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- Songs of Action - 10/12 -


Hi, Love, what would you be at?' No word would he say, But he flew on his way, For the little boy's busy, and how could he stay?

Little boy Love drew a shaft just for sport At the soberest club in Pall Mall; He winged an old veteran drinking his port, And down that old veteran fell. 'Hey, Love, you mustn't do that! Hi, Love, what would you be at? This cannot be right! It's ludicrous quite!' But it's no use to argue, for Love's out of sight.

A sad-faced young clerk in a cell all apart Was planning a celibate vow; But the boy's random arrow has sunk in his heart, And the cell is an empty one now. 'Hey, Love, you mustn't do that! Hi, Love, what would you be at? He is not for you, He has duties to do.' 'But I AM his duty,' quoth Love as he flew.

The king sought a bride, and the nation had hoped For a queen without rival or peer. But the little boy shot, and the king has eloped With Miss No-one on Nothing a year. 'Hey, Love, you couldn't mean that! Hi, Love, what would you be at? What an impudent thing To make game of a king!' 'But I'M a king also,' cried Love on the wing.

Little boy Love grew pettish one day; 'If you keep on complaining,' he swore, 'I'll pack both my bow and my quiver away, And so I shall plague you no more.' 'Hey, Love, you mustn't do that! Hi, Love, what would you be at? You may ruin our ease, You may do what you please, But we can't do without you, you dear little tease!'

A PARABLE

The cheese-mites asked how the cheese got there, And warmly debated the matter; The Orthodox said that it came from the air, And the Heretics said from the platter. They argued it long and they argued it strong, And I hear they are arguing now; But of all the choice spirits who lived in the cheese, Not one of them thought of a cow,

A TRAGEDY

Who's that walking on the moorland? Who's that moving on the hill? They are passing 'mid the bracken, But the shadows grow and blacken And I cannot see them clearly on the hill.

Who's that calling on the moorland? Who's that crying on the hill? Was it bird or was it human, Was it child, or man, or woman, Who was calling so sadly on the hill?

Who's that running on the moorland? Who's that flying on the hill? He is there--and there again, But you cannot see him plain, For the shadow lies so darkly on the hill.

What's that lying in the heather? What's that lurking on the hill? My horse will go no nearer, And I cannot see it clearer, But there's something that is lying on the hill.

THE PASSING

It was the hour of dawn, When the heart beats thin and small, The window glimmered grey, Framed in a shadow wall.

And in the cold sad light Of the early morningtide, The dear dead girl came back And stood by his bedside.

The girl he lost came back: He saw her flowing hair; It flickered and it waved Like a breath in frosty air.

As in a steamy glass, Her face was dim and blurred; Her voice was sweet and thin, Like the calling of a bird.

'You said that you would come, You promised not to stay; And I have waited here, To help you on the way.

'I have waited on, But still you bide below; You said that you would come, And oh, I want you so!

'For half my soul is here, And half my soul is there, When you are on the earth And I am in the air.

'But on your dressing-stand There lies a triple key; Unlock the little gate Which fences you from me.

'Just one little pang, Just one throb of pain, And then your weary head Between my breasts again.'

In the dim unhomely light Of the early morningtide, He took the triple key And he laid it by his side.

A pistol, silver chased, An open hunting knife, A phial of the drug Which cures the ill of life.

He looked upon the three, And sharply drew his breath: 'Now help me, oh my love, For I fear this cold grey death.'

She bent her face above, She kissed him and she smiled; She soothed him as a mother May sooth a frightened child.

'Just that little pang, love, Just a throb of pain, And then your weary head Between my breasts again.'

He snatched the pistol up, He pressed it to his ear; But a sudden sound broke in, And his skin was raw with fear.

He took the hunting knife, He tried to raise the blade; It glimmered cold and white, And he was sore afraid.

He poured the potion out, But it was thick and brown; His throat was sealed against it, And he could not drain it down.

He looked to her for help, And when he looked--behold! His love was there before him As in the days of old.

He saw the drooping head, He saw the gentle eyes; He saw the same shy grace of hers He had been wont to prize.

She pointed and she smiled, And lo! he was aware Of a half-lit bedroom chamber And a silent figure there.

A silent figure lying A-sprawl upon a bed, With a silver-mounted pistol Still clotted to his head.


Songs of Action - 10/12

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