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Best Famous Acceptance Poems

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Written by William Cullen Bryant | Create an image from this poem

A Forest Hymn

The groves were God's first temples.
Ere man learned To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave, And spread the roof above them,---ere he framed The lofty vault, to gather and roll back The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood, Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down, And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks And supplication.
For his simple heart Might not resist the sacred influences, Which, from the stilly twilight of the place, And from the gray old trunks that high in heaven Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound Of the invisible breath that swayed at once All their green tops, stole over him, and bowed His spirit with the thought of boundless power And inaccessible majesty.
Ah, why Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore Only among the crowd, and under roofs, That our frail hands have raised? Let me, at least, Here, in the shadow of this aged wood, Offer one hymn---thrice happy, if it find Acceptance in His ear.
Father, thy hand Hath reared these venerable columns, thou Didst weave this verdant roof.
Thou didst look down Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose All these fair ranks of trees.
They, in thy sun, Budded, and shook their green leaves in the breeze, And shot towards heaven.
The century-living crow, Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died Among their branches, till, at last, they stood, As now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark, Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold Communion with his Maker.
These dim vaults, These winding aisles, of human pomp and pride Report not.
No fantastic carvings show The boast of our vain race to change the form Of thy fair works.
But thou art here---thou fill'st The solitude.
Thou art in the soft winds That run along the summit of these trees In music; thou art in the cooler breath That from the inmost darkness of the place Comes, scarcely felt; the barky trunks, the ground, The fresh moist ground, are all instinct with thee.
Here is continual worship;---Nature, here, In the tranquility that thou dost love, Enjoys thy presence.
Noiselessly, around, From perch to perch, the solitary bird Passes; and yon clear spring, that, midst its herbs, Wells softly forth and wandering steeps the roots Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale Of all the good it does.
Thou hast not left Thyself without a witness, in these shades, Of thy perfections.
Grandeur, strength, and grace Are here to speak of thee.
This mighty oak--- By whose immovable stem I stand and seem Almost annihilated---not a prince, In all that proud old world beyond the deep, E'er wore his crown as lofty as he Wears the green coronal of leaves with which Thy hand has graced him.
Nestled at his root Is beauty, such as blooms not in the glare Of the broad sun.
That delicate forest flower With scented breath, and look so like a smile, Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould, An emanation of the indwelling Life, A visible token of the upholding Love, That are the soul of this wide universe.
My heart is awed within me when I think Of the great miracle that still goes on, In silence, round me---the perpetual work Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed Forever.
Written on thy works I read The lesson of thy own eternity.
Lo! all grow old and die---but see again, How on the faltering footsteps of decay Youth presses----ever gay and beautiful youth In all its beautiful forms.
These lofty trees Wave not less proudly that their ancestors Moulder beneath them.
Oh, there is not lost One of earth's charms: upon her bosom yet, After the flight of untold centuries, The freshness of her far beginning lies And yet shall lie.
Life mocks the idle hate Of his arch enemy Death---yea, seats himself Upon the tyrant's throne---the sepulchre, And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe Makes his own nourishment.
For he came forth From thine own bosom, and shall have no end.
There have been holy men who hid themselves Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave Their lives to thought and prayer, till they outlived The generation born with them, nor seemed Less aged than the hoary trees and rocks Around them;---and there have been holy men Who deemed it were not well to pass life thus.
But let me often to these solitudes Retire, and in thy presence reassure My feeble virtue.
Here its enemies, The passions, at thy plainer footsteps shrink And tremble and are still.
Oh, God! when thou Dost scare the world with falling thunderbolts, or fill, With all the waters of the firmament, The swift dark whirlwind that uproots the woods And drowns the village; when, at thy call, Uprises the great deep and throws himself Upon the continent, and overwhelms Its cities---who forgets not, at the sight Of these tremendous tokens of thy power, His pride, and lays his strifes and follies by? Oh, from these sterner aspects of thy face Spare me and mine, nor let us need the wrath Of the mad unchained elements to teach Who rules them.
Be it ours to meditate, In these calm shades, thy milder majesty, And to the beautiful order of the works Learn to conform the order of our lives.


Written by Robert Frost | Create an image from this poem

Acceptance

 When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud
And goes down burning into the gulf below,
No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud
At what has happened.
Birds, at least must know It is the change to darkness in the sky.
Murmuring something quiet in her breast, One bird begins to close a faded eye; Or overtaken too far from his nest, Hurrying low above the grove, some waif Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.
At most he thinks or twitters softly, 'Safe! Now let the night be dark for all of me.
Let the night bee too dark for me to see Into the future.
Let what will be, be.
'
Written by Elizabeth Bishop | Create an image from this poem

The Moose

 From narrow provinces
of fish and bread and tea,
home of the long tides
where the bay leaves the sea
twice a day and takes
the herrings long rides,

where if the river
enters or retreats 
in a wall of brown foam
depends on if it meets
the bay coming in,
the bay not at home;

where, silted red,
sometimes the sun sets
facing a red sea,
and others, veins the flats'
lavender, rich mud
in burning rivulets;

on red, gravelly roads,
down rows of sugar maples,
past clapboard farmhouses
and neat, clapboard churches,
bleached, ridged as clamshells,
past twin silver birches,

through late afternoon
a bus journeys west,
the windshield flashing pink,
pink glancing off of metal,
brushing the dented flank
of blue, beat-up enamel;

down hollows, up rises,
and waits, patient, while
a lone traveller gives
kisses and embraces
to seven relatives
and a collie supervises.
Goodbye to the elms, to the farm, to the dog.
The bus starts.
The light grows richer; the fog, shifting, salty, thin, comes closing in.
Its cold, round crystals form and slide and settle in the white hens' feathers, in gray glazed cabbages, on the cabbage roses and lupins like apostles; the sweet peas cling to their wet white string on the whitewashed fences; bumblebees creep inside the foxgloves, and evening commences.
One stop at Bass River.
Then the Economies Lower, Middle, Upper; Five Islands, Five Houses, where a woman shakes a tablecloth out after supper.
A pale flickering.
Gone.
The Tantramar marshes and the smell of salt hay.
An iron bridge trembles and a loose plank rattles but doesn't give way.
On the left, a red light swims through the dark: a ship's port lantern.
Two rubber boots show, illuminated, solemn.
A dog gives one bark.
A woman climbs in with two market bags, brisk, freckled, elderly.
"A grand night.
Yes, sir, all the way to Boston.
" She regards us amicably.
Moonlight as we enter the New Brunswick woods, hairy, scratchy, splintery; moonlight and mist caught in them like lamb's wool on bushes in a pasture.
The passengers lie back.
Snores.
Some long sighs.
A dreamy divagation begins in the night, a gentle, auditory, slow hallucination.
.
.
.
In the creakings and noises, an old conversation --not concerning us, but recognizable, somewhere, back in the bus: Grandparents' voices uninterruptedly talking, in Eternity: names being mentioned, things cleared up finally; what he said, what she said, who got pensioned; deaths, deaths and sicknesses; the year he remarried; the year (something) happened.
She died in childbirth.
That was the son lost when the schooner foundered.
He took to drink.
Yes.
She went to the bad.
When Amos began to pray even in the store and finally the family had to put him away.
"Yes .
.
.
" that peculiar affirmative.
"Yes .
.
.
" A sharp, indrawn breath, half groan, half acceptance, that means "Life's like that.
We know it (also death).
" Talking the way they talked in the old featherbed, peacefully, on and on, dim lamplight in the hall, down in the kitchen, the dog tucked in her shawl.
Now, it's all right now even to fall asleep just as on all those nights.
--Suddenly the bus driver stops with a jolt, turns off his lights.
A moose has come out of the impenetrable wood and stands there, looms, rather, in the middle of the road.
It approaches; it sniffs at the bus's hot hood.
Towering, antlerless, high as a church, homely as a house (or, safe as houses).
A man's voice assures us "Perfectly harmless.
.
.
.
" Some of the passengers exclaim in whispers, childishly, softly, "Sure are big creatures.
" "It's awful plain.
" "Look! It's a she!" Taking her time, she looks the bus over, grand, otherworldly.
Why, why do we feel (we all feel) this sweet sensation of joy? "Curious creatures," says our quiet driver, rolling his r's.
"Look at that, would you.
" Then he shifts gears.
For a moment longer, by craning backward, the moose can be seen on the moonlit macadam; then there's a dim smell of moose, an acrid smell of gasoline.
Written by William Cullen Bryant | Create an image from this poem

A Forest Hymn

THE GROVES were God's first temples.
Ere man learned To hew the shaft and lay the architrave And spread the roof above them¡ªere he framed The lofty vault to gather and roll back The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood 5 Amidst the cool and silence he knelt down And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks And supplication.
For his simple heart Might not resist the sacred influences Which from the stilly twilight of the place 10 And from the gray old trunks that high in heaven Mingled their mossy boughs and from the sound Of the invisible breath that swayed at once All their green tops stole over him and bowed His spirit with the thought of boundless power 15 And inaccessible majesty.
Ah why Should we in the world's riper years neglect God's ancient sanctuaries and adore Only among the crowd and under roofs That our frail hands have raised? Let me at least 20 Here in the shadow of this aged wood Offer one hymn¡ªthrice happy if it find Acceptance in His ear.
Father thy hand Hath reared these venerable columns thou 25 Didst weave this verdant roof.
Thou didst look down Upon the naked earth and forthwith rose All these fair ranks of trees.
They in thy sun Budded and shook their green leaves in thy breeze And shot towards heaven.
The century-living crow 30 Whose birth was in their tops grew old and died Among their branches till at last they stood As now they stand massy and tall and dark Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold Communion with his Maker.
These dim vaults 35 These winding aisles of human pomp or pride Report not.
No fantastic carvings show The boast of our vain race to change the form Of thy fair works.
But thou art here¡ªthou fill'st The solitude.
Thou art in the soft winds 40 That run along the summit of these trees In music; thou art in the cooler breath That from the inmost darkness of the place Comes scarcely felt; the barky trunks the ground The fresh moist ground are all instinct with thee.
45 Here is continual worship;¡ªNature here In the tranquillity that thou dost love Enjoys thy presence.
Noiselessly around From perch to perch the solitary bird Passes; and yon clear spring that midst its herbs 50 Wells softly forth and wandering steeps the roots Of half the mighty forest tells no tale Of all the good it does.
Thou hast not left Thyself without a witness in these shades Of thy perfections.
Grandeur strength and grace 55 Are here to speak of thee.
This mighty oak ¡ª By whose immovable stem I stand and seem Almost annihilated¡ªnot a prince In all that proud old world beyond the deep E'er wore his crown as loftily as he 60 Wears the green coronal of leaves with which Thy hand has graced him.
Nestled at his root Is beauty such as blooms not in the glare Of the broad sun.
That delicate forest flower With scented breath and look so like a smile 65 Seems as it issues from the shapeless mould An emanation of the indwelling Life A visible token of the upholding Love That are the soul of this great universe.
My heart is awed within me when I think 70 Of the great miracle that still goes on In silence round me¡ªthe perpetual work Of thy creation finished yet renewed Forever.
Written on thy works I read The lesson of thy own eternity.
75 Lo! all grow old and die¡ªbut see again How on the faltering footsteps of decay Youth presses ¡ªever-gay and beautiful youth In all its beautiful forms.
These lofty trees Wave not less proudly that their ancestors 80 Moulder beneath them.
O there is not lost One of earth's charms: upon her bosom yet After the flight of untold centuries The freshness of her far beginning lies And yet shall lie.
Life mocks the idle hate 85 Of his arch-enemy Death¡ªyea seats himself Upon the tyrant's throne¡ªthe sepulchre And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe Makes his own nourishment.
For he came forth From thine own bosom and shall have no end.
90 There have been holy men who hid themselves Deep in the woody wilderness and gave Their lives to thought and prayer till they outlived The generation born with them nor seemed Less aged than the hoary trees and rocks 95 Around them;¡ªand there have been holy men Who deemed it were not well to pass life thus.
But let me often to these solitudes Retire and in thy presence reassure My feeble virtue.
Here its enemies 100 The passions at thy plainer footsteps shrink And tremble and are still.
O God! when thou Dost scare the world with tempests set on fire The heavens with falling thunderbolts or fill With all the waters of the firmament 105 The swift dark whirlwind that uproots the woods And drowns the villages; when at thy call Uprises the great deep and throws himself Upon the continent and overwhelms Its cities¡ªwho forgets not at the sight 110 Of these tremendous tokens of thy power His pride and lays his strifes and follies by? O from these sterner aspects of thy face Spare me and mine nor let us need the wrath Of the mad unchain¨¨d elements to teach 115 Who rules them.
Be it ours to meditate In these calm shades thy milder majesty And to the beautiful order of thy works Learn to conform the order of our lives.
Written by Les Murray | Create an image from this poem

An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow

 The word goes round Repins,
the murmur goes round Lorenzinis,
at Tattersalls, men look up from sheets of numbers,
the Stock Exchange scribblers forget the chalk in their hands
and men with bread in their pockets leave the Greek Club:
There's a fellow crying in Martin Place.
They can't stop him.
The traffic in George Street is banked up for half a mile and drained of motion.
The crowds are edgy with talk and more crowds come hurrying.
Many run in the back streets which minutes ago were busy main streets, pointing: There's a fellow weeping down there.
No one can stop him.
The man we surround, the man no one approaches simply weeps, and does not cover it, weeps not like a child, not like the wind, like a man and does not declaim it, nor beat his breast, nor even sob very loudly - yet the dignity of his weeping holds us back from his space, the hollow he makes about him in the midday light, in his pentagram of sorrow, and uniforms back in the crowd who tried to seize him stare out at him, and feel, with amazement, their minds longing for tears as children for a rainbow.
Some will say, in the years to come, a halo or force stood around him.
There is no such thing.
Some will say they were shocked and would have stopped him but they will not have been there.
The fiercest manhood, the toughest reserve, the slickest wit amongst us trembles with silence, and burns with unexpected judgements of peace.
Some in the concourse scream who thought themselves happy.
Only the smallest children and such as look out of Paradise come near him and sit at his feet, with dogs and dusty pigeons.
Ridiculous, says a man near me, and stops his mouth with his hands, as if it uttered vomit - and I see a woman, shining, stretch her hand and shake as she receives the gift of weeping; as many as follow her also receive it and many weep for sheer acceptance, and more refuse to weep for fear of all acceptance, but the weeping man, like the earth, requires nothing, the man who weeps ignores us, and cries out of his writhen face and ordinary body not words, but grief, not messages, but sorrow, hard as the earth, sheer, present as the sea - and when he stops, he simply walks between us mopping his face with the dignity of one man who has wept, and now has finished weeping.
Evading believers, he hurries off down Pitt Street.


Written by Dale Harcombe | Create an image from this poem

Homes Kid (For Glenn)

 This time I know
  I will never see him again.
For a time he played the game, like a child experimenting with blocks, building towers and fortresses but never bridges.
Bridges are hard.
Invariably his feet would slip, before he found the acceptance parents had denied and other children refused him.
Acceptance he couldn't recognise even when it came, like waves gentling in his life.
Institutions, foster homes, he knew them all.
Fourteen going on ninety.
Knowledge gleamed in his eyes.
Though he has since been swept out of reach, particles of sand cling and memories are water-cold companions.
*first published Westerly Autumn 1995
Written by Edna St Vincent Millay | Create an image from this poem

The Fawn

 There it was I saw what I shall never forget
And never retrieve.
Monstrous and beautiful to human eyes, hard to believe, He lay, yet there he lay, Asleep on the moss, his head on his polished cleft small ebony hoves, The child of the doe, the dappled child of the deer.
Surely his mother had never said, "Lie here Till I return," so spotty and plain to see On the green moss lay he.
His eyes had opened; he considered me.
I would have given more than I care to say To thrifty ears, might I have had him for my friend One moment only of that forest day: Might I have had the acceptance, not the love Of those clear eyes; Might I have been for him in the bough above Or the root beneath his forest bed, A part of the forest, seen without surprise.
Was it alarm, or was it the wind of my fear lest he depart That jerked him to his jointy knees, And sent him crashing off, leaping and stumbling On his new legs, between the stems of the white trees?
Written by Rabindranath Tagore | Create an image from this poem

Strong Mercy

 My desires are many and my cry is pitiful, 
but ever didst thou save me by hard refusals; 
and this strong mercy has been wrought into my life through and through.
Day by day thou art making me worthy of the simple, great gifts that thou gavest to me unasked---this sky and the light, this body and the life and the mind---saving me from perils of overmuch desire.
There are times when I languidly linger and times when I awaken and hurry in search of my goal; but cruelly thou hidest thyself from before me.
Day by day thou art making me worthy of thy full acceptance by refusing me ever and anon, saving me from perils of weak, uncertain desire.
Written by Bob Hicok | Create an image from this poem

Another Awkward Stage Of Convalescence

 Drunk, I kissed the moon
where it stretched on the floor.
I'd removed happiness from a green bottle, both sipped and gulped just as a river changes its mind, mostly there was a flood in my mouth because I wanted to love the toaster as soon as possible, and the toothbrush with multi-level brissels created by dental science, and the walls holding pictures in front of their faces to veil the boredom of living fifty years without once turning the other way.
I wanted the halo a cheap beaujolais paints over everything like artists gave the holy before perspective was invented, and for a moment thought in the glow of fermented bliss that the bending of spoons by the will was inevitable, just as the dark-skinned would kiss the light-skinned and those with money and lakefront homes would open their verandas and offer trays of cucumber sandwiches to the poor scuttling along the fringes of their lawns looking for holes in the concertina wire.
Of course I had to share this ocean of acceptance and was soon on the phone with a woman from Nogales whose hips had gone steady with mine.
I told her I was over her by pretending I was just a friend calling to say the Snow Drops had nuzzled through dirt to shake their bells in April wind.
This threw her off the scent of my anguish as did the cement mixer of my voice, as did the long pause during which I memorized her breathing and stared at my toes like we were still together, reading until out eyes slid from the page and books fell off the bed to pound their applause as our tongues searched each others' body.
When she said she had to go like a cop telling a bum to move on, I began drinking downhill, with speed that grew its own speed, and fixed on this image with a flagellant's zeal, how she, returning to bed, cupped her lover's crotch and whispered not to worry, it was no one on the phone, and proved again how forgotten I'd become while I, bent over the cold confessional, listened to the night's sole point of honesty.
Written by William Cowper | Create an image from this poem

Welcome to the Table

 This is the feast of heavenly wine,
And God invites to sup;
The juices of the living Vine
Were press'd to fill the cup.
Oh! bless the Saviour, ye that eat, With royal dainties fed; Not heaven affords a costlier treat, For Jesus is the bread.
The vile, the lost, He calls to them; Ye trembling souls, appear! The righteous in their own esteem Have no acceptance here.
Approach, ye poor, nor dare refuse The banquet spread for you; Dear Saviour, this is welcome news, Then I may venture too.
If guilt and sin afford a plea, And may obtain a place, Surely the Lord will welcome me, And I shall see his face.
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