Amy Levy

A Cross-Road Epitaph – Amy Levy

A Cross-Road Epitaph – Amy Levy

“Am Kreuzweg wird begraben Wer selber brachte sich um.” When first the world grew dark to me I call’d on God, yet came not he. Whereon, as wearier wax’d my lot, On Love I call’d, but Love came not. When a worse evil did befall, Death, on thee only did I call. ~ A Cross-... »

The Old Poet – Amy Levy

The Old Poet – Amy Levy

The Old Poet I will be glad because it is the Spring; I will forget the winter in my heart– Dead hopes and withered promise; and will wring A little joy from life ere life depart. For spendthrift youth with passion-blinded eyes, Stays not to see how woods and fields are bright; He hears the ph... »

Epitaph (On A Commonplace Person Who Died In Bed) – Amy Levy

Epitaph (On A Commonplace Person Who Died In Bed) – Amy Levy

Epitaph (On A Commonplace Person Who Died In Bed) THIS is the end of him, here he lies: The dust in his throat, the worm in his eyes, The mould in his mouth, the turf on his breast; This is the end of him, this is best. He will never lie on his couch awake, Wide-eyed, tearless, till dim daybreak. Ne... »

On The Wye In May – Amy Levy

On The Wye In May – Amy Levy

On The Wye In May Now is the perfect moment of the year. Half naked branches, half a mist of green, Vivid and delicate the slopes appear; The cool, soft air is neither fierce nor keen, And in the temperate sun we feel no fear; Of all the hours which shall be and have been, It is the briefest as it i... »

A Reminiscence – Amy Levy

A Reminiscence – Amy Levy

A Reminiscence It is so long gone by, and yet How clearly now I see it all! The glimmer of your cigarette, The little chamber, narrow and tall. Perseus; your picture in its frame; (How near they seem and yet how far!) The blaze of kindled logs; the flame Of tulips in a mighty jar. Florence and sprin... »

To Death – Amy Levy

To Death – Amy Levy

To Death (From Lenau.) If within my heart there’s mould, If the flame of Poesy And the flame of Love grow cold, Slay my body utterly. Swiftly, pause not nor delay; Let not my life’s field be spread With the ash of feelings dead, Let thy singer soar away. »

In The Nower – Amy Levy

In The Nower – Amy Levy

In The Nower To J. De P. Deep in the grass outstretched I lie, Motionless on the hill; Above me is a cloudless sky, Around me all is still: There is no breath, no sound, no stir, The drowsy peace to break: I close my tired eyes–it were So simple not to wake. »

The End Of The Day – Amy Levy

The End Of The Day – Amy Levy

The End Of The Day To B. T. Dead-tired, dog-tired, as the vivid day Fails and slackens and fades away.– The sky that was so blue before With sudden clouds is shrouded o’er. Swiftly, stilly the mists uprise, Till blurred and grey the landscape lies. * * * * * * * All day we have plied the... »

Borderland – Amy Levy

Borderland – Amy Levy

Borderland Am I waking, am I sleeping? As the first faint dawn comes creeping Thro’ the pane, I am aware Of an unseen presence hovering, Round, above, in the dusky air: A downy bird, with an odorous wing, That fans my forehead, and sheds perfume, As sweet as love, as soft as death, Drowsy-slow... »

Translated From Geibel – Amy Levy

Translated From Geibel – Amy Levy

Translated From Geibel O say, thou wild, thou oft deceived heart, What mean these noisy throbbings in my breast? After thy long, unutterable woe Wouldst thou not rest? Fall’n from Life’s tree the sweet rose-blossom lies, And fragrant youth has fled. What made to seem This earth as fair t... »

On The Threshold – Amy Levy

On The Threshold – Amy Levy

On The Threshold O God, my dream! I dreamed that you were dead; Your mother hung above the couch and wept Whereon you lay all white, and garlanded With blooms of waxen whiteness. I had crept Up to your chamber-door, which stood ajar, And in the doorway watched you from afar, Nor dared advance to kis... »

A London Plane-Tree – Amy Levy

A London Plane-Tree – Amy Levy

A London Plane-Tree Green is the plane-tree in the square, The other trees are brown; They droop and pine for country air; The plane-tree loves the town. Here from my garret-pane, I mark The plane-tree bud and blow, Shed her recuperative bark, And spread her shade below. Among her branches, in and o... »

The Sick Man And The Nightingale – Amy Levy

The Sick Man And The Nightingale – Amy Levy

The Sick Man And The Nightingale (From Lenau.) So late, and yet a nightingale? Long since have dropp’d the blossoms pale, The summer fields are ripening, And yet a sound of spring? O tell me, didst thou come to hear, Sweet Spring, that I should die this year; And call’st across from the ... »

In The Mile End Road – Amy Levy

In The Mile End Road – Amy Levy

In The Mile End Road How like her! But ’tis she herself, Comes up the crowded street, How little did I think, the morn, My only love to meet! Whose else that motion and that mien? Whose else that airy tread? For one strange moment I forgot My only love was dead. »

The Dream – Amy Levy

The Dream – Amy Levy

The Dream Believe me, this was true last night, Tho’ it is false to-day. – A.M.F. Robinson. A fair dream to my chamber flew: Such a crowd of folk that stirred, Jested, fluttered; only you, You alone of all that band, Calm and silent, spake no word. Only once you neared my place, And your... »

Between The Showers – Amy Levy

Between The Showers – Amy Levy

Between The Showers Between the showers I went my way, The glistening street was bright with flowers; It seemed that March had turned to May Between the showers. Above the shining roofs and towers The blue broke forth athwart the grey; Birds carolled in their leafless bowers. Hither and tither, swif... »

To Sylvia – Amy Levy

To Sylvia – Amy Levy

To Sylvia “O love, lean thou thy cheek to mine, And let the tears together flow”– Such was the song you sang to me Once, long ago. Such was the song you sang; and yet (O be not wroth!) I scarcely knew What sounds flow’d forth; I only felt That you were you. I scarcely knew yo... »

Oh, Is It Love – Amy Levy

Oh, Is It Love – Amy Levy

Oh, Is It Love O is it Love or is it Fame, This thing for which I sigh? Or has it then no earthly name For men to call it by? I know not what can ease my pains, Nor what it is I wish; The passion at my heart-strings strains Like a tiger in a leash. »

A Wall Flower – Amy Levy

A Wall Flower – Amy Levy

A Wall Flower I lounge in the doorway and languish in vain While Tom, Dick and Harry are dancing with Jane My spirit rises to the music’s beat; There is a leaden fiend lurks in my feet! To move unto your motion, Love, were sweet. Somewhere, I think, some other where, not here, In other ages, o... »

The Two Terrors – Amy Levy

The Two Terrors – Amy Levy

The Two Terrors Two terrors fright my soul by night and day: The first is Life, and with her come the years; A weary, winding train of maidens they, With forward-fronting eyes, too sad for tears; Upon whose kindred faces, blank and grey, The shadow of a kindred woe appears. Death is the second terro... »

In The Black Forest – Amy Levy

In The Black Forest – Amy Levy

In The Black Forest I lay beneath the pine trees, And looked aloft, where, through The dusky, clustered tree-tops, Gleamed rent, gay rifts of blue. I shut my eyes, and a fancy Fluttered my sense around: “I lie here dead and buried, And this is churchyard ground. “I am at rest for ever; E... »

The Birch-Tree At Loschwitz – Amy Levy

The Birch-Tree At Loschwitz – Amy Levy

The Birch-Tree At Loschwitz At Loschwitz above the city The air is sunny and chill; The birch-trees and the pine-trees Grow thick upon the hill. Lone and tall, with silver stem, A birch-tree stands apart; The passionate wind of spring-time Stirs in its leafy heart. I lean against the birch-tree, My ... »

Ballade Of An Omnibus – Amy Levy

Ballade Of An Omnibus – Amy Levy

Ballade Of An Omnibus “To see my love suffices me.” –Ballades in Blue China. Some men to carriages aspire; On some the costly hansoms wait; Some seek a fly, on job or hire; Some mount the trotting steed, elate. I envy not the rich and great, A wandering minstrel, poor and free, I a... »

To Vernon Lee – Amy Levy

To Vernon Lee – Amy Levy

To Vernon Lee On Bellosguardo, when the year was young, We wandered, seeking for the daffodil And dark anemone, whose purples fill The peasant’s plot, between the corn-shoots sprung. Over the grey, low wall the olive flung Her deeper greyness ; far off, hill on hill Sloped to the sky, which, p... »

New Love, New Life – Amy Levy

New Love, New Life – Amy Levy

New Love, New Life I. She, who so long has lain Stone-stiff with folded wings, Within my heart again The brown bird wakes and sings. Brown nightingale, whose strain Is heard by day, by night, She sings of joy and pain, Of sorrow and delight. II. ‘Tis true,–in other days Have I unbarred t... »

A Game Of Lawn Tennis – Amy Levy

A Game Of Lawn Tennis – Amy Levy

A Game Of Lawn Tennis What wonder that I should be dreaming Out here in the garden to-day? The light through the leaves is streaming,– Paulina cries, “Play!” The birds to each other are calling, The freshly-cut grasses smell sweet; To Teddy’s dismay, comes falling The ball at... »

The Sequel To A Reminiscence – Amy Levy

The Sequel To A Reminiscence – Amy Levy

The Sequel To A Reminiscence Not in the street and not in the square, The street and square where you went and came; With shuttered casement your house stands bare, Men hush their voice when they speak your name. I, too, can play at the vain pretence, Can feign you dead; while a voice sounds clear I... »

In A Minor Key – Amy Levy

In A Minor Key – Amy Levy

In A Minor Key (AN ECHO FROM A LARGER LYRE.) That was love that I had before Years ago, when my heart was young; Ev’ry smile was a gem you wore; Ev’ry word was a sweet song sung. You came–all my pulses burn’d and beat. (O sweet wild throbs of an early day!) You went–wit... »

Straw In The Street – Amy Levy

Straw In The Street – Amy Levy

Straw In The Street Straw in the street where I pass to-day Dulls the sound of the wheels and feet. ‘Tis for a failing life they lay Straw in the street. Here, where the pulses of London beat, Someone strives with the Presence grey; Ah, is it victory or defeat? The hurrying people go their way... »

At Dawn – Amy Levy

At Dawn – Amy Levy

At Dawn In the night I dreamed of you; All the place was filled With your presence; in my heart The strife was stilled. All night I have dreamed of you; Now the morn is grey.– How shall I arise and face The empty day? »

Twilight – Amy Levy

Twilight – Amy Levy

Twilight So Mary died last night! To-day The news has travelled here. And Robert died at Michaelmas, And Walter died last year. I went at sunset up the lane, I lingered by the stile; I saw the dusky fields that stretched Before me many a mile. I leaned against the stile, and thought Of her whose sou... »

London Poets – Amy Levy

London Poets – Amy Levy

London Poets They trod the streets and squares where now I tread, With weary hearts, a little while ago; When, thin and grey, the melancholy snow Clung to the leafless branches overhead; Or when the smoke-veiled sky grew stormy-red In autumn; with a re-arisen woe Wrestled, what time the passionate s... »

A June-Tide Echo – Amy Levy

A June-Tide Echo – Amy Levy

A June-Tide Echo After a Richter Concert. In the long, sad time, when the sky was grey, And the keen blast blew through the city drear, When delight had fled from the night and the day, My chill heart whispered, ‘ June will be here! ‘ June with its roses a-sway in the sun, Its glory of g... »

The Promise Of Sleep – Amy Levy

The Promise Of Sleep – Amy Levy

The Promise Of Sleep Put the sweet thoughts from out thy mind, The dreams from out thy breast; No joy for thee–but thou shalt find Thy rest All day I could not work for woe, I could not work nor rest; The trouble drove me to and fro, Like a leaf on the storm’s breast. Night came and saw ... »

Impotens – Amy Levy

Impotens – Amy Levy

Impotens If I were a woman of old, What prayers I would pray for you, dear; My pitiful tribute behold– Not a prayer, but a tear. The pitiless order of things, Whose laws we may change not nor break, Alone I could face it–it wrings My heart for your sake. »

Sonnet – Amy Levy

Sonnet – Amy Levy

Sonnet Most wonderful and strange it seems, that I Who but a little time ago was tost High on the waves of passion and of pain, With aching heat and wildly throbbing brain, Who peered into the darkness, deeming vain All things there found if but One thing were lost, Thus calm and still and silent he... »

At A Dinner Party – Amy Levy

At A Dinner Party – Amy Levy

At A Dinner Party With fruit and flowers the board is deckt, The wine and laughter flow; I’ll not complain–could one expect So dull a world to know? You look across the fruit and flowers, My glance your glances find.– It is our secret, only ours, Since all the world is blind. »

To Lallie (Outside The British Museum) – Amy Levy

To Lallie (Outside The British Museum) – Amy Levy

To Lallie (Outside The British Museum) UP those Museum steps you came, And straightway all my blood was flame, O Lallie, Lallie ! The world (I had been feeling low) In one short moment’s space did grow A happy valley. There was a friend, my friend, with you; A meagre dame in peacock blue Appar... »

London In July – Amy Levy

London In July – Amy Levy

London In July What ails my senses thus to cheat? What is it ails the place, That all the people in the street Should wear one woman’s face? The London trees are dusty-brown Beneath the summer sky; My love, she dwells in London town, Nor leaves it in July. O various and intricate maze, Wide wa... »

A Greek Girl – Amy Levy

A Greek Girl – Amy Levy

A Greek Girl I may not weep, not weep, and he is dead. A weary, weary weight of tears unshed Through the long day in my sad heart I bear; The horrid sun with all unpitying glare Shines down into the dreary weaving-room, Where clangs the ceaseless clatter of the loom, And ceaselessly deft maiden-fing... »

The Piano-Organ – Amy Levy

The Piano-Organ – Amy Levy

The Piano-Organ My student-lamp is lighted, The books and papers are spread; A sound comes floating upwards, Chasing the thoughts from my head. I open the garret window, Let the music in and the moon; See the woman grin for coppers, While the man grinds out the tune. Grind me a dirge or a requiem, O... »

Felo De Se – Amy Levy

Felo De Se – Amy Levy

Felo De Se With Apologies to Mr. Swinburne. For repose I have sighed and have struggled ; have sigh’d and have struggled in vain; I am held in the Circle of Being and caught in the Circle of Pain. I was wan and weary with life ; my sick soul yearned for death; I was weary of women and war and ... »

Sinfonia Eroica – Amy Levy

Sinfonia Eroica – Amy Levy

Sinfonia Eroica (To Sylvia.) My Love, my Love, it was a day in June, A mellow, drowsy, golden afternoon; And all the eager people thronging came To that great hall, drawn by the magic name Of one, a high magician, who can raise The spirits of the past and future days, And draw the dreams from out th... »

Ballade Of A Special Edition – Amy Levy

Ballade Of A Special Edition – Amy Levy

Ballade Of A Special Edition He comes; I hear him up the street– Bird of ill omen, flapping wide The pinion of a printed sheet, His hoarse note scares the eventide. Of slaughter, theft, and suicide He is the herald and the friend; Now he vociferates with pride– A double murder in Mile En... »

Xantippe – Amy Levy

Xantippe – Amy Levy

Xantippe (A Fragment) What, have I waked again? I never thought To see the rosy dawn, or ev’n this grey, Dull, solemn stillness, ere the dawn has come. The lamp burns low; low burns the lamp of life: The still morn stays expectant, and my soul, All weighted with a passive wonderment, Waiteth a... »

Lohengrin – Amy Levy

Lohengrin – Amy Levy

Lohengrin Back to the mystic shore beyond the main The mystic craft has sped, and left no trace. Ah, nevermore may she behold his face, Nor touch his hand, nor hear his voice again! With hidden front she crouches; all in vain The proffered balm. A vessel nears the place; They bring her young, lost b... »

A Farewell – Amy Levy

A Farewell – Amy Levy

A Farewell (After Heine.) The sad rain falls from Heaven, A sad bird pipes and sings ; I am sitting here at my window And watching the spires of “King’s.” O fairest of all fair places, Sweetest of all sweet towns! With the birds, and the greyness and greenness, And the men in caps ... »

The Lost Friend – Amy Levy

The Lost Friend – Amy Levy

The Lost Friend The people take the thing of course, They marvel not to see This strange, unnatural divorce Betwixt delight and me. I know the face of sorrow, and I know Her voice with all its varied cadences; Which way she turns and treads; how at her ease Things fit her dreary largess to bestow. W... »

Christopher Found – Amy Levy

Christopher Found – Amy Levy

Christopher Found I. At last; so this is you, my dear! How should I guess to find you here? So long, so long, I sought in vain In many cities, many lands, With straining eyes and groping hands; The people marvelled at my pain. They said: “But sure, the woman’s mad; What ails her, we shou... »

Run To Death – Amy Levy

Run To Death – Amy Levy

Run To Death A True Incident of Pre-Revolutionary French History. Now the lovely autumn morning breathes its freshness in earth’s face, In the crowned castle courtyard the blithe horn proclaims the chase; And the ladies on the terrace smile adieux with rosy lips To the huntsmen disappearing do... »

Alma Mater – Amy Levy

Alma Mater – Amy Levy

Alma Mater A haunted town thou art to me. — Andrew Lang To-day in Florence all the air Is soft with spring, with sunlight fair; In the tall street gay folks are met; Duomo and Tower gleam overhead, Like jewels in the city set, Fair-hued and many-faceted. Against the old grey stones are piled F... »

To E – Amy Levy

To E – Amy Levy

To E The mountains in fantastic lines Sweep, blue-white, to the sky, which shines Blue as blue gems; athwart the pines The lake gleams blue. We three were here, three years gone by; Our Poet, with fine-frenzied eye, You, stepped in learned lore, and I, A poet too. Our Poet brought us books and flowe... »

Magdalen – Amy Levy

Magdalen – Amy Levy

Magdalen All things I can endure, save one. The bare, blank room where is no sun; The parcelled hours; the pallet hard; The dreary faces here within; The outer women’s cold regard; The Pastor’s iterated “sin”;– These things could I endure, and count No overstrain’... »

A Dirge – Amy Levy

A Dirge – Amy Levy

A Dirge “Mein Herz, mein Herz ist traurig Doch lustig leuchtet der Mai” There’s May amid the meadows, There’s May amid the trees; Her May-time note the cuckoo Sends forth upon the breeze. Above the rippling river May swallows skim and dart; November and December Keep watch wi... »

The Old House – Amy Levy

The Old House – Amy Levy

The Old House In through the porch and up the silent stair; Little is changed, I know so well the ways;– Here, the dead came to meet me; it was there The dream was dreamed in unforgotten days. But who is this that hurries on before, A flitting shade the brooding shades among?– She turned... »

Contradictions – Amy Levy

Contradictions – Amy Levy

Contradictions Now, even, I cannot think it true, My friend, that there is no more you. Almost as soon were no more I, Which were, of course, absurdity! Your place is bare, you are not seen, Your grave, I’m told, is growing green; And both for you and me, you know, There’s no Above and n... »

Ralph To Mary – Amy Levy

Ralph To Mary – Amy Levy

Ralph To Mary Love, you have led me to the strand, Here, where the stilly, sunset sea, Ever receding silently, Lays bare a shining stretch of sand; Which, as we tread, in waving line, Sinks softly ‘neath our moving feet; And looking down our glances meet, Two mirrored figures–yours and m... »

A Minor Poet – Amy Levy

A Minor Poet – Amy Levy

A Minor Poet “What should such fellows as I do, Crawling between earth and heaven?” Here is the phial; here I turn the key Sharp in the lock. Click!–there’s no doubt it turned. This is the third time; there is luck in threes– Queen Luck, that rules the world, befriend m... »

To A Dead Poet – Amy Levy

To A Dead Poet – Amy Levy

To A Dead Poet I knew not if to laugh or weep; They sat and talked of you– “‘Twas here he sat; ’twas this he said! ‘Twas that he used to do. “Here is the book wherein he read, The room wherein he dwelt; And he” (they said) “was such a man, Such things ... »

Last Words – Amy Levy

Last Words – Amy Levy

Last Words Dead! all’s done with! — R. Browning. These blossoms that I bring, This song that here I sing, These tears that now I shed, I give unto the dead. There is no more to be done, Nothing beneath the sun, All the long ages through, Nothing–by me for you. The tale is told to t... »

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