Alfred Lord Tennyson | |
Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millenial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
Gerard Manley Hopkins | |
Towery city and branchy between towers;
Cuckoo-echoing, bell-swarmèd, lark-charmèd, rook-racked, river-rounded;
The dapple-eared lily below thee; that country and town did
Once encounter in, here coped and poisèd powers;
Thou hast a base and brickish skirt there, sours
That neighbour-nature thy grey beauty is grounded
Best in; graceless growth, thou hast confounded
Rural rural keeping—folk, flocks, and flowers.
Yet ah! this air I gather and I release
He lived on; these weeds and waters, these walls are what
He haunted who of all men most sways my spirits to peace;
Of realty the rarest-veinèd unraveller; a not
Rivalled insight, be rival Italy or Greece;
Who fired France for Mary without spot.
Anne Kingsmill Finch | |
The Tree of Knowledge we in Eden prov'd;
The Tree of Life was thence to Heav'n remov'd:
Hope is the growth of Earth, the only Plant,
Which either Heav'n, or Paradise cou'd want.
Hell knows it not, to Us alone confin'd,
And Cordial only to the Human Mind.
Receive it then, t'expel these mortal Cares,
Nor wave a Med'cine, which thy God prepares.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |
O'ER field and plain, in childhood's artless days,
Thou sprang'st with me, on many a spring-morn fair.
"For such a daughter, with what pleasing care,
Would I, as father, happy dwellings raise!"
And when thou on the world didst cast thy gaze,
Thy joy was then in household toils to share.
"Why did I trust her, why she trust me e'er?
For such a sister, how I Heaven should praise!"
Nothing can now the beauteous growth retard;
Love's glowing flame within my breast is fann'd.
Shall I embrace her form, my grief to end?
Thee as a queen must I, alas, regard:
So high above me placed thou seem'st to stand;
Before a passing look I meekly bend.
Sir Philip Sidney | |
On Cupid's bow how are my heartstrings bent,
That see my wrack, and yet embrace the same?
When most I glory, then I feel most shame:
I willing run, yet while I run, repent.
My best wits still their own disgrace invent:
My very ink turns straight to Stella's name;
And yet my words, as them my pen doth frame,
Avise themselves that they are vainly spent.
For though she pass all things, yet what is all
That unto me, who fare like him that both
Looks to the skies and in a ditch doth fall?
Oh let me prop my mind, yet in his growth,
And not in Nature, for best fruits unfit:
"Scholar," saith Love, "bend hitherward your wit.
Syl Cheney-Coker | |
Along the route of this river,
with a little luck, we shall chance upon
our brothers' fortune, hidden with that cold smile
reserved for discreet bankers unmindful of the hydra
growing fiery mornings from our discontent
Wealth was always fashionable, telluric,
not honor pristine and profound.
In blasphemous glee, they raise to God's lips
those cups filled with ethnic offerings
that saps the blood of all human good.
Having no other country to call my own
except for this one full of pine needles
on which we nail our children's lives,
I have put off examining this skull,
savage harvest, the swollen earth,
until that day when, all God's children,
we shall plant a eureka supported by a blood knot.
And remorse not being theirs to feel,
I offer an inventory of abuse by these men,
with this wretched earth on my palms,
so as to remind them of our stilted growth
the length of a cutlass, or if you prefer
the size of our burnt-out brotherhood.
W S Merwin | |
When you go away the wind clicks around to the north
The painters work all day but at sundown the paint falls
Showing the black walls
The clock goes back to striking the same hour
That has no place in the years
And at night wrapped in the bed of ashes
In one breath I wake
It is the time when the beards of the dead get their growth
I remember that I am falling
That I am the reason
And that my words are the garment of what I shall never be
Like the tucked sleeve of a one-armed boy
Anne Killigrew | |
DIvine Thalia strike th'Harmonious Lute,
But with a Stroke so Gentle as may sute
The silent gliding of the Howers,
Or yet the calmer growth of Flowers;
Th'ascending or the falling Dew,
Which none can see, though all find true.
For thus alone,
Can be shewn,
How downie, how smooth,
Eudora doth Move,
How Silken her Actions appear,
The Aire of her Face,
Of a gentler Grace
Then those that do stroke the Eare.
Her Address so sweet,
So Modestly Meet,
That 'tis not the Lowd though Tuneable String,
Can shewforth so soft, so Noyseless a Thing!
O This to express from thy Hand must fall,
Then Musicks self, something more Musical.
Sidney Lanier | |
As Love will carve dear names upon a tree,
Symbol of gravure on his heart to be,
So thought I thine with loving text to set
In the growth and substance of my canzonet;
But, writing it, my tears begin to fall --
This wild-rose stem for thy large name's too small!
Nay, still my trembling hands are fain, are fain
Cut the good letters though they lap again;
Perchance such folk as mark the blur and stain
Will say, `It was the beating of the rain;'
Or, haply these o'er-woundings of the stem
May loose some little balm, to plead for them.
Walt Whitman | |
OF ownership—As if one fit to own things could not at pleasure enter upon all, and
them into himself or herself.
Of waters, forests, hills;
Of the earth at large, whispering through medium of me;
Of vista—Suppose some sight in arriere, through the formative chaos, presuming the
fulness, life, now attain’d on the journey;
(But I see the road continued, and the journey ever continued;)
—Of what was once lacking on earth, and in due time has become supplied—And of
yet be supplied,
Because all I see and know, I believe to have purport in what will yet be supplied.
Walt Whitman | |
WHAT think you I take my pen in hand to record?
The battle-ship, perfect-model’d, majestic, that I saw pass the offing to-day under full
The splendors of the past day? Or the splendor of the night that envelopes me?
Or the vaunted glory and growth of the great city spread around me?—No;
But I record of two simple men I saw to-day, on the pier, in the midst of the crowd,
parting of dear friends;
The one to remain hung on the other’s neck, and passionately kiss’d him,
While the one to depart, tightly prest the one to remain in his arms.
George Herbert | |
Since, Lord, to thee
A narrow way and little gate
Is all the passage, on my infancy
Thou didst lay hold, and antedate
My faith in me.
O let me still
Write thee great God, and me a child:
Let me be soft and supple to thy will,
Small to my self, to others mild,
Although by stealth
My flesh get on, yet let her sister
My soul bid nothing, but preserve her wealth:
The growth of flesh is but a blister;
Childhood is health.
Denise Levertov | |
Long after you have swung back
away from me
I think you are still with me:
you come in close to the shore
on the tide
and nudge me awake the way
a boat adrift nudges the pier:
am I a pier
half-in half-out of the water?
and in the pleasure of that communion
I lose track,
the moon I watch goes down, the
tide swings you away before
I know I'm
alone again long since,
mud sucking at gray and black
timbers of me,
a light growth of green dreams drying.
Les Murray | |
In the painting, I'm seated in a shield,
coming home in it up a shadowy river.
It is a small metal boat lined in eggshell
and my hands grip the gunwale rims.
a composite bow, tensioning the whole boat,
steering it with my gaze.
No oars, no engine,
I'm propelling the little craft with speech.
The faded rings around the loose bulk shirt
are of five lines each, a musical lineation
and the shirt is apple-red, soaking in salt birth-sheen
more liquid than the river.
My cap is a teal mask
pushed back so far that I can pretend it is headgear.
In the middle of the river are cobweb cassowary trees
of the South Pacific, and on the far shore rise
dark hills of the temperate zone.
To these, at this
moment in the painting's growth, my course is slant
but my eye is on them.
To relax, to speak European.
Marge Piercy | |
The bonsai tree
in the attractive pot
could have grown eighty feet tall
on the side of a mountain
till split by lightning.
But a gardener
carefully pruned it.
It is nine inches high.
Every day as he
whittles back the branches
the gardener croons,
It is your nature
to be small and cozy,
domestic and weak;
how lucky, little tree,
to have a pot to grow in.
With living creatures
one must begin very early
to dwarf their growth:
the bound feet,
the crippled brain,
the hair in curlers,
the hands you
love to touch.
Edgar Lee Masters | |
They called me the weakling, the simpleton,
For my brothers were strong and beautiful,
While I, the last child of parents who had aged,
Inherited only their residue of power.
But they, my brothers, were eaten up
In the fury of the flesh, which I had not,
Made pulp in the activity of the senses, which I had not,
Hardened by the growth of the lusts, which I had not,
Though making names and riches for themselves.
Then I, the weak one, the simpleton,
Resting in a little corner of life,
Saw a vision, and through me many saw the vision,
Not knowing it was through me.
Thus a tree sprang
From me, a mustard seed.
Edgar Lee Masters | |
Not "a youth with hoary head and haggard eye,"
But an old man with a smooth skin
And black hair!
I had the face of a boy as long as I lived,
And for years a soul that was stiff and bent,
In a world which saw me just as a jest,
To be hailed familiarly when it chose,
And loaded up as a man when it chose,
Being neither man nor boy.
In truth it was soul as well as body
Which never matured, and I say to you
That the much-sought prize of eternal youth
Is just arrested growth.
Edgar Lee Masters | |
Have any of you, passers-by,
Had an old tooth that was an unceasing discomfort?
Or a pain in the side that never quite left you?
Or a malignant growth that grew with time?
So that even in profoundest slumber
There was shadowy consciousness or the phantom of thought
Of the tooth, the side, the growth?
Even so thwarted love, or defeated ambition,
Or a blunder in life which mixed your life
Hopelessly to the end,
Will like a tooth, or a pain in the side,
Float through your dreams in the final sleep
Till perfect freedom from the earth-sphere
Comes to you as one who wakes
Healed and glad in the morning!
George Meredith | |
'I play for Seasons; not Eternities!'
Says Nature, laughing on her way.
All those whose stake is nothing more than dust!'
And lo, she wins, and of her harmonies
She is full sure! Upon her dying rose,
She drops a look of fondness, and goes by,
Scarce any retrospection in her eye;
For she the laws of growth most deeply knows,
Whose hands bear, here, a seed-bag--there, an urn.
Pledges she herself to aught, 'twould mark her end!
This lesson of our only visible friend,
Can we not teach our foolish hearts to learn ?
Yes! yes !--but, oh, our human rose is fair
Surpassingly! Lose calmly Love's great bliss,
When the renewed for ever of a kiss
Whirls life within the shower of loosened hair!
William Strode | |
Like to the rowling of an eye,
Or like a starre shott from the skye,
Or like a hand upon a clock,
Or like a wave upon a rock,
Or like a winde, or like a flame,
Or like false newes which people frame,
Even such is man, of equall stay,
Whose very growth leades to decay.
The eye is turn'd, the starre down bendeth
The hand doth steale, the wave descendeth,
The winde is spent, the flame unfir'd,
The newes disprov'd, man's life expir'd.
Like to an eye which sleepe doth chayne,
Or like a starre whose fall we fayne,
Or like the shade on Ahaz watch,
Or like a wave which gulfes doe snatch
Or like a winde or flame that's past,
Or smother'd newes confirm'd at last;
Even so man's life, pawn'd in the grave,
Wayts for a riseing it must have.
The eye still sees, the starre still blazeth,
The shade goes back, the wave escapeth,
The winde is turn'd, the flame reviv'd,
The newes renew'd, and man new liv'd.
William Strode | |
Weep not because this childe hath dyed so yong,
But weepe because yourselves have livde so long:
Age is not fild by growth of time, for then
What old man lives to see th' estate of men?
Who sees the age of grande Methusalem?
Ten years make us as old as hundreds him.
Ripenesse is from ourselves: and then wee dye
When nature hath obteynde maturity.
Summer and winter fruits there bee, and all
Not at one time, but being ripe, must fall.
Death did not erre: your mourners are beguilde;
She dyed more like a mother than a childe.
Weigh the composure of her pretty partes:
Her gravity in childhood; all her artes
Of womanly behaviour; weigh her tongue
So wisely measurde, not too short nor long;
And to her youth adde some few riches more,
She tooke upp now what due was at threescore.
She livde seven years, our age's first degree;
Journeys at first time ended happy bee;
Yet take her stature with the age of man,
They well are fitted: both are but a span.
Rabindranath Tagore | |
She who ever had remained in the depth of my being,
in the twilight of gleams and of glimpses;
she who never opened her veils in the morning light,
will be my last gift to thee, my God, folded in my final song.
Words have wooed yet failed to win her;
persuasion has stretched to her its eager arms in vain.
I have roamed from country to country keeping her in the core of my heart,
and around her have risen and fallen the growth and decay of my life.
Over my thoughts and actions, my slumbers and dreams,
she reigned yet dwelled alone and apart.
Many a man knocked at my door and asked for her
and turned away in despair.
There was none in the world who ever saw her face to face,
and she remained in her loneliness waiting for thy recognition.
Barry Tebb | |
I struggled through streets of
Bricked-up, boarded-up houses,
Mostly burned-out, keeping
To the middle of the road,
Watching the abandoned gardens
With here and there a house
Still lived in, curtained
Against the daylight and distantly
I saw the iron railings of the school
I’d taught in thirty years before.
The same brick buildings, hop scotch
Squares and rounders posts
And the sign, ‘Welcome to Wyther Park
The wooden prefabs
Where I taught poetry nine till four
Replaced by newer prefabs of I don’t
Know what, hidden in trees with
Thirty years more growth, one playground
Grassed over, with benches and tables
Like a pub garden, yet there was the same
Innocence still, my inner sense declared.
I sat on a stone seat by the bridge
Over the canal, watching the pylons
Stretching away to Kirkstall Forge,
By the steps to the railway where
Once the station stood that took us
Every year to Flamborough Head.
Henry Vaughan | |
Sure thou didst flourish once! and many springs,
Many bright mornings, much dew, many showers,
Pass'd o'er thy head; many light hearts and wings,
Which now are dead, lodg'd in thy living bowers.
And still a new succession sings and flies;
Fresh groves grow up, and their green branches shoot
Towards the old and still enduring skies,
While the low violet thrives at their root.
But thou beneath the sad and heavy line
Of death, doth waste all senseless, cold, and dark;
Where not so much as dreams of light may shine,
Nor any thought of greenness, leaf, or bark.
And yet—as if some deep hate and dissent,
Bred in thy growth betwixt high winds and thee,
Were still alive—thou dost great storms resent
Before they come, and know'st how near they be.
Else all at rest thou liest, and the fierce breath
Of tempests can no more disturb thy ease;
But this thy strange resentment after death
Means only those who broke—in life—thy peace.
Charles Webb | |
40-acre growth found in Michigan.
— The Los Angeles Times
The sky is full of ruddy ducks
and widgeon's, mockingbirds,
bees, bats, swallowtails,
dragonflies, and great horned owls.
The land below teems with elands
and kit foxes, badgers, aardvarks,
juniper, banana slugs, larch,
cactus, heather, humankind.
Under them, a dome of dirt.
Under that, the World's
Largest Living Thing spreads
like a hemorrhage poised
to paralyze the earth—like a tumor
ready to cause 9.
or a brain dreaming this world
of crickets and dung beetles,
sculpins, Beethoven, coots,
Augustine grass, Mister
Lincoln roses, passion fruit, wildebeests,
orioles like sunspots shooting high,
then dropping back to the green
arms of trees, their roots
sunk deep in the power
of things sleeping and unknown.