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Best Famous Devotion Poems

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

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Written by Wallace Stevens | Create an image from this poem

Sunday Morning

Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
She dreams a little, and she feels the dark Encroachment of that old catastrophe, As a calm darkens among water-lights.
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings Seem things in some procession of the dead, Winding across wide water, without sound.
The day is like wide water, without sound, Stilled for the passion of her dreaming feet Over the seas, to silent Palestine, Dominion of the blood and sepulchre.
2 Why should she give her bounty to the dead? What is divinity if it can come Only in silent shadows and in dreams? Shall she not find in the comforts of sun, In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else In any balm or beauty of the earth, Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven? Divinity must live within herself: Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow; Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued Elations when the forest blooms; gusty Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights; All pleasures and all pains, remembering The bough of summer and the winter branch.
These are the measures destined for her soul.
3 Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth.
No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind He moved among us, as a muttering king, Magnificent, would move among his hinds, Until our blood, commingling, virginal, With heaven, brought such requital to desire The very hinds discerned it, in a star.
Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be The blood of paradise? And shall the earth Seem all of paradise that we shall know? The sky will be much friendlier then than now, A part of labor and a part of pain, And next in glory to enduring love, Not this dividing and indifferent blue.
4 She says, "I am content when wakened birds, Before they fly, test the reality Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings; But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields Return no more, where, then, is paradise?" There is not any haunt of prophecy, Nor any old chimera of the grave, Neither the golden underground, nor isle Melodious, where spirits gat them home, Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm Remote as heaven's hill, that has endured As April's green endures; or will endure Like her rememberance of awakened birds, Or her desire for June and evening, tipped By the consummation of the swallow's wings.
5 She says, "But in contentment I still feel The need of some imperishable bliss.
" Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams And our desires.
Although she strews the leaves Of sure obliteration on our paths, The path sick sorrow took, the many paths Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love Whispered a little out of tenderness, She makes the willow shiver in the sun For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet.
She causes boys to pile new plums and pears On disregarded plate.
The maidens taste And stray impassioned in the littering leaves.
6 Is there no change of death in paradise? Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs Hang always heavy in that perfect sky, Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth, With rivers like our own that seek for seas They never find, the same receeding shores That never touch with inarticulate pang? Why set the pear upon those river-banks Or spice the shores with odors of the plum? Alas, that they should wear our colors there, The silken weavings of our afternoons, And pick the strings of our insipid lutes! Death is the mother of beauty, mystical, Within whose burning bosom we devise Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly.
7 Supple and turbulent, a ring of men Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn Their boisterous devotion to the sun, Not as a god, but as a god might be, Naked among them, like a savage source.
Their chant shall be a chant of paradise, Out of their blood, returning to the sky; And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice, The windy lake wherein their lord delights, The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills, That choir among themselves long afterward.
They shall know well the heavenly fellowship Of men that perish and of summer morn.
And whence they came and whither they shall go The dew upon their feet shall manifest.
8 She hears, upon that water without sound, A voice that cries, "The tomb in Palestine Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.
" We live in an old chaos of the sun, Or old dependency of day and night, Or island solitude, unsponsered, free, Of that wide water, inescapable.
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail Whistle about us their spontaneous cries; Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness; And, in the isolation of the sky, At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make Abiguous undulations as they sink, Downward to darkness, on extended wings.
Written by Robert Seymour Bridges | Create an image from this poem

From The Testament of Beauty

 'Twas at that hour of beauty when the setting sun
squandereth his cloudy bed with rosy hues, to flood
his lov'd works as in turn he biddeth them Good-night;
and all the towers and temples and mansions of men
face him in bright farewell, ere they creep from their pomp
naked beneath the darkness;- while to mortal eyes
'tis given, ifso they close not of fatigue, nor strain
at lamplit tasks-'tis given, as for a royal boon
to beggarly outcasts in homeless vigil, to watch
where uncurtain's behind the great windows of space
Heav'n's jewel'd company circleth unapproachably-
'Twas at sunset that I, fleeing to hide my soul
in refuge of beauty from a mortal distress,
walk'd alone with the Muse in her garden of thought,
discoursing at liberty with the mazy dreams
that came wavering pertinaciously about me; as when
the small bats, issued from their hangings, flitter o'erhead
thru' the summer twilight, with thin cries to and fro
hunting in muffled flight atween the stars and flowers.
Then fell I in strange delusion, illusion strange to tell; for as a man who lyeth fast asleep in his bed may dream he waketh, and that he walketh upright pursuing some endeavour in full conscience-so 'twas with me; but contrawise; for being in truth awake methought I slept and dreamt; and in thatt dream methought I was telling a dream; nor telling was I as one who, truly awaked from a true sleep, thinketh to tell his dream to a friend, but for his scant remembrances findeth no token of speech-it was not so with me; for my tale was my dream and my dream the telling, and I remember wondring the while I told it how I told it so tellingly.
And yet now 'twould seem that Reason inveighed me with her old orderings; as once when she took thought to adjust theology, peopling the inane that vex'd her between God and man with a hierarchy of angels; like those asteroids wherewith she later fill'd the gap 'twixt Jove and Mars.
Verily by Beauty it is that we come as WISDOM, yet not by Reason at Beauty; and now with many words pleasing myself betimes I am fearing lest in the end I play the tedious orator who maundereth on for lack of heart to make an end of his nothings.
Wherefor as when a runner who hath run his round handeth his staff away, and is glad of his rest, here break I off, knowing the goal was not for me the while I ran on telling of what cannot be told.
For not the Muse herself can tell of Goddes love; which cometh to the child from the Mother's embrace, an Idea spacious as the starry firmament's inescapable infinity of radiant gaze, that fadeth only as it outpasseth mortal sight: and this direct contact is 't with eternities, this springtide miracle of the soul's nativity that oft hath set philosophers adrift in dream; which thing Christ taught, when he set up a little child to teach his first Apostles and to accuse their pride, saying, 'Unless ye shall receive it as a child, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
' So thru'out all his young mental apprenticehood the child of very simplicity, and in the grace and beauteous attitude of infantine wonder, is apt to absorb Ideas in primal purity, and by the assimilation of thatt immortal food may build immortal life; but ever with the growth of understanding, as the sensible images are more and more corrupt, troubled by questioning thought, or with vainglory alloy'd, 'tis like enought the boy in prospect of his manhood wil hav cast to th' winds his Baptism with his Babyhood; nor might he escape the fall of Ev'ryman, did not a second call of nature's Love await him to confirm his Faith or to revoke him if he is whollylapsed therefrom.
And so mighty is this second vision, which cometh in puberty of body and adolescence of mind that, forgetting his Mother, he calleth it 'first Love'; for it mocketh at suasion or stubbornness of heart, as the oceantide of the omnipotent Pleasur of God, flushing all avenues of life, and unawares by thousandfold approach forestalling its full flood with divination of the secret contacts of Love,-- of faintest ecstasies aslumber in Nature's calm, like thought in a closed book, where some poet long since sang his throbbing passion to immortal sleep-with coy tenderness delicat as the shifting hues that sanctify the silent dawn with wonder-gleams, whose evanescence is the seal of their glory, consumed in self-becoming of eternity; til every moment as it flyeth, cryeth 'Seize! Seize me ere I die! I am the Life of Life.
' 'Tis thus by near approach to an eternal presence man's heart with divine furor kindled and possess'd falleth in blind surrender; and finding therewithal in fullest devotion the full reconcilement betwixt his animal and spiritual desires, such welcome hour of bliss standeth for certain pledge of happiness perdurable: and coud he sustain this great enthusiasm, then the unbounded promise would keep fulfilment; since the marriage of true minds is thatt once fabled garden, amidst of which was set the single Tree that bore such med'cinable fruit that if man ate thereof he should liv for ever.
Friendship is in loving rather than in being lov'd, which is its mutual benediction and recompense; and tho' this be, and tho' love is from lovers learn'd, it springeth none the less from the old essence of self.
No friendless man ('twas well said) can be truly himself; what a man looketh for in his friend and findeth, and loving self best, loveth better than himself, is his own better self, his live lovable idea, flowering by expansion in the loves of his life.
And in the nobility of our earthly friendships we hav al grades of attainment, and the best may claim perfection of kind; and so, since ther be many bonds other than breed (friendships of lesser motiv, found even in the brutes) and since our politick is based on actual association of living men, 'twil come that the spiritual idea of Friendship, the huge vastidity of its essence, is fritter'd away in observation of the usual habits of men; as happ'd with the great moralist, where his book saith that ther can be no friendship betwixt God and man because of their unlimited disparity.
From this dilemma of pagan thought, this poison of faith, Man-soul made glad escape in the worship of Christ; for his humanity is God's Personality, and communion with him is the life of the soul.
Of which living ideas (when in the struggle of thought harden'd by language they became symbols of faith) Reason builded her maze, wherefrom none should escape, wandering intent to map and learn her tortuous clews, chanting their clerkly creed to the high-echoing stones of their hand-fashion'd temple: but the Wind of heav'n bloweth where it listeth, and Christ yet walketh the earth, and talketh still as with those two disciples once on the road to Emmaus-where they walk and are sad; whose vision of him then was his victory over death, thatt resurrection which all his lovers should share, who in loving him had learn'd the Ethick of happiness; whereby they too should come where he was ascended to reign over men's hearts in the Kingdom of God.
Our happiest earthly comradeships hold a foretaste of the feast of salvation and by thatt virtue in them provoke desire beyond them to out-reach and surmount their humanity in some superhumanity and ultimat perfection: which, howe'ever 'tis found or strangeley imagin'd, answereth to the need of each and pulleth him instinctivly as to a final cause.
Thus unto all who hav found their high ideal in Christ, Christ is to them the essence discern'd or undeiscern'd of all their human friendships; and each lover of him and of his beauty must be as a bud on the Vine and hav participation in him; for Goddes love is unescapable as nature's environment, which if a man ignore or think to thrust it off he is the ill-natured fool that runneth blindly on death.
This Individualism is man's true Socialism.
This is the rife Idea whose spiritual beauty multiplieth in communion to transcendant might.
This is thatt excelent way whereon if we wil walk all things shall be added unto us-thatt Love which inspired the wayward Visionary in his doctrinal ode to the three christian Graces, the Church's first hymn and only deathless athanasian creed,--the which 'except a man believe he cannot be saved.
' This is the endearing bond whereby Christ's company yet holdeth together on the truth of his promise that he spake of his grat pity and trust in man's love, 'Lo, I am with you always ev'n to the end of the world.
' Truly the Soul returneth the body's loving where it hath won it.
and God so loveth the world.
and in the fellowship of the friendship of Christ God is seen as the very self-essence of love, Creator and mover of all as activ Lover of all, self-express'd in not-self, mind and body, mother and child, 'twixt lover and loved, God and man: but ONE ETERNAL in the love of Beauty and in the selfhood of Love.
Written by Robert Frost | Create an image from this poem


 The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to the ocean--
Holding the curve of one position,
Counting an endless repetition.
Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | Create an image from this poem

The Lie

 Go, Soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless errand;
Fear not to touch the best;
The truth shall be thy warrant:
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.
Say to the court, it glows And shines like rotten wood; Say to the church, it shows What's good, and doth no good: If church and court reply, Then give them both the lie.
Tell potentates, they live Acting by others' action; Not loved unless they give, Not strong but by a faction.
If potentates reply, Give potentates the lie.
Tell men of high condition, That manage the estate, Their purpose is ambition, Their practice only hate: And if they once reply, Then give them all the lie.
Tell them that brave it most, They beg for more by spending, Who, in their greatest cost, Seek nothing but commending.
And if they make reply, Then give them all the lie.
Tell zeal it wants devotion; Tell love it is but lust; Tell time it is but motion; Tell flesh it is but dust: And wish them not reply, For thou must give the lie.
Tell age it daily wasteth; Tell honour how it alters; Tell beauty how she blasteth; Tell favour how it falters: And as they shall reply, Give every one the lie.
Tell wit how much it wrangles In tickle points of niceness; Tell wisdom she entangles Herself in overwiseness: And when they do reply, Straight give them both the lie.
Tell physic of her boldness; Tell skill it is pretension; Tell charity of coldness; Tell law it is contention: And as they do reply, So give them still the lie.
Tell fortune of her blindness; Tell nature of decay; Tell friendship of unkindness; Tell justice of delay: And if they will reply, Then give them all the lie.
Tell arts they have no soundness, But vary by esteeming; Tell schools they want profoundness, And stand too much on seeming: If arts and schools reply, Give arts and schools the lie.
Tell faith it's fled the city; Tell how the country erreth; Tell manhood shakes off pity And virtue least preferreth: And if they do reply, Spare not to give the lie.
So when thou hast, as I Commanded thee, done blabbing— Although to give the lie Deserves no less than stabbing— Stab at thee he that will, No stab the soul can kill.
Written by Vachel Lindsay | Create an image from this poem

How a Little Girl Danced


(Being a reminiscence of certain private theatricals.
) Oh, cabaret dancer, I know a dancer, Whose eyes have not looked on the feasts that are vain.
I know a dancer, I know a dancer, Whose soul has no bond with the beasts of the plain: Judith the dancer, Judith the dancer, With foot like the snow, and with step like the rain.
Oh, thrice-painted dancer, vaudeville dancer, Sad in your spangles, with soul all astrain, I know a dancer, I know a dancer, Whose laughter and weeping are spiritual gain, A pure-hearted, high-hearted maiden evangel, With strength the dark cynical earth to disdain.
Flowers of bright Broadway, you of the chorus, Who sing in the hope of forgetting your pain: I turn to a sister of Sainted Cecilia, A white bird escaping the earth's tangled skein:— The music of God is her innermost brooding, The whispering angels her footsteps sustain.
Oh, proud Russian dancer: praise for your dancing.
No clean human passion my rhyme would arraign.
You dance for Apollo with noble devotion, A high cleansing revel to make the heart sane.
But Judith the dancer prays to a spirit More white than Apollo and all of his train.
I know a dancer who finds the true Godhead, Who bends o'er a brazier in Heaven's clear plain.
I know a dancer, I know a dancer, Who lifts us toward peace, from this earth that is vain: Judith the dancer, Judith the dancer, With foot like the snow, and with step like the rain.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem


 Ten little brown chicks scattered and scuffled,
Under the blue-berries hiding in fear;
Mother-grouse cackling, feathers all ruffled,
Dashed to defend them as we drew near.
Heart of a heroine, how I admired her! Of such devotion great poets have sung; Homes have been blest by the love that inspired her, Risking her life for the sake of her young.
Ten little chicks on her valour reliant, Peered with bright eyes from the bilberry spray; Fiercely she faced us, dismayed but defiant, Rushed at us bravely to scare us away.
Then my companion, a crazy young devil (After, he told me he'd done it for fun) Pretended to tremble, and raised his arm level, And ere I could check him he blazed with his gun.
Headless she lay, from her neck the blood spouted, And dappled her plumage, the poor, pretty thing! Ten little chicks - oh, I know for I counted, Came out and they tried to creep under her wing.
Sickened I said: "Here's an end to my killing; I swear, nevermore bird or beast will I slay; Starving I may be, but no more blood-spilling .
" That oath I have kept, and I keep it to-day.
Written by Alan Seeger | Create an image from this poem

The Need to Love

 The need to love that all the stars obey
Entered my heart and banished all beside.
Bare were the gardens where I used to stray; Faded the flowers that one time satisfied.
Before the beauty of the west on fire, The moonlit hills from cloister-casements viewed Cloud-like arose the image of desire, And cast out peace and maddened solitude.
I sought the City and the hopes it held: With smoke and brooding vapors intercurled, As the thick roofs and walls close-paralleled Shut out the fair horizons of the world--- A truant from the fields and rustic joy, In my changed thought that image even so Shut out the gods I worshipped as a boy And all the pure delights I used to know.
Often the veil has trembled at some tide Of lovely reminiscence and revealed How much of beauty Nature holds beside Sweet lips that sacrifice and arms that yield: Clouds, window-framed, beyond the huddled eaves When summer cumulates their golden chains, Or from the parks the smell of burning leaves, Fragrant of childhood in the country lanes, An organ-grinder's melancholy tune In rainy streets, or from an attic sill The blue skies of a windy afternoon Where our kites climbed once from some grassy hill: And my soul once more would be wrapped entire In the pure peace and blessing of those years.
Before the fierce infection of Desire Had ravaged all the flesh.
Through starting tears Shone that lost Paradise; but, if it did, Again ere long the prison-shades would fall That Youth condemns itself to walk amid, So narrow, but so beautiful withal.
And I have followed Fame with less devotion, And kept no real ambition but to see Rise from the foam of Nature's sunlit ocean My dream of palpable divinity; And aught the world contends for to mine eye Seemed not so real a meaning of success As only once to clasp before I die My vision of embodied happiness.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

The Ballad Of Caseys Billy-Goat

 You've heard of "Casey at The Bat,"
 And "Casey's Tabble Dote";
 But now it's time
 To write a rhyme
 Of "Casey's Billy-goat.
" Pat Casey had a billy-goat he gave the name of Shamus, Because it was (the neighbours said) a national disgrace.
And sure enough that animal was eminently famous For masticating every rag of laundry round the place.
For shirts to skirts prodigiously it proved its powers of chewing; The question of digestion seemed to matter not at all; But you'll agree, I think with me, its limit of misdoing Was reached the day it swallowed Missis Rooney's ould red shawl.
Now Missis Annie Rooney was a winsome widow women, And many a bouncing boy had sought to make her change her name; And living just across the way 'twas surely only human A lonesome man like Casey should be wishfully the same.
So every Sunday, shaved and shined, he'd make the fine occasion To call upon the lady, and she'd take his and coat; And supping tea it seemed that she might yield to his persuasion, But alas! he hadn't counted on that devastating goat.
For Shamus loved his master with a deep and dumb devotion, And everywhere that Casey went that goat would want to go; And though I cannot analyze a quadruped's emotion, They said the baste was jealous, and I reckon it was so.
For every time that Casey went to call on Missis Rooney, Beside the gate the goat would wait with woefulness intense; Until one day it chanced that they were fast becoming spooney, When Shamus spied that ould red shawl a-flutter on the fence.
Now Missis Rooney loved that shawl beyond all rhyme or reason, And maybe 'twas an heirloom or a cherished souvenir; For judging by the way she wore it season after season, I might have been as precious as a product of Cashmere.
So Shamus strolled towards it, and no doubt the colour pleased him, For he biffed it and he sniffed it, as most any goat might do; Then his melancholy vanished as a sense of hunger seized him, And he wagged his tail with rapture as he started in to chew.
"Begorrah! you're a daisy," said the doting Mister Casey to the blushing Widow Rooney as they parted at the door.
"Wid yer tinderness an' tazin' sure ye've set me heart a-blazin', And I dread the day I'll nivver see me Anniw anny more.
" "Go on now wid yer blarney," said the widow softly sighing; And she went to pull his whiskers, when dismay her bosom smote.
Her ould red shawl! 'Twas missin' where she'd left it bravely drying - Then she saw it disappearing - down the neck of Casey's goat.
Fiercely flamed her Irish temper, "Look!" says she, "The thavin' divvle! Sure he's made me shawl his supper.
Well, I hope it's to his taste; But excuse me, Mister Casey, if I seem to be oncivil, For I'll nivver wed a man wid such a misbegotten baste.
" So she slammed the door and left him in a state of consternation, And he couldn't understand it, till he saw that grinning goat: Then with eloquence he cussed it, and his final fulmination Was a poem of profanity impossible to quote.
So blasting goats and petticoats and feeling downright sinful, Despairfully he wandered in to Shinnigan's shebeen; And straightway he proceeded to absorb a might skinful Of the deadliest variety of Shinnigan's potheen.
And when he started homeward it was in the early morning, But Shamus followed faithfully, a yard behind his back; Then Casey slipped and stumbled, and without the slightest warning like a lump of lead he tumbled - right across the railroad track.
And there he lay, serenely, and defied the powers to budge him, Reposing like a baby, with his head upon the rail; But Shamus seemed unhappy, and from time to time would nudge him, Though his prods to protestation were without the least avail.
Then to that goatish mind, maybe, a sense of fell disaster Came stealing like a spectre in the dim and dreary dawn; For his bleat of warning blended with the snoring of his master In a chorus of calamity - but Casey slumbered on.
Yet oh, that goat was troubled, for his efforts were redoubled; Now he tugged at Casey's whisker, now he nibbled at his ear; Now he shook him by the shoulder, and with fear become bolder, He bellowed like a fog-horn, but the sleeper did not hear.
Then up and down the railway line he scampered for assistance; But anxiously he hurried back and sought with tug and strain To pull his master off the track .
when sudden! in the distance He heard the roar and rumble of the fast approaching train.
Did Shamus faint and falter? No, he stood there stark and splendid.
True, his tummy was distended, but he gave his horns a toss.
By them his goathood's honour would be gallantly defended, And if their valour failed him - he would perish with his boss So dauntlessly he lowered his head, and ever clearer, clearer, He heard the throb and thunder of the Continental Mail.
He would face the mighty monster.
It was coming nearer, nearer; He would fight it, he would smite it, but he'd never show his tail.
Can you see that hirsute hero, standing there in tragic glory? Can you hear the Pullman porters shrieking horror to the sky? No, you can't; because my story has no end so grim and gory, For Shamus did not perish and his master did not die.
At this very present moment Casey swaggers hale and hearty, And Shamus strolls beside him with a bright bell at his throat; While recent Missis Rooney is the gayest of the party, For now she's Missis Casey and she's crazy for that goat.
You're wondering what happened? Well, you know that truth is stranger Than the wildest brand of fiction, so Ill tell you without shame.
There was Shamus and his master in the face of awful danger, And the giant locomotive dashing down in smoke and flame.
What power on earth could save them? Yet a golden inspiration To gods and goats alike may come, so in that brutish brain A thought was born - the ould red shawl.
Then rearing with elation, Like lightning Shamus threw it up - AND FLAGGED AND STOPPED THE TRAIN.
Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley | Create an image from this poem

Mont Blanc

 (Lines written in the Vale of Chamouni)


The everlasting universe of things
Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Now dark - now glittering - now reflecting gloom -
Now lending splendor, where from secret springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings
Of waters, - with a sound but half its own,
Such as a feeble brook will oft assume
In the wild woods, amon the mountains lone,
Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.
2 Thus thou, Ravine of Arve - dark, deep Ravine- Thou many-colored, many voiced vale, Over whose pines, and crags, and caverns sail Fast cloud-shadows and sunbeams: awful scene, Where Power in likeness of the Arve comes down From the ice-gulfs that gird his secret throne, Bursting through these dark mountains like the flame Of lightning through the tempest; -thou dost lie, Thy giant brood of pines around thee clinging, Children of elder time, in whose devotion The chainless winds still come and ever came To drink their odors, and their mighty swinging To hear - an old and solemn harmony; Thine earthly rainbows stretched across the sweep Of the ethereal waterfall, whose veil Robes some unsculptured image; the strange sleep Which when the voices of the desert fail Wraps all in its own deep eternity;- Thy caverns echoing to the Arve's commotion, A loud, lone sound no other sound can tame; Thou art pervaded with that ceaseless motion, Thou art the path of that unresting sound- Dizzy Ravine! and when I gaze on thee I seem as in a trance sublime and strange To muse on my own separate fantasy, My own, my human mind, which passively Now renders and receives fast influencings, Holding an unremitting interchange With the clear universe of things around; One legion of wild thoughts, whose wandering wings Now float above thy darkness, and now rest Where that or thou art no unbidden guest, In the still cave of the witch Poesy, Seeking among the shadows that pass by Ghosts of all things that are, some shade of thee, Some phantom, some faint image; till the breast From which they fled recalls them, thou art there! 3 Some say that gleams of a remoter world Visit the soul in sleep,-that death is slumber, And that its shapes the busy thoughts outnumber Of those who wake and live.
-I look on high; Has some unknown omnipotence unfurled The veil of life and death? or do I lie In dream, and does the mightier world of sleep Spread far and round and inaccessibly Its circles? For the very spirit fails, Driven like a homeless cloud from steep to steep That vanishes amon the viewless gales! Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky, Mont Blanc appears,-still snowy and serene- Its subject mountains their unearthly forms Pile around it, ice and rock; broad vales between Of frozen floods, unfathomable deeps, Blue as the overhanging heaven, that spread And wind among the accumulated steeps; A desert peopled by the storms alone, Save when the eagle brings some hunter's bone, And the wolf tracks her there - how hideously Its shapes are heaped around! rude, bare, and high, Ghastly, and scarred, and riven.
-Is this the scene Where the old Earthquake-demon taught her young Ruin? Were these their toys? or did a sea Of fire envelop once this silent snow? None can reply - all seems eternal now.
The wilderness has a mysterious tongue Which teaches awful doubt, or faith so mild, So solemn, so serene, that man may be, But for such faith, with nature reconciled; Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal Large codes of fraud and woe; not understood By all, but which the wise, and great, and good Interpret, or make felt, or deeply feel.
4 The fields, the lakes, the forests, and the streams, Ocean, and all the living things that dwell Within the daedal earth; lightning, and rain, Earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurricane, The torpor of the year when feeble dreams Visit the hidden buds, or dreamless sleep Holds every future leaf and flower; -the bound With which from that detested trance they leap; The works and ways of man, their death and birth, And that of him, and all that his may be; All things that move and breathe with toil and sound Are born and die; revolve, subside, and swell.
Power dwells apart in its tranquility, Remote, serene, and inaccessible: And this, the naked countenance of earth, On which I gaze, even these primeval mountains Teach the adverting mind.
The glaciers creep Like snakes that watch their prey, from their far fountains, Slow rolling on; there, many a precipice, Frost and the Sun in scorn of mortal power Have piled: dome, pyramid, and pinnacle, A city of death, distinct with many a tower And wall impregnable of beaming ice.
Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin Is there, that from the boundaries of the sky Rolls its perpetual stream; vast pines are strewing Its destined path, or in the mangled soil Branchless and shattered stand; the rocks, drawn down From yon remotest waste, have overthrown The limits of the dead and living world, Never to be reclaimed.
The dwelling-place Of insects, beasts, and birds, becomes its spoil Their food and their retreat for ever gone, So much of life and joy is lost.
The race Of man flies far in dread; his work and dwelling Vanish, like smoke before the tempest's stream, And their place is not known.
Below, vast caves Shine in the rushing torrents' restless gleam, Which from those secret chasms in tumult welling Meet in the vale, and one majestic River, The breath and blood of distant lands , for ever Rolls its loud waters to the ocean-waves, Breathes its swift vapors to the circling air.
5 Mont Blanc yet gleams on high:-the power is there, The still and solemn power of many sights, And many sounds, and much of life and death.
In the calm darkness of the moonless nights, In the lone glare of day, the snows descend Upon that mountain; none beholds them there, Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun, Or the star-beams dart through them:-Winds contend Silently there, and heap the snow with breath Rapid and strong, but silently! Its home The voiceless lightning in these solitudes Keeps innocently, and like vapor broods Over the snow.
The secret Strength of things Which governs thought, and to the infinite dome Of Heaven is as a law, inhabits thee! And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and sea, If to the human mind's imaginings Silence and solitude were vacancy?
Written by George (Lord) Byron | Create an image from this poem

Loves Last Adieu

 The roses of Love glad the garden of life,
Though nurtur'd 'mid weeds dropping pestilent dew,
Till Time crops the leaves with unmerciful knife,
Or prunes them for ever, in Love's last adieu!

In vain, with endearments, we soothe the sad heart,
In vain do we vow for an age to be true;
The chance of an hour may command us to part,
Or Death disunite us, in Love's last adieu!

Still Hope, breathing peace, through the grief-swollen breast,
Will whisper, ?Our meeting we yet may renew:?
With this dream of deceit, half our sorrow's represt,
Nor taste we the poison, of Love's last adieu!

Oh! mark you yon pair, in the sunshine of youth,
Love twin'd round their childhood his flow'rs as they grew;
They flourish awhile, in the season of truth,
Till chill'd by the winter of Love's last adieu!

Sweet lady! why thus doth a tear steal its way,
Down a cheek which outrivals thy bosom in hue?
Yet why do I ask?---to distraction a prey,
Thy reason has perish'd, with Love's last adieu!

Oh! who is yon Misanthrope, shunning mankind?
From cities to caves of the forest he flew:
There, raving, he howls his complaint to the wind;
The mountains reverberate Love's last adieu!

Now Hate rules a heart which in Love's easy chains,
Once Passion's tumultuous blandishments knew;
Despair now inflames the dark tide of his veins,
He ponders, in frenzy, on Love's last adieu!

How he envies the wretch, with a soul wrapt in steel!
His pleasures are scarce, yet his troubles are few,
Who laughs at the pang that he never can feel,
And dreads not the anguish of Love's last adieu!

Youth flies, life decays, even hope is o'ercast;
No more, with Love's former devotion, we sue:
He spreads his young wing, he retires with the blast;
The shroud of affection is Love's last adieu!

In this life of probation, for rapture divine,
Astrea declares that some penance is due;
From him, who has worshipp'd at Love's gentle shrine,
The atonement is ample, in Love's last adieu!

Who kneels to the God, on his altar of light
Must myrtle and cypress alternately strew:
His myrtle, an emblem of purest delight,
His cypress, the garland of Love's last adieu!
Written by Richard Brautigan | Create an image from this poem

Love Poem

 My clumsiest dear, whose hands shipwreck vases,
At whose quick touch all glasses chip and ring,
Whose palms are bulls in china, burs in linen,
And have no cunning with any soft thing

Except all ill-at-ease fidgeting people:
The refugee uncertain at the door
You make at home; deftly you steady
The drunk clambering on his undulant floor.
Unpredictable dear, the taxi drivers' terror, Shrinking from far headlights pale as a dime Yet leaping before apopleptic streetcars— Misfit in any space.
And never on time.
A wrench in clocks and the solar system.
Only With words and people and love you move at ease; In traffic of wit expertly maneuver And keep us, all devotion, at your knees.
Forgetting your coffee spreading on our flannel, Your lipstick grinning on our coat, So gaily in love's unbreakable heaven Our souls on glory of spilt bourbon float.
Be with me, darling, early and late.
Smash glasses— I will study wry music for your sake.
For should your hands drop white and empty All the toys of the world would break.
Written by Les Murray | Create an image from this poem

Travels With John Hunter

 We who travel between worlds 
lose our muscle and bone.
I was wheeling a barrow of earth when agony bayoneted me.
I could not sit, or lie down, or stand, in Casualty.
Stomach-calming clay caked my lips, I turned yellow as the moon and slid inside a CAT-scan wheel in a hospital where I met no one so much was my liver now my dire preoccupation.
I was sped down a road.
of treetops and fishing-rod lightpoles towards the three persons of God and the three persons of John Hunter Hospital.
Who said We might lose this one.
Twenty days or to the heat-death of the Universe have the same duration: vaguely half a hour.
I awoke giggling over a joke about Paul Kruger in Johannesburg and missed the white court stockings I half remembered from my prone still voyage beyond flesh and bone.
I asked my friend who got new lungs How long were you crazy, coming back? Five days, he said.
Violent and mad.
Fictive Afrikaner police were at him, not unworldly Oom Paul Kruger.
Valerie, who had sat the twenty days beside me, now gently told me tales of my time-warp.
The operative canyon stretched, stapled, with dry roseate walls down my belly.
Seaweed gel plugged views of my pluck and offal.
The only poet whose liver damage hadn't been self-inflicted, grinned my agent.
A momentarily holed bowel had released flora who live in us and will eat us when we stop feeding them the earth.
I had, it did seem, rehearsed the private office of the grave, ceased excreting, made corpse gases all while liana'd in tubes and overseen by cockpit instruments that beeped or struck up Beethoven's Fifth at behests of fluid.
I also hear when I lay lipless and far away I was anointed first by a mild metaphoric church then by the Church of no metaphors.
Now I said, signing a Dutch contract in a hand I couldn't recognise, let's go and eat Chinese soup and drive to Lake Macquarie.
Was I not renewed as we are in Heaven? In fact I could hardly endure Earth gravity, and stayed weak and cranky till the soup came, squid and vegetables, pure Yang.
And was sane thereafter.
It seemed I'd also travelled in a Spring-in-Winter love-barque of cards, of flowers and phone calls and letters, concern I'd never dreamed was there when black kelp boiled in my head.
I'd awoken amid my State funeral, nevermore to eat my liver or feed it to the Black Dog, depression which the three Johns Hunter seem to have killed with their scalpels: it hasn't found its way home, where I now dodder and mend in thanks for devotion, for the ambulance this time, for the hospital fork lift, for pethidine, and this face of deity: not the foreknowledge of death but the project of seeing conscious life rescued from death defines and will atone for the human.
Written by John Milton | Create an image from this poem


 Part of an entertainment presented to the Countess Dowager of
Darby at Harefield, by som Noble persons of her Family, who
appear on the Scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat
of State with this Song.
Look Nymphs, and Shepherds look, What sudden blaze of majesty Is that which we from hence descry Too divine to be mistook: This this is she To whom our vows and wishes bend, Heer our solemn search hath end.
Fame that her high worth to raise, Seem'd erst so lavish and profuse, We may justly now accuse Of detraction from her praise, Less then half we find exprest, Envy bid conceal the rest.
Mark what radiant state she spreds, In circle round her shining throne, Shooting her beams like silver threds, This this is she alone, Sitting like a Goddes bright, In the center of her light.
Might she the wise Latona be, Or the towred Cybele, Mother of a hunderd gods; Juno dare's not give her odds; Who had thought this clime had held A deity so unparalel'd? As they com forward, the genius of the Wood appears, and turning toward them, speaks.
Stay gentle Swains, for though in this disguise, I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes, Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung Of that renowned flood, so often sung, Divine Alpheus, who by secret sluse, Stole under Seas to meet his Arethuse; And ye the breathing Roses of the Wood, Fair silver-buskind Nymphs as great and good, I know this quest of yours, and free intent Was all in honour and devotion ment To the great Mistres of yon princely shrine, Whom with low reverence I adore as mine, And with all helpful service will comply To further this nights glad solemnity; And lead ye where ye may more neer behold What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold; Which I full oft amidst these shades alone Have sate to wonder at, and gaze upon: For know by lot from Jove I am the powr Of this fair wood, and live in Oak'n bowr, To nurse the Saplings tall, and curl the grove With Ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove.
And all my Plants I save from nightly ill, Of noisom winds, and blasting vapours chill.
And from the Boughs brush off the evil dew, And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blew, Or what the cross dire-looking Planet smites, Or hurtfull Worm with canker'd venom bites.
When Eev'ning gray doth rise, I fetch my round Over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground, And early ere the odorous breath of morn Awakes the slumbring leaves, or tasseld horn Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about, Number my ranks, and visit every sprout With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless, But els in deep of night when drowsines Hath lockt up mortal sense, then listen I To the celestial Sirens harmony, That sit upon the nine enfolded Sphears, And sing to those that hold the vital shears, And turn the Adamantine spindle round, On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in musick ly, To lull the daughters of Necessity, And keep unsteddy Nature to her law, And the low world in measur'd motion draw After the heavenly tune, which none can hear Of human mould with grosse unpurged ear; And yet such musick worthiest were to blaze The peerles height of her immortal praise, Whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit, If my inferior hand or voice could hit Inimitable sounds, yet as we go, What ere the skill of lesser gods can show, I will assay, her worth to celebrate, And so attend ye toward her glittering state; Where ye may all that are of noble stemm Approach, and kiss her sacred vestures hemm.
O're the smooth enameld green Where no print of step hath been, Follow me as I sing, And touch the warbled string.
Under the shady roof Of branching Elm Star-proof, Follow me, I will bring you where she sits Clad in splendor as befits Her deity.
Such a rural Queen All Arcadia hath not seen.
Nymphs and Shepherds dance no more By sandy Ladons Lillied banks.
On old Lycaeus or Cyllene hoar, Trip no more in twilight ranks, Though Erynanth your loss deplore, A better soyl shall give ye thanks.
From the stony Maenalus, Bring your Flocks, and live with us, Here ye shall have greater grace, To serve the Lady of this place.
Though Syrinx your Pans Mistres were, Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.
Such a rural Queen All Arcadia hath not seen.
Note: 22 hunderd] Milton's own spelling here is hundred.
But in the Errata to Paradise Lost (i.
760) he corrects hundred to hunderd.
Written by Siegfried Sassoon | Create an image from this poem

The Imperfect Lover

 I never asked you to be perfect—did I?— 
Though often I’ve called you sweet, in the invasion 
Of mastering love.
I never prayed that you Might stand, unsoiled, angelic and inhuman, Pointing the way toward Sainthood like a sign-post.
Oh yes, I know the way to heaven was easy.
We found the little kingdom of our passion That all can share who walk the road of lovers.
In wild and secret happiness we stumbled; And gods and demons clamoured in our senses.
But I’ve grown thoughtful now.
And you have lost Your early-morning freshness of surprise At being so utterly mine: you’ve learned to fear The gloomy, stricken places in my soul, And the occasional ghosts that haunt my gaze.
You made me glad; and I can still return To you, the haven of my lonely pride: But I am sworn to murder those illusions That blossom from desire with desperate beauty: And there shall be no falsehood in our failure; Since, if we loved like beasts, the thing is done, And I’ll not hide it, though our heaven be hell.
You dream long liturgies of our devotion.
Yet, in my heart, I dread our love’s destruction.
But, should you grow to hate me, I would ask No mercy of your mood: I’d have you stand And look me in the eyes, and laugh, and smite me.
Then I should know, at least, that truth endured, Though love had died of wounds.
And you could leave me Unvanquished in my atmosphere of devils.
Written by Paul Laurence Dunbar | Create an image from this poem


Done are the toils and the wearisome marches,
Done is the summons of bugle and drum.
Softly and sweetly the sky over-arches,
Shelt'ring a land where Rebellion is dumb.
Dark were the days of the country's derangement,
Sad were the hours when the conflict was on,
But through the gloom of fraternal estrangement
God sent his light, and we welcome the dawn.
O'er the expanse of our mighty dominions,
Sweeping away to the uttermost parts,
Peace, the wide-flying, on untiring pinions,
Bringeth her message of joy to our hearts.
Ah, but this joy which our minds cannot measure,
What did it cost for our fathers to gain!
Bought at the price of the heart's dearest treasure,
[Pg 23]Born out of travail and sorrow and pain;
Born in the battle where fleet Death was flying,
Slaying with sabre-stroke bloody and fell;
Born where the heroes and martyrs were dying,
Torn by the fury of bullet and shell.
Ah, but the day is past: silent the rattle,
And the confusion that followed the fight.
Peace to the heroes who died in the battle,
Martyrs to truth and the crowning of Right!
Out of the blood of a conflict fraternal,
Out of the dust and the dimness of death,
Burst into blossoms of glory eternal
Flowers that sweeten the world with their breath.
Flowers of charity, peace, and devotion
Bloom in the hearts that are empty of strife;
Love that is boundless and broad as the ocean
Leaps into beauty and fulness of life.
So, with the singing of paeans and chorals,
And with the flag flashing high in the sun,
Place on the graves of our heroes the laurels
Which their unfaltering valor has won!