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Best Famous Crystalline Poems

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

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12
Written by Edgar Allan Poe | Create an image from this poem

The Bells

 I

Hear the sledges with the bells-
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
II Hear the mellow wedding bells, Golden bells! What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! Through the balmy air of night How they ring out their delight! From the molten-golden notes, And an in tune, What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats On the moon! Oh, from out the sounding cells, What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells! How it dwells On the Future! how it tells Of the rapture that impels To the swinging and the ringing Of the bells, bells, bells, Of the bells, bells, bells,bells, Bells, bells, bells- To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! III Hear the loud alarum bells- Brazen bells! What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night How they scream out their affright! Too much horrified to speak, They can only shriek, shriek, Out of tune, In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire, In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire, Leaping higher, higher, higher, With a desperate desire, And a resolute endeavor, Now- now to sit or never, By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells! What a tale their terror tells Of Despair! How they clang, and clash, and roar! What a horror they outpour On the bosom of the palpitating air! Yet the ear it fully knows, By the twanging, And the clanging, How the danger ebbs and flows: Yet the ear distinctly tells, In the jangling, And the wrangling, How the danger sinks and swells, By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells- Of the bells- Of the bells, bells, bells,bells, Bells, bells, bells- In the clamor and the clangor of the bells! IV Hear the tolling of the bells- Iron Bells! What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! In the silence of the night, How we shiver with affright At the melancholy menace of their tone! For every sound that floats From the rust within their throats Is a groan.
And the people- ah, the people- They that dwell up in the steeple, All Alone And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stone- They are neither man nor woman- They are neither brute nor human- They are Ghouls: And their king it is who tolls; And he rolls, rolls, rolls, Rolls A paean from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the paean of the bells! And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the paean of the bells- Of the bells: Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bells- Of the bells, bells, bells- To the sobbing of the bells; Keeping time, time, time, As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To the rolling of the bells- Of the bells, bells, bells: To the tolling of the bells, Of the bells, bells, bells, bells- Bells, bells, bells- To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.
Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

American Feuillage

 AMERICA always! 
Always our own feuillage! 
Always Florida’s green peninsula! Always the priceless delta of Louisiana! Always the
 cotton-fields of Alabama and Texas! 
Always California’s golden hills and hollows—and the silver mountains of New
 Mexico!
 Always soft-breath’d Cuba! 
Always the vast slope drain’d by the Southern Sea—inseparable with the slopes
 drain’d
 by the Eastern and Western Seas;
The area the eighty-third year of These States—the three and a half millions of
 square
 miles; 
The eighteen thousand miles of sea-coast and bay-coast on the main—the thirty
 thousand
 miles of
 river navigation, 
The seven millions of distinct families, and the same number of dwellings—Always
 these,
 and
 more, branching forth into numberless branches; 
Always the free range and diversity! always the continent of Democracy! 
Always the prairies, pastures, forests, vast cities, travelers, Kanada, the snows;
Always these compact lands—lands tied at the hips with the belt stringing the huge
 oval
 lakes; 
Always the West, with strong native persons—the increasing density there—the
 habitans,
 friendly, threatening, ironical, scorning invaders; 
All sights, South, North, East—all deeds, promiscuously done at all times, 
All characters, movements, growths—a few noticed, myriads unnoticed, 
Through Mannahatta’s streets I walking, these things gathering;
On interior rivers, by night, in the glare of pine knots, steamboats wooding up; 
Sunlight by day on the valley of the Susquehanna, and on the valleys of the Potomac and
 Rappahannock, and the valleys of the Roanoke and Delaware; 
In their northerly wilds, beasts of prey haunting the Adirondacks, the hills—or
 lapping
 the
 Saginaw waters to drink; 
In a lonesome inlet, a sheldrake, lost from the flock, sitting on the water, rocking
 silently; 
In farmers’ barns, oxen in the stable, their harvest labor done—they rest
 standing—they are too tired;
Afar on arctic ice, the she-walrus lying drowsily, while her cubs play around; 
The hawk sailing where men have not yet sail’d—the farthest polar sea, ripply,
 crystalline, open, beyond the floes; 
White drift spooning ahead, where the ship in the tempest dashes; 
On solid land, what is done in cities, as the bells all strike midnight together; 
In primitive woods, the sounds there also sounding—the howl of the wolf, the scream
 of the
 panther, and the hoarse bellow of the elk;
In winter beneath the hard blue ice of Moosehead Lake—in summer visible through the
 clear
 waters, the great trout swimming; 
In lower latitudes, in warmer air, in the Carolinas, the large black buzzard floating
 slowly,
 high
 beyond the tree tops, 
Below, the red cedar, festoon’d with tylandria—the pines and cypresses, growing
 out
 of the
 white sand that spreads far and flat; 
Rude boats descending the big Pedee—climbing plants, parasites, with color’d
 flowers
 and
 berries, enveloping huge trees, 
The waving drapery on the live oak, trailing long and low, noiselessly waved by the wind;
The camp of Georgia wagoners, just after dark—the supper-fires, and the cooking and
 eating
 by
 whites and negroes, 
Thirty or forty great wagons—the mules, cattle, horses, feeding from troughs, 
The shadows, gleams, up under the leaves of the old sycamore-trees—the
 flames—with
 the
 black smoke from the pitch-pine, curling and rising; 
Southern fishermen fishing—the sounds and inlets of North Carolina’s
 coast—the
 shad-fishery and the herring-fishery—the large sweep-seines—the windlasses on
 shore
 work’d by horses—the clearing, curing, and packing-houses; 
Deep in the forest, in piney woods, turpentine dropping from the incisions in the
 trees—There
 are the turpentine works,
There are the negroes at work, in good health—the ground in all directions is
 cover’d
 with
 pine straw: 
—In Tennessee and Kentucky, slaves busy in the coalings, at the forge, by the
 furnace-blaze, or
 at the corn-shucking; 
In Virginia, the planter’s son returning after a long absence, joyfully welcom’d
 and
 kiss’d by the aged mulatto nurse; 
On rivers, boatmen safely moor’d at night-fall, in their boats, under shelter of high
 banks, 
Some of the younger men dance to the sound of the banjo or fiddle—others sit on the
 gunwale,
 smoking and talking;
Late in the afternoon, the mocking-bird, the American mimic, singing in the Great Dismal
 Swamp—there are the greenish waters, the resinous odor, the plenteous moss, the
 cypress
 tree,
 and the juniper tree; 
—Northward, young men of Mannahatta—the target company from an excursion
 returning
 home at
 evening—the musket-muzzles all bear bunches of flowers presented by women; 
Children at play—or on his father’s lap a young boy fallen asleep, (how his lips
 move! how
 he smiles in his sleep!) 
The scout riding on horseback over the plains west of the Mississippi—he ascends a
 knoll
 and
 sweeps his eye around; 
California life—the miner, bearded, dress’d in his rude costume—the stanch
 California
 friendship—the sweet air—the graves one, in passing, meets, solitary, just
 aside the
 horsepath;
Down in Texas, the cotton-field, the negro-cabins—drivers driving mules or oxen
 before
 rude
 carts—cotton bales piled on banks and wharves; 
Encircling all, vast-darting, up and wide, the American Soul, with equal
 hemispheres—one
 Love,
 one Dilation or Pride; 
—In arriere, the peace-talk with the Iroquois, the aborigines—the calumet, the
 pipe
 of
 good-will, arbitration, and indorsement, 
The sachem blowing the smoke first toward the sun and then toward the earth, 
The drama of the scalp-dance enacted with painted faces and guttural exclamations,
The setting out of the war-party—the long and stealthy march, 
The single-file—the swinging hatchets—the surprise and slaughter of enemies; 
—All the acts, scenes, ways, persons, attitudes of These States—reminiscences,
 all
 institutions, 
All These States, compact—Every square mile of These States, without excepting a
 particle—you also—me also, 
Me pleas’d, rambling in lanes and country fields, Paumanok’s fields,
Me, observing the spiral flight of two little yellow butterflies, shuffling between each
 other,
 ascending high in the air; 
The darting swallow, the destroyer of insects—the fall traveler southward, but
 returning
 northward early in the spring; 
The country boy at the close of the day, driving the herd of cows, and shouting to them as
 they
 loiter to browse by the road-side; 
The city wharf—Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston, New Orleans, San
 Francisco, 
The departing ships, when the sailors heave at the capstan;
—Evening—me in my room—the setting sun, 
The setting summer sun shining in my open window, showing the swarm of flies, suspended,
 balancing
 in the air in the centre of the room, darting athwart, up and down, casting swift shadows
 in
 specks
 on the opposite wall, where the shine is; 
The athletic American matron speaking in public to crowds of listeners; 
Males, females, immigrants, combinations—the copiousness—the individuality of
 The
 States,
 each for itself—the money-makers; 
Factories, machinery, the mechanical forces—the windlass, lever, pulley—All
 certainties,
The certainty of space, increase, freedom, futurity, 
In space, the sporades, the scatter’d islands, the stars—on the firm earth, the
 lands, my
 lands; 
O lands! all so dear to me—what you are, (whatever it is,) I become a part of that,
 whatever it
 is; 
Southward there, I screaming, with wings slowly flapping, with the myriads of gulls
 wintering
 along
 the coasts of Florida—or in Louisiana, with pelicans breeding; 
Otherways, there, atwixt the banks of the Arkansaw, the Rio Grande, the Nueces, the
 Brazos, the
 Tombigbee, the Red River, the Saskatchawan, or the Osage, I with the spring waters
 laughing
 and
 skipping and running;
Northward, on the sands, on some shallow bay of Paumanok, I, with parties of snowy herons
 wading in
 the wet to seek worms and aquatic plants; 
Retreating, triumphantly twittering, the king-bird, from piercing the crow with its bill,
 for
 amusement—And I triumphantly twittering; 
The migrating flock of wild geese alighting in autumn to refresh themselves—the body
 of
 the
 flock feed—the sentinels outside move around with erect heads watching, and are from
 time
 to
 time reliev’d by other sentinels—And I feeding and taking turns with the rest; 
In Kanadian forests, the moose, large as an ox, corner’d by hunters, rising
 desperately on
 his
 hind-feet, and plunging with his fore-feet, the hoofs as sharp as knives—And I,
 plunging
 at the
 hunters, corner’d and desperate; 
In the Mannahatta, streets, piers, shipping, store-houses, and the countless workmen
 working in
 the
 shops,
And I too of the Mannahatta, singing thereof—and no less in myself than the whole of
 the
 Mannahatta in itself, 
Singing the song of These, my ever united lands—my body no more inevitably united,
 part to
 part, and made one identity, any more than my lands are inevitably united, and made ONE
 IDENTITY; 
Nativities, climates, the grass of the great Pastoral Plains; 
Cities, labors, death, animals, products, war, good and evil—these me, 
These affording, in all their particulars, endless feuillage to me and to America, how can
 I do
 less
 than pass the clew of the union of them, to afford the like to you?
Whoever you are! how can I but offer you divine leaves, that you also be eligible as I am?

How can I but, as here, chanting, invite you for yourself to collect bouquets of the
 incomparable
 feuillage of These States?
Written by Oscar Wilde | Create an image from this poem

Panthea

 Nay, let us walk from fire unto fire,
From passionate pain to deadlier delight, -
I am too young to live without desire,
Too young art thou to waste this summer night
Asking those idle questions which of old
Man sought of seer and oracle, and no reply was told.
For, sweet, to feel is better than to know, And wisdom is a childless heritage, One pulse of passion - youth's first fiery glow, - Are worth the hoarded proverbs of the sage: Vex not thy soul with dead philosophy, Have we not lips to kiss with, hearts to love and eyes to see! Dost thou not hear the murmuring nightingale, Like water bubbling from a silver jar, So soft she sings the envious moon is pale, That high in heaven she is hung so far She cannot hear that love-enraptured tune, - Mark how she wreathes each horn with mist, yon late and labouring moon.
White lilies, in whose cups the gold bees dream, The fallen snow of petals where the breeze Scatters the chestnut blossom, or the gleam Of boyish limbs in water, - are not these Enough for thee, dost thou desire more? Alas! the Gods will give nought else from their eternal store.
For our high Gods have sick and wearied grown Of all our endless sins, our vain endeavour For wasted days of youth to make atone By pain or prayer or priest, and never, never, Hearken they now to either good or ill, But send their rain upon the just and the unjust at will.
They sit at ease, our Gods they sit at ease, Strewing with leaves of rose their scented wine, They sleep, they sleep, beneath the rocking trees Where asphodel and yellow lotus twine, Mourning the old glad days before they knew What evil things the heart of man could dream, and dreaming do.
And far beneath the brazen floor they see Like swarming flies the crowd of little men, The bustle of small lives, then wearily Back to their lotus-haunts they turn again Kissing each others' mouths, and mix more deep The poppy-seeded draught which brings soft purple-lidded sleep.
There all day long the golden-vestured sun, Their torch-bearer, stands with his torch ablaze, And, when the gaudy web of noon is spun By its twelve maidens, through the crimson haze Fresh from Endymion's arms comes forth the moon, And the immortal Gods in toils of mortal passions swoon.
There walks Queen Juno through some dewy mead, Her grand white feet flecked with the saffron dust Of wind-stirred lilies, while young Ganymede Leaps in the hot and amber-foaming must, His curls all tossed, as when the eagle bare The frightened boy from Ida through the blue Ionian air.
There in the green heart of some garden close Queen Venus with the shepherd at her side, Her warm soft body like the briar rose Which would be white yet blushes at its pride, Laughs low for love, till jealous Salmacis Peers through the myrtle-leaves and sighs for pain of lonely bliss.
There never does that dreary north-wind blow Which leaves our English forests bleak and bare, Nor ever falls the swift white-feathered snow, Nor ever doth the red-toothed lightning dare To wake them in the silver-fretted night When we lie weeping for some sweet sad sin, some dead delight.
Alas! they know the far Lethaean spring, The violet-hidden waters well they know, Where one whose feet with tired wandering Are faint and broken may take heart and go, And from those dark depths cool and crystalline Drink, and draw balm, and sleep for sleepless souls, and anodyne.
But we oppress our natures, God or Fate Is our enemy, we starve and feed On vain repentance - O we are born too late! What balm for us in bruised poppy seed Who crowd into one finite pulse of time The joy of infinite love and the fierce pain of infinite crime.
O we are wearied of this sense of guilt, Wearied of pleasure's paramour despair, Wearied of every temple we have built, Wearied of every right, unanswered prayer, For man is weak; God sleeps: and heaven is high: One fiery-coloured moment: one great love; and lo! we die.
Ah! but no ferry-man with labouring pole Nears his black shallop to the flowerless strand, No little coin of bronze can bring the soul Over Death's river to the sunless land, Victim and wine and vow are all in vain, The tomb is sealed; the soldiers watch; the dead rise not again.
We are resolved into the supreme air, We are made one with what we touch and see, With our heart's blood each crimson sun is fair, With our young lives each spring-impassioned tree Flames into green, the wildest beasts that range The moor our kinsmen are, all life is one, and all is change.
With beat of systole and of diastole One grand great life throbs through earth's giant heart, And mighty waves of single Being roll From nerveless germ to man, for we are part Of every rock and bird and beast and hill, One with the things that prey on us, and one with what we kill.
From lower cells of waking life we pass To full perfection; thus the world grows old: We who are godlike now were once a mass Of quivering purple flecked with bars of gold, Unsentient or of joy or misery, And tossed in terrible tangles of some wild and wind-swept sea.
This hot hard flame with which our bodies burn Will make some meadow blaze with daffodil, Ay! and those argent breasts of thine will turn To water-lilies; the brown fields men till Will be more fruitful for our love to-night, Nothing is lost in nature, all things live in Death's despite.
The boy's first kiss, the hyacinth's first bell, The man's last passion, and the last red spear That from the lily leaps, the asphodel Which will not let its blossoms blow for fear Of too much beauty, and the timid shame Of the young bridegroom at his lover's eyes, - these with the same One sacrament are consecrate, the earth Not we alone hath passions hymeneal, The yellow buttercups that shake for mirth At daybreak know a pleasure not less real Than we do, when in some fresh-blossoming wood, We draw the spring into our hearts, and feel that life is good.
So when men bury us beneath the yew Thy crimson-stained mouth a rose will be, And thy soft eyes lush bluebells dimmed with dew, And when the white narcissus wantonly Kisses the wind its playmate some faint joy Will thrill our dust, and we will be again fond maid and boy.
And thus without life's conscious torturing pain In some sweet flower we will feel the sun, And from the linnet's throat will sing again, And as two gorgeous-mailed snakes will run Over our graves, or as two tigers creep Through the hot jungle where the yellow-eyed huge lions sleep And give them battle! How my heart leaps up To think of that grand living after death In beast and bird and flower, when this cup, Being filled too full of spirit, bursts for breath, And with the pale leaves of some autumn day The soul earth's earliest conqueror becomes earth's last great prey.
O think of it! We shall inform ourselves Into all sensuous life, the goat-foot Faun, The Centaur, or the merry bright-eyed Elves That leave their dancing rings to spite the dawn Upon the meadows, shall not be more near Than you and I to nature's mysteries, for we shall hear The thrush's heart beat, and the daisies grow, And the wan snowdrop sighing for the sun On sunless days in winter, we shall know By whom the silver gossamer is spun, Who paints the diapered fritillaries, On what wide wings from shivering pine to pine the eagle flies.
Ay! had we never loved at all, who knows If yonder daffodil had lured the bee Into its gilded womb, or any rose Had hung with crimson lamps its little tree! Methinks no leaf would ever bud in spring, But for the lovers' lips that kiss, the poets' lips that sing.
Is the light vanished from our golden sun, Or is this daedal-fashioned earth less fair, That we are nature's heritors, and one With every pulse of life that beats the air? Rather new suns across the sky shall pass, New splendour come unto the flower, new glory to the grass.
And we two lovers shall not sit afar, Critics of nature, but the joyous sea Shall be our raiment, and the bearded star Shoot arrows at our pleasure! We shall be Part of the mighty universal whole, And through all aeons mix and mingle with the Kosmic Soul! We shall be notes in that great Symphony Whose cadence circles through the rhythmic spheres, And all the live World's throbbing heart shall be One with our heart; the stealthy creeping years Have lost their terrors now, we shall not die, The Universe itself shall be our Immortality.
Written by Pablo Neruda | Create an image from this poem

Love

 What's wrong with you, with us, 
what's happening to us? 
Ah our love is a harsh cord 
that binds us wounding us 
and if we want 
to leave our wound, 
to separate, 
it makes a new knot for us and condemns us 
to drain our blood and burn together.
What's wrong with you? I look at you and I find nothing in you but two eyes like all eyes, a mouth lost among a thousand mouths that I have kissed, more beautiful, a body just like those that have slipped beneath my body without leaving any memory.
And how empty you went through the world like a wheat-colored jar without air, without sound, without substance! I vainly sought in you depth for my arms that dig, without cease, beneath the earth: beneath your skin, beneath your eyes, nothing, beneath your double breast scarcely raised a current of crystalline order that does not know why it flows singing.
Why, why, why, my love, why?
Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley | Create an image from this poem

Ode to the West Wind

O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being¡ª 
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead 
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, 
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, 
Pestilence-stricken multitudes!¡ªO thou 5 
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed 
The wing¨¨d seeds, where they lie cold and low, 
Each like a corpse within its grave, until 
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow 
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill 10 
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) 
With living hues and odours plain and hill¡ª 
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere¡ª 
Destroyer and Preserver¡ªhear, O hear! 

Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion, 15 
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed, 
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean, 
Angels of rain and lightning! they are spread 
On the blue surface of thine airy surge, 
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head 20 
Of some fierce M?nad, ev'n from the dim verge 
Of the horizon to the zenith's height¡ª 
The locks of the approaching storm.
Thou dirge Of the dying year, to which this closing night Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre, 25 Vaulted with all thy congregated might Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst:¡ªO hear! Thou who didst waken from his summer-dreams The blue Mediterranean, where he lay, 30 Lull'd by the coil of his crystalline streams, Beside a pumice isle in Bai?'s bay, And saw in sleep old palaces and towers Quivering within the wave's intenser day, All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers 35 So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou For whose path the Atlantic's level powers Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear The sapless foliage of the ocean, know 40 Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear And tremble and despoil themselves:¡ªO hear! If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear; If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee; A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share 45 The impulse of thy strength, only less free Than thou, O uncontrollable!¡ªif even I were as in my boyhood, and could be The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven, As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed 50 Scarce seem'd a vision,¡ªI would ne'er have striven As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
O lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud! I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed! A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd 55 One too like thee¡ªtameless, and swift, and proud.
Make me thy lyre, ev'n as the forest is: What if my leaves are falling like its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take from both a deep autumnal tone, 60 Sweet though in sadness.
Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit! be thou me, impetuous one! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe, Like wither'd leaves, to quicken a new birth; And, by the incantation of this verse, 65 Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? 70
Written by Pablo Neruda | Create an image from this poem

Ode To The Onion

 Onion,
luminous flask,
your beauty formed
petal by petal,
crystal scales expanded you
and in the secrecy of the dark earth
your belly grew round with dew.
Under the earth the miracle happened and when your clumsy green stem appeared, and your leaves were born like swords in the garden, the earth heaped up her power showing your naked transparency, and as the remote sea in lifting the breasts of Aphrodite duplicating the magnolia, so did the earth make you, onion clear as a planet and destined to shine, constant constellation, round rose of water, upon the table of the poor.
You make us cry without hurting us.
I have praised everything that exists, but to me, onion, you are more beautiful than a bird of dazzling feathers, heavenly globe, platinum goblet, unmoving dance of the snowy anemone and the fragrance of the earth lives in your crystalline nature.
Written by Edith Wharton | Create an image from this poem

An Autumn Sunset

 I

Leaguered in fire
The wild black promontories of the coast extend
Their savage silhouettes;
The sun in universal carnage sets,
And, halting higher,
The motionless storm-clouds mass their sullen threats,
Like an advancing mob in sword-points penned,
That, balked, yet stands at bay.
Mid-zenith hangs the fascinated day In wind-lustrated hollows crystalline, A wan Valkyrie whose wide pinions shine Across the ensanguined ruins of the fray, And in her hand swings high o'erhead, Above the waste of war, The silver torch-light of the evening star Wherewith to search the faces of the dead.
II Lagooned in gold, Seem not those jetty promontories rather The outposts of some ancient land forlorn, Uncomforted of morn, Where old oblivions gather, The melancholy unconsoling fold Of all things that go utterly to death And mix no more, no more With life's perpetually awakening breath? Shall Time not ferry me to such a shore, Over such sailless seas, To walk with hope's slain importunities In miserable marriage? Nay, shall not All things be there forgot, Save the sea's golden barrier and the black Close-crouching promontories? Dead to all shames, forgotten of all glories, Shall I not wander there, a shadow's shade, A spectre self-destroyed, So purged of all remembrance and sucked back Into the primal void, That should we on that shore phantasmal meet I should not know the coming of your feet?
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

The Ballad Of Pious Pete

 "The North has got him.
" --Yukonism.
I tried to refine that neighbor of mine, honest to God, I did.
I grieved for his fate, and early and late I watched over him like a kid.
I gave him excuse, I bore his abuse in every way that I could; I swore to prevail; I camped on his trail; I plotted and planned for his good.
By day and by night I strove in men's sight to gather him into the fold, With precept and prayer, with hope and despair, in hunger and hardship and cold.
I followed him into Gehennas of sin, I sat where the sirens sit; In the shade of the Pole, for the sake of his soul, I strove with the powers of the Pit.
I shadowed him down to the scrofulous town; I dragged him from dissolute brawls; But I killed the galoot when he started to shoot electricity into my walls.
God knows what I did he should seek to be rid of one who would save him from shame.
God knows what I bore that night when he swore and bade me make tracks from his claim.
I started to tell of the horrors of hell, when sudden his eyes lit like coals; And "Chuck it," says he, "don't persecute me with your cant and your saving of souls.
" I'll swear I was mild as I'd be with a child, but he called me the son of a ****; And, grabbing his gun with a leap and a run, he threatened my face with the butt.
So what could I do (I leave it to you)? With curses he harried me forth; Then he was alone, and I was alone, and over us menaced the North.
Our cabins were near; I could see, I could hear; but between us there rippled the creek; And all summer through, with a rancor that grew, he would pass me and never would speak.
Then a shuddery breath like the coming of Death crept down from the peaks far away; The water was still; the twilight was chill; the sky was a tatter of gray.
Swift came the Big Cold, and opal and gold the lights of the witches arose; The frost-tyrant clinched, and the valley was cinched by the stark and cadaverous snows.
The trees were like lace where the star-beams could chase, each leaf was a jewel agleam.
The soft white hush lapped the Northland and wrapped us round in a crystalline dream; So still I could hear quite loud in my ear the swish of the pinions of time; So bright I could see, as plain as could be, the wings of God's angels ashine.
As I read in the Book I would oftentimes look to that cabin just over the creek.
Ah me, it was sad and evil and bad, two neighbors who never would speak! I knew that full well like a devil in hell he was hatching out, early and late, A system to bear through the frost-spangled air the warm, crimson waves of his hate.
I only could peer and shudder and fear--'twas ever so ghastly and still; But I knew over there in his lonely despair he was plotting me terrible ill.
I knew that he nursed a malice accurst, like the blast of a winnowing flame; I pleaded aloud for a shield, for a shroud--Oh, God! then calamity came.
Mad! If I'm mad then you too are mad; but it's all in the point of view.
If you'd looked at them things gallivantin' on wings, all purple and green and blue; If you'd noticed them twist, as they mounted and hissed like scorpions dim in the dark; If you'd seen them rebound with a horrible sound, and spitefully spitting a spark; If you'd watched IT with dread, as it hissed by your bed, that thing with the feelers that crawls-- You'd have settled the brute that attempted to shoot electricity into your walls.
Oh, some they were blue, and they slithered right through; they were silent and squashy and round; And some they were green; they were wriggly and lean; they writhed with so hateful a sound.
My blood seemed to freeze; I fell on my knees; my face was a white splash of dread.
Oh, the Green and the Blue, they were gruesome to view; but the worst of them all were the Red.
They came through the door, they came through the floor, they came through the moss-creviced logs.
They were savage and dire; they were whiskered with fire; they bickered like malamute dogs.
They ravined in rings like iniquitous things; they gulped down the Green and the Blue.
I crinkled with fear whene'er they drew near, and nearer and nearer they drew.
And then came the crown of Horror's grim crown, the monster so loathsomely red.
Each eye was a pin that shot out and in, as, squidlike, it oozed to my bed; So softly it crept with feelers that swept and quivered like fine copper wire; Its belly was white with a sulphurous light, it jaws were a-drooling with fire.
It came and it came; I could breathe of its flame, but never a wink could I look.
I thrust in its maw the Fount of the Law; I fended it off with the Book.
I was weak--oh, so weak--but I thrilled at its shriek, as wildly it fled in the night; And deathlike I lay till the dawn of the day.
(Was ever so welcome the light?) I loaded my gun at the rise of the sun; to his cabin so softly I slunk.
My neighbor was there in the frost-freighted air, all wrapped in a robe in his bunk.
It muffled his moans; it outlined his bones, as feebly he twisted about; His gums were so black, and his lips seemed to crack, and his teeth all were loosening out.
'Twas a death's head that peered through the tangle of beard; 'twas a face I will never forget; Sunk eyes full of woe, and they troubled me so with their pleadings and anguish, and yet As I rested my gaze in a misty amaze on the scurvy-degenerate wreck, I thought of the Things with the dragon-fly wings, then laid I my gun on his neck.
He gave out a cry that was faint as a sigh, like a perishing malamute, And he says unto me, "I'm converted," says he; "for Christ's sake, Peter, don't shoot!" * * * * * They're taking me out with an escort about, and under a sergeant's care; I am humbled indeed, for I'm 'cuffed to a Swede that thinks he's a millionaire.
But it's all Gospel true what I'm telling to you-- up there where the Shadow falls-- That I settled Sam Noot when he started to shoot electricity into my walls.
Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley | Create an image from this poem

Written among the Euganean Hills North Italy

MANY a green isle needs must be 
In the deep wide sea of Misery, 
Or the mariner, worn and wan, 
Never thus could voyage on 
Day and night, and night and day, 5 
Drifting on his dreary way, 
With the solid darkness black 
Closing round his vessel's track; 
Whilst above, the sunless sky 
Big with clouds, hangs heavily, 10 
And behind the tempest fleet 
Hurries on with lightning feet, 
Riving sail, and cord, and plank, 
Till the ship has almost drank 
Death from the o'er-brimming deep, 15 
And sinks down, down, like that sleep 
When the dreamer seems to be 
Weltering through eternity; 
And the dim low line before 
Of a dark and distant shore 20 
Still recedes, as ever still 
Longing with divided will, 
But no power to seek or shun, 
He is ever drifted on 
O'er the unreposing wave, 25 
To the haven of the grave.
Ay, many flowering islands lie In the waters of wide Agony: To such a one this morn was led My bark, by soft winds piloted.
30 ¡ª'Mid the mountains Euganean I stood listening to the p?an With which the legion'd rooks did hail The Sun's uprise majestical: Gathering round with wings all hoar, 35 Through the dewy mist they soar Like gray shades, till the eastern heaven Bursts; and then¡ªas clouds of even Fleck'd with fire and azure, lie In the unfathomable sky¡ª 40 So their plumes of purple grain Starr'd with drops of golden rain Gleam above the sunlight woods, As in silent multitudes On the morning's fitful gale 45 Through the broken mist they sail; And the vapours cloven and gleaming Follow down the dark steep streaming, Till all is bright, and clear, and still Round the solitary hill.
50 Beneath is spread like a green sea The waveless plain of Lombardy, Bounded by the vaporous air, Islanded by cities fair; Underneath day's azure eyes, 55 Ocean's nursling, Venice lies,¡ª A peopled labyrinth of walls, Amphitrite's destined halls, Which her hoary sire now paves With his blue and beaming waves.
60 Lo! the sun upsprings behind, Broad, red, radiant, half-reclined On the level quivering line Of the waters crystalline; And before that chasm of light, 65 As within a furnace bright, Column, tower, and dome, and spire, Shine like obelisks of fire, Pointing with inconstant motion From the altar of dark ocean 70 To the sapphire-tinted skies; As the flames of sacrifice From the marble shrines did rise As to pierce the dome of gold Where Apollo spoke of old.
75 Sun-girt City! thou hast been Ocean's child, and then his queen; Now is come a darker day, And thou soon must be his prey, If the power that raised thee here 80 Hallow so thy watery bier.
A less drear ruin then than now, With thy conquest-branded brow Stooping to the slave of slaves From thy throne among the waves 85 Wilt thou be¡ªwhen the sea-mew Flies, as once before it flew, O'er thine isles depopulate, And all is in its ancient state, Save where many a palace-gate 90 With green sea-flowers overgrown, Like a rock of ocean's own, Topples o'er the abandon'd sea As the tides change sullenly.
The fisher on his watery way, 95 Wandering at the close of day, Will spread his sail and seize his oar Till he pass the gloomy shore, Lest thy dead should, from their sleep, Bursting o'er the starlight deep, 100 Lead a rapid masque of death O'er the waters of his path.
Noon descends around me now: 'Tis the noon of autumn's glow, When a soft and purple mist 105 Like a vaporous amethyst, Or an air-dissolv¨¨d star Mingling light and fragrance, far From the curved horizon's bound To the point of heaven's profound, 110 Fills the overflowing sky, And the plains that silent lie Underneath; the leaves unsodden Where the infant Frost has trodden With his morning-wing¨¨d feet 115 Whose bright print is gleaming yet; And the red and golden vines Piercing with their trellised lines The rough, dark-skirted wilderness; The dun and bladed grass no less, 120 Pointing from this hoary tower In the windless air; the flower Glimmering at my feet; the line Of the olive-sandall'd Apennine In the south dimly islanded; 125 And the Alps, whose snows are spread High between the clouds and sun; And of living things each one; And my spirit, which so long Darken'd this swift stream of song,¡ª 130 Interpenetrated lie By the glory of the sky; Be it love, light, harmony, Odour, or the soul of all Which from heaven like dew doth fall, 135 Or the mind which feeds this verse, Peopling the lone universe.
Noon descends, and after noon Autumn's evening meets me soon, Leading the infantine moon 140 And that one star, which to her Almost seems to minister Half the crimson light she brings From the sunset's radiant springs: And the soft dreams of the morn 145 (Which like wing¨¨d winds had borne To that silent isle, which lies 'Mid remember'd agonies, The frail bark of this lone being), Pass, to other sufferers fleeing, 150 And its ancient pilot, Pain, Sits beside the helm again.
Other flowering isles must be In the sea of Life and Agony: Other spirits float and flee 155 O'er that gulf: ev'n now, perhaps, On some rock the wild wave wraps, With folding wings they waiting sit For my bark, to pilot it To some calm and blooming cove, 160 Where for me, and those I love, May a windless bower be built, Far from passion, pain, and guilt, In a dell 'mid lawny hills Which the wild sea-murmur fills, 165 And soft sunshine, and the sound Of old forests echoing round, And the light and smell divine Of all flowers that breathe and shine.
¡ªWe may live so happy there, 170 That the Spirits of the Air Envying us, may ev'n entice To our healing paradise The polluting multitude: But their rage would be subdued 175 By that clime divine and calm, And the winds whose wings rain balm On the uplifted soul, and leaves Under which the bright sea heaves; While each breathless interval 180 In their whisperings musical The inspir¨¨d soul supplies With its own deep melodies; And the Love which heals all strife Circling, like the breath of life, 185 All things in that sweet abode With its own mild brotherhood:¡ª They, not it, would change; and soon Every sprite beneath the moon Would repent its envy vain, 190 And the Earth grow young again!
Written by Mark Doty | Create an image from this poem

Broadway

 Under Grand Central's tattered vault
--maybe half a dozen electric stars still lit--
one saxophone blew, and a sheer black scrim

billowed over some minor constellation
under repair.
Then, on Broadway, red wings in a storefront tableau, lustrous, the live macaws preening, beaks opening and closing like those animated knives that unfold all night in jewelers' windows.
For sale, glass eyes turned outward toward the rain, the birds lined up like the endless flowers and cheap gems, the makeshift tables of secondhand magazines and shoes the hawkers eye while they shelter in the doorways of banks.
So many pockets and paper cups and hands reeled over the weight of that glittered pavement, and at 103rd a woman reached to me across the wet roof of a stranger's car and said, I'm Carlotta, I'm hungry.
She was only asking for change, so I don't know why I took her hand.
The rooftops were glowing above us, enormous, crystalline, a second city lit from within.
That night a man on the downtown local stood up and said, My name is Ezekiel, I am a poet, and my poem this evening is called fall.
He stood up straight to recite, a child reminded of his posture by the gravity of his text, his hands hidden in the pockets of his coat.
Love is protected, he said, the way leaves are packed in snow, the rubies of fall.
God is protecting the jewel of love for us.
He didn't ask for anything, but I gave him all the change left in my pocket, and the man beside me, impulsive, moved, gave Ezekiel his watch.
It wasn't an expensive watch, I don't even know if it worked, but the poet started, then walked away as if so much good fortune must be hurried away from, before anyone realizes it's a mistake.
Carlotta, her stocking cap glazed like feathers in the rain, under the radiant towers, the floodlit ramparts, must have wondered at my impulse to touch her, which was like touching myself, the way your own hand feels when you hold it because you want to feel contained.
She said, You get home safe now, you hear? In the same way Ezekiel turned back to the benevolent stranger.
I will write a poem for you tomorrow, he said.
The poem I will write will go like this: Our ancestors are replenishing the jewel of love for us.
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