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Archive for the ‘Poems of Other Poets’ Category

Departed – to the Judgment –
A Mighty Afternoon –
Great Clouds – like Ushers – leaning –
Creation – looking on –

The Flesh – Surrendered – Cancelled –
The Bodiless – begun –
Two Worlds – like Audiences – disperse –
And leave the Soul – alone –

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(as told to a child)

As I went out, a Crow
In a low voice said, “Oh,
I was looking for you.
How do you do?
I just came to tell you
To tell Lesley (will you?)
That her little Bluebird
Wanted me to bring word
That the north wind last night
That made the stars bright
And made ice on the trough
Almost made him cough
His tail feathers off.
He just had to fly!
But he sent her Good-by,
And said to be good,
And wear her red hood,
And look for skunk tracks
In the snow with an ax –
And do everything!
And perhaps in the spring
He would come back and sing.”

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[written on the death of an old family servant
who died Jan.7, 1861]

Sexton! Martha’s dead and gone;
…….Toll the bell! toll the bell!
Her weary hands their labor cease;
Good night, poor Martha, – sleep in peace!
…….Toll the bell!

Sexton! Martha’s dead and gone;
…….Toll the bell! toll the bell!
For many a year has Martha said,
“I’m old and poor, – would I were dead!”
…….Toll the bell!

Sexton! Martha’s dead and gone;
…….Toll the bell! toll the bell!
She’ll bring no more, by day or night,
Her basket full of linen white,
…….Toll the bell!

Sexton! Martha’s dead and gone;
…….Toll the bell! toll the bell!
‘T is fitting she should lie below
A pure white sheet of drifted snow.
…….Toll the bell!

Sexton! Martha’s dead and gone;
…….Toll the bell! toll the bell!
Sleep, Martha, sleep, to wake in light,
Where all the robes are stainless white.
…….Toll the bell!

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Science, true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee, or how deem thee wise,
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car,
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

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Look out upon the stars, my love,
And shame them with thine eyes,
On which, than on the lights above,
There hang more destinies.
Night’s beauty is the harmony
Of blending shades and light;
Then, lady, up, – look out, and be
A sister to the night!

Sleep not! thine image wakes for aye
Within my watching breast:
Sleep not! from her soft sleep should fly
Who robs all hearts of rest.
Nay, lady, from thy slumbers break,
And make this darkness gay
With looks, whose brightness well might make
Of darker nights a day.

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Woodspurge

The wind flapped loose, the wind was still,
Shaken out dead from tree and hill:
I had walked on at the wind’s will, –
I saw now, for the wind was still.

Between my knees my forehead was, –
My lips, drawn in, said not Alas!
My hair was over in the grass,
My naked ears heard the day pass.

My eyes, wide open, had the run
Of some ten weeds to fix upon;
Among those few, out of the sun,
The woodspurge flowered, three cups in one.

From perfect grief there need not be
Wisdom or even memory:
One thing then learnt remains to me, –
The woodspurge has a cup of three.

——————————————–

Analysis:
http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/dgr/healey5.html

http://matthewspoetryanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-woodspurge-dante-gabriel-rossetti.html

https://hokku.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/the-woodspurge-all-thought-exhausted/

https://igcseblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/the-woodspurge-by-daniel-gabriel-rossetti/

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Mysterious Night, when our first parent knew
Thee from report divine, and heard thy name,
Did he not tremble for this lovely frame,
This glorious canopy of light and blue?
Yet neath a curtain of translucent dew,
Bathed in the rays of the great setting flame,
Hesperus with the host of heaven came,
And he, creation widen’d in man’s view,
Who could have thought such darkness lay conceal’d
Within thy beams, O Sun! Or who could find
Whilst fly and leaf and insect stood reveal’d,
That to such countless orbs thou mad’st us blind!
Why do we then shun Death with anxious strife?
If light can thus deceive, wherefore not Life?

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There will be rose and rhododendron
When you are dead and under ground;
Still will be heard from white syringas
Heavy with bees, a sunny sound;

Still will the tamaracks be raining
After the rain has ceased, and still
Will there be robins in the stubble,
Grey sheep upon the warm green hill.

Spring will not ail nor autumn falter;
Nothing will know that you are gone, –
Saving alone some sullen plough-land
None but yourself sets foot upon;

Saving the may-weed and the pig-weed
Nothing will know that you are dead, –
These, and perhaps a useless wagon
Standing beside some tumbled shed.

Oh, there will pass with your great passing
Little of beauty not your own, –
Only the light from common water,
Only the grace from simple stone!

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Mild Splendor of the various-vested Night!
Mother of wildly-working visions! hail!
I watch thy gliding, while with watery light
Thy weak eye glimmers through a fleecy veil;
And when thou lovest thy pale orb to shroud
Behind the gather’d blackness lost on high;
And when thou dartest from the wind-rent cloud
Thy placid lightning o’er th’ awakened sky.

Ah, such is Hope! As changeful and as fair!
Now dimly peering on the wistful sight;
Now hid behind the dragon-wing’d Despair:
But soon emerging in her radiant might
She o’er the sorrow-clouded breast of Care
Sails, like a meteor kindling in its flight.

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I went out to find a friend,
But could not find one there.
I went out to be a friend,
And friends were everywhere!

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