Poem – The House Of Judgement

And there was silence in the House of Judgment, and the Man came
naked before God.

And God opened the Book of the Life of the Man.

And God said to the Man, ‘Thy life hath been evil, and thou hast
shown cruelty to those who were in need of succour, and to those
who lacked help thou hast been bitter and hard of heart. The poor
called to thee and thou didst not hearken, and thine ears were
closed to the cry of My afflicted. The inheritance of the
fatherless thou didst take unto thyself, and thou didst send the
foxes into the vineyard of thy neighbour’s field. Thou didst take
the bread of the children and give it to the dogs to eat, and My
lepers who lived in the marshes, and were at peace and praised Me,
thou didst drive forth on to the highways, and on Mine earth out of
which I made thee thou didst spill innocent blood.’

And the Man made answer and said, ‘Even so did I.’

And again God opened the Book of the Life of the Man.

And God said to the Man, ‘Thy life hath been evil, and the Beauty I
have shown thou hast sought for, and the Good I have hidden thou
didst pass by. The walls of thy chamber were painted with images,

and from the bed of thine abominations thou didst rise up to the
sound of flutes. Thou didst build seven altars to the sins I have
suffered, and didst eat of the thing that may not be eaten, and the
purple of thy raiment was broidered with the three signs of shame.
Thine idols were neither of gold nor of silver that endure, but of
flesh that dieth. Thou didst stain their hair with perfumes and
put pomegranates in their hands. Thou didst stain their feet with
saffron and spread carpets before them. With antimony thou didst
stain their eyelids and their bodies thou didst smear with myrrh.
Thou didst bow thyself to the ground before them, and the thrones
of thine idols were set in the sun. Thou didst show to the sun thy
shame and to the moon thy madness.’

And the Man made answer and said, ‘Even so did I.’

And a third time God opened the Book of the Life of the Man.

And God said to the Man, ‘Evil hath been thy life, and with evil
didst thou requite good, and with wrongdoing kindness. The hands
that fed thee thou didst wound, and the breasts that gave thee suck
thou didst despise. He who came to thee with water went away
thirsting, and the outlawed men who hid thee in their tents at
night thou didst betray before dawn. Thine enemy who spared thee
thou didst snare in an ambush, and the friend who walked with thee
thou didst sell for a price, and to those who brought thee Love
thou didst ever give Lust in thy turn.’

And the Man made answer and said, ‘Even so did I.’

And God closed the Book of the Life of the Man, and said, ‘Surely I
will send thee into Hell. Even into Hell will I send thee.’

And the Man cried out, ‘Thou canst not.’

And God said to the Man, ‘Wherefore can I not send thee to Hell,
and for what reason?’

‘Because in Hell have I always lived,’ answered the Man.

And there was silence in the House of Judgment.

And after a space God spake, and said to the Man, ‘Seeing that I
may not send thee into Hell, surely I will send thee unto Heaven.
Even unto Heaven will I send thee.’

And the Man cried out, ‘Thou canst not.’

And God said to the Man, ‘Wherefore can I not send thee unto
Heaven, and for what reason?’

‘Because never, and in no place, have I been able to imagine it,’
answered the Man.

And there was silence in the House of Judgment.

Poem – Under The Balcony

O beautiful star with the crimson mouth!
O moon with the brows of gold!
Rise up, rise up, from the odorous south!
And light for my love her way,
Lest her little feet should stray
On the windy hill and the wold!
O beautiful star with the crimson mouth!
O moon with the brows of gold!

O ship that shakes on the desolate sea!
O ship with the wet, white sail!
Put in, put in, to the port to me!
For my love and I would go
To the land where the daffodils blow
In the heart of a violet dale!
O ship that shakes on the desolate sea!
O ship with the wet, white sail!

O rapturous bird with the low, sweet note!
O bird that sits on the spray!
Sing on, sing on, from your soft brown throat!
And my love in her little bed
Will listen, and lift her head
From the pillow, and come my way!
O rapturous bird with the low, sweet note!
O bird that sits on the spray!

O blossom that hangs in the tremulous air!
O blossom with lips of snow!
Come down, come down, for my love to wear!
You will die on her head in a crown,
You will die in a fold of her gown,
To her little light heart you will go!
O blossom that hangs in the tremulous air!
O blossom with lips of snow!

poem – le jardin

The lily’s withered chalice falls
Around its rod of dusty gold,
And from the beech-trees on the wold
The last wood-pigeon coos and calls.

The gaudy leonine sunflower
Hangs black and barren on its stalk,
And down the windy garden walk
The dead leaves scatter, – hour by hour.

Pale privet-petals white as milk
Are blown into a snowy mass:
The roses lie upon the grass
Like little shreds of crimson silk.

poem – louis napoleon

EAGLE of Austerlitz! where were thy wings
When far away upon a barbarous strand,
In fight unequal, by an obscure hand,
Fell the last scion of thy brood of Kings!

Poor boy! thou wilt not flaunt thy cloak of red,
Nor ride in state through Paris in the van
Of thy returning legions, but instead
Thy mother France, free and republican,

Shall on thy dead and crownless forehead place
The better laurels of a soldier’s crown,
That not dishonoured should thy soul go down
To tell the mighty Sire of thy race

That France hath kissed the mouth of Liberty,
And found it sweeter than his honied bees,
And that the giant wave Democracy
Breaks on the shores where Kings lay crouched at ease.

poem – on easter day

The silver trumpets rang across the Dome:
The people knelt upon the ground with awe:
And borne upon the necks of men I saw,
Like some great God, the Holy Lord of Rome.
Priest-like, he wore a robe more white than foam,
And, king-like, swathed himself in royal red,
Three crowns of gold rose high upon his head:
In splendor and in light the Pope passed home.
My heart stole back across wide wastes of years
To One who wandered by a lonely sea,
And sought in vain for any place of rest:
“Foxes have holes, and every bird its nest,
I, only I, must wander wearily,
And bruise My feet, and drink wine salt with tears.”

poem – pan

1

O goat-foot God of Arcady!
This modern world is grey and old,
And what remains to us of thee?

No more the shepherd lads in glee
Throw apples at thy wattled fold,
O goat-foot God of Arcady!

Nor through the laurels can one see
Thy soft brown limbs, thy beard of gold,
And what remains to us of thee?

And dull and dead our Thames would be,
For here the winds are chill and cold,
O goat-foot God of Arcady!

Then keep the tomb of Helice,
Thine olive-woods, thy vine-clad wold,
And what remains to us of thee?

Though many an unsung elegy
Sleeps in the reeds our rivers hold,
O goat-foot God of Arcady!
Ah, what remains to us of thee?

2.

Ah, leave the hills of Arcady,
Thy satyrs and their wanton play,
This modern world hath need of thee.

No nymph of Faun indeed have we,
For Faun and nymph are old and grey,
Ah, leave the hills of Arcady!

This is the land where liberty
Lit grave-browed Milton on his way,
This modern world hath need of thee!

A land of ancient chivalry
Where gentle Sidney saw the day,
Ah, leave the hills of Arcady.

This fierce sea-lion of the sea,
This England lacks some stronger lay,
This modern world hath need of thee!

Then blow some trumpet loud and free,
And give thine oaten pipe away,
Ah, leave the hills of Arcady!
This modern world hath need of thee!

poem – the disciple

When Narcissus died the pool of his pleasure changed from a cup of
sweet waters into a cup of salt tears, and the Oreads came weeping
through the woodland that they might sing to the pool and give it
comfort.

And when they saw that the pool had changed from a cup of sweet
waters into a cup of salt tears, they loosened the green tresses of
their hair and cried to the pool and said, ‘We do not wonder that
you should mourn in this manner for Narcissus, so beautiful was
he.’

‘But was Narcissus beautiful?’ said the pool.

‘Who should know that better than you?’ answered the Oreads. ‘Us
did he ever pass by, but you he sought for, and would lie on your
banks and look down at you, and in the mirror of your waters he
would mirror his own beauty.’

And the pool answered, ‘But I loved Narcissus because, as he lay on
my banks and looked down at me, in the mirror of his eyes I saw
ever my own beauty mirrored.’

poem – lotus leaves

I –
There is no peace beneath the moon,-
Ah! in those meadows is there peace
Where, girdled with a silver fleece,
As a bright shepherd, strays the moon? –
Queen of the gardens of the sky,
Where stars like lilies, white and fair,
Shine through the mists of frosty air,
Oh, tarry, for the dawn is nigh! –
Oh, tarry, for the envious day
Stretches long hands to catch thy feet.
Alas! but thou art overfleet,
Alas! I know thou wilt not stay.

II –
Eastward the dawn has broken red,
The circling mists and shadows flee;
Aurora rises from the sea,
And leaves the crocus-flowered bed. –
Eastward the silver arrows fall,
Splintering the veil of holy night:
And a long wave of yellow light
Breaks silently on tower and hall. –
And speeding wide across the wold
Wakes into flight some fluttering bird;
And all the chestnut tops are stirred,
And all the branches streaked with gold.

III –
To outer senses there is peace,
A dream-like peace on either hand,
Deep silence in the shadowy land,
Deep silence where the shadows cease, –
Save for a cry that echoes shrill
From some lone bird disconsolate;
A curlew calling to its mate;
The answer from the distant hill. –
And, herald of my love to Him
Who, waiting for the dawn, doth lie,
The orbed maiden leaves the sky,
And the white firs grow more dim.

IV –
Up sprang the sun to run his race,
The breeze blew fair on meadow and lea,
But in the west I seemed to see
The likeness of a human face. –
A linnet on the hawthorn spray
Sang of the glories of the spring,
And made the flow’ring copses ring
With gladness for the new-born day. –
A lark from out the grass I trod
Flew wildly, and was lost to view
In the great seamless veil of blue
That hangs before the face of God. –
The willow whispered overhead
That death is but a newer life
And that with idle words of strife
We bring dishonour on the dead. –
I took a branch from off the tree,
And hawthorn branches drenched with dew,
I bound them with a sprig of yew,
And made a garland fair to see. –
I laid the flowers where He lies
(Warm leaves and flowers on the stones):
What joy I had to sit alone
Till evening broke on tired eyes: –
Till all the shifting clouds had spun
A robe of gold for God to wear
And into seas of purple air
Sank the bright galley of the sun.

V –
Shall I be gladdened for the day,
And let my inner heart be stirred
By murmuring tree or song of bird,
And sorrow at the wild winds’ play? –
Not so, such idle dreams belong
To souls of lesser depth than mine;
I feel that I am half divine;
I that I am great and strong. –
I know that every forest tree
By labour rises from the root
I know that none shall gather fruit
By sailing on the barren sea.

poem – the master

Now when the darkness came over the earth Joseph of Arimathea,
having lighted a torch of pinewood, passed down from the hill into
the valley. For he had business in his own home.

And kneeling on the flint stones of the Valley of Desolation he saw
a young man who was naked and weeping. His hair was the colour of
honey, and his body was as a white flower, but he had wounded his
body with thorns and on his hair had he set ashes as a crown.

And he who had great possessions said to the young man who was
naked and weeping, ‘I do not wonder that your sorrow is so great,
for surely He was a just man.’

And the young man answered, ‘It is not for Him that I am weeping,
but for myself. I too have changed water into wine, and I have
healed the leper and given sight to the blind. I have walked upon
the waters, and from the dwellers in the tombs I have cast out
devils. I have fed the hungry in the desert where there was no
food, and I have raised the dead from their narrow houses, and at
my bidding, and before a great multitude, of people, a barren fig-
tree withered away. All things that this man has done I have done
also. And yet they have not crucified me.’

Poem – The Artist

One evening there came into his soul the desire to fashion an image of The Pleasure that abideth for a Moment. And he went forth into the world to look for bronze. For he could only think in bronze.

But all the bronze of the whole world had disappeared, nor anywhere in the whole world was there any bronze to be found, save only the bronze of the image of The Sorrow that endureth for Ever.

Now this image he had himself, and with his own hands, fashioned, and had set it on the tomb of the one thing he had loved in life. On the tomb of the dead thing he had most loved had he set this image of his own fashioning, that it might serve as a sign of the love of man that dieth not, and a symbol of the sorrow of man that endureth for ever. And in the whole world there was no other bronze save the bronze of this image.

And he took the image he had fashioned, and set it in a great furnace, and gave it to the fire.

And out of the bronze of the image of The Sorrow that endureth for Ever he fashioned an image of The Pleasure that abideth for a Moment.

Poem – To My Wife

I can write no stately proem
As a prelude to my lay;
From a poet to a poem
I would dare to say.

For if of these fallen petals
One to you seem fair,
Love will waft it till it settles
On your hair.

And when wind and winter harden
All the loveless land,
It will whisper of the garden,
You will understand.

Poem – A Vision

Two crowned Kings, and One that stood alone
With no green weight of laurels round his head,
But with sad eyes as one uncomforted,
And wearied with man’s never-ceasing moan
For sins no bleating victim can atone,
And sweet long lips with tears and kisses fed.
Girt was he in a garment black and red,
And at his feet I marked a broken stone
Which sent up lilies, dove-like, to his knees.
Now at their sight, my heart being lit with flame,
I cried to Beatrice, ‘Who are these? ‘
And she made answer, knowing well each name,
‘AEschylos first, the second Sophokles,
And last (wide stream of tears!) Euripides.’

Poem – Her Voice

THE wild bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing.
Now in a lily-cup, and now
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
In his wandering;
Sit closer love: it was here I trow
I made that vow,

Swore that two lives should be like one
As long as the sea-gull loved the sea,
As long as the sunflower sought the sun,–
It shall be, I said, for eternity
‘Twixt you and me!
Dear friend, those times are over and done,
Love’s web is spun.

Look upward where the poplar trees
Sway and sway in the summer air,
Here in the valley never a breeze
Scatters the thistledown, but there
Great winds blow fair
From the mighty murmuring mystical seas,
And the wave-lashed leas.

Look upward where the white gull screams,
What does it see that we do not see?
Is that a star? or the lamp that gleams
On some outward voyaging argosy,–
Ah! can it be
We have lived our lives in a land of dreams!
How sad it seems.

Sweet, there is nothing left to say
But this, that love is never lost,
Keen winter stabs the breasts of May
Whose crimson roses burst his frost,
Ships tempest-tossed
Will find a harbour in some bay,
And so we may.

And there is nothing left to do
But to kiss once again, and part,
Nay, there is nothing we should rue,
I have my beauty,–you your Art,
Nay, do not start,
One world was not enough for two
Like me and you.

Poem – Flower of Love

Sweet, I blame you not, for mine the fault was, had I not been made of common
clay
I had climbed the higher heights unclimbed yet, seen the fuller air, the
larger day.

From the wildness of my wasted passion I had struck a better, clearer song,
Lit some lighter light of freer freedom, battled with some Hydra-headed wrong.

Had my lips been smitten into music by the kisses that but made them bleed,
You had walked with Bice and the angels on that verdant and enamelled meed.

I had trod the road which Dante treading saw the suns of seven circles shine,
Ay! perchance had seen the heavens opening, as they opened to the Florentine.

And the mighty nations would have crowned me, who am crownless now and without
name,
And some orient dawn had found me kneeling on the threshold of the House of
Fame.

I had sat within that marble circle where the oldest bard is as the young,
And the pipe is ever dropping honey, and the lyre’s strings are ever strung.

Keats had lifted up his hymeneal curls from out the poppy-seeded wine,
With ambrosial mouth had kissed my forehead, clasped the hand of noble love in
mine.

And at springtide, when the apple-blossoms brush the burnished bosom of the
dove,
Two young lovers lying in an orchard would have read the story of our love;

Would have read the legend of my passion, known the bitter secret of my heart,
Kissed as we have kissed, but never parted as we two are fated now to part.

For the crimson flower of our life is eaten by the cankerworm of truth,
And no hand can gather up the fallen withered petals of the rose of youth.

Yet I am not sorry that I loved you -ah! what else had I a boy to do? –
For the hungry teeth of time devour, and the silent-footed years pursue.

Rudderless, we drift athwart a tempest, and when once the storm of youth is
past,
Without lyre, without lute or chorus, Death the silent pilot comes at last.

And within the grave there is no pleasure, for the blindworm battens on the
root,
And Desire shudders into ashes, and the tree of Passion bears no fruit.

Ah! what else had I to do but love you? God’s own mother was less dear to me,
And less dear the Cytheraean rising like an argent lily from the sea.

I have made my choice, have lived my poems, and, though youth is gone in
wasted days,
I have found the lover’s crown of myrtle better than the poet’s crown of bays.