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The Bad Example

Fie, Aphrodite, shamming you are no mother,And your maternal markings trying to smother,As you were maiden, now you love another!. . .If one like you need such pretence to noose him,Indulgence in too early fires beware you,All girls yet virgin,…

A Wish for Unconsciousness

If I could but abideAs a tablet on a wall,Or a hillock daisy-pied,Or a picture in a hall,And as nothing else at all,I should feel no doleful achings,I should hear no judgment-call,Have no evil dreams or wakings,No uncouth or grisly…

The Prophetess

1 ‘Now shall I sing That pretty thing’The Mocking-Bird’?’—And sing it straight did she. I had no cause To think it wasA Mocking-bird in truth that sang to me. 2 Not even the glance She threw askanceForetold to me, nor…

I Am the One

I am the one whom ringdoves see Through chinks in boughs When they do not rouse In sudden dread,But stay on cooing, as if they said: ‘Oh; it’s only he.’I am the passer when up-eared hares, Stirred as they eat…

Thoughts at Midnight

Mankind, you dismay meWhen shadows waylay me!—Not by your splendoursDo you affray me,Not as pretendersTo demonic keenness,Not by your meanness,Nor your ill-teachings,Nor your false preachings,Nor your banalitiesAnd immoralities,Nor by your daringNor sinister bearing;But by your madnessesCapping cool badnesses,Acting like puppetsUnder…

Proud Songsters

The thrushes sing as the sun is going, And the finches whistle in ones and pairs,And as it gets dark loud nightingales In bushesPipe, as they can when April wears, As if all Time were theirs.These are brand-new birds of…

The New Dawn’s Business

What are you doing outside my walls, O Dawn of another day? I have not called you over the edge Of the heathy ledge, So why do you come this way, With your furtive footstep without sound here, And your…

Why Do I?

Why do I go on doing these things? Why not cease?Is it that you are yet in this world of welterings And unease,And that, while so, mechanic repetitions please? When shall I leave off doing these things?— When I hearYou…

Song to an Old Burden

The feet have left the wormholed flooring, That danced to the ancient air, The fiddler, all-ignoring,Sleeps by the gray-grassed ‘cello player:Shall I then foot around around around, As once I footed there!The voice is heard in the room no longer…

A Leaving

Knowing what it bore I watched the rain-smitten back of the car— (Brown-curtained, such as the old ones were)— When it started forth for a journey afar Into the sullen November air,And passed the glistening laurels and round the bend.I…