Roses Can Wound – Lascelles Abercrombie

Roses can wound, 

But not from having thorns they do most harm; 

Often the night gives, starry-sheen or moon’d, 

Deep in the soul alarm. 

And it hath been deep within my heart like fear, 

Girl, when you are near. 

The mist of sense, 

Wherein the soul goes shielded, can divide, 

And she must cringe and be ashamed, and wince, 

Not in appearance hide 

Of rose or girl from the blazing mastery 

Of bared Eternity.

The Stream’s Song –  Lascelles Abercrombie 

Make way, make way, 

You thwarting stones; 

Room for my play, 

Serious ones. 
Do you not fear, 

O rocks and boulders, 

To feel my laughter 

On your broad shoulders? 
So you not know 

My joy at length 

Will all wear out 

Your solemn strength? 
You will not for ever 

Cumber my play: 

With joy and son 

I clear my way. 
Your faith of rock 

Shall yield to me, 

And be carried away 

By the song of my glee. 
Crumble, crumble, 

Voiceless things; 

No faith can last 

That never sings. 
For the last hour 

To joy belongs: 

The steadfast perish, 

But not the songs. 
Yet for a while 

Thwart me, O boulders; 

I need for laugher 

Your serious shoulders. 
And when my singing 

Has razed your quite, 

I shall have lost 

Half my delight.

Hope And Despair – Lascelles Abercrombie

Said God, ‘You sisters, ere ye go 

Down among men, my work to do, 

I will on each a badge bestow: 

Hope I love best, and gold for her, 

Yet a silver glory for Despair, 

For she is my angel too.’ 

Then like a queen, Despair 

Put on the stars to wear. 

But Hope took ears of corn, and round 

Her temples in a wreath them bound.– 

Which think ye lookt the more fair?