New Poems

Page 04

THE RELIC TAKEN, WHAT AVAILS THE SHRINE?

THE relic taken, what avails the shrine? The locket, pictureless? O heart of mine, Art thou not worse than that, Still warm, a vacant nest where love once sat?

Her image nestled closer at my heart Than cherished memories, healed every smart And warmed it more than wine Or the full summer sun in noon-day shine.

This was the little weather gleam that lit The cloudy promontories - the real charm was That gilded hills and woods And walked beside me thro' the solitudes.

The sun is set. My heart is widowed now Of that companion-thought. Alone I plough The seas of life, and trace A separate furrow far from her and grace.

ABOUT THE SHELTERED GARDEN GROUND

ABOUT the sheltered garden ground The trees stand strangely still. The vale ne'er seemed so deep before, Nor yet so high the hill.

An awful sense of quietness, A fulness of repose, Breathes from the dewy garden-lawns, The silent garden rows.

As the hoof-beats of a troop of horse Heard far across a plain, A nearer knowledge of great thoughts Thrills vaguely through my brain.

I lean my head upon my arm, My heart's too full to think; Like the roar of seas, upon my heart Doth the morning stillness sink.

AFTER READING "ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA"

AS when the hunt by holt and field Drives on with horn and strife, Hunger of hopeless things pursues Our spirits throughout life.

The sea's roar fills us aching full Of objectless desire - The sea's roar, and the white moon-shine, And the reddening of the fire.

Who talks to me of reason now? It would be more delight To have died in Cleopatra's arms Than be alive to-night.

I KNOW NOT HOW, BUT AS I COUNT

I KNOW not how, but as I count The beads of former years, Old laughter catches in my throat With the very feel of tears.

SPRING SONG

THE air was full of sun and birds, The fresh air sparkled clearly. Remembrance wakened in my heart And I knew I loved her dearly.

The fallows and the leafless trees And all my spirit tingled. My earliest thought of love, and Spring's First puff of perfume mingled.

In my still heart the thoughts awoke, Came lone by lone together - Say, birds and Sun and Spring, is Love A mere affair of weather?

THE SUMMER SUN SHONE ROUND ME

THE summer sun shone round me, The folded valley lay In a stream of sun and odour, That sultry summer day.

The tall trees stood in the sunlight As still as still could be, But the deep grass sighed and rustled And bowed and beckoned me.

The deep grass moved and whispered And bowed and brushed my face. It whispered in the sunshine: "The winter comes apace."

YOU LOOKED SO TEMPTING IN THE PEW

YOU looked so tempting in the pew, You looked so sly and calm - My trembling fingers played with yours As both looked out the Psalm.

Your heart beat hard against my arm, My foot to yours was set, Your loosened ringlet burned my cheek Whenever they two met.

O little, little we hearkened, dear, And little, little cared, Although the parson sermonised, The congregation stared.

LOVE'S VICISSITUDES

AS Love and Hope together Walk by me for a while, Link-armed the ways they travel For many a pleasant mile - Link-armed and dumb they travel, They sing not, but they smile.

Hope leaving, Love commences To practise on the lute; And as he sings and travels With lingering, laggard foot, Despair plays obligato The sentimental flute.

Until in singing garments Comes royally, at call - Comes limber-hipped Indiff'rence Free stepping, straight and tall - Comes singing and lamenting, The sweetest pipe of all.

DUDDINGSTONE

WITH caws and chirrupings, the woods In this thin sun rejoice. The Psalm seems but the little kirk That sings with its own voice.

The cloud-rifts share their amber light With the surface of the mere - I think the very stones are glad To feel each other near.

Once more my whole heart leaps and swells And gushes o'er with glee; The fingers of the sun and shade Touch music stops in me.

Now fancy paints that bygone day When you were here, my fair - The whole lake rang with rapid skates In the windless winter air.

You leaned to me, I leaned to you, Our course was smooth as flight - We steered - a heel-touch to the left, A heel-touch to the right.

We swung our way through flying men, Your hand lay fast in mine: We saw the shifting crowd dispart, The level ice-reach shine.

I swear by yon swan-travelled lake, By yon calm hill above, I swear had we been drowned that day We had been drowned in love.

New Poems Page 05

Robert Louis Stevenson

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

Robert Louis Stevenson
Classic Literature Library

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