Elinor Wylie | |
Poets make pets of pretty, docile words:
I love smooth words, like gold-enamelled fish
Which circle slowly with a silken swish,
And tender ones, like downy-feathred birds:
Words shy and dappled, deep-eyed deer in herds,
Come to my hand, and playful if I wish,
Or purring softly at a silver dish,
Blue Persian kittens fed on cream and curds.
I love bright words, words up and singing early;
Words that are luminous in the dark, and sing;
Warm lazy words, white cattle under trees;
I love words opalescent, cool, and pearly,
Like midsummer moths, and honied words like bees,
Gilded and sticky, with a little sting.
Andrew Barton Paterson | |
There's a soldier that's been doing of his share
In the fighting up and down and round about.
He's continually marching here and there,
And he's fighting, morning in and morning out.
The Boer, you see, he generally runs;
But sometimes, when he hides behind a rock,
And we can't make no impression with the guns,
Oh, then you'll hear the order, "Send for Jock!"
Yes -- it's Jock -- Scotch Jock.
He's the fellow that can give or take a knock.
For he's hairy and he's hard,
And his feet are by the yard,
And his face is like the face what's on a clock.
But when the bullets fly you will mostly hear the cry --
"Send for Jock!"
The Cavalry have gun and sword and lance;
Before they choose their weapon, why, they're dead.
The Mounted Foot are hampered in advance
By holding of their helmets on their head.
And, when the Boer has dug himself a trench
And placed his Maxim gun behind a rock,
These mounted heroes -- pets of Johnny French --
They have to sit and wait and send for Jock!
Yes, the Jocks -- Scotch Jocks,
With their music that'd terrify an ox!
When the bullets kick the sand
You can hear the sharp command --
"Forty-Second! At the double! Charge the rocks!"
And the charge is like a hood
When they warmed the Highland blood
Of the Jocks!
Vachel Lindsay | |
I am unjust, but I can strive for justice.
My life's unkind, but I can vote for kindness.
I, the unloving, say life should be lovely.
I, that am blind, cry out against my blindness.
Man is a curious brute — he pets his fancies —
Fighting mankind, to win sweet luxury.
So he will be, tho' law be clear as crystal,
Tho' all men plan to live in harmony.
Come, let us vote against our human nature,
Crying to God in all the polling places
To heal our everlasting sinfulness
And make us sages with transfigured faces.
More great poems below...
Vachel Lindsay | |
Life's a jail where men have common lot.
Gaunt the one who has, and who has not.
All our treasures neither less nor more,
Bread alone comes thro' the guarded door.
Cards are foolish in this jail, I think,
Yet they play for shoes, for drabs and drink.
She, my lawless, sharp-tongued gypsy maid
Will not scorn with me this jail-bird trade,
Pets some fox-eyed boy who turns the trick,
Tho' he win a button or a stick,
Pencil, garter, ribbon, corset-lace —
His the glory, mine is the disgrace.
Sweet, I'd rather lose than win despite
Love of hearty words and maids polite.
"Love's a gamble," say you.
Love's a gift.
I love you till I die.
Gamblers fight like rats.
I will not play.
All I ever had I gave away.
All I ever coveted was peace
Such as comes if we have jail release.
Cards are puzzles, tho' the prize be gold,
Cards help not the bread that tastes of mold,
Cards dye not your hair to black more deep,
Cards make not the children cease to weep.
Scorned, I sit with half shut eyes all day —
Watch the cataract of sunshine play
Down the wall, and dance upon the floor.
Sun, come down and break the dungeon door!
Of such gold dust could I make a key, —
Turn the bolt — how soon we would be free!
Over borders we would hurry on
Safe by sunrise farms, and springs of dawn,
Wash our wounds and jail stains there at last,
Azure rivers flowing, flowing past.
God has great estates just past the line,
Green farms for all, and meat and corn and wine.
Randall Jarrell | |
It was not dying: everybody died.
It was not dying: we had died before
In the routine crashes-- and our fields
Called up the papers, wrote home to our folks,
And the rates rose, all because of us.
We died on the wrong page of the almanac,
Scattered on mountains fifty miles away;
Diving on haystacks, fighting with a friend,
We blazed up on the lines we never saw.
We died like aunts or pets or foreigners.
(When we left high school nothing else had died
For us to figure we had died like.
In our new planes, with our new crews, we bombed
The ranges by the desert or the shore,
Fired at towed targets, waited for our scores--
And turned into replacements and worke up
One morning, over England, operational.
It wasn't different: but if we died
It was not an accident but a mistake
(But an easy one for anyone to make.
We read our mail and counted up our missions--
In bombers named for girls, we burned
The cities we had learned about in school--
Till our lives wore out; our bodies lay among
The people we had killed and never seen.
When we lasted long enough they gave us medals;
When we died they said, "Our casualties were low.
The said, "Here are the maps"; we burned the cities.
It was not dying --no, not ever dying;
But the night I died I dreamed that I was dead,
And the cities said to me: "Why are you dying?
We are satisfied, if you are; but why did I die?"