Best Famous In The Black Poems

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12
Written by Edna St Vincent Millay | Create an image from this poem

Ode To Silence

 Aye, but she?
Your other sister and my other soul
Grave Silence, lovelier
Than the three loveliest maidens, what of her?
Clio, not you,
Not you, Calliope,
Nor all your wanton line,
Not Beauty's perfect self shall comfort me
For Silence once departed,
For her the cool-tongued, her the tranquil-hearted,
Whom evermore I follow wistfully,
Wandering Heaven and Earth and Hell and the four seasons through;
Thalia, not you,
Not you, Melpomene,
Not your incomparable feet, O thin Terpsichore, I seek in this great hall,
But one more pale, more pensive, most beloved of you all.
I seek her from afar, I come from temples where her altars are, From groves that bear her name, Noisy with stricken victims now and sacrificial flame, And cymbals struck on high and strident faces Obstreperous in her praise They neither love nor know, A goddess of gone days, Departed long ago, Abandoning the invaded shrines and fanes Of her old sanctuary, A deity obscure and legendary, Of whom there now remains, For sages to decipher and priests to garble, Only and for a little while her letters wedged in marble, Which even now, behold, the friendly mumbling rain erases, And the inarticulate snow, Leaving at last of her least signs and traces None whatsoever, nor whither she is vanished from these places.
"She will love well," I said, "If love be of that heart inhabiter, The flowers of the dead; The red anemone that with no sound Moves in the wind, and from another wound That sprang, the heavily-sweet blue hyacinth, That blossoms underground, And sallow poppies, will be dear to her.
And will not Silence know In the black shade of what obsidian steep Stiffens the white narcissus numb with sleep? (Seed which Demeter's daughter bore from home, Uptorn by desperate fingers long ago, Reluctant even as she, Undone Persephone, And even as she set out again to grow In twilight, in perdition's lean and inauspicious loam).
She will love well," I said, "The flowers of the dead; Where dark Persephone the winter round, Uncomforted for home, uncomforted, Lacking a sunny southern slope in northern Sicily, With sullen pupils focussed on a dream, Stares on the stagnant stream That moats the unequivocable battlements of Hell, There, there will she be found, She that is Beauty veiled from men and Music in a swound.
" "I long for Silence as they long for breath Whose helpless nostrils drink the bitter sea; What thing can be So stout, what so redoubtable, in Death What fury, what considerable rage, if only she, Upon whose icy breast, Unquestioned, uncaressed, One time I lay, And whom always I lack, Even to this day, Being by no means from that frigid bosom weaned away, If only she therewith be given me back?" I sought her down that dolorous labyrinth, Wherein no shaft of sunlight ever fell, And in among the bloodless everywhere I sought her, but the air, Breathed many times and spent, Was fretful with a whispering discontent, And questioning me, importuning me to tell Some slightest tidings of the light of day they know no more, Plucking my sleeve, the eager shades were with me where I went.
I paused at every grievous door, And harked a moment, holding up my hand,—and for a space A hush was on them, while they watched my face; And then they fell a-whispering as before; So that I smiled at them and left them, seeing she was not there.
I sought her, too, Among the upper gods, although I knew She was not like to be where feasting is, Nor near to Heaven's lord, Being a thing abhorred And shunned of him, although a child of his, (Not yours, not yours; to you she owes not breath, Mother of Song, being sown of Zeus upon a dream of Death).
Fearing to pass unvisited some place And later learn, too late, how all the while, With her still face, She had been standing there and seen me pass, without a smile, I sought her even to the sagging board whereat The stout immortals sat; But such a laughter shook the mighty hall No one could hear me say: Had she been seen upon the Hill that day? And no one knew at all How long I stood, or when at last I sighed and went away.
There is a garden lying in a lull Between the mountains and the mountainous sea, I know not where, but which a dream diurnal Paints on my lids a moment till the hull Be lifted from the kernel And Slumber fed to me.
Your foot-print is not there, Mnemosene, Though it would seem a ruined place and after Your lichenous heart, being full Of broken columns, caryatides Thrown to the earth and fallen forward on their jointless knees, And urns funereal altered into dust Minuter than the ashes of the dead, And Psyche's lamp out of the earth up-thrust, Dripping itself in marble wax on what was once the bed Of Love, and his young body asleep, but now is dust instead.
There twists the bitter-sweet, the white wisteria Fastens its fingers in the strangling wall, And the wide crannies quicken with bright weeds; There dumbly like a worm all day the still white orchid feeds; But never an echo of your daughters' laughter Is there, nor any sign of you at all Swells fungous from the rotten bough, grey mother of Pieria! Only her shadow once upon a stone I saw,—and, lo, the shadow and the garden, too, were gone.
I tell you you have done her body an ill, You chatterers, you noisy crew! She is not anywhere! I sought her in deep Hell; And through the world as well; I thought of Heaven and I sought her there; Above nor under ground Is Silence to be found, That was the very warp and woof of you, Lovely before your songs began and after they were through! Oh, say if on this hill Somewhere your sister's body lies in death, So I may follow there, and make a wreath Of my locked hands, that on her quiet breast Shall lie till age has withered them! (Ah, sweetly from the rest I see Turn and consider me Compassionate Euterpe!) "There is a gate beyond the gate of Death, Beyond the gate of everlasting Life, Beyond the gates of Heaven and Hell," she saith, "Whereon but to believe is horror! Whereon to meditate engendereth Even in deathless spirits such as I A tumult in the breath, A chilling of the inexhaustible blood Even in my veins that never will be dry, And in the austere, divine monotony That is my being, the madness of an unaccustomed mood.
This is her province whom you lack and seek; And seek her not elsewhere.
Hell is a thoroughfare For pilgrims,—Herakles, And he that loved Euridice too well, Have walked therein; and many more than these; And witnessed the desire and the despair Of souls that passed reluctantly and sicken for the air; You, too, have entered Hell, And issued thence; but thence whereof I speak None has returned;—for thither fury brings Only the driven ghosts of them that flee before all things.
Oblivion is the name of this abode: and she is there.
" Oh, radiant Song! Oh, gracious Memory! Be long upon this height I shall not climb again! I know the way you mean,—the little night, And the long empty day,—never to see Again the angry light, Or hear the hungry noises cry my brain! Ah, but she, Your other sister and my other soul, She shall again be mine; And I shall drink her from a silver bowl, A chilly thin green wine, Not bitter to the taste, Not sweet, Not of your press, oh, restless, clamorous nine,— To foam beneath the frantic hoofs of mirth— But savoring faintly of the acid earth, And trod by pensive feet From perfect clusters ripened without haste Out of the urgent heat In some clear glimmering vaulted twilight under the odorous vine .
Lift up your lyres! Sing on! But as for me, I seek your sister whither she is gone.
Written by Vladimir Mayakovsky | Create an image from this poem

To All and Everything

 No.
It can’t be.
No! You too, beloved? Why? What for? Darling, look - I came, I brought flowers, but, but.
.
.
I never took silver spoons from your drawer! Ashen-faced, I staggered down five flights of stairs.
The street eddied round me.
Blasts.
Blares.
Tires screeched.
It was gusty.
The wind stung my cheeks.
Horn mounted horn lustfully.
Above the capital’s madness I raised my face, stern as the faces of ancient icons.
Sorrow-rent, on your body as on a death-bed, its days my heart ended.
You did not sully your hands with brute murder.
Instead, you let drop calmly: “He’s in bed.
There’s fruit and wine On the bedstand’s palm.
” Love! You only existed in my inflamed brain.
Enough! Stop this foolish comedy and take notice: I’m ripping off my toy armour, I, the greatest of all Don Quixotes! Remember? Weighed down by the cross, Christ stopped for a moment, weary.
Watching him, the mob yelled, jeering: “Get movin’, you clod!” That’s right! Be spiteful.
Spit upon him who begs for a rest on his day of days, harry and curse him.
To the army of zealots, doomed to do good, man shows no mercy! That does it! I swear by my pagan strength - gimme a girl, young, eye-filling, and I won’t waste my feelings on her.
I'll rape her and spear her heart with a gibe willingly.
An eye for an eye! A thousand times over reap of revenge the crops' Never stop! Petrify, stun, howl into every ear: “The earth is a convict, hear, his head half shaved by the sun!” An eye for an eye! Kill me, bury me - I’ll dig myself out, the knives of my teeth by stone — no wonder!- made sharper, A snarling dog, under the plank-beds of barracks I’ll crawl, sneaking out to bite feet that smell of sweat and of market stalls! You'll leap from bed in the night’s early hours.
“Moo!” I’ll roar.
Over my neck, a yoke-savaged sore, tornados of flies will rise.
I'm a white bull over the earth towering! Into an elk I’ll turn, my horns-branches entangled in wires, my eyes red with blood.
Above the world, a beast brought to bay, I'll stand tirelessly.
Man can’t escape! Filthy and humble, a prayer mumbling, on cold stone he lies.
What I’ll do is paint on the royal gates, over God’s own the face of Razin.
Dry up, rivers, stop him from quenching his thirst! Scorn him! Don’t waste your rays, sun! Glare! Let thousands of my disciples be born to trumpet anathemas on the squares! And when at last there comes, stepping onto the peaks of the ages, chillingly, the last of their days, in the black souls of anarchists and killers I, a gory vision, will blaze! It’s dawning, The sky’s mouth stretches out more and more, it drinks up the night sip by sip, thirstily.
The windows send off a glow.
Through the panes heat pours.
The sun, viscous, streams down onto the sleeping city.
O sacred vengeance! Lead me again above the dust without and up the steps of my poetic lines.
This heart of mine, full to the brim, in a confession I will pour out.
Men of the future! Who are you? I must know.
Please! Here am I, all bruises and aches, pain-scorched.
.
.
To you of my great soul I bequeath the orchard.
Written by Pablo Neruda | Create an image from this poem

Nothing But Death

 There are cemeteries that are lonely,
graves full of bones that do not make a sound,
the heart moving through a tunnel,
in it darkness, darkness, darkness,
like a shipwreck we die going into ourselves,
as though we were drowning inside our hearts,
as though we lived falling out of the skin into the soul.
And there are corpses, feet made of cold and sticky clay, death is inside the bones, like a barking where there are no dogs, coming out from bells somewhere, from graves somewhere, growing in the damp air like tears of rain.
Sometimes I see alone coffins under sail, embarking with the pale dead, with women that have dead hair, with bakers who are as white as angels, and pensive young girls married to notary publics, caskets sailing up the vertical river of the dead, the river of dark purple, moving upstream with sails filled out by the sound of death, filled by the sound of death which is silence.
Death arrives among all that sound like a shoe with no foot in it, like a suit with no man in it, comes and knocks, using a ring with no stone in it, with no finger in it, comes and shouts with no mouth, with no tongue, with no throat.
Nevertheless its steps can be heard and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree.
I'm not sure, I understand only a little, I can hardly see, but it seems to me that its singing has the color of damp violets, of violets that are at home in the earth, because the face of death is green, and the look death gives is green, with the penetrating dampness of a violet leaf and the somber color of embittered winter.
But death also goes through the world dressed as a broom, lapping the floor, looking for dead bodies, death is inside the broom, the broom is the tongue of death looking for corpses, it is the needle of death looking for thread.
Death is inside the folding cots: it spends its life sleeping on the slow mattresses, in the black blankets, and suddenly breathes out: it blows out a mournful sound that swells the sheets, and the beds go sailing toward a port where death is waiting, dressed like an admiral.
Written by Linda Pastan | Create an image from this poem

Self-Portrait

 After Adam Zagajewski



I am child to no one, mother to a few,
wife for the long haul.
On fall days I am happy with my dying brethren, the leaves, but in spring my head aches from the flowery scents.
My husband fills a room with Mozart which I turn off, embracing the silence as if it were an empty page waiting for me alone to fill it.
He digs in the black earth with his bare hands.
I scrub it from the creases of his skin, longing for the kind of perfection that happens in books.
My house is my only heaven.
A red dog sleeps at my feet, dreaming of the manic wings of flushed birds.
As the road shortens ahead of me I look over my shoulder to where it curves back to childhood, its white line bisecting the real and the imagined the way the ridgepole of the spine divides the two parts of the body, leaving the soft belly in the center vulnerable to anything.
As for my country, it blunders along as well intentioned as Eve choosing cider and windfalls, oblivious to the famine soon to come.
I stir pots, bury my face in books, or hold a telephone to my ear as if its cord were the umbilicus of the world whose voices still whisper to me even after they have left their bodies.
Written by John Matthew | Create an image from this poem

Is White a Color?

 White, pristine, unblemished
They say it is not a color
I love white mists, clouds
Lingering on blue mountains.
White, no shades No off white, cream Pure as snow on shimmering peaks Is my favorite sight.
Nurses, priests, politicians Are bound, chained to white White nebulous clouds evoke deep nostalgic thoughts.
They swaddled my father in white As he lay in the black coffin His best shirt was white His loin cloth was white.
The paper I write is white White is holy, pure They say light is white Because it combines all colors.
So white is the mother of all colors The churning of all yellow, blue, green Colors sacrifice their egos To the eternal white.
They say they are "white" The purest of all races I think they aren't white But pink, beige and red.
Why can't colors of people Merge and become white Would people called "white" Allow their color to merge? Is white a color? The matriarch of all colors The fountain of all extent colors Yes, king white reigns supreme!
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

 No matter what life you lead
the virgin is a lovely number:
cheeks as fragile as cigarette paper,
arms and legs made of Limoges,
lips like Vin Du Rhône,
rolling her china-blue doll eyes
open and shut.
Open to say, Good Day Mama, and shut for the thrust of the unicorn.
She is unsoiled.
She is as white as a bonefish.
Once there was a lovely virgin called Snow White.
Say she was thirteen.
Her stepmother, a beauty in her own right, though eaten, of course, by age, would hear of no beauty surpassing her own.
Beauty is a simple passion, but, oh my friends, in the end you will dance the fire dance in iron shoes.
The stepmother had a mirror to which she referred-- something like the weather forecast-- a mirror that proclaimed the one beauty of the land.
She would ask, Looking glass upon the wall, who is fairest of us all? And the mirror would reply, You are the fairest of us all.
Pride pumped in her like poison.
Suddenly one day the mirror replied, Queen, you are full fair, 'tis true, but Snow White is fairer than you.
Until that moment Snow White had been no more important than a dust mouse under the bed.
But now the queen saw brown spots on her hand and four whiskers over her lip so she condemned Snow White to be hacked to death.
Bring me her heart, she said to the hunter, and I will salt it and eat it.
The hunter, however, let his prisoner go and brought a boar's heart back to the castle.
The queen chewed it up like a cube steak.
Now I am fairest, she said, lapping her slim white fingers.
Snow White walked in the wildwood for weeks and weeks.
At each turn there were twenty doorways and at each stood a hungry wolf, his tongue lolling out like a worm.
The birds called out lewdly, talking like pink parrots, and the snakes hung down in loops, each a noose for her sweet white neck.
On the seventh week she came to the seventh mountain and there she found the dwarf house.
It was as droll as a honeymoon cottage and completely equipped with seven beds, seven chairs, seven forks and seven chamber pots.
Snow White ate seven chicken livers and lay down, at last, to sleep.
The dwarfs, those little hot dogs, walked three times around Snow White, the sleeping virgin.
They were wise and wattled like small czars.
Yes.
It's a good omen, they said, and will bring us luck.
They stood on tiptoes to watch Snow White wake up.
She told them about the mirror and the killer-queen and they asked her to stay and keep house.
Beware of your stepmother, they said.
Soon she will know you are here.
While we are away in the mines during the day, you must not open the door.
Looking glass upon the wall .
.
.
The mirror told and so the queen dressed herself in rags and went out like a peddler to trap Snow White.
She went across seven mountains.
She came to the dwarf house and Snow White opened the door and bought a bit of lacing.
The queen fastened it tightly around her bodice, as tight as an Ace bandage, so tight that Snow White swooned.
She lay on the floor, a plucked daisy.
When the dwarfs came home they undid the lace and she revived miraculously.
She was as full of life as soda pop.
Beware of your stepmother, they said.
She will try once more.
Snow White, the dumb bunny, opened the door and she bit into a poison apple and fell down for the final time.
When the dwarfs returned they undid her bodice, they looked for a comb, but it did no good.
Though they washed her with wine and rubbed her with butter it was to no avail.
She lay as still as a gold piece.
The seven dwarfs could not bring themselves to bury her in the black ground so they made a glass coffin and set it upon the seventh mountain so that all who passed by could peek in upon her beauty.
A prince came one June day and would not budge.
He stayed so long his hair turned green and still he would not leave.
The dwarfs took pity upon him and gave him the glass Snow White-- its doll's eyes shut forever-- to keep in his far-off castle.
As the prince's men carried the coffin they stumbled and dropped it and the chunk of apple flew out of her throat and she woke up miraculously.
And thus Snow White became the prince's bride.
The wicked queen was invited to the wedding feast and when she arrived there were red-hot iron shoes, in the manner of red-hot roller skates, clamped upon her feet.
First your toes will smoke and then your heels will turn black and you will fry upward like a frog, she was told.
And so she danced until she was dead, a subterranean figure, her tongue flicking in and out like a gas jet.
Meanwhile Snow White held court, rolling her china-blue doll eyes open and shut and sometimes referring to her mirror as women do.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Saltbush Bills Second Flight

 The news came down on the Castlereagh, and went to the world at large, 
That twenty thousand travelling sheep, with Saltbush Bill in charge, 
Were drifting down from a dried-out run to ravage the Castlereagh; 
And the squatters swore when they heard the news, and wished they were well away: 
For the name and the fame of Saltbush Bill were over the country-side 
For the wonderful way that he fed his sheep, and the dodges and tricks he tried.
He would lose his way on a Main Stock Route, and stray to the squatters' grass; He would come to a run with the boss away, and swear he had leave to pass; And back of all and behind it all, as well the squatters knew, If he had to fight, he would fight all day, so long as his sheep got through: But this is the story of Stingy Smith, the owner of Hard Times Hill, And the way that he chanced on a fighting man to reckon with Saltbush Bill.
'Twas Stingy Smith on his stockyard sat, and prayed for an early Spring, When he started at sight of a clean-shaved tramp, who walked with a jaunty swing; For a clean-shaved tramp with a jaunty walk a-swinging along the track Is as rare a thing as a feathered frog on the desolate roads out back.
So the tramp he made for the travellers' hut, to ask could he camp the night; But Stingy Smith had a bright idea, and called to him, "Can you fight?" "Why, what's the game?" said the clean-shaved tramp, as he looked at him up and down; "If you want a battle, get off that fence, and I'll kill you for half-a-crown! But, Boss, you'd better not fight with me -- it wouldn't be fair nor right; I'm Stiffener Joe, from the Rocks Brigade, and I killed a man in a fight: I served two years for it, fair and square, and now I'm trampin' back, To look for a peaceful quiet life away on the outside track.
" "Oh, it's not myself, but a drover chap," said Stingy Smith with glee, "A bullying fellow called Saltbush Bill, and you are the man for me.
He's on the road with his hungry sheep, and he's certain to raise a row, For he's bullied the whole of the Castlereagh till he's got them under cow -- Just pick a quarrel and raise a fight, and leather him good and hard, And I'll take good care that his wretched sheep don't wander a half a yard.
It's a five-pound job if you belt him well -- do anything short of kill, For there isn't a beak on the Castlereagh will fine you for Saltbush Bill.
" "I'll take the job," said the fighting man; "and, hot as this cove appears, He'll stand no chance with a bloke like me, what's lived on the game for years; For he's maybe learnt in a boxing school, and sparred for a round or so, But I've fought all hands in a ten-foot ring each night in a travelling show; They earned a pound if they stayed three rounds, and they tried for it every night.
In a ten-foot ring! Oh, that's the game that teaches a bloke to fight, For they'd rush and clinch -- it was Dublin Rules, and we drew no colour line; And they all tried hard for to earn the pound, but they got no pound of mine.
If I saw no chance in the opening round I'd slog at their wind, and wait Till an opening came -- and it always came -- and I settled 'em, sure as fate; Left on the ribs and right on the jaw -- and, when the chance comes, make sure! And it's there a professional bloke like me gets home on an amateur: For it's my experience every day, and I make no doubt it's yours, That a third-class pro is an over-match for the best of the amateurs --" "Oh, take your swag to the travellers' hut," said Smith, "for you waste your breath; You've a first-class chance, if you lose the fight, of talking your man to death.
I'll tell the cook you're to have your grub, and see that you eat your fill, And come to the scratch all fit and well to leather this Saltbush Bill.
" 'Twas Saltbush Bill, and his travelling sheep were wending their weary way On the Main Stock Route, through the Hard Times Run, on their six-mile stage a day; And he strayed a mile from the Main Stock Route, and started to feed along, And when Stingy Smith came up Bill said that the Route was surveyed wrong; And he tried to prove that the sheep had rushed and strayed from their camp at night, But the fighting man he kicked Bill's dog, and of course that meant a fight.
So they sparred and fought, and they shifted ground, and never a sound was heard But the thudding fists on their brawny ribs, and the seconds' muttered word, Till the fighting man shot home his left on the ribs with a mighty clout, And his right flashed up with a half-arm blow -- and Saltbush Bill "went out".
He fell face down, and towards the blow; and their hearts with fear were filled, For he lay as still as a fallen tree, and they thought that he must be killed.
So Stingy Smith and the fighting man, they lifted him from the ground, And sent back home for a brandy-flask, and they slowly fetched him round; But his head was bad, and his jaw was hurt -- in fact, he could scarcely speak -- So they let him spell till he got his wits; and he camped on the run a week, While the travelling sheep went here and there, wherever they liked to stray, Till Saltbush Bill was fit once more for the track to the Castlereagh.
Then Stingy Smith he wrote a note, and gave to the fighting man: 'Twas writ to the boss of the neighbouring run, and thus the missive ran: "The man with this is a fighting man, one Stiffener Joe by name; He came near murdering Saltbush Bill, and I found it a costly game: But it's worth your while to employ the chap, for there isn't the slightest doubt You'll have no trouble from Saltbush Bill while this man hangs about.
" But an answer came by the next week's mail, with news that might well appal: "The man you sent with a note is not a fighting man at all! He has shaved his beard, and has cut his hair, but I spotted him at a look; He is Tom Devine, who has worked for years for Saltbush Bill as cook.
Bill coached him up in the fighting yard, and taught him the tale by rote, And they shammed to fight, and they got your grass, and divided your five-pound note.
'Twas a clean take-in; and you'll find it wise -- 'twill save you a lot of pelf -- When next you're hiring a fighting man, just fight him a round yourself.
" And the teamsters out on the Castlereagh, when they meet with a week of rain, And the waggon sinks to its axle-tree, deep down in the black-soil plain, When the bullocks wade in a sea of mud, and strain at the load of wool, And the cattle-dogs at the bullocks' heels are biting to make them pull, When the off-side driver flays the team, and curses tham while he flogs, And the air is thick with the language used, and the clamour of men and dogs -- The teamsters say, as they pause to rest and moisten each hairy throat, They wish they could swear like Stingy Smith when he read that neighbour's note.
Written by W S Merwin | Create an image from this poem

For A Coming Extinction

 Gray whale
Now that we are sinding you to The End
That great god
Tell him
That we who follow you invented forgiveness
And forgive nothing

I write as though you could understand
And I could say it
One must always pretend something
Among the dying
When you have left the seas nodding on their stalks
Empty of you
Tell him that we were made
On another day

The bewilderment will diminish like an echo
Winding along your inner mountains
Unheard by us
And find its way out
Leaving behind it the future
Dead
And ours

When you will not see again
The whale calves trying the light
Consider what you will find in the black garden
And its court
The sea cows the Great Auks the gorillas
The irreplaceable hosts ranged countless
And fore-ordaining as stars
Our sacrifices
Join your work to theirs
Tell him
That it is we who are important
Written by Dame Edith Sitwell | Create an image from this poem

Four in the Morning

 Cried the navy-blue ghost
Of Mr.
Belaker The allegro Negro cocktail-shaker, "Why did the cock crow, Why am I lost, Down the endless road to Infinity toss'd? The tropical leaves are whispering white As water; I race the wind in my flight.
The white lace houses are carried away By the tide; far out they float and sway.
White is the nursemaid on the parade.
Is she real, as she flirts with me unafraid? I raced through the leaves as white as water.
.
.
Ghostly, flowed over the nursemaid, caught her, Left her.
.
.
edging the far-off sand Is the foam of the sirens' Metropole and Grand; And along the parade I am blown and lost, Down the endless road to Infinity toss'd.
The guinea-fowl-plumaged houses sleep.
.
.
On one, I saw the lone grass weep, Where only the whimpering greyhound wind Chased me, raced me, for what it could find.
" And there in the black and furry boughs How slowly, coldly, old Time grows, Where the pigeons smelling of gingerbread, And the spectacled owls so deeply read, And the sweet ring-doves of curded milk Watch the Infanta's gown of silk In the ghost-room tall where the governante Gesticulates lente and walks andante.
'Madam, Princesses must be obedient; For a medicine now becomes expedient-- Of five ingredients--a diapente, Said the governante, fading lente.
.
.
In at the window then looked he, The navy-blue ghost of Mr.
Belaker, The allegro Negro cocktail-shaker-- And his flattened face like the moon saw she-- Rhinoceros-black (a flowing sea!).
Written by Oscar Wilde | Create an image from this poem

Nay Lord not thus! white lilies in the spring

 Seven stars in the still water,
And seven in the sky;
Seven sins on the King's daughter,
Deep in her soul to lie.
Red roses are at her feet, (Roses are red in her red-gold hair) And O where her bosom and girdle meet Red roses are hidden there.
Fair is the knight who lieth slain Amid the rush and reed, See the lean fishes that are fain Upon dead men to feed.
Sweet is the page that lieth there, (Cloth of gold is goodly prey,) See the black ravens in the air, Black, O black as the night are they.
What do they there so stark and dead? (There is blood upon her hand) Why are the lilies flecked with red? (There is blood on the river sand.
) There are two that ride from the south and east, And two from the north and west, For the black raven a goodly feast, For the King's daughter rest.
There is one man who loves her true, (Red, O red, is the stain of gore!) He hath duggen a grave by the darksome yew, (One grave will do for four.
) No moon in the still heaven, In the black water none, The sins on her soul are seven, The sin upon his is one.
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