The Magical World of Poetry

compiled by

Mark James Wooding

Contents

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Index of Poets

Index of First Lines

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A Book, by Emily Dickinson

A Boy and His Dog, by Edgar Guest

A Double Standard, by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

A Dream Within a Dream, by Edgar Allan Poe

A Lesson of Mercy, by Alice Cary

A Maiden, by Sara Teasdale

A Piteous Plaint, by Eugene Field

A Prayer, Under the Pressure of Violent Anguish, by Robert Burns

A Red, Red Rose, by Robert Burns

A Service of Song, by Emily Dickinson

A Song of the Princess, by Sara Teasdale

A Visit from St. Nicholas, by Clement Clarke Moore

A Winter Night, by Sara Teasdale

After the Quarrel, by Paul Laurence Dunbar

After the Winter, by Claude McKay

An Easy-Goin' Feller, by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allan Poe

As I Watch'd the Ploughman Ploughing, by Walt Whitman

"At the Mid Hour of Night...", by Thomas Moore

Auld Robin Gray, by Anne Lindsay

Barter, by Sara Teasdale

Because, by Sara Teasdale

Bed in Summer, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Birds in Summer, by Mary Howitt

Block City, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Brahma, by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Casey at the Bat, by Ernest L. Thayer

Change, by Sara Teasdale

Children, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Clare Market, by Eugene Field

Come, by Sara Teasdale

Continuities, by Walt Whitman

Darest Thou Now O Soul, by Walt Whitman

"Death Be Not Proud...", by John Donne

Death of an Old Carriage Horse, by George Moses Horton

Der Mann im Kellar, by Eugene Field

Dibdin's Ghost, by Eugene Field

Dutch Lullaby, by Eugene Field

Eldorado, by Edgar Allan Poe

For Annie, by Edgar Allan Poe

François Villon, by Eugene Field

George Gray, by Edgar Lee Masters

Good-Night, by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Guenevere, by Sara Teasdale

Gunga Din, by Rudyard Kipling

Halcyon Days, by Walt Whitman

Hamlet's Soliloquy on Suicide, by William Shakespeare

Haunted Houses, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Her Hair, by James Whitcomb Riley

Herbert Marshall, by Edgar Lee Masters

Home, by Edgar Guest

"How Do I Love Thee?...", by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"I Have a Rendezvous with Death", by Alan Seeger

"I Loved Thee Once...", by Robert Aytoun

"I Prithee Let My Heart Alone", by Thomas Stanley

"I Prithee Send Me Back My Heart", by John Suckling

I Would Live in Your Love, by Sara Teasdale

If, by Rudyard Kipling

If We Must Die, by Claude McKay

"I'm Nobody!...", by Emily Dickinson

In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae

In the Firelight, by Eugene Field

Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll

Jest 'Fore Christmas, by Eugene Field

Joy in Death, by Emily Dickinson

Kissing, by Edward Herbert

Lady Ann Bothwell's Lament, by Anonymous

Lady Clara Vere de Vere, by Alfred Tennyson

Lament, by Edna St. Vincent Millay

"Leaf After Leaf", by Walter Savage Landor

Less Than the Cloud to the Wind, by Sara Teasdale

"Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds" (Sonnet 116), by William Shakespeare

Life, by Charlotte Bronte

Life, by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Life Is What We Make of It, by Edgar Guest

Little Boy Blue, by Eugene Field

Looking Back, by Edgar Guest

Loss and Gain, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Maud Muller, by John Greenleaf Whittier

Memory's Mansion, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Mending Wall, by Robert Frost

Miracles, by Walt Whitman

Mrs. Charles Bliss, by Edgar Lee Masters

"My Heart Leaps Up...", by William Wordsworth

"My Mistress' Eyes..." (Sonnet 130), by William Shakespeare

My Religion, by Edgar Guest

My Vision, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Nest Eggs, by Robert Louis Stevenson

New Love and Old, by Sara Teasdale

No Children!, by Edgar Guest

Not in Vain, by Emily Dickinson

"Not Marble..." (Sonnet 55), by William Shakespeare

November, by Sara Teasdale

O Captain! My Captain!, by Walt Whitman

Ode on a Grecian Urn, by John Keats

Old Aunt Mary's, by James Whitcomb Riley

On Being Broke, by Edgar Guest

On Liberty and Slavery, by George Moses Horton

On the Posteriors, by Jonathan Swift

On the Tombs in Westminster Abbey, by Francis Beaumont

Ozymandias, by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Paul Revere's Ride, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Quicksand Years, by Walt Whitman

Requiem, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Romance, by Claude McKay

Seein' Things, by Eugene Field

"Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" (Sonnet 18), by William Shakespeare

"Shall I, Wasting in Despair", by George Wither

She Came and Went, by James Russell Lowell

She Is Overheard Singing, by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Solitude, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Song to Celia, by Ben Jonson

Songs for the People, by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Spring Rain, by Sara Teasdale

Stars, Songs, Faces, by Carl Sandburg

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost

Summer Shower, by Emily Dickinson

Surrender, by Emily Dickinson

Tavern, by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Thanks in Old Age, by Walt Whitman

The Bells, by Edgar Allan Poe

The Bridal Veil, by Alice Cary

The Builders, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Castaways, by Claude McKay

The Character of a Happy Life, by Henry Wotton

The Chariot, by Emily Dickinson

The Chronicle, by Abraham Cowley

The Coin, by Sara Teasdale

The Complaint of Chaucer to His Purse, by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Convalescent Gripster, by Eugene Field

The Death of Robin Hood, by Eugene Field

The Duel, by Eugene Field

The Dying Veteran, by Walt Whitman

The Fearful Traveller in the Haunted Castle, by George Moses Horton

The Fellowship of Books, by Edgar Guest

The Flight, by Sara Teasdale

The Gossips, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Harlem Dancer, by Claude McKay

The House by the Side of the Road, by Sam Walter Foss

The Innovator, by Stephen Vincent Benét

The Kiss, by Sara Teasdale

The Lamp, by Sara Teasdale

The Land of Story-Books, by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Lesson, by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Lonely House, by Emily Dickinson

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T. S Eliot

"The Man of Life Upright", by Thomas Campion

The Man Who Couldn't Save, by Edgar Guest

The Meeting, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Mother, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Mystery, by Sara Teasdale

The Old Apple-Tree, by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Old Familiar Faces, by Charles Lamb

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, by Christopher Marlowe

The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe

The Return, by Sara Teasdale

The Rivals, by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

The Slave Mother, by Frances E. W. Harper

The Slave's Complaint, by George Moses Horton

The Song of the Old Mother, by William Butler Yeats

The Spider and the Fly, by Mary Howitt

The Spinster, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Star Spangled Banner, by Francis Scott Key

The Two Little Skeezucks, by Eugene Field

The Unseen Playmate, by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Voice of the Rain, by Walt Whitman

The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll

The Wife, by Emily Dickinson

"The World Is Too Much with Us...", by William Wordsworth

The World's Need, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

To a Little Girl, by Edgar Guest

To Anthea, Who May Command Him in Anything, by Robert Herrick

To Chloe, Who Wish'd Her Self Young Enough for Me, by William Cartwright

To Mrs. Bishop, on the Anniversary of Her Wedding-day, with a Ring, by Samuel Bishop

To My Enemy, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

To My Mother, by Edgar Allan Poe

To One in Paradise, by Edgar Allan Poe

To One Shortly to Die, by Walt Whitman

Together, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Trees, by Joyce Kilmer

Union Square, by Sara Teasdale

Warned, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We Are Seven, by William Wordsworth

Wedlock, by Benjamin Franklin

"When I Consider How My Light Is Spent", by John Milton

When I Read the Book, by Walt Whitman

"When We Two Parted", by George Gordon Byron

Which Are You?, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

William Goode, by Edgar Lee Masters

With Two Spoons for Two Spoons, by Eugene Field

Young Night Thought, by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Index of Poets

Index of First Lines

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A Book

by

Emily Dickinson

He ate and drank the precious words,
His spirit grew robust;
He knew no more that he was poor,
Nor that his frame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,
And this bequest of wings
Was but a book. What liberty
A loosened spirit brings!

************

A Boy and His Dog

by

Edgar Guest

A boy and his dog make a glorious pair:
No better friendship is found anywhere,
For they talk and they walk and they run and they play,
And they have their deep secrets for many a day;
And that boy has a comrade who thinks and who feels,
Who walks down the road with a dog at his heels.

He may go where he will and his dog will be there,
May revel in mud and his dog will not care;
Faithful he'll stay for the slightest command
And bark with delight at the touch of his hand;
Oh, he owns a treasure which nobody steals,
Who walks down the road with a dog at his heels.

No other can lure him away from his side;
He's proof against riches and station and pride;
Fine dress does not charm him, and flattery's breath
Is lost on the dog, for he's faithful to death;
He sees the great soul which the body conceals —
Oh, it's great to be young with a dog at your heels!

************

A Double Standard

by

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Do you blame me that I loved him?
If when standing all alone
I cried for bread a careless world
Pressed to my lips a stone.

Do you blame me that I loved him,
That my heart beat glad and free,
When he told me in the sweetest tones
He loved but only me?

Can you blame me that I did not see
Beneath his burning kiss
The serpent's wiles, nor even hear
The deadly adder hiss?

Can you blame me that my heart grew cold
The tempted, tempter turned;
When he was feted and caressed
And I was coldly spurned?

Would you blame him, when you draw from me
Your dainty robes aside,
If he with gilded baits should claim
Your fairest as his bride?

Would you blame the world if it should press
On him a civic crown;
And see me struggling in the depth
Then harshly press me down?

Crime has no sex and yet to-day
I wear the brand of shame;
Whilst he amid the gay and proud
Still bears an honored name.

Can you blame me if I've learned to think
Your hate of vice a sham,
When you so coldly crushed me down
And then excused the man?

Would you blame me if to-morrow
The coroner should say,
A wretched girl, outcast, forlorn,
Has thrown her life away?

Yes, blame me for my downward course,
But oh! remember well,
Within your homes you press the hand
That led me down to hell.

I'm glad God's ways are not our ways
He does not see as man;
Within His love I know there's room
For those whom others ban.

I think before His great white throne,
His throne of spotless light,
That whited sepulchres shall wear
The hue of endless night.

That I who fell, and he who sinned,
Shall reap as we have sown;
That each the burden of his loss
Must bear and bear alone.

No golden weights can turn the scale
Of justice in His sight;
And what is wrong in woman's life
In man's cannot be right.

************

A Dream Within a Dream

by

Edgar Allan Poe

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?

************

A Lesson of Mercy

by

Alice Cary

A boy named Peter
Found once in the road
All harmless and helpless,
A poor little toad;

And ran to his playmate,
And all out of breath
Cried, "John, come and help,
And we'll stone him to death!"

And picking up stones,
The two went on the run,
Saying, one to the other,
"Oh, won't we have fun?"

Thus primed and all ready,
They'd got nearly back,
When a donkey came
Dragging a cart on the track.

Now the cart was as much
As the donkey could draw,
And he came with his head
Hanging down; so he saw,

All harmless and helpless,
The poor little toad,
A-taking his morning nap
Right in the road.

He shivered at first,
Then he drew back his leg,
And set up his ears,
Never moving a peg.

Then he gave the poor toad,
With his warm nose a dump,
And he woke and got off
With a hop and jump.

And then with an eye
Turned on Peter and John,
And hanging his homely head
Down, he went on.

"We can't kill him now, John,"
Says Peter, "that's flat,
In the face of an eye and
An action like that!"

"For my part, I haven't
The heart to," says John;
"But the load is too heavy
That donkey has on:

"Let's help him"; so both lads
Set off with a will
And came up with the cart
At the foot of the hill.

And when each a shoulder
Had put to the wheel,
They helped the poor donkey
A wonderful deal.

When they got to the top
Back again they both run,
Agreeing they never
Had had better fun.

************

A Maiden

by

Sara Teasdale

Oh if I were the velvet rose
Upon the red rose vine,
I'd climb to touch his window
And make his casement fine.

And if I were the little bird
That twitters on the tree,
All day I'd sing my love for him
Till he should harken me.

But since I am a maiden
I go with downcast eyes,
And he will never hear the songs
That he has turned to sighs.

And since I am a maiden
My love will never know
That I could kiss him with a mouth
More red than roses blow.

************

A Piteous Plaint

by

Eugene Field

I cannot eat my porridge,
I weary of my play;
No longer can I sleep at night,
No longer romp by day!
Though forty pounds was once my weight,
I'm shy of thirty now;
I pine, I wither and I fade
Through love of Martha Clow.

As she rolled by this morning
I heard the nurse girl say:
"She weighs just twenty-seven pounds
And she's one year old to-day."
I threw a kiss that nestled
In the curls upon her brow,
But she never turned to thank me —
That bouncing Martha Clow!

She ought to know I love her,
For I've told her that I do;
And I've brought her nuts and apples,
And sometimes candy, too!
I'd drag her in my little cart
If her mother would allow
That delicate attention
To her daughter, Martha Clow.

O Martha! pretty Martha!
Will you always be so cold?
Will you always be as cruel
As you are at one-year-old?
Must your two-year-old admirer
Pine as hopelessly as now
For a fond reciprocation
Of his love for Martha Clow?

You smile on Bernard Rogers
And on little Harry Knott;
You play with them at peek-a-boo
All in the Waller Lot!
Wildly I gnash my new-cut teeth
And beat my throbbing brow,
When I behold the coquetry
Of heartless Martha Clow!

I cannot eat my porridge,
Nor for my play care I;
Upon the floor and porch and lawn
My toys neglected lie;
But on the air of Halsted street
I breathe this solemn vow:
"Though she be false, I will be true
To pretty Martha Clow!"

************

A Prayer, Under the Pressure of Violent Anguish

by

Robert Burns

O Thou Great Being! what Thou art
Surpasses me to know;
Yet sure I am, that known to Thee
Are all Thy works below.

Thy creature here before Thee stands,
All wretched and distrest;
Yet sure those ills that wring my soul
Obey Thy high behest.

Sure Thou, Almighty, canst not act
From cruelty or wrath!
O, free my weary eyes from tears,
Or close them fast in death!

But if I must afflicted be,
To suit some wise design;
Then, man my soul with firm resolves
To bear and not repine!

************

A Red, Red Rose

by

Robert Burns

O, my luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my luve's like a melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run:

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

************

A Service of Song

by

Emily Dickinson

Some keep the Sabbath going to church;
I keep it staying at home,
With a bobolink for a chorister,
And an orchard for a dome.

Some keep the Sabbath in surplice;
I just wear my wings,
And instead of tolling the bell for church,
Our little sexton sings.

God preaches, a noted clergyman,
And the sermon is never long;
So instead of getting to heaven at last,
I'm going all along!

************

A Song of the Princess

by

Sara Teasdale

The princess has her lovers,
A score of knights has she,
And each can sing a madrigal,
And praise her gracefully.

But Love that is so bitter
Hath put within her heart
A longing for the scornful knight
Who silent stands apart.

And tho' the others praise and plead,
She maketh no reply,
Yet for a single word from him,
I ween that she would die.

************

A Visit From St. Nicholas

by

Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes, how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

************

A Winter Night

by

Sara Teasdale

My window-pane is starred with frost,
The world is bitter cold to-night,
The moon is cruel and the wind
Is like a two-edged sword to smite.

God pity all the homeless ones,
The beggars pacing to and fro.
God pity all the poor to-night
Who walk the lamp-lit streets of snow.

My room is like a bit of June,
Warm and close-curtained fold on fold,
But somewhere, like a homeless child,
My heart is crying in the cold.

************

After the Quarrel

by

Paul Laurence Dunbar

So we, who've supped the self-same cup,
To-night must lay our friendship by;
Your wrath has burned your judgment up,
Hot breath has blown the ashes high.
You say that you are wronged — ah, well,
I count that friendship poor, at best
A bauble, a mere bagatelle,
That cannot stand so slight a test.

I fain would still have been your friend,
And talked and laughed and loved with you;
But since it must, why, let it end;
The false but dies, 't is not the true.
So we are favored, you and I,
Who only want the living truth.
It was not good to nurse the lie;
'T is well it died in harmless youth.

I go from you to-night to sleep.
Why, what's the odds? why should I grieve?
I have no fund of tears to weep
For happenings that undeceive.
The days shall come, the days shall go
Just as they came and went before.
The sun shall shine, the streams shall flow
Though you and I are friends no more.

And in the volume of my years,
Where all my thoughts and acts shall be,
The page whereon your name appears
Shall be forever sealed to me.
Not that I hate you over-much,
'T is less of hate than love defied;
Howe'er, our hands no more shall touch,
We 'll go our ways, the world is wide.

************

After the Winter

by

Claude McKay

Some day, when trees have shed their leaves
And against the morning's white
The shivering birds beneath the eaves
Have sheltered for the night,
We'll turn our faces southward, love,
Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire to shafted grove
And wide-mouthed orchids smile.

And we will seek the quiet hill
Where towers the cotton tree,
And leaps the laughing crystal rill,
And works the droning bee.
And we will build a cottage there
Beside an open glade,
With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,
And ferns that never fade.

************

An Easy-Goin' Feller

by

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Ther' ain't no use in all this strife,
An' hurryin', pell-mell, right thro' life.
I don't believe in goin' too fast
To see what kind o' road you 've passed.
It ain't no mortal kind o' good,
'N' I would n't hurry ef I could.
I like to jest go joggin' 'long,
To limber up my soul with song;
To stop awhile 'n' chat the men,
'N' drink some cider now an' then.
Do' want no boss a-standin' by
To see me work; I allus try
To do my dooty right straight up,
An' earn what fills my plate an' cup.
An' ez fur boss, I 'll be my own,
I like to jest be let alone;
To plough my strip an' tend my bees,
An' do jest like I doggoned please.
My head's all right, an' my heart's meller,
But I 'm a easy-goin' feller.

************

Annabel Lee

by

Edgar Allan Poe

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 wingèd seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me:
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we,
Of many far wiser than we;
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling — my darling — my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

************

As I Watch'd the Ploughman Ploughing

by

Walt Whitman

As I watch'd the ploughman ploughing,
Or the sower sowing in the fields, or the harvester harvesting,
I saw there too, O life and death, your analogies;
(Life, life is the tillage, and Death is the harvest according.)

************

"At the Mid Hour of Night..."

by

Thomas Moore

At the mid hour of night, when stars are weeping, I fly
To the lone vale we loved, when life shone warm in thine eye;
And I think oft, if spirits can steal from the regions of air
To revisit past scenes of delight, thou wilt come to me there,
And tell me our love is remember'd even in the sky.

Then I sing the wild song it once was rapture to hear,
When our voices commingling breathed like one on the ear;
And as Echo far off through the vale my sad orison rolls,
I think, O my love! 'tis thy voice from the Kingdom of Souls
Faintly answering still the notes that once were so dear.

************

Auld Robin Gray

by

Anne Lindsay

When the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye at hame,
And a' the warld to rest are gane,
The waes o' my heart fa' in showers frae my e'e,
While my gudeman lies sound by me.

Young Jamie lo'ed me weel, and sought me for his bride;
But saving a croun he had naething else beside:
To make the croun a pund, young Jamie gaed to sea;
And the croun and the pund were baith for me.

He hadna been awa' a week but only twa,
When my father brak his arm, and the cow was stown awa;
My mother she fell sick, — and my Jamie at the sea —
And auld Robin Gray came a-courtin' me.

My father couldna work, and my mother couldna spin;
I toil'd day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
Auld Rob maintain'd them baith, and wi' tears in his e'e
Said, 'Jennie, for their sakes, O, marry me!'

My heart it said nay; I look'd for Jamie back;
But the wind it blew high, and the ship it was a wrack;
His ship it was a wrack — Why didna Jamie dee?
Or why do I live to cry, Wae's me?

My father urgit sair: my mother didna speak;
But she look'd in my face till my heart was like to break:
They gi'ed him my hand, tho' my heart was in the sea;
Sae auld Robin Gray he was gudeman to me.

I hadna been a wife a week but only four,
When mournfu' as I sat on the stane at the door,
I saw my Jamie's wraith, for I couldna think it he —
Till he said, 'I'm come hame to marry thee.'

O sair, sair did we greet, and muckle did we say;
We took but ae kiss, and I bad him gang away:
I wish that I were dead, but I'm no like to dee;
And why was I born to say, Wae's me!

I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin;
I daurna think on Jamie, for that wad be a sin;
But I'll do my best a gude wife aye to be,
For auld Robin Gray he is kind unto me.

************

Barter

by

Sara Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

************

Because

by

Sara Teasdale

Oh, because you never tried
To bow my will or break my pride,
And nothing of the cave-man made
You want to keep me half afraid,
Nor ever with a conquering air
You thought to draw me unaware —
Take me, for I love you more
Than I ever loved before.

And since the body's maidenhood
Alone were neither rare nor good
Unless with it I gave to you
A spirit still untrammeled, too,
Take my dreams and take my mind
That were masterless as wind;
And "Master!" I shall say to you
Since you never asked me to.

************

Bed in Summer

by

Robert Louis Stevenson

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

************

Birds in Summer

by

Mary Howitt

How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Flitting about in each leafy tree;
In the leafy trees so broad and tall,
Like a green and beautiful palace hall,
With its airy chambers light and boon,
That open to sun and stars and moon;
That open to the bright blue sky,
And the frolicsome winds as they wander by.

They have left their nests on the forest bough;
Those homes of delight they need not now;
And the young and the old they wander out,
And traverse their green world round about;
And hark! at the top of this leafy hall,
How one to the other in love they call!
"Come up! Come up!" they seem to say,
"Where the topmost twigs in the breezes sway."

"Come up! come up! for the world is fair
Where the merry leaves dance in the summer air."
And the birds below give back the cry,
"We come, we come to the branches high."
How pleasant the life of the birds must be,
Living in love in a leafy tree!
And away through the air what joy to go,
And to look on the green, bright earth below!

How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Skimming about on the breezy sea,
Cresting the billows like silvery foam,
Then wheeling away to its cliff-built home!
What joy it must be to sail, upborne,
By a strong free wing, through the rosy morn,
To meet the young sun, face to face,
And pierce, like a shaft, the boundless space!

To pass through the bowers of the silver cloud;
To sing in the thunder hall aloud;
To spread out the wings for a wild, free flight
With the upper cloud-wings, — oh, what delight!
Oh, what would I give, like a bird, to go,
Right on through the arch of the sun-lit bow,
And see how the water-drops are kissed
Into green and yellow and amethyst.

How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Wherever it listeth, there to flee;
To go, when a joyful fancy calls,
Dashing down 'mong the waterfalls;
Then wheeling about, with its mate at play,
Above and below, and among the spray,
Hither and thither, with screams as wild
As the laughing mirth of a rosy child!

What joy it must be, like a living breeze,
To flutter about 'mid the flowering trees;
Lightly to soar, and to see beneath,
The wastes of the blossoming purple heath,
And the yellow furze, like fields of gold,
That gladdened some fairy region old!
On the mountain tops, on the billowy sea,
On the leafy stems of a forest tree,
How pleasant the life of a bird must be!

************

Block City

by

Robert Louis Stevenson

What are you able to build with your blocks?
Castles and palaces, temples and docks.
Rain may keep raining, and others go roam,
But I can be happy and building at home.

Let the sofa be mountains, the carpet be sea,
There I'll establish a city for me:
A kirk and a mill and a palace beside,
And a harbour as well where my vessels may ride.

Great is the palace with pillar and wall,
A sort of a tower on the top of it all,
And steps coming down in an orderly way
To where my toy vessels lie safe in the bay.

This one is sailing and that one is moored:
Hark to the song of the sailors aboard!
And see, on the steps of my palace, the kings
Coming and going with presents and things!

Now I have done with it, down let it go!
All in a moment the town is laid low.
Block upon block lying scattered and free,
What is there left of my town by the sea?

Yet as I saw it, I see it again,
The kirk and the palace, the ships and the men,
And as long as I live and where'er I may be,
I'll always remember my town by the sea.

************

Brahma

by

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If the red slayer think he slays,
Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again.

Far or forgot to me is near;
Shadow and sunlight are the same;
The vanished gods to me appear;
And one to me are shame and fame.

They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.

The strong gods pine for my abode,
And pine in vain the sacred Seven;
But thou, meek lover of the good!
Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.

************

Casey at the Bat

by

Ernest L. Thayer

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, "If only Casey could but get a whack at that —
We'd put up even money now, with Casey at the bat."

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despisèd, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile lit Casey's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt;
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped —
"That ain't my style," said Casey; "Strike one!" the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted some one on the stand;
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two!"

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered "Fraud!"
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

The sneer has fled from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville — great Casey has struck out.

************

Change

by

Sara Teasdale

Remember me as I was then;
Turn from me now, but always see
The laughing shadowy girl who stood
At midnight by the flowering tree,
With eyes that love had made as bright
As the trembling stars of the summer night.

Turn from me now, but always hear
The muted laughter in the dew
Of that one year of youth we had,
The only youth we ever knew —
Turn from me now, or you will see
What other years have done to me.

************

Children

by

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Come to me, O ye children!
For I hear you at your play,
And the questions that perplexed me
Have vanished quite away.

Ye open the eastern windows,
That look towards the sun,
Where thoughts are singing swallows
And the brooks of morning run.

In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,
In your thoughts the brooklet's flow,
But in mine is the wind of Autumn
And the first fall of the snow.

Ah! what would the world be to us
If the children were no more?
We should dread the desert behind us
Worse than the dark before.

What the leaves are to the forest,
With light and air for food,
Ere their sweet and tender juices
Have been hardened into wood, —

That to the world are children;
Through them it feels the glow
Of a brighter and sunnier climate
Than reaches the trunks below.

Come to me, O ye children!
And whisper in my ear
What the birds and the winds are singing
In your sunny atmosphere.

For what are all our contrivings,
And the wisdom of our books,
When compared with your caresses,
And the gladness of your looks?

Ye are better than all the ballads
That ever were sung or said;
For ye are living poems,
And all the rest are dead.

************

Clare Market

by

Eugene Field

In the market of Clare, so cheery the glare
Of the shops and the booths of the tradespeople there;
That I take a delight on a Saturday night
In walking that way and in viewing the sight.
For it's here that one sees all the objects that please—
New patterns in silk and old patterns in cheese,
For the girls pretty toys, rude alarums for boys,
And baubles galore while discretion enjoys —
But here I forbear, for I really despair
Of naming the wealth of the market of Clare.

A rich man comes down from the elegant town
And looks at it all with an ominous frown;
He seems to despise the grandiloquent cries
Of the vender proclaiming his puddings and pies;
And sniffing he goes through the lanes that disclose
Much cause for disgust to his sensitive nose;
And free of the crowd, he admits he is proud
That elsewhere in London this thing's not allowed;
He has seen nothing there but filth everywhere,
And he's glad to get out of the market of Clare.

But the child that has come from the gloom of the slum
Is charmed by the magic of dazzle and hum;
He feasts his big eyes on the cakes and the pies,
And they seem to grow green and protrude with surprise
At the goodies they vend and the toys without end —
And it's oh! if he had but a penny to spend!
But alas, he must gaze in a hopeless amaze
At treasures that glitter and torches that blaze —
What sense of despair in this world can compare
With that of the waif in the market of Clare?

So, on Saturday night, when my custom invites
A stroll in old London for curious sights,
I am likely to stray by a devious way
Where goodies are spread in a motley array,
The things which some eyes would appear to despise
Impress me as pathos in homely disguise,
And my battered waif-friend shall have pennies to spend,
So long as I've got 'em (or chums that will lend);
And the urchin shall share in my joy and declare
That there's beauty and good in the market of Clare.

************

Come

by

Sara Teasdale

Come, when the pale moon like a petal
Floats in the pearly dusk of spring,
Come with arms outstretched to take me,
Come with lips pursed up to cling.

Come, for life is a frail moth flying,
Caught in the web of the years that pass,
And soon we two, so warm and eager,
Will be as the gray stones in the grass.

************

Continuities

by

Walt Whitman

Nothing is ever really lost, or can be lost,
No birth, identity, form — no object of the world,
Nor life, nor force, nor any visible thing;
Appearance must not foil, nor shifted sphere confuse thy brain.
Ample are time and space — ample the fields of Nature.
The body, sluggish, aged, cold — the embers left from earlier fires,
The light in the eye grown dim, shall duly flame again;
The sun now low in the west rises for mornings and for noons continual;
To frozen clods ever the spring's invisible law returns,
With grass and flowers and summer fruits and corn.

************

Darest Thou Now O Soul

by

Walt Whitman

Darest thou now O soul,
Walk out with me toward the unknown region,
Where neither ground is for the feet nor any path to follow?

No map there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.

I know it not O soul,
Nor dost thou, all is a blank before us,
All waits undream'd of in that region, that inaccessible land.

Till when the ties loosen,
All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds bounding us.

Then we burst forth, we float,
In Time and Space O soul, prepared for them,
Equal, equipt at last, (O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil O soul.

************

"Death Be Not Proud..."

by

John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go —
Rest of their bones, and souls' delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And Death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

************

Death of an Old Carriage Horse

by

George Moses Horton

I was a harness horse,
Constrained to travel weak or strong,
With orders from oppressing force,
Push along, push along.

I had no space of rest,
And took at forks the roughest prong,
Still by the cruel driver pressed,
Push along, push along.

Vain strove the idle bird,
To charm me with her artless song,
But pleasure lingered from the word,
Push along, push along.

The order of the day
Was push, the peal of every tongue,
The only word was all the way,
Push along, push along.

Thus to my journey's end,
Had I to travel right or wrong,
'Till death my sweet and favored friend,
Bade me from life to push along.

************

Der Mann im Kellar

by

Eugene Field

How cool and fair this cellar where
My throne a dusky cask is;
To do no thing but just to sing
And drown the time my task is.
The cooper he's
Resolved to please,
And, answering to my winking,
He fills me up
Cup after cup
For drinking, drinking, drinking.

Begrudge me not
This cosy spot
In which I am reclining —
Why, who would burst
With envious thirst,
When he can live by wining.
A roseate hue seems to imbue
The world on which I'm blinking;
My fellow-men — I love them when
I'm drinking, drinking, drinking.

And yet I think, the more I drink,
It's more and more I pine for —
Oh, such as I (forever dry)
God made this land of Rhine for;
And there is bliss
In knowing this,
As to the floor I'm sinking:
I've wronged no man
And never can
While drinking, drinking, drinking.

************

Dibdin's Ghost

by

Eugene Field

Dear wife, last midnight while I read
The tomes you so despise,
A specter rose beside the bed
And spoke in this true wise:
"From Canaan's beatific coast
I've come to visit thee,
For I am Frognall Dibdin's ghost!"
Says Dibdin's ghost to me.

I bade him welcome, and we twain
Discussed with buoyant hearts
The various things that appertain
To bibliomaniac arts.
"Since you are fresh from t'other side,
Pray tell me of that host
That treasured books before they died,"
Says I to Dibdin's ghost.

"They've entered into perfect rest,
For in the life they've won
There are no auctions to molest,
Nor creditors to dun.
Their heavenly rapture has no bounds
Beside that jasper sea;
It is a joy unknown to Lowndes!"
Says Dibdin's ghost to me.

Much I rejoiced to hear him speak
Of biblio-bliss above,
For I am one of those who seek
What bibliomaniacs love.
"But tell me, for I long to hear
What doth concern me most,
Are wives admitted to that sphere?"
Says I to Dibdin's ghost.

"The women folk are few up there;
For 't were not fair, you know,
That they our heavenly joy should share
Who vex us here below.
The few are those who have been kind
To husbands such as we;
They knew our fads, and did n't mind,"
Says Dibdin's ghost to me.

"But what of those who scold at us
When we would read in bed?
Or, wanting victuals, make a fuss
If we buy books instead?
And what of those who've dusted not
Our motley pride and boast, —
Shall they profane that sacred spot?"
Says I to Dibdin's ghost.

"Oh, no! they tread that other path,
Which leads where torments roll,
And worms, yes, bookworms, vent their wrath
Upon the guilty soul!
Untouched of bibliomaniac grace,
That saveth such as we,
They wallow in that dreadful place,"
Says Dibdin's ghost to me.

"To my dear wife will I recite
What things I've heard you say;
She'll let me read the books by night,
She's let me buy by day;
For we together by and by,
Would join that heavenly host;
She's earned a rest as well as I!"
Says I to Dibdin's ghost.

************

Dutch Lullaby

by

Eugene Field

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe, —
Sailed on a river of misty light
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,"
Said Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sung a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea.
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish,
But never afeard are we!"
So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
For the fish in the twinkling foam,
Then down from the sky came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'T was all so pretty a sail, it seemed
As if it could not be;
And some folk thought 't was a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea;
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock on the misty sea
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three, —
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

************

Eldorado

by

Edgar Allan Poe

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old,
This knight so bold,
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow:
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be,
This land of Eldorado?"

"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied,
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

************

For Annie

by

Edgar Allan Poe

Thank Heaven! the crisis,
The danger, is past,
And the lingering illness
Is over at last,
And the fever called "Living"
Is conquered at last.

Sadly, I know,
I am shorn of my strength,
And no muscle I move
As I lie at full length:
But no matter! — I feel
I am better at length.

And I rest so composedly
Now, in my bed,
That any beholder
Might fancy me dead,
Might start at beholding me,
Thinking me dead.

The moaning and groaning,
The sighing and sobbing,
Are quieted now,
With that horrible throbbing
At heart: — ah, that horrible,
Horrible throbbing!

The sickness, the nausea,
The pitiless pain,
Have ceased, with the fever
That maddened my brain,
With the fever called "Living"
That burned in my brain.

And oh! of all tortures,
That torture the worst
Has abated — the terrible
Torture of thirst
For the naphthaline river
Of Passion accurst:
I have drank of a water
That quenches all thirst:

Of a water that flows,
With a lullaby sound,
From a spring but a very few
Feet under ground,
From a cavern not very far
Down under ground.

And ah! let it never
Be foolishly said
That my room it is gloomy,
And narrow my bed;
For man never slept
In a different bed:
And, to sleep, you must slumber
In just such a bed.

My tantalized spirit
Here blandly reposes,
Forgetting, or never
Regretting, its roses:
Its old agitations
Of myrtles and roses;

For now, while so quietly
Lying, it fancies
A holier odor
About it, of pansies:
A rosemary odor,
Commingled with pansies,
With rue and the beautiful
Puritan pansies.

And so it lies happily,
Bathing in many
A dream of the truth
And the beauty of Annie,
Drowned in a bath
Of the tresses of Annie.

She tenderly kissed me,
She fondly caressed,
And then I fell gently
To sleep on her breast,
Deeply to sleep
From the heaven of her breast.

When the light was extinguished,
She covered me warm,
And she prayed to the angels
To keep me from harm,
To the queen of the angels
To shield me from harm.

And I lie so composedly
Now, in my bed,
(Knowing her love)
That you fancy me dead;
And I rest so contentedly
Now, in my bed,
(With her love at my breast)
That you fancy me dead,
That you shudder to look at me,
Thinking me dead.

But my heart it is brighter
Than all of the many
Stars in the sky,
For it sparkles with Annie:
It glows with the light
Of the love of my Annie,
With the thought of the light
Of the eyes of my Annie.

************

François Villon

by

Eugene Field

If I were François Villon and François Villon I,
What would it matter to me how the time might drag or fly?
He would in sweaty anguish toil the days and night away,
And still not keep the prowling, growling, howling wolf at bay!
But, with my valiant bottle and my frouzy brevet-bride,
And my score of loyal cut-throats standing guard for me outside,
What worry of the morrow would provoke a casual sigh
If I were François Villon and François Villon I?

If I were François Villon and François Villon I,
To yonder gloomy boulevard at midnight I would hie;
"Stop, stranger! and deliver your possessions, ere you feel
The mettle of my bludgeon or the temper of my steel!"
He should give me gold and diamonds, his snuffbox and his cane —
"Now back, my boon companions, to our bordel with our gain!"
And, back within that brothel, how the bottles they would fly,
If I were François Villon and François Villon I!

If I were François Villon and François Villon I,
We both would mock the gibbet which the law has lifted high;
He in his meager, shabby home, I in my roaring den —
He with his babes around him, I with my hunted men!
His virtue be his bulwark — my genius should be mine! —
"Go fetch my pen, sweet Margot, and a jorum of your wine!"

* * * * *

So would one vainly plod, and one win immortality —
If I were François Villon and François Villon I!

************

George Gray

by

Edgar Lee Masters

I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me —
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire —
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

************

Good-Night

by

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Good-night? ah! no; the hour is ill
Which severs those it should unite;
Let us remain together still,
Then it will be good night.

How can I call the lone night good,
Though thy sweet wishes wing its flight?
Be it not said, thought, understood —
Then it will be good night.

To hearts which near each other move
From evening close to morning light,
The night is good; because, my love,
They never say good-night.

************

Guenevere

by

Sara Teasdale

I was a queen, and I have lost my crown;
A wife, and I have broken all my vows;
A lover, and I ruined him I loved: —
There is no other havoc left to do.
A little month ago I was a queen,
And mothers held their babies up to see
When I came riding out of Camelot.
The women smiled, and all the world smiled too.
And now, what woman's eyes would smile on me?
I still am beautiful, and yet what child
Would think of me as some high, heaven-sent thing,
An angel, clad in gold and miniver?
The world would run from me, and yet am I
No different from the queen they used to love.
If water, flowing silver over stones,
Is forded, and beneath the horses' feet
Grows turbid suddenly, it clears again,
And men will drink it with no thought of harm.
Yet I am branded for a single fault.

I was the flower amid a toiling world,
Where people smiled to see one happy thing,
And they were proud and glad to raise me high;
They only asked that I should be right fair,
A little kind, and gownèd wondrously,
And surely it were little praise to me
If I had pleased them well throughout my life.

I was a queen, the daughter of a king.
The crown was never heavy on my head,
It was my right, and was a part of me.
The women thought me proud, the men were kind,
And bowed right gallantly to kiss my hand,
And watched me as I passed them calmly by,
Along the halls I shall not tread again.
What if, to-night, I should revisit them?
The warders at the gates, the kitchen-maids,
The very beggars would stand off from me,
And I, their queen, would climb the stairs alone,
Pass through the banquet-hall, a loathèd thing,
And seek my chambers for a hiding-place,
And I should find them but a sepulchre,
The very rushes rotted on the floors,
The fire in ashes on the freezing hearth.
I was a queen, and he who loved me best
Made me a woman for a night and day,
And now I go unqueened forevermore.
A queen should never dream on summer eves,
When hovering spells are heavy in the dusk: —
I think no night was ever quite so still,
So smoothly lit with red along the west,
So deeply hushed with quiet through and through.
And strangely clear, and deeply dyed with light,
The trees stood straight against a paling sky,
With Venus burning lamp-like in the west.
I walked alone amid a thousand flowers,
That drooped their heads and drowsed beneath the dew,
And all my thoughts were quieted to sleep.
Behind me, on the walk, I heard a step —
I did not know my heart could tell his tread,
I did not know I loved him till that hour.
Within my breast I felt a wild, sick pain,
The garden reeled a little, I was weak,
And quick he came behind me, caught my arms,
That ached beneath his touch; and then I swayed,
My head fell backward and I saw his face.

All this grows bitter that was once so sweet,
And many mouths must drain the dregs of it.
But none will pity me, nor pity him
Whom Love so lashed, and with such cruel thongs.

************

Gunga Din

by

Rudyard Kipling

You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
He was "Din! Din! Din!
You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
Hi! slippery hitherao!
Water, get it! Panee lao!
You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din."

The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a piece o' twisty rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted "Harry By!"
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
You put some juldee in it
Or I'll marrow you this minute
If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done;
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut,
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is mussick on 'is back,
'E would skip with our attack,
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire",
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
It was "Din! Din! Din!"
With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
When the cartridges ran out,
You could hear the front-files shout,
"Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

I shan't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' he plugged me where I bled,
An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water-green:
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;
'E's chawin' up the ground,
An' 'e's kickin' all around:
For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!"

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone —
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

************

Halcyon Days

by

Walt Whitman

Not from successful love alone,
Nor wealth, nor honor'd middle age, nor victories of politics or war;
But as life wanes, and all the turbulent passions calm,
As gorgeous, vapory, silent hues cover the evening sky,
As softness, fulness, rest, suffuse the frame, like freshier, balmier air,
As the days take on a mellower light, and the apple at last hangs really finish'd and indolent-ripe on the tree,
Then for the teeming quietest, happiest days of all!
The brooding and blissful halcyon days!

************

Hamlet's Soliloquy on Suicide

by

William Shakespeare

To be, or not to be, that is the Question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die, to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to; 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,
The Oppressor's wrong, the proud man's Contumely,
The pangs of despised Love, the Law's delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his Quietus make
With a bare Bodkin? Who would Fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd Country, from whose Bourn
No Traveller returns, Puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Then fly to others that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all,
And thus the Native hue of Resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their Currents turn awry,
And lose the name of Action.

************

Haunted Houses

by

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the doorway, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.

There are more guests at table, than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapors dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.

Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.

These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star,
An undiscovered planet in our sky.

And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night, —

So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O'er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.

************

Her Hair

by

James Whitcomb Riley

The beauty of her hair bewilders me —
Pouring adown the brow, its cloven tide
Swirling about the ears on either side
And storming round the neck tumultuously:
Or like the lights of old antiquity
Through mullioned windows, in cathedrals wide
Spilled moltenly o'er figures deified
In chastest marble, nude of drapery.
And so I love it.— Either unconfined;
Or plaited in close braidings manifold;
Or smoothly drawn; or indolently twined
In careless knots whose coilings come unrolled
At any lightest kiss; or by the wind
Whipped out in flossy ravellings of gold.

************

Herbert Marshall

by

Edgar Lee Masters

All your sorrow, Louise, and hatred of me
Sprang from your delusion that it was wantonness
Of spirit and contempt of your soul's rights
Which made me turn to Annabelle and forsake you.
You really grew to hate me for love of me,
Because I was your soul's happiness,
Formed and tempered
To solve your life for you, and would not.
But you were my misery.
If you had been
My happiness would I not have clung to you?
This is life's sorrow:
That one can be happy only where two are;
And that our hearts are drawn to stars
Which want us not.

************

Home

by

Edgar Guest

It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home,
A heap o' sun an' shadder, an' ye sometimes have t' roam
Afore ye really 'preciate the things ye lef' behind,
An' hunger fer 'em somehow, with 'em allus on yer mind.
It don't make any differunce how rich ye get t' be,
How much yer chairs an' tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain't home t' ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o' wrapped round everything.

Home ain't a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;
Afore it's home there's got t' be a heap o' livin' in it;
Within the walls there's got t' be some babies born, and then
Right there ye've got t' bring 'em up t' women good, an' men;
And gradjerly as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn't part
With anything they ever used — they've grown into yer heart:
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an' if ye could ye'd keep the thumb-marks on the door.

Ye've got t' weep t' make it home, ye've got t' sit an' sigh
An' watch beside a loved one's bed, an' know that Death is nigh;
An' in the stillness o' the night t' see Death's angel come,
An' close the eyes o' her that smiled, an' leave her sweet voice dumb.
Fer these are scenes that grip the heart, an' when yer tears are dried,
Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an' sanctified;
An' tuggin' at ye always are the pleasant memories
O' her that was an' is no more — ye can't escape from these.

Ye've got t' sing an' dance fer years, ye've got t' romp an' play,
An' learn t' love the things ye have by usin' 'em each day;
Even the roses 'round the porch must blossom year by year
Afore they 'come a part o' ye, suggestin' someone dear
Who used t' love 'em long ago, an' trained 'em jes t' run
The way they do, so's they would get the early mornin' sun;
Ye've got t' love each brick an' stone from cellar up t' dome:
It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home.

************

"How Do I Love Thee?..."

by

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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 candlelight.
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.

************

"I Have a Rendezvous with Death"

by

Alan Seeger

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air —
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath —
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

************

"I Loved Thee Once..."

by

Robert Aytoun

I loved thee once, I'll love no more;
Thine be the grief, as is the blame:
Thou art not what thou wast before,
What reason I should be the same?
He that can love unloved again,
Hath better store of love than brain;
God send me love my debts to pay,
While unthrifts fool their love away!

Nothing could my love have overthrown,
If thou hadst still continued mine;
Yea, if thou hadst remained thy own,
I might perchance have yet been thine.
But thou thy freedom did recall,
That it thou might elsewhere enthral;
And then how could I but disdain
A captive's captive to remain?

When new desires had conquered thee,
And changed the object of thy will,
It had been lethargy in me,
Not constancy, to love thee still.
Yea, it had been a sin to go
And prostitute affection so;
Since we are taught no prayers to say
To such as must to others pray.

Yet do thou glory in thy choice,
Thy choice of his good fortune boast;
I'll neither grieve nor yet rejoice
To see him gain what I have lost;
The height of my disdain shall be
To laugh at him, to blush for thee;
To love thee still, but go no more
A-begging at a beggar's door.

************

"I Prithee Let My Heart Alone"

by

Thomas Stanley

I prithee let my heart alone,
Since now 'tis raised above thee:
Not all the beauty thou dost own
Again can make me love thee:

He that was shipwrecked once before
By such a siren's call,
And yet neglects to shun the shore,
Deserves his second fall!

Each flattering kiss, each tempting smile
Thou dost in vain bestow,
Some other lovers might beguile
Who not thy falsehood know.

But I am proof against all art:
No vows shall e'er persuade me
Twice to present a wounded heart
To her that hath betray'd me.

Could I again be brought to love
Thy form, though more divine,
I might thy scorn as justly move
As now thou sufferest mine.

************

"I Prithee Send Me Back My Heart"

by

John Suckling

I prithee send me back my heart,
Since I cannot have thine:
For if from thine thou will not part,
Why then shouldst thou have mine?

Yet now I think on't, let it lie,
To find it were in vain;
For thou'st a thief in either eye
Would steal it back again.

Why should two hearts in one breast lie,
And yet not lodge together?
O love, where is thy sympathy,
If thus our breasts thou sever?

But love is such a mystery,
I cannot find it out:
For when I think I'm best resolved,
I then am in most doubt.

Then farewell care, and farewell woe,
I will no longer pine:
For I'll believe I have her heart,
As much as she hath mine.

************

I Would Live in Your Love

by

Sara Teasdale

I would live in your love as the sea-grasses live in the sea,
Borne up by each wave as it passes, drawn down by each wave that recedes;
I would empty my soul of the dreams that have gathered in me,
I would beat with your heart as it beats, I would follow your soul as it leads.

************

If

by

Rudyard Kipling

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 imposters 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!

************

If We Must Die

by

Claude McKay

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O, kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

************

"I'm Nobody!..."

by

Emily Dickinson

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there 's a pair of us — don't tell!
They 'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

************

In Flanders Fields

by

John McCrae

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 failing hands 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 the Firelight

by

Eugene Field

The fire upon the hearth is low,
And there is stillness everywhere,
And, like wing'd spirits, here and there
The firelight shadows fluttering go.
And as the shadows round me creep,
A childish treble breaks the gloom,
And softly from a further room
Comes: "Now I lay me down to sleep."

And, somehow, with that little pray'r
And that sweet treble in my ears,
My thought goes back to distant years
And lingers with a dear one there;
And as I hear my child's amen,
My mother's faith comes back to me—
Crouched at her side I seem to be,
And Mother holds my hands again.

Oh, for an hour in that dear place—
Oh, for the peace of that dear time—
Oh, for that childish trust sublime—
Oh, for a glimpse of Mother's face!
Yet, as the shadows round me creep,
I do not seem to be alone—
Sweet magic of that treble tone
And "Now I lay me down to sleep."

************

Jabberwocky

by

Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

************

Jest 'Fore Christmas

by

Eugene Field

Father calls me William, sister calls me Will,
Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill!
Mighty glad I ain't a girl — ruther be a boy,
Without them sashes, curls, an' things that's worn by Fauntleroy!
Love to chawnk green apples an' go swimmin' in the lake —
Hate to take the castor-ile they give for bellyache!
'Most all the time, the whole year round, there ain't no flies on me,
But jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be!

Got a yeller dog named Sport, sick him on the cat;
First thing she knows she does n't know where she is at!
Got a clipper sled, an' when us kids goes out to slide,
'Long comes the grocery cart, an' we all hook a ride!
But sometimes when the grocery man is worrited an' cross,
He reaches at us with his whip, an' larrups up his hoss,
An' then I laff an' holler, "Oh, ye never teched me!"
But jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be!

Gran'ma says she hopes that when I git to be a man,
I'll be a missionarer like her oldest brother, Dan,
As was et up by the cannibuls that lives in Ceylon's Isle,
Where every prospeck pleases, an' only man is vile!
But gran'ma she has never been to see a Wild West show,
Nor read the Life of Daniel Boone, or else I guess she'd know
That Buff'lo Bill an' cow-boys is good enough for me!
Excep' jest 'fore Christmas, when I'm good as I kin be!

And then old Sport he hangs around, so solemnly an' still,
His eyes they seem a-sayin': "What's the matter, little Bill?"
The old cat sneaks down off her perch an' wonders what's become
Of them two enemies of hern that used to make things hum!
But I am so perlite an' tend so earnestly to biz,
That mother says to father: "How improved our Willie is!"
But father, havin' been a boy hisself, suspicions me
When, jest 'fore Christmas, I'm as good as I kin be!

For Christmas, with its lots an' lots of candies, cakes, an' toys,
Was made, they say, for proper kids an' not for naughty boys;
So wash yer face an' bresh yer hair, an' mind yer p's and q's,
An' don't bust out yer pantaloons, and don't wear out yer shoes;
Say "Yessum" to the ladies, an' "Yessur" to the men,
An' when they's company, don't pass yer plate for pie again;
But, thinkin' of the things yer'd like to see upon that tree,
Jest 'fore Christmas be as good as yer kin be!

************

Joy in Death

by

Emily Dickinson

If tolling bell I ask the cause,
'A soul has gone to God,'
I'm answered in a lonesome tone;
Is heaven then so sad?

That bells should joyful ring to tell
A soul had gone to heaven,
Would seem to me the proper way
A good news should be given.

************

Kissing

by

Edward Herbert

Come hither, Womankind, and all their worth,
Give me thy kisses as I call them forth;
Give me the billing-kiss; that of the dove,
A kiss of love;
The melting-kiss, a kiss that doth consume
To a perfume;
The extract-kiss, of every sweet a part;
A kiss of art;
The kiss which ever stirs some new delight,
A kiss of might;
The twacking smacking kiss, and when you cease
A kiss of peace;
The music-kiss, crotchet and quaver time;
The kiss of rhyme;
The kiss of eloquence, which doth belong
Unto the tongue;
The kiss of all the sciences in one,
The Kiss alone.
So 'tis enough.

************

Lady Ann Bothwell's Lament

by

Anonymous

Balow, my babe, ly stil and sleipe!
It grieves me sair to see thee weipe;
If thoust be silent, Ise be glad,
Thy maining maks my heart ful sad.
Balow, my boy, thy mither's joy!
Thy father breides me great annoy.
Balow, my 'babe, ly stil and sleipe!
It grieves me sair to see thee weipe.

When he began to court my luve,
And with his sugred words to muve,
His faynings fals and flattering cheire
To me that time did not appeire:
But now I see, most cruell hee,
Cares neither for my babe nor mee.
Balow, etc.

Ly stil, my darlinge, sleipe awhile,
And when thou wakest sweitly smile:
But smile not, as thy father did,
To cozen maids; nay, God forbid!
But yette I feire, thou wilt gae neire,
Thy fatheris hart and face to beire.
Balow, etc.

I cannae chuse, but ever will
Be luving to thy father stil:
Whaireir he gae, whaireir he ryde,
My luve with him maun stil abyde:
In weil or wae, whaireir he gae,
Mine hart can neir depart him frae.
Balow, etc.

But doe not, doe not, prettie mine,
To faynings fals thine hart incline;
Be loyal to thy luver trew,
And nevir change hir for a new;
If gude or faire, of hir have care,
For womens banning's wonderous sair.
Balow, etc.

Bairne, sin thy cruel father is gane,
Thy winsome smiles maun eise my paine;
My babe and I 'll together live,
He'll comfort me when cares doe grieve;
My babe and I right saft will ly,
And quite forgeit man's cruelty.
Balow, etc.

Fareweil, fareweil, thou falsest youth
That ever kist a woman's mouth!
I wish all maids be warned by mee,
Nevir to trust man's curtesy;
For if we doe but chance to bow,
They'll use us then they care not how.
Balow, my 'babe, ly stil and sleipe!
It grieves me sair to see thee weipe.

************

Lady Clara Vere de Vere

by

Alfred Tennyson

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
Of me you shall not win renown:
You thought to break a country heart
For pastime, ere you went to town.
At me you smiled, but unbeguiled
I saw the snare, and I retired:
The daughter of a hundred Earls,
You are not one to be desired.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
I know you proud to bear your name,
Your pride is yet no mate for mine,
Too proud to care from whence I came.
Nor would I break for your sweet sake
A heart that doats on truer charms.
A simple maiden in her flower
Is worth a hundred coats-of-arms.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
Some meeker pupil you must find,
For were you queen of all that is,
I could not stoop to such a mind.
You sought to prove how I could love,
And my disdain is my reply.
The lion on your old stone gates
Is not more cold to you than I.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
You put strange memories in my head.
Not thrice your branching limes have blown
Since I beheld young Laurence dead.
Oh your sweet eyes, your low replies:
A great enchantress you may be;
But there was that across his throat
Which you hardly cared to see.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
When thus he met his mother's view,
She had the passions of her kind,
She spake some certain truths of you.
Indeed I heard one bitter word
That scarce is fit for you to hear;
Her manners had not that repose
Which stamps the caste of Vere de Vere.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
There stands a spectre in your hall:
The guilt of blood is at your door:
You changed a wholesome heart to gall.
You held your course without remorse,
To make him trust his modest worth,
And, last, you fixed a vacant stare,
And slew him with your noble birth.

Trust me, Clara Vere de Vere,
From yon blue heavens above us bent
The grand old gardener and his wife
Smile at the claims of long descent.
Howe'er it be, it seems to me,
'Tis only noble to be good.
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood.

I know you, Clara Vere de Vere:
You pine among your halls and towers:
The languid light of your proud eyes
Is wearied of the rolling hours.
In glowing health, with boundless wealth,
But sickening of a vague disease,
You know so ill to deal with time,
You needs must play such pranks as these.

Clara, Clara Vere de Vere,
If Time be heavy on your hands,
Are there no beggars at your gate,
Nor any poor about your lands?
Oh! teach the orphan-boy to read,
Or teach the orphan-girl to sew,
Pray Heaven for a human heart,
And let the foolish yeoman go.

************

Lament

by

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Listen, children:
Your father is dead.
From his old coats
I'll make you little jackets;
I'll make you little trousers
From his old pants.
There'll be in his pockets
Things he used to put there,
Keys and pennies
Covered with tobacco;
Dan shall have the pennies
To save in his bank;
Anne shall have the keys
To make a pretty noise with.
Life must go on,
And the dead be forgotten;
Life must go on,
Though good men die;
Anne, eat your breakfast;
Dan, take your medicine;
Life must go on;
I forget just why.

************

"Leaf After Leaf..."

by

Walter Savage Landor

Leaf after leaf drops off, flower after flower,
Some in the chill, some in the warmer hour:
Alike they flourish and alike they fall,
And Earth who nourisht them receives them all.
Should we, her wiser sons, be less content
To sink into her lap when life is spent?

************

Less Than the Cloud to the Wind

by

Sara Teasdale

Less than the cloud to the wind,
Less than the foam to the sea,
Less than the rose to the storm
Am I to thee.

More than the star to the night,
More than the rain to the lea,
More than heaven to earth
Art thou to me.

************

"Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds" (Sonnet 116)

by

William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

************

Life

by

Charlotte Bronte

Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
Oh, why lament its fall?
Rapidly, merrily,
Life's sunny hours flit by,
Gratefully, cheerily
Enjoy them as they fly!
What though Death at times steps in,
And calls our Best away?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O'er hope, a heavy sway?
Yet Hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
Manfully, fearlessly,
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair!

************

Life

by

Paul Laurence Dunbar

A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in,
A minute to smile and an hour to weep in,
A pint of joy to a peck of trouble,
And never a laugh but the moans come double;
And that is life!

A crust and a corner that love makes precious,
With a smile to warm and the tears to refresh us;
And joy seems sweeter when cares come after,
And a moan is the finest of foils for laughter;
And that is life!

************

Life Is What We Make of It

by

Edgar Guest

Life is a jest;
Take the delight of it.
Laughter is best;
Sing through the night of it.
Swiftly the tear
And the hurt and the ache of it
Find us down here;
Life must be what we make of it.

Life is a song;
Dance to the thrill of it.
Grief's hours are long,
And cold is the chill of it.
Joy is man's need;
Let us smile for the sake of it.
This be our creed:
Life must be what we make of it.

Life is a soul;
The virtue and vice of it,
Strife for a goal,
And man's strength is the price of it.
Your life and mine,
The bare bread and the cake of it
End in this line:
Life must be what we make of it.

************

Little Boy Blue

by

Eugene Field

The little toy dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and stanch he stands;
And the little toy soldier is red with rust,
And his musket molds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
And the soldier was passing fair,
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.

"Now, don't you go till I come," he said,
"And don't you make any noise!"
So toddling off to his trundle-bed
He dreamed of the pretty toys.
And as he was dreaming, an angel song
Awakened our Little Boy Blue, —
Oh, the years are many, the years are long,
But the little toy friends are true.

Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
Each in the same old place,
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
The smile of a little face.
And they wonder, as waiting these long years through,
In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue
Since he kissed them and put them there.

************

Looking Back

by

Edgar Guest

I might have been rich if I'd wanted the gold instead of the friendships I've made.
I might have had fame if I'd sought for renown in the hours when I purposely played.
Now I'm standing to-day on the far edge of life, and I'm just looking backward to see
What I've done with the years and the days that were mine, and all that has happened to me.

I haven't built much of a fortune to leave to those who shall carry my name,
And nothing I've done shall entitle me now to a place on the tablets of fame.
But I've loved the great sky and its spaces of blue; I've lived with the birds and the trees;
I've turned from the splendor of silver and gold to share in such pleasures as these.

I've given my time to the children who came; together we've romped and we've played,
And I wouldn't exchange the glad hours spent with them for the money that I might have made.
I chose to be known and be loved by the few, and was deaf to the plaudits of men;
And I'd make the same choice should the chance come to me to live my life over again.

I've lived with my friends and I've shared in their joys, known sorrow with all of its tears;
I have harvested much from my acres of life, though some say I've squandered my years.
For much that is fine has been mine to enjoy, and I think I have lived to my best,
And I have no regret, as I'm nearing the end, for the gold that I might have possessed.

************

Loss and Gain

by

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.

I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
Has fallen short or been turned aside.

But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

************

Maud Muller

by

John Greenleaf Whittier

Maud Muller on a summer's day,
Raked the meadow sweet with hay.

Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth
Of simple beauty and rustic-health.

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee
The mock-bird echoed from his tree.

But when she glanced to the far-off town,
White from its hill-slope looking down,

The sweet song died, and a vague unrest
And a nameless longing filled her breast, —

A wish, that she hardly dared to own,
For something better than she had known.

The Judge rode slowly down the lane,
Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane.

He drew his bridle in the shade
Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid,

And asked a draught from the spring that flowed
Through the meadow across the road.

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up,
And filled for him her small tin cup,

And blushed as she gave it, looking down
On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown.

"Thanks!" said the Judge; "a sweeter draught
From a fairer hand was never quaffed."

He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees,
Of the singing birds and the humming bees;

Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether
The cloud in the west would bring foul weather.

And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown,
And her graceful ankles bare and brown;

And listened, while a pleased surprise
Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.

At last, like one who for delay
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away.

Maud Muller looked and sighed: "Ah me!
That I the Judge's bride might be!

"He would dress me up in silks so fine,
And praise and toast me at his wine.

"My father should wear a broadcloth coat;
My brother should sail a painted boat.

"I'd dress my mother so grand and gay,
And the baby should have a new toy each day.

"And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor,
And all should bless me who left our door."

The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill,
And saw Maud Muller standing still.

"A form more fair, a face more sweet,
Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet.

"And her modest answer and graceful air
Show her wise and good as she is fair.

"Would she were mine, and I to-day,
Like her, a harvester of hay:

"No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs,
Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues,

"But low of cattle and song of birds,
And health and quiet and loving words."

But he thought of his sisters, proud and cold,
And his mother, vain of her rank and gold.

So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,
And Maud was left in the field alone.

But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,
When he hummed in court an old love-tune;

And the young girl mused beside the well
Till the rain on the unraked clover fell.

He wedded a wife of richest dower,
Who lived for fashion, as he for power.

Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow,
He watched a picture come and go;

And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes
Looked out in their innocent surprise.

Oft, when the wine in his glass was red,
He longed for the wayside well instead;

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms,
To dream of meadows and clover-blooms.

And the proud man sighed, with a secret pain,
"Ah, that I were free again!

"Free as when I rode that day,
Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay."

She wedded a man unlearned and poor,
And many children played round her door.

But care and sorrow, and childbirth pain,
Left their traces on heart and brain.

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot,

And she heard the little spring brook fall
Over the roadside, through the wall,

In the shade of the apple-tree again
She saw a rider draw his rein.

And, gazing down with timid grace,
She felt his pleased eyes read her face.

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls
Stretched away into stately halls;

The weary wheel to a spinnet turned,
The tallow candle an astral burned,

And for him who sat by the chimney lug,
Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug,

A manly form at her side she saw,
And joy was duty and love was law.

Then she took up her burden of life again,
Saying only, "It might have been."

Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
For rich repiner and household drudge!

God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: "It might have been!"

Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies
Deeply buried from human eyes;

And, in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from its grave away!

************

Memory's Mansion

by

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In Memory's Mansion are wonderful rooms,
And I wander about them at will;
And I pause at the casements, where boxes of blooms
Are sending sweet scents o'er the sill.
I lean from a window that looks on a lawn:
From a turret that looks on the wave.
But I draw down the shade, when I see on some glade,
A stone standing guard, by a grave.

To Memory's attic I clambered one day,
When the roof was resounding with rain.
And there, among relics long hidden away,
I rummaged with heart-ache and pain.
A hope long surrendered and covered with dust,
A pastime, out-grown, and forgot,
And a fragment of love, all corroded with rust,
Were lying heaped up in one spot.

And there on the floor of that garret was tossed
A friendship too fragile to last,
With pieces of dearly bought pleasures, that cost
Vast fortunes of pain in the past.
A fabric of passion, once ardent and bright,
As tropical sunsets in spring,
Was spread out before me — a terrible sight —
A moth-eaten rag of a thing.

Then down the steep stairway I hurriedly went,
And into fair chambers below.
But the mansion seemed filled with the old attic scent,
Wherever my footsteps would go.
Though in Memory's House I still wander full oft,
No more to the garret I climb;
And I leave all the rubbish heaped there in the loft
To the hands of the Housekeeper, Time.

************

Mending Wall

by

Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbours."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbours? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbours."

************

Miracles

by

Walt Whitman

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.

To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim — the rocks — the motion of the waves — the ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

************

Mrs. Charles Bliss

by

Edgar Lee Masters

Reverend Wiley advised me not to divorce him
For the sake of the children,
And Judge Somers advised him the same.
So we stuck to the end of the path.
But two of the children thought he was right,
And two of the children thought I was right.
And the two who sided with him blamed me,
And the two who sided with me blamed him,
And they grieved for the one they sided with.
And all were torn with the guilt of judging,
And tortured in soul because they could not admire
Equally him and me.
Now every gardener knows that plants grown in cellars
Or under stones are twisted and yellow and weak.
And no mother would let her baby suck
Diseased milk from her breast.
Yet preachers and judges advise the raising of souls
Where there is no sunlight, but only twilight,
No warmth, but only dampness and cold —
Preachers and judges!

************

"My Heart Leaps Up..."

by

William Wordsworth

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

************

"My Mistress' Eyes..." (Sonnet 130)

by

William Shakespeare

My Mistress' eyes are nothing like the Sun,
Coral is far more red, than her lips red:
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen Roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such Roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight,
Than in the breath that from my Mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know,
That Music hath a far more pleasing sound:
I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My Mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet by heaven I think my love as rare,
As any she belied with false compare.

************

My Religion

by

Edgar Guest

My religion's lovin' God, who made us, one and all,
Who marks, no matter where it be, the humble sparrow's fall;
An' my religion's servin' Him the very best I can
By not despisin' anything He made, especially man!
It's lovin' sky an' earth an' sun an' birds an' flowers an' trees,
But lovin' human beings more than any one of these.

I ain't no hand at preachin' an' I can't expound the creeds;
I fancy every fellow's faith must satisfy his needs
Or he would hunt for something else. An' I can't tell the why
An' wherefore of the doctrines deep — and what's more I don't try.
I reckon when this life is done and we can know His plan,
God won't be hard on anyone who's tried to be a man.

My religion doesn't hinge on some one rite or word;
I hold that any honest prayer a mortal makes is heard;
To love a church is well enough, but some get cold with pride
An' quite forget their fellowmen for whom the Saviour died;
I fancy he best worships God, when all is said an' done,
Who tries to be, from day to day, a friend to everyone.

If God can mark the sparrow's fall, I don't believe He'll fail
To notice us an' how we act when doubts an' fears assail;
I think He'll hold what's in our hearts above what's in our creeds,
An' judge all our religion here by our recorded deeds;
An' since man is God's greatest work since life on earth began,
He'll get to Heaven, I believe, who helps his fellowman.

************

My Vision

by

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Wherever my feet may wander
Wherever I chance to be,
There comes, with the coming of even' time
A vision sweet to me.
I see my mother sitting
In the old familiar place,
And she rocks to the tune her needles sing,
And thinks of an absent face.

I can hear the roar of the city
About me now as I write;
But over an hundred miles of snow
My thought-steeds fly tonight,
To the dear little cozy cottage,
And the room where mother sits,
And slowly rocks in her easy chair
And thinks of me as she knits.

Sometimes with the merry dancers
When my feet are keeping time,
And my heart beats high, as young hearts will,
To the music's rhythmic chime,
My spirit slips over the distance
Over the glitter and whirl,
To my mother who sits, and rocks, and knits,
And thinks of her "little girl."

And when I listen to voices that flatter,
And smile, as women do,
To whispered words that may be sweet,
But are not always true;
I think of the sweet, quaint picture
Afar in quiet ways,
And I know one smile of my mother's eyes
Is better than all their praise.

And I know I can never wander
Far from the path of right,
Though snares are set for a woman's feet
In places that seem most bright.
For the vision is with me always,
Wherever I chance to be,
Of mother sitting, rocking, and knitting,
Thinking and praying for me.

************

Nest Eggs

by

Robert Louis Stevenson

Birds all the sunny day
Flutter and quarrel
Here in the arbour-like
Tent of the laurel.

Here in the fork
The brown nest is seated;
Four little blue eggs
The mother keeps heated.

While we stand watching her
Staring like gabies,
Safe in each egg are the
Bird's little babies.

Soon the frail eggs they shall
Chip, and upspringing
Make all the April woods
Merry with singing.

Younger than we are,
O children, and frailer,
Soon in the blue air they'll be,
Singer and sailor.

We, so much older,
Taller and stronger,
We shall look down on the
Birdies no longer.

They shall go flying
With musical speeches
High overhead in the
Tops of the beeches.

In spite of our wisdom
And sensible talking,
We on our feet must go
Plodding and walking.

************

New Love and Old

by

Sara Teasdale

In my heart the old love
Struggled with the new;
It was ghostly waking
All night through.

Dear things, kind things,
That my old love said,
Ranged themselves reproachfully
Round my bed.

But I could not heed them,
For I seemed to see
The eyes of my new love
Fixed on me.

Old love, old love,
How can I be true?
Shall I be faithless to myself
Or to you?

************

No Children!

by

Edgar Guest

No children in the house to play —
It must be hard to live that way!
I wonder what the people do
When night comes on and the work is through,
With no glad little folks to shout,
No eager feet to race about,
No youthful tongues to chatter on
About the joy that's been and gone?
The house might be a castle fine,
But what a lonely place to dine!

No children in the house at all,
No fingermarks upon the wall,
No corner where the toys are piled —
Sure indication of a child.
No little lips to breathe the prayer
That God shall keep you in His care,
No glad caress and welcome sweet
When night returns you to your street;
No little lips a kiss to give —
Oh, what a lonely way to live!

No children in the house! I fear
We could not stand it half a year.
What would we talk about at night,
Plan for and work with all our might,
Hold common dreams about and find
True union of heart and mind,
If we two had no greater care
Than what we both should eat and wear?
We never knew love's brightest flame
Until the day the baby came.

And now we could not get along
Without their laughter and their song.
Joy is not bottled on a shelf,
It cannot feed upon itself,
And even love, if it shall wear,
Must find its happiness in care;
Dull we'd become of mind and speech
Had we no little ones to teach.
No children in the house to play!
Oh, we could never live that way!

************

Not in Vain

by

Emily Dickinson

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

************

"Not Marble..." (Sonnet 55)

by

William Shakespeare

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of Princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall Statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword, nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death, and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room,
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.

************

November

by

Sara Teasdale

The world is tired, the year is old,
The little leaves are glad to die,
The wind goes shivering with cold
Among the rushes dry.

Our love is dying like the grass,
And we who kissed grow coldly kind,
Half glad to see our old love pass
Like leaves along the wind.

************

O Captain! My Captain!

by

Walt Whitman

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.

************

Ode on a Grecian Urn

by

John Keats

Thou still unravished 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 loath?
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 endeared,
Pipe to the spirit dities 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
Forever 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, unwearied,
Forever piping songs forever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
Forever warm and still to be enjoyed,
Forever panting, and forever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,
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 dressed?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this 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.

************

Old Aunt Mary's

by

James Whitcomb Riley

Wasn't it pleasant, O brother mine,
In those old days of the lost sunshine
Of youth — when the Saturday's chores were through,
And the "Sunday's wood" in the kitchen too,
And we went visiting, "me and you,"
Out to Old Aunt Mary's?—

It all comes back so clear to-day!
Though I am as bald as you are gray —
Out by the barn-lot, and down the lane,
We patter along in the dust again,
As light as the tips of the drops of the rain,
Out to Old Aunt Mary's!

We cross the pasture, and through the wood
Where the old gray snag of the poplar stood,
Where the hammering "red-heads" hopped awry,
And the buzzard "raised" in the "clearing" sky
And lolled and circled, as we went by
Out to Old Aunt Mary's.

And then in the dust of the road again;
And the teams we met, and the countrymen;
And the long highway, with sunshine spread
As thick as butter on country bread,
Our cares behind, and our hearts ahead
Out to Old Aunt Mary's.

Why, I see her now in the open door,
Where the little gourds grew up the sides and o'er
The clapboard roof —! And her face — ah, me!
Wasn't it good for a boy to see —
And wasn't it good for a boy to be
Out to Old Aunt Mary's?

The jelly — the jam and the marmalade,
And the cherry and quince "preserves'' she made!
And the sweet-sour pickles of peach and pear,
With cinnamon in 'em, and all things rare — !
And the more we ate was the more to spare,
Out to Old Aunt Mary's!

And the old spring-house in the cool green gloom
Of the willow-trees — , and the cooler room
Where the swinging-shelves and the crocks were kept —
Where the cream in a golden languor slept
While the waters gurgled and laughed and wept—
Out to Old Aunt Mary's.

And O my brother, so far away,
This is to tell you she waits to-day
To welcome us — : Aunt Mary fell
Asleep this morning, whispering — "Tell
The boys to come!" And all is well
Out to Old Aunt Mary's.

************

On Being Broke

by

Edgar Guest

Don't mind being broke at all,
When I can say that what I had
Was spent for toys for kiddies small
And that the spending made 'em glad.
I don't regret the money gone,
If happiness it left behind.
An empty purse I'll look upon
Contented, if its record's kind.
There's no disgrace in being broke,
Unless it's due to flying high;
Though poverty is not a joke,
The only thing that counts is "why?"

The dollars come to me and go;
To-day I've eight or ten to spend;
To-morrow I'll be sailing low,
And have to lean upon a friend.
But if that little bunch of mine
Is richer by some toy or frill,
I'll face the world and never whine
Because I lack a dollar bill.
I'm satisfied, if I can see
One smile that hadn't bloomed before.
The only thing that counts with me
Is what I've spent my money for.

I might regret my sorry plight,
If selfishness brought it about;
If for the fun I had last night,
Some joy they'd have to go without.
But if I've swapped my bit of gold,
For laughter and a happier pack
Of youngsters in my little fold
I'll never wish those dollars back.
If I have traded coin for things
They needed and have left them glad,
Then being broke no sorrow brings--
I've done my best with what I had.

************

On Liberty and Slavery

by

George Moses Horton

Alas! and am I born for this,
To wear this slavish chain?
Deprived of all created bliss,
Through hardship, toil and pain!

How long have I in bondage lain,
And languished to be free!
Alas! and must I still complain —
Deprived of liberty?

Oh, Heaven! and is there no relief
This side the silent grave —
To soothe the pain — to quell the grief
And anguish of a slave?

Come Liberty, thou cheerful sound,
Roll through my ravished ears!
Come, let my grief in joys be drowned,
And drive away my fears.

Say unto foul oppression, Cease:
Ye tyrants rage no more,
And let the joyful trump of peace,
Now bid the vassal soar.

Soar on the pinions of that dove
Which long has cooed for thee,
And breathed her notes from Afric's grove,
The sound of Liberty.

Oh, Liberty! thou golden prize,
So often sought by blood —
We crave thy sacred sun to rise,
The gift of nature's God:

Bid Slavery hide her haggard face,
And barbarism fly:
I scorn to see the sad disgrace
In which enslaved I lie.

Dear Liberty! upon thy breast,
I languish to respire;
And like the Swan unto her nest,
I'd to thy smiles retire.

Oh, blest asylum — heavenly balm!
Unto thy boughs I flee —
And in thy shades the storm shall calm,
With songs of Liberty!

************

On the Posteriors

by

Jonathan Swift

Because I am by nature blind,
I wisely choose to walk behind;
However, to avoid disgrace,
I let no creature see my face.
My words are few, but spoke with sense;
And yet my speaking gives offence:
Or, if to whisper I presume,
The company will fly the room.
By all the world I am opprest:
And my oppression gives them rest.
Through me, though sore against my will,
Instructors every art instil.
By thousands I am sold and bought,
Who neither get nor lose a groat;
For none, alas! by me can gain,
But those who give me greatest pain.
Shall man presume to be my master,
Who's but my caterer and taster?
Yet, though I always have my will,
I'm but a mere depender still:
An humble hanger-on at best;
Of whom all people make a jest.
In me detractors seek to find
Two vices of a different kind;
I'm too profuse, some censurers cry,
And all I get, I let it fly;
While others give me many a curse,
Because too close I hold my purse.
But this I know, in either case
They dare not charge me to my face.
'Tis true, indeed, sometimes I save,
Sometimes run out of all I have;
But, when the year is at an end,
Computing what I get and spend,
My goings-out, and comings-in,
I cannot find I lose or win;
And therefore all that know me say,
I justly keep the middle way.
I'm always by my betters led;
I last get up, and first a-bed;
Though, if I rise before my time,
The learn'd in sciences sublime
Consult the stars, and thence foretell
Good luck to those with whom I dwell.

************

On the Tombs in Westminster Abbey

by

Francis Beaumont

Mortality, behold and fear!
What a change of flesh is here!
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within this heap of stones;
Here they lie, had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands;
Where from their pulpits seal'd with dust
They preach, "In greatness is no trust."
Here's an acre sown indeed
With the richest, royall'st seed
That the earth did e'er suck in
Since the first man died for sin:
Here the bones of birth have cried —
"Though gods they were, as men they died!"
Here are sands, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruin'd sides of kings;
Here's a world of pomp and state,
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.

************

Ozymandias

by

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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.

************

Paul Revere's Ride

by

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light, —
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said, "Good night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street,
Wanders and watches with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade, —
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay, —
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled, —
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farm-yard wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm, —
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

************

Quicksand Years

by

Walt Whitman

Quicksand years that whirl me I know not whither,
Your schemes, politics, fail, lines give way, substances mock and elude me,
Only the theme I sing, the great and strong-possess'd soul, eludes not,
One's-self must never give way — that is the final substance — that out of all is sure,
Out of politics, triumphs, battles, life, what at last finally remains?
When shows break up, what but One's-Self is sure?

************

Requiem

by

Robert Louis Stevenson

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

************

Romance

by

Claude McKay

To clasp you now and feel your head close-pressed,
Scented and warm against my beating breast;

To whisper soft and quivering your name,
And drink the passion burning in your frame;

To lie at full length, taut, with cheek to cheek,
And tease your mouth with kisses till you speak

Love words, mad words, dream words, sweet senseless words,
Melodious like notes of mating birds;

To hear you ask if I shall love always,
And myself answer: Till the end of days;

To feel your easeful sigh of happiness
When on your trembling lips I murmur: Yes;

It is so sweet. We know it is not true.
What matters it? The night must shed her dew.

We know it is not true, but it is sweet —
The poem with this music is complete.

************

Seein' Things

by

Eugene Field

I ain't afeard uv snakes, or toads, or bugs, or worms, or mice,
An' things 'at girls are skeered uv I think are awful nice!
I'm pretty brave, I guess; an' yet I hate to go to bed,
For, when I'm tucked up warm an' snug an' when my prayers are said,
Mother tells me "Happy dreams!" and takes away the light,
An' leaves me lyin' all alone an' seein' things at night!

Sometimes they're in the corner, sometimes they're by the door,
Sometimes they're all a-standin' in the middle uv the floor;
Sometimes they are a-sittin' down, sometimes they're walkin' round
So softly an' so creepylike they never make a sound!
Sometimes they are as black as ink, an' other times they're white —
But the color ain't no difference when you see things at night!

Once, when I licked a feller 'at had just moved on our street,
An' father sent me up to bed without a bite to eat,
I woke up in the dark an' saw things standin' in a row,
A-lookin' at me cross-eyed an' p'intin' at me — so!
Oh, my! I wuz so skeered that time I never slep' a mite —
It's almost alluz when I'm bad I see things at night!

Lucky thing I ain't a girl, or I'd be skeered to death!
Bein' I'm a boy, I duck my head an' hold my breath;
An' I am, oh! so sorry I'm a naughty boy, an' then
I promise to be better an' I say my prayers again!
Gran'ma tells me that's the only way to make it right
When a feller has been wicked an' sees things at night!

An' so, when other naughty boys would coax me into sin,
I try to skwush the Tempter's voice 'at urges me within;
An' when they's pie for supper, or cakes 'at 's big an' nice,
I want to — but I do not pass my plate f'r them things twice!
No, ruther let Starvation wipe me slowly out o' sight
Than I should keep a-livin' on an' seein' things at night!

************

"Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" (Sonnet 18)

by

William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
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 owest,
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 this gives life to thee.

************

"Shall I, Wasting in Despair"

by

George Wither

Shall I, wasting in despair,
Die, because a woman's fair?
Or make pale my cheeks with care,
'Cause another's rosy are?
Be she fairer than the day,
Or the flow'ry meads in May:
If she be not so to me
What care I how fair she be?

Should my heart be grieved, or pined,
'Cause I see a woman kind?
Or a well-disposèd nature
Joinèd with a lovely feature?
Be she meeker, kinder, than
Turtle dove, or pelican:
If she be not so to me,
What care I how kind she be?

Shall a woman's virtues move
Me to perish for her love?
Or, her well deserving known,
Make me quite forget mine own?
But she with that goodness blest
Which may gain her name of Best;
If she be not such to me,
What care I, how good she be?

'Cause her fortune seems too high,
Shall I play the fool and die?
Those that bear a noble mind,
Where they want of riches find,
Think what with them they would do,
That without them dare to woo;
And unless that mind I see,
What care I how great she be?

Great, or good, or kind, or fair,
I will ne'er the more despair;
If she love me, this believe,
I will die ere she shall grieve.
If she slight me when I woo,
I can scorn, and let her go;
For, if she be not for me,
What care I for whom she be?

************

She Came and Went

by

James Russell Lowell

As a twig trembles, which a bird
Lights on to sing, then leaves unbent,
So is my memory thrilled and stirred; —
I only know she came and went.

As clasps some lake, by gusts unriven,
The blue dome's measureless content,
So my soul held, that moment's heaven; —
I only know she came and went.

As, at one bound, our swift spring heaps
The orchards full of bloom and scent,
So clove her May my wintry sleeps; —
I only know she came and went.

An angel stood and met my gaze,
Through the low doorway of my tent;
The tent is struck, the vision stays; —
I only know she came and went.

O, when the room grows slowly dim,
And life's last oil is nearly spent,
One gush of light these eyes will brim,
Only to think she came and went.

************

She Is Overheard Singing

by

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Oh, Prue she has a patient man,
And Joan a gentle lover,
And Agatha's Arth' is a hug-the-hearth, —
But my true love's a rover!

Mig, her man's as good as cheese
And honest as a briar,
Sue tells her love what he's thinking of, —
But my dear lad's a liar!

Oh, Sue and Prue and Agatha
Are thick with Mig and Joan!
They bite their threads and shake their heads
And gnaw my name like a bone;

And Prue says, "Mine's a patient man,
As never snaps me up,"
And Agatha, "Arth' is a hug-the-hearth,
Could live content in a cup;"

Sue's man's mind is like good jell —
All one colour, and clear —
And Mig's no call to think at all
What's to come next year,

While Joan makes boast of a gentle lad,
That's troubled with that and this; —
But they all would give the life they live
For a look from the man I kiss!

Cold he slants his eyes about,
And few enough's his choice, —
Though he'd slip me clean for a nun, or a queen,
Or a beggar with knots in her voice, —

And Agatha will turn awake
While her good man sleeps sound,
And Mig and Sue and Joan and Prue
Will hear the clock strike round,

For Prue she has a patient man,
As asks not when or why,
And Mig and Sue have naught to do
But peep who's passing by,

Joan is paired with a putterer
That bastes and tastes and salts,
And Agatha's Arth' is a hug-the-hearth, —
But my true love is false!

************

Solitude

by

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone,
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
But has trouble enough of it's own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air,
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectar'd wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

************

Song to Celia

by

Ben Jonson*

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I'll not look for wine.

The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine,
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee,
As giving it a hope that there
It could not withered be.

But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent'st it back to me:
Since when it grows and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.

*This poem was composed by Ben Jonson mainly using quotes from love-letters by the Greek writer Philostratus (c. 170 - 247).

************

Songs for the People

by

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Let me make the songs for the people,
Songs for the old and young;
Songs to stir like a battle-cry
Wherever they are sung.

Not for the clashing of sabres,
For carnage nor for strife;
But songs to thrill the hearts of men
With more abundant life.

Let me make the songs for the weary,
Amid life's fever and fret,
Till hearts shall relax their tension,
And careworn brows forget.

Let me sing for little children,
Before their footsteps stray,
Sweet anthems of love and duty,
To float o'er life's highway.

I would sing for the poor and aged,
When shadows dim their sight;
Of the bright and restful mansions,
Where there shall be no night.

Our world, so worn and weary,
Needs music, pure and strong,
To hush the jangle and discords
Of sorrow, pain, and wrong.

Music to soothe all its sorrow,
Till war and crime shall cease;
And the hearts of men grown tender
Girdle the world with peace.

************

Spring Rain

by

Sara Teasdale

I thought I had forgotten,
But it all came back again
To-night with the first spring thunder
In a rush of rain.

I remembered a darkened doorway
Where we stood while the storm swept by,
Thunder gripping the earth
And lightning scrawled on the sky.

The passing motor busses swayed,
For the street was a river of rain,
Lashed into little golden waves
In the lamp light's stain.

With the wild spring rain and thunder
My heart was wild and gay;
Your eyes said more to me that night
Than your lips would ever say....

I thought I had forgotten,
But it all came back again
To-night with the first spring thunder
In a rush of rain.

************

Stars, Songs, Faces

by

Carl Sandburg

Gather the stars if you wish it so.
Gather the songs and keep them.
Gather the faces of women.
Gather for keeping years and years.
And then...
Loosen your hands, let go and say good-by.
Let the stars and songs go.
Let the faces and years go.
Loosen your hands and say good-by.

************

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

by

Robert Frost

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.

************

Summer Shower

by

Emily Dickinson

A drop fell on the apple tree,
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.

A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!

The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchards spangles hung.

The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fete away.

************

Surrender

by

Emily Dickinson

Doubt me, my dim companion!
Why, God would be content
With but a fraction of the love
Poured thee without a stint.
The whole of me, forever,
What more the woman can, —
Say quick, that I may dower thee
With last delight I own!

It cannot be my spirit,
For that was thine before;
I ceded all of dust I knew, —
What opulence the more
Had I, a humble maiden,
Whose farthest of degree
Was that she might,
Some distant heaven,
Dwell timidly with thee!

************

Tavern

by

Edna St. Vincent Millay

I'll keep a little tavern
Below the high hill's crest,
Wherein all grey-eyed people
May set them down and rest.

There shall be plates a-plenty,
And mugs to melt the chill
Of all the grey-eyed people
Who happen up the hill.

There sound will sleep the traveller,
And dream his journey's end,
But I will rouse at midnight
The falling fire to tend.

Aye, 'tis a curious fancy —
But all the good I know
Was taught me out of two grey eyes
A long time ago.

************

Thanks in Old Age

by

Walt Whitman

Thanks in old age — thanks ere I go,
For health, the midday sun, the impalpable air — for life, mere life,
For precious ever-lingering memories, (of you my mother dear — you, father —you, brothers, sisters, friends,)
For all my days — not those of peace alone — the days of war the same,
For gentle words, caresses, gifts from foreign lands,
For shelter, wine and meat — for sweet appreciation,
(You distant, dim unknown — or young or old — countless, unspecified, readers belov'd,
We never met, and ne'er shall meet — and yet our souls embrace, long, close and long;)
For beings, groups, love, deeds, words, books — for colors, forms,
For all the brave strong men—devoted, hardy men— who've forward sprung in freedom's help, all years, all lands,
For braver, stronger, more devoted men — (a special laurel ere I go, to life's war's chosen ones,
The cannoneers of song and thought — the great artillerists — the foremost leaders, captains of the soul:)
As soldier from an ended war return'd — As traveler out of myriads, to the long procession retrospective,
Thanks — joyful thanks! — a soldier's, traveler's thanks.

************

The Bells

by

Edgar Allan Poe

I.

Hear the sledges with the bells,
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars, that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells —
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

II.

Hear the mellow wedding bells,
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten golden-notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! How it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells —
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

III.

Hear the loud alarum bells,
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now — now to sit, or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,—
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells,
Of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells —
In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!

IV.

Hear the tolling of the bells,
Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people — ah, the people,
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All alone,
And who tolling, tolling, tolling
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone—
They are neither man nor woman,
They are neither brute nor human,
They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
Rolls
A pæan from the bells;
And his merry bosom swells
With the pæan of the bells,
And he dances, and he yells:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the pæan of the bells,
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells —
To the sobbing of the bells;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells:
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells —
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

************

The Bridal Veil

by

Alice Cary

We're married, they say, and you think you have won me,—
Well, take this white veil from my head, and look on me;
Here's matter to vex you, and matter to grieve you,
Here's doubt to distrust you, and faith to believe you, —
I am all as you see, common earth, common dew;
Be wary, and mould me to roses, not rue!

Ah! shake out the filmy thing, fold after fold,
And see if you have me to keep and to hold, —
Look close on my heart — see the worst of its sinning, —
It is not yours to-day for the yesterday's winning —
The past is not mine — I am too proud to borrow —
You must grow to new heights if I love you to-morrow.

We're married! I'm plighted to hold up your praises,
As the turf at your feet does its handful of daisies;
That way lies my honor, — my pathway of pride,
But, mark you, if greener grass grows either side,
I shall know it, and keeping in body with you,
Shall walk in my spirit with feet on the dew!

We're married! Oh, pray that our love do not fail!
I have wings flattened down and hid under my veil:
They are subtle as light — you can never undo them,
And swift in their flight — you can never pursue them,
And spite of all clasping, and spite of all bands,
I can slip like a shadow, a dream, from your hands.

Nay, call me not cruel, and fear not to take me,
I am yours for my life-time, to be what you make me, —
To wear my white veil for a sign, or a cover,
As you shall be proven my lord, or my lover;
A cover for peace that is dead, or a token
Of bliss that can never be written or spoken.

************

The Builders

by

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All are architects of Fate,
Working in these walls of Time;
Some with massive deeds and great,
Some with ornaments of rhyme.

Nothing useless is, or low;
Each thing in its place is best;
And what seems but idle show
Strengthens and supports the rest.

For the structure that we raise,
Time is with materials filled;
Our to-days and yesterdays
Are the blocks with which we build.

Truly shape and fashion these;
Leave no yawning gaps between;
Think not, because no man sees,
Such things will remain unseen.

In the elder days of Art,
Builders wrought with greatest care
Each minute and unseen part;
For the Gods see everywhere.

Let us do our work as well,
Both the unseen and the seen;
Make the house, where Gods may dwell,
Beautiful, entire, and clean.

Else our lives are incomplete,
Standing in these walls of Time,
Broken stairways, where the feet
Stumble as they seek to climb.

Build to-day, then, strong and sure,
With a firm and ample base;
And ascending and secure
Shall to-morrow find its place.

Thus alone can we attain
To those turrets, where the eye
Sees the world as one vast plain,
And one boundless reach of sky.

************

The Castaways

by

Claude McKay

The vivid grass with visible delight
Springing triumphant from the pregnant earth,
The butterflies, and sparrows in brief flight
Chirping and dancing for the season's birth,
The dandelions and rare daffodils
That touch the deep-stirred heart with hands of gold,
And thrushes sending forth their joyous trills, —
Not these, not these did I at first behold!
But seated on the benches daubed with green,
The castaways of life, some few asleep,
Some withered women desolate and mean,
And over all life's shadows dark and deep.
Moaning I turned away, for misery
I have the strength to bear but not to see.

************

The Character of a Happy Life

by

Henry Wotton

How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill;

Whose passions not his masters are;
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Untied unto the world by care
Of public fame or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Nor vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;

Who hath his life from rumour freed;
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great;

Who God doth late and early pray
More of his grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend.

This man is free from servile bands
Of hope to rise or fear to fall:
Lord of himself, though not of lands,
And, having nothing, yet hath all.

************

The Chariot

by

Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 't is centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

************

The Chronicle

by

Abraham Cowley

Margarita first possest,
If I remember well, my breast,
Margarita, first of all;
But, when awhile the wanton maid
With my restless heart had play'd,
Martha took the flying ball.

Martha soon did it resign
To the beauteous Catharine.
Beauteous Catharine gave place
(Though loth and angry she to part
With the possession of my heart)
To Eliza's conquering face.

Eliza till this hour might reign,
Had she not evil counsels ta'en:
Fundamental laws she broke,
And still new favorites she chose,
Till up in arms my passions rose,
And cast away her yoke.

Mary then and gentle Anne
Both to reign at once began;
Alternately they sway'd:
And sometimes Mary was the fair,
And sometimes Anne the crown did wear,
And sometimes both I obey'd.

Another Mary then arose,
And did rigorous laws impose:
A mighty tyrant, she!
Long, alas! should I have been
Under that iron-scepter'd queen,
Had not Rebecca set me free.

When fair Rebecca set me free,
'Twas then a golden time with me;
But soon those pleasures fled;
For the gracious princess dy'd,
In her youth and beauty's pride,
And Judith reigned in her stead.

One month, three days, and half an hour,
Judith held the sovereign power;
Wondrous beautiful her face;
But so weak and small her wit,
That she to govern was unfit,
And so Susanna took her place.

But when Isabella came,
Arm'd with a resistless flame,
And th' artillery of her eye;
Whilst she proudly march'd about
Greater conquests to find out,
She beat out Susan by the bye.

But in her place I then obey'd
Black-ey'd Bess, her viceroy-maid,
To whom ensu'd a vacancy:
Thousand worse passions than possest
The interregnum of my breast:
Bless me from such an anarchy!

Gentle Henriette then,
And a third Mary next began;
Then Joan, and Jane, and Audria,
And then a pretty Thomasine,
And then another Katharine,
And then a long et cætera.

But should I now to you relate,
The strength and riches of their state,
The powder, patches, and the pins,
The ribbands, jewels, and the rings,
The lace, the paint, and warlike things,
That make up all their magazines:

If I should tell the politic arts
To take and keep mens hearts;
The letters, embassies, and spies,
The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries,
The quarrels, tears, and perjuries
Numberless, nameless mysteries!

And all the little lime-twigs laid
By Machiavel, the waiting-maid;
I more voluminous should grow
(Chiefly, if I like them should tell
All change of weathers that befell)
Than Holinshed or Stow.

But I will briefer with them be,
Since few of them were long with me.
An higher and a nobler strain
My present emperess does claim,
Heleonora, first o' th' name;
Whom God grant long to reign!

************

The Coin

by

Sara Teasdale

Into my heart's treasury
I slipped a coin
That time cannot take
Nor a thief purloin, —
Oh better than the minting
Of a gold-crowned king
Is the safe-kept memory
Of a lovely thing.

************

The Complaint of Chaucer to His Purse

by

Geoffrey Chaucer

To you, my purse, and to noon other wyght,
Compleyne I, for ye be my lady dere!
I am so sory now that ye been light;
For, certes, but ye make me hevy chere,
Me were as leef be leyd upon my bere;
For whiche unto your mercy thus I crye:
Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!

Now voucheth sauf this day, or hit be nyght,
That I of you the blisful soun may here,
Or see your colour lyk the sonne bright,
That of yelownesse hadde never pere,
Ye be my lyf, ye be myn hertes stere,
Quene of comfort and of good companye,
Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!

Now purse, that be to me my lyves light
And saveour, as doun in this world here,
Out of this toune help me thurgh your myght,
Syn that ye wole nat been my tresorere;
For I am shave as nye as is a frere.
But yet I pray unto your curtesye:
Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!

LENVOY DE CHAUCER

O conquerour of Brutes Albioun!
Which that by lyne and free eleccioun
Ben verray kyng, this song to you I sende;
And ye that mowen al myn harm amende,
Have mynde up-on my supplicacioun!

************

The Convalescent Gripster

by

Eugene Field

The gods let slip that fiendish grip
Upon me last week Sunday —
No fiercer storm than racked my form
E'er swept the Bay of Fundy;
But now, good-by
To drugs, say I —
Good-by to gnawing sorrow;
I am up to-day,
And, whoop, hooray!
I'm going out to-morrow!

What aches and pain in bones and brain
I had I need not mention;
It seemed to me such pangs must be
Old Satan's own invention;
Albeit I
Was sure I'd die,
The doctor reassured me —
And, true enough,
With his vile stuff,
He ultimately cured me.

As there I lay in bed all day,
How fair outside looked to me!
A smile so mild old Nature smiled
It seemed to warm clean through me.
In chastened mood
The scene I viewed,
Inventing, sadly solus,
Fantastic rhymes
Between the times
I had to take a bolus.

Of quinine slugs and other drugs
I guess I took a million —
Such drugs as serve to set each nerve
To dancing a cotillon;
The doctors say
The only way
To rout the grip instanter
Is to pour in
All kinds of sin —
Similibus curantur!

'Twas hard; and yet I'll soon forget
Those ills and cures distressing;
One's future lies 'neath gorgeous skies
When one is convalescing!
So now, good-by
To drugs say I —
Good-by, thou phantom Sorrow!
I am up to-day,
And, whoop, hooray!
I'm going out to-morrow.

************

The Death of Robin Hood

by

Eugene Field

"Give me my bow," said Robin Hood,
"An arrow give to me;
And where 't is shot mark thou that spot,
For there my grave shall be."

Then Little John did make no sign,
And not a word he spake;
But he smiled, altho' with mickle woe
His heart was like to break.

He raised his master in his arms,
And set him on his knee;
And Robin's eyes beheld the skies,
The shaws, the greenwood tree.

The brook was babbling as of old,
The birds sang full and clear,
And the wild-flowers gay like a carpet lay
In the path of the timid deer.

"O Little John," said Robin Hood,
"Meseemeth now to be
Standing with you so stanch and true
Under the greenwood tree.

"And all around I hear the sound
Of Sherwood long ago,
And my merry men come back again, —
You know, sweet friend, you know!

"Now mark this arrow; where it falls,
When I am dead dig deep,
And bury me there in the greenwood where
I would forever sleep."

He twanged his bow. Upon its course
The clothyard arrow sped,
And when it fell in yonder dell,
Brave Robin Hood was dead.

The sheriff sleeps in a marble vault,
The king in a shroud of gold;
And upon the air with a chanted pray'r
Mingles the mock of mould.

But the deer draw to the shady pool,
The birds sing blithe and free,
And the wild-flow'rs bloom o'er a hidden tomb
Under the greenwood tree.

************

The Duel

by

Eugene Field

The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
'T was half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t' other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
(I wasn't there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!
)

The gingham dog went "Bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied "Mee-ow!"
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Now mind: I'm only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!
)

The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do!"
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfullest way you ever saw —
And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
(Don't fancy I exaggerate -
I got my news from the Chinese plate!
)

Next morning, where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about the cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.
)

************

The Dying Veteran

by

Walt Whitman

Amid these days of order, ease, prosperity,
Amid the current songs of beauty, peace, decorum,
I cast a reminiscence — (likely 'twill offend you,
I heard it in my boyhood;) — More than a generation since,
A queer old savage man, a fighter under Washington himself,
(Large, brave, cleanly, hot-blooded, no talker, rather spiritualistic,
Had fought in the ranks — fought well—had been all through the Revolutionary war,)
Lay dying — sons, daughters, church-deacons, lovingly tending him,
Sharping their sense, their ears, towards his murmuring, half-caught words:
"Let me return again to my war-days,
To the sights and scenes — to forming the line of battle,
To the scouts ahead reconnoitering,
To the cannons, the grim artillery,
To the galloping aides, carrying orders,
To the wounded, the fallen, the heat, the suspense,
The perfume strong, the smoke, the deafening noise;
Away with your life of peace! — your joys of peace!
Give me my old wild battle-life again!"

************

The Fearful Traveller in the Haunted Castle

by

George Moses Horton

Oft do I hear those windows ope
And shut with dread surprise,
And spirits murmur as they grope,
But break not on the eyes.

Still fancy spies the winding sheet,
The phantom and the shroud,
And bids the pulse of horror beat
Throughout my ears aloud.

Some unknown finger thumps the door,
From one of faltering voice,
Till some one seems to walk the floor
With an alarming noise.

The drum of horror holds her sound,
Which will not let me sleep,
When ghastly breezes float around,
And hidden goblins creep.

Methinks I hear some constant groan,
The din of all the dead,
While trembling thus I lie alone,
Upon this restless bed.

At length the blaze of morning broke
On my impatient view,
And truth or fancy told the joke,
And bade the night adieu.

'Twas but the noise of prowling rats,
Which ran with all their speed,
Pursued in haste by hungry cats,
Which on the vermin feed.

The cat growl'd as she held her prey,
Which shriek'd with all its might,
And drove the balm of sleep away
Throughout the live-long night.

Those creatures crumbling off the cheese
Which on the table lay;
Some cats, too quick the rogues to seize,
With rumbling lost their prey.

Thus man is often his own elf,
Who makes the night his ghost,
And shrinks with horror from himself,
Which is to fear the most.

************

The Fellowship of Books

by

Edgar Guest

I care not who the man may be,
Nor how his tasks may fret him,
Nor where he fares, nor how his cares
And troubles may beset him,
If books have won the love of him,
Whatever fortune hands him,
He'll always own, when he's alone,
A friend who understands him.

Though other friends may come and go,
And some may stoop to treason,
His books remain, through loss or gain,
And season after season
The faithful friends for every mood,
His joy and sorrow sharing;
For old time's sake, they'll lighter make
The burdens he is bearing.

Oh, he has counsel at his side,
And wisdom for his duty,
And laughter gay for hours of play
And tenderness and beauty,
And fellowship divinely rare,
True friends who never doubt him,
Unchanging love, and God above,
Who keeps good books about him.

************

The Flight

by

Sara Teasdale

Look back with longing eyes and know that I will follow,
Lift me up in your love as a light wind lifts a swallow,
Let our flight be far in sun or blowing rain —
But what if I heard my first love calling me again?

Hold me on your heart as the brave sea holds the foam,
Take me far away to the hills that hide your home;
Peace shall thatch the roof and love shall latch the door —
But what if I heard my first love calling me once more?

************

The Gossips

by

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A rose in my garden, the sweetest and fairest,
Was hanging her head through the long golden hours;
And early one morning I saw her tears falling,
And heard a low gossiping talk in the bowers.
The yellow Nasturtium, a spinster all faded,
Was telling a Lily what ailed the poor Rose:
'That wild, roving Bee, who was hanging about her
Has jilted her squarely, as every one knows.

'I knew when he came, with his singing and sighing,
His airs and his speeches, so fine and so sweet,
Just how it would end; but no one would believe me,
For all were quite ready to fall at his feet.'
'Indeed, you are wrong,' said the Lilybelle proudly,
'I cared nothing for him. He called on me once
And would have come often, no doubt, if I'd asked him.
But though he was handsome, I thought him a dunce.'

'Now, now, that's not true,' cried the tall Oleander.
'He has travelled and seen every flower that grows;
And one who has supped in the garden of princes,
We all might have known would not wed with the Rose.'
'But wasn't she proud when he showed her attention?
And she let him caress her,' said sly Mignonette.
'And I used to see it and blush for her folly.
The silly thing thinks he will come to her yet.'

'I thought he was splendid,' said pretty, pert Larkspur.
'So dark and so grand, with that gay cloak of gold;
But he tried once to kiss me, the impudent fellow,
And I got offended; I thought him too bold.'
'Oh, fie!' laughed the Almond. 'That does for a story.
Though I hang down my head, yet I see all that goes;
And I saw you reach out, trying hard to detain him,
But he just tapped your cheek and flew by to the Rose.

'He cared nothing for her, he only was flirting
To while away time, as every one knew;
So I turned a cold shoulder to all his advances,
Because I was certain his heart was untrue.'
'The Rose it served right for her folly in trusting
An oily-tongued stranger,' quoth proud Columbine.
'I knew what he was, and thought once I would warn her.
But, of course, the affair was no business of mine.'

'Oh, well,' cried the Peony, shrugging her shoulders,
'I saw all along that the Bee was a flirt;
But the Rose has been always so praised and so petted,
I thought a good lesson would do her no hurt.'
Just then came a sound of a love-song sung sweetly;
I saw my proud Rose lifting up her bowed head;
And the talk of the gossips was hushed in a moment,
And the whole garden listened to hear what was said.

And the dark, handsome Bee, with his cloak o'er his shoulder,
Came swift through the sunlight and kissed the sad Rose,
And whispered: 'My darling, I've roved the world over,
And you are the loveliest blossom that grows.'

************

The Harlem Dancer

by

Claude McKay

Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes
And watched her perfect, half-clothed body sway;
Her voice was like the sound of blended flutes
Blown by black players upon a picnic day.
She sang and danced on gracefully and calm,
The light gauze hanging loose about her form;
To me she seemed a proudly-swaying palm
Grown lovelier for passing through a storm.
Upon her swarthy neck black shiny curls
Luxuriant fell; and tossing coins in praise,
The wine-flushed, bold-eyed boys, and even the girls,
Devoured her shape with eager, passionate gaze;
But looking at her falsely-smiling face,
I knew her self was not in that strange place.

************

The House by the Side of the Road

by

Sam Walter Foss

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the place of their self-content;
There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran —
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by —
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner's seat
Or hurl the cynic's ban —
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife,
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears —
Both parts of an infinite plan —
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by —
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish — so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

************

The Innovator

by

Stephen Vincent Benét

(A Pharaoh Speaks.)

I said, "Why should a pyramid
Stand always dully on its base?
I'll change it! Let the top be hid,
The bottom take the apex-place!"
And as I bade they did.

The people flocked in, scores on scores,
To see it balance on its tip.
They praised me with the praise that bores,
My godlike mind on every lip.
— Until it fell, of course.

And then they took my body out
From my crushed palace, mad with rage,
— Well, half the town was wrecked, no doubt —
Their crazy anger to assuage
By dragging it about.

The end? Foul birds defile my skull.
The new king's praises fill the land.
He clings to precept, simple, dull;
His pyramids on bases stand.
But — Lord, how usual!

************

The Kiss

by

Sara Teasdale

I hoped that he would love me,
And he has kissed my mouth,
But I am like a stricken bird
That cannot reach the south.

For though I know he loves me,
To-night my heart is sad;
His kiss was not so wonderful
As all the dreams I had.

************

The Lamp

by

Sara Teasdale

If I can bear your love like a lamp before me,
When I go down the long steep Road of Darkness,
I shall not fear the everlasting shadows,
Nor cry in terror.

If I can find out God, then I shall find Him,
If none can find Him, then I shall sleep soundly,
Knowing how well on earth your love sufficed me,
A lamp in darkness.

************

The Land of Story-Books

by

Robert Louis Stevenson

At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home and talk and sing,
And do not play at anything.

Now, with my little gun, I crawl
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track
Away behind the sofa back.

There, in the night, where none can spy,
All in my hunter's camp I lie,
And play at books that I have read
Till it is time to go to bed.

These are the hills, these are the woods,
These are my starry solitudes;
And there the river by whose brink
The roaring lions come to drink.

I see the others far away
As if in firelit camp they lay,
And I, like to an Indian scout,
Around their party prowled about.

So, when my nurse comes in for me,
Home I return across the sea,
And go to bed with backward looks
At my dear Land of Story-books.

************

The Lesson

by

Paul Laurence Dunbar

My cot was down by a cypress grove,
And I sat by my window the whole night long,
And heard well up from the deep dark wood
A mocking-bird's passionate song.

And I thought of myself so sad and lone,
And my life's cold winter that knew no spring;
Of my mind so weary and sick and wild,
Of my heart too sad to sing.

But e'en as I listened the mock-bird's song,
A thought stole into my saddened heart,
And I said, "I can cheer some other soul
By a carol's simple art."

For oft from the darkness of hearts and lives
Come songs that brim with joy and light,
As out of the gloom of the cypress grove
The mocking-bird sings at night.

So I sang a lay for a brother's ear
In a strain to soothe his bleeding heart,
And he smiled at the sound of my voice and lyre,
Though mine was a feeble art.

But at his smile I smiled in turn,
And into my soul there came a ray:
In trying to soothe another's woes
Mine own had passed away.

************

The Lonely House

by

Emily Dickinson

I know some lonely houses off the road
A robber 'd like the look of, —
Wooden barred,
And windows hanging low,
Inviting to
A portico,
Where two could creep:
One hand the tools,
The other peep
To make sure all's asleep.
Old-fashioned eyes,
Not easy to surprise!

How orderly the kitchen 'd look by night,
With just a clock, —
But they could gag the tick,
And mice won't bark;
And so the walls don't tell,
None will.

A pair of spectacles ajar just stir —
An almanac's aware.
Was it the mat winked,
Or a nervous star?
The moon slides down the stair
To see who's there.

There's plunder, — where?
Tankard, or spoon,
Earring, or stone,
A watch, some ancient brooch
To match the grandmamma,
Staid sleeping there.

Day rattles, too,
Stealth's slow;
The sun has got as far
As the third sycamore.
Screams chanticleer,
"Who's there?"
And echoes, trains away,
Sneer — "Where?"
While the old couple, just astir,
Fancy the sunrise left the door ajar!

************

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

by

T. S. Eliot

S`io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.*
Translation

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
(They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!")
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!")
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

* * * *

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

* * * *

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep...tired...or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say, "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all."

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say: "That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."

* * * *

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old… I grow old...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

* * * *

*Translation: "If I believed that my reply were made
To one who to the world would e'er return,
This flame without more flickering would stand still;
But inasmuch as never from this depth
Did any one return, if I hear true,
Without the fear of infamy I answer."
—From Dante's Inferno, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Back to beginning of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

************

"The Man of Life Upright"

by

Thomas Campion

The man of life upright,
Whose guiltless heart is free
From all dishonest deeds,
Or thought of vanity;

The man whose silent days
In harmless joys are spent,
Whom hopes cannot delude
Nor sorrow discontent;

That man needs neither towers
Nor armour for defence,
Nor secret vaults to fly
From thunder's violence:

He only can behold
With unaffrighted eyes
The horrors of the deep
And terrors of the skies.

Thus, scorning all the cares
That fate or fortune brings,
He makes the heaven his book,
His wisdom heavenly things;

Good thoughts his only friends,
His wealth a well-spent age,
The earth his sober inn
And quiet pilgrimage.

************

The Man Who Couldn't Save

by

Edgar Guest

He spent what he made, or he gave it away,
Tried to save money, and would for a day,
Started a bank-account time an' again,
Got a hundred or so for a nest egg, an' then
Some fellow that needed it more than he did,
Who was down on his luck, with a sick wife or kid,
Came along an' he wasted no time till he went
An' drew out the coin that for saving was meant.

They say he died poor, and I guess that is so:
To pile up a fortune he hadn't a show;
He worked all the time and good money he made,
Was known as an excellent man at his trade,
But he saw too much, heard too much, felt too much here
To save anything by the end of the year,
An' the shabbiest wreck the Lord ever let live
Could get money from him if he had it to give.

I've seen him slip dimes to the bums on the street
Who told him they hungered for something to eat,
An' though I remarked they were going for drink
He'd say: "Mebbe so. But I'd just hate to think
That fellow was hungry an' I'd passed him by;
I'd rather be fooled twenty times by a lie
Than wonder if one of 'em I wouldn't feed
Had told me the truth an' was really in need."

Never stinted his family out of a thing:
They had everything that his money could bring;
Said he'd rather be broke and just know they were glad,
Than rich, with them pining an' wishing they had
Some of the pleasures his money would buy;
Said he never could look a bank book in the eye
If he knew it had grown on the pleasures and joys
That he'd robbed from his wife and his girls and his boys.

Queer sort of notion he had, I confess,
Yet many a rich man on earth is mourned less.
All who had known him came back to his side
To honor his name on the day that he died.
Didn't leave much in the bank, it is true,
But did leave a fortune in people who knew
The big heart of him, an' I'm willing to swear
That to-day he is one of the richest up there.

************

The Meeting

by

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

After so long an absence
At last we meet again:
Does the meeting give us pleasure,
Or does it give us pain?

The tree of life has been shaken,
And but few of us linger now,
Like the Prophet's two or three berries
In the top of the uppermost bough.

We cordially greet each other
In the old, familiar tone;
And we think, though we do not say it,
How old and gray he is grown!

We speak of a Merry Christmas
And many a Happy New Year;
But each in his heart is thinking
Of those that are not here.

We speak of friends and their fortunes,
And of what they did and said,
Till the dead alone seem living,
And the living alone seem dead.

And at last we hardly distinguish
Between the ghosts and the guests;
And a mist and shadow of sadness
Steals over our merriest jests.

************

The Mother

by

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Here I lean over you, small son, sleeping
Warm in my arms,
And I con to my heart all your dew-fresh charms,
As you lie close, close in my hungry hold...
Your hair like a miser's dream of gold,
And the white rose of your face far fairer,
Finer, and rarer
Than all the flowers in the young year's keeping;
Over lips half parted your low breath creeping
Is sweeter than violets in April grasses;
Though your eyes are fast shut I can see their blue,
Splendid and soft as starshine in heaven,
With all the joyance and wisdom given
From the many souls who have stanchly striven
Through the dead years to be strong and true.

Those fine little feet in my worn hands holden...
Where will they tread ?
Valleys of shadow or heights dawn-red?
And those silken fingers, O, wee, white son,
What valorous deeds shall by them be done
In the future that yet so distant is seeming
To my fond dreaming?
What words all so musical and golden
With starry truth and poesy olden
Shall those lips speak in the years on-coming?
O, child of mine, with waxen brow,
Surely your words of that dim to-morrow
Rapture and power and grace must borrow
From the poignant love and holy sorrow
Of the heart that shrines and cradles you now!

Some bitter day you will love another,
To her will bear
Love-gifts and woo her...then must I share
You and your tenderness! Now you are mine
From your feet to your hair so golden and fine,
And your crumpled finger-tips...mine completely,
Wholly and sweetly;
Mine with kisses deep to smother,
No one so near to you now as your mother!
Others may hear your words of beauty,
But your precious silence is mine alone;
Here in my arms I have enrolled you,
Away from the grasping world I fold you,
Flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone!

************

The Mystery

by

Sara Teasdale

Your eyes drink of me,
Love makes them shine,
Your eyes that lean
So close to mine.

We have long been lovers,
We know the range
Of each other's moods
And how they change;

But when we look
At each other so
Then we feel
How little we know;

The spirit eludes us,
Timid and free —
Can I ever know you
Or you know me?

************

The Old Apple-Tree

by

Paul Laurence Dunbar

There's a memory keeps a-runnin'
Through my weary head to-night,
An' I see a picture dancin'
In the fire-flames' ruddy light;
'Tis the picture of an orchard
Wrapped in autumn's purple haze,
With the tender light about it
That I loved in other days.
An' a-standin' in a corner
Once again I seem to see
The verdant leaves an' branches
Of an old apple-tree.

You perhaps would call it ugly,
An' I don't know but it's so,
When you look the tree all over
Unadorned by memory's glow;
For its boughs are gnarled an' crooked,
An' its leaves are gettin' thin,
An' the apples of its bearin'
Would n't fill so large a bin
As they used to. But I tell you,
When it comes to pleasin' me,
It's the dearest in the orchard, —
Is that old apple-tree.

I would hide within its shelter,
Settlin' in some cosy nook,
Where no calls nor threats could stir me
From the pages o' my book.
Oh, that quiet, sweet seclusion
In its fulness passeth words!
It was deeper than the deepest
That my sanctum now affords.
Why, the jaybirds an' the robins,
They was hand in glove with me,
As they winked at me an' warbled
In that old apple-tree.

It was on its sturdy branches
That in summers long ago
I would tie my swing an' dangle
In contentment to an' fro,
Idly dreamin' childish fancies,
Buildin' castles in the air,
Makin' o' myself a hero
Of romances rich an' rare.
I kin shet my eyes an' see it
Jest as plain as plain kin be,
That same old swing a-danglin'
To the old apple-tree.

There's a rustic seat beneath it
That I never kin forget.
It's the place where me an' Hallie —
Little sweetheart — used to set,
When we 'd wander to the orchard
So 's no listenin' ones could hear
As I whispered sugared nonsense
Into her little willin' ear.
Now my gray old wife is Hallie,
An' I 'm grayer still than she,
But I 'll not forget our courtin'
'Neath the old apple-tree.

Life for us ain't all been summer,
But I guess we 've had our share
Of its flittin' joys an' pleasures,
An' a sprinklin' of its care.
Oft the skies have smiled upon us;
Then again we 've seen 'em frown,
Though our load was ne'er so heavy
That we longed to lay it down.
But when death does come a-callin',
This my last request shall be, —
That they 'll bury me an' Hallie
'Neath the old apple tree.

************

The Old Familiar Faces

by

Charles Lamb

I have had playmates, I have had companions
In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days,
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies —
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I loved a Love once, fairest among women.
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her —
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I had a friend, a kinder friend has no man.
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly!
Left him to muse on the old familiar faces.

Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my childhood.
Earth seemed a desert I was bound to traverse,
Seeking to find the old familiar faces.

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother;
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces, —

For some they have died, and some they have left me,
And some are taken from me; all are departed;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

************

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

by

Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me, and be my love;
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair-lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy-buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The shepherd-swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.

************

The Raven

by

Edgar Allan Poe

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.
"'Tis 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:
"'Tis 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 mortal 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 again 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:
'Tis 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 an instant 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 that 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 lamp-light 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!

************

The Return

by

Sara Teasdale

He has come, he is here,
My love has come home,
The minutes are lighter
Than flying foam,
The hours are like dancers
On gold-slippered feet,
The days are young runners
Naked and fleet —
For my love has returned,
He is home, he is here,
In the whole world no other
Is dear as my dear!

************

The Rivals

by

Paul Laurence Dunbar

'T was three an' thirty year ago,
When I was ruther young, you know,
I had my last an' only fight
About a gal one summer night.
'T was me an' Zekel Johnson; Zeke
'N' me 'd be'n spattin' 'bout a week,
Each of us tryin' his best to show
That he was Liza Jones's beau.
We could n't neither prove the thing,
Fur she was fur too sharp to fling
One over fur the other one
An' by so doin' stop the fun
That we chaps did n't have the sense
To see she got at our expense,
But that's the way a feller does,
Fur boys is fools an' allus was.
An' when they's females in the game
I reckon men's about the same.
Well, Zeke an' me went on that way
An' fussed an' quarrelled day by day;
While Liza, mindin' not the fuss,
Jest kep' a-goin' with both of us,
Tell we pore chaps, that's Zeke an' me,
Was jest plum mad with jealousy.
Well, fur a time we kep' our places,
An' only showed by frownin' faces
An' looks 'at well our meanin' boded
How full o' fight we both was loaded.
At last it come, the thing broke out,
An' this is how it come about.
One night ('t was fair, you'll all agree)
I got Eliza's company,
An' leavin' Zekel in the lurch,
Went trottin' off with her to church.
An' jest as we had took our seat
(Eliza lookin' fair an' sweet),
Why, I jest could n't help but grin
When Zekel come a-bouncin' in
As furious as the law allows.
He 'd jest be'n up to Liza's house,
To find her gone, then come to church
To have this end put to his search.
I guess I laffed that meetin' through,
An' not a mortal word I knew
Of what the preacher preached er read
Er what the choir sung er said.
Fur every time I 'd turn my head
I could n't skeercely help but see
'At Zekel had his eye on me.
An' he 'ud sort o' turn an' twist
An' grind his teeth an' shake his fist.
I laughed, fur la! the hull church seen us,
An' knowed that suthin' was between us.
Well, meetin' out, we started hum,
I sorter feelin' what would come.
We 'd jest got out, when up stepped Zeke,
An' said, "Scuse me, I 'd like to speak
To you a minute." "Cert," said I —
A-nudgin' Liza on the sly
An' laughin' in my sleeve with glee,
I asked her, please, to pardon me.
We walked away a step er two,
Jest to git out o' Liza's view,
An' then Zeke said, "I want to know
Ef you think you 're Eliza's beau,
An' 'at I 'm goin' to let her go
Hum with sich a chap as you?"
An' I said bold, "You bet I do."
Then Zekel, sneerin', said 'at he
Did n't want to hender me.
But then he 'lowed the gal was his
An' 'at he guessed he knowed his biz,
An' was n't feared o' all my kin
With all my friends an' chums throwed in.
Some other things he mentioned there
That no born man could no ways bear
Er think o' ca'mly tryin' to stan'
Ef Zeke had be'n the bigges' man
In town, an' not the leanest runt
'At time an' labor ever stunt.
An' so I let my fist go "bim,"
I thought I 'd mos' nigh finished him.
But Zekel did n't take it so.
He jest ducked down an' dodged my blow
An' then come back at me so hard,
I guess I must 'a' hurt the yard,
Er spilet the grass plot where I fell,
An' sakes alive it hurt me; well,
It would n't be'n so bad, you see,
But he jest kep' a-hittin' me.
An' I hit back an' kicked an' pawed,
But 't seemed 't was mostly air I clawed,
While Zekel used his science well
A-makin' every motion tell.
He punched an' hit, why, goodness lands,
Seemed like he had a dozen hands.
Well, afterwhile they stopped the fuss,
An' some one kindly parted us.
All beat an' cuffed an' clawed an' scratched,
An' needin' both our faces patched,
Each started hum a different way;
An' what o' Liza, do you say,
Why, Liza — little humbug — dern her,
Why, she 'd gone home with Hiram Turner.

************

The Road Not Taken

by

Robert Frost

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.

************

The Slave Mother

by

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Heard you that shriek? It rose
So wildly on the air,
It seemed as if a burden'd heart
Was breaking in despair.

Saw you those hands so sadly clasped —
The bowed and feeble head —
The shuddering of that fragile form —
That look of grief and dread?

Saw you the sad, imploring eye?
Its every glance was pain,
As if a storm of agony
Were sweeping through the brain.

She is a mother pale with fear,
Her boy clings to her side,
And in her kirtle vainly tries
His trembling form to hide.

He is not hers, although she bore
For him a mother's pains;
He is not hers, although her blood
Is coursing through his veins!

He is not hers, for cruel hands
May rudely tear apart
The only wreath of household love
That binds her breaking heart.

His love has been a joyous light
That o'er her pathway smiled,
A fountain gushing ever new,
Amid life's desert wild.

His lightest word has been a tone
Of music round her heart,
Their lives a streamlet blent in one —
Oh, Father! must they part?

They tear him from her circling arms,
Her last and fond embrace: —
Oh! never more may her sad eyes
Gaze on his mournful face.

No marvel, then, these bitter shrieks
Disturb the listening air;
She is a mother, and her heart
Is breaking in despair.

************

The Slave's Complaint

by

George Moses Horton

Am I sadly cast aside,
On misfortune's rugged tide?
Will the world my pains deride
Forever?

Must I dwell in Slavery's night,
And all pleasure take its flight,
Far beyond my feeble sight,
Forever?

Worst of all, must Hope grow dim,
And withhold her cheering beam?
Rather let me sleep and dream
Forever!

Something still my heart surveys,
Groping through this dreary maze;
Is it Hope? — then burn and blaze
Forever!

Leave me not a wretch confined,
Altogether lame and blind —
Unto gross despair consigned,
Forever!

Heaven! in whom can I confide?
Canst thou not for all provide?
Condescend to be my guide
Forever:

And when this transient life shall end,
Oh, may some kind eternal friend
Bid me from servitude ascend,
Forever!

************

The Song of the Old Mother

by

William Butler Yeats

I rise in the dawn, and I kneel and blow
Till the seed of the fire flicker and glow;
And then I must scrub and bake and sweep
Till stars are beginning to blink and peep;
And the young lie long and dream in their bed
Of the matching of ribbons for bosom and head,
And their day goes over in idleness,
And they sigh if the wind but lift a tress:
While I must work because I am old,
And the seed of the fire gets feeble and cold.

************

The Spider and the Fly

by

Mary Howitt

"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly,
"'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I've many curious things to show you when you are there."
"O no, no," said the little Fly, "To ask me is in vain;
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
"O no, no," said the little Fly, "For I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, "Dear friend, what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome — will you please to take a slice?"
"O no, no," said the little Fly, "Kind sir, that cannot be;
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see."

"Sweet creature," said the Spider, "You're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "For what you're pleased to say,
And bidding you good-morning now, I'll call another day."

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon be back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple — there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead."

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thought only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue —
Thinking only of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last
Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlor — but she ne'er came out again!

And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed;
Unto an evil counselor, close heart, and ear, and eye;
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

************

The Spinster

by

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I

Here are the orchard trees all large with fruit;
And yonder fields are golden with young grain.
In little journeys, branchward from the nest,
A mother bird, with sweet insistent cries,
Urges her young to use their untried wings.
A purring Tabby, stretched upon the sward,
Shuts and expands her velvet paws in joy,
While sturdy kittens nuzzle at her breast.

O mighty Maker of the Universe,
Am I not part and parcel of Thy World,
And one with Nature? Wherefore, then, in me
Must this great reproductive impulse lie
Hidden, ashamed, unnourished, and denied,
Until it starves to slow and tortuous death?
I knew the hope of spring-time; like the tree
Now ripe with fruit, I budded, and then bloomed;
We laughed together through the young May morns;
We dreamed together through the summer moons;
Till all Thy purposes within the tree
Were to fruition brought. Lord, Thou hast heard
The Woman in me crying for the Man;
The Mother in me crying for the Child;
And made no answer. Am I less to Thee
Than lower forms of Nature, or in truth
Dost Thou hold Somewhere in another Realm
Full compensation and large recompense
For lonely virtue forced by fate to live
A life unnatural, in a natural world?

II

Thou who hast made for such sure purposes
The mightiest and the meanest thing that is—
Planned out the lives of insects of the air
With fine precision and consummate care,
Thou who hast taught the bee the secret power
Of carrying on love's laws 'twixt flower and flower,
Why didst Thou shape this mortal frame of mine,
If Heavenly joys alone were Thy design?
Wherefore the wonder of my woman's breast,
By lips of lover and of babe unpressed,
If spirit children only shall reply
Unto my ever urgent mother cry?
Why should the rose be guided to its own,
And my love-craving heart beat on alone?

III

Yet do I understand; for Thou hast made
Something more subtle than this heart of me;
A finer part of me
To be obeyed.
Albeit I am a sister to the earth,
This nature self is not the whole of me;
The deathless soul of me
Has nobler birth.

The primal woman hungers for the man;
My better self demands the mate of me;
The spirit fate of me,
Part of Thy plan.

Nature is instinct with the mother-need;
So is my heart; but ah, the child of me
Should, undefiled of me,
Spring from love's seed.

And if, in barren chastity, I must
Know but in dreams that perfect choice
of me,
Still will the voice of me
Proclaim God just.

************

The Star Spangled Banner

by

Francis Scott Key

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed, at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there:
O say, does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the Star-Spangled Banner; O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where are the foes who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war, and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more:
Their blood has washed out their foul footstep's pollution;
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave;
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation,
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto, "In God is our trust;"
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

************

The Two Little Skeezucks

by

Eugene Field

There were two little skeezucks who lived in the isle
Of Boo in a southern sea;
They clambered and rollicked in heathenish style
In the boughs of their cocoanut tree.
They didn't fret much about clothing and such
And they recked not a whit of the ills
That sometimes accrue
From having to do
With tailor and laundry bills.

The two little skeezucks once heard of a Fair
Far off from their native isle,
And they asked of King Fan if they mightn't go there
To take in the sights for awhile.
Now old King Fan
Was a good-natured man
(As good-natured monarchs go),
And howbeit he swore that all Fairs were a bore,
He hadn't the heart to say "No."

So the two little skeezucks sailed off to the Fair
In a great big gum canoe,
And I fancy they had a good time there,
For they tarried a year or two.
And old King Fan at last began
To reckon they'd come to grief,
When glory! one day
They sailed into the bay
To the tune of "Hail to the Chief!"

The two little skeezucks fell down on the sand,
Embracing his majesty's toes,
Till his majesty graciously bade them stand
And salute him nose to nose.
And then quoth he:
"Divulge unto me
What happenings have hapt to you;
And how did they dare to indulge in a Fair
So far from the island of Boo?"

The two little skeezucks assured their king
That what he surmised was true;
That the Fair would have been a different thing
Had it only been held in Boo!
"The folk over there in no wise compare
With the folk of the southern seas;
Why, they comb out their heads
And they sleep in beds
Instead of in caverns and trees!"

The two little skeezucks went on to say
That children (so far as they knew)
Had a much harder time in that land far away
Than here in the island of Boo!
They have to wear clo'es
Which (as every one knows)
Are irksome to primitive laddies,
While, with forks and with spoons, they're denied the sweet boons
That accrue from free use of one's paddies!

"And now that you're speaking of things to eat,"
Interrupted the monarch of Boo,
"We beg to inquire if you happened to meet
With a nice missionary or two?"
"No, that we did not; in that curious spot
Where were gathered the fruits of the earth,
Of that special kind
Which Your Nibs has in mind
There appeared a deplorable dearth!"

Then loud laughed that monarch in heathenish mirth
And loud laughed his courtiers, too,
And they cried: "There is elsewhere no land upon earth
So good as our island of Boo!"
And the skeezucks, tho' glad
Of the journey they'd had,
Climbed up in their cocoanut trees,
Where they still may be seen with no shirts to keep clean
Or trousers that bag at the knees.

************

The Unseen Playmate

by

Robert Louis Stevenson

When children are playing alone on the green,
In comes the playmate that never was seen.
When children are happy and lonely and good,
The Friend of the Children comes out of the wood.

Nobody heard him and nobody saw,
His is a picture you never could draw,
But he's sure to be present, abroad or at home,
When children are happy and playing alone.

He lies in the laurels, he runs on the grass,
He sings when you tinkle the musical glass;
Whene'er you are happy and cannot tell why,
The Friend of the Children is sure to be by!

He loves to be little, he hates to be big,
'Tis he that inhabits the caves that you dig;
'Tis he when you play with your soldiers of tin
That sides with the Frenchmen and never can win.

'Tis he, when at night you go off to your bed,
Bids you go to your sleep and not trouble your head;
For wherever they're lying, in cupboard or shelf,
'Tis he will take care of your playthings himself!

************

The Voice of the Rain

by

Walt Whitman

And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:
I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form'd, altogether changed, and yet the same,
I descend to lave the drouths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin, and make pure and beautify it;
(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering,
Reck'd or unreck'd, duly with love returns.)

************

The Walrus and the Carpenter

by

Lewis Carroll

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright —
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done —
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead —
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head —
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat —
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more —
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed —
Now if you're ready Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said
"Do you admire the view?

"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf —
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said.
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter.
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?"
But answer came there none —
And that was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

************

The Wife

by

Emily Dickinson

She rose to his requirement, dropped
The playthings of her life
To take the honorable work
Of woman and of wife.

If aught she missed in her new day
Of amplitude, or awe,
Or first prospective, or the gold
In using wore away,

It lay unmentioned, as the sea
Develops pearl and weed,
But only to himself is known
The fathoms they abide.

************

"The World Is Too Much with Us..."

by

William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. — Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

************

The World's Need

by

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
While just the art of being kind,
Is all the sad world needs.

************

To a Little Girl

by

Edgar Guest

Oh, little girl with eyes of brown
And smiles that fairly light the town,
I wonder if you really know
Just why it is we love you so,
And why — with all the little girls
With shining eyes and tangled curls
That throng and dance this big world through —
Our hearts have room for only you.

Since other little girls are gay
And laugh and sing and romp in play,
And all are beautiful to see,
Why should you mean so much to me?
And why should Mother, day and night,
Make you her source of all delight,
And always find in your caress
Her greatest sum of happiness?

Oh, there's a reason good for this,
You laughing little bright-eyed miss!
In all this town, with all its girls
With shining eyes and sun-kissed curls,
If we should search it through and through
We'd find not one so fair as you;
And none, however fair of face,
Within our hearts could take your place.

For, one glad day not long ago,
God sent you down to us below,
And said that you were ours to keep,
To guard awake and watch asleep;
And ever since the day you came
No other child has seemed the same;
No other smiles are quite so fair
As those which happily you wear.

We seem to live from day to day
To hear the things you have to say;
And just because God gave us you,
We prize the little things you do.
Though God has filled this world with flowers,
We like you best because you're ours —
In you our greatest joys we know,
And that is why we love you so.

************

To Anthea, Who May Command Him in Anything

by

Robert Herrick

Bid me to live, and I will live
Thy Protestant to be,
Or bid me love, and I will give
A loving heart to thee.

A heart as soft, a heart as kind,
A heart as sound and free,
As in the whole world thou canst find,
That heart I'll give to thee.

Bid that heart stay, and it will stay,
To honour thy decree:
Or bid it languish quite away,
And 't shall do so for thee.

Bid me to weep, and I will weep,
While I have eyes to see:
And having none, yet I will keep
A heart to weep for thee.

Bid me despair, and I'll despair,
Under that cypress-tree:
Or bid me die, and I will dare
Ev'n death, to die for thee.

Thou art my life, my love, my heart,
The very eyes of me:
And hast command of every part,
To live and die for thee.

************

To Chloe, Who Wish'd Her Self Young Enough for Me

by

William Cartwright

Chloe, why wish you that your years
Would backward run, till they meet mine,
That perfect Likeness, which endears
Things unto things, might us Combine?
Our ages so in date agree,
That Twins do differ more than we.

There are two births: the one when Light
First strikes the new awak'ned sense;
The Other when two Souls unite;
And we must count our life from thence:
When you lov'd me and I lov'd you,
The both of us were born anew.

Love then to us did new Souls give,
And in those Souls did plant new pow'rs;
Since when another life we live,
The Breath we breathe is his, not ours;
Love makes those young whom Age doth Chill,
And whom he finds young, keeps young still.

Love, like that Angel that shall call
Our bodies from the silent Grave,
Unto one Age doth raise us all,
None too much, none too little have.
Nay, that the difference may be none,
He makes two not alike, but One.

And now since you and I are such,
Tell me what's yours, and what is mine?
Our Eyes, our Ears, our Taste, Smell, Touch,
Do (like our Souls) in one Combine;
So by this, I as well may be
Too old for you, as you for me.

************

To Mrs. Bishop, on the Anniversary of Her Wedding-day, with a Ring

by

Samuel Bishop

'Thee, Mary, with this ring I wed' —
So, fourteen years ago, I said.
Behold another ring! — 'For what?'
'To wed thee o'er again?' Why not?
With that first ring I married youth,
Grace, beauty, innocence, and truth;
Taste long admired, sense long revered,
And all my Molly then appeared.
If she, by merit since disclosed,
Prove twice the woman I supposed,
I plead that double merit now,
To justify a double vow.
Here, then, to-day, (with faith as sure,
With ardour as intense, as pure,
As when, amidst the rite divine,
I took thy troth, and plighted mine,)
To thee, sweet girl, my second ring
A token and a pledge I bring:
With this I wed, till death us part,
Thy riper virtues to my heart;
Those virtues which, before untried,
The wife has added to the bride;
Those virtues, whose progressive claim,
Endearing wedlock's very name,
My soul enjoys, my song approves,
For conscience' sake as well as love's.
And why? — They shew me every hour
Honour's high thought, Affection's power,
Discretion's deed, sound Judgment's sentence,
And teach me all things — but repentance.

************

To My Enemy

by

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Let those who will of friendship sing,
And to its guerdon grateful be,
But I a lyric garland bring
To crown thee, O, mine enemy!

Thanks, endless thanks, to thee I owe
For that my lifelong journey through
Thine honest hate has done for me
What love perchance had failed to do.

I had not scaled such weary heights
But that I held thy scorn in fear,
And never keenest lure might match
The subtle goading of thy sneer.

Thine anger struck from me a fire
That purged all dull content away,
Our mortal strife to me has been
Unflagging spur from day to day.

And thus, while all the world may laud
The gifts of love and loyalty,
I lay my meed of gratitude
Before thy feet, mine enemy!

************

To My Mother

by

Edgar Allan Poe

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find among their burning terms of love
None so devotional as that of "Mother,"
Therefore by that dear name I long have called you —
You who are more than mother unto me,
And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you
In setting my Virginia's spirit free.
My mother, my own mother, who died early,
Was but the mother of myself; but you
Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,
And thus are dearer than the mother I knew
By that infinity with which my wife
Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.

************

To One in Paradise

by

Edgar Allan Poe

Thou wast that all to me, love,
For which my soul did pine —
A green isle in the sea, love,
A fountain and a shrine,
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
And all the flowers were mine.

Ah, dream too bright to last!
Ah, starry Hope, that didst arise
But to be overcast!
A voice from out the Future cries,
"On! on!" — but o'er the Past
(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies
Mute, motionless, aghast!

For, alas! alas! with me
The light of Life is o'er!
No more — no more — no more —
(Such language holds the solemn sea
To the sands upon the shore)
Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree,
Or the stricken eagle soar!

And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy dark eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams —
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.

************

To One Shortly to Die

by

Walt Whitman

From all the rest I single out you, having a message for you:
You are to die — Let others tell you what they please, I cannot prevaricate,
I am exact and merciless, but I love you — There is no escape for you.

Softly I lay my right hand upon you — you just feel it,
I do not argue — I bend my head close, and half envelop it,
I sit quietly by — I remain faithful,
I am more than nurse, more than parent or neighbor,
I absolve you from all except yourself, spiritual, bodily — that is eternal — you yourself will surely escape,
The corpse you will leave will be but excrementitious.

The sun bursts through in unlooked-for directions!
Strong thoughts fill you, and confidence — you smile!
You forget you are sick, as I forget you are sick,
You do not see the medicines — you do not mind the weeping friends — I am with you,
I exclude others from you — there is nothing to be commiserated,
I do not commiserate — I congratulate you.

************

Together

by

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We two in the fever and fervour and glow
Of life's high tide have rejoiced together;
We have looked out over the glittering snow,
And known we were dwelling in Summer weather,
For the seasons are made by the heart I hold,
And not by outdoor heat or cold.

We two, in the shadows of pain and woe,
Have journeyed together in dim, dark places,
Where black-robed Sorrow walked to and fro,
And Fear and Trouble, with phantom faces,
Peered out upon us and froze our blood,
Though June's fair roses were all in bud.

We two have measured all depths, all heights,
We have bathed in tears, we have sunned in laughter!
We have known all sorrows and delights —
They never could keep us apart hereafter.
Whether your spirit went high or low,
My own would follow, and find you, I know.

If they took my soul into Paradise,
And told me I must be content without you,
I would weary them so with my lonesome cries,
And the ceaseless questions I asked about you,
They would open the gates and set me free,
Or else they would find you and bring you to me.

************

Trees

by

Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

************

Union Square

by

Sara Teasdale

With the man I love who loves me not,
I walked in the street-lamps' flare;
We watched the world go home that night
In a flood through Union Square.

I leaned to catch the words he said
That were light as a snowflake falling;
Ah well that he never leaned to hear
The words my heart was calling.

And on we walked and on we walked
Past the fiery lights of the picture shows —
Where the girls with thirsty eyes go by
On the errand each man knows.

And on we walked and on we walked,
At the door at last we said good-bye;
I knew by his smile he had not heard
My heart's unuttered cry.

With the man I love who loves me not
I walked in the street-lamps' flare —
But oh, the girls who can ask for love
In the lights of Union Square.

************

Warned

by

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

They stood at the garden gate.
By the lifting of a lid
She might have read her fate
In a little thing he did.

He plucked a beautiful flower;
Tore it away from its place
On the side of the blooming bower;
And held it against his face.

Drank in its beauty and bloom,
In the midst of his idle talk;
Then cast it down to the gloom
And dust of the garden walk.

Ay, trod it under his foot,
As it lay in his pathway there;
Then spurned it away with his boot,
Because it had ceased to be fair.

Ah! the maiden might have read
The doom of her young life then;
But she looked in his eyes instead,
And thought him the king of men.

She looked in his eyes and blushed,
She hid in his strong arms' fold;
And the tale of the flower, crushed
And spurned, was once more told.

************

We Are Seven

by

William Wordsworth

— A simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage Girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
— Her beauty made me glad.

"Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?"
"How many? Seven in all," she said,
And wondering looked at me.

"And where are they? I pray you tell."
She answered, "Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

"Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother."

"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven! — I pray you tell,
Sweet Maid, how this may be."

Then did the little Maid reply,
"Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree."

"You run about, my little Maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then ye are only five."

"Their graves are green, they may be seen,"
The little Maid replied,
"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,
And they are side by side.

"My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.

"And often after sunset, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

"The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

"So in the church-yard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.

"And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side."

"How many are you, then," said I,
"If they two are in heaven?"
Quick was the little Maid's reply,
"O Master! we are seven."

"But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!"
'Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, "Nay, we are seven!"

************

Wedlock

by

Benjamin Franklin

Wedlock, as old men note, hath likened been,
Unto a public crowd or common rout;
Where those that are without would fain get in,
And those that are within, would fain get out.
Grief often treads upon the heels of pleasure,
Marry'd in haste, we oft repent at leisure;
Some by experience find these words missplaced,
Marry'd at leisure, they repent in haste.

[Note:  Includes lines from The Old Bachelor, by William Congreve.]

************

"When I Consider How My Light Is Spent"

by

John Milton

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."

************

When I Read the Book

by

Walt Whitman

When I read the book, the biography famous,
And is this then (said I) what the author calls a man's life?
And so will some one when I am dead and gone write my life?
(As if any man really knew aught of my life,
Why even I myself I often think know little or nothing of my real life,
Only a few hints, a few diffused faint clews and indirections
I seek for my own use to trace out here.)

************

"When We Two Parted"

by

George Gordon Byron

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow —
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame;
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me —
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well: —
Long, long I shall rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met —
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee? —
With silence and tears.

************

Which Are You?

by

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the sinner and the saint, for it's well understood,
The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man's wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.

Wherever you go, you will find the earth's masses,
Are always divided in just these two classes.

And oddly enough, you will find too, I ween,
There's only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load,
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?

Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?

************

William Goode

by

Edgar Lee Masters

To all in the village I seemed, no doubt,
To go this way and that way, aimlessly.
But here by the river you can see at twilight
The soft-winged bats fly zig-zag here and there —
They must fly so to catch their food.
And if you have ever lost your way at night,
In the deep wood near Miller's Ford,
And dodged this way and now that,
Wherever the light of the Milky Way shone through,
Trying to find the path,
You should understand I sought the way
With earnest zeal, and all my wanderings
Were wanderings in the quest.

************

With Two Spoons for Two Spoons

by

Eugene Field

How trifling shall these gifts appear
Among the splendid many
That loving friends now send to cheer
Harvey and Ellen Jenney.

And yet these baubles symbolize
A certain fond relation
That well beseems, as I surmise,
This festive celebration.

Sweet friends of mine, be spoons once more,
And with your tender cooing
Renew the keen delights of yore —
The rapturous bliss of wooing.

What though that silver in your hair
Tells of the years aflying?
'T is yours to mock at Time and Care
With love that is undying.

In memory of this Day, dear friends,
Accept the modest token
From one who with the bauble sends
A love that can't be spoken.

************

Young Night Thought

by

Robert Louis Stevenson

All night long and every night,
When my mama puts out the light,
I see the people marching by,
As plain as day before my eye.

Armies and emperor and kings,
All carrying different kinds of things,
And marching in so grand a way,
You never saw the like by day.

So fine a show was never seen
At the great circus on the green;
For every kind of beast and man
Is marching in that caravan.

As first they move a little slow,
But still the faster on they go,
And still beside them close I keep
Until we reach the Town of Sleep.

************

Indexes

Index of Poets

Anonymous

Lady Ann Bothwell's Lament

Aytoun, Robert

"I Loved Thee Once..."

Beaumont, Francis

On the Tombs in Westminster Abbey

Benét, Stephen Vincent

The Innovator

Bishop, Samuel

To Mrs. Bishop, on the Anniversary of Her Wedding-day, with a Ring

Bronte, Charlotte

Life

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett

"How Do I Love Thee?..."

Burns, Robert

A Prayer, Under the Pressure of Violent Anguish

A Red, Red Rose

Byron, George Gordon

"When We Two Parted"

Campion, Thomas

"The Man of Life Upright"

Carroll, Lewis

Jabberwocky

The Walrus and the Carpenter

Cartwright, William

To Chloe, Who Wish'd Her Self Young Enough for Me

Cary, Alice

A Lesson of Mercy

The Bridal Veil

Chaucer, Geoffrey

The Complaint of Chaucer to His Purse

Cowley, Abraham

The Chronicle

Dickinson, Emily

A Book

A Service of Song

"I'm Nobody!..."

Joy in Death

Not in Vain

Summer Shower

Surrender

The Chariot

The Lonely House

The Wife

Donne, John

"Death be not proud..."

Dunbar, Paul Laurence

After the Quarrel

An Easy Goin' Feller

Life

The Lesson

The Old Apple-Tree

The Rivals

Eliot, T. S.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Brahma

Field, Eugene

A Piteous Plaint

Clare Market

Der Mann im Kellar

Dibdin's Ghost

Dutch Lullaby

François Villon

In the Firelight

Jest 'Fore Christmas

Little Boy Blue

Seein' Things

The Convalescent Gripster

The Death of Robin Hood

The Duel

The Two Little Skeezucks

With Two Spoons for Two Spoons

Foss, Sam Walter

The House by the Side of the Road

Franklin, Benjamin

Wedlock

Frost, Robert

Mending Wall

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

The Road Not Taken

Guest, Edgar

A Boy and His Dog

Home

Life Is What We Make of It

Looking Back

My Religion

No Children!

On Being Broke

The Fellowship of Books

The Man Who Couldn't Save

To a Little Girl

Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins

A Double Standard

Songs for the People

The Slave Mother

Herbert, Edward

Kissing

Herrick, Robert

To Anthea, Who May Command Him in Anything

Horton, George Moses

Death of an Old Carriage Horse

On Liberty and Slavery

The Fearful Traveller in the Haunted Castle

The Slave's Complaint

Howitt, Mary

Birds in Summer

The Spider and the Fly

Jonson, Ben

Song to Celia

Keats, John

Ode on a Grecian Urn

Key, Francis Scott

The Star Spangled Banner

Kilmer, Joyce

Trees

Kipling, Rudyard

Gunga Din

If

Lamb, Charles

The Old Familiar Faces

Landor, Walter Savage

"Leaf After Leaf"

Lindsay, Anne

Auld Robin Gray

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

Children

Haunted Houses

Loss and Gain

Paul Revere's Ride

The Builders

The Meeting

Lowell, James Russell

She Came and Went

Marlowe, Christopher

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Masters, Edgar Lee

George Gray

Herbert Marshall

Mrs. Charles Bliss

William Goode

McCrae, John

In Flanders Fields

McKay, Claude

After the Winter

If We Must Die

Romance

The Castaways

The Harlem Dancer

Millay, Edna St. Vincent

Lament

She Is Overheard Singing

Tavern

Milton, John

"When I Consider How My Light Is Spent"

Montgomery, Lucy Maud

The Mother

To My Enemy

Moore, Clement Clarke

A Visit from St. Nicholas

Moore, Thomas

"At the Mid Hour of Night..."

Poe, Edgar Allan

A Dream Within a Dream

Annabel Lee

Eldorado

For Annie

The Bells

The Raven

To My Mother

To One in Paradise

Riley, James Whitcomb

Her Hair

Old Aunt Mary's

Sandburg, Carl

Stars, Songs, Faces

Seeger, Alan

"I Have a Rendezvous with Death"

Shakespeare, William

Hamlet's Soliloquy on Suicide

"Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds" (Sonnet 116)

"My Mistress' Eyes..." (Sonnet 130)

"Not Marble..." (Sonnet 55)

"Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" (Sonnet 18)

Shelley, Percy Bysshe

Good-Night

Ozymandias

Stanley, Thomas

"I Prithee Let My Heart Alone"

Stevenson, Robert Louis

Bed in Summer

Block City

Nest Eggs

Requiem

The Land of Story-Books

The Unseen Playmate

Young Night Thought

Suckling, John

"I Prithee Send Me Back My Heart"

Swift, Jonathan

On the Posteriors

Teasdale, Sara

A Maiden

A Song of the Princess

A Winter Night

Barter

Because

Change

Come

Guenevere

I Would Live in Your Love

Less Than the Cloud to the Wind

New Love and Old

November

Spring Rain

The Coin

The Flight

The Kiss

The Lamp

The Mystery

The Return

Union Square

Tennyson, Alfred

Lady Clara Vere de Vere

Thayer, Ernest L.

Casey at the Bat

Whitman, Walt

As I Watch'd the Ploughman Ploughing

Continuities

Darest Thou Now O Soul

Halcyon Days

Miracles

O Captain! My Captain!

Quicksand Years

Thanks in Old Age

The Dying Veteran

The Voice of the Rain

To One Shortly to Die

When I Read the Book

Whittier, John Greenleaf

Maud Muller

Wilcox, Ella Wheeler

Memory's Mansion

My Vision

Solitude

The Gossips

The Spinster

The World's Need

Together

Warned

Which Are You?

Wither, George

"Shall I, Wasting in Despair"

Wordsworth, William

"My Heart Leaps Up..."

"The World Is Too Much with Us..."

We Are Seven

Wotton, Henry

The Character of a Happy Life

Yeats, William Butler

The Song of the Old Mother

************

Index of First Lines

A boy and his dog make a glorious pair:

A boy named Peter

A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in,

A drop fell on the apple tree,

A rose in my garden, the sweetest and fairest,

A simple Child,

After so long an absence

Alas! and am I born for this,

All are architects of Fate,

All houses wherein men have lived and died

All night long and every night,

All your sorrow, Louise, and hatred of me

Amid these days of order, ease, prosperity,

Am I sadly cast aside,

And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,

Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes

As a twig trembles, which a bird

As I watch'd the ploughman ploughing,

At evening when the lamp is lit,

At the mid hour of night, when stars are weeping, I fly

Balow, my babe, ly stil and sleipe!

Because I am by nature blind,

Because I could not stop for Death,

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,

Bid me to live, and I will live

Birds all the sunny day

Chloe, why wish you that your years

Come hither Womankind and all their worth,

Come live with me, and be my love;

Come to me, O ye children!

Come, when the pale moon like a petal

Darest thou now O soul,

Dear wife, last midnight while I read

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee

Do you blame me that I loved him?

Don't mind being broke at all,

Doubt me, my dim companion!

Drink to me only with thine eyes,

Father calls me William, sister calls me Will,

From all the rest I single out you,having a message for you,

Gaily bedight,

Gather the stars if you wish it so.

"Give me my bow," said Robin Hood,

Good-night? ah! no; the hour is ill

He ate and drank the precious words,

He has come, he is here,

He spent what he made, or he gave it away,

Hear the sledges with the bells —

Heard you that shriek? It rose

Here are the orchard trees all large with fruit;

Here I lean over you, small son, sleeping

How cool and fair this cellar where

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

How happy is he born and taught

How pleasant the life of a bird must be,

How trifling shall these gifts appear

I ain't afeard uv snakes, or toads, or bugs, or worms, or mice,

I cannot eat my porridge,

I care not who the man may be,

I have a rendezvous with Death

I have had playmates, I have had companions,

I have studied many times

I hoped that he would love me,

I know some lonely houses off the road

I loved thee once; I'll love no more.

I met a traveller from an antique land

I might have been rich if I'd wanted the gold instead of the friendships I've made.

I prithee let my heart alone,

I prithee send me back my heart,

I rise in the dawn, and I kneel and blow

I said, "Why should a pyramid

I think that I shall never see

I thought I had forgotten,

I was a harness horse,

I was a queen, and I have lost my crown;

I would live in your love as the sea-grasses live in the sea,

If I can bear your love like a lamp before me,

If I can stop one heart from breaking,

If I were François Villon and François Villon I,

If the red slayer think he slays,

If tolling bell I ask the cause,

If we must die, let it not be like hogs

If you can keep your head when all about you

I'll keep a little tavern

I'm nobody! Who are you?

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

In Memory's Mansion are wonderful rooms,

In my heart the old love

In the market of Clare, so cheery the glare

In winter I get up at night

Into my heart's treasury

It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home,

It was many and many a year ago,

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;

Leaf after leaf drops off, flower after flower,

Less than the cloud to the wind,

Let me make the songs for the people,

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Let those who will of friendship sing,

Let us go then, you and I,

Life, believe, is not a dream

Life has loveliness to sell,

Life is a jest;

Listen, children:

Listen, my children, and you shall hear

Look back with longing eyes and know that I will follow,

Margarita first possest,

Maud Muller on a summer's day,

Mortality, behold and fear!

My cot was down by a cypress grove,

My heart leaps up when I behold

My Mistress' eyes are nothing like the Sun,

My religion's lovin' God, who made us, one and all,

My window-pane is starred with frost,

No children in the house to play —

Not from successful love alone,

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments

Nothing is ever really lost, or can be lost,

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,

O, my luve's like a red, red rose,

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,

O Thou Great Being! what Thou art

Oft do I hear those windows ope

Oh, because you never tried

Oh if I were the velvet rose

Oh, little girl with eyes of brown

Oh, Prue she has a patient man,

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Quicksand years that whirl me I know not whither,

Remember me as I was then;

Reverend Wiley advised me not to divorce him

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Shall I, wasting in despair,

She rose to his requirement, dropped

So many gods, so many creeds,

So we, who've supped the self-same cup,

Some day, when trees have shed their leaves

Some keep the Sabbath going to church;

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

Take this kiss upon the brow!

Thank Heaven! the crisis —

Thanks in old age — thanks ere I go,

The beauty of her hair bewilders me —

The fire upon the hearth is low,

The gingham dog and the calico cat

The gods let slip that fiendish grip

The little toy dog is covered with dust,

The man of life upright,

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:

The princess has her lovers,

The sun was shining on the sea,

The vivid grass with visible delight

The world is tired, the year is old,

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

'Thee, Mary, with this ring I wed' —

Ther' ain't no use in all this strife,

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn

There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;

There were two little skeezucks who lived in the isle

There's a memory keeps a-runnin'

They stood at the garden gate.

Thou still unravished bride of quietness,

Thou wast that all to me, love,

To all in the village I seemed, no doubt,

To be, or not to be, that is the Question:

To clasp you now and feel your head close-pressed,

To you, my purse, and to noon other wyght

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

'T was three an' thirty year ago,

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

Under the wide and starry sky,

Wasn't it pleasant, O brother mine,

We two in the fever and fervour and glow

Wedlock, as old men note, hath likened been,

We're married, they say, and you think you have won me, —

What are you able to build with your blocks?

When children are playing alone on the green,

When I compare

When I consider how my light is spent

When I read the book, the biography famous,

When the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye at hame,

When we two parted

Wherever my feet may wander

Whose woods these are I think I know,

Why! who makes much of a miracle?

"Will you walk into my parlor?"

With the man I love who loves me not,

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night

You may talk o' gin and beer

Your eyes drink of me,