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Archive for the ‘Poems of Other Poets’ Category

Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws
And burn the long-liv’d phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O, carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen!
Him in thy course untainted to allow
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.
Yet do thy worst, old Time! Despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.

 

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I buried my first womern
In the spring; and in the fall
I was married to my second,
And hain’t settled yit at all! –
Fer I’m allus thinkin’ – thinkin’
Of the first one’s peaceful ways,
A-bilin’ soap and singin’
Of the Lord’s amazin’ grace.

And I’m thinkin’ of her, constant,
Dyin’ carpet-chain and stuff,
And a-makin’ up rag carpets,
When the floor was good enough!
And I mind her he’p a-feedin’
And I riccollect her now
A-drappin’ corn, and keepin’
Clos’t behind me and the plow!

And I’m allus thinkin’ of her
Reddin’ up around the house;
Er cookin’ fer the farm-hands;
Er a-drivin’ up the cows, –
And there she lays out yander
By the lower medder fence,
Where the cows was barely grazin’,
And they’re usin’ ever sence.

And when I look acrost there –
Say it’s when the clover’s ripe,
And I’m settin’, in the evenin’,
On the porch here, with my pipe,
And the other’n hollers “Henry!” –
W’y they ain’t no sadder thing
Than to think of my first womern
And her funeral last spring
Was a year ago –

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The seed that wasteful autumn cast
To waver on its stormy blast,
Long o’er the wintry desert tost,
Its living germ has never lost.
Dropped by the weary tempest’s wing,
It feels the kindling ray of spring,
And, starting from its dream of death,
Pours on the air its perfumed breath.
 

So, parted by the rolling flood,
The love that springs from common blood
Needs but a single sunlit hour
Of mingling smiles to bud and flower;
Unharmed its slumbering life has flown,
From shore to shore, from zone to zone,
Where summer’s falling roses stain
The tepid waves of Pontchartrain,
Or where the lichen creeps below
Katahdin’s wreaths of whirling snow. 

Though fiery sun and stiffening cold
May change the fair ancestral mould,
No winter chills, no summer drains
The life-blood drawn from English veins,
Still bearing whereso’er it flows
The love that with its fountain rose,
Unchanged by space, unwronged by time,
From age to age, from clime to clime!

 

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If there were dreams to sell, 
What would you buy?
Some cost a passing bell;
Some a light sigh,
That shakes from Life’s fresh crown
Only a rose-leaf down.
If there were dreams to sell,
Merry and sad to tell,
And the crier rang the bell,
What would you buy?

A cottage lone and still,
With bowers nigh,
Shadowy, my woes to still,
Until I die.
Such pearl from Life’s fresh crown
Fain would I shake me down.
Were dreams to have at will,
This would best heal my ill,
This would I buy.

 

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When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

When the meadows laugh with lively green,
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene,
When Mary and Susan and Emily
With their sweet round mouths sing ‘Ha, ha he!’

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread:
Come live, and be merry, and join with me,
To sing the sweet chorus of ‘Ha, ha, he!’

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british flag

When Britain first, at Heaven’s command,
Arose from out the azure main;
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sung this strain:
“Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves.”

The nations, not so blest as thee,
Must, in their turns, to tyrants fall:
While thou shalt flourish great and free,
The dread and envy of them all.
“Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves.”

Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful, from each foreign stroke:
As the loud blast that tears the skies,
Serves but to root thy native oak.
“Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves.”

Thee haughty tyrants ne’er shall tame:
All their attempts to bend thee down,
Will but arouse thy generous flame;
But work their woe, and thy renown.
“Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves.”

To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine:
All thine shall be the subject main,
And every shore it circles thine.
“Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves.”

The Muses, still with freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coast repair:
Blest isle! with matchless beauty crown’d,
And manly hearts to guard the fair.
“Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves.” 

 

 

 

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Emmy’s exquisite youth and her virginal air,
Eyes and teeth in the flash of a musical smile,
Come to me out of the past, and I see her there
As I saw her once for a while.

Emmy’s laughter rings in my ears, as bright,
Fresh and sweet as the voice of a mountain brook,
And still I hear her telling us tales that night,
Out of Boccaccio’s book.

There, in the midst of the villainous dancing-hall,
Leaning across the table, over the beer,
While the music maddened the whirling skirts of the ball,
As the midnight hour drew near,

There with the women, haggard, painted and old,
One fresh bud in a garland withered and stale,
She, with her innocent voice and her clear eyes, told
Tale after shameless tale.

And ever the witching smile, to her face beguiled,
Paused and broadened, and broke in a ripple of fun,
And the soul of a child looked out of the eyes of a child,
Or ever the tale was done.

O my child, who wronged you first, and began
First the dance of death that you dance so well?
Soul for soul: and I think the soul of a man
Shall answer for yours in hell.

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Thus said The Lord in the Vault above the Cherubim
Calling to the Angels and the Souls in their degree:
“Lo! Earth has passed away
On the smoke of Judgment Day.
That Our word may be established shall We gather up the sea?”

Loud sang the souls of the jolly, jolly mariners:
“Plague upon the hurricane that made us furl and flee!
But the war is done between us,
In the deep the Lord hath seen us —
Our bones we’ll leave the barracout’, and God may sink the sea!”

Then said the soul of Judas that betrayed Him:
“Lord, hast Thou forgotten Thy covenant with me?
How once a year I go
To cool me on the floe?
And Ye take my day of mercy if Ye take away the sea!”

Then said the soul of the Angel of the Off-shore Wind:
(He that bits the thunder when the bull-mouthed breakers flee):
“I have watch and ward to keep
O’er Thy wonders on the deep,
And Ye take mine honour from me if Ye take away the sea!”

Loud sang the souls of the jolly, jolly mariners:
“Nay, but we were angry, and a hasty folk are we!
If we worked the ship together
Till she foundered in foul weather,
Are we babes that we should clamour for a vengeance on the sea?”

Then said the souls of the slaves that men threw overboard:
“Kennelled in the picaroon a weary band were we;
But Thy arm was strong to save,
And it touched us on the wave,
And we drowsed the long tides idle till Thy Trumpets tore the sea.”

Then cried the soul of the stout Apostle Paul to God:
“Once we frapped a ship, and she laboured woundily.
There were fourteen score of these,
And they blessed Thee on their knees,
When they learned Thy Grace and Glory under Malta by the sea!”

Loud sang the souls of the jolly, jolly mariners,
Plucking at their harps, and they plucked unhandily:
“Our thumbs are rough and tarred,
And the tune is something hard —
May we lift a Deep-sea Chantey such as seamen use at sea?”

Then said the souls of the gentlemen-adventurers —
Fettered wrist to bar all for red iniquity:
“Ho, we revel in our chains
O’er the sorrow that was Spain’s;
Heave or sink it, leave or drink it, we were masters of the sea!”

Up spake the soul of a gray Gothavn ‘speckshioner —
(He that led the flinching in the fleets of fair Dundee):
“Oh, the ice-blink white and near,
And the bowhead breaching clear!
Will Ye whelm them all for wantonness that wallow in the sea?”

Loud sang the souls of the jolly, jolly mariners,
Crying: “Under Heaven, here is neither lead nor lee!
Must we sing for evermore
On the windless, glassy floor?
Take back your golden fiddles and we’ll beat to open sea!”

Then stooped the Lord, and He called the good sea up to Him,
And ‘stablished his borders unto all eternity,
That such as have no pleasure
For to praise the Lord by measure,
They may enter into galleons and serve Him on the sea.

Sun, wind, and cloud shall fail not from the face of it,
Stinging, ringing spindrift, nor the fulmar flying free;
And the ships shall go abroad
To the Glory of the Lord
Who heard the silly sailor-folk and gave them back their sea!

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I cannot live with You –
It would be Life –
And Life is over there –
Behind the Shelf 

The Sexton keeps the Key to –
Putting up
Our Life – His Porcelain –
Like a Cup – 

Discarded of the Housewife –
Quaint – or Broke –
A newer Sevres pleases –
Old Ones crack – 

I could not die – with You –
For One must wait
To shut the Other’s Gaze down –
You – could not – 

And I – Could I stand by
And see You – freeze –
Without my Right of Frost –
Death’s privilege?

Nor could I rise – with You –
Because Your Face
Would put out Jesus’ –
That New Grace 

Glow plain – and foreign
On my homesick Eye –
Except that You than He
Shone closer by – 

They’d judge Us – How –
For You – served Heaven – You know,
Or sought to –
I could not – 

Because You saturated Sight –
And I had no more Eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise 

And were You lost, I would be –
Though My Name
Rang loudest
On the Heavenly fame – 

And were You – saved –
And I – condemned to be
Where You were not –
That self – were Hell to Me – 

So We must meet apart –
You there – I – here –
With just the Door ajar
That Oceans are – and Prayer –
And that White Sustenance –
Despair –

 

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The little boy lost in the lonely fen,
Led by the wandering light,
Began to cry, but God, ever nigh,
Appeared like his father, in white. 

He kissed the child, and by the hand led,
And to his mother brought,
Who in sorrow pale, through the lonely dale,
Her little boy weeping sought.

 

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