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A tree’s leaves may be ever so good,

So may its bar, so may its wood;

But unless you put the right thing to its root

It never will show much flower or fruit

 

But I may be one who does not care

Ever to have tree bloom or bear.

Leaves for smooth and bark for rough,

Leaves and bark maybe tree enough.

 

Some giant trees have bloom so small

They might as well have none at all

Late in life I have come on fern.

Now lichens are due to have their turn.

 

I bade men tell me which in brief,

Which is fairer, flower or leaf.

They did not have the wit to say,

Leaves by night and flowers by day.

 

Leaves and bar, leaves and bark,

To lean against and hear in the dark.

Petals I may have once pursued.

Leaves are all my darker mood.

Romance, who loves to nod and sing

With drowsy head and folded wing

Among the green leaves as  they shake

Far down within some shadowy lake,

To me a painted paroquet

Hath been-most familiar bird-

Taught me my alphabet world

To lisp my very earliest word

While in the wild wood I did lie,

A child-with a most knowing eye.

 

Of late, eternal condor years

So shake the very Heaven on high

With tumult as they thunder by,

I have no time for idle cares

Through gazing on the unquiet sky;

And when an hour with calmer wings

Its down upon my spirit flings;

That little time with lyre and rhyme

To while away-forbidden things-

My heart would feel to be a crime

Unless it trembled with the strings.

 

 

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers t0-day;

And give us not to think so far away

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here

All simply in the springing of the year.

 

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,

Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;

And make us happy in the happy bees,

The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

 

And make us happy in the darting bird

That suddenly above the bees is heard,

The meteor that thrusts in the needle bill,

And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

 

For this is love and nothing else is love,

The which it is reserved for God above

To sanctify to what fat ends He will,

But which it only needs that we fulfil.

 

Lovers, forget your love,

And list to the love of these,

She a window flower,

And he a winter breeze.

 

When the frosty window veil

Was melted down at noon,

And the caged yellow bird

Hung over her in tune.

 

He marked her through the pane,

He could not help but mark,

And only passed her by,

To come again at dark.

 

He was a winter wind,

Concerned with ice and snow,

Dead weeds and unmated birds

And little of life could know.

 

But he signed upon the sill,

He gave the sash a shake,

As witness all within

Who lay that night awake.

 

Perchance he half prevailed

To win her for the fight

From firelit looking glass

And warm stove-window light

 

But the flower leaned aside

And thought of naught to say,

And morning found the breeze

A hundred miles away.

 

At last, when all the summer shine

That warmed life’s early hours past,

Your loving fingers seek for mine

And hold them close-at last-at last!

Not oft the robin comes to build

Its nest upon the leafless bough

By autumn robbed, by winter chilled,-

But you, dear heart, you love me now.

 

Though there are shadows on my brow

And furrows on my cheek, in truth,-

The marks where Time’s remorseless plough

Broke up the blooming sward of Youth,-

Though fled is every girlish grace

Might win or hold a lover’s vow,

Despite my sad and faded face,

And darkened heart, you love me now!

 

I count no more my wasted tears;

They left no echo of their fall;

I mourn no more my lonesome years;

This blessed hour atones for all.

Hear not all that Time of Fate

May bring to burden heart or brow,-

Strong is the love that came so late,

Our souls shall keep it always now!

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.

‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers-

That perches in the soul-

And sings the tune without the words-

And never stops-at all-

 

And sweetest-in the Gale-is heard-

And sore must be the storm-

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm-

 

I’ve heard it in the chilliest Land-

And on the strangest Sea-

Yet, never, in Extremity,

It asked a crumb-of Me.

Here’s to the men! Since Adam’s time

They’ve always been the same;

Whenever anything goes wrong,

The woman is to blame.

From early morn to late at night,

The men fault-finders are;

They blame us if they oversleep,

Or if they miss the car.

They blame us if , beneath the bed,

Their collar buttons roll;

They blame us if the fire is out

Or if there is no coal.

They blame us if they cut themselves

While shaving, and they swear

That we’re to blame if they decide

To go upon a tear.

 

Here’s to the men, the perfect men!

Who never are at fault;

They blame us if they chance to get

The pepper for the salt.

They blame us if the business fails,

Or back a losing horse;

And when it rains on holidays

The fault is ours, of course.

They blame us when they fall in love,

And when they married get;

Likewise they blame us when they’re sick,

And when they fall in debt.

For everything that crisscross goes

They say we are to blame;

But, after all, here’s to the men,

We love them just the same!

From childhood’s hour I have not been

As others were; I have not seen

As others saw; I could not bring

My passions from a common spring.

From the same source I have not taken

My sorrow, I could not awaken

My heart to joy at the same tone;

And all I loved I loved alone.

Then-in my childhood, in the dawn

Of a most stormy life-was drawn

From every depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still:

From the torrent, or the fountain,

From the red cliff of the mountain,

From the sun that around me rolled

In its autumn tint of gold,

From the lighting in the sky

As it passed me flying by,

From the thunder and the storm,

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view.

Love is twain, it is not single,

Gold and silver mixed to one,

Passion ’tis and pain which mingle

Glist’ring then for aye undone.

 

Pain it is not; wondering pity

Dies or e’er the pang is fled;

Passion ’tis not, foul and gritty,

Born one instant, instant dead.

 

Love is twain, it is not single,

Gold and silver mixed to one,

Passion ’tis and pain which mingle

Glist’ring then for aye undone.