I hope you’re doing great today. First, I want to apologize for being inactive in posting poems and poetry collections for a while. I studied and leveraged my online skills for the past few months. Now, I am venturing into the e-commerce field to become a full-time freelancer. Still, I will try my very best to post poetry collections when I have spare time.

I’m also doing a survey online, and it aims to gather information in Identifying the Common Health Problems of Work-From-Home Employees/Freelancers. I humbly ask for your time and cooperation to participate in this study if you’re currently working from home or experienced working remotely so that we can raise awareness regarding the common health issues of home-based workers/freelancers and provide possible solutions to those issues.

I understand the importance of your time, so I would be truly grateful if you would take some time to answer these five (5) simple multiple-choice questions based on your experiences. Thank you so much, and have a wonderful day/evening.


You can also check out my other site to know more about this survey.


Once again, thank you so much for your unending support, and let’s meet each other’s company in my next poetry post.

Have a wonderful day/evening everyone!

Thank you.


Top 20 Most Popular Poems of Thomas Campbell

These are the top twenty (20) most popular poems of Thomas Campbell.

From Absence to Ode To The Memory Of Burns.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!.


‘Tis not the loss of love’s assurance,
It is not doubting what thou art,
But ’tis the too, too long endurance
Of absence, that afflicts my heart.

The fondest thoughts two hearts can cherish,
When each is lonely doom’d to weep,
Are fruits on desert isles that perish,
Or riches buried in the deep.

What though, untouch’d by jealous madness,
Our bosom’s peace may fall to wreck;
Th’ undoubting heart, that breaks with sadness,
Is but more slowly doom’d to break.

Absence! is not the soul torn by it
From more than light, or life, or breath?
‘Tis Lethe’s gloom, but not its quiet,
The pain without the peace of death.

Thomas Campbell

The Last Man

All worldly shapes shall melt in gloom,
The Sun himself must die,
Before this mortal shall assume
Its Immortality!
I saw a vision in my sleep
That gave my spirit strength to sweep
Adown the gulf of Time!
I saw the last of human mould,
That shall Creation’s death behold,
As Adam saw her prime!

The Sun’s eye had a sickly glare,
The Earth with age was wan,
The skeletons of nations were
Around that lonely man!
Some had expired in fight, the brands
Still rested in their bony hands;
In plague and famine some!
Earth’s cities had no sound nor tread;
And ships were drifting with the dead
To shores where all was dumb!

Yet, prophet-like, that lone one stood
With dauntless words and high,
That shook the sere leaves from the wood
As if a storm passed by,
Saying, “We are twins in death, proud Sun,
Thy face is cold, thy race is run,
‘Tis Mercy bids thee go.
For thou ten thousand thousand years
Hast seen the tide of human tears,
That shall no longer flow.

“What though beneath thee man put forth
His pomp, his pride, his skill;
And arts that made fire, floods, and earth,
The vassals of his will;
Yet mourn not I thy parted sway,
Thou dim discrowned king of day:
For all those trophied arts
And triumphs that beneath thee sprang,
Healed not a passion or a pang
Entailed on human hearts.

“Go, let oblivion’s curtain fall
Upon the stage of men,
Nor with thy rising beams recall
Life’s tragedy again.
Its piteous pageants bring not back,
Nor waken flesh, upon the rack
Of pain anew to writhe;
Stretched in disease’s shapes abhorred,
Or mown in battle by the sword,
Like grass beneath the scythe.

“Ee’n I am weary in yon skies
To watch thy fading fire;
Test of all sumless agonies
Behold not me expire.
My lips that speak thy dirge of death,
Their rounded gasp and gurgling breath
To see thou shalt not boast.
The eclipse of Nature spreads my pall,
The majesty of Darkness shall
Receive my parting ghost!

“This spirit shall return to Him
That gave its heavenly spark;
Yet think not, Sun, it shall be dim
When thou thyself art dark!
No! it shall live again, and shine
In bliss unknown to beams of thine,
By Him recalled to breath,
Who captive led captivity.
Who robbed the grave of Victory,
And took the sting from Death!

“Go, Sun, while Mercy holds me up
On Nature’s awful waste
To drink this last and bitter cup
Of grief that man shall taste,
Go, tell the night that hides thy face,
Thou saw’st the last of Adam’s race,
On Earth’s sepulchral clod,
The darkening universe defy
To quench his Immortality,
Or shake his trust in God!”

Thomas Campbell

The Soldier’s Dream

Our bugles sang truce; for the night-cloud had lowered,
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;
And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered,
The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.

When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,
By the wolf-scaring fagot that guarded the slain,
At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw,
And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again.

Methought from the battle-field’s dreadful array
Far, far I had roamed on a desolate track:
‘Twas autumn; and sunshine arose on the way
To the home of my fathers, that welcomed my back.

I flew to the pleasant fields traversed so oft
In life’s morning march, when my bosom was young;
I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft,
And knew the sweet strains that the corn-reapers sung.

Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore
From my home and my weeping friends never to part:
My little ones kissed me a thousand times o’er,
And my wife sobbed aloud in her fulness of heart.

“Stay, stay with us, rest, thou art weary and worn:”
And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay;
But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn,
And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.

Thomas Campbell

Song – Men Of England

Men of England! who inherit
Rights that cost your sires their blood!
Men whose undegenerate spirit
Has been proved on field and flood:

By the foes you ‘ve fought uncounted,
By the glorious deeds ye ‘ve done,
Trophies captured, breaches mounted,
Navies conquered, kingdoms won!

Yet, remember, England gathers
Hence but fruitless wreaths of fame,
If the freedom of your fathers
Glow not in your hearts the same.

What are monuments of bravery,
Where no public virtues bloom?
What avail in lands of slavery,
Trophied temples, arch, and tomb?

Pageants! Let the world revere us
For our people’s rights and laws,
And the breasts of civic heroes
Bared in Freedom’s holy cause.

Yours are Hampden’s, Russell’s glory,
Sidney’s matchless shade is yours,
Martyrs in heroic story,
Worth a hundred Agincourts!

We ‘re the sons of sires that baffled
Crowned and mitred tyranny;
They defied the field and scaffold
For their birthrights, so will we!

Thomas Campbell


At summer eve, when heaven’s aerial bow
Spans with bright arch the glittering hills below,
Why to yon mountain turns the musing eye,
Whose sunbright summit mingles with the sky?
Why do those cliffs of shadowy tint appear
More sweet than all the landscape smiling near?
‘Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
And robes the mountain in its azure hue.

Thomas Campbell

The River Of Life

The more we live, more brief appear
Our life’s succeeding stages;
A day to childhood seems a year,
And years like passing ages.

The gladsome current of our youth,
Ere passion yet disorders,
Steals lingering like a river smooth
Along its grassy borders.

But as the careworn cheek grows wan,
And sorrow’s shafts fly thicker,
Ye stars, that measure life to man,
Why seem your courses quicker?

When joys have lost their bloom and breath,
And life itself is vapid,
Why, as we reach the Falls of Death
Feel we its tide more rapid?

It may be strange, yet who would change
Time’s course to slower speeding,
When one by one our friends have gone,
And left our bosoms bleeding?

Heaven gives our years of fading strength
Indemnifying fleetness;
And those of youth, a seeming length,
Proportion’d to their sweetness.

Thomas Campbell

To The Rainbow

Triumphal arch, that fill’st the sky
When storms prepare to part,
I ask not proud Philosophy
To teach me what thou art;

Still seem; as to my childhood’s sight,
A midway station given
For happy spirits to alight
Betwixt the earth and heaven.

Can all that Optics teach unfold
Thy form to please me so,
As when I dreamt of gems and gold
Hid in thy radiant bow?

When Science from Creation’s face
Enchantment’s veil withdraws,
What lovely visions yield their place
To cold material laws!

And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
But words of the Most High,
Have told why first thy robe of beams
Was woven in the sky.

When o’er the green, undeluged earth
Heaven’s covenant thou didst shine,
How came the world’s gray fathers forth
To watch thy sacred sign!

And when its yellow luster smiled
O’er mountains yet untrod,
Each mother held aloft her child
To bless the bow of God.

Methinks, thy jubilee to keep,
The first-made anthem rang
On earth, delivered from the deep,
And the first poet sang.

Nor ever shall the Muse’s eye
Unraptured greet thy beam;
Theme of primeval prophecy,
Be still the prophet’s theme!

The earth to thee her incense yields,
The lark thy welcome sings,
When, glittering in the freshened fields,
The snowy mushroom springs.

How glorious is thy girdle, cast
O’er mountain, tower, and town,
Or mirrored in the ocean vast,
A thousand fathoms down!

As fresh in yon horizon dark,
As young thy beauties seem,
As when the eagle from the ark
First sported in thy beam:

For, faithful to its sacred page,
Heaven still rebuilds thy span;
Nor lets the type grow pale with age,
That first spoke peace to man.

Thomas Campbell

Lines – On The Camp Hill, Near Hastings

In the deep blue of eve,
Ere the twinkling of stars had begun,
Or the lark took his leave
Of the skies and the sweet setting sun,

I climbed to yon heights,
Where the Norman encamped him of old,
With his bowmen and knights,
And his banner all burnished with gold.

At the Conqueror’s side
There his minstrelsy sat harp in hand,
In pavilion wide;
And they chaunted the deeds of Roland.

Still the ramparted ground
With a vision my fancy inspires,
And I hear the trump sound,
As it marshalled our Chivalry’s sires.

On each turf of that mead
Stood the captors of England’s domains,
That ennobled her breed
And high-mettled the blood of her veins.

Over hauberk and helm
As the sun’s setting splendour was thrown,
Thence they looked o’er a realm
And to-morrow beheld it their own.

Thomas Campbell

Lines – Written On Visiting A Scene In Argyleshire

At the silence of twilight’s contemplative hour,
I have mused in a sorrowful mood,
On the wind-shaken weeds that embosom the bower,
Where the home of my forefathers stood.
All ruin’d and wild is their roofless abode;
And lonely the dark raven’s sheltering tree;
And travell’d by few is the grass-cover’d road,
Where the hunter of deer and the warrior trode,
To his hills that encircle the sea.

Yet wandering, I found on my ruinous walk,
By the dial-stone aged and green,
One rose of the wilderness left on its stalk,
To mark where a garden had been.
Like a brotherless hermit, the last of its race,
All wild in the silence of nature, it drew,
From each wandering sun-beam, a lonely embrace,
For the night-weed and thorn overshadow’d the place,
Where the flower of my forefathers grew.

Sweed bud of the wilderness! emblem of all
That remains in this desolate heart!
The fabric of bliss to its centre may fall,
But patience shall never depart!
Though the wilds of enchantment, all vernal and bright,
In the days of delusion by fancy combined
With the vanishing phantoms of love and delight,
Abandon my soul, like a dream of the night,
And leave but a desert behind.

Be hush’d, my dark spirit! for wisdom condemns
When the faint and the feeble deplore;
Be strong as the rock of the ocean that stems
A thousand wild waves on the shore!
Through the perils of chance, and the scowl of disdain,
May thy front be unalter’d, thy courage elate!
Yea! even the name I have worshipped in vain
Shall awake not the sigh of remembrance again:
To bear is to conquer our fate.

Thomas Campbell

Exile Of Erin

There came to the beach a poor Exile of Erin,
The dew on his thin robe was heavy and chill:
For his country he sign’d, when at twilight repairing
To wander alone by the wind-beaten hill.

But the day-star attracted his eye’s sad devotion,
For it rose o’er his own native isle fo the ocean,
Where once, in the fire of his youthful emotion.
He sang the bold anthem of Erin go bragh.

Sad is my fate! said the heart-broken stranger;
The wild deer and wolf to a covert can flee,
But I have no refuge from famine and danger,
A home and a country remain not to me.

Never again, in my green sunny bowers,
Where my forefathers lived, shall I spend the sweet hours,
Or cover my harp with the wild-woven flowers,
And strike to the numbers of Erin go bragh!

Erin, my country! though sad and forsaken,
In dreams I revisit thy sea-beaten shore;
But, alas! in a far foreign land I awaken,
And sigh for the friends who can meet me no more!

Oh curel fate! wilt thou never replace me
In a mansion of peace, where no perils can chase me?
Never again shall my brothers embrace me?
They died to defend me, or live to deplore!

Where is my cabin-door, fast by the wild wood?
Sisters and sire! did ye weep for its fall?
Where is the mother that look’d on my childhood?
And where ist the bosom-friend, dearer than all?

Oh! my sad heart! long abandon’d by pleasure,
Why did it dote on a fast-fading treasure?
Tears, like the rain drop, may fall without measure,
But rapture and beauty they cannot recal.

Yet all its sad recollections suppressing,
One dying wish my lone bosom can draw:
Erin! an exile bequeaths thee his blessing!
Land of my forefathers! Erin go bragh!

Buried and cold, when my heart stills her motion,
Green by the fields, sweetest isle of the ocean!
And thy harp-striking bards sind aloud with devotion,
Erin mavournin, Erin go bragh!

Thomas Campbell

Ye Mariners Of England

Ye Mariners of England
That guard our native seas,
Whose flag has braved, a thousand years,
The battle and the breeze,
Your glorious standard launch again
To match another foe!
And sweep through the deep,
While the stormy winds do blow,
While the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.
The spirits of your fathers
Shall start from every wave!
For the deck it was their field of fame,
And Ocean was their grave.
Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell
Your manly hearts shall glow,
As ye sweep through the deep,
While the stormy winds do blow,
While the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.
Britannia needs no bulwarks,
No towers along the steep;
Her march is o’er the mountain waves,
Her home is on the deep.
With thunders from her native oak
She quells the floods below,
As they roar on the shore
When the stormy winds do blow,
When the battle rages loud and long
And the stormy winds do blow.
The meteor flag of England
Shall yet terrific burn,
Till danger’s troubled night depart
And the star of peace return.
Then, then, ye ocean warriors!
Our song and feast shall flow
To the fame of your name,
When the storm has ceased to blow,
When the fiery fight is heard no more,
And the storm has ceased to blow.

Thomas Campbell

The Brave Roland

The brave Roland! the brave Roland!
False tidings reached the Rhenish strand
That he had fallen in fight;
And thy faithful bosom swooned with pain,
O loveliest maiden of All’mayne!

For the loss of thine own true knight.
But why so rash has she ta’en the veil,
In yon Nonnenwerder’s choisters pale?
For her vow had scarce been sworn,
And the fatal mantle o’er her flung,
When the Drachenfels to a trumpet rung,
‘Twas her own dear warrior ‘s horn!

Woe! woe! each heart shall bleed, shall break!
She would have hung upon his neck,
Had he come but yester-even;
And he had clasped those peerless charms
That shall never, never fill his arms,
Or meet him but in heaven.

Yet Roland the brave, Roland the true,
He could not bid that spot adieu;
It was dear still ‘midst his woes;
For he loved to breathe the neighbouring air,
And to think she blessed him in her prayer,
When the Halleluiah rose.

There ‘s yet one window of that pile,
Which he built above the Nun’s green isle;
Thence sad and oft looked he
(When the chant and organ sounded slow)
On the mansion of his love below,
For herself he might not see.

She died! He sought the battle-plain;
Her image filled his dying brain,
When he fell and wished to fall:
And her name was in his latest sigh,
When Roland, the flower of chivalry,
Exired at Roncevall.

Thomas Campbell

A Scene On The Susquehana

Excerpt from “Gertrude Of Wyoming”

Delightful Wyoming! beneath thy skies,
The happy shepherd swains had nought to do
But feed their flocks on green declivities,
Or skim perchance thy lake with light canoe,
From morn till evening’s sweeter pastime grew,
With timbrel, when beneath the forests brown,
Thy lovely maidens would the dance renew;
And aye those sunny mountains half-way down
Would echo flagelet from some romantic town.

Then, where of Indian hills the daylight takes
His leave, how might you the flamingo see
Disporting like a meteor on the lakes,
And playful squirrel on his nut-grown tree:
And every sound of life was full of glee,
From merry mock-bird’s song, or hum of men;
While hearkening, fearing nought their revelry,
The wild deer arched his neck from glades, and then,
Unhunted, sought his woods and wilderness again.

Thomas Campbell

Love And Madness

Hark! from the battlements of yonder tower
The solemn bell has tolled the midnight hour!
Roused from drear visions of distempered sleep,
Poor Broderick wakes’in solitude to weep!

“Cease, Memory; cease (the friendless mourner cried)
To probe the bosom too severely tried!
Oh! ever cease, my pensive thoughts, to stray
Through tie bright fields of Fortune’s better day,
When youthful Hope, the music of the mind,
Tuned all its charms, and Errington was kind!

Yet, can I cease, while glows this trembling frame,
In sighs to speak thy melancholy name!
I hear thy spirit wail in every storm!
In midniglit shades I view thy passing form!
Pale as in that sad hour when doomed to feel!
Deep in thy perjured heart, the bloody steel!

Demons of Vengeance! ye, at whose command
I grasped the sword with more than woman’s hand
Say ye, did Pity’s trembling voice control,
Or horror damp the purpose of my soul?
No! my wild heart sat smiling o’er the plan,
‘Till Hate fulfilled what baffled love began!

Yes ; let the clay-cold breast that never knew
One tender pang to generous nature true,
Half-mingling pity with the gall of scorn,
Condemn this heart, that bled in love forlorn!

And ye, proud fair, whose soul no gladness warms,
Save Rapture’s homage to your conscious charms!
Delighted idols of a gaudy train,
Ill can your blunter feelings guess the pain,
When the fond, faithful heart, inspired to prove
Friendship refined, the calm delight of Love,
Feels all its tender strings with anguish torn,
And bleeds at perjured Pride’s inhuman scorn.

Say, then, did pitying Heaven condemn the deed,
When Vengeance bade thee, faithless lover! bleed?
Long had I watched thy dark foreboding brow,
What time thy bosom scorned its dearest vow!
Sad, though I wept the friend, the lover changed,
Still thy cold look was scornful and estranged,
Till from thy pity, love, and shelter thrown,
I wandered hopeless, friendless, and alone!

Oh! righteous Heaven! ‘t was then my tortured soul
First gave to wrath unlimited control!
Adieu the silent look! the streaming eye!
The murmured plaint! the deep heart-heaving sigh!
Long-slumbering Vengeance wakes to better deeds ;
He shrieks, he falls, the perjured lover bleeds!
Now the last laugh of agony is o’er,
And pale in blood he sleeps, to wake no more!

‘T is done! the flame of hate no longer burns :
Nature relents, but, ah! too late returns!
Why does my soul this gush of fondness feel?
Trembling and faint, I drop the guilty steel!
Cold on my heart the hand of terror lies,
And shades of horror close my languid eyes!

Oh! ‘t was a deed of Murder’s deepest grain!
Could Broderick’s soul so true to wrath remain?
A friend long true, a once fond lover fell?
Where Love was fostered could not Pity dwell?

Unhappy youth! while you pale cresscent glows
To watch on silent Nature’s deep repose,
Thy sleepless spirit, breathing from the tomb,
Foretells my fate, and summons me to come!
Once more I see thy sheeted spectre stand,
Roll the dim eye, and wave the paly hand!

Soon may this fluttering spark of vital flame
Forsake its languid melancholy frame!
Soon may these eyes their trembling lustre close,
Welcome the dreamless night of long repose!
Soon may this woe-worn spirit seek the bourne
Where, lulled to slumber, Grief forgets to mourn!”

Thomas Campbell

The Traveller

Excerpt from “Gertrude Of Wyoming”

Apart there was a deep untrodden grot,
Where oft the reading hours sweet Gertrude wore;
Tradition had not named its lonely spot;
But here (methinks) might India’s sons explore
Their father’s dust, or lift, perchance of yore,
Their voice to the great Spirit: rocks sublime
To human art a sportive semblance bore,
And yellow lichens coloured all the clime,
Like moonlight battlements, and towers decayed by time.

But high in amphitheatre above,
Gay tinted woods their massy foliage threw:
Breathed but an air of heaven, and all the grove
As if instinct with living spirit grew,
Rolling its verdant gulfs of every hue;
And now suspended was the pleasing din,
Now from a murmur faint it swelled anew,
Like the first note of organ heard within
Cathedral aisles, ere yet its symphony begin.

It was in this lone valley she would charm
the lingering noon, where flowers a couch had strown;
Her cheek reclining, and her snowy arm
On hillock by the pine-tree half o’ergrown:
And aye that volume on her lap is thrown,
Which every heart of human mould endears;
With Shakspear’s self she speaks and smiles alone,
And no intruding visitation fears,
To shame the unconscious laugh, or stop her sweetest tears.

And nought within the grove was seen or heard.
But stock-doves plaining through its gloom profound,
Or winglet of the fairy humming bird,
Like atoms of the rainbow fluttering round;
When, lo! there entered to its inmost ground
A youth, the stranger of a distant land;
He was, to weet, for eastern mountains bound;
But late th’ equator suns his cheeks had tanned,
And California’s gales his roving bosom fanned.

A steed, whose rein hung loosely o’er his arm,
He led dismounted; ere his leisure pace,
Amid the brown leaves, could her ear alarm,
Close he had come, and worshipped for a space
Those downcast features: she her lovely face
Uplift on one, whose lineaments and frame
Wore youth and manhood’s intermingled grace:
Iberian seemed his boot, his robe the same,
And well the Spanish plume his lofty looks became

For Albert’s home he sought, her finger fair
Has pointed where the father’s mansion stood.
Returning from the copse he soon was there;
And soon has Getrude hied from dark green wood;
Nor joyess, by the converse, understood
Between the man of age and pilgrim young,
That gay congeniality of mood,
And early liking from acquaintance sprung;
Full fluently coversed their guest in England’s tongue.

And well could he his pilgrimage of taste
Unfold, and much they loved his fervid strain,
While he each fair variety retraced
Of climes, and manners, o’er the eastern main.
Now happy Switzer’s hills, romantic Spain,
Gay lilied fields of France, or, more refined,
The soft Ausonia’s monumental reign;
Nor less each rural image he designed,
Than all the city’s pomp and home of human kind.

Anon some wilder portraiture he draws;
Of Nature’s savage glories he would speak,
The loneliness of earth that overawes,
Where, resting by some tomb of old Cacique,
The lama-driver on Peruvia’s peak,
Nor living voice nor motion marks around;
But storks that to the boundless forest shriek,
Or wild-cane arch high flung o’er gulf profound,
That fluctuates when the storms of El Dorado sound.

Thomas Campbell

The Dirge Of Wallace

When Scotland’s great Regent, our warrior most dear,
The debt of his nature did pay,
T’ was Edward, the cruel, had reason to fear,
And cause to be struck with dismay.

At the window of Edward the raven did croak,
Though Scotland a widow became;
Each tie of true honor to Wallace he broke
The raven croaked “Sorrow and shame!”

At Eldersie Castle no raven was heard,
But soothings of honor and truth;
His spirit inspired the soul of the bard
To comfort the Love of his youth!

They lighted the tapers at dead of night,
And chanted their holiest hymn;
But her brow and her bosom were all damp with affright,
Her eye was all sleepless and dim!

And the lady of Eldersie wept for her lord,
With a death-watch beat in her lonely room,
When her curtain shook of its own accord,
And the raven flapped at her window board
To tell of her warrior’s doom.

Now sing ye the death-song, and loudly pray
For the soul of my knight so dear!
And call me a widow, this wretched day,
Since the warning of God is here.

For a nightmare rests on my strangled sleep;
The lord of my bosom is doomed to die!
His valorous heart they have wounded deep,
And the blood-red tears his country shall weep
For Wallace of Elderslie.

Yet knew not his country, that ominous hour,
Ere the loud matin-bell was rung,
That the trumpet of death on an English tower,
The dirge of her champion sung.

When his dungeon light looked dim and red
On the high-born blood of a martyr slain,
No anthem was sung at his lowly death-bed,
No weeping was there when his bosom bled,
And his heart was rent in twain.

When he strode o’er the wreck of each well-fought field,
With the yellow-haired chiefs of his native land;
For his lace was not shivered on helmet or shield,
And the sword that was fit for archangel to wield
Was light in his terrible hand.

Yet, bleeding and bound, though the “Wallacewight”
For his long-loved country die,,
The bugle ne’er sung to a braver night
Than William of Elderslie.

But the day of his triumphs shall never depart;
His head, unemtombed, shall with glory be palmed:
From its blood streaming altar his spirit shall start;
Though the raven has fed on his mouldering heart,
A nobler was never embalmed!

Thomas Campbell

The Maid’s Remonstrance

Never wedding, ever wooing,
Still a love-lorn heart pursuing,
Read you not the wrong you ‘re doing
In my cheek’s pale hue?
All my life with sorrow strewing,
Wed, or cease to woo.

Rivals banished, bosoms plighted,
Still our days are disunited;
Now the lamp of hope is lighted,
Now half quenched appears,
Damped, and wavering, and benighted,
Midst my sighs and tears.

Charms you call your dearest blessing,
Lips that thrill at your caressing,
Eyes a mutual soul confessing,
Soon you ‘ll make them grow
Dim, and worthless your possessing,
Not with age, but woe!

Thomas Campbell

Freedom And Love

How delicious is the winning
Of a kiss at love’s beginning,
When two mutual hearts are sighing
For the knot there’s no untying!
Yet remember, ‘Midst our wooing,
Love has bliss, but Love has ruing;
Other smiles may make you fickle,
Tears for other charms may trickle.
Love he comes, and Love he tarries,
Just as fate or fancy carries;
Longest stays, when sorest chidden;
Laughs and flies, when press’d and bidden.
Bind the sea to slumber stilly,
Bind its odour to the lily,
Bind the aspen ne’er to quiver,
Then bind Love to last for ever.
Love’s a fire that needs renewal
Of fresh beauty for its fuel:
Love’s wing moults when caged and captured,
Only free, he soars enraptured.
Can you keep the bee from ranging
Or the ringdove’s neck from changing?
No! nor fetter’d Love from dying
In the knot there’s no untying.

Thomas Campbell

Lord Ullin’s Daughter

A chieftain, to the Highlands bound,
Cries, “Boatman, do not tarry!
And I’ll give thee a silver pound,
To row us o’er the ferry.”

“Now who be ye, would cross Lochgyle
This dark and stormy water?”
“O, I’m the chief of Ulva’s isle,
And this Lord Ullin’s daughter.

And fast before her father’s men
Three days we’ve fled together,
For should he find us in the glen,
My blood would stain the heather.

His horsemen hard behind us ride;
Should they our steps discover,
Then who will cheer my bonny bride
When they have slain her lover?”

Out spoke the hardy Highland wight,
“I’ll go, my cheif, I’m ready:
It is not for your silver bright;
But for your winsome lady:

And by my word! the bonny bird
In danger shall not tarry:
For though the waves are raging white,
I’ll row you o’er the ferry.”

By this the storm grew loud apace,
The water, wraith was shrieking;
And in the scowl of heaven each face
Grew dark as they were speaking.

But still wilder brew the wind,
And as the night grew drearer,
Adown the glen rode armed men,
Their trampling sounded nearer.

“Oh haste thee, hast!” the lady cries
“Though tempest round us gather;
I’ll meet the raging of the skies,
But not an angry father.”

The boat had left a stormy land,
A stormy sea before her,
When, oh! too strong for human hand,
The waters gathered o’er her.

And still they rowed amidst the roar
Of waters fast prevailing:
Lord Ullin reached that fatal shore,
His wrath was changed to wailing:

For sore dismayed, through storm and shade,
His child he did discover:
One lovely hand stretched out for aid,
And one was round her lover.

“Come back! come back!” he cried in grief,
“Across this stormy water:
And I’ll forgive your Highland chief,
My daughter! oh, my daughter!”

‘Twas vain: the loud waves lashed the shore,
Return or aid preventing:
And the waters went wild o’er his child,
And he was left lamenting.

Thomas Campbell

Ode To The Memory Of Burns

Soul of the Poet! wheresoe’er,
Reclaimed from earth, thy genius plume
Her wings of immortality;
Suspend thy harp in happier sphere,
And with thine influence illume
The gladness of our jubilee.

And fly like fiends from secret spell,
Discord and Strife, at Burn’s name,
Exorcised by his memory;
For he was chief of bards that swell
The heart with songs of social flame,
And high delicious revelry.

And Love’s own strain to him was given,
To warble all its ecstacies
With Pythian words unsought, unwilled,
Love, the surviving gift of Heaven
The choicest sweet of Paradise,
In life’s else bitter cup distilled.

Who that has melted o’er his lay
To Mary’s soul, in Heaven above ,
But pictured sees, in fancy strong,
The landscape and the livelong day
That smiled upon their mutual love?
Who that has felt forgets the song?

Nor skilled one flame alone to fan:
His country’s high-souled peasantry
What patriot-prid e he taught! how much
To weigh the inborn worth of man!
And rustic life and poverty
Grow beautiful beneath his touch.

Him, in his clay-built cot, the Muse
Entranced, and showed him all the forms,
Of fairy-light and wizard gloom,
(That only gifted Poet views,)
The Genii of the floods and storms,
And martial shades from Glory’s tomb.

On Bannock-fiel d what thoughts arouse
The swain whom Burns’s song inspires!
Beat not his Caledonian veins,
As o’er the heroic turf he ploughs,
With all the spirit of his sires,
And all their scorn of death and chains?

And see the Scottish exile, tanned
By many a far and foreign clime,
Bend o’er his home-born verse, and weep
In memory of his native land,
With love that scorns the lapse of time,
And ties that stretch beyond the deep.

Encamped by Indian rivers wild,
The soldier resting on his arms,
In Burns’s carol sweet recalls
The scenes that blessed him when a child,
And glows and gladdens at the charms
Of Scotia’s woods and waterfalls.

O deem not, ‘midst this worldly strife,
An idle art the Poet brings:
Let high Philosophy control,
And sages calm the stream of life,
‘T is he refines its fountain-spr ings,
The nobler passions of the soul.

It is the muse that consecrates
The native banner of the brave,
Unfurling, at the trumpet’s breath,
Rose, thistle, harp; ‘t is she elates
To sweep the field or ride the wave,
A sunburst in the storm of death.

And thou, young hero , when thy pall
Is crossed with mournful sword and plume,
When public grief begins to fade,
And only tears of kindred fall,
Who but the bard shall dress thy tomb,
And greet with fame thy gallant shade?

Such was the soldier, Burn s, forgive
That sorrows of mine own intrude
In strains to thy great memory due.
In verse like thine, oh! Could he live,
The friend I mourned, the brave, the good
Edward that died at Waterloo!

Farewell, high chief of Scottish song!
That couldst alternately impart
Wisdom and rapture in thy page,
And brand each vice with satire strong,
Whose lines are mottoes of the heart?
Whose truths electrify the sage.

Farewell! and ne’er may Envy dare
To wring one baleful poison drop
From the crushed laurels of thy bust;
But while the lark sings sweet in air,
Still may the grateful pilgrim stop,
To bless the spot that holds thy dust.

Thomas Campbell

Thomas Campbell was educated at the High School of Glasgow and the University of Glasgow and won prizes for classics and verse-writing. He was also described as slow and fastidious in composition. His poetry collection can be compared to other collections as more about men. His poems are also amazing!

The River Of Life is my favorite poem in this collection. I agree with the idea of this poem; our lives flow continuously without us deciding to slow or fasten them.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of Thomas Campbell?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


34 Greatest Poems for New Year

New Year, New Beginning, is what I love the most about celebrating this holiday. There will always be another chance for us to start again and give ourselves a chance to be a better version. Last year was quite a challenging year due to the pandemic; hopefully, this year will be better.

These are thirty-four (34) greatest poems for New Year. If you also like this holiday, these poems are for you.

The New Year

Be welcome, year! with corn and sickle come;
Make poor the body, but make rich the heart:
What man that bears his sheaves, gold-nodding, home,
Will heed the paint rubbed from his groaning cart!

Nor leave behind thy fears and holy shames,
Thy sorrows on the horizon hanging low–
Gray gathered fuel for the sunset-flames
When joyous in death’s harvest-home we go.

George MacDonald

New Year.

If I resolve, with the new year,
A better child to be,
‘Twill do no good at all, I fear,
But rather harm to me,

Unless I try, with every day,
No angry word to speak;
Unless, each morn, to God I pray
To keep me mild and meek.

Then let me try with all my might,
And may God help me too,
Always to choose the way that’s right,
Whatever act I do.

H. P. Nichols

New Year

Each year cometh with all his days,
Some are shadowed and some are bright;
He beckons us on until he stays
Kneeling with us ‘neath Christmas night.

Kneeling under the stars that gem
The holy sky, o’er the humble place,
When the world’s sweet Child of Bethlehem
Rested on Mary, full of grace.

Not only the Bethlehem in the East,
But altar Bethlehem everywhere,
When the ~Gloria~ of the first great feast
Rings forth its gladness on the air.

Each year seemeth loath to go,
And leave the joys of Christmas day;
In lands of sun and in lands of snow,
The year still longs awhile to stay.

A little while, ’tis hard to part
From this Christ blessed here below,
Old year! and in thy aged heart
I hear thee sing so sweet and low.

A song like this, but sweeter far,
And yet as if with a human tone,
Under the blessed Christmas star,
And thou descendest from thy throne.

“A few more days and I am gone,
The hours move swift and sure along;
Yet still I fain would linger on
In hearing of the Christmas song.

“I bow to Him who rules all years;
Thrice blessed is His high behest;
Nor will He blame me if, with tears,
I pass to my eternal rest.

“Ah, me! to altars every day
I brought the sun and the holy Mass;
The people came by my light to pray,
While countless priests did onward pass.

“The words of the Holy Thursday night
To one another from east to west;
And the holy Host on the altar white
Would take its little half-hour’s rest.

“And every minute of every hour
The Mass bell rang with its sound so sweet,
While from shrine to shrine, with tireless power,
And heaven’s love, walked the nailed feet.

“I brought the hours for ~Angelus~ bells,
And from a thousand temple towers
They wound their sweet and blessed spell
Around the hearts of all the hours.

“Every day has a day of grace
For those who fain would make them so;
I saw o’er the world in every place
The wings of guardian angels glow.

“Men! could you hear the song I sing —
But no, alas! it cannot be so!
My heir that comes would only bring
Blessings to bless you here below.”

* * * * *

Seven days passed; the gray, old year
Calls to his throne the coming heir;
Falls from his eyes the last, sad tear,
And lo! there is gladness everywhere.

Singing, I hear the whole world sing,
Afar, anear, aloud, alow:
“What to us will the New Year bring!”
Ah! would that each of us might know!

Is it not truth? as old as true?
List ye, singers, the while ye sing!
Each year bringeth to each of you
What each of you will have him bring.

The year that cometh is a king,
With better gifts than the old year gave;
If you place on his fingers the holy ring
Of prayer, the king becomes your slave.

Abram Joseph Ryan

New Year

Know this! there is nothing can harm you
If you are at peace with your soul.
Know this, and the knowledge shall arm you
With courage and strength to the goal.
Your spirit shall break every fetter,
And love shall cast out every fear.
And grander, and gladder, and better
Shall be every added new year.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

New Year

New Year, I look straight in your eyes –
Our ways and our interests blend;
You may be a foe in disguise,
But I shall believe you a friend.
We get what we give in our measure,
We cannot give pain and get pleasure;
I give you good will and good cheer,
And you must return it, New Year.

We get what we give in this life,
Though often the giver indeed
Waits long upon doubting and strife
Ere proving the truth of my creed.
But somewhere, some way, and for ever
Reward is the meed of endeavour;
And if I am really worth while,
New Year, you will give me your smile.

You hide in your mystical hand
No “luck” that I cannot control,
If I trust my own courage and stand
On the Infinite strength of my soul.
Man holds in his brain and his spirit
A power that is God-like, or near it,
And he who has measured his force
Can govern events and their course.

You come with a crown on your brow,
New Year, without blemish or spot;
Yet you, and not I, sir, must bow,
For time is the servant of thought
Whatever you bring me of trouble
Shall turn into good, and then double,
If my spirit looks up without fear
To the Source that you came from, New Year.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

New Year

‘The night is cold, the hour is late, the world is bleak and
Who is it knocking at my door?’

‘I am Good Cheer.’

‘Your voice is strange; I know you not; in shadows dark I grope.
What seek you here?’

‘Friend, let me in; my name is Hope.’

‘And mine is Failure; you but mock the life you seek to bless.
Pass on.’

‘Nay, open wide the door; I am Success.’

‘But I am ill and spent with pain; too late has come your wealth.
I cannot use it.’

‘Listen, friend; I am Good Health.’

‘Now, wide I fling my door. Come in, and your fair statements

‘But you must open, too, your heart, for I am Love.’

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The New Year.

Lift up thy torch, O Year, and let us see
What Destiny
Hath made thee heir to at nativity!

Doubt, some call Faith; and ancient Wrong and Might,
Whom some name Right;
And Darkness, that the purblind world calls Light.

Despair, with Hope’s brave form; and Hate, who goes
In Friendship’s clothes;
And Happiness, the mask of many woes.

Neglect, whom Merit serves; Lust, to whom, see,
Love bends the knee;
And Selfishness, who preacheth charity.

Vice, in whose dungeon Virtue lies in chains;
And Cares and Pains,
That on the throne of Pleasure hold their reigns.

Corruption, known as Honesty; and Fame
That’s but a name;
And Innocence, the outward guise of Shame.

And Folly, men call Wisdom here, forsooth;
And, like a youth,
Fair Falsehood, whom some worship for the Truth.

Abundance, who hath Famine’s house in lease;
And, high ‘mid these,
War, blood-black, on the spotless shrine of Peace.

Lift up thy torch, O Year! assist our sight!
Deep lies the night
Around us, and GOD grants us little light!

Madison Julius Cawein

A New Year

Behold! a new white world!
The falling snow
Has cloaked the last old year
And bid him go.

To-morrow! cries the oak
To his lone heart,
My sealèd buds shall fling
Their leaves apart.

To-morrow! pipes the thrush,
And once again
How sweet the nest that long
Was full of rain.

To-morrow! bleats the sheep,
And one by one
My little lambs shall play
Beneath the sun.

For us, too, let some fair
To-morrow be,
O Thou who weavest threads
Of Destiny!

Thou wast a babe on that
Far Christmas Day,
Let us as children go
Upon Thy way.

So that our hearts grown cold
‘Neath time and pain,
With young sweet faith may bloom
All green again;

That empty promises
Of passing years
Spring into life, and not
Repenting tears;

So that our deeds upon
The earth may go,
As innocent as lambs,
And pure as snow

Dora Sigerson Shorter

New Year Resolve

As the dead year is clasped by a dead December,
So let your dead sins with your dead days lie.
A new life is yours and a new hope. Remember
We build our own ladders to climb to the sky.

Stand out in the sunlight of promise, forgetting
Whatever the past held of sorrow and wrong.
We waste half our strength in a useless regretting;
We sit by old tombs in the dark too long.

Have you missed in your aim? Well, the mark is still shining.
Did you faint in the race? Well, take breath for the next.
Did the clouds drive you back? But see yonder their lining.
Were you tempted and fell? Let it serve for a text.

As each year hurries by, let it join that procession
Of skeleton shapes that march down to the past,
While you take your place in the line of progression,
With your eyes to the heavens, your face to the blast.

I tell you the future can hold no terrors
For any sad soul while the stars revolve,
If he will stand firm on the grave of his errors,
And instead of regretting – resolve, resolve!

It is never too late to begin rebuilding,
Though all into ruins your life seems hurled;
For see! how the light of the New Year is gilding
The wan, worn face of the bruised old world.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The New Year.


Not while the snow-shroud round dead earth is rolled,
And naked branches point to frozen skies, –
When orchards burn their lamps of fiery gold,
The grape glows like a jewel, and the corn
A sea of beauty and abundance lies,
Then the new year is born.

Look where the mother of the months uplifts
In the green clearness of the unsunned West,
Her ivory horn of plenty, dropping gifts,
Cool, harvest-feeding dews, fine-winnowed light;
Tired labor with fruition, joy and rest
Profusely to requite.

Blow, Israel, the sacred cornet! Call
Back to thy courts whatever faint heart throb
With thine ancestral blood, thy need craves all.
The red, dark year is dead, the year just born
Leads on from anguish wrought by priest and mob,
To what undreamed-of morn?

For never yet, since on the holy height,
The Temple’s marble walls of white and green
Carved like the sea-waves, fell, and the world’s light
Went out in darkness, – never was the year
Greater with portent and with promise seen,
Than this eve now and here.

Even as the Prophet promised, so your tent
Hath been enlarged unto earth’s farthest rim.
To snow-capped Sierras from vast steppes ye went,
Through fire and blood and tempest-tossing wave,
For freedom to proclaim and worship Him,
Mighty to slay and save.

High above flood and fire ye held the scroll,
Out of the depths ye published still the Word.
No bodily pang had power to swerve your soul:
Ye, in a cynic age of crumbling faiths,
Lived to bear witness to the living Lord,
Or died a thousand deaths.

In two divided streams the exiles part,
One rolling homeward to its ancient source,
One rushing sunward with fresh will, new heart.
By each the truth is spread, the law unfurled,
Each separate soul contains the nation’s force,
And both embrace the world.

Kindle the silver candle’s seven rays,
Offer the first fruits of the clustered bowers,
The garnered spoil of bees. With prayer and praise
Rejoice that once more tried, once more we prove
How strength of supreme suffering still is ours
For Truth and Law and Love.

Emma Lazarus

New Year, 1868.

Cradled in ice, and swathed in snows,
And shining like a Christmas rose,
Wreathed round with white chrysanthemums;
Heaven in his innocent, brave blue eyes,
Straight from the primal paradise,
Behold the infant New Year comes!

His looks a serious sweetness wear,
As if upon that unseen way,
Those baby hands that lightly bear
Garlands, and festive tokens gay,
For but a glance,–a touch sufficed,–
Had met and touched the infant Christ!

And lingering on the wing, had heard,
Sweeter than song of any bird,
Of cherub or of seraphim,
The notes of that divinest hymn,–
Glory to God in highest strain,
And peace on earth, good will to men.

Oh, diamond days, so royally set
In winter’s stern and rugged breast,
Like jewels in an amulet,–
Your light has cheered, and soothed, and blest,
The want and toil, the sighs and tears,
And sorrows-of a thousand years!

The bells ring in the merry morn,
The poor forget their poverty,
The saddest face grows bright with glee,
And smiles for joy that he is born;
The fair round world shines out with cheer,
To welcome in the glad New Year.

Oh ye, whose homes are warm and bright,
With plenty smiling at the board,
Remember those whose roofs to-night,
Nor warmth, nor light, nor food afford,
Still make those wants, and woes your care,
And let the poor your bounty share.

For yet our hills and lakes along
Echoes the herald angels’ song,–
Peace and good will!–oh look abroad,–
In every nation, tribe, and clan,
Behold the brotherhood of man,–
Behold the Fatherhood of God!

Peace to our mountains and our hills,–
Peace to our rivers and our rills;–
Our young Dominion takes her place
Among the nations west and east,–
God send her length of happy days,
And years of plenty and of peace!

Kate Seymour Maclean

New Year’s Dawn – Broadway

When the horns wear thin
And the noise, like a garment outworn,
Falls from the night,
The tattered and shivering night,
That thinks she is gay;
When the patient silence comes back,
And retires,
And returns,
Rebuffed by a ribald song,
Wounded by vehement cries,
Fleeing again to the stars
Ashamed of her sister the night;
Oh, then they steal home,
The blinded, the pitiful ones
With their gew-gaws still in their hands,
Reeling with odorous breath
And thick, coarse words on their tongues.
They get them to bed, somehow,
And sleep the forgiving,
Comes thru the scattering tumult
And closes their eyes.
The stars sink down ashamed
And the dawn awakes,
Like a youth who steals from a brothel,
Dizzy and sick.

Sara Teasdale

New Year’s Day

New Year, be good to England. Bid her name
Shine sunlike as of old on all the sea:
Make strong her soul: set all her spirit free:
Bind fast her homeborn foes with links of shame
More strong than iron and more keen than flame:
Seal up their lips for shame’s sake: so shall she
Who was the light that lightened freedom be,
For all false tongues, in all men’s eyes the same.
O last-born child of Time, earth’s eldest lord,
God undiscrowned of godhead, who for man
Begets all good and evil things that live,
Do thou, his new-begotten son, implored
Of hearts that hope and fear not, make thy span
Bright with such light as history bids thee give.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

New Year’s Day

When with clanging and with ringing
Comes the year’s initial day,
I can feel the rhythmic swinging
Of the world upon its way;
And though Right still wears a fetter,
And though Justice still is blind,
Time’s beyond is always better
Than the paths he leaves behind.

In our eons of existence,
As we circle through the night,
We annihilate the distance
‘Twixt the darkness and the light.
From beginnings crude and lowly,
Round and round our souls have trod
Through the circles, winding slowly
Up to knowledge and to God.

With each century departed
Some old evil found a tomb,
Some old truth was newly started
In propitious soil to bloom.
With each epoch some condition
That has handicapped the race
(Worn-out creed or superstition)
Unto knowledge yields its place.

Though in folly and in blindness
And in sorrow still we grope,
Yet in man’s increasing kindness
Lies the world’s stupendous hope;
For our darkest hour of errors
Is as radiant as the dawn,
Set beside the awful terrors
Of the ages that have gone.

And above the sad world’s sobbing,
And the strife of clan with clan,
I can hear the mighty throbbing
Of the heart of God in man;
And a voice chants through the chiming
Of the bells, and seems to say,
We are climbing, we are climbing,
As we circle on our way.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

New Year’s Day.

Hail! joyous morn. Hail! happy day,
That ushers in another year,
Fraught with what sorrow, none can say,
Nor with what pain, to mortals here.

Another year has roll’d away,
With all its sorrows, joys and fears,
But still the light of hope’s glad ray,
Yet beams within our heart, and cheers.

One year, one span of time has pass’d,
So swift to some, to others slow;
But it has gone, and we should cast
Along with it, remorse and woe.

Of things we’ve done, or only thought,
‘Tis useless now the bitter tear,
Of actions unavailing wrought,
Let them repose upon their bier.

We should, indeed, e’en yet atone
For what our reason says we can,
But never let remorse’s groan
Degrade us from our state as man.

Let us discharge the debts we owe,
But still some debts will be unpaid;
But we, if we forgive, also,
Should ne’er, despairing, feel afraid.

The future is before us still,
And to that future we should gaze,
With hope renew’d, with firmer will,
To tread life’s weary, tangl’d maze.

We ne’er should let the gloomy past,
Bow down our heads in dark despair,
But we should keep those lessons fast,
Which e’en our follies taught us there.

Experience, so dearly bought,
By folly, or by ignorance,
Should, in our inmost system wrought,
Our daily life improve, advance.

Then let us press towards the goal,
The common goal of all mankind,
Go on, while seasons onward roll,
Nor cast one fainting look behind.

And, as we journey through this year,
Let us in watchfulness beware
Of all that brings remorseful tear,
Or future terror and despair.

Let us with thoughtful vision scan
Each step we take, each act we do,
That we may meet our brother man,
With no unrighteous thing to rue.

A happy, happy, bright New Year,
I wish to all the sons of men,
With happy hearts, and merry cheer,
Till it has roll’d its round again.

Thomas Frederick Young

New Year’s Day–And Every Day

Each man is Captain of his Soul,
And each man his own Crew,
But the Pilot knows the Unknown Seas,
And He will bring us through.

We break new seas to-day,–
Our eager keels quest unaccustomed waters,
And, from the vast uncharted waste in front,
The mystic circles leap
To greet our prows with mightiest possibilities;
Bringing us–what?
–Dread shoals and shifting banks?
–And calms and storms?
–And clouds and biting gales?
–And wreck and loss?
–And valiant fighting-times?
And, maybe, Death!–and so, the Larger Life!

For should the Pilot deem it best
To cut the voyage short,
He sees beyond the sky-line, and
He’ll bring us into Port.

And, maybe, Life,–Life on a bounding tide,
And chance of glorious deeds;–
Of help swift-born to drowning mariners;
Of cheer to ships dismasted in the gale;
Of succours given unasked and joyfully;
Of mighty service to all needy souls.

So–Ho for the Pilot’s orders,
Whatever course He makes!
For He sees beyond the sky-line,
And He never makes mistakes.

And, maybe, Golden Days,
Full freighted with delight!
–And wide free seas of unimagined bliss,
–And Treasure Isles, and Kingdoms to be won,
–And Undiscovered Countries, and New Kin.

For each man captains his own Soul,
And chooses his own Crew,
But the Pilot knows the Unknown Seas,
And He will bring us through.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

A New Year’s Eve

Christina Rossetti died December 29, 1894

The stars are strong in the deeps of the lustrous night,
Cold and splendid as death if his dawn be bright;
Cold as the cast-off garb that is cold as clay,
Splendid and strong as a spirit intense as light.
A soul more sweet than the morning of new-born May
Has passed with the year that has passed from the world away.
A song more sweet than the morning’s first-born song
Again will hymn not among us a new year’s day.
Not here, not here shall the carol of joy grown strong
Ring rapture now, and uplift us, a spell-struck throng,
From dream to vision of life that the soul may see
By death’s grace only, if death do its trust no wrong.
Scarce yet the days and the starry nights are three
Since here among us a spirit abode as we,
Girt round with life that is fettered in bonds of time,
And clasped with darkness about as is earth with sea.
And now, more high than the vision of souls may climb,
The soul whose song was as music of stars that chime,
Clothed round with life as of dawn and the mounting sun,
Sings, and we know not here of the song sublime.
No word is ours of it now that the songs are done
Whence here we drank of delight as in freedom won,
In deep deliverance given from the bonds we bore.
There is none to sing as she sang upon earth, not one.
We heard awhile: and for us who shall hear no more
The sound as of waves of light on a starry shore
Awhile bade brighten and yearn as a father’s face
The face of death, divine as in days of yore.
The grey gloom quickened and quivered: the sunless place
Thrilled, and the silence deeper than time or space
Seemed now not all everlasting. Hope grew strong,
And love took comfort, given of the sweet song’s grace.
Love that finds not on earth, where it finds but wrong,
Love that bears not the bondage of years in throng
Shone to show for her, higher than the years that mar,
The life she looked and longed for as love must long.
Who knows? We know not. Afar, if the dead be far,
Alive, if the dead be alive as the soul’s works are,
The soul whose breath was among us a heavenward song
Sings, loves, and shines as it shines for us here a star.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

New-Year’s Eve

Good old days–dear old days
When my heart beat high and bold–
When the things of earth seemed full of life,
And the future a haze of gold!
Oh, merry was I that winter night,
And gleeful our little one’s din,
And tender the grace of my darling’s face
As we watched the new year in.
But a voice–a spectre’s, that mocked at love–
Came out of the yonder hall;
“Tick-tock, tick-tock!” ‘t was the solemn clock
That ruefully croaked to all.
Yet what knew we of the griefs to be
In the year we longed to greet?
Love–love was the theme of the sweet, sweet dream
I fancied might never fleet!

But the spectre stood in that yonder gloom,
And these were the words it spake,
“Tick-tock, tick-tock”–and they seemed to mock
A heart about to break.

‘T is new-year’s eve, and again I watch
In the old familiar place,
And I’m thinking again of that old time when
I looked on a dear one’s face.
Never a little one hugs my knee
And I hear no gleeful shout–
I am sitting alone by the old hearthstone,
Watching the old year out.
But I welcome the voice in yonder gloom
That solemnly calls to me:
“Tick-tock, tick-tock!”–for so the clock
Tells of a life to be;
“Tick-tock, tick-tock!”-’tis so the clock
Tells of eternity.

Eugene Field

New Year’s Eve

“I have finished another year,” said God,
“In grey, green, white, and brown;
I have strewn the leaf upon the sod,
Sealed up the worm within the clod,
And let the last sun down.”

“And what’s the good of it?” I said.
“What reasons made you call
From formless void this earth we tread,
When nine-and-ninety can be read
Why nought should be at all?

“Yea, Sire; why shaped you us, ‘who in
This tabernacle groan’ –
If ever a joy be found herein,
Such joy no man had wished to win
If he had never known!”

Then he: “My labours – logicless –
You may explain; not I:
Sense-sealed I have wrought, without a guess
That I evolved a Consciousness
To ask for reasons why.

“Strange that ephemeral creatures who
By my own ordering are,
Should see the shortness of my view,
Use ethic tests I never knew,
Or made provision for!”

He sank to raptness as of yore,
And opening New Year’s Day
Wove it by rote as theretofore,
And went on working evermore
In his unweeting way.


Thomas Hardy

New Year’s Eve.

Once on the year’s last eve in my mind’s might
Sitting in dreams, not sad, nor quite elysian,
Balancing all ‘twixt wonder and derision,
Methought my body and all this world took flight,
And vanished from me, as a dream, outright;
Leaning out thus in sudden strange decision,
I saw as it were in the flashing of a vision,
Far down between the tall towers of the night,
Borne by great winds in awful unison,
The teeming masses of mankind sweep by,
Even as a glittering river with deep sound
And innumerable banners, rolling on
Over the starry border glooms that bound
The last gray space in dim eternity.

And all that strange unearthly multitude
Seemed twisted in vast seething companies,
That evermore with hoarse and terrible cries
And desperate encounter at mad feud
Plunged onward, each in its implacable mood
Borne down over the trampled blazonries
Of other faiths and other phantasies,
Each following furiously, and each pursued;
So sped they on with tumult vast and grim,
But ever me seemed beyond them I could see
White-haloed groups that sought perpetually
The figure of one crowned and sacrificed;
And faint, far forward, floating tall and dim,
The banner of our Lord and Master, Christ.

Archibald Lampman

New Year’s Eve

There are only two things now,
The great black night scooped out
And this fire-glow.

This fire-glow, the core,
And we the two ripe pips
That are held in store.

Listen, the darkness rings
As it circulates round our fire.
Take off your things.

Your shoulders, your bruised throat
Your breasts, your nakedness!
This fiery coat!

As the darkness flickers and dips,
As the firelight falls and leaps
From your feet to your lips!

D. H. Lawrence (David Herbert Richards)

New Year’s Eve

It’s cruel cold on the water-front, silent and dark and drear;
Only the black tide weltering, only the hissing snow;
And I, alone, like a storm-tossed wreck, on this night of the glad New Year,
Shuffling along in the icy wind, ghastly and gaunt and slow.

They’re playing a tune in McGuffy’s saloon, and it’s cheery and bright in there
(God! but I’m weak – since the bitter dawn, and never a bite of food);
I’ll just go over and slip inside – I mustn’t give way to despair –
Perhaps I can bum a little booze if the boys are feeling good.

They’ll jeer at me, and they’ll sneer at me, and they’ll call me a whiskey soak;
(“Have a drink? Well, thankee kindly, sir, I don’t mind if I do.”)
A drivelling, dirty gin-joint fiend, the butt of the bar-room joke;
Sunk and sodden and hopeless – “Another? Well, here’s to you!”

McGuffy is showing a bunch of the boys how Bob Fitzsimmons hit;
The barman is talking of Tammany Hall, and why the ward boss got fired;
I’ll just sneak into a corner, and they’ll let me alone a bit;
The room is reeling round and round … O God, but I’m tired, I’m tired….

* * * * *
Roses she wore on her breast that night. Oh, but their scent was sweet;
Alone we sat on the balcony, and the fan-palms arched above;
The witching strain of a waltz by Strauss came up to our cool retreat,
And I prisoned her little hand in mine, and I whispered my plea of love.

Then sudden the laughter died on her lips, and lowly she bent her head;
And oh, there came in the deep, dark eyes a look that was heaven to see
And the moments went, and I waited there, and never a word was said,
And she plucked from her bosom a rose of red, and shyly gave it to me.

Then the music swelled to a crash of joy, and the lights blazed up like day;
And I held her fast to my throbbing heart, and I kissed her bonny brow;
“She is mine, she is mine for evermore!” the violins seemed to say,
And the bells were ringing the New Year in – O God! I can hear them now.

Don’t you remember that long, last waltz, with its sobbing, sad refrain?
Don’t you remember that last goodbye, and the dear eyes dim with tears?
Don’t you remember that golden dream, with never a hint of pain,
Of lives that would blend like an angel-song in the bliss of the coming year?

Oh, what have I lost! What have I lost! Ethel, forgive, forgive!
The red, red rose is faded now, and it’s fifty years ago.
‘Twere better to die a thousand deaths than live each day as I live!
I have sinned, I have sunk to the lowest depths – but oh, I have suffered so!

Hark! Oh hark! I can hear the bells!… Look! I can see her there,
Fair as a dream … but it fades … And now – I can hear the dreadful hum
Of the crowded court … See! the Judge looks down … NOT GUILTY, my Lord, I swear …
The bells, I can hear the bells again … Ethel, I come, I come!…

* * * * *

“Rouse up, old man, it’s twelve o’clock. You can’t sleep here, you
Say! ain’t you got no sentiment? Lift up your muddled head;
Have a drink to the glad New Year, a drop before you go –
You darned old dirty hobo … My God! Here, boys! He’s DEAD!”

Robert William Service

New Year’s Eve, 1913

O, Cartmel bells ring soft to-night,
And Cartmel bells ring clear,
But I lie far away to-night,
Listening with my dear;

Listening in a frosty land
Where all the bells are still
And the small-windowed bell-towers stand
Dark under heath and hill.

I thought that, with each dying year,
As long as life should last
The bells of Cartmel I should hear
Ring out an aged past:

The plunging, mingling sounds increase
Darkness’s depth and height,
The hollow valley gains more peace
And ancientness to-night:

The loveliness, the fruitfulness,
The power of life lived there
Return, revive, more closely press
Upon that midnight air.

But many deaths have place in men
Before they come to die;
Joys must be used and spent, and then
Abandoned and passed by.

Earth is not ours; no cherished space
Can hold us from life’s flow,
That bears us thither and thence by ways
We knew not we should go.

O, Cartmel bells ring loud, ring clear,
Through midnight deep and hoar,
A year new-born, and I shall hear
The Cartmel bells no more.

Gordon Bottomley

A New Year’s Eve In War Time


Phantasmal fears,
And the flap of the flame,
And the throb of the clock,
And a loosened slate,
And the blind night’s drone,
Which tiredly the spectral pines intone!


And the blood in my ears
Strumming always the same,
And the gable-cock
With its fitful grate,
And myself, alone.


The twelfth hour nears
Hand-hid, as in shame;
I undo the lock,
And listen, and wait
For the Young Unknown.


In the dark there careers –
As if Death astride came
To numb all with his knock –
A horse at mad rate
Over rut and stone.


No figure appears,
No call of my name,
No sound but “Tic-toc”
Without check. Past the gate
It clatters – is gone.


What rider it bears
There is none to proclaim;
And the Old Year has struck,
And, scarce animate,
The New makes moan.


Maybe that “More Tears! –
More Famine and Flame –
More Severance and Shock!”
Is the order from Fate
That the Rider speeds on
To pale Europe; and tiredly the pines intone.


Thomas Hardy

The New-Year’s Gift

Let others look for pearl and gold,
Tissues, or tabbies manifold:
One only lock of that sweet hay
Whereon the blessed Baby lay,
Or one poor swaddling-clout, shall be
The richest New-Year’s gift to me.

Robert Herrick

A New Year’s Gift.

A little lad, – bare wor his feet,
His ‘een wor swell’d an red,
Wor sleepin, one wild New Year’s neet, –
A cold doorstep his bed.
His little curls wor drippin weet,
His clooas wor thin an old,
His face, tho’ pinched, wor smilin sweet, –
His limbs wor numb wi’ cold.

Th’ wind whistled throo th’ deserted street,
An snowflakes whirled abaat, –
It wor a sorry sooart o’ neet,
For poor souls to be aght.
‘Twor varry dark, noa stars or mooin,
Could shine throo sich a storm; –
Unless some succour turns up sooin,
God help that freezin form!

A carriage stops at th’ varry haase, –
A sarvent oppens th’ door;
A lady wi’ a pale sad face,
Steps aght o’th’ cooach to th’ floor.
Her ‘een fell on that huddled form,
Shoo gives a startled cry;
Then has him carried aght o’th’ storm,
To whear its warm an dry.

Shoo tended him wi’ jewelled hands,
An monny a tear shoo shed;
For shoo’d once had a darlin lad
But he, alas! wor dead.
This little waif seemed sent to cheer,
An fill her darlin’s place;
An to her heart shoo prest him near,
An kissed his little face.

John Hartley

A New Year’s Gift For Bec


Returning Janus now prepares,
For Bec, a new supply of cares,
Sent in a bag to Dr. Swift,
Who thus displays the new-year’s gift.
First, this large parcel brings you tidings
Of our good Dean’s eternal chidings;
Of Nelly’s pertness, Robin’s leasings,
And Sheridan’s perpetual teazings.
This box is cramm’d on every side
With Stella’s magisterial pride.
Behold a cage with sparrows fill’d,
First to be fondled, then be kill’d.
Now to this hamper I invite you,
With six imagined cares to fright you.
Here in this bundle Janus sends
Concerns by thousands for your friends.
And here’s a pair of leathern pokes,
To hold your cares for other folks.
Here from this barrel you may broach
A peck of troubles for a coach.
This ball of wax your ears will darken,
Still to be curious, never hearken.
Lest you the town may have less trouble in
Bring all your Quilca’s cares to Dublin,
For which he sends this empty sack;
And so take all upon your back.

Jonathan Swift

The New-Year’s Gift: Or, Circumcision’s Song. Sung To The King In The Presence At Whitehall.

1. Prepare for songs; He’s come, He’s come;
And be it sin here to be dumb,
And not with lutes to fill the room.

2. Cast holy water all about,
And have a care no fire goes out,
But ‘cense the porch and place throughout.

3. The altars all on fire be;
The storax fries; and ye may see
How heart and hand do all agree
To make things sweet. Chor. Yet all less sweet than He.

4. Bring Him along, most pious priest,
And tell us then, whenas thou seest
His gently-gliding, dove-like eyes,
And hear’st His whimpering and His cries;
How can’st thou this Babe circumcise?

5. Ye must not be more pitiful than wise;
For, now unless ye see Him bleed,
Which makes the bapti’m, ’tis decreed
The birth is fruitless. Chor. Then the work God speed.

1. Touch gently, gently touch; and here
Spring tulips up through all the year;
And from His sacred blood, here shed,
May roses grow to crown His own dear head.

Chor. Back, back again; each thing is done
With zeal alike, as ’twas begun;
Now singing, homeward let us carry
The Babe unto His mother Mary;
And when we have the Child commended
To her warm bosom, then our rites are ended.
Composed by M. Henry Lawes.

Robert Herrick

A New Years’ Gift Sent To Sir Simeon Steward

No news of navies burnt at seas;
No noise of late spawn’d tittyries;
No closet plot or open vent,
That frights men with a Parliament:
No new device or late-found trick,
To read by th’ stars the kingdom’s sick;
No gin to catch the State, or wring
The free-born nostril of the King,
We send to you; but here a jolly
Verse crown’d with ivy and with holly;
That tells of winter’s tales and mirth
That milk-maids make about the hearth;
Of Christmas sports, the wassail-bowl,
That toss’d up, after Fox-i’-th’-hole;
Of Blind-man-buff, and of the care
That young men have to shoe the Mare;
Of twelf-tide cakes, of pease and beans,
Wherewith ye make those merry scenes,
Whenas ye chuse your king and queen,
And cry out, ‘Hey for our town green!’
Of ash-heaps, in the which ye use
Husbands and wives by streaks to chuse;
Of crackling laurel, which fore-sounds
A plenteous harvest to your grounds;
Of these, and such like things, for shift,
We send instead of New-year’s gift.
Read then, and when your faces shine
With buxom meat and cap’ring wine,
Remember us in cups full crown’d,
And let our city-health go round,
Quite through the young maids and the men,
To the ninth number, if not ten;
Until the fired chestnuts leap
For joy to see the fruits ye reap,
From the plump chalice and the cup
That tempts till it be tossed up.
Then as ye sit about your embers,
Call not to mind those fled Decembers;
But think on these, that are t’ appear,
As daughters to the instant year;
Sit crown’d with rose-buds, and carouse,
Till LIBER PATER twirls the house
About your ears, and lay upon
The year, your cares, that’s fled and gone:
And let the russet swains the plough
And harrow hang up resting now;
And to the bag-pipe all address,
Till sleep takes place of weariness.
And thus throughout, with Christmas plays,
Frolic the full twelve holy-days.

Robert Herrick

The New Year’s Gift To Phyllis

The circling months begin this day
To run their yearly ring,
And long-breathed time, which ne’er will stay,
Refits his wings and shoots away,
It round again to bring.
Who feels the force of female eyes
And thinks some nymph divine,
Now brings his annual sacrifice,
Some pretty toy or neat device
To offer at her shrine.
But I can pay no offering
To show how I adore,
Since I have but a heart to bring,
A downright foolish, faithful thing,
And that you had before.
Yet we may give, for custom sake,
What will to both be new:
My constancy a gift I’ll make
And in return of it will take
Some levity from you.

Matthew Prior

A New Year’s Message

To Joseph Mazzini

Send the stars light, but send not love to me.

Out of the dawning heavens that hear
Young wings and feet of the new year
Move through their twilight, and shed round
Soft showers of sound,
Soothing the season with sweet rain,
If greeting come to make me fain,
What is it I can send again?

I know not if the year shall send
Tidings to usward as a friend,
And salutation, and such things
Bear on his wings
As the soul turns and thirsts unto
With hungering eyes and lips that sue
For that sweet food which makes all new.

I know not if his light shall be
Darkness, or else light verily:
I know but that it will not part
Heart’s faith from heart,
Truth from the trust in truth, nor hope
From sight of days unscaled that ope
Beyond one poor year’s horoscope.

That faith in love which love’s self gives,
O master of my spirit, lives,
Having in presence unremoved
Thine head beloved,
The shadow of thee, the semitone
Of thy voice heard at heart and known,
The light of thee not set nor flown.

Seas, lands, and hours, can these divide
Love from love’s service, side from side,
Though no sound pass nor breath be heard
Of one good word?
To send back words of trust to thee
Were to send wings to love, when he
With his own strong wings covers me.

Who shall teach singing to the spheres,
Or motion to the flight of years?
Let soul with soul keep hand in hand
And understand,
As in one same abiding-place
We keep one watch for one same face
To rise in some short sacred space.

And all space midway is but nought
To keep true heart from faithful thought,
As under twilight stars we wait
By Time’s shut gate
Till the slow soundless hinges turn,
And through the depth of years that yearn
The face of the Republic burn.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

New Year’s Night

Now you are mine, to-night at last I say it;
You’re a dove I have bought for sacrifice,
And to-night I slay it.

Here in my arms my naked sacrifice!
Death, do you hear, in my arms I am bringing
My offering, bought at great price.

She’s a silvery dove worth more than all I’ve got.
Now I offer her up to the ancient, inexorable God,
Who knows me not.

Look, she’s a wonderful dove, without blemish or spot!
I sacrifice all in her, my last of the world,
Pride, strength, all the lot.

All, all on the altar! And death swooping down
Like a falcon. ‘Tis God has taken the victim;
I have won my renown.

D. H. Lawrence (David Herbert Richards)

New Year’s Night, 1916

The Earth moans in her sleep
Like an old mother
Whose sons have gone to the war,
Who weeps silently in her heart
Till dreams comfort her.

The Earth tosses
As if she would shake off humanity,
A burden too heavy to be borne,
And free of the pest of intolerable men,
Spin with woods and waters
Joyously in the clear heavens
In the beautiful cool rains,
Bearing gladly the dumb animals,
And sleep when the time comes
Glistening in the remains of sunlight
With marmoreal innocency.

Be comforted, old mother,
Whose sons have gone to the war;
And be assured, O Earth,
Of your burden of passionate men,
For without them who would dream the dreams
That encompass you with glory,
Who would gather your youth
And store it in the jar of remembrance,
Who would comfort your old heart
With tales told of the heroes,
Who would cover your face with the cerecloth
All rustling with stars,
And mourn in the ashes of sunlight,
Mourn your marmoreal innocency?

Duncan Campbell Scott

The New Year’s Resolve.

Says Dick, “ther’s a nooation sprung up i’ mi yed,
For th’ furst time i’th’ whole coorse o’ mi life,
An aw’ve takken a fancy aw’st like to be wed,
If aw knew who to get for a wife.

Aw dooant want a woman wi’ beauty, nor brass,
For aw’ve nawther to booast on misel;
What aw want is a warm-hearted, hard-workin lass,
An ther’s lots to be fun, aw’ve heeard tell.

To be single is all weel enuff nah an then,
But it’s awk’ard when th’ weshin day comes;
For aw nivver think sooapsuds agree weel wi’ men;
They turn all mi ten fingers to thumbs.

An aw’m sure it’s a fact, long afoor aw get done,
Aw’m slopt throo mi waist to mi fit;
An th’ floor’s in a pond, as if th’ peggy-tub run,
An mi back warks as if it ‘ud split.

Aw fancied aw’st manage at breead-bakin best;
Soa one day aw bethowt me to try,
But aw gate soa flustered, aw ne’er thowt o’th’ yeast,
Soa aw mud as weel offered to fly.

Aw did mak a dumplin, but a’a! dear a me!
Abaght that lot aw hardly dar think;
Aw ne’er fan th’ mistak till aw missed th’ sooap, yo see,
An saw th’ suet i’th’ sooap-box o’th’ sink.

But a new-year’s just startin, an soa aw declare
Aw’ll be wed if a wife’s to be had;
For mi clooas is soa ragg’d woll aw’m ommost hauf bare,
An thease mullucks, they’re drivin me mad.

Soa, if yo should know, or should chonce to hear tell,
Ov a lass ‘at to wed is inclined,
Talegraft me at once, an aw’ll see her misel,
Afoor shoo can alter her mind.”

John Hartley

Here is the greatest compilation of poems for New Year.

Let me know which one is your favorite! 😉


Top 20 Greatest Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley

These are the top twenty (20) greatest poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

From Ozymandias. to The Sunset..

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!.


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 shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

A Hate-Song.

A hater he came and sat by a ditch,
And he took an old cracked lute;
And he sang a song which was more of a screech
‘Gainst a woman that was a brute.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

A Dialogue.

For my dagger is bathed in the blood of the brave,
I come, care-worn tenant of life, from the grave,
Where Innocence sleeps ‘neath the peace-giving sod,
And the good cease to tremble at Tyranny’s nod;
I offer a calm habitation to thee, –
Say, victim of grief, wilt thou slumber with me?
My mansion is damp, cold silence is there,
But it lulls in oblivion the fiends of despair;
Not a groan of regret, not a sigh, not a breath,
Dares dispute with grim Silence the empire of Death.
I offer a calm habitation to thee, –
Say, victim of grief, wilt thou slumber with me?

Mine eyelids are heavy; my soul seeks repose,
It longs in thy cells to embosom its woes,
It longs in thy cells to deposit its load,
Where no longer the scorpions of Perfidy goad, –
Where the phantoms of Prejudice vanish away,
And Bigotry’s bloodhounds lose scent of their prey.
Yet tell me, dark Death, when thine empire is o’er,
What awaits on Futurity’s mist-covered shore?

Cease, cease, wayward Mortal! I dare not unveil
The shadows that float o’er Eternity’s vale;
Nought waits for the good but a spirit of Love,
That will hail their blest advent to regions above.
For Love, Mortal, gleams through the gloom of my sway,
And the shades which surround me fly fast at its ray.
Hast thou loved? – Then depart from these regions of hate,
And in slumber with me blunt the arrows of fate.
I offer a calm habitation to thee. –
Say, victim of grief, wilt thou slumber with me?

Oh! sweet is thy slumber! oh! sweet is the ray
Which after thy night introduces the day;
How concealed, how persuasive, self-interest’s breath,
Though it floats to mine ear from the bosom of Death!
I hoped that I quite was forgotten by all,
Yet a lingering friend might be grieved at my fall,
And duty forbids, though I languish to die,
When departure might heave Virtue’s breast with a sigh.
O Death! O my friend! snatch this form to thy shrine,
And I fear, dear destroyer, I shall not repine.

Percy Bysshe Shelley


Death is here and death is there,
Death is busy everywhere,
All around, within, beneath,
Above is death – and we are death.

Death has set his mark and seal
On all we are and all we feel,
On all we know and all we fear,

First our pleasures die – and then
Our hopes, and then our fears – and when
These are dead, the debt is due,
Dust claims dust – and we die too.

All things that we love and cherish,
Like ourselves must fade and perish;
Such is our rude mortal lot –
Love itself would, did they not.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

A Dirge.

Rough wind, that moanest loud
Grief too sad for song;
Wild wind, when sullen cloud
Knells all the night long;
Sad storm whose tears are vain,
Bare woods, whose branches strain,
Deep caves and dreary main, –
Wail, for the world’s wrong!

Percy Bysshe Shelley

A Bridal Song.

The golden gates of Sleep unbar
Where Strength and Beauty, met together,
Kindle their image like a star
In a sea of glassy weather!
Night, with all thy stars look down, –
Darkness, weep thy holiest dew, –
Never smiled the inconstant moon
On a pair so true.
Let eyes not see their own delight; –
Haste, swift Hour, and thy flight
Oft renew.

Fairies, sprites, and angels, keep her!
Holy stars, permit no wrong!
And return to wake the sleeper,
Dawn, – ere it be long!
O joy! O fear! what will be done
In the absence of the sun!
Come along!

Percy Bysshe Shelley

A Vision Of The Sea.

‘Tis the terror of tempest. The rags of the sail
Are flickering in ribbons within the fierce gale:
From the stark night of vapours the dim rain is driven,
And when lightning is loosed, like a deluge from Heaven,
She sees the black trunks of the waterspouts spin
And bend, as if Heaven was ruining in,
Which they seemed to sustain with their terrible mass
As if ocean had sunk from beneath them: they pass
To their graves in the deep with an earthquake of sound,
And the waves and the thunders, made silent around,
Leave the wind to its echo. The vessel, now tossed
Through the low-trailing rack of the tempest, is lost
In the skirts of the thunder-cloud: now down the sweep
Of the wind-cloven wave to the chasm of the deep
It sinks, and the walls of the watery vale
Whose depths of dread calm are unmoved by the gale,
Dim mirrors of ruin, hang gleaming about;
While the surf, like a chaos of stars, like a rout
Of death-flames, like whirlpools of fire-flowing iron,
With splendour and terror the black ship environ,
Or like sulphur-flakes hurled from a mine of pale fire
In fountains spout o’er it. In many a spire
The pyramid-billows with white points of brine
In the cope of the lightning inconstantly shine,
As piercing the sky from the floor of the sea.
The great ship seems splitting! it cracks as a tree,
While an earthquake is splintering its root, ere the blast
Of the whirlwind that stripped it of branches has passed.
The intense thunder-balls which are raining from Heaven
Have shattered its mast, and it stands black and riven.
The chinks suck destruction. The heavy dead hulk
On the living sea rolls an inanimate bulk,
Like a corpse on the clay which is hungering to fold
Its corruption around it. Meanwhile, from the hold,
One deck is burst up by the waters below,
And it splits like the ice when the thaw-breezes blow
O’er the lakes of the desert! Who sit on the other?
Is that all the crew that lie burying each other,
Like the dead in a breach, round the foremast? Are those
Twin tigers, who burst, when the waters arose,
In the agony of terror, their chains in the hold;
(What now makes them tame, is what then made them bold;)
Who crouch, side by side, and have driven, like a crank,
The deep grip of their claws through the vibrating plank
Are these all? Nine weeks the tall vessel had lain
On the windless expanse of the watery plain,
Where the death-darting sun cast no shadow at noon,
And there seemed to be fire in the beams of the moon,
Till a lead-coloured fog gathered up from the deep,
Whose breath was quick pestilence; then, the cold sleep
Crept, like blight through the ears of a thick field of corn,
O’er the populous vessel. And even and morn,
With their hammocks for coffins the seamen aghast
Like dead men the dead limbs of their comrades cast
Down the deep, which closed on them above and around,
And the sharks and the dogfish their grave-clothes unbound,
And were glutted like Jews with this manna rained down
From God on their wilderness. One after one
The mariners died; on the eve of this day,
When the tempest was gathering in cloudy array,
But seven remained. Six the thunder has smitten,
And they lie black as mummies on which Time has written
His scorn of the embalmer; the seventh, from the deck
An oak-splinter pierced through his breast and his back,
And hung out to the tempest, a wreck on the wreck.
No more? At the helm sits a woman more fair
Than Heaven, when, unbinding its star-braided hair,
It sinks with the sun on the earth and the sea.
She clasps a bright child on her upgathered knee;
It laughs at the lightning, it mocks the mixed thunder
Of the air and the sea, with desire and with wonder
It is beckoning the tigers to rise and come near,
It would play with those eyes where the radiance of fear
Is outshining the meteors; its bosom beats high,
The heart-fire of pleasure has kindled its eye,
While its mother’s is lustreless. ‘Smile not, my child,
But sleep deeply and sweetly, and so be beguiled
Of the pang that awaits us, whatever that be,
So dreadful since thou must divide it with me!
Dream, sleep! This pale bosom, thy cradle and bed,
Will it rock thee not, infant? ‘Tis beating with dread!
Alas! what is life, what is death, what are we,
That when the ship sinks we no longer may be?
What! to see thee no more, and to feel thee no more?
To be after life what we have been before?
Not to touch those sweet hands? Not to look on those eyes,
Those lips, and that hair, – all the smiling disguise
Thou yet wearest, sweet Spirit, which I, day by day,
Have so long called my child, but which now fades away
Like a rainbow, and I the fallen shower?’ – Lo! the ship
Is settling, it topples, the leeward ports dip;
The tigers leap up when they feel the slow brine
Crawling inch by inch on them; hair, ears, limbs, and eyne,
Stand rigid with horror; a loud, long, hoarse cry
Bursts at once from their vitals tremendously,
And ’tis borne down the mountainous vale of the wave,
Rebounding, like thunder, from crag to cave,
Mixed with the clash of the lashing rain,
Hurried on by the might of the hurricane:
The hurricane came from the west, and passed on
By the path of the gate of the eastern sun,
Transversely dividing the stream of the storm;
As an arrowy serpent, pursuing the form
Of an elephant, bursts through the brakes of the waste.
Black as a cormorant the screaming blast,
Between Ocean and Heaven, like an ocean, passed,
Till it came to the clouds on the verge of the world
Which, based on the sea and to Heaven upcurled,
Like columns and walls did surround and sustain
The dome of the tempest; it rent them in twain,
As a flood rends its barriers of mountainous crag:
And the dense clouds in many a ruin and rag,
Like the stones of a temple ere earthquake has passed,
Like the dust of its fall. on the whirlwind are cast;
They are scattered like foam on the torrent; and where
The wind has burst out through the chasm, from the air
Of clear morning the beams of the sunrise flow in,
Unimpeded, keen, golden, and crystalline,
Banded armies of light and of air; at one gate
They encounter, but interpenetrate.
And that breach in the tempest is widening away,
And the caverns of cloud are torn up by the day,
And the fierce winds are sinking with weary wings,
Lulled by the motion and murmurings
And the long glassy heave of the rocking sea,
And overhead glorious, but dreadful to see,
The wrecks of the tempest, like vapours of gold,
Are consuming in sunrise. The heaped waves behold
The deep calm of blue Heaven dilating above,
And, like passions made still by the presence of Love,
Beneath the clear surface reflecting it slide
Tremulous with soft influence; extending its tide
From the Andes to Atlas, round mountain and isle,
Round sea-birds and wrecks, paved with Heaven’s azure smile,
The wide world of waters is vibrating. Where
Is the ship? On the verge of the wave where it lay
One tiger is mingled in ghastly affray
With a sea-snake. The foam and the smoke of the battle
Stain the clear air with sunbows; the jar, and the rattle
Of solid bones crushed by the infinite stress
Of the snake’s adamantine voluminousness;
And the hum of the hot blood that spouts and rains
Where the gripe of the tiger has wounded the veins
Swollen with rage, strength, and effort; the whirl and the splash
As of some hideous engine whose brazen teeth smash
The thin winds and soft waves into thunder; the screams
And hissings crawl fast o’er the smooth ocean-streams,
Each sound like a centipede. Near this commotion,
A blue shark is hanging within the blue ocean,
The fin-winged tomb of the victor. The other
Is winning his way from the fate of his brother
To his own with the speed of despair. Lo! a boat
Advances; twelve rowers with the impulse of thought
Urge on the keen keel, – the brine foams. At the stern
Three marksmen stand levelling. Hot bullets burn
In the breast of the tiger, which yet bears him on
To his refuge and ruin. One fragment alone, –
‘Tis dwindling and sinking, ’tis now almost gone, –
Of the wreck of the vessel peers out of the sea.
With her left hand she grasps it impetuously.
With her right she sustains her fair infant. Death, Fear,
Love, Beauty, are mixed in the atmosphere,
Which trembles and burns with the fervour of dread
Around her wild eyes, her bright hand, and her head,
Like a meteor of light o’er the waters! her child
Is yet smiling, and playing, and murmuring; so smiled
The false deep ere the storm. Like a sister and brother
The child and the ocean still smile on each other,
Whilst –

Percy Bysshe Shelley

A Fragment: To Music.

Silver key of the fountain of tears,
Where the spirit drinks till the brain is wild;
Softest grave of a thousand fears,
Where their mother, Care, like a drowsy child,
Is laid asleep in flowers.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

To The Moon.

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, –
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

Thou chosen sister of the Spirit,
That grazes on thee till in thee it pities…

Percy Bysshe Shelley


Posthumous Fragments Of Margaret Mcholson.

Being Poems found amongst the Papers of that noted Female who attempted the life of the King in 1786. Edited by John Fitzvictor.

[The “Posthumous Fragments”, published at Oxford by Shelley, appeared in November, 1810.]


Ambition, power, and avarice, now have hurled
Death, fate, and ruin, on a bleeding world.
See! on yon heath what countless victims lie,
Hark! what loud shrieks ascend through yonder sky;
Tell then the cause, ’tis sure the avenger’s rage
Has swept these myriads from life’s crowded stage:
Hark to that groan, an anguished hero dies,
He shudders in death’s latest agonies;
Yet does a fleeting hectic flush his cheek,
Yet does his parting breath essay to speak –
‘Oh God! my wife, my children – Monarch thou
For whose support this fainting frame lies low;
For whose support in distant lands I bleed,
Let his friends’ welfare be the warrior’s meed.
He hears me not – ah! no – kings cannot hear,
For passion’s voice has dulled their listless ear.
To thee, then, mighty God, I lift my moan,
Thou wilt not scorn a suppliant’s anguished groan.
Oh! now I die – but still is death’s fierce pain –
God hears my prayer – we meet, we meet again.’
He spake, reclined him on death’s bloody bed,
And with a parting groan his spirit fled.
Oppressors of mankind to YOU we owe
The baleful streams from whence these miseries flow;
For you how many a mother weeps her son,
Snatched from life’s course ere half his race was run!
For you how many a widow drops a tear,
In silent anguish, on her husband’s bier!
‘Is it then Thine, Almighty Power,’ she cries,
‘Whence tears of endless sorrow dim these eyes?
Is this the system which Thy powerful sway,
Which else in shapeless chaos sleeping lay,
Formed and approved? – it cannot be – but oh!
Forgive me, Heaven, my brain is warped by woe.’
‘Tis not – He never bade the war-note swell,
He never triumphed in the work of hell –
Monarchs of earth! thine is the baleful deed,
Thine are the crimes for which thy subjects bleed.
Ah! when will come the sacred fated time,
When man unsullied by his leaders’ crime,
Despising wealth, ambition, pomp, and pride,
Will stretch him fearless by his foe-men’s side?
Ah! when will come the time, when o’er the plain
No more shall death and desolation reign?
When will the sun smile on the bloodless field,
And the stern warrior’s arm the sickle wield?
Not whilst some King, in cold ambition’s dreams,
Plans for the field of death his plodding schemes;
Not whilst for private pique the public fall,
And one frail mortal’s mandate governs all.
Swelled with command and mad with dizzying sway;
Who sees unmoved his myriads fade away.
Careless who lives or dies – so that he gains
Some trivial point for which he took the pains.
What then are Kings? – I see the trembling crowd,
I hear their fulsome clamours echoed loud;
Their stern oppressor pleased appears awhile,
But April’s sunshine is a Monarch’s smile –
Kings are but dust – the last eventful day
Will level all and make them lose their sway;
Will dash the sceptre from the Monarch’s hand,
And from the warrior’s grasp wrest the ensanguined brand.
Oh! Peace, soft Peace, art thou for ever gone,
Is thy fair form indeed for ever flown?
And love and concord hast thou swept away,
As if incongruous with thy parted sway?
Alas, I fear thou hast, for none appear.
Now o’er the palsied earth stalks giant Fear,
With War, and Woe, and Terror, in his train; –
List’ning he pauses on the embattled plain,
Then speeding swiftly o’er the ensanguined heath,
Has left the frightful work to Hell and Death.
See! gory Ruin yokes his blood-stained car,
He scents the battle’s carnage from afar;
Hell and Destruction mark his mad career,
He tracks the rapid step of hurrying Fear;
Whilst ruined towns and smoking cities tell,
That thy work, Monarch, is the work of Hell.
‘It is thy work!’ I hear a voice repeat,
Shakes the broad basis of thy bloodstained seat;
And at the orphan’s sigh, the widow’s moan,
Totters the fabric of thy guilt-stained throne –
‘It is thy work, O Monarch;’ now the sound
Fainter and fainter, yet is borne around,
Yet to enthusiast ears the murmurs tell
That Heaven, indignant at the work of Hell,
Will soon the cause, the hated cause remove,
Which tears from earth peace, innocence, and love.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

The Cloud.

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.

I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night ’tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers,
Lightning my pilot sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,
It struggles and howls at fits;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills.
Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in Heaven’s blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.

The sanguine Sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead;
As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardours of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of Heaven above.
With wings folded I rest, on mine aery nest,
As still as a brooding dove.

That orbed maiden with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the Moon,
Glides glimmering o’er my fleece-like floor,
By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent’s thin roof.
The stars peep behind her and peer;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees.
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.

I bind the Sun’s throne with a burning zone,
And the Moon’s with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hand like a roof, –
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the Powers of the air are chained to my chair,
Is the million-coloured bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colours wove,
While the moist Earth was laughing below.

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Marianne’s Dream.

A pale Dream came to a Lady fair,
And said, A boon, a boon, I pray!
I know the secrets of the air,
And things are lost in the glare of day,
Which I can make the sleeping see,
If they will put their trust in me.

And thou shalt know of things unknown,
If thou wilt let me rest between
The veiny lids, whose fringe is thrown
Over thine eyes so dark and sheen:
And half in hope, and half in fright,
The Lady closed her eyes so bright.

At first all deadly shapes were driven
Tumultuously across her sleep,
And o’er the vast cope of bending heaven
All ghastly-visaged clouds did sweep;
And the Lady ever looked to spy
If the golden sun shone forth on high.

And as towards the east she turned,
She saw aloft in the morning air,
Which now with hues of sunrise burned,
A great black Anchor rising there;
And wherever the Lady turned her eyes,
It hung before her in the skies.

The sky was blue as the summer sea,
The depths were cloudless overhead,
The air was calm as it could be,
There was no sight or sound of dread,
But that black Anchor floating still
Over the piny eastern hill.

The Lady grew sick with a weight of fear
To see that Anchor ever hanging,
And veiled her eyes; she then did hear
The sound as of a dim low clanging,
And looked abroad if she might know
Was it aught else, or but the flow
Of the blood in her own veins, to and fro.

There was a mist in the sunless air,
Which shook as it were with an earthquake’s shock,
But the very weeds that blossomed there
Were moveless, and each mighty rock
Stood on its basis steadfastly;
The Anchor was seen no more on high.

But piled around, with summits hid
In lines of cloud at intervals,
Stood many a mountain pyramid
Among whose everlasting walls
Two mighty cities shone, and ever
Through the red mist their domes did quiver.

On two dread mountains, from whose crest,
Might seem, the eagle, for her brood,
Would ne’er have hung her dizzy nest,
Those tower-encircled cities stood.
A vision strange such towers to see,
Sculptured and wrought so gorgeously,
Where human art could never be.

And columns framed of marble white,
And giant fanes, dome over dome
Piled, and triumphant gates, all bright
With workmanship, which could not come
From touch of mortal instrument,
Shot o’er the vales, or lustre lent
From its own shapes magnificent.

But still the Lady heard that clang
Filling the wide air far away;
And still the mist whose light did hang
Among the mountains shook alway,
So that the Lady’s heart beat fast,
As half in joy, and half aghast,
On those high domes her look she cast.

Sudden, from out that city sprung
A light that made the earth grow red;
Two flames that each with quivering tongue
Licked its high domes, and overhead
Among those mighty towers and fanes
Dropped fire, as a volcano rains
Its sulphurous ruin on the plains.

And hark! a rush as if the deep
Had burst its bonds; she looked behind
And saw over the western steep
A raging flood descend, and wind
Through that wide vale; she felt no fear,
But said within herself, ‘Tis clear
These towers are Nature’s own, and she
To save them has sent forth the sea.

And now those raging billows came
Where that fair Lady sate, and she
Was borne towards the showering flame
By the wild waves heaped tumultuously.
And, on a little plank, the flow
Of the whirlpool bore her to and fro.

The flames were fiercely vomited
From every tower and every dome,
And dreary light did widely shed
O’er that vast flood’s suspended foam,
Beneath the smoke which hung its night
On the stained cope of heaven’s light.

The plank whereon that Lady sate
Was driven through the chasms, about and about,
Between the peaks so desolate
Of the drowning mountains, in and out,
As the thistle-beard on a whirlwind sails –
While the flood was filling those hollow vales.

At last her plank an eddy crossed,
And bore her to the city’s wall,
Which now the flood had reached almost;
It might the stoutest heart appal
To hear the fire roar and hiss
Through the domes of those mighty palaces.

The eddy whirled her round and round
Before a gorgeous gate, which stood
Piercing the clouds of smoke which bound
Its aery arch with light like blood;
She looked on that gate of marble clear,
With wonder that extinguished fear.

For it was filled with sculptures rarest,
Of forms most beautiful and strange,
Like nothing human, but the fairest
Of winged shapes, whose legions range
Throughout the sleep of those that are,
Like this same Lady, good and fair.

And as she looked, still lovelier grew
Those marble forms; – the sculptor sure
Was a strong spirit, and the hue
Of his own mind did there endure
After the touch, whose power had braided
Such grace, was in some sad change faded.

She looked, the flames were dim, the flood
Grew tranquil as a woodland river
Winding through hills in solitude;
Those marble shapes then seemed to quiver,
And their fair limbs to float in motion,
Like weeds unfolding in the ocean.

And their lips moved; one seemed to speak,
When suddenly the mountains cracked,
And through the chasm the flood did break
With an earth-uplifting cataract:
The statues gave a joyous scream,
And on its wings the pale thin Dream
Lifted the Lady from the stream.

The dizzy flight of that phantom pale
Waked the fair Lady from her sleep,
And she arose, while from the veil
Of her dark eyes the Dream did creep,
And she walked about as one who knew
That sleep has sights as clear and true
As any waking eyes can view.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Lines To A Reviewer.

Alas, good friend, what profit can you see
In hating such a hateless thing as me?
There is no sport in hate where all the rage
Is on one side: in vain would you assuage
Your frowns upon an unresisting smile,
In which not even contempt lurks to beguile
Your heart, by some faint sympathy of hate.
Oh, conquer what you cannot satiate!
For to your passion I am far more coy
Than ever yet was coldest maid or boy
In winter noon. Of your antipathy
If I am the Narcissus, you are free
To pine into a sound with hating me.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

A Lament.

O world! O life! O time!
On whose last steps I climb,
Trembling at that where I had stood before;
When will return the glory of your prime?
No more – Oh, never more!

Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight;
Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar,
Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight
No more – Oh, never more!

Percy Bysshe Shelley

The Mask Of Anarchy.

As I lay asleep in Italy
There came a voice from over the Sea,
And with great power it forth led me
To walk in the visions of Poesy.

I met Murder on the way –
He had a mask like Castlereagh –
Very smooth he looked, yet grim;
Seven blood-hounds followed him:

All were fat; and well they might
Be in admirable plight,
For one by one, and two by two,
He tossed them human hearts to chew
Which from his wide cloak he drew.

Next came Fraud, and he had on,
Like Eldon, an ermined gown;
His big tears, for he wept well,
Turned to mill-stones as they fell.

And the little children, who
Round his feet played to and fro,
Thinking every tear a gem,
Had their brains knocked out by them.

Clothed with the Bible, as with light,
And the shadows of the night,
Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy
On a crocodile rode by.

And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like Bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies.

Last came Anarchy: he rode
On a white horse, splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.

And he wore a kingly crown;
And in his grasp a sceptre shone;
On his brow this mark I saw –

With a pace stately and fast,
Over English land he passed,
Trampling to a mire of blood
The adoring multitude.

And a mighty troop around,
With their trampling shook the ground,
Waving each a bloody sword,
For the service of their Lord.

And with glorious triumph, they
Rode through England proud and gay,
Drunk as with intoxication
Of the wine of desolation.

O’er fields and towns, from sea to sea,
Passed the Pageant swift and free,
Tearing up, and trampling down;
Till they came to London town.

And each dweller, panic-stricken,
Felt his heart with terror sicken
Hearing the tempestuous cry
Of the triumph of Anarchy.

For with pomp to meet him came,
Clothed in arms like blood and flame,
The hired murderers, who did sing
‘Thou art God, and Law, and King.

‘We have waited, weak and lone
For thy coming, Mighty One!
Our purses are empty, our swords are cold,
Give us glory, and blood, and gold.’

Lawyers and priests, a motley crowd,
To the earth their pale brows bowed;
Like a bad prayer not over loud,
Whispering – ‘Thou art Law and God.’ –

Then all cried with one accord,
‘Thou art King, and God, and Lord;
Anarchy, to thee we bow,
Be thy name made holy now!’

And Anarchy, the Skeleton,
Bowed and grinned to every one,
As well as if his education
Had cost ten millions to the nation.

For he knew the Palaces
Of our Kings were rightly his;
His the sceptre, crown, and globe,
And the gold-inwoven robe.

So he sent his slaves before
To seize upon the Bank and Tower,
And was proceeding with intent
To meet his pensioned Parliament

When one fled past, a maniac maid,
And her name was Hope, she said:
But she looked more like Despair,
And she cried out in the air:

‘My father Time is weak and gray
With waiting for a better day;
See how idiot-like he stands,
Fumbling with his palsied hands!

‘He has had child after child,
And the dust of death is piled
Over every one but me –
Misery, oh, Misery!’

Then she lay down in the street,
Right before the horses’ feet,
Expecting, with a patient eye,
Murder, Fraud, and Anarchy.

When between her and her foes
A mist, a light, an image rose,
Small at first, and weak, and frail
Like the vapour of a vale:

Till as clouds grow on the blast,
Like tower-crowned giants striding fast,
And glare with lightnings as they fly,
And speak in thunder to the sky,
It grew – a Shape arrayed in mail
Brighter than the viper’s scale,
And upborne on wings whose grain
Was as the light of sunny rain.

On its helm, seen far away,
A planet, like the Morning’s, lay;
And those plumes its light rained through
Like a shower of crimson dew.

With step as soft as wind it passed
O’er the heads of men – so fast
That they knew the presence there,
And looked, – but all was empty air.

As flowers beneath May’s footstep waken,
As stars from Night’s loose hair are shaken,
As waves arise when loud winds call,
Thoughts sprung where’er that step did fall.

And the prostrate multitude
Looked – and ankle-deep in blood,
Hope, that maiden most serene,
Was walking with a quiet mien:

And Anarchy, the ghastly birth,
Lay dead earth upon the earth;
The Horse of Death tameless as wind
Fled, and with his hoofs did grind
To dust the murderers thronged behind.

A rushing light of clouds and splendour,
A sense awakening and yet tender
Was heard and felt – and at its close
These words of joy and fear arose

As if their own indignant Earth
Which gave the sons of England birth
Had felt their blood upon her brow,
And shuddering with a mother’s throe

Had turned every drop of blood
By which her face had been bedewed
To an accent unwithstood, –
As if her heart had cried aloud:

‘Men of England, heirs of Glory,
Heroes of unwritten story,
Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
Hopes of her, and one another;

‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you –
Ye are many – they are few.

‘What is Freedom? – ye can tell
That which slavery is, too well –
For its very name has grown
To an echo of your own.

”Tis to work and have such pay
As just keeps life from day to day
In your limbs, as in a cell
For the tyrants’ use to dwell,

‘So that ye for them are made
Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,
With or without your own will bent
To their defence and nourishment.

”Tis to see your children weak
With their mothers pine and peak,
When the winter winds are bleak, –
They are dying whilst I speak.

”Tis to hunger for such diet
As the rich man in his riot
Casts to the fat dogs that lie
Surfeiting beneath his eye;

”Tis to let the Ghost of Gold
Take from Toil a thousandfold
More than e’er its substance could
In the tyrannies of old.

‘Paper coin – that forgery
Of the title-deeds, which ye
Hold to something of the worth
Of the inheritance of Earth.

”Tis to be a slave in soul
And to hold no strong control
Over your own wills, but be
All that others make of ye.

‘And at length when ye complain
With a murmur weak and vain
‘Tis to see the Tyrant’s crew
Ride over your wives and you
Blood is on the grass like dew.

‘Then it is to feel revenge
Fiercely thirsting to exchange
Blood for blood – and wrong for wrong –
Do not thus when ye are strong.

‘Birds find rest, in narrow nest
When weary of their winged quest;
Beasts find fare, in woody lair
When storm and snow are in the air.

‘Asses, swine, have litter spread
And with fitting food are fed;
All things have a home but one –
Thou, Oh, Englishman, hast none!

‘This is Slavery – savage men,
Or wild beasts within a den
Would endure not as ye do –
But such ills they never knew.

‘What art thou Freedom? O! could slaves
Answer from their living graves
This demand – tyrants would flee
Like a dream’s dim imagery:

‘Thou art not, as impostors say,
A shadow soon to pass away,
A superstition, and a name
Echoing from the cave of Fame.

‘For the labourer thou art bread,
And a comely table spread
From his daily labour come
In a neat and happy home.

Thou art clothes, and fire, and food
For the trampled multitude –
No – in countries that are free
Such starvation cannot be
As in England now we see.

‘To the rich thou art a check,
When his foot is on the neck
Of his victim, thou dost make
That he treads upon a snake.

Thou art Justice – ne’er for gold
May thy righteous laws be sold
As laws are in England – thou
Shield’st alike the high and low.

‘Thou art Wisdom – Freemen never
Dream that God will damn for ever
All who think those things untrue
Of which Priests make such ado.

‘Thou art Peace – never by thee
Would blood and treasure wasted be
As tyrants wasted them, when all
Leagued to quench thy flame in Gaul.

‘What if English toil and blood
Was poured forth, even as a flood?
It availed, Oh, Liberty,
To dim, but not extinguish thee.

‘Thou art Love – the rich have kissed
Thy feet, and like him following Christ,
Give their substance to the free
And through the rough world follow thee,

‘Or turn their wealth to arms, and make
War for thy beloved sake
On wealth, and war, and fraud – whence they
Drew the power which is their prey.

‘Science, Poetry, and Thought
Are thy lamps; they make the lot
Of the dwellers in a cot
So serene, they curse it not.

‘Spirit, Patience, Gentleness,
All that can adorn and bless
Art thou – let deeds, not words, express
Thine exceeding loveliness.

‘Let a great Assembly be
Of the fearless and the free
On some spot of English ground
Where the plains stretch wide around.

‘Let the blue sky overhead,
The green earth on which ye tread,
All that must eternal be
Witness the solemnity.

‘From the corners uttermost
Of the bounds of English coast;
From every hut, village, and town
Where those who live and suffer moan
For others’ misery or their own,

‘From the workhouse and the prison
Where pale as corpses newly risen,
Women, children, young and old
Groan for pain, and weep for cold –

‘From the haunts of daily life
Where is waged the daily strife
With common wants and common cares
Which sows the human heart with tares –

‘Lastly from the palaces
Where the murmur of distress
Echoes, like the distant sound
Of a wind alive around

‘Those prison halls of wealth and fashion,
Where some few feel such compassion
For those who groan, and toil, and wail
As must make their brethren pale –

‘Ye who suffer woes untold,
Or to feel, or to behold
Your lost country bought and sold
With a price of blood and gold –

‘Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with measured words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free –

‘Be your strong and simple words
Keen to wound as sharpened swords,
And wide as targes let them be,
With their shade to cover ye.

‘Let the tyrants pour around
With a quick and startling sound,
Like the loosening of a sea,
Troops of armed emblazonry.

‘Let the charged artillery drive
Till the dead air seems alive
With the clash of clanging wheels,
And the tramp of horses’ heels.

‘Let the fixed bayonet
Gleam with sharp desire to wet
Its bright point in English blood
Looking keen as one for food.

Let the horsemen’s scimitars
Wheel and flash, like sphereless stars
Thirsting to eclipse their burning
In a sea of death and mourning.

‘Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war,

‘And let Panic, who outspeeds
The career of armed steeds
Pass, a disregarded shade
Through your phalanx undismayed.

‘Let the laws of your own land,
Good or ill, between ye stand
Hand to hand, and foot to foot,
Arbiters of the dispute,

‘The old laws of England – they
Whose reverend heads with age are gray,
Children of a wiser day;
And whose solemn voice must be
Thine own echo – Liberty!

‘On those who first should violate
Such sacred heralds in their state
Rest the blood that must ensue,
And it will not rest on you.

‘And if then the tyrants dare
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim, and hew, –
What they like, that let them do.

‘With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away.

Then they will return with shame
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek.

‘Every woman in the land
Will point at them as they stand –
They will hardly dare to greet
Their acquaintance in the street.

‘And the bold, true warriors
Who have hugged Danger in wars
Will turn to those who would be free,
Ashamed of such base company.

‘And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular;
A volcano heard afar.

‘And these words shall then become
Like Oppression’s thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard again – again – again –

‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number –
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you –
Ye are many – they are few.’

Percy Bysshe Shelley


Arethusa arose
From her couch of snows
In the Acroceraunian mountains, –
From cloud and from crag,
With many a jag,
Shepherding her bright fountains.
She leapt down the rocks,
With her rainbow locks
Streaming among the streams; –
Her steps paved with green
The downward ravine
Which slopes to the western gleams;
And gliding and springing
She went, ever singing,
In murmurs as soft as sleep;
The Earth seemed to love her,
And Heaven smiled above her,
As she lingered towards the deep.

Then Alpheus bold,
On his glacier cold,
With his trident the mountains strook;
And opened a chasm
In the rocks – with the spasm
All Erymanthus shook.
And the black south wind
It unsealed behind
The urns of the silent snow,
And earthquake and thunder
Did rend in sunder
The bars of the springs below.
And the beard and the hair
Of the River-god were
Seen through the torrent’s sweep,
As he followed the light
Of the fleet nymph’s flight
To the brink of the Dorian deep.

‘Oh, save me! Oh, guide me!
And bid the deep hide me,
For he grasps me now by the hair!’
The loud Ocean heard,
To its blue depth stirred,
And divided at her prayer;
And under the water
The Earth’s white daughter
Fled like a sunny beam;
Behind her descended
Her billows, unblended
With the brackish Dorian stream: –
Like a gloomy stain
On the emerald main
Alpheus rushed behind, –
As an eagle pursuing
A dove to its ruin
Down the streams of the cloudy wind.

Under the bowers
Where the Ocean Powers
Sit on their pearled thrones;
Through the coral woods
Of the weltering floods,
Over heaps of unvalued stones;
Through the dim beams
Which amid the streams
Weave a network of coloured light;
And under the caves,
Where the shadowy waves
Are as green as the forest’s night: –
Outspeeding the shark,
And the sword-fish dark,
Under the Ocean’s foam,
And up through the rifts
Of the mountain clifts
They passed to their Dorian home.

And now from their fountains
In Enna’s mountains,
Down one vale where the morning basks,
Like friends once parted
Grown single-hearted,
They ply their watery tasks.
At sunrise they leap
From their cradles steep
In the cave of the shelving hill;
At noontide they flow
Through the woods below
And the meadows of asphodel;
And at night they sleep
In the rocking deep
Beneath the Ortygian shore; –
Like spirits that lie
In the azure sky
When they love but live no more.

Percy Bysshe Shelley


Not far from hence. From yonder pointed hill,
Crowned with a ring of oaks, you may behold
A dark and barren field, through which there flows,
Sluggish and black, a deep but narrow stream,
Which the wind ripples not, and the fair moon
Gazes in vain, and finds no mirror there.
Follow the herbless banks of that strange brook
Until you pause beside a darksome pond,
The fountain of this rivulet, whose gush
Cannot be seen, hid by a rayless night
That lives beneath the overhanging rock
That shades the pool – an endless spring of gloom,
Upon whose edge hovers the tender light,
Trembling to mingle with its paramour, –
But, as Syrinx fled Pan, so night flies day,
Or, with most sullen and regardless hate,
Refuses stern her heaven-born embrace.
On one side of this jagged and shapeless hill
There is a cave, from which there eddies up
A pale mist, like aereal gossamer,
Whose breath destroys all life – awhile it veils
The rock – then, scattered by the wind, it flies
Along the stream, or lingers on the clefts,
Killing the sleepy worms, if aught bide there.
Upon the beetling edge of that dark rock
There stands a group of cypresses; not such
As, with a graceful spire and stirring life,
Pierce the pure heaven of your native vale,
Whose branches the air plays among, but not
Disturbs, fearing to spoil their solemn grace;
But blasted and all wearily they stand,
One to another clinging; their weak boughs
Sigh as the wind buffets them, and they shake
Beneath its blasts – a weatherbeaten crew!

What wondrous sound is that, mournful and faint,
But more melodious than the murmuring wind
Which through the columns of a temple glides?

It is the wandering voice of Orpheus’ lyre,
Borne by the winds, who sigh that their rude king
Hurries them fast from these air-feeding notes;
But in their speed they bear along with them
The waning sound, scattering it like dew
Upon the startled sense.

Does he still sing?
Methought he rashly cast away his harp
When he had lost Eurydice.

Ah, no!
Awhile he paused. As a poor hunted stag
A moment shudders on the fearful brink
Of a swift stream – the cruel hounds press on
With deafening yell, the arrows glance and wound, –
He plunges in: so Orpheus, seized and torn
By the sharp fangs of an insatiate grief,
Maenad-like waved his lyre in the bright air,
And wildly shrieked ‘Where she is, it is dark!’
And then he struck from forth the strings a sound
Of deep and fearful melody. Alas!
In times long past, when fair Eurydice
With her bright eyes sat listening by his side,
He gently sang of high and heavenly themes.
As in a brook, fretted with little waves
By the light airs of spring – each riplet makes
A many-sided mirror for the sun,
While it flows musically through green banks,
Ceaseless and pauseless, ever clear and fresh,
So flowed his song, reflecting the deep joy
And tender love that fed those sweetest notes,
The heavenly offspring of ambrosial food.
But that is past. Returning from drear Hell,
He chose a lonely seat of unhewn stone,
Blackened with lichens, on a herbless plain.
Then from the deep and overflowing spring
Of his eternal ever-moving grief
There rose to Heaven a sound of angry song.
‘Tis as a mighty cataract that parts
Two sister rocks with waters swift and strong,
And casts itself with horrid roar and din
Adown a steep; from a perennial source
It ever flows and falls, and breaks the air
With loud and fierce, but most harmonious roar,
And as it falls casts up a vaporous spray
Which the sun clothes in hues of Iris light.
Thus the tempestuous torrent of his grief
Is clothed in sweetest sounds and varying words
Of poesy. Unlike all human works,
It never slackens, and through every change
Wisdom and beauty and the power divine
Of mighty poesy together dwell,
Mingling in sweet accord. As I have seen
A fierce south blast tear through the darkened sky,
Driving along a rack of winged clouds,
Which may not pause, but ever hurry on,
As their wild shepherd wills them, while the stars,
Twinkling and dim, peep from between the plumes.
Anon the sky is cleared, and the high dome
Of serene Heaven, starred with fiery flowers,
Shuts in the shaken earth; or the still moon
Swiftly, yet gracefully, begins her walk,
Rising all bright behind the eastern hills.
I talk of moon, and wind, and stars, and not
Of song; but, would I echo his high song,
Nature must lend me words ne’er used before,
Or I must borrow from her perfect works,
To picture forth his perfect attributes.
He does no longer sit upon his throne
Of rock upon a desert herbless plain,
For the evergreen and knotted ilexes,
And cypresses that seldom wave their boughs,
And sea-green olives with their grateful fruit,
And elms dragging along the twisted vines,
Which drop their berries as they follow fast,
And blackthorn bushes with their infant race
Of blushing rose-blooms; beeches, to lovers dear,
And weeping willow trees; all swift or slow,
As their huge boughs or lighter dress permit,
Have circled in his throne, and Earth herself
Has sent from her maternal breast a growth
Of starlike flowers and herbs of odour sweet,
To pave the temple that his poesy
Has framed, while near his feet grim lions couch,
And kids, fearless from love, creep near his lair.
Even the blind worms seem to feel the sound.
The birds are silent, hanging down their heads,
Perched on the lowest branches of the trees;
Not even the nightingale intrudes a note
In rivalry, but all entranced she listens.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Verses On A Cat.

A cat in distress,
Nothing more, nor less;
Good folks, I must faithfully tell ye,
As I am a sinner,
It waits for some dinner
To stuff out its own little belly.

You would not easily guess
All the modes of distress
Which torture the tenants of earth;
And the various evils,
Which like so many devils,
Attend the poor souls from their birth.

Some a living require,
And others desire
An old fellow out of the way;
And which is the best
I leave to be guessed,
For I cannot pretend to say.

One wants society,
Another variety,
Others a tranquil life;
Some want food,
Others, as good,
Only want a wife.

But this poor little cat
Only wanted a rat,
To stuff out its own little maw;
And it were as good
SOME people had such food,
To make them HOLD THEIR JAW!

Percy Bysshe Shelley


I pant for the music which is divine,
My heart in its thirst is a dying flower;
Pour forth the sound like enchanted wine,
Loosen the notes in a silver shower;
Like a herbless plain, for the gentle rain,
I gasp, I faint, till they wake again.

Let me drink of the spirit of that sweet sound,
More, oh more, – I am thirsting yet;
It loosens the serpent which care has bound
Upon my heart to stifle it;
The dissolving strain, through every vein,
Passes into my heart and brain.

As the scent of a violet withered up,
Which grew by the brink of a silver lake,
When the hot noon has drained its dewy cup,
And mist there was none its thirst to slake –
And the violet lay dead while the odour flew
On the wings of the wind o’er the waters blue –

As one who drinks from a charmed cup
Of foaming, and sparkling, and murmuring wine,
Whom, a mighty Enchantress filling up,
Invites to love with her kiss divine…

Percy Bysshe Shelley

The Sunset.

There late was One within whose subtle being,
As light and wind within some delicate cloud
That fades amid the blue noon’s burning sky,
Genius and death contended. None may know
The sweetness of the joy which made his breath
Fail, like the trances of the summer air,
When, with the Lady of his love, who then
First knew the unreserve of mingled being,
He walked along the pathway of a field
Which to the east a hoar wood shadowed o’er,
But to the west was open to the sky.
There now the sun had sunk, but lines of gold
Hung on the ashen clouds, and on the points
Of the far level grass and nodding flowers
And the old dandelion’s hoary beard,
And, mingled with the shades of twilight, lay
On the brown massy woods – and in the east
The broad and burning moon lingeringly rose
Between the black trunks of the crowded trees,
While the faint stars were gathering overhead. –
‘Is it not strange, Isabel,’ said the youth,
‘I never saw the sun? We will walk here
To-morrow; thou shalt look on it with me.’

That night the youth and lady mingled lay
In love and sleep – but when the morning came
The lady found her lover dead and cold.
Let none believe that God in mercy gave
That stroke. The lady died not, nor grew wild,
But year by year lived on – in truth I think
Her gentleness and patience and sad smiles,
And that she did not die, but lived to tend
Her aged father, were a kind of madness,
If madness ’tis to be unlike the world.
For but to see her were to read the tale
Woven by some subtlest bard, to make hard hearts
Dissolve away in wisdom-working grief; –
Her eyes were black and lustreless and wan:
Her eyelashes were worn away with tears,
Her lips and cheeks were like things dead – so pale;
Her hands were thin, and through their wandering veins
And weak articulations might be seen
Day’s ruddy light. The tomb of thy dead self
Which one vexed ghost inhabits, night and day,
Is all, lost child, that now remains of thee!

‘Inheritor of more than earth can give,
Passionless calm and silence unreproved,
Whether the dead find, oh, not sleep! but rest,
And are the uncomplaining things they seem,
Or live, or drop in the deep sea of Love;
Oh, that like thine, mine epitaph were – Peace!’
This was the only moan she ever made.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

That was indeed the greatest compilation of his poems!

No wonder he was one of the major English Romantic poets. He was also described by an American literary critic, Harold Bloom, as “a superb craftsman, a lyric poet without rival, and surely one of the most advanced skeptical intellects ever to write a poem.” Finally, he has achieved increasing critical acclaim for the sweeping momentum of his poetic imagery, his mastery of genres and verse forms, and the complex interplay of skeptical, idealist, and materialist ideas in his work

What’s your most favorite poem of Percy Bysshe Shelley?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


Top 10 Most Popular Poems of Nizar Qabbani

These are the top ten (10) most popular poems of Nizar Qabbani .

From A Brief Love Letter to Light Is More Important Than The Lantern.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!.

A Brief Love Letter

My darling, I have much to say
Where o precious one shall I begin ?
All that is in you is princely
O you who makes of my words through their meaning
Cocoons of silk
These are my songs and this is me
This short book contains us
Tomorrow when I return its pages
A lamp will lament
A bed will sing
Its letters from longing will turn green
Its commas be on the verge of flight
Do not say: why did this youth
Speak of me to the winding road and the stream
The almond tree and the tulip
So that the world escorts me wherever I go ?
Why did he sing these songs ?
Now there is no star
That is not perfumed with my fragrance
Tomorrow people will see me in his verse
A mouth the taste of wine, close-cropped hair
Ignore what people say
You will be great only through my great love
What would the world have been if we had not been
If your eyes had not been, what would the world have been?

Nizar Qabbani

I Am With Terrorism

We are accused of terrorism:
if we defended rose and woman
and the mighty verse…
and the blueness of sky…
A dominion… nothing left therein…
No water, no air…
No tent, no camel,
and not even dark Arabica coffee!!

We are accused of terrorism:
if we defended with guts
the hair of Balqis
and the lips of Maysun
if we defended Hind, and Da`d
Lubna and Rabab…
and the stream of Kohl
coming down from their lashes like the verses of revelation.
You will not find with me
a secret poem
or a secret logos
or books I put behind doors.
I do not even have one poem
walking down the street, wearing veil.

We are accused of terrorism:
if we wrote about the ruins of a homeland
torn, weak…
a homeland with no address
and an nation with no names

I seek the remnants of a homeland
none of its grand poems is left
except the bemoans of Khansa.

I seek a dominion in whose horizons
no freedom can be found
red… blue or yellow.

A homeland forbidding us from bying a newspaper
or listening to the news.
A dominion wherein birds are forbidden
from chirping.
A homeland wherein, out of terror [ru`b],
its writers got accustomed to write about

A homeland, in the likeness of poetry in our lands:
It is vain talk,
no rhythm,
Ajam, with a crooked face and tongue:
No beginning
No end
No relation with people’s worry
mother earth
and the crisis of man.

A dominion…
going to peace talks
with no honor
no shoe.

A homeland,
men peed in their pans…
women are those left to defend honor.

Salt in our eyes
Salt in our lips
Salt in our words
Can the self carry such dryness?
An inheritance we got from the barren Qahtan?
In our nation, no Mu`awiya, and no Abu Sufiyan
No one is left to say “NO”
and face the quitters
they gave up our houses, our bread and our [olive] oil.
They transformed our bright history into a mediocre store.

In our lives, no poem is left,
since we lost our chastity in the bed of the Sultan.

They got accustomed to us, the humbled.
What is left to man
when all that remains
is disgrace.

I seek in the books of history
Ussamah ibn al-Munqith
Uqba ibn Nafi`
Omar, and Hamzah
and Khalid, driving his flocks conquering the Shem.
I seek a Mu`tasim Billah
Saving women from the cruelty of rape
and the fire.

I seek latter days men
All I can see is frightened cats
Scared for their own souls, from
the sultanship of mice.

Is this an overwhelming national blindness?
Are we blind to colors?

We are accused of terrorism
If we refuse to die
with Israel’s bulldozers
tearing our land
tearing our history
tearing our Evangelium
tearing our Koran
tearing the graves of our prophets
If this was our sin,
then, lo, how beautiful terrorism is?

We are accused of terrorism
if we refused to be effaced
by the hands of the Mogul, Jews and Barbarians
if we throw a stone
at the glass of the the Security Council
after the Ceasar of Ceasars got a hold of it.

We are accused of terrorism
if we refuse to negociate with the wolf
and shake the hand with a whore

Against the cultures of the peoples
with no culture
Against the civilizations of the civilized
with no civilization
a mighty edifice
with no walls!

We are accused of terrorism:
if we refused an era
America became
the foolish, the rich, the mighty
translated, sworn
in Hebrew.

We are accused of terrorism:
if we throw a rose
to Jerusalem
to al-Khalil
to Ghazza
to an-Nasirah
if we took bread and water
to beleaguered Troy.

We are accused of terrorism:
if we raised our voices against
the regionalists of our leaders.
All changed their rides:
from Unionists
to Brokers.

If we committed the heinous crime of culture
if we revolted against the orders of the grand caliph
and the seat of the caliphate
If we read jurisprudence or politics
If we recalled God
and read verse al-Fat-h
[that Chapter of Conquest].
If we listened to the Friday sermon
then we are well-established in the art of terrorism

We are accused of terrorism
if we defended land
and the honor of dust
if we revolted against the rape of people
and our rape
if we defended the last palm trees in our desert
the last stars in our sky
the last syllabi of our names
the last milk in our mothers’ bosoms
if this was our sin
how beautiful is terrorism.

I am with terrorism
if it is able to save me
from the immigrants from Russia
Romania, Hungaria, and Poland

They settled in Palestine
set foot on our shoulders
to steal the minarets of al-Quds
and the door of Aqsa
to steal the arabesques
and the domes.

I am with terrorism
if it will free the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth,
and the virgin, Meriam Betula
and the holy city
from the ambassadors of death and desolation

The nationalist street was fervent
like a wild horse.
The rivers were abundant with the spirit of youth.

But after Olso,
we no longer had teeth:
we are now a blind and lost people.

We are accused of terrorism:
if we defended with full-force
our poetic heritage
our national wall
our rosy civilization
the culture of flutes in our mountains
and the mirrors displaying blackened eyes.

We are accused of terrorism:
if we defended what we wrote
El azure of our sea
and the aroma of ink
if we defended the freedom of the word
and the holiness of books

I am with terrorism
if it is able to free a people
from tyrants and tyranny
if it is able to save man from the cruelty of man
to return lemon, olive tree, and bird to the South of Lebanon
and the smile back to Golan

I am with terrorism
if it will save me
from the Caesar of Yehuda
and the Caesar of Rome

I am with terrorism
as long as this new world order
is shared
between America and Israel

I am with terrorism
with all my poetry
with all my words
and all my teeth
as long as this new world
is in the hands of a butcher.

I am with terrorism
if the U.S. Senate
enacts judgment
decrees reward and punishment

I am with Irhab [terrorism]
as long this new world order
hates the smell of A`rab.

I am with terrorism
as long as the new world order
wants to slaughter my off-spring.
and send them to dogs.

For all this
I raise my voice high:
I am with terrorism
I am with terrorism
I am with terrorism…

Nizar Qabbani

Five Letters to my Mother

Good morning sweetheart.
Good morning my Saint of a sweetheart.
It has been two year mother
since the boy has sailed
on his mythical journey.
Since he hid within his luggage
the green morning of his homeland
and her stars, and her streams,
and all of her red poppy.
Since he hid in his cloths
bunches of mint and thyme,
and a Damascene Lilac.

I am alone.
The smoke of my cigarette is bored,
and even my seat of me is bored
My sorrows are like flocking birds looking for a grain field in season.
I became acquainted with the women of Europe,
I became acquainted with their tired civilization.
I toured India, and I toured China,
I toured the entire oriental world,
and nowhere I found,
a Lady to comb my golden hair.
A Lady that hides for me in her purse a sugar candy.
A lady that dresses me when I am naked,
and lifts me up when I fall.
Mother: I am that boy who sailed,
and still longs to that sugar candy.
So how come or how can I, Mother,
become a father and never grow up.

Good morning from Madrid.
How is the ‘Fullah’?
I beg you to take care of her,
That baby of a baby.
She was the dearest love to Father.
He spoiled her like his daughter.
He used to invite her to his morning coffee.
He used to feed her and water her,
and cover her with his mercy.
And when he died,
She always dreamt about his return.
She looked for him in the corners of his room.
She asked about his robe,
and asked about his newspaper,
and asked, when the summer came,
about the blue color of his eyes,
so that she can throw within his palms,
her golden coins.

I send my best regards
to a house that taught us love and mercy.
To your white flowers,
the best in the neighborhood.
To my bed, to my books,
to all of the kids in the alley.
To all of these walls we covered
with noise from our writings.
To the lazy cat sleeping on the balcony.
To the lilac climbing bush the neighbor’s window.
It has been two long years, Mother,
with the face of Damascus being like a bird,
digging within my conscience,
biting at my curtains,
and picking, with a gentle beak, at my fingers.
It has been two years Mother,
since the nights of Damascus,
the odors of Damascus,
the houses of Damascus,
have been inhabiting our imagination.
The pillar lights of her mosques,
have been guiding our sails.
As if the pillars of the Amawi,
have been planted in our hearts.
As if the orchards are still perfuming our conscience.
As if the lights and the rocks,
have all traveled with us.

This is September, Mother,
and here is sorrow bringing me his wrapped gifts.
Leaving at my window his tears and his concerns.
This is September, where is Damascus?
Where is Father and his eyes.
Where is the silk of his glances,
and where is the aroma of his coffee.
May God bless his grave.
And where is the vastness of our large house,
and where is its comfort.
And where is the stairwell laughing at the tickles of blooms,
and where is my childhood.
Draggling the tail of the cat,
and eating from the grape vine,
and snipping from the lilac.

Damascus, Damascus,
what a poem we wrote within our eyes.
What a pretty child that we crucified.
We kneeled at her feet,
and we melted in her passion,
until, we killed her with love.

Nizar Qabbani

A Damascene Moon

Green Tunisia, I have come to you as a lover
On my brow, a rose and a book
For I am the Damascene whose profession is passion
Whose singing turns the herbs green
A Damascene moon travels through my blood
Nightingales… and grain… and domes
From Damascus, jasmine begins its whiteness
And fragrances perfume themselves with her scent
From Damascus, water begins… for wherever
You lean your head, a stream flows
And poetry is a sparrow spreading its wings
Over Sham… and a poet is a voyager
From Damascus, love begins… for our ancestors
Worshipped beauty, they dissolved it, and they melted away
From Damascus, horses begin their journey
And the stirrups are tightened for the great conquest
From Damascus, eternity begins… and with her
Languages remain and genealogies are preserved
And Damascus gives Arabism its form
And on its land, epochs materialize

Nizar Qabbani

I Conquer The World With Words

I conquer the world with words,
conquer the mother tongue,
verbs, nouns, syntax.
I sweep away the beginning of things
and with a new language
that has the music of water the message of fire
I light the coming age
and stop time in your eyes
and wipe away the line
that separates
time from this single moment.

Nizar Qabbani

Letter From Under The Sea

If you are my friend…
Help me… to leave you
Or if you are my lover…
Help me… so I can be healed of you…
If I knew….
that the ocean is very deep… I would not have swam…
If I knew… how I would end,
I would not have began

I desire you…so teach me not to desire
teach me…
how to cut the roots of your love from the depths
teach me…
how tears may die in the eyes
and love may commit suicide

If you are prophet,
Cleanse me from this spell
Deliver me from this atheism…
Your love is like atheism… so purify me from this atheism

If you are strong…
Rescue me from this ocean
For I don’t know how to swim
The blue waves… in your eyes
drag me… to the depths
nothing but the color blue
and I have no experience
in love… and no boat…

If I am dear to you
then take my hand
For I am filled with desire… from my
head to my feet

I am breathing under water!
I am drowning…

Nizar Qabbani

A Letter From A Stupid Woman

(A Letter to a Man)


My dear Master,
This is a letter from a stupid woman
Has a stupid woman before me, written to you?
My name? Lets put names aside
Rania, or Zaynab
or Hind or Hayfa
The silliest thing we carry, my Master, are names


My Master:
I am frightened to tell you my thoughts
I am frightened, if I did,
that the heavens would burn
For your East, my dear Master,
confiscate blue letters
confiscate dreams from the treasure chests of women
Practices suppression, upon the emotions of women
It uses knives…
and cleavers…
to speak to women
and butchers spring and passions
and black plaits
And your East, dear Master,
Manufactures the delicate crown of the East
from the skulls of women


Don’t criticize me, Master
If my writing is poor
For I write and the sword is behind my door
And beyond the room is the sound of wind and howling dogs
My master!
‘Antar al Abys is behind my door!
He will butcher me
If he saw my letter
He will cut my head off
If I spoke of my torture
He will cut my head off
If he saw the sheerness of my clothes
For your East, my dear Master,
Surrounds women with spears
And your East, my dear Master
elects the men to become Prophets,
and buries the women in the dust.


Don’t become annoyed!
My dear Master, from these lines
Don’t become annoyed!
If I smash the complaints blocked for centuries
If I unsealed my consciousness
If I ran away…
From the domes of the Harem in the castles
If I rebelled, against my death…
against my grave, against my roots…
and the giant slaughter house….

Don’t become annoyed, my dear Master,
If I revealed to you my feelings
For the Eastern man
Is not concerned with poetry or feelings
The Eastern man, and forgive my insolence, does not understand women
but over the sheets.


I am sorry my master -If I have insolently attacked the kingdom of Men
for the great literature of course
is the literature of men
And love has always been
the allotment of men…
And sex has always been
a drug sold to men

A senile fairytale, the freedom of women in our countries
For there is no freedom
Other than, the freedom of men…

My Master
Say all you wish of me. It does not matter to me:
Shallow… Stupid… Crazy… Simple minded.
It does not concern me anymore..
For whoever writes about her concerns…
in the logic of Men is called
a stupid woman
and didn’t I tell you in the beginning
that I am a stupid woman?

Nizar Qabbani

Every Time I Kiss You

Every time I kiss you
After a long separation
I feel
I am putting a hurried love letter
In a red mailbox.

Nizar Qabbani


He lets me listen, when he moves me,
Words are not like other words
He takes me, from under my arms
He plants me, in a distant cloud
And the black rain in my eyes
Falls in torrents, torrents
He carries me with him, he carries me
To an evening of perfumed balconies

And I am like a child in his hands
Like a feather carried by the wind
He carries for me seven moons in his hands
and a bundle of songs
He gives me sun, he gives me summer
and flocks of swallows
He tells me that I am his treasure
And that I am equal to thousands of stars
And that I am treasure, and that I am
more beautiful than he has seen of paintings
He tells me things that make me dizzy
that make me forget the dance and the steps

Words…which overturn my history
which make me a woman…in seconds
He builds castles of fantasies
which I live in… for seconds…
And I return… I return to my table
Nothing with me…
Nothing with me… except words

Nizar Qabbani

Light Is More Important Than The Lantern

Light is more important than the lantern,
The poem more important than the notebook,
And the kiss more important than the lips.
My letters to you
Are greater and more important than both of us.
They are the only documents
Where people will discover
Your beauty
And my madness.

Nizar Qabbani

Wow! Nizar Qabbani is extraordinary! He was one of the most revered contemporary poets in the Arab world and considered Syria’s National Poet. Compared to other poetry collections, his poetic writing style was a combination of simplicity and elegance.

“Words” is my most-loved poem in his collection. Well, I could agree no less that some people are just like the man in it. Unbiased, it’s not just some men but also some women who know how to use flowery language very well. That will lead a person to be left behind with nothing but just words.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of Nizar Qabbani?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


Madeleine McCann’s Case

I have watched the case of Madeleine McCann’s last year, and since then, I couldn’t forget how sad this case was. She was just a three-year-old sweet child. She would have had a great future ahead of her, but unfortunately, she was early robbed of that chance when she disappeared. She has never been found again up to these days. Now, shocking new evidence; relating to Madeleine McCann’s revealed a suspected killer.

I wrote a poem to share my sorrow at what had happened to her fourteen years ago. It is one of the cases that I always check for an update. I was also teary-eyed while writing this. I can’t imagine how helpless she must have been for whatever happened to her and for her family, who is desperately waiting for her to come back.

Madeleine McCann’s Case

If innocence has a face, then it’ll be Madeleine McCann’s
But on the night of May the 3rd, 2007, she was found gone
At around 10 pm, her mom found this 3-year-old baby missing
Made her parents and three countries desperately searching

Little Madie’s disappearance electrified the Praia da Luz community
But authorities’ bungled investigation made chaos unfold
For long mortifying years, the truth remained a mystery
Not until 13 years after, finally a prime suspect was called

A suspect named Christian Brückner was associated with this crime
Phenomenal pieces of evidence filed up to one after the other
Disturbing files and videos of pure torture inflicted on women
Now, hope for little Madie’s life on his hands might have shattered

This monster was a complete psychopath who was living in fantasies
Were multiple times been charged with sexual assault and rape
Now, authorities are finally relating him to the loss of Madie’s
Hoping justice would finally be served and to the law, he could no longer escape.

© AbbyMorong 12/16/2021

Madeleine McCann, we’re still waiting for you, little angel. I hope that justice will soon prevail.


Poem Entries from December 1-January 31

Here is the second poem entry for this period by one of our aspiring poets out there.

Essence of Christmas

Seeing people smile while opening their gifts
Will forever be very heart-warming to see
That’s the first essence of Christmas peeps
Share and make the world a happy place to be

Being fair and helping people who are in need
Will lift one’s soul and clean one’s heart
For this is the second purpose, one should lead
To better our world, everyone must take part

It’s happier to be contented and be thankful
Try to accept life’s flaws yet make a change
Because this is the third true happiness’ rule
Everyone should know, for the world will change.

© Anonymous 15/12/2021

This wonderful poem reminds me of the feeling I had every Christmas. In my country, Christmas is the holiday for us to give presents and make each other happy by celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Of course, there are also different purposes for celebrating Christmas. And some of those purposes were mentioned in your poem.

Overall, this poem is light and also fun to read; it’s one of the best-written works I’ve read. Thank you so much for sharing.

What about you? Do you also believe and feel the same way as this poet?
If you’re going to share your thoughts by using a poem, what will it be?
You are also free to drop by and submit your poem whenever you want.

Don’t forget to like and comment if you also like this poem. 🙂


42 Greatest Poems about Farewell and Absence

Everyone had experienced farewells even once in their lives. It might be parting with someone we love or someone we used to love. It might be in the form of saying goodbyes to our old selves or something related to ourselves. Whatever it might be, parting usually comes with sadness. The same with absence, we might feel resentment or even sorrow.

These are forty-three (43) greatest poems about farewell and absence that you might also relate to, and if you are interested in these topics, these poems are for you.

Keep reading!


“Farewell! farewell!” is often heard
From the lips of those who part:
’T is a whispered tone,—’t is a gentle word,
But it springs not from the heart.
It may serve for the lover’s closing lay,
To be sung ’neath a summer sky;
But give to me the lips that say
The honest words, “Good-bye!”

“Adieu! adieu!” may greet the ear,
In the guise of courtly speech:
But when we leave the kind and dear,
’T is not what the soul would teach.
Whene’er we grasp the hands of those
We would have forever nigh,
The flame of Friendship bursts and glows
In the warm, frank words, “Good-bye.”

The mother, sending forth her child
To meet with cares and strife,
Breathes through her tears her doubts and fears
For the loved one’s future life.
No cold “adieu,” no “farewell,” lives
Within her choking sigh,
But the deepest sob of anguish gives,
“God bless thee, boy! Good-bye!”

Go, watch the pale and dying one,
When the glance hast lost its beam;
When the brow is cold as the marble stone,
And the world a passing dream;
And the latest pressure of the hand,
The look of the closing eye,
Yield what the heart must understand,
A long, a last Good-bye.



If thou dost bid thy friend farewell,
But for one night though that farewell may be,
Press thou his hand in thine.
How canst thou tell how far from thee
Fate or caprice may lead his steps ere that to-morrow comes?
Men have been known to lightly turn the corner of a street,
And days have grown to months, and months to lagging years,
Ere they have looked in loving eyes again.
Parting, at best, is underlaid
With tears and pain.
Therefore, lest sudden death should come between,
Or time, or distance, clasp with pressure firm
The hand of him who goeth forth;
Unseen, Fate goeth too.
Yes, find thou always time to say some earnest word
Between the idle talk,
Lest with thee henceforth,
Night and day, regret should walk.

Coventry Patmore

The Parting Lovers

From the Chinese by William. R. Alger

She says, “The cock crows,—hark!”
He says, “No! still ’t is dark.”

She says, “The dawn grows bright,”
He says, “O no, my Light.”

She says, “Stand up and say,
Gets not the heaven gray?”

He says, “The morning star
Climbs the horizon’s bar.”

She says, “Then quick depart:
Alas! you now must start;

But give the cock a blow
Who did begin our woe!”


“Come, let us kisse and parte”

Since there ’s no helpe,—come, let us kisse and parte,
Nay, I have done,—you get no more of me;
And I am glad,—yea, glad with all my hearte,
That thus so cleanly I myselfe can free.
Shake hands forever!—cancel all our vows;
And when we meet at any time againe,
Be it not seene in either of our brows,
That we one jot of former love retaine.

Now—at the last gaspe of Love’s latest breath—
When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies;
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes,
Now! if thou wouldst—when all have given him over—
From death to life thou mightst him yet recover.

Michael Drayton

“Farewell! thou art too dear”

Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know’st thy estimate:
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thyself thou gav’st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav’st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgment making.
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter;
In sleep a king, but, waking, no such matter.

William Shakespeare

A farewell

Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
Thy tribute wave deliver:
No more by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea,
A rivulet then a river:
Nowhere by thee my steps shall be
For ever and for ever.

But here will sigh thine alder tree
And here thine aspen shiver;
And here by thee will hum the bee,
For ever and for ever.

A thousand suns will stream on thee,
A thousand moons will quiver;
But not by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

Alfred Lord Tennyson


I leave the world to-morrow,
What news for Fairyland?
I’m tired of dust and sorrow
And folk on every hand.

A moon more calm and splendid
Moves there through deeper skies,
By maiden stars attended
She peaces goddes-wise.

And there no wrath oppresses,
And there no teardrops start,
There cool winds breathe caresses,
That soothe the weary heart.

The wealth the mad world follows
Turns ashes in the hand
Of him who sees the hollows
And glades of Fairyland.

And pine boughs sigh no sorrow
Where fairy rotas play,
I leave the world to-morrow
For ever and a day.

Enid Derham

“We parted in silence”

We parted in silence, we parted by night,
On the banks of that lonely river;
Where the fragrant limes their boughs unite,
We met—and we parted forever!
The night-bird sung, and the stars above
Told many a touching story,
Of friends long passed to the kingdom of love,
Where the soul wears its mantle of glory.

We parted in silence,—our cheeks were wet
With the tears that were past controlling;
We vowed we would never, no, never forget,
And those vows at the time were consoling;
But those lips that echoed the sounds of mine
Are as cold as that lonely river;
And that eye, that beautiful spirit’s shrine,
Has shrouded its fires forever.

And now on the midnight sky I look,
And my heart grows full of weeping;
Each star is to me a sealèd book,
Some tale of that loved one keeping.
We parted in silence,—we parted in tears,
On the banks of that lonely river:
But the odor and bloom of those bygone years
Shall hang o’er its waters forever.

Louisa Macartney Crawford

“Farewell!—but whenever”

Farewell!—but whenever you welcome the hour
That awakens the night-song of mirth in your bower,
Then think of the friend that once welcomed it too,
And forgot his own griefs, to be happy with you.
His griefs may return—not a hope may remain
Of the few that have brightened his pathway of pain—
But he ne’er can forget the short vision that threw
Its enchantment around him while lingering with you!

And still on that evening when Pleasure fills up
To the highest top sparkle each heart and each cup,
Where’er my path lies, be it gloomy or bright,
My soul, happy friends! will be with you that night;
Shall join in your revels, your sports, and your wiles,
And return to me, beaming all o’er with your smiles—
Too blest if it tell me that, ’mid the gay cheer,
Some kind voice has murmured, “I wish he were here!”

Let Fate do her worst, there are relics of joy,
Bright dreams of the past, which she cannot destroy;
Which come in the night-time of sorrow and care,
And bring back the features which joy used to wear.
Long, long be my heart with such memories filled!
Like the vase in which roses have once been distilled—
You may break, you may shatter the vase, if you will,
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still.

Thomas Moore


When I think on the happy days
I spent wi’ you, my dearie;
And now what lands between us lie,
How can I be but eerie!

How slow ye move, ye heavy hours,
As ye were wae and weary!
It was na sae ye glinted by
When I was wi’ my dearie.



What shall I do with all the days and hours
That must be counted ere I see thy face?
How shall I charm the interval that lowers
Between this time and that sweet time of grace?

Shall I in slumber steep each weary sense,
Weary with longing?—shall I flee away
Into past days, and with some fond pretence
Cheat myself to forget the present day?

Shall love for thee lay on my soul the sin
Of casting from me God’s great gift of time?
Shall I, these mists of memory locked within,
Leave and forget life’s purposes sublime?

O, how or by what means may I contrive
To bring the hour that brings thee back more near?
How may I teach my drooping hope to live
Until that blessèd time, and thou art here?

I ’ll tell thee; for thy sake I will lay hold
Of all good aims, and consecrate to thee,
In worthy deeds, each moment that is told
While thou, belovèd one! art far from me.

For thee I will arouse my thoughts to try
All heavenward flights, all high and holy strains;
For thy dear sake I will walk patiently
Through these long hours, nor call their minutes pains.

I will this dreary blank of absence make
A noble task-time; and will therein strive
To follow excellence, and to o’ertake
More good than I have won since yet I live.

So may this doomèd time build up in me
A thousand graces, which shall thus be thine;
So may my love and longing hallowed be,
And thy dear thought an influence divine.

Frances Anne Kemble

“I love my Jean”

Of a’ the airts the wind can blaw,
I dearly like the west;
For there the bonnie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo’e best.
There wild woods grow, and rivers row,
And monie a hill ’s between;
But day and night my fancy’s flight
Is ever wi’ my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet and fair;
I hear her in the tunefu’ birds,
I hear her charm the air;
There ’s not a bonnie flower that springs
By fountain, shaw, or green;
There ’s not a bonnie bird that sings,
But minds me of my Jean.

Robert Burns

The Present Good

From “The Task,” Book VI.

Not to understand a treasure’s worth
Till time has stol’n away the slighted good,
Is cause of half the poverty we feel,
And makes the world the wilderness it is.

William Cowper

To Her Absent Sailor

From “The Tent on the Beach”

Her window opens to the bay,
On glistening light or misty gray,
And there at dawn and set of day
In prayer she kneels:
“Dear Lord!” she saith, “to many a home
From wind and wave the wanderers come;
I only see the tossing foam
Of stranger keels.

“Blown out and in by summer gales,
The stately ships, with crowded sails,
And sailors leaning o’er their rails,
Before me glide;
They come, they go, but nevermore,
Spice-laden from the Indian shore,
I see his swift-winged Isidore
The waves divide.

“O Thou! with whom the night is day
And one the near and far away,
Look out on yon gray waste, and say
Where lingers he.
Alive, perchance, on some lone beach
Or thirsty isle beyond the reach
Of man, he hears the mocking speech
Of wind and sea.

“O dread and cruel deep, reveal
The secret which thy waves conceal,
And, ye wild sea-birds, hither wheel
And tell your tale.
Let winds that tossed his raven hair
A message from my lost one bear,—
Some thought of me, a last fond prayer
Or dying wail!

“Come, with your dreariest truth shut out
The fears that haunt me round about;
O God! I cannot bear this doubt
That stifles breath.
The worst is better than the dread;
Give me but leave to mourn my dead
Asleep in trust and hope, instead
Of life in death!”

It might have been the evening breeze
That whispered in the garden trees,
It might have been the sound of seas
That rose and fell;
But, with her heart, if not her ear,
The old loved voice she seemed to hear:
“I wait to meet thee: be of cheer,
For all is well!”

John Greenleaf Whittier

“Come to me, dearest”

Come to me, dearest, I ’m lonely without thee,
Daytime and night-time, I ’m thinking about thee;
Night-time and daytime, in dreams I behold thee;
Unwelcome the waking which ceases to fold thee.
Come to me, darling, my sorrows to lighten,
Come in thy beauty to bless and to brighten;
Come in thy womanhood, meekly and lowly,
Come in thy lovingness, queenly and holy.

Swallows will flit round the desolate ruin,
Telling of spring and its joyous renewing;
And thoughts of thy love, and its manifold treasure,
Are circling my heart with a promise of pleasure.
O Spring of my spirit, O May of my bosom,
Shine out on my soul, till it bourgeon and blossom;
The waste of my life has a rose-root within it,
And thy fondness alone to the sunshine can win it.

Figure that moves like a song through the even;
Features lit up by a reflex of heaven;
Eyes like the skies of poor Erin, our mother,
Where shadow and sunshine are chasing each other;
Smiles coming seldom, but childlike and simple,
Planting in each rosy cheek a sweet dimple;—
O, thanks to the Saviour, that even thy seeming
Is left to the exile to brighten his dreaming.

You have been glad when you knew I was gladdened;
Dear, are you sad now to hear I am saddened?
Our hearts ever answer in tune and in time, love,
As octave to octave, and rhyme unto rhyme, love:
I cannot weep but your tears will be flowing,
You cannot smile but my cheek will be glowing;
I would not die without you at my side, love,
You will not linger when I shall have died, love.

Come to me, dear, ere I die of my sorrow,
Rise on my gloom like the sun of to-morrow;
Strong, swift, and fond as the words which I speak, love, 35
With a song on your lip and a smile on your cheek, love.
Come, for my heart in your absence is weary,—
Haste, for my spirit is sickened and dreary,—
Come to the arms which alone should caress thee,
Come to the heart that is throbbing to press thee!

Joseph Brenan

Thinkin’ Long

Oh thinkin’ long ’s the weary work!
It breaks my heart from dawn
Till all the wee, wee, friendly stars
Come out at dayli’gone.
An’ thinkin’ long ’s the weary work,
When I must spin and spin,
To drive the fearsome fancies out,
An’ hold the hopeful in!

Ah, sure my lad is far away!
My lad who left our glen
When from the soul of Ireland came
A call for fightin’ men;
I miss his gray eyes glancin’ bright,
I miss his liltin’ song,
And that is why, the lonesome day,
I ’m always thinkin’ long.

May God’s kind angels guard him
When the fray is fierce and grim,
And blunt the point of every sword
That turns its hate on him,
Where round the torn yet dear green flag
The brave and lovin’ throng—
But the lasses of Glenwherry smile
At me for thinkin’ long.

Anna MacManus (Ethna Carbery)

To Lucasta

If to be absent were to be
Away from thee;
Or that, when I am gone,
You or I were alone;
Then, my Lucasta, might I crave
Pity from blustering wind or swallowing wave.

But I ’ll not sigh one blast or gale
To swell my sail,
Or pay a tear to ’suage
The foaming blue-god’s rage;
For, whether he will let me pass
Or no, I ’m still as happy as I was.

Though seas and lands be ’twixt us both,
Our faith and troth,
Like separated souls,
All time and space controls:
Above the highest sphere we meet,
Unseen, unknown; and greet as angels greet.

So, then, we do anticipate
Our after-fate,
And are alive i’ the skies,
If thus our lips and eyes
Can speak like spirits unconfined
In heaven,—their earthly bodies left behind.

Richard Lovelace

“Ae fond kiss, and then we sever”

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I ’ll pledge thee;
Warring sighs and groans I ’ll wage thee.
Who shall say that fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerfu’ twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I ’ll ne’er blame my partial fancy—
Naething could resist my Nancy:
But to see her was to love her,
Love but her, and love forever.
Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly,
Never met—or never parted,
We had ne’er been broken-hearted.

Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure!
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I ’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I ’ll wage thee!

Robert Burns

The Old Familiar Faces

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 have 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.

How 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.

Charles Lamb

“O, my Luve ’s like a red, red rose”

O, my Luve ’s like a red, red rose
That ’s newly sprung in June:
O, my Luve ’s like the melodie
That ’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve 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:
And I will luve 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.

Robert Burns

To Lucasta, on Going to the Wars

Tell me not, sweet, I am unkinde,
That from the nunnerie
Of thy chaste breast and quiet minde,
To warre and armes I flee.

True, a new mistresse now I chase.—
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith imbrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
As you, too, shall adore;
I could not love thee, deare, so much,
Loved I not honour more.

Richard Lovelace

Jeanie Morrison

I’ve wandered east, I ’ve wandered west,
Through mony a weary way;
But never, never can forget
The luve o’ life’s young day!
The fire that ’s blawn on Beltane e’en
May weel be black gin Yule;
But blacker fa’ awaits the heart
Where first fond luve grows cule.

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
The thochts o’ bygane years
Still fling their shadows ower my path,
And blind my een wi’ tears:
They blind my een wi’ saut, saut tears,
And sair and sick I pine,
As memory idly summons up
The blithe blinks o’ langsyne.

’T was then we luvit ilk ither weel,
’T was then we twa did part;
Sweet time—sad time! twa bairns at scule,
Twa bairns, and but ae heart!
’T was then we sat on ae laigh bink,
To leir ilk ither lear;
And tones and looks and smiles were shed,
Remembered evermair.

I wonder, Jeanie, aften yet,
When sitting on that bink,
Cheek touchin’ cheek, loof locked in loof,
What our wee heads could think.
When baith bent doun ower ae braid page,
Wi’ ae buik on our knee,
Thy lips were on thy lesson, but
My lesson was in thee.

O, mind ye how we hung our heads,
How cheeks brent red wi’ shame,
Whene’er the scule-weans, laughin’, said
We cleeked thegither hame?
And mind ye o’ the Saturdays,
(The scule then skail’t at noon,)
When we ran off to speel the braes,—
The broomy braes o’ June?

My head rins round and round about,—
My heart flows like a sea,
As ane by ane the thochts rush back
O’ scule-time, and o’ thee.
O mornin’ life! O mornin’ luve!
O lichtsome days and lang,
When hinnied hopes around our hearts
Like simmer blossoms sprang!

O, mind ye, luve, how aft we left
The deavin’, dinsome toun,
To wander by the green burnside,
And hear its waters croon?
The simmer leaves hung ower our heads,
The flowers burst round our feet,
And in the gloamin’ o’ the wood
The throssil whusslit sweet;

The throssil whusslit in the woods,
The burn sang to the trees,—
And we, with nature’s heart in tune,
Concerted harmonies;
And on the knowe abune the burn,
For hours thegither sat
In the silentness o’ joy, till baith
Wi’ very gladness grat.

Ay, ay, dear Jeanie Morrison,
Tears trickled doun your cheek
Like dew-beads on a rose, yet nane
Had ony power to speak!
That was a time, a blessed time,
When hearts were fresh and young,
When freely gushed all feelings forth,

I marvel, Jeanie Morrison,
Gin I hae been to thee
As closely twined wi’ earliest thochts
As ye hae been to me?
O, tell me gin their music fills
Thine ear as it does mine!
O, say gin e’er your heart grows grit
Wi’ dreamings o’ langsyne?

I ’ve wandered east, I ’ve wandered west,
I ’ve borne a weary lot;
But in my wanderings, far or near,
Ye never were forgot.
The fount that first burst frae this heart
Still travels on its way;
And channels deeper, as it rins,
The luve o’ life’s young day.

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
Since we were sindered young
I ’ve never seen your face nor heard
The music o’ your tongue;
But I could hug all wretchedness,
And happy could I dee,
Did I but ken your heart still dreamed
O’ bygane days and me!

William Motherwell

“As slow our ship”

As slow our ship her foamy track
Against the wind was cleaving,
Her trembling pennant still looked back
To that dear isle ’t was leaving.
So loath we part from all we love,
From all the links that bind us;
So turn our hearts, as on we rove,
To those we ’ve left behind us!

When, round the bowl, of vanished years
We talk with joyous seeming,—
With smiles that might as well be tears,
So faint, so sad their beaming;
While memory brings us back again
Each early tie that twined us,
O, sweet ’s the cup that circles then
To those we ’ve left behind us!

And when, in other climes, we meet
Some isle or vale enchanting,
Where all looks flowery, wild, and sweet,
And naught but love is wanting;
We think how great had been our bliss
If Heaven had but assigned us
To live and die in scenes like this,
With some we ’ve left behind us!

As travellers oft look back at eve
When eastward darkly going,
To gaze upon that light they leave
Still faint behind them glowing,—
So, when the close of pleasure’s day
To gloom hath near consigned us,
We turn to catch one fading ray
Of joy that ’s left behind us.

Thomas Moore

“Maid of Athens, ere we part”

Maid of Athens, ere we part,
Give, O, give me back my heart!
Or, since that has left my breast,
Keep it now, and take the rest!
Hear my vow before I go,

By those tresses unconfined,
Wooed by each Ægean wind;
By those lids whose jetty fringe
Kiss thy soft cheeks’ blooming tinge;
By those wild eyes like the roe,

By that lip I long to taste;
By that zone-encircled waist;
By all the token-flowers that tell
What words can never speak so well;
By love’s alternate joy and woe,

Maid of Athens! I am gone.
Think of me, sweet! when alone.
Though I fly to Istambol,
Athens holds my heart and soul:
Can I cease to love thee? No!

Lord Byron

Kathleen Mavourneen

Kathleen Mavourneen! the gray dawn is breaking,
The horn of the hunter is heard on the hill;
The lark from her light wing the bright dew is shaking,—
Kathleen Mavourneen! what, slumbering still?

Oh, hast thou forgotten how soon we must sever?
Oh! hast thou forgotten this day we must part?
It may be for years, and it may be forever!
Oh, why art thou silent, thou voice of my heart?
Oh! why art thou silent, Kathleen Mavourneen?

Kathleen Mavourneen, awake from thy slumbers!
The blue mountains glow in the sun’s golden light;
Ah, where is the spell that once hung on my numbers?
Arise in thy beauty, thou star of my night!

Mavourneen, Mavourneen, my sad tears are falling,
To think that from Erin and thee I must part!
It may be for years, and it may be forever!
Then why art thou silent, thou voice of my heart?
Then why art thou silent, Kathleen Mavourneen?

Louisa Macartney Crawford

Song of the Young Highlander

Summoned from His Bride by the “Fiery Cross of Roderick Dhu”

From “The Lady of the Lake”

The heath this night must be my bed,
The bracken curtain for my head,
My lullaby the warder’s tread,
Far, far from love and thee, Mary;
To-morrow eve, more stilly laid
My couch may be my bloody plaid,
My vesper song, thy wail, sweet maid!
It will not waken me, Mary!

I may not, dare not, fancy now
The grief that clouds thy lovely brow,
I dare not think upon thy vow,
And all it promised me, Mary.
No fond regret must Norman know;
When bursts Clan-Alpine on the foe,
His heart must be like bended bow,
His foot like arrow free, Mary!

A time will come with feeling fraught!
For, if I fall in battle fought,
Thy hapless lover’s dying thought
Shall be a thought on thee, Mary.
And if returned from conquered foes,
How blithely will the evening close,
How sweet the linnet sing repose,
To my young bride and me, Mary!

Sir Walter Scott

“Adieu, adieu! my native shore”

Adieu, adieu! my native shore
Fades o’er the waters blue;
The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar,
And shrieks the wild sea-mew.
Yon sun that sets upon the sea
We follow in his flight;
Farewell awhile to him and thee,
My native Land—Good Night!

A few short hours, and he will rise
To give the morrow birth;
And I shall hail the main and skies,
But not my mother earth.
Deserted is my own good hall,
Its hearth is desolate;
Wild weeds are gathering on the wall;
My dog howls at the gate.

Lord Byron

Black-Eyed Susan

All in the Downs the fleet was moored,
The streamers waving in the wind,
When black-eyed Susan came aboard;
“O, where shall I my true-love find?
Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true
If my sweet William sails among the crew.”

William, who high upon the yard
Rocked with the billow to and fro,
Soon as her well-known voice he heard
He sighed, and cast his eyes below:
The cord slides swiftly through his glowing hands,
And quick as lightning on the deck he stands.

So the sweet lark, high poised in air,
Shuts close his pinions to his breast
If chance his mate’s shrill call he hear,
And drops at once into her nest:—
The noblest captain in the British fleet
Might envy William’s lips those kisses sweet.

“O Susan, Susan, lovely dear,
My vows shall ever true remain;
Let me kiss off that falling tear;
We only part to meet again.
Change as ye list, ye winds; my heart shall be
The faithful compass that still points to thee.

“Believe not what the landmen say
Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind:
They ’ll tell thee, sailors, when away,
In every port a mistress find;
Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so,
For thou art present wheresoe’er I go.

“If to fair India’s coast we sail,
Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright,
Thy breath is Afric’s spicy gale,
Thy skin is ivory so white.
Thus every beauteous object that I view
Wakes in my soul some charm of lovely Sue.

“Though battle call me from thy arms,
Let not my pretty Susan mourn;
Though cannons roar, yet safe from harms
William shall to his dear return.
Love turns aside the balls that round me fly,
Lest precious tears should drop from Susan’s eye.”

The boatswain gave the dreadful word,
The sails their swelling bosom spread;
No longer must she stay aboard:
They kissed, she sighed, he hung his head.
Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land;
“Adieu!” she cried; and waved her lily hand.

John Gay

Lochaber No More

Farewell to Lochaber! and farewell, my Jean,
Where heartsome with thee I hae mony day been;
For Lochaber no more, Lochaber no more,
We ’ll maybe return to Lochaber no more!
These tears that I shed they are a’ for my dear,
And no for the dangers attending on wear,
Though borne on rough seas to a far bloody shore,
Maybe to return to Lochaber no more.

Though hurricanes rise, and rise every wind,
They ’ll ne’er make a tempest like that in my mind;
Though loudest of thunder on louder waves roar,
That ’s naething like leaving my love on the shore.
To leave thee behind me my heart is sair pained;
By ease that ’s inglorious no fame can be gained;
And beauty and love ’s the reward of the brave,
And I must deserve it before I can crave.

Then glory, my Jeany, maun plead my excuse;
Since honor commands me, how can I refuse?
Without it I ne’er can have merit for thee,
And without thy favor I ’d better not be.
I gae then, my lass, to win honor and fame,
And if I should luck to come gloriously hame,
I ’ll bring a heart to thee with love running o’er,
And then I ’ll leave thee and Lochaber no more.

Allan Ramsay

“O, saw ye bonnie Leslie?”

O, saw ye bonnie Leslie
As she gaed o’er the border?
She ’s gane, like Alexander,
To spread her conquests farther.

To see her is to love her,
And love but her forever;
For nature made her what she is,
And ne’er made sic anither!

Thou art a queen, fair Leslie,
Thy subjects we, before thee;
Thou art divine, fair Leslie,
The hearts o’ men adore thee.

The deil he could na scaith thee,
Or aught that wad belang thee;
He ’d look into thy bonnie face,
And say, “I canna wrang thee!”

The Powers aboon will tent thee;
Misfortune sha’ na steer 1 thee;
Thou ’rt like themselves sae lovely
That ill they ’ll ne’er let near thee.

Return again, fair Leslie,
Return to Caledonie!
That we may brag we hae a lass
There ’s nane again sae bonnie.

Robert Burns

Qua Cursum Ventus

As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay
With canvas drooping, side by side,
Two towers of sail at dawn of day
Are scarce long leagues apart descried.

When fell the night, up sprang the breeze,
And all the darkling hours they plied,
Nor dreamt but each the selfsame seas
By each was cleaving, side by side:

E’en so,—but why the tale reveal
Of those whom, year by year unchanged,
Brief absence joined anew to feel,
Astounded, soul from soul estranged?

At dead of night their sails were filled,
And onward each rejoicing steered;—
Ah! neither blame, for neither willed
Or wist what first with dawn appeared.

To veer, how vain! On, onward strain,
Brave barks! In light, in darkness too,
Through winds and tides one compass guides;
To that and your own selves be true.

But O blithe breeze! and O great seas!
Though ne’er, that earliest parting past,
On your wide plain they join again,—
Together lead them home at last.

One port, methought, alike they sought,—
One purpose hold where’er they fare;
O bounding breeze, O rushing seas,
At last, at last, unite them there!

Arthur Hugh Clough

Auf Wiedersehen


The little gate was reached at last,
Half hid in lilacs down the lane;
She pushed it wide, and, as she past,
A wistful look she backward cast,
And said,—“Auf wiedersehen!”

With hand on latch, a vision white
Lingered reluctant, and again
Half doubting if she did aright,
Soft as the dews that fell that night,
She said,—“Auf wiedersehen!”

The lamp’s clear gleam flits up the stair;
I linger in delicious pain;
Ah, in that chamber, whose rich air
To breathe in thought I scarcely dare,
Thinks she,—“Auf wiedersehen!”

’T is thirteen years; once more I press
The turf that silences the lane;
I hear the rustle of her dress,
I smell the lilacs, and—ah, yes,
I hear,—“Auf wiedersehen!”

Sweet piece of bashful maiden art!
The English words had seemed too fain,
But these—they drew us heart to heart,
Yet held us tenderly apart;
She said,—“Auf wiedersehen!”

James Russell Lowell



Still thirteen years: ’t is autumn now
On field and hill, in heart and brain;
The naked trees at evening sough;
The leaf to the forsaken bough
Sighs not,—“Auf wiedersehen!”

Two watched yon oriole’s pendent dome,
That now is void, and dank with rain,
And one,—oh, hope more frail than foam!
The bird to his deserted home
Sings not,—“Auf wiedersehen!”

The loath gate swings with rusty creak;
Once, parting there, we played at pain;
There came a parting, when the weak
And fading lips essayed to speak
Vainly,—“Auf wiedersehen!”

Somewhere is comfort, somewhere faith,
Though thou in outer dark remain;
One sweet sad voice ennobles death,
And still, for eighteen centuries saith
Softly,—“Auf wiedersehen!”

If earth another grave must bear,
Yet heaven hath won a sweeter strain,
And something whispers my despair,
That, from an orient chamber there,
Floats down,—“Auf wiedersehen!”

James Russell Lowell

The Rustic Lad’s Lament in the Town

O, Wad that my time were owre but,
Wi’ this wintry sleet and snaw,
That I might see our house again,
I’ the bonnie birken shaw!
For this is no my ain life,
And I peak and pine away
Wi’ the thochts o’ hame and the young flowers,
In the glad green month of May.

I used to wauk in the morning
Wi’ the loud sang o’ the lark,
And the whistling o’ the ploughman lads,
As they gaed to their wark;
I used to wear the bit young lambs
Frae the tod and the roaring stream;
But the warld is changed, and a’ thing now
To me seems like a dream.

There are busy crowds around me,
On ilka lang dull street;
Yet, though sae mony surround me,
I ken na ane I meet:
And I think o’ kind kent faces,
And o’ blithe an’ cheery days,
When I wandered out wi’ our ain folk,
Out owre the simmer braes.

Waes me, for my heart is breaking!
I think o’ my brither sma’,
And on my sister greeting,
When I cam frae hame awa.
And O, how my mither sobbit,
As she shook me by the hand,
When I left the door o’ our auld house,
To come to this stranger land.

There ’s nae hame like our ain hame—
O, I wush that I were there!
There ’s nae hame like our ain hame
To be met wi’ onywhere;
And O that I were back again,
To our farm and fields sae green;
And heard the tongues o’ my ain folk,
And were what I hae been!

David Macbeth Moir


Where the thistle lifts a purple crown
Six foot out of the turf,
And the harebell shakes on the windy hill—
O the breath of the distant surf!—

The hills look over on the South,
And southward dreams the sea;
And, with the sea-breeze hand in hand,
Came innocence and she.

Where ’mid the gorse the raspberry
Red for the gatherer springs,
Two children did we stray and talk
Wise, idle, childish things.

She listened with big-lipped surprise,
Breast-deep mid flower and spine:
Her skin was like a grape, whose veins
Run snow instead of wine.

She knew not those sweet words she spake,
Nor knew her own sweet way;
But there ’s never a bird, so sweet a song
Thronged in whose throat that day!

Oh, there were flowers in Storrington
On the turf and on the sprays;
But the sweetest flower on Sussex hills
Was the Daisy-flower that day!

Her beauty smoothed earth’s furrowed face!
She gave me tokens three:—
A look, a word of her winsome mouth,
And a wild raspberry.

A berry red, a guileless look,
A still word,—strings of sand!
And yet they made my wild, wild heart
Fly down to her little hand.

For standing artless as the air,
And candid as the skies,
She took the berries with her hand,
And the love with her sweet eyes.

The fairest things have fleetest end:
Their scent survives their close,
But the rose’s scent is bitterness
To him that loved the rose!

She looked a little wistfully,
Then went her sunshine way:—
The sea’s eye had a mist on it,
And the leaves fell from the day.

She went her unremembering way,
She went and left in me
The pang of all the partings gone,
And partings yet to be.

She left me marvelling why my soul
Was sad that she was glad;
At all the sadness in the sweet,
The sweetness in the sad.

Still, still I seemed to see her, still
Look up with soft replies,
And take the berries with her hand,
And the love with her lovely eyes.

Nothing begins, and nothing ends,
That is not paid with moan;
For we are born in others’ pain,
And perish in our own.

Francis Thompson

Love’s Memory

From “All ’s Well That Ends Well,” Act I. Sc. 1.

I am undone: there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away. It were all one,
That I should love a bright particular star,
And think to wed it, he is so above me:
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
The ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
The hind that would be mated by the lion
Must die for love. ’T was pretty, though a plague,
To see him every hour; to sit and draw
His archèd brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
In our heart’s table,—heart too capable
Of every line and trick of his sweet favor:
But now he ’s gone, and my idolatrous fancy
Must sanctify his relics.

William Shakespeare


They are so sad to say: no poem tells
The agony of hearts that dwells
In lone and last farewells.

They are like deaths: they bring a wintry chill
To summer’s roses, and to summer’s rill;
And yet we breathe them still.

For pure as altar-lights hearts pass away;
Hearts! we said to them, “Stay with us! stay!”
And they said, sighing as they said it, “Nay.”

The sunniest days are shortest; darkness tells
The starless story of the night that dwells
In lone and last farewells.

Two faces meet here, there, or anywhere:
Each wears the thoughts the other face may wear;
Their hearts may break, breathing, “Farewell fore’er.”

Abram Joseph Ryan

“What ails this heart o’ mine?”

What ails this heart o’ mine?
What ails this watery ee?
What gars me a’ turn pale as death
When I take leave o’ thee?
When thou art far awa’,
Thou ’lt dearer grow to me;
But change o’ place and change o’ folk
May gar thy fancy jee.

When I gae out at e’en,
Or walk at morning air,
Ilk rustling bush will seem to say
I used to meet thee there:
Then I ’ll sit down and cry,
And live aneath the tree,
And when a leaf fa’s i’ my lap,
I ’ll ca ’t a word frae thee.

I ’ll hie me to the bower
That thou wi’ roses tied,
And where wi’ mony a blushing bud
I strove myself to hide.
I ’ll doat on ilka spot
Where I ha’e been wi’ thee;
And ca’ to mind some kindly word
By ilka burn and tree.

Susanna Blamire

Song of Egla

Day, in melting purple dying;
Blossoms, all around me sighing;
Fragrance, from the lilies straying;
Zephyr, with my ringlets playing;
Ye but waken my distress;
I am sick of loneliness!

Thou, to whom I love to hearken,
Come, ere night around me darken;
Though thy softness but deceive me,
Say thou ’rt true, and I ’ll believe thee;
Veil, if ill, thy soul’s intent,
Let me think it innocent!

Save thy toiling, spare thy treasure;
All I ask is friendship’s pleasure;
Let the shining ore lie darkling,—
Bring no gem in lustre sparkling;
Gifts and gold are naught to me,
I would only look on thee!

Tell to thee the high-wrought feeling,
Ecstasy but in revealing;
Paint to thee the deep sensation,
Rapture in participation;
Yet but torture, if comprest
In a lone, unfriended breast.

Absent still! Ah! come and bless me!
Let these eyes again caress thee.
Once in caution, I could fly thee;
Now, I nothing could deny thee.
In a look if death there be,
Come, and I will gaze on thee!

Maria Gowen Brooks (Maria del Occidente)

Robin Adair

What’s this dull town to me?
Robin ’s not near,—
He whom I wished to see,
Wished for to hear;
Where ’s all the joy and mirth
Made life a heaven on earth,
O, they ’re all fled with thee,
Robin Adair!

What made the assembly shine?
Robin Adair:
What made the ball so fine?
Robin was there:
What, when the play was o’er,
What made my heart so sore?
O, it was parting with
Robin Adair!

But now thou art far from me,
Robin Adair;
But now I never see
Robin Adair;
Yet him I loved so well
Still in my heart shall dwell;
O, I can ne’er forget
Robin Adair!

Welcome on shore again,
Robin Adair!
Welcome once more again,
Robin Adair!
I feel thy trembling hand;
Tears in thy eyelids stand,
To greet thy native land,
Robin Adair!

Long I ne’er saw thee, love,
Robin Adair;
Still I prayed for thee, love,
Robin Adair;
When thou wert far at sea,
Many made love to me,
But still I thought on thee,
Robin Adair.

Come to my heart again,
Robin Adair;
Never to part again,
Robin Adair;
And if thou still art true,
I will be constant too,
And will wed none but you,
Robin Adair!

Lady Caroline Keppel

Old Folks at Home

Way down upon de Swanee Ribber,
Far, far away,
Dere ’s wha my heart is turning ebber,
Dere ’s wha de old folks stay.
All up and down de whole creation
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for de old plantation,
And for de old folks at home.

All de world am sad and dreary,
Ebery where I roam;
Oh, darkeys, how my heart grows weary,
Far from de old folks at home!

All round de little farm I wandered
When I was young,
Den many happy days I squandered,
Many de songs I sung.
When I was playing wid my brudder
Happy was I;
Oh, take me to my kind old mudder!
Dere let me live and die.

One little hut among de bushes,
One dat I love,
Still sadly to my memory rushes,
No matter where I rove.
When will I see de bees a-humming
All round de comb?
When will I hear de banjo tumming,
Down in my good old home?

All de world am sad and dreary,
Ebery where I roam;
Oh, darkeys, how my heart grows weary,
Far from de old folks at home!

Stephen Collins Foster

My Old Kentucky Home

Negro Song

The sun shines bright on our old Kentucky home;
’T is summer, the darkeys are gay;
The corn top ’s ripe and the meadow ’s in the bloom,
While the birds make music all the day;
The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,
All merry, all happy, all bright;
By’m by hard times comes a knockin’ at the door,—
Then, my old Kentucky home, good night!

Weep no more, my lady; O, weep no more to-day!
We ’ll sing one song for the old Kentucky home,
For our old Kentucky home far away.

They hunt no more for the possum and the coon,
On the meadow, the hill, and the shore;
They sing no more by the glimmer of the moon,
On the bench by the old cabin door;
The day goes by, like the shadow o’er the heart,
With sorrow where all was delight;
The time has come, when the darkeys have to part,
Then, my old Kentucky home, good night!

Weep no more, my lady, etc.

The head must bow, and the back will have to bend,
Wherever the darkey may go;
A few more days, and the troubles all will end,
In the field where the sugar-canes grow;
A few more days to tote the weary load,
No matter, it will never be light;
A few more days till we totter on the road,
Then, my old Kentucky home, good night!

Weep no more, my lady; O, weep no more to-day!
We ’ll sing one song for the old Kentucky home,
For our old Kentucky home far away.

Stephen Collins Foster

Parting of Hector and Andromache

From the Greek by Alexander Pope

From “The Iliad,” Book VI.

“Too daring prince! ah whither dost thou run?
Ah too forgetful of thy wife and son!
And think’st thou not how wretched we shall be,
A widow I, a helpless orphan he!
For sure such courage length of life denies,
And thou must fall, thy virtue’s sacrifice.
Greece in her single heroes strove in vain;
Now hosts oppose thee, and thou must be slain!
Oh grant me, gods! ere Hector meets his doom,
All I can ask of heaven, an early tomb!
So shall my days in one sad tenor run,
And end with sorrows as they first begun.
No parent now remains, my griefs to share,
No father’s aid, no mother’s tender care.
The fierce Achilles wrapt our walls in fire,
Laid Thebè waste, and slew my warlike sire!
His fate compassion in the victor bred;
Stern as he was, he yet revered the dead,
His radiant arms preserved from hostile spoil,
And laid him decent on the funeral pile;
Then raised a mountain where his bones were burned;
The mountain nymphs the rural tomb adorned;
Jove’s sylvan daughters bade their elms bestow
A barren shade, and in his honor grow.

*        *        *        *        *

“Yet while my Hector still survives, I see
My father, mother, brethren, all, in thee.
Alas! my parents, brothers, kindred, all,
Once more will perish if my Hector fall.
Thy wife, thy infant, in thy danger share;
Oh prove a husband’s and a father’s care!
That quarter most the skillful Greeks annoy,
Where yon wild fig-trees join the wall of Troy:
Thou, from this tower defend th’ important post;
There Agamemnon points his dreadful host,
That pass Tydides, Ajax, strive to gain,
And there the vengeful Spartan fires his train.
Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have given,
Or led by hopes, or dictated from heaven.
Let others in the field their arms employ,
But stay my Hector here, and guard his Troy.”
The chief replied: “That post shall be my care,
Nor that alone, but all the works of war.
[How would the sons of Troy, in arms renowned,
And Troy’s proud dames, whose garments sweep the ground,
Attaint the lustre of my former name,
Should Hector basely quit the field of fame?
My early youth was bred to martial pains,
My soul impels me to th’ embattled plains:
Let me be foremost to defend the throne,
And guard my father’s glories, and my own.
Yet come it will, the day decreed by fates;
(How my heart trembles while my tongue relates)
The day when thou, imperial Troy! must bend,
And see thy warriors fall, thy glories end.
And yet no dire presage so wounds my mind,
My mother’s death, the ruin of my kind,
Not Priam’s hoary hairs denied with gore,
Not all my brothers gasping on the shore;
As thine, Andromachè! thy griefs I dread;
I see thee trembling, weeping, captive led!]
In Argive looms our battles to design,
And woes of which so large a part was thine!
To bear the victor’s hard commands or bring
The weight of waters from Hyperia’s spring.
There, while you groan beneath the load of life,
They cry, Behold the mighty Hector’s wife!
Some haughty Greek, who lives thy tears to see,
Embitters all thy woes by naming me.
The thoughts of glory past, and present shame,
A thousand griefs, shall waken at the name!
May I lie cold before that dreadful day,
Pressed with a load of monumental clay!
Thy Hector, wrapped in everlasting sleep,
Shall neither hear thee sigh, nor see thee weep.”
Thus having spoke, th’ illustrious chief of Troy
Stretched his fond arms to clasp the lovely boy.
The babe clung crying to his nurse’s breast,
Scared at the dazzling helm, and nodding crest.
With secret pleasure each fond parent smiled,
And Hector hastèd to relieve his child;
The glittering terrors from his brows unbound,
And placed the beaming helmet on the ground.
Then kissed the child, and, lifting high in air,
Thus to the gods preferred a father’s prayer:
“O thou whose glory fills th’ ethereal throne,
And all ye deathless powers! protect my son!
Grant him, like me, to purchase just renown,
To guard the Trojans, to defend the crown,
Against his country’s foes the war to wage,
And rise the Hector of the future age!
So when, triumphant from successful toils,
Of heroes slain he bears the reeking spoils,
Whole hosts may hail him with deserved acclaim,
And say, This chief transcends his father’s fame:
While pleased, amidst the general shouts of Troy,
His mother’s conscious heart o’erflows with joy.”
He spoke, and fondly gazing on her charms
Restored the pleasing burden to her arms;
Soft on her fragrant breast the babe she laid,
Hushed to repose, and with a smile surveyed.
The troubled pleasure soon chastised by fear,
She mingled with the smile a tender tear.
The softened chief with kind compassion viewed,
And dried the falling drops, and thus pursued:
“Andromachè! my soul’s far better part,
Why with untimely sorrows heaves thy heart?
No hostile hand can antedate my doom,
Till fate condemns me to the silent tomb.
Fixed is the term to all the race of earth,
And such the hard condition of our birth.
No force can then resist, no flight can save;
All sink alike, the fearful and the brave.
No more—but hasten to thy tasks at home,
There guide the spindle, and direct the loom:
Me glory summons to the martial scene,
The field of combat is the sphere for men.
Where heroes war, the foremost place I claim,
The first in danger as the first in fame.”
Thus having said, the glorious chief resumes
His towery helmet, black with shading plumes.
His princess parts with a prophetic sigh,
Unwilling parts, and oft reverts her eye,
That streamed at every look: then, moving slow,
Sought her own palace, and indulged her woe.
There, while her tears deplored the godlike man,
Through all her train the soft infection ran;
The pious maids their mingled sorrows shed,
And mourn the living Hector as the dead.


So, here is the greatest compilation of poems about farewell and absence.

Let me know which one is your favorite! 😉


Top 10 Most Popular Poems of Henry Kendall

These are the top ten (10) most popular poems of Henry Kendall.

From How the Melbourne Cup was Won to Christmas Creek.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!.

How the Melbourne Cup was Won

In the beams of a beautiful day,
Made soft by a breeze from the sea,
The horses were started away,
The fleet-footed thirty and three;
Where beauty, with shining attire,
Shed more than a noon on the land,
Like spirits of thunder and fire
They flashed by the fence and the stand.

And the mouths of pale thousands were hushed
When Somnus, a marvel of strength,
Past Bowes like a sudden wind rushed,
And led the bay colt by a length;
But a chestnut came galloping through,
And, down where the river-tide steals,
O’Brien, on brave Waterloo,
Dashed up to the big horse’s heels.

But Cracknell still kept to the fore,
And first by the water bend wheeled,
When a cry from the stand, and a roar
Ran over green furlongs of field;
Far out by the back of the course —
A demon of muscle and pluck —
Flashed onward the favourite horse,
With his hoofs flaming clear of the ruck.

But the wonderful Queenslander came,
And the thundering leaders were three;
And a ring, and a roll of acclaim,
Went out, like a surge of the sea:
“An Epigram! Epigram wins!” —
“The Colt of the Derby” — “The bay!”
But back where the crescent begins
The favourite melted away.

And the marvel that came from the North,
With another, was heavily thrown;
And here at the turning flashed forth
To the front a surprising unknown;
By shed and by paddock and gate
The strange, the magnificent black,
Led Darebin a length in the straight,
With thirty and one at his back.

But the Derby colt tired at the rails,
And Ivory’s marvellous bay
Passed Burton, O’Brien, and Hales,
As fleet as a flash of the day.
But Gough on the African star
Came clear in the front of his “field”,
Hard followed by Morrison’s Czar
And the blood unaccustomed to yield.

Yes, first from the turn to the end,
With a boy on him paler than ghost,
The horse that had hardly a friend
Shot flashing like fire by the post.
When Graham was “riding” ‘twas late
For his friends to applaud on the stands,
The black, through the bend and “the straight”,
Had the race of the year in his hands.

In a clamour of calls and acclaim,
He landed the money — the horse
With the beautiful African name,
That rang to the back of the course.
Hurrah for the Hercules race,
And the terror that came from his stall,
With the bright, the intelligent face,
To show the road home to them all!

Henry Kendall

A Birthday Trifle

Here in this gold-green evening end,
While air is soft and sky is clear,
What tender message shall I send
To her I hold so dear?
What rose of song with breath like myrrh,
And leaf of dew and fair pure beams
Shall I select and give to her—
The lady of my dreams?

Alas! the blossom I would take,
The song as sweet as Persian speech,
And carry for my lady’s sake,
Is not within my reach.
I have no perfect gift of words,
Or I would hasten now to send
A ballad full of tunes of birds
To please my lovely friend.

But this pure pleasure is my own,
That I have power to waft away
A hope as bright as heaven’s zone
On this her natal day.
May all her life be like the light
That softens down in spheres divine,
“As lovely as a Lapland night,”
All grace and chastened shine!

Henry Kendall

At Dusk

At dusk, like flowers that shun the day,
Shy thoughts from dim recesses break,
And plead for words I dare not say
For your sweet sake.

My early love! my first, my last!
Mistakes have been that both must rue;
But all the passion of the past
Survives for you.

The tender message Hope might send
Sinks fainting at the lips of speech,
For, are you lover—are you friend,
That I would reach?

How much to-night I’d give to win
A banished peace—an old repose;
But here I sit, and sigh, and sin
When no one knows.

The stern, the steadfast reticence,
Which made the dearest phrases halt,
And checked a first and finest sense,
Was not my fault.

I held my words because there grew
About my life persistent pride;
And you were loved, who never knew
What love could hide!

This purpose filled my soul like flame:
To win you wealth and take the place
Where care is not, nor any shame
To vex your face.

I said “Till then my heart must keep
Its secrets safe and unconfest;”
And days and nights unknown to sleep
The vow attest.

Yet, oh! my sweet, it seems so long
Since you were near; and fates retard
The sequel of a struggle strong,
And life is hard—

Too hard, when one is left alone
To wrestle passion, never free
To turn and say to you, “My own,
Come home to me!”

Henry Kendall


Hath he not followed a star through the darkness,
Ye people who sit at the table of Jephthah?
Oh! turn with the face to a light in the mountains,
Behold it is further from Achan than ever!

“I know how it is with my brothers in Mizpeh,”
Said Achan, the swift-footed runner of Zorah,
“They look at the wood they have hewn for the altar;
And think of a shadow in sackcloth and ashes.

“I know how it is with the daughter of Jephthah,
(O Ada, my love, and the fairest of women!)
She wails in the time when her heart is so zealous
For God who hath stricken the children of Ammon.

“I said I would bring her the odours of Edom,
And armfuls of spices to set at the banquet!
Behold I have fronted the chieftain her father;
And strong men have wept for the leader of thousands!

“My love is a rose of the roses of Sharon,
All lonely and bright as the Moon in the myrtles!
Her lips, like to honeycombs, fill with the sweetness
That Achan the thirsty is hindered from drinking.

“Her women have wept for the love that is wasted
Like wine, which is spilt when the people are wanting,
And hot winds have dried all the cisterns of Elim!
For love that is wasted her women were wailing!

“The timbrels fall silent! And dost thou not hear it,
A voice, like the sound of a lute when we loiter,
And sit by the pools in the valleys of Arnon,
And suck the cool grapes that are growing in clusters?

“She glides, like a myrrh-scented wind, through the willows,
O Ada! behold it is Achan that speaketh:
I know thou art near me, but never can see thee,
Because of the horrible drouth in mine eyelids.”

Henry Kendall

Aboriginal Death-Song

Feet of the flying, and fierce
Tops of the sharp-headed spear,
Hard by the thickets that pierce,
Lo! they are nimble and near.

Women are we, and the wives
Strong Arrawatta hath won;
Weary because of our lives,
Sick of the face of the sun.

Koola, our love and our light,
What have they done unto you?
Man of the star-reaching sight,
Dipped in the fire and the dew.

Black-headed snakes in the grass
Struck at the fleet-footed lord
Still is his voice at the pass,
Soundless his step at the ford.

Far by the forested glen,
Starkly he lies in the rain;
Kings of the council of men
Shout for their leader in vain.

Yea, and the fish-river clear
Never shall blacken below
Spear and the shadow of spear,
Bow and the shadow of bow.

Hunter and climber of trees,
Now doth his tomahawk rust,
(Dread of the cunning wild bees),
Hidden in hillocks of dust.

We, who were followed and bound,
Dashed under foot by the foe,
Sit with our eyes to the ground,
Faint from the brand and the blow.

Dumb with the sorrow that kills,
Sorrow for brother and chief,
Terror of thundering hills,
Having no hope in our grief,

Seeing the fathers are far
Seeking the spoils of the dead
Left on the path of the war,
Matted and mangled and red.

Henry Kendall


A splendid sun betwixt the trees
Long spikes of flame did shoot,
When turning to the fragrant South,
With longing eyes and burning mouth,
I stretched a hand athwart the drouth,
And plucked at cooling fruit.

So thirst was quenched, and hastening on
With strength returned to me,
I set my face against the noon,
And reached a denser forest soon;
Which dipped into a still lagoon
Hard by the sooming sea.

All day the ocean beat on bar
And bank of gleaming sand;
Yet that lone pool was always mild,
It never moved when waves were wild,
But slumbered, like a quiet child,
Upon the lap of land.

And when I rested on the brink,
Amongst the fallen flowers,
I lay in calm; no leaves were stirred
By breath of wind, or wing of bird;
It was so still, you might have heard
The footfalls of the hours.

Faint slumbrous scents of roses filled
The air which covered me:
My words were low — “she loved them so,
In Eden vales such odours blow:
How strange it is that roses grow
So near the shores of Sea!”

A sweeter fragrance never came
Across the Fields of Yore!
And when I said — “we here would dwell,” —
A low voice on the silence fell —
“Ah! if you loved the roses well,
You loved Aileen the more.”

“Ay, that I did, and now would turn,
And fall and worship her!
But Oh, you dwell so far — so high!
One cannot reach, though he may try,
The Morning land, and Jasper sky —
The balmy hills of Myrrh.

“Why vex me with delicious hints
Of fairest face, and rarest blooms;
You Spirit of a darling Dream
Which links itself with every theme
And thought of mine by surf or stream,
In glens — or caverned glooms?”

She said, “thy wishes led me down,
From amaranthine bowers:
And since my face was haunting thee
With roses (dear which used to be),
They all have hither followed me,
The scents and shapes of flowers.”

“Then stay, mine own evangel, stay!
Or, going, take me too;
But let me sojourn by your side,
If here we dwell or there abide,
It matters not!” I madly cried —
“I only care for you.”

Oh, glittering Form that would not stay! —
Oh, sudden, sighing breeze!
A fainting rainbow dropped below
Far gleaming peaks and walls of snow
And there, a weary way, I go,
Towards the Sunrise seas.

Henry Kendall

After Many Years

The song that once I dreamed about,
The tender, touching thing,
As radiant as the rose without
The love of wind and wing
The perfect verses, to the tune
Of woodland music set,
As beautiful as afternoon,
Remain unwritten yet.

It is too late to write them now
The ancient fire is cold;
No ardent lights illume the brow,
As in the days of old.
I cannot dream the dream again;
But when the happy birds
Are singing in the sunny rain,
I think I hear its words.

I think I hear the echo still
Of long-forgotten tones,
When evening winds are on the hill
And sunset fires the cones;
But only in the hours supreme,
With songs of land and sea,
The lyrics of the leaf and stream,
This echo comes to me.

No longer doth the earth reveal
Her gracious green and gold;
I sit where youth was once, and feel
That I am growing old.
The lustre from the face of things
Is wearing all away;
Like one who halts with tired wings,
I rest and muse to-day.

There is a river in the range
I love to think about;
Perhaps the searching feet of change
Have never found it out.
Ah! oftentimes I used to look
Upon its banks, and long
To steal the beauty of that brook
And put it in a song.

I wonder if the slopes of moss,
In dreams so dear to me
The falls of flower, and flower-like floss
Are as they used to be!
I wonder if the waterfalls,
The singers far and fair,
That gleamed between the wet, green walls,
Are still the marvels there!

Ah! let me hope that in that place
The old familiar things
To which I turn a wistful face
Have never taken wings.
Let me retain the fancy still
That, past the lordly range,
There always shines, in folds of hill,
One spot secure from change!

I trust that yet the tender screen
That shades a certain nook,
Remains, with all its gold and green,
The glory of the brook.
It hides a secret to the birds
And waters only known:
The letters of two lovely words
A poem on a stone.

Perhaps the lady of the past
Upon these lines may light,
The purest verses, and the last
That I may ever write.
She need not fear a word of blame
Her tale the flowers keep
The wind that heard me breathe her name
Has been for years asleep.

But in the night, and when the rain
The troubled torrent fills,
I often think I see again
The river in the hills;
And when the day is very near,
And birds are on the wing,
My spirit fancies it can hear
The song I cannot sing.

Henry Kendall

The Far Future

Australia, advancing with rapid winged stride,
Shall plant among nations her banners in pride,
The yoke of dependence aside she will cast,
And build on the ruins and wrecks of the Past.
Her flag on the tempest will wave to proclaim
’Mong kingdoms and empires her national name;
The Future shall see it, asleep or unfurl’d,
The shelter of Freedom and boast of the world.

Australia, advancing like day on the sky,
Has glimmer’d thro’ darkness, will blazon on high,
A Gem in its glitter has yet to be seen,
When Progress has placed her where England has been;
When bursting those limits above she will soar,
Outstretching all rivals who’ve mounted before,
And, resting, will blaze with her glories unfurl’d,
The empire of empires and boast of the world.

Australia, advancing with Power, will entwine
With Honour and Justice a Mercy divine;
No Despot shall trample—no slave shall be bound—
Oppression must totter and fall to the ground.
The stain of all ages, tyrannical sway,
Will pass like a flash or a shadow away,
And shrink to nothing ’neath thunderbolts hurl’d
From the hand of the terror—the boast of the world.

Australia, advancing with rapid wing’d stride,
Shall plant among nations her banners in pride;
The yoke of dependence aside she will cast,
And build on the ruins and wrecks of the Past.
Her flag in the tempest will wave to proclaim,
’Mong kingdoms and empires her national name,
And Ages shall see it, asleep or unfurl’d
The shelter of Freedom and boast of the world.

Henry Kendall


Daphne! Ladon’s daughter, Daphne! Set thyself in silver light,
Take thy thoughts of fairest texture, weave them into words of white –
Weave the rhyme of rose-lipped Daphne, nymph of wooded stream and shade,
Flying love of bright Apollo, – fleeting type of faultless maid!
She, when followed from the forelands by the lord of lyre and lute,
Sped towards far-singing waters, past deep gardens flushed with fruit;
Took the path against Peneus, panted by its yellow banks;
Turned, and looked, and flew the faster through grey-tufted thicket ranks;
Flashed amongst high flowered sedges: leaped across the brook, and ran
Down to where the fourfold shadows of a nether glade began;
There she dropped, like falling Hesper, heavy hair of radiant head
Hiding all the young abundance of her beauty’s white and red.

Came the yellow-tressed Far-darter – came the god whose feet are fire,
On his lips the name of Daphne, in his eyes a great desire;
Fond, full lips of lord and lover, sad because of suit denied;
Clear, grey eyes made keen by passion, panting, pained, unsatisfied.
Here he turned, and there he halted, now he paused, and now he flew,
Swifter than his sister’s arrows, through soft dells of dreamy dew.
Vext with gleams of Ladon’s daughter, dashed along the son of Jove,
Fast upon flower-trammelled Daphne fleeting on from grove to grove;
Flights of seawind hard behind him, breaths of bleak and whistling straits;
Drifts of driving cloud above him, like a troop of fierce-eyed Fates!
So he reached the water-shallows; then he stayed his steps, and heard
Daphne drop upon the grasses, fluttering like a wounded bird.

Was there help for Ladon’s daughter? Saturn’s son is high and just:
Did he come between her beauty and the fierce Far-darter’s lust?
As she lay, the helpless maiden, caught and bound in fast eclipse,
Did the lips of god drain pleasure from her sweet and swooning lips?
Now that these and all Love’s treasures blushed, before the spoiler, bare,
Was the wrong that shall be nameless done, and seen, and suffered there?
No! for Zeus is King and Father. Weary nymph and fiery god,
Bend the knee alike before him – he is kind, and he is lord!
Therefore sing how clear-browed Pallas – Pallas, friend of prayerful maid,
Lifted dazzling Daphne lightly, bore her down the breathless glade,
Did the thing that Zeus commanded: so it came to pass that he
Who had chased a white-armed virgin, caught at her, and clasped a tree.

Henry Kendall

Christmas Creek

Phantom streams were in the distance – mocking lights of lake and pool –
Ghosts of trees of soft green lustre – groves of shadows deep and cool!
Yea, some devil ran before them changing skies of brass to blue,
Setting bloom where curse is planted, where a grass-blade never grew.
Six there were, and high above them glared a wild and wizened sun,
Ninety leagues from where the waters of the singing valleys run.
There before them, there behind them, was the great, stark, stubborn plain,
Where the dry winds hiss for ever, and the blind earth moans for rain!
Ringed about by tracks of furnace, ninety leagues from stream and tree,
Six there were, with wasted faces, working northwards to the sea!

 .         .         .         .         .

Ah, the bitter, hopeless desert! Here these broken human wrecks
Trod the wilds where sand of fire is with the spiteful spinifex,
Toiled through spheres that no bird knows of, where with fiery emphasis
Hell hath stamped its awful mint-mark deep on every thing that is!
Toiled and thirsted, strove and suffered! ~This~ was where December’s breath
As a wind of smiting flame is on weird, haggard wastes of death!
This was where a withered moan is, and the gleam of weak, wan star,
And a thunder full of menace sends its mighty voices far!
This was where black execrations, from some dark tribunal hurled,
Set the brand of curse on all things in the morning of the world!

 .         .         .         .         .

One man yielded – then another – then a lad of nineteen years
Reeled and fell, with English rivers singing softly in his ears,
English grasses started round him – then the grace of Sussex lea
Came and touched him with the beauty of a green land by the sea!
Old-world faces thronged about him – old-world voices spoke to him;
But his speech was like a whisper, and his eyes were very dim.
In a dream of golden evening, beaming on a quiet strand,
Lay the stranger till a bright One came and took him by the hand.
England vanished; died the voices; but he heard a holier tone,
And an angel that we know not led him to the lands unknown!

 .         .         .         .         .

Six there were, but three were taken! Three were left to struggle still;
But against the red horizon flamed a horn of brindled hill!
But beyond the northern skyline, past a wall of steep austere,
Lay the land of light and coolness in an April-coloured year!
‘Courage, brothers!’ cried the leader. ‘On the slope of yonder peak
There are tracts of herb and shadow, and the channels of the creek!’
So they made one last great effort – haled their beasts through brake and briar,
Set their feet on spurs of furnace, grappled spikes and crags of fire,
Fought the stubborn mountain forces, smote down naked, natural powers,
Till they gazed from thrones of Morning on a sphere of streams and flowers.

Out behind them was the desert, glaring like a sea of brass!
Here before them were the valleys, fair with moonlight-coloured grass!
At their backs were haggard waste-lands, bickering in a wicked blaze!
In their faces beamed the waters, marching down melodious ways!
Touching was the cool, soft lustre over laps of lawn and lea;
And majestic was the great road Morning made across the sea.
On the sacred day of Christmas, after seven months of grief,
Rested three of six who started, on a bank of moss and leaf –
Rested by a running river, in a hushed, a holy week;
And they named the stream that saved them – named it fitly – ‘Christmas Creek’.

Henry Kendall

These are extraordinarily poems indeed! Henry Kendall was doubtlessly one of the best poets of all time and was specifically known for his poems and tales set in a natural environment setting.

I wouldn’t miss reading my most favorite work in his poetry collection―At Dusk. In my country, we always believe in the saying: “There will be no secrets that will stay hidden forever.” And for the time being, secrets that are still hidden will only imprison those who lied.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of Henry Kendall?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


Top 20 Most Popular Poems of William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

These are the top twenty (20) most popular poems of William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham).

From The Alabaster Box to The Gate.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!.

The Alabaster Box

The spikenard was not wasted;–
All down the tale of years,
The fragrance of that broken alabaster
Still clings to Mary’s memory,
As clung its perfume sweet unto her Master.

Not less than Martha,
Mary served her Lord,
Although she but sat worshipping,
While Martha spread the board.

They also minister to Christ,
And render noblest duty,
Whose sweet hands touch life’s common rounds
To Fragrance and to Beauty.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

The Little Poem Of Life

Small words, but mighty.
In their span
Are bound the life and hopes of man.

For, first, his thoughts of his own self are full;
Until another comes his heart to rule.
For them, life’s best is centred round their love;
Till younger lives come all their love to prove.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)


Lord, give me faith!–to live from day to day,
With tranquil heart to do my simple part,
And, with my hand in Thine, just go Thy way.

Lord, give me faith!–to trust, if not to know;
With quiet mind in all things Thee to find,
And, child-like, go where Thou wouldst have me go.

Lord, give me faith!–to leave it all to Thee,
The future is Thy gift, I would not lift
The vail Thy Love has hung ‘twixt it and me.


Say once again Thy sweet “I will!”
In answer to my prayers.
“Lord, if Thou wilt!”–
–“I will!
Rise up above thy cares!”

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

After Work

Lord, when Thou seest that my work is done,
Let me not linger on,
With failing powers,
Adown the weary hours,–
A workless worker in a world of work.
But, with a word,
Just bid me home,
And I will come
Right gladly,–
Yea, right gladly
Will I come.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

God’s Handwriting

He writes in characters too grand
For our short sight to understand;
We catch but broken strokes, and try
To fathom all the mystery
Of withered hopes, of death, of life,
The endless war, the useless strife,–
But there, with larger, clearer sight,
We shall see this–His way was right.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

Darkness And Light

There is darkness still, gross darkness, Lord,
On this fair earth of Thine.
There are prisoners still in the prison-house,
Where never a light doth shine.
There are doors still bolted against Thee,
There are faces set like a wall;
And over them all the Shadow of Death
Hangs like a pall.
Do you hear the voices calling,
Out there in the black of the night?
Do you hear the sobs of the women,
Who are barred from the blessed light?
And the children,–the little children,–
Do you hear their pitiful cry?
O brothers, we must seek them,
Or there in the dark they die!

Spread the Light! Spread the Light!
Till earth’s remotest bounds have heard
The glory of the Living Word;
Till those that see not have their sight;
Till all the fringes of the night
Are lifted, and the long-closed doors
Are wide for ever to the Light.
O then shall dawn the golden days,
To which true hearts are pressing;
When earth’s discordant strains shall blend–
The one true God confessing;
When Christly thought and Christly deed
Shall bind each heart and nation,
In one Grand Brotherhood of Men,
And one high consecration.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

A Little Te Deum For These Times

We thank Thee, Lord,
For mercies manifold in these dark days;–
For Heart of Grace that would not suffer wrong;
For all the stirrings in the dead dry bones;
For bold self-steeling to the times’ dread needs;
For every sacrifice of self to Thee;
For ease and wealth and life so freely given;
For Thy deep sounding of the hearts of men;
For Thy great opening of the hearts of men;
For Thy close-knitting of the hearts of men;
For all who sprang to answer the great call;
For their high courage and self-sacrifice;
For their endurance under deadly stress;
For all the unknown heroes who have died
To keep the land inviolate and free;
For all who come back from the Gates of Death;
For all who pass to larger life with Thee,
And find in Thee the wider liberty;
For hope of Righteous and Enduring Peace;
For hope of cleaner earth and closer heaven;
With burdened hearts, but faith unquenchable,–
We thank Thee, Lord!

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

The Ways

To every man there openeth
A Way, and Ways, and a Way.
And the High Soul climbs the High way,
And the Low Soul gropes the Low,
And in between, on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth
A High Way, and a Low.
And every man decideth
The Way his soul shall go.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)


Fold up the tent!
The sun is in the West.
To-morrow my untented soul will range
Among the blest.
And I am well content,
For what is sent, is sent,
And God knows best.

Fold up the tent,
And speed the parting guest!
The night draws on, though night and day are one
On this long quest.
This house was only lent
For my apprenticement–
What is, is best.

Fold up the tent!
Its slack ropes all undone,
Its pole all broken, and its cover rent,–
Its work is done.
But mine–tho’ spoiled and spent
Mine earthly tenement–
Is but begun.

Fold up the tent!
Its tenant would be gone,
To fairer skies than mortal eyes
May look upon.
All that I loved has passed,
And left me at the last

Fold up the tent!
Above the mountain’s crest,
I hear a clear voice calling, calling clear,–
“To rest! To rest!”
And I am glad to go,
For the sweet oil is low,
And rest is best!

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

Gadara, A.D. 31

Rabbi, begone! Thy powers
Bring loss to us and ours.
Our ways are not as Thine.
Thou lovest men, we–swine.
Oh, get you hence, Omnipotence,
And take this fool of Thine!
His soul? What care we for his soul?
What good to us that Thou hast made him whole,
Since we have lost our swine?

And Christ went sadly.
He had wrought for them a sign
Of Love, and Hope, and Tenderness divine;
They wanted–swine.
Christ stands without your door and gently knocks;
But if your gold, or swine, the entrance blocks,
He forces no man’s hold–he will depart,
And leave you to the treasures of your heart.

No cumbered chamber will the Master share,
But one swept bare
By cleansing fires, then plenished fresh and fair
With meekness, and humility, and prayer.
There will He come, yet, coming, even there
He stands and waits, and will no entrance win
Until the latch be lifted from within.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

Don’t Worry

Just do your best,
And leave the rest
To Him who gave you
And Zeal for Labour,–
And the Joy of Strife,–
And Zest of Love,–
And all that lifts your soul above
The lower things.

Life’s truest harvest is in what we would,
And strive our best for,
Not most in what we could.
The things we count supreme
Stand, haply, not so high
In God’s esteem
As How and Why.

All-Seeing Sight
Cleaves through the husk of things,
Right to the Roots and Springs,–
Sees all things whole,
And measures less the body than the soul.
All-Righteous Right
Will weigh men’s motives,
Not their deeds alone.
End and Beginning unto Him are one;
And would for could shall oft, perchance, atone.

Motives are seeds,
From which at times spring deeds
Not equal to the soul’s outreaching hope.
Strive for the stars!
Count nought well done but best!
Then, with brave patience, leave the rest
To Him who knows.
He’ll judge you justly ere the record close.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

Life’s Chequer-Board

“‘Tis all a Chequer-Board of Nights and Days,
Where Detiny with men for pieces plays,
Hither and thither moves, and mates and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.”

Omar Khayyam.

A Chequer-Board of mingled Light and Shade?
And We the Pieces on it deftly laid?
Moved and removed, without a word to say,
By the Same Hand that Board and Pieces made?

No Pieces we in any Fateful Game,
Nor free to shift on Destiny the blame;
Each Soul doth tend its own immortal flame,
Fans it to Heaven, or smothers it in shame.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)


Not what, but WHOM, I do believe,
That, in my darkest hour of need,
Hath comfort that no mortal creed
To mortal man may give;–
Not what, but WHOM!
For Christ is more than all the creeds,
And His full life of gentle deeds
Shall all the creeds outlive.
Not what I do believe, but WHOM!
WHO walks beside me in the gloom?
WHO shares the burden wearisome?
WHO all the dim way doth illume,
And bids me look beyond the tomb
The larger life to live?–
Not what I do believe,
Not what,

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

Hail!–And Farewell!

They died that we might live,–
Hail!–And Farewell!
–All honour give
To those who, nobly striving, nobly fell,
That we might live!

That we might live they died,–
Hail!–And Farewell!
–Their courage tried,
By every mean device of treacherous hate,
Like Kings they died.

Eternal honour give,–
Hail!–And Farewell!–
–To those who died,
In that full splendour of heroic pride,
That we might live!

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

Hearts In Exile

O Exiled Hearts–for you, for you–
Love still can find the way!
Hear the voices of the women on the road!
O Shadowed Lives–for you, for you–
Hope hath not lost her ray!
Hear the laughter of the children on the road!
O Gloomy Night–for you, for you–
Dawn tells of coming day!
Hear the clink of breaking fetters on the road!
O Might sans Right–for you, for you–
The feet of crumbling clay!
Hear the slow, sure tread of Freedom on the road!

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

For The Men At The Front

Lord God of Hosts, whose mighty hand
Dominion holds on sea and land,
In Peace and War Thy Will we see
Shaping the larger liberty.
Nations may rise and nations fall,
Thy Changeless Purpose rules them all.

When Death flies swift on wave or field,
Be Thou a sure defence and shield!
Console and succour those who fall,
And help and hearten each and all!
O, hear a people’s prayers for those
Who fearless face their country’s foes!

For those who weak and broken lie,
In weariness and agony–
Great Healer, to their beds of pain
Come, touch, and make them whole again!
O, hear a people’s prayers, and bless
Thy servants in their hour of stress!

[Five million copies of this hymn have been sold and the profits given to the various Funds for the Wounded. It is now being sung all round the world.]

For those to whom the call shall come
We pray Thy tender welcome home.
The toil, the bitterness, all past,
We trust them to Thy Love at last.
O, hear a people’s prayers for all
Who, nobly striving, nobly fall!

To every stricken heart and home,
O, come! In tenderest pity, come!
To anxious souls who wait in fear,
Be Thou most wonderfully near!
And hear a people’s prayers, for faith
To quicken life and conquer death!

For those who minister and heal,
And spend themselves, their skill, their zeal–
Renew their hearts with Christ-like faith,
And guard them from disease and death.
And in Thine own good time, Lord, send
Thy Peace on earth till Time shall end!

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

The Pilgrim Way

But once I pass this way,
And then–no more.
But once–and then, the Silent Door
Swings on its hinges,–
Opens … closes,–
And no more
I pass this way.
So while I may,
With all my might,
I will essay
Sweet comfort and delight,
To all I meet upon the Pilgrim Way.
For no man travels twice
The Great Highway,
That climbs through Darkness up to Light,–
Through Night
To Day.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

The Empty Chair

Wherever is an empty chair–
Lord, be Thou there!
And fill it–like an answered prayer–
With grace of fragrant thought, and rare
Sweet memories of him whose place
Thou takest for a little space!–
–With thought of that heroical
Great heart that sprang to Duty’s call;
–With thought of all the best in him,
That Time shall have no power to dim;
–With thought of Duty nobly done,
And High Eternal Welfare won.

Think! Would you wish that he had stayed,
When all the rest The Call obeyed?
–That thought of self had held in thrall
His soul, and shrunk it mean and small?

Nay, rather thank the Lord that he
Rose to such height of chivalry;
–That, with the need, his loyal soul
Swung like a needle to its pole;
–That, setting duty first, he went
At once, as to a sacrament.

So, Lord, we thank Thee for Thy Grace,
And pray Thee fill his vacant place!

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

No East Or West

In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North,
But one great Fellowship of Love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

In Him shall true hearts everywhere
Their high communion find.
His service is the golden cord
Close-binding all mankind.

Join hands then, Brothers of the Faith,
Whatever your race may be!–
Who serves my Father as a son
Is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both East and West,
In Him meet South and North,
All Christly souls are one in Him,
Throughout the whole wide earth.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

The Gate

“A little child shall lead them.”

I trod an arduous way, but came at last
To where the city walls rose fair and white
Above the darkening plain,–a goodly sight.
And eagerly, while yet a great way off,
My eyes did seek the Gates–the Great White Gates
That close not ever, day or night, but stand
Wide as the love of Christ that opened them.
But nought could I discern of gate or breach,
The wall stood flawless far as eye could reach.

“But when I drew in closer to the wall,
I saw a lowly portal, strait and small;
So small, a man might hardly enter there,
Low-browed and shadowed, and close-pressed to earth–
A very needle’s eye–scarce visible.
I looked and wondered. Could this trivial way
Be the sole entrance to the light of day?
And as I stood perplext, a clear voice cried,–
Come! Enter in! The Gate is open wide.”

And while I stood in doubt, there came along
One of earth’s mighty ones–a conqueror
Of Kings. He looked for gates that should swing wide
To meet his high estate and welcome him.
He stood and gazed, then raised his voice and cried,
“My work on earth is done. I would within,”
And from the City wall the voice replied,–
“Come! Enter in! The Gate is open wide.”
He stood perplext, then set himself to wait,
Till Might should help him to discern the Gate.

Another came,–a man of mind so rare,
He scarce had breathed the common earthly air.
Knowledge was his, and wisdom so profound,
All things he knew in heaven and earth. No bound
To his accomplishment, until he sought
The great wide-opened Gate,–and found it not.
He stood perplext, and then cried wearily,
“Pray give me entrance. I am done with earth.”
And from the City wall the clear voice cried,–
“Come! Enter in! The Gate is open wide.”
He looked in vain, then set himself to wait,
Till Wisdom should direct him to the gate.

I saw a woman come, noble and fair,
And pure of heart, and in her goodly deeds
More richly robed than Fashion’s fairest queen.
And to myself I said,–“Surely for her
A way will open that she may go in!”
She said no word, but stood and looked upon
The shining walls, with eyes that answering shone.
And from the City wall the clear voice cried,–
“Come! Enter in! The Gate is open wide.”
She looked in vain, then set herself to wait,
Till Love should help her to discern the Gate.

And one there came, with clear keen face–a Judge
Of men on earth, and famed for fearless truth.
His robes were stainless and his heart was clean.
“Entrance I crave,” he cried, “to well-earned rest,–
And mercy-tempered justice and no more.”
And from the City wall the clear voice cried,–
“Come! Enter in! The Gate is open wide.”
He looked in vain, then set himself to wait
Till Judgment should direct him to the Gate.

And one there came, sad-eyed, his brow still raw
From pressure of an earthly crown. He too
Sought glorious entrance through wide-opened gates,
And stood perplext. He had borne well his part,
And served his people and his God, and died
The Martyr’s death, and yet he found no gate.
“I fain would rest,” he cried. “My life has been
One ceaseless striving. I would enter in.”
And from the City wall the clear voice cried,–
“Come! Enter in! The Gate is open wide.”
Perplext he stood, then set himself to wait,
Till Patient Waiting should discern the Gate.

And one who had had riches beyond most,
And yet subserved them to his Master’s good,
Came searching for the heavenly gates, and stood
Amazed to find no opening in the walls.
“I gave of all I had,” he cried, “and held
Nought as my own,–yet entrance is denied.”
And from the City wall the clear voice cried,–
“Come! Enter in! The Gate is open wide.”
He stood perplext, then set himself to wait
Till Charity should point him to the Gate.

And many more there were who entrance craved,
And sought the Great White Gates, and stood perplext.
And ever, from within, the clear voice cried,–
“Come! Enter in! The Gate is open wide.”
They sought in vain, and set themselves to wait
Till Light was given them to discern the Gate.

And then–a child in white came carolling
Along the arduous road we all had trod.
He stopped and looked, then laughed with childish glee,–
“Why wait ye here without? Come, follow me!”–
And passed, scarce bending, through the lowly door,–
We heard his singing,–him we saw no more.

The woman stooped and looked, with eyes that shone,
Into the doorway where the child had gone;
Then loosed her robes and dropped, and in a shift
Of pure white samite, on her hands and knees
She crept into the doorway and was gone,
And we stood gazing at the way she went.

And, one by one, they followed. First the Judge
Laid by his robes, and bowed him to the ground,
And followed–where the little child had led.
And he whose brow had borne that weighty crown
Bent low and followed,–where the little child had led.
And he who knew so much of earthly things
Discarded them, and, on his hands and knees,
Crept through the doorway,–where the little child had led.
And he of riches laid him in the dust
And followed,–where the little child had led.
And, last of all, the War Lord cast aside
His victor’s wreaths, and all his pomp and pride,
And followed,–where the little child had led.
And, groping through my fears, I bowed my head
And followed,–where the little child had led.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

These are extraordinarily poems indeed! No, a few of his poems became a bestseller. William Arthur Dunkerle was doubtlessly one of the noblest poets of all time. He even became Worthing’s Mayor in Sussex.

Of course, I wouldn’t miss reading my all-time favorite work in his poetry collection―The Little Poem Of Life. I couldn’t help but be amazed by how creative he wrote it.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


Poem Entries from December 1-January 31

Here is the first poem entry for this period by one of our aspiring poets out there.

I Wonder

I wonder what will my life turn out
Am I going up to North or going down South?
I wonder what to do to have a successful feast
Do I need to turn left to West or right to East?

I wonder what route do I need to travel
Am I going to ride a car or grab a boat to paddle
I wonder where will my life follow after
Do I need to fly on a plane or travel on water

I wonder where I am five years from now;
Am I single or have a wife and already made a bow?
I wonder what kind of a person am I already;
Do I feel successfully happy or stressfully lonely?

There are thousands of questions I’m always wondering
Thinking how will my life turn out after years of passing
But one thing is for sure, and I’m still confident about
I still have my life, and for answers, I still have time to figure them out.

© Anonymous 11/12/2021

This poem has a different vibe. It’s amusing how I can relate to this poem’s message. Well, who wouldn’t, of course. We’re always wondering about our lives, even the smallest things to the biggest decisions we need to make every day. And that’s normal. That’s why I like this poem; it’s realistic.

Overall, this poem is light yet fun to read; it’s one of the best-written works I’ve read. Thank you so much for sharing.

What about you? Do you also wonder and feel the same way as this poet?
If you’re going to share your thoughts by using a poem, what will it be?
You are also free to drop by and submit your poem whenever you want.

Don’t forget to like and comment if you also like this poem. 🙂


33 Greatest Poems about Thoughts

We all have diverse thoughts and opinions every day. It differs from what kinds of persons we are and what kind of situations we are in. Same with our poets, they also created masterpieces while sharing their thoughts through their poems.

These are thirty-three (33) greatest poems about thoughts. If you are fond of knowing what kinds of thoughts some poets have, these poems are for you.

Keep reading!

The Inner Vision

Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes
To pace the ground, if path there be or none,
While a fair region round the traveller lies
Which he forbears again to look upon;
Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene,
The work of fancy, or some happy tone
Of meditation, slipping in between
The beauty coming and the beauty gone.
If Thought and Love desert us, from that day
Let us break off all commerce with the Muse:
With Thought and Love companions of our way,—
Whate’er the senses take or may refuse,—
The mind’s internal Heaven shall shed her dews
Of inspiration on the humblest lay.

William Wordsworth


When I am all alone
Envy me most,
Then my thoughts flutter round me
In a glimmering host;

Some dressed in silver,
Some dressed in white,
Each like a taper
Blossoming light;

Most of them merry,
Some of them grave,
Each of them lithe
As willows that wave;

Some bearing violets,
Some bearing bay,
One with a burning rose
Hidden away.

When I am all alone
Envy me then,
For I have better friends
Than women and men.

Sara Teasdale


As they draw to a close,
Of what underlies the precedent songs of my aims in them;
Of the seed I have sought to plant in them;
Of joy, sweet joy, through many a year, in them;
(For them for them have I lived In them my work is done;)
Of many an aspiration fond of many a dream and plan,
Of you, O mystery great! to place on record faith in you, O death!
To compact you, ye parted, diverse lives!
To put rapport the mountains, and rocks, and streams,
And the winds of the north, and the forests of oak and pine,
With you, O soul of man.

Walt Whitman


Thought is deeper than all speech,
Feeling deeper than all thought;
Souls to souls can never teach
What unto themselves was taught.

We are spirits clad in veils;
Man by man was never seen;
All our deep communing fails
To remove the shadowy screen.

Heart to heart was never known;
Mind with mind did never meet;
We are columns left alone
Of a temple once complete.

Like the stars that gem the sky,
Far apart, though seeming near,
In our light we scattered lie;
All is thus but starlight here.

What is social company
But a babbling summer stream?
What our wise philosophy
But the glancing of a dream?

Only when the sun of love
Melts the scattered stars of thought,
Only when we live above
What the dim-eyed world hath taught,

Only when our souls are fed
By the fount which gave them birth,
And by inspiration led
Which they never drew from earth,

We, like parted drops of rain,
Swelling till they meet and run,
Shall be all absorbed again,
Melting, flowing into one.

Christopher Pearse Cranch


Of obedience, faith, adhesiveness;
As I stand aloof and look, there is to me something profoundly affecting in large masses of men, following the lead of those who do not believe in men.

Walt Whitman


From the Spanish by Edward Fitzgerald

From “Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made of”

And yet—and yet—in these our ghostly lives,
Half night, half day, half sleeping, half awake,
How if our waking life, like that of sleep,
Be all a dream in that eternal life
To which we wake not till we sleep in death?
How if, I say, the senses we now trust
For date of sensible comparison,—
Ay, ev’n the Reason’s self that dates with them,
Should be in essence of intensity
Hereafter so transcended, and awoke
To a perceptive subtlety so keen
As to confess themselves befooled before,
In all that now they will avouch for most?
One man—like this—but only so much longer
As life is longer than a summer’s day,
Believed himself a king upon his throne,
And played at hazard with his fellows’ lives,
Who cheaply dreamed away their lives to him.
The sailor dreamed of tossing on the flood:
The soldier, of his laurels grown in blood:
The lover, of the beauty that he knew
Must yet dissolve to dusty residue:
The merchant and the miser of his bags
Of fingered gold; the beggar of his rags:
And all this stage of earth on which we seem
Such busy actors, and the parts we played
Substantial as the shadow of a shade,
And Dreaming but a dream within a dream!

Pedro Calderón de la Barca


Of persons arrived at high positions, ceremonies, wealth, scholarships, and the like;
To me, all that those persons have arrived at, sinks away from them, except as it results to their Bodies and Souls,
So that often to me they appear gaunt and naked;
And often, to me, each one mocks the others, and mocks himself or herself,
And of each one, the core of life, namely happiness, is full of the rotten excrement of maggots,
And often, to me, those men and women pass unwittingly the true realities of life, and go toward false realities,
And often, to me, they are alive after what custom has served them, but nothing more,
And often, to me, they are sad, hasty, unwaked sonnambules, walking the dusk.

Walt Whitman

“My minde to me a kingdom is”

My minde to me a kingdom is;
Such perfect joy therein I finde
As farre exceeds all earthly blisse
That God or nature hath assignde;
Though much I want that most would have,
Yet still my minde forbids to crave.

Content I live; this is my stay,—
I seek no more than may suffice.
I presse to beare no haughtie sway;
Look, what I lack my mind supplies.
Loe, thus I triumph like a king,
Content with that my minde doth bring.

I see how plentie surfets oft,
And hastie clymbers soon do fall;
I see that such as sit aloft
Mishap doth threaten most of all.
These get with toile, they keepe with feare;
Such cares my minde could never beare.

No princely pompe nor welthie store,
No force to win the victorie,
No wylie wit to salve a sore,
No shape to winne a lover’s eye,—
To none of these I yeeld as thrall;
For why, my mind despiseth all.

Some have too much, yet still they crave;
I little have, yet seek no more.
They are but poore, though much they have,
And I am rich with little store.
They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;
They lacke, I lend; they pine, I live.

I laugh not at another’s losse,
I grudge not at another’s gaine;
No worldly wave my mind can tosse;
I brooke that is another’s bane.
I feare no foe, I fawne no friend;
I lothe not life, nor dread mine end.

I joy not in no earthly blisse;
I weigh not Crœsus’ wealth a straw;
For care, I care not what it is;
I feare not fortune’s fatal law;
My minde is such as may not move
For beautie bright, or force of love.

I wish but what I have at will;
I wander not to seeke for more;
I like the plaine, I clime no hill;
In greatest stormes I sitte on shore,
And laugh at them that toile in vaine
To get what must be lost againe.

I kisse not where I wish to kill;
I feigne not love where most I hate;
I breake no sleepe to winne my will;
I wayte not at the mightie’s gate.
I scorne no poore, I feare no rich;
I feele no want, nor have too much.

The court ne cart I like ne loath,—
Extreames are counted worst of all;
The golden meane betwixt them both
Doth surest sit, and feares no fall;
This is my choyce; for why, I finde
No wealth is like a quiet minde.

My wealth is health and perfect ease;
My conscience clere my chiefe defence;
I neither seeke by bribes to please,
Nor by desert to breed offence.
Thus do I live; thus will I die;
Would all did so as well as I!

Sir Edward Dyer


As I sit with others, at a great feast, suddenly, while the music is playing,
To my mind, (whence it comes I know not,) spectral, in mist, of a wreck at sea;
Of certain ships, how they sail from port with flying streamers, and wafted kisses, and that is the last of them!
Of the solemn and murky mystery about the fate of the President;
Of the flower of the marine science of fifty generations, foundered off the Northeast coast, and going down, Of the steamship Arctic going down,
Of the veiled tableau, Women gathered together on deck, pale, heroic, waiting the moment that draws so close, O the moment!
A huge sob, A few bubbles, the white foam spirting up, And then the women gone,
Sinking there, while the passionless wet flows on, And I now pondering, Are those women indeed gone?
Are Souls drowned and destroyed so?
Is only matter triumphant?

Walt Whitman


Of equality, As if it harmed me, giving others the same chances and rights as myself, As if it were not indispensable to my own rights that others possess the same.

Walt Whitman

Of a Contented Spirit

When all is done and said, in the end this shall you find:
He most of all doth bathe in bliss that hath a quiet mind;
And, clear from worldly cares, to dream can be content
The sweetest time in all this life in thinking to be spent.

The body subject is to fickle Fortune’s power,
And to a million of mishaps is casual every hour;
And death in time doth change it to a clod of clay;
Whenas the mind, which is divine, runs never to decay.

Companion none is like unto the mind alone,
For many have been harmed by speech,—through thinking, few or none;
Fear oftentimes restraineth words, but makes not thought to cease;
And he speaks best that hath the skill when for to hold his peace.

Our wealth leaves us at death, our kinsmen at the grave;
But virtues of the mind unto the heavens with us we have:
Wherefor, for Virtue’s sake, I can be well content
The sweetest time of all my life to deem in thinking spent.

Thomas, Lord Vaux


Of what I write from myself, As if that were not the resume;
Of Histories, As if such, however complete, were not less complete than the preceding poems;
As if those shreds, the records of nations, could possibly be as lasting as the preceding poems;
As if here were not the amount of all nations, and of all the lives of heroes.

Walt Whitman

The Sower and his Seed

He planted an oak in his father’s park
And a thought in the minds of men,
And he bade farewell to his native shore,
Which he never will see again.
Oh merrily stream the tourist throng
To the glow of the Southern sky;
A vision of pleasure beckons them on,
But he went there to die.

The oak will grow and its boughs will spread,
And many rejoice in its shade,
But none will visit the distant grave,
Where a stranger youth is laid;
And the thought will live when the oak has died,
And quicken the minds of men,
But the name of the thinker has vanished away,
And will never be heard again.

William Edward Hartpole Lecky


I am not poor, but I am proud,
Of one inalienable right,
Above the envy of the crowd,–
Thought’s holy light.

Better it is than gems or gold,
And oh! it cannot die,
But thought will glow when the sun grows cold,
And mix with Deity.

BOSTON, 1823.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thought Of A Briton On The Sunjugation Of Switzerland

Two Voices are there; one is of the sea,
One of the mountains; each a mighty Voice:
In both from age to age thou didst rejoice,
They were thy chosen music, Liberty!
There came a Tyrant, and with holy glee
Thou fought’st against him; but hast vainly striven:
Thou from thy Alpine holds at length art driven,
Where not a torrent murmurs heard by thee.
Of one deep bliss thine ear hath been bereft:
Then cleave, O cleave to that which still is left;
For, high-souled Maid, what sorrow would it be
That Mountain floods should thunder as before,
And Ocean bellow from his rocky shore,
And neither awful Voice be heard by thee!

William Wordsworth

A Thought

It’s very nice to think of how
In every country lives a Cow
To furnish milk with all her might
For Kittens’ comfort and delight.

Oliver Herford

A Thought Of The Nile

It flows through old hushed Egypt and its sands,
Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream,
And times and things, as in that vision, seem
Keeping along it their eternal stands,–
Caves, pillars, pyramids, the shepherd bands
That roamed through the young world, the glory extreme
Of high Sesostris, and that southern beam,
The laughing queen that caught the world’s great hands.

Then comes a mightier silence, stern and strong,
As of a world left empty of its throng,
And the void weighs on us; and then we wake,
And hear the fruitful stream lapsing along
Twixt villages, and think how we shall take
Our own calm journey on for human sake.

James Henry Leigh Hunt

Thought On The Seasons

Flattered with promise of escape
From every hurtful blast,
Spring takes, O sprightly May! thy shape,
Her loveliest and her last.

Less fair is summer riding high
In fierce solstitial power,
Less fair than when a lenient sky
Brings on her parting hour.

When earth repays with golden sheaves
The labours of the plough,
And ripening fruits and forest leaves
All brighten on the bough;

What pensive beauty autumn shows,
Before she hears the sound
Of winter rushing in, to close
The emblematic round!

Such be our Spring, our Summer such;
So may our Autumn blend
With hoary Winter, and Life touch,
Through heaven-born hope, her end!

William Wordsworth

A Thought Went Up My Mind To-Day

A thought went up my mind to-day
That I have had before,
But did not finish, — some way back,
I could not fix the year,

Nor where it went, nor why it came
The second time to me,
Nor definitely what it was,
Have I the art to say.

But somewhere in my soul, I know
I ‘ve met the thing before;
It just reminded me — ‘t was all —
And came my way no more.

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson


I am glad when men of genius
Array a common thought,
In imperishable beauty
That it cannot be forgot.

The heart thoughts all bright and burnished
By high poetic art,
As sweet as the wood-bird’s warble
Touching the very heart.

Have not I, poor workday mortal,
Some thoughts of living light,
In the spirit’s inner chambers,
Moving with spirit might?

And they come in the fair spring time
Of heart and life and year,
When sweet Nature’s wild rejoicings,
Draws votaries very near

To the heart of all that’s lovely
On earth and in the sky;
Making audible the music
Of the inner melody.

Underlying all the sunshine,
Whispering through every breeze,
As it crests the ruffled ocean
Or sways the forest trees.

Bright thoughts that are heart prisoners
Vibrating on its chords,
For, alas! I have not genius
To bring them forth in words.

But full oft, like friendship’s greeting
Upon life’s weary way,
Do I meet in other’s language
What I most wished to say.

To such words my bosom echoes,
I feel they are my own,
They bright echo of my day dreams,
That else were ever flown.

Ah to think, ye men of genius,
What joy your art affords,
Giving to the thoughts of millions
The dress of glowing words!

And a blessing on these words then
To bear them far and free;
That they glad the hearts of many
As they have gladdened me.

Nora Pembroke (Margaret Moran Dixon McDougall)


By sound of name, and touch of hand,
Thro’ ears that hear, and eyes that see,
We know each other in this land,
How little must that knowledge be?

How souls are all the time alone,
No spirit can another reach;
They hide away in realms unknown,
Like waves that never touch a beach.

We never know each other here,
No soul can here another see —
To know, we need a light as clear
As that which fills eternity.

For here we walk by human light,
But there the light of God is ours,
Each day, on earth, is but a night;
Heaven alone hath clear-faced hours.

I call you thus — you call me thus —
Our mortal is the very bar
That parts forever each of us,
As skies, on high, part star from star.

A name is nothing but a name
For that which, else, would nameless be;
Until our souls, in rapture, claim
Full knowledge in eternity.

Abram Joseph Ryan


Thoughts do not need the wings of words
To fly to any goal.
Like subtle lightnings, not like birds,
They speed from soul to soul.

Hide in your heart a bitter thought –
Still it has power to blight;
Think Love -although you speak it not
It gives the world more light.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Thoughts At Sea.

Here is the boundless ocean, there the sky,
O’er-arching broad and blue
Telling of God and heaven how deep, how high,
How glorious and true!

Upon the wave there is an anthem sweet,
Whispered in fear and love,
Sending a solemn tribute to the feet
Of Him who sits above.

God of the waters! Nature owns her King!
The Sea thy sceptre knows;
At thy command the tempest spreads its wing,
Or folds it to repose.

And when the whirlwind hath gone rushing by,
Obedient to thy will,
What reverence sits upon the wave and sky,
Humbled, subdued, and still!

Oh! let my soul, like this submissive sea,
With peace upon its breast,
By the deep influence of thy Spirit be
Holy and hushed to rest.

And as the gladdening sun lights up the morn,
Bidding the storm depart,
So may the Sun of Righteousness adorn,
With love, my shadowed heart.

Samuel Griswold Goodrich

Thoughts Fer The Discuraged Farmer

The summer winds is sniffin’ round the bloomin’ locus’ trees;
And the clover in the pastur is a big day fer the bees,
And they been a-swiggin’ honey, above board and on the sly,
Tel they stutter in theyr buzzin’ and stagger as they fly.
The flicker on the fence-rail ‘pears to jest spit on his wings
And roll up his feathers, by the sassy way he sings;
And the hoss-fly is a-whettin’-up his forelegs fer biz,
And the off-mare is a-switchin’ all of her tale they is.

You can hear the blackbirds jawin’ as they foller up the plow –
Oh, theyr bound to git theyr brekfast, and theyr not a-carin’ how;
So they quarrel in the furries, and they quarrel on the wing –
But theyr peaceabler in pot-pies than any other thing:
And it’s when I git my shotgun drawed up in stiddy rest,
She’s as full of tribbelation as a yeller-jacket’s nest;
And a few shots before dinner, when the sun’s a-shinin’ right,
Seems to kindo’-sorto’ sharpen up a feller’s appetite!

They’s been a heap o’ rain, but the sun’s out to-day,
And the clouds of the wet spell is all cleared away,
And the woods is all the greener, and the grass is greener still;
It may rain again to-morry, but I don’t think it will.
Some says the crops is ruined, and the corn’s drownded out,
And propha-sy the wheat will be a failure, without doubt;
But the kind Providence that has never failed us yet,
Will be on hands onc’t more at the ‘leventh hour, I bet!

Does the medder-lark complane, as he swims high and dry
Through the waves of the wind and the blue of the sky?
Does the quail set up and whissel in a disappinted way,
Er hang his head in silunce, and sorrow all the day?
Is the chipmuck’s health a-failin’? – Does he walk, er does he run?
Don’t the buzzards ooze around up thare just like they’ve allus done?
Is they anything the matter with the rooster’s lungs er voice?
Ort a mortul be complainin’ when dumb animals rejoice?

Then let us, one and all, be contentud with our lot;
The June is here this morning, and the sun is shining hot.
Oh! let us fill our harts up with the glory of the day,
And banish ev’ry doubt and care and sorrow fur away!
Whatever be our station, with Providence fer guide,
Sich fine circumstances ort to make us satisfied;
Fer the world is full of roses, and the roses full of dew,
And the dew is full of heavenly love that drips fer me and you.

James Whitcomb Riley

Thoughts: Mahomed Akram

If some day this body of mine were burned
(It found no favour alas! with you)
And the ashes scattered abroad, unurned,
Would Love die also, would Thought die too?
But who can answer, or who can trust,
No dreams would harry the windblown dust?

Were I laid away in the furrows deep
Secure from jackal and passing plough,
Would your eyes not follow me still through sleep
Torment me then as they torture now?
Would you ever have loved me, Golden Eyes,
Had I done aught better or otherwise?

Was I overspeechful, or did you yearn
When I sat silent, for songs or speech?
Ah, Beloved, I had been so apt to learn,
So apt, had you only cared to teach.
But time for silence and song is done,
You wanted nothing, my Golden Sun!

What should you want of a waning star?
That drifts in its lonely orbit far
Away from your soft, effulgent light
In outer planes of Eternal night?

Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)



Of ownership, As if one fit to own things could not at pleasure enter upon all, and incorporate them into himself or herself.


Of waters, forests, hills;
Of the earth at large, whispering through medium of me;
Of vista, Suppose some sight in arriere, through the formative chaos, presuming the growth, fulness, life, now attained on the journey;
(But I see the road continued, and the journey ever continued;)
Of what was once lacking on earth, and in due time has become supplied, And of what will yet be supplied,
Because all I see and know, I believe to have purport in what will yet be supplied.

Walt Whitman

Thoughts Of Phena – At News Of Her Death

Not a line of her writing have I,
Not a thread of her hair,
No mark of her late time as dame in her dwelling, whereby
I may picture her there;
And in vain do I urge my unsight
To conceive my lost prize
At her close, whom I knew when her dreams were upbrimming with light,
And with laughter her eyes.

What scenes spread around her last days,
Sad, shining, or dim?
Did her gifts and compassions enray and enarch her sweet ways
With an aureate nimb?
Or did life-light decline from her years,
And mischances control
Her full day-star; unease, or regret, or forebodings, or fears
Disennoble her soul?

Thus I do but the phantom retain
Of the maiden of yore
As my relic; yet haply the best of her fined in my brain
It maybe the more
That no line of her writing have I,
Nor a thread of her hair,
No mark of her late time as dame in her dwelling, whereby
I may picture her there.

March 1890.

Thomas Hardy

Thoughts On Leaving Japan

A changing medley of insistent sounds,
Like broken airs, played on a Samisen,
Pursues me, as the waves blot out the shore.
The trot of wooden heels; the warning cry
Of patient runners; laughter and strange words
Of children, children, children everywhere:
The clap of reverent hands, before some shrine;
And over all the haunting temple bells,
Waking, in silent chambers of the soul,
Dim memories of long-forgotten lives.

But oh! the sorrow of the undertone;
The wail of hopeless weeping in the dawn
From lips that smiled through gilded bars at night.

Brave little people, of large aims, you bow
Too often, and too low before the Past;
You sit too long in worship of the dead.
Yet have you risen, open eyed, to greet
The great material Present. Now salute
The greater Future, blazing its bold trail
Through old traditions. Leave your dead to sleep
In quiet peace with God. Let your concern
Be with the living, and the yet unborn;
Bestow on them your thoughts, and waste no time
In costly honours to insensate dust.
Unlock the doors of usefulness, and lead
Your lovely daughters forth to larger fields,
Away from jungles of the ancient sin.

For oh! the sorrow of that undertone,
The wail of hopeless weeping in the dawn
From lips that smiled through gilded bars at night.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Thoughts On Peace.

Still e’er that shrine defiance rears its head,
Which rolls in sullen murmurs o’er the dead,
That shrine which conquest, as it stems the flood.
Too often tinges deep with human blood;
Still o’er the land stern devastation reigns,
Its giant mountains, and its spreading plains,
Where the dark pines, their heads all gloomy, wave,
Or rushing cataracts, loud-sounding, lave
The precipice, whose brow with awful pride
Tow’rs high above, and scorns the foaming tide;
The village sweet, the forest stretching far,
Groan undistinguish’d, ‘midst the shock of war.
There, the rack’d matron sees her son expire,
There, clasps the infant son his murder’d sire,
While the sad virgin on her lover’s face,
Weeps, with the last farewel, the last embrace,
And the lone widow too, with frenzied cries,
Amid the common wreck, unheeded dies.
O Peace, bright Seraph, heaven-lov’d maid, return!
And bid distracted nature cease to mourn!
O, let the ensign drear of war be furl’d,
And pour thy blessings on a bleeding world;
Then social order shall again expand,
It’s sovereign good again shall bless the land,
Elate the simple villager shall see,
Contentment’s inoffensive revelry;
Then, once again shall o’er the foaming tide,
The swelling sail of commerce fearless ride,
With bounteous hand shall plenty grace our shore,
And cheerless want’s complaint be known no more.
Then hear a nation’s pray’r, lov’d goddess, hear!
Wipe the wan cheek, deep-lav’d by many a tear;
Nature, the triumph foul of horror o’er,
Shall raise her frame to scenes of blood no more;
Pale recollection shall recall her woes,
Again shall paint her agonizing throes:
These, o’er the earth thine empire firm shall raise,
Unaw’d by war’s destructive storms, the bliss of future days.

Thomas Gent

Thoughts On The 1St October, 1781.

What mean the joyous sounds from yonder vine-clad height?
What the exulting Evoe?
Why glows the cheek? Whom is’t that I, with pinions light,
Swinging the lofty Thyrsus see?

Is it the genius whom the gladsome throng obeys?
Do I his numerous train descry?
In plenty’s teeming horn the gifts of heaven he sways,
And reels from very ecstacy!

See how the golden grape in glorious beauty shines,
Kissed by the earliest morning-beams!
The shadow of yon bower, how lovingly it signs,
As it with countless blessings teams!

Ha! glad October, thou art welcome unto me!
October’s first-born, welcome thou!
Thanks of a purer kind, than all who worship thee,
More heartfelt thanks I’m bringing now!

For thou to me the one whom I have loved so well,
And love with fondness to the grave,
Who merits in my heart forevermore to dwell,
The best of friends in Rieger gave.

‘Tis true thy breath doth rock the leaves upon the trees,
And sadly make their charms decay;
Gently they fall: and swift, as morning phantasies
With those who waken, fly away.

‘Tis true that on thy track the fleecy spoiler hastes,
Who makes all Nature’s chords resound
With discord dull, and turns the plains and groves to wastes,
So that they sadly mourn around.

See how the gloomy forms of years, as on they roll,
Each joyous banquet overthrows,
When, in uplifted hand, from out the foaming bowl,
Joy’s noble purple brightly flows!

See how they disappear, when friends sweet converse hold,
And loving wander arm-in-arm;
And, to revenge themselves on winter’s north wind cold,
Upon each other’s breasts grow warm!

And when spring’s children smile upon us once again,
When all the youthful splendor bright,
When each melodious note of each sweet rapturous strain
Awakens with it each delight:

How joyous then the stream that our whole soul pervades!
What life from out our glances pours!
Sweet Philomela’s song, resounding through the glades,
Ourselves, our youthful strength restores!

Oh, may this whisper breathe (let Rieger bear in mind
The storm by which in age we’re bent!)
His guardian angel, when the evening’s star so kind
Gleams softly from the firmament!

In silence be he led to yonder thundering height,
And guided be his eye, that he,
In valley and on plain, may see his friends aright.
And that, with growing ecstacy,

On yonder holy spot, when he their number tells,
He may experience friendship’s bliss,
Now first unveiled, until with pride his bosom swells,
Conscious that all their love is his.

Then will the distant voice be loudly heard to say:
“And G , too, is a friend of thine!
When silvery locks no more around his temples play,
G still will be a friend of thine!”

“E’en yonder” and now in his eye the crystal tear
Will gleam “e’en yonder he will love!
Love thee too, when his heart, in yonder spring-like sphere,
Linked on to thine, can rapture prove!”

Friedrich Schiller

Thoughts On The Commandments.

“Love your neighbor as yourself,”
So the parson preaches;
That’s one-half the Decalogue.
So the Prayer-book teaches.
Half my duty I can do
With but little labor,
For with all my heart and soul
I do love my neighbor.

Mighty little credit, that,
To my self-denial;
Not to love her, though, might be
Something of a trial,
Why, the rosy light, that peeps
Through the glass above her,
Lingers round her lips: you see
E’en the sunbeams love her.

So to make my merit more,
I’ll go beyond the letter;
Love my neighbor as myself?
Yes, and ten times better.
For she’s sweeter than the breath
Of the Spring, that passes
Through the fragrant, budding woods,
O’er the meadow-grasses.

And I’ve preached the word I know,
For it was my duty
To convert the stubborn heart
Of the little beauty.
Once again success has crowned
Missionary labor,
For her sweet eyes own that she
Also loves her neighbor.

George Augustus Baker, Jr.

Thoughts On The Shape Of The Human Body

How can we find? how can we rest? how can
We, being gods, win joy, or peace, being man?
We, the gaunt zanies of a witless Fate,
Who love the unloving and lover hate,
Forget the moment ere the moment slips,
Kiss with blind lips that seek beyond the lips,
Who want, and know not what we want, and cry
With crooked mouths for Heaven, and throw it by.
Love’s for completeness! No perfection grows
‘Twixt leg, and arm, elbow, and ear, and nose,
And joint, and socket; but unsatisfied
Sprawling desires, shapeless, perverse, denied.
Finger with finger wreathes; we love, and gape,
Fantastic shape to mazed fantastic shape,
Straggling, irregular, perplexed, embossed,
Grotesquely twined, extravagantly lost
By crescive paths and strange protuberant ways
From sanity and from wholeness and from grace.
How can love triumph, how can solace be,
Where fever turns toward fever, knee toward knee?
Could we but fill to harmony, and dwell
Simple as our thought and as perfectible,
Rise disentangled from humanity
Strange whole and new into simplicity,
Grow to a radiant round love, and bear
Unfluctuant passion for some perfect sphere,
Love moon to moon unquestioning, and be
Like the star Lunisequa, steadfastly
Following the round clear orb of her delight,
Patiently ever, through the eternal night!

Rupert Brooke


Of these years I sing,
How they pass and have pass’d, through convuls’d pains as through parturitions;
How America illustrates birth, muscular youth, the promise, the sure fulfillment, the Absolute Success, despite of people Illustrates evil as well as good;
How many hold despairingly yet to the models departed, caste, myths, obedience, compulsion, and to infidelity;
How few see the arrived models, the Athletes, the Western States or see freedom or spirituality or hold any faith in results,
(But I see the Athletes and I see the results of the war glorious and inevitable and they again leading to other results;)
How the great cities appear How the Democratic masses, turbulent, wilful, as I love them;
How the whirl, the contest, the wrestle of evil with good, the sounding and resounding, keep on and on;
How society waits unform’d, and is for awhile between things ended and things begun;
How America is the continent of glories, and of the triumph of freedom, and of the Democracies, and of the fruits of society, and of all that is begun;
And how The States are complete in themselves And how all triumphs and glories are complete in themselves, to lead onward,
And how these of mine, and of The States, will in their turn be convuls’d, and serve other parturitions and transitions,
And how all people, sights, combinations, the Democratic masses, too, serve and how every fact, and war itself, with all its horrors, serves,
And how now, or at any time, each serves the exquisite transition of death.

Of seeds dropping into the ground of birth,
Of the steady concentration of America, inland, upward, to impregnable and swarming places,
Of what Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and the rest, are to be,
Of what a few years will show there in Nebraska, Colorado, Nevada, and the rest;
(Or afar, mounting the Northern Pacific to Sitka or Aliaska;)
Of what the feuillage of America is the preparation for and of what all sights, North, South, East and West, are;
Of This Union, soak’d, welded in blood of the solemn price paid of the unnamed lost, ever present in my mind;
Of the temporary use of materials, for identity’s sake,
Of the present, passing, departing of the growth of completer men than any yet,
Of myself, soon, perhaps, closing up my songs by these shores,
Of California, of Oregon and of me journeying to live and sing there;
Of the Western Sea of the spread inland between it and the spinal river,
Of the great pastoral area, athletic and feminine, of all sloping down there where the fresh free giver, the mother, the Mississippi flows,
Of future women there of happiness in those high plateaus, ranging three thousand miles, warm and cold;
Of mighty inland cities yet unsurvey’d and unsuspected, (as I am also, and as it must be;)
Of the new and good names of the modern developments of inalienable homesteads;
Of a free and original life there of simple diet and clean and sweet blood;
Of litheness, majestic faces, clear eyes, and perfect physique there;
Of immense spiritual results, future years, far west, each side of the Anahuacs;
Of these leaves, well understood there, (being made for that area;)
Of the native scorn of grossness and gain there;
(O it lurks in me night and day What is gain, after all, to savageness and freedom?)

Walt Whitman

Here is the greatest compilation of poems about the thoughts.

Let me know which one is your favorite! 😉


Top 20 Most Popular Poems of Gilbert Keith Chesterton

These are the top twenty (20) most popular poems of Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

From The Ballad Of God-Makers to Rhymster In The Ring.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!.

The Ballad Of God-Makers

A bird flew out at the break of day
From the nest where it had curled,
And ere the eve the bird had set
Fear on the kings of the world.

The first tree it lit upon
Was green with leaves unshed;
The second tree it lit upon
Was red with apples red;

The third tree it lit upon
Was barren and was brown,
Save for a dead man nailed thereon
On a hill above a town.

That right the kings of the earth were gay
And filled the cup and can;
Last night the kings of the earth were chill
For dread of a naked man.

‘If he speak two more words,’ they said,
‘The slave is more than the free;
If he speak three more words,’ they said,
‘The stars are under the sea.’

Said the King of the East to the King of the West,
I wot his frown was set,
‘Lo; let us slay him and make him as dung,
It is well that the world forget.’

Said the King of the West to the King of the East,
I wot his smile was dread,
‘Nay, let us slay him and make him a god,
It is well that our god be dead.’

They set the young man on a hill,
They nailed him to a rod;
And there in darkness and in blood
They made themselves a god.

And the mightiest word was left unsaid,
And the world had never a mark,
And the strongest man of the sons of men
Went dumb into the dark.

Then hymns and harps of praise they brought,
Incense and gold and myrrh,
And they thronged above the seraphim,
The poor dead carpenter.

‘Thou art the prince of all,’ they sang,
‘Ocean and earth and air.’
Then the bird flew on to the cruel cross,
And hid in the dead man’s hair.

‘Thou art the sun of the world,’ they cried,
‘Speak if our prayers be heard.’
And the brown bird stirred in the dead man’s hair,
And it seemed that the dead man stirred.

Then a shriek went up like the world’s last cry
From all nations under heaven,
And a master fell before a slave
And begged to be forgiven.

They cowered, for dread in his wakened eyes
The ancient wrath to see;
And the bird flew out of the dead Christ’s hair,
And lit on a lemon-tree.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

A Christmas Carol

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world’s desire.)

The Christ-child stood at Mary’s knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at him.
And all the stars looked down.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

At Night

How many million stars there be,
That only God hath number’d;
But this one only chosen for me
In time before her face was fled.
Shall not one mortal man alive
Hold up his head?

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

A Song Of Swords

“A drove of cattle came into a village called Swords; and was stopped by the rioters.”–Daily Paper.

In the place called Swords on the Irish road
It is told for a new renown
How we held the horns of the cattle, and how
We will hold the horns of the devils now
Ere the lord of hell with the horn on his brow
Is crowned in Dublin town.

Light in the East and light in the West,
And light on the cruel lords,
On the souls that suddenly all men knew,
And the green flag flew and the red flag flew,
And many a wheel of the world stopped, too,
When the cattle were stopped at Swords.

Be they sinners or less than saints
That smite in the street for rage,
We know where the shame shines bright; we know
You that they smite at, you their foe,
Lords of the lawless wage and low,
This is your lawful wage.

You pinched a child to a torture price
That you dared not name in words;
So black a jest was the silver bit
That your own speech shook for the shame of it,
And the coward was plain as a cow they hit
When the cattle have strayed at Swords.

The wheel of the torrent of wives went round
To break men’s brotherhood;
You gave the good Irish blood to grease
The clubs of your country’s enemies;
you saw the brave man beat to the knees:
And you saw that it was good.

The rope of the rich is long and long–
The longest of hangmen’s cords;
But the kings and crowds are holding their breath,
In a giant shadow o’er all beneath
Where God stands holding the scales of Death
Between the cattle and Swords.

Haply the lords that hire and lend
The lowest of all men’s lords,
Who sell their kind like kine at a fair,
Will find no head of their cattle there;
But faces of men where cattle were:
Faces of men–and Swords.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Gold Leaves

Lo! I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold;
Grey hairs and golden leaves cry out
The year and I are old.

In youth I sought the prince of men,
Captain in cosmic wars,
Our Titan, even the weeds would show
Defiant, to the stars.

But now a great thing in the street
Seems any human nod,
Where shift in strange democracy
The million masks of God.

In youth I sought the golden flower
Hidden in wood or wold,
But I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold.

Art Colours

On must we go: we search dead leaves,
We chase the sunset’s saddest flames,
The nameless hues that o’er and o’er
In lawless wedding lost their names.

God of the daybreak! Better be
Black savages; and grin to gird
Our limbs in gaudy rags of red,
The laughing-stock of brute and bird;

And feel again the fierce old feast,
Blue for seven heavens that had sufficed,
A gold like shining hoards, a red
Like roses from the blood of Christ.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

The Ancient Of Days

A child sits in a sunny place,
Too happy for a smile,
And plays through one long holiday
With balls to roll and pile;
A painted wind-mill by his side
Runs like a merry tune,
But the sails are the four great winds of heaven,
And the balls are the sun and moon.

A staring doll’s-house shows to him
Green floors and starry rafter,
And many-coloured graven dolls
Live for his lonely laughter.
The dolls have crowns and aureoles,
Helmets and horns and wings.
For they are the saints and seraphim,
The prophets and the kings.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton


I cannot count the pebbles in the brook.
Well hath He spoken: ‘Swear not by thy head,
Thou knowest not the hairs,’ though He, we read,
Writes that wild number in his own strange book.

I cannot count the sands or search the seas,
Death cometh, and I leave so much untrod.
Grant my immortal aureole, O my God,
And I will name the leaves upon the trees.

In heaven I shall stand on gold and glass,
Still brooding earth’s arithmetic to spell;
Or see the fading of the fires of hell
Ere I have thanked my God for all the grass.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

A Fairy Tale

All things grew upwards, foul and fair:
The great trees fought and beat the air
With monstrous wings that would have flown;
But the old earth clung to her own,
Holding them back from heavenly wars,
Though every flower sprang at the stars.

But he broke free: while all things ceased,
Some hour increasing, he increased.
The town beneath him seemed a map,
Above the church he cocked his cap,
Above the cross his feather flew
Above the birds and still he grew.

The trees turned grass; the clouds were riven;
His feet were mountains lost in heaven;
Through strange new skies he rose alone,
The earth fell from him like a stone,
And his own limbs beneath him far
Seemed tapering down to touch a star.

He reared his head, shaggy and grim,
Staring among the cherubim;
The seven celestial floors he rent,
One crystal dome still o’er him bent:
Above his head, more clear than hope,
All heaven was a microscope.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

A Chord Of Colour

My Lady clad herself in grey,
That caught and clung about her throat;
Then all the long grey winter day
On me a living splendour smote;
And why grey palmers holy are,
And why grey minsters great in story,
And grey skies ring the morning star,
And grey hairs are a crown of glory.

My Lady clad herself in green,
Like meadows where the wind-waves pass;
Then round my spirit spread, I ween,
A splendour of forgotten grass.
Then all that dropped of stem or sod,
Hoarded as emeralds might be,
I bowed to every bush, and trod
Amid the live grass fearfully.

My Lady clad herself in blue,
Then on me, like the seer long gone,
The likeness of a sapphire grew,
The throne of him that sat thereon.
Then knew I why the Fashioner
Splashed reckless blue on sky and sea;
And ere ’twas good enough for her,
He tried it on Eternity.

Beneath the gnarled old Knowledge-tree
Sat, like an owl, the evil sage:
‘The World’s a bubble,’ solemnly
He read, and turned a second page.
‘A bubble, then, old crow,’ I cried,
‘God keep you in your weary wit!
‘A bubble–have you ever spied
‘The colours I have seen on it?’

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Sonnet To A Stilton Cheese

Stilton, thou shouldst be living at this hour
And so thou art. Nor losest grace thereby;
England has need of thee, and so have I–
She is a Fen. Far as the eye can scour,
League after grassy league from Lincoln tower
To Stilton in the fields, she is a Fen.
Yet this high cheese, by choice of fenland men,
Like a tall green volcano rose in power.

Plain living and long drinking are no more,
And pure religion reading ‘Household Words’,
And sturdy manhood sitting still all day
Shrink, like this cheese that crumbles to its core;
While my digestion, like the House of Lords,
The heaviest burdens on herself doth lay.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

The Ballad Of The Battle Of Gibeon

Five kings rule o’er the Amorite,
Mighty as fear and old as night;
Swathed with unguent and gold and jewel,
Waxed they merry and fat and cruel.
Zedek of Salem, a terror and glory,
Whose face was hid while his robes were gory;
And Hoham of Hebron, whose loathly face is
Heavy and dark o’er the ruin of races;
And Piram of Jarmuth, drunk with strange wine,
Who dreamed he had fashioned all stars that shine;
And Debir of Eglon wild, without pity,
Who raged like a plague in the midst of his city;
And Japhia of Lachish, a fire that flameth,
Who did in the daylight what no man nameth.

These five kings said one to another,
‘King unto king o’er the world is brother,
Seeing that now, for a sign and a wonder,
A red eclipse and a tongue of thunder,
A shape and a finger of desolation,
Is come against us a kingless nation.
Gibeon hath failed us: it were not good
That a man remember where Gibeon stood.’
Then Gibeon sent to our captain, crying,
‘Son of Nun, let a shaft be flying,
For unclean birds are gathering greedily;
Slack not thy hand, but come thou speedily.
Yea, we are lost save thou maintain’st us,

For the kings of the mountains are gathered against us.’
Then to our people spake the Deliverer,
‘Gibeon is high, yet a host may shiver her;
Gibeon hath sent to me crying for pity,
For the lords of the cities encompass the city
With chariot and banner and bowman and lancer,
And I swear by the living God I will answer.
Gird you, O Israel, quiver and javelin,
Shield and sword for the road we travel in;
Verily, as I have promised, pay I
Life unto Gibeon, death unto Ai.’

Sudden and still as a bolt shot right
Up on the city we went by night.
Never a bird of the air could say,
‘This was the children of Israel’s way.’

Only the hosts sprang up from sleeping,
Saw from the heights a dark stream sweeping;
Sprang up straight as a great shout stung them,
And heard the Deliverer’s war-cry among them,
Heard under cupola, turret, and steeple
The awful cry of the kingless people.

Started the weak of them, shouted the strong of them,
Crashed we a thunderbolt into the throng of them,
Blindly with heads bent, and shields forced before us,
We heard the dense roar of the strife closing o’er us.
And drunk with the crash of the song that it sung them,
We drove the great spear-blade in God’s name among them.

Redder and redder the sword-flash fell.
Our eyes and our nostrils were hotter than hell;
Till full all the crest of the spear-surge shocking us,
Hoham of Hebron cried out mocking us,
‘Nay, what need of the war-sword’s plying,
Out of the desert the dust comes flying.
A little red dust, if the wind be blowing–
Who shall reck of its coming or going?’
Back the Deliverer spake as a clarion,
‘Mock at thy slaves, thou eater of carrion!
Laughest thou at us, in thy kingly clowning,
We, that laughed upon Ramases frowning.
We that stood up proud, unpardoned,
When his face was dark and his heart was hardened?
Pharaoh we knew and his steeds, not faster
Than the word of the Lord in thine ear, O master.

Sheer through the turban his wantons wove him,
Clean to the skull the Deliverer clove him;
And the two hosts reeled at the sign appalling,
As the great king fell like a great house falling.

Loudly we shouted, and living and dying.
Bore them all backward with strength and strong crying;
And Caleb struck Zedek hard at the throat,
And Japhia of Lachish Zebulon smote.
The war-swords and axes were clashing and groaning,
The fallen were fighting and foaming and moaning;
The war-spears were breaking, the war-horns were braying,
Ere the hands of the slayers were sated with slaying.
And deep in the grasses grown gory and sodden,
The treaders of all men were trampled and trodden;
And over them, routed and reeled like cattle,
High over the turn of the tide of the battle,
High over noises that deafen and cover us,
Rang the Deliverer’s voice out over us.

‘Stand thou still, thou sun upon Gibeon,
Stand thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon!
Shout thou, people, a cry like thunder,
For the kings of the earth are broken asunder.
Now we have said as the thunder says it,
Something is stronger than strength and slays it.
Now we have written for all time later,
Five kings are great, yet a law is greater.
Stare, O sun! in thine own great glory,
This is the turn of the whole world’s story.
Stand thou still, thou sun upon Gibeon,
Stand thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon!

‘Smite! amid spear-blades blazing and breaking.
More than we know of is rising and making.
Stab with the javelin, crash with the car!
Cry! for we know not the thing that we are.
Stand, O sun! that in horrible patience
Smiled on the smoke and the slaughter of nations.
Thou shalt grow sad for a little crying,
Thou shalt be darkened for one man’s dying–
Stand thou still, thou sun upon Gibeon,
Stand thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon!’

After the battle was broken and spent
Up to the hill the Deliverer went,
Flung up his arms to the storm-clouds flying,
And cried unto Israel, mightily crying,
‘Come up, O warriors! come up, O brothers!
Tribesmen and herdsmen, maidens and mothers;
The bondman’s son and the bondman’s daughter,
The hewer of wood and the drawer of water,
He that carries and he that brings,
And set your foot on the neck of kings.’

This is the story of Gibeon fight–
Where we smote the lords of the Amorite;
Where the banners of princes with slaughter were sodden.
And the beards of seers in the rank grass trodden;
Where the trees were wrecked by the wreck of cars,
And the reek of the red field blotted the stars;
Where the dead heads dropped from the swords that sever,
Because His mercy endureth for ever.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton


If I ever go back to Baltimore,
The city of Maryland,
I shall miss again as I missed before
A thousand things of the world in store,
The story standing in every door
That beckons with every hand.

I shall not know where the bonds were riven
And a hundred faiths set free,
Where a wandering cavalier had given
Her hundredth name to the Queen of Heaven,
And made oblation of feuds forgiven
To Our Lady of Liberty.

I shall not travel the tracks of fame
Where the war was not to the strong;
When Lee the last of the heroes came
With the Men of the South and a flag like flame,
And called the land by its lovely name
In the unforgotten song.

If ever I cross the sea and stray
To the city of Maryland,
I will sit on a stone and watch or pray
For a stranger’s child that was there one day:
And the child will never come back to play,
And no-one will understand.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

The Earth’s Shame

Name not his deed: in shuddering and in haste
We dragged him darkly o’er the windy fell:
That night there was a gibbet in the waste,
And a new sin in hell.

Be his deed hid from commonwealths and kings,
By all men born be one true tale forgot;
But three things, braver than all earthly things,
Faced him and feared him not.

Above his head and sunken secret face
Nested the sparrow’s young and dropped not dead.
From the red blood and slime of that lost place
Grew daisies white, not red.

And from high heaven looking upon him,
Slowly upon the face of God did come
A smile the cherubim and seraphim
Hid all their faces from.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Good News

Between a meadow and a cloud that sped
In rain and twilight, in desire and fear.
I heard a secret–hearken in your ear,
‘Behold the daisy has a ring of red.’

That hour, with half of blessing, half of ban,
A great voice went through heaven, and earth and hell,
Crying, ‘We are tricked, my great ones, is it well?
Now is the secret stolen by a man.’

Then waxed I like the wind because of this,
And ran, like gospel and apocalypse,
From door to door, with new anarchic lips,
Crying the very blasphemy of bliss.

In the last wreck of Nature, dark and dread,
Shall in eclipse’s hideous hieroglyph,
One wild form reel on the last rocking cliff,
And shout, ‘The daisy has a ring of red.’

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

A Certain Evening

That night the whole world mingled,
The souls were babes at play,
And angel danced with devil.
And God cried, ‘Holiday!’

The sea had climbed the mountain peaks,
And shouted to the stars
To come to play: and down they came
Splashing in happy wars.

The pine grew apples for a whim,
The cart-horse built a nest;
The oxen flew, the flowers sang,
The sun rose in the west.

And ‘neath the load of many worlds,
The lowest life God made
Lifted his huge and heavy limbs
And into heaven strayed.

To where the highest life God made
Before His presence stands;
But God himself cried, ‘Holiday!’
And she gave me both her hands.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

A Portrait

Fair faces crowd on Christmas night
Like seven suns a-row,
But all beyond is the wolfish wind
And the crafty feet of the snow.

But through the rout one figure goes
With quick and quiet tread;
Her robe is plain, her form is frail–
Wait if she turn her head.

I say no word of line or hue,
But if that face you see,
Your soul shall know the smile of faith’s
Awful frivolity.

Know that in this grotesque old masque
Too loud we cannot sing,
Or dance too wild, or speak too wide
To praise a hidden thing.

That though the jest be old as night,
Still shaketh sun and sphere
An everlasting laughter
Too loud for us to hear.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

To Hilaire Belloc

For every tiny town or place
God made the stars especially;
Babies look up with owlish face
And see them tangled in a tree:
You saw a moon from Sussex Downs,
A Sussex moon, untravelled still,
I saw a moon that was the town’s,
The largest lamp on Campden Hill.

Yea; Heaven is everywhere at home
The big blue cap that always fits,
And so it is (be calm; they come
To goal at last, my wandering wits),
So is it with the heroic thing;
This shall not end for the world’s end,
And though the sullen engines swing,
Be you not much afraid, my friend.

This did not end by Nelson’s urn
Where an immortal England sits–
Nor where your tall young men in turn
Drank death like wine at Austerlitz.
And when the pedants bade us mark
What cold mechanic happenings
Must come; our souls said in the dark,
“Belike; but there are likelier things.”

Likelier across these flats afar
These sulky levels smooth and free
The drums shall crash a waltz of war
And Death shall dance with Liberty;
Likelier the barricades shall blare
Slaughter below and smoke above,
And death and hate and hell declare
That men have found a thing to love.

Far from your sunny uplands set
I saw the dream; the streets I trod
The lit straight streets shot out and met
The starry streets that point to God.
This legend of an epic hour
A child I dreamed, and dream it still,
Under the great grey water-tower
That strikes the stars on Campden Hill.

G. K. C.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

The Fish

Dark the sea was: but I saw him,
One great head with goggle eyes,
Like a diabolic cherub
Flying in those fallen skies.

I have heard the hoarse deniers,
I have known the wordy wars;
I have seen a man, by shouting,
Seek to orphan all the stars.

I have seen a fool half-fashioned
Borrow from the heavens a tongue,
So to curse them more at leisure–
–And I trod him not as dung.

For I saw that finny goblin
Hidden in the abyss untrod;
And I knew there can be laughter
On the secret face of God.

Blow the trumpets, crown the sages,
Bring the age by reason fed!
(He that sitteth in the heavens,
‘He shall laugh’–the prophet said.)

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Another Tattered Rhymster In The Ring

Another tattered rhymster in the ring,
With but the old plea to the sneering schools,
That on him too, some secret night in spring
Came the old frenzy of a hundred fools

To make some thing: the old want dark and deep,
The thirst of men, the hunger of the stars,
Since first it tinged even the Eternal’s sleep,
With monstrous dreams of trees and towns and mars.

When all He made for the first time He saw,
Scattering stars as misers shake their pelf.
Then in the last strange wrath broke His own law,
And made a graven image of Himself.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Wow! His poetry collection and writing style are marvelous! Compared to other poetry collections, he made his points in his poems with popular sayings, proverbs, and allegories. No wonder he was referred to as the “prince of paradox.”

A Christmas Carol is my favorite poem in this collection. It reminds me of the song entitled; Mary, Did You Know?.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of Gilbert Keith Chesterton?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


Top 20 Most Popular Poems of John Le Gay Brereton

These are the top twenty (20) most popular poems of John Le Gay Brereton.

From Winter to Twenty-One.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!


When winter chills your aged bones
As by the fire you sit and nod,
You’ll hear a passing wind that moans,
And think of one beneath the sod.

You’ll feebly sleek your hair of grey,
And mutter words that none may know,
And dream you touch the sodden clay
That laps the dream of long ago.

The shrinking ash may fall apart
And show a gleam that lingers yet.
A moment in your cooling heart
May shine a sparkle of regret.

And where the pit is chill and deep,
And bones are mouldering in the clay,
A thrill of buried love will creep
And shudder aimlessly away.

John Le Gay Brereton


Spring, and the wispy clouds that fade away
And draw the ecstatic soul in pain to aspire
In maddening flight through heaven’s thin flood of fire
To melt in rapture at the heart of day,
The powers of the world that promise and betray
Have dragged me from you in their icy ire
And set me spinning at their loom, for hire,
The shroud in which my senses must decay.
For hire I give myself, and cannot tell
If the blind force that flings me in the chest
Have power or will to pay the bargained price,
Yet for a word of love I gladly quell
The quivering hope of not inactive rest
And very humbly make my sacrifice.

John Le Gay Brereton

The Child Impaled

Beside the path, on either hand,
To keep the garden beds,
The rusted iron pickets stand
Thin shafts and pointed heads.

And straight my spirit swooping goes
Across the waves of time
Till I’m a little boy who knows
A fence is made to climb;

And bed and lawn and gloomy space
By thicket overgrown
Are wonderlands where I may trace
The beckoning Unknown.

But O the cruelty that strikes
My elder heart with dread
The writhing form upon the spikes,
The trickled pool of red!

So, every day I pass and see
The fence the urchin scales,
The little boy stands up in me
To curse the iron rails.

John Le Gay Brereton

Love Is Blind

And can you tell me Love is blind
Because your faults he will not find,
Because the image that he sees
Is one of splendid mysteries?
And if he lack the power to look
On what he will, as on a book,
And read therein the heart of it,
Why are his ways with wonder lit?
Why think you he should bind his eyes
And hide the many-tinted skies,
But that he sees too well to trust
The shadows on an orb of dust?
For he hath vision keener far
Than poring Thought’s and Fancy’s are
An inward vision, full and clear
When night has flung her mantle sheer
Across the world we stumble through
In search of Truth’s evasive clue.
He looks, and straight there fall away
The flutt’ring rags of your array,
The far-fet gem, th’ indecent drape,
The pads that mar the perfect shape,
And naked to his reverent view
Is beauty’s self, essential you.

John Le Gay Brereton

An Epitaph

On a monument formed as a curving wave

By ceaseless waves, that break and waste,
All human record is effaced:
Only our love in brief defence
Shall hold the billow in suspense.

John Le Gay Brereton

The Touch Of Time

Time, who with soft pale ashes veils the brand
Of many a hope that flared against the sky
To plant its heaven-storming banners high,
Has touched you with no desecrating hand;
Your beauty wins a ripeness sweet and bland
As opulent summer, and your glancing eye
Glows with a deeper lustre, and your sigh
Of love is still my clamouring heart’s command.

Yet what if all your fairness were defaced,
Wilted by passionate whirlwinds, battle-scarred,
Your skin of delicate satin hard and dry?
Still you would be the laughing girl who graced
A gloomy manhood, by forebodings marred,
In the deep wood where still we love to lie.

John Le Gay Brereton


A golden largesse from a store untold
Announced the ruddy day’s imperial birth,
And woke a loyal world to jubilant mirth
And hopes that boasted, madly over-bold.
Shadow and thunder from a dull cloud rolled,
A shiver chilled the lately glittering firth,
As gloom set heavy hand upon the earth;
Yet look, on westward hills a gleam of gold.
You have laughed and bidden us laugh, O lord of jest;
You have wept and given us grief, O lonely friend;
And now we sit with silent lips and white,
And dream what craggy ways thou wanderest,
Not finding yet of hope or strife an end,
O soul set free from bondage of the night.

John Le Gay Brereton

Buffalo Creek

A timid child with heart oppressed
By images of sin,
I slunk into the bush for rest,
And found my fairy kin.

The fire I carried kept me warm:
The friendly air was chill.
The laggards of the lowing storm
Trailed gloom along the hill.

I watched the crawling monsters melt
And saw their shadows wane
As on my satin skin I felt
The fingers of the rain.

The sunlight was a golden beer,
I drank a magic draught;
The sky was clear and, void of fear,
I stood erect and laughed.

And sudden laughter, idly free,
About me trilled and rang,
And love was shed from every tree,
And little bushes sang.

The bay of conscience’ bloody hound
That tears the world apart
Has never drowned the silent sound
Within my happy heart.

John Le Gay Brereton

The Faun

When I was but a little boy
Who hunted in the wood
To scare or mangle or destroy
A freakish elemental joy
That tasted life and found it good

I hardly heard the awful ban
That mutters round the free,
But followed where the waters ran,
And wondered when the pipe of Pan
Shook silence with its minstrelsy.

Where sun-spray glittered on my limbs
I danced, and laughed, and trilled
My happy incoherent hymns,
Sped only by the whirling whims
With which my eager heart was filled.

The wind was glad and so was I;
My soul lay open wide,
Reflecting all the starry sky;
The swallows called to me to fly;
I dreamed of how the fishes glide.

But while my errant feet were set
On mosses cool and sweet,
The great grey phantoms brooding met
Within the shades, and cast a net
With dreary charms about my feet.

They pent me in a barren place,
A city, so they said,
Of gallant wonder-working grace
But haunted, haunted by a race
Of rigid unperceptive dead.

With sightless eyes they pored on books,
And scrawled on many a sheet
Their regimental strokes and hooks,
And stalked about with pompous looks,
Top-hatted, in the civil street.

I strove to flee, but everywhere
Met solid-seeming walls;
And yet I knew the world was fair,
And, hearkening well, heard, even there,
A bird and distant waterfalls.

And love which I had scarcely known
Leaped upward as I heard;
I blessed the creek, the mossy stone,
The fern along the gully strown,
The little beasts, the piping bird.

Could walls o’ermaster one who knew
The world of outer light?
The very shadow that they threw
Was tindured with a deeper blue
Because the quickening sun was bright.

I laughed aloud, as one who leaps
Against a curling wave,
And, as a widening ripple creeps,
A shudder caught the stony steeps,
And life shook, laughing, in the grave.

“O phantoms, who are you to fix
Eternal towers of pride?”
I mocked at their fantastic tricks,
I thrust my fingers through the bricks
And felt the flowers the other side.

I pricked my pointed ears to hear
The love-song of the bird,
And dear was every note, and dear
The myriad sounds that echoed near
The magically chorus’d word.

I saw the fading phantoms glare;
Their tones to silence hissed.
The walls bulged, brightening everywhere,
And thinned and melted in the air
To ragged streams of rosy mist.

Trill, happy bird, for ever trill,
For I have learned to bless
The great grey shades whose thwarted will
Turned earth to heaven; and I am still
A dweller in the wilderness

John Le Gay Brereton


The heart is hard that cannot feel
The bruising of a light appeal.

The heart is deaf that cannot hear
The splashing of a tiny tear.

The heart is dumb that cannot say
“God speed you, comrades,” night and day.

The heart is blind that cannot see
The beckoning soul of mystery.

The heart is lame that cannot rise
From clamouring earth to silent skies.

And O that heart were better dead
That truckles to the prudent head

John Le Gay Brereton


O Merlin, how the magic from your eyes
Bids the world flame about your idle feet,
And makes a marvel of the humming street,
The watchful bush, the starry-haunted skies!
Dear, do you know that all such magic dies
In foolish hearts that regularly beat?
Blinded with dust, the elders in retreat
Shake their thin locks to prove that they are wise.
God help them in their tameness: you are wild.
Hold fast your faith, for love has mightier spells
Than yet your mouth has chattered, sung or laughed;
Be drunk still with th’ enchanted wine you’ve quaffed.
Awe spreads her wings above the hut where dwells,
Rapt in his glow of gramarye, the child.

John Le Gay Brereton

The Domain

The bulging cloud mounts lazily
In shade where sunlight glances through,
And sweeping lightly from the tree
Melts indolently in the blue.

The scanty grass-blades yonder shake,
A tremulous flurry takes the smoke,
And ancient memories start awake
At pungent scent of fig and oak.

For here of old an urchin strayed
And gloomed in lonely pride the while,
An outlaw in a forest glade
Or pirate on a tropic isle.

Here where a staid policeman strolls
Ned Kelly in his armour stood,
And underneath the roadway rolls
The river of the Haunted Wood.

And yonder, couched in phantom fern,
Not far from Nelson’s rolling ship,
I spied the antler’d head of Herne
And saw the startled rabbit skip.

And Will Wing shook in desperate strife
Defiantly his bloody hand,
And heard the waves of daily life
Drone on the reef-ring, far from land.

Not Robin, clad in verdant baize,
Nor Britain’s silver-plated king,
Was master of the winning ways
That drew me to the flag of Wing.

He sauntered on the southern isle
In garments of eccentric cut,
And, with his grim sardonic smile,
Would masticate his coco-nut.

Within his cave, upon a heap
Of Spanish coin and rubies red,
I’ve seen him lying half-asleep
And dreaming of the blood he’d shed.

The gold-dust, spilled about the ground,
Made common dirt a treasure rare,
And if you fingered it you found
The flashing jewels buried there.

The seabird, sweeping free and far
On wings of wonder, will not see
That green isle and its coral bar,
That corsair and his mystery.

As when a lump of sugar shrinks,
When coffee waves about it glide,
Crumbles and topples, melts and sinks,
And mingles with the sombre tide,

So is the islet vanished; yet
As now I gulp a bitter draught
The sweetness lingers. Up, and set
The canvas of the rakish craft!

John Le Gay Brereton


Eternal cold of silence, where each sound
Dies in its birth, and Death’s pale henchmen meet
With soft Lethean traps unwary feet
Or ride with hell’s white steed and slavering hound;
Which of us, searching selfward, has not found
This desolate realm, and long black seams, that greet
Our souls with recollections of defeat,
And torrid fossils in the frozen ground?
Not he, who comes among us as a king;
Strange were the secret waste and granite walls
To him whose reverent feet have travelled far
Where duty beckons and adventure calls.
He steers his course, by one red tropic star,
Where ripples the green robe of the lilting spring.

John Le Gay Brereton

The Nepean

Far down the reach a creeping mist
Hung dim along the mountain side;
On shadowed water, sleek and whist,
I let the lazy shallop glide.

The ripple scarcely cut the green
That edged the central path of grey.
I drew the oars, and, all unseen,
Gave reverent greeting to the day.

Naked I stood with arms outspread
That opened wide the gates of dream;
Then breathless bent my wondering head
And sprang to meet the silent stream.

I slid and floated like a seal,
And bade my senses revel free,
From cheek to footsole I could feel
Her soft cool hands caressing me.

A noise of tiny wavelets woke,
I quenched my drouth with delicate sips,
And, as I drank, the surface broke
In eager kisses on my lips.

The scented breath of morning turned
To incense as toward the west
At last, rock-altar’d, I discerned
The sunshine on the mountain crest.

That light of blessing from the sky
Made us the fuel of its blaze,
And fragrant bush and stream and I
Were one aspiring cry of praise.

John Le Gay Brereton



The beast exultant spreads the nostril wide,
Snuffing a sickly hate-enkindling scent;
Proud of his rage, on sudden carnage bent,
He leaps, and flings the helpless guard aside.
Again, again the hills are gapped and dyed,
Again the hearts of waiting women spent.
Is there no cooler pathway to content?
Can we not heal the insanity of pride?

Silence the crackle and thunder of battling guns,
And drive your men to strategy of peace;
Crush ere its birth the hell-begotten crime;
Still there’s a war that no true warrior shuns,
That knows no mercy, looks for no surcease,
But ghastlier battles, victories more sublime.


Envy has slid in silence to its hole,
And Peace is basking where the workers meet,
And fire has purged the fever of the street
Where raucous tradesmen grinned and gave and stole.
Yet louder now the tides of battle roll,
With cheer or sob of charge or stern retreat,
And sullen thud and rumble of cannon beat
About the heights and passes of the soul.

Not only that amid the hush we hear
The sounds that once were blurred by market cries,
Or classes wrangling in affairs of state:
But forces now set free from sordid fear
No longer work as Mammon’s murdering spies,
But storm the very citadels of hate.

John Le Gay Brereton


A singing voice is in my dream
The voice of Erskine, on his boulders,
Babbling and shouting till he shoulders
Stoutly against the heavier stream.

No longer now my curtained sight,
On serried books and pictures dwelling,
Of long-neglected work is telling,
But looks beyond the travelling night.

And here no longer is my home,
For you and I are far asunder:
I hear again the cascade thunder
And watch the little pool of foam.

And where the water, pouring sleek,
In sudden whiteness flings his treasure,
I see you sitting, Queen of Pleasure,
Clad only by the glittering creek.

I hold my arms to you once more,
For O my longing flesh is aching,
And you, your rocky throne forsaking,
Come cool and radiant to the shore.

I see my girl of girls recline
On smooth rock sloping to the water;
Then savagely have leapt and caught her,
And limpid eyes look up at mine.

Love, Love, O Love, the embracing sun,
The trees, the creek, the earth our mother,
Who made that hour, give such another,
And make us—see us—know us one.

John Le Gay Brereton


The spell of Shakespeare fills the heart
With earthly music loud and low;
But Marlowe drives the clouds apart,
And through their thundering rifts we go.

By John Le Gay Brereton


He, born of my girlhood, is dead, while my life is yet young in my heart
Ere the breasts where his baby lips fed have forgotten their softness, we part.
We part. He was mine, he was here, though he travelled by land and by sea,
My son who could trample on fear, my babe who was moulded in me.
As I sat in the darkness, it seemed I could still feel his touch on my head;
He came in the night as I dreamed, and he knelt at the side of my bed;
He murmured the words I had taught when his lips were the lips of a child,
Ere the strength of his arm had been bought and the love that upheld him defiled;
Then my faltering spirit grew bold, and my heart had forgotten its drouth,
And I crooned little songs as of old, till I woke at his kiss on my mouth.
Now waking and sleeping are pain. Nevermore will he kiss, nevermore
Shall I hear his low whistle again at the gate, or his step on the floor,
For to-night he was here while I slept, and this is the end of it all.
Now that welter of darkness has swept us apart, can he come if I call?
Can he come, little chap with the eyes that brought light out of heaven to earth?
Can he come, though the soul of me cries for the joy that I bought by his birth?
I can see but the horror that bids the heart of the mother despair,
The vision that burns on my lids, the face that will always be there,
For he holds out his hands to me, red, and his eyes tell the truth as he stands.
He is dead. He is dead. He is dead. He is dead, with the blood on his hands.

John Le Gay Brereton


While the summer day is hot
You and I will loaf awhile,
Lolling in a leafy spot,
Lali of the cunning smile.

You and I have little care
How the “precious moments” pass
While we snuff the drowsy air
Rich in fragrance of the grass.

Stupid people boom or squeal
Lessons drawn from daily strife;
“Time,” they cry, “is on the wheel;
Death puts out the gas of life.

Imitate the prudent ant,
Labour like the busy bee.”
O the everlasting cant!
Loafing’s good for you and me.

Here we watch the ants that haul
Loads by weary jungle ways!
If they like it, let them crawl
Laden through the heavy blaze.

We’ve no time for moral tags;
We can hear a sleepy sound
With his yellow tucker-bags
Brother Bee is bumming round.

Little souls are vexed to see
How their hours of toil decrease:
Floating dreams for you and me,
Lazy joy in starry peace.

John Le Gay Brereton


The world, all busy round us here of late,
Is still unchanged: but you are twenty-one.
The mind, victorious with the rising sun,
Steps boldly and blithely through the imagined gate
On greener grass where brighter flowers await
The quickened senses and the waters run
With livelier music, and a web is spun
Of loveliest pattern on the loom of fate.
Doubt nothing, fare right on with manly trust,
And know, whatever failures be in store,
Though all your light seem shimmering blinding haze,
And flowers and grass fly up in choking dust,
Better than you can fancy waits before
For those who find the secret of the maze.

John Le Gay Brereton

John Le Gay Brereton’s work was engaging and sensitive. No wonder the best of his verse gave him a guaranteed place among Australian poets. All of his poems are truly exceptional!

Well, of course, I wouldn’t miss reading my most favorite work of his―Love Is Blind. I’m impressed by how accurate this poem describes a person can be unliterally blind when in love with someone.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of John Le Gay Brereton?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


30 Greatest Poems about Time

The lesson I mainly learned throughout my existence is how important time is. Especially now that I’m already an adult, spending a day without productively doing anything makes me feel guilty about how much time I’m already wasting.

These are thirty (30) greatest poems about time that you might also relate to, and if you are interested in this topic, these poems are for you.

Keep reading!

Time 1

The ticking – ticking – ticking of the clock!
That vexed me so last night! “For though Time keeps
Such drowsy watch,” I moaned, “he never sleeps,
But only nods above the world to mock
Its restless occupant, then rudely rock
It as the cradle of a babe that weeps!”
I seemed to see the seconds piled in heaps
Like sand about me; and at every shock
O’ the bell, the piled sands were swirled away
As by a desert-storm that swept the earth
Stark as a granary floor, whereon the gray
And mist-bedrizzled moon amidst the dearth
Came crawling, like a sickly child, to lay
Its pale face next mine own and weep for day.

James Whitcomb Riley

Time 2

Wait for the morning! Ah! We wait indeed
For daylight, we who toss about through stress
Of vacant-armed desires and emptiness
Of all the warm, warm touches that we need,
And the warm kisses upon which we feed
Our famished lips in fancy! May God bless
The starved lips of us with but one caress
Warm as the yearning blood our poor hearts bleed…!
A wild prayer! Bite thy pillow, praying so –
Toss this side, and whirl that, and moan for dawn;
Let the clock’s seconds dribble out their woe,
And Time be drained of sorrow! Long ago
We heard the crowing cock, with answer drawn
As hoarsely sad at throat as sobs… Pray on!

James Whitcomb Riley


From “Irene”

To-morrow’s action! can that hoary wisdom,
Borne down with years, still doat upon to-morrow!
The fatal mistress of the young, the lazy,
The coward and the fool, condemned to lose
An useless life in waiting for to-morrow,
To gaze with longing eyes upon to-morrow,
Till interposing death destroys the prospect.
Strange that this general fraud from day to day
Should fill the world with wretches, undetected!
The soldier, laboring through a winter’s march,
Still sees to-morrow drest in robes of triumph;
Still to the lover’s long-expecting arms
To-morrow brings the visionary bride.
But thou, too old to bear another cheat,
Learn that the present hour alone is man’s.

Samuel Johnson

Three Days

So much to do: so little done!
Ah! yesternight I saw the sun
Sink beamless down the vaulted gray,—
The ghastly ghost of YESTERDAY.

So little done: so much to do!
Each morning breaks on conflicts new;
But eager, brave, I ’ll join the fray,
And fight the battle of TO-DAY.

So much to do: so little done!
But when it ’s o’er,—the victory won,—
Oh! then, my soul, this strife and sorrow
Will end in that great, glad TO-MORROW.

James Roberts Gilmore

Time the Supreme

From “Night Thoughts,” Night I.

The bell strikes one: we take no note of time,
But from its loss. To give it, then, a tongue,
Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke,
I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright,
It is the knell of my departed hours:
Where are they? With the years beyond the flood.
It is the signal that demands despatch;
How much is to be done! my hopes and fears
Start up alarmed, and o’er life’s narrow verge
Look down—on what? a fathomless abyss;
A dread eternity; how surely mine!
And can eternity belong to me,
Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour?

*        *        *        *        *
Time the supreme!—Time is eternity;
Pregnant with all eternity can give;
Pregnant with all that makes archangels smile.
Who murders time, he crushes in the birth
A power ethereal, only not adored.
Ah! how unjust to Nature and himself,
Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man!
Like children babbling nonsense in their sports,
We censure Nature for a span too short;
That span too short, we tax as tedious too;
Torture invention, all expedients tire,
To lash the lingering moments into speed,
And whirl us (happy riddance!) from ourselves.
Art, brainless Art! our furious charioteer
(For Nature’s voice, unstifled, would recall),
Drives headlong towards the precipice of death!
Death, most our dread; death, thus more dreadful made:
O, what a riddle of absurdity!
Leisure is pain; takes off our chariot wheels:
How heavily we drag the load of life!
Blest leisure is our curse: like that of Cain,
It makes us wander; wander earth around
To fly that tyrant, Thought. As Atlas groaned
The world beneath, we groan beneath an hour.
We cry for mercy to the next amusement:
The next amusement mortgages our fields;
Slight inconvenience! prisons hardly frown,
From hateful Time if prisons set us free.
Yet when Death kindly tenders us relief,
We call him cruel; years to moments shrink,
Ages to years. The telescope is turned.
To man’s false optics (from his folly false)
Time, in advance, behind him hides his wings,
And seems to creep, decrepit with his age;
Behold him when past by: what then is seen
But his broad pinions, swifter than the winds?
And all mankind, in contradiction strong,
Rueful, aghast, cry out on his career.

Edward Young

Time, Beauty’s Friend

“Is she still beautiful?” I asked of one
Who of the unforgotten faces told
That for long years I had not looked upon –
“Beautiful still – but she is growing old”;
And for a space I sorrowed, thinking on
That face of April gold.

Then up the summer night the moon arose,
Glassing her sacred beauty in the sea,
That ever at her feet in silver flows;
And with her rising came a thought to me –
How ever old and ever young she grows,
And still more lovely she.

Thereat I smiled, thinking on lovely things
That dateless and immortal beauty wear,
Whereof the song immortal tireless sings,
And Time but touches to make lovelier;
On Beauty sempiternal as the Spring’s –
So old are all things fair.

Then for that face I cast aside my fears,
For changing Time is Beauty’s changeless friend,
That never reaches but for ever nears,
Tireless the old perfections to transcend,
Fairness more fair to fashion with the years,
And loveliest to end.

Richard Le Gallienne

Time: An Enigma

Ever eating, never cloying,
All-devouring, all-destroying,
Never finding full repast
Till I eat the world at last.

Jonathan Swift

Those Days have Gone.

Those days have gone, those happy days,
When we two loved to roam,
Beside the rivulet that strays,
Near by my rustic home.
Yes, they have fled, and in the past,
We’ve left them far behind,
Yet dear I hold, those days of old,
When you were true and kind.

You dreamed not then of wealth or fame,
The world was bright and fair,
I seldom knew a grief or game,
That you, too, did not share.
And though I mourn my hapless fate,
In mem’ry’s store I find,
And dearly hold those days of old,
When you were true and kind.

Say, can the wealth you now possess,
Such happiness procure,
As did our youthful pleasures bless,
When both our hearts were pure?
No, – and though wandering apart,
I strive to be resigned;
And dearer hold those days of old,
When you were true and kind.

And if your thoughts should turn to me,
With one pang of regret,
Know that this heart, still beats for thee,
And never will forget;
Those tender links of long ago
Are round my heart entwined,
And dear I hold those days of old,
When you were true and kind.

John Hartley


From “Night Thoughts,” Night I.

Be wise to-day; ’t is madness to defer;
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is pushed out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time;
Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
If not so frequent, would not this be strange?
That ’t is so frequent, this is stranger still.
Of man’s miraculous mistakes this bears
The palm, “That all men are about to live,”
Forever on the brink of being born.
All pay themselves the compliment to think
They one day shall not drivel: and their pride
On this reversion takes up ready praise;
At least, their own; their future selves applaud:
How excellent that life they ne’er will lead!
Time lodged in their own hands is folly’s veils;
That lodged in Fate’s, to wisdom they consign;
The thing they can’t but purpose, they postpone:
’T is not in folly not to scorn a fool,
And scarce in human wisdom to do more.
All promise is poor dilatory man,
And that through every stage. When young, indeed,
In full content we sometimes nobly rest,
Unanxious for ourselves, and only wish,
As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise.
At thirty, man suspects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fifty, chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve;
In all the magnanimity of thought,
Resolves, and re-resolves; then dies the same.
And why? Because he thinks himself immortal.
All men think all men mortal but themselves;
Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate
Strikes through their wounded hearts the sudden dread;
But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air,
Soon close; where passed the shaft, no trace is found.
As from the wing no scar the sky retains,
The parted wave no furrow from the keel,
So dies in human hearts the thought of death:
Even with the tender tears which Nature sheds
O’er those we love, we drop it in their grave.

Edward Young

Till To-Morrow.

Long have I longed, till I am tired
Of longing and desire;
Farewell my points in vain desired,
My dying fire;
Farewell all things that die and fail and tire.

Springtide and youth and useless pleasure
And all my useless scheming,
My hopes of unattainable treasure,
Dreams not worth dreaming,
Glow-worms that gleam but yield no warmth in gleaming,

Farewell all shows that fade in showing:
My wish and joy stand over
Until to-morrow; Heaven is glowing
Through cloudy cover,
Beyond all clouds loves me my Heavenly Lover.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Till To-Morrow.

Good night! good night! – the golden day
Has veiled its sunset beam,
And twilight’s star its beauteous ray
Has mirrored in the stream; –
Low voices come from vale and height,
And murmur soft, good night! good night!

Good night! – the bee with folded wings
Sleeps sweet in honeyed flowers,
And far away the night-bird sings
In dreamy forest bowers,
And slowly fades the western light
In deepening shade, – good night! good night!

Good night! good night! – in whispers low
The ling’ring zephyr sighs,
And softly, in its dreamy flow,
The murm’ring brook replies;
And, where yon casement still is bright,
A softer voice has breathed good-night!

Good night! – as steals the cooling dew
Where the young violet lies,
E’en so may slumber steal anew
To weary human eyes,
And softly steep the aching sight
In dewy rest – good night! good night!

Pamela S. Vining, (J. C. Yule)


There was a young woman named Sue,
Who wanted to catch the 2:02;
Said the trainman, “Don’t hurry
Or flurry or worry;
It’s a minute or two to 2:02.”


Ave atque Vale

Farewell, my Youth! for now we needs must part,
For here the paths divide;
Here hand from hand must sever, heart from heart,—
Divergence deep and wide.

You ’ll wear no withered roses for my sake,
Though I go mourning for you all day long,
Finding no magic more in bower or brake,
No melody in song.

Gray Eld must travel in my company
To seal this severance more fast and sure.
A joyless fellowship, i’ faith, ’t will be,
Yet must we fare together, I and he,
Till I shall tread the footpath way no more.

But when a blackbird pipes among the boughs,
On some dim, iridescent day in spring,
Then I may dream you are remembering
Our ancient vows.

Or when some joy foregone, some fate forsworn,
Looks through the dark eyes of the violet,
I may re-cross the set, forbidden bourne,
I may forget

Our long, long parting for a little while,
Dream of the golden splendors of your smile,
Dream you remember yet.

Rosamund Marriott Watson

The Ballad of Dead Ladies

From the French by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Tell me now in what hidden way is
Lady Flora the lovely Roman?
Where ’s Hipparchia, and where is Thais,
Neither of them the fairer woman?
Where is Echo, beheld of no man,
Only heard on river and mere,—
She whose beauty was more than human?
But where are the snows of yester-year?

Where ’s Heloise, the learned nun,
For whose sake Abeillard, I ween,
Lost manhood and put priesthood on?
(From love he won such dule and teen!)
And where, I pray you, is the Queen
Who willed that Buridan should steer
Sewed in a sack’s mouth down the Seine?
But where are the snows of yester-year?

White Queen Blanche, like a queen of lilies,
With a voice like any mermaiden,—
Bertha Broadfoot, Beatrice, Alice,
And Ermengarde the lady of Maine,—
And that good Joan whom Englishmen
At Rouen doomed and burned her there,—
Mother of God, where are they then?
But where are the snows of yester-year?

Nay, never ask this week, fair lord,
Where they are gone, nor yet this year,
Except with this for an overword,—
But where are the snows of yester-year?

François Villon

The Approach of Age

Sonnet XII.

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silvered o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves,
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard;
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake,
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing ’gainst Time’s scythe can make defence,
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

William Shakespeare

The Old Year and the New

Last night at twelve, amid the knee-deep snows,
A child of Time accepted his repose,—
The eighteen hundred fifty-sixth of grace,
With sudden chance, fell forward on his face.

Solemn and slow the winter sun had gone,
Sailing full early for the port of dawn;
Across broad zones of the ethereal sea,
With even rate he voyaged far and free,
While the cone-shadow of the earth swept round
The other half of heaven’s embracing bound—
A weird and mystic dial-hand to mark,
From orb to orb, along the shuddering arc,
Measured to music of the sphery chime,
The noiseless process of eternal time.

I walked in doubt and dread—as if the weight
Of all the impending heaven upon me sate:
The crisp snow creaked, my breath pushed stiffly out,
And keen frost-sparkles merrily glanced about;
The clear cold stars reached down a frory ray,
Like a fine icicle accrete of spray,
That pricked my blood with many a light attack
Of Lilliput lances in my front and back,
For every several nerve alive to feel
The eager season had some shrewd appeal.

And so the fields I gained, and there I found
The fresh dry snow laid by that querulous sound,
And all grew still as death. Within my breast
Hushing the noisy heart-beat, on I pressed.

The punctual shadow to the summit drew;
Twelve strokes of lighter silence fell like dew,
Audible to the spirit, and behold,
The vision of the Dead Year was unrolled.
Full length he leaned aslant the slumbering snow,
Which clad all things in Chinese weeds of woe,
Easing his fall—that not a breath might mar
The listening awe that yearned from snow to star.

But over him a spirit fair doth smile,
As fain all grief with gladness to beguile;
A torch he bears to light the world anew—
O blithe Young Year, but keep thy promise true!

William Cleaver Wilkinson

The Death of the old Year

Full knee-deep lies the winter snow,
And the winter winds are wearily sighing:
Toll ye the church-bell sad and slow,
And tread softly and speak low,
For the old year lies a-dying.
Old year, you must not die;
You came to us so readily,
You lived with us so steadily,
Old year, you shall not die.

He lieth still: he doth not move:
He will not see the dawn of day.
He hath no other life above.
He gave me a friend, and a true true-love,
And the New-year will take ’em away.
Old year, you must not go;
So long as you have been with us,
Such joy as you have seen with us,
Old year, you shall not go.

He frothed his bumpers to the brim;
A jollier year we shall not see.
But, though his eyes are waxing dim,
And though his foes speak ill of him,
He was a friend to me.
Old year, you shall not die;
We did so laugh and cry with you,
I ’ve half a mind to die with you,
Old year, if you must die.

He was full of joke and jest,
But all his merry quips are o’er.
To see him die, across the waste
His son and heir doth ride post-haste,
But he ’ll be dead before.
Every one for his own.
The night is starry and cold, my friend,
And the New-year, blithe and bold, my friend,
Comes up to take his own.

How hard he breathes! over the snow
I heard just now the crowing cock.
The shadows flicker to and fro:
The cricket chirps: the light burns low:
’T is nearly twelve o’clock.
Shake hands before you die.
Old year, we ’ll dearly rue for you:
What is it we can do for you?
Speak out before you die.

His face is growing sharp and thin.
Alack! our friend is gone.
Close up his eyes: tie up his chin:
Step from the corpse, and let him in
That standeth there alone,
And waiteth at the door.
There ’s a new foot on the floor, my friend,
And a new face at the door, my friend,
A new face at the door.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

A Fancy from Fontenelle

“De mémoires de Roses on n’a point vu mourir le Jardinier.”
The rose in the garden slipped her bud,
And she laughed in the pride of her youthful blood,
As she thought of the Gardener standing by—
“He is old—so old! And he soon must die!”

The full Rose waxed in the warm June air,
And she spread and spread till her heart lay bare;
And she laughed once more as she heard his tread—
“He is older now! He will soon be dead!”

But the breeze of the morning blew, and found
That the leaves of the blown Rose strewed the ground;
And he came at noon, that Gardener old,
And he raked them gently under the mold.

And I wove the thing to a random rhyme:
For the Rose is Beauty; the Gardener, Time.

Austin Dobson

What is the Grass?

From “The Song of Myself”

A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them,
It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out of their mothers’ laps,
And here you are the mothers’ laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues,
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her, it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.

* * * *
My foothold is tenoned and mortised in granite,
I laugh at what you call dissolution,
And I know the amplitude of time.

Walt Whitman

Time Flies

On drives the road – another mile! and still
Time’s horses gallop down the lessening hill
O why such haste, with nothing at the end!
Fain are we all, grim driver, to descend
And stretch with lingering feet the little way
That yet is ours – O stop thy horses, pray!

Yet, sister dear, if we indeed had grace
To win from Time one lasting halting-place,
Which out of all life’s valleys would we choose,
And, choosing – which with willingness would lose?
Would we as children be content to stay,
Because the children are as birds all day;

Or would we still as youngling lovers kiss,
Fearing the ardours of the greater bliss?
The maid be still a maid and never know
Why mothers love their little blossoms so
Or can the mother be content her bud
Shall never open out of babyhood?

Ah yes, Time flies because we fain would fly,
It is such ardent souls as you and I,
Greedy of living, give his wings to him –
And now we grumble that he uses them!

Richard Le Gallienne

The Petrified Fern

In a valley, centuries ago,
Grew a little fern-leaf, green and slender,
Veining delicate and fibres tender;
Waving when the wind crept down so low.
Rushes tall, and moss, and grass grew round it,
Playful sunbeams darted in and found it,
Drops of dew stole in by night, and crowned it,
But no foot of man e’er trod that way;
Earth was young, and keeping holiday.

Monster fishes swam the silent main,
Stately forests waved their giant branches,
Mountains hurled their snowy avalanches,
Mammoth creatures stalked across the plain;
Nature revelled in grand mysteries,
But the little fern was not of these,
Did not number with the hills and trees;
Only grew and waved its wild sweet way,
No one came to note it day by day.

Earth, one time, put on a frolic mood,
Heaved the rocks and changed the mighty motion
Of the deep, strong currents of the ocean;
Moved the plain and shook the haughty wood,
Crushed the little fern in soft moist clay,—
Covered it, and hid it safe away.
O, the long, long centuries since that day!
O, the changes! O, life’s bitter cost,
Since that useless little fern was lost!

Useless? Lost? There came a thoughtful man
Searching Nature’s secrets, far and deep;
From a fissure in a rocky steep
He withdrew a stone, o’er which there ran
Fairy pencillings, a quaint design,
Veinings, leafage, fibres clear and fine.
And the fern’s life lay in every line!
So, I think, God hides some souls away,
Sweetly to surprise us, the last day.

Mary L. Bolles Branch

The Making of Man

As the insect from the rock
Takes the color of its wing;
As the boulder from the shock
Of the ocean’s rhythmic swing
Makes itself a perfect form,
Learns a calmer front to raise;
As the shell, enamelled warm
With the prism’s mystic rays,
Praises wind and wave that make
All its chambers fair and strong;
As the mighty poets take
Grief and pain to build their song:
Even so for every soul,
Whatsoe’er its lot may be,—
Building, as the heavens roll,
Something large and strong and free,—
Things that hurt and things that mar
Shape the man for perfect praise;
Shock and strain and ruin are
Friendlier than the smiling days.

John White Chadwick

Time Long Past.

Like the ghost of a dear friend dead
Is Time long past.
A tone which is now forever fled,
A hope which is now forever past,
A love so sweet it could not last,
Was Time long past.

There were sweet dreams in the night
Of Time long past:
And, was it sadness or delight,
Each day a shadow onward cast
Which made us wish it yet might last –
That Time long past.

There is regret, almost remorse,
For Time long past.
‘Tis like a child’s beloved corse
A father watches, till at last
Beauty is like remembrance, cast
From Time long past.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

The Ascent of Man

He stood upon the earth, and turned
To gaze on sky and land and sea,
While in his ear the whisper burned,
“Behold, these all belong to thee!”

O wondrous call to conquests new!
O thrill of blood! O joy of Soul!
O peaks with ever-widening view!
O race, with still-receding goal!

He heard; he followed, evermore
Stumbling and falling, wandering far,
Yet still advancing, while before
His footsteps shone the guiding star.

He cleft the seas; the torrent loud
He harnessed to his need or whim;
He bade the lightning of the cloud
Run with his words, and toil for him.

He pierced the rock; he scaled the steep;
Destroyed; created; brought to light
The secrets of the deepest deep,
The glories of the highest height!

The future and the past he scanned;
With sense refined and vision keen,
Explored, beyond this lower land,
The treasures of a realm unseen.

Until he stood with regal brow,—
No more, as on the primal sod,
A creature yet ungrown, but now
Lord of two worlds, and child of God!

Rossiter Worthington Raymond

Time’s Lesson.

Mine enemy is growing old, —
I have at last revenge.
The palate of the hate departs;
If any would avenge, —
Let him be quick, the viand flits,
It is a faded meat.
Anger as soon as fed is dead;
‘T is starving makes it fat.

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

Time To Go.

They know the time to go!
The fairy clocks strike their inaudible hour
In field and woodland, and each punctual flower
Bows at the signal an obedient head
And hastes to bed.

The pale Anemone
Glides on her way with scarcely a good-night;
The Violets tie their purple nightcaps tight;
Hand clasped in hand, the dancing Columbines,
In blithesome lines,

Drop their last courtesies,
Flit from the scene, and couch them for their rest;
The Meadow Lily folds her scarlet vest
And hides it ‘neath the Grasses’ lengthening green;
Fair and serene,

Her sister Lily floats
On the blue pond, and raises golden eyes
To court the golden splendor of the skies,–
The sudden signal comes, and down she goes
To find repose,

In the cool depths below,
A little later, and the Asters blue
Depart in crowds, a brave and cheery crew;
While Golden-rod, still wide awake and gay,
Turns him away,

Furls his bright parasol,
And, like a little hero, meets his fate.
The Gentians, very proud to sit up late,
Next follow. Every Fern is tucked and set
‘Neath coverlet,

Downy and soft and warm.
No little seedling voice is heard to grieve
Or make complaints the folding woods beneath;
No lingerer dares to stay, for well they know
The time to go.

Teach us your patience, brave,
Dear flowers, till we shall dare to part like you,
Willing God’s will, sure that his clock strikes true,
That his sweet day augurs a sweeter morrow,
With smiles, not sorrow.

Susan Coolidge (Sarah Chauncey Woolsey)

The Years

To-night I close my eyes and see
A strange procession passing me,
The years before I saw your face
Go by me with a wistful grace;
They pass, the sensitive, shy years,
As one who strives to dance, half blind with tears.

The years went by and never knew
That each one brought me nearer you;
Their path was narrow and apart
And yet it led me to your heart,
Oh, sensitive, shy years, oh, lonely years,
That strove to sing with voices drowned in tears.

Sara Teasdale


Years, many parti-colour’d years,
Some have crept on, and some have flown
Since first before me fell those tears
I never could see fall alone.

Years, not so many, are to come,
Years not so varied, when from you
One more will fall: when, carried home,
I see it not, nor hear Adieu.

Walter Savage Landor

The Years.

“Time in advance behind him hides his wings.” – YOUNG.

As comes amain the glossy flying raven,
That with unwavering wing, breast on the view,
Cleaves slow the lucid air beneath the blue,
And seems scarce other than a figure graven –
Ha! now the sweeping pinions flash as levin,
And all their silken cordage whistles loud! –
Lo, the departing flight, like fleck of cloud,
Is swallowed quick by the awaiting heaven!

So lag and tarry, to the youth, the years
In their oncoming from the brooding sky,
Till bursts at middle life their rushing speed
All breathless with the world of hopes and fears;
And, lo, departing, the Eternal Eye
Winks them to moments in His endless brede!

Theodore Harding Rand

Yesterday And To-Morrow

Yesterday I held your hand,
Reverently I pressed it,
And its gentle yieldingness
From my soul I blessed it.

But to-day I sit alone,
Sad and sore repining;
Must our gold forever know
Flames for the refining?

Yesterday I walked with you,
Could a day be sweeter?
Life was all a lyric song
Set to tricksy meter.

Ah, to-day is like a dirge,–
Place my arms around you,
Let me feel the same dear joy
As when first I found you.

Let me once retrace my steps,
From these roads unpleasant,
Let my heart and mind and soul
All ignore the present.

Yesterday the iron seared
And to-day means sorrow.
Pause, my soul, arise, arise,
Look where gleams the morrow.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

So, here is the greatest compilation of poems about time.

Let me know which one is your favorite! 😉


Top 20 Most Popular Poems of Jean de La Fontaine

These are the top twenty (20) most popular poems of Jean de La Fontaine.

From The Cat Metamorphosed Into A Woman. to The Hare And The Tortoise..

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!…

The Cat Metamorphosed Into A Woman.

A bachelor caress’d his cat,
A darling, fair, and delicate;
So deep in love, he thought her mew
The sweetest voice he ever knew.
By prayers, and tears, and magic art,
The man got Fate to take his part;
And, lo! one morning at his side
His cat, transform’d, became his bride.
In wedded state our man was seen
The fool in courtship he had been.
No lover e’er was so bewitch’d
By any maiden’s charms
As was this husband, so enrich’d
By hers within his arms.
He praised her beauties, this and that,
And saw there nothing of the cat.
In short, by passion’s aid, he
Thought her a perfect lady.

‘Twas night: some carpet-gnawing mice
Disturb’d the nuptial joys.
Excited by the noise,
The bride sprang at them in a trice;
The mice were scared and fled.
The bride, scarce in her bed,
The gnawing heard, and sprang again, –
And this time not in vain,
For, in this novel form array’d,
Of her the mice were less afraid.
Through life she loved this mousing course,
So great is stubborn nature’s force.

In mockery of change, the old
Will keep their youthful bent.
When once the cloth has got its fold,
The smelling-pot its scent,
In vain your efforts and your care
To make them other than they are.
To work reform, do what you will,
Old habit will be habit still.
Nor fork[2] nor strap can mend its manners,
Nor cudgel-blows beat down its banners.
Secure the doors against the renter,
And through the windows it will enter.

Jean de La Fontaine

The Sculptor And The Statue Of Jupiter.

A block of marble was so fine,
To buy it did a sculptor hasten.
‘What shall my chisel, now ’tis mine –
A god, a table, or a basin?’

‘A god,’ said he, ‘the thing shall be;
I’ll arm it, too, with thunder.
Let people quake, and bow the knee
With reverential wonder.’

So well the cunning artist wrought
All things within a mortal’s reach,
That soon the marble wanted nought
Of being Jupiter, but speech.

Indeed, the man whose skill did make
Had scarcely laid his chisel down,
Before himself began to quake,
And fear his manufacture’s frown.

And even this excess of faith
The poet once scarce fell behind,
The hatred fearing, and the wrath,
Of gods the product of his mind.

This trait we see in infancy
Between the baby and its doll,
Of wax or china, it may be –
A pocket stuff’d, or folded shawl.

Imagination rules the heart:
And here we find the fountain head
From whence the pagan errors start,
That o’er the teeming nations spread.

With violent and flaming zeal,
Each takes his own chimera’s part;
Pygmalion[1] doth a passion feel
For Venus chisel’d by his art.

All men, as far as in them lies,
Create realities of dreams.
To truth our nature proves but ice;
To falsehood, fire it seems.

Jean de La Fontaine

The Bitch And Her Friend.

A bitch, that felt her time approaching,
And had no place for parturition,
Went to a female friend, and, broaching
Her delicate condition,
Got leave herself to shut
Within the other’s hut.
At proper time the lender came
Her little premises to claim.
The bitch crawl’d meekly to the door,
And humbly begg’d a fortnight more.
Her little pups, she said, could hardly walk.
In short, the lender yielded to her talk.
The second term expired; the friend had come
To take possession of her house and home.
The bitch, this time, as if she would have bit her,
Replied, ‘I’m ready, madam, with my litter,
To go when you can turn me out.’
Her pups, you see, were fierce and stout.

The creditor, from whom a villain borrows,
Will fewer shillings get again than sorrows.
If you have trusted people of this sort,
You’ll have to plead, and dun, and fight; in short,
If in your house you let one step a foot,
He’ll surely step the other in to boot.

Jean de La Fontaine

The Bird Wounded By An Arrow.

A bird, with plumed arrow shot,
In dying case deplored her lot:
‘Alas!’ she cried, ‘the anguish of the thought!
This ruin partly by myself was brought!
Hard-hearted men! from us to borrow
What wings to us the fatal arrow!
But mock us not, ye cruel race,
For you must often take our place.’

The work of half the human brothers
Is making arms against the others.

Jean de La Fontaine

The Old Woman And Her Two Servants.

A beldam kept two spinning maids,
Who plied so handily their trades,
Those spinning sisters down below
Were bunglers when compared with these.
No care did this old woman know
But giving tasks as she might please.
No sooner did the god of day
His glorious locks enkindle,
Than both the wheels began to play,
And from each whirling spindle
Forth danced the thread right merrily,
And back was coil’d unceasingly.
Soon as the dawn, I say, its tresses show’d,
A graceless cock most punctual crow’d.
The beldam roused, more graceless yet,
In greasy petticoat bedight,
Struck up her farthing light,
And then forthwith the bed beset,
Where deeply, blessedly did snore
Those two maid-servants tired and poor.
One oped an eye, an arm one stretch’d,
And both their breath most sadly fetch’d,
This threat concealing in the sigh –
‘That cursed cock shall surely die!’
And so he did: – they cut his throat,
And put to sleep his rousing note.
And yet this murder mended not
The cruel hardship of their lot;
For now the twain were scarce in bed
Before they heard the summons dread.
The beldam, full of apprehension
Lest oversleep should cause detention,
Ran like a goblin through her mansion.
Thus often, when one thinks
To clear himself from ill,
His effort only sinks
Him in the deeper still.
The beldam, acting for the cock,
Was Scylla for Charybdis’ rock.

Jean de La Fontaine

The Council Held By The Rats

Old Rodilard, a certain cat,
Such havoc of the rats had made,
‘Twas difficult to find a rat
With nature’s debt unpaid.
The few that did remain,
To leave their holes afraid,
From usual food abstain,
Not eating half their fill.
And wonder no one will
That one who made of rats his revel,
With rats pass’d not for cat, but devil.
Now, on a day, this dread rat-eater,
Who had a wife, went out to meet her;
And while he held his caterwauling,
The unkill’d rats, their chapter calling,
Discuss’d the point, in grave debate,
How they might shun impending fate.
Their dean, a prudent rat,
Thought best, and better soon than late,
To bell the fatal cat;
That, when he took his hunting round,
The rats, well caution’d by the sound,
Might hide in safety under ground;
Indeed he knew no other means.
And all the rest
At once confess’d
Their minds were with the dean’s.
No better plan, they all believed,
Could possibly have been conceived,
No doubt the thing would work right well,
If any one would hang the bell.
But, one by one, said every rat,
‘I’m not so big a fool as that.’
The plan, knock’d up in this respect,
The council closed without effect.

And many a council I have seen,
Or reverend chapter with its dean,
That, thus resolving wisely,
Fell through like this precisely.

To argue or refute
Wise counsellors abound;
The man to execute
Is harder to be found.

Jean de La Fontaine

The Acorn And The Pumpkin.

God’s works are good. This truth to prove
Around the world I need not move;
I do it by the nearest pumpkin.
‘This fruit so large, on vine so small,’
Surveying once, exclaim’d a bumpkin –
‘What could He mean who made us all?
He’s left this pumpkin out of place.
If I had order’d in the case,
Upon that oak it should have hung –
A noble fruit as ever swung
To grace a tree so firm and strong.
Indeed, it was a great mistake,
As this discovery teaches,
That I myself did not partake
His counsels whom my curate preaches.
All things had then in order come;
This acorn, for example,
Not bigger than my thumb,
Had not disgraced a tree so ample.
The more I think, the more I wonder
To see outraged proportion’s laws,
And that without the slightest cause;
God surely made an awkward blunder.’
With such reflections proudly fraught,
Our sage grew tired of mighty thought,
And threw himself on Nature’s lap,
Beneath an oak, – to take his nap.
Plump on his nose, by lucky hap,
An acorn fell: he waked, and in
The matted beard that graced his chin,
He found the cause of such a bruise
As made him different language use.
‘O! O!’ he cried; ‘I bleed! I bleed!
And this is what has done the deed!
But, truly, what had been my fate,
Had this had half a pumpkin’s weight!
I see that God had reasons good,
And all his works well understood.’
Thus home he went in humbler mood.

Jean de La Fontaine

The Doctors.

The selfsame patient put to test
Two doctors, Fear-the-worst and Hope-the-best.
The latter hoped; the former did maintain
The man would take all medicine in vain.
By different cures the patient was beset,
But erelong cancell’d nature’s debt,
While nursed
As was prescribed by Fear-the-worst.
But over the disease both triumph’d still.
Said one, ‘I well foresaw his death.’
‘Yes,’ said the other, ‘but my pill
Would certainly have saved his breath.’

Jean de La Fontaine

The Bat And The Two Weasels.

A blundering bat once stuck her head
Into a wakeful weasel’s bed;
Whereat the mistress of the house,
A deadly foe of rats and mice,
Was making ready in a trice
To eat the stranger as a mouse.
‘What! do you dare,’ she said, ‘to creep in
The very bed I sometimes sleep in,
Now, after all the provocation
I’ve suffer’d from your thievish nation?
Are you not really a mouse,
That gnawing pest of every house,
Your special aim to do the cheese ill?
Ay, that you are, or I’m no weasel.’
‘I beg your pardon,’ said the bat;
‘My kind is very far from that.
What! I a mouse! Who told you such a lie?
Why, ma’am, I am a bird;
And, if you doubt my word,
Just see the wings with which I fly.
Long live the mice that cleave the sky!’
These reasons had so fair a show,
The weasel let the creature go.

By some strange fancy led,
The same wise blunderhead,
But two or three days later,
Had chosen for her rest
Another weasel’s nest,
This last, of birds a special hater.
New peril brought this step absurd;
Without a moment’s thought or puzzle,
Dame weasel oped her peaked muzzle
To eat th’ intruder as a bird.
‘Hold! do not wrong me,’ cried the bat;
‘I’m truly no such thing as that.
Your eyesight strange conclusions gathers.
What makes a bird, I pray? Its feathers.
I’m cousin of the mice and rats.
Great Jupiter confound the cats!’
The bat, by such adroit replying,
Twice saved herself from dying.

And many a human stranger
Thus turns his coat in danger;
And sings, as suits, where’er he goes,
‘God save the king!’ – or ‘save his foes!’

Jean de La Fontaine

The City Mouse And The Country Mouse.

A City Mouse, with ways polite,
A Country Mouse invited
To sup with him and spend the night.
Said Country Mouse: “De – lighted!”
In truth it proved a royal treat,
With everything that’s good to eat.

Alas! When they had just begun
To gobble their dinner,
A knock was heard that made them run.
The City Mouse seemed thinner.
And as they scampered and turned tail,
He saw the Country Mouse grow pale.

The knocking ceased. A false alarm!
The City Mouse grew braver.
“Come back!” he cried. “No, no! The farm,
Where I’ll not quake or quaver,
Suits me,” replied the Country Mouse.
“You’re welcome to your city house.”

Jean de La Fontaine

Fortune And The Boy.

Beside a well, uncurb’d and deep,
A schoolboy laid him down to sleep:
(Such rogues can do so anywhere.)
If some kind man had seen him there,
He would have leap’d as if distracted;
But Fortune much more wisely acted;
For, passing by, she softly waked the child,
Thus whispering in accents mild:
‘I save your life, my little dear,
And beg you not to venture here
Again, for had you fallen in,
I should have had to bear the sin;
But I demand, in reason’s name,
If for your rashness I’m to blame?’
With this the goddess went her way.
I like her logic, I must say.
There takes place nothing on this planet,
But Fortune ends, whoe’er began it.
In all adventures good or ill,
We look to her to foot the bill.
Has one a stupid, empty pate,
That serves him never till too late,
He clears himself by blaming Fate!

Jean de La Fontaine

The Cat And The Old Rat.

A story-writer of our sort
Historifies, in short,
Of one that may be reckon’d
A Rodilard the Second, – [2]
The Alexander of the cats,
The Attila,[3] the scourge of rats,
Whose fierce and whisker’d head
Among the latter spread,
A league around, its dread;
Who seem’d, indeed, determined
The world should be unvermined.
The planks with props more false than slim,
The tempting heaps of poison’d meal,
The traps of wire and traps of steel,
Were only play compared with him.
At length, so sadly were they scared.
The rats and mice no longer dared
To show their thievish faces
Outside their hiding-places,
Thus shunning all pursuit; whereat
Our crafty General Cat
Contrived to hang himself, as dead,
Beside the wall with downward head,
Resisting gravitation’s laws
By clinging with his hinder claws
To some small bit of string.
The rats esteem’d the thing
A judgment for some naughty deed,
Some thievish snatch,
Or ugly scratch;
And thought their foe had got his meed
By being hung indeed.
With hope elated all
Of laughing at his funeral,
They thrust their noses out in air;
And now to show their heads they dare;
Now dodging back, now venturing more;
At last upon the larder’s store
They fall to filching, as of yore.
A scanty feast enjoy’d these shallows;
Down dropp’d the hung one from his gallows,
And of the hindmost caught.
‘Some other tricks to me are known,’
Said he, while tearing bone from bone,
‘By long experience taught;
The point is settled, free from doubt,
That from your holes you shall come out.’
His threat as good as prophecy
Was proved by Mr. Mildandsly;
For, putting on a mealy robe,
He squatted in an open tub,
And held his purring and his breath; –
Out came the vermin to their death.
On this occasion, one old stager,
A rat as grey as any badger,
Who had in battle lost his tail,
Abstained from smelling at the meal;
And cried, far off, ‘Ah! General Cat,
I much suspect a heap like that;
Your meal is not the thing, perhaps,
For one who knows somewhat of traps;
Should you a sack of meal become,
I’d let you be, and stay at home.’

Well said, I think, and prudently,
By one who knew distrust to be
The parent of security.

Jean de La Fontaine

The Frogs Asking A King.

A certain commonwealth aquatic,
Grown tired of order democratic,
By clamouring in the ears of Jove, effected
Its being to a monarch’s power subjected.
Jove flung it down, at first, a king pacific.
Who nathless fell with such a splash terrific,
The marshy folks, a foolish race and timid,
Made breathless haste to get from him hid.
They dived into the mud beneath the water,
Or found among the reeds and rushes quarter.
And long it was they dared not see
The dreadful face of majesty,
Supposing that some monstrous frog
Had been sent down to rule the bog.
The king was really a log,
Whose gravity inspired with awe
The first that, from his hiding-place
Forth venturing, astonish’d, saw
The royal blockhead’s face.
With trembling and with fear,
At last he drew quite near.
Another follow’d, and another yet,
Till quite a crowd at last were met;
Who, growing fast and strangely bolder,
Perch’d soon upon the royal shoulder.
His gracious majesty kept still,
And let his people work their will.
Clack, clack! what din beset the ears of Jove?
‘We want a king,’ the people said, ‘to move!’
The god straight sent them down a crane,
Who caught and slew them without measure,
And gulp’d their carcasses at pleasure;
Whereat the frogs more wofully complain.
‘What! what!’ great Jupiter replied;
‘By your desires must I be tied?
Think you such government is bad?
You should have kept what first you had;
Which having blindly fail’d to do,
It had been prudent still for you
To let that former king suffice,
More meek and mild, if not so wise.
With this now make yourselves content,
Lest for your sins a worse be sent.’

Jean de La Fontaine

The Acorn and the Pumpkin.

Once there was a country bumpkin
Who observed a great big pumpkin
To a slender stem attached;
While upon an oak tree nourished,
Little acorns grew and flourished.
“Bah!” said he. “That’s badly matched.”

“If, despite my humble station,
I’d a hand in this Creation,
Pumpkins on the oaks would be;
And the acorn, light and little,
On this pumpkin stem so brittle
Would be placed by clever Me.”

Then, fatigued with so much thought, he
Rest beneath the oak tree sought. He
Soon in slumber found repose
But, alas! An acorn, falling
On the spot where he lay sprawling,
Hit him – plump! – Upon the nose.

Up he jumped – a wiser bumpkin.
“Gosh!” he said. “Suppose a pumpkin
Came a-fallin’ on my face!
After all, if I had made things,
I’ll allow that I’m afraid things
Might be some what out of place.”

Jean de La Fontaine

The Fox And The Grapes.

A fox, almost with hunger dying,
Some grapes upon a trellis spying,
To all appearance ripe, clad in
Their tempting russet skin,
Most gladly would have eat them;
But since he could not get them,
So far above his reach the vine –
‘They’re sour,’ he said; ‘such grapes as these,
The dogs may eat them if they please!’

Did he not better than to whine?

Jean de La Fontaine

The Dog And Cat.

A dog and cat, messmates for life,
Were often falling into strife,
Which came to scratching, growls, and snaps,
And spitting in the face, perhaps.
A neighbour dog once chanced to call
Just at the outset of their brawl,
And, thinking Tray was cross and cruel,
To snarl so sharp at Mrs. Mew-well,
Growl’d rather roughly in his ear.
‘And who are you to interfere?’
Exclaim’d the cat, while in his face she flew;
And, as was wise, he suddenly withdrew.

It seems, in spite of all his snarling,
And hers, that Tray was still her darling.

Jean de La Fontaine

The Fox And The Goat.

A fox once journey’d, and for company
A certain bearded, horned goat had he;
Which goat no further than his nose could see.
The fox was deeply versed in trickery.
These travellers did thirst compel
To seek the bottom of a well.
There, having drunk enough for two,
Says fox, ‘My friend, what shall we do?
‘Tis time that we were thinking
Of something else than drinking.
Raise you your feet upon the wall,
And stick your horns up straight and tall;
Then up your back I’ll climb with ease,
And draw you after, if you please.’
‘Yes, by my beard,’ the other said,
”Tis just the thing. I like a head
Well stock’d with sense, like thine.
Had it been left to mine,
I do confess,
I never should have thought of this.’
So Renard clamber’d out,
And, leaving there the goat,
Discharged his obligations
By preaching thus on patience: –
‘Had Heaven put sense thy head within,
To match the beard upon thy chin,
Thou wouldst have thought a bit,
Before descending such a pit.
I’m out of it; good bye:
With prudent effort try
Yourself to extricate.
For me, affairs of state
Permit me not to wait.’

Whatever way you wend,
Consider well the end.

Jean de La Fontaine

The Cock And The Pearl.

A cock scratch’d up, one day,
A pearl of purest ray,
Which to a jeweller he bore.
‘I think it fine,’ he said,
‘But yet a crumb of bread
To me were worth a great deal more.’

So did a dunce inherit
A manuscript of merit,
Which to a publisher he bore.
”Tis good,’ said he, ‘I’m told,
Yet any coin of gold
To me were worth a great deal more.’

Jean de La Fontaine

The Hen With The Golden Eggs.

How avarice loseth all,
By striving all to gain,
I need no witness call
But him whose thrifty hen,
As by the fable we are told,
Laid every day an egg of gold.
‘She hath a treasure in her body,’
Bethinks the avaricious noddy.
He kills and opens – vexed to find
All things like hens of common kind.
Thus spoil’d the source of all his riches,
To misers he a lesson teaches.
In these last changes of the moon,
How often doth one see
Men made as poor as he
By force of getting rich too soon!

Jean de La Fontaine

The Hare And The Tortoise.

To win a race, the swiftness of a dart
Availeth not without a timely start.
The hare and tortoise are my witnesses.
Said tortoise to the swiftest thing that is,
‘I’ll bet that you’ll not reach, so soon as I
The tree on yonder hill we spy.’
‘So soon! Why, madam, are you frantic?’
Replied the creature, with an antic;
‘Pray take, your senses to restore,
A grain or two of hellebore.’
‘Say,’ said the tortoise, ‘what you will;
I dare you to the wager still.’
‘Twas done; the stakes were paid,
And near the goal tree laid –
Of what, is not a question for this place,
Nor who it was that judged the race.
Our hare had scarce five jumps to make,
Of such as he is wont to take,
When, starting just before their beaks
He leaves the hounds at leisure,
Thence till the kalends of the Greeks,
The sterile heath to measure.
Thus having time to browse and doze,
And list which way the zephyr blows,
He makes himself content to wait,
And let the tortoise go her gait
In solemn, senatorial state.
She starts; she moils on, modestly and lowly,
And with a prudent wisdom hastens slowly;
But he, meanwhile, the victory despises,
Thinks lightly of such prizes,
Believes it for his honour
To take late start and gain upon her.
So, feeding, sitting at his ease,
He meditates of what you please,
Till his antagonist he sees
Approach the goal; then starts,
Away like lightning darts:
But vainly does he run;
The race is by the tortoise won.
Cries she, ‘My senses do I lack?
What boots your boasted swiftness now?
You’re beat! and yet, you must allow,
I bore my house upon my back.’

Jean de La Fontaine

All of these poems are masterpieces! No wonder Jean de La Fontaine was known above all for his Fables, which provided an ideal for following fabulists across Europe and France. His skills in story-telling through his poems are indeed magnificent!

Of course, I wouldn’t miss reading my favorite work in this collection―The Bird Wounded By An Arrow. Despite being simple, it conveyed a deeper meaning that made it more interesting.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of Jean de La Fontaine?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


Top 20 Greatest Poems of John Masefield

These are the top twenty (20) greatest poems of John Masefield.

From Laugh And Be Merry to Sea Change.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!.

Laugh And Be Merry

Laugh and be merry, remember, better the world with a song,
Better the world with a blow in the teeth of a wrong.
Laugh, for the time is brief, a thread the length of a span.
Laugh and be proud to belong to the old proud pageant of man.

Laugh and be merry: remember, in olden time.
God made Heaven and Earth for joy He took in a rhyme,
Made them, and filled them full with the strong red wine of
His mirth
The splendid joy of the stars: the joy of the earth.

So we must laugh and drink from the deep blue cup of the sky,
Join the jubilant song of the great stars sweeping by,
Laugh, and battle, and work, and drink of the wine outpoured
In the dear green earth, the sign of the joy of the Lord.

Laugh and be merry together, like brothers akin,
Guesting awhile in the rooms of a beautiful inn,
Glad till the dancing stops, and the lilt of the music ends.
Laugh till the game is played; and be you merry, my friends.

John Masefield

A Ballad Of John Silver

We were schooner-rigged and rakish, with a long and lissome hull,
And we flew the pretty colours of the cross-bones and the skull;
We’d a big black Jolly Roger flapping grimly at the fore,
And we sailed the Spanish Water in the happy days of yore.

We’d a long brass gun amidships, like a well-conducted ship,
We had each a brace of pistols and a cutlass at the hip;
It’s a point which tells against us, and a fact to be deplored,
But we chased the goodly merchant-men and laid their ships aboard.

Then the dead men fouled the scuppers and the wounded filled the chains,
And the paint-work all was spatter-dashed with other people’s brains,
She was boarded, she was looted, she was scuttled till she sank,
And the pale survivors left us by the medium of the plank.

O! then it was (while standing by the taffrail on the poop)
We could hear the drowning folk lament the absent chicken-coop;
Then, having washed the blood away, we’d little else to do
Than to dance a quiet hornpipe as the old salts taught us to.

O! the fiddle on the fo’c’s’le, and the slapping naked soles,
And the genial “Down the middle, Jake, and curtsey when she rolls!”
With the silver seas around us and the pale moon overhead,
And the look-out not a-looking and his pipe-bowl glowing red.

Ah! the pig-tailed, quidding pirates and the pretty pranks we played,
All have since been put a stop-to by the naughty Board of Trade;
The schooners and the merry crews are laid away to rest,
A little south the sunset in the Islands of the Blest.

John Masefield


I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

John Masefield

An Epilogue

I had seen flowers come in stony places
And kind things done by men with ugly faces,
And the gold cup won by the worst horse at the races,
Ao I trust, too.

John Masefield

A Wanderer’s Song

A wind’s in the heart of me, a fire’s in my heels,
I am tired of brick and stone and rumbling wagon-wheels;
I hunger for the sea’s edge, the limit of the land,
Where the wild old Atlantic is shouting on the sand.

Oh I’ll be going, leaving the noises of the street,
To where a lifting foresail-foot is yanking at the sheet;
To a windy, tossing anchorage where yawls and ketches ride,
Oh I’l be going, going, until I meet the tide.

And first I’ll hear the sea-wind, the mewing of the gulls,
The clucking, sucking of the sea about the rusty hulls,
The songs at the capstan at the hooker warping out,
And then the heart of me’ll know I’m there or thereabout.

Oh I am sick of brick and stone, the heart of me is sick,
For windy green, unquiet sea, the realm of Moby Dick;
And I’ll be going, going, from the roaring of the wheels,
For a wind’s in the heart of me, a fire’s in my heels.

John Masefield

The West Wind

It’s a warm wind, the west wind, full of birds’ cries;
I never hear the west wind but tears are in my eyes.
For it comes from the west lands, the old brown hills.
And April’s in the west wind, and daffodils.

It’s a fine land, the west land, for hearts as tired as mine,
Apple orchards blossom there, and the air’s like wine.
There is cool green grass there, where men may lie at rest,
And the thrushes are in song there, fluting from the nest.

“Will ye not come home brother? ye have been long away,
It’s April, and blossom time, and white is the may;
And bright is the sun brother, and warm is the rain,
Will ye not come home, brother, home to us again?

“The young corn is green, brother, where the rabbits run.
It’s blue sky, and white clouds, and warm rain and sun.
It’s song to a man’s soul, brother, fire to a man’s brain,
To hear the wild bees and see the merry spring again.

“Larks are singing in the west, brother, above the green wheat,
So will ye not come home, brother, and rest your tired feet?
I’ve a balm for bruised hearts, brother, sleep for aching eyes,”
Says the warm wind, the west wind, full of birds’ cries.

It’s the white road westwards is the road I must tread
To the green grass, the cool grass, and rest for heart and head,
To the violets, and the warm hearts, and the thrushes’ song,
In the fine land, the west land, the land where I belong.

John Masefield

The Wanderer

All day they loitered by the resting ships,
Telling their beauties over, taking stock;
At night the verdict left my messmate’s lips,
“The Wanderer is the finest ship in dock.”

I had not seen her, but a friend, since drowned,
Drew her, with painted ports, low, lovely, lean,
Saying, “The Wanderer, clipper, outward bound,
The loveliest ship my eyes have ever seen

“Perhaps to-morrow you will see her sail.
She sails at sunrise”: but the morrow showed
No Wanderer setting forth for me to hail;
Far down the stream men pointed where she rode,

Rode the great trackway to the sea, dim, dim,
Already gone before the stars were gone.
I saw her at the sea-line’s smoky rim
Grow swiftly vaguer as they towed her on.

Soon even her masts were hidden in the haze
Beyond the city; she was on her course
To trample billows for a hundred days;
That afternoon the northerner gathered force,

Blowing a small snow from a point of east.
“Oh, fair for her,” we said, “to take her south.”
And in our spirits, as the wind increased,
We saw her there, beyond the river mouth,

Setting her side-lights in the wildering dark,
To glint upon mad water, while the gale
Roared like a battle, snapping like a shark,
And drunken seamen struggled with the sail.

While with sick hearts her mates put out of mind
Their little children, left astern, ashore,
And the gale’s gathering made the darkness’ blind,
Water and air one intermingled roar.

Then we forgot her, for the fiddlers played,
Dancing and singing held our merry crew;
The old ship moaned a little as she swayed.
It blew all night, oh, bitter hard it blew!

So that at midnight I was called on deck
To keep an anchor-watch: I heard the sea
Roar past in white procession filled with wreck;
Intense bright stars burned frosty over me,

And the Greek brig beside us dipped and dipped,
White to the muzzle like a half-tide rock,
Drowned to the mainmast with the seas she shipped;
Her cable-swivels clanged at every shock.

And like a never-dying force, the wind
Roared till we shouted with it, roared until
Its vast virality of wrath was thinned,
Had beat its fury breathless and was still.

By dawn the gale had dwindled into flaw,
A glorious morning followed: with my friend
I climbed the fo’c’s’le-head to see; we saw
The waters hurrying shoreward without end.

Haze blotted out the river’s lowest reach;
Out of the gloom the steamers, passing by,
Called with their sirens, hooting their sea-speech;
Out of the dimness others made reply.

And as we watched, there came a rush of feet
Charging the fo’c’s’le till the hatchway shook.
Men all about us thrust their way, or beat,
Crying, “Wanderer! Down the river! Look!”

I looked with them towards the dimness; there
Gleamed like a spirit striding out of night,
A full-rigged ship unutterably fair,
Her masts like trees in winter, frosty-bright.

Foam trembled at her bows like wisps of wool;
She trembled as she towed. I had not dreamed
That work of man could be so beautiful,
In its own presence and in what it seemed.

“So, she is putting back again,” I said.
“How white with frost her yards are on the fore.”
One of the men about me answer made,
“That is not frost, but all her sails are tore,

“Torn into tatters, youngster, in the gale;
Her best foul-weather suit gone.” It was true,
Her masts were white with rags of tattered sail
Many as gannets when the fish are due.

Beauty in desolation was her pride,
Her crowned array a glory that had been;
She faltered tow’rds us like a swan that died,
But altogether ruined she was still a queen.

“Put back with all her sails gone,” went the word;
Then, from her signals flying, rumor ran,
“The sea that stove her boats in killed her third;
She has been gutted and has lost a man.”

So, as though stepping to a funeral march,
She passed defeated homewards whence she came,
Ragged with tattered canvas white as starch,
A wild bird that misfortune had made tame.

She was refitted soon: another took
The dead man’s office; then the singers hove
Her capstan till the snapping hawsers shook;
Out, with a bubble at her bows, she drove.

Again they towed her seawards, and again
We, watching, praised her beauty, praised her trim,
Saw her fair house-flag flutter at the main,
And slowly saunter seawards, dwindling dim;

And wished her well, and wondered, as she died,
How, when her canvas had been sheeted home,
Her quivering length would sweep into her stride,
Making the greenness milky with her foam.

But when we rose next morning, we discerned
Her beauty once again a shattered thing;
Towing to dock the Wanderer returned,
A wounded sea-bird with a broken wing.

A spar was gone, her rigging’s disarray
Told of a worse disaster than the last;
Like draggled hair dishevelled hung the stay,
Drooping and beating on the broken mast.

Half-mast upon her flagstaff hung her flag;
Word went among us how the broken spar
Had gored her captain like an angry stag,
And killed her mate a half-day from the bar.

She passed to dock along the top of flood.
An old man near me shook his head and swore:
“Like a bad woman, she has tasted blood
There’ll be no trusting in her any more.”

We thought it truth, and when we saw her there
Lying in dock, beyond, across the stream,
We would forget that we had called her fair,
We thought her murderess and the past a dream.

And when she sailed again, we watched in awe,
Wondering what bloody act her beauty planned,
What evil lurked behind the thing we saw,
What strength there was that thus annulled man’s hand,

How next its triumph would compel man’s will
Into compliance with external fate,
How next the powers would use her to work ill
On suffering men; we had not long to wait.

For soon the outcry of derision rose,
“Here comes the Wanderer!” the expected cry.
Guessing the cause, our mockings joined with those
Yelled from the shipping as they towed her by.

She passed us close, her seamen paid no heed
To what was called: they stood, a sullen group,
Smoking and spitting, careless of her need,
Mocking the orders given from the poop.

Her mates and boys were working her; we stared.
What was the reason of this strange return,
This third annulling of the thing prepared?
No outward evil could our eyes discern.

Only like one who having formed a plan
Beyond the pitch of common minds, she sailed,
Mocked and deserted by the common man,
Made half divine to me for having failed.

We learned the reason soon: below the town
A stay had parted like a snapping reed,
“Warning,” the men thought, “not to take her down.”
They took the omen, they would not proceed.

Days passed before another crew would sign.
The Wanderer lay in dock alone, unmanned,
Feared as a thing possessed by powers malign,
Bound under curses not to leave the land.

But under passing Time fear passes too;
That terror passed, the sailors’ hearts grew bold.
We learned in time that she had found a crew
And was bound out southwards as of old.

And in contempt we thought, “A little while
Will bring her back again, dismantled, spoiled.
It is herself; she cannot change her style;
She has the habit now of being foiled.”

So when a ship appeared among the haze,
We thought, “The Wanderer back again”; but no,
No Wanderer showed for many, many days,
Her passing lights made other waters glow.

But we would oft think and talk of her,
Tell newer hands her story, wondering, then,
Upon what ocean she was Wanderer,
Bound to the cities built by foreign men.

And one by one our little conclave thinned,
Passed into ships and sailed and so away,
To drown in some great roaring of the wind,
Wanderers themselves, unhappy fortune’s prey.

And Time went by me making memory dim,
Yet still I wondered if the Wanderer fared
Still pointing to the unreached ocean’s rim,
Brightening the water where her breast was bared.

And much in ports abroad I eyed the ships,
Hoping to see her well-remembered form
Come with a curl of bubbles at her lips
Bright to her berth, the sovereign of the storm.

I never did, and many years went by,
Then, near a Southern port, one Christmas Eve,
I watched a gale go roaring through the sky,
Making the cauldrons of clouds upheave.

Then the wrack tattered and the stars appeared,
Millions of stars that seemed to speak in fire;
A byre cock cried aloud that morning neared,
The swinging wind-vane flashed upon the spire.

And soon men looked upon a glittering earth,
Intensely sparkling like a world new-born;
Only to look was spiritual birth,
So bright the raindrops ran along the thorn

So bright they were, that one could almost pass
Beyond their twinkling to the source, and know
The glory pushing in the blade of grass,
That hidden soul which makes the flowers grow.

That soul was there apparent, not revealed,
Unearthly meanings covered every tree,
That wet grass grew in an immortal field,
Those waters fed some never-wrinkled sea.

The scarlet berries in the hedge stood out
Like revelations but the tongue unknown;
Even in the brooks a joy was quick: the trout
Rushed in a dumbness dumb to me alone.

All of the valley was loud with brooks;
I walked the morning, breasting up the fells,
Taking again lost childhood from the rooks,
Whose cawing came above the Christmas bells.

I had not walked that glittering world before,
But up the hill a prompting came to me,
“This line of upland runs along the shore:
Beyond the hedgerow I shall see the sea.”

And on the instant from beyond away
The long familiar sound, a ship’s bell, broke
The hush below me in the unseen bay.
Old memories came, that inner prompting spoke.

And bright above the hedge a seagull’s wings
Flashed and were steady upon empty air.
“A Power unseen,” I cried, “prepares these things;
Those are her bells, the Wanderer is there.”

So, hurrying to the hedge and looking down,
I saw a mighty bay’s wind-crinkled blue
Ruffling the image of a tranquill town,
With lapsing waters glimmering as they grew.

And near me in the road the shipping swung,
So stately and so still in such a great peace
That like to drooping crests their colors hung,
Only their shadows trembled without cease.

I did but glance upon these anchored ships.
Even as my thought had told, I saw her plain;
Tense, like a supple athlete with lean hips,
Swiftness at pause, the Wanderer come again

Come as of old a queen, untouched by Time,
Resting the beauty that no seas could tire,
Sparkling, as though the midnight’s rain were rime,
Like a man’s thought transfigured into fire,

And as I looked, one of her men began
To sing some simple tune of Christmas day;
Among her crew the song spread, man to man,
Until the singing rang across the bay;

And soon in other anchored ships the men
Joined in the singing with clear throats, until
The farm-boy heard it up the windy glen,
Above the noise of sheep-bells on the hill.

Over the water came the lifted song
Blind pieces in a mighty game we sing;
Life’s battle is a conquest for the strong;
The meaning shows in the defeated thing.

John Masefield

A Creed

I hold that when a person dies
His soul returns again to earth;
Arrayed in some new flesh-disguise
Another mother gives him birth.
With sturdier limbs and brighter brain
The old soul takes the road again.

Such is my own belief and trust;
This hand, this hand that holds the pen,
Has many a hundred times been dust
And turned, as dust, to dust again;
These eyes of mine have blinked and shown
In Thebes, in Troy, in Babylon.

All that I rightly think or do,
Or make, or spoil, or bless, or blast,
Is curse or blessing justly due
For sloth or effort in the past.
My life’s a statement of the sum
Of vice indulged, or overcome.

I know that in my lives to be
My sorry heart will ache and burn,
And worship, unavailingly,
The woman whom I used to spurn,
And shake to see another have
The love I spurned, the love she gave.

And I shall know, in angry words,
In gibes, and mocks, and many a tear,
A carrion flock of homing-birds,
The gibes and scorns I uttered here.
The brave word that I failed to speak
Will brand me dastard on the cheek.

And as I wander on the roads
I shall be helped and healed and blessed;
Dear words shall cheer and be as goads
To urge to heights before unguessed.
My road shall be the road I made;
All that I gave shall be repaid.

So shall I fight, so shall I tread,
In this long war beneath the stars;
So shall a glory wreathe my head,
So shall I faint and show the scars,
Until this case, this clogging mould,
Be smithied all to kingly gold.

John Masefield


One road leads to London,
One road leads to Wales,
My road leads me seawards
To the white dipping sails.

One road leads to the river,
And it goes singing slow;
My road leads to shipping,
Where the bronzed sailors go.

Leads me, lures me, calls me
To salt green tossing sea;
A road without earth’s road-dust
Is the right road for me.

A wet road heaving, shining,
And wild with seagull’s cries,
A mad salt sea-wind blowing
The salt spray in my eyes.

My road calls me, lures me
West, east, south, and north;
Most roads lead men homewards,
My road leads me forth.

To add more miles to the tally
Of grey miles left behind,
In quest of that one beauty
God put me here to find.

John Masefield

The Wild Duck

Twilight. Red in the West.
Dimness. A glow on the wood.
The teams plod home to rest.
The wild duck come to glean.
O souls not understood,
What a wild cry in the pool;
What things have the farm ducks seen
That they cry so–huddle and cry?
Only the soul that goes.
Eager. Eager. Flying.
Over the globe of the moon,
Over the wood that glows.
Wings linked. Necks a-strain,
A rush and a wild crying.

A cry of the long pain
In the reeds of a steel lagoon,
In a land that no man knows.

John Masefield


I have seen dawn and sunset on moors and windy hills
Coming in solemn beauty like slow old tunes of Spain:
I have seen the lady April bringing the daffodils,
Bringing the springing grass and the soft warm April rain.

I have heard the song of the blossoms and the old chant of the sea,
And seen strange lands from under the arched white sails of ships;
But the loveliest thing of beauty God ever has shown to me,
Are her voice, and her hair, and eyes, and the dear red curve of her lips.

John Masefield

Trade Winds

In the harbor, in the island, in the Spanish Seas,
Are the tiny white houses and the orange trees,
And day-long, night-long, the cool and pleasant breeze
Of the steady Trade Winds blowing.

There is the red wine, the nutty Spanish ale,
The shuffle of the dancers, the old salt’s tale,
The squeaking fiddle, and the soughing in the sail
Of the steady Trade Winds blowing.

And o’ nights there’s fire-flies and the yellow moon,
And in the ghostly palm-trees the sleepy tune
Of the quiet voice calling me, the long low croon
Of the steady Trade Winds blowing.

John Masefield

The Seekers

Friends and loves we have none, nor wealth nor blessed abode,
But the hope of the City of God at the other end of the road.

Not for us are content, and quiet, and peace of mind,
For we go seeking a city that we shall never find.

There is no solace on earth for us for such as we,
Who search for a hidden city that we shall never see.

Only the road and the dawn, the sun, the wind, and the rain,
And the watch fire under stars, and sleep, and the road again.

We seek the City of God, and the haunt where beauty dwells,
And we find the noisy mart and the sound of burial bells.

Never the golden city, where radiant people meet,
But the dolorous town where mourners are going about the street.

We travel the dusty road till the light of the day is dim,
And sunset shows us spires away on the world’s rim.

We travel from dawn to dusk, till the day is past and by,
Seeking the Holy City beyond the rim of the sky.

Friends and loves we have none, nor wealth nor blest abode,
But the hope of the City of God at the other end of the road.

John Masefield

Hell’s Pavement

“When I’m discharged in Liverpool ‘n’ draws my bit o’ pay,
I won’t come to sea no more.
I’ll court a pretty little lass ‘n’ have a weddin’ day,
‘N’ settle somewhere down ashore.
I’ll never fare to sea again a-temptin’ Davy Jones,
A-hearkening to the cruel sharks a-hungerin’ for my bones;
I’ll run a blushin’ dairy-farm or go a-crackin’ stones,
Or buy ‘n’ keep a little liquor-store,”—
So he said.

They towed her in to Liverpool, we made the hooker fast,
And the copper-bound officials paid the crew,
And Billy drew his money, but the money didn’t last,
For he painted the alongshore blue,—
It was rum for Poll, and rum for Nan, and gin for Jolly Jack.
He shipped a week later in the clothes upon his back,
He had to pinch a little straw, he had to beg a sack
To sleep on, when his watch was through,—

John Masefield


Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

John Masefield

Seven Poems From ‘Lollingdon Downs’

Here in the self is all that man can know
Of Beauty, all the wonder, all the power,
All the unearthly colour, all the glow,
Here in the self which withers like a flower;
Here in the self which fades as hours pass,
And droops and dies and rots and is forgotten
Sooner, by ages, than the mirroring glass
In which it sees its glory still unrotten.
Here in the flesh, within the flesh, behind,
Swift in the blood and throbbing on the bone,
Beauty herself, the universal mind,
Eternal April wandering alone;
The God, the holy Ghost, the atoning Lord,
Here in the flesh, the never yet explored.

What am I, Life? A thing of watery salt
Held in cohesion by unresting cells
Which work they know not why, which never halt,
Myself unwitting where their master dwells.
I do not bid them, yet they toil, they spin;
A world which uses me as I use them,
Nor do I know which end or which begin,
Nor which to praise, which pamper, which condemn.
So, like a marvel in a marvel set,
I answer to the vast, as wave by wave
The sea of air goes over, dry or wet,
Or the full moon comes swimming from her cave,
Or the great sun comes north, this myriad I
Tingles, not knowing how, yet wondering why.

If I could get within this changing I,
This ever altering thing which yet persists,
Keeping the features it is reckoned by,
While each component atom breaks or twists;
If, wandering past strange groups of shifting forms,
Cells at their hidden marvels hard at work,
Pale from much toil, or red from sudden storms,
I might attain to where the Rulers lurk;
If, pressing past the guards in those grey gates,
The brain’s most folded, intertwisted shell,
I might attain to that which alters fates,
The King, the supreme self, the Master Cell;
Then, on Man’s earthly peak, I might behold
The unearthly self beyond, unguessed, untold.

Ah, we are neither heaven nor earth, but men;
Something that uses and despises both,
That takes its earth’s contentment in the pen,
Then sees the world’s injustice and is wroth,
And flinging off youth’s happy promise, flies
Up to some breach, despising earthly things,
And, in contempt of hell and heaven, dies
Rather than bear some yoke of priests or kings.
Our joys are not of heaven nor earth, but man’s,
A woman’s beauty, or a child’s delight,
The trembling blood when the discoverer scans
The sought-for world, the gussed-at satellite;
The ringing scene, the stone at point to blush
For unborn men to look at and say ‘Hush.’

Roses are beauty, but I never see
Those blood drops from the burning heart of June
Glowing like thought upon the living tree
Without a pity that they die so soon,
Die into petals, like those roses old,
Those women, who were summer in men’s hearts
Before the smile upon the Sphinx was cold
Or sand had hid the Syrian and his arts.
O myriad dust of beauty that lies thick
Under our feet that not a single grain
But stirred and moved in beauty and was quick
For one brief moon and died nor lived again;
But when the moon rose lay upon the grass
Pasture to living beauty, life that was.

I went into the fields, but you were there
Waiting for me, so all the summer flowers
Were only glimpses of your starry powers;
Beautiful and inspired dust they were.

I went down by the waters, and a bird
Sang with your voice in all the unknown tones
Of all that self of you I have not heard,
So that my being felt you to the bones.

I went into the house, and shut the door
To be alone, but you were there with me;
All beauty in a little room may be,
Though the roof lean and muddy be the floor.

Then in my bed I bound my tired eyes
To make a darkness for my weary brain;
But like a presence you were there again,
Being and real, beautiful and wise,

So that I could not sleep, and cried aloud,
‘ You strange grave thing, what is it you would say? ‘
The redness of your dear lips dimmed to grey,
The waters ebbed, the moon hid in a cloud.

Death lies in wait for you, you wild thing in the wood,
Shy-footed, beauty dear, half-seen, half-understood,
Glimpsed in the beech-wood dim and in the dropping fir,
Shy like a fawn and sweet and beauty’s minister.
Glimpsed as in flying clouds by night the little moon,
A wonder, a delight, a paleness passing soon.

Only a moment held, only an hour seen,
Only an instant known in all that life has been,
One instant in the sand to drink that gush of grace,
The beauty of your way, the marvel of your face.

Death lies in wait for you, but few short hours he gives;
I perish even as you by whom all spirit lives.
Come to me, spirit, come, and fill my hour of breath
With hours of life in life that pay no toll to death.

John Masefield

A Valediction

We’re bound for blue water where the great winds blow,
It’s time to get the tacks aboard, time for us to go;
The crowd’s at the capstan and the tune’s in the shout,
“A long pull, a strong pull, and warp the hooker out.”

The bow-wash is eddying, spreading from the bows,
Aloft and loose the topsails and some one give a rouse;
A salt-Atlantic chanty shall be music to the dead,
“A long pull, a strong pull, and the yard to the masthead.”

Shrilly squeal the running sheaves, the weather-gear strains,
Such a clatter of chain-sheets, the devil’s in the chains;
Over us the bright stars, under us the drowned,
“A long pull, a strong pull, and we’re outward bound.”

Yonder, round and ruddy, is the mellow old moon,
The red-funnelled tug has gone, and now, sonny, soon
We’ll be clear of the Channel, so watch how you steer,
“Ease her when she pitches, and so-long, my dear.”

John Masefield

Captain Stratton’s Fancy

Oh some are fond of red wine, and some are fond of white,
And some are all for dancing by the pale moonlight;
But rum alone’s the tipple, and the heart’s delight
Of the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Oh some are fond of Spanish wine, and some are fond of French,
And some’ll swallow tay and stuff fit only for a wench;
But I’m for right Jamaica till I roll beneath the bench,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Oh some are for the lily, and some are for the rose,
But I am for the sugar-cane that in Jamaica grows;
For it’s that that makes the bonny drink to warm my copper nose,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Oh some are fond of fiddles, and a song well sung,
And some are all for music for to lilt upon the tongue;
But mouths were made for tankards, and for sucking at the bung,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Oh some are fond of dancing, and some are fond of dice,
And some are all for red lips, and pretty lasses’ eyes;
But a right Jamaica puncheon is a finer prize
To the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Oh some that’s good and godly ones they hold that it’s a sin
To troll the jolly bowl around, and let the dollars spin;
But I’m for toleration and for drinking at an inn,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Oh some are sad and wretched folk that go in silken suits,
And there’s a mort of wicked rogues that live in good reputes;
So I’m for drinking honestly, and dying in my boots,
Like an old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

John Masefield

The Lemmings

Once in a hundred years the Lemmings come
Westward, in search of food, over the snow;
Westward until the salt sea drowns them dumb;
Westward, till all are drowned, those Lemmings go.
Once, it is thought, there was a westward land
Now drowned where there was food for those starved things,
And memory of the place has burnt its brand
In the little brains of all the Lemming Kings.
Perhaps, long since, there was a land beyond
Westward from death, some city, some calm place
Where one could taste God’s quiet and be fond
With the little beauty of a human face;
But now the land is drowned. Yet we still press
Westward, in search, to death, to nothingness.

John Masefield

Sea Change

“Goneys an’ gullies an’ all o’ the birds o’ the sea
They ain’t no birds, not really”, said Billy the Dane.
“Not mollies, nor gullies, nor goneys at all”, said he,
“But simply the sperrits of mariners livin’ again.

“Them birds goin’ fishin’ is nothin’ but the souls o’ the drowned,
Souls o’ the drowned, an’ the kicked as are never no more
An’ that there haughty old albatross cruisin’ around,
Belike he’s Admiral Nelson or Admiral Noah.

“An’ merry’s the life they are living. They settle and dip,
They fishes, they never stands watches, they waggle their wings;
When a ship comes by, they fly to look at the ship
To see how the nowaday mariners manages things.

“When freezing aloft in a snorter I tell you I wish,
(Though maybe it ain’t like a Christian), I wish I could be
A haughty old copper-bound albatross dipping for fish
And coming the proud over all o’ the birds o’ the sea.”

John Masefield

Wow! This is indeed one of the best poetry collections I’ve read. John Masefield was not just recognized by his poems but also by his novels. He became widely known to society and was appreciated by critics. He was also awarded the annual Edmond de Polignac Prize in 1912.

Of course, Sea-Fever-my all-time favorite poem. It was indeed a masterpiece that will be remembered for millions of decades.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of John Masefield?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


66 Greatest Poems about Admiration

Admiration is a common yet special emotion, and it may come with admiring things, places, and people. Whatever it might be or whomever it might be, we all have diverse admiration in our lives. The same with our greatest poets. They all have their own ways of writing poems creatively about this content.

If you’re interested how poets described admiration through their poems, here are sixty-six (66) greatest poems about it that you would like.

Keep reading!

“When in the chronicle of wasted time”

Sonnet CVI.

When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme,
In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights;
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have expressed
Even such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And, for they looked but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing;
For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

William Shakespeare


The lark now leaves his watery nest,
And climbing shakes his dewy wings,
He takes your window for the east,
And to implore your light, he sings;
Awake, awake, the morn will never rise,
Till she can dress her beauty at your eyes.
The merchant bows unto the seaman’s star,
The ploughman from the sun his season takes;
But still the lover wonders what they are,
Who look for day before his mistress wakes:
Awake, awake, break through your veils of lawn!
Then draw your curtains and begin the dawn.

Sir William Davenant

“Shall I compare thee?”

Sonnet XVIII.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed:
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:—
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

William Shakespeare

My Lady

From the Italian by Charles Eliot Norton

So gentle and so gracious doth appear
My lady when she giveth her salute,
That every tongue becometh, trembling, mute;
Nor do the eyes to look upon her dare.
Although she hears her praises, she doth go
Benignly vested with humility;
And like a thing come down she seems to be
From heaven to earth, a miracle to show.
So pleaseth she whoever cometh nigh,
She gives the heart a sweetness through the eyes,
Which none can understand who doth not prove.
And from her countenance there seems to move
A spirit sweet and in Love’s very guise,
Who to the soul, in going, sayeth: Sigh!

Dante Alighieri

To a Lady

On Her Art of Growing Old Gracefully

You ask a verse, to sing (ah, laughing face!)
Your happy art of growing old with grace?
O Muse, begin, and let the truth—but hold!
First let me see that you are growing old.

John James Piatt

“There is a garden in her face”

From “An Houre’s Recreation in Musicke,” 1606

There is a garden in her face,
Where roses and white lilies blow;
A heavenly paradise is that place,
Wherein all pleasant fruits do grow;
There cherries grow that none may buy,
Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.

Those cherries fairly do enclose
Of orient pearl a double row,
Which when her lovely laughter shows,
They look like rosebuds filled with snow;
Yet them no peer nor prince may buy,
Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.

Her eyes like angels watch them still,
Her brows like bended bows do stand,
Threatening with piercing frowns to kill
All that approach with eye or hand
These sacred cherries to come nigh,
Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.


The Portrait

Give place, ye ladies, and begone,
Boast not yourselves at all:
For here at hand approacheth one
Whose face will stain you all.

The virtue of her lively looks
Excels the precious stone:
I wish to have none other books
To read or look upon.

In each of her two crystal eyes
Smileth a naked boy:
It would you all in heart suffice
To see that lamp of joy.

I think Nature hath lost the mould
Where she her shape did take;
Or else I doubt if Nature could
So fair a creature make.

In life she is Diana chaste,
In truth Penelope;
In word and eke in deed steadfast:
What will you more we say?

If all the world were sought so far,
Who could find such a wight?
Her beauty twinkleth like a star
Within the frosty night.

Her rosial color comes and goes
With such a comely grace,
More ruddier too than in the rose,
Within her lovely face.

At Bacchus’ feast none shall her meet,
Nor at no wanton play,
Nor gazing in an open street,
Nor gadding as astray.

The modest mirth that she doth use
Is mixt with shamefastness;
All vice she doth wholly refuse,
And hateth idleness.

O Lord! it is a world to see
How virtue can repair
And deck in her such honesty,
Whom Nature made so fair!

How might I do to get a graffe
Of this unspotted tree?
For all the rest are plain but chaff,
Which seem good corn to be.

Thomas Heywood

“Give place, ye lovers”

Give place, ye lovers, here before
That spent your boasts and brags in vain;
My lady’s beauty passeth more
The best of yours, I dare well sayen,
Than doth the sun the candle light,
Or brightest day the darkest night.

And thereto hath a troth as just
As had Penelope the fair;
For what she saith, ye may it trust,
As it by writing sealèd were:
And virtues hath she many mo’
Than I with pen have skill to show.

I could rehearse, if that I would,
The whole effect of Nature’s plaint,
When she had lost the perfect mould,
The like to whom she could not paint:
With wringing hands, how she did cry,
And what she said, I know it aye.

I know she swore with raging mind,
Her kingdom only set apart,
There was no loss by law of kind
That could have gone so near her heart;
And this was chiefly all her pain;
“She could not make the like again.”

Sith Nature thus gave her the praise,
To be the chiefest work she wrought,
In faith, methink, some better ways
On your behalf might well be sought,
Than to compare, as ye have done,
To match the candle with the sun.

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey

To His Mistress

Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia

You meaner beauties of the night,
That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number than your light,—
You common people of the skies,
What are you when the moon shall rise?

You curious chanters of the wood,
That warble forth Dame Nature’s lays,
Thinking your passions understood
By your weak accents,—what ’s your praise
When Philomel her voice shall raise?

You violets that first appear,
By your pure purple mantles known,
Like the proud virgins of the year,
As if the spring were all your own,—
What are you when the rose is blown?

So when my mistress shall be seen
In form and beauty of her mind:
By virtue first, then choice, a queen,—
Tell me, if she were not designed
The eclipse and glory of her kind?

Sir Henry Wotton

“The forward violet thus did I chide”

Sonnet XCIX.

The forward violet thus did I chide:—
Sweet thief, whence did thou steal thy sweet that smells,
If not from my love’s breath? the purple pride
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells,
In my love’s veins thou hast too grossly dyed.
The lily I condemnèd for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stolen thy hair:
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another white despair;
A third, nor red nor white, had stolen of both,
And to this robbery had annexed thy breath;
But, for his theft, in pride of all his growth
A vengeful canker eat him up to death.
More flowers I noted, yet I none could see,
But sweet or color it had stolen from thee.

William Shakespeare


From “Twelfth Night,” Act I. Sc. 5.

Viola.—’T is beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature’s own sweet and cunning hand laid on:
Lady, you are the cruel’st she alive,
If you will lead these graces to the grave,
And leave the world no copy.

William Shakespeare

Portia’s Picture

From “The Merchant of Venice,” Act III. Sc. 2.

Fair Portia’s counterfeit? What demi-god
Hath come so near creation? Move these eyes?
Or whether, riding on the balls of mine,
Seem they in motion? Here are severed lips,
Parted with sugar breath; so sweet a bar
Should sunder such sweet friends. Here in her hairs
The painter plays the spider; and hath woven
A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men,
Faster than gnats in cobwebs: but her eyes!—
How could he see to do them? having made one,
Methinks it should have power to steal both his,
And leave itself unfurnished.

William Shakespeare

Modern Love: XXXVI

My Lady unto Madam makes her bow.
The charm of women is, that even while
You’re probed by them for tears you yet may smile,
Nay, laugh outright, as I have done just now.
The interview was gracious: they anoint
(To me aside) each other with fine praise:
Discriminating compliments they raise,
That hit with wondrous aim on the weak point:
My Lady’s nose of Nature might complain.
It is not fashioned aptly to express
Her character of large-browed steadfastness.
But Madam says: ‘Thereof she may be vain!’
Now Madam’s faulty feature is a glazed
And inaccessible eye, that has soft fires,
Wide gates, at love-time only. This admires
My Lady. At the two I stand amazed.

George Meredith

Song: “The shape alone let others prize”

The shape alone let others prize,
The features of the fair:
I look for spirit in her eyes,
And meaning in her air.

A damask cheek, an ivory arm,
Shall ne’er my wishes win:
Give me an animated form,
That speaks a mind within.

A face where awful honor shines,
Where sense and sweetness move,
And angel innocence refines
The tenderness of love.

These are the soul of beauty’s frame;
Without whose vital aid
Unfinished all her features seem,
And all her roses dead.

But ah! where both their charms unite,
How perfect is the view,
With every image of delight,
With graces ever new:

Of power to charm the greatest woe,
The wildest rage control,
Diffusing mildness o’er the brow,
And rapture through the soul.

Their power but faintly to express
All language must despair;
But go, behold Arpasia’s face,
And read it perfect there.

Mark Akenside

Triumph of Charis

See the chariot at hand here of Love!
Wherein my lady rideth!
Each that draws is a swan, or a dove,
And well the car Love guideth.
As she goes, all hearts do duty
Unto her beauty.
And, enamored, do wish, so they might
But enjoy such a sight,
That they still were to run by her side
Through swords, through seas, whither she would ride.

Do but look on her eyes! they do light
All that Love’s world compriseth;
Do but look on her hair! it is bright
As Love’s star when it riseth!
Do but mark, her forehead’s smoother
Than words that soothe her!
And from her arched brows such a grace
Sheds itself through the face,
As alone there triumphs to the life,
All the gain, all the good, of the elements’ strife.

Have you seen but a bright lily grow,
Before rude hands have touched it?
Have you marked but the fall of the snow,
Before the soil hath smutched it?
Have you felt the wool of the beaver?
Or swan’s down ever?
Or have smelt o’ the bud of the brier?
Or the nard i’ the fire?
Or have tasted the bag of the bee?
Oh, so white! oh, so soft! oh, so sweet is she.

Ben Jonson


From “The Rape of the Lock,” Canto II. ll. 7–18.

On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore,
Which Jews might kiss, and Infidels adore,
Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose,
Quick as her eyes, and as unfixed as those:
Favors to none, to all she smiles extends:
Oft she rejects, but never once offends.
Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers strike,
And, like the sun, they shine on all alike.
Yet, graceful ease and sweetness void of pride,
Might hide her faults, if belles had faults to hide;
If to her share some female errors fall,
Look on her face, and you ’ll forget them all.

Alexander Pope

Hero’s Beauty

From the First Sestiad of “Hero and Leander”

On Hellespont, guilty of true love’s blood,
In view and opposite two cities stood,
Sea-borderers, disjoined by Neptune’s might;
The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair,
Whom young Apollo courted for her hair,
And offered as a dower his burning throne,
Where she should sit, for men to gaze upon.
The outside of her garments were of lawn,
The lining purple silk, with gilt stars drawn;
Her wide sleeves green, and bordered with a grove,
Where Venus in her naked glory strove
To please the careless and disdainful eyes
Of proud Adonis, that before her lies;
Her kirtle blue, whereon was many a stain,
Made with the blood of wretched lovers slain.
Upon her head she ware a myrtle wreath,
From whence her veil reached to the ground beneath:
Her veil was artificial flowers and leaves,
Whose workmanship both man and beast deceives:
Many would praise the sweet smell as she past,
When ’t was the odor which her breath forth cast;
And there for honey bees have sought in vain,
And, beat from thence, have lighted there again.
About her neck hung chains of pebble-stone,
Which, lightened by her neck, like diamonds shone.
She ware no gloves; for neither sun nor wind
Would burn or parch her hands, but, to her mind,
Or warm or cool them, for they took delight
To play upon those hands, they were so white.
Buskins of shells, all silvered, usèd she,
And branched with blushing coral to the knee;
Where sparrows perched, of hollow pearl and gold,
Such as the world would wonder to behold:
Those with sweet water oft her handmaid fills,
Which as she went, would cherup through their bills.
Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pined,
And, looking in her face, was strooken blind.
But this is true; so like was one the other,
As he imagined Hero was his mother;
And oftentimes into her bosom flew,
About her naked neck his bare arms threw,
And laid his childish head upon her breast,
And, with still panting rockt, there took his rest.

Christopher Marlowe

“Drink to me only with thine eyes”

From the Greek of Philostratus

From “The Forest”

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 honoring 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!

Ben Jonson

“Eros is missing”

From the Greek by Charles Whibley

Eros is missing. In the early morn
Forth from his bed the rascal took his flight.
Sweet are his tears; his smile is touched with scorn—
A nimble-tongued, swift-footed, fearless sprite!
And he is winged; his hands a quiver bear.
What father ’t was begot him none can tell.
“He is not mine,” Earth, Air, and Sea declare.
That he ’s a foe to all, I know full well.
So keep good watch: beware his snare’s embrace;
Even now his toils may in thy pathway lie.
But look, who ’s that? Ah, there ’s his hiding-place!
I see him, bow and all, in Chloe’s eye.

Meleager of Gadara

A Violet in her Hair

A violet in her lovely hair,
A rose upon her bosom fair!
But O, her eyes
A lovelier violet disclose,
And her ripe lips the sweetest rose
That ’s ’neath the skies.

A lute beneath her graceful hand
Breathes music forth at her command;
But still her tongue
Far richer music calls to birth
Than all the minstrel power on earth
Can give to song.

And thus she moves in tender light,
The purest ray, where all is bright,
Serene, and sweet;
And sheds a graceful influence round,
That hallows e’en the very ground
Beneath her feet!

Charles Swain

To Dianeme

Sweet, be not proud of those two eyes,
Which starlike sparkle in their skies;
Nor be you proud that you can see
All hearts your captives, yours yet free.
Be you not proud of that rich hair,
Which wantons with the lovesick air;
Whenas that ruby which you wear,
Sunk from the tip of your soft ear,
Will last to be a precious stone
When all your world of beauty ’s gone.

Robert Herrick


Like to the clear in highest sphere
Where all imperial glory shines:
Of selfsame color is her hair,
Whether unfolded, or in twines:
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalynd!
Her eyes are sapphires set in snow,
Refining heaven by every wink;
The gods do fear whenas they glow,
And I do tremble when I think
Heigh-ho, would she were mine!

Her cheeks are like the blushing cloud
That beautifies Aurora’s face,
Or like the silver-crimson shroud
That Phœbus’ smiling looks doth grace:
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalynd!
Her lips are like two budded roses
Whom ranks of lilies neighbor nigh,
Within which bounds she balm encloses
Apt to entice a deity:
Heigh-ho, would she were mine!

Her neck, like to a stately tower
Where Love himself emprisoned lies
To watch for glances every hour
From her divine and sacred eyes:
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalynd!
Her paps are centres of delight,
Her breasts are orbs of heavenly frame,
Where Nature moulds the dew of light
To feed perfection with the same:
Heigh-ho, would she were mine!

With orient pearl, with ruby red,
With marble white, with sapphire blue,
Her body every way is fed,
Yet soft to touch and sweet in view:
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalynd!
Nature herself her shape admires;
The gods are wounded in her sight;
And Love forsakes his heavenly fires
And at her eyes his brand doth light:
Heigh-ho, would she were mine!

Then muse not, Nymphs, though I bemoan
The absence of fair Rosalynd,
Since for a fair there ’s fairer none,
Nor for her virtues so divine:
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalynd!
Heigh-ho, my heart! would God that she were mine!

Thomas Lodge

Disdain Returned

He that loves a rosy cheek,
Or a coral lip admires,
Or from starlike eyes doth seek
Fuel to maintain his fires;
As old Time makes these decay,
So his flames must waste away.

But a smooth and steadfast mind,
Gentle thoughts, and calm desires,
Hearts with equal love combined,
Kindle never-dying fires:—
Where these are not, I despise
Lovely cheeks or lips or eyes.

Thomas Carew

To a Lady admiring Herself in a Looking-Glass

Fair lady, when you see the grace
Of beauty in your looking-glass;
A stately forehead, smooth and high,
And full of princely majesty;
A sparkling eye no gem so fair,
Whose lustre dims the Cyprian star;
A glorious cheek, divinely sweet,
Wherein both roses kindly meet;
A cherry lip that would entice
Even gods to kiss at any price;
You think no beauty is so rare
That with your shadow might compare;
That your reflection is alone
The thing that men most dote upon.
Madam, alas! your glass doth lie,
And you are much deceived; for I
A beauty know of richer grace
(Sweet, be not angry), ’t is your face.
Hence, then, O, learn more mild to be,
And leave to lay your blame on me:
If me your real substance move,
When you so much your shadow love,
Wise nature would not let your eye
Look on her own bright majesty;
Which, had you once but gazed upon,
You could, except yourself, love none:
What then you cannot love, let me,
That face I can, you cannot see.
Now you have what to love, you ’ll say,
What then is left for me, I pray?
My face, sweet heart, if it please thee;
That which you can, I cannot see,
So either love shall gain his due,
Yours, sweet, in me, and mine in you.

Thomas Randolph

“Phillis is my only joy”

Phillis is my only joy
Faithless as the wind or seas;
Sometimes coming, sometimes coy,
Yet she never fails to please.
If with a frown
I am cast down,
Phillis, smiling
And beguiling,
Makes me happier than before.

Though, alas! too late I find
Nothing can her fancy fix;
Yet the moment she is kind
I forgive her all her tricks;
Which though I see,
I can’t get free;
She deceiving,
I believing,
What need lovers wish for more?

Sir Charles Sedley


Out upon it. I have loved
Three whole days together;
And am like to love three more,
If it prove fair weather.

Time shall moult away his wings,
Ere he shall discover
In the whole wide world again
Such a constant lover.

But the spite on ’t is, no praise
Is due at all to me;
Love with me had made no stays,
Had it any been but she.

Had it any been but she,
And that very face,
There had been at least ere this
A dozen in her place.

Sir John Suckling

A Vision of Beauty

It was a beauty that I saw,—
So pure, so perfect, as the frame
Of all the universe were lame
To that one figure, could I draw,
Or give least line of it a law:
A skein of silk without a knot!
A fair march made without a halt!
A curious form without a fault!
A printed book without a blot!
All beauty!—and without a spot.

Ben Jonson

To the Princess Lucretia

From London Magazine

Thy unripe youth seemed like the purple rose
That to the warm ray opens not its breast,
But, hiding still within its mossy vest,
Dares not its virgin beauties to disclose;
Or like Aurora, when the heaven first glows,—
For likeness from above will suit thee best,—
When she with gold kindles each mountain crest,
And o’er the plain her pearly mantle throws.
No loss from time thy riper age receives,
Nor can young beauty decked with art’s display
Rival the native graces of thy form:
Thus lovelier is the flower whose full-blown leaves
Perfume the air, and more than orient ray
The sun’s meridian glories blaze and warm.

Torquato Tasso

Vision of a Fair Woman

From Elizabeth A. Sharp’s “Lyra Celtica”

Tell us some of the charms of the stars:
Close and well set were her ivory teeth;
White as the canna upon the moor
Was her bosom the tartan bright beneath.

Her well-rounded forehead shone
Soft and fair as the mountain snow;
Her two breasts were heaving full;
To them did the hearts of heroes flow.

Her lips were ruddier than the rose;
Tender and tunefully sweet her tongue;
White as the foam adown her side
Her delicate fingers extended hung.

Smooth as the dusky down of the elk
Appeared her shady eyebrows to me;
Lovely her cheeks were, like berries red;
From every guile she was wholly free.

Her countenance looked like the gentle buds
Unfolding their beauty in early spring;
Her yellow locks like the gold-browed hills;
And her eyes like the radiance the sunbeams bring.

From the Ancient Erse


From the Greek by Andrew Lang

Now the bright crocus flames, and now
The slim narcissus takes the rain,
And, straying o’er the mountain’s brow,
The daffodillies bud again.
The thousand blossoms wax and wane
On wold, and heath, and fragrant bough,
But fairer than the flowers art thou,
Than any growth of hill or plain.

Ye gardens, cast your leafy crown,
That my Love’s feet may tread it down,
Like lilies on the lilies set;
My Love, whose lips are softer far
Than drowsy poppy petals are,
And sweeter than the violets!

Meleager of Gadara


From the German by Edgar Taylor
When from the sod the flowerets spring,
And smile to meet the sun’s bright ray,
When birds their sweetest carols sing,
In all the morning pride of May,
What lovelier than the prospect there?
Can earth boast anything more fair?
To me it seems an almost heaven,
So beauteous to my eyes that vision bright is given.

But when a lady chaste and fair,
Noble, and clad in rich attire,
Walks through the throng with gracious air,
As sun that bids the stars retire,—
Then where are all thy boastings, May?
What hast thou beautiful and gay,
Compared with that supreme delight?
We leave thy loveliest flowers, and watch that lady bright.

Wouldst thou believe me,—come and place
Before thee all this pride of May,
Then look but on my lady’s face,
And which is best and brightest say.
For me, how soon (if choice were mine)
This would I take, and that resign;
And say, “Though sweet thy beauties, May,
I ’d rather forfeit all than lose my lady gay!”

Walther von der Vogelweide

The Girl of Cadiz

Oh, never talk again to me
Of northern climes and British ladies;
It has not been your lot to see
Like me, the lovely girl of Cadiz.
Although her eyes be not of blue,
Nor fair her locks, like English lasses’,
How far its own expressive hue
The languid azure eye surpasses!

Prometheus-like, from heaven she stole
The fire that through those silken lashes
In darkest glances seems to roll,
From eyes that cannot hide their flashes;
And as along her bosom steal
In lengthened flow her raven tresses,
You ’d swear each clustering lock could feel,
And curled to give her neck caresses.

Our English maids are long to woo,
And frigid even in possession;
And if their charms be fair to view,
Their lips are slow at love’s confession;
But, born beneath a brighter sun,
For love ordained the Spanish maid is,
And who, when fondly, fairly won,
Enchants you like the girl of Cadiz?

The Spanish maid is no coquette,
Nor joys to see a lover tremble;
And if she love, or if she hate,
Alike she knows not to dissemble.
Her heart can ne’er be bought or sold—
Howe’er it beats, it beats sincerely;
And, though it will not bend to gold,
’T will love you long, and love you dearly.

The Spanish girl that meets your love
Ne’er taunts you with a mock denial;
For every thought is bent to prove
Her passion in the hour of trial.
When thronging foemen menace Spain,
She dares the deed and shares the danger;
And should her lover press the plain,
She hurls the spear, her love’s avenger.

And when, beneath the evening star,
She mingles in the gay bolero;
Or sings to her attuned guitar
Of Christian knight or Moorish hero;
Or counts her beads with fairy hand
Beneath the twinkling rays of Hesper;
Or joins devotion’s choral band
To chant the sweet and hallowed vesper:

In each her charms the heart must move
Of all who venture to behold her.
Then let no maids less fair reprove,
Because her bosom is not colder;
Through many a clime ’t is mine to roam
Where many a soft and melting maid is,
But none abroad, and few at home,
May match the dark-eyed girl of Cadiz.

Lord Byron

“I fear thy kisses, gentle maiden”

I fear thy kisses, gentle maiden;
Thou needest not fear mine;
My spirit is too deeply laden
Ever to burden thine.

I fear thy mien, thy tones, thy motion;
Thou needest not fear mine;
Innocent is the heart’s devotion
With which I worship thine.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

A Budget of Paradoxes

Child in thy beauty; empress in thy pride;
Sweet and unyielding as the summer’s tide;
Starlike to tremble, starlike to abide.

Guiltless of wounding, yet more true than steel;
Gem-like thy light to flash and to conceal;
Tortoise to bear, insect to see and feel.

Blushing and shy, yet dread we thy disdain;
Smiling, a sunbeam fraught with hints of rain;
Trilling love-notes to freedom’s fierce refrain.

The days are fresh, the hours are wild and sweet,
When spring and winter, dawn and darkness meet;
Nymph, with one welcome, thee and these we greet.

John Martley

Love Dissembled

From “As You Like It,” Act III. Sc. 5.

Think not I love him, though I ask for him;
’T is but a peevish boy:—yet he talks well;—
But what care I for words?—yet words do well,
When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.
But, sure, he ’s proud; and yet his pride becomes him:
He ’ll make a proper man: The best thing in him
Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue
Did make offence, his eye did heal it up.
He is not very tall; yet for his years he ’s tall;
His leg is but so so; and yet ’t is well:
There was a pretty redness in his lip,
A little riper and more lusty red
Than that mixed in his cheek; ’t was just the difference
Betwixt the constant red, and mingled damask.
There be some women, Silvius, had they marked him
In parcels, as I did, would have gone near
To fall in love with him: but, for my part,
I love him not, nor hate him not; and yet
I have more cause to hate him than to love him:
For what had he to do to chide at me?
He said mine eyes were black and my hair black;
And, now I am remembered, scorned at me:
I marvel, why I answered not again:
But that ’s all one; omittance is no quittance.

William Shakespeare

Her Likeness

A girl, who has so many wilful ways
She would have caused Job’s patience to forsake him;
Yet is so rich in all that ’s girlhood’s praise,
Did Job himself upon her goodness gaze,
A little better she would surely make him.

Yet is this girl I sing in naught uncommon,
And very far from angel yet, I trow.
Her faults, her sweetness, are purely human;
Yet she ’s more lovable as simple woman
Than any one diviner that I know.

Therefore I wish that she may safely keep
This womanhede, and change not, only grow:
From maid to matron, youth to age, may creep,
And in perennial blessedness, still reap

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

“She walks in beauty”

“Hebrew Melodies”

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that ’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes,
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o’er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek and o’er that brow
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,—
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.

Lord Byron

“She is not fair to outward view”

She is not fair to outward view,
As many maidens be;
Her loveliness I never knew
Until she smiled on me:
O, then I saw her eye was bright,—
A well of love, a spring of light.

But now her looks are coy and cold;
To mine they ne’er reply;
And yet I cease not to behold
The love-light in her eye:
Her very frowns are fairer far
Than smiles of other maidens are!

Hartley Coleridge

Verses written in an Album

Here is one leaf reserved for me,
From all thy sweet memorials free;
And here my simple song might tell
The feelings thou must guess so well.
But could I thus, within thy mind,
One little vacant corner find,
Where no impression yet is seen,
Where no memorial yet has been,
O, it should be my sweetest care
To write my name forever there!

Thomas Moore

To Roses in the Bosom of Castara

Ye blushing virgins happy are
In the chaste nunnery of her breasts,
For he ’d profane so chaste a fair,
Who e’er should call them Cupid’s nests.

Transplanted thus how bright ye grow,
How rich a perfume do ye yield!
In some close garden cowslips so
Are sweeter than i’ th’ open field.

In those white cloisters live secure
From the rude blasts of wanton breath,
Each hour more innocent and pure,
Till you shall wither into death.

Then that which living gave you room
Your glorious sepulchre shall be:
There wants no marble for a tomb,
Whose breast has marble been to me.

William Habington

To Helen

Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicæan barks of yore,
That gently, o’er a perfumed sea,
The weary, wayworn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs, have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand!
Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy Land!

Edgar Allan Poe

On a Girdle

That which her slender waist confined
Shall now my joyful temples bind;
No monarch but would give his crown,
His arms might do what this hath done.

It was my heaven’s extremest sphere,
The pale which held that lovely deer:
My joy, my grief, my hope, my love,
Did all within this circle move.

A narrow compass! and yet there
Dwelt all that ’s good, and all that ’s fair.
Give me but what this ribbon bound,
Take all the rest the sun goes round!

Edmund Waller

The White Rose

Sent by a Yorkish Lover to His Lancastrian Mistress

If this fair rose offend thy sight,
Placed in thy bosom bare,
’T will blush to find itself less white,
And turn Lancastrian there.

But if thy ruby lip it spy,
As kiss it thou mayest deign,
With envy pale ’t will lose its dye,
And Yorkish turn again.


Song: “Ask me no more where Jove bestows”

Ask me no more where Jove bestows,
When June is past, the fading rose;
For in your beauty’s orient deep,
These flowers, as in their causes, sleep.

Ask me no more whither do stray
The golden atoms of the day;
For in pure love heaven did prepare
Those powders to enrich your hair.

Ask me no more whither doth haste
The nightingale when May is past;
For in your sweet dividing throat,
She winters and keeps warm her note.

Ask me no more where those stars light
That downward fall in dead of night;
For in your eyes they sit, and there
Fixèd become as in their sphere.

Ask me no more if east or west
The Phœnix builds her spicy nest;
For unto you at last she flies,
And in your fragrant bosom dies.

Thomas Carew

“Go, lovely rose”

Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that ’s young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired;
Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.

Then die, that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee;
How small a part of time they share,
That are so wondrous sweet and fair.

Stanza Added by Henry Kirke White

Yet, though thou fade,
From thy dead leaves let fragrance rise;
And teach the maid,
That goodness Time’s rude hand defies,
That virtue lives when beauty dies.

Edmund Waller

“Whenas in silks my Julia goes”

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flowes
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free,
O how that glittering taketh me!

Robert Herrick

“O, do not wanton with those eyes”

O, do not wanton with those eyes,
Lest I be sick with seeing;
Nor cast them down, but let them rise,
Lest shame destroy their being.

O, be not angry with those fires,
For then their threats will kill me;
Nor look too kind on my desires,
For then my hopes will spill me.

O, do not steep them in thy tears,
For so will sorrow slay me;
Nor spread them as distract with fears;
Mine now enough betray me.

Ben Jonson

Black and Blue Eyes

The brilliant black eye
May in triumph let fly
All its darts without caring who feels ’em;
But the soft eye of blue,
Though it scatter wounds too,
Is much better pleased when it heals ’em!
Dear Fanny!

The black eye may say,
“Come and worship my ray;
By adoring, perhaps you may move me!”
But the blue eye, half hid,
Says, from under its lid,
“I love, and am yours, if you love me!”
Dear Fanny!

Then tell me, O why,
In that lovely blue eye,
Not a charm of its tint I discover;
Or why should you wear
The only blue pair
That ever said “No” to a lover?
Dear Fanny!

Thomas Moore

Blue Eyes

Answer to a Sonnet Ending Thus—

“Dark eyes are dearer far
Than those that made the hyacinthine bell.”
By T. H. Reynolds.

Blue! ’T is the life of heaven,—the domain
Of Cynthia,—the wide palace of the sun,—
The tent of Hesperus, and all his train,—
The bosom of clouds, gold, gray, and dun.
Blue! ’T is the life of waters—ocean
And all its vassal streams: pools numberless
May rage, and foam, and fret, but never can
Subside, if not to dark-blue nativeness.
Blue! Gentle cousin of the forest-green,
Married to green in all the sweetest flowers—
Forget-me-not,—the blue-bell,—and, that queen
Of secrecy, the violet: what strange powers
Hast thou, as a mere shadow! But how great,
When in an Eye thou art alive with fate!

John Keats

“O, saw ye the lass?”

O, saw ye the lass wi’ the bonny blue een?
Her smile is the sweetest that ever was seen;
Her cheek like the rose is, but fresher, I ween;
She ’s the loveliest lassie that trips on the green.
The home of my love is below in the valley,
Where wild-flowers welcome the wandering bee;
But the sweetest of flowers in that spot that is seen
Is the maid that I love wi’ the bonny blue een.

When night overshadows her cot in the glen,
She ’ll steal out to meet her loved Donald again;
And when the moon shines on the valley so green,
I ’ll welcome the lass wi’ the bonny blue een.
As the dove that has wandered away from his nest
Returns to the mate his fond heart loves the best,
I ’ll fly from the world’s false and vanishing scene,
To my dear one, the lass wi’ the bonny blue een.

Richard Ryan

A Health

I fill this cup to one made up
Of loveliness alone,
A woman, of her gentle sex
The seeming paragon;
To whom the better elements
And kindly stars have given
A form so fair, that, like the air,
’T is less of earth than heaven.

Her every tone is music’s own,
Like those of morning birds,
And something more than melody
Dwells ever in her words;
The coinage of her heart are they,
And from her lips each flows,
As one may see the burdened bee
Forth issue from the rose.

Affections are as thoughts to her,
The measures of her hours;
Her feelings have the fragrancy,
The freshness of young flowers;
And lovely passions, changing oft,
So fill her, she appears
The image of themselves by turns,—
The idol of past years!

Of her bright face one glance will trace
A picture on the brain,
And of her voice in echoing hearts
A sound must long remain;
But memory, such as mine of her,
So very much endears,
When death is nigh my latest sigh
Will not be life’s, but hers.

I fill this cup to one made up
Of loveliness alone,
A woman, of her gentle sex
The seeming paragon.
Her health! and would on earth there stood
Some more of such a frame,
That life might be all poetry,
And weariness a name.

Edward Coate Pinkney

My Sweetheart’s Face

My kingdom is my sweetheart’s face,
And these the boundaries I trace:
Northward her forehead fair;
Beyond a wilderness of auburn hair;
A rosy cheek to east and west;
Her little mouth
The sunny south.
It is the south that I love best.

Her eyes two crystal lakes,
Rippling with light,
Caught from the sun by day,
The stars by night.
The dimples in
Her cheeks and chin
Are snares which Love hath set,
And I have fallen in!

John Allan Wyeth

Her Guitar

By the fire that loves to tint her
Cheeks the color of a rose,
While the wanton winds of winter
Lose the landscape in the snows,—
While the air grows keen and bitter,
And the clean-cut silver stars
Tremble in the cold and glitter
Through the twilight’s dusky bars,—
In a cosey room where lingers
Happy Time on folded wings,
I am watching five white fingers
Float across six slender strings
Of an old guitar, held lightly,—
Captivated while she sets,
Here and there, five others tightly
On the frets.

Lost in loving contemplation
Of the fair, shy, girlish face
Conscious of no admiration,
Posed with such a charming grace
O’er this instrument some Spanish
Serenader used to keep
Hidden till the sun would vanish
And the birds were fast asleep;
Who, below his loved one’s casement,
With the mellow Southern moon
Through a leafy interlacement
Shining softly, thrummed a tune:
Did she answer it, I wonder?
Did she frame a sweet reply?
Did she grant the wish made under
Such a sky?

This I know, if she had listened
To the melody I ’ve heard,
Mute confessions must have glistened
In her eyes at every word;
And the very stars above her
Must have whispered, one by one,
Something sentimental of her
When the serenade was done.
For this music has but ended,
And I leave my dreams to find
With the notes are somehow blended
Like confessions of my mind;
And the gentle girl who guesses
What these broken secrets are,
Is the one whose arm caresses
This guitar.

Frank Dempster Sherman

On Some Buttercups

A little way below her chin,
Caught in her bosom’s snowy hem,
Some buttercups are fastened in,—
Ah, how I envy them!
They do not miss their meadow place,
Nor are they conscious that their skies
Are not the heavens, but her face,
Her hair, and mild blue eyes.

There, in the downy meshes pinned,
Such sweet illusions haunt their rest;
They think her breath the fragrant wind,
And tremble on her breast;
As if, close to her heart, they heard
A captive secret slip its cell,
And with desire were sudden stirred
To find a voice and tell!

Frank Dempster Sherman

“O, fairest of rural maids!”

O, fairest of the rural maids!
Thy birth was in the forest shades;
Green boughs, and glimpses of the sky,
Were all that met thine infant eye.

Thy sports, thy wanderings, when a child,
Were ever in the sylvan wild,
And all the beauty of the place
Is in thy heart and on thy face.

The twilight of the trees and rocks
Is in the light shade of thy locks;
Thy step is as the wind, that weaves
Its playful way among the leaves.

Thine eyes are springs, in whose serene
And silent waters heaven is seen;
Their lashes are the herbs that look
On their young figures in the brook.

The forest depths, by foot impressed,
Are not more sinless than thy breast;
The holy peace, that fills the air
Of those calm solitudes, is there.

William Cullen Bryant

On the Road to Chorrera

Three horsemen galloped the dusty way
While sun and moon were both in the sky;
An old crone crouched in the cactus’ shade,
And craved an alms as they rode by.
A friendless hag she seemed to be,
But the queen of a bandit crew was she.

One horseman tossed her a scanty dole,
A scoffing couplet the second trolled;
But the third, from his blue eyes frank and free,
No glance vouchsafed the beldam old;
As toward the sunset and the sea,
No evil fearing, rode the three.

A curse she gave for the pittance small,
A gibe for the couplet’s ribald word;
But that which once had been her heart
At sight of the silent horseman stirred:
And safe through the ambushed band they speed
For the sake of the rider who would not heed!

Arlo Bates

The Milking-Maid

The year stood at its equinox,
And bluff the North was blowing,
A bleat of lambs came from the flocks,
Green hardy things were growing;
I met a maid with shining locks
Where milky kine were lowing.

She wore a kerchief on her neck,
Her bare arm showed its dimple,
Her apron spread without a speck,
Her air was frank and simple.

She milked into a wooden pail,
And sang a country ditty,—
An innocent fond lovers’ tale,
That was not wise or witty,
Pathetically rustical,
Too pointless for the city.

She kept in time without a beat,
As true as church-bell ringers,
Unless she tapped time with her feet,
Or squeezed it with her fingers;
Her clear, unstudied notes were sweet
As many a practised singer’s.

I stood a minute out of sight,
Stood silent for a minute,
To eye the pail and creamy white
The frothing milk within it,—

To eye the comely milking-maid,
Herself so fresh and creamy.
“Good day to you!” at last I said;
She turned her head to see me.
“Good day!” she said, with lifted head;
Her eyes looked soft and dreamy.

And all the while she milked and milked
The grave cow heavy-laden:
I ’ve seen grand ladies, plumed and silked,
But not a sweeter maiden;

But not a sweeter, fresher maid
Than this in homely cotton,
Whose pleasant face and silky braid
I have not yet forgotten.

Seven springs have passed since then, as I
Count with a sober sorrow;
Seven springs have come and passed me by,
And spring sets in to-morrow.

I ’ve half a mind to shake myself
Free, just for once, from London,
To set my work upon the shelf,
And leave it done or undone;

To run down by the early train,
Whirl down with shriek and whistle,
And feel the bluff north glow again,
And mark the sprouting thistle
Set up on waste patch of the lane
Its green and tender bristle;

And spy the scarce-blown violet banks,
Crisp primrose-leaves and others,
And watch the lambs leap at their pranks,
And butt their patient mothers.

Alas! one point in all my plan
My serious thoughts demur to:
Seven years have passed for maid and man,
Seven years have passed for her too.

Perhaps my rose is over-blown,
Not rosy, or too rosy;
Perhaps in farm-house of her own
Some husband keeps her cosy,
Where I should show a face unknown,—
Good-bye, my wayside posy!

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Lovely Mary Donnelly

O Lovely Mary Donnelly, it ’s you I love the best!
If fifty girls were round you, I ’d hardly see the rest.
Be what it may the time of day, the place be where it will,
Sweet looks of Mary Donnelly, they bloom before me still.

Her eyes like mountain water that ’s flowing on a rock,
How clear they are! how dark they are! and they give me many a shock.
Red rowans warm in sunshine, and wetted with a shower,
Could ne’er express the charming lip that has me in its power.

Her nose is straight and handsome, her eyebrows lifted up,
Her chin is very neat and pert, and smooth like a china cup,
Her hair ’s the brag of Ireland, so weighty and so fine,—
It ’s rolling down upon her neck, and gathered in a twine.

The dance o’ last Whit-Monday night exceeded all before;
No pretty girl for miles about was missing from the floor;
But Mary kept the belt of love, and O, but she was gay!
She danced a jig, she sung a song, that took my heart away.

When she stood up for dancing, her steps were so complete
The music nearly killed itself to listen to her feet;
The fiddler moaned his blindness, he heard her so much praised,
But blessed himself he wasn’t deaf when once her voice she raised.

And evermore I ’m whistling or lilting what you sung,
Your smile is always in my heart, your name beside my tongue;
But you ’ve as many sweethearts as you ’d count on both your hands,
And for myself there ’s not a thumb or little finger stands.

O, you ’re the flower o’ womankind in country or in town;
The higher I exalt you, the lower I ’m cast down.
If some great lord should come this way, and see your beauty bright,
And you to be his lady, I ’d own it was but right.

O, might we live together in a lofty palace hall,
Where joyful music rises, and where scarlet curtains fall!
O, might we live together in a cottage mean and small;
With sods of grass the only roof, and mud the only wall!

O lovely Mary Donnelly, your beauty ’s my distress;
It ’s far too beauteous to be mine, but I ’ll never wish it less.
The proudest place would fit your face, and I am poor and low;
But blessings be about you, dear, wherever you may go!

William Allingham

The Irish Spinning-Wheel

Show me a sight,
Bates for delight
An ould Irish wheel wid a young Irish girl at it.
Oh no!
Nothing you ’ll show
Aquals her sittin’ an’ takin’ a whirl at it.

Look at her there—
Night in her hair,
The blue ray of day from her eye laughin’ out on us!
Faix, an’ a foot,
Perfect of cut,
Peepin’ to put an end to all doubt in us.

That there ’s a sight
Bates for delight
An ould Irish wheel wid a young Irish girl at it—
Oh no!
Nothin’ you ’ll show
Aquals her sittin’ an’ takin’ a twirl at it.

See! the lamb’s wool
Turns coarse an’ dull
By them soft, beautiful weeshy white hands of her.
Down goes her heel,
Roun’ runs the wheel,
Purrin’ wid pleasure to take the commands of her.

Then show me a sight
Bates for delight
An ould Irish wheel wid a young Irish girl at it.
Oh no!
Nothin’ you ’ll show
Aquals her sittin’ an’ takin’ a twirl at it.

Talk of Three Fates,
Seated on sates,
Spinnin’ and shearin’ away till they ’ve done for me!
You may want three
For your massacree,
But one Fate for me, boys—and only the one for me!

And isn’t that fate
Pictured complate—
An ould Irish wheel with a young Irish girl at it?
Oh no!
Nothin’ you ’ll show
Aquals her sittin’ and takin’ a twirl at it.

Alfred Perceval Graves

The Low-Backed Car

When first I saw sweet Peggy,
’T was on a market day:
A low-backed car she drove, and sat
Upon a truss of hay;
And when that hay was blooming grass
And decked with flowers of spring
No flower was there that could compare
With the blooming girl I sing.
As she sat in the low-backed car,
The man at the turnpike bar
Never asked for the toll,
But just rubbed his ould poll,
And looked after the low-backed car.

In battle’s wild commotion,
The proud and mighty Mars
With hostile scythes demands his tithes
Of death in warlike cars;
While Peggy, peaceful goddess,
Has darts in her bright eye,
That knock men down in the market town,
As right and left they fly;
While she sits in her low-backed car,
Than battle more dangerous far,—
For the doctor’s art
Cannot cure the heart
That is hit from that low-backed car.

Sweet Peggy round her car, sir,
Has strings of ducks and geese,
But the scores of hearts she slaughters
By far outnumber these;
While she among her poultry sits,
Just like a turtle-dove,
Well worth the cage, I do engage,
Of the blooming god of Love!
While she sits in the low-backed car,
The lovers come near and far,
And envy the chicken
That Peggy is pickin’,
As she sits in the low-backed car.

O, I ’d rather own that car, sir,
With Peggy by my side,
Than a coach and four, and gold galore.
And a lady for my bride;
For a lady would sit forninst me,
On a cushion made with taste,—
While Peggy would sit beside me,
With my arm around her waist,
While we drove in the low-backed car,
To be married by Father Mahar;
O, my heart would beat high
At her glance and her sigh,—
Though it beat in a low-backed car!

Samuel Lover

A Gage D’Amour

“Martiis cælebs quid agam Kalendis,
——— miraris?”
—Horace iii. 8.

Charles,—for it seems you wish to know,—
You wonder what could scare me so,
And why, in this long-locked bureau,
With trembling fingers,—
With tragic air, I now replace
This ancient web of yellow lace,
Among whose faded folds the trace
Of perfume lingers.

Friend of my youth, severe as true,
I guess the train your thoughts pursue;
But this my state is nowise due
To indigestion;
I had forgotten it was there,
A scarf that Some-one used to wear.
Hinc illæ lacrimæ,—so spare
Your cynic questions.

Some-one who is not girlish now,
And wed long since. We meet and bow;
I don’t suppose our broken vow
Affects us keenly;
Yet, trifling though my act appears,
Your Sternes would make it ground for tears;—
One can’t disturb the dust of years,
And smile serenely.

“My golden locks” are gray and chill,
For hers,—let them be sacred still;
But yet I own, a boyish thrill
Went dancing through me,
Charles, when I held yon yellow lace;
For, from its dusty hiding-place,
Peeped out an arch, ingenuous face
That beckoned to me.

We shut our heart up nowadays,
Like some old music-box that plays
Unfashionable airs that raise
Derisive pity;
Alas,—a nothing starts the spring;
And lo, the sentimental thing
At once commences quavering
Its lover’s ditty.

Laugh, if you like. The boy in me,—
The boy that was,—revived to see
The fresh young smile that shone when she,
Of old, was tender.
Once more we trod the Golden Way,—
That mother you saw yesterday,
And I, whom none can well portray
As young, or slender.

She twirled the flimsy scarf about
Her pretty head, and stepping out,
Slipped arm in mine, with half a pout
Of childish pleasure.
—Where we were bound no mortal knows,
For then you plunged in Ireland’s woes,
And brought me blankly back to prose
And Gladstone’s measure.

Well, well, the wisest bend to Fate.
My brown old books around me wait,
My pipe still holds, unconfiscate,
Its wonted station.
Pass me the wine. To Those that keep
The bachelor’s secluded sleep
Peaceful, inviolate, and deep,
I pour libation.

Austin Dobson

An Experience and a Moral

I lent my love a book one day;
She brought it back; I laid it by:
’T was little either had to say,—
She was so strange, and I so shy.

But yet we loved indifferent things,—
The sprouting buds, the birds in tune,—
And Time stood still and wreathed his wings
With rosy links from June to June.

For her, what task to dare or do?
What peril tempt? what hardship bear?
But with her—ah! she never knew
My heart and what was hidden there!

And she, with me, so cold and coy,
Seemed a little maid bereft of sense;
But in the crowd, all life and joy,
And full of blushful impudence.

She married,—well,—a woman needs
A mate her life and love to share,—
And little cares sprang up like weeds
And played around her elbow-chair.

And years rolled by,—but I, content,
Trimmed my own lamp, and kept it bright,
Till age’s touch my hair besprent
With rays and gleams of silver light.

And then it chanced I took the book
Which she perused in days gone by;
And as I read, such passion shook
My soul,—I needs must curse or cry.

For, here and there, her love was writ,
In old, half-faded pencil-signs,
As if she yielded—bit by bit—
Her heart in dots and underlines.

Ah, silvered fool, too late you look!
I know it; let me here record
This maxim: Lend no girl a book
Unless you read it afterward!

Frederick Swartwout Cozzens

At the Church-Gate

Although I enter not,
Yet round about the spot
Ofttimes I hover;
And near the sacred gate
With longing eyes I wait,
Expectant of her.

The minster bell tolls out
Above the city’s rout,
And noise and humming;
They ’ve hushed the minster bell;
The organ ’gins to swell;
She ’s coming, coming!

My lady comes at last,
Timid and stepping fast,
And hastening hither,
With modest eyes downcast;
She comes,—she ’s here, she ’s past!
May Heaven go with her!

Kneel undisturbed, fair saint!
Pour out your praise or plaint
Meekly and duly;
I will not enter there,
To sully your pure prayer
With thoughts unruly.

But suffer me to pace
Round the forbidden place,
Lingering a minute,
Like outcast spirits, who wait,
And see, through heaven’s gate,
Angels within it.

William Makepeace Thackeray

No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change: (Sonnet 123)

No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change:
Thy pyramids built up with newer might
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
They are but dressings of a former sight.
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire
What thou dost foist upon us that is old,
And rather make them born to our desire
Than think that we before have heard them told.
Thy registers and thee I both defy,
Not wondering at the present nor the past,
For thy records and what we see doth lie,
Made more or less by thy continual haste.
This I do vow and this shall ever be;
I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee.

William Shakespeare

Who is it that says most? Which can say more (Sonnet 84)

Who is it that says most? Which can say more
Than this rich praise, that you alone are you?
In whose confine immured is the store
Which should example where your equal grew
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell
That to his subject lends not some small glory;
But he that writes of you, if he can tell
That you are you, so dignified his story,
Let him but copy what in you is writ,
Not making worse what nature made so clear
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit,
Making his style admired every where.
You to your beauteous blessings add a curse,
Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse.

William Shakespeare

If there be nothing new, but that which is (Sonnet 59)

If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguiled,
Which, laboring for invention, bear amiss
The second burthen of a former child!
O, that record could with a backward look,
Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some antique book,
Since mind at first in character was done!
That I might see what the old world could say
To this composed wonder of your frame;
Whether we are mended, or whether better they,
Or whether revolution be the same.
O, sure I am, the wits of former days
To subjects worse have given admiring praise.

William Shakespeare

So, here is the greatest compilation of poems about admiration.

Let me know which one is your favorite! 😉


Top 20 Most Popular Poems of Horatio Alger, Jr.

These are the top twenty (20) most popular poems of Horatio Alger, Jr.

From The Whippoorwill And I. to Mrs. Merdle Discourseth Of The Necessity Of Good Wine And Other Matters..

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!.

The Whippoorwill And I.

In the hushed hours of night, when the air quite still,
I hear the strange cry of the lone whippoorwill,
Who Chants, without ceasing, that wonderful trill,
Of which the sole burden is still, “Whip-poor-Will.”

And why should I whip him? Strange visitant,
Has he been playing truant this long summer day?
I listened a moment; more clear and more shrill
Rang the voice of the bird, as he cried, “Whip-poor-Will.”

But what has poor Will done? I ask you once more;
I’ll whip him, don’t fear, if you’ll tell me what for.
I paused for an answer; o’er valley and hill
Rang the voice of the bird, as he cried, “Whip-poor-Will.”

Has he come to your dwelling, by night or by day,
And snatched the young birds from their warm nest away?
I paused for an answer; o’er valley and hill
Rang the voice of the bird, as he cried, “Whip-poor-Will.”

Well, well, I can hear you, don’t have any fears,
I can hear what is constantly dinned in my ears.
The obstinate bird, with his wonderful trill,
Still made but one answer, and that, “Whip-poor-Will.”

But what HAS poor Will done? I prithee explain;
I’m out of all patience, don’t mock me again.
The obstinate bird, with his wonderful trill,
Still made the same answer, and that, “Whip-poor-Will.”

Well, have your own way, then; but if you won’t tell,
I’ll shut down the window, and bid you farewell;
But of one thing be sure, I won’t whip him until
You give me some reason for whipping poor Will.

I listened a moment, as if for reply,
But nothing was heard but the bird’s mocking cry.
I caught the faint echo from valley and hill;
It breathed the same burden, that strange “Whip-poor-Will.”

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Friar Anselmo.

Friar Anselmo (God’s grace may he win!)
Committed one sad day a deadly sin;

Which being done he drew back, self-abhorred,
From the rebuking presence of the Lord,

And, kneeling down, besought, with bitter cry,
Since life was worthless grown, that he might die.

All night he knelt, and, when the morning broke,
In patience still he waits death’s fatal stroke.

When all at once a cry of sharp distress
Aroused Anselmo from his wretchedness;

And, looking from the convent window high,
He saw a wounded traveller gasping lie

Just underneath, who, bruised and stricken sore,
Had crawled for aid unto the convent door.

The friar’s heart with deep compassion stirred,
When the poor wretch’s groans for help were heard

With gentle hands, and touched with love divine,
He bathed his wounds, and poured in oil and wine.

With tender foresight cared for all his needs,–
A blessed ministry of noble deeds.

In such devotion passed seven days. At length
The poor wayfarer gained his wonted strength.

With grateful thanks he left the convent walls,
And once again on death Anselmo calls.

When, lo! his cell was filled with sudden light,
And on the wall he saw an angel write,

(An angel in whose likeness he could trace,
More noble grown, the traveller’s form and face),

“Courage, Anselmo, though thy sin be great,
God grants thee life that thou may’st expiate.

“Thy guilty stains shall be washed white again,
By noble service done thy fellow-men.

“His soul draws nearest unto God above,
Who to his brother ministers in love.”

Meekly Anselmo rose, and, after prayer,
His soul was lightened of its past despair.

Henceforth he strove, obeying God’s high will,
His heaven-appointed mission to fulfil.

And many a soul, oppressed with pain and grief,
Owed to the friar solace and relief.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

The Confession.

I am glad that you have come,
Arthur, from the dusty town;
You must throw aside your cares,
And relax your legal frown.
Coke and Littleton, avaunt!
You have ruled him through the day;
In this quiet, sylvan haunt,
Be content to yield your sway.

It is pleasant, is it not,
Sitting here beneath the trees,
While the restless wind above
Ripples over leafy seas?

Often, when the twilight falls,
In the shadow, quite alone,
I have sat till starlight came,
Listening to its monotone.
Yet not always quite alone,–
Brother, let me take the place
Just behind you now the moon
Shines no longer in my face.

It is near two months ago
Since I met him, as I think,
By God’s mercy, when my horse
Trembled on the river’s brink.
I had fallen, but his arm
Firmly seized the bridle-rein,
And, with one decided grasp,
Drew me back to life again.
I was grateful and essayed
Fitting words my thanks to speak.
Arthur, when the heart feels most,
Words, I think, are oftenest weak.

So I stammered and I fear,
What I said had little grace
But I knew he understood,
By the smile upon his face.
There are faces–his was such–
That are sealed when in repose;
Only when a smile floods out,
All the soul in beauty glows.
With that smile I grew content,
And my heart grew strangely calm,
As with trustful step I walked,
My arm resting on his arm.

Brother, turn your face away,
So, dear, I can tell you best
All that followed; but be sure
You are looking to the west.
Arthur, I have seen him since,
Nearly every day, until
If I lose him, all my life
Would grow wan, and dark, and chill.
Brother, this my love impute
Not to me for maiden-shame;
He has sought me for his wife,
He would crown me with his name.
Only yesterday he said
That my love his life would bless:
Would I grant it? Arthur, dear,
Was I wrong in saying “Yes”?

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Carving A Name.

I wrote my name upon the sand,
And trusted it would stand for aye;
But, soon, alas! the refluent sea
Had washed my feeble lines away.

I carved my name upon the wood,
And, after years, returned again;
I missed the shadow of the tree
That stretched of old upon the plain.

To solid marble next, my name
I gave as a perpetual trust;
An earthquake rent it to its base,
And now it lies, o’erlaid with dust.

All these have failed. In wiser mood
I turn and ask myself, “What then?”
If I would have my name endure,
I’ll write it on the hearts of men,

In characters of living light,
Of kindly deeds and actions wrought.
And these, beyond the touch of time,
Shall live immortal as my thought.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Rose In The Garden.

Thirty years have come and gone,
Melting away like Southern Snows,
Since, in the light of a summer’s night,
I went to the garden to seek my Rose.

Mine! Do you hear it, silver moon,
Flooding my heart with your mellow shine?
Mine! Be witness, ye distant stars,
Looking on me with eyes divine!

Tell me, tell me, wandering winds,
Whisper it, if you may not speak–
Did you ever, in all your round,
Fan a lovelier brow or cheek?

Long I nursed in my heart the love,
Love which felt, but dared not tell,
Till, I scarcely know how or when–
It found wild words,- and all was well!

I can hear her sweet voice even now–
It makes my pulses leap and thrill–
“I owe you more than I well can pay;
You may take me, Robert, if you will!”

One pleasant summer night,
the garden walks alone,
Looking about with restless eyes,
Wondering whither my Rose had flown,

Till, from a leafy arbor near,
There came to my ears the sound of speech.
Who can be with Rose to night?
Let me hide me under the beach.

It must be one of her female friends,
Talking with her in the gloaming gray;
Perchance–I thought–they may speak of me;
Let me listen to what they say.

This I said with a careless smile,
And a joyous heart that was free from fears;
Little I dreamed that the words I heard
Would weigh on my heavy heart for years.

“Rose, my Rose! for your heart is mine,”
I heard in a low voice, passion-fraught,
“In the sight of Heaven we are truly one;
Why will you cast me away for naught?

“Will you give your hand where your heart goes not
To a man who is grave and stern and old;
And whose love compared with my passion-heat,
As the snow of the frozen North, is cold?”

And Rose–I could feel her cheek grow pale–
Her voice was tremulous, then grew strong–
“Richard,” she said, “your words are wild,
And you do my guardian bitter wrong.

“Did you never hear how, years gone by,” —
She spoke in a tremulous undertone–
“Bereft of friends, o’er the world’s highways,
I wandered forth as a child alone?

“He opened to me his home and heart–
He whom you call so stern and cold–
And my grateful heart I may well bestow
On him for his kindness manifold.”

“Rose,” he said, in a saddened tone,
“I thank him for all he has done for thee;
He has acted nobly–I did him wrong–
But is there no voice in your heart for me?”

And Rose–she trembled–I felt it all;
I heard her quick breath come and go;
Her voice was broken; she only said,
“Have pity, Richard, and let me go!”

And then–Heaven gave me strength, I think–
I stood before them calm and still;
You might have thought my tranquil breast
Had never known one passion-thrill.

And they alternate flushed and paled;
Rose tottered, and I feared would fall;
I caught her in supporting arms,
And whispered, “Rose, I heard it all.

“I had a dream, but it is passed,
That we might journey, hand in hand
Along the rugged steeps of life,
Until we reached God’s promised land.

“This was my dream; — ’tis over now;–
Thank Heaven, it is not yet too late!
I pray no selfish act of mine
May keep two young hearts separate.”

I placed her passive hand in his-
With how much pain God only knows–
And blessing him for her sweet sake,
I left him standing with my Rose!

Horatio Alger, Jr.

A Soldier’s Valentine.

Just from the sentry’s tramp
(I must take it again at ten),
I have laid my musket down,
And seized instead my pen;
For, pacing my lonely round
In the chilly twilight gray,
The thought, dear Mary, came,
That this is St. Valentine’s Day.

And with the thought there came
A glimpse of the happy time
When a school-boy’s first attempt
I sent you, in borrowed rhyme,
On a gilt-edged sheet, embossed
With many a quaint design,
And signed, in school-boy hand,
“Your loving Valentine.”

The years have come and gone,–
Have flown, I know not where, —
And the school-boy’s merry face
Is grave with manhood’s care;
But the heart of the man still beats
At the well-remembered name,
And on this St. Valentine’s Day
His choice is still the same.

There was a time– ah, well!
Think not that I repine
When I dreamed this happy day
Would smile on you as mine;
But I heard my country’s call;
I knew her need was sore.
Thank God, no selfish thought
Withheld me from the war.

But when the dear old flag
Shall float in its ancient pride,
When the twain shall be made one,
And feuds no more divide,–
I will lay my musket down,
My martial garb resign,
And turn my joyous feet
Toward home and Valentine.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

How The Author Sometimes Dines.

And now by your leave I will try to expound it,
In truth as it is and the way that I found it.

My dinner, sometimes, like things transcendental
And things more substantial, like women and wine
A thing is, uncertain, and quite accidental,
And sometimes I wonder, “Oh! where shall I dine?”

It was when reflecting one evening of late,
What tavern or hotel or dining-room skinner,
With table cloth dirty and dirtier plate,
Would give me a nausea and call it a dinner,
I met with Jack Merdle, a name fully known
As good for a million in Stock-gamblers’ Street,
Where none but a nabob or forger high flown
With “bulls” or with “bears” need look for a seat.

Horatio Alger, Jr.


I sit in the shadow of apple-boughs,
In the fragrant orchard close,
And around me floats the scented air,
With its wave-like tidal flows.
I close my eyes in a dreamy bliss,
And call no king my peer;
For is not this the rare, sweet time,
The blossoming time of the year?

I lie on a couch of downy grass,
With delicate blossoms strewn,
And I feel the throb of Nature’s heart
Responsive to my own.
Oh, the world is fair, and God is good,
That maketh life so dear;
For is not this the rare, sweet time,
The blossoming time of the year?

I can see, through the rifts of the apple-boughs,
The delicate blue of the sky,
And the changing clouds with their marvellous tints
That drift so lazily by.
And strange, sweet thoughts sing through my brain,
And Heaven, it seemeth near;
Oh, is it not a rare, sweet time,
The blossoming time of the year?

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Summer Hours.

It is the year’s high noon,
The earth sweet incense yields,
And o’er the fresh, green fields
Bends the clear sky of June.

I leave the crowded streets,
The hum of busy life,
Its clamor and its strife,
To breathe thy perfumed sweets.

O rare and golden hours!
The bird’s melodious song,
Wavelike, is borne along
Upon a strand of flowers.

I wander far away,
Where, through the forest trees,
Sports the cool summer breeze,
In wild and wanton play.

A patriarchal elm
Its stately form uprears,
Which twice a hundred years
Has ruled this woodland realm.

I sit beneath its shade,
And watch, with careless eye,
The brook that babbles by,
And cools the leafy glade.

In truth I wonder not,
That in the ancient days
The temples of God’s praise
Were grove and leafy grot.

The noblest ever planned,
With quaint device and rare,
By man, can ill compare
With these from God’s own hand.

Pilgrim with way-worn feet,
Who, treading life’s dull round,
No true repose hast found,
Come to this green retreat.

For bird, and flower, and tree,
Green fields, and woodland wild,
Shall bear, with voices mild,
Sweet messages to thee.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Last Words.

“Dear Charlie,” breathed a soldier,
“O comrade true and tried,
Who in the heat of battle
Pressed closely to my side;
I feel that I am stricken,
My life is ebbing fast;
I fain would have you with me,
Dear Charlie, till the last.

“It seems so sudden, Charlie,
To think to-morrow’s sun
Will look upon me lifeless,
And I not twenty-one!
I little dreamed this morning,
Twould bring my last campaign;
God’s ways are not as our ways,
And I will not complain.

“There’s one at home, dear Charlie,
Will mourn for me when dead,
Whose heart–it is a mother’s–
Can scarce be comforted.
You’ll write and tell her, Charlie,
With my dear love, that I
Fought bravely as a soldier should,
And died as he should die.

“And you will tell her, Charlie,
She must not grieve too much,
Our country claims our young lives,
For she has need of such.
And where is he would falter,
Or turn ignobly back,
When Duty’s voice cries ‘Forward,’
And Honor lights the track ?

“And there’s another, Charlie
(His voice became more low),
When thoughts of HER come o’er me,
It makes it hard to go.
This locket in my bosom,
She gave me just before
I left my native village
For the fearful scenes of war.

“Give her this message, Charlie,
Sent with my dying breath,
To her and to my banner
I’m ‘faithful unto death.’
And if, in that far country
Which I am going to,
Our earthly ties may enter,
I’ll there my love renew.

“Come nearer, closer, Charlie,
My head I fain would rest,
It must be for the last time,
Upon your faithful breast.
Dear friend, I cannot tell you
How in my heart I feel
The depth of your devotion,
Your friendship strong as steel.

“We’ve watched and camped together
In sunshine and in rain;
We’ve shared the toils and perils
Of more than one campaign;
And when my tired feet faltered,
Beneath the noontide heat,
Your words sustained my courage,
Gave new strength to my feet.

“And once,– ’twas at Antietam,–
Pressed hard by thronging foes,
I almost sank exhausted
Beneath their cruel blows,–
When you, dear friend, undaunted,
With headlong courage threw
Your heart into the contest,
And safely brought me through.

“My words are weak, dear Charlie,
My breath is growing scant;
Your hand upon my heart there,
Can you not hear me pant?
Your thoughts I know will wander
Sometimes to where I lie–
How dark it grows! True comrade
And faithful friend, good-by!”

A moment, and he lay there
A statue, pale and calm.
His youthful head reclining
Upon his comrade’s arm.
His limbs upon the greensward
Were stretched in careless grace,
And by the fitful moon was seen
A smile upon his face.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

John Maynard.

‘Twas on Lake Erie’s broad expanse
One bright midsummer day,
The gallant steamer Ocean Queen
Swept proudly on her way.
Bright faces clustered on the deck,
Or, leaning o’er the side,
Watched carelessly the feathery foam
That flecked the rippling tide.

Ah, who beneath that cloudless sky,
That smiling bends serene,
Could dream that danger awful, vast,
Impended o’er the scene,-
Could dream that ere an hour had sped
That frame of sturdy oak
Would sink beneath the lake’s blue waves,
Blackened with fire and smoke?

A seaman sought the captain’s side,
A moment whispered low;
The captain’s swarthy face grew pale;
He hurried down below.
Alas, too late! Though quick, and sharp,
And clear his orders came,
No human efforts could avail
To quench the insidious flame.

The bad news quickly reached the deck,
It sped from lip to lip,
And ghastly Faces everywhere
Looked from the doomed ship.
“Is there no hope–no chance of life?”
A hundred lips implore,
“But one,” the captain made reply,
“To run the ship on shore.”

A sailor, whose heroic soul
That hour should yet reveal,
By name John Maynard, eastern-born,
Stood calmly at the wheel.
“Head her south-east!” the captain shouts,
Above the smothered roar,–
“Head her south-east without delay!
Make for the nearest shore!”

No terror pales the helmsman’s cheek,
Or clouds his dauntless eye,
As, in a sailor’s measured tone,
His voice responds, “Ay! ay!”
Three hundred souls, the steamer’s freight,
Crowd forward wild with fear,
While at the stern the dreaded flames
Above the deck appear.

John Maynard watched the nearing flames,
But still with steady hand
He grasped the wheel, and steadfastly
He steered the ship to land.
“John Maynard, can you still hold out?”
He heard the captain cry;
A voice from out the stifling smoke
Faintly responds, “Ay! ay!”

But half a mile! a hundred hands
Stretch eagerly to shore.
But half a mile! That distance sped
Peril shall all be o’er.
But half a mile! Yet stay, the flames
No longer slowly creep,
But gather round that helmsman bold,
With fierce, impetuous sweep.

“John Maynard!” with an anxious voice
The captain cries once more,
“Stand by the wheel five minutes yet,
And we shall reach the shore.”
Through flame and smoke that dauntless heart
Responded firmly still,
Unawed, though face to face with death,-
“With God’s good help I will!”

The flames approach with giant strides,
They scorch his hand and brow;
One arm, disabled, seeks his side,
Ah! he is conquered now!
But no, his teeth are firmly set,
He crushes down his pain,
His knee upon the stanchion pressed,
He guides the ship again.

One moment yet! one moment yet!
Brave heart, thy task is o’er,
The pebbles grate beneath the keel.
The steamer touches shore.
Three hundred grateful voice rise
In praise to God that he
Hath saved them from the fearful fire,
And from the engulphing sea.

But where is he, that helmsman bold?
The captain saw him reel,-
His nerveless hands released their task,
He sank beside the wheel.
The wave received his lifeless corpse,
Blackened with smoke and fire.
God rest him! Never hero had
A nobler funeral pyre!

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Mrs. Merdle Discourseth Of Pudding.

A pudding! why yes, as I live, too, it’s plum;
So plain, Susan makes them on purpose for me
I never refuse, when the plum puddings come,
To finish my dinner, if finished ‘t can be
On things unsubstantial, like puddings and pies,
So made up of suet, and currants, and flour,
Like this one before us, to get up the size,
And stirred up and beaten with eggs by the hour,
With bread crumbs, and citron, and small piece of mace;
With nutmeg, and cinnamon, and sugar, and milk,
And” currants, and raisins, and spices so race,
And what else I know not of things of that ilk.

The whole after cooking six hours at the least,
When thus well compounded with delicate skill,
With wine sauce is eaten, to finish the feast,
And suits the digestion of ladies quite ill,
Who suffer as I do, from having bad cooks,
And very weak stomachs, and food that near kills ’em;
And then such a sight of bad rules in the books
From contents to finis, to cure one that fills ’em.

There’s one of all others so much recommended
To cure every ill of old Eve’s every daughter,
With nothing or next to’t, for medicine expended,
For nothing to cure with is used but cold water.

And what with the bathing, and washing, and scrubbing;
The packing, and sweating, and using the sheet;
The shower bath, and douche bath, and all sorts of rubbing;
And literally nothing but brown bread to eat,
No wonder the patient accepts of the lure,
To escape such a ducking, acknowledged a cure.

But Lord, what a skein I have made of my yarn,
While Susan’s arranging and changing the plates,
And running all round old Robin Hood’s barn,
Like puzzles at school that we made on our slates;
But talking of puzzles, no one that we made,
While playing the fool we played as a trade,
When childhood and folly joined hands at the schools,
Could equal the pranks of these cold-water fools.

Yes, yes, Mr. Merdle, I knew by the smelling
The pudding was ready, without any telling;
So Colonel, I’ll help you a delicate slice–
For nothing, I’m sure, like a dinner you’ve eaten–
And afterwards follow with jelly and ice,
So pleasant while waiting to cool off the heat on;
And then with a syllabub, comfit, or cream,
Our dessert of almonds and raisins we’ll nibble,
Till coffee comes in to revive with it’s steam,
When cakes in its fragrance we’ll leisurely dibble.

I’m sure after all it’s a terrible bore
To labor so hard as we do for our victuals;
I envy the women that beg at the door,
Or hire out for wages to handle your kettles,
And wash, bake, and iron, and do nothing but cooking,
So rugged and healthy, and often good looking:
The doctor has told me except when they’re mothers,
They never take tincture, or rhubarb, or pill,
And swears the profession if there were no others,
Their patients would use up, and starve out and kill.

I’m sure I don’t see how that makes them exempt
From all sorts of sickness and woman’s complaints,
With nothing to hinder if appetite tempt
From eating or drinking as happy as saints.

Oh Lord, now, this pudding so delicate made,
And gravy I’m sure with nothing that’s rich in,
That one of those women who beg as a trade,
The whole in one stomach could leisurely pitch in,
Is now in my own so terribly painful in feeling,
Its calls for relief are most loudly appealing.

Horatio Alger, Jr.


Throw open wide your golden gates,
O poet-landed month of June,
And waft me, on your spicy breath,
The melody of birds in tune.

O fairest palace of the three,
Wherein Queen Summer holdeth sway,
I gaze upon your leafy courts
From out the vestibule of May.

I fain would tread your garden walks,
Or in your shady bowers recline;
Then open wide your golden gates,
And make them mine, and make them mine.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

King Cotton.

King Cotton looks from his window
Towards the westering sun,
And he marks, with an anguished horror,
That his race is almost run.

His form is thin and shrunken;
His cheek is pale and wan;
And the lines of care on his furrowed brow
Are dread to look upon.

But yesterday a monarch,
In the flush of his pomp and pride,
And, not content with his own broad lands,
He would rule the world beside.

He built him a stately palace,
With gold from beyond the sea;
And he laid with care the corner-stone,
And he called it Slavery:

He summoned an army with banners,
To keep his foes at bay;
And, gazing with pride on his palace walls,
He said, “They will stand for aye!”

But the palace walls are shrunken,
And partly overthrown,
And the storms of war, in their violence,
Have loosened the corner-stone.

Now Famine stalks through the palace halls,
With her gaunt and pallid train;
You can hear the cries of famished men,
As they cry for bread in vain.

The king can see, from his palace walls.
A land by his pride betrayed;
Thousands of mothers and wives bereft.
Thousands of graves new-made.

And he seems to see, in the lowering sky,
The shape of a flaming sword;
Whereon he reads, with a sinking heart,
The anger of the Lord.

God speed the time when the guilty king
Shall be hurled from his blood-stained throne;
And the palace of Wrong shall crumble to dust,
With its boasted corner-stone.

A temple of Freedom shall rise instead,
On the desecrated site:
And within its shelter alike shall stand
The black man and the white.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

The Lost Heart.

One golden summer day,
Along the forest-way,
Young Colin passed with blithesome steps alert.

His locks with careless grace
Rimmed round his handsome face
And drifted outward on the airy surge.

So blithe of heart was he,
He hummed a melody,
And all the birds were hushed to hear him sing.

Across his shoulders flung
His bow and baldric hung:
So, in true huntsman’s guise, he threads the wood.

The sun mounts up the sky,
The air moves sluggishly,
And reeks with summer heat in every pore.

His limbs begin to tire,
Slumbers his youthful fire;
He sinks upon a violet-bed to rest.

The soft winds go and come
With low and drowsy hum,
And ope for him the ivory gate of dreams.

Beneath the forest-shade
There trips a woodland maid,
And marks with startled eye the sleeping youth.

At first she thought to fly,
Then, timid, drawing nigh,
She gazed in wonder on his fair young face.

When swiftly stooping down
Upon his locks so brown
She lightly pressed her lips, and blushing fled.

When Colin woke from sleep,
From slumbers calm and deep,
He felt- he knew not how- his heart had flown.

And so, with anxious care,
He wandered here and there,
But could not find his lost heart anywhere.

Then he, with air distraught,
And brow of anxious thought,
Went out into the world beyond the wood.

Of each that passed him by,
He queried anxiously,
“I prithee, hast thou seen a heart astray?”

Some stared and hurried on,
While others said in scorn.
Your heart has gone in search of your lost wits”

The day is wearing fast,
Young Colin comes at last
To where a cottage stood embowered in trees.

He looks within, and there
He sees a maiden fair,
Who sings low songs the while she plies her wheel.

“I prithee, maiden bright,”–
She turns as quick as light,
And straight a warm flush crimsons all her face.

She, much abashed, looks down,
For on his locks so brown
She seems to see the marks her lips have made.

Whereby she stands confest;
What need to tell the rest?
He said, “I think, fair maid, you have my heart.

“Nay, do not give it back,
I shall not feel the lack,
If thou wilt give to me thine own therefor.”

Horatio Alger, Jr.

What Another Poet Did.

Another expounder of life’s thorny mazes
Excited our pity at fortune’s hard fare,
And troubled the city’s most troublesome places,
While singing his ditty of “Nothing to Wear.”
“A tale worth the telling,”‘ though I tell for the same,
Great objects of pity we see in the street,
“With nothing to wear, though a legion by name,
Is not to buy clothing, but something to eat.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Song Of The Croaker.

An old frog lived in a dismal swamp,
In a dismal kind of way;
And all that he did, whatever befell,
Was to croak the livelong day.
Croak, croak, croak,
When darkness filled the air,
And croak, croak, croak,
When the skies were bright and fair.

“Good Master Frog, a battle is fought,
And the foeman’s power is broke.”
But he only turned a greener hue,
And answered with a croak.
Croak, croak, croak,
When the clouds are dark and dun,
And croak, croak, croak,
In the blaze of the noontide sun.

“Good Master Frog, the forces of right
Are driving the hosts of wrong.”
But he gave his head an ominous shake,
And croaked out, “Nous verrons!”
Croak, croak, croak,
Till the heart is full of gloom,
And croak, croak, croak,
Till the world seems but a tomb.

To poison the cup of life,
By always dreading the worst.
Is to make of the earth a dungeon damp,
And the happiest life accursed.
Croak, croak, croak,
When the noontide sun rides high,
And croak, croak, croak,
Lest the night come by and by.

Farewell to the dismal frog;
Let him croak as loud as he may,
He cannot blot the sun from heaven,
Nor hinder the march of day,
Though he croak, croak, croak,
Till the heart is full of gloom,
And croak, croak, croak,
Till the world seems but a tomb.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Harvard Odes.


(Feb. 23, 1869.)

Fair Harvard, dear guide of our youth’s golden days;
At thy name all our hearts own a thrill,
We turn from life’s .highways, its business, its cares,
We are boys in thy tutelage still.
And the warm blood of youth to our veins, as of yore,
Returns with impetuous flow,
Reviving the scenes and the hopes that were ours
In the vanished, but sweet Long Ago.

Once more through thy walks, Alma Mater, we tread,
And we dream youth’s fair dreams once again,
We are heroes in fight for the Just and the Right,
We are knights without fear, without stain;
Its doors in fair prospect the world opens wide,
Its prizes seem easy to win,–
We are strong in our faith, we are bold in our might,
And we long for the race to begin.

Though dimmed are our hopes, and our visions are fled,
Our dreams were but dreams, it is true;
Dust-stained from the contest we gather to-night,
The sweet dreams of youth to renew.
Enough for to-morrow the cares it shall bring,
We are boys, we are brothers, to-night;
And our hearts, warm with love, Alma Mater, to thee,
Shall in loyal devotion unite.


(Feb. 11, 1870.)

As we meet in thy name, Alma Mater, to-night,
All our hearts and our hopes are as one,
And love for the mother that nurtured his youth
Beats high in the breast of each son.
The sweet chords of Memory bridge o’er the Past,
The years fade away like a dream,
By the banks of Cephissus, beneath the green trees,
We tread thy fair walks, Academe.

The heights of Hymettus that bound the near view
Fill the air with an odor as sweet
As the beautiful clusters of sun-tinted grapes
From the vineyards that lie at our feet.
O realm of enchantment, O Wonderful land,
Where the gods hold high converse with men,
Come out from the dusk of past ages once more,
And live in our fancy again.

Let us drink to the Past as our glasses we lift,
Let eye speak to eye, heart to heart,
Let the bonds of sweet fellowship bind each to each,
In the hours that remain ere we part.
And thou, Alma Mater, grown fairer with age,
Let us echo the blessing that fell
From thy motherly lips, as we stood at thy side,
And thou bad’st us God-speed and Farewell.


(Feb. 21, 1872.)

Fair Harvard, the months have accomplished their round
And a year stands full-orbed and complete,
Since last at thy summons, with dutiful hearts,
Thy children sat here at thy feet.
Since last in thy presence, grown youthful once more,
We drank to the past and its joys,
Shaking off every care that encumbered our years,
And dreamed that again we were boys.

To-night once again in thy presence we meet
In the freshness and flush of life’s spring;
We wait but thy blessing, we ask but thy smile,
As our sails to the free air we fling.
The winds breathe auspicious that waft us along,
The sky, undisturbed, smiles serene,
Hope stands at the prow, and the waters gleam bright
With sparkles of silvery sheen.

And thy voice, Alma Mater, so potent and sweet,
Still sounds in our ears as of yore,
And thy motherly counsel we hear, wisdom-fraught,
As we push our frail barks from the shore.
From the foam-crested waves of the mountainous sea
As backward our glances we strain,
We see the dear face of our mother benign,
And bless her again and again.


(Feb. 21, 1873.)

There’s a fountain of Fable whose magical power
Time’s ravages all could repair,
And replace the bowed form and the tottering step,
The wrinkles and silvery hair,
By the brown flowing locks and the graces of youth,
Its footstep elastic and light,
Could mantle the cheek with its long-vanished bloom
And make the dull eye keen and bright.

‘Tis only a fable–a beautiful dream,
But the fable, the dream, shall come true,
As thy sons, Alma Mater, assemble to-night
The joys of past years to renew.
Our eyes shall grow bright with their old wonted light,
Our spirits untrammelled by care,
And the Goddess of Hope, with her fresh rainbow tints,
Shall paint every prospect more fair.

How sweet were the friendships we formed in thy halls!
How strong were the tendrils that bound
Our hearts to the mother whose provident care
Encompassed her children around!
Now strong in our manhood we cherish her still;
And if by misfortune brought low,
Our strength shall support her, our arms bear her up,
And sustain her through weal and through woe.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Gone To The War.

My Charlie has gone to the war,
My Charlie so brave and tall;
He left his plough in the furrow,
And flew at his country’s call.
May God in safety keep him,–
My precious boy–my all!

My heart is pining to see him;
I miss him every day;
My heart is weary with waiting,
And sick of the long delay,–
But I know his country needs him,
And I could not bid him stay.

I remember how his face flushed,
And how his color came,
When the flash from the guns of Sumter
Lit the whole land with flame,
And darkened our country’s banner
With the crimson hue of shame.

“Mother,” he said, then faltered,–
I felt his mute appeal;
I paused– if you are a mother,
You know what mothers feel,
When called to yield their dear ones
To the cruel bullet and steel.

My heart stood still for a moment,
Struck with a mighty woe;
A faint as of death came o’er me,
I am a mother, you know,
But I sternly checked my weakness,
And firmly bade him “Go.”

Wherever the fight is fiercest
I know that my boy will be;
Wherever the need is sorest
Of the stout arms of the free.
May he prove as true to his country
As he has been true to me.

My home is lonely without him,
My hearth bereft of joy,
The thought of him who has left me
My constant sad employ;
But God has been good to the mother,–
She shall not blush for her boy.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Mrs. Merdle Discourseth Of The Necessity Of Good Wine And Other Matters.

So while we are eating the fruits of the vine,
Don’t let us forget such a health giving juice,
As Champagne, or Sherbet, or other good wine,
Nor sin by neglecting its ‘temperate use.’

Now Sherbet, my husband extols to the skies,
With me though, my stomach is weak and won’t bear it:
And Sherry, though sometimes affecting my eyes,
A bottle with pleasure we’ll open and share it.

Ha, ha, well-a-day–what a queer world to live in,
If one were contented on little to dine,
We need not be longing another to be in,
Where women, they tell us, exist without wine;
Where husbands are happy and women content;
Where dresses, though gauzy, are fit for the street;
Where no one is wretched with purses unbent,
With nothing to wear and nothing to eat.

Where women no longer are treated la Turk,
Where husbands descended from Saxon or Norman,
For women when sickly are willing to work,
And not long for Utah and pleasures la Mormon–
Where men freely marry and live with their wives,
And not live as you do, mon Colonel, so single.

Such wretched and dinnerless bachelor lives;
You don’t know the pleasure there is in the tingle
Of ears pricked by lectures, la curtain, au Caudle,
Or noise of young Dinewells beginning to toddle;
While plodding all day with your paper and quills,
And copy, and proof sheets, and work for the printer,
Pray what do you know of the housekeeper’s bills,
And other such ‘pleasures of hope’ for the winter?

You men, selfish creatures, think all of the care
Of living and keeping yourselves in existence,
Is due to your own daily labor, and share,
From breakfast to dinner of business persistance;
While woman is either a plaything or drudge,
According to station of wealth or position,
Which men help along with a word or a nudge
To heaven high up or low down to perdition.

But what was I saying of a world free from care,
Of eating and drinking and dresses to wear?

Where women by husbands are never tormented,
And never asked money where husbands dissented?
And never see others, their rivals, in fashion ahead,
And never have doctors–a woman’s great dread–
And nothing, I hope, like my own indigestion,
To torment and starve them, as this one does me,
And keep them from sipping–forgive the suggestion–
The nectar etherial they drink for their tea.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

These are extraordinarily poems indeed! No wonder Horatio Alger, Jr.’s writings, not only his poems, were characterized by the “rags-to-riches” narrative. Which also had a formative effect on the United States during the Gilded Age. He’s doubtlessly one of the best poets of all time.

Carving A Name is my most favorite work in his poetry collection. It conveys lots of emotions and facts based on the importance of our lives. Not based on objects or assets but based on the influence our lives impacted other people. I couldn’t help but be amazed by how well it was composed by him.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of Horatio Alger, Jr.?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


Top 8 Poem Entries from September 25-November 30

Here is the collection of poem entries by our previous aspiring poets from September 25-November 30.

Since the poem “I LOVE YOU” got the highest votes throughout the given time and was the most favorite poem, let’s give this poet’s the credit to have its cover for this whole collection. 

Congratulations to these outstanding poets! All of you are amazing! 👏🥳

Enjoy reading!….


I-‘ve met you first in January

L-eaving a mark in my mind
O-ffer to be friends by you
V-isibly you also felt interested
E-njoying my company and getting excited

Y-ou told me you already love me
O-ur love gets deeper and deeper by far
U-ntil we both say “I LOVE YOU” on the altar

© Anonymous 11/16/2021

What is Love?

Love is beautiful but can also be very painful,
It might take you high as the sky but can also leave you to cry
It might taste like the sweetest but with an aftertaste of bitterness
Love might be sincere, but who knows when will it turn into a tear

What is love? Everyone might ask themselves this question once in a while
It might drive you in denial but ends up with a smile
It might sound scary but can turn you to be gutsy
Love might be risky, but who knows that someday, it’ll make you very happy,

Is loving someone worthy? Have you ever wondered about this?
It might be your first but not the last or last but not your first
It might let you want to try but end up being regretful
For whoever loves someone might turn up to be wise or just be a fool.

© LovelyGirl 11/27/21


I sit alone near the window
Hoping to see a rainbow
I wonder when will it better once again
To see the wonder of tomorrow after this heavy rain.

I miss the old days
When I and my classmates, in the park we chase
Chase the happiness together
But I wonder now, when will it be better?

Please, tell me when
When can we, children, run freely once again
But no one knows, no one knows when
So, I’m always left here in this seat wonderin’

© ashleydeleon 9/25/21


I cry for those
who find it so… so… hard to cry…
their faces now
a land that knows but drought
cracked… dry… puzzle like furrow…
hemmed in by the o… so… ugly
touch of prejudice
the sly and whispered
words of prejudice
and in so… so… many cases now…
supplanted by its more hideous hybrid…

so I cry for those
who find it so… so… hard to cry…

I cry even for those
who perpetrate this evil upon the land
their faces radiating
a snarl of rabid fear
corroding the supple minds of the young
who now wanders aimlessly…
hemmed in by a blindness
that knows no light…
a heart that knows no warmth…
what can be done
when it is leaders
who stroke the fires of hate…
and makes something
as innocent as colour… a crime…

so I cry even more for those
who perpetrate this… this… evil upon the land

© Ralph Boothe
(moriba sababu)
October 18th. 2021

The Life of a Dying Man

Life is hard; life is exhausting
You’ve tried your best, but nothing is working
At the end of the day, you’re always left crying
Wondering if it’s better to just give up everything

The next day comes, but you haven’t gotten any sleep
Seems like any minute, you’re just ready to weep
For without any way out, you just chose to reap
The dark clouds around you that you already decided to keep

The dreams you once had, the hope and wishes were all gone
Each night only feels the same with each break of dawn
There’s no tomorrow left nor future to be drawn
Gone were those people who once kept you going on

Blurred vision, numb body, for breath you slowly seize
All those exhausting days were all now be at peace
Rest now, dear man, whose family were all deceased
This will be the last day you’ll cry and finally be at ease.

© Anonymous 3/11/2021

Inlove with a Liar

The heartache I’ve felt, the brokenness inside
It felt like I was stabbed ’till my feelings just died
Now I just feel numb; I don’t know what to do
Am I going to trust you again and pretend your lies were true?

I trusted you a lot and thought our love was real,
But you lied, not once, and I don’t know what to feel
How can I ever trust you once again?
If doubts and anxiousness are what I’m going to gain

Thousands of questions keep running inside my head
Because of all the lies you repeatedly said
I was naive since I believed in you wholeheartedly
But never again, never am I going to trust in you foolishly.

© Anonymous 11/11/2021

The Rose

At a look, you are captivated by its beauty
It doesn’t do anything, but yet that is its duty
Allured by its enchanting aroma
For moments you are trance into a soothing coma

The pedals have such an everlasting design
You gaze at its aesthetic pleasure totally captured in your mind
Oh wonderful, glorious creations are they
I could enjoy its beauteous nature day after day

I believe God thought of a rose when He created a woman
Let’s make her like this was His summon
Her intrinsic beauty and divine charisma
Totally piercing the natural eye like the prickly leaves of a mimosa

Her hair displays the flow of a gracious design
And when the wind blows, it falls perfectly back inline
The touch of her skin is like the softness of pure silk
The brightness of her smile
Could be seen for at least a mile

Every curve carefully forming her aristocratic poise
Leaves the bees absent of any noise
The sound of her voice is as sweet as sopaipilla covered with powdered sugar to enhance
The deep of her eyes enslave you in enormous somnolence

No, she was not made of just one color
But normally she is the shade of her earthly mother
This magnificent creation was not to be hidden but to be adorn
This was His intent before she was ever born!

© KcLove 11/25/2021

Puppy Love

P-artially dumbfounded
U-pon seeing you pass nearby
P-ulling myself together
P-retty much I’ve fallen for
Y-our beautiful smile;

L-ike my favorite holiday
O-pening presents is my favorite
V-ery much excited if
E-ver your love will be my gift

© Anonymous 11/17/2021

What are you waiting for? Do you also want to share your thoughts through poems? Or do you also know or want to try to write creatively like these poets? If you are inspired by these poems, you are also free to drop by and submit your poem whenever you want.

Don’t forget to like and comment and share your poem for the upcoming poem entry collection. Let your thoughts be heard; let your poem be seen.🙂


Top 20 Most Popular Poems of Yehuda Amichai

These are the top twenty (20) most popular poems of Yehuda Amichai.

From A Man Doesn’t Have Time In His Life to Jerusalem.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!…

A Man Doesn’t Have Time In His Life

A man doesn’t have time in his life
to have time for everything.
He doesn’t have seasons enough to have
a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes
Was wrong about that.

A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment,
to laugh and cry with the same eyes,
with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them,
to make love in war and war in love.
And to hate and forgive and remember and forget,
to arrange and confuse, to eat and to digest
what history
takes years and years to do.

A man doesn’t have time.
When he loses he seeks, when he finds
he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves
he begins to forget.

And his soul is seasoned, his soul
is very professional.
Only his body remains forever
an amateur. It tries and it misses,
gets muddled, doesn’t learn a thing,
drunk and blind in its pleasures
and its pains.

He will die as figs die in autumn,
Shriveled and full of himself and sweet,
the leaves growing dry on the ground,
the bare branches pointing to the place
where there’s time for everything.

Yehuda Amichai

The School Where I Studied

I passed by the school where I studied as a boy
and said in my heart: here I learned certain things
and didn’t learn others. All my life I have loved in vain
the things I didn’t learn. I am filled with knowledge,
I know all about the flowering of the tree of knowledge,
the shape of its leaves, the function of its root system, its pests and parasites.
I’m an expert on the botany of good and evil,
I’m still studying it, I’ll go on studying till the day I die.
I stood near the school building and looked in. This is the room
where we sat and learned. The windows of a classroom always open
to the future, but in our innocence we thought it was only landscape
we were seeing from the window.
The schoolyard was narrow, paved with large stones.
I remember the brief tumult of the two of us
near the rickety steps, the tumult
that was the beginning of a first great love.
Now it outlives us, as if in a museum,
like everything else in Jerusalem.

Yehuda Amichai

Do Not Accept

Do not accept these rains that come too late.
Better to linger. Make your pain
An image of the desert. Say it’s said
And do not look to the west. Refuse

To surrender. Try this year too
To live alone in the long summer,
Eat your drying bread, refrain
From tears. And do not learn from

Experience. Take as an example my youth,
My return late at night, what has been written
In the rain of yesteryear. It makes no difference

Now. See your events as my events.
Everything will be as before: Abraham will again
Be Abram. Sarah will be Sarai.

trans. Benjamin & Barbara Harshav

Yehuda Amichai


Before the gate has been closed,
before the last question is posed,
before I am transposed.
Before the weeds fill the gardens,
before there are no pardons,
before the concrete hardens.
Before all the flute-holes are covered,
before things are locked in then cupboard,
before the rules are discovered.
Before the conclusion is planned,
before God closes his hand,
before we have nowhere to stand.

Yehuda Amichai

Great Serenity: Questions And Answers

People in a hall that’s lit so brightly
It hurts
Spoke of religion
In the lives of contemporary people
And on the place of God

People spoke in excited voices
Like in an airport
I left them
I opened an iron door that had written on it
‘Emergency and I entered within.
Great serenity: Questions and answers

Yehuda Amichai


Not the peace of a cease-fire
not even the vision of the wolf and the lamb,
but rather
as in the heart when the excitement is over
and you can talk only about a great weariness.
I know that I know how to kill, that makes me an adult.
And my son plays with a toy gun that knows
how to open and close its eyes and say Mama.
A peace
without the big noise of beating swords into ploughshares,
without words, without
the thud of the heavy rubber stamp: let it be
light, floating, like lazy white foam.
A little rest for the wounds – who speaks of healing?
(And the howl of the orphans is passed from one generation
to the next, as in a relay race:
the baton never falls.)

Let it come
like wildflowers,
suddenly, because the field
must have it: wildpeace.

Yehuda Amichai

The Diameter Of The Bomb

The diameter of the bomb was thirty centimeters
and the diameter of its effective range about seven meters,
with four dead and eleven wounded.
And around these, in a larger circle
of pain and time, two hospitals are scattered
and one graveyard. But the young woman
who was buried in the city she came from,
at a distance of more than a hundred kilometers,
enlarges the circle considerably,
and the solitary man mourning her death
at the distant shores of a country far across the sea
includes the entire world in the circle.
And I won’t even mention the crying of orphans
that reaches up to the throne of God and
beyond, making a circle with no end and no God.

Yehuda Amichai

The First Rain

The first rain reminds me
Of the rising summer dust.
The rain doesn’t remember the rain of yesteryear.
A year is a trained beast with no memories.
Soon you will again wear your harnesses,
Beautiful and embroidered, to hold
Sheer stockings: you
Mare and harnesser in one body.

The white panic of soft flesh
In the panic of a sudden vision
Of ancient saints.

Yehuda Amichai

An Arab Shepherd Is Searching For His Goat On Mount Zion

An Arab shepherd is searching for his goat on Mount Zion
And on the opposite hill I am searching for my little boy.
An Arab shepherd and a Jewish father
Both in their temporary failure.
Our two voices met above
The Sultan’s Pool in the valley between us.
Neither of us wants the boy or the goat
To get caught in the wheels
Of the “Had Gadya” machine.

Afterward we found them among the bushes,
And our voices came back inside us
Laughing and crying.

Searching for a goat or for a child has always been
The beginning of a new religion in these mountains.

Yehuda Amichai

Yad Mordechai

Yad Mordechai. Those who fell here
still look out the windows like sick children
who are not allowed outside to play.
And on the hillside, the battle is reenacted
for the benefit of hikers and tourists. Soldiers of thin sheet iron
rise and fall and rise again. Sheet iron dead and a sheet iron life
and the voices all-sheet iron. And the resurrection of the dead,
sheet iron that clangs and clangs.

And I said to myself: Everyone is attached to his own lament
as to a parachute. Slowly he descends and slowly hovers
until he touches the hard place.

Yehuda Amichai

What Kind Of A Person

“What kind of a person are you,” I heard them say to me.
I’m a person with a complex plumbing of the soul,
Sophisticated instruments of feeling and a system
Of controlled memory at the end of the twentieth century,
But with an old body from ancient times
And with a God even older than my body.
I’m a person for the surface of the earth.
Low places, caves and wells
Frighten me. Mountain peaks
And tall buildings scare me.
I’m not like an inserted fork,
Not a cutting knife, not a stuck spoon.

I’m not flat and sly
Like a spatula creeping up from below.
At most I am a heavy and clumsy pestle
Mashing good and bad together
For a little taste
And a little fragrance.

Arrows do not direct me. I conduct
My business carefully and quietly
Like a long will that began to be written
The moment I was born.

Now I stand at the side of the street
Weary, leaning on a parking meter.
I can stand here for nothing, free.

I’m not a car, I’m a person,
A man-god, a god-man
Whose days are numbered. Hallelujah.

Yehuda Amichai

Forgetting Someone

Forgetting someone is like forgetting to turn off the light
in the backyard so it stays lit all the next day

But then it is the light that makes you remember.

Yehuda Amichai

You Mustn’t Show Weakness

You mustn’t show weakness
and you’ve got to have a tan.
But sometimes I feel like the thin veils
of Jewish women who faint
at weddings and on Yom Kippur.

You mustn’t show weakness
and you’ve got to make a list
of all the things you can load
in a baby carriage without a baby.

This is the way things stand now:
if I pull out the stopper
after pampering myself in the bath,
I’m afraid that all of Jerusalem, and with it the whole world,
will drain out into the huge darkness.

In the daytime I lay traps for my memories
and at night I work in the Balaam Mills,
turning curse into blessing and blessing into curse.

And don’t ever show weakness.
Sometimes I come crashing down inside myself
without anyone noticing. I’m like an ambulance
on two legs, hauling the patient
inside me to Last Aid
with the wailing of cry of a siren,
and people think it’s ordinary speech.

Yehuda Amichai

I Know A Man

I know a man
who photographed the view he saw
from the window of the room where he made love
and not the face of the woman he loved there.

Yehuda Amichai

My Father

The memory of my father is wrapped up in
white paper, like sandwiches taken for a day at work.

Just as a magician takes towers and rabbits
out of his hat, he drew love from his small body,

and the rivers of his hands
overflowed with good deeds.

Yehuda Amichai

A Man In His Life

A man doesn’t have time in his life
to have time for everything.
He doesn’t have seasons enough to have
a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes
Was wrong about that.

A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment,
to laugh and cry with the same eyes,
with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them,
to make love in war and war in love.
And to hate and forgive and remember and forget,
to arrange and confuse, to eat and to digest what history
takes years and years to do.

A man doesn’t have time.
When he loses he seeks, when he finds
he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves he begins to forget.

Yehuda Amichai

Try To Remember Some Details

Try to remember some details. Remember the clothing
of the one you love
so that on the day of loss you’ll be able to say: last seen
wearing such-and-such, brown jacket, white hat.
Try to remember some details. For they have no face
and their soul is hidden and their crying is the same as their laughter,
and their silence and their shouting rise to one height
and their body temperature is between 98 and 104 degrees
and they have no life outside this narrow space
and they have no graven image, no likeness, no memory
and they have paper cups on the day of their rejoicing
and paper cups that are used once only.

Try to remember some details. For the world
is filled with people who were torn from their sleep with no one to mend the tear,
and unlike wild beasts they live
each in his lonely hiding place and they die together on battlefields and in hospitals.
And the earth will swallow all of them,
good and evil together, like the followers of Korah,
all of them in their rebellion against death,
their mouths open till the last moment,
praising and cursing in a single howl. Try, try to remember some details.

Yehuda Amichai

Half The People In The World

Half the people in the world love the other half,
half the people hate the other half.
Must I because of this half and that half go wandering
and changing ceaselessly like rain in its cycle,
must I sleep among rocks, and grow rugged like
the trunks of olive trees,
and hear the moon barking at me,
and camouflage my love with worries,
and sprout like frightened grass between the railroad tracks,
and live underground like a mole,
and remain with roots and not with branches, and not
feel my cheek against the cheek of angels, and
love in the first cave, and marry my wife
beneath a canopy of beams that support the earth,
and act out my death, always till the last breath and
the last words and without ever understandig,
and put flagpoles on top of my house and a bob shelter
underneath. And go out on rads made only for
returning and go through all the apalling
between the kid and the angel of death?
Half the people love,
half the people hate.
And where is my place between such well-matched halves,
and through what crack will I see the white housing
projects of my dreams and the bare foot runners
on the sands or, at least, the waving of a girl’s
kerchief, beside the mound?

Yehuda Amichai

A Pity, We Were Such A Good Invention

They amputated
Your thighs off my hips.
As far as I’m concerned
They are all surgeons. All of them.

They dismantled us
Each from the other.
As far as I’m concerned
They are all engineers. All of them.

A pity. We were such a good
And loving invention.
An aeroplane made from a man and wife.
Wings and everything.
We hovered a little above the earth.

We even flew a little.

Yehuda Amichai


On a roof in the Old City
Laundry hanging in the late afternoon sunlight:
The white sheet of a woman who is my enemy,
The towel of a man who is my enemy,
To wipe off the sweat of his brow.

In the sky of the Old City
A kite.
At the other end of the string,
A child
I can’t see
Because of the wall.

We have put up many flags,
They have put up many flags.
To make us think that they’re happy.
To make them think that we’re happy.

Yehuda Amichai

All of these poems are masterpieces! No wonder Yehuda Amichai was one of the first to write in colloquial Hebrew in modern times. His skills in writing poetry are indeed magnificent. That’s why he was given different awards such as the 1957 Shlonsky Prize, the 1969 Brenner Prize, 1976 Bialik Prize, and 1982 Israel Prize.

Of course, I wouldn’t miss reading my favorite work in this collection―What Kind Of A Person. I always ask myself this question whenever I forget my purpose in life.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of Yehuda Amichai?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


40 Greatest Poems about Wooing and Winning

As a lady, who would have forgotten the strange feelings you’ve got when a man woo you and prove his love? It tickles your heart and brings out the naiveté of an innocent love both of you would develop when time passes by. As a man, who would have forgotten when you win over your beloved lady’s heart? It seems like you already won the lottery, and it makes you feel excited to discover many things about her more.

Sometimes, we reminisce about those days when we had that chance to be wooed and win that love. So these are forty (40) greatest poems about wooing and winning. If you are interested in how poets described this kind of love through their poems, these poems are for you.

Keep reading…

The Passionate Shepherd to his Love

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Woods or craggy mountains yield.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And will I make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair-linèd 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 thee may 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.

Christopher Marlowe

The Nymph’s Reply

If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd’s tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee, and be thy love.

Time drives the flocks from field to fold,
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold;
And Philomel becometh dumb,
The rest complain of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields;
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy’s spring, but sorrow’s fall.

Thy gown, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, the kirtle, and thy posies,
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,
Thy coral clasps and amber studs;
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee and be thy love.

But could youth last, and love still breed,
Had joys no date, nor age no need,
Then these delights my mind might move
To live with thee and be thy love.

Sir Walter Raleigh

“Where are you going, my pretty maid?”

“Where are you going, my pretty maid?”
“I am going a-milking, sir,” she said.
“May I go with you, my pretty maid?”
“You ’re kindly welcome, sir,” she said.
“What is your father, my pretty maid?”
“My father ’s a farmer, sir,” she said.
“What is your fortune, my pretty maid?”
“My face is my fortune, sir,” she said.
“Then I won’t marry you, my pretty maid.”
“Nobody asked you, sir,” she said.


The Wooing

A youth went faring up and down,
Alack and well-a-day.
He fared him to the market town,
Alack and well-a-day.
And there he met a maiden fair,
With hazel eyes and auburn hair;
His heart went from him then and there,
Alack and well-a-day.

She posies sold right merrily,
Alack and well-a-day;
But not a flower was fair as she,
Alack and well-a-day.
He bought a rose and sighed a sigh,
“Ah, dearest maiden, would that I
Might dare the seller too to buy!”
Alack and well-a-day.

She tossed her head, the coy coquette,
Alack and well-a-day.
“I’m not, sir, in the market yet,”
Alack and well-a-day.
“Your love must cool upon a shelf;
Tho’ much I sell for gold and pelf,
I ‘m yet too young to sell myself,”
Alack and well-a-day.

The youth was filled with sorrow sore,
Alack and well-a-day.
And looked he at the maid once more,
Alack and well-a-day.
Then loud he cried, “Fair maiden, if
Too young to sell, now as I live,
You’re not too young yourself to give,”
Alack and well-a-day.

The little maid cast down her eyes,
Alack and well-a-day.
And many a flush began to rise,
Alack and well-a-day.
“Why, since you are so bold,” she said,
“I doubt not you are highly bred,
So take me!” and the twain were wed,
Alack and well-a-day.

Paul Laurence Dunbar


All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my making dreams do I
Live o’er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay
Beside the ruined tower.

The moonshine stealing o’er the scene
Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve!

She leaned against the armèd man,
The statue of the armèd knight;
She stood and listened to my lay,
Amid the lingering light.

Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope! my joy! my Genevieve!
She loves me best whene’er I sing
The songs that make her grieve.

I played a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story,—
An old rude song, that suited well
That ruin wild and hoary.

She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
For well she knew, I could not choose
But gaze upon her face.

I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand;
And that for ten long years he wooed
The Lady of the Land.

I told her how he pined: and ah!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another’s love
Interpreted my own.

She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
And she forgave me that I gazed
Too fondly on her face.

But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,
And that he crossed the mountain-woods,
Nor rested day nor night;

That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade,

There came and looked him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
And that he knew it was a Fiend,
This miserable Knight!

And that unknowing what he did,
He leaped amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death
The Lady of the Land;

And how she wept, and clasped his knees;
And how she tended him in vain:
And ever strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain;

And that she nursed him in a cave,
And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest-leaves
A dying-man he lay;

—His dying words—but when I reached
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faltering voice and pausing harp
Disturbed her soul with pity!

All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve;
The music and the doleful tale,
The rich and balmy eve;

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng,
And gentle wishes long subdued,
Subdued and cherished long.

She wept with pity and delight,
She blushed with love, and virgin shame;
And like the murmur of a dream,
I heard her breathe my name.

Her bosom heaved,—she stepped aside,
As conscious of my look she stept,—
Then suddenly, with timorous eye
She fled to me and wept.

She half enclosed me with her arms,
She pressed me with a meek embrace;
And bending back her head, looked up,
And gazed upon my face.

’T was partly love, and partly fear,
And partly ’t was a bashful art
That I might rather feel than see
The swelling of her heart.

I calmed her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride;
And so I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous Bride.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“My eyes! how I love you”

My eyes! how I love you,
You sweet little dove you!
There ’s no one above you,
Most beautiful Kitty.

So glossy your hair is,
Like a sylph’s or a fairy’s;
And your neck, I declare, is
Exquisitely pretty.

Quite Grecian your nose is,
And your cheeks are like roses,
So delicious—O Moses!
Surpassingly sweet!

Not the beauty of tulips,
Nor the taste of mint-juleps,
Can compare with your two lips,
Most beautiful Kate!

Not the black eyes of Juno,
Nor Minerva’s of blue, no,
Nor Venus’s, you know,
Can equal your own!

O, how my heart prances,
And frolics and dances,
When their radiant glances
Upon me are thrown!

And now, dearest Kitty,
It ’s not very pretty,
Indeed it ’s a pity,
To keep me in sorrow!

So, if you ’ll but chime in,
We ’ll have done with our rhymin’,
Swap Cupid for Hymen,
And be married to-morrow.

John Godfrey Saxe


Somebody ’s courting somebody,
Somewhere or other to-night;
Somebody ’s whispering to somebody,
Somebody ’s listening to somebody,
Under this clear moonlight.

Near the bright river’s flow,
Running so still and slow,
Talking so soft and low,
She sits with Somebody.

Pacing the ocean’s shore,
Edged by the foaming roar,
Words never used before
Sound sweet to Somebody.

Under the maple-tree
Deep though the shadow be,
Plain enough they can see,
Bright eyes has Somebody.

No one sits up to wait,
Though she is out so late,
All know she ’s at the gate,
Talking with Somebody.

Tiptoe to parlor door;
Two shadows on the floor!
Moonlight, reveal no more,—
Susy and Somebody.

Two, sitting side by side
Float with the ebbing tide,
“Thus, dearest, may we glide
Through life,” says Somebody.

Somewhere, Somebody
Makes love to Somebody,



There was a young man from the West,
Who loved a young lady with zest;
So hard did he press her
To make her say, “Yes, sir,”
That he broke three cigars in his vest.


“Love me little, love me long”

Originally Printed in 1569

Love me little, love me long!
Is the burden of my song:
Love that is too hot and strong
Burneth soon to waste.
Still I would not have thee cold,—
Not too backward, nor too bold;
Love that lasteth till ’t is old
Fadeth not in haste.
Love me little, love me long!
Is the burden of my song.

If thou lovest me too much,
’T will not prove as true a touch;
Love me little more than such,—
For I fear the end.
I ’m with little well content,
And a little from thee sent
Is enough, with true intent
To be steadfast, friend.

Say thou lovest me, while thou live
I to thee my love will give,
Never dreaming to deceive
While that life endures;
Nay, and after death, in sooth,
I to thee will keep my truth,
As now when in my May of youth:
This my love assures.

Constant love is moderate ever,
And it will through life persever;
Give me that with true endeavor,—
I will it restore.
A suit of durance let it be,
For all weathers,—that for me,—
For the land or for the sea:
Lasting evermore.

Winter’s cold or summer’s heat,
Autumn’s tempests on it beat;
It can never know defeat,
Never can rebel.
Such the love that I would gain,
Such the love, I tell thee plain,
Thou must give, or woo in vain:
So to thee—farewell!


The Exchange

We pledged our hearts, my love and I,—
I in my arms the maiden clasping;
I could not tell the reason why,
But, O, I trembled like an aspen!

Her father’s love she bade me gain;
I went, and shook like any reed!
I strove to act the man,—in vain!
We had exchanged our hearts indeed.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Golden Eyes

From the Greek by Andrew Lang

Ah, Golden Eyes, to win you yet,
I bring mine April coronet,
The lovely blossoms of the spring,
For you I weave, to you I bring:
These roses with the lilies wet,
The dewy dark-eyed violet,
Narcissus, and the wind-flower wet.
Wilt thou disdain mine offering,
Ah, Golden Eyes?
Crowned with thy lover’s flowers, forget
The pride wherein thy heart is set,
For thou, like these or anything,
Hast but thine hour of blossoming,
Thy spring, and then—the long regret,
Ah, Golden Eyes!


Phillida and Corydon

In the merry month of May,
In a morn by break of day,
With a troop of damsels playing
Forth I rode, forsooth, a-maying,

When anon by a woodside,
Where as May was in his pride,
I espièd, all alone,
Phillida and Corydon.

Much ado there was, God wot!
He would love and she would not:
She said, “Never man was true:”
He says, “None was false to you.”
He said he had loved her long:
She says, “Love should have no wrong.”

Corydon he would kiss her then.
She says, “Maids must kiss no men
Till they do for good and all.”
Then she made the shepherd call
All the heavens to witness, truth
Never loved a truer youth.

Thus, with many a pretty oath,
Yea and nay, and faith and troth,—
Such as silly shepherds use
When they will not love abuse,—
Love, which had been long deluded,
Was with kisses sweet concluded;
And Phillida, with garlands gay,
Was made the lady of the May.

Nicholas Breton

The Bailiff’s Daughter of Islington

There was a youthe, and a well-beloved youthe,
And he was a squire’s son;
He loved the bayliffes daughter deare,
That lived in Islington.

Yet she was coye, and would not believe
That he did love her soe,
Noe nor at any time would she
Any countenance to him showe.

But when his friendes did understand
His fond and foolish minde,
They sent him up to faire London,
An apprentice for to binde.

And when he had been seven long yeares,
And never his love could see,—
“Many a teare have I shed for her sake,
When she little thought of mee.”

Then all the maids of Islington
Went forth to sport and playe,
All but the bayliffes daughter deare;
She secretly stole awaye.

She pulled off her gowne of greene,
And put on ragged attire,
And to faire London she would go
Her true love to enquire.

And as she went along the high road,
The weather being hot and drye,
She sat her downe upon a green bank,
And her true love came riding bye.

She started up, with colour soe redd,
Catching hold of his bridle-reine;
“One penny, one penny, kind sir,” she sayd,
“Will ease me of much paine.”

“Before I give you one penny, sweet-heart,
Praye tell me where you were borne.”
“At Islington, kind sir,” sayd shee,
“Where I have had many a scorne.”

“I prythee, sweet-heart, then tell to mee,
O tell me whether you knowe
The bayliffes daughter of Islington.”
“She is dead, sir, long agoe.”

“If she be dead, then take my horse,
My saddle and bridle also;
For I will into some farr countrye,
Where noe man shall me knowe.”

“O stave, O staye, thou goodlye youthe,
She standeth by thy side;
She is here alive, she is not dead,
And readye to be thy bride.”

“O farewell griefe, and welcome joye,
Ten thousand times therefore;
For nowe I have founde mine owne true love,
Whom I thought I should never see more.”


The Brookside

I wandered by the brookside,
I wandered by the mill;
I could not hear the brook flow,—
The noisy wheel was still;
There was no burr of grasshopper,
No chirp of any bird,
But the beating of my own heart
Was all the sound I heard.

I sat beneath the elm-tree;
I watched the long, long shade,
And, as it grew still longer,
I did not feel afraid;
For I listened for a footfall,
I listened for a word,—
But the beating of my own heart
Was all the sound I heard.

He came not,—no, he came not,—
The night came on alone,—
The little stars sat, one by one,
Each on his golden throne;
The evening wind passed by my cheek,
The leaves above were stirred,—
But the beating of my own heart
Was all the sound I heard.

Fast silent tears were flowing,
When something stood behind;
A hand was on my shoulder,—
I knew its touch was kind:
It drew me nearer,—nearer,—
We did not speak one word,
For the beating of our own hearts
Was all the sound we heard.

Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton

The Little Red Lark

O swan of slenderness,
Dove of tenderness,
Jewel of joys, arise!
The little red lark,
Like a soaring spark
Of song, to his sunburst flies;
But till thou art arisen,
Earth is a prison,
Full of my lonesome sighs:
Then awake and discover,
To thy fond lover,
The morn of thy matchless eyes.

The dawn is dark to me,
Hark! oh, hark to me,
Pulse of my heart, I pray!
And out of thy hiding
With blushes gliding,
Dazzle me with thy day.
Ah, then once more to thee
Flying I ’ll pour to thee
Passion so sweet and gay,
The larks shall listen,
And dew-drops glisten,
Laughing on every spray.

Alfred Perceval Graves

Love’s Logic

“MY dear, be sensible! Upon my word
This—for a woman even—is absurd;
His income ’s not a hundred pounds, I know.
He ’s not worth loving.”—“But I love him so!”

“You silly child, he is well made and tall;
But looks are far from being all in all.
His social standing ’s low, his family ’s low.
He ’s not worth loving.”—“And I love him so!”

“Is that he picking up the fallen fan?
My dear! he ’s such an awkward, ugly man!
You must be certain, pet, to answer ‘No.’
He ’s not worth loving.”—“And I love him so!”

“By Jove! were I a girl—through horrid hap—
I wouldn’t have a milk-and-water chap.
The man has not a single spark of ‘go.’
He ’s not worth loving.”—“Yet I love him so!”

“And were he everything to which I ’ve listened:
Though he were ugly, awkward (and he isn’t),
Poor, low-born, and destitute of ‘go,’
He is worth loving, for I love him so.”


The Night-Piece

To Julia

Her eyes the glow-worme lend thee,
The shooting-starres attend thee,
And the elves also,
Whose little eyes glow
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.

No Will-o’-th’-wispe mislight thee,
Nor snake nor slow-worm bite thee;
But on thy way,
Not making stay,
Since ghost there ’s none t’ affright thee!

Let not the darke thee cumber;
What though the moon does slumber?
The stars of the night
Will lend thee their light,
Like tapers cleare, without number.

Then, Julia, let me woo thee,
Thus, thus to come unto me;
And when I shall meet
Thy silvery feet,
My soule I ’le pour into thee!

Robert Herrick

Sweet Meeting of Desires

From “The Angel in the House”

I grew assured, before I asked,
That she ’d be mine without reserve,
And in her unclaimed graces basked
At leisure, till the time should serve,—
With just enough of dread to thrill
The hope, and make it trebly dear:
Thus loath to speak the word, to kill
Either the hope or happy fear.

Till once, through lanes returning late,
Her laughing sisters lagged behind;
And ere we reached her father’s gate,
We paused with one presentient mind;
And, in the dim and perfumed mist
Their coming stayed, who, blithe and free,
And very women, loved to assist
A lover’s opportunity.

Twice rose, twice died, my trembling word;
To faint and frail cathedral chimes
Spake time in music, and we heard
The chafers rustling in the limes.
Her dress, that touched me where I stood;
The warmth of her confided arm;
Her bosom’s gentle neighborhood;
Her pleasure in her power to charm;

Her look, her love, her form, her touch!
The least seemed most by blissful turn,—
Blissful but that it pleased too much,
And taught the wayward soul to yearn.
It was as if a harp with wires
Was traversed by the breath I drew;
And O, sweet meeting of desires!
She, answering, owned that she loved too.

Coventry Patmore

Story of the Gate

Across the pathway, myrtle-fringed,
Under the maple, it was hinged—
The little wooden gate;
’T was there within the quiet gloam,
When I had strolled with Nelly home,
I used to pause and wait

Before I said to her good-night,
Yet loath to leave the winsome sprite
Within the garden’s pale;
And there, the gate between us two,
We ’d linger as all lovers do,
And lean upon the rail.

And face to face, eyes close to eyes,
Hands meeting hands in feigned surprise,
After a stealthy quest,—
So close I ’d bend, ere she ’d retreat,
That I ’d grow drunken from the sweet
Tuberose upon her breast.

We ’d talk—in fitful style, I ween—
With many a meaning glance between
The tender words and low;
We ’d whisper some dear, sweet conceit,
Some idle gossip we ’d repeat,
And then I ’d move to go.

“Good-night,” I ’d say; “good-night—good-bye!”
“Good-night”—from her with half a sigh—
“Good-night!” “Good-night!” And then—
And then I do not go, but stand,
Again lean on the railing, and—
Begin it all again.

Ah! that was many a day ago—
That pleasant summer-time—although
The gate is standing yet;
A little cranky, it may be,
A little weather-worn—like me—
Who never can forget

The happy— “End”? My cynic friend,
Pray save your sneers—there was no “end.”
Watch yonder chubby thing!
That is our youngest, hers and mine;
See how he climbs, his legs to twine
About the gate and swing.

Harrison Robertson

Doris: A Pastoral

I sat with Doris, the shepherd-maiden;
Her crook was laden with wreathèd flowers:
I sat and wooed her, through sunlight wheeling
And shadows stealing, for hours and hours.

And she, my Doris, whose lap encloses
Wild summer-roses of sweet perfume,
The while I sued her, kept hushed and hearkened,
Till shades had darkened from gloss to gloom.

She touched my shoulder with fearful finger;
She said, “We linger, we must not stay:
My flock ’s in danger, my sheep will wander;
Behold them yonder, how far they stray!”

I answered bolder, “Nay, let me hear you,
And still be near you, and still adore!
No wolf nor stranger will touch one yearling:
Ah! stay my darling, a moment more!”

She whispered, sighing, “There will be sorrow
Beyond to-morrow, if I lose to-day;
My fold unguarded, my flock unfolded,
I shall be scolded and sent away.”

Said I, denying, “If they do miss you,
They ought to kiss you when you get home;
And well rewarded by friend and neighbor
Should be the labor from which you come.”

“They might remember,” she answered meekly,
“That lambs are weakly, and sheep are wild;
But if they love me, it ’s none so fervent:
I am a servant, and not a child.”

Then each hot ember glowed within me,
And love did win me to swift reply:
“Ah! do but prove me; and none shall bind you,
Nor fray nor find you, until I die.”

She blushed and started, and stood awaiting,
As if debating in dreams divine;
But I did brave them; I told her plainly
She doubted vainly, she must be mine.

So we twin-hearted, from all the valley
Did rouse and rally her nibbling ewes;
And homeward drave them, we two together,
Through blooming heather and gleaming dews.

That simple duty fresh grace did lend her,
My Doris tender, my Doris true;
That I, her warder, did always bless her,
And often press her to take her due.

And now in beauty she fills my dwelling,
With love excelling, and undefined;
And love doth guard her, both fast and fervent,
No more a servant, nor yet a child.

Arthur Joseph Munby

Among the Heather

One evening walking out, I o’ertook a modest colleen,
When the wind was blowing cool, and the harvest leaves were falling:
“Is our way by chance the same? might we travel on together?”
“Oh, I keep the mountain side,” she replied, “among the heather.”

“Your mountain air is sweet when the days are long and sunny,
When the grass grows round the rocks, and the whin-bloom smells like honey;
But the winter ’s coming fast with its foggy, snowy weather,
And you ’ll find it bleak and chill on your hill, among the heather.”

She praised her mountain home, and I ’ll praise it too, with reason,
For where Molly is there ’s sunshine and flow’rs at every season.
Be the moorland black or white, does it signify a feather,
Now I know the way by heart, every part, among the heather?

The sun goes down in haste, and the night falls thick and stormy;
Yet I ’d travel twenty miles to the welcome that ’s before me;
Singing hi! for Eskydun, in the teeth of wind and weather!
Love ’ll warm me as I go through the snow, among the heather.

William Allingham

Rory O’More

Or, All for Good Luck
Young Rory O’More courted Kathleen bawn,—
He was bold as a hawk, she as soft as the dawn;
He wished in his heart pretty Kathleen to please,
And he thought the best way to do that was to tease.
“Now, Rory, be aisy!” sweet Kathleen would cry,
Reproof on her lip, but a smile in her eye,—
“With your tricks, I don’t know, in troth, what I ’m about;
Faith! you ’ve tazed till I ’ve put on my cloak inside out.”
“Och! jewel,” says Rory. “that same is the way
Ye ’ve thrated my heart for this many a day;
And ’t is plazed that I am, and why not, to be sure?
For ’t is all for good luck,” says bold Rory O’More.

“Indeed, then,” says Kathleen, “don’t think of the like,
For I half gave a promise to soothering Mike:
The ground that I walk on he loves, I ’ll be bound—”
“Faith!” says Rory, “I ’d rather love you than the ground.”
“Now, Rory, I ’ll cry if you don’t let me go;
Sure I dream every night that I ’m hating you so!”
“Och!” says Rory, “that same I ’m delighted to hear,
For dhrames always go by conthraries, my dear.
So, jewel, kape dhraming that same till ye die,
And bright morning will give dirty night the black lie!
And ’t is plazed that I am, and why not, to be sure?
Since ’t is all for good luck,” says bold Rory O’More.

“Arrah, Kathleen, my darlint, you ’ve tazed me enough;
Sure I ’ve thrashed, for your sake, Dinny Grimes and Jim Duff;
And I ’ve made myself, drinking your health, quite a baste,—
So I think after that, I may talk to the praste.”
Then Rory, the rogue, stole his arm round her neck,
So soft and so white, without freckle or speck;
And he looked in her eyes, that were beaming with light,
And he kissed her sweet lips,—don’t you think he was right?
“Now, Rory, leave off, sir,—you ’ll hug me no more,—
That ’s eight times to-day that you ’ve kissed me before.”
“Then here goes another,” says he, “to make sure!
For there ’s luck in odd numbers,” says Rory O’More.

Samuel Lover

Cooking and Courting

From Tom to Ned

Dear Ned, no doubt you ’ll be surprised
When you receive and read this letter.
I ’ve railed against the marriage state;
But then, you see, I knew no better.
I ’ve met a lovely girl out here;
Her manner is—well—very winning:
We ’re soon to be—well, Ned, my dear,
I ’ll tell you all, from the beginning.

I went to ask her out to ride
Last Wednesday—it was perfect weather.
She said she couldn’t possibly:
The servants had gone off together
(Hibernians always rush away,
At cousins’ funerals to be looking);
Pies must be made, and she must stay,
She said, to do that branch of cooking.

“O, let me help you,” then I cried:
“I ’ll be a cooker too—how jolly!”
She laughed, and answered, with a smile,
“All right! but you ’ll repent your folly;
For I shall be a tyrant, sir,
And good hard work you ’ll have to grapple;
So sit down there, and don’t you stir,
But take this knife, and pare that apple.”

She rolled her sleeve above her arm,—
That lovely arm, so plump and rounded;
Outside, the morning sun shone bright;
Inside, the dough she deftly pounded.
Her little fingers sprinkled flour,
And rolled the pie-crust up in masses:
I passed the most delightful hour
Mid butter, sugar, and molasses.

With deep reflection her sweet eyes
Gazed on each pot and pan and kettle.
She sliced the apples, filled her pies,
And then the upper crust did settle.
Her rippling waves of golden hair
In one great coil were tightly twisted;
But locks would break it, here and there,
And curl about where’er they listed.

And then her sleeve came down, and I
Fastened it up—her hands were doughy;
O, it did take the longest time!—
Her arm, Ned, was so round and snowy.
She blushed, and trembled, and looked shy;
Somehow that made me all the bolder;
Her arch lips looked so red that I—
Well—found her head upon my shoulder.

We ’re to be married, Ned, next month;
Come and attend the wedding revels.
I really think that bachelors
Are the most miserable devils!
You ’d better go for some girl’s hand;
And if you are uncertain whether
You dare to make a due demand,
Why, just try cooking pies together.


“Ca’ the yowes”

CA’ the yowes to the knowes,
Ca’ them whare the heather grows,
Ca’ them whare the burnie rows
My bonnie dearie.

As I gaed down the water side,
There I met my shepherd lad,
He rowed me sweetly in his plaid,
And he ca’d me his dearie.

Will ye gang down the water side,
And see the waves sae sweetly glide
Beneath the hazels spreading wide?
The moon it shines fu’ clearly.

I was bred up at nae sic school,
My shepherd lad, to play the fool;
And a’ the day to sit in dool,
And naebody to see me.

Ye shall get gowns and ribbons meet,
Cauf-leather shoon upon your feet,
And in my arms ye’se lie and sleep,
And ye shall be my dearie.

If ye ’ll but stand to what ye ’ve said,
I ’se gang wi’ you, my shepherd lad;
And ye may row me in your plaid,
And I shall be your dearie.

While waters wimple to the sea,
While day blinks in the lift sae hie;
Till clay-cauld death shall blin’ my ee,
Ye aye shall be my dearie.

Isabel Pagan

The Siller Croun

“And ye sail walk in silk attire,
And siller hae to spare,
Gin ye ’ll consent to be his bride,
Nor think o’ Donald mair.”

O, wha wad buy a silken goun
Wi’ a puir broken heart?
Or what ’s to me a siller croun
Gin frae my love I part?

The mind whose meanest wish is pure
Far dearest is to me,
And ere I ’m forced to break my faith,
I ’ll lay me doun an’ dee.

For I hae vowed a virgin’s vow
My lover’s fate to share,
An’ he has gi’en to me his heart,
And what can man do mair?

His mind and manners won my heart:
He gratefu’ took the gift;
And did I wish to seek it back,
It wad be waur than theft.

The langest life can ne’er repay
The love he bears to me,
And ere I ’m forced to break my faith,
I ’ll lay me doun an’ dee.

Susanna Blamire

“Duncan Gray cam’ here to woo”

Duncan Gray cam’ here to woo—
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!
On blythe Yule night when we were fou—
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!
Maggie coose her head fu’ high,
Looke asklent and unco skeigh,
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh—
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!

Duncan fleeched and Duncan prayed—
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!
Meg was deaf as Ailsa craig—
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!
Duncan sighed baith out and in,
Grat his een baith bleer’t and blin’,
Spak o’ lowpin’ o’er a linn—
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!

Time and chance are but a tide—
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!
Slighted love is sair to bide—
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!
Shall I, like a fool, quoth he,
For a haughty hizzie dee?
She may gae to—France, for me!
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!

How it comes let doctors tell—
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!
Meg grew sick as he grew heal—
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!
Something in her bosom wrings,—
For relief a sigh she brings;
And O, her een they speak sic things!
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!

Duncan was a lad o’ grace—
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!
Maggie’s was a piteous case—
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!
Duncan could na be her death:
Swelling pity smoored his wrath.
Now they ’re crouse and canty baith,
Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!

Robert Burns

How to Ask and Have

“Oh, ’t is time I should talk to your mother,
Sweet Mary,” says I.
“Oh, don’t talk to my mother,” says Mary,
Beginning to cry:
“For my mother says men are deceivers,
And never, I know, will consent;
She says girls in a hurry who marry
At leisure repent.”

“Then suppose I would talk to your father,
Sweet Mary,” says I.
“Oh, don’t talk to my father,” says Mary,
Beginning to cry:
“For my father, he loves me so dearly,
He ’ll never consent I should go—
If you talk to my father,” says Mary,
“He ’ll surely say ‘No.’”

“Then how shall I get you, my jewel?
Sweet Mary,” says I.
“If your father and mother ’s so cruel,
Most surely I ’ll die!”
“Oh, never say die, dear,” says Mary:
“A way now to save you I see:
Since my parents are both so contrary—
You ’d better ask me.”

Samuel Lover

Live in my Heart and Pay No Rent

’Vourneen, when your days were bright,
Never an eye did I dare to lift to you,
But now, in your fortune’s blight,
False ones are flying in sunshine that knew you;
But still on one welcome true rely,
Tho’ the crops may fail, and the cow go dry,
And your cabin be burned, and all be spent,
Come, live in my heart and pay no rent;
Come, come, live in my heart,
Live in my heart and pay no rent;
Come, come, live in my heart,
Live in my heart, mavourneen!

’Vourneen, dry up those tears,
The sensible people will tell you to wait, dear,
But ah! in the wasting of Love’s young years,
On our innocent hearts we ’re committing a chate, dear.
For hearts when they ’re young should make the vow,
For when they are old they don’t know how;
So marry at once and you ’ll not repent,
When you live in my heart and pay no rent,
Come, come, live in my heart,
Live in my heart and pay no rent,
Come, come, live in my heart,
Live in my heart, mavourneen!

Samuel Lover

Othello’s Defence

From “Othello,” Act I. Sc. 3.
Othello.—Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble and approved good masters,—
That I have ta’en away this old man’s daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her:
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace;
For since these arms of mine had seven years’ pith,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field;
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broil and battle;
And therefore little shall I grace my cause
In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,
I will a round unvarnished tale deliver 15
Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,
What conjuration, and what mighty magic,—
For such proceeding I am charged withal,—
I won his daughter.

* * * *
I ’ll present
How I did thrive in this fair lady’s love,
And she in mine.

* * * *
Her father loved me; oft invited me;
Still questioned me the story of my life,
From year to year;—the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have passed.
I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
To the very moment that he bade me tell it:
Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field;
Of hair-breadth ’scapes i’ the imminent deadly breach;
Of being taken by the insolent foe,
And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence,
And portance in my travel’s history:
Wherein of antres vast, and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven, 35
It was my hint to speak,—such was the process;
And of the Cannibals that each other eat,
The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders. This to hear,
Would Desdemona seriously incline:
But still the house affairs would draw her thence;
Which ever as she could with haste despatch,
She ’d come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse. Which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour; and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not intentively: I did consent;
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke,
That my youth suffered. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:
She swore,—in faith ’t was strange, ’t was passing strange;
’T was pitiful, ’t was wondrous pitiful:
She wished she had not heard it; yet she wished
That Heaven had made her such a man: she thanked me;
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. Upon this hint, I spake:
She loved me for the dangers I had passed,
And I loved her that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used:
Here comes the lady, let her witness it.

William Shakespeare

Widow Machree

Widow Machree, it ’s no wonder you frown,—
Och hone! Widow Machree;
Faith, it ruins your looks, that same dirty black gown,—
Och hone! Widow Machree;
How altered your air,
With that close cap you wear,—
’T is destroying your hair,
That should be flowing free:
Be no longer a churl
Of its black silken curl,—
Och hone! Widow Machree.

Widow Machree, now the summer is come,—
Och hone! Widow Machree;
When everything smiles, should a beauty look glum?
Och hone! Widow Machree!
See, the birds go in pairs,
And the rabbits and hares;
Why, even the bears
Now in couples agree;
And the mute little fish,
Though they can’t spake, they wish,—
Och hone! Widow Machree!

Widow Machree, and when winter comes in,—
Och hone! Widow Machree,—
To be poking the fire all alone is a sin,
Och hone! Widow Machree!
Sure the shovel and tongs
To each other belongs,
And the kettle sings songs
Full of family glee;
While alone with your cup
Like a hermit you sup,
Och hone! Widow Machree!

And how do you know, with the comforts I ’ve towld,—
Och hone! Widow Machree!
But you ’re keeping some poor fellow out in the cowld?
Och hone! Widow Machree!
With such sins on your head,
Sure your peace would be fled;
Could you sleep in your bed
Without thinking to see
Some ghost or some sprite,
That would wake you at night,
Crying “Och hone! Widow Machree!”

Then take my advice, darling Widow Machree,—
Och hone! Widow Machree!—
And with my advice, faith, I wish you ’d take me,
Och hone! Widow Machree!
You ’d have me to desire
Then to stir up the fire;
And sure Hope is no liar
In whispering to me
That the ghosts would depart
When you ’d me near your heart,—
Och hone! Widow Machree!

Samuel Lover

Widow Malone

Did you hear of the Widow Malone,
Who lived in the town of Athlone,
O, she melted the hearts
Of the swains in them parts:
So lovely the Widow Malone.
So lovely the Widow Malone.

Of lovers she had a full score,
Or more,
And fortunes they all had galore,
In store;
From the minister down
To the clerk of the Crown
All were courting the Widow Malone,
All were courting the Widow Malone.

But so modest was Mistress Malone,
’T was known
That no one could see her alone,
Let them ogle and sigh,
They could ne’er catch her eye,
So bashful the Widow Malone,
So bashful the Widow Malone.

Till one Misther O’Brien, from Clare
(How quare!
It ’s little for blushing they care
Down there),
Put his arm round her waist,—
Gave ten kisses at laste,—
“O,” says he, “you ’re my Molly Malone,
My own!
O,” says he, “you ’re my Molly Malone!”

And the widow they all thought so shy,
My eye!
Ne’er thought of a simper or sigh,—
For why?
But, “Lucius,” says she,
“Since you ’ve now made so free,
You may marry your Mary Malone.
You may marry your Mary Malone.”

There ’s a moral contained in my song,
Not wrong;
And one comfort, it ’s not very long,
But strong,—
If for widows you die,
Learn to kiss, not sigh;
For they ’re all like sweet Mistress Malone,
O, they’re all like sweet Mistress Malone!

Charles Lever

I’m not Myself at all

Oh, I ’m not myself at all,
Molly dear, Molly dear!
I ’m not myself at all.
Nothing caring, nothing knowing,
’T is after you I ’m going,
Faith, your shadow ’t is I ’m growing,
Molly dear, Molly dear!
And I ’m not myself at all.
Th’ other day I went confessin’,
And I asked the father’s blessin’,
“But,” says I, “don’t give me one intirely:
For I fretted so last year,
But the half of me is here,
So give the other half to Molly Brierly.”
Oh, I ’m not myself at all!
Oh, I ’m not myself at all,
Molly dear, Molly dear!
My appetite ’s so small:
I once could pick a goose;
But my buttons is no use,
Faith, my tightest coat is loose,
Molly dear.
And I ’m not myself at all!
If thus it is I waste,
You ’d betther, dear, make haste,
Before your lover ’s gone away intirely;
If you don’t soon change your mind,
Not a bit of me you ’ll find,
And what ’ud you think o’ that, Molly Brierly?
Oh, I ’m not myself at all!

Oh, my shadow on the wall,
Molly dear, Molly dear,
Isn’t like myself at all,
For I ’ve got so very thin,
Myself says ’t isn’t him,
But that party girl so slim,
Molly dear.
And I ’m not myself at all!
If thus I smaller grew,
All fretting, dear, for you,
’T is you should make up the deficiency,
So just let Father Taaff
Make you my betther half,
And you will not the worse for the addition be—
Oh, I ’m not myself at all!
I ’ll be not myself at all,
Molly dear, Molly dear,
Till you my own I call!
Since a change o’er me there came
Sure you might change your name,
And ’t would just come to the same,
Molly dear,
’T would just come to the same:
For if you and I were one,
All confusion would be gone,
And ’t would simplify the matther intirely;
And ’t would save us so much bother,
When we ’d both be one another—
So listen now to rayson, Molly Brierly;
Oh, I ’m not myself at all!

Samuel Lover

“I prithee send me back my heart”

I prithee send me back my heart,
Since I cannot have thine;
For if from yours you 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 most in doubt.

Then farewell care, and farewell woe;
I will no longer pine;
For I ’ll believe I have her heart
As much as she has mine.

Sir John Suckling

The Courtin’

God makes sech nights, all white an’ still
Fur ’z you can look or listen;
Moonshine an’ snow on field an’ hill,
All silence an’ all glisten.

Zekle crep’ up quite unbeknown
An’ peeked in thru’ the winder,
An’ there sot Huldy all alone,
’Ith no one nigh to hender.

A fireplace filled the room’s one side,
With half a cord o’ wood in—
There warn’t no stoves (tell comfort died)
To bake ye to a puddin’.

The wa’nut logs shot sparkles out
Towards the pootiest, bless her!
An’ leetle flames danced all about
The chiny on the dresser.

Agin the chimbley crook-necks hung,
An’ in amongst ’em rusted
The ole queen’s arm thet gran’ther Young
Fetched back from Concord busted.

The very room, coz she was in,
Seemed warm from floor to ceilin’,
An’ she looked full ez rosy agin
Ez the apples she was peelin’.

’T was kin o’ kingdom-come to look
On sech a blessèd cretur,
A dogrose blushin’ to a brook
Ain’t modester nor sweeter.

He was six foot o’ man, A 1,
Clean grit an’ human natur’;
None couldn’t quicker pitch a ton,
Nor dror a furrer straighter.

He ’d sparked it with full twenty gals,
Hed squired ’em, danced ’em, druv ’em,
Fust this one, an’ then thet, by spells—
All is, he couldn’t love ’em.

But long o’ her his veins ’ould run
All crinkly like curled maple,
The side she breshed felt full o’ sun
Ez a south slope in Ap’il.

She thought no v’ice hed such a swing
Ez hisn in the choir;
My! when he made Ole Hundred ring,
She knowed the Lord was nigher.

An’ she ’d blush scarlit, right in prayer,
When her new meetin’-bunnet
Felt somehow thru’ its crown a pair
O’ blue eyes sot upon it.

Thet night, I tell ye, she looked some!
She seemed to ’ve gut a new soul,
For she felt sartin-sure he ’d come,
Down to her very shoe-sole.

She heered a foot, an’ knowed it tu,
A-raspin’ on the scraper,—
All ways to once her feelin’s flew
Like sparks in burnt-up paper.

He kin’ o’ l’itered on the mat,
Some doubtfle o’ the sekle,
His heart kep’ goin’ pitty-pat,
But hern went pity Zekle.

An’ yit she gin her cheer a jerk
Ez though she wished him furder,
An’ on her apples kep’ to work,
Parin’ away like murder.

“You want to see my Pa, I s’pose?”
“Wall no … I come dasignin’”—
“To see my Ma? She ’s sprinklin’ clo’es
Agin to-morrer’s i’nin’.”

To say why gals act so or so,
Or don’t, ’ould he presumin’;
Mebby to mean yes an’ say no
Comes nateral to women.

He stood a spell on one foot fust,
Then stood a spell on t’ other,
An’ on which one he felt the wust
He couldn’t ha’ told ye nuther.

Says he, “I ’d better call agin;”
Says she, “Think likely, Mister;”
Thet last word pricked him like a pin,
An’ … Wal, he up an’ kist her.

When Ma bimeby upon ’em slips,
Huldy sot pale ez ashes,
All kin’ o’ smily roun’ the lips
An’ teary roun’ the lashes.

For she was jes’ the quiet kind
Whose naters never vary,
Like streams that keep a summer mind
Snow-hid in Jenooary.

The blood clost roun’ her heart felt glued
Too tight for all expressin’,
Tell mother see how metters stood,
And gin ’em both her blessin’.

Then her red come back like the tide
Down to the Bay o’ Fundy,
An’ all I know is they was cried
In meetin’ come nex’ Sunday.

James Russell Lowell

Popping Corn

And there they sat, a-popping corn,
John Styles and Susan Cutter—
John Styles as fat as any ox,
And Susan fat as butter.

And there they sat and shelled the corn,
And raked and stirred the fire,
And talked of different kinds of corn,
And hitched their chairs up nigher.

Then Susan she the popper shook,
Then John he shook the popper,
Till both their faces grew as red
As saucepans made of copper.

And then they shelled, and popped, and ate,
All kinds of fun a-poking,
While he haw-hawed at her remarks,
And she laughed at his joking.

And still they popped, and still they ate—
John’s mouth was like a hopper—
And stirred the fire, and sprinkled salt,
And shook and shook the popper.

The clock struck nine—the clock struck ten,
And still the corn kept popping;
It struck eleven, and then struck twelve,
And still no signs of stopping.

And John he ate, and Sue she thought—
The corn did pop and patter—
Till John cried out, “The corn ’s a-fire!
Why, Susan, what ’s the matter?”

Said she, “John Styles, it ’s one o’clock;
You ’ll die of indigestion;
I ’m sick of all this popping corn—
Why don’t you pop the question?”


The Friar of Orders Gray

Adapted from old ballads

It was a friar of orders gray
Walked forth to tell his beads;
And he met with a lady fair
Clad in a pilgrim’s weeds.

“Now Christ thee save, thou reverend friar;
I pray thee tell to me,
If ever at yon holy shrine
My true-love thou didst see.”

“And how should I know your true-love
From many another one?”
“O, by his cockle hat, and staff,
And by his sandal shoon.

“But chiefly by his face and mien,
That were so fair to view;
His flaxen locks that sweetly curled,
And eyes of lovely blue.”

“O lady, he is dead and gone!
Lady, he ’s dead and gone!
And at his head a green grass turf,
And at his heels a stone.

“Within these holy cloisters long
He languished, and he died,
Lamenting of a lady’s love,
And ’plaining of her pride.

“Here bore him barefaced on his bier
Six proper youths and tall,
And many a tear bedewed his grave
Within yon kirkyard wall.”

“And art thou dead, thou gentle youth?
And art thou dead and gone?
And didst thou die for love of me?
Break, cruel heart of stone!”

“O, weep not, lady, weep not so;
Some ghostly comfort seek;
Let not vain sorrow rive thy heart,
Nor tears bedew thy cheek.”

“O, do not, do not, holy friar,
My sorrow now reprove;
For I have lost the sweetest youth
That e’er won lady’s love.

“And now, alas! for thy sad loss
I ’ll evermore weep and sigh;
For thee I only wished to live,
For thee I wish to die.”

“Weep no more, lady, weep no more,
Thy sorrow is in vain;
For violets plucked, the sweetest showers
Will ne’er make grow again.

“Our joys as wingèd dreams do fly;
Why then should sorrow last?
Since grief but aggravates thy loss,
Grieve not for what is past.”

“O, say not so, thou holy friar;
I pray thee, say not so;
For since my true-love died for me,
’T is meet my tears should flow.

“And will he never come again?
Will he ne’er come again?
Ah, no! he is dead, and laid in his grave,
Forever to remain.

“His cheek was redder than the rose;
The comeliest youth was he!
But he is dead and laid in his grave:
Alas, and woe is me!”

“Sigh no more, lady, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever:
One foot on sea and one on land,
To one thing constant never.

“Hadst thou been fond, he had been false,
And left thee sad and heavy;
For young men ever were fickle found,
Since summer trees were leafy.”

“Now say not so, thou holy friar,
I pray thee say not so;
My love he had the truest heart,
O, he was ever true!

“And art thou dead, thou much-loved youth,
And didst thou die for me?
Then farewell home; for evermore
A pilgrim I will be.

“But first upon my true-love’s grave
My weary limbs I ’ll lay,
And thrice I ’ll kiss the green-grass turf
That wraps his breathless clay.”

“Yet stay, fair lady; rest awhile
Beneath this cloister wall;
The cold wind through the hawthorn blows,
And drizzly rain doth fall.”

“O, stay me not, thou holy friar,
O, stay me not, I pray,
No drizzly rain that falls on me
Can wash my fault away.”

“Yet stay, fair lady, turn again,
And dry those pearly tears;
For see, beneath this gown of gray
Thy own true-love appears.

“Here forced by grief and hopeless love,
These holy weeds I sought;
And here, amid these lonely walls,
To end my days I thought.

“But haply, for my year of grace
Is not yet passed away,
Might I still hope to win thy love,
No longer would I stay.”

“Now farewell grief, and welcome joy
Once more unto my heart;
For since I have found thee, lovely youth,
We nevermore will part.”

Thomas Percy

The Hermit

From “The Vicar of Wakefield”

“Turn, gentle Hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way
To where yon taper cheers the vale
With hospitable ray.

“For here forlorn and lost I tread,
With fainting steps and slow;
Where wilds, immeasurably spread,
Seem lengthening as I go.”

“Forbear, my son,” the Hermit cries,
“To tempt the dangerous gloom;
For yonder faithless phantom flies
To lure thee to thy doom.

“Here to the houseless child of want
My door is open still;
And though my portion is but scant,
I give it with good will.

“Then turn to-night, and freely share
Whate’er my cell bestows;
My rushy couch and frugal fare,
My blessing and repose.

“No flocks that range the valley free
To slaughter I condemn;
Taught by that Power that pities me,
I learn to pity them:

“But from the mountain’s grassy side
A guiltless feast I bring;
A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied,
And water from the spring.

“Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;
All earth-born cares are wrong:
Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long.”

Soft as the dew from heaven descends,
His gentle accents fell:
The modest stranger lowly bends,
And follows to the cell.

Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay;
A refuge to the neighboring poor,
And strangers led astray.

No stores beneath its humble thatch
Required a master’s care:
The wicket, opening with a latch,
Received the harmless pair.

And now, when busy crowds retire
To take their evening rest,
The Hermit trimmed his little fire,
And cheered his pensive guest;

And spread his vegetable store,
And gayly pressed and smiled;
And, skilled in legendary lore,
The lingering hours beguiled.

Around, in sympathetic mirth,
Its tricks the kitten tries;
The cricket chirrups on the hearth;
The crackling fagot flies.

But nothing could a charm impart
To soothe the stranger’s woe;
For grief was heavy at his heart,
And tears began to flow.

His rising cares the Hermit spied,
With answering care opprest:
“And whence, unhappy youth,” he cried,
“The sorrows of thy breast?

“From better habitations spurned,
Reluctant dost thou rove?
Or grieve for friendship unreturned,
Or unregarded love?

“Alas! the joys that fortune brings
Are trifling, and decay;
And those who prize the paltry things
More trifling still than they.

“And what is friendship but a name,
A charm that lulls to sleep;
A shade that follows wealth or fame,
And leaves the wretch to weep?

“And love is still an emptier sound,
The modern fair one’s jest;
On earth unseen, or only found
To warm the turtle’s nest.

“For shame, fond youth! thy sorrows hush,
And spurn the sex,” he said;
But while he spoke, a rising blush
His lovelorn guest betrayed.

Surprised, he sees new beauties rise,
Swift mantling to the view;
Like colors o’er the morning skies,
As bright, as transient too.

The bashful look, the rising breast,
Alternate spread alarms:
The lovely stranger stands confest
A maid in all her charms.

“And, ah! forgive a stranger rude,
A wretch forlorn,” she cried;
“Whose feet unhallowed thus intrude
Where heaven and you reside.

“But let a maid thy pity share,
Whom love has taught to stray;
Who seeks for rest, but finds despair
Companion of her way.

“My father lived beside the Tyne,
A wealthy lord was he;
And all his wealth was marked as mine,—
He had but only me.

“To win me from his tender arms,
Unnumbered suitors came;
Who praised me for imputed charms,
And felt, or feigned, a flame.

“Each hour a mercenary crowd
With richest proffers strove:
Among the rest young Edwin bowed,
But never talked of love.

“In humble, simplest habit clad,
No wealth or power had he;
Wisdom and worth were all he had,
But these were all to me.

“And when beside me in the dale
He carolled lays of love,
His breath lent fragrance to the gale
And music to the grove.

“The blossom opening to the day,
The dews of heaven refined,
Could naught of purity display
To emulate his mind.

“The dew, the blossoms of the tree,
With charms inconstant shine;
Their charms were his, but, woe to me!
Their constancy was mine.

“For still I tried each fickle art,
Importunate and vain;
And while his passion touched my heart,
I triumphed in his pain:

“Till, quite dejected with my scorn,
He left me to my pride;
And sought a solitude forlorn,
In secret, where he died.

“But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
And well my life shall pay;
I ’ll seek the solitude he sought,
And stretch me where he lay.

“And there forlorn, despairing, hid,
I ’ll lay me down and die;
’T was so for me that Edwin did,
And so for him will I.”

“Forbid it, Heaven!” the Hermit cried,
And clasped her to his breast:
The wondering fair one turned to chide,—
’T was Edwin’s self that pressed.

“Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
My charmer, turn to see
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,
Restored to love and thee.

“Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
And every care resign:
And shall we never, never part,
My life,—my all that ’s mine?

“No, never from this hour to part,
We ’ll live and love so true:
The sigh that rends thy constant heart
Shall break thy Edwin’s too.”

Oliver Goldsmith

The Laird o’ Cockpen

The Laird o’ Cockpen he ’s proud and he ’s great,
His mind is ta’en up with the things o’ the state;
He wanted a wife his braw house to keep,
But favor wi’ wooin’ was fashious to seek.

Doun by the dyke-side a lady did dwell,
At his table-head he thought she ’d look well;
M’Clish’s ae daughter o’ Claverse-ha’ Lee,
A penniless lass wi’ a lang pedigree.

His wig was weel pouthered, and guid as when new;
His waistcoat was white, his coat it was blue;
He put on a ring, a sword, and cocked hat,—
And wha could refuse the Laird wi’ a’ that?

He took the gray mare, and rade cannilie,—
And rapped at the yett o’ Claverse-ha’ Lee;
“Gae tell Mistress Jean to come speedily ben:
She ’s wanted to speak wi’ the Laird o’ Cockpen.”

Mistress Jean she was makin’ the elder-flower wine;
“And what brings the Laird at sic a like time?”
She put aff her apron, and on her silk gown,
Her mutch wi’ red ribbons, and gaed awa’ down.

And when she cam’ ben, he boued fu’ low,
And what was his errand he soon let her know.
Amazed was the Laird when the lady said, Na,
And wi’ a laigh curtsie she turnèd awa’.

Dumfoundered he was, but nae sigh did he gi’e;
He mounted his mare, and rade cannilie,
And aften he thought, as he gaed through the glen,
“She ’s daft to refuse the Laird o’ Cockpen.”

And now that the Laird his exit had made,
Mistress Jean she reflected on what she had said;
“O, for ane I ’ll get better, it ’s waur I ’ll get ten;
I was daft to refuse the Laird o’ Cockpen.”

Neist time that the Laird and the lady were seen,
They were gaun arm and arm to the kirk on the green;
Now she sits in the ha’ like a weel-tappit hen,
But as yet there ’s nae chickens appeared at Cockpen.

Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne

The Earl o’ Quarterdeck

A New Old Ballad

The wind it blew, and the ship it flew;
And it was “Hey for hame!
And ho for hame!” But the skipper cried,
“Haud her oot o’er the saut sea faem.”

Then up and spoke the King himsel’:
“Haud on for Dumferline!”
Quo the skipper, “Ye ’re king upo’ the land—
I’m king upo’ the brine.”

And he took the helm intil his hand,
And he steered the ship sae free;
Wi’ the wind astarn, he crowded sail,
And stood right out to sea.

Quo the king, “There ’s treason in this I vow:
This is something underhand!
’Bout ship!” Quo the skipper, “Yer grace forgets
Ye are king but o’ the land!”

And still he held to the open sea;
And the east-wind sank behind;
And the west had a bitter word to say,
Wi’ a white-sea roarin’ wind.

And he turned her head into the north.
Said the king: “Gar fling him o’er.”
Quo the fearless skipper: “It ’s a’ ye ’re worth!
Ye ’ll ne’er see Scotland more.”

The king crept down the cabin-stair,
To drink the gude French wine.
And up she came, his daughter fair,
And luikit ower the brine.

She turned her face to the drivin’ hail,
To the hail but and the weet;
Her snood it brak, and, as lang ’s hersel’,
Her hair drave out i’ the sleet.

She turned her face frae the drivin’ win’—
“What ’s that ahead?” quo she.
The skipper he threw hansel’ frae the win’,
And he drove the helm a-lee.

“Put to yer hand, my lady fair!
Put to yer hand,” quo he;
“Gin she dinna face the win’ the mair,
It ’s the waur for you and me.”

For the skipper kenned that strength is strength,
Whether woman’s or man’s at last.
To the tiller the lady she laid her han’,
And the ship laid her cheek to the blast.

For that slender body was full o’ soul,
And the will is mair than shape;
As the skipper saw when they cleared the berg,
And he heard her quarter scrape.

Quo the skipper: “Ye are a lady fair,
And a princess grand to see;
But ye are a woman, and a man wad sail
To hell in yer company.”

She liftit a pale and queenly face;
Her een flashed, and syne they swim.
“And what for no to heaven?” she says,
And she turned awa’ frae him.

But she took na her han’ frae the good ship’s helm,
Until the day did daw;
And the skipper he spak, but what he said
It was said atween them twa.

And then the good ship she lay to,
With the land far on the lee;
And up came the king upo’ the deck,
Wi’ wan face and bluidshot ee.

The skipper he louted to the king:
“Gae wa’, gae wa’,” said the king.
Said the king, like a prince, “I was a’ wrang,
Put on this ruby ring.”

And the wind blew lowne, and the stars cam’ oot,
And the ship turned to the shore;
And, afore the sun was up again,
They saw Scotland ance more.

That day the ship hung at the pier-heid,
And the king he stept on the land.
“Skipper, kneel down,” the king he said,
“Hoo daur ye afore me stand?”

The skipper he louted on his knee,
The king his blade he drew:
Said the king, “How daured ye contre me?
I ’m aboard my ain ship noo.

“I canna mak ye a king,” said he,
“For the Lord alone can do that;
And besides ye took it intil yer ain han’
And crooned yersel’ sae pat!

“But wi’ what ye will I redeem my ring;
For ance I am at your beck.
And first, as ye loutit Skipper o’ Doon,
Rise up Yerl o’ Quarterdeck.”

The skipper he rose and looked at the king
In his een for all his croon;
Said the skipper, “Here is yer grace’s ring,
And yer daughter is my boon.”

The reid blude sprang into the king’s face,—
A wrathful man to see:
“The rascal loon abuses our grace;
Gae hang him upon yon tree.”

But the skipper he sprang aboard his ship,
And he drew his biting blade;
And he struck the chain that held her fast,
But the iron was ower weel made.

And the king he blew a whistle loud;
And tramp, tramp, down the pier,
Cam’ twenty riders on twenty steeds,
Clankin’ wi’ spur and spear.

“He saved your life!” cried the lady fair;
“His life ye daurna spill!”
“Will ye come atween me and my hate?”
Quo the lady, “And that I will!”

And on cam’ the knights wi’ spur and spear,
For they heard the iron ring.
“Gin ye care na for yer father’s grace,
Mind ye that I am the king.”

“I kneel to my father for his grace,
Right lowly on my knee;
But I stand and look the king in the face,
For the skipper is king o’ me.”

She turned and she sprang upo’ the deck,
And the cable splashed in the sea.
The good ship spread her wings sae white,
And away with the skipper goes she.

Now was not this a king’s daughter,
And a brave lady beside?
And a woman with whom a man might sail
Into the heaven wi’ pride?

George MacDonald

Aux Italiens

At Paris it was, at the opera there;
And she looked like a queen in a book that night,
With the wreath of pearl in her raven hair,
And the brooch on her breast so bright.

Of all the operas that Verdi wrote,
The best, to my taste, is the Trovatore;
And Mario can soothe, with a tenor note,
The souls in purgatory.

The moon on the tower slept soft as snow;
And who was not thrilled in the strangest way,
As we heard him sing, while the gas burned low,
“Non ti scordar di me”?

The emperor there, in his box of state,
Looked grave, as if he had just then seen
The red flag wave from the city gate,
Where his eagles in bronze had been.

The empress, too, had a tear in her eye:
You ’d have said that her fancy had gone back again,
For one moment, under the old blue sky,
To the old glad life in Spain.

Well! there in our front-row box we sat
Together, my bride betrothed and I;
My gaze was fixed on my opera hat,
And hers on the stage hard by.

And both were silent, and both were sad;—
Like a queen she leaned on her full white arm,
With that regal, indolent air she had;
So confident of her charm!

I have not a doubt she was thinking then
Of her former lord, good soul that he was,
Who died the richest and roundest of men,
The Marquis of Carabas.

I hope that, to get to the kingdom of heaven,
Through a needle’s eye he had not to pass;
I wish him well for the jointure given
To my lady of Carabas.

Meanwhile, I was thinking of my first love
As I had not been thinking of aught for years;
Till over my eyes there began to move
Something that felt like tears.

I thought of the dress that she wore last time,
When we stood ’neath the cypress-trees together,
In that lost land, in that soft clime,
In the crimson evening weather;

Of that muslin dress (for the eve was hot);
And her warm white neck in its golden chain;
And her full soft hair, just tied in a knot,
And falling loose again;

And the jasmine flower in her fair young breast;
(O the faint, sweet smell of that jasmine flower!)
And the one bird sings alone to his nest;
And the one star over the tower.

I thought of our little quarrels and strife,
And the letter that brought me back my ring;
And it all seemed then, in the waste of life,
Such a very little thing!

For I thought of her grave below the hill,
Which the sentinel cypress-tree stands over:
And I thought, “Were she only living still,
How I could forgive her and love her!”

And I swear, as I thought of her thus, in that hour,
And of how, after all, old things are best,
That I smelt the smell of that jasmine flower
Which she used to wear in her breast.

It smelt so faint, and it smelt so sweet,
It made me creep, and it made me cold!
Like the scent that steals from the crumbling sheet
Where a mummy is half unrolled.

And I turned and looked: she was sitting there,
In a dim box over the stage; and drest
In that muslin dress, with that full soft hair,
And that jasmine in her breast!

I was here, and she was there;
And the glittering horseshoe curved between!—
From my bride betrothed, with her raven hair
And her sumptuous scornful mien,

To my early love with her eyes downcast,
And over her primrose face the shade,
(In short, from the future back to the past,)
There was but a step to be made.

To my early love from my future bride
One moment I looked. Then I stole to the door,
I traversed the passage; and down at her side
I was sitting, a moment more.

My thinking of her, or the music’s strain,
Or something which never will be exprest,
Had brought her back from the grave again,
With the jasmine in her breast.

She is not dead, and she is not wed!
But she loves me now, and she loved me then!
And the very first word that her sweet lips said,
My heart grew youthful again.

The marchioness there, of Carabas,
She is wealthy, and young, and handsome still;
And but for her—well, we ’ll let that pass;
She may marry whomever she will.

But I will marry my own first love,
With her primrose face, for old things are best;
And the flower in her bosom, I prize it above
The brooch in my lady’s breast.

The world is filled with folly and sin,
And love must cling where it can, I say:
For beauty is easy enough to win;
But one isn’t loved every day.

And I think, in the lives of most women and men,
There ’s a moment when all would go smooth and even,
If only the dead could find out when
To come back and be forgiven.

But O, the smell of that jasmine flower!
And O, that music! and O, the way
That voice rang out from the donjon tower,
Non ti scordar di me,
Non ti scordar di me!

E. Robert Bulwer, Lord Lytton (Owen Meredith)

So, here is the greatest compilation of poems about wooing and winning.

Let me know which one is your favorite! ;).


Top 20 Most Popular Poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

These are the top twenty (20) most popular poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

From Hexameters to Songs from the play “Zapolya”.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!..


Italic sentences below are Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s.

William, my teacher, my friend! dear William and dear Dorothea!
Smooth out the folds of my letter, and place it on desk or on table;
Place it on table or desk; and your right hands loosely half-closing,
Gently sustain them in air, and extending the digit didactic,
Rest it a moment on each of the forks of the five-fork’d left hand,
Twice on the breadth of the thumb, and once on the tip of each finger;
Read with a nod of the head in a humouring recitativo;
And, as I live, you will see my hexameters hopping before you.
This is a galloping measure; a hop, and a trot, and a gallop!

All my hexameters fly, like stags pursued by the staghounds,
Breathless and panting, and ready to drop, yet flying still onwards,
I would full fain pull in my hard-mouthed runaway hunter;
But our English Spondeans are clumsy yet impotent curb-reins;
And so to make him go slowly, no way left have I but to lame him.

William, my head and my heart! dear Poet that feelest and thinkest!
Dorothy, eager of soul, my most affectionate sister!
Many a mile, O! many a wearisome mile are ye distant,
Long, long, comfortless roads, with no one eye that doth know us.
O! it is all too far to send to you mockeries idle:
Yea, and I feel it not right! But O! my friends, my beloved!
Feverish and wakeful I lie, I am weary of feeling and thinking.
Every thought is worn down, I am weary, yet cannot be vacant.
Five long hours have I tossed, rheumatic heats, dry and flushing,
Gnawing behind in my head, and wandering and throbbing about me,
Busy and tiresome, my friends, as the beat of the boding night-spider.

I forget the beginning of the line:
… my eyes are a burthen,
Now unwillingly closed, now open and aching with darkness.
O! what a life is the eye! what a strange and inscrutable essence!
Him that is utterly blind, nor glimpses the fire that warms him;
Him that never beheld the swelling breast of his mother;
Him that smiled in his gladness as a babe that smiles in its slumber;
Even for him it exists, it moves and stirs in its prison;
Lives with a separate life, and ‘Is it a Spirit?’ he murmurs: Sure, it has thoughts of its own, and to see is only a language.’

There was a great deal more, which I have forgotten. … The last line which I wrote, I remember, and write it for the truth of the sentiment, scarcely less true in company than in pain and solitude:

William, my head and my heart! dear William and dear Dorothea!
You have all in each other; but I am lonely, and want you!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

On a Ruined House in a Romantic Country

And this reft house is that the which he built,
Lamented Jack! And here his malt he pil’d,
Cautious in vain! These rats that squeak so wild,
Squeak, not unconscious of their father’s guilt.
Did ye not see her gleaming thro’ the glade?
Belike, ’twas she, the maiden all forlorn.
What though she milk no cow with crumpled horn,
Yet aye she haunts the dale where erst she stray’d;
And aye beside her stalks her amorous knight!
Still on his thighs their wonted brogues are worn,
And thro’ those brogues, still tatter’d and betorn,
His hindward charms gleam an unearthly white;
As when thro’ broken clouds at night’s high noon
Peeps in fair fragments forth the full-orb’d harvest-moon!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

To the Rev. George Coleridge

A blessed lot hath he, who having passed
His youth and early manhood in the stir
And turmoil of the world, retreats at length,
With cares that move, not agitate the heart,
To the same dwelling where his father dwelt;
And haply views his tottering little ones
Embrace those aged knees and climb that lap,
On which first kneeling his own infancy
Lisp’d its brief prayer. Such, O my earliest Friend!
Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy.
At distance did ye climb Life’s upland road,
Yet cheered and cheering: now fraternal love
Hath drawn you to one centre. Be your days
Holy, and blest and blessing may ye live!

To me the Eternal Wisdom hath dispens’d
A different fortune and more different mind
Me from the spot where first I sprang to light
Too soon transplanted, ere my soul had fix’d
Its first domestic loves; and hence through life
Chasing chance-started friendships. A brief while
Some have preserved me from life’s pelting ills;
But, like a tree with leaves of feeble stem,
If the clouds lasted, and a sudden breeze
Ruffled the boughs, they on my head at once
Dropped the collected shower; and some most false,
False and fair-foliag’d as the Manchineel,
Have tempted me to slumber in their shade
E’en mid the storm; then breathing subtlest damps,
Mix’d their own venom with the rain from Heaven,
That I woke poison’d! But, all praise to Him
Who gives us all things, more have yielded me
Permanent shelter; and beside one Friend,
Beneath the impervious covert of one oak,
I’ve rais’d a lowly shed, and know the names
Of Husband and of Father; not unhearing
Of that divine and nightly-whispering Voice,
Which from my childhood to maturer years
Spake to me of predestinated wreaths,
Bright with no fading colours!

Yet at times
My soul is sad, that I have roam’d through life
Still most a stranger, most with naked heart
At mine own home and birth-place: chiefly then,
When I remember thee, my earliest Friend!
Thee, who didst watch my boyhood and my youth;
Didst trace my wanderings with a father’s eye;
And boding evil yet still hoping good,
Rebuk’d each fault, and over all my woes
Sorrow’d in silence! He who counts alone
The beatings of the solitary heart,
That Being knows, how I have lov’d thee ever,
Lov’d as a brother, as a son rever’d thee!
Oh! ’tis to me an ever new delight,
To talk of thee and thine: or when the blast
Of the shrill winter, rattling our rude sash,
Endears the cleanly hearth and social bowl;
Or when, as now, on some delicious eve,
We in our sweet sequester’d orchard-plot
Sit on the tree crook’d earth-ward; whose old boughs,
That hang above us in an arborous roof,
Stirr’d by the faint gale of departing May,
Send their loose blossoms slanting o’er our heads!

Nor dost not thou sometimes recall those hours,
When with the joy of hope thou gavest thine ear
To my wild firstling-lays. Since then my song
Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem
Or that sad wisdom folly leaves behind,
Or such as, tuned to these tumultuous times,
Cope with the tempest’s swell!

These various strains,
Which I have fram’d in many a various mood,
Accept, my Brother! and (for some perchance
Will strike discordant on thy milder mind)
If aught of error or intemperate truth
Should meet thine ear, think thou that riper Age
Will calm it down, and let thy love forgive it!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
Are all but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o’er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay
Beside the ruined tower.

The moonshine stealing o’er the scene
Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve!

She leant against the armed man,
The statue of the armed knight;
She stood and listened to my lay,
Amid the lingering light.

Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope! my joy! my Genevieve!
She loves me best, whene’er I sing
The songs that make her grieve.

I played a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story –
An old rude song, that suited well
That ruin wild and hoary.

She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
For well she knew I could not choose
But gaze upon her face.

I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand;
And that for ten long years he wooed
The Lady of the Land.

I told her how he pined: and ah!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another’s love
Interpreted my own.

She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
And she forgave me, that I gazed
Too fondly on her face!

But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,
And that he crossed the mountain-woods,
Nor rested day nor night;

That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade, –

There came and looked him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
And that he knew it was a Fiend,
This miserable Knight!

And that, unknowing what he did,
He leaped amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death
The Lady of the Land;

And how she wept, and clasped his knees;
And how she tended him in vain;
And ever strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain; –

And that she nursed him in a cave;
And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest-leaves
A dying man he lay; –

His dying words – but when I reached
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faltering voice and pausing harp
Disturbed her soul with pity!

All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve;
The music and the doleful tale,
The rich and balmy eve;

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng,
And gentle wishes long subdued,
Subdued and cherished long!

She wept with pity and delight,
She blushed with love, and virgin shame;
And like the murmur of a dream,
I heard her breathe my name.

Her bosom heaved – she stepped aside,
As conscious of my look she stepped –
Then suddenly, with timorous eye,
She fled to me and wept.

She half enclosed me with her arms,
She pressed me with a meek embrace;
And bending back her head, looked up,
And gazed upon my face.

‘Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And partly ’twas a bashful art,
That I might rather feel, than see,
The swelling of her heart.

I calmed her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride;
And so I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous Bride

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Kubla Khan

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And ‘mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And ‘mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ‘twould win me
That with music loud and long
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

What Is Life?

Resembles Life what once was held of Light,
Too ample in itself for human sight?
An absolute Self, an element ungrounded
All, that we see, all colours of all shade
By encroach of darkness made?
Is very life by consciousness unbounded?
And all the thoughts, pains, joys of mortal breath,
A war-embrace of wrestling Life and Death?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

To Nature

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

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Nightingale

No cloud, no relique of the sunken day
Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip
Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues.
Come, we will rest on this old mossy bridge!
You see the glimmer of the stream beneath,
But hear no murmuring: it flows silently.
O’er its soft bed of verdure. All is still.
A balmy night! and though the stars be dim,
Yet let us think upon the vernal showers
That gladden the green earth, and we shall find
A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.
And hark! the Nightingale begins its song,
‘Most musical, most melancholy’ bird!
A melancholy bird? Oh! idle thought!
In Nature there is nothing melancholy.
But some night-wandering man whose heart was pierced
With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,
Or slow distemper, or neglected love,
(And so, poor wretch! filled all things with himself,
And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale
Of his own sorrow) he, and such as he,
First named these notes a melancholy strain.
And many a poet echoes the conceit;
Poet who hath been building up the rhyme
When he had better far have stretched his limbs
Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell,
By sun or moon-light, to the influxes
Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements
Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song
And of his fame forgetful! so his fame
Should share in Nature’s immortality,
A venerable thing! and so his song
Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself
Be loved like Nature! But ’twill not be so;
And youths and maidens most poetical,
Who lose the deepening twilights of the spring
In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still
Full of meek sympathy must heave their sighs
O’er Philomela’s pity-pleading strains.
My Friend, and thou, our Sister! we have learnt
A different lore: we may not thus profane
Nature’s sweet voices, always full of love
And joyance! ‘Tis the merry Nightingale
That crowds and hurries, and precipitates
With fast thick warble his delicious notes,
As he were fearful that an April night
Would be too short for him to utter forth
His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul
Of all its music!
And I know a grove
Of large extent, hard by a castle huge,
Which the great lord inhabits not; and so
This grove is wild with tangling underwood,
And the trim walks are broken up, and grass,
Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths.
But never elsewhere in one place I knew
So many nightingales; and far and near,
In wood and thicket, over the wide grove,
They answer and provoke each other’s song,
With skirmish and capricious passagings,
And murmurs musical and swift jug jug,
And one low piping sound more sweet than all
Stirring the air with such a harmony,
That should you close your eyes, you might almost
Forget it was not day! On moonlight bushes,
Whose dewy leaflets are but half-disclosed,
You may perchance behold them on the twigs,
Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both bright and full,
Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the shade
Lights up her love-torch.
A most gentle Maid,
Who dwelleth in her hospitable home
Hard by the castle, and at latest eve
(Even like a Lady vowed and dedicate
To something more than Nature in the grove)
Glides through the pathways; she knows all their notes,
That gentle Maid! and oft, a moment’s space,
What time the moon was lost behind a cloud,
Hath heard a pause of silence; till the moon
Emerging, a hath awakened earth and sky
With one sensation, and those wakeful birds
Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy,
As if some sudden gale had swept at once
A hundred airy harps! And she hath watched
Many a nightingale perch giddily
On blossomy twig still swinging from the breeze,
And to that motion tune his wanton song
Like tipsy Joy that reels with tossing head.

Farewell! O Warbler! till tomorrow eve,
And you, my friends! farewell, a short farewell!
We have been loitering long and pleasantly,
And now for our dear homes.That strain again!
Full fain it would delay me! My dear babe,
Who, capable of no articulate sound,
Mars all things with his imitative lisp,
How he would place his hand beside his ear,
His little hand, the small forefinger up,
And bid us listen! And I deem it wise
To make him Nature’s play-mate. He knows well
The evening-star; and once, when he awoke
In most distressful mood (some inward pain
Had made up that strange thing, an infant’s dream)
I hurried with him to our orchard-plot,
And he beheld the moon, and, hushed at once,
Suspends his sobs, and laughs most silently,
While his fair eyes, that swam with undropped tears,
Did glitter in the yellow moon-beam! Well!
It is a father’s tale: But if that Heaven
Should give me life, his childhood shall grow up
Familiar with these songs, that with the night
He may associate joy. Once more, farewell,
Sweet Nightingale! once more, my friends! farewell.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Fragment, (The body)

The body,
Eternal Shadow of the finite Soul,
The Soul’s self-symbol, its image of itself.
Its own yet not itself

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Presence of Love

And in Life’s noisiest hour,
There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee,
The heart’s Self-solace and soliloquy.

You mould my Hopes, you fashion me within;
And to the leading Love-throb in the Heart
Thro’ all my Being, thro’ my pulses beat ;
You lie in all my many Thoughts, like Light,
Like the fair light of Dawn, or summer Eve
On rippling Stream, or cloud-reflecting Lake.
And looking to the Heaven, that bends above you,
How oft! I bless the Lot, that made me love you.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Apologia pro Vita Sua

The poet in his lone yet genial hour
Gives to his eyes a magnifying power:
Or rather he emancipates his eyes
From the black shapeless accidents of size –
In unctuous cones of kindling coal,
Or smoke upwreathing from the pipe’s trim bole,
His gifted ken can see
Phantoms of sublimity.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Where true Love burns Desire is Love’s pure flame;
It is the reflex of our earthly frame,
That takes its meaning from the nobler part,
And but translates the language of the heart.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


I have experienc’d
The worst, the World can wreak on me, the worst
That can make Life indifferent, yet disturb
With whisper’d Discontents the dying prayer,
I have beheld the whole of all, wherein
My Heart had any interest in this Life,
To be disrent and torn from off my Hopes
That nothing now is left. Why then live on?
That Hostage, which the world had in it’s keeping
Given by me as a Pledge that I would live,
That Hope of Her, say rather, that pure Faith
In her fix’d Love, which held me to keep truce
With the Tyranny of Life, is gone ah! whither?
What boots it to reply? ’tis gone! and now
Well may I break this Pact, this League of Blood
That ties me to myself, and break I shall!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

To William Wordsworth

Friend of the Wise! and Teacher of the Good!
Into my heart have I received that Lay
More than historic, that prophetic Lay
Wherein (high theme by thee first sung aright)
Of the foundations and the building up
Of a Human Spirit thou hast dared to tell
What may be told, to the understanding mind
Revealable; and what within the mind
By vital breathings secret as the soul
Of vernal growth, oft quickens in the heart
Thoughts all too deep for words!
Theme hard as high!
Of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears
(The first-born they of Reason and twin-birth),
Of tides obedient to external force,
And currents self-determined, as might seem,
Or by some inner Power; of moments awful,
Now in thy inner life, and now abroad,
When power streamed from thee, and thy soul received
The light reflected, as a light bestowed
Of fancies fair, and milder hours of youth,
Hyblean murmurs of poetic thought
Industrious in its joy, in vales and glens
Native or outland, lakes and famous hills!
Or on the lonely high-road, when the stars
Were rising; or by secret mountain-streams,
The guides and the companions of thy way!

Of more than Fancy, of the Social Sense
Distending wide, and man beloved as man,
Where France in all her towns lay vibrating
Like some becalm’d bark beneath the burst
Of Heaven’s immediate thunder, when no cloud
Is visible, or shadow on the main.
For thou wert there, thine own brows garlanded,
Amid the tremor of a realm aglow,
Amid the mighty nation jubilant,
When from the general heart of human kind
Hope sprang forth like a full-born Diety!
Of that dear Hope afflicted and struck down,
So summoned homeward, thenceforth calm and sure
From the dread watch-tower of man’s absolute self,
With light unwaning on her eyes, to look
Far on, herself a glory to behold,
The Angel of the vision! Then (last strain)
Of Duty, chosen Laws controlling choice,
Action and Joy! An Orphic song indeed,
A song divine of high and passionate thoughts
To their own music chaunted!
O great Bard!
Ere yet that last strain dying awed the air,
With stedfast eye I viewed thee in the choir
Of ever-enduring men. The truly great
Have all one age, and from one visible space
Shed influence! They, both in power and act,
Are permanent, and Time is not with them,
Save as it worketh for them, they in it.
Nor less a sacred Roll, than those of old,
And to be placed, as they, with gradual fame
Among the archives of mankind, thy work
Makes audible a linked lay of Truth,
Of Truth profound a sweet continuous lay,
Not learnt, but native, her own natural notes!
Ah! as I listened with a heart forlorn,
The pulses of my being beat anew:
And even as Life returns upon the drowned,
Life’s joy rekindling roused a throng of pains
Keen pangs of Love, awakening as a babe
Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart;
And Fears self-willed, that shunned the eye of Hope;
And Hope that scarce would know itself from Fear;
Sense of past Youth, and Manhood come in vain,
And Genius given, and Knowledge won in vain;
And all which I had culled in wood-walks wild,
And all which patient toil had reared, and all,
Commune with thee had opened out, but flowers
Strewed on my corse, and borne upon my bier,
In the same coffin, for the self-same grave!
That way no more! and ill beseems it me,
Who came a welcomer in herald’s guise,
Singing of Glory, and Futurity,
To wander back on such unhealthful road,
Plucking the poisons of self-harm! And ill
Such intertwine beseems triumphal wreaths
Strew’d before thy advancing!
Nor do thou,
Sage Bard! impair the memory of that hour
Of thy communion with my nobler mind
By pity or grief, already felt too long!
Nor let my words import more blame than needs.
The tumult rose and ceased: for Peace is nigh
Where Wisdom’s voice has found a listening heart.
Amid the howl of more than wintry storms,
The Halcyon hears the voice of vernal hours
Already on the wing.
Eve following eve,
Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of Home
Is sweetest! moments for their own sake hailed
And more desired, more precious, for thy song,
In silence listening, like a devout child,
My soul lay passive, by thy various strain
Driven as in surges now beneath the stars,
With momentary stars of my own birth,
Fair constellated foam, still darting off
Into the darkness; now a tranquil sea,
Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the moon.

And when, O Friend! my comforter and guide!
Strong in thyself, and powerful to give strength!
Thy long sustained Song finally closed,
And thy deep voice had ceased, yet thou thyself
Wert still before my eyes, and round us both
That happy vision of beloved faces,
Scarce conscious, and yet conscious of its close
I sate, my being blended in one thought
(Thought was it? or aspiration? or resolve?)
Absorbed, yet hanging still upon the sound,
And when I rose, I found myself in prayer.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A Soliloquy of the Full Moon, She Being in a Mad Passion

Now as Heaven is my Lot, they’re the Pests of the Nation!
Wherever they can come
With clankum and blankum
‘Tis all Botheration, & Hell & Damnation,
With fun, jeering
And still to the tune of Transmogrification,
Those muttering
With no Hats
Or Hats that are rusty.
They’re my Torment and Curse
And harass me worse
And bait me and bay me, far sorer I vow
Than the Screech of the Owl
Or the witch-wolf’s long howl,
Or sheep-killing Butcher-dog’s inward Bow wow
For me they all spite, an unfortunate Wight.
And the very first moment that I came to Light
A Rascal call’d Voss the more to his scandal,
Turn’d me into a sickle with never a handle.
A Night or two after a worse Rogue there came,
The head of the Gang, one Wordsworth by name,
`Ho! What’s in the wind?’ ‘Tis the voice of a Wizzard!
I saw him look at me most terribly blue!
He was hunting for witch-rhymes from great A to Izzard,
And soon as he’d found them made no more ado
But chang’d me at once to a little Canoe.
From this strange Enchantment uncharm’d by degrees
I began to take courage & hop’d for some Ease,
When one Coleridge, a Raff of the self-same Banditti
Past by, & intending no doubt to be witty,
Because I’d th’ ill-fortune his taste to displease,
He turn’d up his nose,
And in pitiful Prose
Made me into the half of a small Cheshire Cheese.
Well, a night or two past – it was wind, rain & hail,
And I ventur’d abroad in a thick Cloak & veil,
But the very first Evening he saw me again
The last mentioned Ruffian popp’d out of his Den –
I was resting a moment on the bare edge of Naddle
I fancy the sight of me turn’d his Brains addle –
For what was I now?
A complete Barley-mow
And when I climb’d higher he made a long leg,
And chang’d me at once to an Ostrich’s Egg –
But now Heaven be praised in contempt of the Loon,
I am I myself I, the jolly full Moon.
Yet my heart is still fluttering –
For I heard the Rogue muttering –
He was hulking and skulking at the skirt of a Wood
When lightly & brightly on tip-toe I stood
On the long level Line of a motionless Cloud
And ho! what a Skittle-ground! quoth he aloud
And wish’d from his heart nine Nine-pins to see
In brightness & size just proportion’d to me.
So I fear’d from my soul,
That he’d make me a Bowl,
But in spite of his spite
This was more than his might
And still Heaven be prais’d! in contempt of the Loon
I am I myself I, the jolly full Moon.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


The butterfly the ancient Grecians made
The soul’s fair emblem, and its only name
But of the soul, escaped the slavish trade
Of mortal life! For in this earthly frame
Ours is the reptile’s lot, much toil, much blame,
Manifold motions making little speed,
And to deform and kill the things whereon we feed.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


All look and likeness caught from earth
All accident of kin and birth,
Had pass’d away. There was no trace
Of aught on that illumined face,
Uprais’d beneath the rifted stone
But of one spirit all her own;
She, she herself, and only she,
Shone through her body visibly.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Dungeon

And this place our forefathers made for man!
This is the process of our love and wisdom,
To each poor brother who offends against us –
Most innocent, perhaps -and what if guilty?
Is this the only cure? Merciful God!
Each pore and natural outlet shrivelled up
By Ignorance and parching Poverty,
His energies roll back upon his heart,
And stagnate and corrupt; till changed to poison,
They break out on him, like a loathsome plague-spot;
Then we call in our pampered mountebanks –
And this is their best cure! uncomforted
And friendless solitude, groaning and tears,
And savage faces, at the clanking hour,
Seen through the steam and vapours of his dungeon,
By the lamp’s dismal twilgiht! So he lies
Circled with evil, till his very soul
Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deformed
By sights of ever more deformity!

With other ministrations thou, O Nature!
Healest thy wandering and distempered child:
Thou pourest on him thy soft influences,
Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets,
Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters,
Till he relent, and can no more endure
To be a jarring and a dissonant thing
Amid this general dance and minstrelsy;
But, bursting into tears, wins back his way,
His angry spirit healed and harmonized
By the benignant touch of Love and Beauty.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Pains of Sleep

Ere on my bed my limbs I lay,
It hath not been my use to pray
With moving lips or bended knees;
But silently, by slow degrees,
My spirit I to Love compose,
In humble trust mine eyelids close,
With reverential resignation,
No wish conceived, no thought expressed,
Only a sense of supplication;
A sense o’er all my soul impressed
That I am weak, yet not unblessed,
Since in me, round me, every where
Eternal strength and wisdom are.

But yester-night I prayed aloud
In anguish and in agony,
Up-starting from the fiendish crowd
Of shapes and thoughts that tortured me:
A lurid light, a trampling throng,
Sense of intolerable wrong,
And whom I scorned, those only strong!
Thirst of revenge, the powerless will
Still baffled, and yet burning still!
Desire with loathing strangely mixed
On wild or hateful objects fixed.
Fantastic passions! maddening brawl!
And shame and terror over all!
Deeds to be hid which were not hid,
Which all confused I could not know
Whether I suffered, or I did:
For all seemed guilt, remorse or woe,
My own or others still the same
Life-stifling fear, soul-stifling shame.

So two nights passed: the night’s dismay
Saddened and stunned the coming day.
Sleep, the wide blessing, seemed to me
Distemper’s worst calamity.
The third night, when my own loud scream
Had waked me from the fiendish dream,
O’ercome with sufferings strange and wild,
I wept as I had been a child;
And having thus by tears subdued
My anguish to a milder mood,
Such punishments, I said, were due
To natures deepliest stained with sin, –
For aye entempesting anew
The unfathomable hell within
The horror of their deeds to view,
To know and loathe, yet wish and do!
Such griefs with such men well agree,
But wherefore, wherefore fall on me?
To be beloved is all I need,
And whom I love, I love indeed.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Songs from the play “Zapolya”

(Act II, Scene I, lines 65-80)

A sunny shaft did I behold,
From sky to earth it slanted:
And poised therein a bird so bold
Sweet bird, thou wert enchanted!

He sank, he rose, he twinkled, he trolled
Within that shaft of sunny mist;
His eyes of fire, his beak of gold,
All else of amethyst!
And thus he sang: `Adieu! adieu!
Love’s dreams prove seldom true.
The blossoms they make no delay:
The sparkling dew-drops will not stay.
Sweet month of May,
We must away;
Far, far away!
To-day! to-day!’

Hunting Song
(Act IV, Scene II, lines 56-71)

Up, up ! ye dames, ye lasses gay!
To the meadows trip away.
‘Tis you must tend the flocks this morn,
And scare the small birds from the corn.
Not a soul at home may stay:
For the shepherds must go
With lance and bow
To hunt the wolf in the woods to-day.
Leave the hearth and leave the house
To the cricket and the mouse:
Find grannam out a sunny seat,
With babe and lambkin at her feet.
Not a soul at home must stay:
For the shepherds must go
With lance and bow
To hunt the wolf in the woods to-day.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

All of these poems are classics! No wonder Samuel Taylor Coleridge helped begin German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. He even coined many familiar words and phrases, including “suspension of disbelief.” He was marvelous!

Of course, I wouldn’t miss reading my favorite work in this collection―The Presence of Love. I am touched by this poem since sometimes it is hard to love, but it’ll be harder without the presence of love. 

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of Samuel Taylor Coleridge?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


Poem Entries from September 25-November 30

Here is the eighth poem entry by one of our previous aspiring poets.

What is Love?

Love is beautiful but can also be very painful,
It might take you high as the sky but can also leave you to cry
It might taste like the sweetest but with an aftertaste of bitterness
Love might be sincere, but who knows when will it turn into a tear

What is love? Everyone might ask themselves this question once in a while
It might drive you in denial but ends up with a smile
It might sound scary but can turn you to be gutsy
Love might be risky, but who knows that someday, it’ll make you very happy,

Is loving someone worthy? Have you ever wondered about this?
It might be your first but not the last or last but not your first
It might let you want to try but end up being regretful
For whoever loves someone might turn up to be wise or just be a fool.


I love how you use contradictory elements in describing your content, _LovelyGirl. The way you connect different possible emotions while falling in love was excellent. You can also creatively write a masterpiece, and I love it.

Thank you so much for this excellent poem. I really like it.

What about you? Can you also write creatively, just like this poet?
If you’re going to share your thoughts by using a poem, what will it be?
You are also free to drop by and submit your poem whenever you want.

Don’t forget to like and comment if you also like her poem. 🙂


Top 20 Most Popular Poems of Edward Lear

These are the top twenty (20) most popular poems of Edward Lear.

From The Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo to The Umbrageous Umbrella-maker.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!…

The Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo

  By Edward Lear

    The Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
    whose Head was ever so much bigger than his
    Body, and whose Hat was rather small.

The Jumblies.

  By Edward Lear


    They went to sea in a sieve, they did;
    In a sieve they went to sea:
    In spite of all their friends could say,
    On a winter’s morn, on a stormy day,
    In a sieve they went to sea.
    And when the sieve turned round and round,
    And every one cried, “You’ll all be drowned!”
    They called aloud, “Our sieve ain’t big;
    But we don’t care a button, we don’t care a fig:
    In a sieve we’ll go to sea!”
    Far and few, far and few,
    Are the lands where the Jumblies live:
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue
    And they went to sea in a sieve.


    They sailed away in a sieve, they did,
    In a sieve they sailed so fast,
    With only a beautiful pea-green veil
    Tied with a ribbon, by way of a sail,
    To a small tobacco-pipe mast.
    And every one said who saw them go,
    “Oh! won’t they be soon upset, you know?
    For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long;
    And, happen what may, it’s extremely wrong
    In a sieve to sail so fast.”
    Far and few, far and few,
    Are the lands where the Jumblies live:
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue;
    And they went to sea in a sieve.


    The water it soon came in, it did;
    The water it soon came in:
    So, to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet
    In a pinky paper all folded neat;
    And they fastened it down with a pin.
    And they passed the night in a crockery-jar;
    And each of them said, “How wise we are!
    Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long,
    Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong,
    While round in our sieve we spin.”
    Far and few, far and few,
    Are the lands where the Jumblies live:
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue;
    And they went to sea in a sieve.


    And all night long they sailed away;
    And when the sun went down,
    They whistled and warbled a moony song
    To the echoing sound of a coppery gong,
    In the shade of the mountains brown.
    “O Timballoo! How happy we are
    When we live in a sieve and a crockery-jar!
    And all night long, in the moonlight pale,
    We sail away with a pea-green sail
    In the shade of the mountains brown.”
    Far and few, far and few,
    Are the lands where the Jumblies live:
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue;
    And they went to sea in a sieve.


    They sailed to the Western Sea, they did, – 
    To a land all covered with trees:
    And they bought an owl, and a useful cart,
    And a pound of rice, and a cranberry-tart,
    And a hive of silvery bees;
    And they bought a pig, and some green jackdaws,
    And a lovely monkey with lollipop paws,
    And forty bottles of ring-bo-ree,
    And no end of Stilton cheese.
    Far and few, far and few,
    Are the lands where the Jumblies live:
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue;
    And they went to sea in a sieve.


    And in twenty years they all came back, – 
    In twenty years or more;
    And every one said, “How tall they’ve grown!
    For they’ve been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone,
    And the hills of the Chankly Bore.”
    And they drank their health, and gave them a feast
    Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast;
    And every one said, “If we only live,
    We, too, will go to sea in a sieve,
    To the hills of the Chankly Bore.”
    Far and few, far and few,
    Are the lands where the Jumblies live:
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue;
    And they went to sea in a sieve.

The Owl And The Pussy-Cat.

  By Edward Lear


    The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
    In a beautiful pea-green boat:
    They took some honey, and plenty of money
    Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
    The Owl looked up to the stars above,
    And sang to a small guitar,
    “O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
    What a beautiful Pussy you are,
    You are,
    You are!
    What a beautiful Pussy you are!”


    Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl,
    How charmingly sweet you sing!
    Oh! let us be married; too long we have tarried:
    But what shall we do for a ring?”
    They sailed away, for a year and a day,
    To the land where the bong-tree grows;
    And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
    With a ring at the end of his nose,
    His nose,
    His nose,
    With a ring at the end of his nose.


    “Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
    Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
    So they took it away, and were married next day
    By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
    They dined on mince and slices of quince,
    Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
    And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
    They danced by the light of the moon,
    The moon,
    The moon,
    They danced by the light of the moon.

More Nonsense Limerick 49

  By Edward Lear

    There was an old man on the Border,
    Who lived in the utmost disorder;
    He danced with the cat, 
    And made tea in his hat,
    Which vexed all the folks on the Border.

Nonsense Alphabet 1

  By Edward Lear



    A was an ant
    Who seldom stood still,
    And who made a nice house
    In the side of a hill.

    Nice little ant!



    B was a book
    With a binding of blue,
    And pictures and stories
    For me and for you.

    Nice little book!



    C was a cat
    Who ran after a rat;
    But his courage did fail
    When she seized on his tail.

    Crafty old cat!



    D was a duck
    With spots on his back,
    Who lived in the water,
    And always said “Quack!”

    Dear little duck!



    E was an elephant,
    Stately and wise:
    He had tusks and a trunk,
    And two queer little eyes.

    Oh, what funny small eyes!



    F was a fish
    Who was caught in a net;
    But he got out again,
    And is quite alive yet.

    Lively young fish!



    G was a goat
    Who was spotted with brown:
    When he did not lie still
    He walked up and down.

    Good little goat!



    H was a hat
    Which was all on one side;
    Its crown was too high,
    And its brim was too wide.

    Oh, what a hat!



    I was some ice
    So white and so nice,
    But which nobody tasted;
    And so it was wasted.

    All that good ice!



    J was a jackdaw
    Who hopped up and down
    In the principal street
    Of a neighboring town.

    All through the town!



    K was a kite
    Which flew out of sight,
    Above houses so high,
    Quite into the sky.

    Fly away, kite!



    L was a light
    Which burned all the night,
    And lighted the gloom
    Of a very dark room.

    Useful nice light!



    M was a mill
    Which stood on a hill,
    And turned round and round
    With a loud hummy sound.

    Useful old mill!



    N was a net
    Which was thrown in the sea
    To catch fish for dinner
    For you and for me.

    Nice little net!



    O was an orange
    So yellow and round:
    When it fell off the tree,
    It fell down to the ground.

    Down to the ground!



    P was a pig,
    Who was not very big;
    But his tail was too curly,
    And that made him surly.

    Cross little pig!



    Q was a quail
    With a very short tail;
    And he fed upon corn
    In the evening and morn.

    Quaint little quail!



    R was a rabbit,
    Who had a bad habit
    Of eating the flowers
    In gardens and bowers.

    Naughty fat rabbit!



    S was the sugar-tongs,
    To take up the sugar
    To put in our tea.




    T was a tortoise,
    All yellow and black:
    He walked slowly away,
    And he never came back.

    Torty never came back!



    U was an urn
    All polished and bright,
    And full of hot water
    At noon and at night.

    Useful old urn!



    V was a villa
    Which stood on a hill,
    By the side of a river,
    And close to a mill.

    Nice little villa!



    W was a whale
    With a very long tail,
    Whose movements were frantic
    Across the Atlantic.

    Monstrous old whale!



    X was King Xerxes,
    Who, more than all Turks, is
    Renowned for his fashion
    Of fury and passion.

    Angry old Xerxes!



    Y was a yew,
    Which flourished and grew
    By a quiet abode
    Near the side of a road.

    Dark little yew!



    Z was some zinc,
    So shiny and bright,
    Which caused you to wink
    In the sun’s merry light.

    Beautiful zinc!

The Absolutely Abstemious Ass,

  By Edward Lear

    The Absolutely Abstemious Ass,
    who resided in a Barrel, and only lived on
    Soda Water and Pickled Cucumbers.

Alphabet, No. 5.

  By Edward Lear


    A was an Area Arch
    Where washerwomen sat;
    They made a lot of lovely starch
    To starch Papa’s Cravat.


    B was a Bottle blue,
    Which was not very small;
    Papa he filled it full of beer,
    And then he drank it all.


    C was Papa’s gray Cat,
    Who caught a squeaky Mouse;
    She pulled him by his twirly tail
    All about the house.


    D was Papa’s white Duck,
    Who had a curly tail;
    One day it ate a great fat frog,
    Besides a leetle snail.


    E was a little Egg,
    Upon the breakfast table;
    Papa came in and ate it up
    As fast as he was able.


    F was a little Fish.
    Cook in the river took it
    Papa said, “Cook! Cook! bring a dish!
    And, Cook! be quick and cook it!”


    G was Papa’s new Gun;
    He put it in a box;
    And then he went and bought a bun,
    And walked about the Docks.


    H was Papa’s new Hat;
    He wore it on his head;
    Outside it was completely black,
    But inside it was red.


    I was an Inkstand new,
    Papa he likes to use it;
    He keeps it in his pocket now,
    For fear that he should lose it.


    J was some Apple Jam,
    Of which Papa ate part;
    But all the rest he took away
    And stuffed into a tart.


    K was a great new Kite;
    Papa he saw it fly
    Above a thousand chimney pots,
    And all about the sky.


    L was a fine new Lamp;
    But when the wick was lit,
    Papa he said, “This Light ain’t good!
    I cannot read a bit!”


    M was a dish of mince;
    It looked so good to eat!
    Papa, he quickly ate it up,
    And said, “This is a treat!”


    N was a Nut that grew
    High up upon a tree;
    Papa, who could not reach it, said,
    “That’s _much_ too high for me!”


    O was an Owl who flew
    All in the dark away,
    Papa said, “What an owl you are!
    Why don’t you fly by day?”


    P was a little Pig,
    Went out to take a walk;
    Papa he said, “If Piggy dead,
    He’d all turn into Pork!”


    Q was a Quince that hung
    Upon a garden tree;
    Papa he brought it with him home,
    And ate it with his tea.


    R was a Railway Rug
    Extremely large and warm;
    Papa he wrapped it round his head,
    In a most dreadful storm.


    S was Papa’s new Stick,
    Papa’s new thumping Stick,
    To thump extremely wicked boys,
    Because it was so thick.


    T was a tumbler full
    Of Punch all hot and good;
    Papa he drank it up, when in
    The middle of a wood.


    U was a silver urn,
    Full of hot scalding water;
    Papa said, “If that Urn were mine,
    I’d give it to my daughter!”


    V was a Villain; once
    He stole a piece of beef.
    Papa he said, “Oh, dreadful man!
    That Villain is a Thief!”


    W was a Watch of Gold:
    It told the time of day,
    So that Papa knew when to come,
    And when to go away.


    X was King Xerxes, whom
    Papa much wished to know;
    But this he could not do, because
    Xerxes died long ago.


    Y was a Youth, who kicked
    And screamed and cried like mad;
    Papa he said, “Your conduct is
    Abominably bad!”


    Z was a Zebra striped
    And streaked with lines of black;
    Papa said once, he thought he’d like
    A ride upon his back.

Nonsense Alphabet 3

  By Edward Lear


    A was an ape,
    Who stole some white tape,
    And tied up his toes
    In four beautiful bows.


    Funny old ape!


    B was a bat,
    Who slept all the day,
    And fluttered about
    When the sun went away.


    Brown little bat!


    C was a camel:
    You rode on his hump;
    And if you fell off,
    You came down such a bump!


    What a high camel!


    D was a dove,
    Who lived in a wood,
    With such pretty soft wings,
    And so gentle and good!


    Dear little dove!


    E was an eagle,
    Who sat on the rocks,
    And looked down on the fields
    And the-far-away flocks.


    Beautiful eagle!


    F was a fan
    Made of beautiful stuff;
    And when it was used,
    It went puffy-puff-puff!


    Nice little fan!


    G was a gooseberry,
    Perfectly red;
    To be made into jam,
    And eaten with bread.


    Gooseberry red!


    H was a heron,
    Who stood in a stream:
    The length of his neck
    And his legs was extreme.


    Long-legged heron!


    I was an inkstand,
    Which stood on a table,
    With a nice pen to write with
    When we are able.


    Neat little inkstand!


    J was a jug,
    So pretty and white,
    With fresh water in it
    At morning and night.


    Nice little jug!


    K was a kingfisher:
    Quickly he flew,
    So bright and so pretty! – 
    Green, purple, and blue.


    Kingfisher blue!


    L was a lily,
    So white and so sweet!
    To see it and smell it
    Was quite a nice treat.


    Beautiful lily!


    M was a man,
    Who walked round and round;
    And he wore a long coat
    That came down to the ground.


    Funny old man!


    N was a nut
    So smooth and so brown!
    And when it was ripe,
    It fell tumble-dum-down.


    Nice little nut!


    O was an oyster,
    Who lived in his shell:
    If you let him alone,
    He felt perfectly well.


    Open-mouthed oyster!


    P was a polly,
    All red, blue, and green, – 
    The most beautiful polly
    That ever was seen.


    Poor little polly!


    Q was a quill
    Made into a pen;
    But I do not know where,
    And I cannot say when.


    Nice little quill!


    R was a rattlesnake,
    Rolled up so tight,
    Those who saw him ran quickly,
    For fear he should bite.


    Rattlesnake bite!


    S was a screw
    To screw down a box;
    And then it was fastened
    Without any locks.


    Valuable screw!


    T was a thimble,
    Of silver so bright!
    When placed on the finger,
    It fitted so tight!


    Nice little thimble!


    U was an upper-coat,
    Woolly and warm,
    To wear over all
    In the snow or the storm.


    What a nice upper-coat!


    V was a veil
    With a border upon it,
    And a ribbon to tie it
    All round a pink bonnet.


    Pretty green veil!


    W was a watch,
    Where, in letters of gold,
    The hour of the day
    You might always behold.


    Beautiful watch!


    X was King Xerxes,
    Who wore on his head
    A mighty large turban,
    Green, yellow, and red.


    Look at King Xerxes!


    Y was a yak,
    From the land of Thibet:
    Except his white tail,
    He was all black as jet.


    Look at the yak!


    Z was a zebra,
    All striped white and black;
    And if he were tame,
    You might ride on his back.


    Pretty striped zebra!

The Zigzag Zealous Zebra

   By Edward Lear

    The Zigzag Zealous Zebra,
    who carried five Monkeys on his back all
    the way to Jellibolee.

The Fizzgiggious Fish,

  By Edward Lear

    The Fizzgiggious Fish,
    who always walked about upon Stilts,
    because he had no legs.

The Enthusiastic Elephant,

  By Edward Lear

    The Enthusiastic Elephant,
    who ferried himself across the water with the
    Kitchen Poker and a New pair of Ear-rings.

The Pelican Chorus.

  By Edward Lear


    King and Queen of the Pelicans we;
    No other Birds so grand we see!
    None but we have feet like fins!
    With lovely leathery throats and chins!
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican Jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still

    We live on the Nile. The Nile we love.
    By night we sleep on the cliffs above;
    By day we fish, and at eve we stand
    On long bare islands of yellow sand.
    And when the sun sinks slowly down,
    And the great rock walls grow dark and brown,

    Where the purple river rolls fast and dim
    And the Ivory Ibis starlike skim,
    Wing to wing we dance around,
    Stamping our feet with a flumpy sound,
    Opening our mouths as Pelicans ought;
    And this is the song we nightly snort, – 
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

    Last year came out our Daughter Dell,
    And all the Birds received her well.
    To do her honor a feast we made
    For every bird that can swim or wade, – 
    Herons and Gulls, and Cormorants black,
    Cranes, and Flamingoes with scarlet back,
    Plovers and Storks, and Geese in clouds,
    Swans and Dilberry Ducks in crowds:
    Thousands of Birds in wondrous flight!
    They ate and drank and danced all night,
    And echoing back from the rocks you heard
    Multitude-echoes from Bird and Bird, – 
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

    Yes, they came; and among the rest
    The King of the Cranes all grandly dressed.
    Such a lovely tail! Its feathers float
    Between the ends of his blue dress-coat;
    With pea-green trowsers all so neat,
    And a delicate frill to hide his feet
    (For though no one speaks of it, every one knows
    He has got no webs between his toes).

    As soon as he saw our Daughter Dell,
    In violent love that Crane King fell, – 
    On seeing her waddling form so fair,
    With a wreath of shrimps in her short white hair.
    And before the end of the next long day
    Our Dell had given her heart away;
    For the King of the Cranes had won that heart
    With a Crocodile’s egg and a large fish-tart.
    She vowed to marry the King of the Cranes,
    Leaving the Nile for stranger plains;
    And away they flew in a gathering crowd
    Of endless birds in a lengthening cloud.
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

    And far away in the twilight sky
    We heard them singing a lessening cry, – 
    Farther and farther, till out of sight,
    And we stood alone in the silent night!
    Often since, in the nights of June,
    We sit on the sand and watch the moon, – 

    She has gone to the great Gromboolian Plain,
    And we probably never shall meet again!
    Oft, in the long still nights of June,
    We sit on the rocks and watch the moon, – 
    She dwells by the streams of the Chankly Bore.
    And we probably never shall see her more.
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!


The Tumultuous Tom-tommy Tortoise

  By Edward Lear

    The Tumultuous Tom-tommy Tortoise,
    who beat a Drum all day long in the
    middle of the wilderness.

The Duck And The Kangaroo.

  By Edward Lear



    Said the Duck to the Kangaroo,
    “Good gracious! how you hop
    Over the fields, and the water too,
    As if you never would stop!
    My life is a bore in this nasty pond;
    And I long to go out in the world beyond:
    I wish I could hop like you,”
    Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.


    “Please give me a ride on your back,”
    Said the Duck to the Kangaroo:
    “I would sit quite still, and say nothing but ‘Quack’
    The whole of the long day through;
    And we ‘d go the Dee, and the Jelly Bo Lee,
    Over the land, and over the sea:
    Please take me a ride! oh, do!”
    Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.



    Said the Kangaroo to the Duck,
    “This requires some little reflection.
    Perhaps, on the whole, it might bring me luck;
    And there seems but one objection;
    Which is, if you’ll let me speak so bold,
    Your feet are unpleasantly wet and cold,
    And would probably give me the roo-
    Matiz,” said the Kangaroo.


    Said the Duck, “As I sate on the rocks,
    I have thought over that completely;
    And I bought four pairs of worsted socks,
    Which fit my web-feet neatly;
    And, to keep out the cold, I’ve bought a cloak;
    And every day a cigar I’ll smoke;
    All to follow my own dear true
    Love of a Kangaroo.”


    Said the Kangaroo, “I’m ready,
    All in the moonlight pale;
    But to balance me well, dear Duck, sit steady,
    And quite at the end of my tail.”
    So away they went with a hop and a bound;
    And they hopped the whole world three times round.
    And who so happy, oh! who,
    As the Duck and the Kangaroo?


Book Of Nonsense Limerick 1.

  By Edward Lear

    There was an Old Man with a beard,
    Who said, “It is just as I feared! –
    Two Owls and a Hen,
    Four Larks and a Wren,
    Have all built their nests in my beard!”

The Daddy Long-Legs And The Fly.

  By Edward Lear



    Once Mr. Daddy Long-legs,
    Dressed in brown and gray,
    Walked about upon the sands
    Upon a summer’s day:
    And there among the pebbles,
    When the wind was rather cold,
    He met with Mr. Floppy Fly,
    All dressed in blue and gold;
    And, as it was too soon to dine,
    They drank some periwinkle-wine,
    And played an hour or two, or more,
    At battlecock and shuttledore.


    Said Mr. Daddy Long-legs
    To Mr. Floppy Fly,
    “Why do you never come to court?
    I wish you ‘d tell me why.
    All gold and shine, in dress so fine,
    You’d quite delight the court.
    Why do you never go at all?
    I really think you _ought_.
    And, if you went, you’d see such sights!
    Such rugs and jugs and candle-lights!
    And, more than all, the king and queen, – 
    One in red, and one in green.”


    “O Mr. Daddy Long-legs!”
    Said Mr. Floppy Fly,
    “It’s true I never go to court;
    And I will tell you why.
    If I had six long legs like yours,
    At once I’d go to court;
    But, oh! I can’t, because _my_ legs
    Are so extremely short.
    And I’m afraid the king and queen
    (One in red, and one in green)
    Would say aloud, ‘You are not fit,
    You Fly, to come to court a bit!'”


    “Oh, Mr. Daddy Long-legs!”
    Said Mr. Floppy Fly,
    “I wish you ‘d sing one little song,
    One mumbian melody.
    You used to sing so awful well
    In former days gone by;
    But now you never sing at all:
    I wish you’d tell me why:
    For, if you would, the silvery sound
    Would please the shrimps and cockles round,
    And all the crabs would gladly come
    To hear you sing, ‘Ah, Hum di Hum!'”


    Said Mr. Daddy Long-legs,
    “I can never sing again;
    And, if you wish, I’ll tell you why,
    Although it gives me pain.
    For years I cannot hum a bit,
    Or sing the smallest song;
    And this the dreadful reason is, – 
    My legs are grown too long!
    My six long legs, all here and there,
    Oppress my bosom with despair;
    And, if I stand or lie or sit,
    I cannot sing one single bit!”


    So Mr. Daddy Long-legs
    And Mr. Floppy Fly
    Sat down in silence by the sea,
    And gazed upon the sky.
    They said, “This is a dreadful thing!
    The world has all gone wrong,
    Since one has legs too short by half,
    The other much too long.
    One never more can go to court,
    Because his legs have grown too short;
    The other cannot sing a song,
    Because his legs have grown too long!”


    Then Mr. Daddy Long-legs
    And Mr. Floppy Fly
    Rushed downward to the foamy sea
    With one sponge-taneous cry:
    And there they found a little boat,
    Whose sails were pink and gray;
    And off they sailed among the waves,
    Far and far away:
    They sailed across the silent main,
    And reached the great Gromboolian Plain;
    And there they play forevermore
    At battlecock and shuttledore.


The Judicious Jubilant Jay

  By Edward Lear

    The Judicious Jubilant Jay,
    who did up her Back Hair every morning with a Wreath of Roses,
    Three feathers, and a Gold Pin.

The Visibly Vicious Vulture

  By Edward Lear

    The Visibly Vicious Vulture,
    who wrote some Verses to a Veal-cutlet in a
    Volume bound in Vellum.

Calico Pie.

  By Edward Lear


    Calico pie,
    The little birds fly
    Down to the calico-tree:
    Their wings were blue,
    And they sang “Tilly-loo!”
    Till away they flew;
    And they never came back to me!
    They never came back,
    They never came back,
    They never came back to me!


    Calico jam,
    The little Fish swam
    Over the Syllabub Sea.
    He took off his hat
    To the Sole and the Sprat,
    And the Willeby-wat:
    But he never came back to me;
    He never came back,
    He never came back,
    He never came back to me.


    Calico ban,
    The little Mice ran
    To be ready in time for tea;
    Flippity flup,
    They drank it all up,
    And danced in the cup:
    But they never came back to me;
    They never came back,
    They never came back,
    They never came back to me.


    Calico drum,
    The Grasshoppers come,
    The Butterfly, Beetle, and Bee,
    Over the ground,
    Around and round,
    With a hop and a bound;
    But they never came back,
    They never came back,
    They never came back.
    They never came back to me.

The Umbrageous Umbrella-maker

  By Edward Lear

    The Umbrageous Umbrella-maker,
    whose Face nobody ever saw, because it was
    always covered by his Umbrella.

Compared to other collections, this poetry collection is extraordinary. That is why Edward Lear was known principally for his popular nonsense collections of poems, songs, short stories, botanical drawings, recipes, and alphabets. His poems also contain drawings that are entertaining to see while reading.

Nonsense Alphabet 1, Alphabet, No. 5. Nonsense Alphabet 3 are my favorite poems in this collection. It’s just amazing how he managed to write poems alphabetically together with drawings in each letter.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of Edward Lear?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


Poem Entries from September 25-November 30

Here is the seventh poem entry by one of our previous aspiring poets.

The Rose

At a look, you are captivated by its beauty
It doesn’t do anything, but yet that is its duty
Allured by its enchanting aroma
For moments you are trance into a soothing coma

The pedals have such an everlasting design
You gaze at its aesthetic pleasure totally captured in your mind
Oh wonderful, glorious creations are they
I could enjoy its beauteous nature day after day

I believe God thought of a rose when He created a woman
Let’s make her like this was His summon
Her intrinsic beauty and divine charisma
Totally piercing the natural eye like the prickly leaves of a mimosa

Her hair displays the flow of a gracious design
And when the wind blows, it falls perfectly back inline
The touch of her skin is like the softness of pure silk
The brightness of her smile
Could be seen for at least a mile

Every curve carefully forming her aristocratic poise
Leaves the bees absent of any noise
The sound of her voice is as sweet as sopaipilla covered with powdered sugar to enhance
The deep of her eyes enslave you in enormous somnolence

No, she was not made of just one color
But normally she is the shade of her earthly mother
This magnificent creation was not to be hidden but to be adorn
This was His intent before she was ever born!


Wow! That was an incredible poem _KcLove. The way you correlate the characteristics of a rose to a woman was superb. You can creatively write a masterpiece, and I love it.

Thank you so much for that incredible piece. I appreciate it.

What about you? Can you also write creatively, just like this poet?
If you’re going to share your thoughts by using a poem, what will it be?
You are also free to drop by and submit your poem whenever you want.

Don’t forget to like and comment if you also like KcLove’s poem. 🙂


69 Greatest Poems About Wedded Love

Getting married is quite a challenge. But when you already found the one, it would be a lot easier. Everything seemed magical before getting married until the honeymoon period. But it would be the other side of the story when you and your spouse got too comfortable with each other. There are different kinds of how wedded love would change or remain throughout the year, and some poets wrote poems about it.

These are sixty-nine (69) greatest poems about wedded love. If you’ve gotten married or are interested in how poets described marriage through their poems, these poems are for you.

Keep reading…

“Till death us part”

“Till death us part,”
Thus speaks the heart
When each to each repeats the words of doom;
For better and for worse,
Through blessing and through curse,
We shall be one, till life’s last hour shall come.

Life with its myriad grasp
Our yearning souls shall clasp
By ceaseless love and still expectant wonder;
In bonds that shall endure
Indissolubly sure
Till God in death shall part our paths asunder.

Till death us join!
Oh, word yet more divine,
Which to the breaking heart breathes hope sublime!
Through wasted hours,
And shattered powers,
We still are one, despite the change and time.

Death with his healing hand
Shall knit once more the band,
Which needs but that one link that none may sever;
Till, through the only Good,
Seen, felt, and understood,
The life in God shall make us one forever.

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds”

Sonnet CXVI.

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-fixèd mark, 5
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; 10
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 proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare

Sonnets from the Portuguese
VI. Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand

Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forbore,…
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, he hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes the tears of two.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


A solemn thing it was, I said,
A woman white to be,
And wear, if God should count me fit,
Her hallowed mystery.

A timid thing to drop a life
Into the purple well,
Too plummetless that it come back
Eternity until.

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

Sonnets from the Portuguese
XIV. If thou must love me, let it be for naught

If thou must love me, let it be for naught
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
“I love her for her smile … her look … her way
Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day.”
For these things in themselves, belovèd, may
Be changed, or change for thee,—and love so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,—
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby.
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sonnets from the Portuguese
XVIII. I never gave a lock of hair away

I never gave a lock of hair away
To a man, Dearest, except this to thee,
Which now upon my fingers thoughtfully
I ring out to the full brown length and say
“Take it.” My day of youth went yesterday;
My hair no longer bounds to my foot’s glee.
Nor plant I it from rose or myrtle tree,
As girls do, any more. It only may
Now shade on two pale cheeks, the mark of tears,
Taught drooping from the head that hangs aside
Through sorrow’s trick. I thought the funeral shears
Would take this first, but Love is justified,—
Take it thou,… finding pure, from all those years,
The kiss my mother left here when she died.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Wedding.

A Feast was in a village spread,
It was a wedding-day, they said.
The parlour of the inn I found,
And saw the couples whirling round,
Each lass attended by her lad,
And all seem’d loving, blithe, and glad;
But on my asking for the bride,
A fellow with a stare, replied:
“‘Tis not the place that point to raise!

We’re only dancing in her honour;
We now have danced three nights and days,

And not bestowed one thought upon her.”
* * * *

Whoe’er in life employs his eyes
Such cases oft will recognise.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sonnets from the Portuguese
XXI. Say over again, and yet once over again

Say over again, and yet once over again,
That thou dost love me. Though the word repeated
Should seem a “cuckoo-song,” as thou dost treat it,
Remember never to the hill or plain,
Valley and wood, without her cuckoo-strain,
Comes the fresh spring in all her green completed.
Beloved, I, amid the darkness greeted
By a doubtful spirit-voice, in that doubt’s pain
Cry: “Speak once more—thou lovest!” Who can fear
Too many stars, though each in heaven shall roll,—
Too many flowers, though each shall crown the year?
Say thou dost love me, love me, love me,—toll
The silver iterance!—only minding, dear,
To love me also in silence, with thy soul.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sonnets from the Portuguese
XXVIII. My letters! all dead paper,… mute and white!

My letters! all dead paper,… mute and white!—
And yet they seem alive and quivering
Against my tremulous hands which loose the string
And let them drop down on my knee to-night.
This said,… he wished to have me in his sight
Once, as a friend: this fixed a day in spring
To come and touch my hand … a simple thing,
Yet I wept for it! this,… the paper’s light …
Said, Dear, I love thee; and I sank and quailed
As if God’s future thundered on my past.
This said, I am thine,—and so its ink has paled
With lying at my heart that beat too fast.
And this … O Love, thy words have ill availed,
If what this said, I dared repeat at last!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sonnets from the Portuguese
XXXV. If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange

If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
And be all to me? Shall I never miss
Home-talk and blessing and the common kiss
That comes to each in turn, nor count it strange,
When I look up, to drop on a new range
Of walls and floors, another home than this?
Nay, wilt thou fill that place by me which is
Filled by dead eyes too tender to know change
That ’s hardest? If to conquer love, has tried,
To conquer grief, tries more, as all things prove,
For grief indeed is love and grief beside.
Alas, I have grieved so I am hard to love.
Yet love me—wilt thou? Open thine heart wide,
And fold within the wet wings of thy dove.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Wedding.

O marriage-bells, your clamor tells
Two weddings in one breath.
SHE marries whom her love compels:
– And I wed Goodman Death!
My brain is blank, my tears are red;
Listen, O God: – “I will,” he said: –
And I would that I were dead.
Come groomsman Grief and bridesmaid Pain
Come and stand with a ghastly twain.
My Bridegroom Death is come o’er the meres
To wed a bride with bloody tears.
Ring, ring, O bells, full merrily:
Life-bells to her, death-bells to me:
O Death, I am true wife to thee!

Macon, Georgia, 1865.

Sidney Lanier

Sonnets from the Portuguese
XXXVIII. First time he kissed me, he but only kissed

First time he kissed me, he but only kissed
The fingers of this hand wherewith I write;
And, ever since, it grew more clean and white,
Slow to world-greetings, quick with its “O list!”
When the angels speak. A ring of amethyst
I could not wear here, plainer to my sight
Than that first kiss. The second passed in height
The first, and sought the forehead, and half missed,
Half falling on the hair. O, beyond meed!
That was the chrism of love, which love’s own crown,
With sanctifying sweetness, did precede.
The third upon my lips was folded down
In perfect, purple state; since when, indeed,
I have been proud, and said, “My love, my own!”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sonnets from the Portuguese
XXXIX. Because thou hast the power and own’st the grace

Because thou hast the power and own’st the grace
To look through and behind this mask of me,
(Against which, years have beat thus blanchingly
With their rains,) and behold my soul’s true face,
The dim and weary witness of life’s race,—
Because thou hast the faith and love to see,
Through that same soul’s distracting lethargy,
The patient angel waiting for a place
In the new Heavens,—because nor sin nor woe,
Nor God’s infliction, nor death’s neighborhood,
Nor all which others viewing, turn to go,
Nor all which makes me tired of all, self-viewed,—
Nothing repels thee,… Dearest, teach me so
To pour out gratitude, as thou dost, good!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Wedding Bells.

The Wedding Bells were ringing,
And Monday was the day,
And all the little ladies
Were there so fresh and gay.

And up up up the steps they went,
The wedding fine to see;
And the Roses were all for the Bride,
So pretty so pretty was she.

Kate Greenaway

Sonnets from the Portuguese
XLIII. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

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 every day’s 5
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. 10
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“My Love, I have no fear that thou shouldst die”

My Love, I have no fear that thou shouldst die;
Albeit I ask no fairer life than this,
Whose numbering-clock is still thy gentle kiss,
While Time and Peace with hands unlockèd fly,—
Yet care I not where in Eternity
We live and love, well knowing that there is
No backward step for those who feel the bliss
Of Faith as their most lofty yearnings high:
Love hath so purified my being’s core,
Meseems I scarcely should be startled, even,
To find, some morn, that thou hadst gone before;
Since, with thy love, this knowledge too was given,
Which each calm day doth strengthen more and more,
That they who love are but one step from Heaven.

James Russell Lowell

The Wedding Gown

She put her wedding-gown away
As tenderly as one might close,
With kissing lips and finger-tips,
The petals of a rose
Still held for the Beloved’s sake–
The loveliest that blows.

She put her wedding-gown away–
The quiet place was all astir
With vague perfume that filled the room,
Cedar and lavender,
Yet sweeter still about it clung
The fragrant thoughts of her.

She put her wedding-gown away–
Yet lingered where its whiteness gleamed
As one above a sleeping Love,
Oh, thus it was she seemed,
Reluctant still to turn and go
And leave him as he dreamed.

Theodosia Garrison

“Our love is not a fading, earthly flower”

Our love is not a fading, earthly flower:
Its wingèd seed dropped down from Paradise,
And, nursed by day and night, by sun and shower,
Doth momently to fresher beauty rise:
To us the leafless autumn is not bare,
Nor winter’s rattling boughs lack lusty green,
Our summer hearts make summer’s fulness, where
No leaf, or bud, or blossom may be seen:
For nature’s life in love’s deep life doth lie,
Love,—whose forgetfulness is beauty’s death,
Whose mystic key these cells of Thou and I
Into the infinite freedom openeth,
And makes the body’s dark and narrow grate
The wind-flung leaves of Heaven’s palace-gate.

James Russell Lowell

“I thought our love at full, but I did err”

I thought our love at full, but I did err;
Joy’s wreath drooped o’er mine eyes; I could not see
That sorrow in our happy world must be
Love’s deepest spokesman and interpreter.
But, as a mother feels her child first stir
Under her heart, so felt I instantly
Deep in my soul another bond to thee
Thrill with that life we saw depart from her;
O mother of our angel child! twice dear!
Death knits as well as parts, and still, I wis,
Her tender radiance shall infold us here,
Even as the light, borne up by inward bliss,
Threads the void glooms of space without a fear,
To print on farthest stars her pitying kiss.

James Russell Lowell

My Love

Not as all other women are
Is she that to my soul is dear;
Her glorious fancies come from far,
Beneath the silver evening-star,
And yet her heart is ever near.

Great feelings hath she of her own,
Which lesser souls may never know;
God giveth them to her alone,
And sweet they are as any tone
Wherewith the wind may choose to blow.

Yet in herself she dwelleth not,
Although no home were half so fair;
No simplest duty is forgot;
Life hath no dim and lowly spot
That doth not in her sunshine share.

She doeth little kindnesses,
Which most leave undone, or despise;
For naught that sets one heart at ease,
And giveth happiness or peace,
Is low-esteemed in her eyes.

She hath no scorn of common things;
And, though she seem of other birth,
Round us her heart entwines and clings,
And patiently she folds her wings
To tread the humble paths of earth.

Her glorious fancies come from far,
And deeds of week-day holiness
Fall from her noiseless as the snow;
Nor hath she ever chanced to know
That aught were easier than to bless.

She is most fair, and thereunto
Her life doth rightly harmonize;
Feeling or thought that was not true
Ne’er made less beautiful the blue
Unclouded heaven of her eyes.

She is a woman—one in whom
The spring-time of her childish years
Hath never lost its fresh perfume,
Though knowing well that life hath room
For many blights and many tears.

I love her with a love as still
As a broad river’s peaceful might,
Which, by high tower and lowly mill,
Goes wandering at its own will,
And yet doth ever flow aright.

And, on its full, deep breast serene,
Like quiet isles my duties lie;
It flows around them and between,
And makes them fresh and fair and green—
Sweet homes wherein to live and die.

James Russell Lowell


Thou God, whose high, eternal Love
Is the only blue sky of our life,
Clear all the Heaven that bends above
The life-road of this man and wife.

May these two lives be but one note
In the world’s strange-sounding harmony,
Whose sacred music e’er shall float
Through every discord up to Thee.

As when from separate stars two beams
Unite to form one tender ray:
As when two sweet but shadowy dreams
Explain each other in the day:

So may these two dear hearts one light
Emit, and each interpret each.
Let an angel come and dwell to-night
In this dear double-heart, and teach!

Macon, Georgia, September, 1865.

Sidney Lanier

Adam Describing Eve

From “Paradise Lost,” Book VIII.

Mine eyes he closed, but open left the cell
Of fancy, my internal sight, by which
Abstract, as in a trance, methought I saw,
Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape
Still glorious before whom awake I stood;
Who, stooping, opened my left side, and took
From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm,
And life-blood streaming fresh; wide was the wound,
But suddenly with flesh filled up and healed:
The rib he formed and fashioned with his hands;
Under his forming hands a creature grew,
Manlike, but different sex, so lovely fair,
That what seemed fair in all the world seemed now
Mean, or in her summed up, in her contained,
And in her looks, which from that time infused
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,
And into all things from her air inspired
The spirit of love and amorous delight.
She disappeared, and left me dark; I waked
To find her, or forever to deplore
Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure:
When out of hope, behold her, not far off,
Such as I saw her in my dream, adorned
With what all earth or Heaven could bestow
To make her amiable. On she came,
Led by her heavenly Maker, though unseen,
And guided by his voice, nor uninformed
Of nuptial sanctity and marriage rites:
Grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her eye,
In every gesture dignity and love.
I, overjoyed, could not forbear aloud:
“This turn hath made amends; thou hast fulfilled
Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign,
Giver of all things fair, but fairest this
Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself
Before me; Woman is her name, of man
Extracted: for this cause he shall forego
Father and mother, and to his wife adhere;
And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul.”
She heard me thus, and though divinely brought,
Yet innocence and virgin modesty,
Her virtue and the conscience of her worth,
That would be wooed, and not unsought be won,
Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retired,
The more desirable; or, to say all,
Nature herself, though pure of sinful thought,
Wrought in her so, that, seeing me, she turned;
I followed her; she what was honor knew,
And with obsequious majesty approved
My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower
I led her blushing like the morn: all Heaven,
And happy constellations on that hour
Shed their selectest influence; the earth
Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;
Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs
Whispered it to the woods, and from their wings
Flung rose, flung odors from the spicy shrub,
Disporting, till the amorous bird of night
Sung spousal, and bid haste the evening star
On his hill-top, to light the bridal lamp.

* * * *
When I approach
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems,
And in herself complete, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best;
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded, wisdom in discourse with her
Loses discountenanced, and like folly shows;
Authority and reason on her wait,
As one intended first, not after made
Occasionally; and, to consummate all,
Greatness of mind and nobleness their seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard angelic placed,

* * * *
Neither her outside formed so fair, nor aught

* * * *
So much delights me, as those graceful acts,
Those thousand decencies that daily flow
From all her words and actions, mixed with love
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeigned
Union of mind, or in us both one soul;
Harmony to behold in wedded pair
More grateful than harmonious sound to the ear.

John Milton

Adam to Eve

From “Paradise Lost,” Book IX.

O fairest of creation, last and best
Of all God’s works, creature in whom excelled
Whatever can to sight or thought be formed,
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,
Defaced, deflowered, and now to death devote!
Rather, how hast thou yielded to transgress
The strict forbiddance, how to violate
The sacred fruit forbidden! Some cursèd fraud
Of enemy hath beguiled thee, yet unknown,
And me with thee hath ruined, for with thee
Certain my resolution is to die.
How can I live without thee, how forego
Thy sweet converse, and love so dearly joined,
To live again in these wild woods forlorn?
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart; no, no, I feel
The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh,
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.

* * * *

However, I with thee have fixed my lot,
Certain to undergo like doom; if death
Consort with thee, death is to me as life;
So forcible within my heart I feel
The bond of nature draw me to my own,
My own in thee, for what thou art is mine;
Our state cannot be severed, we are one,
One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.

John Milton

Brutus and Portia

From “Julius Cæsar,” Act II. Sc. 1.
PORTIA.— Brutus, my lord!
BRUTUS.—Portia, what mean you? Wherefore rise you now?
It is not for your health thus to commit
Your weak condition to the raw cold morning.
PORTIA.—Nor for yours neither. You ’ve ungently, Brutus, 5
Stole from my bed; and yesternight, at supper,
You suddenly arose and walked about,
Musing and sighing, with your arms across;
And, when I asked you what the matter was,
You stared upon me with ungentle looks.
I urged you further; then you scratched your head,
And too impatiently stamped with your foot.
Yet I insisted, yet you answered not,
But with an angry wafture of your hand
Gave sign for me to leave you. So I did;
Fearing to strengthen that impatience
Which seemed too much enkindled, and withal
Hoping it was but an effect of humor,
Which sometime hath his hour with every man.
It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep,
And, could it work so much upon your shape
As it hath much prevailed on your condition,
I should not know you, Brutus. Dear my lord,
Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.
BRUTUS.—I am not well in health, and that is all.
PORTIA.—Brutus is wise, and, were he not in health,
He would embrace the means to come by it.
BRUTUS.—Why, so I do.—Good Portia, go to bed.
PORTIA.—Is Brutus sick? and is it physical
To walk unbraced and suck up the humors
Of the dank morning? What! is Brutus sick,
And will he steal out of his wholesome bed,
To dare the vile contagion of the night,
And tempt the rheumy and unpurgèd air
To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus;
You have some sick offence within your mind,
Which by the right and virtue of my place
I ought to know of: and, upon my knees,
I charm you, by my once commended beauty,
By all your vows of love and that great vow
Which did incorporate and make us one,
That you unfold to me, yourself, your half,
Why you are heavy, and what men to-night
Have had resort to you; for here have been
Some six or seven, who did hide their faces
Even from darkness.
BRUTUS.— Kneel not, gentle Portia.
PORTIA.—I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.
Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
Is it excepted I should know no secrets
That appertain to you? Am I yourself
But, as it were, in sort of limitation,
To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,
And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in the suburbs
Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,
Portia is Brutus’ harlot, not his wife.
BRUTUS.—You are my true and honorable wife,
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.
PORTIA.—If this were true, then should I know this secret.
I grant I am a woman, but withal
A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife;
I grant I am a woman, but withal
A woman well reputed, Cato’s daughter.
Think you I am no stronger than my sex,
Being so fathered and so husbanded?
Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose ’em:
I have made strong proof of my constancy,
Giving myself a voluntary wound
Here in the thigh; can I bear that with patience,
And not my husband’s secrets?
BRUTUS.— O, ye gods,
Render me worthy of this noble wife!—
(Knocking within.)
Hark, hark! one knocks. Portia, go in a while;
And by and by thy bosom shall partake
The secrets of my heart.
All my engagements I will cónstrue to thee,
All the charáctery of my sad brows.
Leave me with haste.— (Exit PORTIA.)

William Shakespeare

The Wedding Morning

Tabitha dressed for her wedding:-
“Tabby, why look so sad?”
” O I feel a great gloominess spreading, spreading,
Instead of supremely glad! . . .

“I called on Carry last night,
And he came whilst I was there,
Not knowing I’d called. So I kept out of sight,
And I heard what he said to her:

“‘ Ah, I’d far liefer marry
YOU, Dear, to-morrow!’ he said,
‘But that cannot be.’ O I’d give him to Carry,
And willingly see them wed,

“But how can I do it when
His baby will soon be born?
After that I hope I may die. And then
She can have him. I shall not mourn!’

Thomas Hardy

Lord Walter’s Wife

“But why do you go?” said the lady, while both sate under the yew,
And her eyes were alive in their depth, as the kraken beneath the sea-blue.

“Because I fear you,” he answered;—“because you are far too fair,
And able to strangle my soul in a mesh of your gold-colored hair.”

“Oh, that,” she said, “is no reason! Such knots are quickly undone,
And too much beauty, I reckon, is nothing but too much sun.”

“Yet farewell so,” he answered;—“the sunstroke ’s fatal at times.
I value your husband, Lord Walter, whose gallop rings still from the limes.”

“O, that,” she said, “is no reason. You smell a rose through a fence:
If two should smell it, what matter? who grumbles, and where ’s the pretence?”

“But I,” he replied, “have promised another, when love was free,
To love her alone, alone, who alone and afar loves me.”

“Why, that,” she said. “is no reason. Love ’s always free, I am told.
Will you vow to be safe from the headache on Tuesday, and think it will hold?”

“But you,” he replied, “have a daughter, a young little child, who was laid
In your lap to be pure; so I leave you: the angels would make me afraid.”

“O, that,” she said, “is no reason. The angels keep out of the way;
And Dora, the child, observes nothing, although you should please me and stay.”

At which he rose up in his anger,—“Why, now, you no longer are fair!
Why, now, you no longer are fatal, but ugly and hateful, I swear.”

At which she laughed out in her scorn,—“These men! O, these men overnice,
Who are shocked if a color not virtuous is frankly put on by a vice.”

Her eyes blazed upon him—“And you! You bring us your vices so near
That we smell them! you think in our presence a thought ’t would defame us to hear!

“What reason had you, and what right,—I appeal to your soul from my life,—
To find me too fair as a woman? Why, sir, I am pure, and a wife.

“Is the day-star too fair up above you? It burns you not. Dare you imply
I brushed you more close than the star does, when Walter had set me as high?

“If a man finds a woman too fair, he means simply adapted too much
To uses unlawful and fatal. The praise!—shall I thank you for such?

“Too fair?—not unless you misuse us! and surely if, once in a while,
You attain to it, straightway you call us no longer too fair, but too vile.

“A moment,—I pray your attention!—I have a poor word in my head
I must utter, though womanly custom would set it down better unsaid.

“You grew, sir, pale to impertinence, once when I showed you a ring.
You kissed my fan when I dropped it. No matter! I ’ve broken the thing.

“You did me the honor, perhaps, to be moved at my side now and then
In the senses,—a vice, I have heard, which is common to beasts and some men.

“Love ’s a virtue for heroes!—as white as the snow on high hills,
And immortal as every great soul is that struggles, endures, and fulfils.

“I love my Walter profoundly,—you, Maude, though you faltered a week,
For the sake of … what was it? an eyebrow? or, less still, a mole on a cheek?

“And since, when all ’s said, you ’re too noble to stoop to the frivolous cant
About crimes irresistible, virtues that swindle, betray, and supplant,

“I determined to prove to yourself that, whate’er you might dream or avow
By illusion, you wanted precisely no more of me than you have now.

“There! Look me full in the face!—in the face. Understand, if you can,
That the eyes of such women as I am are clean as the palm of a man.

“Drop his hand, you insult him. Avoid us for fear we should cost you a scar,—
You take us for harlots, I tell you, and not for the women we are.

“You wrong me: but then I consider … there ’s Walter! And so at the end,
I vowed that he should not be mulcted, by me, in the hand of a friend.

“Have I hurt you indeed? We are quits then. Nay, friend of my Walter, be mine!
Come, Dora, my darling, my angel, and help me to ask him to dine.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Paulina’s Appeal

From the French of W. F. Nokes

From “Polyeucte”

SEVERUS— I stand agaze,
Rooted, confounded, in sheer wonderment.
Such blind resolve is so unparalleled,
I scarce may trust the witness of mine ears.
A heart that loves you—and what heart so poor
That knowing, loves you not?—one loved of you,
To leave regretless so much bliss just won!
Nay, more—as though it were a fatal prize—
To his corrival straight to yield it up!
Truly, or wondrous manias Christians have,
Or their self-happiness must be sans bourn,
Since to attain it they will cast away
What others at an empire’s cost would win.
For me, had fate, a little sooner kind,
Blessed my true service with your hand’s reward,
The glory of your eyes had been my worship;
My twin kings had they reigned—kings? nay, my gods!
To dust, to powder, had I grinded been
E’er I had—
PAULINA—Hold! let me not hear too much;
Let not the smoldering embers of old time
Relume to speech unworthy of us both.
Severus, know Paulina utterly:
His latest hour my Polyeuctus nears;
Nay, scarce a minute has he yet to live.
You all unwittingly have been the cause
Of this his death. I know not if your thoughts,
Their portals opening to your wish’s knock,
Have dared to some wild hope give harboring,
Based upon his undoing; but know well,
No death so cruel I would not boldly front,
Hell hath no tortures I would not endure,
Or e’er my stainless honor I would spot,
My han