Poems by Archibald Lampman

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No girdle hath weaver or goldsmith wrought
What days await this woman, whose strange feet
Oh city, whom grey stormy hands have sown
Oh earth, oh dewy mother, breathe on us
With what doubting eyes, oh sparrow,
Oh night and sleep,
A moment the wild swallows like a flight
By a void and soundless river
Underneath a tree at noontide
For three whole days across the sky,
In the silent depth of space,
The dew is gleaming in the grass,
Already in the dew-wrapped vineyards dry
Long hours ago, while yet the morn was blithe,
I love the warm bare earth and all
How the returning days, one after one,
No wind there is that either pipes or moans;
I heard the city time-bells call
One moment the slim cloudflakes seem to lean
'I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.' - PSALM CXXI. 1.
Even as I watched the daylight how it sped
To-day the world is wide and fair
How deep the April night is in its noon,
Pale season, watcher in unvexed suspense,
Oh deep-eyed brothers was there ever here,
On such a day the shrunken stream
The thoughts of all the maples who shall name,
Sweet summer is gone; they have laid her away -
Now the creeping nets of sleep
The point is turned; the twilight shadow fills
Now overhead,
Scarcely a breath about the rocky stair
With a turn of his magical rod,
What would'st thou have for easement after grief,
Comfort the sorrowful with watchful eyes
'Tis well with words, oh masters, ye have sought
Slow figures in some live remorseless frieze,
To the distance! Ah, the distance!
Hear me, Brother, gently met;
From upland slopes I see the cows file by,
Once, long ago, before the gods
There is singing of birds in the deep wet woods,
Out of the heart of the city begotten
Blind multitudes that jar confusedly
March is slain; the keen winds fly;
Think not, because thine inmost heart means well,
From plains that reel to southward, dim,
The sun falls warm: the southern winds awake:
Grief was my master yesternight;
With loitering step and quiet eye,
The hills and leafless forests slowly yield
Along the waste, a great way off, the pines,
The old grey year is near his term in sooth,
'Tis a land where no hurricane falls,
Long, long ago, it seems, this summer morn
What is more large than knowledge and more sweet;
We in sorrow coldly witting,
I passed through the gates of the city,
Yearning upon the faint rose-curves that flit
Or whether sad or joyous be her hours,
Over the dripping roofs and sunk snow-barrows
From where I sit, I see the stars,
Mother of balms and soothings manifold,
Far above us where a jay
Move on, light hands, so strongly tenderly,
Once on the year's last eve in my mind's might
The trees rustle; the wind blows
Not to be conquered by these headlong days,
As a weed beneath the ocean,
O Power to whom this earthly clime
Beloved, those who moan of love's brief day
O differing human heart,
Where swallows and wheatfields are,
Clothed in splendour, beautifully sad and silent,
Now hath the summer reached her golden close,
The world is bright with beauty, and its days
If any man, with sleepless care oppressed,
White are the far-off plains, and white
Along the narrow sandy height
How still it is here in the woods. The trees
By silent forest and field and mossy stone,
Songs that could span the earth,
O sun, shine hot on the river;
Out of the grey northwest, where many a day gone by
From this windy bridge at rest,
There is no break in all the wide grey sky,
Harsh thoughts, blind angers, and fierce hands,
The sun looks over a little hill
Why weep ye in your innocent toil at all?
Canst thou not rest, O city,
Beside the pounding cataracts
Beyond the dusky corn-fields, toward the west,
Before me grew the human soul,
Out of the Northland sombre weirds are calling;
"Grotesque!" we said, the moment we espied him,
I.
O gentle sister spirit, when you smile
Once idly in his hall king Olave sat
Methought I journeyed along ways that led for ever
The King's son walks in the garden fair -
Once ye were happy, once by many a shore,
Oh ye, who found in men's brief ways no sign
Here when the cloudless April days begin,
I.
The full, clear moon uprose and spread
A little while, a year agone,
In his dim chapel day by day
Think not, oh master of the well-tilled field,
I
Half god, half brute, within the self-same shell,
The darkness brings no quiet here, the light
Again the warm bare earth, the noon
Mad with love and laden
Fair little scout, that when the iron year
The earth is the cup of the sun,
It fell on a day I was happy,
In days, when the fruit of men's labour was sparing,
Friend, though thy soul should burn thee, yet be still.
All day, all day, round the clacking net
Far up in the wild and wintery hills in the heart of the cliff-broken woods,
What saw I yesterday walking apart
O little one, daughter, my dearest,
Mother, to whose valiant will,
Though fancy and the might of rhyme,
Didst thou not tease and fret me to and fro,
What are these bustlers at the gate
All day upon the garden bright
Now being on the eve of death, discharged
We have not heard the music of the spheres,
By the Nile, the sacred river,
Not, not for thee,
What do poets want with gold,
Day and night pass over, rounding,
Why do ye call the poet lonely,
To-night the very horses springing by
Life is not all for effort: there are hours,
All day between high-curded clouds the sun
Subtly conscious, all awake,
The wind-swayed daisies, that on every side
The long days came and went; the riotous bees
O doubts, dull passions, and base fears,

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