Like a rose shut in a book 

In which pure women may not look, 

For its base pages claim control 

To crush the flower within the soul; 

Where through each dead rose-leaf that clings, 

Pale as transparent psyche-wings, 

To the vile text, are traced such things 

As might make lady’s cheek indeed 

More than a living rose to read; 

So nought save foolish foulness may 

Watch with hard eyes the sure decay; 

And so the life-blood of this rose, 

Puddled with shameful knowledge, flows 

Salomé: A Tragedy in One Act

THE VOICE OF SALOME: Ah! I have kissed thy mouth, Iokannan, I 

have kissed thy mouth. There was a bitter taste on thy lips. Was

it the taste of blood? . . . Nay; but perchance it was the taste of

love. . . . They say love hath a bitter taste. . . . But what

matter? what matter? I have kissed thy mouth, Iokannan, I have 

kissed thy mouth.

Your City Cousins

As I go down the street

A hundred boys a day I meet,

And gazing from my window high

I like to watch them passing by.


I like the boy that earns his bread;

The boy that holds my horse’s head,

The boy that tidies up the bar,

The boy that hawks the Globe and Star.


Smart-looking lads are in my line;

The lad that gives my boots a shine,

The lad that works the lift below,

The lad that’s lettered G.P.O.


I like the boy of business air

That guards the loaded van with care,

The Sage to the Young Man

O youth whose heart is right,
  Whose loins are girt to gain

The hell-defended height
  Where Virtue beckons plain;

Who seest the stark array
  And hast not stayed to count
But singly wilt assay
  The many-cannoned mount:

Well is thy war begun;
  Endure, be strong and strive;
But think not, O my son,
  To save thy soul alive.


In the late autumn's dusky-golden prime,
When sickles gleam, and rusts the idle plough,
The time of apples dropping from the bough,
And yellow leaves on sycamore and lime.
O'er grassy uplands far above the sea
Often at twilight would my footsteps fare,
And oft I met a stranger-woman there
      Who stayed and spake with me : 
Hard by the ancient barrow smooth and green,
Whose rounded burg swells dark upon the sky
Lording it high o'er dusky dell and dene,
      We wandered--she and I.


O night of death, O night that bringest all,
  Night full of dreams and large with promises,
  O night that holdest on thy shadowy knees
Sleep for all fevers, hope for every thrall;
Bring thou to her for whom I wake and call,
  Bring her when I am dead, for memories,
  Our vanished love and all our vanished ease;
And I shall live again beneath the pall!


HARK, hearer, hear what I do; lend a thought now, make believe
We are leafwhelmed somewhere with the hood
Of some branchy bunchy bushybowered wood,
Southern dene or Lancashire clough or Devon cleave,
That leans along the loins of hills, where a candycoloured, where a gluegold-brown
Marbled river, boisterously beautiful, between
Roots and rocks is danced and dandled, all in froth and waterblowballs, down.
We are there, when we hear a shout
That the hanging honeysuck, the dogeared hazels in the cover
Makes dither, makes hover

To A Stranger

  O faithful eyes, day after day as I see and how
you--unswerving faithful and beautiful--going about your
ordinary work unnoticed,
  I have noticed--I do not forget you.
  I know the truth the tenderness the courage, I know
the longings hidden quiet there.
  Go right on. Have good faith yet--keep that your
unseen treasure untainted.
  Many shall bless you. To many yet, though no word
be spoken, your face shall shine as a lamp.
  It shall be remembered, and that which you have