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Best Famous John Gould Fletcher Poems

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by John Gould Fletcher | |

Spring

 When daisies pied, and violets blue, 
And lady-smocks all silver-white, 
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue 
Do paint the meadows with delight, 
The cuckoo then, on every tree, 
Mocks married men, for thus sings he: 
'Cuckoo! 
Cuckoo, cuckoo!' O word of fear, 
Unpleasing to a married ear.
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws, And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks, When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws, And maidens bleach their summer smocks, The cuckoo then, on every tree, Mocks married men, for thus sings he: 'Cuckoo! Cuckoo, cuckoo!' O word of fear, Unpleasing to a married ear.


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Sleep

 she was a short one
getting fat and she had once been
beautiful and
she drank the wine
she drank the wine in bed and
talked and screamed and cursed at
me
and i told her 
please, I need some
sleep.
-sleep? sleep? ya son of a bitch, ya never sleep, ya don't need any sleep! I buried her one morning early I carried her down the sides of the Hollywood Hills brambles and rabbits and rocks running in front of me and by the time I'd dug the ditch and stuck her in belly down and put the dirt back on the sun was up and it was warm and the flies were lazy and I could hardly see anything out of my eyes everything was so warm and yellow.
I managed to drive home and I got into bed and I slept for 5 days and 4 nights.
from "poems written before jumping out of an 8 story window" - 1966


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Spring

 Birds' love and birds' song
Flying here and there,
Birds' songand birds' love
And you with gold for hair!
Birds' songand birds' love
Passing with the weather,
Men's song and men's love,
To love once and forever.
Men's love and birds' love, And women's love and men's! And you my wren with a crown of gold, You my queen of the wrens! You the queen of the wrens -- We'll be birds of a feather, I'll be King of the Queen of the wrens, And all in a nest together.


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Sleep

 Do you give yourself to me utterly,

Body and no-body, flesh and no-flesh

Not as a fugitive, blindly or bitterly, 

But as a child might, with no other wish?

Yes, utterly.
Then I shall bear you down my estuary, Carry you and ferry you to burial mysteriously, Take you and receive you, Consume you, engulf you, In the huge cave, my belly, lave you With huger waves continually.
And you shall cling and clamber there And slumber there, in that dumb chamber, Beat with my blood's beat, hear my heart move Blindly in bones that ride above you, Delve in my flesh, dissolved and bedded, Through viewless valves embodied so – Till daylight, the expulsion and awakening, The riving and the driving forth, Life with remorseless forceps beckoning – Pangs and betrayal of harsh birth.


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Bridal Song

 ROSES, their sharp spines being gone, 
Not royal in their smells alone, 
 But in their hue; 
Maiden pinks, of odour faint, 
Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint, 
 And sweet thyme true; 

Primrose, firstborn child of Ver; 
Merry springtime's harbinger, 
 With her bells dim; 
Oxlips in their cradles growing, 
Marigolds on death-beds blowing, 
 Larks'-heels trim; 

All dear Nature's children sweet 
Lie 'fore bride and bridegroom's feet, 
 Blessing their sense! 
Not an angel of the air, 
Bird melodious or bird fair, 
 Be absent hence! 

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor 
The boding raven, nor chough hoar, 
 Nor chattering pye, 
May on our bride-house perch or sing, 
Or with them any discord bring, 
 But from it fly!


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Sleep

 In the night of weariness 
let me give myself up to sleep without struggle, 
resting my trust upon thee.
Let me not force my flagging spirit into a poor preparation for thy worship.
It is thou who drawest the veil of night upon the tired eyes of the day to renew its sight in a fresher gladness of awakening.


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Aspatias Song

 LAY a garland on my herse
 Of the dismal yew;
Maidens, willow branches bear;
 Say, I died true.
My love was false, but I was firm From my hour of birth.
Upon my buried body lie Lightly, gentle earth!


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Beauty Clear and Fair

 BEAUTY clear and fair,
 Where the air
Rather like a perfume dwells;
 Where the violet and the rose
 Their blue veins and blush disclose,
And come to honour nothing else:

 Where to live near
 And planted there
Is to live, and still live new;
 Where to gain a favour is
 More than light, perpetual bliss--
Make me live by serving you!

Dear, again back recall
 To this light,
A stranger to himself and all!
 Both the wonder and the story
 Shall be yours, and eke the glory;
I am your servant, and your thrall.


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Care-charming Sleep

 Care-charming Sleep, thou easer of all woes,
Brother to Death, sweetly thyself dispose
On this afflicted prince; fall like a cloud
In gentle showers; give nothing that is loud
Or painful to his slumbers; easy, sweet,
And as a purling stream, thou son of Night,
Pass by his troubled senses; sing his pain,
Like hollow murmuring wind or silver rain;
Into this prince gently, oh gently slide,
And kiss him into slumbers like a bride.


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Away Delights

 AWAY, delights! go seek some other dwelling,
 For I must die.
Farewell, false love! thy tongue is ever telling Lie after lie.
For ever let me rest now from thy smarts; Alas, for pity go And fire their hearts That have been hard to thee! Mine was not so.
Never again deluding love shall know me, For I will die; And all those griefs that think to overgrow me Shall be as I: For ever will I sleep, while poor maids cry-- 'Alas, for pity stay, And let us die With thee! Men cannot mock us in the clay.
'


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Spring

 Sound the Flute!
Now it's mute.
Birds delight Day and Night Nightingale In the dale Lark in Sky Merrily Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year Little Boy Full of joy, Little Girl Sweet and small, Cock does crow So do you.
Merry voice Infant noise Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year Little Lamb Here I am.
Come and lick My white neck.
Let me pull Your soft Wool.
Let me kiss Your soft face Merrily Merrily we welcome in the Year


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Take Oh Take Those Lips Away

 Take, oh take those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn,
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again,
Seals of love, but sealed in vain.
Hide, oh hide those hills of snow, Which thy frozen bosom bears, On whose tops the pinks that grow Are yet of those that April wears.
But first set my poor heart free, Bound in those icy chains by thee.


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Melancholy

 HENCE, all you vain delights,
 As short as are the nights
 Wherein you spend your folly!
There 's naught in this life sweet,
If men were wise to see't,
 But only melancholy--
 O sweetest melancholy!
Welcome, folded arms and fixed eyes,
A sight that piercing mortifies,
A look that 's fasten'd to the ground,
A tongue chain'd up without a sound!

Fountain-heads and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves!
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
Are warmly housed, save bats and owls!
 A midnight bell, a parting groan--
 These are the sounds we feed upon:
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley,
Nothing 's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.


by John Gould Fletcher | |

God Lyaeus

 GOD Lyaeus, ever young,
Ever honour'd, ever sung,
Stain'd with blood of lusty grapes,
In a thousand lusty shapes
Dance upon the mazer's brim,
In the crimson liquor swim;
From thy plenteous hand divine
Let a river run with wine:
 God of youth, let this day here
 Enter neither care nor fear.


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Spring

 At the first hour, it was as if one said, "Arise.
" At the second hour, it was as if one said, "Go forth.
" And the winter constellations that are like patient ox-eyes Sank below the white horizon at the north.
At the third hour, it was as if one said, "I thirst"; At the fourth hour, all the earth was still: Then the clouds suddenly swung over, stooped, and burst; And the rain flooded valley, plain and hill.
At the fifth hour, darkness took the throne; At the sixth hour, the earth shook and the wind cried; At the seventh hour, the hidden seed was sown; At the eighth hour, it gave up the ghost and died.
At the ninth hour, they sealed up the tomb; And the earth was then silent for the space of three hours.
But at the twelfth hour, a single lily from the gloom Shot forth, and was followed by a whole host of flowers.


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Loves Emblems

 NOW the lusty spring is seen;
 Golden yellow, gaudy blue,
 Daintily invite the view:
Everywhere on every green
Roses blushing as they blow,
 And enticing men to pull,
Lilies whiter than the snow,
 Woodbines of sweet honey full:
 All love's emblems, and all cry,
 'Ladies, if not pluck'd, we die.
' Yet the lusty spring hath stay'd; Blushing red and purest white Daintily to love invite Every woman, every maid: Cherries kissing as they grow, And inviting men to taste, Apples even ripe below, Winding gently to the waist: All love's emblems, and all cry, 'Ladies, if not pluck'd, we die.
'


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Bridal Song

 CYNTHIA, to thy power and thee
 We obey.
Joy to this great company! And no day Come to steal this night away Till the rites of love are ended, And the lusty bridegroom say, Welcome, light, of all befriended! Pace out, you watery powers below; Let your feet, Like the galleys when they row, Even beat; Let your unknown measures, set To the still winds, tell to all That gods are come, immortal, great, To honour this great nuptial!


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Hence All You Vain Delights from the Nice Valour

 Hence, all you vain delights,
As short as are the nights
Wherein you spend your folly:
There's nought in this life sweet,
If man were wise to see't,
But only melancholy,
O sweetest melancholy!
Welcome, folded arms, and fixed eyes,
A sigh that piercing mortifies,
A look that's fastened to the ground,
A tongue chained up without a sound;
Fountain-heads, and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves;
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
Are warmly housed, save bats and owls;
A midnight bell, a parting groan:
These are the sounds we feed upon;
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley,
Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Hear ye Ladies

 HEAR, ye ladies that despise
 What the mighty Love has done;
Fear examples and be wise:
 Fair Callisto was a nun;
Leda, sailing on the stream
 To deceive the hopes of man,
Love accounting but a dream,
 Doted on a silver swan;
 Danae, in a brazen tower,
 Where no love was, loved a shower.
Hear, ye ladies that are coy, What the mighty Love can do; Fear the fierceness of the boy: The chaste Moon he makes to woo; Vesta, kindling holy fires, Circled round about with spies, Never dreaming loose desires, Doting at the altar dies; Ilion, in a short hour, higher He can build, and once more fire.


by John Gould Fletcher | |

Sleep

 COME, Sleep, and with thy sweet deceiving
Lock me in delight awhile;
Let some pleasing dreams beguile
All my fancies; that from thence
I may feel an influence
All my powers of care bereaving!

Though but a shadow, but a sliding,
Let me know some little joy!
We that suffer long annoy
Are contented with a thought
Through an idle fancy wrought:
O let my joys have some abiding!