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THE WAY TO ARCADY

On, what's the way to Arcady,

To Arcady, to Arcady;
Oh, what's the way to Arcady,

Where all the leaves are merry?

Oh, what's the way to Arcady ?
The spring is rustling in the tree,
The tree the wind is blowing through, –
It sets the blossoms flickering white.
I knew not skies could burn so blue
Nor any breezes blow so light.
They blow an old-time way for me,
Across the world to Arcady.

Oh, what's the way to Arcady?
Sir Poet, with the rusty coat,
Quit mocking of the song-bird's note.
How have you heart for any tune,
You with the way worn russet shoon?

Your scrip, a-swinging by your side,
Gapes with a gaunt mouth hungry-wide.
I'll brim it well with pieces red,
If you will tell the way to tread.

Oh, I am bound for Arcady,
And if you but keep pace with me
You tread the way to Arcady.

And where away lies Arcady,
And how long yet may the journey be?

Ah, that (quoth he) I do not know:
Across the clover and the snow-
Across the frost, across the flowers —
Through summer seconds and winter hours,
I've trod the way my whole life long,

And know not now where it may be ;
My guide is but the stir to song,
That tells me I cannot go wrong,
Or clear or dark the pathway be
Upon the road to Arcady.

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Ah, woe is me, through all my days Wisdom and wealth I both have got, And fame and name, and great men's praise;

But Love, ah Love! I have it not. There was a time, when life was newBut far away, and half forgot·

I only know her eyes were blue;
But Love - I fear I knew it not.
We did not wed, for lack of gold,
And she is dead, and I am old.

All things have come since then to me,
Save Love, ah Love! and Arcady.

Ah, then I fear we part (quoth he), -
My way's for Love and Arcady.

But you, you fare alone, like me;

The gray is likewise in your hair. What love have you to lead you there, To Arcady, to Arcady?

Ah, no, not lonely do I fare;

My true companion's Memory.
With Love he fills the Spring-time air;
With Love he clothes the Winter tree.
Oh, past this poor horizon's bound

My song goes straight to one who stands,
Her face all gladdening at the sound,
To lead me to the Spring-green lands,
To wander with enlacing hands.

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THE CHAPERON

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I TAKE my chaperon to the play -
She thinks she's taking me.
And the gilded youth who owns the box,
A proud young man is he;
But how would his young heart be hurt
If he could only know

That not for his sweet sake I go
Nor yet to see the trifling show;
But to see my chaperon flirt.

Her eyes beneath her snowy hair

They sparkle young as mine;

There's scarce a wrinkle in her hand
So delicate and fine.

And when my chaperon is seen,

They come from everywhere -
The dear old boys with silvery hair,
With old-time grace and old-time air,

To greet their old-time queen.

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SPRING came with tiny lances thrusting, And earth was clad in peeping green;

He crushed the scandal pests like vermin; In russet bark, the twigs incrusting,

A terror hedged the hero's name And she was white as ermine.

Thenceforth, a matron fair and fat,

She shared the doting warrior's station. Thais with Alexander sat

And heard the plaudits of a nation; Though envious souls with poisoned leer Offset her new life by the other, The hero held her yet more dear, Stainless as Mary Mother.

Tenderest blossom-points were seen;
A robin courier proclaimed good cheer:
Summer will soon arrive, for I am here.

And now from cherry boughs in flower
The languid breeze arousing shakes,
With every honeyed breath, a shower

Of feather snow in drifting flakes; And apple trees in bloom, like ricks of white,

Are veiled with smoky, amethystine light.

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