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Best Famous Incantation Poems

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12
Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley | Create an image from this poem

Ode to the West Wind

O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being¡ª 
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead 
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, 
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, 
Pestilence-stricken multitudes!¡ªO thou 5 
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed 
The wing¨¨d seeds, where they lie cold and low, 
Each like a corpse within its grave, until 
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow 
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill 10 
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) 
With living hues and odours plain and hill¡ª 
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere¡ª 
Destroyer and Preserver¡ªhear, O hear! 

Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion, 15 
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed, 
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean, 
Angels of rain and lightning! they are spread 
On the blue surface of thine airy surge, 
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head 20 
Of some fierce M?nad, ev'n from the dim verge 
Of the horizon to the zenith's height¡ª 
The locks of the approaching storm.
Thou dirge Of the dying year, to which this closing night Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre, 25 Vaulted with all thy congregated might Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst:¡ªO hear! Thou who didst waken from his summer-dreams The blue Mediterranean, where he lay, 30 Lull'd by the coil of his crystalline streams, Beside a pumice isle in Bai?'s bay, And saw in sleep old palaces and towers Quivering within the wave's intenser day, All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers 35 So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou For whose path the Atlantic's level powers Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear The sapless foliage of the ocean, know 40 Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear And tremble and despoil themselves:¡ªO hear! If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear; If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee; A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share 45 The impulse of thy strength, only less free Than thou, O uncontrollable!¡ªif even I were as in my boyhood, and could be The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven, As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed 50 Scarce seem'd a vision,¡ªI would ne'er have striven As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
O lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud! I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed! A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd 55 One too like thee¡ªtameless, and swift, and proud.
Make me thy lyre, ev'n as the forest is: What if my leaves are falling like its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take from both a deep autumnal tone, 60 Sweet though in sadness.
Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit! be thou me, impetuous one! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe, Like wither'd leaves, to quicken a new birth; And, by the incantation of this verse, 65 Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? 70
Written by Aleister Crowley | Create an image from this poem

The Garden of Janus

 I

The cloud my bed is tinged with blood and foam.
The vault yet blazes with the sun Writhing above the West, brave hippodrome Whose gladiators shock and shun As the blue night devours them, crested comb Of sleep's dead sea That eats the shores of life, rings round eternity! II So, he is gone whose giant sword shed flame Into my bowels; my blood's bewitched; My brain's afloat with ecstasy of shame.
That tearing pain is gone, enriched By his life-spasm; but he being gone, the same Myself is gone Sucked by the dragon down below death's horizon.
III I woke from this.
I lay upon the lawn; They had thrown roses on the moss With all their thorns; we came there at the dawn, My lord and I; God sailed across The sky in's galleon of amber, drawn By singing winds While we wove garlands of the flowers of our minds.
IV All day my lover deigned to murder me, Linking his kisses in a chain About my neck; demon-embroidery! Bruises like far-ff mountains stain The valley of my body of ivory! Then last came sleep.
I wake, and he is gone; what should I do but weep? V Nay, for I wept enough --- more sacred tears! --- When first he pinned me, gripped My flesh, and as a stallion that rears, Sprang, hero-thewed and satyr-lipped; Crushed, as a grape between his teeth, my fears; Sucked out my life And stamped me with the shame, the monstrous word of wife.
VI I will not weep; nay, I will follow him Perchance he is not far, Bathing his limbs in some delicious dim Depth, where the evening star May kiss his mouth, or by the black sky's rim He makes his prayer To the great serpent that is coiled in rapture there.
VII I rose to seek him.
First my footsteps faint Pressed the starred moss; but soon I wandered, like some sweet sequestered saint, Into the wood, my mind.
The moon Was staggered by the trees; with fierce constraint Hardly one ray Pierced to the ragged earth about their roots that lay.
VIII I wandered, crying on my Lord.
I wandered Eagerly seeking everywhere.
The stories of life that on my lips he squandered Grew into shrill cries of despair, Until the dryads frightened and dumfoundered Fled into space --- Like to a demon-king's was grown my maiden face! XI At last I came unto the well, my soul In that still glass, I saw no sign Of him, and yet --- what visions there uproll To cloud that mirror-soul of mine? Above my head there screams a flying scroll Whose word burnt through My being as when stars drop in black disastrous dew.
X For in that scroll was written how the globe Of space became; of how the light Broke in that space and wrapped it in a robe Of glory; of how One most white Withdrew that Whole, and hid it in the lobe Of his right Ear, So that the Universe one dewdrop did appear.
IX Yea! and the end revealed a word, a spell, An incantation, a device Whereby the Eye of the Most Terrible Wakes from its wilderness of ice To flame, whereby the very core of hell Bursts from its rind, Sweeping the world away into the blank of mind.
XII So then I saw my fault; I plunged within The well, and brake the images That I had made, as I must make - Men spin The webs that snare them - while the knee Bend to the tyrant God - or unto Sin The lecher sunder! Ah! came that undulant light from over or from under? XIII It matters not.
Come, change! come, Woe! Come, mask! Drive Light, Life, Love into the deep! In vain we labour at the loathsome task Not knowing if we wake or sleep; But in the end we lift the plumed casque Of the dead warrior; Find no chaste corpse therein, but a soft-smiling whore.
XIV Then I returned into myself, and took All in my arms, God's universe: Crushed its black juice out, while His anger shook His dumbness pregnant with a curse.
I made me ink, and in a little book I wrote one word That God himself, the adder of Thought, had never heard.
XV It detonated.
Nature, God, mankind Like sulphur, nitre, charcoal, once Blended, in one annihilation blind Were rent into a myriad of suns.
Yea! all the mighty fabric of a Mind Stood in the abyss, Belching a Law for "That" more awful than for "This.
" XVI Vain was the toil.
So then I left the wood And came unto the still black sea, That oily monster of beatitude! ('Hath "Thee" for "Me," and "Me" for "Thee!") There as I stood, a mask of solitude Hiding a face Wried as a satyr's, rolled that ocean into space.
XVII Then did I build an altar on the shore Of oyster-shells, and ringed it round With star-fish.
Thither a green flame I bore Of phosphor foam, and strewed the ground With dew-drops, children of my wand, whose core Was trembling steel Electric that made spin the universal Wheel.
XVIII With that a goat came running from the cave That lurked below the tall white cliff.
Thy name! cried I.
The answer that gave Was but one tempest-whisper - "If!" Ah, then! his tongue to his black palate clave; For on soul's curtain Is written this one certainty that naught is certain! XIX So then I caught that goat up in a kiss.
And cried Io Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan! Then all this body's wealth of ambergris, (Narcissus-scented flesh of man!) I burnt before him in the sacrifice; For he was sure - Being the Doubt of Things, the one thing to endure! XX Wherefore, when madness took him at the end, He, doubt-goat, slew the goat of doubt; And that which inward did for ever tend Came at the last to have come out; And I who had the World and God to friend Found all three foes! Drowned in that sea of changes, vacancies, and woes! XXI Yet all that Sea was swallowed up therein; So they were not, and it was not.
As who should sweat his soul out through the skin And find (sad fool!) he had begot All that without him that he had left in, And in himself All he had taken out thereof, a mocking elf! XXII But now that all was gone, great Pan appeared.
Him then I strove to woo, to win, Kissing his curled lips, playing with his beard, Setting his brain a-shake, a-spin, By that strong wand, and muttering of the weird That only I Knew of all souls alive or dead beneath the sky.
XXIII So still I conquered, and the vision passed.
Yet still was beaten, for I knew Myself was He, Himself, the first and last; And as an unicorn drinks dew From under oak-leaves, so my strength was cast Into the mire; For all I did was dream, and all I dreamt desire.
XXIV More; in this journey I had clean forgotten The quest, my lover.
But the tomb Of all these thoughts, the rancid and the rotten, Proved in the end to be my womb Wherein my Lord and lover had begotten A little child To drive me, laughing lion, into the wanton wild! XXV This child hath not one hair upon his head, But he hath wings instead of ears.
No eyes hath he, but all his light is shed Within him on the ordered sphere Of nature that he hideth; and in stead Of mouth he hath One minute point of jet; silence, the lightning path! XXVI Also his nostrils are shut up; for he Hath not the need of any breath; Nor can the curtain of eternity Cover that head with life or death.
So all his body, a slim almond-tree, Knoweth no bough Nor branch nor twig nor bud, from never until now.
XXVII This thought I bred within my bowels, I am.
I am in him, as he in me; And like a satyr ravishing a lamb So either seems, or as the sea Swallows the whale that swallows it, the ram Beats its own head Upon the city walls, that fall as it falls dead.
XXVIII Come, let me back unto the lilied lawn! Pile me the roses and the thorns, Upon this bed from which he hath withdrawn! He may return.
A million morns May follow that first dire daemonic dawn When he did split My spirit with his lightnings and enveloped it! XXIX So I am stretched out naked to the knife, My whole soul twitching with the stress Of the expected yet surprising strife, A martyrdom of blessedness.
Though Death came, I could kiss him into life; Though Life came, I Could kiss him into death, and yet nor live nor die! *** Yet I that am the babe, the sire, the dam, Am also none of these at all; For now that cosmic chaos of I AM Bursts like a bubble.
Mystical The night comes down, a soaring wedge of flame Woven therein To be a sign to them who yet have never been.
XXXI The universe I measured with my rod.
The blacks were balanced with the whites; Satan dropped down even as up soared God; Whores prayed and danced with anchorites.
So in my book the even matched the odd: No word I wrote Therein, but sealed it with the signet of the goat.
XXXII This also I seal up.
Read thou herein Whose eyes are blind! Thou may'st behold Within the wheel (that alway seems to spin All ways) a point of static gold.
Then may'st thou out therewith, and fit it in That extreme spher Whose boundless farness makes it infinitely near.
Written by Vachel Lindsay | Create an image from this poem

The Chinese Nightingale

 A Song in Chinese Tapestries


"How, how," he said.
"Friend Chang," I said, "San Francisco sleeps as the dead— Ended license, lust and play: Why do you iron the night away? Your big clock speaks with a deadly sound, With a tick and a wail till dawn comes round.
While the monster shadows glower and creep, What can be better for man than sleep?" "I will tell you a secret," Chang replied; "My breast with vision is satisfied, And I see green trees and fluttering wings, And my deathless bird from Shanghai sings.
" Then he lit five fire-crackers in a pan.
"Pop, pop," said the fire-crackers, "cra-cra-crack.
" He lit a joss stick long and black.
Then the proud gray joss in the corner stirred; On his wrist appeared a gray small bird, And this was the song of the gray small bird: "Where is the princess, loved forever, Who made Chang first of the kings of men?" And the joss in the corner stirred again; And the carved dog, curled in his arms, awoke, Barked forth a smoke-cloud that whirled and broke.
It piled in a maze round the ironing-place, And there on the snowy table wide Stood a Chinese lady of high degree, With a scornful, witching, tea-rose face.
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Yet she put away all form and pride, And laid her glimmering veil aside With a childlike smile for Chang and for me.
The walls fell back, night was aflower, The table gleamed in a moonlit bower, While Chang, with a countenance carved of stone, Ironed and ironed, all alone.
And thus she sang to the busy man Chang: "Have you forgotten.
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Deep in the ages, long, long ago, I was your sweetheart, there on the sand— Storm-worn beach of the Chinese land? We sold our grain in the peacock town Built on the edge of the sea-sands brown— Built on the edge of the sea-sands brown.
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"When all the world was drinking blood From the skulls of men and bulls And all the world had swords and clubs of stone, We drank our tea in China beneath the sacred spice-trees, And heard the curled waves of the harbor moan.
And this gray bird, in Love's first spring, With a bright-bronze breast and a bronze-brown wing, Captured the world with his carolling.
Do you remember, ages after, At last the world we were born to own? You were the heir of the yellow throne— The world was the field of the Chinese man And we were the pride of the Sons of Han? We copied deep books and we carved in jade, And wove blue silks in the mulberry shade.
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" "I remember, I remember That Spring came on forever, That Spring came on forever," Said the Chinese nightingale.
My heart was filled with marvel and dream, Though I saw the western street-lamps gleam, Though dawn was bringing the western day, Though Chang was a laundryman ironing away.
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Mingled there with the streets and alleys, The railroad-yard and the clock-tower bright, Demon clouds crossed ancient valleys; Across wide lotus-ponds of light I marked a giant firefly's flight.
And the lady, rosy-red, Flourished her fan, her shimmering fan, Stretched her hand toward Chang, and said: "Do you remember, Ages after, Our palace of heart-red stone? Do you remember The little doll-faced children With their lanterns full of moon-fire, That came from all the empire Honoring the throne?— The loveliest fête and carnival Our world had ever known? The sages sat about us With their heads bowed in their beards, With proper meditation on the sight.
Confucius was not born; We lived in those great days Confucius later said were lived aright.
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And this gray bird, on that day of spring, With a bright bronze breast, and a bronze-brown wing, Captured the world with his carolling.
Late at night his tune was spent.
Peasants, Sages, Children, Homeward went, And then the bronze bird sang for you and me.
We walked alone.
Our hearts were high and free.
I had a silvery name, I had a silvery name, I had a silvery name — do you remember The name you cried beside the tumbling sea?" Chang turned not to the lady slim— He bent to his work, ironing away; But she was arch, and knowing and glowing, And the bird on his shoulder spoke for him.
"Darling .
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darling .
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darling .
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darling .
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" Said the Chinese nightingale.
The great gray joss on a rustic shelf, Rakish and shrewd, with his collar awry, Sang impolitely, as though by himself, Drowning with his bellowing the nightingale's cry: "Back through a hundred, hundred years Hear the waves as they climb the piers, Hear the howl of the silver seas, Hear the thunder.
Hear the gongs of holy China How the waves and tunes combine In a rhythmic clashing wonder, Incantation old and fine: `Dragons, dragons, Chinese dragons, Red fire-crackers, and green fire-crackers, And dragons, dragons, Chinese dragons.
'" Then the lady, rosy-red, Turned to her lover Chang and said: "Dare you forget that turquoise dawn When we stood in our mist-hung velvet lawn, And worked a spell this great joss taught Till a God of the Dragons was charmed and caught? From the flag high over our palace home He flew to our feet in rainbow-foam — A king of beauty and tempest and thunder Panting to tear our sorrows asunder.
A dragon of fair adventure and wonder.
We mounted the back of that royal slave With thoughts of desire that were noble and grave.
We swam down the shore to the dragon-mountains, We whirled to the peaks and the fiery fountains.
To our secret ivory house we were bourne.
We looked down the wonderful wing-filled regions Where the dragons darted in glimmering legions.
Right by my breast the nightingale sang; The old rhymes rang in the sunlit mist That we this hour regain — Song-fire for the brain.
When my hands and my hair and my feet you kissed, When you cried for your heart's new pain, What was my name in the dragon-mist, In the rings of rainbowed rain?" "Sorrow and love, glory and love," Said the Chinese nightingale.
"Sorrow and love, glory and love," Said the Chinese nightingale.
And now the joss broke in with his song: "Dying ember, bird of Chang, Soul of Chang, do you remember? — Ere you returned to the shining harbor There were pirates by ten thousand Descended on the town In vessels mountain-high and red and brown, Moon-ships that climbed the storms and cut the skies.
On their prows were painted terrible bright eyes.
But I was then a wizard and a scholar and a priest; I stood upon the sand; With lifted hand I looked upon them And sunk their vessels with my wizard eyes, And the stately lacquer-gate made safe again.
Deep, deep below the bay, the sea-weed and the spray, Embalmed in amber every pirate lies, Embalmed in amber every pirate lies.
" Then this did the noble lady say: "Bird, do you dream of our home-coming day When you flew like a courier on before From the dragon-peak to our palace-door, And we drove the steed in your singing path— The ramping dragon of laughter and wrath: And found our city all aglow, And knighted this joss that decked it so? There were golden fishes in the purple river And silver fishes and rainbow fishes.
There were golden junks in the laughing river, And silver junks and rainbow junks: There were golden lilies by the bay and river, And silver lilies and tiger-lilies, And tinkling wind-bells in the gardens of the town By the black-lacquer gate Where walked in state The kind king Chang And his sweet-heart mate.
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With his flag-born dragon And his crown of pearl.
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and.
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jade, And his nightingale reigning in the mulberry shade, And sailors and soldiers on the sea-sands brown, And priests who bowed them down to your song— By the city called Han, the peacock town, By the city called Han, the nightingale town, The nightingale town.
" Then sang the bird, so strangely gay, Fluttering, fluttering, ghostly and gray, A vague, unravelling, final tune, Like a long unwinding silk cocoon; Sang as though for the soul of him Who ironed away in that bower dim: — "I have forgotten Your dragons great, Merry and mad and friendly and bold.
Dim is your proud lost palace-gate.
I vaguely know There were heroes of old, Troubles more than the heart could hold, There were wolves in the woods Yet lambs in the fold, Nests in the top of the almond tree.
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The evergreen tree.
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and the mulberry tree.
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Life and hurry and joy forgotten, Years on years I but half-remember.
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Man is a torch, then ashes soon, May and June, then dead December, Dead December, then again June.
Who shall end my dream's confusion? Life is a loom, weaving illusion.
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I remember, I remember There were ghostly veils and laces.
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In the shadowy bowery places.
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With lovers' ardent faces Bending to one another, Speaking each his part.
They infinitely echo In the red cave of my heart.
`Sweetheart, sweetheart, sweetheart.
' They said to one another.
They spoke, I think, of perils past.
They spoke, I think, of peace at last.
One thing I remember: Spring came on forever, Spring came on forever," Said the Chinese nightingale.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

The Incantation

 Scene: Federal Political Arena 
A darkened cave.
In the middle, a cauldron, boiling.
Enter the three witches.
1ST WITCH: Thrice hath the Federal Jackass brayed.
2ND WITCH: Once the Bruce-Smith War-horse neighed.
3RD WITCH: So Georgie comes, 'tis time, 'tis time, Around the cauldron to chant our rhyme.
1ST WITCH: In the cauldron boil and bake Fillet of a tariff snake, Home-made flannels -- mostly cotton, Apples full of moths, and rotten, Lamb that perished in the drought, Starving stock from "furthest out", Drops of sweat from cultivators, Sweating to feed legislators.
Grime from a white stoker's nob, Toiling at a ******'s job.
Thus the great Australian Nation, Seeks political salvation.
ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
2ND WITCH: Heel-taps from the threepenny bars, Ash from Socialist cigars.
Leathern tongue of boozer curst With the great Australian thirst, Two-up gambler keeping dark, Loafer sleeping in the park -- Drop them in to prove the sequel, All men are born free and equal.
ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
3RD WITCH:Lung of Labour agitator, Gall of Isaacs turning traitor; Spleen that Kingston has revealed, Sawdust stuffing out of Neild; Mix them up, and then combine With duplicity of Lyne, Alfred Deakin's gift of gab, Mix the gruel thick and slab.
ALL: Double, double, toil and trouble, Heav'n help Australia in her trouble.
HECATE: Oh, well done, I commend your pains, And everyone shall share i' the gains, And now about the cauldron sing, Enchanting all that you put in.
Round about the cauldron go, In the People's rights we'll throw, Cool it with an Employer's blood, Then the charm stands firm and good, And thus with chaos in possession, Ring in the coming Fed'ral Session.
Written by Czeslaw Milosz | Create an image from this poem

Incantation

 Human reason is beautiful and invincible.
No bars, no barbed wire, no pulping of books, No sentence of banishment can prevail against it.
It establishes the universal ideas in language, And guides our hand so we write Truth and Justice With capital letters, lie and oppression with small.
It puts what should be above things as they are, Is an enemy of despair and a friend of hope.
It does not know Jew from Greek or slave from master, Giving us the estate of the world to manage.
It saves austere and transparent phrases From the filthy discord of tortured words.
It says that everything is new under the sun, Opens the congealed fist of the past.
Beautiful and very young are Philo-Sophia And poetry, her ally in the service of the good.
As late as yesterday Nature celebrated their birth, The news was brought to the mountains by a unicorn and an echo.
Their friendship will be glorious, their time has no limit.
Their enemies have delivered themselves to destruction.
Written by Duncan Campbell Scott | Create an image from this poem

Ode for the Keats Centenary

 The Muse is stern unto her favoured sons,
Giving to some the keys of all the joy
Of the green earth, but holding even that joy
Back from their life;
Bidding them feed on hope,
A plant of bitter growth,
Deep-rooted in the past;
Truth, 'tis a doubtful art
To make Hope sweeten
Time as it flows;
For no man knows
Until the very last,
Whether it be a sovereign herb that he has eaten,
Or his own heart.
O stern, implacable Muse, Giving to Keats so richly dowered, Only the thought that he should be Among the English poets after death; Letting him fade with that expectancy, All powerless to unfold the future! What boots it that our age has snatched him free From thy too harsh embrace, Has given his fame the certainty Of comradeship with Shakespeare's? He lies alone Beneath the frown of the old Roman stone And the cold Roman violets; And not our wildest incantation Of his most sacred lines, Nor all the praise that sets Towards his pale grave, Like oceans towards the moon, Will move the Shadow with the pensive brow To break his dream, And give unto him now One word! -- When the young master reasoned That our puissant England Reared her great poets by neglect, Trampling them down in the by-paths of Life And fostering them with glory after death, Did any flame of triumph from his own fame Fall swift upon his mind; the glow Cast back upon the bleak and aching air Blown around his days -- ? Happily so! But he, whose soul was mighty as the soul Of Milton, who held the vision of the world As an irradiant orb self-filled with light, Who schooled his heart with passionate control To compass knowledge, to unravel the dense Web of this tangled life, he would weigh slight As thistledown blown from his most fairy fancy That pale self-glory, against the mystery, The wonder of the various world, the power Of "seeing great things in loneliness.
" Where bloodroot in the clearing dwells Along the edge of snow; Where, trembling all their trailing bells, The sensitive twinflowers blow; Where, searching through the ferny breaks, The moose-fawns find the springs; Where the loon laughs and diving takes Her young beneath her wings; Where flash the fields of arctic moss With myriad golden light; Where no dream-shadows ever cross The lidless eyes of night; Where, cleaving a mountain storm, the proud Eagles, the clear sky won, Mount the thin air between the loud Slow thunder and the sun; Where, to the high tarn tranced and still No eye has ever seen, Comes the first star its flame to chill In the cool deeps of green; -- Spirit of Keats, unfurl thy wings, Far from the toil and press, Teach us by these pure-hearted things, Beauty in loneliness.
Where, in the realm of thought, dwell those Who oft in pain and penury Work in the void, Searching the infinite dark between the stars, The infinite little of the atom, Gathering the tears and terrors of this life, Distilling them to a medicine for the soul; (And hated for their thought Die for it calmly; For not their fears, Nor the cold scorn of men, Fright them who hold to truth:) They brood alone in the intense serene Air of their passion, Until on some chill dawn Breaks the immortal form foreshadowed in their dream, And the distracted world and men Are no more what they were.
Spirit of Keats, unfurl thy deathless wings, Far from the wayward toil, the vain excess, Teach us by such soul-haunting things Beauty in loneliness.
The minds of men grow numb, their vision narrows, The clogs of Empire and the dust of ages, The lust of power that fogs the fairest pages, Of the romance that eager life would write, These war on Beauty with their spears and arrows.
But still is Beauty and of constant power; Even in the whirl of Time's most sordid hour, Banished from the great highways, Afflighted by the tramp of insolent feet, She hangs her garlands in the by-ways; Lissome and sweet Bending her head to hearken and learn Melody shadowed with melody, Softer than shadow of sea-fern, In the green-shadowed sea: Then, nourished by quietude, And if the world's mood Change, she may return Even lovelier than before.
-- The white reflection in the mountain lake Falls from the white stream Silent in the high distance; The mirrored mountains guard The profile of the goddess of the height, Floating in water with a curve of crystal light; When the air, envious of the loveliness, Rushes downward to surprise, Confusion plays in the contact, The picture is overdrawn With ardent ripples, But when the breeze, warned of intrusion, Draws breathless upward in flight, The vision reassembles in tranquillity, Reforming with a gesture of delight, Reborn with the rebirth of calm.
Spirit of Keats, lend us thy voice, Breaking like surge in some enchanted cave On a dream-sea-coast, To summon Beauty to her desolate world.
For Beauty has taken refuge from our life That grew too loud and wounding; Beauty withdraws beyond the bitter strife, Beauty is gone, (Oh where?) To dwell within a precinct of pure air Where moments turn to months of solitude; To live on roots of fern and tips of fern, On tender berries flushed with the earth's blood.
Beauty shall stain her feet with moss And dye her cheek with deep nut-juices, Laving her hands in the pure sluices Where rainbows are dissolved.
Beauty shall view herself in pools of amber sheen Dappled with peacock-tints from the green screen That mingles liquid light with liquid shadow.
Beauty shall breathe the fairy hush With the chill orchids in their cells of shade, And hear the invocation of the thrush That calls the stars into their heaven, And after even Beauty shall take the night into her soul.
When the thrill voice goes crying through the wood, (Oh, Beauty, Beauty!) Troubling the solitude With echoes from the lonely world, Beauty will tremble like a cloistered thing That hears temptation in the outlands singing, Will steel her dedicated heart and breathe Into her inner ear to firm her vow: -- "Let me restore the soul that ye have marred.
O mortals, cry no more on Beauty, Leave me alone, lone mortals, Until my shaken soul comes to its own, Lone mortals, leave me alone!" (Oh Beauty, Beauty, Beauty!) All the dim wood is silent as a dream That dreams of silence.
Written by David Herbert Lawrence | Create an image from this poem

Scent of Irises

 A faint, sickening scent of irises
Persists all morning.
Here in a jar on the table A fine proud spike of purple irises Rising above the class-room litter, makes me unable To see the class’s lifted and bended faces Save in a broken pattern, amid purple and gold and sable.
I can smell the gorgeous bog-end, in its breathless Dazzle of may-blobs, when the marigold glare overcast you With fire on your cheeks and your brow and your chin as you dipped Your face in the marigold bunch, to touch and contrast you, Your own dark mouth with the bridal faint lady-smocks, Dissolved on the golden sorcery you should not outlast.
You amid the bog-end’s yellow incantation, You sitting in the cowslips of the meadow above, Me, your shadow on the bog-flame, flowery may-blobs, Me full length in the cowslips, muttering you love; You, your soul like a lady-smock, lost, evanescent, You with your face all rich, like the sheen of a dove.
You are always asking, do I remember, remember The butter-cup bog-end where the flowers rose up And kindled you over deep with a cast of gold? You ask again, do the healing days close up The open darkness which then drew us in, The dark which then drank up our brimming cup.
You upon the dry, dead beech-leaves, in the fire of night Burnt like a sacrifice; you invisible; Only the fire of darkness, and the scent of you! —And yes, thank God, it still is possible The healing days shall close the darkness up Wherein we fainted like a smoke or dew.
Like vapour, dew, or poison.
Now, thank God, The fire of night is gone, and your face is ash Indistinguishable on the grey, chill day; The night had burst us out, at last the good Dark fire burns on untroubled, without clash Of you upon the dead leaves saying me Yea.
Written by John Keats | Create an image from this poem

To—

 Had I a man's fair form, then might my sighs
Be echoed swiftly through that ivory shell,
Thine ear, and find thy gentle heart; so well
Would passion arm me for the enterprise:
But ah! I am no knight whose foeman dies;
No cuirass glistens on my bosom's swell;
I am no happy shepherd of the dell
Whose lips have trembled with a maiden's eyes.
Yet must I dote upon thee,—call thee sweet, Sweeter by far than Hybla's honied roses When steeped in dew rich to intoxication.
Ah! I will taste that dew, for me 'tis meet, And when the moon her pallid face discloses, I'll gather some by spells, and incantation.
Written by Thomas Moore | Create an image from this poem

An Incantation

 Come with me, and we will blow
Lots of bubbles, as we go;
Bubbles bright as ever Hope
Drew from fancy -- or from soap;
Bright as e'er the South Sea sent
from its frothy element!
Come with me, and we will blow
Lots of bubbles, as we go.
Mix the lather, Johnny W--lks, Thou, who rhym'st so well to bilks; Mix the lather - who can be Fitter for such task than thee, Great M.
P.
for Sudsbury! For the frothy charm is ripe, Puffing Peter bring thy pipe, -- Thou, whom ancient Coventry, Once so dearly lov'd, that she Knew not which to her was sweeter, Peeping Tom or Puffing Peter; -- Puff the bubbles high in air, Puff thy best to keep them there.
Bravo, bravo, Peter M--re! Now the rainbow humbugs soar, Glitt'ring all with golden hues, Such as haunt the dreams of Jews; -- Some reflecting mines that lie Under Chili's glowing sky, Some, those virgin pearls that sleep Cloister'd in the southern deep; Others, as if lent a ray Form the streaming Milky Way, Glist'ning o'er with curds and whey From the cows of Alderney.
Now's the moment -- who shall first Catch the buble, ere they burst? Run, ye Squires, ye Viscounts, run, Br-gd-n, T-ynh-m, P-lm-t-n; -- John W--lks junior runs beside ye! Take the good the knaves provide ye! See, with upturn'd eyes and hands, Where the Shareman, Bri-gd-n, stands, Gaping for the froth to fall Down his gullet - lye and all.
See!---But hark my time is out -- Now, like some great water-spout, Scaterr'd by the cannon's thunder, Burst, ye bubbles, burst asunder!
Written by Elinor Wylie | Create an image from this poem

Incantation

 A white well 
In a black cave; 
A bright shell 
In a dark wave.
A white rose Black brambles hood; Smooth bright snows In a dark wood.
A flung white glove In a dark fight; A white dove On a wild black night.
A white door In a dark lane; A bright core To bitter black pain.
A white hand Waved from dark walls; In a burnt black land Bright waterfalls.
A bright spark Where black ashes are; In the smothering dark One white star.
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