Love In The Summer Hills

Love in the summer hills,
With youth to mock at ills,
And kisses sweet to cheat
Our idle tears away.
What else has Time in store,
Till Life shall close the door?
Still let me sing love's lore,
Come sorrow when it may.

Rain on the weeping hills,
With Death to end our ills,
And only thought unsought
To point our joys' decay.
Oh Life is wounded sore
And Grief's mad waters roar.
Yet will I love once more
To--day as yesterday.

Come With The Summer Leaves

Come with the summer leaves, love, to my grave,
And, if you doubt among the quiet dead,
Choose out that mound where greenest grasses wave
And where the flowers grow thickest and most red.

Come in the morning while the dews of night,
Which are fair Nature's tears in darkness shed,
Rim the sad petals nor are garnered quite,
Like my lost hopes untimely harvested.

Come to my grave--ah gather, love, those flowers!
Out of my heart they grow for your dear head.
These are its songs unwritten and all yours,
The love I loved you with and left unsaid.

Oh, Fly Not, Pleasure

Oh fly not, Pleasure, pleasant--hearted Pleasure.
Fold me thy wings, I prithee, yet and stay.
For my heart no measure
Knows nor other treasure
To buy a garland for my love to--day.

And thou too, Sorrow, tender--hearted Sorrow.
Thou grey--eyed mourner, fly not yet away.
For I fain would borrow
Thy sad weeds to--morrow
To make a mourning for love's yesterday.

The voice of Pity, Time's divine dear Pity,
Moved me to tears. I dared not say them nay,
But went forth from the city
Making thus my ditty
Of fair love lost for ever and a day.

If I Had Known You

If I had known you--oh, if I had known you!
In other days when youth and love were strong,
I would have raised a temple to enthrone you
On some fair pinnacle of cloudless song.

If you had touched me then with your dear laughter,
As now its echo smites me in my grief,
I would have given my soul to you, and after
Lived in my love, grown old in my belief.

If you had loved me,--oh, you would have loved me!
Earth would have worshipped us, its seers sublime,
My song had been a psalm, and Saints had proved me
Prophet and priest, your poet for all time.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Ii: To Juliet: Xxv

THE SAME CONTINUED
Give me thy kiss, Juliet, give me thy kiss!
I with my body worship thee and vow
Such service to thy needs as man can do.
I ask no nobler servitude than this.
Am I not thine, the bondsman of thy love,
Whom thou hast bought and ransomed with a price,
And therefore worthy to be ranked above
The very stars that in the heavens move?
And, Juliet, since I thus am one with you,
And kinglier than Plantagenet or Guelph,
What price were meet for my high mightiness?
What gold of joy, what hope, what heavenly pelf
Hast thou to give? Nay, sweetest, give thyself.

I had ambition once. Like Solomon
I asked for wisdom, deeming wisdom fair,
And with much pains a little knowledge won
Of Nature's cruelty and Man's despair,
And mostly learned how vain such learnings were.
Then in my grief I turned to happiness,
And woman's love awhile was all my care,
And I achieved some sorrow and some bliss,
Till love rebelled. Then the mad lust of power
Became my dream, to rule my fellow--men;
And I too lorded it my little hour,
And wrought for weal or woe with sword and pen,
And wounded many, some, alas, my friends.
Now I ask silence. My ambition ends.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Ii: To Juliet: Xxiii

ASKING FOR HER HEART
Give me thy heart, Juliet, give me thy heart!
I have a need of it, an absolute need,
Because my own heart has thus long been dead.
I live but by thy life. The very smart
Of this new pain which has been born of thee
Is thine, thy own great pleasure's counterpart.
I stand before thee naked. Clothe thou me.
Bring out a robe,--thy truth, thy chastity.
Put rings upon my fingers,--honour's meed.
For thou canst give, nor ever reck the cost,
Being the royal creature that thou art,
The fountain of all honour, whose high boast
Is to be greatest when thou givest most.

Natalia’s Resurrection: Sonnet Xix

And still the music sounded near and near,
Loud and more loud on Adrian's nuptial way,
Preluding soft, as 'twere a dulcimer,
But gathering strength and volume with delay,
And sadness too. In truth, as strange a chaunt
As ever bridegroom's ear might choose to know,
Or lover's voice to listening lover vaunt,
(Thus Adrian argued in his dream) for, lo,
The dirge resolved itself to words of pain,
And ``Miserere mei Domine''
Became the burden of its dolorous strain,
Till the love faded from Natalia's glee,
And with a sudden shudder in the sun
Adrian awoke and his brave dream was done.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Ii: To Juliet: Xxvi

THE SAME--A CHRISTMAS SONNET
Since thou hast given me these, Juliet, given me these,
There have been tidings told of a great joy,
Of peace on Earth, good--will without annoy.
Thou hast put on my soul's infirmities
And stooped to succour me, and thou hast trod
The way of sorrows with me, on thy knees,
Making thyself a little less than God,
That I might worship him in womanhood,
A new redemption. Therefore, Juliet,
The choirs of Heaven multitudinous
Make all their songs to thee this happy night,
In praise of thy great love incarnate thus,
A very ``word made flesh'' to dwell with us.

A New Pilgrimage: Sonnet Xxxvi

The majesty of Rome to me is nought;
The imperial story of her conquering car
Touches me only with compassionate thought
For the doomed nations faded by her star.
Her palaces of Caesars tombstones are
For a whole world of freedoms vainly caught
In her high fortune. Throned was she in war;
By war she perished. So is justice wrought.
A nobler Rome is here, which shall not die.
She rose from the dead ashes of men's lust,
And robed herself anew in chastity,
And half redeemed man's heritage of dust.
This Rome I fain would love, though darkly hid
In mists of passion and desires scarce dead.

Esther, A Sonnet Sequence: Xxii

You know the story of my birth, the name
Which I inherited for good and ill,
The secret of my father's fame and shame,
His tragedy and death on that dark hill.
You know at least what the world knows or knew,
For time has taken half the lookers--on,
As it took him, and leaves his followers few,
And those that loved him scarce or almost none.
To me, his son, there had remained the story,
Told and retold by her who knew it best,
A mystery of love, perhaps of glory,
A heritage to hold and a bequest.
Ah, how it loved him, that sad woman's heart,
What faith was hers and what a martyr's part!

Esther, A Sonnet Sequence: Xiii

A second warning, nor unheeded. Yet
The thought appealed to me as no strange thing,
Pure though I was, that love impure had set
Its seal on that fair woman in her Spring.
Her broken beauty did not mar her grace
In form or spirit. Nay, it rather moved.
It seemed a natural thing for that gay face
It should have known and suffered and been loved.
It kindled in me, too, to view it thus,
A mood of daring which was more than mine,
And made my shamefaced heart leap valorous,
And fired its courage to a zeal divine.
All this, in one short instant, as I gazed
Into her eyes, admiring, yet amazed.

Esther, A Sonnet Sequence: Lv

We stayed at Lyons three days, only three,
In Esther's world of wonder and renown,
She, glorious star, each night immortally
Playing her Manons to the listening town.
I glorious too, but in Love's firmament,
Watching her face by which alone I moved,
A shadow near her raptured and intent,
And seeking still the signs that I was loved.
Thrice happy days! Thrice blessed tragedy!
Her Des Grieux was I, her lover lorn
Bound to her fortunes, blest to live or die,
And faithful ever though to faith forsworn,
Waiting behind the scenes in that stage--land
To greet her exits and to squeeze her hand.

I have seen many things in many lands,
And many sorrows known and many joys,
And clutched at pleasure's cup with lawless hands,
And drunk my fill of mirth and lust and noise,
Nor spared to make of human hearts my toys,
But fed with life the brute strength of my pride,
As with a tribute of fair living boys
The monstrous lord of Crete him satisfied.
--But of all pictures laid up in my soul
Are three most beautiful and passionate,
The illumined margin of an ancient scroll,
Which moraliseth pity, love and hate;
And these, when she is sad, she doth unroll
And on their common meaning meditate.

Natalia’s Resurrection: Sonnet Xviii

Nor were the rest astonished. Even he,
Natalia's lord, in all complacent grace
Looked on approving of her act when she
Stepped forward with her face to Adrian's face,
And touched his lips and told him of the truth
How all was ended now of her old life,
With the sad barrier that had marred their youth:
Husband no longer and no longer wife,
Natalia had grown free. Then the proud lover
Gave thanks to God and took her arm in his,
Fearless how now their love they should discover
To any anger of suspicious eyes,
And led her forth his bride before them all
With solemn music to the banquet--hall.

If we had met when leaves were green,
And fate to us less hard had proved,
And naught had been of what has been,
We might have loved as none have loved.

If we had met as girl and boy,
The world of pleasure at our feet,
Our joy had been a perfect joy;
We might have met, but did not meet.

Nor less in youth's full passionate day,
A woman you and I a man,
We might have loved and found a way
No laws could check, no vows could ban.

Too late! Too sad! A year ago,
Even then perhaps, in spite of fate
It might have been,--but ah! not now,
I dare not love you, 'tis too late.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Iii: Gods And False Gods: Lxx

ON READING THE MEMOIRS OF M. D'ARTAGNAN
Why was I born in this degenerate age?
Or rather why, a thousand times, with soul
Of such degenerate stuff that a mute rage
Is all its reason, tears the only toll
It takes on life, and impotence its goal?
Why was I born to this sad heritage
Of fierce desires which cannot fate control,
Of idle hopes life never can assuage?
Why was I born thus weak?--Oh to have been
A merry fool, at jest with destiny;
A free hand ready and a heart as free;
A ruffler in the camps of Mazarin!
Oh for the honest soul of d'Artagnan,
Twice happy knave, a Gascon and a man!

Natalia’s Resurrection: Sonnet Xxx

Thus was Natalia loved and lost and won.
Some say that Adrian, having gained the goal
Of his long hopes, and being of those who run
Too lightly for their constancy of soul,
Or finding maybe that in spite of fate
She he had saved from death was ill at ease,
And halted still in doubt 'twixt this and that,
Grudging her frightened soul its ecstasies,
At a high feast in presence of her kin
Gave back Natalia to her husband's care:
A fair resolve, mayhap, and lesser sin,
If that sin be which love hath made so fair.
Yet do I doubt me all so blindly ended,
Since both from Adam were and Eve descended.

Think No More Of Me

Think no more of me,
If we needs must part.
Mine was but a heart.
Think no more of me.
Think no more of me.
For Love's sake forget.
Love grows hard which cannot see,
It may wound us yet.

Think no more of me.
Love has had his day.
Now Love runs away.
Think no more of me.
Think no more of me.
If we loved or not
Hidden is 'twixt me and thee.
It were best forgot.

Think no more of me.
We shall need our tears
For the coming years.
Think no more of me.
Think no more of me.
In the world above
Sadder far it were if we
Met and did not love.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Iv: Vita Nova: Xciv

A YEAR AGO
A year ago I too was proud of May,
I too delighted in the blackbird's song.
When the sun shone my soul made holiday.
When the rain fell I felt it as a wrong.
Then for me too the world was fresh and young.
Oh what a miracle each bluebell was!
How my heart leaped in union with my tongue,
When first I lit upon a stag's horn moss!
--A year ago! Alas, one Summer's fire,
One autumn's chill, one Winter's discontent,
And now one Spring of joy and hope deferred
Have brought me to this pass of undesire
That I behold May's veil of beauty rent
And stand unmoved by sun and flower and bird.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part I: To Manon: Xxi

HIS BONDAGE TO MANON IS BROKEN
From this day forth I lead another life,
Another life! A life without a tear!
To--day has ended the unequal strife;
My service and my sorrow finish here.
See, my soul cuts her cable of belief
And sails towards the ocean. She shall steer
Sublime henceforth o'er accidents of grief.
Her storm has rolled to a new Hemisphere.
I have loved too much, too loyally, too long.
To--day I am a pirate of the sea.
Let others suffer. I have suffered wrong.
Let others love, and love as tenderly.
Oh, Manon, there are women yet unborn
Shall rue thy frailty, else am I forsworn.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Iv: Vita Nova: C

AGE
O Age, thou art the very thief of joy,
For thou hast rifled many a proud fool
Of all his passions, hoarded by a rule
Of stern economy. Him, yet a boy,
Harsh wisdom governed. Others turned to toy
With lusty passion. He was chaste and cool
As a young Dorian in Lycurgus' school.
Ah me, that thou such souls shouldst dare annoy.
Thus did he gather him a store of pleasure,
Nor cared to touch what he so hardly won,
But led long years of solitary strife;
And, when the rest should have consumed their treasure,
He thought to sit him in the evening sun
And taste the sweet fruits of a sober life.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Iv: Vita Nova: Cvi

THE SUBLIME
To stand upon a windy pinnacle,
Beneath the infinite blue of the blue noon,
And underfoot a valley terrible
As that dim gulf, where sense and being swoon
When the soul parts; a giant valley strewn
With giant rocks; asleep, and vast, and still,
And far away. The torrent, which has hewn
His pathway through the entrails of the hill,
Now crawls along the bottom and anon
Lifts up his voice, a muffled tremulous roar,
Borne on the wind an instant, and then gone
Back to the caverns of the middle air;
A voice as of a nation overthrown
With beat of drums, when hosts have marched to war.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Iv: Vita Nova: Ci

THE SAME CONTINUED
But thou didst come upon him ere he wist,
A silent highwayman, and take his all
And leave him naked, when the night should fall
And all the road was conjured in a mist.
Too well thou keepedst thy unholy tryst,
As long ago that eastern seneschal
Rode all day long to meet at evenfall
Him he had fled ere yet the sun uprist.
--But I have spent me like a prodigal
The treasure of my youth, and, long ago,
Have eaten husks among the hungry swine,
And when I meet thee I will straightway fall
Upon thy neck, and if the tears shall flow,
They shall be tears of love for thee and thine.

A Woman’s Sonnets: Ix

The day draws nigh, methinks, when I could stay
Calm in thy presence with no dream of ill,
When, having put all earthliness away,
I could be near thee, touching thee, and still
Feel no mad throbbing at my foolish heart,
No sudden rising of unbidden tears,
Could mark thee come and go, to meet our part,
Without the gladness and without the fears.
Have patience with me then for this short space.
I shall be wise, but may not yet unmoved
See a strange woman put into my place
And happy in thy love, as I was loved:
This were too much. Ah, let me not yet see
The love--light in thine eyes, and not for me.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Ii: To Juliet: Xxxii

EXHORTING HER TO PATIENCE
Why do we fret at the inconstancy
Of our frail hearts, which cannot always love?
Time rushes onward, and we mortals move
Like waifs upon a river, neither free
To halt nor hurry. Sweet, if destiny
Throws us together for an hour, a day,
In the back--water of this quiet bay,
Let us rejoice. Before us lies the sea,
Where we must all be lost in spite of love.
We dare not stop to question. Happiness
Lies in our hand unsought, a treasure trove.
Time has short patience of man's vain distress;
And fate grows angry at too long delay;
And floods rise fast, and we are swept away.

A Woman’s Sonnets: X

Love, ere I go, forgive me each least wrong,
Each trouble I unwittingly have wrought.
My heart, my life, my tears to thee belong;
Yet have I erred, maybe, through too fond thought.
One sin, most certainly, I need to atone:
The sin of loving thee while yet unwooed.
Mine only was this wrong, this guilt alone.
The woman tempted thee from ways of good.
Forgive me too, ere thy dear pity cease,
That I denied thee, vexed thee with delay,
Sought my soul's coward shelter, not thy peace,
And having won thee still awhile said nay.
Forgive me this, that I too soon, too late,
Too wholly gave a love disconsolate.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Ii: To Juliet: Xliii

THE SAME CONTINUED
I do not love you. To have said this once
Had seemed to both of us a monstrous lie,
An idle boast, love's last extravagance
Or the mere paradox of vanity.
Now it is true and yet more hideously
More strangely monstrous. I, no less than you,
Here own at length the worm which cannot die,
The burden of a pain for ever new.
This is the ``pang of loss,'' the bitterest
Which Hell can give. We are shut out from Heaven
And never more shall look upon Love's face,
Being with those who perish unforgiven.
Never to see Love's face! Ah, pain in pain,
Which we do well to weep and weep again!

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Ii: To Juliet: Xxxix

FAREWELL TO JULIET
Juliet, farewell. I would not be forgiven
Even if I forgave. These words must be
The last between us two in Earth or Heaven,
The last and bitterest. You are henceforth free
For ever from my bitter words and me.
You shall not at my hand be further vexed
With either love, reproach or jealousy
(So help me Heaven), in this world or the next.
Our souls are single for all time to come
And for eternity, and this farewell
Is as the trumpet note, the crack of doom,
Which heralds an eternal silence. Hell
Has no more fixed and absolute decree.
And Heaven and Hell may meet,--yet never we.

A Woman’s Sonnets: Xi

Wild words I write, and lettered in deep pain,
To lay in your loved hand as love's farewell.
It is the thought we shall not meet again
Nerves me to write and my whole secret tell.
For when I speak to you, you only jest,
And laughing break the sentence with a kiss,
Till my poor love is never quite confessed,
Nor know you half its tears and tenderness.
When the first darkness and the clouds began
I hid it from you fearing your reproof;
I would not vex your life's high aim and plan
With my poor woman's woe, and held aloof.
But now that all is ended, pride and shame,
My tumults and my joys I may proclaim.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part I: To Manon: Ix

ON HER WAYWARDNESS
This is rank slavery. It better were
To till the thankless earth with sweat of brow,
Following dull oxen 'neath a goad of care
To a boor's grave agape behind the plough.
It better were to linger in some slow
Unnatural case, the sport of flood or fire,
To be undone by some inhuman vow
And robbed in youth of youth and its desire.
It better were to perish than thus live
Thy pensioner and bondsman, day by day
Doing fool's service thus for love of thee.
How shall I save thee if thou wilt not grieve
Even for shames like these? How shall I slay
The foes thou lovest, thou, their enemy?

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Ii: To Juliet: Xxiv

THE SAME CONTINUED
Give me thy soul, Juliet, give me thy soul!
I am a bitter sea, which drinketh in
The sweetness of all waters, and so thine.
Thou, like a river, pure and swift and full
And freighted with the wealth of many lands,
With hopes, and fears, and death and life, dost roll
Against the troubled ocean of my sin.
Thou doubtest not, though on these desert sands
The billows surge against thee black with brine,
Unwearied. For thy love is fixed and even
And bears thee onward, and thy faith is whole.
Though thou thyself shouldst sin, yet surely Heaven
Hath held thee guiltless and thou art forgiven.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part I: To Manon: Xii

ON READING CERTAIN LETTERS
Reading these lines, this record of lost days
Where I am not, and yet where love has been,
This tale of passions consecrate to men
Other than me, unwitting of my ways,
I seem to hear some pagan chaunt of praise
Hymned to an idol shrine in gardens green,
Some wild soft worship of a god obscene,
Some idle homage to an idol face.
I shut my ears, yet hear it still. My eyes
See not, yet see the unchaste the unlawful fire;
I scent the odour of the sacrifice,
And feel the victim's shriek. Then in my ire
I rise up, as on Horeb, and I cry,
``There is none other god, but only I!''

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Ii: To Juliet: Liii

THE SAME CONTINUED
Farewell, then. It is finished. I forgo
With this all right in you, even that of tears.
If I have spoken hardly, it will show
How much I loved you. With you disappears
A glory, a romance of many years.
What you may be henceforth I will not know.
The phantom of your presence on my fears
Is impotent at length for weal or woe.
Your past, your present, all alike must fade
In a new land of dreams where love is not.
Then kiss me and farewell. The choice is made
And we shall live to see the past forgot,
If not forgiven. See, I came to curse,
Yet stay to bless. I know not which is worse.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Ii: To Juliet: Xxix

TO HER WHO WOULD COMFORT HIM
I did not ask your pity, dear. Your zeal
I know. It cannot cure me of my woes.
And you, in your sweet happiness, who knows,
Deserve it rather I should pity feel
For what the coming years from you conceal.
I did but cry, thou dear Samaritan,
Out of my bitterness of soul. Each man
Has his own sorrow treading on his heel,
Ready to strike him, and must keep his shield
To his own back. Fate's arrows thickly fly,
And, if they strike not now, will strike at even.
And so I ask no pity. On life's field
The wounded crawl together, but their cry
Is not to one another but to Heaven.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Ii: To Juliet: Xl

THE SAME CONTINUED
'Tis strange we are thus parted, not by death
Or man's device, but by our own mad will,
We who have stood together on life's path
Through half a youth of good repute and ill,
Friends more than lovers. See, Love's citadel
We held so stoutly 'gainst a world in arms
Lies all dismantled now, a sight to fill
The Earth with lamentations and alarms.
Whose was the fault? I dare not ask nor say.
If there was treachery, 'tis best untold.
The price of treason we receive to--day
Is paid to both of us in evil gold.
Ay, take thy bitter freedom. 'Tis the fee
Of love betrayed and faith's apostasy.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Iii: Gods And False Gods: Lxxxii

HE WOULD LEAD A BETTER LIFE
I am tired of folly, tired of my own ways,
Love is a strife. I do not want to strive.
If I had foes I now would make my peace.
If I less wedded were I now would wive.
I would do service to my kind, contrive
Something of good for men, some happiness
For those who in the world still love and live,
And, as my fathers did, so end my days.
I would earn praise, I too, of honest men.
I would repent in sackcloth if needs be.
I would serve God and expiate my sin,
Abjuring love and thee--ay, even thee.
I would do this, dear love. But what am I
To will or do? As we have lived we die.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Iii: Gods And False Gods: Lxiv

HE APPEALS AGAINST HIS BOND
In my distress Love made me sign a bond,
A cruel bond. 'Twas by necessity
Wrung from a foolish heart, alas, too fond,
Too blindly fond, its error to foresee.
And now my soul's estate, in jeopardy,
Lies to a pledge it never can redeem.
Love's loan was love, one hour of ecstasy,
His penalty eternal loss of him.
--See, I am penniless, the forfeit paid,
And go a beggar forth from thy dear sight,
My pound of more than flesh too strictly weighed
And cut too near the heart. Fair Israelite,
Thy plea was just. Thy right has been confessed.
And yet a work of mercy were twice blessed.

The Pleasures Of Love

I do not care for kisses. 'Tis a debt
We paid for the first privilege of love.
These are the rains of April which have wet
Our fallow hearts and forced their germs to move.
Now the green corn has sprouted. Each new day
Brings better pleasures, a more dear surprise,
The blade, the ear, the harvest--and our way
Leads through a region wealthy grown and wise.
We now compare our fortunes. Each his store
Displays to kindred eyes of garnered grain,
Two happy farmers, learned in love's lore,
Who weigh and touch and argue and complain--
Dear endless argument! Yet sometimes we
Even as we argue kiss. There! Let it be.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Ii: To Juliet: Lii

THE SAME CONTINUED
Lame, impotent conclusion to youth's dreams
Vast as all heaven! See, what glory lies
Entangled here in these base stratagems,
What virtue done to death! O glorious sighs,
Sublime beseechings, high cajoleries,
Fond wraths, brave ruptures, all that sometime was
Our daily bread of gods beneath the skies,
How are ye ended, in what utter loss!
Time was, time is, and time is yet to come,
Till even time itself shall have its end.
These were eternal. And behold, a tomb!
Come, let us laugh and eat and drink. God send
What all the world must need one day as we,
Speedy oblivion, rest for memory.

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