A selection of poems from one of my favorites
(1884 - 1933)
I saw the sunset-colored sands,
The Nile like flowing fire between,
Where Rameses stares forth serene,
And Ammon's heavy temple stands.
I saw the rocks where long ago,
Above the sea that cries and breaks,
Swift Perseus with Medusa's snakes
Set free the maiden white like snow.
And many skies have covered me,
And many winds have blown me forth,
And I have loved the green, bright north,
And I have loved the cold, sweet sea.
But what to me are north and south,
And what the lure of many lands,
Since you have leaned to catch my hands
And lay a kiss upon my mouth.
Night is over the park, and a few brave stars
Look on the lights that link it with chains of gold,
The lake bears up their reflection in broken bars
That seem too heavy for tremulous water to hold.
We watch the swans that sleep in a shadowy place,
And now and again one wakes and uplifts its head;
How still you are - your gaze is on my face -
We watch the swans and never a word is said
Tonight I close my eyes and see
A strange procession passing me-
The years before I saw your face
Go by me with a wistful grace;
They pass, the sensitive, shy years,
As one who strives to dance, half blind with tears.
The years went by and never knew
That each one brought me nearer you;
Their path was narrow and apart
And yet it led me to your heart-
Oh, sensitive, shy years, oh, lonely years,
That strove to sing with voices drowned in tears
I heard a cry in the night,
A thousand miles it came,
Sharp as a flash of light,
My name, my name!
It was your voice I heard,
You waked and loved me so -
I send you back this word,
I know, I know!
It is enough for me by day
To walk the same bright earth with him
Enough that over us by night
The same great roof of stars is dim
I do not hope to bind the wind
Or set a fetter on the sea
It is enough to feel his love
Blow by like music over me
Oh I have sown my love so wide
That he will find it everywhere;
It will awake him in the night,
It will enfold him in the air.
I set my shadow in his sight
And I have winged it with desire,
That it may be a cloud by day
And in the night a shaft of fire.
Into my heart's treasury
I slipped a coin
That time cannot take
Nor a thief purloin, --
Oh better than the minting
Of a gold-crowned king
Is the safe-kept memory
Of a lovely thing.
Come, when the pale moon like a petal
Floats in the pearly dusk of spring,
Come with arms outstretched to take me,
Come with lips pursed up to cling.
Come, for life is a frail moth flying
Caught in the web of the years that pass,
And soon we two, so warm and eager
Will be as the gray stones in the grass
He has come, he is here,
My love has come home,
The minutes are lighter
Than flying foam,
The hours are like dancers
On gold-slippered feet,
The days are young runners
Naked and fleet --
For my love has returned,
He is home, he is here,
In the whole world no other
Is dear as my dear!
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