I toss, a cockleshell? The dreadful night

Marshals its undefeated dark and raves

In brutal madness, reeling over graves

Of vanquished men, long-sunken out of sight,

Sent wailing down to glut the ghoulish sprite

Who haunts foul seaweed forests and their caves.

No parting cloud reveals a watery star,

My cries are washed away upon the wind,

My cramped and blistering hands can find no spar,

My eyes with hope o'erstrained, are growing blind.

But painted on the sky great visions burn,

My voice, oblation from a shattered urn!


From out the dragging vastness of the sea,

Wave-fettered, bound in sinuous, seaweed strands,

He toils toward the rounding beach, and stands

One moment, white and dripping, silently,

Cut like a cameo in lazuli,

Then falls, betrayed by shifting shells, and lands

Prone in the jeering water, and his hands

Clutch for support where no support can be.

So up, and down, and forward, inch by inch,

He gains upon the shore, where poppies glow

And sandflies dance their little lives away.

The sucking waves retard, and tighter clinch

The weeds about him, but the land-winds blow,

And in the sky there blooms the sun of May.


Be patient with you?

When the stooping sky

Leans down upon the hills

And tenderly, as one who soothing stills

An anguish, gathers earth to lie

Embraced and girdled. Do the sun-filled men

Feel patience then?

Be patient with you?

When the snow-girt earth

Cracks to let through a spurt

Of sudden green, and from the muddy dirt

A snowdrop leaps, how mark its worth

To eyes frost-hardened, and do weary men

Feel patience then?

Be patient with you?

When pain's iron bars

Their rivets tighten, stern

To bend and break their victims; as they turn,

Hopeless, there stand the purple jars

Of night to spill oblivion. Do these men

Feel patience then?

Be patient with you?

You! My sun and moon!

My basketful of flowers!

My money-bag of shining dreams! My hours,

Windless and still, of afternoon!

You are my world and I your citizen.

What meaning can have patience then?


Be not angry with me that I bear

Your colours everywhere,

All through each crowded street,

And meet

The wonder-light in every eye,

As I go by.

Each plodding wayfarer looks up to gaze,

Blinded by rainbow haze,

The stuff of happiness,

No less,

Which wraps me in its glad-hued folds

Of peacock golds.

Before my feet the dusty, rough-paved way

Flushes beneath its gray.

My steps fall ringed with light,

So bright,

It seems a myriad suns are strown

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