George (Lord) Byron | |
THERE'S not a joy the world can give like that it takes away
When the glow of early thought declines in feeling's dull decay;
'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone which fades so fast
But the tender bloom of heart is gone ere youth itself be past.
Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of happiness 5
Are driven o'er the shoals of guilt or ocean of excess:
The magnet of their course is gone or only points in vain
The shore to which their shiver'd sail shall never stretch again.
Then the mortal coldness of the soul like death itself comes down;
It cannot feel for others' woes it dare not dream its own; 10
That heavy chill has frozen o'er the fountain of our tears
And though the eye may sparkle still 'tis where the ice appears.
Though wit may flash from fluent lips and mirth distract the breast
Through midnight hours that yield no more their former hope of rest
'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruin'd turret wreathe 15
All green and wildly fresh without but worn and gray beneath.
Oh could I feel as I have felt or be what I have been
Or weep as I could once have wept o'er many a vanish'd scene ¡ª
As springs in deserts found seem sweet all brackish though they be
So midst the wither'd waste of life those tears would flow to me! 20
Galway Kinnell | |
There is a fork in a branch
of an ancient, enormous maple,
one of a grove of such trees,
where I climb sometimes and sit and look out
over miles of valleys and low hills.
Today on skis I took a friend
to show her the trees.
We set out
down the road, turned in at
the lane which a few weeks ago,
when the trees were almost empty
and the November snows had not yet come,
lay thickly covered in bright red
and yellow leaves, crossed the swamp,
passed the cellar hole holding
the remains of the 1850s farmhouse
that had slid down into it by stages
in the thirties and forties, followed
the overgrown logging road
and came to the trees.
I climbed up
to the perch, and this time looked
not into the distance but at
the tree itself, its trunk
contorted by the terrible struggle
of that time when it had its hard time.
After the trauma it grows less solid.
It may be some such time now comes upon me.
It would have to do with the unaccomplished,
and with the attempted marriage
of solitude and happiness.
Then a rifle
sounded, several times, quite loud,
from across the valley, percussions
of the custom of male mastery
over the earth ¡ª the most graceful,
most alert of the animals
being chosen to die.
to see if my friend had heard,
but she was stepping about on her skis,
studying the trees, smiling to herself,
her lips still filled, for all
we had drained them, with hundreds
and thousands of kisses.
she looked up ¡ª the way, from low
to high, the god blesses ¡ª and the blue
of her eyes shone out of the black
and white of bark and snow, as lovers
who are walking on a freezing day
touch icy cheek to icy cheek,
kiss, then shudder to discover
the heat waiting inside their mouths.
Dimitris P Kraniotis | |
to put a fullstop,
in the sentence
where the road
of my dreams
upon the word of happiness
of wet logs
from the inside of me
that I dared
to turn to ashes.
More great poems below...
Henry David Thoreau | |
I think awhile of Love, and while I think,
Love is to me a world,
Sole meat and sweetest drink,
And close connecting link
Tween heaven and earth.
I only know it is, not how or why,
My greatest happiness;
However hard I try,
Not if I were to die,
Can I explain.
I fain would ask my friend how it can be,
But when the time arrives,
Then Love is more lovely
Than anything to me,
And so I'm dumb.
For if the truth were known, Love cannot speak,
But only thinks and does;
Though surely out 'twill leak
Without the help of Greek,
Or any tongue.
A man may love the truth and practise it,
Beauty he may admire,
And goodness not omit,
As much as may befit
But only when these three together meet,
As they always incline,
And make one soul the seat,
And favorite retreat,
When under kindred shape, like loves and hates
And a kindred nature,
Proclaim us to be mates,
Exposed to equal fates
And each may other help, and service do,
Drawing Love's bands more tight,
Service he ne'er shall rue
While one and one make two,
And two are one;
In such case only doth man fully prove
Fully as man can do,
What power there is in Love
His inmost soul to move
Two sturdy oaks I mean, which side by side,
Withstand the winter's storm,
And spite of wind and tide,
Grow up the meadow's pride,
For both are strong
Above they barely touch, but undermined
Down to their deepest source,
Admiring you shall find
Their roots are intertwined
Louisa May Alcott | |
Mysterious death! who in a single hour
Life's gold can so refine
And by thy art divine
Change mortal weakness to immortal power!
Bending beneath the weight of eighty years
Spent with the noble strife
of a victorious life
We watched her fading heavenward, through our tears.
But ere the sense of loss our hearts had wrung
A miracle was wrought;
And swift as happy thought
She lived again -- brave, beautiful, and young.
Age, pain, and sorrow dropped the veils they wore
And showed the tender eyes
Of angels in disguise,
Whose discipline so patiently she bore.
The past years brought their harvest rich and fair;
While memory and love,
Together, fondly wove
A golden garland for the silver hair.
How could we mourn like those who are bereft,
When every pang of grief
found balm for its relief
In counting up the treasures she had left?--
Faith that withstood the shocks of toil and time;
Hope that defied despair;
Patience that conquered care;
And loyalty, whose courage was sublime;
The great deep heart that was a home for all--
Just, eloquent, and strong
In protest against wrong;
Wide charity, that knew no sin, no fall;
The spartan spirit that made life so grand,
Mating poor daily needs
With high, heroic deeds,
That wrested happiness from Fate's hard hand.
We thought to weep, but sing for joy instead,
Full of the grateful peace
That follows her release;
For nothing but the weary dust lies dead.
Oh, noble woman! never more a queen
Than in the laying down
Of sceptre and of crown
To win a greater kingdom, yet unseen;
Teaching us how to seek the highest goal,
To earn the true success --
To live, to love, to bless --
And make death proud to take a royal soul.
Petrarch | |
Siccome eterna vita è veder Dio.
ALL HIS HAPPINESS IS IN GAZING UPON HER.
As life eternal is with God to be,
No void left craving, there of all possess'd,
So, lady mine, to be with you makes blest,
This brief frail span of mortal life to me.
So fair as now ne'er yet was mine to see—
[Pg 174]If truth from eyes to heart be well express'd—
Lovely and blessèd spirit of my breast,
Which levels all high hopes and wishes free.
Nor would I more demand if less of haste
She show'd to part; for if, as legends tell
And credence find, are some who live by smell,
On water some, or fire who touch and taste,
All, things which neither strength nor sweetness give,
Why should not I upon your dear sight live?
Petrarch | |
Fera stella (se 'l cielo ha forza in noi).
TO PINE FOR HER IS BETTER THAN TO ENJOY HAPPINESS WITH ANY OTHER.
Ill-omen'd was that star's malignant gleam
That ruled my hapless birth; and dim the morn
That darted on my infant eyes the beam;
And harsh the wail, that told a man was born;
And hard the sterile earth, which first was worn
Beneath my infant feet; but harder far,
And harsher still, the tyrant maid, whose scorn,
In league with savage Love, inflamed the war
Of all my passions.
—Love himself more tame,
With pity soothes my ills; while that cold heart,
Insensible to the devouring flame
Which wastes my vitals, triumphs in my smart.
One thought is comfort—that her scorn to bear,
Excels e'er prosperous love, with other earthly fair.
[Pg 163] An evil star usher'd my natal morn
(If heaven have o'er us power, as some have said),
Hard was the cradle where I lay when born,
And hard the earth where first my young feet play'd;
Cruel the lady who, with eyes of scorn
And fatal bow, whose mark I still was made,
Dealt me the wound, O Love, which since I mourn
Whose cure thou only, with those arms, canst aid.
But, ah! to thee my torments pleasure bring:
She, too, severer would have wished the blow,
A spear-head thrust, and not an arrow-sting.
One comfort rests—better to suffer so
For her, than others to enjoy: and I,
Sworn on thy golden dart, on this for death rely.
Petrarch | |
L' ultimo, lasso! de' miei giorni allegri.
HE REVERTS TO THEIR LAST MEETING.
The last, alas! of my bright days and glad
—Few have been mine in this brief life below—
[Pg 285]Had come; I felt my heart as tepid snow,
Presage, perchance, of days both dark and sad.
As one in nerves, and pulse, and spirits bad,
Who of some frequent fever waits the blow,
E'en so I felt—for how could I foreknow
Such near end of the half-joys I have had?
Her beauteous eyes, in heaven now bright and bless'd
With the pure light whence health and life descends,
(Wretched and beggar'd leaving me behind,)
With chaste and soul-lit beams our grief address'd:
"Tarry ye here in peace, beloved friends,
Though here no more, we yet shall there be join'd.
Ah me! the last of all my happy days
(Not many happy days my years can show)
Was come! I felt my heart as turn'd to snow,
Presage, perhaps, that happiness decays!
E'en as the man whose shivering frame betrays,
And fluttering pulse, the ague's coming blow;
'Twas thus I felt!—but could I therefore know
How soon would end the bliss that never stays?
Those eyes that now, in heaven's delicious light,
Drink in pure beams which life and glory rain,
Just as they left mine, blinded, sunk in night,
Seem'd thus to say, sparkling unwonted bright,—
"Awhile, beloved friends, in peace remain,
Oh, we shall yet elsewhere exchange fond looks again!"
Petrarch | |
O giorno, o ora, o ultimo momento.
HE MOURNS HIS WANT OF PERCEPTION AT THAT MEETING.
O Day, O hour, O moment sweetest, last,
O stars conspired to make me poor indeed!
O look too true, in which I seem'd to read.
At parting, that my happiness was past;
Now my full loss I know, I feel at last:
Then I believed (ah! weak and idle creed!)
'Twas but a part alone I lost; instead,
Was there a hope that flew not with the blast?
[Pg 286]For, even then, it was in heaven ordain'd
That the sweet light of all my life should die:
'Twas written in her sadly-pensive eye!
But mine unconscious of the truth remain'd;
Or, what it would not see, to see refrain'd,
That I might sink in sudden misery!
Dark hour, last moment of that fatal day!
Stars which to beggar me of bliss combined!
O faithful glance, too well which seem'dst to say
Farewell to me, farewell to peace of mind!
Awaken'd now, my losses I survey:
Alas! I fondly thought—thoughts weak and blind!—
That absence would take part, not all, away;
How many hopes it scatter'd to the wind.
Heaven had already doom'd it otherwise,
To quench for ever my life's genial light,
And in her sad sweet face 'twas written so.
Surely a veil was placed around mine eyes,
That blinded me to all before my sight,
And sank at once my life in deepest woe.
Petrarch | |
Poi che voi ed io più volte abbiam provato.
TO A FRIEND, COUNSELLING HIM TO ABANDON EARTHLY PLEASURES.
Still has it been our bitter lot to prove
How hope, or e'er it reach fruition, flies!
Up then to that high good, which never dies,
Lift we the heart—to heaven's pure bliss above.
[Pg 95]On earth, as in a tempting mead, we rove,
Where coil'd 'mid flowers the traitor serpent lies;
And, if some casual glimpse delight our eyes,
'Tis but to grieve the soul enthrall'd by Love.
Oh! then, as thou wouldst wish ere life's last day
To taste the sweets of calm unbroken rest,
Tread firm the narrow, shun the beaten way—
Ah! to thy friend too well may be address'd:
"Thou show'st a path, thyself most apt to stray,
Which late thy truant feet, fond youth, have never press'd.
Friend, as we both in confidence complain
To see our ill-placed hopes return in vain,
Let that chief good which must for ever please
Exalt our thought and fix our happiness.
This world as some gay flowery field is spread,
Which hides a serpent in its painted bed,
And most it wounds when most it charms our eyes,
At once the tempter and the paradise.
And would you, then, sweet peace of mind restore,
And in fair calm expect your parting hour,
Leave the mad train, and court the happy few.
Well may it be replied, "O friend, you show
Others the path, from which so often you
Have stray'd, and now stray farther than before.
Petrarch | |
Nè per sereno cielo ir vaghe stelle.
NOTHING THAT NATURE OFFERS CAN AFFORD HIM CONSOLATION.
Not skies serene, with glittering stars inlaid,
Nor gallant ships o'er tranquil ocean dancing,
Nor gay careering knights in arms advancing,
Nor wild herds bounding through the forest glade,
Nor tidings new of happiness delay'd,
Nor poesie, Love's witchery enhancing,
Nor lady's song beside clear fountain glancing,
In beauty's pride, with chastity array'd;
Nor aught of lovely, aught of gay in show,
Shall touch my heart, now cold within her tomb
Who was erewhile my life and light below!
So heavy—tedious—sad—my days unblest,
That I, with strong desire, invoke Death's gloom,
Her to behold, whom ne'er to have seen were best!
Nor stars bright glittering through the cool still air,
Nor proud ships riding on the tranquil main,
Nor armed knights light pricking o'er the plain,
Nor deer in glades disporting void of care,
Nor tidings hoped by recent messenger,
Nor tales of love in high and gorgeous strain,
Nor by clear stream, green mead, or shady lane
Sweet-chaunted roundelay of lady fair;
Nor aught beside my heart shall e'er engage—
Sepulchred, as 'tis henceforth doom'd to be,
With her, my eyes' sole mirror, beam, and bliss.
Oh! how I long this weary pilgrimage
[Pg 270]To close; that I again that form may see,
Which never to have seen had been my happiness!
Edmund Blunden | by Edmund Blunden. You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/23156/The_Childs_Grave' st_title='The Child's Grave'>|
I came to the churchyard where pretty Joy lies
On a morning in April, a rare sunny day;
Such bloom rose around, and so many birds' cries
That I sang for delight as I followed the way.
I sang for delight in the ripening of spring,
For dandelions even were suns come to earth;
Not a moment went by but a new lark took wing
To wait on the season with melody's mirth.
Love-making birds were my mates all the road,
And who would wish surer delight for the eye
Than to see pairing goldfinches gleaming abroad
Or yellowhammers sunning on paling and sty?
And stocks in the almswomen's garden were blown,
With rich Easter roses each side of the door;
The lazy white owls in the glade cool and lone
Paid calls on their cousins in the elm's chambered core.
This peace, then, and happiness thronged me around.
Nor could I go burdened with grief, but made merry
Till I came to the gate of that overgrown ground
Where scarce once a year sees the priest come to bury.
Over the mounds stood the nettles in pride,
And, where no fine flowers, there kind weeds dared to wave;
It seemed but as yesterday she lay by my side,
And now my dog ate of the grass on her grave.
He licked my hand wondering to see me muse so,
And wished I would lead on the journey or home,
As though not a moment of spring were to go
In brooding; but I stood, if her spirit might come
And tell me her life, since we left her that day
In the white lilied coffin, and rained down our tears;
But the grave held no answer, though long I should stay;
How strange that this clay should mingle with hers!
So I called my good dog, and went on my way;
Joy's spirit shone then in each flower I went by,
And clear as the noon, in coppice and ley,
Her sweet dawning smile and her violet eye!
Sara Teasdale | |
You took my empty dreams
And filled them every one
With tenderness and nobleness,
April and the sun.
The old empty dreams
Where my thoughts would throng
Are far too full of happiness
To even hold a song.
Oh, the empty dreams were dim
And the empty dreams were wide,
They were sweet and shadowy houses
Where my thoughts could hide.
But you took my dreams away
And you made them all come true --
My thoughts have no place now to play,
And nothing now to do.
Calvin Ziegler | |
Die ganz Welt iwwer
Frei die Leit sich sehr,
Un alles is harrlich, as wann der Daag
Vom Himmel gelosse waer.
Ich hock allee in mei Zimmer
Un denk so iwwer die Zeit -
Wie der Geischt vun Grischt sich immer
Weider un weider ausbreid:
Un wie heit in yeder Famillye
Frehlich un gutes Mut
In die liewi aldi Heemet
Sich widder versammle dutt.
Ach widder deheem! Ach, Yammer! -
Net all! Deel sin yo heit
Zu weit vun uns ab zu kumme -
Fatt in de Ewichkeit.
Net all deheem! Verleicht awwer -
Unich behaap's kann sei -
Im Geischt sin mir all beisamme
Un griesse enanner uff's nei!
So sin mir vereenicht widder -
Loss die Zeit vergeb wiesie will;
Ich drink eich ein Gruss, ihr Brieder!
Verwas sitzt dir all so schtill?
Weit ab - iwwer Barig un Valley,
Un iwwer die Ewichkeit's Brick -
Vun eich Brieder all, wie Geischdeschall
Kummt mir Eier Gruss zerick.
The whole world over
Everyone's filled with love,
And everything's joyful, as if the day
Was given from above.
I sit alone in my room
Thinking about the times -
How the spirit of Christ always
Wider and wider shines.
And how today all families
With much happiness embrace
As they gather once again
In the dear old home place.
All home again! Oh, not so! -
Not all! Some today in reality
Are far from us below -
Away in eternity!
Not all at home! Perhaps though -
And I insist I knew -
In the spirit we're all together
And greet each other anew.
So we are together again -
May the time go as it will,
I drink to you a toast, brothers!
Why do you all sit so still?
Far away - over valley and ridge,
And over the eternal bridge -
From you brothers, like a spiritual echo
Your greeting returns below.
Ehsan Sehgal | |
O' my stranger friend
Don't play with my sadness
I know you are happiness
But happiness is not my destiny
Let me live with my sadness
I am now familiar of that
It is a part of my life
It will never leave me.