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RICHARD EUGENE BURTON
American poet, journalist and critic
(1861 - 1940)

How often in the summer-tide,
  His graver business set aside,
    His stripling Will, the thoughtful-eyed
      As to the pipe of Pan,
        Stepped blithesomely with lover's pride
          Across the fields to Anne.
      - Across the Fields to Anne [Wooing]

From their folded mates they wander far,
  Their ways seem harsh and wild:
    They follow the beck of a baleful star,
      Their paths are dream-beguiled.
      - Black Sheep [Character]

Meanwhile "Black sheep, black sheep!" we cry,
  Safe in the inner fold;
    And maybe they hear, and wonder why,
      And marvel, out in the cold.
      - Black Sheep [Judgment]

There is only rest and peace
  In the city of Surcease
    From the failings and the wailings 'neath the sun,
      And the wings of the swift years
        Beat but gently o'er the biers
          Making music to the sleepers every one.
      - City of the Dead [Death]

They do neither plight nor wed
  In the city of the dead,
    In the city where they sleep away the hours.
      - City of the Dead [Death]

We are the doubles of those whose way
  Was festal with fruits and flowers;
    Body and brain we were sound as they,
      But the prizes were not ours.
      - Song of the Unsuccessful [Success]

We wonder if this can be really the close,
  Life's fever cooled by death's trance;
    And we cry, though it seems to our dearest of foes,
      "God give us another chance."
      - Song of the Unsuccessful [Death]


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