The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

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spiros

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A sampler from this site
http://members.aol.com/GivenRandy/r_emily.htm

You can also download thim all in a zip file:
http://members.aol.com/GivenRandy/r_emily.zip


1

Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine,
Unwind the solemn twine, and tie my Valentine!

Oh the Earth was made for lovers, for damsel, and hopeless swain,
For sighing, and gentle whispering, and unity made of twain.
All things do go a courting, in earth, or sea, or air,
God hath made nothing single but thee in His world so fair!
The bride, and then the bridegroom, the two, and then the one,
Adam, and Eve, his consort, the moon, and then the sun;
The life doth prove the precept, who obey shall happy be,
Who will not serve the sovereign, be hanged on fatal tree.
The high do seek the lowly, the great do seek the small,
None cannot find who seeketh, on this terrestrial ball;
The bee doth court the flower, the flower his suit receives,
And they make merry wedding, whose guests are hundred leaves;
The wind doth woo the branches, the branches they are won,
And the father fond demandeth the maiden for his son.
The storm doth walk the seashore humming a mournful tune,
The wave with eye so pensive, looketh to see the moon,
Their spirits meet together, they make their solemn vows,
No more he singeth mournful, her sadness she doth lose.
The worm doth woo the mortal, death claims a living bride,
Night unto day is married, morn unto eventide;
Earth is a merry damsel, and heaven a knight so true,
And Earth is quite coquettish, and beseemeth in vain to sue.
Now to the application, to the reading of the roll,
To bringing thee to justice, and marshalling thy soul:
Thou art a human solo, a being cold, and lone,
Wilt have no kind companion, thou reap'st what thou hast sown.
Hast never silent hours, and minutes all too long,
And a deal of sad reflection, and wailing instead of song?
There's Sarah, and Eliza, and Emeline so fair,
And Harriet, and Susan, and she with curling hair!
Thine eyes are sadly blinded, but yet thou mayest see
Six true, and comely maidens sitting upon the tree;
Approach that tree with caution, then up it boldly climb,
And seize the one thou lovest, nor care for space, or time!
Then bear her to the greenwood, and build for her a bower,
And give her what she asketh, jewel, or bird, or flower –
And bring the fife, and trumpet, and beat upon the drum –
And bid the world Goodmorrow, and go to glory home!


2

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields –
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!


3

"Sic transit gloria mundi,"
"How doth the busy bee,"
"Dum vivimus vivamus,"
I stay mine enemy!

Oh "veni, vidi, vici!"
Oh caput cap-a-pie!
And oh "memento mori"
When I am far from thee!

Hurrah for Peter Parley!
Hurrah for Daniel Boone!
Three cheers, sir, for the gentleman
Who first observed the moon!

Peter, put up the sunshine;
Patti, arrange the stars;
Tell Luna, tea is waiting,
And call your brother Mars!

Put down the apple, Adam,
And come away with me,
So shalt thou have a pippin
From off my father's tree!

I climb the "Hill of Science,"
I "view the landscape o'er;"
Such transcendental prospect,
I ne'er beheld before!

Unto the Legislature
My country bids me go;
I'll take my india rubbers,
In case the wind should blow!

During my education,
It was announced to me
That gravitation, stumbling,
Fell from an apple tree!

The earth upon an axis
Was once supposed to turn,
By way of a gymnastic
In honor of the sun!

It was the brave Columbus,
A sailing o'er the tide,
Who notified the nations
Of where I would reside!

Mortality is fatal –
Gentility is fine,
Rascality, heroic,
Insolvency, sublime!

Our Fathers being weary,
Laid down on Bunker Hill;
And tho' full many a morning,
Yet they are sleeping still, –

The trumpet, sir, shall wake them,
In dreams I see them rise,
Each with a solemn musket
A marching to the skies!

A coward will remain, Sir,
Until the fight is done;
But an immortal hero
Will take his hat, and run!

Good bye, Sir, I am going;
My country calleth me;
Allow me, Sir, at parting,
To wipe my weeping e'e.

In token of our friendship
Accept this "Bonnie Doon,"
And when the hand that plucked it
Hath passed beyond the moon,

The memory of my ashes
Will consolation be;
Then, farewell, Tuscarora,
And farewell, Sir, to thee!


4

On this wondrous sea
Sailing silently,
Ho! Pilot, ho!
Knowest thou the shore
Where no breakers roar –
Where the storm is o'er?

In the peaceful west
Many the sails at rest –
The anchors fast –
Thither I pilot thee –
Land Ho! Eternity!
Ashore at last!


5

I have a Bird in spring
Which for myself doth sing –
The spring decoys.
And as the summer nears –
And as the Rose appears,
Robin is gone.

Yet do I not repine
Knowing that Bird of mine
Though flown –
Learneth beyond the sea
Melody new for me
And will return.

Fast is a safer hand
Held in a truer Land
Are mine –
And though they now depart,
Tell I my doubting heart
They're thine.

In a serener Bright,
In a more golden light
I see
Each little doubt and fear,
Each little discord here
Removed.

Then will I not repine,
Knowing that Bird of mine
Though flown
Shall in a distant tree
Bright melody for me
Return.


6

Frequently the wood are pink –
Frequently are brown.
Frequently the hills undress
Behind my native town.
Oft a head is crested
I was wont to see –
And as oft a cranny
Where it used to be –
And the Earth – they tell me –
On its Axis turned!
Wonderful Rotation!
By but twelve performed!


7

The feet of people walking home
With gayer sandals go –
The Crocus – til she rises
The Vassal of the snow –
The lips at Hallelujah
Long years of practise bore
Til bye and bye these Bargemen
Walked singing on the shore.

Pearls are the Diver's farthings
Extorted from the Sea –
Pinions – the Seraph's wagon
Pedestrian once – as we –
Night is the morning's Canvas
Larceny – legacy –
Death, but our rapt attention
To Immortality.

My figures fail to tell me
How far the Village lies –
Whose peasants are the Angels –
Whose Cantons dot the skies –
My Classics veil their faces –
My faith that Dark adores –
Which from its solemn abbeys
Such ressurection pours.


8

There is a word
Which bears a sword
Can pierce an armed man –
It hurls its barbed syllables
And is mute again –
But where it fell
The saved will tell
On patriotic day,
Some epauletted Brother
Gave his breath away.

Wherever runs the breathless sun –
Wherever roams the day –
There is its noiseless onset –
There is its victory!
Behold the keenest marksman!
The most accomplished shot!
Time's sublimest target
Is a soul "forgot!"


9

Through lane it lay – through bramble –
Through clearing and through wood –
Banditti often passed us
Upon the lonely road.

The wolf came peering curious –
The owl looked puzzled down –
The serpent's satin figure
Glid stealthily along –

The tempests touched our garments –
The lightning's poinards gleamed –
Fierce from the Crag above us
The hungry Vulture screamed –

The satyr's fingers beckoned –
The valley murmured "Come" –
These were the mates –
This was the road
Those children fluttered home.


10

My wheel is in the dark!
I cannot see a spoke
Yet know its dripping feet
Go round and round.

My foot is on the Tide!
An unfrequented road –
Yet have all roads
A clearing at the end –

Some have resigned the Loom –
Some in the busy tomb
Find quaint employ –

Some with new – stately feet –
Pass royal through the gate –
Flinging the problem back
At you and I!


11

I never told the buried gold
Upon the hill – that lies –
I saw the sun – his plunder done
Crouch low to guard his prize.

He stood as near
As stood you here –
A pace had been between –
Did but a snake bisect the brake
My life had forfeit been.

That was a wondrous booty –
I hope 'twas honest gained.
Those were the fairest ingots
That ever kissed the spade!

Whether to keep the secret –
Whether to reveal –
Whether as I ponder
Kidd will sudden sail –

Could a shrewd advise me
We might e'en divide –
Should a shrewd betray me –
Atropos decide!


12

The morns are meeker than they were –
The nuts are getting brown –
The berry's cheek is plumper –
The Rose is out of town.

The Maple wears a gayer scarf –
The field a scarlet gown –
Lest I should be old fashioned
I'll put a trinket on.


13

Sleep is supposed to be
By souls of sanity
The shutting of the eye.

Sleep is the station grand
Down which, on either hand
The hosts of witness stand!

Morn is supposed to be
By people of degree
The breaking of the Day.

Morning has not occurred!

That shall Aurora be –
East of Eternity –
One with the banner gay –
One in the red array –
That is the break of Day!


14

One Sister have I in our house,
And one, a hedge away.
There's only one recorded,
But both belong to me.

One came the road that I came –
And wore my last year's gown –
The other, as a bird her nest,
Builded our hearts among.

She did not sing as we did –
It was a different tune –
Herself to her a music
As Bumble bee of June.

Today is far from Childhood –
But up and down the hills
I held her hand the tighter –
Which shortened all the miles –

And still her hum
The years among,
Deceives the Butterfly;
Still in her Eye
The Violets lie
Mouldered this many May.

I spilt the dew –
But took the morn –
I chose this single star
From out the wide night's numbers –
Sue - forevermore!


15

The Guest is gold and crimson –
An Opal guest and gray –
Of Ermine is his doublet –
His Capuchin gay –

He reaches town at nightfall –
He stops at every door –
Who looks for him at morning
I pray him too – explore
The Lark's pure territory –
Or the Lapwing's shore!


16

I would distil a cup,
And bear to all my friends,
Drinking to her no more astir,
By beck, or burn, or moor!


17

Baffled for just a day or two –
Embarrassed – not afraid –
Encounter in my garden
An unexpected Maid.

She beckons, and the woods start –
She nods, and all begin –
Surely, such a country
I was never in!


18

The Gentian weaves her fringes –
The Maple's loom is red –
My departing blossoms
Obviate parade.

A brief, but patient illness –
An hour to prepare,
And one below this morning
Is where the angels are –
It was a short procession,
The Bobolink was there –
An aged Bee addressed us –
And then we knelt in prayer –
We trust that she was willing –
We ask that we may be.
Summer – Sister – Seraph!
Let us go with thee!

In the name of the Bee –
And of the Butterfly –
And of the Breeze – Amen!


19

A sepal, petal, and a thorn
Upon a common summer's morn –
A flask of Dew – A Bee or two –
A Breeze – a caper in the trees –
And I'm a Rose!


20

Distrustful of the Gentian –
And just to turn away,
The fluttering of her fringes
Child my perfidy –
Weary for my –––––
I will singing go –
I shall not feel the sleet – then –
I shall not fear the snow.

Flees so the phantom meadow
Before the breathless Bee –
So bubble brooks in deserts
On Ears that dying lie –
Burn so the Evening Spires
To Eyes that Closing go –
Hangs so distant Heaven –
To a hand below.


21

We lose – because we win –
Gamblers – recollecting which
Toss their dice again!


22

All these my banners be.
I sow my pageantry
In May –
It rises train by train –
Then sleeps in state again –
My chancel – all the plain
Today.

To lose – if one can find again –
To miss – if one shall meet –
The Burglar cannot rob – then –
The Broker cannot cheat.
So build the hillocks gaily
Thou little spade of mine
Leaving nooks for Daisy
And for Columbine –
You and I the secret
Of the Crocus know –
Let us chant it softly –
"There is no more snow!"

To him who keeps an Orchis' heart –
The swamps are pink with June.


23

I had a guinea golden –
I lost it in the sand –
And tho' the sum was simple
And pounds were in the land –
Still, had it such a value
Unto my frugal eye –
That when I could not find it –
I sat me down to sigh.

I had a crimson Robin –
Who sang full many a day
But when the woods were painted,
He, too, did fly away –

Time brought me other Robins –
Their ballads were the same –
Still, for my missing Troubador
I kept the "house at hame."

I had a star in heaven –
One "Pleiad" was its name –
And when I was not heeding,
It wandered from the same.
And tho' the skies are crowded –
And all the night ashine –
I do not care about it –
Since none of them are mine.

My story has a moral –
I have a missing friend –
"Pleiad" its name, and Robin,
And guinea in the sand.
And when this mournful ditty
Accompanied with tear –
Shall meet the eye of traitor
In country far from here –
Grant that repentance solemn
May seize upon his mind –
And he no consolation
Beneath the sun may find.


24

There is a morn by men unseen –
Whose maids upon remoter green
Keep their Seraphic May –
And all day long, with dance and game,
And gambol I may never name –
Employ their holiday.

Here to light measure, move the feet
Which walk no more the village street –
Nor by the wood are found –
Here are the birds that sought the sun
When last year's distaff idle hung
And summer's brows were bound.

Ne'er saw I such a wondrous scene –
Ne'er such a ring on such a green –
Nor so serene array –
As if the stars some summer night
Should swing their cups of Chrysolite –
And revel till the day –

Like thee to dance – like thee to sing –
People upon the mystic green –
I ask, each new May Morn.
I wait thy far, fantastic bells –
Unto the different dawn!


25

She slept beneath a tree –
Remembered but by me.
I touched her Cradle mute –
She recognized the foot –
Put on her carmine suit
And see!


26

It's all I have to bring today –
This, and my heart beside –
This, and my heart, and all the fields –
And all the meadows wide –
Be sure you count – should I forget
Some one the sum could tell –
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.


27

Morns like these – we parted –
Noons like these – she rose –
Fluttering first – then firmer
To her fair repose.

Never did she lisp it –
It was not for me –
She – was mute from transport –
I – from agony –

Till – the evening nearing
One the curtains drew –
Quick! A Sharper rustling!
And this linnet flew!


28

So has a Daisy vanished
From the fields today –
So tiptoed many a slipper
To Paradise away –

Oozed so in crimson bubbles
Day's departing tide –
Blooming – tripping – flowing
Are ye then with God?


29

If those I loved were lost
The Crier's voice would tell me –
If those I loved were found
The bells of Ghent would ring –

Did those I loved repose
The Daisy would impel me.
Philip – when bewildered
Bore his riddle in!


30

Adrift! A little boat adrift!
And night is coming down!
Will no one guide a little boat
Unto the nearest town?

So Sailors say – on yesterday –
Just as the dusk was brown
One little boat gave up its strife
And gurgled down and down.

So angels say – on yesterday –
Just as the dawn was red
One little boat – o'erspent with gales –
Retrimmed its masts – redecked its sails –
And shot – exultant on!


31

Summer for thee, grant I may be
When Summer days are flown!
Thy music still, when Whipporwill
And Oriole – are done!

For thee to bloom, I'll skip the tomb
And row my blossoms o'er!
Pray gather me –
Anemone –
Thy flower – forevermore!


32

When Roses cease to bloom, Sir,
And Violets are done –
When Bumblebees in solemn flight
Have passed beyond the Sun –
The hand that paused to gather
Upon this Summer's day
Will idle lie – in Auburn –
Then take my flowers – pray!


33

If recollecting were forgetting,
Then I remember not.
And if forgetting, recollecting,
How near I had forgot.
And if to miss, were merry,
And to mourn, were gay,
How very blithe the fingers
That gathered this, Today!


34

Garland for Queens, may be –
Laurels – for rare degree
Of soul or sword.
Ah – but remembering me –
Ah – but remembering thee –
Nature in chivalry –
Nature in charity –
Nature in equity –
This Rose ordained!


35

Nobody knows this little Rose –
It might a pilgrim be
Did I not take it from the ways
And lift it up to thee.
Only a Bee will miss it –
Only a Butterfly,
Hastening from far journey –
On its breast to lie –
Only a Bird will wonder –
Only a Breeze will sigh –
Ah Little Rose – how easy
For such as thee to die!


36

Snow flakes.

I counted till they danced so
Their slippers leaped the town,
And then I took a pencil
To note the rebels down.
And then they grew so jolly
I did resign the prig,
And ten of my once stately toes
Are marshalled for a jig!


37

Before the ice is in the pools –
Before the skaters go,
Or any check at nightfall
Is tarnished by the snow –

Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me!

What we touch the hems of
On a summer's day –
What is only walking
Just a bridge away –

That which sings so – speaks so –
When there's no one here –
Will the frock I wept in
Answer me to wear?


38

By such and such an offering
To Mr. So and So,
The web of live woven –
So martyrs albums show!


39

It did not surprise me –
So I said – or thought –
She will stir her pinions
And the nest forgot,

Traverse broader forests –
Build in gayer boughs,
Breathe in Ear more modern
God's old fashioned vows –

This was but a Birdling –
What and if it be
One within my bosom
Had departed me?

This was but a story –
What and if indeed
There were just such coffin
In the heart instead?


40

When I count the seeds
That are sown beneath,
To bloom so, bye and bye –

When I con the people
Lain so low,
To be received as high –

When I believe the garden
Mortal shall not see –
Pick by faith its blossom
And avoid its Bee,
I can spare this summer, unreluctantly.


41

I robbed the Woods –
The trusting Woods.
The unsuspecting Trees
Brought out their Burs and mosses
My fantasy to please.
I scanned their trinkets curious – I grasped – I bore away –
What will the solemn Hemlock –
What will the Oak tree say?


42

A Day! Help! Help! Another Day!
Your prayers, oh Passer by!
From such a common ball as this
Might date a Victory!
From marshallings as simple
The flags of nations swang.
Steady – my soul: What issues
Upon thine arrow hang!


43

Could live – did live –
Could die – did die –
Could smile upon the whole
Through faith in one he met not,
To introduce his soul.

Could go from scene familiar
To an untraversed spot –
Could contemplate the journey
With unpuzzled heart –

Such trust had one among us,
Among us not today –
We who saw the launching
Never sailed the Bay!


44

If she had been the Mistletoe
And I had been the Rose –
How gay upon your table
My velvet life to close –
Since I am of the Druid,
And she is of the dew –
I'll deck Tradition's buttonhole –
And send the Rose to you.


45

There's something quieter than sleep
Within this inner room!
It wears a sprig upon its breast –
And will not tell its name.

Some touch it, and some kiss it –
Some chafe its idle hand –
It has a simple gravity
I do not understand!

I would not weep if I were they –
How rude in one to sob!
Might scare the quiet fairy
Back to her native wood!

While simple-hearted neighbors
Chat of the "Early dead" –
We – prone to periphrasis
Remark that Birds have fled!


46

I keep my pledge.
I was not called –
Death did not notice me.
I bring my Rose.
I plight again,
By every sainted Bee –
By Daisy called from hillside –
by Bobolink from lane.
Blossom and I –
Her oath, and mine –
Will surely come again.


47

Heart! We will forget him!
You and I – tonight!
You may forget the warmth he gave –
I will forget the light!

When you have done, pray tell me
That I may straight begin!
Haste! lest while you're lagging
I remember him!


48

Once more, my now bewildered Dove
Bestirs her puzzled wings
Once more her mistress, on the deep
Her troubled question flings –

Thrice to the floating casement
The Patriarch's bird returned,
Courage! My brave Columbia!
There may yet be land


49

I never lost as much but twice,
And that was in the sod.
Twice have I stood a beggar
Before the door of God!

Angels – twice descending
Reimbursed my store –
Burglar! Banker – Father!
I am poor once more!


50

I haven't told my garden yet –
Lest that should conquer me.
I haven't quite the strength now
To break it to the Bee –

I will not name it in the street
For shops would stare at me –
That one so shy – so ignorant
Should have the face to die.

The hillsides must not know it –
Where I have rambled so –
Nor tell the loving forests
The day that I shall go –

Nor lisp it at the table –
Nor heedless by the way
Hint that within the Riddle
One will walk today –


51

I often passed the village
When going home from school –
And wondered what they did there –
And why it was so still –

I did not know the year then –
In which my call would come –
Earlier, by the Dial,
Than the rest have gone.

It's stiller than the sundown.
It's cooler than the dawn –
The Daisies dare to come here –
And birds can flutter down –

So when you are tired –
Or perplexed – or cold –
Trust the loving promise
Underneath the mould,
Cry "it's I," "take Dollie,"
And I will enfold!


52

Whether my bark went down at sea –
Whether she met with gales –
Whether to isles enchanted
She bent her docile sails –

By what mystic mooring
She is held today –
This is the errand of the eye
Out upon the Bay.


53

Taken from men – this morning –
Carried by men today –
Met by the Gods with banners –
Who marshalled her away –

One little maid – from playmates –
One little mind from school –
There must be guests in Eden –
All the rooms are full –

Far – as the East from Even –
Dim – as the border star –
Courtiers quaint, in Kingdoms
Our departed are.


54

If I should die,
And you should live –
And time should gurgle on –
And morn should beam –
And noon should burn –
As it has usual done –
If Birds should build as early
And Bees as bustling go –
One might depart at option
From enterprise below!
'Tis sweet to know that stocks will stand
When we with Daisies lie –
That Commerce will continue –
And Trades as briskly fly –
It makes the parting tranquil
And keeps the soul serene –
That gentlemen so sprightly
Conduct the pleasing scene!


55

By Chivalries as tiny,
A Blossom, or a Book,
The seeds of smiles are planted –
Which blossom in the dark.


56

If I should cease to bring a Rose
Upon a festal day,
'Twill be because beyond the Rose
I have been called away –

If I should cease to take the names
My buds commemorate –
'Twill be because Death's finger
Claps my murmuring lip!


57

To venerate the simple days
Which lead the seasons by,
Needs but to remember
That from you or I,
They may take the trifle
Termed mortality!


58

Delayed till she had ceased to know –
Delayed till in its vest of snow
Her loving bosom lay –
An hour behind the fleeting breath –
Later by just an hour than Death –
Oh lagging Yesterday!

Could she have guessed that it would be –
Could but a crier of the joy
Have climbed the distant hill –
Had not the bliss so slow a pace
Who knows but this surrendered face
Were undefeated still?

Oh if there may departing be
Any forgot by Victory
In her imperial round –
Show them this meek appareled thing
That could not stop to be a king –
Doubtful if it be crowned!


59

A little East of Jordan,
Evangelists record,
A Gymnast and an Angel
Did wrestle long and hard –

Till morning touching mountain –
And Jacob, waxing strong,
The Angel begged permission
To Breakfast – to return –

Not so, said cunning Jacob!
"I will not let thee go
Except thou bless me" – Stranger!
The which acceded to –

Light swung the silver fleeces
"Peniel" Hills beyond,
And the bewildered Gymnast
Found he had worsted God!


60

Like her the Saints retire,
In their Chapeaux of fire,
Martial as she!

Like her the Evenings steal
Purple and Cochineal
After the Day!

"Departed" – both – they say!
i.e. gathered away,
Not found,

Argues the Aster still –
Reasons the Daffodil
Profound!


61

Papa above!
Regard a Mouse
O'erpowered by the Cat!
Reserve within thy kingdom
A "Mansion" for the Rat!

Snug in seraphic Cupboards
To nibble all the day
While unsuspecting Cycles
Wheel solemnly away!


62

"Sown in dishonor"!
Ah! Indeed!
May this "dishonor" be?
If I were half so fine myself
I'd notice nobody!

"Sown in corruption"!
Not so fast!
Apostle is askew!
Corinthians 1. 15. narrates
A Circumstance or two!


63

If pain for peace prepares
Lo, what "Augustan" years
Our feet await!

If springs from winter rise,
Can the Anemones
Be reckoned up?

If night stands fast – then noon
To gird us for the sun,
What gaze!

When from a thousand skies
On our developed eyes
Noons blaze!


64

Some Rainbow – coming from the Fair!
Some Vision of the World Cashmere –
I confidently see!
Or else a Peacock's purple Train
Feather by feather – on the plain
Fritters itself away!

The dreamy Butterflies bestir!
Lethargic pools resume the whir
Of last year's sundered tune!
From some old Fortress on the sun
Baronial Bees – march – one by one –
In murmuring platoon!

The Robins stand as thick today
As flakes of snow stood yesterday –
On fence – and Roof – and Twig!
The Orchis binds her feather on
For her old lover - Don the Sun!
Revisiting the Bog!

Without Commander! Countless! Still!
The Regiments of Wood and Hill
In bright detachment stand!
Behold! Whose Multitudes are these?
The children of whose turbaned seas –
Or what Circassian Land?


65

I can't tell you – but you feel it –
Nor can you tell me –
Saints, with ravished slate and pencil
Solve our April Day!

Sweeter than a vanished frolic
From a vanished green!
Swifter than the hoofs of Horsemen
Round a Ledge of dream!

Modest, let us walk among it
With our faces veiled –
As they say polite Archangels
Do in meeting God!

Not for me – to prate about it!
Not for you – to say
To some fashionable Lady
"Charming April Day"!

Rather – Heaven's "Peter Parley"!
By which Children slow
To sublimer Recitation
Are prepared to go!


66

So from the mould
Scarlet and Gold
Many a Bulb will rise –
Hidden away, cunningly, From sagacious eyes.

So from Cocoon
Many a Worm
Leap so Highland gay,
Peasants like me,
Peasants like Thee
Gaze perplexedly!


67

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of Victory

As he defeated – dying –
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!


68

Ambition cannot find him.
Affection doesn't know
How many leagues of nowhere
Lie between them now.

Yesterday, undistinguished!
Eminent Today
For our mutual hone, Immortality!


69

Low at my problem bending,
Another problem comes –
Larger than mine – Serener –
Involving statelier sums.

I check my busy pencil,
My figures file away.
Wherefore, my baffled fingers
They perplexity?


70

"Arcturus" is his other name –
I'd rather call him "Star."
It's very mean of Science
To go and interfere!

I slew a worm the other day –
A "Savant" passing by
Murmured "Resurgam" – "Centipede"!
"Oh Lord – how frail are we"!

I pull a flower from the woods –
A monster with a glass
Computes the stamens in a breath –
And has her in a "class"!

Whereas I took the Butterfly
Aforetime in my hat –
He sits erect in "Cabinets" –
The Clover bells forgot.

What once was "Heaven"
Is "Zenith" now –
Where I proposed to go
When Time's brief masquerade was done
Is mapped and charted too.

What if the poles should frisk about
And stand upon their heads!
I hope I'm ready for "the worst" –
Whatever prank betides!

Perhaps the "Kingdom of Heaven's" changed –
I hope the "Children" there Won't be "new fashioned" when I come –
And laugh at me – and stare –

I hope the Father in the skies
Will lift his little girl –
Old fashioned – naught – everything –
Over the stile of "Pearl."

71

A throe upon the features –
A hurry in the breath –
An ecstasy of parting
Denominated "Death" –

An anguish at the mention
Which when to patience grown,
I've known permission given
To rejoin its own.


72

Glowing is her Bonnet,
Glowing is her Cheek,
Glowing is her Kirtle,
Yet she cannot speak.

Better as the Daisy
From the Summer hill
Vanish unrecorded
Save by tearful rill –

Save by loving sunrise
Looking for her face.
Save by feet unnumbered
Pausing at the place.


73

Who never lost, are unprepared
A Coronet to find!
Who never thirsted
Flagons, and Cooling Tamarind!

Who never climbed the weary league –
Can such a foot explore
The purple territories
On Pizarro's shore?

How many Legions overcome –
The Emperor will say?
How many Colors taken
On Revolution Day?

How many Bullets bearest?
Hast Thou the Royal scar?
Angels! Write "Promoted"
On this Soldier's brow!


74

A Lady red – amid the Hill
Her annual secret keeps!
A Lady white, within the Field
In placid Lily sleeps!

The tidy Breezes, with their Brooms –
Sweep vale – and hill – and tree!
Prithee, My pretty Housewives!
Who may expected be?

The Neighbors do not yet suspect!
The Woods exchange a smile!
Orchard, and Buttercup, and Bird –
In such a little while!

And yet, how still the Landscape stands!
How nonchalant the Hedge!
As if the "Resurrection"
Were nothing very strange!


75

She died at play,
Gambolled away
Her lease of spotted hours,
Then sank as gaily as a Turn
Upon a Couch of flowers.

Her ghost strolled softly o'er the hill
Yesterday, and Today,
Her vestments as the silver fleece –
Her countenance as spray.


76

Exultation is the going
Of an inland soul to sea,
Past the houses – past the headlands –
Into deep Eternity –

Bred as we, among the mountains,
Can the sailor understand
The divine intoxication
Of the first league out from land?


77

I never hear the word "escape"
Without a quicker blood,
A sudden expectation
A flying attitude!

I never hear of prisons broad
By soldiers battered down,
But I tug childish at my bars
Only to fail again!


78

A poor – torn heart – a tattered heart –
That sat it down to rest –
Nor noticed that the Ebbing Day
Flowed silver to the West –
Nor noticed Night did soft descend –
Nor Constellation burn –
Intent upon the vision
Of latitudes unknown.

The angels – happening that way
This dusty heart espied –
Tenderly took it up from toil
And carried it to God –
There – sandals for the Barefoot –
There – gathered from the gales –
Do the blue havens by the hand
Lead the wandering Sails.


79

Going to Heaven!
I don't know when –
Pray do not ask me how!
Indeed I'm too astonished
To think of answering you!
Going to Heaven!
How dim it sounds!
And yet it will be done
As sure as flocks go home at night
Unto the Shepherd's arm!

Perhaps you're going too!
Who knows?
If you should get there first
Save just a little space for me
Close to the two I lost –
The smallest "Robe" will fit me
And just a bit of "Crown" –
For you know we do not mind our dress
When we are going home –

I'm glad I don't believe it
For it would stop my breath –
And I'd like to look a little more
At such a curious Earth!
I'm glad they did believe it
Whom I have never found
Since the might Autumn afternoon
I left them in the ground.


80

Our lives are Swiss –
So still – so Cool –
Till some odd afternoon
The Alps neglect their Curtains
And we look farther on!

Italy stands the other side!
While like a guard between –
The solemn Alps –
The siren Alps
Forever intervene!


81

We should not mind so small a flower –
Except it quiet bring
Our little garden that we lost
Back to the Lawn again.

So spicy her Carnations nod –
So drunken, reel her Bees –
So silver steal a hundred flutes
From out a hundred trees –

That whoso sees this little flower
By faith may clear behold
The Bobolinks around the throne
And Dandelions gold.


82

Whose cheek is this?
What rosy face
Has lost a blush today?
I found her – "pleiad" – in the woods
And bore her safe away.

Robins, in the tradition
Did cover such with leaves,
But which the cheek –
And which the pall
My scrutiny deceives.


83

Heart, not so heavy as mine
Wending late home –
As it passed my window
Whistled itself a tune –
A careless snatch – a ballad – A ditty of the street –
Yet to my irritated Ear
An Anodyne so sweet –
It was as if a Bobolink
Sauntering this way
Carolled, and paused, and carolled –
Then bubbled slow away!
It was as if a chirping brook
Upon a dusty way –
Set bleeding feet to minuets
Without the knowing why!
Tomorrow, night will come again –
Perhaps, weary and sore –
Ah Bugle! By my window
I pray you pass once more.


84

Her breast is fit for pearls,
But I was not a "Diver" –
Her brow is fit for thrones
But I have not a crest.
Her heart is fit for home –
I – a Sparrow – build there
Sweet of twigs and twine
My perennial nest.


85

"They have not chosen me," he said,
"But I have chosen them!"
Brave – Broken hearted statement –
Uttered in Bethlehem!

I could not have told it,
But since Jesus dared –
Sovereign! Know a Daisy
They dishonor shared!


86

South Winds jostle them –
Bumblebees come –
Hover – hesitate –
Drink, and are gone –

Butterflies pause
On their passage Cashmere –
I – softly plucking,
Present them here!


87

A darting fear – a pomp – a tear –
A waking on a morn
To find that what one waked for,
Inhales the different dawn.


88

As by the dead we love to sit,
Become so wondrous dear –
As for the lost we grapple
Tho' all the rest are here –

In broken mathematics
We estimate our prize
Vast – in its fading ration
To our penurious eyes!


89

Some things that fly there be –
Birds – Hours – the Bumblebee –
Of these no Elegy.

Some things that stay there be –
Grief – Hills – Eternity –
Nor this behooveth me.

There are that resting, rise.
Can I expound the skies?
How still the Riddle lies!


90

Within my reach!
I could have touched!
I might have chanced that way!
Soft sauntered thro' the village –
Sauntered as soft away!
So unsuspected Violets
Within the meadows go –
Too late for striving fingers
That passed, an hour ago!


91

So bashful when I spied her!
So pretty – so ashamed!
So hidden in her leaflets
Lest anybody find –

So breathless till I passed here –
So helpless when I turned
And bore her struggling, blushing,
Her simple haunts beyond!

For whom I robbed the Dingle –
For whom I betrayed the Dell –
Many, will doubtless ask me,
But I shall never tell!


92

My friend must be a Bird –
Because it flies!
Mortal, my friend must be,
Because it dies!
Barbs has it, like a Bee!
Ah, curious friend!
Thou puzzlest me!


93

Went up a year this evening!
I recollect it well!
Amid no bells nor bravoes
The bystanders will tell!
Cheerful – as to the village –
Tranquil – as to repose –
Chastened – as to the Chapel
This humble Tourist rose!
Did not talk of returning!
Alluded to no time
When, were the gales propitious –
We might look for him!
Was grateful for the Roses
In life's diverse bouquet –
Talked softly of new species
To pick another day;
Beguiling thus the wonder
The wondrous nearer drew –
Hands bustled at the moorings –
The crown respectful grew –
Ascended from our vision
To Countenances new!
A Difference – A Daisy –
Is all the rest I knew!


94

Angels, in the early morning
May be seen the Dews among,
Stooping – plucking – smiling – flying –
Do the Buds to them belong?

Angels, when the sun is hottest
May be seen the sands among,
Stooping – plucking – sighing – flying –
Parched the flowers they bear along.


95

My nosegays are for Captives –
Dim – expectant eyes,
Fingers denied the plucking,
Patient till Paradise.

To such, if they should whisper
Of morning and the moor,
They bear no other errand,
And I, no other prayer.


96

Sexton! My Master's sleeping here.
Pray lead me to his bed!
I came to build the Bird's nest,
And sow the Early seed –

That when the snow creeps slowly
From off his chamber door –
Daisies point the way there –
And the Troubadour.


97

The rainbow never tells me
That gust and storm are by,
Yet is she more convincing
Than Philosophy.

My flowers turn from Forums –
Yet eloquent declare
What Cato couldn't prove me
Except the birds were here!


98

One dignity delays for all –
One mitred Afternoon –
None can avoid this purple –
None evade this Crown!

Coach, it insures, and footmen –
Chamber, and state, and throng –
Bells, also, in the village
As we ride grand along!

What dignified Attendants!
What service when we pause!
How loyally at parting
Their hundred hats they raise!

Her pomp surpassing ermine
When simple You, and I,
Present our meek escutheon
And claim the rank to die!


99

New feet within my garden go –
New fingers stir the sod –
A Troubadour upon the Elm
Betrays the solitude.

New children play upon the green –
New Weary sleep below –
And still the pensive Spring returns –
And still the punctual snow!


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dimace

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  • Dimitris Nawas
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South Africa (1961-1994) presidents: Charles Swat, Jozua Naude, Jacobus Fouche, Johannes de Klerk, Nicolaas Diederichs, Marais Viljoen, Balthazar Vorster,  Pieter Botha, Chris Heunis, Frederik de Klerk.


 

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