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Andrew Lang

Dizain

As, to the pipe, with rhythmic feet
In windings of some old-world dance,
The smiling couples cross and meet,
Join hands, and then in line advance,
So, to these fair old tunes of France,
Through all their maze of to-and-fro,
The light-heeled numbers laughing go,
Retreat, return, and ere they flee,
One moment pause in panting row,
And seem to say--Vos plaudite!

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A Scot to Jeanne D’Arc

DARK Lily without blame,
Not upon us the shame,
Whose sires were to the Auld Alliance true;
They, by the Maiden’s side,
Victorious fought and died;
One stood by thee that fiery torment through,
Till the White Dove from thy pure lips had passed,
And thou wert with thine own St. Catherine at the last.

Once only didst thou see,
In artist’s imagery,
Thine own face painted, and that precious thing
Was in an Archer’s hand
From the leal Northern land.

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Les Roses de Sâdi

This morning I vowed I would bring thee my roses,
They were thrust in the band that my bodice encloses;
But the breast-knots were broken, the roses went free.
The breast-knots were broken; the roses together
Floated forth on the wings of the wind and the weather,
And they drifted afar down the streams of the sea.
And the sea was as red as when sunset uncloses;
But my raiment is sweet from the scent of the roses,
Thou shalt know, love, how fragrant a memory can be.

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Dickie Macphalion

I went to the mill, but the miller was gone,
I sat me down, and cried ochone!
To think on the days that are past and gone,
Of Dickie Macphalion that's slain.
Shoo, shoo, shoolaroo,
To think on the days that are past and gone,
Of Dickie Macphalion that's slain.

I sold my rock, I sold my reel,
And sae hae I my spinning wheel,
And a' to buy a cap of steel
For Dickie Macphalion that's slain!
Shoo, shoo, shoolaroo,
And a' to buy a cap of steel
For Dickie Macphalion that's slain.

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Spring

Now the bright crocus flames, and now
The slim narcissus takes the rain,
And, straying o'er the mountain's brow,
The daffodilies bud again.
The thousand blossoms wax and wane
On wold, and heath, and fragrant bough,
But fairer than the flowers art thou,
Than any growth of hill or plain.

Ye gardens, cast your leafy crown,
That my Love's feet may tread it down,
Like lilies on the lilies set:
My Love, whose lips are softer far
Than drowsy poppy petals are,
And sweeter than the violet!

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Ballade Of Queen Anne

The modish Airs,
The Tansey Brew,
The SWAINS and FAIRS
In curtained Pew;
Nymphs KNELLER drew,
Books BENTLEY read, -
Who knows them, who?
QUEEN ANNE is dead!

We buy her Chairs,
Her China blue,
Her red-brick Squares
We build anew;
But ah! we rue,
When all is said,
The tale o'er-true,
QUEEN ANNE is dead!

Now BULLS and BEARS,
A ruffling Crew,

[...] Read more

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Homer

Homer, thy song men liken to the sea
With all the notes of music in its tone,
With tides that wash the dim dominion
Of Hades, and light waves that laugh in glee
Around the isles enchanted; nay, to me
Thy verse seems as the River of source unknown
That glasses Egypt's temples overthrown
In his sky-nurtured stream, eternally.

No wiser we than men of heretofore
To find thy sacred fountains guarded fast;
Enough, thy flood makes green our human shore,
As Nilus Egypt, rolling down his vast
His fertile flood, that murmurs evermore
Of gods dethroned, and empires in the past.

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In Ithaca

'Tis thought Odysseus when the strife was o'er
With all the waves and wars, a weary while,
Grew restless in his disenchanted isle,
And still would watch the sunset, from the shore,
Go down the ways of gold, and evermore
His sad heart followed after, mile on mile,
Back to the Goddess of the magic wile,
Calypso, and the love that was of yore.

Thou too, thy haven gained, must turn thee yet
To look across the sad and stormy space,
Years of a youth as bitter as the sea,
Ah, with a heavy heart, and eyelids wet,
Because, within a fair forsaken place
The life that might have been is lost to thee.

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Natural Theology

'Once CAGN was like a father, kind and good,
But He was spoiled by fighting many things;
He wars upon the lions in the wood,
And breaks the Thunder-bird's tremendous wings;
But still we cry to Him,--'We are thy brood -
O Cagn, be merciful!' and us He brings
To herds of elands, and great store of food,
And in the desert opens water-springs.'

So Qing, King Nqsha's Bushman hunter, spoke,
Beside the camp-fire, by the fountain fair,
When all were weary, and soft clouds of smoke
Were fading, fragrant, in the twilit air:
And suddenly in each man's heart there woke
A pang, a sacred memory of prayer.

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Villanelle

Apollo left the golden Muse
And shepherded a mortal's sheep,
Theocritus of Syracuse!

To mock the giant swain that woo's
The sea-nymph in the sunny deep,
Apollo left the golden Muse.

Afield he drove his lambs and ewes,
Where Milon and where Battus reap,
Theocritus of Syracuse!

To watch thy tunny-fishers cruise
Below the dim Sicilian steep
Apollo left the golden Muse.

Ye twain did loiter in the dews,
Ye slept the swain's unfever'd sleep,
Theocritus of Syracuse!

[...] Read more

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