You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘literature’ tag.

My love is like to ice, and I to fire:

How comes it then that this her cold so great

Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,

But harder grows the more I her entreat?

Or how comes it that my exceeding heat

Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold,

But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,

And feel my flames augmented manifold?

What more miraculous thing may be told,

That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice,

And ice, which is congeal’d with senseless cold,

Should kindle fire by wonderful device?

Such is the power of love in gentle mind,

That it can alter all the course of kind.

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.

O well for him who leaves at ease

With garnered gold in wide domain,

Nor heeds the splashing of the rain,

The crashing down of forest trees.-

O well for him who ne’er hath known

The travail of the hungry years,

A father grey with grief and tears,

A mother weeping all alone.-

But well for him whose feet hath trod

The weary road of toil and strife,

Yet from the sorrows of his life

Builds ladders to be nearer God.

 

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.

 

 

My mistress’s eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lip’s red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damasked, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks,

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know,

That music hath a far more pleasing sound.

I grant I never so a goddess go;

My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare

As any she belied with false compare.

 

 

Now that we’ve done our best and worst, and parted,

I would fill my mind with thoughts that will not rend.

(O heart, I do not dare go empty-hearted)

I’ll think of Love in books, Love without end;

Women with child, content, and old men sleeping;

And wet strong ploughlands, scarred for certain grain;

And babes that weep, and so forget their weeping,

And the young heavens, forgetful after rain;

And evening hush, broken by honing wings;

And Song’s nobility, and Wisdom holy,

That live, we dead I would think of thousand things,

Lovely and durable, and taste them slowly,

One after one, like tasting a sweet food

I have need to busy my heart with quietude.

 

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!

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.