Poems by Muriel Stuart Part 3

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Poems by Muriel Stuart is a Webnovel created by Muriel Stuart.
This lightnovel is currently completed.

There are those who love, to whom Love brings Great gladness: such thing have not I.

Love looks and has no mercy, brings Long doom to others. Such was I.

Heart breaking hand upon the lute, Touching one note only … such were you.

Who shall play now upon that lute Long last made musical by you?

Sharp bird-beak in the swelling fruit, Blind frost upon the eyes of flowers.

Who shall now praise the shrivelled fruit, Or raise the eyelids of those flowers?

I dare not watch that hidden pool, Nor see the wild bird’s sudden wing Lifting the wide, brown, shaken pool, But round me falls that secret wing, And in that sharp, perverse, sweet pain That is half-terror and half-bliss My withered hands are curled on pain That were so wide once after bliss.

And gold is springing in my hair As my thoughts spring and flower with it, Though I sit hid in my grey hair, Without love or the pain of it.

Yet, oh my Swan, if love have wings, As the G.o.ds tell us, you were love Who took and broke me with those wings.

I, weak, and being far gone in love Let blushless things be breathed and done– Things flowered out now in bitter fruit That once done are no more undone Than last year’s frost and last year’s fruit.

For what has come of love and me Who knew the first joy that loving is?

Where has love led and beckoned me But to the end where nothing is?

I have seen my blood beat out again Red in the hands of all my line, My sin has swelled and flowered again Corrupt and fierce through Sparta’s line.

Bred through me–bred through delicate hands And wandering eyes and wanton lips, Sighing after strange flesh as sighed these lips, Straying after new sin as strayed these hands.

Mother of Helen! She whose b.r.e.a.s.t.s To new desires unshaped the world; Above Troy’s summit towered these b.r.e.a.s.t.s, Helen who wantoned with the world!

Helen is dead (she had love enough To laugh at doom and mock at shrine) And Clytemnestra, quiet enough To-night beneath Apollo’s shrine.

And I am left, the source, the spring Of all their madness. They are dead While I still sit here, the old spring That fouled them flows above the dead.

But I have paid. I have borne enough.

I am very old in love and woe.

For all souls these things are enough– Who have known love are the friends of woe.

There those who love, and who escape, There are those who love and do not die.

I loved, and there was no escape, Long since I died and daily die.

And death alone makes hate and love Friends with each other and with sleep…

All’s quiet here that once was love, This that is left belongs to sleep.


You give no portent of impermanence Though before sun goes you are long gone hence, Your bright, inherited crown Withered and fallen down.

It seems that your blue immobility Has been for ever, and must for ever be.

Man seems the unstable thing, Fevered and hurrying.

So free of joy, so prodigal of tears, Yet he can hold his fevers seventy years, Out-wear sun, rain and frost, By which you are soon lost.


Is it not brave to be a king, Tech.e.l.les!– Usumcasane and Theridamas, Is it not pa.s.sing brave to be a king, And ride in triumph through Persepolis?–MARLOWE.

Bring the great words that scourge the thundering line With l.u.s.t and slaughter–words that reek of doom And the lost battle and the ruined shrine;– Words dire and black as midnight on a tomb; Hushed speech of waters on the lip of gloom; Huge sounds of death and plunder in the night;– Words whose vast plumes above the ages meet, Girdling the lost, dark centuries in their flight, The slave of their unfetterable feet.

Bring words as pure as rills of earliest Spring In some far cranny of the hillside born To st.i.tch again the earth’s green habiting;– Words lonely as the long, blue fields of morn;– Words on the wistful lyre of winds forlorn To the sad ear of grief from distance blown; Thin bleat of fawn and airy babble of birds; Sounds of bright water slipping on the stone Where the thrilled fountain pipes to woodland words.

Bring pa.s.sionate words from noontide’s slumber roused, To slake the amorous lips of love with fruit, Dripping with honey, and with syrups drowsed To draw bee-murmurs from the dreaming lute– Words gold and mad and headlong in pursuit Of laughter; words that are too sweet to say And fade, unsaid, upon some rose’s mouth;– Words soft as winds that ever blow one way, The summer way, the long way from the south.

For such words have high lineage, and were known Of Milton once, whose heart on theirs still beats; Marlowe hurled forth huge stars to make them crown; They are stained still with the dying lips of Keats; As queens they trod the cloak in Shakespeare’s streets; Pale hands of Sh.e.l.ley gently guard their flame; Chatterton’s heart was burst upon their spears: Their dynasty unbroken, and their name Music in all men’s mouths for all men’s ears.

But now they are lost, their lordliest ‘scutcheon stained; Upon their ruined walls no trumpet rings; Their shrines defiled, their sacraments profaned: Men crown the crow, they have given the jackal wings.

Slaves wear the peplum, beggars ride as kings.

They couple foolish words and look for birth Of mighty emperor, Christ or Avatar, They mate with slaves from whom no king comes forth; No child is theirs who follow not the Star.

_Lyric Apollo! Thou art worshipped still!

We quest for beauty on Thy hills like hounds, Let these poor rhymers babble as they will, Filling their pipes with shrill and crazy sounds.

Poets still praise Thee, music still abounds, And Beauty knows the hour of Thy return, For the G.o.ds live albeit temples burn, Suffer the fools their folly, let them be, Wreathing each other with their wreaths of straw, Trailing their pageants of the mud; but we Await Thy laurel on our brows with awe.

And if Thou wreathe not, let us still be found Thy slaves: Thou dost not bind unworthy things.

Them hast Thou chained not. Better heads uncrowned Than mock regalia of the rabble’s kings!_


I am not true, but you would pardon this If you could see the tortured spirit take Its place beside you in the dark, and break Your daily food of love and kindliness.

You’d guess the bitter thing that treachery is, Furtive and on its guard, asleep, awake, Fearing to sin, yet fearing to forsake, And daily giving Christ the Judas kiss.

But piteous amends I make each day To recompense the evil with the good; With double pang I play the double part Of all you trust and all that I betray.

What long atonement makes my penitent blood, To what sad tryst goes my unfaithful heart!


The mind is Beauty’s thief, the poet takes The golden spendthrift’s trail among the blooms Where she stands tossing silver in the lakes, And twisting bright swift threads on airy looms.

Her ring the poppy s.n.a.t.c.hes, and the rose With laughter plunders all her gusty plumes.

He steals behind her, gathering, as she goes Heedless of summer’s end certain and soon,– Of winter rattling at the door of June.

When Beauty lies hand-folded, pale and still, Forsaken of her lovers and her lords, And winter keeps cold watch upon the hill Then he lets fall his bale of coloured words.

At frosty midnight June shall rise in flame, Move at his magic with her bells and birds; The rose will redden as he speaks her name, He shall release earth’s frozen bosom there, And with great words shall cuff the whining air!


Dawn has flashed up the startled skies, Night has gone out beneath the hill Many sweet times; before our eyes Dawn makes and unmakes about us still The magic that we call the rose.

The gentle history of the rain Has been unfolded, traced and lost By the sharp finger-tips of frost; Birds in the hawthorn build again; The hare makes soft her secret house; The wind at tourney comes and goes, Spurring the green, unharnessed boughs; The moon has waxed fierce and waned dim: He knew the beauty of all those Last year, and who remembers him?

Love sometimes walks the waters still, Laughter throws back her radiant head; Utterly beauty is not gone, And wonder is not wholly dead.

The starry, mortal world rolls on; Between sweet sounds and silences, With new, strange wines her beakers brim He lost his heritage with these Last year, and who remembers him?

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