Best Famous Epitaph Poems

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

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12
Written by Thomas Gray | Create an image from this poem

Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard

 The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds; Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn, The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn, No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, Or busy housewife ply her evening-care; No children run to lisp their sire's return, Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke: How jocund did they drive their team afield! How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke! Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, Their homely joys and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r, And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Awaits alike th' inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault, If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where through the long-drawn aisle, and fretted vault, The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn, or animated bust, Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust, Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death? Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; Hands, that the rod of empire might have swayed, Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre; But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page, Rich with the spoils of Time, did ne'er unroll; Chill Penury repressed their noble rage, And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear; Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village-Hampden that with dauntless breast The little tyrant of his fields withstood, Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.
Th' applause of list'ning senates to command, The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land, And read their history in a nation's eyes, Their lot forbad: nor circumscribed alone Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined; Forbad to wade through slaughter to a throne, And shut the Gates of Mercy on mankind, The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide, To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife Their sober wishes never learned to stray; Along the cool sequestered vale of life They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked, Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unlettered Muse, The place of fame and elegy supply: And many a holy text around she strews, That teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey, This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind? On some fond breast the parting soul relies, Some pious drops the closing eye requires; Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonoured dead, Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; If chance, by lonely Contemplation led, Some kindred spirit shall enquire thy fate,— Haply some hoary-headed swain may say "Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn Brushing with hasty steps the dews away To meet the sun upon the upland lawn; "There at the foot of yonder nodding beech, That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noon-tide would he stretch, And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
"Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Mutt'ring his wayward fancies would he rove; Now drooping, woeful-wan, like one forlorn, Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.
"One morn I missed him from the customed hill, Along the heath, and near his fav'rite tree; Another came; nor yet beside the rill, Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he: "The next, with dirges due in sad array Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne,— Approach and read, for thou can'st read, the lay Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.
" THE EPITAPH Here rests his head upon the lap of earth A Youth, to Fortune and to Fame unknown: Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth, And Melancholy marked him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere, Heaven did a recompense as largely send: He gave to Misery (all he had) a tear, He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose, Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,) The bosom of his Father and his God.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

Elegy Upon Tiger

 Her dead lady's joy and comfort,
Who departed this life
The last day of March, 1727:
To the great joy of Bryan
That his antagonist is gone.
And is poor Tiger laid at last so low? O day of sorrow! -Day of dismal woe! Bloodhounds, or spaniels, lap-dogs, 'tis all one, When Death once whistles -snap! -away they're gone.
See how she lies, and hangs her lifeless ears, Bathed in her mournful lady's tears! Dumb is her throat, and wagless is her tail, Doomed to the grave, to Death's eternal jail! In a few days this lovely creature must First turn to clay, and then be changed to dust.
That mouth which used its lady's mouth to lick Must yield its jaw-bones to the worms to pick.
That mouth which used the partridge-wing to eat Must give its palate to the worms to eat.
Methinks I see her now in Charon's boat Bark at the Stygian fish which round it float; While Cerberus, alarmed to hear the sound, Makes Hell's wide concave bellow all around.
She sees him not, but hears him through the dark, And valiantly returns him bark for bark.
But now she trembles -though a ghost, she dreads To see a dog with three large yawning heads.
Spare her, you hell-hounds, case your frightful paws, And let poor Tiger 'scape your furious jaws.
Let her go safe to the Elysian plains, Where Hylax barks among the Mantuan swains; There let her frisk about her new-found love: She loved a dog when she was here above.
The Epitaph Here lies beneath this marble An animal could bark, or warble: Sometimes a bitch, sometimes a bird, Could eat a tart, or eat a t -.
Written by Sidney Lanier | Create an image from this poem

Corn

 To-day the woods are trembling through and through
With shimmering forms, that flash before my view,
Then melt in green as dawn-stars melt in blue.
The leaves that wave against my cheek caress Like women's hands; the embracing boughs express A subtlety of mighty tenderness; The copse-depths into little noises start, That sound anon like beatings of a heart, Anon like talk 'twixt lips not far apart.
The beech dreams balm, as a dreamer hums a song; Through that vague wafture, expirations strong Throb from young hickories breathing deep and long With stress and urgence bold of prisoned spring And ecstasy of burgeoning.
Now, since the dew-plashed road of morn is dry, Forth venture odors of more quality And heavenlier giving.
Like Jove's locks awry, Long muscadines Rich-wreathe the spacious foreheads of great pines, And breathe ambrosial passion from their vines.
I pray with mosses, ferns and flowers shy That hide like gentle nuns from human eye To lift adoring perfumes to the sky.
I hear faint bridal-sighs of brown and green Dying to silent hints of kisses keen As far lights fringe into a pleasant sheen.
I start at fragmentary whispers, blown From undertalks of leafy souls unknown, Vague purports sweet, of inarticulate tone.
Dreaming of gods, men, nuns and brides, between Old companies of oaks that inward lean To join their radiant amplitudes of green I slowly move, with ranging looks that pass Up from the matted miracles of grass Into yon veined complex of space Where sky and leafage interlace So close, the heaven of blue is seen Inwoven with a heaven of green.
I wander to the zigzag-cornered fence Where sassafras, intrenched in brambles dense, Contests with stolid vehemence The march of culture, setting limb and thorn As pikes against the army of the corn.
There, while I pause, my fieldward-faring eyes Take harvests, where the stately corn-ranks rise, Of inward dignities And large benignities and insights wise, Graces and modest majesties.
Thus, without theft, I reap another's field; Thus, without tilth, I house a wondrous yield, And heap my heart with quintuple crops concealed.
Look, out of line one tall corn-captain stands Advanced beyond the foremost of his bands, And waves his blades upon the very edge And hottest thicket of the battling hedge.
Thou lustrous stalk, that ne'er mayst walk nor talk, Still shalt thou type the poet-soul sublime That leads the vanward of his timid time And sings up cowards with commanding rhyme -- Soul calm, like thee, yet fain, like thee, to grow By double increment, above, below; Soul homely, as thou art, yet rich in grace like thee, Teaching the yeomen selfless chivalry That moves in gentle curves of courtesy; Soul filled like thy long veins with sweetness tense, By every godlike sense Transmuted from the four wild elements.
Drawn to high plans, Thou lift'st more stature than a mortal man's, Yet ever piercest downward in the mould And keepest hold Upon the reverend and steadfast earth That gave thee birth; Yea, standest smiling in thy future grave, Serene and brave, With unremitting breath Inhaling life from death, Thine epitaph writ fair in fruitage eloquent, Thyself thy monument.
As poets should, Thou hast built up thy hardihood With universal food, Drawn in select proportion fair From honest mould and vagabond air; From darkness of the dreadful night, And joyful light; From antique ashes, whose departed flame In thee has finer life and longer fame; From wounds and balms, From storms and calms, From potsherds and dry bones And ruin-stones.
Into thy vigorous substance thou hast wrought Whate'er the hand of Circumstance hath brought; Yea, into cool solacing green hast spun White radiance hot from out the sun.
So thou dost mutually leaven Strength of earth with grace of heaven; So thou dost marry new and old Into a one of higher mould; So thou dost reconcile the hot and cold, The dark and bright, And many a heart-perplexing opposite, And so, Akin by blood to high and low, Fitly thou playest out thy poet's part, Richly expending thy much-bruised heart In equal care to nourish lord in hall Or beast in stall: Thou took'st from all that thou mightst give to all.
O steadfast dweller on the selfsame spot Where thou wast born, that still repinest not -- Type of the home-fond heart, the happy lot! -- Deeply thy mild content rebukes the land Whose flimsy homes, built on the shifting sand Of trade, for ever rise and fall With alternation whimsical, Enduring scarce a day, Then swept away By swift engulfments of incalculable tides Whereon capricious Commerce rides.
Look, thou substantial spirit of content! Across this little vale, thy continent, To where, beyond the mouldering mill, Yon old deserted Georgian hill Bares to the sun his piteous aged crest And seamy breast, By restless-hearted children left to lie Untended there beneath the heedless sky, As barbarous folk expose their old to die.
Upon that generous-rounding side, With gullies scarified Where keen Neglect his lash hath plied, Dwelt one I knew of old, who played at toil, And gave to coquette Cotton soul and soil.
Scorning the slow reward of patient grain, He sowed his heart with hopes of swifter gain, Then sat him down and waited for the rain.
He sailed in borrowed ships of usury -- A foolish Jason on a treacherous sea, Seeking the Fleece and finding misery.
Lulled by smooth-rippling loans, in idle trance He lay, content that unthrift Circumstance Should plough for him the stony field of Chance.
Yea, gathering crops whose worth no man might tell, He staked his life on games of Buy-and-Sell, And turned each field into a gambler's hell.
Aye, as each year began, My farmer to the neighboring city ran; Passed with a mournful anxious face Into the banker's inner place; Parleyed, excused, pleaded for longer grace; Railed at the drought, the worm, the rust, the grass; Protested ne'er again 'twould come to pass; With many an `oh' and `if' and `but alas' Parried or swallowed searching questions rude, And kissed the dust to soften Dives's mood.
At last, small loans by pledges great renewed, He issues smiling from the fatal door, And buys with lavish hand his yearly store Till his small borrowings will yield no more.
Aye, as each year declined, With bitter heart and ever-brooding mind He mourned his fate unkind.
In dust, in rain, with might and main, He nursed his cotton, cursed his grain, Fretted for news that made him fret again, Snatched at each telegram of Future Sale, And thrilled with Bulls' or Bears' alternate wail -- In hope or fear alike for ever pale.
And thus from year to year, through hope and fear, With many a curse and many a secret tear, Striving in vain his cloud of debt to clear, At last He woke to find his foolish dreaming past, And all his best-of-life the easy prey Of squandering scamps and quacks that lined his way With vile array, From rascal statesman down to petty knave; Himself, at best, for all his bragging brave, A gamester's catspaw and a banker's slave.
Then, worn and gray, and sick with deep unrest, He fled away into the oblivious West, Unmourned, unblest.
Old hill! old hill! thou gashed and hairy Lear Whom the divine Cordelia of the year, E'en pitying Spring, will vainly strive to cheer -- King, that no subject man nor beast may own, Discrowned, undaughtered and alone -- Yet shall the great God turn thy fate, And bring thee back into thy monarch state And majesty immaculate.
Lo, through hot waverings of the August morn, Thou givest from thy vasty sides forlorn Visions of golden treasuries of corn -- Ripe largesse lingering for some bolder heart That manfully shall take thy part, And tend thee, And defend thee, With antique sinew and with modern art.
Written by Walter de la Mare | Create an image from this poem

An Epitaph

 Interr'd beneath this marble stone, 
Lie saunt'ring Jack and idle Joan.
While rolling threescore years and one Did round this globe their courses run; If human things went ill or well; If changing empires rose or fell; The morning passed, the evening came, And found this couple still the same.
They walk'd and eat, good folks: what then? Why then they walk'd and eat again: They soundly slept the night away: They did just nothing all the day: And having buried children four, Would not take pains to try for more.
Nor sister either had, nor brother: They seemed just tallied for each other.
Their moral and economy Most perfectly they made agree: Each virtue kept its proper bound, Nor tresspass'd on the other's ground.
Nor fame, nor censure they regarded: They neither punish'd nor rewarded.
He cared not what the footmen did: Her maids she neither prais'd nor chid: So ev'ry servant took his course; And bad at first, they all grew worse.
Slothful disorder fill'd his stable; And sluttish plenty deck'd her table.
Their beer was strong; their wine was port; Their meal was large; their grace was short.
They gave the poor the remnant-meat Just when it grew not fit to eat.
They paid the church and parish rate; And took, but read not the receipt; For which they claim'd their Sunday's due, Of slumb'ring in an upper pew.
No man's defects sought they to know; So never made themselves a foe.
No man's good deeds did they commend; So never rais'd themselves a friend.
Nor cherish'd they relations poor: That might decrease their present store: Nor barn nor house did they repair: That might oblige their future heir.
They neither added, nor confounded: They neither wanted, nor abounded.
Each Christmas they accompts did clear; And wound their bottom through the year.
Nor tear, nor smile did they employ At news of public grief, or joy.
When bells were rung, and bonfires made, If asked they ne'er denied their aid: Their jug was to the ringers carried, Whoever either died, or married.
Their billet at the fire was found, Whoever was depos'd or crown'd.
Nor good, nor bad, nor fools, nor wise; They would not learn, nor could advise; Without love, hatred, joy, or fear, They led--a kind of--as it were: Nor wish'd nor car'd, nor laugh'd nor cry'd: And so they liv'd; and so they died.
Written by John Donne | Create an image from this poem

John Donne - The Paradox

 No Lover saith, I love, nor any other
Can judge a perfect Lover;
Hee thinkes that else none can, nor will agree
That any loves but hee;
I cannot say I'lov'd.
for who can say Hee was kill'd yesterday? Lover withh excesse of heat, more yong than old, Death kills with too much cold; Wee dye but once, and who lov'd last did die, Hee that saith twice, doth lye: For though hee seeme to move, and stirre a while, It doth the sense beguile.
Such life is like the light which bideth yet When the lights life is set, Or like the heat, which fire in solid matter Leave behinde, two houres after.
Once I lov's and dy'd; and am now become Mine Epitaph and Tombe.
Here dead men speake their last, and so do I; Love-slaine, loe, here I lye.
Written by Alan Seeger | Create an image from this poem

A Message to America

 You have the grit and the guts, I know; 
You are ready to answer blow for blow 
You are virile, combative, stubborn, hard, 
But your honor ends with your own back-yard; 
Each man intent on his private goal, 
You have no feeling for the whole; 
What singly none would tolerate 
You let unpunished hit the state, 
Unmindful that each man must share 
The stain he lets his country wear, 
And (what no traveller ignores) 
That her good name is often yours.
You are proud in the pride that feels its might; From your imaginary height Men of another race or hue Are men of a lesser breed to you: The neighbor at your southern gate You treat with the scorn that has bred his hate.
To lend a spice to your disrespect You call him the "greaser".
But reflect! The greaser has spat on you more than once; He has handed you multiple affronts; He has robbed you, banished you, burned and killed; He has gone untrounced for the blood he spilled; He has jeering used for his bootblack's rag The stars and stripes of the gringo's flag; And you, in the depths of your easy-chair -- What did you do, what did you care? Did you find the season too cold and damp To change the counter for the camp? Were you frightened by fevers in Mexico? I can't imagine, but this I know -- You are impassioned vastly more By the news of the daily baseball score Than to hear that a dozen countrymen Have perished somewhere in Darien, That greasers have taken their innocent lives And robbed their holdings and raped their wives.
Not by rough tongues and ready fists Can you hope to jilt in the modern lists.
The armies of a littler folk Shall pass you under the victor's yoke, Sobeit a nation that trains her sons To ride their horses and point their guns -- Sobeit a people that comprehends The limit where private pleasure ends And where their public dues begin, A people made strong by discipline Who are willing to give -- what you've no mind to -- And understand -- what you are blind to -- The things that the individual Must sacrifice for the good of all.
You have a leader who knows -- the man Most fit to be called American, A prophet that once in generations Is given to point to erring nations Brighter ideals toward which to press And lead them out of the wilderness.
Will you turn your back on him once again? Will you give the tiller once more to men Who have made your country the laughing-stock For the older peoples to scorn and mock, Who would make you servile, despised, and weak, A country that turns the other cheek, Who care not how bravely your flag may float, Who answer an insult with a note, Whose way is the easy way in all, And, seeing that polished arms appal Their marrow of milk-fed pacifist, Would tell you menace does not exist? Are these, in the world's great parliament, The men you would choose to represent Your honor, your manhood, and your pride, And the virtues your fathers dignified? Oh, bury them deeper than the sea In universal obloquy; Forget the ground where they lie, or write For epitaph: "Too proud to fight.
" I have been too long from my country's shores To reckon what state of mind is yours, But as for myself I know right well I would go through fire and shot and shell And face new perils and make my bed In new privations, if ROOSEVELT led; But I have given my heart and hand To serve, in serving another land, Ideals kept bright that with you are dim; Here men can thrill to their country's hymn, For the passion that wells in the Marseillaise Is the same that fires the French these days, And, when the flag that they love goes by, With swelling bosom and moistened eye They can look, for they know that it floats there still By the might of their hands and the strength of their will, And through perils countless and trials unknown Its honor each man has made his own.
They wanted the war no more than you, But they saw how the certain menace grew, And they gave two years of their youth or three The more to insure their liberty When the wrath of rifles and pennoned spears Should roll like a flood on their wrecked frontiers.
They wanted the war no more than you, But when the dreadful summons blew And the time to settle the quarrel came They sprang to their guns, each man was game; And mark if they fight not to the last For their hearths, their altars, and their past: Yea, fight till their veins have been bled dry For love of the country that WILL not die.
O friends, in your fortunate present ease (Yet faced by the self-same facts as these), If you would see how a race can soar That has no love, but no fear, of war, How each can turn from his private role That all may act as a perfect whole, How men can live up to the place they claim And a nation, jealous of its good name, Be true to its proud inheritance, Oh, look over here and learn from FRANCE!
Written by Mahmoud Darwish | Create an image from this poem

Under Siege

 Here on the slopes of hills, facing the dusk and the cannon of time 
Close to the gardens of broken shadows, 
We do what prisoners do, 
And what the jobless do: 
We cultivate hope.
*** A country preparing for dawn.
We grow less intelligent For we closely watch the hour of victory: No night in our night lit up by the shelling Our enemies are watchful and light the light for us In the darkness of cellars.
*** Here there is no "I".
Here Adam remembers the dust of his clay.
*** On the verge of death, he says: I have no trace left to lose: Free I am so close to my liberty.
My future lies in my own hand.
Soon I shall penetrate my life, I shall be born free and parentless, And as my name I shall choose azure letters.
.
.
*** You who stand in the doorway, come in, Drink Arabic coffee with us And you will sense that you are men like us You who stand in the doorways of houses Come out of our morningtimes, We shall feel reassured to be Men like you! *** When the planes disappear, the white, white doves Fly off and wash the cheeks of heaven With unbound wings taking radiance back again, taking possession Of the ether and of play.
Higher, higher still, the white, white doves Fly off.
Ah, if only the sky Were real [a man passing between two bombs said to me].
*** Cypresses behind the soldiers, minarets protecting The sky from collapse.
Behind the hedge of steel Soldiers piss—under the watchful eye of a tank— And the autumnal day ends its golden wandering in A street as wide as a church after Sunday mass.
.
.
*** [To a killer] If you had contemplated the victim’s face And thought it through, you would have remembered your mother in the Gas chamber, you would have been freed from the reason for the rifle And you would have changed your mind: this is not the way to find one’s identity again.
*** The siege is a waiting period Waiting on the tilted ladder in the middle of the storm.
*** Alone, we are alone as far down as the sediment Were it not for the visits of the rainbows.
*** We have brothers behind this expanse.
Excellent brothers.
They love us.
They watch us and weep.
Then, in secret, they tell each other: "Ah! if this siege had been declared.
.
.
" They do not finish their sentence: "Don’t abandon us, don’t leave us.
" *** Our losses: between two and eight martyrs each day.
And ten wounded.
And twenty homes.
And fifty olive trees.
.
.
Added to this the structural flaw that Will arrive at the poem, the play, and the unfinished canvas.
*** A woman told the cloud: cover my beloved For my clothing is drenched with his blood.
*** If you are not rain, my love Be tree Sated with fertility, be tree If you are not tree, my love Be stone Saturated with humidity, be stone If you are not stone, my love Be moon In the dream of the beloved woman, be moon [So spoke a woman to her son at his funeral] *** Oh watchmen! Are you not weary Of lying in wait for the light in our salt And of the incandescence of the rose in our wound Are you not weary, oh watchmen? *** A little of this absolute and blue infinity Would be enough To lighten the burden of these times And to cleanse the mire of this place.
*** It is up to the soul to come down from its mount And on its silken feet walk By my side, hand in hand, like two longtime Friends who share the ancient bread And the antique glass of wine May we walk this road together And then our days will take different directions: I, beyond nature, which in turn Will choose to squat on a high-up rock.
*** On my rubble the shadow grows green, And the wolf is dozing on the skin of my goat He dreams as I do, as the angel does That life is here.
.
.
not over there.
*** In the state of siege, time becomes space Transfixed in its eternity In the state of siege, space becomes time That has missed its yesterday and its tomorrow.
*** The martyr encircles me every time I live a new day And questions me: Where were you? Take every word You have given me back to the dictionaries And relieve the sleepers from the echo’s buzz.
*** The martyr enlightens me: beyond the expanse I did not look For the virgins of immortality for I love life On earth, amid fig trees and pines, But I cannot reach it, and then, too, I took aim at it With my last possession: the blood in the body of azure.
*** The martyr warned me: Do not believe their ululations Believe my father when, weeping, he looks at my photograph How did we trade roles, my son, how did you precede me.
I first, I the first one! *** The martyr encircles me: my place and my crude furniture are all that I have changed.
I put a gazelle on my bed, And a crescent of moon on my finger To appease my sorrow.
*** The siege will last in order to convince us we must choose an enslavement that does no harm, in fullest liberty! *** Resisting means assuring oneself of the heart’s health, The health of the testicles and of your tenacious disease: The disease of hope.
*** And in what remains of the dawn, I walk toward my exterior And in what remains of the night, I hear the sound of footsteps inside me.
*** Greetings to the one who shares with me an attention to The drunkenness of light, the light of the butterfly, in the Blackness of this tunnel! *** Greetings to the one who shares my glass with me In the denseness of a night outflanking the two spaces: Greetings to my apparition.
*** My friends are always preparing a farewell feast for me, A soothing grave in the shade of oak trees A marble epitaph of time And always I anticipate them at the funeral: Who then has died.
.
.
who? *** Writing is a puppy biting nothingness Writing wounds without a trace of blood.
*** Our cups of coffee.
Birds green trees In the blue shade, the sun gambols from one wall To another like a gazelle The water in the clouds has the unlimited shape of what is left to us Of the sky.
And other things of suspended memories Reveal that this morning is powerful and splendid, And that we are the guests of eternity.
Written by Henry David Thoreau | Create an image from this poem

Epitaph On The World

 Here lies the body of this world, 
Whose soul alas to hell is hurled.
This golden youth long since was past, Its silver manhood went as fast, An iron age drew on at last; 'Tis vain its character to tell, The several fates which it befell, What year it died, when 'twill arise, We only know that here it lies.
Written by Vachel Lindsay | Create an image from this poem

The Light o the Moon

 [How different people and different animals look upon the moon: showing that each creature finds in it his own mood and disposition]


The Old Horse in the City

The moon's a peck of corn.
It lies Heaped up for me to eat.
I wish that I might climb the path And taste that supper sweet.
Men feed me straw and scanty grain And beat me till I'm sore.
Some day I'll break the halter-rope And smash the stable-door, Run down the street and mount the hill Just as the corn appears.
I've seen it rise at certain times For years and years and years.
What the Hyena Said The moon is but a golden skull, She mounts the heavens now, And Moon-Worms, mighty Moon-Worms Are wreathed around her brow.
The Moon-Worms are a doughty race: They eat her gray and golden face.
Her eye-sockets dead, and molding head: These caverns are their dwelling-place.
The Moon-Worms, serpents of the skies, From the great hollows of her eyes Behold all souls, and they are wise: With tiny, keen and icy eyes, Behold how each man sins and dies.
When Earth in gold-corruption lies Long dead, the moon-worm butterflies On cyclone wings will reach this place — Yea, rear their brood on earth's dead face.
What the Snow Man Said The Moon's a snowball.
See the drifts Of white that cross the sphere.
The Moon's a snowball, melted down A dozen times a year.
Yet rolled again in hot July When all my days are done And cool to greet the weary eye After the scorching sun.
The moon's a piece of winter fair Renewed the year around, Behold it, deathless and unstained, Above the grimy ground! It rolls on high so brave and white Where the clear air-rivers flow, Proclaiming Christmas all the time And the glory of the snow! What the Scare-crow Said The dim-winged spirits of the night Do fear and serve me well.
They creep from out the hedges of The garden where I dwell.
I wave my arms across the walk.
The troops obey the sign, And bring me shimmering shadow-robes And cups of cowslip-wine.
Then dig a treasure called the moon, A very precious thing, And keep it in the air for me Because I am a King.
What Grandpa Mouse Said The moon's a holy owl-queen.
She keeps them in a jar Under her arm till evening, Then sallies forth to war.
She pours the owls upon us.
They hoot with horrid noise And eat the naughty mousie-girls And wicked mousie-boys.
So climb the moonvine every night And to the owl-queen pray: Leave good green cheese by moonlit trees For her to take away.
And never squeak, my children, Nor gnaw the smoke-house door: The owl-queen then will love us And send her birds no more.
The Beggar Speaks "What Mister Moon Said to Me.
" Come, eat the bread of idleness, Come, sit beside the spring: Some of the flowers will keep awake, Some of the birds will sing.
Come, eat the bread no man has sought For half a hundred years: Men hurry so they have no griefs, Nor even idle tears: They hurry so they have no loves: They cannot curse nor laugh — Their hearts die in their youth with neither Grave nor epitaph.
My bread would make them careless, And never quite on time — Their eyelids would be heavy, Their fancies full of rhyme: Each soul a mystic rose-tree, Or a curious incense tree: Come, eat the bread of idleness, Said Mister Moon to me.
What the Forester Said The moon is but a candle-glow That flickers thro' the gloom: The starry space, a castle hall: And Earth, the children's room, Where all night long the old trees stand To watch the streams asleep: Grandmothers guarding trundle-beds: Good shepherds guarding sheep.
Written by Robert Burns | Create an image from this poem

118. A Bard's Epitaph

 IS there a whim-inspirèd fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,
 Let him draw near;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,
 And drap a tear.
Is there a bard of rustic song, Who, noteless, steals the crowds among, That weekly this area throng, O, pass not by! But, with a frater-feeling strong, Here, heave a sigh.
Is there a man, whose judgment clear Can others teach the course to steer, Yet runs, himself, life’s mad career, Wild as the wave, Here pause—and, thro’ the starting tear, Survey this grave.
The poor inhabitant below Was quick to learn the wise to know, And keenly felt the friendly glow, And softer flame; But thoughtless follies laid him low, And stain’d his name! Reader, attend! whether thy soul Soars fancy’s flights beyond the pole, Or darkling grubs this earthly hole, In low pursuit: Know, prudent, cautious, self-control Is wisdom’s root.
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