|WHEN I consider Life and its few years—|
|A wisp of fog betwixt us and the sun;|
|A call to battle, and the battle done|
|Ere the last echo dies within our ears;|
|A rose choked in the grass; an hour of fears;||5|
|The gusts that past a darkening shore do beat;|
|The burst of music down an unlistening street,—|
|I wonder at the idleness of tears.|
|Ye old, old dead, and ye of yesternight,|
|Chieftains, and bards, and keepers of the sheep,||10|
|By every cup of sorrow that you had,|
|Loose me from tears, and make me see aright|
|How each hath back what once he stayed to weep:|
|Homer his sight, David his little lad!|
I've just come upon this poet and am much impressed. I intend to look for and read more of her work.
Here is another, which I don't fully understand:
In Time of Grief
Dark, thinned, beside the wall of stone,
The box dripped in the air;
Its odor through my house was blown
Into the chamber there.
Remote and yet distinct the scent,
The sole thing of the kind,
As though one spoke a word half meant
That left a sting behind.
I knew not Grief would go from me,
And naught of it be plain,
Except how keen the box can be
After a fall of rain.
Readers, I admit my ignorance: Why does the box have a strong scent? How is the box related to the speaker's grief?
And yet it's a beautiful poem.
A Song for Candlemas
There’s never a rose upon the bush,
And never a bud on any tree;
In wood and field nor hint nor sign
Of one green thing for you or me.
Come in, come in, sweet love of mine,
And let the bitter weather be!
Coated with ice the garden wall;
The river reeds are stark and still;
The wind goes plunging to the sea,
And last week’s flakes the hollows fill.
Come in, come in, sweet love, to me,
And let the year blow as it will!