Poems by Richard Le Gallienne

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Ah, London! London! our delight,
I had no where to go,
There is too much beauty upon this earth
(Gratefully Dedicated to Mrs. Pankhurst)
The sun is weary, for he ran
In an old book I found her face
Summer gone,
'A Library in a garden! The phrase seems to contain the whole felicity of man.' - Mr. EDMUND GOSSE in Gossip in a Library.
Darling little woman, just a little line,
When winter comes and takes away the rose,
To Two Friends married in the New Year
The beauty of this rainy day,
Singers all along the street,
We that were born, beloved, so far apart,
(A Prefatory Sonnet for SANTA LUCIA, the Misses Hodgkin's Magazine for the Blind)
Ah, if you worship anything,
Illius est nobis lege colendus amor
Ah! did you ever hear the Spring
(Westminster, October 12, 1892)
What shall I sing when all is sung,
Not all my treasure hath the bandit Time
All the wide world is but the thought of you:
All the flowers cannot weave
Only a breath - hardly a breath! The shore
Spake the Lord Christ - "I will arise."
Lusisti est, et edisti, atque bibisti; Tempus abire, tibi est.
The floating call of the cuckoo,
Precious the box that Mary brake
Is it the Spring?
I was reading a letter of yours to-day,
Let all things vanish, if but you remain;
April, half-clad in flowers and showers,
April is in the world again,
Art is a gipsy,
As in the woodland I walk, many a strange thing I learn -
My head is at your feet,
At last I got a letter from the dead,
(To the Memory of Austin Dobson)
The solemn light behind the barns,
The sad nights are here and the sad mornings,
The year grows still again, the surging wake
Who will gather with me the fallen year,
The daisied dawn is in the sky,
Had I the gold that some so vainly spend,
O sad-eyed man who yonder sits,
O ships upon the sea, O shapes of air,
Friends whom to-night once more I greet,
There blooms a flower in Trebizond
The peril of fair faces all his days
Bees make their honey out of coloured flowers,
A battered swordsman, slashed and scarred,
In vain with whip and knotted cord
(TO I - - a)
A woman! lightly the mysterious word
God of the Wine List, roseate lord,
I am so fair that wheresoe'er I wend
My love said she had nought to wear;
Blue flower waving in the wind,
Waiting in the woodland, watching for my sweet,
When the musicians hide away their faces,
Little chipmunk, do you know
Come, my Celia, let us prove,
O little Heart,
To My Wife, Mildred
O golden day! O silver night!
Yea, it is best, dear friends, who have so oft
I bring a message from the stream
'Yes, Sir, she's gone at last - 'twas only five minutes ago
Face in the tomb, that lies so still,
'The old gods pass,' the cry goes round;
You must mean more than just this hour,
Kisses are long forgotten of this twain,
(January 19, 1909)
(After The Norwegian Of Rosencrantz Johnsen)
Silence, whose drowsy eyelids are soft leaves,
Fly, little note,
Her eyes are bluebells now, her voice a bird,
Must I believe this beauty wholly gone
Men say - beyond the western seas
'We're going home!' I heard two lovers say,
How fast the year is going by!
I crossed the orchard, walking home,
I know not in what place again I'll meet
I meant to do my work to-day -
I said - I care not if I can
I thought, before my sunlit twentieth year,
This life I squander, hating the long days
A little book, this grim November day,
Dear Heart, what thing may symbolise for us
Go, little book, and be the looking-glass
Away from the silent hills and the talking of upland waters,
'Kiss me, dear Love!' -
Poet, a truce to your song!
Unless you come while still the world is green,
Like a flower in the frost
(With Mr. Dicksee's Picture)
We thought that winter, love, would never end,
Lightnings may flicker round my head,
The human heart will never change,
You shall not dare to drink this cup,
You often ask me, love, how much I love you,
Simple am I, I care no whit
The woods we used to walk, my love,
I am too proud of loving thee, too proud
Deem not my love is only for the bloom,
Sometimes my idle heart would roam
They sit within a woodland place,
Why should I ask perfection of thee, sweet,
O spirit of Life, by whatsoe'er a name
(DIED, APRIL 15, 1888)
May is back, and You and I
May is building her house. With apple blooms
Let's go to market in the moon,
Give me the lifted skirt,
Morn hath a secret that she never tells:
What are my books? - My friends, my loves,
There, in my mind's-eye, pure it lay,
Up through the mystic deeps of sunny air
When all the world has gone awry,
Noon like a naked sword lies on the grass,
I'm not sorry I am older, love - are you?
You ask and I send. It is well, yea! best:
The world grows Lilliput, the great men go;
One says he is immoral, and points out
To R.K. Leather
Paris, half Angel, half Grisette,
Paths that wind
Primrose and Violet -
When thou art gone, then all the rest will go;
Nature, that makes Professors all day long,
This is all that is left - this letter and this rose!
Is it your face I see, your voice I hear?
(Obiit Nov. 18, 1909)
High on his Patmos of the Southern Seas
'"Saint Charles," said Thackeray to me, thirty years ago, putting one of Charles Lamb's letters to his forehead.' - LETTERS OF EDWARD FITZGERALD.
I read there is a man who sits apart,
The heart of the rose - how sweet
When leaf and flower are newly made,
Shadows! the only shadows that I know
Singing go I, seeking for ever a song
From tavern to tavern
Am I so soon grown tired? - yet this old sky
Soldier going to the war -
My eye upon your eyes -
She's somewhere in the sunlight strong,
Face with the forest eyes,
Sore in need was I of a faithful friend,
She loved the Autumn, I the Spring,
I saw strange bones to-day in Paris town,
When the spring comes again, will you be there?
Crickets calling,
Above the town a monstrous wheel is turning,
(TO L. AND H.H.)
The afternoon is lonely for your face,
An animalcule in my blood
The bloom upon the grape I ask no more,
Bring not your dreams to me -
Dear city in the moonlight dreaming,
I see fair women all the day,
I dwell, with all things great and fair:
The Cry of the Little Peoples went up to God in vain;
The dead arose. Long had they dreamed,
The Décadent was speaking to his soul -
(Chant Royal)
My door is always left ajar,
My dryad hath her hiding place
Tell me, strange heart, so mysteriously beating -
O never laugh again!
Don't you love the eyes that come from Ireland?
All beauty is but thee in echo-shapes,
Through the dark wood
Stream that leapt and danced
Belovèd, I would tell a ghostly thing
I wore my heart upon my sleeve,
So many times the heart can break,
Not that Queen Venus of adulterous fame,
The gods are there, they hide their lordly faces
The cowbells wander through the woods,
I had no heart to join the dance,
To Man in haste, flushed with impatient dreams
The loveliest face! I turned to her
You bear a flower in your hand,
I nothing did all yesterday
Brother that ploughs the furrow I late ploughed,
When the embalmer closed my eyes,
Doth it not thrill thee, Poet,
Thou shall not me persuade
"These things are real," said one, and bade me gaze
She failed me at the tryst:
The Rose has left the garden,
When last I saw this opening rose
Loud mockers in the roaring street
In the long shimmer of the Sound
I saw him in a picture, and I felt I'd like to cry -
Songs I sang of lordly matters,
Water in hidden glens
The valiant girls - of them I sing -
I will walk down to the valley
'Our little babe,' each said, 'shall be
The world is wide - around yon court,
(Ballade à double refrain)
On drives the road - another mile! and still
Autumn and Winter,
"Is she still beautiful?" I asked of one
(To the Sweet Memory of Lucy Hinton)
O bird that somewhere yonder sings,
You that would break with the Past,
And is it true indeed, and must you go,
Strange little spring, by channels past our telling,
As one, the secret lover of a queen,
Still towards the steep Parnassian way
O rose! forbear to flaunt yourself,
Who dough shall knead as for God's sake
Wild bird, I stole you from your nest,
Our tears, our songs, our laurels - what are these
O loveliest face, on which we look our last -
Of all the wind-blown dust of faces fair,
Poor are the gifts of the poet -
Always thy book, too late acknowledged thine,
Why did you go away without one word,
Poet, whose words are like the tight-packed seed
With laughter always on the darkest day,
If after times
Art was a palace once, things great and fair,
They took away your drink from you,
Too late I bring my heart, too late 'tis yours;
Vast and mysterious brother, ere was yet of me
Your birthday, sweetheart, is my birthday too,
The fight I loved - the good old fight -
We are with France - not by the ties
What of the darkness? Is it very fair?
When the long day has faded to its end,
Who was it swept against my door just now,
Winter, some call thee fair,
Winter that hath few friends yet numbers those
Dear Heart, this is my book of boyish song,
Young love, all rainbows in the lane,
N.B. - This sequence of poems has appeared in former editions under the title of 'Love Platonic.'
I make this rhyme of my lady and me
But, Song, arise thee on a greater wing,
Once we met, and then there came
My mouth to thy mouth
So sang young Love in high and holy dream
'The daffodils are fine this year,' I said;
Why did she marry him? Ah, say why!
Yea, let me be 'thy bachelere,'
Two stars once on their lonely way
Yea, love, I know, and I would have it thus,
Down where the unconquered river still flows on,
God gave us an hour for our tears,
O Lady, I have looked on thee once more,
[The poet dramatises his Lady's loneliness]
One asked of regret,
Love, art thou lonely to-day?
So many days that keep us still apart?