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 .

So, one Saturday, time ticking hard on midnight Ere an hour subserved, I set me upon it.  Long with coiled-up sleeves I cleaned and yet cleaned, Till a first fresh spot, a high light, looked forth, Then another, like fair flesh, and another; Then a curve, a nostril, and next a finger, Tapering, shapely, significantly pointing slantwise.  “Flemish?” I said.  “Nay, Spanish . . .  But, nay, Italian!” - Then meseemed it the guise of the ranker Venus, Named of some Astarte, of some Cotytto.  Down I knelt before it and kissed the panel, Drunk with the lure of love’s inhibited dreamings.

Till the dawn I rubbed, when there gazed up at me A hag, that had slowly emerged from under my hands there, Pointing the slanted finger towards a bosom Eaten away of a rot from the lusts of a lifetime . . . - I could have ended myself in heart-shook horror.  Stunned I sat till roused by a clear-voiced bell-chime, Fresh and sweet as the dew-fleece under my luthern.  It was the matin service calling to me From the adjacent steeple.


“This is a brightsome blaze you’ve lit good friend, to-night!” “—­Aye, it has been the bleakest spring I have felt for years, And nought compares with cloven logs to keep alight:  I buy them bargain-cheap of the executioners, As I dwell near; and they wanted the crosses out of sight By Passover, not to affront the eyes of visitors.

“Yes, they’re from the crucifixions last week-ending
At Kranion.  We can sometimes use the poles again,
But they get split by the nails, and ’tis quicker work than mending
To knock together new; though the uprights now and then
Serve twice when they’re let stand.  But if a feast’s impending,
As lately, you’ve to tidy up for the corners’ ken.

“Though only three were impaled, you may know it didn’t pass off So quietly as was wont?  That Galilee carpenter’s son Who boasted he was king, incensed the rabble to scoff:  I heard the noise from my garden.  This piece is the one he was on . . .  Yes, it blazes up well if lit with a few dry chips and shroff; And it’s worthless for much else, what with cuts and stains thereon.”


We are always saying
   “Good-bye, good-bye!”
In work, in playing,
In gloom, in gaying: 
   At many a stage
   Of pilgrimage
   From youth to age
   We say, “Good-bye,

We are undiscerning
   Which go to sigh,
Which will be yearning
For soon returning;
   And which no more
   Will dark our door,
   Or tread our shore,
   But go to die,
      To die.

Some come from roaming
   With joy again;
Some, who come homing
By stealth at gloaming,
   Had better have stopped
   Till death, and dropped
   By strange hands propped,
   Than come so fain,
      So fain.

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