Georgian Poetry 1920-22

Part 3 out of 3

Shared swifter days, when headlands into ken
Trod grandly; threatened; and were lost again,
Old fangs along the battlemented coast;
And followed still my ship, when winds were most
Night-purified, and, lying steeply over,
She fled the wind as flees a girl her lover,
Quickened by that pursuit for which she fretted,
Her temper by the contest proved and whetted.
Wild stars swept overhead; her lofty spars
Reared to a ragged heaven sown with stars
As leaping out from narrow English ease
She faced the roll of long Atlantic seas.

Her captain then was I, I was her crew,
The mind that laid her course, the wake she drew,
The waves that rose against her bows, the gales,--
Nay, I was more: I was her very sails
Rounded before the wind, her eager keel,
Her straining mast-heads, her responsive wheel,
Her pennon stiffened like a swallow's wing;
Yes, I was all her slope and speed and swing,
Whether by yellow lemons and blue sea
She dawdled through the isles off Thessaly,
Or saw the palms like sheaves of scimitars
On desert's verge below the sunset bars,
Or passed the girdle of the planet where
The Southern Cross looks over to the Bear,
And strayed, cool Northerner beneath strange skies,
Flouting the lure of tropic estuaries,
Down that long coast, and saw Magellan's Clouds arise.

And some that beat up Channel homeward-bound
I watched, and wondered what they might have found,
What alien ports enriched their teeming hold
With crates of fruit or bars of unwrought gold?
And thought how London clerks with paper-clips
Had filed the bills of lading of those ships,
Clerks that had never seen the embattled sea,
But wrote down jettison and barratry,
Perils, Adventures, and the Act of God,
Having no vision of such wrath flung broad;
Wrote down with weary and accustomed pen
The classic dangers of sea-faring men;
And wrote 'Restraint of Princes,' and 'the Acts
Of the King's Enemies,' as vacant facts,
Blind to the ambushed seas, the encircling roar
Of angry nations foaming into war.


So well she knew them both! yet as she came
Into the room, and heard their speech
Of tragic meshes knotted with her name,
And saw them, foes, but meeting each with each
Closer than friends, souls bared through enmity,
Beneath their startled gaze she thought that she
Broke as the stranger on their conference,
And stole abashed from thence.


Yes, they were kind exceedingly; most mild
Even in indignation, taking by the hand
One that obeyed them mutely, as a child
Submissive to a law he does not understand.

They would not blame the sins his passion wrought.
No, they were tolerant and Christian, saying, 'We
Only deplore ...' saying they only sought
To help him, strengthen him, to show him love; but he

Following them with unrecalcitrant tread,
Quiet, towards their town of kind captivities,
Having slain rebellion, ever turned his head
Over his shoulder, seeking still with his poor eyes

Her motionless figure on the road. The song
Rang still between them, vibrant bell to answering bell,
Full of young glory as a bugle; strong;
Still brave; now breaking like a sea-bird's cry 'Farewell!'

And they, they whispered kindly to him 'Come!
Now we have rescued you. Let your heart heal. Forget!
She was your lawless dark familiar.' Dumb,
He listened, and they thought him acquiescent. Yet,

(Knowing the while that they were very kind)
Remembrance clamoured in him: 'She was wild and free,
Magnificent in giving; she was blind
To gain or loss, and, loving, loved but me,--but me!

'Valiant she was, and comradely, and bold;
High-mettled; all her thoughts a challenge, like gay ships
Adventurous, with treasure in the hold.
I met her with the lesson put into my lips,

'Spoke reason to her, and she bowed her head,
Having no argument, and giving up the strife.
She said I should be free. I think she said
That, for the asking, she would give me all her life.'

And still they led him onwards, and he still
Looked back towards her standing there; and they, content,
Cheered him and praised him that he did their will.
The gradual distance hid them, and she turned, and went.


When little lights in little ports come out,
Quivering down through water with the stars,
And all the fishing fleet of slender spars
Range at their moorings, veer with tide about;

When race of wind is stilled and sails are furled,
And underneath our single riding-light
The curve of black-ribbed deck gleams palely white,
And slumbrous waters pool a slumbrous world;

--Then, and then only, have I thought how sweet
Old age might sink upon a windy youth,
Quiet beneath the riding-light of truth,
Weathered through storms, and gracious in retreat.

* * * * *



This is the sea. In these uneven walls
A wave lies prisoned. Far and far away
Outward to ocean, as the slow tide falls,
Her sisters through the capes that hold the bay
Dancing in lovely liberty recede.
Yet lovely in captivity she lies,
Filled with soft colours, where the wavering weed
Moves gently and discloses to our eyes
Blurred shining veins of rock and lucent shells
Under the light-shot water; and here repose
Small quiet fish and dimly glowing bells
Of sleeping sea-anemones that close
Their tender fronds and will not now awake
Till on these rocks the waves returning break.


We may raise our voices even in this still glade:
Though the colours and shadows and sounds so fleeting seem,
We shall not dispel them. They are not made
Frailly by earth or hands, but immortal in our dream.

We may touch the faint violets with the hands of thought,
Or lay the pale core of the wild arum bare;
And for ever in our minds the white wild cherry is caught,
Cloudy against the sky and melting into air.

This which we have seen is eternally ours,
No others shall tread in the glade which now we see;
Their hands shall not touch the frail tranquil flowers,
Nor their hearts faint in wonder at the wild white tree.


In silence and in darkness memory wakes
Her million sheathèd buds, and breaks
That day-long winter when the light and noise
And hard bleak breath of the outward-looking will
Made barren her tender soil, when every voice
Of her million airy birds was muffled or still.

One bud-sheath breaks:
One sudden voice awakes.

What change grew in our hearts, seeing one night
That moth-winged ship drifting across the bay,
Her broad sail dimly white
On cloudy waters and hills as vague as they?
Some new thing touched our spirits with distant delight,
Half-seen, half-noticed, as we loitered down,
Talking in whispers, to the little town,
Down from the narrow hill
--Talking in whispers, for the air so still
Imposed its stillness on our lips, and made
A quiet equal with the equal shade
That filled the slanting walk. That phantom now
Slides with slack canvas and unwhispering prow
Through the dark sea that this dark room has made.

Or the night of the closed eyes will turn to day,
And all day's colours start out of the gray.
The sun burns on the water. The tall hills
Push up their shady groves into the sky,
And fail and cease where the intense light spills
Its parching torrent on the gaunt and dry
Rock of the further mountains, whence the snow
That softened their harsh edges long is gone,
And nothing tempers now
The hot flood falling on the barren stone.

O memory, take and keep
All that my eyes, your servants, bring you home--
Those other days beneath the low white dome
Of smooth-spread clouds that creep
As slow and soft as sleep,
When shade grows pale and the cypress stands upright,
Distinct in the cool light,
Rigid and solid as a dark hewn stone;
And many another night,
That melts in darkness on the narrow quays,
And changes every colour and every tone,
And soothes the waters to a softer ease,
When under constellations coldly bright
The homeward sailors sing their way to bed
On ships that motionless in harbour float.
The circling harbour-lights flash green and red;
And, out beyond, a steady travelling boat,
Breaking the swell with slow industrious oars,
At each stroke pours
Pale lighted water from the lifted blade.
Now in the painted houses all around
Slow-darkening windows call
The empty unwatched middle of the night.
The tide's few inches rise without a sound.
On the black promontory's windless head,
The last awake, the fireflies rise and fall
And tangle up their dithering skeins of light.

O memory, take and keep
All that my eyes, your servants, bring you home!
Thick through the changing year
The unexpected, rich-charged moments come,
That you twixt wake and sleep
In the lids of the closed eyes shall make appear.

This is life's certain good,
Though in the end it be not good at all
When the dark end arises,
And the stripped, startled spirit must let fall
The amulets that could
Prevail with life's but not death's sad devices.

Then, like a child from whom an older child
Forces its gathered treasures,
Its beads and shells and strings of withered flowers,
Tokens of recent pleasures,
The soul must lose in eyes weeping and wild
Those prints of vanished hours.


No more upon my bosom rest thee,
Too often have my hands caressed thee,
My lips thou knowest well, too well;
Lean to my heart no more thine ear
My spirit's living truth to hear
--It has no more to tell.

In what dark night, in what strange night,
Burnt to the butt the candle's light
That lit our room so long?
I do not know, I thought I knew
How love could be both sweet and true:
I also thought it strong.

Where has the flame departed? Where,
Amid the empty waste of air,
Is that which dwelt with us?
Was it a fancy? Did we make
Only a show for dead love's sake,
It being so piteous?

No more against my bosom press thee,
Seek no more that my hands caress thee,
Leave the sad lips thou hast known so well;
If to my heart thou lean thine ear,
There grieving thou shalt only hear
Vain murmuring of an empty shell.


Blow harder, wind, and drive
My blood from hands and face back to the heart.
Cry over ridges and down tapering coombs,
Carry the flying dapple of the clouds
Over the grass, over the soft-grained plough,
Stroke with ungentle hand the hill's rough hair
Against its usual set.
Snatch at the reins in my dead hands and push me
Out of my saddle, blow my labouring pony
Across the track. You only drive my blood
Nearer the heart from face and hands, and plant there,
Slowly burning, unseen, but alive and wonderful,
A numb, confusèd joy!
This little world's in tumult. Far away
The dim waves rise and wrestle with each other
And fall down headlong on the beach. And here
Quick gusts fly up the funnels of the valleys
And meet their raging fellows on the hill-tops,
And we are in the midst.
This beating heart, enriched with the hands' blood,
Stands in the midst and feels the warm joy burn
In solitude and silence, while all about
The gusts clamour like living, angry birds,
And the gorse seems hardly tethered to the ground.
Blow louder, wind, about
My square-set house, rattle the windows, lift
The trap-door to the loft above my head
And let it fall, clapping. Yell in the trees,
And throw a rotted elm-branch to the ground,
Flog the dry trailers of my climbing rose--
Make deep, O wind, my rest!


The leafless trees, the untidy stack
Last rainy summer raised in haste,
Watch the sky turn from fair to black
And watch the river fill and waste;

But never a footstep comes to trouble
The sea-gulls in the new-sown corn,
Or pigeons rising from late stubble
And flashing lighter as they turn.

Or if a footstep comes, 'tis mine
Sharp on the road or soft on grass:
Silence divides along my line
And shuts behind me as I pass.

No other comes, no labourer
To cut his shaggy truss of hay,
Along the road no traveller,
Day after day, day after day.

And even I, when I come here,
Move softly on, subdued and still,
Lonely as death, though I can hear
Men shouting on the other hill.

Day after day, though no one sees,
The lonely place no different seems;
The trees, the stack, still images
Constant in who can say whose dreams?

* * * * *



I vaguely wondered what you were about,
But never wrote when you had gone away;
Assumed you better, quenched the uneasy doubt
You might need faces, or have things to say.
Did I think of you last evening? Dead you lay.
O bitter words of conscience!
I hold the simple message,
And fierce with grief the awakened heart cries out:
'It shall not be to-day;

It is still yesterday; there is time yet!'
Sorrow would strive backward to wrench the sun,
But the sun moves. Our onward course is set,
The wake streams out, the engine pulses run
Droning, a lonelier voyage is begun.
It is all too late for turning,
You are past all mortal signal,
There will be time for nothing but regret
And the memory of things done!

The quiet voice that always counselled best,
The mind that so ironically played
Yet for mere gentleness forebore the jest.
The proud and tender heart that sat in shade
Nor once solicited another's aid,
Yet was so grateful always
For trifles lightly given,
The silences, the melancholy guessed
Sometimes, when your eyes strayed.

But always when you turned, you talked the more.
Through all our literature your way you took
With modest ease; yet would you soonest pore,
Smiling, with most affection in your look,
On the ripe ancient and the curious nook.
Sage travellers, learnèd printers,
Divines and buried poets,
You knew them all, but never half your lore
Was drawn from any book.

Stories and jests from field and town and port,
And odd neglected scraps of history
From everywhere, for you were of the sort,
Cool and refined, who like rough company:
Carter and barmaid, hawker and bargee,
Wise pensioners and boxers
With whom you drank, and listened
To legends of old revelry and sport
And customs of the sea.

I hear you: yet more clear than all one note,
One sudden hail I still remember best,
That came on sunny days from one afloat
And drew me to the pane in certain quest
Of a long brown face, bare arms and flimsy vest,
In fragments through the branches,
Above the green reflections:
Paused by the willows in your varnished boat
You, with your oars at rest.

Did that come back to you when you were dying?
I think it did: you had much leisure there,
And, with the things we knew, came quietly flying
Memories of things you had seen we knew not where.

You watched again with meditative stare
Places where you had wandered,
Golden and calm in distance:
Voices from all your altering past came sighing
On the soft Hampshire air.

For there you sat a hundred miles away,
A rug upon your knees, your hands gone frail,
And daily bade your farewell to the day,
A music blent of trees and clouds a-sail
And figures in some old neglected tale:
And watched the sunset gathering,
And heard the birdsong fading,
And went within when the last sleepy lay
Passed to a farther vale,

Never complaining, and stepped up to bed
More and more slow, a tall and sunburnt man
Grown bony and bearded, knowing you would be dead
Before the summer, glad your life began
Even thus to end, after so short a span,
And mused a space serenely,
Then fell to easy slumber,
At peace, content. For never again your head
Need make another plan.

Most generous, most gentle, most discreet,
Who left us ignorant to spare us pain:
We went our ways with too forgetful feet
And missed the chance that would not come again,
Leaving with thoughts on pleasure bent, or gain,
Fidelity unattested
And services unrendered:
The ears are closed, the heart has ceased to beat,
And now all proof is vain.

Too late for other gifts, I give you this,
Who took from you so much, so carelessly,
On your far brows a first and phantom kiss,
On your far grave a careful elegy.
For one who loved all life and poetry,
Sorrow in music bleeding,
And friendship's last confession.
But even as I speak that inner hiss
Softly accuses me,

Saying: Those brows are senseless, deaf that tomb,
This is the callous, cold resort of art.
'I give you this.' What do I give? to whom?
Words to the air, and balm to my own heart,
To its old luxurious and commanded smart.
An end to all this tuning,
This cynical masquerading;
What comfort now in that far final gloom
Can any song impart?

O yet I see you dawning from some heaven,
Who would not suffer self-reproach to live
In one to whom your friendship once was given.
I catch a vision, faint and fugitive,
Of a dark face with eyes contemplative,
Deep eyes that smile in silence,
And parted lips that whisper,
'Say nothing more, old friend, of being forgiven,
There is nothing to forgive.'


What deaths men have died, not fighting but impotent.
Hung on the wire, between trenches, burning and freezing,
Groaning for water with armies of men so near;
The fall over cliff, the clutch at the rootless grass,
The beach rushing up, the whirling, the turning headfirst;
Stiff writhings of strychnine, taken in error or haste,
Angina pectoris, shudders of the heart;
Failure and crushing by flying weight to the ground,
Claws and jaws, the stink of a lion's breath;
Swimming, a white belly, a crescent of teeth,
Agony, and a spirting shredded limb,
And crimson blood staining the green water;
And, horror of horrors, the slow grind on the rack,
The breaking bones, the stretching and bursting skin,
Perpetual fainting and waking to see above
The down-thrust mocking faces of cruel men,
With the power of mercy, who gloat upon shrieks for mercy.

O pity me, God! O God, make tolerable,
Make tolerable the end that awaits for me,
And give me courage to die when the time comes,
When the time comes as it must, however it comes,
That I shrink not nor scream, gripped by the jaws of the vice;
For the thought of it turns me sick, and my heart stands still,
Knocks and stands still. O fearful, fearful Shadow,
Kill me, let me die to escape the terror of thee!

A tap. Come in! Oh, no, I am perfectly well,
Only a little tired. Take this one, it's softer.
How are things going with you? Will you have some coffee?
Well, of course it's trying sometimes, but never mind,
It will probably be all right. Carry on, and keep cheerful.
I shouldn't, if I were you, meet trouble half-way,
It is always best to take everything as it comes.


The heavy train through the dim country went rolling, rolling,
Interminably passing misty snow-covered plough-land ridges
That merged in the snowy sky; came turning meadows, fences,
Came gullies and passed, and ice-coloured streams under frozen bridges.

Across the travelling landscape evenly drooped and lifted
The telegraph wires, thick ropes of snow in the windless air;
They drooped and paused and lifted again to unseen summits,
Drawing the eyes and soothing them, often, to a drowsy stare.

Singly in the snow the ghosts of trees were softly pencilled,
Fainter and fainter, in distance fading, into nothingness gliding,
But sometimes a crowd of the intricate silver trees of fairyland
Passed, close and intensely clear, the phantom world hiding.

O untroubled these moving mantled miles of shadowless shadows,
And lovely the film of falling flakes; so wayward and slack;
But I thought of many a mother-bird screening her nestlings,
Sitting silent with wide bright eyes, snow on her back.

* * * * *



Over that morn hung heaviness, until,
Near sunless noon, we heard the ship's bell beating
A melancholy staccato on dead metal;
Saw the bare-footed watch come running aft;
Felt, far below, the sudden telegraph jangle
Its harsh metallic challenge, thrice repeated:
'Stand to. Half-speed ahead. Slow. Stop her!'
They stopped.
The plunging pistons sank like a stopped heart:
She held, she swayed, a hulk, a hollow carcass
Of blistered iron that the grey-green, waveless,
Unruffled tropic waters slapped languidly.

And, in that pause, a sinister whisper ran:
Burial at Sea! a Portuguese official ...
Poor fever-broken devil from Mozambique:
Came on half tight: the doctor calls it heat-stroke.
Why do they travel steerage? It's the exchange:
So many million 'reis' to the pound!
What did he look like? No one ever saw him:
Took to his bunk, and drank and drank and died.
They're ready! Silence!
We clustered to the rail,
Curious and half-ashamed. The well-deck spread
A comfortable gulf of segregation
Between ourselves and death. 'Burial at sea' ...
The master holds a black book at arm's length;
His droning voice comes for'ard: 'This our brother ...
We therefore commit his body to the deep
To be turned into corruption' ... The bo's'n whispers
Hoarsely behind his hand: 'Now, all together!'
The hatch-cover is tilted; a mummy of sailcloth
Well ballasted with iron shoots clear of the poop;
Falls, like a diving gannet. The green sea closes
Its burnished skin; the snaky swell smoothes over ...
While he, the man of the steerage, goes down, down,
Feet foremost, sliding swiftly down the dim water,
Swift to escape
Those plunging shapes with pale, empurpled bellies
That swirl and veer about him. He goes down
Unerringly, as though he knew the way
Through green, through gloom, to absolute watery darkness,
Where no weed sways nor curious fin quivers:
To the sad, sunless deeps where, endlessly,
A downward drift of death spreads its wan mantle
In the wave-moulded valleys that shall enfold him
Till the sea give up its dead.

There shall he lie dispersed amid great riches:
Such gold, such arrogance, so many bold hearts!
All the sunken armadas pressed to powder
By weight of incredible seas! That mingled wrack
No livening sun shall visit till the crust
Of earth be riven, or this rolling planet
Reel on its axis; till the moon-chained tides,
Unloosed, deliver up that white Atlantis
Whose naked peaks shall bleach above the slaked
Thirst of Sahara, fringed by weedy tangles
Of Atlas's drown'd cedars, frowning eastward
To where the sands of India lie cold,
And heap'd Himalaya's a rib of coral
Slowly uplifted, grain on grain....

We dream
Too long! Another jangle of alarum
Stabs at the engines: 'Slow. Half-speed. Full-speed!'
The great bearings rumble; the screw churns, frothing
Opaque water to downward-swelling plumes
Milky as wood-smoke. A shoal of flying-fish
Spurts out like animate spray. The warm breeze wakens;
And we pass on, forgetting,
Toward the solemn horizon of bronzed cumulus
That bounds our brooding sea, gathering gloom
That, when night falls, will dissipate in flaws
Of watery lightning, washing the hot sky,
Cleansing all hearts of heat and restlessness,
Until, with day, another blue be born.


Out of that high pavilion
Where the sick, wind-harassed sun
In the whiteness of the day
Ghostly shone and stole away--
Parchèd with the utter thirst
Of unnumbered Libyan sands,
Thou, cloud-gathering spirit, burst
Out of arid Africa
To the tideless sea, and smote
On our pale, moon-coolèd lands
The hot breath of a lion's throat.

And that furnace-heated breath
Blew into my placid dreams
The heart of fire from whence it came:
Haunt of beauty and of death
Where the forest breaks in flame
Of flaunting blossom, where the flood
Of life pulses hot and stark,
Where a wing'd death breeds in mud
And tumult of tree-shadowed streams--
Black waters, desolately hurled
Through the uttermost, lost, dark,
Secret places of the world.

There, O swift and terrible
Being, wast thou born; and thence,
Like a demon loosed from hell,
Stripped with rending wings the dense
Echoing forests, till their bowed
Plumes of trees like tattered cloud
Were toss'd and torn, and cried aloud
As the wood were rack'd with pain:
Thence thou freed'st thy wings, and soon
From the moaning, stricken plain
In whorled eagle-soarings rose
To melt the sun-defeating snows
Of the Mountains of the Moon,
To dull their glaciers with fierce breath,
To slip the avalanches' rein,
To set the laughing torrents free
On the tented desert beneath,
Where men of thirst must wither and die
While the vultures stare in the sun's eye;
Where slowly sifting sands are strown
On broken cities, whose bleaching bones
Whiten in moonlight stone on stone.

Over their pitiful dust thy blast
Passed in columns of whirling sand,
Leapt the desert and swept the strand
Of the cool and quiet sea,
Gathering mighty shapes, and proud
Phantoms of monstrous, wave-born cloud,
And northward drove this panoply
Till the sky seemed charging on the land....

Yet, in that plumèd helm, the most
Of thy hot power was cooled or lost,
So that it came to me at length,
Faint and tepid and shorn of strength,
To shiver an olive-grove that heaves
A myriad moonlight-coloured leaves,
And in the stone-pine's dome set free
A murmur of the middle sea:
A puff of warm air in the night
So spent by its impetuous flight
It scarce invades my pillar'd closes,--
To waft their fragrance from the sweet
Buds of my lemon-coloured roses
Or strew blown petals at my feet:
To kiss my cheek with a warm sigh
And in the tired darkness die.


(In the south of Italy the peasants put out the eyes of a captured quail
so that its cries may attract the flocks of spring migrants into their

All through the night
I have heard the stuttering call of a blind quail,
A caged decoy, under a cairn of stones,
Crying for light as the quails cry for love.

Other wanderers,
Northward from Africa winging on numb pinions, dazed
With beating winds and the sobbing of the sea,
Hear, in a breath of sweet land-herbage, the call
Of the blind one, their sister....
Hearing, their fluttered hearts
Take courage, and they wheel in their dark flight,
Knowing that their toil is over, dreaming to see
The white stubbles of Abruzzi smitten with dawn,
And spilt grain lying in the furrows, the squandered gold
That is the delight of quails in their spring mating.

Land-scents grow keener,
Penetrating the dank and bitter odour of brine
That whitens their feathers;
Far below, the voice of their sister calls them
To plenty, and sweet water, and fulfilment.
Over the pallid margin of dim seas breaking,
Over the thickening in the darkness that is land,
They fly. Their flight is ended. Wings beat no more.
Downward they drift, one by one, like dark petals,
Slowly, listlessly falling
Into the mouth of horror:
The nets....

Where men come trampling and crying with bright lanterns,
Plucking their weak, entangled claws from the meshes of net,
Clutching the soft brown bodies mottled with olive,
Crushing the warm, fluttering flesh, in hands stained with blood,
Till their quivering hearts are stilled, and the bright eyes,
That are like a polished agate, glaze in death.

But the blind one, in her wicker cage, without ceasing
Haunts this night of spring with her stuttering call,
Knowing nothing of the terror that walks in darkness,
Knowing only that some cruelty has stolen the light
That is life, and that she must cry until she dies.

I, in the darkness,
Heard, and my heart grew sick. But I know that to-morrow
A smiling peasant will come with a basket of quails
Wrapped in vine-leaves, prodding them with blood-stained fingers,
Saying, 'Signore, you must cook them thus, and thus,
With a sprig of basil inside them.' And I shall thank him,
Carrying the piteous carcases into the kitchen
Without a pang, without shame.

'Why should I be ashamed? Why should I rail
Against the cruelty of men? Why should I pity,
Seeing that there is no cruelty which men can imagine
To match the subtle dooms that are wrought against them
By blind spores of pestilence: seeing that each of us,
Lured by dim hopes, flutters in the toils of death
On a cold star that is spinning blindly through space
Into the nets of time?'

So cried I, bitterly thrusting pity aside,
Closing my lids to sleep. But sleep came not,
And pity, with sad eyes,
Crept to my side, and told me
That the life of all creatures is brave and pityful
Whether they be men, with dark thoughts to vex them,
Or birds, wheeling in the swift joys of flight,
Or brittle ephemerids, spinning to death in the haze
Of gold that quivers on dim evening waters;
Nor would she be denied.
The harshness died
Within me, and my heart
Was caught and fluttered like the palpitant heart
Of a brown quail, flying
To the call of her blind sister,
And death, in the spring night.


Were there lovers in the lanes of Atlantis:
Meeting lips and twining fingers
In the mild Atlantis springtime?
How should I know
If there were lovers in the lanes of Atlantis
When the dark sea drowned her mountains
Many ages ago?

Were there poets in the paths of Atlantis:
Eager poets, seeking beauty
To adorn the women they worshipped?
How can I say
If there were poets in the paths of Atlantis?
For the waters that drowned her mountains
Washed their beauty away.

Were there women in the ways of Atlantis:
Foolish women, who loved, as I do,
Dreaming that mortal love was deathless?
Ask me not now
If there were women in the ways of Atlantis:
There was no woman in all her mountains
Wonderful as thou!

* * * * *


(Some of these lists are incomplete. They include poetical works only.)


Interludes and Poems. John Lane. 1908
Mary and the Bramble. ('Out of print'.) 1910
The Sale of St. Thomas. [1] " " 1911
Emblems of Love. John Lane. 1912
Deborah (play). " " 1913
Four Short Plays. Martin Seeker. 1922


Exodus and Other Poems. Lynwood and Co. 1912
Thirty New Poems. Chapman and Hall. 1918
The Buzzards. Martin Seeker. 1921


The Waggoner. Sidgwick and Jackson. 1920
The Shepherd. R. Cobden-Sanderson. 1922


The Soul's Destroyer. Jonathan Cape. 1906
New Poems. " " 1907
Nature Poems. " " 1908
Farewell to Poesy. " " 1910
Songs of Joy. " " 1911
Foliage. " " 1913
The Bird of Paradise. Methuen. 1914
Child Lovers. Jonathan Cape. 1916
Collected Poems. " " 1916
Raptures. [2] Beaumont Press. 1918
Forty New Poems. Jonathan Cape. 1918
The Song of Life. " " 1920
The Hour of Magic. " " 1922


Poems. Murray. 1906
The Listeners. Constable. 1912
A Child's Day. " 1912
Peacock Pie. " 1913
Songs of Childhood. (New Edition.) Longmans. 1916
The Sunken Garden. [3] Beaumont Press. 1917
Motley. Constable. 1917
Poems, 1901-1918. " 1920
Flora. Heinemann. 1919
The Veil. Constable. 1921


Poems of Men and Hours. (Out of print.) 1911
Cophetua (play). " " 1911
Poems of Love and Earth. " " 1912
Cromwell, and Other Poems. David Nutt. 1913
Rebellion (play). (Out of-print.) 1914
Swords and Ploughshares. Sidgwick and Jackson. 1915
Olton Pools. " " 1916
Poems, 1908-1914. " " 1917
Tides. Beaumont Press. 1917
Tides (with additions). Sidgwick and Jackson. 1917
Loyalties. Beaumont Press. 1918
Loyalties (with additions). Sidgwick and Jackson. 1918
Abraham Lincoln (Prose Play with Chorus). Sidgwick and Jackson. 1918
Seeds of Time. " " 1921
Selected Poems. " " 1922
Pawns and Cophetua
(Four Poetic Plays).(New Edition.) Sidgwick and Jackson. 1922
Preludes, 1921-1922 (in preparation)


Twenty Poems. Gay and Hancock. 1909
Fifty Poems. (New Edition.) Selwyn and Blount. 1916
Stone Trees. " " 1916
Presage of Victory. " " 1916
Memories of Childhood. Morland Press. 1918
Memories, and Other Poems. Selwyn and Blount. 1919
Poems New and Old. " " 1920
Music. " " 1921
Two Poems. " " 1921


Stonefolds. Elkin Mathews. 1907
Akra the Slave. " " 1910
Daily Bread. " " 1910
Fires. " " 1913
Borderlands. " " 1914
Thoroughfares. " " 1914
Battle. " " 1915
Friends. " " 1916
Livelihood. Macmillan. 1917
Collected Poems. New York: Macmillan Co. 1917
Whin. Macmillan. 1918
Home. Beaumont Press. 1919
Neighbours. Macmillan. 1920
Krindlesyke (play). " 1922


Over the Brazier. Poetry Bookshop. 1916
Fairies and Fusiliers. Heinemann. 1917
Country Sentiment. Martin Seeker. 1919
The Pier-glass. " " 1921
On English Poetry
(Critical work containing new poems) Heinemann. 1922
Whipperginny (in preparation)


Gipsy-Night. Golden Cockerel Press. 1922


Love Poems. Duckworth. 1913
Amores. " 1916
Look! We have Come Through! (Out of print.) 1917
New Poems. Martin Seeker. 1918


Judas. Sampson Low. 1908
Before Dawn. (Out of print.) 1911
Children of Love. Poetry Bookshop. 1914
Strange Meetings. " " 1917
Real Property. {London " "
{New York: Macmillan Co. 1922


Invocation. Elkin Mathews. 1915
Ardours and Endurances. Chatto and Windus. 1917
The Budded Branch. Beaumont Press. 1918
Aurelia. Chatto and Windus. 1920


Poems. Hogarth Press. 1921


Masques and Poems (in preparation). Golden Cockerel Press


Orchard and Vineyard. John Lane. 1921


Songs. (Out of print.) 1915
Poems. Sidgwick and Jackson. 1916
The Queen of China. Martin Seeker. 1919
The Island of Youth. Collins. 1921


Steps to Parnassus. Allen and Unwin. 1913
The Three Hills. " " 1913
The Survival of the Fittest. " " 1916
Tricks of the Trade. Hodder and Stoughton. 1917
Poems: First Series. " " 1918
The Birds, and Other Poems. Hodder and Stoughton. 1919
Poems: Second Series. " " 1922


Five Degrees South. Martin Seeker. 1917
Poems, 1916-1918. Collins. 1919

[Footnote 1: Reprinted in 'Georgian Poetry, 1911-1912'.]

[Footnote 2: Reprinted, with additions, in 'Forty New Poems'.]

[Footnote 3: Reprinted, with additions, in 'Motley'.]


Back to Full Books