segunda-feira, 21 de novembro de 2016

The Witch - Mary Coleridge


The Witch - Mary Coleridge

I have walked a great while over the snow,
And I am not tall nor strong.
My clothes are wet, and my teeth are set,
And the way was hard and long.
I have wandered over the fruitful earth,
But I never came here before.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

The cutting wind is a cruel foe.
I dare not stand in the blast.
My hands are stone, and my voice a groan,
And the worst of death is past.
I am but a little maiden still,
My little white feet are sore.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

Her voice was the voice that women have,
Who plead for their heart’s desire.
She came—she came—and the quivering flame
Sunk and died in the fire.
It never was lit again on my hearth
Since I hurried across the floor,
To lift her over the threshold, and let her in at the door.


The Valley of Unrest - Edgar Allan Poe

Once it smiled a silent dell
Where the people did not dwell;
They had gone unto the wars,
Trusting to the mild-eyed stars,
Nightly, from their azure towers,
To keep watch above the flowers,
In the midst of which all day
The red sun-light lazily lay.
Now each visitor shall confess
The sad valley’s restlessness.
Nothing there is motionless—
Nothing save the airs that brood
Over the magic solitude.
Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees
That palpitate like the chill seas
Around the misty Hebrides!
Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven
That rustle through the unquiet Heaven
Uneasily, from morn till even,
Over the violets there that lie
In myriad types of the human eye—
Over the lilies there that wave
And weep above a nameless grave!
They wave:—from out their fragrant tops
External dews come down in drops.
They weep:—from off their delicate stems
Perennial tears descend in gems.


Sonnet LXXIII - William Shakespeare

That time of year thou may'st in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day,
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by-and-by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.
   This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
   To love that well which thou must leave ere long.


Sleep - Walter De la Mare

Men all, and birds, and creeping beasts,
When the dark of night is deep,
From the moving wonder of their lives
Commit themselves to sleep.

Without a thought, or fear, they shut
The narrow gates of sense;
Heedless and quiet, in slumber turn
Their strength to impotence.

The transient strangeness of the earth
Their spirits no more see:
Within a silent gloom withdrawn,
They slumber in secrecy.

Two worlds they have--a globe forgot,
Wheeling from dark to light;
And all the enchanted realm of dream
That burgeons out of night.


Silver - Walter De la Mare

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in silver feathered sleep
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.


Promenade - Lola Ridge

Undulant rustlings,
Of oncoming silk,
Rhythmic, incessant,
Like the motion of leaves…
Fragments of color
In glowing surprises…
Pink inuendoes
Hooded in gray
Like buds in a cobweb
Pearled at dawn…
Glimpses of green
And blurs of gold
And delicate mauves
That snatch at youth…
And bodies all rosily
Fleshed for the airing,
In warm velvety surges
Passing imperious, slow…

Women drift into the limousines
That shut like silken caskets
On gems half weary of their glittering…
Lamps open like pale moon flowers…
Arcs are radiant opals
Strewn along the dusk…
No common lights invade.
And spires rise like litanies -
Magnificats of stone
Over the white silence of the arcs,
Burning in perpetual adoration.


Once More Fields and Gardens - Yuanming Tao 陶淵明

Even as a young man
I was out of tune with ordinary pleasures
It was my nature to love the rooted hills
The high hills which look upon the four edges of Heaven
What folly to spend one's life like a dropped leaf
Snared under the dust of streets,
But for thirteen years it was so I lived.

The caged bird longs for the fluttering of high leaves.
The fish in the garden pool languishes for the whirled water
Of meeting streams.

So I desired to clear and seed a patch of the wild Soulthern moor.
And always a countryman at heart,
I have come back to the square enclosures of my fields
And to my walled gardens with its quiet paths.

Mine is a little property of ten moue or so,
A thatched house of eight or nine rooms.
On the North side, the eaves are overhung
With the thick leaves of elm=trees,
And willow-trees break the strong force of the wind.



October, 1861 - Janet Hamilton

Not changeful April, with her suns and showers,
Pregnant with buds, whose birth the genial hours
Of teeming May will give to life and light
Rich in young beauty, odorous and bright.

Not rose-crowned June, in trailing robes of bloom,
Her flowery censers breathing rich perfume,
Her glorious sunshine, and her bluest skies,
Her wealth of dancing leaves where zephyr sighs.

Nor fervid July, in her full-blown charms,
Shedding the odorous hay with sun-browned arms,
Nor glowing August, with her robe unbound,
With ripening grain, and juicy fruitage crowned.

Nor thee, September, though thine orchards glow
With fruits, ripe, rich, and ruddy-laying low
The yellow grain with gleaming sickles keen,
With jest and laugh, and harvest song between.

I sing October, month of all the year,
To poet's soul and calm deep feeling dear;
Her chastened sunshine, and her dreamy skies
With tender magic charm my heart and eyes.

In silvery haze the purple hills are swathed,
In dripping dews the faded herbage bathed-
Red Robin trills his winter-warning ditty;
His big bright eye invoking crumbs and pity.

From fading woodlands, ever pattering down,
Come many tinted leaves-red, yellow, brown;
The rustling carpet with slow lingering feet
I thoughtful tread, inhaling odours sweet.

The very soul of quietude is breathing
O'er field and lake, with sweetest peace enwreathing
My tranquil soul, from fonts of blissful feeling
Sweet silent tears adown my cheeks are stealing.

Spirit of meekness brooding in the air,
On thy soft pinions waft my lowly prayer,
That I may meet, calm, meek, resigned, and sober,
My life's decline-my solemn-last October.


North Wind - Lola Ridge

I love you, malcontent
Male wind -
Shaking the pollen from a flower
Or hurling the sea backward from the grinning sand.

Blow on and over my dreams…
Scatter my sick dreams…
Throw your lusty arms about me…
Envelop all my hot body…
Carry me to pine forests -
Great, rough-bearded forests…
Bring me to stark plains and steppes…
I would have the North to-night -
The cold, enduring North.

And if we should meet the Snow,
Whirling in spirals,
And he should blind my eyes…
Ally, you will defend me -
You will hold me close,
Blowing on my eyelids.


The Meeting - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

After so long an absence
At last we meet agin:
Does the meeting give us pleasure,
Or does it give us pain?

The tree of life has been shaken,
And but few of us linger now,
Like the prophets two or three berries
In the top of the uppermost bough.

We cordially greet each other
In the old, familiar tone;
And we think, though we do not say it,
How old and gray he is grown!

We speak of a Merry Christmas
And many a Happy New Year;
But each in his heart is thinking
Of those that are not here.

We speak of friends and their fortunes,
And of what they did and said,
Till the dead alone seem living,
And the living alone seem dead.

And at last we hardly distinguish
Between the ghosts and the guests;
And a mist and shadow of sadness
Steals over our merriest jests.


Man’s Testament, extract from Ye Wearie Wayfarer - Adam Lindsay Gordon

  Question not, but live and labour
        Till yon goal be won,
        Helping every feeble neighbour,
        Seeking help from none;
        Life is mostly froth and bubble,
        Two things stand like stone,
        Kindness in another's trouble,
        Courage in your own.


Low Barometer - Robert Bridges

The south-wind strengthens to a gale,
Across the moon the clouds fly fast,
The house is smitten as with a flail,
The chimney shudders to the blast.

On such a night, when Air has loosed
Its guardian grasp on blood and brain,
Old terrors then of god or ghost
Creep from their caves to life again;

And Reason kens he herits in
A haunted house. Tenants unknown
Assert their squalid lease of sin
With earlier title than his own.

Unbodied presences, the pack’d
Pollution and remorse of Time,
Slipp’d from oblivion reënact
The horrors of unhouseld crime.

Some men would quell the thing with prayer
Whose sightless footsteps pad the floor,
Whose fearful trespass mounts the stair
Or burts the lock’d forbidden door.

Some have seen corpses long interr'd
Escape from hallowing control,
Pale charnel forms—nay ev’n have heard
The shrilling of a troubled soul,

That wanders till the dawn hath cross’d
The dolorous dark, or Earth hath wound
Closer her storm-spredd cloke, and thrust
The baleful phantoms underground.


The Joy Ride - C. J. Dennis

Ah, Gawd! It makes me sick to think
Of what I 'eard an' seen:
Poor 'Arry like a wet rag flung
Across the wrecked machine;
An' Rose 'er face all chiner-white
Against the gory green.
Now 'Arry Cox 'e drives a car
For Doctor Percy Gray.
Sez 'e to me: “On Sund'y nex'
The Doc will be away.
'Ow is it for a little trip
To Fernville for the day?
“I know two bonzer girls,” 'e sez;
“Fair stunners, both, they are.
There's Rose who serves behind the joint
In Mudge's privit bar,
An' Lena Crump who jerks the pump
Down at the Southern Star.”
Now, who'd refuse a Sund'y trip
With girls an' all give in?
The car was there an' oil to spare.
To rat would be a sin!
An' who'd refuse a drop o' booze
When pals is flush o' tin?
Wot all the courts an' papers say
Can't add to my distress…
Rose, with the blood upon 'er face
An' on 'er crumpled dress!
An' that poor chump who got the bump —
Ah, Gawd! 'E was a mess!
The girls 'ad stout at ten mile out,
An' we was drinkin' beer.
I swear they lies like 'ell who sez
That we was on our ear!
For we was both, I take me oath,
As sober as me here.
Now, Lena was a dashin' piece,
'Igh-spirited an' flash.
'Twas plain enough to me that day
That 'Arry'd done 'is dash.
An' Rose — (Ah! how 'er eyes did stare)
Rose was my speshul mash.
It's easy now fer folks to talk
Who might 'ave done the same.
We meant no 'arm to anyone,
An' 'Arry knew 'is game.
'Twas like a flash, the skid — the crash.
An' we was not to blame.
I wisht I could shut out that sight;
Fergit that awful row!
Poor Rose! 'Er face all chiner-white,
Like I can see it now;
An' 'Arry like a heap o' clothes
Jist chucked there any 'ow.
They sez we painted Fernville red;
They sez that we was gay;
But wot come after dulls me mind
To wot them liars say.
We never dreamed of death an' 'ell
When we set out that day.
'Twas ev'nin' when we turned for 'ome;
The moon shone full that night;
An' for a mile or more ahead
The road lay gleamin' white;
An' Rose sat close a-side o' me,
'Er face turned to the light.
Wot if we sung a song or two?
Wot if they 'eard us shout?
Is song an' laughter things to curse
An' make a fuss about?
“Go faster! faster!” Lena screams.
An' 'Arry let 'er out.
I'd give me soul jist to ferget.
Gawd! how 'er eyes did stare!
'Er kisses warm upon me lips,
I seen 'er lyin' there,
Blood on 'er face, all chiner-white,
An' on 'er yeller 'air.
I never took no 'eed 'o pace
(I've been on twenty trips),
An' Rose was restin' in me arms,
'Er cheek against my lips.
A precious lot I dreamed of skids,
A lot I thought o' slips.
I only know we never thinks —
I know we never dreams
Of folks out walkin' on that road;
Till, sudden, Lena screams. . . .
An', after that, the sights I saw
I've seen again in dreams.
We never seen the bloke ahead!
'Ow can they call us rash?
I jist seen 'Arry move to shove
'Is arm around 'is mash;
I seen 'er jump to grab the wheel,
Then, Lord! . . . there came the smash!
Aw, they can. blame an' cry their shame!
It ain't for that I care.
I held 'er in my arms an' laughed…
Then seen 'er lyin' there,
The moonlight streamin' on 'er face,
An' on 'er yeller hair.


The Horrors of War - Janet Hamilton

 Verses Suggested By The War In The Crimea, 1854

FLAPPING fierce her gory pinions,
Whetting sharp her crimson beak,
Vulture War her barbarous minions,
Calls her ghastly prey to seek.

Now her hideous form comes swooping
From the thundering ramparts' height,
O'er the carnaged valley stooping,
Gorged with slaughter—horrid sight!

Shot and shell the dark air rending—
Sulphurous flash, and bayonet's gleam—
Shouts and shrieks, and groans wild blending,
With her loud discordant scream.

High the purple tide is swelling,
O'er the dark ensanguined plain,
From a thousand bosoms welling,
Mangled limbs and shattered brain!

Oh! for angel eye and station,
Far above the battle-cloud,
Whence I'd view the dread migration
Of the unbodied spirit crowd!

Through eternity's dark portals
To the abodes of weal or woe,
Swiftly rush the new immortals—
Lord, how long shall it be so?

Summerland—Oh! beauteous region,
Rich in foliage, flowers, and fruit,
Shall the foe whose name is Legion,
Keep and tread thee under foot?

Round thy leaguered port and city
Volleying thunders ceaseless roar,
Earth affords not aid or pity—
They shall fall to rise no more!


The Homeward Track - C. J. Dennis

Once a year we lumber southward with the clip from Yarradee;
Spell the bullocks in the township while we run our yearly spree.
What's a bullocky to live for?  Days of toil are hard and long;
And you'd not begrudge him yearly one short week of wine anD song.
While it lasts he asks no better.  When it's over "Yoke 'em up,"
And we'll make another promise for to shun the brimming cup.
When we've done our little cheque in, and the township's at our back;
Then we start to think of mending -- out along the Homeward Track.

For there comes a time of reck'ning when we're trudging by the team;
Back again to work an' worry; kind of waking from a dream;
We begin to see the folly of a week of wicked fun,
Bought with months of weary slaving, punching bullocks on the run.
But our views are somewhat tempered when we've done a twelve months' drouth;
And our thoughts ain't so religious when the team is heading south.
When the pleasure is before us, work and worry at our back,
We forget the grim reformers out along the Homeward Track.

What's the odds?  It's got to happen.  What we've done we'll do again;
And we know it while we make 'em, resolutions are in vain.
Life's a weary track to travel, mostly full of ruts and stumps:
Them that spends their days in drudging have to take their joy in lumps.
Yoke 'em up an' get a move on!  Gayest times must have an end,
There's a weary track to travel when we've nothing left to spend.
If there's still a bob we'll wet it, and a last glad joke we'll crack,
Time enough for vain regretting when we're on the Homeward Track.


Heraclitus - William Cory

THEY told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead,
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed.
I wept as I remember'd how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.

And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest,        
A handful of grey ashes, long, long ago at rest,
Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.


Haunted Houses - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.

There are more guests at table than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapours dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.

Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.

These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star
An undiscovered planet in our sky.

And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o’er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night,—

So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O’er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.


The Haunted House - Janet Hamilton

The Haunted House in days of yore
Stood lone, deserted, ruined, hoar,
With dusty panes, and moss-grown sill,
With grass-grown steps, rooms dark and chill,
Where, while the wailing night winds moaned,
Pale shrouded spectres shrieked and groaned;
And nightly, winged with wild affright,
The trembling youth in rapid flight
Would pass the spot, nor look behind,
For fearful sounds were on the wind,
Nor paused till on the hearth he stood
Amidst the dear fraternal brood.

The Haunted House!—how vast the change
In modern times! A goodly range
Of painted casements gaily shine
With glittering panes; large crystalline
And rich cut goblets brimming high—
Where troops of fiends in ambush lie,
Prompt to obey that potent charm—
The screw-propelling waiter's arm.
And, hark! through rooms gay, throng'd, and bright
Sound festal strains and laughter light,
And tinkling bells and dancing feet
Shall trip the time to music sweet.

Ah, simple youth! beware, beware!
Cross not that threshold snowy fair,
With varnished door for ever ope—
Within the ghosts of murdered hope
Of wedded duties, filial claims,
Of high resolves and noble aims,
Of health and fame, of time and peace,
With wail and plaint that will not cease,
For ever, when dark midnight falls,
Stalk through the rooms, glide round the walls;
While warning voices mournful swell
Upon the wind with dirge-like knell:
Pass, thoughtless youth! 'twere death to stay,
Avoid, turn from it, haste away!


The Foundling - Lola Ridge

Snow wraiths circle us
Like washers of the dead,
Flapping their white wet cloths
About the grizzled head,
Where the coarse hair mats like grass,
And the efficient wind
With cold professional baste
Probes like a lancet
Through the cotton shirt…

About us are white cliffs and space.
No façades show,
Nor roof nor any spire…
All sheathed in snow…
The parasitic snow
That clings about them like a blight.

Only detached lights
Float hazily like greenish moons,
And endlessly
Down the whore-street,
Accouched and comforted and sleeping warm,
The blizzard waltzes with the night.


Drinking - Abraham Cowley

THE thirsty Earth soaks up the Rain,
    And drinks, and gapes for drink again.
    The Plants suck in the Earth, and are
    With constant drinking fresh and faire.
    The Sea it self, which one would think
    Should have but little need of Drink,
    Drinks ten thousand Rivers up,
    So fill'd that they or'eflow the Cup.
    The busie Sun (and one would guess
    By's drunken fiery face no less)
    Drinks up the Sea, and when h'as done,
    The Moon and Stars drink up the Sun.
    They drink and dance by their own light,
    They drink and revel all the night.
    Nothing in Nature's Sober found,
    But an eternal Health goes round.
    Fill up the Bowl then, fill it high,
    Fill all the Glasses there, for why
    Should every creature drink but I,
    Why, Man of Morals, tell me why?


Digging - Edward Thomas

To-day I think
Only with scents, - scents dead leaves yield,
And bracken, and wild carrot's seed,
And the square mustard field;

Odours that rise
When the spade wounds the root of tree,
Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed,
Rhubarb or celery;

The smoke's smell, too,
Flowing from where a bonfire burns
The dead, the waste, the dangerous,
And all to sweetness turns.

It is enough
To smell, to crumble the dark earth,
While the robin sings over again
Sad songs of Autumn mirth.

What matter makes my spade for tears or mirth,
Letting down two clay pipes into the earth?
The one I smoked, the other a soldier
Of Blenheim, Ramillies, and Malplaquet
Perhaps. The dead man's immortality
Lies represented lightly with my own,
A yard or two nearer the living air
Than bones of ancients who, amazed to see
Almighty God erect the mastodon,
Once laughed, or wept, in this same light of day.


Cock o' the North - Arthur Waugh


The City In The Sea - Edgar Allan Poe

LO! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.      
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble not)
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky      
The melancholy waters lie.

No rays from the holy heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently,      
Gleams up the pinnacles far and free:
Up domes, up spires, up kingly halls,
Up fanes, up Babylon-like walls,
Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers,      
Up many and many a marvellous shrine
Whose wreathëd friezes intertwine
The viol, the violet, and the vine.

Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.      
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air,
While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves      
Yawn level with the luminous waves;
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol’s diamond eye,—
Not the gayly-jewelled dead,
Tempt the waters from their bed;      
For no ripples curl, alas,
Along that wilderness of glass;
No swellings tell that winds may be
Upon some far-off happier sea;
No heavings hint that winds have been      
On seas less hideously serene!

But lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave—there is a movement there!
As if the towers had thrust aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide;      
As if their tops had feebly given
A void within the filmy Heaven!
The waves have now a redder glow,
The hours are breathing faint and low;
And when, amid no earthly moans,      
Down, down that town shall settle hence,
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence.


Bright star, would I were as stedfast as thou art - John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
         Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
         Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
         Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
         Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
         Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
         Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.


Autumn: A Dirge - Percy Bysshe Shelley

THE WARM sun is failing, the bleak wind is wailing,
The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying,
            And the year
On the earth her deathbed, in a shroud of leaves dead,
            Is lying.      
  Come, months, come away,
  From November to May,
  In your saddest array;
  Follow the bier
  Of the dead cold year,      
And like dim shadows watch by her sepulchre.

The chill rain is falling, the nipt worm is crawling,
The rivers are swelling, the thunder is knelling
            For the year;
The blithe swallows are flown, and the lizards each gone      
            To his dwelling;
  Come, months, come away,
  Put on white, black, and gray;
  Let your light sisters play—
  Ye, follow the bier      
  Of the dead cold year,
And make her grave green with tear on tear.


Autumn - Walter De la Mare

There is a wind where the rose was,
Cold rain where sweet grass was,
And clouds like sheep
Stream o'er the steep
Grey skies where the lark was.

Nought warm where your hand was,
Nought gold where your hair was,
But phantom, forlorn,
Beneath the thorn,
Your ghost where your face was.

Cold wind where your voice was,
Tears, tears where my heart was,
And ever with me,
Child, ever with me,
Silence where hope was.


Autumn - Alice Cary

Shorter and shorter now the twilight clips
   The days, as though the sunset gates they crowd,
And Summer from her golden collar slips
   And strays through stubble-fields, and moans aloud,

Save when by fits the warmer air deceives,
   And, stealing hopeful to some sheltered bower,
She lies on pillows of the yellow leaves,
   And tries the old tunes over for an hour.

The wind, whose tender whisper in the May
   Set all the young blooms listening through th’ grove,
Sits rustling in the faded boughs to-day
   And makes his cold and unsuccessful love.

The rose has taken off her tire of red—
   The mullein-stalk its yellow stars have lost,
And the proud meadow-pink hangs down her head
   Against earth’s chilly bosom, witched with frost.

The robin, that was busy all the June,
   Before the sun had kissed the topmost bough,
Catching our hearts up in his golden tune,
   Has given place to the brown cricket now.

The very cock crows lonesomely at morn—
   Each flag and fern the shrinking stream divides—
Uneasy cattle low, and lambs forlorn
   Creep to their strawy sheds with nettled sides.

Shut up the door: who loves me must not look
   Upon the withered world, but haste to bring
His lighted candle, and his story-book,
   And live with me the poetry of Spring.


Art versus Cupid - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

[A room in a private house. A maiden sitting before a fire meditating.]


   Now have I fully fixed upon my part.
   Good-bye to dreams; for me a life of art!
   Beloved art! Oh, realm serene and fair,
   Above the mean and sordid world of care,
   Above earth's small ambitions and desires!
   Art! art! the very word my soul inspires!
   From foolish memories it sets me free.
   Not what has been, but that which is to be
   Absorbs me now. Adieu to vain regret!
   The bow is tensely drawn--the target set.
                                                     [A knock at the door.

                    Maid (aside)

   The night is dark and chill; the hour is late.


   Who knocks upon my door?

                    A Voice Outside

                                          'Tis I, your fate!


   Thou dost deceive, not me, but thine own self.
   My fate is not a wandering, vagrant elf.
   My fate is here, within this throbbing heart
   That beats alone for glory, and for art.


                    [Another knock at door.]

   Pray, let me in; I am so faint and cold.
   [Door is pushed ajar. Enter Cupid, who approaches the fire with outstretched hands.]

                    Maid (indignantly)

   Methinks thou art not faint, however cold,
   But rather too courageous, and most bold;
   Surprisingly ill-mannered, sir, and rude,
   Without an invitation to intrude
   Into my very presence.

                    Cupid (warming his hands)

                                          But, you see,
   Girls never mind a little chap like me.
   They're always watching for me on the sly,
   And hoping I will call.

                    Maid (haughtily)

                                          Indeed, not I!
   My heart has listened to a sweeter voice,
   A clarion call that gives command--not choice.
   And I have answered to that call, 'I come';
   To other voices shall my ears be dumb.
   To art alone I consecrate my life--
   Art is my spouse, and I his willing wife.

                    Cupid (slowly, gazing in the grate)

   Art is a sultan, and you must divide
   His love with many another ill-fed bride.
   Now I know one who worships you alone.

                    Maid (impatiently)

   I will not listen! for the dice is thrown
   And art has won me. On my brow some day
   Shall rest the laurel wreath--

                    Cupid (sitting down and looking at maid critically)

                                          Just let me say
   I think sweet orange blossoms under lace
   Are better suited to your type of face.

                    Maid (ignoring interruption)

   I yet shall stand before an audience
   That listens as one mind, absorbed, intense,
   And with my genius I shall rouse its cheers,
   Still it to silence, soften it to tears,
   Or wake its laughter. Oh, the play! the play!
   The play's the thing! My boy, the play!!

                    Cupid (suddenly clapping his hands)

                                          Oh, say!
   I know a splendid role for you to take,
   And one that always keeps the house awake--
   And calls for pretty dressing. Oh, it's great!

                    Maid (excitedly)

   Well, well, what is it? Wherefore make me wait?

                    Cupid (tapping his brow, thoughtfully)

   How is it those lines run--oh, now I know;
   You make a stately entrance--measured--slow--
   To stirring music; then you kneel and say
   Something about---to honour and obey--
   For better and for worse--till death do part.

                    Maid (angrily)

   Be still, you foolish boy; that is not art.

                    Cupid (seriously)

   She needs great skill who takes the role of wife
   In God's stupendous drama human life.

                    Maid (suddenly becoming serious)

   So I once thought! Oh, once my very soul
   Was filled and thrilled with dreaming of that role.
   Life seemed so wonderful; it held for me
   No purpose, no ambition, but to be
   Loving and loved. My highest thought of fame
   Was some day bearing my dear lover's name.
   Alone, I ofttimes uttered it aloud,
   Or wrote it down, half timid, and all proud
   To see myself lost utterly in him:
   As some small star might joy in growing dim
   When sinking in the sun; or as the dew,
   Forgetting the brief little life it knew
   In space, might on the ocean's bosom fall
   And ask for nothing--only to give all.

                    Cupid (aside)

   Now, that's the talk--it's music to my ear
   After that stuff on 'art' and a 'career.'
   I hope she'll keep it up.

                    Maiden (continuing her reverie)

                                          Again my dream
   Shaped into changing pictures. I would seem
   To see myself in beautiful array
   Move down the aisle upon my wedding day;
   And then I saw the modest living-room
   With lighted lamp, and fragrant plants in bloom,
   And books and sewing scattered all about,
   And just we two alone.

                    Cupid (in glee aside)

                                          There's not a doubt
   I'll land her yet!


                                         My dream kaleidoscope
   Changed still again, and framed love's dearest hope--
   The trinity of home; and life was good
   And all its deepest meaning understood.

   [Sits lost in a dream. Behind scenes a voice sings
         a lullaby, 'Beautiful Land of Nod.'  Cupid
         in ecstasy tiptoes about and clasps his hands in

   Another scene! a matron in her prime,
   I saw myself glide peacefully with time
   Into the quiet middle years, content
   With simple joys the dear home circle lent.
   My sons and daughters made my diadem;
   I saw my happy youth renewed in them.
  The pain of growing old lost all its sting,
   For Love stood near--in Winter, as in Spring.

  [Cupid tiptoes to door and makes a signal. Maiden
         starts up dramatically.]

   'Twas but a dream! I woke all suddenly.
   The world had changed! And now life means to me
   My art--the stage--excitement and the crowd--
   The glare of many foot-lights--and the loud
   Applause of men, as I cry in rage,
   'Give me the dagger!' or creep down the stage
   In that sleep-walking scene. Oh, art like mine
   Will send the chills down every listener's spine!
   And when I choose, salt tears shall freely flow
   As in the moonlight I cry, 'Romeo! Romeo!
   Oh, wherefore art thou, Romeo?'
                                          Ay, 'tis done
   My dream of home life.


                                          It is but begun.


   The heart but once can dream a dream so fair,
   And so henceforth love thoughts I do forswear;
   Since faith in love has crumbled to the dust,
   In fame alone, I put my hope and trust.
                [Cupid at the door beckons excitedly. Enter
                      lover with outstretched arms.]


   Here's one who will explain yourself to you
   And make that old sweet dream of love come true.
   Fix up your foolish quarrel; time is brief--
   So waste no more of it in doubt or grief.
                    [The lovers meet and embrace.]

                    Cupid (in doorway)

   Warm lip to lip, and heart to beating heart,
   The cast is made--My Lady has her part.


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