Poems by Alan Seeger

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You have the grit and the guts, I know;
The lad I was I longer now
All that's not love is the dearth of my days,
At dusk, when lowlands where dark waters glide
There is a power whose inspiration fills
Stretched on a sunny bank he lay at rest,
I stood beside his sepulchre whose fame,
Broceliande! in the perilous beauty of silence and menacing shade,
In the glad revels, in the happy fetes,
The rooks aclamor when one enters here
Over the radiant ridges borne out on the offshore wind,
O happiness, I know not what far seas,
In that fair capital where Pleasure, crowned
There was a time when I thought much of Fame,
For there were nights . . . my love to him whose brow
What is Success? Out of the endless ore
I have a rendezvous with Death
I loved illustrious cities and the crowds
I have gone sometimes by the gates of Death
Lay me where soft Cyrene rambles down
Oft when sweet music undulated round,
I who, conceived beneath another star,
In Lyonesse was beauty enough, men say:
A shell surprised our post one day
(To have been read before the statue of Lafayette and Washington in Paris, on Decoration Day, May 30, 1916.)
Thy petals yet are closely curled,
Tonight a shimmer of gold lies mantled o'er
A hilltop sought by every soothing breeze
Exiled afar from youth and happy love,
Down the strait vistas where a city street
Sidney, in whom the heyday of romance
Her courts are by the flux of flaming ways,
Not that I always struck the proper mean
There was a youth around whose early way
Why should you be astonished that my heart,
Up at his attic sill the South wind came
If I was drawn here from a distant place,
Amid the florid multitude her face
Well, seeing I have no hope, then let us part;
A tide of beauty with returning May
Seeing you have not come with me, nor spent
Give me the treble of thy horns and hoofs,
Oh, you are more desirable to me
There have been times when I could storm and plead,
To me, a pilgrim on that journey bound
Oft as by chance, a little while apart
Oh, love of woman, you are known to be
A splendor, flamelike, born to be pursued,
I have sought Happiness, but it has been
* A paraphrase of Petrarca, 'Quando fra l'altre donne . . .'
Apart sweet women (for whom Heaven be blessed),
Clouds rosy-tinted in the setting sun,
Like as a dryad, from her native bole
I fancied, while you stood conversing there,
It may be for the world of weeds and tares
Above the ruin of God's holy place,
Who shall invoke her, who shall be her priest,
Though thou art now a ruin bare and cold,
We first saw fire on the tragic slopes
Flaked, drifting clouds hide not the full moon's rays
I know a village in a far-off land
Purged, with the life they left, of all
The need to love that all the stars obey
There was a boy - not above childish fears -
Another prospect pleased the builder's eye,
He faints with hope and fear. It is the hour.
My spirit only lived to look on Beauty's face,
Their strength had fed on this when Death's white arms
To see the clouds his spirit yearned toward so
So when the verdure of his life was shed,
A cloud has lowered that shall not soon pass o'er.
Ruggiero, to amaze the British host,
Florence, rejoice! For thou o'er land and sea
I care not that one listen if he lives
Her eyes under their lashes were blue pools
As one of some fat tillage dispossessed,
Be my companion under cool arcades