BEDDOES, Thomas Lovell
A ghost, that loved a lady fair,
Ever in the starry air
Of midnight at her pillow stood;
And, with a sweetness skies above
The luring words of human love,
Her soul the phantom wooed.
Sweet and sweet is their poisoned note,
The little snakes of silver throat,
In mossy skulls that nest and lie,
Ever singing “Die oh! Die”.
Young soul, put off your flesh, and come
With me into the quiet tomb,
Our bed is lovely, dark, and sweet;
The earth will swing us, as she goes,
Beneath our coverlid of snows,
And the warm leaden sheet.
Dear and dear is their poisoned note,
The little snakes' of silver throat,
In mossy skulls that nest and lie,
Ever singing “Die, oh! Die”;
So thou art come again, old black-winged night,
Like an huge bird, between us and the sun,
Hiding, with out-stretched form, the genial light;
And still, beneath thine icy bosom's dun
And cloudy plumage, hatching fog-breathed blight
And embryo storms, and crabbéd frosts, that shun
Day's warm caress. The owls from ivied loop
Are shrieking homage, as thou cowerest high;
Like sable crow pausing in eager stoop
On the dim world thou gluttest thy clouded eye,
Silently waiting latest time's fell whoop,
When thou shalt quit thine eyrie in the sky,
To pounce upon the world with eager claw,
And tomb time, death, and substance in thy maw.
The Last Man
By heaven and hell, and all the fools between them,
I will not die, nor sleep, nor wink my eyes,
But think myself into a god; old Death
Shall dream he has slain me, and I'll creep behind him,
Thrust off the bony tyrant from his throne
And beat him into dust. Or I will burst
Damnation's iron egg, my tomb, and come
Half damned, ere they make lightning of my soul,
And creep into thy carcase as thou sleepest
Between two crimson fevers. I'll dethrone
The empty skeleton, and be thy death,
A death of grinding madness. -- Fear me now;
I am a devil, not a human soul --
In A Garden By Moonlight
Veronica. COME then, a song; a winding gentle song,
To lead me into sleep. Let it be low
As zephyr, telling secrets to his rose,
For I would hear the murmuring of my thoughts;
And more of voice than of that other music
That grows around the strings of quivering lutes;
But most of thought; for with my mind I listen,
And when the leaves of sound are shed upon it,
If there ’s no seed remembrance grows not there.
So life, so death; a song, and then a dream!
Begin before another dewdrop fall
From the soft hold of these disturbed flowers,
For sleep is filling up my senses fast,
And from these words I sink
How many times do I love thee, dear?
Tell me how many thoughts there be
In the atmosphere
Of a new-fall’n year,
Whose white and sable hours appear
The latest flake of Eternity:
So many times do I love thee, dear.
How many times do I love again?
Tell me how many beads there are
In a silver chain
Of evening rain,
Unravell’d from the tumbling main,
And threading the eye of a yellow star:
So many times do I love again.
Song from the Ship
To sea, to sea! The calm is o'er;
The wanton water leaps in sport,
And rattles down the pebbly shore;
The dolphin wheels, the sea-cows snort,
And unseen Mermaids' pearly song
Comes bubbling up, the weeds among.
Fling broad the sail, dip deep the oar:
To sea, to sea! the calm is o'er.
To sea, to sea! our wide-winged bark
Shall billowy cleave its sunny way,
And with its shadow, fleet and dark,
Break the caved Tritons' azure day,
Like mighty eagle soaring light
O'er antelopes on Alpine height.
The anchor heaves, the ship swings free,
The sails swell full. To sea, to sea!
Ballad of Human Life
WHEN we were girl and boy together,
We toss’d about the flowers
And wreath’d the blushing hours
Into a posy green and sweet.
I sought the youngest, best,
And never was at rest
Till I had laid them at thy fairy feet.
But the days of childhood they were fleet,
And the blooming sweet-briar-breath’d weather,
When we were boy and girl together.
Then we were lad and lass together,
And sought the kiss of night
Before we felt aright,
Sitting and singing soft and sweet.
The dearest thought of heart
With thee ’t was joy to part,
And the greater half was thine, as meet.
Still my eyelid’s dewy, my veins they beat
At the starry summer-evening weather,
When we were lad and lass together.
And we are man and wife together,
Although thy breast, once bold
With song, be clos’d and cold
Beneath flowers’ roots and birds’ light feet.
Yet sit I by thy tomb,
And dissipate the gloom
With songs of loving faith and sorrow sweet.
And fate and darkling grave kind dreams do cheat,
That, while fair life, young hope, despair and death are,
We ’re boy and girl, and lass and lad, and man and wife together.