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The University of Adelaide Library
University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005


Strings in the earth and air

Make music sweet;

Strings by the river where

The willows meet.

There's music along the river

For Love wanders there,

Pale flowers on his mantle,

Dark leaves on his hair.

All softly playing,

With head to the music bent,

And fingers straying

Upon an instrument.


The twilight turns from amethyst

To deep and deeper blue,

The lamp fills with a pale green glow

The trees of the avenue.

The old piano plays an air,

Sedate and slow and gay;

She bends upon the yellow keys,

Her head inclines this way.

Shy thought and grave wide eyes and hands

That wander as they list —

The twilight turns to darker blue

With lights of amethyst.


At that hour when all things have repose,

O lonely watcher of the skies,

Do you hear the night wind and the sighs

Of harps playing unto Love to unclose

The pale gates of sunrise?

When all things repose, do you alone

Awake to hear the sweet harps play

To Love before him on his way,

And the night wind answering in antiphon

Till night is overgone?

Play on, invisible harps, unto Love,

Whose way in heaven is aglow

At that hour when soft lights come and go,

Soft sweet music in the air above

And in the earth below.


When the shy star goes forth in heaven

All maidenly, disconsolate,

Hear you amid the drowsy even

One who is singing by your gate.

His song is softer than the dew

And he is come to visit you.

O bend no more in revery

When he at eventide is calling.

Nor muse: Who may this singer be

Whose song about my heart is falling?

Know you by this, the lover's chant,

'Tis I that am your visitant.


Lean out of the window,


I hear you singing

A merry air.

My book was closed,

I read no more,

Watching the fire dance

On the floor.

I have left my book,

I have left my room,

For I heard you singing

Through the gloom.

Singing and singing

A merry air,

Lean out of the window,



I would in that sweet bosom be

(O sweet it is and fair it is!)

Where no rude wind might visit me.

Because of sad austerities

I would in that sweet bosom be.

I would be ever in that heart

(O soft I knock and soft entreat her!)

Where only peace might be my part.

Austerities were all the sweeter

So I were ever in that heart.


My love is in a light attire

Among the apple-trees,

Where the gay winds do most desire

To run in companies.

There, where the gay winds stay to woo

The young leaves as they pass,

My love goes slowly, bending to

Her shadow on the grass;

And where the sky's a pale blue cup

Over the laughing land,

My love goes lightly, holding up

Her dress with dainty hand.


Who goes amid the green wood

With springtide all adorning her?

Who goes amid the merry green wood

To make it merrier?

Who passes in the sunlight

By ways that know the light footfall?

Who passes in the sweet sunlight

With mien so virginal?

The ways of all the woodland

Gleam with a soft and golden fire —

For whom does all the sunny woodland

Carry so brave attire?

O, it is for my true love

The woods their rich apparel wear —

O, it is for my own true love,

That is so young and fair.


Winds of May, that dance on the sea,

Dancing a ring-around in glee

From furrow to furrow, while overhead

The foam flies up to be garlanded,

In silvery arches spanning the air,

Saw you my true love anywhere?

Welladay! Welladay!

For the winds of May!

Love is unhappy when love is away!


Bright cap and streamers,

He sings in the hollow:

Come follow, come follow,

All you that love.

Leave dreams to the dreamers

That will not after,

That song and laughter

Do nothing move.

With ribbons streaming

He sings the bolder;

In troop at his shoulder

The wild bees hum.

And the time of dreaming

Dreams is over —

As lover to lover,

Sweetheart, I come.


Bid adieu, adieu, adieu,

Bid adieu to girlish days,

Happy Love is come to woo

Thee and woo thy girlish ways —

The zone that doth become thee fair,

The snood upon thy yellow hair,

When thou hast heard his name upon

The bugles of the cherubim

Begin thou softly to unzone

Thy girlish bosom unto him

And softly to undo the snood

That is the sign of maidenhood.


What counsel has the hooded moon

Put in thy heart, my shyly sweet,

Of Love in ancient plenilune,

Glory and stars beneath his feet —

A sage that is but kith and kin

With the comedian Capuchin?

Believe me rather that am wise

In disregard of the divine,

A glory kindles in those eyes

Trembles to starlight. Mine, O Mine!

No more be tears in moon or mist

For thee, sweet sentimentalist.


Go seek her out all courteously,

And say I come,

Wind of spices whose song is ever


O, hurry over the dark lands

And run upon the sea

For seas and lands shall not divide us

My love and me.

Now, wind, of your good courtesy

I pray you go,

And come into her little garden

And sing at her window;

Singing: The bridal wind is blowing

For Love is at his noon;

And soon will your true love be with you,

Soon, O soon.


My dove, my beautiful one,

Arise, arise!

The night-dew lies

Upon my lips and eyes.

The odorous winds are weaving

A music of sighs:

Arise, arise,

My dove, my beautiful one!

I wait by the cedar tree,

My sister, my love,

White breast of the dove,

My breast shall be your bed.

The pale dew lies

Like a veil on my head.

My fair one, my fair dove,

Arise, arise!


From dewy dreams, my soul, arise,

From love's deep slumber and from death,

For lo! the trees are full of sighs

Whose leaves the morn admonisheth.

Eastward the gradual dawn prevails

Where softly-burning fires appear,

Making to tremble all those veils

Of grey and golden gossamer.

While sweetly, gently, secretly,

The flowery bells of morn are stirred

And the wise choirs of faery

Begin (innumerous!) to be heard.


O cool is the valley now

And there, love, will we go

For many a choir is singing now

Where Love did sometime go.

And hear you not the thrushes calling,

Calling us away?

O cool and pleasant is the valley

And there, love, will we stay.


Because your voice was at my side

I gave him pain,

Because within my hand I held

Your hand again.

There is no word nor any sign

Can make amend —

He is a stranger to me now

Who was my friend.


O Sweetheart, hear you

Your lover's tale;

A man shall have sorrow

When friends him fail.

For he shall know then

Friends be untrue

And a little ashes

Their words come to.

But one unto him

Will softly move

And softly woo him

In ways of love.

His hand is under

Her smooth round breast;

So he who has sorrow

Shall have rest.


Be not sad because all men

Prefer a lying clamour before you:

Sweetheart, be at peace again —

Can they dishonour you?

They are sadder than all tears;

Their lives ascend as a continual sigh.

Proudly answer to their tears:

As they deny, deny.


In the dark pine-wood

I would we lay,

In deep cool shadow

At noon of day.

How sweet to lie there,

Sweet to kiss,

Where the great pine-forest

Enaisled is!

Thy kiss descending

Sweeter were

With a soft tumult

Of thy hair.

O unto the pine-wood

At noon of day

Come with me now,

Sweet love, away.


He who hath glory lost, nor hath

Found any soul to fellow his,

Among his foes in scorn and wrath

Holding to ancient nobleness,

That high unconsortable one —

His love is his companion.


Of that so sweet imprisonment

My soul, dearest, is fain —

Soft arms that woo me to relent

And woo me to detain.

Ah, could they ever hold me there

Gladly were I a prisoner!

Dearest, through interwoven arms

By love made tremulous,

That night allures me where alarms

Nowise may trouble us;

But sleep to dreamier sleep be wed

Where soul with soul lies prisoned.


This heart that flutters near my heart

My hope and all my riches is,

Unhappy when we draw apart

And happy between kiss and kiss:

My hope and all my riches — yes! —

And all my happiness.

For there, as in some mossy nest

The wrens will divers treasures keep,

I laid those treasures I possessed

Ere that mine eyes had learned to weep.

Shall we not be as wise as they

Though love live but a day?


Silently she's combing,

Combing her long hair

Silently and graciously,

With many a pretty air.

The sun is in the willow leaves

And on the dapplled grass,

And still she's combing her long hair

Before the looking-glass.

I pray you, cease to comb out,

Comb out your long hair,

For I have heard of witchery

Under a pretty air,

That makes as one thing to the lover

Staying and going hence,

All fair, with many a pretty air

And many a negligence.


Lightly come or lightly go:

Though thy heart presage thee woe,

Vales and many a wasted sun,

Oread let thy laughter run,

Till the irreverent mountain air

Ripple all thy flying hair.

Lightly, lightly — ever so:

Clouds that wrap the vales below

At the hour of evenstar

Lowliest attendants are;

Love and laughter song-confessed

When the heart is heaviest.


Thou leanest to the shell of night,

Dear lady, a divining ear.

In that soft choiring of delight

What sound hath made thy heart to fear?

Seemed it of rivers rushing forth

From the grey deserts of the north?

That mood of thine

Is his, if thou but scan it well,

Who a mad tale bequeaths to us

At ghosting hour conjurable —

And all for some strange name he read

In Purchas or in Holinshed.


Though I thy Mithridates were,

Framed to defy the poison-dart,

Yet must thou fold me unaware

To know the rapture of thy heart,

And I but render and confess

The malice of thy tenderness.

For elegant and antique phrase,

Dearest, my lips wax all too wise;

Nor have I known a love whose praise

Our piping poets solemnize,

Neither a love where may not be

Ever so little falsity.


Gentle lady, do not sing

Sad songs about the end of love;

Lay aside sadness and sing

How love that passes is enough.

Sing about the long deep sleep

Of lovers that are dead, and how

In the grave all love shall sleep:

Love is aweary now.


Dear heart, why will you use me so?

Dear eyes that gently me upbraid,

Still are you beautiful — but O,

How is your beauty raimented!

Through the clear mirror of your eyes,

Through the soft sigh of kiss to kiss,

Desolate winds assail with cries

The shadowy garden where love is.

And soon shall love dissolved be

When over us the wild winds blow —

But you, dear love, too dear to me,

Alas! why will you use me so?


Love came to us in time gone by

When one at twilight shyly played

And one in fear was standing nigh —

For Love at first is all afraid.

We were grave lovers. Love is past

That had his sweet hours many a one;

Welcome to us now at the last

The ways that we shall go upon.


O, it was out by Donnycarney

When the bat flew from tree to tree

My love and I did walk together;

And sweet were the words she said to me.

Along with us the summer wind

Went murmuring — O, happily! —

But softer than the breath of summer

Was the kiss she gave to me.


Rain has fallen all the day.

O come among the laden trees:

The leaves lie thick upon the way

Of memories.

Staying a little by the way

Of memories shall we depart.

Come, my beloved, where I may

Speak to your heart.


Now, O now, in this brown land

Where Love did so sweet music make

We two shall wander, hand in hand,

Forbearing for old friendship' sake,

Nor grieve because our love was gay

Which now is ended in this way.

A rogue in red and yellow dress

Is knocking, knocking at the tree;

And all around our loneliness

The wind is whistling merrily.

The leaves — they do not sigh at all

When the year takes them in the fall.

Now, O now, we hear no more

The vilanelle and roundelay!

Yet will we kiss, sweetheart, before

We take sad leave at close of day.

Grieve not, sweetheart, for anything —

The year, the year is gathering.


Sleep now, O sleep now,

O you unquiet heart!

A voice crying "Sleep now"

Is heard in my heart.

The voice of the winter

Is heard at the door.

O sleep, for the winter

Is crying "Sleep no more."

My kiss will give peace now

And quiet to your heart —

Sleep on in peace now,

O you unquiet heart!


All day I hear the noise of waters

Making moan,

Sad as the sea-bird is when, going

Forth alone,

He hears the winds cry to the water's


The grey winds, the cold winds are blowing

Where I go.

I hear the noise of many waters

Far below.

All day, all night, I hear them flowing

To and fro.


I hear an army charging upon the land,

And the thunder of horses plunging, foam about their knees:

Arrogant, in black armour, behind them stand,

Disdaining the reins, with fluttering ships, the charioteers.

They cry unto the night their battle-name:

I moan in sleep when I hear afar their whirling laughter.

They cleave the gloom of dreams, a blinding flame,

Clanging, clanging upon the heart as upon an anvil.

They come shaking in triumph their long, green hair:

They come out of the sea and run shouting by the shore.

My heart, have you no wisdom thus to despair?

My love, my love, my love, why have you left me alone?

This web edition published by:

The University of Adelaide Library
University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005