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Best Famous Pelican Poems

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Written by Aleister Crowley | Create an image from this poem

The Wizard Way

 [Dedicated to General J.
C.
F.
Fuller] Velvet soft the night-star glowed Over the untrodden road, Through the giant glades of yew Where its ray fell light as dew Lighting up the shimmering veil Maiden pure and aery frail That the spiders wove to hide Blushes of the sylvan bride Earth, that trembled with delight At the male caress of Night.
Velvet soft the wizard trod To the Sabbath of his God.
With his naked feet he made Starry blossoms in the glade, Softly, softly, as he went To the sombre sacrament, Stealthy stepping to the tryst In his gown of amethyst.
Earlier yet his soul had come To the Hill of Martyrdom, Where the charred and crooked stake Like a black envenomed snake By the hangman's hands is thrust Through the wet and writhing dust, Never black and never dried Heart's blood of a suicide.
He had plucked the hazel rod From the rude and goatish god, Even as the curved moon's waning ray Stolen from the King of Day.
He had learnt the elvish sign; Given the Token of the Nine: Once to rave, and once to revel, Once to bow before the devil, Once to swing the thurible, Once to kiss the goat of hell, Once to dance the aspen spring, Once to croak, and once to sing, Once to oil the savoury thighs Of the witch with sea-green eyes With the unguents magical.
Oh the honey and the gall Of that black enchanter's lips As he croons to the eclipse Mingling that most puissant spell Of the giant gods of hell With the four ingredients Of the evil elements; Ambergris from golden spar, Musk of ox from Mongol jar, Civet from a box of jade, Mixed with fat of many a maid Slain by the inchauntments cold Of the witches wild and old.
He had crucified a toad In the basilisk abode, Muttering the Runes averse Mad with many a mocking curse.
He had traced the serpent sigil In his ghastly virgin vigil.
Sursum cor! the elfin hill, Where the wind blows deadly chill From the world that wails beneath Death's black throat and lipless teeth.
There he had stood - his bosom bare - Tracing Life upon the Air With the crook and with the flail Lashing forward on the gale, Till its blade that wavereth Like the flickering of Death Sank before his subtle fence To the starless sea of sense.
Now at last the man is come Haply to his halidom.
Surely as he waves his rod In a circle on the sod Springs the emerald chaste and clean From the duller paler green.
Surely in the circle millions Of immaculate pavilions Flash upon the trembling turf Like the sea-stars in the surf - Millions of bejewelled tents For the warrior sacraments.
Vaster, vaster, vaster, vaster, Grows the stature of the master; All the ringed encampment vies With the infinite galaxies.
In the midst a cubic stone With the Devil set thereon; Hath a lamb's virginal throat; Hath the body of a stoat; Hath the buttocks of a goat; Hath the sanguine face and rod Of a goddess and a god! Spell by spell and pace by pace! Mystic flashes swing and trace Velvet soft the sigils stepped By the silver-starred adept.
Back and front, and to and fro, Soul and body sway and flow In vertiginous caresses To imponderable recesses, Till at last the spell is woven, And the faery veil is cloven That was Sequence, Space, and Stress Of the soul-sick consciousness.
"Give thy body to the beasts! Give thy spirit to the priests! Break in twain the hazel rod On the virgin lips of God! Tear the Rosy Cross asunder! Shatter the black bolt of thunder! Suck the swart ensanguine kiss Of the resolute abyss!" Wonder-weft the wizard heard This intolerable word.
Smote the blasting hazel rod On the scarlet lips of God; Trampled Cross and rosy core; Brake the thunder-tool of Thor; Meek and holy acolyte Of the priestly hells of spite, Sleek and shameless catamite Of the beasts that prowl the night! Like a star that streams from heaven Through the virgin airs light-riven, From the lift there shot and fell An admirable miracle.
Carved minute and clean, a key Of purest lapis-lazuli More blue than the blind sky that aches (Wreathed with the stars, her torturing snakes), For the dead god's kiss that never wakes; Shot with golden specks of fire Like a virgin with desire.
Look, the levers! fern-frail fronds Of fantastic diamonds, Glimmering with ethereal azure In each exquisite embrasure.
On the shaft the letters laced, As if dryads lunar-chaste With the satyrs were embraced, Spelled the secret of the key: Sic pervenias.
And he Went his wizard way, inweaving Dreams of things beyond believing.
When he will, the weary world Of the senses closely curled Like a serpent round his heart Shakes herself and stands apart.
So the heart's blood flames, expanding, Strenuous, urgent, and commanding; And the key unlocks the door Where his love lives evermore.
She is of the faery blood; All smaragdine flows its flood.
Glowing in the amber sky To ensorcelled porphyry She hath eyes of glittering flake Like a cold grey water-snake.
She hath naked breasts of amber Jetting wine in her bed-chamber, Whereof whoso stoops and drinks Rees the riddle of the Sphinx.
She hath naked limbs of amber Whereupon her children clamber.
She hath five navels rosy-red From the five wounds of God that bled; Each wound that mothered her still bleeding, And on that blood her babes are feeding.
Oh! like a rose-winged pelican She hath bred blessed babes to Pan! Oh! like a lion-hued nightingale She hath torn her breast on thorns to avail The barren rose-tree to renew Her life with that disastrous dew, Building the rose o' the world alight With music out of the pale moonlight! O She is like the river of blood That broke from the lips of the bastard god, When he saw the sacred mother smile On the ibis that flew up the foam of Nile Bearing the limbs unblessed, unborn, That the lurking beast of Nile had torn! So (for the world is weary) I These dreadful souls of sense lay by.
I sacrifice these impure shoon To the cold ray of the waning moon.
I take the forked hazel staff, And the rose of no terrene graff, And the lamp of no olive oil With heart's blood that alone may boil.
With naked breast and feet unshod I follow the wizard way to God.
Wherever he leads my foot shall follow; Over the height, into the hollow, Up to the caves of pure cold breath, Down to the deeps of foul hot death, Across the seas, through the fires, Past the palace of desires; Where he will, whether he will or no, If I go, I care not whither I go.
For in me is the taint of the faery blood.
Fast, fast its emerald flood Leaps within me, violent rude Like a bestial faun's beatitude.
In me the faery blood runs hard: My sires were a druid, a devil, a bard, A beast, a wizard, a snake and a satyr; For - as my mother said - what does it matter? She was a fay, pure of the faery; Queen Morgan's daughter by an aery Demon that came to Orkney once To pay the Beetle his orisons.
So, it is I that writhe with the twitch Of the faery blood, and the wizard itch To attain a matter one may not utter Rather than sink in the greasy splutter Of Britons munching their bread and butter; Ailing boys and coarse-grained girls Grown to sloppy women and brutal churls.
So, I am off with staff in hand To the endless light of the nameless land.
Darkness spreads its sombre streams, Blotting out the elfin dreams.
I might haply be afraid, Were it not the Feather-maid Leads me softly by the hand, Whispers me to understand.
Now (when through the world of weeping Light at last starrily creeping Steals upon my babe-new sight, Light - O light that is not light!) On my mouth the lips of her Like a stone on my sepulchre Seal my speech with ecstasy, Till a babe is born of me That is silent more than I; For its inarticulate cry Hushes as its mouth is pressed To the pearl, her honey breast; While its breath divinely ripples The rose-petals of her nipples, And the jetted milk he laps From the soft delicious paps, Sweeter than the bee-sweet showers In the chalice of the flowers, More intoxicating than All the purple grapes of Pan.
Ah! my proper lips are stilled.
Only, all the world is filled With the Echo, that drips over Like the honey from the clover.
Passion, penitence, and pain Seek their mother's womb again, And are born the triple treasure, Peace and purity and pleasure.
- Hush, my child, and come aloft Where the stars are velvet soft!


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 Charles Bukowski | Create an image from this poem

The Sun Weilds Mercy

 and the sun weilds mercy
but like a jet torch carried to high,
and the jets whip across its sight
and rockets leap like toads,
and the boys get out the maps
and pin-cuishon the moon,
old green cheese,
no life there but too much on earth:
our unwashed India boys
crosssing their legs,playing pipes,
starving with sucked in bellies,
watching the snakes volute
like beautiful women in the hungry air;
the rockets leap,
the rockets leap like hares,
clearing clump and dog
replacing out-dated bullets;
the Chineses still carve
in jade,quietly stuffing rice
into their hunger, a hunger
a thousand years old,
their muddy rivers moving with fire
and song, barges, houseboats
pushed by drifting poles
of waiting without wanting;
in Turkey they face the East
on their carpets
praying to a purple god
who smokes and laughs
and sticks fingers in their eyes
blinding them, as gods will do;
but the rockets are ready: peace is no longer,
for some reason,precious;
madness drifts like lily pads
on a pond circling senselessly;
the painters paint dipping
their reds and greens and yellows,
poets rhyme their lonliness,
musicians starve as always
and the novelists miss the mark,
but not the pelican , the gull;
pelicans dip and dive, rise,
shaking shocked half-dead
radioactive fish from their beaks;
indeed, indeed, the waters wash
the rocks with slime; and on wall st.
the market staggers like a lost drunk looking for his key; ah, this will be a good one,by God: it will take us back to the sabre-teeth, the winged monkey scrabbling in pits over bits of helmet, instrument and glass; a lightning crashes across the window and in a million rooms lovers lie entwined and lost and sick as peace; the sky still breaks red and orange for the painters-and for the lovers, flowers open as they always have opened but covered with thin dust of rocket fuel and mushrooms, poison mushrooms; it's a bad time, a dog-sick time-curtain act 3, standing room only, SOLD OUT, SOLD OUT, SOLD OUT again, by god,by somebody and something, by rockets and generals and leaders, by poets , doctors, comedians, by manufacturers of soup and biscuits, Janus-faced hucksters of their own indexerity; I can now see now the coal-slick contanminated fields, a snail or 2, bile, obsidian, a fish or 3 in the shallows, an obloquy of our source and our sight.
.
.
.
.
has this happend before? is history a circle that catches itself by the tail, a dream, a nightmare, a general's dream, a presidents dream, a dictators dream.
.
.
can't we awaken? or are the forces of life greater than we are? can't we awaken? must we foever, dear freinds, die in our sleep?
Written by Sidney Lanier | Create an image from this poem

A Florida Sunday

 From cold Norse caves or buccaneer Southern seas
Oft come repenting tempests here to die;
Bewailing old-time wrecks and robberies,
They shrive to priestly pines with many a sigh,
Breathe salutary balms through lank-lock'd hair
Of sick men's heads, and soon -- this world outworn --
Sink into saintly heavens of stirless air,
Clean from confessional.
One died, this morn, And willed the world to wise Queen Tranquil: she, Sweet sovereign Lady of all souls that bide In contemplation, tames the too bright skies Like that faint agate film, far down descried, Restraining suns in sudden thoughtful eyes Which flashed but now.
Blest distillation rare Of o'er-rank brightness filtered waterwise Through all the earths in heaven -- thou always fair, Still virgin bride of e'er-creating thought -- Dream-worker, in whose dream the Future's wrought -- Healer of hurts, free balm for bitter wrongs -- Most silent mother of all sounding songs -- Thou that dissolvest hells to make thy heaven -- Thou tempest's heir, that keep'st no tempest leaven -- But after winds' and thunders' wide mischance Dost brood, and better thine inheritance -- Thou privacy of space, where each grave Star As in his own still chamber sits afar To meditate, yet, by thy walls unpent, Shines to his fellows o'er the firmament -- Oh! as thou liv'st in all this sky and sea That likewise lovingly do live in thee, So melt my soul in thee, and thine in me, Divine Tranquillity! Gray Pelican, poised where yon broad shallows shine, Know'st thou, that finny foison all is mine In the bag below thy beak -- yet thine, not less? For God, of His most gracious friendliness, Hath wrought that every soul, this loving morn, Into all things may be new-corporate born, And each live whole in all: I sail with thee, Thy Pelican's self is mine; yea, silver Sea, In this large moment all thy fishes, ripples, bights, Pale in-shore greens and distant blue delights, White visionary sails, long reaches fair By moon-horn'd strands that film the far-off air, Bright sparkle-revelations, secret majesties, Shells, wrecks and wealths, are mine; yea, Orange-trees, That lift your small world-systems in the light, Rich sets of round green heavens studded bright With globes of fruit that like still planets shine, Mine is your green-gold universe; yea, mine, White slender Lighthouse fainting to the eye That wait'st on yon keen cape-point wistfully, Like to some maiden spirit pausing pale, New-wing'd, yet fain to sail Above the serene Gulf to where a bridegroom soul Calls o'er the soft horizon -- mine thy dole Of shut undaring wings and wan desire -- Mine, too, thy later hope and heavenly fire Of kindling expectation; yea, all sights, All sounds, that make this morn -- quick flights Of pea-green paroquets 'twixt neighbor trees, Like missives and sweet morning inquiries From green to green, in green -- live oaks' round heads, Busy with jays for thoughts -- grays, whites and reds Of pranked woodpeckers that ne'er gossip out, But alway tap at doors and gad about -- Robins and mocking-birds that all day long Athwart straight sunshine weave cross-threads of song, Shuttles of music -- clouds of mosses gray That rain me rains of pleasant thoughts alway From a low sky of leaves -- faint yearning psalms Of endless metre breathing through the palms That crowd and lean and gaze from off the shore Ever for one that cometh nevermore -- Palmettos ranked, with childish spear-points set Against no enemy -- rich cones that fret High roofs of temples shafted tall with pines -- Green, grateful mangroves where the sand-beach shines -- Long lissome coast that in and outward swerves, The grace of God made manifest in curves -- All riches, goods and braveries never told Of earth, sun, air and heaven -- now I hold Your being in my being; I am ye, And ye myself; yea, lastly, Thee, God, whom my roads all reach, howe'er they run, My Father, Friend, Beloved, dear All-One, Thee in my soul, my soul in Thee, I feel, Self of my self.
Lo, through my sense doth steal Clear cognizance of all selves and qualities, Of all existence that hath been or is, Of all strange haps that men miscall of chance, And all the works of tireless circumstance: Each borders each, like mutual sea and shore, Nor aught misfits his neighbor that's before, Nor him that's after -- nay, through this still air, Out of the North come quarrels, and keen blare Of challenge by the hot-breath'd parties blown; Yet break they not this peace with alien tone, Fray not my heart, nor fright me for my land, -- I hear from all-wards, allwise understand, The great bird Purpose bears me twixt her wings, And I am one with all the kinsmen things That e'er my Father fathered.
Oh, to me All questions solve in this tranquillity: E'en this dark matter, once so dim, so drear, Now shines upon my spirit heavenly-clear: Thou, Father, without logic, tellest me How this divine denial true may be, -- How `All's in each, yet every one of all Maintains his Self complete and several.
'
Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Create an image from this poem

Hiawathas Departure

 By the shore of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
At the doorway of his wigwam,
In the pleasant Summer morning,
Hiawatha stood and waited.
All the air was full of freshness, All the earth was bright and joyous, And before him, through the sunshine, Westward toward the neighboring forest Passed in golden swarms the Ahmo, Passed the bees, the honey-makers, Burning, singing In the sunshine.
Bright above him shone the heavens, Level spread the lake before him; From its bosom leaped the sturgeon, Sparkling, flashing in the sunshine; On its margin the great forest Stood reflected in the water, Every tree-top had its shadow, Motionless beneath the water.
From the brow of Hiawatha Gone was every trace of sorrow, As the fog from off the water, As the mist from off the meadow.
With a smile of joy and triumph, With a look of exultation, As of one who in a vision Sees what is to be, but is not, Stood and waited Hiawatha.
Toward the sun his hands were lifted, Both the palms spread out against it, And between the parted fingers Fell the sunshine on his features, Flecked with light his naked shoulders, As it falls and flecks an oak-tree Through the rifted leaves and branches.
O'er the water floating, flying, Something in the hazy distance, Something in the mists of morning, Loomed and lifted from the water, Now seemed floating, now seemed flying, Coming nearer, nearer, nearer.
Was it Shingebis the diver? Or the pelican, the Shada? Or the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah? Or the white goose, Waw-be-wawa, With the water dripping, flashing, From its glossy neck and feathers? It was neither goose nor diver, Neither pelican nor heron, O'er the water floating, flying, Through the shining mist of morning, But a birch canoe with paddles, Rising, sinking on the water, Dripping, flashing in the sunshine; And within it came a people From the distant land of Wabun, From the farthest realms of morning Came the Black-Robe chief, the Prophet, He the Priest of Prayer, the Pale-face, With his guides and his companions.
And the noble Hiawatha, With his hands aloft extended, Held aloft in sign of welcome, Waited, full of exultation, Till the birch canoe with paddles Grated on the shining pebbles, Stranded on the sandy margin, Till the Black-Robe chief, the Pale-face, With the cross upon his bosom, Landed on the sandy margin.
Then the joyous Hiawatha Cried aloud and spake in this wise: "Beautiful is the sun, O strangers, When you come so far to see us! All our town in peace awaits you, All our doors stand open for you; You shall enter all our wigwams, For the heart's right hand we give you.
"Never bloomed the earth so gayly, Never shone the sun so brightly, As to-day they shine and blossom When you come so far to see us! Never was our lake so tranquil, Nor so free from rocks, and sand-bars; For your birch canoe in passing Has removed both rock and sand-bar.
"Never before had our tobacco Such a sweet and pleasant flavor, Never the broad leaves of our cornfields Were so beautiful to look on, As they seem to us this morning, When you come so far to see us!' And the Black-Robe chief made answer, Stammered In his speech a little, Speaking words yet unfamiliar: "Peace be with you, Hiawatha, Peace be with you and your people, Peace of prayer, and peace of pardon, Peace of Christ, and joy of Mary!" Then the generous Hiawatha Led the strangers to his wigwam, Seated them on skins of bison, Seated them on skins of ermine, And the careful old Nokomis Brought them food in bowls of basswood, Water brought in birchen dippers, And the calumet, the peace-pipe, Filled and lighted for their smoking.
All the old men of the village, All the warriors of the nation, All the Jossakeeds, the Prophets, The magicians, the Wabenos, And the Medicine-men, the Medas, Came to bid the strangers welcome; "It is well", they said, "O brothers, That you come so far to see us!" In a circle round the doorway, With their pipes they sat In silence, Waiting to behold the strangers, Waiting to receive their message; Till the Black-Robe chief, the Pale-face, From the wigwam came to greet them, Stammering in his speech a little, Speaking words yet unfamiliar; "It Is well," they said, "O brother, That you come so far to see us!" Then the Black-Robe chief, the Prophet, Told his message to the people, Told the purport of his mission, Told them of the Virgin Mary, And her blessed Son, the Saviour, How in distant lands and ages He had lived on earth as we do; How he fasted, prayed, and labored; How the Jews, the tribe accursed, Mocked him, scourged him, crucified him; How he rose from where they laid him, Walked again with his disciples, And ascended into heaven.
And the chiefs made answer, saying: "We have listened to your message, We have heard your words of wisdom, We will think on what you tell us.
It is well for us, O brothers, That you come so far to see us!" Then they rose up and departed Each one homeward to his wigwam, To the young men and the women Told the story of the strangers Whom the Master of Life had sent them From the shining land of Wabun.
Heavy with the heat and silence Grew the afternoon of Summer; With a drowsy sound the forest Whispered round the sultry wigwam, With a sound of sleep the water Rippled on the beach below it; From the cornfields shrill and ceaseless Sang the grasshopper, Pah-puk-keena; And the guests of Hiawatha, Weary with the heat of Summer, Slumbered in the sultry wigwam.
Slowly o'er the simmering landscape Fell the evening's dusk and coolness, And the long and level sunbeams Shot their spears into the forest, Breaking through its shields of shadow, Rushed into each secret ambush, Searched each thicket, dingle, hollow; Still the guests of Hiawatha Slumbered In the silent wigwam.
From his place rose Hiawatha, Bade farewell to old Nokomis, Spake in whispers, spake in this wise, Did not wake the guests, that slumbered.
"I am going, O Nokomis, On a long and distant journey, To the portals of the Sunset.
To the regions of the home-wind, Of the Northwest-Wind, Keewaydin.
But these guests I leave behind me, In your watch and ward I leave them; See that never harm comes near them, See that never fear molests them, Never danger nor suspicion, Never want of food or shelter, In the lodge of Hiawatha!" Forth into the village went he, Bade farewell to all the warriors, Bade farewell to all the young men, Spake persuading, spake in this wise: I am going, O my people, On a long and distant journey; Many moons and many winters Will have come, and will have vanished, Ere I come again to see you.
But my guests I leave behind me; Listen to their words of wisdom, Listen to the truth they tell you, For the Master of Life has sent them From the land of light and morning!" On the shore stood Hiawatha, Turned and waved his hand at parting; On the clear and luminous water Launched his birch canoe for sailing, From the pebbles of the margin Shoved it forth into the water; Whispered to it, "Westward! westward!" And with speed it darted forward.
And the evening sun descending Set the clouds on fire with redness, Burned the broad sky, like a prairie, Left upon the level water One long track and trail of splendor, Down whose stream, as down a river, Westward, westward Hiawatha Sailed into the fiery sunset, Sailed into the purple vapors, Sailed into the dusk of evening: And the people from the margin Watched him floating, rising, sinking, Till the birch canoe seemed lifted High into that sea of splendor, Till it sank into the vapors Like the new moon slowly, slowly Sinking in the purple distance.
And they said, "Farewell forever!" Said, "Farewell, O Hiawatha!" And the forests, dark and lonely, Moved through all their depths of darkness, Sighed, "Farewell, O Hiawatha!" And the waves upon the margin Rising, rippling on the pebbles, Sobbed, "Farewell, O Hiawatha!" And the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah, From her haunts among the fen-lands, Screamed, "Farewell, O Hiawatha!" Thus departed Hiawatha, Hiawatha the Beloved, In the glory of the sunset,.
In the purple mists of evening, To the regions of the home-wind, Of the Northwest-Wind, Keewaydin, To the Islands of the Blessed, To the Kingdom of Ponemah, To the Land of the Hereafter!
Written by Andrew Marvell | Create an image from this poem

Fleckno an English Priest at Rome

 Oblig'd by frequent visits of this man,
Whom as Priest, Poet, and Musician,
I for some branch of Melchizedeck took,
(Though he derives himself from my Lord Brooke)
I sought his Lodging; which is at the Sign
Of the sad Pelican; Subject divine
For Poetry: There three Stair Cases high,
Which signifies his triple property,
I found at last a Chamber, as 'twas said,
But seem'd a Coffin set on the Stairs head.
Not higher then Seav'n, nor larger then three feet; Only there was nor Seeling, nor a Sheet, Save that th' ingenious Door did as you come Turn in, and shew to Wainscot half the Room.
Yet of his State no man could have complain'd; There being no Bed where he entertain'd: And though within one Cell so narrow pent, He'd Stanza's for a whole Appartement.
Straight without further information, In hideous verse, he, and a dismal tone, Begins to exercise; as if I were Possest; and sure the Devil brought me there.
But I, who now imagin'd my selfbrought To my last Tryal, in a serious thought Calm'd the disorders of my youthful Breast, And to my Martyrdom prepared Rest.
Only this frail Ambition did remain, The last distemper of the sober Brain, That there had been some present to assure The future Ages how I did indure: And how I, silent, turn'd my burning Ear Towards the Verse; and when that could n Held him the other; and unchanged yet, Ask'd still for more, and pray'd him to repeat: Till the Tyrant, weary to persecute, Left off, and try'd t'allure me with his Lute.
Now as two Instruments, to the same key Being tun'd by Art, if the one touched be The other opposite as soon replies, Mov'd by the Air and hidden Sympathies; So while he with his gouty Fingers craules Over the Lute, his murmuring Belly calls, Whose hungry Guts to the same streightness twin'd In Echo to the trembling Strings repin'd.
I, that perceiv'd now what his Musick ment, Ask'd civilly if he had eat this Lent.
He answered yes; with such, and such an one.
For he has this of gen'rous, that alone He never feeds; save only when he tryes With gristly Tongue to dart the passing Flyes.
I ask'd if he eat flesh.
And he, that was So hungry that though ready to say Mass Would break his fast before, said he was Sick, And th' Ordinance was only Politick.
Nor was I longer to invite him: Scant Happy at once to make him Protestant, And Silent.
Nothing now Dinner stay'd But till he had himself a Body made.
I mean till he were drest: for else so thin He stands, as if he only fed had been With consecrated Wafers: and the Host Hath sure more flesh and blood then he can boast.
This Basso Relievo of a Man, Who as a Camel tall, yet easly can The Needles Eye thread without any stich, (His only impossible is to be rich) Lest his too suttle Body, growing rare, Should leave his Soul to wander in the Air, He therefore circumscribes himself in rimes; And swaddled in's own papers seaven times, Wears a close Jacket of poetick Buff, With which he doth his third Dimension Stuff.
Thus armed underneath, he over all Does make a primitive Sotana fall; And above that yet casts an antick Cloak, Worn at the first Counsel of Antioch; Which by the Jews long hid, and Disesteem'd, He heard of by Tradition, and redeem'd.
But were he not in this black habit deck't, This half transparent Man would soon reflect Each colour that he past by; and be seen, As the Chamelion, yellow, blew, or green.
He drest, and ready to disfurnish now His Chamber, whose compactness did allow No empty place for complementing doubt, But who came last is forc'd first to go out; I meet one on the Stairs who made me stand, Stopping the passage, and did him demand: I answer'd he is here Sir; but you see You cannot pass to him but thorow me.
He thought himself affronted; and reply'd, I whom the Pallace never has deny'd Will make the way here; I said Sir you'l do Me a great favour, for I seek to go.
He gathring fury still made sign to draw; But himself there clos'd in a Scabbard saw As narrow as his Sword's; and I, that was Delightful, said there can no Body pass Except by penetration hither, where Two make a crowd, nor can three Persons here Consist but in one substance.
Then, to fit Our peace, the Priest said I too had some wit: To prov't, I said, the place doth us invite But its own narrowness, Sir, to unite.
He ask'd me pardon; and to make me way Went down, as I him follow'd to obey.
But the propitiatory Priest had straight Oblig'd us, when below, to celebrate Together our attonement: so increas'd Betwixt us two the Dinner to a Feast.
Let it suffice that we could eat in peace; And that both Poems did and Quarrels cease During the Table; though my new made Friend Did, as he threatned, ere 'twere long intend To be both witty and valiant: I loth, Said 'twas too late, he was already both.
But now, Alas, my first Tormentor came, Who satisfy'd with eating, but not tame Turns to recite; though Judges most severe After th'Assizes dinner mild appear, And on full stomach do condemn but few: Yet he more strict my sentence doth renew; And draws out of the black box of his Breast Ten quire of paper in which he was drest.
Yet that which was a greater cruelty Then Nero's Poem he calls charity: And so the Pelican at his door hung Picks out the tender bosome to its young.
Of all his Poems there he stands ungirt Save only two foul copies for his shirt: Yet these he promises as soon as clean.
But how I loath'd to see my Neighbour glean Those papers, which he pilled from within Like white fleaks rising from a Leaper's skin! More odious then those raggs which the French youth At ordinaries after dinner show'th, When they compare their Chancres and Poulains.
Yet he first kist them, and after takes pains To read; and then, because he understood good.
Not one Word, thought and swore that they were But all his praises could not now appease The provok't Author, whom it did displease To hear his Verses, by so just a curse, That were ill made condemn'd to be read worse: And how (impossible) he made yet more Absurdityes in them then were before.
For he his untun'd voice did fall or raise As a deaf Man upon a Viol playes, Making the half points and the periods run Confus'der then the atomes in the Sun.
Thereat the Poet swell'd, with anger full, And roar'd out, like Perillus in's own Bull; Sir you read false.
That any one but you Should know the contrary.
Whereat, I, now Made Mediator, in my room, said, Why? To say that you read false Sir is no Lye.
Thereat the waxen Youth relented straight; But saw with sad dispair that was too late.
For the disdainful Poet was retir'd Home, his most furious Satyr to have fir'd Against the Rebel; who, at this struck dead Wept bitterly as disinherited.
Who should commend his Mistress now? Or who Praise him? both difficult indeed to do With truth.
I counsell'd him to go in time, Ere the fierce Poets anger turn'd to rime.
He hasted; and I, finding my self free, Did, as he threatned, ere 'twere long intend As one scap't strangely from Captivity, Have made the Chance be painted; and go now To hang it in Saint Peter's for a Vow.
Written by Robert Graves | Create an image from this poem

In the Wilderness

 Christ of His gentleness 
Thirsting and hungering, 
Walked in the wilderness; 
Soft words of grace He spoke 
Unto lost desert-folk
That listened wondering.
He heard the bitterns call From ruined palace-wall, Answered them brotherly.
He held communion With the she-pelican Of lonely piety.
Basilisk, cockatrice, Flocked to his homilies, With mail of dread device, With monstrous barb?d slings, With eager dragon-eyes; Great rats on leather wings And poor blind broken things, Foul in their miseries.
And ever with Him went, Of all His wanderings Comrade, with ragged coat, Gaunt ribs—poor innocent— Bleeding foot, burning throat, The guileless old scapegoat; For forty nights and days Followed in Jesus’ ways, Sure guard behind Him kept, Tears like a lover wept.


Written by Brooks Haxton | Create an image from this poem

Unclean

 I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am 
 like an owl of the desert.
I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop.
Psalm 102 The pelican in scripture is unclean.
It pukes dead fish onto the hatchlings, and it roosts alone, like Satan on the Tree of Life.
Nobody told me.
I liked pelicans.
I liked owls, too.
I used to lie awake and listen, wanting to become an owl, to fly, to see through darkness, turn my head, and look straight back behind me.
I was happy, as kids go, but I did not belong in human form.
Sparrows peck grain from fresh dung.
In this world rich means filthy.
Leopardi, in his high Romantic musings on the sparrow, does not say the poet is a shitbird, just that, singing by himself, he acts like one, and wishes he could feel more like one, unashamed to do so.
Here, the preacher (burning in his bones with fever, puking half-digested fish, and hooting, sleepless in the ruins like the baleful dead) cries: O Lord, take me not away.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

A Bush Lawyer

 When Ironbark the turtle came to Anthony's lagoon 
The hills were hid behind a mist of equinoctal rain, 
The ripple of the rivulets was like a cheerful tune 
And wild companions waltzed among the grass as tall as grain.
But Ironbark the turtle cared no whit for all of these; The ripple of the rivulets, the rustle of the trees Were only apple sauce to him, or just a piece of cheese.
Now, Dan-di-dan the water rat was exquisitely dressed, For not a seal in Bass's Straits had half as fine a coat, And every day he combed and brushed his golden-yellow vest, A contrast with the white cravat he wore beneath his throat.
And Dan-di-dan the water rat could move with ease and grace, So Ironbark appeared to him a creature out of place, With iron-plated overcoat and dirty little face.
A crawfish at the point of death came drifting down the drains.
Said he, "I'm scalded to the heart with bathing near the bore.
" The turtle and the water rat disputed his remains, For crawfish meat all day they'd eat, and then they'd ask for more.
Said Dan-di-dan, "The prize is mine, for I was fishing here Before you tumbled down the bank and landed on your ear.
" "I wouldn't care," the turtle said, "if you'd have fished a year.
" So Baggy-beak the Pelican was asked to arbitrate; The scales of justice seemed to hang beneath his noble beak.
He said, "I'll take possession of the subject of debate"; He stowed the fish inside his pouch and then began to speak.
"The case is far from clear," he said, "and justices of note" -- But here he snapped his beak and flapped his piebald overcoat -- "Oh dear," he said, "that wretched fish has slithered down my throat.
" "But still," he said, "the point involved requires a full debate.
I'll have to get the lawyer birds and fix a special day.
Ad interim I rule that costs come out of the estate.
" And Baggy-beak the Pelican got up and flew away.
So both the pair who went to law were feeling very small.
Said they, "We might have halved the fish and saved a nasty brawl; For half a crawfish isn't much, but more than none at all.
"
Written by John Berryman | Create an image from this poem

Dream Song 20: The Secret of the Wisdom

 When worst got things, how was you? Steady on?
Wheedling, or shockt her &
you have been bad to your friend,
whom not you writing to.
You have not listened.
A pelican of lies you loosed: where are you? Down weeks of evenings of longing by hours, NOW, a stoned bell, you did somebody: others you hurt short: anyone ever did you do good? You licking your own old hurt, what? An evil kneel & adore.
This is human.
Hurl, God who found us in this, down something .
.
.
We hear the more sin has increast, the more grace has been caused to abound.