Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Then, you will say, not a feverish minute

Strained the weak heart, and the wavering knee, Never the battle raged hottest, but in it Neither the last nor the faintest were we!

Follow up! Follow up!

O the great days, in the distance enchanted,

Days of fresh air, in the rain and the sun,
How we rejoiced as we struggled and panted-

Hardly believable, forty years on!
How we discoursed of them, one with another,

Auguring triumph, or balancing fate,
Loved the ally with the heart of a brother,
Hated the foe with a playing at hate!

Follow up! Follow up!
Forty years on, growing older and older,

Shorter in wind, and in memory long,
Feeble of foot and rheumatic of shoulder,

What will it help you that once you were strong? God gives us bases to guard or beleaguer,

Games to play out, whether earnest or fun, Fights for the fearless, and goals for the eager, Twenty, and thirty, and forty years on! Follow up! Follow up!

Edward Bowen (18

DREGS

The fire is out, and spent the warmth thereof,
(This is the end of every song man sings!)
The golden wine is drunk, the dregs remain,
Bitter as wormwood and as salt as pain;
And health and hope have gone the way of love
Into that drear oblivion of lost things.
Ghosts go along with us until the end;
This was a mistress, this, perhaps, a friend.
With pale, indifferent eyes, we sit and wait
For the dropped curtain and the closing gate:
This is the end of all the songs man sings.

Ernest Dowson (1867-1900]

[blocks in formation]

Ours is the eyes' deceit
Of men whose flying feet

Lead through some landscape low;
We pass, and think we see
The earth's fixed surface flee:-

Alas, Time stays—we go!

Once in the days of old,
Your locks were curling gold,

And mine had shamed the crow.
Now, in the self-same stage,
We've reached the silver age;

Time goes, you say?-ah no!

[ocr errors]

Once, when my voice was strong,
I filled the woods with song
To praise your “ rose" and "snow";

“ My bird, that sang, is dead; Where are your roses fled?

Alas, Time stays-we go!

See, in what traversed ways,
What backward Fate delays

The hopes we used to know;
Where are our old desires?
Ah, where those vanished fires?

Time goes, you say?--ah no!

How far, how far, o Sweet,
The past behind our feet

Lies in the even-glow!
Now, on the forward way,
Let us fold hands, and pray;
Alas, Time stays, –

-we go!
Austin Dobson (1840-

AGE

Snow and stars, the same as ever

In the days when I was young, —
But their silver song, ah never,

Never now is sung!

Cold the stars are, cold the earth is,

Everything is grim and cold!
Strange and drear the sound of mirth is-
Life and I are old!

William Winter (1836

a

OMNIA SOMNIA
Dawn drives the dreams away, yet some abide.

Once, in a tide of pale and sunless weather,
I dreamed I wandered on a bare hillside,

When suddenly the birds sang all together. Still it was Winter, even in the dream;

There was no leaf nor bud nor young grass springing; The skies shone cold above the frost-bound stream:

It was not Spring, and yet the birds were singing. Blackbird and thrush and plaintive willow-wren,

Chaffinch and lark and linnet, all were calling; A golden web of music held me then,

Innumerable voices, rising, falling.

O, never do the birds of April sing

More sweet than in that dream I still remember: Perchance the heart may keep its songs of Spring Even through the wintry dream of life's December.

Rosamund Marriott Watson (1863–

An Old Man's Song

407

THE YEAR'S END

FULL happy is the man who comes at last

Into the safe completion of his year;
Weathered the perils of his spring, that blast

How many blossoms promising and dear!
And of his summer, with dread passions fraught

That oft, like fire through the ripening corn,
Blight all with mocking death and leave distraught

Loved ones to mourn the ruined waste forlorn.
But now, though autumn gave but harvest slight,

Oh, grateful is he to the powers above
For winter's sunshine, and the lengthened night

By hearth-side genial with the warmth of love.
Through silvered days of vistas gold and green
Contentedly he glides away, serene.

Timothy Cole (1852–

[blocks in formation]

For you the To-come,

But for me the Gone-by,
You are panting to live,

I am waiting to die;
The meadow is empty,

No flower groweth high,
And naught but a socket

The face of the sky.

Yea, howso we dream,

Or how bravely we do;
The end is the same,

Be we traitor or true:
And after the bloom

And the passion is past,
Death cometh at last.

Richard Le Gallienne (1866

SONGS OF SEVEN

SEVEN TIMES ONE. -EXULTATION

THERE's no dew left on the daisies and clover,

There's no rain left in heaven;
I've said my “seven times” over and over,

Seven times one are seven.

I am old, so old, I can write a letter;

My birthday lessons are done;
The lambs play always, they know no better;

They are only one times one.

O moon! in the night I have seen you sailing

And shining so round and low;
You were bright! ah, bright! but your light is failing,

You are nothing now but a bow.

[ocr errors]

You moon, have you done something wrong in hcaven

That God has hidden your face?
I hope if you have, you will soon be forgiven,

And shine again in your place.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »