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What still peace is. I need the voice of the sedges
That knows not any of the old earth yearning
And its cry, but is quiet,
~Like the air and the water.
He sits all day in a cemetery tree,
The damp of sinking graves upon his breath;
Brooding the little ways of life and death,
Chuckling at thought of immortality.
Long rows of tombstones make his library,
Rare tomes of wit—“dry wit,” he seems to say.
He cons them till night comes, then flies away
Into the dark, to call for you or me.
Or so, when as a boy I heard his cry
Grate the harp-strings of night, I thought it was;
A man, I cross myself, a boy still—half:
As on that night I saw a dear friend die,
And long sat brooding on the patient stars, .
And seemed to hear, far off, his mocking laugh! s
Oh I suppose I should
Wash the walls of my office,
Polish the rust from
My instruments and keep them
Definitely in order;
Build shelves in
The little laboratory;
Empty out the old stains,
Clean the bottles
And refill them; buy
Another lens; put
My journals on edge instead of
Letting them lie flat
In heaps—then begin
Ten years back and
Read them to date,
Articles for ready reference.
I suppose I should
Read the new books.
, If to this I added
A bill at the tailor's
And the cleaner's
And grew a decent beard
And cultivated a look
Who can tell? I might be
A credit to my Lady Happiness
And never think anything
But a white thought! -
William Carlos W* \
* PLUMs’ It is a waste of time to talk to my cousin about his plums, Though I know— standing on the path with the sun in my hair I make a sufficiently pleasing picture. . . The plums are soft with bloom, and luscious purple— If I took a step forward and held out my green smock, Looked up and laughed at him, y He would throw them, showering rain-drops, into my lap, And, quickly descending, Slide his arm round my waist and—probably—kiss me. Shall I go, I wonder?— . . * No, I will have none of these things. P. T. R.
I have been combing the sands of my thought for you—
Who left me the trace of your fragrance
In lieu of yourself,
A pungency as of sandalwood,
Or things lain long in lavender,
But of a stabbing sweetness.
Now that I have found you,
Your delicate coloring,
Which once delighted me,
Has faded in the wash of many tides.
Yet you can still
Sting the tears to my eyes,
Who might have meant so much
But who meant so little. –
But I think—
I have untangled you from the seaweed of forgotten things,
I think I shall toss you back into the sea! -
How she likened them to young gazelles
Disporting in a quiet glade, with their thin legs
And their large wondering eyes,
Full of delicate trembling—shy, tender, suspecting,
Furtively watching for the stranger in the wood.
L'éventail exquis! la main divoire!
Les yeux de gazelles!—glimmering, provocative
Magic tumbling out of them like bronzed hoops
Or circled ropes to dance with like gilded wire.
The hand touches a frail cheek, and faints
In its cushioned depths with the excess
Of its palloring fragility.
Light zephyrs hover over the edges of frail lace, -
And roll from off dark coils of ribboned hair—
Great bird-swings poised at the nape of the childish neck
Setting out the white throat from the blue or rose shadow—
Blue, and a far cerise, with a gentle dove-like grey w
Encircling them, covering them with mists of timidity.
Speak they in concert of a little girl's morning,
As she steps frailly out of the linen and the lace
That folded her young virgin limbs from the terrors
Of the monstrous undivulging night:
Stepping out upon the edges of a world too bright
With glinting facets of a diamonded despair,