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Best Famous Father Son Poems

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Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem


 New Castle, July 4, 1878

or a hundred years the pulse of time
Has throbbed for Liberty;
For a hundred years the grand old clime
Columbia has been free;
For a hundred years our country's love,
The Stars and Stripes, has waved above.
Away far out on the gulf of years-- Misty and faint and white Through the fogs of wrong--a sail appears, And the Mayflower heaves in sight, And drifts again, with its little flock Of a hundred souls, on Plymouth Rock.
Do you see them there--as long, long since-- Through the lens of History; Do you see them there as their chieftain prints In the snow his bended knee, And lifts his voice through the wintry blast In thanks for a peaceful home at last? Though the skies are dark and the coast is bleak, And the storm is wild and fierce, Its frozen flake on the upturned cheek Of the Pilgrim melts in tears, And the dawn that springs from the darkness there Is the morning light of an answered prayer.
The morning light of the day of Peace That gladdens the aching eyes, And gives to the soul that sweet release That the present verifies,-- Nor a snow so deep, nor a wind so chill To quench the flame of a freeman's will! II Days of toil when the bleeding hand Of the pioneer grew numb, When the untilled tracts of the barren land Where the weary ones had come Could offer nought from a fruitful soil To stay the strength of the stranger's toil.
Days of pain, when the heart beat low, And the empty hours went by Pitiless, with the wail of woe And the moan of Hunger's cry-- When the trembling hands upraised in prayer Had only the strength to hold them there.
Days when the voice of hope had fled-- Days when the eyes grown weak Were folded to, and the tears they shed Were frost on a frozen cheek-- When the storm bent down from the skies and gave A shroud of snow for the Pilgrim's grave.
Days at last when the smiling sun Glanced down from a summer sky, And a music rang where the rivers run, And the waves went laughing by; And the rose peeped over the mossy bank While the wild deer stood in the stream and drank.
And the birds sang out so loud and good, In a symphony so clear And pure and sweet that the woodman stood With his ax upraised to hear, And to shape the words of the tongue unknown Into a language all his own-- 1 'Sing! every bird, to-day! Sing for the sky so clear, And the gracious breath of the atmosphere Shall waft our cares away.
Sing! sing! for the sunshine free; Sing through the land from sea to sea; Lift each voice in the highest key And sing for Liberty!' 2 'Sing for the arms that fling Their fetters in the dust And lift their hands in higher trust Unto the one Great King; Sing for the patriot heart and hand; Sing for the country they have planned; Sing that the world may understand This is Freedom's land!' 3 'Sing in the tones of prayer, Sing till the soaring soul Shall float above the world's control In freedom everywhere! Sing for the good that is to be, Sing for the eyes that are to see The land where man at last is free, O sing for liberty!' III A holy quiet reigned, save where the hand Of labor sent a murmur through the land, And happy voices in a harmony Taught every lisping breeze a melody.
A nest of cabins, where the smoke upcurled A breathing incense to the other world.
A land of languor from the sun of noon, That fainted slowly to the pallid moon, Till stars, thick-scattered in the garden-land Of Heaven by the great Jehovah's hand, Had blossomed into light to look upon The dusky warrior with his arrow drawn, As skulking from the covert of the night With serpent cunning and a fiend's delight, With murderous spirit, and a yell of hate The voice of Hell might tremble to translate: When the fond mother's tender lullaby Went quavering in shrieks all suddenly, And baby-lips were dabbled with the stain Of crimson at the bosom of the slain, And peaceful homes and fortunes ruined--lost In smoldering embers of the holocaust.
Yet on and on, through years of gloom and strife, Our country struggled into stronger life; Till colonies, like footprints in the sand, Marked Freedom's pathway winding through the land-- And not the footprints to be swept away Before the storm we hatched in Boston Bay,-- But footprints where the path of war begun That led to Bunker Hill and Lexington,-- For he who "dared to lead where others dared To follow" found the promise there declared Of Liberty, in blood of Freedom's host Baptized to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Oh, there were times when every patriot breast Was riotous with sentiments expressed In tones that swelled in volume till the sound Of lusty war itself was well-nigh drowned.
Oh, those were times when happy eyes with tears Brimmed o'er as all the misty doubts and fears Were washed away, and Hope with gracious mien, Reigned from her throne again a sovereign queen.
Until at last, upon a day like this When flowers were blushing at the summer's kiss, And when the sky was cloudless as the face Of some sweet infant in its angel grace,-- There came a sound of music, thrown afloat Upon the balmy air--a clanging note Reiterated from the brazen throat Of Independence Bell: A sound so sweet, The clamoring throngs of people in the streets Were stilled as at the solemn voice of prayer, And heads were bowed, and lips were moving there That made no sound--until the spell had passed, And then, as when all sudden comes the blast Of some tornado, came the cheer on cheer Of every eager voice, while far and near The echoing bells upon the atmosphere Set glorious rumors floating, till the ear Of every listening patriot tingled clear, And thrilled with joy and jubilee to hear.
I 'Stir all your echoes up, O Independence Bell, And pour from your inverted cup The song we love so well.
'Lift high your happy voice, And swing your iron tongue Till syllables of praise rejoice That never yet were sung.
'Ring in the gleaming dawn Of Freedom--Toll the knell Of Tyranny, and then ring on, O Independence Bell.
-- 'Ring on, and drown the moan, Above the patriot slain, Till sorrow's voice shall catch the tone And join the glad refrain.
'Ring out the wounds of wrong And rankle in the breast; Your music like a slumber-song Will lull revenge to rest.
'Ring out from Occident To Orient, and peal From continent to continent The mighty joy you feel.
'Ring! Independence Bell! Ring on till worlds to be Shall listen to the tale you tell Of love and Liberty!' IV O Liberty--the dearest word A bleeding country ever heard,-- We lay our hopes upon thy shrine And offer up our lives for thine.
You gave us many happy years Of peace and plenty ere the tears A mourning country wept were dried Above the graves of those who died Upon thy threshold.
And again When newer wars were bred, and men Went marching in the cannon's breath And died for thee and loved the death, While, high above them, gleaming bright, The dear old flag remained in sight, And lighted up their dying eyes With smiles that brightened paradise.
O Liberty, it is thy power To gladden us in every hour Of gloom, and lead us by thy hand As little children through a land Of bud and blossom; while the days Are filled with sunshine, and thy praise Is warbled in the roundelays Of joyous birds, and in the song Of waters, murmuring along The paths of peace, whose flowery fringe Has roses finding deeper tinge Of crimson, looking on themselves Reflected--leaning from the shelves Of cliff and crag and mossy mound Of emerald splendor shadow-drowned.
-- We hail thy presence, as you come With bugle blast and rolling drum, And booming guns and shouts of glee Commingled in a symphony That thrills the worlds that throng to see The glory of thy pageantry.
0And with thy praise, we breathe a prayer That God who leaves you in our care May favor us from this day on With thy dear presence--till the dawn Of Heaven, breaking on thy face, Lights up thy first abiding place.

Written by Countee Cullen | Create an image from this poem


 What is Africa to me:
Copper sun or scarlet sea,
Jungle star or jungle track,
Strong bronzed men, or regal black
Women from whose loins I sprang
When the birds of Eden sang?
One three centuries removed
From the scenes his fathers loved,
Spicy grove, cinnamon tree,
What is Africa to me?

So I lie, who all day long
Want no sound except the song
Sung by wild barbaric birds
Goading massive jungle herds,
Juggernauts of flesh that pass
Trampling tall defiant grass
Where young forest lovers lie,
Plighting troth beneath the sky.
So I lie, who always hear, Though I cram against my ear Both my thumbs, and keep them there, Great drums throbbing through the air.
So I lie, whose fount of pride, Dear distress, and joy allied, Is my somber flesh and skin, With the dark blood dammed within Like great pulsing tides of wine That, I fear, must burst the fine Channels of the chafing net Where they surge and foam and fret.
Africa?A book one thumbs Listlessly, till slumber comes.
Unremembered are her bats Circling through the night, her cats Crouching in the river reeds, Stalking gentle flesh that feeds By the river brink; no more Does the bugle-throated roar Cry that monarch claws have leapt From the scabbards where they slept.
Silver snakes that once a year Doff the lovely coats you wear, Seek no covert in your fear Lest a mortal eye should see; What's your nakedness to me? Here no leprous flowers rear Fierce corollas in the air; Here no bodies sleek and wet, Dripping mingled rain and sweat, Tread the savage measures of Jungle boys and girls in love.
What is last year's snow to me, Last year's anything?The tree Budding yearly must forget How its past arose or set­­ Bough and blossom, flower, fruit, Even what shy bird with mute Wonder at her travail there, Meekly labored in its hair.
One three centuries removed From the scenes his fathers loved, Spicy grove, cinnamon tree, What is Africa to me? So I lie, who find no peace Night or day, no slight release From the unremittent beat Made by cruel padded feet Walking through my body's street.
Up and down they go, and back, Treading out a jungle track.
So I lie, who never quite Safely sleep from rain at night-- I can never rest at all When the rain begins to fall; Like a soul gone mad with pain I must match its weird refrain; Ever must I twist and squirm, Writhing like a baited worm, While its primal measures drip Through my body, crying, "Strip! Doff this new exuberance.
Come and dance the Lover's Dance!" In an old remembered way Rain works on me night and day.
Quaint, outlandish heathen gods Black men fashion out of rods, Clay, and brittle bits of stone, In a likeness like their own, My conversion came high-priced; I belong to Jesus Christ, Preacher of humility; Heathen gods are naught to me.
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, So I make an idle boast; Jesus of the twice-turned cheek, Lamb of God, although I speak With my mouth thus, in my heart Do I play a double part.
Ever at Thy glowing altar Must my heart grow sick and falter, Wishing He I served were black, Thinking then it would not lack Precedent of pain to guide it, Let who would or might deride it; Surely then this flesh would know Yours had borne a kindred woe.
Lord, I fashion dark gods, too, Daring even to give You Dark despairing features where, Crowned with dark rebellious hair, Patience wavers just so much as Mortal grief compels, while touches Quick and hot, of anger, rise To smitten cheek and weary eyes.
Lord, forgive me if my need Sometimes shapes a human creed.
All day long and all night through, One thing only must I do: Quench my pride and cool my blood, Lest I perish in the flood.
Lest a hidden ember set Timber that I thought was wet Burning like the dryest flax, Melting like the merest wax, Lest the grave restore its dead.
Not yet has my heart or head In the least way realized They and I are civilized.
Written by Erica Jong | Create an image from this poem


 The lover in these poems
is me;
the doctor,
He appears as husband, lover analyst & muse, as father, son & maybe even God & surely death.
All this is true.
The man you turn to in the dark is many men.
This is an open secret women share & yet agree to hide as if they might then hide it from themselves.
I will not hide.
I write in the nude.
I name names.
I am I.
The doctor's name is Love.
Written by Joyce Kilmer | Create an image from this poem

The Twelve-Forty-Five

 (For Edward J.
Wheeler) Within the Jersey City shed The engine coughs and shakes its head, The smoke, a plume of red and white, Waves madly in the face of night.
And now the grave incurious stars Gleam on the groaning hurrying cars.
Against the kind and awful reign Of darkness, this our angry train, A noisy little rebel, pouts Its brief defiance, flames and shouts -- And passes on, and leaves no trace.
For darkness holds its ancient place, Serene and absolute, the king Unchanged, of every living thing.
The houses lie obscure and still In Rutherford and Carlton Hill.
Our lamps intensify the dark Of slumbering Passaic Park.
And quiet holds the weary feet That daily tramp through Prospect Street.
What though we clang and clank and roar Through all Passaic's streets? No door Will open, not an eye will see Who this loud vagabond may be.
Upon my crimson cushioned seat, In manufactured light and heat, I feel unnatural and mean.
Outside the towns are cool and clean; Curtained awhile from sound and sight They take God's gracious gift of night.
The stars are watchful over them.
On Clifton as on Bethlehem The angels, leaning down the sky, Shed peace and gentle dreams.
And I -- I ride, I blasphemously ride Through all the silent countryside.
The engine's shriek, the headlight's glare, Pollute the still nocturnal air.
The cottages of Lake View sigh And sleeping, frown as we pass by.
Why, even strident Paterson Rests quietly as any nun.
Her foolish warring children keep The grateful armistice of sleep.
For what tremendous errand's sake Are we so blatantly awake? What precious secret is our freight? What king must be abroad so late? Perhaps Death roams the hills to-night And we rush forth to give him fight.
Or else, perhaps, we speed his way To some remote unthinking prey.
Perhaps a woman writhes in pain And listens -- listens for the train! The train, that like an angel sings, The train, with healing on its wings.
Now "Hawthorne!" the conductor cries.
My neighbor starts and rubs his eyes.
He hurries yawning through the car And steps out where the houses are.
This is the reason of our quest! Not wantonly we break the rest Of town and village, nor do we Lightly profane night's sanctity.
What Love commands the train fulfills, And beautiful upon the hills Are these our feet of burnished steel.
Subtly and certainly I feel That Glen Rock welcomes us to her And silent Ridgewood seems to stir And smile, because she knows the train Has brought her children back again.
We carry people home -- and so God speeds us, wheresoe'er we go.
Hohokus, Waldwick, Allendale Lift sleepy heads to give us hail.
In Ramsey, Mahwah, Suffern stand Houses that wistfully demand A father -- son -- some human thing That this, the midnight train, may bring.
The trains that travel in the day They hurry folks to work or play.
The midnight train is slow and old But of it let this thing be told, To its high honor be it said It carries people home to bed.
My cottage lamp shines white and clear.
God bless the train that brought me here.
Written by Edna St Vincent Millay | Create an image from this poem

The Blue-Flag In The Bog

 God had called us, and we came;
Our loved Earth to ashes left;
Heaven was a neighbor's house,
Open to us, bereft.
Gay the lights of Heaven showed, And 'twas God who walked ahead; Yet I wept along the road, Wanting my own house instead.
Wept unseen, unheeded cried, "All you things my eyes have kissed, Fare you well! We meet no more, Lovely, lovely tattered mist! Weary wings that rise and fall All day long above the fire!"— Red with heat was every wall, Rough with heat was every wire— "Fare you well, you little winds That the flying embers chase! Fare you well, you shuddering day, With your hands before your face! And, ah, blackened by strange blight, Or to a false sun unfurled, Now forevermore goodbye, All the gardens in the world! On the windless hills of Heaven, That I have no wish to see, White, eternal lilies stand, By a lake of ebony.
But the Earth forevermore Is a place where nothing grows,— Dawn will come, and no bud break; Evening, and no blossom close.
Spring will come, and wander slow Over an indifferent land, Stand beside an empty creek, Hold a dead seed in her hand.
" God had called us, and we came, But the blessed road I trod Was a bitter road to me, And at heart I questioned God.
"Though in Heaven," I said, "be all That the heart would most desire, Held Earth naught save souls of sinners Worth the saving from a fire? Withered grass,—the wasted growing! Aimless ache of laden boughs!" Little things God had forgotten Called me, from my burning house.
"Though in Heaven," I said, "be all That the eye could ask to see, All the things I ever knew Are this blaze in back of me.
" "Though in Heaven," I said, "be all That the ear could think to lack, All the things I ever knew Are this roaring at my back.
" It was God who walked ahead, Like a shepherd to the fold; In his footsteps fared the weak, And the weary and the old, Glad enough of gladness over, Ready for the peace to be,— But a thing God had forgotten Was the growing bones of me.
And I drew a bit apart, And I lagged a bit behind, And I thought on Peace Eternal, Lest He look into my mind: And I gazed upon the sky, And I thought of Heavenly Rest,— And I slipped away like water Through the fingers of the blest! All their eyes were fixed on Glory, Not a glance brushed over me; "Alleluia! Alleluia!" Up the road,—and I was free.
And my heart rose like a freshet, And it swept me on before, Giddy as a whirling stick, Till I felt the earth once more.
All the earth was charred and black, Fire had swept from pole to pole; And the bottom of the sea Was as brittle as a bowl; And the timbered mountain-top Was as naked as a skull,— Nothing left, nothing left, Of the Earth so beautiful! "Earth," I said, "how can I leave you?" "You are all I have," I said; "What is left to take my mind up, Living always, and you dead?" "Speak!" I said, "Oh, tell me something! Make a sign that I can see! For a keepsake! To keep always! Quick!—before God misses me!" And I listened for a voice;— But my heart was all I heard; Not a screech-owl, not a loon, Not a tree-toad said a word.
And I waited for a sign;— Coals and cinders, nothing more; And a little cloud of smoke Floating on a valley floor.
And I peered into the smoke Till it rotted, like a fog:— There, encompassed round by fire, Stood a blue-flag in a bog! Little flames came wading out, Straining, straining towards its stem, But it was so blue and tall That it scorned to think of them! Red and thirsty were their tongues, As the tongues of wolves must be, But it was so blue and tall— Oh, I laughed, I cried, to see! All my heart became a tear, All my soul became a tower, Never loved I anything As I loved that tall blue flower! It was all the little boats That had ever sailed the sea, It was all the little books That had gone to school with me; On its roots like iron claws Rearing up so blue and tall,— It was all the gallant Earth With its back against a wall! In a breath, ere I had breathed,— Oh, I laughed, I cried, to see!— I was kneeling at its side, And it leaned its head on me! Crumbling stones and sliding sand Is the road to Heaven now; Icy at my straining knees Drags the awful under-tow; Soon but stepping-stones of dust Will the road to Heaven be,— Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Reach a hand and rescue me! "There—there, my blue-flag flower; Hush—hush—go to sleep; That is only God you hear, Counting up His folded sheep! Lullabye—lullabye— That is only God that calls, Missing me, seeking me, Ere the road to nothing falls! He will set His mighty feet Firmly on the sliding sand; Like a little frightened bird I will creep into His hand; I will tell Him all my grief, I will tell Him all my sin; He will give me half His robe For a cloak to wrap you in.
Lullabye—lullabye—" Rocks the burnt-out planet free!— Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Reach a hand and rescue me! Ah, the voice of love at last! Lo, at last the face of light! And the whole of His white robe For a cloak against the night! And upon my heart asleep All the things I ever knew!— "Holds Heaven not some cranny, Lord, For a flower so tall and blue?" All's well and all's well! Gay the lights of Heaven show! In some moist and Heavenly place We will set it out to grow.