What care the Dead, for Chanticleer

592

What care the Dead, for Chanticleer—
What care the Dead for Day?
'Tis late your Sunrise vex their face—
And Purple Ribaldry—of Morning

Pour as blank on them
As on the Tier of Wall
The Mason builded, yesterday,
And equally as cool—

What care the Dead for Summer?
The Solstice had no Sun
Could waste the Snow before their Gate—
And knew One Bird a Tune—

Could thrill their Mortised Ear
Of all the Birds that be—
This One—beloved of Mankind
Henceforward cherished be—


What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, And Where, And Why Sonnet XLIII

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,


We Are Coming, Sister Mary

On a stormy night in winter,
When the winds blew cold and wet,
I heard some strains of music
That I never can forget.
I was sleeping in the cabin,
Where liv'd Mary fair and young,
When a light shone in the window,
And a band of singers sung.

We are coming sister Mary,
We are coming bye and bye,
Be ready sister Mary,
For the time is drawing nigh.

I tried to tell my Mary,
But my tongue would not obey,
When the song so strange had ended,
And the singers flown away,


Virgidemarium excerpt

With some pot-fury, ravish'd from their wit,
They sit and muse on some no-vulgar writ:
As frozen dunghills in a winter's morn,
That void of vapours seemed all beforn,
Soon as the sun sends out his piercing beams,
Exhale out filthy smoke and stinking steams;
So doth the base, and the fore-barren brain,
Soon as the raging wine begins to reign.
One higher pitch'd doth set his soaring thought
On crowned kings, that fortune hath low brought;
Or some upreared, high-aspiring swain,


Villanelle Of Spring Bells

Bells in the town alight with spring
converse, with a concordance of new airs
make clear the fresh and ancient sound they sing.

People emerge from winter to hear them ring,
children glitter with mischief and the blind man hears
bells in the town alight with spring.

Even he on his eyes feels the caressing
finger of Persephone, and her voice escaped from tears
make clear the fresh and ancient sound they sing.

Bird feels the enchantment of his wing
and in ten fine notes dispels twenty cares.


Villanelle

We said farewell, my youth and I,
When all fair dreams were gone or going,
And Love’s red lips were cold and dry.
When white blooms fell from tree-tops high—
Our Austral winter’s way of snowing—
We said farewell, my youth and I.

We did not sigh—what use to sigh
When Death passed as a mower mowing,
And Love’s red lips were cold and dry?

But hearing Life’s stream thunder by,
That sang of old through flowers flowing,
We said farewell, my youth and I.


Very Like a Whale

One thing that literature would be greatly the better for
Would be a more restricted employment by the authors of simile and
metaphor.
Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons or Celts,
Can't seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to
go out of their way to say that it is like something else.
What does it mean when we are told
That that Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold?
In the first place, George Gordon Byron had enough experience


Uppards

'Twere getting dusk, one winter's night,
When up the clough there came in sight,
A lad who carried through the snow,
A banner with this 'ere motto...
'Uppards'

His face was glum as he did pass,
His eyes were shiny... just like glass,
And as he went upon his way,
He nobbut this 'ere word did say...
'Uppards'

And people sitting down to tea,
They heard him plan, as plain can be,
They thowt 'twere final football score,
As this 'ere word rang out once more...
'Uppards'


Upon The Pismire

Must we unto the pismire go to school,
To learn of her in summer to provide
For winter next ensuing. Man's a fool,
Or silly ants would not be made his guide.
But, sluggard, is it not a shame for thee
To be outdone by pismires? Pr'ythee hear:
Their works, too, will thy condemnation be
When at the judgment-seat thou shalt appear.
But since thy God doth bid thee to her go,
Obey, her ways consider, and be wise;
The piss-ant tell thee will what thou must do,
And set the way to life before thine eyes.


Up'ards

'Twere getting dusk, one winter's night,
When up the clough there came in sight,
A lad who carried through the snow,
A banner with this 'ere motto...
'Uppards'

His face was glum as he did pass,
His eyes were shiny... just like glass,
And as he went upon his way,
He nobbut this 'ere word did say...
'Uppards'

And people sitting down to tea,
They heard him plan, as plain can be,
They thowt 'twere final football score,
As this 'ere word rang out once more...
'Uppards'


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