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By John Gray
Song—set, unfurl eternally the sheen
TO ANDRE CHEVRILLON
“Have you seen the listening snake?”
In the ground the mottled snake
Painted ivy is asleep,
Bramble clutches for his bride,
“Till the day dawn, till the tide Of the winter’s afternoon.” “Who tells dawning?”–“Listen, soon.” Half born tendrils, grasping, gasp.
Je pleure dans les coins; je n’ai plus gout a rien; Oh! j’ai tant pleure, Dimanche, en mon paroissien!
Did we not, Darling, you and I,
We lay us down among fresh earthy Sweet flowers breaking overhead, Sore needed rest for our frail girth, For our frail hearts; a well—sought bed.
So Spring came, and spread daffodils; Summer, and fluffy bees sang on; The fluffy bee knows us, and fills His house with sweet to think upon.
Deep in the dear dust, Dear, we dream, Our melancholy is a thing At last our own; and none esteem How our black lips are blackening.
And none note how our poor eyes fall, Nor how our cheeks are sunk and sere . . . Dear, when you waken, will you call? . . . Alas! we are not very near.
Ainsi, elle viendrait a moi! les yeux bien fous! Et elle me suivrait avec cet air partout!
TO E. M. G.
Lean back, and press the pillow deep, Heart’s dear demesne, dear Daintiness; Close your tired eyes, but not to sleep . . . How very pale your pallor is!
You smile, your cheek’s voluptuous line Melts in your dimpled saucy cave. Your hairbraids seem a wilful vine, Scorning to imitate a wave.
Your voice is tenebrous, as if An angel mocked a blackbird’s pipe. You are my magic orchard feoff, Where bud and fruit are always ripe.
O apple garden! all the days Are fain to crown the darling year, Ephemeral bells and garland bays, Shy blade and lusty, bursting ear.
In every kiss I call you mine, Tell me, my dear, how pure, how brave Our child will be! what velvet eyne, What bonny hair our child will have!
CROCUSES IN GRASS
TO CHARLES HAZELWOOD SHANNON
Purple and white the crocus flowers,
Perhaps one droops a prettier head, And one would say: Sweet Queen, Your lips are white and red, And round you lies the grass most green.
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