New Poems

Page 08

SWALLOWS TRAVEL TO AND FRO

SWALLOWS travel to and fro, And the great winds come and go, And the steady breezes blow, Bearing perfume, bearing love. Breezes hasten, swallows fly, Towered clouds forever ply, And at noonday, you and I See the same sunshine above.

Dew and rain fall everywhere, Harvests ripen, flowers are fair, And the whole round earth is bare To the moonshine and the sun; And the live air, fanned with wings, Bright with breeze and sunshine, brings Into contact distant things, And makes all the countries one.

Let us wander where we will, Something kindred greets us still; Something seen on vale or hill Falls familiar on the heart; So, at scent or sound or sight, Severed souls by day and night Tremble with the same delight - Tremble, half the world apart.

TO MESDAMES ZASSETSKY AND GARSCHINE

THE wind may blaw the lee-gang way And aye the lift be mirk an' gray, An deep the moss and steigh the brae Where a' maun gang - There's still an hoor in ilka day For luve and sang.

And canty hearts are strangely steeled. By some dikeside they'll find a bield, Some couthy neuk by muir or field They're sure to hit, Where, frae the blatherin' wind concealed, They'll rest a bit.

An' weel for them if kindly fate Send ower the hills to them a mate; They'll crack a while o' kirk an' State, O' yowes an' rain: An' when it's time to take the gate, Tak' ilk his ain.

- Sic neuk beside the southern sea I soucht - sic place o' quiet lee Frae a' the winds o' life. To me, Fate, rarely fair, Had set a freendly company To meet me there.

Kindly by them they gart me sit, An' blythe was I to bide a bit. Licht as o' some hame fireside lit My life for me. - Ower early maun I rise an' quit This happy lee.

TO MADAME GARSCHINE

WHAT is the face, the fairest face, till Care, Till Care the graver - Care with cunning hand, Etches content thereon and makes it fair, Or constancy, and love, and makes it grand?

MUSIC AT THE VILLA MARINA

FOR some abiding central source of power, Strong-smitten steady chords, ye seem to flow And, flowing, carry virtue. Far below, The vain tumultuous passions of the hour Fleet fast and disappear; and as the sun Shines on the wake of tempests, there is cast O'er all the shattered ruins of my past A strong contentment as of battles won.

And yet I cry in anguish, as I hear The long drawn pageant of your passage roll Magnificently forth into the night. To yon fair land ye come from, to yon sphere Of strength and love where now ye shape your flight, O even wings of music, bear my soul!

Ye have the power, if but ye had the will, Strong-smitten steady chords in sequence grand, To bear me forth into that tranquil land Where good is no more ravelled up with ill; Where she and I, remote upon some hill Or by some quiet river's windless strand, May live, and love, and wander hand in hand, And follow nature simply, and be still.

From this grim world, where, sadly, prisoned, we Sit bound with others' heart-strings as with chains, And, if one moves, all suffer, - to that Goal, If such a land, if such a sphere, there be, Thither, from life and all life's joys and pains, O even wings of music, bear my soul!

FEAR NOT, DEAR FRIEND, BUT FREELY LIVE YOUR DAYS

FEAR not, dear friend, but freely live your days Though lesser lives should suffer. Such am I, A lesser life, that what is his of sky Gladly would give for you, and what of praise. Step, without trouble, down the sunlit ways. We that have touched your raiment, are made whole From all the selfish cankers of man's soul, And we would see you happy, dear, or die. Therefore be brave, and therefore, dear, be free; Try all things resolutely, till the best, Out of all lesser betters, you shall find; And we, who have learned greatness from you, we, Your lovers, with a still, contented mind, See you well anchored in some port of rest.

New Poems Page 09

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Robert Louis Stevenson
Classic Literature Library

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