Late Lyrics and Earlier : with Many Other Verses eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about Late Lyrics and Earlier .

“Good.  That man goes to Rome—­to death, despair;
And no one notes him now but you and I: 
A hundred years, and the world will follow him there,
And bend with reverence where his ashes lie.”

September 1920.

Note.—­In September 1820 Keats, on his way to Rome, landed one day on the Dorset coast, and composed the sonnet, “Bright star! would I were steadfast as thou art.”  The spot of his landing is judged to have been Lulworth Cove.


   That night, that night,
   That song, that song! 
Will such again be evened quite
   Through lifetimes long?

   No mirth was shown
   To outer seers,
But mood to match has not been known
   In modern years.

   O eyes that smiled,
   O lips that lured;
That such would last was one beguiled
   To think ensured!

   That night, that night,
   That song, that song;
O drink to its recalled delight,
   Though tears may throng!


I—­On Christmas Eve

Late on Christmas Eve, in the street alone,
Outside a house, on the pavement-stone,
I sang to her, as we’d sung together
On former eves ere I felt her tether. —
Above the door of green by me
Was she, her casement seen by me;
   But she would not heed
   What I melodied
   In my soul’s sore need —
   She would not heed.

Cassiopeia overhead,
And the Seven of the Wain, heard what I said
As I bent me there, and voiced, and fingered
Upon the strings. . . .  Long, long I lingered: 
Only the curtains hid from her
One whom caprice had bid from her;
   But she did not come,
   And my heart grew numb
   And dull my strum;
   She did not come.

II—­A Year Later

I skimmed the strings; I sang quite low;
I hoped she would not come or know
That the house next door was the one now dittied,
Not hers, as when I had played unpitied;
- Next door, where dwelt a heart fresh stirred,
My new Love, of good will to me,
Unlike my old Love chill to me,
Who had not cared for my notes when heard: 
   Yet that old Love came
   To the other’s name
   As hers were the claim;
   Yea, the old Love came

My viol sank mute, my tongue stood still,
I tried to sing on, but vain my will: 
I prayed she would guess of the later, and leave me;
She stayed, as though, were she slain by the smart,
She would bear love’s burn for a newer heart. 
The tense-drawn moment wrought to bereave me
Of voice, and I turned in a dumb despair
At her finding I’d come to another there. 
   Sick I withdrew
   At love’s grim hue
   Ere my last Love knew;
   Sick I withdrew.

From an old copy.


Project Gutenberg
Late Lyrics and Earlier : with Many Other Verses from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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