Like the fall of a star

9.

Like the fall of a star ,
Like the change of a vane ,
Like an echo in air ,
Like a shadow in rain ,
Like a glint in the snow ,
Like a breath on the glass ,
Love is easy to know —
Love is known by its loss .

The funeral collection is my only source for this. Extreme brevity was in her range and she could make it moving, even in the manner of a folk piece.

Life is brief and death is long

Life is brief and death is long ,
Ptolemy , Ptolemy :
Let us die like swans in song ;
Sing the pathetic fallacy !
We are right and you were wrong ,
Ptolemy .

For the earth goes round the sun ,
Ptolemy , Ptolemy :
Other credence is there nne ;
Sing the athetic fallacy !
You have lost and we have won ,
Ptolemy .

Did the sun partake your woe ,
Ptolemy , Ptolemy ?
Did he joy with those below ?
Sing the pathetic fallacy !
We stand doubting but you know ,
Ptolemy .

Did you join the sky in mirth ,
Ptolemy , Ptolemy ,
When the sun went round the earth ?
Sing the pathetic fallacy
Did the stars dance at your birth ,
Ptolemy ?

Now your shining star is dim ,
Ptolemy , Ptolemy :
Mars is rising red and grim ;
Sing the pathetic fallacy !
hat would you have said of him ,
Ptolemy ?

Make an end of vain belief ,
Ptolemy , Ptolemy :
Years of progress brng relief ;
Sing the pathetic fallacy !
Death is long and life is brief ,
Ptolemy .

Undated.

Lindabrides , lady of all delight

Lindabrides , lady of all delight ,
On tower and silken bower the shadows fall ;
I rein my steed beneath the castle wall —
Steal through the unlatched postern to your knight :
Fear not my foe your brother , lady bright ;
He drinks amid his henchmen in your hall —
My sword is no less keen , my men as tall :
Your love for him alone averts their might .

Though he has sworn to mate you with a knave ,
Denied your wishes , banished me your sight ,
You grace him with your love : why , lady dear ,
At your sweet hands what mercy may I crave ?
I have outsworn Sir Knave the Bridegroom’s right ,
Condoned your every wish : and I am here .

15th September 1952

[On the same sheet as Green willow , drooping to caress the stream ]

Love I could give , but neither food nor fire

Love I could give , but neither food nor fire ,
Shelter nor strength nor name :
Her home had been a haven of desire ,
And yet she came .

They would have rescued her at any time
If she had left my side :
But we were happy beyond sense or rhyme
Until she died .

What words will serve to tell them ? I can see
In the great house one light ,
The candle at her window : and for me ,
Only the night

21st June 1952

Lunatic

Lunatic

Wise folk call me a man insane
( Life , go easily , death come soon . )
They laugh within doors , but I remain
With the cold moon , the bright moon , the cold bright moon .

Many a night has the madman seen ,
( Life , go easily , death come soon )
He knows how little the wise folk mean
To the cold moon , the bright moon , the cold bright moon

I saw in the night a secret sign ,
(Life , go easily , death come soon . )
Wise folk take heed , for the world is mine ,
And the cold moon , the bright moon , the cold bright moon .

Received 17 September 1951

Lie still, lie still where green light filters down

Lie still, lie still where green light filters down
Through grass and crumbling clay :
Lenten is come with love to town ,
Now springs the spray .
Last year when cherry trees were gay
You danced your fill :
They dance above your grave today :
Lie still.

Sleep long , sleep long , where soft rain filters down
Through sodden grass and clay :
Lenten is come with love to town ,
Now springs the spray .
Last year when waking birds were gay
You loved their song :
They sing above your grave today :
Sleep long.

Dream deep , dream deep , where south winds whisper down
Through grass and crumbling clay :
Lenten is come with love to town ,
Now springs the spray .
Last year when love was new and gay
I watched your sleep :
I watch beside your grave today :
Dream deep.

Undated; but the paper as well as the writing matches the sestina to Sidney.

Lecture

Lecture

The fringed curtains of thine eye advance,
Prophet of intellectual discipline !
Greet the conceit with a reluctant grin ,
Ransack your memory for an apt retort ,
Until some clumsy bounder barks your shin :
Attempt to crush him with a chilly glance ,
Rescue your notebook from the dusty floor —
Pause there , Morocco! HE is coming in ,
Robed like the Vizier of some eastern court
Pacing majestic through an ancient dance .
How burns his beauty in this world of sin !
Our levity, our slackness , we deplore ,
Shamed by his wisdom : poet seize your chance ;
“Ars longa , vita — “ truly life is short :
Your powers of rhetoric are wearing thin .
The lecture is beginning: close the door.

1948 — and how!
Lord David , I think , m’dear . Sorry.

Lullaby

Lullaby

O let your beauty lie in quietude,
Live to eternity by spurning life:
Time’s heedless finger smudges every portrait
And love shrinks from the ugliness of age .
My darling , grow not old — live not to see
Your blemished beauty mirrored in my eyes .
Not all the summer warmth of our swift love ,
The vivid sunlight burnishing your hair
Could thaw the wintry terror of your heart
If close behind you in the gloom there smiled
Death , dim reflection in the cold green mirrors
Deliberately lingering in the shadows
To taunt you with your own decrepitude ,
To watch you wince from my unwilling pity —
Compassion after passion is a torment
Beyond your strength , my darling : grow not old .
Now, while green mirrors idolize the sun ,
O let your beauty lie in quietude .

I am your immortality, my darling .
You laugh at the kaleidoscopic years ,
Gay jewels cast haphazard at your feet ;
But I will shatter the kaleidoscope ,
And knot the years upon a golden cord ,
A rosary immortal as my grief :
For I will mourn you as the stars of heaven
Come sorrowing to worship at your grave .
Go now, my darling while the wind is warm
And the green mirrors glory in the sun —
Go swift before me to that quiet haven
Where green waves whisper to the wind at dusk
Death’s lullaby of endless lassitude .
You are the candle of my restless life
Flickering on life’s altar :
You shall live
Dream-vivid , beautiful as sudden flame
In my dark memory : you shall be immortal —
O let your beauty lie in quietude Summer 1948