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Seven Poems and a Fragment   By: (1865-1939)

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First Page:






All Souls' Night Page 1

Suggested by a Picture of a Black Centaur 6

Thoughts upon the Present State of the World 7

The New Faces 14

A Prayer for My Son 14

Cuchulain the Girl and the Fool 16

The Wheel 18

A New End for 'The King's Threshold' 18


Note on 'Thoughts Upon the Present State of the World' Section Six 23

Note on The New End to 'The King's Threshold' 24



'Tis All Souls' Night and the great Christ Church bell, And many a lesser bell, sound through the room, For it is now midnight; And two long glasses brimmed with muscatel Bubble upon the table. A ghost may come, For it is a ghost's right, His element is so fine Being sharpened by his death, To drink from the wine breath While our gross palates drink from the whole wine.

I need some mind that, if the cannon sound From every quarter of the world, can stay Wound in mind's pondering, As mummies in the mummy cloth are wound; Because I have a marvellous thing to say, A certain marvellous thing None but the living mock, Though not for sober ear; It may be all that hear Should laugh and weep an hour upon the clock.

H 's the first I call. He loved strange thought And knew that sweet extremity of pride That's called platonic love, And that to such a pitch of passion wrought Nothing could bring him, when his lady died, Anodyne for his love. Words were but wasted breath; One dear hope had he: The inclemency Of that or the next winter would be death.

Two thoughts were so mixed up I could not tell Whether of her or God he thought the most, But think that his mind's eye, When upward turned, on one sole image fell, And that a slight companionable ghost, Wild with divinity, Had so lit up the whole Immense miraculous house, The Bible promised us, It seemed a gold fish swimming in a bowl.

On Florence Emery I call the next, Who finding the first wrinkles on a face Admired and beautiful, And knowing that the future would be vexed With 'minished beauty, multiplied commonplace, Preferred to teach a school, Away from neighbour or friend Among dark skins, and there Permit foul years to wear Hidden from eyesight to the unnoticed end.

Before that end much had she ravelled out From a discourse in figurative speech By some learned Indian On the soul's journey. How it is whirled about, Wherever the orbit of the moon can reach, Until it plunged into the sun; And there free and yet fast, Being both Chance and Choice, Forget its broken toys And sink into its own delight at last.

And I call up MacGregor from the grave, For in my first hard springtime we were friends, Although of late estranged. I thought him half a lunatic, half knave, And told him so, but friendship never ends; And what if mind seem changed, And it seem changed with the mind, When thoughts rise up unbid On generous things that he did And I grow half contented to be blind.

He had much industry at setting out, Much boisterous courage, before loneliness Had driven him crazed; For meditations upon unknown thought Make human intercourse grow less and less; They are neither paid nor praised. But he'd object to the host, The glass because my glass; A ghost lover he was And may have grown more arrogant being a ghost... Continue reading book >>

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