Life

I saw the candle brightly burning in the room! 
The fringed curtains gracefully draped back, 
The windows, crystal clear! 
Upon the generous hearth
Quick Wit and bubbling Laughter
    Flashed and danced
    Sparkled and pranced,
And music to the glowing scene lent cheer.
It was a gracious sight, 
So full of life, of love, of light! 

                                    Death 

Then suddenly I saw a cloud of gloom
Take form within the room:
A blue-grey mist obscured the window-panes
And silent fell the rout!
Then from the shadows came the Dreaded Shape,—
The candle flickered out!

Quest

My goal out-distances the utmost star, 
Yet is encompassed in my inmost Soul; 
I am my goal—my quest, to know myself. 
To chart and compass this unfathomed sea, 
Myself must plumb the boundless universe. 
My Soul contains all thought, all mystery, 
All wisdom of the Great Infinite Mind: 
This is to discover, I must voyage far, 
At last to find it in my pulsing heart. 

Together

O, come, Love, let us take a walk,
Down the Way-of-Life together;
Storms may come, but what care we,
If be fair or foul the weather.

When the sky overhead is blue,
Balmy, scented winds will after
Us, adown the valley blow
Haunting echoes of our laughter.

When Life’s storms upon us beat
Crushing us with fury, after
All is done, there’ll ringing come
Mocking echoes of our laughter.

So we’ll walk the Way-of-Life,
You and I, Love, both together,
Storm or sunshine, happy we
If be foul or fair the weather.

Related Poems

Life and Art

You have sweet flowers for your pleasure;
    You laugh with the bountiful earth
In its richness of summer treasure:
    Where now are your flowers and your mirth?
Petals and cadenced laughter,
    Each in a dying fall,
Droop out of life; and after
    Is nothing; they were all.

But we from the death of roses
    That three suns perfume and gild
With a kiss, till the fourth discloses
    A withered wreath, have distilled
The fulness of one rare phial,
    Whose nimble life shall outrun
The circling shadow on the dial,
    Outlast the tyrannous sun.

Flash

I am less of myself and more of the sun;
The beat of life is wearing me
To an incomplete oblivion,
Yet not to the certain dignity
Of death. They cannot even die
Who have not lived.

                                The hungry jaws
Of space snap at my unlearned eye,
And time tears in my flesh like claws.

If I am not life’s, if I am not death’s,
Out of chaos I must re-reap
The burden of untasted breaths.
Who has not waked may not yet sleep.

The Shroud

Death, I say, my heart is bowed
       Unto thine, O mother!
This red gown will make a shroud
       Good as any other.

(I, that would not wait to wear
       My own bridal things,
In a dress dark as my hair
       Made my answerings.

I, to-night, that till he came
       Could not, could not wait,
In a gown as bright as flame
       Held for them the gate.)

Death, I say, my heart is bowed
       Unto thine, O mother!
This red gown will make a shroud
       Good as any other.