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Best Famous Dispute Poems

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Written by John Dryden | Create an image from this poem

Mac Flecknoe

 All human things are subject to decay,
And, when Fate summons, monarchs must obey:
This Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young
Was call'd to empire, and had govern'd long:
In prose and verse, was own'd, without dispute
Through all the realms of Non-sense, absolute.
This aged prince now flourishing in peace, And blest with issue of a large increase, Worn out with business, did at length debate To settle the succession of the State: And pond'ring which of all his sons was fit To reign, and wage immortal war with wit; Cry'd, 'tis resolv'd; for nature pleads that he Should only rule, who most resembles me: Shadwell alone my perfect image bears, Mature in dullness from his tender years.
Shadwell alone, of all my sons, is he Who stands confirm'd in full stupidity.
The rest to some faint meaning make pretence, But Shadwell never deviates into sense.
Some beams of wit on other souls may fall, Strike through and make a lucid interval; But Shadwell's genuine night admits no ray, His rising fogs prevail upon the day: Besides his goodly fabric fills the eye, And seems design'd for thoughtless majesty: Thoughtless as monarch oaks, that shade the plain, And, spread in solemn state, supinely reign.
Heywood and Shirley were but types of thee, Thou last great prophet of tautology: Even I, a dunce of more renown than they, Was sent before but to prepare thy way; And coarsely clad in Norwich drugget came To teach the nations in thy greater name.
My warbling lute, the lute I whilom strung When to King John of Portugal I sung, Was but the prelude to that glorious day, When thou on silver Thames did'st cut thy way, With well tim'd oars before the royal barge, Swell'd with the pride of thy celestial charge; And big with hymn, commander of an host, The like was ne'er in Epsom blankets toss'd.
Methinks I see the new Arion sail, The lute still trembling underneath thy nail.
At thy well sharpen'd thumb from shore to shore The treble squeaks for fear, the basses roar: Echoes from Pissing-Alley, Shadwell call, And Shadwell they resound from Aston Hall.
About thy boat the little fishes throng, As at the morning toast, that floats along.
Sometimes as prince of thy harmonious band Thou wield'st thy papers in thy threshing hand.
Andre's feet ne'er kept more equal time, Not ev'n the feet of thy own Psyche's rhyme: Though they in number as in sense excel; So just, so like tautology they fell, That, pale with envy, Singleton forswore The lute and sword which he in triumph bore And vow'd he ne'er would act Villerius more.
Here stopt the good old sire; and wept for joy In silent raptures of the hopeful boy.
All arguments, but most his plays, persuade, That for anointed dullness he was made.
Close to the walls which fair Augusta bind, (The fair Augusta much to fears inclin'd) An ancient fabric, rais'd t'inform the sight, There stood of yore, and Barbican it hight: A watch tower once; but now, so fate ordains, Of all the pile an empty name remains.
From its old ruins brothel-houses rise, Scenes of lewd loves, and of polluted joys.
Where their vast courts, the mother-strumpets keep, And, undisturb'd by watch, in silence sleep.
Near these a nursery erects its head, Where queens are form'd, and future heroes bred; Where unfledg'd actors learn to laugh and cry, Where infant punks their tender voices try, And little Maximins the gods defy.
Great Fletcher never treads in buskins here, Nor greater Jonson dares in socks appear; But gentle Simkin just reception finds Amidst this monument of vanish'd minds: Pure clinches, the suburbian muse affords; And Panton waging harmless war with words.
Here Flecknoe, as a place to fame well known, Ambitiously design'd his Shadwell's throne.
For ancient Decker prophesi'd long since, That in this pile should reign a mighty prince, Born for a scourge of wit, and flail of sense: To whom true dullness should some Psyches owe, But worlds of Misers from his pen should flow; Humorists and hypocrites it should produce, Whole Raymond families, and tribes of Bruce.
Now Empress Fame had publisht the renown, Of Shadwell's coronation through the town.
Rous'd by report of fame, the nations meet, From near Bun-Hill, and distant Watling-street.
No Persian carpets spread th'imperial way, But scatter'd limbs of mangled poets lay: From dusty shops neglected authors come, Martyrs of pies, and reliques of the bum.
Much Heywood, Shirley, Ogleby there lay, But loads of Shadwell almost chok'd the way.
Bilk'd stationers for yeoman stood prepar'd, And Herringman was Captain of the Guard.
The hoary prince in majesty appear'd, High on a throne of his own labours rear'd.
At his right hand our young Ascanius sat Rome's other hope, and pillar of the state.
His brows thick fogs, instead of glories, grace, And lambent dullness play'd around his face.
As Hannibal did to the altars come, Sworn by his sire a mortal foe to Rome; So Shadwell swore, nor should his vow be vain, That he till death true dullness would maintain; And in his father's right, and realm's defence, Ne'er to have peace with wit, nor truce with sense.
The king himself the sacred unction made, As king by office, and as priest by trade: In his sinister hand, instead of ball, He plac'd a mighty mug of potent ale; Love's kingdom to his right he did convey, At once his sceptre and his rule of sway; Whose righteous lore the prince had practis'd young, And from whose loins recorded Psyche sprung, His temples last with poppies were o'er spread, That nodding seem'd to consecrate his head: Just at that point of time, if fame not lie, On his left hand twelve reverend owls did fly.
So Romulus, 'tis sung, by Tiber's brook, Presage of sway from twice six vultures took.
Th'admiring throng loud acclamations make, And omens of his future empire take.
The sire then shook the honours of his head, And from his brows damps of oblivion shed Full on the filial dullness: long he stood, Repelling from his breast the raging god; At length burst out in this prophetic mood: Heavens bless my son, from Ireland let him reign To far Barbadoes on the Western main; Of his dominion may no end be known, And greater than his father's be his throne.
Beyond love's kingdom let him stretch his pen; He paus'd, and all the people cry'd Amen.
Then thus, continu'd he, my son advance Still in new impudence, new ignorance.
Success let other teach, learn thou from me Pangs without birth, and fruitless industry.
Let Virtuosos in five years be writ; Yet not one thought accuse thy toil of wit.
Let gentle George in triumph tread the stage, Make Dorimant betray, and Loveit rage; Let Cully, Cockwood, Fopling, charm the pit, And in their folly show the writer's wit.
Yet still thy fools shall stand in thy defence, And justify their author's want of sense.
Let 'em be all by thy own model made Of dullness, and desire no foreign aid: That they to future ages may be known, Not copies drawn, but issue of thy own.
Nay let thy men of wit too be the same, All full of thee, and differing but in name; But let no alien Sedley interpose To lard with wit thy hungry Epsom prose.
And when false flowers of rhetoric thou would'st cull, Trust Nature, do not labour to be dull; But write thy best, and top; and in each line, Sir Formal's oratory will be thine.
Sir Formal, though unsought, attends thy quill, And does thy Northern Dedications fill.
Nor let false friends seduce thy mind to fame, By arrogating Jonson's hostile name.
Let Father Flecknoe fire thy mind with praise, And Uncle Ogleby thy envy raise.
Thou art my blood, where Jonson has no part; What share have we in Nature or in Art? Where did his wit on learning fix a brand, And rail at arts he did not understand? Where made he love in Prince Nicander's vein, Or swept the dust in Psyche's humble strain? Where sold he bargains, whip-stitch, kiss my ****, Promis'd a play and dwindled to a farce? When did his muse from Fletcher scenes purloin, As thou whole Eth'ridge dost transfuse to thine? But so transfus'd as oil on waters flow, His always floats above, thine sinks below.
This is thy province, this thy wondrous way, New humours to invent for each new play: This is that boasted bias of thy mind, By which one way, to dullness, 'tis inclin'd, Which makes thy writings lean on one side still, And in all changes that way bends thy will.
Nor let thy mountain belly make pretence Of likeness; thine's a tympany of sense.
A tun of man in thy large bulk is writ, But sure thou 'rt but a kilderkin of wit.
Like mine thy gentle numbers feebly creep, Thy Tragic Muse gives smiles, thy Comic sleep.
With whate'er gall thou sett'st thy self to write, Thy inoffensive satires never bite.
In thy felonious heart, though venom lies, It does but touch thy Irish pen, and dies.
Thy genius calls thee not to purchase fame In keen iambics, but mild anagram: Leave writing plays, and choose for thy command Some peaceful province in acrostic land.
There thou may'st wings display and altars raise, And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.
Or if thou would'st thy diff'rent talents suit, Set thy own songs, and sing them to thy lute.
He said, but his last words were scarcely heard, For Bruce and Longvil had a trap prepar'd, And down they sent the yet declaiming bard.
Sinking he left his drugget robe behind, Born upwards by a subterranean wind.
The mantle fell to the young prophet's part, With double portion of his father's art.

Written by Muhammad Ali | Create an image from this poem

For every struggle that Joe survived

For every struggle that Joe survived,
For every dispute he endured, to rise,
Joe will go down in history
as a model for champions to come.
While Frazier was a man of few words,
Ali was a world of mouth,
but he found his place in history.
Now his heart can express him well.
Joe Frazier was a silent warrior,
whom Ali silently admired.
One could not rise without the other.
Written by Richard Flecknoe | Create an image from this poem

All human things are subject to decay

All human things are subject to decay.
And, when fate summons, monarchs must obey.
This Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young
Was called to empire, and had governed long;
In prose and verse was owned, without dispute,
Throughout the realms of nonsense, absolute.
Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | Create an image from this poem

The Princess (The Conclusion)

 So closed our tale, of which I give you all 
The random scheme as wildly as it rose: 
The words are mostly mine; for when we ceased 
There came a minute's pause, and Walter said, 
'I wish she had not yielded!' then to me, 
'What, if you drest it up poetically?' 
So prayed the men, the women: I gave assent: 
Yet how to bind the scattered scheme of seven 
Together in one sheaf? What style could suit? 
The men required that I should give throughout 
The sort of mock-heroic gigantesque, 
With which we bantered little Lilia first: 
The women--and perhaps they felt their power, 
For something in the ballads which they sang, 
Or in their silent influence as they sat, 
Had ever seemed to wrestle with burlesque, 
And drove us, last, to quite a solemn close-- 
They hated banter, wished for something real, 
A gallant fight, a noble princess--why 
Not make her true-heroic--true-sublime? 
Or all, they said, as earnest as the close? 
Which yet with such a framework scarce could be.
Then rose a little feud betwixt the two, Betwixt the mockers and the realists: And I, betwixt them both, to please them both, And yet to give the story as it rose, I moved as in a strange diagonal, And maybe neither pleased myself nor them.
But Lilia pleased me, for she took no part In our dispute: the sequel of the tale Had touched her; and she sat, she plucked the grass, She flung it from her, thinking: last, she fixt A showery glance upon her aunt, and said, 'You--tell us what we are' who might have told, For she was crammed with theories out of books, But that there rose a shout: the gates were closed At sunset, and the crowd were swarming now, To take their leave, about the garden rails.
So I and some went out to these: we climbed The slope to Vivian-place, and turning saw The happy valleys, half in light, and half Far-shadowing from the west, a land of peace; Gray halls alone among their massive groves; Trim hamlets; here and there a rustic tower Half-lost in belts of hop and breadths of wheat; The shimmering glimpses of a stream; the seas; A red sail, or a white; and far beyond, Imagined more than seen, the skirts of France.
'Look there, a garden!' said my college friend, The Tory member's elder son, 'and there! God bless the narrow sea which keeps her off, And keeps our Britain, whole within herself, A nation yet, the rulers and the ruled-- Some sense of duty, something of a faith, Some reverence for the laws ourselves have made, Some patient force to change them when we will, Some civic manhood firm against the crowd-- But yonder, whiff! there comes a sudden heat, The gravest citizen seems to lose his head, The king is scared, the soldier will not fight, The little boys begin to shoot and stab, A kingdom topples over with a shriek Like an old woman, and down rolls the world In mock heroics stranger than our own; Revolts, republics, revolutions, most No graver than a schoolboys' barring out; Too comic for the serious things they are, Too solemn for the comic touches in them, Like our wild Princess with as wise a dream As some of theirs--God bless the narrow seas! I wish they were a whole Atlantic broad.
' 'Have patience,' I replied, 'ourselves are full Of social wrong; and maybe wildest dreams Are but the needful preludes of the truth: For me, the genial day, the happy crowd, The sport half-science, fill me with a faith.
This fine old world of ours is but a child Yet in the go-cart.
Patience! Give it time To learn its limbs: there is a hand that guides.
' In such discourse we gained the garden rails, And there we saw Sir Walter where he stood, Before a tower of crimson holly-hoaks, Among six boys, head under head, and looked No little lily-handed Baronet he, A great broad-shouldered genial Englishman, A lord of fat prize-oxen and of sheep, A raiser of huge melons and of pine, A patron of some thirty charities, A pamphleteer on guano and on grain, A quarter-sessions chairman, abler none; Fair-haired and redder than a windy morn; Now shaking hands with him, now him, of those That stood the nearest--now addressed to speech-- Who spoke few words and pithy, such as closed Welcome, farewell, and welcome for the year To follow: a shout rose again, and made The long line of the approaching rookery swerve From the elms, and shook the branches of the deer From slope to slope through distant ferns, and rang Beyond the bourn of sunset; O, a shout More joyful than the city-roar that hails Premier or king! Why should not these great Sirs Give up their parks some dozen times a year To let the people breathe? So thrice they cried, I likewise, and in groups they streamed away.
But we went back to the Abbey, and sat on, So much the gathering darkness charmed: we sat But spoke not, rapt in nameless reverie, Perchance upon the future man: the walls Blackened about us, bats wheeled, and owls whooped, And gradually the powers of the night, That range above the region of the wind, Deepening the courts of twilight broke them up Through all the silent spaces of the worlds, Beyond all thought into the Heaven of Heavens.
Last little Lilia, rising quietly, Disrobed the glimmering statue of Sir Ralph From those rich silks, and home well-pleased we went.
Written by Anne Bradstreet | Create an image from this poem

In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess Queen ELIZABETH

1 Although great Queen, thou now in silence lie, 1.
2 Yet thy loud Herald Fame, doth to the sky 1.
3 Thy wondrous worth proclaim, in every clime, 1.
4 And so has vow'd, whilst there is world or time.
5 So great's thy glory, and thine excellence, 1.
6 The sound thereof raps every human sense 1.
7 That men account it no impiety 1.
8 To say thou wert a fleshly Deity.
9 Thousands bring off'rings (though out of date) 1.
10 Thy world of honours to accumulate.
11 'Mongst hundred Hecatombs of roaring Verse, 1.
12 'Mine bleating stands before thy royal Hearse.
13 Thou never didst, nor canst thou now disdain, 1.
14 T' accept the tribute of a loyal Brain.
15 Thy clemency did yerst esteem as much 1.
16 The acclamations of the poor, as rich, 1.
17 Which makes me deem, my rudeness is no wrong, 1.
18 Though I resound thy greatness 'mongst the throng.
The Poem.
1 No Ph{oe}nix Pen, nor Spenser's Poetry, 2.
2 No Speed's, nor Camden's learned History; 2.
3 Eliza's works, wars, praise, can e're compact, 2.
4 The World's the Theater where she did act.
5 No memories, nor volumes can contain, 2.
6 The nine Olymp'ades of her happy reign, 2.
7 Who was so good, so just, so learn'd, so wise, 2.
8 From all the Kings on earth she won the prize.
9 Nor say I more than truly is her due.
10 Millions will testify that this is true.
11 She hath wip'd off th' aspersion of her Sex, 2.
12 That women wisdom lack to play the Rex.
13 Spain's Monarch sa's not so, not yet his Host: 2.
14 She taught them better manners to their cost.
15 The Salic Law had not in force now been, 2.
16 If France had ever hop'd for such a Queen.
17 But can you Doctors now this point dispute, 2.
18 She's argument enough to make you mute, 2.
19 Since first the Sun did run, his ne'er runn'd race, 2.
20 And earth had twice a year, a new old face; 2.
21 Since time was time, and man unmanly man, 2.
22 Come shew me such a Ph{oe}nix if you can.
23 Was ever people better rul'd than hers? 2.
24 Was ever Land more happy, freed from stirs? 2.
25 Did ever wealth in England so abound? 2.
26 Her Victories in foreign Coasts resound? 2.
27 Ships more invincible than Spain's, her foe 2.
28 She rack't, she sack'd, she sunk his Armadoe.
29 Her stately Troops advanc'd to Lisbon's wall, 2.
30 Don Anthony in's right for to install.
31 She frankly help'd Franks' (brave) distressed King, 2.
32 The States united now her fame do sing.
33 She their Protectrix was, they well do know, 2.
34 Unto our dread Virago, what they owe.
35 Her Nobles sacrific'd their noble blood, 2.
36 Nor men, nor coin she shap'd, to do them good.
37 The rude untamed Irish she did quell, 2.
38 And Tiron bound, before her picture fell.
39 Had ever Prince such Counsellors as she? 2.
40 Her self Minerva caus'd them so to be.
41 Such Soldiers, and such Captains never seen, 2.
42 As were the subjects of our (Pallas) Queen: 2.
43 Her Sea-men through all straits the world did round, 2.
44 Terra incognitæ might know her sound.
45 Her Drake came laded home with Spanish gold, 2.
46 Her Essex took Cadiz, their Herculean hold.
47 But time would fail me, so my wit would too, 2.
48 To tell of half she did, or she could do.
49 Semiramis to her is but obscure; 2.
50 More infamy than fame she did procure.
51 She plac'd her glory but on Babel's walls, 2.
52 World's wonder for a time, but yet it falls.
53 Fierce Tomris (Cirus' Heads-man, Sythians' Queen) 2.
54 Had put her Harness off, had she but seen 2.
55 Our Amazon i' th' Camp at Tilbury, 2.
56 (Judging all valour, and all Majesty) 2.
57 Within that Princess to have residence, 2.
58 And prostrate yielded to her Excellence.
59 Dido first Foundress of proud Carthage walls 2.
60 (Who living consummates her Funerals), 2.
61 A great Eliza, but compar'd with ours, 2.
62 How vanisheth her glory, wealth, and powers.
63 Proud profuse Cleopatra, whose wrong name, 2.
64 Instead of glory, prov'd her Country's shame: 2.
65 Of her what worth in Story's to be seen, 2.
66 But that she was a rich Ægyptian Queen.
67 Zenobia, potent Empress of the East, 2.
68 And of all these without compare the best 2.
69 (Whom none but great Aurelius could quell) 2.
70 Yet for our Queen is no fit parallel: 2.
71 She was a Ph{oe}nix Queen, so shall she be, 2.
72 Her ashes not reviv'd more Ph{oe}nix she.
73 Her personal perfections, who would tell, 2.
74 Must dip his Pen i' th' Heliconian Well, 2.
75 Which I may not, my pride doth but aspire 2.
76 To read what others write and then admire.
77 Now say, have women worth, or have they none? 2.
78 Or had they some, but with our Queen is't gone? 2.
79 Nay Masculines, you have thus tax'd us long, 2.
80 But she, though dead, will vindicate our wrong.
81 Let such as say our sex is void of reason 2.
82 Know 'tis a slander now, but once was treason.
83 But happy England, which had such a Queen, 2.
84 O happy, happy, had those days still been, 2.
85 But happiness lies in a higher sphere.
86 Then wonder not, Eliza moves not here.
87 Full fraught with honour, riches, and with days, 2.
88 She set, she set, like Titan in his rays.
89 No more shall rise or set such glorious Sun, 2.
90 Until the heaven's great revolution: 2.
91 If then new things, their old form must retain, 2.
92 Eliza shall rule Albian once again.
Her Epitaph.
1 Here sleeps T H E Queen, this is the royal bed 3.
2 O' th' Damask Rose, sprung from the white and red, 3.
3 Whose sweet perfume fills the all-filling air, 3.
4 This Rose is withered, once so lovely fair: 3.
5 On neither tree did grow such Rose before, 3.
6 The greater was our gain, our loss the more.
1 Here lies the pride of Queens, pattern of Kings: 4.
2 So blaze it fame, here's feathers for thy wings.
3 Here lies the envy'd, yet unparallel'd Prince, 4.
4 Whose living virtues speak (though dead long since).
5 If many worlds, as that fantastic framed, 4.
6 In every one, be her great glory famed

Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

Stellas Birthday March 13 1719

 Stella this day is thirty-four, 
(We shan't dispute a year or more:)
However, Stella, be not troubled,
Although thy size and years are doubled,
Since first I saw thee at sixteen,
The brightest virgin on the green;
So little is thy form declin'd;
Made up so largely in thy mind.
Oh, would it please the gods to split Thy beauty, size, and years, and wit; No age could furnish out a pair Of nymphs so graceful, wise, and fair; With half the lustre of your eyes, With half your wit, your years, and size.
And then, before it grew too late, How should I beg of gentle Fate, (That either nymph might have her swain,) To split my worship too in twain.
Written by Czeslaw Milosz | Create an image from this poem

Conversation with Jeanne

 Let us not talk philosophy, drop it, Jeanne.
So many words, so much paper, who can stand it.
I told you the truth about my distancing myself.
I've stopped worrying about my misshapen life.
It was no better and no worse than the usual human tragedies.
For over thirty years we have been waging our dispute As we do now, on the island under the skies of the tropics.
We flee a downpour, in an instant the bright sun again, And I grow dumb, dazzled by the emerald essence of the leaves.
We submerge in foam at the line of the surf, We swim far, to where the horizon is a tangle of banana bush, With little windmills of palms.
And I am under accusation: That I am not up to my oeuvre, That I do not demand enough from myself, As I could have learned from Karl Jaspers, That my scorn for the opinions of this age grows slack.
I roll on a wave and look at white clouds.
You are right, Jeanne, I don't know how to care about the salvation of my soul.
Some are called, others manage as well as they can.
I accept it, what has befallen me is just.
I don't pretend to the dignity of a wise old age.
Untranslatable into words, I chose my home in what is now, In things of this world, which exist and, for that reason, delight us: Nakedness of women on the beach, coppery cones of their breasts, Hibiscus, alamanda, a red lily, devouring With my eyes, lips, tongue, the guava juice, the juice of la prune de Cyth?re, Rum with ice and syrup, lianas-orchids In a rain forest, where trees stand on the stilts of their roots.
Death, you say, mine and yours, closer and closer, We suffered and this poor earth was not enough.
The purple-black earth of vegetable gardens Will be here, either looked at or not.
The sea, as today, will breathe from its depths.
Growing small, I disappear in the immense, more and more free.
Written by Robert Browning | Create an image from this poem

Rabbi Ben Ezra

 Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith 'A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!'

Not that, amassing flowers,
Youth sighed 'Which rose make ours,
Which lily leave and then as best recall?'
Not that, admiring stars,
It yearned 'Nor Jove, nor Mars;
Mine be some figured flame which blends, transcends them all!'

Not for such hopes and fears
Annulling youth's brief years,
Do I remonstrate: folly wide the mark!
Rather I prize the doubt
Low kinds exist without,
Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark.
Poor vaunt of life indeed, Were man but formed to feed On joy, to solely seek and find and feast: Such feasting ended, then As sure an end to men; Irks care the crop-full bird? Frets doubt the maw-crammed beast? Rejoice we are allied To That which doth provide And not partake, effect and not receive! A spark disturbs our clod; Nearer we hold of God Who gives, than of His tribes that take, I must believe.
Then, welcome each rebuff That turns earth's smoothness rough, Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go! Be our joys three-parts pain! Strive, and hold cheap the strain; Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe! For thence,--a paradox Which comforts while it mocks,-- Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail: What I aspired to be, And was not, comforts me: A brute I might have been, but would not sink i' the scale.
What is he but a brute Whose flesh has soul to suit, Whose spirit works lest arms and legs want play? To man, propose this test-- Thy body at its best, How far can that project thy soul on its lone way? Yet gifts should prove their use: I own the Past profuse Of power each side, perfection every turn: Eyes, ears took in their dole, Brain treasured up the whole; Should not the heart beat once 'How good to live and learn?' Not once beat 'Praise be Thine! I see the whole design, I, who saw power, see now love perfect too: Perfect I call Thy plan: Thanks that I was a man! Maker, remake, complete,--I trust what Thou shalt do!' For pleasant is this flesh; Our soul, in its rose-mesh Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest; Would we some prize might hold To match those manifold Possessions of the brute,--gain most, as we did best! Let us not always say, 'Spite of this flesh to-day I strove, made head, gained ground upon the whole!' As the bird wings and sings, Let us cry 'All good things Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than flesh helps soul!' Therefore I summon age To grant youth's heritage, Life's struggle having so far reached its term: Thence shall I pass, approved A man, for aye removed From the developed brute; a god though in the germ.
And I shall thereupon Take rest, ere I be gone Once more on my adventure brave and new: Fearless and unperplexed, When I wage battle next, What weapons to select, what armour to indue.
Youth ended, I shall try My gain or loss thereby; Leave the fire ashes, what survives is gold: And I shall weigh the same, Give life its praise or blame: Young, all lay in dispute; I shall know, being old.
For note, when evening shuts, A certain moment cuts The deed off, calls the glory from the grey: A whisper from the west Shoots--'Add this to the rest, Take it and try its worth: here dies another day.
' So, still within this life, Though lifted o'er its strife, Let me discern, compare, pronounce at last, This rage was right i' the main, That acquiescence vain: The Future I may face now I have proved the Past.
' For more is not reserved To man, with soul just nerved To act to-morrow what he learns to-day: Here, work enough to watch The Master work, and catch Hints of the proper craft, tricks of the tool's true play.
As it was better, youth Should strive, through acts uncouth, Toward making, than repose on aught found made: So, better, age, exempt From strife, should know, than tempt Further.
Thou waitedst age: wait death nor be afraid! Enough now, if the Right And Good and Infinite Be named here, as thou callest thy hand thine own With knowledge absolute, Subject to no dispute From fools that crowded youth, nor let thee feel alone.
Be there, for once and all, Severed great minds from small, Announced to each his station in the Past! Was I, the world arraigned, Were they, my soul disdained, Right? Let age speak the truth and give us peace at last! Now, who shall arbitrate? Ten men love what I hate, Shun what I follow, slight what I receive; Ten, who in ears and eyes Match me: we all surmise, They this thing, and I that: whom shall my soul believe? Not on the vulgar mass Called 'work,' must sentence pass, Things done, that took the eye and had the price; O'er which, from level stand, The low world laid its hand, Found straightway to its mind, could value in a trice: But all, the world's coarse thumb And finger failed to plumb, So passed in making up the main account; All instincts immature, All purposes unsure, That weighed not as his work, yet swelled the man's amount: Thoughts hardly to be packed Into a narrow act, Fancies that broke through language and escaped; All I could never be, All, men ignored in me, This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the pitcher shaped.
Ay, note that Potter's wheel, That metaphor! and feel Why time spins fast, why passive lies our clay,-- Thou, to whom fools propound, When the wine makes its round, 'Since life fleets, all is change; the Past gone, seize to-day!' Fool! All that is, at all, Lasts ever, past recall; Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure: What entered into thee, That was, is, and shall be: Time's wheel runs back or stops: Potter and clay endure.
He fixed thee mid this dance Of plastic circumstance, This Present, thou, forsooth, wouldst fain arrest: Machinery just meant To give thy soul its bent, Try thee and turn thee forth, sufficiently impressed.
What though the earlier grooves, Which ran the laughing loves Around thy base, no longer pause and press? What though, about thy rim, Skull-things in order grim Grow out, in graver mood, obey the sterner stress? Look not thou down but up! To uses of a cup, The festal board, lamp's flash and trumpet's peal, The new wine's foaming flow, The Master's lips a-glow! Thou, heaven's consummate cup, what need'st thou with earth's wheel? But I need, now as then, Thee, God, who mouldest men; And since, not even while the whirl was worst, Did I,--to the wheel of life With shapes and colours rife, Bound dizzily,--mistake my end, to slake Thy thirst: So, take and use Thy work: Amend what flaws may lurk, What strain o' the stuff, what warpings past the aim! My times be in Thy hand! Perfect the cup as planned! Let age approve of youth, and death complete the same!
Written by Paul Laurence Dunbar | Create an image from this poem


These are the days of elfs and fays:
Who says that with the dreams of myth,
These imps and elves disport themselves?
Ah no, along the paths of song
Do all the tiny folk belong.
Round all our homes,
Kobolds and gnomes do daily cling,
Then nightly fling their lanterns out.
And shout on shout, they join the rout,
And sing, and sing, within the sweet enchanted ring.
Where gleamed the guile of moonlight's smile,
Once paused I, listening for a while,
And heard the lay, unknown by day,—
The fairies' dancing roundelay.
Queen Mab was there, her shimmering hair
Each fairy prince's heart's despair.
She smiled to see their sparkling glee,
And once I ween, she smiled at me.
Since when, you may by night or day,
Dispute the sway of elf-folk gay;
But, hear me, stay![Pg 252]
I've learned the way to find Queen
Mab and elf and fay.
Where e'er by streams, the moonlight gleams,
Or on a meadow softly beams,
There, footing round on dew-lit ground,
The fairy folk may all be found.
Written by Emily Dickinson | Create an image from this poem

No Brigadier throughout the Year

 No Brigadier throughout the Year
So civic as the Jay --
A Neighbor and a Warrior too
With shrill felicity
Pursuing Winds that censure us
A February Day,
The Brother of the Universe
Was never blown away --
The Snow and he are intimate --
I've often seem them play
When Heaven looked upon us all
With such severity
I felt apology were due
To an insulted sky
Whose pompous frown was Nutriment
To their Temerity --
The Pillow of this daring Head
Is pungent Evergreens --
His Larder -- terse and Militant --
Unknown -- refreshing things --
His Character -- a Tonic --
His future -- a Dispute --
Unfair an Immortality
That leaves this Neighbor out --