Na, na, sir, I doot na ye’re willin’
But I canna permit ye;
For I’m thinkin’ that yon kind o’ killin’
Wad hardly befit ye.
And some work is deefficult hushin’,
There’d be havers and chaff:
‘Twull be best, sir, for you to be fushin’
And me wi’ the gaff.
Memories long in music sleeping,
No more sleeping,
No more dumb;
Delicate phantoms softly creeping
Softly back from the old-world come.
Faintest odours around them straying,
In chambers dim;
Whispering silks in order swaying,
Glimmering gems on shoulders slim:
Courage advancing strong and tender,
Suppliant conquest, proud surrender,
Courtesy cold of hearts on fire—–
Willowy billowy now they’re bending,
Low they’re bending
Stately measure and stately ending,
Music sobbing, and a dream that dies.
(A Lady of Tender Age)
Ladies, where were your bright eyes glancing,
Where were they glancing yester-night?
Saw ye Imogen dancing, dancing,
Imogen dancing all in white?
Laughed she not with a pure delight,
Laughed she not with a joy serene,
Stepped she not with a grace entrancing,
Slenderly girt in silken sheen?
All through the night from dusk to daytime
Under her feet the hours were swift,
Under her feet the hours of play-time
Rose and fell with a rhythmic lift:
Music set her adrift, adrift,
Music eddying towards the day
Swept her along as brooks in May-time
Carry the freshly falling May.
Ladies, life is a changing measure,
Youth is a lilt that endeth soon;
Pluck ye never so fast at pleasure
Twilight follows the longest noon.
Nay, but here is a lasting boon,
Life for hearts that are old and chill,
Youth undying for hearts that treasure
Imogen dancing, dancing still.
Whisper it not that late in years
Sorrow shall fade and the world be brighter,
Life be freed of tremor and tears,
Heads be wiser and hearts be lighter.
Ah! but the dream that all endears,
The dream we sell for your pottage of truth—–
Give us again the passion of youth,
Sorrow shall fade and the world be brighter.
Spring, they say, with his greenery
Northward marches at last,
Mustering thorn and elm;
Breezes rumour him conquering,
Tell how Victory sits
High on his glancing helm.
Smit with sting of his archery,
Hardest ashes and oaks
Burn at the root below:
Primrose, violet, daffodil,
Start like blood where the shafts
Light from his golden bow.