Poems by William Ernest Henley

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A desolate shore,
A wink from Hesper, falling
By W. E. Henley and R. L. Stevenson, Avenue Theatre, Monday, November 29, 1897.
'O mes cheres Mille et Une Nuits!' - Fantasio.
'As like the Woman as you can' -
The blackbird sang, the skies were clear and clean
A black and glassy float, opaque and still,
I watched you saunter down the sand:
With a ripple of leaves and a tinkle of streams
Fountains that frisk and sprinkle
Was I a Samurai renowned,
Where are the passions they essayed,
Gold or silver, every day,
By W. E. Henley and R. L. Stevenson,
Bring her again, O western wind,
The beach was crowded. Pausing now and then,
Crosses and troubles a-many have proved me.
Take, dear, my little sheaf of songs,
Fools may pine, and sots may swill,
The big teetotum twirls,
Do you remember
These, to you now, O, more than ever now -
Fill a glass with golden wine,
To J. A. C.
Friends . . . old friends . . .
Above the Crags that fade and gloom
Gulls in an aery morrice
To P. A. G.
I am the Reaper.
I gave my heart to a woman -
A late lark twitters from the quiet skies;
The ways of Death are soothing and serene,
Out of the night that covers me,
If it should come to be,
A hard north-easter fifty winters long
On ne saurait dire e quel point un homme,
The morning mists still haunt the stony street;
A square, squat room (a cellar on promotion),
The gaunt brown walls
Behold me waiting - waiting for the knife.
Some three, or five, or seven, and thirty years;
You are carried in a basket,
Like as a flamelet blanketed in smoke,
Lived on one's back,
The greater masters of the commonplace,
Blue-eyed and bright of face but waning fast
Hist? . . .
Two and thirty is the ploughman.
As with varnish red and glistening
From the winter's grey despair,
His brow spreads large and placid, and his eye
Exceeding tall, but built so well his height
O, the fun, the fun and frolic
Here in this dim, dull, double-bedded room,
She's tall and gaunt, and in her hard, sad face
Her little face is like a walnut shell
'Talk of pluck!' pursued the Sailor,
It's the Spring.
Down the quiet eve,
Staring corpselike at the ceiling,
Thin-legged, thin-chested, slight unspeakably,
Laughs the happy April morn
At the barren heart of midnight,
Carry me out
London, December 10, 1869.
(May 24, 1819 - January 22, 1901)
(Ob. October 30, 1897)
To GARRYOWEN upon an organ ground
In the placid summer midnight,
In the year that's come and gone, love, his flying feather
Out of the night that covers me,
It came with the threat of a waning moon
Kate-a-Whimsies, John-a-Dreams,
The day's high work is over and done,
Life is bitter. All the faces of the years,
He's called The General from the brazen craft
Joy of the Milliner, Envy of the Line,
Far out of bounds he's figured - in a race
His beat lies knee-high through a dust of story -
Army Reserve; a worshipper of BOBS,
An ill March noon; the flagstones gray with dust;
'LIZA'S old man's perhaps a little shady,
Time, the old humourist, has a trick to-day
So went our boys when EDWARD SIXTH, the King,
Take any station, pavement, circus, corner,
Who says Drum-Major says a man of mould,
There's never a delicate nurseling of the year
Though, if you ask her name, she says ELISE,
St. Margaret's bells,
Forth from the dust and din,
Down through the ancient Strand
Out of the poisonous East,
Spring winds that blow
In the waste hour
Midsummer midnight skies,
To A. C.
O, gather me the rose, the rose,
O, have you blessed, behind the stars,
I. M. - R. L. S. (1850-1894)
On the way to Kew,
One with the ruined sunset,
She's an enchanting little Israelite,
Praise the generous gods for giving
These to the glory and praise of the green land
Something is dead . . .
By J. M. Barrie and H. B. Marriott Watson, Criterion Theatre, April 16, 1891.
She sauntered by the swinging seas,
Some starlit garden grey with dew,
Space and dread and the dark -
The full sea rolls and thunders
The Past was goodly once, and yet, when all is said,
The sands are alive with sunshine,
The sea is full of wandering foam,
The shadow of Dawn;
The skies are strown with stars,
The Sword
The spring, my dear,
The surges gushed and sounded,
The wan sun westers, faint and slow;
The ways are green with the gladdening sheen
The West a glimmering lake of light,
There is a wheel inside my head
There's a regret
To A. J. H.
The nightingale has a lyre of gold,
O, Falmouth is a fine town with ships in the bay,
Let us be drunk, and for a while forget,
Love blows as the wind blows,
To me at my fifth-floor window
Chiming a dream by the way
The Spirit of Wine
A child,
Blithe dreams arise to greet us,
Or ever the knightly years were gone
From the brake the Nightingale
Madam Life's a piece in bloom
Thick is the darkness -
Carmen Patibulare - To H. S.
Trees and the menace of night;
(February 15 - September 28, 1894)
To James McNeill Whistler
To R. F. B.
We flash across the level.
We'll go no more a-roving by the light of the moon.
What have I done for you,
When the wind storms by with a shout, and the stern sea-caves
I. M. - Margaret Emma Henley (1888-1894)
Where forlorn sunsets flare and fade
While the west is paling
Why, my heart, do we love her so?
You played and sang a snatch of song,
Your heart has trembled to my tongue,