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Title: Poems
Author: Manning, Frederic
Language: English
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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.

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POEMS

by

FREDERIC MANNING



London
John Murray, Albemarle Street, W.
1910

Printed by Hazell, Watson and Viney, Ld.,
London and Aylesbury.



       TO LLE. and RYLLIS
          WITH MY LOVE


"NOON" appeared originally in _The Atlantic
Monthly_, "Canzone" in _The Spectator_, and
"Kore" in _The English Review_. I am indebted to
the Editors of these Reviews for permission to
include them in this volume.
                                         F. M.



CONTENTS
                                           PAGE
  THESEUS AND HIPPOLYTA                       1
  LA TOUSSAINT                               11
  THE FOUNT                                  13
  TRISTRAM                                   14
  THE SOUL OF MAN                            16
  THE VENTURERS                              18
  AFTER NIGHT                                20
  APRIL DANCE-SONG                           25
  SONG OF THE SOUL                           27
  A. C. S                                    29
  TO A BUSH-BABY                             31
  CANZONE                                    33
  EROS GLITTERING                            36
  KORE                                       38
  STILL LIFE                                 40
  BLODEUWEDD                                 41
  HELGI OF LITHEND                           44

  LES HEURES ISOLÉES:
    THE POOL                                 70
    NOON                                     71
    BEAUTY'S WISDOM                          72
    THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD                    73
    BUTTERFLIES                              74
    THE SWALLOW                              75
    LIGHT                                    76
    LOVE'S HOUSE                             77
    FOREST MURMURS                           78
    THE CRYSTAL DREAMER                      80
    SOLEIL COUCHANT                          81
    TOUT PASSE                               82
    LOVE ALONE                               83
    LARK AND NIGHTINGALE                     86
    REVENANTS DES ENFANTS                    87
    AD CINARAM                               89
    PAST                                     90
    SERENADE                                 91
    MEMORY                                   92
    L'AUBE                                   94
    DEATH AND MEMORY                         95
    DEATH AND NATURE                         96



      THESEUS AND HIPPOLYTA
        TO J. G. FAIRFAX

    Noon smote down on the field,
    Burning on spears and helms,
    Shining from Theseus' shield.
    As a wave of the sea that whelms
    A rock, and its crest uprears,
    Through the wreck of the trampled wheat
    The charge of the charioteers
    Thundering broke. A sleet
    Veiled light, and the air was alive,
    As with hissing of snakes, as with swarms
    Of the Spring by a populous hive,
    As with wind, and the clamour of storms:
    So hurtled the arrowy hail
    Loosed from the Amazon ranks,
    Smote ringing on brazen mail,
    Struck fanged through the shuddering flanks
    Of the stallions; and half were hurled
    In the dust, and broken, and brayed
    By the chariots over them whirled,
    Which, eager and undismayed,
    Swept ruining on to the hordes
    Of the Amazonian camp,
    With the lightning of terrible swords;
    Till the dead were heaped, as a ramp
    For the quick. But the chariots shocked
    On the thicket of close-set spears;
    And the long ranks reeled, and rocked,
    Broke; and the charioteers
    Went through them, cleaving as ploughs
    Cleave earth: they were rent, and tossed
    With the tumult of tortured boughs.
    And the stallions, with foam embossed,
    Fought, tearing each other with teeth,
    In the red, blind rage of their lust,
    Screaming; and writhed underneath
    The wounded, trodden as must
    Of the grapes trodden out in the press,
    Empurpling the knees, and bare
    Thighs of the men. Through the stress
    Of their shoulders drove as a share,
    Hippolyta. Avenging she came;
    And they streamed, and they surged round her car,
    The women: her face was a flame
    As she rode through the tempest of war;
    And they cried, made glad with the sight,
    As those desiring the dawn,
    When the darkness is cloven by light,
    Cry for gladness: they rallied, upborne,
    When she rayed as the sun through their cloud.
    But she strung the bow, and she prayed
    Unto Artemis, calling aloud,
    As a maid might call to a maid;
    And the Goddess of shining brows
    Heard, as she paused from the chace
    Upon Tainaros hoary with snows;
    And a shadow darkened her face:
    A shadow, and then a ray
    Lightening, glorying, smiled,
    As her thought pierced years to a day
    Unborn, and an unborn child,
    With the pure fount of his praise
    Lifted to her, from the shrine
    Rock-hewn, at the three cross-ways
    In a waste of hills, as wine
    Gladdening her; and she shed
    A wonder, a terror, a fear,
    A beauty that filled with dread,
    A glory no eyes might bear
    On her maid; stooped, hushed, from the height
    Her thought, as a bird on the wing,
    Rained down from her, swifter than light.
    Hippolyta notched on the string
    An arrow, and loosed it, and smote,
    As he drove at her car with a jest,
    Agelaus, cleaving his throat
    Speechless; and smote through the breast
    Polytherses; and Euenor then
    Felt the teeth of the flints at his veins,
    As his mares dragged him back to his men
    All bloody, entangled in reins;
    Then Damastor she smote: and they fled
    As doves or as linnets fly
    When a hawk that has towered overhead
    Stoops, ravening, out of the sky
    On their quires. But her arrows sighed
    After them, swifter than feet:
    They ran, shrieked, stumbled, and died,
    Shot through with her shafts. In the wheat,
    With the sunlight gilding their greaves,
    Helmets, and shields, and mail,
    They lay, strewn thickly as leaves
    When Autumn has swung his flail.
    But afar, where Thermodon rolled
    The deep, swift strength of its flood
    To the ocean turbidly gold,
    Drave Theseus, eager for blood;
    And as herds stampede in affright
    At the reek of the beast in the air
    Precipitately through the night
    When a lion forth comes from his lair,
    So the women before him fled
    In a rout, headlong, overborne,
    For he drave as a beast all red,
    With the blood of the prey he had torn,
    Circled them round; they were rent,
    Whirled under him, flung from him, far
    Seaward, and lost; until spent,
    Heaped in a mound by her car
    Broken, and dying, and dead,
    Hippolyta saw. And she fled.

    Theseus followed. Afar,
    Over the storm of the spears,
    He had seen her face as a star
    Shine; and no tremble of tears
    Softened her terrible eyes,
    Cruel they shone there, and blue
    With the beauty of windless skies.
    But her bowstring ever she drew,
    Loosening arrows that sang
    Through the air exulting as wind;
    And the clamour of battle rang
    Most by her car, while behind
    The fierce, wild women upheld
    Their queen, and their anger burned
    In staring eyeballs. She felled
    A man as her car overturned,
    Sped onward, her swift white feet
    The dead and the dying spurned
    Who lay in the wasted wheat.
    Theseus followed his prey
    As a lean hound follows the fleet
    Quarry: the dusty way
    Smoked with the speed of his feet.
    She was swift; but he burned in the chace:
    He was flame, he was sandalled with fire,
    Hungering after her face,
    With a fury, a lust, a desire,
    As a hound that whines for the blood
    Of the hart flying winged with fear;
    And she yearned, and she longed for the wood,
    Seeming far from her still, though near,
    And she strained, and she panted, and pressed,
    With her head flung backward for breath,
    And the quick sobs shaking her breast,
    Agonised, now, as by death,
    Fearing utterly, fighting with fate,
    Stumbling. And swifter behind,
    With a love made hot by his hate,
    Strained he pursuing. The wind,
    Lifted, and played with the fold
    Of her chlamys; and showed made bare
    The swift limbs shining, as gold
    From sunlight, and streamed through her hair
    As wind in a cresset of fire,
    As tresses of flame in the night,
    While she fled, desired, from desire,
    Till the brakes hid the flame from his sight.

    Yea, but no long time he stood,
    As one who resigns the prize
    When a moment baffled. The wood
    Hid her indeed from his eyes,
    But the track of her feet lay clean
    As the slot of a deer in the grass.
    Slower he followed, and keen
    Were his downcast eyes. As a glass
    A wide lake gleamed in the ebb
    Of the latest tide of the light;
    Stars shone clear through the web
    Of the branches, beckoning night;
    The leaves fell softly, gilt
    With autumn, and tawny and red;
    And the blue of the skies lay spilt,
    Pooled, shining, from late rains shed;
    The tall reeds seemed to dream
    By the full lake's murmuring marge.
    She paused by a chiming stream,
    Listened awhile, hung her targe
    From a tree with her unstrung bow,
    Loosened her breast-plate and greaves,
    Bathing her limbs: and slow,
    Like a snake through the fallen leaves,
    Theseus crept on his prize,
    Paused, to gaze on her grace,
    The fine clean curve of the thighs,
    Pure brow, and well-chiselled face,
    Beautiful knees, and the play
    Of muscles, splendidly wrought.
    Theseus leapt on his prey.

    Laughing softly, he sought
    Ease from desire as a flame:
    Struggled she still, and fought,
    Calling on Artemis' name,
    Who went, unheeding her prayer,
    Beyond Tainaros streaming with floods,
    Till the cries came faint through the air,
    Dwindling among the woods,
    For the numberless tongues of the leaves
    Echoed with myriad cries
    Low, and as plaintive as grieves
    The wood under darkening skies.
    The quick, sharp sobs from her breast
    Came thick, and she, to whom spears
    Hurtling close were a zest
    To battle, felt the hot tears
    Well and fall from her eyes,
    Struggled not long, lay still.
    Theseus stooped on his prize,
    Drank of her lips his fill.



        LA TOUSSAINT

    The wind wails overhead,
      With a grieving sore;
    And the little souls of the dead
      Beat on the door.

    Crying: Light and a fire,
      We have travelled far
    Over the plowed fields' mire.
      Will ye lift the bar?

    Would ye have us go all night
      On the windy ways,
    Who were strong men once in the light
      Of our own days?

    Ours are the fields ye plow,
      And ye sow our wheat:
    Let us stretch our hands to the glow
      Of the warm, red peat.

    We, who have lain in earth
      For a long dark year,
    Crave for our own old hearth,
      And ye will not hear.



                THE FOUNT

    O quiring voices of the sleepless springs,
    O night of beauty, calm and odorous,
    O bird of Thrace, that ever ceaseless sings
    The passion of thy music amorous,

    My heart is but a spring that, with its prayer,
    Is choric through an April plenilune;
    My music but a rapture in the air,
    A nightingale loud-voiced in leafy June.



                   TRISTRAM

    Ah, my heart! my heart! It is weary without her.
    I would that I were as the winds which play about her!
    For here I waste and I sicken, and nought is fair
    To mine eyes: nor night with stars in her clouded hair,
    Nor all the whitening ways of the stormy seas,
    Nor the leafy twilight trembling under the trees:
    But mine hands crave for her touch, mine eyes for her sight,
    My mouth for her mouth, mine ears for her footfalls light,
    And my soul would drink of her soul through every sense,
    Thirsting for her, as earth, in the heat intense,
    For the soft song and the gentle dropping of rain.
    But I sit here as a smouldering fire of pain,
    Lonely, here! And the wind in the forest grieves,
    And I hear my sorrow sobbing among the leaves.



             THE SOUL OF MAN
            TO YNEZ STACKABLE

    In the soul of man there are many voices,
      That silence wakens, and sound restrains:
    A song of love, that the soul rejoices,
      With windy music, and murmuring rains;

    A song of light, when the dawn arises,
      And earth lies shining, and wet with dew;
    And life goes by, in a myriad guises,
      Under a heaven of stainless blue.

    The willows, bending over the river,
      Where the water ripples between the reeds,
    Where the shadows sway, and the pale lights quiver
      On floating lily, and flowing weeds,

    Have whispering voices, soft as showers
      Of April falling on upland lawns,
    On the nodding harebell, and pale wind-flowers,
      Through silver evens, and golden dawns.

    But softer than love, and deeper than longing
      Are the sweet, frail voices of drifting ghosts;
    In the soul of man they are floating, thronging
      As wind-blown petals, pale, flickering hosts.



             THE VENTURERS

            Yea! even such as creep
      With eyes bent earthward, in the little space
      Between the dawn and waning of the day,
            Between a sleep and sleep:
      Even these, without a fixed abiding-place,
      Travel, though tardily, upon the way
      Labouring; while your lighter, swifter sail
      Soars, rising over sudden hills of foam,
      Exultant, through the storm; and, eager, flies
      Like a fleet swallow up to meet the gale,
      That drives with anger, through the heaven's dome,
    Clouds, like great silver galleons in a sea of skies.

            For every man, and each,
      Is like a venture putting forth to sea,
      Voyaging into unknown ways to find
      Kindlier lands; and urges on to reach
            Kingdoms which there may be
      Hidden the grey gloom of the sea behind:
      Fabulous kingdoms piled with golden toil
      And the slow garnering of mortal dreams:
      Such as lured forth the splendid sails of Spain.
      So, journeying, we, in hope of that great spoil,
      Steer hardily through all conflicting streams
    Of Ocean, and count all the exultant battling gain.



         AFTER NIGHT
          TO LILLIE

    Lovely thou art, O Dawn!
    As a maiden, who wakes,
    Opening eyes on a world
    Filled with wonder and light,
    After a sleep of dreams.
    Issuing, clad in a robe
    Of blue, and silver, and green.
    From the tents of God in the east
    Comest thou; as a thought
    Slippeth into the mind
    Of a maid, awakened from sleep,
    By the swallows, under the eaves,
    Twittering to their young;
    As a flower awakens in Spring,
    After the sweet warm rains
    Pass away, and the sun
    Nourishes it; and slow
    The curving petals unclose.
    And a presence escapes from its heart,
    An odour remote, and vague,
    Trembling upon the air,
    A frail, mysterious ghost,
    That comes and goes on the wind,
    Like the inspiration of God.

    Lovely thou art, O Dawn!
    Coming shy as a maid,
    At nightfall, to meet her love
    By the ricks of clover and hay.
    They speak not, but hands
    Meet hands, mouth mouth, and desire
    Broods like a God in the night,
    Under the yellow moon:
    They speak not, having all things.

    Lovely thou art, O Dawn!
    Healing comes in thine hands,
    The wide sea laughs at thy birth,
    The multitudinous waves
    Ripple about thy feet,
    For joy at thy coming; the birds
    Shake the dew from the leaves,
    Shake the song from their throats;
    The full ewes call to the lambs;
    Lowing, the cattle come
    To drink at the reed-fringed pool,
    Bending, they drink, and lift
    Dripping muzzles, to gaze
    With patient, satisfied eyes
    Over the plenteous earth.
    While slowly out of the fens,
    And heavy plough-lands the mist
    Rises to greet thee, and spires
    Of thin blue smoke, that ascend
    Trembling into the calm
    Windless air, and float
    From the habitations of man.

    Man, too, cometh forth; but he
    Scarcely regards thee: with eyes
    Bent to the earth he comes,
    Busy with cares of toil,
    Plotting to gain him ease,
    Meat, drink, and warmth for his age:
    Plotting in vain! He goes
    Out of the ways of life,
    Utterly frustrate, and spent.
    Gone, who was king of thy fields!
    Gone, who was lord of thy flocks!
    Like a dream. And his children forget,
    Even they, too, that he was.
    They turn to their toil, and eat,
    Sleep, drink, as of old he did,
    Spinning the woof and the warp
    Of life, on the Looms of Stone
    Which the Fates rule, and God.

    Yea, we are labourers all;
    Even as bees for man
    Gather the honey from flowers,
    So do we labour for God
    Unwittingly. Yea, and the days
    Bringeth to each his reward,
    A final sleep and a peace.
    Swiftly they pass, the days,
    Winged with flame are their feet,
    Devouring us and our kin,
    As flame the stubble consumes.
    But the grain is garnered, perchance,
    In the great, wide barns of God,
    Laid up in a golden heap,
    As a wise king's treasury is
    Heaped with the yellow gold.

    Lovely thou art, O Dawn!
    Creating, out of the dark,
    This bright, and beautiful world
    Again: and leading each day
    As a bride to man, whence he
    Begets him wonderful deeds.
    And, surely, because thine hands
    Lead us at last to peace,
    Lovely thou art, O Dawn!



        APRIL DANCE-SONG
       TO MISS DORA CURTIS

    April with her fleet, sweet,
      Silver rain, and sun-rays,
    Cometh, and her feet beat
      Lightly, on the lawn.
    Softly, for her sake, break
      Flowering the wet boughs;
    By the brimming lake, wake
      Lilies every dawn.

    Broken on the stream, gleam
      Rays, to drown where weeds wave;
    Shining with her dream, seem
      April's eyes bedewed.
    Shakes a silver chain, rain
      Chiming with her music;
    Life, that long hath lain slain
      Riseth up renewed.

    Softly as a dove, Love
      Croons beneath the twilight;
    While the winds above move
      Softly through the night.
    Out of all the skies, dies
      Light, and only stars shine:
    Stars to me her wise eyes,
      And her face a light.



        SONG OF THE SOUL

    My life was woven long ago,
    Or ever this our earth was fair,
    With mingled threads of love and woe,
    Hate, tears, and laughter, hope, despair.
    Yea! it was made ere water was,
    Ere snow fell, or the bright dew shone
    Upon the tender blades of grass;
    It sate and dreamed its life alone.

    Ere golden stars swam through the blue
    Of heaven, singing as they came,
    God wrought into it every hue,
    And gave it wings and feet of flame:
    A little thing of His own breath,
    A word that trembled into song,
    To fall through mists of life and death,
    A frail thing conquering the strong.

    All things that in the heavens are,
    The silver-hornéd sailing moon,
    The golden fire of every star,
    Through seas of time shall slip and swoon,
    And be as if they had not been;
    But through the darkness of the night,
    Through silence of that peace serene,
    Lo! I shall fashion mine own light,

    Remembering earth's shining streams
    And all the heavens' starry grace.
    Yea, dreaming once again the dreams,
    Which were the beauty of thy face.



            A. C. S.
       _April 10th, 1909_

    Ah! the golden mouth is stopped,
    That so sweet was with its song,
    Bright, and vehement as fire.
    Grieve we, as a star had dropped
    Out of Heaven's singing throng,
    For the lord of our desire.

    Bring we blossoms, lilies bring,
    Such frail blooms as lured of old
    Proserpina from the Hours:
    All this April's lavishing,
    Flame of sudden crocus-gold,
    Sudden foam of starry flowers.

    Spring hath slain the lord of Spring:
    He, whose song was fire and dew,
    Lieth in her lap, and slain
    By her, whom he loved to sing,
    As she came, with sandals blue,
    Through the shifting rays, and rain.

    Ah! the golden mouth is stopped
    Whence the whole of April's song,
    All her sudden, wilful fire,
    All her stores of honey dropped.
    Yet about our ways they throng,
    Words he winged with his desire.



        TO A BUSH-BABY

    Little one, so soft and light,
    Haunting silent, darkened ways,
    In the shadow of the night,
            Thee I praise.

    Such an elf as danced of old,
    Light as thistle-down or froth,
    By Titania's throne of gold,
            Little Moth.

    What strange fate linked thee and me,
    In this world of hope and fears?
    Surely God hath sheltered thee
            From our tears.

    Hands thou hast, and eyes that seem
    Troubled, by some pain obscure,
    As though life were but a dream,
            Nothing sure.

    Is thy tiny spirit vext,
    As our own, by vague distress,
    Haunted, by our life's perplext
            Weariness?

    Wondering, at all the strange
    Loveliness of lapsing days;
    Change that passeth into change,
            Rain or rays?

    Little hands that cling to me,
    Helpless as mine own, and weak,
    What in this world's mystery
            Do we seek?



                 CANZONE
          TO DOROTHY SHAKESPEAR

    Mine eyes have seen the veiled bride of the night,
    Before whose footsteps souls of men are blown,
    As are dead leaves, about the wind's swift feet.
    Wherefore great sorrow cometh through my song:
    A wind of grieving, through the branches wet,
    When all the alleys of the woods are lit
    With yellow leaves, and sere, and full of sighs.

    Through the bare woods she came, and pools of light
    Were darkened at her coming; and a moan
    Broke from the shuddering boughs, and all the fleet
    Leaves whirled about her passage, with the throng
    Of her lamenting ghosts, who cried regret,
    And passed as softly as the bats that flit
    Down silent ways, beneath the clouded skies.

    Wherefore I grieve, that no more in my sight
    Are mortal women lovely. I am grown
    Amorous of her lips with kisses sweet,
    For her deep eyes in their enchantment strong.
    Yea! I am wasted with my passion's fret:
    Restless, that my poor worship may not quit
    The pure light of her face, which made me wise.

    Great peace she hath, and dreams for her delight,
    Wherewith she weaves upon the Looms of Stone,
    Choosing such colours as she deemeth meet,
    Gold, blue, and vermeil skeins; and there among
    Her spools of weaving threads, her dreams beget
    Life, from her nimble fingers and quick wit,
    Mirrored in mortal life, which fades and dies.

    These are made whole and perfect in the bright
    Broideries of her hands, while by her throne
    Move unborn hours, which in her cave discrete
    She hideth, though her secret thoughts prolong
    Soft moments mortal hearts so soon forget,
    Bright, supple forms, with swift limbs strongly knit,
    Moving as light in dance as melodies.

    Wherefore, though in the cold I wail my plight,
    And wander, through the hoary woods, alone,
    Hunted, and smitten of the wind and sleet,
    Among these rooted souls, I would not wrong
    The intense white flame of beauty mine eyes met,
    And married for a moment: in this pit
    My blinded soul feeds on her memories.

    Go, thou, my song! Tell her, though weeping, yet
    Her face is mine: such joy have I in it
    I cannot shut the splendour from mine eyes.



              EROS GLITTERING

    Love is born as the day over the floods, rising in tides of light,
    Quenching glitter of stars, gloom of the woods, flowing
          into the night.
    Out of delicate dreams, out of a sleep, Love awakens, his eyes
    Filled with marvellous light as from the deep wells in the
          wakened skies.
    Glad is he of the earth, glad of the gems morning strews
          on the lawn,
    Trembling on every flower bright diadems: Love, Love too is a dawn!

    Ah! but not with a peace, not with a light, cometh he always down
    Like a swallow in swift beautiful flight! Nay, as swimmers who drown
    Those who strive with his strength: even as fire fallen
          out of the skies,
    Even as lightning hurled, so his desire, bright, and
          blending the eyes.
    Glittering through the storm cometh he then, rending all
          in his path,
    Thus the implacable lord, master of men, smites his foes
          in his wrath.



                    KORE
            TO MRS. W. N. MACMILLAN

    Yea, she hath passed hereby, and blessed the sheaves,
    And the great garths, and stacks, and quiet farms,
    And all the tawny and the crimson leaves.
    Yea, she hath passed, with poppies in her arms,
    Under the star of dusk, through stealing mist,
    And blessed the earth, and gone, while no man wist.

    With slow, reluctant feet, and weary eyes,
    And eyelids heavy with the coming sleep,
    With small breasts lifted up in stress of sighs,
    She passed, as shadows pass, among the sheep;
    While the earth dreamed, and only I was ware
    Of that faint fragrance blown from her soft hair.

    The land lay steeped in peace of silent dreams;
    There was no sound amid the sacred boughs,
    Nor any mournful music in her streams:
    Only I saw the shadow on her brows,
    Only I knew her for the yearly slain,
    And wept; and weep until she come again.



                 STILL LIFE

    Pale globes of fragrant ripeness, amber grapes
      And purple, on a silver dish; a glass
      Of wine, in which light glows, and fires to pass
    Staining the damask, and in dance escapes;
    Two Venice goblets wrought in graceful shapes;
      A bowl of velvet pansies, wherein mass
      Blues, mauves, and purples; plumes of meadow-grass;
    And one ripe pomegranate, that splits and gapes,
    Protruding ruby seeds: a feast for eyes
      Better than all those topaz, beryl fruits
        Aladdin saw and coveted: these call,
    To minds contented and in leisure wise,
      Visions of blossoming boughs, and mossy roots,
        And peaches ripening on a sunny wall.



          BLODEUWEDD

    Math, upon a summer day,
    Gathered blossoms of the May;
    Cherry-blossom, too, which fell
    On the surface of a well;
    Silver froth, and foam of flowers,
    Golden rays on drifting showers;
    Dew, and frost, and flames of fire,
    And he fashioned his desire:
    Made a woman, slim and fair,
    Blodeuwedd of the lovely hair.

    Blodeuwedd of the shining face
    Ranged the forest, with the grace
    Of a forest-thing, as wild,
    Wilful as a wanton child.
    How could men withhold their eyes
    From her? She was light, the skies,
    Dawn, and dew to them. It seemed,
    Looking at her, that they dreamed
    All the joys of heaven had been
    Hidden her twin breasts between,
    Bound upon her tranquil brows
    That were white as winter snows,
    Hidden in her curving lips,
    Folded round her flowing hips.
    Yea! for them she seemed to shine
    With a beauty all divine.

    Blodeuwedd of the little ears
    Had, alas! no gift of tears,
    Had no heart at all to love,
    Knew not what deep sorrows move
    Through the dim ways of our heart,
    Knew of mortal grief no part.
    She, like sunlight through the rain,
    Drifted through our world of pain,
    Fed her joy with myriad kisses,
    Stolen pleasures, honeyed blisses;
    Then danced on her wanton way
    Like a gleam of gold through gray.
    Men fell, knowing they would fall,
    For Math gave no heart at all.

    Blodeuwedd, I have made in thee
    Of my love's deep sorcery,
    Even as Math made the gay
    Heartless one from flowers of May,
    Foam, and frost, and shining dew,
    Shall I find a heart in you?



           HELGI OF LITHEND
           TO ALFRED FOWLER

    What are ye women doing? Get ye hence,
    Nor weary God with prayers. But when I die,
    Lay me not there among the peaceful graves
    Where sleep your puny saints. I would go hence,
    Over the loud ways of the sea again,
    In my black ship, with all the war-shields out,
    Nor, beaten, crawl unto the knees of God,
    To whine there a whipped hound. Yea, send me forth
    As when I sought rich lands, and glittering gold,
    And warm, white-breasted women, and red wine,
    And all the splendour and the lust of war.

    Your Eden lies among soft-slipping streams,
    Green meadows, orchards of o'er-laden boughs,
    Red with ripe apples. It hath lofty walls
    Beyond our scaling, that the peaceful folk
    May sleep each night securely: white-faced priests,
    And convent women, such as wail all day
    Before lit candles, in the idle fume
    Of incense rising. I would go where sit
    Tall Odin, and his golden-mailéd sons,
    Thor, Hermod, Tyr and Heimdail, Frey and Niord,
    With the blue-vestured Mother of the Gods,
    And saffron-snooded Freya, and Idun,
    And Brage, harping. There the heroes are,
    Whose armour rusts in ocean; and young men
    Who fared with me adventuring, and lie
    Now in an alien earth, or derelict drift
    Upon the washings of the eternal tides.
    But they still live in Asgard, drinking joy
    Of battle, and of music, and of love.
    Only I, I grow old, and bowed in head,
    While the dark hour approaches and the night,
    Exploring mine own soul, and lost therein.
    I too would go and eat of Idun's apples,
    The golden fruit, whereof the taste gives youth
    Perpetual, and strength of hands renewed;
    Be praised by Brage, and see Freya there,
    The saffron-snooded, whose deep eyes are lit
    With all love's perilous pleasures. I would ride
    Over the glittering Bifrost bridge with Thor
    And the great host of heroes; with the wind
    Playing upon our banners, and the dawn
    Leaping as flame from all the lifted swords,
    And press of spears: and some day we shall come
    Battering at the crystal walls of Heaven,
    With brazen clangour of arms, and burn the towers
    To be our torches, and make all the streets
    Of jasper, and chalcedony, and pearl,
    Slippery with the bloodshed. Will your saints
    Pray back the onslaught of our lusting swords
    With any prayers? I would not lie in earth
    Under the sheep; but send me once again
    Out through the storms, and though I lie there cold,
    And stiff in my bronze harness, I shall hear
    The exultation of the waves, the might
    Of Aegir, and the creaking of the helm,
    And dream the helm is in mine hands again,
    While my long ship leaps up, like a live thing,
    Against the engulphing waters, and triumphing rides,
    Through thunder of turbulent surges and streaming seas,
    Lifting and swaying, from trough to crest and trough,
    With tense and grinding timbers, while the wind
    Screams in the cordage and the splitten sail.

    Ye have loved women, some of ye, and know
    Therefore how I have loved the fickle sea,
    Blue in the sunlight, sometimes, as the eyes
    Of laughing children, wanton as a girl,
    And then all hunger for us men, all fierce
    Passionate longing, and then gray with rain,
    Sullen. A very harlot is the sea,
    A thing for men to master, full of moods,
    Treacherous, as you see it when it crawls
    Snakily over sunken rocks, or slinks
    Furtively by, and snarls to show its teeth
    Like a starved wolf. Many a goodly man
    Women have loved and slain, but more the sea!
    Though I forget, they are meeker women here,
    Submissive to their master. They are not
    The wild things that men warred with in my youth,
    Haggards to gentle! These soft-bosomed doves
    Who flutter round our footsteps, croon and coo
    Amorous music through the languorous nights,
    Low laughter stifled by close kisses shut
    Hot on the laughing lips, love being a game
    Now of your tamer men-folk with soft speech.
    But love to me was no light laughter heard
    Under a sickle moon, when blossoming brakes
    Thrill with the nightingales, and eve is hushed
    Like a blind maid, whose eyes are shut, and seem
    To shut within herself her secret thoughts
    Lest men should know them, and be ware of love,
    And waken, eager. Eager! Love to me
    Pulsed in the fingers and would clasp what seems
    So aerial a vision: to have, to hold,
    To drink of: and I knew how flesh could bound
    Spirit; so that we lay drowsed, close to sleep,
    Near as our bodies might, yet sundered thus
    With how irreparable loss! All time,
    Unborn or buried, meeting with our mouths
    In a swift marriage, and the sacred night
    Sweet with the song of arrowy desires
    Shot from the bow of life into our quick,
    And rooted there. Yea, life in one full pulse,
    And then the glory darkened, withered, dead,
    With lips dissevered, and with sundered limbs,
    And two, where had been one, in the gray dawn.

    Sigurd, my son, look where thy mother sits,
    In the round archway, on her carven chair,
    And gazes over the unquiet waves
    Toward the horizon's calm, as if there lay
    Peace, and the heart's desire, after much pain,
    Fulfilled at last. Quietly sitting there,
    She peoples all the blue of sea and skies
    With golden hopes of youth, giving them life
    From her own yearning, though they are long dead
    And havened where dead years are. Such still eyes
    She hath; and that strange patience women have
    Whose dreams are broken. Love, with a keen sword,
    Smote me; I saw the blue flame leap and fall,
    When first I saw her eyes: and dim the earth,
    And warfare, and seafaring, and the life
    Which sang, and went with joyful colours clad,
    Became until they were as frail as dreams;
    While, as they died in dusk, her face grew fair
    Swimming upon tired senses, as there swims
    Up from the wreck of day the night's first star
    Quickening through the silence. So, in her,
    The music and the colour of the world,
    The splendours of the earth and sky and sea,
    Were shadowed: all of life was in her eyes.

    Her house a shambles; and I, standing there,
    A beast all red with slaughter. One white face
    Like a white star! Was it not kingly spoil?
    What man had not felt hunger in his hands
    To flutter over the smooth flesh, and know
    The wonder breathing? So even I must grasp
    That winged, brief, fragile beauty, with rude strength
    Fierce from the haste of hunger, ere I knew
    What God had breathed his fire into my clay.

    Yea! ere I knew, while yet I thought the gold
    Mere dross for traffic in the market-place,
    Such ware as I had dealt in. Mine eyes now
    See her, as she was then: the tall, slim grace,
    The golden head upon its silver stalk,
    As frail as April's dewy lilies are,
    Upon some wakening lawn; or as she lay
    With long, smooth, supple thighs and little breasts
    Bared, while mine eyes drank all the beauty in,
    As earth drinks dawn with gladness: but her eyes
    Veiled suddenly, and quick red stained her cheeks,
    Flickering, and the bright soul fled from sight
    To its obscure recesses, while my heart
    Filled, drop by drop, with that strange wine of joy
    Which raced like fire through me, until each sense
    Ached, for the joy it gave, and thirsted more,
    In plundering such pleasure. But her soul
    Fled beyond reach of hands, remote, and veiled.
    She lay there as if dead, and all my love
    Was no more to her than the idle strength
    Which breaks upon the beaches. I could feel,
    Sometimes, she breathed beside me, and her breath
    Came soft, and warm, through the red parted lips,
    Fragrant upon my face. That night was filled
    With myriad voices, myriad stars, and dews,
    All choric! Yea, the very darkness glowed
    With secret heat, as if the night were quick
    By Love's own lord, and pregnant with a flame.

    So was she mine, by the sword's right, whose heart
    Went dreaming out over the unquiet sea
    To Bergthorsknoll; and Sigurd, Olaf's son,
    Such an one as the hearts of maids desire,
    Being tall, and straight, and comely: never a man
    Made such a friend or foe, on land or sea
    His hands were skilful. I can love such men
    In friendship or in fighting. He had come
    To Swinefell in his fighting-ship, when Spring
    Was white and ruddy in the fields and woods;
    And they, perchance, had bent down o'er the fire
    As day was closing, and had spoken low
    In the dim light; and he had sailed in June
    Southward for prey, descending toward the Seine
    With help from Thrain the White in ships and men.
    And I had come in autumn with my swords
    For vengeance of a wrong, and left Thrain's stead
    And town a heap of ash, being in wrath:
    Though it were shame to burn so tall a town,
    As men said; but the heart of me was grieved
    For some slight he had put on me, and black
    Is a man's anger; so I gave his stead
    A prey to the red flames; and fighting died
    Thrain, a man's death! But when I throned her here
    Men came and said, "Lo, now will Sigurd come
    For love of her, to take her hence again
    And burn Lithend for vengeance." But I said,
    Running my fingers down the smooth, keen blade,
    "Sigurd will come! Why then, let Sigurd come."

    But they all feared him, and again one spoke,
    Saying, "Thy love will burn us, and our town.
    Are there not many women in the world
    To mate with, but the one he loves?" I struck
    The craven fool a damned blow in the face,
    Whereat they kept their counsel, and were still.
    But one man, riding over a wild moor
    When the black night was blacker with a storm
    Saw in the play of lightnings from the clouds
    Twelve armoured women riding, and they swooped
    Eagle-wise on the earth, and riding came
    To a lone house; and, spying through a chink,
    He saw them weave a scarlet web of war,
    With swords for shuttles, and men's heads for weights,
    And they sang at their weaving. In those days
    We sowed our corn with axes in our belts,
    And each man armoured, and my people went
    Fearfully, gazing out with anxious eyes
    Over the seas for an unfriendly sail,
    While I sat silent, eating mine own heart,
    Until one ran with speed to me, as night
    Came, dropping silence on the shining sea,
    A man with lucky eyes, who cried, "They come!"
    Pointing toward the rim of ocean, red
    With the sun's blood; and that sight gladdened me,
    To see their slack sails, idle, in a gore
    Of dying glories, while their oars dripped fire,
    Labouring up against the ebbing tide.
    "They will come weary," said I, "and, perchance,
    Lack water." And I set an ambush, there
    Where Rangriver turns bitter with the sea,
    If thirst should lure them; and they came with skins
    To fill; and there we played a little while
    With knives and axes, while they ran, and tripped
    Over gnarled roots and boulders in the dark,
    Calling their friends, and knew not where they ran,
    For we would call the names we heard them call
    In feigning, and thus lure them from the path.
    Twenty tall fellows slew we in this wise,
    Making the odds more even, and that night
    They watched their ships, and lit the beach with fires
    So that they might not fight an unseen foe,
    Who struck them through the darkness. But I went
    Homeward, and to the chamber where she lay
    Sleeping, with tears upon her face; but sleep
    Had stilled her troubles. As I looked on her,
    Her breath came softly, like a child's. I watched,
    Wondering if death might hold as fair a thing,
    Hungering, though I would not break her dreams.
    All night I watched her, that mine heart might keep
    One face to dream of through the dark of death
    If he should slay me. Then a sense of dawn
    Stole gradually through the blue, wet air;
    Cool dawn, with dew and silence, fair and fresh!
    In the white light she lay there, and I looked
    Long on her: and I left her then, and went,
    Calling my men, and led them thence afield
    To a smooth level sward, for fighting made,
    Between the gray bents and the leafy woods,
    A dancing-ground for maidens. Such a stir
    Came from the beached black ships, as April, hears
    About the populous hives, when the blown scents
    Lure, to their garnering, the frugal bees,
    And they swarm forth: so swarmed upon the shore
    Sigurd's well-armoured men: some by the fires
    Eating, some buckling on their gleaming arms,
    Shouting their war-songs, beating on their shields
    Full of rude jests; and I saw Sigurd there,
    Standing apart, long-haired, and great of limb,
    With a soft silken kirtle, and his helm,
    Winged, flaming in the sunlight. Then my men
    Halted, for vantage of the broken ground,
    While I strode out upon the sward, and called
    To Sigurd; but blind rage gat hold of him,
    And he came at me, whirling his bright axe.
    And I leapt out to meet him, so men say,
    Laughing, and ran upon him, and his blow
    Broke down my guard, and bit the shoulder-bone,
    But mine axe clove clean through the angry face,
    Right to the brain; and, as I drew it back,
    He swayed, and fell, and his bronze armour rang
    Loudly; and from both armies came a shout
    Crying, "Sigurd is slain! Sigurd is slain!"
    One mourning and one joyous, while my men
    Stood round him prone, and marvelled at his strength,
    And no one feared him now. But they came on
    Avenging, and the crashing of their shock
    Broke round us; and the ringing blows, and shouts,
    And screams of dying men were born aloft
    With dust of battle; and lightening axes whirled,
    Lifting and falling: keen, and bright, and blue
    They fell, but they were lifted dull and red,
    While we rolled backward and forward in waves of fight,
    And fluctuating chance, and those who fell,
    Drowned there, amid the press of trampling feet.

    So, all day long, the uncertain combat flowed,
    Between the gray bents and the broken ground;
    And the smooth sward was cumbered with the dead,
    On whom we stumbled. But at last the night
    Came, shadowing with her blue veils the sea,
    And we and they drew off; and when the noise
    Of war was stilled, and only moans of men
    Broke silence, with the laughter of the sea
    That curled, and foamed, and rippled on the beach,
    I hailed them, and they answered me, and sent
    Tall Flosi, son of Gunnar, their best man
    Since Sigurd fell. Over the level sward,
    Now with the dead strown thick as shocks of corn
    After a reaping, strode he; and the moon
    Tipped his bright spear with silver, lit his helm
    And burnished shield; but when his eyes and mine
    Met, and he knew me, he stood waiting there.
    And I spoke, pointing, with my spear, to those
    White faces staring sightless to the moon
    From the smooth sward: "Lo! let us make a truce
    And mourn these dead, for they were goodly men.
    My friends or thine, who lie there strengthless now
    With Sigurd whom I slew. Him men shall mourn
    In Bergthorsknoll, as the bright gods in heaven
    Mourn golden Balder; but his praise shall be
    Within the hearts and on the lips of men
    A song for ever. Him I hated not,
    Nay, rather loved! Though he bore hate to me
    For Swinefell's spoiling, and for Gudrun's sake,
    Her, whom mine eyes beholding, straight mine heart
    Desired with all its strength. So for one prize
    Strove we, nor could we yield, but one must die:
    Whence lies he there. The gods have willed it so!
    But let us build a pyre within his ship
    Heaped up with spoil, and let us mourn for him,
    And launch him, burning, on the eternal sea.
    And when the dawn of the third day is red,
    If your mind is for fighting, we shall fight
    Again; or ye shall launch your ships and go
    Over the bright ways of the shining sea."
    I spake, and Flosi answered, gazing down
    Upon the dead, whose armour glimmered there
    Under the shining moon, as glimmer pools
    Innumerable in the leafless woods:
    "Yea, one slim maid hath slain too many men.

    Well is she Gudrun called, unto men's hearts
    A snare and peril! What is in one face
    That men should die for it? A kitchen slut
    To some dull clown is royal. But he lies
    There, and I cannot hold mine heart from tears
    So loved I him: I count all women light
    As flax beside his loss. Why didst not thou,
    When we two met amid the ringing blows
    And mine axe failed me, strike?" And I, to him,
    Impatient, for my wound was cold and irked
    My shoulder: "Go, and boast among the ships
    That Helgi fled thee. Helmsdale held me once.
    I could not slay thee for Kiartan's sake."
    And he, astonied, stood there, as if light
    Fell on remembered places in his heart:
    "Kiartan! O Kiartan!" broke from him
    In one long sigh; and he drew in his breath
    Quickly, remembering his brother's stead
    Above the land-locked bays; and his heart saw
    His mother bend down over the bright hearth,
    With her sweet, patient face, so old and wise,
    Lit by the flickering firelight. Thus he stood,
    Forgetting war and death; and when he spoke
    Again, his voice was changed, and soft in speech,
    While we went down toward the twinkling fires
    That lit the shore, and set a watch with brands
    To scare the wolves, who barked within the woods,
    Snuffing the tainted air. And Flosi came,
    Alone of all the Jarls, up to mine house,
    While they abode there. And when dawn was red
    Upon the third day, launching their black ships,
    They went upon the bright ways of the sea.

    Softly the sails dropped down that sea of light
    Under the milky skies; all liquid gold
    The pure fire broken by the cleaving prows
    And whitening in their wake; as I watched them
    I thought all life went thus, man's voyaging heart,
    Over the loud, glad, golden ways of time.
    With oars taught by a song, to seek some joy,
    Some rapture, some warm isle in happy seas,
    Adventuring. A lure there is for us
    In far horizons, dreamed-of, misty lands.
    A voice that calls us. Yea, but look on love!
    She lay there who, but two nights past, had watched
    One burning ship drift over the sea's rim
    Into the dark. Was she not mine indeed,
    Now, whom mine arm had won? All mine! all mine!
    The long, bright braids of hair; the little breasts,
    Like cups of carven ivory; the smooth,
    Cool, marble whiteness; curves one knew by touch
    Only, too gradual for eyes: it seemed
    God's hands, there, had felt joy in them, and wrought
    Delighting: and the blue eyes, brimmed with light;
    And thee, my son, forged in the intense hour's flame
    And inmost heat of whiteness. Mine! all mine!
    All mine: and yet some shadow slipped from me,
    Some frail, soft, sweet, intangible delight
    Escaping from mine hands. So have I gone
    Over blue windless seas, bare of all life,
    And urged the labouring oars; but every dawn
    Showed still the same blue, stainless shield, whose boss
    Was our one ship, until it hushed our songs,
    That deep, vast, desolating blue of sky
    And tranquil waters. I had all of her
    But some few drops of joy she yielded not,
    They being hers to give or keep, a dew
    Distilled within her soul. Yea, I loved her!
    I think no love is peace, and we but break
    Against each other; and our hands are vain
    To grasp what is worth holding; and our sense
    Too coarse a net to snare what no speech saith,
    We go alone through all our days, alone
    Even when all is given! But him she loved;
    And dreamed upon his face, remembering.

    Even so, I am glad! Yea, all my heart is glad
    I had her for mine own. I grasped the joy,
    The quick, warm, breathing life; and if the dream
    Fled from me, yet mine hands held priceless things,
    And dreams are winged to fly. They are poor fools
    Who deem the better love is a bowed heart
    And silent lips. If thou hadst beauty close,
    Because the white bird fluttered on thy breast,
    Wouldst loose it? Or would not a quicker pulse
    Beat in thine heart, and eager fingers close
    More firmly on the snowy, ruffled plumes,
    Till the thing yielded, panting? Will ye win?
    Then must ye dare. There is a lean saint stalled
    Somewhere among my scullions, in the stead:
    A half-drowned rat we haled from out the sea,
    Who says God saved him! He stakes his poor life,
    Having not strength enough to lift mine axe,
    Against a greater glory. Love to him
    Is as a golden net to snare his feet,
    And women perilous lures: he would keep them maids,
    Nor make one mother, but would rather see
    Life, which the gods made lovely, fade and die
    Ashen as winter woods, nor break again
    In all the foaming blossom of the spring,
    Whitening every field. He never knew
    The keen, sweet joy that smites through every sense
    Into the shuddering soul, and whelms the world
    In an immortal glory, while God builds
    Life beyond us, creating out of clay
    The world's imperishable dream, the hope,
    The wonder, the desire, that gives us sight
    Beyond our mortal doom. I have little wit;
    I only know that in the looms of time
    God's will moves like a shuttle to and fro.
    I have heard him in the waves, and on the wind;
    I have seen his splendour shine among the swords,
    Soften the eyes of women, light and smile
    On a child's lips; and know his presence there
    Where all the waves stream eagerly to lick
    The sunset's bloody splendours. Balder, the bright
    Beautiful Balder, whose eyes hold our hope,
    Who hath made love a light, and life a song,
    In all men's eyes, and on their lips, who hath sown
    The fields of heaven thick with golden fires,
    As men sow corn: and forges in this flame,
    Of life, with ringing blows, a strong man's soul
    As swords are fashioned, keen-edged, straight, and blue,
    How shall I die dispraising thee, whose praise
    Comes, laden with the blown scents of the spring,
    Opening dewy eyelids of bright buds,
    And brings the swallows? Thee I will not curse,
    Nor life, nor women, nor the fool himself
    Who blinks weak eyes, and calls the glory vain.

    The sea is darkened now; and I can hear
    The long moan of the waves upon the shore.
    Some fret is on me! I would go again
    Over the gray fields of the restless sea,
    Among the vexed waves and the stinging spray.
    Nay, one drowns here in death; and why not there
    To wash about among the changing tides
    Under the changing moon? I would not rest
    Within a little earth. As Sigurd went,
    Send me; and she will watch me burning, drift
    Over the rim of Ocean, ere I sink
    Into the dark still deeps, where are ribbed wrecks
    And strong men dead. Lo! it is time to die,
    For the old glory fades out of the world
    And the swords rust in peace. Yea, I would go
    Now, for this death is but another sea
    To venture on; a strong man will win through
    And cast up somewhere on another shore
    With his old lust for fighting. All of life
    I have seen, and many cities of proud kings,
    And I have gotten gold, and wine, and fame,
    Among strange peoples, and white girls were mine
    To love a little while on drowsy nights,
    When a low, yellow moon lights up a land
    Full of ripe stooks. Now it is time to go,
    Regretting nothing. Gudrun, come to me!
    Come to me, Gudrun! Lean thy lovely face
    Over me once again. 'Tis wet with tears:
    We have grown close together. Weep no more;
    Let the old wonder light up in thine eyes;
    Death will be dark without it.



                   LES HEURES ISOLÉES
                       FOR E.F.

               _Tout homme à s'expliquer se
               diminue. On se doit son
               propre secret. Toute belle
               vie se compose d'heures
               isolées._
                            _HENRI DE RÉGNIER._



                   THE POOL

    My soul is like a lake, whose waters glass
      Stars, and the silver clouds which uncontrolled
      Sail through the heavens, and the hills which fold
    Its valley in a peace, tall reeds, and grass,
    And all the wandering flights of birds, that pass
      Through the bright air; and, in itself, doth hold
      Naiads with smooth white limbs and hair of gold:
    So is my dreaming soul. And yet, alas!
    It holds but visions, unsubstantial things.
      Transient, momentary; and the feet
        Of winds that smite the waters, blur the whole.
    Shattering with the hurrying pulse of wings
      That crystal quiet, which hath grown so sweet
        With fragile reveries. Such is my soul.



             NOON
        TO ANITA FOCKE

    Charmed into silence lay
    The forest, dimly lit;
    No wind that summer day
    Moved the least leaf of it;

    No choric branches stirred
    Its calm profound and deep,
    Nor voice of any bird,
    But silence dreamed like sleep.

    Like dew upon the grass
    It fell upon my soul,
    Loosed it to soar, and pass
    Beyond the stars' control.

    Vague memories it woke,
    Shapes far too frail for touch;
    And then the silence broke,
    Lest I should learn too much.



            BEAUTY'S WISDOM

    As light, as fragrance from her face,
        A beauty is distilled
    More deep and tranquil than Youth's grace,
        The love that is fulfilled.

    Nor transient this: the touch of years
        But strengthens it with peace;
    She reaps the moments as the ears
        Are reaped, of Earth's increase.



        THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD

    I build of fair and fleeting things
        A little home for Love,
    In thickets where the linnet sings;
        My house is roofed above
    With aspen leaves, that never cease
    Their whispering, though winds have peace.

    And when the Autumn comes, the roof
        Is shed in golden showers;
    So sing I this for thy behoof,
        Love passes with the flowers:
    Ruined our house with wind and rain
    Till Spring shall build it up again.

    But though old age may dim our fire,
        This first close kiss will keep
    Sacred for us our old desire;
        And though the heavens weep,
    Its fragile memory will be
    All of our life for thee and me.



          BUTTERFLIES

    Fluttering, haphazard things,
    Delicate as flowers ye fly,
    Wandering on airy wings,

    Creatures of a tranquil sky,
    Born for one brief, golden day,
    Dying ere the roses die.

    Butterfly of colours gay
    Flutter in capricious flight,
    Hover in thy wanton play,

    Gather honey of delight!
    Not such harvest as the bee
    Carries to his hive at night.

    Night shall keep no place for thee,
    Death at dusk shall mock thy wings,
    So our poor souls seem to me

    Fluttering, haphazard things.



           THE SWALLOW

    O swallow, thou art come at last!
    The rain is sweet upon the leaves
    Now Winter's wrath is overpast,
    A wreath of blossom April weaves.

    Swift through the air thy light wings pass,
    Young willows droop their garlands green
    Over the tranquil pool, thy glass
    Where silver lilies float serene,

    O songless bird! The cuckoo sings,
    Filling the valley with his voice;
    The larks, on their exultant wings,
    In the blue deep of skies rejoice.

    There is more music in thy flight,
    Through sun or showers, swift and strong,
    A creature of the air and light
    Thou art, the very soul of song.



            LIGHT

    Hills that are bleak and bare
    Lit by the light of noon,
    Grow like a vision rare
    In radiance of the moon.

    So have I seen thy face,
    Beautiful ever, lit
    By some informing grace
    Which all transfigured it.



        LOVE'S HOUSE

    Build for this little hour
    A house where Love may sleep,
    Some tranquil, fragrant bower.

    A place where Grief may weep
    Build for a little while,
    In thine heart's hidden deep;

    A place where Joy may smile
    To make the hours fly fast,
    And time and tears beguile.

    Build not a house to last;
    Perishes every flower
    When Autumn once is past.

    Build for this little hour.



         FOREST MURMURS

    Lyres of the woods, that awaken
      Longings and infinite tears,
    Memories stretching, forsaken,
      Hands through the mist of the years,
    Crowd through the branches that listen,
      Shining with tears of the skies,
    Dew-silvered branches that glisten,
      Pools where the radiance lies,
    Lighting a shadowy chamber
      With glory of magical dreams,
    Pearl, crystal, and wavering amber
              In arrowy gleams.

    Myriad lyres! O voices
      Of Earth, and Ocean, and Air,
    The pulse of thy music rejoices
      With passion, the heart of despair;
    Singing, eternally singing.
      Ye are wasted with pain as with fire,
    But voyaging ever and winging,
      Arrayed in the wings of desire,
    Through the ocean of light to the portals
      Shining with silver that bar
    The house of the deathless immortals,
            Divine but afar.



          THE CRYSTAL DREAMER

    Sweet white mother of rose-white dreams,
    Through my windows the song of birds pours in
    And the sunlight on to my table streams.

    As a clear globe prisons the golden light,
    So I prison the dreams you shed on me,
    Sweet white mother of dreams rose-white.

    In a crystal globe I prison all things:
    Sound is frozen to silence there;
    Cover me over with wide white wings,
    Prison my life in thy crystal sphere,
    As a clear globe prisons the golden light,
    Sweet white mother of dreams rose-white.



          SOLEIL COUCHANT

    Love is but a wind that blows
    Over waves, or fields of corn,
    Floating petals, falling snows,
    The swift passing of the dawn.

    These are all Love's signs, perchance,
    Floating, fragile, drifting things!
    Dead leaves are we in the dance,
    Moved by his unresting wings.

    Love is light within thine eyes,
    Dearest! Love is all thy tears.
    Let us for this hour be wise:
    What have we to hope from years?



          TOUT PASSE

    Like foam and fire and frost
    The hours dissolve and go;
    Let not our time be lost.

    Though the day seemeth slow,
    Its feet are shod with fire.
    Ceaseless the minutes flow.

    Love, let us slake desire
    At Life's deep well. Alas!
    Full soon our Youth will tire

    And we be mown like grass.
    Make of this hour the most,
    Ere on light wings it pass

    Like foam and fire and frost.



                     LOVE ALONE
                   TO RONALD GRAY

    Breathe soft, my flute, to-night thy wonted melody
    Until, with careful hands, she lift the lattice-bars,
    Showing her face among the faces of the stars;
    Breathe soft, my flute, to-night till she come forth to me.

    The choirs of birds are hushed within their bower of leaves,
    But thou must pierce the darkness and the gathered gloom,
    Climbing toward the lattice of her little room,
    Where the sweet vines have hung their garlands from the eaves.

    Surely no cheating dream, nor sightless depth of sleep
    Will close her sense to music wrought for her delight;
    Bid her come forth, like Cynthia, into the night;
    Tell her, my flute, that here I sit alone and weep.

    Fill the green orchard paths with music wrought of tears,
    With kisses hot, with love my lips have left unshed,
    Stretch hands for me through all this darkness to her bed,
    Touch her soft hair, and breathe my message in her ears.

    _Lo! I have gifts for thee, gifts from Amyclae brought,
    Shoes for the feet I love, and shawls of scarlet wool,
    Come, my beloved! we shall sit beside the pool
    And watch within its glass the heavens star-inwrought._

    _Sleep hath thy mother lapped in heavy shrouds of peace;
    Steal forth on silent feet, mine arms leap out for thee...._
    Shy as the moon she comes and bends her face to me,
    Heavy with love to give my heart from love release.



          LARK AND NIGHTINGALE

    When light wells up from her secret springs
    And the stars are quenched in a purer fire,
    From the blue of the heavens a blithe bird sings
    Of the day's delight and the earth's desire.
    Heart of my being, reply, reply!
          So Love singeth
    Out of the deep of a dawning sky,
    A little moment is all he bringeth.

    When silver rays into shadows swoon,
    A bird sings out of the calm of night
    To the wandering sail of the wasted moon
    And the stars that jewel the skies with light.
    Heart of my being, rejoice, rejoice!
          Night hath given
    To all thy yearnings one faultless voice,
    A prayer to trouble the peace of heaven.



           REVENANTS DES ENFANTS

    Softly, on little feet that make no sound,
    With laughter that one does not hear, they tread
    Upon the primroses that star the ground,
    Latticed by shade from branches overhead,
    Swaying in moonlight; but their footsteps make
    A twinkling like the raindrops on the lake.

    The shy things that love silence and the night
    Are fearless at their coming; as they pass,
    Neither the nightingale nor owl take flight,
    So gentle is each footfall on the grass;
    They are a part of silence, and a part
    Of sweetness sprung from tears hid in the heart.

    Their faces we may not caress, nor hear
    The little bodies that are soft as dreams;
    Their life is rounded by another sphere,
    They are as frail as shadows seen in streams:
    A ripple might efface them, but they keep
    Shadows of their existence in our sleep.



              AD CINARAM

      Sweet, though death may have thee utterly,
          Thou art with me:
        For when I sleep, mine ear
        Wakes for thy voice, to hear
    Thee; and I know at last that thou art near.

      My soul then seems to put out hands,
          At thy commands,
        Through the thin veils of flesh
        That hold it in a mesh,
    For thy two hands to consecrate afresh.

      Thoughts that all day are hidden deep
          Rise up in sleep:
        The reconciling night
        Holds thee for my delight,
    Beyond the senses or of sound or sight.



          PAST

    The wind is still
      And the night full of sighs.
    Hast thou drunk thy fill
      Of mine eyes?

    Yea, of thine eyes;
      But my heart is a-thirst
    For what stirred first,
      Like a light in the skies

    Like a light that flows
      Over barriers:
    It has come and it goes,
      Love full of tears.



          SERENADE

      Sleep, sleep, curtained round
    By dim-coloured tapestries,
      Wrought of dreams, nor let the sound
    Stir thee of my melodies.
    May sleep come to thee as slow
    And as soft as falling snow!

      Stars set in their spheres
    Presage for thee all delight;
      Sleep fall soft as tears
    Of the stars the dews of night;
    All fair things about thee keep,
    Music that doth mix with sleep.

      Dreams come, shining things,
    Through the curtains of thy bed;
      Doves fly with soft wings
    Round thy golden, drowsy head:
    Sleep, dream, dreaming smile,
    Curtained from the world awhile.



                     MEMORY

    Sweet as the lutes of love, from fields of sleep
    Come murmurs of the rain; and reveries
    Haunt the green ways their tryst with eve to keep.

    Slumberous music, fragile melodies,
    Move in the chiming leaves, like that loved pain,
    Which fills the heart with restless memories.

    Chime of the leaves and murmur of the rain
    In mine own soul there are, and voices sweet,
    Which help me the lost moments to regain.

    The hours dance round me on their slender feet
    With joys that pierce my heart, as keen as spears
    Remembered sorrows, pleasures that were fleet

    To vanish, or dissolve in dew of tears:
    Seeing them thus, I cannot choose but weep.
    Surely in this wise God shall reap the years.

    Sweet with the fruits of love, from fields of sleep.



           L'AUBE

    Yea, it is dawn, alas!
    Gray is the earth, and cold;
    Swift was our night to pass.

    Thy hair is like fine gold,
    Over the pillows spread
    And on the sheet's white fold

    The light falls on thine head
    And trembles in thine eyes
    From which the dreams have fled.

    But they keep memories;
    Love burnt us up like grass:
    Surely Love never dies!

    Yea, it is dawn, alas!



              DEATH AND MEMORY

    Death hath not slain thee all: when twilight spends
    Her liquid amber in the latest ebb
    Withdrawing, and the day in silence ends,
    Expectant of the stars, when through the web
    Of woven boughs fall glimmering silver spears,
    Our dreaming heart will stir, as if a light
    Caress had touched it, and fill up with tears,
    Remembering: nor only with the night
    Fall that sweet sadness, light in a dark place,
    Memory. Shrouded in her shrine of flesh,
    The soul sits brooding, veiled of form and face
    By Time, and in our mortal nature's mesh
    Trammelled, yet sometimes hears the sound of wings
    And sees, far off, divine, immortal things.



              DEATH AND NATURE

    When my poor bones are hearsed in quiet clay,
      And final sleep hath sealed my wondering eyes,
      The moon as now will sail through tranquil skies;
    The soft wind in the meadow-grasses play;
    And sacred Eve, with half-closed eyelids, dream;
      And Dawn, with rosy fingers, draw the veils
      Of silver from her shining face; and gales
    Sing loudly; and the rain from eaveshoots stream
    With bubbling music. Seek my soul in these;
      I am a part of them; and they will keep
        Perchance the music which I wrought with tears.
    When the moon shines above the silent trees
      Your eyes shall see me; and when soft as sleep
        Come murmurs of the rain, ah, bend your ears!


                 *       *       *       *       *


  _Printed by Hasell, Watson and Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury._


                 *       *       *       *       *


                    _WORKS BY FREDERIC MANNING_


                       SCENES AND PORTRAITS
                         _Crown 8vo. 6s._

  "It is excellent work of a rare kind, and will leaven a large lump of
  current literature."--_Times._

  "Son imagination, sa curiosité amusée, son érudition lui donnent cette
  tournure d'esprit et cette originalité d'expression qui nous séduisent
  si particulièrement chez M. Remy de Gourmont."
                                                 _Mercure de France._

  "Since Mr. Arnold, there has been no such ironist in this country as
  the author of 'Scenes and Portraits.' Irony is not an English quality;
  and Mr. Manning's is distinctly not an English book. It is Latin in
  its intelligence, in its disregard of consequences, in its
  presentation of the pure idea. If Lucian, Landor, Renan, and Anatole
  France could have collaborated, the result would have been some such
  work as this."--_Edinburgh Review_, October 1909.

  "They have a curious originality, and, though fantastic in the
  extreme, are always singularly alert and attractive. They will be
  welcomed because they contain much that is fresh and unexpected and
  stimulating."--_Observer._


                 *       *       *       *       *


                       THE VIGIL OF BRUNHILD

                  A NARRATIVE POEM, IN BLANK VERSE
                     _Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. net_

  The name of Brunhild raises memories of tragedy, of her rivalry with
  the murderous Fredegonde, and of her cruel death by wild horses. But,
  though she is one of the greatest figures in early French history, she
  has never been celebrated, so far as is known, in English poetry; nor
  has she received the honour she deserves from her own countrymen.

  In this poem the author refrains from any sensational description of
  her end. Brunhild is represented as giving an account of her life and
  of its high political aims in blank verse of a high standard, which is
  worthy of her romantic life and of her coloured history.


                 *       *       *       *       *


                           IN THE EVENING

            SOME OLD-AGE OBSERVATIONS. By CHARLES STEWART
     _With 2 Coloured Illustrations. Large crown 8vo. 6s. net_

  A volume of observations and reflections from the point of view of a
  man of varied experience on miscellaneous topics, ranging from sport,
  political economy, and other practical matters to those deeper
  subjects which exercise the mind as active life draws to a close.


                 *       *       *       *       *


                     _WORKS BY HENRY NEWBOLT_


                      SONGS OF MEMORY AND HOPE
                      _Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. net_

  "To spend an evening with Mr. Newbolt's little volume brings a rare
  refreshment to the spirit. There is a quality in his verse which
  braces the reader up with a sweet, winning freshness, just as a
  morning breeze will cheer the tramper over an upland within sight of
  the sea. Sincerity breathes in every line of it."--_Daily Mail._


                 *       *       *       *       *


           THE SAILING OF THE LONG-SHIPS AND OTHER POEMS
                   _Small crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. net_

  "This volume will be acquired and valued by all who care for vigorous
  and tender verse."--_Globe._

  "Admirable verses ... themes of patriotism expressed in lines of true
  poetry."--_St. James's Gazette._


                 *       *       *       *       *


               CLIFTON CHAPEL AND OTHER SCHOOL POEMS
                      _Fcap. 8vo. 1s. 6d. net_

  This is a selection from the Author's well-known volumes, "The Island
  Race" and "The Sailing of the Long-ships," with a longer poetical
  Epistle, addressed to Sir Francis Younghusband when in Thibet, and now
  reprinted for the first time. The whole collection deals with English
  School life, mainly in its imperial aspect; it is published by special
  request for the use of Clifton College, and will, it is hoped, commend
  itself to members of other Public Schools.


                 *       *       *       *       *


                       THE YEAR OF TRAFALGAR

 _With Photogravure Portrait of Lord Nelson, and Plans of Battles, etc._
                     _Large crown 8vo. 5s. net_

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  to be valuable and interesting for much more than the moment."--_Times
  Literary Supplement_, July 7th, 1905.


                 *       *       *       *       *

                       ON THE FORGOTTEN ROAD

              A CHRONICLE OF THE CRUSADE OF CHILDREN,
                  WHICH HAPPENED IN THE YEAR 1212

       By HENRY BAERLEIN, Author of "The Diwan of Abu'l Ala."
                          _Crown 8vo. 6s._

  "This brilliant historical novel.... Its style is so distinguished; it
  is so skilfully interlarded with mediævalisms. It reads as if it were
  an old chronicle; it is full of the quaint people of the Middle Ages,
  with their pointed shoes and fur-edged robes; it is full of the unruly
  youth of the thirteenth century.... 'On the Forgotten Road' has the
  flavour of Giotto in its pages."--_Queen._


                 *       *       *       *       *

                      _WORKS BY LADY GREGORY_


                    A BOOK OF SAINTS AND WONDERS

            ACCORDING TO THE OLD WRITINGS AND THE MEMORY
                     OF THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND.
                        _Crown 8vo. 5s. net_

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  Saint Brigit, about Columcille, about St. Patrick, about the voyagers
  Maeldune and Brendan, and about many old legendary wonder-workers and
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  interested, to have the old Irish tales simply, faithfully, and
  sympathetically told, it would be hard indeed to find a better
  book."--_Scotsman._


                 *       *       *       *       *

                        POETS AND DREAMERS


              STUDIES AND TRANSLATION FROM THE IRISH.
                         _Crown 8vo. 6s._

  "Lady Gregory has written the most charming book that has come out of
  Ireland for many a long day. It consists of original sketches and of
  translations from the Irish, and from beginning to end the atmosphere,
  which is delightful, is the same.... It has charm, and there is
  everywhere a felicity of simple phrase that is infinitely
  refreshing.... We are grateful to Lady Gregory for some hours that
  could not have been more pleasant if they had been spent in the
  country in actual converse with poets and dreamers."
                                                        _Morning Post._


                 *       *       *       *       *

                       GODS AND FIGHTING MEN

   THE STORY OF THE TUATHA DE DANAAN AND OF THE FIANNA OF IRELAND
    Arranged and put into English. With a Preface by W. B. YEATS
                     _Large crown 8vo. 6s. net_

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  winning by her studies in ancient Gaelic folk-lore and legend. Her
  'Gods and Fighting Men' is as naïvely delightful, as mentally
  refreshing and invigorating as her previous books.... She is at heart
  a poet, and the limitless wealth of imagination of the Irish mind, its
  quaintness and simplicity, its gravity and peculiar humour, have
  passed into her possession and inspired her pen to fine
  issues."--_Yorkshire Post._


                 *       *       *       *       *

                      CUCHULAIN OF MUIRTHEMNE

         THE STORY OF THE MEN OF THE RED BRANCH OF ULSTER
                   With a Preface by W. B. YEATS
             _Second Edition. Large crown 8vo. 6s. net_

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                                              _Pall Mall Gazette._

  "In my judgment it would be hard to overpraise it."--Mr. STEPHEN
  GWYNNE, in _Macmillan's Magazine_.


                 *       *       *       *       *


          _A CHEAPER EDITION OF A. C. BENSON'S TWO WORKS_


                        THE HOUSE OF QUIET
            _Twelfth Impression. 5s. net; also 1s. net_

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  and with an amused quiet humour which has great charm.... They are
  attractive, sweet, and human. This is a book out of the common."
                                                           _Athenæum._


                 *       *       *       *       *

                       THE THREAD OF GOLD
            _Eighth Impression. 5s. net; also 1s. net_

  "The author of 'The House of Quiet' has now given us a delightful
  successor.... It is presented in a style that is full of much literary
  charm."--_Daily Telegraph._


                 *       *       *       *       *


                     ESSAYS OF POETS AND POETRY


                         ANCIENT AND MODERN

  By T. HERBERT WARREN, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford and President of
  Magdalen; Author of "Prince Christian Victor," "By Severn Seas," etc.
                      _Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d. net_

  "This is a delightful book, and will, we predict, give an immense deal
  of pleasure wherever sound learning and true literature are loved and
  flourish.... We cannot leave Mr. Warren's book without expressing once
  more our delight in work so sound, so sane, and so
  vigorous."--_Spectator._


                 *       *       *       *       *

                        SIX OXFORD THINKERS

           GIBBON, NEWMAN, FROUDE, CHURCH, MORLEY, PATER
  By ALGERNON CECIL, M.A. (Oxon), of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law.
                      _Demy 8vo. 7s. 6d. net_

  "Mr. Cecil's style is vigorous and thoroughly alive. He has a real
  knowledge of his subject and a real interest in it.... No one will
  fail to feel the attraction of his obvious honesty and earnestness, or
  to enjoy the atmosphere of good literature which pervades his
  book."--_Times._


                 *       *       *       *       *

                      THE WORKS OF LORD BYRON

   A New Text, collated with the original MSS. and revised proofs, which
   are still in existence, with many hitherto unpublished additions.
   Poetry edited by E. H. COLERIDGE. Letters edited by R. E. PROTHERO,
   M.V.O.

  _With Portraits and Illustrations. 13 Vols. Large crown 8vo. 6s. each_


                 *       *       *       *       *

                       BYRON'S POETICAL WORKS

   _The only Complete and Copyright Text in One Volume. 6s. net_


                 *       *       *       *       *

                             DON JUAN

            _In One Volume, with New Additional Stanzas. 6s._


                 *       *       *       *       *

                       BYRON: THE LAST PHASE

           By RICHARD EDGCUMBE. _Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d. net_


                 *       *       *       *       *


             JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, LONDON, W.



                 *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's note:

   Obvious misspellings and omissions were corrected.

   Uncertain misspellings or ancient words were not corrected.





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