A Japanese Wood-Carving – Amy Lowell

High up above the open, welcoming door 
It hangs, a piece of wood with colors dim. 
Once, long ago, it was a waving tree 
And knew the sun and shadow through the leaves 
Of forest trees, in a thick eastern wood. 
The winter snows had bent its branches down, 
The spring had swelled its buds with coming flowers, 
Summer had run like fire through its veins, 
While autumn pelted it with chestnut burrs, 
And strewed the leafy ground with acorn cups. 
Dark midnight storms had roared and crashed among 
Its branches, breaking here and there a limb; 
But every now and then broad sunlit days 
Lovingly lingered, caught among the leaves. 
Yes, it had known all this, and yet to us 
It does not speak of mossy forest ways, 
Of whispering pine trees or the shimmering birch; 
But of quick winds, and the salt, stinging sea! 
An artist once, with the patient, careful knife, 
Had fashioned it like to the untamed sea. 
Here waves uprear themselves, their tops blown back 
By the gay, solar wind, which whips the blue 
And breaks it into gleams and sparks of light. 
Among the flashing waves are two white birds 
Which swoop, and soar, and scream for very joy 
At the wild sport. Now diving quickly in, 
Questing some glistening fish. Now flying up, 
Their dripping feathers shining in the sun, 
While the wet drops like little glints of light, 
Fall pattering backward to the parent sea. 
Gliding along the green and foam-flecked hollows, 
Or skimming some white crest about to break, 
The spirits of the sky deigning to stoop 
And play with the ocean in a summer mood. 
Hanging above the high, wide open door, 
It brings to us in quiet, firelit room, 
The freedom of the earth’s vast solitudes, 
Where heaping, sunny waves tumble and roll, 
And seabirds scream in wanton happiness. 

A Little Song – Amy Lowell

When you, my Dear, are away, away, 
How wearily goes the creeping day. 
A year drags after morning, and night 
Starts another year of candlelight. 
O Pausing Sun and Lingering Moon! 
Grant me, I beg of you, this boon. 

Whirl around the earth as never sun 
Has his diurnal journey run. 
And, Moon, slip past the ladders of air 
In a single flash, while your streaming hair 
Catches the stars and pulls them down 
To shine on some slumbering Chinese town. 
O Kindly Sun! Understanding Moon! 
Bring evening to crowd the footsteps of noon. 

But when that long awaited day 
Hangs ripe in the heavens, your voyaging stay. 
Be morning, O Sun! with the lark in song, 
Be afternoon for ages long. 
And, Moon, let you and your lesser lights 
Watch over a century of nights. 

To A Friend – Amy Lowell

I ask but one thing of you, only one, 
That always you will be my dream of you; 
That never shall I wake to find untrue 
All this I have believed and rested on, 
Forever vanished, like a vision gone 
Out into the night. Alas, how few 
There are who strike in us a chord we knew 
Existed, but so seldom heard its tone 
We tremble at the half-forgotten sound. 
The world is full of rude awakenings 
And heaven-born castles shattered to the ground, 
Yet still, our human longing vainly clings 
To a belief in beauty through all wrongs. 
O stay your hand, and leave my heart its songs! 

Night Clouds – Amy Lowell

The white mares of the moon rush along the sky
Beating their golden hoofs upon the glass Heavens 
The white mares are all standing on their hind legs 
Pawing at the green porcelain doors of the remote Heavens 
Fly, mares!
Strain your utmost 
Scatter the milky dust of stars 
Or the tigers will leap upon you and destroy you
With one lick of his vermillion tongue 

The Green Bowl – Amy Lowell

This little bowl is like a mossy pool
In a Spring wood, where dogtooth violets grow
Nodding in chequered sunshine of the trees;
A quiet place, still, with the sound of birds,
Where, though unseen, is heard the endless song
And murmur of the never resting sea.
‘T was winter, Roger, when you made this cup,
But coming Spring guided your eager hand
And round the edge you fashioned young green leaves,
A proper chalice made to hold the shy
And little flowers of the woods. And here
They will forget their sad uprooting, lost
In pleasure that this circle of bright leaves
Should be their setting; once more they will dream
They hear winds wandering through lofty trees
And see the sun smiling between the leaves.