George Sterling

G
George Sterling
Ode on the Centenary of the Birth of Robert Browning
As unto lighter strains a boy might turn
From where great altars burn
And Music’s grave archangels tread the night,
So I, in seasons past,
Loved not the bitter might
And merciless control
Of thy bleak trumpets calling to the soul.
Their consummating blast
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The Princess on the Headland
My mother the queen is dead.
My father the king is old.
He fumbles his cirque of gold
And dreams of a year long fled.
The young men stare at my face,
But cannot meet my glance—
Cavan tall as a lance,
Orra swift in the race.
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The Skull of Shakespeare
I
Without how small, within how strangely vast!
What stars of terror had their path in thee!
What music of the heavens and the sea
Lived in a sigh or thundered on the blast!
Here swept the gleam and pageant of the Past,
As Beauty trembled to her fate’s decree;
Here swords were forged for armies yet to be,
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Sonnets by the Night-Sea (VI)
The wind of night is mighty on the deep—
A presence haunting sea and land again.
That wind upon the watery waste hath been;
That wind upon the desert soon shall sweep.
O vast and mournful spirit, wherefore keep
Thy vigil at the fleeting homes of men,
Who need no voice of thine to tell them when
Is come the hour to labor or to sleep?
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