One day I wrote her name upon the strand, But came the waves and washed it away: Again I wrote it with a second hand, But came the tide, and made my pains his prey. Vain man, said she, that doest in vain assay A mortal thing so to immortalize, For I myself shall like to this decay, And eek my name be wiped out likewise. Not so (quoth I), let baser things devise To die in dust, but you shall live by fame: My verse your virtues rare shall eternize, And in the heavens write your glorious name. Where whenas Death shall all the world subdue, Our love shall live, and later life renew.
If tomorrow never comes
Sometimes late at night I lie awake and watch her sleeping She's lost in peaceful dreams So, I turn out the lights and lay there in the dark
And a thought crosses my mind If I never wake in the morning Would she ever doubt The way I feel about her in my heart
If tomorrow never comes Will she know how much I loved her? Did I try in every way To show her every day That she's my only one?
And if my time on earth were through She must face this world without me Is the love I gave her in the past Gonna be enough to last If tomorrow never comes?
'Cause I've lost loved ones in my life Who never knew how much I loved them Now I live with the regret That my true feelings for them never were revealed
So, I made a promise to myself To say each day how much she means to me And avoid that circumstance Where there's no second chance To tell her how I feel
If tomorrow never comes Will she know how much I loved her? Did I try in every way To show her every day She's my only one?
And if my time on earth were through She must face this world without me Is the love I gave her in the past Gonna be enough to last If tomorrow never comes?
So, tell that someone that you love Just what you're thinking of If tomorrow never comes
Where sunless rivers weep Their waves into the deep, She sleeps a charmed sleep: Awake her not. Led by a single star, She came from very far To seek where shadows are Her pleasant lot.
She left the rosy morn, She left the fields of corn, For twilight cold and lorn And water springs. Through sleep, as through a veil, She sees the sky look pale, And hears the nightingale That sadly sings.
Rest, rest, a perfect rest Shed over brow and breast; Her face is toward the west, The purple land. She cannot see the grain Ripening on hill and plain; She cannot feel the rain Upon her hand.
Rest, rest, for evermore Upon a mossy shore; Rest, rest at the heart's core Till time shall cease: Sleep that no pain shall wake; Night that no morn shall break Till joy shall overtake Her perfect peace.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
To want words is not hunger
To want words Is not hunger But disease Dis ease A lack of mountains Comfort collapsed Just flat Landscape Eating the evening up Like a train Across Wyoming Roaming those thought tracks My feet made to scale Like those of fowl that Pace the low tide shore Till water or words rise To level all sign Of unusual bird Or strange mind
In the Blue Lobster Café backyard, the head chef – arms outstretched – bears what looks like a body,
but conjures six cook’s shirts, hot-laundered, pegged out, dripping in a drench of sun.
As they dry, their half-hearted semaphore becomes more urgent, untranslatable.
Sex and death are in the air this May morning: pollen and spent blossom on an aimless breeze;
crab-backs, prawn skins, clams, black-violet mussel shells, all reek in sun-baked bin-sacks.
Michael Symmons Roberts
Nobody knows this little Rose
Nobody knows this little Rose -- It might a pilgrim be Did I not take it from the ways And lift it up to thee. Only a Bee will miss it -- Only a Butterfly, Hastening from far journey -- On its breast to lie -- Only a Bird will wonder -- Only a Breeze will sigh -- Ah Little Rose -- how easy For such as thee to die!
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
The kings they came from out the south, All dressed in ermine fine; They bore Him gold and chrysoprase, And gifts of precious wine.
The shepherds came from out the north, Their coats were brown and old; They brought Him little new-born lambs-- They had not any gold.
The wise men came from out the east, And they were wrapped in white; The star that led them all the way Did glorify the night.
The angels came from heaven high, And they were clad with wings; And lo, they brought a joyful song The host of heaven sings.
The kings they knocked upon the door, The wise men entered in, The shepherds followed after them To hear the song begin.
The angels sang through all the night Until the rising sun, But little Jesus fell asleep Before the song was done.
The war works hard
How magnificent the war is! How eager and efficient! Early in the morning, it wakes up the sirens and dispatches ambulances to various places, swings corpses through the air, rolls stretchers to the wounded, summons rain from the eyes of mothers, digs into the earth dislodging many things from under the ruins . . . Some are lifeless and glistening, others are pale and still throbbing . . . It produces the most questions in the minds of children, entertains the gods by shooting fireworks and missiles into the sky, sows mines in the fields and reaps punctures and blisters, urges families to emigrate, stands beside the clergymen as they curse the devil (poor devil, he remains with one hand in the searing fire) . . . The war continues working, day and night. It inspires tyrants to deliver long speeches, awards medals to generals and themes to poets. It contributes to the industry of artificial limbs, provides food for flies, adds pages to the history books, achieves equality between killer and killed, teaches lovers to write letters, accustoms young women to waiting, fills the newspapers with articles and pictures, builds new houses for the orphans, invigorates the coffin makers, gives grave diggers a pat on the back and paints a smile on the leader’s face. The war works with unparalleled diligence! Yet no one gives it a word of praise.
It is hard for us to enter the kind of despair they must have known and because it is hard we must get in by breaking the lock if necessary for we have not the key, though for them there was no lock and the surrounding walls were supple, receiving as waves, and they drowned though not lovingly; it is we only who must enter in this way.
Tempations will beset us, ounce we are in. We may want to catalogue what they have stolen. We may feel suspicio; we may even criticize the décor of their suicidal despair, may perhaps feel it was incongruously comfortable.
Knowing the temptations then let us go in deep to their despair and their skin and know they died because words they had spoken returned always homeless to them.
The Owl and the Pussycat
1 The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful pea green boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, 'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are! What a beautiful Pussy you are!'
2 Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl! How charmingly sweet you sing! O let us be married! too long we have tarried: But what shall we do for a ring?' They sailed away, for a year and a day, To the land where the Bong-tree grows And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood With a ring at the end of his nose, His nose, His nose, With a ring at the end of his nose.
3 'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.' So they took it away, and were married next day By the Turkey who lives on the hill. They dined on mince, and slices of quince, Which they ate with a runcible spoon; And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, They danced by the light of the moon, The moon, The moon, They danced by the light of the moon.
A Poison Tree
I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I watered it in fears, Night and morning with my tears; And I sunned it with smiles, And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night, Till it bore an apple bright. And my foe beheld it shine. And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole When the night had veiled the pole; In the morning glad I see My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
The Poor Ghost
"Oh whence do you come, my dear friend, to me, With your golden hair all fallen below your knee, And your face as white as snowdrops on the lea, And your voice as hollow as the hollow sea?"
"From the other world I come back to you, My locks are uncurled with dripping drenching dew. You know the old, whilst I know the new: But tomorrow you shall know this too."
"Oh not tomorrow into the dark, I pray; Oh not tomorrow, too soon to go away: Here I feel warm and well-content and gay: Give me another year, another day."
"Am I so changed in a day and a night That mine own only love shrinks from me with fright, Is fain to turn away to left or right And cover up his eyes from the sight?"
"Indeed I loved you, my chosen friend, I loved you for life, but life has an end; Thro' sickness I was ready to tend: But death mars all, which we cannot mend.
"Indeed I loved you; I love you yet If you will stay where your bed is set, Where I have planted a violet Which the wind waves, which the dew makes wet."
"Life is gone, then love too is gone, It was a reed that I leant upon: Never doubt 1 will leave you alone And not wake you rattling bone with bone.
"I go home alone to my bed, Dug deep at the foot and deep at the head, Roofed in with a load of lead, Warm enough for the forgotten dead.
"But why did your tears soak thro' the clay, And why did your sobs wake me where I lay? I was away, far enough away: Let me sleep now till the Judgment Day."
Christina Georgina Rossetti
A Certain Lady
Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head, And drink your rushing words with eager lips, And paint my mouth for you a fragrant red, And trace your brows with tutored finger-tips. When you rehearse your list of loves to me, Oh, I can laugh and marvel, rapturous-eyed. And you laugh back, nor can you ever see The thousand little deaths my heart has died. And you believe, so well I know my part, That I am gay as morning, light as snow, And all the straining things within my heart You'll never know. Oh, I can laugh and listen, when we meet, And you bring tales of fresh adventurings, -- Of ladies delicately indiscreet, Of lingering hands, and gently whispered things. And you are pleased with me, and strive anew To sing me sagas of your late delights. Thus do you want me -- marveling, gay, and true, Nor do you see my staring eyes of nights. And when, in search of novelty, you stray, Oh, I can kiss you blithely as you go .... And what goes on, my love, while you're away, You'll never know.
She walks in Beauty
SHE walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that 's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellow'd to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impair'd the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o'er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!
George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron
Only until this cigarette is ended
Only until this cigarette is ended, A little moment at the end of all, While on the floor the quiet ashes fall, And in the firelight to a lance extended, Bizarrely with the jazzing music blended, The broken shadow dances on the wall, I will permit my memory to recall The vision of you, by all my dreams attended. And then adieu,-;farewell!-;the dream is done. Yours is a face of which I can forget The colour and the features, every one, The words not ever, and the smile not yet; But in your day this moment is the sun Upon a hill, after the sun has set.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Life is a garden, good friends are the flowers. And time spent together, life's happiest hours;
For friendship, like flowers, blooms ever more fair When carefully tended by dear friends who care;
And life's lovely garden would be sweeter by far If all who passed through it were as nice as you are.
Helen Steiner Rice
In the spring I asked the daisies If his words were true, And the clever little daisies Always knew.
Now the fields are brown and barren, Bitter autumn blows, And of all the stupid asters Not one knows.
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; 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; Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! But I, with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
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!
Would I Were a Careless Child
I would I were a careless child, Still dwelling in my Highland cave, Or roaming through the dusky wild, Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave; The cumbrous pomp of Saxon pride Accords not with the freeborn soul, Which loves the mountain's craggy side, And seeks the rocks where billows roll.
Fortune! take back these cultured lands, Take back this name of splendid sound! I hate the touch of servile hands, I hate the slaves that cringe around. Place me among the rocks I love, Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar; I ask but this - again to rove Through scenes my youth hath known before.
Few are my years, and yet I feel The world was ne'er designed for me: Ah! why do dark'ning shades conceal The hour when man must cease to be? Once I beheld a splendid dream, A visionary scene of bliss: Truth! - wherefore did thy hated beam Awake me to a world like this?
I loves - but those I love are gone; Had friends - my early friends are fled: How cheerless feels the heart alone, When all its former hopes are dead! Though gay companions o'er the bowl Dispel awhile the sense of ill' Though pleasure stirs the maddening soul, The heart - the heart - is lonely still.
How dull! to hear the voice of those Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power, Have made, though neither friends nor foes, Associates of the festive hour. Give me again a faithful few, In years and feelings still the same, And I will fly the midnight crew, Where boist'rous joy is but a name.
And woman, lovely woman! thou, My hope, my comforter, my all! How cold must be my bosom now, When e'en thy smiles begin to pall! Without a sigh would I resign This busy scene of splendid woe, To make that calm contentment mine, Which virtue know, or seems to know.
Fain would I fly the haunts of men - I seek to shun, not hate mankind; My breast requires the sullen glen, Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind. Oh! that to me the wings were given Which bear the turtle to her nest! Then would I cleave the vault of heaven, To flee away, and be at rest.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
ONCE upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,-; While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. "'T is some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door; Only this and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow;-;vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow-;sorrow for the lost Lenore, For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore: Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me-;filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating "'T is some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door, Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door: This it is and nothing more."
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"-;here I opened wide the door:-; Darkness there and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore:" Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. "Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice; Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore; Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore: T is the wind and nothing more."
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore. Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door, Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door: Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,-; "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore: Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning-;little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door, Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore."
But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing further then he uttered, not a feather then he fluttered, Till I scarcely more than muttered,-;"Other friends have flown before; On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before." Then the bird said, "Nevermore."
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore: Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore Of 'Never-;nevermore.'
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door; Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore, What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking "Nevermore."
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee-;by these angels he hath sent thee Respite-;respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!" Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore." Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil! Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-; On this home by Horror haunted-;tell me truly, I implore: Is there-;is there balm in Gilead?-;tell me-;tell me, I implore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil-;prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us, by that God we both adore, Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore: Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting: "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor: And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted - nevermore!
Edgar Allan Poe
I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me.
I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.
You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign.
You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all.
Ode on a Grecian Urn
Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness, Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape Of deities or mortals, or of both, In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd, Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, Though winning near the goal-;yet, do not grieve; She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; And, happy melodist, unwearièd, For ever piping songs for ever new; More happy love! more happy, happy love! For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd, For ever panting, and for ever young; All breathing human passion far above, That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd, A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
Who are these coming to the sacrifice? To what green altar, O mysterious priest, Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? What little town by river or sea-shore, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn? And, little town, thy streets for evermore Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.
O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed; Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,-;that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'
Creed or Christ
No man loves God who hates his kind, Who tramples on his brother's heart and soul; Who seeks to shackle, cloud, or fog the mind By fears of hell has not perceived our goal.
God-sent are all religions blest; And Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life, To give the heavy laden rest And peace from sorrow, sin, and strife.
Behold the Universal Spirit came To all the churches, not to one alone; On Pentecostal morn a tongue of flame Round each apostle as a halo shone.
Since then, as vultures ravenous with greed, We oft have battled for an empty name, And sought by dogma, edict, cult, or creed, To send each other to the quenchless flame.
Is Christ then twain? Was Cephas, Paul, To save the world, nailed to the tree? Then why divisions here at all? Christ's love enfolds both you and me.
His pure sweet love is not confined By creed which segregate and raise a wall. His love enfolds, embraces human kind, No matter what ourselves or Him we call.
Then why not take Him at His word? Why hold to creeds which tear apart? But one thing matters, be it heard That brother love fill every heart.
There's but one thing the world has need to know. There's but one balm for all our human woe: There's but one way that leads to heaven above-- That way is human sympathy and love.
Our generation will be known for nothing
Our generation will be known for nothing. Never will anybody say, We were the peak of mankind. That is wrong, the truth is Our generation was a failure. Thinking that We actually succeeded Is a waste. And we know Living only for money and power Is the way to go. Being loving, respectful, and kind Is a dumb thing to do. Forgetting about that time, Will not be easy, but we will try. Changing our world for the better Is something we never did. Giving up Was how we handled our problems. Working hard Was a joke. We knew that People thought we couldn't come back That might be true, Unless we turn things around
Unless we turn things around That might be true, People thought we couldn't come back We knew that Was a joke. Working hard Was how we handled our problems. Giving up Is something we never did. Changing our world for the better Will not be easy, but we will try. Forgetting about that time, Is a dumb thing to do. Being loving, respectful, and kind Is the way to go. Living only for money and power Is a waste. And we know We actually succeeded Thinking that Our generation was a failure. That is wrong, the truth is We were the peak of mankind. Never will anybody say, Our generation will be known for nothing.
I Long to Hold Some Lady
I long to hold some lady For my love is far away, And will not come tomorrow And was not here today.
There is no flesh so perfect As on my lady's bone, And yet it seems so distant When I am all alone:
As though she were a masterpiece In some castled town, That pilgrims come to visit And priests to copy down.
Alas, I cannot travel To a love I have so deep Or sleep too close beside A love I want to keep.
But I long to hold some lady, For flesh is warm and sweet. Cold skeletons go marching Each night beside my feet.
Ozymandias of Egypt
I met a traveller from an antique land Who said:-;Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things, The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains: round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Ode to Autumn
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 moss'd 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'erbrimm'd their clammy cells.
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-reap'd furrow sound asleep, Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers: And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep Steady thy laden head across a brook; Or by a cyder-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 barrèd 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.
Winds of May
Winds of May, that dance on the sea, Dancing a ring-around in glee From furrow to furrow, while overhead The foam flies up to be garlanded, In silvery arches spanning the air, Saw you my true love anywhere? Welladay! Welladay! For the winds of May! Love is unhappy when love is away!
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
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.
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!
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failings hand we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.
IN Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round: And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills Where blossom'd many an incense-bearing tree; And here were forests ancient as the hills, Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But O, that deep romantic chasm which slanted Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover! A savage place! as holy and enchanted As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted By woman wailing for her demon-lover! And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething, As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing, A mighty fountain momently was forced; Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail: And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever It flung up momently the sacred river. Five miles meandering with a mazy motion Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, Then reach'd the caverns measureless to man, And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean: And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure Floated midway on the waves; Where was heard the mingled measure From the fountain and the caves. It was a miracle of rare device, A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
A damsel with a dulcimer In a vision once I saw: It was an Abyssinian maid, And on her dulcimer she play'd, Singing of Mount Abora. Could I revive within me, Her symphony and song, To such a deep delight 'twould win me, That with music loud and long, I would build that dome in air, That sunny dome! those caves of ice! And all who heard should see them there, And all should cry, Beware! Beware! His flashing eyes, his floating hair! Weave a circle round him thrice, And close your eyes with holy dread, For he on honey-dew hath fed, And drunk the milk of Paradise.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so, For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow, Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee, Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow, And soonest our best men with thee doe goe, Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie. Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men, And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell, And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well, And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then; One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally, And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead. Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one, Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun, Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods; For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W. H. Auden
Madonna of the Evening Flowers
All day long I have been working Now I am tired. I call: "Where are you?" But there is only the oak tree rustling in the wind. The house is very quiet, The sun shines in on your books, On your scissors and thimble just put down, But you are not there. Suddenly I am lonely: Where are you? I go about searching.
Then I see you, Standing under a spire of pale blue larkspur, With a basket of roses on your arm. You are cool, like silver, And you smile. I think the Canterbury bells are playing little tunes, You tell me that the peonies need spraying, That the columbines have overrun all bounds, That the pyrus japonica should be cut back and rounded. You tell me these things. But I look at you, heart of silver, White heart-flame of polished silver, Burning beneath the blue steeples of the larkspur, And I long to kneel instantly at your feet, While all about us peal the loud, sweet Te Deums of the Canterbury bells.
One Perfect Rose
A single flow'r he sent me, since we met. All tenderly his messenger he chose; Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet - One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret; 'My fragile leaves,' it said, 'his heart enclose.' Love long has taken for his amulet One perfect rose.
Why is it no one ever sent me yet One perfect limousine, do you suppose? Ah no, it's always just my luck to get One perfect rose.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
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.
I saw a jolly hunter
I saw a jolly hunter With a jolly gun Walking in the country In the jolly sun. In the jolly meadow Sat a jolly hare. Saw the jolly hunter. Took jolly care. Hunter jolly eager- Sight of jolly prey. Forgot gun pointing Wrong jolly way. Jolly hunter jolly head Over heels gone. Jolly old safety catch Not jolly on. Bang went the jolly gun. Hunter jolly dead. Jolly hare got clean away. Jolly good, I said.
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 Poe
Life is fine
I went down to the river, I set down on the bank. I tried to think but couldn't, So I jumped in and sank.
I came up once and hollered! I came up twice and cried! If that water hadn't a-been so cold I might've sunk and died.
But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!
I took the elevator Sixteen floors above the ground. I thought about my baby And thought I would jump down.
I stood there and I hollered! I stood there and I cried! If it hadn't a-been so high I might've jumped and died.
But it was High up there! It was high!
So since I'm still here livin', I guess I will live on. I could've died for love-- But for livin' I was born
Though you may hear me holler, And you may see me cry-- I'll be dogged, sweet baby, If you gonna see me die.
Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!
You are me, and I am you. Isn't it obvious that we "inter-are"? You cultivate the flower in yourself, so that I will be beautiful. I transform the garbage in myself, so that you will not have to suffer.
I support you; you support me. I am in this world to offer you peace; you are in this world to bring me joy.
Nhat Thich Hanh
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 wingéd seraphs in 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 high-born kinsmen 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 her sepulchre there by the sea-- In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Edgar Allan Poe
Weep not too much
Weep not too much, my darling; Sigh not too oft for me; Say not the face of Nature Has lost its charm for thee. I have enough of anguish In my own breast alone; Thou canst not ease the burden, Love, By adding still thine own. I know the faith and fervour Of that true heart of thine; But I would have it hopeful As thou wouldst render mine. At night, when I lie waking, More soothing it will be To say 'She slumbers calmly now,' Than say 'She weeps for me.'
When through the prison grating The holy moonbeams shine, And I am wildly longing To see the orb divine Not crossed, deformed, and sullied By those relentless bars That will not show the crescent moon, And scarce the twinkling stars,
It is my only comfort To think, that unto thee The sight is not forbidden - The face of heaven is free. If I could think Zerona Is gazing upward now - Is gazing with a tearless eye A calm unruffled brow;
That moon upon her spirit Sheds sweet, celestial balm, - The thought, like Angel's whisper, My misery would calm. And when, at early morning, A faint flush comes to me, Reflected from those glowing skies I almost weep to see;
Or when I catch the murmur Of gently swaying trees, Or hear the louder swelling Of the soul-inspiring breeze, And pant to feel its freshness Upon my burning brow, Or sigh to see the twinkling leaf, And watch the waving bough;
If, from these fruitless yearnings Thou wouldst deliver me, Say that the charms of Nature Are lovely still to thee; While I am thus repining, O! let me but believe, 'These pleasures are not lost to her,' And I will cease to grieve.
O, scorn not Nature's bounties! My soul partakes with thee. Drink bliss from all her fountains, Drink for thyself and me! Say not, 'My soul is buried In dungeon gloom with thine;' But say, 'His heart is here with me; His spirit drinks with mine.
I start skipping like a child
And For no reason I turn into a leaf That is carried so high I kiss the sun's mouth And dissolve.
And For no reason A thousand birds Choose my head for a conference table, Start passing their Cups of wine And their wild songbooks all around.
And For every reason in existence I begin to eternally, To eternally laugh and love!
When I turn into a leaf And start dancing, I run to kiss our beautiful Friend And I dissolve in the Truth That I Am.
'The Human Seasons'
Four Seasons fill the measure of the year; There are four seasons in the mind of man: He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously Spring's honied cud of youthful thought he loves To ruminate, and by such dreaming high Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings He furleth close; contented so to look On mists in idleness--to let fair things Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature, Or else he would forego his mortal nature.
A daughter of Eve
A fool I was to sleep at noon, And wake when night is chilly Beneath the comfortless cold moon; A fool to pluck my rose too soon, A fool to snap my lily.
My garden-plot I have not kept; Faded and all-forsaken, I weep as I have never wept: Oh it was summer when I slept, It's winter now I waken.
Talk what you please of future spring And sun-warm'd sweet to-morrow: Stripp'd bare of hope and everything, No more to laugh, no more to sing, I sit alone with sorrow.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
The deserted garden
I MIND me in the days departed, How often underneath the sun With childish bounds I used to run To a garden long deserted.
The beds and walks were vanish'd quite; And wheresoe'er had struck the spade, The greenest grasses Nature laid, To sanctify her right.
I call'd the place my wilderness, For no one enter'd there but I. The sheep look'd in, the grass to espy, And pass'd it ne'ertheless.
The trees were interwoven wild, And spread their boughs enough about To keep both sheep and shepherd out, But not a happy child.
Adventurous joy it was for me! I crept beneath the boughs, and found A circle smooth of mossy ground Beneath a poplar-tree.
Old garden rose-trees hedged it in, Bedropt with roses waxen-white, Well satisfied with dew and light, And careless to be seen.
Long years ago, it might befall, When all the garden flowers were trim, The grave old gardener prided him On these the most of all.
Some Lady, stately overmuch, Here moving with a silken noise, Has blush'd beside them at the voice That liken'd her to such.
Or these, to make a diadem, She often may have pluck'd and twined; Half-smiling as it came to mind, That few would look at them.
O, little thought that Lady proud, A child would watch her fair white rose, When buried lay her whiter brows, And silk was changed for shroud!
Nor thought that gardener (full of scorns For men unlearn'd and simple phrase) A child would bring it all its praise, By creeping through the thorns!
To me upon my low moss seat, Though never a dream the roses sent Of science or love's compliment, I ween they smelt as sweet.
It did not move my grief to see The trace of human step departed: Because the garden was deserted, The blither place for me!
Friends, blame me not! a narrow ken Hath childhood 'twixt the sun and sward: We draw the moral afterward¡ We feel the gladness then.
And gladdest hours for me did glide In silence at the rose-tree wall: A thrush made gladness musical Upon the other side.
Nor he nor I did e'er incline To peck or pluck the blossoms white: How should I know but that they might Lead lives as glad as mine?
To make my hermit-home complete, I brought clear water from the spring Praised in its own low murmuring, And cresses glossy wet.
And so, I thought, my likeness grew (Without the melancholy tale) To 'gentle hermit of the dale,' And Angelina too.
For oft I read within my nook Such minstrel stories; till the breeze Made sounds poetic in the trees, And then I shut the book.
If I shut this wherein I write, I hear no more the wind athwart Those trees, nor feel that childish heart Delighting in delight.
My childhood from my life is parted, My footstep from the moss which drew Its fairy circle round: anew The garden is deserted.
Another thrush may there rehearse The madrigals which sweetest are; No more for me!¡ myself afar Do sing a sadder verse.
Ah me! ah me! when erst I lay In that child's-nest so greenly wrought, I laugh'd unto myself and thought, 'The time will pass away.'
And still I laugh'd, and did not fear But that, whene'er was pass'd away The childish time, some happier play My womanhood would cheer.
I knew the time would pass away; And yet, beside the rose-tree wall, Dear God, how seldom, if at all, Did I look up to pray!
The time is past: and now that grows The cypress high among the trees, And I behold white sepulchres As well as the white rose,
When wiser, meeker thoughts are given, And I have learnt to lift my face, Reminded how earth's greenest place The colour draws from heaven,
It something saith for earthly pain, But more for heavenly promise free, That I who was, would shrink to be That happy child again.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Death Wants More Death
death wants more death, and its webs are full: I remember my father’s garage, how child-like I would brush the corpses of flies from the windows they thought were escape- their sticky, ugly, vibrant bodies shouting like dumb crazy dogs against the glass only to spin and flit in that second larger than hell or heaven onto the edge of the ledge, and then the spider from his dank hole nervous and exposed the puff of body swelling hanging there not really quite knowing, and then knowing- something sending it down its string, the wet web, toward the weak shield of buzzing, the pulsing; a last desperate moving hair-leg there against the glass there alive in the sun, spun in white; and almost like love: the closing over, the first hushed spider-sucking: filling its sack upon this thing that lived; crouching there upon its back drawing its certain blood as the world goes by outside and my temples scream and I hurl the broom against them: the spider dull with spider-anger still thinking of its prey and waving an amazed broken leg; the fly very still, a dirty speck stranded to straw; I shake the killer loose and he walks lame and peeved towards some dark corner but I intercept his dawdling his crawling like some broken hero, and the straws smash his legs now waving above his head and looking looking for the enemy and somewhat valiant, dying without apparent pain simply crawling backward piece by piece leaving nothing there until at last the red gut sack splashes its secrets, and I run child-like with God’s anger a step behind, back to simple sunlight, wondering as the world goes by with curled smile if anyone else saw or sensed my crime
Burly dozing humblebee! Where thou art is clime for me. Let them sail for Porto Rique, Far-off heats through seas to seek, I will follow thee alone, Thou animated torrid zone! Zig-zag steerer, desert-cheerer, Let me chase thy waving lines, Keep me nearer, me thy hearer, Singing over shrubs and vines.
Insect lover of the sun, Joy of thy dominion! Sailor of the atmosphere, Swimmer through the waves of air, Voyager of light and noon, Epicurean of June, Wait I prithee, till I come Within ear-shot of thy hum,-- All without is martyrdom.
When the south wind, in May days, With a net of shining haze, Silvers the horizon wall, And, with softness touching all, Tints the human countenance With a color of romance, And, infusing subtle heats, Turns the sod to violets, Thou in sunny solitudes, Rover of the underwoods, The green silence dost displace, With thy mellow breezy bass.
Hot midsummer's petted crone, Sweet to me thy drowsy tune, Telling of countless sunny hours, Long days, and solid banks of flowers, Of gulfs of sweetness without bound In Indian wildernesses found, Of Syrian peace, immortal leisure, Firmest cheer and bird-like pleasure.
Aught unsavory or unclean, Hath my insect never seen, But violets and bilberry bells, Maple sap and daffodels, Grass with green flag half-mast high, Succory to match the sky, Columbine with horn of honey, Scented fern, and agrimony, Clover, catch fly, adders-tongue, And brier-roses dwelt among; All beside was unknown waste, All was picture as he passed.
Wiser far than human seer, Yellow-breeched philosopher! Seeing only what is fair, Sipping only what is sweet, Thou dost mock at fate and care, Leave the chaff and take the wheat, When the fierce north-western blast Cools sea and land so far and fast, Thou already slumberest deep,-- Woe and want thou canst out-sleep,-- Want and woe which torture us, Thy sleep makes ridiculous.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Please Call Me by My True Names
Don't say that I will depart tomorrow -- even today I am still arriving.
Look deeply: every second I am arriving to be a bud on a Spring branch, to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings, learning to sing in my new nest, to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that is alive.
I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river. And I am the bird that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.
I am the frog swimming happily in the clear water of a pond. And I am the grass-snake that silently feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks. And I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.
I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat, who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate. And I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.
I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands. And I am the man who has to pay his "debt of blood" to my people dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.
My joy is like Spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth. My pain is like a river of tears, so vast it fills the four oceans.
Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once, so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up, and so the door of my heart can be left open, the door of compassion.
Nhat Thich Hanh
If thou must love me
If thou must love me, let it be for nought Except for love's sake only. Do not say 'I love her for her smile-;her look-;her way Of speaking gently,-;for a trick of thought That falls in well with mine, and certes brought A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'-; For these things in themselves, Beloved, may Be changed, or change for thee,-;and love, so wrought, May be unwrought so. Neither love me for Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,-; A creature might forget to weep, who bore Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby! But love me for love's sake, that evermore Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
When I am dead
When I am dead, my dearest, Sing no sad songs for me: Plant thou no roses at my head, Nor shady cypress tree: Be the green grass above me With showers and dewdrops wet; And if thou wilt, remember, And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows, I shall not feel the rain; I shall not hear the nightingale Sing on, as if in pain; And dreaming through the twilight That doth not rise nor set, Haply I may remember, And haply may forget.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
OUT of me unworthy and unknown The vibrations of deathless music; "With malice toward none, with charity for all." Out of me the forgiveness of millions toward millions, And the beneficent face of a nation Shining with justice and truth. I am Anne Rutledge who sleep beneath these weeds, Beloved in life of Abraham Lincoln, Wedded to him, not through union, But through separation. Bloom forever, O Republic, From the dust of my bosom!
Edgar Lee Masters
The hunchèd camels of the night Trouble the bright And silver waters of the moon. The Maiden of the Morn will soon Through Heaven stray and sing, Star gathering.
Now while the dark about our loves is strewn, Light of my dark, blood of my heart, O come! And night will catch her breath up, and be dumb.
Leave thy father, leave thy mother And thy brother; Leave the black tents of thy tribe apart! Am I not thy father and thy brother, And thy mother? And thou -- what needest with thy tribe's black tents Who hast the red pavilion of my heart?
To a butterfly
Stay near me--do not take thy flight! A little longer stay in sight! Much converse do I find in thee, Historian of my infancy!
Float near me; do not yet depart! Dead times revive in thee: Thou bring'st, gay creature as thou art! A solemn image to my heart, My father's family!
Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days, The time, when, in our childish plays, My sister Emmeline and I Together chased the butterfly!
A very hunter did I rush Upon the prey:--with leaps and springs I followed on from brake to bush; But she, God love her, feared to brush The dust from off its wings.
Wind on the Hill
No one can tell me, Nobody knows, Where the wind comes from, Where the wind goes.
It's flying from somewhere As fast as it can, I couldn't keep up with it, Not if I ran.
But if I stopped holding The string of my kite, It would blow with the wind For a day and a night.
And then when I found it, Wherever it blew, I should know that the wind Had been going there too.
So then I could tell them Where the wind goes... But where the wind comes from Nobody knows.
A. A. Milne
All the World's a Stage
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.
The light became her grace and dwelt among Blind eyes and shadows that are formed as men; Lo, how the light doth melt us into song:
The broken sunlight for a healm she beareth Who has my heart in jurisdiction. In wild-wood never fawn nor allow fareth So silent light; no gossamer is spun So delicate as she is, when the sun Drives the clear emeralds from the bended grasses Lest they should parch too swiftly, where she passes.
When the cows come home the milk is coming
When the cows come home the milk is coming, Honey's made while the bees are humming; Duck and drake on the rushy lake, And the deer live safe in the breezy brake; And timid, funny, brisk little bunny, Winks his nose and sits all sunny.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
The Way Through The Woods
They shut the road through the woods Seventy years ago. Weather and rain have undone it again, And now you would never know There was once a path through the woods Before they planted the trees: It is underneath the coppice and heath, And the thin anemones. Only the keeper sees That, where the ring-dove broods And the badgers roll at ease, There was once a road through the woods.
Yet, if you enter the woods Of a summer evening late, When the night-air cools on the trout-ring'd pools Where the otter whistles his mate (They fear not men in the woods Because they see so few), You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet And the swish of a skirt in the dew, Steadily cantering through The misty solitudes, As though they perfectly knew The old lost road through the woods ... But there is no road through the woods.
God The Artist
God, when you thought of a pine tree, How did you think of a star? How did you dream of the Milky Way To guide us from afar. How did you think of a clean brown pool Where flecks of shadows are?
God, when you thought of a cobweb, How did you think of dew? How did you know a spider's house Had shingles bright and new? How did you know the human folk Would love them like they do?
God, when you patterned a bird song, Flung on a silver string, How did you know the ecstasy That crystal call would bring? How did you think of a bubbling throat And a darling speckled wing?
God, when you chiseled a raindrop, How did you think of a stem, Bearing a lovely satin leaf To hold the tiny gem? How did you know a million drops Would deck the morning's hem?
Why did you mate the moonlit night With the honeysuckle vines? How did you know Madeira bloom Distilled ecstatic wines? How did you weave the velvet disk Where tangled perfumes are? God, when you thought of a pine tree, How did you think of a star?
The Darkling Thrush
I leant upon a coppice gate, When Frost was spectre-gray, And Winter's dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day. The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires.
The land's sharp features seemed to me The Century's corpse outleant, Its crypt the cloudy canopy, The wind its death-lament. The ancient pulse of germ and birth Was shrunken hard and dry, And every spirit upon earth Seemed fervorless as I.
At once a voice arose among The bleak twigs overhead, In a full-hearted evensong Of joy illimited. An aged thrush, frail, gaunt and small, With blast-beruffled plume, Had chosen thus to fling his soul Upon the growing gloom.
So little cause for carolings Of such ecstatic sound Was written on terrestrial things Afar or nigh around, That I could think there trembled through His happy good-night air Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew, And I was unaware.
Song of Nature
Mine are the night and morning, The pits of air, the gulf of space, The sportive sun, the gibbous moon, The innumerable days.
I hid in the solar glory, I am dumb in the pealing song, I rest on the pitch of the torrent, In slumber I am strong.
No numbers have counted my tallies, No tribes my house can fill, I sit by the shining Fount of Life, And pour the deluge still;
And ever by delicate powers Gathering along the centuries From race on race the rarest flowers, My wreath shall nothing miss.
And many a thousand summers My apples ripened well, And light from meliorating stars With firmer glory fell.
I wrote the past in characters Of rock and fire the scroll, The building in the coral sea, The planting of the coal.
And thefts from satellites and rings And broken stars I drew, And out of spent and aged things I formed the world anew;
What time the gods kept carnival, Tricked out in star and flower, And in cramp elf and saurian forms They swathed their too much power.
Time and Thought were my surveyors, They laid their courses well, They boiled the sea, and baked the layers Or granite, marl, and shell.
But he, the man-child glorious,-- Where tarries he the while? The rainbow shines his harbinger, The sunset gleams his smile.
My boreal lights leap upward, Forthright my planets roll, And still the man-child is not born, The summit of the whole.
Must time and tide forever run? Will never my winds go sleep in the west? Will never my wheels which whirl the sun And satellites have rest?
Too much of donning and doffing, Too slow the rainbow fades, I weary of my robe of snow, My leaves and my cascades;
I tire of globes and races, Too long the game is played; What without him is summer's pomp, Or winter's frozen shade?
I travail in pain for him, My creatures travail and wait; His couriers come by squadrons, He comes not to the gate.
Twice I have moulded an image, And thrice outstretched my hand, Made one of day, and one of night, And one of the salt sea-sand.
One in a Judaean manger, And one by Avon stream, One over against the mouths of Nile, And one in the Academe.
I moulded kings and saviours, And bards o'er kings to rule;-- But fell the starry influence short, The cup was never full.
Yet whirl the glowing wheels once more, And mix the bowl again; Seethe, fate! the ancient elements, Heat, cold, wet, dry, and peace, and pain.
Let war and trade and creeds and song Blend, ripen race on race, The sunburnt world a man shall breed Of all the zones, and countless days.
No ray is dimmed, no atom worn, My oldest force is good as new, And the fresh rose on yonder thorn Gives back the bending heavens in dew.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Is it winter again, is it cold again, didn't Frank just slip on the ice, didn't he heal, weren't the spring seeds planted
didn't the night end, didn't the melting ice flood the narrow gutters
wasn't my body rescued, wasn't it safe
didn't the scar form, invisible above the injury
terror and cold, didn't they just end, wasn't the back garden harrowed and planted-
I remember how the earth felt, red and dense, in stiff rows, weren't the seeds planted, didn't vines climb the south wall
I can't hear your voice for the wind's cries, whistling over the bare ground
I no longer care what sound it makes
when was I silenced, when did it first seem pointless to describe that sound
what it sounds like can't change what it is-
didn't the night end, wasn't the earth safe when it was planted
didn't we plant the seeds, weren't we necessary to the earth,
the vines, were they harvested?
There is another sky
There is another sky, Ever serene and fair, And there is another sunshine, Though it be darkness there; Never mind faded forests, Austin, Never mind silent fields- Here is a little forest, Whose leaf is ever green; Here is a brighter garden, Where not a frost has been; In its unfading flowers I hear the bright bee hum: Prithee, my brother, Into my garden come!
The steadfast coursing of the stars, The waves that ripple to the shore, The vigorous trees which year by year Spread upwards more and more;
The jewel forming in the mine, The snow that falls so soft and light, The rising and the setting sun, The growing glooms of night;
All natural things both live and move In natural peace that is their own; Only in our disordered life Almost is she unknown.
She is not rest, nor sleep, nor death; Order and motion ever stand To carry out her firm behests As guards at her right hand.
And something of her living force Fashions the lips when Christians say To Him Whose strength sustains the world, "Give us Thy Peace, we pray!"
Bessie Rayner Parkes
The Garden of Love
I went to the Garden of Love, And saw what I never had seen: A Chapel was built in the midst, Where I used to play on the green.
And the gates of this Chapel were shut, And "Thou shalt not'' writ over the door; So I turn'd to the Garden of Love That so many sweet flowers bore;
And I saw it was filled with graves And tomb-stones, where flowers should be; And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds, And binding with briars my joys and desires.
How Do I Love Thee?
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of everyday's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints,-;I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life!-;and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Songs In A Cornfield
A song in a cornfield Where corn begins to fall, Where reapers are reaping, Reaping one, reaping all. Sing pretty Lettice, Sing Rachel, sing May; Only Marian cannot sing While her sweetheart's away.
Where is he gone to And why does he stay? He came across the green sea But for a day, Across the deep green sea To help with the hay.
His hair was curly yellow And his eyes were grey, He laughed a merry laugh And said a sweet say. Where is he gone to That he comes not home? To-day or to-morrow He surely will come. Let him haste to joy Lest he lag for sorrow, For one weeps to-day Who'll not weep to-morrow: To-day she must weep For gnawing sorrow, To-night she may sleep And not wake to-morrow.
May sang with Rachel In the waxing warm weather, Lettice sang with them, They sang all together:—
'Take the wheat in your arm Whilst day is broad above, Take the wheat to your bosom, But not a false love. Out in the fields Summer heat gloweth, Out in the fields Summer wind bloweth, Out in the fields Summer friend showeth, Out in the fields Summer wheat groweth; But in the winter When summer heat is dead And summer wind has veered And summer friend has fled, Only summer wheat remaineth, White cakes and bread. Take the wheat, clasp the wheat That's food for maid and dove; Take the wheat to your bosom, But not a false false love.'
A silence of full noontide heat Grew on them at their toil: The farmer's dog woke up from sleep, The green snake hid her coil. Where grass stood thickest, bird and beast Sought shadows as they could, The reaping men and women paused And sat down where they stood; They ate and drank and were refreshed, For rest from toil is good.
While the reapers took their ease, Their sickles lying by, Rachel sang a second strain, And singing seemed to sigh:—
'There goes the swallow— Could we but follow! Hasty swallow stay, Point us out the way; Look back swallow, turn back swallow, stop swallow.
'There went the swallow— Too late to follow: Lost our note of way, Lost our chance to-day; Good bye swallow, sunny swallow, wise swallow.
'After the swallow All sweet things follow: All things go their way, Only we must stay, Must not follow; good bye swallow, good swallow.'
Then listless Marian raised her head Among the nodding sheaves; Her voice was sweeter than that voice; She sang like one who grieves: Her voice was sweeter than its wont Among the nodding sheaves; All wondered while they heard her sing Like one who hopes and grieves:—
'Deeper than the hail can smite, Deeper than the frost can bite, Deep asleep through day and night, Our delight.
'Now thy sleep no pang can break, No to-morrow bid thee wake, Not our sobs who sit and ache For thy sake.
'Is it dark or light below? Oh, but is it cold like snow? Dost thou feel the green things grow Fast or slow?
'Is it warm or cold beneath, Oh, but is it cold like death? Cold like death, without a breath, Cold like death?'
If he comes to-day He will find her weeping; If he comes to-morrow He will find her sleeping; If he comes the next day He'll not find her at all, He may tear his curling hair, Beat his breast and call.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever
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.
The lily has an air
The lily has an air, And the snowdrop a grace, And the sweetpea a way, And the heartsease a face, - Yet there's nothing like the rose When she blows.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
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 dimm'd: And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, Nor shall death brag thou wander'st 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 gives life to thee.
A green cornfield
The earth was green, the sky was blue: I saw and heard one sunny morn A skylark hang betweent he two, A singing speck above the corn;
A stage below, in gay accord, White butterflies danced on the wing, And still the singing skylark soared, And silent sank and soared to sing.
The cornfield stretched a tender green To right and left beside my walks; I knew he had a nest unseen Somewhere among the million stalks.
And as I paused to hear his song While swift the sunny moments slid, Perhaps his mate sat listening long, And listened longer than I did.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
There are little eyes upon you
There are little eyes upon you, And they are watching night and day; There are little ears that quickly Take in every word you say. There are little hands all eager To do everything you do; and a little boy who's dreaming Of the day he'll be like you. You're the little fellow's idol; You're the wisest of the wise; In his little mind, about you No suspicions ever rise. He believes in you devotedlly, Holds that all you say and do, He will say and do in your way When he's grown up like you. There's a wide-eyed little fellow Who believes you're always right; And his ears are always open, And he watches day and night. You are setting an example Every day in all you do; For the little boy who's waiting To grow up to be just like you.
Anthem for Doomed Youth
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries for them from prayers or bells, Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs- The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all? Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes. The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall; Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
She dwelt among the untrodden ways Beside the springs of Dove, Maid whom there were none to praise And very few to love:
A violet by a mossy tone Half hidden from the eye! -- Fair as a star, when only one Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know When Lucy ceased to be; But she is in her grave, and, oh, The difference to me!
The Chambered Nautilus
This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign, Sails the unshadowed main, The venturous bark that flings On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings, And coral reefs lie bare, Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.
Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl; Wrecked is the ship of pearl! And every chambered cell, Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell, As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell, Before thee lies revealed, Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!
Year after year beheld the silent toil That spread his lustrous coil; Still, as the spiral grew, He left the past year's dwelling for the new, Stole with soft steps its shining archway through, Built up its idle door, Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.
Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee, Child of the wandering sea, Cast from her lap, forlorn! From thy dead lips a clearer note is born Than ever Triton blew from wreathèd horn! While on mine ear it rings, Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low-vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!
Oliver Wendell Holmes
When a mountain skylark sings
When a mounting skylark sings In the sunlit summer morn, I know that heaven is up on high, And on earth are fields of corn. But when a nightingale sings In the moonlit summer even, I know not if earth is merely earth, Only that heaven is heaven.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
When the Eternal first made Sound
When the Eternal first made Sound A myriad ears sprang out to hear, And throughout all the Universe There rolled an echo deep and clear: 'All Glory to the God of Sound!'
When the Eternal first made Light A myriad eyes sprang out to look, And hearing ears and seeing eyes, Once more a mighty choral took: 'All Glory to the God of Light!'
When the Eternal first gave Love, A myriad hearts sprang into life; Ears filled with music, eyes with light, Pealed forth with hearts with love all rife: 'All Glory to the God of Love!'
Miss Frank Miller
I loved you first: but afterwards your love
I loved you first: but afterwards your love, Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove. Which owes the other most? My love was long, And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong; I loved and guessed at you, you contrued me And loved me for what might or might not be— Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong. For verily love knows not ‘mine' or ‘thine'; With separate ‘I' and ‘thou' free love has done, For one is both and both are one in love: Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine'; Both have the strength and both the length thereof, Both of us, of the love which makes us one.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
Be thou as chaste as ice, ...
Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
..., for there is only one thing in the world worse than ...
(It is silly of you, for) there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
All the world loves
All the world loves a lover
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The world will not be destroyed by ...
The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.