Poems eBook

Denis Florence MacCarthy
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 84 pages of information about Poems.

Slow flapping to the setting sun
By twos and threes, in wavering rows. 
  As twilight shadows dimly close,
The crows fly over Washington.

Under the crimson sunset sky
Virginian woodlands leafless lie,
  In wintry torpor bleak and dun. 
Through the rich vault of heaven, which shines
  Like a warmed opal in the sun,
With wide advance in broken lines
  The crows fly over Washington.

Over the Capitol’s white dome,
  Across the obelisk soaring bare
To prick the clouds, they travel home,
Content and weary, winnowing
  With dusky vans the golden air,
Which hints the coming of the spring,
  Though winter whitens Washington.

The dim, deep air, the level ray
Of dying sunlight on their plumes,
  Give them a beauty not their own;
Their hoarse notes fail and faint away;
  A rustling murmur floating down
Blends sweetly with the thickening glooms;
They touch with grace the fading day,
  Slow flying over Washington.

I stand and watch with clouded eyes
  These dim battalions move along;
Out of the distance memory cries
  Of days when life and hope were strong,
When love was prompt and wit was gay;
Even then, at evening, as to-day,
  I watched, while twilight hovered dim
  Over Potomac’s curving rim,
This selfsame flight of homing crows
Blotting the sunset’s fading rose,
  Above the roofs of Washington.


Sad is the thought of sunniest days
  Of love and rapture perished,
And shine through memory’s tearful haze
  The eyes once fondliest cherished. 
Reproachful is the ghost of toys
  That charmed while life was wasted. 
But saddest is the thought of joys
  That never yet were tasted.

Sad is the vague and tender dream
  Of dead love’s lingering kisses,
To crushed hearts haloed by the gleam
  Of unreturning blisses;
Deep mourns the soul in anguished pride
  For the pitiless death that won them,—­
But the saddest wail is for lips that died
  With the virgin dew upon them.

Esse Quam Videri

The knightly legend of thy shield betrays
The moral of thy life; a forecast wise,
  And that large honor that deceit defies,
Inspired thy fathers in the elder days,
Who decked thy scutcheon with that sturdy phrase,
  To be rather than seem.  As eve’s red skies
  Surpass the morning’s rosy prophecies,
Thy life to that proud boast its answer pays. 
Scorning thy faith and purpose to defend
  The ever-mutable multitude at last
  Will hail the power they did not comprehend,—­
Thy fame will broaden through the centuries;
  As, storm and billowy tumult overpast,
  The moon rules calmly o’er the conquered seas.

When the Boys Come Home

Project Gutenberg
Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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