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Best Famous Peacock Poems

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

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Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

Blood And The Moon

 I

Blessed be this place,
More blessed still this tower;
A bloody, arrogant power
Rose out of the race
Uttering, mastering it,
Rose like these walls from these
Storm-beaten cottages -
In mockery I have set
A powerful emblem up,
And sing it rhyme upon rhyme
In mockery of a time
Half dead at the top.
II Alexandria's was a beacon tower, and Babylon's An image of the moving heavens, a log-book of the sun's journey and the moon's; And Shelley had his towers, thought's crowned powers he called them once.
I declare this tower is my symbol; I declare This winding, gyring, spiring treadmill of a stair is my ancestral stair; That Goldsmith and the Dean, Berkeley and Burke have travelled there.
Swift beating on his breast in sibylline frenzy blind Because the heart in his blood-sodden breast had dragged him down into mankind, Goldsmith deliberately sipping at the honey-pot of his mind, And haughtier-headed Burke that proved the State a tree, That this unconquerable labyrinth of the birds, century after century, Cast but dead leaves to mathematical equality; And God-appointed Berkeley that proved all things a dream, That this pragmatical, preposterous pig of a world, its farrow that so solid seem, Must vanish on the instant if the mind but change its theme; Saeva Indignatio and the labourer's hire, The strength that gives our blood and state magnanimity of its own desire; Everything that is not God consumed with intellectual fire.
III The purity of the unclouded moon Has flung its atrowy shaft upon the floor.
Seven centuries have passed and it is pure, The blood of innocence has left no stain.
There, on blood-saturated ground, have stood Soldier, assassin, executioner.
Whether for daily pittance or in blind fear Or out of abstract hatred, and shed blood, But could not cast a single jet thereon.
Odour of blood on the ancestral stair! And we that have shed none must gather there And clamour in drunken frenzy for the moon.
IV Upon the dusty, glittering windows cling, And seem to cling upon the moonlit skies, Tortoiseshell butterflies, peacock butterflies, A couple of night-moths are on the wing.
Is every modern nation like the tower, Half dead at the top? No matter what I said, For wisdom is the property of the dead, A something incompatible with life; and power, Like everything that has the stain of blood, A property of the living; but no stain Can come upon the visage of the moon When it has looked in glory from a cloud.


Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

Meditations In Time Of Civil War

 I.
Ancestral Houses Surely among a rich man's flowering lawns, Amid the rustle of his planted hills, Life overflows without ambitious pains; And rains down life until the basin spills, And mounts more dizzy high the more it rains As though to choose whatever shape it wills And never stoop to a mechanical Or servile shape, at others' beck and call.
Mere dreams, mere dreams! Yet Homer had not Sung Had he not found it certain beyond dreams That out of life's own self-delight had sprung The abounding glittering jet; though now it seems As if some marvellous empty sea-shell flung Out of the obscure dark of the rich streams, And not a fountain, were the symbol which Shadows the inherited glory of the rich.
Some violent bitter man, some powerful man Called architect and artist in, that they, Bitter and violent men, might rear in stone The sweetness that all longed for night and day, The gentleness none there had ever known; But when the master's buried mice can play.
And maybe the great-grandson of that house, For all its bronze and marble, 's but a mouse.
O what if gardens where the peacock strays With delicate feet upon old terraces, Or else all Juno from an urn displays Before the indifferent garden deities; O what if levelled lawns and gravelled ways Where slippered Contemplation finds his ease And Childhood a delight for every sense, But take our greatness with our violence? What if the glory of escutcheoned doors, And buildings that a haughtier age designed, The pacing to and fro on polished floors Amid great chambers and long galleries, lined With famous portraits of our ancestors; What if those things the greatest of mankind Consider most to magnify, or to bless, But take our greatness with our bitterness? II.
My House An ancient bridge, and a more ancient tower, A farmhouse that is sheltered by its wall, An acre of stony ground, Where the symbolic rose can break in flower, Old ragged elms, old thorns innumerable, The sound of the rain or sound Of every wind that blows; The stilted water-hen Crossing Stream again Scared by the splashing of a dozen cows; A winding stair, a chamber arched with stone, A grey stone fireplace with an open hearth, A candle and written page.
Il Penseroso's Platonist toiled on In some like chamber, shadowing forth How the daemonic rage Imagined everything.
Benighted travellers From markets and from fairs Have seen his midnight candle glimmering.
Two men have founded here.
A man-at-arms Gathered a score of horse and spent his days In this tumultuous spot, Where through long wars and sudden night alarms His dwinding score and he seemed castaways Forgetting and forgot; And I, that after me My bodily heirs may find, To exalt a lonely mind, Befitting emblems of adversity.
III.
My Table Two heavy trestles, and a board Where Sato's gift, a changeless sword, By pen and paper lies, That it may moralise My days out of their aimlessness.
A bit of an embroidered dress Covers its wooden sheath.
Chaucer had not drawn breath When it was forged.
In Sato's house, Curved like new moon, moon-luminous It lay five hundred years.
Yet if no change appears No moon; only an aching heart Conceives a changeless work of art.
Our learned men have urged That when and where 'twas forged A marvellous accomplishment, In painting or in pottery, went From father unto son And through the centuries ran And seemed unchanging like the sword.
Soul's beauty being most adored, Men and their business took Me soul's unchanging look; For the most rich inheritor, Knowing that none could pass Heaven's door, That loved inferior art, Had such an aching heart That he, although a country's talk For silken clothes and stately walk.
Had waking wits; it seemed Juno's peacock screamed.
IV.
My Descendants Having inherited a vigorous mind From my old fathers, I must nourish dreams And leave a woman and a man behind As vigorous of mind, and yet it seems Life scarce can cast a fragrance on the wind, Scarce spread a glory to the morning beams, But the torn petals strew the garden plot; And there's but common greenness after that.
And what if my descendants lose the flower Through natural declension of the soul, Through too much business with the passing hour, Through too much play, or marriage with a fool? May this laborious stair and this stark tower Become a roofless min that the owl May build in the cracked masonry and cry Her desolation to the desolate sky.
The primum Mobile that fashioned us Has made the very owls in circles move; And I, that count myself most prosperous, Seeing that love and friendship are enough, For an old neighbour's friendship chose the house And decked and altered it for a girl's love, And know whatever flourish and decline These stones remain their monument and mine.
V.
The Road at My Door An affable Irregular, A heavily-built Falstaffian man, Comes cracking jokes of civil war As though to die by gunshot were The finest play under the sun.
A brown Lieutenant and his men, Half dressed in national uniform, Stand at my door, and I complain Of the foul weather, hail and rain, A pear-tree broken by the storm.
I count those feathered balls of soot The moor-hen guides upon the stream.
To silence the envy in my thought; And turn towards my chamber, caught In the cold snows of a dream.
VI.
The Stare's Nest by My Window The bees build in the crevices Of loosening masonry, and there The mother birds bring grubs and flies.
My wall is loosening; honey-bees, Come build in the empty house of the state.
We are closed in, and the key is turned On our uncertainty; somewhere A man is killed, or a house burned, Yet no clear fact to be discerned: Come build in he empty house of the stare.
A barricade of stone or of wood; Some fourteen days of civil war; Last night they trundled down the road That dead young soldier in his blood: Come build in the empty house of the stare.
We had fed the heart on fantasies, The heart's grown brutal from the fare; More Substance in our enmities Than in our love; O honey-bees, Come build in the empty house of the stare.
VII.
I see Phantoms of Hatred and of the Heart's Fullness and of the Coming Emptiness I climb to the tower-top and lean upon broken stone, A mist that is like blown snow is sweeping over all, Valley, river, and elms, under the light of a moon That seems unlike itself, that seems unchangeable, A glittering sword out of the east.
A puff of wind And those white glimmering fragments of the mist sweep by.
Frenzies bewilder, reveries perturb the mind; Monstrous familiar images swim to the mind's eye.
'Vengeance upon the murderers,' the cry goes up, 'Vengeance for Jacques Molay.
' In cloud-pale rags, or in lace, The rage-driven, rage-tormented, and rage-hungry troop, Trooper belabouring trooper, biting at arm or at face, Plunges towards nothing, arms and fingers spreading wide For the embrace of nothing; and I, my wits astray Because of all that senseless tumult, all but cried For vengeance on the murderers of Jacques Molay.
Their legs long, delicate and slender, aquamarine their eyes, Magical unicorns bear ladies on their backs.
The ladies close their musing eyes.
No prophecies, Remembered out of Babylonian almanacs, Have closed the ladies' eyes, their minds are but a pool Where even longing drowns under its own excess; Nothing but stillness can remain when hearts are full Of their own sweetness, bodies of their loveliness.
The cloud-pale unicorns, the eyes of aquamarine, The quivering half-closed eyelids, the rags of cloud or of lace, Or eyes that rage has brightened, arms it has made lean, Give place to an indifferent multitude, give place To brazen hawks.
Nor self-delighting reverie, Nor hate of what's to come, nor pity for what's gone, Nothing but grip of claw, and the eye's complacency, The innumerable clanging wings that have put out the moon.
I turn away and shut the door, and on the stair Wonder how many times I could have proved my worth In something that all others understand or share; But O! ambitious heart, had such a proof drawn forth A company of friends, a conscience set at ease, It had but made us pine the more.
The abstract joy, The half-read wisdom of daemonic images, Suffice the ageing man as once the growing boy.
Written by Vachel Lindsay | Create an image from this poem

The Tale of the Tiger-Tree

 A Fantasy, dedicated to the little poet Alice Oliver Henderson, ten years old.
The Fantasy shows how tiger-hearts are the cause of war in all ages.
It shows how the mammoth forces may be either friends or enemies of the struggle for peace.
It shows how the dream of peace is unconquerable and eternal.
I Peace-of-the-Heart, my own for long, Whose shining hair the May-winds fan, Making it tangled as they can, A mystery still, star-shining yet, Through ancient ages known to me And now once more reborn with me: — This is the tale of the Tiger Tree A hundred times the height of a man, Lord of the race since the world began.
This is my city Springfield, My home on the breast of the plain.
The state house towers to heaven, By an arsenal gray as the rain.
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And suddenly all is mist, And I walk in a world apart, In the forest-age when I first knelt down At your feet, O Peace-of-the-Heart.
This is the wonder of twilight: Three times as high as the dome Tiger-striped trees encircle the town, Golden geysers of foam.
While giant white parrots sail past in their pride.
The roofs now are clouds and storms that they ride.
And there with the huntsmen of mound-builder days Through jungle and meadow I stride.
And the Tiger Tree leaf is falling around As it fell when the world began: Like a monstrous tiger-skin, stretched on the ground, Or the cloak of a medicine man.
A deep-crumpled gossamer web, Fringed with the fangs of a snake.
The wind swirls it down from the leperous boughs.
It shimmers on clay-hill and lake, With the gleam of great bubbles of blood, Or coiled like a rainbow shell.
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I feast on the stem of the Leaf as I march.
I am burning with Heaven and Hell.
II The gray king died in his hour.
Then we crowned you, the prophetess wise: Peace-of-the-Heart we deeply adored For the witchcraft hid in your eyes.
Gift from the sky, overmastering all, You sent forth your magical parrots to call The plot-hatching prince of the tigers, To your throne by the red-clay wall.
Thus came that genius insane: Spitting and slinking, Sneering and vain, He sprawled to your grassy throne, drunk on The Leaf, The drug that was cunning and splendor and grief.
He had fled from the mammoth by day, He had blasted the mammoth by night, War was his drunkenness, War was his dreaming, War was his love and his play.
And he hissed at your heavenly glory While his councillors snarled in delight, Asking in irony: "What shall we learn From this whisperer, fragile and white?" And had you not been an enchantress They would not have loitered to mock Nor spared your white parrots who walked by their paws With bantering venturesome talk.
You made a white fire of The Leaf.
You sang while the tiger-chiefs hissed.
You chanted of "Peace to the wonderful world.
" And they saw you in dazzling mist.
And their steps were no longer insane, Kindness came down like the rain, They dreamed that like fleet young ponies they feasted On succulent grasses and grain.
Then came the black-mammoth chief: Long-haired and shaggy and great, Proud and sagacious he marshalled his court: (You had sent him your parrots of state.
) His trunk in rebellion upcurled, A curse at the tiger he hurled.
Huge elephants trumpeted there by his side, And mastodon-chiefs of the world.
But higher magic began.
For the turbulent vassals of man.
You harnessed their fever, you conquered their ire, Their hearts turned to flowers through holy desire, For their darling and star you were crowned, And their raging demons were bound.
You rode on the back of the yellow-streaked king, His loose neck was wreathed with a mistletoe ring.
Primordial elephants loomed by your side, And our clay-painted children danced by your path, Chanting the death of the kingdoms of wrath.
You wrought until night with us all.
The fierce brutes fawned at your call, Then slipped to their lairs, song-chained.
And thus you sang sweetly, and reigned: "Immortal is the inner peace, free to beasts and men.
Beginning in the darkness, the mystery will conquer, And now it comforts every heart that seeks for love again.
And now the mammoth bows the knee, We hew down every Tiger Tree, We send each tiger bound in love and glory to his den, Bound in love.
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and wisdom.
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and glory,.
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to his den.
" III "Beware of the trumpeting swine," Came the howl from the northward that night.
Twice-rebel tigers warning was still If we held not beside them it boded us ill.
From the parrots translating the cry, And the apes in the trees came the whine: "Beware of the trumpeting swine.
Beware of the faith of a mammoth.
" "Beware of the faith of a tiger," Came the roar from the southward that night.
Trumpeting mammoths warning us still If we held not beside them it boded us ill.
The frail apes wailed to us all, The parrots reëchoed the call: "Beware of the faith of a tiger.
" From the heights of the forest the watchers could see The tiger-cats crunching the Leaf of the Tree Lashing themselves, and scattering foam, Killing our huntsmen, hurrying home.
The chiefs of the mammoths our mastery spurned, And eastward restlessly fumed and burned.
The peacocks squalled out the news of their drilling And told how they trampled, maneuvered, and turned.
Ten thousand man-hating tigers Whirling down from the north, like a flood! Ten thousand mammoths oncoming From the south as avengers of blood! Our child-queen was mourning, her magic was dead, The roots of the Tiger Tree reeking with red.
IV This is the tale of the Tiger Tree A hundred times the height of a man, Lord of the race since the world began.
We marched to the mammoths, We pledged them our steel, And scorning you, sang: — "We are men, We are men.
" We mounted their necks, And they stamped a wide reel.
We sang: "We are fighting the hell-cats again, We are mound-builder men, We are elephant men.
" We left you there, lonely, Beauty your power, Wisdom your watchman, To hold the clay tower.
While the black-mammoths boomed — "You are elephant men, Men, Men, Elephant men.
" The dawn-winds prophesied battles untold.
While the Tiger Trees roared of the glories of old, Of the masterful spirits and hard.
The drunken cats came in their joy In the sunrise, a glittering wave.
"We are tigers, are tigers," they yowled.
"Down, Down, Go the swine to the grave.
" But we tramp Tramp Trampled them there, Then charged with our sabres and spears.
The swish of the sabre, The swish of the sabre, Was a marvellous tune in our ears.
We yelled "We are men, We are men.
" As we bled to death in the sun.
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Then staunched our horrible wounds With the cry that the battle was won.
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And at last, When the black-mammoth legion Split the night with their song: — "Right is braver than wrong, Right is stronger than wrong," The buzzards came taunting: "Down from the north Tiger-nations are sweeping along.
" Then we ate of the ravening Leaf As our savage fathers of old.
No longer our wounds made us weak, No longer our pulses were cold.
Though half of my troops were afoot, (For the great who had borne them were slain) We dreamed we were tigers, and leaped And foamed with that vision insane.
We cried "We are soldiers of doom, Doom, Sabres of glory and doom.
" We wreathed the king of the mammoths In the tiger-leaves' terrible bloom.
We flattered the king of the mammoths, Loud-rattling sabres and spears.
The swish of the sabre, The swish of the sabre, Was a marvellous tune in his ears.
V This was the end of the battle.
The tigers poured by in a tide Over us all with their caterwaul call, "We are the tigers," They cried.
"We are the sabres," They cried.
But we laughed while our blades swept wide, While the dawn-rays stabbed through the gloom.
"We are suns on fire" was our yell — "Suns on fire.
".
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But man-child and mastodon fell, Mammoth and elephant fell.
The fangs of the devil-cats closed on the world, Plunged it to blackness and doom.
The desolate red-clay wall Echoed the parrots' call: — "Immortal is the inner peace, free to beasts and men.
Beginning in the darkness, the mystery will conquer, And now it comforts every heart that seeks for love again.
And now the mammoth bows the knee, We hew down every Tiger Tree, We send each tiger bound in love and glory to his den, Bound in love.
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and wisdom.
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and glory,.
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to his den.
" A peacock screamed of his beauty On that broken wall by the trees, Chiding his little mate, Spreading his fans in the breeze.
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And you, with eyes of a bride, Knelt on the wall at my side, The deathless song in your mouth.
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A million new tigers swept south.
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As we laughed at the peacock, and died.
This is my vision in Springfield: Three times as high as the dome, Tiger-striped trees encircle the town, Golden geysers of foam; — Though giant white parrots sail past, giving voice, Though I walk with Peace-of-the-Heart and rejoice.
Written by Stephen Vincent Benet | Create an image from this poem

The White Peacock

 (France -- Ancient Regime.
) I.
Go away! Go away; I will not confess to you! His black biretta clings like a hangman's cap; under his twitching fingers the beads shiver and click, As he mumbles in his corner, the shadow deepens upon him; I will not confess! .
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Is he there or is it intenser shadow? Dark huddled coilings from the obscene depths, Black, formless shadow, Shadow.
Doors creak; from secret parts of the chateau come the scuffle and worry of rats.
Orange light drips from the guttering candles, Eddying over the vast embroideries of the bed Stirring the monstrous tapestries, Retreating before the sable impending gloom of the canopy With a swift thrust and sparkle of gold, Lipping my hands, Then Rippling back abashed before the ominous silences Like the swift turns and starts of an overpowered fencer Who sees before him Horror Behind him darkness, Shadow.
The clock jars and strikes, a thin, sudden note like the sob of a child.
Clock, buhl clock that ticked out the tortuous hours of my birth, Clock, evil, wizened dwarf of a clock, how many years of agony have you relentlessly measured, Yardstick of my stifling shroud? I am Aumaury de Montreuil; once quick, soon to be eaten of worms.
You hear, Father? Hsh, he is asleep in the night's cloak.
Over me too steals sleep.
Sleep like a white mist on the rotting paintings of cupids and gods on the ceiling; Sleep on the carven shields and knots at the foot of the bed, Oozing, blurring outlines, obliterating colors, Death.
Father, Father, I must not sleep! It does not hear -- that shadow crouched in the corner .
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Is it a shadow? One might think so indeed, save for the calm face, yellow as wax, that lifts like the face of a drowned man from the choking darkness.
II.
Out of the drowsy fog my body creeps back to me.
It is the white time before dawn.
Moonlight, watery, pellucid, lifeless, ripples over the world.
The grass beneath it is gray; the stars pale in the sky.
The night dew has fallen; An infinity of little drops, crystals from which all light has been taken, Glint on the sighing branches.
All is purity, without color, without stir, without passion.
Suddenly a peacock screams.
My heart shocks and stops; Sweat, cold corpse-sweat Covers my rigid body.
My hair stands on end.
I cannot stir.
I cannot speak.
It is terror, terror that is walking the pale sick gardens And the eyeless face no man may see and live! Ah-h-h-h-h! Father, Father, wake! wake and save me! In his corner all is shadow.
Dead things creep from the ground.
It is so long ago that she died, so long ago! Dust crushes her, earth holds her, mold grips her.
Fiends, do you not know that she is dead? .
.
.
"Let us dance the pavon!" she said; the waxlights glittered like swords on the polished floor.
Twinkling on jewelled snuffboxes, beaming savagely from the crass gold of candelabra, From the white shoulders of girls and the white powdered wigs of men .
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All life was that dance.
The mocking, resistless current, The beauty, the passion, the perilous madness -- As she took my hand, released it and spread her dresses like petals, Turning, swaying in beauty, A lily, bowed by the rain, -- Moonlight she was, and her body of moonlight and foam, And her eyes stars.
Oh the dance has a pattern! But the clear grace of her thrilled through the notes of the viols, Tremulous, pleading, escaping, immortal, untamed, And, as we ended, She blew me a kiss from her hand like a drifting white blossom -- And the starshine was gone; and she fled like a bird up the stair.
Underneath the window a peacock screams, And claws click, scrape Like little lacquered boots on the rough stone.
Oh the long fantasy of the kiss; the ceaseless hunger, ceaselessly, divinely appeased! The aching presence of the beloved's beauty! The wisdom, the incense, the brightness! Once more on the ice-bright floor they danced the pavon But I turned to the garden and her from the lighted candles.
Softly I trod the lush grass between the black hedges of box.
Softly, for I should take her unawares and catch her arms, And embrace her, dear and startled.
By the arbor all the moonlight flowed in silver And her head was on his breast.
She did not scream or shudder When my sword was where her head had lain In the quiet moonlight; But turned to me with one pale hand uplifted, All her satins fiery with the starshine, Nacreous, shimmering, weeping, iridescent, Like the quivering plumage of a peacock .
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Then her head drooped and I gripped her hair, Oh soft, scented cloud across my fingers! -- Bending her white neck back.
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Blood writhed on my hands; I trod in blood.
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Stupidly agaze At that crumpled heap of silk and moonlight, Where like twitching pinions, an arm twisted, Palely, and was still As the face of chalk.
The buhl clock strikes.
Thirty years.
Christ, thirty years! Agony.
Agony.
Something stirs in the window, Shattering the moonlight.
White wings fan.
Father, Father! All its plumage fiery with the starshine, Nacreous, shimmering, weeping, iridescent, It drifts across the floor and mounts the bed, To the tap of little satin shoes.
Gazing with infernal eyes.
Its quick beak thrusting, rending, devil's crimson .
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Screams, great tortured screams shake the dark canopy.
The light flickers, the shadow in the corner stirs; The wax face lifts; the eyes open.
A thin trickle of blood worms darkly against the vast red coverlet and spreads to a pool on the floor.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

Forest Of Europe

 The last leaves fell like notes from a piano
and left their ovals echoing in the ear;
with gawky music stands, the winter forest
looks like an empty orchestra, its lines
ruled on these scattered manuscripts of snow.
The inlaid copper laurel of an oak shines though the brown-bricked glass above your head as bright as whisky, while the wintry breath of lines from Mandelstam, which you recite, uncoils as visibly as cigarette smoke.
"The rustling of ruble notes by the lemon Neva.
" Under your exile's tongue, crisp under heel, the gutturals crackle like decaying leaves, the phrase from Mandelstam circles with light in a brown room, in barren Oklahoma.
There is a Gulag Archipelago under this ice, where the salt, mineral spring of the long Trail of Tears runnels these plains as hard and open as a herdsman's face sun-cracked and stubbled with unshaven snow.
Growing in whispers from the Writers' Congress, the snow circles like cossacks round the corpse of a tired Choctaw till it is a blizzard of treaties and white papers as we lose sight of the single human through the cause.
So every spring these branches load their shelves, like libraries with newly published leaves, till waste recycles them—paper to snow— but, at zero of suffering, one mind lasts like this oak with a few brazen leaves.
As the train passed the forest's tortured icons, ths floes clanging like freight yards, then the spires of frozen tears, the stations screeching steam, he drew them in a single winters' breath whose freezing consonants turned into stone.
He saw the poetry in forlorn stations under clouds vast as Asia, through districts that could gulp Oklahoma like a grape, not these tree-shaded prairie halts but space so desolate it mocked destinations.
Who is that dark child on the parapets of Europe, watching the evening river mint its sovereigns stamped with power, not with poets, the Thames and the Neva rustling like banknotes, then, black on gold, the Hudson's silhouettes? >From frozen Neva to the Hudson pours, under the airport domes, the echoing stations, the tributary of emigrants whom exile has made as classless as the common cold, citizens of a language that is now yours, and every February, every "last autumn", you write far from the threshing harvesters folding wheat like a girl plaiting her hair, far from Russia's canals quivering with sunstroke, a man living with English in one room.
The tourist archipelagoes of my South are prisons too, corruptible, and though there is no harder prison than writing verse, what's poetry, if it is worth its salt, but a phrase men can pass from hand to mouth? >From hand to mouth, across the centuries, the bread that lasts when systems have decayed, when, in his forest of barbed-wire branches, a prisoner circles, chewing the one phrase whose music will last longer than the leaves, whose condensation is the marble sweat of angels' foreheads, which will never dry till Borealis shuts the peacock lights of its slow fan from L.
A.
to Archangel, and memory needs nothing to repeat.
Frightened and starved, with divine fever Osip Mandelstam shook, and every metaphor shuddered him with ague, each vowel heavier than a boundary stone, "to the rustling of ruble notes by the lemon Neva," but now that fever is a fire whose glow warms our hands, Joseph, as we grunt like primates exchanging gutturals in this wintry cave of a brown cottage, while in drifts outside mastodons force their systems through the snow.


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 Langston Hughes | Create an image from this poem

Advertisement For The Waldorf-Astoria

 Fine living .
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a la carte? Come to the Waldorf-Astoria! LISTEN HUNGRY ONES! Look! See what Vanity Fair says about the new Waldorf-Astoria: "All the luxuries of private home.
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" Now, won't that be charming when the last flop-house has turned you down this winter? Furthermore: "It is far beyond anything hitherto attempted in the hotel world.
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" It cost twenty-eight million dollars.
The fa- mous Oscar Tschirky is in charge of banqueting.
Alexandre Gastaud is chef.
It will be a distinguished background for society.
So when you've no place else to go, homeless and hungry ones, choose the Waldorf as a background for your rags-- (Or do you still consider the subway after midnight good enough?) ROOMERS Take a room at the new Waldorf, you down-and-outers-- sleepers in charity's flop-houses where God pulls a long face, and you have to pray to get a bed.
They serve swell board at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Look at the menu, will you: GUMBO CREOLE CRABMEAT IN CASSOLETTE BOILED BRISKET OF BEEF SMALL ONIONS IN CREAM WATERCRESS SALAD PEACH MELBA Have luncheon there this afternoon, all you jobless.
Why not? Dine with some of the men and women who got rich off of your labor, who clip coupons with clean white fingers because your hands dug coal, drilled stone, sewed gar- ments, poured steel to let other people draw dividends and live easy.
(Or haven't you had enough yet of the soup-lines and the bit- ter bread of charity?) Walk through Peacock Alley tonight before dinner, and get warm, anyway.
You've got nothing else to do.
Written by G K Chesterton | Create an image from this poem

Lepanto

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

Summer Night

NOW sleeps the crimson petal, now the white; 
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk; 
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font: 
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.
Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost, 5 And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.
Now lies the Earth all Dana? to the stars, And all thy heart lies open unto me.
Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.
10 Now folds the lily all her sweetness up, And slips into the bosom of the lake: So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip Into my bosom and be lost in me.
Written by Amy Lowell | Create an image from this poem

Apology

 Be not angry with me that I bear
Your colours everywhere,
All through each crowded street,
And meet
The wonder-light in every eye,
As I go by.
Each plodding wayfarer looks up to gaze, Blinded by rainbow haze, The stuff of happiness, No less, Which wraps me in its glad-hued folds Of peacock golds.
Before my feet the dusty, rough-paved way Flushes beneath its gray.
My steps fall ringed with light, So bright, It seems a myriad suns are strown About the town.
Around me is the sound of steepled bells, And rich perfumed smells Hang like a wind-forgotten cloud, And shroud Me from close contact with the world.
I dwell impearled.
You blazon me with jewelled insignia.
A flaming nebula Rims in my life.
And yet You set The word upon me, unconfessed To go unguessed.
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