The Man Against the Sky

Between me and the sunset, like a dome
Against the glory of a world on fire,
Now burned a sudden hill,
Bleak, round, and high, by flame-lit height made higher,
With nothing on it for the flame to kill
Save one who moved and was alone up there
To loom before the chaos and the glare
As if he were the last god going home
Unto his last desire.

Dark, marvelous, and inscrutable he moved on
Till down the fiery distance he was gone,
Like one of those eternal, remote things


The Lotus-Flower

All the heights of the high shores gleam
   Red and gold at the sunset hour:
There comes the spell of a magic dream,
   And the Harbour seems a lotus-flower;

A blue flower tinted at dawn with gold,
   A broad flower blazing with light at noon,
A flower forever with charms to hold
   His heart, who sees it by sun or moon.

Its beauty burns like a ceaseless fire,
   And tower looks over the top of tower;
For all mute things it would seem, aspire
   To catch a glimpse of the lotus-flower.


The Lotos-eaters

"Courage!" he said, and pointed toward the land,
"This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon."
In the afternoon they came unto a land
In which it seemed always afternoon.
All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
And like a downward smoke, the slender stream
Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.

A land of streams! some, like a downward smoke,


The Lily Bed

His cedar paddle, scented, red,
He thrust down through the lily bed;

Cloaked in a golden pause he lay,
Locked in the arms of the placid bay.

Trembled alone his bark canoe
As shocks of bursting lilies flew

Thro' the still crystal of the tide,
And smote the frail boat's birchen side;

Or, when beside the sedges thin
Rose the sharp silver of a fin;

Or when, a wizard swift and cold,
A dragon-fly beat on in gold

And jewels all the widening rings


The Lay Of The Mountain

To the solemn abyss leads the terrible path,
The life and death winding dizzy between;
In thy desolate way, grim with menace and wrath,
To daunt thee the spectres of giants are seen;
That thou wake not the wild one, all silently tread--
Let thy lip breathe no breath in the pathway of dread!

High over the marge of the horrible deep
Hangs and hovers a bridge with its phantom-like span,
Not by man was it built, o'er the vastness to sweep;
Such thought never came to the daring of man!


The Last Rose

'O WHICH is the last rose?'
A blossom of no name.
At midnight the snow came;
At daybreak a vast rose,
In darkness unfurl'd,
O'er-petall'd the world.

Its odourless pallor
Blossom'd forlorn,
Till radiant valour
Establish'd the morn--
Till the night
Was undone
In her fight
With the sun.

The brave orb in state rose,
And crimson he shone first;
While from the high vine
Of heaven the dawn burst,
Staining the great rose
From sky-line to sky-line.


The Last Ride Together

I.

I said---Then, dearest, since 'tis so,
Since now at length my fate I know,
Since nothing all my love avails,
Since all, my life seemed meant for, fails,
Since this was written and needs must be---
My whole heart rises up to bless
Your name in pride and thankfulness!
Take back the hope you gave,---I claim
---Only a memory of the same,
---And this beside, if you will not blame,
Your leave for one more last ride with me.

II.

My mistress bent that brow of hers;


The Joy Of Being Poor

I

Let others sing of gold and gear, the joy of being rich;
But oh, the days when I was poor, a vagrant in a ditch!
When every dawn was like a gem, so radiant and rare,
And I had but a single coat, and not a single care;
When I would feast right royally on bacon, bread and beer,
And dig into a stack of hay and doze like any peer;
When I would wash beside a brook my solitary shirt,
And though it dried upon my back I never took a hurt;
When I went romping down the road contemptuous of care,


The Last Meeting

I

Because the night was falling warm and still
Upon a golden day at April’s end,
I thought; I will go up the hill once more
To find the face of him that I have lost,
And speak with him before his ghost has flown
Far from the earth that might not keep him long.

So down the road I went, pausing to see
How slow the dusk drew on, and how the folk
Loitered about their doorways, well-content
With the fine weather and the waxing year.
The miller’s house, that glimmered with grey walls,


The Last Hero

The wind blew out from Bergen from the dawning to the day,
There was a wreck of trees and fall of towers a score of miles away,
And drifted like a livid leaf I go before its tide,
Spewed out of house and stable, beggared of flag and bride.
The heavens are bowed about my head, shouting like seraph wars,
With rains that might put out the sun and clean the sky of stars,
Rains like the fall of ruined seas from secret worlds above,
The roaring of the rains of God none but the lonely love.


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