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Will ye take her to chain her with chains,
who is older than all ye Gods? All ye as a wind shall go by, as a fire
shall ye pass and be past : Ye are Gods, and behold ye shall die, and
the waves be upon you at last. In the darkness of time, in the deeps of
the years, in the changes of things, Ye shall sleep as a slain man sleeps, and
the world shall forget you for
kings. Though the feet of thine high priests
tread where thy lords and our
forefathers trod, Though these that were Gods are dead,
and thou being dead art a God, Though before thee the throned Cythe
rean be fallen, and hidden her
head, Yet thy kingdom shall pass, Galilean, thy
dead shall go down to thee dead. Of the maiden thy mother, men sing as a
goddess with grace clad around ; Thou art throned where another was
king; where another was queen
she is crowned. Yea, once we had sight of another : but
now she is queen, say these. Not as thine, not asthine was our mother,
a blossom of flowering seas, Clothed round with the world's desire as
with raiment, and fair as the foam, And fleeter than kindled fire, and a god
dess and mother of Rome. For thine came pale and a maiden, and
sister to sorrow ; but ours, Her deep hair heavily laden with odor
and color of flowers, White rose of the rose-white water, a
silver splendor, a flame, Bent down unto us that besought her,
and earth grew sweet with her For thine came weeping, a slave among
slaves, and rejected; but she Came flushed from the full-flushe'l wave,
and imperial, her foot on the sea, And the wonderful waters knew her, the
winds and the view less ways, And the roses grew rosier, and bluer the
sea-blue stream of the bays. Ye are fallen, our lords by what token?
we wist that ye should not fall. Ye were all so fair that are broken ; and
one more fair than ye all. But I turn to her still, having seen she
shall surely abide in the end ; Goddess and maiden and queen, be near
me now and befriend.
O daughter of earth, of my mother, Ex
crown and blossom of birth. I am also, I also, thy brother; I go as 1
came unto earth. In the night where thine eyes are a
moons are in heaven, the mga
where thou art, Where the silence is more than all tube
where sleep overflows from the
heart, Where the poppies are sweet as the fun!
in our world, and the red rose :
white, And the wind falls faint as it blows with
the fume of the flowers of the
night, And the murmur of spirits that slep e
the shadow of Gods from afar Grows dim in thine ears and deep as it
deep dim soul of a star, In the sweet low light of thy face.
der heavens untrod by the sun, Let my soul with their souls find play,
and forget what is done and us
done. Thou art more than the Gods vir
number the days of our temporal
breath; For these give labor and slumber; bat
thou, Proserpina, death. Therefore now at thy feet I abide for a
season in silence. I know I shall die as my fathers died, and sleep
as they sleep; even so. For the glass of the year is brittle
wherein we gaze for a span; A little soul for a little bears up the
corpse which is man.1 So long I endure, no longer ; and laugt
not again, neither weep. For there is no God found stronger than death; and death is a sleep. 18
And I were like the leaf,
Green pleasure or gray grief ;
And I were like the leaf.
And love were like the tune,
Delight our ps would mingle, 1 ψυχάριον εί βασταξον νεκρόν, EPICTETUs.
With kisses glad as birds are
That get sweet rain at noon; If I were what the words are
And love were like the tune. If you were life, my darling,
And I your love were death, We'd shine and snow together Ere March made sweet the weather With daffodil and starling
And hours of fruitful breath ; If you were life, my darling,
And I your love were death.
A burden without fruit in child
bearing; Between the nightfall and the dawn
threescore, Threescore between the dawn and
evening. The shuddering in thy lips, the shud
dering In thy sad eyelids tremulous like fire, Makes love seem shameful and a
wretched thing. This is the end of every man's desire. The burden of sweet speeches. Nay,
kneel down, Cover thy head, and weep; for verily These market-men that buy thy white
and brown In the last days shall take no thought
for thee. In the last days like earth thy face
shall be, Yea, like sea-marsh made thick with
brine and mire, Sad with sick leavings of the sterile
If you were thrall to sorrow,
And I were page to joy, Wed play for lives and seasons With loving looks and treasons And tears of night and morrow
And laughs of maid and boy ; If you were thrall to sorrow,
Ånd I were page to joy. If you were April's lady,
And I were lord in May, We'd throw with leaves for hours And draw for days with flowers, Till day like night were shady
And night were bright like day ; If you were April's lady,
And I were lord in May.
And I were king of pain,
And find his mouth a rein; If you were queen of pleasure,
And I were king of pain. 1866.
This is the end of every man's desire.
The burden of long living. Thou shalt
fear Waking, and sleeping mourn upon thy
bed ; And say at night, “Would God the day
were here," And say at dawn “Would God the day
were dead." With weary days thou shalt be clothed
and fed, And wear remorse of heart for thine
attire, Pain for thy girdle and sorrow upon
thine head : This is the end of every man's desire.
A BALLAD OF BURDENS
The burden of bright colors. Thou shalt
The burden of fair women. Vain delight, And love self-slain in some sweet
shameful way, And sorrowful old age that comes by
night As a thief comes that has no heart by
day, And change that finds fair cheeks and
leaves them gray, And weariness that keeps awake for hire, And grief that says what pleasure used
to say ; This is the end of every man's desire.
The burden of bought kisses. This is
The burden of sad sayings. In that day Thou shalt tell all thy days and hours,
and tell Thy times and ways and words of love,
Heed well this rhyme before your
pleasure tire ; For life is sweet, but after life is death. This is the end of every man's desire.
How one was dear and one desirable, And sweet was life to hear and sweet
to smell, But now with lights reverse the old hours
retire And the last hour is shod with fire from
hell. This is the end of every man's desire. The burden of four seasons. Rain in
spring, White rain and wind among the tender
trees ; A summer of green sorrows gathering,
Rank autumn in a mist of miseries, With sad face set towards the year,
that sees The charred ash drop out of the dropping
pyre, And winter wan with many maladies ; This is the end of every man's desire. The burden of dead faces. Out of sight And out of love, beyond the reach of
hands, Changed in the changing of the dark and
light, They and weep about the barren
lands Where no seed is nor any garner stands, Where in short breaths the doubtful days
respire, And time's turned glass lets through
the sighing sands; This is the end of every man's desire. The burden of much gladness. Life and lust
[light; Forsake thee, and the face of thy deAnd underfoot the heavy hour strews
dust; And overhead strange weathers burn
and bite: And where the red was, lo, the blood
less white, And where truth was, the likeness of a
liar, And where day was, the likeness of
the night; This is the end of every man's desire.
RONDEL KISSING her hair I sat against her feet. Wove and unwove it, wound and found
it sweet Made fast therewith her bands, drew
down her eyes, Deep as deep flowers and dreamy like
dim skies ; With her own tresses bound and found
Kissing her hair. Sleep were no sweeter than her face to
me, Sleep of cold sea-bloom under the cold
sea ; What pain could get between my face
and hers? What new sweet thing would love not
relish worse? Unless, perhaps, white death had kissed
me there, Kissing her hair?
IN MEMORY OF WALTER SAVAGE
BACK to the flower-town, side by side,
The bright months bring. New-born, the bridegroom and the bride,
Freedom and spring. The sweet land laughs from sea to sea,
Filled full of sun ; All things come back to her, being
Flowers that were dead
That holier head.
By this white wandering waste of sea,
Far north, I hear
As once this year ;
Princes, and ye whom pleasure quick
Shall never smile and turn and rest
On mine as there, Nor one most sacred hand be pressed
Upon my hair,
ame as one whose thoughts half lin
ger, lalf run before ; e youngest to the oldest singer Chat England bore. ound him whom I shall not find Cill all grief end, holiest age our mightiest mind, father and friend. t thou, if anything endure, If hope there be, spirit that man's life left pure, Van's death set free, ot with disdain of days that were Look earthward now : t dreams revive the reverend hair, The imperial brow; ome back in sleep, for in the life Where thou art not 'e find none like thee. Time and
strife And the world's lot ove thee no more ; but love at least,
And reverent heart, lay move thee, royal and released
Soul, as thou art.
Receive and keep,
His sacred sleep.
Mix with thy name Is morning-star with evening-star llis faultless fame.
1866. THE GARDEN OF PROSERPINE HERE, where the world is quiet,
Here, where all trouble seems
In doubtful dreams of dreams;
A sleepy world of streams.
And men that laugh and weep
For men that sow to reap :
And everything but sleep.
Here life has death for neighbor,
And far from eye or ear Wan waves and wet winds labor,
Weak ships and spirits steer ; They drive adrift, and whither They wot not who make thither ; But no such winds blow hither,
And no such things grow here. No growth of moor or coppice,
No heather-flower or vine, But bloomless buds of poppies,
Green grapes of Proserpine, Pale beds of blowing rushes Where no leaf blooms or blushes, Save this whereout she crushes
For dead men deadly wine. Pale, without name or number,
In fruitless fields of corn,
All night till light is born;
Comes out of darkness morn. Though one were strong as seven,
He too with death shall dwell, Nor wake with wings in heaven,
Nor weep for pains in hell; Though one were fair as roses, His beauty clouds and closes; And well though love reposes,
In the end it is not well.
Pale, beyond porch and portal, Crowned with calm leaves, she
With cold immortal hands;
From many times and lands.
She waits for all men born ;
The life of fruits and corn ;
And flowers are put to scorn.
The old loves with wearier wings ; And all dead years draw thither,
And all disastrous things; Dead dreams of days forsaken
Or fields near home?
We are in love's hand to-day
Land me, she says, where love
One heart, one hand.
Blind buds that snows have shaken,
Red strays of ruined springs.
And joy was never sure;
Time stoops to no man's lure ;
Weeps that no loves endure.
From hope and fear set free,
Whatever gods may be
Winds somewhere safe to sea. Then star nor sun shall waken,
Nor any change of light:
Nor any sound or sight:
All the night sleep came not upon my
eyelids, Shed not dew, nor shook nor uncloso a
feather, Yet with lips shut close and with eyes of
iron Stood and beheld me.
Then to me so lying awake a vision Came without sleep over the seas and
touched me, Softly touched mine eyelids and lijn;
and I too, Full of the vision,
Saw the white implacable Aphrodite. Saw the hair unbound, and the feet un.
sandalled Shine as fire of sunset on western waters;
Saw the reluctant
LOVE AT SEA We are in love's land to-day ;
Where shall we go?
Or sail or row ?
Where shall we go?
And joys that were:
We are in love's hand to-day
Feet, the straining plumes of the dores
that drew her, Looking always, looking with necks re
verted, Back to Lesbos, back to the hills where
under Shone Mitylene ; Heard the flying feet of the Lores be
hind her Make a sudden thunder upon the waters, As the thunder Aung from the strong
unclosing Wings of a great wind. So the goddess fled from her place, with
awful Sound of feet and thunder of wings
around her; While behind a clamor of singing womeu
Severed the twilight.
Our seamen are fledged Loves,
Our decks fine gold ;
We are in love's land to-day
Where shall we land you, sweet? On fields of strange men's feet,