Pomes Penyeach

by


TILLY
He travels after a winter sun,
Urging the cattle along a cold red road,
Calling to them, a voice they know,
He drives his beasts above Cabra.
The voice tells them home is warm.
They moo and make brute music with their
hoofs.
He drives them with a flowering branch before
him,
Smoke pluming their foreheads.
Boor, bond of the herd,
Tonight stretch full by the fire!
I bleed by the black stream
For my torn bough!
Dublin 1904.

WATCHING THE NEEDLEBOATS AT SAN SABBA
I heard their young hearts crying
Loveward above the glancing oar
And heard the prairie grasses sighing:
No more, return no more!
O hearts, O sighing grasses,
Vainly your loveblown bannerets mourn!
No more will the wild wind that passes
Return, no more return.
Trieste 1912.

A FLOWER GIVEN TO MY DAUGHTER
Frail the white rose and frail are
Her hands that gave
Whose soul is sere and paler
Than time’s wan wave.
Rosefrail and fair–yet frailest
A wonder wild
In gentle eyes thou veilest,
My blueveined child.
Trieste 1913.

SHE WEEPS OVER RAHOON
Rain on Rahoon falls softly, softly falling,
Where my dark lover lies.
Sad is his voice that calls me, sadly calling,
At grey moonrise.
Love, hear thou
How soft, how sad his voice is ever calling,
Ever unanswered, and the dark rain falling,
Then as now.
Dark too our hearts, O love, shall lie and cold
As his sad heart has lain
Under the moongrey nettles, the black mould
And muttering rain.
Trieste 1913.

TUTTO È SCIOLTO
A birdless heaven, seadusk, one lone star
Piercing the west,
As thou, fond heart, love’s time, so faint, so far,
Rememberest.
The clear young eyes’ soft look, the candid brow,
The fragrant hair,
Falling as through the silence falleth now
Dusk of the air.
Why then, remembering those shy
Sweet lures, repine
When the dear love she yielded with a sigh
Was all but thine?
Trieste 1914.

ON THE BEACH AT FONTANA
Wind whines and whines the shingle,
The crazy pierstakes groan;
A senile sea numbers each single
Slimesilvered stone.
From whining wind and colder
Grey sea I wrap him warm
And touch his trembling fineboned shoulder
And boyish arm.
Around us fear, descending
Darkness of fear above
And in my heart how deep unending
Ache of love!
Trieste 1914.

SIMPLES
O bella bionda,
Sei come l’onda!
Of cool sweet dew and radiance mild
The moon a web of silence weaves
In the still garden where a child
Gathers the simple salad leaves.
A moondew stars her hanging hair
And moonlight kisses her young brow
And, gathering, she sings an air:
Fair as the wave is, fair, art thou!
Be mine, I pray, a waxen ear
To shield me from her childish croon
And mine a shielded heart for her
Who gathers simples of the moon.
Trieste 1915.

FLOOD
Goldbrown upon the sated flood
The rockvine clusters lift and sway,
Vast wings above the lambent waters brood
Of sullen day.
A waste of waters ruthlessly
Sways and uplifts its weedy mane
Where brooding day stares down upon the sea
In dull disdain.
Uplift and sway, O golden vine,
Your clustered fruits to love’s full flood,
Lambent and vast and ruthless as in thine
Incertitude!
Trieste 1915.

NIGHTPIECE
Gaunt in gloom,
The pale stars their torches,
Enshrouded, wave.
Ghostfires from heaven’s far verges faint illume,
Arches on soaring arches,
Night’s sindark nave.
Seraphim,
The lost hosts awaken
To service till
In moonless gloom each lapses muted, dim,
Raised when she has and shaken
Her thurible.
And long and loud,
To night’s nave upsoaring,
A starknell tolls
As the bleak insense surges, cloud on cloud,
Voidward from the adoring
Waste of souls.
Trieste 1915.
And long and loud,
To night’s nave upsoaring,
A starknell tolls
As the bleak insense surges, cloud on cloud,
Voidward from the adoring
Waste of souls.
Trieste 1915.

A MEMORY OF THE PLAYERS IN A MIRROR AT
MIDNIGHT.

They mouth love’s language. Gnash
The thirteen teeth
Your lean jaws grin with. Lash
Your itch and quailing, nude greed of the flesh.
Love’s breath in you is stale, worded or sung,
As sour as cat’s breath,
Harsh of tongue.
This grey that stares
Lies not, stark skin and bone.
Leave greasy lips their kissing. None
Will choose her what you see to mouth upon.
Dire hunger holds his hour.
Pluck forth your heart, saltblood, a fruit of tears,
Pluck and devour!
Zurich 1917.

BAHNHOFSTRASSE
The eyes that mock me sign the way
Whereto I pass at eve of day,
Grey way whose violet signals are
The trysting and the twining star.
Ah star of evil! star of pain!
Highhearted youth comes not again
Nor old heart’s wisdom yet to know
The signs that mock me as I go.
Zurich 1918.

A PRAYER
Again!
Come, give, yield all your strength to me!
From far a low word breathes on the breaking
brain
Its cruel calm, submission’s misery,
Gentling her awe as to a soul predestined.
Cease, silent love! My doom!
Blind me with your dark nearness, O have mercy,
beloved enemy of my will!
I dare not withstand the cold touch that I dread.
Draw from me still
My slow life! Bend deeper on me, threatening
head,
Proud by my downfall, remembering, pitying
Him who is, him who was!
Again!
Together, folded by the night, they lay on earth.
I hear
From far her low wordbreathe on my breaking
brain.
Come! I yield. Bend deeper upon me! I am
here.
Subduer, do not leave me! Only joy, only
anguish,
Take me, save me, soothe me, O spare me
Paris 1924.


3.5

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