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THE STRANGE GUEST.
He brought a branch of olive
This stranger guest of mine; Could I deny him entrance,
Who bore the peaceful sign?
I set him meat and wine ;
How laughed his eyes divine !
I took the branch of olive
(The soothest plant that grows), And from the carven ceiling
hung it with the rose. “But why to me this token,
Who never lacked repose ? Why this to me,” I questioned,
Who know nor feud nor foes ?”
He smiled beneath the olive
This strangest stranger guest. A branch from off the thorn-tree
Had told his errand best; For since my house he entered
There's ne'er a heart at rest. To mock me with the olive! But Love doth love his jest.
“ FOR THE TIME BEING.”
“For the time being!” How long is that? A space as brief As takes the whirling autumn leaf To reach the sward, the April flake To change to dew, the wave to break,
Now shoreward fleeing ?
“ For the time being ! How long is that? As long, perchance, As while a merry thought doth glance Across the deep of well-loved eyes? As long as term of tears and sighs,
The full heart freeing ?
“ For the time being ! ”
Past sound, past seeing ?
“ For the time being !” It is forever, as I think, A ceaseless adding link to link,
“FOR THE TIME BEING."
A series, as of waves at sea ;
In Fate's decreeing ?
“For the time being !”
“ For the time being !”.
In the month of June, when the world is green,
This is the shortest day !
In the month of December, when, naked and keen,
LOVE itself cannot bestow,