Sunday, June 25, 2017
THE FARM WOMAN'S WINTER
If seasons all were summers,
And leaves would never fall,
And hopping casement-comers
Were foodless not at all,
And fragile folk might be here
That white winds bid depart;
Then one I used to see here
Would warm my wasted heart!
One frail, who, bravely tilling
Long hours in gripping gusts,
Was mastered by their chilling,
And now his ploughshare rusts.
So savage winter catches
The breath of limber things,
And what I love he snatches,
And what I love not, brings.
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Little head against my shoulder,
Shy at first, then somewhat bolder,
Till she, with a timid quaver,
Yielded to the kiss I gave her;
But, she sighed.
That there mingled with her feeling
Some sad thought she was concealing
- Not that she had ceased to love me,
None on earth she set above me;
But she sighed.
She could not disguise a passion,
Dread, or doubt, in weakest fashion
If she tried:
Nothing seemed to hold us sundered,
Hearts were victors; so I wondered
Why she sighed.
Afterwards I knew her throughly,
And she loved me staunchly, truly,
Till she died;
But she never made confession
Why, at that first sweet concession,
She had sighed.
It was in our May, remember;
And though now I near November,
Till my appointed change, unfretting,
Sometimes I sit half regretting
That she sighed.
Friday, June 23, 2017
A PARTING SCENE
The two pale women cried,
But the man seemed to suffer more,
Which he strove hard to hide.
They stayed in the waiting-room, behind the door,
Till startled by the entering engine-roar,
As if they could not bear to have unfurled
Their misery to the eyes of all the world.
A soldier and his young wife
Were the couple; his mother the third,
Who had seen the seams of life.
He was sailing for the East I later heard.
— They kissed long, but they did not speak a word;
Then, strained, he went. To the elder the wife in tears
" Too long; too long!" burst out. ('Twas for five years.)
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Thursday, June 22, 2017
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
"See, here's the workbox, little wife,
That I made of polished oak."
He was a joiner, of village life;
She came of borough folk.
He holds the present up to her
As with a smile she nears
And answers to the profferer,
''Twill last all my sewing years!"
"I warrant it will. And longer too.
'Tis a scantling that I got
Off poor John Wayward's coffin, who
Died of they knew not what.
"The shingled pattern that seems to cease
Against your box's rim
Continues right on in the piece
That's underground with him.
"And while I worked it made me think
Of timber's varied doom;
One inch where people eat and drink,
The next inch in a tomb.
"But why do you look so white, my dear,
And turn aside your face?
You knew not that good lad, I fear,
Though he came from your native place?'
"How could I know that good young man,
Though he came from my native town,
When he must have left there earlier than
I was a woman grown?"
"Ah, no. I should have understood!
It shocked you that I gave
To you one end of a piece of wood
Whose other is in a grave?"
"Don't, dear, despise my intellect,
Mere accidental things
Of that sort never have effect
On my imaginings."
Yet still her lips were limp and wan,
Her face still held aside,
As if she had known not only John,
But known of what he died.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
I do not see the hills around,
Nor mark the tints the copses wear;
I do not note the grassy ground
And constellated daisies there.
I hear not the contralto note
Of cuckoos hid on either hand,
The whirr that shakes the nighthawk's throat
When eve's brown awning hoods the land.
Some say each songster, tree, and mead -
All eloquent of love divine -
Receives their constant careful heed:
Such keen appraisement is not mine.
The tones around me that I hear,
The aspects, meanings, shapes I see,
Are those far back ones missed when near,
And now perceived too late by me!
Monday, June 19, 2017
THE RUINED MAID
"O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?" —
"O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.
— "You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!" —
"Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined," said she.
— "At home in the barton you said thee and thou,
And thik oon, and theäs oon, and t'othero; but now
Your talking quite fits 'ee for high compa-ny!" —
"Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she.
— "Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek,
And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!" —
"We never do work when we're ruined," said she.
— "You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem
To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!" —
"True. One's pretty lively when ruined," said she.
— "I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!" —
"My dear — a raw country girl, such as you be,
Cannot quite expect that. You ain't ruined," said she.