Best Famous Albatross Poems

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12
Written by David Herbert Lawrence | Create an image from this poem

Snake

 A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.
In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree I came down the steps with my pitcher And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before me.
He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of the stone trough And rested his throat upon the stone bottom, And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness, He sipped with his straight mouth, Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body, Silently.
Someone was before me at my water-trough, And I, like a second comer, waiting.
He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do, And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do, And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment, And stooped and drank a little more, Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
The voice of my education said to me He must be killed, For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.
And voices in me said, If you were a man You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.
But must I confess how I liked him, How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless, Into the burning bowels of this earth? Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him? Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him? Was it humility, to feel so honoured? I felt so honoured.
And yet those voices: If you were not afraid, you would kill him! And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid, But even so, honoured still more That he should seek my hospitality From out the dark door of the secret earth.
He drank enough And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken, And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black, Seeming to lick his lips, And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air, And slowly turned his head, And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream, Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.
And as he put his head into that dreadful hole, And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther, A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole, Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after, Overcame me now his back was turned.
I looked round, I put down my pitcher, I picked up a clumsy log And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.
I think it did not hit him, But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste.
Writhed like lightning, and was gone Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front, At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.
And immediately I regretted it.
I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act! I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.
And I thought of the albatross And I wished he would come back, my snake.
For he seemed to me again like a king, Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld, Now due to be crowned again.
And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords Of life.
And I have something to expiate: A pettiness.
Taormina, 1923
Written by Robert Hayden | Create an image from this poem

Middle Passage

 I 

Jesús, Estrella, Esperanza, Mercy: 

Sails flashing to the wind like weapons, 
sharks following the moans the fever and the dying; 
horror the corposant and compass rose.
Middle Passage: voyage through death to life upon these shores.
"10 April 1800-- Blacks rebellious.
Crew uneasy.
Our linguist says their moaning is a prayer for death, our and their own.
Some try to starve themselves.
Lost three this morning leaped with crazy laughter to the waiting sharks, sang as they went under.
" Desire, Adventure, Tartar, Ann: Standing to America, bringing home black gold, black ivory, black seed.
Deep in the festering hold thy father lies, of his bones New England pews are made, those are altar lights that were his eyes.
Jesus Saviour Pilot Me Over Life's Tempestuous Sea We pray that Thou wilt grant, O Lord, safe passage to our vessels bringing heathen souls unto Thy chastening.
Jesus Saviour "8 bells.
I cannot sleep, for I am sick with fear, but writing eases fear a little since still my eyes can see these words take shape upon the page & so I write, as one would turn to exorcism.
4 days scudding, but now the sea is calm again.
Misfortune follows in our wake like sharks (our grinning tutelary gods).
Which one of us has killed an albatross? A plague among our blacks--Ophthalmia: blindness--& we have jettisoned the blind to no avail.
It spreads, the terrifying sickness spreads.
Its claws have scratched sight from the Capt.
's eyes & there is blindness in the fo'c'sle & we must sail 3 weeks before we come to port.
" What port awaits us, Davy Jones' or home? I've heard of slavers drifting, drifting, playthings of wind and storm and chance, their crews gone blind, the jungle hatred crawling up on deck.
Thou Who Walked On Galilee "Deponent further sayeth The Bella J left the Guinea Coast with cargo of five hundred blacks and odd for the barracoons of Florida: "That there was hardly room 'tween-decks for half the sweltering cattle stowed spoon-fashion there; that some went mad of thirst and tore their flesh and sucked the blood: "That Crew and Captain lusted with the comeliest of the savage girls kept naked in the cabins; that there was one they called The Guinea Rose and they cast lots and fought to lie with her: "That when the Bo's'n piped all hands, the flames spreading from starboard already were beyond control, the negroes howling and their chains entangled with the flames: "That the burning blacks could not be reached, that the Crew abandoned ship, leaving their shrieking negresses behind, that the Captain perished drunken with the wenches: "Further Deponent sayeth not.
" Pilot Oh Pilot Me II Aye, lad, and I have seen those factories, Gambia, Rio Pongo, Calabar; have watched the artful mongos baiting traps of war wherein the victor and the vanquished Were caught as prizes for our barracoons.
Have seen the nigger kings whose vanity and greed turned wild black hides of Fellatah, Mandingo, Ibo, Kru to gold for us.
And there was one--King Anthracite we named him-- fetish face beneath French parasols of brass and orange velvet, impudent mouth whose cups were carven skulls of enemies: He'd honor us with drum and feast and conjo and palm-oil-glistening wenches deft in love, and for tin crowns that shone with paste, red calico and German-silver trinkets Would have the drums talk war and send his warriors to burn the sleeping villages and kill the sick and old and lead the young in coffles to our factories.
Twenty years a trader, twenty years, for there was wealth aplenty to be harvested from those black fields, and I'd be trading still but for the fevers melting down my bones.
III Shuttles in the rocking loom of history, the dark ships move, the dark ships move, their bright ironical names like jests of kindness on a murderer's mouth; plough through thrashing glister toward fata morgana's lucent melting shore, weave toward New World littorals that are mirage and myth and actual shore.
Voyage through death, voyage whose chartings are unlove.
A charnel stench, effluvium of living death spreads outward from the hold, where the living and the dead, the horribly dying, lie interlocked, lie foul with blood and excrement.
Deep in the festering hold thy father lies, the corpse of mercy rots with him, rats eat love's rotten gelid eyes.
But, oh, the living look at you with human eyes whose suffering accuses you, whose hatred reaches through the swill of dark to strike you like a leper's claw.
You cannot stare that hatred down or chain the fear that stalks the watches and breathes on you its fetid scorching breath; cannot kill the deep immortal human wish, the timeless will.
"But for the storm that flung up barriers of wind and wave, The Amistad, señores, would have reached the port of Príncipe in two, three days at most; but for the storm we should have been prepared for what befell.
Swift as a puma's leap it came.
There was that interval of moonless calm filled only with the water's and the rigging's usual sounds, then sudden movement, blows and snarling cries and they had fallen on us with machete and marlinspike.
It was as though the very air, the night itself were striking us.
Exhausted by the rigors of the storm, we were no match for them.
Our men went down before the murderous Africans.
Our loyal Celestino ran from below with gun and lantern and I saw, before the cane- knife's wounding flash, Cinquez, that surly brute who calls himself a prince, directing, urging on the ghastly work.
He hacked the poor mulatto down, and then he turned on me.
The decks were slippery when daylight finally came.
It sickens me to think of what I saw, of how these apes threw overboard the butchered bodies of our men, true Christians all, like so much jetsam.
Enough, enough.
The rest is quickly told: Cinquez was forced to spare the two of us you see to steer the ship to Africa, and we like phantoms doomed to rove the sea voyaged east by day and west by night, deceiving them, hoping for rescue, prisoners on our own vessel, till at length we drifted to the shores of this your land, America, where we were freed from our unspeakable misery.
Now we demand, good sirs, the extradition of Cinquez and his accomplices to La Havana.
And it distresses us to know there are so many here who seem inclined to justify the mutiny of these blacks.
We find it paradoxical indeed that you whose wealth, whose tree of liberty are rooted in the labor of your slaves should suffer the august John Quincey Adams to speak with so much passion of the right of chattel slaves to kill their lawful masters and with his Roman rhetoric weave a hero's garland for Cinquez.
I tell you that we are determined to return to Cuba with our slaves and there see justice done.
Cinquez-- or let us say 'the Prince'--Cinquez shall die.
" The deep immortal human wish, the timeless will: Cinquez its deathless primaveral image, life that transfigures many lives.
Voyage through death to life upon these shores.
Written by Edgar Allan Poe | Create an image from this poem

Fairy-Land

 Dim vales- and shadowy floods-
And cloudy-looking woods,
Whose forms we can't discover
For the tears that drip all over!
Huge moons there wax and wane-
Again- again- again-
Every moment of the night-
Forever changing places-
And they put out the star-light
With the breath from their pale faces.
About twelve by the moon-dial, One more filmy than the rest (A kind which, upon trial, They have found to be the best) Comes down- still down- and down, With its centre on the crown Of a mountain's eminence, While its wide circumference In easy drapery falls Over hamlets, over halls, Wherever they may be- O'er the strange woods- o'er the sea- Over spirits on the wing- Over every drowsy thing- And buries them up quite In a labyrinth of light- And then, how deep!- O, deep! Is the passion of their sleep.
In the morning they arise, And their moony covering Is soaring in the skies, With the tempests as they toss, Like- almost anything- Or a yellow Albatross.
They use that moon no more For the same end as before- Videlicet, a tent- Which I think extravagant: Its atomies, however, Into a shower dissever, Of which those butterflies Of Earth, who seek the skies, And so come down again, (Never-contented things!) Have brought a specimen Upon their quivering wings.
Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley | Create an image from this poem

Epipsychidion (excerpt)

 Emily, 
A ship is floating in the harbour now,
A wind is hovering o'er the mountain's brow;
There is a path on the sea's azure floor,
No keel has ever plough'd that path before;
The halcyons brood around the foamless isles;
The treacherous Ocean has forsworn its wiles;
The merry mariners are bold and free:
Say, my heart's sister, wilt thou sail with me?
Our bark is as an albatross, whose nest
Is a far Eden of the purple East;
And we between her wings will sit, while Night,
And Day, and Storm, and Calm, pursue their flight,
Our ministers, along the boundless Sea,
Treading each other's heels, unheededly.
It is an isle under Ionian skies, Beautiful as a wreck of Paradise, And, for the harbours are not safe and good, This land would have remain'd a solitude But for some pastoral people native there, Who from the Elysian, clear, and golden air Draw the last spirit of the age of gold, Simple and spirited; innocent and bold.
The blue Aegean girds this chosen home, With ever-changing sound and light and foam, Kissing the sifted sands, and caverns hoar; And all the winds wandering along the shore Undulate with the undulating tide: There are thick woods where sylvan forms abide; And many a fountain, rivulet and pond, As clear as elemental diamond, Or serene morning air; and far beyond, The mossy tracks made by the goats and deer (Which the rough shepherd treads but once a year) Pierce into glades, caverns and bowers, and halls Built round with ivy, which the waterfalls Illumining, with sound that never fails Accompany the noonday nightingales; And all the place is peopled with sweet airs; The light clear element which the isle wears Is heavy with the scent of lemon-flowers, Which floats like mist laden with unseen showers, And falls upon the eyelids like faint sleep; And from the moss violets and jonquils peep And dart their arrowy odour through the brain Till you might faint with that delicious pain.
And every motion, odour, beam and tone, With that deep music is in unison: Which is a soul within the soul--they seem Like echoes of an antenatal dream.
It is an isle 'twixt Heaven, Air, Earth and Sea, Cradled and hung in clear tranquillity; Bright as that wandering Eden Lucifer, Wash'd by the soft blue Oceans of young air.
It is a favour'd place.
Famine or Blight, Pestilence, War and Earthquake, never light Upon its mountain-peaks; blind vultures, they Sail onward far upon their fatal way: The wingèd storms, chanting their thunder-psalm To other lands, leave azure chasms of calm Over this isle, or weep themselves in dew, From which its fields and woods ever renew Their green and golden immortality.
And from the sea there rise, and from the sky There fall, clear exhalations, soft and bright, Veil after veil, each hiding some delight, Which Sun or Moon or zephyr draw aside, Till the isle's beauty, like a naked bride Glowing at once with love and loveliness, Blushes and trembles at its own excess: Yet, like a buried lamp, a Soul no less Burns in the heart of this delicious isle, An atom of th' Eternal, whose own smile Unfolds itself, and may be felt not seen O'er the gray rocks, blue waves and forests green, Filling their bare and void interstices.
But the chief marvel of the wilderness Is a lone dwelling, built by whom or how None of the rustic island-people know: 'Tis not a tower of strength, though with its height It overtops the woods; but, for delight, Some wise and tender Ocean-King, ere crime Had been invented, in the world's young prime, Rear'd it, a wonder of that simple time, An envy of the isles, a pleasure-house Made sacred to his sister and his spouse.
It scarce seems now a wreck of human art, But, as it were, Titanic; in the heart Of Earth having assum'd its form, then grown Out of the mountains, from the living stone, Lifting itself in caverns light and high: For all the antique and learned imagery Has been eras'd, and in the place of it The ivy and the wild-vine interknit The volumes of their many-twining stems; Parasite flowers illume with dewy gems The lampless halls, and when they fade, the sky Peeps through their winter-woof of tracery With moonlight patches, or star atoms keen, Or fragments of the day's intense serene; Working mosaic on their Parian floors.
And, day and night, aloof, from the high towers And terraces, the Earth and Ocean seem To sleep in one another's arms, and dream Of waves, flowers, clouds, woods, rocks, and all that we Read in their smiles, and call reality.
This isle and house are mine, and I have vow'd Thee to be lady of the solitude.
And I have fitted up some chambers there Looking towards the golden Eastern air, And level with the living winds, which flow Like waves above the living waves below.
I have sent books and music there, and all Those instruments with which high Spirits call The future from its cradle, and the past Out of its grave, and make the present last In thoughts and joys which sleep, but cannot die, Folded within their own eternity.
Our simple life wants little, and true taste Hires not the pale drudge Luxury to waste The scene it would adorn, and therefore still, Nature with all her children haunts the hill.
The ring-dove, in the embowering ivy, yet Keeps up her love-lament, and the owls flit Round the evening tower, and the young stars glance Between the quick bats in their twilight dance; The spotted deer bask in the fresh moonlight Before our gate, and the slow, silent night Is measur'd by the pants of their calm sleep.
Be this our home in life, and when years heap Their wither'd hours, like leaves, on our decay, Let us become the overhanging day, The living soul of this Elysian isle, Conscious, inseparable, one.
Meanwhile We two will rise, and sit, and walk together, Under the roof of blue Ionian weather, And wander in the meadows, or ascend The mossy mountains, where the blue heavens bend With lightest winds, to touch their paramour; Or linger, where the pebble-paven shore, Under the quick, faint kisses of the sea, Trembles and sparkles as with ecstasy-- Possessing and possess'd by all that is Within that calm circumference of bliss, And by each other, till to love and live Be one: or, at the noontide hour, arrive Where some old cavern hoar seems yet to keep The moonlight of the expir'd night asleep, Through which the awaken'd day can never peep; A veil for our seclusion, close as night's, Where secure sleep may kill thine innocent lights; Sleep, the fresh dew of languid love, the rain Whose drops quench kisses till they burn again.
And we will talk, until thought's melody Become too sweet for utterance, and it die In words, to live again in looks, which dart With thrilling tone into the voiceless heart, Harmonizing silence without a sound.
Our breath shall intermix, our bosoms bound, And our veins beat together; and our lips With other eloquence than words, eclipse The soul that burns between them, and the wells Which boil under our being's inmost cells, The fountains of our deepest life, shall be Confus'd in Passion's golden purity, As mountain-springs under the morning sun.
We shall become the same, we shall be one Spirit within two frames, oh! wherefore two? One passion in twin-hearts, which grows and grew, Till like two meteors of expanding flame, Those spheres instinct with it become the same, Touch, mingle, are transfigur'd; ever still Burning, yet ever inconsumable: In one another's substance finding food, Like flames too pure and light and unimbu'd To nourish their bright lives with baser prey, Which point to Heaven and cannot pass away: One hope within two wills, one will beneath Two overshadowing minds, one life, one death, One Heaven, one Hell, one immortality, And one annihilation.
Woe is me! The winged words on which my soul would pierce Into the height of Love's rare Universe, Are chains of lead around its flight of fire-- I pant, I sink, I tremble, I expire!
Written by A R Ammons | Create an image from this poem

Shit List; Or Omnium-gatherum Of Diversity Into Unity

 You'll rejoice at how many kinds of shit there are:
gosling shit (which J.
Williams said something was as green as), fish shit (the generality), trout shit, rainbow trout shit (for the nice), mullet shit, sand dab shit, casual sloth shit, elephant shit (awesome as process or payload), wildebeest shit, horse shit (a favorite), caterpillar shit (so many dark kinds, neatly pelleted as mint seed), baby rhinoceros shit, splashy jaybird shit, mockingbird shit (dive-bombed with the aim of song), robin shit that oozes white down lawnchairs or down roots under roosts, chicken shit and chicken mite shit, pelican shit, gannet shit (wholesome guano), fly shit (periodic), cockatoo shit, dog shit (past catalog or assimilation), cricket shit, elk (high plains) shit, and tiny scribbled little shrew shit, whale shit (what a sight, deep assumption), mandril shit (blazing blast off), weasel shit (wiles' waste), gazelle shit, magpie shit (total protein), tiger shit (too acid to contemplate), moral eel and manta ray shit, eerie shark shit, earthworm shit (a soilure), crab shit, wolf shit upon the germicidal ice, snake shit, giraffe shit that accelerates, secretary bird shit, turtle shit suspension invites, remora shit slightly in advance of the shark shit, hornet shit (difficult to assess), camel shit that slaps the ghastly dry siliceous, frog shit, beetle shit, bat shit (the marmoreal), contemptible cat shit, penguin shit, hermit crab shit, prairie hen shit, cougar shit, eagle shit (high totem stuff), buffalo shit (hardly less lofty), otter shit, beaver shit (from the animal of alluvial dreams)—a vast ordure is a broken down cloaca—macaw shit, alligator shit (that floats the Nile along), louse shit, macaque, koala, and coati shit, antelope shit, chuck-will's-widow shit, alpaca shit (very high stuff), gooney bird shit, chigger shit, bull shit (the classic), caribou shit, rasbora, python, and razorbill shit, scorpion shit, man shit, laswing fly larva shit, chipmunk shit, other-worldly wallaby shit, gopher shit (or broke), platypus shit, aardvark shit, spider shit, kangaroo and peccary shit, guanaco shit, dolphin shit, aphid shit, baboon shit (that leopards induce), albatross shit, red-headed woodpecker (nine inches long) shit, tern shit, hedgehog shit, panda shit, seahorse shit, and the shit of the wasteful gallinule.
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The English Flag

 Above the portico a flag-staff, bearing the Union Jack,
remained fluttering in the flames for some time, but ultimately
when it fell the crowds rent the air with shouts,
and seemed to see significance in the incident.
-- DAILY PAPERS.
Winds of the World, give answer! They are whimpering to and fro -- And what should they know of England who only England know? -- The poor little street-bred people that vapour and fume and brag, They are lifting their heads in the stillness to yelp at the English Flag! Must we borrow a clout from the Boer -- to plaster anew with dirt? An Irish liar's bandage, or an English coward's shirt? We may not speak of England; her Flag's to sell or share.
What is the Flag of England? Winds of the World, declare! The North Wind blew: -- "From Bergen my steel-shod vanguards go; I chase your lazy whalers home from the Disko floe; By the great North Lights above me I work the will of God, And the liner splits on the ice-field or the Dogger fills with cod.
"I barred my gates with iron, I shuttered my doors with flame, Because to force my ramparts your nutshell navies came; I took the sun from their presence, I cut them down with my blast, And they died, but the Flag of England blew free ere the spirit passed.
"The lean white bear hath seen it in the long, long Arctic night, The musk-ox knows the standard that flouts the Northern Light: What is the Flag of England? Ye have but my bergs to dare, Ye have but my drifts to conquer.
Go forth, for it is there!" The South Wind sighed: -- "From the Virgins my mid-sea course was ta'en Over a thousand islands lost in an idle main, Where the sea-egg flames on the coral and the long-backed breakers croon Their endless ocean legends to the lazy, locked lagoon.
"Strayed amid lonely islets, mazed amid outer keys, I waked the palms to laughter -- I tossed the scud in the breeze -- Never was isle so little, never was sea so lone, But over the scud and the palm-trees an English flag was flown.
"I have wrenched it free from the halliard to hang for a wisp on the Horn; I have chased it north to the Lizard -- ribboned and rolled and torn; I have spread its fold o'er the dying, adrift in a hopeless sea; I have hurled it swift on the slaver, and seen the slave set free.
"My basking sunfish know it, and wheeling albatross, Where the lone wave fills with fire beneath the Southern Cross.
What is the Flag of England? Ye have but my reefs to dare, Ye have but my seas to furrow.
Go forth, for it is there!" The East Wind roared: -- "From the Kuriles, the Bitter Seas, I come, And me men call the Home-Wind, for I bring the English home.
Look -- look well to your shipping! By the breath of my mad typhoon I swept your close-packed Praya and beached your best at Kowloon! "The reeling junks behind me and the racing seas before, I raped your richest roadstead -- I plundered Singapore! I set my hand on the Hoogli; as a hooded snake she rose, And I flung your stoutest steamers to roost with the startled crows.
"Never the lotus closes, never the wild-fowl wake, But a soul goes out on the East Wind that died for England's sake -- Man or woman or suckling, mother or bride or maid -- Because on the bones of the English the English Flag is stayed.
"The desert-dust hath dimmed it, the flying wild-ass knows, The scared white leopard winds it across the taintless snows.
What is the Flag of England? Ye have but my sun to dare, Ye have but my sands to travel.
Go forth, for it is there!" The West Wind called: -- "In squadrons the thoughtless galleons fly That bear the wheat and cattle lest street-bred people die.
They make my might their porter, they make my house their path, Till I loose my neck from their rudder and whelm them all in my wrath.
"I draw the gliding fog-bank as a snake is drawn from the hole, They bellow one to the other, the frighted ship-bells toll, For day is a drifting terror till I raise the shroud with my breath, And they see strange bows above them and the two go locked to death.
"But whether in calm or wrack-wreath, whether by dark or day, I heave them whole to the conger or rip their plates away, First of the scattered legions, under a shrieking sky, Dipping between the rollers, the English Flag goes by.
"The dead dumb fog hath wrapped it -- the frozen dews have kissed -- The naked stars have seen it, a fellow-star in the mist.
What is the Flag of England? Ye have but my breath to dare, Ye have but my waves to conquer.
Go forth, for it is there!"
Written by Lewis Carroll | Create an image from this poem

The Mad Gardeners Song

 He thought he saw an Elephant,
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
'At length I realise,' he said, The bitterness of Life!' He thought he saw a Buffalo Upon the chimney-piece: He looked again, and found it was His Sister's Husband's Niece.
'Unless you leave this house,' he said, "I'll send for the Police!' He thought he saw a Rattlesnake That questioned him in Greek: He looked again, and found it was The Middle of Next Week.
'The one thing I regret,' he said, 'Is that it cannot speak!' He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk Descending from the bus: He looked again, and found it was A Hippopotamus.
'If this should stay to dine,' he said, 'There won't be much for us!' He thought he saw a Kangaroo That worked a coffee-mill: He looked again, and found it was A Vegetable-Pill.
'Were I to swallow this,' he said, 'I should be very ill!' He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four That stood beside his bed: He looked again, and found it was A Bear without a Head.
'Poor thing,' he said, 'poor silly thing! It's waiting to be fed!' He thought he saw an Albatross That fluttered round the lamp: He looked again, and found it was A Penny-Postage Stamp.
'You'd best be getting home,' he said: 'The nights are very damp!' He thought he saw a Garden-Door That opened with a key: He looked again, and found it was A Double Rule of Three: 'And all its mystery,' he said, 'Is clear as day to me!' He thought he saw a Argument That proved he was the Pope: He looked again, and found it was A Bar of Mottled Soap.
'A fact so dread,' he faintly said, 'Extinguishes all hope!'
Written by Charles Baudelaire | Create an image from this poem

The Albatross

 Often, to amuse themselves, the crew of the ship
Would fell an albatross, the largest of sea birds,
Indolent companions of their trip
As they slide across the deep sea's bitters.
Scarcely had they dropped to the plank Than these blue kings, maladroit and ashamed Let their great white wings sink Like an oar dragging under the water's plane.
The winged visitor, so awkward and weak! So recently beautiful, now comic and ugly! One sailor grinds a pipe into his beak, Another, limping, mimics the infirm bird that once could fly.
The poet is like the prince of the clouds Who haunts the storm and laughs at lightning.
He's exiled to the ground and its hooting crowds; His giant wings prevent him from walking.
Written by John Masefield | Create an image from this poem

Sea Change

 "Goneys an' gullies an' all o' the birds o' the sea
They ain't no birds, not really", said Billy the Dane.
"Not mollies, nor gullies, nor goneys at all", said he, "But simply the sperrits of mariners livin' again.
"Them birds goin' fishin' is nothin' but the souls o' the drowned, Souls o' the drowned, an' the kicked as are never no more An' that there haughty old albatross cruisin' around, Belike he's Admiral Nelson or Admiral Noah.
"An' merry's the life they are living.
They settle and dip, They fishes, they never stands watches, they waggle their wings; When a ship comes by, they fly to look at the ship To see how the nowaday mariners manages things.
"When freezing aloft in a snorter I tell you I wish -- (Though maybe it ain't like a Christian) -- I wish I could be A haughty old copper-bound albatross dipping for fish And coming the proud over all o' the birds o' the sea.
"
Written by Robert Louis Stevenson | Create an image from this poem

To Minnie

 The red room with the giant bed 
Where none but elders laid their head; 
The little room where you and I 
Did for awhile together lie 
And, simple, suitor, I your hand 
In decent marriage did demand; 
The great day nursery, best of all, 
With pictures pasted on the wall 
And leaves upon the blind-- 
A pleasant room wherein to wake 
And hear the leafy garden shake 
And rustle in the wind-- 
And pleasant there to lie in bed 
And see the pictures overhead-- 
The wars about Sebastopol, 
The grinning guns along the wall, 
The daring escalade, 
The plunging ships, the bleating sheep, 
The happy children ankle-deep 
And laughing as they wade: 
All these are vanished clean away, 
And the old manse is changed to-day; 
It wears an altered face 
And shields a stranger race.
The river, on from mill to mill, Flows past our childhood's garden still; But ah! we children never more Shall watch it from the water-door! Below the yew--it still is there-- Our phantom voices haunt the air As we were still at play, And I can hear them call and say: "How far is it to Babylon?" Ah, far enough, my dear, Far, far enough from here-- Smiling and kind, you grace a shelf Too high for me to reach myself.
Reach down a hand, my dear, and take These rhymes for old acquaintance' sake! Yet you have farther gone! "Can I get there by candlelight?" So goes the old refrain.
I do not know--perchance you might-- But only, children, hear it right, Ah, never to return again! The eternal dawn, beyond a doubt, Shall break on hill and plain, And put all stars and candles out Ere we be young again.
To you in distant India, these I send across the seas, Nor count it far across.
For which of us forget The Indian cabinets, The bones of antelope, the wings of albatross, The pied and painted birds and beans, The junks and bangles, beads and screens, The gods and sacred bells, And the load-humming, twisted shells! The level of the parlour floor Was honest, homely, Scottish shore; But when we climbed upon a chair, Behold the gorgeous East was there! Be this a fable; and behold Me in the parlour as of old, And Minnie just above me set In the quaint Indian cabinet!
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