Percy Bysshe Shelley | |
THE fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single 5
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle¡ª
Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another; 10
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdain'd its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea¡ª
What are all these kissings worth 15
If thou kiss not me?
Sylvia Plath | |
Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue
Pour of tor and distances.
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees! ---The furrow
Splits and passes, sister to
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,
Berries cast dark
Black sweet blood mouthfuls,
Hauls me through air ---
Flakes from my heels.
Godiva, I unpeel ---
Dead hands, dead stringencies.
And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
The child's cry
Melts in the wall.
Am the arrow,
The dew that flies,
Suicidal, at one with the drive
Into the red
Eye, the cauldron of morning.
William Henry Davies | |
I pray you, Sadness, leave me soon,
In sweet invention thou art poor!
Thy sister, Joy can make ten songs
While thou art making four.
One hour with thee is sweet enough;
But when we find the whole day gone
And no created thing is left --
We mourn the evil done.
Thou art too slow to shape thy thoughts
In stone, on canvas, or in song;
But Joy, being full of active heat,
Must do some deed ere long.
Thy sighs are gentle, sweet thy tears;
But if thou canst not help a man
To prove in substance what he feels --
Then givve me Joy, who can.
Therefore sweet Sadness, leave me soon,
Let thy bright sister, Joy, come more;
For she can make ten lovely songs
While thou art making four.
George William Russell | |
NOT the soul that’s whitest
Wakens love the sweetest:
When the heart is lightest
Oft the charm is fleetest.
While the snow-frail maiden,
Waits the time of learning,
To the passion laden
Turn with eager yearning.
While the heart is burning
Heaven with earth is banded:
To the stars returning
Go not empty-handed.
Ah, the snow-frail maiden!
Somehow truth has missed her,
Left the heart unladen
For its burdened sister.
George William Russell | |
O HOLY SPIRIT of the Hazel, hearken now:
Though shining suns and silver moons burn on the bough,
And though the fruit of stars by many myriads gleam,
Yet in the undergrowth below, still in thy dream,
Lighting the monstrous maze and labyrinthine gloom
Are many gem-winged flowers with gay and delicate bloom.
And in the shade, hearken, O Dreamer of the Tree,
One wild-rose blossom of thy spirit breathed on me
With lovely and still light: a little sister flower
To those that whitely on the tall moon-branches tower.
Lord of the Hazel, now, O hearken while I pray.
This wild-rose blossom of thy spirit fades away.
Friedrich von Schiller | |
Enraged against a quondam friend,
To Wisdom once proud Fortune said
"I'll give thee treasures without end,
If thou wilt be my friend instead.
"My choicest gifts to him I gave,
And ever blest him with my smile;
And yet he ceases not to crave,
And calls me niggard all the while.
"Come, sister, let us friendship vow!
So take the money, nothing loth;
Why always labor at the plough?
Here is enough I'm sure for both!"
Sage wisdom laughed,--the prudent elf!--
And wiped her brow, with moisture hot:
"There runs thy friend to hang himself,--
Be reconciled--I need thee not!"
Algernon Charles Swinburne | |
Birth and death, twin-sister and twin-brother,
Night and day, on all things that draw breath,
Reign, while time keeps friends with one another
Birth and death.
Each brow-bound with flowers diverse of wreath,
Heaven they hail as father, earth as mother,
Faithful found above them and beneath.
Smiles may lighten tears, and tears may smother
Smiles, for all that joy or sorrow saith:
Joy nor sorrow knows not from each other
Birth and death.
Henry Van Dyke | |
What hast thou done, O womanhood of France,
Mother and daughter, sister, sweetheart, wife,
What hast thou done, amid this fateful strife,
To prove the pride of thine inheritance
In this fair land of freedom and romance?
I hear thy voice with tears and courage rife,--
Smiling against the swords that seek thy life,--
Make answer in a noble utterance:
"I give France all I have, and all she asks.
Would it were more! Ah, let her ask and take:
My hands to nurse her wounded, do her tasks,--
My feet to run her errands through the dark,--
My heart to bleed in triumph for her sake,--
And all my soul to follow thee, Jeanne d'Arc!"
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |
SISTER of the first-born light,
Type of sorrowing gentleness!
Quivering mists in silv'ry dress
Float around thy features bright;
When thy gentle foot is heard,
From the day-closed caverns then
Wake the mournful ghosts of men,
I, too, wake, and each night-bird.
O'er a field of boundless span
Looks thy gaze both far and wide.
Raise me upwards to thy side!
Grant this to a raving man!
And to heights of rapture raised,
Let the knight so crafty peep
At his maiden while asleep,
Through her lattice-window glazed.
Soon the bliss of this sweet view,
Pangs by distance caused allays;
And I gather all thy rays,
And my look I sharpen too.
Round her unveil'd limbs I see
Brighter still become the glow,
And she draws me down below,
As Endymion once drew thee.
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.
Ellis Parker Butler | |
A Scotchman whose name was Isbister
Had a maiden giraffe he called “sister”
When she said “Oh, be mine,
Be my sweet Valentine!”
He just shinned up her long neck and kissed her.
Sir Walter Raleigh | |
I was a Poet!
But I did not know it,
Neither did my Mother,
Nor my Sister nor my Brother.
The Rich were not aware of it;
The Poor took no care of it.
The Reverend Mr.
Never knew it.
The High did not suspect it;
The Low could not detect it.
Said it was obviously untrue.
Said I was off my head:
(This from a Colonial
Was really a good testimonial.
Still everybody seemed to think
That genius owes a good deal to drink.
So that is how
I am not a poet now,
My inspiration has run dry.
It is no sort of use
To cultivate the Muse
If vulgar people
Can't tell a village pump from a church steeple.
I am merely apologizing
For the lack of the surprising
In what I write
I am quite well-meaning,
But a lot of things are always intervening
What I mean
And what it is said
I had in my head.
It is all very puzzling.
Says Poets need muzzling.
Trip upon trenchers,
And dance upon dishes,
My mother sent me for some barm, some barm;
She bid me go lightly,
And come again quickly,
For fear the young men should do me some harm.
Yet didn't you see, yet didn't you see,
What naughty tricks they put upon me?
They broke my pitcher
And spilt the water,
And huffed my mother,
And chid her daughter,
And kissed my sister instead of me.
Molly, my sister and I fell out,
And what do you think it was all about?
She loved coffee and I loved tea,
And that was the reason we couldn't agree.
Paul Laurence Dunbar | |
Therefore I dare reveal my private woe,
The secret blots of my imperfect heart,
Nor strive to shrink or swell mine own desert,
Nor beautify nor hide.
For this I know,
That even as I am, thou also art.
Thou past heroic forms unmoved shalt go,
To pause and bide with me, to whisper low:
"Not I alone am weak, not I apart
Must suffer, struggle, conquer day by day.
Here is my very cross by strangers borne,
Here is my bosom-sin wherefrom I pray
Hourly deliverance--this my rose, my thorn.
This woman my soul's need can understand,
Stretching o'er silent gulfs her sister hand.
Edna St Vincent Millay | |
Night is my sister, and how deep in love,
How drowned in love and weedily washed ashore,
There to be fretted by the drag and shove
At the tide's edge, I lie—these things and more:
Whose arm alone between me and the sand,
Whose voice alone, whose pitiful breath brought near,
Could thaw these nostrils and unlock this hand,
She could advise you, should you care to hear.
Small chance, however, in a storm so black,
A man will leave his friendly fire and snug
For a drowned woman's sake, and bring her back
To drip and scatter shells upon the rug.
No one but Night, with tears on her dark face,
Watches beside me in this windy place.
James Joyce | |
My dove, my beautiful one,
The night-dew lies
Upon my lips and eyes.
The odorous winds are weaving
A music of sighs:
My dove, my beautiful one!
I wait by the cedar tree,
My sister, my love,
White breast of the dove,
My breast shall be your bed.
The pale dew lies
Like a veil on my head.
My fair one, my fair dove,
Sidney Lanier | |
A pale enchanted moon is sinking low
Behind the dunes that fringe the shadowy lea,
And there is haunted starlight on the flow
Of immemorial sea.
I am alone and need no more pretend
Laughter or smile to hide a hungry heart;
I walk with solitude as with a friend
Enfolded and apart.
We tread an eerie road across the moor
Where shadows weave upon their ghostly looms,
And winds sing an old lyric that might lure
Sad queens from ancient tombs.
I am a sister to the loveliness
Of cool far hill and long-remembered shore,
Finding in it a sweet forgetfulness
Of all that hurt before.
The world of day, its bitterness and cark,
No longer have the power to make me weep;
I welcome this communion of the dark
As toilers welcome sleep.
Robert Creeley | |
Having begun in thought there
in that factual embodied wonder
what was lost in the emptied lovers
patience and mind I first felt there
wondered again and again what for
myself so meager and finally singular
despite all issued therefrom whether
sister or mother or brother and father
come to love's emptied place too late
to feel it again see again first there
all the peculiar wet tenderness the care
of her for whom to be other was first fate.
Allen Ginsberg | |
Hey Father Death, I'm flying home
Hey poor man, you're all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I'm going
Father Death, Don't cry any more
Mama's there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store
Old Aunty Death Don't hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans
O Sister Death how sweet your moans
O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts'll ease your Deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest
Genius Death your art is done
Lover Death your body's gone
Father Death I'm coming home
Guru Death your words are true
Teacher Death I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this Blues
Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is new
Sangha Death, we'll work it through
Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn
Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.
July 8, 1976 (Over Lake Michigan)
Adrian Green | |
Not blues in twelve
but there is joy
and pink champagne,
the maker’s music
in syncopated synergy
from Dixieland to Rock ‘n’ Roll,
and here the cornet-master
leads in tones
a trumpet cannot blow.
The sidemen nod their harmonies,
their music coursing
through an energy of swing;
dancing round the tune;
a lover’s touch
caressing melody from bass;
and sax, deep throated tenor
above the drums’
Not blues in twelve,
but upbeat late
like Sister Kate.
an emptiness away.
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.
Thomas Lux | |
hurled this way look like wheels
in the sky.
Look: there goes
Larry the Shoemaker, barefoot, over the wall,
and Mary Sausage Stuffer, see how she flies,
and the Hatter twins, both at once, soar
over the parapet, little Tommy's elbow bent
as if in a salute,
and his sister, Mathilde, she follows him,
arms outstretched, through the air,
just as she did
Paul Muldoon | |
My eldest sister arrived home that morning
In her white muslin evening dress.
'Who the hell do you think you are
Running out to dances in next to nothing?
As though we hadn't enough bother
With the world at war, if not at an end.
My father was pounding the breakfast-table.
'Those Yankees were touch and go as it was—
If you'd heard Patton in Armagh—
But this Kennedy's nearly an Irishman
So he's not much better than ourselves.
And him with only to say the word.
If you've got anything on your mind
Maybe you should make your peace with God.
I could hear May from beyond the curtain.
'Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.
I told a lie once, I was disobedient once.
And, Father, a boy touched me once.
'Tell me, child.
Was this touch immodest?
Did he touch your breasts, for example?'
'He brushed against me, Father.
Paul Muldoon | |
My father and mother, my brother and sister
and I, with uncle Pat, our dour best-loved uncle,
had set out that Sunday afternoon in July
in his broken-down Ford
not to visit some graveyard—one died of shingles,
one of fever, another's knees turned to jelly—
but the brand-new roundabout at Ballygawley,
the first in mid-Ulster.
Uncle Pat was telling us how the B-Specials
had stopped him one night somewhere near Ballygawley
and smashed his bicycle
and made him sing the Sash and curse the Pope of Rome.
They held a pistol so hard against his forehead
there was still the mark of an O when he got home.