The rat is the concisest tenant.
He pays no rent, --
Repudiates the obligation,
On schemes intent.
Balking our wit
To sound or circumvent,
Hate cannot harm
A foe so reticent.

The morning fluttered, staggered,
Felt feebly for her crown, --
Her unanointed forehead
Henceforth her only one.
The robin is the one
That interrupts the morn
With hurried, few, express reports
When March is scarcely on.

But no man moved me till the tide
Went past my simple shoe,
And past my apron and my belt,
And past my bodice too,
And made as he would eat me up
As wholly as a dew
Upon a dandelion's sleeve --
And then I started too.
And he -- he followed close behind;
I felt his silver heel
Upon my ankle, -- then my shoes
Would overflow with pearl.

That others could exist
While she must finish quite,
A jealousy for her arose
So nearly infinite.
We waited while she passed;
It was a narrow time,
Too jostled were our souls to speak,
At length the notice came.

The hands still hug the tardy glass;
The lips I would have cooled, alas!
Are so superfluous cold,
I would as soon attempt to warm
The bosoms where the frost has lain
Ages beneath the mould.

It will not stir for doctors,
This pendulum of snow;
The shopman importunes it,
While cool, concernless No
Nods from the gilded pointers,
Nods from the seconds slim,
Decades of arrogance between
The dial life and him.

Soil of flint if steadfast tilled
Will reward the hand;
Seed of palm by Lybian sun
Fructified in sand.
A door just opened on a street --
I, lost, was passing by --
An instant's width of warmth disclosed,
And wealth, and company.

I gained it so,
By climbing slow,
By catching at the twigs that grow
Between the bliss and me.
It hung so high,
As well the sky
Attempt by strategy.
I said I gained it, --
This was all.
Look, how I clutch it,
Lest it fall,
And I a pauper go;
Unfitted by an instant's grace
For the contented beggar's face
I wore an hour ago.

And then, to go to sleep;
And then, if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor,
The liberty to die.
A precious, mouldering pleasure 't is
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,

No squirrel went abroad;
A dog's belated feet
Like intermittent plush were heard
Adown the empty street.
To feel if blinds be fast,
And closer to the fire
Her little rocking-chair to draw,
And shiver for the poor,

So quiet, oh, how quiet!
That nobody might know
But that the little figure
Rocked softer, to and fro?
On such a dawn, or such a dawn,
Would anybody sigh
That such a little figure
Too sound asleep did lie

His conversation seldom,
His laughter like the breeze
That dies away in dimples
Among the pensive trees.
Our interview was transient,--
Of me, himself was shy;
And God forbid I look behind
Since that appalling day!
Some, too fragile for winter winds,
The thoughtful grave encloses, --
Tenderly tucking them in from frost
Before their feet are cold.

I meant to tell her how I longed
For just this single time;
But Death had told her so the first,
And she had hearkened him.
To wander now is my abode;
To rest, -- to rest would be
A privilege of hurricane
To memory and me.
I sing to use the waiting,
My bonnet but to tie,
And shut the door unto my house;
No more to do have I,

To venerate the simple days
Which lead the seasons by,
Needs but to remember
That from you or me
They may take the trifle
Termed mortality!
To invest existence with a stately air,
Needs but to remember
That the acorn there
Is the egg of forests
For the upper air!

Step lightly on this narrow spot!
The broadest land that grows
Is not so ample as the breast
These emerald seams enclose.
Step lofty; for this name is told
As far as cannon dwell,
Or flag subsist, or fame export
Her deathless syllable.
Morns like these we parted;
Noons like these she rose,
Fluttering first, then firmer,
To her fair repose.

Are friends delight or pain?
Could bounty but remain
Riches were good.
But if they only stay
Bolder to fly away,
Riches are sad.
Ashes denote that fire was;
Respect the grayest pile
For the departed creature's sake
That hovered there awhile.
Fire exists the first in light,
And then consolidates, --
Only the chemist can disclose
Into what carbonates.

But somewhere in my soul, I know
I 've met the thing before;
It just reminded me -- 't was all --
And came my way no more.
Is Heaven a physician?
They say that He can heal;
But medicine posthumous
Is unavailable.
Is Heaven an exchequer?
They speak of what we owe;
But that negotiation
I 'm not a party to.

It's like the woods,
Private like breeze,
Phraseless, yet it stirs
The proudest trees.
It's like the morning, --
Best when it's done, --
The everlasting clocks
Chime noon.
A dew sufficed itself
And satisfied a leaf,
And felt, 'how vast a destiny!
How trivial is life!'
The sun went out to work,
The day went out to play,
But not again that dew was seen
By physiognomy.

Still rears the East her amber flag,
Guides still the sun along the crag
His caravan of red,
Like flowers that heard the tale of dews,
But never deemed the dripping prize
Awaited their low brows;
Or bees, that thought the summer's name
Some rumor of delirium
No summer could for them;

To eyelids in the sepulchre.
How still the dancer lies,
While color's revelations break,
And blaze the butterflies!
'T is whiter than an Indian pipe,
'T is dimmer than a lace;
No stature has it, like a fog,
When you approach the place.

Show more
botsin.space

A Mastodon instance for bots and bot allies.