Best Famous Humane Poems

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

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Written by Stephen Dunn | Create an image from this poem

The Sudden Light And The Trees

 My neighbor was a biker, a pusher, a dog
and wife beater.
In bad dreams I killed him and once, in the consequential light of day, I called the Humane Society about Blue, his dog.
They took her away and I readied myself, a baseball bat inside my door.
That night I hear his wife scream and I couldn't help it, that pathetic relief; her again, not me.
It would be years before I'd understand why victims cling and forgive.
I plugged in the Sleep-Sound and it crashed like the ocean all the way to sleep.
One afternoon I found him on the stoop, a pistol in his hand, waiting, he said, for me.
A sparrow had gotten in to our common basement.
Could he have permission to shoot it? The bullets, he explained, might go through the floor.
I said I'd catch it, wait, give me a few minutes and, clear-eyed, brilliantly afraid, I trapped it with a pillow.
I remember how it felt when I got my hand, and how it burst that hand open when I took it outside, a strength that must have come out of hopelessness and the sudden light and the trees.
And I remember the way he slapped the gun against his open palm, kept slapping it, and wouldn't speak.
Written by G K Chesterton | Create an image from this poem

The Shakespeare Memorial

 Lord Lilac thought it rather rotten 
That Shakespeare should be quite forgotten, 
And therefore got on a Committee 
With several chaps out of the City, 
And Shorter and Sir Herbert Tree, 
Lord Rothschild and Lord Rosebery, 
And F.
and Comyn Carr Two dukes and a dramatic star, Also a clergy man now dead; And while the vain world careless sped Unheeding the heroic name -- The souls most fed with Shakespeare's flame Still sat unconquered in a ring, Remembering him like anything.
Lord Lilac did not long remain, Lord Lilac did not some again.
He softly lit a cigarette And sought some other social set Where, in some other knots or rings, People were doing cultured things.
-- Miss Zwilt's Humane Vivarium -- The little men that paint on gum -- The exquisite Gorilla Girl .
He sometimes, in this giddy whirl (Not being really bad at heart), Remembered Shakespeare with a start -- But not with that grand constancy Of Clement Shorter, Herbert Tree, Lord Rosebery and Comyn Carr And all the other names there are; Who stuck like limpets to the spot, Lest they forgot, lest they forgot.
Lord Lilac was of slighter stuff; Lord Lilac had had quite enough.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

The Ladys Dressing Room

 Five hours, (and who can do it less in?)
By haughty Celia spent in dressing;
The goddess from her chamber issues,
Arrayed in lace, brocades, and tissues.
Strephon, who found the room was void And Betty otherwise employed, Stole in and took a strict survey Of all the litter as it lay; Whereof, to make the matter clear, An inventory follows here.
And first a dirty smock appeared, Beneath the arm-pits well besmeared.
Strephon, the rogue, displayed it wide And turned it round on every side.
On such a point few words are best, And Strephon bids us guess the rest; And swears how damnably the men lie In calling Celia sweet and cleanly.
Now listen while he next produces The various combs for various uses, Filled up with dirt so closely fixt, No brush could force a way betwixt.
A paste of composition rare, Sweat, dandruff, powder, lead and hair; A forehead cloth with oil upon't To smooth the wrinkles on her front.
Here alum flower to stop the steams Exhaled from sour unsavory streams; There night-gloves made of Tripsy's hide, Bequeath'd by Tripsy when she died, With puppy water, beauty's help, Distilled from Tripsy's darling whelp; Here gallypots and vials placed, Some filled with washes, some with paste, Some with pomatum, paints and slops, And ointments good for scabby chops.
Hard by a filthy basin stands, Fouled with the scouring of her hands; The basin takes whatever comes, The scrapings of her teeth and gums, A nasty compound of all hues, For here she spits, and here she spews.
But oh! it turned poor Strephon's bowels, When he beheld and smelt the towels, Begummed, besmattered, and beslimed With dirt, and sweat, and ear-wax grimed.
No object Strephon's eye escapes: Here petticoats in frowzy heaps; Nor be the handkerchiefs forgot All varnished o'er with snuff and snot.
The stockings, why should I expose, Stained with the marks of stinking toes; Or greasy coifs and pinners reeking, Which Celia slept at least a week in? A pair of tweezers next he found To pluck her brows in arches round, Or hairs that sink the forehead low, Or on her chin like bristles grow.
The virtues we must not let pass, Of Celia's magnifying glass.
When frighted Strephon cast his eye on't It shewed the visage of a giant.
A glass that can to sight disclose The smallest worm in Celia's nose, And faithfully direct her nail To squeeze it out from head to tail; (For catch it nicely by the head, It must come out alive or dead.
) Why Strephon will you tell the rest? And must you needs describe the chest? That careless wench! no creature warn her To move it out from yonder corner; But leave it standing full in sight For you to exercise your spite.
In vain, the workman shewed his wit With rings and hinges counterfeit To make it seem in this disguise A cabinet to vulgar eyes; For Strephon ventured to look in, Resolved to go through thick and thin; He lifts the lid, there needs no more: He smelt it all the time before.
As from within Pandora's box, When Epimetheus oped the locks, A sudden universal crew Of humane evils upwards flew, He still was comforted to find That Hope at last remained behind; So Strephon lifting up the lid To view what in the chest was hid, The vapours flew from out the vent.
But Strephon cautious never meant The bottom of the pan to grope And foul his hands in search of Hope.
O never may such vile machine Be once in Celia's chamber seen! O may she better learn to keep "Those secrets of the hoary deep"! As mutton cutlets, prime of meat, Which, though with art you salt and beat As laws of cookery require And toast them at the clearest fire, If from adown the hopeful chops The fat upon the cinder drops, To stinking smoke it turns the flame Poisoning the flesh from whence it came; And up exhales a greasy stench For which you curse the careless wench; So things which must not be exprest, When plumpt into the reeking chest, Send up an excremental smell To taint the parts from whence they fell, The petticoats and gown perfume, Which waft a stink round every room.
Thus finishing his grand survey, Disgusted Strephon stole away Repeating in his amorous fits, Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia shits! But vengeance, Goddess never sleeping, Soon punished Strephon for his peeping: His foul Imagination links Each dame he see with all her stinks; And, if unsavory odors fly, Conceives a lady standing by.
All women his description fits, And both ideas jump like wits By vicious fancy coupled fast, And still appearing in contrast.
I pity wretched Strephon blind To all the charms of female kind.
Should I the Queen of Love refuse Because she rose from stinking ooze? To him that looks behind the scene Satira's but some pocky queen.
When Celia in her glory shows, If Strephon would but stop his nose (Who now so impiously blasphemes Her ointments, daubs, and paints and creams, Her washes, slops, and every clout With which he makes so foul a rout), He soon would learn to think like me And bless his ravished sight to see Such order from confusion sprung, Such gaudy tulips raised from dung.
Written by Alexander Pushkin | Create an image from this poem

The Prophet

 Longing for spiritual springs,
I dragged myself through desert sands .
An angel with three pairs of wings Arrived to me at cross of lands; With fingers so light and slim He touched my eyes as in a dream: And opened my prophetic eyes Like eyes of eagle in surprise.
He touched my ears in movement, single, And they were filled with noise and jingle: I heard a shuddering of heavens, And angels' flight on azure heights And creatures' crawl in long sea nights, And rustle of vines in distant valleys.
And he bent down to my chin, And he tore off my tongue of sin, In cheat and idle talks aroused, And with his hand in bloody specks He put the sting of wizard snakes Into my deadly stoned mouth.
With his sharp sword he cleaved my breast, And plucked my quivering heart out, And coals flamed with God's behest, Into my gaping breast were ground.
Like dead I lay on desert sands, And listened to the God's commands: 'Arise, O prophet, hark and see, Be filled with utter My demands, And, going over Land and Sea, Burn with your Word the humane hearts.
Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch | Create an image from this poem

The Spleen

 What art thou, SPLEEN, which ev'ry thing dost ape?
Thou Proteus to abus'd Mankind,
Who never yet thy real Cause cou'd find,
Or fix thee to remain in one continued Shape.
Still varying thy perplexing Form, Now a Dead Sea thou'lt represent, A Calm of stupid Discontent, Then, dashing on the Rocks wilt rage into a Storm.
Trembling sometimes thou dost appear, Dissolv'd into a Panick Fear; On Sleep intruding dost thy Shadows spread, Thy gloomy Terrours round the silent Bed, And croud with boading Dreams the Melancholy Head: Or, when the Midnight Hour is told, And drooping Lids thou still dost waking hold, Thy fond Delusions cheat the Eyes, Before them antick Spectres dance, Unusual Fires their pointed Heads advance, And airy Phantoms rise.
Such was the monstrous Vision seen, When Brutus (now beneath his Cares opprest, And all Rome's Fortunes rolling in his Breast, Before Philippi's latest Field, Before his Fate did to Octavius lead) Was vanquish'd by the Spleen.
Falsly, the Mortal Part we blame Of our deprest, and pond'rous Frame, Which, till the First degrading Sin Let Thee, its dull Attendant, in, Still with the Other did comply, Nor clogg'd the Active Soul, dispos'd to fly, And range the Mansions of it's native Sky.
Nor, whilst in his own Heaven he dwelt, Whilst Man his Paradice possest, His fertile Garden in the fragrant East, And all united Odours smelt, No armed Sweets, until thy Reign, Cou'd shock the Sense, or in the Face A flusht, unhandsom Colour place.
Now the Jonquille o'ercomes the feeble Brain; We faint beneath the Aromatick Pain, {6} Till some offensive Scent thy Pow'rs appease, And Pleasure we resign for short, and nauseous Ease.
In ev'ry One thou dost possess, New are thy Motions, and thy Dress: Now in some Grove a list'ning Friend Thy false Suggestions must attend, Thy whisper'd Griefs, thy fancy'd Sorrows hear, Breath'd in a Sigh, and witness'd by a Tear; Whilst in the light, and vulgar Croud, Thy Slaves, more clamorous and loud, By Laughters unprovok'd, thy Influence too confess.
In the Imperious Wife thou Vapours art, Which from o'erheated Passions rise In Clouds to the attractive Brain, Until descending thence again, Thro' the o'er-cast, and show'ring Eyes, Upon her Husband's soften'd Heart, He the disputed Point must yield, Something resign of the contested Field; Til Lordly Man, born to Imperial Sway, Compounds for Peace, to make that Right away, And Woman, arm'd with Spleen, do's servilely Obey.
The Fool, to imitate the Wits, Complains of thy pretended Fits, And Dulness, born with him, wou'd lay Upon thy accidental Sway; Because, sometimes, thou dost presume Into the ablest Heads to come: That, often, Men of Thoughts refin'd, Impatient of unequal Sence, Such slow Returns, where they so much dispense, Retiring from the Croud, are to thy Shades inclin'd.
O'er me, alas! thou dost too much prevail: I feel thy Force, whilst I against thee rail; I feel my Verse decay, and my crampt Numbers fail.
Thro' thy black Jaundice I all Objects see, As Dark, and Terrible as Thee, My Lines decry'd, and my Employment thought An useless Folly, or presumptuous Fault: Whilst in the Muses Paths I stray, Whilst in their Groves, and by their secret Springs My Hand delights to trace unusual Things, And deviates from the known, and common way; Nor will in fading Silks compose Faintly th' inimitable Rose, Fill up an ill-drawn Bird, or paint on Glass The Sov'reign's blurr'd and undistinguish'd Face, The threatning Angel, and the speaking Ass.
Patron thou art to ev'ry gross Abuse, The sullen Husband's feign'd Excuse, When the ill Humour with his Wife he spends, And bears recruited Wit, and Spirits to his Friends.
The Son of Bacchus pleads thy Pow'r, As to the Glass he still repairs, Pretends but to remove thy Cares, Snatch from thy Shades one gay, and smiling Hour, And drown thy Kingdom in a purple Show'r.
When the Coquette, whom ev'ry Fool admires, Wou'd in Variety be Fair, And, changing hastily the Scene From Light, Impertinent, and Vain, Assumes a soft, a melancholy Air, And of her Eyes rebates the wand'ring Fires, The careless Posture, and the Head reclin'd, The thoughtful, and composed Face, Proclaiming the withdrawn, the absent Mind, Allows the Fop more liberty to gaze, Who gently for the tender Cause inquires; The Cause, indeed, is a Defect in Sense, Yet is the Spleen alleg'd, and still the dull Pretence.
But these are thy fantastic Harms, The Tricks of thy pernicious Stage, Which do the weaker Sort engage; Worse are the dire Effects of thy more pow'rful Charms.
By Thee Religion, all we know, That shou'd enlighten here below, Is veil'd in Darkness, and perplext With anxious Doubts, with endless Scruples vext, And some Restraint imply'd from each perverted Text.
Whilst Touch not, Taste not, what is freely giv'n, Is but thy niggard Voice, disgracing bounteous Heav'n.
From Speech restrain'd, by thy Deceits abus'd, To Desarts banish'd, or in Cells reclus'd, Mistaken Vot'ries to the Pow'rs Divine, Whilst they a purer Sacrifice design, Do but the Spleen obey, and worship at thy Shrine.
In vain to chase thee ev'ry Art we try, In vain all Remedies apply, In vain the Indian Leaf infuse, Or the parch'd Eastern Berry bruise; Some pass, in vain, those Bounds, and nobler Liquors use.
Now Harmony, in vain, we bring, Inspire the Flute, and touch the String.
From Harmony no help is had; Musick but soothes thee, if too sweetly sad, And if too light, but turns thee gayly Mad.
Tho' the Physicians greatest Gains, Altho' his growing Wealth he sees Daily increas'd by Ladies Fees, Yet dost thou baffle all his studious Pains.
Not skilful Lower thy Source cou'd find, Or thro' the well-dissected Body trace The secret, the mysterious ways, By which thou dost surprize, and prey upon the Mind.
Tho' in the Search, too deep for Humane Thought, With unsuccessful Toil he wrought, 'Til thinking Thee to've catch'd, Himself by thee was caught, Retain'd thy Pris'ner, thy acknowleg'd Slave, And sunk beneath thy Chain to a lamented Grave.
Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch | Create an image from this poem

The King and the Shepherd

 Through ev'ry Age some Tyrant Passion reigns: 
Now Love prevails, and now Ambition gains 
Reason's lost Throne, and sov'reign Rule maintains.
Tho' beyond Love's, Ambition's Empire goes; For who feels Love, Ambition also knows, And proudly still aspires to be possest Of Her, he thinks superior to the rest.
As cou'd be prov'd, but that our plainer Task Do's no such Toil, or Definitions ask; But to be so rehears'd, as first 'twas told, When such old Stories pleas'd in Days of old.
A King, observing how a Shepherd's Skill Improv'd his Flocks, and did the Pastures fill, That equal Care th' assaulted did defend, And the secur'd and grazing Part attend, Approves the Conduct, and from Sheep and Curs Transfers the Sway, and changed his Wool to Furrs.
Lord-Keeper now, as rightly he divides His just Decrees, and speedily decides; When his sole Neighbor, whilst he watch'd the Fold, A Hermit poor, in Contemplation old, Hastes to his Ear, with safe, but lost Advice, Tells him such Heights are levell'd in a trice, Preferments treach'rous, and her Paths of Ice: And that already sure 't had turn'd his Brain, Who thought a Prince's Favour to retain.
Nor seem'd unlike, in this mistaken Rank, The sightless Wretch, who froze upon a Bank A Serpent found, which for a Staff he took, And us'd as such (his own but lately broke) Thanking the Fates, who thus his Loss supply'd, Nor marking one, that with amazement cry'd, Throw quickly from thy Hand that sleeping Ill; A Serpent 'tis, that when awak'd will kill.
A Serpent this! th' uncaution'd Fool replies: A Staff it feels, nor shall my want of Eyes Make me believe, I have no Senses left, And thro' thy Malice be of this bereft; Which Fortune to my Hand has kindly sent To guide my Steps, and stumbling to prevent.
No Staff, the Man proceeds; but to thy harm A Snake 'twill prove: The Viper, now grown warm Confirm'd it soon, and fasten'd on his Arm.
Thus wilt thou find, Shepherd believe it true, Some Ill, that shall this seeming Good ensue; Thousand Distastes, t' allay thy envy'd Gains, Unthought of, on the parcimonious Plains.
So prov'd the Event, and Whisp'rers now defame The candid Judge, and his Proceedings blame.
By Wrongs, they say, a Palace he erects, The Good oppresses, and the Bad protects.
To view this Seat the King himself prepares, Where no Magnificence or Pomp appears, But Moderation, free from each Extream, Whilst Moderation is the Builder's Theme.
Asham'd yet still the Sycophants persist, That Wealth he had conceal'd within a Chest, Which but attended some convenient Day, To face the Sun, and brighter Beams display.
The Chest unbarr'd, no radiant Gems they find, No secret Sums to foreign Banks design'd, But humble Marks of an obscure Recess, Emblems of Care, and Instruments of Peace; The Hook, the Scrip, and for unblam'd Delight The merry Bagpipe, which, ere fall of Night, Cou'd sympathizing Birds to tuneful Notes invite.
Welcome ye Monuments of former Joys! Welcome! to bless again your Master's Eyes, And draw from Courts, th' instructed Shepherd cries.
No more dear Relicks! we no more will part, You shall my Hands employ, who now revive my Heart.
No Emulations, nor corrupted Times Shall falsely blacken, or seduce to Crimes Him, whom your honest Industry can please, Who on the barren Down can sing from inward Ease.
How's this! the Monarch something mov'd rejoins.
With such low Thoughts, and Freedom from Designs, What made thee leave a Life so fondly priz'd, To be in Crouds, or envy'd, or despis'd? Forgive me, Sir, and Humane Frailty see, The Swain replies, in my past State and Me; All peaceful that, to which I vow return.
But who alas! (tho' mine at length I mourn) Was e'er without the Curse of some Ambition born.
Written by Andrew Marvell | Create an image from this poem

Eyes And Tears

 How wisely Nature did decree,
With the same Eyes to weep and see!
That, having view'd the object vain,
They might be ready to complain.
And since the Self-deluding Sight, In a false Angle takes each hight; These Tears which better measure all, Like wat'ry Lines and Plummets fall.
Two Tears, which Sorrow long did weigh Within the Scales of either Eye, And then paid out in equal Poise, Are the true price of all my Joyes.
What in the World most fair appears, Yea even Laughter, turns to Tears: And all the Jewels which we prize, Melt in these Pendants of the Eyes.
I have through every Garden been, Amongst the Red,the White, the Green; And yet, from all the flow'rs I saw, No Hony, but these Tears could draw.
So the all-seeing Sun each day Distills the World with Chymick Ray; But finds the Essence only Showers, Which straight in pity back he powers.
Yet happy they whom Grief doth bless, That weep the more, and see the less: And, to preserve their Sight more true, Bath still their Eyes in their own Dew.
So Magdalen, in Tears more wise Dissolv'd those captivating Eyes, Whose liquid Chains could flowing meet To fetter her Redeemers feet.
Not full sailes hasting loaden home, Nor the chast Ladies pregnant Womb, Nor Cynthia Teeming show's so fair, As two Eyes swoln with weeping are.
The sparkling Glance that shoots Desire, Drench'd in these Waves, does lose it fire.
Yea oft the Thund'rer pitty takes And here the hissing Lightning slakes.
The Incense was to Heaven dear, Not as a Perfume, but a Tear.
And Stars shew lovely in the Night, But as they seem the Tears of Light.
Ope then mine Eyes your double Sluice, And practise so your noblest Use.
For others too can see, or sleep; But only humane Eyes can weep.
Now like two Clouds dissolving, drop, And at each Tear in distance stop: Now like two Fountains trickle down: Now like two floods o'return and drown.
Thus let your Streams o'reflow your Springs, Till Eyes and Tears be the same things: And each the other's difference bears; These weeping Eyes, those seeing Tears.
Note: Magdala, lascivos sic quum dimisit Amantes, Fervidaque in castas lumina solvit aquas; Haesit in irriguo lachrymarum compede Christus, Et tenuit sacros uda Catena pedes.
Written by Andrew Marvell | Create an image from this poem

On Mr. Miltons Paradise Lost

 When I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold,
In slender Book his vast Design unfold,
Messiah Crown'd, Gods Reconcil'd Decree,
Rebelling Angels, the Forbidden Tree,
Heav'n, Hell, Earth, Chaos, All; the Argument
Held me a while misdoubting his Intent,
That he would ruine (for I saw him strong)
The sacred Truths to Fable and old Song,
(So Sampson groap'd the Temples Posts in spight)
The World o'rewhelming to revenge his Sight.
Yet as I read, soon growing less severe, I lik'd his Project, the success did fear; Through that wide Field how he his way should find O're which lame Faith leads Understanding blind; Lest he perplext the things he would explain, And what was easie he should render vain.
Or if a Work so infinite he spann'd, Jealous I was that some less skilful hand (Such as disquiet alwayes what is well, And by ill imitating would excell) Might hence presume the whole Creations day To change in Scenes, and show it in a Play.
Pardon me, Mighty Poet, nor despise My causeless, yet not impious, surmise.
But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare Within thy Labours to pretend a Share.
Thou hast not miss'd one thought that could be fit, And all that was improper dost omit: So that no room is here for Writers left, But to detect their Ignorance or Theft.
That Majesty which through thy Work doth Reign Draws the Devout, deterring the Profane.
And things divine thou treats of in such state As them preserves, and Thee in violate.
At once delight and horrour on us seize, Thou singst with so much gravity and ease; And above humane flight dost soar aloft, With Plume so strong, so equal, and so soft.
The Bird nam'd from that Paradise you sing So never Flags, but alwaies keeps on Wing.
Where couldst thou Words of such a compass find? Whence furnish such a vast expense of Mind? Just Heav'n Thee, like Tiresias, to requite, Rewards with Prophesie thy loss of Sight.
Well might thou scorn thy Readers to allure With tinkling Rhime, of thy own Sense secure; While the Town-Bays writes all the while and spells, And like a Pack-Horse tires without his Bells.
Their Fancies like our bushy Points appear, The Poets tag them; we for fashion wear.
I too transported by the Mode offend, And while I meant to Praise thee, must Commend.
Thy verse created like thy Theme sublime, In Number, Weight, and Measure, needs not Rhime.
Written by John Milton | Create an image from this poem

On The Death Of A Fair Infant Dying Of A Cough


O fairest flower no sooner blown but blasted,
Soft silken Primrose fading timelesslie,
Summers chief honour if thou hadst outlasted
Bleak winters force that made thy blossome drie;
For he being amorous on that lovely die
That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss
But kill'd alas, and then bewayl'd his fatal bliss.
II For since grim Aquilo his charioter By boistrous rape th' Athenian damsel got, He thought it toucht his Deitie full neer, If likewise he some fair one wedded not, Thereby to wipe away th' infamous blot, Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld, Which 'mongst the wanton gods a foul reproach was held.
III So mounting up in ycie-pearled carr, Through middle empire of the freezing aire He wanderd long, till thee he spy'd from farr, There ended was his quest, there ceast his care Down he descended from his Snow-soft chaire, But all unwares with his cold-kind embrace Unhous'd thy Virgin Soul from her fair hiding place.
IV Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate; For so Apollo, with unweeting hand Whilome did slay his dearly-loved mate Young Hyacinth born on Eurotas' strand, Young Hyacinth the pride of Spartan land; But then transform'd him to a purple flower Alack that so to change thee winter had no power.
V Yet can I not perswade me thou art dead Or that thy coarse corrupts in earths dark wombe, Or that thy beauties lie in wormie bed, Hid from the world in a low delved tombe; Could Heav'n for pittie thee so strictly doom? O no! for something in thy face did shine Above mortalitie that shew'd thou wast divine.
VI Resolve me then oh Soul most surely blest (If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear) Tell me bright Spirit where e're thou hoverest Whether above that high first-moving Spheare Or in the Elisian fields (if such there were.
) Oh say me true if thou wert mortal wight And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight.
VII Wert thou some Starr which from the ruin'd roofe Of shak't Olympus by mischance didst fall; Which carefull Jove in natures true behoofe Took up, and in fit place did reinstall? Or did of late earths Sonnes besiege the wall Of sheenie Heav'n, and thou some goddess fled Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head VIII Or wert thou that just Maid who once before Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth And cam'st again to visit us once more? Or wert thou that sweet smiling Youth! Or that c[r]own'd Matron sage white-robed Truth? Or any other of that heav'nly brood Let down in clowdie throne to do the world some good.
Note: 53 Or wert thou] Or wert thou Mercy -- conjectured by John Heskin Ch.
from Ode on Nativity, st.
IX Or wert thou of the golden-winged boast, Who having clad thy self in humane weed, To earth from thy praefixed seat didst poast, And after short abode flie back with speed, As if to shew what creatures Heav'n doth breed, Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire To scorn the sordid world, and unto Heav'n aspire.
X But oh why didst thou not stay here below To bless us with thy heav'n-lov'd innocence, To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe To turn Swift-rushing black perdition hence, Or drive away the slaughtering pestilence, To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart But thou canst best perform that office where thou art.
XI Then thou the mother of so sweet a child Her false imagin'd loss cease to lament, And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild; Think what a present thou to God hast sent, And render him with patience what he lent; This if thou do he will an off-spring give, That till the worlds last-end shall make thy name to live.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

No Neck-Tie Party

 A prisoner speaks:

Majority of twenty-three,
I face the Judge with joy and glee;
For am I not a lucky chap -
No more hanging, no more cap;
A "lifer," yes, but well I know
In fifteen years they'll let me go;
For I'll be pious in my prison,
Sing with gusto: Christ Is Risen;
Serve the hymn-books out on Sunday,
Sweep the chapel clean on Monday:
Such a model lag I'll be
In fifteen years they'll set me free.
Majority of twenty three, You've helped me cheat the gallows tree.
I'm twenty now, at thirty-five How I will laugh to be alive! To leap into the world again And bless the fools miscalled "humane," Who say the gibbet's wrong and so At thirty-five they let me go, Tat I may sail the across the sea A killer unsuspect and free, To change my name, to darkly thrive By hook or crook at thirty-five.
O silent dark and beastly wood Where with my bloodied hands I stood! O piteous child I raped and slew! Had she been yours, would you and you Have pardoned me and set me free, Majority of twenty-three? Yet by your solemn vote you willed I shall not die though I have killed; Although I did no mercy show, In mercy you will let me go.
That he who kills and does not pay May live to kill another day.
*By a majority of twenty-three the House of Commons voted the abolition of the death penalty.