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George Eliot

Came a pretty maid

Came a pretty maid
By the moon's pure light . . .
Loved me well, she said,
Eyes with tears all bright,
A pretty maid.

But too late she strayed,
Moonlight pure was there . . .
She was nought but shade,
Hiding the more fair,
The heav'nly maid.

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Mid My Gold-Brown Curls

'Mid my gold-brown curls
There twined a silver hair:
I plucked it idly out
And scarcely knew 'twas there.
Coiled in my velvet sleeve it lay
And like a serpent hissed:
"Me thou canst pluck & fling away,
One hair is lightly missed;
But how on that near day
When all the wintry army muster in array?"

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Roses

You love the roses - so do I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!

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Ay De Mi

O bird, that used to press,
Thy head against my cheek
With touch that seem'd to speak,
And ask a tender 'yes' -
Ay de mi, my bird:
Ay de mi, my bird, my bird -
Ay de mi, my bird.

O tender downy breast,
And warmly beating heart,
That beating seem'd a part
Of me who gave it rest -
Ay de mi, my bird:
Ay de mi, my bird, my bird -
Ay de mi, my bird.

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Sweet Springtime

It was in the prime
Of the sweet springtime
In the linnet's throat
Trembled the love note,
And the love-stirred air
Thrilled the blossoms there.
Little shadows danced,
Each a tiny elf
Happy in large light
And the thinnest self.

It was but a minute
In a far-off spring,
But each gentle thing,
Sweetly wooing linnet,
Soft thrilled hawthorn tree,
Happy shadowy elf,
With the thinnest self,
Live on still in me.
It was in the prime

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Blue Wings

Warm whisp'ring through the slender olive leaves
Came to me a gentle sound,
Whis'pring of a secret found
In the clear sunshine 'mid the golden sheaves:

Said it was sleeping for me in the morn,
Called it gladness, called it joy,
Drew me on 'Come hither, boy.'
To where the blue wings rested on the corn.

I thought the gentle sound had whispered true
Thought the little heaven mine,
Leaned to clutch the thing divine,
And saw the blue wings melt within the blue!

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Spring Comes Hither

Spring comes hither
Buds the rose . . .
Roses wither
Sweet spring goes . . .
O ja là
O ja là . . .
Would she carry me.

Summer soars
Wide-wing'd day . . .
White light pours
Flies away . . .
O ja là
O ja là . . .
Would he carry me.

Soft winds blow
Westward borne . . .
Onward go
Towards the morn

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Count That Day Lost

If you sit down at set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting, find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard,
One glance most kind
That fell like sunshine where it went -
Then you may count that day well spent.

But if, through all the livelong day,
You've cheered no heart, by yea or nay -
If, through it all
You've nothing done that you can trace
That brought the sunshine to one face -
No act most small
That helped some soul and nothing cost -
Then count that day as worse than lost.

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The Radiant Dark

Should I long that dark were fair? Say, O song.
Lacks my love aught that I should long?
Dark the night with breath all flow'rs
And tender broken voice that fills
With ravishment the list'ning hours.
Whis'prings, wooings,
Liquid ripples, and soft ring-dove cooings,
in low-toned rhythm that love's aching stills.

Dark the night, yet is she bright,
For in her dark she brings the mystic star,
Trembling yet strong as is the voice of love
From some unknown afar.
O radiant dark, O darkly foster'd ray,
Thou hast a joy too deep for shallow day.

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Day is Dying

Day is dying! Float, o song,
Down the westward river,
Requiem chanting to the Day,
Day, the mighty giver!

Pierced by shafts of Time he bleeds,
Melted rubies sending
Through the river and the sky,
Earth and heaven blending.

All the long-drawn earthy banks
Up to cloudland lifting:
Slow between them drifts the swan
'Twixt two heavens drifting,

Wings half open like a flower.
In by deeper flushing,
Neck and breast as virgin's pure
Virgin proudly blushing.

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