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858                                                Romance

I WILL make you brooches and toys for your delight
Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night.
I will make a palace fit for you and me,
Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.
I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room,
Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom,
And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white
In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.
And this shall be for music when no one else is near,
The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear!
That only I remember, that only you admire,
Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.

859                                        Alcaics: to H. F. B.

BRAVE lads in olden musical centuries
Sang, night by night, adorable choruses,
   Sat late by alehouse doors in April
   Chaunting in joy as the moon was rising.
Moon-seen and merry, under the trellises,
Flush-faced they play’d with old polysyllables
   Spring scents inspired, old wine diluted:
   Love and Apollo were there to chorus.
Now these, the songs, remain to eternity,
Those, only those, the bountiful choristers
   Gone—those are gone, those unremember’d
   Sleep and are silent in earth for ever.
So man himself appears and evanishes,
So smiles and goes; as wanderers halting at
   Some green-embower’d house, play their music,
   Play and are gone on the windy highway.
Yet dwells the strain enshrined in the memory
Long after they departed eternally,
   Forth-faring tow’rd far mountain summits,
   Cities of men or the sounding Ocean.
Youth sang the song in years immemorial:
Brave chanticleer, he sang and was beautiful;
   Bird-haunted green tree-tops in springtime
   Heard, and were pleased by the voice of singing.
Youth goes and leaves behind him a prodigy—
Songs sent by thee afar from Venetian
   Sea-grey lagunes, sea-paven highways,
   Dear to me here in my Alpine exile.

860                                         In the Highlands

IN the highlands, in the country places,
    Where the old plain men have rosy faces,
      And the young fair maidens
        Quiet eyes;
Where essential silence cheers and blesses,
And for ever in the hill-recesses
     Her more lovely music
         Broods and dies—
O to mount again where erst I haunted;
    Where the old red hills are bird-enchanted,
      And the low green meadows
        Bright with sward;
And when even dies, the million-tinted,
And the night has come, and planets glinted,
      Lo, the valley hollow
O to dream, O to awake and wander
  There, and with delight to take and render,
   Through the trance of silence,
    Quiet breath!
Lo! for there, among the flowers and grasses,
Only the mightier movement sounds and passes;
  Only winds and rivers,
    Life and death.

861                                                  Wishes

GO, little book, and wish to all
Flowers in the garden, meat in the hall,
A bin of wine, a spice of wit,
A house with lawns enclosing it,
A living river by the door,
A nightingale in the sycamore.

862                                                Requiem

UNDER the wide and starry sky
    Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
    And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he long’d to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
    And the hunter home from the hill.


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