New Poems

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THE COCK'S CLEAR VOICE INTO THE CLEARER AIR

THE cock's clear voice into the clearer air Where westward far I roam, Mounts with a thrill of hope, Falls with a sigh of home.

A rural sentry, he from farm and field The coming morn descries, And, mankind's bugler, wakes The camp of enterprise.

He sings the morn upon the westward hills Strange and remote and wild; He sings it in the land Where once I was a child.

He brings to me dear voices of the past, The old land and the years: My father calls for me, My weeping spirit hears.

Fife, fife, into the golden air, O bird, And sing the morning in; For the old days are past And new days begin.

NOW WHEN THE NUMBER OF MY YEARS

NOW when the number of my years Is all fulfilled, and I From sedentary life Shall rouse me up to die, Bury me low and let me lie Under the wide and starry sky. Joying to live, I joyed to die, Bury me low and let me lie.

Clear was my soul, my deeds were free, Honour was called my name, I fell not back from fear Nor followed after fame. Bury me low and let me lie Under the wide and starry sky. Joying to live, I joyed to die, Bury me low and let me lie.

Bury me low in valleys green And where the milder breeze Blows fresh along the stream, Sings roundly in the trees - Bury me low and let me lie Under the wide and starry sky. Joying to live, I joyed to die, Bury me low and let me lie.

WHAT MAN MAY LEARN, WHAT MAN MAY DO

WHAT man may learn, what man may do, Of right or wrong of false or true, While, skipper-like, his course he steers Through nine and twenty mingled years, Half misconceived and half forgot, So much I know and practise not.

Old are the words of wisdom, old The counsels of the wise and bold: To close the ears, to check the tongue, To keep the pining spirit young; To act the right, to say the true, And to be kind whate'er you do.

Thus we across the modern stage Follow the wise of every age; And, as oaks grow and rivers run Unchanged in the unchanging sun, So the eternal march of man Goes forth on an eternal plan.

SMALL IS THE TRUST WHEN LOVE IS GREEN

SMALL is the trust when love is green In sap of early years; A little thing steps in between And kisses turn to tears.

Awhile - and see how love be grown In loveliness and power! Awhile, it loves the sweets alone, But next it loves the sour.

A little love is none at all That wanders or that fears; A hearty love dwells still at call To kisses or to tears.

Such then be mine, my love to give, And such be yours to take:- A faith to hold, a life to live, For lovingkindness' sake:

Should you be sad, should you be gay, Or should you prove unkind, A love to hold the growing way And keep the helping mind:-

A love to turn the laugh on care When wrinkled care appears, And, with an equal will, to share Your losses and your tears.

KNOW YOU THE RIVER NEAR TO GREZ

KNOW you the river near to Grez, A river deep and clear? Among the lilies all the way, That ancient river runs to-day From snowy weir to weir.

Old as the Rhine of great renown, She hurries clear and fast, She runs amain by field and town From south to north, from up to down, To present on from past.

The love I hold was borne by her; And now, though far away, My lonely spirit hears the stir Of water round the starling spur Beside the bridge at Grez.

So may that love forever hold In life an equal pace; So may that love grow never old, But, clear and pure and fountain-cold, Go on from grace to grace.

IT'S FORTH ACROSS THE ROARING FOAM

IT'S forth across the roaring foam, and on towards the west, It's many a lonely league from home, o'er many a mountain crest, From where the dogs of Scotland call the sheep around the fold, To where the flags are flying beside the Gates of Gold.

Where all the deep-sea galleons ride that come to bring the corn, Where falls the fog at eventide and blows the breeze at morn; It's there that I was sick and sad, alone and poor and cold, In yon distressful city beside the Gates of Gold.

I slept as one that nothing knows; but far along my way, Before the morning God rose and planned the coming day; Afar before me forth he went, as through the sands of old, And chose the friends to help me beside the Gates of Gold.

I have been near, I have been far, my back's been at the wall, Yet aye and ever shone the star to guide me through it all: The love of God, the help of man, they both shall make me bold Against the gates of darkness as beside the Gates of Gold.

New Poems Page 13

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Robert Louis Stevenson
Classic Literature Library

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