The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2
Burton Egbert Stevenson

Part 15 out of 18

Of my ould loves, of their ould ways,
I sit an' think, these bitther days.

(I've kissed - 'gainst rason an' 'gainst rhyme -
More mouths than one in my mad time!)

Of their soft ways an' words I dream,
But far off now, in faith, they seem.

Wid betther lives, wid betther men,
They've all long taken up again!

For me an' mine they're past an' done -
Aye, all but one - yes, all but one!

Since I kissed her 'neath Tullagh Hill
That one gerrl stays close wid me still.

Och! up to mine her face still lifts,
An' round us still the white May drifts;

An' her soft arm, in some ould way,
Is here beside me, night an' day;

But, faith, 'twas her they buried deep,
Wid all that love she couldn't keep,

Aye, deep an' cold, in Killinkere,
This many a year - this many a year!

Arthur Stringer [1874-


The ruddy poppies bend and bow,
Diane! do you remember?
The sun you knew shines proudly now,
The lake still lists the breezes vow,
Your towers are fairer for their stains,
Each stone you smiled upon remains.
Sing low - where is Diane?
Diane! do you remember?

I come to find you through the years,
Diane! do you remember?
For none may rule my love's soft fears.
The ladies now are not your peers,
I seek you through your tarnished halls,
Pale sorrow on my spirit falls,
High, low - where is Diane?
Diane! do you remember?

I crush the poppies where I tread,
Diane! do you remember?
Your flower of life, so bright, so red -
She does not hear - Diane is dead.
I pace the sunny bowers alone
Where naught of her remains but stone.
Sing low - where is Diane?
Diane does not remember.

Helen Hay Whitney [18 -


Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread.
Now that I am without you, all is desolate,
All that was once so beautiful is dead.

Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
These things do not remember you, beloved:
And yet your touch upon them will not pass.

For it was in my heart you moved among them,
And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes.
And in my heart they will remember always:
They knew you once, O beautiful and wise!

Conrad Aiken [1889-


Amid the fairest things that grow
My lady hath her dwelling-place;
Where runnels flow, and frail buds blow
As shy and pallid as her face.

The wild, bright creatures of the wood
About her fearless flit and spring;
To light her dusky solitude
Comes April's earliest offering.

The calm Night from her urn of rest
Pours downward an unbroken stream;
All day upon her mother's breast
My lady lieth in a dream.

Love could not chill her low, soft bed
With any sad memorial stone;
He put a red rose at her head -
A flame as fragrant as his own.

Ada Foster Murray [1857-1936]


Her talk was all of woodland things,
Of little lives that pass
Away in one green afternoon,
Deep in the haunted grass;

For she had come from fairyland,
The morning of a day
When the world that still was April
Was turning into May.

Green leaves and silence and two eyes -
'Twas so she seemed to me,
A silver shadow of the woods,
Whisper and mystery.

I looked into her woodland eyes,
And all my heart was hers,
And then I led her by the hand
Home up my marble stairs;

And all my granite and my gold
Was hers for her green eyes,
And all my sinful heart was hers
From sunset to sunrise;

I gave her all delight and ease
That God had given to me,
I listened to fulfil her dreams,
Rapt with expectancy.

But all I gave, and all I did,
Brought but a weary smile
Of gratitude upon her face;
As though a little while,

She loitered in magnificence
Of marble and of gold,
And waited to be home again
When the dull tale was told.

Sometimes, in the chill galleries,
Unseen, she deemed, unheard,
I found her dancing like a leaf
And singing like a bird.

So lone a thing I never saw
In lonely earth or sky,
So merry and so sad a thing,
One sad, one laughing, eye.

There came a day when on her heart
A wildwood blossom lay,
And the world that still was April
Was turning into May.

In the green eyes I saw a smile
That turned my heart to stone:
My wife that came from fairyland
No longer was alone.

For there had come a little hand
To show the green way home,
Home through the leaves, home through the dew,
Home through the greenwood - home.

Richard Le Gallienne [1866-


I went back an old-time lane
In the fall o' year,
There was wind and bitter rain
And the leaves were sere.

Once the birds were lilting high
In a far-off May -
I remember, you and I
Were as glad as they.

But the branches now are bare
And the lad you knew,
Long ago was buried there -
Long ago, with you!

Thomas S. Jones, Jr. [1882-1932]


The low-voiced girls that go
In gardens of the Lord,
Like flowers of the field they grow
In sisterly accord.

Their whispering feet are white
Along the leafy ways;
They go in whirls of light
Too beautiful for praise.

And in their band forsooth
Is one to set me free -
The one that touched my youth -
The one God gave to me.

She kindles the desire
Whereby the gods survive -
The white ideal fire
That keeps my soul alive.

Now at the wondrous hour,
She leaves her star supreme,
And comes in the night's still power,
To touch me with a dream.

Sibyl of mystery
On roads beyond our ken,
Softly she comes to me,
And goes to God again.

Edwin Markham [1852-


Clouds spout upon her
Their waters amain
In ruthless disdain, -
Her who but lately
Had shivered with pain
As at touch of dishonor
If there had lit on her
So coldly, so straightly
Such arrows of rain.

She who to shelter
Her delicate head
Would quicken and quicken
Each tentative tread
If drops chanced to pelt her
That summertime spills
In dust-paven rills
When thunder-clouds thicken
And birds close their bills.

Would that I lay there
And she were housed here!
Or better, together
Were folded away there
Exposed to one weather
We both, - who would stray there
When sunny the day there,
Or evening was clear
At the prime of the year.

Soon will be growing
Green blades from her mound,
And daisies be showing
Like stars on the ground,
Till she form part of them -
Ay - the sweet heart of them,
Loved beyond measure
With a child's pleasure
All her life's round.

Thomas Hardy [1840-1928]


I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.

My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whale-bone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime-tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime-tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the plashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden-paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding.
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled upon the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover,
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon -
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
"Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday se'nnight."
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
"Any answer, Madam?" said my footman.
"No," I told him.
"See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer."
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, "It shall be as you have said."
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

Amy Lowell [1874-1925]


When the white flame in us is gone,
And we that lost the world's delight
Stiffen in darkness, left alone
To crumble in our separate night;

When your swift hair is quiet in death,
And through the lips corruption thrust
Has stilled the labor of my breath -
When we are dust, when we are dust! -

Not dead, not undesirous yet,
Still sentient, still unsatisfied,
We'll ride the air, and shine, and flit,
Around the places where we died,

And dance as dust before the sun,
And light of foot, and unconfined,
Hurry from road to road, and run
About the errands of the wind.

And every mote, on earth or air,
Will speed and gleam, down later days,
And like a secret pilgrim fare
By eager and invisible ways,

Nor ever rest, nor ever lie,
Till, beyond thinking, out of view,
One mote of all the dust that's I
Shall meet one atom that was you.

Then in some garden hushed from wind,
Warm in a sunset's afterglow,
The lovers in the flowers will find
A sweet and strange unquiet grow

Upon the peace; and, past desiring,
So high a beauty in the air,
And such a light, and such a quiring,
And such a radiant ecstasy there,

They'll know not if it's fire, or dew,
Or out of earth, or in the height,
Singing, or flame, or scent, or hue,
Or two that pass, in light, to light,

Out of the garden, higher, higher. . . .
But in that instant they shall learn
The shattering ecstasy of our fire,
And the weak passionless hearts will burn

And faint in that amazing glow,
Until the darkness close above;
And they will know - poor fools, they'll know! -
One moment, what it is to love.

Rupert Brooke [1887-1915]


The roses in my garden
Were white in the noonday sun,
But they were dyed with crimson
Before the day was done.

All clad in golden armor,
To fight the Saladin,
He left me in my garden,
To weep, to sing, and spin.

When fell the dewy twilight
I heard the wicket grate,
There came a ghost who shivered
Beside my garden gate.

All clad in golden armor,
But dabbled with red dew;
He did not lift his vizor,
And yet his face I knew.

And when he left my garden
The roses all were red
And dyed in a fresh crimson;
Only my heart was dead.

The roses in my garden
Were white in the noonday sun;
But they were dyed with crimson
Before the day was done.

Maurice Baring [1874-


The little rose is dust, my dear;
The elfin wind is gone
That sang a song of silver words
And cooled our hearts with dawn.

And what is left to hope, my dear,
Or what is left to say?
The rose, the little wind and you
Have gone so far away.

Grace Hazard Conkling [18


Never the nightingale,
Oh, my dear,
Never again the lark
Thou wilt hear;
Though dusk and the morning still
Tap at thy window-sill,
Though ever love call and call
Thou wilt not hear at all,
My dear, my dear.

Adelaide Crapsey [1878-1914]


The little red ribbon, the ring and the rose!
The summertime comes, and the summertime goes -
And never a blossom in all of the land
As white as the gleam of her beckoning hand!

The long winter months, and the glare of the snows;
The little red ribbon, the ring and the rose!
And never a glimmer of sun in the skies
As bright as the light of her glorious eyes!

Dreams only are true: but they fade and are gone -
For her face is not here when I waken at dawn;
The little red ribbon, the ring and the rose
Mine only; hers only the dream and repose.

I am weary of waiting, and weary of tears,
And my heart wearies, too, all these desolate years,
Moaning over the one only song that it knows, -
The little red ribbon, the ring and the rose!

James Whitcomb Riley [1849-1916]


The hours I spent with thee, dear heart,
Are as a string of pearls to me;
I count them over, every one apart,
My rosary.

Each hour a pearl, each pearl a prayer,
To still a heart in absence wrung;
I tell each bead unto the end and there
A cross is hung.

Oh memories that bless - and burn!
Oh barren gain - and bitter loss!
I kiss each bead, and strive at last to learn
To kiss the cross,
To kiss the cross.

Robert Cameron Rogers [1862-1912]


From the "Arcadia"

My true-love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;
There never was a better bargain driven;
His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his, because in me it bides.

His heart his wound received from my sight;
My heart was wounded from his wounded heart;
For as from me, on him his hurt did light,
So still me thought in me his heart did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

Philip Sidney [1554-1586]


O sweet delight, O more than human bliss,
With her to live that ever loving is!
To hear her speak whose words are so well placed
That she by them, as they in her are graced:
Those looks to view that feast the viewer's eye,
How blest is he that may so live and die!

Such love as this the Golden Times did know,
When all did reap, yet none took care to sow;
Such love as this an endless summer makes,
And all distaste from frail affection takes.
So loved, so blest, in my beloved am I:
Which till their eyes ache, let iron men envy!

Thomas Campion [ ? -1619]


I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snored we in the Seven Sleepers' den?
'Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be;
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, 'twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone;
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world; each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two fitter hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love just alike in all, none of these loves can die.

John Donne [1573-1631]


There's gowd in the breast of the primrose pale,
An' siller in every blossom;
There's riches galore in the breeze of the vale,
And health in the wild wood's bosom.
Then come, my love, at the hour of joy,
When warbling birds sing o'er us;
Sweet nature for us has no alloy,
And the world is all before us.

The courtier joys in hustle and power,
The soldier in war-steeds bounding,
The miser in hoards of treasured ore,
The proud in their pomp surrounding:
But we hae yon heaven sae bonnie and blue,
And laverocks skimming o'er us;
The breezes of health, and the valleys of dew -
Oh, the world is all before us!

James Hogg [1770-1835]


Her arms across her breast she laid;
She was more fair than words can say:
Bare footed came the beggar maid
Before the king Cophetua.
In robe and crown the king stepped down,
To meet and greet her on her way;
"It is no wonder," said the lords,
"She is more beautiful than day."

As shines the moon in clouded skies,
She in her poor attire was seen:
One praised her ankles, one her eyes,
One her dark hair and lovesome mien.
So sweet a face, such angel grace,
In all that land had never been:
Cophetua sware a royal oath:
"This beggar maid shall be my queen!"

Alfred Tennyson [1809-1892]


Twilight, a timid fawn, went glimmering by,
And Night, the dark-blue hunter, followed fast,
Ceaseless pursuit and flight were in the sky,
But the long chase had ceased for us at last.

We watched together while the driven fawn
Hid in the golden thicket of the day.
We, from whose hearts pursuit and flight were gone,
Knew on the hunter's breast her refuge lay.

A. E. (George William Russell) [1867-1935]


Clasp her and hold her and love her,
Here in the arching green
Of boughs that bend above her
With belts of blue between.

Clasp her and hold her and love her,
Swift! Ere the splendor dies;
The blue grows black above her,
The earth in shadow lies.

Flowers of dream enfold her.
Soft! Let me bend above,
Clasp her and love her and hold her,
Clasp her and hold and love.

Louis V. Ledoux [1880-


One morning, oh! so early, my beloved, my beloved,
All the birds were singing blithely, as if never they would cease;
'Twas a thrush sang in my garden, "Hear the story, hear the story!"
And the lark sang, "Give us glory!"
And the dove said, "Give us peace!"

Then I hearkened, oh! so early, my beloved, my beloved,
To that murmur from the woodland of the dove, my dear, the dove;
When the nightingale came after, "Give us fame to sweeten duty!"
When the wren sang, "Give us beauty!"
She made answer, "Give us love!"

Sweet is spring, and sweet the morning, my beloved, my beloved;
Now for us doth spring, doth morning, wait upon the year's increase,
And my prayer goes up, "Oh, give us, crowned in youth with marriage glory,
Give for all our life's dear story,
Give us love, and give us peace!"

Jean Ingelow [1820-1897]


The fiddles were playing and playing,
The couples were out on the floor;
From converse and dancing he drew me,
And across the door.

Ah! strange were the dim, wide meadows,
And strange was the cloud-strewn sky,
And strange in the meadows the corncrakes,
And they making cry!

The hawthorn bloom was by us,
Around us the breath of the south.
White hawthorn, strange in the night-time -
His kiss on my mouth!

Padraic Colum [1881-


If you be that May Margaret
That lived on Kendal Green,
Then where's that sunny hair of yours
That crowned you like a queen?
That sunny hair is dim, lad,
They said was like a crown -
The red gold turned to gray, lad,
The night a ship went down.

If you be yet May Margaret,
May Margaret now as then,
Then where's that bonny smile of yours
That broke the hearts of men?
The bonny smile is wan, lad,
That once was glad as day -
And oh! 'tis weary smiling
To keep the tears away.

If you be that May Margaret,
As yet you swear to me,
Then where's that proud, cold heart of yours
That sent your love to sea?
Ah, me! that heart is broken,
The proud, cold heart has bled
For one light word outspoken,
For all the love unsaid.

Then Margaret, my Margaret,
If all you say be true,
Your hair is yet the sunniest gold,
Your eyes the sweetest blue.
And dearer yet and fairer yet
For all the coming years -
The fairer for the waiting,
The dearer for the tears!

Theophile Marzials [1850-


Kissing her hair, I sat against her feet,
Wove and unwove it, wound and found it sweet;
Made fast therewith her hands, drew down her eyes,
Deep as deep flowers and dreamy like dim skies;
With her own tresses bound and found her fair,
Kissing her hair.

Sleep were no sweeter than her face to me,
Sleep of cold sea-bloom under the cold sea;
What pain could get between my face and hers?
What new sweet thing would love not relish worse?
Unless, perhaps, white death had kissed me there,
Kissing her hair.

Algernon Charles Swinburne [1837-1909]


We journeyed through broad woodland ways,
My Love and I.
The maples set the shining fields ablaze.
The blue May sky
Brought to us its great Spring surprise;
While we saw all things through each other's eyes.

And sometimes from a steep hillside
Shone fair and bright
The shadhush, like a young June bride,
Fresh clothed in white.
Sometimes came glimpses glad of the blue sea;
But I smiled only on my Love; he smiled on me.

The violets made a field one mass of blue -
Even bluer than the sky;
The little brook took on that color too,
And sang more merrily.
"Your dress is blue," he laughing said. "Your eyes,"
My heart sang, "sweeter than the bending skies."

We spoke of poets dead so long ago,
And their wise words;
We glanced at apple-trees, like drifted snow;
We watched the nesting birds, -
Only a moment! Ah, how short the day!
Yet all the winters cannot blow its sweetness quite away.

Alice Freeman Palmer [1855-1902]


I wandered by the brookside,
I wandered by the mill;
I could not hear the brook flow, -
The noisy wheel was still;
There was no burr of grasshopper,
No chirp of any bird,
But the beating of my own heart
Was all the sound I heard.

I sat beneath the elm-tree;
I watched the long, long shade,
And, as it grew still longer,
I did not feel afraid;
For I listened, for a footfall,
I listened for a word, -
But the beating of my own heart
Was all the sound I heard.

He came not, - no, he came not, -
The night came on alone, -
The little stars sat, one by one,
Each on his golden throne;
The evening wind passed by my cheek,
The leaves above were stirred, -
But the beating of my own heart
Was all the sound I heard.

Fast silent tears were flowing,
When something stood behind;
A hand was on my shoulder, -
I knew its touch was kind:
It drew me nearer, - nearer, -
We did not speak one word,
For the beating of our own hearts
Was all the sound we heard.

Richard Monckton Milnes [1809-1885]


For me the jasmine buds unfold
And silver daisies star the lea,
The crocus hoards the sunset gold,
And the wild rose breathes for me.
I feel the sap through the bough returning,
I share the skylark's transport fine,
I know the fountain's wayward yearning;
I love, and the world is mine!

I love, and thoughts that sometime grieved,
Still well remembered, grieve not me;
From all that darkened and deceived
Upsoars my spirit free.
For soft the hours repeat one story,
Sings the sea one strain divine,
My clouds arise all flushed with glory;
I love, and the world is mine!

Florence Earle Coates [1850-1927]


By the merest chance, in the twilight gloom,
In the orchard path he met me;
In the tall, wet grass, with its faint perfume,
And I tried to pass, but he made no room,
Oh, I tried, but he would not let me.
So I stood and blushed till the grass grew red,
With my face bent down above it,
While he took my hand as he whispering said -
(How the clover lifted each pink, sweet head,
To listen to all that my lover said;
Oh, the clover in bloom, I love it!)

In the high, wet grass went the path to hide,
And the low, wet leaves hung over;
But I could not pass upon either side,
For I found myself, when I vainly tried,
In the arms of my steadfast lover.
And he held me there and he raised my head,
While he closed the path before me,
And he looked down into my eyes and said -
(How the leaves bent down from the boughs o'erhead
To listen to all that my lover said,
Oh, the leaves hanging lowly o'er me!)

Had he moved aside but a little way,
I could surely then have passed him;
And he knew I never could wish to stay,
And would not have heard what he had to say,
Could I only aside have cast him.
It was almost dark, and the moments sped,
And the searching night wind found us,
But he drew me nearer and softly said -
(How the pure, sweet wind grew still, instead,
To listen to all that my lover said;
Oh, the whispering wind around us!)

I am sure he knew when he held me fast,
That I must be all unwilling;
For I tried to go, and I would have passed,
As the night was come with its dew, at last,
And the sky with its stars was filling.
But he clasped me close when I would have fled,
And he made me hear his story,
And his soul came out from his lips and said -
(How the stars crept out where the white moon led,
To listen to all that my lover said;
Oh, the moon and the stars in glory!)

I know that the grass and the leaves will not tell,
And I'm sure that the wind, precious rover,
Will carry my secret so safely and well
That no being shall ever discover
One word of the many that rapidly fell
From the soul-speaking lips of my lover;
And the moon and the stars that looked over
Shall never reveal what a fairy-like spell
They wove round about us that night in the dell,
In the path through the dew-laden clover,
Nor echo the whispers that made my heart swell
As they fell from the lips of my lover.

Homer Greene [1853-


Oh! lose the winter from thine heart, the darkness from thine eyes,
And from the low hearth-chair of dreams, my Love-o'-May, arise;
And let the maidens robe thee like a white white-lilac tree,
Oh! hear the call of Spring, fair Soul, - and wilt thou come with me?

Even so, and even so!
Whither thou goest, I will go.
I will follow thee.

Then wilt thou see the orange trees star-flowering over Spain,
Or arched and mounded Kaiser-towns that molder mid Almain,
Or through the cypress-gardens go of magic Italy?
Oh East or West or South or North, say, wilt thou come with me?

Even so, or even so!
Whither thou goest, I will go.
I will follow thee.

But wilt thou farther come with me through hawthorn red and white
Until we find the wall that hides the Land of Heart's Delight?
The gates all carved with olden things are strange and dread to see:
But I will lift thee through, fair Soul. Arise and come with me!

Even so, Love, even so!
Whither thou goest, I will go!
Lo, I follow thee.

Rachel Annand Taylor [18 -


Flame at the core of the world,
And flame in the red rose-tree;
The one is the fire of the ancient spheres,
The other is Junes to be;
And, oh, there's a flame that is both their flames
Here at the heart of me!

As strong as the fires of stars,
As the prophet rose-tree true,
The fire of my life is tender and wild,
Its beauty is old and new;
For out of the infinite past it came
With the love in the eyes of you!

Arthur Upson [1877-1908]


The night walked down the sky
With the moon in her hand;
By the light of that yellow lantern
I saw you stand.

The hair that swept your shoulders
Was yellow, too,
Your feet as they touched the grasses
Shamed the dew.

The Night wore all her jewels,
And you wore none,
But your gown had the odor of lilies
Drenched with sun.

And never was Eve of the Garden
Or Mary the Maid
More pure than you as you stood there
Bold, yet afraid.

And the sleeping birds woke, trembling,
And the folded flowers were aware,
And my senses were faint with the fragrant
Gold of your hair.

And our lips found ways of speaking
What words cannot say,
Till a hundred nests gave music,
And the East was gray.

Frederic Lawrence Knowles [1869-1905]


Helen's lips are drifting dust;
Ilion is consumed with rust;
All the galleons of Greece
Drink the ocean's dreamless peace;
Lost was Solomon's purple show
Restless centuries ago;
Stately empires wax and wane -
Babylon, Barbary, and Spain; -
Only one thing, undefaced,
Lasts, though all the worlds lie waste
And the heavens are overturned.
- Dear, how long ago we learned!

There's a sight that blinds the sun,
Sound that lives when sounds are done,
Music that rebukes the birds,
Language lovelier than words,
Hue and scent that shame the rose,
Wine no earthly vineyard knows,
Silence stiller than the shore
Swept by Charon's stealthy oar,
Ocean more divinely free
Than Pacific's boundless sea, -
Ye who love have learned it true.
- Dear, how long ago we knew!

Frederic Lawrence Knowles [1869-1905]


Love within the lover's breast
Burns like Hesper in the West,
O'er the ashes of the sun,
Till the day and night are done;
Then, when dawn drives up his car -
Lo! it is the morning star.

Love! thy love pours down on mine,
As the sunlight on the vine,
As the snow rill on the vale,
As the salt breeze on the sail;
As the song unto the bird
On my lips thy name is heard.

As a dewdrop on the rose
In thy heart my passion glows;
As a skylark to the sky,
Up into thy breast I fly;
As a sea-shell of the sea
Ever shall I sing of thee.

George Meredith [1828-1909]


Where the quiet-colored end of evening smiles
Miles and miles
On the solitary pastures where our sheep
Tinkle homeward through the twilight, stray or stop
As they crop -
Was the site once of a city great and gay,
(So they say)
Of our country's very capital, its prince
Ages since
Held his court in, gathered councils, wielding far
Peace or war.

Now, - the country does not even boast a tree,
As you see,
To distinguish slopes of verdure, certain rills
From the hills
Intersect and give a name to (else they run Into one),
Where the domed and daring palace shot its spires
Up like fires
O'er the hundred-gated circuit of a wall
Bounding all,
Made of marble, men might march on nor be pressed,
Twelve abreast.

And such plenty and perfection, see, of grass
Never was!
Such a carpet as, this summer-time, o'erspreads
And embeds
Every vestige of the city, guessed alone,
Stock or stone -
Where a multitude of men breathed joy and woe
Long ago;
Lust of glory pricked their hearts up, dread of shame
Struck them tame;
And that glory and that shame alike, the gold
Bought and sold.

Now, - the single little turret that remains
On the plains,
By the caper overrooted, by the gourd
While the patching houseleek's head of blossom winks
Through the chinks -
Marks the basement whence a tower in ancient time
Sprang sublime,
And a burning ring, all round, the chariots traced
As they raced,
And the monarch and his minions and his dames
Viewed the games.

And I know, while thus the quiet-colored eve
Smiles to leave
To their folding, all our many-tinkling fleece
In such peace,
And the slopes and rills in undistinguished gray
Melt away -
That a girl with eager eyes and yellow hair
Waits me there
In the turret whence the charioteers caught soul
For the goal,
When the king looked, where she looks now, breathless, dumb,
Till I come.

But he looked upon the city, every side,
Far and wide,
All the mountains topped with temples, all the glades'
All the causeys, bridges, aqueducts, - and then,
All the men!
When I do come, she will speak not, she will stand,
Either hand
On my shoulder, give her eyes the first embrace
Of my face,
Ere we rush, ere we extinguish sight and speech
Each on each.

In one year they sent a million fighters forth
South and North,
And they built their gods a brazen pillar high
As the sky,
Yet reserved a thousand chariots in full force -
Gold, of course.
Oh heart! oh blood that freezes, blood that burns!
Earth's returns
For whole centuries of folly, noise and sin!
Shut them in,
With their triumphs and their glories and the rest!
Love is best!

Robert Browning [1812-1889]

From "The Blot in the 'Scutcheon"

There's a woman like a dewdrop, she's so purer than the purest;
And her noble heart's the noblest, yes, and her sure faith's the surest:
And her eyes are dark and humid, like the depth on depth of luster
Hid i' the harebell, while her tresses, sunnier than the wild-grape cluster,
Gush in golden-tinted plenty down her neck's rose-misted marble:
Then her voice's music . . . call it the well's bubbling, the bird's warble!
And this woman says, "My days were sunless and my nights were moonless,
Parched the pleasant April herbage, and the lark's heart's outbreak tuneless,
If you loved me not!" And I who (ah, for words of flame!) adore her,
Who am mad to lay my spirit prostrate palpably before her -
I may enter at her portal soon, as now her lattice takes me,
And by noontide as by midnight make her mine, as hers she makes me!

Robert Browning [1812-1889]


The gray sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed in the slushy sand.

Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spirt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!

Robert Browning [1812-1889]


Round the cape of a sudden came the sea,
And the sun looked over the mountain's rim:
And straight was a path of gold for him,
And the need of a world of men for me.

Robert Browning [1812-1889]


Soft, gray buds on the willow,
Warm, moist winds from the bay,
Sea-gulls out on the sandy beach,
And a road my eager feet would reach,
That leads to the Far-away.

Dust on the wayside flower,
The meadow-lark's luring tone
Is silent now, from the grasses tipped
With dew at the dawn, the pearls have slipped -
Far have I fared alone.

And then, by the alder thicket
The turn of the road - and you!
Though the earth lie white in the noonday heat,
Or the swift storm follow our hurrying feet
What do we care - we two!

Alice Rollit Coe [18 -


My delight and thy delight
Walking, like two angels white,
In the gardens of the night:

My desire and thy desire
Twining to a tongue of fire,
Leaping live, and laughing higher;

Through the everlasting strife
In the mystery of life.

Love, from whom the world begun,
Hath the secret of the sun.

Love can tell, and love alone,
Whence the million stars were strown,
Why each atom knows its own,
How, in spite of woe and death,
Gay is life, and sweet is breath:

This he taught us, this we knew,
Happy in his science true,
Hand in hand as we stood
'Neath the shadows of the wood,
Heart to heart as we lay
In the dawning of the day.

Robert Bridges [1844-1930]


O, saw ye the lass wi' the bonny blue een?
Her smile is the sweetest that ever was seen:
Her cheek like the rose is, but fresher, I ween;
She's the loveliest lassie that trips on the green.
The home of my love is below in the valley,
Where wild-flowers welcome the wandering bee;
But the sweetest of flowers in that spot that is seen
Is the maid that I love wi' the bonny blue een.

When night overshadows her cot in the glen,
She'll steal out to meet her loved Donald again;
And when the moon shines on the valley so green,
I'll welcome the lass wi' the bonny blue een.
As the dove that has wandered away from his nest
Returns to the mate his fond heart loves the best,
I'll fly from the world's false and vanishing scene,
To my dear one, the lass wi' the bonny blue een.

Richard Ryan [1796-1849]

Imitated From Theophile Gautier

We are in love's land to-day;
Where shall we go?
Love, shall we start or stay,
Or sail or row?
There's many a wind and way,
And never a May but May;
We are in love's hand to-day;
Where shall we go?

Our land-wind is the breath
Of sorrows kissed to death
And joys that were;
Our ballast is a rose;
Our way lies where God knows
And love knows where.
We are in love's hand to-day -

Our seamen are fledged Loves,
Our masts are bills of doves,
Our decks fine gold;
Our ropes are dead maids' hair,
Our stores are love-shafts fair
And manifold.
We are in love's land to-day -

Where shall we land you, sweet?
On fields of strange men's feet,
Or fields near home?
Or where the fire-flowers blow,
Or where the flowers of snow
Or flowers of foam?
We are in love's hand to-day -

Land me, she says, where love
Shows but one shaft, one dove,
One heart, one hand, -
A shore like that, my dear,
Lies where no man will steer,
No maiden land.

Algernon Charles Swinburne [1837-1909]

From "Chastelard"

Between the sunset and the sea
My love laid hands and lips on me;
Of sweet came sour, of day came night,
Of long desire came brief delight:
Ah love, and what thing came of thee
Between the sea-downs and the sea?

Between the sea-mark and the sea
Joy grew to grief, grief grew to me;
Love turned to tears, and tears to fire,
And dead delight to new desire;
Love's talk, love's touch there seemed to be
Between the sea-sand and the sea.

Between the sundown and the sea
Love watched one hour of love with me;
Then down the all-golden water-ways
His feet flew after yesterday's;
I saw them come and saw them flee
Between the sea-foam and the sea.

Between the sea-strand and the sea
Love fell on sleep, sleep fell on me;
The first star saw twain turn to one
Between the moonrise and the sun;
The next, that saw not love, saw me
Between the sea-banks and the sea.

Algernon Charles Swinburne [1837-1909]


Mine to the core of the heart, my beauty!
Mine, all mine, and for love, not duty:
Love given willingly, full and free,
Love for love's sake, - as mine to thee.
Duty's a slave that keeps the keys,
But Love, the master, goes in and out
Of his goodly chambers with song and shout,
Just as he please, - just as he please.

Mine, from the dear head's crown, brown-golden,
To the silken foot that's scarce beholden;
Give to a few friends hand or smile,
Like a generous lady, now and awhile,
But the sanctuary heart, that none dare win,
Keep holiest of holiest evermore;
The crowd in the aisles may watch the door,
The high-priest only enters in.

Mine, my own, without doubts or terrors,
With all thy goodnesses, all thy errors,
Unto me and to me alone revealed,
"A spring shut up, a fountain sealed."
Many may praise thee, - praise mine as thine,
Many may love thee, - I'll love them too;
But thy heart of hearts, pure, faithful, and true,
Must be mine, mine wholly, and only mine.

Mine! - God, I thank Thee that Thou hast given
Something all mine on this side heaven:
Something as much myself to be
As this my soul which I lift to Thee:
Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone,
Life of my life, whom Thou dost make
Two to the world for the world's work's sake, -
But each unto each, as in Thy sight, one.

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik [1826-1887]


Before I trust my fate to thee,
Or place my hand in thine,
Before I let thy future give
Color and form to mine,
Before I peril all for thee, question thy soul to-night for me.

I break all slighter bonds, nor feel
A shadow of regret:
Is there one link within the past
That holds thy spirit yet?
Or is thy faith as clear and free as that which I can pledge to thee?

Does there within thy dimmest dreams
A possible future shine,
Wherein thy life could henceforth breathe,
Untouched, unshared by mine?
If so, at any pain or cost, O, tell me before all is lost.

Look deeper still. If thou canst feel,
Within thy inmost soul,
That thou hast kept a portion back,
While I have staked the whole,
Let no false pity spare the blow, but in true mercy tell me so.

Is there within thy heart a need
That mine cannot fulfil?
One chord that any other hand
Could better wake or still?
Speak now - lest at some future day my whole life wither and decay.

Lives there within thy nature hid
The demon-spirit change,
Shedding a passing glory still
On all things new and strange?
It may not be thy fault alone, - but shield my heart against thy own.

Couldst thou withdraw thy hand one day
And answer to my claim,
That Fate, and that to-day's mistake -
Not thou - had been to blame?
Some soothe their conscience thus; but thou wilt surely warn and save me now.

Nay, answer not, - I dare not hear,
The words would come too late;
Yet I would spare thee all remorse,
So, comfort thee, my Fate, -
Whatever on my heart may fall - remember, I would risk it all!

Adelaide Anne Procter [1825-1864]


O, dinna ask me gin I lo'e ye:
Troth, I daurna tell!
Dinna ask me gin I lo'e ye,-
Ask it o' yoursel'.

O, dinna look sae sair at me,
For weel ye ken me true;
O, gin ye look sae sair at me,
I daurna look at you.

When ye gang to yon braw, braw town,
And bonnier lassies see,
O, dinna, Jamie, look at them,
Lest ye should mind na me.

For I could never bide the lass
That ye'd lo'e mair than me;
And O, I'm sure my heart wad brak,
Gin ye'd prove fause to me!

John Dunlop [1755-1820]


Sing me a sweet, low song of night
Before the moon is risen,
A song that tells of the stars' delight
Escaped from day's bright prison,
A song that croons with the cricket's voice,
That sleeps with the shadowed trees,
A song that shall bid my heart rejoice
At its tender mysteries!

And then when the song is ended, love,
Bend down your head unto me,
Whisper the word that was born above
Ere the moon had swayed the sea;
Ere the oldest star began to shine,
Or the farthest sun to burn, -
The oldest of words, O heart of mine,
Yet newest, and sweet to learn.

Hildegarde Hawthorne [18 -


Oh, hark the pulses of the night,
The crickets hidden in the field,
That beat out music of delight
Till summoned dawn stands half revealed!

Oh, mark above the bearded corn
And the green wheat and bending rye,
Tuned to the earth, and calling morn,
The stars vibrating in the sky!

And know, divided soul of me,
Here in the meadow, sweet in speech,
This perfect night could never be
Were we not mated each to each.

James Oppenheim [1882-1932]


The blush is on the flower, and the bloom is on the tree,
And the bonnie, bonnie sweet birds are caroling their glee;
And the dews upon the grass are made diamonds by the sun,
All to deck a path of glory for my own Cailin Donn!

Oh fair she is! Oh rare she is! Oh dearer still to me,
More welcome than the green leaf to winter-stricken tree!
More welcome than the blossom to the weary, dusty bee,
Is the coming of my true love - my own Cailin Donn!

O sycamore! O sycamore! wave, wave your banners green!
Let all your pennons flutter, O beech! before my queen!
Ye fleet and honeyed breezes, to kiss her hand ye run;
But my heart has passed before ye to my own Cailin Donn.

Ring out, ring out, O linden, your merry leafy bells!
Unveil your brilliant torches, O chestnut! to the dells;
Strew, strew the glade with splendor, for morn it cometh on!
Oh, the morn of all delight to me - my own Cailin Donn!

She is coming, where we parted, where she wanders every day;
There's a gay surprise before her who thinks me far away;
Oh, like hearing bugles triumph when the fight of freedom's won,
Is the joy around your footsteps, my own Cailin Donn!

George Sigerson [1839-1925]


All the earth a hush of white,
White with moonlight all the skies;
Wonder of a winter night -
And . . . your eyes.

Hues no palette dares to claim
Where the spoils of sunken ships
Leap to light in singing flame -
And . . . your lips.

Darkness as the shadows creep
Where the embers sigh to rest;
Silence of a world asleep -
And . . . your breast.

Amelia Josephine Burr [1878-


As I look back upon your first embrace
I understand why from your sudden touch
Angered I sprang, and struck you in the face.
You asked at once too little and too much.
But now that of my spirit you require
Love's very soul that unto death endures,
Crown as you will the cup of your desire -
I am all yours.

Amelia Josephine Burr [1878-


We'll meet beside the dusky glen, on yon burn side,
Where the bushes form a cosie den, on yon burn side;
Though the broomy knowes be green,
And there we may be seen,
Yet we'll meet - we'll meet at e'en, down by yon burn side.

I'll lead thee to the birken bower, on yon burn side,
Sae sweetly wove wi' woodbine flower, on yon burn side;
There the busy prying eye,
Ne'er disturbs the lover's joy,
While in ither's arms they lie, down by yon burn side.

Awa', ye rude, unfeeling crew, frae yon burn side,
Those fairy scenes are no for you, by yon burn side;
There fancy smooths her theme,
By the sweetly murmuring stream,
And the rock-lodged echoes skim, down by yon burn side.

Now the plantin' taps are tinged wi' goud, on yon burn side,
And gloamin' draws her foggy shroud o'er yon burn side;
Far frae the noisy scene,
I'll through the fields alane,
There we'll meet, my ain dear Jean, down by yon burn side.

Robert Tannahill [1774-1810]


Flower of the medlar,
Crimson of the quince,
I saw her at the blossom-time,
And loved her ever since!
She swept the draughty pleasance,
The blooms had left the trees,
The whilst the birds sang canticles,
In cherry symphonies.

Whiteness of the white rose,
Redness of the red,
She went to cut the blush-rose buds
To tie at the altar-head;
And some she laid in her bosom,
And some around her brows,
And, as she passed, the lily-heads
All becked and made their bows.

Scarlet of the poppy,
Yellow of the corn,
The men were at the garnering,
A-shouting in the morn;
I chased her to a pippin-tree, -
The waking birds all whist, -
And oh! it was the sweetest kiss
That I have ever kissed.

Marjorie, mint, and violets
A-drying round us set,
'Twas all done in the faience-room
A-spicing marmalet;
On one tile was a satyr,
On one a nymph at bay,
Methinks the birds will scarce be home
To wake our wedding-day!

Theophile Marzials [1850-


When Death to either shall come, -
I pray it be first to me, -
Be happy as ever at home,
If so, as I wish, it be.

Possess thy heart, my own;
And sing to thy child on thy knee,
Or read to thyself alone
The songs that I made for thee.

Robert Bridges [1844-1930]

From "The Princess"

As through the land at eve we went,
And plucked the ripened ears,
We fell out, my wife and I,
O, we fell out, I know not why,
And kissed again with tears.

And blessings on the falling out
That all the more endears,
When we fall out with those we love
And kiss again with tears!

For when we came where lies the child
We lost in other years,
There above the little grave,
O, there above the little grave,
We kissed again with tears.

Alfred Tennyson [1809-1892]


Wait but a little while -
The bird will bring
A heart in tune for melodies
Unto the spring,
Till he who's in the cedar there
Is moved to trill a song so rare,
And pipe her fair.

Wait but a little while -
The bud will break;
The inner rose will open and glow
For summer's sake:
Fond bees will lodge within her breast
Till she herself is plucked and pressed
Where I would rest.

Wait but a little while -
The maid will grow
Gracious with lips and hands to thee,
With breast of snow.
To-day Love's mute, but time hath sown
A soul in her to match thine own,
Though yet ungrown.

Norman Gale [1862-


Though singing but the shy and sweet
Untrod by multitudes of feet,
Songs bounded by the brook and wheat,
I have not failed in this,
The only lure my woodland note,
To win all England's whitest throat!
O bards in gold and fire who wrote,
Be yours all other bliss!

Norman Gale [1862-


Preach wisdom unto him who understands!
When there's such lovely longing in thine eyes,
And such a pulse in thy small clinging hands,
What is the good of being great or wise?

What is the good of beating up the dust
On the world's highway, vexed with droughty heat?
Oh, I grow fatalist - what must be must,
Seeing that thou, beloved, art so sweet!

Victor Plarr [1863-


Bid adieu, adieu, adieu,
Bid adieu to girlish days,
Happy Love is come to woo
Thee and woo thy girlish ways -
The zone that doth become thee fair,
The snood upon thy yellow hair.

When thou hast heard his name upon
The bugles of the cherubim,
Begin thou softly to unzone
Thy girlish bosom unto him,
And softly to undo the snood
That is the sign of maidenhood.

James Joyce [1882-

TO F. C.

Fast falls the snow, O lady mine,
Sprinkling the lawn with crystals fine,
But by the gods we won't repine
While we're together,
We'll chat and rhyme, and kiss and dine,
Defying weather.

So stir the fire and pour the wine,
And let those sea-green eyes divine
Pour their love-madness into mine:
I don't care whether
'Tis snow or sun or rain or shine
If we're together.

Mortimer Collins [1827-1876]


Blue sky, green fields, and lazy yellow sun!
Why should I hunger for the burning South,
Where beauty needs no travail to be won,
Now I may kiss her pure impassioned mouth?

Winds rippling with the rich delight of spring!
Why should I yearn for myriad-colored skies,
Lit by auroral suns, when I may sing
The flame and rapture of her starry eyes?

Oh, song of birds, and flowers fair to see!
Why should I thirst for far-off Eden-isles,
When I may hear her discourse melody,
And bask, a dreamer, in her dreamy smiles?

Joel Elias Spingarn [1875-


Oh, if you love her,
Show her the best of you;
So will you move her
To bear with the rest of you.
Coldness and jealousy
Cannot but seem to her
Signs that a tempest lurks
Where was sunbeam to her.
Patience, and tenderness
Still will awake in her
Hopes of new sunshine,
Though the storm break for her;
Love, she will know, for her,
Like the blue firmament,
Under the tempest lies
Gentle and permanent.
Nor will she ever
Gentleness find the less
When the storm overblown
Leaveth clear kindliness.
Deal with her tenderly,
Skylike above her,
Smile on her waywardness,
Oh, if you love her!

S. Charles Jellicoe [18 -


They stood above the world,
In a world apart;
And she dropped her happy eyes,
And stilled the throbbing pulses
Of her happy heart.
And the moonlight fell above her,
Her secret to discover;
And the moonbeams kissed her hair,
As though no human lovers
Had laid his kisses there.

"Look up, brown eyes," he said,
"And answer mine;
Lift up those silken fringes
That hide a happy light
Almost divine."
The jealous moonlight drifted
To the finger half-uplifted,
Where shone the opal ring -
Where the colors danced and shifted
On the pretty, changeful thing.

Just the old, old story
Of light and shade,
Love like the opal tender,
Like it may be to vary -
May be to fade.
Just the old tender story,
Just a glimpse of morning glory
In an earthly Paradise,
With shadowy reflections
In a pair of sweet brown eyes.

Brown eyes a man might well
Be proud to win!
Open to hold his image,
Shut under silken lashes,
Only to shut him in.
O glad eyes, look together,
For life's dark, stormy weather
Grows to a fairer thing
When young eyes look upon it
Through a slender wedding ring.

Richard Doddridge Blackmore [1825-1900]


All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
Beside the ruined tower.

The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene,
Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve!

She leaned against the armed man,
The statue of the armed Knight;
She stood and listened to my lay,
Amid the lingering light.

Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope! my joy! my Genevieve!
She loves me best whene'er I sing
The songs that make her grieve.


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