Alfred Lord Tennyson | |
Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.
Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.
Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more!
Emily Dickinson | |
It was not death, for I stood up,
And all the dead lie down;
It was not night, for all the bells
Put out their tongues, for noon.
It was not frost, for on my flesh
I felt siroccos crawl,--
Nor fire, for just my marble feet
Could keep a chancel cool.
And yet it tasted like them all;
The figures I have seen
Set orderly, for burial,
Reminded me of mine,
As if my life were shaven
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key;
And 't was like midnight, some,
When everything that ticked has stopped,
And space stares, all around,
Or grisly frosts, first autumn morns,
Repeal the beating ground.
But most like chaos,--stopless, cool,--
Without a chance or spar,--
Or even a report of land
To justify despair.
John Keats | |
SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees 5
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more
And still more later flowers for the bees
Until they think warm days will never cease 10
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 15
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep
Drowsed with the fume of poppies while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twin¨¨d flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook; 20
Or by a cider-press with patient look
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay where are they?
Think not of them thou hast thy music too ¡ª
While barr¨¨d clouds bloom the soft-dying day 25
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 30
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
More great poems below...
Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings | |
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did
Women and men(both little and samll)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their
sun moon stars rain
children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was
all by all and deep by deep
and more by moe they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes
Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer sutumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | |
A MIST was driving down the British Channel,
The day was just begun,
And through the window-panes, on floor and panel,
Streamed the red autumn sun.
It glanced on flowing flag and rippling pennon, 5
And the white sails of ships;
And, from the frowning rampart, the black cannon
Hailed it with feverish lips.
Sandwich and Romney, Hastings, Hithe, and Dover,
Were all alert that day, 10
To see the French war-steamers speeding over,
When the fog cleared away.
Sullen and silent, and like couchant lions,
Their cannon, through the night,
Holding their breath, had watched, in grim defiance, 15
The sea-coast opposite.
And now they roared at drum-beat from their stations,
On every citadel;
Each answering each, with morning salutations,
That all was well.
And down the coast, all taking up the burden,
Replied the distant forts,
As if to summon from his sleep the Warden
And Lord of the Cinque Ports.
Him shall no sunshine from the fields of azure, 25
No drum-beat from the wall,
No morning gun from the black fort's embrasure,
Awaken with its call!
No more, surveying with an eye impartial
The long line of the coast, 30
Shall the gaunt figure of the old Field Marshal
Be seen upon his post!
For in the night, unseen, a single warrior,
In sombre harness mailed,
Dreaded of man, and surnamed the Destroyer, 35
The rampart wall had scaled.
He passed into the chamber of the sleeper,
The dark and silent room,
And as he entered, darker grew, and deeper,
The silence and the gloom.
He did not pause to parley or dissemble,
But smote the Warden hoar;
Ah! what a blow! that made all England tremble
And groan from shore to shore.
Meanwhile, without, the surly cannon waited, 45
The sun rose bright o'erhead;
Nothing in Nature's aspect intimated
That a great man was dead.
Wallace Stevens | |
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.
A man and a woman
A man and a woman and a blackbird
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.
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?
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.
When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.
At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.
Percy Bysshe Shelley | |
AWAY! the moor is dark beneath the moon
Rapid clouds have drunk the last pale beam of even:
Away! the gathering winds will call the darkness soon
And profoundest midnight shroud the serene lights of heaven.
Pause not! the time is past! Every voice cries 'Away!' 5
Tempt not with one last tear thy friend's ungentle mood:
Thy lover's eye so glazed and cold dares not entreat thy stay:
Duty and dereliction guide thee back to solitude.
Away away! to thy sad and silent home;
Pour bitter tears on its desolated hearth; 10
Watch the dim shades as like ghosts they go and come
And complicate strange webs of melancholy mirth.
The leaves of wasted autumn woods shall float around thine head
The blooms of dewy Spring shall gleam beneath thy feet:
But thy soul or this world must fade in the frost that binds the dead 15
Ere midnight's frown and morning's smile ere thou and peace may meet.
The cloud shadows of midnight possess their own repose
For the weary winds are silent or the moon is in the deep;
Some respite to its turbulence unresting ocean knows;
Whatever moves or toils or grieves hath its appointed sleep.
Thou in the grave shalt rest:¡ªyet till the phantoms flee
Which that house and heath and garden made dear to thee erewhile
Thy remembrance and repentance and deep musings are not free
From the music of two voices and the light of one sweet smile.
Wang Wei | |
The mountains are cold and blue now
And the autumn waters have run all day.
By my thatch door, leaning on my staff,
I listen to cicadas in the evening wind.
Sunset lingers at the ferry,
Supper-smoke floats up from the houses.
Oh, when shall I pledge the great Hermit again
And sing a wild poem at Five Willows?
Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings | |
enter no(silence is the blood whose flesh
is singing)silence:but unsinging.
spectral such hugest how hush,one
dead leaf stirring makes a crash
-far away(as far as alive)lies
april;and i breathe-move-and-seem some
perpetually roaming whylessness-
autumn has gone:will winter never come?
o come,terrible anonymity;enfold
phantom me with the murdering minus of cold
-open this ghost with millionary knives of wind-
scatter his nothing all over what angry skies and
(very whiteness:absolute peace,
never imaginable mystery)
Siegfried Sassoon | |
ACROSS the land a faint blue veil of mist
Seems hung; the woods wear yet arrayment sober
Till frost shall make them flame; silent and whist
The drooping cherry orchards of October
Like mournful pennons hang their shrivelling leaves 5
Russet and orange: all things now decay;
Long since ye garnered in your autumn sheaves
And sad the robins pipe at set of day.
Now do ye dream of Spring when greening shaws
Confer with the shrewd breezes and of slopes 10
Flower-kirtled and of April virgin guest;
Days that ye love despite their windy flaws
Since they are woven with all joys and hopes
Whereof ye nevermore shall be possessed.
Percy Bysshe Shelley | |
RARELY rarely comest thou
Spirit of Delight!
Wherefore hast thou left me now
Many a day and night?
Many a weary night and day 5
'Tis since thou art fled away.
How shall ever one like me
Win thee back again?
With the joyous and the free
Thou wilt scoff at pain.
Spirit false! thou hast forgot
All but those who need thee not.
As a lizard with the shade
Of a trembling leaf
Thou with sorrow art dismay'd; 15
Even the sighs of grief
Reproach thee that thou art not near
And reproach thou wilt not hear.
Let me set my mournful ditty
To a merry measure; 20
Thou wilt never come for pity
Thou wilt come for pleasure:
Pity then will cut away
Those cruel wings and thou wilt stay.
I love all that thou lovest 25
Spirit of Delight!
The fresh earth in new leaves drest
And the starry night;
Autumn evening and the morn
When the golden mists are born.
I love snow and all the forms
Of the radiant frost;
I love waves and winds and storms
Which is Nature's and may be 35
Untainted by man's misery.
I love tranquil solitude
And such society
As is quiet wise and good;
Between thee and me 40
What diff'rence? but thou dost possess
The things I seek not love them less.
I love Love¡ªthough he has wings
And like light can flee
But above all other things 45
Spirit I love thee¡ª
Thou art love and life! O come!
Make once more my heart thy home!
William Cullen Bryant | |
THE MELANCHOLY days have come the saddest of the year
Of wailing winds and naked woods and meadows brown and sere;
Heaped in the hollows of the grove the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust and to the rabbit's tread;
The robin and the wren are flown and from the shrubs the jay 5
And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day.
Where are the flowers the fair young flowers that lately sprang and stood
In brighter light and softer airs a beauteous sisterhood?
Alas! they all are in their graves the gentle race of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds with the fair and good of ours.
The rain is falling where they lie but the cold November rain
Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again.
The wind-flower and the violet they perished long ago
And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
But on the hill the goldenrod and the aster in the wood 15
And the blue sunflower by the brook in autumn beauty stood
Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven as falls the plague on men
And the brightness of their smile was gone from upland glade and glen.
And now when comes the calm mild day as still such days will come
To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home; 20
When the sound of dropping nuts is heard though all the trees are still
And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill
The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore
And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.
And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died 25
The fair meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side.
In the cold moist earth we laid her when the forests cast the leaf
And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief:
Yet not unmeet it was that one like that young friend of ours
So gentle and so beautiful should perish with the flowers.
William Cullen Bryant | |
LET me move slowly through the street
Filled with an ever-shifting train
Amid the sound of steps that beat
The murmuring walks like autumn rain.
How fast the flitting figures come! 5
The mild the fierce the stony face;
Some bright with thoughtless smiles and some
Where secret tears have left their trace.
They pass¡ªto toil to strife to rest;
To halls in which the feast is spread; 10
To chambers where the funeral guest
In silence sits beside the dead.
And some to happy homes repair
Where children pressing cheek to cheek
With mute caresses shall declare 15
The tenderness they cannot speak.
And some who walk in calmness here
Shall shudder as they reach the door
Where one who made their dwelling dear
Its flower its light is seen no more.
Youth with pale cheek and slender frame
And dreams of greatness in thine eye!
Go'st thou to build an early name
Or early in the task to die?
Keen son of trade with eager brow! 25
Who is now fluttering in thy snare?
Thy golden fortunes tower they now
Or melt the glittering spires in air?
Who of this crowd to-night shall tread
The dance till daylight gleam again? 30
Who sorrow o'er the untimely dead?
Who writhe in throes of mortal pain?
Some famine-struck shall think how long
The cold dark hours how slow the light;
And some who flaunt amid the throng 35
Shall hide in dens of shame to-night.
Each where his tasks or pleasures call
They pass and heed each other not.
There is who heeds who holds them all
In His large love and boundless thought.
These struggling tides of life that seem
In wayward aimless course to tend
Are eddies of the mighty stream
That rolls to its appointed end.
Oliver Wendell Holmes | |
HER hands are cold; her face is white;
No more her pulses come and go;
Her eyes are shut to life and light;--
Fold the white vesture, snow on snow,
And lay her where the violets blow.
But not beneath a graven stone,
To plead for tears with alien eyes;
A slender cross of wood alone
Shall say, that here a maiden lies
In peace beneath the peaceful skies.
And gray old trees of hugest limb
Shall wheel their circling shadows round
To make the scorching sunlight dim
That drinks the greenness from the ground,
And drop their dead leaves on her mound.
When o'er their boughs the squirrels run,
And through their leaves the robins call,
And, ripening in the autumn sun,
The acorns and the chestnuts fall,
Doubt not that she will heed them all.
For her the morning choir shall sing
Its matins from the branches high,
And every minstrel-voice of Spring,
That trills beneath the April sky,
Shall greet her with its earliest cry.
When, turning round their dial-track,
Eastward the lengthening shadows pass,
Her little mourners, clad in black,
The crickets, sliding through the grass,
Shall pipe for her an evening mass.
At last the rootlets of the trees
Shall find the prison where she lies,
And bear the buried dust they seize
In leaves and blossoms to the skies.
So may the soul that warmed it rise!
If any, born of kindlier blood,
Should ask, What maiden lies below?
Say only this: A tender bud,
That tried to blossom in the snow,
Lies withered where the violets blow.
John Greenleaf Whittier | |
The autumn-time has come;
On woods that dream of bloom,
And over purpling vines,
The low sun fainter shines.
The aster-flower is failing,
The hazel's gold is paling;
Yet overhead more near
The eternal stars appear!
And present gratitude
Insures the future's good,
And for the things I see
I trust the things to be;
That in the paths untrod,
And the long days of God,
My feet shall still be led,
My heart be comforted.
O living friends who love me!
O dear ones gone above me!
Careless of other fame,
I leave to you my name.
Hide it from idle praises,
Save it from evil phrases:
Why, when dear lips that spake it
Are dumb, should strangers wake it?
Let the thick curtain fall;
I better know than all
How little I have gained,
How vast the unattained.
Not by the page word-painted
Let life be banned or sainted:
Deeper than written scroll
The colors of the soul.
Sweeter than any sung
My songs that found no tongue;
Nobler than any fact
My wish that failed of act.
Others shall sing the song,
Others shall right the wrong, --
Finish what I begin,
And all I fail of win.
What matter, I or they?
Mine or another's day,
So the right word be said
And life the sweeter made?
Hail to the coming singers!
Hail to the brave light-bringers!
Forward I reach and share
All that they sing and dare.
The airs of heaven blow o'er me;
A glory shines before me
Of what mankind shall be, --
Pure, generous, brave, and free.
A dream of man and woman
Diviner but still human,
Solving the riddle old,
Shaping the Age of Gold!
The love of God and neighbor;
An equal-handed labor;
The richer life, where beauty
Walks hand in hand with duty.
Ring, bells in unreared steeples,
The joy of unborn peoples!
Sound, trumpets far off blown,
Your triumph is my own!
Parcel and part of all,
I keep the festival,
Fore-reach the good to be,
And share the victory.
I feel the earth move sunward,
I join the great march onward,
And take, by faith, while living,
My freehold of thanksgiving.