To Vera, who asked A song.
If I only had time!
I could make you a rhyme.
But my time is kept flying
By smiling and sighing
And living and dying for you.
The song-seed, I sow it,
I water and hoe it,
But never can grow it.
Ah, traitress, you know it!
What is a poor poet to do?
Ah, let me take breath!
I am harried to death
By the loves and the graces
That crowd where your face is
That lurk in your laces and throng.
Call them off for a minute,
Once let me begin it
The devil is in it
If I can not spin it
As sweet as a linnet, your song!
The poet to his love.
All the flight of thoughts here, shy, bold, scared,
Fluttering in the sun, between the green and blue,
Wheeling, whirling, poising, lovely and elusive,
How to cage the flying thoughts, my winged delight, for you?
Set a springe of rhyme, and hope to catch them in
Strew my love as grain to lure them to the snare?
Watch the hours built up, slow minute piled on minute?
Still the wide sky guards their flight, and still the cage is bare.
Gleam of hovering feathers, brushing me to flout me!
Wings, be weary! Rest! Who loves you more than I?
Caught? Oh fluttering pinions whitening air about me!
Rustling wings, and distant flight, and empty cage and sky!
The MAIDEN’S prayer.
Spring, pretty Spring, what treasure do you bring
Green grass and buttercups, cherry-bloom and may?
Sunshine to be glad with me, and little birds to sing to me?
Warm nests to call me along the woodland way?
Spring, happy Spring, what wonder will you do for
Light the tulip lanterns, and set the furze a-fire?
Fill your sky with sails of cloud on waves of living blue for me?
Show me green cornfields and budding of the briar?
Spring, darling Spring, my days will not return to
You who see them fleeting, you, all time above,
You who move the whole world’s heart, ah move one heart to turn to me,
—Bring me a lover, and teach me how to love!
“Love me little, love me long,”
Is the burden of my song,
And if nothing more may be
Little shall suffice for me.
But if you could crown with flowers
All my radiant, festal hours,
And console for hours of sorrow
Love me more with each to-morrow.
And if you would turn my days
To one splendid hymn of praise,
And set hopes like stars above me
Love me much, and always love me!
The magic flower.
Through many days and many days
The seed of love lay hidden close;
We walked the dusty tiresome ways
Where never a leaf or blossom grows.
And in the darkness, all the while,
The little seed its heart uncurled,
And we by many a weary mile
Travelled towards it, round the world.