Especially when the October wind
With frosty fingers punishes my hair,
Caught by the crabbing sun I walk on fire
And cast a shadow crab upon the land,
By the sea’s side, hearing the noise of birds,
Hearing the raven cough in winter sticks,
My busy heart who shudders as she talks
Sheds the syllabic blood and drains her words.
Shut, too, in a tower of words, I mark
On the horizon walking like the trees
The wordy shapes of women, and the rows
Of the star-gestured children in the park.
Some let me make you of the vowelled beeches,
Some of the oaken voices, from the roots
Of many a thorny shire tell you notes,
Some let me make you of the water’s speeches.
Behind a pot of ferns the wagging clock
Tells me the hour’s word, the neural meaning
Flies on the shafted disk, declaims the morning
And tells the windy weather in the cock.
Some let me make you of the meadow’s signs;
The signal grass that tells me all I know
Breaks with the wormy winter through the eye.
Some let me tell you of the raven’s sins.
Especially when the October wind
(Some let me make you of autumnal spells,
The spider-tongued, and the loud hill of Wales)
With fists of turnips punishes the land,
Some let me make you of the heartless words.
The heart is drained that, spelling in the scurry
Of chemic blood, warned of the coming fury.
By the sea’s side hear the dark-vowelled birds.
The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.
Eyes that last I saw in tears
Here in death’s dream kingdom
The golden vision reappears
I see the eyes but not the tears
This is my affliction
This is my affliction
Eyes I shall not see again
Eyes of decision
Eyes I shall not see unless
At the door of death’s other kingdom
Where, as in this,
The eyes outlast a little while
A little while outlast the tears
And hold us in derision.
For shame, thou everlasting wooer,
Still saying grace and never falling to her!
Love that’s in contemplation placed,
Is Venus drawn but to the waste.
Unless your flame confess its gender,
And your parley cause surrender,
You are Salamanders of a cold desire,
That live untouched amidst the hottest fire.
What though she be a dame of stone,
The widow of Pygmalion,
As hard and unrelenting she
As the new-crusted Niobe,
Or, (what doth more of statue carry,)
A nun of the Platonic quarry?
Love melts the rigor which the rocks have bred;
A flint will break upon a feather-bed.
For shame, you pretty female elves,
Cease thus to candy up your selves;
No more, you sectaries of the game,
No more of your calcining flame!
Women commence by Cupid’s dart
As a king hunting dubs a hart.
Love’s votaries enthral each other’s soul
Till both of them live but upon parole.
Virtue’s no more in womankind
But the green-sickness of the mind ;
Philosophy (their new delight)
A kind of charcoal appetite.
There is no sophistry prevails
Where all-convincing love assails,
But the disputing petticoat will warp,
As skillful gamesters are to seek at sharp.
The soldier, that man of iron,
Whom ribs of Horror all environ,
That’s strung with wire instead of veins
In whose embraces you’re jn chains.
Let a magnetic girl appear,
Straight he turns Cupid’s cuirassier.
Love storms his lips, and takes the fortress in,
For all the bristled turnpikes of his chin.
Since Love’s artillery then checks
The breastworks of the firmest sex
Come let us in affections riot
They are sickly pleasures keep a diet.
Give me a lover bold and free
Not eunuched with formality
Like an embassador that beds a queen
With the nice caution of a sword between.
To be in love
Is to touch with a lighter hand.
In yourself you stretch, you are well.
You look at things
Through his eyes.
A cardinal is red.
A sky is blue.
Suddenly you know he knows too.
He is not there but
You know you are tasting together
The winter, or a light spring weather.
His hand to take your hand is overmuch.
Too much to bear.
You cannot look in his eyes
Because your pulse must not say
What must not be said.
Shuts a door-
Is not there_
Your arms are water.
And you are free
With a ghastly freedom.
You are the beautiful half
Of a golden hurt.
You remember and covet his mouth
To touch, to whisper on.
Oh when to declare
Is certain Death!
Oh when to apprize
Is to mesmerize,
To see fall down, the Column of Gold,
Into the commonest ash.
And the stone word fell
On my still-living breast.
Never mind, I was ready.
I will manage somehow.
Today I have so much to do:
I must kill memory once and for all,
I must turn my soul to stone,
I must learn to live again—
Unless . . . Summer’s ardent rustling
Is like a festival outside my window.
For a long time I’ve foreseen this
Brilliant day, deserted house.
Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
Though foolishly he lost the same,
Decaying more and more,
Till he became
O let me rise
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.
My tender age in sorrow did begin:
And still with sicknesses and shame
Thou didst so punish sin,
That I became
Let me combine
And feel this day thy victory:
For, if I imp my wing on thine,
Affliction shall advance the flight in me.
MOST glorious Lord of Lyfe! that, on this day,
Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin;
And, having harrowd hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, deare Lord, with joy begin;
And grant that we, for whom thou diddest dye,
Being with Thy deare blood clene washt from sin,
May live for ever in felicity!
And that Thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love Thee for the same againe;
And for Thy sake, that all lyke deare didst buy,
With love may one another entertayne!
So let us love, deare Love, lyke as we ought,
–Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.
The silver trumpets rang across the Dome:
The people knelt upon the ground with awe:
And borne upon the necks of men I saw,
Like some great God, the Holy Lord of Rome.
Priest-like, he wore a robe more white than foam,
And, king-like, swathed himself in royal red,
Three crowns of gold rose high upon his head:
In splendour and in light the Pope passed home.
My heart stole back across wide wastes of years
To One who wandered by a lonely sea,
And sought in vain for any place of rest:
‘Foxes have holes, and every bird its nest.
I, only I, must wander wearily,
And bruise my feet, and drink wine salt with tears.’
telling something all too sweet,
making music out of beauty,
with a question hidden deep.
Still I think I know your meaning,
there behind your pupils’ brightness,
love and truth are your heart’s lightness,
that, instead of its own gleaming,
would so truly like to greet,
in a world of dullness, blindness,
one true look of human kindness,
where two kindred spirits meet.