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Silverpoints   By: (1866-1934)

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Transcriber's note: In the original text all the verse titles and dedications are in regular type, while all the stanzas are italicized. I have not indicated these different styles in this online text.

SILVERPOINTS

BY

JOHN GRAY

LONDON M.DCCC.XC.III ELKIN MATHEWS AND JOHN LANE. AT THE SIGN OF THE BODLEY HEAD IN VIGO STREET

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

. . . EN COMPOSANT DES ACROSTICHES INDOLENTS P.V.

LES DEMOISELLES DE SAUVE

TO S. A. S. ALICE, PRINCESSE DE MONACO

Beautiful ladies through the orchard pass; Bend under crutched up branches, forked and low; Trailing their samet palls o'er dew drenched grass.

Pale blossoms, looking on proud Jacqueline, Blush to the colour of her finger tips, And rosy knuckles, laced with yellow lace.

High crested Berthe discerns, with slant, clinched eyes, Amid the leaves pink faces of the skies; She locks her plaintive hands Sainte Margot wise.

Ysabeau follows last, with languorous pace; Presses, voluptuous, to her bursting lips. With backward stoop, a bunch of eglantine.

Courtly ladies through the orchard pass; Bow low, as in lords' halls; and springtime grass Tangles a snare to catch the tapering toe.

HEART'S DEMESNE

TO PAUL VERLAINE

Listen, bright lady, thy deep Pansie eyes Made never answer when my eyes did pray, Than with those quaintest looks of blank surprise.

But my love longing has devised a way To mock thy living image, from thy hair To thy rose toes and keep thee by alway.

My garden's face is oh! so maidly fair, With limbs all tapering and with hues all fresh; Thine are the beauties all that flourish there.

Amaranth, fadeless, tells me of thy flesh. Briar rose knows thy cheek, the Pink thy pout. Bunched kisses dangle from the Woodbine mesh.

I love to loll, when Daisy stars peep out, And hear the music of my garden dell, Hollyhock's laughter and the Sunflowers shout.

And many whisper things I dare not tell.

SONG OF THE SEEDLING

TO ARTHUR SEWELL BUTT

Tell, little seedling, murmuring germ, Why are you joyful? What do you sing? Have you no fear of that crawling thing, Him that has so many legs? and the worm?

Rain drops patter above my head Drip, drip, drip. To moisten the mould where my roots are fed Sip, sip, sip. No thought have I of the legged thing. Of the worm no fear, When the goal is so near; Every moment my life has run, The livelong day I've not ceased to sing: I must reach the sun, the sun.

LADY EVELYN

I know no Name too sweet to tell of her, For Love's sweet Sake and Domination. She hath me all; her Spell hath Power to stir My Heart to every Lust, and spur me on. Love saith: 'tis even thus; her Will no Thrall, But Touchstone of thy Worth in Love's Armure; They only conquer in Love's Lists that fall, And Wounds renewed for Wounds are captain Cure. He doubly is inslaved that gilts his Chain, Saith Reason, chaffering for his Empire gone, Bestir, and root the Canker that hath ta'en Thy Breast for Bed, and feeds thy Heart upon.

I this: Sweet Love, an sweet an sour thou be, I know no Name too sweet to tell of thee.

COMPLAINT

TO FELIX FÉNÉON

Men, women, call thee so or so; I do not know. Thou hast no name For me, but in my heart aflame

Burns tireless, neath a silver vine. And round entwine Its purple girth All things of fragrance and of worth.

Thou shout! thou burst of light! thou throb Of pain! thou sob! Thou like a bar Of some sonata, heard from far

Through blue hue'd veils! When in these wise, To my soul's eyes, Thy shape appears, My aching hands are full of tears.

A HALTING SONNET

TO MISS ELLEN TERRY ON HER BIRTHDAY

It is not meet for one like me to praise A lady, princess, goddess, artist such; For great ones crane their foreheads to her touch, To change their splendours into crowns of bays. But poets never rhyme as they are bid; Nor never see their ft goal; but aspire, With straining eyes, to some far silvern spire; Flowers among, sing to the gods cloud hid... Continue reading book >>




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