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Come to me in my dreams, and then

By day I shall be well again!

For so the night will more than pay

The hopeless longing of the day.

 

Come, as thou cam’st a thousand times,

A messenger from radiant climes,

And smile on thy new world, and be

As kind to others as to me!

 

Or, as thou never cam’st sooth,

Come now, and let me dream it truth,

And part my hair, and kiss my brow,

And say, my love why sufferest thou?

 

Come to me in my dreams, and then

By day I shall be well again!

For so the night will more than pay

The hopeless longing of the day.

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When June comes dancing o’er the death of May,

With scarlet roses tinting her green breast,

And mating thrushes ushering in her day,

And Earth on tiptoe for her golden guest,

 

I always see the evening when we met—

The first of June baptized in tender rain—

And walked home through the wide streets, gleaming wet,

Arms locked, our warm flesh pulsing with love’s pain.

 

I always see the cheerful little room,

And in the corner, fresh and white, the bed,

Sweet scented with a delicate perfume,

Wherein for one night only we were wed;

 

Where in the starlit stillness we lay mute,

And heard the whispering showers all night long,

And your brown burning body was a lute

Whereon my passion played his fevered song.

 

When June comes dancing o’er the death of May,

With scarlet roses staining her fair feet,

My soul takes leave of me to sing all day

A love so fugitive and so complete.

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.

 

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!

When we two parted

In silence and tears,

Half broken-hearted,

To sever for years,

Pale grew thy cheek and cold,

Colder thy kiss;

Truly that hour foretold

Sorrow to this.

 

The dew of the morning

Sank chill on my brow-

It felt like the warning

Of what I feel now.

Thy vows are all broken,

And light is thy fame:

I hear thy name spoken,

And share in its shame.

 

They name thee before me,

A kneel to mine ear,

A shudder comes o’er me-

Why wert thou so dear?

They know not I knew thee,

Who knew thee too well-

Long, long shall I rue thee

Too deeply to tell

 

In secret we met-

In silence I grieve

That the heart could forget,

Thy spirit deceive.

If I should meet thee

After long years,

How should I greet thee?-

With silence and tears.

 

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

 

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

 

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

Never seek to tell thy love,

Love that never told can be;

For the gentle wind does move

Silently, invisibly.

 

I told my love, I told my love,

I told her all my heart;

Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears,

Ah! she did depart!

 

Soon as she was gone from me,

A traveler came by,

Silently, invisibly

He took her with a sigh.

I thought, because we had been friends so long,

That I knew all your dear lips dared intend

Before they dawned to speech. Our thoughts would blend,

I dreamed, like memories that faintly throng.

Your voice dwelt in me like an olden song.

Petal, I thought, from petal I could rend.

The blossom of your soul, and in end

Find still the same sweet fragrance. I was wrong.

Last evening in our eyes love brimmed to birth;

Our friendship faded, lost in passion’s mist.

We had been strangers only! Here, close-caught

Against my heart the dim face I sought

So long! And now the only thing on earth-

Your piteous mouth, a-tremble to be kissed!