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- A few Figs from Thistles - 2/3 -

And Agatha will turn awake While her good man sleeps sound, And Mig and Sue and Joan and Prue Will hear the clock strike round,

For Prue she has a patient man, As asks not when or why, And Mig and Sue have naught to do But peep who's passing by,

Joan is paired with a putterer That bastes and tastes and salts, And Agatha's Arth' is a hug-the-hearth,-- But my true love is false!

The Prisoner

All right, Go ahead! What's in a name? I guess I'll be locked into As much as I'm locked out of!

The Unexplorer

There was a road ran past our house Too lovely to explore. I asked my mother once--she said That if you followed where it led It brought you to the milk-man's door. (That's why I have not traveled more.)


Was it for this I uttered prayers, And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs, That now, domestic as a plate, I should retire at half-past eight?

The Penitent

I had a little Sorrow, Born of a little Sin, I found a room all damp with gloom And shut us all within; And, "Little Sorrow, weep," said I, "And, Little Sin, pray God to die, And I upon the floor will lie And think how bad I've been!"

Alas for pious planning-- It mattered not a whit! As far as gloom went in that room, The lamp might have been lit! My little Sorrow would not weep, My little Sin would go to sleep-- To save my soul I could not keep My graceless mind on it!

So up I got in anger, And took a book I had, And put a ribbon on my hair To please a passing lad, And, "One thing there's no getting by-- I've been a wicked girl," said I; "But if I can't be sorry, why, I might as well be glad!"


Why do you follow me?-- Any moment I can be Nothing but a laurel-tree.

Any moment of the chase I can leave you in my place A pink bough for your embrace.

Yet if over hill and hollow Still it is your will to follow, I am off;--to heel, Apollo!

Portrait by a Neighbor

Before she has her floor swept Or her dishes done, Any day you'll find her A-sunning in the sun!

It's long after midnight Her key's in the lock, And you never see her chimney smoke Till past ten o'clock!

She digs in her garden With a shovel and a spoon, She weeds her lazy lettuce By the light of the moon,

She walks up the walk Like a woman in a dream, She forgets she borrowed butter And pays you back cream!

Her lawn looks like a meadow, And if she mows the place She leaves the clover standing And the Queen Anne's lace!

Midnight Oil

Cut if you will, with Sleep's dull knife, Each day to half its length, my friend,-- The years that Time takes off _my_ life, He'll take from off the other end!

The Merry Maid

Oh, I am grown so free from care Since my heart broke! I set my throat against the air, I laugh at simple folk!

There's little kind and little fair Is worth its weight in smoke To me, that's grown so free from care Since my heart broke!

Lass, if to sleep you would repair As peaceful as you woke, Best not besiege your lover there For just the words he spoke To me, that's grown so free from care Since my heart broke!

To Kathleen

Still must the poet as of old, In barren attic bleak and cold, Starve, freeze, and fashion verses to Such things as flowers and song and you;

Still as of old his being give In Beauty's name, while she may live, Beauty that may not die as long As there are flowers and you and song.

To S. M. If he should lie a-dying

I am not willing you should go Into the earth, where Helen went; She is awake by now, I know. Where Cleopatra's anklets rust You will not lie with my consent; And Sappho is a roving dust; Cressid could love again; Dido, Rotted in state, is restless still: You leave me much against my will.

The Philosopher

And what are you that, wanting you I should be kept awake As many nights as there are days With weeping for your sake?

And what are you that, missing you, As many days as crawl I should be listening to the wind And looking at the wall?

I know a man that's a braver man And twenty men as kind, And what are you, that you should be The one man in my mind?

Yet women's ways are witless ways, As any sage will tell,-- And what am I, that I should love So wisely and so well?

Four Sonnets


A few Figs from Thistles - 2/3

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