Alfred Lord Tennyson | |
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
Conrad Aiken | |
In the mazes of loitering people, the watchful and furtive,
The shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves,
In the drowse of the sunlight, among the low voices,
I suddenly face you,
Your dark eyes return for a space from her who is with you,
They shine into mine with a sunlit desire,
They say an 'I love you, what star do you live on?'
They smile and then darken,
And silent, I answer 'You too--I have known you,--I love you!--'
And the shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves
Interlace with low voices and footsteps and sunlight
To divide us forever.
Edgar Allan Poe | |
Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart
Vulture whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood
The Elfin from the green grass and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?
More great poems below...
William Blake | |
THE sun descending in the west
The evening star does shine;
The birds are silent in their nest.
And I must seek for mine.
The moon like a flower 5
In heaven's high bower
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night.
Farewell green fields and happy grove
Where flocks have took delight: 10
Where lambs have nibbled silent move
The feet of angels bright;
Unseen they pour blessing
And joy without ceasing
On each bud and blossom 15
And each sleeping bosom.
They look in every thoughtless nest
Where birds are cover'd warm;
They visit caves of every beast
To keep them all from harm: 20
If they see any weeping
That should have been sleeping
They pour sleep on their head
And sit down by their bed.
When wolves and tigers howl for prey 25
They pitying stand and weep
Seeking to drive their thirst away
And keep them from the sheep.
But if they rush dreadful
The angels most heedful 30
Receive each mild spirit
New worlds to inherit.
And there the lion's ruddy eyes
Shall flow with tears of gold:
And pitying the tender cries 35
And walking round the fold:
Saying 'Wrath by His meekness
And by His health sickness
Are driven away
From our immortal day.
'And now beside thee bleating lamb
I can lie down and sleep
Or think on Him who bore thy name
Graze after thee and weep.
For wash'd in life's river 45
My bright mane for ever
Shall shine like the gold
As I guard o'er the fold.
Edgar Allan Poe | |
In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
"Whose heart-strings are a lute";
None sing so wildly well
As the angel Israfel
And the giddy stars (so legends tell)
Ceasing their hymns attend the spell
Of his voice all mute.
In her highest noon
The enamored moon
Blushes with love
While to listen the red levin
(With the rapid Pleiads even
Which were seven )
Pauses in Heaven.
And they say (the starry choir
And the other listening things)
That Israfeli's fire
Is owing to that lyre
By which he sits and sings-
The trembling living wire
Of those unusual strings.
But the skies that angel trod
Where deep thoughts are a duty-
Where Love's a grown-up God-
Where the Houri glances are
Imbued with all the beauty
Which we worship in a star.
Therefore thou art not wrong
Israfeli who despisest
An unimpassioned song;
To thee the laurels belong
Best bard because the wisest!
Merrily live and long!
The ecstasies above
With thy burning measures suit-
Thy grief thy joy thy hate thy love
With the fervor of thy lute-
Well may the stars be mute!
Yes Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely- flowers
And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
Is the sunshine of ours.
If I could dwell
Hath dwelt and he where I
He might not sing so wildly well
A mortal melody
While a bolder note than this might swell
From my lyre within the sky.
John Keats | |
BRIGHT Star! would I were steadfast as thou art¡ª
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching with eternal lids apart
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite
The moving waters at their priest-like task 5
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors¡ª
No¡ªyet still steadfast still unchangeable
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast 10
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest
Still still to hear her tender-taken breath
And so live ever¡ªor else swoon to death.
Percy Bysshe Shelley | |
THE sun is warm the sky is clear
The waves are dancing fast and bright
Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
The purple noon's transparent might:
The breath of the moist earth is light 5
Around its unexpanded buds;
Like many a voice of one delight¡ª
The winds' the birds' the ocean-floods'¡ª
The city's voice itself is soft like solitude's.
I see the deep's untrampled floor 10
With green and purple seaweeds strown;
I see the waves upon the shore
Like light dissolved in star-showers thrown.
I sit upon the sands alone;
The lightning of the noontide ocean 15
Is flashing round me and a tone
Arises from its measured motion¡ª
How sweet did any heart now share in my emotion!
Alas! I have nor hope nor health
Nor peace within nor calm around; 20
Nor that content surpassing wealth
The sage in meditation found
And walk'd with inward glory crown'd;
Nor fame nor power nor love nor leisure.
Others I see whom these surround¡ª 25
Smiling they live and call life pleasure:
To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.
Yet now despair itself is mild
Even as the winds and waters are;
I could lie down like a tired child 30
And weep away the life of care
Which I have borne and yet must bear ¡ª
Till death like sleep might steal on me
And I might feel in the warm air
My cheek grow cold and hear the sea 35
Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | |
THE SHADES of night were falling fast
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth who bore 'mid snow and ice
A banner with the strange device
His brow was sad; his eye beneath
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue
In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above the spectral glaciers shone
And from his lips escaped a groan
Try not the Pass! the old man said;
Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!
And loud that clarion voice replied
Oh, stay, the maiden said and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast!
A tear stood in his bright blue eye
But still he answered with a sigh
Beware the pine-tree's withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!
This was the peasant's last Good-night
A voice replied far up the height
At break of day as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer
A voice cried through the startled air
A traveller by the faithful hound
Half-buried in the snow was found
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device
There in the twilight cold and gray
Lifeless but beautiful he lay
And from the sky serene and far
A voice fell like a falling star
Emily Dickinson | |
I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step
Around a pile of mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare
To fit its sides, and crawl between,
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill
And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop--docile and omnipotent--
At its own stable door.
Percy Bysshe Shelley | |
ONE word is too often profaned
For me to profane it
One feeling too falsely disdain'd
For thee to disdain it.
One hope is too like despair 5
For prudence to smother
And pity from thee more dear
Than that from another.
I can give not what men call love;
But wilt thou accept not 10
The worship the heart lifts above
And the Heavens reject not:
The desire of the moth for the star
Of the night for the morrow
The devotion to something afar 15
From the sphere of our sorrow?
Percy Bysshe Shelley | |
SWIFTLY walk over the western wave
Spirit of Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave
Where all the long and lone daylight
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear 5
Which make thee terrible and dear ¡ª
Swift be thy flight!
Wrap thy form in a mantle gray
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day 10
Kiss her until she be wearied out:
Then wander o'er city and sea and land
Touching all with thine opiate wand¡ª
When I arose and saw the dawn 15
I sigh'd for thee;
When light rode high and the dew was gone
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree
And the weary Day turn'd to his rest
Lingering like an unloved guest 20
I sigh'd for thee.
Thy brother Death came and cried
Wouldst thou me?
Thy sweet child Sleep the filmy-eyed
Murmur'd like a noontide bee 25
Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me? ¡ªAnd I replied
No, not thee!
Death will come when thou art dead
Soon too soon; 30
Sleep will come when thou art fled:
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee belov¨¨d Night¡ª
Swift be thine approaching flight
Come soon soon! 35
Wallace Stevens | |
An old man sits
In the shadow of a pine tree
He sees larkspur,
Blue and white,
At the edge of the shadow,
Move in the wind.
His beard moves in the wind.
The pine tree moves in the wind.
Thus water flows
The night is of the colour
Of a woman's arm:
Night, the female,
Fragrant and supple,
A pool shines,
Like a bracelet
Shaken in a dance.
I measure myself
Against a tall tree.
I find that I am much taller,
For I reach right up to the sun,
With my eye;
And I reach to the shore of the sea
With my ear.
Nevertheless, I dislike
The way ants crawl
In and out of my shadow.
When my dream was near the moon,
The white folds of its gown
Filled with yellow light.
The soles of its feet
Its hair filled
With certain blue crystallizations
Not far off.
Not all the knives of the lamp-posts,
Nor the chisels of the long streets,
Nor the mallets of the domes
And high towers,
What one star can carve,
Shining through the grape-leaves.
Rationalists, wearing square hats,
Think, in square rooms,
Looking at the floor,
Looking at the ceiling.
They confine themselves
To right-angled triangles.
If they tried rhomboids,
Cones, waving lines, ellipses --
As, for example, the ellipse of the half-moon --
Rationalists would wear sombreros.
Percy Bysshe Shelley | |
BEST and brightest come away ¡ª
Fairer far than this fair day
Which like thee to those in sorrow
Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow
To the rough year just awake 5
In its cradle on the brake.
The brightest hour of unborn Spring
Through the winter wandering
Found it seems the halcyon morn
To hoar February born; 10
Bending from heaven in azure mirth
It kiss'd the forehead of the earth
And smiled upon the silent sea
And bade the frozen streams be free
And waked to music all their fountains 15
And breathed upon the frozen mountains
And like a prophetess of May
Strew'd flowers upon the barren way
Making the wintry world appear
Like one on whom thou smilest dear.
Away away from men and towns
To the wild woods and the downs¡ª
To the silent wilderness
Where the soul need not repress
Its music lest it should not find 25
An echo in another's mind
While the touch of Nature's art
Harmonizes heart to heart.
Radiant Sister of the Day
Awake! arise! and come away! 30
To the wild woods and the plains
To the pools where winter rains
Image all their roof of leaves
Where the pine its garland weaves
Of sapless green and ivy dun 35
Round stems that never kiss the sun;
Where the lawns and pastures be
And the sandhills of the sea;
Where the melting hoar-frost wets
The daisy-star that never sets 40
And wind-flowers and violets
Which yet join not scent to hue
Crown the pale year weak and new;
When the night is left behind
In the deep east dim and blind 45
And the blue noon is over us
And the multitudinous
Billows murmur at our feet
Where the earth and ocean meet
And all things seem only one 50
In the universal Sun.
Alfred Lord Tennyson | |
COME down, O maid, from yonder mountain height:
What pleasure lives in height (the shepherd sang),
In height and cold, the splendour of the hills?
But cease to move so near the Heavens, and cease
To glide a sunbeam by the blasted Pine, 5
To sit a star upon the sparkling spire;
And come, for Love is of the valley, come,
For Love is of the valley, come thou down
And find him; by the happy threshold, he,
Or hand in hand with Plenty in the maize, 10
Or red with spirted purple of the vats,
Or foxlike in the vine; nor cares to walk
With Death and Morning on the silver horns,
Nor wilt thou snare him in the white ravine,
Nor find him dropt upon the firths of ice, 15
That huddling slant in furrow-cloven falls
To roll the torrent out of dusky doors:
But follow; let the torrent dance thee down
To find him in the valley; let the wild
Lean-headed Eagles yelp alone, and leave 20
The monstrous ledges there to slope, and spill
Their thousand wreaths of dangling water-smoke,
That like a broken purpose waste in air:
So waste not thou; but come; for all the vales
Await thee; azure pillars of the hearth 25
Arise to thee; the children call, and I
Thy shepherd pipe, and sweet is every sound,
Sweeter thy voice, but every sound is sweet;
Myriads of rivulets hurrying thro' the lawn,
The moan of doves in immemorial elms, 30
And murmuring of innumerable bees.
Alfred Lord Tennyson | |
DEEP on the convent-roof the snows
Are sparkling to the moon:
My breath to heaven like vapour goes:
May my soul follow soon!
The shadows of the convent-towers 5
Slant down the snowy sward,
Still creeping with the creeping hours
That lead me to my Lord:
Make Thou my spirit pure and clear
As are the frosty skies, 10
Or this first snowdrop of the year
That in my bosom lies.
As these white robes are soil'd and dark,
To yonder shining ground;
As this pale taper's earthly spark, 15
To yonder argent round;
So shows my soul before the Lamb,
My spirit before Thee;
So in mine earthly house I am,
To that I hope to be.
Break up the heavens, O Lord! and far,
Thro' all yon starlight keen,
Draw me, thy bride, a glittering star,
In raiment white and clean.
He lifts me to the golden doors; 25
The flashes come and go;
All heaven bursts her starry floors,
And strows her lights below,
And deepens on and up! the gates
Roll back, and far within 30
For me the Heavenly Bridegroom waits,
To make me pure of sin.
The sabbaths of Eternity,
One sabbath deep and wide¡ª
A light upon the shining sea¡ª 35
The Bridegroom with his bride!
John Donne | |
GO and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the Devil's foot;
Teach me to hear mermaids singing, 5
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
Serves to advance an honest mind.
If thou be'st born to strange sights, 10
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights
Till Age snow white hairs on thee;
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me
All strange wonders that befell thee, 15
Lives a woman true and fair.
If thou find'st one, let me know;
Such a pilgrimage were sweet.
Yet do not; I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet.
Though she were true when you met her,
And last till you write your letter,
Yet she 25
False, ere I come, to two or three.
Percy Bysshe Shelley | |
THE world's great age begins anew
The golden years return
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn;
Heaven smiles and faiths and empires gleam 5
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.
A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
From waves serener far;
A new Peneus rolls his fountains
Against the morning star; 10
Where fairer Tempes bloom there sleep
Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep.
A loftier Argo cleaves the main
Fraught with a later prize;
Another Orpheus sings again 15
And loves and weeps and dies;
A new Ulysses leaves once more
Calypso for his native shore.
O write no more the tale of Troy
If earth Death's scroll must be¡ª 20
Nor mix with Laian rage the joy
Which dawns upon the free
Although a subtler Sphinx renew
Riddles of death Thebes never knew.
Another Athens shall arise 25
And to remoter time
Bequeath like sunset to the skies
The splendour of its prime;
And leave if naught so bright may live
All earth can take or Heaven can give.
Saturn and Love their long repose
Shall burst more bright and good
Than all who fell than One who rose
Than many unsubdued:
Not gold not blood their altar dowers 35
But votive tears and symbol flowers.
O cease! must hate and death return?
Cease! must men kill and die?
Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn
Of bitter prophecy! 40
The world is weary of the past¡ª
O might it die or rest at last!
SEE the Chariot at hand here of Love,
Wherein my Lady rideth!
Each that draws is a swan or a dove,
And well the car Love guideth.
As she goes, all hearts do duty 5
Unto her beauty;
And enamour'd do wish, so they might
But enjoy such a sight,
That they still were to run by her side,
Through swords, through seas, whither she would ride.
Do but look on her eyes, they do light
All that Love's world compriseth!
Do but look on her hair, it is bright
As Love's star when it riseth!
Do but mark, her forehead's smoother 15
Than words that soothe her;
And from her arch'd brows such a grace
Sheds itself through the face,
As alone there triumphs to the life
All the gain, all the good, of the elements' strife.
Have you seen but a bright lily grow
Before rude hands have touch'd it?
Have you mark'd but the fall of the snow
Before the soil hath smutch'd it?
Have you felt the wool of beaver, 25
Or swan's down ever?
Or have smelt o' the bud o' the brier,
Or the nard in the fire?
Or have tasted the bag of the bee?
O so white, O so soft, O so sweet is she! 30
Sara Teasdale | |
Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things;
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up,
Holding wonder like a cup.
Life has loveliness to sell;
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And, for the Spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.
Give all you have for loveliness;
Buy it, and never count the cost!
For one white, singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost;
And for a breath of ecstasy,
Give all you have been, or could be.
Higher than a house, higher than a tree.
Oh! whatever can that be?
Christian Bobin | |
The one we love, she appears before us undressed.
She is in a light dress, like those that once flourished on Sundays on church porches and the parquets of ballrooms.
And yet she is naked - like a star at the breaking of day.
Seeing you there, a clearing opened in my eyes.
To see that white dress, as white as blue sky.
By looking to the essential, the purity of the world is reborn.
(translated by C.
Anonymous | |
How radiant the evening skies!
Broad wing of blue in heaven unfurled,
God watching with unwearied eyes
The welfare of a sleeping world.
He rolls the sun to its decline,
And speeds it on to realms afar,
To let the modest glowworm shine,
And men behold the evening star.
He lights the wild flower in the wood,
He rocks the sparrow in her nest,
He guides the angels on their road,
That come to guard us while we restWhen blows the bee his tiny horn,
To wake the sisterhood of flowers,
He kindles with His smile the morn,
To bless with light the winged hours.
O God! look down with loving eyes
Upon Thy children slumbering here,
Beneath this tent of starry skies,
For heaven is nigh, and Thou art near.
Anonymous | |
How beautiful the setting sun!
The clouds, how bright and gay!
The stars, appearing one by one,
How beautiful are they!And when the moon climbs up the sky,
And sheds her gentle light,
And hangs her crystal lamp on high,
How beautiful is night!And can it be, that I’m possessed
Of something brighter far?
Glows there a light within this breast,
Out-shining every star?Yes, should the sun and stars turn pale,
The mountains melt away,
This flame within shall never fail,
But live in endless day.
Tupac Shakur | |
They could never understand
what u set out 2 do
instead they chose 2
when u got weak
they loved the sight
of your dimming
and flickering starlight
How could they understand what was so intricate
2 be loved by so many, so intimate
they wanted 2 c your lifeless corpse
this way u could not alter the course
of ignorance that they have set
2 make my people forget
what they have done for much 2 long
2 just forget and carry on
I had loved u forever because of who u r
and now I mourn our fallen star
Edmund Blunden | |
From what sad star I know not, but I found
Myself new-born below the coppice rail,
No bigger than the dewdrops and as round,
In a soft sward, no cattle might assail.
And so I gathered mightiness and grew
With this one dream kindling in me, that I
Should never cease from conquering light and dew
Till my white splendour touched the trembling sky.
A century of blue and stilly light
Bowed down before me, the dew came again,
The moon my sibyl worshipped through the night,
The sun returned and long abode; but then
Hoarse drooping darkness hung me with a shroud
And switched at me with shrivelled leaves in scorn.
Red morning stole beneath a grinning cloud,
And suddenly clambering over dike and thorn
A half-moon host of churls with flags and sticks
Hallooed and hurtled up the partridge brood,
And Death clapped hands from all the echoing thicks,
And trampling envy spied me where I stood;
Who haled me tired and quaking, hid me by,
And came again after an age of cold,
And hung me in the prison-house adry
From the great crossbeam.
Here defiled and old
I perish through unnumbered hours, I swoon,
Hacked with harsh knives to staunch a child's torn hand;
And all my hopes must with my body soon
Be but as crouching dust and wind-blown sand.