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MORRIS, William

A Garden by the Sea

I KNOW a little garden-close,

Set thick with lily and red rose,

Where I would wander if I might

From dewy morn to dewy night,

And have one with me wandering.

And though within it no birds sing,

And though no pillared house is there,

And though the apple-boughs are bare

Of fruit and blossom, would to God

Her feet upon the green grass trod,

And I beheld them as before.

There comes a murmur from the shore,

And in the close two fair streams are,

Drawn from the purple hills afar,

Drawn down unto the restless sea:

Dark hills whose heath-bloom feeds no bee,

Dark shore no ship has ever seen,

Tormented by the billows green

Whose murmur comes unceasingly

Unto the place for which I cry.

For which I cry both day and night,

For which I let slip all delight,

Whereby I grow both deaf and blind,

Careless to win, unskilled to find,

And quick to lose what all men seek.

Yet tottering as I am and weak,

Still have I left a little breath

To seek within the jaws of death

An entrance to that happy place,

To seek the unforgotten face,

Once seen, once kissed, once reft from me

Anigh the murmuring of the sea.


Are thine eyes weary? is thy heart too sick

To struggle any more with doubt and thought,

Whose formless veil draws darkening now and thick

Across thee, e’en as smoke-tinged mist-wreaths brought

Down a fair dale, to make it blind and nought?

Are thou so weary that no world there seems

Beyond these four walls, hung with pain and dreams?

Look out upon the real world, where the moon,

Half-way ‘twixt root and crown of these high trees,

Turns the dead midnight into dreamy noon,

Silent and full of wonders; for the breeze

Died at the sunset, and no images,

No hopes of day, are left in sky or earth:

Is it not fair, and of most wondrous worth?

Yea, I have looked, and seen November there;

The changeless seal of change it seemed to be,

Fair death of things that, living once, were fair;

Bright sign of loneliness too great for me,

Strange image of the dread eternity,

In whose void patience how can these have part,

These outstretched feverish hands, this restless heart?

A Good Knight In Prison

Wearily, drearily,

Half the day long,

Flap the great banners

High over the stone;

Strangely and eerily

Sounds the wind's song,

Bending the banner-poles.

While, all alone,

Watching the loophole's spark,

Lie I, with life all dark,

Feet tether'd, hands fetter'd

Fast to the stone,

The grim walls, square-letter'd

With prison'd men's groan.

Still strain the banner-poles

Through the wind's song,

Westward the banner rolls

Over my wrong.

Love is enough

LOVE is enough: though the World be a-waning,

And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining,

   Though the sky be too dark for dim eyes to discover

The gold-cups and daisies fair blooming thereunder,

Though the hills be held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder,

   And this day draw a veil over all deeds pass'd over,

Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter;

The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter

   These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover.

The Eve Of Crecy

Gold on her head, and gold on her feet,

And gold where the hems of her kirtle meet,

And a golden girdle round my sweet;

Ah! qu'elle est belle La Marguerite.

Margaret's maids are fair to see,

Freshly dress'd and pleasantly;

Margaret's hair falls down to her knee;

Ah! qu'elle est belle La Marguerite.

If I were rich I would kiss her feet;

I would kiss the place where the gold hems meet,

And the golden kirtle round my sweet:

Ah! qu'elle est belle La Marguerite.

Ah me! I have never touch'd her hand;

When the arrière-ban goes through the land,

Six basnets under my pennon stand;

Ah! qu'elle est belle La Marguerite.

And many an one grins under his hood:

Sir Lambert du Bois, with all his men good,

Has neither food nor firewood;

Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite.

If I were rich I would kiss her feet,

And the golden girdle of my sweet,

And thereabouts where the gold hems meet;

Ah! qu'elle est belle La Marguerite.

Yet even now it is good to think,

While my few poor varlets grumble and drink

In my desolate hall, where the fires sink,--

Ah! qu'elle est belle La Marguerite,--

Of Margaret sitting glorious there,

In glory of gold and glory of hair,

And glory of glorious face most fair;

Ah! qu'elle est belle La Marguerite.

Likewise to-night I make good cheer,

Because this battle draweth near:

For what have I to lose or fear?

Ah! qu'elle est belle La Marguerite.

For, look you, my horse is good to prance

A right fair measure in this war-dance,

Before the eyes of Philip of France;

Ah! qu'elle est belle La Marguerite.

And sometime it may hap, perdie,

While my new towers stand up three and three,

And my hall gets painted fair to see--

Ah! qu'elle est belle La Marguerite--

That folks may say: Times change, by the rood,

For Lambert, banneret of the wood,

Has heaps of food and firewood;

Ah! qu'elle est belle La Marguerite.