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ON THE ROAD TO THE SEA, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: We passed each other, turned and stopped for half an hour, then went our way
Last Line: I have made you smile.
Subject(s): Gays & Lesbians

We passed each other, turned and stopped for half an hour,
then went our way,
I who make other women smile did not make you --

But no man can move mountains in a day.
So this hard thing is yet to do.

But first I want your life: -- before I die I want to see
The world that lies behind the strangeness of your eyes,

Yet on brown fields there lies

A haunting purple bloom: is there not something in grey skies
And in grey sea?

I want what world there is behind your eyes,

I want your life and you will not give it me.

Now, if I look, I see you walking down the years,
Young, and through August fields -- a face, a thought,
a swinging dream
perched on a stile -- ;

I would have liked (so vile we are!) to have taught you tears

But most to have made you smile.

To-day is not enough or yesterday: God sees it all --

Your length on sunny lawns, the wakeful rainy nights -- ; tell me -- ;
(how vain to ask), but it is not a question -- just a call -- ;

Show me then, only your notched inches climbing up the
garden wall, I like you best when you are small.

Is this a stupid thing to say

Not having spent with you one day?

No matter; I shall never touch your hair

Or hear the little tick behind your breast,

Still it is there,

And as a flying bird

Brushes the branches where it may not rest

I have brushed your hand and heard
The child in you: I like that best

So small, so dark, so sweet; and were you also then too
grave and wise?
Always I think. Then put your far off little hand in mine; --

Oh! let it rest;

I will not stare into the early world beyond the opening eyes,
Or vex or scare what I love best.

But I want your life before mine bleeds away --

Here -- not in heavenly hereafters -- soon, --

I want your smile this very afternoon,

(The last of all my vices, pleasant people used to say,

I wanted and I sometimes got -- the Moon!)

You know, at dusk, the last bird's cry,

And round the house the flap of the bat's low flight,

Trees that go black against the sky

And then -- how soon the night!

No shadow of you on any bright road again,

And at the darkening end of this -- what voice? whose kiss?
As if you'd say!
It is not I who have walked with you, it will not be I who take away
Peace, peace, my little handful of the gleaner's grain

From your reaped fields at the shut of day.

Peace! Would you not rather die

Reeling, -- with all the cannons at your ear?

So, at least, would I,

And I may not be here

To-night, to-morrow morning or next year.

Still I will let you keep your life a little while,

See dear?

I have made you smile.

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