Sonnet

The Cross of Snow

In the long, sleepless watches of the night,
A gentle face — the face of one long dead —
Looks at me from the wall, where round its head
The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light.
Here in this room she died; and soul more white
Never through martyrdom of fire was led
To its repose; nor can in books be read
The legend of a life more benedight.

Astrophil and Stella 63: O Grammar rules, O now your virtues showAstrophil and Stella 63: O Grammar rules, O now your virtues show

O Grammar rules, O now your virtues show;
So children still read you with awful eyes,
As my young Dove may in your precepts wise
Her grant to me, by her own virtue know.
For late with heart most high, with eyes most low,
I crav’ d the thing which ever she denies:
She lightning Love, displaying Venus’ skies,
Least once should not be heard, twice said, No, No.
Sing then my Muse, now Io Pæan sing,

“What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why”

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,

Carrion Comfort

Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

Modern Love: I

By this he knew she wept with waking eyes:
That, at his hand's light quiver by her head,
The strange low sobs that shook their common bed
Were called into her with a sharp surprise,
And strangled mute, like little gaping snakes,
Dreadfully venomous to him. She lay
Stone-still, and the long darkness flowed away
With muffled pulses. Then, as midnight makes
Her giant heart of Memory and Tears
Drink the pale drug of silence, and so beat
Sleep's heavy measure, they from head to feet

Hall of Records

There’ s a clever thing, stabs at her hand
on every corner now, revising the screed.
Watch her huff at the tiny screens that send
her chimpish copy up the line, to speed
the raising of the giddy, pixelled hall:
cornerless, mirror-tiled, the gorging sphere
a fast-receding shell enclosing all
we say or see, never to disappear,
bigger with each second, and the next,
its facets auto-replicant, until
the Record of  what was — each fingered text
and pic, the starry shards the hours distill —

What to Say Upon Being Asked to Be Friends

Why speak of hate, when I do bleed for love?
Not hate, my love, but Love doth bite my tongue
Till I taste stuff that makes my rhyming rough
So flatter I my fever for the one
For whom I inly mourn, though seem to shun.
A rose is arrows is eros, so what
If I confuse the shade that I’ ve become
With winedark substance in a lover’ s cup?
But stop my tonguely wound, I’ ve bled enough.
If I be fair, or false, or freaked with fear
If I my tongue in lockèd box immure
Blame not me, for I am sick with love.

Fruit Don’t Fall Far

From Daddy sprung my inborn ribaldry.
His crudeness destined me to be the same.
A seedlet, flowered from a shitty heap,
I came, the crowning glory of his aim.

From Mother I inherited ennui,
The leg irons of the queendom I once rattled.
But I won’ t let such chains imprison me.
And there is just no telling what this brat’ ll...!

This marriage thing? We snub our nose at it.
What’ s pearl turns piss, what’ s classy breeds what’ s smutty.
But like it? Lump it? Neither’ s exigent.
And I’ m the end result of all that fucking.

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