Christina Rossetti |
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
Anne Bronte |
A dreadful darkness closes in
On my bewildered mind;
O let me suffer and not sin,
Be tortured yet resigned.
Through all this world of whelming mist
Still let me look to Thee,
And give me courage to resist
The Tempter till he flee.
Weary I am -- O give me strength
And leave me not to faint;
Say Thou wilt comfort me at length
And pity my complaint.
I've begged to serve Thee heart and soul,
To sacrifice to Thee
No niggard portion, but the whole
Of my identity.
I hoped amid the brave and strong
My portioned task might lie,
To toil amid the labouring throng
With purpose pure and high.
But Thou hast fixed another part,
And Thou hast fixed it well;
I said so with my breaking heart
When first the anguish fell.
For Thou hast taken my delight
And hope of life away,
And bid me watch the painful night
And wait the weary day.
The hope and the delight were Thine;
I bless Thee for their loan;
I gave Thee while I deemed them mine
Too little thanks, I own.
Shall I with joy Thy blessings share
And not endure their loss?
Or hope the martyr's crown to wear
And cast away the cross?
These weary hours will not be lost,
These days of passive misery,
These nights of darkness anguish tost
If I can fix my heart on Thee.
Weak and weary though I lie,
Crushed with sorrow, worn with pain,
Still I may lift to Heaven mine eyes
And strive and labour not in vain,
That inward strife against the sins
That ever wait on suffering;
To watch and strike where first begins
Each ill that would corruption bring,
That secret labour to sustain
With humble patience every blow,
To gather fortitude from pain
And hope and holiness from woe.
Thus let me serve Thee from my heart
Whatever be my written fate,
Whether thus early to depart
Or yet awhile to wait.
If Thou shouldst bring me back to life
More humbled I should be;
More wise, more strengthened for the strife,
More apt to lean on Thee.
Should Death be standing at the gate
Thus should I keep my vow;
But, Lord, whate'er my future fate
So let me serve Thee now.
Robinson Jeffers |
That public men publish falsehoods
Is nothing new.
That America must accept
Like the historical republics corruption and empire
Has been known for years.
Be angry at the sun for setting
If these things anger you.
Watch the wheel slope and turn,
They are all bound on the wheel, these people, those warriors.
This republic, Europe, Asia.
Observe them gesticulating,
Observe them going down.
The gang serves lies, the passionate
Man plays his part; the cold passion for truth
Hunts in no pack.
You are not Catullus, you know,
To lampoon these crude sketches of Caesar.
You are far
From Dante's feet, but even farther from his dirty
Let boys want pleasure, and men
Struggle for power, and women perhaps for fame,
And the servile to serve a Leader and the dupes to be duped.
Yours is not theirs.
More great poems below...
John Donne |
Oh do not die, for I shall hate
All women so, when thou art gone,
That thee I shall not celebrate,
When I remember, thou wast one.
But yet thou canst not die, I know,
To leave this world behind, is death,
But when thou from this world wilt go,
The whole world vapors with thy breath.
Or if, when thou, the world's soul, goest,
It stay, 'tis but thy carcass then,
The fairest woman, but thy ghost,
But corrupt worms, the worthiest men.
O wrangling schools, that search what fire
Shall burn this world, had none the wit
Unto this knowledge to aspire,
That this her fever might be it?
And yet she cannot waste by this,
Nor long bear this torturing wrong,
For much corruption needful is
To fuel such a fever long.
These burning fits but meteors be,
Whose matter in thee is soon spent.
Thy beauty, and all parts, which are thee,
Are unchangeable firmament.
Yet 'twas of my mind, seizing thee,
Though it in thee cannot persever.
For I had rather owner be,
Of thee one hour, than all else ever.
Willa Cather |
"ROWSES, Rowses! Penny a bunch!" they tell you--
Slattern girls in Trafalgar, eager to sell you.
Roses, roses, red in the Kensington sun,
Holland Road, High Street, Bayswater, see you and smell you--
Roses of London town, red till the summer is done.
Roses, roses, locust and lilac, perfuming
West End, East End, wondrously budding and blooming
Out of the black earth, rubbed in a million hands,
Foot-trod, sweat-sour over and under, entombing
Highways of darkness, deep gutted with iron bands.
"Rowses, rowses! Penny a bunch!" they tell you,
Ruddy blooms of corruption, see you and smell you,
Born of stale earth, fallowed with squalor and tears--
North shire, south shire, none are like these, I tell you,
Roses of London perfumed with a thousand years.
Laurence Binyon |
Now is the time for the burning of the leaves,
They go to the fire; the nostrils prick with smoke
Wandering slowly into the weeping mist.
Brittle and blotched, ragged and rotten sheaves!
A flame seizes the smouldering ruin, and bites
On stubborn stalks that crackle as they resist.
The last hollyhock’s fallen tower is dust:
All the spices of June are a bitter reek,
All the extravagant riches spent and mean.
All burns! the reddest rose is a ghost.
Spark whirl up, to expire in the mist: the wild
Fingers of fire are making corruption clean.
Now is the time for stripping the spirit bare,
Time for the burning of days ended and done,
Idle solace of things that have gone before,
Rootless hope and fruitless desire are there:
Let them go to the fire with never a look behind.
That world that was ours is a world that is ours no more.
They will come again, the leaf and the flower, to arise
From squalor of rottenness into the old splendour,
And magical scents to a wondering memory bring;
The same glory, to shine upon different eyes.
Earth cares for her own ruins, naught for ours.
Nothing is certain, only the certain spring.
Emily Bronte |
The winter wind is loud and wild,
Come close to me, my darling child;
Forsake thy books, and mateless play;
And, while the night is gathering grey,
We'll talk its pensive hours away;--
'Ierne, round our sheltered hall
November's gusts unheeded call;
Not one faint breath can enter here
Enough to wave my daughter's hair,
And I am glad to watch the blaze
Glance from her eyes, with mimic rays;
To feel her cheek so softly pressed,
In happy quiet on my breast.
'But, yet, even this tranquillity
Brings bitter, restless thoughts to me;
And, in the red fire's cheerful glow,
I think of deep glens, blocked with snow;
I dream of moor, and misty hill,
Where evening closes dark and chill;
For, lone, among the mountains cold,
Lie those that I have loved of old.
And my heart aches, in hopeless pain
Exhausted with repinings vain,
That I shall greet them ne'er again!'
'Father, in early infancy,
When you were far beyond the sea,
Such thoughts were tyrants over me!
I often sat, for hours together,
Through the long nights of angry weather,
Raised on my pillow, to descry
The dim moon struggling in the sky;
Or, with strained ear, to catch the shock,
Of rock with wave, and wave with rock;
So would I fearful vigil keep,
And, all for listening, never sleep.
But this world's life has much to dread,
Not so, my Father, with the dead.
'Oh! not for them, should we despair,
The grave is drear, but they are not there;
Their dust is mingled with the sod,
Their happy souls are gone to God!
You told me this, and yet you sigh,
And murmur that your friends must die.
Ah! my dear father, tell me why?
For, if your former words were true,
How useless would such sorrow be;
As wise, to mourn the seed which grew
Unnoticed on its parent tree,
Because it fell in fertile earth,
And sprang up to a glorious birth--
Struck deep its root, and lifted high
Its green boughs, in the breezy sky.
'But, I'll not fear, I will not weep
For those whose bodies rest in sleep,--
I know there is a blessed shore,
Opening its ports for me, and mine;
And, gazing Time's wide waters o'er,
I weary for that land divine,
Where we were born, where you and I
Shall meet our Dearest, when we die;
From suffering and corruption free,
Restored into the Deity.
'Well hast thou spoken, sweet, trustful child!
And wiser than thy sire;
And worldly tempests, raging wild,
Shall strengthen thy desire--
Thy fervent hope, through storm and foam,
Through wind and ocean's roar,
To reach, at last, the eternal home,
The steadfast, changeless, shore!'
Emily Dickinson |
"Sown in dishonor"!
May this "dishonor" be?
If I were half so fine myself
I'd notice nobody!
"Sown in corruption"!
Not so fast!
Apostle is askew!
A Circumstance or two!
Robinson Jeffers |
While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots
to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and deca-
dence; and home to the mother.
You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stub-
bornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains:
shine, perishing republic.
But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thick-
ening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster's feet there
are left the mountains.
And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant,
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught--they say--
God, when he walked on earth.
Kahlil Gibran |
My wearied heart bade me farewell and left for the House of Fortune.
As he reached that holy city which the soul had blessed and worshipped, he commenced wondering, for he could not find what he had always imagined would be there.
The city was empty of power, money, and authority.
And my heart spoke to the daughter of Love saying, "Oh Love, where can I find Contentment? I heard that she had come here to join you.
And the daughter of Love responded, "Contentment has already gone to preach her gospel in the city, where greed and corruption are paramount; we are not in need of her.
Fortune craves not Contentment, for it is an earthly hope, and its desires are embraced by union with objects, while Contentment is naught but heartfelt.
The eternal soul is never contented; it ever seeks exaltation.
Then my heart looked upon Life of Beauty and said: "Thou art all knowledge; enlighten me as to the mystery of Woman.
" And he answered, "Oh human heart, woman is your own reflection, and whatever you are, she is; wherever you live, she lives; she is like religion if not interpreted by the ignorant, and like a moon, if not veiled with clouds, and like a breeze, if not poisoned with impurities.
And my heart walked toward Knowledge, the daughter of Love and Beauty, and said, "Bestow upon me wisdom, that I might share it with the people.
" And she responded, "Say not wisdom, but rather fortune, for real fortune comes not from outside, but begins in the Holy of Holies of life.
Share of thyself with the people.
William Strode |
Looke how the russet morne exceeds the night,
How sleekest Jett yields to the di'monds light,
So farr the glory of the gray-bright eye
Out-vyes the black in lovely majesty.
A morning mantl'd with a fleece of gray
Laughs from her brow and shewes a spotlesse day:
This di'mond-like doth not his lustre owe
To borrowed helpe, as black thinges cast a show,
It needs noe day besides itselfe, and can
Make a Cimmeria seeme meridian:
Light sees, tis seen, tis that whereby wee see
When darknesse in the opticke facultie
Is but a single element: then tell
Is not that eye the best wherein doth dwell
More plenteous light? that organ is divine,
And more than eye that is all chrystalline,
All rich of sight: oh that perspicuous glasse
That lets in light, and lets a light forth passe
Tis Lustre's thoroughfare where rayes doe thronge,
A burning glasse that fires the lookers-on.
Black eies sett off coarse beauties which they grace
But as a beard smutch'd on a swarthy face.
Why should the seat of life be dull'd with shade,
Or that be darke for which the day was made?
The learned Pallas, who had witt to choose,
And power to take, did other eyes refuse,
And wore the gray: each country painter blotts
His goddesse eyeballs with two smutty spotts.
Corruption layes on blacke; give me the eye
Whose lustre dazles paynt and poetrie,
That's day unto itselfe; which like the sun
Seemes all one flame.
They that his beames will shun
Here dye like flyes: when eyes of every kind
Faint at the sun, at these the sun growes blind,
And skipps behind a cloud, that all may say
The Eye of all the world loves to be gray.
Isaac Watts |
Believers buried with Christ in baptism.
Do we not know that solemn word,
That we are buried with the Lord,
Baptized into his death, and then
Put off the body of our sin?
Our souls receive diviner breath,
Raised from corruption, guilt, and death;
So from the grave did Christ arise,
And lives to God above the skies.
No more let sin or Satan reign
Over our mortal flesh again;
The various lusts we served before
Shall have dominion now no more.
Robert William Service |
Because my eyes were none to bright
Strong spectacles I bought,
And lo! there sprang into my sight
A life beyond my thought:
A world of wonder and delight
My magic lenses brought.
Aye, sudden leaping in my sight
The far became the near;
Life unbelievably was bright,
And vividly was clear.
My heart was lifted with delight,
Then--then I shrank in fear.
For faces I had thought were gay
I saw were lined with care,
While strange corruption and decay
Surprised me everywhere:
Dismayed I put my specs away,--
Such truth I could not bear.
And now I do not want to see
With clarity of view;
For while there's heaven hell may be
More tragically true:
Though dim may be Reality,
Sheer love shines through.
Rudyard Kipling |
"The Mother Hive"-- Actions and Reactions
A Farmer of the Augustan Age
Perused in Virgil's golden page
The story of the secret won
From Proteus by Cyrene's son--
How the dank sea-god showed the swain
Means to restore his hives again.
More briefly, how a slaughtered bull
Breeds honey by the bellyful.
The egregious rustic put to death
A bull by stopping of its breath,
Disposed the carcass in a shed
With fragrant herbs and branches spread,
And, having well performed the charm,
Sat down to wait the promised swarm.
Nor waited long.
The God of Day
Impartial, quickening with his ray
Evil and good alike, beheld
The carcass--and the carcass swelled.
Big with new birth the belly heaves
Beneath its screen of scented leaves.
Past any doubt, the bull conceives!
The farmer bids men bring more hives
To house the profit that arrives;
Prepares on pan and key and.
Sweet music that shall make 'em settle;
But when to crown the work he goes,
Gods! What a stink salutes his nose!
Where are the honest toilers.
gravid mistress of their care?
A busy scene, indeed, he sees,
But not a sign or sound of bees.
Worms of the riper grave unhid
By any kindly coffin-lid,
Obscene and shameless to the light,
Seethe in insatiate appetite,
Through putrid offal, while--above
The hissing blow-fly seeks his love,
Whose offspring, supping where they supt,
Consume corruption twice corrupt.
Rupert Brooke |
When the white flame in us is gone,
And we that lost the world's delight
Stiffen in darkness, left alone
To crumble in our separate night;
When your swift hair is quiet in death,
And through the lips corruption thrust
Has stilled the labour of my breath --
When we are dust, when we are dust! --
Not dead, not undesirous yet,
Still sentient, still unsatisfied,
We'll ride the air, and shine, and flit,
Around the places where we died,
And dance as dust before the sun,
And light of foot, and unconfined,
Hurry from road to road, and run
About the errands of the wind.
And every mote, on earth or air,
Will speed and gleam, down later days,
And like a secret pilgrim fare
By eager and invisible ways,
Nor ever rest, nor ever lie,
Till, beyond thinking, out of view,
One mote of all the dust that's I
Shall meet one atom that was you.
Then in some garden hushed from wind,
Warm in a sunset's afterglow,
The lovers in the flowers will find
A sweet and strange unquiet grow
Upon the peace; and, past desiring,
So high a beauty in the air,
And such a light, and such a quiring,
And such a radiant ecstasy there,
They'll know not if it's fire, or dew,
Or out of earth, or in the height,
Singing, or flame, or scent, or hue,
Or two that pass, in light, to light,
Out of the garden, higher, higher.
But in that instant they shall learn
The shattering ecstasy of our fire,
And the weak passionless hearts will burn
And faint in that amazing glow,
Until the darkness close above;
And they will know -- poor fools, they'll know! --
One moment, what it is to love.