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Best Famous Vachel Lindsay Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Vachel Lindsay poems. This is a select list of the best famous Vachel Lindsay poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Vachel Lindsay poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of vachel lindsay poems.

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by Vachel Lindsay | |

Drying Their Wings

 What the Carpenter Said

THE moon's a cottage with a door.
Some folks can see it plain.
Look, you may catch a glint of light, A sparkle through the pane, Showing the place is brighter still Within, though bright without.
There, at a cosy open fire Strange babes are grouped about.
The children of the wind and tide-- The urchins of the sky, Drying their wings from storms and things So they again can fly.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

An Indian Summer Day on the Prarie


THE sun is a huntress young, 
The sun is a red, red joy, 
The sun is an indian girl, 
Of the tribe of the Illinois.
(MID-MORNING) The sun is a smouldering fire, That creeps through the high gray plain, And leaves not a bush of cloud To blossom with flowers of rain.
(NOON) The sun is a wounded deer, That treads pale grass in the skies, Shaking his golden horns, Flashing his baleful eyes.
(SUNSET) The sun is an eagle old, There in the windless west.
Atop of the spirit-cliffs He builds him a crimson nest.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

To Gloriana

 GIRL with the burning golden eyes, 
And red-bird song, and snowy throat: 
I bring you gold and silver moons, 
And diamond stars, and mists that float.
I bring you moons and snowy clouds, I bring you prarie skies to-night To feebly praise your golden eyes And red-bird song, and throat so white.

More great poems below...

by Vachel Lindsay | |

Mark Twain and Joan of Arc

 When Yankee soldiers reach the barricade
Then Joan of Arc gives each the accolade.
For she is there in armor clad, today, All the young poets of the wide world say.
Which of our freemen did she greet the first, Seeing him come against the fires accurst? Mark Twain, our Chief, with neither smile nor jest, Leading to war our youngest and our best.
The Yankee to King Arthur's court returns.
The sacred flag of Joan above him burns.
For she has called his soul from out the tomb.
And where she stands, there he will stand till doom.
But I, I can but mourn, and mourn again At bloodshed caused by angels, saints, and men.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

St. Francis of Assisi

 Would I might wake St.
Francis in you all, Brother of birds and trees, God's Troubadour, Blinded with weeping for the sad and poor; Our wealth undone, all strict Franciscan men, Come, let us chant the canticle again Of mother earth and the enduring sun.
God make each soul the lonely leper's slave; God make us saints, and brave.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

By the Spring at Sunset

 Sometimes we remember kisses,
Remember the dear heart-leap when they came:
Not always, but sometimes we remember
The kindness, the dumbness, the good flame
Of laughter and farewell.
Beside the road Afar from those who said "Good-by" I write, Far from my city task, my lawful load.
Sun in my face, wind beside my shoulder, Streaming clouds, banners of new-born night Enchant me now.
The splendors growing bolder Make bold my soul for some new wise delight.
I write the day's event, and quench my drouth, Pausing beside the spring with happy mind.
And now I feel those kisses on my mouth, Hers most of all, one little friend most kind.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

The Moons the North Winds Cooky

 The Moon's the North Wind's cooky.
He bites it, day by day, Until there's but a rim of scraps That crumble all away.
The South Wind is a baker.
He kneads clouds in his den, And bakes a crisp new moon that .
greedy North .
Wind .
eats .

by Vachel Lindsay | |

The Empty Boats

 Why do I see these empty boats, sailing on airy seas? 
One haunted me the whole night long, swaying with every breeze, 
Returning always near the eaves, or by the skylight glass: 
There it will wait me many weeks, and then, at last, will pass.
Each soul is haunted by a ship in which that soul might ride And climb the glorious mysteries of Heaven's silent tide In voyages that change the very metes and bounds of Fate — O empty boats, we all refuse, that by our windows wait!

by Vachel Lindsay | |

Honor Among Scamps

 We are the smirched.
Queen Honor is the spotless.
We slept thro' wars where Honor could not sleep.
We were faint-hearted.
Honor was full-valiant.
We kept a silence Honor could not keep.
Yet this late day we make a song to praise her.
We, codeless, will yet vindicate her code.
She who was mighty, walks with us, the beggars.
The merchants drive her out upon the road.
She makes a throne of sod beside our campfire.
We give the maiden-queen our rags and tears.
A battered, rascal guard have rallied round her, To keep her safe until the better years.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

With a Bouquet of Twelve Roses

 I saw Lord Buddha towering by my gate 
Saying: "Once more, good youth, I stand and wait.
" Saying: "I bring you my fair Law of Peace And from your withering passion full release; Release from that white hand that stabbed you so.
The road is calling.
With the wind you go, Forgetting her imperious disdain — Quenching all memory in the sun and rain.
" "Excellent Lord, I come.
But first," I said, "Grant that I bring her these twelve roses red.
Yea, twelve flower kisses for her rose-leaf mouth, And then indeed I go in bitter drouth To that far valley where your river flows In Peace, that once I found in every rose.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

The Flower-Fed Buffaloes

 THE flower-fed buffaloes of the spring
In the days of long ago,
Ranged where the locomotives sing
And the prarie flowers lie low:
The tossing, blooming, perfumed grass
Is swept away by wheat,
Wheels and wheels and wheels spin by
In the spring that still is sweet.
But the flower-fed buffaloes of the spring Left us long ago, They gore no more, they bellow no more They trundle around the hills no more: -- With the Blackfeet lying low, With the Pawnee lying low, Lying low.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

Written for a Musician

 HUNGRY for music with a desperate hunger 
I prowled abroad, I threaded through the town; 
The evening crowd was clamoring and drinking, 
Vulgar and pitiful--my heart bowed down-- 
Till I remembered duller hours made noble 
By strangers clad in some suprising grace.
Wait, wait my soul, your music comes ere midnight Appearing in some unexpected place With quivering lips, and gleaming, moonlit face.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

This Section is a Christmas Tree

 THIS section is a Christmas tree: 
Loaded with pretty toys for you.
Behold the blocks, the Noah's arks, The popguns painted red and blue.
No solemn pine-cone forest-fruit, But silver horns and candy sacks And many little tinsel hearts And cherubs pink, and jumping-jacks.
For every child a gift, I hope.
The doll upon the topmost bough Is mine.
But all the rest are yours.
And I will light the candles now.

by Vachel Lindsay | |


 OLD Euclid drew a circle 
On a sand-beach long ago.
He bounded and enclosed it With angles thus and so.
His set of solemn greybeards Nodded and argued much Of arc and circumference, Diameter and such.
A silent child stood by them From morning until noon Because they drew such charming Round pictures of the moon.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

What the Ghost of the Gambler Said

 WHERE now the huts are empty, 
Where never a camp-fire glows, 
In an abandoned cañon, 
A Gambler's Ghost arose.
He muttered there, "The moon's a sack Of dust.
" His voice rose thin: "I wish I knew the miner-man.
I'd play, and play to win.
In every game in Cripple-creek Of old, when stakes were high, I held my own.
Now I would play For that sack in the sky.
The sport would not be ended there.
'Twould rather be begun.
I'd bet my moon against his stars, And gamble for the sun.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

The Moon is a Painter

 He coveted her portrait.
He toiled as she grew gay.
She loved to see him labor In that devoted way.
And in the end it pleased her, But bowed him more with care.
Her rose-smile showed so plainly, Her soul-smile was not there.
That night he groped without a lamp To find a cloak, a book, And on the vexing portrait By moonrise chanced to look.
The color-scheme was out of key, The maiden rose-smile faint, But through the blessed darkness She gleamed, his friendly saint.
The comrade, white, immortal, His bride, and more than bride— The citizen, the sage of mind, For whom he lived and died.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

The Unpardonable Sin

 This is the sin against the Holy Ghost: —
To speak of bloody power as right divine,
And call on God to guard each vile chief's house,
And for such chiefs, turn men to wolves and swine:—

To go forth killing in White Mercy's name,
Making the trenches stink with spattered brains, 
Tearing the nerves and arteries apart,
Sowing with flesh the unreaped golden plains.
In any Church's name, to sack fair towns, And turn each home into a screaming sty, To make the little children fugitive, And have their mothers for a quick death cry,— This is the sin against the Holy Ghost: This is the sin no purging can atone:— To send forth rapine in the name of Christ:— To set the face, and make the heart a stone.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

The Leaden-Eyed

 Let not young souls be smothered out before
They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride.
It is the world's one crime its babes grow dull, Its poor are ox-like, limp and leaden-eyed.
Not that they starve; but starve so dreamlessly, Not that they sow, but that they seldom reap, Not that they serve, but have no gods to serve, Not that they die, but that they die like sheep.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

Look You Ill Go Pray

 Look you, I'll go pray, 
My shame is crying, 
My soul is gray and faint, 
My faith is dying.
Look you, I'll go pray — "Sweet Mary, make me clean, Thou rainstorm of the soul, Thou wine from worlds unseen.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

The Amaranth

 Ah, in the night, all music haunts me here.
Is it for naught high Heaven cracks and yawns And the tremendous Amaranth descends Sweet with the glory of ten thousand dawns? Does it not mean my God would have me say: — "Whether you will or no, O city young, Heaven will bloom like one great flower for you, Flash and loom greatly all your marts among?" Friends, I will not cease hoping though you weep.
Such things I see, and some of them shall come Though now our streets are harsh and ashen-gray, Though our strong youths are strident now, or dumb.
Friends, that sweet town, that wonder-town, shall rise.
Naught can delay it.
Though it may not be Just as I dream, it comes at last I know With streets like channels of an incense-sea.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

Yet Gentle Will the Griffin Be

 (What Grandpa told the Children)

The moon? It is a griffin's egg,
Hatching to-morrow night.
And how the little boys will watch With shouting and delight To see him break the shell and stretch And creep across the sky.
The boys will laugh.
The little girls, I fear, may hide and cry.
Yet gentle will the griffin be, Most decorous and fat, And walk up to the milky way And lap it like a cat.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

The Angel and the Clown

 I saw wild domes and bowers 
And smoking incense towers 
And mad exotic flowers 
In Illinois.
Where ragged ditches ran Now springs of Heaven began Celestial drink for man In Illinois.
There stood beside the town Beneath its incense-crown An angel and a clown In Illinois.
He was as Clowns are: She was snow and star With eyes that looked afar In Illinois.
I asked, "How came this place Of antique Asian grace Amid our callow race In Illinois?" Said Clown and Angel fair: "By laughter and by prayer, By casting off all care In Illinois.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

Who Knows?

 They say one king is mad.
Who knows? They say one king is doddering and grey.
They say one king is slack and sick of mind, A puppet for hid strings that twitch and play.
Is Europe then to be their sprawling-place? Their mad-house, till it turns the wide world's bane? Their place of maudlin, slavering conference Till every far-off farmstead goes insane?

by Vachel Lindsay | |

Love and Law

 TRUE Love is founded in rocks of Remembrance 
In stones of Forbearance and mortar of pain.
The workman lays wearily granite on granite, And bleeds for his castle, 'mid sunshine and rain.
Love is not velvet, not all of it velvet, Not all of it banners, not gold-leaf alone.
'Tis stern as the ages and old as Religion.
With Patience its watchword and Law for its throne.

by Vachel Lindsay | |

A Sense of Humor

 NO man should stand before the moon 
To make sweet song thereon, 
With dandified importance, 
His sense of humor gone.
Nay, let us don the motley cap, The jester's chastened mien, If we would woo that looking-glass And see what should be seen.
O mirror on fair Heaven's wall, We find there what we bring.
So, let us smile in honest part And deck our souls and sing.
Yea, by the chastened jest alone Will ghosts and terrors pass, And fays, or suchlike friendly things, Throw kisses through the glass.