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116 Works of Bliss Carman

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Comrades

Story type: Poetry

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Comrades, pour the wine to-night For the parting is with dawn! Oh, the clink of cups together, With the daylight coming on! Greet the morn With a double horn, When strong men drink together! Comrades, gird your swords to-night, For the battle is with dawn! Oh, the clash of shields together, With the triumph coming […]

The Mote

Story type: Poetry

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Two shapes of august bearing, seraph tall, Of indolent imperturbable regard, Stood in the Tavern door to drink. As the first Lifted his glass to let the warm light melt In the slow bubbles of the wine, a sunbeam, Red and broad as smouldering autumn, smote Down through its mystery; and a single fleck, The […]

Oh, but life went gayly, gayly, In the house of Idiedaily! There were always throats to sing Down the river-banks with spring, When the stir of heart’s desire Set the sapling’s heart on fire. Bobolincolns in the meadows, Leisure in the purple shadows, Till the poppies without number Bowed their heads in crimson slumber, And […]

In The Workshop

Story type: Poetry

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Once in the Workshop, ages ago, The clay was wet and the fire was low. And He who was bent on fashioning man Moulded a shape from a clod, And put the loyal heart therein; While another stood watching by. “What’s that?” said Beelzebub. “A lover,” said God. And Beelzebub frowned, for he knew that […]

Now gird thee well for courage, My knight of twenty year, Against the marching morrows That fill the world with fear! The flowers fade before them; The summer leaves the hill; Their trumpets range the morning, And those who hear grow still. Like pillagers of harvest, Their fame is far abroad, As gray remorseless troopers […]

Launa Dee

Story type: Poetry

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Weary, oh, so weary With it all! Sunny days or dreary– How they pall! Why should we be heroes, Launa Dee, Striving to no winning? Let the world be Zero’s! As in the beginning Let it be! What good comes of toiling, When all’s done? Frail green sprays for spoiling Of the sun; Laurel leaf […]

Who’ll have the crumpled pieces of a heart? Let him take mine! Who’ll give his whole of passion for a part, And call’t divine? Who’ll have the soiled remainder of desire? Who’ll warm his fingers at a burnt-out fire? Who’ll drink the lees of love, and cast i’ the mire The nobler wine? Let him […]

The Mendicants

Story type: Poetry

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We are as mendicants who wait Along the roadside in the sun. Tatters of yesterday and shreds Of morrow clothe us every one. And some are dotards, who believe And glory in the days of old; While some are dreamers, harping still Upon an unknown age of gold. Hopeless or witless! Not one heeds, As […]

The Outlaw

Story type: Poetry

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Oh, let my lord laugh in his halls When he the tale shall tell! But woe to Jarlwell and its walls When I shall laugh as well! And he that laughs the last, lads, Laughs well, laughs well! He’s lord of many a burg and farm And mickle thralls and gold, And I am but […]

The King’s Son

Story type: Poetry

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“Daughter, daughter, marry no man, Though a king’s son come to woo, If he be not more than blessing or ban To the secret soul of you.” “‘Tis the King’s son, indeed, I ween, And he left me even but now, And he shall make me a dazzling queen, With a gold crown on my […]

The Buccaneers

Story type: Poetry

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Oh, not for us the easy mirth Of men that never roam! The crackling of the narrow hearth, The cabined joys of home! Keep your tame, regulated glee, O pale protected State! Our dwelling-place is on the sea, Our joy the joy of Fate! No long caresses give us ease, No lazy languors warm, We […]

Shipmate, leave the ghostly shadows, Where thy boon companions throng! We will put to sea together Through the twilight with a song. Leering closer, rank and girding, In this Black Port where we bide, Reel a thousand flaring faces; But escape is on the tide. Let the tap-rooms of the city Reek till the red […]

Bowmen, shout for Gamelbar! Winds, unthrottle the wolves of war! Heave a breath And dare a death For the doom of Gamelbar! Wealth for Gamel, Wine for Gamel, Crimson wine for Gamelbar! CHORUS:–Oh, sleep for a knave, With his sins in the sod! And death for the brave, With his glory up to God! And […]

A Toast

Story type: Poetry

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Here’s a health to thee, Roberts, And here’s a health to me; And here’s to all the pretty girls From Denver to the sea! Here’s to mine and here’s to thine! Now’s the time to clink it! Here’s a flagon of old wine, And here are we to drink it. Wine that maketh glad the […]

The Kavanagh

Story type: Poetry

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A stone jug and a pewter mug, And a table set for three! A jug and a mug at every place, And a biscuit or two with Brie! Three stone jugs of Cruiskeen Lawn, And a cheese like crusted foam! The Kavanagh receives to-night! McMurrough is at home! We three and the barley-bree! And a […]

Contemporaries

Story type: Poetry

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“A barbered woman’s man,”–yes, so He seemed to me a twelvemonth since; And so he may be–let it go– Admit his flaws–we need not wince To find our noblest not all great. What of it? He is still the prince, And we the pages of his state. The world applauds his words; his fame Is […]

The Two Bobbies

Story type: Poetry

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Bobbie Burns and Bobbie Browning, They’re the boys I’d like to see. Though I’m not the boy for Bobbie, Bobbie is the boy for me! Bobbie Browning was the good boy; Turned the language inside out, Wrote his plays and had his days, Died–and held his peace, no doubt. Poor North Bobbie was the bad […]

Isabel

Story type: Poetry

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In her body’s perfect sweet Suppleness and languor meet,– Arms that move like lapsing billows, Breasts that Love would make his pillows, Eyes where vision melts in bliss, Lips that ripen to a kiss.

A Hill Song

Story type: Poetry

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Hills where once my love and I Let the hours go laughing by! All your woods and dales are sad,– You have lost your Oread. Falling leaves! Silent woodlands! Half your loveliness is fled. Golden-rod, wither now! Winter winds, come hither now! All the summer joy is dead. There’s a sense of something gone In […]

“Lose and love” is love’s first art; So it was with thee and me, For I first beheld thy heart On the night I last saw thee. Pine-woods and mysteries! Sea-sands and sorrows! Hearts fluttered by a breeze That bodes dark morrows, morrows,– Bodes dark morrows! Moonlight in sweet overflow Poured upon the earth and […]

The swarthy bee is a buccaneer, A burly velveted rover, Who loves the booming wind in his ear As he sails the seas of clover. A waif of the goblin pirate crew, With not a soul to deplore him, He steers for the open verge of blue With the filmy world before him. His flimsy […]

Down The Songo

Story type: Poetry

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I. Floating! Floating–and all the stillness waits And listens at the ivory gates, Full of a dim uncertain presage Of some strange, undelivered message. There is no sound save from the bush The alto of the shy wood-thrush, And ever and anon the dip Of a lazy oar. The rhythmic drowsiness keeps time To hazy […]

A Rover’s Song

Story type: Poetry

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Snowdrift of the mountains, Spindrift of the sea, We who down the border Rove from gloom to glee,– Snowdrift of the mountains, Spindrift of the sea, There be no such gypsies Over earth as we. Snowdrift of the mountains, Spindrift of the sea, Let us part the treasure Of the world in three. Snowdrift of […]

The Wander-Lovers

Story type: Poetry

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Down the world with Marna! That’s the life for me! Wandering with the wandering wind, Vagabond and unconfined! Roving with the roving rain Its unboundaried domain! Kith and kin of wander-kind, Children of the sea! Petrels of the sea-drift! Swallows of the lea! Arabs of the whole wide girth Of the wind-encircled earth! In all […]

I will go out to grass with that old King, For I am weary of clothes and cooks. I long to lie along the banks of brooks, And watch the boughs above me sway and swing. Come, I will pluck off custom’s livery, Nor longer be a lackey to old Time. Time shall serve me, […]

Spring Song

Story type: Poetry

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Make me over, mother April, When the sap begins to stir! When thy flowery hand delivers All the mountain-prisoned rivers, And thy great heart beats and quivers, To revive the days that were, Make me over, mother April, When the sap begins to stir! Take my dust and all my dreaming, Count my heart-beats one […]

The fervid breath of our flushed Southern May Is sweet upon the city’s throat and lips, As a lover’s whose tired arm slips Listlessly over the shoulder of a queen. Far away The river melts in the unseen. Oh, beautiful Girl-City, how she dips Her feet in the stream With a touch that is half […]

A Waif

Story type: Poetry

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Do you know what it is to be vagrant born? A waif is only a waif. And so, For another idle hour I sit, In large content while the fire burns low. I gossip here to my crony heart Of the day just over, and count it one Of the royal elemental days, Though its […]

Now the joys of the road are chiefly these: A crimson touch on the hard-wood trees; A vagrant’s morning wide and blue, In early fall when the wind walks, too; A shadowy highway cool and brown, Alluring up and enticing down From rippled water to dappled swamp, From purple glory to scarlet pomp; The outward […]

Vagabondia

Story type: Poetry

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Off with the fetters That chafe and restrain! Off with the chain! Here Art and Letters, Music and wine, And Myrtle and Wanda, The winsome witches, Blithely combine. Here are true riches, Here is Golconda, Here are the Indies, Here we are free– Free as the wind is, Free, as the sea. Free! Houp-la! What […]

There is no escape by the river, There is no flight left by the fen; We are compassed about by the shiver Of the night of their marching men. Give a cheer! For our hearts shall not give way. Here’s to a dark to-morrow, And here’s to a brave to-day! The tale of their hosts […]

Hem And Haw

Story type: Poetry

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Hem and Haw were the sons of sin, Created to shally and shirk; Hem lay ’round and Haw looked on While God did all the work. Hem was a fogy, and Haw was a prig, For both had the dull, dull mind; And whenever they found a thing to do, They yammered and went it […]

In A Garden

Story type: Poetry

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Thought is a garden wide and old For airy creatures to explore, Where grow the great fantastic flowers With truth for honey at the core. There like a wild marauding bee Made desperate by hungry fears, From gorgeous If to dark Perhaps I blunder down the dusk of years.

Accident In Art

Story type: Poetry

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That painter has not with a careless smutch Accomplished his despair?–one touch revealing All he had put of life, thought, vigor, feeling, Into the canvas that without that touch Showed of his love and labor just so much Raw pigment, scarce a scrap of soul concealing! What poet has not found his spirit kneeling A […]

O Moon, Mr. Moon, When you comin’ down? Down on the hilltop, Down in the glen, Out in the clearin’, To play with little men? Moon, Mr. Moon, When you comin’ down? O Mr. Moon, Hurry up your stumps! Don’t you hear Bullfrog Callin’ to his wife, And old black Cricket A-wheezin’ at his fife? […]

The Hearse-Horse

Story type: Poetry

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Said the hearse-horse to the coffin, “What the devil have you there? I may trot from court to square, Yet it neither swears nor groans, When I jolt it over stones.” Said the coffin to the hearse-horse, “Bones!” Said the hearse-horse to the coffin, “What the devil have you there, With that purple frozen stare? […]

The Night-Washers

Story type: Poetry

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Whe-ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh! We are the brothers of ghouls, and who In the name of the Crooked Saints are you? We are the washers of shrouds wherein The lovers of beauty who sainted sin Sleep till the Judgment Day begin. When the moon is drifting overhead, We wash the linen of the dead, […]

Oh, who would stay indoor, indoor,When the horn is on the hill? (Bugle: Tarantara!With the crisp air stinging, and the huntsmen singing,And a ten-tined buck to kill! Before the sun goes down, goes down,We shall slay the buck of ten; (Bugle: Tarantara!And the priest shall say benison, and we shall ha’e venison,When we come home […]

Buie Annajohn

Story type: Poetry

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Buie Annajohn was the king’s black mare,Buie, Buie, Buie Annajohn!Satin was her coat and silk was her hair,Buie Annajohn,The young king’s own.March with the white moon, march with the sun,March with the merry men, Buie Annajohn! Buie Annajohn, when the dew lay hoar,(Buie, Buie, Buie Annajohn!)Down through the meadowlands went to war,–Buie Annajohn,The young king’s […]

Mary Of Marka

Story type: Poetry

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Eric of Marka holds the knife:“A nameless death for a nameless life.”– “Mary of Marka, bid him stay,And the morrow shall be our wedding-day.”– “Will the blessing of priest give back my faith,Or life to the child you left to death?”– Eric of Marka holds the knife,And turns to the mother that is no wife: […]

Premonition

Story type: Poetry

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He said, “Good-night, my heart is light,To-morrow morn at dayWe two together in the dewShall forth and fare away. “We shall go down, the halls of dawnTo find the doors of joy;We shall not part again, dear heart.”And he laughed out like a boy. He turned and strode down the blue roadAgainst the western skyWhere […]

You hearken, fellows? Turned asideInto the road-house of the past!The prince of vagabonds is goneTo house among his peers at last. The stainless gallant gentleman,So glad of life, he gave no trace,No hint he even once beheldThe spectre peering in his face; But gay and modest held the road,Nor feared the Shadow of the Dust;And […]

Verlaine

Story type: Poetry

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Avid of life and love, insatiate vagabond,With quest too furious for the graal he would have won,He flung himself at the eternal sky, as oneWrenching his chains but impotent to burst the bond. Yet under the revolt, the revel, the despond,What pools of innocence, what crystal benison!As through a riven mist that glowers in the […]

Distillation

Story type: Poetry

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They that eat the uncrushed grapeWalk with steady heels:Lo, now, how they stare and gapeWhere the poet reels!He has drunk the sheer divineConcentration of the vine.

Give me your last Aloha,When I go out of sight,Over the dark rim of the seaInto the Polar night! And all the Northland give youSkoal for the voyage begun,When your bright summer sail goes downInto the zones of sun!

Lal Of Kilrudden

Story type: Poetry

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Kilrudden ford, Kilrudden dale,Kilrudden fronting every galeOn the lorn coast of Inishfree,And Lal’s last bed the plunging sea. Lal of Kilrudden with flame-red hair,And the sea-blue eyes that rove and dare,And the open heart with never a care;With her strong brown arms and her ankles bare,God in heaven, but she was fair,That night the storm […]

Browning, old fellow,Your leaves grow yellow,Beginning to mellowAs seasons pass.Your cover is wrinkled,And stained and sprinkled,And warped and crinkledFrom sleep on the grass. Is it a wine stain,Or only a pine stain,That makes such a fine stainOn your dull blue,–Got as we numberedThe clouds that lumberedSouthward and slumberedWhen day was through? What is the dear […]

A Good-By

Story type: Poetry

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For love of the roving footAnd joy of the roving eye,God send you store of morrows fairAnd a good rest by and by!

The body is no prison where we lieShut out from our true heritage of sun;It is the wings wherewith the soul may fly.Save through this flesh so scorned and spat upon,No ray of light had reached the caverned mind,No thrill of pleasure through the life had run,No love of nature or of humankind,Were it but […]

A Vagabond Song

Story type: Poetry

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There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood–Touch of manner, hint of mood;And my heart is like a rhyme,With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time. The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cryOf bugles going by.And my lonely spirit thrillsTo see the frosty asters […]

Nancibel

Story type: Poetry

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The ghost of a wind came over the hill,While day for a moment forgot to die,And stirred the sheavesOf the millet leaves,As Nancibel went by. Out of the lands of Long Ago,Into the land of By and By,Faded the gleamOf a journeying dream,As Nancibel went by.

For every oneBeneath the sun,Where Autumn walks with quiet eyes,There is a word,Just overheardWhen hill to purple hill replies. This afternoon,As warm as June,With the red apples on the bough,I set my earTo hark and hearThe wood-folk talking, you know how. There comes a “Hush!”And then a “Tush,”As tree to scarlet tree responds,“Babble away!He’ll not […]

The typewriter ticketh no more in the twilight;The mother of poets is sitting alone;Only the katydid teases the noonday;Where are the good-for-naught wanderbirds flown? Tom’s in the North with his purple impressions;Dickon’s in London a-building his fame;Fred’s in the mountains a-minding his cattle;Kavanagh’s teaching and preaching and game. Over in Kingscroft a toiler is writing,The […]

At Michaelmas

Story type: Poetry

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About the time of Michael’s feastAnd all his angels,There comes a word to man and beastBy dark evangels. Then hearing what the wild things sayTo one another,Those creatures first born of our grayMysterious Mother, The greatness of the world’s unrestSteals through our pulses;Our own life takes a meaning guessedFrom the torn dulse’s. The draft and […]

The blue night, like an angel, came into the room,–Came through the open window from the silent skyDown trellised stairs of moonlight into the dear roomAs if a whisper breathed of some divine one nigh.The nightingales, like brooks of song in Paradise,Gurgled their serene rapture to the silent sky–Like springs of laughter bubbling up in […]

The scent of honeysuckle,Drugging the twilightWith its sweet opiate of lovers’ dreams!The last red glow of the setting sunOn the red brick wallOf the neighboring house,And the scramble of red roses over it! Slowly, slowlyThe night smokes up from the city to the stars,The faint foreshadowed stars;The smouldering nightBreathes upward like the breathOf a woman […]

A Song For Marna

Story type: Poetry

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Dame of the night of hairLike blue smoke blown!World yet undreamed-of thereLurks to be known. Dame of the dizzy eyes,Lure of dim quests!World of what midnights liesUnder thy breasts! Dame of the quench of love,Give me to quaff!There’s all the world’s made ofUnder thy laugh. Dame of the dare of gods,Let the sky lower!Time, give […]

This is not sadness in the wood;The yellowbirdFlits joying through the solitude,By no thought stirredSave of his little duskier mateAnd rompings jolly. If there’s a Dryad in the wood,She is not sad.Too wise the spirits are to brood;Divinely glad,They dream with countenance sedateNot melancholy.

When I Was Twenty

Story type: Poetry

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It was June, and I was twenty.All my wisdom, poor but plenty,Never learned Festina lente.Youth is gone, but whither went he? Madeline came down the orchardWith a mischief in her eye,Half demure and half inviting,Melting, wayward, wistful, shy. Four bright eyes that found life lovely,And forgot to wonder why;Four warm lips at one love-lesson,Learned by […]

In A Silence

Story type: Poetry

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Heart to heart!And the stillness of night and the moonlight, like hushed breathingSilently, stealthily moving across thy hair! O womanly face!Tender and strong and lucent with infinite feeling,Shrinking with startled joy, like wind-struck water,And yet so frank, so unashamed of love! Ay, for there it is, love–that’s the deepest.Love’s not love in the dark.Light loves […]

The Bather

Story type: Poetry

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I saw him go down to the water to bathe;He stood naked upon the bank. His breast was like a white cloud in the heaven,that catches the sun;It swelled with the sharp joy of the air. His legs rose with the spring and curve of young birches;The hollow of his back caught the blue shadows: […]

I dreamed of Sappho on a summer night.Her nightingales were singing in the treesBeside the castled river; and the windFell like a woman’s fingers on my cheek.And then I slept and dreamed and marked no change;The night went on with me into my dream.This only I remember, that I cried:“O Sappho! ere I leave this […]

A Stein Song

Story type: Poetry

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Give a rouse, then, in the MaytimeFor a life that knows no fear!Turn night-time into daytimeWith the sunlight of good cheer!For it’s always fair weatherWhen good fellows get together,With a stein on the table and a good song ringing clear. When the wind comes up from CubaAnd the birds are on the wing,And our hearts […]

Saint Kavin was a gentleman,He came from Tipperary;And woman was the only thingThat ever made him scary. For Kavin was a tender youth,And he was very simple;He feared the wiles of maiden smiles,And fainted at a dimple. But when Kathleen at seventeenCame down the street one morning,The luck of man came over himAnd took him […]

Once I met a soncy maid,Soncy maid, soncy maid,Once I met a soncy maidIn the Wayland willows. All her hair was goldy brown,Goldy brown, goldy brown,In the sun a single braidTo her waist hung down. Honey bees, honey bees,You are roving fellows!Idly went the doxy windIn the Wayland willows. There I caught her eye a-dance,Through […]

Barney Mcgee

Story type: Poetry

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Barney McGee, there’s no end of good luck in you,Will-o’-the-wisp, with a flicker of Puck in you,Wild as a bull-pup and all of his pluck in you,–Let a man tread on your coat and he’ll see!–Eyes like the lakes of Killarney for clarity,Nose that turns up without any vulgarity,Smile like a cherub, and hair that […]

The Sea Gypsy

Story type: Poetry

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I am fevered with the sunset,I am fretful with the bay,For the wander-thirst is on meAnd my soul is in Cathay. There’s a schooner in the offing,With her topsails shot with fire,And my heart has gone aboard herFor the Islands of Desire. I must forth again to-morrow!With the sunset I must beHull down on the […]

The First Julep

Story type: Poetry

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I love the lazy Southern spring,The way she melts around a chapAnd lets the great magnolias flingTheir languid petals in his lap. I love to travel down half-wayAnd meet her coming up the earth,With hurdy-gurdy men who playAnd make the children dance for mirth. But best of all I love to steerFor quiet corners not […]

Secrets

Story type: Poetry

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Three secrets that never were said:The stir of the sap in the spring,The desire of a man to a maid,The urge of a poet to sing.

The words that pass from lip to lipFor souls still out of reach!A friend for that companionshipThat’s deeper than all speech!

Concerning Kavin

Story type: Poetry

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When Kavin comes back from the barber,Although he no longer is young,One cheek is as soft as his heart,And the other as smooth as his tongue.

Kavin Again

Story type: Poetry

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It is not anything he says,It’s just his presence and his smile,The blarney of his silencesThat cocker and beguile.

Here’s to you, Arthur! You and IHave seen a lot of stormy weather,Since first we clinked cups on the slyAt school together. The winds of fate have had their willAnd blown our crafts so far apartWe hardly knew if either stillWere on the chart. But now I know the love of manIs more than time […]

Word of a little one born in the West,–How like a sea-bird it comes from the sea,Out of the league-weary waters’ unrestBlown with white wings, for a token, to me! Blown with a skriel and a flurry of plumes(Sea-spray and flight-rapture whirled in a gleam!)Here for a sign of the comrade that loomsLarge in the […]

Good-morning, Karlene. It’s a veryFine beautiful world we are in.Well, you do look as ripe as a berry;And, pardon me, such a real chin! And may I–Ah, thank you; the pleasureIs mine; just one kiss by your ear!–May I introduce myself as yourMost dutiful godfather, dear? I have fumed, like champagne that is fizzy,To pay […]

Dear Lilac, how enchantingTo hear of you this way!The Man who comes a-mouchingTo visit me each day Says you too have a loverFar lovelier than I.And from his rapt description,She loves you gloriously. The Man prowls out each morningTo see if spring’s begun.What infinite amusementThese creatures offer one! He asks me such conundrumsAs no one […]

A Faun’s Song

Story type: Poetry

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Cool! cool! cool!Cool and sweetThe feel of the moss at my feet!And sweet and coolThe touch of the wind, of the wind! Cool wind out of the blue,At the touch of youA little wave crinkles and flowsAll over me down to my toes. “Coo-loo! Coo-loo!”Hear the doves in the tree-tops croon.“Coo-loo! Coo-loo!”Love comes soon. “June! […]

An Easter Market

Story type: Poetry

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Today, through your Easter marketIn the lazy Southern sun,I strolled with hands in pocketsPast the flower-stalls one by one. Indolent, dreamy, readyFor anything to amuse,Shyfoot out for a rambleIn his oldest hat and shoes. Roses creamy and yellow,Azaleas crimson and white,And the flaky fresh carnationsMy Orient of delight,– Masses and banks of blossomThat dazzle and […]

Daisies

Story type: Poetry

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Over the shoulders and slopes of the duneI saw the white daisies go down to the sea,A host in the sunshine, an army in June,The people God sends us to set our heart free. The bobolinks rallied them up from the dell,The orioles whistled them out of the wood;And all of their singing was, “Earth, […]

Jongleurs

Story type: Poetry

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What is the stir in the street?Hurry of feet!And after,A sound as of pipes and of tabers! Men of the conflicts and labors,Struggling and shifting and shoving,Pushing and pounding your neighbors,Fighting for leeway for laughter,Toiling for leisure for loving!Hark, through the window and up to the rafter,Madder and merrier,Deeper and verier,Sweeter, contrarier,Dafter and dafter,A song […]

Earth’s Lyric

Story type: Poetry

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April. You hearken, my fellow,Old slumberer down in my heart?There’s a whooping of ice in the rivers;The sap feels a start. The snow-melted torrents are brawling;The hills, orange-misted and blue,Are touched with the voice of the rainbirdUnsullied and new. The houses of frost are deserted,Their slumber is broken and done,And empty and pale are the […]

The Wood-God

Story type: Poetry

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Brother, lost brother!Thou of mine ancient kin!Thou of the swift will that no ponderings smother!The dumb life in me fumbles out to the shadeThou lurkest in.In vain–evasive ever through the gladeDeparting footsteps fail;And only where the grasses have been pressed,Or by snapped twigs I follow a fruitless trail.So–give o’er the quest!Sprawl on the roots and […]

There paused to shut the doorA fellow called the Wind.With mystery before,And reticence behind, A portal waits me tooIn the glad house of spring,One day I shall pass throughAnd leave you wondering. It lies beyond the margeOf evening or of prime,Silent and dim and large,The gateway of all time. There troop by night and dayMy […]

Exit Anima

Story type: Poetry

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“Hospes comesque corporis,Quae nunc abitis in loca?” Cease, Wind, to blowAnd drive the peopled snow,And move the haunted arras to and fro,And moan of things I fear to knowYet would rend from thee, Wind, before I goOn the blind pilgrimage.Cease, Wind, to blow. Thy brother too,I leave no print of shoeIn all these vasty rooms […]

The Night Express

Story type: Poetry

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Out through the hills of midnight,Hurtling and thundering on,The night express from the outer worldSpeeds for the open of dawn. Out of the past and gloom-wrack,Out of the dim and yore,Freighted as train or caravanWas never freighted before; Built when the Sphinx’s queryWas new on the lips of peace;Hurled through the aching and hollow yearsTill […]

The Dustman

Story type: Poetry

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“Dustman, dustman!”Through the deserted square he cries,And babies put their rosy fistsInto their eyes. There’s nothing out of No-man’s-landSo drowsy since the world began,As “Dustman, dustman,Dustman.” He goes his village round at duskFrom door to door, from day to day;And when the children hear his stepThey stop their play. “Dustman, dustman!”Far up the street he […]

The Sleepers

Story type: Poetry

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The tall carnations down the garden walksBowed on their stalks. Said Jock-a-dreams to John-a-nods,“What are the oddsThat we shall wake up here within the sun,When time is done,And pick up all the treasures one by oneOur hands let fall in sleep?” “You have begunTo mutter in your dreams,”Said John-a-nods to Jock-a-dreams,And they both slept again. […]

The Lodger

Story type: Poetry

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I cannot quite recallWhen first he came,So reticent and tall,With his eyes of flame. The neighbors used to say(They know so much!)He looked to them half waySpanish or Dutch. Outlandish certainlyHe is–and queer!He has been lodged with meThis thirty year; All the while (it seems absurd!)We hardly haveExchanged a single word.Mum as the grave! Minds […]

Beyond The Gamut

Story type: Poetry

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Softly, softly, Niccolo Amati!What can put such fancies in your head?There, go dream of your blue-skied Cremona,While I ponder something you have said. Something in that last low lovely cadencePiercing the green dusk alone and far,Named a new room in the house of knowledge,Waiting unfrequented, door ajar. While you dream then, let me unmolestedPass in […]

The Juggler

Story type: Poetry

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Look how he throws them up and up,The beautiful golden balls!They hang aloft in the purple air,And there never is one that falls. He sends them hot from his steady hand,He teaches them all their curves;And whether the reach be little or long,There never is one that swerves. Some, like the tiny red one there,He […]

Hack And Hew

Story type: Poetry

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Hack and Hew were the sons of GodIn the earlier earth than now;One at his right hand, one at his left,To obey as he taught them how. And Hack was blind and Hew was dumb,But both had the wild, wild heart;And God’s calm will was their burning will,And the gist of their toil was art. […]

In The Wings

Story type: Poetry

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The play is Life; and this round earth,The narrow stage whereonWe act before an audienceOf actors dead and gone. There is a figure in the wingsThat never goes away,And though I cannot see his face,I shudder while I play. His shadow looms behind me here,Or capers at my side;And when I mouth my lines in […]

The Red Wolf

Story type: Poetry

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With the fall of the leaf comes the wolf, wolf, wolf,The old red wolf at my door.And my hateful yellow dwarf, with his hideous crooked laugh,Cries “Wolf, wolf, wolf!” at my door. With the still of the frost comes the wolf, wolf, wolf,The gaunt red wolf at my door.He’s as tall as a Great Dane, […]

The Crimson House

Story type: Poetry

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Love built a crimson house,I know it well,That he might have a homeWherein to dwell. Poor Love that roved so farAnd fared so ill,Between the morning starAnd the Hollow Hill, Before he found the valeWhere he could bide,With memory and oblivionSide by side. He took the silver dewAnd the dun red clay,And behold when he […]

I O Life, dear Life, in this fair houseLong since did I, it seems to me,In some mysterious doleful wayFall out of love with thee. For, Life, thou art become a ghost,A memory of days gone by,A poor forsaken thing betweenA heartache and a sigh. And now, with shadows from the hillsThronging the twilight, wraith […]

The sunburnt face in the willow shadeTo the face in the water-mirror said, “O deep mysterious face in the stream,Art thou myself or am I thy dream?” And the face deep down in the water’s sideTo the face in the upper air replied, “I am thy dream, them poor worn face,And this is thy heart’s […]

This laboring vast, Tellurian Galleon,Riding at anchor off the orient sun,Had broken its cable, and stood out to space. FRANCIS THOMPSON. Galleon, ahoy, ahoy!Old earth riding off the sun,And straining at your cable as you rideOn the tide,Battered laboring and vast,In the blastOf the hurricane that blows between the worlds,Ahoy! ‘Morning, shipmates! ‘Drift and chartless?Laded […]

“Cras ingens iterabimus aequor.” Wind of the dead men’s feet,Blow down the empty streetOf this old city by the seaWith news for me! Blow me beyond the grimeAnd pestilence of time!I am too sick at heart to warWith failure any more. Thy chill is in my bones;The moonlight on the stonesIs pale, and palpable, and […]

Behind The Arras

Story type: Poetry

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I like the old house tolerably well,Where I must dwellLike a familiar gnome;And yet I never shall feel quite at home:I love to roam. Day after day I loiter and exploreFrom door to door;So many treasures lureThe curious mind. What histories obscureThey must immure! I hardly know which room I care for best;This fronting west,With […]

Fancy’s Fool

Story type: Poetry

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“Cornel, cornel, green and white,Spreading on the forest floor,Whither went my lost delightThrough the silent door?” “Mortal, mortal, overfond,How come you at all to knowThere be any joys beyondBlisses here and now?” “Cornel, cornel, white and cool,Many a mortal, I’ve heard tell,Who is only Fancy’s foolKnows that secret well.” “Mortal, mortal, what would youWith that […]

The Moondial

Story type: Poetry

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Iron and granite and rust,In a crumbling garden old,Where the roses are paler than dustAnd the lilies are green with gold, Under the racing moon,Inconscious of war or crime,In a strange and ghostly noon,It marks the oblivion of time. The shadow steals through its arc,Still as a frosted breath,Fitful, gleaming, and darkAs the cold frustration […]

Don’t you know the sailing orders?It is time to put to sea,And the stranger in the harborSends a boat ashore for me. With the thunder of her canvasComing on the wind again,I can hear the Shadow BoatswainPiping to his shadow men. Is it firelight or morning,That red flicker on the floor?Your good-by was braver, sweetheart,When […]

The Last Watch

Story type: Poetry

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Comrades, comrades, have me buriedLike a warrior of the sea,With a flag across my breastAnd my sword upon my knee. Steering out from vanished headlandsFor a harbor on no chart,With the winter in the rigging,With the ice-wind in my heart, Down the bournless slopes of sea-room,With the long gray wake behind,I have sailed my cruiser […]

There is rumor in Dark Harbor,And the folk are all astir;For a stranger in the offingDraws them down to gaze at her, In the gray of early morning,Black against the orange streak,Making in below the ledges,With no colors at her peak. Something makes their hearts uneasyAs they watch the long black hull,For she brings the […]

Outbound

Story type: Poetry

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A lonely sail in the vast sea-room,I have put out for the port of gloom. The voyage is far on the trackless tide,The watch is long, and the seas are wide. The headlands blue in the sinking dayKiss me a hand on the outward way. The fading gulls, as they dip and veer,Lift me a […]

The King Of Ys

Story type: Poetry

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Wild across the Breton country,Fabled centuries ago,Riding from the black sea border,Came the squadrons of the snow. Piping dread at every latch-hole,Moaning death at every sill,The white Yule came down in vengeanceUpon Ys, and had its will. Walled and dreamy stood the city,Wide and dazzling shone the sea,When the gods set hand to smotherYs, the […]

Smile, you inland hills and rivers!Flush, you mountains in the dawn!But my roving heart is seawardWith the ships of gray St. John. Fair the land lies, full of August,Meadow island, shingly bar,Open barns and breezy twilight,Peace and the mild evening star. Gently now this gentlest countryThe old habitude takes on,But my wintry heart is outboundWith […]

The Kelpie Riders

Story type: Poetry

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I Buried alive in calm Rochelle,Six in a row by a crystal well, All Summer long on Bareau FenSlumber and sleep the Kelpie men; By the side of each to cheer his ghost,A flagon of foam with a crumpet of frost. Hear me, friends, for the years are fleet;Soon I leave the noise and the […]

Noons Of Poppy

Story type: Poetry

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Noons of poppy, noons of poppy,Scarlet leagues along the sea;Flaxen hair afloat in sunlight,Love, come down the world to me! There’s a Captain I must ship with,(Heart, that day be far from now!)Wears his dark command in silenceWith the sea-frost on his brow. Noons of poppy, noons of poppy,Purple shadows by the sea;How should love […]

There are legends of Lost Haven,Come, I know not whence, to me,When the wind is in the clover,When the sun is on the sea. There are rumors in the pine-tops,There are whispers in the grass;And the flocking crows at nightfallBring home hints of things that pass Out upon the broad dike yonder,All day long beneath […]

The Yule Guest

Story type: Poetry

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And Yanna by the yule logSat in the empty hall,And watched the goblin firelightCaper upon the wall: The goblins of the hearthstone,Who teach the wind to sing,Who dance the frozen yule awayAnd usher back the spring; The goblins of the Northland,Who teach the gulls to scream,Who dance the autumn into dust,The ages into dream. Like […]

I THE MERRYMAKERS Among the wintry mountains beside the Northern seaThere is a merrymaking, as old as old can be. Over the river reaches, over the wastes of snow,Halting at every doorway, the white drifts come and go. They scour upon the open, and mass along the wood,The burliest invaders that ever man withstood. With […]

There’s a schooner out from Kingsport,Through the morning’s dazzle-gleam,Snoring down the Bay of FundyWith a norther on her beam. How the tough wind springs to wrestle,When the tide is on the flood!And between them stands young daring–Arnold, master of the Scud. He is only “Martin’s youngster,”To the Minas coasting fleet,“Twelve year old, and full of […]

On the long slow heave of a lazy sea,To the flap of an idle sail,The Nancy’s Pride went out on the tide;And the skipper stood by the rail. All down, all down by the sleepy town,With the hollyhocks a-rowIn the little poppy gardens,The sea had her in tow. They let her slip by the breathing […]

A Son Of The Sea

Story type: Poetry

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I was born for deep-sea faring;I was bred to put to sea;Stories of my father’s daringFilled me at my mother’s knee. I was sired among the surges;I was cubbed beside the foam;All my heart is in its verges,And the sea wind is my home. All my boyhood, from far vernalBourns of being, came to meDream-like, […]

The Gravedigger

Story type: Poetry

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Oh, the shambling sea is a sexton old,And well his work is done.With an equal grave for lord and knave,He buries them every one. Then hoy and rip, with a rolling hip,He makes for the nearest shore;And God, who sent him a thousand ship,Will send him a thousand more;But some he’ll save for a bleaching […]