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Best Famous Louse Poems

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Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

Faces

 1
SAUNTERING the pavement, or riding the country by-road—lo! such faces! 
Faces of friendship, precision, caution, suavity, ideality; 
The spiritual, prescient face—the always welcome, common, benevolent face, 
The face of the singing of music—the grand faces of natural lawyers and judges, broad
 at
 the
 back-top; 
The faces of hunters and fishers, bulged at the brows—the shaved blanch’d faces
 of
 orthodox citizens;
The pure, extravagant, yearning, questioning artist’s face; 
The ugly face of some beautiful Soul, the handsome detested or despised face; 
The sacred faces of infants, the illuminated face of the mother of many children; 
The face of an amour, the face of veneration; 
The face as of a dream, the face of an immobile rock;
The face withdrawn of its good and bad, a castrated face; 
A wild hawk, his wings clipp’d by the clipper; 
A stallion that yielded at last to the thongs and knife of the gelder.
Sauntering the pavement, thus, or crossing the ceaseless ferry, faces, and faces, and faces: I see them, and complain not, and am content with all.
2 Do you suppose I could be content with all, if I thought them their own finale? This now is too lamentable a face for a man; Some abject louse, asking leave to be—cringing for it; Some milk-nosed maggot, blessing what lets it wrig to its hole.
This face is a dog’s snout, sniffing for garbage; Snakes nest in that mouth—I hear the sibilant threat.
This face is a haze more chill than the arctic sea; Its sleepy and wobbling icebergs crunch as they go.
This is a face of bitter herbs—this an emetic—they need no label; And more of the drug-shelf, laudanum, caoutchouc, or hog’s-lard.
This face is an epilepsy, its wordless tongue gives out the unearthly cry, Its veins down the neck distended, its eyes roll till they show nothing but their whites, Its teeth grit, the palms of the hands are cut by the turn’d-in nails, The man falls struggling and foaming to the ground while he speculates well.
This face is bitten by vermin and worms, And this is some murderer’s knife, with a half-pull’d scabbard.
This face owes to the sexton his dismalest fee; An unceasing death-bell tolls there.
3 Those then are really men—the bosses and tufts of the great round globe! Features of my equals, would you trick me with your creas’d and cadaverous march? Well, you cannot trick me.
I see your rounded, never-erased flow; I see neath the rims of your haggard and mean disguises.
Splay and twist as you like—poke with the tangling fores of fishes or rats; You’ll be unmuzzled, you certainly will.
I saw the face of the most smear’d and slobbering idiot they had at the asylum; And I knew for my consolation what they knew not; I knew of the agents that emptied and broke my brother, The same wait to clear the rubbish from the fallen tenement; And I shall look again in a score or two of ages, And I shall meet the real landlord, perfect and unharm’d, every inch as good as myself.
4 The Lord advances, and yet advances; Always the shadow in front—always the reach’d hand bringing up the laggards.
Out of this face emerge banners and horses—O superb! I see what is coming; I see the high pioneer-caps—I see the staves of runners clearing the way, I hear victorious drums.
This face is a life-boat; This is the face commanding and bearded, it asks no odds of the rest; This face is flavor’d fruit, ready for eating; This face of a healthy honest boy is the programme of all good.
These faces bear testimony, slumbering or awake; They show their descent from the Master himself.
Off the word I have spoken, I except not one—red, white, black, are all deific; In each house is the ovum—it comes forth after a thousand years.
Spots or cracks at the windows do not disturb me; Tall and sufficient stand behind, and make signs to me; I read the promise, and patiently wait.
This is a full-grown lily’s face, She speaks to the limber-hipp’d man near the garden pickets, Come here, she blushingly cries—Come nigh to me, limber-hipp’d man, Stand at my side till I lean as high as I can upon you, Fill me with albescent honey, bend down to me, Rub to me with your chafing beard, rub to my breast and shoulders.
5 The old face of the mother of many children! Whist! I am fully content.
Lull’d and late is the smoke of the First-day morning, It hangs low over the rows of trees by the fences, It hangs thin by the sassafras, the wild-cherry, and the cat-brier under them.
I saw the rich ladies in full dress at the soiree, I heard what the singers were singing so long, Heard who sprang in crimson youth from the white froth and the water-blue, Behold a woman! She looks out from her quaker cap—her face is clearer and more beautiful than the sky.
She sits in an arm-chair, under the shaded porch of the farmhouse, The sun just shines on her old white head.
Her ample gown is of cream-hued linen, Her grandsons raised the flax, and her granddaughters spun it with the distaff and the wheel.
The melodious character of the earth, The finish beyond which philosophy cannot go, and does not wish to go, The justified mother of men.


Written by Thomas Hood | Create an image from this poem

The Haunted House

 Oh, very gloomy is the house of woe,
Where tears are falling while the bell is knelling,
With all the dark solemnities that show
That Death is in the dwelling!

Oh, very, very dreary is the room
Where Love, domestic Love, no longer nestles,
But smitten by the common stroke of doom,
The corpse lies on the trestles!

But house of woe, and hearse, and sable pall,
The narrow home of the departed mortal,
Ne’er looked so gloomy as that Ghostly Hall,
With its deserted portal!

The centipede along the threshold crept,
The cobweb hung across in mazy tangle,
And in its winding sheet the maggot slept
At every nook and angle.
The keyhole lodged the earwig and her brood, The emmets of the steps has old possession, And marched in search of their diurnal food In undisturbed procession.
As undisturbed as the prehensile cell Of moth or maggot, or the spider’s tissue, For never foot upon that threshold fell, To enter or to issue.
O’er all there hung the shadow of a fear, A sense of mystery the spirit daunted, And said, as plain as whisper in the ear, The place is haunted.
Howbeit, the door I pushed—or so I dreamed-- Which slowly, slowly gaped, the hinges creaking With such a rusty eloquence, it seemed That Time himself was speaking.
But Time was dumb within that mansion old, Or left his tale to the heraldic banners That hung from the corroded walls, and told Of former men and manners.
Those tattered flags, that with the opened door, Seemed the old wave of battle to remember, While fallen fragments danced upon the floor Like dead leaves in December.
The startled bats flew out, bird after bird, The screech-owl overhead began to flutter, And seemed to mock the cry that she had heard Some dying victim utter! A shriek that echoed from the joisted roof, And up the stair, and further still and further, Till in some ringing chamber far aloof In ceased its tale of murther! Meanwhile the rusty armor rattled round, The banner shuddered, and the ragged streamer; All things the horrid tenor of the sound Acknowledged with a tremor.
The antlers where the helmet hung, and belt, Stirred as the tempest stirs the forest branches, Or as the stag had trembled when he felt The bloodhound at his haunches.
The window jingled in its crumbled frame, And through its many gaps of destitution Dolorous moans and hollow sighings came, Like those of dissolution.
The wood-louse dropped, and rolled into a ball, Touched by some impulse occult or mechanic; And nameless beetles ran along the wall In universal panic.
The subtle spider, that, from overhead, Hung like a spy on human guilt and error, Suddenly turned, and up its slender thread Ran with a nimble terror.
The very stains and fractures on the wall, Assuming features solemn and terrific, Hinted some tragedy of that old hall, Locked up in hieroglyphic.
Some tale that might, perchance, have solved the doubt, Wherefore, among those flags so dull and livid, The banner of the bloody hand shone out So ominously vivid.
Some key to that inscrutable appeal Which made the very frame of Nature quiver, And every thrilling nerve and fiber feel So ague-like a shiver.
For over all there hung a cloud of fear, A sense of mystery the spirit daunted, And said, as plain as whisper in the ear, The place is haunted! Prophetic hints that filled the soul with dread, But through one gloomy entrance pointing mostly, The while some secret inspiration said, “That chamber is the ghostly!” Across the door no gossamer festoon Swung pendulous, --no web, no dusty fringes, No silky chrysalis or white cocoon, About its nooks and hinges.
The spider shunned the interdicted room, The moth, the beetle, and the fly were banished, And when the sunbeam fell athwart the gloom, The very midge had vanished.
One lonely ray that glanced upon a bed, As if with awful aim direct and certain, To show the Bloody Hand, in burning red, Embroidered on the curtain.
Written by A R Ammons | Create an image from this poem

Shit List; Or Omnium-gatherum Of Diversity Into Unity

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

A Ramble in St. Jamess Park

 Much wine had passed, with grave discourse
Of who fucks who, and who does worse
(Such as you usually do hear
From those that diet at the Bear),
When I, who still take care to see
Drunkenness relieved by lechery,
Went out into St.
James's Park To cool my head and fire my heart.
But though St.
James has th' honor on 't, 'Tis consecrate to prick and ****.
There, by a most incestuous birth, Strange woods spring from the teeming earth; For they relate how heretofore, When ancient Pict began to whore, Deluded of his assignation (Jilting, it seems, was then in fashion), Poor pensive lover, in this place Would frig upon his mother's face; Whence rows of mandrakes tall did rise Whose lewd tops fucked the very skies.
Each imitative branch does twine In some loved fold of Aretine, And nightly now beneath their shade Are buggeries, rapes, and incests made.
Unto this all-sin-sheltering grove Whores of the bulk and the alcove, Great ladies, chambermaids, and drudges, The ragpicker, and heiress trudges.
Carmen, divines, great lords, and tailors, Prentices, poets, pimps, and jailers, Footmen, fine fops do here arrive, And here promiscuously they swive.
Along these hallowed walks it was That I beheld Corinna pass.
Whoever had been by to see The proud disdain she cast on me Through charming eyes, he would have swore She dropped from heaven that very hour, Forsaking the divine abode In scorn of some despairing god.
But mark what creatures women are: How infinitely vile, when fair! Three knights o' the' elbow and the slur With wriggling tails made up to her.
The first was of your Whitehall baldes, Near kin t' th' Mother of the Maids; Graced by whose favor he was able To bring a friend t' th' Waiters' table, Where he had heard Sir Edward Sutton Say how the King loved Banstead mutton; Since when he'd ne'er be brought to eat By 's good will any other meat.
In this, as well as all the rest, He ventures to do like the best, But wanting common sense, th' ingredient In choosing well not least expedient, Converts abortive imitation To universal affectation.
Thus he not only eats and talks But feels and smells, sits down and walks, Nay looks, and lives, and loves by rote, In an old tawdry birthday coat.
The second was a Grays Inn wit, A great inhabiter of the pit, Where critic-like he sits and squints, Steals pocket handkerchiefs, and hints From 's neighbor, and the comedy, To court, and pay, his landlady.
The third, a lady's eldest son Within few years of twenty-one Who hopes from his propitious fate, Against he comes to his estate, By these two worthies to be made A most accomplished tearing blade.
One, in a strain 'twixt tune and nonsense, Cries, "Madam, I have loved you long since.
Permit me your fair hand to kiss"; When at her mouth her **** cries, "Yes!" In short, without much more ado, Joyful and pleased, away she flew, And with these three confounded asses From park to hackney coach she passes.
So a proud ***** does lead about Of humble curs the amorous rout, Who most obsequiously do hunt The savory scent of salt-swoln ****.
Some power more patient now relate The sense of this surprising fate.
Gods! that a thing admired by me Should fall to so much infamy.
Had she picked out, to rub her **** on, Some stiff-pricked clown or well-hung parson, Each job of whose spermatic sluice Had filled her **** with wholesome juice, I the proceeding should have praised In hope sh' had quenched a fire I raised.
Such natural freedoms are but just: There's something generous in mere lust.
But to turn a damned abandoned jade When neither head nor tail persuade; To be a whore in understanding, A passive pot for fools to spend in! The devil played booty, sure, with thee To bring a blot on infamy.
But why am I, of all mankind, To so severe a fate designed? Ungrateful! Why this treachery To humble fond, believing me, Who gave you privilege above The nice allowances of love? Did ever I refuse to bear The meanest part your lust could spare? When your lewd **** came spewing home Drenched with the seed of half the town, My dram of sperm was supped up after For the digestive surfeit water.
Full gorged at another time With a vast meal of slime Which your devouring **** had drawn From porters' backs and footmen's brawn, I was content to serve you up My ballock-full for your grace cup, Nor ever thought it an abuse While you had pleasure for excuse - You that could make my heart away For noise and color, and betray The secrets of my tender hours To such knight-errant paramours, When, leaning on your faithless breast, Wrapped in security and rest, Soft kindness all my powers did move, And reason lay dissolved in love! May stinking vapors choke your womb Such as the men you dote upon May your depraved appetite, That could in whiffling fools delight, Beget such frenzies in your mind You may go mad for the north wind, And fixing all your hopes upon't To have him bluster in your ****, Turn up your longing **** t' th' air And perish in a wild despair! But cowards shall forget to rant, Schoolboys to frig, old whores to paint; The Jesuits' fraternity Shall leave the use of buggery; Crab-louse, inspired with grace divine, From earthly cod to heaven shall climb; Physicians shall believe in Jesus, And disobedience cease to please us, Ere I desist with all my power To plague this woman and undo her.
But my revenge will best be timed When she is married that is limed.
In that most lamentable state I'll make her feel my scorn and hate: Pelt her with scandals, truth or lies, And her poor cur with jealousied, Till I have torn him from her breech, While she whines like a dog-drawn *****; Loathed and despised, kicked out o' th' Town Into some dirty hole alone, To chew the cud of misery And know she owes it all to me.
And may no woman better thrive That dares prophane the **** I swive!
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

The Shooting Of Dan McGrew

 A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou.
When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and the glare, There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
He looked like a man with a foot in the grave and scarcely the strength of a louse, Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks for the house.
There was none could place the stranger's face, though we searched ourselves for a clue; But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.
There's men that somehow just grip your eyes, and hold them hard like a spell; And such was he, and he looked to me like a man who had lived in hell; With a face most hair, and the dreary stare of a dog whose day is done, As he watered the green stuff in his glass, and the drops fell one by one.
Then I got to figgering who he was, and wondering what he'd do, And I turned my head -- and there watching him was the lady that's known as Lou.
His eyes went rubbering round the room, and he seemed in a kind of daze, Till at last that old piano fell in the way of his wandering gaze.
The rag-time kid was having a drink; there was no one else on the stool, So the stranger stumbles across the room, and flops down there like a fool.
In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway; Then he clutched the keys with his talon hands -- my God! but that man could play.
Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear, And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could HEAR; With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold, A half-dead thing in a stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold; While high overhead, green, yellow and red, the North Lights swept in bars? -- Then you've a haunch what the music meant .
.
.
hunger and night and the stars.
And hunger not of the belly kind, that's banished with bacon and beans, But the gnawing hunger of lonely men for a home and all that it means; For a fireside far from the cares that are, four walls and a roof above; But oh! so cramful of cosy joy, and crowned with a woman's love -- A woman dearer than all the world, and true as Heaven is true -- (God! how ghastly she looks through her rouge, -- the lady that's known as Lou.
) Then on a sudden the music changed, so soft that you scarce could hear; But you felt that your life had been looted clean of all that it once held dear; That someone had stolen the woman you loved; that her love was a devil's lie; That your guts were gone, and the best for you was to crawl away and die.
'Twas the crowning cry of a heart's despair, and it thrilled you through and through -- "I guess I'll make it a spread misere," said Dangerous Dan McGrew.
The music almost died away .
.
.
then it burst like a pent-up flood; And it seemed to say, "Repay, repay," and my eyes were blind with blood.
The thought came back of an ancient wrong, and it stung like a frozen lash, And the lust awoke to kill, to kill .
.
.
then the music stopped with a crash, And the stranger turned, and his eyes they burned in a most peculiar way; In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway; Then his lips went in in a kind of grin, and he spoke, and his voice was calm, And "Boys," says he, "you don't know me, and none of you care a damn; But I want to state, and my words are straight, and I'll bet my poke they're true, That one of you is a hound of hell .
.
.
and that one is Dan McGrew.
" Then I ducked my head, and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark, And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark.
Pitched on his head, and pumped full of lead, was Dangerous Dan McGrew, While the man from the creeks lay clutched to the breast of the lady that's known as Lou.
These are the simple facts of the case, and I guess I ought to know.
They say that the stranger was crazed with "hooch", and I'm not denying it's so.
I'm not so wise as the lawyer guys, but strictly between us two -- The woman that kissed him and -- pinched his poke -- was the lady that's known as Lou.
Written by Isaac Rosenberg | Create an image from this poem

Louse Hunting

 Nudes -- stark and glistening,
Yelling in lurid glee.
Grinning faces And raging limbs Whirl over the floor one fire.
For a shirt verminously busy Yon soldier tore from his throat, with oaths Godhead might shrink at, but not the lice.
And soon the shirt was aflare Over the candle he'd lit while we lay.
Then we all sprang up and stript To hunt the verminous brood.
Soon like a demons' pantomine The place was raging.
See the silhouettes agape, See the glibbering shadows Mixed with the battled arms on the wall.
See gargantuan hooked fingers Pluck in supreme flesh To smutch supreme littleness.
See the merry limbs in hot Highland fling Because some wizard vermin Charmed from the quiet this revel When our ears were half lulled By the dark music Blown from Sleep's trumpet.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

The Old Armchair

 In all the pubs from Troon to Ayr
Grandfather's father would repair
With Bobby Burns, a drouthy pair,
 The glass to clink;
And oftenwhiles, when not too "fou,"
They'd roar a bawdy stave or two,
From midnight muk to morning dew,
 And drink and drink.
And Grandfather, with eye aglow And proper pride, would often show An old armchair where long ago The Bard would sit; Reciting there with pawky glee "The Lass that Made the Bed for Me;" Or whiles a rhyme about the flea That ne'er was writ.
Then I would seek the Poet's chair And plant my kilted buttocks there, And read with joy the Bard of Ayr In my own tongue; The Diel, the Daisy and the Louse The Hare, the Haggis and the Mouse, (What fornication and carouse!) When I was young.
Though Kipling, Hardy, Stevenson Have each my admiration won, Today, my rhyme-race almost run, My fancy turns To him who did Pegasus prod For me, Bard of my native sod, The sinner best-loved of God - Rare Robbie Burns.


Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

Mrs Frances Hariss Petition

 To their Excellencies the Lords Justices of Ireland,
The humble petition of Frances Harris,
Who must starve and die a maid if it miscarries;
Humble sheweth, that I went to warm myself in Lady Betty's chamber, because I 
was cold;
And I had in a purse seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence, (besides 
farthings) in money and gold;
So because I had been buying things for my lady last night,
I was resolved to tell my money, to see if it was right.
Now, you must know, because my trunk has a very bad lock, Therefore all the money I have, which, God knows, is a very small stock, I keep in my pocket, tied about my middle, next my smock.
So when I went to put up my purse, as God would have it, my smock was unripped, And instead of putting it into my pocket, down it slipped; Then the bell rung, and I went down to put my lady to bed; And, God knows, I thought my money was as safe as my maidenhead.
So, when I came up again, I found my pocket feel very light; But when I searched, and missed my purse, Lord! I thought I should have sunk outright.
"Lord! madam," says Mary, "how d'ye do?" -"Indeed," says I, "never worse: But pray, Mary, can you tell what I have done with my purse?" "Lord help me!" says Mary, "I never stirred out of this place!" "Nay," said I, "I had it in Lady Betty's chamber, that's a plain case.
" So Mary got me to bed, and covered me up warm: However, she stole away my garters, that I might do myself no harm.
So I tumbled and tossed all night, as you may very well think, But hardly ever set my eyes together, or slept a wink.
So I was a-dreamed, methought, that I went and searched the folks round, And in a corner of Mrs Duke's box, tied in a rag, the money was found.
So next morning we told Whittle, and he fell a swearing: Then my dame Wadgar came, and she, you know, is thick of hearing.
"Dame," says I, as loud as I could bawl, "do you know what a loss I have had?" "Nay," says she, "my Lord Colway's folks are all very sad: For my Lord Dromedary comes a Tuesday without fail.
" "Pugh!" said I, "but that's not the business that I ail.
" Says Cary, says he, "I have been a servant this five and twenty years come spring, And in all the places I lived I never heard of such a thing.
" "Yes," says the steward, "I remember when I was at my Lord Shrewsbury's, Such a thing as this happened, just about the time of gooseberries.
" So I went to the party suspected, and I found her full of grief: (Now, you must know, of all things in the world I hate a thief:) However, I was resolved to bring the discourse slily about: "Mrs Duke," said I, "here's an ugly accident has happened out: 'Tis not that I value the money three skips of a louse: But the thing I stand upon is the credit of the house.
'Tis true, seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence makes a great hole in my wages: Besides, as they say, service is no inheritance in these ages.
Now, Mrs Duke, you know, and everybody understands, That though 'tis hard to judge, yet money can't go without hands.
" "The devil take me!" said she, (blessing herself,) "if ever I saw't!" So she roared like a bedlam, as though I had called her all to naught.
So, you know, what could I say to her any more? I e'en left her, and came away as wise as I was before.
Well; but then they would have had me gone to the cunning man: "No," said I, "'tis the same thing, the CHAPLAIN will be here anon.
" So the Chaplain came in.
Now the servants say he is my sweetheart, Because he's always in my chamber, and I always take his part.
So, as the devil would have it, before I was aware, out I blundered, "Parson," said I, "can you cast a nativity, when a body's plundered?" (Now you must know, he hates to be called Parson, like the devil!) "Truly," says he, "Mrs Nab, it might become you to be more civil; If your money be gone, as a learned Divine says, d'ye see, You are no text for my handling; so take that from me: I was never taken for a Conjurer before, I'd have you to know.
" "Lord!" said I, "don't be angry, I am sure I never thought you so; You know I honour the cloth; I design to be a Parson's wife; I never took one in your coat for a conjurer in all my life.
" With that he twisted his girdle at me like a rope, as who should say, `Now you may go hang yourself for me!' and so went away.
Well: I thought I should have swooned.
"Lord!" said I, "what shall I do? I have lost my money, and shall lose my true love too!" Then my lord called me: "Harry," said my lord, "don't cry; I'll give you something toward thy loss: "And," says my lady, "so will I.
" Oh! but, said I, what if, after all, the Chaplain won't come to? For that, he said (an't please your Excellencies), I must petition you.
The premisses tenderly considered, I desire your Excellencies' protection, And that I may have a share in next Sunday's collection; And, over and above, that I may have your Excellencies' letter, With an order for the Chaplain aforesaid, or, instead of him, a better: And then your poor petitioner, both night and day, Or the Chaplain (for 'tis his trade,) as in duty bound, shall ever pray.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

The Law Of The Yukon

 This is the law of the Yukon, and ever she makes it plain:
"Send not your foolish and feeble; send me your strong and your sane --
Strong for the red rage of battle; sane for I harry them sore;
Send me men girt for the combat, men who are grit to the core;
Swift as the panther in triumph, fierce as the bear in defeat,
Sired of a bulldog parent, steeled in the furnace heat.
Send me the best of your breeding, lend me your chosen ones; Them will I take to my bosom, them will I call my sons; Them will I gild with my treasure, them will I glut with my meat; But the others -- the misfits, the failures -- I trample under my feet.
Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and palsied and slain, Ye would send me the spawn of your gutters -- Go! take back your spawn again.
"Wild and wide are my borders, stern as death is my sway; From my ruthless throne I have ruled alone for a million years and a day; Hugging my mighty treasure, waiting for man to come, Till he swept like a turbid torrent, and after him swept -- the scum.
The pallid pimp of the dead-line, the enervate of the pen, One by one I weeded them out, for all that I sought was -- Men.
One by one I dismayed them, frighting them sore with my glooms; One by one I betrayed them unto my manifold dooms.
Drowned them like rats in my rivers, starved them like curs on my plains, Rotted the flesh that was left them, poisoned the blood in their veins; Burst with my winter upon them, searing forever their sight, Lashed them with fungus-white faces, whimpering wild in the night; "Staggering blind through the storm-whirl, stumbling mad through the snow, Frozen stiff in the ice-pack, brittle and bent like a bow; Featureless, formless, forsaken, scented by wolves in their flight, Left for the wind to make music through ribs that are glittering white; Gnawing the black crust of failure, searching the pit of despair, Crooking the toe in the trigger, trying to patter a prayer; Going outside with an escort, raving with lips all afoam, Writing a cheque for a million, driveling feebly of home; Lost like a louse in the burning .
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or else in the tented town Seeking a drunkard's solace, sinking and sinking down; Steeped in the slime at the bottom, dead to a decent world, Lost 'mid the human flotsam, far on the frontier hurled; In the camp at the bend of the river, with its dozen saloons aglare, Its gambling dens ariot, its gramophones all ablare; Crimped with the crimes of a city, sin-ridden and bridled with lies, In the hush of my mountained vastness, in the flush of my midnight skies.
Plague-spots, yet tools of my purpose, so natheless I suffer them thrive, Crushing my Weak in their clutches, that only my Strong may survive.
"But the others, the men of my mettle, the men who would 'stablish my fame Unto its ultimate issue, winning me honor, not shame; Searching my uttermost valleys, fighting each step as they go, Shooting the wrath of my rapids, scaling my ramparts of snow; Ripping the guts of my mountains, looting the beds of my creeks, Them will I take to my bosom, and speak as a mother speaks.
I am the land that listens, I am the land that broods; Steeped in eternal beauty, crystalline waters and woods.
Long have I waited lonely, shunned as a thing accurst, Monstrous, moody, pathetic, the last of the lands and the first; Visioning camp-fires at twilight, sad with a longing forlorn, Feeling my womb o'er-pregnant with the seed of cities unborn.
Wild and wide are my borders, stern as death is my sway, And I wait for the men who will win me -- and I will not be won in a day; And I will not be won by weaklings, subtle, suave and mild, But by men with the hearts of vikings, and the simple faith of a child; Desperate, strong and resistless, unthrottled by fear or defeat, Them will I gild with my treasure, them will I glut with my meat.
"Lofty I stand from each sister land, patient and wearily wise, With the weight of a world of sadness in my quiet, passionless eyes; Dreaming alone of a people, dreaming alone of a day, When men shall not rape my riches, and curse me and go away; Making a bawd of my bounty, fouling the hand that gave -- Till I rise in my wrath and I sweep on their path and I stamp them into a grave.
Dreaming of men who will bless me, of women esteeming me good, Of children born in my borders of radiant motherhood, Of cities leaping to stature, of fame like a flag unfurled, As I pour the tide of my riches in the eager lap of the world.
" This is the Law of the Yukon, that only the Strong shall thrive; That surely the Weak shall perish, and only the Fit survive.
Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and palsied and slain, This is the Will of the Yukon, -- Lo, how she makes it plain!
Written by Robert Burns | Create an image from this poem

132. Reply to a Trimming Epistle received from a Tailor

 WHAT ails ye now, ye lousie *****
To thresh my back at sic a pitch?
Losh, man! hae mercy wi’ your natch,
 Your bodkin’s bauld;
I didna suffer half sae much
 Frae Daddie Auld.
What tho’ at times, when I grow crouse, I gie their wames a random pouse, Is that enough for you to souse Your servant sae? Gae mind your seam, ye prick-the-louse, An’ jag-the-flea! King David, o’ poetic brief, Wrocht ’mang the lasses sic mischief As filled his after-life wi’ grief, An’ bluidy rants, An’ yet he’s rank’d amang the chief O’ lang-syne saunts.
And maybe, Tam, for a’ my cants, My wicked rhymes, an’ drucken rants, I’ll gie auld cloven’s Clootie’s haunts An unco slip yet, An’ snugly sit amang the saunts, At Davie’s hip yet! But, fegs! the session says I maun Gae fa’ upo’ anither plan Than garrin lasses coup the cran, Clean heels ower body, An’ sairly thole their mother’s ban Afore the howdy.
This leads me on to tell for sport, How I did wi’ the Session sort; Auld Clinkum, at the inner port, Cried three times, “Robin! Come hither lad, and answer for’t, Ye’re blam’d for jobbin!” Wi’ pinch I put a Sunday’s face on, An’ snoov’d awa before the Session: I made an open, fair confession— I scorn’t to lee, An’ syne Mess John, beyond expression, Fell foul o’ me.
A fornicator-loun he call’d me, An’ said my faut frae bliss expell’d me; I own’d the tale was true he tell’d me, “But, what the matter? (Quo’ I) I fear unless ye geld me, I’ll ne’er be better!” “Geld you! (quo’ he) an’ what for no? If that your right hand, leg or toe Should ever prove your sp’ritual foe, You should remember To cut it aff—an’ what for no Your dearest member?” “Na, na, (quo’ I,) I’m no for that, Gelding’s nae better than ’tis ca’t; I’d rather suffer for my faut A hearty flewit, As sair owre hip as ye can draw’t, Tho’ I should rue it.
“Or, gin ye like to end the bother, To please us a’—I’ve just ae ither— When next wi’ yon lass I forgather, Whate’er betide it, I’ll frankly gie her ’t a’ thegither, An’ let her guide it.
” But, sir, this pleas’d them warst of a’, An’ therefore, Tam, when that I saw, I said “Gude night,” an’ cam’ awa’, An’ left the Session; I saw they were resolvèd a’ On my oppression.
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