Title: Last Poems
Author: Laurence Hope
Release Date: February, 2004 [EBook #5125] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on May 5, 2002]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of the project gutenberg EBOOK, last poems ***
This eBook was produced by Gordon Keener.
Laurence Hope [Adela Florence Cory “Violet” Nicolson]
Dedication to Malcolm Nicolson
I, who of lighter love wrote many a verse,
Made public never words inspired by thee,
Lest strangers’ lips should carelessly rehearse
Things that were sacred and too dear to me.
Thy soul was noble; through these fifteen years
Mine eyes familiar, found no fleck nor flaw,
Stern to thyself, thy comrades’ faults and fears
Proved generously thine only law.
Small joy was I to thee; before we met
Sorrow had left thee all too sad to save.
Useless my love—as vain as this regret
That pours my hopeless life across thy grave.
Oh, Masters, you who rule the world,
Will you not wait with me awhile,
When swords are sheathed and sails are furled,
And all the fields with harvest smile?
I would not waste your time for long,
I ask you but, when you are tired,
To read how by the weak, the strong
Are weighed and worshipped and desired.
When weary of the Mart, the Loom,
The Withering-house, the Riffle-blocks,
The Barrack-square, the Engine-room,
The pick-axe, ringing on the rocks,—
When tents are pitched and work is done,
While restful twilight broods above,
By fresh-lit lamp, or dying sun,
See in my songs how women love.
We shared your lonely watch by night,
We knew you faithful at the helm,
Our thoughts went with you through the fight,
That saved a soul,—or wrecked a realm
Ah, how our hearts leapt forth to you,
In pride and joy, when you prevailed,
And when you died, serene and true:
—We wept in silence when you failed!
brain that did not gain the gold!
Oh, arm, that could not wield the sword,
Here is the love, that is not sold,
Here are the hearts to hail you Lord!
You played and lost the game? What then?
The rules are harsh and hard we know,
You, still, Oh, brothers, are the men
Whom we in secret reverence so.
Your work was waste? Maybe your share
Lay in the hour you laughed and kissed;
Who knows but what your son shall wear
The laurels that his father missed?