Best Famous Fox Poems

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

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12
Written by James Tate | Create an image from this poem

Dream On

 Some people go their whole lives
without ever writing a single poem.
Extraordinary people who don't hesitate to cut somebody's heart or skull open.
They go to baseball games with the greatest of ease.
and play a few rounds of golf as if it were nothing.
These same people stroll into a church as if that were a natural part of life.
Investing money is second nature to them.
They contribute to political campaigns that have absolutely no poetry in them and promise none for the future.
They sit around the dinner table at night and pretend as though nothing is missing.
Their children get caught shoplifting at the mall and no one admits that it is poetry they are missing.
The family dog howls all night, lonely and starving for more poetry in his life.
Why is it so difficult for them to see that, without poetry, their lives are effluvial.
Sure, they have their banquets, their celebrations, croquet, fox hunts, their sea shores and sunsets, their cocktails on the balcony, dog races, and all that kissing and hugging, and don't forget the good deeds, the charity work, nursing the baby squirrels all through the night, filling the birdfeeders all winter, helping the stranger change her tire.
Still, there's that disagreeable exhalation from decaying matter, subtle but everpresent.
They walk around erect like champions.
They are smooth-spoken and witty.
When alone, rare occasion, they stare into the mirror for hours, bewildered.
There was something they meant to say, but didn't: "And if we put the statue of the rhinoceros next to the tweezers, and walk around the room three times, learn to yodel, shave our heads, call our ancestors back from the dead--" poetrywise it's still a bust, bankrupt.
You haven't scribbled a syllable of it.
You're a nowhere man misfiring the very essence of your life, flustering nothing from nothing and back again.
The hereafter may not last all that long.
Radiant childhood sweetheart, secret code of everlasting joy and sorrow, fanciful pen strokes beneath the eyelids: all day, all night meditation, knot of hope, kernel of desire, pure ordinariness of life seeking, through poetry, a benediction or a bed to lie down on, to connect, reveal, explore, to imbue meaning on the day's extravagant labor.
And yet it's cruel to expect too much.
It's a rare species of bird that refuses to be categorized.
Its song is barely audible.
It is like a dragonfly in a dream-- here, then there, then here again, low-flying amber-wing darting upward then out of sight.
And the dream has a pain in its heart the wonders of which are manifold, or so the story is told.
Written by Edward Taylor | Create an image from this poem

Dream On

 Some people go their whole lives
without ever writing a single poem.
Extraordinary people who don't hesitate to cut somebody's heart or skull open.
They go to baseball games with the greatest of ease.
and play a few rounds of golf as if it were nothing.
These same people stroll into a church as if that were a natural part of life.
Investing money is second nature to them.
They contribute to political campaigns that have absolutely no poetry in them and promise none for the future.
They sit around the dinner table at night and pretend as though nothing is missing.
Their children get caught shoplifting at the mall and no one admits that it is poetry they are missing.
The family dog howls all night, lonely and starving for more poetry in his life.
Why is it so difficult for them to see that, without poetry, their lives are effluvial.
Sure, they have their banquets, their celebrations, croquet, fox hunts, their sea shores and sunsets, their cocktails on the balcony, dog races, and all that kissing and hugging, and don't forget the good deeds, the charity work, nursing the baby squirrels all through the night, filling the birdfeeders all winter, helping the stranger change her tire.
Still, there's that disagreeable exhalation from decaying matter, subtle but everpresent.
They walk around erect like champions.
They are smooth-spoken and witty.
When alone, rare occasion, they stare into the mirror for hours, bewildered.
There was something they meant to say, but didn't: "And if we put the statue of the rhinoceros next to the tweezers, and walk around the room three times, learn to yodel, shave our heads, call our ancestors back from the dead--" poetrywise it's still a bust, bankrupt.
You haven't scribbled a syllable of it.
You're a nowhere man misfiring the very essence of your life, flustering nothing from nothing and back again.
The hereafter may not last all that long.
Radiant childhood sweetheart, secret code of everlasting joy and sorrow, fanciful pen strokes beneath the eyelids: all day, all night meditation, knot of hope, kernel of desire, pure ordinariness of life seeking, through poetry, a benediction or a bed to lie down on, to connect, reveal, explore, to imbue meaning on the day's extravagant labor.
And yet it's cruel to expect too much.
It's a rare species of bird that refuses to be categorized.
Its song is barely audible.
It is like a dragonfly in a dream-- here, then there, then here again, low-flying amber-wing darting upward then out of sight.
And the dream has a pain in its heart the wonders of which are manifold, or so the story is told.
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

The Double Image

 1.
I am thirty this November.
You are still small, in your fourth year.
We stand watching the yellow leaves go queer, flapping in the winter rain.
falling flat and washed.
And I remember mostly the three autumns you did not live here.
They said I'd never get you back again.
I tell you what you'll never really know: all the medical hypothesis that explained my brain will never be as true as these struck leaves letting go.
I, who chose two times to kill myself, had said your nickname the mewling mouths when you first came; until a fever rattled in your throat and I moved like a pantomine above your head.
Ugly angels spoke to me.
The blame, I heard them say, was mine.
They tattled like green witches in my head, letting doom leak like a broken faucet; as if doom had flooded my belly and filled your bassinet, an old debt I must assume.
Death was simpler than I'd thought.
The day life made you well and whole I let the witches take away my guilty soul.
I pretended I was dead until the white men pumped the poison out, putting me armless and washed through the rigamarole of talking boxes and the electric bed.
I laughed to see the private iron in that hotel.
Today the yellow leaves go queer.
You ask me where they go I say today believed in itself, or else it fell.
Today, my small child, Joyce, love your self's self where it lives.
There is no special God to refer to; or if there is, why did I let you grow in another place.
You did not know my voice when I came back to call.
All the superlatives of tomorrow's white tree and mistletoe will not help you know the holidays you had to miss.
The time I did not love myself, I visited your shoveled walks; you held my glove.
There was new snow after this.
2.
They sent me letters with news of you and I made moccasins that I would never use.
When I grew well enough to tolerate myself, I lived with my mother, the witches said.
But I didn't leave.
I had my portrait done instead.
Part way back from Bedlam I came to my mother's house in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
And this is how I came to catch at her; and this is how I lost her.
I cannot forgive your suicide, my mother said.
And she never could.
She had my portrait done instead.
I lived like an angry guest, like a partly mended thing, an outgrown child.
I remember my mother did her best.
She took me to Boston and had my hair restyled.
Your smile is like your mother's, the artist said.
I didn't seem to care.
I had my portrait done instead.
There was a church where I grew up with its white cupboards where they locked us up, row by row, like puritans or shipmates singing together.
My father passed the plate.
Too late to be forgiven now, the witches said.
I wasn't exactly forgiven.
They had my portrait done instead.
3.
All that summer sprinklers arched over the seaside grass.
We talked of drought while the salt-parched field grew sweet again.
To help time pass I tried to mow the lawn and in the morning I had my portrait done, holding my smile in place, till it grew formal.
Once I mailed you a picture of a rabbit and a postcard of Motif number one, as if it were normal to be a mother and be gone.
They hung my portrait in the chill north light, matching me to keep me well.
Only my mother grew ill.
She turned from me, as if death were catching, as if death transferred, as if my dying had eaten inside of her.
That August you were two, by I timed my days with doubt.
On the first of September she looked at me and said I gave her cancer.
They carved her sweet hills out and still I couldn't answer.
4.
That winter she came part way back from her sterile suite of doctors, the seasick cruise of the X-ray, the cells' arithmetic gone wild.
Surgery incomplete, the fat arm, the prognosis poor, I heard them say.
During the sea blizzards she had here own portrait painted.
A cave of mirror placed on the south wall; matching smile, matching contour.
And you resembled me; unacquainted with my face, you wore it.
But you were mine after all.
I wintered in Boston, childless bride, nothing sweet to spare with witches at my side.
I missed your babyhood, tried a second suicide, tried the sealed hotel a second year.
On April Fool you fooled me.
We laughed and this was good.
5.
I checked out for the last time on the first of May; graduate of the mental cases, with my analysts's okay, my complete book of rhymes, my typewriter and my suitcases.
All that summer I learned life back into my own seven rooms, visited the swan boats, the market, answered the phone, served cocktails as a wife should, made love among my petticoats and August tan.
And you came each weekend.
But I lie.
You seldom came.
I just pretended you, small piglet, butterfly girl with jelly bean cheeks, disobedient three, my splendid stranger.
And I had to learn why I would rather die than love, how your innocence would hurt and how I gather guilt like a young intern his symptons, his certain evidence.
That October day we went to Gloucester the red hills reminded me of the dry red fur fox coat I played in as a child; stock still like a bear or a tent, like a great cave laughing or a red fur fox.
We drove past the hatchery, the hut that sells bait, past Pigeon Cove, past the Yacht Club, past Squall's Hill, to the house that waits still, on the top of the sea, and two portraits hung on the opposite walls.
6.
In north light, my smile is held in place, the shadow marks my bone.
What could I have been dreaming as I sat there, all of me waiting in the eyes, the zone of the smile, the young face, the foxes' snare.
In south light, her smile is held in place, her cheeks wilting like a dry orchid; my mocking mirror, my overthrown love, my first image.
She eyes me from that face that stony head of death I had outgrown.
The artist caught us at the turning; we smiled in our canvas home before we chose our foreknown separate ways.
The dry redfur fox coat was made for burning.
I rot on the wall, my own Dorian Gray.
And this was the cave of the mirror, that double woman who stares at herself, as if she were petrified in time -- two ladies sitting in umber chairs.
You kissed your grandmother and she cried.
7.
I could not get you back except for weekends.
You came each time, clutching the picture of a rabbit that I had sent you.
For the last time I unpack your things.
We touch from habit.
The first visit you asked my name.
Now you will stay for good.
I will forget how we bumped away from each other like marionettes on strings.
It wasn't the same as love, letting weekends contain us.
You scrape your knee.
You learn my name, wobbling up the sidewalk, calling and crying.
You can call me mother and I remember my mother again, somewhere in greater Boston, dying.
I remember we named you Joyce so we could call you Joy.
You came like an awkward guest that first time, all wrapped and moist and strange at my heavy breast.
I needed you.
I didn't want a boy, only a girl, a small milky mouse of a girl, already loved, already loud in the house of herself.
We named you Joy.
I, who was never quite sure about being a girl, needed another life, another image to remind me.
And this was my worst guilt; you could not cure or soothe it.
I made you to find me.
Written by Wendell Berry | Create an image from this poem

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

 Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay.
Want more of everything ready-made.
Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery any more.
Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something they will call you.
When they want you to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something that won't compute.
Love the Lord.
Love the world.
Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace the flag.
Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot understand.
Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium.
Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit.
Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years.
Listen to carrion -- put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world.
Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable.
Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth? Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade.
Rest your head in her lap.
Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it.
Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go.
Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.
Written by Amy Clampitt | Create an image from this poem

A Silence

 past parentage or gender
beyond sung vocables
the slipped-between
the so infinitesimal
fault line
a limitless
interiority

beyond the woven
unicorn the maiden
(man-carved worm-eaten)
God at her hip
incipient
the untransfigured
cottontail
bluebell and primrose
growing wild a strawberry
chagrin night terrors
past the earthlit
unearthly masquerade

(we shall be changed)

a silence opens

 *

the larval feeder
naked hairy ravenous
inventing from within
itself its own
raw stuffs'
hooked silk-hung
relinquishment

behind the mask
the milkfat shivering
sinew isinglass
uncrumpling transient
greed to reinvest

 *

names have been
given (revelation
kif nirvana
syncope) for
whatever gift
unasked
gives birth to

torrents
fixities
reincarnations of
the angels
Joseph Smith
enduring
martyrdom

a cavernous
compunction driving
founder-charlatans
who saw in it
the infinite
love of God
and had
(George Fox
was one)
great openings
Written by Siegfried Sassoon | Create an image from this poem

The Old Huntsman

 I’ve never ceased to curse the day I signed 
A seven years’ bargain for the Golden Fleece.
’Twas a bad deal all round; and dear enough It cost me, what with my daft management, And the mean folk as owed and never paid me, And backing losers; and the local bucks Egging me on with whiskys while I bragged The man I was when huntsman to the Squire.
I’d have been prosperous if I’d took a farm Of fifty acres, drove my gig and haggled At Monday markets; now I’ve squandered all My savings; nigh three hundred pound I got As testimonial when I’d grown too stiff And slow to press a beaten fox.
The Fleece! ’Twas the damned Fleece that wore my Emily out, The wife of thirty years who served me well; (Not like this beldam clattering in the kitchen, That never trims a lamp nor sweeps the floor, And brings me greasy soup in a foul crock.
) Blast the old harridan! What’s fetched her now, Leaving me in the dark, and short of fire? And where’s my pipe? ’Tis lucky I’ve a turn For thinking, and remembering all that’s past.
And now’s my hour, before I hobble to bed, To set the works a-wheezing, wind the clock That keeps the time of life with feeble tick Behind my bleared old face that stares and wonders.
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It’s queer how, in the dark, comes back to mind Some morning of September.
We’ve been digging In a steep sandy warren, riddled with holes, And I’ve just pulled the terrier out and left A sharp-nosed cub-face blinking there and snapping, Then in a moment seen him mobbed and torn To strips in the baying hurly of the pack.
I picture it so clear: the dusty sunshine On bracken, and the men with spades, that wipe Red faces: one tilts up a mug of ale.
And, having stopped to clean my gory hands, I whistle the jostling beauties out of the wood.
I’m but a daft old fool! I often wish The Squire were back again—ah! he was a man! They don’t breed men like him these days; he’d come For sure, and sit and talk and suck his briar Till the old wife brings up a dish of tea.
Ay, those were days, when I was serving Squire! I never knowed such sport as ’85, The winter afore the one that snowed us silly.
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Once in a way the parson will drop in And read a bit o’ the Bible, if I’m bad, And pray the Lord to make my spirit whole In faith: he leaves some ’baccy on the shelf, And wonders I don’t keep a dog to cheer me Because he knows I’m mortal fond of dogs! I ask you, what’s a gent like that to me As wouldn’t know Elijah if I saw him, Nor have the wit to keep him on the talk? ’Tis kind of parson to be troubling still With such as me; but he’s a town-bred chap, Full of his college notions and Christmas hymns.
Religion beats me.
I’m amazed at folk Drinking the gospels in and never scratching Their heads for questions.
When I was a lad I learned a bit from mother, and never thought To educate myself for prayers and psalms.
But now I’m old and bald and serious-minded, With days to sit and ponder.
I’d no chance When young and gay to get the hang of all This Hell and Heaven: and when the clergy hoick And holloa from their pulpits, I’m asleep, However hard I listen; and when they pray It seems we’re all like children sucking sweets In school, and wondering whether master sees.
I used to dream of Hell when I was first Promoted to a huntsman’s job, and scent Was rotten, and all the foxes disappeared, And hounds were short of blood; and officers From barracks over-rode ’em all day long On weedy, whistling nags that knocked a hole In every fence; good sportsmen to a man And brigadiers by now, but dreadful hard On a young huntsman keen to show some sport.
Ay, Hell was thick with captains, and I rode The lumbering brute that’s beat in half a mile, And blunders into every blind old ditch.
Hell was the coldest scenting land I’ve known, And both my whips were always lost, and hounds Would never get their heads down; and a man On a great yawing chestnut trying to cast ’em While I was in a corner pounded by The ugliest hog-backed stile you’ve clapped your eyes on.
There was an iron-spiked fence round all the coverts, And civil-spoken keepers I couldn’t trust, And the main earth unstopp’d.
The fox I found Was always a three-legged ’un from a bag, Who reeked of aniseed and wouldn’t run.
The farmers were all ploughing their old pasture And bellowing at me when I rode their beans To cast for beaten fox, or galloped on With hounds to a lucky view.
I’d lost my voice Although I shouted fit to burst my guts, And couldn’t blow my horn.
And when I woke, Emily snored, and barn-cocks started crowing, And morn was at the window; and I was glad To be alive because I heard the cry Of hounds like church-bells chiming on a Sunday.
Ay, that’s the song I’d wish to hear in Heaven! The cry of hounds was Heaven for me: I know Parson would call me crazed and wrong to say it, But where’s the use of life and being glad If God’s not in your gladness? I’ve no brains For book-learned studies; but I’ve heard men say There’s much in print that clergy have to wink at: Though many I’ve met were jolly chaps, and rode To hounds, and walked me puppies; and could pick Good legs and loins and necks and shoulders, ay, And feet—’twas necks and feet I looked at first.
Some hounds I’ve known were wise as half your saints, And better hunters.
That old dog of the Duke’s, Harlequin; what a dog he was to draw! And what a note he had, and what a nose When foxes ran down wind and scent was catchy! And that light lemon bitch of the Squire’s, old Dorcas— She were a marvellous hunter, were old Dorcas! Ay, oft I’ve thought, ‘If there were hounds in Heaven, With God as master, taking no subscription; And all His bless?d country farmed by tenants, And a straight-necked old fox in every gorse!’ But when I came to work it out, I found There’d be too many huntsmen wanting places, Though some I’ve known might get a job with Nick! .
.
.
.
I’ve come to think of God as something like The figure of a man the old Duke was When I was turning hounds to Nimrod King, Before his Grace was took so bad with gout And had to quit the saddle.
Tall and spare, Clean-shaved and grey, with shrewd, kind eyes, that twinkled, And easy walk; who, when he gave good words, Gave them whole-hearted; and would never blame Without just cause.
Lord God might be like that, Sitting alone in a great room of books Some evening after hunting.
Now I’m tired With hearkening to the tick-tack on the shelf; And pondering makes me doubtful.
Riding home On a moonless night of cloud that feels like frost Though stars are hidden (hold your feet up, horse!) And thinking what a task I had to draw A pack with all those lame ’uns, and the lot Wanting a rest from all this open weather; That’s what I’m doing now.
And likely, too, The frost’ll be a long ’un, and the night One sleep.
The parsons say we’ll wake to find A country blinding-white with dazzle of snow.
The naked stars make men feel lonely, wheeling And glinting on the puddles in the road.
And then you listen to the wind, and wonder If folk are quite such bucks as they appear When dressed by London tailors, looking down Their boots at covert side, and thinking big.
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This world’s a funny place to live in.
Soon I’ll need to change my country; but I know ’Tis little enough I’ve understood my life, And a power of sights I’ve missed, and foreign marvels.
I used to feel it, riding on spring days In meadows pied with sun and chasing clouds, And half forget how I was there to catch The foxes; lose the angry, eager feeling A huntsman ought to have, that’s out for blood, And means his hounds to get it! Now I know It’s God that speaks to us when we’re bewitched, Smelling the hay in June and smiling quiet; Or when there’s been a spell of summer drought, Lying awake and listening to the rain.
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I’d like to be the simpleton I was In the old days when I was whipping-in To a little harrier-pack in Worcestershire, And loved a dairymaid, but never knew it Until she’d wed another.
So I’ve loved My life; and when the good years are gone down, Discover what I’ve lost.
I never broke Out of my blundering self into the world, But let it all go past me, like a man Half asleep in a land that’s full of wars.
What a grand thing ’twould be if I could go Back to the kennels now and take my hounds For summer exercise; be riding out With forty couple when the quiet skies Are streaked with sunrise, and the silly birds Grown hoarse with singing; cobwebs on the furze Up on the hill, and all the country strange, With no one stirring; and the horses fresh, Sniffing the air I’ll never breathe again.
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.
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You’ve brought the lamp, then, Martha? I’ve no mind For newspaper to-night, nor bread and cheese.
Give me the candle, and I’ll get to bed.
Written by John Greenleaf Whittier | Create an image from this poem

The Sycamores

 In the outskirts of the village 
On the river's winding shores 
Stand the Occidental plane-trees, 
Stand the ancient sycamores.
One long century hath been numbered, And another half-way told Since the rustic Irish gleeman Broke for them the virgin mould.
Deftly set to Celtic music At his violin's sound they grew, Through the moonlit eves of summer, Making Amphion's fable true.
Rise again, thou poor Hugh Tallant! Pass in erkin green along With thy eyes brim full of laughter, And thy mouth as full of song.
Pioneer of Erin's outcasts With his fiddle and his pack- Little dreamed the village Saxons Of the myriads at his back.
How he wrought with spade and fiddle, Delved by day and sang by night, With a hand that never wearied And a heart forever light,--- Still the gay tradition mingles With a record grave and drear Like the rollic air of Cluny With the solemn march of Mear.
When the box-tree, white with blossoms, Made the sweet May woodlands glad, And the Aronia by the river Lighted up the swarming shad, And the bulging nets swept shoreward With their silver-sided haul, Midst the shouts of dripping fishers, He was merriest of them all.
When, among the jovial huskers Love stole in at Labor's side With the lusty airs of England Soft his Celtic measures vied.
Songs of love and wailing lyke-wake And the merry fair's carouse; Of the wild Red Fox of Erin And the Woman of Three Cows, By the blazing hearths of winter Pleasant seemed his simple tales, Midst the grimmer Yorkshire legends And the mountain myths of Wales.
How the souls in Purgatory Scrambled up from fate forlorn On St.
Keven's sackcloth ladder Slyly hitched to Satan's horn.
Of the fiddler who at Tara Played all night to ghosts of kings; Of the brown dwarfs, and the fairies Dancing in their moorland rings! Jolliest of our birds of singing Best he loved the Bob-o-link.
"Hush!" he'd say, "the tipsy fairies! Hear the little folks in drink!" Merry-faced, with spade and fiddle, Singing through the ancient town, Only this, of poor Hugh Tallant Hath Tradtion handed down.
Not a stone his grave discloses; But if yet his spirit walks Tis beneath the trees he planted And when Bob-o-Lincoln talks.
Green memorials of the gleeman! Linking still the river-shores, With their shadows cast by sunset Stand Hugh Tallant's sycamores! When the Father of his Country Through the north-land riding came And the roofs were starred with banners, And the steeples rang acclaim,--- When each war-scarred Continental Leaving smithy, mill,.
and farm, Waved his rusted sword in welcome, And shot off his old king's-arm,--- Slowly passed that august Presence Down the thronged and shouting street; Village girls as white as angels Scattering flowers around his feet.
Midway, where the plane-tree's shadow Deepest fell, his rein he drew: On his stately head, uncovered, Cool and soft the west-wind blew.
And he stood up in his stirrups, Looking up and looking down On the hills of Gold and Silver Rimming round the little town,--- On the river, full of sunshine, To the lap of greenest vales Winding down from wooded headlands, Willow-skirted, white with sails.
And he said, the landscape sweeping Slowly with his ungloved hand "I have seen no prospect fairer In this goodly Eastern land.
" Then the bugles of his escort Stirred to life the cavalcade: And that head, so bare and stately Vanished down the depths of shade.
Ever since, in town and farm-house, Life has had its ebb and flow; Thrice hath passed the human harvest To its garner green and low.
But the trees the gleeman planted, Through the changes, changeless stand; As the marble calm of Tadmor Mocks the deserts shifting sand.
Still the level moon at rising Silvers o'er each stately shaft; Still beneath them, half in shadow, Singing, glides the pleasure craft; Still beneath them, arm-enfolded, Love and Youth together stray; While, as heart to heart beats faster, More and more their feet delay.
Where the ancient cobbler, Keezar, On the open hillside justice wrought, Singing, as he drew his stitches, Songs his German masters taught.
Singing, with his gray hair floating Round a rosy ample face,--- Now a thousand Saxon craftsmen Stitch and hammer in his place.
All the pastoral lanes so grassy Now are Traffic's dusty streets; From the village, grown a city, Fast the rural grace retreats.
But, still green and tall and stately, On the river's winding shores, Stand the occidental plane-trees, Stand Hugh Tallant's sycamores.
Written by Robert Frost | Create an image from this poem

Wild Grapes

 What tree may not the fig be gathered from?  
The grape may not be gathered from the birch?
It's all you know the grape, or know the birch.
As a girl gathered from the birch myself Equally with my weight in grapes, one autumn, I ought to know what tree the grape is fruit of.
I was born, I suppose, like anyone, And grew to be a little boyish girl My brother could not always leave at home.
But that beginning was wiped out in fear The day I swung suspended with the grapes, And was come after like Eurydice And brought down safely from the upper regions; And the life I live now's an extra life I can waste as I please on whom I please.
So if you see me celebrate two birthdays, And give myself out of two different ages, One of them five years younger than I look- One day my brother led me to a glade Where a white birch he knew of stood alone, Wearing a thin head-dress of pointed leaves, And heavy on her heavy hair behind, Against her neck, an ornament of grapes.
Grapes, I knew grapes from having seen them last year.
One bunch of them, and there began to be Bunches all round me growing in white birches, The way they grew round Leif the Lucky's German; Mostly as much beyond my lifted hands, though, As the moon used to seem when I was younger, And only freely to be had for climbing.
My brother did the climbing; and at first Threw me down grapes to miss and scatter And have to hunt for in sweet fern and hardhack; Which gave him some time to himself to eat, But not so much, perhaps, as a boy needed.
So then, to make me wholly self-supporting, He climbed still higher and bent the tree to earth And put it in my hands to pick my own grapes.
"Here, take a tree-top, I'll get down another.
Hold on with all your might when I let go.
" I said I had the tree.
It wasn't true.
The opposite was true.
The tree had me.
The minute it was left with me alone It caught me up as if I were the fish And it the fishpole.
So I was translated To loud cries from my brother of "Let go! Don't you know anything, you girl? Let go!" But I, with something of the baby grip Acquired ancestrally in just such trees When wilder mothers than our wildest now Hung babies out on branches by the hands To dry or wash or tan, I don't know which, (You'll have to ask an evolutionist)- I held on uncomplainingly for life.
My brother tried to make me laugh to help me.
"What are you doing up there in those grapes? Don't be afraid.
A few of them won't hurt you.
I mean, they won't pick you if you don't them.
" Much danger of my picking anything! By that time I was pretty well reduced To a philosophy of hang-and-let-hang.
"Now you know how it feels," my brother said, "To be a bunch of fox-grapes, as they call them, That when it thinks it has escaped the fox By growing where it shouldn't-on a birch, Where a fox wouldn't think to look for it- And if he looked and found it, couldn't reach it- Just then come you and I to gather it.
Only you have the advantage of the grapes In one way: you have one more stem to cling by, And promise more resistance to the picker.
" One by one I lost off my hat and shoes, And still I clung.
I let my head fall back, And shut my eyes against the sun, my ears Against my brother's nonsense; "Drop," he said, "I'll catch you in my arms.
It isn't far.
" (Stated in lengths of him it might not be.
) "Drop or I'll shake the tree and shake you down.
" Grim silence on my part as I sank lower, My small wrists stretching till they showed the banjo strings.
"Why, if she isn't serious about it! Hold tight awhile till I think what to do.
I'll bend the tree down and let you down by it.
" I don't know much about the letting down; But once I felt ground with my stocking feet And the world came revolving back to me, I know I looked long at my curled-up fingers, Before I straightened them and brushed the bark off.
My brother said: "Don't you weigh anything? Try to weigh something next time, so you won't Be run off with by birch trees into space.
" It wasn't my not weighing anything So much as my not knowing anything- My brother had been nearer right before.
I had not taken the first step in knowledge; I had not learned to let go with the hands, As still I have not learned to with the heart, And have no wish to with the heart-nor need, That I can see.
The mind-is not the heart.
I may yet live, as I know others live, To wish in vain to let go with the mind- Of cares, at night, to sleep; but nothing tells me That I need learn to let go with the heart.
Written by William Shakespeare | Create an image from this poem

from Venus and Adonis

 But, lo! from forth a copse that neighbours by,
A breeding jennet, lusty, young, and proud,
Adonis' trampling courser doth espy,
And forth she rushes, snorts and neighs aloud;
The strong-neck'd steed, being tied unto a tree,
Breaketh his rein, and to her straight goes he.
Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds, And now his woven girths he breaks asunder; The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds, Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven's thunder; The iron bit he crushes 'tween his teeth Controlling what he was controlled with.
His ears up-prick'd; his braided hanging mane Upon his compass'd crest now stand on end; His nostrils drink the air, and forth again, As from a furnace, vapours doth he send: His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire, Shows his hot courage and his high desire.
Sometime her trots, as if he told the steps, With gentle majesty and modest pride; Anon he rears upright, curvets and leaps, As who should say, 'Lo! thus my strength is tried; And this I do to captivate the eye Of the fair breeder that is standing by.
' What recketh he his rider's angry stir, His flattering 'Holla,' or his 'Stand, I say?' What cares he now for curb of pricking spur? For rich caparisons or trapping gay? He sees his love, and nothing else he sees, Nor nothing else with his proud sight agrees.
Look, when a painter would surpass the life, In limning out a well-proportion'd steed, His art with nature's workmanship at strife, As if the dead the living should exceed; So did this horse excel a common one, In shape, in courage, colour, pace and bone Round-hoof'd, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long, Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostril wide, High crest, short ears, straight legs and passing strong, Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide: Look, what a horse should have he did not lack, Save a proud rider on so proud a back.
Sometimes he scuds far off, and there he stares; Anon he starts at stirring of a feather; To bid the wind a race he now prepares, And whe'r he run or fly they know not whether; For through his mane and tail the high wind sings, Fanning the hairs, who wave like feather'd wings.
He looks upon his love, and neighs unto her; She answers him as if she knew his mind; Being proud, as females are, to see him woo her, She puts on outward strangeness, seems unkind, Spurns at his love and scorns the heat he feels, Beating his kind embracements with her heels.
Then, like a melancholy malcontent, He vails his tail that, like a falling plume Cool shadow to his melting buttock lent: He stamps, and bites the poor flies in his fume.
His love, perceiving how he is enrag'd, Grew kinder, and his fury was assuag'd.
His testy master goeth about to take him; When lo! the unback'd breeder, full of fear, Jealous of catching, swiftly doth forsake him, With her the horse, and left Adonis there.
As they were mad, unto the wood they hie them, Out-stripping crows that strive to over-fly them.
I prophesy they death, my living sorrow, If thou encounter with the boar to-morrow.
"But if thou needs wilt hunt, be rul'd by me; Uncouple at the timorous flying hare, Or at the fox which lives by subtlety, Or at the roe which no encounter dare: Pursue these fearful creatures o'er the downs, And on they well-breath'd horse keep with they hounds.
"And when thou hast on food the purblind hare, Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot his troubles How he outruns with winds, and with what care He cranks and crosses with a thousand doubles: The many musits through the which he goes Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes.
"Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep, To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell, And sometime where earth-delving conies keep, To stop the loud pursuers in their yell, And sometime sorteth with a herd of deer; Danger deviseth shifts; wit waits on fear: "For there his smell with other being mingled, The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt, Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled With much ado the cold fault cleanly out; Then do they spend their mouths: Echo replies, As if another chase were in the skies.
"By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill, Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear, To hearken if his foes pursue him still: Anon their loud alarums he doth hear; And now his grief may be compared well To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell.
"Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch Turn, and return, indenting with the way; Each envious briar his weary legs doth scratch, Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay: For misery is trodden on by many, And being low never reliev'd by any.
"Lie quietly, and hear a little more; Nay, do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise: To make thee hate the hunting of the boar, Unlike myself thou hear'st me moralize, Applying this to that, and so to so; For love can comment upon every woe.
"
Written by Robert Herrick | Create an image from this poem

THE COUNTRY LIFE:

 TO THE HONOURED MR ENDYMION PORTER, GROOM OF
THE BED-CHAMBER TO HIS MAJESTY

Sweet country life, to such unknown,
Whose lives are others', not their own!
But serving courts and cities, be
Less happy, less enjoying thee.
Thou never plough'st the ocean's foam To seek and bring rough pepper home: Nor to the Eastern Ind dost rove To bring from thence the scorched clove: Nor, with the loss of thy loved rest, Bring'st home the ingot from the West.
No, thy ambition's master-piece Flies no thought higher than a fleece: Or how to pay thy hinds, and clear All scores: and so to end the year: But walk'st about thine own dear bounds, Not envying others' larger grounds: For well thou know'st, 'tis not th' extent Of land makes life, but sweet content.
When now the cock (the ploughman's horn) Calls forth the lily-wristed morn; Then to thy corn-fields thou dost go, Which though well soil'd, yet thou dost know That the best compost for the lands Is the wise master's feet, and hands.
There at the plough thou find'st thy team, With a hind whistling there to them: And cheer'st them up, by singing how The kingdom's portion is the plough.
This done, then to th' enamell'd meads Thou go'st; and as thy foot there treads, Thou seest a present God-like power Imprinted in each herb and flower: And smell'st the breath of great-eyed kine, Sweet as the blossoms of the vine.
Here thou behold'st thy large sleek neat Unto the dew-laps up in meat: And, as thou look'st, the wanton steer, The heifer, cow, and ox draw near, To make a pleasing pastime there.
These seen, thou go'st to view thy flocks Of sheep, safe from the wolf and fox, And find'st their bellies there as full Of short sweet grass, as backs with wool: And leav'st them, as they feed and fill, A shepherd piping on a hill.
For sports, for pageantry, and plays, Thou hast thy eves, and holydays: On which the young men and maids meet, To exercise their dancing feet: Tripping the comely country Round, With daffadils and daisies crown'd.
Thy wakes, thy quintels, here thou hast, Thy May-poles too with garlands graced; Thy Morris-dance; thy Whitsun-ale; Thy shearing-feast, which never fail.
Thy harvest home; thy wassail bowl, That's toss'd up after Fox i' th' hole: Thy mummeries; thy Twelve-tide kings And queens; thy Christmas revellings: Thy nut-brown mirth, thy russet wit, And no man pays too dear for it.
-- To these, thou hast thy times to go And trace the hare i' th' treacherous snow: Thy witty wiles to draw, and get The lark into the trammel net: Thou hast thy cockrood, and thy glade To take the precious pheasant made: Thy lime-twigs, snares, and pit-falls then To catch the pilfering birds, not men.
--O happy life! if that their good The husbandmen but understood! Who all the day themselves do please, And younglings, with such sports as these: And lying down, have nought t' affright Sweet Sleep, that makes more short the night.
CAETERA DESUNT--
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