Collected Poems 1897 - 1907 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 50 pages of information about Collected Poems 1897.

Rondel*

Though I wander far-off ways,
  Dearest, never doubt thou me: 

Mine is not the love that strays,
Though I wander far-off ways: 

Faithfully for all my days
  I have vowed myself to thee: 
Though I wander far-off ways,
  Dearest, never doubt thou me.

* This and the two following pieces are from the French of Wenceslas, Duke of Brabant and Luxembourg, who died in 1384.

Rondel

Long ago to thee I gave
Body, soul, and all I have—–­
  Nothing in the world I keep: 

All that in return I crave
Is that thou accept the slave
Long ago to thee I gave—–­
Body, soul, and all I have.

Had I more to share or save,
I would give as give the brave,
  Stooping not to part the heap;
Long ago to thee I gave
Body, soul, and all I have—–­
  Nothing in the world I keep.

Balade

I cannot tell, of twain beneath this bond,
Which one in grief the other goes beyond,—–­
Narcissus, who to end the pain he bore
Died of the love that could not help him more;
Or I, that pine because I cannot see
The lady who is queen and love to me.

Nay—­for Narcissus, in the forest pond
Seeing his image, made entreaty fond,
“Beloved, comfort on my longing pour”: 
So for a while he soothed his passion sore;
So cannot I, for all too far is she—–­
The lady who is queen and love to me.

But since that I have Love’s true colours donned,
I in his service will not now despond,
For in extremes Love yet can all restore: 
So till her beauty walks the world no more
All day remembered in my hope shall be
The lady who is queen and love to me.

The Last Word

Before the April night was late
A rider came to the castle gate;
A rider breathing human breath,
But the words he spoke were the words of Death.

“Greet you well from the King our lord,
He marches hot for the eastward ford;
Living or dying, all or one,
Ye must keep the ford till the race be run.

Sir Alain rose with lips that smiled,
He kissed his wife, he kissed his child: 
Before the April night was late
Sir Alain rode from the castle gate.

He called his men-at-arms by name,
But one there was uncalled that came: 
He bade his troop behind him ride,
But there was one that rode beside.

    “Why will you spur so fast to die? 
    Be wiser ere the night go by. 
    A message late is a message lost;
    For all your haste the foe had crossed.

    “Are men such small unmeaning things
    To strew the board of smiling Kings? 
    With life and death they play their game,
    And life or death, the end’s the same.”

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Collected Poems 1897 - 1907 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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