Half-swan they were, half peacock.
They spake in courtier-words.
Their inner wings a chariot,
Their outer wings for flight,
They lifted me from dreamland.
We bade those trees good-night.
Swiftly above the stars we rode.
I looked below me soon.
The white-walled garden I had ruled
Was one lone flower--the moon.
III. Written for a Musician
Hungry for music with a desperate hunger
I prowled abroad, I threaded through the town;
The evening crowd was clamoring and drinking,
Vulgar and pitiful--my heart bowed down--
Till I remembered duller hours made noble
By strangers clad in some surprising grace.
Wait, wait, my soul, your music comes ere midnight
Appearing in some unexpected place
With quivering lips, and gleaming, moonlit face.
IV. The Moon is a Painter
He coveted her portrait.
He toiled as she grew gay.
She loved to see him labor
In that devoted way.
And in the end it pleased her,
But bowed him more with care.
Her rose-smile showed so plainly,
Her soul-smile was not there.
That night he groped without a lamp
To find a cloak, a book,
And on the vexing portrait
By moonrise chanced to look.
The color-scheme was out of key,
The maiden rose-smile faint,
But through the blessed darkness
She gleamed, his friendly saint.
The comrade, white, immortal,
His bride, and more than bride--
The citizen, the sage of mind,
For whom he lived and died.
V. The Encyclopaedia
"If I could set the moon upon
This table," said my friend,
"Among the standard poets
And brochures without end,
And noble prints of old Japan,
How empty they would seem,
By that encyclopaedia
Of whim and glittering dream."
VI. What the Miner in the Desert Said
The moon's a brass-hooped water-keg,
A wondrous water-feast.
If I could climb the ridge and drink
And give drink to my beast;
If I could drain that keg, the flies
Would not be biting so,
My burning feet be spry again,
My mule no longer slow.
And I could rise and dig for ore,
And reach my fatherland,
And not be food for ants and hawks
And perish in the sand.
VII. What the Coal-heaver Said
The moon's an open furnace door
Where all can see the blast,
We shovel in our blackest griefs,
Upon that grate are cast
Our aching burdens, loves and fears
And underneath them wait
Paper and tar and pitch and pine
Called strife and blood and hate.
Out of it all there comes a flame,
A splendid widening light.
Sorrow is turned to mystery
And Death into delight.
VIII. What the Moon Saw
Two statesmen met by moonlight.
Their ease was partly feigned.Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>