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American poet, novelist and essayist
(1836 - 1907)
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Somewhere, in desolate, wind-swept space,
  In twilight land, in no man's land,
    Two hurrying shapes met face to face
      And bade each other stand.
        "And who are you?" cried one, a-gape,
          Shuddering in the glimmering light.
            "I know not," said the second shape,
              "I only died last night."
      - Identity [Death]

But I, in the chilling twilight stand and wait
  At the portcullis, at thy castle gate,
    Longing to see the charmed door of dreams
      Turn on its noiseless hinges, delicate sleep!
      - Invocation to Sleep [Sleep]

October turned my maple's leaves to gold;
  The most are gone now; here and there one lingers:
    Soon these will slip from the twigs' weak hold,
      Like coins between a dying miser's fingers.
      - Maple Leaves [October]

Hebe's here, May is here!
  The air is fresh and sunny;
    And the miser-bees are busy
      Hoarding golden honey.
      - May [May]

We weep when we are born,
  Not when we die!
      - Metempsychosis [Tears]

Good night! I have to say good night,
  To such a host of peerless things!
      - Palabras Carinosas [Parting]

Till then, good-night!
  You wish the time were now? And I.
    You do not blush to wish it so?
      You would have blush'd yourself to death
        To own so much a year ago.
          What! both these snowy hands? ah, then
            I'll have to say, Good-night again.
      - Palabras Carinosas [Parting]

In her eyes a thought
  Grew sweeter and sweeter, deepening like the dawn,
    A mystical forewarning.
      - Pythagoras [Eyes]

Or light or dark, or short or tall,
  She sets a springe to snare them all:
    All's one to her--above her fan
      She'd make sweet eyes at Caliban.
      - Quatrains--Coquette [Coquetry]

If my best wines mislike thy taste,
  And my best service win thy frown,
    Then tarry not, I bid thee haste;
      There's many another Inn in town.
      - Quits [Hospitality]

Come watch with me the shaft of fire that glows
  In yonder West: the fair, frail palaces,
    The fading Alps and archipelagoes,
      And great cloud-continents of sunset-seas.
      - Sonnet--Miracles [Sunset]

When I behold what pleasure is Pursuit,
  What life, what glorious eagerness it is,
    Then mark how full Possession falls from this,
      How fairer seems the blossom than the fruit,--
        I am perplext, and often stricken mute.
          Wondering which attained the higher bliss,
            The wing'd insect, or the chrysalis
              It thrust aside with unreluctant foot.
      - Sonnet--Pursuit and Possession

When to soft Sleep we give ourselves away,
  And in a dream as in a fairy bark
    Drift on and on through the enchanted dark
      To purple daybreak--little thought we pay
        To that sweet bitter world we know by day.
      - Sonnet--Sleep [Dreams]

I like not lady-slippers,
  Not yet the sweet-pea blossoms,
    Not yet the flaky roses,
      Red or white as snow;
        I like the chaliced lilies,
          The heavy Eastern lilies,
            The gorgeous tiger-lilies,
              That in our garden grow.
      - Tiger Lilies (st. 1) [Lilies]

Dear Lord, though I be changed to senseless clay,
  And serve the Potter as he turn his wheel,
    I thank Thee for the gracious gift of tears!
      - Two Moods [Tears]

The happy bells shall ring Marguerite;
  The summer birds shall sing Marguerite;
    You smile but you shall wear
      Orange blossoms in your hair, Marguerite.
      - Wedded [Flowers : Fruits : Oranges]

When the Sultan Shah-Zaman
  Goes to the city Ispahan,
    Even before he gets so far
      As the place where the clustered palm-trees are,
        At the last of the thirty palace-gates
          The pet of the harem, Rose-in-Bloom,
            Orders a feast in his favorite room--
              Glittering square of colored ice,
                Sweetened with syrup, tinctured with spice,
                  Creams, and cordials, and sugared dates,
                    Syrian apples, Othmanee quinces,
                      Limes and citrons and apricots,
                        And wines that are known to Eastern princes.
      - When the Sultan Goes to Ispahan [Eating]

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