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The Lamp

If I can bear your love like a lamp before me,
When I go down the long  steep  Road of Darkness,
shall  not fear the  everlasting  shadows,
    Nor cry in terror.

If I can find out God, then I  shall  find Him,
If none can find Him, then I  shall  sleep soundly,
Knowing how well on  earth  your love  sufficed  me,
    A lamp in darkness.

The New Moon

Day, you have bruised and beaten me,
As rain beats down the bright, proud sea,
Beaten my body, bruised my soul,
Left me nothing lovely or whole --

Yet I have wrested a gift from you,
Day that dies in dusky blue:
For suddenly over the factories
I saw a moon in the cloudy seas --

A wisp of beauty all alone
In a world as hard and gray as stone --
Oh who could be bitter and want to die
When maiden  moon wake up in the sky?

Winter Stars

I went out at night alone;

The young blood flowing beyond the sea

Seemed to have drenched my spirit’s wings—

I bore my sorrow heavily.

But when I lifted up my head

From shadows shaken on the snow,

I saw Orion in the east

Burn steadily as long ago.

From windows in my father’s house,

Dreaming my dreams on winter nights,

I watched Orion as a girl

Above another city’s lights.

Years go, dreams go, and youth goes too,

The world’s heart breaks beneath its wars,

All things are changed, save in the east

The faithful beauty of the stars.

The Broken Field

My soul is a dark ploughed field
In the cold rain;
My soul is a broken field
Ploughed by pain.

Where grass and bending flowers
Were growing,
The field lies broken now
For another sowing.

Great Sower when you tread
My field again,
Scatter the furrows there
With better grain.

The Flight

Look back with longing eyes and know that I will follow,

Lift me up in your love as a light wind lifts a swallow,

Let our flight be far in sun or blowing rain—

But what if I heard my first love calling me again?

Hold me on your heart as the brave sea holds the foam,

Take me far away to the hills that hide your home;

Peace shall thatch the roof and love shall latch the door—

But what if I heard my first love calling me once more?


Life has loveliness to sell,

     All beautiful and splendid things,

Blue waves whitened on a cliff,

     Soaring fire that sways and sings,

And children's faces looking up

Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,

     Music like a curve of gold,

Scent of pine trees in the rain,

     Eyes that love you, arms that hold,

And for your spirit's still delight,

Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,

     Buy it and never count the cost;

For one white singing hour of peace

     Count many a year of strife well lost,

And for a breath of ecstasy

Give all you have been, or could be.

The Crystal Gazer

I shall gather myself into myself again,
   I shall take my scattered selves and make them one,
Fusing them into a polished crystal ball
   Where I can see the moon and the flashing sun.

I shall sit like a sibyl, hour after hour intent,
   Watching the future come and the present go,
And the little shifting pictures of people rushing
   In restless self-importance to and fro.

I Shall Not Care

When I am dead and over me bright April

Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,

Tho' you should lean above me broken-hearted,

I shall not care.

I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful

When rain bends down the bough,

And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted

Than you are now.

Het zal me niets kunnen schelen

Wanneer ik dood ben en de stralende April

zijn natgeregende haar over me uitwringt,

en ook al buig je je ontroostbaar over mij,

zal me dat niet deren.

Ik zal rust vinden, zoals lommerrijke bomen vredig zijn

wanneer de regen hun takken neerslaat.

En ik zal stiller en hartelozer zijn

dan jij nu.

Vertaling: Z. DE MEESTER

The ghost

I went back to the clanging city,

I went back where my old loves stayed,

But my heart was full of my new love's glory,

My eyes were laughing and unafraid.

I met one who had loved me madly

And told his love for all to hear --

But we talked of a thousand things together,

The past was buried too deep to fear.

I met the other, whose love was given

With never a kiss and scarcely a word --

Oh, it was then the terror took me

Of words unuttered that breathed and stirred.

Oh, love that lives its life with laughter

Or love that lives its life with tears

Can die -- but love that is never spoken

Goes like a ghost through the winding years. . . .

I went back to the clanging city,

I went back where my old loves stayed,

My heart was full of my new love's glory, --

But my eyes were suddenly afraid.

I Am Not Yours

I am not yours, not lost in you,

Not lost, although I long to be

Lost as a candle lit at noon,

Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still

A spirit beautiful and bright,

Yet I am I, who long to be

Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love -- put out

My senses, leave me deaf and blind,

Swept by the tempest of your love,

A taper in a rushing wind.

There will come soft rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,

And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools, singing at night,

And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire,

Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one

Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,

If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,

Would scarcely know that we were gone.

After Love

There is no magic any more,

We meet as other people do,

You work no miracle for me

Nor I for you.

You were the wind and I the sea --

There is no splendor any more,

I have grown listless as the pool

Beside the shore.

But though the pool is safe from storm

And from the tide has found surcease,

It grows more bitter than the sea,

For all its peace.


The roofs are shining from the rain.

The sparrows tritter as they fly,

And with a windy April grace

The little clouds go by.

Yet the back-yards are bare and brown

With only one unchanging tree--

I could not be so sure of Spring

Save that it sings in me.

Spring Night

The park is filled with night and fog,

The veils are drawn about the world,

The drowsy lights along the paths

Are dim and pearled.

Gold and gleaming the empty streets,

Gold and gleaming the misty lake,

The mirrored lights like sunken swords,

Glimmer and shake.

Oh, is it not enough to be

Here with this beauty over me?

My throat should ache with praise, and I

Should kneel in joy beneath the sky.

O beauty, are you not enough?
Why am I crying after love,

With youth, a singing voice, and eyes

To take earth's wonder with surprise?
Why have I put off my pride,

Why am I unsatisfied,—

I, for whom the pensive night

Binds her cloudy hair with light,—

I, for whom all beauty burns

Like incense in a million urns?
O beauty, are you not enough?

Why am I crying after love?

Gray Fog

A fog drifts in, the heavy laden

Cold white ghost of the sea—

One by one the hills go out,

The road and the pepper-tree.

I watch the fog float in at the window

With the whole world gone blind,

Everything, even my longing, drowses,

Even the thoughts in my mind.

I put my head on my hands before me,

There is nothing left to be done or said,

There is nothing to hope for, I am tired,

And heavy as the dead.


Come, when the pale moon like a petal

Floats in the pearly dusk of spring,

Come with arms outstretched to take me,

Come with lips pursed up to cling.

Come, for life is a frail moth flying

Caught in the web of the years that pass,

And soon we two, so warm and eager

Will be as the gray stones in the grass.


As dew leaves the cobweb lightly

Threaded with stars,

Scattering jewels on the fence

And the pasture bars;

As dawn leaves the dry grass bright

And the tangled weeds

Bearing a rainbow gem

On each of their seeds;

So has your love, my lover,

Fresh as the dawn,

Made me a shining road

To travel on,

Set every common sight

Of tree or stone

Delicately alight

For me alone.


Alone in the night

On a dark hill

With pines around me

Spicy and still,

And a heaven full of stars

Over my head

White and topaz

And misty red;

Myriads with beating

Hearts of fire

The aeons

Cannot vex or tire;

Up the dome of heaven

Like a great hill

I watch them marching

Stately and still.

And I know that I

Am honored to be


Of so much majesty.

Dusk in Autumn

The moon is like a scimitar,

A little silver scimitar,

A-drifting down the sky.

And near beside it is a star,

A timid twinkling golden star,

That watches likes an eye.

And thro’ the nursery window-pane

The witches have a fire again,

Just like the ones we make,—

And now I know they’re having tea,

I wish they’d give a cup to me,

With witches’ currant cake.