New Poems

Page 18


MEN are Heaven's piers; they evermore Unwearying bear the skyey floor; Man's theatre they bear with ease, Unfrowning cariatides! I, for my wife, the sun uphold, Or, dozing, strike the seasons cold. She, on her side, in fairy-wise Deals in diviner mysteries, By spells to make the fuel burn And keep the parlour warm, to turn Water to wine, and stones to bread, By her unconquered hero-head. A naked Adam, naked Eve, Alone the primal bower we weave; Sequestered in the seas of life, A Crusoe couple, man and wife, With all our good, with all our will, Our unfrequented isle we fill; And victor in day's petty wars, Each for the other lights the stars. Come then, my Eve, and to and fro Let us about our garden go; And, grateful-hearted, hand in hand Revisit all our tillage land, And marvel at our strange estate, For hooded ruin at the gate Sits watchful, and the angels fear To see us tread so boldly here. Meanwhile, my Eve, with flower and grass Our perishable days we pass; Far more the thorn observe - and see How our enormous sins go free - Nor less admire, beside the rose, How far a little virtue goes.


THE angler rose, he took his rod, He kneeled and made his prayers to God. The living God sat overhead: The angler tripped, the eels were fed


WHEN loud by landside streamlets gush, And clear in the greenwood quires the thrush, With sun on the meadows And songs in the shadows Comes again to me The gift of the tongues of the lea, The gift of the tongues of meadows.

Straightway my olden heart returns And dances with the dancing burns; It sings with the sparrows; To the rain and the (grimy) barrows Sings my heart aloud - To the silver-bellied cloud, To the silver rainy arrows.

It bears the song of the skylark down, And it hears the singing of the town; And youth on the highways And lovers in byways Follows and sees: And hearkens the song of the leas And sings the songs of the highways.

So when the earth is alive with gods, And the lusty ploughman breaks the sod, And the grass sings in the meadows, And the flowers smile in the shadows, Sits my heart at ease, Hearing the song of the leas, Singing the songs of the meadows.


TO what shall I compare her, That is as fair as she? For she is fairer - fairer Than the sea. What shall be likened to her, The sainted of my youth? For she is truer - truer Than the truth.

As the stars are from the sleeper, Her heart is hid from me; For she is deeper - deeper Than the sea. Yet in my dreams I view her Flush rosy with new ruth - Dreams! Ah, may these prove truer Than the truth.


WHEN the sun comes after rain And the bird is in the blue, The girls go down the lane Two by two.

When the sun comes after shadow And the singing of the showers, The girls go up the meadow, Fair as flowers.

When the eve comes dusky red And the moon succeeds the sun, The girls go home to bed One by one.

And when life draws to its even And the day of man is past, They shall all go home to heaven, Home at last.


LATE, O miller, The birds are silent, The darkness falls. In the house the lights are lighted. See, in the valley they twinkle, The lights of home. Late, O lovers, The night is at hand; Silence and darkness Clothe the land.


TO friends at home, the lone, the admired, the lost The gracious old, the lovely young, to May The fair, December the beloved, These from my blue horizon and green isles, These from this pinnacle of distances I, The unforgetful, dedicate.


I, WHOM Apollo sometime visited, Or feigned to visit, now, my day being done, Do slumber wholly; nor shall know at all The weariness of changes; nor perceive Immeasurable sands of centuries Drink of the blanching ink, or the loud sound Of generations beat the music down.

Robert Louis Stevenson
Classic Literature Library

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