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YOU remember where in starlight 

We two wandered hand in hand, 

While the night-flowers poured their perfume, 

And night-airs the still earth fanned?-- 

There I, walking yester even, 

Felt like a ghost in Edenland. 


I remember all you told me, 

Looking up as we did stand, 

While my heart poured out its perfume, 

Like the night-flowers in your hand; 

And the path where we two wandered 

Seemed not like earth but Edenland. 


Now the stars shine paler, colder 

Night-flowers die without your hand; 

Yet my spirit walks beside you 

Everywhere, unsought, unbanned. 

And I wait till we shall wander 

Under the stars of Edenland. 

Heading 1

The SeaFarer


May I for my own self song's truth reckon, 

Journey's jargon, how I in harsh days 

Hardship endured oft. 

Bitter breast-cares have I abided, 

Known on my keel many a care's hold, 

And dire sea-surge, and there I oft spent 

Narrow nightwatch nigh the ship's head 

While she tossed close to cliffs. Coldly afflicted, 

My feet were by frost benumbed. 

Chill its chains are; chafing sighs 

Hew my heart round and hunger begot 

Mere-weary mood. Lest man know not 

That he on dry land loveliest liveth, 

List how I, care-wretched, on ice-cold sea, 

Weathered the winter, wretched outcast 

Deprived of my kinsmen; 

Hung with hard ice-flakes, where hail-scur flew, 

There I heard naught save the harsh sea 

And ice-cold wave, at whiles the swan cries, 

Did for my games the gannet's clamour, 

Sea-fowls, loudness was for me laughter, 

The mews' singing all my mead-drink. 

Storms, on the stone-cliffs beaten, fell on the stern 

In icy feathers; full oft the eagle screamed 

With spray on his pinion. 

Not any protector 

May make merry man faring needy. 

This he little believes, who aye in winsome life 

Abides 'mid burghers some heavy business, 

Wealthy and wine-flushed, how I weary oft 

Must bide above brine. 

Neareth nightshade, snoweth from north, 

Frost froze the land, hail fell on earth then 

Corn of the coldest. Nathless there knocketh now 

The heart's thought that I on high streams 

The salt-wavy tumult traverse alone. 

Moaneth alway my mind's lust 

That I fare forth, that I afar hence 

Seek out a foreign fastness. 

For this there's no mood-lofty man over earth's midst, 

Not though he be given his good, but will have in his youth greed; 

Nor his deed to the daring, nor his king to the faithful 

But shall have his sorrow for sea-fare 

Whatever his lord will. 

He hath not heart for harping, nor in ring-having 

Nor winsomeness to wife, nor world's delight 

Nor any whit else save the wave's slash, 

Yet longing comes upon him to fare forth on the water. 

Bosque taketh blossom, cometh beauty of berries, 

Fields to fairness, land fares brisker, 

All this admonisheth man eager of mood, 

The heart turns to travel so that he then thinks 

On flood-ways to be far departing. 

Cuckoo calleth with gloomy crying, 

He singeth summerward, bodeth sorrow, 

The bitter heart's blood. Burgher knows not — 

He the prosperous man — what some perform 

Where wandering them widest draweth. 

So that but now my heart burst from my breast-lock, 

My mood 'mid the mere-flood, 

Over the whale's acre, would wander wide. 

On earth's shelter cometh oft to me, 

Eager and ready, the crying lone-flyer, 

Whets for the whale-path the heart irresistibly, 

O'er tracks of ocean; seeing that anyhow 

My lord deems to me this dead life 

On loan and on land, I believe not 

That any earth-weal eternal standeth 

Save there be somewhat calamitous 

That, ere a man's tide go, turn it to twain. 

Disease or oldness or sword-hate 

Beats out the breath from doom-gripped body. 

And for this, every earl whatever, for those speaking after — 

Laud of the living, boasteth some last word, 

That he will work ere he pass onward, 

Frame on the fair earth 'gainst foes his malice, 

Daring ado, ... 

So that all men shall honour him after 

And his laud beyond them remain 'mid the English, 

Aye, for ever, a lasting life's-blast, 

Delight mid the doughty. 

Days little durable, 

And all arrogance of earthen riches, 

There come now no kings nor Cæsars 

Nor gold-giving lords like those gone. 

Howe'er in mirth most magnified, 

Whoe'er lived in life most lordliest, 

Drear all this excellence, delights undurable! 

Waneth the watch, but the world holdeth. 

Tomb hideth trouble. The blade is layed low. 

Earthly glory ageth and seareth. 

No man at all going the earth's gait, 

But age fares against him, his face paleth, 

Grey-haired he groaneth, knows gone companions, 

Lordly men are to earth o'ergiven, 

Nor may he then the flesh-cover, whose life ceaseth, 

Nor eat the sweet nor feel the sorry, 

Nor stir hand nor think in mid heart, 

And though he strew the grave with gold, 

His born brothers, their buried bodies 

Be an unlikely treasure hoard. 

The Wanderer

William Pillin


In my dreams are shadows

like ashes in teeth of poplars.

Yellow swathes of rye run

like flame to horizon.

I see porcelain towers

and frozen fugues of streets

but form what land I come 

I do not remember.


In my dreams I see faces

kind as a candle,

grave as autumn highway,


as a stone sneer

and one face

whose eyelashes were secrets

of a precious smile

but my father’s face

I do not remember.


One name thrilled me

like an opium flower

and one was like sculpture

with a globe for a pedesetal

and one made folk shudder

like a dirge at midnight

but my true name 

I do not remember.


I have eaten bread

conspiring with showers

under saffron sun

and in bronzed lagoons

cast nets for leaping silver

and on sturdy loom

threw a shuttle like a gull

but my real skill

I do not remember.


When soldiers come knocking

to my door at midnight

I will say that once

in a little inn

I drank wine

like moonlight

and heard a song

like a luminous tear

and I lay down 

under a tree

whose branches were 

like tender hands

and on waking

I remembered nothing.

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