Author:

Fame Is A Food That Dead Men Eat

Fame is a food that dead men eat,-
I have no stomach for such meat.
In little light and narrow room,
They eat it in the silent tomb,
With no kind voice of comrade near
To bid the banquet be of cheer.

But Friendship is a nobler thing,-
Of Friendship it is good to sing.
For truly, when a man shall end,
He lives in memory of his friend,
Who doth his better part recall,
And of his faults make funeral.

A Kiss

Rose kissed me to-day.
Will she kiss me tomorrow?
Let it be as it may,
Rose kissed me today.
But the pleasure gives way
To a savour of sorrow;-
Rose kissed me to-day,-
Will she kiss me tomorrow?

A Garden Song

HERE in this sequester’d close
Bloom the hyacinth and rose,
Here beside the modest stock
Flaunts the flaring hollyhock;
Here, without a pang, one sees
Ranks, conditions, and degrees.

All the seasons run their race
In this quiet resting-place;
Peach and apricot and fig
Here will ripen and grow big;
Here is store and overplus,–
More had not Alcinoüs!

Here, in alleys cool and green,
Far ahead the thrush is seen;
Here along the southern wall
Keeps the bee his festival;
All is quiet else–afar
Sounds of toil and turmoil are.

Here be shadows large and long;
Here be spaces meet for song;
Grant, O garden-god, that I,
Now that none profane is nigh,–
Now that mood and moment please,–
Find the fair Pierides!

Ballad Of The Armada

King Philip had vaunted his claims;
He had sworn for a year he would sack us;
With an army of heathenish names
He was coming to fagot and stack us;
Like the thieves of the sea he would track us,
And shatter our ships on the main;
But we had bold Neptune to back us–
And where are the galleons of Spain?

His carackes were christened of dames
To the kirtles whereof he would tack us;
With his saints and his gilded stern-frames
He had thought like an egg shell to crack us;
Now Howard may get to his Flaccus,
And Drake to his Devon again,
And Hawkins bowl rubbers to Bacchus–
For where are the galleons of Spain?

Let his Majesty hang to St. James
The axe that he whetted to hack us;
He must play at some lustier games
Or at sea he can hope to out-thwack us;
To his mines of Peru he would pack us
To tug at his bullet and chain;
Alas! that his Greatness should lack us!–
But where are the galleons of Spain?

A Song Of The Four Seasons

When Spring comes laughing
By vale and hill,
By wind-flower walking
And daffodil,-
Sing stars of morning,
Sing morning skies,
Sing blue of speedwell,-
And my Love’s eyes.

When comes the Summer,
Full-leaved and strong,
And gay birds gossip
The orchard long,-
Sing hid, sweet honey
That no bee sips;
Sing red, red roses,-
And my Love’s lips.

When Autumn scatters
The leaves again,
And piled sheaves bury
The broad-wheeled wain,-
Sing flutes of harvest
Where men rejoice;
Sing rounds of reapers,-
And my Love’s voice.

But when comes Winter
With hail and storm,
And red fire roaring
And ingle warm,-
Sing first sad going
Of friends that part;
Then sing glad meeting,-
And my Love’s heart.

For A Copy Of Theocritus

O SINGER of the field and fold,
Theocritus! Pan’s pipe was thine,—
Thine was the happier Age of Gold.

For thee the scent of new-turned mould,
The bee-hives, and the murmuring pine,
O Singer of the field and fold!

Thou sang’st the simple feasts of old,—
The beechen bowl made glad with wine…
Thine was the happier Age of Gold.

Thou bad’st the rustic loves be told,—
Thou bad’st the tuneful reeds combine,
O Singer of the field and fold!

And round thee, ever-laughing, rolled
The blithe and blue Sicilian brine…
Thine was the happier Age of Gold.

Alas for us! Our songs are cold;
Our Northern suns too sadly shine:—
O Singer of the field and fold,
Thine was the happier Age of Gold!

More Poets Yet!

‘More Poets yet!’-I hear him say,
Arming his heavy hand to slay;-
‘Despite my skill and ‘swashing blow,’
They seem to sprout where’er I go;-
I killed a host but yesterday!’

Slash on, O Hercules! You may.
Your task’s, at best, a Hydra-fray;
And though you cut, not less will grow
More Poets yet!

Too arrogant! For who shall stay
The first blind motions of the May?
Who shall out-blot the morning glow?-
Or stem the full heart’s overflow?
Who? There will rise, till Time decay,
More Poets yet!

O Fons Bandusae

O BABBLING Spring, than glass more clear,
Worthy of wreath and cup sincere,
To-morrow shall a kid be thine
With swelled and sprouting brows for sign,—
Sure sign!—of loves and battles near.

Child of the race that butt and rear!
Not less, alas! his life-blood dear
Must tinge thy cold wave crystalline,
O babbling Spring!

Thee Sirius knows not. Thou dost cheer
With pleasant cool the plough-worn steer,—
The wandering flock. This verse of mine
Will rank thee one with founts divine;
Men shall thy rock and tree revere,
O babbling Spring!

My Little Boy That Died

Look at his pretty face for just one minute !
His braided frock and dainty buttoned shoes,
His firm-shut hand, the favorite plaything in it,
Then, tell me, mothers, was it not hard to lose
And miss him from my side,—
My little boy that died?

How many another boy, as dear and charming,
His father’s hope, his mother’s one delight,
Slips through strange sicknesses, all fear disarming, And lives a long, long life in parents’ sight
Mine was so short a pride:
And then—my poor boy died.

I see him rocking on his wooden charger;
I hear him pattering through the house all day;
I watch his great blue eyes grow large and larger, Listening to stories, whether grave or gay
Told at the bright fireside—
So dark now, since he died.

But yet I often think my boy is living,
As living as my other children are.
When good-night kisses I all round am giving
I keep one for him, though he is so far.
Can a mere grave divide
Me from him—though he died?

So, while I come and plant it o’er with daisies
(Nothing but childish daisies all year round)
Continually God’s hand the curtain raises,
And I can hear his merry voice’s sound,
And I feel him at my side—
My little boy that died.

A Persian Apologue

Melek the sultan, tired and wan,
Nodded at noon on the divan.

Beside the fountain lingered near
Jamil the bard, and the vizier —

Old Yusuf, cross and hard to please;
Then Jamil sang, in words like these:

Slim is Butheina — slim is she
As boughs of the Araka-tree!

‘Nay,’ quoth the other, teeth between,
‘Learn, if you will — I call her lean.’

Sweet is Butheina — sweet as wine,
With smiles that like red bubbles shine!

‘True. — by the Prophet!’ Yusuf said.
‘She makes men wander in the head!’

Dear is Butheina — ah! more dear
Than all the maidens of Kashmeer!

‘Dear,’ came the answer, quick as thought,
‘Dear . . and yet always to be bought.’

So Jamil ceased. But still Life’s page
Shows diverse unto Youth and Age:

And, be the song of Ghouls or Gods,
Time, like the Sultan, sits . . and nods.