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Songs of Two   By: (1847-1930)

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SONGS OF TWO

BY ARTHUR SHERBURNE HARDY

1900

SONGS OF TWO

I

Last night I dreamed this dream: That I was dead; And as I slept, forgot of man and God, That other dreamless sleep of rest, I heard a footstep on the sod, As of one passing overhead, And lo, thou, Dear, didst touch me on the breast, Saying: "What shall I write against thy name That men should see?" Then quick the answer came, "I was beloved of thee."

II

Dear Giver of Thyself when at thy side, I see the path beyond divide, Where we must walk alone a little space, I say: "Now am I strong indeed To wait with only memory awhile, Content, until I see thy face, " Yet turn, as one in sorest need, To ask once more thy giving grace, So, at the last Of all our partings, when the night Has hidden from my failing sight The comfort of thy smile, My hand shall seek thine own to hold it fast; Nor wilt thou think for this the heart ingrate, Less glad for all its past, Less strong to bear the utmost of its fate.

III

As once through forest shade I went, I heard a flower call, and bent Then strove to go. Should love not spare? "Nay, Dearest, this is love's sweet share Of selfishness. For which is best, To die alone or on thy breast? If thou hast heard my call, Take fearlessly, thou art my guest To give is all" Hush! O Love, thou casuist!

IV

Ask me not why, I only know , It were thy loss if I could show Thee cause as for a lesser thing. Remember how we searched the spring, But found no source, so clear the sky Within its earth bound depths did lie, Give to thy joy its wings, And to thy heart its song, nor try With questionings The throbbing throat that sings.

V

For in thy clear and steadfast eyes Thine own self wonder deepest lies, Nor any words that lips can teach Are sweeter than their wonder speech. And when thou givest them to me, Through dawns of tenderness I see, As in the water sky, The sun of certainly appear. So, ask me why, For then thou knowest, Dear.

VI

To give is more than to receive, men say. But thou hast made them one! What if, some day, Men bade me render back the gifts I cannot pay, Since all were undeserved! should I obey? Lo, all these years of giving, when we try To own our thanks, we hear the giver cry; "Nay, it was thou who givest, Dear, not I." If Wisdom smile, let Wisdom go! All things above This is the truest; that we know because we love, Not love because we know.

VII

Let it not grieve thee, Dear, that Love is sad, Who, changeless, loveth so the things that change, The morning in thine eyes, the dusk within thy hair, Were it not strange If he were glad Who cannot keep thy heart from care, Or shelter from the whip of pain The bosom where his head hath lain? Poor sentinel, that may not guard The door that love itself unbarred! Who in the sweetness Of his service knows its incompleteness, And while he sings Of life eternal, feels the coldness of Death's wings.

VIII

Stoop with me, Dearest, to the grass One little moment ere we pass From out these parched and thirsty lands, See! all these tiny blades are hands Stretched supplicating to the sky, And listen, Dearest, patiently, Dost thou not hear them move? The myriad roots that search, and cry As hearts do, Love, "Feed us, or let us die!"

IX

Beloved, when far up the mountain side We found, almost at eventide, Our spring, how far we did fear Lest it should dare the trackless wood And disappear! And lost all heart when on the crest we stood And saw it spent in mist below! Yet ever surer was its flow, And, ever gathering to its own New springs of which we had not known, To fairer meadows Swept exultant from the woodland shadows; And when at last upon the baffling plain We thought it scattered like a ravelled skein, Lo, tranquil, free, Its longed for home, the wide unfathomable sea!

X

Thy names are like sweet flowers that grow Within a garden where I go, Sometimes at dawn, to see each one Life its head proudly in the sun; Sometimes at night, When only by the fragrant air, I know them there... Continue reading book >>




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