by Sara Teasdale
- AS dew leaves the cobweb lightly
- Threaded with stars,
- Scattering jewels on the fence
- And the pasture bars;
- As dawn leaves the dry grass bright
- And the tangled weeds
- Bearing a rainbow gem
- On each of their seeds;
- So has your love, my lover,
- Fresh as the dawn,
- Made me a shining road
- To travel on,
- Set every common sight
- Of tree or stone
- Delicately alight
- For me alone.
- THE moon is a curving flower of gold,
- The sky is still and blue;
- The moon was made for the sky to hold,
- And I for you.
- The moon is a flower without a stem,
- The sky is luminous;
- Eternity was made for them,
- To-night for us.
- WHEN the long day goes by
- And I do not see your face,
- The old wild, restless sorrow
- Steals from its hiding place.
- My day is barren and broken,
- Bereft of light and song,
- A sea beach bleak and windy
- That moans the whole day long.
- To the empty beach at ebb tide,
- Bare with its rocks and scars,
- Come back like the sea with singing,
- And light of a million stars.
- OH, because you never tried
- To bow my will or break my pride,
- And nothing of the cave-man made
- You want to keep me half afraid,
- Nor ever with a conquering air
- You thought to draw me unaware --
- Take me, for I love you more
- Than I ever loved before.
- And since the body's maidenhood
- Alone were neither rare nor good
- Unless with it I gave to you
- A spirit still untrammeled, too,
- Take my dreams and take my mind
- That were masterless as wind;
- And "Master!" I shall say to you
- Since you never asked me to.
The Tree of Song
- I SANG my songs for the rest,
- For you I am still;
- The tree of my song is bare
- On its shining hill.
- For you came like a lordly wind,
- And the leaves were whirled
- Far as forgotten things
- Past the rim of the world.
- The tree of my song stands bare
- Against the blue --
- I gave my songs to the rest,
- Myself to you.
- I SAW the sunset-colored sands,
- The Nile like flowing fire between,
- Where Rameses stares forth serene,
- And Ammon's heavy temple stands.
- I saw the rocks where long ago,
- Above the sea that cries and breaks,
- Swift Perseus with Medusa's snakes [Bright Perseus with Medusa's snakes]
- Set free the maiden white like snow.
- And many skies have covered me,
- And many winds have blown me forth,
- And I have loved the green, bright north,
- And I have loved the cold, sweet sea.
- But what to me are north and south,
- And what the lure of many lands,
- Since you have leaned to catch my hands
- And lay a kiss upon my mouth.
- IT is enough for me by day
- To walk the same bright earth with him;
- Enough that over us by night
- The same great roof of stars is dim.
- I do not hope to bind the wind [I have no care to bind the wind ]
- Or set a fetter on the sea --
- It is enough to feel his love
- Blow by like music over me.
- I HAVE no riches but my thoughts,
- Yet these are wealth enough for me;
- My thoughts of you are golden coins
- Stamped in the mint of memory;
- And I must spend them all in song,
- For thoughts, as well as gold, must be
- Left on the hither side of death
- To gain their immortality.
Dusk in War Time
- A HALF-HOUR more and you will lean
- To gather me close in the old sweet way --
- But oh, to the woman over the sea
- Who will come at the close of day?
- A half-hour more and I will hear
- The key in the latch and the strong, quick tread --
- But oh, the woman over the sea
- Waiting at dusk for one who is dead!
- PEACE flows into me
- As the tide to the pool by the shore;
- It is mine forevermore,
- It will not ebb like the sea. [It ebbs not back like the sea.]
- I am the pool of blue
- That worships the vivid sky;
- My hopes were heaven-high,
- They are all fulfilled in you.
- I am the pool of gold
- When sunset burns and dies --
- You are my deepening skies;
- Give me your stars to hold.
House of Dreams
- YOU took my empty dreams
- And filled them every one
- With tenderness and nobleness,
- April and the sun.
- The old empty dreams
- Where my thoughts would throng
- Are far too full of happiness
- To even hold a song.
- Oh, the empty dreams were dim
- And the empty dreams were wide,
- They were sweet and shadowy houses
- Where my thoughts could hide.
- But you took my dreams away
- And you made them all come true --
- My thoughts have no place now to play,
- And nothing now to do.
- WHEN we come home at night and close the door,
- Standing together in the shadowy room,
- Safe in our own love and the gentle gloom,
- Glad of familiar wall and chair and floor,
- Glad to leave far below the clanging city;
- Looking far downward to the glaring street
- Gaudy with light, yet tired with many feet,
- In both of us wells up a wordless pity;
- Men have tried hard to put away the dark;
- A million lighted windows brilliantly
- Inlay with squares of gold the winter night,
- But to us standing here there comes the stark
- Sense of the lives behind each yellow light,
- And not one wholly joyous, proud, or free.
- MY soul lives in my body's house,
- And you have both the house and her --
- But sometimes she is less your own
- Than a wild, gay adventurer;
- A restless and an eager wraith,
- How can I tell what she will do --
- Oh, I am sure of my body's faith,
- But what if my soul broke faith with you?
- I WENT out on an April morning
- All alone, for my heart was high,
- I was a child of the shining meadow,
- I was a sister of the sky.
- There in the windy flood of morning
- Longing lifted its weight from me,
- Lost as a sob in the midst of cheering,
- Swept as a sea-bird out to sea.
- WHEN I talk with other men
- I always think of you --
- Your words are keener than their words,
- And they are gentler, too.
- When I look at other men,
- I wish your face were there,
- With its gray eyes and dark skin
- And tossed black hair.
- When I think of other men,
- Dreaming alone by day,
- The thought of you like a strong wind
- Blows the dreams away.
- I SAID, "My youth is gone
- Like a fire beaten out by the rain,
- That will never sway and sing
- Or play with the wind again."
- I said, "It is no great sorrow
- That quenched my youth in me,
- But only little sorrows
- Beating ceaselessly."
- I thought my youth was gone,
- But you returned --
- Like a flame at the call of the wind
- It leaped and burned;
- Threw off its ashen cloak,
- And gowned anew
- Gave itself like a bride
- Once more to you.
- IF I can bear your love like a lamp before me,
- When I go down the long steep Road of Darkness,
- I shall not fear the everlasting shadows,
- Nor cry in terror.
- If I can find out God, then I shall find Him,
- If none can find Him, then I shall sleep soundly,
- Knowing how well on earth your love sufficed me,
- A lamp in darkness.
On to the next poem.