Poems by the Way

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(1834 - 1896)
William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was a British textile designer, poet, novelist, translator and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. His literary contributions helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, while he helped win acceptance of socialism in fin de siècle Great Britain. (From : Wikipedia.org.)

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Poems by the Way

From : Marxists.org

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This document contains 45 sections, with 31,558 words or 210,193 characters.

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Shall we wake one morn of spring, Glad at heart of everything, Yet pensive with the thought of eve? Then the white house shall we leave, Pass the wind-flowers and the bays, Through the garth, and go our ways, Wandering down among the meads Till our very joyance needs Rest at last; till we shall come To that Sun-god's lonely home, Lonely on the hill-side gray, Whence the sheep have gone away; Lonely till the feast-time is, When with prayer and praise of bliss, Thither comes the country side. There awhile shall we abide, Sitting low down in the porch By that image with the torch: Thy one white hand laid upon The black pillar that was won From the far-off Indian mine; And my hand nigh touching thine, But not touching; and thy gown Fair with spring-flowers cast adown From thy bosom and thy brow. There the south-... (From : Marxists.org.)

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At Deildar-Tongue in the autumn-tide, So many times over comes summer again, Stood Odd of Tongue his door beside. What healing in summer if winter be vain? Dim and dusk the day was grown, As he heard his folded wethers moan. Then through the garth a man drew near, With painted shield and gold-wrought spear. Good was his horse and grand his gear, And his girths were wet with Whitewater. "Hail, Master Odd, live blithe and long! How fare the folk at Deildar-Tongue?" "All hail, thou Hallbiorn the Strong! How fare the folk by the Brothers'-Tongue?" "Meat have we there, and drink and fire, Nor lack all things that we desire. But by the other Whitewater Of Hallgerd many a tale we hear." "Tales enow may my daughter make If too many words be said for her sake." "What saith thine heart to a word of mine, That I deem thy daughter fair and fine? (From : Marxists.org.)

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Love gives every gift whereby we long to live "Love takes every gift, and nothing back doth give." Love unlocks the lips that else were ever dumb: "Love locks up the lips whence all things good might come." Love makes clear the eyes that else would never see: "Love makes blind the eyes to all but me and thee." Love turns life to joy till naught is left to gain: "Love turns life to woe till hope is naught and vain." Love, who changest all, change me nevermore! "Love, who changest all, change my sorrow sore!" Love burns up the world to changeless heaven and blest, "Love burns up the world to a void of all unrest." And there we twain are left, and no more work we need: "And I am left alone, and who my work shall heed?" Ah! I praise thee, Love, for utter joyance won! "And is my praise naught worth for all my life undo... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Thick rise the spear-shafts o'er the land That erst the harvest bore; The sword is heavy in the hand, And we return no more. The light wind waves the Ruddy Fox, Our banner of the war, And ripples in the Running Ox, And we return no more. Across our stubble acres now The teams go four and four; But out-worn elders guide the plow, And we return no more. And now the women heavy-eyed Turn through the open door From gazing down the highway wide, Where we return no more. The shadows of the fruited close Dapple the feast-hall floor; There lie our dogs and dream and doze, And we return no more. Down from the minster tower to-day Fall the soft chimes of yore Amid the chattering jackdaws' play: And we return no more. But underneath the streets are still; Noon, and the market's o'er! Back go the goodwives o'er t... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Strong are thine arms, O love, & strong Thine heart to live, and love, and long; But thou art wed to grief and wrong: Live, then, and long, though hope be dead! Live on, & labor thro' the years! Make pictures through the mist of tears, Of unforgotten happy fears, That crossed the time ere hope was dead. Draw near the place where once we stood Amid delight's swift-rushing flood, And we and all the world seemed good Nor needed hope now cold and dead. Dream in the dawn I come to thee Weeping for things that may not be! Dream that thou layest lips on me! Wake, wake to clasp hope's body dead! Count o'er and o'er, and one by one The minutes of the happy sun That while agone on kissed lips shone, Count on, rest not, for hope is dead. Weep, though no hair's breadth thou shalt move The living Earth, the heaven above By all the bi... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Upon an eve I sat me down and wept, Because the world to me seemed nowise good; Still autumn was it, & the meadows slept, The misty hills dreamed, and the silent wood Seemed listening to the sorrow of my mood: I knew not if the earth with me did grieve, Or if it mocked my grief that bitter eve. Then 'twixt my tears a maiden did I see, Who drew anigh me on the leaf-strewn grass, Then stood and gazed upon me pitifully With grief-worn eyes, until my woe did pass From me to her, and tearless now I was, And she mid tears was asking me of one She long had sought unaided and alone. I knew not of him, and she turned away Into the dark wood, and my own great pain Still held me there, till dark had slain the day, And perished at the gray dawn's hand again; Then from the wood a voice cried: "Ah, in vain, In vain I seek thee, O thou bitte... (From : Marxists.org.)

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'Twas in the water-dwindling tide When July days were done, Sir Rafe of Greenhowes, 'gan to ride In the earliest of the sun. He left the white-walled burg behind, He rode amid the wheat. The westland-gotten wind blew kind Across the acres sweet. Then rose his heart and cleared his brow, And slow he rode the way: "As then it was, so is it now, Not all hath worn away." So came he to the long green lane That leadeth to the ford, And saw the sickle by the wain Shine bright as any sword. The brown carles stayed 'twixt draft and draft, And murmuring, stood aloof, But one spake out when he had laughed: "God bless the Green-wood Roof!" Then o'er the ford and up he fared: And lo the happy hills! And the mountain-dale by summer cleared, That oft the winter fills. Then for... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Each eve earth falleth down the dark, As though its hope were o'er; Yet lurks the sun when day is done Behind to-morrow's door. Gray grows the dawn while men-folk sleep, Unseen spreads on the light, Till the thrush sings to the colored things, And earth forgets the night. No otherwise wends on our Hope: E'en as a tale that's told Are fair lives lost, and all the cost Of wise and true and bold. We've toiled and failed; we spake the word; None hearkened; dumb we lie; Our Hope is dead, the seed we spread Fell o'er the earth to die. What's this? For joy our hearts stand still, And life is loved and dear, The lost and found the Cause hath crowned, The Day of Days is here. (From : Marxists.org.)

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O muse that swayest the sad Northern Song, Thy right hand full of smiting & of wrong, Thy left hand holding pity; & thy breast Heaving with hope of that so certain rest: Thou, with the gray eyes kind and unafraid, The soft lips trembling not, though they have said The doom of the World and those that dwell therein. The lips that smile not though thy children win The fated Love that draws the fated Death. O, borne adown the fresh stream of thy breath, Let some word reach my ears and touch my heart, That, if it may be, I may have a part In that great sorrow of thy children dead That vexed the brow, and bowed adown the head, Whitened the hair, made life a wondrous dream, And death the murmur of a restful stream, But left no stain upon those souls of thine Whose greatness through the tangled world doth shine. O Mother, and Love and Sister all in one,... (From : Marxists.org.)

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There met three knights on the woodland way, And the first was clad in silk array: The second was dight in iron and steel, But the third was rags from head to heel. "Lo, now is the year and the day come round When we must tell what we have found." The first said: "I have found a king Who grudgeth no gift of anything." The second said: "I have found a knight Who hath never turned his back in fight." But the third said: "I have found a love That Time and the World shall never move." Whither away to win good cheer? "With me," said the first, "for my king is near." So to the King they went their ways; But there was a change of times and days. "What men are ye," the great King said, "That ye should eat my children's bread? My waste has fed full many a store, And mocking and grudge have I gained therefore. Whatever waneth as days wax ol... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Draw not away thy hands, my love, With wind alone the branches move, And though the leaves be scant above The Autumn shall not shame us. Say; Let the world wax cold and drear, What is the worst of all the year But life, and what can hurt us, dear, Or death, and who shall blame us? Ah, when the summer comes again How shall we say, we sowed in vain? The root was joy, the stem was pain, The ear a nameless blending. The root is dead and gone, my love, The stem's a rod our truth to prove; The ear is stored for naught to move Till heaven and earth have ending. (From : Marxists.org.)

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Fair now is the springtide, now earth lies beholding With the eyes of a lover, the face of the sun; Long lasteth the daylight, and hope is enfolding The green-growing acres with increase begun. Now sweet, sweet it is through the land to be straying 'Mid the birds and the blossoms and the beasts of the field; Love mingles with love, and no evil is weighing On thy heart or mine, where all sorrow is healed. From township to township, o'er down and by tillage Fair, far have we wandered and long was the day; But now cometh eve at the end of the village, Where over the gray wall the church riseth gray. There is wind in the twilight; in the white road before us The straw from the ox-yard is blowing about; The moon's rim is rising, a star glitters o'er us, And the vane on the spire-top is swinging in doubt. Down there dips the highway, toward... (From : Marxists.org.)

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What cometh here from west to east awending? And who are these, the marchers stern and slow? We bear the message that the rich are sending Aback to those who bade them wake and know. Not one, not one, nor thousands must they slay, But one and all if they would dusk the day. We asked them for a life of toilsome earning, They bade us bide their leisure for our bread; We craved to speak to tell our woeful learning: We come back speechless, bearing back our dead. Not one, not one, nor thousands must they slay, But one and all if they would dusk the day. They will not learn; they have no ears to hearken. They turn their faces from the eyes of fate; Their gay-lit halls shut out the skies that darken. But, lo! this dead man knocking at the gate. Not one, not one, nor thousands must they slay, But one and all if they would dusk the day. (From : Marxists.org.)

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Lo from our loitering ship a new land at last to be seen; Toothed rocks down the side of the firth on the east guard a weary wide lea, And black slope the hill-sides above, striped adown with their desolate green: And a peak rises up on the west from the meeting of cloud and of sea, Foursquare from base unto point like the building of Gods that have been, The last of that waste of the mountains all cloud-wreathed and snow-flecked and gray, And bright with the dawn that began just now at the ending of day. Ah! what came we forth for to see that our hearts are so hot with desire? Is it enough for our rest, the sight of this desolate strand, And the mountain-waste voiceless as death but for winds that may sleep not nor tire? Why do we long to wend forth through the length and breadth of a land, Dreadful with grinding of ic... (From : Marxists.org.)

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King's daughter sitting in tower so high, Fair summer is on many a shield. Why weepest thou as the clouds go by? Fair sing the swans 'twixt firth and field. Why weepest thou in the window-seat Till the tears run through thy fingers sweet? The King's Daughter. I weep because I sit alone Betwixt these walls of lime and stone. Fair folk are in my father's hall, But for me he built this guarded wall. And here the gold on the green I sew Nor tidings of my true-love know. The Raven. King's daughter, sitting above the sea, I shall tell thee a tale shall gladden thee. Yestreen I saw a ship go forth When the wind blew merry from the north. And by the tiller Steingrim sat, And O, but my heart was glad thereat! For 'twixt ashen plank and dark blue sea His sword sang... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Spring went about the woods to-day, The soft-foot winter-thief, And found where idle sorrow lay 'Twixt flower and faded leaf. She looked on him, and found him fair For all she had been told; She knelt adown beside him there, And sang of days of old. His open eyes beheld her naught, Yet 'gan his lips to move; But life and deeds were in her thought, And he would sing of love. So sang they till their eyes did meet, And faded fear and shame; More bold he grew, and she more sweet, Until they sang the same. Until, say they who know the thing, Their very lips did kiss, And Sorrow laid abed with Spring Begat an earthly bliss. (From : Marxists.org.)

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Winter in the world it is, Round about the unhoped kiss Whose dream I long have sorrowed o'er; Round about the longing sore, That the touch of thee shall turn Into joy too deep to burn. Round thine eyes and round thy mouth Passeth no murmur of the south, When my lips a little while Leave thy quivering tender smile, As we twain, hand holding hand, Once again together stand. Sweet is that, as all is sweet; For the white drift shalt thou meet, Kind and cold-cheeked and mine own, Wrapped about with deep-furred gown In the broad-wheeled chariot: Then the north shall spare us not; The wide-reaching waste of snow Wilder, lonelier yet shall grow As the reddened sun falls down. But the warders of the town, When they flash the torches out O'er the snow amid their doubt, And their eyes at last behol... (From : Marxists.org.)

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O Winter, O white winter, wert thou gone No more within the wilds were I alone Leaping with bent bow over stock and stone! No more alone my love the lamp should burn, Watching the weary spindle twist and turn, Or o'er the web hold back her tears and yearn: O winter, O white winter, wert thou gone! The Maidens. Sweet thoughts fly swiftlier than the drifting snow, And with the twisting threads sweet longings grow, And o'er the web sweet pictures come and go, For no white winter are we long alone. The Youths. O stream so changed, what hast thou done to me, That I thy glittering ford no more can see Wreathing with white her fair feet lovingly? See, in the rain she stands, and, looking down With frightened eyes upon thy whirlpools brown, Drops to her feet again h... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Hast thou longed through weary days For the sight of one loved face? Mast thou cried aloud for rest, Mid the pain of sundering hours; Cried aloud for sleep and death, Since the sweet unhoped for best Was a shadow and a breath? O, long now, for no fear lowers O'er these faint feet-kissing flowers. O, rest now; and yet in sleep All thy longing shalt thou keep. Thou shalt rest and have no fear Of a dull awaking near, Of a life for ever blind, Uncontent and waste and wide. Thou shalt wake and think it sweet That thy love is near and kind. Sweeter still for lips to meet; Sweetest that thine heart doth hide Longing all unsatisfied With all longing's answering Howsoever close ye cling. Thou rememberest how of old E'en thy very pain grew cold, How thou might'st not measure bliss E'en when eyes and... (From : Marxists.org.)

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In Denmark gone is many a year, So fair upriseth the rim of the sun, Two sons of Gorm the King there were, So gray is the sea when day is done. Both these were gotten in lawful bed Of Thyrre Denmark's Surety-head. Fair was Knut of face and limb As the breast of the Queen that suckled him. But Harald was hot of hand and heart As lips of lovers ere they part. Knut sat at home in all men's love, But over the seas must Harald rove. And for every deed by Harald won, Gorm laid more love on Knut alone. On a high-tide spake the King in hall, "Old I grow as the leaves that fall. "Knut shall reign when I am dead, So shall the land have peace and aid. "But many a ship shall Harald have, For I deem the sea well wrought for his grave." Then none spake save the King again,... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Puellae. Whence comest thou, and whither goest thou? Abide! abide! longer the shadows grow; What hopest thou the dark to thee will show? Abide! abide! for we are happy here. Amans. Why should I name the land across the sea Wherein I first took hold on misery? Why should I name the land that flees from me? Let me depart, since ye are happy here. Puellae. What wilt thou do within the desert place Whereto thou turnest now thy careful face? Stay but a while to tell us of thy case. Abide! abide! for we are happy here. Amans. What, nigh the journey's end shall I abide, When in the waste mine own love wanders wide, When from all men for me she still doth hide? Let me depa... (From : Marxists.org.)

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I know a little garden-close, Set thick with lily and red rose, Where I would wander if I might From dewy morn to dewy night, And have one with me wandering. And though within it no birds sing, And though no pillared house is there, And though the apple-boughs are bare Of fruit and blossom, would to God Her feet upon the green grass trod, And I beheld them as before. There comes a murmur from the shore, And in the close two fair-streams are, Drawn from the purple hills afar, Drawn down unto the restless sea: Dark hills whose heath-bloom feeds no bee, Dark shore no ship has ever seen, Tormented by the billows green Whose murmur comes unceasingly Unto the place for which I cry. For which I cry both day and night, For which I let slip all delight, Whereby I grow both deaf and blind, Careless to win... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Now sleeps the land of houses, and dead night holds the street, And there thou liest, my baby, and sleepest soft and sweet; My man is away for awhile, but safe and alone we lie, And none heareth thy breath but thy mother, and the moon looking down from the sky On the weary waste of the town, as it looked on the grass-edged road Still warm with yesterday's sun, when I left my old abode; Hand in hand with my love, that night of all nights in the year; When the river of love o'erflowed and drowned all doubt and fear, And we two were alone in the world, and once if never again, We knew of the secret of earth and the tale of its labor and pain. Lo amid London I lift thee, and how little and light thou art, And thou without hope or fear thou fear and hope of my heart! Lo here thy body beginning, O son, an... (From : Marxists.org.)

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When the boughs of the garden hang heavy with rain And the blackbird reneweth his song, And the thunder departing yet rolleth again, I remember the ending of wrong. When the day that was dusk while his death was aloof Is ending wide-gleaming and strange For the clearness of all things beneath the world's roof, I call back the wild chance and the change. For once we twain sat through the hot afternoon While the rain held aloof for a while, Till she, the soft-clad, for the glory of June Changed all with the change of her smile. For her smile was of longing, no longer of glee, And her fingers, entwined with mine own, With caresses unquiet sought kindness of me For the gift that I never had known. Then down rushed the rain, and the voice of the thunder Smote dumb all the sound of the street, And I to myself was grown naught... (From : Marxists.org.)

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There was a lord that hight Maltete, Among great lords he was right great, On poor folk trod he like the dirt, None but God might do him hurt. Deus est Deus pauperum. With a grace of prayers sung loud and late Many a widow's house he ate; Many a poor knight at his hands Lost his house and narrow lands. Deus est Deus pauperum. He burnt the harvests many a time, He made fair houses heaps of lime; Whatso man loved wife or maid Of Evil-head was sore afraid. Deus est Deus pauperum. He slew good men and spared the bad; Too long a day the foul dog had, E'en as all dogs will have their day; But God is as strong as man, I say. Deus est Deus pauperum. For a valiant knight, men called Boncoeur, Had hope he should not long endure, And gathered to him much good folk, Hardy hearts to break the yoke. (From : Marxists.org.)

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It was a knight of the southern land Rode forth upon the way When the birds sang sweet on either hand About the middle of the May. But when he came to the lily-close, Thereby so fair a maiden stood, That neither the lily nor the rose Seemed any longer fair nor good. "All hail, thou rose and lily-bough! What dost thou weeping here, For the days of May are sweet enow, And the nights of May are dear?" "Well may I weep and make my moan, Who am bond and captive here; Well may I weep who lie alone, Though May be waxen dear." "And is there none shall ransom thee; Mayst thou no borrow find?" "Nay, what man may my borrow be, When all my wealth is left behind? "Perchance some ring is left with thee, Some belt that did thy body bind?" "Nay, no man may my borrow be, My rings and belt are l... (From : Marxists.org.)

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It was up in the morn we rose betimes From the hall-floor hard by the row of limes. It was but John the Red and I, And we were the brethren of Gregory; And Gregory the Wright was one Of the valiant men beneath the sun, And what he bade us that we did For ne'er he kept his counsel hid. So out we went, and the clattering latch Woke up the swallows under the thatch. It was dark in the porch, but our scythes we felt, And thrust the whetstone under the belt. Through the cold garden boughs we went Where the tumbling roses shed their scent. Then out a-gates and away we strode O'er the dewy straws on the dusty road, And there was the mead by the town-reeve's close Where the hedge was sweet with the wilding rose. Then into the mowing grass we went Ere the very last of the night... (From : Marxists.org.)

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I heard men saying, Leave hope and praying, All days shall be as all have been; To-day and to-morrow bring fear and sorrow, The never-ending toil between. When Earth was younger mid toil and hunger, In hope we strove, and our hands were strong; Then great men led us, with words they fed us, And bade us right the earthly wrong. Go read in story their deeds and glory, Their names amid the nameless dead; Turn then from lying to us slow-dying In that good world to which they led; Where fast and faster our iron master, The thing we made, for ever drives, Bids us grind treasure and fashion pleasure For other hopes and other lives. Where home is a hovel and dull we grovel, Forgetting that the world is fair; Where no babe we cherish, lest its very soul perish; Where mirth is crime, and love a snare. Who no... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Ye who have come o'er the sea to behold this gray minster of lands, Whose floor is the tomb of time past, and whose walls by the toil of dead hands Show pictures amid of the ruin of deeds that have overpast death, Stay by this tomb in a tomb to ask of who lieth beneath. Ah! the world changeth too soon, that ye stand there with unbated breath, As I name him that Gunnar of old, who erst in the haymaking tide Felt all the land fragrant and fresh, as amid of the edges he died. Too swiftly fame fadeth away, if ye tremble not lest once again The gray mound should open and show him glad-eyed without grudging or pain. Little labor methinks to behold him but the tale-teller labored in vain. Little labor for ears that may hearken to hear his death-conquering song, Till the heart swells to think of the gladness undying that... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Come hither lads and hearken, for a tale there is to tell, Of the wonderful days a-coming, when all shall be better than well. And the tale shall be told of a country, a land in the midst of the sea, And folk shall call it England in the days that are going to be. There more than one in a thousand in the days that are yet to come, Shall have some hope of the morrow, some joy of the ancient home. For then, laugh not, but listen, to this strange tale of mine, All folk that are in England shall be better lodged than swine. Then a man shall work and bethink him, and rejoice in the deeds of his hand, Nor yet come home in the even too faint and weary to stand. Men in that time a-coming shall work and have no fear For to-morrow's lack of earning and the hunger-wolf anear. (From : Marxists.org.)

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So swift the hours are moving Unto the time un-proved: Farewell my love unloving, Farewell my love beloved! What! are we not glad-hearted? Is there no deed to do? Is not all fear departed And Spring-tide blossomed new? The sails swell out above us, The sea-ridge lifts the keel; For They have called who love us, Who bear the gifts that heal: A crown for him that winneth, A bed for him that fails, A glory that beginneth In never-dying tales. Yet now the pain is ended And the glad hand grips the sword, Look on thy life amended And deal out due award. Think of the thankless morning, The gifts of noon unused; Think of the eve of scorning, The night of prayer refused. And yet. The life before it, Dost thou remember aught, What terrors shivered o'er it... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Hear a word, a word in season, for the day is drawing nigh, When the Cause shall call upon us, some to live, and some to die! He that dies shall not die lonely, many an one hath gone before; He that lives shall bear no burden heavier than the life they bore. Nothing ancient is their story, e'en but yesterday they bled, Youngest they of earth's beloved, last of all the valiant dead. E'en the tidings we are telling, was the tale they had to tell, E'en the hope that our hearts cherish, was the hope for which they fell. In the grave where tyrants thrust them, lies their labor and their pain, But undying from their sorrow springeth up the hope again. Mourn not therefore, nor lament it, that the world outlives their life; Voice and vision yet they give us, making strong our hands for... (From : Marxists.org.)

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What part of the dread eternity Are those strange minutes that I gain, Mazed with the doubt of love and pain, When I thy delicate face may see, A little while before farewell? What share of the world's yearning-tide That flash, when new day bare and white Blots out my half-dream's faint delight, And there is nothing by my side, And well remembered is farewell? What drop in the gray flood of tears That time, when the long day toiled through, Worn out, shows naught for me to do, And nothing worth my labor bears The longing of that last farewell? What pity from the heavens above, What heed from out eternity, What word from the swift world for me? Speak, heed, and pity, O tender love, Who knew'st the days before farewell! (From : Marxists.org.)

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Lo, when we wade the tangled wood, In haste and hurry to be there, Naught seem its leaves and blossoms good, For all that they be fashioned fair. But looking up, at last we see The glimmer of the open light, From o'er the place where we would be: Then grow the very brambles bright. So now, amid our day of strife, With many a matter glad we play, When once we see the light of life Gleam through the tangle of to-day. (From : Marxists.org.)

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35. VERSES FOR PICTURES. Day. I am Day; I bring again Life and glory, Love and pain: Awake, arise! from death to death Through me the World's tale quickeneth. Spring. Spring am I, too soft of heart Much to speak ere I depart: Ask the Summer-tide to prove The abundance of my love. Summer. Summer looked for long am I; Much shall change or e'er I die. Prithee take it not amiss Though I weary thee with bliss. Autumn. Laden Autumn here I stand Worn of heart, and weak of hand: Naught but rest seems good to me, Speak the word that sets me free. Winter. I am Winter, that do keep Longing safe amid of sleep: Who sha... (From : Marxists.org.)

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How the wind howls this morn About the end of May, And drives June on apace To mock the world forlorn And the world's joy passed away And my unlonged-for face! The world's joy passed away; For no more may I deem That any folk are glad To see the dawn of day Sunder the tangled dream Wherein no grief they had. Ah, through the tangled dream Where others have no grief Ever it fares with me That fears and treasons stream And dumb sleep slays belief Whatso therein may be. Sleep slayeth all belief Until the hopeless light Wakes at the birth of June More lying tales to weave, More love in woe's despite, More hope to perish soon. (From : Marxists.org.)

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The days have slain the days, and the seasons have gone by And brought me the summer again; and here on the grass I lie As erst I lay and was glad ere I meddled with right and with wrong. Wide lies the mead as of old, and the river is creeping along By the side of the elm-clad bank that turns its weedy stream; And gray o'er its hither lip the quivering rushes gleam. There is work in the mead as of old; they are eager at winning the hay, While every sun sets bright and begets a fairer day. The forks shine white in the sun round the yellow red-wheeled wain, Where the mountain of hay grows fast; and now from out of the lane Comes the ox-team drawing another, comes the bailiff and the beer, And thump, thump, goes the farmer's nag o'er the narrow bridge of the weir. High up and light are the clouds, and though th... (From : Marxists.org.)

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FROM A FLEMISH POEM OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY. Two words about the world we see, And naught but Mine and Thine they be. Ah! might we drive them forth and wide With us should rest and peace abide; All free, naught owned of goods and gear, By men and women though it were. Common to all all wheat and wine Over the seas and up the Rhine. No manslayer then the wide world o'er When Mine and Thine are known no more. Yea, God, well counseled for our health, Gave all this fleeting earthly wealth A common heritage to all, That men might feed them therewithal, And clothe their limbs and shoe their feet And live a simple life and sweet. But now so rageth greediness That each desireth nothing less Than all the world, and all his own; And all for him and him alone. (From : Marxists.org.)

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TRANSLATED FROM THE ICELANDIC. Of silk my gear was shapen, Scarlet they did on me, Then to the sea-strand was I borne And laid in a bark of the sea. O well were I from the World away. Befell it there I might not drown, For God to me was good; The billows bare me up a-land Where grew the fair green-wood. O well were I from the World away. There came a Knight a-riding With three swains along the way And he took me up, the little-one, On the sea-sand as I lay. O well were I from the World away. He took me up, and bare me home To the house that was his own, And there bode I so long with him That I was his love alone. O well were I from the World away. But the very first night we lay abed Befell his sorrow and harm, That thither came the King's ill men, And... (From : Marxists.org.)

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TRANSLATED FROM THE DANISH. Hellelil sitteth in bower there, None knows my grief but God alone, And seweth at the seam so fair, I never wail my sorrow to any other one. But there whereas the gold should be With silk upon the cloth sewed she. Where she should sew with silken thread The gold upon the cloth she laid. So to the Queen the word came in That Hellelil wild work doth win. Then did the Queen do furs on her And went to Hellelil the fair. "O swiftly sewest thou, Hellelil, Yet naught but mad is thy sewing still!" "Well may my sewing be but mad Such evil hap as I have had. My father was good king and lord, Knights fifteen served before his board. He taught me sewing royally, Twelve knights had watch and ward of me. Well served... (From : Marxists.org.)

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FROM THE ICELANDIC. The King has asked of his son so good, "Why art thou hushed and heavy of mood? O fair it is to ride abroad. Thou playest not, and thou laughest not; All thy good game is clean forgot." "Sit thou beside me, father dear, And the tale of my sorrow shalt thou hear. Thou sendedst me unto a far-off land, And gavest me into a good Earl's hand. Now had this good Earl daughters seven, The fairest of maidens under heaven. One brought me my meat when I should dine, One cut and sewed my raiment fine. One washed and combed my yellow hair, And one I fell to loving there. Befell it on so fair a day, We minded us to sport and play. Down in a dale my horse bound I, Bound on my saddle speedily. Bright red she was as the flickering flame... (From : Marxists.org.)

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TRANSLATED FROM THE DANISH. Agnes went through the meadows a-weeping, Fowl are a-singing. There stood the hill-man heed thereof keeping. Agnes, fair Agnes! "Come to the hill, fair Agnes, with me, The reddest of gold will I give unto thee!" Twice went Agnes the hill round about, Then wended within, left the fair world without. In the hillside bode Agnes, three years thrice told o'er, For the green earth sithence fell she longing full sore. There she sat, and lullaby sang in her singing, And she heard how the bells of England were ringing. Agnes before her true-love did stand: "May I wend to the church of the English Land?" "To England's Church well mayst thou be gone, So that no hand thou lay the red gold upon. "So that when thou art come the churchyard anear Thou cast not abro... (From : Marxists.org.)

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TRANSLATED FROM THE DANISH. It was the fair knight Aagen To an isle he went his way, And plighted troth to Else, Who was so fair a may. He plighted troth to Else All with the ruddy gold, But or ere that day's moon came again Low he lay in the black, black mold. It was the maiden Else, She was fulfilled of woe When she heard how the fair knight Aagen In the black mold lay alow. Uprose the fair knight Aagen, Coffin on back took he, And he's away to her bower, Sore hard as the work might be. With that same chest on door he smote, For the lack of flesh and skin; "O hearken, maiden Else, And let thy true-love in!" Then answered maiden Else, "Never open I my door, But and if thou namest Jesu's name As thou hadst might before." "O hear... (From : Marxists.org.)

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TRANSLATED FROM THE DANISH. King Hafbur & King Siward They needs must stir up strife, All about the sweetling Signy Who was so fair a wife. O wilt thou win me then, or as fair a maid as I be? It was the King's son Hafbur Woke up amid the night, And 'gan to tell of a wondrous dream In swift words nowise light. "Me-dreamed I was in Heaven Amid that fair abode, And my true-love lay upon mine arm And we fell from cloud to cloud." As there they sat, the dames and maids, Of his words they took no keep, Only his mother well-beloved Heeded his dreamful sleep. "Go get thee gone to the mountain, And make no long delay; To the elve's eldest daughter For thy dream's areding pray." So the King's son, even Hafbur, Took his sword in his left hand,... (From : Marxists.org.)

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It was Goldilocks woke up in the morn At the first of the shearing of the corn. There stood his mother on the hearth And of new-leased wheat was little dearth. There stood his sisters by the quern, For the high-noon cakes they needs must earn. "O tell me Goldilocks my son, Why hast thou colored raiment on?" "Why should I wear the hodden gray When I am light of heart to-day?" "O tell us, brother, why ye wear In reaping-tide the scarlet gear? Why hangeth the sharp sword at thy side When through the land 'tis the hook goes wide?" "Gay-clad am I that men may know The freeman's son where'er I go. The grinded sword at side I bear Lest I the dastard's word should hear." "O tell me Goldilocks my son, Of whither away thou wilt be gone?" "The morn is fair and the... (From : Marxists.org.)

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February 26, 2021 ; 5:05:07 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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