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Last Poems   By: (1865-1904)

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This eBook was produced by Gordon Keener.

Last Poems Translations from the Book of Indian Love

Laurence Hope [Adela Florence Cory "Violet" Nicolson]

Dedication to Malcolm Nicolson

I, who of lighter love wrote many a verse, Made public never words inspired by thee, Lest strangers' lips should carelessly rehearse Things that were sacred and too dear to me.

Thy soul was noble; through these fifteen years Mine eyes familiar, found no fleck nor flaw, Stern to thyself, thy comrades' faults and fears Proved generously thine only law.

Small joy was I to thee; before we met Sorrow had left thee all too sad to save. Useless my love as vain as this regret That pours my hopeless life across thy grave.

L. H.

The Masters

Oh, Masters, you who rule the world, Will you not wait with me awhile, When swords are sheathed and sails are furled, And all the fields with harvest smile? I would not waste your time for long, I ask you but, when you are tired, To read how by the weak, the strong Are weighed and worshipped and desired.

When weary of the Mart, the Loom, The Withering house, the Riffle blocks, The Barrack square, the Engine room, The pick axe, ringing on the rocks, When tents are pitched and work is done, While restful twilight broods above, By fresh lit lamp, or dying sun, See in my songs how women love.

We shared your lonely watch by night, We knew you faithful at the helm, Our thoughts went with you through the fight, That saved a soul, or wrecked a realm Ah, how our hearts leapt forth to you, In pride and joy, when you prevailed, And when you died, serene and true: We wept in silence when you failed!

Oh, brain that did not gain the gold! Oh, arm, that could not wield the sword, Here is the love, that is not sold, Here are the hearts to hail you Lord!

You played and lost the game? What then? The rules are harsh and hard we know, You, still, Oh, brothers, are the men Whom we in secret reverence so. Your work was waste? Maybe your share Lay in the hour you laughed and kissed; Who knows but what your son shall wear The laurels that his father missed?

Ay, you who win, and you who lose, Whether you triumph, or despair, When your returning footsteps choose The homeward track, our love is there. For, since the world is ordered thus, To you the fame, the stress, the sword, We can but wait, until to us You give yourselves, for our reward.

To Whaler's deck and Coral beach, To lonely Ranch and Frontier Fort, Beyond the narrow bounds of speech I lay the cable of my thought. I fain would send my thanks to you, (Though who am I, to give you praise?) Since what you are, and work you do, Are lessons for our easier ways.

'Neath alien stars your camp fires glow, I know you not, your tents are far. My hope is but in song to show, How honoured and dear you are.

I Shall Forget

Although my life, which thou hast scarred and shaken, Retains awhile some influence of thee, As shells, by faithless waves long since forsaken, Still murmur with the music of the Sea,

I shall forget. Not thine the haunting beauty, Which, once beheld, for ever holds the heart, Or, if resigned from stress of Fate or Duty, Takes part of life away: the dearer part.

I gave thee love; thou gavest but Desire. Ah, the delusion of that summer night! Thy soul vibrated at the rate of Fire; Mine, with the rhythm of the waves of Light.

It is my love for thee that I regret, Not thee, thyself, and hence, I shall forget!

The Lament of Yasmini, the Dancing Girl

Ah, what hast thou done with that Lover of mine? The Lover who only cared for thee? Mine for a handful of nights, and thine For the Nights that Are and the Days to Be, The scent of the Champa lost its sweet So sweet is was in the Times that Were! Since His alone, of the numerous feet That climb my steps, have returned not there... Continue reading book >>

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