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Best Famous Ape Poems

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

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12
Written by T S (Thomas Stearns) Eliot | Create an image from this poem

Portrait of a Lady

 Thou hast committed—
Fornication: but that was in another country,
And besides, the wench is dead.
The Jew of Malta.
I AMONG the smoke and fog of a December afternoon You have the scene arrange itself—as it will seem to do— With “I have saved this afternoon for you”; And four wax candles in the darkened room, Four rings of light upon the ceiling overhead, An atmosphere of Juliet’s tomb Prepared for all the things to be said, or left unsaid.
We have been, let us say, to hear the latest Pole Transmit the Preludes, through his hair and fingertips.
“So intimate, this Chopin, that I think his soul Should be resurrected only among friends Some two or three, who will not touch the bloom That is rubbed and questioned in the concert room.
” —And so the conversation slips Among velleities and carefully caught regrets Through attenuated tones of violins Mingled with remote cornets And begins.
“You do not know how much they mean to me, my friends, And how, how rare and strange it is, to find In a life composed so much, so much of odds and ends, [For indeed I do not love it .
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you knew? you are not blind! How keen you are!] To find a friend who has these qualities, Who has, and gives Those qualities upon which friendship lives.
How much it means that I say this to you— Without these friendships—life, what cauchemar!” Among the windings of the violins And the ariettes Of cracked cornets Inside my brain a dull tom-tom begins Absurdly hammering a prelude of its own, Capricious monotone That is at least one definite “false note.
” —Let us take the air, in a tobacco trance, Admire the monuments, Discuss the late events, Correct our watches by the public clocks.
Then sit for half an hour and drink our bocks.
II Now that lilacs are in bloom She has a bowl of lilacs in her room And twists one in his fingers while she talks.
“Ah, my friend, you do not know, you do not know What life is, you who hold it in your hands”; (Slowly twisting the lilac stalks) “You let it flow from you, you let it flow, And youth is cruel, and has no remorse And smiles at situations which it cannot see.
” I smile, of course, And go on drinking tea.
“Yet with these April sunsets, that somehow recall My buried life, and Paris in the Spring, I feel immeasurably at peace, and find the world To be wonderful and youthful, after all.
” The voice returns like the insistent out-of-tune Of a broken violin on an August afternoon: “I am always sure that you understand My feelings, always sure that you feel, Sure that across the gulf you reach your hand.
You are invulnerable, you have no Achilles’ heel.
You will go on, and when you have prevailed You can say: at this point many a one has failed.
But what have I, but what have I, my friend, To give you, what can you receive from me? Only the friendship and the sympathy Of one about to reach her journey’s end.
I shall sit here, serving tea to friends.
.
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” I take my hat: how can I make a cowardly amends For what she has said to me? You will see me any morning in the park Reading the comics and the sporting page.
Particularly I remark An English countess goes upon the stage.
A Greek was murdered at a Polish dance, Another bank defaulter has confessed.
I keep my countenance, I remain self-possessed Except when a street piano, mechanical and tired Reiterates some worn-out common song With the smell of hyacinths across the garden Recalling things that other people have desired.
Are these ideas right or wrong? III The October night comes down; returning as before Except for a slight sensation of being ill at ease I mount the stairs and turn the handle of the door And feel as if I had mounted on my hands and knees.
“And so you are going abroad; and when do you return? But that’s a useless question.
You hardly know when you are coming back, You will find so much to learn.
” My smile falls heavily among the bric-à-brac.
“Perhaps you can write to me.
” My self-possession flares up for a second; This is as I had reckoned.
“I have been wondering frequently of late (But our beginnings never know our ends!) Why we have not developed into friends.
” I feel like one who smiles, and turning shall remark Suddenly, his expression in a glass.
My self-possession gutters; we are really in the dark.
“For everybody said so, all our friends, They all were sure our feelings would relate So closely! I myself can hardly understand.
We must leave it now to fate.
You will write, at any rate.
Perhaps it is not too late.
I shall sit here, serving tea to friends.
” And I must borrow every changing shape To find expression .
.
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dance, dance Like a dancing bear, Cry like a parrot, chatter like an ape.
Let us take the air, in a tobacco trance— Well! and what if she should die some afternoon, Afternoon grey and smoky, evening yellow and rose; Should die and leave me sitting pen in hand With the smoke coming down above the housetops; Doubtful, for a while Not knowing what to feel or if I understand Or whether wise or foolish, tardy or too soon.
.
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Would she not have the advantage, after all? This music is successful with a “dying fall” Now that we talk of dying— And should I have the right to smile?
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

The Beasts Confession

 To the Priest, on Observing how most Men mistake their own Talents
When beasts could speak (the learned say, 
They still can do so ev'ry day),
It seems, they had religion then,
As much as now we find in men.
It happen'd, when a plague broke out (Which therefore made them more devout), The king of brutes (to make it plain, Of quadrupeds I only mean) By proclamation gave command, That ev'ry subject in the land Should to the priest confess their sins; And thus the pious wolf begins: "Good father, I must own with shame, That often I have been to blame: I must confess, on Friday last, Wretch that I was! I broke my fast: But I defy the basest tongue To prove I did my neighbour wrong; Or ever went to seek my food By rapine, theft, or thirst of blood.
" The ***, approaching next, confess'd That in his heart he lov'd a jest: A wag he was, he needs must own, And could not let a dunce alone: Sometimes his friend he would not spare, And might perhaps be too severe: But yet, the worst that could be said, He was a wit both born and bred; And, if it be a sin or shame, Nature alone must bear the blame: One fault he hath, is sorry for't, His ears are half a foot too short; Which could he to the standard bring, He'd show his face before the King: Then for his voice, there's none disputes That he's the nightingale of brutes.
The swine with contrite heart allow'd, His shape and beauty made him proud: In diet was perhaps too nice, But gluttony was ne'er his vice: In ev'ry turn of life content, And meekly took what fortune sent: Inquire through all the parish round, A better neighbour ne'er was found: His vigilance might some displease; 'Tis true he hated sloth like peas.
The mimic ape began his chatter, How evil tongues his life bespatter: Much of the cens'ring world complain'd, Who said, his gravity was feign'd: Indeed, the strictness of his morals Engag'd him in a hundred quarrels: He saw, and he was griev'd to see't, His zeal was sometimes indiscreet: He found his virtues too severe For our corrupted times to bear: Yet, such a lewd licentious age Might well excuse a Stoic's rage.
The goat advanc'd with decent pace; And first excus'd his youthful face; Forgiveness begg'd that he appear'd ('Twas nature's fault) without a beard.
'Tis true, he was not much inclin'd To fondness for the female kind; Not, as his enemies object, From chance, or natural defect; Not by his frigid constitution, But through a pious resolution; For he had made a holy vow Of chastity as monks do now; Which he resolv'd to keep for ever hence, As strictly too, as doth his Reverence.
Apply the tale, and you shall find, How just it suits with human kind.
Some faults we own: but, can you guess? Why?--virtues carried to excess, Wherewith our vanity endows us, Though neither foe nor friend allows us.
The lawyer swears, you may rely on't, He never squeez'd a needy client; And this he makes his constant rule, For which his brethren call him fool: His conscience always was so nice, He freely gave the poor advice; By which he lost, he may affirm, A hundred fees last Easter term.
While others of the learned robe Would break the patience of a Job; No pleader at the bar could match His diligence and quick dispatch; Ne'er kept a cause, he well may boast, Above a term or two at most.
The cringing knave, who seeks a place Without success, thus tells his case: Why should he longer mince the matter? He fail'd because he could not flatter; He had not learn'd to turn his coat, Nor for a party give his vote: His crime he quickly understood; Too zealous for the nation's good: He found the ministers resent it, Yet could not for his heart repent it.
The chaplain vows he cannot fawn, Though it would raise him to the lawn: He pass'd his hours among his books; You find it in his meagre looks: He might, if he were worldly wise, Preferment get and spare his eyes: But own'd he had a stubborn spirit, That made him trust alone in merit: Would rise by merit to promotion; Alas! a mere chimeric notion.
The doctor, if you will believe him, Confess'd a sin; and God forgive him! Call'd up at midnight, ran to save A blind old beggar from the grave: But see how Satan spreads his snares; He quite forgot to say his prayers.
He cannot help it for his heart Sometimes to act the parson's part: Quotes from the Bible many a sentence, That moves his patients to repentance: And, when his med'cines do no good, Supports their minds with heav'nly food, At which, however well intended, He hears the clergy are offended; And grown so bold behind his back, To call him hypocrite and quack.
In his own church he keeps a seat; Says grace before and after meat; And calls, without affecting airs, His household twice a day to prayers.
He shuns apothecaries' shops; And hates to cram the sick with slops: He scorns to make his art a trade; Nor bribes my lady's fav'rite maid.
Old nurse-keepers would never hire To recommend him to the squire; Which others, whom he will not name, Have often practis'd to their shame.
The statesman tells you with a sneer, His fault is to be too sincere; And, having no sinister ends, Is apt to disoblige his friends.
The nation's good, his master's glory, Without regard to Whig or Tory, Were all the schemes he had in view; Yet he was seconded by few: Though some had spread a hundred lies, 'Twas he defeated the Excise.
'Twas known, though he had borne aspersion, That standing troops were his aversion: His practice was, in ev'ry station, To serve the King, and please the nation.
Though hard to find in ev'ry case The fittest man to fill a place: His promises he ne'er forgot, But took memorials on the spot: His enemies, for want of charity, Said he affected popularity: 'Tis true, the people understood, That all he did was for their good; Their kind affections he has tried; No love is lost on either side.
He came to Court with fortune clear, Which now he runs out ev'ry year: Must, at the rate that he goes on, Inevitably be undone: Oh! if his Majesty would please To give him but a writ of ease, Would grant him licence to retire, As it hath long been his desire, By fair accounts it would be found, He's poorer by ten thousand pound.
He owns, and hopes it is no sin, He ne'er was partial to his kin; He thought it base for men in stations To crowd the Court with their relations; His country was his dearest mother, And ev'ry virtuous man his brother; Through modesty or awkward shame (For which he owns himself to blame), He found the wisest man he could, Without respect to friends or blood; Nor ever acts on private views, When he hath liberty to choose.
The sharper swore he hated play, Except to pass an hour away: And well he might; for, to his cost, By want of skill he always lost; He heard there was a club of cheats, Who had contriv'd a thousand feats; Could change the stock, or cog a die, And thus deceive the sharpest eye: Nor wonder how his fortune sunk, His brothers fleece him when he's drunk.
I own the moral not exact; Besides, the tale is false in fact; And so absurd, that could I raise up From fields Elysian fabling Aesop; I would accuse him to his face For libelling the four-foot race.
Creatures of ev'ry kind but ours Well comprehend their natural pow'rs; While we, whom reason ought to sway, Mistake our talents ev'ry day.
The *** was never known so stupid To act the part of Tray or Cupid; Nor leaps upon his master's lap, There to be strok'd, and fed with pap, As Aesop would the world persuade; He better understands his trade: Nor comes, whene'er his lady whistles; But carries loads, and feeds on thistles.
Our author's meaning, I presume, is A creature bipes et implumis; Wherein the moralist design'd A compliment on human kind: For here he owns, that now and then Beasts may degenerate into men.
Written by Emily Dickinson | Create an image from this poem

That this should feel the need of Death

 That this should feel the need of Death
The same as those that lived
Is such a Feat of Irony
As never was -- achieved --

Not satisfied to ape the Great
In his simplicity
The small must die, as well as He --
Oh the Audacity --
Written by John Trumbull | Create an image from this poem

To Ladies Of A Certain Age

 Ye ancient Maids, who ne'er must prove
The early joys of youth and love,
Whose names grim Fate (to whom 'twas given,
When marriages were made in heaven)
Survey'd with unrelenting scowl,
And struck them from the muster-roll;
Or set you by, in dismal sort,
For wintry bachelors to court;
Or doom'd to lead your faded lives,
Heirs to the joys of former wives;
Attend! nor fear in state forlorn,
To shun the pointing hand of scorn,
Attend, if lonely age you dread,
And wish to please, or wish to wed.
When beauties lose their gay appearance, And lovers fall from perseverance, When eyes grow dim and charms decay, And all your roses fade away, First know yourselves; lay by those airs, Which well might suit your former years, Nor ape in vain the childish mien, And airy follies of sixteen.
We pardon faults in youth's gay flow, While beauty prompts the cheek to glow, While every glance has power to warm, And every turn displays a charm, Nor view a spot in that fair face, Which smiles inimitable grace.
But who, unmoved with scorn, can see The grey coquette's affected glee, Her ambuscading tricks of art To catch the beau's unthinking heart, To check th' assuming fopling's vows, The bridling frown of wrinkled brows; Those haughty airs of face and mind, Departed beauty leaves behind.
Nor let your sullen temper show Spleen louring on the envious brow, The jealous glance of rival rage, The sourness and the rust of age.
With graceful ease, avoid to wear The gloom of disappointed care: And oh, avoid the sland'rous tongue, By malice tuned, with venom hung, That blast of virtue and of fame, That herald to the court of shame; Less dire the croaking raven's throat, Though death's dire omens swell the note.
Contented tread the vale of years, Devoid of malice, guilt and fears; Let soft good humour, mildly gay, Gild the calm evening of your day, And virtue, cheerful and serene, In every word and act be seen.
Virtue alone with lasting grace, Embalms the beauties of the face, Instructs the speaking eye to glow, Illumes the cheek and smooths the brow, Bids every look the heart engage, Nor fears the wane of wasting age.
Nor think these charms of face and air, The eye so bright, the form so fair, This light that on the surface plays, Each coxcomb fluttering round its blaze, Whose spell enchants the wits of beaux, The only charms, that heaven bestows.
Within the mind a glory lies, O'erlook'd and dim to vulgar eyes; Immortal charms, the source of love, Which time and lengthen'd years improve, Which beam, with still increasing power, Serene to life's declining hour; Then rise, released from earthly cares, To heaven, and shine above the stars.
Thus might I still these thoughts pursue, The counsel wise, and good, and true, In rhymes well meant and serious lay, While through the verse in sad array, Grave truths in moral garb succeed: Yet who would mend, for who would read? But when the force of precept fails, A sad example oft prevails.
Beyond the rules a sage exhibits, Thieves heed the arguments of gibbets, And for a villain's quick conversion, A pillory can outpreach a parson.
To thee, Eliza, first of all, But with no friendly voice I call.
Advance with all thine airs sublime, Thou remnant left of ancient time! Poor mimic of thy former days, Vain shade of beauty, once in blaze! We view thee, must'ring forth to arms The veteran relics of thy charms; The artful leer, the rolling eye, The trip genteel, the heaving sigh, The labour'd smile, of force too weak, Low dimpling in th' autumnal cheek, The sad, funereal frown, that still Survives its power to wound or kill; Or from thy looks, with desperate rage, Chafing the sallow hue of age, And cursing dire with rueful faces, The repartees of looking-glasses.
Now at tea-table take thy station, Those shambles vile of reputation, Where butcher'd characters and stale Are day by day exposed for sale: Then raise the floodgates of thy tongue, And be the peal of scandal rung; While malice tunes thy voice to rail, And whispering demons prompt the tale-- Yet hold thy hand, restrain thy passion, Thou cankerworm of reputation; Bid slander, rage and envy cease, For one short interval of peace; Let other's faults and crimes alone, Survey thyself and view thine own; Search the dark caverns of thy mind, Or turn thine eyes and look behind: For there to meet thy trembling view, With ghastly form and grisly hue, And shrivel'd hand, that lifts sublime The wasting glass and scythe of Time, A phantom stands: his name is Age; Ill-nature following as his page.
While bitter taunts and scoffs and jeers, And vexing cares and torturing fears, Contempt that lifts the haughty eye, And unblest solitude are nigh; While conscious pride no more sustains, Nor art conceals thine inward pains, And haggard vengeance haunts thy name, And guilt consigns thee o'er to shame, Avenging furies round thee wait, And e'en thy foes bewail thy fate.
But see, with gentler looks and air, Sophia comes.
Ye youths beware! Her fancy paints her still in prime, Nor sees the moving hand of time; To all her imperfections blind, Hears lovers sigh in every wind, And thinks her fully ripen'd charms, Like Helen's, set the world in arms.
Oh, save it but from ridicule, How blest the state, to be a fool! The bedlam-king in triumph shares The bliss of crowns, without the cares; He views with pride-elated mind, His robe of tatters trail behind; With strutting mien and lofty eye, He lifts his crabtree sceptre high; Of king's prerogative he raves, And rules in realms of fancied slaves.
In her soft brain, with madness warm, Thus airy throngs of lovers swarm.
She takes her glass; before her eyes Imaginary beauties rise; Stranger till now, a vivid ray Illumes each glance and beams like day; Till furbish'd every charm anew, An angel steps abroad to view; She swells her pride, assumes her power, And bids the vassal world adore.
Indulge thy dream.
The pictured joy No ruder breath should dare destroy; No tongue should hint, the lover's mind Was ne'er of virtuoso-kind, Through all antiquity to roam For what much fairer springs at home.
No wish should blast thy proud design; The bliss of vanity be thine.
But while the subject world obey, Obsequious to thy sovereign sway, Thy foes so feeble and so few, With slander what hadst thou to do? What demon bade thine anger rise? What demon glibb'd thy tongue with lies? What demon urged thee to provoke Avenging satire's deadly stroke? Go, sink unnoticed and unseen, Forgot, as though thou ne'er hadst been.
Oblivion's long projected shade In clouds hangs dismal o'er thy head.
Fill the short circle of thy day, Then fade from all the world away; Nor leave one fainting trace behind, Of all that flutter'd once and shined; The vapoury meteor's dancing light Deep sunk and quench'd in endless night
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Song of the Dead

 Hear now the Song of the Dead -- in the North by the torn berg-edges --
They that look still to the Pole, asleep by their hide-stripped sledges.
Song of the Dead in the South -- in the sun by their skeleton horses, Where the warrigal whimpers and bays through the dust of the sere river-courses.
Song of the Dead in the East -- in the heat-rotted jungle-hollows, Where the dog-ape barks in the kloof -- in the brake of the buffalo-wallows.
Song of the Dead in the West in the Barrens, the pass that betrayed them, Where the wolverine tumbles their packs from the camp and the grave-rnound they made them; Hear now the Song of the Dead! I We were dreamers, dreaming greatly, in the man-stifled town; We yearned beyond the sky-line where the strange roads go down.
Came the Whisper, came the Vision, came the Power with the Need, Till the Soul that is not man's soul was lent us to lead.
As the deer breaks -- as the steer breaks -- from the herd where they graze, In the faith of little children we went on our ways.
Then the wood failed -- then the food failed -- then the last water dried.
In the faith of little children we lay down and died.
On the sand-drift -- on the veldt-side -- in the fern-scrub we lay, That our sons might follow after by the bones on the way.
Follow after-follow after! We have watered the root, And the bud has come to blossom that ripens for fruit! Follow after -- we are waiting, by the trails that we lost, For the sounds of many footsteps, for the tread of a host.
Follow after-follow after -- for the harvest is sown: By the bones about the wayside ye shall come to your own! When Drake went down to the Horn And England was crowned thereby, 'Twixt seas unsailed and shores unhailed Our Lodge -- our Lodge was born (And England was crowned thereby!) Which never shall close again By day nor yet by night, While man shall take his ife to stake At risk of shoal or main (By day nor yet by night) But standeth even so As now we witness here, While men depart, of joyful heart, Adventure for to know (As now bear witness here!) II We have fed our sea for a thousand years And she calls us, still unfed, Tbough there's never a wave of all her waves But marks our English dead: We have strawed our best to the weed's unrest, To the shark and the sheering gull.
If blood be the price of admiralty, Lord God, we ha' paid in tull! There's never a flood goes shoreward now But lifts a keel we manned; There's never an ebb goes seaward now But drops our dead on the sand -- But slinks our dead on the sands forlore, From the Ducies to the Swin.
If blood be the price of admiralty, If blood be the price of admiralty, Lord God, we ha' paid it in! We must feed our sea for a thousand years, For that is our doom and pride, As it was when they sailed with the Golden Hind, Or tbe wreck that struck last tide -- Or the wreck that lies on the spouting reef Where the ghastly blue-lights flare If blood be tbe price of admiralty, If blood be tbe price of admiralty, If blood be the price of admiralty, Lord God, we ha' bought it fair!
Written by Oliver Wendell Holmes | Create an image from this poem

Contentment

 "Man wants but little here below.
" LITTLE I ask; my wants are few; I only wish a hut of stone, (A very plain brown stone will do,) That I may call my own; And close at hand is such a one, In yonder street that fronts the sun.
Plain food is quite enough for me; Three courses are as good as ten;-- If Nature can subsist on three, Thank Heaven for three.
Amen! I always thought cold victual nice;-- My choice would be vanilla-ice.
I care not much for gold or land;-- Give me a mortgage here and there,-- Some good bank-stock, some note of hand, Or trifling railroad share,-- I only ask that Fortune send A little more than I shall spend.
Honors are silly toys, I know, And titles are but empty names; I would, perhaps, be Plenipo,-- But only near St.
James; I'm very sure I should not care To fill our Gubernator's chair.
Jewels are baubles; 't is a sin To care for such unfruitful things;-- One good-sized diamond in a pin,-- Some, not so large, in rings,-- A ruby, and a pearl, or so, Will do for me;--I laugh at show.
My dame should dress in cheap attire; (Good, heavy silks are never dear;) - I own perhaps I might desire Some shawls of true Cashmere,-- Some marrowy crapes of China silk, Like wrinkled skins on scalded milk.
I would not have the horse I drive So fast that folks must stop and stare; An easy gait--two forty-five-- Suits me; I do not care;-- Perhaps, for just a single spurt, Some seconds less would do no hurt.
Of pictures, I should like to own Titians aud Raphaels three or four,-- I love so much their style and tone, One Turner, and no more, (A landscape,--foreground golden dirt,-- The sunshine painted with a squirt.
) Of books but few,--some fifty score For daily use, and bound for wear; The rest upon an upper floor;-- Some little luxury there Of red morocco's gilded gleam And vellum rich as country cream.
Busts, cameos, gems,--such things as these, Which others often show for pride, I value for their power to please, And selfish churls deride;-- One Stradivarius, I confess, Two Meerschaums, I would fain possess.
Wealth's wasteful tricks I will not learn, Nor ape the glittering upstart fool;-- Shall not carved tables serve my turn, But all must be of buhl? Give grasping pomp its double share,-- I ask but one recumbent chair.
Thus humble let me live and die, Nor long for Midas' golden touch; If Heaven more generous gifts deny, I shall not miss them much,-- Too grateful for the blessing lent Of simple tastes and mind content!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Ballad of the Kings Jest

 When spring-time flushes the desert grass,
Our kafilas wind through the Khyber Pass.
Lean are the camels but fat the frails, Light are the purses but heavy the bales, As the snowbound trade of the North comes down To the market-square of Peshawur town.
In a turquoise twilight, crisp and chill, A kafila camped at the foot of the hill.
Then blue smoke-haze of the cooking rose, And tent-peg answered to hammer-nose; And the picketed ponies, shag and wild, Strained at their ropes as the feed was piled; And the bubbling camels beside the load Sprawled for a furlong adown the road; And the Persian pussy-cats, brought for sale, Spat at the dogs from the camel-bale; And the tribesmen bellowed to hasten the food; And the camp-fires twinkled by Fort Jumrood; And there fled on the wings of the gathering dusk A savour of camels and carpets and musk, A murmur of voices, a reek of smoke, To tell us the trade of the Khyber woke.
The lid of the flesh-pot chattered high, The knives were whetted and -- then came I To Mahbub Ali the muleteer, Patching his bridles and counting his gear, Crammed with the gossip of half a year.
But Mahbub Ali the kindly said, "Better is speech when the belly is fed.
" So we plunged the hand to the mid-wrist deep In a cinnamon stew of the fat-tailed sheep, And he who never hath tasted the food, By Allah! he knoweth not bad from good.
We cleansed our beards of the mutton-grease, We lay on the mats and were filled with peace, And the talk slid north, and the talk slid south, With the sliding puffs from the hookah-mouth.
Four things greater than all things are, -- Women and Horses and Power and War.
We spake of them all, but the last the most, For I sought a word of a Russian post, Of a shifty promise, an unsheathed sword And a gray-coat guard on the Helmund ford.
Then Mahbub Ali lowered his eyes In the fashion of one who is weaving lies.
Quoth he: "Of the Russians who can say? When the night is gathering all is gray.
But we look that the gloom of the night shall die In the morning flush of a blood-red sky.
Friend of my heart, is it meet or wise To warn a King of his enemies? We know what Heaven or Hell may bring, But no man knoweth the mind of the King.
That unsought counsel is cursed of God Attesteth the story of Wali Dad.
"His sire was leaky of tongue and pen, His dam was a clucking Khuttuck hen; And the colt bred close to the vice of each, For he carried the curse of an unstanched speech.
Therewith madness -- so that he sought The favour of kings at the Kabul court; And travelled, in hope of honour, far To the line where the gray-coat squadrons are.
There have I journeyed too -- but I Saw naught, said naught, and -- did not die! He harked to rumour, and snatched at a breath Of `this one knoweth' and `that one saith', -- Legends that ran from mouth to mouth Of a gray-coat coming, and sack of the South.
These have I also heard -- they pass With each new spring and the winter grass.
"Hot-foot southward, forgotten of God, Back to the city ran Wali Dad, Even to Kabul -- in full durbar The King held talk with his Chief in War.
Into the press of the crowd he broke, And what he had heard of the coming spoke.
"Then Gholam Hyder, the Red Chief, smiled, As a mother might on a babbling child; But those who would laugh restrained their breath, When the face of the King showed dark as death.
Evil it is in full durbar To cry to a ruler of gathering war! Slowly he led to a peach-tree small, That grew by a cleft of the city wall.
And he said to the boy: `They shall praise thy zeal So long as the red spurt follows the steel.
And the Russ is upon us even now? Great is thy prudence -- await them, thou.
Watch from the tree.
Thou art young and strong, Surely thy vigil is not for long.
The Russ is upon us, thy clamour ran? Surely an hour shall bring their van.
Wait and watch.
When the host is near, Shout aloud that my men may hear.
' "Friend of my heart, is it meet or wise To warn a King of his enemies? A guard was set that he might not flee -- A score of bayonets ringed the tree.
The peach-bloom fell in showers of snow, When he shook at his death as he looked below.
By the power of God, who alone is great, Till the seventh day he fought with his fate.
Then madness took him, and men declare He mowed in the branches as ape and bear, And last as a sloth, ere his body failed, And he hung as a bat in the forks, and wailed, And sleep the cord of his hands untied, And he fell, and was caught on the points and died.
"Heart of my heart, is it meet or wise To warn a King of his enemies? We know what Heaven or Hell may bring, But no man knoweth the mind of the King.
Of the gray-coat coming who can say? When the night is gathering all is gray.
Two things greater than all things are, The first is Love, and the second War.
And since we know not how War may prove, Heart of my heart, let us talk of Love!"
Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem

Virgin In A Tree

 How this tart fable instructs
And mocks! Here's the parody of that moral mousetrap
Set in the proverbs stitched on samplers
Approving chased girls who get them to a tree
And put on bark's nun-black

Habit which deflects
All amorous arrows.
For to sheathe the virgin shape In a scabbard of wood baffles pursuers, Whether goat-thighed or god-haloed.
Ever since that first Daphne Switched her incomparable back For a bay-tree hide, respect's Twined to her hard limbs like ivy: the puritan lip Cries: 'Celebrate Syrinx whose demurs Won her the frog-colored skin, pale pith and watery Bed of a reed.
Look: Pine-needle armor protects Pitys from Pan's assault! And though age drop Their leafy crowns, their fame soars, Eclipsing Eva, Cleo and Helen of Troy: For which of those would speak For a fashion that constricts White bodies in a wooden girdle, root to top Unfaced, unformed, the nipple-flowers Shrouded to suckle darkness? Only they Who keep cool and holy make A sanctum to attract Green virgins, consecrating limb and lip To chastity's service: like prophets, like preachers, They descant on the serene and seraphic beauty Of virgins for virginity's sake.
' Be certain some such pact's Been struck to keep all glory in the grip Of ugly spinsters and barren sirs As you etch on the inner window of your eye This virgin on her rack: She, ripe and unplucked, 's Lain splayed too long in the tortuous boughs: overripe Now, dour-faced, her fingers Stiff as twigs, her body woodenly Askew, she'll ache and wake Though doomsday bud.
Neglect's Given her lips that lemon-tasting droop: Untongued, all beauty's bright juice sours.
Tree-twist will ape this gross anatomy Till irony's bough break.
Written by Craig Raine | Create an image from this poem

Nature Study

 (for Rona, Jeremy, Sam & Grace)

All the lizards are asleep--
perched pagodas with tiny triangular tiles,
each milky lid a steamed-up window.
Inside, the heart repeats itself like a sleepy gong, summoning nothing to nothing.
In winter time, the zoo reverts to metaphor, God's poetry of boredom: the cobra knits her Fair-Isle skin, rattlers titter over the same joke.
All of them endlessly finish spaghetti.
The python runs down like a spring, and time stops on some ancient Sabbath.
Pythagorean bees are shut inside the hive, which hymns and hums like Sunday chapel-- drowsy thoughts in a wrinkled brain.
The fire's gone out-- crocodiles lie like wet beams, cross-hatched by flames that no one can remember.
Grasshoppers shiver, chafe their limbs and try to keep warm, crouching on their marks perpetually.
The African cricket is trussed like a cold chicken: the sneeze of movement returns it to the same position, in the same body.
There is no change.
The rumple-headed lion has nowhere to go and snoozes in his grimy combinations.
A chaise lounge with missing castors, the walrus is stuck forever on his rock.
Sleepily, the seals play crib, scoring on their upper lips.
The chimps kill fleas and time, sewing nothing to nothing Five o'clock--perhaps.
Vultures in their shabby Sunday suits fidget with broken umbrellas, while the ape beats his breast and yodels out repentance.
Their feet are an awful dream of bunions-- but the buffalo's brazil nut bugle-horns can never sound reveille.
Written by Ogden Nash | Create an image from this poem

Bankers Are Just Like Anybody Else Except Richer

 This is a song to celebrate banks,
Because they are full of money and you go into them and all
you hear is clinks and clanks,
Or maybe a sound like the wind in the trees on the hills,
Which is the rustling of the thousand dollar bills.
Most bankers dwell in marble halls, Which they get to dwell in because they encourage deposits and discourage withdrawals, And particularly because they all observe one rule which woe betides the banker who fails to heed it, Which is you must never lend any money to anybody unless they don't need it.
I know you, you cautious conservative banks! If people are worried about their rent it is your duty to deny them the loan of one nickel, yes, even one copper engraving of the martyred son of the late Nancy Hanks; Yes, if they request fifty dollars to pay for a baby you must look at them like Tarzan looking at an uppity ape in the jungle, And tell them what do they think a bank is, anyhow, they had better go get the money from their wife's aunt or ungle.
But suppose people come in and they have a million and they want another million to pile on top of it, Why, you brim with the milk of human kindness and you urge them to accept every drop of it, And you lend them the million so then they have two million and this gives them the idea that they would be better off with four, So they already have two million as security so you have no hesitation in lending them two more, And all the vice-presidents nod their heads in rhythm, And the only question asked is do the borrowers want the money sent or do they want to take it withm.
Because I think they deserve our appreciation and thanks, the jackasses who go around saying that health and happi- ness are everything and money isn't essential, Because as soon as they have to borrow some unimportant money to maintain their health and happiness they starve to death so they can't go around any more sneering at good old money, which is nothing short of providential.
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