That into my limbs may come the keenness of fire,

The life and joy of tongues of flame,

And, going out from you, tightly strung and in tune,

I may rouse the blear-eyed world,

And pour into it the beauty which you have begotten.

The Temple

Between us leapt a gold and scarlet flame.

Into the hollow of the cupped, arched blue

Of Heaven it rose. Its flickering tongues up-drew

And vanished in the sunshine. How it came

We guessed not, nor what thing could be its name.

From each to each had sprung those sparks which flew

Together into fire. But we knew

The winds would slap and quench it in their game.

And so we graved and fashioned marble blocks

To treasure it, and placed them round about.

With pillared porticos we wreathed the whole,

And roofed it with bright bronze. Behind carved locks

Flowered the tall and sheltered flame. Without,

The baffled winds thrust at a column's bole.

Epitaph of a Young Poet Who Died Before Having Achieved Success

Beneath this sod lie the remains

Of one who died of growing pains.

In Answer to a Request

You ask me for a sonnet. Ah, my Dear,

Can clocks tick back to yesterday at noon?

Can cracked and fallen leaves recall last June

And leap up on the boughs, now stiff and sere?

For your sake, I would go and seek the year,

Faded beyond the purple ranks of dune,

Blown sands of drifted hours, which the moon

Streaks with a ghostly finger, and her sneer

Pulls at my lengthening shadow. Yes, 'tis that!

My shadow stretches forward, and the ground

Is dark in front because the light's behind.

It is grotesque, with such a funny hat,

In watching it and walking I have found

More than enough to occupy my mind.

I cannot turn, the light would make me blind.


The Great Adventure of Max Breuck


A yellow band of light upon the street

Pours from an open door, and makes a wide

Pathway of bright gold across a sheet

Of calm and liquid moonshine. From inside

Come shouts and streams of laughter, and a snatch

Of song, soon drowned and lost again in mirth,

The clip of tankards on a table top,

And stir of booted heels. Against the patch

Of candle-light a shadow falls, its girth

Proclaims the host himself, and master of his shop.


This is the tavern of one Hilverdink,

Jan Hilverdink, whose wines are much esteemed.

Within his cellar men can have to drink

The rarest cordials old monks ever schemed

To coax from pulpy grapes, and with nice art

Improve and spice their virgin juiciness.

Here froths the amber beer of many a brew,

Crowning each pewter tankard with as smart

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