Best Famous Hermit Poems

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12
Written by William Wordsworth | Create an image from this poem

Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey

Five years have passed; five summers, with the length 
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur.
Once again Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs, That on a wild secluded scene impress Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose Here, under this dark sycamore, and view These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts, Which at this season, with their unripe fruits, Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves 'Mid groves and copses.
Once again I see These hedgerows, hardly hedgerows, little lines Of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms, Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke Sent up, in silence, from among the trees! With some uncertain notice, as might seem Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods, Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire The Hermit sits alone.
These beauteous forms, Through a long absence, have not been to me As is a landscape to a blind man's eye; But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din Of towns and cities, I have owed to them, In hours of weariness, sensations sweet, Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart; And passing even into my purer mind With tranquil restoration—feelings too Of unremembered pleasure; such, perhaps, As have no slight or trivial influence On that best portion of a good man's life, His little, nameless, unremembered, acts Of kindness and of love.
Nor less, I trust, To them I may have owed another gift, Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood, In which the burthen of the mystery, In which the heavy and the weary weight Of all this unintelligible world, Is lightened—that serene and blessed mood, In which the affections gently lead us on— Until, the breath of this corporeal frame And even the motion of our human blood Almost suspended, we are laid asleep In body, and become a living soul; While with an eye made quiet by the power Of harmony, and the deep power of joy, We see into the life of things.
If this Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft— In darkness and amid the many shapes Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir Unprofitable, and the fever of the world, Have hung upon the beatings of my heart— How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee, O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer through the woods, How often has my spirit turned to thee! And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought, With many recognitions dim and faint, And somewhat of a sad perplexity, The picture of the mind revives again; While here I stand, not only with the sense Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts That in this moment there is life and food For future years.
And so I dare to hope, Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first I came among these hills; when like a roe I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams, Wherever nature led—more like a man Flying from something that he dreads than one Who sought the thing he loved.
For nature then (The coarser pleasures of my boyish days And their glad animal movements all gone by) To me was all in all.
—I cannot paint What then I was.
The sounding cataract Haunted me like a passion; the tall rock, The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, Their colors and their forms, were then to me An appetite; a feeling and a love, That had no need of a remoter charm, By thought supplied, not any interest Unborrowed from the eye.
—That time is past, And all its aching joys are now no more, And all its dizzy raptures.
Not for this Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts Have followed; for such loss, I would believe, Abundant recompense.
For I have learned To look on nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes The still sad music of humanity, Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power To chasten and subdue.
And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime Of something far more deeply interfused, Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, And the round ocean and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the mind of man: A motion and a spirit, that impels All thinking things, all objects of all thought, And rolls through all things.
Therefore am I still A lover of the meadows and the woods, And mountains; and of all that we behold From this green earth; of all the mighty world Of eye, and ear—both what they half create, And what perceive; well pleased to recognize In nature and the language of the sense The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul Of all my moral being.
Nor perchance, If I were not thus taught, should I the more Suffer my genial spirits to decay: For thou art with me here upon the banks Of this fair river; thou my dearest Friend, My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I catch The language of my former heart, and read My former pleasures in the shooting lights Of thy wild eyes.
Oh! yet a little while May I behold in thee what I was once, My dear, dear Sister! and this prayer I make, Knowing that Nature never did betray The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege, Through all the years of this our life, to lead From joy to joy: for she can so inform The mind that is within us, so impress With quietness and beauty, and so feed With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues, Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men, Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all The dreary intercourse of daily life, Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold Is full of blessings.
Therefore let the moon Shine on thee in thy solitary walk; And let the misty mountain winds be free To blow against thee: and, in after years, When these wild ecstasies shall be matured Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms, Thy memory be as a dwelling place For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then, If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief, Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts Of tender joy wilt thou remember me, And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance— If I should be where I no more can hear Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams Of past existence—wilt thou then forget That on the banks of this delightful stream We stood together; and that I, so long A worshipper of Nature, hither came Unwearied in that service; rather say With warmer love—oh! with far deeper zeal Of holier love.
Nor wilt thou then forget, That after many wanderings, many years Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs, And this green pastoral landscape, were to me More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!
Written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | Create an image from this poem

The Deserted Garden

I MIND me in the days departed, 
How often underneath the sun 
With childish bounds I used to run 
To a garden long deserted.
The beds and walks were vanish'd quite; 5 And wheresoe'er had struck the spade, The greenest grasses Nature laid, To sanctify her right.
I call'd the place my wilderness, For no one enter'd there but I.
10 The sheep look'd in, the grass to espy, And pass'd it ne'ertheless.
The trees were interwoven wild, And spread their boughs enough about To keep both sheep and shepherd out, 15 But not a happy child.
Adventurous joy it was for me! I crept beneath the boughs, and found A circle smooth of mossy ground Beneath a poplar-tree.
20 Old garden rose-trees hedged it in, Bedropt with roses waxen-white, Well satisfied with dew and light, And careless to be seen.
Long years ago, it might befall, 25 When all the garden flowers were trim, The grave old gardener prided him On these the most of all.
Some Lady, stately overmuch, Here moving with a silken noise, 30 Has blush'd beside them at the voice That liken'd her to such.
Or these, to make a diadem, She often may have pluck'd and twined; Half-smiling as it came to mind, 35 That few would look at them.
O, little thought that Lady proud, A child would watch her fair white rose, When buried lay her whiter brows, And silk was changed for shroud!¡ª 40 Nor thought that gardener (full of scorns For men unlearn'd and simple phrase) A child would bring it all its praise, By creeping through the thorns! To me upon my low moss seat, 45 Though never a dream the roses sent Of science or love's compliment, I ween they smelt as sweet.
It did not move my grief to see The trace of human step departed: 50 Because the garden was deserted, The blither place for me! Friends, blame me not! a narrow ken Hath childhood 'twixt the sun and sward: We draw the moral afterward¡ª 55 We feel the gladness then.
And gladdest hours for me did glide In silence at the rose-tree wall: A thrush made gladness musical Upon the other side.
60 Nor he nor I did e'er incline To peck or pluck the blossoms white:¡ª How should I know but that they might Lead lives as glad as mine? To make my hermit-home complete, 65 I brought clear water from the spring Praised in its own low murmuring, And cresses glossy wet.
And so, I thought, my likeness grew (Without the melancholy tale) 70 To 'gentle hermit of the dale,' And Angelina too.
For oft I read within my nook Such minstrel stories; till the breeze Made sounds poetic in the trees, 75 And then I shut the book.
If I shut this wherein I write, I hear no more the wind athwart Those trees, nor feel that childish heart Delighting in delight.
80 My childhood from my life is parted, My footstep from the moss which drew Its fairy circle round: anew The garden is deserted.
Another thrush may there rehearse 85 The madrigals which sweetest are; No more for me!¡ªmyself afar Do sing a sadder verse.
Ah me! ah me! when erst I lay In that child's-nest so greenly wrought, 90 I laugh'd unto myself and thought, 'The time will pass away.
' And still I laugh'd, and did not fear But that, whene'er was pass'd away The childish time, some happier play 95 My womanhood would cheer.
I knew the time would pass away; And yet, beside the rose-tree wall, Dear God, how seldom, if at all, Did I look up to pray! 100 The time is past: and now that grows The cypress high among the trees, And I behold white sepulchres As well as the white rose,¡ª When wiser, meeker thoughts are given, 105 And I have learnt to lift my face, Reminded how earth's greenest place The colour draws from heaven,¡ª It something saith for earthly pain, But more for heavenly promise free, 110 That I who was, would shrink to be That happy child again.
Written by John Trumbull | Create an image from this poem

The Owl And The Sparrow

 In elder days, in Saturn's prime,
Ere baldness seized the head of Time,
While truant Jove, in infant pride,
Play'd barefoot on Olympus' side,
Each thing on earth had power to chatter,
And spoke the mother tongue of nature.
Each stock or stone could prate and gabble, Worse than ten labourers of Babel.
Along the street, perhaps you'd see A Post disputing with a Tree, And mid their arguments of weight, A Goose sit umpire of debate.
Each Dog you met, though speechless now, Would make his compliments and bow, And every Swine with congees come, To know how did all friends at home.
Each Block sublime could make a speech, In style and eloquence as rich, And could pronounce it and could pen it, As well as Chatham in the senate.
Nor prose alone.
--In these young times, Each field was fruitful too in rhymes; Each feather'd minstrel felt the passion, And every wind breathed inspiration.
Each Bullfrog croak'd in loud bombastic, Each Monkey chatter'd Hudibrastic; Each Cur, endued with yelping nature, Could outbark Churchill's[2] self in satire; Each Crow in prophecy delighted, Each Owl, you saw, was second-sighted, Each Goose a skilful politician, Each *** a gifted met'physician, Could preach in wrath 'gainst laughing rogues, Write Halfway-covenant Dialogues,[3] And wisely judge of all disputes In commonwealths of men or brutes.
'Twas then, in spring a youthful Sparrow Felt the keen force of Cupid's arrow: For Birds, as Æsop's tales avow, Made love then, just as men do now, And talk'd of deaths and flames and darts, And breaking necks and losing hearts; And chose from all th' aerial kind, Not then to tribes, like Jews, confined The story tells, a lovely Thrush Had smit him from a neigh'bring bush, Where oft the young coquette would play, And carol sweet her siren lay: She thrill'd each feather'd heart with love, And reign'd the Toast of all the grove.
He felt the pain, but did not dare Disclose his passion to the fair; For much he fear'd her conscious pride Of race, to noble blood allied.
Her grandsire's nest conspicuous stood, Mid loftiest branches of the wood, In airy height, that scorn'd to know Each flitting wing that waved below.
So doubting, on a point so nice He deem'd it best to take advice.
Hard by there dwelt an aged Owl, Of all his friends the gravest fowl; Who from the cares of business free, Lived, hermit, in a hollow tree; To solid learning bent his mind, In trope and syllogism he shined, 'Gainst reigning follies spent his railing; Too much a Stoic--'twas his failing.
Hither for aid our Sparrow came, And told his errand and his name, With panting breath explain'd his case, Much trembling at the sage's face; And begg'd his Owlship would declare If love were worth a wise one's care.
The grave Owl heard the weighty cause, And humm'd and hah'd at every pause; Then fix'd his looks in sapient plan, Stretch'd forth one foot, and thus began.
"My son, my son, of love beware, And shun the cheat of beauty's snare; That snare more dreadful to be in, Than huntsman's net, or horse-hair gin.
"By others' harms learn to be wise," As ancient proverbs well advise.
Each villany, that nature breeds, From females and from love proceeds.
'Tis love disturbs with fell debate Of man and beast the peaceful state: Men fill the world with war's alarms, When female trumpets sound to arms; The commonwealth of dogs delight For beauties, as for bones, to fight.
Love hath his tens of thousands slain, And heap'd with copious death the plain: Samson, with ***'s jaw to aid, Ne'er peopled thus th'infernal shade.
"Nor this the worst; for he that's dead, With love no more will vex his head.
'Tis in the rolls of fate above, That death's a certain cure for love; A noose can end the cruel smart; The lover's leap is from a cart.
But oft a living death they bear, Scorn'd by the proud, capricious fair.
The fair to sense pay no regard, And beauty is the fop's reward; They slight the generous hearts' esteem, And sigh for those, who fly from them.
Just when your wishes would prevail, Some rival bird with gayer tail, Who sings his strain with sprightlier note, And chatters praise with livelier throat, Shall charm your flutt'ring fair one down, And leave your choice, to hang or drown.
Ev'n I, my son, have felt the smart; A Pheasant won my youthful heart.
For her I tuned the doleful lay,[4] For her I watch'd the night away; In vain I told my piteous case, And smooth'd my dignity of face; In vain I cull'd the studied phrase, And sought hard words in beauty's praise.
Her, not my charms nor sense could move, For folly is the food of love.
Each female scorns our serious make, "Each woman is at heart a rake.
"[5] Thus Owls in every age have said, Since our first parent-owl was made; Thus Pope and Swift, to prove their sense, Shall sing, some twenty ages hence; Then shall a man of little fame, One ** **** sing the same.
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

Sunflower Sutra

I walked on the banks of the tincan banana dock and sat down under the huge shade of a Southern Pacific locomotive to look for the sunset over the box house hills and cry.
Jack Kerouac sat beside me on a busted rusty iron pole, companion, we thought the same thoughts of the soul, bleak and blue and sad-eyed, surrounded by the gnarled steel roots of trees of machinery.
The only water on the river mirrored the red sky, sun sank on top of final Frisco peaks, no fish in that stream, no hermit in those mounts, just ourselves rheumy-eyed and hung-over like old bums on the riverbank, tired and wily.
Look at the Sunflower, he said, there was a dead gray shadow against the sky, big as a man, sitting dry on top of a pile of ancient sawdust-- --I rushed up enchanted--it was my first sunflower, memories of Blake--my visions--Harlem and Hells of the Eastern rivers, bridges clanking Joes greasy Sandwiches, dead baby carriages, black treadless tires forgotten and unretreaded, the poem of the riverbank, condoms & pots, steel knives, nothing stainless, only the dank muck and the razor-sharp artifacts passing into the past-- and the gray Sunflower poised against the sunset, crackly bleak and dusty with the smut and smog and smoke of olden locomotives in its eye-- corolla of bleary spikes pushed down and broken like a battered crown, seeds fallen out of its face, soon-to-be-toothless mouth of sunny air, sunrays obliterated on its hairy head like a dried wire spiderweb, leaves stuck out like arms out of the stem, gestures from the sawdust root, broke pieces of plaster fallen out of the black twigs, a dead fly in its ear, Unholy battered old thing you were, my sunflower O my soul, I loved you then! The grime was no man's grime but death and human locomotives, all that dress of dust, that veil of darkened railroad skin, that smog of cheek, that eyelid of black mis'ry, that sooty hand or phallus or protuberance of artificial worse-than-dirt--industrial-- modern--all that civilization spotting your crazy golden crown-- and those blear thoughts of death and dusty loveless eyes and ends and withered roots below, in the home-pile of sand and sawdust, rubber dollar bills, skin of machinery, the guts and innards of the weeping coughing car, the empty lonely tincans with their rusty tongues alack, what more could I name, the smoked ashes of some **** cigar, the cunts of wheelbarrows and the milky breasts of cars, wornout asses out of chairs & sphincters of dynamos--all these entangled in your mummied roots--and you standing before me in the sunset, all your glory in your form! A perfect beauty of a sunflower! a perfect excellent lovely sunflower existence! a sweet natural eye to the new hip moon, woke up alive and excited grasping in the sunset shadow sunrise golden monthly breeze! How many flies buzzed round you innocent of your grime, while you cursed the heavens of your railroad and your flower soul? Poor dead flower? when did you forget you were a flower? when did you look at your skin and decide you were an impotent dirty old locomotive? the ghost of a locomotive? the specter and shade of a once powerful mad American locomotive? You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower! And you Locomotive, you are a locomotive, forget me not! So I grabbed up the skeleton thick sunflower and stuck it at my side like a scepter, and deliver my sermon to my soul, and Jack's soul too, and anyone who'll listen, --We're not our skin of grime, we're not our dread bleak dusty imageless locomotive, we're all golden sunflowers inside, blessed by our own seed & hairy naked accomplishment-bodies growing into mad black formal sunflowers in the sunset, spied on by our eyes under the shadow of the mad locomotive riverbank sunset Frisco hilly tincan evening sitdown vision.
Written by Alexander Pushkin | Create an image from this poem

The Water-Nymph

 In lakeside leafy groves, a friar
Escaped all worries; there he passed
His summer days in constant prayer,
Deep studies and eternal fast.
Already with a humble shovel The elder dug himself a grave - As, calling saints to bless his hovel, Death - nothing other - did he crave.
So once, upon a falling night, he Was bowing by his wilted shack With meekest prayer to the Almighty.
The grove was turning slowly black; Above the lake a mist was lifting; Through milky clouds across the sky The ruddy moon was softly drifting, When water drew the friar's eye.
.
.
He's looking puzzled, full of trouble, Of fear he cannot quite explain, He sees the waves begin to bubble And suddenly grow calm again.
Then -- white as first snow in the highlands, Light-footed as nocturnal shade, There comes ashore, and sits in silence Upon the bank, a naked maid.
She eyes the monk and brushes gently Her hair, and water off her arms.
He shakes with fear and looks intently At her, and at her lovely charms.
With eager hand she waves and beckons, Nods quickly, smiles as from afar And shoots, within two flashing seconds, Into still water like a star.
The glum old man slept not an instant; All day, not even once he prayed: Before his eyes still hung and glistened The wondrous, the relentless shade.
.
.
The grove puts on its gown of nightfall; The moon walks on the cloudy floor; And there's the maiden - pale, delightful, Reclining on the spellbound shore.
She looks at him, her hair she brushes, Blows airy kisses, gestures wild, Plays with the waves - caresses, splashes - Now laughs, now whimpers like a child, Moans tenderly, calls louder, louder.
.
.
"Come, monk, come, monk! To me, to me!.
.
" Then - disappears in limpid water, And all is silent instantly.
.
.
On the third day the zealous hermit Was sitting by the shore, in love, Awaiting the delightful mermaid, As shade was covering the grove.
.
.
Dark ceded to the sun's emergence; Our monk had wholly disappeared - Before a crowd of local urchins, While fishing, found his hoary beard.
Translated by: Genia Gurarie, summer of 1995 Copyright retained by Genia Gurarie.
email: egurarie@princeton.
edu http://www.
princeton.
edu/~egurarie/ For permission to reproduce, write personally to the translator.
Written by Sarojini Naidu | Create an image from this poem

Past and Future

 The new hath come and now the old retires: 
And so the past becomes a mountain-cell, 
Where lone, apart, old hermit-memories dwell 
In consecrated calm, forgotten yet 
Of the keen heart that hastens to forget 
Old longings in fulfilling new desires.
And now the Soul stands in a vague, intense Expectancy and anguish of suspense, On the dim chamber-threshold .
.
.
lo! he sees Like a strange, fated bride as yet unknown, His timid future shrinking there alone, Beneath her marriage-veil of mysteries.
Written by G K Chesterton | Create an image from this poem

Lepanto

 White founts falling in the Courts of the sun, 
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run; 
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared, 
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard; 
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips; 
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy, They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea, And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss, And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass; The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass; From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun, And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.
Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard, Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred, Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall, The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall, The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung, That once went singing southward when all the world was young.
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid, Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far, Don John of Austria is going to the war, Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold, Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums, Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled, Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world, Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain--hurrah! Death-light of Africa! Don John of Austria Is riding to the sea.
Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star, (Don John of Austria is going to the war.
) He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees, His turban that is woven of the sunsets and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease, And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees; And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii, Multiplex of wing and eye, Whose strong obedience broke the sky When Solomon was king.
They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn, From the temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn; They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be, On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl, Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl; They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,-- They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, "Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide, And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide, And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest, For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun, Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know The voice that shook our palaces--four hundred years ago: It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate; It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate! It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth, Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.
" For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar, (Don John of Austria is going to the war.
) Sudden and still--hurrah! Bolt from Iberia! Don John of Austria Is gone by Alcalar.
St.
Michaels on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north (Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.
) Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone; The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone; The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes, And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise, And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room, And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom, And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,-- But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips, Trumpet that sayeth ha! Domino gloria! Don John of Austria Is shouting to the ships.
King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck (Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.
) The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin, And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon, He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon, And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day, And death is in the phial and the end of noble work, But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed-- Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Gun upon gun, ha! ha! Gun upon gun, hurrah! Don John of Austria Has loosed the cannonade.
The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke, (Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.
) The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year, The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery; They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark, They veil the plum?d lions on the galleys of St.
Mark; And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs, And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs, Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell, And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign-- (But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!) Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop, Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop, Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds, Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds, Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania! Domino Gloria! Don John of Austria Has set his people free! Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath (Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.
) And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain, Up which a lean and foolish knight for ever rides in vain, And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade.
.
.
.
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.
)
Written by T S (Thomas Stearns) Eliot | Create an image from this poem

WHAT THE THUNDER SAID

After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
  After the frosty silence in the gardens
  After the agony in stony places
  The shouting and the crying
  Prison and palace and reverberation
  Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
  He who was living is now dead
  We who were living are now dying
  With a little patience                                                  330

  Here is no water but only rock
  Rock and no water and the sandy road
  The road winding above among the mountains
  Which are mountains of rock without water
  If there were water we should stop and drink
  Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
  Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
  If there were only water amongst the rock
  Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
  Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit                              340
  There is not even silence in the mountains
  But dry sterile thunder without rain
  There is not even solitude in the mountains
  But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
  From doors of mudcracked houses
                                                           If there were water
  And no rock
  If there were rock
  And also water
  And water                                                               350
  A spring
  A pool among the rock
  If there were the sound of water only
  Not the cicada
  And dry grass singing
  But sound of water over a rock
  Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
  Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
  But there is no water

  Who is the third who walks always beside you?                          360
  When I count, there are only you and I together
  But when I look ahead up the white road
  There is always another one walking beside you
  Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
  I do not know whether a man or a woman
  —But who is that on the other side of you?

  What is that sound high in the air
  Murmur of maternal lamentation
  Who are those hooded hordes swarming
  Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth                         370
  Ringed by the flat horizon only
  What is the city over the mountains
  Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
  Falling towers
  Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
  Vienna London
  Unreal

  A woman drew her long black hair out tight
  And fiddled whisper music on those strings
  And bats with baby faces in the violet light                            380
  Whistled, and beat their wings
  And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
  And upside down in air were towers
  Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
  And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.
In this decayed hole among the mountains In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home.
It has no windows, and the door swings, 390 Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a **** stood on the rooftree Co co rico co co rico In a flash of lightning.
Then a damp gust Bringing rain Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves Waited for rain, while the black clouds Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder 400 DA Datta: what have we given? My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed Which is not to be found in our obituaries Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor In our empty rooms 410 DA Dayadhvam: I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only We think of the key, each in his prison Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus DA Damyata: The boat responded Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar 420 The sea was calm, your heart would have responded Gaily, when invited, beating obedient To controlling hands I sat upon the shore Fishing, with the arid plain behind me Shall I at least set my lands in order? London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina Quando fiam ceu chelidon— O swallow swallow Le Prince d'Aquitaine a la tour abolie 430 These fragments I have shored against my ruins Why then Ile fit you.
Hieronymo's mad againe.
Datta.
Dayadhvam.
Damyata.
Shantih shantih shantih Line 416 aetherial] aethereal Line 429 ceu] uti— Editor
Written by A R Ammons | Create an image from this poem

Shit List; Or Omnium-gatherum Of Diversity Into Unity

 You'll rejoice at how many kinds of **** there are:
gosling **** (which J.
Williams said something was as green as), fish **** (the generality), trout ****, rainbow trout **** (for the nice), mullet ****, sand dab ****, casual sloth ****, elephant **** (awesome as process or payload), wildebeest ****, horse **** (a favorite), caterpillar **** (so many dark kinds, neatly pelleted as mint seed), baby rhinoceros ****, splashy jaybird ****, mockingbird **** (dive-bombed with the aim of song), robin **** that oozes white down lawnchairs or down roots under roosts, chicken **** and chicken mite ****, pelican ****, gannet **** (wholesome guano), fly **** (periodic), cockatoo ****, dog **** (past catalog or assimilation), cricket ****, elk (high plains) ****, and tiny scribbled little shrew ****, whale **** (what a sight, deep assumption), mandril **** (blazing blast off), weasel **** (wiles' waste), gazelle ****, magpie **** (total protein), tiger **** (too acid to contemplate), moral eel and manta ray ****, eerie shark ****, earthworm **** (a soilure), crab ****, wolf **** upon the germicidal ice, snake ****, giraffe **** that accelerates, secretary bird ****, turtle **** suspension invites, remora **** slightly in advance of the shark ****, hornet **** (difficult to assess), camel **** that slaps the ghastly dry siliceous, frog ****, beetle ****, bat **** (the marmoreal), contemptible cat ****, penguin ****, hermit crab ****, prairie hen ****, cougar ****, eagle **** (high totem stuff), buffalo **** (hardly less lofty), otter ****, beaver **** (from the animal of alluvial dreams)—a vast ordure is a broken down cloaca—macaw ****, alligator **** (that floats the Nile along), louse ****, macaque, koala, and coati ****, antelope ****, chuck-will's-widow ****, alpaca **** (very high stuff), gooney bird ****, chigger ****, bull **** (the classic), caribou ****, rasbora, python, and razorbill ****, scorpion ****, man ****, laswing fly larva ****, chipmunk ****, other-worldly wallaby ****, gopher **** (or broke), platypus ****, aardvark ****, spider ****, kangaroo and peccary ****, guanaco ****, dolphin ****, aphid ****, baboon **** (that leopards induce), albatross ****, red-headed woodpecker (nine inches long) ****, tern ****, hedgehog ****, panda ****, seahorse ****, and the **** of the wasteful gallinule.
Written by Rainer Maria Rilke | Create an image from this poem

The Unicorn

 The saintly hermit, midway through his prayers
stopped suddenly, and raised his eyes to witness
the unbelievable: for there before him stood
the legendary creature, startling white, that
had approached, soundlessly, pleading with his eyes.
The legs, so delicately shaped, balanced a body wrought of finest ivory.
And as he moved, his coat shone like reflected moonlight.
High on his forehead rose the magic horn, the sign of his uniqueness: a tower held upright by his alert, yet gentle, timid gait.
The mouth of softest tints of rose and grey, when opened slightly, revealed his gleaming teeth, whiter than snow.
The nostrils quivered faintly: he sought to quench his thirst, to rest and find repose.
His eyes looked far beyond the saint's enclosure, reflecting vistas and events long vanished, and closed the circle of this ancient mystic legend.
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