The irresponsive silence of the land,
The irresponsive sounding of the sea,
Speak both one message of one sense to me:--
"Sweet, thou art pale."
"More pale to see,
I cannot tell you how it was,
But this I know: it came to pass
Upon a bright and sunny day
When May was young; ah, pleasant May!
A frisky lamb
And a frisky child
Playing their pranks
In a cowslip meadow:
Why were you born when the snow was falling?
You should have come to the cuckoo's calling
Or when grapes are green in the cluster,
I looked for that which is not, nor can be,
And hope deferred made my heart sick in truth:
But years must pass before a hope of youth
We lack, yet cannot fix upon the lack:
Not this, nor that; yet somewhat, certainly.
We see the things we do not yearn to see
A house of cards
Is neat and small:
Shake the table,
It must fall.
It's a weary life, it is, she said:
Doubly blank in a woman's lot:
I wish and I wish I were a man:
Or, better then any being, were not:
Ten years ago it seemed impossible
That she should ever grow so calm as this,
With self-remembrance in her warmest kiss
And dim dried eyes like an exhausted well.