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Best Famous Isaac Rosenberg Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Isaac Rosenberg poems. This is a select list of the best famous Isaac Rosenberg poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Isaac Rosenberg poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Isaac Rosenberg poems.

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by Isaac Rosenberg |

Dead Mans Dump

 The plunging limbers over the shattered track
Racketed with their rusty freight,
Stuck out like many crowns of thorns,
And the rusty stakes like sceptres old
To stay the flood of brutish men
Upon our brothers dear.
The wheels lurched over sprawled dead But pained them not, though their bones crunched; Their shut mouths made no moan, They lie there huddled, friend and foeman, Man born of man, and born of woman, And shells go crying over them From night till night and now.
Earth has waited for them, All the time of their growth Fretting for their decay: Now she has them at last! In the strength of her strength Suspended—stopped and held.
What fierce imaginings their dark souls lit Earth! Have they gone into you? Somewhere they must have gone, And flung on your hard back Is their souls' sack, Emptied of God-ancestralled essences.
Who hurled them out? Who hurled? None saw their spirits' shadow shake the grass, Or stood aside for the half-used life to pass Out of those doomed nostrils and the doomed mouth, When the swift iron burning bee Drained the wild honey of their youth.
What of us, who flung on the shrieking pyre, Walk, our usual thoughts untouched, Our lucky limbs as on ichor fed, Immortal seeming ever? Perhaps when the flames beat loud on us, A fear may choke in our veins And the startled blood may stop.
The air is loud with death, The dark air spurts with fire, The explosions ceaseless are.
Timelessly now, some minutes past, These dead strode time with vigorous life, Till the shrapnel called "an end!" But not to all.
In bleeding pangs Some borne on stretchers dreamed of home, Dear things, war-blotted from their hearts.
A man's brains splattered on A stretcher-bearer's face; His shook shoulders slipped their load, But when they bent to look again The drowning soul was sunk too deep For human tenderness.
They left this dead with the older dead, Stretched at the cross roads.
Burnt black by strange decay, Their sinister faces lie The lid over each eye, The grass and coloured clay More motion have than they, Joined to the great sunk silences.
Here is one not long dead; His dark hearing caught our far wheels, And the choked soul stretched weak hands To reach the living word the far wheels said, The blood-dazed intelligence beating for light, Crying through the suspense of the far torturing wheels Swift for the end to break, Or the wheels to break, Cried as the tide of the world broke over his sight.
Will they come? Will they ever come? Even as the mixed hoofs of the mules, The quivering-bellied mules, And the rushing wheels all mixed With his tortured upturned sight.
So we crashed round the bend, We heard his weak scream, We heard his very last sound, And our wheels grazed his dead face.


by Isaac Rosenberg |

Break of Day in the Trenches

 The darkness crumbles away 
It is the same old druid Time as ever, 
Only a live thing leaps my hand, 
A queer sardonic rat, 
As I pull the parapet's poppy
To stick behind my ear.
Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew Your cosmopolitan sympathies, Now you have touched this English hand You will do the same to a German Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure To cross the sleeping green between.
It seems you inwardly grin as you pass Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes, Less chanced than you for life, Bonds to the whims of murder, Sprawled in the bowels of the earth, The torn fields of France.
What do you see in our eyes At the shrieking iron and flame Hurled through still heavens? What quaver -what heart aghast? Poppies whose roots are in men's veins Drop, and are ever dropping; But mine in my ear is safe, Just a little white with the dust.


by Isaac Rosenberg |

Through These Pale Cold Days

 Through these pale cold days
What dark faces burn
Out of three thousand years,
And their wild eyes yearn,

While underneath their brows
Like waifs their spirits grope
For the pools of Hebron again--
For Lebanon's summer slope.
They leave these blond still days In dust behind their tread They see with living eyes How long they have been dead.


by Isaac Rosenberg |

God

 In his malodorous brain what slugs and mire,
Lanthorned in his oblique eyes, guttering burned!
His body lodged a rat where men nursed souls.
The world flashed grape-green eyes of a foiled cat To him.
On fragments of an old shrunk power, On shy and maimed, on women wrung awry, He lay, a bullying hulk, to crush them more.
But when one, fearless, turned and clawed like bronze, Cringing was easy to blunt these stern paws, And he would weigh the heavier on those after.
Who rests in God's mean flattery now? Your wealth Is but his cunning to make death more hard.
Your iron sinews take more pain in breaking.
And he has made the market for your beauty Too poor to buy, although you die to sell.
Only that he has never heard of sleep; And when the cats come out the rats are sly.
Here we are safe till he slinks in at dawn But he has gnawed a fibre from strange roots, And in the morning some pale wonder ceases.
Things are not strange and strange things are forgetful.
Ah! if the day were arid, somehow lost Out of us, but it is as hair of us, And only in the hush no wind stirs it.
And in the light vague trouble lifts and breathes, And restlessness still shadows the lost ways.
The fingers shut on voices that pass through, Where blind farewells are taken easily .
.
.
.
Ah! this miasma of a rotting God!


by Isaac Rosenberg |

The Jew

 Moses, from whose loins I sprung,
Lit by a lamp in his blood
Ten immutable rules, a moon
For mutable lampless men.
The blonde, the bronze, the ruddy, With the same heaving blood, Keep tide to the moon of Moses.
Then why do they sneer at me?


by Isaac Rosenberg |

Returning We Hear the Larks

 Sombre the night is.
And though we have our lives, we know What sinister threat lies there.
Dragging these anguished limbs, we only know This poison-blasted track opens on our camp - On a little safe sleep.
But hark! joy - joy - strange joy.
Lo! heights of night ringing with unseen larks.
Music showering our upturned list’ning faces.
Death could drop from the dark As easily as song - But song only dropped, Like a blind man’s dreams on the sand By dangerous tides, Like a girl’s dark hair for she dreams no ruin lies there, Or her kisses where a serpent hides.


by Isaac Rosenberg |

On Receiving News of the War

 Snow is a strange white word.
No ice or frost Has asked of bud or bird For Winter's cost.
Yet ice and frost and snow From earth to sky This Summer land doth know.
No man knows why.
In all men's hearts it is.
Some spirit old Hath turned with malign kiss Our lives to mould.
Red fangs have torn His face.
God's blood is shed.
He mourns from His lone place His children dead.
O! ancient crimson curse! Corrode, consume.
Give back this universe Its pristine bloom.


by Isaac Rosenberg |

Louse Hunting

 Nudes -- stark and glistening,
Yelling in lurid glee.
Grinning faces And raging limbs Whirl over the floor one fire.
For a shirt verminously busy Yon soldier tore from his throat, with oaths Godhead might shrink at, but not the lice.
And soon the shirt was aflare Over the candle he'd lit while we lay.
Then we all sprang up and stript To hunt the verminous brood.
Soon like a demons' pantomine The place was raging.
See the silhouettes agape, See the glibbering shadows Mixed with the battled arms on the wall.
See gargantuan hooked fingers Pluck in supreme flesh To smutch supreme littleness.
See the merry limbs in hot Highland fling Because some wizard vermin Charmed from the quiet this revel When our ears were half lulled By the dark music Blown from Sleep's trumpet.


by Isaac Rosenberg |

In the Trenches

 I snatched two poppies 
From the parapet’s ledge, 
Two bright red poppies 
That winked on the ledge.
Behind my ear I stuck one through, One blood red poppy I gave to you.
The sandbags narrowed And screwed out our jest, And tore the poppy You had on your breast .
.
.
Down - a shell - O! Christ, I am choked .
.
.
safe .
.
.
dust blind, I See trench floor poppies Strewn.
Smashed you lie.