You Post :: We Host

Poetry Section

  • Autumn Valentine

    In May my heart was breaking-
    Oh, wide the wound, and deep!
    And bitter it beat at waking,
    And sore it split in sleep.

    And when it came November,
    I sought my heart, and sighed,
    "Poor thing, do you remember?"
    "What heart was that?" it cried.

    — -Dorothy Parker
  • Autobiography

    Oh, both my shoes are shiny new,
    And pristine is my hat;
    My dress is 1922....
    My life is all like that

    — -Dorothy Parker
  • August

    When my eyes are weeds,
    And my lips are petals, spinning
    Down the wind that has beginning
    Where the crumpled beeches start
    In a fringe of salty reeds;
    When my arms are elder-bushes,
    And the rangy lilac pushes
    Upward, upward through my heart;

    Summer, do your worst!
    Light your tinsel moon, and call on
    Your performing stars to fall on
    Headlong through your paper sky;
    Nevermore shall I be cursed
    By a flushed and amorous slattern,
    With her dusty laces' pattern
    Trailing, as she straggles by

    — -Dorothy Parker
  • Anecdote

    So silent I when Love was by
    He yawned, and turned away;
    But Sorrow clings to my apron-strings,
    I have so much to say.

    — -Dorothy Parker
  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    Should Heaven send me any son,
    I hope he's not like Tennyson.
    I'd rather have him play a fiddle
    Than rise and bow and speak an idyll.

    — -Dorothy Parker
  • Alexandre Dumas

    Although I work, and seldom cease,
    At Dumas pere and Dumas fils,
    Alas, I cannot make me care
    For Dumas fils and Dumas pere.

    — -Dorothy Parker
  • Afternoon

    When I am old, and comforted,
    And done with this desire,
    With Memory to share my bed
    And Peace to share my fire,

    I'll comb my hair in scalloped bands
    Beneath my laundered cap,
    And watch my cool and fragile hands
    Lie light upon my lap.

    And I will have a sprigged gown
    With lace to kiss my throat;
    I'll draw my curtain to the town,
    And hum a purring note.

    And I'll forget the way of tears,
    And rock, and stir my tea.
    But oh, I wish those blessed years
    Were further than they be!

    — -Dorothy Parker
  • After Spanish Proverb

    Oh, mercifullest one of all,
    Oh, generous as dear,
    None lived so lowly, none so small,
    Thou couldst withhold thy tear:

    How swift, in pure compassion,
    How meek in charity,
    To offer friendship to the one
    Who begged but love of thee!

    Oh, gentle word, and sweetest said!
    Oh, tender hand, and first
    To hold the warm, delicious bread
    To lips burned black of thirst.

    — -Dorothy Parker
  • A Well-Worn Story

    In April, in April,
    My one love came along,
    And I ran the slope of my high hill
    To follow a thread of song.

    His eyes were hard as porphyry
    With looking on cruel lands;
    His voice went slipping over me
    Like terrible silver hands.

    Together we trod the secret lane
    And walked the muttering town.
    I wore my heart like a wet, red stain
    On the breast of a velvet gown.

    In April, in April,
    My love went whistling by,
    And I stumbled here to my high hill
    Along the way of a lie.

    Now what should I do in this place
    But sit and count the chimes,
    And splash cold water on my face
    And spoil a page with rhymes?

    — -Dorothy Parker
  • A Very Short Song

    Once, when I was young and true,
    Someone left me sad-
    Broke my brittle heart in two;
    And that is very bad.

    Love is for unlucky folk,
    Love is but a curse.
    Once there was a heart I broke;
    And that, I think, is worse.

    — -Dorothy Parker
  • As It Was

    As it was in the beginning, so we’ll find it in the end,
    For a lover, or a brother, or a sweetheart, or a friend;
    As it was in the beginning, so we’ll find it by-and-bye,
    When weak women hug their babies, and strong men go out to die.
    As ’tis written now, or spoken, so we’ll find it yet in deed—
    For their State, or for their Country, for their Honour or their Creed;
    For the love of Right, or hatred for the Everlasting Lie,
    When the women think of some things, and strong men go out to die.

    As it used to be in past times, in the future so it must,
    We shall find him stretching forward with his face down in the dust,
    All his wounds in front, and hidden—blood to earth, and back to sky,
    When pale women pray in private, and strong men go out to die.

    Rebels all we are, and brothers—rebels to the laws we make—
    Rich or poor, or fat or lean man, fighting for another’s sake;
    It is all as God decreed it—we shall find it by-and-bye,
    When our girls, disguised in boys’ clothes, go to die where strong men die.

    — -Henry Lawson
  • As Good As New

    OH, this is a song of the old lights, that came to my heart like a hymn;
    And this is a song for the old lights—the lights that we thought grew dim,
    That came to my heart to comfort me, and I pass it along to you;
    And here is a hand to the good old friend who turns up as good as new.
    And this is a song for the camp-fire out west where the stars shine bright—
    Oh, this is a song for the camp-fire where the old mates yarn to-night;
    Where the old mates yarn of the old days, and their numbers are all too few,
    And this is a song for the good old times that will turn up as good as new.

    Oh, this is a song for the old foe—we have both grown wiser now,
    And this is a song for the old foe, and we’re sorry we had that row;
    And this is a song for the old love—the love that we thought untrue—
    Oh, this is a song of the dear old love that comes back as good as new.

    Oh, this is a song for the black sheep, for the black sheep that fled from town,
    And this is a song for the brave heart, for the brave heart that lived it down;
    And this is a song for the battler, for the battler who sees it through—
    And this is a song for the broken heart that turns up as good as new.

    Ah, this is a song for the brave mate, be he Bushman, Scot, or Russ,
    A song for the mates we will stick to—for the mates who have stuck to us;
    And this is a song for the old creed, to do as a man should do,
    Till the Lord takes us all to a wider world—where we’ll turn up as good as new.

    — -Henry Lawson
  • As Far As

    Do you think, you slaves of a thousand years to poverty, wealth and pride,
    You can crush the spirit that has been free in a land that's new and wide?
    When you've scattered the last of the farmer bands, and the war for a while is over,
    You will hold the land – ay, you'll hold the land – the land that your rifles cover.

    Till your gold has levelled each mountain range where a wounded man can hide,
    Till your gold has lighted the moonless night on the plains where the rebels ride;
    Till the future is proved, and the past is bribed from the son of the land's dead lover –
    You may hold the land – you may hold the land just as far as your rifles cover.

    — -Henry Lawson
  • Andy's Return

    With pannikins all rusty,
    And billy burnt and black,
    And clothes all torn and dusty,
    That scarcely hide his back;
    With sun-cracked saddle-leather,
    And knotted greenhide rein,
    And face burnt brown with weather,
    Our Andy’s home again!
    His unkempt hair is faded
    With sleeping in the wet,
    He’s looking old and jaded;
    But he is hearty yet.
    With eyes sunk in their sockets—
    But merry as of yore;
    With big cheques in his pockets,
    Our Andy’s home once more!

    Old Uncle’s bright and cheerful;
    He wears a smiling face;
    And Aunty’s never tearful
    Now Andy’s round the place.
    Old Blucher barks for gladness;
    He broke his rusty chain,
    And leapt in joyous madness
    When Andy came again.

    With tales of flood and famine,
    On distant northern tracks,
    And shady yarns—‘baal gammon!’
    Of dealings with the blacks,
    From where the skies hang lazy
    On many a northern plain,
    From regions dim and hazy
    Our Andy’s home again!

    His toil is nearly over;
    He’ll soon enjoy his gains.
    Not long he’ll be a drover,
    And cross the lonely plains.
    We’ll happy be for ever
    When he’ll no longer roam,
    But by some deep, cool river
    Will make us all a home.

    — -Henry Lawson
  • Andy's Gone

    Our Andy's gone to battle now
    'Gainst Drought, the red marauder;
    Our Andy's gone with cattle now
    Across the Queensland border.

    He's left us in dejection now;
    Our hearts with him are roving.
    It's dull on this selection now,
    Since Andy went a-droving.

    Who now shall wear the cheerful face
    In times when things are slackest?
    And who shall whistle round the place
    When Fortune frowns her blackest?

    Oh, who shall cheek the squatter now
    When he comes round us snarling?
    His tongue is growing hotter now
    Since Andy cross'd the Darling.

    The gates are out of order now,
    In storms the `riders' rattle;
    For far across the border now
    Our Andy's gone with cattle.

    Poor Aunty's looking thin and white;
    And Uncle's cross with worry;
    And poor old Blucher howls all night
    Since Andy left Macquarie.

    Oh, may the showers in torrents fall,
    And all the tanks run over;
    And may the grass grow green and tall
    In pathways of the drover;

    And may good angels send the rain
    On desert stretches sandy;
    And when the summer comes again
    God grant 'twill bring us Andy.

    — -Henry Lawson
  • And What Have

    I MIND the days when ladies fair
    Helped on my overcoat,
    And tucked the silken handkerchief
    About my precious throat;
    They used to see the poet’s soul
    In every song I wrote.

    They pleaded hard, but I had work
    To do, and could not stay
    I used to work the whole night through,
    And what have you to say?

    ’Twas clever, handsome woman then,
    And I their rising star;
    I could not see they worshipped me,
    Because I saw too far.
    (’Tis well for one or two, I think,
    That things are as they are.)

    (I used to write for writing’s sake,
    I used to write till day,
    I loved my prose and poetry,
    And what have you to say?)

    I guess if one should meet me now
    That she would gasp to think,
    She ever knew a thing like me,
    As down the street I slink,
    And trembling cadge from some old pal
    The tray-bit for a drink.

    I used to drink with gentlemen
    To pass an hour away:
    I drink long beers in common bars,
    And what have you to say?

    But often, in the darkest night
    (And ’tis a wondrous thing)—
    When others see the devils dance,
    I hear the angels sing,
    And round the drunkard’s lonely bed
    Heaven’s nurses whispering.

    I wrote for Truth and Right alone,
    I wrote from night till day;
    I’ll find a drunken pauper grave,
    And what have you to say?
    Good night!
    Good day!
    My noble friends,
    And what have you to say?

    — -Henry Lawson
  • And The Bairns

    So you’ve seen at last what we have seen so long through scalding tears:
    You have found what we—the People—we have known for twenty years:
    And Australia’s hymn is swelling till the furthest fence-wires hum—
    Save your country, Legislators—and the bairns will come.
    You would put the blame upon us—we are women, we are men;
    And our fathers and our mothers gave the country nine and ten.
    They had honest work and wages, and the ways to win a home—
    Give us half the chances they had—and the bairns will come.

    Try the ranks of wealth and fashion, ask the rich and well-to-do,
    With their nurseries and their nurses and their children one and two,
    Will they help us bear the burden?—but their purse-proud lips are dumb.
    Let us earn a decent living—and the bairns will come.

    Young men, helpless in the city’s wheel of greed that never stops,
    Tramp the streets for work while sweethearts slave in factories and shops.
    Shall they marry and bear children to their parents’ martyrdom?
    Make the city what it should be—and the bairns will come.

    Shall we give you sons and daughters to a life of never-rest,
    Sacrificing all for nothing in the desert of the West,
    To be driven to the city’s squalid suburb and the slum?
    Make the city what it should be—and the bairns will come.

    Don’t you hear Australia calling for her children unconceived?
    Don’t you hear them calling to her while her heart is very grieved?
    Give the best land to the farmers, make the barren West a home,
    Save the rainfall, lock the rivers—and the bairns will come.

    — -Henry Lawson
  • An Australian Advertiseme

    WE WANT the man who will lead the van,
    The man who will pioneer.
    We have no use for the gentleman,
    Or the cheating Cheap-Jack here;
    We have no room for the men who shirk
    The sweat of the brow. Condemn
    The men who are frightened to look for work
    And funk when it looks for them.

    We’ll honour the man who can’t afford
    To wait for a job that suits,
    But sticks a swag on his shoulders broad
    And his feet in blucher boots,
    And tramps away o’er the ridges far
    And over the burning sand
    To look for work where the stations are
    In the lonely Western land.

    He’ll brave the drouth and he’ll brave the rain,
    And fight his sorrows down,
    And help to garden the inland plain
    And build the inland town;
    And he’ll be found in the coming years
    With a heart as firm and stout,
    An honoured man with the pioneers
    Who lead the people out.

    — -Henry Lawson
  • All Ashore

    The rattling ‘donkey’ ceases,
    The bell says we must part,
    You long slab of good-nature,
    And poetry and art!

    We’ll miss your smile in Sydney,
    We’ll miss your care-free air;
    Where care-free airs are needed
    And grins are growing rare,

    Good Health! Good pay! Good liquor,
    And good pals, night and day,
    Good morning and good evening –
    God bless you, Hugh McCrae!

    — -Henry Lawson
  • After All

    The brooding ghosts of Australian night have gone from the bush and town;
    My spirit revives in the morning breeze,
    though it died when the sun went down;
    The river is high and the stream is strong,
    and the grass is green and tall,
    And I fain would think that this world of ours is a good world after all.

    The light of passion in dreamy eyes, and a page of truth well read,
    The glorious thrill in a heart grown cold of the spirit I thought was dead,
    A song that goes to a comrade's heart, and a tear of pride let fall --
    And my soul is strong! and the world to me is a grand world after all!

    Let our enemies go by their old dull tracks,
    and theirs be the fault or shame
    (The man is bitter against the world who has only himself to blame);
    Let the darkest side of the past be dark, and only the good recall;
    For I must believe that the world, my dear, is a kind world after all.

    It well may be that I saw too plain, and it may be I was blind;
    But I'll keep my face to the dawning light,
    though the devil may stand behind!
    Though the devil may stand behind my back, I'll not see his shadow fall,
    But read the signs in the morning stars of a good world after all.

    Rest, for your eyes are weary, girl -- you have driven the worst away --
    The ghost of the man that I might have been is gone from my heart to-day;
    We'll live for life and the best it brings till our twilight shadows fall;
    My heart grows brave, and the world, my girl, is a good world after all.

    — -Henry Lawson
  • Ave Generosa

    I behold you,
    noble, glorious and whole woman,
    the pupil of purity.
    You are the sacred matrix
    in which God takes great pleasure.
    The essences of Heaven flooded into you,
    and the Great Word of God dressed itself in flesh.
    You appeared as a shining white lily,
    as God looked upon you before all of Creation.

    O lovely and tender one,
    how greatly has God delighted in you.
    For He has placed His passionate embrace within you,
    so that His Son might nurse at your breast.

    Your womb held joy,
    with all the celestial symphony sounding through you,
    Virgin, who bore the Son of God,
    when your purity became luminous in God.

    Your flesh held joy,
    like grass upon which dew falls,
    pouring its life-green into it,
    and so it is true in you also,
    o Mother of all delight.

    Now let all Ecclesia shine in joy
    and sound in symphony
    praising the most tender woman,
    Mary, the bequeather/seed-source of God.
    Amen

    — -Hildegard of Bingen
  • Antiphon for the Angels

    Spirited light! on the edge
    of the Presence your yearning
    burns in the secret darkness,
    O angels, insatiably
    into God’s gaze.
    Perversity
    could not touch your beauty;
    you are essential joy.
    But your lost companion,
    angel of the crooked
    wings – he sought the summit,
    shot down the depths of God
    and plummeted past Adam –
    that a mud – bound spirit might soar.

    — -Hildegard of Bingen
  • To Live Out What I am

    My distress is great and unknown to men.
    They are cruel to me, for they wish to dissuade me
    From all that the forces of Love urge me to.
    They do not understand it, and I cannot explain it to them.
    I must then live out what I am;
    What love counsels my spirit,
    In this is my being: for this reason I will do my best.
    Whatever vicissitudes men lead me through for Love’s sake
    I wish to stand firm and take no harm from them.
    For I understand from the nobility of my soul
    That in suffering for sublime Love, I conquer.
    I will therefore gladly surrender myself
    In pain, in repose, in dying, in living,
    For I know the command of lofty fidelity.
    I do not complain of suffering for Love:
    It becomes me always to submit to her,
    Whether she commands in storm or in stillness.
    One can know her only in herself.
    This is an unconceivable wonder,
    Which has thus filled my heart
    And makes me stray in a wild desert.

    — -Hadewijch of Antwerp
  • The Madness of love

    The madness of love
    Is a rich fief;
    Anyone who recognized this
    Would not ask Love for anything else:
    It can unite Opposites
    And reverse the paradox.
    I am declaring the truth about this:
    The madness of love makes bitter what was sweet,
    It makes the stranger a kinsman,
    And it makes the smallest the most proud.

    To souls who have not reached such love,
    I give this good counsel:
    If they cannot do more,
    Let them beg Love for amnesty,
    And serve with faith,
    According to the counsel of noble Love,
    And think: ‘It can happen,
    Love’s power is so great!’
    Only after his death
    Is a man beyond cure.

    — -Hadewijch of Antwerp
  • Imagining

    What is sweetest in love is her tempestuousness,
    Her deepest abyss is her most beautiful form;
    To lose one’s way in her is to touch her close at hand.
    To die of hunger for her is to feed and taste;…

    We can say yet more about Love:
    Her wealth is her lack of everything;
    Her truest fidelity brings about our fall;
    Her highest being drowns us in the depths;…

    Her revelation is the total hiding of herself;
    Her gifts, besides, are thieveries;
    Her promises are all seductions;
    Her adornments are all undressing;
    Her truth is all deception;
    To many her assurance appears to lie—

    This is the witness that can be truly borne
    At any moment by me and many others
    To whom Love has often shown
    Wonders by which we were mocked,
    Imagining we possessed what she kept back for herself.

    After she first played these tricks on me,
    And I considered all her methods,
    I went to work in an entirely different way:
    By her threats and her promises
    I was no longer deceived.

    I will belong to her, whatever she may be,
    Gracious or merciless; to me it is all one.

    — -Hadewijch of Antwer
  • Glad We're Friends

    We might not have been friends from the start,
    But that doesn?t mean you weren?t always in my heart.
    I wish I was friends with you from a very young age,
    But its okay because when I became friends with you my life started a new page.
    Our friendship means so much to me I just cant say,
    I don?t know what I would do without you and your thoughtful way.

    During our friendship we have had a few fights,
    But in the end we knew we could make it right.
    Whenever I would hit a bump in life and fall,
    You were there to help and you?re the one who made me get through it all.
    I wanted you to know I am happy we made it through,
    And that one of the people I completely trusted with everything was you.

    You have been there for me every step of the way,
    Helping me to take life day by day.
    You have helped me forget my fears,
    And in the end that has stopped my tears.
    Thank you so much for all you have done for me,
    You made me be the best person I can be.

    — -Jenna
  • The Gift of Friendship

    Running to you once again
    With big tears in my eyes
    You pull me close in a brotherly hug
    And just let me cry

    Offering me a haven
    In my time of need
    Means so very much more
    Then you could ever see

    Your friendship is the greatest gift
    It abides with me always
    Just knowing that you are around
    Gives me the courage to stay

    The smiles that you send my way
    The looks that say you care
    Help me through the hardest days
    In a world that?s so unfair

    You must think I?m crazy
    Every time that I complain
    That ?Someone? is being stupid
    Or causing me more pain

    But you have stayed right with me
    I know you?ve always tried
    To help me face the honest truth
    When I just wanted to hide

    So love and hugs I send to you
    Across the many miles
    And hope that I, in turn, can be
    A friend that brings you smiles

    — -Ann Marie
  • A friend like you

    Like a needle in a haystack, true friends are hard to find that is why i am glad to call you mine. whenever i need a shoulder your there 2 catch my tears you've kept all my secrets throughout the past few years. i dont think there is anything in life that i could more wisely do, that 2 know,be, and love a friend like you

    This i dedicated 2 my best friend stirling love ya stir-stir

    — -Erin
  • Friends Forever

    Friends forever,
    Friends till the end,
    I love you,
    And our friendship will never end.

    I'll be by your side,
    When times get rough,
    I'll be there for you,
    When you've had enough.

    I know this world is cold,
    But you will be safe with me,
    For you are my best friend,
    And I'll never let our friendship end.

    I'm so glad that I have found you,
    I thought my world was coming to an end,
    But then you came around,
    And now we are best friends.

    — -Kristina M.
  • If I Were...

    If I were a memory I’d hold you there forever
    Reminding you of the good times we shared together

    If I were a smile on your face I would stay
    Never to let sadness chase me too far away

    If I were a teardrop I’d roll gently down from your eyes
    Not to burn much but to mend your sweet cries

    If I were a hand I’d want you to hold me in your own
    Carry me through life .. even when I’m grown

    If I were feet I would stay inline with you
    So I could be with you in all that you do

    If I were a shadow I would always follow
    We’d face things together in all the tomorrows

    If I were pain I’d stay far away from the start
    To make sure you never felt me or I never broke your heart

    If I were a song I’d be a sweet sound to your ears
    To keep up your hopes and carry you through the years

    If I were strength I’d give you my all
    I’d hold you high and never let your fall

    If I were your heart I’d be steady and true
    I’d be there in every beat; staying strong for you

    If I were the sun I’d shine down upon your face
    Illuminate your smile and radiate through your grace

    If I were a star I’d sparkle like your eyes
    I would look upon your life and never stop my shine

    I don’t know how good at those things I could be
    I’m not any of them but this I want you to see

    If I were a friend I couldn’t let you down
    I’d never let you fall or walk away from me with a frown

    If I were a friend I would hold your hand
    I would be with you always, I hope you understand

    If I were a friend I would give you my all
    And though it’s not much, I’ll be there when you call

    If I were a friend I’d be in every memory too
    When you laughed, when you cried, I’d be with you

    I CAN be these things, it’s not impossible to be a friend
    I CAN be your best and I’ll be here till the end

    If I were forever, you would be too
    Together forever – me and you…

    — -Lucky
  • Katie Lavigne

    A picture lays on the table
    As color begins to fade away
    Memories of us are still fresh
    As if we just took it today

    It seemed like so long ago
    When we would sit down and chat
    We used to get into so much trouble
    We were the happiest little brats

    Best friends forever
    Together till the end
    We were there there for each other
    Your sorrows I would mend

    We grew up together
    Time flew so fast
    Despite the changes in surroundings
    Our friendship had no contrast

    We were joined at the hips
    All the people would say
    But it broke my heart
    To see you go away

    You took away your life
    It was too hard for you
    You couldn't take it anymore
    So your life you threw

    I still remembered that night
    You cried on the phone
    You didn't know what to do
    You felt so alone

    I rushed over to you
    I knew something was wrong
    You used to be so cheery
    You used to be so strong

    I found you on the floor
    Your body lifeless and cold
    A little knife by your side
    A letter in your hand I started to unfold

    Smothered in blood
    Told the story trapped inside
    The pain you felt
    The tears you've cried

    I held you in my arms
    You looked so pale
    My angel
    You've turned so frail

    That memory broke my heart
    One year has passed
    But you're still my angel
    Our friendship will last

    *U'll always be my angel Stephanie

    — -Lostlllsoul
  • We'll take a walk

    One day we'll take a walk buddy just you and me

    We'll walk around the neighborhood like we did in 03

    Every night we talked about our hopes and dreams

    It helped clear our minds and let go and be free

    You would tell me not to give up and fight a good fight

    I never took your advice but you were always right

    I'm sorry about the accident we shouldn't have went out

    But that night I pushed you and look where you are now

    It should be me I should have died

    or maybe the driver he was the one that was high

    I'm lost now without you, you were my very best friend

    You stood by me faithful right down to the end

    At the hospital you asked a favor from me

    you asked me to take care of Cris and Danny

    I never got to answer you before you took your last breath

    So I'll answer you through this poem and let you rest

    I swear I'll live up to my promise to you

    I'll tell Danny about you and Andrea too

    Danny will know what his daddy was like and

    Cris will know how her big bro was tight

    I'm missing you man and the old passi too

    I'm waiting to take a walk again just me and you

    — -Corey Spelling
  • Heart Angel

    You are my heart angel
    That I won’t forget
    I know your there no matter what
    When you cry I try to stand tall and cheer you up, but its all so hard
    Cause I want to cry with you too
    When you laugh you spread happiness in the air
    You’re a very special heart angel of mine
    When you walk in the halls you glow
    Nobody can ever forget you
    When you get lost my heart angel I try to help you and try not to be lost with you
    But every time when your sad, hurt, and lost I try not to show I’m lost with you
    I want to show you how special you are to the world
    Everything makes you my heart angel of mine
    Just remember I love you every moment of the day my heart angel

    — -Failure By Design
  • I got your back

    I got your back
    You got mine,
    I'll help you out
    Anytime.

    To see you hurt
    To see you cry,
    Makes me weep
    And wanna die.

    And if you agree
    To never fight,
    It wouldn't matter
    Who's wrong or right.

    If a broken heart
    Needs a mend,
    I'll be right there
    To the end.

    If your cheeks are wet
    From drops of tears,
    Don't you worry,
    Let go of your fears.

    Hand in hand
    Love is sent,
    We'll be friends
    Till the end

    — -Janeth
  • For my best Friend

    Thank you for being the friend you are Lyndsie
    I never thought that I would find
    a friend so great and a friend so kind
    I look up to you in every way
    'cause I learn something from you every day.

    Without you I don't know where I'd be
    but you're still here, friends with me
    you deserve so much more than I can give
    but without you I wouldn't live.

    You've given me more than money can buy
    and for you I'd give my all and I would die
    This feeling I feel gets stronger every day
    hoping not to mess it up, I constantly pray.
    You're an angel from God up above
    and I'm thankful for your understanding love
    because when you're around everything seems right
    and for you, until the end, I will fight.

    It doesn't matter what you do or say
    because you'll be my friend anyway
    I know the real you that's down deep inside
    and in you, I'll always confide.

    Thank you for being the friend you are
    you're my best friend, an angel by far
    everything in you is an inspiration to do great
    and you'll be loved by all cause that's your fate!

    So never stop being the real and wonderful you
    cause God shines through in all that you do
    and whenever it seems like I'm never there
    remember this: I love you and I'll always care!

    This is for you, my best friend,
    Lyndsie one person i can tell my soul too
    Who can relate to me like no other
    Who I can laugh with to no extents,
    Who I can cry too when times are tough,
    Who can help me with the problems of my life.
    Never have you turned your back on me
    Or told me I wasn't good enough
    Or let me down
    I don't think you know what that means to me
    You have went through so much pain with your family and you still have time
    For me.
    And I love you for listening even when inside YOU are dying
    And I look up too you because you are strong,
    and caring
    and beautiful.
    Even though you don't think you are.
    And I hope you know that I am always here
    To listen to you laugh and cry and help
    In all the ways that i can
    And I will try to be at least half the friend you are
    To me.
    I hope you know I would not be the person I am today, with out you.
    My best friend Lyndsie.

    — -Moriah
  • Listen

    Listen, my friend, this road is the heart opening,
    kissing his feet, resistance broken, tears all night.

    If we could reach the Lord through immersion in water,
    I would have asked to be born a fish in this life.
    If we could reach Him through nothing but berries and wild nuts
    then surely the saints would have been monkeys when they came from the womb!

    If we could reach him by munching lettuce and dry leaves
    then the goats would surely get to the Holy One before us!
    If the worship of stone statues could bring us all the way,
    I would have adored a granite mountain years ago.

    — -Mirabai
  • Life In The World

    Life in the world is short,
    Why shoulder an unnecessary load
    Of worldly relationships?
    Thy parents gave thee birth in the world,
    But the Lord ordained thy fate.
    Life passes in getting and spending,
    No merit is earned by virtuous deeds.

    I will sing the praises of Hari
    In the company of the holy men,
    Nothing else concerns me.
    Mira’s Lord is the courtly Giridhara,
    She says: Only by Thy power
    Have I crossed to the further shore.

    — -Mirabai
  • In A Sudden

    In a sudden,
    the sight,
    Your look of light,
    stills all,

    The curd-pot
    falls to the ground.

    Parents and
    brothers
    all call a halt.

    Prise out, they say,
    this thing from your heart.
    You’ve lost your path.

    Says Meera:
    Who but you
    can see in the dark
    of a heart?

    — -Mirabai
  • I Have Found

    I have found, yes, I have found the wealth of the Divine Name’s gem.
    My true guru gave me a priceless thing.
    With his grace, I accepted it.
    I found the capital of my several births;
    I have lost the whole rest of the world.
    No one can spend it, no one can steal it.
    Day by day it increases one and a quarter times.
    On the boat of truth, the boatman was my true guru.
    I came across the ocean of existence.
    Mira’s Lord is the Mountain-Holder,
    the suave lover, of whom I merrily, merrily sing.

    — -Mirabai
  • Do not leave me alone

    Do not leave me alone, a helpless woman.
    My strength, my crown,
    I am empty of virtues,
    You, the ocean of them.
    My heart’s music, you help me
    In my world-crossing.
    You protected the king of the elephants.
    You dissolve the fear of the terrified.

    Where can I go? Save my honour
    For I have dedicated myself to you
    And now there is no one else for me.

    — -Shreprakash Kurl
  • Time for the pain to stop

    I have decided to leave the world,
    Because my heart is full of pain,
    Not sure how to get over this,
    Now I cannot breathe again,

    I am struggling to get out of bed,
    Every thought of you is here,
    Inside, my heart is breaking,
    I just want to hold you near,

    I fought to get on with my life,
    But the pain is feeling worse,
    I cannot seem to forget you,
    My life is just a curse,

    I know that now you hate me,
    To be truthful, so do I,
    I tried to hold on to you,
    Now I just want to die,

    This feeling of awful rejection,
    By everyone that I love,
    Do not worry about me now,
    I will watch you from above,

    I wanted to tell you how I felt,
    But you chose to ignore me,
    I wanted to make things better,
    But you chose not to see,

    My job here on earth is done,
    I loved someone with my heart,
    Just remember me for who I was,
    And we will never be apart.

    — -Amanda Linzi
  • It takes Two

    So much has happened
    between you and I
    It's strange how we managed
    to make one another cry

    How a friendship so strong
    could become so weak
    Torn apart so delicately
    with such technique

    It's astonishing how one
    could speak upon an act
    then turn around and
    do the same thing right back

    or how one speaks out of anger
    when they know it is wrong
    Destroy something so tantalizing,
    something so extraordinarily strong

    We both did our share
    both now deceived and hurt
    Belittled one another
    as if we were dirt

    one cannot mend such anguish,
    on their own
    but to let you know
    from this, i have grown

    As contemptible as it sounds,
    yes it is true
    that such an awful engagement
    has helped me
    "Do what i do"

    Trust is difficult to gain
    once it's been lost before
    But this i am ready to work on.
    I'm ready to open that door

    This is me doing my part
    to fix you and i
    now it is your choice
    to help stop...
    a forever goodbye

    — -Nicole
  • Look me in the eye

    Could you look me in the eye,
    And tell me that you’re content?
    Could you tell me honestly,
    That you’re happy with the present?

    I know I’m not always right
    But I have a strong feeling
    That you’re not who you were
    Your smiles you are stealing

    You’ve found someone else
    And I hope it works out
    I hope your friendship is strong
    Coz that’s what life’s about

    I hope your smile is true
    And the spark in your eye is real
    But I have so many doubts
    I know that you can conceal

    Is it just, one big show?
    For the entire world to see?
    To show them you’ve moved on?
    And that you don’t need to flee?

    Remember I knew you best
    I see more than the outside
    I knew you deeper than most,
    Coz I knew you on the inside

    — -Sarah L Costello
  • Best Friends

    Funny how friends say forever,
    people never seem to stay together

    You told me not to worry, told me not to cry,
    you said we were best friends, it was a lie.

    I'm here still pretending not to care,
    pretending I don't notice your never there.

    To have a bond like we did was amazing,
    but you picked a boy over that, over me, just replacing.

    You hurt me so bad you will never know,
    and the pain I keep inside I will never show.

    You'd probably see it if you just tried,
    and know how many nights I have cried.

    But don't worry I'll be fine,
    I'm not the one who left all my friends behind.

    — -Christa
  • Best Friends Lie

    I thought we would always be best friends,
    Isn't that what we said?
    Best friends forever until the end?
    We would stick together no matter what happened?

    I guess I was wrong,
    Cause you broke me down,
    You don't wanna be my friend no more,
    What did I do?
    I thought I could always count on you,
    But I guess not,
    Cause you left me here all alone,
    Now what am I supposed to do without you?

    As the days go by life is getting harder,
    And I'm thinking about you more and more,
    Wishing you were still here.
    I need you now more then I ever have before,
    But your no where near.

    How could this happen?
    After all we've been through,
    We were always there for each other,
    We were so close,
    At least I thought we were,
    But maybe I was wrong, again.
    Did you really want our friendship to end?

    — -Kristina M.
  • What happened?

    Remember when we were the best of friends?
    I do.I remember the long talks on the phone
    Everyday on the weekend spent together
    Never having anyone say one name without the other
    Going everywhere with each other
    Doing everything together
    Knowing each other better than ourselves
    But then you decide to hurt me like I never thought possible
    You always think it's me, but you were the one that hurt me
    I am just so tried of all the things you find to get mad about
    I'm not going to try to explain what happened because knowing you; you won't listen to anything I have to say
    How could you think I would do something like that?
    I thought you knew me, but I guess not
    Nothing would have happened if you never decided to do what you did
    You were the only one I trusted in life
    I told you everything
    Now I can't trust anyone
    My heart is closed and will take a lot to be opened again
    I want to talk to you the way we did before
    I have cried over this too much and now I'm just mad
    I wish you never did what you did
    But at night all I think about is all the good times we have had
    And I think to myself this is the end of our friendship
    It hurts me so much to think like that, but I have to now
    I loved you like a friend, a best friend, a sister
    I just want you to realize that you were at wrong, but I know you won't
    And that's why we can't be friends
    I want you to remember the night I held you in my arms
    You cried and told me everything that jerk did
    I told you everything will be alright
    I was there for you
    I just can't get over how you are going to believe the boy that lied to you the most
    And not believe your girl
    It just scares me how much I try and sometimes knowing nothing will work
    If you just try then maybe we can be friends
    But until then I have to go on life living like I have never lived before
    Without my best friend!

    — -Ashley Fitz
  • I miss you

    I miss your smile,
    I miss your laugh,
    I miss the fun times,
    and the sad.
    I miss your voice,
    I miss your face,
    I miss your hugs,
    and your embrace.
    I miss our friendship,
    I miss those long talks,
    I miss all those dances,
    and those quiet walks.
    Since you've been away,
    I haven't known what to do,
    I've been dazed and confused,
    I really really miss you.

    — -Lucy
  • I have a best friend...

    have a best friend...
    In the sandbox we used to play,
    We grew up with eachother,
    but things ended up this way

    I began to meet some new friends,
    they all seemed pretty nice,
    You told me they were the wrong crew,
    But I didn't take your advice

    I started smoking and drinking,
    sneaking out and skipping school,
    I never returned your phonecalls
    because I was just too cool

    I never told you the truth,
    I just had to lie,
    You told me I needed help
    And all I could say was why?

    I went to a party that night,
    And I got so messed up I couldn't talk,
    I tried to cross the street,
    but I could barely walk

    I heard a loud engine,
    and I saw a bright light,
    I then felt a great shove,
    and I looked to my right

    You'd been hit by a Semi,
    With all the blood I could see,
    You just pushed me out of the way
    And that's how it had to be

    A tear rolled down my face,
    I could tell that you were dead,
    I hugged your lifeless body
    and wished it was me instead

    I've been sober for 3 years,
    and I have many more to spend,
    I have my guardian angel,
    I have a best friend...

    — -Jenna
  • The end

    You say we will always be friends
    all the way till the very end
    But I'm beginning to feel
    that our friendship may never heel
    the end is creeping near
    sometimes I wonder if it's already here
    I try to talk
    But all you do is walk
    You no longer care for what I have to say
    I guess I'm just getting in your way
    You have a new group of friends
    So this is what I call the end

    — -Vanessa
  • How Could You?

    How could you turn your back on me when I screamed your name so loud?
    How could you let me fall away from you, did you get too proud?
    How could you watch as I died a gruesome death and broke apart?
    How could you walk away from me, or were you never really there to start?

    How could you be so cruel to me when all I ever tried to do was fit in?
    How could you be so hypocritical when I spoke my secrets from deep within?
    How could you have said those things and pretended that they were true?
    How could you have meant them all-I don't understand what you're trying to do.

    How could you pull the floor from beneath me when I just learned to stand?
    Please, could you just explain this to me, Because I don't understand..
    How could you play this game of pretend and play the part of a friend?
    How could you be so thoughtless, how could you want this all to end?

    How could you look me in the eye and say the cruelest of words?
    How could you say you listened to me when you never really heard?
    How could you stick this knife in my chest, then twist it where you wanted it to go?
    Please answer me all these questions, I really need to know

    How could you have done things things and live with no regret?
    How could you not remember what you said, how could you forget?
    How could you say you'd do it, and then never really follow through
    But really, I just have one question to ask ... I just want to know, How could you??

    — -Unseen Exposure
  • After Tonight

    Because there are avenues
    Of traffic lights, a phone book
    Of brothers and lawyers,
    Why should you think your purse
    Will not be tugged from your arm
    Or the screen door
    Will remain latched
    Against the man
    Who hugs and kisses
    His pillow
    In the corridor of loneliness?

    There is a window of light
    A sprinkler turning
    As the earth turns,
    And you do not think of the hills
    And of the splintered wrists it takes
    To give you
    The heat rising toward the ceiling.

    You expect your daughter
    To be at the door any moment
    And your husband to arrive
    With the night
    That is suddenly all around.
    You expect the stove to burst

    A collar of fire
    When you want it,
    The siamese cats
    To move against your legs, purring.

    But remember this:
    Because blood revolves from one lung to the next,
    Why think it will
    After tonight?

    — -Gary Soto
  • The Tale of Sunlight

    Listen, nephew.
    When I opened the cantina
    At noon
    A triangle of sunlight
    Was stretched out
    On the floor
    Like a rug
    Like a tired cat.
    It flared in
    From the window
    Through a small hole
    Shaped like a yawn.
    Strange I thought
    And placed my hand
    Before the opening,
    But the sunlight
    Did not vanish.
    I pulled back
    The shutters
    And the room glowed,
    But this pyramid
    Of whiteness
    Was simply brighter.
    The sunlight around it
    Appeared soiled
    Like the bed sheet
    Of a borracho.
    Amazed, I locked the door,
    Closed the windows.
    Workers, in from
    The fields, knocked
    To be let in,
    Children peeked
    Through the shutters,
    But I remained silent.
    I poured a beer,
    At a table
    Shuffled a pack
    Of old cards,
    And watched it
    Cross the floor,
    Hang on the wall
    Like a portrait
    Like a calendar
    Without numbers.
    When a fly settled
    In the sunlight
    And disappeared
    In a wreath of smoke,
    I tapped it with the broom,
    Spat on it.
    The broom vanished.
    The spit sizzled.
    It is the truth, little one.
    I stood eye to blank eye
    And by misfortune
    This finger
    This pink stump
    Entered the sunlight,
    Snapped off
    With a dry sneeze,
    And fell to the floor
    As a gift
    To the ants
    Who know me
    For what I gave

    — -Gary Soto
  • The Map

    When the sun's whiteness closes around us
    Like a noose,

    It is noon, and Molina squats
    In the uneven shade of an oleander.

    He unfolds a map and, with a pencil,
    Blackens Panama

    Into a bruise;
    He dots rain over Bogotá, the city of spiders,

    And x's in a mountain range that climbs
    Like a thermometer

    Above the stone fence
    The old never thought to look over.

    A fog presses over Lima.
    Brazil is untangled of its rivers.

    Where there is a smudge,
    Snow has stitched its cold into the field.

    Where the river Orinoco cuts east,
    A new river rises nameless

    From the open grasses,
    And Molina calls it his place of birth.

    — -Gary Soto
  • The Jungle Café

    We could wipe away a fly,
    Drink, and order that yellow
    Thing behind the glass, peach
    Or sweet bread. Sunlight
    Is catching on a fork,
    Toothy wink from a star.
    The fan is busy, the waiter is busy,
    And today, in this café
    Of two dollars and fifty
    Cents, we're so important
    Dogs are shaking our hands.
    "Welcome, turistas," they say,
    Or might say if they could
    Roll their Rs. Where we sit
    It's three o'clock, and
    Across the room, where
    Old men are playing dominos
    It's maybe later, it's maybe
    Peru under their hats.
    There are toads in this place
    —sullen guards by the door—
    And the bartender is just another
    Uncle fooling with the radio.
    "A little to the left,"
    I shout, and he dials left,
    Then right, until it's German
    Polkas, accordions by the sea.
    The toads move a little.
    An old man clicks a domino.
    Omar, my gypsy friend, puts in—
    "Love is chasing me up my sleeve."
    I salute him, he salutes me,
    And together we're so drunk
    We're making sense. Little
    By little, with rum the color
    Of a woman's arm, we're seeing things—
    Of a dancer, no two,
    Make that three with one chair.
    And that man—the old one
    Over there—is so blurry
    He thinks he's flying.

    — -Gary Soto
  • Yowzah

    Well it wasn't too very long ago you know some folks walked with a hi-dee-ho
    And other folks walked around kind of low
    Sayin' Yowzah and Sho nuff and Yassuh boss
    It was ashes to ashes and dust to dust and they didn't believe in makin' a fuss
    So they quietly moved to the back of the bus
    They just say Yowzah and Sho nuff and Yassuh boss
    And when things got rough they did a little prayin'
    Little arm wavin' and a little bit of swayin'
    Didn't do no good they kept right on a sayin'
    Sayin' Yowzah and Sho nuff and Yassuh boss
    So they all went out and did a little standin' little less askin' and a lot more demandin'
    Little less liftin' and a little less totin' a lot more thinkin' and a lot more votin'
    A lot less hopin' a lot less waitin'
    A whole lot more demonstratin'a lot less pearly gate'n'
    A lot more fightin' and a lot more walkin' until finally no one at all was talkin'
    Like Yowzah and Sho nuff and Yassuh boss
    The end of this story is plain to see they finally achieved equality
    And now like you and me they can stand up strong and free
    And say Yes sir and Of course sir and Anything you say JB

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda

    All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
    Layin' in the sun,
    Talkin' 'bout the things
    They woulda coulda shoulda done...
    But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
    All ran away and hid
    From one little Did.

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Workin’ It Out

    Well I've been spendin' my life lookin' for a shoulder
    To rest my head when the nights get colder
    But the days are gettin' longer and I'm gettin' older
    Been long time workin' it out
    I been a long time workin' it out I been a long time workin' it out
    I been a long time workin' it out I been a long time workin' it out

    Now I got a little woman to scrub my floor
    Right down the road I got me two or three more
    And you know none of them knows about the one next door
    I been a long time workin' it out
    I been a long time workin' it out...

    Well it was late one night when I stole a little money
    I bought a couple of things and then gave them to my honey
    And the judge said boy if you this that's funny
    You got a long time workin' it out
    I got a long time workin' it out...
    [ guitar ]
    Yeah well I look all around me and what do I see
    The whole wide world got trouble like me
    Between the taxes the missus and the deep blue sea
    You'll be a long time workin' it out
    We'll be a long time workin' it out...

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Won't You

    Barbara's eyes are blue as azure,
    But she is in love with Freddy.
    Karen's sweet, but Harry has her.
    Gentle Jane is going steady.
    Carol hates me. So does May.
    Abigail will not be mine.
    Nancy lives too far away...
    Won't you be my Valentine?

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Who's Taller?

    Depends on if the judge is fair,
    Depends how high the heels you wear,
    Depends on if they count the hair,
    Depends if they allow the chair.

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Who Does She Think

    I asked the Zebra:

    Are you black with white stripes?
    Or white with black stripes?

    And the zebra asked me:

    Are you good with bad habits?
    Or are you bad with good habits?
    Are you noisy with quiet times?
    Or are you quiet with noisy times?
    Are you happy with some sad days?
    Or are you sad with some happy days?
    Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
    Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?

    And on and on and on and on
    And on and on he went.

    I’ll never ask a zebra

    About stripes

    Again

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Yet Love

    Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful indeed
    And worthy of acceptation. Fire is bright,
    Let temple burn, or flax; an equal light
    Leaps in the flame from cedar-plank or weed:
    And love is fire. And when I say at need
    I love thee . . . mark! . . . I love thee–in thy sight
    I stand transfigured, glorified aright,
    With conscience of the new rays that proceed
    Out of my face toward thine. There’s nothing low
    In love, when love the lowest: meanest creatures
    Who love God, God accepts while loving so.
    And what I feel, across the inferior features
    Of what I am, doth flash itself, and show
    How that great work of Love enhances Nature’s.

    — -Elizabeth Browning
  • The Sanctuary

    It could be said that God’s foot is so vast
    That this entire earth is but a
    field on His
    toe,

    and all the forests in this world
    came from the same root of just
    a single hair
    of His.

    What then is not a sanctuary?
    Where can I not kneel
    and pray at a shrine
    made holy by His
    presence

    — -Daniel Ladinsky.
  • Eternal Trinity

    Eternal Trinity,

    Godhead,

    mystery deep as the sea,

    you could give me no greater gift

    than the gift of

    yourself.

    For you are a fire ever burning and never consumed,

    which itself consumes all the selfish love

    that fills my being.

    Yes, you are a fire that takes away the coldness,

    illuminates the mind with its light,

    and causes me to know your

    truth.

    And I know that

    you are beauty and wisdom itself.

    The food of angels,

    you gave yourself to man

    in the fire of your

    love.

    — -Saint Catherine of
  • Consumed in Grace

    I first saw God when I was a child, six years of age.
    the cheeks of the sun were pale before Him,
    and the earth acted as a shy
    girl, like me.

    Divine light entered my heart from His love
    that did never fully wane,

    though indeed, dear, I can understand how a person’s
    faith can at time flicker,

    for what is the mind to do
    with something that becomes the mind’s ruin:
    a God that consumes us
    in His grace.

    I have seen what you want;
    it is there,

    a Beloved of infinite
    tenderness.

    — -Daniel Ladinsky
  • Consecrated

    CONSECRETED
    All has been consecretad.
    The creatures in the forest know this,
    The earth does, the seas do, the clouds know
    as does the heart full of
    love.
    Strange a priest would rob us of this
    knowledge
    and then empower himself
    with the ability
    to make holy what
    already was

    — -Daniel Ladinsky.
  • Consumed in Grace

    I first saw God when I was a child, six years of age.
    the cheeks of the sun were pale before Him,
    and the earth acted as a shy
    girl, like me.

    Divine light entered my heart from His love
    that did never fully wane,

    though indeed, dear, I can understand how a person’s
    faith can at time flicker,

    for what is the mind to do
    with something that becomes the mind’s ruin:
    a God that consumes us
    in His grace.

    I have seen what you want;
    it is there,

    a Beloved of infinite
    tenderness.

    — -St Catherine
  • Consecrated

    All has been consecretad.
    The creatures in the forest know this,
    The earth does, the seas do, the clouds know
    as does the heart full of
    love.
    Strange a priest would rob us of this
    knowledge
    and then empower himself
    with the ability
    to make holy what
    already was

    — -St Catherine
  • Why was Adam

    Why was Adam driven from the garden?’
    The pupil asked his master. ‘His heart was hardened
    With images, a hundred bonds that clutter the earth
    Chained Adam to the cycle of death following birth.
    He was blind to this equation, living for something other
    Than God and so out of paradise he was driven
    With his mortal body’s cover his soul was shriven.
    Noblest of God’s creatures, Adam fell with blame,
    Like a moth shrivelled by the candle’s flame,
    Into history which taught mankind shame.
    Since Adam had not given up his heart
    To God’s attachment, there was no part
    For Adam in paradise where the only friend
    Is God; His will is not for Adam to imagine and bend.

    — -Farid al-Din Attar
  • The Triumph of the Soul

    Joy! Joy! I triumph! Now no more I know
    Myself as simply me. I burn with love
    Unto myself, and bury me in love.
    The centre is within me and its wonder
    Lies as a circle everywhere about me.
    Joy! Joy! No mortal thought can fathom me.
    I am the merchant and the pearl at once.
    Lo, Time and Space lie crouching at my feet.
    Joy! Joy! When I would reveal in a rapture.
    I plunge into myself and all things know.

    — -Farid al-Din Attar
  • Mystic Silence

    From each, Love demands a mystic silence.
    What do all seek so earnestly? Tis Love.
    Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts,
    In Love no longer “Thou” and “I” exist,
    For self has passed away in the Beloved.
    Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,
    And in the temple of mine inmost soul
    Behold the Friend, Incomparable Love.
    He who would know the secret of both worlds
    Will find that the secret of them both is Love.

    — -Farid al-Din Attar
  • Looking for your own face

    Your face is neither infinite nor ephemeral.
    You can never see your own face,
    only a reflection, not the face itself.

    So you sigh in front of mirrors
    and cloud the surface.

    It’s better to keep your breath cold.
    Hold it, like a diver does in the ocean.
    One slight movement, the mirror-image goes.

    Don’t be dead or asleep or awake.
    Don’t be anything.

    What you most want,
    what you travel around wishing to find,
    lose yourself as lovers lose themselves,
    and you’ll be that.

    — -Farid al-Din Attar
  • Invocation

    We are busy with the luxury of things.
    Their number and multiple faces bring
    To us confusion we call knowledge. Say:
    God created the world, pinned night to day,
    Made mountains to weigh it down, seas
    To wash its face, living creatures with pleas
    (The ancestors of prayers) seeking a place
    In this mystery that floats in endless space.
    God set the earth on the back of a bull,
    The bull on a fish dancing on a spool
    Of silver light so fine it is like air;
    That in turn rests on nothing there
    But nothing that nothing can share.
    All things are but masks at God’s beck and call,
    They are symbols that instruct us that God is all.

    — -Farid al-Din Attar
  • Intoxicated by the Wine o

    Intoxicated by the Wine of Love.
    From each a mystic silence Love demands.
    What do all seek so earnestly? ‘Tis Love.
    What do they whisper to each other? Love.
    Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts.
    In Love no longer ‘thou’ and ‘I’ exist,
    For Self has passed away in the Beloved.
    Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,
    And in the temple of mine inmost soul,
    Behold the Friend; Incomparable Love.
    He who would know the secret of both worlds,
    Will find the secret of them both, is Love.

    — -Farid al-Din Attar
  • In the Dead of night

    In the dead of night, a Sufi began to weep.
    He said, “This world is like a closed coffin, in which
    We are shut and in which, through our ignorance,
    We spend our lives in folly and desolation.
    When Death comes to open the lid of the coffin,
    Each one who has wings will fly off to Eternity,
    But those without will remain locked in the coffin.
    So, my friends, before the lid of this coffin is taken off,
    Do all you can to become a bird of the Way to God;
    Do all you can to develop your wings and your feathers.”

    — -Farid al-Din Attar
  • All Pervading Consciousne

    And as His Essence all the world pervades
    Naught in Creation is, save this alone.
    Upon the waters has He fixed His Throne,
    This earth suspended in the starry space,
    Yet what are seas and what is air? For all
    Is God, and but a talisman are heaven and earth
    To veil Divinity. For heaven and earth,
    Did He not permeate them, were but names;
    Know then, that both this visible world and that
    Which unseen is, alike are God Himself,
    Naught is, save God: and all that is, is God.
    And yet, alas! by how few is He seen,
    Blind are men’s eyes, though all resplendent shines
    The world by Deity’s own light illumined,
    0 Thou whom man perceiveth not, although
    To him Thou deignest to make known Thyself;
    Thou all Creation art, all we behold, but Thou,
    The soul within the body lies concealed,
    And Thou dost hide Thyself within the soul,
    0 soul in soul! Myst’ry in myst’ry hid!
    Before all wert Thou, and are more than all!

    — -Farid al-Din Attar
  • Here is my gift

    Here is my gift, not roses on your grave,
    not sticks of burning incense.
    You lived aloof, maintaining to the end
    your magnificent disdain.
    You drank wine, and told the wittiest jokes,
    and suffocated inside stifling walls.
    Alone you let the terrible stranger in,
    and stayed with her alone.

    Now you’re gone, and nobody says a word
    about your troubled and exalted life.
    Only my voice, like a flute, will mourn
    at your dumb funeral feast.
    Oh, who would have dared believe that half-crazed I,
    I, sick with grief for the buried past,
    I, smoldering on a slow fire,
    having lost everything and forgotten all,
    would be fated to commemorate a man
    so full of strength and will and bright inventions,
    who only yesterday it seems, chatted with me,
    hiding the tremor of his mortal pain.

    — -tanley Kunitz
  • How many demands

    How many demands the beloved can make!
    The woman discarded, none.
    How glad I am that today the water
    Under the colorless ice is motionless.

    And I stand — Christ help me! —
    On this shroud that is brittle and bright,
    But save my letters
    So that our descendants can decide,

    So that you, courageous and wise,
    Will be seen by them with greater clarity.
    Perhaps we may leave some gaps
    In your glorious biography?

    Too sweet is earthly drink,
    Too tight the nets of love.
    Sometime let the children read
    My name in their lesson book,
    And on learning the sad story,
    Let them smile shyly. . .
    Since you’ve given me neither love nor peace
    Grant me bitter glory.

    — -Judith Hemschemeyer
  • Muse

    When, in the night, I wait for her, impatient,
    Life seems to me, as hanging by a thread.
    What just means liberty, or youth, or approbation,
    When compared with the gentle piper’s tread?
    And she came in, threw out the mantle’s edges,
    Declined to me with a sincere heed.
    I say to her, “Did you dictate the Pages
    Of Hell to Dante?” She answers, “Yes, I did.”

    — -Yevgeny Bonver
  • They Didn’t Meet

    They didn’t meet me, roamed,
    On steps with lanterns bright.
    I entered quiet home
    In murky, pail moonlight.
    Under a lamp’s green halo,
    With smile of kept in rage,
    My friend said, “Cinderella,
    Your voice is very strange…”
    A cricket plays its fiddle;
    A fire-place grew black.
    Oh, someone took my little
    White shoe as a keep-sake,
    And gave me three carnations,
    While casting dawn eyes –.
    My sins for accusations,
    You couldn’t be disguised.
    And heart hates to believe in
    The time, that’s close too,
    When he will ask for women
    To try on my white shoe.

    — -Tanya Karshtedt
  • The Beacon Fires

    A GLEAM — a gleam — from Ida’s height,
    By the Fire-god sent, it came;
    From watch to watch it leapt, that light,
    As a rider rode the flame!
    It shot through the startled sky,
    And the torch of that blazing glory
    Old Lemnos caught on high,
    On its holy promontory,
    And sent it on, the jocund sign,
    To Athos, Mount of Jove divine.
    Wildly the while, it rose from the isle,
    So that the might of the journeying Light
    Skimmed over the back of the gleaming brine!
    Farther and faster speeds it on,
    Till the watch that keeps Macistus steep
    See it burst like a blazing Sun!
    Doth Macistus sleep
    On his tower-clad steep?
    No! rapid and red doth the wild fire sweep;
    It flashes afar on the wayward stream
    Of the wild Euripus, the rushing beam!
    It rouses the light on Messapion’s height,
    And they feed its breath with the withered heath.
    But it may not stay!
    And away — away –
    It bounds in its freshening might.

    Silent and soon,
    Like a broadened moon,
    It passes in sheen, Asopus green,
    And bursts on Cithaeron gray!
    The warder wakes to the Signal-rays,
    And it swoops from the hill with a broader blaze.
    On, on the fiery Glory rode;
    Thy lonely lake, Gorgopis, glowed!
    To Megara’s Mount it came;
    They feed it again
    And it streams amain–
    A giant beard of Flame!
    The headland cliffs that darkly down
    O’er the Saronic waters frown,
    Are passed with the Swift One’s lurid stride,
    And the huge rock glares on the glaring tide.
    With mightier march and fiercer power
    It gained Arachne’s neighboring tower;
    Thence on our Argive roof its rest it won,
    Of Ida’s fire the long-descended Son!
    Bright Harbinger of glory and of joy!
    So first and last with equal honor crowned,
    In solemn feasts the race-torch circles round. –
    And these my heralds! — this my SIGN OF PEACE;
    Lo! while we breathe, the victor lords of Greece
    Stalk, in stern tumult, through the halls of Troy!

    — -Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • A Service of Song

    Some keep the Sabbath going to church;
    I keep it staying at home,
    With a bobolink for a chorister,
    And an orchard for a dome.
    Some keep the Sabbath in surplice;
    I just wear my wings,
    And instead of tolling the bell for church,
    Our little sexton sings.
    God preaches, — a noted clergyman, –
    And the sermon is never long;
    So instead of getting to heaven at last,
    I’m going all along!

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • A Dew Sufficed Itself

    A DEW sufficed itself
    And satisfied a leaf,
    And felt, ‘how vast a destiny!
    How trivial is life!’

    The sun went out to work,
    The day went out to play,
    But not again that dew was seen
    By physiognomy.

    Whether by day abducted,
    Or emptied by the sun
    Into the sea, in passing,
    Eternally unknown.

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • To Nature

    It may indeed be phantasy, when I
    Essay to draw from all created things
    Deep, heartfelt, inward joy that closely clings ;
    And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie
    Lessons of love and earnest piety.
    So let it be ; and if the wide world rings
    In mock of this belief, it brings
    Nor fear, nor grief, nor vain perplexity.
    So will I build my altar in the fields,
    And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be,
    And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields
    Shall be the incense I will yield to Thee,
    Thee only God ! and thou shalt not despise
    Even me, the priest of this poor sacrifice

    — -Samuel Taylor Coleri
  • The Sun

    Have you ever seen
    anything
    in your life
    more wonderful

    than the way the sun,
    every evening,
    relaxed and easy,
    floats toward the horizon

    and into the clouds or the hills,
    or the rumpled sea,
    and is gone–
    and how it slides again

    out of the blackness,
    every morning,
    on the other side of the world,
    like a red flower

    streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
    say, on a morning in early summer,
    at its perfect imperial distance–
    and have you ever felt for anything
    such wild love–
    do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
    a word billowing enough
    for the pleasure

    that fills you,
    as the sun
    reaches out,
    as it warms you

    as you stand there,
    empty-handed–
    or have you too
    turned from this world–

    or have you too
    gone crazy
    for power,
    for things?

    — -Mary Oliver
  • The Sea At Night

    The grey sea creeps half-visible, half-hushed,

    And grasps with its innumerable hands

    These silent walls. I see beyond a rough

    Glimmering infinity, I feel the wash

    And hear the sibilation of the waves

    That whisper to each other as they push

    To shoreward side by side, –long lines and dim

    Of movement flecked with quivering spots of foam,

    The quiet welter of a shifting world.

    — -Sri Aurobindo
  • Farewell

    Farewell to thee! but not farewell
    To all my fondest thoughts of thee:
    Within my heart they still shall dwell;
    And they shall cheer and comfort me.
    O, beautiful, and full of grace!
    If thou hadst never met mine eye,
    I had not dreamed a living face
    Could fancied charms so far outvie.

    If I may ne’er behold again
    That form and face so dear to me,
    Nor hear thy voice, still would I fain
    Preserve, for aye, their memory.

    That voice, the magic of whose tone
    Can wake an echo in my breast,
    Creating feelings that, alone,
    Can make my tranced spirit blest.

    That laughing eye, whose sunny beam
    My memory would not cherish less; -
    And oh, that smile! whose joyous gleam
    Nor mortal language can express.

    Adieu, but let me cherish, still,
    The hope with which I cannot part.
    Contempt may wound, and coldness chill,
    But still it lingers in my heart.

    And who can tell but Heaven, at last,
    May answer all my thousand prayers,
    And bid the future pay the past
    With joy for anguish, smiles for tears?

    — -Anne Bronte
  • When I shall sleep

    Oh, for the time when I shall sleep
    Without identity,
    And never care how rain may steep,
    Or snow may cover me!
    No promised heaven these wild desires
    Could all, or half, fulful;
    No threatened hell, with quenchless fires,
    Subdue this quenchless will!

    So said I, and still say the same;
    Still, to my death, will say –
    Three gods within this little frame
    Are warring night and day:
    Heaven could not hold them all, and yet
    They all are held in me;
    And must be mine till I forget
    My present entity!

    Oh, for the time when in my breast
    Their struggles will be o’er!
    Oh, for the day when I shall rest,
    And never suffer more!

    — -Emily Bronte
  • The Prisoner

    STILL let my tyrants know, I am not doom’d to wear
    Year after year in gloom and desolate despair;
    A messenger of Hope comes every night to me,
    And offers for short life, eternal liberty.

    He comes with Western winds, with evening’s wandering airs,
    With that clear dusk of heaven that brings the thickest stars:
    Winds take a pensive tone, and stars a tender fire,
    And visions rise, and change, that kill me with desire.

    Desire for nothing known in my maturer years,
    When Joy grew mad with awe, at counting future tears:
    When, if my spirit’s sky was full of flashes warm,
    I knew not whence they came, from sun or thunder-storm.

    But first, a hush of peace–a soundless calm descends;
    The struggle of distress and fierce impatience ends.
    Mute music soothes my breast–unutter’d harmony
    That I could never dream, till Earth was lost to me.

    Then dawns the Invisible; the Unseen its truth reveals;
    My outward sense is gone, my inward essence feels;
    Its wings are almost free–its home, its harbour found,
    Measuring the gulf, it stoops, and dares the final bound.

    O dreadful is the check–intense the agony–
    When the ear begins to hear, and the eye begins to see;
    When the pulse begins to throb–the brain to think again–
    The soul to feel the flesh, and the flesh to feel the chain.

    Yet I would lose no sting, would wish no torture less;
    The more that anguish racks, the earlier it will bless;
    And robed in fires of hell, or bright with heavenly shine,
    If it but herald Death, the vision is divine.

    — -Emily Bronte
  • The Old Stoic

    Riches I hold in light esteem,
    And Love I laugh to scorn;
    And lust of fame was but a dream
    That vanish’d with the morn:

    And, if I pray, the only prayer
    That moves my lips for me
    Is, ‘Leave the heart that now I bear,
    And give me liberty!’

    Yea, as my swift days near their goal,
    ‘Tis all that I implore:
    In life and death a chainless soul,
    With courage to endure

    — -Emily Bronte
  • Self Interrogation

    The evening passes fast away.
    ‘Tis almost time to rest;
    What thoughts has left the vanished day,
    What feelings in thy breast?

    “The vanished day? It leaves a sense
    Of labour hardly done;
    Of little gained with vast expense–
    A sense of grief alone?

    “Time stands before the door of Death,
    Upbraiding bitterly
    And Conscience, with exhaustless breath,
    Pours black reproach on me:

    “And though I’ve said that Conscience lies
    And Time should Fate condemn;
    Still, sad Repentance clouds my eyes,
    And makes me yield to them!

    “Then art thou glad to seek repose?
    Art glad to leave the sea,
    And anchor all thy weary woes
    In calm Eternity?

    “Nothing regrets to see thee go–
    Not one voice sobs’ farewell;’
    And where thy heart has suffered so,
    Canst thou desire to dwell?”

    “Alas! the countless links are strong
    That bind us to our clay;
    The loving spirit lingers long,
    And would not pass away!

    “And rest is sweet, when laurelled fame
    Will crown the soldier’s crest;
    But a brave heart, with a tarnished name,
    Would rather fight than rest.

    “Well, thou hast fought for many a year,
    Hast fought thy whole life through,
    Hast humbled Falsehood, trampled Fear;
    What is there left to do?

    “‘Tis true, this arm has hotly striven,
    Has dared what few would dare;
    Much have I done, and freely given,
    But little learnt to bear!

    “Look on the grave where thou must sleep
    Thy last, and strongest foe;
    It is endurance not to weep,
    If that repose seem woe.

    “The long war closing in defeat–
    Defeat serenely borne,–
    Thy midnight rest may still be sweet,
    And break in glorious morn!”

    — -Emily Bronte
  • Remembrance

    COLD in the earth–and the deep snow piled above thee,
    Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
    Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
    Sever’d at last by Time’s all-severing wave?

    Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
    Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
    Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
    Thy noble heart for ever, ever more?

    Cold in the earth–and fifteen wild Decembers
    From those brown hills have melted into spring:
    Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
    After such years of change and suffering!

    Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
    While the world’s tide is bearing me along;
    Other desires and other hopes beset me,
    Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!

    No later light has lighten’d up my heaven,
    No second morn has ever shone for me;
    All my life’s bliss from thy dear life was given,
    All my life’s bliss is in the grave with thee.

    But when the days of golden dreams had perish’d,
    And even Despair was powerless to destroy;
    Then did I learn how existence could be cherish’d,
    Strengthen’d and fed without the aid of joy.

    Then did I check the tears of useless passion–
    Wean’d my young soul from yearning after thine;
    Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
    Down to that tomb already more than mine.

    And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,
    Dare not indulge in memory’s rapturous pain;
    Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
    How could I seek the empty world again?

    — -Emily Bronte
  • My Lady’s Grave

    THE linnet in the rocky dells,
    The moor-lark in the air,
    The bee among the heather bells
    That hide my lady fair:

    The wild deer browse above her breast;
    The wild birds raise their brood;
    And they, her smiles of love caress’d,
    Have left her solitude!

    I ween that when the grave’s dark wall
    Did first her form retain,
    They thought their hearts could ne’er recall
    The light of joy again.

    They thought the tide of grief would flow
    Uncheck’d through future years;
    But where is all their anguish now,
    And where are all their tears?

    Well, let them fight for honour’s breath,
    Or pleasure’s shade pursue–
    The dweller in the land of death
    Is changed and careless too.

    And if their eyes should watch and weep
    Till sorrow’s source were dry,
    She would not, in her tranquil sleep,
    Return a single sigh!

    Blow, west wind, by the lonely mound:
    And murmur, summer streams!
    There is no need of other sound
    To soothe my lady’s dreams

    — -Emily Bronte
  • God of Visions

    O, thy bright eyes must answer now,
    When Reason, with a scornful brow,
    Is mocking at my overthrow!
    O, thy sweet tongue must plead for me,
    And tell why I have chosen thee!

    Stern Reason is to judgment come,
    Arrayed in all her forms of gloom:
    Wilt thou, my advocate, be dumb?
    No, radiant angel, speak and say
    Why I did cast the world away;

    Why I have presevered to shun
    The common paths that others run,
    And on a strange road journeyed on,
    Heedless alike of wealth and power,
    Of Glory’s wreath and Pleasure’s flower.

    These once, indeed, seemed Beings Divine;
    And they, perchance, heard vows of mine,
    And saw my offerings on their shrine;
    But careless gifts are seldom prized,
    And mine were worthily despised.

    So, with a ready heart I swore
    To seek their altar-stone no more;
    And gave my spirit to adore
    Thee, ever-present, phantom thing –
    My slave, my comrade, and my king.

    A slave, because I rule thee still,
    Incline thee to my changeful will,
    And make thy influence good or ill;
    A comrade, for by day and night
    Thou art my intimate delight, –

    My darling pain that wounds and sears,
    And wrings a blessing out of tears
    Be deadening me to earthly cares;
    And yet, a king, though Prudence well
    Have taught thy subject to rebel.

    And I am wrong to worship where
    Faith cannot doubt, nor Hope despair,
    Since my own soul can grant my prayer?
    Speak, God of Visions, plead for me,
    And tell why I have chosen thee

    — -Emily Bronte
  • Day Dream

    On a sunny brae alone I lay
    One summer afternoon;
    It was the marriage-time of May,
    With her young lover, June.

    From her mother’s heart seemed loath to part
    That queen of bridal charms,
    But her father smiled on the fairest child
    He ever held in his arms.

    The trees did wave their plumy crests,
    The glad birds carolled clear;
    And I, of all the wedding guests,
    Was only sullen there!

    There was not one, but wished to shun
    My aspect void of cheer;
    The very gray rocks, looking on,
    Asked, “What do you here?”

    And I could utter no reply;
    In sooth, I did not know
    Why I had brought a clouded eye
    To greet the general glow.

    So, resting on a heathy bank,
    I took my heart to me;
    And we together sadly sank
    Into a reverie.

    We thought, “When winter comes again,
    Where will these bright things be?
    All vanished, like a vision vain,
    An unreal mockery!

    “The birds that now so blithely sing,
    Through deserts, frozen dry,
    Poor spectres of the perished spring,
    In famished troops will fly.

    “And why should we be glad at all?
    The leaf is hardly green,
    Before a token of its fall
    Is on the surface seen!”

    Now, whether it were really so,
    I never could be sure;
    But as in fit of peevish woe,
    I stretched me on the moor,

    A thousand thousand gleaming fires
    Seemed kindling in the air;
    A thousand thousand silvery lyres
    Resounded far and near:

    Methought, the very breath I breathed
    Was full of sparks divine,
    And all my heather-couch was wreathed
    By that celestial shine!

    And, while the wide earth echoing rung
    To that strange minstrelsy
    The little glittering spirits sung,
    Or seemed to sing, to me:

    “O mortal! mortal! let them die;
    Let time and tears destroy,
    That we may overflow the sky
    With universal joy!

    “Let grief distract the sufferer’s breast,
    And night obscure his way;
    They hasten him to endless rest,
    And everlasting day.

    “To thee the world is like a tomb,
    A desert’s naked shore;
    To us, in unimagined bloom,
    It brightens more and more!

    “And, could we lift the veil, and give
    One brief glimpse to thine eye,
    Thou wouldst rejoice for those that live,
    Because they live to die.”

    The music ceased; the noonday dream,
    Like dream of night, withdrew;
    But Fancy, still, will sometimes deem

    — -Emily Bronte
  • A Little While

    A little while, a little while,
    The weary task is put away,
    And I can sing and I can smile,
    Alike, while I have holiday.
    Why wilt thou go, my harassed heart,
    What thought, what scene invites thee now?
    What spot, or near or far,
    Has rest for thee, my weary brow?

    There is a spot, mid barren hills,
    Where winter howls, and driving rain;
    But if the dreary tempest chills,
    There is a light that warms again.

    The house is old, the trees are bare,
    Moonless above bends twilight’s dome;
    But what on earth is half so dear,
    So longed for, as the hearth of home?

    The mute bird sitting on the stone,
    The dank moss dripping from the wall,
    The thorn-trees gaunt, the walks o’ergrown,
    I love them, how I love them all!

    Still, as I mused, the naked room,
    The alien firelight died away,
    And from the midst of cheerless gloom
    I passed to bright unclouded day.

    A little and a lone green lane
    That opened on a common wide;
    A distant, dreamy, dim blue chain
    Of mountains circling every side;

    A heaven so clear, an earth so calm,
    So sweet, so soft, so hushed an air;
    And, deepening still the dream-like charm,
    Wild moor-sheep feeding everywhere.

    That was the scene, I knew it well;
    I knew the turfy pathway’s sweep
    That, winding o’er each billowy swell,
    Marked out the tracks of wandering sheep.

    Even as I stood with raptured eye,
    Absorbed in bliss so deep and dear,
    My hour of rest had fleeted by,
    And back came labour, bondage, care.

    — -Emily Bronte
  • Thank You

    I'm really glad that I've found you,
    knowing you'll be there whenever i may need you.

    Thank you so much for what you've done,
    for what you've said,what you'll do.
    and what you'll say.

    For all those times I've called,
    and talked for hours on end,
    You stayed there, on the line,
    like a good true friend.

    I'll never forget, those true hugs;
    that you gave without regret,
    those times i felt so sad,
    you were right there,
    something I'll never forget.

    Let me tell you,
    and i hope you take it to heart,
    there'll never be someone like you,
    and i hope you feel the same way too.

    I'll be there for you,
    like you've always been for me,I;ll give you my hand to hold,
    my shoulder to cry on,
    and my attention just for you.

    I just want to say, THANK YOU.

    — -Santana
  • Always

    With natural brown hair
    And greenish-grey eyes
    You are one person
    I will never tell good-bye

    I love you with all my heart
    You are the sister I never had
    And I will always be there for you
    Whenever you are sad

    When you are upset, just call on me
    And I'll be there
    No matter what
    I will always care

    If you and I ever
    Become two instead of one
    I promise not to forget
    About the things we have done

    When we grow older
    And haven't seen eachother in years
    You'll still have a shoulder to lean on
    If you ever need to shed some tears

    I'm always going to hold on
    And I'm NEVER gonna let go
    But that is one thing
    You and I both, already know

    — -Kaylyn
  • What You Need

    I read your words—the tears just come
    I stare at the page, my body is numb

    I feel your pain like it was my own
    My heart sank in my stomach like a stone

    I’m wishing I could span the miles
    To wipe your tears and bring you smiles

    I’d hold you close and hug you tight
    Making promises that all will be right

    Our friendship’s so important to me
    I truly hope it’s plain to see

    I wish from pain your heart was freed
    You know I’ll give whatever you need

    — -Ann Marie
  • Best Friends

    Before i met you
    my life was grey
    I had no one to talk to
    nothing to say
    When i met you
    you brighten up my life
    if it wasn't for you
    my life will be taking by a knife
    me and you talked
    and became best friends
    we promised each other
    we would be there to the end
    i love you like a sister
    like i knew you for ever
    and on our key chains
    it says best friends forever
    I'll be there when you cry
    or a relationship gone bad
    when we get older, I'll make sure
    that you are never ever sad
    even in college
    i want to stay in touch
    seeing you once in awhile
    will never be enough
    i know we will have times
    where we will not agree
    but we will make it up with
    sleepovers, popcorn, and movies
    so to my best friend
    i hope you never go away
    because i do what best friends do
    and i will always be here to stay

    — -Simone
  • Everything

    Just when I think I've lost my way
    Something illuminates the dark
    There you are leading the way
    Love shining from your heart

    Many friends have crossed my path
    And I thank God for them all
    But I got an extra special blessing
    When your friendship answered my call

    You stayed by my side every step
    Even when others fled
    I know that because you're here
    I can face whatever's ahead

    Your smile and laugh urge me on
    And encourage me to be strong
    Your loving support helps me stand
    When the road is rough and long

    So much that I can thank God for:
    My family and health
    But when He blessed me with you
    He gave me more than wealth

    Mortal words could never explain
    What you have come to be
    You are my life, my world, my heart
    You are EVERYTHING to me

    — -Ann Marie
  • If you ever need me

    If ever you need a helping hand,
    just reach out and touch mine.
    If ever you're scared or afraid,
    I'll be right by your side.
    If ever you need words of advice,
    I'll give you the best I have.
    If ever you're sad and depressed,
    I'll try to brighten your day.
    If ever you need a shoulder to cry on,
    I have two, waiting here for you.
    If ever you simply need to talk,
    I promise I'll sit and listen.
    Whatever the reason,
    whatever you're searching for,
    whatever you need.....
    I promise
    I'll always be there for you!!

    — -Ashley
  • My Best Friend

    We have always been inseparable,
    Well at least since the age of two,
    Best friends we stood side by side,
    It was always me and you.

    We always told each other secrets,
    There wasn?t anything we kept from each other,
    I loved you more than anything,
    You were like my brother.

    From kindergarten to 4th grade,
    You got teased for hanging out with a girl,
    Still you never left me alone,
    You put me before the world.

    Then I fell in love,
    With some guy in my 7th grade class,
    And when he broke my heart,
    You were there to kick his a$$.

    You were always there for me,
    Through the thick and thin,
    Always you were there,
    Being my best friend.

    No matter what happened to us,
    Or came in our way,
    You never left me all alone,
    You were there to stay.

    You threw me the biggest party,
    On my sweet sixteen,
    Everyone from school was there,
    But you I hadn?t seen.

    As I went to open my presents,
    I opened your card first,
    It said the you loved me more than a friend,
    And my tears soon began to burst.

    Then out from the corner of the room,
    You began to walk my way,
    Tears came streaming down my face,
    I began to runaway.

    I locked myself in my room,
    And cried tears to form a sea,
    And soon I realized we were more than friends,
    That we were meant to be.

    I came out of my room,
    To find you standing there,
    I looked into your eyes,
    And realized you really cared.

    So soon you became my boyfriend,
    And we kissed for moments to last,
    And forgot all about just being friends,
    Like we were in the past.

    Then on my 21st birthday,
    You took me for surprise,
    As you went down on your knees,
    And I looked right in your eyes.

    You took my hand so firmly,
    As you were about to change your life,
    You took a ring from in your pocket,
    And said, ?Will you be my wife??

    I was so shocked my mind went blank,
    I didn?t know what to say,
    As I softly spoke words so true,
    Tears came as I said, ?Okay?

    You looked at me and said,
    ?I have another present waiting for you.?
    You opened the curtains only to see,
    A BMW painted blue.

    We both jumped in,
    My brand new car,
    And we took off for a ride,
    Though we didn?t go far.

    Another car started swerving,
    And right in a flash,
    That car and I,
    Had suddenly crashed.

    It was a drunk driver,
    Who took my soon to be husbands life,
    And left me here all alone,
    His soon to be wife.

    If it wasn?t for them,
    He?d still be alive,
    Just shows to what happens,
    When you drink and drive

    — -Samantha
  • One True Friend

    There is this girl, She means the world to me
    Although it is hard to explain, I really wish she could see
    That when I had not a reason to go on
    She came into my life, Picked me up and made me strong
    Although I fell down every now and then
    She still was near, as my one true friend
    We knew each other heart to heart
    Without saying a word we were never apart
    I always wanted to tell her, my one true friend
    My whole life's story I thought could never end
    But then one day she fell down too
    I thought I was done for, I didn't know what to do
    I could see the pain in here eyes,
    As she tried not to cry
    Everyday she came with a smile on her face
    But I still could tell it was all fake
    She tried to smile, but i still could see
    The pain inside of her was becoming apart of me
    She was full of secrets, just as I
    And tried to cover up all the lil' lies
    What was wrong, I had not a clue
    I wanted to be there through and through
    Yes I was bleeding, yes I did cry
    But I could see she was bleeding more and needed someone by her side
    So I stood near, just as she once stood for me
    I wanted to be there, and wanted her to see
    That no matter what went down or what went wrong
    I would always be there with an ear to listen to her song
    A song about life, a song about love
    A song about anything, whatever it was
    Cuz in the end after all that was said
    I would still be there for my one true friend.

    — -Vanessa
  • The One and Only You

    I want you to remember
    Those good old days
    Those days of happiness
    When everything went your way

    I want you to cherish these memories
    I don't want you to let them go
    And I hope they make you happy
    As they did so long ago

    I wish I could comfort you
    Shield you from life's pain
    I wish I could just give you everything
    You definitely deserve something to gain

    You've always told me not to give up
    Well here is a lesson for you
    If you ever need me, call
    That is all you have to do

    You've been through so much these days
    I'm sure God has something planned out
    But in order to see it
    You cannot be blinded by doubt

    So help me help you
    Tell me everything you're going through
    Let go of all these troubles
    Because the more you hold on the more it doubles

    Please, I can see your smile fading
    I can hear your voice crack
    You may not be near
    But you know I got your back

    In the past I wasn't always there
    Give me a chance this time
    I swear on my life I'll be right beside you
    To save the emptiness in your mind

    With your heart so fragile
    With your soul so true
    This is a tribute
    To the one and only you

    So smile your gorgeous smile
    Walk with your chin held high
    Get up off the ground
    Don't let your dreams die

    — -Chris
  • Never Without Love

    My life was over,
    Or so it had seemed,
    I said my goodbyes,
    And I silently screamed.

    I knew it was wrong,
    But it just felt so right,
    When sadness creeps in,
    It puts up a fight.

    I went into the kitchen,
    I looked all around,
    I saw what I needed,
    My heart started to pound.

    I tested the edge,
    As I picked up the knife,
    I placed it over my wrist,
    As I went over my life.

    I had no one to leave,
    Nobody who cared,
    A small little girl,
    Could certainly be spared.

    The phone started to ring,
    And I suddenly knew,
    I don't really know how,
    But it had to be you.

    I slowly walked over,
    And picked up the phone,
    In that moment I'd never felt more alone.

    You begged me to stop,
    To not do what I would,
    I said nothing at all,
    I don't think that I could.

    You cried and you pleaded,
    And I didn't know how,
    I had missed it so long,
    But I finally saw now.

    You may think life is hopeless,
    That there's no help from above,
    But as long as you have friends,
    You'll always have love.

    *This poem is dedicated to my best friend, Billie. Literally seconds before I ended my life, she called me and automatically knew what I was going to do. I wouldn't be here without her.

    — -Chord Princess
  • Man in Space

    All you have to do is listen to the way a man
    sometimes talks to his wife at a table of people
    and notice how intent he is on making his point
    even though her lower lip is beginning to quiver,

    and you will know why the women in science
    fiction movies who inhabit a planet of their own
    are not pictured making a salad or reading a magazine
    when the men from earth arrive in their rocket,

    why they are always standing in a semicircle
    with their arms folded, their bare legs set apart,
    their breasts protected by hard metal disks.

    — -Billy Collins
  • Madmen

    They say you can jinx a poem
    if you talk about it before it is done.
    If you let it out too early, they warn,
    your poem will fly away,
    and this time they are absolutely right.

    Take the night I mentioned to you
    I wanted to write about the madmen,
    as the newspapers so blithely call them,
    who attack art, not in reviews,
    but with breadknives and hammers
    in the quiet museums of Prague and Amsterdam.

    Actually, they are the real artists,
    you said, spinning the ice in your glass.
    The screwdriver is their brush.
    The real vandals are the restorers,
    you went on, slowly turning me upside-down,
    the ones in the white doctor's smocks
    who close the wound in the landscape,
    and thus ruin the true art of the mad.

    I watched my poem fly down to the front
    of the bar and hover there
    until the next customer walked in--
    then I watched it fly out the open door into the night
    and sail away, I could only imagine,
    over the dark tenements of the city.

    All I had wished to say
    was that art was also short,
    as a razor can teach with a slash or two,
    that it only seems long compared to life,
    but that night, I drove home alone
    with nothing swinging in the cage of my heart
    except the faint hope that I might
    catch a glimpse of the thing
    in the fan of my headlights,
    maybe perched on a road sign or a street lamp,
    poor unwritten bird, its wings folded,
    staring down at me with tiny illuminated eyes.

    — -Billy Collins
  • Litany

    You are the bread and the knife,
    The crystal goblet and the wine...
    -Jacques Crickillon

    You are the bread and the knife,
    the crystal goblet and the wine.
    You are the dew on the morning grass
    and the burning wheel of the sun.
    You are the white apron of the baker,
    and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

    However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
    the plums on the counter,
    or the house of cards.
    And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
    There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

    It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
    maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
    but you are not even close
    to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

    And a quick look in the mirror will show
    that you are neither the boots in the corner
    nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

    It might interest you to know,
    speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
    that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

    I also happen to be the shooting star,
    the evening paper blowing down an alley
    and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

    I am also the moon in the trees
    and the blind woman's tea cup.
    But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
    You are still the bread and the knife.
    You will always be the bread and the knife,
    not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.

    — -Billy Collins
  • Japan

    Today I pass the time reading
    a favorite haiku,
    saying the few words over and over.

    It feels like eating
    the same small, perfect grape
    again and again.

    I walk through the house reciting it
    and leave its letters falling
    through the air of every room.

    I stand by the big silence of the piano and say it.
    I say it in front of a painting of the sea.
    I tap out its rhythm on an empty shelf.

    I listen to myself saying it,
    then I say it without listening,
    then I hear it without saying it.

    And when the dog looks up at me,
    I kneel down on the floor
    and whisper it into each of his long white ears.

    It's the one about the one-ton temple bell
    with the moth sleeping on its surface,

    and every time I say it, I feel the excruciating
    pressure of the moth
    on the surface of the iron bell.

    When I say it at the window,
    the bell is the world
    and I am the moth resting there.

    When I say it at the mirror,
    I am the heavy bell
    and the moth is life with its papery wings.

    And later, when I say it to you in the dark,
    you are the bell,
    and I am the tongue of the bell, ringing you,

    and the moth has flown
    from its line
    and moves like a hinge in the air above our bed.

    — -Billy Collins
  • Invention

    Tonight the moon is a cracker,
    with a bite out of it
    floating in the night,

    and in a week or so
    according to the calendar
    it will probably look

    like a silver football,
    and nine, maybe ten days ago
    it reminded me of a thin bright claw.

    But eventually --
    by the end of the month,
    I reckon --

    it will waste away
    to nothing,
    nothing but stars in the sky,

    and I will have a few nights
    to myself,
    a little time to rest my jittery pen.

    — -Billy Collins
  • Introduction To Poetry

    I ask them to take a poem
    and hold it up to the light
    like a color slide

    or press an ear against its hive.

    I say drop a mouse into a poem
    and watch him probe his way out,

    or walk inside the poem's room
    and feel the walls for a light switch.

    I want them to waterski
    across the surface of a poem
    waving at the author's name on the shore.

    But all they want to do
    is tie the poem to a chair with rope
    and torture a confession out of it.

    They begin beating it with a hose
    to find out what it really means.

    — -Billy Collins
  • I Go Back

    I turn around on the gravel
    and go back to the house for a book,
    something to read at the doctor’s office,
    and while I am inside, running the finger
    of inquisition along a shelf,
    another me that did not bother
    to go back to the house for a book
    heads out on his own,
    rolls down the driveway,
    and swings left toward town,
    a ghost in his ghost car,
    another knot in the string of time,
    a good three minutes ahead of me—
    a spacing that will now continue
    for the rest of my life.
    Sometimes I think I see him
    a few people in front of me on a line
    or getting up from a table
    to leave the restaurant just before I do,
    slipping into his coat on the way out the door.
    But there is no catching him,
    no way to slow him down
    and put us back in synch,
    unless one day he decides to go back
    to the house for something,
    but I cannot imagine
    for the life of me what that might be.
    He is out there always before me,
    blazing my trail, invisible scout,
    hound that pulls me along,
    shade I am doomed to follow,
    my perfect double,
    only bumped an inch into the future,
    and not nearly as well-versed as I
    in the love poems of Ovid—
    I who went back to the house
    that fateful winter morning and got the book.

    — -Billy Collins
  • I Chop Some Parsley

    And I start wondering how they came to be blind.
    If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
    and I think of the poor mother
    brooding over her sightless young triplets.

    Or was it a common accident, all three caught
    in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
    If not,
    if each came to his or her blindness separately,

    how did they ever manage to find one another?
    Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse
    to locate even one fellow mouse with vision
    let alone two other blind ones?

    And how, in their tiny darkness,
    could they possibly have run after a farmer's wife
    or anyone else's wife for that matter?
    Not to mention why.

    Just so she could cut off their tails
    with a carving knife, is the cynic's answer,
    but the thought of them without eyes
    and now without tails to trail through the moist grass

    or slip around the corner of a baseboard
    has the cynic who always lounges within me
    up off his couch and at the window
    trying to hide the rising softness that he feels.

    By now I am on to dicing an onion
    which might account for the wet stinging
    in my own eyes, though Freddie Hubbard's
    mournful trumpet on "Blue Moon,"

    which happens to be the next cut,
    cannot be said to be making matters any better.

    — -Billy Collins
  • I Ask You

    What scene would I want to be enveloped in
    more than this one,
    an ordinary night at the kitchen table,
    floral wallpaper pressing in,
    white cabinets full of glass,
    the telephone silent,
    a pen tilted back in my hand?

    It gives me time to think
    about all that is going on outside--
    leaves gathering in corners,
    lichen greening the high grey rocks,
    while over the dunes the world sails on,
    huge, ocean-going, history bubbling in its wake.

    But beyond this table
    there is nothing that I need,
    not even a job that would allow me to row to work,
    or a coffee-colored Aston Martin DB4
    with cracked green leather seats.

    No, it's all here,
    the clear ovals of a glass of water,
    a small crate of oranges, a book on Stalin,
    not to mention the odd snarling fish
    in a frame on the wall,
    and the way these three candles--
    each a different height--
    are singing in perfect harmony.

    So forgive me
    if I lower my head now and listen
    to the short bass candle as he takes a solo
    while my heart
    thrums under my shirt--
    frog at the edge of a pond--
    and my thoughts fly off to a province
    made of one enormous sky
    and about a million empty branches.

    — -Billy Collins
  • Forgetfulness

    The name of the author is the first to go
    followed obediently by the title, the plot,
    the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
    which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
    never even heard of,

    as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
    decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
    to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

    Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
    and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
    and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

    something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
    the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

    Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
    it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
    not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

    It has floated away down a dark mythological river
    whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
    well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
    who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

    No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
    to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
    No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
    out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

    — -Billy Collins
  • How Soon The Servant

    How soon the servant sun,
    (Sir morrow mark),
    Can time unriddle, and the cupboard stone,
    (Fog has a bone
    He'll trumpet into meat),
    Unshelve that all my gristles have a gown
    And the naked egg stand straight,

    Sir morrow at his sponge,
    (The wound records),
    The nurse of giants by the cut sea basin,
    (Fog by his spring
    Soaks up the sewing tides),
    Tells you and you, my masters, as his strange
    Man morrow blows through food.

    All nerves to serve the sun,
    The rite of light,
    A claw I question from the mouse's bone,
    The long-tailed stone
    Trap I with coil and sheet,
    Let the soil squeal I am the biting man
    And the velvet dead inch out.

    How soon my level, lord,
    (Sir morrow stamps
    Two heels of water on the floor of seed),
    Shall raise a lamp
    Or spirit up a cloud,
    Erect a walking centre in the shroud,
    Invisible on the stump

    A leg as long as trees,
    This inward sir,
    Mister and master, darkness for his eyes,
    The womb-eyed, cries,
    And all sweet hell, deaf as an hour's ear,
    Blasts back the trumpet voice.

    — -Dylan Thomas
  • How Shall My Animal

    How shall my animal
    Whose wizard shape I trace in the cavernous skull,
    Vessel of abscesses and exultation's shell,
    Endure burial under the spelling wall,
    The invoked, shrouding veil at the cap of the face,
    Who should be furious,
    Drunk as a vineyard snail, flailed like an octopus,
    Roaring, crawling, quarrel
    With the outside weathers,
    The natural circle of the discovered skies
    Draw down to its weird eyes?

    How shall it magnetize,
    Towards the studded male in a bent, midnight blaze
    That melts the lionhead's heel and horseshoe of the heart
    A brute land in the cool top of the country days
    To trot with a loud mate the haybeds of a mile,
    Love and labour and kill
    In quick, sweet, cruel light till the locked ground sprout
    The black, burst sea rejoice,
    The bowels turn turtle,
    Claw of the crabbed veins squeeze from each red particle
    The parched and raging voice?

    Fishermen of mermen
    Creep and harp on the tide, sinking their charmed, bent pin
    With bridebait of gold bread, I with a living skein,
    Tongue and ear in the thread, angle the temple-bound
    Curl-locked and animal cavepools of spells and bone,
    Trace out a tentacle,
    Nailed with an open eye, in the bowl of wounds and weed
    To clasp my fury on ground
    And clap its great blood down;
    Never shall beast be born to atlas the few seas
    Or poise the day on a horn.

    Sigh long, clay cold, lie shorn,
    Cast high, stunned on gilled stone; sly scissors ground in frost
    Clack through the thicket of strength, love hewn in pillars drops
    With carved bird, saint, and suns the wrackspiked maiden mouth
    Lops, as a bush plumed with flames, the rant of the fierce eye,
    Clips short the gesture of breath.
    Die in red feathers when the flying heaven's cut,
    And roll with the knocked earth:
    Lie dry, rest robbed, my beast.
    You have kicked from a dark den, leaped up the whinnying light,
    And dug your grave in my breast.

    — -Dylan Thomas
  • Holy Spring

    O
    Out of a bed of love
    When that immortal hospital made one more moove to soothe
    The curless counted body,
    And ruin and his causes
    Over the barbed and shooting sea assumed an army
    And swept into our wounds and houses,
    I climb to greet the war in which I have no heart but only
    That one dark I owe my light,
    Call for confessor and wiser mirror but there is none
    To glow after the god stoning night
    And I am struck as lonely as a holy marker by the sun

    No
    Praise that the spring time is all
    Gabriel and radiant shrubbery as the morning grows joyful
    Out of the woebegone pyre
    And the multitude's sultry tear turns cool on the weeping wall,
    My arising prodgidal
    Sun the father his quiver full of the infants of pure fire,
    But blessed be hail and upheaval
    That uncalm still it is sure alone to stand and sing
    Alone in the husk of man's home
    And the mother and toppling house of the holy spring,
    If only for a last time.

    — -Dylan Thomas
  • Hold Hard

    Hold hard, these ancient minutes in the cuckoo's month,
    Under the lank, fourth folly on Glamorgan's hill,
    As the green blooms ride upward, to the drive of time;
    Time, in a folly's rider, like a county man
    Over the vault of ridings with his hound at heel,
    Drives forth my men, my children, from the hanging south.

    Country, your sport is summer, and December's pools
    By crane and water-tower by the seedy trees
    Lie this fifth month unstaked, and the birds have flown;
    Holy hard, my country children in the world if tales,
    The greenwood dying as the deer fall in their tracks,
    The first and steepled season, to the summer's game.

    And now the horns of England, in the sound of shape,
    Summon your snowy horsemen, and the four-stringed hill,
    Over the sea-gut loudening, sets a rock alive;
    Hurdles and guns and railings, as the boulders heave,
    Crack like a spring in vice, bone breaking April,
    Spill the lank folly's hunter and the hard-held hope.

    Down fall four padding weathers on the scarlet lands,
    Stalking my children's faces with a tail of blood,
    Time, in a rider rising, from the harnessed valley;
    Hold hard, my country darlings, for a hawk descends,
    Golden Glamorgan straightens, to the falling birds.
    Your sport is summer as the spring runs angrily.

    — -Dylan Thomas
  • Here In This Spring

    Here in this spring, stars float along the void;
    Here in this ornamental winter
    Down pelts the naked weather;
    This summer buries a spring bird.

    Symbols are selected from the years'
    Slow rounding of four seasons' coasts,
    In autumn teach three seasons' fires
    And four birds' notes.

    I should tell summer from the trees, the worms
    Tell, if at all, the winter's storms
    Or the funeral of the sun;
    I should learn spring by the cuckooing,
    And the slug should teach me destruction.

    A worm tells summer better than the clock,
    The slug's a living calendar of days;
    What shall it tell me if a timeless insect
    Says the world wears away?

    — -Dylan Thomas
  • Grief Thief Of Time

    Grief thief of time crawls off,
    The moon-drawn grave, with the seafaring years,
    The knave of pain steals off
    The sea-halved faith that blew time to his knees,
    The old forget the cries,
    Lean time on tide and times the wind stood rough,
    Call back the castaways
    Riding the sea light on a sunken path,
    The old forget the grief,
    Hack of the cough, the hanging albatross,
    Cast back the bone of youth
    And salt-eyed stumble bedward where she lies
    Who tossed the high tide in a time of stories
    And timelessly lies loving with the thief.

    Now Jack my fathers let the time-faced crook,
    Death flashing from his sleeve,
    With swag of bubbles in a seedy sack
    Sneak down the stallion grave,
    Bull's-eye the outlaw through a eunuch crack
    And free the twin-boxed grief,
    No silver whistles chase him down the weeks'
    Dayed peaks to day to death,
    These stolen bubbles have the bites of snakes
    And the undead eye-teeth,
    No third eye probe into a rainbow's sex
    That bridged the human halves,
    All shall remain and on the graveward gulf
    Shape with my fathers' thieves

    — -Dylan Thomas
  • Foster The Light

    Foster the light nor veil the manshaped moon,
    Nor weather winds that blow not down the bone,
    But strip the twelve-winded marrow from his circle;
    Master the night nor serve the snowman's brain
    That shapes each bushy item of the air
    Into a polestar pointed on an icicle.

    Murmur of spring nor crush the cockerel's eggs,
    Nor hammer back a season in the figs,
    But graft these four-fruited ridings on your country;
    Farmer in time of frost the burning leagues,
    By red-eyed orchards sow the seeds of snow,
    In your young years the vegetable century.

    And father all nor fail the fly-lord's acre,
    Nor sprout on owl-seed like a goblin-sucker,
    But rail with your wizard's ribs the heart-shaped planet;
    Of mortal voices to the ninnies' choir,
    High lord esquire, speak up the singing cloud,
    And pluck a mandrake music from the marrowroot.

    Roll unmanly over this turning tuft,
    O ring of seas, nor sorrow as I shift
    From all my mortal lovers with a starboard smile;
    Nor when my love lies in the cross-boned drift
    Naked among the bow-and-arrow birds
    Shall you turn cockwise on a tufted axle.

    Who gave these seas their colour in a shape,
    Shaped my clayfellow, and the heaven's ark
    In time at flood filled with his coloured doubles;
    O who is glory in the shapeless maps,
    Now make the world of me as I have made
    A merry manshape of your walking circle.

    — -Dylan Thomas
  • Especially When The

    Especially when the October wind
    With frosty fingers punishes my hair,
    Caught by the crabbing sun I walk on fire
    And cast a shadow crab upon the land,
    By the sea's side, hearing the noise of birds,
    Hearing the raven cough in winter sticks,
    My busy heart who shudders as she talks
    Sheds the syllabic blood and drains her words.

    Shut, too, in a tower of words, I mark
    On the horizon walking like the trees
    The wordy shapes of women, and the rows
    Of the star-gestured children in the park.
    Some let me make you of the vowelled beeches,
    Some of the oaken voices, from the roots
    Of many a thorny shire tell you notes,
    Some let me make you of the water's speeches.

    Behind a pot of ferns the wagging clock
    Tells me the hour's word, the neural meaning
    Flies on the shafted disk, declaims the morning
    And tells the windy weather in the cock.
    Some let me make you of the meadow's signs;
    The signal grass that tells me all I know
    Breaks with the wormy winter through the eye.
    Some let me tell you of the raven's sins.

    Especially when the October wind
    (Some let me make you of autumnal spells,
    The spider-tongued, and the loud hill of Wales)
    With fists of turnips punishes the land,
    Some let me make you of the heartless words.
    The heart is drained that, spelling in the scurry
    Of chemic blood, warned of the coming fury.
    By the sea's side hear the dark-vowelled birds.

    — -Dylan Thomas
  • Ears In The Turrets Hear

    Ears in the turrets hear
    Hands grumble on the door,
    Eyes in the gables see
    The fingers at the locks.
    Shall I unbolt or stay
    Alone till the day I die
    Unseen by stranger-eyes
    In this white house?
    Hands, hold you poison or grapes?

    Beyond this island bound
    By a thin sea of flesh
    And a bone coast,
    The land lies out of sound
    And the hills out of mind.
    No birds or flying fish
    Disturbs this island’s rest.

    Ears in this island hear
    The wind pass like a fire,
    Eyes in this island see
    Ships anchor off the bay.
    Shall I run to the ships
    With the wind in my hair,
    Or stay till the day I die
    And welcome no sailor?
    Ships, hold you poison or grapes?

    Hands grumble on the door,
    Ships anchor off the bay,
    Rain beats the sand and slates.
    Shall I let in the stranger,
    Shall I welcome the sailor,
    Or stay till the day I die?

    Hands of the stranger and holds of the ships,
    Hold you poison or grapes?

    — -Dylan Thomas
  • Do Not Go Gentle

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on that sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    — -Dylan Thomas
  • Love Poem

    If by truth you mean hand then yes
    I hold to be self-evident and hold you in the highest—
    KO to my OT and bait to my switch, I crown
    you one-trick pony to my one-horse town,
    dub you my one-stop shopping, my space heater,
    juke joint, tourist trap, my peep show, my meter reader,
    you best batteries-not-included baring all or
    nothing. Let me begin by saying if he hollers,
    end with goes the weasel. In between,
    cream filling. Get over it, meaning, the moon.
    Tell me you’ll dismember this night forever,
    you my punch-drunking bag, tar to my feather.
    More than the sum of our private parts, we are some
    peekaboo, some peak and valley, some
    bright equation (if and then but, if er then uh).
    My fruit bat, my gewgaw. You had me at no duh.

    — -DORA MALECH
  • Wedding Hymn

    Thou God, whose high, eternal Love
    Is the only blue sky of our life,
    Clear all the Heaven that bends above
    The life-road of this man and wife.
    May these two lives be but one note
    In the world’s strange-sounding harmony,
    Whose sacred music e’er shall float
    Through every discord up to Thee.
    As when from separate stars two beams
    Unite to form one tender ray:
    As when two sweet but shadowy dreams
    Explain each other in the day:
    So may these two dear hearts one light
    Emit, and each interpret each.
    Let an angel come and dwell tonight
    In this dear double-heart, and teach.

    — -SIDNEY LANIER
  • To My Dear and Loving Hus

    If ever two were one, then surely we.
    If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
    If ever wife was happy in a man,
    Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
    I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
    Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
    My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
    Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
    Thy love is such I can no way repay;
    The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
    Then while we live, in love let’s so persever,
    That when we live no more, we may live ever.

    — -ANNE BRADSTREET
  • An April Day

    When the warm sun, that brings
    Seed-time and harvest, has returned again,
    'T is sweet to visit the still wood, where springs
    The first flower of the plain.

    I love the season well,
    When forest glades are teeming with bright forms,
    Nor dark and many-folded clouds foretell
    The coming-on of storms.

    From the earth's loosened mould
    The sapling draws its sustenance, and thrives;
    Though stricken to the heart with winter's cold,
    The drooping tree revives.

    The softly-warbled song
    Comes from the pleasant woods, and colored wings
    Glance quick in the bright sun, that moves along
    The forest openings.

    When the bright sunset fills
    The silver woods with light, the green slope throws
    Its shadows in the hollows of the hills,
    And wide the upland glows.

    And when the eve is born,
    In the blue lake the sky, o'er-reaching far,
    Is hollowed out and the moon dips her horn,
    And twinkles many a star.

    Inverted in the tide
    Stand the gray rocks, and trembling shadows throw,
    And the fair trees look over, side by side,
    And see themselves below.

    Sweet April! many a thought
    Is wedded unto thee, as hearts are wed;
    Nor shall they fail, till, to its autumn brought,
    Life's golden fruit is shed.

    — -Henry Wadsworth Long
  • Allah.

    Allah gives light in darkness,
    Allah gives rest in pain,
    Cheeks that are white with weeping
    Allah paints red again.

    The flowers and the blossoms wither,
    Years vanish with flying fleet;
    But my heart will live on forever,
    That here in sadness beat.

    Gladly to Allah's dwelling
    Yonder would I take flight;
    There will the darkness vanish,
    There will my eyes have sight.

    — -Henry Wadsworth Long
  • Agassiz

    I stand again on the familiar shore,
    And hear the waves of the distracted sea
    Piteously calling and lamenting thee,
    And waiting restless at thy cottage door.
    The rocks, the sea-weed on the ocean floor,
    The willows in the meadow, and the free
    Wild winds of the Atlantic welcome me;
    Then why shouldst thou be dead, and come no more?
    Ah, why shouldst thou be dead, when common men
    Are busy with their trivial affairs,
    Having and holding? Why, when thou hadst read
    Nature's mysterious manuscript, and then
    Wast ready to reveal the truth it bears,
    Why art thou silent! Why shouldst thou be dead?

    — -Henry Wadsworth Long
  • Afternoon In February

    The day is ending,
    The night is descending;
    The marsh is frozen,
    The river dead.

    Through clouds like ashes
    The red sun flashes
    On village windows
    That glimmer red.

    The snow recommences;
    The buried fences
    Mark no longer
    The road o'er the plain;

    While through the meadows,
    Like fearful shadows,
    Slowly passes
    A funeral train.

    The bell is pealing,
    And every feeling
    Within me responds
    To the dismal knell;

    Shadows are trailing,
    My heart is bewailing
    And tolling within
    Like a funeral bell.

    — -Henry Wadsworth Long
  • Aftermath

    When the summer fields are mown,
    When the birds are fledged and flown,
    And the dry leaves strew the path;
    With the falling of the snow,
    With the cawing of the crow,
    Once again the fields we mow
    And gather in the aftermath.
    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers
    Is this harvesting of ours;
    Not the upland clover bloom;
    But the rowen mixed with weeds,
    Tangled tufts from marsh and meads,
    Where the poppy drops its seeds
    In the silence and the gloom.

    — -Henry Wadsworth Long
  • A Wraith In The Mist

    On the green little isle of Inchkenneth,
    Who is it that walks by the shore,
    So gay with his Highland blue bonnet,
    So brave with his targe and claymore?

    His form is the form of a giant,
    But his face wears an aspect of pain;
    Can this be the Laird of Inchkenneth?
    Can this be Sir Allan McLean?

    Ah, no! It is only the Rambler,
    The Idler, who lives in Bolt Court,
    And who says, were he Laird of Inchkenneth,
    He would wall himself round with a fort.

    — -Henry Wadsworth Long
  • A Summer Day

    The sun is set; and in his latest beams
    Yon little cloud of ashen gray and gold,
    Slowly upon the amber air unrolled,
    The falling mantle of the Prophet seems.
    From the dim headlands many a light-house gleams,
    The street-lamps of the ocean; and behold,
    O'erhead the banners of the night unfold;
    The day hath passed into the land of dreams.
    O summer day beside the joyous sea!
    O summer day so wonderful and white,
    So full of gladness and so full of pain!
    Forever and forever shalt thou be
    To some the gravestone of a dead delight,
    To some the landmark of a new domain.

    — -Henry Wadsworth Long
  • A Song Of Savoy

    As the dim twilight shrouds
    The mountain's purple crest,
    And Summer's white and folded clouds
    Are glowing in the west,
    Loud shouts come up the rocky dell,
    And voices hail the evening-bell.

    Faint is the goatherd's song,
    And sighing comes the breeze;
    The silent river sweeps along
    Amid its bending trees -
    And the full moon shines faintly there,
    And music fills the evening air.

    Beneath the waving firs
    The tinkling cymbals sound;
    And as the wind the foliage stirs,
    I see the dancers bound
    Where the green branches, arched above,
    Bend over this fair scene of love.

    And he is there, that sought
    My young heart long ago!
    But he has left me - though I thought
    He ne'er could leave me so.
    Ah! lover's vows - how frail are they!
    And his - were made but yesterday.

    Why comes he not? I call
    In tears upon him yet;
    'Twere better ne'er to love at all,
    Than love, and then forget!
    Why comes he not? Alas! I should
    Reclaim him still, if weeping could.

    But see - he leaves the glade,
    And beckons me away:
    He comes to seek his mountain maid!
    I cannot chide his stay.
    Glad sounds along the valley swell,
    And voices hail the evening-bell.

    — -Henry Wadsworth Long
  • A Shadow

    I said unto myself, if I were dead,
    What would befall these children? What would be
    Their fate, who now are looking up to me
    For help and furtherance? Their lives, I said,
    Would be a volume wherein I have read
    But the first chapters, and no longer see
    To read the rest of their dear history,
    So full of beauty and so full of dread.
    Be comforted; the world is very old,
    And generations pass, as they have passed,
    A troop of shadows moving with the sun;
    Thousands of times has the old tale been told;
    The world belongs to those who come the last,
    They will find hope and strength as we have done.

    — -Henry Wadsworth Long
  • A Psalm Of Life

    Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
    Life is but an empty dream!
    For the soul is dead that slumbers,
    And things are not what they seem.

    Life is real! Life is earnest!
    And the grave is not its goal;
    Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
    Was not spoken of the soul.

    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
    Is our destined end or way;
    But to act, that each to-morrow
    Find us farther than to-day.

    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
    And our hearts, though stout and brave,
    Still, like muffled drums, are beating
    Funeral marches to the grave.

    In the world’s broad field of battle,
    In the bivouac of Life,
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
    Be a hero in the strife!

    Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
    Let the dead Past bury its dead!
    Act,— act in the living Present!
    Heart within, and God o’erhead!

    Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time;

    Footprints, that perhaps another,
    Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
    Seeing, shall take heart again.

    Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.

    — -Henry Wadsworth Long
  • Mother and child

    One night a tiny dewdrop fell
    Into the bosom of a rose,--
    "Dear little one, I love thee well,
    Be ever here thy sweet repose!"

    Seeing the rose with love bedight,
    The envious sky frowned dark, and then
    Sent forth a messenger of light
    And caught the dewdrop up again.

    "Oh, give me back my heavenly child,--
    My love!" the rose in anguish cried;
    Alas! the sky triumphant smiled,
    And so the flower, heart-broken, died.

    — -Eugene Field
  • Child and mother

    O mother-my-love, if you'll give me your hand,
    And go where I ask you to wander,
    I will lead you away to a beautiful land,--
    The Dreamland that's waiting out yonder.
    We'll walk in a sweet posie-garden out there,
    Where moonlight and starlight are streaming,
    And the flowers and the birds are filling the air
    With the fragrance and music of dreaming.

    There'll be no little tired-out boy to undress,
    No questions or cares to perplex you,
    There'll be no little bruises or bumps to caress,
    Nor patching of stockings to vex you;
    For I'll rock you away on a silver-dew stream
    And sing you asleep when you're weary,
    And no one shall know of our beautiful dream
    But you and your own little dearie.

    And when I am tired I'll nestle my head
    In the bosom that's soothed me so often,
    And the wide-awake stars shall sing, in my stead,
    A song which our dreaming shall soften.
    So, Mother-my-Love, let me take your dear hand,
    And away through the starlight we'll wander,--
    Away through the mist to the beautiful land,--
    The Dreamland that's waiting out yonder.

    — -Eugene Field
  • If Nature smiles

    If Nature smiles -- the Mother must
    I'm sure, at many a whim
    Of Her eccentric Family --
    Is She so much to blame?

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Nature

    Nature -- the Gentlest Mother is,
    Impatient of no Child --
    The feeblest -- or the waywardest --
    Her Admonition mild --

    In Forest -- and the Hill --
    By Traveller -- be heard --
    Restraining Rampant Squirrel --
    Or too impetuous Bird --

    How fair Her Conversation --
    A Summer Afternoon --
    Her Household -- Her Assembly --
    And when the Sun go down --

    Her Voice among the Aisles
    Incite the timid prayer
    Of the minutest Cricket --
    The most unworthy Flower --

    When all the Children sleep --
    She turns as long away
    As will suffice to light Her lamps --
    Then bending from the Sky --

    With infinite Affection --
    And infiniter Care --
    Her Golden finger on Her lip --
    Wills Silence -- Everywhere --

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • My mother was fortune

    My mother was fortune, my father generosity and bounty; I
    am joy, son of joy, son of joy, son of joy.
    Behold, the Marquis of Glee has attainted felicity; this city and
    plain are filled with soldiers and drums and flags.
    If I encounter a wolf, he becomes moonfaced Joseph; if I go
    down into a well, it converts into a Garden of Eram.
    He whose heart is as iron and stone out of miserliness is now
    changed before me into a Hatem of the age in generosity and
    bounty.
    Dust becomes gold and pure silver in my hand; how then
    should the temptation of gold and silver waylay me?
    I have an idol such that, were his sweet scent scattered
    abroad, even an idol of stone would receive life through joy.
    Sorrow has died for joy in him of “may God bind your consolation”;
    how should not such a sword strike the neck of sorrow?
    By tyranny he seizes the soul of whom he desires; justices are
    all slaves of such injustice and tyranny.
    What is that mole on that face? Should it manifest itself, out
    of desire for it forthwith maternal aunt would be estranged from
    paternal [uncle].
    I said, “If I am done and send my story, will you finish it and
    expound it?” He answered, “Yes.”

    — -Mewlana Jalaluddin R
  • O Germany

    Let others speak of her shame,
    I speak of my own.

    O Germany, pale mother!
    How soiled you are
    As you sit among the peoples.
    You flaunt yourself
    Among the besmirched.

    The poorest of your sons
    Lies struck down.
    When his hunger was great.
    Your other sons
    Raised their hands against him.
    This is notorious.

    With their hands thus raised,
    Raised against their brother,
    They march insolently around you
    And laugh in your face.
    This is well known.

    In your house
    Lies are roared aloud.
    But the truth
    Must be silent.
    Is it so?

    Why do the oppressors praise you everywhere,
    The oppressed accuse you?
    The plundered
    Point to you with their fingers, but
    The plunderer praises the system
    That was invented in your house!

    Whereupon everyone sees you
    Hiding the hem of your mantle which is bloody
    With the blood
    Of your best sons.

    Hearing the harangues which echo from your house,
    men laugh.
    But whoever sees you reaches for a knife
    As at the approach of a robber.

    O Germany, pale mother!
    How have your sons arrayed you
    That you sit among the peoples
    A thing of scorn and fear!

    — -Bertolt Brecht
  • A Prayer for a Mother

    Lord Jesus, Thou hast known
    A mother's love and tender care:
    And Thou wilt hear, while for my own
    Mother most dear I make this birthday prayer.

    Protect her life, I pray,
    Who gave the gift of life to me;
    And may she know, from day to day,
    The deepening glow of Life that comes from Thee.

    As once upon her breast
    Fearless and well content I lay,
    So let her heart, on Thee at rest,
    Feel fears depart and troubles fade away.

    Her every wish fulfill;
    And even if Thou must refuse
    In anything, let Thy wise will
    A comfort bring such as kind mothers use.

    Ah, hold her by the hand,
    As once her hand held mine;
    And though she may not understand
    Life's winding way, lead her in peace divine.

    I cannot pay my debt
    For all the love that she has given;
    But Thou, love's Lord, wilt not forget
    Her due reward,--bless her in earth and heaven.

    — -Henry Van Dyke
  • My Mother

    I

    Reg wished me to go with him to the field,
    I paused because I did not want to go;
    But in her quiet way she made me yield
    Reluctantly, for she was breathing low.
    Her hand she slowly lifted from her lap
    And, smiling sadly in the old sweet way,
    She pointed to the nail where hung my cap.
    Her eyes said: I shall last another day.
    But scarcely had we reached the distant place,
    When o'er the hills we heard a faint bell ringing;
    A boy came running up with frightened face;
    We knew the fatal news that he was bringing.
    I heard him listlessly, without a moan,
    Although the only one I loved was gone.


    II

    The dawn departs, the morning is begun,
    The trades come whispering from off the seas,
    The fields of corn are golden in the sun,
    The dark-brown tassels fluttering in the breeze;
    The bell is sounding and the children pass,
    Frog-leaping, skipping, shouting, laughing shrill,
    Down the red road, over the pasture-grass,
    Up to the school-house crumbling on the hill.
    The older folk are at their peaceful toil,
    Some pulling up the weeds, some plucking corn,
    And others breaking up the sun-baked soil.
    Float, faintly-scented breeze, at early morn
    Over the earth where mortals sow and reap--
    Beneath its breast my mother lies asleep

    — -Claude McKay
  • The Black Lace Fan

    It was the first gift he ever gave her,
    buying it for five five francs in the Galeries
    in pre-war Paris. It was stifling.
    A starless drought made the nights stormy.

    They stayed in the city for the summer.
    The met in cafes. She was always early.
    He was late. That evening he was later.
    They wrapped the fan. He looked at his watch.

    She looked down the Boulevard des Capucines.
    She ordered more coffee. She stood up.
    The streets were emptying. The heat was killing.
    She thought the distance smelled of rain and lightning.

    These are wild roses, appliqued on silk by hand,
    darkly picked, stitched boldly, quickly.
    The rest is tortoiseshell and has the reticent clear patience
    of its element. It is
    a worn-out, underwater bullion and it keeps,
    even now, an inference of its violation.
    The lace is overcast as if the weather
    it opened for and offset had entered it.

    The past is an empty cafe terrace.
    An airless dusk before thunder. A man running.
    And no way to know what happened then—
    none at all—unless ,of course, you improvise:

    The blackbird on this first sultry morning,
    in summer, finding buds, worms, fruit,
    feels the heat. Suddenly she puts out her wing—
    the whole, full, flirtatious span of it.

    — -Eavan Boland
  • Borrowed Bio

    Where we’d recently lain,
    exchanging a kiss,
    stork consorted with crane,
    limpkin with ibis.

    Was this as much wedding
    as there would ever be,
    the fowls’ foot-webbing,
    the identificatory

    ring around a throat?
    Exchange of earth and air:
    not a vow but a vote
    of confidence a feather

    might tip by a single scale ...    
    That one’s a raconteur,
    so much salt in his tale;
    this one’s a countertenor,

    lilting above the feast.
    The archon of his hectare
     — spotted — spotted least.
    Here’s a little heckler ...    

    penciled seagull in the margin.
    Following line by line
    the path you took, I imagine
    no print so fine.

    — -ANGE MLINKO
  • Cave Dwellers

    I’ve carved a cave in the mountainside.
    I’ve drilled for water, stocked provisions
    to last a lifetime. The walls are smooth.
    We can live here, love, safe from elements.
    We’ll invent another love that can’t destroy.
    We’ll make exquisite reproductions of our
    selves, immortal on these walls.

    And when
    this sea that can’t support us is burned clean,
    when the first new creatures crawl from it,
    gasping for water, air, more wondrous and more
    wild than earth’s first couple, they shall see
    there were two before them: you and me.

    — -A. POULIN, JR.
  • Colors passing through us

    Purple as tulips in May, mauve
    into lush velvet, purple
    as the stain blackberries leave
    on the lips, on the hands,
    the purple of ripe grapes
    sunlit and warm as flesh.

    Every day I will give you a color,
    like a new flower in a bud vase
    on your desk. Every day
    I will paint you, as women
    color each other with henna
    on hands and on feet.

    Red as henna, as cinnamon,
    as coals after the fire is banked,
    the cardinal in the feeder,
    the roses tumbling on the arbor
    their weight bending the wood
    the red of the syrup I make from petals.

    Orange as the perfumed fruit
    hanging their globes on the glossy tree,
    orange as pumpkins in the field,
    orange as butterflyweed and the monarchs
    who come to eat it, orange as my
    cat running lithe through the high grass.

    Yellow as a goat’s wise and wicked eyes,
    yellow as a hill of daffodils,
    yellow as dandelions by the highway,
    yellow as butter and egg yolks,
    yellow as a school bus stopping you,
    yellow as a slicker in a downpour.

    Here is my bouquet, here is a sing
    song of all the things you make
    me think of, here is oblique
    praise for the height and depth
    of you and the width too.
    Here is my box of new crayons at your feet.

    Green as mint jelly, green
    as a frog on a lily pad twanging,
    the green of cos lettuce upright
    about to bolt into opulent towers,
    green as Grand Chartreuse in a clear
    glass, green as wine bottles.

    Blue as cornflowers, delphiniums,
    bachelors’ buttons. Blue as Roquefort,
    blue as Saga. Blue as still water.
    Blue as the eyes of a Siamese cat.
    Blue as shadows on new snow, as a spring
    azure sipping from a puddle on the blacktop.

    Cobalt as the midnight sky
    when day has gone without a trace
    and we lie in each other’s arms
    eyes shut and fingers open
    and all the colors of the world
    pass through our bodies like strings of fire.

    — -MARGE PIERCY
  • One Hundred Love Sonnets:

    I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
    or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
    I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
    secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

    I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
    the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
    and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
    from the earth lives dimly in my body.

    I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
    I love you directly without problems or pride:
    I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
    except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
    so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
    so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

    — -PABLO NERUDA
  • Love Song

    There is a strong wall about me to protect me:
    It is built of the words you have said to me.

    There are swords about me to keep me safe:
    They are the kisses of your lips.

    Before me goes a shield to guard me from harm:
    It is the shadow of your arms between me and danger.

    All the wishes of my mind know your name,
    And the white desires of my heart
    They are acquainted with you.
    The cry of my body for completeness,
    That is a cry to you.
    My blood beats out your name to me,
    unceasing, pitiless
    Your name, your name.

    — -MARY CAROLYN DAVIES
  • Song for the Last Act

    Now that I have your face by heart, I look
    Less at its features than its darkening frame
    Where quince and melon, yellow as young flame,
    Lie with quilled dahlias and the shepherd’s crook.
    Beyond, a garden. There, in insolent ease
    The lead and marble figures watch the show
    Of yet another summer loath to go
    Although the scythes hang in the apple trees.

    Now that I have your face by heart, I look.

    Now that I have your voice by heart, I read
    In the black chords upon a dulling page
    Music that is not meant for music’s cage,
    Whose emblems mix with words that shake and bleed.
    The staves are shuttled over with a stark
    Unprinted silence. In a double dream
    I must spell out the storm, the running stream.
    The beat’s too swift. The notes shift in the dark.

    Now that I have your voice by heart, I read.

    Now that I have your heart by heart, I see
    The wharves with their great ships and architraves;
    The rigging and the cargo and the slaves
    On a strange beach under a broken sky.
    O not departure, but a voyage done!
    The bales stand on the stone; the anchor weeps
    Its red rust downward, and the long vine creeps
    Beside the salt herb, in the lengthening sun.

    Now that I have your heart by heart, I see.

    — -LOUISE BOGAN
  • Your Time's Comin

    I knew that she belonged to someone else at the time,
    But lonesome-lookin' women are a weakness of mine;
    And so I bought that stuff about the love he never gave her,
    And I figured I would love her some, and do us both a favor.
    But just when I got up to leave, he walked in the door
    And I guess I thought he'd be surprised.
    He looked at me as if to say, 'I've been here before'
    And he offered me this word to the wise:

    cho; You know she's a cheater, son
    And you think that you're the one
    That's got a lot of what it takes to change her;
    I've no doubt that you can get her
    You ain't much, but that don't matter
    Nothin' suits her better than a stranger.

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Woulda-Coulda-

    All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
    Layin' in the sun,
    Talkin' 'bout the things
    They woulda coulda shoulda done...
    But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
    All ran away and hid
    From one little Did.

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Workin’ It Out

    Well I've been spendin' my life lookin' for a shoulder
    To rest my head when the nights get colder
    But the days are gettin' longer and I'm gettin' older
    Been long time workin' it out
    I been a long time workin' it out I been a long time workin' it out
    I been a long time workin' it out I been a long time workin' it out

    Now I got a little woman to scrub my floor
    Right down the road I got me two or three more
    And you know none of them knows about the one next door
    I been a long time workin' it out
    I been a long time workin' it out...

    Well it was late one night when I stole a little money
    I bought a couple of things and then gave them to my honey
    And the judge said boy if you this that's funny
    You got a long time workin' it out
    I got a long time workin' it out...
    [ guitar ]
    Yeah well I look all around me and what do I see
    The whole wide world got trouble like me
    Between the taxes the missus and the deep blue sea
    You'll be a long time workin' it out
    We'll be a long time workin' it out..

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Won't You?

    Barbara's eyes are blue as azure,
    But she is in love with Freddy.
    Karen's sweet, but Harry has her.
    Gentle Jane is going steady.
    Carol hates me. So does May.
    Abigail will not be mine.
    Nancy lives too far away...
    Won't you be my Valentine?

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Who's Taller

    Depends on if the judge is fair,
    Depends how high the heels you wear,
    Depends on if they count the hair,
    Depends if they allow the chair.

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Who Does She

    I asked the Zebra:

    Are you black with white stripes?
    Or white with black stripes?

    And the zebra asked me:

    Are you good with bad habits?
    Or are you bad with good habits?
    Are you noisy with quiet times?
    Or are you quiet with noisy times?
    Are you happy with some sad days?
    Or are you sad with some happy days?
    Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
    Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?

    And on and on and on and on
    And on and on he went.

    I’ll never ask a zebra

    About stripes

    Again

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • When She Cries

    No one knows my lady when she's lonely
    No one sees the fantasies and fears my lady hides
    There are those who've shared her love and laughter
    But no one hears my lady when she cries…but me
    No one hears my lady when she cries
    And when she cries she makes you wanna run
    And chase the sun and bring it back
    To brighten up a corner of her dark and troubled skies
    When she cries
    She walks barefoot through the misty mornin'
    Dreams of golden yesterdays reflectin' in her eyes
    But soon the evenin' shadows crowd around her
    Frightening my lady till she cries…for me
    Frightening my lady, till she cries
    You may have seen her lyin' in your lamplight
    And if you've heard her whispered words, it comes as no surprise
    So be the one she shares her secret smiles with
    But send me back my lady when she cries…for me
    My lady's gonna need me when she cries

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Whatif

    Last night, while I lay thinking here,
    some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
    and pranced and partied all night long
    and sang their same old Whatif song:
    Whatif I'm dumb in school?
    Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
    Whatif I get beat up?
    Whatif there's poison in my cup?
    Whatif I start to cry?
    Whatif I get sick and die?
    Whatif I flunk that test?
    Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
    Whatif nobody likes me?
    Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
    Whatif I don't grow talle?
    Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
    Whatif the fish won't bite?
    Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
    Whatif they start a war?
    Whatif my parents get divorced?
    Whatif the bus is late?
    Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
    Whatif I tear my pants?
    Whatif I never learn to dance?
    Everything seems well, and then
    the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Wavy

    I thought that I had wavy hair
    Until I shaved. Instead,
    I find that I have straight hair
    And a very wavy head.

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Wastebasket Brother

    Someone put their baby brother
    Under this basket- -
    The question is exactly why,
    But I'm not going to ask it.
    But someone, I ain't sayin' who,
    Has got a guilty face,
    Ashamed for lettin' such a lovely brother
    Go to waste.

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Celery

    Celery, raw
    Develops the jaw,
    But celery, stewed,
    Is more quietly chewed.

    — -Ogden Nash
  • Biological Reflection

    A girl whose cheeks are covered with paint
    Has an advantage with me over one whose ain't.

    — -Ogden Nash
  • Always Marry

    Praise the spells and bless the charms,
    I found April in my arms.
    April golden, April cloudy,
    Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;
    April soft in flowered languor,
    April cold with sudden anger,
    Ever changing, ever true --
    I love April, I love you.

    — -Ogden Nash
  • Adventures Of Isabel

    Isabel met an enormous bear,
    Isabel, Isabel, didn't care;
    The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous,
    The bear's big mouth was cruel and cavernous.
    The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
    How do, Isabel, now I'll eat you!
    Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry.
    Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
    She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
    Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.
    Once in a night as black as pitch
    Isabel met a wicked old witch.
    the witch's face was cross and wrinkled,
    The witch's gums with teeth were sprinkled.
    Ho, ho, Isabel! the old witch crowed,
    I'll turn you into an ugly toad!
    Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
    Isabel didn't scream or scurry,
    She showed no rage and she showed no rancor,
    But she turned the witch into milk and drank her.
    Isabel met a hideous giant,
    Isabel continued self reliant.
    The giant was hairy, the giant was horrid,
    He had one eye in the middle of his forhead.
    Good morning, Isabel, the giant said,
    I'll grind your bones to make my bread.
    Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
    Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
    She nibled the zwieback that she always fed off,
    And when it was gone, she cut the giant's head off.
    Isabel met a troublesome doctor,
    He punched and he poked till he really shocked her.
    The doctor's talk was of coughs and chills
    And the doctor's satchel bulged with pills.
    The doctor said unto Isabel,
    Swallow this, it will make you well.
    Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
    Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
    She took those pills from the pill concocter,
    And Isabel calmly cured the doctor.

    — -Ogden Nash
  • A Word To Husband

    To keep your marriage brimming
    With love in the loving cup,
    Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
    Whenever you’re right, shut up.
    Ogden Nash

    — -Ogden Nash
  • Veruca Salt

    'Veruca Salt, the little brute,
    Has just gone down the garbage chute,
    (And as we very rightly thought
    That in a case like this we ought
    To see the thing completely through,
    We've polished off her parents, too.)
    Down goes Veruca! Down the drain!
    And here, perhaps, we should explain
    That she will meet, as she descends,
    A rather different set of friends
    To those that she has left behind–
    These won't be nearly so refined.
    A fish head, for example, cut
    This morning from a halibut.
    'Hello! Good morning! How d'you do?
    How nice to meet you! How are you?'
    And then a little further down
    A mass of others gather round:
    A bacon rind, some rancid lard,
    A loaf of bread gone stale and hard,
    A steak that nobody could chew,
    An oyster from an oyster stew,
    Some liverwurst so old and gray
    One smelled it from a mile away,
    A rotten nut, a reeky pear,
    A thing the cat left on the stair,
    And lots of other things as well,
    Each with a rather horrid smell.
    These are Veruca's new found friends
    That she will meet as she descends,
    And this is the price she has to pay
    For going so very far astray.
    But now, my dears, we think you might
    Be wondering–is it really right
    That every single bit of blame
    And all the scolding and the shame
    Should fall upon Veruca Salt?
    Is she the only one at fault?
    For though she's spoiled, and dreadfully so,
    A girl can't spoil herself, you know.
    Who spoiled her, then? Ah, who indeed?
    Who pandered to her every need?
    Who turned her into such a brat?
    Who are the culprits? Who did that?
    Alas! You needen't look so far
    To find out who these sinners are.
    They are (and this is very sad)
    Her loving parents, MUM and DAD.
    And that is why we're glad they fell
    Into the garbage chute as well.'

    — -Rolad Dahi
  • There's No Earthly

    There's no earthly way of knowing
    Which direction they are going!
    There's no knowing where they're rowing,
    Or which way they river's flowing!
    Not a speck of light is showing,
    So the danger must be growing,
    For the rowers keep on rowing,
    And they're certainly not showing
    Any signs that they are slowing...

    — -Rolad Dahi
  • The Rowing Song

    Round the world and home again
    That's the sailor's way
    Faster faster, faster faster

    There's no earthly way of knowing
    Which direction we are going
    There's no knowing where we're rowing
    Or which way the river's flowing

    Is it raining, is it snowing
    Is a hurricane a–blowing

    Not a speck of light is showing
    So the danger must be growing
    Are the fires of Hell a–glowing
    Is the grisly reaper mowing

    Yes, the danger must be growing
    For the rowers keep on rowing
    And they're certainly not showing
    Any signs that they are slowing.

    — -Rolad Dahi
  • The Pig

    In England once there lived a big
    And wonderfully clever pig.
    To everybody it was plain
    That Piggy had a massive brain.
    He worked out sums inside his head,
    There was no book he hadn't read.
    He knew what made an airplane fly,
    He knew how engines worked and why.
    He knew all this, but in the end
    One question drove him round the bend:
    He simply couldn't puzzle out
    What LIFE was really all about.
    What was the reason for his birth?
    Why was he placed upon this earth?
    His giant brain went round and round.
    Alas, no answer could be found.
    Till suddenly one wondrous night.
    All in a flash he saw the light.
    He jumped up like a ballet dancer
    And yelled, 'By gum, I've got the answer! '
    'They want my bacon slice by slice
    'To sell at a tremendous price!
    'They want my tender juicy chops
    'To put in all the butcher's shops!
    'They want my pork to make a roast
    'And that's the part'll cost the most!
    'They want my sausages in strings!
    'They even want my chitterlings!
    'The butcher's shop! The carving knife!
    'That is the reason for my life! '
    Such thoughts as these are not designed
    To give a pig great peace of mind.
    Next morning, in comes Farmer Bland,
    A pail of pigswill in his hand,
    And piggy with a mighty roar,
    Bashes the farmer to the floor…
    Now comes the rather grisly bit
    So let's not make too much of it,
    Except that you must understand
    That Piggy did eat Farmer Bland,
    He ate him up from head to toe,
    Chewing the pieces nice and slow.
    It took an hour to reach the feet,
    Because there was so much to eat,
    And when he finished, Pig, of course,
    Felt absolutely no remorse.
    Slowly he scratched his brainy head
    And with a little smile he said,
    'I had a fairly powerful hunch
    'That he might have me for his lunch.
    'And so, because I feared the worst,
    'I thought I'd better eat him first.'

    — -Rolad Dahi
  • The Crocodile

    No animal is half as vile
    As Crocky-Wock, the crocodile.
    On Saturdays he likes to crunch
    Six juicy children for his lunch
    And he especially enjoys
    Just three of each, three girls, three boys.
    He smears the boys (to make them hot)
    With mustard from the mustard pot.
    But mustard doesn't go with girls,
    It tastes all wrong with plaits and curls.
    With them, what goes extremely well
    Is butterscotch and caramel.
    It's such a super marvelous treat
    When boys are hot and girls are sweet.
    At least that's Crocky's point of view
    He ought to know. He's had a few.
    That's all for now. It's time for bed.
    Lie down and rest your sleepy head.
    Ssh. Listen. What is that I hear,
    Galumphing softly up the stair?

    Go lock the door and fetch my gun!
    Go on child, hurry! Quickly run!
    No stop! Stand back! He's coming in!
    Oh, look, that greasy greenish skin!
    The shining teeth, the greedy smile!
    It's Crocky-Wock, the Crocodile!'

    — -Rolad Dahi
  • Mary's Song

    The Sunday lamb cracks in its fat.
    The fat
    Sacrifices its opacity. . . .

    A window, holy gold.
    The fire makes it precious,
    The same fire

    Melting the tallow heretics,
    Ousting the Jews.
    Their thick palls float

    Over the cicatrix of Poland, burnt-out
    Germany.
    They do not die.

    Grey birds obsess my heart,
    Mouth-ash, ash of eye.
    They settle. On the high

    Precipice
    That emptied one man into space
    The ovens glowed like heavens, incandescent.

    It is a heart,
    This holocaust I walk in,
    O golden child the world will kill and eat.

    — -Sylvia Plath
  • Man In Black

    Where the three magenta
    Breakwaters take the shove
    And suck of the grey sea

    To the left, and the wave
    Unfists against the dun
    Barb-wired headland of

    The Deer Island prison
    With its trim piggeries,
    Hen huts and cattle green

    To the right, and March ice
    Glazes the rock pools yet,
    Snuff-colored sand cliffs rise

    Over a great stone spit
    Bared by each falling tide,
    And you, across those white

    Stones, strode out in you dead
    Black coat, black shoes, and your
    Black hair till there you stood,

    Fixed vortex on the far
    Tip, riveting stones, air,
    All of it, together.

    — -Sylvia Plath
  • Magnolia Shoals

    Up here among the gull cries
    we stroll through a maze of pale
    red-mottled relics, shells, claws

    as if it were summer still.
    That season has turned its back.
    Through the green sea gardens stall,

    bow, and recover their look
    of the imperishable
    gardens in an antique book

    or tapestries on a wall,
    leaves behind us warp and lapse.
    The late month withers, as well.

    Below us a white gull keeps
    the weed-slicked shelf for his own,
    hustles other gulls off. Crabs

    rove over his field of stone;
    mussels cluster blue as grapes :
    his beak brings the harvest in.

    The watercolorist grips
    his brush in the stringent air.
    The horizon's bare of ships,

    the beach and the rocks are bare.
    He paints a blizzard of gulls,
    wings drumming in the winter.

    — -Sylvia Plath
  • Magi

    The abstracts hover like dull angels:
    Nothing so vulgar as a nose or an eye
    Bossing the ethereal blanks of their face-ovals.

    Their whiteness bears no relation to laundry,
    Snow, chalk or suchlike. They're
    The real thing, all right: the Good, the True . . .

    Salutary and pure as boiled water,
    Loveless as the multiplication table.
    While the child smiles into thin air.

    Six months in the world, and she is able
    To rock on all fours like a padded hammock.
    For her, the heavy notion of Evil

    Attending her cost less than a bellyache,
    And Love the mother of milk, no theory.
    They mistake their star, these papery godfolk.

    They want the crib of some lamp-headed Plato.
    Let them astound his heart with their merit.
    What girl ever flourished in such company?

    — -Sylvia Plath
  • Maenad

    Once I was ordinary:
    Sat by my father's bean tree
    Eating the fingers of wisdom.
    The birds made milk.
    When it thundered I hid under a flat stone.

    The mother of mouths didn't love me.
    The old man shrank to a doll.
    O I am too big to go backward:
    Birdmilk is feathers,
    The bean leaves are dumb as hands.

    This month is fit for little.
    The dead ripen in the grapeleaves.
    A red tongue is among us.
    Mother, keep out of my barnyard,
    I am becoming another.

    Dog-head, devourer:
    Feed me the berries of dark.
    The lids won't shut. Time
    Unwinds from the great umbilicus of the sun
    Its endless glitter.

    I must swallow it all.

    Lady, who are these others in the moon's vat —-
    Sleepdrunk, their limbs at odds?
    In this light the blood is black.
    Tell me my name.

    — -Sylvia Plath
  • Little Fugue

    The yew's black fingers wag:
    Cold clouds go over.
    So the deaf and dumb
    Signal the blind, and are ignored.

    I like black statements.
    The featurelessness of that cloud, now!
    White as an eye all over!
    The eye of the blind pianist

    At my table on the ship.
    He felt for his food.
    His fingers had the noses of weasels.
    I couldn't stop looking.

    He could hear Beethoven:
    Black yew, white cloud,
    The horrific complications.
    Finger-traps—a tumult of keys.

    Empty and silly as plates,
    So the blind smile.
    I envy big noises,
    The yew hedge of the Grosse Fuge.
    Deafness is something else.
    Such a dark funnel, my father!
    I see your voice
    Black and leafy, as in my childhood.

    A yew hedge of orders,
    Gothic and barbarous, pure German.
    Dead men cry from it.
    I am guilty of nothing.

    The yew my Christ, then.
    Is it not as tortured?
    And you, during the Great War
    In the California delicatessen

    Lopping off the sausages!
    They colour my sleep,
    Red, mottled, like cut necks.
    There was a silence!

    Great silence of another order.
    I was seven, I knew nothing.
    The world occurred.
    You had one leg, and a Prussian mind.

    Now similar clouds
    Are spreading their vacuous sheets.
    Do you say nothing?
    I am lame in the memory.

    I remember a blue eye,
    A briefcase of tangerines.
    This was a man, then!
    Death opened, like a black tree, blackly.

    I survive the while,
    Arranging my morning.
    These are my fingers, this my baby.
    The clouds are a marriage of dress, of that pallor.

    — -Sylvia Plath
  • Letter To A Purist

    That grandiose colossus who
    Stood astride
    The envious assaults of sea
    (Essaying, wave by wave,
    Tide by tide,
    To undo him, perpetually),
    Has nothing on you,
    O my love,
    O my great idiot, who
    With one foot
    Caught (as it were) in the muck-trap
    Of skin and bone,
    Dithers with the other way out
    In preposterous provinces of the madcap
    Cloud-cuckoo,
    Agawp at the impeccable moon.

    — -Sylvia Plath
  • Lament

    The sting of bees took away my father
    who walked in a swarming shroud of wings
    and scorned the tick of the falling weather.

    Lightning licked in a yellow lather
    but missed the mark with snaking fangs:
    the sting of bees took away my father.

    Trouncing the sea like a ragin bather,
    he rode the flood in a pride of prongs
    and scorned the tick of the falling weather.

    A scowl of sun struck down my mother,
    tolling her grave with golden gongs,
    but the sting of bees took away my father.

    He counted the guns of god a bother,
    laughed at the ambush of angels' tongues,
    and scorned the tick of the falling weather.

    O ransack the four winds and find another
    man who can mangle the grin of kings:
    the sting of bees took away my father
    who scorned the tick of the falling weather.

    — -Sylvia Plath
  • Incommunicado

    The groundhog on the mountain did not run
    But fatly scuttled into the splayed fern
    And faced me, back to a ledge of dirt, to rattle
    Her sallow rodent teeth like castanets
    Against my leaning down, would not exchange
    For that wary clatter sound or gesture
    Of love : claws braced, at bay, my currency not hers.

    Such meetings never occur in marchen
    Where love-met groundhogs love one in return,
    Where straight talk is the rule, whether warm or hostile,
    Which no gruff animal misinterprets.
    From what grace am I fallen. Tongues are strange,
    Signs say nothing. The falcon who spoke clear
    To Canacee cries gibberish to coarsened ears.

    — -Sylvia Plath
  • In Midas' Country

    Meadows of gold dust. The silver
    Currents of the Connecticut fan
    And meander in bland pleatings under
    River-verge farms where rye-heads whiten.
    All's polished to a dull luster

    In the sulfurous noon. We move
    With the languor of idols below
    The sky's great bell glass and briefly engrave
    Our limbs' image on a field of straw
    And goldenrod as on gold leaf.

    It might be heaven, this static
    Plenitude: apples gold on the bough,
    Goldfinch, goldfish, golden tiger cat stock-
    Still in one gigantic tapestry—
    And lovers affable, dovelike.

    But now the water-skiers race,
    Bracing their knees. On unseen towlines
    They cleave the river's greening patinas;
    The mirror quivers to smithereens.
    They stunt like clowns in the circus.

    So we are hauled, though we would stop
    On this amber bank where grasses bleach.
    Already the farmer's after his crop,
    August gives over its Midas touch,
    Wind bares a flintier landscape.

    — -Sylvia Plath
  • air and light and time

    '- you know, I've either had a family, a job, something
    has always been in the
    way
    but now
    I've sold my house, I've found this
    place, a large studio, you should see the space and
    the light.
    for the first time in my life I'm going to have a place and
    the time to
    create.'
    no baby, if you're going to create
    you're going to create whether you work
    16 hours a day in a coal mine
    or
    you're going to create in a small room with 3 children
    while you're on
    welfare,
    you're going to create with part of your mind and your
    body blown
    away,
    you're going to create blind
    crippled
    demented,
    you're going to create with a cat crawling up your
    back while
    the whole city trembles in earthquakes, bombardment,
    flood and fire.
    baby, air and light and time and space
    have nothing to do with it
    and don't create anything
    except maybe a longer life to find
    new excuses
    for.

    — -Charles Bukowski
  • A Smile To Remember

    we had goldfish and they circled around and around
    in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes
    covering the picture window and
    my mother, always smiling, wanting us all
    to be happy, told me, 'be happy Henry!'
    and she was right: it's better to be happy if you
    can
    but my father continued to beat her and me several times a week while
    raging inside his 6-foot-two frame because he couldn't
    understand what was attacking him from within.

    my mother, poor fish,
    wanting to be happy, beaten two or three times a
    week, telling me to be happy: 'Henry, smile!
    why don't you ever smile?'

    and then she would smile, to show me how, and it was the
    saddest smile I ever saw

    one day the goldfish died, all five of them,
    they floated on the water, on their sides, their
    eyes still open,
    and when my father got home he threw them to the cat
    there on the kitchen floor and we watched as my mother
    smiled.

    — -Charles Bukowski
  • A Radio With Guts

    it was on the 2nd floor on Coronado Street
    I used to get drunk
    and throw the radio through the window
    while it was playing, and, of course,
    it would break the glass in the window
    and the radio would sit there on the roof
    still playing
    and I'd tell my woman,
    "Ah, what a marvelous radio!"
    the next morning I'd take the window
    off the hinges
    and carry it down the street
    to the glass man
    who would put in another pane.
    I kept throwing that radio through the window
    each time I got drunk
    and it would sit there on the roof
    still playing-
    a magic radio
    a radio with guts,
    and each morning I'd take the window
    back to the glass man.
    I don't remember how it ended exactly
    though I do remember
    we finally moved out.
    there was a woman downstairs who worked in
    the garden in her bathing suit,
    she really dug with that trowel
    and she put her behind up in the air
    and I used to sit in the window
    and watch the sun shine all over that thing
    while the music played.

    — -Charles Bukowski
  • A Following

    the phone rang at 1:30 a.m.
    and it was a man from Denver:

    — -Charles Bukowski
  • A Challenge To The Dark

    shot in the eye
    shot in the brain
    shot in the ****
    shot like a flower in the dance

    amazing how death wins hands down
    amazing how much credence is given to idiot forms of life

    amazing how laughter has been drowned out
    amazing how viciousness is such a constant

    I must soon declare my own war on their war
    I must hold to my last piece of ground
    I must protect the small space I have made that has allowed me life

    my life not their death
    my death not their death…

    — -Charles Bukowski
  • A 340 Dollar Horse

    don’t ever get the idea I am a poet; you can see me
    at the racetrack any day half drunk
    betting quarters, sidewheelers and straight thoroughs,
    but let me tell you, there are some women there
    who go where the money goes, and sometimes when you
    look at these whores these onehundreddollar whores
    you wonder sometimes if nature isn’t playing a joke
    dealing out so much breast and ass and the way
    it’s all hung together, you look and you look and
    you look and you can’t believe it; there are ordinary women
    and then there is something else that wants to make you
    tear up paintings and break albums of Beethoven
    across the back of the john; anyhow, the season
    was dragging and the big boys were getting busted,
    all the non-pros, the producers, the cameraman,
    the pushers of Mary, the fur salesman, the owners
    themselves, and Saint Louie was running this day:
    a sidewheeler that broke when he got in close;
    he ran with his head down and was mean and ugly
    and 35 to 1, and I put a ten down on him.
    the driver broke him wide
    took him out by the fence where he’d be alone
    even if he had to travel four times as far,
    and that’s the way he went it
    all the way by the outer fence
    traveling two miles in one
    and he won like he was mad as hell
    and he wasn’t even tired,
    and the biggest blonde of all
    all ass and breast, hardly anything else
    went to the payoff window with me.


    that night I couldn’t destroy her
    although the springs shot sparks
    and they pounded on the walls.
    later she sat there in her slip
    drinking Old Grandad
    and she said
    what’s a guy like you doing
    living in a dump like this?
    and I said
    I’m a poet


    and she threw back her beautiful head and laughed.


    you? you . . . a poet?


    I guess you’re right, I said, I guess you’re right.


    but still she looked good to me, she still looked good,
    and all thanks to an ugly horse
    who wrote this poem.

    — -Charles Bukowski
  • 8 Count

    from my bed
    I watch
    3 birds
    on a telephone
    wire.
    one flies
    off.
    then
    another.
    one is left,
    then
    it too
    is gone.
    my typewriter is
    tombstone
    still.
    and I am
    reduced to bird
    watching.
    just thought I'd
    let you
    know,
    fucker.

    — -Charles Bukowski
  • 40,000

    at the track today,
    Father's Day,
    each paid admission was
    entitled to a wallet
    and each contained a
    little surprise.
    most of the men seemed
    between 30 and 55,
    going to fat,
    many of them in walking
    shorts,
    they had gone stale in
    life,
    flattened out....
    in fact, damn it, they
    aren't even worth writing
    about!
    why am I doing
    this?
    these don't even
    deserve a death bed,
    these little walking
    whales,
    only there are so
    many of
    them,
    in the urinals,
    in the food lines,
    they have managed to
    survive
    in a most limited
    sense
    but when you see
    so many of them
    like that,
    there and not there,
    breathing, farting,
    commenting,
    waiting for a thunder
    that will not arrive,
    waiting for the charging
    white horse of
    Glory,
    waiting for the lovely
    female that is not
    there,
    waiting to WIN,
    waiting for the great
    dream to
    engulf them
    but they do nothing,
    they clomp in their
    sandals,
    gnaw at hot dogs
    dog style,
    gulping at the
    meat,
    they complain about
    losing,
    blame the jocks,
    drink green
    beer,
    the parking lot is
    jammed with their
    unpaid for
    cars,
    the jocks mount
    again for another
    race,
    the men press
    toward the betting
    windows
    mesmerized,
    fathers and non-fathers
    Monday is waiting
    for them,
    this is the last
    big lark.
    and the horses are
    totally
    beautiful.
    it is shocking how
    beautiful they
    are
    at that time,
    at that place,
    their life shines
    through;
    miracles happen,
    even in
    hell.
    I decide to stay for
    one more
    race.

    — -Charles Bukowski
  • 2 Flies

    The flies are angry bits of life;
    why are they so angry?
    it seems they want more,
    it seems almost as if they
    are angry
    that they are flies;
    it is not my fault;
    I sit in the room
    with them
    and they taunt me
    with their agony;
    it is as if they were
    loose chunks of soul
    left out of somewhere;
    I try to read a paper
    but they will not let me
    be;
    one seems to go in half-circles
    high along the wall,
    throwing a miserable sound
    upon my head;
    the other one, the smaller one
    stays near and teases my hand,
    saying nothing,
    rising, dropping
    crawling near;
    what god puts these
    lost things upon me?
    other men suffer dictates of
    empire, tragic love…
    I suffer
    insects…
    I wave at the little one
    which only seems to revive
    his impulse to challenge:
    he circles swifter,
    nearer, even making
    a fly-sound,
    and one above
    catching a sense of the new
    whirling, he too, in excitement,
    speeds his flight,
    drops down suddenly
    in a cuff of noise
    and they join
    in circling my hand,
    strumming the base
    of the lampshade
    until some man-thing
    in me
    will take no more
    unholiness
    and I strike
    with the rolled-up-paper -
    missing! -
    striking,
    striking,
    they break in discord,
    some message lost between them,
    and I get the big one
    first, and he kicks on his back
    flicking his legs
    like an angry whore,
    and I come down again
    with my paper club
    and he is a smear
    of fly-ugliness;
    the little one circles high
    now, quiet and swift,
    almost invisible;
    he does not come near
    my hand again;
    he is tamed and
    inaccessible; I leave
    him be, he leaves me
    be;
    the paper, of course,
    is ruined;
    something has happened,
    something has soiled my
    day,
    sometimes it does not
    take man
    or a woman,
    only something alive;
    I sit and watch
    the small one;
    we are woven together
    in the air
    and the living;
    it is late
    for both of us.

    — -Charles Bukowski
  • 16-Bit Intel 8088 Chip

    with an Apple Macintosh
    you can't run Radio Shack programs
    in its disc drive.
    nor can a Commodore 64
    drive read a file
    you have created on an
    IBM Personal Computer.
    both Kaypro and Osborne computers use
    the CP/M operating system
    but can't read each other's
    handwriting
    for they format (write
    on) discs in different
    ways.
    the Tandy 2000 runs MS-DOS but
    can't use most programs produced for
    the IBM Personal Computer
    unless certain
    bits and bytes are
    altered
    but the wind still blows over
    Savannah
    and in the Spring
    the turkey buzzard struts and
    flounces before his
    hens.

    — -Charles Bukowski
  • Fragment Of An

    Mother of Hermes! and still youthful Maia!
    May I sing to thee
    As thou wast hymned on the shores of Baiae?
    Or may I woo thee
    In earlier Sicilian? or thy smiles
    Seek as they once were sought, in Grecian isles,
    By bards who died content on pleasant sward,
    Leaving great verse unto a little clan?
    O give me their old vigour! and unheard
    Save of the quiet primrose, and the span
    Of heaven, and few ears,
    Rounded by thee, my song should die away
    Content as theirs,
    Rich in the simple worship of a day.

    — -John Keats
  • Fragment Of An Ode

    MOTHER of Hermes! and still youthful Maia!
    May I sing to thee
    As thou wast hymned on the shores of Baiae?
    Or may I woo thee
    In earlier Sicilian? or thy smiles
    Seek as they once were sought, in Grecian isles,
    By bards who died content on pleasant sward,
    Leaving great verse unto a little clan?
    O give me their old vigour! and unheard
    Save of the quiet primrose, and the span
    Of heaven, and few ears,
    Rounded by thee, my song should die away
    Content as theirs,
    Rich in the simple worship of a day.

    — -John Keats
  • Fragment Of

    To-night I'll have my friar -- let me think
    About my room, -- I'll have it in the pink;
    It should be rich and sombre, and the moon,
    Just in its mid-life in the midst of June,
    Should look thro' four large windows and display
    Clear, but for gold-fish vases in the way,
    Their glassy diamonding on Turkish floor;
    The tapers keep aside, an hour and more,
    To see what else the moon alone can show;
    While the night-breeze doth softly let us know
    My terrace is well bower'd with oranges.
    Upon the floor the dullest spirit sees
    A guitar-ribband and a lady's glove
    Beside a crumple-leaved tale of love;
    A tambour-frame, with Venus sleeping there,
    All finish'd but some ringlets of her hair;
    A viol, bow-strings torn, cross-wise upon
    A glorious folio of Anacreon;
    A skull upon a mat of roses lying,
    Ink'd purple with a song concerning dying;
    An hour-glass on the turn, amid the trails
    Of passion-flower; -- just in time there sails
    A cloud across the moon, -- the lights bring in!
    And see what more my phantasy can win.
    It is a gorgeous room, but somewhat sad;
    The draperies are so, as tho' they had
    Been made for Cleopatra's winding-sheet;
    And opposite the stedfast eye doth meet
    A spacious looking-glass, upon whose face,
    In letters raven-sombre, you may trace
    Old 'Mene, Mene, Tekel Upharsin.'
    Greek busts and statuary have ever been
    Held, by the finest spirits, fitter far
    Than vase grotesque and Siamesian jar;
    Therefore 'tis sure a want of Attic taste
    That I should rather love a Gothic waste
    Of eyesight on cinque-coloured potter's clay,
    Than on the marble fairness of old Greece.
    My table-coverlits of Jason's fleece
    And black Numidian sheep-wool should be wrought,
    Gold, black, and heavy, from the Lama brought.
    My ebon sofas should delicious be
    With down from Leda's cygnet progeny.
    My pictures all Salvator's, save a few
    Of Titian's portraiture, and one, though new,
    Of Haydon's in its fresh magnificence.
    My wine -- O good! 'tis here at my desire,
    And I must sit to supper with my friar.

    — -John Keats
  • Fill For Me

    Fill for me a brimming bowl
    And in it let me drown my soul:
    But put therein some drug, designed
    To Banish Women from my mind:
    For I want not the stream inspiring
    That fills the mind with--fond desiring,
    But I want as deep a draught
    As e'er from Lethe's wave was quaff'd;
    From my despairing heart to charm
    The Image of the fairest form
    That e'er my reveling eyes beheld,
    That e'er my wandering fancy spell'd.
    In vain! away I cannot chace
    The melting softness of that face,
    The beaminess of those bright eyes,
    That breast--earth's only Paradise.
    My sight will never more be blest;
    For all I see has lost its zest:
    Nor with delight can I explore,
    The Classic page, or Muse's lore.
    Had she but known how beat my heart,
    And with one smile reliev'd its smart
    I should have felt a sweet relief,
    I should have felt ``the joy of grief.''
    Yet as the Tuscan mid the snow
    Of Lapland dreams on sweet Arno,
    Even so for ever shall she be
    The Halo of my Memory.

    — -John Keats
  • Fancy

    Ever let the Fancy roam,
    Pleasure never is at home:
    At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
    Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
    Then let winged Fancy wander
    Through the thought still spread beyond her:
    Open wide the mind's cage-door,
    She'll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
    O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
    Summer's joys are spoilt by use,
    And the enjoying of the Spring
    Fades as does its blossoming;
    Autumn's red-lipp'd fruitage too,
    Blushing through the mist and dew,
    Cloys with tasting: What do then?
    Sit thee by the ingle, when
    The sear faggot blazes bright,
    Spirit of a winter's night;
    When the soundless earth is muffled,
    And the caked snow is shuffled
    From the ploughboy's heavy shoon;
    When the Night doth meet the Noon
    In a dark conspiracy
    To banish Even from her sky.
    Sit thee there, and send abroad,
    With a mind self-overaw'd,
    Fancy, high-commission'd:--send her!
    She has vassals to attend her:
    She will bring, in spite of frost,
    Beauties that the earth hath lost;
    She will bring thee, all together,
    All delights of summer weather;
    All the buds and bells of May,
    From dewy sward or thorny spray;
    All the heaped Autumn's wealth,
    With a still, mysterious stealth:
    She will mix these pleasures up
    Like three fit wines in a cup,
    And thou shalt quaff it:--thou shalt hear
    Distant harvest-carols clear;
    Rustle of the reaped corn;
    Sweet birds antheming the morn:
    And, in the same moment, hark!
    'Tis the early April lark,
    Or the rooks, with busy caw,
    Foraging for sticks and straw.
    Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
    The daisy and the marigold;
    White-plum'd lillies, and the first
    Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;
    Shaded hyacinth, alway
    Sapphire queen of the mid-May;
    And every leaf, and every flower
    Pearled with the self-same shower.
    Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep
    Meagre from its celled sleep;
    And the snake all winter-thin
    Cast on sunny bank its skin;
    Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see
    Hatching in the hawthorn-tree,
    When the hen-bird's wing doth rest
    Quiet on her mossy nest;
    Then the hurry and alarm
    When the bee-hive casts its swarm;
    Acorns ripe down-pattering,
    While the autumn breezes sing.

    Oh, sweet Fancy! let her loose;
    Every thing is spoilt by use:
    Where's the cheek that doth not fade,
    Too much gaz'd at? Where's the maid
    Whose lip mature is ever new?
    Where's the eye, however blue,
    Doth not weary? Where's the face
    One would meet in every place?
    Where's the voice, however soft,
    One would hear so very oft?
    At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth
    Like to bubbles when rain pelteth.
    Let, then, winged Fancy find
    Thee a mistress to thy mind:
    Dulcet-ey'd as Ceres' daughter,
    Ere the God of Torment taught her
    How to frown and how to chide;
    With a waist and with a side
    White as Hebe's, when her zone
    Slipt its golden clasp, and down
    Fell her kirtle to her feet,
    While she held the goblet sweet
    And Jove grew languid.--Break the mesh
    Of the Fancy's silken leash;
    Quickly break her prison-string
    And such joys as these she'll bring.--
    Let the winged Fancy roam,
    Pleasure never is at home.

    — -John Keats
  • Faery Songs

    I.
    Shed no tear! oh, shed no tear!
    The flower will bloom another year.
    Weep no more! oh, weep no more!
    Young buds sleep in the root's white core.
    Dry your eyes! oh, dry your eyes!
    For I was taught in Paradise
    To ease my breast of melodies,--
    Shed no tear.

    Overhead! look overhead!
    'Mong the blossoms white and red--
    Look up, look up! I flutter now
    On this fresh pomegranate bough.
    See me! 'tis this silvery bill
    Ever cures the good man's ill.
    Shed no tear! oh, shed no tear!
    The flower will bloom another year.
    Adieu, adieu -- I fly -- adieu!
    I vanish in the heaven’s blue,--
    Adieu, adieu!

    II.
    Ah! woe is me! poor silver-wing!
    That I must chant thy lady's dirge,
    And death to this fair haunt of spring,
    Of melody, and streams of flowery verge,--
    Poor silver-wing! ah! woe is me!
    That I must see
    These blossoms snow upon thy lady's pall!
    Go, pretty page! and in her ear
    Whisper that the hour is near!
    Softly tell her not to fear
    Such calm favonian burial!
    Go, pretty page! and soothly tell,--
    The blossoms hang by a melting spell,
    And fall they must, ere a star wink thrice
    Upon her closed eyes,
    That now in vain are weeping their last tears,
    At sweet life leaving, and these arbours green,--
    Rich dowry from the Spirit of the Spheres,
    Alas! poor Queen!

    — -John Keats
  • Endymion

    A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
    Its loveliness increases; it will never
    Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
    A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
    Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
    Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
    A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
    Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
    Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
    Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
    Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
    Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
    From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
    Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
    For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
    With the green world they live in; and clear rills
    That for themselves a cooling covert make
    'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
    Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
    And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
    We have imagined for the mighty dead;
    All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
    An endless fountain of immortal drink,
    Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.
    Nor do we merely feel these essences
    For one short hour; no, even as the trees
    That whisper round a temple become soon
    Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
    The passion poesy, glories infinite,
    Haunt us till they become a cheering light
    Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
    That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast;
    They always must be with us, or we die.
    Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
    Will trace the story of Endymion.
    The very music of the name has gone
    Into my being, and each pleasant scene
    Is growing fresh before me as the green
    Of our own valleys: so I will begin
    Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
    Now while the early budders are just new,
    And run in mazes of the youngest hue
    About old forests; while the willow trails
    Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails
    Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
    Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
    My little boat, for many quiet hours,
    With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
    Many and many a verse I hope to write,
    Before the daisies, vermeil rimm'd and white,
    Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
    Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
    I must be near the middle of my story.
    O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
    See it half finish'd: but let Autumn bold,
    With universal tinge of sober gold,
    Be all about me when I make an end.
    And now, at once adventuresome, I send
    My herald thought into a wilderness:
    There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
    My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
    Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.

    — -John Keats
  • Dedication To Leigh

    Glory and loveliness have pass'd away;
    For if we wander out in early morn,
    No wreathed incense do we see upborne
    Into the east, to meet the smiling day:
    No crowd of nymphs soft voic'd and young, and gay,
    In woven baskets bringing ears of corn,
    Roses, and pinks, and violets, to adorn
    The shrine of Flora in her early May.
    But there are left delights as high as these,
    And I shall ever bless my destiny,
    That in a time, when under pleasant trees
    Pan is no longer sought, I feel a free,
    A leafy luxury, seeing I could please
    With these poor offerings, a man like thee.

    — -John Keats
  • Dawlish Fair

    Over the hill and over the dale,
    And over the bourn to Dawlish--
    Where gingerbread wives have a scanty sale
    And gingerbread nuts are smallish.
    -------------
    Rantipole Betty she ran down a hill
    And kicked up her petticoats fairly;
    Says I I'll be Jack if you will be Gill--
    So she sat on the grass debonairly.

    Here's somebody coming, here's somebody coming!
    Says I 'tis the wind at a parley;
    So without any fuss any hawing and humming
    She lay on the grass debonairly.

    Here's somebody here and here's somebody there!
    Says I hold your tongue you young Gipsey;
    So she held her tongue and lay plump and fair
    And dead as a Venus tipsy.

    O who wouldn't hie to Dawlish fair,
    O who wouldn't stop in a Meadow,
    O who would not rumple the daisies there
    And make the wild fern for a bed do!

    — -John Keats
  • Daisy's Song

    I
    The sun, with his great eye,
    Sees not so much as I;
    And the moon, all silver-proud,
    Might as well be in a cloud.
    II

    And O the spring- the spring
    I lead the life of a king!
    Couch'd in the teeming grass,
    I spy each pretty lass.
    III

    I look where no one dares,
    And I stare where no one stares,
    And when the night is nigh,
    Lambs bleat my lullaby

    — -John Keats
  • Witchcraft Was Hung

    Twas such a little - little boat
    That toddled down the bay!
    'Twas such a gallant - gallant sea
    That beckoned it away!

    'Twas such a greedy, greedy wave
    That licked it from the Coast -
    Nor ever guessed the stately sails
    My little craft was lost!

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Witchcraft

    Witchcraft has not a pedigree,
    ‘Tis early as our breath,
    And mourners meet it going out
    The moment of our death.

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Will There Really Be

    Will there really be a "Morning"?
    Is there such a thing as "Day"?
    Could I see it from the mountains
    If I were as tall as they?

    Has it feet like Water lilies?
    Has it feathers like a Bird?
    Is it brought from famous countries
    Of which I have never heard?

    Oh some Scholar! Oh some Sailor!
    Oh some Wise Men from the skies!
    Please to tell a little Pilgrim
    Where the place called "Morning" lies!

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Wild Nights! Wild Nights!

    Wild Nights! Wild Nights!
    Were I with thee,
    Wild Nights should be
    Our luxury!

    Futile the winds
    To a heart in port, --
    Done with the compass,
    Done with the chart!

    Rowing in Eden!
    Ah! the sea!
    Might I but moor
    To-night in Thee!

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Why Make It Doubt

    Why make it doubt—it hurts it so—
    So sick—to guess—
    So strong—to know—
    So brave—upon its little Bed
    To tell the very last They said
    Unto Itself—and smile—And shake—
    For that dear—distant—dangerous—Sake—
    But—the Instead—the Pinching fear
    That Something—it did do—or dare—
    Offend the Vision—and it flee—
    And They no more remember me—
    Nor ever turn to tell me why—
    Oh, Master, This is Misery—

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Why Do They Shut Me

    Why—do they shut Me out of Heaven?
    Did I sing—too loud?
    But—I can say a little 'Minor'
    Timid as a Bird!

    Wouldn't the Angels try me—
    Just—once—more—
    Just—see—if I troubled them—
    But don't—shut the door!

    Oh, if I—were the Gentleman
    In the 'White Robe'—
    And they—were the little Hand—that knocked—
    Could—I—forbid?

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Why Do I Love You, Sir

    Why do I love" You, Sir?
    Because—
    The Wind does not require the Grass
    To answer—Wherefore when He pass
    She cannot keep Her place.

    Because He knows—and
    Do not You—
    And We know not—
    Enough for Us
    The Wisdom it be so—

    The Lightning—never asked an Eye
    Wherefore it shut—when He was by—
    Because He knows it cannot speak—
    And reasons not contained—
    —Of Talk—
    There be—preferred by Daintier Folk—

    The Sunrise—Sire—compelleth Me—
    Because He's Sunrise—and I see—
    Therefore—Then—
    I love Thee—

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Whose Cheek Is This

    Whose cheek is this?
    What rosy face
    Has lost a blush today?
    I found her—"pleiad"—in the woods
    And bore her safe away.

    Robins, in the tradition
    Did cover such with leaves,
    But which the cheek—
    And which the pall
    My scrutiny deceives.

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Whose Are The Little Beds

    Whose are the little beds, I asked
    Which in the valleys lie?
    Some shook their heads, and others smiled—
    And no one made reply.

    Perhaps they did not hear, I said,
    I will inquire again—
    Whose are the beds—the tiny beds
    So thick upon the plain?

    'Tis Daisy, in the shortest—
    A little further on—
    Nearest the door—to wake the Ist—
    Little Leontoden.

    'Tis Iris, Sir, and Aster—
    Anemone, and Bell—
    Bartsia, in the blanket red—
    And chubby Daffodil.

    Meanwhile, at many cradles
    Her busy foot she plied—
    Humming the quaintest lullaby
    That ever rocked a child.

    Hush! Epigea wakens!
    The Crocus stirs her lids—
    Rhodora's cheek is crimson,
    She's dreaming of the woods!

    Then turning from them reverent—
    Their bedtime 'tis, she said—
    The Bumble bees will wake them
    When April woods are red.

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Whole Gulfs

    Whole Gulfs - of Red, and Fleets - of Red -
    And Crews - of solid Blood -
    Did place upon the West - Tonight -
    As 'twere specific Ground -

    And They - appointed Creatures -
    In Authorized Arrays -
    Due - promptly - as a Drama -
    That bows - and disappears -

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • The Eighth Of September

    This day, Today, was a brimming glass.
    This day, Today, was an immense wave.
    This day was all the Earth.
    This day, the storm-driven ocean
    lifted us up in a kiss
    so exalted we trembled
    at the lightning flash
    and bound as one, fell,
    and drowned, without being unbound.
    This day our bodies grew
    stretched out to Earth’s limits,
    orbited there, melded there
    to one globe of wax, or a meteor’s flame.
    A strange door opened, between us,
    and someone, with no face as yet,
    waited for us there.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Tell Me

    Tell me, is the rose naked
    Or is that her only dress?

    Why do trees conceal
    The splendor of their roots?

    Who hears the regrets
    Of the thieving automobile?

    Is there anything in the world sadder
    Than a train standing in the rain?

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Still Another Day

    The truth is in the prologue. Death to the romantic fool,
    to the expert in solitary confinement,
    I'm the same as the teacher from Colombia,
    the rotarian from Philadelphia, the merchant
    from Paysandu who save his silver
    to come here. We all arrive by different streets,
    by unequal languages, at Silence.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Witches Chant

    Round about the couldron go:
    In the poisones entrails throw.
    Toad,that under cold stone
    Days and nights has thirty-one
    Sweated venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first in the charmed pot.
    Double,double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

    Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the cauldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
    Adder's fork and blindworm's sting,
    Lizard's leg and howlet's wing.
    For charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
    Double,double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and couldron bubble.

    Scale of dragon,tooth of wolf,
    Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
    Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
    Root of hemlock digg'd in the dark,
    Liver of blaspheming Jew;
    Gall of goat; andslips of yew
    silver'd in the moon's eclipse;
    Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
    Finger of birth-strangled babe
    Ditch-deliver'd by the drab,-
    Make the gruel thick and slab:
    Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
    For ingrediants of our cauldron.
    Double,double toil and trouble,
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble

    — -William Shakespeare
  • Winter

    When icicles hang by the wall
    And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
    And Tom bears logs into the hall,
    And milk comes frozen home in pail,
    When Blood is nipped and ways be foul,
    Then nightly sings the staring owl,
    Tu-who;
    Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note,
    While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

    When all aloud the wind doth blow,
    And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
    And birds sit brooding in the snow,
    And Marian's nose looks red and raw
    When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
    Then nightly sings the staring owl,
    Tu-who;
    Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note,
    While greasy Joan doth keel the pot

    — -William Shakespeare
  • When To The Sessions

    When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
    I summon up remembrance of things past,
    I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
    And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
    Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
    For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
    And weep afresh love's long since cancelled woe,
    And moan the expense of many a vanished sight:
    Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
    And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
    The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
    Which I new pay as if not paid before.
    But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
    All losses are restored and sorrows end.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • When That I Was

    When that I was and a little tiny boy,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    A foolish thing was but a toy,
    For the rain it raineth every day.

    But when I came to man's estate,
    With hey, ho, . . .
    'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate
    For the rain, . . .

    But when I came, alas! to wive,
    With hey, ho, . . .
    By swaggering could I never thrive,
    For the rain, . . .

    But when I came unto my beds,
    With hey, ho, . . .
    With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
    For the rain, . . .

    A great while ago the world begun,
    With hey, ho, . . .
    But that's all one, our play is done.
    And we'll strive to please you every day

    — -William Shakespeare
  • When In Disgrace

    When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
    I all alone beweep my outcast state,
    And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
    And look upon myself and curse my fate,
    wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
    Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
    Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
    With what I most enjoy contented least;
    Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
    Haply I think on thee--and then my state,
    Like to the lark at break of day arising
    From sullen earth sings hymns at heaven's gate;
    For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
    That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • To Be, Or Not To Be

    To be, or not to be: that is the question:
    Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
    No more; and by a sleep to say we end
    The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
    That flesh is heir to, ‘tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
    To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
    For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause: there’s the respect
    That makes calamity of so long life;
    For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
    The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
    The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
    The insolence of office and the spurns
    That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
    When he himself might his quietus make
    With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
    To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
    But that the dread of something after death,
    The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
    No traveller returns, puzzles the will
    And makes us rather bear those ills we have
    Than fly to others that we know not of?
    Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
    And enterprises of great pith and moment
    With this regard their currents turn awry,
    And lose the name of action. —Soft you now!
    The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
    Be all my sins remember’d.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • The Quality Of Mercy

    The quality of mercy is not strain'd.
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
    It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.
    'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
    The throned monarch better than his crown.
    His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
    The attribute to awe and majesty,
    Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
    But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
    It is enthroned in the heart of kings;
    It is an attribute to God himself;
    And earthly power doth then show likest God's
    When mercy seasons justice.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • For Once, Then, Something

    Others taught me with having knelt at well-curbs
    Always wrong to the light, so never seeing
    Deeper down in the well than where the water
    Gives me back in a shining surface picture
    Me myself in the summer heaven godlike
    Looking out of a wreath of fern and cloud puffs.
    Once, when trying with chin against a well-curb,
    I discerned, as I thought, beyond the picture,
    Through the picture, a something white, uncertain,
    Something more of the depths--and then I lost it.
    Water came to rebuke the too clear water.
    One drop fell from a fern, and lo, a ripple
    Shook whatever it was lay there at bottom,
    Blurred it, blotted it out. What was that whiteness?
    Truth? A pebble of quartz? For once, then, something.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Flower-Gathering

    I left you in the morning,
    And in the morning glow,
    You walked a way beside me
    To make me sad to go.
    Do you know me in the gloaming,
    Gaunt and dusty gray with roaming?
    Are you dumb because you know me not,
    Or dumb because you know?

    All for me And not a question
    For the faded flowers gay
    That could take me from beside you
    For the ages of a day?
    They are yours, and be the measure
    Of their worth for you to treasure,
    The measure of the little while
    That I've been long away.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Evening In Sugar Orchard

    From where I lingered in a lull in March
    outside the sugar-house one night for choice,
    I called the fireman with a careful voice
    And bade him leave the pan and stoke the arch:
    'O fireman, give the fire another stoke,
    And send more sparks up chimney with the smoke.'
    I thought a few might tangle, as they did,
    Among bare maple boughs, and in the rare
    Hill atmosphere not cease to glow,
    And so be added to the moon up there.
    The moon, though slight, was moon enough to show
    On every tree a bucket with a lid,
    And on black ground a bear-skin rug of snow.
    The sparks made no attempt to be the moon.
    They were content to figure in the trees
    As Leo, Orion, and the Pleiades.
    And that was what the boughs were full of soon.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Devotion

    The heart can think of no devotion
    Greater than being shore to ocean -
    Holding the curve of one position,
    Counting an endless repetition.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Desert Places

    Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
    In a field I looked into going past,
    And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
    But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

    The woods around it have it - it is theirs.
    All animals are smothered in their lairs.
    I am too absent-spirited to count;
    The loneliness includes me unawares.

    And lonely as it is, that loneliness
    Will be more lonely ere it will be less -
    A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
    WIth no expression, nothing to express.

    They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
    Between stars - on stars where no human race is.
    I have it in me so much nearer home
    To scare myself with my own desert places.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Departmental

    An ant on the tablecloth
    Ran into a dormant moth
    Of many times his size.
    He showed not the least surprise.
    His business wasn't with such.
    He gave it scarcely a touch,
    And was off on his duty run.
    Yet if he encountered one
    Of the hive's enquiry squad
    Whose work is to find out God
    And the nature of time and space,
    He would put him onto the case.
    Ants are a curious race;
    One crossing with hurried tread
    The body of one of their dead
    Isn't given a moment's arrest-
    Seems not even impressed.
    But he no doubt reports to any
    With whom he crosses antennae,
    And they no doubt report
    To the higher-up at court.
    Then word goes forth in Formic:
    'Death's come to Jerry McCormic,
    Our selfless forager Jerry.
    Will the special Janizary
    Whose office it is to bury
    The dead of the commissary
    Go bring him home to his people.
    Lay him in state on a sepal.
    Wrap him for shroud in a petal.
    Embalm him with ichor of nettle.
    This is the word of your Queen.'
    And presently on the scene
    Appears a solemn mortician;
    And taking formal position,
    With feelers calmly atwiddle,
    Seizes the dead by the middle,
    And heaving him high in air,
    Carries him out of there.
    No one stands round to stare.
    It is nobody else's affair
    It couldn't be called ungentle
    But how thoroughly departmental

    — -Robert Frost
  • Come In

    As I came to the edge of the woods,
    Thrush music -- hark!
    Now if it was dusk outside,
    Inside it was dark.

    Too dark in the woods for a bird
    By sleight of wing
    To better its perch for the night,
    Though it still could sing.

    The last of the light of the sun
    That had died in the west
    Still lived for one song more
    In a thrush's breast.

    Far in the pillared dark
    Thrush music went --
    Almost like a call to come in
    To the dark and lament.

    But no, I was out for stars;
    I would not come in.
    I meant not even if asked;
    And I hadn't been.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Christmas Trees

    The city had withdrawn into itself
    And left at last the country to the country;
    When between whirls of snow not come to lie
    And whirls of foliage not yet laid, there drove
    A stranger to our yard, who looked the city,
    Yet did in country fashion in that there
    He sat and waited till he drew us out
    A-buttoning coats to ask him who he was.
    He proved to be the city come again
    To look for something it had left behind
    And could not do without and keep its Christmas.
    He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees;
    My woods—the young fir balsams like a place
    Where houses all are churches and have spires.
    I hadn’t thought of them as Christmas Trees.
    I doubt if I was tempted for a moment
    To sell them off their feet to go in cars
    And leave the slope behind the house all bare,
    Where the sun shines now no warmer than the moon.
    I’d hate to have them know it if I was.
    Yet more I’d hate to hold my trees except
    As others hold theirs or refuse for them,
    Beyond the time of profitable growth,
    The trial by market everything must come to.
    I dallied so much with the thought of selling.
    Then whether from mistaken courtesy
    And fear of seeming short of speech, or whether
    From hope of hearing good of what was mine,
    I said, “There aren’t enough to be worth while.”
    “I could soon tell how many they would cut,
    You let me look them over.”

    “You could look.
    But don’t expect I’m going to let you have them.”
    Pasture they spring in, some in clumps too close
    That lop each other of boughs, but not a few
    Quite solitary and having equal boughs
    All round and round. The latter he nodded “Yes” to,
    Or paused to say beneath some lovelier one,
    With a buyer’s moderation, “That would do.”
    I thought so too, but wasn’t there to say so.
    We climbed the pasture on the south, crossed over,
    And came down on the north.
    He said, “A thousand.”

    “A thousand Christmas trees! —at what apiece? ”

    He felt some need of softening that to me:
    “A thousand trees would come to thirty dollars.”

    Then I was certain I had never meant
    To let him have them. Never show surprise!
    But thirty dollars seemed so small beside
    The extent of pasture I should strip, three cents
    (For that was all they figured out apiece) ,
    Three cents so small beside the dollar friends
    I should be writing to within the hour
    Would pay in cities for good trees like those,
    Regular vestry-trees whole Sunday Schools
    Could hang enough on to pick off enough.
    A thousand Christmas trees I didn’t know I had!
    Worth three cents more to give away than sell,
    As may be shown by a simple calculation.
    Too bad I couldn’t lay one in a letter.
    I can’t help wishing I could send you one,
    In wishing you herewith a Merry Christmas.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Carpe Diem

    Age saw two quiet children
    Go loving by at twilight,
    He knew not whether homeward,
    Or outward from the village,
    Or (chimes were ringing) churchward,
    He waited, (they were strangers)
    Till they were out of hearing
    To bid them both be happy.
    'Be happy, happy, happy,
    And seize the day of pleasure.'
    The age-long theme is Age's.
    'Twas Age imposed on poems
    Their gather-roses burden
    To warn against the danger
    That overtaken lovers
    From being overflooded
    With happiness should have it.
    And yet not know they have it.
    But bid life seize the present?
    It lives less in the present
    Than in the future always,
    And less in both together
    Than in the past. The present
    Is too much for the senses,
    Too crowding, too confusing-
    Too present to imagine.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Brown's Descent

    Brown lived at such a lofty farm
    That everyone for miles could see
    His lantern when he did his chores
    In winter after half-past three.

    And many must have seen him make
    His wild descent from there one night,
    'Cross lots, 'cross walls, 'cross everything,
    Describing rings of lantern light.

    Between the house and barn the gale
    Got him by something he had on
    And blew him out on the icy crust
    That cased the world, and he was gone!

    Walls were all buried, trees were few:
    He saw no stay unless he stove
    A hole in somewhere with his heel.
    But though repeatedly he strove

    And stamped and said things to himself,
    And sometimes something seemed to yield,
    He gained no foothold, but pursued
    His journey down from field to field.

    Sometimes he came with arms outspread
    Like wings, revolving in the scene
    Upon his longer axis, and
    With no small dignity of mien.

    Faster or slower as he chanced,
    Sitting or standing as he chose,
    According as he feared to risk
    His neck, or thought to spare his clothes,

    He never let the lantern drop.
    And some exclaimed who saw afar
    The figures he described with it,
    "I wonder what those signals are

    Brown makes at such an hour of night!
    He's celebrating something strange.
    I wonder if he's sold his farm,
    Or been made Master of the Grange."

    He reeled, he lurched, he bobbed, he checked;
    He fell and made the lantern rattle
    (But saved the light from going out.)
    So half-way down he fought the battle

    Incredulous of his own bad luck.
    And then becoming reconciled
    To everything, he gave it up
    And came down like a coasting child.

    "Well—I—be—" that was all he said,
    As standing in the river road,
    He looked back up the slippery slope
    (Two miles it was) to his abode.

    Sometimes as an authority
    On motor-cars, I'm asked if I
    Should say our stock was petered out,
    And this is my sincere reply:

    Yankees are what they always were.
    Don't think Brown ever gave up hope
    Of getting home again because
    He couldn't climb that slippery slope;

    Or even thought of standing there
    Until the January thaw
    Should take the polish off the crust.
    He bowed with grace to natural law,

    And then went round it on his feet,
    After the manner of our stock;
    Not much concerned for those to whom,
    At that particular time o'clock,

    It must have looked as if the course
    He steered was really straight away
    From that which he was headed for—
    Not much concerned for them, I say:

    No more so than became a man—
    And politician at odd seasons.
    I've kept Brown standing in the cold
    While I invested him with reasons;

    But now he snapped his eyes three times;
    Then shook his lantern, saying, "Ile's
    'Bout out!" and took the long way home
    By road, a matter of several miles.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Washington's Monument

    Ah, not this marble, dead and cold:
    Far from its base and shaft expanding—the round zones circling,
    comprehending,

    Thou, Washington, art all the world's, the continents' entire—
    not yours alone, America,

    Europe's as well, in every part, castle of lord or laborer's cot,
    Or frozen North, or sultry South—the African's—the Arab's in
    his tent,

    Old Asia's there with venerable smile, seated amid her ruins;
    (Greets the antique the hero new? ‘tis but the same—the heir
    legitimate, continued ever,

    The indomitable heart and arm—proofs of the never-broken
    line,

    Courage, alertness, patience, faith, the same—e'en in defeat
    defeated not, the same:)

    Wherever sails a ship, or house is built on land, or day or night,
    Through teeming cities' streets, indoors or out, factories or farms,
    Now, or to come, or past—where patriot wills existed or exist,
    Wherever Freedom, pois'd by Toleration, sway'd by Law,
    Stands or is rising thy true monument.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Wandering At Morn

    WANDERING at morn,
    Emerging from the night, from gloomy thoughts--thee in my thoughts,
    Yearning for thee, harmonious Union! thee, Singing Bird divine!
    Thee, seated coil'd in evil times, my Country, with craft and black
    dismay--with every meanness, treason thrust upon thee;
    --Wandering--this common marvel I beheld--the parent thrush I
    watch'd, feeding its young,
    (The singing thrush, whose tones of joy and faith ecstatic,
    Fail not to certify and cheer my soul.)

    There ponder'd, felt I,
    If worms, snakes, loathsome grubs, may to sweet spiritual songs be
    turn'd,
    If vermin so transposed, so used, so bless'd may be, 10
    Then may I trust in you, your fortunes, days, my country;
    --Who knows that these may be the lessons fit for you?
    From these your future Song may rise, with joyous trills,
    Destin'd to fill the world.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Walt Whitman's Caution

    TO The States, or any one of them, or any city of The States,
    Resist much, obey little;
    Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved;
    Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, of this earth, ever
    afterward resumes its liberty.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Voices

    NOW I make a leaf of Voices--for I have found nothing mightier than
    they are,
    And I have found that no word spoken, but is beautiful, in its place.

    O what is it in me that makes me tremble so at voices?
    Surely, whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her I shall
    follow,
    As the water follows the moon, silently, with fluid steps, anywhere
    around the globe.

    All waits for the right voices;
    Where is the practis'd and perfect organ? Where is the develop'd
    Soul?
    For I see every word utter'd thence, has deeper, sweeter, new sounds,
    impossible on less terms.

    I see brains and lips closed--tympans and temples unstruck,
    Until that comes which has the quality to strike and to unclose, 10
    Until that comes which has the quality to bring forth what lies
    slumbering, forever ready, in all words.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Visor'D

    A MASK--a perpetual natural disguiser of herself,
    Concealing her face, concealing her form,
    Changes and transformations every hour, every moment,
    Falling upon her even when she sleeps.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Virginia

    THE noble Sire, fallen on evil days,
    I saw, with hand uplifted, menacing, brandishing,
    (Memories of old in abeyance--love and faith in abeyance,)
    The insane knife toward the Mother of All.


    The noble Son, on sinewy feet advancing,
    I saw--out of the land of prairies--land of Ohio's waters, and of
    Indiana,
    To the rescue, the stalwart giant, hurry his plenteous offspring,
    Drest in blue, bearing their trusty rifles on their shoulders.


    Then the Mother of All, with calm voice speaking,
    As to you, Virginia, (I seemed to hear her say,) why strive against
    me--and why seek my life? 10
    When you yourself forever provide to defend me?
    For you provided me Washington--and now these also.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Vigil Strange

    Vigil strange I kept on the field one night;
    When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side that day,
    One look I but gave which your dear eyes return'd with a look I shall never forget,
    One touch of your hand to mine O boy, reach'd up as you lay on the ground,
    Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle,
    Till late in the night reliev'd to the place at last again I made my way,
    Found you in death so cold dear comrade, found your body son of responding kisses, (never again on earth responding,)
    Bared your face in the starlight, curious the scene, cool blew the moderate night-wind,
    Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battle-field spreading,
    Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet there in the fragrant silent night,
    But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh, long, long I gazed,
    Then on the earth partially reclining sat by your side leaning my chin in my hands,
    Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you dearest comrade -- not a tear, not a word,
    Vigil of silence, love and death, vigil for you my son and my soldier,
    As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward stole,
    Vigil final for you brave boy, (I could not save you, swift was your death,
    I faithfully loved you and cared for you living, I think we shall surely meet again,)
    Till at latest lingering of the night, indeed just as the dawn appear'd,
    My comrade I wrapt in his blanket, envelop'd well his form,
    Folded the blanket well, tucking it carefully over head and carefully under feet,
    And there and then and bathed by the rising sun, my son in his grave, in his rude-dug grave I deposited,
    Ending my vigil strange with that, vigil of night and battle-field dim,
    Vigil for boy of responding kisses, (never again on earth responding,)
    Vigil for comrade swiftly slain, vigil I never forget, how as day brighten'd,
    I rose from the chill ground and folded my soldier well in his blanket,
    And buried him where he fell.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Vicouac On A Mountain

    I SEE before me now, a traveling army halting;
    Below, a fertile valley spread, with barns, and the orchards of
    summer;
    Behind, the terraced sides of a mountain, abrupt in places, rising
    high;
    Broken, with rocks, with clinging cedars, with tall shapes, dingily
    seen;
    The numerous camp-fires scatter'd near and far, some away up on the
    mountain;
    The shadowy forms of men and horses, looming, large-sized flickering;
    And over all, the sky--the sky! far, far out of reach, studded,
    breaking out, the eternal stars.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Unnamed Lands

    NATIONS ten thousand years before These States, and many times ten
    thousand years before These States;
    Garner'd clusters of ages, that men and women like us grew up and
    travel'd their course, and pass'd on;
    What vast-built cities--what orderly republics--what pastoral tribes
    and nomads;
    What histories, rulers, heroes, perhaps transcending all others;
    What laws, customs, wealth, arts, traditions;
    What sort of marriage--what costumes--what physiology and phrenology;
    What of liberty and slavery among them--what they thought of death
    and the soul;
    Who were witty and wise--who beautiful and poetic--who brutish and
    undevelop'd;
    Not a mark, not a record remains--And yet all remains.

    O I know that those men and women were not for nothing, any more than
    we are for nothing; 10
    I know that they belong to the scheme of the world every bit as much
    as we now belong to it, and as all will henceforth belong to
    it.

    Afar they stand--yet near to me they stand,
    Some with oval countenances, learn'd and calm,
    Some naked and savage--Some like huge collections of insects,
    Some in tents--herdsmen, patriarchs, tribes, horsemen,
    Some prowling through woods--Some living peaceably on farms,
    laboring, reaping, filling barns,
    Some traversing paved avenues, amid temples, palaces, factories,
    libraries, shows, courts, theatres, wonderful monuments.

    Are those billions of men really gone?
    Are those women of the old experience of the earth gone?
    Do their lives, cities, arts, rest only with us? 20
    Did they achieve nothing for good, for themselves?

    I believe of all those billions of men and women that fill'd the
    unnamed lands, every one exists this hour, here or elsewhere,
    invisible to us, in exact proportion to what he or she grew
    from in life, and out of what he or she did, felt, became,
    loved, sinn'd, in life.

    I believe that was not the end of those nations, or any person of
    them, any more than this shall be the end of my nation, or of
    me;
    Of their languages, governments, marriage, literature, products,
    games, wars, manners, crimes, prisons, slaves, heroes, poets,
    I suspect their results curiously await in the yet unseen
    world--counterparts of what accrued to them in the seen world.
    I suspect I shall meet them there,
    I suspect I shall there find each old particular of those unnamed
    lands.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Unfolded Out Of The Folds

    UNFOLDED out of the folds of the woman, man comes unfolded, and is
    always to come unfolded;
    Unfolded only out of the superbest woman of the earth, is to come the
    superbest man of the earth;
    Unfolded out of the friendliest woman, is to come the friendliest
    man;
    Unfolded only out of the perfect body of a woman, can a man be form'd
    of perfect body;
    Unfolded only out of the inimitable poem of the woman, can come the
    poems of man--(only thence have my poems come;)
    Unfolded out of the strong and arrogant woman I love, only thence can
    appear the strong and arrogant man I love;
    Unfolded by brawny embraces from the well-muscled woman I love, only
    thence come the brawny embraces of the man;
    Unfolded out of the folds of the woman's brain, come all the folds of
    the man's brain, duly obedient;
    Unfolded out of the justice of the woman, all justice is unfolded;
    Unfolded out of the sympathy of the woman is all sympathy: 10
    A man is a great thing upon the earth, and through eternity--but
    every jot of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman,
    First the man is shaped in the woman, he can then be shaped in
    himself

    — -Walt Whitman
  • France

    A GREAT year and place;
    A harsh, discordant, natal scream out-sounding, to touch the mother's
    heart closer than any yet.

    I walk'd the shores of my Eastern Sea,
    Heard over the waves the little voice,
    Saw the divine infant, where she woke, mournfully wailing, amid the
    roar of cannon, curses, shouts, crash of falling buildings;
    Was not so sick from the blood in the gutters running--nor from the
    single corpses, nor those in heaps, nor those borne away in the
    tumbrils;
    Was not so desperate at the battues of death--was not so shock'd at
    the repeated fusillades of the guns.


    Pale, silent, stern, what could I say to that long-accrued
    retribution?
    Could I wish humanity different?
    Could I wish the people made of wood and stone? 10
    Or that there be no justice in destiny or time?


    O Liberty! O mate for me!
    Here too the blaze, the grape-shot and the axe, in reserve, to fetch
    them out in case of need;
    Here too, though long represt, can never be destroy'd;
    Here too could rise at last, murdering and extatic;
    Here too demanding full arrears of vengeance.


    Hence I sign this salute over the sea,
    And I do not deny that terrible red birth and baptism,
    But remember the little voice that I heard wailing--and wait with
    perfect trust, no matter how long;
    And from to-day, sad and cogent, I maintain the bequeath'd cause, as
    for all lands, 20
    And I send these words to Paris with my love,
    And I guess some chansonniers there will understand them,
    For I guess there is latent music yet in France--floods of it;
    O I hear already the bustle of instruments--they will soon be
    drowning all that would interrupt them;
    O I think the east wind brings a triumphal and free march,
    It reaches hither--it swells me to joyful madness,
    I will run transpose it in words, to justify it,
    I will yet sing a song for you, MA FEMME.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • For Him I Sing

    FOR him I sing,
    I raise the Present on the Past,
    (As some perennial tree, out of its roots, the present on the past:)
    With time and space I him dilate--and fuse the immortal laws,
    To make himself, by them, the law unto himself.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Fast Anchor'D

    FAST-ANCHOR'D, eternal, O love! O woman I love!
    O bride! O wife! more resistless than I can tell, the thought of you!
    --Then separate, as disembodied, or another born,
    Ethereal, the last athletic reality, my consolation;
    I ascend--I float in the regions of your love, O man,
    O sharer of my roving life.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Facing West

    FACING west, from California's shores,
    Inquiring, tireless, seeking what is yet unfound,
    I, a child, very old, over waves, towards the house of maternity, the
    land of migrations, look afar,
    Look off the shores of my Western Sea--the circle almost circled;
    For, starting westward from Hindustan, from the vales of Kashmere,
    From Asia--from the north--from the God, the sage, and the hero,
    From the south--from the flowery peninsulas, and the spice islands;
    Long having wander'd since--round the earth having wander'd,
    Now I face home again--very pleas'd and joyous;
    (But where is what I started for, so long ago? 10
    And why is it yet unfound?)

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Excelsior

    WHO has gone farthest? For lo! have not I gone farther?
    And who has been just? For I would be the most just person of the
    earth;
    And who most cautious? For I would be more cautious;
    And who has been happiest? O I think it is I! I think no one was ever
    happier than I;
    And who has lavish'd all? For I lavish constantly the best I have;
    And who has been firmest? For I would be firmer;
    And who proudest? For I think I have reason to be the proudest son
    alive--for I am the son of the brawny and tall-topt city;
    And who has been bold and true? For I would be the boldest and truest
    being of the universe;
    And who benevolent? For I would show more benevolence than all the
    rest;
    And who has projected beautiful words through the longest time? Have
    I not outvied him? have I not said the words that shall stretch
    through longer time? 10
    And who has receiv'd the love of the most friends? For I know what it
    is to receive the passionate love of many friends;
    And who possesses a perfect and enamour'd body? For I do not believe
    any one possesses a more perfect or enamour'd body than mine;
    And who thinks the amplest thoughts? For I will surround those
    thoughts;
    And who has made hymns fit for the earth? For I am mad with devouring
    extasy to make joyous hymns for the whole earth!

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Ethiopia Saluting

    WHO are you, dusky woman, so ancient, hardly human,
    With your woolly-white and turban'd head, and bare bony feet?
    Why, rising by the roadside here, do you the colors greet?


    ('Tis while our army lines Carolina's sand and pines,
    Forth from thy hovel door, thou, Ethiopia, com'st to me,
    As, under doughty Sherman, I march toward the sea.)


    Me, master, years a hundred, since from my parents sunder'd,
    A little child, they caught me as the savage beast is caught;
    Then hither me, across the sea, the cruel slaver brought.


    No further does she say, but lingering all the day, 10
    Her high-borne turban'd head she wags, and rolls her darkling eye,
    And curtseys to the regiments, the guidons moving by.


    What is it, fateful woman--so blear, hardly human?
    Why wag your head, with turban bound--yellow, red and green?
    Are the things so strange and marvelous, you see or have seen?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Election Day, November,

    If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
    ‘Twould not be you, Niagara—nor you, ye limitless prairies—nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
    Nor you, Yosemite—nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing
    and disappearing,
    Nor Oregon's white cones—nor Huron's belt of mighty lakes—nor Mississippi's stream:
    —This seething hemisphere's humanity, as now, I'd name—the still small voice vibrating—America's
    choosing day,
    (The heart of it not in the chosen—the act itself the main, the quadriennial choosing,)
    The stretch of North and South arous'd—sea-board and inland—Texas to Maine—the Prairie States—Vermont,
    Virginia, California,
    The final ballot-shower from East to West—the paradox and conflict,
    The countless snow-flakes falling—(a swordless conflict,
    Yet more than all Rome's wars of old, or modern Napoleon's:) the peaceful choice of all,
    Or good or ill humanity—welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
    —Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify—while the heart pants, life glows:
    These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
    Swell'd Washington's, Jefferson's, Lincoln's sails.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Dirge For Two Veterans

    THE last sunbeam
    Lightly falls from the finish'd Sabbath,
    On the pavement here--and there beyond, it is looking,
    Down a new-made double grave.


    Lo! the moon ascending!
    Up from the east, the silvery round moon;
    Beautiful over the house tops, ghastly phantom moon;
    Immense and silent moon.


    I see a sad procession,
    And I hear the sound of coming full-key'd bugles; 10
    All the channels of the city streets they're flooding,
    As with voices and with tears.


    I hear the great drums pounding,
    And the small drums steady whirring;
    And every blow of the great convulsive drums,
    Strikes me through and through.


    For the son is brought with the father;
    In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell;
    Two veterans, son and father, dropt together,
    And the double grave awaits them. 20


    Now nearer blow the bugles,
    And the drums strike more convulsive;
    And the day-light o'er the pavement quite has faded,
    And the strong dead-march enwraps me.


    In the eastern sky up-buoying,
    The sorrowful vast phantom moves illumin'd;
    ('Tis some mother's large, transparent face,
    In heaven brighter growing.)


    O strong dead-march, you please me!
    O moon immense, with your silvery face you soothe me! 30
    O my soldiers twain! O my veterans, passing to burial!
    What I have I also give you.


    The moon gives you light,
    And the bugles and the drums give you music;
    And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,
    My heart gives you love.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Despairing Cries

    DESPAIRING cries float ceaselessly toward me, day and night,
    The sad voice of Death--the call of my nearest lover, putting forth,
    alarmed, uncertain,
    This sea I am quickly to sail, come tell me,
    Come tell me where I am speeding--tell me my destination.


    I understand your anguish, but I cannot help you,
    I approach, hear, behold--the sad mouth, the look out of the eyes,
    your mute inquiry,
    Whither I go from the bed I now recline on, come tell me;
    Old age, alarmed, uncertain--A young woman's voice appealing to me,
    for comfort,
    A young man's voice, Shall I not escape?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Delicate Cluster

    DELICATE cluster! flag of teeming life!
    Covering all my lands! all my sea-shores lining!
    Flag of death! (how I watch'd you through the smoke of battle
    pressing!
    How I heard you flap and rustle, cloth defiant!)
    Flag cerulean! sunny flag! with the orbs of night dappled!
    Ah my silvery beauty! ah my woolly white and crimson!
    Ah to sing the song of you, my matron mighty!
    My sacred one, my mother

    — -Walt Whitman
  • On Journeys

    ON journeys through the States we start,
    (Ay, through the world--urged by these songs,
    Sailing henceforth to every land--to every sea;)
    We, willing learners of all, teachers of all, and lovers of all.

    We have watch'd the seasons dispensing themselves, and passing on,
    We have said, Why should not a man or woman do as much as the
    seasons, and effuse as much?

    We dwell a while in every city and town;
    We pass through Kanada, the north-east, the vast valley of the
    Mississippi, and the Southern States;
    We confer on equal terms with each of The States,
    We make trial of ourselves, and invite men and women to hear; 10
    We say to ourselves, Remember, fear not, be candid, promulge the body
    and the Soul;
    Dwell a while and pass on--Be copious, temperate, chaste, magnetic,
    And what you effuse may then return as the seasons return,
    And may be just as much as the seasons.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Old Ireland

    FAR hence, amid an isle of wondrous beauty,
    Crouching over a grave, an ancient, sorrowful mother,
    Once a queen--now lean and tatter'd, seated on the ground,
    Her old white hair drooping dishevel'd round her shoulders;
    At her feet fallen an unused royal harp,
    Long silent--she too long silent--mourning her shrouded hope and
    heir;
    Of all the earth her heart most full of sorrow, because most full of
    love.

    Yet a word, ancient mother;
    You need crouch there no longer on the cold ground, with forehead
    between your knees;
    O you need not sit there, veil'd in your old white hair, so
    dishevel'd; 10
    For know you, the one you mourn is not in that grave;
    It was an illusion--the heir, the son you love, was not really dead;
    The Lord is not dead--he is risen again, young and strong, in another
    country;
    Even while you wept there by your fallen harp, by the grave,
    What you wept for, was translated, pass'd from the grave,
    The winds favor'd, and the sea sail'd it,
    And now with rosy and new blood,
    Moves to-day in a new country.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Sun Of Real Peace

    O SUN of real peace! O hastening light!
    O free and extatic! O what I here, preparing, warble for!
    O the sun of the world will ascend, dazzling, and take his height--
    and you too, O my Ideal, will surely ascend!
    O so amazing and broad--up there resplendent, darting and burning!
    O vision prophetic, stagger'd with weight of light! with pouring
    glories!
    O lips of my soul, already becoming powerless!
    O ample and grand Presidentiads! Now the war, the war is over!
    New history! new heroes! I project you!
    Visions of poets! only you really last! sweep on! sweep on!
    O heights too swift and dizzy yet! 10
    O purged and luminous! you threaten me more than I can stand!
    (I must not venture--the ground under my feet menaces me--it will not
    support me:
    O future too immense,)--O present, I return, while yet I may, to you.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Me! O Life!

    O ME! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;
    Of the endless trains of the faithless--of cities fill'd with the
    foolish;
    Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I,
    and who more faithless?)
    Of eyes that vainly crave the light--of the objects mean--of the
    struggle ever renew'd;
    Of the poor results of all--of the plodding and sordid crowds I see
    around me;
    Of the empty and useless years of the rest--with the rest me
    intertwined;
    The question, O me! so sad, recurring--What good amid these, O me, O
    life?

    Answer.

    That you are here--that life exists, and identity;
    That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Living Always dying

    O LIVING always--always dying!
    O the burials of me, past and present!
    O me, while I stride ahead, material, visible, imperious as ever!
    O me, what I was for years, now dead, (I lament not--I am content;)
    O to disengage myself from those corpses of me, which I turn and look
    at, where I cast them!
    To pass on, (O living! always living!) and leave the corpses behind!

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Hymen! O Hymenee!

    O HYMEN! O hymenee!
    Why do you tantalize me thus?
    O why sting me for a swift moment only?
    Why can you not continue? O why do you now cease?
    Is it because, if you continued beyond the swift moment, you would
    soon certainly kill me?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Bitter Sprig!

    O BITTER sprig! Confession sprig!
    In the bouquet I give you place also--I bind you in,
    Proceeding no further till, humbled publicly,
    I give fair warning, once for all.

    I own that I have been sly, thievish, mean, a prevaricator, greedy,
    derelict,
    And I own that I remain so yet.

    What foul thought but I think it--or have in me the stuff out of
    which it is thought?
    What in darkness in bed at night, alone or with a companion?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Now Finale To The Shore

    NOW finale to the shore!
    Now, land and life, finale, and farewell!
    Now Voyager depart! (much, much for thee is yet in store;)
    Often enough hast thou adventur'd o'er the seas,
    Cautiously cruising, studying the charts,
    Duly again to port, and hawser's tie, returning:
    --But now obey, thy cherish'd, secret wish,
    Embrace thy friends--leave all in order;
    To port, and hawser's tie, no more returning,
    Depart upon thy endless cruise, old Sailor! 10

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Not Youth Pertains To Me

    NOT youth pertains to me,
    Nor delicatesse--I cannot beguile the time with talk;
    Awkward in the parlor, neither a dancer nor elegant;
    In the learn'd coterie sitting constrain'd and still--for learning.
    inures not to me;
    Beauty, knowledge, inure not to me--yet there are two or three things
    inure to me;
    I have nourish'd the wounded, and sooth'd many a dying soldier,
    And at intervals, waiting, or in the midst of camp,
    Composed these songs.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Me Imperturbe

    ME imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature,
    Master of all, or mistress of all--aplomb in the midst of irrational
    things,
    Imbued as they--passive, receptive, silent as they,
    Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes, less
    important than I thought;
    Me private, or public, or menial, or solitary--all these subordinate,
    (I am eternally equal with the best--I am not subordinate;)
    Me toward the Mexican Sea, or in the Mannahatta, or the Tennessee, or
    far north, or inland,
    A river man, or a man of the woods, or of any farm-life in These
    States, or of the coast, or the lakes, or Kanada,
    Me, wherever my life is lived, O to be
    self-balanced for
    contingencies!
    O to confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as
    the trees and animals do.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Not The Pilot

    NOT the pilot has charged himself to bring his ship into port, though
    beaten back, and many times baffled;
    Not the path-finder, penetrating inland, weary and long,
    By deserts parch'd, snows-chill'd, rivers wet, perseveres till he
    reaches his destination,
    More than I have charged myself, heeded or unheeded, to compose a
    free march for These States,
    To be exhilarating music to them--a battle-call, rousing to arms, if
    need be--years, centuries hence.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Not My Enemies Ever Invad

    NOT my enemies ever invade me--no harm to my pride from them I fear;
    But the lovers I recklessly love--lo! how they master me!
    Lo! me, ever open and helpless, bereft of my strength!
    Utterly abject, grovelling on the ground before them.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • NOT heaving from my ribb'

    NOT heaving from my ribb'd breast only;
    Not in sighs at night, in rage, dissatisfied with myself;
    Not in those long-drawn, ill-supprest sighs;
    Not in many an oath and promise broken;
    Not in my wilful and savage soul's volition;
    Not in the subtle nourishment of the air;
    Not in this beating and pounding at my temples and wrists;
    Not in the curious systole and diastole within, which will one day
    cease;
    Not in many a hungry wish, told to the skies only;
    Not in cries, laughter, defiances, thrown from me when alone, far in
    the wilds; 10
    Not in husky pantings through clench'd teeth;
    Not in sounded and resounded words--chattering words, echoes, dead
    words;
    Not in the murmurs of my dreams while I sleep,
    Nor the other murmurs of these incredible dreams of every day;
    Nor in the limbs and senses of my body, that take you and dismiss you
    continually--Not there;
    Not in any or all of them, O adhesiveness! O pulse of my life!
    Need I that you exist and show yourself, any more than in these
    songs.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Not Heat Flames Up And Co

    NOT heat flames up and consumes,
    Not sea-waves hurry in and out,
    Not the air, delicious and dry, the air of the ripe summer, bears
    lightly along white down-balls of myriads of seeds,
    Wafted, sailing gracefully, to drop where they may;
    Not these--O none of these, more than the flames of me, consuming,
    burning for his love whom I love!
    O none, more than I, hurrying in and out:
    --Does the tide hurry, seeking something, and never give up? O I the
    same;
    O nor down-balls, nor perfumes, nor the high, rain-emitting clouds,
    are borne through the open air,
    Any more than my Soul is borne through the open air,
    Wafted in all directions, O love, for friendship, for you. 10

    — -Walt Whitman
  • No Labor-Saving Machine

    NO labor-saving machine,
    Nor discovery have I made;
    Nor will I be able to leave behind me any wealthy bequest to found a
    hospital or library,
    Nor reminiscence of any deed of courage, for America,
    Nor literary success, nor intellect--nor book for the book-shelf;
    Only a few carols, vibrating through the air, I leave,
    For comrades and lovers.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Night On The Prairies

    NIGHT on the prairies;
    The supper is over--the fire on the ground burns low;
    The wearied emigrants sleep, wrapt in their blankets:
    I walk by myself--I stand and look at the stars, which I think now I
    never realized before.

    Now I absorb immortality and peace,
    I admire death, and test propositions.

    How plenteous! How spiritual! How resumé!
    The same Old Man and Soul--the same old aspirations, and the same
    content.

    I was thinking the day most splendid, till I saw what the not-day
    exhibited,
    I was thinking this globe enough, till there sprang out so noiseless
    around me myriads of other globes. 10

    Now, while the great thoughts of space and eternity fill me, I will
    measure myself by them;
    And now, touch'd with the lives of other globes, arrived as far along
    as those of the earth,
    Or waiting to arrive, or pass'd on farther than those of the earth,
    I henceforth no more ignore them, than I ignore my own life,
    Or the lives of the earth arrived as far as mine, or waiting to
    arrive.

    O I see now that life cannot exhibit all to me--as the day cannot,
    I see that I am to wait for what will be exhibited by death

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Native Moments

    NATIVE moments! when you come upon me--Ah you are here now! Give me now
    libidinous joys only! Give me the drench of my passions! Give me life
    coarse and rank! To-day, I go consort with nature's darlings--to-night too;
    I am for those who believe in loose delights--I share the midnight orgies
    of young men; I dance with the dancers, and drink with the drinkers; The
    echoes ring with our indecent calls; I take for my love some prostitute--I
    pick out some low person for my dearest friend, He shall be lawless, rude,
    illiterate--he shall be one condemn'd by others for deeds done; I will play
    a part no longer--Why should I exile myself from my companions? 10 O you
    shunn'd persons! I at least do not shun you, I come forthwith in your
    midst--I will be your poet, I will be more to you than to any of the rest.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • My Picture-Callery

    IN a little house keep I pictures suspended, it is not a fix'd house,
    It is round, it is only a few inches from one side to the other;
    Yet behold, it has room for all the shows of the world, all memories?
    Here the tableaus of life, and here the groupings of death;
    Here, do you know this? this is cicerone himself,
    With finger rais'd he points to the prodigal pictures.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Mother And Babe

    SEE the sleeping babe, nestling the breast of its mother;
    The sleeping mother and babe- hush'd, I study them long and long.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Mediums

    THEY shall arise in the States,
    They shall report Nature, laws, physiology, and happiness;
    They shall illustrate Democracy and the kosmos;
    They shall be alimentive, amative, perceptive;
    They shall be complete women and men--their pose brawny and supple,
    their drink water, their blood clean and clear;
    They shall enjoy materialism and the sight of products--they shall
    enjoy the sight of the beef, lumber, bread-stuffs, of Chicago,
    the great city;
    They shall train themselves to go in public to become orators and
    oratresses;
    Strong and sweet shall their tongues be--poems and materials of poems
    shall come from their lives--they shall be makers and finders;
    Of them, and of their works, shall emerge divine conveyers, to convey
    gospels;
    Characters, events, retrospections, shall be convey'd in gospels
    --Trees, animals, waters, shall be convey'd, 10
    Death, the future, the invisible faith, shall all be convey'd

    — -Walt Whitman
  • The Cocoon

    As far as I can see this autumn haze
    That spreading in the evening air both way,
    Makes the new moon look anything but new,
    And pours the elm-tree meadow full of blue,
    Is all the smoke from one poor house alone
    With but one chimney it can call its own;
    So close it will not light an early light,
    Keeping its life so close and out of sign
    No one for hours has set a foot outdoors
    So much as to take care of evening chores.
    The inmates may be lonely women-folk.
    I want to tell them that with all this smoke
    They prudently are spinning their cocoon
    And anchoring it to an earth and moon
    From which no winter gale can hope to blow it,--
    Spinning their own cocoon did they but know it.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Census-Taker

    I came an errand one cloud-blowing evening
    To a slab-built, black-paper-covered house
    Of one room and one window and one door,
    The only dwelling in a waste cut over
    A hundred square miles round it in the mountains:
    And that not dwelt in now by men or women.
    (It never had been dwelt in, though, by women,
    So what is this I make a sorrow of?)
    I came as census-taker to the waste
    To count the people in it and found none,
    None in the hundred miles, none in the house,
    Where I came last with some hope, but not much,
    After hours' overlooking from the cliffs
    An emptiness flayed to the very stone.
    I found no people that dared show themselves,
    None not in hiding from the outward eye.
    The time was autumn, but how anyone
    could tell the time of year when every tree
    That could have dropped a leaf was down itself
    And nothing but the stump of it was left
    Now bringing out its rings in sugar of pitch;
    And every tree up stood a rotting trunk
    Without a single leaf to spend on autumn,
    Or branch to whistle after what was spent.
    Perhaps the wind the more without the help
    Of breathing trees said something of the time
    Of year or day the way it swung a door
    Forever off the latch, as if rude men
    Passed in and slammed it shut each one behind him
    For the next one to open for himself.
    I counted nine I had no right to count
    (But this was dreamy unofficial counting)
    Before I made the tenth across the threshold.
    Where was my supper? Where was anyone's?
    No lamp was lit. Nothing was on the table.
    The stove was cold—the stove was off the chimney—
    And down by one side where it lacked a leg.
    The people that had loudly passed the door
    Were people to the ear but not the eye.
    They were not on the table with their elbows.
    They were not sleeping in the shelves of bunks.
    I saw no men there and no bones of men there.
    I armed myself against such bones as might be
    With the pitch-blackened stub of an ax-handle
    I picked up off the straw-dust-covered floor.
    Not bones, but the ill-fitted window rattled.
    The door was still because I held it shut
    While I thought what to do that could be done—
    About the house—about the people not there.
    This house in one year fallen to decay
    Filled me with no less sorrow than the houses
    Fallen to ruin in ten thousand years
    Where Asia wedges Africa from Europe.
    Nothing was left to do that I could see
    Unless to find that there was no one there
    And declare to the cliffs too far for echo,
    "The place is desert, and let whoso lurks
    In silence, if in this he is aggrieved,
    Break silence now or be forever silent.
    Let him say why it should not be declared so."
    The melancholy of having to count souls
    Where they grow fewer and fewer every year
    Is extreme where they shrink to none at all.
    It must be I want life to go on living.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Plowmen

    A plow, they say, to plow the snow.
    They cannot mean to plant it, no--
    Unless in bitterness to mock
    At having cultivated rock.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Our Singing Strength

    It snowed in spring on earth so dry and warm
    The flakes could find no landing place to form.
    Hordes spent themselves to make it wet and cold,
    And still they failed of any lasting hold.
    They made no white impression on the black.
    They disappeared as if earth sent them back.
    Not till from separate flakes they changed at night
    To almost strips and tapes of ragged white
    Did grass and garden ground confess it snowed,
    And all go back to winter but the road.
    Next day the scene was piled and puffed and dead.
    The grass lay flattened under one great tread.
    Borne down until the end almost took root,
    The rangey bough anticipated fruit
    With snowball cupped in every opening bud.
    The road alone maintained itself in mud,
    Whatever its secret was of greater heat
    From inward fires or brush of passing feet.

    In spring more mortal singers than belong
    To any one place cover us with song.
    Thrush, bluebird, blackbird, sparrow, and robin throng;
    Some to go further north to Hudson's Bay,
    Some that have come too far north back away,
    Really a very few to build and stay.
    Now was seen how these liked belated snow.
    the field had nowhere left for them to go;
    They'd soon exhausted all there was in flying;
    The trees they'd had enough of with once trying
    And setting off their heavy powder load.
    They could find nothing open but the road.
    Sot there they let their lives be narrowed in
    By thousands the bad weather made akin.
    The road became a channel running flocks
    Of glossy birds like ripples over rocks.
    I drove them under foot in bits of flight
    That kept the ground. almost disputing right
    Of way with me from apathy of wing,
    A talking twitter all they had to sing.
    A few I must have driven to despair
    Made quick asides, but having done in air
    A whir among white branches great and small
    As in some too much carven marble hall
    Where one false wing beat would have brought down all,
    Came tamely back in front of me, the Drover,
    To suffer the same driven nightmare over.
    One such storm in a lifetime couldn't teach them
    That back behind pursuit it couldn't reach them;
    None flew behind me to be left alone.

    Well, something for a snowstorm to have shown
    The country's singing strength thus brought together,
    the thought repressed and moody with the weather
    Was none the less there ready to be freed
    And sing the wildflowers up from root and seed.

    — -Robert Frost
  • On Going Unnoticed

    As vain to raise a voice as a sigh
    In the tumult of free leaves on high.
    What are you in the shadow of trees
    Engaged up there with the light and breeze?

    Less than the coral-root you know
    That is content with the daylight low,
    And has no leaves at all of its own;
    Whose spotted flowers hang meanly down.

    You grasp the bark by a rugged pleat,
    And look up small from the forest's feet.
    The only leaf it drops goes wide,
    Your name not written on either side.

    You linger your little hour and are gone,
    And still the wood sweep leafily on,
    Not even missing the coral-root flower
    You took as a trophy of the hour.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Lo! Victress On The Peaks

    LO! Victress on the peaks!
    Where thou, with mighty brow, regarding the world,
    (The world, O Libertad, that vainly conspired against thee;)
    Out of its countless beleaguering toils, after thwarting them all;
    Dominant, with the dazzling sun around thee,
    Flauntest now unharm'd, in immortal soundness and bloom--lo! in these
    hours supreme,
    No poem proud, I, chanting, bring to thee--nor mastery's rapturous
    verse;
    But a book, containing night's darkness, and blood-dripping wounds,
    And psalms of the dead.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Lessons

    THERE are who teach only the sweet lessons of peace and safety;
    But I teach lessons of war and death to those I love,
    That they readily meet invasions, when they come.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Laws For Creations

    LAWS for Creations,
    For strong artists and leaders--for fresh broods of teachers, and
    perfect literats for America,
    For noble savans, and coming musicians.

    All must have reference to the ensemble of the world, and the compact
    truth of the world;
    There shall be no subject too pronounced--All works shall illustrate
    the divine law of indirections.

    What do you suppose Creation is?
    What do you suppose will satisfy the Soul, except to walk free, and
    own no superior?
    What do you suppose I would intimate to you in a hundred ways, but
    that man or woman is as good as God?
    And that there is no God any more divine than Yourself?
    And that that is what the oldest and newest myths finally mean? 10
    And that you or any one must approach Creations through such laws?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Kosmos

    WHO includes diversity, and is Nature,
    Who is the amplitude of the earth, and the coarseness and sexuality
    of the earth, and the great charity of the earth, and the
    equilibrium also,
    Who has not look'd forth from the windows, the eyes, for nothing, or
    whose brain held audience with messengers for nothing;
    Who contains believers and disbelievers--Who is the most majestic
    lover;
    Who holds duly his or her triune proportion of realism, spiritualism,
    and of the aesthetic, or intellectual,
    Who, having consider'd the Body, finds all its organs and parts good;
    Who, out of the theory of the earth, and of his or her body,
    understands by subtle analogies all other theories,
    The theory of a city, a poem, and of the large politics of These
    States;
    Who believes not only in our globe, with its sun and moon, but in
    other globes, with their suns and moons;
    Who, constructing the house of himself or herself, not for a day, but
    for all time, sees races, eras, dates, generations, 10
    The past, the future, dwelling there, like space, inseparable
    together.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Joy, Shipmate

    Joy! shipmate--joy!
    (Pleas'd to my Soul at death I cry;)
    Our life is closed--our life begins;
    The long, long anchorage we leave,
    The ship is clear at last--she leaps!
    She swiftly courses from the shore;
    Joy! shipmate--joy!

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Not To Keep

    They sent him back to her. The letter came
    Saying... And she could have him. And before
    She could be sure there was no hidden ill
    Under the formal writing, he was in her sight,
    Living. They gave him back to her alive
    How else? They are not known to send the dead
    And not disfigured visibly. His face?
    His hands? She had to look, and ask,
    "What was it, dear?" And she had given all
    And still she had all they had they the lucky!
    Wasn't she glad now? Everything seemed won,
    And all the rest for them permissible ease.
    She had to ask, "What was it, dear?"

    "Enough,"
    Yet not enough. A bullet through and through,
    High in the breast. Nothing but what good care
    And medicine and rest, and you a week,
    Can cure me of to go again." The same
    Grim giving to do over for them both.
    She dared no more than ask him with her eyes
    How was it with him for a second trial.
    And with his eyes he asked her not to ask.
    They had given him back to her, but not to keep.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Brook in the City

    The firm house lingers, though averse to square
    With the new city street it has to wear A number in.
    But what about the brook That held the house as in an elbow-crook?
    I ask as one who knew the brook, its strength
    And impulse, having dipped a finger length
    And made it leap my knuckle, having tossed
    A flower to try its currents where they crossed.
    The meadow grass could be cemented down
    From growing under pavements of a town;
    The apple trees be sent to hearth-stone flame.
    Is water wood to serve a brook the same?
    How else dispose of an immortal force
    No longer needed? Staunch it at its source
    With cinder loads dumped down? The brook was
    thrown Deep in a sewer dungeon under stone
    In fetid darkness still to live and run -
    And all for nothing it hd ever done
    Except forget to go in fear perhaps.
    No one would know except for ancient maps
    That such a brook ran water. But I wonder
    If from its being kept forever under
    The thoughts may not have risen that so keep
    This new-built city from both work and sleep.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Boundless Moment

    He halted in the wind, and--what was that
    Far in the maples, pale, but not a ghost?
    He stood there bringing March against his thought,
    And yet too ready to believe the most.

    'Oh, that's the Paradise-in-bloom,' I said;
    And truly it was fair enough for flowers
    had we but in us to assume in march
    Such white luxuriance of May for ours.

    We stood a moment so in a strange world,
    Myself as one his own pretense deceives;
    And then I said the truth (and we moved on).
    A young beech clinging to its last year's leaves.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Wood-Pile

    Out walking in the frozen swamp one gray day
    I paused and said, 'I will turn back from here.
    No, I will go on farther- and we shall see'.
    The hard snow held me, save where now and then
    One foot went through. The view was all in lines
    Straight up and down of tail slim trees
    Too much alike to mark or name a place by
    So as to say for certain I was here
    Or somewhere else: I was just far from home.
    A small bird flew before me. He was careful
    To put a tree between us when he lighted,
    And say no word to tell me who he was
    Who was so foolish as to think what he thought.
    He thought that I was after him for a feather-
    The white one in his tail; like one who takes
    Everything said as personal to himself.
    One flight out sideways would have undeceived him.
    And then there was a pile of wood for which
    I forgot him and let his little fear
    Carry him off the way I might have gone,
    Without so much as wishing him good-night.
    He went behind it to make his last stand.
    It was a cord of maple, cut and split
    And piled- and measured, four by four by eight.
    And not another like it could I see.
    No runner tracks in this year's snow looped near it.
    And it was older sure than this year's cutting,
    Or even last year's or the year's before.
    The wood was gray and the bark warping off it
    And the pile somewhat sunken. Clematis
    Had wound strings round and round it like a bundle.
    What held it though on one side was a tree
    Still growing, and on one a stake and prop,
    These latter about to fall. I thought that only
    Someone who lived in turning to fresh tasks
    Could so forget his handiwork on which
    He spent himself the labour of his axe,
    And leave it there far from a useful fireplace
    · To warm the frozen swamp as best it could
    With the slow smokeless burning of decay.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Thatch

    Out alone in the winter rain,
    Intent on giving and taking pain.
    But never was I far out of sight
    Of a certain upper-window light.
    The light was what it was all about:
    I would not go in till the light went out;
    It would not go out till I came in.
    Well, we should wee which one would win,
    We should see which one would be first to yield.
    The world was black invisible field.
    The rain by rights was snow for cold.
    The wind was another layer of mold.
    But the strangest thing: in the thick old thatch,
    Where summer birds had been given hatch,
    had fed in chorus, and lived to fledge,
    Some still were living in hermitage.
    And as I passed along the eaves,
    So low I brushed the straw with my sleeves,
    I flushed birds out of hole after hole,
    Into the darkness. It grieved my soul,
    It started a grief within a grief,
    To think their case was beyond relief--
    They could not go flying about in search
    Of their nest again, nor find a perch.
    They must brood where they fell in mulch and mire,
    Trusting feathers and inward fire
    Till daylight made it safe for a flyer.
    My greater grief was by so much reduced
    As I though of them without nest or roost.
    That was how that grief started to melt.
    They tell me the cottage where we dwelt,
    Its wind-torn thatch goes now unmended;
    Its life of hundred of years has ended
    By letting the rain I knew outdoors
    In on to the upper chamber floors.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Last Mowing

    There's a place called Far-away Meadow
    We never shall mow in again,
    Or such is the talk at the farmhouse:
    The meadow is finished with men.
    Then now is the chance for the flowers
    That can't stand mowers and plowers.
    It must be now, through, in season
    Before the not mowing brings trees on,
    Before trees, seeing the opening,
    March into a shadowy claim.
    The trees are all I'm afraid of,
    That flowers can't bloom in the shade of;
    It's no more men I'm afraid of;
    The meadow is done with the tame.
    The place for the moment is ours
    For you, oh tumultuous flowers,
    To go to waste and go wild in,
    All shapes and colors of flowers,
    I needn't call you by name.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Gum-Gatherer

    There overtook me and drew me in
    To his down-hill, early-morning stride,
    And set me five miles on my road
    Better than if he had had me ride,
    A man with a swinging bag for'load
    And half the bag wound round his hand.
    We talked like barking above the din
    Of water we walked along beside.
    And for my telling him where I'd been
    And where I lived in mountain land
    To be coming home the way I was,
    He told me a little about himself.
    He came from higher up in the pass
    Where the grist of the new-beginning brooks
    Is blocks split off the mountain mass --
    And hop. eless grist enough it looks
    Ever to grind to soil for grass.
    (The way it is will do for moss.)
    There he had built his stolen shack.
    It had to be a stolen shack
    Because of the fears of fire and logs
    That trouble the sleep of lumber folk:
    Visions of half the world burned black
    And the sun shrunken yellow in smoke.
    We know who when they come to town
    Bring berries under the wagon seat,
    Or a basket of eggs between their feet;
    What this man brought in a cotton sack
    Was gum, the gum of the mountain spruce.
    He showed me lumps of the scented stuff
    Like uncut jewels, dull and rough
    It comes to market golden brown;
    But turns to pink between the teeth.
    I told him this is a pleasant life
    To set your breast to the bark of trees
    That all your days are dim beneath,
    And reaching up with a little knife,
    To loose the resin and take it down
    And bring it to market when you please.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Spring Pools

    I WALKED down alone Sunday after church
    To the place where John has been cutting trees
    To see for myself about the birch
    He said I could have to bush my peas.

    The sun in the new-cut narrow gap
    Was hot enough for the first of May,
    And stifling hot with the odor of sap
    From stumps still bleeding their life away.

    The frogs that were peeping a thousand shrill
    Wherever the ground was low and wet,
    The minute they heard my step went still
    To watch me and see what I came to get.

    Birch boughs enough piled everywhere!—
    All fresh and sound from the recent axe.
    Time someone came with cart and pair
    And got them off the wild flower’s backs.

    They might be good for garden things
    To curl a little finger round,
    The same as you seize cat’s-cradle strings,
    And lift themselves up off the ground.

    Small good to anything growing wild,
    They were crooking many a trillium
    That had budded before the boughs were piled
    And since it was coming up had to come.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Pea Brush

    I WALKED down alone Sunday after church
    To the place where John has been cutting trees
    To see for myself about the birch
    He said I could have to bush my peas.

    The sun in the new-cut narrow gap
    Was hot enough for the first of May,
    And stifling hot with the odor of sap
    From stumps still bleeding their life away.

    The frogs that were peeping a thousand shrill
    Wherever the ground was low and wet,
    The minute they heard my step went still
    To watch me and see what I came to get.

    Birch boughs enough piled everywhere!—
    All fresh and sound from the recent axe.
    Time someone came with cart and pair
    And got them off the wild flower’s backs.

    They might be good for garden things
    To curl a little finger round,
    The same as you seize cat’s-cradle strings,
    And lift themselves up off the ground.

    Small good to anything growing wild,
    They were crooking many a trillium
    That had budded before the boughs were piled
    And since it was coming up had to come

    — -Robert Frost
  • Misgiving

    All crying, 'We will go with you, O Wind!'
    The foliage follow him, leaf and stem;
    But a sleep oppresses them as they go,
    And they end by bidding them as they go,
    And they end by bidding him stay with them.

    Since ever they flung abroad in spring
    The leaves had promised themselves this flight,
    Who now would fain seek sheltering wall,
    Or thicket, or hollow place for the night.

    And now they answer his summoning blast
    With an ever vaguer and vaguer stir,
    Or at utmost a little reluctant whirl
    That drops them no further than where they were.

    I only hope that when I am free
    As they are free to go in quest
    Of the knowledge beyond the bounds of life
    It may not seem better to me to rest.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Visage Of Things

    OF the visages of things--And of piercing through to the accepted
    hells beneath;
    Of ugliness--To me there is just as much in it as there is in
    beauty--And now the ugliness of human beings is acceptable to
    me;
    Of detected persons--To me, detected persons are not, in any respect,
    worse than undetected persons--and are not in any respect worse
    than I am myself;
    Of criminals--To me, any judge, or any juror, is equally criminal--
    and any reputable person is also--and the President is also.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Terrible Doubt Of Appear

    OF the terrible doubt of appearances,
    Of the uncertainty after all--that we may be deluded,
    That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
    That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only,
    May-be the things I perceive--the animals, plants, men, hills,
    shining and flowing waters,
    The skies of day and night--colors, densities, forms--May-be these
    are, (as doubtless they are,) only apparitions, and the real
    something has yet to be known;
    (How often they dart out of themselves, as if to confound me and mock
    me!
    How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows, aught of them;)
    May-be seeming to me what they are, (as doubtless they indeed but
    seem,) as from my present point of view--And might prove, (as
    of course they would,) naught of what they appear, or naught
    any how, from entirely changed points of view;
    --To me, these, and the like of these, are curiously answer'd by my
    lovers, my dear friends; 10
    When he whom I love travels with me, or sits a long while holding me
    by the hand,
    When the subtle air, the impalpable, the sense that words and reason
    hold not, surround us and pervade us,
    Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom--I am silent--I
    require nothing further,
    I cannot answer the question of appearances, or that of identity
    beyond the grave;
    But I walk or sit indifferent--I am satisfied,
    He ahold of my hand has completely satisfied me.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Him I Love Day And Night

    OF him I love day and night, I dream'd I heard he was dead;
    And I dream'd I went where they had buried him I love--but he was not
    in that place;
    And I dream'd I wander'd, searching among burial-places, to find him;
    And I found that every place was a burial-place;
    The houses full of life were equally full of death, (this house is
    now;)
    The streets, the shipping, the places of amusement, the Chicago,
    Boston, Philadelphia, the Mannahatta, were as full of the dead
    as of the living,
    And fuller, O vastly fuller, of the dead than of the living;
    --And what I dream'd I will henceforth tell to every person and age,
    And I stand henceforth bound to what I dream'd;
    And now I am willing to disregard burial-places, and dispense with
    them; 10
    And if the memorials of the dead were put up indifferently
    everywhere, even in the room where I eat or sleep, I should be
    satisfied;
    And if the corpse of any one I love, or if my own corpse, be duly
    render'd to powder, and pour'd in the sea, I shall be
    satisfied;
    Or if it be distributed to the winds, I shall be satisfied.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • I Often And Silently Com

    O YOU whom I often and silently come where you are, that I may be
    with you;
    As I walk by your side, or sit near, or remain in the same room with
    you,
    Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is
    playing within me.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Tan-Faced Prairie Boy

    O TAN-FACED prairie-boy!
    Before you came to camp, came many a welcome gift;
    Praises and presents came, and nourishing food--till at last, among
    the recruits,
    You came, taciturn, with nothing to give--we but look'd on each
    other,
    When lo! more than all the gifts of the world, you gave me.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Sun Of Real Peace

    O SUN of real peace! O hastening light!
    O free and extatic! O what I here, preparing, warble for!
    O the sun of the world will ascend, dazzling, and take his height--
    and you too, O my Ideal, will surely ascend!
    O so amazing and broad--up there resplendent, darting and burning!
    O vision prophetic, stagger'd with weight of light! with pouring
    glories!
    O lips of my soul, already becoming powerless!
    O ample and grand Presidentiads! Now the war, the war is over!
    New history! new heroes! I project you!
    Visions of poets! only you really last! sweep on! sweep on!
    O heights too swift and dizzy yet! 10
    O purged and luminous! you threaten me more than I can stand!
    (I must not venture--the ground under my feet menaces me--it will not
    support me:
    O future too immense,)--O present, I return, while yet I may, to you

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Star Of France

    O STAR of France!
    The brightness of thy hope and strength and fame,
    Like some proud ship that led the fleet so long,
    Beseems to-day a wreck, driven by the gale--a mastless hulk;
    And 'mid its teeming, madden'd, half-drown'd crowds,
    Nor helm nor helmsman.


    Dim, smitten star!
    Orb not of France alone--pale symbol of my soul, its dearest hopes,
    The struggle and the daring--rage divine for liberty,
    Of aspirations toward the far ideal--enthusiast's dreams of
    brotherhood, 10
    Of terror to the tyrant and the priest.


    Star crucified! by traitors sold!
    Star panting o'er a land of death--heroic land!
    Strange, passionate, mocking, frivolous land.

    Miserable! yet for thy errors, vanities, sins, I will not now rebuke
    thee;
    Thy unexampled woes and pangs have quell'd them all,
    And left thee sacred.

    In that amid thy many faults, thou ever aimedest highly,
    In that thou wouldst not really sell thyself, however great the
    price,
    In that thou surely wakedst weeping from thy drugg'd sleep, 20
    In that alone, among thy sisters, thou, Giantess, didst rend the ones
    that shamed thee,
    In that thou couldst not, wouldst not, wear the usual chains,
    This cross, thy livid face, thy pierced hands and feet,
    The spear thrust in thy side.


    O star! O ship of France, beat back and baffled long!
    Bear up, O smitten orb! O ship, continue on!

    Sure, as the ship of all, the Earth itself,
    Product of deathly fire and turbulent chaos,
    Forth from its spasms of fury and its poisons,
    Issuing at last in perfect power and beauty, 30
    Onward, beneath the sun, following its course,
    So thee, O ship of France!

    Finish'd the days, the clouds dispell'd,
    The travail o'er, the long-sought extrication,
    When lo! reborn, high o'er the European world,
    (In gladness, answering thence, as face afar to face, reflecting
    ours, Columbia,)
    Again thy star, O France--fair, lustrous star,
    In heavenly peace, clearer, more bright than ever,
    Shall beam immortal.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Me! O Life

    O ME! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;
    Of the endless trains of the faithless--of cities fill'd with the
    foolish;
    Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I,
    and who more faithless?)
    Of eyes that vainly crave the light--of the objects mean--of the
    struggle ever renew'd;
    Of the poor results of all--of the plodding and sordid crowds I see
    around me;
    Of the empty and useless years of the rest--with the rest me
    intertwined;
    The question, O me! so sad, recurring--What good amid these, O me, O
    life?

    Answer.

    That you are here--that life exists, and identity;
    That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Living Always dying

    O LIVING always--always dying!
    O the burials of me, past and present!
    O me, while I stride ahead, material, visible, imperious as ever!
    O me, what I was for years, now dead, (I lament not--I am content;)
    O to disengage myself from those corpses of me, which I turn and look
    at, where I cast them!
    To pass on, (O living! always living!) and leave the corpses behind!

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Hymen! O Hymenee

    O HYMEN! O hymenee!
    Why do you tantalize me thus?
    O why sting me for a swift moment only?
    Why can you not continue? O why do you now cease?
    Is it because, if you continued beyond the swift moment, you would
    soon certainly kill me?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Captain! My Captain!

    O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
    The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
    But O heart! heart! heart!
    O the bleeding drops of red,
    Where on the deck my Captain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead.


    O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
    Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills; 10
    For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding;
    For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
    Here Captain! dear father!
    This arm beneath your head;
    It is some dream that on the deck,
    You've fallen cold and dead.


    My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
    My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
    The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
    From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; 20
    Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
    But I, with mournful tread,
    Walk the deck my Captain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Full Fathom Five

    Full fathom five thy father lies;
    Of his bones are coral made;
    Those are pearls that were his eyes:
    Nothing of him that doth fade
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.
    Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
    Ding-dong.
    Hark! now I hear them,--ding-dong, bell.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • Fear No More

    Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
    Nor the furious winter's rages,
    Thou thy worldly task hast done,
    Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
    Golden lads and girls all must,
    As chimney sweepers come to dust.

    Fear no more the frown of the great,
    Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
    Care no more to clothe and eat;
    To thee the reed is as the oak:
    The sceptre, learning, physic, must
    All follow this, and come to dust.

    Fear no more the lightning-flash,
    Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
    Fear not slander, censure rash;
    Thou hast finished joy and moan;
    All lovers young, all lovers must
    Consign to thee, and come to dust.

    No exorciser harm thee!
    Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
    Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
    Nothing ill come near thee!
    Quiet consummation have;
    And renowned be thy grave!

    — -William Shakespeare
  • Fairy Land I

    OVER hill, over dale,
    Thorough bush, thorough brier,
    Over park, over pale,
    Thorough flood, thorough fire,
    I do wander everywhere,
    Swifter than the moone's sphere;
    And I serve the fairy queen,
    To dew her orbs upon the green:
    The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
    In their gold coats spots you see;
    Those be rubies, fairy favours,
    In those freckles live their savours:
    I must go seek some dew-drops here,
    And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • Dirge Of The Three Queens

    URNS and odours bring away!
    Vapours, sighs, darken the day!
    Our dole more deadly looks than dying;
    Balms and gums and heavy cheers,
    Sacred vials fill'd with tears,
    And clamours through the wild air flying!

    Come, all sad and solemn shows,
    That are quick-eyed Pleasure's foes!
    We convent naught else but woes.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • Dirge

    COME away, come away, death,
    And in sad cypres let me be laid;
    Fly away, fly away, breath;
    I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
    My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
    O prepare it!
    My part of death, no one so true
    Did share it.

    Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
    On my black coffin let there be strown;
    Not a friend, not a friend greet
    My poor corse, where my bones shall be thrown:
    A thousand thousand sighs to save,
    Lay me, O, where
    Sad true lover never find my grave
    To weep there!

    — -William Shakespeare
  • Bridal Song

    ROSES, their sharp spines being gone,
    Not royal in their smells alone,
    But in their hue;
    Maiden pinks, of odour faint,
    Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint,
    And sweet thyme true;

    Primrose, firstborn child of Ver;
    Merry springtime's harbinger,
    With her bells dim;
    Oxlips in their cradles growing,
    Marigolds on death-beds blowing,
    Larks'-heels trim;

    All dear Nature's children sweet
    Lie 'fore bride and bridegroom's feet,
    Blessing their sense!
    Not an angel of the air,
    Bird melodious or bird fair,
    Be absent hence!
    The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor
    The boding raven, nor chough hoar,
    Nor chattering pye,
    May on our bride-house perch or sing,
    Or with them any discord bring,
    But from it fly!

    — -William Shakespeare
  • Blow, Blow, Thou Winter W

    Blow, blow, thou winter wind
    Thou art not so unkind
    As man's ingratitude;
    Thy tooth is not so keen,
    Because thou art not seen,
    Although thy breath be rude.

    Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
    Most freindship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
    Then heigh-ho, the holly!
    This life is most jolly.

    Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
    That does not bite so nigh
    As benefits forgot:
    Though thou the waters warp,
    Thy sting is not so sharp
    As a friend remembered not.
    Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
    Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
    Then heigh-ho, the holly!
    This life is most jolly.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • Aubade

    HARK! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings,
    And Phoebus 'gins arise,
    His steeds to water at those springs
    On chaliced flowers that lies;
    And winking Mary-buds begin
    To ope their golden eyes:
    With everything that pretty bin,
    My lady sweet, arise!
    Arise, arise!

    — -William Shakespeare
  • You Ask Me, Why, Tho' Ill

    You ask me, why, tho' ill at ease,
    Within this region I subsist,
    Whose spirits falter in the mist,
    And languish for the purple seas.
    It is the land that freemen till,
    That sober-suited Freedom chose,
    The land, where girt with friends or foes
    A man may speak the thing he will;
    A land of settled government,
    A land of just and old renown,
    Where Freedom slowly broadens down
    From precedent to precedent:

    Where faction seldom gathers head,
    But by degrees to fullness wrought,
    The strength of some diffusive thought
    Hath time and space to work and spread.

    Should banded unions persecute
    Opinion, and induce a time
    When single thought is civil crime,
    And individual freedom mute;

    Tho' Power should make from land to land
    The name of Britain trebly great--
    Tho' every channel of the State
    Should fill and choke with golden sand--

    Yet waft me from the harbour-mouth,
    Wild wind! I seek a warmer sky,
    And I will see before I die
    The palms and temples of the South.

    — -Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Art

    Be eXperimental or be abstract
    When your creativity touching infinite,
    Then you can call it.?

    — -Halil Xhafa
  • Dream Valley Of My Soul

    Lord be the dream valley of my soul.
    Come take me and make me whole.
    Make my soul see the beauty that radiants from your throne.
    Refresh my spirit and take me home cause without you am nothing at all.
    Emcompass me with your love and make me strong because without you in my life am like a ship lose at sea being battered by the winds.
    Forgive my sins and heal me Lord for all i have are broken dreams and tears.
    May people see your presence in the acts i do, in every word i speak and every thought i think.
    Please Jesus be the dream valley of my soul where peace in abandance is found, where fountains of love flow, where green pastures of good deeds grow, where flowers of forgiveness are beautful laid for admiration.
    Lord be the dream valley of my soul.

    — -Tigana Chileshe
  • Harlem Hopscotch

    One foot down, then hop! It's hot.
    Good things for the ones that's got.
    Another jump, now to the left.
    Everybody for hisself.

    In the air, now both feet down.
    Since you black, don't stick around.
    Food is gone, the rent is due,
    Curse and cry and then jump two.

    All the people out of work,
    Hold for three, then twist and jerk.
    Cross the line, they count you out.
    That's what hopping's all about.

    Both feet flat, the game is done.
    They think I lost. I think I won.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • Promises...

    I promise to be the one you\'ve always wanted and more.
    I promise to never leave you or go walking out the door.
    I promise to you a love that\'s honest, sincere, and true.
    I promise to never cheat, to always be faithful to you.
    I promise to never cause you pain, or lie about how I feel.
    I promise to be a loving girlfriend and be that special one.
    I promise to be the one to wipe away your tears and show you that love that can last a million years.
    I promise to try and understand all you say and do.
    I promise to be supportive whenever you need me to.
    I promise these things to you, Ricky, you and only you.
    I promise to give you a love that will always be true.

    — -Naomi Garcia
  • In Your Eyes

    Everytime my heart has been broken,
    nothing but tears to support me
    so I chained up my burning soul
    with no hopes of it setting free.

    The shackles held me down for so long,
    even the dreams were forced into flame.
    But once in a blue moon, a love comes
    and life just never treats you the same.

    Every trial of lonliness that ate me away,
    The neglected one, with all the pain inside,
    the support of tears have been replaced,
    It all disappears in your beautiful eyes.

    — -Heather M Craig
  • I Miss You, and I Love Yo

    Will I ever see you again?
    I miss you so much
    and I love you more than anything,
    Id give up my whole world just to be with you.
    I look back on all the good times,
    And when we used to be together,
    but it makes me cry.
    I dont know where this is heading,
    But whatever happens,
    I dont wanna say our final goodbye
    Ive never felt this way about anyone before
    Your my angel and I just want you to know
    that I miss you, and I love you

    — -Jess
  • The haze

    If you'd only
    look through the haze
    of popularity
    you might be able to see me and know that
    I would never judge you, I have always loved
    you. But you would never look and i'm
    tired of waiting day after day
    I've been hoping you would finally think
    enough to know I love you but the haze it
    won't let you through and I'm wasting my
    time waiting for you.

    — -Brianna
  • my true feelings bout you

    WITH TEARFUL EYES
    MY HEART SAYS YES
    WITH BREATHLESS STEPS
    MY SOUL SAYS GUESS


    YOU MADE ME THINK
    ABOUT MY LOVE FOR YOU
    I\'VE THOUGHT ABOUT IT TWICE
    SADLY ITS QUITE NOT TRUE


    YOU CRY AND TELL ME NO
    BCUZ MY TEARS HAVE BEEN SHED
    NOW THAT YOU ARE LONELY
    IM CRYING IN MY BED.

    — -erica
  • Together

    She\'s in her room,
    scared to death.
    She stands up,
    just to fix her dress.

    Everyone\'s waiting,
    it\'s time to go.
    She leaves the room,
    she knows for sure.

    They say their vows,
    and \"I do.\"
    they finnally are,
    not one, but two.

    She married the man,
    of her dreams.
    Down the road of life,
    together it seems.

    She took the steps,
    made the leaps.
    Finnally it seems,
    thats all they need.

    Together at last,
    together forever.
    Thats all she needs,
    is to be together.

    — -Melissa
  • Like a rose

    Just like a rose,
    so precious and rare,
    is the forever friendship
    the two of us share.

    Planted with kindness,
    it\'s warmed by the sun
    of caring and sharing
    laughter and fun.

    It\'s grounded in trust
    and nurtured by love,
    with a sprinkling of grace
    from god up above.

    Tears of sadness and joy,
    like dew, renew this friendship
    i share with you.

    And in the heart\'s garden,
    we find the room to be ourselfs,
    to grow and bloom.

    A blessing of beauty unsurpassed,
    our friendship\'s a flower
    that will always last.

    — -Baby gurl
  • Mirage

    How is it that, being gone, you fill my days,
    And all the long nights are made glad by thee?
    No loneliness is this, nor misery,
    But great content that these should be the ways
    Whereby the Fancy, dreaming as she strays,
    Makes bright and present what she would would be.
    And who shall say if the reality
    Is not with dreams so pregnant. For delays
    And hindrances may bar the wished-for end;
    A thousand misconceptions may prevent
    Our souls from coming near enough to blend;
    Let me but think we have the same intent,
    That each one needs to call the other, "friend!"
    It may be vain illusion. I'm content.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • A Wife In London

    December 1899

    I

    She sits in the tawny vapour
    That the Thames-side lanes have uprolled,
    Behind whose webby fold-on-fold
    Like a waning taper
    The street-lamp glimmers cold.

    A messenger\'s knock cracks smartly,
    Flashed news in her hand
    Of meaning it dazes to understand
    Though shaped so shortly:
    He--he has fallen--in the far South Land...

    II

    \'Tis the morrow; the fog hangs thicker,
    The postman nears and goes:
    A letter is brought whose lines disclose
    By the firelight flicker
    His hand, whom the worm now knows:

    Fresh--firm--penned in highest feather--
    Page-full of his hoped return,
    And of home-planned jaunts of brake and burn
    In the summer weather,
    And of new love that they would learn

    — -Thomas Hardy
  • Wayside Flowers

    Pluck not the wayside flower,
    It is the traveller\'s dower;
    A thousand passers-by
    Its beauties may espy,
    May win a touch of blessing
    From Nature\'s mild caressing.
    The sad of heart perceives
    A violet under leaves
    Like sonic fresh-budding hope;
    The primrose on the slope
    A spot of sunshine dwells,
    And cheerful message tells
    Of kind renewing power;
    The nodding bluebell\'s dye
    Is drawn from happy sky.
    Then spare the wayside flower!
    It is the traveller\'s dower.

    — -William Allingham
  • A thing of beauty

    ” A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
    Its lovliness increases; it will never
    Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
    A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
    Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing

    — -John Keats
  • “ख़ुशी”…

    पड़े हैं कदम आँगन में जबसे तेरे
    सबकी “ख़ुशी” बन गई हो तुम
    बदनसीब थे जो इस घर में
    उनका नसीब बन गई हो तुम

    जनक नहीं हूँ में तेरा
    पर मेरी जानकी बन गई हो तुम
    माँगते है जो हर कोई खुदा से
    मेरी वो दुआ बन गई हो तुम

    मोल नहीं जिसका जीवन में
    वो अनमोल रत्न बन गई हो तुम
    किस्सों में जो अबतक सुना था
    मेरी वो परी बन गई हो तुम

    — -अज्ञात कवि
  • I just want one more day

    I'm so sad and depressed
    Is all I want to do is rest
    I go to sleep at night
    But my dreams I just can't fight

    I think of you lying in that bed
    And wonder if there is anything I could have said
    I wish you were still here
    But I know that you are still near

    I love you more than you know
    I just wish you didn't have to go
    I just want one more day with you
    And I know thats what you would have wanted too

    I miss you more and more each day
    There is so much more we had to say
    I know I will see you again
    But my life is just started to begin

    — -Cyndi
  • पुनर्मिलन

    फिर तुम्हारे अंक में नव प्रीत के दो पल बिता लूँ
    इस बहाने दंभ के उस आवरण को भी हटा लूँ

    खिल रही है चंद्रिका और रैन नीरव हो रही
    बह रहा शीतल पवन अँगड़ाइयाँ तुम ले रही
    फिर सघनतम मेह बनकर गेह सारा मैं भिगा लूँ
    फिर तुम्हारे अंक में नव प्रीत के दो पल बिता लूँ

    सुप्त सी अब हो चुकी हैं स्नेह की वो भावनायें
    मिट सकी न हृदय से अतृप्त सी वो कामनायें
    तुम सरस श्रृंगार कर लो प्रेमरस फिर से पिला लूँ
    फिर तुम्हारे अंक में नव प्रीत के दो पल बिता लूँ

    दंश दे जो जिंदगी को वह कहानी हम भुला दें
    आपसी मनभेद की अंतर्व्यथा को हम सुला दें
    नेह के नवपुष्प का नव अंकुरण फिर से करा लूँ
    फिर तुम्हारे अंक में नव प्रीत के दो पल बिता लूँ

    अब कहीं अपवंचनायें वर्जनायें ना रहें
    नियति से अभिशप्त होती वासनायें ना रहें
    मधुभरे आलंब से मधुपान मैं तुमको करा लूँ
    फिर तुम्हारे अंक में नव प्रीत के दो पल बिता लूँ

    क्रोध को निस्तेज कर उसका शमन अब हम करें
    इस तरह निज धैर्य की सीमा में अभिवर्धन करें
    प्रीत के संबंध का अनुबंध तुमसे मैं करा लूँ
    फिर तुम्हारे अंक में नव प्रीत के दो पल बिता लूँ

    ज्योति के नवपुंज से अंतस प्रकाशित हम करें
    जिंदगी के पुष्प को आओ सुवासित हम करें
    फिर तुम्हारे मृदुल स्वर को गीत मैं अपना बना लूँ
    फिर तुम्हारे अंक में नव प्रीत के दो पल बिता लूँ

    कांत कुंजित किंशुकी की कांतिमय कमनीयता
    फिर सुशोभित हो गई सौंदर्य की रमणीयता
    विजन वन की वल्लरी को गुलमोहर फिर से बना लूँ
    फिर तुम्हारे अंक में नव प्रीत के दो पल बिता लूँ

    तुम नवल रससिक्त अंबुज हो सरस मधुयामिनी
    छलकता है गेह से रसधार ओ उद्दामिनी
    फिर तुम्हारे अधर का लालित्य आओ मैं बढ़ा लूँ
    फिर तुम्हारे अंक में नव प्रीत के दो पल बिता लूँ

    तुम मधुरतम कल्पना हो अल्पना हो कांति की
    दिव्यतम अभिव्यंजना परिकल्पना मधुमास की
    अर्चना के पुष्प से वेणी तुम्हारी मैं सजा लूँ
    फिर तुम्हारे अंक में नव प्रीत के दो पल बिता लूँ

    — -राजेश कुमार दूबे
  • A Study In Feeling

    To be a great musician you must be a man of moods,
    You have to be, to understand sonatas and etudes.
    To execute pianos and to fiddle with success,
    With sympathy and feeling you must fairly effervesce;
    It was so with Paganini, Remenzi and Cho-pang,
    And so it was with Peterkin Von Gabriel O’Lang.

    Monsieur O’Lang had sympathy to such a great degree.
    No virtuoso ever lived was quite so great as he;
    He was either very happy or very, very sad;
    He was always feeling heavenly or oppositely bad;
    In fact, so sympathetic that he either must enthuse
    Or have the dumps; feel ecstacy or flounder in the blues.

    So all agreed that Peterkin Von Gabriel O’Lang
    Was the greatest violinist in the virtuoso gang.
    The ladies bought his photographs and put them on the shelves
    In the place of greatest honor, right beside those of themselves;
    They gladly gave ten dollars for a stiff backed parquette chair.
    And sat in mouth-wide happiness a-looking at his hair.

    I say “a looking at his hair,” I mean just what I say,
    For no one ever had a chance to hear P. O’Lang play;
    So subtle was his sympathy, so highly strung was he,
    His moods were barometric to the very last degree;
    The slightest change of weather would react upon his brain,
    And fill his soul with joyousness or murder it with pain.

    And when his soul was troubled he had not the heart to play.
    But let his head droop sadly down in such a soulful way,
    That every one that saw him declared it was worth twice
    (And some there were said three times) the large admission price;
    And all were quite unanimous and said it would be crude
    For such a man to fiddle when he wasn’t in the mood.

    But when his soul was filled with joy he tossed his flowing hair
    And waved his violin-bow in great circles in the air;
    Ecstaticly he flourished it, for so his spirit thrilled,
    Thus only could he show the joy with which his heart was filled;
    And so he waved it up and down and ’round and out and in,—
    But he never, never, NEVER touched it to his violin!

    — -Ellis Parker Butler
  • हँसते-हँसते फाँसी

    अमर शहीद भगतसिंह का जन्म- 27 सितंबर, 1907 को बंगा, लायलपुर, पंजाब (अब पाकिस्तान में) हुआ था व 23 मार्च, 1931 को इन्हें दो अन्य साथियों सुखदेव व राजगुरू के साथ फांसी दे दी गई। भगतसिंह का नाम भारत के सवतंत्रता संग्राम में अविस्मरणीय है। भगतसिंह देश के लिये जीये और देश ही के लिए शहीद भी हो गए। # 24 अगस्त, 1908 को पुणे ज़िले के खेड़ा गाँव (जिसका नाम अब 'राजगुरु नगर' हो गया है) में पैदा हुए शहीद राजगुरु का पूरा नाम 'शिवराम हरि राजगुरु' था। आपके पिता का नाम 'श्री हरि नारायण' और माता का नाम 'पार्वती बाई' था। भगत सिंह और सुखदेव के साथ ही राजगुरु को भी 23 मार्च 1931 को फांसी दी गई थी।राजगुरु 'स्वराज मेरा जन्म सिद्ध अधिकार है और मैं उसे हासिल करके रहूंगा' का उद्घोष करने वाले लोकमान्य बाल गंगाधर तिलक के विचारों से अत्यधिक प्रभावित थे। # सुखदेव का जन्म 15 मई, 1907, पंजाब में हुआ था। 23 मार्च, 1931 को सेंट्रल जेल, लाहौर में भगतसिंह व राजगुरू के साथ इन्हें भी फांसी दे दी गई। सुखदेव का नाम भारत के अमर क्रांतिकारियों और शहीदों में गिना जाता है। आपने अल्पायु में ही देश के लिए जान कुर्बान कर दी। सुखदेव का पूरा नाम 'सुखदेव थापर' था। इनका नाम भगत सिंह और राजगुरु के साथ जोड़ा जाता है और इन तीनों की तिकड़ी भारत के इतिहास में सदैव याद रखी जाएगी। तीनों देशभक्त क्रांतिकारी आपस में अच्छे मित्र थे और देश की स्वतंत्रता के लिए अपना सर्वत्र न्यौछावर कर देने वालों में से थे। 23 मार्च, 1931 को भारत के इन तीनों वीर नौजवानों को एक साथ फ़ाँसी दी गई और 23 मार्च को 'शहीदी-दिवस के रुप में याद किया जाता है।
    — -pawan kumar kirori
  • A Dream Within A Dream

    Take this kiss upon the brow!
    And, in parting from you now,
    Thus much let me avow--
    You are not wrong, who deem
    That my days have been a dream;
    Yet if hope has flown away
    In a night, or in a day,
    In a vision, or in none,
    Is it therefore the less gone?
    All that we see or seem
    Is but a dream within a dream.

    I stand amid the roar
    Of a surf-tormented shore,
    And I hold within my hand
    Grains of the golden sand--
    How few! yet how they creep
    Through my fingers to the deep,
    While I weep--while I weep!
    O God! can I not grasp
    Them with a tighter clasp?
    O God! can I not save
    One from the pitiless wave?
    Is all that we see or seem
    But a dream within a dream?

    — -Edgar Allan
  • Meeting and Passing

    As I went down the hill along the wall
    There was a gate I had leaned at for the view
    And had just turned from when I first saw you
    As you came up the hill. We met. But all
    We did that day was mingle great and small
    Footprints in summer dust as if we drew
    The figure of our being less that two
    But more than one as yet. Your parasol
    Pointed the decimal off with one deep thrust.
    And all the time we talked you seemed to see
    Something down there to smile at in the dust.
    (Oh, it was without prejudice to me!)
    Afterward I went past what you had passed
    Before we met and you what I had passed.

    — -Robert Frost
  • In a Vale

    WHEN I was young, we dwelt in a vale
    By a misty fen that rang all night,
    And thus it was the maidens pale
    I knew so well, whose garments trail
    Across the reeds to a window light.

    The fen had every kind of bloom,
    And for every kind there was a face,
    And a voice that has sounded in my room
    Across the sill from the outer gloom.
    Each came singly unto her place,

    But all came every night with the mist;
    And often they brought so much to say
    Of things of moment to which, they wist,
    One so lonely was fain to list,
    That the stars were almost faded away

    Before the last went, heavy with dew,
    Back to the place from which she came—
    Where the bird was before it flew,
    Where the flower was before it grew,
    Where bird and flower were one and the same.

    And thus it is I know so well
    Why the flower has odor, the bird has song.
    You have only to ask me, and I can tell.
    No, not vainly there did I dwell,
    Nor vainly listen all the night long.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Dust in the Eyes

    If, as they say, some dust thrown in my eyes
    Will keep my talk from getting overwise,
    I'm not the one for putting off the proof.
    Let it be overwhelming, off a roof
    And round a corner, blizzard snow for dust,
    And blind me to a standstill if it must.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Brown’s Descent

    Brown lived at such a lofty farm
    That everyone for miles could see
    His lantern when he did his chores
    In winter after half-past three.

    And many must have seen him make
    His wild descent from there one night,
    ’Cross lots, ’cross walls, ’cross everything,
    Describing rings of lantern light.

    Between the house and barn the gale
    Got him by something he had on
    And blew him out on the icy crust
    That cased the world, and he was gone!

    Walls were all buried, trees were few:
    He saw no stay unless he stove
    A hole in somewhere with his heel.
    But though repeatedly he strove

    And stamped and said things to himself,
    And sometimes something seemed to yield,
    He gained no foothold, but pursued
    His journey down from field to field.

    Sometimes he came with arms outspread
    Like wings, revolving in the scene
    Upon his longer axis, and
    With no small dignity of mien.

    Faster or slower as he chanced,
    Sitting or standing as he chose,
    According as he feared to risk
    His neck, or thought to spare his clothes,

    He never let the lantern drop.
    And some exclaimed who saw afar
    The figures he described with it,
    ”I wonder what those signals are

    Brown makes at such an hour of night!
    He’s celebrating something strange.
    I wonder if he’s sold his farm,
    Or been made Master of the Grange.”

    He reeled, he lurched, he bobbed, he checked;
    He fell and made the lantern rattle
    (But saved the light from going out.)
    So half-way down he fought the battle

    Incredulous of his own bad luck.
    And then becoming reconciled
    To everything, he gave it up
    And came down like a coasting child.

    “Well—I—be—” that was all he said,
    As standing in the river road,
    He looked back up the slippery slope
    (Two miles it was) to his abode.

    Sometimes as an authority
    On motor-cars, I’m asked if I
    Should say our stock was petered out,
    And this is my sincere reply:

    Yankees are what they always were.
    Don’t think Brown ever gave up hope
    Of getting home again because
    He couldn’t climb that slippery slope;

    Or even thought of standing there
    Until the January thaw
    Should take the polish off the crust.
    He bowed with grace to natural law,

    And then went round it on his feet,
    After the manner of our stock;
    Not much concerned for those to whom,
    At that particular time o’clock,

    It must have looked as if the course
    He steered was really straight away
    From that which he was headed for—
    Not much concerned for them, I say:

    No more so than became a man—
    And politician at odd seasons.
    I’ve kept Brown standing in the cold
    While I invested him with reasons;

    But now he snapped his eyes three times;
    Then shook his lantern, saying, “Ile’s
    ’Bout out!” and took the long way home
    By road, a matter of several miles.

    — -Robert Frost
  • An Encounter

    ONCE on the kind of day called “weather breeder,”
    When the heat slowly hazes and the sun
    By its own power seems to be undone,
    I was half boring through, half climbing through
    A swamp of cedar. Choked with oil of cedar
    And scurf of plants, and weary and over-heated,
    And sorry I ever left the road I knew,
    I paused and rested on a sort of hook
    That had me by the coat as good as seated,
    And since there was no other way to look,
    Looked up toward heaven, and there against the blue,
    Stood over me a resurrected tree,
    A tree that had been down and raised again—
    A barkless spectre. He had halted too,
    As if for fear of treading upon me.
    I saw the strange position of his hands—
    Up at his shoulders, dragging yellow strands
    Of wire with something in it from men to men.
    “You here?” I said. “Where aren’t you nowadays
    And what’s the news you carry—if you know?
    And tell me where you’re off for—Montreal?
    Me? I’m not off for anywhere at all.
    Sometimes I wander out of beaten ways
    Half looking for the orchid Calypso.”

    — -Robert Frost
  • An Empty Threat

    I stay;
    But it isn't as if
    There wasn't always Hudson's Bay
    And the fur trade,
    A small skiff
    And a paddle blade.

    I can just see my tent pegged,
    And me on the floor,
    Cross-legged,
    And a trapper looking in at the door
    With furs to sell.

    His name's Joe,
    Alias John,
    And between what he doesn't know
    And won't tell
    About where Henry Hudson's gone,
    I can't say he's much help;
    But we get on.

    The seal yelp
    On an ice cake.
    It's not men by some mistake?
    No,
    There's not a soul
    For a windbreak
    Between me and the North Pole—

    Except always John-Joe,
    My French Indian Esquimaux,
    And he's off setting traps
    In one himself perhaps.

    Give a headshake
    Over so much bay
    Thrown away
    In snow and mist
    That doesn't exist,

    I was going to say,
    For God, man, or beast's sake,
    Yet does perhaps for all three.

    Don't ask Joe
    What it is to him.
    It's sometimes dim
    What it is to me,
    Unless it be
    It's the old captain's dark fate
    Who failed to find or force a strait
    In its two-thousand-mile coast;
    And his crew left him where be failed,
    And nothing came of all be sailed.

    It's to say, "You and I—"
    To such a ghost—
    You and I
    Off here
    With the dead race of the Great Auk!"
    And, "Better defeat almost,
    If seen clear,
    Than life's victories of doubt
    That need endless talk-talk
    To make them out."

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Star in a Stoneboat

    For Lincoln MacVeagh

    Never tell me that not one star of all
    That slip from heaven at night and softly fall
    Has been picked up with stones to build a wall.

    Some laborer found one faded and stone-cold,
    And saving that its weight suggested gold
    And tugged it from his first too certain hold,

    He noticed nothing in it to remark.
    He was not used to handling stars thrown dark
    And lifeless from an interrupted arc.

    He did not recognize in that smooth coal
    The one thing palpable besides the soul
    To penetrate the air in which we roll.

    He did not see how like a flying thing
    It brooded ant eggs, and bad one large wing,
    One not so large for flying in a ring,

    And a long Bird of Paradise's tail
    (Though these when not in use to fly and trail
    It drew back in its body like a snail);

    Nor know that be might move it from the spot—
    The harm was done: from having been star-shot
    The very nature of the soil was hot

    And burning to yield flowers instead of grain,
    Flowers fanned and not put out by all the rain
    Poured on them by his prayers prayed in vain.

    He moved it roughly with an iron bar,
    He loaded an old stoneboat with the star
    And not, as you might think, a flying car,

    Such as even poets would admit perforce
    More practical than Pegasus the horse
    If it could put a star back in its course.

    He dragged it through the plowed ground at a pace
    But faintly reminiscent of the race
    Of jostling rock in interstellar space.

    It went for building stone, and I, as though
    Commanded in a dream, forever go
    To right the wrong that this should have been so.

    Yet ask where else it could have gone as well,
    I do not know—I cannot stop to tell:
    He might have left it lying where it fell.

    From following walls I never lift my eye,
    Except at night to places in the sky
    Where showers of charted meteors let fly.

    Some may know what they seek in school and church,
    And why they seek it there; for what I search
    I must go measuring stone walls, perch on perch;

    Sure that though not a star of death and birth,
    So not to be compared, perhaps, in worth
    To such resorts of life as Mars and Earth—

    Though not, I say, a star of death and sin,
    It yet has poles, and only needs a spin
    To show its worldly nature and begin

    To chafe and shuffle in my calloused palm
    And run off in strange tangents with my arm,
    As fish do with the line in first alarm.

    Such as it is, it promises the prize
    Of the one world complete in any size
    That I am like to compass, fool or wise.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Hillside Thaw

    To think to know the country and now know
    The hillside on the day the sun lets go
    Ten million silver lizards out of snow!
    As often as I've seen it done before
    I can't pretend to tell the way it's done.
    It looks as if some magic of the sun
    Lifted the rug that bred them on the floor
    And the light breaking on them made them run.
    But if I though to stop the wet stampede,
    And caught one silver lizard by the tail,
    And put my foot on one without avail,
    And threw myself wet-elbowed and wet-kneed
    In front of twenty others' wriggling speed,--
    In the confusion of them all aglitter,
    And birds that joined in the excited fun
    By doubling and redoubling song and twitter,
    I have no doubt I'd end by holding none.

    It takes the moon for this. The sun's a wizard
    By all I tell; but so's the moon a witch.
    From the high west she makes a gentle cast
    And suddenly, without a jerk or twitch,
    She has her speel on every single lizard.
    I fancied when I looked at six o'clock
    The swarm still ran and scuttled just as fast.
    The moon was waiting for her chill effect.
    I looked at nine: the swarm was turned to rock
    In every lifelike posture of the swarm,
    Transfixed on mountain slopes almost erect.
    Across each other and side by side they lay.
    The spell that so could hold them as they were
    Was wrought through trees without a breath of storm
    To make a leaf, if there had been one, stir.
    One lizard at the end of every ray.
    The thought of my attempting such a stray!

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Cliff Dwelling

    There sandy seems the golden sky
    And golden seems the sandy plain.
    No habitation meets the eye
    Unless in the horizon rim,
    Some halfway up the limestone wall,
    That spot of black is not a stain
    Or shadow, but a cavern hole,
    Where someone used to climb and crawl
    To rest from his besetting fears.
    I see the callus on his soul
    The disappearing last of him
    And of his race starvation slim,
    Oh years ago -- ten thousand years.

    — -Robert Frost
  • To E.T

    I slumbered with your poems on my breast
    Spread open as I dropped them half-read through
    Like dove wings on a figure on a tomb
    To see, if in a dream they brought of you,

    I might not have the chance I missed in life
    Through some delay, and call you to your face
    First solider, and then poet, and then both,
    Who died a soldier-poet of your race.

    I meant, you meant, that nothing should remain
    Unsaid between us, brother, and this remained--
    And one thing more that was not then to say:
    The Victory for what it lost and gained.

    You went to meet the shell's embrace of fire
    On Vimy Ridge; and when you fell that day
    The war seemed over more for you than me,
    But now for me than you--the other way.

    How ever, though, for even me who knew
    The foe thrust back unsafe beyond the Rhine,
    If I was not speak of it to you
    And see you pleased once more with words of mine?

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Trial by Existence

    Even the bravest that are slain
    Shall not dissemble their surprise
    On waking to find valor reign,
    Even as on earth, in paradise;
    And where they sought without the sword
    Wide fields of asphodel fore'er,
    To find that the utmost reward
    Of daring should be still to dare.

    The light of heaven falls whole and white
    And is not shattered into dyes,
    The light forever is morning light;
    The hills are verdured pasture-wise;
    The angle hosts with freshness go,
    And seek with laughter what to brave;--
    And binding all is the hushed snow
    Of the far-distant breaking wave.

    And from a cliff-top is proclaimed
    The gathering of the souls for birth,
    The trial by existence named,
    The obscuration upon earth.
    And the slant spirits trooping by
    In streams and cross- and counter-streams
    Can but give ear to that sweet cry
    For its suggestion of what dreams!

    And the more loitering are turned
    To view once more the sacrifice
    Of those who for some good discerned
    Will gladly give up paradise.
    And a white shimmering concourse rolls
    Toward the throne to witness there
    The speeding of devoted souls
    Which God makes his especial care.

    And none are taken but who will,
    Having first heard the life read out
    That opens earthward, good and ill,
    Beyond the shadow of a doubt;
    And very beautifully God limns,
    And tenderly, life's little dream,
    But naught extenuates or dims,
    Setting the thing that is supreme.

    Nor is there wanting in the press
    Some spirit to stand simply forth,
    Heroic in it nakedness,
    Against the uttermost of earth.
    The tale of earth's unhonored things
    Sounds nobler there than 'neath the sun;
    And the mind whirls and the heart sings,
    And a shout greets the daring one.

    But always God speaks at the end:
    'One thought in agony of strife
    The bravest would have by for friend,
    The memory that he chose the life;
    But the pure fate to which you go
    Admits no memory of choice,
    Or the woe were not earthly woe
    To which you give the assenting voice.'

    And so the choice must be again,
    But the last choice is still the same;
    And the awe passes wonder then,
    And a hush falls for all acclaim.
    And God has taken a flower of gold
    And broken it, and used therefrom
    The mystic link to bind and hold
    Spirit to matter till death come.

    'Tis of the essence of life here,
    Though we choose greatly, still to lack
    The lasting memory at all clear,
    That life has for us on the wrack
    Nothing but what we somehow chose;
    Thus are we wholly stipped of pride
    In the pain that has but one close,
    Bearing it crushed and mystified.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Times Table

    More than halfway up the pass
    Was a spring with a broken drinking glass,
    And whether the farmer drank or not
    His mare was sure to observe the spot
    By cramping the wheel on a water-bar,
    turning her forehead with a star,
    And straining her ribs for a monster sigh;
    To which the farmer would make reply,
    'A sigh for every so many breath,
    And for every so many sigh a death.
    That's what I always tell my wife
    Is the multiplication table of life.'
    The saying may be ever so true;
    But it's just the kind of a thing that you
    Nor I, nor nobody else may say,
    Unless our purpose is doing harm,
    And then I know of no better way
    To close a road, abandon a farm,
    Reduce the births of the human race,
    And bring back nature in people's place.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Peaceful Shepherd

    If heaven were to do again,
    And on the pasture bars,
    I leaned to line the figures in
    Between the dotted starts,

    I should be tempted to forget,
    I fear, the Crown of Rule,
    The Scales of Trade, the Cross of Faith,
    As hardly worth renewal.

    For these have governed in our lives,
    And see how men have warred.
    The Cross, the Crown, the Scales may all
    As well have been the Sword.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Egg and the Machine

    He gave the solid rail a hateful kick.
    From far away there came an answering tick
    And then another tick. He knew the code:
    His hate had roused an engine up the road.
    He wished when he had had the track alone
    He had attacked it with a club or stone
    And bent some rail wide open like switch
    So as to wreck the engine in the ditch.
    Too late though, now, he had himself to thank.
    Its click was rising to a nearer clank.
    Here it came breasting like a horse in skirts.
    (He stood well back for fear of scalding squirts.)
    Then for a moment all there was was size
    Confusion and a roar that drowned the cries
    He raised against the gods in the machine.
    Then once again the sandbank lay serene.
    The traveler's eye picked up a turtle train,
    between the dotted feet a streak of tail,
    And followed it to where he made out vague
    But certain signs of buried turtle's egg;
    And probing with one finger not too rough,
    He found suspicious sand, and sure enough,
    The pocket of a little turtle mine.
    If there was one egg in it there were nine,
    Torpedo-like, with shell of gritty leather
    All packed in sand to wait the trump together.
    'You'd better not disturb any more,'
    He told the distance, 'I am armed for war.
    The next machine that has the power to pass
    Will get this plasm in it goggle glass.'

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Demiurge's Laugh

    It was far in the sameness of the wood;
    I was running with joy on the Demon's trail,
    Though I knew what I hunted was no true god.
    i was just as the light was beginning to fail
    That I suddenly head--all I needed to hear:
    It has lasted me many and many a year.

    The sound was behind me instead of before,
    A sleepy sound, but mocking half,
    As one who utterly couldn't care.
    The Demon arose from his wallow to laugh,
    Brushing the dirt from his eye as he went;
    And well I knew what the Demon meant.

    I shall not forget how his laugh rang out.
    I felt as a fool to have been so caught,
    And checked my steps to make pretense
    I was something among the leaves I sought
    (Though doubtful whether he stayed to see).
    Thereafter I sat me against a tree.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Another Way Of Love

    I.

    June was not over
    Though past the fall,
    And the best of her roses
    Had yet to blow,
    When a man I know
    (But shall not discover,
    Since ears are dull,
    And time discloses)
    Turned him and said with a man's true air,
    Half sighing a smile in a yawn, as 'twere,---
    ``If I tire of your June, will she greatly care?''

    II.

    Well, dear, in-doors with you!
    True! serene deadness
    Tries a man's temper.
    What's in the blossom
    June wears on her bosom?
    Can it clear scores with you?
    Sweetness and redness.
    _Eadem semper!_
    Go, let me care for it greatly or slightly!
    If June mend her bower now, your hand left unsightly
    By plucking the roses,---my June will do rightly.

    III.

    And after, for pastime,
    If June be refulgent
    With flowers in completeness,
    All petals, no prickles,
    Delicious as trickles
    Of wine poured at mass-time,---
    And choose One indulgent
    To redness and sweetness:
    Or if, with experience of man and of spider,
    June use my June-lightning, the strong insect-ridder,
    And stop the fresh film-work,---why, June will consider.

    — -Robert Browning
  • Why I Am a Liberal

    "Why?" Because all I haply can and do,
    All that I am now, all I hope to be,--
    Whence comes it save from fortune setting free
    Body and soul the purpose to pursue,
    God traced for both? If fetters, not a few,
    Of prejudice, convention, fall from me,
    These shall I bid men--each in his degree
    Also God-guided--bear, and gayly, too?

    But little do or can the best of us:
    That little is achieved through Liberty.
    Who, then, dares hold, emancipated thus,
    His fellow shall continue bound? Not I,
    Who live, love, labour freely, nor discuss
    A brother's right to freedom. That is "Why."

    — -Robert Browning
  • The Lost Mistress

    All's over, then: does truth sound bitter
    As one at first believes?
    Hark, 'tis the sparrows' good-night twitter
    About your cottage eaves!

    And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly,
    I noticed that today;
    One day more bursts them open fully
    —You know the red turns grey.

    Tomorrow we meet the same then, dearest?
    May I take your hand in mine?
    Mere friends are we,—well, friends the merest
    Keep much that I resign:

    For each glance of that eye so bright and black,
    Though I keep with heart's endeavour,—
    Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back,
    Though it stay in my soul for ever!—

    —Yet I will but say what mere friends say,
    Or only a thought stronger;
    I will hold your hand but as long as all may,
    Or so very little longer!

    — -Robert Browning
  • Song

    I.

    Nay but you, who do not love her,
    Is she not pure gold, my mistress?
    Holds earth aught---speak truth---above her?
    Aught like this tress, see, and this tress,
    And this last fairest tress of all,
    So fair, see, ere I let it fall?

    II.

    Because, you spend your lives in praising;
    To praise, you search the wide world over:
    Then why not witness, calmly gazing,
    If earth holds aught---speak truth---above her?
    Above this tress, and this, I touch
    But cannot praise, I love so much!

    — -Robert Browning
  • How They Brought The Goo

    sprang to the stirrup, and Joris, and he;
    I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;
    "Good speed!" cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew;
    "Speed!" echoed the wall to us galloping through;
    Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest,
    And into the midnight we galloped abreast.

    Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace
    Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place;
    I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight,
    Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right,
    Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit,
    Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.

    'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near
    Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear;
    At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see;
    At Duffeld, 'twas morning as plain as could be;
    And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half-chime,
    So Joris broke silence with, "Yet there is time!"

    At Aerschot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
    And against him the cattle stood black every one,
    To stare through the mist at us galloping past,
    And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,
    With resolute shoulders, each butting away
    The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray:

    And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back
    For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track;
    And one eye's black intelligence,—ever that glance
    O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance!
    And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon
    His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.

    By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, "Stay spur!
    Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her,
    We'll remember at Aix"—for one heard the quick wheeze
    Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and staggering knees,
    And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,
    As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.

    So, we were left galloping, Joris and I,
    Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky;
    The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh,
    'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff;
    Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white,
    And "Gallop," gasped Joris, "for Aix is in sight!"

    "How they'll greet us!"—and all in a moment his roan
    Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone;
    And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
    Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate,
    With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
    And with circles of red for his eye-socket's rim.

    Then I cast loose my buffcoat, each holster let fall,
    Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,
    Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
    Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer;
    Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or good,
    Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.

    And all I remember is—friends flocking round
    As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground;
    And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
    As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine,
    Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)

    — -Robert Browning
  • In A Gondola

    The moth's kiss, first!
    Kiss me as if you made believe
    You were not sure, this eve,
    How my face, your flower, had pursed
    Its petals up; so, here and there
    You brush it, till I grow aware
    Who wants me, and wide open I burst.

    The bee's kiss, now!
    Kiss me as if you enter'd gay
    My heart at some noonday,
    A bud that dares not disallow
    The claim, so all is rendered up,
    And passively its shattered cup
    Over your head to sleep I bow.

    — -Robert Browning
  • The Lost Leader

    Just for a handful of silver he left us,
    Just for a riband to stick in his coat—
    Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us,
    Lost all the others she lets us devote;
    They, with the gold to give, doled him out silver,
    So much was theirs who so little allowed:
    How all our copper had gone for his service!
    Rags—were they purple, his heart had been proud!
    We that had loved him so, followed him, honoured him,
    Lived in his mild and magnificent eye,
    Learned his great language, caught his clear accents,
    Made him our pattern to live and to die!
    Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us,
    Burns, Shelley, were with us,—they watch from their graves!
    He alone breaks from the van and the freemen,
    He alone sinks to the rear and the slaves!

    We shall march prospering,—not through his presence;
    Songs may inspirit us,—not from his lyre;
    Deeds will be done,—while he boasts his quiescence,
    Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire:
    Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more,
    One task more declined, one more footpath untrod,
    One more triumph for devils and sorrow for angels,
    One wrong more to man, one more insult to God!
    Life's night begins: let him never come back to us!
    There would be doubt, hesitation and pain,
    Forced praise on our part—the glimmer of twilight,
    Never glad confident morning again!
    Best fight on well, for we taught him—strike gallantly,
    Menace our heart ere we pierce through his own;
    Then let him receive the new knowledge and wait us,
    Pardoned in heaven, the first by the throne!

    — -Robert Browning
  • Love In A Life

    I

    Room after room,
    I hunt the house through
    We inhabit together.
    Heart, fear nothing, for, heart, thou shalt find her,
    Next time, herself!—not the trouble behind her
    Left in the curtain, the couch's perfume!
    As she brushed it, the cornice-wreath blossomed anew,—
    Yon looking-glass gleamed at the wave of her feather.

    II

    Yet the day wears,
    And door succeeds door;
    I try the fresh fortune—
    Range the wide house from the wing to the centre.
    Still the same chance! she goes out as I enter.
    Spend my whole day in the quest,—who cares?
    But 'tis twilight, you see,—with such suites to explore,
    Such closets to search, such alcoves to importune!

    — -Robert Browning
  • Parting At Morning

    Round the cape of a sudden came the sea,
    And the sun looked over the mountain's rim:
    And straight was a path of gold for him,
    And the need of a world of men for me.

    — -Robert Browning
  • De Gustibus

    Your ghost will walk, you lover of trees,
    (If our loves remain)
    In an English lane,
    By a cornfield-side a-flutter with poppies.
    Hark, those two in the hazel coppice---
    A boy and a girl, if the good fates please,
    Making love, say,---
    The happier they!
    Draw yourself up from the light of the moon,
    And let them pass, as they will too soon,
    With the bean-flowers' boon,
    And the blackbird's tune,
    And May, and June!

    II.

    What I love best in all the world
    Is a castle, precipice-encurled,
    In a gash of the wind-grieved Apennine
    Or look for me, old fellow of mine,
    (If I get my head from out the mouth
    O' the grave, and loose my spirit's bands,
    And come again to the land of lands)---
    In a sea-side house to the farther South,
    Where the baked cicala dies of drouth,
    And one sharp tree---'tis a cypress---stands,
    By the many hundred years red-rusted,
    Rough iron-spiked, ripe fruit-o'ercrusted,
    My sentinel to guard the sands
    To the water's edge. For, what expands
    Before the house, but the great opaque
    Blue breadth of sea without a break?
    While, in the house, for ever crumbles
    Some fragment of the frescoed walls,
    From blisters where a scorpion sprawls.
    A girl bare-footed brings, and tumbles
    Down on the pavement, green-flesh melons,
    And says there's news to-day---the king
    Was shot at, touched in the liver-wing,
    Goes with his Bourbon arm in a sling:
    ---She hopes they have not caught the felons.
    Italy, my Italy!
    Queen Mary's saying serves for me---
    (When fortune's malice
    Lost her---Calais)---
    Open my heart and you will see
    Graved inside of it, ``Italy.''
    Such lovers old are I and she: So it always was, so shall ever be!

    — -Robert Browning
  • Weird-Bird

    Birds are flyin' south for winter.
    Here's the Weird-Bird headin' north,
    Wings a-flappin', beak a-chatterin',
    Cold head bobbin' back 'n' forth.
    He says, "It's not that I like ice
    Or freezin' winds and snowy ground.
    It's just sometimes it's kind of nice
    To be the only bird in town."

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Cloony The Clown

    I'll tell you the story of Cloony the Clown
    Who worked in a circus that came through town.
    His shoes were too big and his hat was too small,
    But he just wasn't, just wasn't funny at all.
    He had a trombone to play loud silly tunes,
    He had a green dog and a thousand balloons.
    He was floppy and sloppy and skinny and tall,
    But he just wasn't, just wasn't funny at all.
    And every time he did a trick,
    Everyone felt a little sick.
    And every time he told a joke,
    Folks sighed as if their hearts were broke.
    And every time he lost a shoe,
    Everyone looked awfully blue.
    And every time he stood on his head,
    Everyone screamed, "Go back to bed!"
    And every time he made a leap,
    Everybody fell asleep.
    And every time he ate his tie,
    Everyone began to cry.
    And Cloony could not make any money
    Simply because he was not funny.
    One day he said, "I'll tell this town
    How it feels to be an unfunny clown."
    And he told them all why he looked so sad,
    And he told them all why he felt so bad.
    He told of Pain and Rain and Cold,
    He told of Darkness in his soul,
    And after he finished his tale of woe,
    Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no,
    They laughed until they shook the trees
    With "Hah-Hah-Hahs" and "Hee-Hee-Hees."
    They laughed with howls and yowls and shrieks,
    They laughed all day, they laughed all week,
    They laughed until they had a fit,
    They laughed until their jackets split.
    The laughter spread for miles around
    To every city, every town,
    Over mountains, 'cross the sea,
    From Saint Tropez to Mun San Nee.
    And soon the whole world rang with laughter,
    Lasting till forever after,
    While Cloony stood in the circus tent,
    With his head drooped low and his shoulders bent.
    And he said,"THAT IS NOT WHAT I MEANT -
    I'M FUNNY JUST BY ACCIDENT."
    And while the world laughed outside.
    Cloony the Clown sat down and cried.

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Anteater

    "A genuine anteater,"
    The pet man told me dad.
    Turned out, it was an aunt eater,
    And now my uncle's mad

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Danny O'Dare

    Danny O'Dare, the dancin' bear,
    Ran away from the County Fair,
    Ran right up to my back stair
    And thought he'd do some dancin' there.
    He started jumpin' and skippin' and kickin',
    He did a dance called the Funky Chicken,
    He did the Polka, he did the Twist,
    He bent himself into a pretzel like this.
    He did the Dog and the Jitterbug,
    He did the Jerk and the Bunny Hug.
    He did the Waltz and the Boogaloo,
    He did the Hokey-Pokey too.
    He did the Bop and the Mashed Potata,
    He did the Split and the See Ya Later.
    And now he's down upon one knee,
    Bowin' oh so charmingly,
    And winkin' and smilin'--it's easy to see
    Danny O'Dare wants to dance with me.

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • God's Wheel

    GOD says to me with a kind
    of smile, "Hey how would you like
    to be God awhile And steer the world?"
    "Okay," says I, "I'll give it a try.

    Where do I set?
    How much do I get?
    What time is lunch?
    When can I quit?"

    "Gimme back that wheel," says GOD.
    "I don't think you're quite ready YET."

    — -Shel Silverstein
  • Bond and Free

    Love has earth to which she clings
    With hills and circling arms about--
    Wall within wall to shut fear out.
    But Though has need of no such things,
    For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings.

    On snow and sand and turn, I see
    Where Love has left a printed trace
    With straining in the world's embrace.
    And such is Love and glad to be
    But Though has shaken his ankles free.

    Though cleaves the interstellar gloom
    And sits in Sirius' disc all night,
    Till day makes him retrace his flight
    With smell of burning on every plume,
    Back past the sun to an earthly room.

    His gains in heaven are what they are.
    Yet some say Love by being thrall
    And simply staying possesses all
    In several beauty that Thought fares far
    To find fused in another star.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Blue-Butterfly Day

    It is blue-butterfly day here in spring,
    And with these sky-flakes down in flurry on flurry
    There is more unmixed color on the wing
    Than flowers will show for days unless they hurry.

    But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
    And now from having ridden out desire
    They lie closed over in the wind and cling
    Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire.

    — -Robert Frost
  • To the Thawing Wind

    COME with rain. O loud Southwester!
    Bring the singer, bring the nester;
    Give the buried flower a dream;
    make the settled snowbank steam;
    Find the brown beneath the white;
    But whate'er you do tonight,
    bath my window, make it flow,
    Melt it as the ice will go;
    Melt the glass and leave the sticks
    Like a hermit's crucifix;
    Burst into my narrow stall;
    Swing the picture on the wall;
    Run the rattling pages o'er;
    Scatter poems on the floor;
    Turn the poet out of door.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Birthplace

    Here further up the mountain slope
    Than there was every any hope,
    My father built, enclosed a spring,
    Strung chains of wall round everything,
    Subdued the growth of earth to grass,
    And brought our various lives to pass.
    A dozen girls and boys we were.
    The mountain seemed to like the stir,
    And made of us a little while--
    With always something in her smile.
    Today she wouldn't know our name.
    (No girl's, of course, has stayed the same.)
    The mountain pushed us off her knees.
    And now her lap is full of trees.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Now Close the Windows

    Now close the windows and hush all the fields:
    If the trees must, let them silently toss;
    No bird is singing now, and if there is,
    Be it my loss.

    It will be long ere the marshes resume,
    I will be long ere the earliest bird:
    So close the windows and not hear the wind,
    But see all wind-stirred.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Preludes

    THE WINTER evening settles down
    With smell of steaks in passageways.
    Six o’clock.
    The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
    And now a gusty shower wraps
    The grimy scraps
    Of withered leaves about your feet
    And newspapers from vacant lots;
    The showers beat
    On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
    And at the corner of the street
    A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
    And then the lighting of the lamps.

    II

    The morning comes to consciousness
    Of faint stale smells of beer
    From the sawdust-trampled street
    With all its muddy feet that press
    To early coffee-stands.
    With the other masquerades
    That time resumes,
    One thinks of all the hands
    That are raising dingy shades
    In a thousand furnished rooms.

    III

    You tossed a blanket from the bed,
    You lay upon your back, and waited;
    You dozed, and watched the night revealing
    The thousand sordid images
    Of which your soul was constituted;
    They flickered against the ceiling.
    And when all the world came back
    And the light crept up between the shutters
    And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
    You had such a vision of the street
    As the street hardly understands;
    Sitting along the bed’s edge, where
    You curled the papers from your hair,
    Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
    In the palms of both soiled hands.

    IV

    His soul stretched tight across the skies
    That fade behind a city block,
    Or trampled by insistent feet
    At four and five and six o’clock;
    And short square fingers stuffing pipes,
    And evening newspapers, and eyes
    Assured of certain certainties,
    The conscience of a blackened street
    Impatient to assume the world.

    I am moved by fancies that are curled
    Around these images, and cling:
    The notion of some infinitely gentle
    Infinitely suffering thing.

    Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
    The worlds revolve like ancient women
    Gathering fuel in vacant lots.

    — -T. S. Eliot
  • Dans le Restaurant

    LE garçon délabré qui n’a rien à faire
    Que de se gratter les doigts et se pencher sur mon épaule:
    “Dans mon pays il fera temps pluvieux,
    Du vent, du grand soleil, et de la pluie;
    C’est ce qu’on appelle le jour de lessive des gueux.”
    (Bavard, baveux, à la croupe arrondie,
    Je te prie, au moins, ne bave pas dans la soupe).
    “Les saules trempés, et des bourgeons sur les ronces—
    C’est là, dans une averse, qu’on s’abrite.
    J’avais sept ans, elle était plus petite.
    Elle était toute mouillée, je lui ai donné des primevères.”
    Les taches de son gilet montent au chiffre de trentehuit.
    “Je la chatouillais, pour la faire rire.
    J’éprouvais un instant de puissance et de délire.”

    Mais alors, vieux lubrique, à cet âge...
    “Monsieur, le fait est dur.
    Il est venu, nous peloter, un gros chien;
    Moi j’avais peur, je l’ai quittée à mi-chemin.
    C’est dommage.”
    Mais alors, tu as ton vautour!

    Va t’en te décrotter les rides du visage;
    Tiens, ma fourchette, décrasse-toi le crâne.
    De quel droit payes-tu des expériences comme moi?
    Tiens, voilà dix sous, pour la salle-de-bains.

    Phlébas, le Phénicien, pendant quinze jours noyé,
    Oubliait les cris des mouettes et la houle de Cornouaille,
    Et les profits et les pertes, et la cargaison d’étain:
    Un courant de sous-mer l’emporta très loin,
    Le repassant aux étapes de sa vie antérieure.
    Figurez-vous donc, c’était un sort pénible;
    Cependant, ce fut jadis un bel homme, de haute taille.

    — -T. S. Eliot
  • Le Directeur

    MALHEUR à la malheureuse Tamise
    Qui coule si preès du Spectateur.
    Le directeur
    Conservateur
    Du Spectateur
    Empeste la brise.
    Les actionnaires
    Réactionnaires
    Du Spectateur
    Conservateur
    Bras dessus bras dessous
    Font des tours
    A pas de loup.
    Dans un égout
    Une petite fille
    En guenilles
    Camarde
    Regarde
    Le directeur
    Du Spectateur
    Conservateur
    Et crève d’amour.

    — -T. S. Eliot
  • Hysteria

    As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth
    were only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at
    each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of
    unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white
    checked cloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: “If the lady and gentleman wish to take their
    tea in the garden, if the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden...” I decided that if
    the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might be
    collected, and I concentrated my attention with careful subtlety to this end.

    — -T. S. Eliot
  • Sympathy

    If I were only a little puppy, not your baby, mother dear, would
    you say "No" to me if I tried to eat from your dish?
    Would you drive me off, saying to me, "Get away, you naughty
    little puppy?"
    Then go, mother, go! I will never come to you when you call
    me, and never let you feed me any more.
    If I were only a little green parrot, and not your baby,
    mother dear, would you keep me chained lest I should fly away?
    Would you shake your finger at me and say, "What an ungrateful
    wretch of a bird! It is gnawing at its chain day and night?"
    The go, mother, go! I will run away into the woods; I will
    never let you take me in your arms again.

    — -Rabindranath Tagore
  • Greatest Love

    You bring me laughter when I'm down,
    Always there to lift my frown...
    You hold me tight when I'm cold,
    You'll stand by me till I grow old...
    Loving me like no other,
    Gentle and sweet just like a
    mother...

    Your love is pure forever true,
    Inside my heart is a place for you...
    The touch of your lips against my
    skin,
    Softness so smooth brushing along
    my chin...
    Words of compassion forever sweet,
    How ever was I so lucky to have
    meet...

    My dearest love I hold so dear,
    For never do I have to fear...
    Honest and truthful in loving me,
    Always and forever it is she...
    The woman I love and have given
    my heart,
    To live this life and never depart...

    A beauty I found upon thee eye,
    Captured my heart and I chose to
    be by...
    Her side through good times and
    the bad,
    To comfort and love her even when
    she's sad...
    She is my life she is my love,
    She is the greatest gift from up
    above...

    — -EDDIE GARCIA
  • I, Too, Sing America

    I, too, sing America.

    I am the darker brother.
    They send me to eat in the kitchen
    When company comes,
    But I laugh,
    And eat well,
    And grow strong.

    Tomorrow,
    I'll be at the table
    When company comes.
    Nobody'll dare
    Say to me,
    "Eat in the kitchen,"
    Then.

    Besides,
    They'll see how beautiful I am
    And be ashamed--

    I, too, am America

    — -Langston Hughes
  • I Will Sing You One-O

    It was long I lay
    Awake that night
    Wishing that night
    Would name the hour
    And tell me whether
    To call it day
    (Though not yet light)
    And give up sleep.
    The snow fell deep
    With the hiss of spray;
    Two winds would meet,
    One down one street,
    One down another,
    And fight in a smother
    Of dust and feather.
    I could not say,
    But feared the cold
    Had checked the pace
    Of the tower clock
    By tying together
    Its hands of gold
    Before its face.

    Then cane one knock!
    A note unruffled
    Of earthly weather,
    Though strange and muffled.
    The tower said, "One!'
    And then a steeple.
    They spoke to themselves
    And such few people
    As winds might rouse
    From sleeping warm
    (But not unhouse).
    They left the storm
    That struck en masse
    My window glass
    Like a beaded fur.
    In that grave One
    They spoke of the sun
    And moon and stars,
    Saturn and Mars
    And Jupiter.
    Still more unfettered,
    They left the named
    And spoke of the lettered,
    The sigmas and taus
    Of constellations.
    They filled their throats
    With the furthest bodies
    To which man sends his
    Speculation,
    Beyond which God is;
    The cosmic motes
    Of yawning lenses.
    Their solemn peals
    Were not their own:
    They spoke for the clock
    With whose vast wheels
    Theirs interlock.
    In that grave word
    Uttered alone
    The utmost star
    Trembled and stirred,
    Though set so far
    Its whirling frenzies
    Appear like standing
    in one self station.
    It has not ranged,
    And save for the wonder
    Of once expanding
    To be a nova,
    It has not changed
    To the eye of man
    On planets over
    Around and under
    It in creation
    Since man began
    To drag down man
    And nation nation.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Hannibal

    Was there even a cause too lost,
    Ever a cause that was lost too long,
    Or that showed with the lapse of time to vain
    For the generous tears of youth and song?

    — -Robert Frost
  • Fragmentary Blue

    Why make so much of fragmentary blue
    In here and there a bird, or butterfly,
    Or flower, or wearing-stone, or open eye,
    When heaven presents in sheets the solid hue?

    Since earth is earth, perhaps, not heaven (as yet)--
    Though some savants make earth include the sky;
    And blue so far above us comes so high,
    It only gives our wish for blue a whet.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Flower-Gathering

    I LEFT you in the morning,
    And in the morning glow,
    You walked a way beside me
    To make me sad to go.
    Do you know me in the gloaming,
    Gaunt and dusty gray with roaming?
    Are you dumb because you know me not,
    Or dumb because you know?

    All for me And not a question
    For the faded flowers gay
    That could take me from beside you
    For the ages of a day?
    They are yours, and be the measure
    Of their worth for you to treasure,
    The measure of the little while
    That I've been long away.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Come In

    As I came to the edge of the woods,
    Thrush music -- hark!
    Now if it was dusk outside,
    Inside it was dark.

    Too dark in the woods for a bird
    By sleight of wing
    To better its perch for the night,
    Though it still could sing.

    The last of the light of the sun
    That had died in the west
    Still lived for one song more
    In a thrush's breast.

    Far in the pillared dark
    Thrush music went --
    Almost like a call to come in
    To the dark and lament.

    But no, I was out for stars;
    I would not come in.
    I meant not even if asked;
    And I hadn't been.

    — -Robert Frost
  • MEANINGLESS

    I looked into my soul
    And saw a great emptiness that enswallowed me.
    It was strange and it was dark.
    A darkness so vast I fall into it.
    Terrified, my heart froze
    As fear’s ice hands griped it.
    Big dreams and ambitions cut short by the shortness of life
    My life now a black deep ocean to drown in
    For this is now my fate for mine had being a vain pursuit for self.

    DREAMS

    The dreams,
    These dreams that I dream when I sleep in my sleep.
    Are so scary so dark that I awake to only find
    That am trapped in the dusty dream of dreaminglessness.

    Am lost like a codeless soul flowing in space.
    Like a fading painting I evaporate losing myself in the mystic shadows of life.

    I don’t know me;
    I don’t feel me,
    Am I dreaming or is this real?

    The dreams,
    These dreams that I dream when I sleep in my sleep.
    These dreams that I dream are when my eyes are closed yet open
    Are not for the faint hearted,
    The dreams.

    MIRROR, MIRROR, MIRROR

    Internal reflections of my soul
    Looking deep where I have never being before
    I stand mouth agap at the images I see below.

    Distorted images,
    I can’t see me.
    Is the mirror broken or is it the state f my soul?

    Mirror, mirror, mirror!
    Is there any hope at all?
    Tell me now for I fear that I have completely lost my way.
    Mirror…?

    — -Tigana Chileshe
  • O Mistress Mine

    O Mistress mine, where are you roaming?
    O, stay and hear; your true love's coming,
    That can sing both high and low:
    Trip no further, - pretty sweeting;
    Journeys end in lovers meeting
    Every wise man's son doth know.

    What is love? 'Tis not hereafter;
    Present mirth hath present laughter;
    What's to come is still unsure:
    In delay there lies not plenty;
    Then, come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
    Youth's a stuff will not endure.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • बसपा नेता मोहम्मद शमी की

    मोहम्मद शमी अपने घर लौट रहे थे, तभी बदमाशों ने ताबड़तोड़ कई राउंड गोलियां चला दी जिससे मौके पर ही उनकी मौत हो गई। हत्या के बाद लोगों ने थोड़ी देर के लिए इलाहाबाद-फैजाबाद हाइवे भी जाम कर दिया। मौके पर..
    — -समाचार
  • Losing You

    I can?t describe how I feel
    I can?t believe that this could be real
    Sometimes I talk to Whatever?s above
    Praying that this could really be love
    I wish I had the words for this emotion
    To describe to you this total devotion
    I?d crush anything that stood in our way
    Fight everything each and every day


    But I can?t shake off this feeling
    That you are thinking of leaving
    I can?t escape this crushing dread
    That that?s what?s going through your head
    I think you want someone not so far away
    Someone you can touch and hold every day
    And baby, I sometimes wish that too
    Not for me, but only for you


    Each day we are getting older
    And all the time it?s feeling colder
    Every night seems to be longer
    But, you know that just makes me stronger
    More certain and determined in every way
    That when I come, it will be to stay
    I hope you share this same dream with me
    Wishing and hoping we are meant to be

    We have lived such different lives
    I looked at the ground and you looked at the skies
    Life doesn?t like either of us too much
    But you are blessed with this divine touch
    You remind me of an angel, dancing on a star
    So bright and so beautiful, but god so far
    Back on the ground, I?m awed to see
    This incredible person looking down at me

    I wrote this one a few years back..its about the first girl I ever really loved who moved too far away for us to really continue our relationship :S

    — -Chris
  • Lonely Nights

    Since you’re gone
    There is an empty space
    Since you’re gone
    The world is not the same

    I go back to the places we’ve been
    It feels like you’re still there
    I live all those moments again
    Wishing you were here

    Since you’re gone
    There is a lonely heart
    Since you’re gone
    Nothing is like it was

    There are memories all over the place
    Bringing it back all so clear
    I remember all of those days
    Wishing you were here

    Since you’re gone
    There is a heart that bleeds
    Since you’re gone
    I’m not the man I used to be

    I follow you're steps in the snow
    The traces disappear
    We know what we’ve lost when it’s gone
    I’m wishing you were here

    All those lonely nights
    I lied on my bed and cried
    I still think of you
    Yes I do

    — -Ebony Tears
  • True Love

    I tell u i love u every night
    What would Love be without the silly fights
    Without something to make it right
    I'm glad the fights happened
    Or we wouldn't be as strong as we are now
    We stay up all night talking
    But what we talk about is nothing
    But the nothings are everything
    To show the thought each of us care
    I love you without regret
    I've felt this way about you since We first met
    No words can express
    None so true
    You might say I'm crazy
    Yea your right just crazy about you

    — -Ashley Redden
  • Lost Love

    A Feeling of Despair ,The Choking Sobs
    an Image of Being Trampled under a Mob.
    Constricted Breathing, out of Control
    a Feeling of Forever These Moments Stole
    Darkness Settles, No Happy Thoughts,
    the Battles over Before its Even Fought.
    Clouds Drift in ,I Feel the Pain.
    I Stand Destroyed in Your Domain
    On the Edge of a Chasm, Inviting Cold
    Hating Who I Am, a Man with No Soul.
    Can You Hear My Cries of Anguish and Despair,
    to Live or Die Do I Even Care?
    I Know it Sounds Crazy, Not My Usual Peace.
    But What to Do with Myself after this Six Year Lease
    . Words Spoken to God Mean Nothing Anymore
    I Spoke You Spoke Still You Walked out the Door.
    How Do I Maintain My Guise as a Man
    When Behind Closed Doors I Sift Away like Sand
    .To Pick up and Continue What Is the Use?
    I Had a Great Woman I Lost Her, I Deserve All Abuse.
    I Prayed for Us Daily to God from Above, And for What Because Evidently There Is No Such Thing as True Love.

    — -Anthony Crawford
  • i love you

    I love you, not because of what you have but because of what I feels.. I care for you, not because you need care but because I want to.. I'm always here for you, not because i wan't you to be with me but because i want to be with you..
    — -harry
  • Thinking of you

    Thinking of you is easy - I do it every day. Missing you is the heartache, that never goes away.
    — -Michael Pryce
  • Never Without Love

    My life was over,
    Or so it had seemed,
    I said my goodbyes,
    And I silently screamed.

    I knew it was wrong,
    But it just felt so right,
    When sadness creeps in,
    It puts up a fight.

    I went into the kitchen,
    I looked all around,
    I saw what I needed,
    My heart started to pound.

    — -Chord Princess
  • Love Shayari

    The day you fall in love with someone,
    You think is the happiest day of your life,
    But in actual you become the weakest
    person Who can’t live without someone

    — -William Shakespeare
  • जला कर आग सीने में मजा लो

    जला कर आग सीने में मजा लो यार जीने का |
    सलीका सीख लो हमसे दर्द को हँस पीने का ||

    जख्म की कर नुमाइश खैर की चाहत करो क्यों तुम |
    रखो तुम हौसला आकाश में ऊँचा हो उड़ने का ||

    बना कर देखो आईना कभी खुद की निगाहों में |
    भुला दोगे चलन खुद से खफा हो कर उखड़ने का ||

    बुराई दूसरों में मत देखो यारो कभी भी तुम |
    निकालो वक्त तुम आराम से खुद को ही पढ़ने का ||

    नहीं कोई चले जो साथ ऐसा जिंदगी भर को |
    इरादा है सभी का दूसरे को चोट करने का ||

    — -मनिंदर सिंह मनी
  • dreams

    The dreams,
    These dreams that I dream when I sleep in my sleep.
    These dreams that I dream are when my eyes are closed yet open
    Are not for the faint hearted,
    The dreams.

    — -Langston Hughes
  • A Line-Storm Song

    The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift.
    The road is forlorn all day,
    Where a myriad snowy quartz stones lift,
    And the hoof-prints vanish away.
    The roadside flowers, too wet for the bee,
    Expend their bloom in vain.
    Come over the hills and far with me,
    And be my love in the rain.

    The birds have less to say for themselves
    In the wood-world's torn despair
    Than now these numberless years the elves,
    Although they are no less there:
    All song of the woods is crushed like some
    Wild, earily shattered rose.
    Come, be my love in the wet woods, come,
    Where the boughs rain when it blows.

    There is the gale to urge behind
    And bruit our singing down,
    And the shallow waters aflutter with wind
    From which to gather your gown.
    What matter if we go clear to the west,
    And come not through dry-shod?
    For wilding brooch shall wet your breast
    The rain-fresh goldenrod.

    Oh, never this whelming east wind swells
    But it seems like the sea's return
    To the ancient lands where it left the shells
    Before the age of the fern;
    And it seems like the time when after doubt
    Our love came back amain.
    Oh, come forth into the storm and rout
    And be my love in the rain.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Dream Pang

    I had withdrawn in forest, and my song
    Was swallowed up in leaves that blew alway;
    And to the forest edge you came one day
    (This was my dream) and looked and pondered long,
    But did not enter, though the wish was strong:
    you shook your pensive head as who should say,
    'I dare not--to far in his footsteps stray-
    He must seek me would he undo the wrong.'

    Not far, but near, I stood and saw it all
    behind low boughs the trees let down outside;
    And the sweet pang it cost me not to call
    And tell you that I saw does still abide.
    But 'tis not true that thus I dwelt aloof,
    For the wood wakes, and you are here for proof.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Waiting

    Afield at dusk

    What things for dream there are when specter-like,
    Moving amond tall haycocks lightly piled,
    I enter alone upon the stubbled filed,
    From which the laborers' voices late have died,
    And in the antiphony of afterglow
    And rising full moon, sit me down
    Upon the full moon's side of the first haycock
    And lose myself amid so many alike.

    I dream upon the opposing lights of the hour,
    Preventing shadow until the moon prevail;
    I dream upon the nighthawks peopling heaven,
    Or plunging headlong with fierce twang afar;
    And on the bat's mute antics, who would seem
    Dimly to have made out my secret place,
    Only to lose it when he pirouettes,
    On the last swallow's sweep; and on the rasp
    In the abyss of odor and rustle at my back,
    That, silenced by my advent, finds once more,
    After an interval, his instrument,
    And tries once--twice--and thrice if I be there;
    And on the worn book of old-golden song
    I brought not here to read, it seems, but hold
    And freshen in this air of withering sweetness;
    But on the memor of one absent, most,
    For whom these lines when they shall greet her eye.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Tree At My Window

    Tree at my window, window tree,
    My sash is lowered when night comes on;
    But let there never be curtain drawn
    Between you and me.
    Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
    And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
    Not all your light tongues talking aloud
    Could be profound.
    But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
    And if you have seen me when I slept,
    You have seen me when I was taken and swept
    And all but lost.
    That day she put our heads together,
    Fate had her imagination about her,
    Your head so much concerned with outer,
    Mine with inner, weather.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Tuft of Flowers

    I went to turn the grass once after one
    Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.
    The dew was gone that made his blade so keen
    Before I came to view the leveled scene.
    I looked for him behind an isle of trees;
    I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.
    But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,
    And I must be, as he had been -- alone,
    'As all must be,' I said within my heart,
    'Whether they work together or apart.'
    But as I said it, swift there passed me by
    On noiseless wing a bewildered butterfly,
    Seeking with memories grown dim o'er night
    Some resting flower of yesterday's delight.
    And once I marked his flight go round and round,
    As where some flower lay withering on the ground.
    And then he flew as far as eye could see,
    And then on tremulous wing came back to me.
    I thought of questions that have no reply,
    And would have turned to toss the grass to dry;
    But he turned first, and led my eye to look
    At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook,
    A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared
    Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared.
    The mower in the dew had loved them thus,
    By leaving them to flourish, not for us,
    Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him.
    But from sheer morning gladness at the brim.
    The butterfly and I had lit upon,
    Nevertheless, a message from the dawn,
    That made me hear the wakening birds around,
    And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground,
    And feel a spirit kindred to my own;
    So that henceforth I worked no more alone;
    But glad with him, I worked as with his aid,
    And weary, sought at noon with him the shade;
    And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech
    With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach.
    'Men work together,' I told him from the heart,
    'Whether they work together or apart.'

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Armful

    For every parcel I stoop down to seize
    I lose some other off my arms and knees,
    And the whole pile is slipping, bottles, buns,
    Extremes too hard to comprehend at. once
    Yet nothing I should care to leave behind.
    With all I have to hold with~ hand and mind
    And heart, if need be, I will do my best.
    To keep their building balanced at my breast.
    I crouch down to prevent them as they fall;
    Then sit down in the middle of them all.
    I had to drop the armful in the road
    And try to stack them in a better load.

    — -Robert Frost
  • I Love You Poems

    You've brightened my world with
    the warmth of your love... I Love
    You with all my heart!

    — -Keon Franks
  • Rose Pogonias

    A SATURATED meadow,
    Sun-shaped and jewel-small,
    A circle scarcely wider
    Than the trees around were tall;
    Where winds were quite excluded,
    And the air was stifling sweet
    With the breath of many flowers, --
    A temple of the hear.

    There we bowed us in the burning,
    As the sun's right worship is,
    To pick where none could miss them
    A thousand orchises;
    For though the grass was scattered,
    yet every second spear
    Seemed tipped with wings of color,
    That tinged the atmosphere.

    We raised a simple prayer
    Before we left the spot,
    That in the general mowing
    That place might be forgot;
    Or if not all so favored,
    Obtain such grace of hours,
    that none should mow the grass there
    While so confused with flowers

    — -Robert Frost
  • Pan with Us

    Pan came out of the woods one day,--
    His skin and his hair and his eyes were gray,
    The gray of the moss of walls were they,--
    And stood in the sun and looked his fill
    At wooded valley and wooded hill.

    He stood in the zephyr, pipes in hand,
    On a height of naked pasture land;
    In all the country he did command
    He saw no smoke and he saw no roof.
    That was well! and he stamped a hoof.

    His heart knew peace, for none came here
    To this lean feeding save once a year
    Someone to salt the half-wild steer,
    Or homespun children with clicking pails
    Who see so little they tell no tales.

    He tossed his pipes, too hard to teach
    A new-world song, far out of reach,
    For sylvan sign that the blue jay's screech
    And the whimper of hawks beside the sun
    Were music enough for him, for one.

    Times were changed from what they were:
    Such pipes kept less of power to stir
    The fruited bough of the juniper
    And the fragile bluets clustered there
    Than the merest aimless breath of air.

    They were pipes of pagan mirth,
    And the world had found new terms of worth.
    He laid him down on the sun-burned earth
    And raveled a flower and looked away--
    Play? Play?--What should he play?

    — -Robert Frost
  • Immigrants

    No ship of all that under sail or steam
    Have gathered people to us more and more
    But Pilgrim-manned the Mayflower in a dream
    Has been her anxious convoy in to shore.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Good-by and Keep Cold

    This saying good-by on the edge of the dark
    And the cold to an orchard so young in the bark
    Reminds me of all that can happen to harm
    An orchard away at the end of the farm
    All winter, cut off by a hill from the house.
    I don't want it girdled by rabbit and mouse,
    I don't want it dreamily nibbled for browse
    By deer, and I don't want it budded by grouse.
    (If certain it wouldn't be idle to call
    I'd summon grouse, rabbit, and deer to the wall
    And warn them away with a stick for a gun.)
    I don't want it stirred by the heat of the sun.
    (We made it secure against being, I hope,
    By setting it out on a northerly slope.)
    No orchard's the worse for the wintriest storm;
    But one thing about it, it mustn't get warm.
    'How often already you've had to be told,
    Keep cold, young orchard. Good-by and keep cold.
    Dread fifty above more than fifty below.'
    I have to be gone for a season or so.
    My business awhile is with different trees,
    less carefully nurtured, less fruitful than these,
    And such as is done to their wood with an ax--
    Maples and birches and tamaracks.
    I wish I could promise to lie in the night
    And think of an orchard's arboreal plight
    When slowly (and nobody comes with a light)
    Its heart sinks lower under the sod.
    But something has to be left to God.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Good Hours

    I had for my winter evening walk--
    No one at all with whom to talk,
    But I had the cottages in a row
    Up to their shining eyes in snow.

    And I thought I had the folk within:
    I had the sound of a violin;
    I had a glimpse through curtain laces
    Of youthful forms and youthful faces.

    I had such company outward bound.
    I went till there were no cottages found.
    I turned and repented, but coming back
    I saw no window but that was black.

    Over the snow my creaking feet
    Disturbed the slumbering village street
    Like profanation, by your leave,
    At ten o'clock of a winter eve.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Going for Water

    The well was dry beside the door,
    And so we went with pail and can
    Across the fields behind the house
    To seek the brook if still it ran;

    Not loth to have excuse to go,
    Because the autumn eve was fair
    (Though chill), because the fields were ours,
    And by the brook our woods were there.

    We ran as if to meet the moon
    That slowly dawned behind the trees,
    The barren boughs without the leaves,
    Without the birds, without the breeze.

    But once within the wood, we paused
    Like gnomes that hid us from the moon,
    Ready to run to hiding new
    With laughter when she found us soon.

    Each laid on other a staying hand
    To listen ere we dared to look,
    And in the hush we joined to make
    We heard, we knew we heard the brook.

    A note as from a single place,
    A slender tinkling fall that made
    Now drops that floated on the pool
    Like pearls, and now a silver blade.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Fireflies in the Garden

    Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
    And here on earth come emulating flies,
    That though they never equal stars in size,
    (And they were never really stars at heart)
    Achieve at times a very star-like start.
    Only, of course, they can't sustain the part.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Devotion

    The heart can think of no devotion
    Greater than being shore to the ocean--
    Holding the curve of one position,
    Counting an endless repetition.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Canis Major

    The great Overdog
    That heavenly beast
    With a star in one eye
    Gives a leap in the east.
    He dances upright
    All the way to the west
    And never once drops
    On his forefeet to rest.
    I'm a poor underdog,
    But to-night I will bark
    With the great Overdog
    That romps through the dark.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Acceptance

    When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud
    And goes down burning into the gulf below,
    No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud
    At what has happened. Birds, at least must know
    It is the change to darkness in the sky.
    Murmuring something quiet in her breast,
    One bird begins to close a faded eye;
    Or overtaken too far from his nest,
    Hurrying low above the grove, some waif
    Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.
    At most he thinks or twitters softly, 'Safe!
    Now let the night be dark for all of me.
    Let the night bee too dark for me to see
    Into the future. Let what will be, be.'

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Patch of Old Snow

    There's a patch of old snow in a corner
    That I should have guessed
    Was a blow-away paper the rain
    Had brought to rest.

    It is speckled with grime as if
    Small print overspread it,
    The news of a day I've forgotten--
    If I ever read it.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Provide, Provide

    The witch that came (the withered hag)
    To wash the steps with pail and rag,
    Was once the beauty Abishag,

    The picture pride of Hollywood.
    Too many fall from great and good
    For you to doubt the likelihood.

    Die early and avoid the fate.
    Or if predestined to die late,
    Make up your mind to die in state.

    Make the whole stock exchange your own!
    If need be occupy a throne,
    Where nobody can call you crone.

    Some have relied on what they knew;
    Others on simply being true.
    What worked for them might work for you.

    No memory of having starred
    Atones for later disregard,
    Or keeps the end from being hard.

    Better to go down dignified
    With boughten friendship at your side
    Than none at all. Provide, provide!

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Aim was Song

    Before man came to blow it right
    The wind once blew itself untaught,
    And did its loudest day and night
    In any rough place where it caught.

    Man came to tell it what was wrong:
    I hadn't found the place to blow;
    It blew too hard--the aim was song.
    And listen--how it ought to go!

    He took a little in his mouth,
    And held it long enough for north
    To be converted into south,
    And then by measure blew it forth.

    By measure. It was word and note,
    The wind the wind had meant to be--
    A little through the lips and throat.
    The aim was song--the wind could see

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Prayer in Spring

    OH, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
    And give us not to think so far away
    As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
    All simply in the springing of the year.

    Oh, give us pleasure in the orcahrd white,
    Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
    And make us happy in the happy bees,
    The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

    And make us happy in the darting bird
    That suddenly above the bees is heard,
    The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
    And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

    For this is love and nothing else is love,
    To which it is reserved for God above
    To sanctify to what far ends he will,
    But which it only needs that we fulfill

    — -Robert Frost
  • In a Disused Graveyard

    The living come with grassy tread
    To read the gravestones on the hill;
    The graveyard draws the living still,
    But never anymore the dead.
    The verses in it say and say:
    "The ones who living come today
    To read the stones and go away
    Tomorrow dead will come to stay."
    So sure of death the marbles rhyme,
    Yet can't help marking all the time
    How no one dead will seem to come.
    What is it men are shrinking from?
    It would be easy to be clever
    And tell the stones: Men hate to die
    And have stopped dying now forever.
    I think they would believe the lie.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Telephone

    When I was just as far as I could walk
    From here today,
    There was an hour
    All still
    When leaning with my head again a flower
    I heard you talk.
    Don't say I didn't, for I heard you say--
    You spoke from that flower on the window sill-
    Do you remember what it was you said?'

    'First tell me what it was you thought you heard.'

    'Having found the flower and driven a bee away,
    I leaned on my head
    And holding by the stalk,
    I listened and I thought I caught the word--
    What was it? Did you call me by my name?
    Or did you say--
    Someone said "Come" -- I heard it as I bowed.'

    'I may have thought as much, but not aloud.'

    "Well, so I came.'

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Question

    A voice said, Look me in the stars
    And tell me truly, men of earth,
    If all the soul-and-body scars
    Were not too much to pay for birth

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Exposed Nest

    You were forever finding some new play.
    So when I saw you down on hands and knees
    I the meadow, busy with the new-cut hay,
    Trying, I thought, to set it up on end,
    I went to show you how to make it stay,
    If that was your idea, against the breeze,
    And, if you asked me, even help pretend
    To make it root again and grow afresh.
    But 'twas no make-believe with you today,
    Nor was the grass itself your real concern,
    Though I found your hand full of wilted fern,
    Steel-bright June-grass, and blackening heads of clovers.
    'Twas a nest full of young birds on the ground
    The cutter-bar had just gone champing over
    (Miraculously without tasking flesh)
    And left defenseless to the heat and light.
    You wanted to restore them to their right
    Of something interposed between their sight
    And too much world at once--could means be found.
    The way the nest-full every time we stirred
    Stood up to us as to a mother-bird
    Whose coming home has been too long deferred,
    Made me ask would the mother-bird return
    And care for them in such a change of scene
    And might out meddling make her more afraid.
    That was a thing we could not wait to learn.
    We saw the risk we took in doing good,
    But dared not spare to do the best we could
    Though harm should come of it; so built the screen
    You had begun, and gave them back their shade.
    All this to prove we cared. Why is there then
    No more to tell? We turned to other things.
    I haven't any memory--have you?--
    Of ever coming to the place again
    To see if the birds lived the first night through,
    And so at last to learn to use their wings.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Flower Boat

    The fisherman's swapping a yarn for a yarn
    Under the hand of the village barber,
    And her in the angle of house and barn
    His deep-sea dory has found a harbor.

    At anchor she rides the sunny sod
    As full to the gunnel of flowers growing
    As ever she turned her home with cod
    From George's bank when winds were blowing.

    And I judge from that elysian freight
    That all they ask is rougher weather,
    And dory and master will sail by fate
    To seek the Happy Isles together.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Kitchen Chimney

    Builder, in building the little house,
    In every way you may please yourself;
    But please please me in the kitchen chimney:
    Don't build me a chimney upon a shelf.

    However far you must go for bricks,
    Whatever they cost a-piece or a pound,
    But me enough for a full-length chimney,
    And build the chimney clear from the ground.

    It's not that I'm greatly afraid of fire,
    But I never heard of a house that throve
    (And I know of one that didn't thrive)
    Where the chimney started above the stove.

    And I dread the ominous stain of tar
    That there always is on the papered walls,
    And the smell of fire drowned in rain
    That there always is when the chimney's false.

    A shelf's for a clock or vase or picture,
    But I don't see why it should have to bear
    A chimney that only would serve to remind me
    Of castles I used to build in air.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Valley's Singing Day

    The sound of the closing outside door was all.
    You made no sound in the grass with your footfall,
    As far as you went from the door, which was not far;
    But had awakened under the morning star
    The first song-bird that awakened all the rest.
    He could have slept but a moment more at best.
    Already determined dawn began to lay
    In place across a cloud the slender ray
    For prying across a cloud the slender ray
    For prying beneath and forcing the lids of sight,
    And loosing the pent-up music of over-night.
    But dawn was not to begin their 'pearly-pearly;
    (By which they mean the rain is pearls so early,
    Before it changes to diamonds in the sun),
    Neither was song that day to be self-begun.
    You had begun it, and if there needed proof--
    I was asleep still under the dripping roof,
    My window curtain hung over the sill to wet;
    But I should awake to confirm your story yet;
    I should be willing to say and help you say
    That once you had opened the valley's singing day.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Vanishing Red

    He is said to have been the last Red man
    In Action. And the Miller is said to have laughed--
    If you like to call such a sound a laugh.
    But he gave no one else a laugher's license.
    For he turned suddenly grave as if to say,
    'Whose business,--if I take it on myself,
    Whose business--but why talk round the barn?--
    When it's just that I hold with getting a thing done with.'
    You can't get back and see it as he saw it.
    It's too long a story to go into now.
    You'd have to have been there and lived it.
    They you wouldn't have looked on it as just a matter
    Of who began it between the two races.

    Some guttural exclamation of surprise
    The Red man gave in poking about the mill
    Over the great big thumping shuffling millstone
    Disgusted the Miller physically as coming
    From one who had no right to be heard from.
    'Come, John,' he said, 'you want to see the wheel-pint?'

    He took him down below a cramping rafter,
    And showed him, through a manhole in the floor,
    The water in desperate straits like frantic fish,
    Salmon and sturgeon, lashing with their tails.
    The he shut down the trap door with a ring in it
    That jangled even above the general noise,
    And came upstairs alone--and gave that laugh,
    And said something to a man with a meal-sack
    That the man with the meal-sack didn't catch--then.
    Oh, yes, he showed John the wheel-pit all right.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Door in the Dark

    In going from room to room in the dark,
    I reached out blindly to save my face,
    But neglected, however lightly, to lace
    My fingers and close my arms in an arc.
    A slim door got in past my guard,
    And hit me a blow in the head so hard
    I had my native simile jarred.
    So people and things don't pair any more
    With what they used to pair with before.

    — -Robert Frost
  • October

    O hushed October morning mild,
    Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
    Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
    Should waste them all.
    The crows above the forest call;
    Tomorrow they may form and go.
    O hushed October morning mild,
    Begin the hours of this day slow.
    Make the day seem to us less brief.
    Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
    Beguile us in the way you know.
    Release one leaf at break of day;
    At noon release another leaf;
    One from our trees, one far away.
    Retard the sun with gentle mist;
    Enchant the land with amethyst.
    Slow, slow!
    For the grapes' sake, if the were all,
    Whose elaves already are burnt with frost,
    Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
    For the grapes' sake along the all.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Asking For Roses

    A house that lacks, seemingly, mistress and master,
    With doors that none but the wind ever closes,
    Its floor all littered with glass and with plaster;
    It stands in a garden of old-fashioned roses.

    I pass by that way in the gloaming with Mary;
    'I wonder,' I say, 'who the owner of those is.'
    'Oh, no one you know,' she answers me airy,
    'But one we must ask if we want any roses.'

    So we must join hands in the dew coming coldly
    There in the hush of the wood that reposes,
    And turn and go up to the open door boldly,
    And knock to the echoes as beggars for roses.

    'Pray, are you within there, Mistress Who-were-you?'
    'Tis Mary that speaks and our errand discloses.
    'Pray, are you within there? Bestir you, bestir you!
    'Tis summer again; there's two come for roses.

    'A word with you, that of the singer recalling--
    Old Herrick: a saying that every maid knows is
    A flower unplucked is but left to the falling,
    And nothing is gained by not gathering roses.'

    We do not loosen our hands' intertwining
    (Not caring so very much what she supposes),
    There when she comes on us mistily shining
    And grants us by silence the boon of her roses.

    — -Robert Frost
  • My November Guest

    My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
    Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
    Are beautiful as days can be;
    She loves the bare, the withered tree;
    She walks the sodden pasture lane.

    Her pleasure will not let me stay.
    She talks and I am fain to list:
    She's glad the birds are gone away,
    She's glad her simple worsted grady
    Is silver now with clinging mist.

    The desolate, deserted trees,
    The faded earth, the heavy sky,
    The beauties she so ryly sees,
    She thinks I have no eye for these,
    And vexes me for reason why.

    Not yesterday I learned to know
    The love of bare November days
    Before the coming of the snow,
    But it were vain to tell he so,
    And they are better for her praise.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Desert Places

    Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
    In a field I looked into going past,
    And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
    But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

    The woods around it have it—it is theirs.
    All animals are smothered in their lairs.
    I am too absent-spirited to count;
    The loneliness includes me unawares.

    And lonely as it is, that loneliness
    Will be more lonely ere it will be less—
    A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
    With no expression, nothing to express.

    They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
    Between stars—on stars where no human race is.
    I have it in me so much nearer home
    To scare myself with my own desert places.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Once By The Pacific

    The shattered water made a misty din.
    Great waves looked over others coming in,
    And thought of doing something to the shore
    That water never did to land before.
    The clouds were low and hairy in the skies,
    Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes.
    You could not tell, and yet it looked as if
    The shore was lucky in being backed by cliff,
    The cliff in being backed by continent;
    It looked as if a night of dark intent
    Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
    Someone had better be prepared for rage.
    There would be more than ocean-water broken
    Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Wind and Window Flower

    LOVERS, forget your love,
    And list to the love of these,
    She a window flower,
    And he a winter breeze.

    When the frosty window veil
    Was melted down at noon,
    And the cagèd yellow bird
    Hung over her in tune,

    He marked her through the pane,
    He could not help but mark,
    And only passed her by,
    To come again at dark.

    He was a winter wind,
    Concerned with ice and snow,
    Dead weeds and unmated birds,
    And little of love could know.

    But he sighed upon the sill,
    He gave the sash a shake,
    As witness all within
    Who lay that night awake.

    Perchance he half prevailed
    To win her for the flight
    From the firelit looking-glass
    And warm stove-window light.

    But the flower leaned aside
    And thought of naught to say,
    And morning found the breeze
    A hundred miles away.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Into My Own

    One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
    So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
    Were not, as 'twere, the merest mask of gloom,
    But stretched away unto th eedge of doom.

    I should not be withheld but that some day
    into their vastness I should steal away,
    Fearless of ever finding open land,
    or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

    I do not see why I should e'er turn back,
    Or those should not set forth upon my track
    To overtake me, who should miss me here
    And long to know if still I held them dear.

    They would not find me changed from him the knew--
    Only more sure of all I though was true.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Love and a Question

    A stranger came to the door at eve,
    And he spoke the bridegroom fair.
    He bore a green-white stick in his hand,
    And, for all burden, care.
    He asked with the eyes more than the lips
    For a shelter for the night,
    And he turned and looked at the road afar
    Without a window light.

    The bridegroom came forth into the porch
    With, 'Let us look at the sky,
    And question what of the night to be,
    Stranger, you and I.'
    The woodbine leaves littered the yard,
    The woodbine berries were blue,
    Autumn, yes, winter was in the wind;
    'Stranger, I wish I knew.'

    Within, the bride in the dusk alone
    Bent over the open fire,
    Her face rose-red with the glowing coal
    And the thought of the heart's desire.

    The bridegroom looked at the weary road,
    Yet saw but her within,
    And wished her heart in a case of gold
    And pinned with a silver pin.

    The bridegroom thought it little to give
    A dole of bread, a purse,
    A heartfelt prayer for the poor of God,
    Or for the rich a curse;

    But whether or not a man was asked
    To mar the love of two
    By harboring woe in the bridal house,
    The bridegroom wished he knew.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Girl's Garden

    A NEIGHBOR of mine in the village
    Likes to tell how one spring
    When she was a girl on the farm, she did
    A childlike thing.

    One day she asked her father
    To give her a garden plot
    To plant and tend and reap herself,
    And he said, "Why not?"

    In casting about for a corner
    He thought of an idle bit
    Of walled-off ground where a shop had stood,
    And he said, "Just it."

    And he said, "That ought to make you
    An ideal one-girl farm,
    And give you a chance to put some strength
    On your slim-jim arm."

    It was not enough of a garden,
    Her father said, to plough;
    So she had to work it all by hand,
    But she don't mind now.

    She wheeled the dung in the wheelbarrow
    Along a stretch of road;
    But she always ran away and left
    Her not-nice load.

    And hid from anyone passing.
    And then she begged the seed.
    She says she thinks she planted one
    Of all things but weed.

    A hill each of potatoes,
    Radishes, lettuce, peas,
    Tomatoes, beets, beans, pumpkins, corn,
    And even fruit trees

    And yes, she has long mistrusted
    That a cider apple tree
    In bearing there to-day is hers,
    Or at least may be.

    Her crop was a miscellany
    When all was said and done,
    A little bit of everything,
    A great deal of none.

    Now when she sees in the village
    How village things go,
    Just when it seems to come in right,
    She says, "I know!

    It's as when I was a farmer--"
    Oh, never by way of advice!
    And she never sins by telling the tale
    To the same person twice.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Hyla Brook

    By June our brook's run out of song and speed.
    Sought for much after that, it will be found
    Either to have gone groping underground
    (And taken with it all the Hyla breed
    That shouted in the mist a month ago,
    Like ghost of sleigh-bells in a ghost of snow)--
    Or flourished and come up in jewel-weed,
    Weak foliage that is blown upon and bent
    Even against the way its waters went.
    Its bed is left a faded paper sheet
    Of dead leaves stuck together by the heat--
    A brook to none but who remember long.
    This as it will be seen is other far
    Than with brooks taken otherwhere in song.
    We love the things we love for what they are.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Design

    I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
    On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
    Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth --
    Assorted characters of death and blight
    Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
    Like the ingredients of a witches' broth --
    A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
    And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

    What had that flower to do with being white,
    The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
    What brought the kindred spider to that height,
    Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
    What but design of darkness to appall?--
    If design govern in a thing so small.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Silken Tent

    She is as in a field a silken tent
    At midday when the sunny summer breeze
    Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
    So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
    And its supporting central cedar pole,
    That is its pinnacle to heavenward
    And signifies the sureness of the soul,
    Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
    But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
    By countless silken ties of love and thought
    To everything on earth the compass round,
    And only by one's going slightly taut
    In the capriciousness of summer air
    Is of the slightest bondage made aware.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Putting in the Seed

    You come to fetch me from my work to-night
    When supper's on the table, and we'll see
    If I can leave off burying the white
    Soft petals fallen from the apple tree
    (Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite,
    Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea);
    And go along with you ere you lose sight
    Of what you came for and become like me,
    Slave to a Springtime passion for the earth.
    How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed
    On through the watching for that early birth
    When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,
    The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
    Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.

    — -Robert Frost
  • After Apple-Picking

    My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
    Toward heaven still,
    And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
    Beside it, and there may be two or three
    Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
    But I am done with apple-picking now.
    Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
    The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
    I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
    I got from looking through a pane of glass
    I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
    And held against the world of hoary grass.
    It melted, and I let it fall and break.
    But I was well
    Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
    And I could tell
    What form my dreaming was about to take.
    Magnified apples appear and disappear,
    Stem end and blossom end,
    And every fleck of russet showing dear.
    My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
    It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
    I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
    And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
    The rumbling sound
    Of load on load of apples coming in.
    For I have had too much
    Of apple-picking: I am overtired
    Of the great harvest I myself desired.
    There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
    Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
    For all
    That struck the earth,
    No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
    Went surely to the cider-apple heap
    As of no worth.
    One can see what will trouble
    This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
    Were he not gone,
    The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
    Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
    Or just some human sleep

    — -Robert Frost
  • Two Tramps In Mud Time

    Out of the mud two strangers came
    And caught me splitting wood in the yard,
    And one of them put me off my aim
    By hailing cheerily "Hit them hard!"
    I knew pretty well why he had dropped behind
    And let the other go on a way.
    I knew pretty well what he had in mind:
    He wanted to take my job for pay.

    Good blocks of oak it was I split,
    As large around as the chopping block;
    And every piece I squarely hit
    Fell splinterless as a cloven rock.
    The blows that a life of self-control
    Spares to strike for the common good,
    That day, giving a loose to my soul,
    I spent on the unimportant wood.

    The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
    You know how it is with an April day
    When the sun is out and the wind is still,
    You're one month on in the middle of May.
    But if you so much as dare to speak,
    A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
    A wind comes off a frozen peak,
    And you're two months back in the middle of March.

    A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight
    And turns to the wind to unruffle a plume,
    His song so pitched as not to excite
    A single flower as yet to bloom.
    It is snowing a flake; and he half knew
    Winter was only playing possum.
    Except in color he isn't blue,
    But he wouldn't advise a thing to blossom.

    The water for which we may have to look
    In summertime with a witching wand,
    In every wheelrut's now a brook,
    In every print of a hoof a pond.
    Be glad of water, but don't forget
    The lurking frost in the earth beneath
    That will steal forth after the sun is set
    And show on the water its crystal teeth.

    The time when most I loved my task
    The two must make me love it more
    By coming with what they came to ask.
    You'd think I never had felt before
    The weight of an ax-head poised aloft,
    The grip of earth on outspread feet,
    The life of muscles rocking soft
    And smooth and moist in vernal heat.

    Out of the wood two hulking tramps
    (From sleeping God knows where last night,
    But not long since in the lumber camps).
    They thought all chopping was theirs of right.
    Men of the woods and lumberjacks,
    They judged me by their appropriate tool.
    Except as a fellow handled an ax
    They had no way of knowing a fool.

    Nothing on either side was said.
    They knew they had but to stay their stay

    And all their logic would fill my head:
    As that I had no right to play
    With what was another man's work for gain.
    My right might be love but theirs was need.
    And where the two exist in twain
    Theirs was the better right--agreed.

    But yield who will to their separation,
    My object in living is to unite
    My avocation and my vocation
    As my two eyes make one in sight.
    Only where love and need are one,
    And the work is play for mortal stakes,
    Is the deed ever really done
    For Heaven and the future's sakes.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Bereft

    Where had I heard this wind before
    Change like this to a deeper roar?
    What would it take my standing there for,
    Holding open a restive door,
    Looking down hill to a frothy shore?
    Summer was past and day was past.
    Somber clouds in the west were massed.
    Out in the porch's sagging floor,
    leaves got up in a coil and hissed,
    Blindly struck at my knee and missed.
    Something sinister in the tone
    Told me my secret must be known:
    Word I was in the house alone
    Somehow must have gotten abroad,
    Word I was in my life alone,
    Word I had no one left but God.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Birches

    When I see birches bend to left and right
    Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
    I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
    But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.
    Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
    Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
    After a rain. They click upon themselves
    As the breeze rises, and turn many-coloured
    As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
    Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
    Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust
    Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
    You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
    They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
    And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
    So low for long, they never right themselves:
    You may see their trunks arching in the woods
    Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground,
    Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
    Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
    But I was going to say when Truth broke in
    With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm,
    I should prefer to have some boy bend them
    As he went out and in to fetch the cows--
    Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
    Whose only play was what he found himself,
    Summer or winter, and could play alone.
    One by one he subdued his father's trees
    By riding them down over and over again
    Until he took the stiffness out of them,
    And not one but hung limp, not one was left
    For him to conquer. He learned all there was
    To learn about not launching out too soon
    And so not carrying the tree away
    Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
    To the top branches, climbing carefully
    With the same pains you use to fill a cup
    Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
    Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
    Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
    So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
    And so I dream of going back to be.
    It's when I'm weary of considerations,
    And life is too much like a pathless wood
    Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
    Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
    From a twig's having lashed across it open.
    I'd like to get away from earth awhile
    And then come back to it and begin over.
    May no fate wilfully misunderstand me
    And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
    Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
    I don't know where it's likely to go better.
    I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree~
    And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
    Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
    But dipped its top and set me down again.
    That would be good both going and coming back.
    One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Mending Wall

    Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
    That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it
    And spills the upper boulder in the sun,
    And make gaps even two can pass abreast.
    The work of hunters is another thing:
    I have come after them and made repair
    Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
    But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
    To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
    No one has seen them made or heard them made,
    But at spring mending-time we find them there,
    I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
    And on a day we meet to walk the line
    And set the wall between us once again.
    We keep the wall between us as we go.
    To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
    And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
    We have to use a spell to make them balance:
    "Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
    We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
    Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
    One on a side. It comes to little more:
    There were it is we do not need the wall:
    He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
    My apple trees will never get across
    And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
    He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
    Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
    If I could put a notion in his head:
    "Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
    Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
    Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
    What I was walling in or walling out,
    And to whom I was like to give offense.
    Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
    That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
    But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
    He said it for himself. I see him there,
    Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
    In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
    He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
    Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
    He will not go behind his father's saying,
    And he likes having though of it so well
    He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

    — -Robert Frost
  • Ghost House

    I DWELL in a lonely house I know
    That vanished many a summer ago,
    And left no trace but the cellar walls,
    And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
    And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

    O'er ruined fences the grape-vines shield
    The woods come back to the mowing field;
    The orchard tree has grown one copse
    Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
    The footpath down to the well is healed.

    I dwell with a strangely aching heart
    In that vanished abode there far apart
    On that disused and forgotten road
    That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
    Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;

    The whippoorwill is coming to shout
    And hush and cluck and flutter about:
    I hear him begin far enough away
    Full many a time to say his say
    Before he arrives to say it out.

    It is under the small, dim, summer star.
    I know not who these mute folk are
    Who share the unlit place with me--
    Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
    Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

    They are tireless folk, but slow and sad,
    Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,--
    With none among them that ever sings,
    And yet, in view of how many things,
    As sweet companions as might be had.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Dust of Snow

    The way a crow
    Shook down on me
    The dust of snow
    From a hemlock tree
    Has given my heart
    A change of mood
    And saved some part
    Of a day I had rued.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Nothing Gold Can Stay

    Nature's first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf's a flower;
    But only so an hour.
    Then leaf subsides to leaf.
    So Eden sank to grief,
    So dawn goes down to day.
    Nothing gold can stay.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Fire and Ice

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I've tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favour fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Lockless Door

    It went many years,
    But at last came a knock,
    And I though of the door
    With no lock to lock.

    I blew out the light,
    I tip-toed the floor,
    And raised both hands
    In prayer to the door.

    But the knock came again.
    My window was wide;
    I climbed on the sill
    And descended outside.

    Back over the sill
    I bade a 'Come in'
    To whatever the knock
    At the door may have been.

    So at a knock
    I emptied my cage
    To hide in the world
    And alter with age.

    — -Robert Frost
  • 'Out, Out--'

    The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard
    And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
    Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
    And from there those that lifted eyes could count
    Five mountain ranges one behind the other
    Under the sunset far into Vermont.
    And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,
    As it ran light, or had to bear a load.
    And nothing happened: day was all but done.
    Call it a day, I wish they might have said
    To please the boy by giving him the half hour
    That a boy counts so much when saved from work.
    His sister stood beside them in her apron
    To tell them 'Supper'. At the word, the saw,
    As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,
    Leaped out at the boy's hand, or seemed to leap--
    He must have given the hand. However it was,
    Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!
    The boy's first outcry was a rueful laugh.
    As he swung toward them holding up the hand
    Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
    The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all--
    Since he was old enough to know, big boy
    Doing a man's work, though a child at heart--
    He saw all spoiled. 'Don't let him cut my hand off
    The doctor, when he comes. Don't let him, sister!'
    So. But the hand was gone already.
    The doctor put him in the dark of ether.
    He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.
    And then -- the watcher at his pulse took fright.
    No one believed. They listened at his heart.
    Little -- less -- nothing! -- and that ended it.
    No more to build on there. And they, since they
    Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Walkers With The Dawn

    Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
    Walkers with the sun and morning,
    We are not afraid of night,
    Nor days of gloom,
    Nor darkness--
    Being walkers with the sun and morning.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Madam And Her Madam

    I worked for a woman,
    She wasn't mean--
    But she had a twelve-room
    House to clean.

    Had to get breakfast,
    Dinner, and supper, too--
    Then take care of her children
    When I got through.

    Wash, iron, and scrub,
    Walk the dog around--
    It was too much,
    Nearly broke me down.

    I said, Madam,
    Can it be
    You trying to make a
    Pack-horse out of me?

    She opened her mouth.
    She cried, Oh, no!
    You know, Alberta,
    I love you so!

    I said, Madam,
    That may be true--
    But I'll be dogged
    If I love you!

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Madam And The Phone Bill

    You say I O.K.ed
    LONG DISTANCE?
    O.K.ed it when?
    My goodness, Central
    That was then!

    I'm mad and disgusted
    With that Negro now.
    I don't pay no REVERSED
    CHARGES nohow.

    You say, I will pay it--
    Else you'll take out my phone?
    You better let
    My phone alone.

    I didn't ask him
    To telephone me.
    Roscoe knows darn well
    LONG DISTANCE
    Ain't free.

    If I ever catch him,
    Lawd, have pity!
    Calling me up
    From Kansas City.

    Just to say he loves me!
    I knowed that was so.
    Why didn't he tell me some'n
    I don't know?

    For instance, what can
    Them other girls do
    That Alberta K. Johnson
    Can't do--and more, too?

    What's that, Central?
    You say you don't care
    Nothing about my
    Private affair?

    Well, even less about your
    PHONE BILL, does I care!

    Un-humm-m! . . . Yes!
    You say I gave my O.K.?
    Well, that O.K. you may keep--

    But I sure ain't gonna pay!

    — -Amy Lowell
  • The Exeter Road

    Panels of claret and blue which shine
    Under the moon like lees of wine.
    A coronet done in a golden scroll,
    And wheels which blunder and creak as they roll
    Through the muddy ruts of a moorland track.
    They daren't look back!
    They are whipping and cursing the horses. Lord!
    What brutes men are when they think they're scored.
    Behind, my bay gelding gallops with me,
    In a steaming sweat, it is fine to see
    That coach, all claret, and gold, and blue,
    Hop about and slue.
    They are scared half out of their wits, poor souls.
    For my lord has a casket full of rolls
    Of minted sovereigns, and silver bars.
    I laugh to think how he'll show his scars
    In London to-morrow. He whines with rage
    In his varnished cage.
    My lady has shoved her rings over her toes.
    'Tis an ancient trick every night-rider knows.
    But I shall relieve her of them yet,
    When I see she limps in the minuet
    I must beg to celebrate this night,
    And the green moonlight.
    There's nothing to hurry about, the plain
    Is hours long, and the mud's a strain.
    My gelding's uncommonly strong in the loins,
    In half an hour I'll bag the coins.
    'Tis a clear, sweet night on the turn of Spring.
    The chase is the thing!
    How the coach flashes and wobbles, the moon
    Dripping down so quietly on it. A tune
    Is beating out of the curses and screams,
    And the cracking all through the painted seams.
    Steady, old horse, we'll keep it in sight.
    'Tis a rare fine night!
    There's a clump of trees on the dip of the down,
    And the sky shimmers where it hangs over the town.
    It seems a shame to break the air
    In two with this pistol, but I've my share
    Of drudgery like other men.
    His hat? Amen!
    Hold up, you beast, now what the devil!
    Confound this moor for a pockholed, evil,
    Rotten marsh. My right leg's snapped.
    'Tis a mercy he's rolled, but I'm nicely capped.
    A broken-legged man and a broken-legged horse!
    They'll get me, of course.
    The cursed coach will reach the town
    And they'll all come out, every loafer grown
    A lion to handcuff a man that's down.
    What's that? Oh, the coachman's bulleted hat!
    I'll give it a head to fit it pat.
    Thank you! No cravat.

    ~They handcuffed the body just for style,
    And they hung him in chains for the volatile
    Wind to scour him flesh from bones.
    Way out on the moor you can hear the groans
    His gibbet makes when it blows a gale.
    'Tis a common tale.~

    — -Amy Lowell
  • The Cyclists

    Spread on the roadway,
    With open-blown jackets,
    Like black, soaring pinions,
    They swoop down the hillside,
    The Cyclists.
    Seeming dark-plumaged
    Birds, after carrion,
    Careening and circling,
    Over the dying
    Of England.
    She lies with her bosom
    Beneath them, no longer
    The Dominant Mother,
    The Virile -- but rotting
    Before time.
    The smell of her, tainted,
    Has bitten their nostrils.
    Exultant they hover,
    And shadow the sun with
    Foreboding.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Francis II King of Naples

    Written after reading Trevelyan's "Garibaldi
    and the making of Italy"

    Poor foolish monarch, vacillating, vain,
    Decaying victim of a race of kings,
    Swift Destiny shook out her purple wings
    And caught him in their shadow; not again
    Could furtive plotting smear another stain
    Across his tarnished honour. Smoulderings
    Of sacrificial fires burst their rings
    And blotted out in smoke his lost domain.
    Bereft of courtiers, only with his queen,
    From empty palace down to empty quay.
    No challenge screamed from hostile carabine.
    A single vessel waited, shadowy;
    All night she ploughed her solitary way
    Beneath the stars, and through a tranquil sea.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Miscast I

    I have whetted my brain until it is like a Damascus
    blade,
    So keen that it nicks off the floating fringes of passers-by,
    So sharp that the air would turn its edge
    Were it to be twisted in flight.
    Licking passions have bitten their arabesques into it,
    And the mark of them lies, in and out,
    Worm-like,
    With the beauty of corroded copper patterning white steel.
    My brain is curved like a scimitar,
    And sighs at its cutting
    Like a sickle mowing grass.
    But of what use is all this to me!
    I, who am set to crack stones
    In a country lane!

    — -Amy Lowell
  • The Precinct. Rochester

    The tall yellow hollyhocks stand,
    Still and straight,
    With their round blossoms spread open,
    In the quiet sunshine.
    And still is the old Roman wall,
    Rough with jagged bits of flint,
    And jutting stones,
    Old and cragged,
    Quite still in its antiquity.
    The pear-trees press their branches against it,
    And feeling it warm and kindly,
    The little pears ripen to yellow and red.
    They hang heavy, bursting with juice,
    Against the wall.
    So old, so still!
    The sky is still.
    The clouds make no sound
    As they slide away
    Beyond the Cathedral Tower,
    To the river,
    And the sea.
    It is very quiet,
    Very sunny.
    The myrtle flowers stretch themselves in the sunshine,
    But make no sound.
    The roses push their little tendrils up,
    And climb higher and higher.
    In spots they have climbed over the wall.
    But they are very still,
    They do not seem to move.
    And the old wall carries them
    Without effort, and quietly
    Ripens and shields the vines and blossoms.
    A bird in a plane-tree
    Sings a few notes,
    Cadenced and perfect
    They weave into the silence.
    The Cathedral bell knocks,
    One, two, three, and again,
    And then again.
    It is a quiet sound,
    Calling to prayer,
    Hardly scattering the stillness,
    Only making it close in more densely.
    The gardener picks ripe gooseberries
    For the Dean's supper to-night.
    It is very quiet,
    Very regulated and mellow.
    But the wall is old,
    It has known many days.
    It is a Roman wall,
    Left-over and forgotten.
    Beyond the Cathedral Close
    Yelp and mutter the discontents of people not mellow,
    Not well-regulated.
    People who care more for bread than for beauty,
    Who would break the tombs of saints,
    And give the painted windows of churches
    To their children for toys.
    People who say:
    "They are dead, we live!
    The world is for the living."
    Fools! It is always the dead who breed.
    Crush the ripe fruit, and cast it aside,
    Yet its seeds shall fructify,
    And trees rise where your huts were standing.
    But the little people are ignorant,
    They chaffer, and swarm.
    They gnaw like rats,
    And the foundations of the Cathedral are honeycombed.
    The Dean is in the Chapter House;
    He is reading the architect's bill
    For the completed restoration of the Cathedral.
    He will have ripe gooseberries for supper,
    And then he will walk up and down the path
    By the wall,
    And admire the snapdragons and dahlias,
    Thinking how quiet and peaceful
    The garden is.
    The old wall will watch him,
    Very quietly and patiently it will watch.
    For the wall is old,
    It is a Roman wall.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Convalescence

    From out the dragging vastness of the sea,
    Wave-fettered, bound in sinuous, seaweed strands,
    He toils toward the rounding beach, and stands
    One moment, white and dripping, silently,
    Cut like a cameo in lazuli,
    Then falls, betrayed by shifting shells, and lands
    Prone in the jeering water, and his hands
    Clutch for support where no support can be.
    So up, and down, and forward, inch by inch,
    He gains upon the shore, where poppies glow
    And sandflies dance their little lives away.
    The sucking waves retard, and tighter clinch
    The weeds about him, but the land-winds blow,
    And in the sky there blooms the sun of May.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • The Bungler

    You glow in my heart
    Like the flames of uncounted candles.
    But when I go to warm my hands,
    My clumsiness overturns the light,
    And then I stumble
    Against the tables and chairs.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • A Petition

    I pray to be the tool which to your hand
    Long use has shaped and moulded till it be
    Apt for your need, and, unconsideringly,
    You take it for its service. I demand
    To be forgotten in the woven strand
    Which grows the multi-coloured tapestry
    Of your bright life, and through its tissues lie
    A hidden, strong, sustaining, grey-toned band.
    I wish to dwell around your daylight dreams,
    The railing to the stairway of the clouds,
    To guard your steps securely up, where streams
    A faery moonshine washing pale the crowds
    Of pointed stars. Remember not whereby
    You mount, protected, to the far-flung sky.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • J--K. Huysmans

    A flickering glimmer through a window-pane,
    A dim red glare through mud bespattered glass,
    Cleaving a path between blown walls of sleet
    Across uneven pavements sunk in slime
    To scatter and then quench itself in mist.
    And struggling, slipping, often rudely hurled
    Against the jutting angle of a wall,
    And cursed, and reeled against, and flung aside
    By drunken brawlers as they shuffled past,
    A man was groping to what seemed a light.
    His eyelids burnt and quivered with the strain
    Of looking, and against his temples beat
    The all enshrouding, suffocating dark.
    He stumbled, lurched, and struck against a door
    That opened, and a howl of obscene mirth
    Grated his senses, wallowing on the floor
    Lay men, and dogs and women in the dirt.
    He sickened, loathing it, and as he gazed
    The candle guttered, flared, and then went out.
    Through travail of ignoble midnight streets
    He came at last to shelter in a porch
    Where gothic saints and warriors made a shield
    To cover him, and tortured gargoyles spat
    One long continuous stream of silver rain
    That clattered down from myriad roofs and spires
    Into a darkness, loud with rushing sound
    Of water falling, gurgling as it fell,
    But always thickly dark. Then as he leaned
    Unconscious where, the great oak door blew back
    And cast him, bruised and dripping, in the church.
    His eyes from long sojourning in the night
    Were blinded now as by some glorious sun;
    He slowly crawled toward the altar steps.
    He could not think, for heavy in his ears
    An organ boomed majestic harmonies;
    He only knew that what he saw was light!
    He bowed himself before a cross of flame
    And shut his eyes in fear lest it should fade.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • White and Green

    Hey! My daffodil-crowned,
    Slim and without sandals!
    As the sudden spurt of flame upon darkness
    So my eyeballs are startled with you,
    Supple-limbed youth among the fruit-trees,
    Light runner through tasselled orchards.
    You are an almond flower unsheathed
    Leaping and flickering between the budded branches.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Storm-Racked

    How should I sing when buffeting salt waves
    And stung with bitter surges, in whose might
    I toss, a cockleshell? The dreadful night
    Marshals its undefeated dark and raves
    In brutal madness, reeling over graves
    Of vanquished men, long-sunken out of sight,
    Sent wailing down to glut the ghoulish sprite
    Who haunts foul seaweed forests and their caves.
    No parting cloud reveals a watery star,
    My cries are washed away upon the wind,
    My cramped and blistering hands can find no spar,
    My eyes with hope o'erstrained, are growing blind.
    But painted on the sky great visions burn,
    My voice, oblation from a shattered urn!

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Crepuscule du Matin

    All night I wrestled with a memory
    Which knocked insurgent at the gates of thought.
    The crumbled wreck of years behind has wrought
    Its disillusion; now I only cry
    For peace, for power to forget the lie
    Which hope too long has whispered. So I sought
    The sleep which would not come, and night was fraught
    With old emotions weeping silently.
    I heard your voice again, and knew the things
    Which you had promised proved an empty vaunt.
    I felt your clinging hands while night's broad wings
    Cherished our love in darkness. From the lawn
    A sudden, quivering birdnote, like a taunt.
    My arms held nothing but the empty dawn.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Frankincense and Myrrh

    My heart is tuned to sorrow, and the strings
    Vibrate most readily to minor chords,
    Searching and sad; my mind is stuffed with words
    Which voice the passion and the ache of things:
    Illusions beating with their baffled wings
    Against the walls of circumstance, and hoards
    Of torn desires, broken joys; records
    Of all a bruised life's maimed imaginings.
    Now you are come! You tremble like a star
    Poised where, behind earth's rim, the sun has set.
    Your voice has sung across my heart, but numb
    And mute, I have no tones to answer. Far
    Within I kneel before you, speechless yet,
    And life ablaze with beauty, I am dumb.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • To Elizabeth Ward Perkins

    Dear Bessie, would my tired rhyme
    Had force to rise from apathy,
    And shaking off its lethargy
    Ring word-tones like a Christmas chime.
    But in my soul's high belfry, chill
    The bitter wind of doubt has blown,
    The summer swallows all have flown,
    The bells are frost-bound, mute and still.
    Upon the crumbling boards the snow
    Has drifted deep, the clappers hang
    Prismed with icicles, their clang
    Unheard since ages long ago.
    The rope I pull is stiff and cold,
    My straining ears detect no sound
    Except a sigh, as round and round
    The wind rocks through the timbers old.
    Below, I know the church is bright
    With haloed tapers, warm with prayer;
    But here I only feel the air
    Of icy centuries of night.
    Beneath my feet the snow is lit
    And gemmed with colours, red, and blue,
    Topaz, and green, where light falls through
    The saints that in the windows sit.
    Here darkness seems a spectred thing,
    Voiceless and haunting, while the stars
    Mock with a light of long dead years
    The ache of present suffering.
    Silent and winter-killed I stand,
    No carol hymns my debt to you;
    But take this frozen thought in lieu,
    And thaw its music in your hand.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • The Pleiades

    By day you cannot see the sky
    For it is up so very high.
    You look and look, but it's so blue
    That you can never see right through.
    But when night comes it is quite plain,
    And all the stars are there again.
    They seem just like old friends to me,
    I've known them all my life you see.
    There is the dipper first, and there
    Is Cassiopeia in her chair,
    Orion's belt, the Milky Way,
    And lots I know but cannot say.
    One group looks like a swarm of bees,
    Papa says they're the Pleiades;
    But I think they must be the toy
    Of some nice little angel boy.
    Perhaps his jackstones which to-day
    He has forgot to put away,
    And left them lying on the sky
    Where he will find them bye and bye.
    I wish he'd come and play with me.
    We'd have such fun, for it would be
    A most unusual thing for boys
    To feel that they had stars for toys!

    — -Amy Lowell
  • The Road to Avignon

    A Minstrel stands on a marble stair,
    Blown by the bright wind, debonair;
    Below lies the sea, a sapphire floor,
    Above on the terrace a turret door
    Frames a lady, listless and wan,
    But fair for the eye to rest upon.
    The minstrel plucks at his silver strings,
    And looking up to the lady, sings: --
    Down the road to Avignon,
    The long, long road to Avignon,
    Across the bridge to Avignon,
    One morning in the spring.
    The octagon tower casts a shade
    Cool and gray like a cutlass blade;
    In sun-baked vines the cicalas spin,
    The little green lizards run out and in.
    A sail dips over the ocean's rim,
    And bubbles rise to the fountain's brim.
    The minstrel touches his silver strings,
    And gazing up to the lady, sings: --
    Down the road to Avignon,
    The long, long road to Avignon,
    Across the bridge to Avignon,
    One morning in the spring.
    Slowly she walks to the balustrade,
    Idly notes how the blossoms fade
    In the sun's caress; then crosses where
    The shadow shelters a carven chair.
    Within its curve, supine she lies,
    And wearily closes her tired eyes.
    The minstrel beseeches his silver strings,
    And holding the lady spellbound, sings: --
    Down the road to Avignon,
    The long, long road to Avignon,
    Across the bridge to Avignon,
    One morning in the spring.
    Clouds sail over the distant trees,
    Petals are shaken down by the breeze,
    They fall on the terrace tiles like snow;
    The sighing of waves sounds, far below.
    A humming-bird kisses the lips of a rose
    Then laden with honey and love he goes.
    The minstrel woos with his silver strings,
    And climbing up to the lady, sings: --
    Down the road to Avignon,
    The long, long road to Avignon,
    Across the bridge to Avignon,
    One morning in the spring.
    Step by step, and he comes to her,
    Fearful lest she suddenly stir.
    Sunshine and silence, and each to each,
    The lute and his singing their only speech;
    He leans above her, her eyes unclose,
    The humming-bird enters another rose.
    The minstrel hushes his silver strings.
    Hark! The beating of humming-birds' wings!
    Down the road to Avignon,
    The long, long road to Avignon,
    Across the bridge to Avignon,
    One morning in the spring.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • From One Who Stays

    How empty seems the town now you are gone!
    A wilderness of sad streets, where gaunt walls
    Hide nothing to desire; sunshine falls
    Eery, distorted, as it long had shone
    On white, dead faces tombed in halls of stone.
    The whir of motors, stricken through with calls
    Of playing boys, floats up at intervals;
    But all these noises blur to one long moan.
    What quest is worth pursuing? And how strange
    That other men still go accustomed ways!
    I hate their interest in the things they do.
    A spectre-horde repeating without change
    An old routine. Alone I know the days
    Are still-born, and the world stopped, lacking
    you.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • War Profit Litany

    To Ezra Pound

    These are the names of the companies that have made
    money from this war
    nineteenhundredsixtyeight Annodomini fourthousand
    eighty Hebraic
    These are the Corporations who have profited by merchan-
    dising skinburning phosphorous or shells fragmented
    to thousands of fleshpiercing needles
    and here listed money millions gained by each combine for
    manufacture
    and here are gains numbered, index'd swelling a decade, set
    in order,
    here named the Fathers in office in these industries, tele-
    phones directing finance,
    names of directors, makers of fates, and the names of the
    stockholders of these destined Aggregates,
    and here are the names of their ambassadors to the Capital,
    representatives to legislature, those who sit drinking
    in hotel lobbies to persuade,
    and separate listed, those who drop Amphetamine with
    military, gossip, argue, and persuade
    suggesting policy naming language proposing strategy, this
    done for fee as ambassadors to Pentagon, consul-
    tants to military, paid by their industry:
    and these are the names of the generals & captains mili-
    tary, who know thus work for war goods manufactur-
    ers;
    and above these, listed, the names of the banks, combines,
    investment trusts that control these industries:
    and these are the names of the newspapers owned by these
    banks
    and these are the names of the airstations owned by these
    combines;
    and these are the numbers of thousands of citizens em-
    ployed by these businesses named;
    and the beginning of this accounting is 1958 and the end
    1968, that static be contained in orderly mind,
    coherent and definite,
    and the first form of this litany begun first day December
    1967 furthers this poem of these States.

    — -Allen Ginsberg
  • An Asphodel

    O dear sweet rosy
    unattainable desire
    ...how sad, no way
    to change the mad
    cultivated asphodel, the
    visible reality...

    and skin's appalling
    petals--how inspired
    to be so Iying in the living
    room drunk naked
    and dreaming, in the absence
    of electricity...
    over and over eating the low root
    of the asphodel,
    gray fate...

    rolling in generation
    on the flowery couch
    as on a bank in Arden--
    my only rose tonite's the treat
    of my own nudity.

    — -Allen Ginsberg
  • Lo! Victress on the Peaks

    LO! Victress on the peaks!
    Where thou, with mighty brow, regarding the world,
    (The world, O Libertad, that vainly conspired against thee;)
    Out of its countless beleaguering toils, after thwarting them all;
    Dominant, with the dazzling sun around thee,
    Flauntest now unharm’d, in immortal soundness and bloom—lo! in these hours
    supreme,
    No poem proud, I, chanting, bring to thee—nor mastery’s rapturous verse;
    But a book, containing night’s darkness, and blood-dripping wounds,
    And psalms of the dead.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • From Far Dakota’s Cañons

    FROM far Dakota’s cañons,
    Lands of the wild ravine, the dusky Sioux, the lonesome stretch, the silence,
    Haply to-day a mournful wail, haply a trumpet-note for heroes.

    The battle-bulletin,
    The Indian ambuscade, the craft, the fatal environment,
    The cavalry companies fighting to the last in sternest heroism,
    In the midst of their little circle, with their slaughter’d horses for breastworks,
    The fall of Custer and all his officers and men.

    Continues yet the old, old legend of our race,
    The loftiest of life upheld by death,
    The ancient banner perfectly maintain’d,
    O lesson opportune, O how I welcome thee!
    As sitting in dark days,
    Lone, sulky, through the time’s thick murk looking in vain for light, for hope,
    From unsuspected parts a fierce and momentary proof,
    (The sun there at the centre though conceal’d,
    Electric life forever at the centre,)
    Breaks forth a lightning flash.

    Thou of the tawny flowing hair in battle,
    I erewhile saw, with erect head, pressing ever in front, bearing a bright sword in thy
    hand,
    Now ending well in death the splendid fever of thy deeds,
    (I bring no dirge for it or thee, I bring a glad triumphal sonnet,)
    Desperate and glorious, aye in defeat most desperate, most glorious,
    After thy many battles in which never yielding up a gun or a color
    Leaving behind thee a memory sweet to soldiers,
    Thou yieldest up thyself.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • What Place is Besieged

    WHAT place is besieged, and vainly tries to raise the siege?
    Lo! I send to that place a commander, swift, brave, immortal;
    And with him horse and foot—and parks of artillery,
    And artillery-men, the deadliest that ever fired gun.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • As Consequent, Etc

    AS consequent from store of summer rains,
    Or wayward rivulets in autumn flowing,
    Or many a herb-lined brook’s reticulations,
    Or subterranean sea-rills making for the sea,
    Songs of continued years I sing.

    Life’s ever-modern rapids first, (soon, soon to blend,
    With the old streams of death.)

    Some threading Ohio’s farm-fields or the woods,
    Some down Colorado’s cañons from sources of perpetual snow,
    Some half-hid in Oregon, or away southward in Texas,
    Some in the north finding their way to Erie, Niagara, Ottawa,
    Some to Atlantica’s bays, and so to the great salt brine.

    In you whoe’er you are my book perusing,
    In I myself, in all the world, these currents flowing,
    All, all toward the mystic ocean tending.

    Currents for starting a continent new,
    Overtures sent to the solid out of the liquid,
    Fusion of ocean and land, tender and pensive waves,
    (Not safe and peaceful only, waves rous’d and ominous too,
    Out of the depths the storm’s abysmic waves, who knows whence?
    Raging over the vast, with many a broken spar and tatter’d sail.)

    Or from the sea of Time, collecting vasting all, I bring,
    A windrow-drift of weeds and shells.

    O little shells, so curious-convolute, so limpid-cold and voiceless,
    Will you not little shells to the tympans of temples held,
    Murmurs and echoes still call up, eternity’s music faint and far,
    Wafted inland, sent from Atlantica’s rim, strains for the soul of the prairies,
    Whisper’d reverberations, chords for the ear of the West joyously sounding,
    Your tidings old, yet ever new and untranslatable,
    Infinitesimals out of my life, and many a life,
    (For not my life and years alone I give—all, all I give,)
    These waifs from the deep, cast high and dry,
    Wash’d on America’s shores?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Thick-Sprinkled Bunting

    THICK-SPRINKLED bunting! Flag of stars!
    Long yet your road, fateful flag!—long yet your road, and lined with bloody death!
    For the prize I see at issue, at last is the world!
    All its ships and shores I see, interwoven with your threads, greedy banner!
    —Dream’d again the flags of kings, highest born, to flaunt unrival’d?
    O hasten, flag of man! O with sure and steady step, passing highest flags of kings,
    Walk supreme to the heavens, mighty symbol—run up above them all,
    Flag of stars! thick-sprinkled bunting!

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Wandering at Morn

    WANDERING at morn,
    Emerging from the night, from gloomy thoughts—thee in my thoughts,
    Yearning for thee, harmonious Union! thee, Singing Bird divine!
    Thee, seated coil’d in evil times, my Country, with craft and black dismay—with
    every
    meanness, treason thrust upon thee;
    —Wandering—this common marvel I beheld—the parent thrush I watch’d,
    feeding
    its young,
    (The singing thrush, whose tones of joy and faith ecstatic,
    Fail not to certify and cheer my soul.)

    There ponder’d, felt I,
    If worms, snakes, loathsome grubs, may to sweet spiritual songs be turn’d,
    If vermin so transposed, so used, so bless’d may be,
    Then may I trust in you, your fortunes, days, my country;
    —Who knows that these may be the lessons fit for you?
    From these your future Song may rise, with joyous trills,
    Destin’d to fill the world.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Not the Pilot

    NOT the pilot has charged himself to bring his ship into port, though beaten back, and
    many
    times
    baffled;
    Not the path-finder, penetrating inland, weary and long,
    By deserts parch’d, snows-chill’d, rivers wet, perseveres till he reaches his
    destination,

    More than I have charged myself, heeded or unheeded, to compose a free march for These
    States,
    To be exhilarating music to them—a battle-call, rousing to arms, if need
    be—years,
    centuries hence. 5

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Spain 1873–’74

    OUT of the murk of heaviest clouds,
    Out of the feudal wrecks, and heap’d-up skeletons of kings,
    Out of that old entire European debris—the shatter’d mummeries,
    Ruin’d cathedrals, crumble of palaces, tombs of priests,
    Lo! Freedom’s features, fresh, undimm’d, look forth—the same immortal face
    looks
    forth;
    (A glimpse as of thy mother’s face, Columbia,
    A flash significant as of a sword,
    Beaming towards thee.)

    Nor think we forget thee, Maternal;
    Lag’d’st thou so long? Shall the clouds close again upon thee?
    Ah, but thou hast Thyself now appear’d to us—we know thee;
    Thou hast given us a sure proof, the glimpse of Thyself;
    Thou waitest there, as everywhere, thy time.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Recorders Ages Hence

    RECORDERS ages hence!
    Come, I will take you down underneath this impassive exterior—I will tell you what to
    say
    of
    me;
    Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover,
    The friend, the lover’s portrait, of whom his friend, his lover, was fondest,
    Who was not proud of his songs, but of the measureless ocean of love within him—and
    freely
    pour’d it forth,
    Who often walk’d lonesome walks, thinking of his dear friends, his lovers,
    Who pensive, away from one he lov’d, often lay sleepless and dissatisfied at night,
    Who knew too well the sick, sick dread lest the one he lov’d might secretly be
    indifferent
    to
    him,
    Whose happiest days were far away, through fields, in woods, on hills, he and another,
    wandering
    hand in hand, they twain, apart from other men,
    Who oft as he saunter’d the streets, curv’d with his arm the shoulder of his
    friend—while the arm of his friend rested upon him also.RECORDERS ages hence!
    Come, I will take you down underneath this impassive exterior—I will tell you what to
    say
    of
    me;
    Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover,
    The friend, the lover’s portrait, of whom his friend, his lover, was fondest,
    Who was not proud of his songs, but of the measureless ocean of love within him—and
    freely
    pour’d it forth,
    Who often walk’d lonesome walks, thinking of his dear friends, his lovers,
    Who pensive, away from one he lov’d, often lay sleepless and dissatisfied at night,
    Who knew too well the sick, sick dread lest the one he lov’d might secretly be
    indifferent
    to
    him,
    Whose happiest days were far away, through fields, in woods, on hills, he and another,
    wandering
    hand in hand, they twain, apart from other men,
    Who oft as he saunter’d the streets, curv’d with his arm the shoulder of his
    friend—while the arm of his friend rested upon him also.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • These Carols

    THESE Carols, sung to cheer my passage through the world I see,
    For completion, I dedicate to the Invisible World.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Patroling Barnegat

    WILD, wild the storm, and the sea high running,
    Steady the roar of the gale, with incessant undertone muttering,
    Shouts of demoniac laughter fitfully piercing and pealing,
    Waves, air, midnight, their savagest trinity lashing,
    Out in the shadows there milk-white combs careering,
    On beachy slush and sand spirts of snow fierce slanting,
    Where through the murk the easterly death-wind breasting,
    Through cutting swirl and spray watchful and firm advancing,
    (That in the distance! is that a wreck? is the red signal flaring?)
    Slush and sand of the beach tireless till daylight wending,
    Steadily, slowly, through hoarse roar never remitting,
    Along the midnight edge by those milk-white combs careering,
    A group of dim, weird forms, struggling, the night confronting,
    That savage trinity warily watching.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Savantism

    THITHER, as I look, I see each result and glory retracing itself and nestling close,
    always
    obligated;
    Thither hours, months, years—thither trades, compacts, establishments, even the most
    minute;

    Thither every-day life, speech, utensils, politics, persons, estates;
    Thither we also, I with my leaves and songs, trustful, admirant,
    As a father, to his father going, takes his children along with him. 5

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Thou Reader

    THOU reader throbbest life and pride and love the same as I,
    Therefore for thee the following chants.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Year that Trembled

    YEAR that trembled and reel’d beneath me!
    Your summer wind was warm enough—yet the air I breathed froze me;
    A thick gloom fell through the sunshine and darken’d me;
    Must I change my triumphant songs? said I to myself;
    Must I indeed learn to chant the cold dirges of the baffled?
    And sullen hymns of defeat?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • One Sweeps By

    ONE sweeps by, attended by an immense train,
    All emblematic of peace—not a soldier or menial among them.

    One sweeps by, old, with black eyes, and profuse white hair,
    He has the simple magnificence of health and strength,
    His face strikes as with flashes of lightning whoever it turns toward.

    Three old men slowly pass, followed by three others, and they by three others,
    They are beautiful—the one in the middle of each group holds his companions by the
    hand,
    As they walk, they give out perfume wherever they walk.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Prairie States, The

    A NEWER garden of creation, no primal solitude,
    Dense, joyous, modern, populous millions, cities and farms,
    With iron interlaced, composite, tied, many in one,
    By all the world contributed—freedom’s and law’s and thrift’s society,

    The crown and teeming paradise, so far, of time’s accumulations,
    To justify the past.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • In Former Songs

    1
    IN former songs Pride have I sung, and Love, and passionate, joyful Life,
    But here I twine the strands of Patriotism and Death.

    And now, Life, Pride, Love, Patriotism and Death,
    To you, O FREEDOM, purport of all!
    (You that elude me most—refusing to be caught in songs of mine,)
    I offer all to you.

    2
    ’Tis not for nothing, Death,
    I sound out you, and words of you, with daring tone—embodying you,
    In my new Democratic chants—keeping you for a close,
    For last impregnable retreat—a citadel and tower,
    For my last stand—my pealing, final cry.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Over the Carnage

    OVER the carnage rose prophetic a voice,
    Be not dishearten’d—Affection shall solve the problems of Freedom yet;
    Those who love each other shall become invincible—they shall yet make Columbia
    victorious.


    Sons of the Mother of All! you shall yet be victorious!
    You shall yet laugh to scorn the attacks of all the remainder of the earth.

    No danger shall balk Columbia’s lovers;
    If need be, a thousand shall sternly immolate themselves for one.

    One from Massachusetts shall be a Missourian’s comrade;
    From Maine and from hot Carolina, and another, an Oregonese, shall be friends triune,
    More precious to each other than all the riches of the earth.

    To Michigan, Florida perfumes shall tenderly come;
    Not the perfumes of flowers, but sweeter, and wafted beyond death.

    It shall be customary in the houses and streets to see manly affection;
    The most dauntless and rude shall touch face to face lightly;
    The dependence of Liberty shall be lovers,
    The continuance of Equality shall be comrades.

    These shall tie you and band you stronger than hoops of iron;
    I, extatic, O partners! O lands! with the love of lovers tie you.

    (Were you looking to be held together by the lawyers?
    Or by an agreement on a paper? or by arms?
    —Nay—nor the world, nor any living thing, will so cohere.)

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Ox Tamer, The

    IN a faraway northern county, in the placid, pastoral region,
    Lives my farmer friend, the theme of my recitative, a famous Tamer of Oxen:
    There they bring him the three-year-olds and the four-year-olds, to break them;
    He will take the wildest steer in the world, and break him and tame him;
    He will go, fearless, without any whip, where the young bullock chafes up and down the
    yard;
    The bullock’s head tosses restless high in the air, with raging eyes;
    Yet, see you! how soon his rage subsides—how soon this Tamer tames him:
    See you! on the farms hereabout, a hundred oxen, young and old—and he is the man who
    has
    tamed them;
    They all know him—all are affectionate to him;
    See you! some are such beautiful animals—so lofty looking!
    Some are buff color’d—some mottled—one has a white line running along his
    back—some are brindled,
    Some have wide flaring horns (a good sign)—See you! the bright hides;
    See, the two with stars on their foreheads—See, the round bodies and broad backs;
    See, how straight and square they stand on their legs—See, what fine, sagacious eyes;

    See, how they watch their Tamer—they wish him near them—how they turn to look
    after
    him!
    What yearning expression! how uneasy they are when he moves away from them:
    —Now I marvel what it can be he appears to them, (books, politics, poems
    depart—all
    else departs;)
    I confess I envy only his fascination—my silent, illiterate friend,
    Whom a hundred oxen love, there in his life on farms,
    In the northern county far, in the placid, pastoral region

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Star of France

    1
    O STAR of France!
    The brightness of thy hope and strength and fame,
    Like some proud ship that led the fleet so long,
    Beseems to-day a wreck, driven by the gale—a mastless hulk;
    And ’mid its teeming, madden’d, half-drown’d crowds,
    Nor helm nor helmsman.

    2
    Dim, smitten star!
    Orb not of France alone—pale symbol of my soul, its dearest hopes,
    The struggle and the daring—rage divine for liberty,
    Of aspirations toward the far ideal—enthusiast’s dreams of brotherhood,
    Of terror to the tyrant and the priest.

    3
    Star crucified! by traitors sold!
    Star panting o’er a land of death—heroic land!
    Strange, passionate, mocking, frivolous land.

    Miserable! yet for thy errors, vanities, sins, I will not now rebuke thee;
    Thy unexampled woes and pangs have quell’d them all,
    And left thee sacred.

    In that amid thy many faults, thou ever aimedest highly,
    In that thou wouldst not really sell thyself, however great the price,
    In that thou surely wakedst weeping from thy drugg’d sleep,
    In that alone, among thy sisters, thou, Giantess, didst rend the ones that shamed thee,
    In that thou couldst not, wouldst not, wear the usual chains,
    This cross, thy livid face, thy pierced hands and feet,
    The spear thrust in thy side.

    4
    O star! O ship of France, beat back and baffled long!
    Bear up, O smitten orb! O ship, continue on!

    Sure, as the ship of all, the Earth itself,
    Product of deathly fire and turbulent chaos,
    Forth from its spasms of fury and its poisons,
    Issuing at last in perfect power and beauty,
    Onward, beneath the sun, following its course,
    So thee, O ship of France!

    Finish’d the days, the clouds dispell’d,
    The travail o’er, the long-sought extrication,
    When lo! reborn, high o’er the European world,
    (In gladness, answering thence, as face afar to face, reflecting ours, Columbia,)
    Again thy star, O France—fair, lustrous star,
    In heavenly peace, clearer, more bright than ever,
    Shall beam immortal.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Inscription

    SMALL is the theme of the following Chant, yet the greatest—namely,
    One’s-Self—that wondrous thing a simple, separate person. That, for the use of
    the
    New World, I sing.
    Man’s physiology complete, from top to toe, I sing. Not physiognomy alone, nor brain
    alone, is worthy for the muse;—I say the Form complete is worthier far. The female
    equal
    with the male, I sing,
    Nor cease at the theme of One’s-Self. I speak the word of the modern, the word
    En-Masse:
    My Days I sing, and the Lands—with interstice I knew of hapless War.

    O friend whoe’er you are, at last arriving hither to commence, I feel through every
    leaf
    the pressure of your hand, which I return. And thus upon our journey link’d together
    let
    us go.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • A Paumanok Picture

    TWO boats with nets lying off the sea-beach, quite still,
    Ten fishermen waiting—they discover a thick school of mossbonkers—they drop the
    join’d seine-ends in the water,
    The boats separate and row off, each on its rounding course to the beach, enclosing the
    mossbonkers,
    The net is drawn in by a windlass by those who stop ashore,
    Some of the fishermen lounge in their boats, others stand ankle-deep in the water,
    pois’d
    on strong legs,
    The boats partly drawn up, the water slapping against them,
    Strew’d on the sand in heaps and windrows, well out from the water, the
    green-back’d
    spotted mossbonkers.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Hours Continuing Long

    HOURS continuing long, sore and heavy-hearted,
    Hours of the dusk, when I withdraw to a lonesome and unfrequented spot, seating myself,
    leaning
    my face in my hands;
    Hours sleepless, deep in the night, when I go forth, speeding swiftly the country roads,
    or
    through the city streets, or pacing miles and miles, stifling plaintive cries;
    Hours discouraged, distracted—for the one I cannot content myself without, soon I saw
    him
    content himself without me;
    Hours when I am forgotten, (O weeks and months are passing, but I believe I am never to
    forget!)
    Sullen and suffering hours! (I am ashamed—but it is useless—I am what I am;)
    Hours of my torment—I wonder if other men ever have the like, out of the like
    feelings?
    Is there even one other like me—distracted—his friend, his lover, lost to him?
    Is he too as I am now? Does he still rise in the morning, dejected, thinking who is lost
    to
    him? and at night, awaking, think who is lost?
    Does he too harbor his friendship silent and endless? harbor his anguish and passion?
    Does some stray reminder, or the casual mention of a name, bring the fit back upon him,
    taciturn and deprest?
    Does he see himself reflected in me? In these hours, does he see the face of his hours
    reflected?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Gliding Over All

    GLIDING o’er all, through all,
    Through Nature, Time, and Space,
    As a ship on the waters advancing,
    The voyage of the soul—not life alone,
    Death, many deaths I’ll sing. 5

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Delicate Cluster

    DELICATE cluster! flag of teeming life!
    Covering all my lands! all my sea-shores lining!
    Flag of death! (how I watch’d you through the smoke of battle pressing!
    How I heard you flap and rustle, cloth defiant!)
    Flag cerulean! sunny flag! with the orbs of night dappled!
    Ah my silvery beauty! ah my woolly white and crimson!
    Ah to sing the song of you, my matron mighty!
    My sacred one, my mother.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Debris

    HE is wisest who has the most caution,
    He only wins who goes far enough.

    Any thing is as good as established, when that is established that will produce it and
    continue
    it.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Earth! my Likeness

    EARTH! my likeness!
    Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there,
    I now suspect that is not all;
    I now suspect there is something fierce in you, eligible to burst forth;
    For an athlete is enamour’d of me—and I of him;
    But toward him there is something fierce and terrible in me, eligible to burst forth,
    I dare not tell it in words—not even in these songs.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Me Imperturbe

    ME imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature,
    Master of all, or mistress of all—aplomb in the midst of irrational things,
    Imbued as they—passive, receptive, silent as they,
    Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes, less important than I thought;

    Me private, or public, or menial, or solitary—all these subordinate, (I am eternally
    equal
    with
    the best—I am not subordinate;)
    Me toward the Mexican Sea, or in the Mannahatta, or the Tennessee, or far north, or
    inland,
    A river man, or a man of the woods, or of any farm-life in These States, or of the coast,
    or
    the
    lakes, or Kanada,
    Me, wherever my life is lived, O to be self-balanced for contingencies!
    O to confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as the trees and
    animals do.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Portals

    WHAT are those of the known, but to ascend and enter the Unknown?
    And what are those of life, but for Death?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Mediums

    THEY shall arise in the States,
    They shall report Nature, laws, physiology, and happiness;
    They shall illustrate Democracy and the kosmos;
    They shall be alimentive, amative, perceptive;
    They shall be complete women and men—their pose brawny and supple, their drink water,
    their blood clean and clear;
    They shall enjoy materialism and the sight of products—they shall enjoy the sight of
    the
    beef, lumber, bread-stuffs, of Chicago, the great city;
    They shall train themselves to go in public to become orators and oratresses;
    Strong and sweet shall their tongues be—poems and materials of poems shall come from
    their
    lives—they shall be makers and finders;
    Of them, and of their works, shall emerge divine conveyers, to convey gospels;
    Characters, events, retrospections, shall be convey’d in gospels
    —Trees, animals, waters, shall be convey’d,
    Death, the future, the invisible faith, shall all be convey’d.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Despairing Cries

    1
    DESPAIRING cries float ceaselessly toward me, day and night,
    The sad voice of Death—the call of my nearest lover, putting forth, alarmed,
    uncertain,
    This sea I am quickly to sail, come tell me,
    Come tell me where I am speeding—tell me my destination.

    2
    I understand your anguish, but I cannot help you,
    I approach, hear, behold—the sad mouth, the look out of the eyes, your mute inquiry,
    Whither I go from the bed I now recline on, come tell me;
    Old age, alarmed, uncertain—A young woman’s voice appealing to me, for comfort,
    A young man’s voice, Shall I not escape?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Among the Multitude

    AMONG the men and women, the multitude,
    I perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs,
    Acknowledging none else—not parent, wife, husband, brother, child, any nearer than I
    am;
    Some are baffled—But that one is not—that one knows me.

    Ah, lover and perfect equal!
    I meant that you should discover me so, by my faint indirections;
    And I, when I meet you, mean to discover you by the like in you.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • at Weeping Face

    WHAT weeping face is that looking from the window?
    Why does it stream those sorrowful tears?
    Is it for some burial place, vast and dry?
    Is it to wet the soil of graves?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Pensive and Faltering

    PENSIVE and faltering,
    The words, the dead, I write;
    For living are the Dead;
    (Haply the only living, only real,
    And I the apparition—I the spectre.) 5

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Night on The Prairies

    NIGHT on the prairies;
    The supper is over—the fire on the ground burns low;
    The wearied emigrants sleep, wrapt in their blankets:
    I walk by myself—I stand and look at the stars, which I think now I never realized
    before.


    Now I absorb immortality and peace,
    I admire death, and test propositions.

    How plenteous! How spiritual! How resumé!
    The same Old Man and Soul—the same old aspirations, and the same content.

    I was thinking the day most splendid, till I saw what the not-day exhibited,
    I was thinking this globe enough, till there sprang out so noiseless around me myriads of
    other
    globes.

    Now, while the great thoughts of space and eternity fill me, I will measure myself by
    them;
    And now, touch’d with the lives of other globes, arrived as far along as those of the
    earth,
    Or waiting to arrive, or pass’d on farther than those of the earth,
    I henceforth no more ignore them, than I ignore my own life,
    Or the lives of the earth arrived as far as mine, or waiting to arrive.

    O I see now that life cannot exhibit all to me—as the day cannot,
    I see that I am to wait for what will be exhibited by death.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Trickle, Drops

    TRICKLE, drops! my blue veins leaving!
    O drops of me! trickle, slow drops,
    Candid, from me falling—drip, bleeding drops,
    From wounds made to free you whence you were prison’d,
    From my face—from my forehead and lips,
    From my breast—from within where I was conceal’d—press forth, red drops—confession drops;

    Stain every page—stain every song I sing, every word I say, bloody drops;
    Let them know your scarlet heat—let them glisten;
    Saturate them with yourself, all ashamed and wet;
    Glow upon all I have written, or shall write, bleeding drops;
    Let it all be seen in your light, blushing drops.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • To The States

    WHY reclining, interrogating? Why myself and all drowsing?
    What deepening twilight! scum floating atop of the waters!
    Who are they, as bats and night-dogs, askant in the Capitol?
    What a filthy Presidentiad! (O south, your torrid suns! O north, your arctic freezings!)
    Are those really Congressmen? are those the great Judges? is that the President?
    Then I will sleep awhile yet—for I see that These States sleep, for reasons;
    (With gathering murk—with muttering thunder and lambent shoots, we all duly awake,
    South, north, east, west, inland and seaboard, we will surely awake.)

    — -Walt Whitman
  • This Day, O Soul

    THIS day, O Soul, I give you a wondrous mirror;
    Long in the dark, in tarnish and cloud it lay—But the cloud has pass’d, and the
    tarnish gone;
    ... Behold, O Soul! it is now a clean and bright mirror,
    Faithfully showing you all the things of the world.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Poets to Come

    POETS to come! orators, singers, musicians to come!
    Not to-day is to justify me, and answer what I am for;
    But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than before known,
    Arouse! Arouse—for you must justify me—you must answer.

    I myself but write one or two indicative words for the future,
    I but advance a moment, only to wheel and hurry back in the darkness.

    I am a man who, sauntering along, without fully stopping, turns a casual look upon you,
    and
    then
    averts his face,
    Leaving it to you to prove and define it,
    Expecting the main things from you.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • To Oratists.

    TO oratists—to male or female,
    Vocalism, measure, concentration, determination, and the divine power to use words.
    Are you full-lung’d and limber-lipp’d from long trial? from vigorous practice?
    from
    physique?
    Do you move in these broad lands as broad as they?
    Come duly to the divine power to use words?

    For only at last, after many years—after chastity, friendship, procreation, prudence,
    and
    nakedness;
    After treading ground and breasting river and lake;
    After a loosen’d throat—after absorbing eras, temperaments, races—after
    knowledge, freedom, crimes;
    After complete faith—after clarifyings, elevations, and removing obstructions;
    After these, and more, it is just possible there comes to a man, a woman, the divine power
    to
    use words.

    Then toward that man or that woman, swiftly hasten all—None refuse, all attend;
    Armies, ships, antiquities, the dead, libraries, paintings, machines, cities, hate,
    despair,
    amity, pain, theft, murder, aspiration, form in close ranks;
    They debouch as they are wanted to march obediently through the mouth of that man, or that
    woman.

    .... O I see arise orators fit for inland America;
    And I see it is as slow to become an orator as to become a man;
    And I see that all power is folded in a great vocalism.

    Of a great vocalism, the merciless light thereof shall pour, and the storm rage,
    Every flash shall be a revelation, an insult,
    The glaring flame on depths, on heights, on suns, on stars,
    On the interior and exterior of man or woman,
    On the laws of Nature—on passive materials,
    On what you called death—(and what to you therefore was death,
    As far as there can be death.)

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Look Down, Fair Moon

    LOOK down, fair moon, and bathe this scene;
    Pour softly down night’s nimbus floods, on faces ghastly, swollen, purple;
    On the dead, on their backs, with their arms toss’d wide,
    Pour down your unstinted nimbus, sacred moon.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Runner, The

    ON a flat road runs the well-train’d runner;
    He is lean and sinewy, with muscular legs;
    He is thinly clothed—he leans forward as he runs,
    With lightly closed fists, and arms partially rais’d.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • With All Thy Gifts

    WITH all thy gifts, America,
    (Standing secure, rapidly tending, overlooking the world,)
    Power, wealth, extent, vouchsafed to thee—With these, and like of these, vouchsafed
    to
    thee,
    What if one gift thou lackest? (the ultimate human problem never solving;)
    The gift of Perfect Women fit for thee—What of that gift of gifts thou lackest?
    The towering Feminine of thee? the beauty, health, completion, fit for thee?
    The Mothers fit for thee?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Behavior

    BEHAVIOR—fresh, native, copious, each one for himself or herself,
    Nature and the Soul expressed—America and freedom expressed—In it the finest
    art,
    In it pride, cleanliness, sympathy, to have their chance,
    In it physique, intellect, faith—in it just as much as to manage an army or a city,
    or to
    write a book—perhaps more,
    The youth, the laboring person, the poor person, rivalling all the rest—perhaps
    outdoing
    the rest,
    The effects of the universe no greater than its;
    For there is nothing in the whole universe that can be more effective than a man’s or
    woman’s daily behavior can be,
    In any position, in any one of These States.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Cavalry Crossing a Ford

    A LINE in long array, where they wind betwixt green islands;
    They take a serpentine course—their arms flash in the sun—Hark to the musical
    clank;
    Behold the silvery river—in it the splashing horses, loitering, stop to drink;
    Behold the brown-faced men—each group, each person, a picture—the negligent rest
    on
    the
    saddles;
    Some emerge on the opposite bank—others are just entering the ford—while,
    Scarlet, and blue, and snowy white,
    The guidon flags flutter gaily in the wind.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Joy, Shipmate, Joy

    JOY! shipmate—joy!
    (Pleas’d to my Soul at death I cry;)
    Our life is closed—our life begins;
    The long, long anchorage we leave,
    The ship is clear at last—she leaps!
    She swiftly courses from the shore;
    Joy! shipmate—joy!

    — -Walt Whitman
  • A Sight in Camp

    A SIGHT in camp in the day-break grey and dim,
    As from my tent I emerge so early, sleepless,
    As slow I walk in the cool fresh air, the path near by the hospital tent,
    Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there, untended lying,
    Over each the blanket spread, ample brownish woollen blanket,
    Grey and heavy blanket, folding, covering all.

    Curious, I halt, and silent stand;
    Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest, the first, just lift the blanket:
    Who are you, elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-grey’d hair, and flesh all
    sunken
    about
    the eyes?
    Who are you, my dear comrade?

    Then to the second I step—And who are you, my child and darling?
    Who are you, sweet boy, with cheeks yet blooming?

    Then to the third—a face nor child, nor old, very calm, as of beautiful yellow-white
    ivory;
    Young man, I think I know you—I think this face of yours is the face of the Christ
    himself;
    Dead and divine, and brother of all, and here again he lies.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • 1861

    AARM’D year! year of the struggle!
    No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you, terrible year!
    Not you as some pale poetling, seated at a desk, lisping cadenzas piano;
    But as a strong man, erect, clothed in blue clothes, advancing, carrying a rifle on your
    shoulder,
    With well-gristled body and sunburnt face and hands—with a knife in the belt at your
    side,
    As I heard you shouting loud—your sonorous voice ringing across the continent;
    Your masculine voice, O year, as rising amid the great cities,
    Amid the men of Manhattan I saw you, as one of the workmen, the dwellers in Manhattan;
    Or with large steps crossing the prairies out of Illinois and Indiana,
    Rapidly crossing the West with springy gait, and descending the Alleghanies;
    Or down from the great lakes, or in Pennsylvania, or on deck along the Ohio river;
    Or southward along the Tennessee or Cumberland rivers, or at Chattanooga on the mountain
    top,
    Saw I your gait and saw I your sinewy limbs, clothed in blue, bearing weapons, robust
    year;
    Heard your determin’d voice, launch’d forth again and again;
    Year that suddenly sang by the mouths of the round-lipp’d cannon,
    I repeat you, hurrying, crashing, sad, distracted year.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Quicksand Years

    QUICKSAND years that whirl me I know not whither,
    Your schemes, politics, fail—lines give way—substances mock and elude me;
    Only the theme I sing, the great and strong-possess’d Soul, eludes not;
    One’s-self must never give way—that is the final substance—that out of all
    is
    sure;
    Out of politics, triumphs, battles, life—what at last finally remains?
    When shows break up, what but One’s-Self is sure?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Tests

    ALL submit to them, where they sit, inner, secure, unapproachable to analysis, in the
    Soul;
    Not traditions—not the outer authorities are the judges—they are the judges of
    outer
    authorities, and of all traditions;
    They corroborate as they go, only whatever corroborates themselves, and touches
    themselves;
    For all that, they have it forever in themselves to corroborate far and near, without one
    exception.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Reconciliation

    WORD over all, beautiful as the sky!
    Beautiful that war, and all its deeds of carnage, must in time be utterly lost;
    That the hands of the sisters Death and Night, incessantly softly wash again, and ever
    again,
    this
    soil’d world:
    ... For my enemy is dead—a man divine as myself is dead;
    I look where he lies, white-faced and still, in the coffin—I draw near;
    I bend down, and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • A Riddle Song

    THAT which eludes this verse and any verse,
    Unheard by sharpest ear, unform’d in clearest eye or cunningest mind,
    Nor lore nor fame, nor happiness nor wealth,
    And yet the pulse of every heart and life throughout the world incessantly,
    Which you and I and all pursuing ever ever miss,
    Open but still a secret, the real of the real, an illusion,
    Costless, vouchsafed to each, yet never man the owner,
    Which poets vainly seek to put in rhyme, historians in prose,
    Which sculptor never chisel’d yet, nor painter painted,
    Which vocalist never sung, nor orator nor actor ever utter’d,
    Invoking here and now I challenge for my song.

    Indifferently, ’mid public, private haunts, in solitude,
    Behind the mountain and the wood,
    Companion of the city’s busiest streets, through the assemblage,
    It and its radiations constantly glide.

    In looks of fair unconscious babes,
    Or strangely in the coffin’d dead,
    Or show of breaking dawn or stars by night,
    As some dissolving delicate film of dreams,
    Hiding yet lingering.

    Two little breaths of words comprising it.
    Two words, yet all from first to last comprised in it.

    How ardently for it!
    How many ships have sail’d and sunk for it!
    How many travelers started from their homes and ne’er return’d!
    How much of genius boldly staked and lost for it!
    What countless stores of beauty, love, ventur’d for it!
    How all superbest deeds since Time began are traceable to it—and shall be to the end!

    How all heroic martyrdoms to it!
    How, justified by it, the horrors, evils, battles of the earth!
    How the bright fascinating lambent flames of it, in every age and land, have drawn
    men’s
    eyes,
    Rich as a sunset on the Norway coast, the sky, the islands, and the cliffs,
    Or midnight’s silent glowing northern lights unreachable.

    Haply God’s riddle it, so vague and yet so certain,
    The soul for it, and all the visible universe for it,
    And heaven at last for it.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • To a Certain Civilian

    DID you ask dulcet rhymes from me?
    Did you seek the civilian’s peaceful and languishing rhymes?
    Did you find what I sang erewhile so hard to follow?
    Why I was not singing erewhile for you to follow, to understand—nor am I now;
    (I have been born of the same as the war was born;
    The drum-corps’ harsh rattle is to me sweet music—I love well the martial dirge,

    With slow wail, and convulsive throb, leading the officer’s funeral:)
    —What to such as you, anyhow, such a poet as I?—therefore leave my works,
    And go lull yourself with what you can understand—and with piano-tunes;
    For I lull nobody—and you will never understand me.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Kosmos

    WHO includes diversity, and is Nature,
    Who is the amplitude of the earth, and the coarseness and sexuality of the earth, and the
    great
    charity of the earth, and the equilibrium also,
    Who has not look’d forth from the windows, the eyes, for nothing, or whose brain held
    audience with messengers for nothing;
    Who contains believers and disbelievers—Who is the most majestic lover;
    Who holds duly his or her triune proportion of realism, spiritualism, and of the
    aesthetic, or
    intellectual,
    Who, having consider’d the Body, finds all its organs and parts good;
    Who, out of the theory of the earth, and of his or her body, understands by subtle
    analogies
    all other theories,
    The theory of a city, a poem, and of the large politics of These States;
    Who believes not only in our globe, with its sun and moon, but in other globes, with their
    suns
    and moons;
    Who, constructing the house of himself or herself, not for a day, but for all time, sees
    races,
    eras, dates, generations,
    The past, the future, dwelling there, like space, inseparable together.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • To a Pupil

    IS reform needed? Is it through you?
    The greater the reform needed, the greater the personality you need to accomplish it.

    You! do you not see how it would serve to have eyes, blood, complexion, clean and sweet?
    Do you not see how it would serve to have such a Body and Soul, that when you enter the
    crowd,
    an atmosphere of desire and command enters with you, and every one is impress’d with
    your
    personality?

    O the magnet! the flesh over and over!
    Go, dear friend! if need be, give up all else, and commence to-day to inure yourself to
    pluck,
    reality, self-esteem, definiteness, elevatedness;
    Rest not, till you rivet and publish yourself of your own personality.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Mother and Babe.

    I SEE the sleeping babe, nestling the breast of its mother;
    The sleeping mother and babe—hush’d, I study them long and long.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Thought

    OF Justice—As if Justice could be anything but the same ample law, expounded by
    natural
    judges and saviors,
    As if it might be this thing or that thing, according to decisions.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • A Song

    1
    COME, I will make the continent indissoluble;
    I will make the most splendid race the sun ever yet shone upon;
    I will make divine magnetic lands,
    With the love of comrades,
    With the life-long love of comrades.

    2
    I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America, and along the
    shores
    of
    the great lakes, and all over the prairies;
    I will make inseparable cities, with their arms about each other’s necks;
    By the love of comrades,
    By the manly love of comrades.

    3
    For you these, from me, O Democracy, to serve you, ma femme!
    For you! for you, I am trilling these songs,
    In the love of comrades,
    In the high-towering love of comrades.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Going to Heaven

    Going to Heaven!
    I don't know when --
    Pray do not ask me how!
    Indeed I'm too astonished
    To think of answering you!
    Going to Heaven!
    How dim it sounds!
    And yet it will be done
    As sure as flocks go home at night
    Unto the Shepherd's arm!

    Perhaps you're going too!
    Who knows?
    If you should get there first
    Save just a little space for me
    Close to the two I lost --
    The smallest "Robe" will fit me
    And just a bit of "Crown" --
    For you know we do not mind our dress
    When we are going home --

    I'm glad I don't believe it
    For it would stop my breath --
    And I'd like to look a little more
    At such a curious Earth!
    I'm glad they did believe it
    Whom I have never found
    Since the might Autumn afternoon
    I left them in the ground

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Snow flakes

    Snow flakes.

    I counted till they danced so
    Their slippers leaped the town,
    And then I took a pencil
    To note the rebels down.
    And then they grew so jolly
    I did resign the prig,
    And ten of my once stately toes
    Are marshalled for a jig!

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • I have a Bird in spring

    I have a Bird in spring
    Which for myself doth sing --
    The spring decoys.
    And as the summer nears --
    And as the Rose appears,
    Robin is gone.

    Yet do I not repine
    Knowing that Bird of mine
    Though flown --
    Learneth beyond the sea
    Melody new for me
    And will return.

    Fast is a safer hand
    Held in a truer Land
    Are mine --
    And though they now depart,
    Tell I my doubting heart
    They're thine.

    In a serener Bright,
    In a more golden light
    I see
    Each little doubt and fear,
    Each little discord here
    Removed.

    Then will I not repine,
    Knowing that Bird of mine
    Though flown
    Shall in a distant tree
    Bright melody for me
    Return.

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Fame is a bee

    Fame is a bee.
    It has a song --
    It has a sting --
    Ah, too, it has a wing.

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • There is a word

    There is a word
    Which bears a sword
    Can pierce an armed man --
    It hurls its barbed syllables
    And is mute again --
    But where it fell
    The saved will tell
    On patriotic day,
    Some epauletted Brother
    Gave his breath away.

    Wherever runs the breathless sun --
    Wherever roams the day --
    There is its noiseless onset --
    There is its victory!
    Behold the keenest marksman!
    The most accomplished shot!
    Time's sublimest target
    Is a soul "forgot!"

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Faith is a fine invention

    "Faith" is a fine invention
    When Gentlemen can see --
    But Microscopes are prudent
    In an Emergency.

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • If I should die

    If I should die,
    And you should live --
    And time should gurgle on --
    And morn should beam --
    And noon should burn --
    As it has usual done --
    If Birds should build as early
    And Bees as bustling go --
    One might depart at option
    From enterprise below!
    'Tis sweet to know that stocks will stand
    When we with Daisies lie --
    That Commerce will continue --
    And Trades as briskly fly --
    It makes the parting tranquil
    And keeps the soul serene --
    That gentlemen so sprightly
    Conduct the pleasing scene!

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • A slash of Blue

    A slash of Blue --
    A sweep of Gray --
    Some scarlet patches on the way,
    Compose an Evening Sky --
    A little purple -- slipped between --
    Some Ruby Trousers hurried on --
    A Wave of Gold --
    A Bank of Day --
    This just makes out the Morning Sky.

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Awake ye muses nine

    Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine,
    Unwind the solemn twine, and tie my Valentine!

    Oh the Earth was made for lovers, for damsel, and hopeless swain,
    For sighing, and gentle whispering, and unity made of twain.
    All things do go a courting, in earth, or sea, or air,
    God hath made nothing single but thee in His world so fair!
    The bride, and then the bridegroom, the two, and then the one,
    Adam, and Eve, his consort, the moon, and then the sun;
    The life doth prove the precept, who obey shall happy be,
    Who will not serve the sovereign, be hanged on fatal tree.
    The high do seek the lowly, the great do seek the small,
    None cannot find who seeketh, on this terrestrial ball;
    The bee doth court the flower, the flower his suit receives,
    And they make merry wedding, whose guests are hundred leaves;
    The wind doth woo the branches, the branches they are won,
    And the father fond demandeth the maiden for his son.
    The storm doth walk the seashore humming a mournful tune,
    The wave with eye so pensive, looketh to see the moon,
    Their spirits meet together, they make their solemn vows,
    No more he singeth mournful, her sadness she doth lose.
    The worm doth woo the mortal, death claims a living bride,
    Night unto day is married, morn unto eventide;
    Earth is a merry damsel, and heaven a knight so true,
    And Earth is quite coquettish, and beseemeth in vain to sue.
    Now to the application, to the reading of the roll,
    To bringing thee to justice, and marshalling thy soul:
    Thou art a human solo, a being cold, and lone,
    Wilt have no kind companion, thou reap'st what thou hast sown.
    Hast never silent hours, and minutes all too long,
    And a deal of sad reflection, and wailing instead of song?
    There's Sarah, and Eliza, and Emeline so fair,
    And Harriet, and Susan, and she with curling hair!
    Thine eyes are sadly blinded, but yet thou mayest see
    Six true, and comely maidens sitting upon the tree;
    Approach that tree with caution, then up it boldly climb,
    And seize the one thou lovest, nor care for space, or time!
    Then bear her to the greenwood, and build for her a bower,
    And give her what she asketh, jewel, or bird, or flower --
    And bring the fife, and trumpet, and beat upon the drum --
    And bid the world Goodmorrow, and go to glory home!

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • I never saw a Moor

    I never saw a Moor --
    I never saw the Sea --
    Yet know I how the Heather looks
    And what a Billow be.

    I never spoke with God
    Nor visited in Heaven --
    Yet certain am I of the spot
    As if the Checks were given --

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • To E.T.

    I slumbered with your poems on my breast
    Spread open as I dropped them half-read through
    Like dove wings on a figure on a tomb
    To see, if in a dream they brought of you,

    I might not have the chance I missed in life
    Through some delay, and call you to your face
    First solider, and then poet, and then both,
    Who died a soldier-poet of your race.

    I meant, you meant, that nothing should remain
    Unsaid between us, brother, and this remained--
    And one thing more that was not then to say:
    The Victory for what it lost and gained.

    You went to meet the shell's embrace of fire
    On Vimy Ridge; and when you fell that day
    The war seemed over more for you than me,
    But now for me than you--the other way.

    How ever, though, for even me who knew
    The foe thrust back unsafe beyond the Rhine,
    If I was not speak of it to you
    And see you pleased once more with words of mine?

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Vantage Point

    If tired of trees I seek again mankind,
    Well I know where to hie me--in the dawn,
    To a slope where the cattle keep the lawn.
    There amid lolling juniper reclined,
    Myself unseen, I see in white defined
    Far off the homes of men, and farther still,
    The graves of men on an opposing hill,
    Living or dead, whichever are to mind.

    And if by noon I have too much of these,
    I have but to turn on my arm, and lo,
    The sun-burned hillside sets my face aglow,
    My breathing shakes the bluet like a breeze,
    I smell the earth, I smell the bruisèd plant,
    I look into the crater of the ant.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Onset

    Always the same, when on a fated night
    At last the gathered snow lets down as white
    As may be in dark woods, and with a song
    It shall not make again all winter long
    Of hissing on the yet uncovered ground,
    I almost stumble looking up and round,
    As one who overtaken by the end
    Gives up his errand, and lets death descend
    Upon him where he is, with nothing done
    To evil, no important triumph won,
    More than if life had never been begun.

    Yet all the precedent is on my side:
    I know that winter death has never tried
    The earth but it has failed: the snow may heap
    In long storms an undrifted four feet deep
    As measured again maple, birch, and oak,
    It cannot check the peeper's silver croak;
    And I shall see the snow all go down hill
    In water of a slender April rill
    That flashes tail through last year's withered brake
    And dead weeds, like a disappearing snake.
    Nothing will be left white but here a birch,
    And there a clump of houses with a church.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Line-Gang

    Here come the line-gang pioneering by,
    They throw a forest down less cut than broken.
    They plant dead trees for living, and the dead
    They string together with a living thread.
    They string an instrument against the sky
    Wherein words whether beaten out or spoken
    Will run as hushed as when they were a thought
    But in no hush they string it: they go past
    With shouts afar to pull the cable taught,
    To hold it hard until they make it fast,
    To ease away--they have it. With a laugh,
    An oath of towns that set the wild at naught
    They bring the telephone and telegraph.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Hill Wife

    I. LONELINESS

    Her Word

    One ought not to have to care
    So much as you and I
    Care when the birds come round the house
    To seem to say good-bye;

    Or care so much when they come back
    With whatever it is they sing;
    The truth being we are as much
    Too glad for the one thing

    As we are too sad for the other here --
    With birds that fill their breasts
    But with each other and themselves
    And their built or driven nests.

    II. HOUSE FEAR

    Always -- I tell you this they learned --
    Always at night when they returned
    To the lonely house from far away
    To lamps unlighted and fire gone gray,
    They learned to rattle the lock and key
    To give whatever might chance to be
    Warning and time to be off in flight:
    And preferring the out- to the in-door night,
    They. learned to leave the house-door wide
    Until they had lit the lamp inside.

    III. THE SMILE

    Her Word

    I didn't like the way he went away.
    That smile! It never came of being gay.
    Still he smiled- did you see him?- I was sure!
    Perhaps because we gave him only bread
    And the wretch knew from that that we were poor.
    Perhaps because he let us give instead
    Of seizing from us as he might have seized.
    Perhaps he mocked at us for being wed,
    Or being very young (and he was pleased
    To have a vision of us old and dead).
    I wonder how far down the road he's got.
    He's watching from the woods as like as not.

    IV. THE OFT-REPEATED DREAM

    She had no saying dark enough
    For the dark pine that kept
    Forever trying the window-latch
    Of the room where they slept.

    The tireless but ineffectual hands
    That with every futile pass
    Made the great tree seem as a little bird
    Before the mystery of glass!

    It never had been inside the room,
    And only one of the two
    Was afraid in an oft-repeated dream
    Of what the tree might do.

    V. THE IMPULSE

    It was too lonely for her there,
    And too wild,
    And since there were but two of them,
    And no child,

    And work was little in the house,
    She was free,
    And followed where he furrowed field,
    Or felled tree.

    She rested on a log and tossed
    The fresh chips,
    With a song only to herself
    On her lips.

    And once she went to break a bough
    Of black alder.
    She strayed so far she scarcely heard.
    When he called her --

    And didn't answer -- didn't speak --
    Or return.
    She stood, and then she ran and hid
    In the fern.

    He never found her, though he looked
    Everywhere,
    And he asked at her mother's house
    Was she there.

    Sudden and swift and light as that
    The ties gave,
    And he learned of finalities
    Besides the grave.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Bear

    The bear puts both arms around the tree above her
    And draws it down as if it were a lover
    And its choke cherries lips to kiss good-bye,
    Then lets it snap back upright in the sky.
    Her next step rocks a boulder on the wall
    (She's making her cross-country in the fall).
    Her great weight creaks the barbed-wire in its staples
    As she flings over and off down through the maples,
    Leaving on one wire moth a lock of hair.
    Such is the uncaged progress of the bear.
    The world has room to make a bear feel free;
    The universe seems cramped to you and me.
    Man acts more like the poor bear in a cage
    That all day fights a nervous inward rage~
    His mood rejecting all his mind suggests.
    He paces back and forth and never rests
    The me-nail click and shuffle of his feet,
    The telescope at one end of his beat~
    And at the other end the microscope,
    Two instruments of nearly equal hope,
    And in conjunction giving quite a spread.
    Or if he rests from scientific tread,
    'Tis only to sit back and sway his head
    Through ninety odd degrees of arc, it seems,
    Between two metaphysical extremes.
    He sits back on his fundamental butt
    With lifted snout and eyes (if any) shut,
    (lie almost looks religious but he's not),
    And back and forth he sways from cheek to cheek,
    At one extreme agreeing with one Greek~
    At the other agreeing with another Greek
    Which may be thought, but only so to speak.
    A baggy figure, equally pathetic
    When sedentary and when peripatetic.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Storm Fear

    WHEN the wind works against us in the dark,
    And pelts with snow
    The lowest chamber window on the east,
    And whispers with a sort of stifled bark,
    The beast,
    ‘Come out! Come out!’--
    It costs no inward struggle not to go,
    Ah, no!
    I count our strength,
    Two and a child,
    Those of us not asleep subdued to mark
    How the cold creeps as the fire dies at length,--
    How drifts are piled,
    Dooryard and road ungraded,
    Till even the comforting barn grows far away
    And my heart owns a doubt
    Whether ’tis in us to arise with day
    And save ourselves unaided.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Range-Finding

    The battle rent a cobweb diamond-strung
    And cut a flower beside a ground bird's nest
    Before it stained a single human breast.
    The stricken flower bent double and so hung.
    And still the bird revisited her young.
    A butterfly its fall had dispossessed
    A moment sought in air his flower of rest,
    Then lightly stooped to it and fluttering clung.
    On the bare upland pasture there had spread
    O'ernight 'twixt mullein stalks a wheel of thread
    And straining cables wet with silver dew.
    A sudden passing bullet shook it dry.
    The indwelling spider ran to greet the fly,
    But finding nothing, sullenly withdrew.

    — -Robert Frost
  • My Butterfly

    Thine emulous fond flowers are dead, too,
    And the daft sun-assaulter, he
    That frightened thee so oft, is fled or dead:
    Saave only me
    (Nor is it sad to thee!)
    Save only me
    There is none left to mourn thee in the fields.

    The gray grass is scarce dappled with the snow;
    Its two banks have not shut upon the river;
    But it is long ago--
    It seems forever--
    Since first I saw thee glance,
    WIth all thy dazzling other ones,
    In airy dalliance,
    Precipitate in love,
    Tossed, tangled, whirled and whirled above,
    Like a linp rose-wreath in a fairy dance.

    When that was, the soft mist
    Of my regret hung not on all the land,
    And I was glad for thee,
    And glad for me, I wist.

    Thou didst not know, who tottered, wandering on high,
    That fate had made thee for the pleasure of the wind,
    With those great careless wings,
    Nor yet did I.

    And there were othe rthings:
    It seemed God let thee flutter from his gentle clasp:
    Then fearful he had let thee win
    Too far beyond him to be gathered in,
    Santched thee, o'ereager, with ungentle gasp.

    Ah! I remember me
    How once conspiracy was rife
    Against my life--
    The languor of it and the dreaming fond;
    Surging, the grasses dizzied me of thought,
    The breeze three odors brought,
    And a gem-flower waved in a wand!

    Then when I was distraught
    And could not speak,
    Sidelong, full on my cheek,
    What should that reckless zephyr fling
    But the wild touch of thy dye-dusty wing!

    I found that wing broken today!
    For thou art dead, I said,
    And the strang birds say.
    I found it with the withered leaves
    Under the eaves.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Lodged

    The rain to the wind said,
    'You push and I'll pelt.'
    They so smote the garden bed
    That the flowers actually knelt,
    And lay lodged--though not dead.
    I know how the flowers felt.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Aim was Song

    Before man came to blow it right
    The wind once blew itself untaught,
    And did its loudest day and night
    In any rough place where it caught.

    Man came to tell it what was wrong:
    I hadn't found the place to blow;
    It blew too hard--the aim was song.
    And listen--how it ought to go!

    He took a little in his mouth,
    And held it long enough for north
    To be converted into south,
    And then by measure blew it forth.

    By measure. It was word and note,
    The wind the wind had meant to be--
    A little through the lips and throat.
    The aim was song--the wind could see.

    — -Robert Frost
  • In Hardwood Groves

    The same leaves over and over again!
    They fall from giving shade above
    To make one texture of faded brown
    And fit the earth like a leather glove.

    Before the leaves can mount again
    To fill the trees with another shade,
    They must go down past things coming up.
    They must go down into the dark decayed.

    They must be pierced by flowers and put
    Beneath the feet of dancing flowers.
    However it is in some other world
    I know that this is way in ours.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Prayer in Spring

    OH, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
    And give us not to think so far away
    As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
    All simply in the springing of the year.

    Oh, give us pleasure in the orcahrd white,
    Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
    And make us happy in the happy bees,
    The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

    And make us happy in the darting bird
    That suddenly above the bees is heard,
    The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
    And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

    For this is love and nothing else is love,
    To which it is reserved for God above
    To sanctify to what far ends he will,
    But which it only needs that we fulfill.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Passing Glimpse

    To Ridgely Torrence
    On Last Looking into His 'Hesperides'



    I often see flowers from a passing car
    That are gone before I can tell what they are.

    I want to get out of the train and go back
    To see what they were beside the track.

    I name all the flowers I am sure they weren't;
    Not fireweed loving where woods have burnt--

    Not bluebells gracing a tunnel mouth--
    Not lupine living on sand and drouth.

    Was something brushed across my mind
    That no one on earth will ever find?

    Heaven gives it glimpses only to those
    Not in position to look too close.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Late Walk

    When I go up through the mowing field,
    The headless aftermath,
    Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
    Half closes the garden path.

    And when I come to the garden ground,
    The whir of sober birds
    Up from the tangle of withered weeds
    Is sadder than any words

    A tree beside the wall stands bare,
    But a leaf that lingered brown,
    Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
    Comes softly rattling down.

    I end not far from my going forth
    By picking the faded blue
    Of the last remaining aster flower
    To carry again to you.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Telephone

    'When I was just as far as I could walk
    From here today,
    There was an hour
    All still
    When leaning with my head again a flower
    I heard you talk.
    Don't say I didn't, for I heard you say--
    You spoke from that flower on the window sill-
    Do you remember what it was you said?'

    'First tell me what it was you thought you heard.'

    'Having found the flower and driven a bee away,
    I leaned on my head
    And holding by the stalk,
    I listened and I thought I caught the word--
    What was it? Did you call me by my name?
    Or did you say--
    Someone said "Come" -- I heard it as I bowed.'

    'I may have thought as much, but not aloud.'

    "Well, so I came.'

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Soldier

    He is that fallen lance that lies as hurled,
    That lies unlifted now, come dew, come rust,
    But still lies pointed as it ploughed the dust.
    If we who sight along it round the world,
    See nothing worthy to have been its mark,
    It is because like men we look too near,
    Forgetting that as fitted to the sphere,
    Our missiles always make too short an arc.
    They fall, they rip the grass, they intersect
    The curve of earth, and striking, break their own;
    They make us cringe for metal-point on stone.
    But this we know, the obstacle that checked
    And tripped the body, shot the spirit on
    Further than target ever showed or shone.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Stars

    How countlessly they congregate
    O'er our tumultuous snow,
    Which flows in shapes as tall as trees
    When wintry winds do blow!--

    As if with keeness for our fate,
    Our faltering few steps on
    To white rest, and a place of rest
    Invisible at dawn,--

    And yet with neither love nor hate,
    Those starts like somw snow-white
    Minerva's snow-white marble eyes
    Without the gift of sight.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Time to Talk

    When a friend calls to me from the road
    And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
    I don't stand still and look around
    On all the hills I haven't hoed,
    And shout from where I am, 'What is it?'
    No, not as there is a time talk.
    I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
    Blade-end up and five feet tall,
    And plod: I go up to the stone wall
    For a friendly visit.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Question

    A voice said, Look me in the stars
    And tell me truly, men of earth,
    If all the soul-and-body scars
    Were not too much to pay for birth.

    — -Robert Frost
  • To Marie Louise

    Of all who hail thy presence as the morning-
    Of all to whom thine absence is the night-
    The blotting utterly from out high heaven
    The sacred sun- of all who, weeping, bless thee
    Hourly for hope- for life- ah! above all,
    For the resurrection of deep-buried faith
    In Truth- in Virtue- in Humanity-
    Of all who, on Despair\'s unhallowed bed
    Lying down to die, have suddenly arisen
    At thy soft-murmured words, \'Let there be light!\'
    At the soft-murmured words that were fulfilled
    In the seraphic glancing of thine eyes-
    Of all who owe thee most- whose gratitude
    Nearest resembles worship- oh, remember
    The truest- the most fervently devoted,
    And think that these weak lines are written by him-
    By him who, as he pens them, thrills to think
    His spirit is communing with an angel\'s.

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • Tonight I Can Write

    Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

    Write, for example,\'The night is shattered
    and the blue stars shiver in the distance.\'

    The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

    Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
    I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

    Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
    I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

    She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
    How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

    Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
    To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

    To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
    And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

    What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
    The night is shattered and she is not with me.

    This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
    My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

    My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
    My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

    The same night whitening the same trees.
    We, of that time, are no longer the same.

    I no longer love her, that\'s certain, but how I loved her.
    My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

    Another\'s. She will be another\'s. Like my kisses before.
    Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes.

    I no longer love her, that\'s certain, but maybe I love her.
    Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

    Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
    my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her.

    Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
    and these the last verses that I write for her.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Heaven\

    Heaven\"—is what I cannot reach!
    The Apple on the Tree—
    Provided it do hopeless—hang—
    That—\"He aven\" is—to Me!

    The Color, on the Cruising Cloud—
    The interdicted Land—
    Behind the Hill—the House behind—
    There—Paradise—is found!

    Her teasing Purples—Afternoons—
    The credulous—decoy—
    Enamored—of the Conjuror—
    That spurned us—Yesterday!

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • Nothing Gold Can Stay

    Nature\'s first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf\'s a flower;
    But only so an hour.
    Then leaf subsides to leaf,
    So Eden sank to grief,
    So dawn goes down to day
    Nothing gold can stay.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Bells - A Collaborati

    poet Edgar Allan Poe #6 on top 500 poets Poet\'s PagePoemsQuotesCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyVideosShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
    Poems by Edgar Allan Poe : 40 / 69 « prev. poem next poem »
    The Bells - A Collaboration - Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

    Autoplay next video
    The bells! — ah, the bells!
    The little silver bells!
    How fairy-like a melody there floats
    From their throats. —
    From their merry little throats —
    From the silver, tinkling throats
    Of the bells, bells, bells —
    Of the bells!

    The bells! — ah, the bells!
    The heavy iron bells!
    How horrible a monody there floats
    From their throats —
    From their deep-toned throats —
    From their melancholy throats!
    How I shudder at the notes
    Of the bells, bells, bells —
    Of the bells!

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • Ulalume

    The skies they were ashen and sober;
    The leaves they were crisped and sere -
    The leaves they were withering and sere;
    It was night in the lonesome October
    Of my most immemorial year;
    It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
    In the misty mid region of Weir -
    It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
    In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

    Here once, through an alley Titanic,
    Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul -
    Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
    These were days when my heart was volcanic
    As the scoriac rivers that roll -
    As the lavas that restlessly roll
    Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek
    In the ultimate climes of the pole -
    That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek
    In the realms of the boreal pole.

    Our talk had been serious and sober,
    But our thoughts they were palsied and sere -
    Our memories were treacherous and sere, -
    For we knew not the month was October,
    And we marked not the night of the year -
    (Ah, night of all nights in the year!)
    We noted not the dim lake of Auber -
    (Though once we had journey down here),
    Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,
    Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

    And now, as the night was senescent,
    And star-dials pointed to morn -
    As the star-dials hinted of morn -
    At the end of our path a liquescent
    And nebulous lustre was born,
    Out of which a miraculous crescent
    Arose with a duplicate horn -
    Astarte\'s bediamonded crescent
    Distinct with its duplicate horn.

    And I said - \"She is warmer than Dian:
    She rolls through an ether of sighs -
    She revels in a region of sighs:
    She has seen that the tears are not dry on
    These cheeks, where the worm never dies,
    And has come past the stars of the Lion
    To point us the path to the skies -
    To the Lethean peace of the skies -
    Come up, in despite of the Lion,
    To shine on us with her bright eyes -
    Come up through the lair of the Lion,
    With love in her luminous eyes.\"

    But Psyche, uplifting her finger,
    Said - \"Sadly this star I mistrust -
    Her pallor I strangely mistrust: -
    Oh, hasten! - oh, let us not linger!
    Oh, fly! - let us fly! - for we must.\"
    In terror she spoke, letting sink her
    Wings until they trailed in the dust -
    In agony sobbed, letting sink her
    Plumes till they trailed in the dust -
    Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

    I replied - \"This is nothing but dreaming:
    Let us on by this tremulous light!
    Let us bathe in this crystalline light!
    Its Sybilic splendor is beaming
    With Hope and in Beauty to-night! -
    See! - it flickers up the sky through the night!
    Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,
    And be sure it will lead us aright -
    We safely may trust to a gleaming,
    That cannot but guide us aright,
    Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.\"

    Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
    And tempted her out of her gloom -
    And conquered her scruples and gloom;
    And we passed to the end of the vista,
    But were stopped by the door of a tomb -
    By the door of a legended tomb;
    And I said - \"What is written, sweet sister,
    On the door of this legended tomb?\"
    She replied - \"Ulalume - Ulal

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • Let America Be America Ag

    Let America be America again.
    Let it be the dream it used to be.
    Let it be the pioneer on the plain
    Seeking a home where he himself is free.

    (America never was America to me.)

    Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
    Let it be that great strong land of love
    Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
    That any man be crushed by one above.

    (It never was America to me.)

    O, let my land be a land where Liberty
    Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
    But opportunity is real, and life is free,
    Equality is in the air we breathe.

    (There\'s never been equality for me,
    Nor freedom in this \"homeland of the free.\")

    Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
    And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

    I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
    I am the Negro bearing slavery\'s scars.
    I am the red man driven from the land,
    I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
    And finding only the same old stupid plan
    Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

    I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
    Tangled in that ancient endless chain
    Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
    Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
    Of work the men! Of take the pay!
    Of owning everything for one\'s own greed!

    I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
    I am the worker sold to the machine.
    I am the Negro, servant to you all.
    I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
    Hungry yet today despite the dream.
    Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
    I am the man who never got ahead,
    The poorest worker bartered through the years.

    Yet I\'m the one who dreamt our basic dream
    In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
    Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
    That even yet its mighty daring sings
    In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
    That\'s made America the land it has become.
    O, I\'m the man who sailed those early seas
    In search of what I meant to be my home--
    For I\'m the one who left dark Ireland\'s shore,
    And Poland\'s plain, and England\'s grassy lea,
    And torn from Black Africa\'s strand I came
    To build a \"homeland of the free.\"

    The free?

    Who said the free? Not me?
    Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
    The millions shot down when we strike?
    The millions who have nothing for our pay?
    For all the dreams we\'ve dreamed
    And all the songs we\'ve sung
    And all the hopes we\'ve held
    And all the flags we\'ve hung,
    The millions who have nothing for our pay--
    Except the dream that\'s almost dead today.

    O, let America be America again--
    The land that never has been yet--
    And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
    The land that\'s mine--the poor man\'s, Indian\'s, Negro\'s, ME--
    Who made America,
    Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
    Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
    Must bring back our mighty dream again.

    Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
    The steel of freedom does not stain.
    From those who live like leeches on the people\'s lives,
    We must take back our land again,
    America!

    O, yes,
    I say it plain,
    America never was

    — -Langston Hughes
  • Ode To Fanny

    Physician Nature! Let my spirit blood!
    O ease my heart of verse and let me rest;
    Throw me upon thy Tripod, till the flood
    Of stifling numbers ebbs from my full breast.
    A theme! a theme! great nature! give a theme;
    Let me begin my dream.
    I come -- I see thee, as thou standest there,
    Beckon me not into the wintry air.

    Ah! dearest love, sweet home of all my fears,
    And hopes, and joys, and panting miseries, --
    To-night, if I may guess, thy beauty wears
    A smile of such delight,
    As brilliant and as bright,
    As when with ravished, aching, vassal eyes,
    Lost in soft amaze,
    I gaze, I gaze!

    Who now, with greedy looks, eats up my feast?
    What stare outfaces now my silver moon!
    Ah! keep that hand unravished at the least;
    Let, let, the amorous burn --
    But pr\'ythee, do not turn
    The current of your heart from me so soon.
    O! save, in charity,
    The quickest pulse for me.

    Save it for me, sweet love! though music breathe
    Voluptuous visions into the warm air;
    Though swimming through the dance\'s dangerous wreath,
    Be like an April day,
    Smiling and cold and gay,
    A temperate lilly, temperate as fair;
    Then, Heaven! there will be
    A warmer June for me.

    Why, this, you\'ll say, my Fanny! is not true:
    Put your soft hand upon your snowy side,
    Where the heart beats: confess -- \'tis nothing new --
    Must not a woman be
    A feather on the sea,
    Sway\'d to and fro by every wind and tide?
    Of as uncertain speed
    As blow-ball from the mead?

    I know it -- and to know it is despair
    To one who loves you as I love, sweet Fanny!
    Whose heart goes fluttering for you every where,
    Nor, when away you roam,
    Dare keep its wretched home,
    Love, love alone, his pains severe and many:
    Then, loveliest! keep me free,
    From torturing jealousy.

    Ah! if you prize my subdued soul above
    The poor, the fading, brief, pride of an hour;
    Let none profane my Holy See of love,
    Or with a rude hand break
    The sacramental cake:
    Let none else touch the just new-budded flower;
    If not -- may my eyes close,
    Love! on their lost repose.

    — -John Keats
  • Democracy

    poet Langston Hughes #7 on top 500 poets Poet\'s PagePoemsQuotesCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyVideosShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
    Poems by Langston Hughes : 18 / 104 « prev. poem next poem »
    Democracy - Poem by Langston Hughes

    Autoplay next video
    Democracy will not come
    Today, this year
    Nor ever
    Through compromise and fear.

    I have as much right
    As the other fellow has
    To stand
    On my two feet
    And own the land.

    I tire so of hearing people say,
    Let things take their course.
    Tomorrow is another day.
    I do not need my freedom when I\'m dead.
    I cannot live on tomorrow\'s bread.

    Freedom
    Is a strong seed
    Planted
    In a great need.

    I live here, too.
    I want freedom
    Just as you.

    — -Langston Hughes
  • Ode To Autumn

    poet John Keats #8 on top 500 poets Poet\'s PagePoemsQuotesCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
    Poems by John Keats : 81 / 217 « prev. poem next poem »
    Ode To Autumn - Poem by John Keats

    Autoplay next video
    Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
    To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
    And still more, later flowers for the bees,
    Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For Summer has o\'er-brimmed their clammy cell.

    Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
    Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
    Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
    Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
    Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
    Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
    Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
    And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
    Steady thy laden head across a brook;
    Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
    Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

    Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
    Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,---
    While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
    And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
    Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn
    Among the river sallows, borne aloft
    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
    And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
    Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
    The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

    — -John Keats
  • His Last Sonnet

    Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art! -
    Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
    And watching, with eternal lids apart,
    Like Nature\'s patient sleepless Eremite,
    The moving waters at their priestlike task
    Of pure ablution round earth\'s human shores,
    Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
    Of snow upon the mountains and the moors -
    No -yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
    Pillowed upon my fair love\'s ripening breast,
    To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
    Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
    Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
    And so live ever -or else swoon to death.

    — -John Keats
  • The Lake

    In spring of youth it was my lot
    To haunt of the wide world a spot
    The which I could not love the less-
    So lovely was the loneliness
    Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
    And the tall pines that towered around.

    But when the Night had thrown her pall
    Upon that spot, as upon all,
    And the mystic wind went by
    Murmuring in melody-
    Then- ah then I would awake
    To the terror of the lone lake.

    Yet that terror was not fright,
    But a tremulous delight-
    A feeling not the jewelled mine
    Could teach or bribe me to define-
    Nor Love- although the Love were thine.

    Death was in that poisonous wave,
    And in its gulf a fitting grave
    For him who thence could solace bring
    To his lone imagining-
    Whose solitary soul could make
    An Eden of that dim lake.

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • Serenade

    So sweet the hour, so calm the time,
    I feel it more than half a crime,
    When Nature sleeps and stars are mute,
    To mar the silence ev'n with lute.
    At rest on ocean's brilliant dyes
    An image of Elysium lies:
    Seven Pleiades entranced in Heaven,
    Form in the deep another seven:
    Endymion nodding from above
    Sees in the sea a second love.
    Within the valleys dim and brown,
    And on the spectral mountain's crown,
    The wearied light is dying down,
    And earth, and stars, and sea, and sky
    Are redolent of sleep, as I
    Am redolent of thee and thine
    Enthralling love, my Adeline.
    But list, O list,- so soft and low
    Thy lover's voice tonight shall flow,
    That, scarce awake, thy soul shall deem
    My words the music of a dream.
    Thus, while no single sound too rude
    Upon thy slumber shall intrude,
    Our thoughts, our souls- O God above!
    In every deed shall mingle, love.

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • Hymn

    At morn- at noon- at twilight dim-
    Maria! thou hast heard my hymn!
    In joy and woe- in good and ill-
    Mother of God, be with me still!
    When the hours flew brightly by,
    And not a cloud obscured the sky,
    My soul, lest it should truant be,
    Thy grace did guide to thine and thee;
    Now, when storms of Fate o'ercast
    Darkly my Present and my Past,
    Let my Future radiant shine
    With sweet hopes of thee and thine!

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • Stanzas

    How often we forget all time, when lone
    Admiring Nature's universal throne;
    Her woods- her wilds- her mountains- the intense
    Reply of HERS to OUR intelligence! [BYRON, The Island.]

    I

    In youth have I known one with whom the Earth
    In secret communing held- as he with it,
    In daylight, and in beauty from his birth:
    Whose fervid, flickering torch of life was lit
    From the sun and stars, whence he had drawn forth
    A passionate light- such for his spirit was fit-
    And yet that spirit knew not, in the hour
    Of its own fervor what had o'er it power.


    II

    Perhaps it may be that my mind is wrought
    To a fever by the moonbeam that hangs o'er,
    But I will half believe that wild light fraught
    With more of sovereignty than ancient lore
    Hath ever told- or is it of a thought
    The unembodied essence, and no more,
    That with a quickening spell doth o'er us pass
    As dew of the night-time o'er the summer grass?

    III

    Doth o'er us pass, when, as th' expanding eye
    To the loved object- so the tear to the lid
    Will start, which lately slept in apathy?
    And yet it need not be- (that object) hid
    From us in life- but common- which doth lie
    Each hour before us- but then only, bid
    With a strange sound, as of a harp-string broken,
    To awake us- 'Tis a symbol and a token

    IV

    Of what in other worlds shall be- and given
    In beauty by our God, to those alone
    Who otherwise would fall from life and Heaven
    Drawn by their heart's passion, and that tone,
    That high tone of the spirit which hath striven,
    Tho' not with Faith- with godliness- whose throne
    With desperate energy 't hath beaten down;
    Wearing its own deep feeling as a crown.

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Forest Reverie

    Tis said that when
    The hands of men
    Tamed this primeval wood,
    And hoary trees with groans of woe,
    Like warriors by an unknown foe,
    Were in their strength subdued,
    The virgin Earth Gave instant birth
    To springs that ne'er did flow
    That in the sun Did rivulets run,
    And all around rare flowers did blow
    The wild rose pale Perfumed the gale
    And the queenly lily adown the dale
    (Whom the sun and the dew
    And the winds did woo),
    With the gourd and the grape luxuriant grew.

    So when in tears
    The love of years
    Is wasted like the snow,
    And the fine fibrils of its life
    By the rude wrong of instant strife
    Are broken at a blow
    Within the heart
    Do springs upstart
    Of which it doth now know,
    And strange, sweet dreams,
    Like silent streams
    That from new fountains overflow,
    With the earlier tide
    Of rivers glide
    Deep in the heart whose hope has died--
    Quenching the fires its ashes hide,--
    Its ashes, whence will spring and grow
    Sweet flowers, ere long,
    The rare and radiant flowers of song!

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • Israfel

    In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
    "Whose heart-strings are a lute";
    None sing so wildly well
    As the angel Israfel,
    And the giddy stars (so legends tell),
    Ceasing their hymns, attend the spell
    Of his voice, all mute.

    Tottering above
    In her highest noon,
    The enamored moon
    Blushes with love,
    While, to listen, the red levin
    (With the rapid Pleiads, even,
    Which were seven,)
    Pauses in Heaven.

    And they say (the starry choir
    And the other listening things)
    That Israfeli's fire
    Is owing to that lyre
    By which he sits and sings-
    The trembling living wire
    Of those unusual strings.

    But the skies that angel trod,
    Where deep thoughts are a duty-
    Where Love's a grown-up God-
    Where the Houri glances are
    Imbued with all the beauty
    Which we worship in a star.

    Therefore thou art not wrong,
    Israfeli, who despisest
    An unimpassioned song;
    To thee the laurels belong,
    Best bard, because the wisest!
    Merrily live, and long!

    The ecstasies above
    With thy burning measures suit-
    Thy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,
    With the fervor of thy lute-
    Well may the stars be mute!

    Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
    Is a world of sweets and sours;
    Our flowers are merely- flowers,
    And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
    Is the sunshine of ours.

    If I could dwell
    Where Israfel
    Hath dwelt, and he where I,
    He might not sing so wildly well
    A mortal melody,
    While a bolder note than this might swell
    From my lyre within the sky.

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Coliseum

    Type of the antique Rome! Rich reliquary
    Of lofty contemplation left to Time
    By buried centuries of pomp and power!
    At length- at length- after so many days
    Of weary pilgrimage and burning thirst,
    (Thirst for the springs of lore that in thee lie,)
    I kneel, an altered and an humble man,
    Amid thy shadows, and so drink within
    My very soul thy grandeur, gloom, and glory!
    Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld!
    Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night!
    I feel ye now- I feel ye in your strength-
    O spells more sure than e'er Judaean king
    Taught in the gardens of Gethsemane!
    O charms more potent than the rapt Chaldee
    Ever drew down from out the quiet stars!

    Here, where a hero fell, a column falls!
    Here, where the mimic eagle glared in gold,
    A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat!
    Here, where the dames of Rome their gilded hair
    Waved to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle!
    Here, where on golden throne the monarch lolled,
    Glides, spectre-like, unto his marble home,
    Lit by the wan light of the horned moon,
    The swift and silent lizard of the stones!

    But stay! these walls- these ivy-clad arcades-
    These moldering plinths- these sad and blackened shafts-
    These vague entablatures- this crumbling frieze-
    These shattered cornices- this wreck- this ruin-
    These stones- alas! these grey stones- are they all-
    All of the famed, and the colossal left
    By the corrosive Hours to Fate and me?

    "Not all"- the Echoes answer me- "not all!
    Prophetic sounds and loud, arise forever
    From us, and from all Ruin, unto the wise,
    As melody from Memnon to the Sun.
    We rule the hearts of mightiest men- we rule
    With a despotic sway all giant minds.
    We are not impotent- we pallid stones.
    Not all our power is gone- not all our fame-
    Not all the magic of our high renown-
    Not all the wonder that encircles us-
    Not all the mysteries that in us lie-
    Not all the memories that hang upon
    And cling around about us as a garment,
    Clothing us in a robe of more than glory.

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • To Helen 2

    I saw thee once- once only- years ago:
    I must not say how many- but not many.
    It was a July midnight; and from out
    A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring,
    Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven,
    There fell a silvery-silken veil of light,
    With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber,
    Upon the upturned faces of a thousand
    Roses that grew in an enchanted garden,
    Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe-
    Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses
    That gave out, in return for the love-light,
    Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death-
    Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses
    That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted
    By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence.
    Clad all in white, upon a violet bank
    I saw thee half reclining; while the moon
    Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses,
    And on thine own, upturn'd- alas, in sorrow!

    Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight-
    Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,)
    That bade me pause before that garden-gate,
    To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses?
    No footstep stirred: the hated world an slept,
    Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven!- oh, God!
    How my heart beats in coupling those two words!)
    Save only thee and me. I paused- I looked-
    And in an instant all things disappeared.
    (Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!)

    The pearly lustre of the moon went out:
    The mossy banks and the meandering paths,
    The happy flowers and the repining trees,
    Were seen no more: the very roses' odors
    Died in the arms of the adoring airs.
    All- all expired save thee- save less than thou:
    Save only the divine light in thine eyes-
    Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes.
    I saw but them- they were the world to me!
    I saw but them- saw only them for hours,
    Saw only them until the moon went down.
    What wild heart-histories seemed to he enwritten
    Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres!
    How dark a woe, yet how sublime a hope!
    How silently serene a sea of pride!
    How daring an ambition; yet how deep-
    How fathomless a capacity for love!

    But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight,
    Into a western couch of thunder-cloud;
    And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees
    Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained;
    They would not go- they never yet have gone;
    Lighting my lonely pathway home that night,
    They have not left me (as my hopes have) since;
    They follow me- they lead me through the years.
    They are my ministers- yet I their slave.
    Their office is to illumine and enkindle-
    My duty, to be saved by their bright light,
    And purified in their electric fire,
    And sanctified in their elysian fire.
    They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope),
    And are far up in Heaven- the stars I kneel to
    In the sad, silent watches of my night;
    While even in the meridian glare of day
    I see them still- two sweetly scintillant
    Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • Sancta Maria

    Sancta Maria! turn thine eyes -
    Upon the sinner's sacrifice,
    Of fervent prayer and humble love,
    From thy holy throne above.
    At morn - at noon - at twilight dim -
    Maria! thou hast heard my hymn!
    In joy and wo - in good and ill -
    Mother of God, be with me still!

    When the Hours flew brightly by,
    And not a cloud obscured the sky,
    My soul, lest it should truant be,
    Thy grace did guide to thine and thee;

    Now, when storms of Fate o'ercast
    Darkly my Present and my Past,
    Let my Future radiant shine
    With sweet hopes of thee and thine!

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • Eulalie

    I dwelt alone
    In a world of moan,
    And my soul was a stagnant tide,
    Till the fair and gentle Eulalie became my blushing bride-
    Till the yellow-haired young Eulalie became my smiling bride.

    Ah, less- less bright
    The stars of the night
    Than the eyes of the radiant girl!
    That the vapor can make
    With the moon-tints of purple and pearl,
    Can vie with the modest Eulalie's most unregarded curl-
    Can compare with the bright-eyed Eulalie's most humble and careless
    curl.

    Now Doubt- now Pain
    Come never again,
    For her soul gives me sigh for sigh,
    And all day long
    Shines, bright and strong,
    Astarte within the sky,
    While ever to her dear Eulalie upturns her matron eye-
    While ever to her young Eulalie upturns her violet eye.

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • Atmosphere

    Inscription for a Garden Wall

    Winds blow the open grassy places bleak;
    But where this old wall burns a sunny cheek,
    They eddy over it too toppling weak
    To blow the earth or anything self-clear;
    Moisture and color and odor thicken here.
    The hours of daylight gather atmosphere.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Winter Eden

    A winter garden in an alder swamp,
    Where conies now come out to sun and romp,
    As near a paradise as it can be
    And not melt snow or start a dormant tree.

    It lifts existence on a plane of snow
    One level higher than the earth below,
    One level nearer heaven overhead,
    And last year's berries shining scarlet red.

    It lifts a gaunt luxuriating beast
    Where he can stretch and hold his highest feat
    On some wild apple tree's young tender bark,
    What well may prove the year's high girdle mark.

    So near to paradise all pairing ends:
    Here loveless birds now flock as winter friends,
    Content with bud-inspecting. They presume
    To say which buds are leaf and which are bloom.

    A feather-hammer gives a double knock.
    This Eden day is done at two o'clock.
    An hour of winter day might seem too short
    To make it worth life's while to wake and sport.

    — -Robert Frost
  • To Earthward

    Love at the lips was touch
    As sweet as I could bear;
    And once that seemed too much;
    I lived on air
    That crossed me from sweet things,
    The scent of -- was it musk
    From hidden grapevine springs
    Down hill at dusk?
    I had the swirl and ache
    From sprays of honeysuckle
    That when they're gathered shake
    Dew on the knuckle.
    I craved sweet things, but those
    Seemed strong when I was young;
    The petal of the rose
    It was that stung.
    Now no joy but lacks salt
    That is not dashed with pain
    And weariness and fault;
    I crave the stain
    Of tears, the aftermark
    Of almost too much love,
    The sweet of bitter bark
    And burning clove.
    When stiff and sore and scarred
    I take away my hand
    From leaning on it hard
    In grass and sand,
    The hurt is not enough:
    I long for weight and strength
    To feel the earth as rough
    To all my length.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Investment

    Over back where they speak of life as staying
    ('You couldn't call it living, for it ain't'),
    There was an old, old house renewed with paint,
    And in it a piano loudly playing.

    Out in the plowed ground in the cold a digger,
    Among unearthed potatoes standing still,
    Was counting winter dinners, one a hill,
    With half an ear to the piano's vigor.

    All that piano and new paint back there,
    Was it some money suddenly come into?
    Or some extravagance young love had been to?
    Or old love on an impulse not to care--

    Not to sink under being man and wife,
    But get some color and music out of life?

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Flood

    Blood has been harder to dam back than water.
    Just when we think we have it impounded safe
    Behind new barrier walls (and let it chafe!),
    It breaks away in some new kind of slaughter.
    We choose to say it is let loose by the devil;
    But power of blood itself releases blood.
    It goes by might of being such a flood
    Held high at so unnatural a level.
    It will have outlet, brave and not so brave.
    weapons of war and implements of peace
    Are but the points at which it finds release.
    And now it is once more the tidal wave
    That when it has swept by leaves summits stained.
    Oh, blood will out. It cannot be contained.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Birthplace

    Here further up the mountain slope
    Than there was every any hope,
    My father built, enclosed a spring,
    Strung chains of wall round everything,
    Subdued the growth of earth to grass,
    And brought our various lives to pass.
    A dozen girls and boys we were.
    The mountain seemed to like the stir,
    And made of us a little while--
    With always something in her smile.
    Today she wouldn\'t know our name.
    (No girl\'s, of course, has stayed the same.)
    The mountain pushed us off her knees.
    And now her lap is full of trees.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Riders

    The surest thing there is is we are riders,
    And though none too successful at it, guiders,
    Through everything presented, land and tide
    And now the very air, of what we ride.

    What is this talked-of mystery of birth
    But being mounted bareback on the earth?
    We can just see the infant up astride,
    His small fist buried in the bushy hide.

    There is our wildest mount--a headless horse.
    But though it runs unbridled off its course,
    And all our blandishments would seem defied,
    We have ideas yet that we haven't tried.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Revelation

    We make ourselves a place apart
    Behind light words that tease and flout,
    But oh, the agitated hear
    Till someone really find us out.

    'Tis pity if the case require
    (Or so we say) that in the end
    We speak the literal to inspire
    The understanding of a friend.

    But so with all, from babes that play
    At hid-and-seek to God afar,
    So all who hide too well away
    Must speak and tell us where they are.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Mowing

    There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
    And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
    What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
    Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,
    Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound--
    And that was why it whispered and did not speak.
    It was no dream of the gift of idle hours,
    Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:
    Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
    To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows,
    Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers
    (Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake.
    The fact is the sweetest dream that labour knows.
    My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.

    — -Robert Frost
  • In Neglect

    They leave us so to the way we took,
    As two in whom them were proved mistaken,
    That we sit sometimes in the wayside nook,
    With michievous, vagrant, seraphic look,
    And try if we cannot feel forsaken.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Shall I compare

    Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
    Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
    Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
    And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
    Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
    And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
    And every fair from fair sometime declines,
    By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
    But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
    Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
    Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
    When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
    So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
    So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • So are you to my thoughts

    So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
    Or as sweet-season’d showers are to the ground;
    And for the peace of you I hold such strife
    As ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found;
    Now proud as an enjoyer and anon
    Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure,
    Now counting best to be with you alone,
    Then better’d that the world may see my pleasure;
    Sometime all full with feasting on your sight
    And by and by clean starved for a look;
    Possessing or pursuing no delight,
    Save what is had or must from you be took.
    Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
    Or gluttoning on all, or all away.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • That God Forbid

    That god forbid, that made me first your slave,
    I should in thought control your times of pleasure,
    Or at your hand the account of hours to crave,
    Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure!
    O! let me suffer, being at your beck,
    The imprison’d absence of your liberty;
    And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each check,
    Without accusing you of injury.
    Be where you list, your charter is so strong
    That you yourself may privilege your time
    To what you will; to you it doth belong
    Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime.
    I am to wait, though waiting so be hell,
    Not blame your pleasure be it ill or well.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • That time of year

    That time of year thou mayst in me behold
    When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
    Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
    Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
    In me thou seest the twilight of such day
    As after sunset fadeth in the west,
    Which by and by black night doth take away,
    Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
    In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
    That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
    As the death-bed whereon it must expire
    Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.
    This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
    To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

    — -Wiliam Shakespeare
  • The little Love-god lying

    The little Love-god lying once asleep
    Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
    Whilst many nymphs that vow’d chaste life to keep
    Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand
    The fairest votary took up that fire
    Which many legions of true hearts had warm’d;
    And so the general of hot desire
    Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarm’d.
    This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
    Which from Love’s fire took heat perpetual,
    Growing a bath and healthful remedy
    For men diseased; but I, my mistress’ thrall,
    Came there for cure, and this by that I prove,
    Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • They that have power

    They that have power to hurt and will do none,
    That do not do the thing they most do show,
    Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
    Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow,
    They rightly do inherit heaven’s graces
    And husband nature’s riches from expense;
    They are the lords and owners of their faces,
    Others but stewards of their excellence.
    The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet,
    Though to itself it only live and die,
    But if that flower with base infection meet,
    The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
    For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
    Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • Tired with all these

    Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
    As to behold desert a beggar born,
    And needy nothing trimm’d in jollity,
    And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
    And gilded honour shamefully misplac’d,
    And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
    And right perfection wrongfully disgrac’d,
    And strength by limping sway disabled
    And art made tongue-tied by authority,
    And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill,
    And simple truth miscall’d simplicity,
    And captive good attending captain ill:
    Tir’d with all these, from these would I be gone,
    Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • When thou shalt be dispos

    When thou shalt be disposed to set me light,
    And place my merit in the eye of scorn,
    Upon thy side against myself I’ll fight,
    And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn.
    With mine own weakness being best acquainted,
    Upon thy part I can set down a story
    Of faults conceal’d, wherein I am attainted,
    That thou in losing me shalt win much glory:
    And I by this will be a gainer too;
    For bending all my loving thoughts on thee,
    The injuries that to myself I do,
    Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me.
    Such is my love, to thee I so belong,
    That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • When, in disgrace

    When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
    I all alone beweep my outcast state,
    And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
    And look upon myself and curse my fate,
    Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
    Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
    Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
    With what I most enjoy contented least:
    Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
    Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
    Like to the lark at break of day arising
    From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
    For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
    That then I scorn to change my state with kings’.
    Sonnet no.29 by W. Shakespeare

    — -William Shakespeare
  • Where Art Thou Muse

    100
    Where art thou Muse that thou forget’st so long,
    To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
    Spend’st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
    Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?
    Return forgetful Muse, and straight redeem,
    In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
    Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem
    And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
    Rise, resty Muse, my love’s sweet face survey,
    If Time have any wrinkle graven there;
    If any, be a satire to decay,
    And make time’s spoils despised every where.
    Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life,
    So thou prevent’st his scythe and crooked knife.

    — -william Shakespeare
  • The Pauper Witch of Graft

    NOW that they\'ve got it settled whose I be,
    I\'m going to tell them something they won\'t like:
    They\'ve got it settled wrong, and I can prove it.
    Flattered I must be to have two towns fighting
    To make a present of me to each other.
    They don\'t dispose me, either one of them,
    To spare them any trouble. Double trouble\'s
    Always the witch\'s motto anyway.
    I\'ll double theirs for both of them- you watch me.
    They\'ll find they\'ve got the whole thing to do over,
    That is, if facts is what they want to go by.
    They set a lot (now don\'t they?) by a record
    Of Arthur Amy\'s having once been up
    For Hog Reeve in March Meeting here in Warren.
    I could have told them any time this twelvemonth
    The Arthur Amy I was married to
    Couldn\'t have been the one they say was up
    In Warren at March Meeting for the reason
    He wa\'n\'t but fifteen at the time they say.
    The Arthur Amy I was married to
    voted the only times he ever voted,
    Which wasn\'t many, in the town of Wentworth.
    One of the times was when \'twas in the warrant
    To see if the town wanted to take over
    The tote road to our clearing where we lived.
    I\'ll tell you who\'d remember- Heman Lapish.
    Their Arthur Amy was the father of mine.
    So now they\'ve dragged it through the law courts once
    I guess they\'d better drag it through again.
    Wentworth and Warren\'s both good towns to live in,
    Only I happen to prefer to live
    In Wentworth from now on; and when all\'s said,
    Right\'s right, and the temptation to do right
    When I can hurt someone by doing it
    Has always been too much for me, it has.
    I know of some folks that\'d be set up
    At having in their town a noted witch:
    But most would have to think of the expense
    That even I would be. They ought to know
    That as a witch I\'d often milk a bat
    And that\'d be enough to last for days.
    It\'d make my position stronger, I think,
    If I was to consent to give some sign
    To make it surer that I was a witch?
    It wa\'n\'t no sign, I s\'pose, when Mallice Huse
    Said that I took him out in his old age
    And rode all over everything on him
    Until I\'d had him worn to skin and bones,
    And if I\'d left him hitched unblanketed
    In front of one Town Hall, I\'d left him hitched
    In front of every one in Grafton County.
    Some cried shame on me not to blanket him,
    The poor old man. It would have been all right
    If some one hadn\'t said to gnaw the posts
    He stood beside and leave his trade mark on them,
    So they could recognize them. Not a post
    That they could hear tell of was scarified.
    They made him keep on gnawing till he whined.
    Then that same smarty someone said to look-
    He\'d bet Huse was a cribber and had gnawed
    The crib he slept in- and as sure\'s you\'re born
    They found he\'d gnawed the four posts of his bed,
    All four of them to splinters. What did that prove?
    Not that he hadn\'t gnawed the hitching posts
    He said he had besides. Because a horse
    Gnaws in the stable ain\'t no proof to me
    He don\'t gnaw trees and posts and fences too.
    But everybody took it for proof.
    I was a strapping girl of twenty then.
    The smarty someone who spoiled everyt

    — -Robert Frost
  • Locked Out

    As told to a child


    When we locked up the house at night,
    We always locked the flowers outside
    And cut them off from window light.
    The time I dreamed the door was tried
    And brushed with buttons upon sleeves,
    The flowers were out there with the thieves.
    Yet nobody molested them!
    We did find one nasturtium
    Upon the steps with bitten stem.
    I may have been to blame for that:
    I always thought it must have been
    Some Hower I played with as I sat
    At dusk to watch the moon down early.

    — -Robert Frost
  • It Was An April Morning

    It was an April morning: fresh and clear
    The Rivulet, delighting in its strength,
    Ran with a young man\'s speed; and yet the voice
    Of waters which the winter had supplied
    Was softened down into a vernal tone.
    The spirit of enjoyment and desire,
    And hopes and wishes, from all living things
    Went circling, like a multitude of sounds.
    The budding groves seemed eager to urge on
    The steps of June; as if their various hues
    Were only hindrances that stood between
    Them and their object: but, meanwhile, prevailed
    Such an entire contentment in the air
    That every naked ash, and tardy tree
    Yet leafless, showed as if the countenance
    With which it looked on this delightful day
    Were native to the summer.--Up the brook
    I roamed in the confusion of my heart,
    Alive to all things and forgetting all.
    At length I to a sudden turning came
    In this continuous glen, where down a rock
    The Stream, so ardent in its course before,
    Sent forth such sallies of glad sound, that all
    Which I till then had heard, appeared the voice
    Of common pleasure: beast and bird, the lamb,
    The shepherd\'s dog, the linnet and the thrush
    Vied with this waterfall, and made a song,
    Which, while I listened, seemed like the wild growth
    Or like some natural produce of the air,
    That could not cease to be. Green leaves were here;
    But \'twas the foliage of the rocks--the birch,
    The yew, the holly, and the bright green thorn,
    With hanging islands of resplendent furze:
    And, on a summit, distant a short space,
    By any who should look beyond the dell,
    A single mountain-cottage might be seen.
    I gazed and gazed, and to myself I said,
    \'Our thoughts at least are ours; and this wild nook,
    My EMMA, I will dedicate to thee.\'
    ----Soon did the spot become my other home,
    My dwelling, and my out-of-doors abode.
    And, of the Shepherds who have seen me there,
    To whom I sometimes in our idle talk
    Have told this fancy, two or three, perhaps,
    Years after we are gone and in our graves,
    When they have cause to speak of this wild place,
    May call it by the name of EMMA\'S DELL.

    — -William Wordsworth
  • I Wandered Lonely As A Cl

    poet William Wordsworth #9 on top 500 poets Poet\'s PagePoemsQuotesCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
    Poems by William Wordsworth : 119 / 386 « prev. poem next poem »
    I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud (Daffodils) - Poem by William Wordsworth

    Autoplay next video
    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o\'er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the milky way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced; but they
    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay,
    In such a jocund company:
    I gazed- and gazed- but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.

    — -William Wordsworth
  • Your Laughter

    Take bread away from me, if you wish,
    take air away, but
    do not take from me your laughter.

    Do not take away the rose,
    the lance flower that you pluck,
    the water that suddenly
    bursts forth in joy,
    the sudden wave
    of silver born in you.

    My struggle is harsh and I come back
    with eyes tired
    at times from having seen
    the unchanging earth,
    but when your laughter enters
    it rises to the sky seeking me
    and it opens for me all
    the doors of life.

    My love, in the darkest
    hour your laughter
    opens, and if suddenly
    you see my blood staining
    the stones of the street,
    laugh, because your laughter
    will be for my hands
    like a fresh sword.

    Next to the sea in the autumn,
    your laughter must raise
    its foamy cascade,
    and in the spring, love,
    I want your laughter like
    the flower I was waiting for,
    the blue flower, the rose
    of my echoing country.

    Laugh at the night,
    at the day, at the moon,
    laugh at the twisted
    streets of the island,
    laugh at this clumsy
    boy who loves you,
    but when I open
    my eyes and close them,
    when my steps go,
    when my steps return,
    deny me bread, air,
    light, spring,
    but never your laughter
    for I would die.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Still Another Day

    Today is that day, the day that carried
    a desperate light that since has died.
    Don\'t let the squatters know:
    let\'s keep it all between us,
    day, between your bell
    and my secret.

    Today is dead winter in the forgotten land
    that comes to visit me, with a cross on the map
    and a volcano in the snow, to return to me,
    to return again the water
    fallen on the roof of my childhood.
    Today when the sun began with its shafts
    to tell the story, so clear, so old,
    the slanting rain fell like a sword,
    the rain my hard heart welcomes.

    You, my love, still asleep in August,
    my queen, my woman, my vastness, my geography
    kiss of mud, the carbon-coated zither,
    you, vestment of my persistent song,
    today you are reborn again and with the sky\'s
    black water confuse me and compel me:
    I must renew my bones in your kingdom,
    I must still uncloud my earthly duties.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • The City Of Sin

    LO! Death hath rear\'d himself a throne
    In a strange city, all alone,
    Far down within the dim west —
    Where the good, and the bad, and the worst, and the best,
    Have gone to their eternal rest.

    There shrines, and palaces, and towers
    Are — not like any thing of ours —
    Oh no! — O no! — ours never loom
    To heaven with that ungodly gloom!
    Time-eaten towers that tremble not!
    Resemble nothing that is ours.
    Around, by lifting winds forgot,
    Resignedly beneath the sky
    The melancholy waters lie.

    No holy rays from heaven come down
    On the long night-time of that town,
    But light from out the lurid sea
    Streams up the turrets silently —
    Up thrones — up long-forgotten bowers
    Of scultur\'d ivy and stone flowers —
    Up domes — up spires — up kingly halls —
    Up fanes — up Babylon-like walls —
    Up many a melancholy shrine
    Whose entablatures intertwine
    The mask — the viol — and the vine.

    There open temples — open graves
    Are on a level with the waves —
    But not the riches there that lie
    In each idol\'s diamond eye,
    Not the gaily-jewell\'d dead
    Tempt the waters from their bed:
    For no ripples curl, alas!
    Along that wilderness of glass —
    No swellings hint that winds may be
    Upon a far-off happier sea:
    So blend the turrets and shadows there
    That all seem pendulous in air,
    While from the high towers of the town
    Death looks gigantically down.

    But lo! a stir is in the air!
    The wave — there is a ripple there!
    As if the towers had thrown aside,
    In slightly sinking, the dull tide —
    As if the turret-tops had given
    A vacuum in the filmy heaven.
    The waves have now a redder glow —
    The very hours are breathing low —
    And when, amid no earthly moans,
    Down, down, that town shall settle hence,
    All Hades, from a thousand thrones,
    Shall do it reverence,
    And Death to some more happy clime
    Shall give his undivided time.

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • Evening Star

    Twas noontide of summer,
    And mid-time of night;
    And stars, in their orbits,
    Shone pale, thro\' the light
    Of the brighter, cold moon,
    \'Mid planets her slaves,
    Herself in the Heavens,
    Her beam on the waves.
    I gazed awhile
    On her cold smile;
    Too cold- too cold for me-
    There pass\'d, as a shroud,
    A fleecy cloud,
    And I turned away to thee,
    Proud Evening Star,
    In thy glory afar,
    And dearer thy beam shall be;
    For joy to my heart
    Is the proud part
    Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
    And more I admire
    Thy distant fire,
    Than that colder, lowly light.

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • A Clear Midnight

    HIS is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
    Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
    Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou
    lovest best.
    Night, sleep, death and the stars.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Captain! My Captain!

    O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
    The ship has weather\'d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
    But O heart! heart! heart!
    O the bleeding drops of red,
    Where on the deck my Captain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead.


    O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
    Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills; 10
    For you bouquets and ribbon\'d wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding;
    For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
    Here Captain! dear father!
    This arm beneath your head;
    It is some dream that on the deck,
    You\'ve fallen cold and dead.


    My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
    My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
    The ship is anchor\'d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
    From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; 20
    Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
    But I, with mournful tread,
    Walk the deck my Captain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Sand Dunes

    Sea waves are green and wet,
    But up from where they die,
    Rise others vaster yet,
    And those are brown and dry.

    They are the sea made land
    To come at the fisher town,
    And bury in solid sand
    The men she could not drown.

    She may know cove and cape,
    But she does not know mankind
    If by any change of shape,
    She hopes to cut off mind.

    Men left her a ship to sink:
    They can leave her a hut as well;
    And be but more free to think
    For the one more cast-off shell.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Song For A Dark Girl

    Way Down South in Dixie
    (Break the heart of me)
    They hung my black young lover
    To a cross roads tree.

    Way Down South in Dixie
    (Bruised body high in air)
    I asked the white Lord Jesus
    What was the use of prayer.

    Way Down South in Dixie
    (Break the heart of me)
    Love is a naked shadow
    On a gnarled and naked tree.

    — -Langston Hughes
  • Acrostic : Georgiana Augu

    poet John Keats #8 on top 500 poets Poet\'s PagePoemsQuotesCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
    Poems by John Keats : 8 / 217 « prev. poem next poem »
    Acrostic : Georgiana Augusta Keats - Poem by John Keats

    Autoplay next video
    Give me your patience, sister, while I frame
    Exact in capitals your golden name;
    Or sue the fair Apollo and he will
    Rouse from his heavy slumber and instill
    Great love in me for thee and Poesy.
    Imagine not that greatest mastery
    And kingdom over all the Realms of verse,
    Nears more to heaven in aught, than when we nurse
    And surety give to love and Brotherhood.

    Anthropophagi in Othello\'s mood;
    Ulysses storm\'d and his enchanted belt
    Glow with the Muse, but they are never felt
    Unbosom\'d so and so eternal made,
    Such tender incense in their laurel shade
    To all the regent sisters of the Nine
    As this poor offering to you, sister mine.

    Kind sister! aye, this third name says you are;
    Enchanted has it been the Lord knows where;
    And may it taste to you like good old wine,
    Take you to real happiness and give
    Sons, daughters and a home like honied hive.

    — -John Keats
  • The Road Not Taken

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Thing Of Beauty

    A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
    Its lovliness increases; it will never
    Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
    A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
    Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
    Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
    A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
    Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
    Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
    Of all the unhealthy and o\\\'er-darkn\\\'d ways
    Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
    Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
    From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
    Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
    For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
    With the green world they live in; and clear rills
    That for themselves a cooling covert make
    \\\'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
    Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
    And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
    We have imagined for the mighty dead;
    An endless fountain of immortal drink,
    Pouring unto us from the heaven\\\'s brink.

    — -John Keats
  • In Time Of Silver Rain

    In time of silver rain
    The earth puts forth new life again,
    Green grasses grow
    And flowers lift their heads,
    And over all the plain
    The wonder spreads

    Of Life,
    Of Life,
    Of life!

    In time of silver rain
    The butterflies lift silken wings
    To catch a rainbow cry,
    And trees put forth new leaves to sing
    In joy beneath the sky
    As down the roadway
    Passing boys and girls
    Go singing, too,

    In time of silver rain When spring
    And life
    Are new.

    — -Langston Hughes
  • I, Too

    poet Langston Hughes #7 on top 500 poets Poet\'s PagePoemsQuotesCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyVideosShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
    Poems by Langston Hughes : 40 / 104 « prev. poem next poem »
    I, Too - Poem by Langston Hughes

    Autoplay next video
    I, too, sing America.

    I am the darker brother.
    They send me to eat in the kitchen
    When company comes,
    But I laugh,
    And eat well,
    And grow strong.

    Tomorrow,
    I\'ll be at the table
    When company comes.
    Nobody\'ll dare
    Say to me,
    \"Eat in the kitchen,\"
    Then.

    Besides,
    They\'ll see how beautiful I am
    And be ashamed--

    I, too, am America.

    — -Langston Hughes
  • A Late Walk

    poet Robert Frost #1 on top 500 poets Poet\'s PagePoemsQuotesCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyVideosShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
    Poems by Robert Frost : 10 / 191 « prev. poem next poem »
    A Late Walk - Poem by Robert Frost

    Autoplay next video
    When I go up through the mowing field,
    The headless aftermath,
    Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
    Half closes the garden path.

    And when I come to the garden ground,
    The whir of sober birds
    Up from the tangle of withered weeds
    Is sadder than any words

    A tree beside the wall stands bare,
    But a leaf that lingered brown,
    Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
    Comes softly rattling down.

    I end not far from my going forth
    By picking the faded blue
    Of the last remaining aster flower
    To carry again to you.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Character

    poet William Wordsworth #9 on top 500 poets Poet\'s PagePoemsQuotesCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
    Poems by William Wordsworth : 1 / 386 next poem »
    A Character - Poem by William Wordsworth

    Autoplay next video
    I marvel how Nature could ever find space
    For so many strange contrasts in one human face:
    There\'s thought and no thought, and there\'s paleness and bloom
    And bustle and sluggishness, pleasure and gloom.

    There\'s weakness, and strength both redundant and vain;
    Such strength as, if ever affliction and pain
    Could pierce through a temper that\'s soft to disease,
    Would be rational peace--a philosopher\'s ease.

    There\'s indifference, alike when he fails or succeeds,
    And attention full ten times as much as there needs;
    Pride where there\'s no envy, there\'s so much of joy;
    And mildness, and spirit both forward and coy.

    There\'s freedom, and sometimes a diffident stare
    Of shame scarcely seeming to know that she\'s there,
    There\'s virtue, the title it surely may claim,
    Yet wants heaven knows what to be worthy the name.

    This picture from nature may seem to depart,
    Yet the Man would at once run away with your heart;
    And I for five centuries right gladly would be
    Such an odd such a kind happy creature as he.

    — -William Wordsworth
  • poet William Shakespeare

    “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
    Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
    Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
    And summer’s lease hath all too short a date”.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • I Wait For You...

    I wait for you. The years in silence pass
    And as the image, one, I wait for you again.

    The distance is in flame -- and clear one as glass,
    I, silent, wait -- with sadness, love and pain.

    The distance is in flame, and you are coming fast,
    But I'm afraid that you will change your image yet,

    And will initiate the challenging mistrust
    By changing features, used, at long awaited end.

    Oh, how I will fell -- so low and so pine,
    Unable to overcome my dreams' continued set!

    The distance is such bright! And azure is so fine!
    But I'm afraid that you will change your image yet.

    — -Aleksandr Blok
  • I Prefer the Gorgeous

    I prefer the gorgeous freedom,
    And I fly to lands of grace,
    Where in wide and clear meadows
    All is good, as dreams, and blest.
    Here they rice: the clover clear,
    And corn-flower's gentle lace,
    And the rustle is always here:
    "Ears are leaning... Take your ways!"
    In this immense sea of fair,
    Only one of blades reclines.
    You don't see in misty air,
    I'd seen it!It will be mine!

    — -Aleksandr Blok
  • He, who was born

    He, who was born in stagnant year
    Does not remember own way.
    We, kids of Russia's years of fear,
    Remember every night and day.

    Years that burned everything to ashes!
    Do you bring madness or grace?
    The war's and freedom's fire flashes
    Left bloody light on every face.

    We are struck dumb: the toxsin's pressure
    Has made us tightly close lips.
    In living hearts, once full of pleasure,
    The fateful desert now sleeps.

    And let the crying ravens soar
    Right over our death-bed,
    May those who were striving more,
    O God, behold Thy Kingdom's Great!

    — -Aleksandr Blok
  • Gamajun, the Prophetic

    On waters, spread without end,
    Dressed with the sunset so purple,
    It sings and prophesies for land,
    Unable to lift the smashed wings' couple...
    The charge of Tartars' hordes it claims,
    And bloody set of executions,
    Earthquake, and hunger and the flames,
    The death of justice, crime’s intrusion...
    And caught with fear, cold and smooth,
    The fair face flames as one of lovers’,
    But sound with prophetic truth
    The lips that the bloody foam covers!...

    — -Aleksandr Blok
  • Don't fear death

    Don't fear death in earthly travels.
    Don't fear enemies or friends.
    Just listen to the words of prayers,
    To pass the facets of the dreads.

    Your death will come to you, and never
    You shall be, else, a slave of life,
    Just waiting for a dawn's favor,
    From nights of poverty and strife.

    She'll build with you a common law,
    One will of the Eternal Reign.
    And you are not condemned to slow
    And everlasting deadly pain.

    — -Aleksandr Blok
  • A Girl Sang a Song

    A girl sang a song in the temple's chorus,
    About men, tired in alien lands,
    About the ships that left native shores,
    And all who forgot their joy to the end.

    Thus sang her clean voice, and flew up to the highness,
    And sunbeams shined on her shoulder's white --
    And everyone saw and heard from the darkness
    The white and airy gown, singing in the light.

    And all of them were sure, that joy would burst out:
    The ships have arrived at their beach,
    The people, in the land of the aliens tired,
    Regaining their bearing, are happy and reach.

    And sweet was her voice and the sun's beams around....
    And only, by Caesar's Gates -- high on the vault,
    The baby, versed into mysteries, mourned,
    Because none of them will be ever returned.

    — -Aleksandr Blok
  • Guardian Angel

    A warm feeling filled me
    on reading the words she wrote
    for me, written in her prison cell,
    sent to me with love, with thanks

    Touching me in ways
    ways I cannot really explain
    For coming into her life,
    the life of her mother, her children
    going before the courts, the agency
    those who would stand in judgment
    wag fingers, look down on them all

    Take up her cause, fight for them
    find a way through, to sanctuary
    a new home with her
    with her loving arms
    ready and able to hold them

    — -Raymond A. Foss
  • My Guiding Angel

    Unfortunately this poem has been removed from our archives at the insistence of the copyright holder.
    — -Gary R. Ferris
  • Angel Love

    There once was an angel,

    All lonely and blue;

    Hard times and trouble,

    Were all that he knew.
    *****
    Hurting and drinking,

    He did every night;

    Searching for answers,

    For wrong and for right.
    *****
    Then one day,

    In the bright morning sun;

    An angel appeared,

    And his worries were done.
    *****
    Happy together,

    Everywhere they went;

    And the angel was happy,

    For the angel God sent.
    *****




    Loving and caring,

    Until the day was new;

    A young angel was born,

    Who looked like them too.
    *****
    The three angels cherished,

    All that they had;

    Until life’s winds shifted,

    And they became sad.
    *****
    Fighting and fussing,

    They hurt each other;

    And soon began wandering,

    In search of another.
    *****
    Sooner than later,

    Things fell apart;

    And left the two angels,

    With broken hearts.
    *****




    Apart they looked,

    Near and far;

    Searching for answers,

    In every star.
    *****
    The young angel hurt,

    And grew very cold;

    While the two angels fought,

    And only grew old.
    *****
    The young angel tried,

    To bring them together;

    By giving her love,

    She could make things better.
    *****
    Separate roads they took,

    Soon all crossed;

    When anger and pain,

    Had long been tossed.
    *****




    The story ends,

    With them parting never;

    For who would have guessed,

    “Angel Love” lasts forever.

    — -Gary R. Ferris
  • Sleeping Angel

    So peaceful, so still
    she lies there,
    napping on our bed
    commandeering the sanctuary
    for her own devices
    but so sweetly
    so angelic in sleep
    so much a blessing
    when awake
    as are the other two

    — -Raymond A. Foss
  • the wounded angel

    (from a painting by hugo simberg)

    those who bear the wounded angel
    are they honoured or destroyed
    far beyond their comprehension
    are the warfares of the void

    angels have a sheen to lift them
    well above the bloody battles
    human beings give their hurts to
    divines don't need such tittle-tattles

    yet this angel has been wounded
    here on earth its presence is
    two young boys (the stretcher bearers)
    are flung immensely into crisis

    where to take a wounded angel
    wait till we can tell our friends
    is this something one is dreaming
    - both are terrified of ends

    are we martyrs heroes villains
    should we drop the thing and run
    will we be decorated or scolded
    - something new beneath the sun

    weightless stretcher far too heavy
    sweating fingers burn like ice
    legs revolve in all directions
    thoughts race into paralysis

    ahead the village breathes as normal
    innocent of the eternal bloom
    about to bleed its hope-fear petals
    into each mortal living room

    — -Rg Gregory
  • Michaelangelo

    Would I might wake in you the whirl-wind soul
    Of Michelangelo, who hewed the stone
    And Night and Day revealed, whose arm alone
    Could draw the face of God, the titan high
    Whose genius smote like lightning from the sky —
    And shall he mold like dead leaves in the grave?
    Nay he is in us! Let us dare and dare.
    God help us to be brave.

    — -Vachel Lindsay
  • Los Angeles, 1954

    It was in the old days,
    When she used to hang out at a place
    Called Club Zombie,
    A black cabaret that the police liked
    To raid now and then. As she
    Stepped through the door, the light
    Would hit her platinum hair,
    And believe me, heads would turn. Maestro
    Loved it; he'd have her by
    The arm as he led us through the packed crowd
    To a private corner
    Where her secluded oak table always waited.
    She'd say, Jordan...
    And I'd order her usual,
    A champagne cocktail with a tall shot of bourbon
    On the side. She'd let her eyes
    Trail the length of the sleek neck
    Of the old stand-up bass, as
    The bass player knocked out the bottom line,
    His forehead glowing, glossy
    With sweat in the blue lights;
    Her own face, smooth and shining, as
    The liquor slowly blanketed the pills
    She'd slipped beneath her tongue.
    Maestro'd kick the shit out of anybody
    Who tried to sneak up for an autograph;
    He'd say, Jordan, just let me know if
    Somebody gets too close....
    Then he'd turn to her and whisper, Here's
    Where you get to be Miss Nobody...
    And she'd smile as she let him
    Kiss her hand. For a while, there was a singer
    At the club, a guy named Louis--
    But Maestro'd change his name to "Michael Champion";
    Well, when this guy leaned forward,
    Cradling the microphone in his huge hands,
    All the legs went weak
    Underneath the ladies.
    He'd look over at her, letting his eyelids
    Droop real low, singing, Oh Baby I...
    Oh Baby I Love... I Love You...
    And she'd be gone, those little mermaid tears
    Running down her cheeks. Maestro
    Was always cool. He'd let them use his room upstairs,
    Sometimes, because they couldn't go out--
    Black and white couldn't mix like that then.
    I mean, think about it--
    This kid star and a cool beauty who made King Cole
    Sound raw? No, they had to keep it
    To the club; though sometimes,
    Near the end, he'd come out to her place
    At the beach, always taking the iced whisky
    I brought to him with a sly, sweet smile.
    Once, sweeping his arm out in a slow
    Half-circle, the way at the club he'd
    Show the audience how far his endless love
    Had grown, he marked
    The circumference of the glare whitening the patio
    Where her friends all sat, sunglasses
    Masking their eyes...
    And he said to me, Jordan, why do
    White people love the sun so?--
    God's spotlight, my man?
    Leaning back, he looked over to where she
    Stood at one end of the patio, watching
    The breakers flatten along the beach below,
    Her body reflected and mirrored
    Perfectly in the bedroom's sliding black glass
    Door. He stared at her
    Reflection for a while, then looked up at me
    And said, Jordan, I think that I must be
    Like a pool of water in a cave that sometimes
    She steps into...
    Later, as I drove him back into the city,
    He hummed a Bessie Smith tune he'd sing
    For her, but he didn't say a word until
    We stopped at last back at the club. He stepped
    slowly out of the back
    Of the Cadillac, and reaching to shake my hand
    Through the open driver's window, said,
    My man, Jordan... Goodbye.

    — -David St. John
  • The Angel Food Dogs

    Leaping, leaping, leaping,
    down line by line,
    growling at the cadavers,
    filling the holy jugs with their piss,
    falling into windows and mauling the parents,
    but soft, kiss-soft,
    and sobbing sobbing
    into their awful dog dish.

    No point? No twist for you
    in my white tunnel?
    Let me speak plainly,
    let me whisper it from the podium--

    Mother, may I use your pseudonym?
    May I take the dove named Mary
    and shove out Anne?
    May I take my check book, my holographs,
    my eight naked books,
    and sign it Mary, Mary, Mary
    full of grace?
    I know my name is not offensive
    but my feet hang in the noose.
    I want to be white.
    I want to be blue.
    I want to be a bee digging into an onion heart,
    as you did to me, dug and squatted
    long after death and its fang.

    Hail Mary, full of me,
    Nibbling in the sitting room of my head.
    Mary, Mary, virgin forever,
    whore forever,
    give me your name,
    give me your mirror.
    Boils fester in my soul,
    so give me your name so I may kiss them,
    and they will fly off,
    nameless
    but named,
    and they will fly off like angel food dogs
    with thee
    and with thy spirit.
    Let me climb the face of my kitchen dog
    and fly off into my terrified years.

    — -Anne Sexton
  • The Fallen Angels

    They come on to my clean
    sheet of paper and leave a Rorschach blot.
    They do not do this to be mean,
    they do it to give me a sign
    they want me, as Aubrey Beardsley once said,
    to shove it around till something comes.
    Clumsy as I am,
    I do it.
    For I am like them -
    both saved and lost,
    tumbling downward like Humpty Dumpty
    off the alphabet.

    Each morning I push them off my bed
    and when they get in the salad
    rolling in it like a dog,
    I pick each one out
    just the way my daughter
    picks out the anchoives.
    In May they dance on the jonquils,
    wearing out their toes,
    laughing like fish.
    In November, the dread month,
    they suck the childhood out of the berries
    and turn them sour and inedible.

    Yet they keep me company.
    They wiggle up life.
    They pass out their magic
    like Assorted Lifesavers.
    They go with me to the dentist
    and protect me form the drill.
    At the same time,
    they go to class with me
    and lie to my students.

    O fallen angel,
    the companion within me,
    whisper something holy
    before you pinch me
    into the grave.

    — -Anne Sexton
  • Angel Or Demon

    You call me an angel of love and of light,
    A being of goodness and heavenly fire,
    Sent out from God’s kingdom to guide you aright,
    In paths where your spirits may mount and aspire.
    You say that I glow like a star on its course,
    Like a ray from the alter, a spark from the source.

    Now list to my answer; let all the world hear it;
    I speak unafraid what I know to be true:
    A pure, faithful love is the creative spirit
    Which makes women angels! I live in but you.
    We are bound soul to soul by life’s holiest laws;
    If I am an angel – why, you are the cause.

    As my ship skims the sea, I look up from the deck.
    Fair, firm at the wheel shines Love’s beautiful form,
    And shall I curse the barque that last night went to wreck,
    By the Pilot abandoned to darkness and storm?
    My craft is no stauncher, she too had been lost –
    Had the wheelman deserted, or slept at his post.

    I laid down the wealth of my soul at your feet
    (Some woman does this for some man every day) .
    No desperate creature who walks in the street,
    Has a wickeder heart that I might have, I say,
    Had you wantonly misused the treasures you woon,
    -As so many men with heart riches have done.

    This flame from God’s altar, this holy love flame,
    That burns like sweet incense for ever for you,
    Might now be a wild conflagration of shame,
    Had you tortured my heart, or been base or untrue.
    For angels and devils are cast in one mould,
    Till love guides them upward, or downward, I hold.

    I tell you the women who make fervent wives
    And sweet tender mothers, had Fate been less fair,
    Are the women who might have abandoned their lives
    To the madness that springs from and ends in despair.
    As the fire on the hearth which sheds brightness around,
    Neglected, may level the walls to the ground.

    The world makes grave errors in judging these things,
    Great good and great evil are born in one breast.
    Love horns us and hoofs us – or gives us our wings,
    And the best could be worst, as the worst could be best.
    You must thank your own worth for what I grew to be,
    For the demon lurked under the angel in me.

    — -Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  • Hope Is The Thing With Fe

    poet Emily Dickinson #4 on top 500 poets Poet\'s PagePoemsQuotesCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyVideosShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
    Poems by Emily Dickinson : 346 / 1232 « prev. poem next poem »
    Hope Is The Thing With Feathers - Poem by Emily Dickinson

    Autoplay next video
    \'Hope\' is the thing with feathers—
    That perches in the soul—
    And sings the tune without the words—
    And never stops—at all—

    And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
    And sore must be the storm—
    That could abash the little Bird
    That kept so many warm—

    I\'ve heard it in the chillest land—
    And on the strangest Sea—
    Yet, never, in Extremity,
    It asked a crumb—of Me.

    — -Emily Dickinson
  • poet William Shakespeare

    Over hill, over dale,
    Thorough bush, thorough brier,
    Over park, over pale,
    Thorough flood, thorough fire!
    I do wander everywhere,
    Swifter than the moon\'s sphere;
    And I serve the Fairy Queen,
    To dew her orbs upon the green;
    The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
    In their gold coats spots you see;
    Those be rubies, fairy favours;
    In those freckles live their savours;
    I must go seek some dewdrops here,
    And hang a pearl in every cowslip\'s ear.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • All The World\'s A Stage

    poet William Shakespeare #3 on top 500 poets Poet\'s PagePoemsQuotesCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyVideosShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
    Poems by William Shakespeare : 4 / 403 « prev. poem next poem »
    All The World\'s A Stage - Poem by William Shakespeare

    Autoplay next video
    All the world\'s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse\'s arms.
    Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress\' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon\'s mouth. And then the justice,
    In fair round belly with good capon lined,
    With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws and modern instances;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
    His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

    — -William Shakespeare
  • Bright Star

    Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art--
    Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
    And watching, with eternal lids apart,
    Like nature\'s patient, sleepless Eremite,
    The moving waters at their priestlike task
    Of pure ablution round earth\'s human shores,
    Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
    Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--
    No--yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
    Pillow\'d upon my fair love\'s ripening breast,
    To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
    Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
    Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
    And so live ever--or else swoon to death.

    — -John Keats
  • A Thing Of Beauty

    A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
    Its lovliness increases; it will never
    Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
    A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
    Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
    Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
    A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
    Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
    Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
    Of all the unhealthy and o\'er-darkn\'d ways
    Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
    Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
    From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
    Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
    For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
    With the green world they live in; and clear rills
    That for themselves a cooling covert make
    \'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
    Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
    And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
    We have imagined for the mighty dead;
    An endless fountain of immortal drink,
    Pouring unto us from the heaven\'s brink.

    — -John Keats
  • If You Forget Me

    I want you to know
    one thing.

    You know how this is:
    if I look
    at the crystal moon, at the red branch
    of the slow autumn at my window,
    if I touch
    near the fire
    the impalpable ash
    or the wrinkled body of the log,
    everything carries me to you,
    as if everything that exists,
    aromas, light, metals,
    were little boats
    that sail
    toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

    Well, now,
    if little by little you stop loving me
    I shall stop loving you little by little.

    If suddenly
    you forget me
    do not look for me,
    for I shall already have forgotten you.

    If you think it long and mad,
    the wind of banners
    that passes through my life,
    and you decide
    to leave me at the shore
    of the heart where I have roots,
    remember
    that on that day,
    at that hour,
    I shall lift my arms
    and my roots will set off
    to seek another land.

    But
    if each day,
    each hour,
    you feel that you are destined for me
    with implacable sweetness,
    if each day a flower
    climbs up to your lips to seek me,
    ah my love, ah my own,
    in me all that fire is repeated,
    in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
    my love feeds on your love, beloved,
    and as long as you live it will be in your arms
    without leaving mine.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Friends Is What We\'ll Be

    Friends are like angels sent from above
    They came to give you an undying love.
    Summer, winter, spring or fall,
    They\'re there to help you when you call.

    I will be there for you,
    When your days are lonely and blue.
    You can call on me for a helping hand,
    I\'ll be there beside you to take that final stand.

    I didn\'t know where to start,
    But this is a poem straight from the heart.
    I\'m here for you if you\'re here for me,
    That\'s why friends is a thing we\'ll always be.

    — -Christine Moore
  • My Beautiful Friend

    You made me laugh when I cried so hard
    You gave me bracelets to cover my scars
    You held me close when I was so cold
    You offered a comforting hand to hold

    You picked me up whenever I fell
    You showed me heaven when I was blinded by hell
    You answered my calls in the darkened night
    You gave me the reasons to hold on and fight

    You rescued me when I was drowning in pain
    You placed me back on the right path again
    You loved me forever and stayed by my side
    You entered my heart as an angel to guide

    You may not be with me so much anymore
    But I know you will leave open a beckoning door
    I miss you so much but I\'ll fight till the end
    I love you so much my Bestest friend.

    — -Emma
  • A Youth Mowing

    There are four men mowing down by the Isar;
    I can hear the swish of the scythe-strokes, four
    Sharp breaths taken: yea, and I
    Am sorry for what\\\'s in store.

    The first man out of the four that\\\'s mowing
    Is mine, I claim him once and for all;
    Though it\\\'s sorry I am, on his young feet, knowing
    None of the trouble he\\\'s led to stall.

    As he sees me bringing the dinner, he lifts
    His head as proud as a deer that looks
    Shoulder-deep out of the corn; and wipes
    His scythe-blade bright, unhooks

    The scythe-stone and over the stubble to me.
    Lad, thou hast gotten a child in me,
    Laddie, a man thou\\\'lt ha\\\'e to be,
    Yea, though I\\\'m sorry for thee.

    — -David Herbert Lawren
  • For The Foxes

    “don\'t feel sorry for me.
    I am a competent,
    satisfied human being.

    be sorry for the others
    who
    fidget
    complain

    who
    constantly
    rearrange their
    lives
    like
    furniture.

    juggling mates
    and
    attitudes

    their
    confusion is
    constant

    and it will
    touch
    whoever they
    deal with.

    beware of them:
    one of their
    key words is
    \"love.\"

    and beware those who
    only take
    instructions from their
    God

    for they have
    failed completely to live their own
    lives.

    don\'t feel sorry for me
    because I am alone

    for even
    at the most terrible
    moments
    humor
    is my
    companion.

    I am a dog walking
    backwards

    I am a broken
    banjo

    I am a telephone wire
    strung up in
    Toledo, Ohio

    I am a man
    eating a meal
    this night
    in the month of
    September.

    put your sympathy
    aside.
    they say
    water held up
    Christ:
    to come
    through
    you better be
    nearly as
    lucky.

    — -Charles Bukowski
  • To A Cat

    Mirrors are not more silent
    nor the creeping dawn more secretive;
    in the moonlight, you are that panther
    we catch sight of from afar.
    By the inexplicable workings of a divine law,
    we look for you in vain;
    More remote, even, than the Ganges or the setting sun,
    yours is the solitude, yours the secret.
    Your haunch allows the lingering
    caress of my hand. You have accepted,
    since that long forgotten past,
    the love of the distrustful hand.
    You belong to another time. You are lord
    of a place bounded like a dream.

    — -Jorge Luis Borges
  • Browning Decides

    in these red labyrinths of London
    I find that I have chosen
    the strangest of all callings,
    save that, in its way, any calling is strange.
    Like the alchemist
    who sought the philosopher's stone
    in quicksilver,
    I shall make everyday words--
    the gambler's marked cards, the common coin--
    give off the magic that was their
    when Thor was both the god and the din,
    the thunderclap and the prayer.
    In today's dialect
    I shall say, in my fashion, eternal things:
    I shall try to be worthy
    of the great echo of Byron.
    This dust that I am will be invulnerable.
    If a woman shares my love
    my verse will touch the tenth sphere of the concentric heavens;
    if a woman turns my love aside
    I will make of my sadness a music,
    a full river to resound through time.
    I shall live by forgetting myself.
    I shall be the face I glimpse and forget,
    I shall be Judas who takes on
    the divine mission of being a betrayer,
    I shall be Caliban in his bog,
    I shall be a mercenary who dies
    without fear and without faith,
    I shall be Polycrates, who looks in awe
    upon the seal returned by fate.
    I will be the friend who hates me.
    The persian will give me the nightingale, and Rome the sword.
    Masks, agonies, resurrections
    will weave and unweave my life,
    and in time I shall be Robert Browning.

    — -Jorge Luis Borges
  • Adam Cast Forth

    Was there a Garden or was the Garden a dream?
    Amid the fleeting light, I have slowed myself and queried,
    Almost for consolation, if the bygone period
    Over which this Adam, wretched now, once reigned supreme,

    Might not have been just a magical illusion
    Of that God I dreamed. Already it's imprecise
    In my memory, the clear Paradise,
    But I know it exists, in flower and profusion,

    Although not for me. My punishment for life
    Is the stubborn earth with the incestuous strife
    Of Cains and Abels and their brood; I await no pardon.

    Yet, it's much to have loved, to have known true joy,
    To have had -- if only for just one day --
    The experience of touching the living Garden.

    — -Jorge Luis Borges
  • Shinto

    When sorrow lays us low
    for a second we are saved
    by humble windfalls
    of the mindfulness or memory:
    the taste of a fruit, the taste of water,
    that face given back to us by a dream,
    the first jasmine of November,
    the endless yearning of the compass,
    a book we thought was lost,
    the throb of a hexameter,
    the slight key that opens a house to us,
    the smell of a library, or of sandalwood,
    the former name of a street,
    the colors of a map,
    an unforeseen etymology,
    the smoothness of a filed fingernail,
    the date we were looking for,
    the twelve dark bell-strokes, tolling as we count,
    a sudden physical pain.

    Eight million Shinto deities
    travel secretly throughout the earth.
    Those modest gods touch us--
    touch us and move on.

    — -Jorge Luis Borges
  • The Other Tiger

    A tiger comes to mind. The twilight here
    Exalts the vast and busy Library
    And seems to set the bookshelves back in gloom;
    Innocent, ruthless, bloodstained, sleek
    It wanders through its forest and its day
    Printing a track along the muddy banks
    Of sluggish streams whose names it does not know
    (In its world there are no names or past
    Or time to come, only the vivid now)
    And makes its way across wild distances
    Sniffing the braided labyrinth of smells
    And in the wind picking the smell of dawn
    And tantalizing scent of grazing deer;
    Among the bamboo's slanting stripes I glimpse
    The tiger's stripes and sense the bony frame
    Under the splendid, quivering cover of skin.
    Curving oceans and the planet's wastes keep us
    Apart in vain; from here in a house far off
    In South America I dream of you,
    Track you, O tiger of the Ganges' banks.

    It strikes me now as evening fills my soul
    That the tiger addressed in my poem
    Is a shadowy beast, a tiger of symbols
    And scraps picked up at random out of books,
    A string of labored tropes that have no life,
    And not the fated tiger, the deadly jewel
    That under sun or stars or changing moon
    Goes on in Bengal or Sumatra fulfilling
    Its rounds of love and indolence and death.
    To the tiger of symbols I hold opposed
    The one that's real, the one whose blood runs hot
    As it cuts down a herd of buffaloes,
    And that today, this August third, nineteen
    Fifty-nine, throws its shadow on the grass;
    But by the act of giving it a name,
    By trying to fix the limits of its world,
    It becomes a fiction not a living beast,
    Not a tiger out roaming the wilds of earth.

    We'll hunt for a third tiger now, but like
    The others this one too will be a form
    Of what I dream, a structure of words, and not
    The flesh and one tiger that beyond all myths
    Paces the earth. I know these things quite well,
    Yet nonetheless some force keeps driving me
    In this vague, unreasonable, and ancient quest,
    And I go on pursuing through the hours
    Another tiger, the beast not found in verse.

    — -Jorge Luis Borges
  • Susana Soca

    With lingering love she gazed at the dispersed
    Colors of dusk. It pleased her utterly
    To lose herself in the complex melody
    Or in the cunous life to be found in verse.
    lt was not the primal red but rather grays
    That spun the fine thread of her destiny,
    For the nicest distinctions and all spent
    In waverings, ambiguities, delays.
    Lacking the nerve to tread this treacherous
    Labyrinth, she looked in on, whom without,
    The shapes, the turbulence, the striving rout,
    (Like the other lady of the looking glass.)
    The gods that dwell too far away for prayer
    Abandoned her to the final tiger, Fire.

    — -Jorge Luis Borges
  • The Far Field

    I

    I dream of journeys repeatedly:
    Of flying like a bat deep into a narrowing tunnel
    Of driving alone, without luggage, out a long peninsula,
    The road lined with snow-laden second growth,
    A fine dry snow ticking the windshield,
    Alternate snow and sleet, no on-coming traffic,
    And no lights behind, in the blurred side-mirror,
    The road changing from glazed tarface to a rubble of stone,
    Ending at last in a hopeless sand-rut,
    Where the car stalls,
    Churning in a snowdrift
    Until the headlights darken.

    II

    At the field's end, in the corner missed by the mower,
    Where the turf drops off into a grass-hidden culvert,
    Haunt of the cat-bird, nesting-place of the field-mouse,
    Not too far away from the ever-changing flower-dump,
    Among the tin cans, tires, rusted pipes, broken machinery, --
    One learned of the eternal;
    And in the shrunken face of a dead rat, eaten by rain and ground-beetles
    (I found in lying among the rubble of an old coal bin)
    And the tom-cat, caught near the pheasant-run,
    Its entrails strewn over the half-grown flowers,
    Blasted to death by the night watchman.

    I suffered for young birds, for young rabbits caught in the mower,
    My grief was not excessive.
    For to come upon warblers in early May
    Was to forget time and death:
    How they filled the oriole's elm, a twittering restless cloud, all one morning,
    And I watched and watched till my eyes blurred from the bird shapes, --
    Cape May, Blackburnian, Cerulean, --
    Moving, elusive as fish, fearless,
    Hanging, bunched like young fruit, bending the end branches,
    Still for a moment,
    Then pitching away in half-flight,
    Lighter than finches,
    While the wrens bickered and sang in the half-green hedgerows,
    And the flicker drummed from his dead tree in the chicken-yard.

    -- Or to lie naked in sand,
    In the silted shallows of a slow river,
    Fingering a shell,
    Thinking:
    Once I was something like this, mindless,
    Or perhaps with another mind, less peculiar;
    Or to sink down to the hips in a mossy quagmire;
    Or, with skinny knees, to sit astride a wet log,
    Believing:
    I'll return again,
    As a snake or a raucous bird,
    Or, with luck, as a lion.

    I learned not to fear infinity,
    The far field, the windy cliffs of forever,
    The dying of time in the white light of tomorrow,
    The wheel turning away from itself,
    The sprawl of the wave,
    The on-coming water.


    II
    The river turns on itself,
    The tree retreats into its own shadow.
    I feel a weightless change, a moving forward
    As of water quickening before a narrowing channel
    When banks converge, and the wide river whitens;
    Or when two rivers combine, the blue glacial torrent
    And the yellowish-green from the mountainy upland, --
    At first a swift rippling between rocks,
    Then a long running over flat stones
    Before descending to the alluvial plane,
    To the clay banks, and the wild grapes hanging from the elmtrees.
    The slightly trembling water
    Dropping a fine yellow silt where the sun stays;
    And the crabs bask near the edge,
    The weedy edge, alive with small snakes and bloodsuckers, --
    I hav

    — -Theodore Roethke
  • Snake

    I saw a young snake glide
    Out of the mottled shade
    And hang, limp on a stone:
    A thin mouth, and a tongue
    Stayed, in the still air.

    It turned; it drew away;
    Its shadow bent in half;
    It quickened and was gone

    I felt my slow blood warm.
    I longed to be that thing.
    The pure, sensuous form.

    And I may be, some time.

    — -Theodore Roethke
  • Cuttings

    This urge, wrestle, resurrection of dry sticks,
    Cut stems struggling to put down feet,
    What saint strained so much,
    Rose on such lopped limbs to a new life?
    I can hear, underground, that sucking and sobbing,
    In my veins, in my bones I feel it --
    The small waters seeping upward,
    The tight grains parting at last.
    When sprouts break out,
    Slippery as fish,
    I quail, lean to beginnings, sheath-wet.

    — -Theodore Roethke
  • In A Dark Time

    In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
    I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
    I hear my echo in the echoing wood--
    A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
    I live between the heron and the wren,
    Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

    What's madness but nobility of soul
    At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!
    I know the purity of pure despair,
    My shadow pinned against a sweating wall,
    That place among the rocks--is it a cave,
    Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

    A steady storm of correspondences!
    A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
    And in broad day the midnight come again!
    A man goes far to find out what he is--
    Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
    All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

    Dark,dark my light, and darker my desire.
    My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
    Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
    A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
    The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
    And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

    — -Theodore Roethke
  • The Survivor

    I am twenty-four
    led to slaughter
    I survived.

    The following are empty synonyms:
    man and beast
    love and hate
    friend and foe
    darkness and light.

    The way of killing men and beasts is the same
    I've seen it:
    truckfuls of chopped-up men
    who will not be saved.

    Ideas are mere words:
    virtue and crime
    truth and lies
    beauty and ugliness
    courage and cowardice.

    Virtue and crime weigh the same
    I've seen it:
    in a man who was both
    criminal and virtuous.

    I seek a teacher and a master
    may he restore my sight hearing and speech
    may he again name objects and ideas
    may he separate darkness from light.

    I am twenty-four
    led to slaughter
    I survived.

    — -Theodore Roethke
  • I Knew A Woman

    I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
    When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
    Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
    The shapes a bright container can contain!
    Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
    Or English poets who grew up on Greek
    (I'd have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek.)

    How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin,
    She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and stand;
    She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin:
    I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand;
    She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake,
    Coming behind her for her pretty sake
    (But what prodigious mowing did we make.)

    Love likes a gander, and adores a goose:
    Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize;
    She played it quick, she played it light and loose;
    My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees;
    Her several parts could keep a pure repose,
    Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose
    (She moved in circles, and those circles moved.)

    Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:
    I'm martyr to a motion not my own;
    What's freedom for? To know eternity.
    I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.
    But who would count eternity in days?
    These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:
    (I measure time by how a body sways.)

    — -Theodore Roethke
  • Elegy For Jane

    (My student, thrown by a horse)

    I remember the neckcurls, limp and damp as tendrils;
    And her quick look, a sidelong pickerel smile;
    And how, once startled into talk, the light syllables leaped for her,
    And she balanced in the delight of her thought,

    A wren, happy, tail into the wind,
    Her song trembling the twigs and small branches.
    The shade sang with her;
    The leaves, their whispers turned to kissing,
    And the mould sang in the bleached valleys under the rose.

    Oh, when she was sad, she cast herself down into such a pure depth,
    Even a father could not find her:
    Scraping her cheek against straw,
    Stirring the clearest water.

    My sparrow, you are not here,
    Waiting like a fern, making a spiney shadow.
    The sides of wet stones cannot console me,
    Nor the moss, wound with the last light.

    If only I could nudge you from this sleep,
    My maimed darling, my skittery pigeon.
    Over this damp grave I speak the words of my love:
    I, with no rights in this matter,
    Neither father nor lover.

    — -Theodore Roethke
  • Dolor

    I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils,
    Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper weight,
    All the misery of manilla folders and mucilage,
    Desolation in immaculate public places,
    Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard,
    The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher,
    Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma,
    Endless duplication of lives and objects.
    And I have seen dust from the walls of institutions,
    Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica,
    Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium,
    Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows,
    Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey standard faces.

    — -Theodore Roethke
  • The Waking

    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

    We think by feeling. What is there to know?
    I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Of those so close beside me, which are you?
    God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
    And learn by going where I have to go.

    Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
    The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Great Nature has another thing to do
    To you and me; so take the lively air,
    And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

    This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
    What falls away is always. And is near.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

    — -Theodore Roethke
  • My Papa's Waltz

    The whiskey on your breath
    Could make a small boy dizzy;
    But I hung on like death:
    Such waltzing was not easy.

    We romped until the pans
    Slid from the kitchen shelf;
    My mother's countenance
    Could not unfrown itself.

    The hand that held my wrist
    Was battered on one knuckle;
    At every step you missed
    My right ear scraped a buckle.

    You beat time on my head
    With a palm caked hard by dirt,
    Then waltzed me off to bed
    Still clinging to your shirt.

    — -Theodore Roethke
  • Winter Landscape

    The three men coming down the winter hill
    In brown, with tall poles and a pack of hounds
    At heel, through the arrangement of the trees,
    Past the five figures at the burning straw,
    Returning cold and silent to their town,

    Returning to the drifted snow, the rink
    Lively with children, to the older men,
    The long companions they can never reach,
    The blue light, men with ladders, by the church
    The sledge and shadow in the twilit street,

    Are not aware that in the sandy time
    To come, the evil waste of history
    Outstretched, they will be seen upon the brow
    Of that same hill: when all their company
    Will have been irrecoverably lost,

    These men, this particular three in brown
    Witnessed by birds will keep the scene and say
    By their configuration with the trees,
    The small bridge, the red houses and the fire,
    What place, what time, what morning occasion

    Sent them into the wood, a pack of hounds
    At heel and the tall poles upon their shoulders,
    Thence to return as now we see them and
    Ankle-deep in snow down the winter hill
    Descend, while three birds watch and the fourth flies.

    — -John Berryman
  • Dream Song

    Huffy Henry hid the day,
    unappeasable Henry sulked.
    I see his point,—a trying to put things over.
    It was the thought that they thought
    they could do it made Henry wicked & away.
    But he should have come out and talked.

    All the world like a woolen lover
    once did seem on Henry's side.
    Then came a departure.
    Thereafter nothing fell out as it might or ought.
    I don't see how Henry, pried
    open for all the world to see, survived.

    What he has now to say is a long
    wonder the world can bear & be.
    Once in a sycamore I was glad
    all at the top, and I sang.
    Hard on the land wears the strong sea
    and empty grows every bed.

    — -John Berryman
  • The Traveller

    They pointed me out on the highway, and they said
    'That man has a curious way of holding his head.'

    They pointed me out on the beach; they said 'That man
    Will never become as we are, try as he can.'

    They pointed me out at the station, and the guard
    Looked at me twice, thrice, thoughtfully & hard.

    I took the same train that the others took,
    To the same place. Were it not for that look
    And those words, we were all of us the same.
    I studied merely maps. I tried to name
    The effects of motion on the travellers,
    I watched the couple I could see, the curse
    And blessings of that couple, their destination,
    The deception practised on them at the station,
    Their courage. When the train stopped and they knew
    The end of their journey, I descended too.

    — -John Berryman
  • The Ball Poem

    What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,
    What, what is he to do? I saw it go
    Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then
    Merrily over—there it is in the water!
    No use to say 'O there are other balls':
    An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy
    As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down
    All his young days into the harbour where
    His ball went. I would not intrude on him,
    A dime, another ball, is worthless. Now
    He senses first responsibility
    In a world of possessions. People will take balls,
    Balls will be lost always, little boy,
    And no one buys a ball back. Money is external.
    He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes,
    The epistemology of loss, how to stand up
    Knowing what every man must one day know
    And most know many days, how to stand up
    And gradually light returns to the street
    A whistle blows, the ball is out of sight,
    Soon part of me will explore the deep and dark
    Floor of the harbour . . I am everywhere,
    I suffer and move, my mind and my heart move
    With all that move me, under the water
    Or whistling, I am not a little boy.

    — -John Berryman
  • Dream Song 14

    Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
    After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
    we ourselves flash and yearn,
    and moreover my mother told me as a boy
    (repeatedly) 'Ever to confess you're bored
    means you have no

    Inner Resources.' I conclude now I have no
    inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
    Peoples bore me,
    literature bores me, especially great literature,
    Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
    as bad as achilles,

    Who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
    And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
    and somehow a dog
    has taken itself & its tail considerably away
    into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
    behind: me, wag.

    — -John Berryman
  • The Curse

    Cedars and the westward sun.
    The darkening sky. A man alone
    Watches beside the fallen wall
    The evening multitudes of sin
    Crowd in upon us all.
    For when the light fails they begin
    Nocturnal sabotage among
    The outcast and the loose of tongue,
    The lax in walk, the murderers:
    Our twilight universal curse.

    Children are faultless in the wood,
    Untouched. If they are later made
    Scandal and index to their time,
    It is that twilight brings for bread
    The faculty of crime.
    Only the idiot and the dead
    Stand by, while who were young before
    Wage insolent and guilty war
    By night within that ancient house,
    Immense, black, damned, anonymous.

    — -John Berryman
  • Ode To Salt

    This salt
    in the saltcellar
    I once saw in the salt mines.
    I know
    you won't
    believe me,
    but
    it sings,
    salt sings, the skin
    of the salt mines
    sings
    with a mouth smothered
    by the earth.
    I shivered in those solitudes
    when I heard
    the voice of
    the salt
    in the desert.
    Near Antofagasta
    the nitrous
    pampa
    resounds:
    a broken
    voice,
    a mournful
    song.

    In its caves
    the salt moans, mountain
    of buried light,
    translucent cathedral,
    crystal of the sea, oblivion
    of the waves.

    And then on every table
    in the world,
    salt,
    we see your piquant
    powder
    sprinkling
    vital light
    upon
    our food. Preserver
    of the ancient
    holds of ships,
    discoverer
    on
    the high seas,
    earliest
    sailor
    of the unknown, shifting
    byways of the foam.
    Dust of the sea, in you
    the tongue receives a kiss
    from ocean night:
    taste imparts to every seasoned
    dish your ocean essence;
    the smallest,
    miniature
    wave from the saltcellar
    reveals to us
    more than domestic whiteness;
    in it, we taste infinitude.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Ode To The Onion

    Onion,
    luminous flask,
    your beauty formed
    petal by petal,
    crystal scales expanded you
    and in the secrecy of the dark earth
    your belly grew round with dew.
    Under the earth
    the miracle
    happened
    and when your clumsy
    green stem appeared,
    and your leaves were born
    like swords
    in the garden,
    the earth heaped up her power
    showing your naked transparency,
    and as the remote sea
    in lifting the breasts of Aphrodite
    duplicating the magnolia,
    so did the earth
    make you,
    onion
    clear as a planet
    and destined
    to shine,
    constant constellation,
    round rose of water,
    upon
    the table
    of the poor.

    You make us cry without hurting us.
    I have praised everything that exists,
    but to me, onion, you are
    more beautiful than a bird
    of dazzling feathers,
    heavenly globe, platinum goblet,
    unmoving dance
    of the snowy anemone

    and the fragrance of the earth lives
    in your crystalline nature.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Tower Of Light

    O tower of light, sad beauty
    that magnified necklaces and statues in the sea,
    calcareous eye, insignia of the vast waters, cry
    of the mourning petrel, tooth of the sea, wife
    of the Oceanian wind, O separate rose
    from the long stem of the trampled bush
    that the depths, converted into archipelago,
    O natural star, green diadem,
    alone in your lonesome dynasty,
    still unattainable, elusive, desolate
    like one drop, like one grape, like the sea.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Nothing But Death

    There are cemeteries that are lonely,
    graves full of bones that do not make a sound,
    the heart moving through a tunnel,
    in it darkness, darkness, darkness,
    like a shipwreck we die going into ourselves,
    as though we were drowning inside our hearts,
    as though we lived falling out of the skin into the soul.

    And there are corpses,
    feet made of cold and sticky clay,
    death is inside the bones,
    like a barking where there are no dogs,
    coming out from bells somewhere, from graves somewhere,
    growing in the damp air like tears of rain.

    Sometimes I see alone
    coffins under sail,
    embarking with the pale dead, with women that have dead hair,
    with bakers who are as white as angels,
    and pensive young girls married to notary publics,
    caskets sailing up the vertical river of the dead,
    the river of dark purple,
    moving upstream with sails filled out by the sound of death,
    filled by the sound of death which is silence.

    Death arrives among all that sound
    like a shoe with no foot in it, like a suit with no man in it,
    comes and knocks, using a ring with no stone in it, with no
    finger in it,
    comes and shouts with no mouth, with no tongue, with no
    throat.
    Nevertheless its steps can be heard
    and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree.

    I'm not sure, I understand only a little, I can hardly see,
    but it seems to me that its singing has the color of damp violets,
    of violets that are at home in the earth,
    because the face of death is green,
    and the look death gives is green,
    with the penetrating dampness of a violet leaf
    and the somber color of embittered winter.

    But death also goes through the world dressed as a broom,
    lapping the floor, looking for dead bodies,
    death is inside the broom,
    the broom is the tongue of death looking for corpses,
    it is the needle of death looking for thread.

    Death is inside the folding cots:
    it spends its life sleeping on the slow mattresses,
    in the black blankets, and suddenly breathes out:
    it blows out a mournful sound that swells the sheets,
    and the beds go sailing toward a port
    where death is waiting, dressed like an admiral.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Ode To The Lemon

    From blossoms
    released
    by the moonlight,
    from an
    aroma of exasperated
    love,
    steeped in fragrance,
    yellowness
    drifted from the lemon tree,
    and from its plantarium
    lemons descended to the earth.

    Tender yield!
    The coasts,
    the markets glowed
    with light, with
    unrefined gold;
    we opened
    two halves
    of a miracle,
    congealed acid
    trickled
    from the hemispheres
    of a star,
    the most intense liqueur
    of nature,
    unique, vivid,
    concentrated,
    born of the cool, fresh
    lemon,
    of its fragrant house,
    its acid, secret symmetry.

    Knives
    sliced a small
    cathedral
    in the lemon,
    the concealed apse, opened,
    revealed acid stained glass,
    drops
    oozed topaz,
    altars,
    cool architecture.

    So, when you hold
    the hemisphere
    of a cut lemon
    above your plate,
    you spill
    a universe of gold,
    a
    yellow goblet
    of miracles,
    a fragrant nipple
    of the earth's breast,
    a ray of light that was made fruit,
    the minute fire of a planet.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Magellanic Penguin

    Neither clown nor child nor black
    nor white but verticle
    and a questioning innocence
    dressed in night and snow:
    The mother smiles at the sailor,
    the fisherman at the astronaunt,
    but the child child does not smile
    when he looks at the bird child,
    and from the disorderly ocean
    the immaculate passenger
    emerges in snowy mourning.

    I was without doubt the child bird
    there in the cold archipelagoes
    when it looked at me with its eyes,
    with its ancient ocean eyes:
    it had neither arms nor wings
    but hard little oars
    on its sides:
    it was as old as the salt;
    the age of moving water,
    and it looked at me from its age:
    since then I know I do not exist;
    I am a worm in the sand.

    the reasons for my respect
    remained in the sand:
    the religious bird
    did not need to fly,
    did not need to sing,
    and through its form was visible
    its wild soul bled salt:
    as if a vein from the bitter sea
    had been broken.

    Penguin, static traveler,
    deliberate priest of the cold,
    I salute your vertical salt
    and envy your plumed pride.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Ode To Tomatoes

    The street
    filled with tomatoes,
    midday,
    summer,
    light is
    halved
    like
    a
    tomato,
    its juice
    runs
    through the streets.
    In December,
    unabated,
    the tomato
    invades
    the kitchen,
    it enters at lunchtime,
    takes
    its ease
    on countertops,
    among glasses,
    butter dishes,
    blue saltcellars.
    It sheds
    its own light,
    benign majesty.
    Unfortunately, we must
    murder it:
    the knife
    sinks
    into living flesh,
    red
    viscera
    a cool
    sun,
    profound,
    inexhaustible,
    populates the salads
    of Chile,
    happily, it is wed
    to the clear onion,
    and to celebrate the union
    we
    pour
    oil,
    essential
    child of the olive,
    onto its halved hemispheres,
    pepper
    adds
    its fragrance,
    salt, its magnetism;
    it is the wedding
    of the day,
    parsley
    hoists
    its flag,
    potatoes
    bubble vigorously,
    the aroma
    of the roast
    knocks
    at the door,
    it's time!
    come on!
    and, on
    the table, at the midpoint
    of summer,
    the tomato,
    star of earth, recurrent
    and fertile
    star,
    displays
    its convolutions,
    its canals,
    its remarkable amplitude
    and abundance,
    no pit,
    no husk,
    no leaves or thorns,
    the tomato offers
    its gift
    of fiery color
    and cool completeness.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • The Dictators

    An odor has remained among the sugarcane:
    a mixture of blood and body, a penetrating
    petal that brings nausea.
    Between the coconut palms the graves are full
    of ruined bones, of speechless death-rattles.
    The delicate dictator is talking
    with top hats, gold braid, and collars.
    The tiny palace gleams like a watch
    and the rapid laughs with gloves on
    cross the corridors at times
    and join the dead voices
    and the blue mouths freshly buried.
    The weeping cannot be seen, like a plant
    whose seeds fall endlessly on the earth,
    whose large blind leaves grow even without light.
    Hatred has grown scale on scale,
    blow on blow, in the ghastly water of the swamp,
    with a snout full of ooze and silence

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Gentleman Alone

    The young maricones and the horny muchachas,
    The big fat widows delirious from insomnia,
    The young wives thirty hours' pregnant,
    And the hoarse tomcats that cross my garden at night,
    Like a collar of palpitating sexual oysters
    Surround my solitary home,
    Enemies of my soul,
    Conspirators in pajamas
    Who exchange deep kisses for passwords.
    Radiant summer brings out the lovers
    In melancholy regiments,
    Fat and thin and happy and sad couples;
    Under the elegant coconut palms, near the ocean and moon,
    There is a continual life of pants and panties,
    A hum from the fondling of silk stockings,
    And women's breasts that glisten like eyes.
    The salary man, after a while,
    After the week's tedium, and the novels read in bed at night,
    Has decisively fucked his neighbor,
    And now takes her to the miserable movies,
    Where the heroes are horses or passionate princes,
    And he caresses her legs covered with sweet down
    With his ardent and sweaty palms that smell like cigarettes.
    The night of the hunter and the night of the husband
    Come together like bed sheets and bury me,
    And the hours after lunch, when the students and priests are masturbating,
    And the animals mount each other openly,
    And the bees smell of blood, and the flies buzz cholerically,
    And cousins play strange games with cousins,
    And doctors glower at the husband of the young patient,
    And the early morning in which the professor, without a thought,
    Pays his conjugal debt and eats breakfast,
    And to top it all off, the adulterers, who love each other truly
    On beds big and tall as ships:
    So, eternally,
    This twisted and breathing forest crushes me
    With gigantic flowers like mouth and teeth
    And black roots like fingernails and shoes.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • A Song Of Despair

    The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
    The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

    Deserted like the dwarves at dawn.
    It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

    Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
    Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

    In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
    From you the wings of the song birds rose.

    You swallowed everything, like distance.
    Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!

    It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
    The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.

    Pilot's dread, fury of blind driver,
    turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

    In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
    Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

    You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
    sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

    I made the wall of shadow draw back,
    beyond desire and act, I walked on.

    Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
    I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you.

    Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness.
    and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar.

    There was the black solitude of the islands,
    and there, woman of love, your arms took me in.

    There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.
    There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle.

    Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me
    in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms!

    How terrible and brief my desire was to you!
    How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.

    Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,
    still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.

    Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,
    oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.

    Oh the mad coupling of hope and force
    in which we merged and despaired.

    And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.
    And the word scarcely begun on the lips.

    This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing,
    and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!

    Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you,
    what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned!

    From billow to billow you still called and sang.
    Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel.

    You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents.
    Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well.

    Pale blind diver, luckless slinger,
    lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

    It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
    which the night fastens to all the timetables.

    The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.
    Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.

    Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
    Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands.

    Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything.

    It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Dream Within A Dream

    Take this kiss upon the brow!
    And, in parting from you now,
    Thus much let me avow-
    You are not wrong, who deem
    That my days have been a dream;
    Yet if hope has flown away
    In a night, or in a day,
    In a vision, or in none,
    Is it therefore the less gone?
    All that we see or seem
    Is but a dream within a dream.

    I stand amid the roar
    Of a surf-tormented shore,
    And I hold within my hand
    Grains of the golden sand-
    How few! yet how they creep
    Through my fingers to the deep,
    While I weep- while I weep!
    O God! can I not grasp
    Them with a tighter clasp?
    O God! can I not save
    One from the pitiless wave?
    Is all that we see or seem
    But a dream within a dream?

    — -Edgar Allan
  • Stopping By Woods On A Sn

    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village, though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound\'s the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

    — -Robert Frost
  • If

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too:
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about, don\'t deal in lies,
    Or being hated don\'t give way to hating,
    And yet don\'t look too good, nor talk too wise;

    If you can dream- -and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think- -and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same:.
    If you can bear to hear the truth you\'ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build\'em up with worn-out tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
    And never breathe a word about your loss:
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: \'Hold on! \'

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings- -nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much:
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds\' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that\'s in it,
    And- -which is more- -you\'ll be a Man, my son

    — -Rudyard Kipling
  • Caged Bird

    The free bird leaps
    on the back of the wind
    and floats downstream
    till the current ends
    and dips his wings
    in the orange sun rays
    and dares to claim the sky.

    But a bird that stalks
    down his narrow cage
    can seldom see through
    his bars of rage
    his wings are clipped and
    his feet are tied
    so he opens his throat to sing.

    The caged bird sings
    with fearful trill
    of the things unknown
    but longed for still
    and his tune is heard
    on the distant hill
    for the caged bird
    sings of freedom

    The free bird thinks of another breeze
    and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
    and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
    and he names the sky his own.

    But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
    his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
    his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
    so he opens his throat to sing

    The caged bird sings
    with a fearful trill
    of things unknown
    but longed for still
    and his tune is heard
    on the distant hill
    for the caged bird
    sings of freedom.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • Annabel Lee

    It was many and many a year ago,
    In a kingdom by the sea,
    That a maiden there lived whom you may know
    By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
    And this maiden she lived with no other thought
    Than to love and be loved by me.

    I was a child and she was a child,
    In this kingdom by the sea;
    But we loved with a love that was more than love-
    I and my Annabel Lee;
    With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
    Coveted her and me.

    And this was the reason that, long ago,
    In this kingdom by the sea,
    A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
    My beautiful Annabel Lee;
    So that her highborn kinsman came
    And bore her away from me,
    To shut her up in a sepulchre
    In this kingdom by the sea.

    The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
    Went envying her and me-
    Yes! - that was the reason (as all men know,
    In this kingdom by the sea)
    That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
    Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

    But our love it was stronger by far than the love
    Of those who were older than we-
    Of many far wiser than we-
    And neither the angels in heaven above,
    Nor the demons down under the sea,
    Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

    For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
    Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
    In the sepulchre there by the sea,
    In her tomb by the sounding sea.

    — -Edgar Allan Poe
  • Dreams

    Hold fast to dreams
    For if dreams die
    Life is a broken-winged bird
    That cannot fly.
    Hold fast to dreams
    For when dreams go
    Life is a barren field
    Frozen with snow.

    — -Langston Hughes
  • If You Forget Me

    I want you to know
    one thing.

    You know how this is:
    if I look
    at the crystal moon, at the red branch
    of the slow autumn at my window,
    if I touch
    near the fire
    the impalpable ash
    or the wrinkled body of the log,
    everything carries me to you,
    as if everything that exists,
    aromas, light, metals,
    were little boats
    that sail
    toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

    Well, now,
    if little by little you stop loving me
    I shall stop loving you little by little.

    If suddenly
    you forget me
    do not look for me,
    for I shall already have forgotten you.

    If you think it long and mad,
    the wind of banners
    that passes through my life,
    and you decide
    to leave me at the shore
    of the heart where I have roots,
    remember
    that on that day,
    at that hour,
    I shall lift my arms
    and my roots will set off
    to seek another land.

    But
    if each day,
    each hour,
    you feel that you are destined for me
    with implacable sweetness,
    if each day a flower
    climbs up to your lips to seek me,
    ah my love, ah my own,
    in me all that fire is repeated,
    in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
    my love feeds on your love, beloved,
    and as long as you live it will be in your arms
    without leaving mine.

    — -Pablo Neruda
  • Still I Ris

    ou may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may tread me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I\'ll rise.

    Does my sassiness upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    \'Cause I walk like I\'ve got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I\'ll rise.

    Did you want to see me broken?
    Bowed head and lowered eyes?
    Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
    Weakened by my soulful cries.

    Does my haughtiness offend you?
    Don\'t you take it awful hard
    \'Cause I laugh like I\'ve got gold mines
    Diggin\' in my own back yard.

    You may shoot me with your words,
    You may cut me with your eyes,
    You may kill me with your hatefulness,
    But still, like air, I\'ll rise.

    Does my sexiness upset you?
    Does it come as a surprise
    That I dance like I\'ve got diamonds
    At the meeting of my thighs?

    Out of the huts of history\'s shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that\'s rooted in pain
    I rise
    I\'m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that\'s wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise
    I rise
    I rise.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • The Road Not Taken

    wo roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Phenomenal Woman

    poet Maya Angelou
    #1 on top 500 poets

    Poet\'s Page
    Poems
    Quotes
    Comments
    Stats
    E-Books
    Biography
    Videos

    Share on Facebook
    Share on Twitter

    Poems by Maya Angelou : 26 / 53

    « prev. poem
    next poem »

    Phenomenal Woman - Poem by Maya Angelou
    Autoplay next video

    Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
    I\'m not cute or built to suit a fashion model\'s size
    But when I start to tell them,
    They think I\'m telling lies.
    I say,
    It\'s in the reach of my arms
    The span of my hips,
    The stride of my step,
    The curl of my lips.
    I\'m a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That\'s me.

    I walk into a room
    Just as cool as you please,
    And to a man,
    The fellows stand or
    Fall down on their knees.
    Then they swarm around me,
    A hive of honey bees.
    I say,
    It\'s the fire in my eyes,
    And the flash of my teeth,
    The swing in my waist,
    And the joy in my feet.
    I\'m a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That\'s me.

    Men themselves have wondered
    What they see in me.
    They try so much
    But they can\'t touch
    My inner mystery.
    When I try to show them
    They say they still can\'t see.
    I say,
    It\'s in the arch of my back,
    The sun of my smile,
    The ride of my breasts,
    The grace of my style.
    I\'m a woman

    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That\'s me.

    Now you understand
    Just why my head\'s not bowed.
    I don\'t shout or jump about
    Or have to talk real loud.
    When you see me passing
    It ought to make you proud.
    I say,
    It\'s in the click of my heels,
    The bend of my hair,
    the palm of my hand,
    The need of my care,
    \'Cause I\'m a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That\'s me.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • Then I will miss you agai

    Since the first time I saw you,
    I knew you were mine for life.
    You\'re the one I need to be with,
    One day I\'ll be your wife.

    You\'re not here with me now,
    And I miss you more than ever.
    All I want is to be with you,
    And feel this love forever.

    I want to feel you with me and,
    See the twinkle in your eyes.
    I know you feel the same way,
    And for you my heart cries.

    But I know that someday soon,
    That we\'ll always be together.
    True love feelings never will end,
    Then I will miss you again
    - Never

    — -Nicola
  • I Miss You Friend.

    I wake up during the night,
    In cold sweats and tears.
    I had another dream of you,
    And I wish you were here.

    It has been a while since we spoke,
    Even longer since we were together.
    I know that if you were here with me,
    Things would be so much better.

    I know that you are always there for me,
    But things just are not the same.
    Do not forget that I love and miss you,
    And please never forget my name.

    When you are not around me,
    I feel your presence anyway.
    Remember I am always here for you,
    Whether dark of night or light of day.

    Things are so much different now,
    We do not see each other everyday.
    But we grow up, things have to change,
    And I had to move away.

    Though it is so easy to pick up the phone,
    And give you a call before bed.
    I trade that in, for whatever reason,
    And write an e-mail instead.

    Maybe because it seems so much easier,
    Since you do not hear my voice.
    I do not feel vulnerable telling you things,
    And you do not have a choice.

    Friends forever, we always said,
    Together until the end.
    No matter what happens, the distance between,
    On me you can depend.

    Now I learned that I should cherish,
    Every second I spend with you.
    Though it is hard to be so far away,
    I know we will get through.

    — -Tiffany
  • I miss you daddy

    Daddy come back.
    I want you back.
    Why did you have to go.
    It\'s just not the same without you.
    We still get mail with your name on it.
    It makes me sad every time i see the envelopes.
    Mommy\'s always crying.
    She\'s always yelling too.
    She makes me cry a lot but not as much as you.
    I\'m always thinking about you.
    Your always making me teary-eyed.
    I love you daddy why did you have to go.
    I miss you a lot but you obviously don\'t know.
    Otherwise you wouldn\'t have had to go.
    God makes me mad because he took you away.
    It\'s hard not to cry in church but i go anyway.
    Sometimes when I\'m all alone and i have time to think.
    I think about you and i cry and cry and cry.
    Some people think \"oh you should be over this\"
    But then i think to myself you don\'t know how it feels to be in this pain
    or to how hard it is to make it go away.
    Councilors try to help me but they don\'t help at all.
    My head hurts all the time, especially when I\'m about to cry.
    Its hard to type down these words as tears blur up my eyes.
    When i try to speak about you i choke and then i start to cry
    I miss you daddy why did you have to go.

    — -Dana Marie
  • Lonely Nights

    ince you’re gone
    There is an empty space
    Since you’re gone
    The world is not the same

    I go back to the places we’ve been
    It feels like you’re still there
    I live all those moments again
    Wishing you were here

    Since you’re gone
    There is a lonely heart
    Since you’re gone
    Nothing is like it was

    There are memories all over the place
    Bringing it back all so clear
    I remember all of those days
    Wishing you were here

    Since you’re gone
    There is a heart that bleeds
    Since you’re gone
    I’m not the man I used to be

    I follow you\'re steps in the snow
    The traces disappear
    We know what we’ve lost when it’s gone
    I’m wishing you were here

    All those lonely nights
    I lied on my bed and cried
    I still think of you
    Yes I do

    — -Ebony Tears
  • Days of Longing

    A quick note,
    A rushed phone call,
    A smile from a photo taken far away.
    The knowledge that the one you love,
    Loves you equally.
    These, that germinate the seeds of longing,
    A longing immense…never before felt.
    One that pulls at the heart without remorse.
    Yet from the pain instilled,
    Infinite pleasures are born.

    The thought of once again,
    Holding you in my now empty arms.
    Memories of the sweet taste
    Of your warm lips on mine.
    Remembering the scent of a far off love…
    Anticipation of the moment our bodies will touch,
    Entwined in a timeless moment of passion.
    These somehow subdue the longing…
    Allowing the heart to continue its beat,
    For the days of longing now grow short.

    — -Griz
  • Night

    The sun descending in the west,
    The evening star does shine;
    The birds are silent in their nest,
    And I must seek for mine.
    The moon like a flower
    In heaven’s high bower,
    With silent delight
    Sits and smiles on the night.

    Farewell, green fields and happy groves,
    Where flocks have took delight.
    Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves
    The feet of angels bright;
    Unseen they pour blessing
    And joy without ceasing,
    On each bud and blossom,
    And each sleeping bosom.

    They look in every thoughtless nest,
    Where birds are cover’d warm;
    They visit caves of every beast,
    To keep them all from harm.
    If they see any weeping
    That should have been sleeping,
    They pour sleep on their head,
    And sit down by their bed.

    When wolves and tygers howl for prey,
    They pitying stand and weep;
    Seeking to drive their thirst away,
    And keep them from the sheep;
    But if they rush dreadful,
    The angels, most heedful,
    Receive each mild spirit,
    New worlds to inherit.

    And there the lion’s ruddy eyes
    Shall flow with tears of gold,
    And pitying the tender cries,
    And walking round the fold,
    Saying “Wrath, by his meekness,
    And by his health, sickness
    Is driven away
    From our immortal day.

    `And now beside thee, bleating lamb,
    I can lie down and sleep;
    Or think on him who bore thy name,
    Graze after thee and weep.
    For, wash’d in life’s river,
    My bright mane for ever
    Shall shine like the gold
    As I guard o’er the fold.”

    — -William Blake
  • Glory Falls

    Glory falls around us
    as we sob
    a dirge of
    desolation on the Cross
    and hatred is the ballast of
    the rock
    which his upon our necks
    and underfoot.
    We have woven
    robes of silk
    and clothed our nakedness
    with tapestry.
    From crawling on this
    murky planet’s floor
    we soar beyond the
    birds and
    through the clouds
    and edge our waays from hate
    and blind despair and
    bring horror
    to our brothers, and to our sisters cheer.
    We grow despite the
    horror that we feed
    upon our own
    tomorrow.
    We grow.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • I, Too, Sing America

    I, too, sing America.

    I am the darker brother.
    They send me to eat in the kitchen
    When company comes,
    But I laugh,
    And eat well,
    And grow strong.

    Tomorrow,
    I\'ll be at the table
    When company comes.
    Nobody\'ll dare
    Say to me,
    \"Eat in the kitchen,\"
    Then.

    Besides,
    They\'ll see how beautiful I am
    And be ashamed--

    I, too, am America.

    — -Langston Hughes
  • MEANINGLESS

    I looked into my soul
    And saw a great emptiness that enswallowed me.
    It was strange and it was dark.
    A darkness so vast I fall into it.
    Terrified, my heart froze
    As fear’s ice hands griped it.
    Big dreams and ambitions cut short by the shortness of life
    My life now a black deep ocean to drown in
    For this is now my fate for mine had being a vain pursuit for self.

    — -Tigana Chileshe
  • My Beautiful Friend

    You made me laugh when I cried so hard
    You gave me bracelets to cover my scars
    You held me close when I was so cold
    You offered a comforting hand to hold

    You picked me up whenever I fell
    You showed me heaven when I was blinded by hell
    You answered my calls in the darkened night
    You gave me the reasons to hold on and fight

    You rescued me when I was drowning in pain
    You placed me back on the right path again
    You loved me forever and stayed by my side
    You entered my heart as an angel to guide

    You may not be with me so much anymore
    But I know you will leave open a beckoning door
    I miss you so much but I\'ll fight till the end
    I love you so much my Bestest friend.

    — -Emma
  • Stopping by Woods on

    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village, though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.
    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound's the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.
    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Do Not Go Gentle Into

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on that sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    — -Dylan Thomas
  • Phenomenal Woman

    Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
    I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
    But when I start to tell them,
    They think I'm telling lies.
    I say,
    It's in the reach of my arms
    The span of my hips,
    The stride of my step,
    The curl of my lips.
    I'm a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • Still I Rise

    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may trod me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I'll rise.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • Two Look at Two

    Love and forgetting might have carried them
    A little further up the mountain side
    With night so near, but not much further up.
    They must have halted soon in any case
    With thoughts of a path back, how rough it was
    With rock and washout, and unsafe in darkness;
    When they were halted by a tumbled wall
    With barbed-wire binding. They stood facing this,
    Spending what onward impulse they still had
    In One last look the way they must not go,
    On up the failing path, where, if a stone
    Or earthslide moved at night, it moved itself;
    No footstep moved it. 'This is all,' they sighed,
    Good-night to woods.' But not so; there was more.
    A doe from round a spruce stood looking at them
    Across the wall, as near the wall as they.
    She saw them in their field, they her in hers.
    The difficulty of seeing what stood still,
    Like some up-ended boulder split in two,
    Was in her clouded eyes; they saw no fear there.
    She seemed to think that two thus they were safe.
    Then, as if they were something that, though strange,
    She could not trouble her mind with too long,
    She sighed and passed unscared along the wall.
    'This, then, is all. What more is there to ask?'
    But no, not yet. A snort to bid them wait.
    A buck from round the spruce stood looking at them
    Across the wall as near the wall as they.
    This was an antlered buck of lusty nostril,
    Not the same doe come back into her place.
    He viewed them quizzically with jerks of head,
    As if to ask, 'Why don't you make some motion?
    Or give some sign of life? Because you can't.
    I doubt if you're as living as you look.'
    Thus till he had them almost feeling dared
    To stretch a proffering hand -- and a spell-breaking.
    Then he too passed unscared along the wall.
    Two had seen two, whichever side you spoke from.
    'This must be all.' It was all. Still they stood,
    A great wave from it going over them,
    As if the earth in one unlooked-for favour
    Had made them certain earth returned their love.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Reluctance

    Out through the fields and the woods
    And over the walls I have wended;
    I have climbed the hills of view
    And looked at the world, and descended;
    I have come by the highway home,
    And lo, it is ended.

    The leaves are all dead on the ground,
    Save those that the oak is keeping
    To ravel them one by one
    And let them go scraping and creeping
    Out over the crusted snow,
    When others are sleeping.

    And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
    No longer blown hither and thither;
    The last long aster is gone;
    The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
    The heart is still aching to seek,
    But the feet question 'Whither?'

    Ah, when to the heart of man
    Was it ever less than a treason
    To go with the drift of things,
    To yield with a grace to reason,
    And bow and accept the end
    Of a love or a season?

    — -Robert Frost
  • But Outer Space

    But outer Space,
    At least this far,
    For all the fuss
    Of the populace
    Stays more popular
    Than populous

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Peck of Gold

    Dust always blowing about the town,
    Except when sea-fog laid it down,
    And I was one of the children told
    Some of the blowing dust was gold.

    All the dust the wind blew high
    Appeared like god in the sunset sky,
    But I was one of the children told
    Some of the dust was really gold.

    Such was life in the Golden Gate:
    Gold dusted all we drank and ate,
    And I was one of the children told,
    'We all must eat our peck of gold.'

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Runaway

    Once when the snow of the year was beginning to fall,
    We stopped by a mountain pasture to say 'Whose colt?'
    A little Morgan had one forefoot on the wall,
    The other curled at his breast. He dipped his head
    And snorted at us. And then he had to bolt.
    We heard the miniature thunder where he fled,
    And we saw him, or thought we saw him, dim and grey,
    Like a shadow against the curtain of falling flakes.
    'I think the little fellow's afraid of the snow.
    He isn't winter-broken. It isn't play
    With the little fellow at all. He's running away.
    I doubt if even his mother could tell him, "Sakes,
    It's only weather". He'd think she didn't know !
    Where is his mother? He can't be out alone.'
    And now he comes again with a clatter of stone
    And mounts the wall again with whited eyes
    And all his tail that isn't hair up straight.
    He shudders his coat as if to throw off flies.
    'Whoever it is that leaves him out so late,
    When other creatures have gone to stall and bin,
    Ought to be told to come and take him in.'

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Oven Bird

    There is a singer everyone has heard,
    Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
    Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
    He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
    Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
    he says the early petal-fall is past
    When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
    On sunny days a moment overcast;
    And comes that other fall we name the fall.
    He says the highway dust is over all.
    The bird would cease and be as other birds
    But that he knows in singing not to sing.
    The question that he frames in all but words
    Is what to make of a diminished thing.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Gathering Leaves

    Spades take up leaves
    No better than spoons,
    And bags full of leaves
    Are light as balloons.

    I make a great noise
    Of rustling all day
    Like rabbit and deer
    Running away.

    But the mountains I raise
    Elude my embrace,
    Flowing over my arms
    And into my face.

    I may load and unload
    Again and again
    Till I fill the whole shed,
    And what have I then?

    Next to nothing for weight,
    And since they grew duller
    From contact with earth,
    Next to nothing for color.

    Next to nothing for use.
    But a crop is a crop,
    And who's to say where
    The harvest shall stop?

    — -Robert Frost
  • Christmas Trees

    (A Christmas Circular Letter)


    THE CITY had withdrawn into itself
    And left at last the country to the country;
    When between whirls of snow not come to lie
    And whirls of foliage not yet laid, there drove
    A stranger to our yard, who looked the city,
    Yet did in country fashion in that there
    He sat and waited till he drew us out
    A-buttoning coats to ask him who he was.
    He proved to be the city come again
    To look for something it had left behind
    And could not do without and keep its Christmas.
    He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees;
    My woods—the young fir balsams like a place
    Where houses all are churches and have spires.
    I hadn’t thought of them as Christmas Trees.
    I doubt if I was tempted for a moment
    To sell them off their feet to go in cars
    And leave the slope behind the house all bare,
    Where the sun shines now no warmer than the moon.
    I’d hate to have them know it if I was.
    Yet more I’d hate to hold my trees except
    As others hold theirs or refuse for them,
    Beyond the time of profitable growth,
    The trial by market everything must come to.
    I dallied so much with the thought of selling.
    Then whether from mistaken courtesy
    And fear of seeming short of speech, or whether
    From hope of hearing good of what was mine,
    I said, “There aren’t enough to be worth while.”
    “I could soon tell how many they would cut,
    You let me look them over.”

    “You could look.
    But don’t expect I’m going to let you have them.”
    Pasture they spring in, some in clumps too close
    That lop each other of boughs, but not a few
    Quite solitary and having equal boughs
    All round and round. The latter he nodded “Yes” to,
    Or paused to say beneath some lovelier one,
    With a buyer’s moderation, “That would do.”
    I thought so too, but wasn’t there to say so.
    We climbed the pasture on the south, crossed over,
    And came down on the north.
    He said, “A thousand.”

    “A thousand Christmas trees!—at what apiece?”

    He felt some need of softening that to me:
    “A thousand trees would come to thirty dollars.”

    Then I was certain I had never meant
    To let him have them. Never show surprise!
    But thirty dollars seemed so small beside
    The extent of pasture I should strip, three cents
    (For that was all they figured out apiece),
    Three cents so small beside the dollar friends
    I should be writing to within the hour
    Would pay in cities for good trees like those,
    Regular vestry-trees whole Sunday Schools
    Could hang enough on to pick off enough.
    A thousand Christmas trees I didn’t know I had!
    Worth three cents more to give away than sell,
    As may be shown by a simple calculation.
    Too bad I couldn’t lay one in a letter.
    I can’t help wishing I could send you one,
    In wishing you herewith a Merry Christmas.

    — -Robert Frost
  • A Minor Bird

    I have wished a bird would fly away,
    And not sing by my house all day;

    Have clapped my hands at him from the door
    When it seemed as if I could bear no more.

    The fault must partly have been in me.
    The bird was not to blame for his key.

    And of course there must be something wrong
    In wanting to silence any song.

    — -Robert Frost
  • The Span Of Life

    The old dog barks backwards without getting up.
    I can remember when he was a pup.

    — -Robert Frost
  • Germs.

    FORMS, qualities, lives, humanity, language, thoughts,
    The ones known, and the ones unknown—the ones on the stars,
    The stars themselves, some shaped, others unshaped,
    Wonders as of those countries—the soil, trees, cities, inhabitants, whatever they may
    be,
    Splendid suns, the moons and rings, the countless combinations and effects;
    Such-like, and as good as such-like, visible here or anywhere, stand provided for in a
    handful
    of space, which I extend my arm and half enclose with my hand;
    That contains the start of each and all—the virtue, the germs of all.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • famous

    A woman should never be seen eating or drinking, unless it be lobster salad and Champagne, the only true feminine and becoming viands.
    — -Lord Byron
  • famous

    A mistress never is nor can be a friend. While you agree, you are lovers; and when it is over, anything but friends
    — -Lord Byron
  • famous

    A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress
    — -Lord Byron
  • Great Byron

    A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.
    — -Lord Byron
  • Refusal

    Beloved,
    In what other lives or lands
    Have I known your lips
    Your Hands
    Your Laughter brave
    Irreverent.
    Those sweet excesses that
    I do adore.
    What surety is there
    That we will meet again,
    On other worlds some
    Future time undated.
    I defy my body's haste.
    Without the promise
    Of one more sweet encounter
    I will not deign to die.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • When You Come

    When you come to me, unbidden,
    Beckoning me
    To long-ago rooms,
    Where memories lie.

    Offering me, as to a child, an attic,
    Gatherings of days too few.
    Baubles of stolen kisses.
    Trinkets of borrowed loves.
    Trunks of secret words,

    I CRY.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • Passing Time

    Your skin like dawn
    Mine like musk

    One paints the beginning
    of a certain end.

    The other, the end of a
    sure beginning.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • Insomniac

    There are some nights when
    sleep plays coy,
    aloof and disdainful.
    And all the wiles
    that I employ to win
    its service to my side
    are useless as wounded pride,
    and much more painful.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • Weekend Glory

    Some clichty folks
    don't know the facts,
    posin' and preenin'
    and puttin' on acts,
    stretchin' their backs.

    They move into condos
    up over the ranks,
    pawn their souls
    to the local banks.
    Buying big cars
    they can't afford,
    ridin' around town
    actin' bored.

    If they want to learn how to live life right
    they ought to study me on Saturday night.

    My job at the plant
    ain't the biggest bet,
    but I pay my bills
    and stay out of debt.
    I get my hair done
    for my own self's sake,
    so I don't have to pick
    and I don't have to rake.

    Take the church money out
    and head cross town
    to my friend girl's house
    where we plan our round.
    We meet our men and go to a joint
    where the music is blue
    and to the point.

    Folks write about me.
    They just can't see
    how I work all week
    at the factory.
    Then get spruced up
    and laugh and dance
    And turn away from worry
    with sassy glance.

    They accuse me of livin'
    from day to day,
    but who are they kiddin'?
    So are they.

    My life ain't heaven
    but it sure ain't hell.
    I'm not on top
    but I call it swell
    if I'm able to work
    and get paid right
    and have the luck to be Black
    on a Saturday night.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • Remembrance

    Your hands easy
    weight, teasing the bees
    hived in my hair, your smile at the
    slope of my cheek. On the
    occasion, you press
    above me, glowing, spouting
    readiness, mystery rapes
    my reason

    When you have withdrawn
    your self and the magic, when
    only the smell of your
    love lingers between
    my breasts, then, only
    then, can I greedily consume
    your presence.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • The Lesson

    I keep on dying again.
    Veins collapse, opening like the
    Small fists of sleeping
    Children.
    Memory of old tombs,
    Rotting flesh and worms do
    Not convince me against
    The challenge. The years
    And cold defeat live deep in
    Lines along my face.
    They dull my eyes, yet
    I keep on dying,
    Because I love to live.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • A Conceit

    Give me your hand

    Make room for me
    to lead and follow
    you
    beyond this rage of poetry.

    Let others have
    the privacy of
    touching words
    and love of loss
    of love.

    For me
    Give me your hand.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • Alone

    Lying, thinking
    Last night
    How to find my soul a home
    Where water is not thirsty
    And bread loaf is not stone
    I came up with one thing
    And I don't believe I'm wrong
    That nobody,
    But nobody
    Can make it out here alone.

    Alone, all alone
    Nobody, but nobody
    Can make it out here alone.

    There are some millionaires
    With money they can't use
    Their wives run round like banshees
    Their children sing the blues
    They've got expensive doctors
    To cure their hearts of stone.
    But nobody
    No, nobody
    Can make it out here alone.

    Alone, all alone
    Nobody, but nobody
    Can make it out here alone.

    Now if you listen closely
    I'll tell you what I know
    Storm clouds are gathering
    The wind is gonna blow
    The race of man is suffering
    And I can hear the moan,
    'Cause nobody,
    But nobody
    Can make it out here alone.

    Alone, all alone
    Nobody, but nobody
    Can make it out here alone.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • Still I Rise

    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may trod me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I'll rise.

    Does my sassiness upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I'll rise.

    Did you want to see me broken?
    Bowed head and lowered eyes?
    Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
    Weakened by my soulful cries.

    Does my haughtiness offend you?
    Don't you take it awful hard
    'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
    Diggin' in my own back yard.

    You may shoot me with your words,
    You may cut me with your eyes,
    You may kill me with your hatefulness,
    But still, like air, I'll rise.

    Does my sexiness upset you?
    Does it come as a surprise
    That I dance like I've got diamonds
    At the meeting of my thighs?

    Out of the huts of history's shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that's rooted in pain
    I rise
    I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise
    I rise
    I rise.

    — -Maya Angelou
  • Music

    My friend went to the piano; spun the stool
    A little higher; left his pipe to cool;
    Picked up a fat green volume from the chest;
    And propped it open.
    Whitely without rest,
    His fingers swept the keys that flashed like swords,
    . . . And to the brute drums of barbarian hordes,
    Roaring and thunderous and weapon-bare,
    An army stormed the bastions of the air!
    Dreadful with banners, fire to slay and parch,
    Marching together as the lightnings march,
    And swift as storm-clouds. Brazen helms and cars
    Clanged to a fierce resurgence of old wars
    Above the screaming horns. In state they passed,
    Trampling and splendid on and sought the vast --
    Rending the darkness like a leaping knife,
    The flame, the noble pageant of our life!
    The burning seal that stamps man's high indenture
    To vain attempt and most forlorn adventure;
    Romance, and purple seas, and toppling towns,
    And the wind's valiance crying o'er the downs;
    That nerves the silly hand, the feeble brain,
    From the loose net of words to deeds again
    And to all courage! Perilous and sharp
    The last chord shook me as wind shakes a harp!
    . . . And my friend swung round on his stool, and from gods we were men,
    "How pretty!" we said; and went on with our talk again.

    — -Stephen Vincent Bene
  • May Morning

    I lie stretched out upon the window-seat
    And doze, and read a page or two, and doze,
    And feel the air like water on me close,
    Great waves of sunny air that lip and beat
    With a small noise, monotonous and sweet,
    Against the window -- and the scent of cool,
    Frail flowers by some brown and dew-drenched pool
    Possesses me from drowsy head to feet.

    This is the time of all-sufficing laughter
    At idiotic things some one has done,
    And there is neither past nor vague hereafter.
    And all your body stretches in the sun
    And drinks the light in like a liquid thing;
    Filled with the divine languor of late spring.

    — -Stephen Vincent Bene
  • Lonely Burial

    There were not many at that lonely place,
    Where two scourged hills met in a little plain.
    The wind cried loud in gusts, then low again.
    Three pines strained darkly, runners in a race
    Unseen by any. Toward the further woods
    A dim harsh noise of voices rose and ceased.
    -- We were most silent in those solitudes --
    Then, sudden as a flame, the black-robed priest,

    The clotted earth piled roughly up about
    The hacked red oblong of the new-made thing,
    Short words in swordlike Latin -- and a rout
    Of dreams most impotent, unwearying.
    Then, like a blind door shut on a carouse,
    The terrible bareness of the soul's last house.

    — -Stephen Vincent Bene
  • Ghosts of a Lunatic Asylu

    Here, where men's eyes were empty and as bright
    As the blank windows set in glaring brick,
    When the wind strengthens from the sea -- and night
    Drops like a fog and makes the breath come thick;

    By the deserted paths, the vacant halls,
    One may see figures, twisted shades and lean,
    Like the mad shapes that crawl an Indian screen,
    Or paunchy smears you find on prison walls.

    Turn the knob gently! There's the Thumbless Man,
    Still weaving glass and silk into a dream,
    Although the wall shows through him -- and the Khan
    Journeys Cathay beside a paper stream.

    A Rabbit Woman chitters by the door --
    -- Chilly the grave-smell comes from the turned sod --
    Come -- lift the curtain -- and be cold before
    The silence of the eight men who were God!

    — -Stephen Vincent Bene
  • Dinner in a Quick Lunch

    Soup should be heralded with a mellow horn,
    Blowing clear notes of gold against the stars;
    Strange entrees with a jangle of glass bars
    Fantastically alive with subtle scorn;
    Fish, by a plopping, gurgling rush of waters,
    Clear, vibrant waters, beautifully austere;
    Roast, with a thunder of drums to stun the ear,
    A screaming fife, a voice from ancient slaughters!

    Over the salad let the woodwinds moan;
    Then the green silence of many watercresses;
    Dessert, a balalaika, strummed alone;
    Coffee, a slow, low singing no passion stresses;
    Such are my thoughts as -- clang! crash! bang! -- I brood
    And gorge the sticky mess these fools call food!

    — -Stephen Vincent Bene
  • Colors

    The little man with the vague beard and guise
    Pulled at the wicket. "Come inside!" he said,
    "I'll show you all we've got now -- it was size
    You wanted? -- oh, dry colors! Well" -- he led
    To a dim alley lined with musty bins,
    And pulled one fiercely. Violent and bold
    A sudden tempest of mad, shrieking sins
    Scarlet screamed out above the battered gold
    Of tins and picture-frames. I held my breath.
    He tugged another hard -- and sapphire skies
    Spread in vast quietude, serene as death,
    O'er waves like crackled turquoise -- and my eyes
    Burnt with the blinding brilliance of calm sea!
    "We're selling that lot there out cheap!" said he.

    — -Stephen Vincent Bene
  • Before an Examination

    The little letters dance across the page,
    Flaunt and retire, and trick the tired eyes;
    Sick of the strain, the glaring light, I rise
    Yawning and stretching, full of empty rage
    At the dull maunderings of a long dead sage,
    Fling up the windows, fling aside his lies;
    Choosing to breathe, not stifle and be wise,
    And let the air pour in upon my cage.

    The breeze blows cool and there are stars and stars
    Beyond the dark, soft masses of the elms
    That whisper things in windy tones and light.
    They seem to wheel for dim, celestial wars;
    And I -- I hear the clash of silver helms
    Ring icy-clear from the far deeps of night.

    — -Stephen Vincent Bene
  • A Minor Poet

    I am a shell. From me you shall not hear
    The splendid tramplings of insistent drums,
    The orbed gold of the viol's voice that comes,
    Heavy with radiance, languorous and clear.
    Yet, if you hold me close against the ear,
    A dim, far whisper rises clamorously,
    The thunderous beat and passion of the sea,
    The slow surge of the tides that drown the mere.

    Others with subtle hands may pluck the strings,
    Making even Love in music audible,
    And earth one glory. I am but a shell
    That moves, not of itself, and moving sings;
    Leaving a fragrance, faint as wine new-shed,
    A tremulous murmur from great days long dead.

    — -Stephen Vincent Bene
  • Italia

    Italia! thou art fallen, though with sheen
    Of battle-spears thy clamorous armies stride
    From the north Alps to the Sicilian tide!
    Ay! fallen, though the nations hail thee Queen
    Because rich gold in every town is seen,
    And on thy sapphire-lake in tossing pride
    Of wind-filled vans thy myriad galleys ride
    Beneath one flag of red and white and green.
    O Fair and Strong! O Strong and Fair in vain!
    Look southward where Rome's desecrated town
    Lies mourning for her God-anointed King!
    Look heaven-ward! shall God allow this thing?
    Nay! but some flame-girt Raphael shall come down,
    And smite the Spoiler with the sword of pain.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • The New Helen

    Where hast thou been since round the walls of Troy
    The sons of God fought in that great emprise?
    Why dost thou walk our common earth again?
    Hast thou forgotten that impassioned boy,
    His purple galley and his Tyrian men
    And treacherous Aphrodite's mocking eyes?
    For surely it was thou, who, like a star
    Hung in the silver silence of the night,
    Didst lure the Old World's chivalry and might
    Into the clamorous crimson waves of war!

    Or didst thou rule the fire-laden moon?
    In amorous Sidon was thy temple built
    Over the light and laughter of the sea
    Where, behind lattice scarlet-wrought and gilt,
    Some brown-limbed girl did weave thee tapestry,
    All through the waste and wearied hours of noon;
    Till her wan cheek with flame of passion burned,
    And she rose up the sea-washed lips to kiss
    Of some glad Cyprian sailor, safe returned
    From Calpe and the cliffs of Herakles!

    No! thou art Helen, and none other one!
    It was for thee that young Sarpedon died,
    And Memnon's manhood was untimely spent;
    It was for thee gold-crested Hector tried
    With Thetis' child that evil race to run,
    In the last year of thy beleaguerment;
    Ay! even now the glory of thy fame
    Burns in those fields of trampled asphodel,
    Where the high lords whom Ilion knew so well
    Clash ghostly shields, and call upon thy name.

    Where hast thou been? in that enchanted land
    Whose slumbering vales forlorn Calypso knew,
    Where never mower rose at break of day
    But all unswathed the trammelling grasses grew,
    And the sad shepherd saw the tall corn stand
    Till summer's red had changed to withered grey?
    Didst thou lie there by some Lethaean stream
    Deep brooding on thine ancient memory,
    The crash of broken spears, the fiery gleam
    From shivered helm, the Grecian battle-cry?

    Nay, thou wert hidden in that hollow hill
    With one who is forgotten utterly,
    That discrowned Queen men call the Erycine;
    Hidden away that never mightst thou see
    The face of Her, before whose mouldering shrine
    To-day at Rome the silent nations kneel;
    Who gat from Love no joyous gladdening,
    But only Love's intolerable pain,
    Only a sword to pierce her heart in twain,
    Only the bitterness of child-bearing.

    The lotus-leaves which heal the wounds of Death
    Lie in thy hand; O, be thou kind to me,
    While yet I know the summer of my days;
    For hardly can my tremulous lips draw breath
    To fill the silver trumpet with thy praise,
    So bowed am I before thy mystery;
    So bowed and broken on Love's terrible wheel,
    That I have lost all hope and heart to sing,
    Yet care I not what ruin time may bring
    If in thy temple thou wilt let me kneel.

    Alas, alas, thou wilt not tarry here,
    But, like that bird, the servant of the sun,
    Who flies before the north wind and the night,
    So wilt thou fly our evil land and drear,
    Back to the tower of thine old delight,
    And the red lips of young Euphorion;
    Nor shall I ever see thy face again,
    But in this poisonous garden-close must stay,
    Crowning my brows with the thorn-crown of pain,
    Till all my loveless life shall pass away.

    O Helen! Helen!

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Magdalen Walks

    The little white clouds are racing over the sky,
    And the fields are strewn with the gold of the flower of March,
    The daffodil breaks under foot, and the tasselled larch
    Sways and swings as the thrush goes hurrying by.

    A delicate odour is borne on the wings of the morning
    breeze,
    The odour of deep wet grass, and of brown new-furrowed earth,
    The birds are singing for joy of the Spring's glad birth,
    Hopping from branch to branch on the rocking trees.

    And all the woods are alive with the murmur and
    sound of Spring,
    And the rose-bud breaks into pink on the climbing briar,
    And the crocus-bed is a quivering moon of fire
    Girdled round with the belt of an amethyst ring.

    And the plane to the pine-tree is whispering some
    tale of love
    Till it rustles with laughter and tosses its mantle of green,
    And the gloom of the wych-elm's hollow is lit with the iris sheen
    Of the burnished rainbow throat and the silver breast of a dove.

    See! the lark starts up from his bed in the meadow
    there,
    Breaking the gossamer threads and the nets of dew,
    And flashing adown the river, a flame of blue!
    The kingfisher flies like an arrow, and wounds the air.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Phedre

    (To Sarah Bernhardt)

    How vain and dull this common world must seem
    To such a One as thou, who should'st have talked
    At Florence with Mirandola, or walked
    Through the cool olives of the Academe:
    Thou should'st have gathered reeds from a green stream
    For Goat-foot Pan's shrill piping, and have played
    With the white girls in that Phaeacian glade
    Where grave Odysseus wakened from his dream.

    Ah! surely once some urn of Attic clay
    Held thy wan dust, and thou hast come again
    Back to this common world so dull and vain,
    For thou wert weary of the sunless day,
    The heavy fields of scentless asphodel,
    The loveless lips with which men kiss in Hell.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • E TENEBRIS

    Come down, O Christ, and help me! reach Thy hand,
    For I am drowning in a stormier sea
    Than Simon on Thy lake of Galilee:
    The wine of life is spilt upon the sand,
    My heart is as some famine-murdered land
    Whence all good things have perished utterly,
    And well I know my soul in Hell must lie
    If I this night before God's throne should stand.
    'He sleeps perchance, or rideth to the chase,
    Like Baal, when his prophets howled that name
    From morn to noon on Carmel's smitten height.'
    Nay, peace, I shall behold, before the night,
    The feet of brass, the robe more white than flame,
    The wounded hands, the weary human face.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Quantum Mutata

    There was a time in Europe long ago
    When no man died for freedom anywhere,
    But England's lion leaping from its lair
    Laid hands on the oppressor! it was so
    While England could a great Republic show.
    Witness the men of Piedmont, chiefest care
    Of Cromwell, when with impotent despair
    The Pontiff in his painted portico
    Trembled before our stern ambassadors.
    How comes it then that from such high estate
    We have thus fallen, save that Luxury
    With barren merchandise piles up the gate
    Where noble thoughts and deeds should enter by:
    Else might we still be Milton's heritors.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Under The Balcony

    O beautiful star with the crimson mouth!
    O moon with the brows of gold!
    Rise up, rise up, from the odorous south!
    And light for my love her way,
    Lest her little feet should stray
    On the windy hill and the wold!
    O beautiful star with the crimson mouth!
    O moon with the brows of gold!

    O ship that shakes on the desolate sea!
    O ship with the wet, white sail!
    Put in, put in, to the port to me!
    For my love and I would go
    To the land where the daffodils blow
    In the heart of a violet dale!
    O ship that shakes on the desolate sea!
    O ship with the wet, white sail!

    O rapturous bird with the low, sweet note!
    O bird that sits on the spray!
    Sing on, sing on, from your soft brown throat!
    And my love in her little bed
    Will listen, and lift her head
    From the pillow, and come my way!
    O rapturous bird with the low, sweet note!
    O bird that sits on the spray!

    O blossom that hangs in the tremulous air!
    O blossom with lips of snow!
    Come down, come down, for my love to wear!
    You will die on her head in a crown,
    You will die in a fold of her gown,
    To her little light heart you will go!
    O blossom that hangs in the tremulous air!
    O blossom with lips of snow!

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Impression Du Matin

    The Thames nocturne of blue and gold
    Changed to a Harmony in grey:
    A barge with ochre-coloured hay
    Dropt from the wharf: and chill and cold

    The yellow fog came creeping down
    The bridges, till the houses' walls
    Seemed changed to shadows and St. Paul's
    Loomed like a bubble o'er the town.

    Then suddenly arose the clang
    Of waking life; the streets were stirred
    With country waggons: and a bird
    Flew to the glistening roofs and sang.

    But one pale woman all alone,
    The daylight kissing her wan hair,
    Loitered beneath the gas lamps' flare,
    With lips of flame and heart of stone.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Athanasia

    To that gaunt House of Art which lacks for naught
    Of all the great things men have saved from Time,
    The withered body of a girl was brought
    Dead ere the world's glad youth had touched its prime,
    And seen by lonely Arabs lying hid
    In the dim womb of some black pyramid.

    But when they had unloosed the linen band
    Which swathed the Egyptian's body, - lo! was found
    Closed in the wasted hollow of her hand
    A little seed, which sown in English ground
    Did wondrous snow of starry blossoms bear
    And spread rich odours through our spring-tide air.

    With such strange arts this flower did allure
    That all forgotten was the asphodel,
    And the brown bee, the lily's paramour,
    Forsook the cup where he was wont to dwell,
    For not a thing of earth it seemed to be,
    But stolen from some heavenly Arcady.

    In vain the sad narcissus, wan and white
    At its own beauty, hung across the stream,
    The purple dragon-fly had no delight
    With its gold dust to make his wings a-gleam,
    Ah! no delight the jasmine-bloom to kiss,
    Or brush the rain-pearls from the eucharis.

    For love of it the passionate nightingale
    Forgot the hills of Thrace, the cruel king,
    And the pale dove no longer cared to sail
    Through the wet woods at time of blossoming,
    But round this flower of Egypt sought to float,
    With silvered wing and amethystine throat.

    While the hot sun blazed in his tower of blue
    A cooling wind crept from the land of snows,
    And the warm south with tender tears of dew
    Drenched its white leaves when Hesperos up-rose
    Amid those sea-green meadows of the sky
    On which the scarlet bars of sunset lie.

    But when o'er wastes of lily-haunted field
    The tired birds had stayed their amorous tune,
    And broad and glittering like an argent shield
    High in the sapphire heavens hung the moon,
    Did no strange dream or evil memory make
    Each tremulous petal of its blossoms shake?

    Ah no! to this bright flower a thousand years
    Seemed but the lingering of a summer's day,
    It never knew the tide of cankering fears
    Which turn a boy's gold hair to withered grey,
    The dread desire of death it never knew,
    Or how all folk that they were born must rue.

    For we to death with pipe and dancing go,
    Nor would we pass the ivory gate again,
    As some sad river wearied of its flow
    Through the dull plains, the haunts of common men,
    Leaps lover-like into the terrible sea!
    And counts it gain to die so gloriously.

    We mar our lordly strength in barren strife
    With the world's legions led by clamorous care,
    It never feels decay but gathers life
    From the pure sunlight and the supreme air,
    We live beneath Time's wasting sovereignty,
    It is the child of all eternity.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Santa Decca

    The Gods are dead: no longer do we bring
    To grey-eyed Pallas crowns of olive-leaves!
    Demeter's child no more hath tithe of sheaves,
    And in the noon the careless shepherds sing,
    For Pan is dead, and all the wantoning
    By secret glade and devious haunt is o'er:
    Young Hylas seeks the water-springs no more;
    Great Pan is dead, and Mary's son is King.

    And yet - perchance in this sea-tranced isle,
    Chewing the bitter fruit of memory,
    Some God lies hidden in the asphodel.
    Ah Love! if such there be, then it were well
    For us to fly his anger: nay, but see,
    The leaves are stirring: let us watch awhile.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Mother and Poet

    I.

    Dead ! One of them shot by the sea in the east,
    And one of them shot in the west by the sea.
    Dead ! both my boys ! When you sit at the feast
    And are wanting a great song for Italy free,
    Let none look at me !

    — -Elizabeth Barrett Br
  • Mother Earth

    Mother of all the high-strung poets and singers departed,
    Mother of all the grass that weaves over their graves the glory of the field,
    Mother of all the manifold forms of life, deep-bosomed, patient, impassive,
    Silent brooder and nurse of lyrical joys and sorrows!
    Out of thee, yea, surely out of the fertile depth below thy breast,
    Issued in some strange way, thou lying motionless, voiceless,
    All these songs of nature, rhythmical, passionate, yearning,
    Coming in music from earth, but not unto earth returning

    — -Henry Van Dyke
  • A Prayer for a Mother's H

    Lord Jesus, Thou hast known
    A mother's love and tender care:
    And Thou wilt hear, while for my own
    Mother most dear I make this birthday prayer.

    — -Henry Van Dyke
  • To My Mother

    You too, my mother, read my rhymes
    For love of unforgotten times,
    And you may chance to hear once more
    The little feet along the floor.

    — -Robert Louis Stevens
  • My Mother

    I

    Reg wished me to go with him to the field,
    I paused because I did not want to go;
    But in her quiet way she made me yield
    Reluctantly, for she was breathing low.
    Her hand she slowly lifted from her lap
    And, smiling sadly in the old sweet way,
    She pointed to the nail where hung my cap.
    Her eyes said: I shall last another day.
    But scarcely had we reached the distant place,
    When o'er the hills we heard a faint bell ringing;
    A boy came running up with frightened face;
    We knew the fatal news that he was bringing.
    I heard him listlessly, without a moan,
    Although the only one I loved was gone.

    — -Claude McKay
  • The Black Lace Fan My

    It was the first gift he ever gave her,
    buying it for five five francs in the Galeries
    in pre-war Paris. It was stifling.
    A starless drought made the nights stormy.

    — -Eavan Boland
  • All is Truth

    O ME, man of slack faith so long!
    Standing aloof—denying portions so long;
    Only aware to-day of compact, all-diffused truth;
    Discovering to-day there is no lie, or form of lie, and can be none, but grows as
    inevitably
    upon
    itself as the truth does upon itself,
    Or as any law of the earth, or any natural production of the earth does.

    (This is curious, and may not be realized immediately—But it must be realized;
    I feel in myself that I represent falsehoods equally with the rest,
    And that the universe does.)

    Where has fail’d a perfect return, indifferent of lies or the truth?
    Is it upon the ground, or in water or fire? or in the spirit of man? or in the meat and
    blood?

    Meditating among liars, and retreating sternly into myself, I see that there are really no
    liars or
    lies after all,
    And that nothing fails its perfect return—And that what are called lies are perfect
    returns,
    And that each thing exactly represents itself, and what has preceded it,
    And that the truth includes all, and is compact, just as much as space is compact,
    And that there is no flaw or vacuum in the amount of the truth—but that all is truth
    without
    exception;
    And henceforth I will go celebrate anything I see or am,
    And sing and laugh, and deny nothing.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Miracles

    WHY! who makes much of a miracle?
    As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
    Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
    Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
    Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water,
    Or stand under trees in the woods,
    Or talk by day with any one I love—or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love,
    Or sit at table at dinner with my mother,
    Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
    Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon,
    Or animals feeding in the fields,
    Or birds—or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
    Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down—or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
    Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;
    Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best—mechanics, boatmen,
    farmers,
    Or among the savans—or to the soiree—or to the opera,
    Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery,
    Or behold children at their sports,
    Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman,
    Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial,
    Or my own eyes and figure in the glass;
    These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
    The whole referring—yet each distinct, and in its place.

    To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
    Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
    Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
    Every foot of the interior swarms with the same;
    Every spear of grass—the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that
    concerns
    them,
    All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.

    To me the sea is a continual miracle;
    The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the ships, with men
    in
    them,
    What stranger miracles are there?

    — -Walt Whitman
  • In Midnight Sleep

    1
    IN midnight sleep, of many a face of anguish,
    Of the look at first of the mortally wounded—of that indescribable look;
    Of the dead on their backs, with arms extended wide,
    I dream, I dream, I dream.

    2
    Of scenes of nature, fields and mountains;
    Of skies, so beauteous after a storm—and at night the moon so unearthly bright,
    Shining sweetly, shining down, where we dig the trenches and gather the heaps,
    I dream, I dream, I dream.

    3
    Long, long have they pass’d—faces and trenches and fields;
    Where through the carnage I moved with a callous composure—or away from the fallen,
    Onward I sped at the time—But now of their forms at night,
    I dream, I dream, I dream.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Adieu to a Soldier

    ADIEU, O soldier!
    You of the rude campaigning, (which we shared,)
    The rapid march, the life of the camp,
    The hot contention of opposing fronts—the long manoeuver,
    Red battles with their slaughter,—the stimulus—the strong, terrific game,
    Spell of all brave and manly hearts—the trains of Time through you, and like of you,
    all
    fill’d,
    With war, and war’s expression.

    Adieu, dear comrade!
    Your mission is fulfill’d—but I, more warlike,
    Myself, and this contentious soul of mine,
    Still on our own campaigning bound,
    Through untried roads, with ambushes, opponents lined,
    Through many a sharp defeat and many a crisis—often baffled,
    Here marching, ever marching on, a war fight out—aye here,
    To fiercer, weightier battles give expression.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • To Foreign Lands

    I HEARD that you ask’d for something to prove this puzzle, the New World,
    And to define America, her athletic Democracy;
    Therefore I send you my poems, that you behold in them what you wanted.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Tears

    TEARS! tears! tears!
    In the night, in solitude, tears;
    On the white shore dripping, dripping, suck’d in by the sand;
    Tears—not a star shining—all dark and desolate;
    Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head:
    —O who is that ghost?—that form in the dark, with tears?
    What shapeless lump is that, bent, crouch’d there on the sand?
    Streaming tears—sobbing tears—throes, choked with wild cries;
    O storm, embodied, rising, careering, with swift steps along the beach;
    O wild and dismal night storm, with wind! O belching and desperate!
    O shade, so sedate and decorous by day, with calm countenance and regulated pace;
    But away, at night, as you fly, none looking—O then the unloosen’d ocean,
    Of tears! tears! tears!

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Thoughts

    OF Public Opinion;
    Of a calm and cool fiat, sooner or later, (How impassive! How certain and final!)
    Of the President with pale face, asking secretly to himself, What will the people say
    at
    last?
    Of the frivolous Judge—Of the corrupt Congressman, Governor, Mayor—Of such as
    these,
    standing helpless and exposed;
    Of the mumbling and screaming priest—(soon, soon deserted;)
    Of the lessening, year by year, of venerableness, and of the dicta of officers, statutes,
    pulpits, schools;
    Of the rising forever taller and stronger and broader, of the intuitions of men and women,
    and
    of self-esteem, and of personality;
    —Of the New World—Of the Democracies, resplendent, en-masse;
    Of the conformity of politics, armies, navies, to them and to me,
    Of the shining sun by them—Of the inherent light, greater than the rest,
    Of the envelopment of all by them, and of the effusion of all from them.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • Ashes of Soldiers

    ASHES of soldiers!
    As I muse, retrospective, murmuring a chant in thought,
    Lo! the war resumes—again to my sense your shapes,
    And again the advance of armies.

    Noiseless as mists and vapors,
    From their graves in the trenches ascending,
    From the cemeteries all through Virginia and Tennessee,
    From every point of the compass, out of the countless unnamed graves,
    In wafted clouds, in myraids large, or squads of twos or threes, or single ones, they
    come,
    And silently gather round me.

    Now sound no note, O trumpeters!
    Not at the head of my cavalry, parading on spirited horses,
    With sabres drawn and glist’ning, and carbines by their thighs—(ah, my brave
    horsemen!
    My handsome, tan-faced horsemen! what life, what joy and pride,
    With all the perils, were yours!)

    Nor you drummers—neither at reveille, at dawn,
    Nor the long roll alarming the camp—nor even the muffled beat for a burial;
    Nothing from you, this time, O drummers, bearing my warlike drums.

    But aside from these, and the marts of wealth, and the crowded promenade,
    Admitting around me comrades close, unseen by the rest, and voiceless,
    The slain elate and alive again—the dust and debris alive,
    I chant this chant of my silent soul, in the name of all dead soldiers.

    Faces so pale, with wondrous eyes, very dear, gather closer yet;
    Draw close, but speak not.

    Phantoms of countless lost!
    Invisible to the rest, henceforth become my companions!
    Follow me ever! desert me not, while I live.

    Sweet are the blooming cheeks of the living! sweet are the musical voices sounding!
    But sweet, ah sweet, are the dead, with their silent eyes.

    Dearest comrades! all is over and long gone;
    But love is not over—and what love, O comrades!
    Perfume from battle-fields rising—up from foetor arising.

    Perfume therefore my chant, O love! immortal Love!
    Give me to bathe the memories of all dead soldiers,
    Shroud them, embalm them, cover them all over with tender pride!

    Perfume all! make all wholesome!
    Make these ashes to nourish and blossom,
    O love! O chant! solve all, fructify all with the last chemistry.

    Give me exhaustless—make me a fountain,
    That I exhale love from me wherever I go, like a moist perennial dew,
    For the ashes of all dead soldiers.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • For Him I Sing

    FOR him I sing,
    (As some perennial tree, out of its roots, the present on the past:)
    With time and space I him dilate—and fuse the immortal laws,
    To make himself, by them, the law unto himself.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • O Me! O Life

    O ME! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;
    Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;
    Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more
    faithless?)
    Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever
    renew’d;
    Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
    Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;
    The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

    Answer.
    That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
    That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

    — -Walt Whitman
  • The Frost-King

    We are sending you, dear flowers
    Forth alone to die,
    Where your gentle sisters may not weep
    O'er the cold graves where you lie;
    But you go to bring them fadeless life
    In the bright homes where they dwell,
    And you softly smile that't is so,
    As we sadly sing farewell.
    O plead with gentle words for us,
    And whisper tenderly
    Of generous love to that cold heart,
    And it will answer ye;
    And though you fade in a dreary home,
    Yet loving hearts will tell
    Of the joy and peace that you have given:
    Flowers, dear flowers, farewell!

    — -Louisa May Alcott
  • i carry your heart with m

    Unfortunately this poem has been removed from our archives at the insistence of the copyright holder.
    — -E. E. Cummings
  • To My Wife - With A Copy

    I can write no stately proem
    As a prelude to my lay;
    From a poet to a poem
    I would dare to say.

    For if of these fallen petals
    One to you seem fair,
    Love will waft it till it settles
    On your hair.

    And when wind and winter harden
    All the loveless land,
    It will whisper of the garden,
    You will understand.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Last Night I Dreamed of C

    Last night I dreamed of chickens,
    there were chickens everywhere,
    they were standing on my stomach,
    they were nesting in my hair,
    they were pecking at my pillow,
    they were hopping on my head,
    they were ruffling up their feathers
    as they raced about my bed.

    They were on the chairs and tables,
    they were on the chandeliers,
    they were roosting in the corners,
    they were clucking in my ears,
    there were chickens, chickens, chickens
    for as far as I could see...
    when I woke today, I noticed
    there were eggs on top of me.

    — -Jack Prelutsky
  • As Soon as Fred Gets Out

    As soon as Fred gets out of bed,
    his underwear goes on his head.
    His mother laughs, "Don't put it there,
    a head's no place for underwear!"
    But near his ears, above his brains,
    is where Fred's underwear remains.

    At night when Fred goes back to bed,
    he deftly plucks it off his head.
    His mother switches off the light
    and softly croons, "Good night! Good night!"
    And then, for reasons no one knows,
    Fred's underwear goes on his toes.

    — -Jack Prelutsky
  • An Eastern Ballad

    I speak of love that comes to mind:
    The moon is faithful, although blind;
    She moves in thought she cannot speak.
    Perfect care has made her bleak.

    I never dreamed the sea so deep,
    The earth so dark; so long my sleep,
    I have become another child.
    I wake to see the world go wild.

    — -Allen Ginsberg
  • Homework

    Homage Kenneth Koch


    If I were doing my Laundry I'd wash my dirty Iran
    I'd throw in my United States, and pour on the Ivory Soap,
    scrub up Africa, put all the birds and elephants back in
    the jungle,
    I'd wash the Amazon river and clean the oily Carib & Gulf of Mexico,
    Rub that smog off the North Pole, wipe up all the pipelines in Alaska,
    Rub a dub dub for Rocky Flats and Los Alamos, Flush that sparkly
    Cesium out of Love Canal
    Rinse down the Acid Rain over the Parthenon & Sphinx, Drain the Sludge
    out of the Mediterranean basin & make it azure again,
    Put some blueing back into the sky over the Rhine, bleach the little
    Clouds so snow return white as snow,
    Cleanse the Hudson Thames & Neckar, Drain the Suds out of Lake Erie
    Then I'd throw big Asia in one giant Load & wash out the blood &
    Agent Orange,
    Dump the whole mess of Russia and China in the wringer, squeeze out
    the tattletail Gray of U.S. Central American police state,
    & put the planet in the drier & let it sit 20 minutes or an
    Aeon till it came out clean

    — -Allen Ginsberg
  • Winter Night

    It snowed and snowed ,the whole world over,
    Snow swept the world from end to end.
    A candle burned on the table;
    A candle burned.

    As during summer midges swarm
    To beat their wings against a flame
    Out in the yard the snowflakes swarmed
    To beat against the window pane

    The blizzard sculptured on the glass
    Designs of arrows and of whorls.
    A candle burned on the table;
    A candle burned.

    Distorted shadows fell
    Upon the lighted ceiling:
    Shadows of crossed arms,of crossed legs-
    Of crossed destiny.

    Two tiny shoes fell to the floor
    And thudded.
    A candle on a nightstand shed wax tears
    Upon a dress.

    All things vanished within
    The snowy murk-white,hoary.
    A candle burned on the table;
    A candle burned.

    A corner draft fluttered the flame
    And the white fever of temptation
    Upswept its angel wings that cast
    A cruciform shadow

    It snowed hard throughout the month
    Of February, and almost constantly
    A candle burned on the table;
    A candle burned.

    — -Boris Pasternak
  • Daddy

    Unfortunately this poem has been removed from our archives at the insistence of the copyright holder.
    — -Sylvia Plath
  • March

    The sun is hotter than the top ledge in a steam bath;
    The ravine, crazed, is rampaging below.
    Spring -- that corn-fed, husky milkmaid --
    Is busy at her chores with never a letup.

    The snow is wasting (pernicious anemia --
    See those branching veinlets of impotent blue?)
    Yet in the cowbarn life is burbling, steaming,
    And the tines of pitchforks simply glow with health.

    These days -- these days, and these nights also!
    With eavesdrop thrumming its tattoos at noon,
    With icicles (cachectic!) hanging on to gables,
    And with the chattering of rills that never sleep!

    All doors are flung open -- in stable and in cowbarn;
    Pigeons peck at oats fallen in the snow;
    And the culprit of all this and its life-begetter--
    The pile of manure -- is pungent with ozone.

    — -Boris Pasternak
  • Hops

    Beneath the willow wound round with ivy
    we take cover from the worst
    of the storm, with a greatcoat round
    our shoulders and my hands around your waist.

    I've got it wrong. That isn't ivy
    entwined in the bushes round
    the wood, but hops. You intoxicate me!
    Let's spread the greatcoat on the ground.

    — -Boris Pasternak
  • Metaphors

    Unfortunately this poem has been removed from our archives at the insistence of the copyright holder.
    — -Sylvia Plath
  • A Life

    Unfortunately this poem has been removed from our archives at the insistence of the copyright holder.
    — -Sylvia Plath
  • The Visitor

    it came today to visit
    and moved into the house
    it was smaller than an elephant
    but larger than a mouse

    first it slapped my sister
    then it kicked my dad
    then it pushed my mother
    oh! that really made me mad

    it went and tickled rover
    and terrified the cat
    it sliced apart my necktie
    and rudely crushed my hat

    it smeared my head with honey
    and filled the tub with rocks
    and when i yelled in anger
    it stole my shoes and socks

    that's just the way it happened
    it happened all today
    before it bowed politely
    and softly went away

    — -Jack Prelutsk
  • Super Samson Simpson

    I am Super Samson Simpson,
    I'm superlatively strong,
    I like to carry elephants,
    I do it all day long,
    I pick up half a dozen
    and hoist them in the air,
    it's really somewhat simple,
    for I have strength to spare.

    My muscles are enormous,
    they bulge from top to toe,
    and when I carry elephants,
    they ripple to and fro,
    but I am not the strongest
    in the Simpson family,
    for when I carry elephants,
    my grandma carries me.

    — -Jack Prelutsky
  • Bleezer's Ice Cream

    I am Ebenezer Bleezer,
    I run BLEEZER'S ICE CREAM STORE,
    there are flavors in my freezer
    you have never seen before,
    twenty-eight divine creations
    too delicious to resist,
    why not do yourself a favor,
    try the flavors on my list:

    COCOA MOCHA MACARONI
    TAPIOCA SMOKED BALONEY
    CHECKERBERRY CHEDDAR CHEW
    CHICKEN CHERRY HONEYDEW
    TUTTI-FRUTTI STEWED TOMATO
    TUNA TACO BAKED POTATO
    LOBSTER LITCHI LIMA BEAN
    MOZZARELLA MANGOSTEEN
    ALMOND HAM MERINGUE SALAMI
    YAM ANCHOVY PRUNE PASTRAMI
    SASSAFRAS SOUVLAKI HASH
    SUKIYAKI SUCCOTASH
    BUTTER BRICKLE PEPPER PICKLE
    POMEGRANATE PUMPERNICKEL
    PEACH PIMENTO PIZZA PLUM
    PEANUT PUMPKIN BUBBLEGUM
    BROCCOLI BANANA BLUSTER
    CHOCOLATE CHOP SUEY CLUSTER
    AVOCADO BRUSSELS SPROUT
    PERIWINKLE SAUERKRAUT
    COTTON CANDY CARROT CUSTARD
    CAULIFLOWER COLA MUSTARD
    ONION DUMPLING DOUBLE DIP
    TURNIP TRUFFLE TRIPLE FLIP
    GARLIC GUMBO GRAVY GUAVA
    LENTIL LEMON LIVER LAVA
    ORANGE OLIVE BAGEL BEET
    WATERMELON WAFFLE WHEAT

    I am Ebenezer Bleezer,
    I run BLEEZER'S ICE CREAM STORE,
    taste a flavor from my freezer,
    you will surely ask for more.

    — -Jack Prelutsky
  • The Man He Killed

    Had he and I but met
    By some old ancient inn,
    We should have set us down to wet
    Right many a nipperkin!

    But ranged as infantry,
    And staring face to face,
    I shot at him as he at me,
    And killed him in his place.

    I shot him dead because--
    Because he was my foe,
    Just so: my foe of course he was;
    That's clear enough; although

    He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
    Off-hand like--just as I--
    Was out of work--had sold his traps--
    No other reason why.

    Yes; quaint and curious war is!
    You shoot a fellow down
    You'd treat, if met where any bar is,
    Or help to half a crown.

    — -Thomas Hardy
  • An Opera House

    Within the gold square of the proscenium arch,
    A curtain of orange velvet hangs in stiff folds,
    Its tassels jarring slightly when someone crosses the stage behind.
    Gold carving edges the balconies,
    Rims the boxes,
    Runs up and down fluted pillars.
    Little knife-stabs of gold
    Shine out whenever a box door is opened.
    Gold clusters
    Flash in soft explosions
    On the blue darkness,
    Suck back to a point,
    And disappear.
    Hoops of gold
    Circle necks, wrists, fingers,
    Pierce ears,
    Poise on heads
    And fly up above them in coloured sparkles.
    Gold!
    Gold!
    The opera house is a treasure-box of gold.
    Gold in a broad smear across the orchestra pit:
    Gold of horns, trumpets, tubas;
    Gold -- spun-gold, twittering-gold, snapping-gold
    Of harps.
    The conductor raises his baton,
    The brass blares out
    Crass, crude,
    Parvenu, fat, powerful,
    Golden.
    Rich as the fat, clapping hands in the boxes.
    Cymbals, gigantic, coin-shaped,
    Crash.
    The orange curtain parts
    And the prima-donna steps forward.
    One note,
    A drop: transparent, iridescent,
    A gold bubble,
    It floats . . . floats . . .
    And bursts against the lips of a bank president
    In the grand tier.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • The Coal Picker

    He perches in the slime, inert,
    Bedaubed with iridescent dirt.
    The oil upon the puddles dries
    To colours like a peacock's eyes,
    And half-submerged tomato-cans
    Shine scaly, as leviathans
    Oozily crawling through the mud.
    The ground is here and there bestud
    With lumps of only part-burned coal.
    His duty is to glean the whole,
    To pick them from the filth, each one,
    To hoard them for the hidden sun
    Which glows within each fiery core
    And waits to be made free once more.
    Their sharp and glistening edges cut
    His stiffened fingers. Through the smut
    Gleam red the wounds which will not shut.
    Wet through and shivering he kneels
    And digs the slippery coals; like eels
    They slide about. His force all spent,
    He counts his small accomplishment.
    A half-a-dozen clinker-coals
    Which still have fire in their souls.
    Fire! And in his thought there burns
    The topaz fire of votive urns.
    He sees it fling from hill to hill,
    And still consumed, is burning still.
    Higher and higher leaps the flame,
    The smoke an ever-shifting frame.
    He sees a Spanish Castle old,
    With silver steps and paths of gold.
    From myrtle bowers comes the plash
    Of fountains, and the emerald flash
    Of parrots in the orange trees,
    Whose blossoms pasture humming bees.
    He knows he feeds the urns whose smoke
    Bears visions, that his master-stroke
    Is out of dirt and misery
    To light the fire of poesy.
    He sees the glory, yet he knows
    That others cannot see his shows.
    To them his smoke is sightless, black,
    His votive vessels but a pack
    Of old discarded shards, his fire
    A peddler's; still to him the pyre
    Is incensed, an enduring goal!
    He sighs and grubs another coal.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • To John Keats

    Great master! Boyish, sympathetic man!
    Whose orbed and ripened genius lightly hung
    From life's slim, twisted tendril and there swung
    In crimson-sphered completeness; guardian
    Of crystal portals through whose openings fan
    The spiced winds which blew when earth was young,
    Scattering wreaths of stars, as Jove once flung
    A golden shower from heights cerulean.
    Crumbled before thy majesty we bow.
    Forget thy empurpled state, thy panoply
    Of greatness, and be merciful and near;
    A youth who trudged the highroad we tread now
    Singing the miles behind him; so may we
    Faint throbbings of thy music overhear.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Hora Stellatrix

    The stars hang thick in the apple tree,
    The south wind smells of the pungent sea,
    Gold tulip cups are heavy with dew.
    The night's for you, Sweetheart, for you!
    Starfire rains from the vaulted blue.
    Listen! The dancing of unseen leaves.
    A drowsy swallow stirs in the eaves.
    Only a maiden is sorrowing.
    'T is night and spring, Sweetheart, and spring!
    Starfire lights your heart's blossoming.
    In the intimate dark there's never an ear,
    Though the tulips stand on tiptoe to hear,
    So give; ripe fruit must shrivel or fall.
    As you are mine, Sweetheart, give all!
    Starfire sparkles, your coronal.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Fringed Gentians

    Near where I live there is a lake
    As blue as blue can be, winds make
    It dance as they go blowing by.
    I think it curtseys to the sky.
    It's just a lake of lovely flowers
    And my Mamma says they are ours;
    But they are not like those we grow
    To be our very own, you know.
    We have a splendid garden, there
    Are lots of flowers everywhere;
    Roses, and pinks, and four o'clocks
    And hollyhocks, and evening stocks.
    Mamma lets us pick them, but never
    Must we pick any gentians -- ever!
    For if we carried them away
    They'd die of homesickness that day.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • The Pike

    In the brown water,
    Thick and silver-sheened in the sunshine,
    Liquid and cool in the shade of the reeds,
    A pike dozed.
    Lost among the shadows of stems
    He lay unnoticed.
    Suddenly he flicked his tail,
    And a green-and-copper brightness
    Ran under the water.
    Out from under the reeds
    Came the olive-green light,
    And orange flashed up
    Through the sun-thickened water.
    So the fish passed across the pool,
    Green and copper,
    A darkness and a gleam,
    And the blurred reflections of the willows on the opposite bank
    Received it.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • AubadeThe Pleiades

    By day you cannot see the sky
    For it is up so very high.
    You look and look, but it's so blue
    That you can never see right through.
    But when night comes it is quite plain,
    And all the stars are there again.
    They seem just like old friends to me,
    I've known them all my life you see.
    There is the dipper first, and there
    Is Cassiopeia in her chair,
    Orion's belt, the Milky Way,
    And lots I know but cannot say.
    One group looks like a swarm of bees,
    Papa says they're the Pleiades;
    But I think they must be the toy
    Of some nice little angel boy.
    Perhaps his jackstones which to-day
    He has forgot to put away,
    And left them lying on the sky
    Where he will find them bye and bye.
    I wish he'd come and play with me.
    We'd have such fun, for it would be
    A most unusual thing for boys
    To feel that they had stars for toys!

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Aubade

    As I would free the white almond from the green husk
    So would I strip your trappings off,
    Beloved.
    And fingering the smooth and polished kernel
    I should see that in my hands glittered a gem beyond counting.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • A Ballad of Footmen

    Now what in the name of the sun and the stars
    Is the meaning of this most unholy of wars?
    Do men find life so full of humour and joy
    That for want of excitement they smash up the toy?
    Fifteen millions of soldiers with popguns and horses
    All bent upon killing, because their "of courses"
    Are not quite the same. All these men by the ears,
    And nine nations of women choking with tears.
    It is folly to think that the will of a king
    Can force men to make ducks and drakes of a thing
    They value, and life is, at least one supposes,
    Of some little interest, even if roses
    Have not grown up between one foot and the other.
    What a marvel bureaucracy is, which can smother
    Such quite elementary feelings, and tag
    A man with a number, and set him to wag
    His legs and his arms at the word of command
    Or the blow of a whistle! He's certainly damned,
    Fit only for mince-meat, if a little gold lace
    And an upturned moustache can set him to face
    Bullets, and bayonets, and death, and diseases,
    Because some one he calls his Emperor, pleases.
    If each man were to lay down his weapon, and say,
    With a click of his heels, "I wish you Good-day,"
    Now what, may I ask, could the Emperor do?
    A king and his minions are really so few.
    Angry? Oh, of course, a most furious Emperor!
    But the men are so many they need not mind his temper, or
    The dire results which could not be inflicted.
    With no one to execute sentence, convicted
    Is just the weak wind from an old, broken bellows.
    What lackeys men are, who might be such fine fellows!
    To be killing each other, unmercifully,
    At an order, as though one said, "Bring up the tea."
    Or is it that tasting the blood on their jaws
    They lap at it, drunk with its ferment, and laws
    So patiently builded, are nothing to drinking
    More blood, any blood. They don't notice its stinking.
    I don't suppose tigers do, fighting cocks, sparrows,
    And, as to men -- what are men, when their marrows
    Are running with blood they have gulped; it is plain
    Such excellent sport does not recollect pain.
    Toll the bells in the steeples left standing. Half-mast
    The flags which meant order, for order is past.
    Take the dust of the streets and sprinkle your head,
    The civilization we've worked for is dead.
    Squeeze into this archway, the head of the line
    Has just swung round the corner to `Die Wacht am Rhein'.

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Miscast II

    My heart is like a cleft pomegranate
    Bleeding crimson seeds
    And dripping them on the ground.
    My heart gapes because it is ripe and over-full,
    And its seeds are bursting from it.
    But how is this other than a torment to me!
    I, who am shut up, with broken crockery,
    In a dark closet!

    — -Amy Lowell
  • Sadie and Maud

    Maud went to college.
    Sadie stayed home.
    Sadie scraped life
    With a fine toothed comb

    — -Gwendolyn Brooks
  • The Independent Man

    Now who could take you off to tiny life
    In one room or in two rooms or in three
    And cork you smartly, like the flask of wine
    You are? Not any woman. Not a wife.
    You'd let her twirl you, give her a good glee
    Showing your leaping ruby to a friend.
    Though twirling would be meek. Since not a cork
    Could you allow, for being made so free.

    A woman would be wise to think it well
    If once a week you only rang the bell.

    — -Gwendolyn Brooks
  • The Good Man

    The good man.
    He is still enhancer, renouncer.
    In the time of detachment,
    in the time of the vivid heather and affectionate evil,
    in the time of oral
    grave grave legalities of hate - all real
    walks our prime registered reproach and seal.
    Our successful moral.
    The good man.

    — -Gwendolyn Brooks
  • The Ballad of Rudolph

    Rudolph Reed was oaken.
    His wife was oaken too.
    And his two good girls and his good little man
    Oakened as they grew.

    — -Gwendolyn Brooks
  • We Real Cool

    We real cool. We
    Left School. We

    Lurk late. We
    Strike straight. We

    Sing sin. We
    Thin gin. We

    Jazz June. We
    Die soon.

    — -Gwendolyn Brooks
  • To Be In Love

    To be in love
    Is to touch with a lighter hand.
    In yourself you stretch, you are well.
    You look at things
    Through his eyes.
    A cardinal is red.
    A sky is blue.
    Suddenly you know he knows too.
    He is not there but
    You know you are tasting together
    The winter, or a light spring weather.
    His hand to take your hand is overmuch.
    Too much to bear.
    You cannot look in his eyes
    Because your pulse must not say
    What must not be said.
    When he
    Shuts a door-
    Is not there_
    Your arms are water.
    And you are free
    With a ghastly freedom.
    You are the beautiful half
    Of a golden hurt.
    You remember and covet his mouth
    To touch, to whisper on.
    Oh when to declare
    Is certain Death!
    Oh when to apprize
    Is to mesmerize,
    To see fall down, the Column of Gold,
    Into the commonest ash.

    — -Gwendolyn Brooks
  • One Wants A Teller In A

    One wants a teller in a time like this

    One's not a man, one's not a woman grown
    To bear enormous business all alone.

    One cannot walk this winding street with pride
    Straight-shouldered, tranquil-eyed,
    Knowing one knows for sure the way back home.
    One wonders if one has a home.

    — -Gwendolyn Brooks
  • The Mother

    Abortions will not let you forget.
    You remember the children you got that you did not get,
    The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,
    The singers and workers that never handled the air.
    You will never neglect or beat
    Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.
    You will never wind up the sucking-thumb
    Or scuttle off ghosts that come.
    You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,
    Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.

    — -Gwendolyn Brooks
  • My Childhood God

    When I was small the Lord appeared
    Unto my mental eye
    A gentle giant with a beard
    Who homed up in the sky.
    But soon that vasty vision blurred,
    And faded in the end,
    Till God is just another word
    I cannot comprehend.

    — -Robert William Servi
  • Discord in Childhood

    Outside the house an ash-tree hung its terrible whips,
    And at night when the wind arose, the lash of the tree
    Shrieked and slashed the wind, as a ship’s
    Weird rigging in a storm shrieks hideously.

    Within the house two voices arose in anger, a slender lash
    Whistling delirious rage, and the dreadful sound
    Of a thick lash booming and bruising, until it drowned
    The other voice in a silence of blood, ’neath the noise of the ash.

    — -David Herbert Lawren
  • Now all the truth is out

    Now all the truth is out,
    Be secret and take defeat
    From any brazen throat,
    For how can you compete,
    Being honour bred, with one
    Who, were it proved he lies,
    Were neither shamed in his own
    Nor in his neighbours' eyes?
    Bred to a harder thing
    Than Triumph, turn away
    And like a laughing string
    Whereon mad fingers play
    Amid a place of stone,
    Be secret and exult,
    Because of all things known
    That is most difficult.

    — -William Butler Yeats
  • Leda And The Swan

    A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
    Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
    By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
    He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

    How can those terrified vague fingers push
    The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
    And how can body, laid in that white rush,
    But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

    A shudder in the loins engenders there
    The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
    And Agamemnon dead.
    Being so caught up,
    So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
    Did she put on his knowledge with his power
    Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

    — -William Butler Yeats
  • When You Are Old

    When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
    And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
    And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
    Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

    How many loved your moments of glad grace,
    And loved your beauty with love false or true,
    But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
    And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

    And bending down beside the glowing bars,
    Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
    And paced upon the mountains overhead
    And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

    — -William Butler Yeats
  • The Second Coming

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    — -William Butler Yeats
  • Brown Penny

    I whispered, 'I am too young,'
    And then, 'I am old enough';
    Wherefore I threw a penny
    To find out if I might love.
    'Go and love, go and love, young man,
    If the lady be young and fair.'
    Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
    I am looped in the loops of her hair.

    O love is the crooked thing,
    There is nobody wise enough
    To find out all that is in it,
    For he would be thinking of love
    Till the stars had run away
    And the shadows eaten the moon.
    Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
    One cannot begin it too soon.

    — -William Butler Yeats
  • The Rest

    The rest of us watch from beyond the fence
    as the woman moves with her jagged stride
    into her pain as if into a slow race.
    We see her body in motion
    but hear no sounds, or we hear
    sounds but no language; or we know
    it is not a language we know
    yet. We can see her clearly
    but for her it is running in black smoke.
    The cluster of cells in her swelling
    like porridge boiling, and bursting,
    like grapes, we think. Or we think of
    explosions in mud; but we know nothing.
    All around us the trees
    and the grasses light up with forgiveness,
    so green and at this time
    of the year healthy.
    We would like to call something
    out to her. Some form of cheering.
    There is pain but no arrival at anything.

    — -Margaret Atwood
  • Margaret Atwood

    You begin this way:
    this is your hand,
    this is your eye,
    this is a fish, blue and flat
    on the paper, almost
    the shape of an eye
    This is your mouth, this is an O
    or a moon, whichever
    you like. This is yellow.

    — -You Begin
  • Spelling

    My daughter plays on the floor
    with plastic letters,
    red, blue & hard yellow,
    learning how to spell,
    spelling,
    how to make spells.

    — -Margaret Atwood
  • Siren Song

    This is the one song everyone
    would like to learn: the song
    that is irresistible:

    the song that forces men
    to leap overboard in squadrons
    even though they see the beached skulls

    the song nobody knows
    because anyone who has heard it
    is dead, and the others can't remember.

    Shall I tell you the secret
    and if I do, will you get me
    out of this bird suit?

    I don'y enjoy it here
    squatting on this island
    looking picturesque and mythical

    with these two faethery maniacs,
    I don't enjoy singing
    this trio, fatal and valuable.

    I will tell the secret to you,
    to you, only to you.
    Come closer. This song

    is a cry for help: Help me!
    Only you, only you can,
    you are unique

    at last. Alas
    it is a boring song
    but it works every time.

    — -Margaret Atwood
  • You Fit Into Me

    You fit into me
    like a hook into an eye
    A fish hook
    An open eye

    — -Margaret Atwood
  • Serenade (For Music)

    The western wind is blowing fair
    Across the dark AEgean sea,
    And at the secret marble stair
    My Tyrian galley waits for thee.
    Come down! the purple sail is spread,
    The watchman sleeps within the town,
    O leave thy lily-flowered bed,
    O Lady mine come down, come down!

    She will not come, I know her well,
    Of lover's vows she hath no care,
    And little good a man can tell
    Of one so cruel and so fair.
    True love is but a woman's toy,
    They never know the lover's pain,
    And I who loved as loves a boy
    Must love in vain, must love in vain.

    O noble pilot, tell me true,
    Is that the sheen of golden hair?
    Or is it but the tangled dew
    That binds the passion-flowers there?
    Good sailor come and tell me now
    Is that my Lady's lily hand?
    Or is it but the gleaming prow,
    Or is it but the silver sand?

    No! no! 'tis not the tangled dew,
    'Tis not the silver-fretted sand,
    It is my own dear Lady true
    With golden hair and lily hand!
    O noble pilot, steer for Troy,
    Good sailor, ply the labouring oar,
    This is the Queen of life and joy
    Whom we must bear from Grecian shore!

    The waning sky grows faint and blue,
    It wants an hour still of day,
    Aboard! aboard! my gallant crew,
    O Lady mine, away! away!
    O noble pilot, steer for Troy,
    Good sailor, ply the labouring oar,
    O loved as only loves a boy!
    O loved for ever evermore!

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • To Milton

    Milton! I think thy spirit hath passed away
    From these white cliffs and high-embattled towers;
    This gorgeous fiery-coloured world of ours
    Seems fallen into ashes dull and grey,
    And the age changed unto a mimic play
    Wherein we waste our else too-crowded hours:
    For all our pomp and pageantry and powers
    We are but fit to delve the common clay,
    Seeing this little isle on which we stand,
    This England, this sea-lion of the sea,
    By ignorant demagogues is held in fee,
    Who love her not: Dear God! is this the land
    Which bare a triple empire in her hand
    When Cromwell spake the word Democracy!

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • LES BALLONS

    Against these turbid turquoise skies
    The light and luminous balloons
    Dip and drift like satin moons
    Drift like silken butterflies;

    Reel with every windy gust,
    Rise and reel like dancing girls,
    Float like strange transparent pearls,
    Fall and float like silver dust.

    Now to the low leaves they cling,
    Each with coy fantastic pose,
    Each a petal of a rose
    Straining at a gossamer string.

    Then to the tall trees they climb,
    Like thin globes of amethyst,
    Wandering opals keeping tryst
    With the rubies of the lime.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • LE JARDIN

    The lily's withered chalice falls
    Around its rod of dusty gold,
    And from the beech-trees on the wold
    The last wood-pigeon coos and calls.

    The gaudy leonine sunflower
    Hangs black and barren on its stalk,
    And down the windy garden walk
    The dead leaves scatter, - hour by hour.

    Pale privet-petals white as milk
    Are blown into a snowy mass:
    The roses lie upon the grass
    Like little shreds of crimson silk.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • DOUBLE VILLANELLE

    I.


    O goat-foot God of Arcady!
    This modern world is grey and old,
    And what remains to us of thee?

    No more the shepherd lads in glee
    Throw apples at thy wattled fold,
    O goat-foot God of Arcady!

    Nor through the laurels can one see
    Thy soft brown limbs, thy beard of gold
    And what remains to us of thee?

    And dull and dead our Thames would be,
    For here the winds are chill and cold,
    O goat-loot God of Arcady!

    Then keep the tomb of Helice,
    Thine olive-woods, thy vine-clad wold,
    And what remains to us of thee?

    Though many an unsung elegy
    Sleeps in the reeds our rivers hold,
    O goat-foot God of Arcady!
    Ah, what remains to us of thee?


    II.


    Ah, leave the hills of Arcady,
    Thy satyrs and their wanton play,
    This modern world hath need of thee.

    No nymph or Faun indeed have we,
    For Faun and nymph are old and grey,
    Ah, leave the hills of Arcady!

    This is the land where liberty
    Lit grave-browed Milton on his way,
    This modern world hath need of thee!

    A land of ancient chivalry
    Where gentle Sidney saw the day,
    Ah, leave the hills of Arcady!

    This fierce sea-lion of the sea,
    This England lacks some stronger lay,
    This modern world hath need of thee!

    Then blow some trumpet loud and free,
    And give thine oaten pipe away,
    Ah, leave the hills of Arcady!
    This modern world hath need of thee!

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Desespoir

    The seasons send their ruin as they go,
    For in the spring the narciss shows its head
    Nor withers till the rose has flamed to red,
    And in the autumn purple violets blow,
    And the slim crocus stirs the winter snow;
    Wherefore yon leafless trees will bloom again
    And this grey land grow green with summer rain
    And send up cowslips for some boy to mow.

    But what of life whose bitter hungry sea
    Flows at our heels, and gloom of sunless night
    Covers the days which never more return?
    Ambition, love and all the thoughts that burn
    We lose too soon, and only find delight
    In withered husks of some dead memory.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • HELAS

    To drift with every passion till my soul
    Is a stringed lute on which can winds can play,
    Is it for this that I have given away
    Mine ancient wisdom and austere control?
    Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
    Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
    With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
    Which do but mar the secret of the whole.
    Surely there was a time I might have trod
    The sunlit heights, and from life's dissonance
    Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God:
    Is that time dead? lo! with a little rod
    I did but touch the honey of romance -
    And must I lose a soul's inheritance?

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Taedium Vitae

    To stab my youth with desperate knives, to wear
    This paltry age's gaudy livery,
    To let each base hand filch my treasury,
    To mesh my soul within a woman's hair,
    And be mere Fortune's lackeyed groom, - I swear
    I love it not! these things are less to me
    Than the thin foam that frets upon the sea,
    Less than the thistledown of summer air
    Which hath no seed: better to stand aloof
    Far from these slanderous fools who mock my life
    Knowing me not, better the lowliest roof
    Fit for the meanest hind to sojourn in,
    Than to go back to that hoarse cave of strife
    Where my white soul first kissed the mouth of sin.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • LA MER

    A white mist drifts across the shrouds,
    A wild moon in this wintry sky
    Gleams like an angry lion's eye
    Out of a mane of tawny clouds.

    The muffled steersman at the wheel
    Is but a shadow in the gloom; -
    And in the throbbing engine-room
    Leap the long rods of polished steel.

    The shattered storm has left its trace
    Upon this huge and heaving dome,
    For the thin threads of yellow foam
    Float on the waves like ravelled lace.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Theoretikos

    This mighty empire hath but feet of clay:
    Of all its ancient chivalry and might
    Our little island is forsaken quite:
    Some enemy hath stolen its crown of bay,
    And from its hills that voice hath passed away
    Which spake of Freedom: O come out of it,
    Come out of it, my Soul, thou art not fit
    For this vile traffic-house, where day by day
    Wisdom and reverence are sold at mart,
    And the rude people rage with ignorant cries
    Against an heritage of centuries.
    It mars my calm: wherefore in dreams of Art
    And loftiest culture I would stand apart,
    Neither for God, nor for his enemies.

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • A Vision

    Two crowned Kings, and One that stood alone
    With no green weight of laurels round his head,
    But with sad eyes as one uncomforted,
    And wearied with man's never-ceasing moan
    For sins no bleating victim can atone,
    And sweet long lips with tears and kisses fed.
    Girt was he in a garment black and red,
    And at his feet I marked a broken stone
    Which sent up lilies, dove-like, to his knees.
    Now at their sight, my heart being lit with flame,
    I cried to Beatrice, 'Who are these?'
    And she made answer, knowing well each name,
    'AEschylos first, the second Sophokles,
    And last (wide stream of tears!) Euripides.'

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • A Villanelle

    O singer of Persephone!
    In the dim meadows desolate
    Dost thou remember Sicily?

    Still through the ivy flits the bee
    Where Amaryllis lies in state;
    O Singer of Persephone!

    Simaetha calls on Hecate
    And hears the wild dogs at the gate;
    Dost thou remember Sicily?

    Still by the light and laughing sea
    Poor Polypheme bemoans his fate;
    O Singer of Persephone!

    And still in boyish rivalry
    Young Daphnis challenges his mate;
    Dost thou remember Sicily?

    Slim Lacon keeps a goat for thee,
    For thee the jocund shepherds wait;
    O Singer of Persephone!
    Dost thou remember Sicily?

    — -Oscar Wilde
  • Her Voice

    The wild bee reels from bough to bough
    With his furry coat and his gauzy wing,
    Now in a lily-cup, and now
    Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
    In his wandering;
    Sit closer love: it was here I trow
    I made that vow,

    Swore that two lives should be like one
    As long as the sea-gull loved the sea,
    As long as the sunflower sought the sun, -
    It shall be, I said, for eternity
    'Twixt you and me!
    Dear friend, those times are over and done;
    Love's web is spun.

    Look upward where the poplar trees
    Sway and sway in the summer air,
    Here in the valley never a breeze
    Scat