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?
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
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.
shepherds came from out the north, Their coats were brown and old; They
brought Him little new-born lambs-- They had not any gold.
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
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
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.
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,
"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.
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
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;
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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."
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
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.'
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
"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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
I knew the language of the floweret; 'My fragile leaves,' it
said, 'his heart enclose.' Love long has taken for his amulet One perfect
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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!
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!
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
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:
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
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
I tire of globes and races, Too long the game is played;
What without him is summer's pomp, Or winter's frozen shade?
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
One in a Judaean manger, And one by Avon stream,
One over against the mouths of Nile, And one in the Academe.
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
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
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
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.
is not rest, nor sleep, nor death; Order and motion ever stand To carry
out her firm behests As guards at her right hand.
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.
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
While the reapers took their ease, Their sickles lying by,
Rachel sang a second strain, And singing seemed to sigh:—
goes the swallow— Could we but follow! Hasty swallow stay, Point us
out the way; Look back swallow, turn back swallow, stop swallow.
went the swallow— Too late to follow: Lost our note of way, Lost our
chance to-day; Good bye swallow, sunny swallow, wise swallow.
the swallow All sweet things follow: All things go their way, Only
we must stay, Must not follow; good bye swallow, good swallow.'
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.
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
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
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;
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;
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.
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
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
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.