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Poetry by LMM


An Old Face

Calm as a reaped harvest height

Lying in the dim moonlight,

Yet with wrinkles round the eyes,

Jolly, tolerant and wise;

Beauty gone but in it's place

Such a savor, such a grace

Won from the fantastic strife

Of this odd business we call life.

Many a wild adventurous year

Wrote its splendid record here;

Stars of many an old romance

Shine in that ironic glance;

Many a hideous vital day

Came and smote and passed away;

Now this face is ripe and glad,

Patient, sane - a little sad.

Friend to life yet with no fear

Of the darkness drawing near;

These so gallant eyes must see

Dawn-light of eternity,

See the Secret Vision still

High on some supernal hill;

Tis a daring hope I hold-

To look like this when I am old.

Friend 'o Mine

Friend o' mine, in the year on-coming

I wish you a little while to play

And an hour to dream in the eerie gloaming

After a clamorous day.

(And the moon like a pearl from an Indian Shore

To hang for a lantern above your door.)

A little house with friendly rafters,

With someone in it to need you there,

Wine of romance and wholesome laughters

With a comrade or two to share.

(And a secret spot of your very own

Whenever you want to cry alone.)

I wish for a garden on fire with roses,

Columbines planted for your delight,

Scent of mint in its shadowy closes,

Clean, gay winds at night.

(Some nights for sleeping and some to ride

With the broomstick witches far and wide.)

A goodly harvest of figs to gather

With a thistle or two to prick and sting,

Since a harvesting too harmless is rather

An unadventurous thing.

(And now and then, spite of reason or rule

The Chance to be a bit of a fool.)

I wish you a thirst that can never be sated

For all the lovliness earth can yield,

Slim, cool birches whitely mated,

Dawn on an April field.

(And never too big a bill to pay

When the Fiddler finds he must up and away.)

The Grumble Family

There's a family nobody likes to meet,

They live, it is said, on Complaining Street,

In the city of Never-are-Satisfied,

The river of Discontent beside,

They growl at that and they growl at this,

Whatever comes there is something amiss;

And whether their station be high or humble

They all are known by the name Grumble.

The weather is always too hot ot cold,

Summer and winter alike they scold;

Nothing goes right with the folks tou meet

Down on that gloomy Complaining Street.

They growl at the rain and they growl at the sun,

In fact their growling is never done,

And if everything pleases them, there isn't a doubt

They'd growl that they'd nothing to grumble about.

But the queerest thing is that not one of the same

Can be brought to acknowledge his family name,

For never a Grumbler will own that he

Is connected with it all, you see,

And the worst thing is if any one stays

Among them too long he will learn their ways,

And before he dreams of the terrible jumble

He's adopted into the family of Grumble

I feel (Verse Libre)

I feel

Very much

Like taking

Its unholy perpetrators

By the hair

Of their heads

(If they have any hair)

And dragging them around

A few times,

And then cutting them

Into small, irregular pieces

And burying them

In the depths of the blue sea.

They are without form

And void,/ Or at least

The stuff they/ produce

Is./ They are too lazy

To hunt up rhymes;

And that

Is all

That is the matter with them.

Night

A pale enchanted moon is sinking low

Behind the dunes that fringe the shadowy lea,

And there is haunted starlight on the flow

Of immemorial sea.

I am alone and need no more pretend

Laughter or smile to hide a hungry heart;

I walk with solitude as with a friend

Enfolded and apart.

We tread an eerie road across the moor

Where shadows weave upon their ghostly looms,

And winds sing an old lyric that might lure

Sad queens from ancient tombs.

I am a sister to the loveliness

Of cool far hill and long-remembered shore,

Finding in it a sweet forgetfulness

Of all that hurt before.

The world of day, its bitterness and cark,

No longer have the power to make me weep;

I welcome this communion of the dark

As toilers welcome sleep.

Rain Along Shore

Wan white mists upon the sea,

East wind harping mournfully

All the sunken reefs along,

Wail and heart-break in its song,

But adown the placid bay

Fisher-folk keep holiday.

All the deeps beyond the bar

Call and murmur from afar,

'Plaining of a mighty woe

Where the great ships come and go,

But adown the harbor gray

Fisher-folk keep holiday.

When the cloudy heavens frown,

And the sweeping rain comes down,

Boats at anchorage must bide

In despite of time or tide;

Making merry as they may

Fisher-folk keep holiday.

Now is time for jest and song

All the idle shore along,

Now is time for wooing dear,

Maidens cannot choose but hear;

Daffing toil and care away

Fisher-folk keep holiday.

Oh, the fretted reefs may wail,

Every man has furled his sail!

Oh, the wind may moan in fear,

Every lad is with his dear!

Mirth and laughter have their way,

Fisher-folk keep holiday.

A Request

When I am dead

I would that ye make my bed

On that low-lying, windy waste by the sea,

Where the silvery grasses rustle and lisp;

There, where the crisp

Foam-flakes shall fly over me,

And murmurs creep

From the ancient heart of the deep,

Lulling me ever, I shall most sweetly sleep.

While the eerie sea-folk croon

On the long dim shore by the light of a waning moon.

I shall not hear

Clamor of young life anear,

Voices of gladness to stir an unrest;

Only the wandering mists of the sea

Shall companion me;

Only the wind in its quest

Shall come where I lie,

Or the rain from the brooding sky

With furtive footstep shall pass me by,

And never a dream of the earth

Shall break on my slumber with lure of an out-lived mirth.

Sunrise Along Shore

Athwart the harbor lingers yet

The ashen gleam of breaking day,

And where the guardian cliffs are set

The noiseless shadows steal away;

But all the winnowed eastern sky

Is flushed with many a tender hue,

And spears of light are smiting through

The ranks where huddled sea-mists fly.

Across the ocean, wan and gray,

Gay fleets of golden ripples come,

For at the birth-hour of the day

The roistering, wayward winds are dumb.

The rocks that stretch to meet the tide

Are smitten with a ruddy glow,

And faint reflections come and go

Where fishing boats at anchor ride.

All life leaps out to greet the light --

The shining sea-gulls dive and soar,

The swallows whirl in dizzy flight,

And sandpeeps flit along the shore.

From every purple landward hill

The banners of the morning fly,

But on the headlands, dim and high,

The fishing hamlets slumber still.

One boat alone beyond the bar

Is sailing outward blithe and free,

To carry sturdy hearts afar

Across those wastes of sparkling sea;

Staunchly to seek what may be won

From out the treasures of the deep,

To toil for those at home who sleep

And be the first to greet the sun.


Which Has More Patience.....Man or Woman

As my letter must be brief,

I'll at once state my belief,

And this it is -- that, since the world began,

And Adam first did say,

"'Twas Eve led me astray,"

A woman hath more patience than a man.

If a man's obliged to wait

For some one who's rather late,

No mortal ever got in such a stew,

And if something can't be found

That he's sure should be around,

The listening air sometimes grows fairly blue.

Just watch a man who tries To soothe a baby's cries;

Or put a stove pipe up in weather cold,

Into what a state he'll get;

How he'll fuss and fume and fret

And stamp and bluster round and storm and scold!

Some point to Job with pride,

As an argument for their side!

Why, it was so rare a patient man to see,

That when one was really found,

His discoverers were bound

To preserve for him a place in history!

And while I admit it's true

That man has some patience too,

And that woman isn't always sweetly calm,

Still I think all must agree

On this central fact -- that she

For central all-round patience bears the palm.