Grass of Parnassus: Rhymes Old and New

Front Cover
Longmans, 1889 - 124 pages

Many of the verses and translations in this volume were published first in Ballads and Lyrics of Old France (1872). Though very sensible that they have the demerits of imitative and even of undergraduate rhyme, I print them again because people I like have liked them. The rest are of different dates, and lack (though doubtless they need) the excuse of having been written, like some of the earlier pieces, during College Lectures. I would gladly have added to this volume what other more or less serious rhymes I have written, but circumstances over which I have no control have bound them up with Ballades, and other toys of that sort.
It may be as well to repeat in prose, what has already been said in verse, that Grass of Parnassus, the pretty Autumn flower, grows in the marshes at the foot of the MusesŐ Hill, and other hills, not at the top by any means.


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Page 19 - Like a loved ghost thy fabled flood Fleets through the dusky land; Where Scott, come home to die, has stood, My feet returning stand. A mist of memory broods and floats, The border waters flow; The air is full of ballad notes, Borne out of long ago.
Page 93 - When you are very old, at evening You'll sit and spin beside the fire, and say, Humming my songs, Ah well, ah well-a-day! When I was young, of me did Ronsard sing.' None of your maidens that doth hear the thing, Albeit with her weary task foredone, But wakens at my name, and calls you one Blest, to be held in long remembering. I shall be low beneath the earth, and laid On sleep, a phantom in the myrtle shade, While you beside the fire, a grandame grey, My love, your pride, remember and regret; Ah,...
Page 95 - Their jewelled spring array; April, pride of murmuring Winds of spring, That beneath the winnowed air, Trap with subtle nets and sweet Flora's feet, Flora's feet, the fleet and fair; April, by thy hand caressed, From her breast Nature scatters everywhere Handfuls of all sweet perfumes, Buds and blooms, 14 Making faint the earth and air.
Page 32 - Brighten the air with their wings ; their crying Wakens a moment the weary herds. Butterflies flit from the fairy garden, Living blossoms of flying flowers ; Never the nights with winter harden, Nor moons wax keen in this land of ours. Great fruits, fragrant, green and golden, Gleam in the green, and droop and fall ; Blossom, and bud, and flower unfolden, Swing, and cling to the garden wall. Deep in the woods as twilight darkens, Glades are red with the scented fire ; Far in the dells the white maid...
Page 94 - Within the sand of what far river lies The gold that gleams in tresses of my Love? What highest circle of the Heavens above Is jewelled with such stars as are her eyes? And where is the rich sea whose coral vies With her red lips, that cannot kiss enough? What dawn-lit garden knew the rose, whereof The fled soul lives in her cheeks
Page 45 - Last night, within the stifling train, Lit by the foggy lamp o'erhead, Sick of the sad Last News, I read Verse of that joyous child of Spain, Who dwelt when Rome was waxing cold, Within the Roman din and sm.oke; And like my heart to me they spoke; These accents of his heart of old : — Brother, had we but time to live, And fleet the careless hours together, With all that leisure has to give Of perfect life and peaceful weather. The Rich Man's halls, the anxious faces, The weary Forum, courts, and...
Page 96 - Flora's feet, the fleet and fair; April, by thy hand caressed, From her breast Nature scatters everywhere Handfuls of all sweet perfumes, Buds and blooms, Making faint the earth and air. April, joy of the green hours, Clothes with flowers Over all her locks of gold My sweet Lady ; and her breast With the blest Buds of summer manifold. April, with thy gracious wiles, Like the smiles, Smiles of Venus; and thy breath Like her breath, the Gods...
Page 47 - April on Tweed As birds are fain to build their nest The first soft sunny day, So longing wakens in my breast A month before the May, When now the wind is from the West, And Winter melts away. The snow lies yet on Eildon Hill, But soft the breezes blow. If melting snows the waters fill, We nothing heed the snow, But we must up and take our will...
Page 6 - Good-morrow, son; Where are your hounds so good ?" "Oh, they are hunting a white doe Within the glad greenwood. " And three times have they hunted her, And thrice she 's won away; The fourth time that they follow her That white doe they shall slay." Then out and spoke the forester, As he came from the wood, " Now never saw I maid's gold hair Among the wild deer's blood. "And I have hunted the wild deer In east lands and in west; And never saw I white doe yet That had a maiden's breast.
Page 2 - Not with the well-manned galley, labored he; Him not the Star of Storms, nor sudden sweep Of wind with all his years hath smitten and bent. But in his hut of reeds he fell asleep, As fades a lamp when all the oil is spent: This tomb nor wife nor children raised, but we His fellow-toilers, fishers of the sea.

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