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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 40/175 -


But if she watch when I am by, Lily may deeper see than I.

Henry Timrod [1829-1867]

ROMANCE

I will make you brooches and toys for your delight Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night. I will make a palace fit for you and me, Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.

I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room, Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom, And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.

And this shall be for music when no one else is near The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear! That only I remember, that only you admire, Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.

Robert Louis Stevenson [1850-1894]

"OR EVER THE KNIGHTLY YEARS WERE GONE"

Or ever the knightly years were gone With the old world to the grave, I was a King in Babylon And you were a Christian Slave.

I saw, I took, I cast you by, I bent and broke your pride. You loved me well, or I heard them lie, But your longing was denied. Surely I knew that by and by You cursed your gods and died.

And a myriad suns have set and shone Since then upon the grave Decreed by the King in Babylon To her that had been his Slave.

The pride I trampled is now my scathe, For it tramples me again. The old resentment lasts like death, For you love, yet you refrain. I break my heart on your hard unfaith, And I break my heart in vain.

Yet not for an hour do I wish undone The deed beyond the grave, When I was a King in Babylon And you were a Virgin Slave.

William Ernest Henley [1849-1903]

RUS IN URBE

Poets are singing the whole world over Of May in melody, joys for June; Dusting their feet in the careless clover, And filling their hearts with the blackbird's tune. The "brown bright nightingale" strikes with pity The Sensitive heart of a count or clown; But where is the song for our leafy city, And where the rhymes for our lovely town?

"O for the Thames, and its rippling reaches, Where almond rushes, and breezes sport! Take me a walk under Burnham Beeches, Give me dinner at Hampton Court! Poets, be still, though your hearts I harden; We've flowers by day and have scents at dark, The limes are in leaf in the cockney garden, And lilacs blossom in Regent's Park.

"Come for a blow," says a reckless fellow, Burned red and brown by passionate sun; "Come to the downs, where the gorse is yellow; The season of kisses has just begun! Come to the fields where bluebells shiver, Hear cuckoo's carol, or plaint of dove; Come for a row on the silent river; Come to the meadows and learn to love!"

Yes, I will come when this wealth is over Of softened color and perfect tone - The lilac's better than fields of clover; I'll come when blossoming May has flown. When dust and dirt of a trampled city Have dragged the yellow laburnum down, I'll take my holiday - more's the pity - And turn my back upon London town.

Margaret! am I so wrong to love it, This misty town that your face shines through? A crown of blossom is waved above it; But heart and life of the whirl - 'tis you! Margaret! pearl! I have sought and found you; And, though the paths of the wind are free, I'll follow the ways of the world around you, And build my nest on the nearest tree!

Clement Scott [1841-1904]

MY ROAD

There's a road to heaven, a road to hell, A road for the sick and one for the well; There's a road for the false and a road for the true, But the road for me is the road to you.

There's a road through prairie and forest and glen, A road to each place in human ken; There's a road over earth and a road over sea, But the road to you is the road for me.

There's a road for animal, bird, and beast, A road for the greatest, a road for the least; There's a road that is old and a road that is new, But the road for me is the road to you.

There's a road for the heart and a road for the soul, There's a road for a part and a road for the whole; There's a road for love, - which few ever see, - 'Tis the road to you and the road for me.

Oliver Opdyke [1878-

A WHITE ROSE

The red rose whispers of passion, And the white rose breathes of love; Oh, the red rose is a falcon, And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream white rosebud With a flush on its petal tips; For the love that is purest and sweetest Has a kiss of desire on the lips.

John Boyle O'Reilly [1844-1890]

"SOME DAY OF DAYS"

Some day, some day of days, threading the street With idle, heedless pace, Unlooking for such grace I shall behold your face! Some day, some day of days, thus may we meet.

Perchance the sun may shine from skies of May, Or winter's icy chill Touch whitely vale and hill. What matter? I shall thrill Through every vein with summer on that day.

Once more life's perfect youth will all come back, And for a moment there I shall stand fresh and fair, And drop the garment care; Once more my perfect youth will nothing lack.

I shut my eyes now, thinking how 'twill be - How face to face each soul Will slip its long control, Forget the dismal dole Of dreary Fate's dark, separating sea;

And glance to glance, and hand to hand in greeting, The past with all its fears, Its silences and tears, Its lonely, yearning years, Shall vanish in the moment of that meeting.

Nora Perry [1832-1896]

THE TELEPHONE

"When I was just as far as I could walk From here to-day, There was an hour

All still When leaning with my head against a flower I heard you talk. Don't say I didn't, for I heard you say - You spoke from that flower on the window sill - Do you remember what it was you said?"

"First tell me what it was you thought you heard."


The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 40/175

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