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Full text of "The city of the soul"

THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



'f/fA 



Digitized by the Internet Arciiive 

in 2008 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/cityofsoulOOdoug 



THE CITY OF THE SOUL 



SONNETS BY 
LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS 

Author of "The City of the Soul/' Fcap. Svo. 
Printed by the Arden Press on hand-made 
paper, as. 6d. net. Second Edition. 

The DAILY TELEGRAPH says: 

" The '' Sonjiets ' . . . combine at once t-ichness 
and simplicity, both in the similes used and i}t 
the diction; •while most are marked by that 
apparent ease ivhich is no small part oj the 
sonnet-writer s art." 

The SPECTA TOR says: 

' ' The>-e is no crvdencss in the slenaer volume 
of sonnets 'which Lord Alfred Douglas has pub- 
lished. He does not make the mistake of over- 
loading his sonnets with thought, and giving 
them a burden which boivs them. There is 
nothing tortuous or crabbed or obscure in theju, 
nor do they sin in the other extreme and fall 
into mellifluous banality. Ahnost all equally 
deserve quotation." 

The SA TURD A Y REVIEW says: 

" The 'Sonnets' of Lord Alfred Douglas need 
little by way ofafpreciation, and less by 7vay of 
criticism. There is no jnan living able to pro- 
duce a book of sonnets quite so /lawless in their 
grace and music." 



i^iPVtir 



THE ' 



CITY OF THE SOUL 



BY 



LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS 



LONDON : JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD 
NEW YORK : JOHN LANE COMPANY : MCMXI 



First Edition printed May 1899 

Second Edition printed December 189; 

Third Edition printed Marcli igi i 



TDRHBUtL AND BI'EARSi PBINTERS. EDINBritGH 






PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION 

This volume of poetry has been out of print 
since the middle of the year 1900, and the 
present edition has been issued in response to 
a steady demand, from both public and private 
sources, extending over the intervening years. 
My first impulse would have driven me to 
make large revisions in the text and to cut 
out altogether several pieces, but on further 
consideration I have decided to leave the text 
practically unaltered and to cut out nothing. 
These poems are the poems of extreme and 
comparative yout|;i, and the interest they possess 
would, I believe, be impaired by revisions which 



786744 



vi PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION 

a more matured technical knowledge and a 
great alteration in point of view would dictate. 
Chronologically the order of the poems, left 
exactly as in the former editions, should be, 
roughly speaking, reversed. That is to say, the 
first fifteen poems down to Le Balcon (page 53) 
were written at a considerably later period of 
time than the remainder, some of which were 
written while I was still an undergraduate at 
Oxford. 

Poetry is the expression of that which 
cannot be said in prose. The only excuse 
for writing poetry is that one has something 
to say which cannot possibly be said in 
prose. To write or attempt to write poetry 
for any other reason is to sin against the high 
muses. A rigid application of this touchstone 



PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION vu 

to the mass of contemporary poetry would 
have the result of wiping out at least ninety 
per cent, of it from the necessity of con- 
sideration, which would be a very good thing 
indeed. I am quite prepared to accept the 
consequences of its application to my own 
poetry, and to admit that some of the pieces in 
the latter part of this volume would not survive 
it. That is not to say that even the first 
fifteen poems in the book, and the survivors 
from the remainder, may not contain certain 
blemishes. But it is no part of my duty 
to point them out ; and having abandoned the 
idea of revision and excision I must leave the 
whole book to stand or fall, that is, live 
or die, on its merits. I am under no tempta- 
tion to make any effort to disarm criticism 



vm PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION 

This book was originally published anony- 
mously, and it was received by the critics 
in a way which at the time pleased me 
and astonished me, and if I add a few 
remarks upon certain aspects of my own 
work, and poetry generally, I beg that it 
may not be counted to me either for egotism 
or for protest against anticipated judgments. 
Merely as a matter of fact I wish to say 
that all the good poetry in this book was 
written in absolute sincerity, and in response 
to an intolerable craving to give expression 
to certain feelings and emotions which could 
not be expressed in prose. I have never 
in my life deliberately sat down to try to 
epater the multitude either by shocking them 
or by pandering to their taste. Again, in 



PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION ix 

writing poetry I have never attennpted to 
perform what certain persons would have 
one believe to be the essential task of a 
" great " poet as opposed to a " minor " poet, 
namely, to " strike a new note." I do not 
believe that any real poet since the days 
of the Elizabethans has tried to do it. 
Why should he ? What the poet wishes 
to do is to go on writing poetry where the 
last poet left off. He wishes to strike 
beautiful notes, not new notes. He can 
well afford to leave the new note-striking 
business to Mr Bernard Shaw. Need- 
less to say I am not trying to praise or 
defend plagiarism. What I mean is that 
the medium of poetry remains eternally 
the same once a language has arrived at 



X PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION 

its highest point. It is impossible to im- 
prove on the language of Shakespeare and 
the other Elizabethan poets, nor is it at all 
necessary even to vary their subject-matter. 
Just as all the plays that have ever been 
written are different variations of some dozen 
well-defined and easily recognised plots, so 
all poetry is eternally occupied with varia- 
tions on the same themes of Love, Joy, 
Sorrow, Desire, Regret, Remorse and the 
rest. People who try to strike a new 
note in poetry invariably strike the wrong 
note. The same holds good in music and 
painting, but I have no space to elaborate 
my theory — surely a very obvious one — in 
this preface, and must simply crystallise it 
by saying that to ask or expect a poet to 



PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION xi 

strike a new note in poetry is exactly like 
asking or expecting the Nightingale to strike 
a new note in her perennial song. In conclu- 
sion I should like to say that, although I 
did not know it and would not have believed 
it when I wrote these poems, it is my firm 
conviction that all good art is necessarily on 
the side of the angels, and that the true 
poet, whether he knows it or not at the time 
he is writing, is always on the side of the 

angels. 

ALFRED BRUCE DOUGLAS. 



PROEM FOR THE THIRD 
EDITION 

How have we fared my soul across the days, 
Through what green valleys, confident and fleet, 
Along what paths of flint with how tired feet ? 
Anon we knew the terror that dismays 
At noonday ; and when night made dark the ways 
We bought delight and found remembrance sweet. 
Though in our ears we heard the wide wings beat 
Ever we kept dumb mouths to prayer and praise. 

Yet never lost or spurned or cast aside. 
And never sundered from the love of God, 
Through how-so wayward intricate deceits 
Lured by what shining toys our charmed feet trod, 
On the swift winds we saw bright angels ride, 
And strayed into the moon-made silver streets. 



CONTENTS 



THE CITY OF THE SOUL — 

I. IN THE SALT TERROR OF A STORMY SEA . . 3 

II. WHAT SHALL WE DO, MY SOUL, TO PLEASE 

THE KING 5 

III. THE FIELDS OF PHANTASY ARE ALL TOO WIDE 7 

IV. EACH NEW hour's PASSAGE IS THE ACOLYTE . 9 

THE BALLAD OF SAINT VITUS XI 

THE TRAVELLING COMPANION 21 

A TRIAD OF THE MOON 23 

SONNET ON THE SONNET 29 

THE LEGEND OF SPINELLO OF AREZZO . . . 3I 

SPRING 34 

ENNUI 37 

SUMMER 40 

AUTUMN . . . 46 

HARMONIE DU SOIR 49 

LE BALCON 5I 

XV 



xvi CONTENTS 

PAGE 

PERKIN WARBECK 54 

THE GARDEN OF DEATH 68 

THE SPHINX 71 

TO SHAKESPEARE 73 

A SUMMER STORM 75 

AMORIS VINCULA 77 

IN SARUM CLOSE 79 

IMPRESSION DE NUIT 81 

A SONG 83 

TO L 85 

IN WINTER 87 

PLAINTE ETERNELLE 89 

IN SUMMER 92 

NIGHT COMING INTO A GARDEN 95 

NIGHT GOING OUT OF A GARDEN .... 97 

JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LYS 99 

A WINTER SUNSET Ill 

APOLOGIA 113 

IN MEMORIAM : FRANCIS ARCHIBALD DOUGLAS, 

VISCOUNT DRUMLANRIG Ijc 

A PRAYER 117 

AUTUMN DAYS 1 19 



CONTENTS xvii 

PAGE 

THE IMAGE OF DEATH 121 

TO SLEEP 123 

VJE VICTIS 125 

REJECTED 128 

ODE TO MY SOUL 1 32 



THE CITY OF THE SOUL 



THE CITY OF THE SOUL 

I 

In the salt terror of a stormy sea 

There are high attitudes the mind forgets ; 

And undesired days are hunting nets 

To snare the souls that fly Eternity. 

But we being gods will never bend the knee, 

Though sad moons shadow every sun that sets, 

And tears of sorrow be like rivulets 

To feed the shallows of Humility. 

Within my soul are some mean gardens found 
Where drooped flowers are, and unsung 

melodies, 
And all companioning of piteous things. 
3 



4 THE CITY OF THE SOUL 

But in the midst is one high terraced ground, 
Where level lawns sweep through the stately 

trees 
And the great peacocks walk like painted 

kings. 



THE CITY OF THE SOUL 



II 

What shall we do, my soul, to please the 

King ? 
Seeing he hath no pleasure in the dance, 
And hath condemned the honeyed utterance 
Of silver flutes and mouths made round to 

sing. 
Along the wall red roses climb and cling. 
And oh ! my prince, lift up thy countenance, 
For there be thoughts like roses that entrance 
More than the languors of soft lute-playing. 

Think how the hidden things that poets see 

In amber eves or mornings crystalline, 

Hide in the soul their constant quenchless light, 



6 THE CITY OF THE SOUL 

Till, called by some celestial alchemy, 

Out of forgotten depths, they rise and shine 

Like buried treasure on Midsummer night. 



THE CITY OF THE SOUL 



III 

The fields of Phantasy are all too wide, 

My soul runs through them like an untamed 

thing. 
It leaps the brooks like threads, and skirts the 

ring 
Where fairies danced, and tenderer flowers hide. 
The voice of music has become the bride 
Of an imprisoned bird with broken wing. 
What shall we do, my soul, to please the 

King, 
We that are free, with ample wings untied ? 

We cannot wander through the empty fields 
Till beauty like a hunter hurl the lance. 



8 THE CITY OF THE SOUL 

There are no silver snares and springes set, 
Nor any meadow where the plain ground yields. 
O let us then with ordered utterance, 
Forge the gold chain and twine the silken net. 



THE CITY OF THE SOUL 



IV 

Each new hour's passage is the acolyte 

Of inarticulate song and syllable, 

And every passing moment is a bell, 

To mourn the death of undiscerned delight. 

Where is the sun that made the noon-day 

bright, 
And where the midnight moon ? O let us tell, 
In long carved line and painted parable, 
How the white road curves down into the 

night. 

Only to build one crystal barrier 

Against this sea which beats upon our days ; 

To ransom one lost moment with a rhyme ! 



lo THE CITY OF THE SOUL 

Or if fate cries and grudging gods demur, 

To clutch Life's hair, and thrust one naked 

phrase 
Like a lean knife between the ribs of Time. 



THE BALLAD OF SAINT VITUS 

Vitus came tripping over the grass 
When all the leaves in the trees were green, 
Through the green meadows he did pass 
On the day he was full seventeen. 

The lark was singing up over his head, 
As he went by so lithe and fleet, 
And the flowers danced in white and red 
At the treading of his nimble feet. 

His neck was as brown as the brown earth is 
When first the young brown plough-boys 
delve it, 

II 



12 THE BALLAD OF SAINT VITUS 

And his lips were as red as mulberries 
And his eyes were like the soft black velvet. 

His silk brown hair was touched with bronze, 
And his brown cheeks had the tender hue 
That like a dress the brown earth dons 
When the pink carnations bloom anew. 

He was slim as the reeds that sway all along 
The banks of the lake, and as straight as a 

rush, 
And as he passed he sang a song, 
And his voice was as sweet as the voice of a 

thrush. 

He sang of the Gardens of Paradise, 

And the light of God that never grows dim. 



THE BALLAD OF SAINT VITUS 13 

And the Cherubim with their radiant eyes, 
And the rainbow wings of the Seraphim. 

And the host as countless as all days, 
That worships there, and ceases not, 
Singing and praising God always, 
With lute and flute and angelot. 

And the blessed light of Mary's face 
As she sits among these pleasant sounds, 
And Christ that is the Prince of Grace, 
And the five red flowers that be His wounds. 

And so he went till he came to the doors 
Of the ivory house of his father the King, 
And all through the golden corridors, 
As he passed along, he ceased to sing. 



14 THE BALLAD OF SAINT VITUS 

But a pagan priest had seen him pass, 
And heard his voice as he went along 
Through the fields of the bending grass, 
And he heard the words of the holy 
song. 

And he sought the King where he sat on his 

throne, 
And the tears of wrath were in his eyes, 
And he said, " O Sire, be it known 
That thy son singeth in this wise : 

" Of the blessed light of Mary's face 

As she sits amidst sweet pleasant sounds, 

And how that Christ is the Prince of 

Grace, 
And hath five flowers that be His wounds." 



THE BALLAD OF SAINT VITUS 15 

And when the King had heard this thing, 
His brow grew black as a winter night, 
And he bade the pages seek and bring 
Straightway the prince before his sight. 

And Vitus came before the King, 
And the King cried out, " I pray thee. Son, 
Sing now the song that thou didst sing 
When thou cam'st through the fields anon." 

And the face of the prince grew white as milk, 
And he answered nought, but under the band 
That held his doublet of purple silk 
Round his slight waist, he thrust his hand. 

And the King picked up a spear, and cried, 
" What hast thou there ? by the waters of Styx, 



l6 THE BALLAD OF SAINT VITUS 

Speak or I strike, and the boy replied, 
" Sweet Sire, it is a crucifix." 

And the King grew black with rage and grief, 
And for full a moment he spake no word. 
And the spear in his right hand shook like a leaf. 
And the vein on his brow was a tight blue cord. 

Then he laughed and said, in bitter scorn, 
" Take me this Christian fool from my sight. 
Lock him in the turret till the morn, 
And let him dance alone to-night. 

" He shall sit in the dark while the courtly ball 
All the gay night sweeps up and down 
On the polished floor of the golden hall, 
And thus shall he win his martyr's crown." 



THE BALLAD OF SAINT VITUS 17 

Thus spake the King, and the courtiers 

smiled, 
And Vitus hung his head for shame ; 
And he thought, " I am punished like a 

child, 
That would have died for Christ's dear Name." 

And so 'twas done, and on that night, 
While silk and sword, with fan and flower, 
Danced in the hall in the golden light, 
Prince Vitus sat in the lone dark tower. 

But the King bethought him, and was moved, 

Ere the short summer night was done, 

And his heart's blood yearned for the son he 

loved, 
His dainty prince, his only son. 



l8 THE BALLAD OF SAINT VITUS 

And all alone he climbed the stair, 

With the tired feet of a sceptred King, 

And came to the door, and lo ! he was 

'ware 
Of the sound of flute and lute-playing. 

And as the King stood there amazed. 

The iron door flew open wide. 

And the King fell down on his knees as he 

gazed 
At the wondrous thing he saw inside. 

For the room was filled with a soft sweet 

light 
Of ambergris and apricot, 
And round the walls were angels bright. 
With lute and flute and angelot. 



THE BALLAD OF SAINT VITUS 19 

On lute and angelot they played, 
With their gold heads bowed upon the strings, 
And the soft wind that the slim flutes made. 
Stirred in the feathers of their wings. 

And in the midst serene and sweet 
With God's light on his countenance 
Was Vitus, with his gold shod feet, 
Dancing in a courtly dance. 

And round him were archangels four, 
Michael, who guards God's citadel, 
Raphael, whom children still implore. 
And Gabriel and Uriel. 

Thus long ago was Christ's behest, 

And the saving grace that His red wounds be, 



THE BALLAD OF SAINT VITUS 

Unto this king made manifest, 
And all his land of Sicily, 

God sits within the highest Heaven, 
His mercy neither tires nor faints, 
All good gifts that may be given, 
He gives unto His holy Saints. 

This was the joy that Vitus gat ; 
To dance with Angels knee by knee, 
Before he came to man's estate : 
God send us all such Company. 

Amen. 



THE TRAVELLING COMPANION 

Into the silence of the empty night 

I went, and tootc my scorned heart with 

me 
And all the thousand eyes of heaven were 

bright ; 
But Sorrow came and led me back to 

thee. 

I turned my weary eyes towards the sun, 
Out of the leaden East like smoke came he. 
I laughed and said, " The night is past and 

done " ; 
But Sorrow came and led me back to thee. 

21 



22 THE TRAVELLING COMPANION 

I turned my face towards the rising moon, 
Out of the south she came most sweet to see, 
She smiled upon my eyes that loathed the 

noon ; 
But Sorrow came and led me back to thee. 

I bent my eyes upon the summer land, 
And all the painted fields were ripe for me, 
And every flower nodded to my hand ; 
But Sorrow came and led me back to thee. 

Love ! O Sorrow ! O desired Despair ! 

1 turn my feet towards the boundless sea, 
Into the dark I go and heed not where, 
So that I come again at last to thee. 



A TRIAD OF THE MOON 

I 

Last night my window played with one moon- 
beam, 
And I lay watching till sleep came, and stole 
Over my eyelids, and she brought a shoal 
Of hurrying thoughts that were her troubled 

team, 
And in the weary ending of a dream 
I found this word upon a candid scroll : 
" The nightingale is like a poet's soul, 
She finds fierce pain in miseries that seem." 

Ah me, methought, that she should so devise ! 
To seek for pain and sing such doleful bars, 
23 



24 A TRIAD OF THE MOON 

That the wood aches and simple flowers cry, 
And sea-green tears drench mortal lovers' 

eyes, 
She that is made the lure of those young 

stars 
That hang like golden spiders in the sky. 



A TRIAD OF THE MOON 25 



II 

That she should so devise, to find such lore 
Of sighful song and piteous psalmody, 
While Joy runs on through summer greenery. 
And all Delight is like an open door. 
Must then her liquid notes for evermore 
Repeat the colour of sad things, and be 
Distilled like cassia drops of agony, 
From the slow anguish of a heart's bruised 
core ? 

Nay, she weeps not because she knows sad 

songs. 
But sings because she weeps ; for wilful food 



26 A TRIAD OF THE MOON 

Of her sad singing, she will still decoy 
The sweetness that to happy things belongs. 
All night with artful woe she holds the wood, 
And all the summer day with natural joy. 



A TRIAD OF THE MOON 27 



III 

My soul is like a silent nightingale 
Devising sorrow in a summer night. 
Closed eyes in blazing noon put out the light, 
And Hell lies in the thickness of a veil. 
In every voiceless moment sleeps a wail, 
And all the lonely darknesses are bright, 
And every dawning of the day is white 
With shapes of sorrow fugitive and frail. 

My soul is like a flower whose honey-bees 
Are pains that sting and suck the sweets 

untold, 
My soul is like an instrument of strings ; 



28 A TRIAD OF THE MOON 

I must Stretch these to capture harmonies, 
And to find songs like buried dust of 

gold, 
Delve with the nightingale for sorrowful 

things. 



SONNET ON THE SONNET 

To see the moment holds a madrigal, 
To find some cloistered place, some hermitage 
For free devices, some deliberate cage 
Wherein to keep wild thoughts like birds in 

thrall ; 
To eat sweet honey and to taste black 

gall, 
To fight with form, to wrestle and to rage, 
Till at the last upon the conquered page 
The shadows of created Beauty fall. 

This is the sonnet, this is all delight 
Of every flower that blows in every Spring, 
29 



30 SONNET ON THE SONNET 

And all desire of every desert place ; 
This is the joy that fills a cloudy night 
When, bursting from her misty following, 
A perfect moon wins to an empty space. 



THE LEGEND OF SPINELLO OF 
AREZZO 

Spinello of Arezzo long ago, 
A cunning painter, made a large design 
To grace the choir of St Angelo. 
Therein he pictured the exploits divine 
Of the Archangel Michael, beautiful 
Exceedingly, in wrath most terrible, 
Until at last that holy place was full 
Of warring angels ; and that one who fell 
From the high places of the highest Heaven 
Into the deep abyss of lowest Hell, 
He pictured too, in mad disaster driven 
Before the conquering hosts of Paradise. 
31 



32 THE LEGEND OF SPINELI.O OF AREZZO 

And him the painter drew in uncouth shape, 
A foul misshappen monster with fierce eyes, 
Of hideous form, half demon and half ape. 

And lo ! it fell out as he slept one night, 
His soul, in the sad neutral land of dreams 
That lies between the darkness and the light, 
Was 'ware of one whose eyes were soft as 

beams 
Of summer moonlight, and withal as sad. 
Dark was his colour, and as black his hair 
As hyacinths by night, his sweet lips had 
A curve as piteous as sweet lovers wear 
When they have lost their loves ; so fair was he, 
So melancholy, yet withal so proud. 
He seemed a prince whose woes might move 

a tree 



THE LEGEND OF SPINELLO OF AREZZO 33 

To find a tearful voice and weep aloud. 
He spoke, his voice was tunable and mellow, 
But soft as are the western winds that stir 
The summer leaves, and thus he said, " Spinello, 
Why dost thou wrong me? I am Lucifer," 



SPRING 

Wake up again, sad heart, wake up again ! 
(I heard the birds this morning singing sweet.) 
Wake up again ! The sky was crystal clear, 
And washed quite clean with rain ; 
And far below my heart stirred with the 

year, 
Stirred with the year and sighed. O pallid 

feet 
Move now at last, O heart that sleeps with 
pain 

Rise up and hear 
The voices in the valleys, run to meet 
The songs and shadows. O wake up again ! 
34 



SPRING 35 

Put out green leaves, dead tree, put out green 

leaves ! 
(Last night the moon was soft and kissed the 

air.) 
Put out green leaves ! The moon was in the 

skies, 

All night she wakes and weaves. 
The dew was on the grass like fairies' eyes, 
Like fairies' eyes. O tree so black and bare. 
Remember all the fruits the full gold sheaves ; 

For nothing dies, 
The songs that are, are silences that were, 
Summer was Winter. O put out green leaves 

Break through the earth, pale flower, break 

through the earth ! 
(All day the lark has sung a madrigal.) 



36 SPRING 

Break through the earth that lies not lightly 

yet 

And waits thy patient birth, 
Waits for the jonquil and the violet, 
The violet. Full soon the heavy pall 
Will be a bed, and in the noon of mirth 

Some rivulet 
Will bubble in my wilderness, some call 
Will touch my silence. O break through the 

earth. 



ENNUI 

Alas ! and oh that Spring should come 

again 
Upon the soft wings of desired days, 
And bring with her no anodyne to pain, 
And no discernment of untroubled ways. 
There was a time when her yet distant feet, 
Guessed by some prescience more than half 

divine, 
Gave to my listening ear such happy warning, 

That fresh, serene, and sweet, 
My thoughts soared up like larks into the 

morning. 
From the dew-sprinkled meadows crystalline. 
37 



38 ENNUI 

Soared up into the heights celestial, 
And saw the whole world like a ball of fire, 
Fashioned to be a monster playing ball 
For the enchantment of my young desire. 
And yesterday they flew to this black cloud, 
(Missing the way to those ethereal spheres.) 
And saw the earth a vision of affright, 

And men a sordid crowd, 
And felt the fears and drank the bitter 

tears, 
And saw the empty houses of Delight. 

The sun has sunk into a moonless sea, 
And every road leads down from Heaven to 

Hell, 
The pearls are numbered on youth's rosary, 
I have outlived the days desirable. 



ENNUI 39 

What is there left ? And how shall dead men 

sing 
Unto the loosened strings of Love and Hate, 
Or take strong hands to Beauty's ravishment ? 

Who shall devise this thing, 
To give high utterance to Miscontent, 
Or make Indifference articulate ? 



WINE OF SUMMER 

The sun holds all the earth and all the sky 
From the gold throne of this midsummer 

day. 
In the soft air the shadow of a sigh 
Breathes on the leaves and scarcely makes them 

sway. 
The wood lies silent in the shimmering heat, 
Save where the insects make a lazy drone, 
And ever and anon from some tree near, 

A dove's enamoured moan, 
Or distant rook's faint cawing harsh and 

sweet, 
Comes dimly floating to my listening ear. 
40 



WINE OF SUMMER 41 

Right in the wood's deep heart I lay me down, 
And look up at the sky between the leaves, 
Through delicate lace I see her deep blue 

gown. 
Across a fern a scarlet spider weaves 
From branch to branch a slender silver thread. 
And hangs there shining in the white sun- 
beams, 
A ruby tremulous on a streak of light. 

And high above my head 
One spray of honeysuckle sways and dreams 
With one wild honey-bee for acolyte. 

My nest is all untrod and virginal. 
And virginal the path that led me here. 
For all along the grass grew straight and tall. 
And live things rustled in the thicket near : 



42 WINE OF SUMMER 

And briar rose stretched out to sweet briar rose 
Wild slender arms, and barred the way to me 
With many a flowering arch, rose-pink or white, 

As bending carefully, 
Leaving unbroken all their blossoming bows, 
I passed along, a reverent neophyte. 

The air is full of soft imaginings, 
They float unseen beneath the hot sunbeams, 
Like tired moths on heavy velvet wings. 
They droop above my drowsy head like dreams. 
The hum of bees, the murmuring of doves. 
The soft faint whispering of unnumbered trees. 
Mingle with unreal things, and low and deep 

From visionary groves, 
Imagined lutes make voiceless harmonies, 
And false flutes sigh before the gates of sleep. 



WINE OF SUMMER 43 

rare sweet hour ! O cup of golden wine ! 
The night of these my days is dull and 

dense, 
And stars are few, be this the anodyne ! 
Of many woes the perfect recompense. 

1 thought that I had lost for evermore 
The sense of this ethereal drunkenness, 
This fierce desire to live, to breathe, to be ; 

But even now, no less 
Than in the merry noon that danced before 
My tedious night, I taste its ecstasy. 

Taste, and remember all the summer days 
That lie, like gold reflections in the lake 
Of vanished years, unreal but sweet always ; 
Soft luminous shadows that I may not take 
Into my hands again, but still discern 



44 WINE OF SUMMER 

Drifting like gilded ghosts before my eyes, 
Beneath the waters of forgotten things, 

Sweet with faint memories, 
And mellow with old loves that used to burn 
Dead summer days ago, like fierce red kings. 

And this hour too must die, even now the sun 
Droops to the sea, and with untroubled feet 
The quiet evening comes : the day is done. 
The air that throbbed beneath the passionate 

heat 
Grows calm and cool and virginal again. 
The colour fades and sinks to sombre tones, 
As when in youthful cheeks a blush grows dim. 

Hushed are the monotones 
Of doves and bees, and the long flowery lane 
Rustles beneath the wind in playful whim. 



WINE OF SUMMER 45 

Gone are the passion and the pulse that beat 
With fevered strokes, and gone the unseen things 
That clothed the hour with shining raiment meet 
To deck enchantments and imaginings. 
No joy is here but only neutral peace 
And loveless languor and indifference, 
And faint remembrance of lost ecstasy. 

The darkening shades increase, 
My dreams go out like tapers — I must hence. 
Far off I hear Night calling to the sea. 



ODE TO AUTUMN 

Thou sombre lady of down-bended head, 
And weary lashes drooping to the cheek, 
With sweet sad fold of lips uncomforted, 
And listless hands more tired with strife than 

meek ; 
Turn here thy soft brown feet, and to my 

heart, 
Unmatched to Summer's golden minstrelsy, 
Or Spring's shrill pipe of joy, sing once again 

Sad songs, and I to thee 
Well tuned, will answer that according part 
That jarred with those young seasons' gladder 

strain. 

46 



ODE TO AUTUMN 47 

Give me thy empty branches for the biers 
Of perished joys, thy winds to sigh my sighs, 
Thy falh'ng leaves to count my falling tears. 
And all thy mists to dim my aching eyes. 
There is no comfort in thy lips, and none 
In thy cold arms, nor pity in thy breast, 
But better 'tis in gray hours to have grief, 

Than to affront the sun 
With sunless woe, when every flower and leaf 
Conspires to make the season merriest. 

The drip of rain-drops on the sodden earth, 
The trampled mud-stained grass, the shifting 

leaves. 
The silent hurrying birds, the sickly birth 
Of the red sun in misty skies, the sheaves 
Of rotting ruined corn, the sudden gusts 



4* ODE TO AUTUMN 

Of angry winds, the clouds that fly all night 
Before the stormy moon, thy desolate moans, 

All thy decays and rusts. 
Thy deaths and dirges, these are tuned aright 
To my unquiet soul that sorrow owns. 

But ah ! thy gentler mood, the honeyed kiss 
Of thy faint watery sunshine, thy pale gold, 
Thy dark red berries, and the ambergris 
That paints the lingering leaves, while on the 

mould, 
Their dead make bronze and sepia carpetings 
That lightly rustle in thy quiet breath. 
These are the shadows of departed smiles. 

The ghosts of happy things ; 
These break again the broken heart, the whiles 
Thou goest on to winter, I to Death. 



TWO TRANSLATIONS FROM 
BAUDELAIRE 

HARMONIE DU SOIR 

Void venir le teinps 

Now is the hour when, swinging in the breeze, 
Each flower, like a censer, sheds its sweet. 
The air is full of scents and melodies, 
O languorous waltz ! O swoon of dancing feet ! 

Each flower, like a censer, sheds its sweet, 
The violins are like sad souls that cry, 
O languorous waltz ! O swoon of dancing feet ! 
A shrine of Death and Beauty is the sky. 
D ' 49 



50 TWO TRANSLATIONS FROM BAUDELAIRE 

The violins are like sad souls that cry, 

Poor souls that hate the vast black night of 

Death ; 
A shrine of Death and Beauty is the sky. 
Drowned in red blood, the Sun gives up his 

breath. 

This soul that hates the vast black night of 

Death 
Takes all the luminous past back tenderly. 
Drowned in red blood, the Sun gives up his 

breath. 
Thine image like a monstrance shines in me. 



LE BALCON 

Mere des souvenirs maitresse des mattresses 

Mother of Memories ! O mistress-queen ! 
Oh ! all my joy and all my duty thou ! 
The beauty of caresses that have been, 
The evenings and the hearth remember now, 
Mother of Memories ! O mistress-queen ! 

The evenings burning with the glowing fire, 
And on the balcony, the rose-stained nights ! 
How sweet, how kind you were, my soul's 

desire. 
We said things wonderful as chrysolites, 
When evening burned beside the glowing fire. 
51 



52 TWO TRANSLATIONS FROM BAUDELAIRE 

How fair the Sun is in the evening ! 

How strong the soul,howhigh the heaven's tower! 

first and last of every worshipped thing, 
Yourodorous heart's-blood filled me like a flower. 
How fair the sun is in the evening ! 

The night grew deep between us like a pall, 
And in the dark I guessed your shining eyes. 
And drank your breath, O sweet, O honey-gall ! 
Your little feet slept on me sister-wise. 
The night grew deep between us like a pall. 

1 can call back the days desirable, 

And live all bliss again between your knees. 
For where else can I find that magic spell 
Save in your heart and in your Mysteries. 
1 can call back the days desirable. 



TWO TRANSLATIONS FROM BAUDELAIRE 53 

These vows, these scents, these kisses infinite, 
Will they like young suns climbing up the skies, 
Rise up from some unfathomable pit, 
Washed in the sea from all impurities ? 
O vows, O scents, O kisses infinite ! 



PERKIN WARBECK 

I 

At Turney in Flanders I was born 

Fore-doomed to splendour and sorrow, 

For I was a king when they cut the corn, 
And they strangle me to-morrow. 

II 

Oh ! why was I made so red and white. 

So fair and straight and tall ? 
And why were my eyes so blue and 
bright, 
And my hands so white and small ? 
54 



PERKIN WARBECK 55 

III 

And why was my hair like the yellow silk, 
And curled like the hair of a king? 

And my body like the soft new milk 
That the maids bring from milking? 

IV 

I was nothing but a weaver's son, 

I was born in a weaver's bed ; 
My brothers toiled and my sisters spun, 

And my mother wove for our bread. 

V 

I was the latest child she had, 

And my mother loved me the best. 

She would laugh for joy and anon be sad 
That I was not as the rest. 



S6 PERKIN WARBECK 

VI 

For my brothers and sisters were black as the 
gate 

Whereby I shall pass to-morrow, 
But I was white and delicate, 

And born to splendour and sorrow. 

VII 

And my father the weaver died full soon, 

But my mother lived for me ; 
And I had silk doublets and satin shoon 

And was nurtured tenderly. 

VIII 

And the good priests had much joy of me, 

For I had wisdom and wit ; 
And there was no tongue or subtlety 

But I could master it. 



PERKIN WARBECK 57 

IX 

And when I was fourteen summers old 

There came an English knight, 
With purple cloak and spurs of gold, 

And sword of chrysolite. 

X 

He rode through the town both sad and slow, 

And his hands lay in his lap ; 
He wore a scarf as white as the snow, 

And a snow-white rose in his cap. 

XI 
And he passed me by in the market-place, 

And he reined his horse and stared, 
And I looked him fair and full in the face 

And he stayed with his head all bared. 



58 PERKIN WARBECK 

XII 

And he leaped down quick and bowed his knee, 

And took hold on my hand ; 
And he said, " Is it ghost or wraith that I see. 

Or the White Rose of England ? " 

XIII 
And I answered him in the Flemish tongue, 

" My name is Peter Warbeckke, 
From Katherine de Faro I am sprung 

And my father was John Osbeckke. 

XIV 

" My father toiled and weaved with his hand 
And bare neither sword nor shield 

And the White Rose of fair England 
Turned red on Bosworth field." 



PERKIN WARBECK 59 

XV 

And he answered, " What matter for anything ? 

For God hath given to thee 
The voice of the king and the face of the king, 
And the king thou shalt surely be." 

XVI 
And he wrought on me till the vesper bell, 

And I rode forth out of the town : 

And I might not bid my mother farewell, 

Lest her love should seem more than a crown. 

XVII 
And the sun went down, and the night waxed 

black, 
And the wind sang wearily ; 
And I wept and turned, and was fain to go 

back. 
But he would not suffer me. 



6o PERKIN WARBECK 

XVIII 

And we rode, and we rode, was it nine days or 
three ? 

Till we heard the bells that ring 
For " my cousin Margaret of Burgundy," 

And I was indeed a king. 

XIX 

For I had a hundred fighting-men 

To come at my beck and call, 
And I had silk and fine linen 

To line my bed withal. 

XX 

They dressed me all in silken dresses, 

And little 1 wot did they reck 
Of the precious scents for my golden tresses, 

And the golden chains for my neck. 



PERKIN WARBECK 6i 

XXI 

And all the path for " the rose " to walk 
Was strewn with flowers and posies, 

I was the milk-white rose of York, 
The rose of all the roses. 

XXII 

And the Lady Margaret taught me well, 

Till I spake without lisping 
Of Warwick and Clarence and Isabel, 

And " my father " Edward the King, 

XXIII 
And I sailed to Ireland and to France, 

And I sailed to fair Scotland, 
And had much honour and pleasaunce, 

And Katherine Gordon's hand, 



62 PERKIN WARBECK 

XXIV 

And after that what brooks it to say- 
Whither I went or why ? 

I was as loathe to leave my play 
And fight, as now to die. 

XXV 

For I was not made for wars and strife 

And blood and slaughtering, 
I was but a boy that loved his life, 

And I had not the heart of a king. 

XXVI 

Oh ! why hath God dealt so hardly with me, 
That such a thing should be done, 

That a boy should be born with a king's body 
And the heart of a weaver's son ? 



PERKIN WARBECK 63 

XXVII 

I was well pleased to be at the court, 

Lord of the thing that seems ; 
It was merry to be a prince for sport, 

A king in a kingdom of dreams. 

XXVIII 

But ever they said I must strive and fight 

To wrest away the crown, 
So I came to England in the night 

And I warred on Exeter town. 

XXIX 

And the King came up with a mighty host 

And what could I do but fly ? 
I had three thousand men at the most, 

And I was most loath to die. 



64 PERKIN WARBECK 

XXX 

And they took me and brought me to London 
town, 

And I stood where all men might see ; 
I, that had wellnigh worn a crown, 

In a shameful pillory ! 

XXXI 

And I cried these words in the English tongue, 

" I am Peter Warbeckke, 
From Katherine de Faro I am sprung 

And my father was John Osbeckke. 

XXXII 

" My father toiled and weaved with his hand, 
And bare neither sword nor shield ; 

And the White Rose of fair England 
Turned red on Bosworth field." 



PERKIN WARBECK 65 

XXXIII 

And they gave me my life, but they held me fast 

Within this weary place ; 
But I wrought on my guards ere a month was 

past, 
With my wit and my comely face. 

XXXIV 

And they were ready to set me free, 

But when it was almost done, 
And I thought I should gain the narrow sea 

And look on the face of the sun, 

XXXV 

The lord of the tower had word of it. 

And, alas ! for my poor, hope. 
For this is the end of my face and my wit 

That to-morrow I die by the rope. 
E 



66 PERKIN WARBECK 

XXXVI 

And the time draws nigh and the darkness 
closes, 

And the night is almost done. 
What had I to do with their roses, 

I, the poor weaver's son ? 

XXXVII 

They promised me a bed so rich 

And a queen to be my bride, 
And I have gotten a narrow ditch 

And a stake to pierce my side. 

XXXVIII 
They promised me a kingly part 

And a crown my head to deck, 
And I have gotten the hangman's cart 

And a hempen cord for my neck. 



PERKIN WARBECK 67 

XXXIX 
Oh ! I would that I had never been born, 

To splendour and shame and sorrow, 
For it's ill riding to grim Tiborne, 

Where I must ride to-morrow. 

XL 
I shall dress me all in silk and scarlet, 

And the hangman shall have my ring, 
For though I be hanged like a low-born varlet 

They shall know I was once a king. 

XLI 

And may I not fall faint or sick 

Till I reach at last to the goal, 
And I pray that the rope may choke me quick 

And Christ receive my soul. 



THE GARDEN OF DEATH 

There is an isle in an unfurrowed sea 

That I wot of, whereon the whole year round 

The apple-blossoms and the rosebuds be 

In early blooming; and a many sound 

Often-stringed lute, and most mellifluous breath 

Of silver flute, and mellow half-heard horn. 

Making unmeasured music. Thither Death 

Coming like Love, takes all things in the morn 

Of tenderest life, and being a delicate god, 

In his own garden takes each delicate thing 

Unstained, unmellowed, immature, untrod. 

Tremulous betwixt the summer and the 

spring : 

68 



THE GARDEN OF DEATH 69 

The rosebud ere it come to be a rose, 

The blossom ere it win to be a fruit, 

The virginal snowdrop, and the dove that 

knows 
Only one dove for lover ; all the loot 
Of young soft things, and all the harvest- 
ing 
Of unripe flowers. Never comes the moon 
To matron fulness, here no child-bearing 
Vexes desire, and the sun knows no noon. 
But all the happy dwellers of that place 
Are reckless children, gotten on Delight 
By Beauty that is thrall to Death ; no 

grace. 
No natural sweet they lack, a chrysolite 
Of perfect beauty each. No wisdom comes 
To mar their early folly, no false laws 



70 THE GARDEN OF DEATH 

Man-made for man, no mouthing prudence 

numbs 
Their green unthought, or gives their licence 

pause ; 
Young animals, young flowers, they live and 

grow, 
And die before their sweet emblossomed breath 
Has learnt to sigh save like a lover's. Oh ! 
How sweet is Youth, how delicate is Death ! 



THE SPHINX 

I GAZE across the Nile ; flamelike and red 
The sun goes down, and all the western sky 
Is drowned in sombre crimson ; wearily 
A great bird flaps along with wings of lead, 
Black on the rose-red river. Over my head 
The sky is hard green bronze, beneath me lie 
The sleeping ships ; there is no sound, or 

sigh 
Of the wind's breath, — a stillness of the 

dead. 

Over a palm tree's top I see the peaks 
Of the tall pyramids ; and though my eyes 
71 



72 THE SPHINX 

Are barred from it, I know that on the sand 
Crouches a thing of stone that in some wise 
Broods on my heart ; and from the darkening 

land 
Creeps Fear and to my soul in whisper speaks. 



TO SHAKESPEARE 

Most tuneful singer, lover tenderest, 
Most sad, most piteous, and most musical, 
Thine is the shrine more pilgrim-worn than 

all 
The shrines of singers ; high above the rest 
Thy trumpet sounds most loud, most mani- 
fest. 
Yet better were it if a lonely call 
Of woodland birds, a song, a madrigal. 
Were all the jetsam of thy sea's unrest. 

For now thy praises have become too loud 
On vulgar lips, and every yelping cur 
73 



74 TO SHAKESPEARE 

Yaps thee a paean ; the whiles little men, 
Not tall enough to worship in a crowd, 
Spit their small wits at thee. Ah ! better then 
The broken shrine, the lonely worshipper. 



A SUMMER STORM 

Alas ! how frail and weak a little boat 

I have sailed in. I call it Happiness, 

And I had thought there was not storm nor 

stress 
Of wind so masterful but it would float 
Blithely in their despite ; but lo ! one 

note 
Of harsh discord, one word of bitterness, 
And a fierce overwhelming wilderness 
Of angry waters chokes my gasping throat. 

I am near drowned in this unhappy sea, 
I will not strive, let me lie still and sink, 
75 



76 A SUMMER STORM 



I have no joy to live. Oh ! unkind love ! 
Why have you wounded me so bitterly ? 
That am as easily wounded as a dove 
Who has a silver throat and feet of pink. 



AMORIS VINCULA 

As a white dove that, in a cage of gold, 

Is prisoned from the air, and yet more bound 
By love than bars, and will not wings unfold 
To fly away, though every gate be found 
Unlocked and open ; so my heart was caught. 
And linked to thine with triple links of love. 
But soon, a dove grown wanton, false it sought 
To break its chain, and faithless quite to 
rove 
Where thou wouldst not ; and with a painted 
bird 
Fluttered far off. But when a moon was 
past, 

77 



78 AMORIS VINCULA 

Grown sick with longing for a voice unheard 
And lips unkissed, spread wings and home 
flew fast. 
And lo ! what seemed a sword to cleave its 
chain, 
Was but a link to rivet it again. 



IN SARUM CLOSE 

Tired of passion and the love that brings 
Satiety's unrest, and failing sands 
Of life, I thought to cool my burning hands 
In this calm twilight of gray Gothic things : 
But Love has laughed, and, spreading swifter 

wings 
Than my poor pinions, once again with bands 
Of silken strength my fainting heart com- 
mands, 
And once again he plays on passionate strings. 

But thou, my love, my flower, my jewel, set 
In a fair setting, help me, or I die 
79 



8o IN SARUM CLOSE^ 

To bear Love's burden ; for that load to share 
Is sweet and pleasant, but if lonely I 
Must love unloved, 'tis pain ; shine we, my fair 
Two neighbour jewels in Love's coronet. 



IMPRESSION DE NUIT 
London 

See what a mass of gems the city wears 
Upon her broad live bosom ! row on row 
Rubies and emeralds and amethysts glow. 
See ! that huge circle like a necklace, stares 
With thousands of bold eyes to heaven, and dares 
The golden stars to dim the lamps below, 
And in the mirror of the mire I know 
The moon has left her image unawares. 

That's the great town at night : I see her breasts, 
Pricked out with lamps they stand like huge 
black towers, 
F 8i 



82 IMPRESSION DE NUIT 

I think they move ! I hear her panting breath. 
And that's her head where the tiara rests. 
And in her brain, through lanes as dark as death, 
Men creep Hke thoughts . . . The lamps are 
like pale flowers. 



A SONG 

Steal from the meadows, rob the tall green 
hills, 

Ravish my orchard's blossoms, let me bind 
A crown of orchard flowers and daffodils, 

Because my love is fair and whitt and kind. 

To-day the thrush has trilled her daintiest 
phrases, 
Flowers with their incense have made drunk 
the air, 
God has bent down to gild the hearts of 
daisies, 
Because my love is kind and white and fair. 
83 



84 A SONG 

To-day the sun has kissed the rose-tree's 
daughter, 

And sad Narcissus, Spring's pale acolyte 
Hangs down his head and smiles into the water, 

Because my love is kind and fair and white. 



TO L 

Thou that wast once my loved and loving 

friend, 
A friend no more, I had forgot thee quite, 
Why hast thou come to trouble my delight 
With memories ? Oh ! I had clean made 

end 
Of all that time, I had made haste to send 
My soul into red places, and to light 
A torch of pleasure to burn up my night. 
What I have woven hast thou come to rend ? 

In silent acres of forgetful flowers, 
Crowned as of old with happy daffodils, 
85 



86 TO L 

Long time my wounded soul has been a-straying, 
Alas ! it has chanced now on sombre hours 
Of hard remembrances and sad delaying, 
Leaving green valleys for the bitter hills. 



IN WINTER 

Oh ! for a day of burning noon 
And a sun like a glowing ember, 

Oh ! for one hour of golden June, 
In the heart of this chill November. 

I can scarcely remember the Spring's soft breath 

Or imagine the Summer hazes : 
The yellow woods are so damp with death 

That I have forgotten the daisies. 

Oh ! to lie watching the sky again, 
From a nest of hot grass and clover, 

Till the stars come out like golden rain 
When the lazy day is over, 
87 



88 IN WINTER 

And crowning the night with an aureole, 
As the clouds kiss and drift asunder, 

The moon floats up like a luminous soul, 
And the stars grow pale for wonder. 



PLAINTE ETERNELLE 

The sun sinks down, the tremulous daylight 
dies. 
(Down their long shafts the weary sunbeams 

glide.) 
The white-winged ships drift with the falling 
tide, 
Come back, my love, with pity in your eyes ! 

The tall white ships drift with the falling tide. 
(Far, far away I hear the seamews' cries.) 
Come back, my love, with pity in your 
eyes ! 
There is no room now in my heart for pride. 
89 



90 PLAINTE ETERNELLE 

Come back, come back ! with pity in your 
eyes. 
(The night is dark, the sea is fierce and 

wide.) 
There is no room now in my heart for pride, 
Though I become the scorn of all the wise. 

I have no place now in my heart for pride. 

(The moon and stars have fallen from the 
skies.) 

Though I become the scorn of all the wise, 
Thrust, if you will, sharp arrows in my side. 

Let me become the scorn of all the wise. 
(Out of the East I see the morning ride.) 
Thrust, if you will, sharp arrows in my side. 

Play with my tears and feed upon my sighs. 



PLAINTE ETERNELLE 91 

Wound me with swords, put arrows in my side. 
(On the white sea the haze of noon-day lies.) 
Play with my tears and feed upon my sighs, 

But come, my love, before my heart has died. 

Drink my salt tears and feed upon my sighs. 

(Westward the evening goes with one red 
stride.) 

Come back, my love, before my heart has died, 
Down sinks the sun, the tremulous daylight dies. 

Come back ! my love, before my heart has died. 

(Out of the South I see the pale moon rise.) 

Down sinks the sun, the tremulous daylight 

dies, 

The white-winged ships drift with the falling 

tide. 



IN SUMMER 

There were the black pine trees, 
And the sullen hills 
Frowning ; there were trills 
Of birds, and the sweet hot sun, 
And little rills 
Of water, everyone 

Singing and prattling ; there were bees 

Honey-laden, tuneful, a song 

Far-off, and a timid air 
That sighed and kissed my hair, 
My hair that the hot sun loves. 
92 



IN SUMMER 93 

The day was very fair, 
There was wooing of doves, 
And the Shadows were not yet long. 

And I lay on the soft green grass, 

And the smell of the earth was sweet. 

And I dipped my feet 

In the little stream ; 

And was cool as a flower is cool in the 
heat. 

And the day lay still in a dream. 
And the hours forgot to pass. 

And you came, my love, so stealthily 
That I saw you not 
Till I felt that your arms were hot 
Round my neck, and my lips were wet 



94 IN SUMMER 

With your lips, I had forgot 
How sweet you were. And lo ! the 
sun had set, 
And the pale moon came up silently. 



NIGHT COMING INTO A GARDEN 

Roses red and white, 

Every rose is hanging her head, 
Silently comes the lady Night, 

Only the flowers can hear her tread. 

All day long the birds have been calling, 

Calling shrill and sweet, 
They are still when she comes with her long 
robe falling, 

Falling down to her feet. 

The thrush has sung to his mate, 

" She is coming ! hush ! she is coming I " 
95 



96 NIGHT COMING INTO A GARDEN 

She is lifting the latch at the gate, 

And the bees have ceased from their 
humming. 

I cannot see her face as she passes 

Through my garden of white and red ; 

But I know she has walked where the daisies 
and grasses 
Are curtseying after her tread. 

She has passed me by with a rustle and sweep 
Of her robe (as she passed I heard it 
sweeping), 

And all my red roses have fallen asleep, 
And all my white roses are sleeping. 



NIGHT GOING OUT OF A GARDEN 

Through the still air of night 

Suddenly comes, alone and shrill, 
Like the far-off voice of the distant light, 

The single piping trill 
Of a bird that has caught the scent of the 
dawn. 
And knows that the night is over ; 
(She has poured her dews on the velvet lawn 
And drenched the long grass and the 
clover,) 
And now with her naked white feet 

She is silently passing away, 
Out of the garden and into the street, 
G 97 



98 NIGHT GOING OUT OF A GARDEN 

Over the long yellow fields of the wheat, 

Till she melts in the arms of the day. 
And from the great gates of the East, 

With a clang and a brazen blare, 
Forth from the rosy wine and the feast 

Comes the god with the flame-flaked hair ; 
The hoofs of his horses ring 

On the golden stones, and the wheels 
Of his chariot burn and sing, 

And the earth beneath him reels ; 
And forth with a rush and a rout 

His myriad angels run, 
And the world is awake with a shout, 
" He is coming ! The sun ! The sun ! " 



JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LYS 

I 

Jonquil was a shepherd lad, 

White he was as the curded cream, 

Hair like the buttercups he had, 

And wet green eyes like a full chalk stream. 

II 

His teeth were as white as the stones that lie 
Down in the depths of the sun-bright 
river, 
And his lashes danced like- a dragon-fly 

With drops on the gauzy wings that 
quiver. 

99 



lOO JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LYS 

III 

His lips were as red as round ripe cherries, 
And his delicate cheeks and his rose-pink 
neck, 
Were stained with the colour of dog-rose berries 

When they lie on the snow like a crimson fleck. 

IV 

His feet were all stained with the cowslips and 
grass 

To amber and verdigris, 
And through his folds one day did pass 

The young prince Fleur-de-lys. 

V 
Fleur-de-lys was the son of the king. 
He was as white as an onyx stone, 



JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LYS loi 

His hair was curled like a daffodil ring, 

And his eyes were like gems in the queen's 
blue zone. 

VI 

His teeth were as white as the white pearls set 
Round the thick white throat of the queen 
in the hall, 

And his lashes were like the dark silk net 
That she binds her yellow hair withal. 

vn 

His lips were as red as the red rubies 
The king's bright dagger-hilt that deck, 

And pale rose-pink as the amethyst is 

Were his delicate cheeks and his rose-pink 
neck. 



I02 JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LYS 

VIII 

His feet were all shod in shoes of gold, 

And his coat was as gold as a blackbird's 
bill is, 

With jewel on jewel manifold, 

And wrought with a pattern of golden lilies. 

IX 

When Fleur-de-lys espied Jonquil 
He was as glad as a bird in May ; 

He tripped right swiftly a-down the hill, 
And called to the shepherd boy to play. 

X 

This fell out ere the sheep-shearing, 

That these two lads did sport and toy, 

Fleur-de-lys the son of the king. 

And sweet Jonquil the shepherd boy. 



JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LYS 103 

XI 

And after they had played awhile, 

Thereafter they to talking fell, 
And full an hour they did beguile 

While each his state and lot did tell. 

XII 

For Jonquil spake of the little sheep, 

And the tender ewes that know their names, 

And he spake of his wattled hut for sleep, 

And the country sports and the shepherds' 

games. 

XIII 

And he plucked a reed from the edge that girds 
The river bank, and with his knife 

Made a pipe, with a breath like the singing birds 
When they flute to their loves in a musical 
strife. 



I04 JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LYS 

XIV 
And he told of the night so long and still 

When he lay awake till he heard the feet 
Of the goat-foot god coming over the hill, 
And the rustling sound as he passed through 
the wheat. 

XV 

And Fleur-de-lys told of the king and the court, 
And the stately dames and the slender pages. 

Of his horse and his hawk and his mimic fort, 
And the silent birds in their golden cages. 

XVI 

And the jewelled sword with the damask blade 
That should be his in his fifteenth spring ; 

And the silver sound that the gold horns made, 
And the tourney lists and the tilting ring. 



JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LVS 105 

XVII 
And after that they did devise 

For mirth and sport, that each should wear 
The other's clothes, and in this guise 

Make play each other's parts to bear. 

XVIII 
Whereon they stripped off all their clothes, 

And when they stood up in the sun. 
They were as like as one white rose 

On one green stalk, to another one. 

XIX 

And when Jonquil as a prince was shown 
And Fleur-de-lys as a shepherd lad. 

Their mothers' selves would not have known 
That each the other's habit had. 



io6 JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LYS 

XX 

And Jonquil walked like the son of a king 
With dainty steps and proud haut look ; 

And Fleur-de-lys, that sweet youngling, 

Did push and paddle his feet in the brook. 

XXI 

And while they made play in this wise, 

Unto them all in haste did run, 
Two lords of the court, with joyful cries. 

That long had sought the young king's son. 

XXII 
And to Jonquil they reverence made 

And said, " My lord, we are come from the 
king. 
Who is sore vexed that thou hast strayed 
So far without a following." 



JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LYS 107 

XXIII 
Then unto them said Fleur-de-lys 

" You do mistake, my lords, for know 
That I am the son of the king, and this 

Is sweet Jonquil, my playfellow." 

XXIV 
Whereat one of these lords replied, 

" Thou lying knave, I'll make thee rue 
Such saucy words." But Jonquil cried, 

" Nay, nay, my lord, 'tis even true." 

XXV 

Whereat these lords were sore distressed. 
And one made answer bending knee, 

' My lord the prince is pleased to jest." 
But Jonquil answered, " Thou shalt see. 



io8 JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LYS 

XXVI 

" Sure never yet so strange a thing 

As this before was seen, 
That a shepherd was thought the son of a king, 

And a prince a shepherd boy to have been. 

XXVII 

" Now mark me well, my noble lord, 
A shepherd's feet go bare and cold. 

Therefore they are all green from the sward, 
And the buttercup makes a stain of gold. 

XXVIII 

" That I am Jonquil thus shalt thou know, 
And that this be very Fleur-de-lys 

If his feet be like the driven snow, 

And mine like the amber and verdigris." 



JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LYS 109 

XXIX 

He lifted up the shepherd's frock 

That clothed the prince, and straight did show 
That his naked feet all under his smock 

Were whiter than the driven snow. 

XXX 

He doffed the shoes and the clothes of silk 
That he had gotten from Fleur-de-lys, 

And all the rest was as white as milk, 

But his feet were like amber and verdigris. 

XXXI 
With that they each took back his own, 

And when this second change was done, 
As a shepherd boy was Jonquil shown 

And Fleur-de-lys the king's true son. 



no JONQUIL AND FLEUR-DE-LYS 

XXXII 

By this the sun was low in the heaven, 
And Fleur-de-Iys must ride away, 

But ere he left, with kisses seven. 
He vowed to come another day. 



A WINTER SUNSET 

The frosty sky, like a furnace burning, 

The keen air, crisp and cold, 

And a sunset that splashes the clouds 
with gold ; 
But my heart to summer turning. 

Come back, sweet summer ! come back 
again ! 
I hate the snow, 

And the icy winds that the north lands 
blow, 
And the fall of the frozen rain. 
in 



112 A WINTER SUNSET 

I hate the iron ground, 

And the Christmas roses, 

And the sickly day that dies when it closes, 
With never a song or a sound. 

Come back ! come back ! with your passionate 
heat 

And glowing hazes. 

And your sun that shines as a lover gazes 
And your day with the tired feet. 



APOLOGIA 

Tell me not of Philosophies, 

Of morals, ethics, laws of life ; 
Give me no subtle theories, 

No instruments of wordy strife. 
I will not forge laborious chains 

Link after link, till seven times seven, 
I need no ponderous iron cranes 

To haul my soul from earth to heaven. 
But with a burnished wing, 

Rainbow-hued in the sun, 

I will dive and leap and run 
In the air, and I will bring 
Back to the earth a heavenly thing. 

H 113 



114 APOLOGIA 

I will dance through the stars 

And pass the blue bars 
Of heaven. I will catch hands with God 

And speak with him, 

I will kiss the lips of the seraphim 

And the deep-eyed cherubim ; 
I will pluck of the flowers that nod 

Row upon row upon row, 
In the infinite gardens of God, 
To the breath of the wind of the sweep of the 
lyres, 

And the cry of the strings 

And the golden wires, 

And the mystical musical things 
That the world may not know. 



IN MEMORIAM 

FRANCIS ARCHIBALD DOUGLAS 
Viscount Drumlanrig 

Killed by the Accidental Explosion of his gun, 
October i8, 1894 

Dear friend, dear brother, I have owed you 

this 

Since many days, the tribute of a song. 

Shall I cheat you who never did a wrong 

To any man ? No, therefore though I miss 

All art, all skill, in this short armistice 

From my soul's war against the bitter throng 

Of present woes, let these poor lines be strong 

In love enough to bear a brother's kiss. 



"5 



116 IN MEMORIAM 

Dear saint, true knight, I cannot weep for you, 
Nor if I could would I call back the breath 
To your dear body ; God is very wise, 
All that this year had in its womb He knew. 
And, loving you. He sent His son like Death, 
To put His hand over your kind gray eyes. 



A PRAYER 

Often the western wind has sung to me, 
There have been voices in the streams and 

meres, 
And pitiful trees have told me, God, of Thee : 
And I heard not. Oh ! open Thou mine 

ears. 

The reeds have whispered low as I passed by, 
" Be strong, O friend, be strong, put off vain 

fears, 
Vex not thy soul with doubts, God cannot 

lie : " 
And I heard not. Oh ! open Thou mine ears. 
117 



ii8 A PRAYER 

There have been many stars to guide my feet, 
Often the delicate moon, hearing my sighs, 
Has rent the clouds and shown a silver street ; 
And I saw not. Oh ! open Thou mine eyes. 

Angels have beckoned me unceasingly, 

And walked with me ; and from the sombre 

skies 
Dear Christ Himself has stretched out hands 

to me ; 
And I saw not. Oh ! open Thou mine eyes. 



AUTUMN DAYS 

I HAVE been through the woods to-day, 

And the leaves were falling, 
Summer had crept away, 

And the birds were not calling. 

And the bracken was like yellow gold 

That comes too late, 
When the heart is sad and old, 

And death at the gate. 

Ah, mournful Autumn ! Sad, 
Slow death that comes at last, 

I am mad for a yesterday, mad ! 
I am sick for a year that is past ! 
119 



3 AUTUMN DAYS 

Though the sun be Hke blood in the sky 
He is cold as the lips of hate, 

And he fires the sere leaves as they lie 
On their bed of earth, too late. 

They are dead, and the bare trees weep 
Not loud as a mortal weeping, 

Bu as sorrow that sighs in sleep, 

And as grief that is still in sleeping. 



THE IMAGE OF DEATH 

I CARVED an image coloured like the night, 
Winged with huge wings, stern-browed and 

menacing, 
With hair caught back, and diademed like a 

king. 
The left hand held a sceptre, and the right 
Grasped a short sword, the bitter marble lips 
Were curled and proud ; the yellow topaz 

eyes 
(Each eye a jewel) stared in fearful wise ; 
The hard fierce limbs were bare, and from the 

hips 
A scourge hung down. And on the pedestal 



122 THE IMAGE OF DEATH 

I wrote these words " O all things that have 

breath 
This is the image of the great god Death, 
Pour ye the wine and bind the coronal ! 
Pipe unto him with pipes and flute with flutes, 
Woo him with flowers and spices odorous, 
Let singing boys with lips mellifluous 
Make madrigals and lull his ear with lutes. 
Anon bring sighs and tears of harsh distress, 
And weeping wounds ! so haply ye may move 
A heart of stone, from breasts of hate suck love, 
Or garner pity from the pitiless." 



TO SLEEP 

Ah, Sleep, to me thou com'st not in the 

guise 
Of one who brings good gifts to weary men, 
Balm for bruised hearts and fancies alien 
To unkind truth, and drying for sad eyes. 
I dread the summons to that fierce assize 
Of all my foes and woes, that waits me when 
Thou makest my soul the unwilling denizen 
Of thy dim troubled house where unrest lies. 

My soul is sick with dreaming, let it rest. 
False Sleep, thou hast conspired with Wake- 
fulness, 

123 



124 TO SLEEP 

I will not praise thee, I too long beguiled 
With idle tales. Where is thy soothing breast ? 
Thy peace, thy poppies, thy forgetfulness ? 
Where is thy lap for me so tired a child ? 



WJE VICTIS! 

Here in this isle 
The summer still lingers, 
And Autumn's brown fingers 

So busy the while 

With the leaves in the north, 

Are scarcely put forth 
In this land where the sun still glows like an 
ember, 

In mid-November. 



In England it's cold, 
And the yellow and red 
125 



126 V^ VICTIS ! 

Of October have fled ; 

And the sun is wet gold 
Like an emperor weeping, 

When Death goes a-reaping 

All through his empire, merciless comer, 
The dead things of summer. 



The sky has cried so 
That the earth is all sodden, 
With dead leaves in-trodden, 

And the trees to and fro 

Wave their arms in the air 

In despair, in despair : 
They are thinking of all the hot days that are 
over, 

And the cows in the clover. 



V^ VICTIS ! 127 

Here the roses are out, 
And the sun at high noon 
Makes the birds faint and swoon. 

But the cricket's about 

With his song, and the hum 

Of the bees as they come 
To feast at the honey-board laden and groaning, 

Makes musical droning. 

But vainly, alas ! 
Do I hide in the south, 
Kiss close with my mouth 

Red flowers, green grass, 

For Autumn has found me 

And thrown her arms round me. 
She has breathed on my lips and I wander apart, 

Dead leaves in my heart. 
Capri. 



REJECTED 

Alas ! I have lost my God, 

My beautiful God Apollo. 
Wherever his footsteps trod 

My feet were wont to follow. 

But oh ! it fell out one day 

My soul was so heavy with weeping, 
That I laid me down by the way ; 

And he left me while I was sleeping. 

And my soul awoke in the night, 

And I bowed my ear for his fluting, 
iz8 



REJECTED 129 

And I heard but the breath of the flight 
Of wings and the night-birds hooting. 

And night drank all her cup, 

And I went to the shrine in the hollow, 
And the voice of my cry went up : 

"Apollo! Apollo! Apollo!" 

But he never came to the gate, 
And the sun was hid in a mist, 

And there came one walking late, 
And I knew it was Christ. 

He took my soul and bound it 

With cords of iron wire. 
Seven times round He wound it 

With the cords of my desire. 



I30 REJECTED 

The cords of my desire, 

While my desire slept, 
Were seven bands of wire 

To bind my soul that wept. 

And He hid my soul at last 
In a place of stones and fears, 

Where the hours like days went past 
And the days went by like years. 

And after many days 

That which had slept awoke, 

And desire burnt in a blaze, 

And my soul went up in the smoke. 

And we crept away from the place 
And would not look behind, 



REJECTED 131 

And the angel that hides his face 

Was crouched on the neck of the wind. 

And I went to the shrine in the hollow 

Where the lutes and the flutes were playing, 

And I cried : " I am come, Apollo, 

Back to thy shrine, from my straying." 

But he would have none of my soul 

That was stained with blood and with tears, 

That had lain in the earth like a mole, 
In the place of great stones and fears. 

And now I am lost in the mist 

Of the things that can never be, 
For I will have none of Christ 

And Apollo will none of me. 



ODE TO MY SOUL 

Rise up my soul ! 

Shake thyself from the dust. 

Lift up thy head that wears an aureole, 

Fulfil thy trust. 

Out of the mire where they would trample 

thee 
Make images of clay, 

Whereon having breathed, from thy divinity 
Let them take mighty wings and soar away 

Right up to God. 
Out of thy broken past 
Where impious feet have trod, 
Build thee a golden house august and vast, 
132 



ODE TO MY SOUL 133 

Whereto these worms of earth may some day 

crawl. 
Let there be nothing small 
Henceforth with thee ; 
Take thou unbounded scorn of all their scorn, 

Eternity 
Of high contempt : be thou no more forlorn 
But proud in thy immortal loneliness, 
And infinite distress : 

And, being 'mid mortal things divinely born, 
Rise up my soul ! 



THE CITY OF THE SOUL 

BY 

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS 

SOME PRESS OPINIONS 

Mr Lionel Johnson, Outlook. — "A great unknown. The title of 
these arresting poems is taken from that of an opening set of four 
sonnets, and it well describes and defines the writer's poetical attitude. 
For him, poetry, the artistic exercise of imagination, is a safe place of 
refuge and retirement, a secret citadel, wherein the soul may dwell 
for solace and escape from the pressure of the world. ' The consolation 
of art ' is a familiar affectation with many pretenders to poetry : not so 
with this poet. His sincerity is evident ; it is clear that poetry is to him 
a serious and real joy, the relief of a quick and sensitive nature, and 
that the endeavour to write it well is both a passion and a comfort. 
And he does write it well, with notable distinction ; his manner, vision, 
interest, attraction are his own. Here is not the impeccable dullness of 
an accomplished imitator, of the soulless craftsman who has caught 
some master's style ; behind or within these poems there is a person- 
ality. . . . These ballads are delightful ; their form is inevitably right 
and suited to their themes. Youth in its white, fresh grace, its wistful- 
ness and joyousness, wonder and simplicity, sings and sighs in these 
ballads, of which one is a legend, one historical, the third a beautiful 
invention. They move to a carolling music, dainty, delicate, debonair, 
of an exquisite lightness and crystal chime . . . they are full of a 
singularly winning grace and charm. . . . Let the reader turn to 
' Rejected,' a mystical lyric worthy of Blake, and quite impossible to 
describe otherwise ; if he has any sense of poetry, he will feel and 
confess that we have here an authentic poet." 

Saturday Revieiu. — "Delicate imagination and sense of words are 
not the only qualities that entitle ' The City of the Soul ' to peculiar 
distinction. The writer adds to these a technical judgment no less 
completely at home with the ballad than with the lyrical or sonnet 
form. As criticism of verse this would be exhaustive praise ; but 
these pieces contain just that element of passion which transforms 
skilful verse into fine poetry. They are a garden of colour ; but the 
colour is always chosen and alive. The balla'd soliloquy, ' Perkin 
Warbeck,' is extraordinary good. . . . Among the rest of the poems, 
two translations from ' Les fleurs du mal ' have an appropriate place. 
In daintiness of expression, often married to exotic sentiment, the 
translator himself has no slight affinity with Baudelaire." 

Francis Thompson, The Academy. — " He has a rich sense of lan- 
guage, a true gift of mellifluous versification. Few poems are without 
cunning and iridescent diction, and all have a rich, youthful passion 
for beauty which is itself an inspiration." 



THE CITY OF THE SOUL 

SOME PRESS OPINIONS 

Daily Telegraph. — " 'The City of the Soul' is not an essay in the 
art of writing verse ; it is work of a remarkable high order, and reveals 
the temperament of a poet who writes because it is in him to do so 
. . . the verse is throughout chaste, restrained, and as flawless as good 
poetry may be. But what makes the volume a notable one, and dear 
to the lovers of all good things, is that it has the one thing needful, and 
the rarest to meet with — personality. . . . The author has achieved 
great distinction in his sonnets. . . . Indeed, all through the book one 
comes upon lines which are astonishing in their beauty and their 
distinction." 

"A Parisian," 5/ /aww'j Gazette.— " A new Enghsh poet. The 
volume, it seems to me, is a treasure house of gems. . . . There 
was a great breath of inspiration which filled the poetic sails of all your 
great Elizabethans alike, whether it were Shakespeare, or Marlowe, or 
Greene, or Webster, or Reauniont, all individually quite different one 
from the other, neither imitating the other ; and surely it is this souffle, 
a pure, invigorating wind from heaven, which blows and whispers and 
weeps in this new poet's verses. . . . The two translations from 
Baudelaire — ' Harmonie du Soir' and ' Le Balcon' — are as perfect in 
form and in the repetition of the frisson of "the original verse as 
Baudelaire's own translations from Poe and Longfellow. It is a 
pleasure to find so complete, so temperamental a sympathy between 
a great French and a great English poet. We have sought vainly 
for it before. " 

The Scotsman. — "This is a book of anonymous poetry of a rare 
distinction, as contemporary poetry goes. . . . This is verse of the 
proud kind that scorns a vulgar appreciation, and looks for the appro- 
bation of connoisseurs. . . . There are ballads, finely felt and finely 
wrought — one of St Vitus, who danced with the angels, and one of 
Perkin Warbeck. There are many sonnets of skilled workmanship, 
including one upon the sonnet itself, by no means the least interesting 
of the many pieces of the kind that have been written. ... In all these 
the feeling is always wrought to a high pitch of intensity, yet cautiously 
and solemnly, without weakness or hysterics." 

The Standard. — " The anonymous author of ' The City of the Soul ' 
is a poet with whose works we shall be glad to make, in Shakespearian 
phrase, a more acquaintance. . . . The verses have a character of 
their own, and are at times quite exquisite in point of workmanship." 

La Revue Blanche. — " Parmi les innombrables volumes de vers qui 
s'accumulent et dont il est vraiment pr6f6rable de ne rien dire, en voici 
un, anonyme, du plus haut int(iret. II y a une Amotion intense et une 
belle musique des mots dans cette Citi de rdme, et I'ame est celle 
d'un vrai pofete, . . . le volume se termine par une sorte de p6an 
magnifiquement simple, une ' Ode a mon ilme,' orgueilleuse et triom- 
phale, oi^i s'affirme une outrecuidante fiert6 dans un chant rapide, d'un 
style parfaitement pur et d'un souffle large . . . un cri d'enivrement et 
d'extase qu'on dirait presque ^chapp6 des levr^s d'un .Shelley. . . . Le 
volume — qui contient en outre plusieurs sonnets d'un beau style — est 
Tceuvre d'un vrai poete." 



WILLIAM WATSON 



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3 1158 00615 7787 




UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY fACILITY 




AA 000 364 636 



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