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He Dropped Into Poetry
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I would that they might take your eye,
     This little group of triolets;
My Lady read them with a sigh;
     I would that they might take your eye,
For since my Lady held them nigh,
     They seem as sweet as violets;
I would that they might take your eye,
     This little group of triolets.


Sally loves me well today,
     Tho' but yesterday she hated.
And tomorrow? Who shall say?
Sally loves me well today.
Be tomorrow what it may
     So today is kindly fated.
Sally loves me well today.
     Tho' but yesterday she hated.


Kitty sat upon my knee,
     But 'twas years ago at seven.
Now that she is twenty-three
She's as prim as prim can be,
And tho' still she 'sits on' me,
     In the fact there's naught of Heaven.
Kitty sat upon my knee,
     But 'twas years ago at seven.



When she sighs and answers, "No,"
     Wait a bit, and do not leave her.
Who shall say she bids you go?
When she sighs and answers, "No,"
In a voice that's soft and low,
     Ask again, it will not grieve her.
When she sighs and answers, "No."
     Wait a bit, and do not leave her.


A slender fair New England maid,
With sunny eyes of Saxon blue,
Along this path to school once strayed
Where softly clinging grasses grew;
Grasses that twined and held her feet,
               She was so sweet.
Oh, long the years that come and go,
Yet still beside the wayside wall
Where blue-eyed chicory blossoms grow,
I see her stand, serenely tall,
I see, and pause my love to greet,
               She is so sweet.


The snow has left the open fields
A month or so ago,
I've found the yellow cowslip where
The meadow brook runs slow,
And all along the intervale
The shy pink snowdrop twines,
The crows are shy and silent;—
They're nesting in the pines,—
But winter'll maybe come again,
You're never sure 'twill not,
Till you hear the cuckoo calling
In the pasture lot.

"Cuckoo, cuckoo," softly calling you,
Down behind the pasture bars
All the warm day through.
"Cuckoo, cuckoo,"—shy and sleek of wing,
He's the low-voiced harbinger
That makes us sure of spring.

No use to look for orioles, they haven't come as yet,
Though robins have been singing and a quail has cried; "more wet."
Good uncle Zenas Tompkins has not long since planted peas
He doesn't think 'twill hurt 'em if we have another freeze,
But don't you put in corn or beans (for if you do they'll rot),
Till you hear the cuckoo calling in the pasture lot.

Way over in the scrub-oaks you can hear a partridge drum,

The girls are playing hop-scotch and the boys say "tops have come"
Miss Abigail is making soap; that's pretty nearly sure
That pleasant weather's right at hand and likely to endure,
We're only lacking one more sign and hark! 'tis on the spot.
Don't you hear the cuckoo calling in the pasture lot?

"Cuckoo, cuckoo," softly calling you,
Down behind the pasture bars
All the warm day through,
"Cuckoo, cuckoo,"—shy and sleek of wing,
He's the low-voiced harbinger
That makes us sure of spring.


The ship swings low to a great wind's beat
     And the spin-drift hurtles by;
The night comes down with the tempest's frown
     While the surge froths mountain high;
Yet, swung on the tip of the topsail yard
     Like chaff to the wind and sea,
Or lashed to the wheel with a ship unsparred
     And a thousand deaths a-lee,
Still out of the dark where the lightning's spark
     And the storm swirl interlace
Shines down the night like a harbor light
     One only star, your face.

The great cathedral towers and climbs
     With arches and dome and spire
And soft light falls on the transept walls
     Like a glimmer of altar fire,
And ever the peace and beauty seem
     To hold the soul in thrall,
While the organ throbs like a holy dream
     And choirs of angels call;
Yet deep in the gloom of the vaulted room
     In the highest, holiest place,
I see afar like a shining star
     One only lamp, your face.


Robin piped to me at dawn, in the early light,
All the world was red and gold, all the world was right,
Perfume fainted on the breeze from all the roses fair,
For Daphne came to me at dawn with a red rose in her hair.
Starlight and morning light mingled rosy beams,
For Daphne came to me at dawn with the red rose of my dreams.

Carol, carol orioles, noon is at the flood,

Yellow sunlight, gold and green, shines through all the wood.
Quivers all the shady lake, deep as are her eyes,
All the little woodland things dance in glad surprise,
Violets bloom with faint perfume and wait her footsteps there,
For Daphne's coming through the wood with a red rose in her hair.

Sing your dream song, hermit thrush, in the shady firs,
All the love notes of your plaint echoes are of hers,
Fairies in the woodland dell, fireflies on the lea,
All the tender story tell, Daphne's here with me.
Shadows fall and night birds call, but all the worldis fair,
For Daphne came to me at dusk with a red rose in her hair.


Softly the waves to the gray beach replying,
Call through the night to the winds on the sea,
Out of the darkness lone voices are sighing
Ever to me.
Round the rock shoulders to seaward far lifting,
Rounded and smooth where the tempest has kissed,
Tall slender figures are swaying and drifting
Wraiths of the mist.

Ever they're calling in eerie tone,
"Hark" you shall say; " 'tis the sad sea's moan
Thinking of wrecks that are distant and lone."
Not so, ah me!
These be the souls of them that wait,
The coming of ships to the harbor's gate,
Ships that are lost at sea.

Bright flashed the waves where the soft foam was playing,
Nodded the masts with the white sails unfurled,
Freighted with treasure and hope they went swaying
Out of the world.
Long years have come and the long years are going,
Ships have returned or been wrecked on the shore,
Words from these ships where the deep seas are flowing,
Reach us no more.

Tidings the waves to the gray beach are spelling,
If our dull hearts could but read them aright,
Winds from the deep the wild story are telling
All through the night.
Still where the surf on the brown rocks is swinging,
Beating their breasts at the far harbor's gate,
Lonely the mist wraiths are swaying and singing,
Ever they wait.

Ever they're calling in eerie tone
"Hark," you shall say; " 'tis the sad sea's moan,
Thinking of wrecks that are distant and lone."
Not so, ah me!
These be the souls of them that wait,
The coming of ships to the harbor's gate,
Ships that are lost at sea.


The roses were red as the mouth of Love
Whence laughter perfume sips,
Till the frost's white hand of silence
Was laid on their smiling lips.


Softly fall the poppy leaves
Dreaming on the ground,
Watchful Night above thee grieves
At the slightest sound;
Sweet and low, sweet and low,
Swing her censers to and fro;
Sweet and low, sweet and low,
Twilight breezes blow.

Hushed within the morning's breath

Waits the voice of dawn,
Soothing music murmureth,
Through closed curtains drawn;
Slow and sweet, slow and sweet,
Lulled its passion's throbbing beat,
Slow and sweet, slow and sweet,
Gently doth it greet.

Curving lashes falling now

Kiss the weary eyes,
Slumber smoothes the wrinkled brow,
Sleep is paradise;
Sleep and rest, sleep and rest
Gently on Night's heaving breast;
Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,
In her soft arms pressed.

Life nor labor trouble not

When the eyelids close,
In the palace or the cot
Joy comes with repose;
Sweet and slow, bending low,
Comes thy dream love from the skies,
Sweet and slow, bending low,
Kisses thee and dies.


O Morning Star, that shines so clear and bright
     Through amber mist,
Caught where the trailing garments of the night
     The purple shadows kissed,
Shine ever on, lest thy slow fading ray
     Drive Love away.

Love that came at eventide

     Will be gone at break of day,
Wait, O Star, lest Love should hide

O Daffodil, with low bowed golden head

     At evenfall,
Wet with the tears of dew the twilight shed
     Soft on the flowers all,
Lift not thy chalice up, lest Love perceive
     The dawn and leave.

Rosy mists of morn will ride

     Couriers of the coming day
Wait, O Flower, lest Love should hide

O soaring Lark, sing not thy carol clear
     At earliest light,
High in the rosy glow that all may hear
     Through valleys wrapped in night,
Hush thy sweet throat, nor let the rapture flow
     Lest Love should know.

Curtained mists of night still bide

     Near the oriel of the day,
Wait, O Bird, lest Love should hide


As through the icebound fields we go
The frost flakes glint along the way,
The wood's a wilderness of snow
Laced in a tracery of gray,
The winds blow keen across the bay,
The sea gull shivers as he flies,
Yet lilts my heart this blithesome lay;
The Spring is smiling in your eyes.
We breast the wind-swept height, and lo!
The sun bursts out upon the day,
Flooding the lowlands far below
With sunlight's swift, elusive play;
We seem to hear a prophet say
That hope shall give what fear denies,
Ended will soon be Winter's sway;
The Spring is smiling in your eyes.
The frost leaves scatter in the blow,
The frost ferns at a breath decay,
Full well the winter's minions know
His power must pass without delay,
Nor cold nor storm can longer stay
Where laughter takes the place of sighs;
With all its potent, gladsome ray
The Spring is smiling in your eyes.


Princess, the snow may fall each day,
The mad March winds be shrewdly wise,
We see you, and we know 'tis May;
The Spring is smiling in your eyes.


Love touched the virgin heart of Spring
In early May;
Faint through the sky she heard him sing
A carol gay;
Its tender witching strain she heard,
Nor knew if it were voice or bird.
With pink cheek flushed the apple tree,
Wide grew the violet's eyes of blue,
And all along the rosy lea,
Sweet throbbing hopes of wild flowers grew;
The budding maples felt the thrill,
And redder grew, and redder still.

Across the fields that sway with heat,

Comes Summer bold,
The buttercups about his feet pour out their gold,
The apple blooms grow white and die,
Of love, when but they feel him by.
Well may the cheek of Spring grow white,
When Summer folds her to his heart,
And half is fear and all delight,
That thrills her soul in every part,
While sweet Spring's dawn and Summer's noon
Are wedded, and behold! 'tis June.


The dawn winds shout on the seaward hill;
They rollic and carol and breathe their fill,
And the broad blue spaces of ocean lie
Open to heart and hand and eye,
Where the great waves toss and the sea-birds call
To the wild free life that woos us all
Till the heart goes out where the keen winds be
For over the summit waits
The sea.

And night winds woo where the seaward hill

In the sunset's gleam stands waiting still;
And fair, though the foam crests dip and rise,
It lifts its brow to the sailor's eyes,
For ever the prow that breasts the main
To the seaward hill turns home again
While the glad boat springs and swings through the foam
For over the summit waits



Beauty in radiance dight,
Manhood with graces replete,
Pass and repass in her sight
Whirling to harmonies fleet.
Hearts, be they gay or discreet,
All, the wee maid doth entrance;
Half of the room is en suite;—
Helen looks on at the dance.

Soul in a whirl of delight

Timed to the music's soft beat,
Eyes that are dancing and bright,
Cadence and rhyme in the feet;—
Pleading in melodies meet,
Wooing the boon of a glance,
Hark, how the viols entreat;—
Helen looks on at the dance.

Spirit of Music, a sprite

Sways in this rhythmic surfeit,
Laughs in glad numbers tonight
Here his wee partner to greet.
Who shall deny the conceit
When, but her joy to enhance,
Melodies blithely compete?—
Helen looks on at the dance.


Prince debonaire and effete,
Princess whose smile is romance,
Not you the viols entreat;—
Helen looks on at the dance.


I took Belinda with me when
The springing grass was wet with dew,
Fishing for trout adown the glen
Where horns of elfland faintly blew;
Although the trout we caught were few
The day full joyously was spent,
Though oft I wondered if I knew
Just what it was Belinda meant.

As lightly perched as any wren

Across the pool her glances flew
Until, bewitched beyond my ken,
My line, and thoughts, went all askew;
A shyness altogether new
A charm to her demeanor lent,
Till oft I wondered if I knew
Just what it was Belinda meant.

I pondered long on this, and then

My arms about her waist I threw;
I kissed her once, and once again,
Till blushes dyed her cheek anew;
Yet closer to my side she drew
And lingered there in sweet content,
Showing me that at last I knew
Just what it was Belinda meant.


When beauty at your side you view,
Prince, pray you, be not diffident,
But capture love while it is new,
For that is what Belinda meant.


Sweetheart, the day is done,
     And in the amber west
The shallop moon her port has won,
     By twilight breezes pressed.
And faint through the sky rings a tender cry,
     Sweetheart, in the fading light,
While the night winds sigh as they linger by,
     Sweetheart, good night.

Sweetheart, 'tis night's high noon,

     And through the sky's blue arc
The stars drift down to the vanished moon
     In the western portal dark.
And low in your ear I whisper near,
     Sweetheart, do you hear aright?
As with but a sigh you make reply,
     Sweetheart, good night.

Sweetheart, the short night goes,

     The daylight comes apace,
And high in the east the morning blows,
     A flower, like your face.
The lark's cry rings and the linnet sings
     Sweetheart, as the sky grows bright,
But we sigh, as far fades the last pale star,
     Sweetheart, good night.


Tied a boutonniere for me.
With no common twine she bound it,
But with one bright hair she wound it,
Thinking as the knot she wrought
Only buds were in it caught.
I knew better;
For she bound with silken twine
One dry rose, this heart of mine,
In the self-same fetter.


A purple haze rests on the hills
That dent the long horizon's rim.
No breath of wind the rich air thrills.
Witch-hazel with her fragrance fills
The swamp's recesses dim.
At dawn the mists with hazy fold
Veil hillside, field and plain;
At night the sunset's wealth of gold,
From zenith to horizon rolled,
Reflected yet again,
Shines forth anew from dying leaves;
And, slanting o'er October fields,
Touches with mellow light the sheaves,
And golden fruit the harvest yields.


The south wind blows across the sky;
Across the sky with sighing sweep.
Borne on his wings the torn clouds fly;
Rifted and torn, from deep to deep.
In changing gusts the heavens weep.
The melancholy voice of night,
Sad without bitterness I hear;
Voices that shun the morning light
Thrill through the darkness far and near
The tree toads mellow flutings clear,
Like lullaby of childhood's days;
Croons soothing music to the ear;
Soft echoes, borne from year to year,
Of voices lost in memory's haze.


"So," they said; "Love is dead;
     Laid away,
In the ground where no sound
     Stirs the clay.
Joy nor tears, hopes nor fears,
     Thrill his breast;
Sound his knell, dead the spell,
     Love's at rest."

Autumn's glows, winter's snows,

     Came and fled,
And the Spring, gentle thing,
     Kissed him, dead.
On that night lilies white
     Burst the clay
On the wold where, all cold,
     Dear Love lay.

We who wept where he slept,

     Faithful still,
With perfume from their bloom
     Felt the thrill,
And Love's voice cried; "Rejoice!
     Ye shall see,
Who have faith, still, through death,
     Love's immortality."


Dear girl, the spring is near
And through the winter night
A stirring in the fields we hear
Where young buds seek the light;
And deep in our hearts there's a whisper starts,
Dear heart, as the young buds grow,
Till what it must tell in the spring's sweet spell,
Dear love, you know.

Dear girl, the summer thrills

In the hope of coming spring;
Love snatches the harp of life and spills
Music from every string,
Till low to your ear comes an echo clear
ear heart, of its rhythmic flow,
And what I must say to your heart today,
Dear love, you know.

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