LOVE IN AUTUMN BY SARA TEASDALE

I HAVE LOVED HOURS AT SEA BY SARA TEASDALE

I sought among the drifting leaves,
The golden leaves that once were green,
To see if Love were hiding there
And peeping out between.

For thro the silver showers of May
And thro the summer’s heavy heat,
In vain I sought his golden head
And light, fast-flying feet.

Perhaps when all the world is bare
And cruel winter holds the land,
The Love that finds no place to hide
Will run and catch my hand.

I shall not care to have him then,
I shall be bitter and a-cold
It grows too late for frolicking
When all the world is old.

Then little hiding Love, come forth,
Come forth before the autumn goes,
And let us seek thro ruined paths
The garden’s last red rose.

YOUNG LOVE BY SARA TEASDALE

I HAVE LOVED HOURS AT SEA BY SARA TEASDALE

I

I cannot heed the words they say,
The lights grow far away and dim,
Amid the laughing men and maids
My eyes unbidden seek for him.

I hope that when he smiles at me
He does not guess my joy and pain,
For if he did, he is too kind
To ever look my way again.

II

I have a secret in my heart
No ears have ever heard,
And still it sings there day by day
Most like a caged bird.

And when it beats against the bars,
I do not set it free,
For I am happier to know
It only sings for me.

III

I wrote his name along the beach,
I love the letters so.
Far up it seemed and out of reach,
For still the tide was low.

But oh, the sea came creeping up,
And washed the name away,
And on the sand where it had been
A bit of sea-grass lay.

A bit of sea-grass on the sand,
Dropped from a mermaid’s hair,
Ah, had she come to kiss his name
And leave a token there?

IV

What am I that he should love me,
He who stands so far above me,
What am I?
I am like a cowslip turning
Toward the sky,
Where a planet’s golden burning
Breaks the cowslip’s heart with yearning,
What am I that he should love me,
What am I?

V

O dreams that flock about my sleep,
I pray you bring my love to me,
And let me think I hear his voice
Again ring free.

And if you care to please me well,
And live to-morrow in my mind,
Let him who was so cold before,
To-night seem kind.

VI

I plucked a daisy in the fields,
And there beneath the sun
I let its silver petals fall
One after one.

I said, “He loves me, loves me not,”
And oh, my heart beat fast,
The flower was kind, it let me say
“He loves me,” last.

I kissed the little leafless stem,
But oh, my poor heart knew
The words the flower had said to me,
They were not true.

VII

I sent my love a letter,
And if he loves me not,
He shall not find my love for him
In any line or dot.

But if he loves me truly,
He’ll find it hidden deep,
As dawn gleams red thro’ chilly clouds
To eyes awaked from sleep.

VIII

The world is cold and gray and wet,
And I am heavy-hearted, yet
When I am home and look to see
The place my letters wait for me,
If I should find one letter there,
I think I should not greatly care
If it were rainy or were fair,
For all the world would suddenly
Seem like a festival to me.

IX

I hid three words within my heart,
That longed to fly to him,
At dawn they woke me with a start,
They sang till day was dim.

And now at last I let them fly,
As little birds should do,
And he will know the first is “I”,
The others “Love” and “You”.

X

Across the twilight’s violet
His curtained window glimmers gold;
Oh happy light that round my love
Can fold.

Oh happy book within his hand,
Oh happy page he glorifies,
Oh happy little word beneath
His eyes.

But oh, thrice happy, happy I
Who love him more than songs can tell,
For in the heaven of his heart
I dwell.

LOVE SONGS BY SARA TEASDALE

I HAVE LOVED HOURS AT SEA BY SARA TEASDALE

I have remembered beauty in the night,
Against black silences I waked to see
A shower of sunlight over Italy
And green Ravello dreaming on her height;
I have remembered music in the dark,
The clean swift brightness of a fugue of Bach’s,
And running water singing on the rocks
When once in English woods I heard a lark.

But all remembered beauty is no more
Than a vague prelude to the thought of you.
You are the rarest soul I ever knew,
Lover of beauty, knightliest and best;
My thoughts seek you as waves that seek the shore,
And when I think of you, I am at rest.

HANS ZATZKA & ELLA WILCOX: ART AND CUPID

A Message from Cupid by Hans Zatzka
A Message from Cupid by Hans Zatzka

 

ART VERSUS CUPID

by: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

[A room in a private house. A maiden sitting before a fire meditating.]

MAIDEN

Now have I fully fixed upon my part.
Good-bye to dreams; for me a life of art!
Beloved art! Oh, realm serene and fair,
Above the mean and sordid world of care,
Above earth’s small ambitions and desires!
Art! art! the very word my soul inspires!
From foolish memories it sets me free.
Not what has been, but that which is to be
Absorbs me now. Adieu to vain regret!
The bow is tensely drawn – the target set.

[A knock at the door.]

MAID (Aloud)

Who knocks upon my door?

A VOICE OUTSIDE

‘Tis I, your fate!

MAID

Thou dost deceive, not me, but thine own self.
My fate is not a wandering, vagrant elf.
My fate is here, within this throbbing heart
That beats alone for glory, and for art.

[Another knock at door.]

VOICE

Pray, let me in; I am so faint and cold.
[Door is pushed ajar. Enter CUPID, who approaches the fire with outstretched hands.]

MAID (indignantly)

Methinks thou art not faint, however cold,
But rather too courageous, and most bold;
Surprisingly ill-mannered, sir, and rude,
Without an invitation to intrude
Into my very presence.

CUPID (warming his hands)

But, you see,
Girls never mind a little chap like me.
They’re always watching for me on the sly,
And hoping I will call.

MAID (haughtily)

Indeed, not I!
My heart has listened to a sweeter voice,
A clarion call that gives command – not choice.
And I have answered to that call, ‘I come’;
To other voices shall my ears be dumb.
To art alone I consecrate my life –
Art is my spouse, and I his willing wife.

CUPID (slowly, gazing in the grate)

Art is a sultan, and you must divide
His love with many another ill-fed bride.
Now I know one who worships you alone.

MAID (impatiently)

I will not listen! for the dice is thrown
And art has won me. On my brow some day
Shall rest the laurel wreath –

CUPID (sitting down and looking at MAID critically)

Just let me say
I think sweet orange blossoms under lace
Are better suited to your type of face.

MAID (ignoring interruption)

I yet shall stand before an audience
That listens as one mind, absorbed, intense,
And with my genius I shall rouse its cheers,
Still it to silence, soften it to tears,
Or wake its laughter. Oh, the play! the play!
The play’s the thing! My boy, THE PLAY!!

CUPID (suddenly clapping his hands)

Oh, say!
I know a splendid role for you to take,
And one that always keeps the house awake –
And calls for pretty dressing. Oh, it’s great!

MAID (excitedly)

Well, well, what is it? Wherefore make me wait?

CUPID (tapping his brow, thoughtfully)

How is it those lines run – oh, now I know;
You make a stately entrance – measured – slow –
To stirring music, then you kneel and say
Something about – to honour and obey –
For better and for worse – till death do part.

MAID (angrily)

Be still, you foolish boy; that is not ART.

CUPID (seriously)

She needs great skill who takes the role of wife
In God’s stupendous drama human life.

MAID (suddenly becoming serious)

So I once thought! Oh, once my very soul
Was filled and thrilled with dreaming of that role.
Life seemed so wonderful; it held for me
No purpose, no ambition, but to be
Loving and loved. My highest thought of fame
Was some day bearing my dear lover’s name.
Alone, I ofttimes uttered it aloud,
Or wrote it down, half timid, and all proud
To see myself lost utterly in him:
As some small star might joy in growing dim
When sinking in the sun; or as the dew,
Forgetting the brief little life it knew
In space, might on the ocean’s bosom fall
And ask for nothing – only to give all.

CUPID (aside)

Now, THAT’S the talk – it’s music to my ear
After that stuff on ‘art’ and a ‘career.’
I hope she’ll keep it up.

MAIDEN (continuing her reverie)

Again my dream
Shaped into changing pictures. I would seem
To see myself in beautiful array
Move down the aisle upon my wedding day;
And then I saw the modest living-room
With lighted lamp, and fragrant plants in bloom,
And books and sewing scattered all about,
And just we two alone.

CUPID (in glee aside)

There’s not a doubt
I’ll land her yet!

MAIDEN

My dream kaleidoscope
Changed still again, and framed love’s dearest hope –
The trinity of home; and life was good
And all its deepest meaning understood.

[Sits lost in a dream. Behind scenes a voice sings a lullaby, ‘Beautiful Land of Nod.’ CUPID in ecstasy tiptoes about and clasps his hands in delight.]

Another scene! a matron in her prime,
I saw myself glide peacefully with time
Into the quiet middle years, content
With simple joys the dear home circle lent.
My sons and daughters made my diadem;
I saw my happy youth renewed in them.
The pain of growing old lost all its sting,
For Love stood near – in Winter, as in Spring.

[CUPID tiptoes to door and makes a signal. MAIDEN starts up dramatically.]

‘Twas but a dream! I woke all suddenly.
The world had changed! And now life means to me
My art – the stage – excitement and the crowd –
The glare of many foot-lights – and the loud
Applause of men, as I cry in rage,
‘Give me the dagger!’ or creep down the stage
In that sleep-walking scene. Oh, art like mine
Will send the chills down every listener’s spine!
And when I choose, salt tears shall freely flow
As in the moonlight I cry, ‘Romeo! Romeo!
Oh, wherefore art thou, Romeo?’
Ay, ’tis done
My dream of home life.

CUPID

It is but begun.

MAIDEN

The heart but once can dream a dream so fair,
And so henceforth love thoughts I do forswear;
Since faith in love has crumbled to the dust,
In fame alone, I put my hope and trust.

[CUPID at the door beckons excitedly. Enter lover with outstretched arms.]

CUPID

Here’s one who will explain yourself to you
And make that old sweet dream of love come true.
Fix up your foolish quarrel; time is brief –
So waste no more of it in doubt or grief.

[The lovers meet and embrace.]

CUPID (in doorway)

Warm lip to lip, and heart to beating heart,
The cast is made – My Lady has her part.

CURTAIN

LOVE, TIME, AND WILL BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

LOVE, TIME, AND WILL BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

A soul immortal, Time, God everywhere,
Without, within -how can a heart despair,
Or talk of failure, obstacles, and doubt?
(What proofs of God? The little seeds that sprout,
Life, and the solar system, and their laws.
Nature? Ah, yes; but what was Nature’s cause?)

All mighty words are short: God, life, and death,
War, peace, and truth, are uttered in a breath.
And briefly said are love, and will, and time;
Yet in them lies a majesty sublime.

Love is the vast constructive power of space;
Time is the hour which calls it into place;
Will is the means of using time and love,
And bringing forth the heart’s desires thereof.

The way is love, the time is now, and will
The patient method. Let this knowledge fill
Thy consciousness, and fate and circumstance,
Environment, and all the ills of chance
Must yield before the concentrated might
Of those three words, as shadows yield to light.

Go, charge thyself with love; be infinite
And opulent with thy large use of it:
‘Tis from free sowing that full harvest springs;
Love God and life and all created things.

Learn time’s great value; to this mandate bow,
The hour of opportunity is Now,
And from thy will, as from a well-strung bow,
Let the swift arrows of thy wishes go.
Though sent into the distance and the dark,
The dawn shall prove thy arrows hit the mark.

HOW DOES LOVE SPEAK BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

HOW DOES LOVE SPEAK BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

How does Love speak?
In the faint flush upon the tell-tale cheek,
And in the pallor that succeeds it; by
The quivering lid of an averted eye –
The smile that proves the parent of a sigh:
Thus doth Love speak.

How does Love speak?
By the uneven heart-throbs, and the freak
Of bounding pulses that stand still and ache
While new emotions, like strange barges, make
Along vein-channels their disturbing course,
Still as the dawn, and with the dawn’s swift force:
Thus doth Love speak.

How does Love speak?
In the avoidance of that which we seek
The sudden silence and reserve when near;
The eye that glistens with an unshed tear;
The joy that seems the counterpart of fear,
As the alarmed heart leads in the breast,
And knows, and names, and greets its godlike guest:
Thus doth Love speak.

How does Love speak?
In the proud spirit suddenly grown meek,
The haughty heart grown humble; in the tender
And unnamed light that floods the world with splendour;
In the resemblance which the fond eyes trace
In all fair things to one beloved face;
In the shy touch of hands that thrill and tremble;
In looks and lips that can no more dissemble:
Thus doth Love speak.

How does Love speak?
In wild words that uttered seem so weak
They shrink ashamed to silence; in the fire
Glance strikes with glance, swift flashing high and higher,
Like lightnings that precede the mighty storm
In the deep, soulful stillness; in the warm,
Impassioned tide that sweeps thro’ throbbing veins,
Between the shores of keen delights and pains;
In the embrace where madness melts in bliss,
And in the convulsive rapture of a kiss:
Thus doth Love speak.

 

SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE XXXVIII BY ELIZABETH BROWNING

BY ELIZABETH BROWNING

First time he kissed me, he but only kissed
The fingers of this hand wherewith I write;
And ever since, it grew more clean and white.
Slow to world-greetings, quick with its “O, list,”
When the angels speak. A ring of amethyst
I could not wear here, plainer to my sight,
Than that first kiss. The second passed in height
The first, and sought the forehead, and half missed,
Half falling on the hair. O beyond meed!
That was the chrism of love, which love’s own crown,
With sanctifying sweetness, did precede
The third upon my lips was folded down
In perfect, purple state; since when, indeed,
I have been proud and said, “My love, my own.”

LOVE IS ENOUGH BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

LOVE IS ENOUGH BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

Love is enough. Let us not ask for gold.
Wealth breeds false aims, and pride, and selfishness;
In those serene, Arcadian days of old
Men gave no thought to princely homes and dress.
The gods who dwelt on fair Olympia’s height
Lived only for dear love and love’s delight.
Love is enough.

Love is enough. Why should we care for fame?
Ambition is a most unpleasant guest:
It lures us with the glory of a name
Far from the happy haunts of peace and rest.
Let us stay here in this secluded place
Made beautiful by love’s endearing grace!
Love is enough.

Love is enough. Why should we strive for power?
It brings men only envy and distrust.
The poor world’s homage pleases but an hour,
And earthly honours vanish in the dust.
The grandest lives are ofttimes desolate;
Let me be loved, and let who will be great.
Love is enough.

Love is enough. Why should we ask for more?
What greater gift have gods vouchsafed to men?
What better boon of all their precious store
Than our fond hearts that love and love again?
Old love may die; new love is just as sweet;
And life is fair and all the world complete:
Love is enough!

A MAIDEN BY SARA TEASDALE

I HAVE LOVED HOURS AT SEA BY SARA TEASDALE

Oh if I were the velvet rose
Upon the red rose vine,
I’d climb to touch his window
And make his casement fine.

And if I were the little bird
That twitters on the tree,
All day I’d sing my love for him
Till he should harken me.

But since I am a maiden
I go with downcast eyes,
And he will never hear the songs
That he has turned to sighs.

And since I am a maiden
My love will never know
That I could kiss him with a mouth
More red than roses blow.

ART AND HEART BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

ART AND HEART BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

Though critics may bow to art, and I am its own true lover,
It is not art, but heart, which wins the wide world over.

Though smooth be the heartless prayer, no ear in Heaven will mind it,
And the finest phrase falls dead if there is no feeling behind it.

Though perfect the player’s touch, little, if any, he sways us,
Unless we feel his heart throb through the music he plays us.

Though the poet may spend his life in skillfully rounding a measure,
Unless he writes from a full, warm heart he gives us little pleasure.

So it is not the speech which tells, but the impulse which goes with the saying;
And it is not the words of the prayer, but the yearning back of the praying.

It is not the artist’s skill which into our soul comes stealing
With a joy that is almost pain, but it is the player’s feeling.

And it is not the poet’s song, though sweeter than sweet bells chiming,
Which thrills us through and through, but the heart which beats under the rhyming.

And therefore I say again, though I am art’s own true lover,
That it is not art, but heart, which wins the wide world over.

LOVE’S COMING BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

LOVE'S COMING BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX
She had looked for his coming as warriors come,
With the clash of arms and the bugle’s call:
But he came instead with a stealthy tread,
Which she did not hear at all.

She had thought how his armor would blaze in the sun,
As he rode like a prince to claim his bride:
In the sweet dim light of the falling night
She found him at her side.

She had dreamed how the gaze of his strange, bold eye
Would wake her heart to a sudden glow:
She found in his face the familiar grace
Of a friend she used to know.

She had dreamed how his coming would stir her soul,
As the ocean is stirred by the wild storm’s strife:
He brought her the balm of a heavenly calm,
And a peace which crowned her life.

LOVE’S WAY BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

LOVE'S WAY BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

Love gives us copious potions of delight,
Of pain and ecstasy, and peace and care;
Love leads us upward, to the mountain height,
And, like an angel, stands beside us there;
Then thrusts us, demon-like, in some abyss:
Where, in the darkness of despair, we grope,
Till, suddenly, Love greets us with a kiss
And guides us back to flowery fields of hope.

Love makes all wisdom seem but poorest folly,
And yet the simplest mind with Love grows wise,
The gayest heart he teaches melancholy,
Yet glorifies the erstwhile brooding eyes.
Love lives on change, and yet at change Love mocks,
For Love’s whole life is one great paradox.

A WOMAN’S LOVE BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

A WOMAN'S LOVE BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

So vast the tide of love within me surging,
It overflows like some stupendous sea,
The confines of the Present and To-be;
And ‘gainst the Past’s high wall I feel it urging,
As it would cry, “Thou, too, shalt yield to me!”

All other loves my supreme love embodies;
I would be she on whose soft bosom nursed
Thy clinging infant lips to quench their thirst;
She who trod close to hidden worlds where God is,
That she might have, and hold, and see thee first.

I would be she who stirred the vague, fond fancies
Of thy still childish heart; who through bright days
Went sporting with thee in the old-time plays,
And caught the sunlight of thy boyish glances
In half-forgotten and long-buried Mays.

Forth to the end, and back to the beginning,
My love would send its inundating tide,
Wherein all landmarks of thy past should hide.
If thy life’s lesson MUST be learned through sinning,
My grieving virtue would become thy guide.

For I would share the burden of thy errors,
So when the sun of our brief life had set,
If thou didst walk in darkness and regret,
E’en in that shadowy world of nameless terrors,
My soul and thine should be companions yet.

And I would cross with thee those troubled oceans
Of dark remorse whose waters are despair:
All things my jealous, reckless love would dare,
So that thou mightst not recollect emotions
In which it did not have a part and share.

There is no limit to my love’s full measure,
It’s spirit-gold is shaped by earth’s alloy;
I would be friend and mother, mate and toy,
I’d have thee look to me for every pleasure,
And in me find all memories of joy.

Yet though I love thee in such selfish fashion,
I would wait on thee, sitting at thy feet,
And serving thee, if thou didst deem it meet.
And couldst thou give me one fond hour of passion,
I’d take that hour and call my life complete.

HOW DO I LOVE THEE BY ELIZABETH BROWNING

POETRY BY ELIZABETH BROWNING

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

I HAVE LOVED HOURS AT SEA BY SARA TEASDALE

I HAVE LOVED HOURS AT SEA BY SARA TEASDALE

I have loved hours at sea, gray cities,
The fragile secret of a flower,
Music, the making of a poem
That gave me heaven for an hour;

First stars above a snowy hill,
Voices of people kindly and wise,
And the great look of love, long hidden,
Found at last in meeting eyes.

I have loved much and been loved deeply,
Oh when my spirit’s fire burns low,
Leave me the darkness and the stillness,
I shall be tired and glad to go.