(Latest update 2 November 2003 by Bob Ames)
For those of you who like poetry here are the poems Parker has quoted from. Some have appeared in several books, some in only one.
Abou ben AdhemEdit
by Leigh Hunt
Abou ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!) Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, And saw, within the moonlight in his room, Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom, An Angel writing in a book of gold:
Exceeding peace had made ben Adhem bold, And to the Presence in the room he said, "What writest thou?" The Vision raised its head, And with a look made of all sweet accord Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so," Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low, But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then, Write me as one who loves his fellow men."
The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night It came again with a great wakening light, And showed the names whom love of God had blessed, And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!
==After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Com by Emily Dickinson
After great pain, a formal feeling comes-- The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs-- The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore, And Yesterday, or Centuries before?
The Feet, mechanical, go round-- Of Ground, or Air, or Ought-- A Wooden way Regardless grown, A Quartz contentment, like a stone--
This is the Hour of Lead-- Remembered, if outlived, As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow-- First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go--
By Edmunde Spenser.
SONNET. I. HAPPY ye leaues when as those lilly hands, which hold my life in their dead doing might shall handle you and hold in loues soft bands, lyke captiues trembling at the victors sight. And happy lines, on which with starry light, those lamping eyes will deigne sometimes to look and reade the sorrowes of my dying spright, written with teares in harts close bleeding book. And happy rymes bath'd in the sacred brooke, of Helicon whence she deriued is, when ye behold that Angels blessed looke, my soules long lacked foode, my heauens blis. Leaues, lines, and rymes, seeke her to please alone, whom if ye please, I care for other none.
Anecdote of the JarEdit
by Wallace Stevens
I placed a jar in Tennessee, And round it was, upon a hill. It made the slovenly wilderness Surround that hill.
The wilderness rose up to it, And sprawled around, no longer wild. The jar was round upon the ground And tall and of a port in air.
It took dominion every where. The jar was gray and bare. It did not give of bird or bush, Like nothing else in Tennessee.
by Ezra Pound
Sing we for love and idleness, Naught else is worth the having.
Though I have been in many a land, There is naught else in living.
And I would rather have my sweet, Though rose-leaves die of grieving,
Than do high deeds in Hungary To pass all men's believing.
A Valediction: Forbidding MourningEdit
by John Donne
As virtuous men pass mildly away, And whisper to their souls to go, Whilst some of their sad friends do say The breath goes now, and some say, No:
So let us melt, and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move, 'Twere profanation of our joys To tell the laity our love.
Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did and meant, But trepidation of the spheres, Though greater far, is innocent.
Dull sublunary lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit Absence, because it doth remove Those things which elemented it.
But we by a love so much refined That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assur'd of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.
Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet A breach, but an expansion, Like gold to aery thinness beat.
If they be two, they are two so As stiff twin compasses are two; Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show To move, but doth, if th' other do.
And though it in the centre sit, Yet when the other far doth roam, It leans and hearkens after it, And grows erect, as that comes home.
Such wilt thou be to me, who must Like th' other foot, obliquely run; Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun.
A Visit From St. NicholasEdit
by Clement C. Moore (1823)
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads; And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap - When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave a lustre of midday to objects below; When what to my wondering eyes should appear But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick! More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled and shouted and called them by name. "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen! - To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall, Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!" As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky, So, up to the housetop the coursers they flew, With a sleigh full of toys -- and Saint Nicholas, too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head and was turning around, Down the chimney Saint Nicholas came with a bound: He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot: A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes, how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry; His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chill was as white as the snow. The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump -- a right jolly old elf: And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work And filled all the stockings: then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose. He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere they drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
Ballade des dames de temps jadisEdit
(The Ballad of Dead Ladies) By Francois Villon (c. 1461)
Dictes moy ou, n'en quel pays, Est Flora la belle Rommaine, Archipiades ne Thaïs, Qui fut sa cousine germaine, Echo parlant quant bruyt on maine Dessus riviere ou sus estan, Qui beaulté ot trop plus q'humaine. Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan?
Ou est la tres sage Helloïs, Pour qui chastré fut et puis moyne Pierre Esbaillart a Saint Denis? Pour son amour ot ceste essoyne. Semblablement, ou est la royne Qui commanda que Buridan Fust geté en ung sac en Saine? Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan?
La royne Blanche comme lis Qui chantoit a voix de seraine, Berte au grand pié, Beatris, Alis, Haremburgis qui tint le Maine, Et Jehanne la bonne Lorraine Qu'Englois brulerent a Rouan; Ou sont ilz, ou, Vierge souvraine? Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan?
Prince, n'enquerez de sepmaine Ou elles sont, ne de cest an, Qu'a ce reffrain ne vous remaine: Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan? Tell me where, in what country, Is Flora the beautiful Roman, Archipiada or Thais Who was first cousin to her once, Echo who speaks when there's a sound On a pond or a river Whose beauty was more than human? But where are the snows of yesteryear? Where is the leamed Heloise For whom they castrated Pierre Abelard And made him a monk at Saint-Denis, For his love he took this pain, Likewise where is the queen Who commanded that Buridan Be thrown in a sack into the Seine? But where are the snows of yesteryear?
The queen white as a lily Who sang with a siren's voice, Big-footed Bertha, Beatrice, Alice, Haremburgis who held Maine And Jeanne the good maid of Lorraine Whom the English bumt at Rouen, where, Where are they, sovereign Virgin? But where are the snows of yesteryear?
Prince, don't ask me in a week or in a year what place they are; I can only give you this refrain: Where are the snows of yesteryear?
By Robert Frost From Mountain Interval (1920)
WHEN I see birches bend to left and right Across the lines of straighter darker trees, I like to think some boy’s been swinging them. But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay. Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning After a rain. They click upon themselves As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel. Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust— Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen. They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load, And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed So low for long, they never right themselves: You may see their trunks arching in the woods Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair Before them over their heads to dry in the sun. But I was going to say when Truth broke in With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm (Now am I free to be poetical?) I should prefer to have some boy bend them As he went out and in to fetch the cows— Some boy too far from town to learn baseball, Whose only play was what he found himself, Summer or winter, and could play alone. One by one he subdued his father’s trees By riding them down over and over again Until he took the stiffness out of them, And not one but hung limp, not one was left For him to conquer. He learned all there was To learn about not launching out too soon And so not carrying the tree away Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise To the top branches, climbing carefully With the same pains you use to fill a cup Up to the brim, and even above the brim. Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish, Kicking his way down through the air to the ground. So was I once myself a swinger of birches. And so I dream of going back to be. It’s when I’m weary of considerations, And life is too much like a pathless wood Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs Broken across it, and one eye is weeping From a twig’s having lashed across it open. I’d like to get away from earth awhile And then come back to it and begin over. May no fate willfully misunderstand me And half grant what I wish and snatch me away Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love: I don’t know where it’s likely to go better. I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree, And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, But dipped its top and set me down again. That would be good both going and coming back. One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
by e. e. cummings
(Note: the presentation was as important as the words to the author, so I have tried to quote both here.)
spring when the world is mud- luscious the little lame balloonman
whistles far and wee
and eddieandbill come running from marbles and piracies and it's spring
when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer old balloonman whistles far and wee and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
it's spring and the
balloonMan whistles far and wee
by Robert Frost
I found a dimpled spider, fat and white, On a white heal-all, holding up a moth Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth-- Assorted characters of death and blight Mixed ready to begin the morning right, Like the ingredients of a witches' broth-- A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth, And dead wings carried like a paper kite.
What had that flower to do with being white, The wayside blue and innocent heal-all? What brought the kindred spider to that height, Then steered the white moth thither in the night? What but design of darkness to appall?-- If design govern in a thing so small.
by Robert Frost
Back out of all this now too much for us, Back in a time made simple by the loss Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather, There is a house that is no more a house Upon a farm that is no more a farm And in a town that is no more a town. The road there, if you'll let a guide direct you Who only has at heart your getting lost, May seem as if it should have been a quarry - Great monolithic knees the former town Long since gave up pretense of keeping covered. And there's a story in a book about it: Besides the wear of iron wagon wheels The ledges show lines ruled southeast-northwest, The chisel work of an enormous Glacier That braced his feet against the Arctic Pole. You must not mind a certain coolness from him Still said to haunt this side of Panther Mountain. Nor need you mind the serial ordeal Of being watched from forty cellar holes As if by eye pairs out of forty firkins. As for the woods' excitement over you That sends light rustle rushes to their leaves, Charge that to upstart inexperience. Where were they all not twenty years ago? They think too much of having shaded out A few old pecker-fretted apple trees. Make yourself up a cheering song of how Someone's road home from work this once was, Who may be just ahead of you on foot Or creaking with a buggy load of grain. The height of the adventure is the height Of country where two village cultures faded Into each other. Both of them are lost. And if you're lost enough to find yourself By now, pull in your ladder road behind you And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me. Then make yourself at home. The only field Now left's no bigger than a harness gall. First there's the children's house of make-believe, Some shattered dishes underneath a pine, The playthings in the playhouse of the children. Weep for what little things could make them glad. Then for the house that is no more a house, But only a belilaced cellar hole, Now slowly closing like a dent in dough. This was no playhouse but a house in earnest. Your destination and your destiny's A brook that was the water of the house, Cold as a spring as yet so near its source, Too lofty and original to rage. (We know the valley streams that when aroused Will leave their tatters hung on barb and thorn.) I have kept hidden in the instep arch Of an old cedar at the waterside A broken drinking goblet like the Grail Under a spell so the wrong ones can't find it, So can't get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn't. (I stole the goblet from the children's playhouse.) Here are your waters and your watering place. Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
Devotions upon Emergent OccasionsEdit
XVII: Nunc Lento Sonitu Dicunt, Morieris
"Now, this bell tolling softly for another, says to me: Thou must die."
by John Donne
PERCHANCE he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that. The church is catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that body which is my head too, and ingrafted into that body whereof I am a member. And when she buries a man, that action concerns me: all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to one another. As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come, so this bell calls us all; but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness. There was a contention as far as a suit (in which both piety and dignity, religion and estimation, were mingled), which of the religious orders should ring to prayers first in the morning; and it was determined, that they should ring first that rose earliest. If we understand aright the dignity of this bell that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to make it ours by rising early, in that application, that it might be ours as well as his, whose indeed it is. The bell doth toll for him that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that minute that this occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God. Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises? but who takes off his eye from a comet when that breaks out? Who bends not his ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings? but who can remove it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this world? No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbours. Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did, for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another's danger I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.
Do not go gentle into that good nightEdit
By Dylan Thomas
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
THE SHADES of night were falling fast, As through an Alpine village passed A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice, A banner with the strange device, Excelsior!
His brow was sad; his eye beneath, Flashed like a falchion from its sheath, And like a silver clarion rung The accents of that unknown tongue, Excelsior!
In happy homes he saw the light Of household fires gleam warm and bright; Above, the spectral glaciers shone, And from his lips escaped a groan, Excelsior!
"Try not the Pass!" the old man said; "Dark lowers the tempest overhead, The roaring torrent is deep and wide!" And loud that clarion voice replied, Excelsior!
"Oh, stay," the maiden said, "and rest Thy weary head upon this breast!" A tear stood in his bright blue eye, But still he answered, with a sigh, Excelsior!
"Beware the pine-tree's withered branch! Beware the awful avalanche!" This was the peasant's last Good-night, A voice replied, far up the height, Excelsior!
At break of day, as heavenward The pious monks of Saint Bernard Uttered the oft-repeated prayer, A voice cried through the startled air, Excelsior!
A traveller, by the faithful hound, Half-buried in the snow was found, Still grasping in his hand of ice That banner with the strange device, Excelsior!
There, in the twilight cold and gray, Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay, And from the sky, serene and far, A voice fell, like a falling star, Excelsior!
Fire and IceEdit
by Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.
by Rudyard Kipling (1865)
YOU may talk o' gin an' beer When you're quartered safe out 'ere, An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it; But if it comes to slaughter You will do your work on water, An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it. Now in Injia's sunny clime, Where I used to spend my time A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen, Of all them black-faced crew The finest man I knew Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din! You limping lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din! Hi! slippy hitherao! Water, get it! Panee lao! You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din!"
The uniform 'e wore Was nothin' much before, An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind, For a twisty piece o' rag An' a goatskin water-bag Was all the field-equipment 'e could find. When the sweatin' troop-train lay In a sidin' through the day, Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl, We shouted "Harry By!" Till our throats were bricky-dry, Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din! You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been? You put some juldee in it, Or I'll marrow you this minute, If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"
'E would dot an' carry one Till the longest day was done, An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear. If we charged or broke or cut, You could bet your bloomin' nut, 'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear. With 'is mussick on 'is back, 'E would skip with our attack, An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire." An' for all 'is dirty 'ide, 'E was white, clear white, inside When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
It was "Din! Din! Din!" With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green. When the cartridges ran out, You could 'ear the front-files shout: "Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"
I sha'n't forgit the night When I dropped be'ind the fight With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been. I was chokin' mad with thirst, An' the man that spied me first Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead, An' 'e plugged me where I bled, An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water green; It was crawlin' an' it stunk, But of all the drinks I've drunk, I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din! 'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen; 'E's chawin' up the ground an' 'e's kickin' all around: For Gawd's sake, git the water, Gunga Din!"
'E carried me away To where a dooli lay, An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean. 'E put me safe inside, An' just before 'e died: "I 'ope you liked your drink," sez Gunga Din. So I'll meet 'im later on In the place where 'e is gone Where it's always double drill and no canteen; 'E'll be squattin' on the coals Givin' drink to pore damned souls, An' I'll get a swig in Hell from Gunga Din!
Din! Din! Din! You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din! Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings. Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along and Flung my eager craft through footless halls of air Up, up the long delirious, burning blue I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace Where never lark, or even eagle flew And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
By Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too, If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about don't deal in lies, Or, being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can dream-and not make dreams your master, If you can think-and not make thoughts your aiin; If you can meet with triumph and disaster And treat those two impostors just the same, If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build 'em up with womout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so bold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings-nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!
In Flanders FieldsEdit
by John McCrae
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe; To you from falling hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders Fields.
I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUDEdit
by William Wordsworth
I WANDERED lonely as a cloud That floats on high o´er values and hills When all at once I saw a crowd, A hoast, of golden daffodils; Besids the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they Out - did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed- -and gazed- -but little thought What wealth the snow to me had brought:
For often, when on my couch I lie invacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Below the thunders of the upper deep, Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea, His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee About his shadowy sides; above him swell Huge sponges of millennial growth and height; And far away into the sickly light, From many a wondrous and secret cell Unnumber'd and enormous polypi Winnow with giant arms the lumbering green. There hath he lain for ages, and will lie Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep, Until the latter fire shall heat the deep; Then once by man and angels to be seen, In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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 here 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 't would 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. - -
Little Bo-peep has lost her sheep, And can’t tell where to find them; Leave them alone, and they’ll come home, And bring their tails behind them.
Little Bo-peep fell fast asleep, And dreamt she heard them bleating; But when she awoke, she found it a joke, For they were still all fleeting.
Then up she took her little crook Determined for to find them; She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed, For they’d left their tails behind them.
It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray, Into a meadow hard by, There she espied their tails side by side, All hung on a tree to dry.
She heaved a sigh, and wiped her eye, And over the hillocks went rambling, And tried what she could, as a shepherdess should, To tack again each to its lambkin.
by Sir Walter Scott
O, young Lochinvar is come out of the west, Through all the wide Border his steed was the best; And save his good broadsword, he weapons had none, He rode all unarm'd, and he rode all alone. So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war, There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.
He staid not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone, He swam the Eske river where ford there was none; But ere he alighted at Netherby gate, The bride had consented, the gallant came late: For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war, Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.
So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall, Among bride's-men, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all: Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword, (For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word,) "O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war, Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?"--
"I long woo'd your daughter, my suit you denied;-- Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide-- And now am I come, with this lost love of mine, To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine. There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far, That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar."
The bride kiss'd the goblet; the knight took it up, He quaff'd off the wine, and he threw down the cup. She look'd down to blush, and she look'd up to sigh, With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye. He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar,-- "Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar.
So stately his form, and so lovely her face, That never a hall such a galliard did grace; While her mother did fret, and her father did fume, And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume; And the bride-maidens whisper'd, " 'Twere better by far To have match'd our fair cousin with young Lochinvar."
One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear, When they reach'd the hall-door, and the charger stood near; So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung, So light to the saddle before her he sprung! "She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur; They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young Lochinvar.
There was mounting 'mong Grfmes of the Netherby clan; Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran: There was racing and chasing, on Cannobie Lee, But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see. So daring in love, and so dauntless in war, Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?
by Robert Frost
Something there is that doesn't love a wall That sends the frozen ground swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun; And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they have left not one stone on a stone, But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs.
The gaps I mean, No one has seen them made or heard them made, But at spring mending time, we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; And on a day we meet to walk the line And set the wall between us once again. We keep the wall between us as we go. To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls We have to use a spell to make them balance: "Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them. Oh, just another kind of outdoor game, One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall: He is all pine and I am apple orchard. My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors." Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder If I could put a notion in his head: "Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it Where there are cows? But here there are no cows. Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That wants it down." I could say "elves" to him, But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather He said it for himself. I see him there Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top In each hand, like an old stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me, Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go beyond his father's saying, And he likes having thought of it so well He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."
No Second TroyEdit
by W. B. Yeats
Why should I blame her that she filled my days With misery, or that she would of late Have taught ignorant men most violent ways, Or hurled the little streets upon the great, Had they but courage equal to desire? What could have made her peaceful with a mind That nobleness made simple as a fire, With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind That is not natural in an age like this, Being high and solitary and most stern? Why, what could she have done, being what she is? Was there another Troy for her to burn?
Nothing Gold Can StayEdit
By Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay." Return to top of page
Nuns Fret Not At Their Convent's Narrow RoomEdit
NUNS fret not at their convent's narrow room; And hermits are contented with their cells; And students with their pensive citadels; Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom, Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom, High as the highest Peak of Furness-fells, Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells: In truth the prison, unto which we doom Ourselves, no prison is: and hence for me, In sundry moods, 'twas pastime to be bound Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground; Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be) Who have felt the weight of too much liberty, Should find brief solace there, as I have found.
Ode To A Grecian UrnEdit
By John Keats
I Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness, Thou foster-child of silence and slow time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: What leaf-fring'd legend haunts about thy shape Of deities or mortals, or of both, In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy
II Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd, Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, Though winning near the goal--yet, do not grieve; She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
III. Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; And, happy melodist, unwearied, For ever piping songs for ever new; More happy love! more happy, happy love! For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd, For ever panting, and for ever young; All breathing human passion far above, That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd, A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
IV Who are these coming to the sacrifice? To what green altar, O mysterious priest, Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? What little town by river or sea shore, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn? And, little town, thy streets for evermore Will silent be; and not a soul to tell Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.
V O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed; Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"--that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Ozymandias of EgyptEdit
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert... Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on those 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.
by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Under the wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me lie. Glad did I live and gladly die, And I laid me down with a will.
This is the verse you grave for me: 'Here he lies where he longed to be; Here is the sailor, home from the sea, And the hunter home from the hill.'"
By Ralph Waldo Emerson (On being asked, Whence is the flower?)
In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes, I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods, Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook, To please the desert and the sluggish brook. The purple petals, fallen in the pool, Made the black water with their beauty gay; Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool, And court the flower that cheapens his array. Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why This charm is wasted on the earth and sky, Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! I never thought to ask, I never knew: But, in my simple ignorance, suppose The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.
By Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson
My good blade carves the casques of men, My tough lance thrusteth sure, My strength is as the strength of ten, Because my heart is pure. The shattering trumpet shrilleth high, The hard brands shiver on the steel, The splinter'd spear-shafts crack and fly, The horse and rider reel: They reel, they roll in clanging lists, And when the tide of combat stands, Perfume and flowers fall in showers, That lightly rain from ladies' hands.
How sweet are looks that ladies bend On whom their favours fall! From them I battle till the end, To save from shame and thrall: But all my heart is drawn above, My knees are bow'd in crypt and shrine: I never felt the kiss of love, Nor maiden's hand in mine. More bounteous aspects on me beam, Me mightier transports move and thrill; So keep I fair thro' faith and prayer A virgin heart in work and will.
When down the stormy crescent goes, A light before me swims, Between dark stems the forest glows, I hear a noise of hymns: Then by some secret shrine I ride; I hear a voice but none are there; The stalls are void, the doors are wide, The tapers burning fair. Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth, The silver vessels sparkle clean, The shrill bell rings, the censer swings, And solemn chaunts resound between.
Sometime on lonely mountain-meres I find a magic bark; I leap on board: no helmsman steers: I float till all is dark. A gentle sound, an awful light! Three angels bear the holy Grail: With folded feet, in stoles of white, On sleeping wings they sail. Ah, blessed vision! blood of God! My spirit beats her mortal bars, As down dark tides the glory slides, And star-like mingles with the stars.
When on my goodly charger borne Thro' dreaming towns I go, The cock crows ere the Christmas morn, The streets are dumb with snow. The tempest crackles on the leads, And, ringing, springs from brand and mail; But o'er the dark a glory spreads, And gilds the driving hail. I leave the plain, I climb the height; No branchy thicket shelter yields; But blessed forms in whistling storms Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields.
A maiden knight--to me is given Such hope, I know not fear; I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven That often meet me here. I muse on joy that will not cease, Pure spaces clothed in living beams, Pure lilies of eternal peace, Whose odours haunt my dreams; And, stricken by an angel's hand, This mortal armour that I wear, This weight and size, this heart and eyes, Are touch'd, are turn'd to finest air.
The clouds are broken in the sky, And thro' the mountain-walls A rolling organ-harmony Swells up, and shakes and falls. Then move the trees, the copses nod, Wings flutter, voices hover clear: "O just and faithful knight of God! Ride on! the prize is near." So pass I hostel, hall, and grange; By bridge and ford, by park and pale, All-arm'd I ride, whate'er betide, Until I find the holy Grail.
by Wallace Stevens
One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice, The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and not to think Of any misery in the sound of the wind, In the sound of a few leaves, Which is the sound of the land Full of the same wind That is blowing in the same bare place For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
Song of the Stormy PetrelEdit
by Maxim Gorky
O'er the silver plain of ocean winds are gathering the storm-clouds, and between the clouds and ocean proudly wheels the Stormy Petrel, like a streak of sable lightning.
Now his wing the wave caresses, now he rises like an arrow, cleaving clouds and crying fiercely, while the clouds detect a rapture in the bird's courageous crying.
In that crying sounds a craving for the tempest! Sounds the flaming of his passion, of his anger, of his confidence in triumph.
The gulls are moaning in their terror - moaning, darting o'er the waters, and would gladly hide their horror in the inky depths of ocean.
And the grebes are also moaning. Not for them the nameless rapture of the struggle. They are frightened by the crashing of the thunder.
And the foolish penguins cower in the crevices of rocks, while alone the Stormy Petrel proudly wheels above the ocean, o'er the silver-frothing waters.
Ever lower, ever blacker, sink the storm-clouds to the sea, and the singing waves are mounting in their yearning toward the thunder.
Strikes the thunder. Now the waters fiercely battle with the winds. And the winds in fury seize them in unbreakable embrace, hurtling down the emerald masses to be shattered on the cliffs.
Like a streak of sable lightning wheels and cries the Stormy Petrel, piercing storm-clouds like an arrow, cutting swiftly through the waters.
He is coursing like a Demon, the black Demon of the tempest, ever laughing, ever sobbing - he is laughing at the storm-clouds, he is sobbing with his rapture.
In the crashing of the thunder the wise Demon bears a murmur of exhaustion. He is certain that the clouds will not obliterate the sun; that the storm-clouds never, never, will obliterate the sun.
The waters roar....The thunder crashes....
Livid lightning flares in storm-clouds o'er the vast expanse of ocean, and the flaming darts are captured and extinguished by the waters, while the serpentine reflections writhe, expiring, in the deep.
The storm! The storm will soon be breaking!
Still the valiant Stormy Petrel proudly wheels amond the lightning, o'er the roaring, raging ocean, and his cry resounds exultant, like a prophecy of triumph -
Let it break in all its fury!
by William Wordsworth
THE World is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon, The winds that will be howling at all hours And are up-gather'd now like sleeping flowers, For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not. -Great God! I'd rather be A pagan suckled in a creed outworn,- So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
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Sonnet #30 by William Shakespeare
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste: Then can I drown an eye, unus'd to flow, For precious friends hid in death's dateless night, And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe, And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight: Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan, Which I new pay as if not paid before. But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, All losses are restor'd and sorrows end.
by William Shakespeare
That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou seest the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth steal away, Death's second self, which seals up all in rest. In me thou seest the glowing of such fire That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the deathbed whereon it must expire, Consumed with that which it was nourished by. This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
Spring and Fall: To a Young ChildEdit
by Gerald Manley Hopkins
Margaret, are you grieving Over Goldengrove unleaving? Leaves, like the things of man, you With your fresh thoughts care for, can you? Ah! as the heart grows older It will come to such sights colder By and by, nor spare a sigh Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie; And yet you will weep and know why. Now no matter, child, the name: Sorrow's springs are the same. Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed What heart heard of, ghost guessed: It is the blight man was born for, It is Margaret you mourn for.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy EveningEdit
by Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village, though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound's the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
by Wallace Stevens
Complacencies of the peignoir, and late Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair, And the green freedom of a cockatoo Upon a rug mingle to dissipate The holy hush of ancient sacrifice. She dreams a little, and she feels the dark Encroachment of that old catastrophe, As a calm darkens among water-lights. The pungent oranges and bright, green wings Seem things in some procession of the dead, Winding across wide water, without sound. The day is like wide water, without sound. Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet Over the seas, to silent Palestine, Dominion of the blood and sepulchre.
Why should she give her bounty to the dead? What is divinity if it can come Only in silent shadows and in dreams? Shall she not find in comforts of the sun, In pungent fruit and bright green wings, or else In any balm or beauty of the earth, Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven? Divinity must live within herself: Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow; Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued Elations when the forest blooms; gusty Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights; All pleasures and all pains, remembering The bough of summer and the winter branch. These are the measure destined for her soul.
Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth. No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind. He moved among us, as a muttering king, Magnificent, would move among his hinds, Until our blood, commingling, virginal, With heaven, brought such requital to desire The very hinds discerned it, in a star. Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be The blood of paradise? And shall the earth Seem all of paradise that we shall know? The sky will be much friendlier then than now, A part of labor and a part of pain, And next in glory to enduring love, Not this dividing and indifferent blue.
She says, "I am content when wakened birds, Before they fly, test the reality Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings; But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields Return no more, where, then, is paradise?" There is not any haunt of prophecy, Nor any old chimera of the grave, Neither the golden underground, nor isle Melodious, where spirits gat them home, Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm Remote on heaven's hill, that has endured As April's green endures; or will endure Like her remembrance of awakened birds, Or her desire for June and evening, tipped By the consummation of the swallow's wings.
She says, "But in contentment I still feel The need of some imperishable bliss." Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams And our desires. Although she strews the leaves Of sure obliteration on our paths, The path sick sorrow took, the many paths Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love Whispered a little out of tenderness, She makes the willow shiver in the sun For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet. She causes boys to pile new plums and pears On disregarded plate. The maidens taste And stray impassioned in the littering leaves.
Is there no change of death in paradise? Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs Hang always heavy in that perfect sky, Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth, With rivers like our own that seek for seas They never find, the same receding shores That never touch with inarticulate pang? Why set pear upon those river-banks Or spice the shores with odors of the plum? Alas, that they should wear our colors there, The silken weavings of our afternoons, And pick the strings of our insipid lutes! Death is the mother of beauty, mystical, Within whose burning bosom we devise Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly.
Supple and turbulent, a ring of men Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn Their boisterous devotion to the sun, Not as a god, but as a god might be, Naked among them, like a savage source. Their chant shall be a chant of paradise, Out of their blood, returning to the sky; And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice, The windy lake wherein their lord delights, The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills, That choir among themselves long afterward. They shall know well the heavenly fellowship Of men that perish and of summer morn. And whence they came and whither they shall go The dew upon their feel shall manifest.
She hears, upon that water without sound, A voice that cries, "The tomb in Palestine Is not the porch of spirits lingering. It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay." We live in an old chaos of the sun, Or old dependency of day and night, Or island solitude, unsponsored, free, Of that wide water, inescapable. Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail Whistle about us their spontaneous cries; Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness; And, in the isolation of the sky, At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make Ambiguous undulations as they sink, Downward to darkness, on extended wings.
by Paul Lawrence Dunbar
I know what the caged bird feels, alas! When the sun is bright on the upland slopes; When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass, And the river flows like a stream of glass; When the first bird sings and the first bud opes, And the faint perfume from its chalice steals-- I know what the caged bird feels!
I know why the caged bird beats his wing Till its blood is red on the cruel bars; For he must fly back to his perch and cling When he fain would be on the bough a-swing; And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars And they pulse again with a keener sting-- I know why he beats his wing!
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me, When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,-- When he beats his bars and he would be free; It is not a carol of joy or glee, But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core, But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings-- I know why the caged bird sings!
The Female of the SpeciesEdit
by Rudyard Kipling
WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride, He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside. But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail. For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man, He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can. But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail. For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws, They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws. 'Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale. For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
Man's timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say, For the Woman that God gave him isn't his to give away; But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other's tale— The female of the species is more deadly than the male.
Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,— Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise. Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.
Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low, To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe. Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex!
But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same; And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail, The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.
She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest. These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells— She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.
She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate. And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.
She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties; Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!— He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild, Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.
Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights, Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites, Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw And the victim writhes in anguish—like the Jesuit with the squaw!
So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.
And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him. And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail, That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.
by Sir Walter Raleigh
Go, Soul, the body's guest, Upon a thankless errand; Fear not to touch the best; The truth shall be thy warrant: Go, since I needs must die, And give the world the lie.
Say to the court, it glows And shines like rotten wood; Say to the church, it shows What's good, and doth no good: If church and court reply, Then give them both the lie.
Tell potentates, they live Acting by others' action; Not loved unless they give, Not strong but by a faction. If potentates reply, Give potentates the lie.
Tell men of high condition, That manage the estate, Their purpose is ambition, Their practice only hate: And if they once reply, Then give them all the lie.
Tell them that brave it most, They beg for more by spending, Who, in their greatest cost, Seek nothing but commending. And if they make reply, Then give them all the lie.
Tell zeal it wants devotion; Tell love it is but lust; Tell time it is but motion; Tell flesh it is but dust: And wish them not reply, For thou must give the lie.
Tell age it daily wasteth; Tell honour how it alters; Tell beauty how she blasteth; Tell favour how it falters: And as they shall reply, Give every one the lie.
Tell wit how much it wrangles In tickle points of niceness; Tell wisdom she entangles Herself in overwiseness: And when they do reply, Straight give them both the lie.
Tell physic of her boldness; Tell skill it is pretension; Tell charity of coldness; Tell law it is contention: And as they do reply, So give them still the lie.
Tell fortune of her blindness; Tell nature of decay; Tell friendship of unkindness; Tell justice of delay: And if they will reply, Then give them all the lie.
Tell arts they have no soundness, But vary by esteeming; Tell schools they want profoundness, And stand too much on seeming: If arts and schools reply, Give arts and schools the lie.
Tell faith it's fled the city; Tell how the country erreth; Tell manhood shakes off pity And virtue least preferreth: And if they do reply, Spare not to give the lie.
So when thou hast, as I Commanded thee, done blabbing-- Although to give the lie Deserves no less than stabbing-- Stab at thee he that will, No stab the soul can kill.
The Love Song of J. Alfred PrufrockEdit
by T.S. Eliot
Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky, Like a patient etherized upon a table; Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, The muttering retreats, Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels And sawdust restaurants with oyster shells: Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question... Oh, do not ask, "What is it?" Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go, Talking of Michaelangelo.
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the windowpanes The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle upon the windowpanes Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening, Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, And seeing that it was a soft October night, Curled once about the house and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time For the yellow smoke that slides along the street, Rubbing its back upon the windowpanes; There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; There will be time to murder and create, And time for all the works and days of hands That lift and drop a question on your plate; Time for you and time for me, And time yet for a hundred indecisions, And for a hundred visions and revisions, Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go, Talking of Michaelangelo.
And indeed there will be time To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?" Time to turn back and descend the stair, With a bald spot in the middle of my hair-- (They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!") My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin, (They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!") Do I dare Disturb the universe? In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions that a minute will reverse.
For I have known them already, known them all- Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons, I know the voices dying with a dying fall, Beneath the music from a farther room. So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all- The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase, And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin, When I am pinned and wriggling ton he wall, Then how should I begin To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? And how should I presume?
And I have known the arms already, known them all, Arms that are braceleted and white and bare, (But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!) Is it perfume from a dress That makes me so digress? Arms that lie around a table, or wrap about a shawl. And how should I then presume? And how should I begin?
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?
I should have been a pair of ragged claws Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! Smoothed by long fingers, Asleep... tired... or it malingers, Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me. Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed, Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter, I am no prophet - and here's no great matter; I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, And in short, I was afraid. And would it have been worth it, after all, After the cups, the marmalade, the tea, Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me, Would it have been worthwhile, To have bitten off the matter with a smile, To have squeezed the universe into a ball, To roll it towards some overwhelming question, To say, "I am Lazarus, come from the dead, Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all," -- If one, settling a pillow by her head, Should say, "That is not what I meant, at all." "That is not it, at all."
And would it have been worth it, after all, Would it have been worthwhile, After the sunsets and dooryards and sprinkled streets, After the novels, after the teacups , after the skirts that trail along the floor-- And this, and so much more?-- It is impossible to say just what I mean! But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: Would it have been worthwhile If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl, And turning towards the window, should say: "That is not it, at all, That is not what I meant, at all."
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; Am an attendant lord, one that will do To swell a progress, start a scene or two, Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, Deferential, glad to be of use, Politic, cautious, and meticulous; Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; At times, indeed, almost ridiculous, Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old... I grow old... I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves, Combing the white hair of the waves blown back When the wind blows the water white and black. We have lingered in the chambers of the sea, By sea-girls wreathed in seaweed, red and brown, Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
The Road not TakenEdit
by Robert Frost - 1916
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that, the passing there Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
The Second ComingEdit
by William Butler Yeats from Michael Robartes and the Dancer
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
The White Man's BurdenEdit
by Rudyard Kipling Take up the White Man's burden-- Send forth the best ye breed-- Go, bind your sons to exile To serve your captives' need; To wait, in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild-- Your new-caught sullen peoples, Half devil and half child.
Take up the White Man's burden-- In patience to abide, To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride; By open speech and simple, An hundred times made plain, To seek another's profit And work another's gain.
Take up the White Man's burden-- The savage wars of peace-- Fill full the mouth of Famine, And bid the sickness cease; And when your goal is nearest (The end for others sought) Watch sloth and heathen folly Bring all your hope to nought.
Take up the White Man's burden-- No iron rule of kings, But toil of serf and sweeper-- The tale of common things. The ports ye shall not enter, The roads ye shall not tread, Go, make them with your living And mark them with your dead.
Take up the White Man's burden, And reap his old reward-- The blame of those ye better The hate of those ye guard-- The cry of hosts ye humour (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:-- "Why brought ye us from bondage, Our loved Egyptian night?"
Take up the White Man's burden-- Ye dare not stoop to less-- Nor call too loud on Freedom To cloak your weariness. By all ye will or whisper, By all ye leave or do, The silent sullen peoples Shall weigh your God and you.
Take up the White Man's burden! Have done with childish days-- The lightly-proffered laurel, The easy ungrudged praise: Comes now, to search your manhood Through all the thankless years, Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom, The judgment of your peers.
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a BlackbirdEdit
by Wallace Stevens
I Among twenty snowy mountains, The only moving thing Was the eye of the blackbird.
II I was of three minds, Like a tree In which there are three blackbirds.
III The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds. It was a small part of the pantomime.
IV A man and a woman Are one. A man and a woman and a blackbird Are one.
V I do not know which to prefer, The beauty of inflections Or the beauty of innuendoes, The blackbird whistling Or just after.
VI Icicles filled the long window With barbaric glass. The shadow of the blackbird Crossed it, to and fro. The mood Traced in the shadow An indecipherable cause.
VII O thin men of Haddam, Why do you imagine golden birds? Do you not see how the blackbird Walks around the feet Of the women about you?
VIII I know noble accents And lucid, inescapable rhythms; But I know, too, That the blackbird is involved In what I know.
IX When the blackbird flew out of sight, It marked the edge Of one of many circles.
X At the sight of blackbirds Flying in a green light, Even the bawds of euphony Would cry out sharply.
XI He rode over Connecticut In a glass coach. Once, a fear pierced him, In that he mistook The shadow of his equipage For blackbirds.
XII The river is moving. The blackbird must be flying.
XIII It was evening all afternoon. It was snowing And it was going to snow. The blackbird sat In the cedar-limbs.
To his Coy MistressEdit
By Andrew Marvell
Had we but world enough, and time. This coyness, lady, were no crime. We would sit down, and think which way To walk, and pass our long love's day. Thou by the Indian Ganges' side Should'st rubies find: I by the tide Of Humber would complain. I would Love you ten years before the Flood, And you should, if you please, refuse Till the conversion of the Jews. My vegetable love should grow Vaster than empires, and more slow An hundred years should go to praise Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze; Two hundred to adore each breast; But thirty thousand to the rest; An age at least to every part, And the last age should show your heart. For lady, you deserve this state, Nor would I love at lower rate. But at my back I always hear Time's winged chariot hurrying near: And yonder all before us lie Deserts of vast eternity. Thy beauty shall no more be found; Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound My echoing song: then worms shall try That long-preserved virginity, And your quaint honour turn to dust, And into ashes all my lust. The grave's a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace. Now, therefore, while the youthful hue Sits on thy skin like morning dew, And while thy willing soul transpires At every pore with instant fires, Now let us sport us while we may; And now, like amorous birds of prey, Rather at once our Time devour, Than languish in his slow-chapt power. Let us roll all our strength and all Our sweetness up into one ball, And tear our pleasures with rough strife Through the iron gates of life. Thus, though we cannot make our Sun Stand still, yet we will make him run.
The Destruction of SennacheribEdit
by George Gordon Lord Byron
The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold, And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee. Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen: Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host in the morrow lay withered and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed; And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still!
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide, But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride; And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf, And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale, With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail, And the tents were all silent, the banners alone, The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail, And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal; And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword, Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
Two Tramps in Mud TimeEdit
by Robert Frost
Out of the mud two strangers came And caught me splitting wood in the yard, And one of them put me off my aim By hailing cheerily "Hit them hard!" I knew pretty well why he had dropped behind And let the other go on a way. I knew pretty well what he had in mind: He wanted to take my job for pay.
Good blocks of oak it was I split, As large around as the chopping block; And every piece I squarely hit Fell splinterless as a cloven rock. The blows that a life of self-control Spares to strike for the common good, That day, giving a loose my soul, I spent on the unimportant wood.
The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day When the sun is out and the wind is still, You're one month on in the middle of May. But if you so much as dare to speak, A cloud comes over the sunlit arch, A wind comes off a frozen peak, And you're two months back in the middle of March.
A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight And turns to the wind to unruffle a plume, His song so pitched as not to excite A single flower as yet to bloom. It is snowing a flake; and he half knew Winter was only playing possum. Except in color he isn't blue, But he wouldn't advise a thing to blossom.
The water for which we may have to look In summertime with a witching wand, In every wheelrut's now a brook, In every print of a hoof a pond. Be glad of water, but don't forget The lurking frost in the earth beneath That will steal forth after the sun is set And show on the water its crystal teeth.
The time when most I loved my task The two must make me love it more By coming with what they came to ask. You'd think I never had felt before The weight of an ax-head poised aloft, The grip of earth on outspread feet, The life of muscles rocking soft And smooth and moist in vernal heat.
Out of the wood two hulking tramps (From sleeping God knows where last night, But not long since in the lumber camps). They thought all chopping was theirs of right. Men of the woods and lumberjacks, They judged me by their appropriate tool. Except as a fellow handled an ax They had no way of knowing a fool.
Nothing on either side was said. They knew they had but to stay their stay
And all their logic would fill my head: As that I had no right to play With what was another man's work for gain. My right might be love but theirs was need. And where the two exist in twain Theirs was the better right--agreed.
But yield who will to their separation, My object in living is to unite My avocation and my vocation As my two eyes make one in sight. Only where love and need are one, And the work is play for mortal stakes, Is the deed ever really done For Heaven and the future's sakes.
by T.S. Eliot
I. The Burial of the Dead
April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers. Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten, And drank coffee, and talked for an hour. Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch. And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke's, My cousin's, he took me out on a sled, And I was frightened. He said, Marie, Marie, hold on tight. And down we went. In the mountains, there you feel free. I read, much of the night, and go south in winter.
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, You cannot say, or guess, for you know only A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, And the dry stone no sound of water. Only There is shadow under this red rock (Come in under the shadow of this red rock), And I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust. Frisch weht der Wind Der heimat zu Mein Irisch kind, Wo weilest du? "You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;" "They called me the hyacinth girl." --Yet when we came back, late, from the hyacinth garden, Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, Looking into the heart of light, the silence. Öd' und leer das Meer.
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante, Has a bad cold, nevertheless Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe, With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she, Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor. (Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!) Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks, The lady of situations. Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel, And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card, Which is blank, is something that he carries on his back, Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find The Hanged Man. Fear death by water. I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring. Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone, Tell her I bring the horoscope myself; One must be so careful these days.
Unreal City Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought death had undone so many. Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled, And each man fixed his eyes before his feet, Flowed up the hill and down King William Street To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine. There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying, "Stetson! You who were with me in the ships at Mylae! That corpse you planted last year in your garden, Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed? Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men, Or with his nails he'll dig it up again! You! hypocrite lecteur!--mon semblable!--mon frère!" II. A Game of Chess
The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne, Glowed on the marble, where the glass Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines From which a golden Cupidon peeped out (Another hid his eyes behind his wing) Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra Reflecting light upon the table as The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it, From satin cases poured in rich profusion. In vials of ivory and colored glass, Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes, Unguent, powdered, or liquid--troubled, confused And drowned the sense in odors; stirred by the air That freshened from the window, these ascended In fattening the prolonged candle-flames, Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling. Huge sea-wood fed with copper Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone, In which sad light a carvèd dolphin swam. Above the antique mantle was displayed As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale Filled all the desert with inviolable voice And still she cried, and still the world pursues, "Jug Jug" to dirty ears. And other withered stumps of time Were told upon the walls; staring forms Leaned out, leaning, hushing the world enclosed. Footsteps shuffled on the stair. Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair Spread out in fiery points Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.
'My nerves are bad tonight. Yes, bad. Stay with me. 'Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak. 'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? 'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'
I think we are in rats' alley Where the dead men lost their bones.
'What is that noise?' The wind under the door. 'What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?' Nothing again nothing. 'Do 'You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember 'Nothing?'
I remember Those are pearls that were his eyes. 'Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?' But O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag-- It's so elegant So intelligent 'What shall I do now? What shall I do?' 'I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street 'With my hair down, so. What shall we do tomorrow? 'What shall we ever do?' The hot water at ten. And, if it rains, a closed car at four. And we shall play a game of chess, Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.
When Lil's husband got demobbed, I said-- I didn't mince my words, I said to her myself, HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME Now Albert's coming back, make yourself a bit smart. He'll want to know what you done with that money he gave you To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there. You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set, He said, I swear, I can't bear to look at you. And no more can't I, I said, and think of poor Albert. He's been in the army four years, he wants a good time. And if you don't give it him, there's others will, I said. Oh is there, she said. Something o' that, I said. Then I'll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look. HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME If you don't like it you can get on with it, I said. Others can pick and choose if you can't. But if Albert makes off, it won't be for lack of telling. You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique. (And her only thirty-one.) I can't help it, she said, pulling a long face, It's them pills I took, to bring it off, she said. (She's had five already, and nearly died of young George.) The chemist said it would be all right, but I've never been the same. You are a proper fool, I said. Well, if Albert won't leave you alone, there it is, I said. What you get married for if you don't want children? HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon, And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot-- HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight. Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight. Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night. III. The Fire Sermon
The river's tent is broken; the last fingers of leaf Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed. Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers, Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed. And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors; Departed, have left no addresses. By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . . Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song, Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long. But at my back in a cold blast I hear The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear. A rat crept softly through the vegetation Dragging its slimy belly on the bank While I sat fishing in the dull canal On a winter evening round behind the gashouse Musing upon the king my brother's wreck And on the king my father's death before him. White bodies naked on the low damp ground And bones cast in a little low dry garret, Rattled by the rat's foot only, year to year. But at my back from time to time I hear The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring. O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter And on her daughter They wash their feet in soda water Et O ces voix d'enfants, chantant dans la coupole!
Twit twit twit Jug jug jug jug jug jug So rudely forc'd Tereu
Unreal City Under the brown fog of a winter noon Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant Unshaven with a pocket full of currants C.i.f. London: documents at sight, Asked me in demotic French To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.
At the violet hour, when the eyes and back Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits Like a taxi throbbing waiting, I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives, Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea, The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights Her stove, and lays out food in tins. Out of the window perilously spread Her drying combinations touched by the sun's last rays, On the divan are piled (at night her bed) Stockings, slippers, camisoles and stays. I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest-- I too awaited the expected guest. He, the young man carbuncular, arrives, A small house agent's clerk, with a bold stare, One of the low on whom assurance sits As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire. The time is now propitious, as he guesses; The meal is ended, she is bored and tired. Endeavors to engage her in caresses Which still are unreproved, if undesired. Flushed and decided, he assaults at once; Exploring hands encounter no defence; His vanity requires no response, And makes a welcome of indifference. (And I Tiresias have foresuffered all Enacted on this same divan or bed; I who have sat by Thebes below the wall And walked among the lowest of the dead.) Bestows one final patronizing kiss, And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit...
She turns and looks a moment in the glass, Hardly aware of her departed lover; Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass: 'Well now that's done, and I'm glad it's over.' When lovely woman stoops to folly and Paces about her room again, alone, She smoothes her hair with automatic hand, And puts a record on the gramophone.
'This music crept by me upon the waters', And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street. O City city, I can sometimes hear Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street, The pleasant whining of a mandoline And a clatter and a chatter from within Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls Of Magnus Martyr hold Inexplicable splendor of Ionian white and gold.
The river sweats Oil and tar The barges drift With the turning tide Red sails Wide To leeward, swing on the heavy spar. The barges wash Drifting logs Down Greenwich reach Past the Isle of Dogs. Weialala leia Wallala leialala
Elizabeth and Leicester Beating oars The stern was formed A gilded shell Red and gold The brisk swell Rippled both shores Southwest wind Carried down stream The peal of bells White towers Weialala leia Wallala leialala
'Trams and dusty trees. Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.'
'My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart Under my feet. After the event He wept. He promised "a new start." I made no comment. What should I resent?'
'On Margate Sands I can connect Nothing with nothing. The broken fingernails of dirty hands My people humble people who expect Nothing.' la la
To Carthage then I came
Burning burning burning burning O Lord thou pluckest me out O Lord thou pluckest
burning IV. Death by Water
Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead, Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell And the profit and loss. A current under sea Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell He passed the stages of his age and youth, Entering the whirlpool. Gentile or Jew O you who turn the wheel and look to windward, Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you. V. What the Thunder Said
After the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The shouting and the crying Prison and palace and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He who was living is now dead We who were living are now dying With a little patience
Here is no water but only rock Rock and no water and the sandy road The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water If there were water we should stop and drink Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand If there were only water amongst the rock Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit There is not even silence in the mountains But dry sterile thunder without rain There is not even solitude in the mountains But red sullen faces sneer and snarl From doors of mudcracked houses If there were water And no rock If there were rock And also water And water A spring A pool among the rock If there were the sound of water only Not the cicada And dry grass singing But sound of water over a rock Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop But here there is no water Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead, up the white road There is always another one walking beside you, Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do not know whether a man or a woman --But who is that on the other side of you?
What is that sound high in the air Murmur of maternal lamentation Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth Ringed by the flat horizon only What is the city over the mountains Cracks and reforms and bursts in violet air Falling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London Unreal A woman drew her long black hair out tight And fiddled whisper music on those strings And bats with baby faces in the violet light Whistled, and beat their wings And crawled head downward down a blackened wall And upside down in air were towers Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.
In this decayed hole among the mountains, In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home. It has no windows, and the door swings, Dry bones can harm no one. Only a cock stood on the rooftree Co co rico co co rico In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust Bringing rain
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves Waited for rain, while the black clouds Gathered far distant, over Himavant. The jungle crouched, humped in silence. Then spoke the thunder DA Datta: what have we given? My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract, By this, and this only, we have existed, Which is not to be found in our obituaries Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor In our empty rooms DA Dayadhvam: I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only We think of the key, each in his prison Thinking of the key, each confirms his prison Only at nightfall, aethereal rumors Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus DA Damyata: the boat responded Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar The sea was calm, your heart would have responded Gaily, when invited, beating obedient To controlling hands
I sat upon the shore Fishing, with the arid plain behind me Shall I at least set my lands in order? London bridge is falling down falling down falling down Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina Quando fiam uti chelidon--O swallow swallow Le prince d'Aquitaine à la tour abolie These fragments I have shored against my ruins Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad againe. Da. Dayadhvam. Damyata. Shantih shantih shantih