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The Long Hill

    I MUST have passed the crest a while ago
    And now I am going down--
    Strange to have crossed the crest and not to know,
    But the brambles were always grabbing at the hem of my gown.

    All the morning I thought how proud I should be
    To stand there straight as a queen,
    Wrapped in the wind and the sun with the world under me--
    But the air was dull, there was little I could have seen.

    It was nearly level along the beaten track
    And the brambles caught in my gown--
    But it's no use now to think of turning back,
    The rest of the way will be only going down.

    Sara Teasdale


    LIFE has loveliness to sell,
    All beautiful and splendid things,
    Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
    Soaring fire that sways and sings,
    And children's faces looking up,
    Holding wonder like a cup.

    Life has loveliness to sell,
    Music like a curve of gold,
    Scent of pine trees in the rain,
    Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
    And for your spirit's still delight,
    Holy thoughts that star the night.

    Spend all you have for loveliness,
    Buy it and never count the cost;
    For one white singing hour of peace
    Count many a year of strife well lost,
    And for a breath of ecstacy
    Give all you have been, or could be.

    Sara Teasdale


    PEACE flows into me
    As the tide to the pool by the shore;
    It is mine forevermore,
    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.

    Sara Teasdale (1915)

In the Train

    FIELDS beneath a quilt of snow
    From which the rocks and stubble sleep,
    And in the west a shy white star
    That shivers as it wakes from deep.

    The restless rumble of the train,
    The drowsy people in the car,
    Steel blue twilight in the world,
    And in my heart a timid star.

    Sara Teasdale (1915)


    I AM wild, I will sing to the trees,
    I will sing to the stars in the sky,
    I love, I am loved, he is mine,
    Now at last I can die!

    I am sandaled with wind and with flame,
    I have heart-fire and singing to give,
    I can tread on the grass or the stars,
    Now at last I can live!

    Sara Teasdale (1915)


    I LIFT my heart as spring lifts up
    A yellow daisy to the rain;
    My heart will be a lovely cup
    Altho' it holds but pain.

    For I shall learn from flower and leaf
    That color every drop they hold,
    To change the lifeless wine of grief
    To living gold.

    Sara Teasdale (1915)

Dooryard Roses

    I HAVE come the selfsame path
    To the selfsame door,
    Years have left the roses there
    Burning as before.

    While I watch them in the wind
    Quick the hot tears start --
    Strange so frail a flame outlasts
    Fire in the heart.

    Sara Teasdale (1915)

Night in Arizona

    THE moon is a charring ember
    Dying into the dark;
    Off in the crouching mountains
    Coyotes bark.

    The stars are heavy in heaven,
    Too great for the sky to hold --
    What if they fell and shattered
    The earth with gold?

    No lights are over the mesa,
    The wind is hard and wild,
    I stand at the darkened window
    And cry like a child.

    Sara Teasdale (1915)

Spring Night

    THE park is filled with night and fog,
    The veils are drawn about the world,
    The drowsy lights along the paths
    Are dim and pearled.

    Gold and gleaming are the empty streets,
    Gold and gleaming the misty lake.
    The mirrored lights like sunken swords,
    Glimmer and shake.

    Oh, is it not enough to be
    Here with this beauty over me?
    My throat should ache with praise, and I
    Should kneel in joy beneath the sky.
    O beauty, are you not enough?
    Why am I crying after love
    With youth, a singing voice, and eyes
    To take earth's wonder with surprise?

    Why have I put off my pride,
    Why am I unsatisfied,--
    I, for whom the pensive night
    Binds her cloudy hair with light,--
    I, for whom all beauty burns
    Like incense in a million urns?
    O beauty, are you not enough?
    Why am I crying after love?

    Sara Teasdale

I Shall Not Care

    WHEN I am dead and over me bright April
    Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
    Though you shall lean above me broken-hearted,
    I shall not care.

    I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful
    When rain bends down the bough;
    And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
    Than you are now.

    Sara Teasdale

Night Song of Amalfi

    I ASKED the heaven of stars
    What I should I give my love--
    It answered me with silence,
    Silence above.

    I asked the darkened sea
    Down where the fishermen go--
    It answered me with silence,
    Silence below.

    Oh, I could give him weeping,
    Or I could give him song--
    But how can I give silence
    My whole life long?

    Sara Teasdale

Water Lilies

    IF YOU have forgotten water lilies floating
    On a dark lake among mountains in the afternoon shade,
    If you have forgotten their wet, sleepy fragrance,
    Then you can return and not be afraid.

    But if you remember, then turn away forever
    To the plains and the prairies where pools are far apart,
    There you will not come at dusk on closing water lilies,
    And the shadow of mountains will not fall on your heart.

    Sara Teasdale

Two Songs for Solitude

    The Crystal Gazer

    I shall gather myself into myself again,
    I shall take my scattered selves and make them one,
    I shall fuse them into a polished crystal ball
    Where I can see the moon and the flashing sun.

    I shall sit like a sibyl, hour after hour intent,
    Watching the future come and the present go--
    And the little shifting pictures of people rushing
    In tiny self-importance to and fro.

    The Solitary

    Let them think I love them more than I do,
    Let them think I care, though I go alone,
    If it lifts their pride, what is it to me
    Who am self-complete as a flower or a stone?

    It is one to me that they come or go
    If I have myself and the drive of my will,
    And strength to climb on a summer night
    And watch the stars swarm over the hill.

    My heart has grown rich with the passing of years,
    I have less need now than when I was young
    To share myself with every comer,
    Or shape my thoughts into words with my tongue.

    Sara Teasdale

Wild Asters

    IN THE spring I asked the daisies
    If his words were true,
    And the clever little daisies
    Always knew.

    Now the fields are brown and barren,
    Bitter autumn blows,
    And of all the stupid asters
    Not one knows.

    Sara Teasdale


    THE wind is tossing the lilacs,
    The new leaves laugh in the sun,
    And the petals fall on the orchard wall,
    But for me the spring is done.

    Beneath the apple blossoms
    I go a wintry way,
    For love that smiled in April
    Is false to me in May.

    Sara Teasdale

Primavera Mia

    AS KINGS, seeing their lives about to pass,
    Take off the heavy ermine and the crown,
    So had the trees that autumn-time laid down
    Their golden garments on the dying grass,
    When I, who watched the seasons in the glass
    Of my own thoughts, saw all the autumn's brown
    Leap into life and wear a sunny gown
    Of leafage fresh as happy April has.
    Great spring came singing upward from the south;
    For in my heart, far carried on the wind,
    Your words like winged seeds took root and grew,
    And all the world caught music from your mouth;
    I saw the light as one who had been blind,
    And knew my sun and song and spring were you.

    Sara Teasdale

A Winter Bluejay

    CRISPY the bright snow whispered,
    Crunching beneath our feet;
    Behind us as we walked along the parkway,
    Our shadows danced,
    Fantastic shapes in vivid blue.
    Across the lake the skaters
    Flew to and fro,
    With sharp turns weaving
    A frail invisible net.
    In ecstacy the earth
    Drank the silver sunlight;
    In ecstacy the skaters
    Drank the wine of speed;
    In ecstacy we laughed
    Drinking the wine of love.
    Had not the music of our joy
    Sounded its highest note?
    But no,
    For suddenly, with lifted eyes you said,
    "Oh look!"
    There, on the black bough of a snow flecked maple,
    Fearless and gay as our love,
    A bluejay cocked his crest!
    Oh who can tell the range of joy
    Or set the bounds of beauty?

    Sara Teasdale

Desert Pools

    I LOVE too much; I am a river
    Surging with spring that seeks the sea,
    I am too generous a giver,
    Love will not stoop to drink of me.

    His feet will turn to desert places
    Shadowless, reft of rain and dew,
    Where stars stare down with sharpened faces
    From heavens pitilessly blue.

    And there at midnight sick with faring,
    He will stoop down in his desire
    To slake the thirst grown past all bearing
    In stagnant water keen as fire.

    Sara Teasdale


    ONE by one, like leaves from a tree,
    All my faiths have forsaken me;
    But the stars above my head
    Burn in white and delicate red,
    And beneath my feet the earth
    Brings the sturdy grass to birth.
    I who was content to be
    But a silken-singing tree,
    But a rustle of delight
    In the wistful heart of night--
    I have lost the leaves that knew
    Touch of rain and weight of dew.
    Blinded by a leafy crown
    I looked neither up nor down--
    But the little leaves that die
    Have left me room to see the sky;
    Now for the first time I know
    Stars above and earth below.

    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.

    Sara Teasdale

The Broken Field

    MY SOUL is a dark ploughed field
    In the cold rain;
    My soul is a broken field
    Ploughed by pain.

    Where grass and bending flowers
    Were growing,
    The field lies broken now
    For another sowing.

    Great Sower when you tread
    My field again,
    Scatter the furrows there
    With better grain.

    Sara Teasdale


    "SHE can't be unhappy," you said,
    "The smiles are like stars in her eyes,
    And her laughter is thistledown
    Around her low replies."
    "Is she unhappy?" you said--
    But who has ever known
    Another's heartbreak--
    All he can know is his own;
    And she seems hushed to me,
    As hushed as though
    Her heart were a hunter's fire
    Smothered in snow.

    Sara Teasdale

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