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The Lotus-Flower

All the heights of the high shores gleam
   Red and gold at the sunset hour:
There comes the spell of a magic dream,
   And the Harbour seems a lotus-flower;

A blue flower tinted at dawn with gold,
   A broad flower blazing with light at noon,
A flower forever with charms to hold
   His heart, who sees it by sun or moon.

Its beauty burns like a ceaseless fire,
   And tower looks over the top of tower;
For all mute things it would seem, aspire
   To catch a glimpse of the lotus-flower.

Men meet its beauty with furrowed face,
   And straight the furrows are smoothed away;
They buy and sell in the market-place,
   And languor leadens their blood all day.

At night they look on the flower, and lo!
   The City passes with all its cares:
They dream no more in its azure glow,
   Of gold and silver and stocks and shares.

The Lotus dreams 'neath the dreaming skies,
   Its beauty touching with spell divine
The grey old town, till the old town lies
   Like one half-drunk with a magic wine.

Star-loved, it breathes at the midnight hour
   A sense of peace from its velvet mouth.
Though flowers be fair -- is there any flower
   Like this blue flower of the radiant South?

Sun-loved and lit by the moon it yields
   A challenge-glory or glow serene,
And men bethink them of jewelled shields,
   A turquoise lighting a ground of green.

Fond lovers pacing beside it see
   Not death and darkness, but life and light,
And dream no dream of the witchery
   The Lotus sheds on the silent night.

Pale watchers weary of watching stars
   That fall, and fall, and forever fall,
Tear-worn and troubled with many scars,
   They seek the Lotus and end life's thrall.

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A Tree Telling of Orpheus

White dawn. Stillness.When the rippling began
      &nbs p;   I took it for sea-wind, coming to our valley with rumors
      &nb sp;   of salt, of treeless horizons. But the white fog
didn't stir; the leaves of my brothers remained outstretched,
unmoving.
   & nbsp;       &n bsp;       &nb sp;Yet the rippling drew nearer – and then
my own outermost branches began to tingle, almost as if
fire had been lit below them, too close, and their twig-tips
were drying and curling.
      & nbsp;       &n bsp;       &nb sp;       Yet I was not afraid, only
      &nbsp ;                 & nbsp;      deeply alert.
I was the first to see him, for I grew
      &nbsp ;              out on the pasture slope, beyond the forest.
He was a man, it seemed: the two
moving stems, the short trunk, the two
arm-branches, flexible, each with five leafless
      & nbsp;       &n bsp;       &nb sp;       &nbs p;       &nbsp ; twigs at their ends,
and the head that's crowned by brown or golden grass,
bearing a face not like the beaked face of a bird,
      &nbs p;       &nbsp ;     more like a flower's.
               & nbsp;       &n bsp;       He carried a burden made of
some cut branch bent while it was green,
strands of a vine tight-stretched across it. From this,
when he touched it, and from his voice
which unlike the wind's voice had no need of our
leaves and branches to complete its sound,
      &nb sp;       &nbs p;       &nbsp ;                 & nbsp;came the ripple.
But it was now no longer a ripple (he had come near and
stopped in my first shadow) it was a wave that bathed me
       & nbsp;       &n bsp;    as if rain
      &nbsp ;                 & nbsp;      rose from below and around me
       & nbsp;       &n bsp;    instead of falling.
And what I felt was no longer a dry tingling:
               & nbsp;     I seemed to be singing as he sang, I seemed to know
      &nbsp ;              what the lark knows; all my sap
                & nbsp;       &n bsp;      was mounting towards the sun that by now
                & nbsp;       &n bsp;      had risen, the mist was rising, the grass
was drying, yet my roots felt music moisten them
deep under earth.

     &nbsp ;               He came still closer, leaned on my trunk:
      &nb sp;       &nbs p;     the bark thrilled like a leaf still-folded.
Music! There was no twig of me not
                & nbsp;       &n bsp;      trembling with joy and fear.

Then as he sang
it was no longer sounds only that made the music:
he spoke, and as no tree listens I listened, and language
      & nbsp;       &n bsp;     came into my roots
      &nbs p;       &nbsp ;                out of the earth,

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The Nut-Brown Maid

He. BE it right or wrong, these men among
   On women do complain;
Affirming this, how that it is
   A labour spent in vain
To love them wele; for never a dele
   They love a man again:
For let a man do what he can
   Their favour to attain,
Yet if a new to them pursue,
   Their first true lover than
Laboureth for naught; for from her thought
   He is a banished man.

She. I say not nay, but that all day
   It is both written and said
That woman's faith is, as who saith,
   All utterly decayd:
But nevertheless, right good witness
   In this case might be laid
That they love true and continue:
   Record the Nut-brown Maid,
Which, when her love came her to prove,
   To her to make his moan,
Would not depart; for in her heart
   She loved but him alone.

He. Then between us let us discuss
   What was all the manere
Between them two: we will also
   Tell all the pain in fere
That she was in. Now I begin,
   So that ye me answere:
Wherefore all ye that present be,
   I pray you, give an ear.
I am the Knight. I come by night,
   As secret as I can,
Saying, Alas! thus standeth the case,
   I am a banished man.

She. And I your will for to fulfil
   In this will not refuse;
Trusting to show, in wordes few,
   That men have an ill use--
To their own shame--women to blame,
   And causeless them accuse.
Therefore to you I answer now,
   All women to excuse--
Mine own heart dear, with you what cheer?
   I pray you, tell anone;
For, in my mind, of all mankind

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Hertha

I AM that which began;
   Out of me the years roll;
   Out of me God and man;
   I am equal and whole;
God changes, and man, and the form of them bodily; I am the soul.

   Before ever land was,
   Before ever the sea,
   Or soft hair of the grass,
   Or fair limbs of the tree,
Or the flesh-colour'd fruit of my branches, I was, and thy soul was in
me.

   First life on my sources
   First drifted and swam;
   Out of me are the forces
   That save it or damn;
Out of me man and woman, and wild-beast and bird: before God was, I
am.

   Beside or above me
   Naught is there to go;
   Love or unlove me,
   Unknow me or know,
I am that which unloves me and loves; I am stricken, and I am the
blow.

   I the mark that is miss'd
   And the arrows that miss,
   I the mouth that is kiss'd
   And the breath in the kiss,
The search, and the sought, and the seeker, the soul and the body that
is.

   I am that thing which blesses
   My spirit elate;
   That which caresses
   With hands uncreate
My limbs unbegotten that measure the length of the measure of fate.

   But what thing dost thou now,
   Looking Godward, to cry,
   'I am I, thou art thou,
   I am low, thou art high'?
I am thou, whom thou seekest to find him; find thou but thyself, thou
art I.

   I the grain and the furrow,
   The plough-cloven clod
   And the ploughshare drawn thorough,

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Ave atque Vale (In memory of Charles Baudelaire)

SHALL I strew on thee rose or rue or laurel,
   Brother, on this that was the veil of thee?
   Or quiet sea-flower moulded by the sea,
Or simplest growth of meadow-sweet or sorrel,
   Such as the summer-sleepy Dryads weave,
   Waked up by snow-soft sudden rains at eve?
Or wilt thou rather, as on earth before,
   Half-faded fiery blossoms, pale with heat
   And full of bitter summer, but more sweet
To thee than gleanings of a northern shore
   Trod by no tropic feet?

For always thee the fervid languid glories
   Allured of heavier suns in mightier skies;
   Thine ears knew all the wandering watery sighs
Where the sea sobs round Lesbian promontories,
   The barren kiss of piteous wave to wave
   That knows not where is that Leucadian grave
Which hides too deep the supreme head of song.
   Ah, salt and sterile as her kisses were,
   The wild sea winds her and the green gulfs bear
Hither and thither, and vex and work her wrong,
   Blind gods that cannot spare.

Thou sawest, in thine old singing season, brother,
   Secrets and sorrows unbeheld of us:
   Fierce loves, and lovely leaf-buds poisonous,
Bare to thy subtler eye, but for none other
   Blowing by night in some unbreathed-in clime;
   The hidden harvest of luxurious time,
Sin without shape, and pleasure without speech;
   And where strange dreams in a tumultuous sleep
   Make the shut eyes of stricken spirits weep;
And with each face thou sawest the shadow on each,
   Seeing as men sow men reap.

O sleepless heart and sombre soul unsleeping,
   That were athirst for sleep and no more life
   And no more love, for peace and no more strife!
Now the dim gods of death have in their keeping
   Spirit and body and all the springs of song,
   Is it well now where love can do no wrong,
Where stingless pleasure has no foam or fang
   Behind the unopening closure of her lips?
   Is it not well where soul from body slips
And flesh from bone divides without a pang
   As dew from flower-bell drips?

It is enough; the end and the beginning
   Are one thing to thee, who art past the end.

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The Lass of Lochroyan

'O WHA will shoe my bonny foot?
   And wha will glove my hand?
And wha will bind my middle jimp
   Wi' a lang, lang linen band?

'O wha will kame my yellow hair,
   With a haw bayberry kame?
And wha will be my babe's father
   Till Gregory come hame?'

'They father, he will shoe thy foot,
   Thy brother will glove thy hand,
Thy mither will bind thy middle jimp
   Wi' a lang, lang linen band.

'Thy sister will kame thy yellow hair,
   Wi' a haw bayberry kame;
The Almighty will be thy babe's father
   Till Gregory come hame.'

'And wha will build a bonny ship,
   And set it on the sea?
For I will go to seek my love,
   My ain love Gregory.'

Up then spak her father dear,
   A wafu' man was he;
'And I will build a bonny ship,
   And set her on the sea.

'And I will build a bonny ship,
   And set her on the sea,
And ye sal gae and seek your love,
   Your ain love Gregory.'

Then he 's gart build a bonny ship,
   And set it on the sea,
Wi' four-and-twenty mariners,
   To bear her company.

O he 's gart build a bonny ship,
   To sail on the salt sea;
The mast was o' the beaten gold,
   The sails o' cramoisie.

The sides were o' the gude stout aik,
   The deck o' mountain pine,
The anchor o' the silver shene,
   The ropes o' silken twine.

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Ode, Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
   The earth, and every common sight,
   To me did seem
   Apparell'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;--
   Turn wheresoe'er I may,
   By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

   The rainbow comes and goes,
   And lovely is the rose;
   The moon doth with delight
   Look round her when the heavens are bare;
   Waters on a starry night
   Are beautiful and fair;
   The sunshine is a glorious birth;
   But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath pass'd away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
   And while the young lambs bound
   As to the tabor's sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
   And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
   And all the earth is gay;
   Land and sea
   Give themselves up to jollity,
   And with the heart of May
   Doth every beast keep holiday;--
   Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy
   Shepherd-boy!

Ye blessed creatures, I have heard the call
   Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
   My heart is at your festival,
   My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel--I feel it all.
   O evil day! if I were sullen
   While Earth herself is adorning,
   This sweet May-morning,
   And the children are culling
   On every side,

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People at Night

A night that cuts between you and you
and you and you and you
and me : jostles us apart, a man elbowing
through a crowd.       & nbsp;  We won't
      &nbs p;       &nbsp ;     look for each other, either-
wander off, each alone, not looking
in the slow crowd. Among sideshows
               & nbsp;     under movie signs,
      &nb sp;       &nbs p;     pictures made of a million lights,
      &n bsp;       &nb sp;     giants that move and again move
      &nbsp ;              again, above a cloud of thick smells,
      &n bsp;       &nb sp;     franks, roasted nutmeats-

Or going up to some apartment, yours
      &nbs p;       &nbsp ;     or yours, finding
someone sitting in the dark:
who is it really? So you switch the
light on to see: you know the name but
who is it ?
       &n bsp;  But you won't see.

The fluorescent light flickers sullenly, a
pause. But you command. It grabs
each face and holds it up
by the hair for you, mask after mask.
      &nbs p;       &nbsp ;     You  &nb sp;and   you and I   repeat
   &n bsp;       &nb sp;       &nbs p;gestures that make do when speech
      &nb sp;       &nbs p;     has failed       & nbsp;  and talk
      &nbsp ;              and talk, laughing, saying
      &nb sp;       &nbs p;     'I', and 'I',
meaning 'Anybody'.
     &nbsp ;                 & nbsp;       No one.

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Robert Graves

Welsh Incident

'But that was nothing to what things came out
From the sea-caves of Criccieth yonder.'
'What were they? Mermaids? dragons? ghosts?'
'Nothing at all of any things like that.'
'What were they, then?'
      &nb sp;       &nbs p;       &nbsp ;              'All sorts of queer things,
Things never seen or heard or written about,
Very strange, un-Welsh, utterly peculiar
Things. Oh, solid enough they seemed to touch,
Had anyone dared it. Marvellous creation,
All various shapes and sizes, and no sizes,
All new, each perfectly unlike his neighbour,
Though all came moving slowly out together.'
'Describe just one of them.'
      &nb sp;       &nbs p;       &nbsp ;                 & nbsp;'I am unable.'
'What were their colours?'
               & nbsp;       &n bsp;       &nb sp;       &nbs p; 'Mostly nameless colours,
Colours you'd like to see; but one was puce
Or perhaps more like crimson, but not purplish.
Some had no colour.'
      & nbsp;       &n bsp;       &nb sp;       &nbs p; 'Tell me, had they legs?'
'Not a leg or foot among them that I saw.'
'But did these things come out in any order?'
What o'clock was it? What was the day of the week?
Who else was present? How was the weather?'
'I was coming to that. It was half-past three
On Easter Tuesday last. The sun was shining.
The Harlech Silver Band played Marchog Jesu
On thrity-seven shimmering instruments
Collecting for Caernarvon's (Fever) Hospital Fund.
The populations of Pwllheli, Criccieth,
Portmadoc, Borth, Tremadoc, Penrhyndeudraeth,
Were all assembled. Criccieth's mayor addressed them
First in good Welsh and then in fluent English,
Twisting his fingers in his chain of office,
Welcoming the things. They came out on the sand,
Not keeping time to the band, moving seaward
Silently at a snail's pace. But at last
The most odd, indescribable thing of all
Which hardly one man there could see for wonder
Did something recognizably a something.'
'Well, what?'
      &nb sp;       &nbs p;     'It made a noise.'
      &n bsp;       &nb sp;       &nbs p;       &nbsp ;                'A frightening noise?'
'No, no.'
      &nbsp ;       'A musical noise? A noise of scuffling?'
'No, but a very loud, respectable noise ---
Like groaning to oneself on Sunday morning
In Chapel, close before the second psalm.'
'What did the mayor do?'

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Thomas Hardy

The Souls of the Slain

I

   The thick lids of Night closed upon me
   Alone at the Bill
   Of the Isle by the Race {1} -
   Many-caverned, bald, wrinkled of face -
And with darkness and silence the spirit was on me
   To brood and be still.

II

   No wind fanned the flats of the ocean,
   Or promontory sides,
   Or the ooze by the strand,
   Or the bent-bearded slope of the land,
Whose base took its rest amid everlong motion
   Of criss-crossing tides.

III

   Soon from out of the Southward seemed nearing
   A whirr, as of wings
   Waved by mighty-vanned flies,
   Or by night-moths of measureless size,
And in softness and smoothness well-nigh beyond hearing
   Of corporal things.

IV

   And they bore to the bluff, and alighted -
   A dim-discerned train
   Of sprites without mould,
   Frameless souls none might touch or might hold -
On the ledge by the turreted lantern, farsighted
   By men of the main.

V

   And I heard them say "Home!" and I knew them
   For souls of the felled
   On the earth's nether bord
   Under Capricorn, whither they'd warred,
And I neared in my awe, and gave heedfulness to them
   With breathings inheld.

VI

   Then, it seemed, there approached from the northward
   A senior soul-flame
   Of the like filmy hue:

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Sirena

NEAR to the silver Trent
   SIRENA dwelleth;
She to whom Nature lent
   All that excelleth;
By which the Muses late
   And the neat Graces
Have for their greater state
   Taken their places;
Twisting an anadem
   Wherewith to crown her,
As it belong'd to them
   Most to renown her.
   On thy bank,
   In a rank,
   Let thy swans sing her,
   And with their music
   Along let them bring her.

Tagus and Pactolus
   Are to thee debtor,
Nor for their gold to us
   Are they the better:
Henceforth of all the rest
   Be thou the River
Which, as the daintiest,
   Puts them down ever.
For as my precious one
   O'er thee doth travel,
She to pearl paragon
   Turneth thy gravel.
   On thy bank...

Our mournful Philomel,
   That rarest tuner,
Henceforth in Aperil
   Shall wake the sooner,
And to her shall complain
   From the thick cover,
Redoubling every strain
   Over and over:
For when my Love too long
   Her chamber keepeth,
As though it suffer'd wrong,
   The Morning weepeth.
   On thy bank...

Oft have I seen the Sun,
   To do her honour,
Fix himself at his noon
   To look upon her;

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An Ode to Master Anthony Stafford to hasten Him into the Country

COME, spur away,
   I have no patience for a longer stay,
   But must go down
   And leave the chargeable noise of this great town:
   I will the country see,
   Where old simplicity,
   Though hid in gray,
   Doth look more gay
   Than foppery in plush and scarlet clad.
   Farewell, you city wits, that are
   Almost at civil war--
'Tis time that I grow wise, when all the world grows mad.

   More of my days
   I will not spend to gain an idiot's praise;
   Or to make sport
   For some slight Puisne of the Inns of Court.
   Then, worthy Stafford, say,
   How shall we spend the day?
   With what delights
   Shorten the nights?
   When from this tumult we are got secure,
   Where mirth with all her freedom goes,
   Yet shall no finger lose;
Where every word is thought, and every thought is pure?

   There from the tree
   We'll cherries pluck, and pick the strawberry;
   And every day
   Go see the wholesome country girls make hay,
   Whose brown hath lovelier grace
   Than any painted face
   That I do know
   Hyde Park can show:
   Where I had rather gain a kiss than meet
   (Though some of them in greater state
   Might court my love with plate)
The beauties of the Cheap, and wives of Lombard Street.

   But think upon
   Some other pleasures: these to me are none.
   Why do I prate
   Of women, that are things against my fate!
   I never mean to wed
   That torture to my bed:
   My Muse is she
   My love shall be.
   Let clowns get wealth and heirs: when I am gone
   And that great bugbear, grisly Death,
   Shall take this idle breath,

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George Meredith

Phoebus with Admetus

WHEN by Zeus relenting the mandate was revoked,
   Sentencing to exile the bright Sun-God,
Mindful were the ploughmen of who the steer had yoked,
   Who: and what a track show'd the upturn'd sod!
Mindful were the shepherds, as now the noon severe
   Bent a burning eyebrow to brown evetide,
How the rustic flute drew the silver to the sphere,
   Sister of his own, till her rays fell wide.
   God! of whom music
   And song and blood are pure,
   The day is never darken'd
   That had thee here obscure.
Chirping none, the scarlet cicalas crouch'd in ranks:
   Slack the thistle-head piled its down-silk gray:
Scarce the stony lizard suck'd hollows in his flanks:
   Thick on spots of umbrage our drowsed flocks lay.
Sudden bow'd the chestnuts beneath a wind unheard,
   Lengthen'd ran the grasses, the sky grew slate:
Then amid a swift flight of wing'd seed white as curd,
   Clear of limb a Youth smote the master's gate.
   God! of whom music
   And song and blood are pure,
   The day is never darken'd
   That had thee here obscure.

Water, first of singers, o'er rocky mount and mead,
   First of earthly singers, the sun-loved rill,
Sang of him, and flooded the ripples on the reed,
   Seeking whom to waken and what ear fill.
Water, sweetest soother to kiss a wound and cool,
   Sweetest and divinest, the sky-born brook,
Chuckled, with a whimper, and made a mirror-pool
   Round the guest we welcomed, the strange hand shook.
   God! of whom music
   And song and blood are pure,
   The day is never darken'd
   That had thee here obscure.

Many swarms of wild bees descended on our fields:
   Stately stood the wheatstalk with head bent high:
Big of heart we labour'd at storing mighty yields,
   Wool and corn, and clusters to make men cry!
Hand-like rush'd the vintage; we strung the bellied skins
   Plump, and at the sealing the Youth's voice rose:
Maidens clung in circle, on little fists their chins;
   Gentle beasties through push'd a cold long nose.
   God! of whom music
   And song and blood are pure,
   The day is never darken'd
   That had thee here obscure.

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From Omar Khayyam

I

A BOOK of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread--and Thou
   Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
O, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
   Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

Look to the blowing Rose about us--'Lo,
Laughing,' she says, 'into the world I blow,
   At once the silken tassel of my Purse
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw.'

And those who husbanded the Golden grain
And those who flung it to the winds like Rain
   Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.

II

Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Portals are alternate Night and Day,
   How Sultán after Sultán with his Pomp
Abode his destined Hour, and went his way.

They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep:
   And Bahrám, that great Hunter--the wild Ass
Stamps o'er his Head, but cannot break his Sleep.

I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
   That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head.

And this reviving Herb whose tender Green
Fledges the River-Lip on which we lean--
   Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!

Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
TO-DAY of past Regrets and Future Fears:
   To-morrow!--Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n thousand Years.

For some we loved, the loveliest and the best

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John Keats

Song of the Indian Maid, from 'Endymion

O SORROW!
   Why dost borrow
   The natural hue of health, from vermeil lips?--
   To give maiden blushes
   To the white rose bushes?
   Or is it thy dewy hand the daisy tips?

   O Sorrow!
   Why dost borrow
   The lustrous passion from a falcon-eye?--
   To give the glow-worm light?
   Or, on a moonless night,
   To tinge, on siren shores, the salt sea-spry?

   O Sorrow!
   Why dost borrow
   The mellow ditties from a mourning tongue?--
   To give at evening pale
   Unto the nightingale,
   That thou mayst listen the cold dews among?

   O Sorrow!
   Why dost borrow
   Heart's lightness from the merriment of May?--
   A lover would not tread
   A cowslip on the head,
   Though he should dance from eve till peep of day--
   Nor any drooping flower
   Held sacred for thy bower,
   Wherever he may sport himself and play.

   To Sorrow
   I bade good morrow,
   And thought to leave her far away behind;
   But cheerly, cheerly,
   She loves me dearly;
   She is so constant to me, and so kind:
   I would deceive her
   And so leave her,
   But ah! she is so constant and so kind.

Beneath my palm-trees, by the river side,
I sat a-weeping: in the whole world wide
There was no one to ask me why I wept,--
   And so I kept
Brimming the water-lily cups with tears
   Cold as my fears.

Beneath my palm-trees, by the river side,
I sat a-weeping: what enamour'd bride,

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Ode to Apollo

"Tandem venias precamur
   Nube candentes humeros amictus
   Augur Apollo."

   Lord of the golden lyre
   Fraught with the Dorian fire,
   Oh! fair-haired child of Leto, come again;
   And if no longer smile
   Delphi or Delos' isle,
   Come from the depth of thine Aetnean glen,
   Where in the black ravine
   Thunders the foaming green
   Of waters writhing far from mortals' ken;
   Come o'er the sparkling brine,
   And bring thy train divine --
The sweet-voiced and immortal violet-crowned Nine.

   For here are richer meads,
   And here are goodlier steeds
   Than ever graced the glorious land of Greece;
   Here waves the yellow corn,
   Here is the olive born --
   The gray-green gracious harbinger of peace;
   Here too hath taken root
   A tree with golden fruit,
   In purple clusters hangs the vine's increase,
   And all the earth doth wear
   The dry clear Attic air
That lifts the soul to liberty, and frees the heart from care.

   Or if thy wilder mood
   Incline to solitude,
   Eternal verdure girds the lonely hills,
   Through the green gloom of ferns
   Softly the sunset burns,
   Cold from the granite flow the mountain rills;
   And there are inner shrines
   Made by the slumberous pines,
   Where the rapt heart with contemplation fills,
   And from wave-stricken shores
   Deep wistful music pours
And floods the tempest-shaken forest corridors.

   Oh, give the gift of gold
   The human heart to hold
   With liquid glamour of the Lesbian line;
   With Pindar's lava glow,
   With Sophocles' calm flow,
   Or Aeschylean rapture airy fine;
   Or with thy music's close

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Edom o' Gordon

IT fell about the Martinmas,
   When the wind blew shrill and cauld,
Said Edom o' Gordon to his men,
   'We maun draw to a hauld.

'And what a hauld sall we draw to,
   My merry men and me?
We will gae to the house o' the Rodes,
   To see that fair ladye.'

The lady stood on her castle wa',
   Beheld baith dale and down;
There she was ware of a host of men
   Cam riding towards the town.

'O see ye not, my merry men a',
   O see ye not what I see?
Methinks I see a host of men;
   I marvel wha they be.'

She ween'd it had been her lovely lord,
   As he cam riding hame;
It was the traitor, Edom o' Gordon,
   Wha reck'd nae sin nor shame.

She had nae sooner buskit hersell,
   And putten on her gown,
But Edom o' Gordon an' his men
   Were round about the town.

They had nae sooner supper set,
   Nae sooner said the grace,
But Edom o' Gordon an' his men
   Were lighted about the place.

The lady ran up to her tower-head,
   Sae fast as she could hie,
To see if by her fair speeches
   She could wi' him agree.

'Come doun to me, ye lady gay,
   Come doun, come doun to me;
This night sall ye lig within mine arms,
   To-morrow my bride sall be.'

'I winna come down, ye fals Gordon,
   I winna come down to thee;
I winna forsake my ain dear lord,
   That is sae far frae me.'

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Fair Annie

THE reivers they stole Fair Annie,
   As she walk'd by the sea;
But a noble knight was her ransom soon,
   Wi' gowd and white monie.

She bided in strangers' land wi' him,
   And none knew whence she cam;
She lived in the castle wi' her love,
   But never told her name.

'It 's narrow, narrow, mak your bed,
   And learn to lie your lane;
For I'm gaun owre the sea, Fair Annie,
   A braw Bride to bring hame.
Wi' her I will get gowd and gear,
   Wi' you I ne'er gat nane.

'But wha will bake my bridal bread,
   Or brew my bridal ale?
And wha will welcome my bright Bride,
   That I bring owre the dale?'

It 's I will bake your bridal bread,
   And brew your bridal ale;
And I will welcome your bright Bride,
   That you bring owre the dale.'

'But she that welcomes my bright Bride
   Maun gang like maiden fair;
She maun lace on her robe sae jimp,
   And comely braid her hair.

'Bind up, bind up your yellow hair,
   And tie it on your neck;
And see you look as maiden-like
   As the day that first we met.'

'O how can I gang maiden-like,
   When maiden I am nane?
Have I not borne six sons to thee,
   And am wi' child again?'

'I'll put cooks into my kitchen,
   And stewards in my hall,
And I'll have bakers for my bread,
   And brewers for my ale;
But you're to welcome my bright Bride,
   That I bring owre the dale.'

Three months and a day were gane and past,

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Robin and Makyne

ROBIN sat on gude green hill,
   Kepand a flock of fe:
Mirry Makyne said him till
   'Robin, thou rew on me:
I haif thee luvit, loud and still,
   Thir yeiris twa or thre;
My dule in dern bot gif thou dill,
   Doutless but dreid I de.'

Robin answerit 'By the Rude
   Na thing of luve I knaw,
But keipis my scheip undir yon wud:
   Lo, quhair they raik on raw.
Quhat has marrit thee in thy mude,
   Makyne, to me thou shaw;
Or quhat is luve, or to be lude?
   Fain wad I leir that law.'

'At luvis lair gif thou will leir
   Tak thair ane A B C;
Be heynd, courtass, and fair of feir,
   Wyse, hardy, and free:
So that no danger do thee deir
   Quhat dule in dern thou dre;
Preiss thee with pain at all poweir
   Be patient and previe.'

Robin answerit hir agane,
   'I wat nocht quhat is lufe;
But I haif mervel in certaine
   Quhat makis thee this wanrufe:
The weddir is fair, and I am fain;
   My scheip gois haill aboif;
And we wald prey us in this plane,
   They wald us baith reproif.'

'Robin, tak tent unto my tale,
   And wirk all as I reid,
And thou sall haif my heart all haill,
   Eik and my maiden-heid:
Sen God sendis bute for baill,
   And for murnyng remeid,
In dern with thee bot gif I daill
   Dowtles I am bot deid.'

'Makyne, to-morn this ilka tyde
   And ye will meit me heir,
Peraventure my scheip may gang besyde,
   Quhyle we haif liggit full neir;
But mawgre haif I, and I byde,

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Music in an Empty House

The house was empty and
      the people of the house
      gone many months

Months for the weevil
      for the patient worm
      timbe r-mole softly tunnelling
     &nbsp ;for the parliament of rats

Footsteps slink past
      damp walls
      down
      long
& nbsp;     corridors

Slow feet
      warily scuff
      bare boards
The much-bitten
     &nbs p;tapestry
     &nbsp ;  holds
    &nb sp;     many
 &n bsp;    moths

In a certain curtain'd room
      the halting steps evade
      chai rs white shrouded

To twitch the winding-sheet
     &n bsp;around a grand piano
      thin phalanx of sound
      sharp rat's teeth edge yellow
      with decay

The much-bitten
     &nbs p;tapestry
     &nbsp ;holds
      man y
      moths

On rat's teeth-edge
     &nbsp ;fingers preparate
       hesitate

Then falling send
  as tenantry
    darnp-muffied chords
      rus ting strings
  a still-born song

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The Bludy Serk

THIS hinder yeir I hard be tald
   Thair was a worthy King;
Dukis, Erlis, and Barronis bald,
   He had at his bidding.
The Lord was ancean and ald,
   And sexty yeiris cowth ring;
He had a dochter fair to fald,
   A lusty Lady ying.

Off all fairheid scho bur the flour,
   And eik hir faderis air;
Off lusty laitis and he honour,
   Meik bot and debonair:
Scho wynnit in a bigly bour,
   On fold wes nane so fair,
Princis luvit hir paramour
   In cuntreis our allquhair.

Thair dwelt a lyt besyde the King
   A foull Gyand of ane;
Stollin he has the Lady ying,
   Away with hir is gane,
And kest her in his dungering
   Quhair licht scho micht se nane;
Hungir and cauld and grit thristing
   Scho fand into hir waine.

He wes the laithliest on to luk
   That on the grund mycht gang:
His nailis wes lyk ane hellis cruk,
   Thairwith fyve quarteris lang;
Thair wes nane that he ourtuk,
   In rycht or yit in wrang,
Bot all in schondir he thame schuk,
   The Gyand wes so strang.

He held the Lady day and nycht
   Within his deip dungeoun,
He wald nocht gif of hir a sicht
   For gold nor yit ransoun--
Bot gif the King mycht get a knycht,
   To fecht with his persoun,
To fecht with him beth day and nycht,
   Quhill ane wer dungin doun.

The King gart seik baith fer and neir,
   Beth be se and land,
Off ony knycht gif he mycht heir
   Wald fecht with that Gyand:
A worthy Prince, that had no peir,

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