American Lyrical Poet
Sara Teasdale, born Sara Trevor Teasdale, aka Sara Teasdale Filsinger
American Lyrical Poet
Oh who can tell the range of joy or set the bounds of beauty?
It grows too late for frolicking when all the world is old. Then little hiding Love, come forth, come forth before the autumn goes, and let us seek thro' ruined paths the garden's last red rose.
My dreams are over, I have ceased to cry against the fate that made men love my mouth and left their spirits all too deaf to hear the little songs that echoed through my soul. I have no anger now. The dreams are done; yet since the Greeks and Trojans would not see aught but my body's fairness, till the end, in all the islands set in all the seas, and all the lands that lie beneath the sun, till light turn darkness, and till time shall sleep, men's lives shall waste with longing after me, for I shall be the sum of their desire, the whole of beauty, never seen again.
Oh, beauty, are you not enough? Why am I crying after love?
It is strange how often a heart must be broken before the years can make it wise.
My heart is a garden tired with autumn.
Oh, because you never tried to bow my will or break my pride, and nothing of the cave-man made you want to keep me half afraid, nor ever with a conquering air you thought to draw me unaware -- take me, for I love you more than I ever loved before. And since the body's maidenhood alone were neither rare nor good unless with it I gave to you a spirit still untrammeled, too, take my dreams and take my mind that were masterless as wind; And "Master!" I shall say to you since you never asked me to.
It was a night of early spring, the winter-sleep was scarcely broken; around us shadows and the wind; listened for what was never spoken. Though half a score of years are gone, spring comes as sharply now as then?but if we had it all to do it would be done the same again. It was a spring that never came; but we have lived enough to know that what we never have, remains; it is the things we have that go.
My heart is heavy with many a song Like ripe fruit bearing down the tree, but I can never give you one -- My songs do not belong to me. Yet in the evening, in the dusk when moths go to and fro, in the gray hour if the fruit has fallen, take it, no one will know.
Oh, I have sown my love so wide that he will find it everywhere; it will awake him in the night, it will enfold him in the air. I set my shadow in his sight and I have winged it with desire, that it may be a cloud by day,
It will not hurt me when I am old, a running tide where moonlight burned will not sting me like silver snakes; the years will make me sad and cold, it is the happy heart that breaks.
My soul is a broken field ploughed by pain.
Oh, is it not enough to be here with this beauty over me? My throat should ache with praise, and I should kneel in joy beneath the sky. oh, beauty are you not enough?
Joy was a flame in me Too steady to destroy. Lithe as a bending reed, Loving the storm that sways her - I found more joy in sorrow Than you could find in joy.
My soul lives in my body's house, and you have both the house and her?but sometimes she is less your own than a wild, gay adventurer; a restless and an eager wraith, how can I tell what she will do?Oh, I am sure of my body's faith, but what if my soul broke faith with you?
Oh, there are eyes that he can see, and hands to make his hands rejoice, but to my lover I must be only a voice. Oh, there are breasts to bear his head, and lips whereon his lips can lie, but I must be till I am dead only a cry.
Let me remember you, soon will the winter be on us, snow-hushed and heartless.
Never fear the thing you feel--only by love is life made real.
Only in sleep I see their faces, children I played with when I was a child, Louise comes back with her brown hair braided, Annie with ringlets warm and wild. Only in sleep Time is forgotten --what may have come to them, who can know? Yet we played last night as long ago, and the doll-house stood at the turn of the stair. The years had not sharpened their smooth round faces, I met their eyes and found them mild --do they, too, dream of me, I wonder, and for them am I too a child?
Let this single hour atone for the theft of all of me.
No one worth possessing can be quite possessed; lay that on your heart, my young angry dear; this truth, this hard and precious stone, lay it on your hot cheek, let it hide your tear. Hold it like a crystal when you are alone and gaze in the depths of the icy stone. Long, look long and you will be blessed: no one worth possessing can be quite possessed.
Out of the noise of tired people working, harried with thoughts of war and lists of dead, his beauty met me like a fresh wind blowing, clean boyish beauty and high-held head. Eyes that told secrets, lips that would not tell them, fearless and shy the young unwearied eyes--men die by millions now, because God blunders, yet to have made this boy he must be wise.
Life is a frail moth flying caught in the web of the years that pass.
Not lost, although I long to be.
Perhaps if Death is kind, and there can be returning, we will come back to earth some fragrant night, and take these lanes to find the sea, and bending breathe the same honeysuckle, low and white. We will come down at night to these resounding beaches and the long gentle thunder of the sea, here for a single hour in the wide starlight we shall be happy, for the dead are free.