कविता – शिमल

शिमल जति बढे पनि घमन्डले चढे पनि
शिमल सेतै फुले पनि सेतै भुवा उडे पनि
अलि बढेर के भायो भुवा उडेर के भयो
सेतै फुलेर के भयो, सेतै झरेर के भयो
(१)
गुलाब मानको हुने शिमल फुलेर के हुने
घोचे पनि गुलाब हो शिमल बढेर के हुने
सेतै फुले के भयो न देवको न प्रित्तको
जति बढे नि के भयो न भित्रको न मित्रको
(२)
न काठको न फुलको न मोल तोलको कतै
न रंगको छ मोहनी छरेर बास्ना कतै
शिमल भुवा समानका न भित्र चित्त चेतना
शिमल बढे समानाका नि भित्र स्वच्छ भावना
(३)
बसन्तको बहार शिमल फुलेर आउला
शिमल बढेर ढुंगामा बसन्त राग गाउला
बनै शिमल मने शिमल शिमल छ चेतना पनि
छ अग्लिंदै कुकाठले बडो म भन्छ तैपनि
(४)
सेतो छ रंग फुलमा न बास्ना रंगको बसन्तको
दिगो दरो नदेखिने हुँदैन है जीवन्तको
नि टिप्नुको फुलेर मात्र के भयो
न लाएको न बिक्नु को टिढै गरेर के भयो
(५)
कुकाठ अग्लिंदै गए मोटो भएर के भयो
न गाबको न कामको ठूलै भएर के भयो
शिमल घमन्डमा फुले अदुरदर्शिता पनि
जति बढेर के भो शिमल घमन्डका धनी
(६)
शिमल जति बढे पनि मोटो कु काठ काम खै
ठूलो भएर के भयो लुतो कुकाठ नामकै
शिमल पलाउँदै गए महु बडा बडी रहँु
शिमल समानका हुँदै म उच्चमा चढिरहँु
(७)
कुकाठ सल्किंदै गए शिमल हल्लक हल्कियो
शिमल मोटोे हल्केको बढो विचित्र हल्कियो
दलिन नयाँ दरा बरा शिमल हेरेर हुन्न है
न शिरको न पीरको शिमल झरेर जान्छ है
(८)
शिमल झरेर के भयो क्षति रति हुँदैन है
न गाबको बढे पनि आदर्श भन्न हुन्न है
कति झरे कति छरे भुवा समान दर्शन
शिमल बढा म हुँ कैै घमन्ड फूल्छ जीवन
(९)
न छो न छो शिमल भुवा हावा बनेर उड्नु है
अझै अझङगका बनि शिमल समान बन्नु है
शिमल बढेर के भयो सेतै फुलेर के भयो
शिमल ढलेर के भयो शिमल बढेर के भयो

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poem – nanda’s darling child

Who can contain his joy, say, on seeing the lotus-like lovely face of Nanda’s darling child when he awakes?

His beauty infatuates sages,and destroys the pride of Kama, it captivates the hearts of hundreds of young girls. When he softly smiles the gleam of his teeth seems as though rubies have been stringed with pearls.

When my Lord, Nanda’s lovely child goes out, says Suradasa, the people of Braj are bewitched by his loveliness.

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कविता – ब्लेकहोल र मेरो देश

मेरो देश परिवेश तिरै
बहुला दौडे जस्तै
र्‍याल बगाउँदै पुच्छर लुकाउँदै
अनाहारी शिशु माथि
सिंहराजले झम्टे जस्तै
झम्टिने योजना बोकेर
दिन दोब्बर रात चौब्बर
ब्लेक होल दौडिरहेछ
मेरै देशतिर मेरै परिवेश तिर
खै प्रतिवादको फर्मुला
त्वम शरंणं प्रार्थना गर्दै
कायन बाचा भन्दै
नदीको जलले
तराईको मलिलो माटोले
सिमारेखा वरिपरी
जजो गर्दा छोटिएका हातहरूले
कुर्सीको लागि
त्वम शरणं मनहरूले
गंगाजल सेवन गर्दै
तुलसी मठको माटोले
अञ्जी भदै मान्छेहरू
प्रार्थना गर्दैछन्
खै त के भो? ब्लेकहोल आइरहेछ
ब्लेकहोलले सूर्यचन्द्र खान सक्छ
ताराहरू खान सक्छ
मलाई मात्र होइन
तिमीलाई पनि निल्न सक्छ
बलभद्रको किल्ला साक्षी छ
कांगडाको किला साक्षी छ
अमरसिंहको विवेक सँगै
वीरहरूको पथप्रदर्शन साक्षी छ
अब हामीले
मुटु साटौं बलभद्रसँग
खुकुरी मागौं
गज घलेहरूसँग
खुकुरी आफ्नै उदिनमा
उदाउन सक्छौं
अमरसिंहको विवेकले
प्रतिपाद गर्न सक्छौं
सबै भक्षी
ब्लेकहोलसँग
सर्वभक्षी
ब्लेकहोल सँग

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कविता – विवशता

एउटा फरक यात्रामा निस्किरहँदा
वासनादार
फूलका सुगन्धहरुले
स्वागतका मुस्कान छरिरहे।
सिमसिमे
बर्षातका लहरहरुले
निस्किरहने फोहोर धोइरहे।
अप्ठ्यारा
पहाडका गोरेटाहरुले
गजबको ताली ठोकिरहे।
गरीबका
निचोरिएका आँखाहरुले
परिवर्तनको आशा बोकिरहे।
निम्छरो
निभिरहेका चूलाहरुले
उज्यालोको अनुभूति खोजिरहे।
अफसोच!
यात्राका बीचहरुमा
बाटोका घुम्तीहरुमा
भुल्भुलैयाहरु
अवरोध बनी अल्भि्करहे।
छिस्केनी मात्र होइन
काँडेतारका तारबार भित्र
दबिएका मह140वकांक्षाहरु
इच्छाशक्तिका तासहरु
उभिएर रोक्न खोजे
ठट्टा गर्न खोजिरहे।
त्यतिबेलै
तिमीहरु सबै
गर्ल्यामगुर्लुम ढलिरहँदा
म त एक्लै
उभिइरहें।

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गजल

नठान्नु आकाश शुन्य हुन्छ एक तारा टुट्दैमा
हाम्रो यात्रा रोकिंदैन केही यात्री छुट्दैमा

लाखौं फूलको बगैंचामा एउटा फुल झरे के भो
थाल बनाउन रोकिंदैन टपरीहरू खुट्दैमा

जुन रूखले हिजो ओत्यो आज त्यही काटे पनि
अमर छ आस्था हाम्रो मर्दैन त्यो चुट्दैमा

कायरहरू अप्ठ्यारोमा हातखुट्टा कमाउछन
आउने छैन बाढी पहिरो बर्खे मूल फुट्दैमा

हिजो जसकेा वरिपरि घुम्थ्यौ पुच्छर हल्लाउँदै
नसोच तर्सन्छ बाघ दुईचार फ्याउरा जुट्दैमा

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गजल – कमला क्षत्री

गरिबको श्रम, सीप सामन्तीले खान्छ किन
श्रम गर्ने श्रमिकको पसिना खेर जान्छ किन

वर्षभरी दुःखगरी उब्जाएको अन्नबाली
हरेक वर्ष साहुलेनै भरीभरी लान्छ किन

सधैभरी साहुकै काममा साँझविहान खान छैन
एकदिन काममा नजाँदा नी हप्काएर तान्छ किन

गरिबमारा ठालुहरुलाई न त नियम कानुन लाग्छ
अबुझ बनी गरिबैले उसलाई अझै मान्छ किन

उठौं मजदुर किसानहरु पसिनाको मूल्य लिन
खोजौं अझै समाजमा शोषककै सान छ किन

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कविता – एउटा सपना देख्ने मान्छे

 

एउटा सपना देख्ने मान्छे
एक दिन उसले
एउटा सपना देख्यो
संघीयताको !
संघीयता भित्र आफ्नो राज्यको !
त्यो राज्य भित्रको उ एउटा हकदार !!!
त्यसैले
उ आफ्नो राज्यको मनोरम पहाडवाट
सेता झर्नाहरू खसेको देख्यो
पाखाहरूमा चेलीहरूको मिठो भाका पायो
चौपारी र देउरालीहरूमा
वाँसुरीको गुन्जन सुन्यो
हरिया डाडा माथी
गुरासका थुड्डा चुम्दै
आफ्नो राज्य भित्र
रातो घाम उदाएको देख्यो।
राज्य प्राप्तीका उल्लास सँगै
रड्डीन वेलुनहरू आकासमा उडाएर
आफ्नो राज्यको नागरीकहरूले
भव्य उत्सव मनाएको हेर्यो।

अर्को दिन उसले
फेरी पनि सपना देख्यो
उही संघीयताकोे !
जहाँ हर्केले वन्दुक वोकेर गर्जदै थियो ,
“यो मेरो राज्य हो।”
फरी अर्को ठाउँमा विर्खेले खुकुरी नचाउँदै थियो,
“मेरो राज्य खोई?”
एउटा सपना देख्ने मान्छे
उसको सपनामा
उसले भाला र लाठी वोकेका
रक्तरञ्जित मान्छेहरू देख्यो
धनुकाँद भिरेका
आदिवासी जनजातिहरू देख्यो
उसको सपनाको यो अध्यायमा
वेलुन उडेको आकाशभरी
लडाकु विमान हरूको आतंक मडारियो
यसरी उ आफ्नो राज्यको कालो पहाडवाट
रगतको खोला वगेको देख्यो
पाखाहरूमा चेलीहरूको रोदन र चित्कार सुन्यो।

देउराली र चौपारीहरूमा
युवाहरूको विभत्स लाश भेटयो
उसले देखेको संघीयताको सपनामा
उसको राज्यको मनोरम पहाड भत्कीयो
गुराँसका थुड्डाहरू सवै झरे
उसको राज्यको देउराली र चौपारीहरू पनि हराए
उसको राज्यको रातो घाम
क्षितिज पारी गएर विलायो
संघीयताको महाद्धन्दवाट निस्किएको
अशान्तिको शोक धुन सँगै
उसको राज्यको मानचित्रै समेत मेटियो

अचम्म !
उस्तैमा उसको सपनाको
अर्को नविन अध्याय शरू भयो।
एउटा सपना देख्ने मान्छे
अव उसको सपनामा
आकाश थर्काउने मेघको गर्जन सँगै
मोर्चामा उभिएका सहासिला योद्धाहरू देख्यो
धर्ती हल्लाउने भुइचालुका संर्घष सँगै
न्यायप्रेमी जनताहरूका आँतीला पदचाप देख्यो
उसले ज–जसलाई देख्यो
उनिहरूको एउटै हुँकार थियो
संघीयता चाहिंदैन !
यो हुँकार झन् झन् बुलन्द हुदै थियो
मान्छेहरूको पदचाप झन् झन् तेज हुँदै थियो।
अखन्ड नेपालको रक्षा गर्न
अव उसको सपनामा
हर्के पनि कुर्लदै सामेल भएको देख्यो
विर्खे पनि हर्के सँग जुर्रमुराएको पायो
एउटा सपना देख्ने मान्छे
उ पनि के काम थियो र?
संघीयता चाहिदैन भन्दै
सवैभन्दा अगाडि मोर्चामा
रातो कात्रो बाँधेर उभियो।

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कविता – खै के भनु?

अन्धकार चिर्दै
बन्धनहरू तोड्दै
अगाडि बढिरहेको बेला
अनेकौं मोडहरू पार गर्दै
शिखर चढिरहेको बेला
चटक्क यात्रा छोड्नेहरूलाई
ईतिहासलाई हिलो छ्यापी
ल73य मोड्ने हरूलाई
खै के भनु?

विजारोपण दोषको
के नौलो भयो र?
समय–समयका बर्बरहाटहरू
जसको प्रतिवाद तिमी पनि गर्‍यौ
उही पुराना शैलीले
उस्तै अफवा फैलाउँदै
रक्त रञ्जित झन्डा छोड्नेहरूलाई
सहयात्रीको नाता तोड्नेहरूलाई
खै के भनु?

अवसरवादका लप्काहरूलाई
विचारको रातो टालोले छोप्दै
महल पजेरो खोज्नेहरूलाई
सरल बाटो रोज्नेहरूलाई
खै के भनु?

पदप्रतिष्ठाको निम्ति
ऐस आरामको निम्ति
भित्र–भित्र सडेर
गिद्ध घुमाउनेहरूलाई
यात्राको नियम तोडेर
साहसको गाथा सुनाउनेहरूलाई
खै के भनु ?
खैके भनु?

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poem – epitaph on thomas parnell

THIS tomb, inscrib’d to gentle Parnell’s name,
May speak our gratitude, but not his fame.
What heart but feels his sweetly-moral lay,
That leads to truth through pleasure’s flowery way!
Celestial themes confess’d his tuneful aid;
And Heaven, that lent him genius, was repaid.
Needless to him the tribute we bestow —
The transitory breath of fame below:
More lasting rapture from his works shall rise,
While Converts thank their poet in the skies.

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poem – epitaph on edward purdon

HERE lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,
Who long was a bookseller’s hack;
He led such a damnable life in this world, —
I don’t think he’ll wish to come back.

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poem – the poet laberius

WHAT! no way left to shun th’ inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age!
Scarce half alive, oppress’d with many a year,
What in the name of dotage drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside;
Unaw’d by pow’r, and unappall’d by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honour dear;
But this vile hour disperses all my store,
And all my hoard of honour is no more.
For ah! too partial to my life’s decline,
Caesar persuades, submission must be mine;
Him I obey, whom heaven itself obeys,
Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclin’d to please.
Here then at once, I welcome every shame,
And cancel at threescore a life of fame;
No more my titles shall my children tell,
The old buffoon will fit my name as well;
This day beyond its term my fate extends,
For life is ended when our honour ends.

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kavita – jaado

एक्लै छु म
र दिल्लीको सडकमा गर्मी पस्दैन
म बसेको
पाँचतारे होटेलको
दुई सय चौध नम्बरको कोठामा ।
झुग्गीका मानिसहरुको
जाँड खाने भट्टी होईन
एक्लो छु
एक्लै
टेलिभिजनको पर्दा
टेबुल—लाईट
पङ्खा, एअरकुलर
रक्सीका बोलत
हट डग र ह्याम्बर्गर
सबैसँग आनन्द गर्न सक्छु,
लबी म्यानेजर सुन्दरीका आँखामा
अल्झन सक्छु
खै मेरा ओछयानका उपियाँहरु ?
खै मेरो गर्मी ?
खै मेरो जाडो ?
र र्खै उदास आँखा लगाएर
हिजोदेखि भोकै बसेको मेरो भाइ ?
खै मेरा प्रिय मित्रहरु
जससँग हल्लँदा पनि
अनुभव हुन्छ —म बाँचेको छु ।
बाँचेको छु
तिनै हल्ला र काठमाडौका गल्लीहरुमा
बसेको छु एक्लंै तपस्यारत बुद्धझै
समाधि कसेर दिल्लीको पाँचतारे होटेलमा
र सोच्दैछु
किस्ने छेत्रीले किन माग्यो
मेरो भिजिटिङ कार्ड ?
बाथ टवमा नुहाउँछु
र मलाई सम्झना हुन्छ भक्केमुलाको
लिफ्बाट घरी उक्लेको छु
घरी ओर्लेको छु
र मलाई सम्झना हुन्छ
मेरो घरको लिस्नुको
जसबाट कति पटक पछारिएको छु भुइँमा
बोलेको छु अङ्गेजीमा सिगार च्यापेका ओठले
मलाई कलकत्ते तमाखु राखेर
माइली मैयाँले दिएको
बुट्टेदार सुल्पाको सम्झना हुन्छ ।
बाहिर मानिसहरु मर्दै छन्
तातो हावाको लहरले
र भित्र जाडो छ ।

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kavita – antim yuddha

चमेराहरू झुन्डिइराखुन् रूखका हाँगाहरूमा
आकाशलाई पाताल र पाताललाई आकाश बनाइरहुन्
ढोईलाई लगाएर अघि–अघि
अभयारण्यमा लम्किरहोस् मत्त हात्ती
बघिनीहरू घुमफिर गरून् आफ्नो प्रिय जङ्गलमा
र स्नेह गरून् आ–आफ्ना डमरुलाई
हिउँदको चिसोमा
माटाको न्यानो गर्भमा
गुप्त बास बसुन्
या घाम ताप्न निस्कुन् सर्पहरू
स्यालहरू कुदून् बेतोडले
म्याराथुन धावकझैँे
पण्डितहरू मन्दिर जाऊन् या पादरीहरू चर्चतिर
प्रार्थना गरून् वा वर मागुन् आ–आफ्नो ईश्वरसँग
मलाई आपत्ति छैन शासकहरू हो !
यो संसार सबैको हो ।
तर राति झ्यालबाट पसेर चोरझैँ
मेरा जुँगा चाट्न हुन्न चमेराहरूले
मन्त्रीको आदेशमा डाँकाले झैँ
सुकुम्बासी गाउँ नउजाडुन् हात्तीहरूले
खोरका घारहरू फुकालेर
सुत्केरी बाख्राको कल्चौँडो खान हुन्न बघिनीहरूले
सानो दुधे शिशुलाई आँगनमा सुताएर
काममा गएकी छ उसकी आमा
फर्केपछि देख्नु नपरोस्
आफ्नो प्रिय शिशुको छातीमा
सर्पदंशका डोबहरू
कुनै किसानले पालेको कुखुरा
सुटुक्क चोरेर
खोल्सामा लगेर आफ्नो भोक तृप्त गर्न पाइँदैन स्यालहरूले
पण्डितहरू पनि बुझून्—मानिसको बलि दिनु हुन्न
पादरी वा मौलवीहरू पनि बुझून्—
अर्काको आयु ताछेर
आफ्नो आयुमा थप्न पाइन्न
यो संसार सबैको हो ।
संसार सबैको हो भने
मेरो पनि हो संसार
तर मेरो भाग खोसेर कसैले खायो भने
म तयार छु अन्तिम युद्घ गर्न
अन्तिम युद्घ अर्थात निर्णायक युद्घ
जसले फैसला गर्नेछ हारजितको
ए जङ्गल शासक र शिकारी शासकहरू हो !
मेरो सबैभन्दा तीखो हतियार
नैतिकता हो ।

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kavita – waripari

देशे बेचेर आफ्नो छोरालाई घडेरी किन्नेहरु छन् वरिपरि
अर्काको काँधमा चढेर सगरमाथा आरोहण गर्नेहरु छन् वरिपरि
जोताएर तमाम मानिसहरुलाई किसान बन्नेहरु छन् वरिपरि
भोक्दै छु एकनाससँग
मलाई लुछ्दै गइरहेका किर्ना, जुम्रा र बिच्छीहरु झैं
केही बाबुहरु छन् वरिपरि ।
हावामा झुलिरहेछन् प्लाष्टिकका रङ्गीन फूलहरु
र जबरजस्ती चुँडिएर
पूजाकोठाको मूर्तिमा चढाइएका छन् सृष्टिका सुन्दर शिशुहरु
परन्तु निःशब्द मानिसहरुको लाटो भीड छ वरिपरि
निहत्था आमाहरुको जमात छ वरिपरि
र ग्रह घुमिरहेका उपग्रहहरु छन् वरिपरि
केही बाबुहरु छन् वरिपरि ।
यो कहाँ हो ?
कहाँ छु म ?
र कहाँ छ यहाँको मानवबस्ती ?
कतिहजार कोष टाढा फैलिएको छ यो अँध्यारो जङ्गल ?
को सँग सोधूँ, कहिले पुगिन्छ मानिसहरुको बस्तीमा ?
यहाँ त केही ताजमहलहरु छन्
जो बनाउँदा काटिए हातहरु कर्मीका
केवल ठुटा हात भएका कलाकारहरु छन् वरिपरि
इतिहास बन्दै गएका केही मानवकृतिहरु छन् वरिपरि
अकुत सम्पत्तिको समुद्रमा पौडिरहेका केही बाबुहरु छन् वरिपरि ।
छद्म समाजसेवीहरु छन् वरिपरि
मृत्यु—घण्टाको रालो अँठयाएर
जबरजस्ती बाँचिरहेका सिकारी चितुवाहरु छन् वरिपरि
सधै घातक खेलमा व्यस्त
व्यूह रचना गरिरहेका केही दुष्टहरु छन् वरिपरि
आगो चोरेको आरोपमा मानिसलाई सजाय दिन सधै उत्सुक
सिकारी द्यौताहरु छन् वरिपरि
केही बाबुहरु र उनका
प्रिय नातेदारहरु छन् वरिपरि ।

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kavita – maag

मैले सारिसकें आफूलाई तिमीमा
मेरो प्रिय छोरा
अब म जन्मिसकें तिमी भएर
फेरि पलाइसके केशहरु मेरा
फेरि तिखारिएको छ आवाज मेरो
म फेरि खोज्न थालेको छु
मलाई खेल्न चाहिने
पर्याप्त मैदान ।
पुनर्जन्मको खोजमा डुल्दाडुल्दै
भेटिएकी थिइन् तिम्री आमा
उस्तै त हुन्छन् हरेक आमाहरु
मेरी आमा कलावतीजस्तै
तिम्री आमा शारदा जस्तै
स्नेह, करुणा र ममताले परिपूर्ण
तर तिम्री आमाजस्तै किताबहरु
जब तिमी खोज्छौ
र भेटिन्नन् कतै पनि
त्यस बेला
म फेरि खोज्न थाल्छु
तिम्रो लागि किताबहरु ।
ओह । म चञ्चल हुन फेरि उदाइसकें
उफ्रिन, कुदन र जुलुसमा नारा लगाउन
र केही वर्षपछि
म फेरि प्रेम गर्नेछु
कुनै प्रेमवती किशोरीसँग
त्यति बेला तिमी सार्नेछौ आफूलाई
आफ्नो नवजात शिशुसँग
र म अर्को पटक
समाहित भइसक्नेछु उसमा ।
तर अझैं
जब म हेर्छु तिमीलाई
दगुर्न नपुग्ने यस साँघुरो कोठामा
घरी यता, घरी उता गरिरहँदा
चुरचुर भएर खस्छ
मेरो अमरताको अभिमान,
तसर्थ म माग गर्दछु
यस महान् प्रजातन्त्रमा
आफ्ना निम्ति पर्याप्त मैदान ।

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poem – hymn 149

The offices of Christ. From several scriptures.

Join all the names of love and power
That ever men or angels bore,
All are too mean to speak his worth,
Or set lmmannel’s glory forth.

But O what condescending ways
He takes to teach his heav’nly grace
My eyes with joy and wonder see
What forms of love he bears for me.

[The Angel of the cov’nant stands
With his commission in his hands,
Sent from his Father’s milder throne,
To make the great salvation known.]

[Great Prophet! let me bless thy name;
By thee the joyful tidings came
Of wrath appeased, of sins forgiv’n,
Of hell subdued, and peace with heav’n.]

[My bright Example and my Guide,
I would be walking near thy side;
O let me never run astray,
Nor follow the forbidden way!]

[I love my Shepherd, he shall keep
My wand’ring soul among his sheep;
He feeds his flock, he calls their names,
And in his bosom bears the lambs.]

[My Surety undertakes my cause,
Answering his Father’s broken laws:
Behold my soul at freedom set,
My Surety paid the dreadful debt.]

[Jesus, my great High Priest, has died;
I seek no sacrifice beside;
His blood did once for all atone,
And now it pleads before the throne.]

[My Advocate appears on high,
The Father lays his thunder by;
Not all that earth or hell can say
Shall turn my Father’s heart away.]

[My Lord, my Conqueror, and my King!
Thy sceptre and thy sword I sing;
Thine is the vict’ry, and I sit
A joyful subject at thy feet.]

[Aspire, my soul, to glorious deeds,
The Captain of salvation leads;
March on, nor fear to win the day,
Though death and hell obstruct the way.]

[Should death, and hell, and powers unknown,
Put all their forms of mischief on,
I shall be safe; for Christ displays
Salvation in more sovereign ways.]

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poem – psalm 45 part 2

Christ and his church.

The King of saints, how fair his face,
Adorned with majesty and grace!
He comes with blessings from above,
And wins the nations to his love.

At his right hand our eyes behold
The queen arrayed in purest gold;
The world admires her heav’nly dress,
Her robe of joy and righteousness.

He forms her beauties like his own;
He calls and seats her near his throne:
Fair stranger, let thine heart forget
The idols of thy native state.

So shall the King the more rejoice
In thee, the favorite of his choice;
Let him be loved, and yet adored,
For he’s thy Maker and thy Lord.

O happy hour, when thou shalt rise
To his fair palace in the skies,
And all thy sons (a numerous train)
Each like a prince in glory reign!

Let endless honors crown his head;
Let every age his praises spread;
While we with cheerful songs approve
The condescensions of his love.

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poem – psalm 91 part 1

v.1-7
L. M.
Safety in public diseases and dangers.

He that hath made his refuge God
Shall find a most secure abode,
Shall walk all day beneath his shade,
And there at night shall rest his head.

Then will I say, “My God, thy power
Shall be my fortress and my tower;
I, that am formed of feeble dust,
Make thine almighty arm my trust.”

Thrice happy man! thy Maker’s care
Shall keep thee from the fowler’s snare;
Satan, the fowler, who betrays
Unguarded souls a thousand ways.

Just as a hen protects her brood
From birds of prey that seek their blood,
Under her feathers, so the Lord
Makes his own arm his people’s guard.

If burning beams of noon conspire
To dart a pestilential fire,
God is their life; his wings are spread
To shield them with a healthful shade.

If vapors with malignant breath
Rise thick, and scatter midnight death,
Isr’el is safe; the poisoned air
Grows pure, if Isr’el’s God be there.

PAUSE.

What though a thousand at thy side,
At thy right hand ten thousand died,
Thy God his chosen people saves
Amongst the dead, amidst the graves.

So when he sent his angel down
To make his wrath in Egypt known,
And slew their sons, his careful eye
Passed all the doors of Jacob by.

But if the fire, or plague, or sword,
Receive commission from the Lord
To strike his saints among the rest,
Their very pains and deaths are blest.

The sword, the pestilence, or fire,
Shall but fulfil their best desire;
From sins and sorrows set them free,
And bring thy children, Lord, to thee.

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poem – psalm 77 part 1

Melancholy assaulting, and hope prevailing.

To God I cried with mournful voice,
I sought his gracious ear,
In the sad day when troubles rose,
And filled the night with fear.

Sad were my days, and dark my nights,
My soul refused relief;
I thought on God the just and wise,
But thoughts increased my grief.

Still I complained, and still oppressed,
My heart began to break;
My God, thy wrath forbade my rest,
And kept my eyes awake.

My overwhelming sorrows grew,
Till I could speak no more;
Then I within myself withdrew,
And called thy judgments o’er.

I called back years and ancient times
When I beheld thy face;
My spirit searched for secret crimes
That might withhold thy grace.

I called thy mercies to my mind
Which I enjoyed before;
And will the Lord no more be kind?
His face appear no more?

Will he for ever cast me off?
His promise ever fail?
Has he forgot his tender love?
Shall anger still prevail?

But I forbid this hopeless thought;
This dark, despairing frame,
Rememb’ring what thy hand hath wrought;
Thy hand is still the same.

I’ll think again of all thy ways,
And talk thy wonders o’er;
Thy wonders of recovering grace,
When flesh could hope no more.

Grace dwells with justice on the throne;
And men that love thy word
Have in thy sanctuary known
The counsels of the Lord.

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poem – psalm 48 part 1

v.1-8
S. M.
The church is the honor and safety of a nation.

[Great is the Lord our God,
And let his praise be great;
He makes his churches his abode,
His most delightful seat.

These temples of his grace,
How beautiful they stand!
The honors of our native place,
And bulwarks of our land.]

In Zion God is known,
A refuge in distress;
How bright has his salvation shone
Through all her palaces!

When kings against her joined,
And saw the Lord was there,
In wild confusion of the mind
They fled with hasty fear.

When navies tall and proud
Attempt to spoil our peace,
He sends his tempests roaring loud,
And sinks them in the seas.

Oft have our fathers told,
Our eyes have often seen,
How well our God secures the fold
Where his own sheep have been.

In every new distress
We’ll to his house repair;
We’ll think upon his wondrous grace,
And seek deliv’rance there.

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poem – psalm 33 part 2

Creatures vain, and God all-sufficient.

Blest is the nation where the Lord
Hath fixed his gracious throne,
Where he reveals his heav’nly word,
And calls their tribes his own.

His eye with infinite survey
Does the whole world behold;
He formed us all of equal clay,
And knows our feeble mold.

Kings are not rescued by the force
Of armies from the grave;
Nor speed nor courage of a horse
Can the bold rider save.

Vain is the strength of beasts or men,
To hope for safety thence;
But holy souls from God obtain
A strong and sure defence.

God is their fear, and God their trust;
When plagues or famine spread,
His watchful eye secures the just
Among ten thousand dead.

Lord, let our hearts in thee rejoice,
And bless us from thy throne;
For we have made thy word our choice,
And trust thy grace alone.

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poem – psalm 129

Persecutors punished.

Up from my youth, may Isr’el say,
Have I been nursed in tears;
My griefs were constant as the day,
And tedious as the years.

Up from my youth I bore the rage
Of all the sons of strife;
Oft they assailed my riper age,
But not destroyed my life.

Their cruel plow had torn my flesh
With furrows long and deep;
Hourly they vexed my wounds afresh,
Nor let my sorrows sleep.

The Lord grew angry on his throne,
And, with impartial eye,
Measured the mischiefs they had done,
Then let his arrows fly.

How was their insolence surprised
To hear his thunders roll!
And all the foes of Zion seized
With horror to the soul!

Thus shall the men that hate the saints
Be blasted from the sky;
Their glory fades, their courage faints
And all their projects die.

[What though they flourish tall and fair,
They have no root beneath;
Their growth shall perish in despair,
And lie despised in death.]

[So corn that on the house-top stands
No hope of harvest gives;
The reaper ne’er shall fill his hands,
Nor binder fold the sheaves.

It springs and withers on the place;
No traveller bestows
A word of blessing on the grass,
Nor minds it as he goes.]

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poem – hymn 30

Prayer for deliverance answered.

Isa. 26:12,20,21.

In thine own ways, O God of love,
We wait the visits of thy grace,
Our soul’s desire is to thy name,
And the remembrance of thy face.

My thoughts are searching, Lord, for thee
‘Mongst the black shades of lonesome night;
My earnest cries salute the skies
Before the dawn restore the light.

Look, how rebellious men deride
The tender patience of my God!
But they shall see thy lifted hand,
And feel the scourges of thy rod.

Hark! the Eternal rends the sky,
A mighty voice before him goes;
A voice of music to his friends,
But threat’ning thunder to his foes.

Come, children, to your Father’s arms,
Hide in the chambers of my grace,
Till the fierce storms be overblown,
And my revenging fury cease.

My sword shall boast its thousands slain,
And drink the blood of haughty kings,
While heav’nly peace around my flock
Stretches its soft and shady wings.

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poem – psalm 112

The blessings of the liberal man.

That man is blest who stands in awe
Of God, and loves his sacred law:
His seed on earth shall be renowned;
His house the seat of wealth shall be,
An inexhausted treasury,
And with successive honors crowned.

His lib’ral favors he extends,
To some he gives, to others lends;
A gen’rous pity fills his mind:
Yet what his charity impairs,
He saves by prudence in affairs
And thus he’s just to all mankind.

His hands, while they his alms bestowed,
His glory’s future harvest sowed;
The sweet remembrance of the just,
Like a green root, revives and bears
A train of blessings for his heirs,
When dying nature sleeps in dust.

Beset with threat’ning dangers round,
Unmoved shall he maintain his ground;
His conscience holds his courage up:
The soul that’s filled with virtue’s light,
Shines brightest in affliction’s night,
And sees in darkness beams of hope.

PAUSE.

[Ill tidings never can surprise
His heart that fixed on God relies,
Though waves and tempests roar around:
Safe on the rock he sits, and sees
The shipwreck of his enemies,
And all their hope and glory drowned.

The wicked shall his triumph see,
And gnash their teeth in agony,
To find their expectations crossed;
They and their envy, pride, and spite,
Sink down to everlasting night,
And all their names in darkness lost.]

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poem – hymn 42

Divine wrath and mercy.

Nah. 1:1-3; Heb. 12:29.

Adore and tremble, for our God
Is a consuming fire!
His jealous eyes his wrath inflame,
And raise his vengeance higher.

Almighty vengeance, how it burns!
How bright his fury glows!
Vast magazines of plagues and storms
Lie treasured for his foes.

Those heaps of wrath, by slow degrees,
Are forced into a flame;
But kindled, oh! how fierce they blaze!
And rend all nature’s frame.

At his approach the mountains flee,
And seek a wat’ry grave;
The frighted sea makes haste away,
And shrinks up every wave.

Through the wide air the weighty rocks
Are swift as hailstones hurled;
Who dares engage his fiery rage
That shakes the solid world?

Yet, mighty God, thy sovereign grace
Sits regent on the throne;
The refuge of thy chosen race
When wrath comes rushing down.

Thy hand shall on rebellious kings
A fiery tempest pour,
While we beneath thy shelt’ring wings
Thy just revenge adore.

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poem – hymn 120

Faith of things unseen.

Heb. 11

Faith is the brightest evidence
Of things beyond our sight,
Breaks through the clouds of flesh and sense,
And dwells in heav’nly light.

It sets times past in present view,
Brings distant prospects home,
Of things a thousand years ago,
Or thousand years to come.

By faith we know the worlds were made
By God’s almighty word;
Abram, to unknown countries led,
By faith obeyed the Lord.

He sought a city fair and high,
Built by th’ eternal hands,
And faith assures us, though we die,
That heav’nly building stands.

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poem – hymn 84

Salvation, righteousness, and strength in Christ.

Isa. 45:21-25.

Jehovah speaks! let Isr’el hear;
Let all the earth rejoice and fear,
While God’s eternal Son proclaims
His sovereign honors and his names.

“I am the last, and I the first,
The Savior God, and God the just;
There’s none beside pretends to show
Such justice and salvation too.

[“Ye that in shades of darkness dwell,
Just on the verge of death and hell,
Look up to me from distant lands;
Light, life, and heav’n are in my hands.

“I by my holy name have sworn,
Nor shall the word in vain return;
To me shall all things bend the knee,
And every tongue shall swear to me.]

“In me alone shall men confess
Lies all their strength and righteousness;
But such as dare despise my name,
I’ll clothe them with eternal shame.

“In me, the Lord, shall all the seed
Of Isr’el from their sins be freed;
And by their shining graces prove
Their int’rest in my pard’ning love.”

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poem – hymn 131

The Pharisee and publican.

Luke 18:10ff.

Saints, at your heav’nly Father’s word
Give up your comforts to the Lord;
Behold how sinners disagree,
The publican and Pharisee!
One doth his righteousness proclaim,
The other owns his guilt and shame.

This man at humble distance stands,
And cries for grace with lifted hands
That boldly rises near the throne,
And talks of duties he has done.

The Lord their diff’rent language knows,
And diff’rent answers he bestows;
The humble soul with grace he crowns,
Whilst on the proud his anger frowns.

Dear Father! let me never be
Joined with the boasting Pharisee;
I have no merits of my own
But plead the suff’rings of thy Son.

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poem – the female god

We curl into your eyes-
They drink our files and have never drained :
In the fierce forest of your hair
Our desires beat blindly for their treasure.

In your eyes’ subtle pit,
Far down, glimmer our souls ;
And your hair like massive forest trees
Shadows our pulses, overtired and dumb.

Like a candle lost in an electric glare
Our spirits tread your eyes’ infinities :
In the wrecking waves of your tumultuous locks
Do you not hear the moaning of our pulses ?

Queen ! Goddess! Animal!
In sleep do your dreams battle with our souls ?
When your hair is spread like a lover on the pillow
Do not our jealous pulses wake between ?

You have dethroned the ancient God,
You have usurped his Sabbath, his common days;
Yea, every moment is delivered to you,
Our Temple, our Eternal, our one God !

Our souls have passed into your eyes,
Our days into your hair;
And you, our rose-deaf prison, are very pleased with the world,
Your world.

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poem – the one lost

I mingle with your bones:
You steal in subtle noose
This lighted dust .Jehovah loans
And now I lose.

What will the Lender say
When I shall not be found,
Safe-sheltered at the Judgment Day,
Being in you bound ?

he’ll hunt through wards of Heaven,
Call to uncoffined earth
‘Where is this soul, unjudged, not given
Dole for good’s dearth?’

And I, lying so safe
Within you, hearing all,
To have cheated God shall laugh,
Freed by your thrall.

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poem – the nun

So thy soul’s meekness shrinks,
Too loth to show her face-
Why should she shun the world ?
It is a holy place.

Concealed to itself
If the flower kept its scent,
Of itself amorous,
Less rich its ornament.

Use-utmost in each kind-
Is beauty, truth in one,
While soul rays light to soul
In one God-linked sun.

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poem – a mood

You are so light and gay,
So slight, sweet maid-
Your limbs like leaves in play,
Or beams that grasses braid :
O ! Joys whose jewels pray
My breast to be inlaid.

Frail fairy of the streets ;
Strong, dainty lure;
For all men’s eyes the sweets
Whose lack makes hearts so poor ;
While your heart loveless beats.
Light, laughing, and impure.

O ! Fragrant waft of flesh,
Float through me so-
My limbs are in your mesh,
My blood forgets to flow ;
Ah ! Lilied meadows fresh,
It knows where it would go.

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poem – the troop ship

Grotesque and queerly huddled
Contortionists to twist
The sleepy soul to a sleep,
We lie all sorts of ways
And cannot sleep.
The wet wind is so cold,
And the lurching men so careless,
That, should you drop to a doze,
Winds’ fumble or men’s feet
Are on your face.

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poem – of any old man

Wreck not the ageing heart of quietness,
With alien uproar and rude jolly cries,
Which satyr like to a mild maidens pride,
Ripens not wisdom, but a large recoil,
Give them their withered peace, their trial grave,
Their old youth’s three-scored shadowy effigy,
Mock them not with your ripened turbulence,
Their frost mailed petulance with your torrid wrath,
While edging your boisterous thunder shivers one word,
Pap to their senile shivering, drug to truth,
The feigned ramparts of bleak ignorance,
Experience – crown of naked majesties,
That tells us nought we know not – but confirms,
Oh think! You reverend shadowy austere,
Your Christ’s youth was not ended when he died.

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poem – creation

As the pregnant womb of night
Thrills with imprisoned light,
Misty, nebulous-born,
Growing deeper into her morn,
So man, with no sudden stride,
Bloomed into pride.

In the womb of the All-spirit
The universe lay ; the will
Blind, an atom, lay still.
The pulse of matter
Obeyed in awe
And strove to flatter
The rhythmic law.
But the will grew ; nature feared,
And cast off the child she reared,
Now her rival, instinct-led,
With her own powers impregnated.

Brain and heart, blood-fervid flowers,
Creation is each act of yours.

Your roots are God, the pauseless cause,
But your boughs sway to self windy laws.
Perception is no dreamy birth
And magnifies transfigured earth.

With each new light, our eyes receive
A larger power to perceive.
If we could unveil our eyes,
Become as wise as the All-wise,
No love would be, no mystery :
Love and joy dwell in infinity.
Love begets love ; reaching highest
We find a higher still, unseen
From where we stood to reach the first ;
Moses must die to live in Christ,
The seed be buried to live to green.
Perfection must begin from worst.
Christ perceives a larger reachless love,
More full, and grows to reach thereof.
The green plant yearns for its yellow fruit.
Perfection always is a root,
And joy a motion that cloth feed
Itself on light of its own speed,
And round its radiant circle runs,
Creating and devouring suns.

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poem – at night

Crazed shadows, from no golden body
That I can see, embrace me warm ;
All is purple and closed
Round by night’s arm.

A brilliance wings from dark-lit voices,
Wild lost voices of shadows white
See the long houses lean
To the weird flight.

Star amorous things that wake at sleep-time
(Because the sun spreads wide like a tree
With no good fruit for them)
Thrill secrecy.

Pale horses ride before the morning,
The secret roots of the sun to tread,
With hoofs shod with venom
And ageless dread;

To breathe on burning emerald grasses
And opalescent dews of the day,
And poison at the core
What smiles may stray.

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poem – spring

I walk and wonder
To hear the birds sing,
Without you my lady
How can there be Spring?
I see the pink blossoms
That slept for a year;
But who could have woke them,
While you were not near?

Birds sing to the blossoms;
Blind, dreaming your pink,
These blush to the songsters,
Your music they think.
So well had you taught them,
To look and to sing;
Your bloom and your music;
The ways of the Spring.

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poem – the jew

Moses, from whose loins I sprung,
Lit by a lamp in his blood
Ten immutable rules, a moon
For mutable lampless men.

The blonde, the bronze, the ruddy,
With the same heaving blood,
Keep tide to the moon of Moses.
Then why do they sneer at me?

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poem – august 1914

What in our lives is burnt
In the fire of this?
The heart’s dear granary?
The much we shall miss?

Three lives hath one life –
Iron, honey, gold.
The gold, the honey gone –
Left is the hard and cold.

Iron are our lives
Molten right through our youth.
A burnt space through ripe fields
A fair mouth’s broken tooth

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poem – beside the sea

ONE time he dreamed beside a sea
That laid a mane of mimic stars
In fondling quiet on the knee
Of one tall, pearlèd cliff; the bars
Of golden beaches upward swept;
Pine-scented shadows seaward crept.

The full moon swung her ripened sphere
As from a vine; and clouds, as small
As vine leaves in the opening year,
Kissed the large circle of her ball.
The stars gleamed thro’ them as one sees
Thor’ vine leaves drift the golden bees.

He dreamed beside this purple sea;
Low sang its trancéd voice, and he-
He knew not if the wordless strain
Made prophecy of joy or pain;
He only knew far stretched that sea,
He knew its name-Eternity.

A shallop with a rainbow sail
On the bright pulses of the tide
Throbbed airily; a fluting gale
Kissed the rich gilding of its side;
By chain of rose and myrtle fast
A light sail touched the slender mast.

‘A flower-bright rainbow thing,’ he said
To one beside him, ‘far too frail
To brave dark storms that lurk ahead,
To dare sharp talons of the gale.
Beloved, thou wouldst not forth with me
In such a bark on such a sea?’

‘First tell me of its name.’ She bent
Her eyes divine and innocent
On his. He raised his hand above
Its prow and answering swore, ”Tis Love!’
‘Now tell,’ she asked, ‘how is it build-
Of gold, or worthless timber gilt?’

‘Of gold,’ he said. ‘Whence named?’ asked she,
The roses of her lips apart;
She paused-a lily by the sea.
Came his swift answer, ‘From my heart!’
She laid her light palm in his hand:
‘Let loose the shallop from the strand!’

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poem – the dark stag

1 A startled stag, the blue-grey Night,
2 Leaps down beyond black pines.
3 Behind–a length of yellow light–
4 The hunter’s arrow shines:
5 His moccasins are stained with red,
6 He bends upon his knee,
7 From covering peaks his shafts are sped,
8 The blue mists plume his mighty head,–
9 Well may the swift Night flee!

10 The pale, pale Moon, a snow-white doe,
11 Bounds by his dappled flank:
12 They beat the stars down as they go,
13 Like wood-bells growing rank.
14 The winds lift dewlaps from the ground,
15 Leap from the quaking reeds;
16 Their hoarse bays shake the forests round,
17 With keen cries on the track they bound,–
18 Swift, swift the dark stag speeds!

19 Away! his white doe, far behind,
20 Lies wounded on the plain;
21 Yells at his flank the nimblest wind,
22 His large tears fall in rain;
23 Like lily-pads, small clouds grow white
24 About his darkling way;
25 From his bald nest upon the height
26 The red-eyed eagle sees his flight;
27 He falters, turns, the antlered Night,–
28 The dark stag stands at bay!

29 His feet are in the waves of space;
30 His antlers broad and dun
31 He lowers; he turns his velvet face
32 To front the hunter, Sun;
33 He stamps the lilied clouds, and high
34 His branches fill the west.
35 The lean stork sails across the sky,
36 The shy loon shrieks to see him die,
37 The winds leap at his breast.

38 Roar the rent lakes as thro’ the wave
39 Their silver warriors plunge,
40 As vaults from core of crystal cave
41 The strong, fierce muskallunge;
42 Red torches of the sumach glare,
43 Fall’s council-fires are lit;
44 The bittern, squaw-like, scolds the air;
45 The wild duck splashes loudly where
46 The rustling rice-spears knit.

47 Shaft after shaft the red Sun speeds:
48 Rent the stag’s dappled side,
49 His breast, fanged by the shrill winds, bleeds,
50 He staggers on the tide;
51 He feels the hungry waves of space
52 Rush at him high and blue;
53 Their white spray smites his dusky face,
54 Swifter the Sun’s fierce arrows race
55 And pierce his stout heart thro’.

56 His antlers fall; once more he spurns
57 The hoarse hounds of the day;
58 His blood upon the crisp blue burns,
59 Reddens the mounting spray;
60 His branches smite the wave–with cries
61 The loud winds pause and flag–
62 He sinks in space–red glow the skies,
63 The brown earth crimsons as he dies,
64 The strong and dusky stag.

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poem – his mother

In the first dawn she lifted from her bed
The holy silver of her noble head,
And listened, listened, listened for his tread.
‘Too soon, too soon !’ she murmured, ‘Yet I’ll keep
My vigil longer­ thou, O tender Sleep,
Art but the joy of those who wake and weep!

‘Joy’s self hath keen, wide eyes. O flesh of mine,
And mine own blood and bone, the very wine
Of my aged heart, I see thy dear eyes shine!

‘I hear thy tread; thy light, loved footsteps run
Along the way, eager for that ‘Well done !’
We’ll weep and kiss to thee, my soldier son!

‘Blest mother I­ he lives! Yet had he died
Blest were I still, ­ I sent him on the tide
Of my full heart to save his nation’s pride!’

‘O God, if that I tremble so to-day,
Bowed with such blessings that I cannot pray
By speech­ a mother prays, dear Lord, alway

‘In some far fibre of her trembling mind!
I’ll up­ I thought I heard a bugle bind
Its silver with the silver of the wind. ‘

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poem – the rose

The Rose was given to man for this:
He, sudden seeing it in later years,
Should swift remember Love’s first lingering kiss
And Grief’s last lingering tears;
Or, being blind, should feel its yearning soul
Knit all its piercing perfume round his own,
Till he should see on memory’s ample scroll
All roses he had known;

Or, being hard, perchance his finger-tips
Careless might touch the satin of its cup,
And he should feel a dead babe’s budding lips
To his lips lifted up;

Or, being deaf and smitten with its star,
Should, on a sudden, almost hear a lark
Rush singing up­the nightingale afar
Sing through the dew-bright dark;

Or, sorrow-lost in paths that round and round
Circle old graves, its keen and vital breath
Should call to him within the yew’s bleak bound
Of Life, and not of Death.

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poem – a perfect strain

O BID the minstrel tune his harp,
And bid the minstrel sing;
And let it be a perfect strain
That round the hall shall ring:
A strain to throb in lady’s heart,
To brim the warrior’s soul,
As dew fills up the summer rose
And wine the lordly bowl!

O let the minstrel’s voice ring clear,
His touch sweep gay and light;
Nor let his glittering tresses know
One streak of wintry white.
And let the light of ruddy June
Shine in his joyous eyes,
If he would wake the only strain
That never fully dies!

O what the strain that woos the knight
To turn from steed and lance,
The page to turn from hound and hawk,
The maid from lute and dance;
The potent strain, that nigh would draw
The hermit from his cave,
The dryad from the leafy oak,
The mermaid from the wave;
That almost might still charm the hawk
To drop the trembling dove?
O ruddy minstrel, tune thy harp,
And sing of Youthful Love!

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poem – a hungry day

I MIND him well, he was a quare ould chap,
Come like meself from swate ould Erin’s sod;
He hired me wanst to help his harvest in-
The crops was fine that summer, praised be God!

He found us, Rosie, Mickie, an’ meself,
Just landed in the emigration shed;
Meself was tyin’ on their bits of clothes;
Their mother-rest her tender sowl!-was dead.

It’s not meself can say of what she died:
But ’twas the year the praties felt the rain,
An’ rotted in the soil; an’ just to dhraw
The breath of life was one long hungry pain.

If we wor haythens in a furrin land,
Not in a country grand in Christian pride,
Faith, then a man might have the face to say
‘Twas of stharvation me poor Sheila died.

But whin the parish docthor come at last,
Whin death was like a sun-burst in her eyes-
They looked straight into Heaven-an’ her ears
Wor deaf to the poor children’s hungry cries,

He touched the bones stretched on the mouldy sthraw:
‘She’s gone!’ he says, and drew a solemn frown;
‘I fear, my man, she’s dead.’ ‘Of what?’ says I.
He coughed, and says, ‘She’s let her system down!’

‘An’ that’s God’s truth!’ says I, an’ felt about
To touch her dawney hand, for all looked dark;
An’ in me hunger-bleached, shmall-beatin’ heart,
I felt the kindlin’ of a burnin’spark.

‘O by me sowl, that is the holy truth!
There’s Rosie’s cheek has kept a dimple still,
An’ Mickie’s eyes are bright-the craythur there
Died that the weeny ones might eat their fill.’

An’ whin they spread the daisies thick an’ white
Above her head that wanst lay on me breast,
I had no tears, but took the childher’s hands,
An’ says, ‘We’ll lave the mother to her rest.’

An’ och! the sod was green that summer’s day,
An’ rainbows crossed the low hills, blue an’ fair;
But black an’ foul the blighted furrows stretched,
An’ sent their cruel poison through the air.

An’ all was quiet-on the sunny sides
Of hedge an’ ditch the stharvin’ craythurs lay,
An’ thim as lacked the rint from empty walls
Of little cabins wapin’ turned away.

God’s curse lay heavy on the poor ould sod,
An’ whin upon her increase His right hand
Fell with’ringly, there samed no bit of blue
For Hope to shine through on the sthricken land.

No facthory chimblys shmoked agin the sky.
No mines yawned on the hills so full an’ rich;
A man whose praties failed had nought to do
But fold his hands an’ die down in a ditch.

A flame rose up widin me feeble heart,
Whin, passin’ through me cabin’s hingeless dure,
I saw the mark of Sheila’s coffin in
The grey dust on the empty earthen flure.

I lifted Rosie’s face betwixt me hands;
Says I, ‘Me girleen, you an’ Mick an’ me
Must lave the green ould sod an’ look for food
In thim strange countries far beyant the sea.’

An’ so it chanced, whin landed on the sthreet,
Ould Dolan, rowlin’ a quare ould shay
Came there to hire a man to save his wheat,
An’ hired meself and Mickie by the day.

‘An’ bring the girleen, Pat,’ he says, an’ looked
At Rosie, lanin’ up agin me knee;
‘The wife will be right plaised to see the child,
The weeney shamrock from beyant the sea.

‘We’ve got a tidy place, the saints be praised!
As nice a farm as ever brogan trod.
A hundered acres-us as never owned
Land big enough to make a lark a sod.’

‘Bedad,’ says I, ‘I heerd them over there
Tell how the goold was lyin’ in the sthreet,
An’ guineas in the very mud that sthuck
To the ould brogans on a poor man’s feet.’

‘Begorra, Pat,’ says Dolan, ‘may ould Nick
Fly off wid thim rapscallions, schaming rogues,
An’ sind thim thrampin’ purgatory’s flure
Wid red hot guineas in their polished brogues!’

‘Och, thin,’ says I, ‘meself agrees to that!’
Ould Dolan smiled wid eyes so bright an’ grey;
Says he, ‘Kape up yer heart; I never kew
Since I come out a single hungry day.

‘But thin I left the crowded city sthreets-
Th’are men galore to toil in thim an’ die;
Meself wint wid me axe to cut a home
In the green woods beneath the clear, swate sky.

‘I did that same; an’ God be praised this day!
Plenty sits smilin’ by me own dear dure;
An’ in them years I never wanst have seen
A famished child creep tremblin’ on me flure.’

I listened to ould Dolan’s honest words:
That’s twenty years ago this very spring,
An’ Mick is married, an’ me Rosie wears
A swateheart’s little shinin’ goulden ring.

‘Twould make yer heart lape just to take a look
At the green fields upon me own big farm;
An’ God be praised! all men may have the same
That owns an axe an’ has a strong right arm!

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poem – a harvest song

THE noon was as a crystal bowl
The red wine mantled through;
Around it like a Viking’s beard
The red-gold hazes blew,
As tho’ he quaffed the ruddy draught
While swift his galley flew.

This mighty Viking was the Night;
He sailed about the earth,
And called the merry harvest-time
To sing him songs of mirth;
And all on earth or in the sea
To melody gave birth.

The valleys of the earth were full
To rocky lip and brim
With golden grain that shone and sang
When woods were still and dim,
A little song from sheaf to sheaf-
Sweet Plenty’s cradle-hymn.

O gallant were the high tree-tops,
And gay the strain they sang!
And cheerfully the moon-lit hills
Their echo-music rang!
And what so proud and what so loud
As was the ocean’s clang!

But O the little humming song
That sang among the sheaves!
‘Twas grander than the airy march
That rattled thro’ the leaves,
And prouder, louder, than the deep,
Bold clanging of the waves:

‘The lives of men, the lives of men
With every sheaf are bound!
We are the blessing which annuls
The curse upon the ground!
And he who reaps the Golden Grain
The Golden Love hath found.’

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poem – a battle

SLOWLY the Moon her banderoles of light
Unfurls upon the sky; her fingers drip
Pale, silvery tides; her armoured warriors
Leave Day’s bright tents of azure and of gold,
Wherein they hid them, and in silence flock
Upon the solemn battlefield of Night
To try great issues with the blind old king,
The Titan Darkness, who great Pharoah fought
With groping hands, and conquered for a span.

The starry hosts with silver lances prick
The scarlet fringes of the tents of Day,
And turn their crystal shields upon their breasts,
And point their radiant lances, and so wait
The stirring of the giant in his caves.

The solitary hills send long, sad sighs
As the blind Titan grasps their locks of pine
And trembling larch to drag him toward the sky,
That his wild-seeking hands may clutch the Moon
From her war-chariot, scythed and wheeled with light,
Crush bright-mailed stars, and so, a sightless king,
Reign in black desolation! Low-set vales
Weep under the black hollow of his foot,
While sobs the sea beneath his lashing hair
Of rolling mists, which, strong as iron cords,
Twine round tall masts and drag them to the reefs.

Swifter rolls up Astarte’s light-scythed car;
Dense rise the jewelled lances, groves of light;
Red flouts Mars’ banner in the voiceless war
(The mightiest combat is the tongueless one);
The silvery dartings of the lances prick
His fingers from the mountains, catch his locks
And toss them in black fragments to the winds,
Pierce the vast hollow of his misty foot,
Level their diamond tips against his breast,
And force him down to lair within his pit
And thro’ its chinks thrust down his groping hands
To quicken Hell with horror-for the strength
That is not of the Heavens is of Hell.

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poem – his sweetheart

Sylvia’s lattices were dark­
Roses made them narrow.
In the dawn there came a Spark,
Armèd with an arrow:
Blithe he burst by dewy spray,
Winged by bud and blossom,
All undaunted urged his way
Straight to Sylvia’s bosom.
‘Sylvia! Sylvia! Sylvia!’ he
Like a bee kept humming,
‘Wake, my sweeting; waken thee,
For thy Soldier’s coming!’
Sylvia sleeping in the dawn,
Dreams that Cupid’s trill is
Roses singing on the lawn,
Courting crested lilies.
Sylvia smiles and Sylvia sleeps,
Sylvia weeps and slumbers;
Cupid to her pink ear creeps,
Pipes his pretty numbers.
Sylvia dreams that bugles play,
Hears a martial drumming;
Sylvia springs to meet the day
With her Soldier coming.

Happy Sylvia, on thee wait
All the gracious graces!
Venus mild her cestus plait
Round thy lawns and laces!
Flora fling a flower most fair,
Hope a rainbow lend thee!
All the nymphs to Cupid dear
On this day befriend thee!
‘Sylvia! Sylvia! Sylvia!’ hear
How he keeps a-humming,
Laughing in her jewelled ear,
‘Sweet, thy Soldier’s coming!’

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poem – the helot

I
Low the sun beat on the land,
Red on vine and plain and wood;
With the wine-cup in his hand,
Vast the Helot herdsman stood.

II.

Quench’d the fierce Achean gaze,
Dorian foemen paus’d before,
Where cold Sparta snatch’d her bays
At Achaea’s stubborn door.

III.

Still with thews of iron bound,
Vastly the Achean rose,
Godward from the brazen ground,
High before his Spartan foes.

IV.

Still the strength his fathers knew
(Dauntless when the foe they fac’d)
Vein and muscle bounded through,
Tense his Helot sinews brac’d.

V.

Still the constant womb of Earth,
Blindly moulded all her part;
As, when to a lordly birth,
Achean freemen left her heart.

VI.

Still, insensate mother, bore
Goodly sons for Helot graves;
Iron necks that meekly wore
Sparta’s yoke as Sparta’s slaves.

VII.

Still, O God mock’d mother! she
Smil’d upon her sons of clay:
Nurs’d them on her breast and knee,
Shameless in the shameful day.

VIII.

Knew not old Achea’s fires
Burnt no more in souls or veins–
Godlike hosts of high desires
Died to clank of Spartan chains.

IX.

Low the sun beat on the land,
Purple slope and olive wood;
With the wine cup in his hand,
Vast the Helot herdsman stood.

X.

As long, gnarl’d roots enclasp
Some red boulder, fierce entwine
His strong fingers, in their grasp
Bowl of bright Caecuban wine.

XI.

From far Marsh of Amyclae,
Sentried by lank poplars tall–
Thro’ the red slant of the day,
Shrill pipes did lament and call.

XII.

Pierc’d the swaying air sharp pines,
Thyrsi-like, the gilded ground
Clasp’d black shadows of brown vines,
Swallows beat their mystic round.

XIII.

Day was at her high unrest;
Fever’d with the wine of light,
Loosing all her golden vest,
Reel’d she towards the coming night.

XIV.

Fierce and full her pulses beat;
Bacchic throbs the dry earth shook;
Stirr’d the hot air wild and sweet;
Madden’d ev’ry vine-dark brook.

XV.

Had a red grape never burst,
All its heart of fire out;
To the red vat all a thirst,
To the treader’s song and shout:

XVI.

Had the red grape died a grape;
Nor, sleek daughter of the vine,
Found her unknown soul take shape
In the wild flow of the wine:

XVII.

Still had reel’d the yellow haze:
Still had puls’d the sun pierc’d sod
Still had throbb’d the vine clad days:
To the pulses of their God.

XVIII.

Fierce the dry lips of the earth
Quaff’d the subtle Bacchic soul:
Felt its rage and felt its mirth,
Wreath’d as for the banquet bowl.

XIX.

Sapphire-breasted Bacchic priest
Stood the sky above the lands;
Sun and Moon at East and West,
Brazen cymbals in his hands.

XX.

Temples, altars, smote no more,
Sharply white as brows of Gods:
From the long, sleek, yellow shore,
Oliv’d hill or dusky sod,

XXI.

Gaz’d the anger’d Gods, while he,
Bacchus, made their temples his;
Flushed their marble silently
With the red light of his kiss.

XXII.

Red the arches of his feet
Spann’d grape-gleaming vales; the earth
Reel’d from grove to marble street,
Mad with echoes of his mirth.

XXIII.

Nostrils widen’d to the air,
As above the wine brimm’d bowl:
Men and women everywhere
Breath’d the fierce, sweet Bacchic soul.

XXIV.

Flow’d the vat and roar’d the beam,
Laugh’d the must; while far and shrill,
Sweet as notes in Pan-born dream,
Loud pipes sang by vale and hill.

XXV.

Earth was full of mad unrest,
While red Bacchus held his state;
And her brown vine-girdl’d breast
Shook to his wild joy and hate.

XXVI.

Strife crouch’d red ey’d in the vine
In its tendrils Eros strayed;
Anger rode upon the wine;
Laughter on the cup-lip play’d.

XXVII.

Day was at her chief unrest–
Red the light on plain and wood
Slavish ey’d and still of breast,
Vast the Helot herdsman stood:

XXVIII.

Wide his hairy nostrils blew,
Maddning incense breathing up;
Oak to iron sinews grew,
Round the rich Caecuban cup.

XXIX.

‘Drink, dull slave!’ the Spartan said,
‘Drink, until the Helot clod
‘Feel within him subtly bred
‘Kinship to the drunken God!

XXX.

‘Drink, until the leaden blood
‘Stirs and beats about thy brain:
‘Till the hot Caecuban flood
‘Drown the iron of thy chain.

XXXI.

‘Drink, till even madness flies
‘At the nimble wine’s pursuit;
‘Till the God within thee lies
‘Trampled by the earth-born brute.

XXXII.

‘Helot drink–nor spare the wine;
‘Drain the deep, the madd’ning bowl,
‘Flesh and sinews, slave, are mine,
‘Now I claim thy Helot soul.

XXXIII.

‘Gods! ye love our Sparta; ye
‘Gave with vine that leaps and runs
‘O’er her slopes, these slaves to be
‘Mocks and warnings to her sons!

XXXIV.

‘Thou, my Hermos, turn thy eyes,
‘(God-touch’d still their frank, bold blue)
‘On the Helot–mark the rise
‘Of the Bacchic riot through

XXXV.

‘Knotted vein, and surging breast:
‘Mark the wild, insensate, mirth:
‘God-ward boast–the driv’ling jest,
‘Till he grovel to the earth.

XXXVI.

‘Drink, dull slave,’ the Spartan cried:
Meek the Helot touch’d the brim;
Scented all the purple tide:
Drew the Bacchic soul to him.

XXXVII.

Cold the thin lipp’d Spartan smiled:
Couch’d beneath the weighted vine,
Large-ey’d, gaz’d the Spartan child,
On the Helot and the wine.

XXXVIII.

Rose pale Doric shafts behind,
Stern and strong, and thro’ and thro’,
Weaving with the grape-breath’d wind,
Restless swallows call’d and flew.

XXXIX.

Dropp’d the rose-flush’d doves and hung,
On the fountains murmuring brims;
To the bronz’d vine Hermos clung–
Silver-like his naked limbs

XL.

Flash’d and flush’d: rich copper’d leaves,
Whiten’d by his ruddy hair;
Pallid as the marble eaves,
Aw’d he met the Helot’s stare.

XLI.

Clang’d the brazen goblet down;
Marble-bred loud echoes stirr’d:
With fix’d fingers, knotted, brown,
Dumb, the Helot grasp’d his beard.

XLII.

Heard the far pipes mad and sweet.
All the ruddy hazes thrill:
Heard the loud beam crash and beat,
In the red vat on the hill.

XLIII.

Wide his nostrils as a stag’s
Drew the hot wind’s fiery bliss;
Red his lips as river flags,
From the strong, Caecuban kiss.

XLIV.

On his swarthy temples grew,
Purple veins like cluster’d grapes;
Past his rolling pupils blew,
Wine-born, fierce, lascivious shapes.

XLV.

Cold the haughty Spartan smiled–
His the power to knit that day,
Bacchic fires, insensate, wild,
To the grand Achean clay.

XLVI.

His the might–hence his the right!
Who should bid him pause? nor Fate
Warning pass’d before his sight,
Dark-robed and articulate.

XLVII.

No black omens on his eyes,
Sinistre–God-sent, darkly broke;
Nor from ruddy earth nor skies,
Portends to him mutely spoke.

XLVIII.

‘Lo,’ he said, ‘he maddens now!
‘Flames divine do scathe the clod;
‘Round his reeling Helot brow
‘Stings the garland of the God.’

XLIX.

‘Mark, my Hermos–turn to steel
The soft tendons of thy soul!
Watch the God beneath the heel
Of the strong brute swooning roll!

L.

‘Shame, my Hermos! honey-dew
Breeds not on the Spartan spear;
Steel thy mother-eyes of blue,
Blush to death that weakling tear.

LI.

‘Nay, behold! breed Spartan scorn
Of the red lust of the wine;
Watch the God himself down-borne
By the brutish rush of swine!

LII.

‘Lo, the magic of the drink!
At the nimble wine’s pursuit,
See the man-half’d satyr sink
All the human in the brute!

LIII.

‘Lo, the magic of the cup!
Watch the frothing Helot rave!
As great buildings labour up
From the corpse of slaughter’d slave,

LIV.

‘Build the Spartan virtue high
From the Helot’s wine-dead soul;
Scorn the wild, hot flames that fly
From the purple-hearted bowl!

LV.

‘Helot clay! Gods! what its worth,
Balanc’d with proud Sparta’s rock?
Ours–its force to till the earth;
Ours–its soul to gyve and mock!

LVI.

‘Ours, its sullen might. Ye Gods!
Vastly build the Achean clay;
Iron-breast our slavish clods–
Ours their Helot souls to slay!

LVII.

‘Knit great thews–smite sinews vast
Into steel–build Helot bones
Iron-marrowed:–such will last
Ground by ruthless Sparta’s stones.

LVIII.

‘Crown the strong brute satyr wise!
Narrow-wall his Helot brain;
Dash the soul from breast and eyes,
Lash him toward the earth again.

LIX.

‘Make a giant for our need,
Weak to feel and strong to toil;
Dully-wise to dig or bleed
On proud Sparta’s alien soil!

LX.

‘Gods! recall thy spark at birth,
Lit his soul with high desire;
Blend him, grind him with the earth,
Tread out old Achea’s fire!

LXI.

‘Lo, my Hermos! laugh and mark,
See the swift mock of the wine;
Faints the primal, God-born spark,
Trodden by the rush of swine!

LXII.

‘Gods! ye love our Sparta–ye
Gave with vine that leaps and runs
O’er her slopes, these slaves to be
Mocks and warnings to her sons!’

LXIII.

Cold the haughty Spartan smil’d.
Madd’ning from the purple hills
Sang the far pipes, sweet and wild.
Red as sun-pierc’d daffodils

LXIV.

Neck-curv’d, serpent, silent, scaled
With lock’d rainbows, stole the sea;
On the sleek, long beaches; wail’d
Doves from column and from tree.

LXV.

Reel’d the mote swarm’d haze, and thick
Beat the hot pulse of the air;
In the Helot, fierce and quick,
All his soul sprang from its lair.

LXVI.

As the drowzing tiger, deep
In the dim cell, hears the shout
From the arena–from his sleep
Launches to its thunders out–

LXVII.

So to fierce calls of the wine
(Strong the red Caecuban bowl!)
From its slumber, deep, supine,
Panted up the Helot soul.

LXVIII.

At his blood-flush’d eye-balls rear’d,
(Mad and sweet came pipes and songs),
Rous’d at last the wild soul glar’d,
Spear-thrust with a million wrongs.

LXIX.

Past–the primal, senseless bliss;
Past–red laughter of the grapes;
Past–the wine’s first honey’d kiss;
Past–the wine-born, wanton shapes!

LXX.

Still the Helot stands–his feet
Set like oak roots: in his gaze
Black clouds roll and lightnings meet–
Flames from old Achean days.

LXXI.

Who may quench the God-born fire,
Pulsing at the soul’s deep root?
Tyrants! grind it in the mire,
Lo, it vivifies the brute!

LXXII.

Stings the chain-embruted clay,
Senseless to his yoke-bound shame;
Goads him on to rend and slay,
Knowing not the spurring flame.

LXXIII.

Tyrants, changeless stand the Gods!
Nor their calm might yielded ye!
Not beneath thy chains and rods
Dies man’s God-gift, Liberty!

LXXIV.

Bruteward lash thy Helots–hold
Brain and soul and clay in gyves;
Coin their blood and sweat in gold,
Build thy cities on their lives.

LXXV.

Comes a day the spark divine
Answers to the Gods who gave;
Fierce the hot flames pant and shine
In the bruis’d breast of the slave!

LXXVI.

Changeless stand the Gods!–nor he
Knows he answers their behest;
Feels the might of their decree
In the blind rage of his breast.

LXXVII.

Tyrants! tremble when ye tread
Down the servile Helot clods;
Under despot heel is bred
The white anger of the Gods!

LXXVIII.

Thro’ the shackle-canker’d dust,
Thro’ the gyv’d soul, foul and dark
Force they, changeless Gods and just!
Up the bright eternal spark.

LXXIX.

Till, like lightnings vast and fierce,
On the land its terror smites;
Till its flames the tyrants pierce,
Till the dust the despot bites!

LXXX.

Day was at its chief unrest,
Stone from stone the Helot rose;
Fix’d his eyes–his naked breast
Iron-wall’d his inner throes.

LXXXI.

Rose-white in the dusky leaves,
Shone the frank-ey’d Spartan child;
Low the pale doves on the eaves,
Made their soft moan, sweet and wild.

LXXXII.

Wand’ring winds, fire-throated, stole,
Sybils whisp’ring from their books;
With the rush of wine from bowl,
Leap’d the tendril-darken’d brooks.

LXXXIII.

As the leathern cestus binds
Tense the boxer’s knotted hands;
So the strong wine round him winds,
Binds his thews to iron bands.

LXXXIV.

Changeless are the Gods–and bred
All their wrath divine in him!
Bull-like fell his furious head,
Swell’d vast cords on breast and limb.

LXXXV.

As loud-flaming stones are hurl’d
From foul craters–thus the gods
Cast their just wrath on the world,
From the mire of Helot clods.

LXXXVI.

Still the furious Helot stood,
Staring thro’ the shafted space;
Dry-lipp’d for the Spartan blood,
He of scourg’d Achea’s race.

LXXXVII.

Sprang the Helot–roar’d the vine,
Rent from grey, long-wedded stones–
From pale shaft and dusky pine,
Beat the fury of his groans.

LXXXVIII.

Thunders inarticulate:
Wordless curses, deep and wild;
Reach’d the long pois’d sword of Fate,
To the Spartan thro’ his child.

LXXXIX.

On his knotted hands, upflung
O’er his low’r’d front–all white,
Fair young Hermos quiv’ring hung;
As the discus flashes bright

XC.

In the player’s hand–the boy,
Naked–blossom-pallid lay;
Rous’d to lust of bloody joy,
Throbb’d the slave’s embruted clay.

XCI.

Loud he laugh’d–the father sprang
From the Spartan’s iron mail!
Late–the bubbling death-cry rang
On the hot pulse of the gale!

XCII.

As the shining discus flies,
From the thrower’s strong hand whirl’d;
Hermos cleft the air–his cries
Lance-like to the Spartan hurl’d.

XCIII.

As the discus smites the ground,
Smote his golden head the stone;
Of a tall shaft–burst a sound
And but one–his dying groan!

XCIV.

Lo! the tyrant’s iron might!
Lo! the Helot’s yokes and chains!
Slave-slain in the throbbing light
Lay the sole child of his veins.

XCV.

Laugh’d the Helot loud and full,
Gazing at his tyrant’s face;
Low’r’d his front like captive bull,
Bellowing from the fields of Thrace.

XCVI.

Rose the pale shaft redly flush’d,
Red with Bacchic light and blood;
On its stone the Helot rush’d–
Stone the tyrant Spartan stood.

XCVII.

Lo! the magic of the wine
From far marsh of Amyclae!
Bier’d upon the ruddy vine,
Spartan dust and Helot lay!

XCVIII.

Spouse of Bacchus reel’d the day,
Red track’d on the throbbing sods;
Dead–but free–the Helot lay,
Just and changeless stand the Gods!

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shattered desire – vidyapati thakur

Swelling breasts, hard, like golden cups.
Those wanton glances have stolen my heart,
O beautiful one, protest no longer.
I am eager as a bee, let me take your honey.
Darling, I beg you, holding your hands,
Do not be cruel, have pity on me.
I shall say that again and again,
No more can I suffer the agony of love.

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