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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Robert Frost | |
Here further up the mountain slope
Than there was every any hope,
My father built, enclosed a spring,
Strung chains of wall round everything,
Subdued the growth of earth to grass,
And brought our various lives to pass.
A dozen girls and boys we were.
The mountain seemed to like the stir,
And made of us a little while--
With always something in her smile.
Today she wouldn't know our name.
(No girl's, of course, has stayed the same.
The mountain pushed us off her knees.
And now her lap is full of trees.
Robert Herrick | |
Fair Daffadils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Until the hasting day
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay, as you;
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or any thing.
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.
Robert Herrick | |
All things decay with time: The forest sees
The growth and down-fall of her aged trees;
That timber tall, which three-score lustres stood
The proud dictator of the state-like wood,
I mean the sovereign of all plants, the oak,
Droops, dies, and falls without the cleaver's stroke.
Emily Dickinson | |
Growth of Man -- like Growth of Nature --
Gravitates within --
Atmosphere, and Sun endorse it --
Bit it stir -- alone --
Each -- its difficult Ideal
Must achieve -- Itself --
Through the solitary prowess
Of a Silent Life --
Effort -- is the sole condition --
Patience of Itself --
Patience of opposing forces --
And intact Belief --
Looking on -- is the Department
Of its Audience --
But Transaction -- is assisted
By no Countenance --