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´╗┐Title: Love Songs
Author: Teasdale, Sara, 1884-1933
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Love Songs" ***

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[Note on text:  Italicized stanzas are indented 5 spaces.  Two
italicized lines are marked by asterisks (*).  Lines longer than 78
characters are broken, and the continuation is indented two spaces.]

[This etext was transcribed from a 1918 reprinting of the 1917 edition,
which was the original.  It is interesting that some of those poems
included from earlier volumes have been slightly changed in this book.]



Love Songs


By

Sara Teasdale

[American (Missouri & New York) poet, 1884-1933.]



Author of "Rivers to the Sea", "Helen of Troy and Other Poems", Etc.



  To E.


     I have remembered beauty in the night,
      Against black silences I waked to see
      A shower of sunlight over Italy
     And green Ravello dreaming on her height;
     I have remembered music in the dark,
      The clean swift brightness of a fugue of Bach's,
      And running water singing on the rocks
     When once in English woods I heard a lark.

     But all remembered beauty is no more
      Than a vague prelude to the thought of you--
      You are the rarest soul I ever knew,
         Lover of beauty, knightliest and best;
     My thoughts seek you as waves that seek the shore,
         And when I think of you, I am at rest.



Prefatory Note



Beside new poems, this book contains lyrics taken from "Rivers to the
Sea", "Helen of Troy and Other Poems", and one or two from an earlier
volume.



  Contents



    I

  Barter
  Twilight
  Night Song at Amalfi
  The Look
  A Winter Night
  A Cry
  Gifts
  But Not to Me
  Song at Capri
  Child, Child
  Love Me
  Pierrot
  Wild Asters
  The Song for Colin
  Four Winds
  Debt
  Faults
  Buried Love
  The Fountain
  I Shall Not Care
  After Parting
  A Prayer
  Spring Night
  May Wind
  Tides
  After Love
  New Love and Old
  The Kiss
  Swans
  The River
  November
  Spring Rain
  The Ghost
  Summer Night, Riverside
  Jewels


    II

  Interlude:  Songs out of Sorrow

     I.  Spirit's House
    II.  Mastery
   III.  Lessons
    IV.  Wisdom
     V.  In a Burying Ground
    VI.  Wood Song
   VII.  Refuge


    III

  The Flight
  Dew
  To-night
  Ebb Tide
  I Would Live in Your Love
  Because
  The Tree of Song
  The Giver
  April Song
  The Wanderer
  The Years
  Enough
  Come
  Joy
  Riches
  Dusk in War Time
  Peace
  Moods
  Houses of Dreams
  Lights
  "I Am Not Yours"
  Doubt
  The Wind
  Morning
  Other Men
  Embers
  Message
  The Lamp


    IV

  A November Night



  Love Songs


    I



  Barter


  Life has loveliness to sell,
   All beautiful and splendid things,
  Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
   Soaring fire that sways and sings,
  And children's faces looking up
  Holding wonder like a cup.

  Life has loveliness to sell,
   Music like a curve of gold,
  Scent of pine trees in the rain,
   Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
  And for your spirit's still delight,
  Holy thoughts that star the night.

  Spend all you have for loveliness,
   Buy it and never count the cost;
  For one white singing hour of peace
   Count many a year of strife well lost,
  And for a breath of ecstasy
  Give all you have been, or could be.



  Twilight


  Dreamily over the roofs
   The cold spring rain is falling;
  Out in the lonely tree
   A bird is calling, calling.

  Slowly over the earth
   The wings of night are falling;
  My heart like the bird in the tree
   Is calling, calling, calling.



  Night Song at Amalfi


  I asked the heaven of stars
   What I should give my love--
  It answered me with silence,
   Silence above.

  I asked the darkened sea
   Down where the fishers go--
  It answered me with silence,
   Silence below.

  Oh, I could give him weeping,
   Or I could give him song--
  But how can I give silence,
   My whole life long?



  The Look


  Strephon kissed me in the spring,
   Robin in the fall,
  But Colin only looked at me
   And never kissed at all.

  Strephon's kiss was lost in jest,
   Robin's lost in play,
  But the kiss in Colin's eyes
   Haunts me night and day.



  A Winter Night


  My window-pane is starred with frost,
   The world is bitter cold to-night,
  The moon is cruel, and the wind
   Is like a two-edged sword to smite.

  God pity all the homeless ones,
   The beggars pacing to and fro,
  God pity all the poor to-night
   Who walk the lamp-lit streets of snow.

  My room is like a bit of June,
   Warm and close-curtained fold on fold,
  But somewhere, like a homeless child,
   My heart is crying in the cold.



  A Cry


  Oh, there are eyes that he can see,
   And hands to make his hands rejoice,
  But to my lover I must be
   Only a voice.

  Oh, there are breasts to bear his head,
   And lips whereon his lips can lie,
  But I must be till I am dead
   Only a cry.



  Gifts


  I gave my first love laughter,
   I gave my second tears,
  I gave my third love silence
   Through all the years.

  My first love gave me singing,
   My second eyes to see,
  But oh, it was my third love
   Who gave my soul to me.



  But Not to Me


  The April night is still and sweet
   With flowers on every tree;
  Peace comes to them on quiet feet,
      But not to me.

  My peace is hidden in his breast
   Where I shall never be;
  Love comes to-night to all the rest,
      But not to me.



  Song at Capri


  When beauty grows too great to bear
   How shall I ease me of its ache,
  For beauty more than bitterness
   Makes the heart break.

  Now while I watch the dreaming sea
   With isles like flowers against her breast,
  Only one voice in all the world
   Could give me rest.



  Child, Child


  Child, child, love while you can
  The voice and the eyes and the soul of a man;
  Never fear though it break your heart--
  Out of the wound new joy will start;
  Only love proudly and gladly and well,
  Though love be heaven or love be hell.

  Child, child, love while you may,
  For life is short as a happy day;
  Never fear the thing you feel--
  Only by love is life made real;
  Love, for the deadly sins are seven,
  Only through love will you enter heaven.



  Love Me


  Brown-thrush singing all day long
   In the leaves above me,
  Take my love this April song,
   "Love me, love me, love me!"

  When he harkens what you say,
   Bid him, lest he miss me,
  Leave his work or leave his play,
   And kiss me, kiss me, kiss me!



  Pierrot


  Pierrot stands in the garden
   Beneath a waning moon,
  And on his lute he fashions
   A fragile silver tune.

  Pierrot plays in the garden,
   He thinks he plays for me,
  But I am quite forgotten
   Under the cherry tree.

  Pierrot plays in the garden,
   And all the roses know
  That Pierrot loves his music,--
   But I love Pierrot.



  Wild Asters


  In the spring I asked the daisies
   If his words were true,
  And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
   Always knew.

  Now the fields are brown and barren,
   Bitter autumn blows,
  And of all the stupid asters
   Not one knows.



  The Song for Colin


  I sang a song at dusking time
   Beneath the evening star,
  And Terence left his latest rhyme
   To answer from afar.

  Pierrot laid down his lute to weep,
   And sighed, "She sings for me."
  But Colin slept a careless sleep
   Beneath an apple tree.



  Four Winds


  "Four winds blowing through the sky,
  You have seen poor maidens die,
  Tell me then what I shall do
  That my lover may be true."
  Said the wind from out the south,
  "Lay no kiss upon his mouth,"
  And the wind from out the west,
  "Wound the heart within his breast,"
  And the wind from out the east,
  "Send him empty from the feast,"
  And the wind from out the north,
  "In the tempest thrust him forth;
  When thou art more cruel than he,
  Then will Love be kind to thee."



  Debt


  What do I owe to you
   Who loved me deep and long?
  You never gave my spirit wings
   Or gave my heart a song.

  But oh, to him I loved,
   Who loved me not at all,
  I owe the open gate
   That led through heaven's wall.



  Faults


  They came to tell your faults to me,
  They named them over one by one;
  I laughed aloud when they were done,
  I knew them all so well before,--
  Oh, they were blind, too blind to see
  Your faults had made me love you more.



  Buried Love


  I have come to bury Love
   Beneath a tree,
  In the forest tall and black
   Where none can see.

  I shall put no flowers at his head,
   Nor stone at his feet,
  For the mouth I loved so much
   Was bittersweet.

  I shall go no more to his grave,
   For the woods are cold.
  I shall gather as much of joy
   As my hands can hold.

  I shall stay all day in the sun
   Where the wide winds blow,--
  But oh, I shall cry at night
   When none will know.



  The Fountain


  All through the deep blue night
   The fountain sang alone;
  It sang to the drowsy heart
   Of the satyr carved in stone.

  The fountain sang and sang,
   But the satyr never stirred--
  Only the great white moon
   In the empty heaven heard.

  The fountain sang and sang
   While on the marble rim
  The milk-white peacocks slept,
   And their dreams were strange and dim.

  Bright dew was on the grass,
   And on the ilex, dew,
  The dreamy milk-white birds
   Were all a-glisten, too.

  The fountain sang and sang
   The things one cannot tell;
  The dreaming peacocks stirred
   And the gleaming dew-drops fell.



  I Shall Not Care


  When I am dead and over me bright April
   Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
  Though you should lean above me broken-hearted,
   I shall not care.

  I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful
   When rain bends down the bough,
  And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
   Than you are now.



  After Parting


  Oh, I have sown my love so wide
   That he will find it everywhere;
  It will awake him in the night,
   It will enfold him in the air.

  I set my shadow in his sight
   And I have winged it with desire,
  That it may be a cloud by day,
   And in the night a shaft of fire.



  A Prayer


  Until I lose my soul and lie
   Blind to the beauty of the earth,
  Deaf though shouting wind goes by,
   Dumb in a storm of mirth;

  Until my heart is quenched at length
   And I have left the land of men,
  Oh, let me love with all my strength
   Careless if I am loved again.



  Spring Night


  The park is filled with night and fog,
   The veils are drawn about the world,
  The drowsy lights along the paths
   Are dim and pearled.

  Gold and gleaming the empty streets,
   Gold and gleaming the misty lake,
  The mirrored lights like sunken swords,
   Glimmer and shake.

  Oh, is it not enough to be
  Here with this beauty over me?
  My throat should ache with praise, and I
  Should kneel in joy beneath the sky.
  O, beauty, are you not enough?
  Why am I crying after love,
  With youth, a singing voice, and eyes
  To take earth's wonder with surprise?

  Why have I put off my pride,
  Why am I unsatisfied,--
  I, for whom the pensive night
  Binds her cloudy hair with light,--
  I, for whom all beauty burns
  Like incense in a million urns?
  O beauty, are you not enough?
  Why am I crying after love?



  May Wind


  I said, "I have shut my heart
   As one shuts an open door,
  That Love may starve therein
   And trouble me no more."

  But over the roofs there came
   The wet new wind of May,
  And a tune blew up from the curb
   Where the street-pianos play.

  My room was white with the sun
   And Love cried out in me,
  "I am strong, I will break your heart
   Unless you set me free."



  Tides


  Love in my heart was a fresh tide flowing
   Where the starlike sea gulls soar;
  The sun was keen and the foam was blowing
   High on the rocky shore.

  But now in the dusk the tide is turning,
   Lower the sea gulls soar,
  And the waves that rose in resistless yearning
   Are broken forevermore.



  After Love


  There is no magic any more,
   We meet as other people do,
  You work no miracle for me
   Nor I for you.

  You were the wind and I the sea--
   There is no splendor any more,
  I have grown listless as the pool
   Beside the shore.

  But though the pool is safe from storm
   And from the tide has found surcease,
  It grows more bitter than the sea,
   For all its peace.



  New Love and Old


  In my heart the old love
   Struggled with the new;
  It was ghostly waking
   All night through.

  Dear things, kind things,
   That my old love said,
  Ranged themselves reproachfully
   Round my bed.

  But I could not heed them,
   For I seemed to see
  The eyes of my new love
   Fixed on me.

  Old love, old love,
   How can I be true?
  Shall I be faithless to myself
   Or to you?



  The Kiss


  I hoped that he would love me,
   And he has kissed my mouth,
  But I am like a stricken bird
   That cannot reach the south.

  For though I know he loves me,
   To-night my heart is sad;
  His kiss was not so wonderful
   As all the dreams I had.



  Swans


  Night is over the park, and a few brave stars
   Look on the lights that link it with chains of gold,
  The lake bears up their reflection in broken bars
   That seem too heavy for tremulous water to hold.

  We watch the swans that sleep in a shadowy place,
   And now and again one wakes and uplifts its head;
  How still you are--your gaze is on my face--
   We watch the swans and never a word is said.



  The River


  I came from the sunny valleys
   And sought for the open sea,
  For I thought in its gray expanses
   My peace would come to me.

  I came at last to the ocean
   And found it wild and black,
  And I cried to the windless valleys,
   "Be kind and take me back!"

  But the thirsty tide ran inland,
   And the salt waves drank of me,
  And I who was fresh as the rainfall
   Am bitter as the sea.



  November


  The world is tired, the year is old,
   The fading leaves are glad to die,
  The wind goes shivering with cold
   Where the brown reeds are dry.

  Our love is dying like the grass,
   And we who kissed grow coldly kind,
  Half glad to see our old love pass
   Like leaves along the wind.



  Spring Rain


  I thought I had forgotten,
   But it all came back again
  To-night with the first spring thunder
   In a rush of rain.

  I remembered a darkened doorway
   Where we stood while the storm swept by,
  Thunder gripping the earth
   And lightning scrawled on the sky.

  The passing motor busses swayed,
   For the street was a river of rain,
  Lashed into little golden waves
   In the lamp light's stain.

  With the wild spring rain and thunder
   My heart was wild and gay;
  Your eyes said more to me that night
   Than your lips would ever say. . . .

  I thought I had forgotten,
   But it all came back again
  To-night with the first spring thunder
   In a rush of rain.



  The Ghost


  I went back to the clanging city,
   I went back where my old loves stayed,
  But my heart was full of my new love's glory,
   My eyes were laughing and unafraid.

  I met one who had loved me madly
   And told his love for all to hear--
  But we talked of a thousand things together,
   The past was buried too deep to fear.

  I met the other, whose love was given
   With never a kiss and scarcely a word--
  Oh, it was then the terror took me
   Of words unuttered that breathed and stirred.

  Oh, love that lives its life with laughter
   Or love that lives its life with tears
  Can die--but love that is never spoken
   Goes like a ghost through the winding years. . . .

  I went back to the clanging city,
   I went back where my old loves stayed,
  My heart was full of my new love's glory,--
   But my eyes were suddenly afraid.



  Summer Night, Riverside


  In the wild, soft summer darkness
  How many and many a night we two together
  Sat in the park and watched the Hudson
  Wearing her lights like golden spangles
  Glinting on black satin.
  The rail along the curving pathway
  Was low in a happy place to let us cross,
  And down the hill a tree that dripped with bloom
  Sheltered us,
  While your kisses and the flowers,
  Falling, falling,
  Tangled my hair. . . .


  The frail white stars moved slowly over the sky.


  And now, far off
  In the fragrant darkness
  The tree is tremulous again with bloom,
  For June comes back.

  To-night what girl
  Dreamily before her mirror shakes from her hair
  This year's blossoms, clinging in its coils?



  Jewels


  If I should see your eyes again,
   I know how far their look would go--
  Back to a morning in the park
   With sapphire shadows on the snow.

  Or back to oak trees in the spring
   When you unloosed my hair and kissed
  The head that lay against your knees
   In the leaf shadow's amethyst.

  And still another shining place
   We would remember--how the dun
  Wild mountain held us on its crest
   One diamond morning white with sun.

  But I will turn my eyes from you
   As women turn to put away
  The jewels they have worn at night
   And cannot wear in sober day.



    II

  Interlude:  Songs out of Sorrow



  I.  Spirit's House


  From naked stones of agony
  I will build a house for me;
  As a mason all alone
  I will raise it, stone by stone,
  And every stone where I have bled
  Will show a sign of dusky red.
  I have not gone the way in vain,
  For I have good of all my pain;
  My spirit's quiet house will be
  Built of naked stones I trod
  On roads where I lost sight of God.



  II.  Mastery


  I would not have a god come in
  To shield me suddenly from sin,
  And set my house of life to rights;
  Nor angels with bright burning wings
  Ordering my earthly thoughts and things;
  Rather my own frail guttering lights
  Wind blown and nearly beaten out;
  Rather the terror of the nights
  And long, sick groping after doubt;
  Rather be lost than let my soul
  Slip vaguely from my own control--
  Of my own spirit let me be
  In sole though feeble mastery.



  III.  Lessons


  Unless I learn to ask no help
   From any other soul but mine,
  To seek no strength in waving reeds
   Nor shade beneath a straggling pine;
  Unless I learn to look at Grief
   Unshrinking from her tear-blind eyes,
  And take from Pleasure fearlessly
   Whatever gifts will make me wise--
  Unless I learn these things on earth,
  Why was I ever given birth?



  IV.  Wisdom


  When I have ceased to break my wings
  Against the faultiness of things,
  And learned that compromises wait
  Behind each hardly opened gate,
  When I can look Life in the eyes,
  Grown calm and very coldly wise,
  Life will have given me the Truth,
  And taken in exchange--my youth.



  V.  In a Burying Ground


  This is the spot where I will lie
   When life has had enough of me,
  These are the grasses that will blow
   Above me like a living sea.

  These gay old lilies will not shrink
   To draw their life from death of mine,
  And I will give my body's fire
   To make blue flowers on this vine.

  "O Soul," I said, "have you no tears?
   Was not the body dear to you?"
  I heard my soul say carelessly,
   "The myrtle flowers will grow more blue."



  VI.  Wood Song


  I heard a wood thrush in the dusk
   Twirl three notes and make a star--
  My heart that walked with bitterness
   Came back from very far.

  Three shining notes were all he had,
   And yet they made a starry call--
  I caught life back against my breast
   And kissed it, scars and all.



  VII.  Refuge


  From my spirit's gray defeat,
  From my pulse's flagging beat,
  From my hopes that turned to sand
  Sifting through my close-clenched hand,
  From my own fault's slavery,
  If I can sing, I still am free.

  For with my singing I can make
  A refuge for my spirit's sake,
  A house of shining words, to be
  My fragile immortality.



    III



  The Flight


  Look back with longing eyes and know that I will follow,
  Lift me up in your love as a light wind lifts a swallow,
  Let our flight be far in sun or blowing rain--
  _But what if I heard my first love calling me again?_

  Hold me on your heart as the brave sea holds the foam,
  Take me far away to the hills that hide your home;
  Peace shall thatch the roof and love shall latch the door--
  _But what if I heard my first love calling me once more?_



  Dew


  As dew leaves the cobweb lightly
   Threaded with stars,
  Scattering jewels on the fence
   And the pasture bars;
  As dawn leaves the dry grass bright
   And the tangled weeds
  Bearing a rainbow gem
   On each of their seeds;
  So has your love, my lover,
   Fresh as the dawn,
  Made me a shining road
   To travel on,
  Set every common sight
   Of tree or stone
  Delicately alight
   For me alone.



  To-night


  The moon is a curving flower of gold,
   The sky is still and blue;
  The moon was made for the sky to hold,
   And I for you.

  The moon is a flower without a stem,
   The sky is luminous;
  Eternity was made for them,
   To-night for us.



  Ebb Tide


  When the long day goes by
   And I do not see your face,
  The old wild, restless sorrow
   Steals from its hiding place.

  My day is barren and broken,
   Bereft of light and song,
  A sea beach bleak and windy
   That moans the whole day long.

  To the empty beach at ebb tide,
   Bare with its rocks and scars,
  Come back like the sea with singing,
   And light of a million stars.



  I Would Live in Your Love


  I would live in your love as the sea-grasses live in the sea,
  Borne up by each wave as it passes, drawn down by each wave that recedes;
  I would empty my soul of the dreams that have gathered in me,
  I would beat with your heart as it beats, I would follow your soul
    as it leads.



  Because


  Oh, because you never tried
  To bow my will or break my pride,
  And nothing of the cave-man made
  You want to keep me half afraid,
  Nor ever with a conquering air
  You thought to draw me unaware--
  Take me, for I love you more
  Than I ever loved before.

  And since the body's maidenhood
  Alone were neither rare nor good
  Unless with it I gave to you
  A spirit still untrammeled, too,
  Take my dreams and take my mind
  That were masterless as wind;
  And "Master!" I shall say to you
  Since you never asked me to.



  The Tree of Song


  I sang my songs for the rest,
   For you I am still;
  The tree of my song is bare
   On its shining hill.

  For you came like a lordly wind,
   And the leaves were whirled
  Far as forgotten things
   Past the rim of the world.

  The tree of my song stands bare
   Against the blue--
  I gave my songs to the rest,
   Myself to you.



  The Giver


  You bound strong sandals on my feet,
   You gave me bread and wine,
  And sent me under sun and stars,
   For all the world was mine.

  Oh, take the sandals off my feet,
   You know not what you do;
  For all my world is in your arms,
   My sun and stars are you.



  April Song


  Willow, in your April gown
   Delicate and gleaming,
  Do you mind in years gone by
   All my dreaming?

  Spring was like a call to me
   That I could not answer,
  I was chained to loneliness,
   I, the dancer.

  Willow, twinkling in the sun,
   Still your leaves and hear me,
  I can answer spring at last,
   Love is near me!



  The Wanderer


  I saw the sunset-colored sands,
   The Nile like flowing fire between,
   Where Rameses stares forth serene,
  And Ammon's heavy temple stands.

  I saw the rocks where long ago,
   Above the sea that cries and breaks,
   Swift Perseus with Medusa's snakes
  Set free the maiden white like snow.

  And many skies have covered me,
   And many winds have blown me forth,
   And I have loved the green, bright north,
  And I have loved the cold, sweet sea.

  But what to me are north and south,
   And what the lure of many lands,
   Since you have leaned to catch my hands
  And lay a kiss upon my mouth.



  The Years


  To-night I close my eyes and see
  A strange procession passing me--
  The years before I saw your face
  Go by me with a wistful grace;
  They pass, the sensitive, shy years,
  As one who strives to dance, half blind with tears.

  The years went by and never knew
  That each one brought me nearer you;
  Their path was narrow and apart
  And yet it led me to your heart--
  Oh, sensitive, shy years, oh, lonely years,
  That strove to sing with voices drowned in tears.



  Enough


  It is enough for me by day
   To walk the same bright earth with him;
  Enough that over us by night
   The same great roof of stars is dim.

  I do not hope to bind the wind
   Or set a fetter on the sea--
  It is enough to feel his love
   Blow by like music over me.



  Come


  Come, when the pale moon like a petal
   Floats in the pearly dusk of spring,
  Come with arms outstretched to take me,
   Come with lips pursed up to cling.

  Come, for life is a frail moth flying,
   Caught in the web of the years that pass,
  And soon we two, so warm and eager,
   Will be as the gray stones in the grass.



  Joy


  I am wild, I will sing to the trees,
   I will sing to the stars in the sky,
  I love, I am loved, he is mine,
   Now at last I can die!

  I am sandaled with wind and with flame,
   I have heart-fire and singing to give,
  I can tread on the grass or the stars,
   Now at last I can live!



  Riches


  I have no riches but my thoughts,
   Yet these are wealth enough for me;
  My thoughts of you are golden coins
   Stamped in the mint of memory;

  And I must spend them all in song,
   For thoughts, as well as gold, must be
  Left on the hither side of death
   To gain their immortality.



  Dusk in War Time


  A half-hour more and you will lean
   To gather me close in the old sweet way--
  But oh, to the woman over the sea
   Who will come at the close of day?

  A half-hour more and I will hear
   The key in the latch and the strong, quick tread--
  But oh, the woman over the sea
   Waiting at dusk for one who is dead!



  Peace


  Peace flows into me
   As the tide to the pool by the shore;
   It is mine forevermore,
  It will not ebb like the sea.

  I am the pool of blue
   That worships the vivid sky;
   My hopes were heaven-high,
  They are all fulfilled in you.

  I am the pool of gold
   When sunset burns and dies--
   You are my deepening skies;
  Give me your stars to hold.



  Moods


  I am the still rain falling,
   Too tired for singing mirth--
  Oh, be the green fields calling,
   Oh, be for me the earth!

  I am the brown bird pining
   To leave the nest and fly--
  Oh, be the fresh cloud shining,
   Oh, be for me the sky!



  Houses of Dreams


  You took my empty dreams
   And filled them every one
  With tenderness and nobleness,
   April and the sun.

  The old empty dreams
   Where my thoughts would throng
  Are far too full of happiness
   To even hold a song.

  Oh, the empty dreams were dim
   And the empty dreams were wide,
  They were sweet and shadowy houses
   Where my thoughts could hide.

  But you took my dreams away
   And you made them all come true--
  My thoughts have no place now to play,
   And nothing now to do.



  Lights


  When we come home at night and close the door,
   Standing together in the shadowy room,
   Safe in our own love and the gentle gloom,
  Glad of familiar wall and chair and floor,

  Glad to leave far below the clanging city;
   Looking far downward to the glaring street
   Gaudy with light, yet tired with many feet,
  In both of us wells up a wordless pity;

  Men have tried hard to put away the dark;
   A million lighted windows brilliantly
      Inlay with squares of gold the winter night,
  But to us standing here there comes the stark
      Sense of the lives behind each yellow light,
   And not one wholly joyous, proud, or free.



  "I Am Not Yours"


  I am not yours, not lost in you,
   Not lost, although I long to be
  Lost as a candle lit at noon,
   Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

  You love me, and I find you still
   A spirit beautiful and bright,
  Yet I am I, who long to be
   Lost as a light is lost in light.

  Oh plunge me deep in love--put out
   My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
  Swept by the tempest of your love,
   A taper in a rushing wind.



  Doubt


  My soul lives in my body's house,
   And you have both the house and her--
  But sometimes she is less your own
   Than a wild, gay adventurer;
  A restless and an eager wraith,
   How can I tell what she will do--
  Oh, I am sure of my body's faith,
   But what if my soul broke faith with you?



  The Wind


  A wind is blowing over my soul,
   I hear it cry the whole night through--
  Is there no peace for me on earth
   Except with you?

  Alas, the wind has made me wise,
   Over my naked soul it blew,--
  There is no peace for me on earth
   Even with you.



  Morning


  I went out on an April morning
   All alone, for my heart was high,
  I was a child of the shining meadow,
   I was a sister of the sky.

  There in the windy flood of morning
   Longing lifted its weight from me,
  Lost as a sob in the midst of cheering,
   Swept as a sea-bird out to sea.



  Other Men


  When I talk with other men
   I always think of you--
  Your words are keener than their words,
   And they are gentler, too.

  When I look at other men,
   I wish your face were there,
  With its gray eyes and dark skin
   And tossed black hair.

  When I think of other men,
   Dreaming alone by day,
  The thought of you like a strong wind
   Blows the dreams away.



  Embers


  I said, "My youth is gone
   Like a fire beaten out by the rain,
  That will never sway and sing
   Or play with the wind again."

  I said, "It is no great sorrow
   That quenched my youth in me,
  But only little sorrows
   Beating ceaselessly."

  I thought my youth was gone,
   But you returned--
  Like a flame at the call of the wind
   It leaped and burned;

  Threw off its ashen cloak,
   And gowned anew
  Gave itself like a bride
   Once more to you.



  Message


  I heard a cry in the night,
   A thousand miles it came,
  Sharp as a flash of light,
   My name, my name!

  It was your voice I heard,
   You waked and loved me so--
  I send you back this word,
   I know, I know!



  The Lamp


  If I can bear your love like a lamp before me,
  When I go down the long steep Road of Darkness,
  I shall not fear the everlasting shadows,
      Nor cry in terror.

  If I can find out God, then I shall find Him,
  If none can find Him, then I shall sleep soundly,
  Knowing how well on earth your love sufficed me,
      A lamp in darkness.



    IV



  A November Night


       There!  See the line of lights,
       A chain of stars down either side the street--
       Why can't you lift the chain and give it to me,
       A necklace for my throat?  I'd twist it round
       And you could play with it.  You smile at me
       As though I were a little dreamy child
       Behind whose eyes the fairies live. . . .  And see,
       The people on the street look up at us
       All envious.  We are a king and queen,
       Our royal carriage is a motor bus,
       We watch our subjects with a haughty joy. . . .
       How still you are!  Have you been hard at work
       And are you tired to-night?  It is so long
       Since I have seen you--four whole days, I think.
       My heart is crowded full of foolish thoughts
       Like early flowers in an April meadow,
       And I must give them to you, all of them,
       Before they fade.  The people I have met,
       The play I saw, the trivial, shifting things
       That loom too big or shrink too little, shadows
       That hurry, gesturing along a wall,
       Haunting or gay--and yet they all grow real
       And take their proper size here in my heart
       When you have seen them. . . .  There's the Plaza now,
       A lake of light!  To-night it almost seems
       That all the lights are gathered in your eyes,
       Drawn somehow toward you.  See the open park
       Lying below us with a million lamps
       Scattered in wise disorder like the stars.
       We look down on them as God must look down
       On constellations floating under Him
       Tangled in clouds. . . .  Come, then, and let us walk
       Since we have reached the park.  It is our garden,
       All black and blossomless this winter night,
       But we bring April with us, you and I;
       We set the whole world on the trail of spring.
       I think that every path we ever took
       Has marked our footprints in mysterious fire,
       Delicate gold that only fairies see.
       When they wake up at dawn in hollow tree-trunks
       And come out on the drowsy park, they look
       Along the empty paths and say, "Oh, here
       They went, and here, and here, and here!  Come, see,
       Here is their bench, take hands and let us dance
       About it in a windy ring and make
       A circle round it only they can cross
       When they come back again!" . . .  Look at the lake--
       Do you remember how we watched the swans
       That night in late October while they slept?
       Swans must have stately dreams, I think.  But now
       The lake bears only thin reflected lights
       That shake a little.  How I long to take
       One from the cold black water--new-made gold
       To give you in your hand!  And see, and see,
       There is a star, deep in the lake, a star!
       Oh, dimmer than a pearl--if you stoop down
       Your hand could almost reach it up to me. . . .

       There was a new frail yellow moon to-night--
       I wish you could have had it for a cup
       With stars like dew to fill it to the brim. . . .

       How cold it is!  Even the lights are cold;
       They have put shawls of fog around them, see!
       What if the air should grow so dimly white
       That we would lose our way along the paths
       Made new by walls of moving mist receding
       The more we follow. . . .  What a silver night!
       That was our bench the time you said to me
       The long new poem--but how different now,
       How eerie with the curtain of the fog
       Making it strange to all the friendly trees!
       There is no wind, and yet great curving scrolls
       Carve themselves, ever changing, in the mist.
       Walk on a little, let me stand here watching
       To see you, too, grown strange to me and far. . . .
       I used to wonder how the park would be
       If one night we could have it all alone--
       No lovers with close arm-encircled waists
       To whisper and break in upon our dreams.
       And now we have it!  Every wish comes true!
       We are alone now in a fleecy world;
       Even the stars have gone.  We two alone!



[End of Love Songs.]



{As an item of interest to the reader, the following, which was at the
end of this edition, is included.  Only the advertisement for the same
author is included}.



By the same author

Rivers to the Sea


"There is hardly another American woman-poet whose poetry is generally
known and loved like that of Sara Teasdale.  'Rivers to the Sea', her
latest volume of lyrics, possesses the delicacy of imagery, the inward
illumination, the high vision that characterize the poetry that will
endure the test of time."--'Review of Reviews'.

"'Rivers to the Sea' is a book of sheer delight. . . .  Her touch turns
everything to song."--Edward J. Wheeler, in 'Current Opinion'.

"Sara Teasdale's lyrics have the clarity, the precision, the grace and
fragrance of flowers."--Harriet Monroe, in 'Poetry'.

"Sara Teasdale has a genius for the song, for the perfect lyric, in
which the words seem to have fallen into place without art or
effort."--Louis Untermeyer, in 'The Chicago Evening Post'.

"'Rivers to the Sea' is the best book of pure lyrics that has appeared
in English since A. E. Housman's 'A Shropshire Lad'."--William Marion
Reedy, in 'The Mirror'.

"'Rivers to the Sea' is the most beautiful book of pure lyrics that has
come to my hand in years."--'Los Angeles Graphic'.

"Sara Teasdale sings about love better than any other contemporary
American poet."--'The Boston Transcript'.

"'Rivers to the Sea' is the most charming volume of poetry that has
appeared on either side of the Atlantic in a score of years."--'St.
Louis Republic'.



Sara Teasdale (1884-1933):

Teasdale was born in St. Louis, Missouri, where she attended a school
that was founded by the grandfather of another great poet from St.
Louis--T. S. Eliot.  She later associated herself more with New York
City.

Her first book of poems was "Sonnets to Duse" (1907), [at least one poem
in the current volume, "Faults", is from this book,] but "Helen of Troy"
(1911) was the true launch of her career, followed by "Rivers to the Sea"
(1915), "Love Songs" (1917), "Flame and Shadow" (1920) and more.  Her
final volume, "Strange Victory", is considered by many to be predictive
of her suicide in 1933.





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