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Thread: A poem a day

  1. #631
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    Father
    ---- by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
    He never made a fortune, or a noise
    In the world where men are seeking after fame;
    But he had a healthy brood of girls and boys
    Who loved the very ground on which he trod.
    They thought him just little short of God;
    Oh you should have heard the way they said his name –
    ‘Father.’

    There seemed to be a loving little prayer
    In their voices, even when they called him ‘Dad.’
    Though the man was never heard of anywhere,
    As a hero, yet somehow understood
    He was doing well his part and making good;
    And you knew it, by the way his children had
    Of saying ‘Father.’

    He gave them neither eminence nor wealth,
    But he gave them blood untainted with a vice,
    And opulence of undiluted health.
    He was honest, and unpurchable and kind;
    He was clean in heart, and body, and in mind.
    So he made them heirs to riches without price –
    This father.

    He never preached or scolded; and the rod –
    Well, he used it as a turning pole in play.
    But he showed the tender sympathy of God.
    To his children in their troubles, and their joys.
    He was always chum and comrade with his boys,
    And his daughters – oh, you ought to hear them say
    ‘Father.’

    Now I think of all achievements ‘tis the least
    To perpetuate the species; it is done
    By the insect and the serpent, and the beast.
    But the man who keeps his body, and his thought,
    Worth bestowing on an offspring love-begot,
    Then the highest earthly glory he was won,
    When in pride a grown-up daughter or a son
    Says ‘That’s Father.’
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

  2. #632
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    I Wake And Feel The Fell Of Dark, Not Day
    -----------by Gerard Manley Hopkins
    I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
    What hours, O what black hours we have spent
    This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
    And more must, in yet longer light's delay.

    With witness I speak this. But where I say
    Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
    Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
    To dearest him that lives alas! away.

    I am gall, I am heartburn. God's most deep decrees
    Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
    Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.

    Self yeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see
    The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
    As I am mine, their sweating selves, but worse.
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

  3. #633
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    A Ballad of Death
    ------------ by Algernon Charles Swinburne
    Kneel down, fair Love, and fill thyself with tears,
    Girdle thyself with sighing for a girth
    Upon the sides of mirth,
    Cover thy lips and eyelids, let thine ears
    Be filled with rumour of people sorrowing;
    Make thee soft raiment out of woven sighs
    Upon the flesh to cleave,
    Set pains therein and many a grievous thing,
    And many sorrows after each his wise
    For armlet and for gorget and for sleeve.

    O Love's lute heard about the lands of death,
    Left hanged upon the trees that were therein;
    O Love and Time and Sin,
    Three singing mouths that mourn now underbreath,
    Three lovers, each one evil spoken of;
    O smitten lips wherethrough this voice of mine
    Came softer with her praise;
    Abide a little for our lady's love.
    The kisses of her mouth were more than wine,
    And more than peace the passage of her days.

    O Love, thou knowest if she were good to see.
    O Time, thou shalt not find in any land
    Till, cast out of thine hand,
    The sunlight and the moonlight fail from thee,
    Another woman fashioned like as this.
    O Sin, thou knowest that all thy shame in her
    Was made a goodly thing;
    Yea, she caught Shame and shamed him with her kiss,
    With her fair kiss, and lips much lovelier
    Than lips of amorous roses in late spring.

    By night there stood over against my bed
    Queen Venus with a hood striped gold and black,
    Both sides drawn fully back
    From brows wherein the sad blood failed of red,
    And temples drained of purple and full of death.
    Her curled hair had the wave of sea-water
    And the sea's gold in it.
    Her eyes were as a dove's that sickeneth.
    Strewn dust of gold she had shed over her,
    And pearl and purple and amber on her feet.

    Upon her raiment of dyed sendaline
    Were painted all the secret ways of love
    And covered things thereof,
    That hold delight as grape-flowers hold their wine;
    Red mouths of maidens and red feet of doves,
    And brides that kept within the bride-chamber
    Their garment of soft shame,
    And weeping faces of the wearied loves
    That swoon in sleep and awake wearier,
    With heat of lips and hair shed out like flame.

    The tears that through her eyelids fell on me
    Made mine own bitter where they ran between
    As blood had fallen therein,
    She saying; Arise, lift up thine eyes and see
    If any glad thing be or any good
    Now the best thing is taken forth of us;
    Even she to whom all praise
    Was as one flower in a great multitude,
    One glorious flower of many and glorious,
    One day found gracious among many days:

    Even she whose handmaiden was Love--to whom
    At kissing times across her stateliest bed
    Kings bowed themselves and shed
    Pale wine, and honey with the honeycomb,
    And spikenard bruised for a burnt-offering;
    Even she between whose lips the kiss became
    As fire and frankincense;
    Whose hair was as gold raiment on a king,
    Whose eyes were as the morning purged with flame,
    Whose eyelids as sweet savour issuing thence.

    Then I beheld, and lo on the other side
    My lady's likeness crowned and robed and dead.
    Sweet still, but now not red,
    Was the shut mouth whereby men lived and died.
    And sweet, but emptied of the blood's blue shade,
    The great curled eyelids that withheld her eyes.
    And sweet, but like spoilt gold,
    The weight of colour in her tresses weighed.
    And sweet, but as a vesture with new dyes,
    The body that was clothed with love of old.

    Ah! that my tears filled all her woven hair
    And all the hollow bosom of her gown--
    Ah! that my tears ran down
    Even to the place where many kisses were,
    Even where her parted breast-flowers have place,
    Even where they are cloven apart--who knows not this?
    Ah! the flowers cleave apart
    And their sweet fills the tender interspace;
    Ah! the leaves grown thereof were things to kiss
    Ere their fine gold was tarnished at the heart.

    Ah! in the days when God did good to me,
    Each part about her was a righteous thing;
    Her mouth an almsgiving,
    The glory of her garments charity,
    The beauty of her bosom a good deed,
    In the good days when God kept sight of us;
    Love lay upon her eyes,
    And on that hair whereof the world takes heed;
    And all her body was more virtuous
    Than souls of women fashioned otherwise.

    Now, ballad, gather poppies in thine hands
    And sheaves of brier and many rusted sheaves
    Rain-rotten in rank lands,
    Waste marigold and late unhappy leaves
    And grass that fades ere any of it be mown;
    And when thy bosom is filled full thereof
    Seek out Death's face ere the light altereth,
    And say "My master that was thrall to Love
    Is become thrall to Death."
    Bow down before him, ballad, sigh and groan.
    But make no sojourn in thy outgoing;
    For haply it may be
    That when thy feet return at evening
    Death shall come in with thee.
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

  4. #634
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    Growing Old
    -------by Matthew Arnold
    What is it to grow old?
    Is it to lose the glory of the form,
    The lustre of the eye?
    Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?
    Yes, but not for this alone.

    Is it to feel our strength—
    Not our bloom only, but our strength—decay?
    Is it to feel each limb
    Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
    Each nerve more weakly strung?

    Yes, this, and more! but not,
    Ah, 'tis not what in youth we dreamed 'twould be!
    'Tis not to have our life
    Mellowed and softened as with sunset-glow,
    A golden day's decline!

    'Tis not to see the world
    As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes,
    And heart profoundly stirred;
    And weep, and feel the fulness of the past,
    The years that are no more!

    It is to spend long days
    And not once feel that we were ever young.
    It is to add, immured
    In the hot prison of the present, month
    To month with weary pain.

    It is to suffer this,
    And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel:
    Deep in our hidden heart
    Festers the dull remembrance of a change,
    But no emotion—none.

    It is—last stage of all—
    When we are frozen up within, and quite
    The phantom of ourselves,
    To hear the world applaud the hollow ghost
    Which blamed the living man.
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

  5. #635
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    The Tide of Sorrow
    by George William Russell
    ON the twilight-burnished hills I lie and long and gaze
    Where below the grey-lipped sands drink in the flowing tides,
    Drink, and fade and disappear: interpreting their ways
    A seer in my heart abides.


    Once the diamond dancing day-waves laved thy thirsty lips:
    Now they drink the dusky night-tide running cold and fleet,
    Drink, and as the chilly brilliance o’er their pallor slips
    They fade in the touch they meet.


    Wave on wave of pain where leaped of old the billowy joys:
    Hush and still thee now unmoved to drink the bitter sea,
    Drink with equal heart: be brave; and life with laughing voice
    And death will be one for thee.


    Ere my mortal days pass by and life in the world be done,
    Oh, to know what world shall rise within the spirit’s ken
    When it grows into the peace where light and dark are one!
    What voice for the world of men?
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

  6. #636
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    The Friend Of Humanity And The Rhymer
    - Poem by Henry Austin Dobson


    F. OF H. I want a verse. It gives you little pains;--
    You just sit down, and draw upon your brains.

    Come, now, be amiable.

    R. To hear you talk,
    You'd make it easier to fly than walk.
    You seem to think that rhyming is a thing
    You can produce if you but touch a spring;

    That fancy, fervour, passion--and what not,

    Are just a case of 'penny in the slot.'
    You should reflect that no evasive bird
    Is half so shy as is your fittest word;
    And even similes, however wrought,
    Like hares, before you cook them, must be caught;--

    Impromptus, too, require elaboration,
    And (unlike eggs) grow fresh by incubation;
    Then,--as to epigrams,..

    F. of H. Nay, nay, I've done.
    I did but make petition. You make fun.

    R. Stay. I am grave. Forgive me if I ramble:
    But, then, a negative needs some preamble
    To break the blow. I feel with you, in truth,
    These complex miseries of Age and Youth;
    I feel with you--and none can feel it more
    Than I--this burning Problem of the Poor;
    The Want that grinds, the Mystery of Pain,
    The Hearts that sink, and never rise again;--
    How shall I set this to some careless screed,
    Or jigging stave, when Help is what you need,
    Help, Help,--more Help?

    F. of H. I fancied that with ease
    You'd scribble off some verses that might please,
    And so give help to us.

    R. Why then--TAKE THESE!


    Henry Austin Dobson
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

  7. #637
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    The Mother
    ---------by Robert William Service
    Your children grow from you apart,
    Afar and still afar;
    And yet it should rejoice your heart
    To see how glad they are;
    In school and sport, in work and play,
    And last, in wedded bliss
    How others claim with joy to-day
    The lips you used to kiss.

    Your children distant will become,
    And wide the gulf will grow;
    The lips of loving will be dumb,
    The trust you used to know
    Will in another's heart repose,
    Another's voice will cheer . . .
    And you will fondle baby clothes
    And brush away a tear.

    But though you are estranged almost,
    And often lost to view,
    How you will see a little ghost
    Who ran to cling to you!
    Yet maybe children's children will
    Caress you with a smile . . .
    Grandmother love will bless you still,--
    Well, just a little while.
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

  8. #638
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    Wordsworth's Grave
    - Poem by William Watson


    I

    The old rude church, with bare, bald tower, is here;
    Beneath its shadow high-born Rotha flows;
    Rotha, remembering well who slumbers near,
    And with cool murmur lulling his repose

    Rotha, remembering well who slumbers near.
    His hills, his lakes, his streams are with him yet.
    Surely the heart that read her own heart clear
    Nature forgets not soon: 'tis we forget.

    We that with vagrant soul his fixity
    Have slighted; faithless, done his deep faith wrong;
    Left him for poorer loves, and bowed the knee
    To misbegotten strange new gods of song.

    Yet, led by hollow ghost or beckoning elf
    Far from her homestead to the desert bourn,
    The vagrant soul returning to herself
    Wearily wise, must needs to him return.

    To him and to the powers that with him dwell:--
    Inflowings that divulged not whence they came;
    And that secluded spirit unknowable,
    The mystery we make darker with a name;

    The Somewhat which we name but cannot know,
    Ev'n as we name a star and only see
    His quenchless flashings forth, which ever show
    And ever hide him, and which are not he.


    II

    Poet who sleepest by this wandering wave!
    When thou wast born, what birth-gift hadst thou then?
    To thee what wealth was that the Immortals gave,
    The wealth thou gavest in thy turn to men?

    Not Milton's keen, translunar music thine;
    Not Shakespeare's cloudless, boundless human view;
    Not Shelley's flush of rose on peaks divine;
    Nor yet the wizard twilight Coleridge knew.

    What hadst thou that could make so large amends
    For all thou hadst not and thy peers possessed,
    Motion and fire, swift means to radiant ends?--
    Thou hadst, for weary feet, the gift of rest.

    From Shelley's dazzling glow or thunderous haze,
    From Byron's tempest-anger, tempest-mirth,
    Men turned to thee and found--not blast and blaze,
    Tumult of tottering heavens, but peace on earth,

    Nor peace that grows by Lethe, scentless flower,
    There in white languors to decline and cease;
    But peace whose names are also rapture, power,
    Clear sight, and love: for these are parts of peace.


    III

    I hear it vouched the Muse is with us still;--
    If less divinely frenzied than of yore,
    In lieu of feelings she has wondrous skill
    To simulate emotion felt no more.

    Not such the authentic Presence pure, that made
    This valley vocal in the great days gone!--
    In _his_ great days, while yet the spring-time played
    About him, and the mighty morning shone.

    No word-mosaic artificer, he sang
    A lofty song of lowly weal and dole.
    Right from the heart, right to the heart it sprang,
    Or from the soul leapt instant to the soul.

    He felt the charm of childhood, grace of youth,
    Grandeur of age, insisting to be sung.
    The impassioned argument was simple truth
    Half-wondering at its own melodious tongue.

    Impassioned? ay, to the song's ecstatic core!
    But far removed were clangour, storm and feud;
    For plenteous health was his, exceeding store
    Of joy, and an impassioned quietude.


    IV

    A hundred years ere he to manhood came,
    Song from celestial heights had wandered down,
    Put off her robe of sunlight, dew and flame,
    And donned a modish dress to charm the Town.

    Thenceforth she but festooned the porch of things;
    Apt at life's lore, incurious what life meant.
    Dextrous of hand, she struck her lute's few strings;
    Ignobly perfect, barrenly content.

    Unflushed with ardour and unblanched with awe,
    Her lips in profitless derision curled,
    She saw with dull emotion--if she saw--
    The vision of the glory of the world.

    The human masque she watched, with dreamless eyes
    In whose clear shallows lurked no trembling shade:
    The stars, unkenned by her, might set and rise,
    Unmarked by her, the daisies bloom and fade.

    The age grew sated with her sterile wit.
    Herself waxed weary on her loveless throne.
    Men felt life's tide, the sweep and surge of it,
    And craved a living voice, a natural tone.

    For none the less, though song was but half true,
    The world lay common, one abounding theme.
    Man joyed and wept, and fate was ever new,
    And love was sweet, life real, death no dream.

    In sad stern verse the rugged scholar-sage
    Bemoaned his toil unvalued, youth uncheered.
    His numbers wore the vesture of the age,
    But, 'neath it beating, the great heart was heard.

    From dewy pastures, uplands sweet with thyme,
    A virgin breeze freshened the jaded day.
    It wafted Collins' lonely vesper-chime,
    It breathed abroad the frugal note of Gray.

    It fluttered here and there, nor swept in vain
    The dusty haunts where futile echoes dwell,--
    Then, in a cadence soft as summer rain,
    And sad from Auburn voiceless, drooped and fell.

    It drooped and fell, and one 'neath northern skies,
    With southern heart, who tilled his father's field,
    Found Poesy a-dying, bade her rise
    And touch quick nature's hem and go forth healed.

    On life's broad plain the ploughman's conquering share
    Upturned the fallow lands of truth anew,
    And o'er the formal garden's trim parterre
    The peasant's team a ruthless furrow drew.

    Bright was his going forth, but clouds ere long
    Whelmed him; in gloom his radiance set, and those
    Twin morning stars of the new century's song,
    Those morning stars that sang together, rose.

    In elvish speech the _Dreamer_ told his tale
    Of marvellous oceans swept by fateful wings.--
    The _Seër_ strayed not from earth's human pale,
    But the mysterious face of common things

    He mirrored as the moon in Rydal Mere
    Is mirrored, when the breathless night hangs blue:
    Strangely remote she seems and wondrous near,
    And by some nameless difference born anew.


    V

    Peace--peace--and rest! Ah, how the lyre is loth,
    Or powerless now, to give what all men seek!
    Either it deadens with ignoble sloth
    Or deafens with shrill tumult, loudly weak.

    Where is the singer whose large notes and clear
    Can heal and arm and plenish and sustain?
    Lo, one with empty music floods the ear,
    And one, the heart refreshing, tires the brain.

    And idly tuneful, the loquacious throng
    Flutter and twitter, prodigal of time,
    And little masters make a toy of song
    Till grave men weary of the sound of rhyme.

    And some go prankt in faded antique dress,
    Abhorring to be hale and glad and free;
    And some parade a conscious naturalness,
    The scholar's not the child's simplicity.

    Enough;--and wisest who from words forbear.
    The kindly river rails not as it glides;
    And suave and charitable, the winning air
    Chides not at all, or only him who chides.


    VI

    Nature! we storm thine ear with choric notes.
    Thou answerest through the calm great nights and days,
    'Laud me who will: not tuneless are your throats;
    Yet if ye paused I should not miss the praise.'

    We falter, half-rebuked, and sing again.
    We chant thy desertness and haggard gloom,
    Or with thy splendid wrath inflate the strain,
    Or touch it with thy colour and perfume.

    One, his melodious blood aflame for thee,
    Wooed with fierce lust, his hot heart world-defiled.
    One, with the upward eye of infancy,
    Looked in thy face, and felt himself thy child.

    Thee he approached without distrust or dread--
    Beheld thee throned, an awful queen, above--
    Climbed to thy lap and merely laid his head
    Against thy warm wild heart of mother-love.

    He heard that vast heart beating--thou didst press
    Thy child so close, and lov'dst him unaware.
    Thy beauty gladdened him; yet he scarce less
    Had loved thee, had he never found thee fair!

    For thou wast not as legendary lands
    To which with curious eyes and ears we roam.
    Nor wast thou as a fane mid solemn sands,
    Where palmers halt at evening. Thou wast home.

    And here, at home, still bides he; but he sleeps;
    Not to be wakened even at thy word;
    Though we, vague dreamers, dream he somewhere keeps
    An ear still open to thy voice still heard,--

    Thy voice, as heretofore, about him blown,
    For ever blown about his silence now;
    Thy voice, though deeper, yet so like his own
    That almost, when he sang, we deemed 'twas thou!


    VII

    Behind Helm Crag and Silver Howe the sheen
    Of the retreating day is less and less.
    Soon will the lordlier summits, here unseen,
    Gather the night about their nakedness.

    The half-heard bleat of sheep comes from the hill,
    Faint sounds of childish play are in the air.
    The river murmurs past. All else is still.
    The very graves seem stiller than they were.

    Afar though nation be on nation hurled,
    And life with toil and ancient pain depressed,
    Here one may scarce believe the whole wide world
    Is not at peace, and all man's heart at rest.

    Rest! 'twas the gift _he_ gave; and peace! the shade
    _He_ spread, for spirits fevered with the sun.
    To him his bounties are come back--here laid
    In rest, in peace, his labour nobly done.


    William Watson
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

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    The Ladies Of St. James’s
    ------ Poem by Henry Austin Dobson


    THE LADIES of St. James’s
    Go swinging to the play;
    Their footmen run before them,
    With a “Stand by! Clear the way!”
    But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    She takes her buckled shoon,
    When we go out a-courting
    Beneath the harvest moon.

    The ladies of St. James’s
    Wear satin on their backs;
    They sit all night at Ombre,
    With candles all of wax:
    But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    She dons her russet gown,
    And runs to gather May dew
    Before the world is down.

    The ladies of St. James’s!
    They are so fine and fair,
    You ’d think a box of essences
    Was broken in the air:
    But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    The breath of heath and furze,
    When breezes blow at morning,
    Is not so fresh as hers.

    The ladies of St. James’s!
    They ’re painted to the eyes;
    Their white it stays for ever,
    Their red it never dies:
    But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    Her color comes and goes;
    It trembles to a lily,—
    It wavers to a rose.

    The ladies of St. James’s!
    You scarce can understand
    The half of all their speeches,
    Their phrases are so grand:
    But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    Her shy and simple words
    Are clear as after rain-drops
    The music of the birds.

    The ladies of St. James’s!
    They have their fits and freaks;
    They smile on you—for seconds,
    They frown on you—for weeks:
    But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
    Come either storm or shine,
    From Shrove-tide unto Shrove-tide,
    Is always true—and mine.

    My Phyllida! my Phyllida!
    I care not though they heap
    The hearts of all St. James’s,
    And give me all to keep;
    I care not whose the beauties
    Of all the world may be,
    For Phyllida—for Phyllida
    Is all the world to me!

    Henry Austin Dobson
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

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    The New Colossus

    ------By Emma Lazarus
    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


    Source: Emma Lazarus: Selected Poems and Other Writings (2002)
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

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    De Profundis
    -----------By Christina Rossetti
    Oh why is heaven built so far,
    Oh why is earth set so remote?
    I cannot reach the nearest star
    That hangs afloat.

    I would not care to reach the moon,
    One round monotonous of change;
    Yet even she repeats her tune
    Beyond my range.

    I never watch the scatter'd fire
    Of stars, or sun's far-trailing train,
    But all my heart is one desire,
    And all in vain:

    For I am bound with fleshly bands,
    Joy, beauty, lie beyond my scope;
    I strain my heart, I stretch my hands,
    And catch at hope.

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


    Paradise: In A Dream
    ---- by Christina Georgina Rossetti

    Once in a dream I saw the flowers
    That bud and bloom in Paradise;
    More fair they are than waking eyes
    Have seen in all this world of ours.
    And faint the perfume-bearing rose,
    And faint the lily on its stem,
    And faint the perfect violet
    Compared with them.

    I heard the songs of Paradise:
    Each bird sat singing in his place;
    A tender song so full of grace
    It soared like incense to the skies.
    Each bird sat singing to his mate
    Soft cooing notes among the trees:
    The nightingale herself were cold
    To such as these.

    I saw the fourfold River flow,
    And deep it was, with golden sand;
    It flowed between a mossy land
    With murmured music grave and low.
    It hath refreshment for all thirst,
    For fainting spirits strength and rest:
    Earth holds not such a draught as this
    From east to west.

    The Tree of Life stood budding there,
    Abundant with its twelvefold fruits;
    Eternal sap sustains its roots,
    Its shadowing branches fill the air.
    Its leaves are healing for the world,
    Its fruit the hungry world can feed,
    Sweeter than honey to the taste
    And balm indeed.

    I saw the gate called Beautiful;
    And looked, but scarce could look, within;
    I saw the golden streets begin,
    And outskirts of the glassy pool.
    Oh harps, oh crowns of plenteous stars,
    Oh green palm-branches many-leaved—
    Eye hath not seen, nor ear hath heard,
    Nor heart conceived.

    I hope to see these things again,
    But not as once in dreams by night;
    To see them with my very sight,
    And touch, and handle, and attain:
    To have all Heaven beneath my feet
    For narrow way that once they trod;
    To have my part with all the saints,
    And with my God.

    Christina Georgina Rossetti
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

  12. #642
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    Old Times
    ------------by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
    Friend of my youth, let us talk of old times;
    Of the long lost golden hours.
    When "Winter" meant only Christmas chimes,
    And "Summer" wreaths of flowers.
    Life has grown old, and cold, my friend,
    And the winter now, means death.
    And summer blossoms speak all too plain
    Of the dear, dead forms beneath.

    But let us talk of the past to-night;
    And live it over again,
    We will put the long years out of sight,
    And dream we are young as then.
    But you must not look at me, my friend,
    And I must not look at you,
    Or the furrowed brows, and silvered locks,
    Will prove our dream untrue.

    Let us sing of the summer, too sweet to last,
    And yet too sweet to die.
    Let us read tales, from the book of the past,
    And talk of the days gone by.
    We will turn our backs to the West, my friend,
    And forget we are growing old.
    The skies of the Present are dull, and gray,
    But the Past's are blue, and gold.

    The sun has passed over the noontide line
    And is sinking down the West.
    And of friends we knew in days Lang Syne,
    Full half have gone to rest.
    And the few that are left on earth, my friend
    Are scattered far, and wide.
    But you and I will talk of the days
    Ere any roamed, or died.

    Auburn ringlets, and hazel eyes
    Blue eyes and tresses of gold.
    Winds joy laden, and azure skies,
    Belong to those days of old.
    We will leave the Present's shores awhile
    And float on the Past's smooth sea.
    But I must not look at you, my friend,
    And you must not look at me.
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

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    Happiness
    ----by Carl Sandburg

    I ASKED the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell
    me what is happiness.

    And I went to famous executives who boss the work of
    thousands of men.

    They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though
    I was trying to fool with them
    And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along
    the Desplaines river
    And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with
    their women and children
    and a keg of beer and an
    accordion.
    Methinks Carl was onto something that about 95.9% of mankind overlooks. That true happiness rests in love of life and love of family.-Tyr
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

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    High Flight
    By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
    (A sonnet written by John Gillespie Magee, an American pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. He came to Britain, flew in a Spitfire squadron, and was killed at the age of nineteen on 11 December 1941 during a training flight from the airfield near Scopwick.)

    Portions Of This Lovely Poem Appear On The Headstones
    Of Many Interred In Arlington National Cemetery,
    Particularly Aviators And Astronauts



    High Flight
    ----------------- By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

    "Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
    and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
    wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
    Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
    and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

    "Up, up the long delirious burning blue
    I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
    where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
    and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
    the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    put out my hand and touched the face of God."
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

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    A Nocturnal Reverie
    ----by Anne Kingsmill Finch

    In such a night, when every louder wind
    Is to its distant cavern safe confined;
    And only gentle Zephyr fans his wings,
    And lonely Philomel, still waking, sings;
    Or from some tree, famed for the owl's delight,
    She, hollowing clear, directs the wand'rer right:
    In such a night, when passing clouds give place,
    Or thinly veil the heav'ns' mysterious face;
    When in some river, overhung with green,
    The waving moon and trembling leaves are seen;
    When freshened grass now bears itself upright,
    And makes cool banks to pleasing rest invite,
    Whence springs the woodbind, and the bramble-rose,
    And where the sleepy cowslip sheltered grows;
    Whilst now a paler hue the foxglove takes,
    Yet checkers still with red the dusky brakes
    When scattered glow-worms, but in twilight fine,
    Shew trivial beauties watch their hour to shine;
    Whilst Salisb'ry stands the test of every light,
    In perfect charms, and perfect virtue bright:
    When odors, which declined repelling day,
    Through temp'rate air uninterrupted stray;
    When darkened groves their softest shadows wear,
    And falling waters we distinctly hear;
    When through the gloom more venerable shows
    Some ancient fabric, awful in repose,
    While sunburnt hills their swarthy looks conceal,
    And swelling haycocks thicken up the vale:
    When the loosed horse now, as his pasture leads,
    Comes slowly grazing through th' adjoining meads,
    Whose stealing pace, and lengthened shade we fear,
    Till torn-up forage in his teeth we hear:
    When nibbling sheep at large pursue their food,
    And unmolested kine rechew the cud;
    When curlews cry beneath the village walls,
    And to her straggling brood the partridge calls;
    Their shortlived jubilee the creatures keep,
    Which but endures, whilst tyrant man does sleep;
    When a sedate content the spirit feels,
    And no fierce light disturbs, whilst it reveals;
    But silent musings urge the mind to seek
    Something, too high for syllables to speak;
    Till the free soul to a composedness charmed,
    Finding the elements of rage disarmed,
    O'er all below a solemn quiet grown,
    Joys in th' inferior world, and thinks it like her own:
    In such a night let me abroad remain,
    Till morning breaks, and all's confused again;
    Our cares, our toils, our clamors are renewed,
    Or pleasures, seldom reached, again pursued.
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to kill those who interrupt that serenity, and the wisdom to know where to bury the bodies."
    Ernest Hemingway- “In order to write about life, you must first live it.”
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

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