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Best Famous Cobra Poems

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

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Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem

Perseus: The Triumph of Wit Over Suffering

Head alone shows you in the prodigious act
Of digesting what centuries alone digest:
The mammoth, lumbering statuary of sorrow,
Indissoluble enough to riddle the guts
Of a whale with holes and holes, and bleed him white
Into salt seas.
Hercules had a simple time, Rinsing those stables: a baby's tears would do it.
But who'd volunteer to gulp the Laocoon, The Dying Gaul and those innumerable pietas Festering on the dim walls of Europe's chapels, Museums and sepulchers? You.
You Who borrowed feathers for your feet, not lead, Not nails, and a mirror to keep the snaky head In safe perspective, could outface the gorgon-grimace Of human agony: a look to numb Limbs: not a basilisk-blink, nor a double whammy, But all the accumulated last grunts, groans, Cries and heroic couplets concluding the million Enacted tragedies on these blood-soaked boards, And every private twinge a hissing asp To petrify your eyes, and every village Catastrophe a writhing length of cobra, And the decline of empires the thick coil of a vast Anacnoda.
Imagine: the world Fisted to a foetus head, ravined, seamed With suffering from conception upwards, and there You have it in hand.
Grit in the eye or a sore Thumb can make anyone wince, but the whole globe Expressive of grief turns gods, like kings, to rocks.
Those rocks, cleft and worn, themselves then grow Ponderous and extend despair on earth's Dark face.
So might rigor mortis come to stiffen All creation, were it not for a bigger belly Still than swallows joy.
You enter now, Armed with feathers to tickle as well as fly, And a fun-house mirror that turns the tragic muse To the beheaded head of a sullen doll, one braid, A bedraggled snake, hanging limp as the absurd mouth Hangs in its lugubious pout.
Where are The classic limbs of stubborn Antigone? The red, royal robes of Phedre? The tear-dazzled Sorrows of Malfi's gentle duchess? Gone In the deep convulsion gripping your face, muscles And sinews bunched, victorious, as the cosmic Laugh does away with the unstitching, plaguey wounds Of an eternal sufferer.
To you Perseus, the palm, and may you poise And repoise until time stop, the celestial balance Which weighs our madness with our sanity.

Written by Gregory Corso | Create an image from this poem

Gregory Corso

 Budger of history Brake of time You Bomb
 Toy of universe Grandest of all snatched sky I cannot hate you
 Do I hate the mischievous thunderbolt the jawbone of an ass
 The bumpy club of One Million B.
the mace the flail the axe Catapult Da Vinci tomahawk Cochise flintlock Kidd dagger Rathbone Ah and the sad desparate gun of Verlaine Pushkin Dillinger Bogart And hath not St.
Michael a burning sword St.
George a lance David a sling Bomb you are as cruel as man makes you and you're no crueller than cancer All Man hates you they'd rather die by car-crash lightning drowning Falling off a roof electric-chair heart-attack old age old age O Bomb They'd rather die by anything but you Death's finger is free-lance Not up to man whether you boom or not Death has long since distributed its categorical blue I sing thee Bomb Death's extravagance Death's jubilee Gem of Death's supremest blue The flyer will crash his death will differ with the climbor who'll fall to die by cobra is not to die by bad pork Some die by swamp some by sea and some by the bushy-haired man in the night O there are deaths like witches of Arc Scarey deaths like Boris Karloff No-feeling deaths like birth-death sadless deaths like old pain Bowery Abandoned deaths like Capital Punishment stately deaths like senators And unthinkable deaths like Harpo Marx girls on Vogue covers my own I do not know just how horrible Bombdeath is I can only imagine Yet no other death I know has so laughable a preview I scope a city New York City streaming starkeyed subway shelter Scores and scores A fumble of humanity High heels bend Hats whelming away Youth forgetting their combs Ladies not knowing what to do with their shopping bags Unperturbed gum machines Yet dangerous 3rd rail Ritz Brothers from the Bronx caught in the A train The smiling Schenley poster will always smile Impish death Satyr Bomb Bombdeath Turtles exploding over Istanbul The jaguar's flying foot soon to sink in arctic snow Penguins plunged against the Sphinx The top of the Empire state arrowed in a broccoli field in Sicily Eiffel shaped like a C in Magnolia Gardens St.
Sophia peeling over Sudan O athletic Death Sportive Bomb the temples of ancient times their grand ruin ceased Electrons Protons Neutrons gathering Hersperean hair walking the dolorous gulf of Arcady joining marble helmsmen entering the final ampitheater with a hymnody feeling of all Troys heralding cypressean torches racing plumes and banners and yet knowing Homer with a step of grace Lo the visiting team of Present the home team of Past Lyre and tube together joined Hark the hotdog soda olive grape gala galaxy robed and uniformed commissary O the happy stands Ethereal root and cheer and boo The billioned all-time attendance The Zeusian pandemonium Hermes racing Owens The Spitball of Buddha Christ striking out Luther stealing third Planeterium Death Hosannah Bomb Gush the final rose O Spring Bomb Come with thy gown of dynamite green unmenace Nature's inviolate eye Before you the wimpled Past behind you the hallooing Future O Bomb Bound in the grassy clarion air like the fox of the tally-ho thy field the universe thy hedge the geo Leap Bomb bound Bomb frolic zig and zag The stars a swarm of bees in thy binging bag Stick angels on your jubilee feet wheels of rainlight on your bunky seat You are due and behold you are due and the heavens are with you hosanna incalescent glorious liaison BOMB O havoc antiphony molten cleft BOOM Bomb mark infinity a sudden furnace spread thy multitudinous encompassed Sweep set forth awful agenda Carrion stars charnel planets carcass elements Corpse the universe tee-hee finger-in-the-mouth hop over its long long dead Nor From thy nimbled matted spastic eye exhaust deluges of celestial ghouls From thy appellational womb spew birth-gusts of of great worms Rip open your belly Bomb from your belly outflock vulturic salutations Battle forth your spangled hyena finger stumps along the brink of Paradise O Bomb O final Pied Piper both sun and firefly behind your shock waltz God abandoned mock-nude beneath His thin false-talc's apocalypse He cannot hear thy flute's happy-the-day profanations He is spilled deaf into the Silencer's warty ear His Kingdom an eternity of crude wax Clogged clarions untrumpet Him Sealed angels unsing Him A thunderless God A dead God O Bomb thy BOOM His tomb That I lean forward on a desk of science an astrologer dabbling in dragon prose half-smart about wars bombs especially bombs That I am unable to hate what is necessary to love That I can't exist in a world that consents a child in a park a man dying in an electric-chair That I am able to laugh at all things all that I know and do not know thus to conceal my pain That I say I am a poet and therefore love all man knowing my words to be the acquainted prophecy of all men and my unwords no less an acquaintanceship That I am manifold a man pursuing the big lies of gold or a poet roaming in bright ashes or that which I imagine myself to be a shark-toothed sleep a man-eater of dreams I need not then be all-smart about bombs Happily so for if I felt bombs were caterpillars I'd doubt not they'd become butterflies There is a hell for bombs They're there I see them there They sit in bits and sing songs mostly German songs And two very long American songs and they wish there were more songs especially Russian and Chinese songs and some more very long American songs Poor little Bomb that'll never be an Eskimo song I love thee I want to put a lollipop in thy furcal mouth A wig of Goldilocks on thy baldy bean and have you skip with me Hansel and Gretel along the Hollywoodian screen O Bomb in which all lovely things moral and physical anxiously participate O fairylike plucked from the grandest universe tree O piece of heaven which gives both mountain and anthill a sun I am standing before your fantastic lily door I bring you Midgardian roses Arcadian musk Reputed cosmetics from the girls of heaven Welcome me fear not thy opened door nor thy cold ghost's grey memory nor the pimps of indefinite weather their cruel terrestial thaw Oppenheimer is seated in the dark pocket of Light Fermi is dry in Death's Mozambique Einstein his mythmouth a barnacled wreath on the moon-squid's head Let me in Bomb rise from that pregnant-rat corner nor fear the raised-broom nations of the world O Bomb I love you I want to kiss your clank eat your boom You are a paean an acme of scream a lyric hat of Mister Thunder O resound thy tanky knees BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM ye skies and BOOM ye suns BOOM BOOM ye moons ye stars BOOM nights ye BOOM ye days ye BOOM BOOM BOOM ye winds ye clouds ye rains go BANG ye lakes ye oceans BING Barracuda BOOM and cougar BOOM Ubangi BOOM orangutang BING BANG BONG BOOM bee bear baboon ye BANG ye BONG ye BING the tail the fin the wing Yes Yes into our midst a bomb will fall Flowers will leap in joy their roots aching Fields will kneel proud beneath the halleluyahs of the wind Pinkbombs will blossom Elkbombs will perk their ears Ah many a bomb that day will awe the bird a gentle look Yet not enough to say a bomb will fall or even contend celestial fire goes out Know that the earth will madonna the Bomb that in the hearts of men to come more bombs will be born magisterial bombs wrapped in ermine all beautiful and they'll sit plunk on earth's grumpy empires fierce with moustaches of gold
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Female of the Species


When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man, He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws, They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
'Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
Man's timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say, For the Woman that God gave him isn't his to give away; But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other's tale -- The female of the species is more deadly than the male.
Man, a bear in most relations-worm and savage otherwise, -- Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.
Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low, To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger --- Doubt and Pity oft perplex Him in dealing with an issue -- to the scandal of The Sex! But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same, And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail, The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.
She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast May not deal in doubt or pity -- must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions -- not in these her honour dwells.
She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.
She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unchained to claim Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.
She is wedded to convictions -- in default of grosser ties; Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies! -- He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild, Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.
Unprovoked and awful charges -- even so the she-bear fights, Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons -- even so the cobra bites, Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw And the victim writhes in anguish -- like the Jesuit with the squaw! So it cames that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer With his fellow-braves in council, dare nat leave a place for her Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands To some God of Abstract Justice -- which no woman understands.
And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him Must command but may not govern -- shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail, That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.
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 Louise Bogan | Create an image from this poem


 Off that landspit of stony mouth-plugs,
Eyes rolled by white sticks,
Ears cupping the sea's incoherences,
You house your unnerving head -- God-ball,
Lens of mercies,
Your stooges
Plying their wild cells in my keel's shadow,
Pushing by like hearts,
Red stigmata at the very center,
Riding the rip tide to the nearest point of

Dragging their Jesus hair.
Did I escape, I wonder? My mind winds to you Old barnacled umbilicus, Atlantic cable, Keeping itself, it seems, in a state of miraculous repair.
In any case, you are always there, Tremulous breath at the end of my line, Curve of water upleaping To my water rod, dazzling and grateful, Touching and sucking.
I didn't call you.
I didn't call you at all.
Nevertheless, nevertheless You steamed to me over the sea, Fat and red, a placenta Paralyzing the kicking lovers.
Cobra light Squeezing the breath from the blood bells Of the fuchsia.
I could draw no breath, Dead and moneyless, Overexposed, like an X-ray.
Who do you think you are? A Communion wafer? Blubbery Mary? I shall take no bite of your body, Bottle in which I live, Ghastly Vatican.
I am sick to death of hot salt.
Green as eunuchs, your wishes Hiss at my sins.
Off, off, eely tentacle! There is nothing between us.

Written by Yusef Komunyakaa | Create an image from this poem


 Usually at the helipad
I see them stumble-dance
across the hot asphalt
with crokersacks over their heads,
moving toward the interrogation huts,
thin-framed as box kites
of sticks & black silk
anticipating a hard wind
that'll tug & snatch them
out into space.
I think some must be laughing under their dust-colored hoods, knowing rockets are aimed at Chu Lai—that the water's evaporating & soon the nail will make contact with metal.
How can anyone anywhere love these half-broken figures bent under the sky's brightness? The weight they carry is the soil we tread night & day.
Who can cry for them? I've heard the old ones are the hardest to break.
An arm twist, a combat boot against the skull, a .
45 jabbed into the mouth, nothing works.
When they start talking with ancestors faint as camphor smoke in pagodas, you know you'll have to kill them to get an answer.
Sunlight throws scythes against the afternoon.
Everything's a heat mirage; a river tugs at their slow feet.
I stand alone & amazed, with a pill-happy door gunner signaling for me to board the Cobra.
I remember how one day I almost bowed to such figures walking toward me, under a corporal's ironclad stare.
I can't say why.
From a half-mile away trees huddle together, & the prisoners look like marionettes hooked to strings of light.
Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem


 The engine is killing the track, the track is silver,
It stretches into the distance.
It will be eaten nevertheless.
Its running is useless.
At nightfall there is the beauty of drowned fields, Dawn gilds the farmers like pigs, Swaying slightly in their thick suits, White towers of Smithfield ahead, Fat haunches and blood on their minds.
There is no mercy in the glitter of cleavers, The butcher's guillotine that whispers: 'How's this, how's this?' In the bowl the hare is aborted, Its baby head out of the way, embalmed in spice, Flayed of fur and humanity.
Let us eat it like Plato's afterbirth, Let us eat it like Christ.
These are the people that were important ---- Their round eyes, their teeth, their grimaces On a stick that rattles and clicks, a counterfeit snake.
Shall the hood of the cobra appall me ---- The loneliness of its eye, the eye of the mountains Through which the sky eternally threads itself? The world is blood-hot and personal Dawn says, with its blood-flush.
There is no terminus, only suitcases Out of which the same self unfolds like a suit Bald and shiny, with pockets of wishes, Notions and tickets, short circuits and folding mirrors.
I am mad, calls the spider, waving its many arms.
And in truth it is terrible, Multiplied in the eyes of the flies.
They buzz like blue children In nets of the infinite, Roped in at the end by the one Death with its many sticks.
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

Outsong in the Jungle

 For the sake of him who showed
One wise Frog the Jungle-Road,
Keep the Law the Man-Pack make
For thy blind old Baloo's sake!
Clean or tainted, hot or stale,
Hold it as it were the Trail,
Through the day and through the night,
Questing neither left nor right.
For the sake of him who loves Thee beyond all else that moves, When thy Pack would make thee pain, Say: " Tabaqui sings again.
" When thy Pack would work thee ill, Say: "Shere Khan is yet to kill.
" When the knife is drawn to slay, Keep the Law and go thy way.
(Root and honey, palm and spathe, Guard a cub from harm and scathe!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! Kaa Anger is the egg of Fear-- Only lidless eyes see clear.
Cobra-poison none may leech-- Even so with Cobra-speech.
Open talk shall call to thee Strength, whose mate is Courtesy.
Send no lunge beyond thy length.
Lend no rotten bough thy strength.
Gauge thy gape with buck or goat, Lest thine eye should choke thy throat.
After gorging, wouldst thou sleep ? Look thy den be hid and deep, Lest a wrong, by thee forgot, Draw thy killer to the spot.
East and West and North and South, Wash thy hide and close thy mouth.
(Pit and rift and blue pool-brim, Middle-Jungle follow him!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! Bagheera In the cage my life began; Well I know the worth of Man.
By the Broken Lock that freed-- Man-cub, ware the Man-cub's breed! Scenting-dew or starlight pale, Choose no tangled tree-cat trail.
Pack or council, hunt or den, Cry no truce with Jackal-Men.
Feed them silence when they say: "Come with us an easy way.
" Feed them silence when they seek Help of thine to hurt the weak.
Make no bandar's boast of skill; Hold thy peace above the kill.
Let nor call nor song nor sign Turn thee from thy hunting-line.
(Morning mist or twilight clear, Serve him, Wardens of the Deer!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! The Three On the trail that thou must tread To the threshold of our dread, Where the Flower blossoms red; Through the nights when thou shalt lie Prisoned from our Mother-sky, Hearing us, thy loves, go by; In the dawns when thou.
shalt wake To the toil thou canst not break, Heartsick for the Jungle's sake; Wood and Water, Wind air Tree, Wisdom, Strength, and Courtesy, Jungle-Favour go with thee!
Written by Stephen Vincent Benet | Create an image from this poem

The Hemp

 (A Virginia Legend.
) The Planting of the Hemp.
Captain Hawk scourged clean the seas (Black is the gap below the plank) From the Great North Bank to the Caribbees (Down by the marsh the hemp grows rank).
His fear was on the seaport towns, The weight of his hand held hard the downs.
And the merchants cursed him, bitter and black, For a red flame in the sea-fog's wrack Was all of their ships that might come back.
For all he had one word alone, One clod of dirt in their faces thrown, "The hemp that shall hang me is not grown!" His name bestrode the seas like Death.
The waters trembled at his breath.
This is the tale of how he fell, Of the long sweep and the heavy swell, And the rope that dragged him down to hell.
The fight was done, and the gutted ship, Stripped like a shark the sea-gulls strip, Lurched blindly, eaten out with flame, Back to the land from where she came, A skimming horror, an eyeless shame.
And Hawk stood upon his quarter-deck, And saw the sky and saw the wreck.
Below, a butt for sailors' jeers, White as the sky when a white squall nears, Huddled the crowd of the prisoners.
Over the bridge of the tottering plank, Where the sea shook and the gulf yawned blank, They shrieked and struggled and dropped and sank, Pinioned arms and hands bound fast.
One girl alone was left at last.
Sir Henry Gaunt was a mighty lord.
He sat in state at the Council board; The governors were as nought to him.
From one rim to the other rim Of his great plantations, flung out wide Like a purple cloak, was a full month's ride.
Life and death in his white hands lay, And his only daughter stood at bay, Trapped like a hare in the toils that day.
He sat at wine in his gold and his lace, And far away, in a bloody place, Hawk came near, and she covered her face.
He rode in the fields, and the hunt was brave, And far away his daughter gave A shriek that the seas cried out to hear, And he could not see and he could not save.
Her white soul withered in the mire As paper shrivels up in fire, And Hawk laughed, and he kissed her mouth, And her body he took for his desire.
The Growing of the Hemp.
Sir Henry stood in the manor room, And his eyes were hard gems in the gloom.
And he said, "Go dig me furrows five Where the green marsh creeps like a thing alive -- There at its edge, where the rushes thrive.
" And where the furrows rent the ground, He sowed the seed of hemp around.
And the blacks shrink back and are sore afraid At the furrows five that rib the glade, And the voodoo work of the master's spade.
For a cold wind blows from the marshland near, And white things move, and the night grows drear, And they chatter and crouch and are sick with fear.
But down by the marsh, where the gray slaves glean, The hemp sprouts up, and the earth is seen Veiled with a tenuous mist of green.
And Hawk still scourges the Caribbees, And many men kneel at his knees.
Sir Henry sits in his house alone, And his eyes are hard and dull like stone.
And the waves beat, and the winds roar, And all things are as they were before.
And the days pass, and the weeks pass, And nothing changes but the grass.
But down where the fireflies are like eyes, And the damps shudder, and the mists rise, The hemp-stalks stand up toward the skies.
And down from the poop of the pirate ship A body falls, and the great sharks grip.
Innocent, lovely, go in grace! At last there is peace upon your face.
And Hawk laughs loud as the corpse is thrown, "The hemp that shall hang me is not grown!" Sir Henry's face is iron to mark, And he gazes ever in the dark.
And the days pass, and the weeks pass, And the world is as it always was.
But down by the marsh the sickles beam, Glitter on glitter, gleam on gleam, And the hemp falls down by the stagnant stream.
And Hawk beats up from the Caribbees, Swooping to pounce in the Northern seas.
Sir Henry sits sunk deep in his chair, And white as his hand is grown his hair.
And the days pass, and the weeks pass, And the sands roll from the hour-glass.
But down by the marsh in the blazing sun The hemp is smoothed and twisted and spun, The rope made, and the work done.
The Using of the Hemp.
Captain Hawk scourged clean the seas (Black is the gap below the plank) From the Great North Bank to the Caribbees (Down by the marsh the hemp grows rank).
He sailed in the broad Atlantic track, And the ships that saw him came not back.
And once again, where the wide tides ran, He stooped to harry a merchantman.
He bade her stop.
Ten guns spake true From her hidden ports, and a hidden crew, Lacking his great ship through and through.
Dazed and dumb with the sudden death, He scarce had time to draw a breath Before the grappling-irons bit deep, And the boarders slew his crew like sheep.
Hawk stood up straight, his breast to the steel; His cutlass made a bloody wheel.
His cutlass made a wheel of flame.
They shrank before him as he came.
And the bodies fell in a choking crowd, And still he thundered out aloud, "The hemp that shall hang me is not grown!" They fled at last.
He was left alone.
Before his foe Sir Henry stood.
"The hemp is grown, and my word made good!" And the cutlass clanged with a hissing whir On the lashing blade of the rapier.
Hawk roared and charged like a maddened buck.
As the cobra strikes, Sir Henry struck, Pouring his life in a single thrust, And the cutlass shivered to sparks and dust.
Sir Henry stood on the blood-stained deck, And set his foot on his foe's neck.
Then from the hatch, where the rent decks slope, Where the dead roll and the wounded grope, He dragged the serpent of the rope.
The sky was blue, and the sea was still, The waves lapped softly, hill on hill, And between one wave and another wave The doomed man's cries were little and shrill.
The sea was blue, and the sky was calm; The air dripped with a golden balm.
Like a wind-blown fruit between sea and sun, A black thing writhed at a yard-arm.
Slowly then, and awesomely, The ship sank, and the gallows-tree, And there was nought between sea and sun -- Nought but the sun and the sky and the sea.
But down by the marsh where the fever breeds, Only the water chuckles and pleads; For the hemp clings fast to a dead man's throat, And blind Fate gathers back her seeds.
Written by Vachel Lindsay | Create an image from this poem


 I was but a half-grown boy, 
You were a girl-child slight.
Ah, how weary you were! You had led in the bullock-fight.
We slew the bullock at length With knives and maces of stone.
And so your feet were torn, Your lean arms bruised to the bone.
Perhaps 'twas the slain beast's blood We drank, or a root we ate, Or our reveling evening bath In the fall by the garden gate, But you turned to a witching thing, Side-glancing, and frightened me; You purred like a panther's cub, You sighed like a shell from the sea.
We knelt.
I caressed your hair By the light of the leaping fire: Your fierce eyes blinked with smoke, Pine-fumes, that enhanced desire.
I helped to unbraid your hair In wonder and fear profound: You were humming your hunting tune As it swept to the grassy ground.
Our comrades, the shaggy bear, The tiger with velvet feet, The lion, crept to the light Whining for bullock meat.
We fed them and stroked their necks.
They took their way to the fen Where they hunted or hid all night; No enemies, they, of men.
Evil had entered not The cobra, since defiled.
He watched, when the beasts had gone Our kissing and singing wild.
Beautiful friend he was, Sage, not a tempter grim.
Many a year should pass Ere Satan should enter him.
He danced while the evening dove And the nightingale kept in tune.
I sang of the angel sun: You sang of the angel-moon: We sang of the angel-chief Who blew thro' the trees strange breath, Who helped in the hunt all day And granted the bullock's death.
O Eve with the fire-lit breast And child-face red and white! I heaped the great logs high! That was our bridal night.