From the German
ONCE for thy brow a wreath I wished to wind,
And, seeking long, I could no flowers find.
Now golden flowers are blooming far and near,
But, ah! dear love, thou art no longer here.
COURAGE to ask of love neither sign nor token,
Wisdom to wait, silence and faith are better;
Fear, not alone lest the bond be some day broken,
But, that love, too desperately dear, become a fetter.
To the Night Breeze
BREEZE of the night, across my pillow straying
Breeze of the night, of summer dews begot,
Salt from the sea-shore, where the waves are playing,
Slow, to and fro, my window curtains swaying
Cool my flushed cheeks, by recent sleep left hot.
Won't it be Curious
WON'T it be curious when I am dead;
Some one, unknown to me, here in my stead?
Curious surely for others to see
Trifles I made or marred outlasting me;
All my possessions - bracelets and rings,
Young and unaltered like immortal things
Young and unaltered, always the same
Changeless the lamp though we blow out the flame.
The Railroad Station
JUST a very common thing -
Shouts and whistles, bells that ring,
Just a platform in the rain
And a slowly moving train;
Just a woman dressed in black
Standing by a station-hack,
Gazing with her eyes profound
As the train goes outward bound;
And her bearing does not say
Who it is that goes away,
One who made her pulses stir,
Or a guest who wearied her.
LAST night I saw a city by the sea,
Outlined in sparks of fire;
Those wreathed lamps made all a fantasy -
Arch, dome and spire.
I saw above the waters pale and gray,
The pale moon stand,
I heard, but faint and sweet and far away,
A martial band.
The distant voices in the streets, the sound
Of laughter from the towers
Made where we swam the solitude profound:
The sea was ours.
'YES, Spring has come,' the grocer said,
And tied a final knot of string,
Rang up the change and becked his head,
Elated at the breath of Spring.
'Yes, Spring has come,' the poet said,
And poured his ecstasy in rhymes,
Which eager, homesick exiles read
Long winter-locked in frozen climes.
Perhaps the grocer's way was best,
If joy can better be, or worse:
He saved his rapture unexpressed,
The poet spent his for a verse.
THE LIGHT of spring
On the emerald earth,
A man, a maid,
And a mood of mirth,
A foolish jest,
That a smile amends -
It took no more
To make us friends.
An evening breeze,
The year in bloom,
Lips quickly met
In the garden's gloom;
The trees about us,
The stars above -
It took no more
To teach us love.
Frost in the air -
The air like wine -
[...] Read more
A Bread and Butter Letter
THERE is a willow grows beside a pool;
Its long gray branches sweep the marble rim;
And from those waters shadowy and cool,
The stars shine, large and dim.
From open valleys filled with little lakes
All through the night a hundred breezes blow,
All through the night the little willow makes
A whispering soft and low.
Here in the dusty street there are no trees
To whisper, and the sky is dark and gray,
And yet I see the stars, I feel the breeze,
So far, so far away.
NIGHT after night within the grove
The night wind spares the sacred fire -
The breath made visible of love,
Of worship and desire.
I set the tripod at thy shrine;
The silver bowl, the amber flame,
And in the dark where no stars shine
I speak thy name.
By the high name I call on thee
Which only I, thy priestess, know.
I tread thy dance in ecstasy,
Sweet steps and slow.
O God, the hour has come. Appear!
I have performed the appointed rite -
The dance, the fire; I long to hear
Wings in the night.