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 .Roses Can Wound

    ROSES can wound,
    But not from having thorns they do most harm;
    Often the night gives, starry-sheen or moon'd,
    Deep in the soul alarm.
    And it hath been deep within my heart like fear,
    Girl, when you are near.

    The mist of sense,
    Wherein the soul goes shielded, can divide,
    And she must cringe and be ashamed, and wince,
    Not in appearance hide
    Of rose or girl from the blazing mastery
    Of bared Eternity.

    Lascelles Abercrombie

 ."All Last Night . . ."

    ALL last night I had quiet
    In a fragrant dream and warm:
    She became my Sabbath,
    And round my neck, her arm.

    I knew the warmth in my dreaming;
    The fragrance, I suppose,
    Was her hair about me,
    Or else she wore a rose.

    Her hair I think; for likest
    Woodruffe 'twas, when Spring
    Loitering down the wet woodways
    Treads it sauntering.

    No light, nor any speaking;
    Fragrant only and warm.
    Enough to know my lodging,
    The white Sabbath of her arm.

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 .Hope and Despair

SAID God, "You sisters, ere ye go
Down among men, my work to do,
I will on each a badge bestow:
Hope I love best, and gold for her,
Yet a silver glory for Despair,
For she is my angel too."

Then like a queen, Despair
Put on the stars to wear.
But Hope took ears of corn, and round
Her temples in a wreath them bound.--
Which think ye lookt the more fair?

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 .Hymn to Love

WE ARE thine, O Love, being in thee and made of thee,
As thou, Love, were the deep thought
And we the speech of the thought; yea, spoken are we,
Thy fires of thought out-spoken:

But burn'd not through us thy imagining
Like fierce mood in a song caught,
We were as clamour'd words a fool may fling,
Loose words, of meaning broken.

For what more like the brainless speech of a fool,--
The lives travelling dark fears,
And as a boy throws pebbles in a pool
Thrown down abysmal places?

Hazardous are the stars, yet is our birth
And our journeying time theirs;
As words of air, life makes of starry earth
Sweet soul-delighted faces;

As voices are we in the worldly wind;
The great wind of the world's fate
Is turned, as air to a shapen sound, to mind
And marvellous desires.

But not in the world as voices storm-shatter'd,
Not borne down by the wind's weight;
The rushing time rings with our splendid word
Like darkness filled with fires.

For Love doth use us for a sound of song,
And Love's meaning our life wields,
Making our souls like syllables to throng
His tunes of exultation.

Down the blind speed of a fatal world we fly,
As rain blown along earth's fields;
Yet are we god-desiring liturgy,
Sung joys of adoration;

Yea, made of chance and all a labouring strife,
We go charged with a strong flame;
For as a language Love hath seized on life
His burning heart to story.

Yea, Love, we are thine, the liturgy of thee.
Thy thought's golden and glad name,
The mortal conscience of immortal glee,
Love's zeal in Love's own glory.

Lascelles Abercrombie

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