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Title: Oxford Poetry - 1917
Author: Various
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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           OXFORD POETRY


             EDITED BY

   W. R. C., T. W. E., AND D. L. S.




 OXFORD POETRY 1910-1913. Edited by G. D. H. C., G. P. D., and W. S. V.
 With an Introduction by GILBERT MURRAY. Cloth boards, 4s. net.

 OXFORD POETRY 1914. Edited by G. D. H. C. and W. S. V. With a Preface
 by Sir WALTER RALEIGH.                   [_Out of print._

 OXFORD POETRY 1915. Edited by G. D. H. C. and T. W. E. Roxburgh
 parchment, 2s. 6d. net; sewed, 1s. 3d. net.

 OXFORD POETRY 1916. Edited by T. W. E., W R. C., and A. L. H. Uniform
 with the above.

 OXFORD POETRY 1914-1916. Uniform with the 1910-1913 volume. Now ready.
 4s. net.

             NEW YORK AGENTS


SECOND-BEST                           1

FAVETE LINGUIS                        2

TINTAGIL                              3

ON SUSSEX DOWNS                       4

THE GOTHIC ROSE                       6

DESIDERIO DESIDERAVI                  8
HUMILITY                              9

OTMOOR                               10

A CHILD'S VOICE                      12
RIVER SONG                           14

MEASURE                              15

THE MEETING                          16

THE CANAL                            18
SOLITUDE                             19

SED MILES                            20

THE HAMADRYAD                        21

DUCKLINGTON                          22

SUMMER DEVILRY                       23

DOUBLE RED DAISIES                   24
DEAD COW FARM                        25

DE MUNDO                             26

SONG                                 28

CALL OF THE DEAD                     29
RETURN                               30

DIFFIDENCE                           32

L'APRÈS-MIDI D'UN FAUNE              33

LOVE                                 37
SONNET                               38

"THIRTY YEARS AFTER"                 39

TWO EPITAPHS                         41

THE FINGER                           42
LONDON                               43

IN OLDEN DAYS                        45
A SERENADE                           46

LAST POEM                            47

THE MAN OF HONOUR                    48

MY SOUL IS AN INFANTA                50

FAIR EREMBOURS                       52


THE VOYAGE                           55

THE MAD MAN                          56
THE BAIT-DIGGER'S SON                57


THE LAST COMMUNION                   60




        I would sail all alone up the stream,
        Since you are far away, dear brother;
        I would sail alone, and rather dream
        Of you, than change thoughts with another.

    Now May is come so beautiful, so blue,
    And the chestnuts and the willows are green
    Again ... then, since I may not be near you,
    Dear brother, let me sail alone, unseen,
    'Neath the overhanging buds, past rushes
    Where the white, graceful swan sits on her nest,
    Hear the song of the ripples and thrushes
    And be with solitude ... the second-best.

        All alone up the stream would I sail,
        Think of your smile, and your voice, and eyes,
        Fear you were out of a fairy-tale,
        Paint your vision, brother, in the skies.




    There are few people, being by,
    That leave me peacefully to lie:
    Mostly their restless brains, or mine,
    Seek each the other to divine:
    Silence, that rightfully should be
    Clear-hearted as a stretch of sea
    That runs far inland, luminous,
    To rest in still shades verdurous,
    Becomes instead a thwarted thing,
    With only waywardness to bring.

    All otherwise in you I find
    The inner places of the mind:
    The gift of quiet on your brow
    Like some long benediction now
    Closes upon me: spirit-born
    Tranquillity enfolds each worn
    Wan thought, with slender fingers cool
    Drawing away from off the pool
    Of night the mists that hide a star,
    Dreaming wondrously afar:
    Till vision cometh down for me
    In gracious white serenity.

    _J. E. A. CARVER_



    I lay on the verge of a Western cliff
    On a waning Summer's day,
    And watched the seagulls' skimming flight
    As their shrill call filled the bay.

    The waves rolled on from pool to pool
    To the end of the rock-strewn lea:
    Where a glistening stream through a vale sped on,
    With its leaping trout, to the sea.

    The wind rose, too, from a breath to a blast
    As the rising tide drew near,
    And the rain-clouds swelled from the distant deep,
    So I knew 'twas a storm to fear.

    I've lived on that coast for years now,
    And I love the roar of the waves
    As they lash the seaweed on the shore,
    And the cold grey rocks and the caves.




    A boy stood on the windy Sussex downs,
    Resting a moment in his lonely walk
    To gaze at the fresh fields, and their neighbour towns
    Sunk in the valleys watered by thin streams
    And sheltered by the pallid hills of chalk.

      It seemed a land for slow and leisured dreams,
    For fantasy, vague and cool as the mist.
    The church there in the field, with yew-trees round
    Should send across the air a silver sound
    Of holy bells. The loud rooks should desist
    A moment from their cawing; the dim sun
    Brighten his face, the rounded meadows glisten,
    And all the windswept grassy hillsides listen
    And then take up the sound the bells begun.

      Slowly, at length, rounding the hill, a white,
    Long, slender, floating airship flies.
    It, of this quiet landscape, is the sight
    Most peaceful--white splash on the blue spring skies.
    It passes over the church-crowned slope, it blends
    Its whiteness for a moment with the cloud,
    And finally, with nose a little bowed,
    Off towards the distant sea its course it bends.

      The watching boy beheld no other change
    In all the placid, comfortable scene,
    And yet he deeply realized what mean
    The airships and the other things that are strange,
    But form a living part of England now;
    And when he left the place where he had been,
    He seemed to have become a man somehow.

    _W. R. CHILDE_



    The Middle Ages sleep in alabaster
    A delicate fine sleep. They never knew
    The irreparable hell of that disaster,
    That broke with hammers Heaven's fragile blue.

    Yea, crowned and robed and silent he abides,
    Last of the Romans and that ivory calm,
    Beneath whose wings august the minster-sides
    Trembled like virgins to the perfect Psalm.

    Yea, it is gone with him, yea, it returns not;
    The gilt proud sanctuaries are dust, the high
    Steam of the violet fragrant frankincense burns not:
    All gone; it was too beautiful to die.

    It was too beautiful to live; the world
    Ne'er rotted it with her slow-creeping hells:
    Men shall not see the Vision crowned and pearled,
    When Jerusalem blossomed in the noontide bells!


    Amid the blue smoke of gem-glassed chapels
    You shall find Me, the white five-wounded Flower,
    The Rose of Sarras. Yea, the moths have eaten,
    And fretted the gold cloths of the duke of York,
    And lost is the scarlet cloak of the cardinal Beaufort;
    Tapers are quencht and rods of silver broken,
    Where once king Richard dined beneath the leopards:
    But think you that any beautifulness is wasted,
    Wherewith Mine angels have blessed the blue-eyed English,
    Twining into stone an obscure dream of Heaven,
    A crown of flinty spines about the Rose,
    A slim flame blessing the coronal of thorns?
    And York is for ever the White Rose of Mary,
    And Lancaster is dipt in the Precious Blood,
    Though the high shrine that was built by the king of the Romans
    Be down at Hayles, and the abbey of saint Mary
    Be shattered now in three-towered Eboracum.




    O lily Lady of loveliness,
    O tender-hearted, marvellous-eyed,
    Bend from Thine aureate throne and bless
    The lonely people and comfortless
    At Jesu-Mass and Vespertide.

    And bless the mighty and proud of mien,
    The scornful folk that pity and pass,--
    For they are lonely as none have been,
    The proud that lack on whom to lean--
    At Vespertide and Jesu-Mass.

    And bless before Thou makest end
    Both me and mine in sorrow and pride,
    Where frankincense and prayer ascend
    And kneeling lilies whisper and bend
    At Jesu-Mass and Vespertide.


    Dear Father God, I want but one thing now.
    Because I have been heart-proud all my days,
    And given and asked all proudly for Love's sake,
    In search of some lost tenderness out of the world,
    And somehow never found it, I want this.
    I want to choose my death as I have chosen
    Mine other lovers proudly, and cleave to him.
    I do not want to die afraid and failing
    Some king that trusted me; nor yet to leave
    This beautiful bright-coloured world in anguish,
    Dirt, ugliness, old age, or shamefully
    Eaten up with lust. I want to make myself
    Lovelier on that last day than any of these
    My lovers yet have found me, and so to die
    Calmly by mine own hand and follow after
    That tenderness that somehow passed me by,
    That tenderness that will not let me be.


    Take counsel, O my friend, of your heart's pride,
    And choose the proud thing alway. Never heed
    The "wretched, rash, intruding fools" of the world,
    Nor take the half-truths that life brings old men
    For wisdom: nor the naked indecencies
    That purity-mongers have shamed children with
    For goodness: nor the silly hypocrisies
    Of mean men for humility. But say,
    "God is my Father. Christ was young and died
    To comfort me. The towering archangels
    With all their blue and gold and steely mail
    Are my strong helpers and mine elder brothers.
    The sweet white virgins gone to martyrdom
    Calm-eyed and singing are my sisters." Yea,
    Because of all these things keep your heart proud.
    Be proud enough to serve the poor, too proud
    To attend the rich: enough to love, not hate,
    And give, not sell. Remember gentleness
    Is the heart's pride of understanding, truth
    Her greatness that will not be afraid for wrath
    Nor flatter favour. This remember also,
    The pure in heart shall walk like fierce white flames
    Questing across the world in goodlier hope
    And knightlier courtesy than they of the Graal,
    For these are they in the end that shall see God.

    _D. N. DALGLISH_

    (_ST. HILDA'S_)


    The armies take the field in May,
    And trees go marching all the day
    On Otmoor, where the winds are strong
    And mornings are a season long;
    Where shining clouds halt for a pace,
    Idling behind out of the race.
    On Otmoor, hedges never die
    Once spring has flung her tapestry;
    And there most kindly summer throws
    The lightest snowflakes of the rose,
    And buttercups grow tall and straight
    In fields that keep an open gate,
    And daisies make a frosty gleam;
    And yet you may not sleep nor dream,
    Though field and road and wood are blessed,
    Touched by the peaceful hands of rest.
    On Otmoor, you may hear the voice
    Of living green things that rejoice--
    Hedges that boast defended fields,
    And green seclusions proud of shields;
    Great open deserts in the sky,
    Cool icebergs slowly riding by
    In the unruffled sea of blue;
    Branches that let the sun pass through,
    The cuckoo and the ecstatic lark,
    Shadows that play at being dark--
    In every leaf and stem and flower
    There throbs a kindly, silent power,
    And energies of being pass
    From every breeze that stirs the grass,
    And close around, with friendly care,
    I feel the encircling sky and air,
    That keep me safe, that hold without
    Each shuddering fear, each traitorous doubt.
    So am I safe and fenced around;
    Boundless themselves, they set my bound,
    For, should I make the ring less wide,
    My fears start up on every side;
    And only in unmeasured space
    Can lives meet Life with braver face.
    Here I may watch the silent earth
    Consuming what shall come to birth;
    For every leaf that falls and dies
    Unbounded woodlands shall arise,
    And though the roadside stream be dead,
    New springs leap at the mountain head.




    'Twas in a far back swallow-time
      When the air was filled with chime
    Of Sunday bells that danced in tune
      With Eastern phantasies,
    A child within a garden's boon
      Oft sighed with saddened eyes.

    A swallow screamed and wheeled at him
      Beside the greenhouse door;
    It knew that there he strove to limn
      The need in his soul's core:
    And he is lonely and sad who tells
      His need to Sunday bells.

    Of playfellows there was not one
      To whom at wake of sun
    The child might turn to speak a dream
      Of lazy summer seas
    O'er which a ship rode fair of beam
      Bringing his soul's keys;

    And how a wondrous alien boy
      Trod proud that ship of Fate.
    There mid the bells of Sunday joy
      He whispered, "Come not late
    Within my longing, for my play
      Won't keep for any day."

    "The greenhouse tank is stagnant now
      Under the cherry bough;
    And there a ship is by the quay,
      The joy of my Baghdad.
    Oh come, oh come and play with me
      That I should not be sad."

    The jewelled shade of evening's hood
      Held many Eastern tales;
    And cinnamon and sandalwood
      Lurked in his camels' bales.
    But then a swallow harshly screamed
      And tumbled what he dreamed.

    And that was back in swallow-time
      With life a child's rhyme.
    And some came true of what he dreamed,
      And some has been forgot.
    But life with sadness still is seamed,
      And thorns take long to rot.


    One day I would be glad
    And with all quiet be
    Except your cadenced murmur
    Beside the willow-tree.

    One day I would be glad
    With fields of king-cup gold:
    One day of dancing water
    Below the cuckoo-fold.

    One day I would be glad
    With crowned vermilion kings
    Whose scarves are lilies blowing
    Where youth for ever sings.

    One day I would be glad
    With Oxford's poplared grace:
    One day with love between us
    And then--to lose your face.

    _E. R. DODDS_



    I think we are made the prisoners of the sun,
    Snared in the waxing and the waning passion,
            Lest life should grow intense
            To burn up sense
    And lose life's fashion in the unfashioned One.

    I believe the cool unlabouring dark is sent
    Swift on the wildness of the day's mad ending
            Lest the delight of fire
            Consume desire
    And in Love's spending Love itself be spent.

    I believe the rain-soft autumn has its task
    To curb the stretched importunate flame of summer,
            For fear too strong a fever
            Should quite dissever
    The invisible murmur from the coloured mask.

    This is the sun's wisdom: that change and rest
    And change, the embodied world's recurrent measure,
            In check and counterpoise
            Contain all joys
    Lest the one treasure perish, being possessed.

    _C. J. DRUCE_



    But we should meet in very different wise--
      On some clear-lifted crest when sunset stills
    Wide cleansing winds, and transient beauty lies
      Immortal in the moment it fulfils:

    Or down a deep glade you should come to me,
      Moving your limbs with slow primordial ease,
    With eyes whose calm has caught the mystery
      That walks at dawn beneath the gloom of trees:

    Or by the tenderness of a placid stream:
      Or anywhere where trivial clamours cease,
    And things irrelevant fade like a dream,
      That souls may grow articulate in peace.

    Instead of this, I know what will befall:--
      The seething station where, urged and confined,
    Chaotic energies interweave and brawl,
      And confused sights and sounds beat on my mind;

    There I shall wait, and feel my spirit's flame
      (Trained upwards, purged, for that white moment's sake)
    Flicker, burn thickly, bowing to the claim
      Of alien currents that I cannot break.

    For all the folk who come and go, or stand
      With strained expectant eyes, or talk with those
    From whom they soon must part, have at command
      Some part of my unwilling brain, impose

    Conjectured joys and griefs upon my sense,
      As they, perhaps, guess at my purpose here;
    And jealous egotisms feed suspense
      As the desired, half-dreaded hour draws near.

    At last a rumble, distant, ominous, hoarse,
      Swells to a shattering roar that daunts the world;
    And round the curve, a black embodied force
      Triumphantly increases, and is hurled

    Like a great wave upon us, swallowing all.
      Vague figures wax and wane and fluctuate
    In the inane, till one, more steadfast-small,
      Persists, grows luminous, letting penetrate

    Some likeness of your shape, and of your face
      Some strange reflected charm: I grope to find
    A hand with mine in the resisting space,
      Hear my tongue utter what no thought designed,

    Weak ineffectual words, unheedful of replies--
      Questions of tickets, luggage, urge and swarm--
    But far beneath all this, in secret lies
      An infant consciousness, yet feebly warm

    With life, and promise that the time is nigh
      That crowds or things no longer may subdue,
    When the dull futile body that is I
      Shall feel the quickening spirit that is you.

    _T. W. EARP_



    When you're tired of books and the dusty, well-known room
    It's good to put on a gown and go for a walk,
    Taking deep breaths and smelling the hawthorn bloom
    By the canal, where shadowy lovers talk.

    They are far too happy to care if anyone passes,
    And you envy a little, as you go along,
    Those happy lovers of the lower classes
    Whose emotions are like the rhythm of a rag-time song.

    The breath of the summer night is about your head,
    Burdened with fragrance, lulling the brain to sleep,
    You begin to forget the dull things you have read,
    And just go walking on and breathing deep.


    They have been sitting here until eleven,
    The loud and the quiet and the one who is never shocked,
    And we talked of most of the things between hell and heaven,
    But now the last friend has gone and the door is locked.

    And I cannot help feeling, though it's rather silly,
    A little afraid to be left so quiet and alone;
    I can hear a petal drop from the tiger-lily,
    So complete and awful has the silence grown.

    I long to hear that tramp of the policeman's
    Outside the shutters, but the night is dumb,
    And in a state of tension unknown to Huysmans
    I wait and wait for the sound that will not come.




    Bear the hearse, bear the pall,
    We shall fare forward,
    We have answered the problem,
    We have closed the volume.

    In the doubt, in the strife,
    We chose the giving,
    We have had light for doubt,
    We have had our answer.

    Doubts of the end of life,
    We have been spared them;
    We have given the tangled skein
    To be cut by the shearers.

    Violet scent, flower of broom,
    We have foregone them,
    We have given the morning,
    The gods have accepted,
    They have pardoned the reckoning.


    (_ST. HUGH'S_)


    Her flitting form is slim and pale
    As beechen stems at night,
    Her hair is dark as barren trees
    Against the moon's pale light.
    Her dreadful seeking hands are curved
    Like chestnut buds in spring;
    Against her bosom close she holds
    A dove with frightened wing.
    We may not see her as she goes
    Over the leaf-strewn moss;
    But see the russet leaves are stirred,
    Feel some strange sense of loss.
    We cannot see her cold sad eyes
    Filled with a craving pain--
    We only hear upon the leaves
    Patter of April rain.




    Down there at Ducklington
    The ducks are never old;
    The geese are always goslings,
    The catkins always gold.
    The orchards blossom ever
    Like foam heaped on a cup,
    Down there at Ducklington
    Where never a duck grows up!

    Down there at Ducklington
    The years linger yet
    At April, with its little leaves
    And ash-buds of jet.
    And I could be a child again
    And drink, as from a cup,
    Youth, down at Ducklington,
    Where never a duck grows up!

    Down there at Ducklington,
    With its ducklings ever young,
    With its year ever at April,
    And the songs of June unsung--
    The potion of eternal youth
    Is brewed there in a cup--
    Down there at Ducklington
    Where never a duck grows up!

    _L. GIELGUD_



    The sky is very near to me to-night:
    It breathes, as from a throat of molten lead,
    A damnèd effluence about my head,
    An effluence of hell, a fœtid blight:
    Dark visions break on my distorted sight
    Of bloody lust and cruelty and dread,
    Devils unnamed in their own likeness tread
    The ways of earth, and are not put to flight.
    In rifts of voiceless lightning, such as breaks
    This goitrous firmament, have stood revealed
    Over the dead in some old battlefield
    The ghastly dogs of death, and bloated snakes
    Dripping the slime of Acherontian lakes
    On some dead sovereign's blood-emblazoned shield.


    (_ST. JOHN'S_)


    Double red daisies, they're my flowers
      Which nobody else may grow
    In a big quarrelsome house like ours
      They try it sometimes, but no,
    I root them up because they're my flowers
      Which nobody else may grow.
        _Claire has a tea-rose, but she didn't plant it;
        Ben has an iris, but I don't want it.
        Daisies, double red daisies for me,
        The beautifullest flowers in the garden._

    Double red daisy, that's my mark:
      I paint it in all my books.
    It's carved high up on the beech-tree bark--
      How neat and lovely it looks!
    So don't forget that it's my trademark;
      Don't copy it in your books.
        _Claire has a tea-rose, but she didn't plant it;
        Ben has an iris, but I don't want it.
        Daisies, double red daisies for me,
        The beautifullest flowers in the garden._


    It's told in those old sagas, how
    In the beginning the First Cow
    (For nothing living yet had birth
    But Elemental Cow on earth)
    Began to lick cold stones and mud.
    Under her warm tongue flesh and blood
    Blossomed, a miracle to believe.
    And so was Adam born, and Eve.

    Here now is Chaos once again,
    Primæval mud, cold stones and rain;
    Here flesh decays and blood drips red,
    And the Cow's dead, the old Cow's dead.




    ... And then arose the vision of the world
    Immense, a tangle of dark ravelled time,
    Twisted and knotted by a surge of men:
    Vast sombre tribes forth from the old abyss
    Clambering, travailed, hated, fought and fell.
    The slow tower, stone upon laborious stone,
    Compacting men and clans, cities and states,
    Aspired through ages to the unknown god:
    Adventurers with the guidance of no star,
    Discovering all, rich isle and barren shore,
    And ever seas beyond the indolent seas
    Rounding known courses with uncharted doubt:
    A people wandering in the wilderness,
    So vague a cloud, so dim a pillar of fire
    They blindly followed to a promised land
    Flowing with rivers of perennial truth--
    And they the chosen vessel,--who of old
    Knew not wherefore they broke their bonds and fled.
    Yet in the end a desolation came
    And the golden bowl was broken....
    I saw men, symbols of humanity,--
    Immortal longings bound in mortal clay,--
    Wayfaring still upon the ancient road
    Winding away to the invisible hills.

    Still on the visionary scaffolding
    The players played the old Morality,--
    The pilgrim Life waylaid by cruel Despair,
    Wealth dowering Evil and maltreating Good,
    And Pain and Care tormenting Body and Soul,
    And Giant Sin bestriding hill and dale,
    Building his shrines for men to worship him;
    Corruption, too, with serpents in his hair,
    And next, obscene Ungodliness, whose eyes
    Vacant and dull, bent ever on the earth.
    Then, last of all, Humanum Genus came
    Bearing a scroll with the Apostle's words--
    "Having no hope and without God in the world."

    So from the seat of vision I arose
    Trembling, appalled, and went upon my way
    Sadly, for all my vision ended in this--
    Piercing of heart, reason's bewilderment--
    "We've come from mystery and to mystery go."

    What shall be said when all things have been said?
    What shall be said when this is pondered on--
    "Either He lives not who created man,
    Or man for sin is cast forth from His grace;
    Yea, between Him and man a gulf is set"?

[A] This poem originally appeared in _The Westminster Gazette_.


    (_ST. HILDA'S_)


    For Beauty's sake I weep,
    Because my love is beautiful,
    I came upon her lying asleep
    Within a bower sweet and cool.
    The tall trees intertwined
    And made a bower for my love,
    With green shrubs nestling there behind,
    And a blue strip of sky above.
    For Beauty's sake I grieve,
    That Beauty soon must fade and die,
    As lilac blossoms fall, nor leave
    One ghostly fragrance lingering nigh.
    For Beauty's sake I strive
    For one long moment's raptured bliss
    To hold her in her form alive
    And give her one impassioned kiss.
    For her own sake she dies,
    Nor leaves behind one memory;
    The light out of the western skies
    Is gone, and thou art gone from me.

    _H. C. HARWOOD_



    Have you not waited there too long,
        Little brother of mine,
    With a spirit too weak in a world too strong?
    You do not play as you used to do
    When you and I were an army of two.
    Surely you dally there too long,
        Little brother of mine.

    Death is an old benevolent king,
        Little brother of mine,
    And around his throne the children sing.
    Time, life's sullen minister,
    Dulls the heart and dulls the hair,
    But does not stand before my king,
        Little brother of mine.

    Hopes we cherish down below,
        Little brother of mine,
    Melt in manhood like the snow.
    Tranquil in inexperience,
    Call on Death for your defence,
    And leave the tangle down below,
        Little brother of mine.

    Forgotten laughter, remembered tears,
        Little brother of mine,
    Would be the burden of your years.
    So let us play together again
    With a child's swift joy and swifter pain,
    And reckon no more of months and years,
        Little brother of mine.


    Against the ebbing tide we make our way.
    Beyond the low green banks the fenlands stretch
    To a far horizon. Trawler, smack and ketch
    Are passing for the business of the day.

    There is the inlet where the immortal boys,
    As white and slim as ever, splash and call.
    Deserted on the other bank Blake Hall
    Still contemplates contemptuously their noise.

    There are the docks where the tall mastheads shine
    Of mighty _Helsingfors_, the timber ship.
    And a new craft is lying in the slip
    Which presently shall be baptized with wine.

    The houses gather thicker, and a girl
    Waves her indifferent smiling welcome. See!
    The loungers are awakened on the quay
    And stand to catch the rope the sailors curl.

    Now grey and swift the startled seagulls wheel.
    The engine-room is silent which so long
    Has shaped our lives to its monotonous song.
    The fenders bump against the slowing keel.

    The smoke is rising from my father's home
    Across the street, and flapping in the breeze
    A curtain welcomes me from off the seas,
    The querulous seas, where I was wont to roam.

    And there miraculously free from age
    The faces of my playfellows are seen.
    And all is now as it has ever been,
    Or smiling destiny turns back the page.

    But always ere my feet are firm upon
    The natal shore, dream ship, dream river fade,
    And I am burdened with the choice I made
    And lonely in the land where I am gone.

    _E. E. ST. L. HILL_



    Dulled is the azure of the skies.
    Can aught but woe my woes beget?
    My inmost self in anguish cries
    "I love my Love"--My Love!--and yet
    I cannot as a lover say
    "I love my Love," because I know
    I am not worthy. Still I may
    Win in the end the right to show
    My Love what is my heart's desire.
    For more than this I may not hope,
    To naught beyond can I aspire.
    Alone, in secret, I must grope
    My way and be content to see
    The beauty of my star above,
    For never will my Love love me
    Though I so truly love my Love.

    _A. L. HUXLEY_



(_From the French of Stéphane Mallarmé._)

    I would immortalize these nymphs: so bright
    Their sunlit colouring, so airy-light,
    It floats like drowsing down. Loved I a dream?
    My doubts, born of oblivious darkness, seem
    A subtle tracery of branches grown
    The tree's true self--proving that I have known
    No triumph, but the shadow of a rose.

    But think. These nymphs, their loveliness ... suppose
    They bodied forth my senses' fabulous thirst.
    Illusion! which the blue eyes of the first,
    As cold and chaste as is the weeping spring,
    Beget: the other, sighing, passioning,
    Is she the wind, warm in your fleece at noon?
    No. Through this quiet, when a weary swoon
    Crushes and chokes the latest faint essay
    Of morning, cool against the encroaching day,
    There is no murmuring water, save the gush
    Of my clear fluted notes; and in the hush
    Blows never a wind save that which through my reed
    Puffs out before the rain of notes can speed
    Upon the air, with that calm breath of art
    That mounts the unwrinkled zenith visibly,
    Where inspiration seeks its native sky.

    You fringes of a calm Sicilian lake,
    The sun's own mirror, which I love to take,
    Silent beneath your starry flowers, tell
    _How here I cut the hollow rushes, well
    Tamed by my skill, when, on the glaucous gold
    Of distant lawns about their fountain cold,
    A living whiteness stirs like a lazy wave,
    And at the first slow notes my panpipes gave
    These flocking swans, these naiads rather, fly
    Or dive._

            Noon burns inert and tawny-dry,
    Nor marks how clean that Hymen slipped away
    From me who seek in song the real A.
    Wake, then, to your first ardour and the sight,
    O lonely faun, of the old fierce white light,
    With, lilies, one of you for innocence.

    Other than their lips' delicate pretence,
    The light caress that quiets treacherous lovers,
    My breast, I know not how to tell, discovers
    The bitten print of some immortal's kiss.
    But hush! a mystery so great as this
    I dare not tell, save to my double reed,
    Which, sharer of my every joy and need,
    Dreams down its cadenced monologues that we
    Falsely confuse the beauties that we see
    With the bright palpable shapes our song creates:
    My flute, as loud as passion modulates,
    Purges the common dream of flank and breast,
    Seen through closed eyes and inwardly caressed,
    Of every empty and monotonous line.

    Bloom then, O Syrinx, in thy flight malign,
    A reed once more beside our trysting-lake.
    Proud of my music let me often make
    A song of goddesses and see their rape
    Profanely done on many a painted shape.
    So, when the grape's transparent juice I drain,
    I quell regrets for pleasure past and feign
    A new real grape. For holding towards the sky
    The empty skin, I blow it tight and lie
    Dream-drunk till evening, eyeing it.

                                      Tell o'er
    Remembered joys and plump the grape once more.
    _Between the reeds I saw their bodies gleam
    Who cool no mortal fever in the stream,
    Crying to the woods the rage of their desire:
    And their bright hair went down in jewelled fire
    Where crystal broke and dazzled shudderingly.
    I check my swift pursuit; for see where lie,
    Bruised, being twins in love, by languor sweet,
    Two sleeping girls, clasped at my very feet.
    I seize and run with them, nor part the pair,
    Breaking this covert of frail petals, where
    Roses drink scent of the sun and our light play
    'Mid tumbled flowers shall match the death of day._
    I love that virginal fury, ah! the wild
    Thrill when a maiden body shrinks, defiled,
    Shuddering like arctic light, from lips that sear
    Its nakedness ... the flesh in secret fear!
    Contagiously through my linked pair it flies
    Where innocence in either, struggling, dies,
    Wet with fond tears or some less piteous dew.
    Gay in the conquest of these fears, I grew
    So rash that I must needs the sheaf divide
    Of ruffled kisses heaven itself had tied.
    _For as I leaned to stifle in the hair
    Of one my passionate laughter (taking care
    With a stretched finger, that her innocence
    Might stain with her companion's kindling sense,
    To touch the younger little one, who lay
    Child-like unblushing) my ungrateful prey
    Slips from me, freed by passion's sudden death,
    Nor heeds the frenzy of my sobbing breath._
    Let it pass! others of their hair shall twist
    A rope to drag me to those joys I missed.
    See how the bursting currants ripe and red
    To quench the thirst of the mumbling bees have bled;
    So too our blood, kindled by some chance fire,
    Flows for the swarming legions of desire.
    At evening, when the woodland green turns gold
    And ashen-grey, 'mid the quenched leaves, behold!
    Red Etna glows, by Venus visited,
    Walking the lava with her snowy tread
    Whene'er the flames in thunderous slumber die.
    I hold the goddess!

                        Ah, sure penalty!
    But the unthinking soul and body swoon
    At last beneath the heavy hush of noon.
    Forgetful let me lie where summer's drouth
    Sifts fine the sand, and then with gaping mouth
    Dream, planet-struck by the grape's round wine-red star.
    Nymphs, I shall see the shade that now you are.

    _C. R. JURY_



    Though life has stooped before its height,
    And beauty, that I still shall trust,
    The child of a diviner light
    Be torn, and lower than the dust,

    Love has a life beyond the heat
    Of sorrow, pain, desire or dread;
    He holds as his eternal seat
    The great remembrance of the dead.

    They lose no splendour by decay;
    They are a fixed immortal power,
    And I their lover, though I stay
    Surrounded by the dying hour.

    And now thy beauty, as that fire
    Which walks against the morning, bears
    Of day and night one great desire,
    Has made life's splendour one with theirs.

    They live; I see them in thine eyes;
    Thy life is theirs; no death can stem
    Their torrent. When I watch it rise,
    I love thee, as I worship them.


    I would to God thou wert mine own good son
    Thy face is fair, thy body strong and pure,
    Thy spirit nobly high, thy deeds well done,
    Thy heart well set to love and to endure.
    'Tis such a fearless boy I would beget,
    To give the venerable world its due;
    Yea, to be bold and lovely ere I set,
    To take the time, and mould what shall ensue.
    I would thou wert the fruit of my best hour,
    So that I might bequeathe thee my strong fire;
    But I am like to die before my flower
    And lose inheritors for my desire.
    O if thou wert mine own, I had this boast;
    Therefore I love thee better than thou know'st.




    It is thirty years since we two parted,
    It is thirty unswept, cobweb years
    Since, with a look of indifference, in a storm of elegance,
    Like some knowing, hungering bird,
    Like some forewarned, huckstering drone of a butterfly,
    Like a swift passion--she swept past my youth unhonied.
    And I am now a very old man--almost dead;
    I am now a very old ornament of lead;
    Weismann and Ellis, Burton I have read
    These thirty years in bed.

      This room;
      And the shadows lengthening on the lawn;
      And the distant boom, boom of the world;
      Wearisome watchings for the first star;
      And the toil, toil of the dawn:
      These have emptied my soul of its waves,
      These have made cold prisons of my faery caves,
      These have frosted
      The red, red poppy-leaf of time.

    Who now cares for my politics?
    Who now cares for my brilliant repartees
    That crushed one with an epigram,
    That struck one like an oriflamme?
    But now they ask me who I am.

      Once women came to me,
      And she,
      Once women came to me with their offerings
      Like long lines of brown bees
      Burdened with offerings,
      Like naked houris of turbaned Kings,
      Once----But now drifts
      Across the living-deadness
      Of an Egyptian desert
      My barren Arab way,
      My unflowered desert way.

    It is thirty years since we two parted,
    It is thirty unswept, cobweb years
    Since, with a look of indifference, in a storm of elegance,
    Like a swift passion--she swept past my youth unhonied.
    And I am now a very old man--almost dead;
    I am now a very old ornament of lead;
    Weismann and Ellis, Burton I have read
    These thirty years in bed.

    _M. LEIGH_




    Love, when we walked on earth, your chastity
    Was all to you, your body all to me;
    Now the grave holds the flesh that parted us,
    And being nought, we shall united be.


    Living, your constitution levelled me;
    Dead, all are equal in their six-foot graves:
    But God counts not by heads; in His regard
    One freeborn man is worth a host of slaves.




(To R. T.)

    How curiously this triple whole
      Of skin and blood and bone
    Consenteth to the mind's control
      And to the mind's alone.

    'Tis for diurnal uses mine,
      To move howe'er I please,
    Or mingle with its brothers nine
      Enclasped about my knees.

    Yet often when the mind's afar,
      By vagrant thought bestirred,
    It gaily shifts and beats the bar
      To songs and sounds unheard.

    Mute eloquence! 'Tis plain to see
      As face in looking-glass
    That more than one is lord of me
      When this is brought to pass.

    What else but mind and mind alone
      Should rule the triple whole,
    But how if skin and blood and bone
      Themselves enshroud a soul?


    Sir, you're from Oxford, seat of bliss
    Arrived in the Metropolis;
    We hold you well and think we can
    Make you, in your despite, a man.

    'Tis here our wont, though strange it seems,
    To deal in solid facts, not dreams;
    For lies are lies, and gold is gold,
    And men are daily bought or sold.

    Parade the purlieus if you wish
    To study poor-law and fried fish;
    There's much that waits to be improved,
    And an improver's rarely loved.

    Or yours is the creative touch;
    We have a score of shops for such,
    Where novelties in paint and words
    Are scrutinized by lonely herds.

    Colour and motion are aglow
    In streets above and tubes below.
    We energize: to meditate
    Only befits a culture-state.

    Such friends we'll give you as will prove
    The world is only made of love;
    But life is necessary too,
    And vices, seeing you are you.

    For in this pantomimic scene
    There's nothing common or unclean;
    You lodge upon the second floor
    And opposite a noted whore.

    So, when your dreams are laid to rest,
    You're part of what you most detest,
    And know this nightmare was made real
    To dissipate a false ideal.





    Down from the flowering tulip-tree
    The birds of love flew down to me,--
    The birds of love with plumage rare
    Sped in circles 'bout my hair,
    And it was dawn and I was glad,
    And Dawn appeared, a Spartan lad;
    With flowers twined about his hair,
    A countenance that knew not care.
    The flow'rs waved in careless joy
    As they nodded and danced o'er the head of the boy.
    Lo! he picked the birds up one by one
    And he killed them in his wanton fun,
    So I cried to him: "They're the birds of love
    That abide in the jewelled tree above,
    And the tree and the birds are the jewels of love."
    But the youth of the morn with laughter cried:
    "Those birds are mine that you espied;
    Mine are these birds, and mine this tree:
    I am the God of Love," cried he,
    "The God of Love, of birds and tree."
    "I weep for the birds, for they brought me love
    Down from the tulip-tree above,
    From the tree above they brought me love."
    "I'll give you love, my sorrowful brave--
    I'll give you myself to hold as a slave,"
    So taking Love as a slave with me,
    Fast I fled from the tulip-tree;
    I fled from the tree and my slave with me,--
    Love was the slave and I Poetry.


    Your love is like some wondrous scented rose.
      The evening sees a purple pool of blood
    Beneath the tree that Summer's glory chose
      Crimsonly thick with passion'd joys to flood.

    Your love is like the harvest of the sun
      Moltenly golden, gloriously sublime.
    Were I the reaper, swiftly would I run
      And reap thy golden love till death were time.

    Your love is like the shadows of the ev'n,
      The gold-green tints that linger in the sky;
    When the red king in opal cloud flies heav'n,
      Leaving the dewy earth to sleep and cry.

    Your love is like the mystery of the night,
      When the wan mists the dreamy violets kiss,
    It comes like ghostly owl with muted flight,
      It comes like Death;--but Death from you is bliss.

    _F. ST. V. MORRIS_


    [_3rd Batt. Sherwood Foresters, attached
    R.F.C. Died of wounds, April 29, 1917_]


      Through vast
    Realms of air
                    we passed
      On wings all-whitely fair.

    On speeding wing
                    we climb
      Like an unfettered Thing,

    Height upon height;
                    and play
      In God's great Lawns of Light.

      And He
    Guides us safe home
                    to see
      The Fields He bade us roam.





    O had I died when o'er the sullen plain
    The harsh light drifted and the roaring guns
    Lifted their voices summoning amain
    Youth from its joy in storms and flying suns
    And happy comradeship of weathered men,
    All had been as in purpose due and well,
    Honourable my service had been then
    And honoured the blank spot on which I fell.

    But now--O heart!--how much dishonoured I,
    And by my own hand too--twice bitter case--
    My true love stained with secret infamy,
    My treachery disguised by friendship's face,
    And that bare passion bade me forth to die
    Fouled to the instrument of my disgrace!


    What has a man but honour? When 'tis gone
    The man is gone: for all that in him blent
    To strike a star for men to gaze upon
    Becomes his quicker ruin's instrument.
    For from that height to which with toil we climb,
    From that we fall and to the further pit,
    Who honour bore and lost. This is my crime
    And this the daily punishment of it:--

    To honour honour more than e'er I did
    When I possessed it, to esteem the lot
    Of those whose treasure from themselves lies hid
    Or those who lose it and yet miss it not.
    O God, now raise me to the thing forbid
    Or from my eyes its pure light wholly blot!


    Wherefore on God thou callest? 'Tis in vain:
    Our hearts our fortunes are until we die,
    And naught can change them or for loss or gain
    Save Courage at least glance of Honour's eye.
    For Honour, daughter of sound brain and blood,
    Motions us ever though we may not heed;
    She is imperative hunger for the good,
    Good so instinctive that to gain we bleed.

    Wherefore, dishonoured soul, part from thy love--
    Fearfuller wrench than muscle torn from bone--
    Or her soul too must perish here. Enough!
    I cannot leave her. Then there is but one
    Refuge for us now to make trial of,--
    Refuge to which I cannot fare alone.


    They burned too deep. Had they but taken that lightly
    Which take they must, Love being absolute lord--
    Parted by now they yet had rendered rightly
    Memory each to each, love's last reward.
    But of their love maybe a fiercer glow
    They had who saved their honour at the last
    By direst means. Whether it be or no,
    In death their faces held a _something_ fast.

    Beneath the fall's white glare and drumming zest,
    Where on black depths an hundred suns are burning,
    Their bodies bound, like faggots, breast to breast
    Rose for a peaceful space, lazily turning:
    Their mutual smile acknowledged _this_ was best.
    Love had found Honour's way. O bitter learning!




(_From the French of Albert Samain._)

        My soul is an Infanta, robed for state,
        Whose exiled years, termless, imperial,
        Are mirrored in some dim Escurial,
    Forgotten as old galleys in the roads disconsolate.

        Fleet as the wind, her daïsed throne beside,
        Twin greyhounds couch majestical, and seem
        To course, through Forests of Enchanted Dream,
    At will, a phantom fancied quarry, melancholy-eyed.

        Stirless, she holds a tulip flower, attent
        The while her page, whose name is Yesterday,
        Reads with hushed breath an old bewitching lay,
    And hears its magic in her heart die impotent.

        Before her--marbled fountains, terraced slopes,
        And all the green of Spring. Sombre, her mind
        She mads with those high dreams, the unconfined
    Horizon hides, and turns, for our despair, to wistful hopes.

        Here dwells she, gracious, unrebellious, kind,
        Knowing, since Fate is Lord, the strife how vain;
        Knowing, for all her birthright of disdain,
    Her spirit touched to pity as the sea stirs to the wind.

        Here dwells she, unrebellious, past surprise,
        Tranquil through tears, save when she evokes the ghost
        Of Hope's Armadas with their piteous host
    Foundering, betrayed anew eternally before her eyes.

        Yet, in some magic, purple, sunset hour,
        Old portraits, shadowy on the tarnished gold--
        Ivory, black of velvet--wake to hold
    New promise from the past of splendid insubstantial power.

        Pale painted hands Velasquez pictured, guide
        Her soaring thoughts again to nothingness
        Miraged so fair, dies all her weariness
    And glows a sudden glory from the rubies of her pride.

        But lo, old horror of the world of men
        And all its brazen clangour stills her blood...
        Life flows--a distant murmur--like the flood...
    More secret and more strange the smile is on her lips again.

        No breath may trouble now her eyes' repose
        Where haunt the veilèd ghosts of cities dead;
        Adown dim corridors with tranquil tread
    Singing she passes where an idle fountain idly flows.

        Pale at her casement sits she, to await
        Till pride and peace shall have an end at last,
        Holding her tulip, mirrored in the past,
    Forgotten as old galleys in the roads disconsolate.

        My soul is an Infanta, robed for state.

    _D. L. SAYERS_




    When in the long-day month, the month of May,
    The Franks of France from king's court ride away,
    Reynault rides foremost, the first in rank alway.
    Passes the tower where Erembours doth stay;
    He never deigned to lift his head her way,
    Ha, Reynault, ha, true love!

    Fair Erembours, within the window's ray,
    Holds on her knees a web of colours gay,
    Sees Franks of France from king's court ride away,
    Sees Reynault riding the first in rank alway,
    Speaketh aloud, on this wise she doth say:
    Ha, Reynault, ha, true love!

    Reynault, true love, I have beheld the day
    When if my father's castle stood on your way
    You had been sad, had I had nought to say.
    --Ill hast thou wrought with me, king's daughter, yea,
    Hast loved another, cast my love away.
    Ha, Reynault, ha, true love!

    Reynault, fair sir, on relics solemnly
    I'll swear, before an hundred maidens free
    And thirty ladies that I shall bring with me,
    I never loved another man save thee;
    Take this amends, I'll give thee kisses three.
    Ha, Reynault, ha, true love!

    O then Count Reynault up by the stairway ran,
    Wide were his shoulders, and small his girdle's span,
    His hair close-curled, and very fair to scan,
    In all the world is not so fine a man.
    Erembours saw him, and so to weep began.
    Ha, Reynault, ha, true love!

    Count Reynault mounts into her highest towers
    And sets him on a bed of broidered flowers,
    And close beside him sits fair Erembours.
    Then they take up their loves of former hours.
    Ha, Reynault, ha, true love!

    _H. SIMPSON_



    There are quantities of things
    One would like to be and do
    When one's mind unfurls its wings;

    Clouds full chase across the blue
    All unthinking in their flight;
    Overcasting me and you,

    Sometimes raining out of spite.
    Or perhaps you would prefer
    To go coasting through the night

    With a flutter and a stir,
    Like a nightjar in a wood
    Rising softly with a whirr.

    Or with cold and scanty blood
    Don a fish's suit of scales,
    And go oaring through the flood

    Under bigger fishes' tails,
    Into warm and open sea
    While above you blow the gales--

    So my mind spins constantly
    In unprofitable rings
    Almost to infinity--

    Such innumerable things
    One would like to do and be
    When one's thoughts shake out their wings.

    _E. E. SMITH_



    O my soul that fliest over never-ending seas
    That are so still their deeps lie dark beneath the sun,
    Untroubled by any foam, so that the ship-boy sees
    All the world's water, and thinks his voyage never done:
    Some day thou wilt stay thy wings and stoop to land
    Where the sea's edge lies sharp like a bright sword,
    And hardly break the waves, and sweet is the sand
    Where the keel runs home and ships are gently shored.
    There sit the solemn seamen, with rings in their brown ears,
    Who are grave when they laugh and are not ashamed to weep;
    Their hair and their beards are grown long with the long years,
    And some are too old and too wise for speaking, and some sleep.
    And when the night grows cold they stir, and touch their lips
    With dark-red sluggish liquor, and kindle a fire from wood
    Washed up by a quiet wave from the wracked majestical ships,
    The planks where the feet of the sea-captains and the ship-boys
    Their eyes grow silent and dark, their gnarled bodies swing
    Like trees that are stript in a wind; they go mad with moon and
    Murmuring songs like water, and beating their hands as they sing
    Of how they are fled far off from the foam of tides and the handling
        of bars.

    _L. A. G. STRONG_



    I think I'll do a fearful deed
    Of wickedness and cruelty,
    And then, if Father Walsh speaks truth,
    Jesus will weep a tear for me,

    And I will catch it in my hat
    Just here outside my cabin door:
    And put it on my little field
    Where nothing ever grew before.

    And it will sprout so fine and brave,
    That lovely birds with yellow bills
    Will come to peck my crowded corn
    From all the Seven Holy Hills.


    Aye, there's many a man does be drownded,
    An' carried a middling way:
    But never the like o' me brother
    Was floated from Dublin to Bray.

    An' him only two days in it--
    Sure ye'd hardly believe it at all:
    But it's God's truth. He went down fishing
    One night from the North Wall.

    What way was it? There's none knows rightly--
    He was there one turn o' the light,
    An' when next it came round he was no place:
    An' no sign of him till next night,

    When two men out o' Coliemore Harbour,
    Rowin' back from the fishin' ground,
    Seen him floatin' by on his belly
    Down the middle o' Dalkey Sound:

    But they didn't dare stop for to get him,
    For the boat was a heavy weight,
    An' the wind was strong, an' the current
    Was runnin' the divil's own gate.

    An' he crossed the Bay o' Killiney;
    Till next mornin', at twelve o' the clock,
    They found him all swelled an' puffy,
    At Bray, in the slit of a rock.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Aye, there's many a man does be drownded,
    An' carried a middling way:
    But never the like o' me brother
    Was floated from Dublin to Bray.

    _D. E. A. WALLACE_



    When I consider some day wanton Death
    With sudden hand ungently laid above
    The heart of her, my softly-sleeping love,
    Shall fright away her sweet and rhythmic breath;
    Shall quell the colour in her flower-face,
    Inevitable and unheralded
    As frosts in May that strike the blossom dead--
    Shall quench her eyes, transfix her dreaming grace;
    When I consider that her limbs shall be
    Set stiffly in a strong rigidity;
    That by-and-by her flesh shall fall away,
    Unsightly in a horrible decay,
    Then do I laugh, despite my catching breath--
    A piteous fool, a sad, blind fool is Death!

    _LEO WARD_



    There is a time wherein eternity
    Takes rest upon the world: King Charity
    Bow'd to our fallen state: the God of Grace
    Made visible upon a human face:--
    When the deep harmony, the eternal Word,
    The unfallen Wisdom (only love has heard!)
    Touches the troubled body, bruised and hard
    With the long fight, yet now set heavenward:--
    When the deep argument of souls must cease,
    Dying--to meet the victory of peace!


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes

Italics are represented thus _italics_.

Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected, but no other
changes have been made to the text.

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+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.