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The Collected Poems of
Theo Marzials:
Incidental Poems

Rondel: “Carpe Diem”

(The Athenæum 2520 (12 February 1876), p. 232)

To-day, what is there in the air
That makes December seem sweet May?
There are no swallows anywhere,
Nor crocuses to crown your hair,
And hail you down my garden way.
Last night the full moon’s frozen stare
Struck me, perhaps; or did you say
Really,—you’d come, sweet friend and fair!

To-day is here:—come! crown to-day
With Spring’s delight or Spring’s despair,
Love cannot bide old Time’s delay;—
Down my glad gardens light winds play,
And my whole life shall bloom and bear


(The Athenæum 2582 (21 April 1877), p. 511)

When I see you my heart sings
Deep within me for deep love;
In my deep heart’s dreamiest grove
Your bright image comes like Spring’s
Bringing back the murmuring dove
To the wan dim watersprings.
Would my tongue could tell the things
Love seems but an echo of
                When I see you!

Hope lies dying. Time’s disproof
Strips love’s roses to the stings;
But the bird that knows its wings
Bear it where it will aloof,
Sings not, Love, as my heart sings
                When I see you.

Twickenham Ferry. A River Song

(Published by Boosey & Co, London, ca. 1880; cf. the American edition)

“Ahoy! and O-ho! and it’s who’s for the ferry?”
                (The briar’s in bud and the sun going down)
“And I’ll row ye so quick and I’ll row ye so steady,
                And t’is but a penny to Twickenham Town.”
        The ferryman’s slim and the ferryman’s young,
        With just a soft tang in the turn of his tongue;
And he’s fresh as a pippin and brown as a berry,
                And t’is but a penny to Twickenham Town.

“Ahoy! and O-ho! and it’s I’m for the ferry,”
                (The briar’s in bud and the sun going down)
“And it’s late as it is and I haven’t a penny—
                Oh! how can I get me to Twickenham Town?”
        She’d a rose in her bonnet, and oh! she look’d sweet
        As the little pink flower that grows in the wheat,
With her cheeks like a rose and her lips like a cherry—
                “It’s sure but you’re welcome to Twickenham Town,”

“Ahoy! and O-ho!’—You’re too late for the ferry,
                (The briar’s in bud and the sun has gone down)
And he’s not rowing quick and he’s not rowing steady;
                It seems quite a journey to Twickenham Town.
        “Ahoy! and O-ho!” you may call as you will;
        The young moon is rising o’er Petersham Hill;
And, with Love like a rose in the stern of the wherry,
                There’s danger in crossing to Twickenham Town.

To a Bunch of Lilac

(The Yellow Book  3 (Oct. 1894), p. 87)

Is it the April singing,
Or the bird in the breeze above?
My throat is full of singing,
My heart is full of love.

O heart, are you not yet broken?
O dream, so done with and dead,
Is life’s one word not spoken,
And the rede of it all not read?

No hope in the whole world over!
No hope in the infinite blue!
Yet I sing and laugh like a lover —
Oh, who is it, April — who?

And the glad young year is springing;
And the birds, and the breeze above,
And the shrill tree-tops, are singing —
And I am singing — of love.

*                     *                     *                     *

O beautiful lilac flowers
Oh, say, is it you, is it you
The sun-struck, love-sick hours
Go fainting for murmuring through?

O full of ineffable yearning,
So balmy, mystical, deep,
And faint beyond any discerning,
Like far-off voices in sleep —

I love you, O lilac, I love you!
Till life goes swooning by,
I breathe and enwreath and enfold you,
And long but to love, and die.

A Fragment

(The Yellow Book  7 (Oct. 1895), p. 319)

And then it seem’d I was a bird
        That dipt along the silent street.
In that strange moonlight nothing stir’d,
        And all was moonlight, still and sweet.

By lofty vane and roof and loft,
        Aloof, aloft, where shadows hung,
Down ghostly ways that wafted soft,
        Warm echoes where I sank and sung;

And lower yet by flower-set sill,
        And close against her window-bars,
And still the moonlight flowed, and still,
        The still dew lit the jessamine stars;

And oh! I beat against the pane,
        And oh! I sang so sweet, so clear, —
I heard her wake, and pause again,
        The nearer, nearer — killing near;

And back she flung the window-rod,
        The moonlight swept in, like a stream;
She drew me to her neck — Oh! God,
        ’Twas then I knew it was a dream!