_From the Portuguese._
HEAVY my heart is, heavy to carry,
Full of soft foldings, of downy enwrapments--
And the outer fold of all is love,
And the next soft fold is love,
And the next, finer and softer, is love again;
And were they unwound before the eyes
More folds and more folds and more folds would unroll
Of love--always love,
And, quite at the last,
Deep in the nest, in the soft-packed nest,
One last fold, turned back, would disclose
You, little heart of my heart,
Laid there so warm, so soft, so soft,
Not knowing where you lie, nor how softly,
Nor why your nest is so soft,
Nor how your nest is so warm.
You, little heart of my heart,
You lie in my heart,
Warm, safe and soft as this body of yours,
This dear kissed body of yours that lies
Here in my arms and sucks the strength from my breast,
The strength you will break my heart with one of these days.
No child shall stir the inmost heart of her
And teach her heaven by that first faint stir;
No little lips shall lie against her breast
Save the cold lips that now lie there at rest;
No little voice shall rouse her from her sleep
And bid her wake to pain:
Her sleep is calm and deep,
Call not! refrain.
Close in her arm
As though even death drew back before the face
Of Motherhood in this white stilly place,
The gathered bud lies waxen white and cold,
As ever a flower your winter gardens hold.
She bore the pain, she never wore the crown,
She worked the bitter charm,
But all she won thereby is here laid down
Renounced--for good or harm.
Dream? Feed your soul
With dreams, while we must starve our hearts on clay,
Dream of a glorious white-winged sun-crowned day
When you shall see her once more face to face
Beside Christ's Mother in the blessed place!
But while you dream, they carry her from here,
The black bells toll and toll.
Oh God! if only she cannot see or hear,
Not hear those ghoul-like bells that crowd so near,
Not see that cold clay hole.
The Jilted Lover To His Mother
You needn't pray for me, old lady, I don't want no one's prayer,
I'm fit and jolly as ever I was--you needn't think I care.
When I go whistling down the road, when the warm night is falling,
She needn't think I'm whistling her, it's another girl I'm calling.
If I pass her house a dozen times, or fifty times a day,
She needn't think I think of her, my work lies out that way.
If they should tell her I've grown thin (for that is what they've told me)
This cursed weather counts for that, and not the girl who sold me.
And if they say I'm off my feed I still can tip a can;
If I get drunk what's that to her? I am not her young man.
I know I've had a lucky let-off--she ain't no class, she ain't,
For all she looked like a bush o' roses and talked like a story book saint.
I never give a thought to her. Don't worry your old head,
I've quite forgot her pretty ways and the cruel things she said,
There's lots of other gals to be had as any chap can see,
So you cheer up, you've got no call to go and pray for me.
But all the same, if you want to pray, you'd best pray God take care of them,
For if I catch them two together, by hell! I'll swing for the pair of them.