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Donna Jul 2014
Heron Blue, above the ocean
Along the marshes and the shores,
What is it that you see, which concerns you so?

When the oceans rise - take flight, for you are free
To find new shelter along the inland seas;
Let your instincts be your guide
And you shall survive

But what of us, I ask:
Such fragile human beings we have become:
That we no longer know how to care for oursleves

Heron Blue asked: and whose fault is that?
You have failed to follow the ways of the land
And no longer trust your instincts to help you
Survive in this ever changing world.

It is true: we no longer remember the ways of the past
Or follow the teachings and guidance that were
Once freely given to us.

Our truths have vanished and we are lost.
Heron Blue please be our guide.



FOR RICHARD: Thank you for sharing life lessons with me.

       S:  What a great doctor, friend and mentor

       O:  Medical Doctor, Listener, Guide, Teacher, Friend

        A:  You have reached out to so many and by doing so
               have enriched the world beyond belief.

        P:  Heron Blue guide us.


























FOR RICHARD: Thank you for sharing life lessons with me.
Mohamed Nasir Aug 2018
It wades, it stands still, it's very clever.
White heron patiently wait, wait and wait,
Till a fish darted by, reflection on the river.

****** its bullet head it's time to deliver.
Beaks sharp as spears strikes accurate,
It wades, it stands still, it's very clever.

None disturbed nature stays as it were,
No news of any fish that the heron ate,
Till a fish darted by, reflection on the river.

They flock in by the thousands I wonder,
No reduction in fish they don't annihilate.
It wades, it stands still, it's very clever;

It takes what flowing water has to offer.
Teeming with migrants to each their fate,
Till a fish darted by, reflection on the river.

To its chicks it'll provide it'll ensure,
By the banks spear fishing till it's late.
It wades, it stands still, it's very clever,
Till a fish darted by, reflection on the river.
Peter J Jul 2018
On flat bank’s where
grass runt reeds grow
waiting for rising tide,
A lone Heron stealths silently
while Gulls cry warning, and dive effortlessly in to a cold sea air.
Pheonix  Peanut and Pandora
stranded on wet mud bank,
wait for their chance to escape
but it’s bonds that need to be severed in their quest for freedom.
Estuary lights dim and flicker in the distance while closer to shore Mermaids sing on the breath of a storm.
Beckoning sailors "come ride the waves"
Siren songs of lost souls and shadows
“Come with us” on this bursting sea.
And they sing with a drowning charm
as fishermen launch vessels under a shawl covered wife's watchful eye.
And yesterdays widows weep, face rained bright from navigational lights.
Ships bell ring in time with a rollicking sea,
Pheonix  Peanut and Pandora
still await their escape but not this night.
While the Heron has long fled this great swell.
No cries now from gulls nor mothers hurrying their little ones to the safety of their coal fired warm homes.
Just the rage of wave riding mermaids that will have their bounty
the heart and souls from a fisherman life.
#Something I dotted down while sat under the brown Laugharne castle gazing  out to sea.
Joe Wilson Jul 2014
For an age I stared at that heron
my camera poised ready to prove
that if you stare long enough at a heron
the awkward buggers just will not move.

But the moment you put down your camera
and move your eye line a little to one side
the sod takes off while you’re not looking
and there’s loads of loud groans in the hide.

©Joe Wilson – The Unmoving Heron! 2014
A bit of fun...
Umi Apr 2018
A bird, earthbound, disabled by birth.
Left out, deserted and even made fun of by the others, because it was not just different, it was also not capable to do what they ever did,
Taking off into the azure of the wonderful heaven, the sky far above,
A tasteless sight of a rainy day, brought from the drought of emotions
A fate, to never take off, unless he finds another to be his other half,
Broken loneliness, dancing in the loitering darkness of their life, infinite shades of punishment, fear and  envy embellished in his soul,
Looked down upon, yet determinded, hopeful of what the future may hold, two single winged herons might be able to melt within love,
Darling, blood flows through the veins of fate, are you my lovebird, the one I'll finally spread the one wing I have with and fly, far away?
Let us melt, like no others have until we are unable to feel alone, dear
So don't be shy, experience the grand beauty of the heavens above with me, after all we are two peas in a ***, crushed by the same fate.
Kiss me now, take off with me, so we may fly through the embrace of the sun which is shining, with every cloud and their silver lining,
It will be alright, Darling

~ Umi
My technology nightmare
Leaves me euphoric this morning.
Addicted, like drug trials,
I knew the risks going in,
Got hooked in The Cloud &
Now it always seems easier,
With diminished psychic chafing
Whenever I go with the flow, as the
Hipsters are saying again.
Yes, the hipsters:
Finally, some kids I can relate to.
At least on some level, their music e.g.
The first thing I did this morning,
Waiting for my laptop to boot,
Was put a CD on the stereo:
Matrix Reloaded: The Album.
I set the shuffle function,
Looping back between
Linkin Park’s Session &
Team Sleep’s Passportal.
You can tell a lot about
What kind of day it will be
By the soundtrack you choose,
Your infinite play list,
Don’t ever say these kids have no culture,
Or nothing to share with us old farts.
Old Farts: an apt, Baby Boomer term in 2015.
Kids’ music, some of it quite good,
Quite 60s-worthy if you catch my drift,
As we used to say while grazing in the grass with
Hugh Masekela & his Naai Mongoe-Swazi red,
Surfrikan homeboys & band mates, & that
ANC Kwa-Guqa Township posse,
Shadowing him since Sharpeville.
That’s right, Babaloo,
Go with the flow.
Don’t fight it. You’ve been spared the unintended
Consequences of government shenanigans &
Free market meltdowns.
Consider this a CEASE & DESIST NOTICE:
Cease swimming upstream Mr. Phelps.
Desist fighting tide & current, Michael.
A mariner’s distinction, yet serviceable &
Purposed for this narrative.
“And away we go,” croons a Gleason levitation;
Aloft we go into the wild blue yonder.
The Cloud: an exalted playground.
You are atop the slide,
Kindergarten lord of all you survey,
Sultan, Chinese Emperor & Venetian Doge,
A 90-caliber Duke of Earl,
You are euphoric, Mike.

The descent into the humanoid condition
(See Paddy Chayefsky’s Howard Beale),
Is slick and precipitous.
It begins when you first finger ****
A pocket calculator or touchtone phone,
Or use a Xerox machine.
From there it’s a quick slide down
The technology ****-shoot: video games,
Spreadsheets & word processors,
Emails, texts & tweets,
Laser projection keyboards,
Wi-Fi amplifiers,
GPS navigators, &
Apps for No-Strings *** . . .
By “****-shoot” I editorialize, of course,
In a state of future shock,
Resenting planned obsolescence,
Contemptuous of shrewd **** kids,
Wharton School sharpies,
Scoping out price curves & flowcharts,
Colluding at industry trade shows,
Powwows & confabs,
Releasing newer, more versatile
Models & spinoffs, according to a
Scheme planned three years in advance.

I salt the inevitable wounds of technology,
Taking my fight to the streets, realizing too late
My sole means of alerting the flash mob
Is by so-called smart phone,
*******!
Even the revolution has gone digital.
Poor Gil Scott Heron, dead last year at 62,
Poor Scott Heron, channeled into the
Harlem Renaissance by that loyal Chicago Defender,
Subscriber & reader, to wit: his Grandma,
A “Rainbow Conspiracy” co-conspirator,
Cooking ham hocks & collard greens for that
Mythical coalition of Young Lords,
Black Panthers & SDS.
Heron’s prognostication was wrong:
“The Revolution Will (In Fact) Be Televised!”
We’ve witnessed quite a bit of it,
Lately, prime time lately,
Live by satellite from once exotic places,
Places like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria & Ferguson, MO.
I say “once exotic” because it’s hard to be
Visually intoxicated by images of screaming brown men
Sporting New York Yankee ball caps,
“Vote for Pedro” T-shirts and
$200.00 Air Jordan footwear.
Admittedly, the production values of
Revolutionary journalism have improved,
Action reported Hollywood-style,
Narrative arcs, scripted episodes,
Drive-by Potemkin villages & battle scenes,
30 or 60 or 90 day shooting schedules.
Spontaneous proletarian uprisings as Reality TV,
Riveting dramas,
High Nielsen ratings & $500K
Per minute corporate sponsors.
Let’s view the new fall line-up:
(1) “Mustafa Behaving Badly!”
(2) “Tunisian Tear Gas Talent!”
(3) “Gaddafi Gets Sodomized!”
Donall Dempsey Feb 2019
IN THE HERON'S EYE


you swim
into yourself
the lake doubles you

your swimming reflection
trying to claw its way
into you

from the lake emerges
a head like a bust then a bust then
the whole delicious nakedness of you

your reflection
hides inside you
when you leave the lake

naked
being chased
by your shadow

the heron's shadow
stares through the water's skin
at the fish within

in the heron's eye
the fish already
- caught

a leaf
floats on the tree's reflection
fish swims amongst its branches

we swim amongst clouds & trees
rain taps on the top of the lake
we laugh underwater

piercing the water's skin
thin blades of sunlight
we swim we swim
Dawnstar Jan 2019
they ride along
the mountain road:
kashgar and
the heron girl
crane their necks
to the shaman's haze,
ploughing out
the humpback’s trail.

with a slow hup-hup, up
down powder trot,
a boombox laugh
and a slapstrum knot;
walking the lake,
talking of the bay,
savor the night:
hear what they say!

bronze battalions
beat the prince,
hide the sambas
inside of their hats;
a summer tent,
a sterling pearl:
kashgar and
the heron girl.

they rode along
the mountain road,
past water cranes
and lily haze;
roaming slow
the worldshell snail,
ploughing out
the humpback trail.
Amitav Radiance Sep 2014
The heron sits still
in the tranquil waters
waiting with patience for its prey
casting a shade with its wings
the fish squirms between its beak
Tommy Randell Nov 2016
A wonderful thing the Heron are,
When still they fade almost
Into the space between water and air,
Pointing to a focus place.
When flying they hang almost,
Grey Flamingos, mysteriously still still.

Tommy Randell 23 July 2016
L B Sep 2016
Perched motionless
Gleaming among the catkins of the oak—
with toy accordions for leaves

And a heron—watching
Neck pleated
Head resting in feathery shoulders
Sharp-eyed, beak brutal

Watching—
where below
that beer can, squashed and stabbed

...And did he see her?
by the naked window
Did he see the lace that bloomed?
No—fell
like spring’s full flakes
to coat the hills in white
for an hour at best in its cool damp?

Did he see?
the way her hair lapped
the spine and blade of back?
Bent the night—so darkly
red from black
as she pulled her blouse above her head?

And did he want!
the flesh of warm yellow lamplight
the smeared press of spit and sweat!

YES!

Squash and **** that beer can!
Sculpt your loneliness!
and stick it through
with any hard implement handy!
Grind your teeth on dumb regret

and **** yourself!

You know you don’t—love her?

Be jealous of her sheets, her springs, her sunsets!  
on their ways to frost and moonlit sleep
turning forsythia of day
to fuzzy falls of glitter-gray
spilling down thick hips
of the river’s dungeon banks
so steeped in heat
to the dizzy roar that follows....

Be jealous of the River!
who always goes to her
when you will not...

And if—you really loved
I mean—loved!
who you saw...
you would have seen
the tired tears—roll than linger—Years
forsake their bones
defy the need for sleep
Defy everything!

Except—
the moon’s cloister...an owl’s call

And if you had loved her
you would have made the distance!
crossed the lawn!
skipped stairs!
Fought the Night of Time!
taken her porch like a champion!
Heart pounding near—the door down!

And if you had really loved
who you had seen

I MEAN—LOVED HER!

You would have—
You would have done—

ANYTHING!
A repost-- because I feel like it.
L B Jun 2017
(repost)

Perched motionless
Gleaming among the catkins of the oak—
with toy accordions for leaves

And a heron—watching
Neck pleated
Head resting in feathery shoulders
Sharp-eyed, beak brutal

Watching—
where below
that beer can, squashed and stabbed

...And did he see her?
by the naked window
Did he see the lace that bloomed?
No—fell
like spring’s full flakes
to coat the hills in white
for an hour at best in its cool damp?

Did he see?
the way her hair lapped
the spine and blade of back?
Bent the night—so darkly
red from black
as she pulled her blouse above her head?

And did he want!
the flesh of warm yellow lamplight
the smeared press of spit and sweat!

YES!

Squash and **** that beer can!
Sculpt your loneliness!
and stick it through
with any hard implement handy!
Grind your teeth on dumb regret

and **** yourself!

You know you don’t—love her?

Be jealous of her sheets, her springs, her sunsets!  
on their ways to frost and moonlit sleep
turning forsythia of day
to fuzzy falls of glitter-gray
spilling down thick hips
of the river’s dungeon banks
so steeped in heat
to the dizzy roar that follows....

Be jealous of the River!
who always goes to her
when you will not...

And if—you really loved
I mean—loved!
who you saw...
you would have seen
the tired tears—roll than linger—Years
forsake their bones
defy the need for sleep
Defy everything!

Except—
the moon’s cloister...an owl’s call

And if you had loved her
you would have made the distance!
crossed the lawn!
skipped stairs!
Fought the Night of Time!
taken her porch like a champion!
Heart pounding near—the door down!

And if you had really loved
who you had seen

I MEAN—LOVED HER!

You would have—
You would have done—

ANYTHING!
Because I feel like it....
written 1988
This English Thames is holier far than Rome,
Those harebells like a sudden flush of sea
Breaking across the woodland, with the foam
Of meadow-sweet and white anemone
To fleck their blue waves,—God is likelier there
Than hidden in that crystal-hearted star the pale monks bear!

Those violet-gleaming butterflies that take
Yon creamy lily for their pavilion
Are monsignores, and where the rushes shake
A lazy pike lies basking in the sun,
His eyes half shut,—he is some mitred old
Bishop in partibus! look at those gaudy scales all green and gold.

The wind the restless prisoner of the trees
Does well for Palaestrina, one would say
The mighty master’s hands were on the keys
Of the Maria *****, which they play
When early on some sapphire Easter morn
In a high litter red as blood or sin the Pope is borne

From his dark House out to the Balcony
Above the bronze gates and the crowded square,
Whose very fountains seem for ecstasy
To toss their silver lances in the air,
And stretching out weak hands to East and West
In vain sends peace to peaceless lands, to restless nations rest.

Is not yon lingering orange after-glow
That stays to vex the moon more fair than all
Rome’s lordliest pageants! strange, a year ago
I knelt before some crimson Cardinal
Who bare the Host across the Esquiline,
And now—those common poppies in the wheat seem twice as fine.

The blue-green beanfields yonder, tremulous
With the last shower, sweeter perfume bring
Through this cool evening than the odorous
Flame-jewelled censers the young deacons swing,
When the grey priest unlocks the curtained shrine,
And makes God’s body from the common fruit of corn and vine.

Poor Fra Giovanni bawling at the mass
Were out of tune now, for a small brown bird
Sings overhead, and through the long cool grass
I see that throbbing throat which once I heard
On starlit hills of flower-starred Arcady,
Once where the white and crescent sand of Salamis meets sea.

Sweet is the swallow twittering on the eaves
At daybreak, when the mower whets his scythe,
And stock-doves murmur, and the milkmaid leaves
Her little lonely bed, and carols blithe
To see the heavy-lowing cattle wait
Stretching their huge and dripping mouths across the farmyard gate.

And sweet the hops upon the Kentish leas,
And sweet the wind that lifts the new-mown hay,
And sweet the fretful swarms of grumbling bees
That round and round the linden blossoms play;
And sweet the heifer breathing in the stall,
And the green bursting figs that hang upon the red-brick wall,

And sweet to hear the cuckoo mock the spring
While the last violet loiters by the well,
And sweet to hear the shepherd Daphnis sing
The song of Linus through a sunny dell
Of warm Arcadia where the corn is gold
And the slight lithe-limbed reapers dance about the wattled fold.

And sweet with young Lycoris to recline
In some Illyrian valley far away,
Where canopied on herbs amaracine
We too might waste the summer-tranced day
Matching our reeds in sportive rivalry,
While far beneath us frets the troubled purple of the sea.

But sweeter far if silver-sandalled foot
Of some long-hidden God should ever tread
The Nuneham meadows, if with reeded flute
Pressed to his lips some Faun might raise his head
By the green water-flags, ah! sweet indeed
To see the heavenly herdsman call his white-fleeced flock to feed.

Then sing to me thou tuneful chorister,
Though what thou sing’st be thine own requiem!
Tell me thy tale thou hapless chronicler
Of thine own tragedies! do not contemn
These unfamiliar haunts, this English field,
For many a lovely coronal our northern isle can yield

Which Grecian meadows know not, many a rose
Which all day long in vales AEolian
A lad might seek in vain for over-grows
Our hedges like a wanton courtesan
Unthrifty of its beauty; lilies too
Ilissos never mirrored star our streams, and cockles blue

Dot the green wheat which, though they are the signs
For swallows going south, would never spread
Their azure tents between the Attic vines;
Even that little **** of ragged red,
Which bids the robin pipe, in Arcady
Would be a trespasser, and many an unsung elegy

Sleeps in the reeds that fringe our winding Thames
Which to awake were sweeter ravishment
Than ever Syrinx wept for; diadems
Of brown bee-studded orchids which were meant
For Cytheraea’s brows are hidden here
Unknown to Cytheraea, and by yonder pasturing steer

There is a tiny yellow daffodil,
The butterfly can see it from afar,
Although one summer evening’s dew could fill
Its little cup twice over ere the star
Had called the lazy shepherd to his fold
And be no prodigal; each leaf is flecked with spotted gold

As if Jove’s gorgeous leman Danae
Hot from his gilded arms had stooped to kiss
The trembling petals, or young Mercury
Low-flying to the dusky ford of Dis
Had with one feather of his pinions
Just brushed them! the slight stem which bears the burden of its suns

Is hardly thicker than the gossamer,
Or poor Arachne’s silver tapestry,—
Men say it bloomed upon the sepulchre
Of One I sometime worshipped, but to me
It seems to bring diviner memories
Of faun-loved Heliconian glades and blue nymph-haunted seas,

Of an untrodden vale at Tempe where
On the clear river’s marge Narcissus lies,
The tangle of the forest in his hair,
The silence of the woodland in his eyes,
Wooing that drifting imagery which is
No sooner kissed than broken; memories of Salmacis

Who is not boy nor girl and yet is both,
Fed by two fires and unsatisfied
Through their excess, each passion being loth
For love’s own sake to leave the other’s side
Yet killing love by staying; memories
Of Oreads peeping through the leaves of silent moonlit trees,

Of lonely Ariadne on the wharf
At Naxos, when she saw the treacherous crew
Far out at sea, and waved her crimson scarf
And called false Theseus back again nor knew
That Dionysos on an amber pard
Was close behind her; memories of what Maeonia’s bard

With sightless eyes beheld, the wall of Troy,
Queen Helen lying in the ivory room,
And at her side an amorous red-lipped boy
Trimming with dainty hand his helmet’s plume,
And far away the moil, the shout, the groan,
As Hector shielded off the spear and Ajax hurled the stone;

Of winged Perseus with his flawless sword
Cleaving the snaky tresses of the witch,
And all those tales imperishably stored
In little Grecian urns, freightage more rich
Than any gaudy galleon of Spain
Bare from the Indies ever! these at least bring back again,

For well I know they are not dead at all,
The ancient Gods of Grecian poesy:
They are asleep, and when they hear thee call
Will wake and think ‘t is very Thessaly,
This Thames the Daulian waters, this cool glade
The yellow-irised mead where once young Itys laughed and played.

If it was thou dear jasmine-cradled bird
Who from the leafy stillness of thy throne
Sang to the wondrous boy, until he heard
The horn of Atalanta faintly blown
Across the Cumnor hills, and wandering
Through Bagley wood at evening found the Attic poets’ spring,—

Ah! tiny sober-suited advocate
That pleadest for the moon against the day!
If thou didst make the shepherd seek his mate
On that sweet questing, when Proserpina
Forgot it was not Sicily and leant
Across the mossy Sandford stile in ravished wonderment,—

Light-winged and bright-eyed miracle of the wood!
If ever thou didst soothe with melody
One of that little clan, that brotherhood
Which loved the morning-star of Tuscany
More than the perfect sun of Raphael
And is immortal, sing to me! for I too love thee well.

Sing on! sing on! let the dull world grow young,
Let elemental things take form again,
And the old shapes of Beauty walk among
The simple garths and open crofts, as when
The son of Leto bare the willow rod,
And the soft sheep and shaggy goats followed the boyish God.

Sing on! sing on! and Bacchus will be here
Astride upon his gorgeous Indian throne,
And over whimpering tigers shake the spear
With yellow ivy crowned and gummy cone,
While at his side the wanton Bassarid
Will throw the lion by the mane and catch the mountain kid!

Sing on! and I will wear the leopard skin,
And steal the mooned wings of Ashtaroth,
Upon whose icy chariot we could win
Cithaeron in an hour ere the froth
Has over-brimmed the wine-vat or the Faun
Ceased from the treading! ay, before the flickering lamp of dawn

Has scared the hooting owlet to its nest,
And warned the bat to close its filmy vans,
Some Maenad girl with vine-leaves on her breast
Will filch their beech-nuts from the sleeping Pans
So softly that the little nested thrush
Will never wake, and then with shrilly laugh and leap will rush

Down the green valley where the fallen dew
Lies thick beneath the elm and count her store,
Till the brown Satyrs in a jolly crew
Trample the loosestrife down along the shore,
And where their horned master sits in state
Bring strawberries and bloomy plums upon a wicker crate!

Sing on! and soon with passion-wearied face
Through the cool leaves Apollo’s lad will come,
The Tyrian prince his bristled boar will chase
Adown the chestnut-copses all a-bloom,
And ivory-limbed, grey-eyed, with look of pride,
After yon velvet-coated deer the ****** maid will ride.

Sing on! and I the dying boy will see
Stain with his purple blood the waxen bell
That overweighs the jacinth, and to me
The wretched Cyprian her woe will tell,
And I will kiss her mouth and streaming eyes,
And lead her to the myrtle-hidden grove where Adon lies!

Cry out aloud on Itys! memory
That foster-brother of remorse and pain
Drops poison in mine ear,—O to be free,
To burn one’s old ships! and to launch again
Into the white-plumed battle of the waves
And fight old Proteus for the spoil of coral-flowered caves!

O for Medea with her poppied spell!
O for the secret of the Colchian shrine!
O for one leaf of that pale asphodel
Which binds the tired brows of Proserpine,
And sheds such wondrous dews at eve that she
Dreams of the fields of Enna, by the far Sicilian sea,

Where oft the golden-girdled bee she chased
From lily to lily on the level mead,
Ere yet her sombre Lord had bid her taste
The deadly fruit of that pomegranate seed,
Ere the black steeds had harried her away
Down to the faint and flowerless land, the sick and sunless day.

O for one midnight and as paramour
The Venus of the little Melian farm!
O that some antique statue for one hour
Might wake to passion, and that I could charm
The Dawn at Florence from its dumb despair,
Mix with those mighty limbs and make that giant breast my lair!

Sing on! sing on!  I would be drunk with life,
Drunk with the trampled vintage of my youth,
I would forget the wearying wasted strife,
The riven veil, the Gorgon eyes of Truth,
The prayerless vigil and the cry for prayer,
The barren gifts, the lifted arms, the dull insensate air!

Sing on! sing on!  O feathered Niobe,
Thou canst make sorrow beautiful, and steal
From joy its sweetest music, not as we
Who by dead voiceless silence strive to heal
Our too untented wounds, and do but keep
Pain barricadoed in our hearts, and ****** pillowed sleep.

Sing louder yet, why must I still behold
The wan white face of that deserted Christ,
Whose bleeding hands my hands did once enfold,
Whose smitten lips my lips so oft have kissed,
And now in mute and marble misery
Sits in his lone dishonoured House and weeps, perchance for me?

O Memory cast down thy wreathed shell!
Break thy hoarse lute O sad Melpomene!
O Sorrow, Sorrow keep thy cloistered cell
Nor dim with tears this limpid Castaly!
Cease, Philomel, thou dost the forest wrong
To vex its sylvan quiet with such wild impassioned song!

Cease, cease, or if ‘t is anguish to be dumb
Take from the pastoral thrush her simpler air,
Whose jocund carelessness doth more become
This English woodland than thy keen despair,
Ah! cease and let the north wind bear thy lay
Back to the rocky hills of Thrace, the stormy Daulian bay.

A moment more, the startled leaves had stirred,
Endymion would have passed across the mead
Moonstruck with love, and this still Thames had heard
Pan plash and paddle groping for some reed
To lure from her blue cave that Naiad maid
Who for such piping listens half in joy and half afraid.

A moment more, the waking dove had cooed,
The silver daughter of the silver sea
With the fond gyves of clinging hands had wooed
Her wanton from the chase, and Dryope
Had ****** aside the branches of her oak
To see the ***** gold-haired lad rein in his snorting yoke.

A moment more, the trees had stooped to kiss
Pale Daphne just awakening from the swoon
Of tremulous laurels, lonely Salmacis
Had bared his barren beauty to the moon,
And through the vale with sad voluptuous smile
Antinous had wandered, the red lotus of the Nile

Down leaning from his black and clustering hair,
To shade those slumberous eyelids’ caverned bliss,
Or else on yonder grassy ***** with bare
High-tuniced limbs unravished Artemis
Had bade her hounds give tongue, and roused the deer
From his green ambuscade with shrill halloo and pricking spear.

Lie still, lie still, O passionate heart, lie still!
O Melancholy, fold thy raven wing!
O sobbing Dryad, from thy hollow hill
Come not with such despondent answering!
No more thou winged Marsyas complain,
Apollo loveth not to hear such troubled songs of pain!

It was a dream, the glade is tenantless,
No soft Ionian laughter moves the air,
The Thames creeps on in sluggish leadenness,
And from the copse left desolate and bare
Fled is young Bacchus with his revelry,
Yet still from Nuneham wood there comes that thrilling melody

So sad, that one might think a human heart
Brake in each separate note, a quality
Which music sometimes has, being the Art
Which is most nigh to tears and memory;
Poor mourning Philomel, what dost thou fear?
Thy sister doth not haunt these fields, Pandion is not here,

Here is no cruel Lord with murderous blade,
No woven web of ****** heraldries,
But mossy dells for roving comrades made,
Warm valleys where the tired student lies
With half-shut book, and many a winding walk
Where rustic lovers stray at eve in happy simple talk.

The harmless rabbit gambols with its young
Across the trampled towing-path, where late
A troop of laughing boys in jostling throng
Cheered with their noisy cries the racing eight;
The gossamer, with ravelled silver threads,
Works at its little loom, and from the dusky red-eaved sheds

Of the lone Farm a flickering light shines out
Where the swinked shepherd drives his bleating flock
Back to their wattled sheep-cotes, a faint shout
Comes from some Oxford boat at Sandford lock,
And starts the moor-hen from the sedgy rill,
And the dim lengthening shadows flit like swallows up the hill.

The heron passes homeward to the mere,
The blue mist creeps among the shivering trees,
Gold world by world the silent stars appear,
And like a blossom blown before the breeze
A white moon drifts across the shimmering sky,
Mute arbitress of all thy sad, thy rapturous threnody.

She does not heed thee, wherefore should she heed,
She knows Endymion is not far away;
’Tis I, ’tis I, whose soul is as the reed
Which has no message of its own to play,
So pipes another’s bidding, it is I,
Drifting with every wind on the wide sea of misery.

Ah! the brown bird has ceased:  one exquisite trill
About the sombre woodland seems to cling
Dying in music, else the air is still,
So still that one might hear the bat’s small wing
Wander and wheel above the pines, or tell
Each tiny dew-drop dripping from the bluebell’s brimming cell.

And far away across the lengthening wold,
Across the willowy flats and thickets brown,
Magdalen’s tall tower tipped with tremulous gold
Marks the long High Street of the little town,
And warns me to return; I must not wait,
Hark! ’Tis the curfew booming from the bell at Christ Church gate.
Filomena Nov 2018
I must efface
the heron vase
so it will never be replaced.
it might mean something, or not
idk figure it out
Composed while at work.
Umi Apr 2018
Eternity can change in a fleeting moment,
These are the hopes of a girl, bound to a chair, looking out of the window, seeping sadness with in a barage of frustration locked away,
Rejected by the other kids because she was different, she soon has stopped to bond anymore, friendships seemed like a happy illusion,
Too scared to go outside and be made fun of, or called out for her oddness which would unfold in special, yet fascinating, blissful ways,
Days pass by, which become months, with no range of change to be seen or gazed at, sealing her emotions away to stay sane, one option,
Reading to develop a further understanding of humans, as to develop greater, wonderous capabilities of imagination to simulate a world within her little, fragile, yes almost broken mind, in which she can grow strong and happy, alike her flowers she calls her own children,
After all, each time she desired to get close to one or another, a cold shoulder has been served, their backs turning at her in spite and hate,
But, this girl has lost the reason to mind it, after all, her loneliness is her shelter, her fantasy and her dreams a happy place to return to,
Left behind, like a one winged heron.

~ Umi
K Mae Jun 2014
for you, my friend
I practice attention
mesmerized by dignity
memorize a likeness
unified beauty
blue heron
stillness
strikes
home
Robert Ronnow Aug 2015
The circle closes over the dead woman's space.
Family and community heal, the scar tissue
between a young girl's *******. She had
shared conversations with my father about
the holes in their hearts. My heart, the
muscle, not the spirit, flutters when a
young girl bikes by or the heron flies.

By September flies are down, we can come
out of our canoes and risk the woods. Summer's tissue
is torn each night. Space above gives perspective
to the life one had. Jesus speaks your name?
And is Beatrix now traveling astronomy's corridors
at the speed of light, aware of herself, to the blessed heart?
Durante too is moving on, wayfaring with his virgil.

Much of the family gathered. My grandfather, Bart,
it was remembered sold his house to none other than Duke
Ellington and Lena Horne lived up the block. Andrew
played with her daughters, sons. Until every Italian
had moved east into Long Island, thinking themselves
better than blacks. I find each and all --
Hindus, Muslims -- hard-earned bone and prone to ache.

We are most happy the dead one's not us.
The chosen one, the unfortunate one, the
one whose name Jesus spoke, is gone
and is no longer one of us. She is the other,
as distant and separate from the family
as a black man or Hindu's sister. Missed less
than last night's sleep or meat and grateful

for such peace. I will be too if it won't
come too soon or too often. My observation is
54 or 84 you always seem to want more
what was accomplished or never finished isn't
enough. Greedy, overweight and blameworthy
is how I've felt about every wasted day.
Summer's tissue torn by the first frost night.

Judging by her feet, Judith will be a big
woman, great granddaughter of Bartholomew,
who sold his redlined house to Duke. See how she
stands near her mother, Jeanette, who
resembles so fiercely my grandmother, Concetta.
The circle closes over the dead woman's space.
Summer's tissue is torn, the family is lace.
www.ronnowpoetry.com
Toni Seychelle Jun 2013
The sun is setting on a hot day, he hides coyly behind tall sycamores, his reflection playing on the undersides of trees on the riverbank. His warm breath is the breeze that kisses my cheek. The river carries me on, over pebbles and rocks below the glassy surface. Dragonflies dart around, flying gems that glisten in the sun. The heron, with diligent patience, hides seamlessly in the trees awaiting his next meal. He takes off when I get near, his frame is much larger in flight. The sweetness of honeysuckle is thick in this warm air. The trees on the riverbank are laden and dripping of the sweet flowers. As I gently glide through the water, the waves lap against my boat, almost making the sound of kisses. This is my river time. All these beautiful things, I love. There is passion in Nature, it is in birdsong and in the breeze. It is in the river as it moves along and the swaying of the trees. This is where I breathe.
I love kayaking.
Seán Mac Falls Jul 2015
— for Victoria*

Seasons shuttle the tall stoic figure,
Graceful and solemn as wafted mist,
When seen, as if he was always there,
Overarching into meek, gloamy skies
Of mornings and dusk, mid day, lost,
Seems not right for wading out kills
That crane from above into the mud
And murk of the penny eyed waters
Only the ferryman will tender, for time
Slips, sleeping with the fishes, spears
Puddle and rim in the wakes, sparks
Of waters break like a sputtering fire,
His dart eyes are as yellow as golden
Sun dancing in funeral pyre.  So green
Creatures, must they always be gotten,
Gone, have it coming from the sheering,
Mercies of the Great Blue Heron who is all
Seeing, scything, down to dazed judgement,
Incited, pecking to order at the squirming fold.
Seán Mac Falls Dec 2013
The heron spreads his wings and preys.
His stony stand a beachhead sloughing
The salt sea, a sepulchered wading.

Leaven the broken bred, unshell
The teeming waters, a fisher of mermen
Unlordly low this lying father,
His wings are palms,

His rock a mount, his wings a bay,
And deafness, tears in the outer shores
And exaulted seas the forgiven waves,

Swells the briny blood and kelp.
Vains are streaming to the fisher king,
Lordy he lands the lying father
His wings are psalms.

A tiny flood that arcs the sky
Marks lord in miniature, a King
Fisher flies, His wings are
The waters calmed.

The otters bask and preen, mermen
Jostle in the laddered rays of the sun
They mark their surf, insouciant play,

Wavering the fisher of men, he sways,
Simply they circle in song singing hours,
Dancing as do the murmuring waves,
Their strokes are psalms.
Judi Romaine Dec 2014
I belong to the world.
I belong to the beauty,
To the struggle,
To the joy,
To the wrenching grief,
To the heron,
To the sparrow,
The dweller and
The homeless.
The earth and
The wasteland.
The builder and
Destroyer.
The loved and
Unwanted.
I belong to all of it and
It is mine. For now.
Seán Mac Falls Jul 2012
The heron spreads his wings and preys.
His stony stand a beachhead sloughing
The salt sea, a sepulchered wading.

Leaven the broken bred, unshell
The teeming waters, a fisher of mermen
Unlordly low this lying father,
His wings are palms,

His rock a mount, his wings a bay,
And deafness, tears in the outer shores
And exaulted seas the forgiven waves,

Swells the briny blood and kelp.
Vains are streaming to the fisher king,
Lordy he lands the lying father
His wings are psalms.

A tiny flood that arcs the sky
Marks lord in miniature, a King 
Fisher flies, His wings are
The waters calmed.

The otters bask and preen, mermen
Jostle in the laddered rays of the sun
They mark their surf, insouciant play,

Wavering the fisher of men, he sways, 
Simply they circle in song singing hours,
Dancing as do the murmuring waves,
Their strokes are psalms.
CA Guilfoyle Jul 2012
Mourning - you flew over indigo waters,
landing
Stealthy stalker you walked the shallows  
billing silvery minnows
On rust red stilts, you're built
to move in watery fields
Eyes piercing depths of algae blooms
rippled, your swaying seaweed room
Silent hunter,
feathery plumed
Seán Mac Falls Mar 2015
— for Victoria*
Seasons shuttle the tall stoic figure,
Graceful and solemn as wafted mist,
When seen, as if he was always there,
Overarching into meek, gloamy skies
Of mornings and dusk, mid day, lost,
Seems not right for wading out kills
That crane from above into the mud
And murk of the penny eyed waters
Only the ferryman will tender, for time
Slips, sleeping with the fishes, spears
Puddle and rim in the wakes, sparks
Of waters break like a sputtering fire,
His dart eyes are as yellow as golden
Sun dancing in funeral pyre.  So green
Creatures, must they always be gotten,
Gone, have it coming from the sheering,
Mercies of the Great Blue Heron who is all
Seeing, scything, down to dazed judgement,
Incited, pecking to order at the squirming fold.
Raj Arumugam Feb 2012
smooth like a breeze
let us move, let us walk
in this snow

Crow and Heron
they might call us;
those who see
my clothes in black
and yours in white
as light as falling snow

let us go
gently together
elegant and ephemeral
under one umbrella
close, warm
my arm on your delicate shoulders
and those who know
they will say:
See, the eternal couple walk
Heron and Crow
Ying and yang
Never appearing never going
But always being


Let us walk
smooth and precious
side by side, while fools think
there are times or moments in our lives;
while the wise know
we are always being –
not within time, not within segments
but Crow and Heron
beyond concept and ideation
poem based on painting:
"Couple under an umbrella in the snow (crow and heron)" Color woodcut print by Suzuki Harunobu (1725?-July 17, 1770)
Seán Mac Falls May 2013
The heron spreads his wings and preys.
His stony stand a beachhead sloughing
The salt sea, a sepulchered wading.

Leaven the broken bred, unshell
The teeming waters, a fisher of mermen
Unlordly low this lying father,
His wings are palms,

His rock a mount, his wings a bay,
And deafness, tears in the outer shores
And exaulted seas the forgiven waves,

Swells the briny blood and kelp.
Vains are streaming to the fisher king,
Lordy he lands the lying father
His wings are psalms.

A tiny flood that arcs the sky
Marks lord in miniature, a King
Fisher flies, His wings are
The waters calmed.

The otters bask and preen, mermen
Jostle in the laddered rays of the sun
They mark their surf, insouciant play,

Wavering the fisher of men, he sways,
Simply they circle in song singing hours,
Dancing as do the murmuring waves,
Their strokes are psalms.
ok okay Jan 2019
As white as the snow that is yet to come
And as delicate as a fallen autumn leaf
A Heron patiently waits like a philosopher lost in thought
Brandon Hall Dec 2015
Just beneath the road insensate,
in the little creek that crawls through town,
the rains brought him.
Iron-blue, patient, slender, high sits his head –
a lance, now raised – now half-tilt as he sights his prey – raised again
as a drifting leaf disrupts his aim.
Upstream he prowls, that his prey sees
him not.
He stalks with long, slow strides, his legs thin and
graceful not to disturb the quiet current of the water and
give himself away to senseless quarry. Few call him spindly,
I imagine. Not I.
By the shore, fish-bones, whole
but for the flesh,
sink into the mud.
A thoughtless dart, a flash, a writhing
beast falls still on his speartip.
What am I, then, that
he flies when I draw close?
Seán Mac Falls Nov 2012
The heron spreads his wings and preys.
His stony stand a beachhead sloughing
The salt sea, a sepulchered wading.

Leaven the broken bred, unshell
The teeming waters, a fisher of mermen
Unlordly low this lying father,
His wings are palms,

His rock a mount, his wings a bay,
And deafness, tears in the outer shores
And exaulted seas the forgiven waves,

Swells the briny blood and kelp.
Vains are streaming to the fisher king,
Lordy he lands the lying father
His wings are psalms.

A tiny flood that arcs the sky
Marks lord in miniature, a King
Fisher flies, His wings are
The waters calmed.

The otters bask and preen, mermen
Jostle in the laddered rays of the sun
They mark their surf, insouciant play,

Wavering the fisher of men, he sways,
Simply they circle in song singing hours,
Dancing as do the murmuring waves,
Their strokes are psalms.
Jamie L Cantore Jan 2017
Words Studied For This Writing:
------------------------------------
English: Zoup, please.
What it sounds like in German: Die Zoup bitte "Or" The Zoup? Bitter.
English: Uh, the night tea is great!
Pronounced in German sounds like: Eww. Is nachte. It's Gros "Or" Eww! Is nasty! It's gross!
English: Here.
Pronounced in German: Here.
English: Ha! I see an icky Sir's downin' Zoup.
German: Huh? - Ick- Taste. -Sie - An Icky herran down en Zoup
English:Yes.
German: Ja "Or" yeah
English: Skinny rides here. Skinny? Hmm.. horseback.
German: Dunne fahrten hier, Dunne. Hmm?  Holtzit back! Or.. Do not **** in here; do not! Hmm?  Holds it back!
English: Oh! I beg!
German: Oh! Ich bitte "Or" Oh! It's better!
English: Come back, Father.....
German: Comeback, Vatter "Or" Come back, Fatter
English: Nexxinline
German: Next in line.


Let's make a story with this .

First Act

-Enter Customer 2 in an American diner. She orders a
unique zebra-flavored soup called Zoup, created on American soil, but it's claimed to have had its origins in a restaurant located in Worms, Germany; as per usual proud fashion.

Customer 2 to Rude Waitress: "Zoup, please."

She sipped the complimentary drink placed before her as she awaited her order. Iced tea, ***** glass. It was reportedly their best tea, brewed by the Barista on the night-shift, whom did only speak in broken English and Spanish. Therefore, when the customer enjoyed her tea, she was glad it was nightfall and privy to the better drink and expressed her approval.

Customer 2 to Night-Shift Barista in simplified language:

"Uh, the night tea is great!"

The Barista nods politely.

Rude Waitress, apparently jealous because she makes the Day-shift tea, is curt to Customer 2:


"Here." she growled, slamming the Zoup on the table.

Things get quiet.

Just then, Customer 2 recognizes a crusty man who claims to have been knighted in a former life before joining a Native American tribe. She addresses him sardonically.

Customer 2 to Crusty Man

:
"Ha!" " I see an icky Sir's downin' Zoup!"

Crusty Man responds, unmoved:

"Yes."

Customer 2 cautioned him that he was being tracked by the infamous international assassin, Skinny.

Customer 2 to Crusty Man in mock Native American tongue:


"Skinny rides here ...

Crusty Man: "Skinny?"


Customer 2 (deepening voice)

"Mmm, horseback."

She makes gestures with her hands of a man riding a horse.
And follows it up with mimicking a successful hit on Crusty Mans life, complete with tongue hanging out of mouth.

The rude waitress then pleads to a deceased priest aloud to return to save them whilst making holy gestures frantically.

Rude Waitress to a deceased Holy Man:

"Oh!" "I beg." "Come back, Father...
Father Nexxinline?"

End First Act


This Final Act was created using the same exact words used in the English language, those in  quotations that is, as were in the First Act: but then translating them into German, the conversation then became a bit more humorous. The Background was filled in to fit the context of the meaning of the words sonic qualities, as certain German words sound similar to English words, though they generally have different meanings. The German word sounds brought a whole new meaning to the English words spoken, and with this contrast I finished the Final Act. Since most do not know how to pronounce certain words and dialects of German language, I took the sounds created within the language and converted them to English words of phonetic similarity. These words were not translated back to English, as that would put the conversation exactly where it began -I rather made them easier to perceive.

Background Final Act/. Skinny from First Act is now in a diner in Worms, Germany, (pronounced like Vorms with  a V.)

We begin with Skinny's response to being asked how is the Zoup by the German Waiter.

Skinny dryly to German Waiter: "The Zoup?" "Bitter."

He takes another spoonful into his mouth.

Skinny: "Ewww!"  "Is nasty!" "It's gross!"

Skinny to German Waiter in disgust: "Here!"

And he pushes the bowl of Zoup into the waiters face.


German Waiter to Skinny expressing consternation

: "Huh?"

Skinny commands him: "Taste!"

The waiter does so reluctantly and winces in clear disgust.

Skinny:

"See?" " Icky heron down in Zoup!"

German Waiter to Skinny knowing German Zoup  is flavored with heron, not zebra, and failing to see the point retorts

: "Yeah?"

Skinny then crude and vengeful 'expresses' a good one from his basest dwelling silently; but deadly with a grin. It was a most foul smell.

The waiter is exasperated with this crudeness and makes commands of his own.

German Waiter to Skinny

:
"Do not **** in here!" 'Do not!"" Hmm?"  "Holds it back!"

The odor horrid reached culmination with another waft of steam from Skinny and  resulted in the excommunication of Skinny.
Skinny yet found himself vindicated and agreed to leave the establishment as was demanded. As he exits in self satisfaction, our waiter tells him not to forget his Zoup and the prideful waiter Stolz mocks him in jest by spooning a mouthful into his jabbering jowls, as he does, he turns pale and ill and silenced, reassuring Skinny he had a reason to be disappointed.

The German Waiter refusing to admit defeat tells him:


"Oh, it's better!" Referring to his bias to the Zoup from Worms, which should be renamed Houp, but the words don't translate that way.

THEN Stolz realized his best customer, Skinny's hefty brother, Fatter, was running out the door in an attempt to escape the stench which lingered and but grew in force, and the waiter pleaded with him to return.

German Waiter to Skinny's brother:

"Come back, Fatter!" but Fatter kept running and giggling sophomorically.

The German Waiter to a diner full of people gasping for fresh air and no desire for Zoup at this moment said in defeatist sheepishness, gulping before asking wishfully... pouting, whispering:


"Next in line?"
Ugo Feb 2012
1.
Nymphomaniac-addicts,
Overweight bisexual vegetarians
Climbing trees to stay fit
and eating 80’s fried chicken *******

2.
just imagine
Aquarians full of class valedictorians
Swimming on display for graduation ceremony…
reverse-symbolism of how Moolch drowned His *****

3.
Better yet, just imagine
Holy wars,
Beautiful words written to describe the burning pains
Of holocaust...the Kristallnacht nights
Under the mistletoe,
Watching Hall of fame ball hawks on pivot toes
Driving through hoes
After the whistle blows

4
College Literacy classes teaching basic:
Ideas that good questions leads to good answers,
Reading reminders
Free association conceptual constructions

5.
But *******’ professor:
free association **** shticks
misfires, false alarms
are all art, too,
Like sticking a dagger into an apple,
Not the edible, but the technology.

6.
Go head, deconstruct the philosophy
Of oral cute-tification,
according to the Tautology of Leviticus,
With the same three half truths, pogroms
against biological deviant... FLAGS!

7.
Cryptic gospels of a *******
Where three F.F.F’s
Stands for six six six
Like how 1mg of juxtaposition
And a dose of metamorphosis
is the repertoire of a king of curmudgeon
‘cause even the Holy Ghost
drinks from the cup of Christ’s blood.

8.
Reading,
Self-flagellation gospel-manual of Pope John Paul II,
At shrink sessions under the daze of heron Piper methysticum blunts
With sweet phat butts like lit lickerish that droop eyes
Like the psalm of Valeriana officinalis root extract.
CA Guilfoyle Feb 2014
Mourning - you flew over indigo waters,
landing
Stealthy stalker you walked the shallows  
billing silvery minnows
On rust red stilts, you're built
to move in watery fields
Eyes piercing depths of algae blooms
rippled, your swaying seaweed room
Silent hunter,
feathery plumed
It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
     And the mussel pooled and the heron
               Priested shore
          The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
          Myself to set foot
               That second
     In the still sleeping town and set forth.

     My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
     Above the farms and the white horses
               And I rose
          In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
          Over the border
               And the gates
     Of the town closed as the town awoke.

     A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
     Blackbirds and the sun of October
               Summery
          On the hill's shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
          To the rain wringing
               Wind blow cold
     In the wood faraway under me.

     Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
     With its horns through mist and the castle
               Brown as owls
          But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
          There could I marvel
               My birthday
     Away but the weather turned around.

     It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
     Streamed again a wonder of summer
               With apples
          Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
          Through the parables
               Of sun light
     And the legends of the green chapels

     And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
     These were the woods the river and sea
               Where a boy
          In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
          And the mystery
               Sang alive
     Still in the water and singingbirds.

     And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
     Joy of the long dead child sang burning
               In the sun.
          It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
          O may my heart's truth
               Still be sung
     On this high hill in a year's turning.
Seán Mac Falls Jun 2016
.
The heron spreads his wings and preys.
His stony stand a beachhead sloughing
The salt sea, a sepulchered wading.

Leaven the broken bred, unshell
The teeming waters, a fisher of mermen
Unlordly low this lying father,
His wings are palms,

His rock a mount, his wings a bay,
And deafness, tears in the outer shores
And exaulted seas the forgiven waves,

Swells the briny blood and kelp.
Vains are streaming to the fisher king,
Lordy he lands the lying father
His wings are psalms.

A tiny flood that arcs the sky
Marks lord in miniature, a King
Fisher flies, His wings are
The waters calmed.

The otters bask and preen, mermen
Jostle in the laddered rays of the sun
They mark their surf, insouciant play,

Wavering the fisher of men, he sways,
Simply they circle in song singing hours,
Dancing as do the murmuring waves,
Their strokes are psalms.
An evening all aglow with summer light
And autumn colour—fairest of the year.

The wheat-fields, crowned with shocks of tawny gold,
All interspersed with rough sowthistle roots,
And interlaced with white convolvulus,
Lay, flecked with purple shadows, in the sun.
The shouts of little children, gleaning there
The scattered ears and wild blue-bottle flowers—
Mixed with the corn-crake's crying, and the song
Of lone wood birds whose mother-cares were o'er,
And with the whispering rustle of red leaves—
Scarce stirred the stillness. And the gossamer sheen
Was spread on upland meadows, silver bright
In low red sunshine and soft kissing wind—
Showing where angels in the night had trailed
Their garments on the turf. Tall arrow-heads,
With flag and rush and fringing grasses, dropped
Their seeds and blossoms in the sleepy pool.
The water-lily lay on her green leaf,
White, fair, and stately; while an amorous branch
Of silver willow, drooping in the stream,
Sent soft, low-babbling ripples towards her:
And oh, the woods!—erst haunted with the song
Of nightingales and tender coo of doves—
They stood all flushed and kindling 'neath the touch
Of death—kind death!—fair, fond, reluctant death!—
A dappled mass of glory!
Harvest-time;
With russet wood-fruit thick upon the ground,
'Mid crumpled ferns and delicate blue harebells.
The orchard-apples rolled in seedy grass—
Apples of gold, and violet-velvet plums;
And all the tangled hedgerows bore a crop
Of scarlet hips, blue sloes, and blackberries,
And orange clusters of the mountain ash.
The crimson fungus and soft mosses clung
To old decaying trunks; the summer bine
Drooped, shivering, in the glossy ivy's grasp.
By day the blue air bore upon its wings
Wide-wandering seeds, pale drifts of thistle-down;
By night the fog crept low upon the earth,
All white and cool, and calmed its feverishness,
And veiled it over with a veil of tears.

The curlew and the plover were come back
To still, bleak shores; the little summer birds
Were gone—to Persian gardens, and the groves
Of Greece and Italy, and the palmy lands.

A Norman tower, with moss and lichen clothed,
Wherein old bells, on old worm-eaten frames
And rusty wheels, had swung for centuries,
Chiming the same soft chime—the lullaby
Of cradled rooks and blinking bats and owls;
Setting the same sweet tune, from year to year,
For generations of true hearts to sing.
A wide churchyard, with grassy slopes and nooks,
And shady corners and meandering paths;
With glimpses of dim windows and grey walls
Just caught at here and there amongst the green
Of flowering shrubs and sweet lime-avenues.
An old house standing near—a parsonage-house—
With broad thatched roof and overhanging eaves,
O'errun with banksia roses,—a low house,
With ivied windows and a latticed porch,
Shut in a tiny Paradise, all sweet
With hum of bees and scent of mignonette.

We lay our lazy length upon the grass
In that same Paradise, my friend and I.
And, as we lay, we talked of college days—
Wild, racing, hunting, steeple-chasing days;
Of river reaches, fishing-grounds, and weirs,
Bats, gloves, debates, and in-humanities:
And then of boon-companions of those days,
How lost and scattered, married, changed, and dead;
Until he flung his arm across his face,
And feigned to slumber.
He was changed, my friend;
Not like the man—the leader of his set—
The favourite of the college—that I knew.
And more than time had changed him. He had been
“A little wild,” the Lady Alice said;
“A little gay, as all young men will be
At first, before they settle down to life—
While they have money, health, and no restraint,
Nor any work to do,” Ah, yes! But this
Was mystery unexplained—that he was sad
And still and thoughtful, like an aged man;
And scarcely thirty. With a winsome flash,
The old bright heart would shine out here and there;
But aye to be o'ershadowed and hushed down,

As he had hushed it now.
His dog lay near,
With long, sharp muzzle resting on his paws,
And wistful eyes, half shut,—but watching him;
A deerhound of illustrious race, all grey
And grizzled, with soft, wrinkled, velvet ears;
A gaunt, gigantic, wolfish-looking brute,
And worth his weight in gold.
“There, there,” said he,
And raised him on his elbow, “you have looked
Enough at me; now look at some one else.”

“You could not see him, surely, with your arm
Across your face?”
“No, but I felt his eyes;
They are such sharp, wise eyes—persistent eyes—
Perpetually reproachful. Look at them;
Had ever dog such eyes?”
“Oh yes,” I thought;
But, wondering, turned my talk upon his breed.
And was he of the famed Glengarry stock?
And in what season was he entered? Where,
Pray, did he pick him up?
He moved himself
At that last question, with a little writhe
Of sudden pain or restlessness; and sighed.
And then he slowly rose, pushed back the hair
From his broad brows; and, whistling softly, said,
“Come here, old dog, and we will tell him. Come.”

“On such a day, and such a time, as this,
Old Tom and I were stalking on the hills,
Near seven years ago. Bad luck was ours;
For we had searched up corrie, glen, and burn,
From earliest daybreak—wading to the waist
Peat-rift and purple heather—all in vain!
We struck a track nigh every hour, to lose
A noble quarry by ignoble chance—
The crowing of a grouse-****, or the flight
Of startled mallards from a reedy pool,
Or subtle, hair's breadth veering of the wind.
And now 'twas waning sunset—rosy soft

On far grey peaks, and the green valley spread
Beneath us. We had climbed a ridge, and lay
Debating in low whispers of our plans
For night and morning. Golden eagles sailed
Above our heads; the wild ducks swam about

Amid the reeds and rushes of the pools;
A lonely heron stood on one long leg
In shallow water, watching for a meal;
And there, to windward, couching in the grass
That fringed the blue edge of a sleeping loch—
Waiting for dusk to feed and drink—there lay
A herd of deer.
“And as we looked and planned,
A mountain storm of sweeping mist and rain
Came down upon us. It passed by, and left
The burnies swollen that we had to cross;
And left us barely light enough to see
The broad, black, branching antlers, clustering still
Amid the long grass in the valley.

“‘Sir,’
Said Tom, ‘there is a shealing down below,
To leeward. We might bivouac there to-night,
And come again at dawn.’
“And so we crept
Adown the glen, and stumbled in the dark
Against the doorway of the keeper's home,
And over two big deerhounds—ancestors
Of this our old companion. There was light
And warmth, a welcome and a heather bed,
At Colin's cottage; with a meal of eggs
And fresh trout, broiled by dainty little hands,
And sweetest milk and oatcake. There were songs
And Gaelic legends, and long talk of deer—
Mixt with a sweet, low laughter, and the whir
Of spinning-wheel.
“The dogs lay at her feet—
The feet of Colin's daughter—with their soft
Dark velvet ears pricked up for every sound
And movement that she made. Right royal brutes,
Whereon I gazed with envy.
“ ‘What,’ I asked,
‘Would Colin take for these?’
“ ‘Eh, sir,’ said he,
And shook his head, ‘I cannot sell the dogs.
They're priceless, they, and—Jeanie's favourites.
But there's a litter in the shed—five pups,
As like as peas to this one. You may choose
Amongst them, sir—take any that you like.
Get us the lantern, Jeanie. You shall show
The gentleman.’
“Ah, she was fair, that girl!

Not like the other lassies—cottage folk;
For there was subtle trace of gentle blood
Through all her beauty and in all her ways.
(The mother's race was ‘poor and proud,’ they said).
Ay, she was fair, my darling! with her shy,
Brown, innocent face and delicate-shapen limbs.
She had the tenderest mouth you ever saw,
And grey, dark eyes, and broad, straight-pencill'd brows;
Dark hair, sun-dappled with a sheeny gold;
Dark chestnut braids that knotted up the light,
As soft as satin. You could scarcely hear
Her step, or hear the rustling of her gown,
Or the soft hovering motion of her hands
At household work. She seemed to bring a spell
Of tender calm and silence where she came.
You felt her presence—and not by its stir,
But by its restfulness. She was a sight
To be remembered—standing in the straw;
A sleepy pup soft-cradled in her arms
Like any Christian baby; standing still,
The while I handled his ungainly limbs.
And Colin blustered of the sport—of hounds,
Roe, ptarmigan, and trout, and ducal deer—
Ne'er lifting up that sweet, unconscious face,
To see why I was silent. Oh, I would
You could have seen her then. She was so fair,
And oh, so young!—scarce seventeen at most—
So ignorant and so young!
“Tell them, my friend—
Your flock—the restless-hearted—they who scorn
The ordered fashion fitted to our race,
And scoff at laws they may not understand—
Tell them that they are fools. They cannot mate
With other than their kind, but woe will come
In some shape—mostly shame, but always grief
And disappointment. Ah, my love! my love!
But she was different from the common sort;
A peasant, ignorant, simple, undefiled;
The child of rugged peasant-parents, taught
In all their thoughts and ways; yet with that touch
Of tender grace about her, softening all
The rougher evidence of her lowly state—
That undefined, unconscious dignity—
That delicate instinct for the reading right
The riddles of less simple minds than hers—
That sharper, finer, subtler sense of life—
That something which does not possess a name,

Which made her beauty beautiful to me—
The long-lost legacy of forgotten knights.

“I chose amongst the five fat creeping things
This rare old dog. And Jeanie promised kind
And gentle nurture for its infant days;
And promised she would keep it till I came
Another year. And so we went to rest.
And in the morning, ere the sun was up,
We left our rifles, and went out to run
The browsing red-deer with old Colin's hounds.
Through glen and bog, through brawling mountain streams,
Grey, lichened boulders, furze, and juniper,
And purple wilderness of moor, we toiled,
Ere yet the distant snow-peak was alight.
We chased a hart to water; saw him stand
At bay, with sweeping antlers, in the burn.
His large, wild, wistful eyes despairingly
Turned to the deeper eddies; and we saw
The choking struggle and the bitter end,
And cut his gallant throat upon the grass,
And left him. Then we followed a fresh track—
A dozen tracks—and hunted till the noon;
Shot cormorants and wild cats in the cliffs,
And snipe and blackcock on the ferny hills;
And set our floating night-lines at the loch;—
And then came back to Jeanie.
“Well, you know
What follows such commencement:—how I found
The woods and corries round about her home
Fruitful of roe and red-deer; how I found
The grouse lay thickest on adjacent moors;
Discovered ptarmigan on rocky peaks,
And rare small game on birch-besprinkled hills,
O'ershadowing that rude shealing; how the pools
Were full of wild-fowl, and the loch of trout;
How vermin harboured in the underwood,
And rocks, and reedy marshes; how I found
The sport aye best in this charmed neighbourhood.
And then I e'en must wander to the door,
To leave a bird for Colin, or to ask
A lodging for some stormy night, or see
How fared my infant deerhound.
“And I saw
The creeping dawn unfolding; saw the doubt,
And faith, and longing swaying her sweet heart;
And every flow just distancing the ebb.

I saw her try to bar the golden gates
Whence love demanded egress,—calm her eyes,
And still the tender, sensitive, tell-tale lips,
And steal away to corners; saw her face
Grow graver and more wistful, day by day;
And felt the gradual strengthening of my hold.
I did not stay to think of it—to ask
What I was doing!
“In the early time,
She used to slip away to household work
When I was there, and would not talk to me;
But when I came not, she would climb the glen
In secret, and look out, with shaded brow,
Across the valley. Ay, I caught her once—
Like some young helpless doe, amongst the fern—
I caught her, and I kissed her mouth and eyes;
And with those kisses signed and sealed our fate
For evermore. Then came our happy days—
The bright, brief, shining days without a cloud!
In ferny hollows and deep, rustling woods,
That shut us in and shut out all the world—
The far, forgotten world—we met, and kissed,
And parted, silent, in the balmy dusk.
We haunted still roe-coverts, hand in hand,
And murmured, under our breath, of love and faith,
And swore great oaths for one of us to keep.
We sat for hours, with sealèd lips, and heard
The crossbill chattering in the larches—heard
The sweet wind whispering as it passed us by—
And heard our own hearts' music in the hush.
Ah, blessed days! ah, happy, innocent days!—
I would I had them back.
“Then came the Duke,
And Lady Alice, with her worldly grace
And artificial beauty—with the gleam
Of jewels, and the dainty shine of silk,
And perfumed softness of white lace and lawn;
With all the glamour of her courtly ways,
Her talk of art and fashion, and the world
We both belonged to. Ah, she hardened me!
I lost the sweetness of the heathery moors
And hills and quiet woodlands, in that scent
Of London clubs and royal drawing-rooms;
I lost the tender chivalry of my love,
The keen sense of its sacredness, the clear
Perception of mine honour, by degrees,
Brought face to face with customs of my kind.

I was no more a “man;” nor she, my love,
A delicate lily of womanhood—ah, no!
I was the heir of an illustrious house,
And she a simple, homespun cottage-girl.

“And now I stole at rarer intervals
To those dim trysting woods; and when I came
I brought my cunning worldly wisdom—talked
Of empty forms and marriages in heaven—
To stain that simple soul, God pardon me!
And she would shiver in the stillness, scared
And shocked, with her pathetic eyes—aye proof
Against the fatal, false philosophy.
But my will was the strongest, and my love
The weakest; and she knew it.
“Well, well, well,
I need not talk of that. There came the day
Of our last parting in the ferny glen—
A bitter parting, parting from my life,
Its light and peace for ever! And I turned
To ***** and billiards, politics and wine;
Was wooed by Lady Alice, and half won;
And passed a feverous winter in the world.
Ah, do not frown! You do not understand.
You never knew that hopeless thirst for peace—
That gnawing hunger, gnawing at your life;
The passion, born too late! I tell you, friend,
The ruth, and love, and longing for my child,
It broke my heart at last.
“In the hot days
Of August, I went back; I went alone.
And on old garrulous Margery—relict she
Of some departed seneschal—I rained
My eager questions. ‘Had the poaching been
As ruinous and as audacious as of old?
Were the dogs well? and had she felt the heat?
And—I supposed the keeper, Colin, still
Was somewhere on the place?’
“ ‘Nay, sir,’; said she,
‘But he has left the neighbourhood. He ne'er
Has held his head up since he lost his child,
Poor soul, a month ago.’
“I heard—I heard!
His child—he had but one—my little one,
Whom I had meant to marry in a week!

“ ‘Ah, sir, she turned out badly after all,
The girl we thought a pattern for all girls.
We know not how it happened, for she named
No names. And, sir, it preyed upon her mind,
And weakened it; and she forgot us all,
And seemed as one aye walking in her sleep
She noticed no one—no one but the dog,
A young deerhound that followed her about;
Though him she hugged and kissed in a strange way
When none was by. And Colin, he was hard
Upon the girl; and when she sat so still,
And pale and passive, while he raved and stormed,
Looking beyond him, as it were, he grew
The harder and more harsh. He did not know
That she was not herself. Men are so blind!
But when he saw her floating in the loch,
The moonlight on her face, and her long hair
All tangled in the rushes; saw the hound
Whining and crying, tugging at her plaid—
Ah, sir, it was a death-stroke!’
“This was all.
This was the end of her sweet life—the end
Of all worth having of mine own! At night
I crept across the moors to find her grave,
And kiss the wet earth covering it—and found
The deerhound lying there asleep. Ay me!
It was the bitterest darkness,—nevermore
To break out into dawn and day again!

“And Lady Alice shakes her dainty head,
Lifts her arch eyebrows, smiles, and whispers, “Once
He was a little wild!’ ”
With that he laughed;
Then suddenly flung his face upon the grass,
Crying, “Leave me for a little—let me be!”
And in the dusky stillness hugged his woe,
And wept away his pas

— The End —