A Persuasion - Hart Crane July
If she waits late at night
Hearing the wind,
It is to gather kindnesses
No world can offer.
She has drawn her hands away.
The wind plays andantes
Of lost hopes and regrets,—
And yet is kind.
Below the wind,
Waiting for morning
The hills lie curved and bent
As now her heart and mind.
The Viking Code
Day That I Have Loved
The Viking Code - Esaias Tegnér
Now he floated around on the desolate sea, like a
prey-seeking falcon he rode,
To the champions on board he gave justice and law;
wilt thou hear now the sea-viking's code?
"Make no tent on thy ship, never sleep in a house, for
a foe within doors you may view;
On his shield sleeps the viking; his sword in his hand,
and his tent is the heavenly blue.
See how short is the shaft of the hammer of Thor, but
an ell's length the sword blade of Frey;
'Tis enough, for your weapon will ne'er be too short if
you dare near the enemy stay.
"When the storm rageth fierce, hoist the sail to the top,--
O how merry the storm-king appears;
Let her drive! let her drive! better founder than strike,
for who strikes is a slave to his fears.
"Never take on thy vessel the land-sheltered maid; were
she Freyja herself she'd ensnare;
For the dimples she wears are but pitfalls for men, and
a net is her free flowing hair.
"Wine is Allfather's drink, and the cup is allowed if you
only can use it with sense;
He who falls on the land may arise,--who falls here he
to Ran, the sleep-giving, goes hence.
"If a merchant sail by, you must shelter his ship, but
the weak will not tribute withhold;
You are king of the waves, he a slave to his gains; and
your steel is as good as his gold.
"Let your goods he divided by lot or by dice, how it
falls you may never complain;
But the sea-king himself takes no part in the lots,--he
considers the honor his gain.
"If a viking-ship come, there is grappling and strife,
and the fight 'neath the shields will rejoice;
If you yield but a pace you are parted from us; 'tis the
law, you may act by your choice.
"If you win, be content; he who praying for peace
yields his sword, is no longer a foe;
"Prayer's a Valhalla-child, hear the suppliant voice; he's
a coward who answereth no.
"Wounds are viking's reward, and the pride of the man
on whose breast or whose forehead they stand;
Let them bleed on unbound till the close of the day, if
you wish to be one of our band."
Thus his law was enrolled,--and his name, every day,
through all foreign coasts grew renowned;
For his like was not seen on the blue-rolling sea, nor the
valor his champions crowned.
Then he sat by the rudder and sullenly gazed in the
depths of the blue rocking tide;
"Thou art deep; in thy depths thriveth peace, it may
be, but it thriveth not here where we ride.
"Is the White God enraged? Let him take up his sword,
I will fall if it thus is designed;
But he sits in the skies, and the thoughts he sends
down which forever are clouding my mind."
When the conflict came on, then his spirit arose like an
eagle refreshed for its flight;
And his brow it was clear, and his voice it rang high,--
like the thunderer first in the fight.
So from conquest to conquest unbroken he went, and
was safe o'er the high, foaming grave;
And he saw in the south many islands and rocks, till
he came to the calm Grecian wave.
When he saw the green groves that stand out from the
waves, and the temple before him uprose,
What he thought Freyja knows, and the poet knows too,
and the lover, he knows, ah! he knows!
"Here we ought to have dwelt, here's the island and
grove, here the fane as my father set forth.
It was here, it was here I invited my love, but the cruel
one staid in the North.
"Surely peace has its home in those blissful green dales,--
in the colonnades, memory's words;
Like the whisper of love are the murmuring founts, and
a bride-song the voice of the birds.
"Where is Ingeborg now? Hath forgotten me quite for
the gray-haired and withered old king?
I can never forget, but my life I would give, if one sight
of my love it would bring.
"Now three years have passed by since the land I beheld
where heroic achievement prevails;
Tower the honored mounts yet to the heavenly blue? is
it green in my forefathers' dales?
"On the grave where my father is laid I once planted
a tree; can it be it lives now?
And who cares for the weakling? Thou earth give it
moisture, and dew, kindly heaven, give thou.
"But why linger I longer on far distant waves, taking
tribute and striking men down?
For my soul but despises the glittering gold, and I've
gained quite enough of renown.
"There's a flag on the mast and it points to the North,
in the North is the land I hold dear;
I will follow the course of the heavenly winds, and back
to the Northland I'll steer."
Day That I Have Loved - Rupert Brooke
Tenderly, day that I have loved, I close your eyes,
And smooth your quiet brow, and fold your thin dead hands.
The grey veils of the half-light deepen; colour dies.
I bear you, a light burden, to the shrouded sands,
Where lies your waiting boat, by wreaths of the sea's making
Mist-garlanded, with all grey weeds of the water crowned.
There you'll be laid, past fear of sleep or hope of waking;
And over the unmoving sea, without a sound,
Faint hands will row you outward, out beyond our sight,
Us with stretched arms and empty eyes on the far-gleaming
And marble sand. . . .
Beyond the shifting cold twilight,
Further than laughter goes, or tears, further than dreaming,
There'll be no port, no dawn-lit islands! But the drear
Waste darkening, and, at length, flame ultimate on the deep.
Oh, the last fire — and you, unkissed, unfriended there!
Oh, the lone way's red ending, and we not there to weep!
(We found you pale and quiet, and strangely crowned with flowers,
Lovely and secret as a child. You came with us,
Came happily, hand in hand with the young dancing hours,
High on the downs at dawn!) Void now and tenebrous,
The grey sands curve before me. . . .
From the inland meadows,
Fragrant of June and clover, floats the dark, and fills
The hollow sea's dead face with little creeping shadows,
And the white silence brims the hollow of the hills.
Close in the nest is folded every weary wing,
Hushed all the joyful voices; and we, who held you dear,
Eastward we turn and homeward, alone, remembering . . .
Day that I loved, day that I loved, the Night is here!
Sympathy - Dorothy Leigh Sayers
I sat and talked with you
In the shifting fire and gloom,
Making you answer due
In delicate speech and smooth--
Nor did I fail to note
The black curve of your head
And the golden skin of your throat
On the cushion's golden-red.
But all the while, behind,
In the workshop of my mind,
The weird weaver of doom
Was walking to and fro,
Drawing thread upon thread
With resolute fingers slow
Of the things you did not say
And thought I did not know,
Of the things you said to-day
And had said long ago,
To weave on a wondrous loom,
In dim colours enough,
A curious, stubborn stuff--
The web that we call truth.
To Death - Caroline Anne Southey Bowles
Come not in terrors clad, to claim
An unresisting prey:
Come like an evening shadow, Death!
So stealthily, so silently!
And shut mine eyes, and steal my breath;
Then willingly, O willingly,
With thee I'll go away!
What need to clutch with iron grasp
What gentlest touch may take?
What need with aspect dark to scare,
So awfully, so terribly,
The weary soul would hardly care,
Call'd quietly, call'd tenderly,
From thy dread power to break?
'Tis not as when thou markest out
The young, the blest, the gay,
The loved, the loving-they who dream
So happily, so hopefully;
Then harsh thy kindest call may seem,
And shrinkingly, reluctantly,
The summon'd may obey.
But I have drunk enough of life-
The cup assign'd to me
Dash'd with a little sweet at best,
So scantily, so scantily-
To know full well that all the rest
More bitterly, more bitterly,
Drugg'd to the last will be.
And I may live to pain some heart
That kindly cares for me:
To pain, but not to bless. O Death!
Come quietly-come lovingly-
And shut mine eyes, and steal my breath;
Then willingly, O willingly,
I'll go away with thee!
Lines - Yone Noguchi
I LOVE the saintly chant of the winds touching their odorous fingers to the harp of the angel, spring;
I love the undiscording sound of thousands of birds, whose concord of song echoes on the rivulet afar;
I muse on the solemn mountain which waits in sound content for the time when the Lord calls forth;
I roam with the wings of high-raised fantasy in the pure Universe;
Oh, I chant of the Garden of Adam and Eve!
Short Poetry Collection 169
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