Hero-Worship

- 1874-1925
          A face seen passing in a crowded street,
           A voice heard singing music, large and free;
           And from that moment life is changed, and we
          Become of more heroic temper, meet
          To freely ask and give, a man complete
           Radiant because of faith, we dare to be
           What Nature meant us. Brave idolatry
          Which can conceive a hero! No deceit,
           No knowledge taught by unrelenting years,
           Can quench this fierce, untamable desire.
          We know that what we long for once achieved
           Will cease to satisfy. Be still our fears;
           If what we worship fail us, still the fire
          Burns on, and it is much to have believed.

Opal

You are ice and fire,
The touch of you burns my hands like snow.
You are cold and flame.
You are the crimson of amaryllis,
The silver of moon-touched magnolias.
When I am with you,
My heart is a frozen pond
Gleaming with agitated torches.

The Taxi

When I go away from you
The world beats dead 
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?

The Letter

Little cramped words scrawling all over the paper
Like draggled fly's legs,
What can you tell of the flaring moon
Through the oak leaves?
Or of my uncertain window and the bare floor
Spattered with moonlight?
Your silly quirks and twists have nothing in them
Of blossoming hawthorns,
And this paper is dull, crisp, smooth, virgin of loveliness
Beneath my hand.

I am tired, Beloved, of chafing my heart against
The want of you;
Of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it.
And I scald alone, here, under the fire
Of the great moon.