How often in our search for joy below
Hoping for happiness we chance on woe.

Around its mountain many footpaths wind,
But only one unto its top attains;
Not he who searches closest, takes most pains,
But he who seeks not, that one way may find.

One with the Heaven above
Am I its bliss:
Part of its truth and love,
And what God is.
I heal the soul and mind:
I work their cures:
Not Grief, that rends Mankind,
But Joy endures.

Be glad, just for to-day!
O heart, be glad!
Cast all your cares away!
Doff all that 's sad!
Put of your garments gray
Be glad to-day!
Be merry while you-can;
For life is short
It seemeth but a span
Before we part.
Let each maid take her man,
And dance while dance she can:
Life's but a little span
Be merry while you can.

When Lydia Smiles

When Lydia smiles, I seem to see
The walls around me fade and flee;
And, lo, in haunts of hart and hind
I seem with lovely Rosalind,
In Arden 'neath the greenwood tree:
The day is drowsy with the bee,
And one wild bird flutes dreamily,
And all the mellow air is kind,
When Lydia smiles.

Ah, me! what were this world to me
Without her smile!-What poetry,
What glad hesperian paths I find
Of love, that lead my soul and mind
To happy hills of Arcady,
When Lydia smiles!

What were this life without her?
Joy, whose young face is sweet
With dreams that flit about her,
And rapture wild of feet!

With hope, that knows no languor,
And love, that knows no sighs,
And mirth, like some rich anger,
High-sparkling in her eyes.

Come! bid adieu to Sorrow;
And arm in arm with Joy,
We 'll journey towards Tomorrow,
And let no Care decoy

Our souls from all clean Pleasures,
That take from Time's lean hand
The hour-glass he treasures,
And change to gold its sand.

Will You Forget?

In years to come, will you forget,
Dear girl, how often we have met?
And I have gazed into your eyes
And there beheld no sad regret
To cloud the gladness of their skies,
While in your heart-unheard as yet
Love slept, oblivious of my sighs?
In years to come, will you forget?

Ah, me! I only pray that when,
In other days, some man of men
Has taught those eyes to laugh and weep
With joy and sorrow, hearts must ken
When love awakens in their deep,
I only pray some memory then,
Or sad or sweet, you still will keep
Of me and love that might have been.

Dear heart and love! what happiness to sit
And watch the firelight's varying shade and shine
On thy young face; and through those eyes of thine
As through glad windows-mark fair fancies flit
In sumptuous chambers of thy soul's chaste wit
Like graceful women: then to take in mine
Thy hand, whose pressure brims my heart's divine
Hushed rapture as with music exquisite!
When I remember how thy look and touch
Sway, like the moon, my blood with ecstasy,
I dare not think to what fierce heaven might lead
Thy soft embrace; or in thy kiss how much
Sweet hell,-beyond all help of me,-might be,
Where I were lost, where I were lost indeed!

His Birthday, October the 7th, 1912
RILEY, whose pen has made the world your debtor,
Whose Art has kept you young through sixty years,
Brimming our hearts with laughter and with tears,
Holding her faith pure to the very letter:
We come to you today, both man and woman,
And happy little children, girl and boy,—
To laurel you with all our love and joy,
And crown you for the dreams your pen made human:
For Orphant Annie and for Old Aunt Mary,
The Raggedty Man, who never will grow older,
And all the kindly folks from Griggsby's Station,
Immortal throngs, with Spirk and Wunk and Faery,
Who swarm behind you, peering o'er your shoulder,
Sharing with you the blessings of a Nation.

What is it now that I shall seek
Where woods dip downward, in the hills?-
A mossy nook, a ferny creek,
And May among the daffodils.

Or in the valley's vistaed glow,
Past rocks of terraced trumpet vines,
Shall I behold her coming slow,
Sweet May, among the columbines?

With redbud cheeks and bluet eyes,
Big eyes, the homes of happiness,
To meet me with the old surprise,
Her wild-rose hair all bonnetless.

Who waits for me, where, note for note,
The birds make glad the forest trees?-
A dogwood blossom at her throat,
My May among th' anemones.

As sweetheart breezes kiss the blooms,
And dews caress the moon's pale beams,
My soul shall drink her lips' perfumes,
And know the magic of her dreams.

The Blue Mertensia

This is the path he used to take,
That ended at a rose-porched door:
He takes it now for oldtime's sake;
And love of yore.

The blue mertensia, by the stone,
Lifts questioning eyes, that seem to say,
'Why is it now you walk alone
On this dim way?'

And then a wild bird, from a bough,
Out of his heart the answer takes:
'He walks alone with memory now
And heart that breaks.

'And Loss and Longing, witches, who
Usurp the wood and change to woe
The dream of happiness he knew
Long, long ago.

'The faery princess, from whose gaze
The blue mertensia learned that look,
Retaining still beside these ways
The joy it took.'

He listens, conscious of no part
In wildwood question and reply
The wood, from out its mighty heart,
Heaves one deep sigh.

I can't get up with the chickens;
I can't get up at dark:
And what do I care for the early worm?
And what do I care for the lark?

I can't do this or that thing;
I can't do things like you;
And the thing that I do most frequent
Is the thing I never do.

I can't go where I would go,
Though I go from morn till eve;
But some place I go wherever I go
Whenever a place I leave.

For the law of the road is this law,
And the law is right and good:
Just go your ways and take no heed
Of how you get your food.

And the law of the road is this law,
And the law is one to keep:
It never matters, wherever you are,
So you have a place to sleep.

And the law of the road is this law,
And the law may it grow and grow!
Wherever you go and whatever you do
Let no one ever know.

Under the boughs of spring
She swung in the old rope-swing.

Her cheeks, with their happy blood,
Were pink as the apple-bud.

Her eyes, with their deep delight,
Were glad as the stars of night.

Her curls, with their romp and fun,
Were hoiden as wind and sun.

Her lips, with their laughter shrill,
Were wild as a woodland rill.

Under the boughs of spring
She swung in the old rope-swing.

And I,-who leaned on the fence,
Watching her innocence,

As, under the boughs that bent,
Now high, now low, she went,

In her soul the ecstasies
Of the stars, the brooks, the breeze,-

Had given the rest of my years,
With their blessings, and hopes, and fears,

To have been as she was then;
And, just for a moment, again

A boy in the old rope-swing
Under the boughs of spring.

Meeting And Parting

When from the tower, like some sweet flower,
The bell drops petals of the hour,
That says the world is homing,
My heart puts off its garb of care
And clothes itself in gold and vair,
And hurries forth to meet her there
Within the purple gloaming.

It's Oh! how slow the hours go,
How dull the moments move!
Till soft and clear the bells I hear,
That say, like music, in my ear,
'Go meet the one you love.'

When curved and white, a bugle bright,
The moon blows glamour through the night,
That sets the world a-dreaming,
My heart, where gladness late was guest,
Puts off its joy, as to my breast
At parting her dear form is pressed,
Within the moon's faint gleaming.

It's Oh! how fast the hours passed!
They were not slow enough!
Too soon, too soon, the sinking moon
Says to my soul, like some sad tune,
'Come! part from her you love.'

When blood-root blooms and trillium flowers
Unclasp their stars to sun and rain,
My heart strikes hands with winds and showers
And wanders in the woods again.

O urging impulse, born of spring,
That makes glad April of my soul,
No bird, however wild of wing,
Is more impatient of control.

Impetuous of pulse it beats
Within my blood and bears me hence;
Above the housetops and the streets
I hear its happy eloquence.

It tells me all that I would know,
Of birds and buds, of blooms and bees;
I seem to hear the blossoms blow,
And leaves unfolding on the trees.

I seem to hear the blue-bells ring
Faint purple peals of fragrance; and
The honey-throated poppies fling
Their golden laughter o'er the land.

It calls to me; it sings to me;
I hear its far voice night and day;
I can not choose but go when tree
And flower clamor, 'Come, away!'

At The End Of The Road

THIS is the truth as I see it, my dear,
Out in the wind and the rain:
They who have nothing have little to fear,—
Nothing to lose or to gain.
Here by the road at the end o' the year,
Let us sit down and drink o' our beer,
Happy-Go-Lucky and her cavalier,
Out in the wind and the rain.
Now we are old, oh isn't it fine
Out in the wind and the rain?
Now we have nothing why snivel and whine? —
What would it bring us again? —
When I was young I took you like wine,
Held you and kissed you and thought you divine —
Happy-Go-Lucky, the habit's still mine,
Out in the wind and the rain.
Oh, my old Heart, what a life we have led,
Out in the wind and the rain!
How we have drunken and how we have fed!
Nothing to lose or to gain! —
Cover the fire now; get we to bed.
Long was the journey and far has it led:
Come, let us sleep, lass, sleep like the dead,
Out in the wind and the rain.

When Spring Comes Down The Wildwood Way

When Spring comes down the wildwood way,
A crocus in her ear,
Sweet in her train, returned with May,
The Love of Yester-year
Will follow, carolling his lay,
His lyric lay,
Whose music she will hear.

The crowfoot in the grass shall glow,
And lamp his way with gold;
The snowdropp toss its bells of snow,
The bluebell's blue unfold,
To glad the path that Love shall go,
High-hearted go,
As often in the days of old.

The way he went when hope was keen,
Was high in girl and boy:
Before the sad world came between
Their young hearts and their joy:
Their hearts, that Love has still kept clean,
Kept whole and clean,
Through all the years' annoy.

How long it seems until the spring!
Until his heart shall speak
To hers again, and make it sing,
And with its great joy weak!
When on her hand he'll place the ring,
The wedding-ring,
And kiss her mouth and cheek!

Between the darkness and the day
As, lost in doubt, I went my way,
I met a shape, as faint as fair,
With star-like blossoms in its hair:
Its body, which the moon shone through,
Was partly cloud and partly dew:
Its eyes were bright as if with tears,
And held the look of long-gone years;
Its mouth was piteous, sweet yet dread,
As if with kisses of the dead:
And in its hand it bore a flower,
In memory of some haunted hour.
I knew it for the Dream I'd had
In days when life was young and glad.
Why had it come with love and woe
Out of the happy Long-Ago?
Upon my brow I felt its breath,
Heard ancient. words of faith and death,
Sweet with the immortality
Of many a fragrant memory:
And to my heart again I took
Its joy and sorrow in a look,
And kissed its eyes and held it fast,
And bore it home from out the past
My Dream of Beauty and of Truth,
I dreamed had perished with my Youth.

The Closed Door

SHUT it out of the heart — this grief,
O Love, with the years grown old and hoary!
And let in joy that life is brief,
And give God thanks for the end of the story.
The bond of the flesh is transitory,
And beauty goes with the lapse of years —
The brow's white rose and the hair's dark glory —
God be thanked for the severing shears!
Over the past, Heart, waste no tears!
Over the past and all its madness,
Its wine and wormwood, hopes and fears,
That never were worth a moment's sadness.
Here she lies who was part o' its gladness,
Wife and mistress, and shared its woe,
The good of life as well as its badness,—
Look on her face and see if you know.
Is this the face? — yea, ask it slow! —
The hair, the form, that we used to cherish? —
Where is the glory of long-ago?
The beauty we said would never perish.—
Like a dream we dream, or a thought we nourish,
Nothing of earth immortal is:
This is the end however we flourish —
All that is fair must come to this.

The Magic Purse

WHAT is the gold of mortal-kind
To that men find
Deep in the poet's mind! —
That magic purse
Of Dreams from which
God builds His universe!
That makes life rich
With, many a vision;
Taking the soul from out its prison
Of facts with the precision
A wildflower dons
When Spring comes knocking at the door
Of Earth across the windy lawns;
Calling to Joy to rise and dance before
Her happy feet:
Or with the beat
And bright exactness of a star,
Hanging its punctual point afar,
When Night comes tripping over Heaven's floor,
Leaving a gate ajar.
That leads the Heart from all its aching
Far above where day is breaking;
Out of the doubts, the agonies,
The strife and sin, to join with these —
Hope and Beauty and Joy that build
Their golden walls
Of sunset where, with spirits filled,
A Presence calls,
And points a land
Where Love walks, silent; hand in hand
With the Spirit of God, and leads Man right
Out of the darkness into the light.

Reed Call For April

When April comes, and pelts with buds
And apple-blooms each orchard space,
And takes the dog-wood-whitened woods
With rain and sunshine of her moods,
Like your fair face, like your fair face:
It's honey for the bloom and dew,
And honey for the heart!
And, oh, to be away with you
Beyond the town and mart.


When April comes, and tints the hills
With gold and beryl that rejoice,
And from her airy apron spills
The laughter of the winds and rills,
Like your young voice, like your young voice:
It's gladness for God's bending blue,
And gladness for the heart!
And, oh, to be away with you
Beyond the town and mart.


When April comes, and binds and girds
The world with warmth that breathes above,
And to the breeze flings all her birds,
Whose songs are welcome as the words
Of you I love, of you I love:
It's music for all things that woo,
And music for the heart!
And, oh, to be away with you
Beyond the town and mart.

A Song For Yule

Sing, Hey, when the time rolls round this way,
And the bells peal out, 'Tis Christmas Day;
The world is better then by half,
For joy, for joy;
In a little while you will see it laugh
For a song's to sing and a glass to quaff,
My boy, my boy.
So here's to the man who never says nay!
Sing, Hey, a song of Christmas-Day!


Sing, Ho, when roofs are white with snow,
And homes are hung with mistletoe;
Old Earth is not half bad, I wis-
What cheer! what cheer!
How it ever seemed sad the wonder is
With a gift to give and a girl to kiss,
My dear, my dear.
So here's to the girl who never says no!
Sing, Ho, a song of the mistletoe!


No thing in the world to the heart seems wrong
When the soul of a man walks out with song;
Wherever they go, glad hand in hand,
And glove in glove,
The round of the land is rainbow-spanned,
And the meaning of life they understand
Is love, is love.
Let the heart be open, the soul be strong,
And life will be glad as a Christmas song.

The Heaven-Born

Not into these dark cities,
These sordid marts and streets,
That the sun in his rising pities,
And the moon with sorrow greets,
Does she, with her dreams and flowers,
For whom our hearts are dumb,
Does she of the golden hours,
Earth's heaven-born Beauty, come.

Afar 'mid the hills she tarries,
Beyond the farthest streams,
In a world where music marries
With color that blooms and beams;
Where shadow and light are wedded,
Whose children people the Earth,
The fair, the fragrant-headed,
The pure, the wild of birth.

Where Morn with rosy kisses
Wakes ever the eyes of Day;
And, winds in her radiant tresses,
Haunts every wildwood way:
Where Eve, with her mouth's twin roses,
Her kisses sweet with balm,
The eyes of the glad Day closes,
And, crowned with stars, sits calm.

There, lost in contemplation
Of things no mortal sees,
She dwells, the incarnation
Of idealities;
Of dreams, that long have fired
Men's hearts with joy and pain,
The far, the dear-desired,
Whom no man shall attain.

O heart,-that beat the bird's blithe blood,
The blithe bird's strain, and understood
The song it sang to leaf and bud,-
What dost thou in the wood?

O soul,-that kept the brook's glad flow,
The glad brook's word to sun and moon,-
What dost thou here where song lies low,
And dead the dreams of June?

Where once was heard a voice of song,
The hautboys of the mad winds sing;
Where once a music flowed along,
The rain's wild bugle's ring.

The weedy water frets and ails,
And moans in many a sunless fall;
And, o'er the melancholy, trails
The black crow's eldritch call.

Unhappy brook! O withered wood!
O days, whom Death makes comrades of!
Where are the birds that thrilled the blood
When Life struck hands with Love?

A song, one soared against the blue;
A song, one silvered in the leaves;
A song, one blew where orchards grew
Gold-appled to the eaves.

The birds are flown; the flowers, dead;
And sky and earth are bleak and gray:
Where Joy once went, all light of tread,
Grief haunts the leaf-wild way.

I heard the forest's green heart beat
As if it heard the happy feet
Of one who came, like young Desire:
At whose fair coming birds and flowers
Sprang up, and Beauty, filled with fire,
Touched lips with Song amid the bowers
And Love led on the dancing Hours.


And then I heard a voice that rang,
And to the leaves and blossoms sang:
'My child is Life: I dwell with Truth:
I am the Spirit glad of Birth:
I bring to all things joy and youth:
I am the rapture of the Earth.
Come look on me and know my worth.'


And then the woodland heaved a sigh,
As if it saw a shape go by
A shape of sorrow or of dread,
That seemed to move as moves a mist,
And left the leaves and flowers dead,
And with cold lips my forehead kissed,
While phantoms all around held tryst.


And then I heard a voice that spoke
Unto the fading beech and oak:
'I am the Spirit of Decay,
Whose child is Death, that means relief:
I breathe and all things pass away:
I am Earth's glory and its grief.
Come look on me: thy time is brief.'

Oh, I am going home again,
Back to the old house in the lane,
And mother! who still sits and sews,
With cheeks, each one, a winter rose,
A-watching for her boy, you know,
Who left so many years ago,
To face the world, its stress and strain
Oh, I am going home again.

Yes, I am going home once more,
And mother 'll meet me at the door
With smiles that rainbow tears of joy,
And arms that reach out for her boy,
And draw him to her happy breast,
On which awhile his head he 'll rest,
And care no more, if rich or poor,
At home with her, at home once more.

Yes, I am going home to her,
Whose welcome evermore is sure:
I have been thinking, night and day,
How tired I am of being away!
How homesick for her gentle face,
And welcome of the oldtime place,
And memories of the days that were
Oh, I am going home to her.

Oh, just to see her face again
A-smiling at the windowpane!
To see her standing at the door
And offering her arms once more,
As oft she did when, just a child,
She took me to her heart and smiled,
And hushed my cry and cured my pain
I'm going home to her again.

Meeting In The Woods

Through ferns and moss the path wound to
A hollow where the touchmenots
Swung horns of honey filled with dew;
And where like foot-prints violets blue
And bluets made sweet sapphire blots,
'Twas there that she had passed he knew.

The grass, the very wilderness
On either side, breathed rapture of
Her passage: 'twas her hand or dress
That touched some tree a slight caress
That made the wood-birds sing above;
Her step that made the flowers up-press.

He hurried, till across his way,
Foam-footed, bounding through the wood,
A brook, like some wild girl at play,
Went laughing loud its roundelay;
And there upon its bank she stood,
A sunbeam clad in woodland gray.

And when she saw him, all her face
Grew to a wildrose by the stream;
And to his breast a moment's space
He gathered her; and all the place
Seemed conscious of some happy dream
Come true to add to Earth its grace.

Some joy, on which Heav'n was intent
For which God made the world the bliss,
The love, that raised her innocent
Pure face to his that, smiling, bent
And sealed confession with a kiss
Life needs no other testament.

There's nothing to do in the morning but stew,
Till it's time to get up and dress;
Till my nurse comes in to button and pin,
And dress me more or less:
Then it's time to get up, get up, you see,
And I am as happy as happy can be.


For there is my drum a-calling me'Come!'
My clown a-shouting'Hooray!'
My dishes and table and little toy-stable
Just clattering'Come and play!'
And my little wood-soldiers, with foot to foot,
Seem ready to fire a toy-salute.


And my spade and rake just seem to ache
For me to handle and use;
And the pile of sand it seems to expand
With joy when it feels my shoes.
But the gladdest of all, the maddest of all,
That leaps to my hand, is my little red ball.


I bound and run and every one
Is happy almost as I;
With my whistle and whip I hop and skip,
And make my rocking-horse fly.
I take my horn and I make it say,
'Good morning to all! It's a very fine day!'


There's nothing to do in the morning but stew
Until it is time to rise;
Till my nurse comes in to button and pin,
A-rubbing the sleep from her eyes:
Then it's time to get up, and hurry, you see,
Where all of my toys are waiting for me.

The Grasshopper I

What joy you take in making hotness hotter,
In emphasising dulness with your buzz,
Making monotony more monotonous!
When Summer comes, and drouth hath dried the water
In all the creeks, we hear your ragged rasp
Filling the stillness. Or, as urchins beat
A stagnant pond whereon the bubbles gasp,
Your switch-like music whips the midday heat.
O bur of sound caught in the Summer's hair,
We hear you everywhere!

We hear you in the vines and berry-brambles,
Along the unkempt lanes, among the weeds,
Amid the shadeless meadows, gray with seeds,
And by the wood 'round which the rail-fence rambles,
Sawing the sunlight with your sultry saw.
Or, like to tomboy truants, at their play
With noisy mirth among the barn's deep straw,
You sing away the careless summer-day.
O brier-like voice that clings in idleness
To Summer's drowsy dress!

You tramp of insects, vagrant and unheeding,
Improvident, who of the summer make
One long green mealtime, and for winter take
No care, aye singing or just merely feeding!
Happy-go-lucky vagabond, 'though frost
Shall pierce, ere long, your green coat or your brown,
And pinch your body, let no song be lost,
But as you lived into your grave go down
Like some small poet with his little rhyme,
Forgotten of all time.

The joys that touched thee once, be mine!
The sympathies of sky and sea,
The friendships of each rock and pine,
That made thy lonely life, ah me!
In Tempe or in Gargaphie.

Such joy as thou didst feel when first,
On some wild crag, thou stood'st alone
To watch the mountain tempest burst,
With streaming thunder, lightning-sown,
On Latmos or on Pelion.

Thy awe! when, crowned with vastness, Night
And Silence ruled the deep's abyss;
And through dark leaves thou saw'st the white
Breasts of the starry maids who kiss
Pale feet of moony Artemis.

Thy dreams! when, breasting matted weeds
Of Arethusa, thou didst hear
The music of the wind-swept reeds;
And down dim forest-ways drew near
Shy herds of slim Arcadian deer.

Thy wisdom! that knew naught but love
And beauty, with which love is fraught;
The wisdom of the heart-whereof
All noblest passions spring-that thought
As Nature thinks, 'All else is naught.'

Thy hope! wherein To-morrow set
No shadow; hope, that, lacking care
And retrospect, held no regret,
But bloomed in rainbows everywhere,
Filling with gladness all the air.

These were thine all: in all life's moods
Embracing all of happiness:
And when within thy long-loved woods
Didst lay thee down to die-no less
Thy happiness stood by to bless.

Below The Sunset’s Range Of Rose

Below the sunset's range of rose,
Below the heaven's deepening blue,
Down woodways where the balsam blows,
And milkweed tufts hang, gray with dew,
A Jersey heifer stops and lows-
The cows come home by one, by two.

There is no star yet: but the smell
Of hay and pennyroyal mix
With herb aromas of the dell,
Where the root-hidden cricket clicks:
Among the ironweeds a bell
Clangs near the rail-fenced clover-ricks.

She waits upon the slope beside
The windlassed well the plum trees shade,
The well curb that the goose-plums hide;
Her light hand on the bucket laid,
Unbonneted she waits, glad-eyed,
Her gown as simple as her braid.

She sees fawn-colored backs among
The sumacs now; a tossing horn
Its clashing bell of copper rung:
Long shadows lean upon the corn,
And slow the day dies, scarlet stung,
The cloud in it a rosy thorn.

Below the pleasant moon, that tips
The tree tops of the hillside, fly
The flitting bats; the twilight slips,
In firefly spangles, twinkling by,
Through which
comes: Their happy lips
Meet-and one star leaps in the sky.

He takes her bucket, and they speak
Of married hopes while in the grass
The plum drops glowing as her cheek;
The patient cows look back or pass:
And in the west one golden streak
Burns as if God gazed through a glass.

Let us mix a cup of Joy
That the wretched may employ,
Whom the Fates have made their toy.

Who have given brain and heart
To the thankless world of Art,
And from Fame have won no part.

Who have labored long at thought;
Starved and toiled and all for naught;
Sought and found not what they sought….

Let our goblet be the skull
Of a fool; made beautiful
With a gold nor base nor dull:

Gold of madcap fancies, once
It contained, that, sage or dunce,
Each can read whoever runs.

First we pour the liquid light
Of our dreams in; then the bright
Beauty that makes day of night.

Let this be the must wherefrom,
In due time, the mettlesome
Care-destroying drink shall come.

Folly next: with which mix in
Laughter of a child of sin,
And the red of mouth and chin.

These shall give the tang thereto,
Effervescence and rich hue
Which to all good wine are due.

Then into our cup we press
One wild kiss of wantonness,
And a glance that says not less.

Sparkles both that give a fine
Lustre to the drink divine,
Necessary to good wine.

Lastly in the goblet goes
Sweet a love-song, then a rose
Warmed upon her breast's repose.

These bouquet our drink. Now measure
With your arm the waist you treasure
Lift the cup and,'Here's to Pleasure!'

Hilda Of The Hillside

Who is she, like the spring, who comes down
From the hills to the smoke-huddled town?
With her peach-petal face
And her wildflower grace,
Bringing sunshine and gladness to each sorry place?
Her cheeks are twin buds o' the brier,
Mixed fervors of snow and of fire;
Her lips are the red
Of a rose that is wed
To dew and aroma when dawn is o'erhead:
Her eyes are twin bits o' the skies,
Blue glimpses of Paradise;
The strands of her hair
Are sunlight and air
Herself is the argument that she is fair,
This girl with the dawn in her eyes.


If Herrick had looked on her face
His lyrics had learned a new grace:
Her face is a book
Where each laugh and each look,
Each smile is a lyric, more sweet than a brook:
Her words they are birds that are heard
Singing low where the roses are stirred,
The buds of her lips,
Whence each of them slips
With music as soft as the fragrance that drips
From a dew-dreaming bloom;
With their sound and perfume
Making all my glad heart a love-haunted room.


But she she knows nothing of love!
She she with the soul of a dove,
Who dwells on the hills,
Knowing naught of the ills
Of the vales, of the hearts that with passion she fills:
For whom all my soul
Is a harp from which roll
The songs that she hears not, the voice of my love,
This girl who goes singing above.

When by the wall the tiger-flower swings
A head of sultry slumber and aroma;
And by the path, whereon the blown rose flings
Its obsolete beauty, the long lilies foam a
White place of perfume, like a beautiful breast-
Between the pansy fire of the west,
And poppy mist of moonrise in the east,
This heartache will have ceased.

The witchcraft of soft music and sweet sleep-
Let it beguile the burthen from my spirit,
And white dreams reap me as strong reapers reap
The ripened grain and full blown blossom near it;
Let me behold how gladness gives the whole
The transformed countenance of my own soul-
Between the sunset and the risen moon
Let sorrow vanish soon.

And these things then shall keep me company:
The elfins of the dew; the spirit of laughter
Who haunts the wind; the god of melody
Who sings within the stream, that reaches after

The flow'rs that rock themselves to his caress:
These of themselves shall shape my happiness,
Whose visible presence I shall lean upon,
Feeling that care is gone.

Forgetting how the cankered flower must die;
The worm-pierced fruit fall, sicklied to its syrup;
How joy, begotten 'twixt a sigh and sigh,
Waits with one foot forever in the stirrup,-
Remembering how within the hollow lute
Soft music sleeps when music's voice is mute;
And in the heart, when all seems black despair,
Hope sits, awaiting there.

The roses mourn for her who sleeps
Within the tomb;
For her each lily-flower weeps
Dew and perfume.

In each neglected flower-bed
Each blossom droops its lovely head,
They miss her touch, they miss her tread,
Her face of bloom,
Of happy bloom.

The very breezes grieve for her,
A lonely grief;
For her each tree is sorrower,
Each blade and leaf.

The foliage rocks itself and sighs,
And to its woe the wind replies,
They miss her girlish laugh and cries,
Whose life was brief,
Was very brief.

The sunlight, too, seems pale with care,
Or sick with woe;
The memory haunts it of her hair,
Its golden glow.

No more within the bramble-brake
The sleepy bloom is kissed awake
The sun is sad for her dear sake,
Whose head lies low,
Lies dim and low.

The bird, that sang so sweet, is still
At dusk and dawn;
No more it makes the silence thrill
Of wood and lawn.

In vain the buds, when it is near,
Open each pink and perfumed ear,
The song it sings she will not hear
Who now is gone,
Is dead and gone.

Ah, well she sleeps who loved them well,
The birds and bowers;
The fair, the young, the lovable,
Who once was ours.

Alas! that loveliness must pass!
Must come to lie beneath the grass!
That youth and joy must fade, alas!
And die like flowers,
Earth's sweetest flowers!

There is no joy of earth that thrills
My bosom like the far-off hills!
Th' unchanging hills, that, shadowy,
Beckon our mutability
To follow and to gaze upon
Foundations of the dusk and dawn.
Meseems the very heavens are massed
Upon their shoulders, vague and vast
With all the skyey burden of
The winds and clouds and stars above.
Lo, how they sit before us, seeing
The laws that give all Beauty being!
Behold! to them, when dawn is near,
The nomads of the air appear,
Unfolding crimson camps of day
In brilliant bands; then march away;
And under burning battlements
Of twilight plant their tinted tents.
The truth of olden myths, that brood
By haunted stream and haunted wood,
They see; and feel the happiness
Of old at which we only guess:
The dreams, the ancients loved and knew,
Still as their rocks and trees are true:
Not otherwise than presences
The tempest and the calm to these:
One, shouting on them all the night;
Black-limbed and veined with lambent light;
The other with the ministry
Of all soft things that company
With music an embodied form,
Giving to solitude the charm
Of leaves and waters and the peace
Of bird-begotten melodies
And who at night cloth still confer
With the mild moon, that telleth her
Pale tale of lonely love, until
Wan images of passion fill
The heights with shapes that glimmer by
Clad on with sleep and memory.

A Prayer For Old Age

These are the things which I would ask of Time:
When I am old,
Never to feel in soul doubt's spiritual rime;
The heart grow cold
With self; but in me that which warms my time.


Never to feel the drouth, the dearth that kills,
Before one dies,
Of mind, full-flowering on thought's fertile hills;
But, in my skies,
The falcon, Fancy, that no season kills.


Never to see the shadow at my door,
Nor fear its fall;
But wait serenely, whether rich or poor,
Nor care at all,
So Love sits with me at my open door.


Never to have a dream I dreamed destroyed:
And towards the last
Live o'er again all that I have enjoyed,
The happy Past,
Through these, the dreams, no time has yet destroyed.


Never to lose my love for lowly things;
To feel the need
For simple beauty still: each bird that sings,
Each flower and weed
That looks its message of unguessed-at things.


Never to lose my faith in Nature, God:
But still to find
Worship in trees; religion in each sod;
And in the wind
Sermons that breathe the universal God.


Never to age in mind; much less in heart;
But keep them young
With song, glad song, that still shall have its part,
Sung or unsung,
Within the inmost temple of my heart.


That I may lose not all my trust in men!
And, through it, grow
Nearer to Heaven and God: and softly then
Meet Death and know
He has no terrors for my soul. Amen.

That day we wandered 'mid the hills,—so lone
Clouds are not lonelier,—the forest lay
In emerald darkness 'round us. Many a stone
And gnarly root, gray-mossed, made wild our way:
And many a bird the glimmering light along
Showered the golden bubbles of its song.
Then in the valley, where the brook went by,
Silvering the ledges that it rippled from,
An isolated slip of fallen sky,
Epitomizing heaven in its sum,
An iris bloomed—blue, as if, flower-disguised,
The gaze of Spring had there materialized.
I have forgotten many things since then
Much beauty and much happiness and grief;
And toiled and dreamed among my fellow-men,
Rejoicing in the knowledge life is brief.
''T is winter now,' so says each barren bough;
And face and hair proclaim 't is winter now.
I would forget the gladness of that spring!
I would forget that day when she and I,
Between the bird-song and the blossoming,
Went hand in hand beneath the soft spring sky!
Much is forgotten, yea— and yet, and yet,
The things we would we never can forget.
Nor I how May then minted treasuries
Of crowfoot gold; and molded out of light
The sorrel's cups, whose elfin chalices
Of limpid spar were streaked with rosy white.
Nor all the stars of twinkling spiderwort,
And mandrake moons with which her brows were girt.
But most of all, yea, it were well for me,
Me and my heart, that I forget that flower,
The wild blue iris, azure fleur-de-lis,
That she and I together found that hour.
Its recollection can but emphasize
The pain of loss, remindful of her eyes.

That day we wandered 'mid the hills,-so lone
Clouds are not lonelier, the forest lay
In emerald darkness round us. Many a stone
And gnarly root, gray-mossed, made wild our way:
And many a bird the glimmering light along
Showered the golden bubbles of its song.

Then in the valley, where the brook went by,
Silvering the ledges that it rippled from,-
An isolated slip of fallen sky,
Epitomizing heaven in its sum,-
An iris bloomed-blue, as if, flower-disguised,
The gaze of Spring had there materialized.

I have forgotten many things since then-
Much beauty and much happiness and grief;
And toiled and dreamed among my fellow-men,
Rejoicing in the knowledge life is brief.
''Tis winter now,' so says each barren bough;
And face and hair proclaim 'tis winter now.

I would forget the gladness of that spring!
I would forget that day when she and I,
Between the bird-song and the blossoming,
Went hand in hand beneath the soft May sky!-
Much is forgotten, yea-and yet, and yet,
The things we would we never can forget.

Nor I how May then minted treasuries
Of crowfoot gold; and molded out of light
The sorrel's cups, whose elfin chalices
Of limpid spar were streaked with rosy white:
Nor all the stars of twinkling spiderwort,
And mandrake moons with which her brows were girt.

But most of all, yea, it were well for me,
Me and my heart, that I forget that flower,
The blue wild iris, azure fleur-de-lis,
That she and I together found that hour.
Its recollection can but emphasize
The pain of loss, remindful of her eyes.

There is a scent of roses and spilt wine
Between the moonlight and the laurel coppice;
The marble idol glimmers on its shrine,
White as a star, among a heaven of poppies.
Here all my life lies like a spilth of wine.
There is a mouth of music like a lute,
A nightingale that sigheth to one flower;
Between the falling flower and the fruit,
Where love hath died, the music of an hour.


To sit alone with memory and a rose;
To dwell with shadows of whilom romances;
To make one hour of a year of woes
And walk on starlight, in ethereal trances,
With love's lost face fair as a moon-white rose,
To shape from music and the scent of buds
Love's spirit and its presence of sweet fire,
Between the heart's wild burning and the blood's,
Is part of life and of the soul's desire.


There is a song to silence and the stars,
Between the forest and the temple's arches;
And down the stream of night, like nenuphars,
The tossing fires of the revellers' torches.
Here all my life waits lonely as the stars.
Shall not one hour of all those hours suffice
For resignation God hath given as dower?
Between the summons and the sacrifice
One hour of love, th' eternity of an hour?


The shrine is shattered and the bird is gone;
Dark is the house of music and of bridal;
The stars are stricken and the storm comes on;
Lost in a wreck of roses lies the idol,
Sad as the memory of a joy that's gone.
To dream of perished gladness and a kiss,
Waking the last chord of love's broken lyre,
Between remembering and forgetting, this
Is part of life and of the soul's desire.