Alfred Noyes.

Collected poems, Volume 1 online

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COPTUGBT, 1000, 1010, 1011, BT

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AU tighU rMtnedt indtidino thai of traMiation into foreign languagM,

indudino Uu Scandinavian, AU dramatic and aeling r%ght$, both pro*

futional and amattur, are reeerved. Application for the right of per*

forming ehould be made to the pubUehete

Sixteenth Printing

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The Loom OF Ybabs 1

In ths Heabt of the Woods 2

Abt 6

Tbioubt 8

A Tbipls Ballad of Old Japan 8

The Symbolist 10

Haunted IN Old Japan 11

Necbomanct 12

The Mtbtic 16

The Flowbb of Old Japan 17

Apes Ain> Iyobt 48

A Song of Shebwood 49

The Wobld's Mat-Queen 50


A Song of England 66

The Old Sceptic 67

The Death of Chopin 69

Song 62

Butterflies 62

Song of the Wooden-Legged Fiddleb 66

The Fisheb-Gibl 67

A Song of Two Bubdens 71

Eabth-Bound 72

Abt, The Hebald 74

The Optimist 74

A Pobt-Impbession 76

The Babbel-Obqan 80

The Litant of Wab 86

The Obigin of Life 86

The Last Battle 88

The Paradox 89



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The Pboobbss of Love 94

The Forest op Wild Thyme 123

Forty Singing Seamen 171

The Empire Builders 175

Nelson's Year 177

In Time of War 180

Ode for the Seventieth Birthday of Swinburne . . 186

In Cloak of Grey 188

A Ride for the Queen 189

Song 191

The Highwayman 192

The Haunted Palace 196

The Sculptor 200

Summer 201

At Dawn 204

The Swimmer's Race 206

The Venus of Milo 208

The Net of Vulcan 209

NiOBE 209

Orpheus and Eurydice 211

From the Shore 220

The Return 222

Remembrance 223

A Prayer 224

Love's Ghost 224

On a Railway Platform 225

Oxford Revisited 226

The Three Ships 228

Slumber-Songs of the Madonna 230

Enceladus 235

In the Cool of the Evening 241

A Roundhead's Rallying Song 242

VicisTi, Galilse 243

Drake 246


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In the light of the silent stars that shine on the struggling sea,
In the weary cry of the wind and the whisper of flower and

Under the breath of laughter, deep in the tide of tears,
I hear the Loom of the Weaver that weaves the Web of Years.

The leaves of the winter wither and sink in the forest mould
To colour the flowers of April with purple and white and gold:
Light and scent and music die and are bom again
In the heart of a grey-haired woman who wakes in a world
of pain.

The hound, the fawn and the hawk, and the doves that croon

and coo.
We are all one woof of the weaving and the one warp threads

us through,
One flying cloud on the shuttle that carries our hopes and fears
As it goes thro' the Loom of the Weaver that weaves the Web

of Years.

The crosiers of the fern, and the crown, the crown of the

Pass with our hearts to the Silence where the wings of musio

Pass and pass to the Timeless that never a moment mars.
Pass and pass to the Darkness that made the suns and stars.



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Has the soul gone out in the Darkness? Is the dust sealed

from sight?
Ah, hush, for the woof of the ages returns thro' the warp of

the night!
Never that shuttle loses one thread of our hopes and fears,
As it comes thro' the Loom of the Weaver that weaves the

Web of Years.

0, woven in one wide Loom thro' the throbbing weft of the

One in spirit and flesh, one in body and soul,
The leaf on the winds of autumn, the bb*d in its hour to

The heart in its muffled anguish, the sea in its mournful cry.

One with the flower of a day, one with the withered moon,
One with the granite mountains that melt into the noon,
One with the dream that triumphs beyond the light of the

We come from the Loom of the Weaver that weaves the

Web of Years.



The Heart of the woods, I hear it, beating, beating afar.

In the glamour and gloom of the night, in the light of the
rosy star,

In the cold sweet voice of the bird, in the throb of the flower-
soft seal . . .

For the Heart of the woods is the Heart of the world and the
Heart of Eternity,

Ay, and the burning passionate Heart of the heart in you
and me.

Love of my heart, love of the world, linking the golden moon
With the flowery moths that flutter thro' the scented leaves of


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And the mind of man with beauty, and youth with the dream-
ing night

Of stars and flowers and waters and breasts of glimmering

And streaming hair of fragrant dusk and flying limbs of lovely

life of me, life of me, shining in sun and cloud and wind,
In the dark eyes of the fawn and the eyes of the hound behind,
In the leaves that lie in the seed unsown, and the dream

of the babe unborn,
0, flaming tides of my blood, as you flow thro' flower and

root and thorn,
I feel you burning the boughs of night to kindle the fires of


Soul of me, soul of me, yearning wherever a lavrock sings.
Or the crimson gloom is winnowed by the whirr of wood-
doves' wingSi
Or the spray of the foam-bow rustles in the white dawn of

the moon.
And mournful biUows moan aloud. Came soon, aooHf soon,
Come soon, O Death with the Heart of love and the secret 0/ the

Heart of me, heart of me, heart of me, beating, beating afar,
In the green gloom of the night, in the light of the rosy star.
In the cold sweet voice of the bird, in the throb of the flower-
soft seal . . .
O, the Heart of the woods is the Heart of the world and the

Heart of Eternity,
Ay, and the burning passionate Heart of the heart in you and


O, Death will never find us in the heart of the wood.

The song is in my blood, night and day:
We wiU pluck a scented petal from the Rose upon the Rood

Where Love lies bleeding on the way.


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We will listen to the linnet and watch the waters leap,

When the clouds go dreaming by,
And under the wild roses and the stars we wiU sleep,

And wander on together, you and I.

We shall imderstand the mystery that none has understood,

We shall know why the leafy gloom is green.
0, Death will never find us in the heart of the wood

When we see what the stars have seen I
We have heard the hidden song of the soft dews falling

At the end of the last dark sky,
Where all the sorrows of the world are calling,

We must wander on together, you and I.

They are calling, calling, Away, come away!

And we know not whence they call;
For the song is in our hearts, we hear it night and day,

As the deep tides rise and fall:
0, Death will never find t« in the heart of the wood,

While the hours and the years roll by!
We have heard it, we have heard it, but we have not un-

We must wander on together, you and I.

The wind may beat upon us, the rain may blind our eyes.

The leaves may fall beneath the winter's wing;
But we shall hear the music of the dream that never dies.

And we shall know the secret of the Spring.
We shall know how all the blossoms of evil and of good

Are mingled in the meadows of the sky;
And then — if Death can find us in the heart of the wood —

We shall wander on together, you and I.


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(dotated fbom db banvills and gautieb)


Yes I Beauty still rebels I

Our dreams like clouds disperse:

She dwells
In agate, marble, verse.

No false constraint be thine 1
But, for right walking, choose

The fine,
The strict cothurnus, Muse.

Vainly ye seek to escape

The toil I The yielding phrase

Ye shape
Is clay, not chrysoprase.

And all in vain ye scorn
That seeming ease which ne'er

Was born
Of aught but love and care.

Take up the sculptor's tool I
Recall the gods that die

To rule
In Parian o'er the sky.

For Beauty still rebels I

Our dreams like clouds disperse:

She dwells
In agate, marble, verse.


When Beauty from the sea,
With breasts of whiter rose

Than we
Behold on earth, arose.


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Naked thro' Time returned
The Bliss of Heaven that dayi

And burned
The dross of earth away.

Kings at her splendour quailed.
For all his triple steel

She haled
War at her chariot-wheeL

The rose and lily bowed
To cast, of odour sweet

A cloud
Before her wandering feet.

And from her radiant eyes
There shone on soul and sense

The skies'
Divine indifference.

O, mortal memory fond!
Slowly she passed away

The curling clouds of day.

Return, we cry, retuniy
Till in the sadder light

We learn
That she was infinite.

The Dream that from the sea
With breasts of whiter rose

Than we
Behold on earth, arose.


Take up the sculptor's tooll
BecaU the dreams that die

To rule
In Parian o'er the sky;


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And kings that not endure
In bronze to re-aacend

Until the world shall end.

Poet, let passion deep
Till with the cosmic rhyme

You keep
Eternal tone and time,

By rule of hour and flower,
By strength of stem restraint

And power
To fail and not to faint.

The task b hard to learn
While all the songs of Spring

Along the blood and sing.

Yet hear — ^from her deep skiesi
How Art, for all your pain.

Still cries
Ye mud he bom again!

Reject the wreath of rose.
Take up the crown of thorn

That shows
To-night a child is bom.

The far immortal face
In chosen onyx fine

Delicate line by line.

Strive with Carrara, fight
With Parian, till there steal

To light
Apollo's pure profile.


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Set the great lucid form
Free from its marble tomb

To storm
The heights of death and doom.

Take up the sculptor's tool I
Recall the gods Uiat die

To rule
In Parian o'er the sky.


Love, awake I Ah, let thine eyes

Open, clouded with thy dreams.
Now the shy sweet rosy skies,

Love, awake. Ah, let thine eyes
Dawn before the last star dies.

O'er thy breast the rose-light gleams:
Love, awakel Ah, let thine eyes

Open, clouded with thy dreams.


In old Japan, by creek and bay.

The blue plum-blossoms blow.
Where birds with sea-blue plumage gay

Thro' sea-blue branches go:
Dragons are coiling down below

like dragons on a fan;
And pig-tailed sailors lurching slow

Thro' streets of old Japan.

There, in the dim blue death of day

Where white tea-roses grow.
Petals and scents are strewn astray

Till night be sweet enow.
Then lovers wander whispering low

As lovers only can,
Where rosy paper lanterns glow

Thro' streets of old Japan.


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IVom Wonderland to Yearor-Nay

The junks of Weal-and-Woe
Dream on the purple water-way

Nor ever meet a foe;
Though stiU, with stiff mustachio

And crooks ataghan,
Their pirates guard with pomp and show

The ships of old Japan.

That land is very far away,

We lost it long ago!
No fairies ride the cherry spray.

No witches mop and mow,
The violet wells have ceased to flow;

And O, how faint and wan
The dawn on Fusiyama's snow.

The peak of old Japan.

Half smilingly our hearts delay.

Half mournfully forego
The blue fantastic twisted day

When faithful Konojo,
For small white Lily Hasu-ko

Knelt in the Butsudan,
And her tomb opened to bestrow

Lilies thro' old Japan.

There was a game they used to play

I' the San-ju-san-jen D6,
They filled a little lacquer tray

With powders in a row,
Dry dust of flowers from Tashiro

To Mount Daimugenzan,
Dry little heaps of dust, but

They breathed of old Japan.

Then knights in blue and gold array
Would on their thumbs bestow

A pinch from every heap and say,
With many a hum and Ao,


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What blossoms, nodding to and fro
For joy of maid or man,

Conceived the scents that puzzled so
The brains of old Japan.

The hundred ghosts have ceased to affray

The dust of Kyot6,
Ah yety what phantom blooms a-sway

Murmur, a-lof t, a-low,
In dells no scythe of death can mow,

No power of reason scan,
O, what Samtirai singers know

The Flower of old Japan?

Dry dust of blossoms, dim and gray.

Lost on the wind? Ah, no.
Hark, from yon clump of English may,

A cherub's mocking crow,
A sudden twang, a sweet, swift throe.

As Daisy trips by Dan,
And careless Cupid drops his bow

And laughs — ^from old Japan.

There, in the dim blue death of day

Where wkiie tearrosea grow,
Petals and scents are strewn astray

Till night be sweet enow.
Then lovers wander, whispering low.

As lovers only can,
Where rosy paper lanterns glow

Thro' streets of old Japan,


Help me to seek that unknown landl

I kneel before the shrine.
Help me to feel the hidden hand

That ever holdeth mine.


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I kneel before the Word, I kneel

Before the Cross of flame
I cry, as thro' the gloom I steal,

The glory of the Name.

Help me to mounii and I shall love;

What grief is like to mine?
Crown me with thorn, the stars above

Shall in the circlet shine!

The Temple opens wide: none sees

The love, the dream, the light I
0, blind and finite, are not these

Blinding and infinite?

The veil, the ve3 is rent: the skies

Are white with wings of fire,
Where victim souls triumphant rise

In torment of desire.

Help me to seek: I would not find,

For when I find I know
I shall have clasped the hollow wind

And built a house of snow.


Music of the staiHshine shimmering o'er the sea
Mirror me no longer in the dusk of memory:
Dim and white the rose-leaves drift along the shore.
Wind among the roses, blow no more!

AU along the purple creek, lU with silver foam,
Silent, silent voices, cry no more of homef
Soft beyond the cherry-trees, o'er the dim lagoon,
Daions the crimson lantern of the large low moon.

We that loved in April, we that turned away
Laughing ere the wood-dove crooned across the May,
Watch the withered rose-leaves drift along the shore.
Wind among the roses, blow no more'


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We the Sons of Reason, we that chose to bride
Knowledge, and rejected the Dream that we denied,
We that chose the T^dom that triumphs for an hour,
We that let the young love perish like a flower. . . .

We that hurt the kind heart, we that went astray,
We that in the darkness idly dreamed of day. . . .
... Ah I The dreary rose-leaves drift along the shore.
Wind among tiie roses, blow no more'

Lonely starry faces, wonderful and white,

Yearning with a cry across the dim sweet night,

AH our dreams are blown a-drift as flowers before a fan.

All our hearts are haunted in the heart of old Japan.

Haunted, haunted, haunted — ^we that mocked and sinned
Hear the vanished voices wailing down the wind,
Watch the ruined rose-leaves drift along the shore.
Wind among the roses, blow no morel

AU along the purple creek, lit with silver foam,
Sobbing, sobbing voices, cry no more of home!
Soft beyond the cherry4rees, o'er the dim lagoon,
Daums the crimson lantern of the large low moon.

(after the prose of baudelaibb)

This necromantic palace, dim and rich^

Dim as a dream, rich as a reverie,
I knew it all of old, surely I knew
This floating twilight tinged with rose and blue,
This moon-soft carven niche

Whence the calm marble, wan as memory.
Slopes to the wine-brimmed bath of cold dark fire
Perfumed with old regret and dead desire.


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There the soul, dumbering in the purple waves
Of indolence, dreams of the phantom years,

Dreams of the wild sweet flower of red young lips

Meeting and murmuring in the dark eclipse
Of joy, where pain still craves
One tear of love to nungle with their tears,

One passionate welcome ere the wild farewell,

One flash of heaven across the fires of hell.

Queen of my dreams, queen of my pitiless dreams.

Dim idol, moulded of the wild white rose,
Coiled like a panther in that silken gloom
Of scented cushions, where the rich hushed room

Breaks into soft warm gleams.
As from her slumbrous clouds Queen Venus glows,
Slowly thine arms up-lif t to me, thine eyes
Meet mine, without communion or surmise.

Here, at thy feet, I watched, I watched all day

Night floating in thine eyes, then with my hands
Covered my face from that dimib cry of pain:
And when at last I dared to look again

My heart was far away,
Wrapt in the fragrant gloom of Eastern lands.
Under the flower-white stars of tropic skies
Where soft black floating flowers turned to • • . thme

I breathe, I breathe the perfume of thine hair:
Bury in thy deep hair my fevered face.

Till as to men athirst in desert dreams

The savour and colour and sound of cool dark streams
Float round me everywhere.
And memories float from some forgotten place,

Fulfilling hopeless eyes with hopeless tears

And fleeting light of unforgotten years.


by Google


Dim douds of music in the dim rich hours

Float to me thro' the twilight of thine hair,
And sails like blossoms float o'er purple seas,
And under dark green skies the soft warm breeze
Washes dark fruit, dark flowers,
Dark tropic maidens in some island lair
Couched on the warm sand nigh the creaming foam
To dream and sing their tawny lovers home.

Lost in the magic ocean of thine hair

I find the haven of the heart of song:
There tired ships rest against the pale red sky I
And yet again there comes a thin sad cry
And all the shining air
Fades, where the tall dark singing seamen throng
From many generations, many climes.
Fades, fades, as it has faded many times.

I hear the sweet cool whisper of the waves I
Drowned in the slumbrous billows of thine hair,

I dream as one that sinks thro' passionate hours

In a strange ship's wild fraughtage of dark flowers
Culled for pale poets' graves;
And opiate odours load the empurpled air

That flows and droops, a dark resplendent pall

Under the floating wreaths fimereal.

Under the heavy midnight of thine hair
An altar flames with spices of the south

Burning my flesh and spirit in the flame;

Till, looking tow'rds the land from whence I came
I find no comfort there.
And all the darkness to my thirsty mouth

Is fire, but always and in every place

Blossoms the secret wonder of thy face.


by Google


The walls, the very walls are woven of dreaniB,

All undefined by blasphemies of art I
Here, pure from finite hues the very night
Conceives the mystic harmonies of light,
Delicious glooms and gleams;

And sorrow falls in rose-leaves on the heart.
And pain that yearns upon the passing hour
Is but a perfume haunting a dead flower.

Hark, as a hammer on a coflBn falls

A knock upon the door! The colours wane,
The dreams vanishi And leave that foul white sear,
Tattoo'd with dreadful marks, the old calendar
Blotching the blistered walls!
The winter whistles thro' a shivered pane,
And scatters on the bare boards at my feet
These poor soiled manuscripts, torn, incomplete. • •

The scent of opium floats about my breath;

But Time resumes his dark and hideous reign;
And, with him, hideous memories troop, I know.
Hark, how the battered dock ticks, to and fro, —
Life, Death— Life, Death^Life, DeaUir-

O fool to cry! O slave to bow to pain,.
Coward to live thus tortured with desire
By demon nerves in hells of sensual fire.


With wounds out-reddening every moon-washed rose
King Love went thro' earth's garden-dose!

From that first gate of birth in the golden gloom,
I traced Him. Thorns had frayed His garment's hem,
Ay, and His flesh! I marked, I followed them

Down to that threshold of— the tomb?

And there Love vanished, yet I entered! Night
And Doubt mocked at the dwindling light:

Strange daw-like hands flung me their shadowy hata
I domb the dreadful stairways of desire
Between a thousand eyes and wings of fire

And knocked upon the second Gate.


by Google


The second Gate I When, like a warrior helmed,
In battle on battle overwhelmed,

My soul lay stabbed by all the swords of sense,
Blinded and stimned by stars and flowers and trees,
Did I not struggle to my bended knees

And wrestle with Omnipotence?

Did earth not flee before me, when the breath.
Of worship smote her with strange death,

Withered her gilded garment, broke her sword,
Shattered her graven images and smote
AU her light sorrows thro' the breast and throat

Whose death-cry crowned me God and Lord?

Yea, God and Lord I Had tears not purged my sight?
I saw the myriad gates of light

Opening and shutting in each way-side flower,
And like a warder in the gleam of each.
Death, whispering in some strange eternal speech

To every passing hour.

The second Gate? Was I not bom to pass
A million? Though the skies be brass

And the earth iron, shall I not win thro' all?

Online LibraryAlfred NoyesCollected poems, Volume 1 → online text (page 1 of 26)