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1. All That's Past

Very old are the woods
And the buds that break
Out of brier's bough
When March winds wake
Oh, no man knows
Through what wild centuries
Roves back the rose
Our dreams are tales
Told in dim Eden
By Eve's Nightingales
But, the day gone by
Silence and sleep like fields
Of amaranth lie
Very old are the brooks
And the rills that rise
Where snow sleeps cold beneath
The azure skies
Sing such a history
Of come and gone
Their every drop is as wise
As Solomon.

2. Desert Places

Snow falling and night falling fast, oh fast
In a field I looked into going past
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow
But a few weeds and stubble showing last
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express
They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars, where no human race is
I have it in me much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places
The woods around it have it, it is theirs
All animals are smothered in their lairs
I am too absent-spirited to count
The loneliness includes me unawares
And lonely as it is that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less.

3. The Last Word

Creep into thy narrow bed
Creep, and let no more be said
Vain thy onset! All stands fast
Thou thyself must break at last
Let the long contention cease
Geese are swans and swans are geese
Let them have it how they will
Thou art tired; best be still
They out-talked thee, hissed thee, tore thee
Better men fared thus before thee
Fired their ringing shot and passed
Hotly charged and sank at last
Charge once more, then, and be dumb
Let the victors, when they come
When the forts of folly fall
Find thy body by the wall!

4. Human Abstract

Pity would be no more
If we did not make somebody Poor
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we
And mutual fear brings peace
'Til the selfish loves increase
Then Cruelty knits a snare
And spreads his baits with care
He sits down with holy fears
And waters the ground with tears
Then Humility takes its root
Underneath his foot
Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of Mystery over his head
And the Caterpillar and Fly
Feed on the Mystery
And it bears the fruit of Deceit
Ruddy and sweet to eat
And the Raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade
The Gods of the earth and sea
Sought through Nature to find this Tree
But their search was all in vain
There grows one in the Human Brain.

5. The Indian Serenade

I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night
When the winds are breathing low
And the stars are shining bright
I arise from dreams of thee
And a spirit in my feet
Hath led me, who knows how
To thy chamber window, sweet
The wandering airs they faint
On the dark, the silent stream
The Champak odours fail
Like sweet thoughts in a dream
The nightingale's complaint
It dies upon her heart
As I must on thine
Beloved as thou art
Oh lift me from the grass
I die! I faint! I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast
Oh! Press it close to thine again
Where it will break at last.

6. Sleep

Sleep brings no joy to me
Remembrance never dies
My soul is given to misery
And lives in sighs
Sleep brings no rest to me
The shadows of the dead
My waking eyes may never see
Surround my bed
Sleep brings no hope to me
In soundest sleep they come
And with their doleful imagery
Deepen the gloom
Sleep brings no strength to me
No power renewed to brave
I only sail a wilder sea
A darker wave
Sleep brings no friend to me
To soothe and aid to bear
They all gaze, oh, how scornfully
And I despair
Sleep brings no wish to knit
My harassed heart beneath
My only wish is to forget
In the sleep of death.

7. Evocation


8. Come In

As I came to the edge of the woods
Thrush music, hark!
Now if it was dusk outside
Inside it was dark
Too dark in the woods for a bird
By sleight of wing
To better its perch for the night
Though it still could sing
The last of the light of the sun
That had died in the west
Still lived for one song more
In a thrush's breast
Far in the pillared dark
Thrush music went
Almost like a call to come in
To the dark and lament
But no, I was out for stars
I would not come in
I meant not even if asked
And I hadn't been.

9. Interlude pour Italo


10. Winter Days

In these our winter days
Death's iron tongue is glib
Numbing with fear all flesh upon
A fiery-hearted globe
An age once green is buried
Numbered the hours of light
Blood-red across the snow our sun
Still trails his faint retreat
Spring through death's iron guard
Her million blades shall thrust
Love that was sleeping not extinct
Throw off the nightmare crust
Eyes, though not ours, shall see
Sky-high a signal flame
The sun returned to power above
A world, but not the same.

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