretch my arms unto thee, biding thy maiden coyness,
Under the silver of morning, under the purple of night ?
Taming my ancient rudeness, checking my heady clamor­
Thus, is it thus I must woo thee, oh, my delight?

Nay, 'tis no way of the sea thus to be meekly suitor­


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The Sea Spirit

I smile o'er the wrinkled blue­
Lo! the sea is fair,
Smooth as the flow of a maiden's hair;
And the welkin's light shines through
Into mid-sea caverns of beryl hue,
And the little waves laugh and the mermaids sing,
And the sea is a beautiful, sinuous thing!

I scowl in sullen guise­
The sea grows dark and dun,
The swift clouds hide the sun
But not the bale-light in my eyes,
And the frightened wind as it flies
Ruffles the billows with stormy wing,
And the sea is a terrible, treacherous thing!


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The Santa-Fe Trail A Humoresque

I asked the old Negro, "What is that bird that sings so well?" He answered: "That is the Rachel-Jane." "Hasn't it another name, lark, or thrush, or the like?" "No. Jus' Rachel-Jane."


I. IN WHICH A RACING AUTO COMES FROM THE EAST

This is the order of the music of the morning: —
First, from the far East comes but a crooning.
The crooning turns to a sunrise singing.
Hark to the calm -horn, balm -horn, psalm -horn.
Hark to the faint -horn, quaint -horn, saint -horn. . . .


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The Saddhu Of Couva

When sunset, a brass gong,
vibrate through Couva,
is then I see my soul, swiftly unsheathed,
like a white cattle bird growing more small
over the ocean of the evening canes,
and I sit quiet, waiting for it to return
like a hog-cattle blistered with mud,
because, for my spirit, India is too far.
And to that gong
sometimes bald clouds in saffron robes assemble
sacred to the evening,
sacred even to Ramlochan,
singing Indian hits from his jute hammock
while evening strokes the flanks


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The Road

I, too, would ease my old car to a stop
on the side of some country road
and count the stars or admire a sunset
or sit quietly through an afternoon....

I'd open the door and go walking
like James Wright across a meadow,
where I might touch a pony's ear and
break into blossom; or, like Hayden

Carruth, sustained by the sight
of cows grazing in pastures at night,
I'd stand speechless in the great darkness;
I'd even search on some well-traveled road

like Phil Levine in this week's New Yorker,


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