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Best Famous Christian Poems

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

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Written by Robert William Service |

My Dentist

 Sitting in the dentist's chair,
Wishing that I wasn't there,
To forget and pass the time
I have made this bit of rhyme.
I had a rendez-vous at ten; I rushed to get in line, But found a lot of dames and men Had waited there since nine; I stared at them, then in an hour Was blandly ushered in; But though my face was grim and sour He met me with a grin.
He told me of his horse of blood, And how it "also ran", He plans to own a racing stud - (He seems a wealthy man.
) And then he left me there until I growled: "At any rate, I hope he'll not charge in his bill For all the time I wait.
" His wife has sables on her back, With jewels she's ablaze; She drives a stately Cadillac, And I'm the mug who pays: At least I'm one of those who peer With pessimistic gloom At magazines of yester-year In his damn waiting room.
I am a Christian Scientist; I don't believe in pain; My dentist had a powerful wrist, He tries and tries in vain To make me grunt or groan or squeal With probe or rasp or drill.
But oh, what agony I feel When HE PRESENTS HIS BILL! Sitting in the dental chair, Don't you wish you weren't there: Well, your cup of woe to fill, Just think of his infernal bill.

Written by Ralph Waldo Emerson |

The Problem

I LIKE a church; I like a cowl; 
I love a prophet of the soul; 
And on my heart monastic aisles 
Fall like sweet strains or pensive smiles; 
Yet not for all his faith can see 5 
Would I that cowl¨¨d churchman be.
Why should the vest on him allure Which I could not on me endure? Not from a vain or shallow thought His awful Jove young Phidias brought; 10 Never from lips of cunning fell The thrilling Delphic oracle: Out from the heart of nature rolled The burdens of the Bible old; The litanies of nations came 15 Like the volcano's tongue of flame Up from the burning core below ¡ª The canticles of love and woe; The hand that rounded Peter's dome And groined the aisles of Christian Rome 20 Wrought in a sad sincerity; Himself from God he could not free; He builded better than he knew;¡ª The conscious stone to beauty grew.
Know'st thou what wove yon woodbird's nest 25 Of leaves and feathers from her breast? Or how the fish outbuilt her shell Painting with morn each annual cell? Or how the sacred pine tree adds To her old leaves new myriads? 30 Such and so grew these holy piles Whilst love and terror laid the tiles.
Earth proudly wears the Parthenon As the best gem upon her zone; And Morning opes with haste her lids 35 To gaze upon the Pyramids; O'er England's abbeys bends the sky As on its friends with kindred eye; For out of Thought's interior sphere These wonders rose to upper air; 40 And Nature gladly gave them place Adopted them into her race And granted them an equal date With Andes and with Ararat.
These temples grew as grows the grass; 45 Art might obey but not surpass.
The passive Master lent his hand To the vast soul that o'er him planned; And the same power that reared the shrine Bestrode the tribes that knelt within.
50 Ever the fiery Pentecost Girds with one flame the countless host Trances the heart through chanting choirs And through the priest the mind inspires.
The word unto the prophet spoken 55 Was writ on tables yet unbroken; The word by seers or sibyls told In groves of oak or fanes of gold Still floats upon the morning wind Still whispers to the willing mind.
60 One accent of the Holy Ghost The heedless world hath never lost.
I know what say the fathers wise ¡ª The Book itself before me lies ¡ª Old Chrysostom best Augustine 65 And he who blent both in his line The younger Golden Lips or mines Taylor the Shakespeare of divines.
His words are music in my ear I see his cowl¨¨d portrait dear; 70 And yet for all his faith could see I would not this good bishop be.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |

The Sick Muse

 My impoverished muse, alas! What have you for me this morning? 
Your empty eyes are stocked with nocturnal visions, 
In your cheek's cold and taciturn reflection, 
I see insanity and horror forming.
The green succubus and the red urchin, Have they poured you fear and love from their urns? The nightmare of a mutinous fist that despotically turns, Does it drown you at the bottom of a loch beyond searching? I wish that your breast exhaled the scent of sanity, That your womb of thought was not a tomb more frequently And that your Christian blood flowed around a buoy that was rhythmical, Like the numberless sounds of antique syllables, Where reigns in turn the father of songs, Phoebus, and the great Pan, the harvest sovereign.

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Written by William Topaz McGonagall |

A Christmas Carol

 Welcome, sweet Christmas, blest be the morn
That Christ our Saviour was born!
Earth's Redeemer, to save us from all danger,
And, as the Holy Record tells, born in a manger.
Chorus -- Then ring, ring, Christmas bells, Till your sweet music o'er the kingdom swells, To warn the people to respect the morn That Christ their Saviour was born.
The snow was on the ground when Christ was born, And the Virgin Mary His mother felt very forlorn As she lay in a horse's stall at a roadside inn, Till Christ our Saviour was born to free us from sin.
Oh! think of the Virgin Mary as she lay In a lowly stable on a bed of hay, And angels watching O'er her till Christ was born, Therefore all the people should respect Christmas morn.
The way to respect Christmas time Is not by drinking whisky or wine, But to sing praises to God on Christmas morn, The time that Jesus Christ His Son was born; Whom He sent into the world to save sinners from hell And by believing in Him in heaven we'll dwell; Then blest be the morn that Christ was born, Who can save us from hell, death, and scorn.
Then he warned, and respect the Saviour dear, And treat with less respect the New Year, And respect always the blessed morn That Christ our Saviour was born.
For each new morn to the Christian is dear, As well as the morn of the New Year, And he thanks God for the light of each new morn.
Especially the morn that Christ was born.
Therefore, good people, be warned in time, And on Christmas morn don't get drunk with wine But praise God above on Christmas morn, Who sent His Son to save us from hell and scorn.
There the heavenly babe He lay In a stall among a lot of hay, While the Angel Host by Bethlehem Sang a beautiful and heavenly anthem.
Christmas time ought to be held most dear, Much more so than the New Year, Because that's the time that Christ was born, Therefore respect Christmas morn.
And let the rich be kind to the poor, And think of the hardships they do endure, Who are neither clothed nor fed, And Many without a blanket to their bed.

Written by Friedrich von Schiller |

Shakespeares Ghost - A Parody

 I, too, at length discerned great Hercules' energy mighty,--
Saw his shade.
He himself was not, alas, to be seen.
Round him were heard, like the screaming of birds, the screams of tragedians, And, with the baying of dogs, barked dramaturgists around.
There stood the giant in all his terrors; his bow was extended, And the bolt, fixed on the string, steadily aimed at the heart.
"What still hardier action, unhappy one, dost thou now venture, Thus to descend to the grave of the departed souls here?"-- "'Tis to see Tiresias I come, to ask of the prophet Where I the buskin of old, that now has vanished, may find?" "If they believe not in Nature, nor the old Grecian, but vainly Wilt thou convey up from hence that dramaturgy to them.
" "Oh, as for Nature, once more to tread our stage she has ventured, Ay, and stark-naked beside, so that each rib we count.
" "What? Is the buskin of old to be seen in truth on your stage, then, Which even I came to fetch, out of mid-Tartarus' gloom?"-- "There is now no more of that tragic bustle, for scarcely Once in a year on the boards moves thy great soul, harness-clad.
" "Doubtless 'tis well! Philosophy now has refined your sensations, And from the humor so bright fly the affections so black.
"-- "Ay, there is nothing that beats a jest that is stolid and barren, But then e'en sorrow can please, if 'tis sufficiently moist.
" "But do ye also exhibit the graceful dance of Thalia, Joined to the solemn step with which Melpomene moves?"-- "Neither! For naught we love but what is Christian and moral; And what is popular, too, homely, domestic, and plain.
" "What? Does no Caesar, does no Achilles, appear on your stage now, Not an Andromache e'en, not an Orestes, my friend?" "No! there is naught to be seen there but parsons, and syndics of commerce, Secretaries perchance, ensigns, and majors of horse.
" "But, my good friend, pray tell me, what can such people e'er meet with That can be truly called great?--what that is great can they do?" "What? Why they form cabals, they lend upon mortgage, they pocket Silver spoons, and fear not e'en in the stocks to be placed.
" "Whence do ye, then, derive the destiny, great and gigantic, Which raises man up on high, e'en when it grinds him to dust?"-- "All mere nonsense! Ourselves, our worthy acquaintances also, And our sorrows and wants, seek we, and find we, too, here.
" "But all this ye possess at home both apter and better,-- Wherefore, then, fly from yourselves, if 'tis yourselves that ye seek?" "Be not offended, great hero, for that is a different question; Ever is destiny blind,--ever is righteous the bard.
" "Then one meets on your stage your own contemptible nature, While 'tis in vain one seeks there nature enduring and great?" "There the poet is host, and act the fifth is the reckoning; And, when crime becomes sick, virtue sits down to the feast!"

Written by Thomas Hood |

The Bridge of Sighs

 One more Unfortunate, 
Weary of breath, 
Rashly importunate, 
Gone to her death! 

Take her up tenderly, 
Lift her with care; 
Fashion'd so slenderly 
Young, and so fair! 

Look at her garments 
Clinging like cerements; 
Whilst the wave constantly 
Drips from her clothing; 
Take her up instantly, 
Loving, not loathing.
Touch her not scornfully; Think of her mournfully, Gently and humanly; Not of the stains of her, All that remains of her Now is pure womanly.
Make no deep scrutiny Into her mutiny Rash and undutiful: Past all dishonour, Death has left on her Only the beautiful.
Still, for all slips of hers, One of Eve's family— Wipe those poor lips of hers Oozing so clammily.
Loop up her tresses Escaped from the comb, Her fair auburn tresses; Whilst wonderment guesses Where was her home? Who was her father? Who was her mother? Had she a sister? Had she a brother? Or was there a dearer one Still, and a nearer one Yet, than all other? Alas! for the rarity Of Christian charity Under the sun! O, it was pitiful! Near a whole city full, Home she had none.
Sisterly, brotherly, Fatherly, motherly Feelings had changed: Love, by harsh evidence, Thrown from its eminence; Even God's providence Seeming estranged.
Where the lamps quiver So far in the river, With many a light From window and casement, From garret to basement, She stood, with amazement, Houseless by night.
The bleak wind of March Made her tremble and shiver; But not the dark arch, Or the black flowing river: Mad from life's history, Glad to death's mystery, Swift to be hurl'd— Anywhere, anywhere Out of the world! In she plunged boldly— No matter how coldly The rough river ran— Over the brink of it, Picture it—think of it, Dissolute Man! Lave in it, drink of it, Then, if you can! Take her up tenderly, Lift her with care; Fashion'd so slenderly, Young, and so fair! Ere her limbs frigidly Stiffen too rigidly, Decently, kindly, Smooth and compose them; And her eyes, close them, Staring so blindly! Dreadfully staring Thro' muddy impurity, As when with the daring Last look of despairing Fix'd on futurity.
Perishing gloomily, Spurr'd by contumely, Cold inhumanity, Burning insanity, Into her rest.
— Cross her hands humbly As if praying dumbly, Over her breast! Owning her weakness, Her evil behaviour, And leaving, with meekness, Her sins to her Saviour!

Written by Robert Penn Warren |

True Love

 In silence the heart raves.
It utters words Meaningless, that never had A meaning.
I was ten, skinny, red-headed, Freckled.
In a big black Buick, Driven by a big grown boy, with a necktie, she sat In front of the drugstore, sipping something Through a straw.
There is nothing like Beauty.
It stops your heart.
It Thickens your blood.
It stops your breath.
It Makes you feel dirty.
You need a hot bath.
I leaned against a telephone pole, and watched.
I thought I would die if she saw me.
How could I exist in the same world with that brightness? Two years later she smiled at me.
She Named my name.
I thought I would wake up dead.
Her grown brothers walked with the bent-knee Swagger of horsemen.
They were slick-faced.
Told jokes in the barbershop.
Did no work.
Their father was what is called a drunkard.
Whatever he was he stayed on the third floor Of the big white farmhouse under the maples for twenty-five years.
He never came down.
They brought everything up to him.
I did not know what a mortgage was.
His wife was a good, Christian woman, and prayed.
When the daughter got married, the old man came down wearing An old tail coat, the pleated shirt yellowing.
The sons propped him.
I saw the wedding.
There were Engraved invitations, it was so fashionable.
I thought I would cry.
I lay in bed that night And wondered if she would cry when something was done to her.
The mortgage was foreclosed.
That last word was whispered.
She never came back.
The family Sort of drifted off.
Nobody wears shiny boots like that now.
But I know she is beautiful forever, and lives In a beautiful house, far away.
She called my name once.
I didn't even know she knew it.

Written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning |

Work And Contemplation

 The woman singeth at her spinning-wheel
A pleasant chant, ballad or barcarole;
She thinketh of her song, upon the whole,
Far more than of her flax; and yet the reel
Is full, and artfully her fingers feel
With quick adjustment, provident control,
The lines--too subtly twisted to unroll--
Out to a perfect thread.
I hence appeal To the dear Christian Church--that we may do Our Father's business in these temples mirk, Thus swift and steadfast, thus intent and strong; While thus, apart from toil, our souls pursue Some high calm spheric tune, and prove our work The better for the sweetness of our song.

Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow |


 Welcome, my old friend,
Welcome to a foreign fireside,
While the sullen gales of autumn
Shake the windows.
The ungrateful world Has, it seems, dealt harshly with thee, Since, beneath the skies of Denmark, First I met thee.
There are marks of age, There are thumb-marks on thy margin, Made by hands that clasped thee rudely, At the alehouse.
Soiled and dull thou art; Yellow are thy time-worn pages, As the russet, rain-molested Leaves of autumn.
Thou art stained with wine Scattered from hilarious goblets, As the leaves with the libations Of Olympus.
Yet dost thou recall Days departed, half-forgotten, When in dreamy youth I wandered By the Baltic,-- When I paused to hear The old ballad of King Christian Shouted from suburban taverns In the twilight.
Thou recallest bards, Who in solitary chambers, And with hearts by passion wasted, Wrote thy pages.
Thou recallest homes Where thy songs of love and friendship Made the gloomy Northern winter Bright as summer.
Once some ancient Scald, In his bleak, ancestral Iceland, Chanted staves of these old ballads To the Vikings.
Once in Elsinore, At the court of old King Hamlet Yorick and his boon companions Sang these ditties.
Once Prince Frederick's Guard Sang them in their smoky barracks;-- Suddenly the English cannon Joined the chorus! Peasants in the field, Sailors on the roaring ocean, Students, tradesmen, pale mechanics, All have sung them.
Thou hast been their friend; They, alas! have left thee friendless! Yet at least by one warm fireside Art thou welcome.
And, as swallows build In these wide, old-fashioned chimneys, So thy twittering songs shall nestle In my bosom,-- Quiet, close, and warm, Sheltered from all molestation, And recalling by their voices Youth and travel.

Written by Robert Creeley |

Ballad Of The Despairing Husband

 My wife and I lived all alone,
contention was our only bone.
I fought with her, she fought with me, and things went on right merrily.
But now I live here by myself with hardly a damn thing on the shelf, and pass my days with little cheer since I have parted from my dear.
Oh come home soon, I write to her.
Go fuck yourself, is her answer.
Now what is that, for Christian word? I hope she feeds on dried goose turd.
But still I love her, yes I do.
I love her and the children too.
I only think it fit that she should quickly come right back to me.
Ah no, she says, and she is tough, and smacks me down with her rebuff.
Ah no, she says, I will not come after the bloody things you've done.
Oh wife, oh wife -- I tell you true, I never loved no one but you.
I never will, it cannot be another woman is for me.
That may be right, she will say then, but as for me, there's other men.
And I will tell you I propose to catch them firmly by the nose.
And I will wear what dresses I choose! And I will dance, and what's to lose! I'm free of you, you little prick, and I'm the one to make it stick.
Was this the darling I did love? Was this that mercy from above did open violets in the spring -- and made my own worn self to sing? She was.
I know.
And she is still, and if I love her? then so I will.
And I will tell her, and tell her right .
Oh lovely lady, morning or evening or afternoon.
Oh lovely lady, eating with or without a spoon.
Oh most lovely lady, whether dressed or undressed or partly.
Oh most lovely lady, getting up or going to bed or sitting only.
Oh loveliest of ladies, than whom none is more fair, more gracious, more beautiful.
Oh loveliest of ladies, whether you are just or unjust, merciful, indifferent, or cruel.
Oh most loveliest of ladies, doing whatever, seeing whatever, being whatever.
Oh most loveliest of ladies, in rain, in shine, in any weather.
Oh lady, grant me time, please, to finish my rhyme.

Written by Henry Lawson |

To Be Amused

 You ask me to be gay and glad 
While lurid clouds of danger loom, 
And vain and bad and gambling mad, 
Australia races to her doom.
You bid me sing the light and fair, The dance, the glance on pleasure's wings – While you have wives who will not bear, And beer to drown the fear of things.
A war with reason you would wage To be amused for your short span, Until your children's heritage Is claimed for China by Japan.
The football match, the cricket score, The "scraps", the tote, the mad'ning Cup – You drunken fools that evermore "To-morrow morning" sober up! I see again with haggard eyes, The thirsty land, the wasted flood; Unpeopled plains beyond the skies, And precious streams that run to mud; The ruined health, the wasted wealth, In our mad cities by the seas, The black race suicide by stealth, The starved and murdered industries! You bid me make a farce of day, And make a mockery of death; While not five thousand miles away The yellow millions pant for breath! But heed me now, nor ask me this – Lest you too late should wake to find That hopeless patriotism is The strongest passion in mankind! You'd think the seer sees, perhaps, While staring on from days like these, Politeness in the conquering Japs, Or mercy in the banned Chinese! I mind the days when parents stood, And spake no word, while children ran From Christian lanes and deemed it good To stone a helpless Chinaman.
I see the stricken city fall, The fathers murdered at their doors, The sack, the massacre of all Save healthy slaves and paramours – The wounded hero at the stake, The pure girl to the leper's kiss – God, give us faith, for Christ's own sake To kill our womankind ere this.
I see the Bushman from Out Back, From mountain range and rolling downs, And carts race on each rough bush track With food and rifles from the towns; I see my Bushmen fight and die Amongst the torn blood-spattered trees, And hear all night the wounded cry For men! More men and batteries! I see the brown and yellow rule The southern lands and southern waves, White children in the heathen school, And black and white together slaves; I see the colour-line so drawn (I see it plain and speak I must), That our brown masters of the dawn Might, aye, have fair girls for their lusts! With land and life and race at stake – No matter which race wronged, or how – Let all and one Australia make A superhuman effort now.
Clear out the blasting parasites, The paid-for-one-thing manifold, And curb the goggled "social-lights" That "scorch" to nowhere with our gold.
Store guns and ammunition first, Build forts and warlike factories, Sink bores and tanks where drought is worst, Give over time to industries.
The outpost of the white man's race, Where next his flag shall be unfurled, Make clean the place! Make strong the place! Call white men in from all the world!

Written by Jane Austen |

To the Memory of Mrs. Lefroy who died Dec:r 16 -- my Birthday.

 The day returns again, my natal day;
What mix'd emotions with the Thought arise!
Beloved friend, four years have pass'd away
Since thou wert snatch'd forever from our eyes.
-- The day, commemorative of my birth Bestowing Life and Light and Hope on me, Brings back the hour which was thy last on Earth.
Oh! bitter pang of torturing Memory!-- Angelic Woman! past my power to praise In Language meet, thy Talents, Temper, mind.
Thy solid Worth, they captivating Grace!-- Thou friend and ornament of Humankind!-- At Johnson's death by Hamilton t'was said, 'Seek we a substitute--Ah! vain the plan, No second best remains to Johnson dead-- None can remind us even of the Man.
' So we of thee--unequall'd in thy race Unequall'd thou, as he the first of Men.
Vainly we wearch around the vacant place, We ne'er may look upon thy like again.
Come then fond Fancy, thou indulgant Power,-- --Hope is desponding, chill, severe to thee!-- Bless thou, this little portion of an hour, Let me behold her as she used to be.
I see her here, with all her smiles benign, Her looks of eager Love, her accents sweet.
That voice and Countenance almost divine!-- Expression, Harmony, alike complete.
-- I listen--'tis not sound alone--'tis sense, 'Tis Genius, Taste and Tenderness of Soul.
'Tis genuine warmth of heart without pretence And purity of Mind that crowns the whole.
She speaks; 'tis Eloquence--that grace of Tongue So rare, so lovely!--Never misapplied By her to palliate Vice, or deck a Wrong, She speaks and reasons but on Virtue's side.
Her's is the Engergy of Soul sincere.
Her Christian Spirit ignorant to feign, Seeks but to comfort, heal, enlighten, chear, Confer a pleasure, or prevent a pain.
-- Can ought enhance such Goodness?--Yes, to me, Her partial favour from my earliest years Consummates all.
--Ah! Give me yet to see Her smile of Love.
--the Vision diappears.
'Tis past and gone--We meet no more below.
Short is the Cheat of Fancy o'er the Tomb.
Oh! might I hope to equal Bliss to go! To meet thee Angel! in thy future home!-- Fain would I feel an union in thy fate, Fain would I seek to draw an Omen fair From this connection in our Earthly date.
Indulge the harmless weakness--Reason, spare.

Written by Robert Burns |

39. Ballad on the American War

 WHEN Guilford good our pilot stood
 An’ did our hellim thraw, man,
Ae night, at tea, began a plea,
 Within America, man:
Then up they gat the maskin-pat,
 And in the sea did jaw, man;
An’ did nae less, in full congress,
 Than quite refuse our law, man.
Then thro’ the lakes Montgomery takes, I wat he was na slaw, man; Down Lowrie’s Burn he took a turn, And Carleton did ca’, man: But yet, whatreck, he, at Quebec, Montgomery-like did fa’, man, Wi’ sword in hand, before his band, Amang his en’mies a’, man.
Poor Tammy Gage within a cage Was kept at Boston-ha’, man; Till Willie Howe took o’er the knowe For Philadelphia, man; Wi’ sword an’ gun he thought a sin Guid Christian bluid to draw, man; But at New York, wi’ knife an’ fork, Sir-Loin he hacked sma’, man.
Burgoyne gaed up, like spur an’ whip, Till Fraser brave did fa’, man; Then lost his way, ae misty day, In Saratoga shaw, man.
Cornwallis fought as lang’s he dought, An’ did the Buckskins claw, man; But Clinton’s glaive frae rust to save, He hung it to the wa’, man.
Then Montague, an’ Guilford too, Began to fear, a fa’, man; And Sackville dour, wha stood the stour, The German chief to thraw, man: For Paddy Burke, like ony Turk, Nae mercy had at a’, man; An’ Charlie Fox threw by the box, An’ lows’d his tinkler jaw, man.
Then Rockingham took up the game, Till death did on him ca’, man; When Shelburne meek held up his cheek, Conform to gospel law, man: Saint Stephen’s boys, wi’ jarring noise, They did his measures thraw, man; For North an’ Fox united stocks, An’ bore him to the wa’, man.
Then clubs an’ hearts were Charlie’s cartes, He swept the stakes awa’, man, Till the diamond’s ace, of Indian race, Led him a sair faux pas, man: The Saxon lads, wi’ loud placads, On Chatham’s boy did ca’, man; An’ Scotland drew her pipe an’ blew, “Up, Willie, waur them a’, man!” Behind the throne then Granville’s gone, A secret word or twa, man; While slee Dundas arous’d the class Be-north the Roman wa’, man: An’ Chatham’s wraith, in heav’nly graith, (Inspired bardies saw, man), Wi’ kindling eyes, cry’d, “Willie, rise! Would I hae fear’d them a’, man?” But, word an’ blow, North, Fox, and Co.
Gowff’d Willie like a ba’, man; Till Suthron raise, an’ coost their claise Behind him in a raw, man: An’ Caledon threw by the drone, An’ did her whittle draw, man; An’ swoor fu’ rude, thro’ dirt an’ bluid, To mak it guid in law, man.

Written by Rudyard Kipling |

The Broken Men

 For things we never mention,
 For Art misunderstood --
For excellent intention
 That did not turn to good;
From ancient tales' renewing,
 From clouds we would not clear --
Beyond the Law's pursuing
 We fled, and settled here.
We took no tearful leaving, We bade no long good-byes; Men talked of crime and thieving, Men wrote of fraud and lies.
To save our injured feelings 'T was time and time to go -- Behind was dock and Dartmoor, Ahead lay Callao! The widow and the orphan That pray for ten per cent, They clapped their trailers on us To spy the road we went.
They watched the foreign sailings (They scan the shipping still), And that's your Christian people Returning good for ill! God bless the thoughtfull islands Where never warrants come; God bless the just Republics That give a man a home, That ask no foolish questions, But set him on his feet; And save his wife and daughters From the workhouse and the street! On church and square and market The noonday silence falls; You'll hear the drowsy mutter Of the fountain in our halls.
Asleep amid the yuccas The city takes her ease -- Till twilight brings the land-wind To the clicking jalousies.
Day long the diamond weather, The high, unaltered blue -- The smell of goats and incense And the mule-bells tinkling through.
Day long the warder ocean That keeps us from our kin, And once a month our levee When the English mail comes in.
You'll find us up and waiting To treat you at the bar; You'll find us less exclusive Than the average English are.
We'll meet you with a carriage, Too glad to show you round, But -- we do not lunch on steamers, For they are English ground.
We sail o' nights to England And join our smiling Boards -- Our wives go in with Viscounts And our daughters dance with Lords, But behind our princely doings, And behind each coup we make, We feel there's Something Waiting, And -- we meet It when we wake.
Ah God! One sniff of England -- To greet our flesh and blood -- To hear the traffic slurring Once more through London mud! Our towns of wasted honour -- Our streets of lost delight! How stands the old Lord Warden? Are Dover's cliffs still white?

Written by Wallace Stevens |

The High-Toned Old Christian Woman

Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.
Take the moral law and make a nave of it And from the nave build haunted heaven.
Thus, The conscience is converted into palms, Like windy citherns hankering for hymns.
We agree in principle.
That's clear.
But take The opposing law and make a peristyle, And from the peristyle project a masque Beyond the planets.
Thus, our bawdiness, Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last, Is equally converted into palms, Squiggling like saxophones.
And palm for palm, Madame, we are where we began.
Allow, Therefore, that in the planetary scene Your disaffected flagellants, well-stuffed, Smacking their muzzy bellies in parade, Proud of such novelties of the sublime, Such tink and tank and tunk-a-tunk-tunk, May, merely may, madame, whip from themselves A jovial hullabaloo among the spheres.
This will make widows wince.
But fictive things Wink as they will.
Wink most when widows wince.