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Archive for the ‘C-D’ Category

Kathleen Mavourneen! the grey dawn is breaking,
The horn of the hunter is heard on the hill;
The lark from her light wing, the bright dew is shaking, –
Kathleen Mavourneen! what, slumbering still?
Oh, has thou forgotten how soon we must sever?
Oh, hast thou forgotten this day we must part?
It may be for years, and it may be for ever!
Oh, why art thou silent, thou voice of my heart?
Oh, why art thou silent, Kathleen Mavourneen? 

Kathleen Mavourneen, awake from thy slumbers!
The blue mountains glow in the sun’s golden light;
Ah, where is the spell that once hung on my numbers?
Arise in thy beauty, thou star of my night!
Mavourneen, Mavourneen, my sad tears are falling,
To think that from Erin and thee I must part!
It may be for years, and it may be for ever!
Then why art thou silent, thou voice of my heart?
Then why art thou silent, Kathleen Mavourneen?

 

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So proud she was to die
It made us all ashamed
That what we cherished, so unknown
To her desire seemed –
So satisfied to go
Where none of us should be
Immediately – that Anguish stooped
Almost to Jealousy –

 

 

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Sinks the sun below the desert,
Golden glows the sluggish Nile;
Purple flame crowns Spring and Temple,
Lights up every ancient pile
Where the old gods now are sleeping;
Isis and Osiris great,
Guard me, help me, give me courage
Like a Queen to meet my fate.

“I am dying, Egypt, dying,,”
Let the Caesar’s army come –
I will cheat him of his glory,
Though beyond the Styx I roam;
Shall he drag this beauty with him –
While the crowd his triumph sings?
No, no, never! I will show him
What lies in the blood of Kings.

Though he hold the golden scepter,
Rule the Pharaoh’s sunny land,
Where old Nilus rolls resistless
Through the sweeps of silvery sand –
He shall never say I met him
Fawning, abject, like a slave –
I will foil him, though to do it
I must cross the Stygian wave.

Oh, my hero, sleeping, sleeping –
Shall I meet you on the shore
Of Plutonian shadows? Shall we
In Death meet and love once more?
See, I follow in your footsteps-
Scorn the Caesar in his might;
For your love I will leap boldly
Into realms of death and night.

Down below the desert sinking,
Fades Apollo’s brilliant car;
And from out the distant azure
Breaks the bright gleam of a star.
Venus, Queen of Love and Beauty,
Welcomes me to death’s embrace,
Dying, free, proud, and triumphant,
The last sovereign of my race.

Dying, dying! I am coming,
Oh, my hero, to your arms;
You will welcome me, I know it –
Guard me from all rude alarms.
Hark! I hear the legions coming,
Hear the cries of triumph swell,
But, proud Caesar, dead I scorn you –
Egypt, Antony, farewell.

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I cannot live with You –
It would be Life –
And Life is over there –
Behind the Shelf 

The Sexton keeps the Key to –
Putting up
Our Life – His Porcelain –
Like a Cup – 

Discarded of the Housewife –
Quaint – or Broke –
A newer Sevres pleases –
Old Ones crack – 

I could not die – with You –
For One must wait
To shut the Other’s Gaze down –
You – could not – 

And I – Could I stand by
And see You – freeze –
Without my Right of Frost –
Death’s privilege?

Nor could I rise – with You –
Because Your Face
Would put out Jesus’ –
That New Grace 

Glow plain – and foreign
On my homesick Eye –
Except that You than He
Shone closer by – 

They’d judge Us – How –
For You – served Heaven – You know,
Or sought to –
I could not – 

Because You saturated Sight –
And I had no more Eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise 

And were You lost, I would be –
Though My Name
Rang loudest
On the Heavenly fame – 

And were You – saved –
And I – condemned to be
Where You were not –
That self – were Hell to Me – 

So We must meet apart –
You there – I – here –
With just the Door ajar
That Oceans are – and Prayer –
And that White Sustenance –
Despair –

 

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Read – Sweet – how others – strove –
Till we – are stouter –
What they -renounced –
Till we – are less afraid –
How many times they – bore the faithful witness –
Till we – are helped –
As if a Kingdom – cared! 

Read then – of faith –
That shone above the fagot –
Clear strains of Hymn
The River could not drown –
Brave names of Men –
And Celestial Women –
Passed out – of Record
Into – Renown!

 

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A song to the oak, the brave old oak,
Who hath ruled in the greenwood long;
Here’s health and renown to his broad green crown,
And his fifty arms so strong.
There’s fear in his frown when the sun goes down,
And the fire in the west fades out;
And he showeth his might on a wild midnight,
When the storms through his branches shout.

Then here’s to the oak, the brave old oak,
Who stands in his pride alone;
And still flourish he, a hale green tree,
When a hundred years are gone!

In the days of old, when the spring with cold
Had, brightened his branches gray,
Through the grass at his feet crept maidens sweet,
To gather the dew of May.
And on that day to the rebeck gay
They frolicked with lovesome swains;
They are gone, they are dead, in the churchyard laid,
But the tree it still remains.

He saw the rare times when the Christmas chimes
Were a merry sound to hear,
When the squire’s wide hall and the cottage small
Were filled with good English cheer.
Now gold hath sway we all obey,
And a ruthless king is he;
But he never shall send our ancient friend
To be tossed on the stormy sea.

 

 

 

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The Frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind. The owlet’s cry
Came loud—and hark, again! loud as before.
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Have left me to that solitude, which suits
Abstruser musings: save that at my side
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
‘Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs
And vexes meditation with its strange
And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood,
This populous village! Sea, and hill, and wood,
With all the numberless goings-on of life,
Inaudible as dreams! the thin blue flame
Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not;
Only that film, which fluttered on the grate,
Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.
Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,
Making it a companionable form,
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit
By its own moods interprets, every where
Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
And makes a toy of Thought.

…………………………………………………But O! how oft,
How oft, at school, with most believing mind,
Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars,
To watch that fluttering stranger! and as oft
With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower,
Whose bells, the poor man’s only music, rang
From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day,
So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me
With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear
Most like articulate sounds of things to come!
So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,
Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams!
And so I brooded all the following morn,
Awed by the stern preceptor’s face, mine eye
Fixed with mock study on my swimming book:
Save if the door half opened, and I snatched
A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped up,
For still I hoped to see the stranger’s face,
Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved,
My play-mate when we both were clothed alike!

………..Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm,
Fill up the intersperséd vacancies
And momentary pauses of the thought!
My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,
And in far other scenes! For I was reared
In the great city, pent ‘mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.
But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.

………Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the night-thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

 

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There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes – 

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are – 

None may teach it – Any –
‘Tis the Seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air – 

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –

 

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(verse from Hard Times by Charles Dickens)

There was an old woman, and what do you think?
She lived upon nothing but victuals and drink;
Victuals and drink were the whole of her diet,
And yet this old woman would NEVER be quiet.

 

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I dreaded that first Robin so,
But He is mastered, now,
I’m some accustomed to Him grown,
He hurts a little, though – 

I thought if I could only live
Till that first Shout got by –
Not all Pianos in the woods
Had power to mangle me – 

I dared not meet the Daffodils –
For fear their Yellow Gown
Would pierce me with a fashion
So foreign to my own – 

I wished the Grass would hurry –
So – when ’twas time to see –
He’d be too tall, the tallest one
Could stretch – to look at me – 

I could not bear the Bees should come,
I wished they’d stay away
In those dim countries where they go,
What word had they, for me? 

They’re here, though; not a creature failed –
No Blossom stayed away
In gentle deference to me –
The Queen of Calvary – 

Each one salutes me, as he goes,
And I, my childish Plumes,
Lift, in bereaved acknowledgment
Of their unthinking Drums –

 

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