THE SPLENDID SPUR.
Not on the neck of prince or hound,
Nor on a woman’s finger twin’d,
May gold from the deriding ground
Keep sacred that we sacred bind:
Only the heel
Of splendid steel
Shall stand secure on sliding fate,
When golden navies weep their freight.
The scarlet hat, the
Are measures, not the springs, of worth;
In a wife’s lap, as in a grave,
Man’s airy notions mix with earth.
Seek other spur
Bravely to stir
The dust in this loud world, and tread
Alp-high among the whisp’ring dead.
Trust in thyself,—then
So shall Charybdis wear a grace,
Grim Aetna laugh, the Libyan plain
Take roses to her shrivell’d face.
This orb—this round
Of sight and sound—
Count it the lists that God hath built
For haughty hearts to ride a-tilt.
THE WHITE MOTH.
If a leaf rustled, she would
And yet she died, a year ago.
How had so frail a thing the heart
To journey where she trembled so?
And do they turn and turn in fright,
Those little feet, in so much night?
The light above the
Streamed on the page and on the cloth,
And twice and thrice there buffeted
On the black pane a white-wing’d moth;
’Twas Annie’s soul that beat outside
And ‘Open, open, open!’ cried:
’I could not find the
way to God;
There were too many flaming suns
For signposts, and the fearful road
Led over wastes where millions
Of tangled comets hissed and burned—
I was bewilder’d and I turned.
’O, it was easy then!
Your window and no star beside.
Look up, and take me back to you!’
—He rose and thrust the window wide.
’Twas but because his brain was hot
With rhyming; for he heard her not.
But poets polishing
Show anger over trivial things;
And as she blundered in the blaze
Towards him, on ecstatic wings,
He raised a hand and smote her dead;
Then wrote ‘That I had died instead!’
TIM THE DRAGOON (From ‘Troy Town’)
Be aisy an’ list to a chune
That’s sung of bowld Tim the Dragoon—
Sure, ’twas he’d niver miss
To be stalin’ a kiss,
Or a brace, by the light of the moon—
Wid a wink at the Man in the Moon!
Rest his sowl where the daisies
For he’s gone from the land of the quick:
But he’s still makin’ love
To the leddies above,
An’ be jabbers! he’ll tache ’em the thrick—
Niver doubt but he’ll tache ’em the thrick!