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Full text of "Shylock reasons with Mr. Chesterton and other poems"

SHYLOCK REASONS WITH 
MR. CHESTERTON 

AND OTHER POEMS 



BY 

HUMBERT WOLFE 

Author of 
"LONDON SONNETS." 






OXFORD 
BASIL BLACKWELL 

MDCCCCXX 




DEDICATION. 

this that when I've done with wearing 
Gold words upon my heart and reaching after 
My immortality, I shall be hearing 
Then, and long afterwards (be sure !) your laughter* 

Only this that when I come to sleeping 
And later men appraise me in the quarrels 

Of poets and the bays, tell them I'm keeping 
No bays, but at my heart a lover's laurels. 



SOME of these poems have appeared in "The Saturday 
Review/' "The Westminster Gazette/' and "The 
Saturday Westminster Gazette/' They are republished 
by the courtesy of the editors of those journals. 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

PERSONALITIES. 

Shylock reasons with Mr* Chesterton 7 
The Unknown God : 

I. Pheidias - , . , 12 

IL Paul - 16 

Cassio hears Othello 22 

The First Airman - 23 

Mary 24 

The Sicilian Expedition - 2 7 

Caesar and Anthony 30 

The Dancers - 3 1 

Battersea .... 32 

The Woodcutters of Htttteldorf 33 

Heine's Last Song * 37 

IMPERSONALITIES. 
The Satyr ....... 39 

Balder'sSong - 40 

Mary the Mother - 42 

Apples * 43 
The Skies ....... 44 



Three Epitaphs : 

L Flecker x -.;'* - x 45 

IL Edith Cavell 45 

IIL The Little Sleeper . 45 

To him whom the cap fits x 46 

France x 47 

Alchemy - 48 

Orpheus x 49 

The Wind . . . . 50 

Gabriel x . , 51 

Opals and Amber x . . , ^ x 5 2 

After Battle - x . . ' x 53 

Mademoiselle de Maupin 54 

Du Bist wie eine Blume x . .. > x 5 4 

Cambridge x 55 

A Room in Bohemia x . x x 5 5 

Victory , , x 56 

Cleopatra . ^ x 56 

Medusa x . , x x 57 

The Jungle . , x 58 

The Pencil x . . . x x x59 

Columbine x . x , x 60 

The Crowder's Tune 61 

ENVOI x , . x 63 



PERSONALITIES. 



SHYLOCK REASONS WITH 
MR. CHESTERTON. 

TEW'BAltlNG still ! Two thousand years are run 

J And still, it seems, good Master^Chesterton, 

Nothing's abated of the old offence. 

Changing its shape, it never changes tense. 

Other things were, this only was and is* 

And whether Judas murder with a kiss, 

Or Shylock catch a Christian with a gin, 

All all's the same the first enormous sin 

Traps Judas in the moneylender's mesh 

And cuts from Jesus' side the pound of flesh. 

Nor is this all the punishment. For still 

Through centuries to suffer were no ill 

If we in human axes and the rod 

Discerned the high proconsulate of God 

Chastening his people. But we are not chastened. 

Age after age upon our hearts is fastened 

The same cold malice, and for all they bleed 

They burn for ever with unchanging greed. 



Grosser with suffering we grow, and one 
Calls to another " If in Babylon 
Are gold and silver, be content with them, 
Better found gold than lost Jerusalem/' 
They forget Zion ; in the market place 
Rebuild the Temple for the Jewish race, 
And thus from age to age do Jews like me 
Have their revenge on Christianity, 
Since thus from age to age Christians like you 
Unchristian grow in hounding down the Jew. 
And thus from age to age His will is done, 
And Shylock's sins produce a Chesterton. 

But since we both must suffer and both are 
Bound in the orb of one outrageous star, 
Hater and hated, for a little while 
Let us together watch how mile on mile 
The heavenly moon, all milky white, regains 
Her gentle empery, and smooths the stains 
Of red our star left in her heaven, thus 
Bringing a respite even unto us 
Before the red star strikes again. The riot 
Of the heart for a moment sinks, and in the quiet 
Like a cool bandage on the forehead be 
Content a second with tranquillity. 
And from your lips the secular taunt of dog 
Banish, to hear what in the synagogue 

8 



We heard once at Barmitzvah (as we call 
The confirmation, when the praying shawl 
Is for the first time worn, and the boy waits 
For law and manhood at the altar gates)* 
Whether 'tis true or no, it shall be true 
Just long enough to build a bridge to you, 
That hangs a shining second till your laughter 
Reminds me of my ducats and my daughter. 

It happened thus. When the last " adonoi " 
Had faltered into silence of some boy 
Whose voice was all a silver miracle 
Of water, a voice echoed " Israel/' 
A sweeter voice than even his, but broken 
With a sorrowful thrill, as though the heart had spoken 
Of countless generations doomed to pain 
And none to ease them found. It cried again, 
Or so we thought who listened, " Ye do well 
To let the children come, O Israel, 
But even these are lost and unforgiven, 
Since not of these His kingdom and His heaven 
Who at their fathers' fathers' hands was sold 
In Calvary ; and not their voice, though gold, 
Nor innocent eyes, nor ways that children have 
Of magic in their reaching hands, can save* 
For, though ye offer these as sacrifice, 
A nation's childhood is too small a price 

9 



To pay the interest upon the debt 

That all your sorrows cannot liquidate* 

O what a usury our God has made 

On thirty pieces that the high priest paid ! 

Profit was none, but from the first the loss 

That grew of the fourth ghost upon the Cross, 

Two on the Cross were seen at Jesus' side, 

The fourth, the fourth unseen and crucified 

With pierced hands and feet, and heart as well, 

The ghost betrayed of traitor Israel. 

Yourselves ye bought and sold, yourselves decreed 

To the end of the world your doom. For who will heed 

The prayer or utter mercy on a child, 

However sweet he call ? The heart is wild 

Of your own ghost, and not the softest lamb 

Of God escapes his sentence. For I am 

The wraith of all your children from the first 

Long ere their birth inexorably cursed." 

None saw the ghost. Some said it was the boy 

That spoke. Yet someone answered " adonoi, 

Thy will be done " and it was finished. All 

Closer about their foreheads drew the shawl 

Fearing to see, and as the darkness grows 

Deeper save where above the altar glows 

One lamp, in hearts that Pharoah would unharden 

For pity rises not a cry for pardon, 

10 



But to the Mills of God a bitter call 

" Grind quickly, since ye grind exceeding small ! " 

That is the tale. But mark, the moon in heaven 

Is hid with clouds. This little time was given 

To peace and to remembering one another 

Who might have been (God knows) brother with brother. 

But since 'tis over and the peace is done 

Shylock returns and with him Chesterton. 



11 



THE UNKNOWN GOD. 

"Whom you ignorantly worship, him I declare unto you/' 

L PHEIDIAS. 

F)HEIDIAS, the sculptor, dying bade them set 

His last'CUt marble near lest he forget, 
Travelling, where beauty ends, what beauty is 
In the world and the light no longer his. 
And while they brought it, women, as they use, 
Sang in the house the litany of Zeus 
That is the god of gods, yet could not save 
His own beloved lady from the grave, 
l< The dearest head " they sung, " yea even her's, 
Whose hair was like a harp, when the wind stirs 
Upon the strings and wakes them, golden hair, 
Must droop upon the ground and perish there 
Even her hair (the women sung), alas 
For loveliness ! wherein Olympus was 
Lost for a god and found, when he, with mist 
About him of its glory twist on twist t 
Found on her mouth, more passionate for this. 
Mortality, that trembled in the kiss 

12 



Even that hair, for all a high god's art, 
Long since is dust, and dust that was her heart/' 
This song of ending in the darkness came 
To Pheidias in the courtyard, where the flame 
Of torches threw a final light and shewed 
Two pillars of the house, a turn of road 
That led (he thought) beyond all sight, and he 
Must walk it with a quiet company 

-The cold imagined gods, no prayer might cozen 
To help him on the way, immortal, frozen 
Glimpses of deity his hand, creating 
In marble out of his heart where they were waiting 
For life, had carved, and given them instead 
Of life the eternal gesture of the dead. 
He with those gods must walk, since he had grown 
Into their silence, and had made his own 
Their longings thus imprisoned, and their heart 
On one beat fixed for even He must start 
To follow, but before his striving spirit 
Steps out upon the road or falters near it, 
One god, that guards the passage, waiting stands 
His latest marble, made like those, with hands, 
Fashioned, like those, of a man's dreams, but overstepping 
His maker's mind, and into a glory sweeping 
No man might share. For the great forehead lifted 
Out of the shade of life, and light had shifted 

13 



Her quality, whose radiant indecision 

Found, though the eyes were closed, consummate vision. 

This was the god that dying Pheidias 

Had beaten out of marble. This he was, 

And would not share with other gods their death 

In beauty, but was living with the breath 

Of his creator, who with death at strife 

Laid down his own to give his creature life. 

This god they brought to Pheidias, for whom 

The whole great world had been a little room, 

Which he had used, as others use, but he 

Looked through the window on eternity. 

And seeing his god, upon his mind the cloud 

Faded an instant, and he cried aloud, 

As though all Hellas heard him, " O be proud 

Of beauty, Hellas, nor be curious 

Of what the secret is that haunted us 

Your poets, who had strained to it, and after 

Lay down to sleep, sealing their lips with laughter. 

For laughter is the judgment of the wise, 

Who measure equally with level eyes 

What the world is, what gods, and what are men, 

And twixt too great a joy, too sharp a pain, 

Strikes on a balance, so that tears are shot 

With laughter, laughter with tears, and these are not 

Themselves, but greater than themselves, and each 

From other learns and doth to other teach. 

14 



We are content with beauty thus, who find 
That when all's done sculpture or song behind 
What we have carved or sung, a greater thing 
Startles the heart with movement of a wing 
We neither see nor dare see. For our thought 
Is larger than we know, and what we sought 
Passes and has forgotten ; what we do, 
The truth we did not guess at pierces through, 
If what was done was well done. This last bust 
Of mine not as I willed but as I must 
I carved, and now, at the end of all, I can 
See that the dream he does not dream is man. 
The earlier gods I carved and knew, they wait 
My coming as their master at the gate 
Of death, for what I knew is mine to have, 
Live with my life, and wither in my grave. 
Thus beauty known is fading, known love fades, 
And the truth we know a shadow in the shades, 
And only that which lies beyond our hands, 
Beauty, no earth-bound spirit understands, 
But guesses at and faints for in desire ; 
And love, that does not burn, because the fire 
Is lit beyond the world, and truth that dies 
Beyond our thoughts in unimagined lies 
That are the truth beyond truth, only these 
Are lasting and outwit our memories. 

15 



But the familiar gods that I have made 
With those I will not walk* O be afraid 
Of beauty attainable and love attained 
And limited immortality* Unchained 
The greatest soul must walk and walk alone 
With what it has not seen and has not known ! " 
Thus Pheidias spoke and presently the flame 
Of torches died, his god that had no name 
His latest statue watched his spirit pass 
And the dawn came that knew not Pheidias* 



II. PAUL* 

T)AUL the apostle, on the sacred hill 

Of Mars at Athens, felt a hidden will 
Working against his gospel. That was old 
(It seemed), yet had the thrust of boyhood cold, 
Yet tempered in wild fires, and sensing this 
He prayed in silence. The Acropolis, 
Making a final bid for beauty, took 
The dying sun to her heart with the wild look 
As of a woman yielding to her lover ; 
And he in flame confederate leaning over 
With armfuls of clouded roses, blossom on blossom, 
Rifled the sweets of evening, and for her bosom 

16 



Dismantling heaven's high pavilion 

With tumbled beauties wooed her thus and won. 

This Paul from prayer rising saw t nor cared, 
Watching a Gross in the East, if these had snared 
The West with meshes trailing from the wrist 
Of Venus, also an Evangelist, 
" So little is the conquest of the flesh, 
So like a spinner, weaving her small mesh 
And a boy tears it as he passes by- 
Embroiders fruitlessly her tapestry 
The Paphian woman, and the threads are thin 
And ghostly as the new light enters in 
The tapestry that was the world and all 
The curtain Jesus tears aside " says Paul : 
" What is there worshipful here ? These skies are f leeting, 
This beauty made by hands of the sun is beating 
Into the night that swallows her, and none 
Is warm, when night has fallen, with the sun ; 
And the whole frame of the celestial 
Firmament, though dusted with the stars, must fall 
As being under death, and change in Hell, 
When death is conquered, her corruptible 
Beauty, and at the trumpet's sound put on, 
As ye must also, incorruption." 
And while he spoke the curtain of the sky 
Night fretted with the cool embroidery 

17 B 



Of stars, and the moon upon her silent spindle 

Did all the velvet warp to silver kindle. 

But a young man of the philosophers, 

Who stood about him, said " The moonlight stirs 

With beauty in the heart, and in the mind 

The things that seem do such a glory find 

Lit with this wonder of the moon and star, 

As almost to persuade us that they are, 

But these we know are broken images 

Of patterns laid'Up in heaven, Socrates, 

A citizen of Athens, was betrayed 

To death for teaching this, and smiling laid 

His cup of hemlock down, because his heart 

Already of eternity was part, 

And death for such is freedom. Yet for this 

He did surrender the Acropolis, 

That had all Hellas for a coronet 

About her forehead radiantly set, 

Island on island, and for this forsook 

The friendship of his friends, his dreams, the look 

Of hesitating spring that dare not stay 

Yet will not leave the hills of Attica, 

For this all gifts, all memories, he gave 

Freely believing that the narrow grave 

Was the end of all. Thus he passed out alone, 

Content to face the gods no man had known 

18 



Because they beggar knowledge, and persuaded 
It was enough, that, when for him had faded 
The light, for us his death a light had lit 
Would shew a path and we might walk by it 
* This is the spirit of man ; in vain it reaches 
Beyond the limits ordained and vainly stretches 
To where truth, beauty, goodness, three in one, 
Find each in all supreme communion. 
For what is greater than we know/ he said 
4 It is well to die/ and smiling he was dead. 
This he believed, all this he sacrificed, 
Did he teach better, Jew, whom you call Christ ? " 

A cloud passed by the moon, and no one spoke, 
Till suddenly her silver spearhead broke 
The cloudy targe, and leaning from the place 
She has in heaven struck with light the face 
Of Pheidias' god. And Paul cried " Even thus 
Ye have your answer, superstitious 
Who set this idol up, and worshipped it 
In darkness, and behold the face is lit 
With fire from on high, A period - 
Is set to ignorance and to the god 
Ye ignorantly worship, and the stone 
Or marble of the god ye have not known, 
Changes beneath my hand and in my speech 
Unto the living god I know and preach. 

19 B2 



Do you rejoice because that Socrates 

Died facing death and dark ? I tell you these 

In Christ are conquered* Death has lost her sting, 

The dark her victory, and angels sing 

At the empty mouth of the grave, because my king 

Has made the grave a refuge and protection 

From the pain of living by His resurrection. 

Socrates sleeps ; the god he did not know 

Sleeps with him, and long since the grasses grow 

Above their resting place, but flowers reach 

In vain their roots to find Him whom I preach. 

He is not there, but though we darkly see, 

As in a glass, his immortality 

Waits for us all, and beckons in the place 

Where we who find Him see Him face to face. 

Socrates, to death a prisoner, did well, 

But death was all ; Christ by the miracle 

Of the open grave, his deity forsaken, 

For all the world has death a prisoner taken. 

Nor Socrates in vain all sacrificed 

If here his fruitless death has pled for Christ." 

Dionysius the Areopagite 

Cried loudly unto Paul " Were it not right 

To shatter on his marble pedestal 

This idol that has stood for death ? " and Paul 



20 



Answered " What say ye brethren, for His sake 

Who vanquished death shall we the idol break ? " 

But even as Paul raised his hand the light 

Faded upon the sculptured face. The night 

Cloaked it, and, though Paul pressed, the threatened blow 

Hung in the air and fell not. For a low 

Strange glory changed upon the face, and seemed 

A face that Paul had seen before or dreamed 

To see when near Damascus, and instead 

Of Pheidias' god unknown another Head 

Sorrowful'Sweet on Paul astonished shone 

And, ere his threatening hand could fall, was gone. 

But a voice whispered " Art thou after all 

Thine unknown God still persecuting, Saul ? " 



21 



CASSIO HEARS OTHELLO. 



for the last last time with the first kiss ! 
O my white bird t here is the precipice ! 
I throw you like a homing carrier 
Into the footless spaces of the air ! 
And your spread wings, set free, beat up and out 
In mounting circles, storming death's redoubt 
And the cloudy fortress of Avilion. 
Gone, my white bird, beyond all dreaming, gone ! 
And my hands warm that held her. Cassio 
It was well done ! Always to let her go 
In the grave they shall be open thus, and yet 
Feeling the half'poised wings poor hands ! Forget 
My madness, Gassio, and think of me 
As of a man who set his sea-bird free 
From the prison of his heart to see her win 
The deep blue floors of heaven and enter in. 
O I am glad, I am glad, I dared this thing. 
Even now my bird is home, awakening 
Among her shining sisters, far so far, 
Not even the thoughts I have can trouble her. 
So carve upon the stone that marks my grave : 
44 All that he had to death Othello gave, 

22 



And has kept nothing back but the sweet wound 
Of life, that grew so dear, because he found 
The mortal knife, that stabbed him, slit the strings 
That gave his bird the guerdon of her wings/' 



THE FIRST AIRMAN, 

me the wings, magician. I will know 
What blooms on airy precipices grow 
That no hand plucks, large unexpected blossoms, 
Scentless, with cry of curlews in their bosoms, 
And the great winds like grasses where their stems 
Spangle the universe with diadems. 
I will pluck those flowers and those grasses, I, 
Icarus, drowning upwards through the sky 
With air that closes underneath my feet 
As water above the diver. I will meet 
Life with the dawn in heaven, and my fingers 
Dipped in the golden floss of hair that lingers 
Across the unveiled spaces and makes them colder,. 
As a woman's hair across her naked shoulder. 
Death with the powdered stars will walk and pass 
Like a man's breath upon a looking-glass, 
For a suspended heartbeat making dim 
Heaven brighter afterwards because of him. 

23 



Give me the wings, magician. So their tune 
Mix with the silver trumpets of the moon 
And, beyond music mounting, clean outrun 
The golden diapason of the sun. 
There is a secret that the birds are learning 
Where the long lanes in heaven have a turning 
And no man yet has followed ; therefore these 
Laugh hauntingly across our usual seas* 
I'll not be mocked by curlews in the sky ; 
Give me the wings magician, or I die. 

His call for wings or death was heard and thus 
Came both to the first airman, Icarus. 



MARY. 

(Sister of Martha.) 

HPHERE was no star in the East the night I carne 

With spikenard in hushed Jerusalem 
But a light in an upper chamber dimly lit 
Was star enough 1 would have followed it 
Through lonelier streets unto the smaller room 
Where afterwards it blossomed in the tomb. 
Light of the world, but how much more to me 
The light that other women also see ! 

24 



No choiring angels in gold groups adored 

Their king that night, but searching for my Lord 

Unchoired, uncrowned, whose Kingdom had not come, 

I heard none call t but dumb, as death is dumb, 

The night misled his angels, or may be 

Night and the angels made a way for me. 

My footfalls in the street rang very clear 

As I drew on. It seemed that all must hear 

My coming, eyes that peered behind the grating, 

Cloaked hands to hold me at each corner waiting. 

But nothing stirred till suddenly there ran 

The flame of the moon in heaven for a span 

Less than a heartbeat, and I saw a man 

Steal out of Simon's house, and pass me by 

With such a horror on his lips that I, 

Also a traitor, shrunk and knew him not 

Him that was Judas called Iscariot. 

Also a traitor I, because I came 

Not worshipping the Master in that Name 

That his disciples called him, not the Christ 

Of God for me that night. I sought a tryst 

With a man of men, and if my heart had won 

The Son of God had died in Mary's son, 

And he, who, knowing the appointed evil, 

Sent forth Iscariot to his task, a devil, 



25 



Also accepted, though this was more hard, 

The sweet betrayal of the spikenard. 

He knew me what I meant and in his eyes, 

That for a moment smiled, was Paradise 

Lost unto love, that for the greater sin 

Than even Judas' might not enter in. 

And when the disciples would have stayed my hands, 

" She does but good " He said " she understands/' 

And I who poured the unguent understood, 

But good it was not, as a man means good. 

For I forget the Master, I but see 

(A woman taken in adultery 

With a dream and a dream) his human face 

I would have saved from God, and in the place 

Of Gospel. and of resurrection I 

Hear him say " Mary " and behold him die. 

Judas, to death who sold him for a kiss, 

Sinned less than I, who'd buy him back for this. 

And Christ forgave me How shall I forgive 

Jesus, my love, the man who would not live ? 



26 



THE SICILIAN EXPEDITION. 



the Triremes sailed for Sicily 
With no wind stirring on a soundless sea ; 
But a great crying of birds beat up and filled 
The empty caverns of the air and stilled 
The thrashing of the oars* The level sun 
Unto himself, it seemed, drew one by one 
With strings of gold the ships that no one heard 
Move on the waters, till at last one bird 
(Of all the wings past knowledge and past counting) 
Wheeled upwards on the air and mounting, mounting, 
Rose out of human sight, but all the rest 
Passed with the passing fleet into the West. 

T>day the Triremes sailed and will their sailing 
Prosper or fail because a gull was wailing 
For crumbs about the prows ? Who but a fool 
Would find a message in a screaming gull ? 
For if gods use such messengers as these 
The less gods they (or so says Socrates). 
They are not gods (he says) of fear and hate, 
A swollen type of man degenerate, 



27 



Catching at f lattery , at sorrow fleering 
And every spiteful whisper overhearing ; 
But largely on their mountain they attend 
Unflinchingly the one appointed end, 
When what was nobly done and finely striven 
Will find the archetype laid up in heaven* 
Not these by gulls pronounce or suffer doom, 
Nor cries among the ships (and yet the gloom 
Settles about Athene's temple. If 
An injured god used his prerogative 
Of anger, might not Hermes ?) that's the gull 
Stirring the superstition of a fool ! 
What if a week ago we, waking, found 
The Hermae spoiled or fallen to the ground ? 
Shall Fate be altered or a doom be spoken 
Because an image was in malice broken ? 
Or Athens, that remembers Marathon, 
Rock in her empire for a splintered stone ? 
How dear she is was never city else 
So loved, or lovely in her strength ; like bells 
Pealed in the brain her beauty* This is she, 
Athens, whose sweeter name is liberty. 

To-day the Triremes sailed as Zeus decrees 
All shall be done ; but hardly Socrates, 
As Westward in the dark our captains wear, 
Would frown if an Athenian spoke a prayer 

28 



Even to Hermes, (even though it seem 
We fear the flight of birds and cries in him), 
Thus saying simply for the love of her 
Athens 4t O Hermes, called the Messenger, 
God of the wings, since now the sails are set, 
If aught was evil, evil now forget ! 
If aught was left undone, think not of this 
But her remember, Hermes, what she is, 
A city leaning to the sea, and shod 
With freedom on her feet, as thou a god 
With wings art poised for flight O t if the gull 
Were bird of thine, Hermes, be merciful" 



29 



CAESAR AND ANTHONY. 

A UGUSTUS CAESAR, aging by the sea, 
*T Remembered, musingly, dead Anthony, 
And wondered as he thought upon his days 
Which had been better, laurel leaves or bays. 
44 Bays for the victor, when his fight is over, 
But laurels " thought Augustus " for the lover. 
That brown Egyptian woman, the fierce queen 
Who with a serpent died she came between 
Him and the world's dominion, whispering 
4 Does empire burn so, has thy crown the sting 
These lips have when they touch thee thus and thus ? 
Choose then ! ' * I choose ! ' replied Antonius." 
44 1 wonder " thought Augustus as he lay 
Watching the menial clouds of conquered day 
Applaud with vehement reflection 
The cold triumphant ending of the sun. 
44 The sun's an emperor, and all the sky 
Burns to a flame for his nativity, 
And not less beautiful nor unattended 
By conquered flocks of cloud he passes splendid, 
Throwing his slaves this laminated gold. 
Master in death, but in his death how cold ! 
But to have died astonished on a kiss 
Had heat to the end and Anthony had this/' 

30 



THE DANCERS. 

'T^HIS was the way of it, or I forget 

* How visions end. The flaming sun was set 
Or setting in a sky as green as grass, 
Stained here and there like a window, where there was 
A martyrxcloud with halo dipped in gold 
Or red as the Sacred Heart is. From the old 
Low house a country house not built with hands 
And of that country where the poplar stands 
Whose leaves have shivered in our dreams there came 
With the rising moon the dancers to the same 
Tune we have heard we scarce remember when, 
Nor care so only that it sound again. 
Each dancer wears a fancy for a dress, 
This one with starlike tears is gemmed no less 
Than that is crowned with roses as of lips 
That kissed and do not kiss. There also trips 
Pierrot, because we all have lost, and thin, 
Cruelly swift, victorious Harlequin, 
Because some find and keep, but both entwine, 
Because she needs them both, with Columbine, 
Then lanterns on the trees to radiant fruit 
Burn till dawn plucks them, and the light pursuit 

31 



Of dancers on the lawn is done, and laughter 
Of those who fled and those who followed after 
Dies ; to a little wind the darkened trees 
Bend gravely and resume their silences. 



BATTERSEA. 

T HAVE always known just where the river ends 

A (Or seems to end) that I shall find my friends, 

Who are my friends no longer, being dead, 

And hear the ordinary things they said, 

That now seem wonderful, some evening when 

I take the Number Nineteen bus again 

To Battersea. It will, I think, be clear 

With stars behind the four great chimneys. Dear 

In the moon, young and unchanging, they 

Will cry me welcome in the boyish way 

They had before they went to France, but I, 

A boy no more, will greet them silently* 



32 



THE WOODCUTTERS OF 
HUTTELDORF. 

" The plan by which individual Viennese are allowed to obtain 
their own wood supplies has already been described by more than 
one observer. It will, however, in time to come appear so incredible, 
and it so completely sums up the misery of the people and the 
breakdown of civilization and administration, that no excuse is 
needed for placing it once more formally and definitely on record. 

In the immediate neighbourhood of Vienna lies a forest known 
as the Wienerwald, the nearest point being on hills to the north, two 
or three miles from the centre of the city. 

The two chief centres of wood collection are the suburbs of 
Hiitteldorf and Dorhbach. 

The prevalence of women and children among the collectors 
is the most painful feature of the proceedings." 

From " Peace in Austria/' by Sir IV. Beveridge. 

XJOUS n'irons plus au bois : the woods are shut : 
* Les lauriers sont coupes : the laurels cut. 
Thus love t when still his pitiful sweet cry 
For youth and spring, his playboys, sensibly 
Touched at the heart. But now he does not care 
What woods, what trees are standing anywhere. 
For there's no wood in the world to be found 
That does not stab his feet, and the trees wound 

33 c 



His eyes with thorns the -eyes which did not see 
In joy, but find their sight in misery* 

There is a wood they named the Wienerwald. 

There when the spring was new the throstle called 

Spring to her ball-room, and the Viennese 

Heard her light foot provoking the grave trees, 

Half willingly at first, young leaves to stir, 

That later passionately danced with her. 

And here the cannon-fodder used to feed 

The altar-fire of the older need, 

And sweeter than the need of death. In spring 

The Austrian boys saw -ove awakening 

Here, and as English boys in English wood 

Have given all to love, all that they could 

These gave their childhood, dawn's relentless star 

That is put out with kisses* These they gave 

And buried childhood lightly in her grave 

So that a man might hear her calling yet, 

44 Primrose farewell, good-morrow violet ! " 

Might yet have heard her, but the woods are shut 

To those who would return : the laurels cut 

There are many go to-day to Wienerwald, 
But love does not go with them* He has failed 
In the Great War, who had so little skill 
In the Will to Murder, love who was the Will 

34 



To live and make live, but the War has shewn 
His Will is treachery, and love's alone 
In a great wilderness* For if he cries 
Aloud, they mock him in their Paradise 
The Angels of Armageddon* " This is he 
Who ruled us, being blind, now let him see " 
They say, " a prisoner, what we have done, 
The priests of mankind's last religion* 
Let him look deep and celebrate in Hell 
How we reverse the Christian miracle, 
Stealing their spirits from the sullen swine 
And consecrating them as yours and mine, 
So that we rush together suddenly 
Down a steep place, where by an empty sea 
Our worshippers pile on a flaming wharf 
The trees that were the woods at Hutteldorf." 

Ares, the god of battles, has prevailed* 

At Hutteldorf, deep in the Wienerwald, 

They go to the woods for fuel, and one sees 

A child that beats upon the laurel trees 

With starved small hands that hold an axe, and how 

The spring returns to find a hooded crow 

Waiting and waiting, as the thrush once waited 

For childhood's end* But this, it seems, was fated 

That all should change, save only that these seem 

Still unsubstantial as the lover's dream, 

35 C2 



As unsubstantial, but with blossoms set 

That have no traffic with the violet 

And primrose. Here the purple flowers of Dis 

Burn their young foreheads and they fade with this, 

Who find a different end and different haven, 

Where the hooded crow is waiting with the raven. 

In Wienerwald the starving Viennese 

Have spoiled the woods and cut the laurel trees, 

Nous n'irons plus au bois : .oh love, oh love ! 

Will you not go the more because they prove 

So shattered, the poor woods ? and will you shut 

Your heart, O love, because the trees are cut ? 

Les lauriers sont coupes, but you can heal 

Even the broken laurel, and reveal 

Where in the valley of death the children falter 

That, though all else doth change, love does not alter, 

And, though the woods were dead, there is a tree 

You know of, love, planted in Calvary. 

Go back to the woods ; replant the laurel trees* 
Still love than war hath greater victories, 
And while the devils beat the warlike drum 
Into their kingdom of peace the children come. 



36 



HEINE'S LAST SONG. 

T IFE'S a blonde of whom I'm tired 

(Being fair is just a knack 
Women learn to be desired 

By a Jew who answers back). 

Blonde, oh blonde, ye lost princesses 
With the shadow in your eyes 

As of bodiless caresses 

Known ere birth in Paradise. 

Little ears of alabaster, 

Where like ocean in a shell 
Gentle murmurs drown the vaster 

Voice of rapture or of Hell 

Tender bodies ah too tender 

To be given or be lent 
Unto love the money-lender 

Who demands his cent per cent* 

Thus you took a man and tricked him, 

Life and ladies, to a will 
In your favour, but the victim 

Cheats you with a codicil. 

37 



All I had, you thought, was given 
Life and ladies, you were wrong : 

In a poet's secret heaven 
There is always one last song 

Even he is half afraid of, 

Even he but hears in part, 
For the stuff that it is made of, 

Ladies, is the poet's heart* 

Not for you, oh blonde princesses 

Is that final tune, but I 
Sing it drowning in the tresses 

Of a darker Lorelei. 

For her hair than yours is stranger ; 

Wilder lights are lost in. hers 
Where the heart's immortal danger, 

That you cannot know of, stirs. 

Life and ladies, it is over : 

Blonde asks all, gives nothing back; 
You must find another lover, 

For the poet chooses black. 

Where death's raven marriage blossom 
Falls in clouds about her breast, 

On his dark beloved's bosom 
Heinrick Heine is at rest. 
38 



IMPERSONALITIES. 



THE SATYR. 

44 1-JOLLOW" he cries and "hollow, hollow." 
^ * Mark how the creeping moon is yellow 
On the cold stones, enmeshing feet 
That are not soft, with blood not sweet. 

Though in the night one cry his Name 
The shuddering air shrinks from the aim ; 
And failing eddies will not stir 
To let him through to Lucifer. 

What answers where no echoes fly ? 
None where the moon looks balefully. 
Unheard, far-off "O hollow, hollow" 
The satyr crieth to his fellow. 



39 



BALDER'S SONG. 

IT may be raining now t that first warm rain 

* That melts the heart of earth beneath the snows, 

Our Northland snows (she feels the swimmer's pain 

Who catches breath, half-drowned, when the blood flows 

Shuddering back into the frozen vein)* 
And did ye think I should not come again 
At the long last in spring-time with the rain ? 

Or may be there is singing in the air 
At building'time where the tall windy trees, 

By sap and young leaves hurt, can hardly bear 
The spring's reiterated urgencies 

That at the woods with actual fingers tear. 

And did ye, when these songs are everywhere, 

Of Balder, who first taught them song, despair ? 

Or it may be where once my altar stood 

And where my worshipped name in prayer ascended, 
Blue, like a trumpet, in the solitude 

Harebells, that ring before the winter's ended, 
Have with the wind my litanies renewed* 
Did ye forget (alas ! that any could) 
That I, the god of flowers, found these good ? 

40 



And may be where the dog-rose remedies 

With her wild flush the hedge, and spring begins, 

Born of all these there trembles the first kiss 
That from Valhalla brings the Paladins 

And ladies, who for all the immortal bliss 

Of heaven, have no joy as sharp as this. 

Did ye not know iq your own memories 

That where are love and spring there Balder is ? 

It may be raining now, that first warm rain 
That melts the heart of earth beneath the snows, 

Our Northland snows (she feels the swimmer's pain 
Who catches breath, half 'drowned, when the blood flows 
Shuddering back into the frozen vein). 

And did ye think I should not come again 

At the long last in spring-time with the rain ? 



41 



MARY THE MOTHER. 

(Cradle Song.) 

great a lady, so dear is she, 
Princess in heaven, but mother to me ! 
When little Jesus lay in her arm 
It was enough for him that he was warm. 

When the small head at her bosom did nod 
Did she remember that He was the God ? 
Or when she sang to Him low in His ear, 
Did she say " Master " or did she sob " Dear " 

Was it the star on the manger that shone 
Crowned her an empress, or was it her Son ? 
So great a lady to lie in a stall 
But only a mother (she thought) after all. 

So great a lady, so dear is she, 
Princess in heaven ! but who does not see 
How against Godhead, in spite of the Cross, 
She holds to her bosom her Jesus that was ? 



42 



APPLES. 

TVTHEN there is no more sea and no more sailing 

Will God go vintaging the wine-dark seas, 
Reaping gold apples of the storm and trailing 
To harvest home the lost Hesperides ? 

Will God, the gates that guard the river breaking, 
Annul the blinding gesture of the sword, 

And find the Tree, all other dreams forsaking, 
Whose apples are the knowledge of the Lord ? 

Forsaking dreams forgiveness and salvation, 
Sins that were needless needlessly forgiven, 

Hell where he knew vicarious damnation 
And ghosts of rapture in a ghost of heaven ? 

No longer from self-knowledge then exempted 
Shall God the apple tasting Eve repeat 

Thus altered, saying, " By the devil tempted 
Through all these years I could and did not eat/' 

Thus at the last shall Man and Maker pardon 
Eve's ancient wrong, seeing that, though He cursed, 

Knowledge, alone of those who used the Garden 
God was afraid of apples from the first. 



43 



Thereafter as it was in the beginning, 
Before the spirit moved upon the deep, 

There shall be no more sea and no more sinning 
And God will share with his beloved sleep* 



THE SKIES. 

r F r HOUGH the world tumble tier by tier, 

A Down, down the broken galleries, 
By day the sun would shine as clear 
By night the moon would ride her seas. 

Though man and all was meant by men 
Upon the empty air were spent, 

Irrevocably Charles's Wain 

Would swing across the firmament 

So large they are and cool the skies ; 

God's frozen breath in dreams, or worse : 
Beautiful unsupported lies 

That simulate a universe. 



44 



THREE EPITAPHS. 

I. FLECKER. 

have made the golden journey. Samarkand 
Is all about you. Flecker, and where you lie 
How youth and her beauty perish in the sand 
They are singing in the caravanserai. 



II. EDITH CAVELL. 

YVT'HO died for love, we use to nourish hate: 

Who was all tenderness, our hearts to harden ; 
And who of mercy had the high estate 
By us escheated of her right of pardon. 



III. THE LITTLE SLEEPER. 

r T'HIS little sleeper, who was overtaken 

* By death, as one child overtakes another, 
Dreams by his side all night and will not waken 
Till the dawn comes in heaven with his mother. 



45 



TO HIM WHOM THE CAP FITS. 

' ' What sword is left ? ' ' sighs England. Answer her 
(For you must answer) " This Excaltbur. " 

L 

'T'HAT is the sword of England* Arthur drew 
The blade at that last battle when he failed, 
(Shadow among the shadows, who prevailed 
Victorious in disaster)* Harold knew 
Its point in his heart at Hastings* and it flew 
Out of the scabbard when King Richard sailed 
And did not reach Jerusalem* It wailed 
In the false hand that on the scaffold slew 
Charles, and proud Balliol saw the light on it 
Shining for Ridley through the flame ; was seen 
When Mary, Queen of Scotland, was a queen 
On earth no longer, and when William Pitt 
" England ! O how I leave thee," failing cried, 
The sword, the sword, was with him when he died. 

It 

The line at Mons were privy to the blade, 

When God and England seemed together lost, 
And riding by the far Pacific coast 

Admiral Cradock took its accolade* 

These are its victories to be afraid, 



46 



To hear thin bugles sounding " The Last Post/' 
Until the blood creeps noiseless as a ghost 

And cold, and all we cherished is betrayed. 

That is the sword's way. Those who lose shall have ; 
And only those who in defeat have known 
The bitterness of death, and stood alone 

In darkness, shall have worship in the grave. 

Swordsman, go into battle, and record 

How one more English knight has found his sword ! 



FRANCE. 

'"PO-DAY you'll find by field and ditch 

The small invasion of the vetch : 
And where they sleep rest-harrow will 
Follow upon the daffodil. 

These in their soft disordered ranks 
Withstand and overcome the Tanks ; 
And the small unconsidered grass 
Cries to the gunner " On ne passe." 

The corn outlasts the bayonet, 

Whose blades no blood nor rust can fret, 

Or only the immortal rust 

Of poppies failing in their thrust. 

47 



The line these hold no force can break, 
Nor their platoons advancing shake, 
Whose wide offensive wave on wave 
Doth make a garden of a grave. 

These with the singing lark conspire 
To veil with loveliness the wire, 
While he ascending cleans the stain 
In heaven of the aeroplane. 

These in the fields and open sky 
Reverse the errors of Versailles, 
Who with a natural increase 
From year to year establish peace. 

For all the living these will cloak 
The things they spoiled, the hearts they broke ; 
And where these heal the earth will be 
For all the dead indemnity. 



ALCHEMY. 

TVTHEN Kew found spring, and we found Kew, 

Gold was the London that we knew 
The gold of gold whose metal is 
As yellow as the primroses. 



48 



London's Lord Mayor, Dick Whittington, 

In heaven heard the carillon 

41 Turn again ; " London after a.11 

Is paved with gold by Chiswick Mall, 

But afterwards the town was sold 
To a mad alchemist for gold, 
Who used his art to change, instead 
Of lead to gold, the gold to lead. 

If where the streets to Hampstead twist 

You meet a doting alchemist 

Seeking lost gold, refuse him pity ;. 

He changed us when he changed the city ! 



W 



ORPHEUS. 

HAT Orpheus whistled for Eurydice 



(While all the shades were silent, achingly 
Holding out hands, and hands stretched evermore 
In a vain longing for the further shore)* 

The blue smoke floats 
Lazily in the dawn above the white 
Flat roof you knew, and somewhere out of sight 
A child is singing the old Linus song, 
Sweeter because the baby voice goes wrong 
-The little goatherd calling to her goats. 

49 



There's a small hill 

On which the olive trees you used to call 
Athene's little sisters, now grown tall, 
Watch all day long the coming of the child, 
And you'll remember how the brook, else wild, 
About these pastures suddenly grows still. 

There's such a peace, 

Save where a wandering beast shakes on its bell, 
You'd almost think the trees had learned a spell 
From their wise sister (or from you) to bless 
A baby frightened of the loneliness, 
Tending her herd and waiting by the trees. 

Ah! certainly 

There are two things are stronger than the fates 
A lover's song in Hell, a child that waits. 
The shadows lengthen. Ere the night descend 
On earth, O sweetheart, Mother, friend 
Win out of Hell ! Return Eurydice ! 

THE WIND. 

TV7HAT is there left ? The wind makes answer 

" I saw the green leaves grow brown and fall ; 
I danced with the shadows, I the dancer 
Among bare branches. For I," he saith, 
44 Hear the thin music whistle and call, 
Music, horn-music, the music of death." 
50 



14 There stands at the edge of the wood the player 
Dark in the darkness, but I have seen, 

Ere my feet were lifted, the branches stir. 

Darker than dark, than light more fair, 
Before I have come he slips between ; 

But I, the dancer," wind saith, " do not care/' 

" The leaves have fallen and who shall discover 
What there is left in the blackened tree ? 

And who will know when the years are over, 

Among bare branches if I," wind saith, 
44 Dance where the shadows and music be, 

Music, horn^music, the music of death ? " 



GABRIEL. 

OUPPOSE I gave you what my heart has given 
^ A door to dreams, a little road to heaven. 
Would you pass through the door, my dreams forgetting, 
And turn the corner when my sun is setting ? 

So I should only have (as I have only) 
Your hair remembered, eyes that left me lonely, 
A mouth as cold as roses, and the kiss 
Of Gabriel, sealing love's defeat with this ! 

51 D 2 



OPALS AND AMBER. 



it an age, call it a day, 
What's in the world with love away ? 
The sun a round and golden ghost, 
The moon the shadow he has lost ; 
And spring herself for all her green 
The bare and brown a pause between, 
Call it an age, call it a day, 
When love is gone, what's there to say ? 

Opal or gold, amber or gray, 
What's in the world with love away ? 
Opal a pool of changeling fires, 
Where the gold angel stirs desires 
That do not heal Bethesda way 
But only turn the amber gray. 
Call it an age, call it a day, 
When love is gone, what's there to say ? 

Call it a dream, call it a play, 
What's in the world with love away ? 
With love away can a man clamber 
To heaven by a rope of amber? 
Or can an opal stretch a wire 
To lead a girl to her desire ? 



52 



Amber and opal but I remember 

Love that was better than opal or amber. 

Call it an age t call it a day, 

What's in the world with love away ? 

AFTER BATTLE, 

A FTER the fighting 

'^^ Comes not sudden peace, but weariness ; 
A gloom no lighting 

Of little lamps of jest or speech unravels, 
But for the brain and body endless travels, 
Twisting and turning like the lovers hurled 
For punishment athwart the underworld, 
Twisting and turning and no respite sighting* 

After the living 

Comes not relief, but a grey level gloom, 
When the heart beats as in a padded room 

With wild shapes moving- 
Silence imploring and from silence flying, 
Praying to life and all athirst for dying* 
Tearing lost dreams and for the torn dreams weeping, 
Fearing to wake, tumultuously sleeping* 

Death's a poor leech with worn-out simples striving 
To heal in vain the malady of living* 

53 



MADEMOISELLE DE MAUPIN. 

YVTHEN the stir and the movement are over, 

When you that had the lightness of a wind 
Or the poise of some swift bird 
Burn no longer in any man's mind, 
And your voice in no man's heart is heard, 
Who in the world will dare to be a lover ? 

Would any being hurt in the night be crying 

" O God ! her little mouth that with a kiss 

Drank all a man; and God ! her weaving fingers!" 

Would any of another dare say this ? 

Will there be other women, other singers ? 

I wish with you and me love might be dying* 

DU BIST WIE EINE BLUME. 

(Version.) 

'VT'OU have the way of a blossom, 

Cold petal with April green, 
And you melt the heart in the bosom 
As your beauty enters in, 

I will fold my hands together, 

Asking of God for you 
Always in April weather 

Cold petal and colder dew. 

54 



CAMBRIDGE. 

A LL that I know of Cambridge 
-** The colleges and that indulgent air 
Of a great gentleman who is content 
That lesser men should make experiment 
With life, for which he does not vastly care- 
Is that you tell me you were happy there* 

All that Pll say of Cambridge 
Though in her courts Apollo lose the art 
Of immortality to find it where 
Rupert was used to walk at Grantchester 
Is that for me Cambridge is but a part 
Of greater beauties than inform your heart* 



A ROOM IN BOHEMIA. 

'T'HE sun is shining in the August weather 
In the little room and. I suppose. 

Gilding the painted parrot on the wall. 
The truckle-bed, the table and the rose 

Of jhe poor carpet that we bought together. 
And from the street the muted voices call 
As though we saw, as though we heard it all 



55 



VICTORY. 

ET it be written down, while still the wound 

Festers and there is horror in the world 
At what was done and suffered, while unfurled 
The wings of death are dark upon the ground. 
Let it be written " Death we have not found 
The worst, though death is evil, nor the curled 
Fangs of disease, nor yet to ruin hurled 
The tracery of old cities, when no sound 

Is in their broken streets. But there's an ape 
Out of the slime into the spirit creeping, 

That twists mankind back, back into the shape 
That mumbles carrion. Here's the cause for weeping. 

Prognathous chin, slant forehead, eyes that rust 

As their flame dies and smoulders into lust/' 

CLEOPATRA. 

Y should I care for love ? The urgent rose 
What does she promise the heart and what fulfill ? 
" Delight, delight " she whispers, and she goes . . * 
But love the rose outbidding is falser still. 

Why should I care for love ? But hush, oh hush ! 

What bird is singing in the dawn " Forget 
The spring/' and, you, have you forgotten, thrush ? . . . 

But love the thrush outsinging is falser yet. 

56 



Why should I care for love ? Love does not care 
Whether you care or do not care, says she ! 

But ask your lips how the rose smells in my hair, 
If the thrush beats at my heart here Anthony ! 



MEDUSA, 

TN your black hair are there not nightingales 

Singing in the dark, and when you let it down 
Is there no stir in the air of tiniest sails 
That ever on lost seas of song were blown ? 

In your black hair the heart of Hyacinth 
Laments the daylight he shall see no more, 

And flowers are red as in the labyrinth 
The red eyes of the crazy Minotaur. 

In .your black hair, Medusa, there are snakes 
That twine themselves about Laocoon, 

How soft, how warm ! and how the poor heart breaks 
Before they strike and turn it into stone* 



57 



THE JUNGLE. 

r "IT r RUTH is the fourth dimension* By her grace 

** Motion, the idiot of time and space, 
Grows reasonable, so that the spirit sees 
Behind the aimless drag of categories 
The moving centuries, whose gestures mirror 
And dissipate the cloudy shapes of error. 
O there's the long way back, the dawns that scatter 
Like startled birds about the spirit, and chatter 
Of animal voices seeking lucid speech 
In colonies of darkness. Truth can stretch, 
Though motionless, and set a hatchet blazing 
A path through the jungle where an ape is gazing 
At the edge of a little light, with dripping muzzle, 
Black writhing palms, and eyes a drowsy puzzle 
Of fears and beastlike hopes. Then the light reaches 
His pelt and holds him fast. In vain he snatches 
At the sheltering trees, in vain the leafy dance 
Down the long avenues of ignorance. 
Knowledge and the pain of knowledge fly beside him, 
And, where the leaves are darkest, clutch and ride him 
Until he sloughs the shape of beast and can 
Stand in the dawn upon his feet a man. 

But the jungle is not cleared, and still the shapes 

Of time and space and error move like apes* 

r 

58 



THE PENCIL. 

YVTITH this golden pencil write 

44 Written words must serve for sight, 
For the broken lights that stirred 
Wedded eyes the complete word. 

Written words the trembling nerve 
Of the lover's ear must serve. 
Laughter's done and tears are over- 
written words, instead, my lover. 

Words that have no scent must tell 
How the secret jonquils smell 
In your hair, and words protest 
There are jonquils at your breast. 

Written words the gift must waste, 
When the very air hath taste 
Of your lip, the sweets that part 
Love's soft mouth and reach the heart. 

Separable these await 
For the fifth to consummate, 
That are nothing, each alone, 
But all heaven joined in one. 



59 



This, being lost, had hurt too much, 
Here are words instead of touch." 

Therefore write and break the lead 
" Love that was alive is dead." 



COLUMBINE. 

TF any ask, O tell them that the moon 
A Was lit in heaven when Queen Ashtaroth 
Beat at her lamp and fell upon the swoon 
Of love that soars in fire to fall a moth. 

If any ask, O tell them that for this 

Priam's great city of Troy was sacrificed, 

For love that is as bitter as the kiss 
Of Judas the Iscariot, slaying Christ. 

If any ask, O tell them it is well, 

Though love comes like the swallow and flies as soon 
Who has not found his heaven in the Hell 

Of love unsatisfied beneath the moon ? 



60 



THE CROWDER'S TUNE. 

'T'HE crowder's tune 

Down a street in Babylon - 
His fiddle to the moon 
With notes like stars that one by one 
Glittered upon the empty street, 
Glittered and laughed and went 
(But there was a lisp of ghostly feet) 
To build a firmament, 

" Who walks by night in Babylon ? 
4 1/ said a lady, ' because 
Of the wonderful thing I was, 
And the beautiful things all done, 
I walk in Babylon/ 

Who seeks for a lady by night ? 

4 1/ said a king, * My throne 

Is empty in Babylon, 

She fled from the light to the light, 

I seek for a lady by night/ 

Who calls by night in Babylon ? 
4 They/ answered love, * Yes over and over 
She calls to her God, but he to his lover, 
And each of them walks by night alone, 
And they will not meet in Babylon/ " 

61 



The crowder played 
His little tune, almost 
As though he were afraid 
Of some forgotten ghost 
Awakening, 

And crying on the string 
Of what was lost 
And would not come 
Again. 

He feared in vain. 
For the ghost, the ghost is dumb 
Of love that is past over, 
And the merciless laughter of the moon 
Pursues the ghostly lover, 
Till in the empty street 
There's an end of the lisp of feet, 
And the crowder breaks his fiddle and the tune. 
And all the stars are gone 
In Babylon* 



62 



ENVOI, 

F)AST Buckhurst Hill the motor.bus 
* Takes and shakes the three of us* 
When first we went, there were but two 
In Epping Forest, I and you. 

That summer as I understand 
A forester from fairyland 
Set a notice up, " No road/' 
By the ways our feet had trod. 

No one came and no one knew, 
When the spring returned and blue 
Flowers burned, how deep behind 
Burned the blossoms of the mind. 

No one guessed and no one heard 
How beyond the singing bird, 
Some one sang in solitude 
In the wood within the wood. 

No one watched the years go by 
(Not even you, not even I), 
In the wood alone apart 
Green and waiting in the heart. 



63 



Till last week the forester 
Heard a little footstep stir, 
Took his notice down and smiled 
At the coming of a child. 

Conquering the solitude 
A child is laughing in the wood. 
Past Buckhurst Hill the motor^bus 
Takes us back the three of us. 



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