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 .

“I flash back phantoms of the night
   That sometimes flit by me,
I echo roses red and white —
   The loveliest blooms that be —
But now I never hold to sight
   So sweet a flower as she.”


They parted—­a pallid, trembling I pair,
   And rushing down the lane
He left her lonely near me there;
  —­I asked her of their pain.

“It is for ever,” at length she said,
   “His friends have schemed it so,
That the long-purposed day to wed
   Never shall we two know.”

“In such a cruel case,” said I,
   “Love will contrive a course?”
“—­Well, no . . .  A thing may underlie,
   Which robs that of its force;

“A thing I could not tell him of,
   Though all the year I have tried;
This:  never could I have given him love,
   Even had I been his bride.

“So, when his kinsfolk stop the way
   Point-blank, there could not be
A happening in the world to-day
   More opportune for me!

“Yet hear—­no doubt to your surprise —
   I am sorry, for his sake,
That I have escaped the sacrifice
   I was prepared to make!”


’Twas to greet the new rector I called I here,
   But in the arm-chair I see
My old friend, for long years installed here,
   Who palely nods to me.

The new man explains what he’s planning
   In a smart and cheerful tone,
And I listen, the while that I’m scanning
   The figure behind his own.

The newcomer urges things on me;
   I return a vague smile thereto,
The olden face gazing upon me
   Just as it used to do!

And on leaving I scarcely remember
   Which neighbour to-day I have seen,
The one carried out in September,
   Or him who but entered yestreen.


“[Greek text which cannot be reproduced]”

“A woman for whom great gods might strive!”
   I said, and kissed her there: 
And then I thought of the other five,
   And of how charms outwear.

I thought of the first with her eating eyes,
And I thought of the second with hers, green-gray,
And I thought of the third, experienced, wise,
And I thought of the fourth who sang all day.

And I thought of the fifth, whom I’d called a jade,
   And I thought of them all, tear-fraught;
And that each had shown her a passable maid,
   Yet not of the favour sought.

So I traced these words on the bark of a beech,
Just at the falling of the mast: 
“After scanning five; yes, each and each,
I’ve found the woman desired—­at last!”

“—­I feel a strange benumbing spell,
   As one ill-wished!” said she. 
And soon it seemed that something fell
   Was starving her love for me.

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