Best Loved Poems by Richard Charlton MacKenzie (editor)

By Richard Charlton MacKenzie (editor)

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Hear my vow before I go. By those tresses unconfined, Woo’d by each Aegean wind; By those lids whose jetty fringe Kiss thy soft cheeks’ blooming tinge; By those wild eyes like the roe; By that lip I long to taste; By that zone-encircled waist; By all the token-flowers that tell What words can never speak so well; By love’s alternate joy and woe. Maid of Athens! I am gone, Think of me, sweet, when alone. Though I fly to Istambol, Athens holds my heart and soul. Can I cease to love thee? No! LORD BYRON OSSIAN’S SERENADE Oh, come with me in my little canoe, Where the sea is cairn, and the sky is blue!

Sleeps! Wind of the summer night! Where yonder woodbine creeps, Fold, fold thy pinions light! She sleeps! My lady sleeps! Sleeps! Dreams of the summer night! Tell her, her lover keeps Watch! while in slumbers light She sleeps! My lady sleeps! Sleeps! HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW TO ALTHEA FROM PRISON When love with unconfined wings Hovers within my gates, And my divine Althea brings To whisper at my grates; When I lie tangled in her hair And fettered with her eye, The birds that wanton in the air Know no such liberty.

JOHN LYLY SWEET PERIL Alas, how easily things go wrong! A sigh too much, or a kiss too long, And there follows a mist and a weeping rain, And life is never the same again. Alas, how hardly things go right! ’Tis hard to watch in a summer night, For the sigh will come, and the kiss will stay, And the summer night is a wintry day. And yet how easily things go right, If the sigh and a kiss of a summer’s night Come deep from the soul in the stronger ray That is born in the light of the winter’s day.

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