Best Famous Bear Down Poems

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Written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | Create an image from this poem

A Curse For A Nation

 I heard an angel speak last night,
And he said 'Write!
Write a Nation's curse for me,
And send it over the Western Sea.
' I faltered, taking up the word: 'Not so, my lord! If curses must be, choose another To send thy curse against my brother.
'For I am bound by gratitude, By love and blood, To brothers of mine across the sea, Who stretch out kindly hands to me.
' 'Therefore,' the voice said, 'shalt thou write My curse to-night.
From the summits of love a curse is driven, As lightning is from the tops of heaven.
' 'Not so,' I answered.
'Evermore My heart is sore For my own land's sins: for little feet Of children bleeding along the street: 'For parked-up honors that gainsay The right of way: For almsgiving through a door that is Not open enough for two friends to kiss: 'For love of freedom which abates Beyond the Straits: For patriot virtue starved to vice on Self-praise, self-interest, and suspicion: 'For an oligarchic parliament, And bribes well-meant.
What curse to another land assign, When heavy-souled for the sins of mine?' 'Therefore,' the voice said, 'shalt thou write My curse to-night.
Because thou hast strength to see and hate A foul thing done within thy gate.
' 'Not so,' I answered once again.
'To curse, choose men.
For I, a woman, have only known How the heart melts and the tears run down.
' 'Therefore,' the voice said, 'shalt thou write My curse to-night.
Some women weep and curse, I say (And no one marvels), night and day.
'And thou shalt take their part to-night, Weep and write.
A curse from the depths of womanhood Is very salt, and bitter, and good.
' So thus I wrote, and mourned indeed, What all may read.
And thus, as was enjoined on me, I send it over the Western Sea.
The Curse Because ye have broken your own chain With the strain Of brave men climbing a Nation's height, Yet thence bear down with brand and thong On souls of others, -- for this wrong This is the curse.
Write.
Because yourselves are standing straight In the state Of Freedom's foremost acolyte, Yet keep calm footing all the time On writhing bond-slaves, -- for this crime This is the curse.
Write.
Because ye prosper in God's name, With a claim To honor in the old world's sight, Yet do the fiend's work perfectly In strangling martyrs, -- for this lie This is the curse.
Write.
Ye shall watch while kings conspire Round the people's smouldering fire, And, warm for your part, Shall never dare -- O shame! To utter the thought into flame Which burns at your heart.
This is the curse.
Write.
Ye shall watch while nations strive With the bloodhounds, die or survive, Drop faint from their jaws, Or throttle them backward to death; And only under your breath Shall favor the cause.
This is the curse.
Write.
Ye shall watch while strong men draw The nets of feudal law To strangle the weak; And, counting the sin for a sin, Your soul shall be sadder within Than the word ye shall speak.
This is the curse.
Write.
When good men are praying erect That Christ may avenge His elect And deliver the earth, The prayer in your ears, said low, Shall sound like the tramp of a foe That's driving you forth.
This is the curse.
Write.
When wise men give you their praise, They shall praise in the heat of the phrase, As if carried too far.
When ye boast your own charters kept true, Ye shall blush; for the thing which ye do Derides what ye are.
This is the curse.
Write.
When fools cast taunts at your gate, Your scorn ye shall somewhat abate As ye look o'er the wall; For your conscience, tradition, and name Explode with a deadlier blame Than the worst of them all.
This is the curse.
Write.
Go, wherever ill deeds shall be done, Go, plant your flag in the sun Beside the ill-doers! And recoil from clenching the curse Of God's witnessing Universe With a curse of yours.
This is the curse.
Write.
Written by Marianne Moore | Create an image from this poem

Baseball and Writing

 Fanaticism?No.
Writing is exciting and baseball is like writing.
You can never tell with either how it will go or what you will do; generating excitement-- a fever in the victim-- pitcher, catcher, fielder, batter.
Victim in what category? Owlman watching from the press box? To whom does it apply? Who is excited?Might it be I? It's a pitcher's battle all the way--a duel-- a catcher's, as, with cruel puma paw, Elston Howard lumbers lightly back to plate.
(His spring de-winged a bat swing.
) They have that killer instinct; yet Elston--whose catching arm has hurt them all with the bat-- when questioned, says, unenviously, "I'm very satisfied.
We won.
" Shorn of the batting crown, says, "We"; robbed by a technicality.
When three players on a side play three positions and modify conditions, the massive run need not be everything.
"Going, going .
.
.
"Is it?Roger Maris has it, running fast.
You will never see a finer catch.
Well .
.
.
"Mickey, leaping like the devil"--why gild it, although deer sounds better-- snares what was speeding towards its treetop nest, one-handing the souvenir-to-be meant to be caught by you or me.
Assign Yogi Berra to Cape Canaveral; he could handle any missile.
He is no feather.
"Strike! .
.
.
Strike two!" Fouled back.
A blur.
It's gone.
You would infer that the bat had eyes.
He put the wood to that one.
Praised, Skowron says, "Thanks, Mel.
I think I helped a little bit.
" All business, each, and modesty.
Blanchard, Richardson, Kubek, Boyer.
In that galaxy of nine, say which won the pennant?Each.
It was he.
Those two magnificent saves from the knee-throws by Boyer, finesses in twos-- like Whitey's three kinds of pitch and pre- diagnosis with pick-off psychosis.
Pitching is a large subject.
Your arm, too true at first, can learn to catch your corners--even trouble Mickey Mantle.
("Grazed a Yankee! My baby pitcher, Montejo!" With some pedagogy, you'll be tough, premature prodigy.
) They crowd him and curve him and aim for the knees.
Trying indeed!The secret implying: "I can stand here, bat held steady.
" One may suit him; none has hit him.
Imponderables smite him.
Muscle kinks, infections, spike wounds require food, rest, respite from ruffians.
(Drat it! Celebrity costs privacy!) Cow's milk, "tiger's milk," soy milk, carrot juice, brewer's yeast (high-potency-- concentrates presage victory sped by Luis Arroyo, Hector Lopez-- deadly in a pinch.
And "Yes, it's work; I want you to bear down, but enjoy it while you're doing it.
" Mr.
Houk and Mr.
Sain, if you have a rummage sale, don't sell Roland Sheldon or Tom Tresh.
Studded with stars in belt and crown, the Stadium is an adastrium.
O flashing Orion, your stars are muscled like the lion.
Written by James Merrill | Create an image from this poem

The Victor Dog

 Bix to Buxtehude to Boulez,
The little white dog on the Victor label
Listens long and hard as he is able.
It's all in a day's work, whatever plays.
From judgment, it would seem, he has refrained.
He even listens earnestly to Bloch, Then builds a church upon our acid rock.
He's man's--no--he's the Leiermann's best friend, Or would be if hearing and listening were the same.
Does he hear?I fancy he rather smells Those lemon-gold arpeggios in Ravel's "Les jets d'eau du palais de ceux qui s'aiment.
" He ponders the Schumann Concerto's tall willow hit By lightning, and stays put.
When he surmises Through one of Bach's eternal boxwood mazes The oboe pungent as a bitch in heat, Or when the calypso decants its raw bay rum Or the moon in Wozzeck reddens ripe for murder, He doesn't sneeze or howl; just listens harder.
Adamant needles bear down on him from Whirling of outer space, too black, too near-- But he was taught as a puppy not to flinch, Much less to imitate his bête noire Blanche Who barked, fat foolish creature, at King Lear.
Still others fought in the road's filth over Jezebel, Slavered on hearths of horned and pelted barons.
His forebears lacked, to say the least, forebearance.
Can nature change in him?Nothing's impossible.
The last chord fades.
The night is cold and fine.
His master's voice rasps through the grooves' bare groves.
Obediently, in silence like the grave's He sleeps there on the still-warm gramophone Only to dream he is at the première of a Handel Opera long thought lost--Il Cane Minore.
Its allegorical subject is his story! A little dog revolving round a spindle Gives rise to harmonies beyond belief, A cast of stars .
.
.
.
Is there in Victor's heart No honey for the vanquished?Art is art.
The life it asks of us is a dog's life.
Written by William Topaz McGonagall | Create an image from this poem

An All-Night Sea Fight

 Ye sons of Mars, come list to me,
And I will relate to ye
A great and heroic naval fight,
Which will fill your hearts with delight.
The fight was between the French Frigate "Pique" and the British Frigate "Blanche," But the British crew were bold and staunch; And the battle was fought in West Indian waters in the year of 1795, And for to gain the victory the French did nobly strive.
And on the morning of the 4th of January while cruising off Gadulope, The look-out man from the foretop loudly spoke, And cried, "Sail ahoy!" "Where away ?" "On the lee bow, close in shore, sir," was answered without delay.
Then Captain Faulkner cried, "Clear the decks!" And the French vessel with his eyeglass he inspects; And he told his men to hoist the British flag, And "prepare my heroes to pull down that French rag.
" Then the "Blanche" made sail and bore away In the direction of the "Pique" without delay; And Captain Fauikner cried, "Now, my lads, bear down on him, And make ready quickly and begin.
" It was about midnight when the Frenchman hove in sight, And could be seen distinctly in the starlight; And for an hour and a half they fired away Broadsides into each other without dismay.
And with tne rapid flashes the Heavens were aflame, As each volley from the roaring cannons came; And the incessant roll of musketry was awful to hear, As it broke over the silent sea and smote upon the ear.
The French vessel had nearly 400 men, Her decks were literally crowded from stem to stern; And the musketeers kept up a fierce fire on the " Blanche," But still the "Blanche" on them did advance.
And the "Blanche's" crew without dismay Fired a broadside into the "Pique" without delay, Which raked her fore and aft, and knocked her to smash, And the mizzen mast fell overboard with a terrible crash.
Then the Frenohmen rushed forward to board the "Blanche," But in doing so they had a very poor chance, For the British Tars in courage didn't lack, Because thrice in succession on their own deck they were driven back.
Then "Brave, my lads!" Captain Faulkner loudly cries, "Lash her bowsprit to our capstan, she's our prize"; And he seized some ropes to lash round his foe, But a musket ball pierced his heart and laid him low.
Then a yell of rage burst from the noble crew, And near to his fallen body they drew; And tears for his loss fell fast on the deck, Their grief was so great their tears they conldn 't check.
The crew was very sorry for their captain's downfall, But the sight didn't their brave hearts appall; Because they fastened the ropes to the "Pique" at the capstan, And the "Pique" was dragged after the "Blanche," the sight was grand.
Yet the crew of the "Pique" maintained the fight, Oh! most courageously they fought in the dead of night; And for two hours they kept up firing without dismay, But it was a sacrifice of human life, they had to give way.
And about five o'clock in the morning the French cried for quarter, Because on board there had been a great slaughter; Their Captain Consail was mortally wounded in the fight Along with many officers and men; oh! it was a heartrending sight To see the wounded and dead weltering in their gore After the cannonading had ceased and the fighting was o'er.
Written by Jean Ingelow | Create an image from this poem

DIVIDED

.

An empty sky, a world of heather,
  Purple of foxglove, yellow of broom;
We two among them wading together,
  Shaking out honey, treading perfume.
Crowds of bees are giddy with clover,
  Crowds of grasshoppers skip at our feet,
Crowds of larks at their matins hang over,
  Thanking the Lord for a life so sweet.
Flusheth the rise with her purple favor,
  Gloweth the cleft with her golden ring,
'Twixt the two brown butterflies waver,
  Lightly settle, and sleepily swing.
We two walk till the purple dieth
  And short dry grass under foot is brown.
But one little streak at a distance lieth
  Green like a ribbon to prank the down.
II.

Over the grass we stepped unto it,
  And God He knoweth how blithe we were!
Never a voice to bid us eschew it:
  Hey the green ribbon that showed so fair!
Hey the green ribbon! we kneeled beside it,
  We parted the grasses dewy and sheen;
Drop over drop there filtered and slided
  A tiny bright beck that trickled between.
Tinkle, tinkle, sweetly it sang to us,
  Light was our talk as of faëry bells—
Faëry wedding-bells faintly rung to us
  Down in their fortunate parallels.
Hand in hand, while the sun peered over,
  We lapped the grass on that youngling spring;
Swept back its rushes, smoothed its clover,
  And said, "Let us follow it westering."
III.

A dappled sky, a world of meadows,
  Circling above us the black rooks fly
Forward, backward; lo, their dark shadows
  Flit on the blossoming tapestry—
Flit on the beck, for her long grass parteth
  As hair from a maid's bright eyes blown back;
And, lo, the sun like a lover darteth
  His flattering smile on her wayward track.
Sing on! we sing in the glorious weather
  Till one steps over the tiny strand,
So narrow, in sooth, that still together
  On either brink we go hand in hand.
The beck grows wider, the hands must sever.
  On either margin, our songs all done,
We move apart, while she singeth ever,
  Taking the course of the stooping sun.
He prays, "Come over"—I may not follow;
  I cry, "Return"—but he cannot come:
We speak, we laugh, but with voices hollow;
  Our hands are hanging, our hearts are numb.
IV.

A breathing sigh, a sigh for answer,
  A little talking of outward things
The careless beck is a merry dancer,
  Keeping sweet time to the air she sings.
A little pain when the beck grows wider;
  "Cross to me now—for her wavelets swell."
"I may not cross,"—and the voice beside her
  Faintly reacheth, though heeded well.
No backward path; ah! no returning;
  No second crossing that ripple's flow:
"Come to me now, for the west is burning;
  Come ere it darkens;"—"Ah, no! ah, no!"
Then cries of pain, and arms outreaching—
  The beck grows wider and swift and deep:
Passionate words as of one beseeching—
  The loud beck drowns them; we walk, and weep.
V.

A yellow moon in splendor drooping,
  A tired queen with her state oppressed,
Low by rushes and swordgrass stooping,
  Lies she soft on the waves at rest.
The desert heavens have felt her sadness;
  Her earth will weep her some dewy tears;
The wild beck ends her tune of gladness,
  And goeth stilly as soul that fears.
We two walk on in our grassy places
  On either marge of the moonlit flood,
With the moon's own sadness in our faces,
  Where joy is withered, blossom and bud.
VI.

A shady freshness, chafers whirring,
  A little piping of leaf-hid birds;
A flutter of wings, a fitful stirring,
  A cloud to the eastward snowy as curds.
Bare grassy slopes, where kids are tethered
  Round valleys like nests all ferny-lined;
Round hills, with fluttering tree-tops feathered,
  Swell high in their freckled robes behind.
A rose-flush tender, a thrill, a quiver,
  When golden gleams to the tree-tops glide;
A flashing edge for the milk-white river,
  The beck, a river—with still sleek tide.
Broad and white, and polished as silver,
  On she goes under fruit-laden trees;
Sunk in leafage cooeth the culver,
  And 'plaineth of love's disloyalties.
Glitters the dew and shines the river,
  Up comes the lily and dries her bell;
But two are walking apart forever,
  And wave their hands for a mute farewell.
VII.

A braver swell, a swifter sliding;
  The river hasteth, her banks recede:
Wing-like sails on her bosom gliding
  Bear down the lily and drown the reed.
Stately prows are rising and bowing
  (Shouts of mariners winnow the air),
And level sands for banks endowing
  The tiny green ribbon that showed so fair.
While, O my heart! as white sails shiver,
  And crowds are passing, and banks stretch wide
How hard to follow, with lips that quiver,
  That moving speck on the far-off side!
Farther, farther—I see it—know it—
  My eyes brim over, it melts away:
Only my heart to my heart shall show it
  As I walk desolate day by day.
VII.

And yet I know past all doubting, truly—
  A knowledge greater than grief can dim—
I know, as he loved, he will love me duly—
  Yea better—e'en better than I love him.
And as I walk by the vast calm river,
  The awful river so dread to see,
I say, "Thy breadth and thy depth forever
  Are bridged by his thoughts that cross to me."