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Best Famous Quail Poems

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Written by Wallace Stevens | Create an image from this poem

Sunday Morning

1
Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
She dreams a little, and she feels the dark Encroachment of that old catastrophe, As a calm darkens among water-lights.
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings Seem things in some procession of the dead, Winding across wide water, without sound.
The day is like wide water, without sound, Stilled for the passion of her dreaming feet Over the seas, to silent Palestine, Dominion of the blood and sepulchre.
2 Why should she give her bounty to the dead? What is divinity if it can come Only in silent shadows and in dreams? Shall she not find in the comforts of sun, In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else In any balm or beauty of the earth, Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven? Divinity must live within herself: Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow; Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued Elations when the forest blooms; gusty Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights; All pleasures and all pains, remembering The bough of summer and the winter branch.
These are the measures destined for her soul.
3 Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth.
No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind He moved among us, as a muttering king, Magnificent, would move among his hinds, Until our blood, commingling, virginal, With heaven, brought such requital to desire The very hinds discerned it, in a star.
Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be The blood of paradise? And shall the earth Seem all of paradise that we shall know? The sky will be much friendlier then than now, A part of labor and a part of pain, And next in glory to enduring love, Not this dividing and indifferent blue.
4 She says, "I am content when wakened birds, Before they fly, test the reality Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings; But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields Return no more, where, then, is paradise?" There is not any haunt of prophecy, Nor any old chimera of the grave, Neither the golden underground, nor isle Melodious, where spirits gat them home, Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm Remote as heaven's hill, that has endured As April's green endures; or will endure Like her rememberance of awakened birds, Or her desire for June and evening, tipped By the consummation of the swallow's wings.
5 She says, "But in contentment I still feel The need of some imperishable bliss.
" Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams And our desires.
Although she strews the leaves Of sure obliteration on our paths, The path sick sorrow took, the many paths Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love Whispered a little out of tenderness, She makes the willow shiver in the sun For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet.
She causes boys to pile new plums and pears On disregarded plate.
The maidens taste And stray impassioned in the littering leaves.
6 Is there no change of death in paradise? Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs Hang always heavy in that perfect sky, Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth, With rivers like our own that seek for seas They never find, the same receeding shores That never touch with inarticulate pang? Why set the pear upon those river-banks Or spice the shores with odors of the plum? Alas, that they should wear our colors there, The silken weavings of our afternoons, And pick the strings of our insipid lutes! Death is the mother of beauty, mystical, Within whose burning bosom we devise Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly.
7 Supple and turbulent, a ring of men Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn Their boisterous devotion to the sun, Not as a god, but as a god might be, Naked among them, like a savage source.
Their chant shall be a chant of paradise, Out of their blood, returning to the sky; And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice, The windy lake wherein their lord delights, The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills, That choir among themselves long afterward.
They shall know well the heavenly fellowship Of men that perish and of summer morn.
And whence they came and whither they shall go The dew upon their feet shall manifest.
8 She hears, upon that water without sound, A voice that cries, "The tomb in Palestine Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.
" We live in an old chaos of the sun, Or old dependency of day and night, Or island solitude, unsponsered, free, Of that wide water, inescapable.
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail Whistle about us their spontaneous cries; Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness; And, in the isolation of the sky, At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make Abiguous undulations as they sink, Downward to darkness, on extended wings.


Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Mementos

 ARRANGING long-locked drawers and shelves 
Of cabinets, shut up for years, 
What a strange task we've set ourselves ! 
How still the lonely room appears ! 
How strange this mass of ancient treasures, 
Mementos of past pains and pleasures; 
These volumes, clasped with costly stone, 
With print all faded, gilding gone; 

These fans of leaves, from Indian trees­ 
These crimson shells, from Indian seas­ 
These tiny portraits, set in rings­ 
Once, doubtless, deemed such precious things; 
Keepsakes bestowed by Love on Faith, 
And worn till the receiver's death, 
Now stored with cameos, china, shells, 
In this old closet's dusty cells.
I scarcely think, for ten long years, A hand has touched these relics old; And, coating each, slow-formed, appears, The growth of green and antique mould.
All in this house is mossing over; All is unused, and dim, and damp; Nor light, nor warmth, the rooms discover­ Bereft for years of fire and lamp.
The sun, sometimes in summer, enters The casements, with reviving ray; But the long rains of many winters Moulder the very walls away.
And outside all is ivy, clinging To chimney, lattice, gable grey; Scarcely one little red rose springing Through the green moss can force its way.
Unscared, the daw, and starling nestle, Where the tall turret rises high, And winds alone come near to rustle The thick leaves where their cradles lie.
I sometimes think, when late at even I climb the stair reluctantly, Some shape that should be well in heaven, Or ill elsewhere, will pass by me.
I fear to see the very faces, Familiar thirty years ago, Even in the old accustomed places Which look so cold and gloomy now.
I've come, to close the window, hither, At twilight, when the sun was down, And Fear, my very soul would wither, Lest something should be dimly shown.
Too much the buried form resembling, Of her who once was mistress here; Lest doubtful shade, or moonbeam trembling, Might take her aspect, once so dear.
Hers was this chamber; in her time It seemed to me a pleasant room, For then no cloud of grief or crime Had cursed it with a settled gloom; I had not seen death's image laid In shroud and sheet, on yonder bed.
Before she married, she was blest­ Blest in her youth, blest in her worth; Her mind was calm, its sunny rest Shone in her eyes more clear than mirth.
And when attired in rich array, Light, lustrous hair about her brow, She yonder sat­a kind of day Lit up­what seems so gloomy now.
These grim oak walls, even then were grim; That old carved chair, was then antique; But what around looked dusk and dim Served as a foil to her fresh cheek; Her neck, and arms, of hue so fair, Eyes of unclouded, smiling, light; Her soft, and curled, and floating hair, Gems and attire, as rainbow bright.
Reclined in yonder deep recess, Ofttimes she would, at evening, lie Watching the sun; she seemed to bless With happy glance the glorious sky.
She loved such scenes, and as she gazed, Her face evinced her spirit's mood; Beauty or grandeur ever raised In her, a deep-felt gratitude.
But of all lovely things, she loved A cloudless moon, on summer night; Full oft have I impatience proved To see how long, her still delight Would find a theme in reverie.
Out on the lawn, or where the trees Let in the lustre fitfully, As their boughs parted momently, To the soft, languid, summer breeze.
Alas ! that she should e'er have flung Those pure, though lonely joys away­ Deceived by false and guileful tongue, She gave her hand, then suffered wrong; Oppressed, ill-used, she faded young, And died of grief by slow decay.
Open that casket­look how bright Those jewels flash upon the sight; The brilliants have not lost a ray Of lustre, since her wedding day.
But see­upon that pearly chain­ How dim lies time's discolouring stain ! I've seen that by her daughter worn: For, e'er she died, a child was born; A child that ne'er its mother knew, That lone, and almost friendless grew; For, ever, when its step drew nigh, Averted was the father's eye; And then, a life impure and wild Made him a stranger to his child; Absorbed in vice, he little cared On what she did, or how she fared.
The love withheld, she never sought, She grew uncherished­learnt untaught; To her the inward life of thought Full soon was open laid.
I know not if her friendlessness Did sometimes on her spirit press, But plaint she never made.
The book-shelves were her darling treasure, She rarely seemed the time to measure While she could read alone.
And she too loved the twilight wood, And often, in her mother's mood, Away to yonder hill would hie, Like her, to watch the setting sun, Or see the stars born, one by one, Out of the darkening sky.
Nor would she leave that hill till night Trembled from pole to pole with light; Even then, upon her homeward way, Long­long her wandering steps delayed To quit the sombre forest shade, Through which her eerie pathway lay.
You ask if she had beauty's grace ? I know not­but a nobler face My eyes have seldom seen; A keen and fine intelligence, And, better still, the truest sense Were in her speaking mien.
But bloom or lustre was there none, Only at moments, fitful shone An ardour in her eye, That kindled on her cheek a flush, Warm as a red sky's passing blush And quick with energy.
Her speech, too, was not common speech, No wish to shine, or aim to teach, Was in her words displayed: She still began with quiet sense, But oft the force of eloquence Came to her lips in aid; Language and voice unconscious changed, And thoughts, in other words arranged, Her fervid soul transfused Into the hearts of those who heard, And transient strength and ardour stirred, In minds to strength unused.
Yet in gay crowd or festal glare, Grave and retiring was her air; 'Twas seldom, save with me alone, That fire of feeling freely shone; She loved not awe's nor wonder's gaze, Nor even exaggerated praise, Nor even notice, if too keen The curious gazer searched her mien.
Nature's own green expanse revealed The world, the pleasures, she could prize; On free hill-side, in sunny field, In quiet spots by woods concealed, Grew wild and fresh her chosen joys, Yet Nature's feelings deeply lay In that endowed and youthful frame; Shrined in her heart and hid from day, They burned unseen with silent flame; In youth's first search for mental light, She lived but to reflect and learn, But soon her mind's maturer might For stronger task did pant and yearn; And stronger task did fate assign, Task that a giant's strength might strain; To suffer long and ne'er repine, Be calm in frenzy, smile at pain.
Pale with the secret war of feeling, Sustained with courage, mute, yet high; The wounds at which she bled, revealing Only by altered cheek and eye; She bore in silence­but when passion Surged in her soul with ceaseless foam, The storm at last brought desolation, And drove her exiled from her home.
And silent still, she straight assembled The wrecks of strength her soul retained; For though the wasted body trembled, The unconquered mind, to quail, disdained.
She crossed the sea­now lone she wanders By Seine's, or Rhine's, or Arno's flow; Fain would I know if distance renders Relief or comfort to her woe.
Fain would I know if, henceforth, ever, These eyes shall read in hers again, That light of love which faded never, Though dimmed so long with secret pain.
She will return, but cold and altered, Like all whose hopes too soon depart; Like all on whom have beat, unsheltered, The bitter blasts that blight the heart.
No more shall I behold her lying Calm on a pillow, smoothed by me; No more that spirit, worn with sighing, Will know the rest of infancy.
If still the paths of lore she follow, 'Twill be with tired and goaded will; She'll only toil, the aching hollow, The joyless blank of life to fill.
And oh ! full oft, quite spent and weary, Her hand will pause, her head decline; That labour seems so hard and dreary, On which no ray of hope may shine.
Thus the pale blight of time and sorrow Will shade with grey her soft, dark hair Then comes the day that knows no morrow, And death succeeds to long despair.
So speaks experience, sage and hoary; I see it plainly, know it well, Like one who, having read a story, Each incident therein can tell.
Touch not that ring, 'twas his, the sire Of that forsaken child; And nought his relics can inspire Save memories, sin-defiled.
I, who sat by his wife's death-bed, I, who his daughter loved, Could almost curse the guilty dead, For woes, the guiltless proved.
And heaven did curse­they found him laid, When crime for wrath was rife, Cold­with the suicidal blade Clutched in his desperate gripe.
'Twas near that long deserted hut, Which in the wood decays, Death's axe, self-wielded, struck his root, And lopped his desperate days.
You know the spot, where three black trees, Lift up their branches fell, And moaning, ceaseless as the seas, Still seem, in every passing breeze, The deed of blood to tell.
They named him mad, and laid his bones Where holier ashes lie; Yet doubt not that his spirit groans, In hell's eternity.
But, lo ! night, closing o'er the earth, Infects our thoughts with gloom; Come, let us strive to rally mirth, Where glows a clear and tranquil hearth In some more cheerful room.
Written by Carol Ann Duffy | Create an image from this poem

Stuffed

 I put two yellow peepers in an owl.
Wow.
I fix the grin of Crocodile.
Spiv.
I sew the slither of an eel.
I jerk, kick-start, the back hooves of a mule.
Wild.
I hold the red rag to a bull.
Mad.
I spread the feathers of a gull.
I screw a tight snarl to a weasel.
Fierce.
I stitch the flippers on a seal.
Splayed.
I pierce the heartbeat of a quail.
I like her to be naked and to kneel.
Tame.
My motionless, my living doll.
Mute.
And afterwards I like her not to tell.
Written by T S (Thomas Stearns) Eliot | Create an image from this poem

Ash Wednesday

 I

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is
nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
II Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree In the cool of the day, having fed to sateity On my legs my heart my liver and that which had been contained In the hollow round of my skull.
And God said Shall these bones live? shall these Bones live? And that which had been contained In the bones (which were already dry) said chirping: Because of the goodness of this Lady And because of her loveliness, and because She honours the Virgin in meditation, We shine with brightness.
And I who am here dissembled Proffer my deeds to oblivion, and my love To the posterity of the desert and the fruit of the gourd.
It is this which recovers My guts the strings of my eyes and the indigestible portions Which the leopards reject.
The Lady is withdrawn In a white gown, to contemplation, in a white gown.
Let the whiteness of bones atone to forgetfulness.
There is no life in them.
As I am forgotten And would be forgotten, so I would forget Thus devoted, concentrated in purpose.
And God said Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only The wind will listen.
And the bones sang chirping With the burden of the grasshopper, saying Lady of silences Calm and distressed Torn and most whole Rose of memory Rose of forgetfulness Exhausted and life-giving Worried reposeful The single Rose Is now the Garden Where all loves end Terminate torment Of love unsatisfied The greater torment Of love satisfied End of the endless Journey to no end Conclusion of all that Is inconclusible Speech without word and Word of no speech Grace to the Mother For the Garden Where all love ends.
Under a juniper-tree the bones sang, scattered and shining We are glad to be scattered, we did little good to each other, Under a tree in the cool of day, with the blessing of sand, Forgetting themselves and each other, united In the quiet of the desert.
This is the land which ye Shall divide by lot.
And neither division nor unity Matters.
This is the land.
We have our inheritance.
III At the first turning of the second stair I turned and saw below The same shape twisted on the banister Under the vapour in the fetid air Struggling with the devil of the stairs who wears The deceitul face of hope and of despair.
At the second turning of the second stair I left them twisting, turning below; There were no more faces and the stair was dark, Damp, jaggèd, like an old man's mouth drivelling, beyond repair, Or the toothed gullet of an agèd shark.
At the first turning of the third stair Was a slotted window bellied like the figs's fruit And beyond the hawthorn blossom and a pasture scene The broadbacked figure drest in blue and green Enchanted the maytime with an antique flute.
Blown hair is sweet, brown hair over the mouth blown, Lilac and brown hair; Distraction, music of the flute, stops and steps of the mind over the third stair, Fading, fading; strength beyond hope and despair Climbing the third stair.
Lord, I am not worthy Lord, I am not worthy but speak the word only.
IV Who walked between the violet and the violet Whe walked between The various ranks of varied green Going in white and blue, in Mary's colour, Talking of trivial things In ignorance and knowledge of eternal dolour Who moved among the others as they walked, Who then made strong the fountains and made fresh the springs Made cool the dry rock and made firm the sand In blue of larkspur, blue of Mary's colour, Sovegna vos Here are the years that walk between, bearing Away the fiddles and the flutes, restoring One who moves in the time between sleep and waking, wearing White light folded, sheathing about her, folded.
The new years walk, restoring Through a bright cloud of tears, the years, restoring With a new verse the ancient rhyme.
Redeem The time.
Redeem The unread vision in the higher dream While jewelled unicorns draw by the gilded hearse.
The silent sister veiled in white and blue Between the yews, behind the garden god, Whose flute is breathless, bent her head and signed but spoke no word But the fountain sprang up and the bird sang down Redeem the time, redeem the dream The token of the word unheard, unspoken Till the wind shake a thousand whispers from the yew And after this our exile V If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent If the unheard, unspoken Word is unspoken, unheard; Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard, The Word without a word, the Word within The world and for the world; And the light shone in darkness and Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled About the centre of the silent Word.
O my people, what have I done unto thee.
Where shall the word be found, where will the word Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence Not on the sea or on the islands, not On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land, For those who walk in darkness Both in the day time and in the night time The right time and the right place are not here No place of grace for those who avoid the face No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice Will the veiled sister pray for Those who walk in darkness, who chose thee and oppose thee, Those who are torn on the horn between season and season, time and time, between Hour and hour, word and word, power and power, those who wait In darkness? Will the veiled sister pray For children at the gate Who will not go away and cannot pray: Pray for those who chose and oppose O my people, what have I done unto thee.
Will the veiled sister between the slender Yew trees pray for those who offend her And are terrified and cannot surrender And affirm before the world and deny between the rocks In the last desert before the last blue rocks The desert in the garden the garden in the desert Of drouth, spitting from the mouth the withered apple-seed.
O my people.
VI Although I do not hope to turn again Although I do not hope Although I do not hope to turn Wavering between the profit and the loss In this brief transit where the dreams cross The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying (Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things From the wide window towards the granite shore The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying Unbroken wings And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices And the weak spirit quickens to rebel For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell Quickens to recover The cry of quail and the whirling plover And the blind eye creates The empty forms between the ivory gates And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth This is the time of tension between dying and birth The place of solitude where three dreams cross Between blue rocks But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away Let the other yew be shaken and reply.
Blessèd sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden, Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still Even among these rocks, Our peace in His will And even among these rocks Sister, mother And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea, Suffer me not to be separated And let my cry come unto Thee.
Written by Elinor Wylie | Create an image from this poem

Wild Peaches

 1

When the world turns completely upside down 
You say we'll emigrate to the Eastern Shore 
Aboard a river-boat from Baltimore; 
We'll live among wild peach trees, miles from town, 
You'll wear a coonskin cap, and I a gown 
Homespun, dyed butternut's dark gold colour.
Lost, like your lotus-eating ancestor, We'll swim in milk and honey till we drown.
The winter will be short, the summer long, The autumn amber-hued, sunny and hot, Tasting of cider and of scuppernong; All seasons sweet, but autumn best of all.
The squirrels in their silver fur will fall Like falling leaves, like fruit, before your shot.
2 The autumn frosts will lie upon the grass Like bloom on grapes of purple-brown and gold.
The misted early mornings will be cold; The little puddles will be roofed with glass.
The sun, which burns from copper into brass, Melts these at noon, and makes the boys unfold Their knitted mufflers; full as they can hold Fat pockets dribble chestnuts as they pass.
Peaches grow wild, and pigs can live in clover; A barrel of salted herrings lasts a year; The spring begins before the winter's over.
By February you may find the skins Of garter snakes and water moccasins Dwindled and harsh, dead-white and cloudy-clear.
3 When April pours the colours of a shell Upon the hills, when every little creek Is shot with silver from the Chesapeake In shoals new-minted by the ocean swell, When strawberries go begging, and the sleek Blue plums lie open to the blackbird's beak, We shall live well -- we shall live very well.
The months between the cherries and the peaches Are brimming cornucopias which spill Fruits red and purple, sombre-bloomed and black; Then, down rich fields and frosty river beaches We'll trample bright persimmons, while you kill Bronze partridge, speckled quail, and canvasback.
4 Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones There's something in this richness that I hate.
I love the look, austere, immaculate, Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones.
There's something in my very blood that owns Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate, A thread of water, churned to milky spate Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones.
I love those skies, thin blue or snowy gray, Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meagre sheaves; That spring, briefer than apple-blossom's breath, Summer, so much too beautiful to stay, Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves, And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.


Written by Jorie Graham | Create an image from this poem

The Guardian Angel Of The Private Life

 All this was written on the next day's list.
On which the busyness unfurled its cursive roots, pale but effective, and the long stem of the necessary, the sum of events, built-up its tiniest cathedral.
.
.
(Or is it the sum of what takes place? ) If I lean down, to whisper, to them, down into their gravitational field, there where they head busily on into the woods, laying the gifts out one by one, onto the path, hoping to be on the air, hoping to please the children -- (and some gifts overwrapped and some not wrapped at all) -- if I stir the wintered ground-leaves up from the paths, nimbly, into a sheet of sun, into an escape-route-width of sun, mildly gelatinous where wet, though mostly crisp, fluffing them up a bit, and up, as if to choke the singularity of sun with this jubilation of manyness, all through and round these passers-by -- just leaves, nothing that can vaporize into a thought, no, a burning bush's worth of spidery, up-ratcheting, tender-cling leaves, oh if -- the list gripped hard by the left hand of one, the busyness buried so deep into the puffed-up greenish mind of one, the hurried mind hovering over its rankings, the heart -- there at the core of the drafting leaves -- wet and warm at the zero of the bright mock-stairwaying-up of the posthumous leaves -- the heart, formulating its alleyways of discovery, fussing about the integrity of the whole, the heart trying to make time and place seem small, sliding its slim tears into the deep wallet of each new event on the list then checking it off -- oh the satisfaction -- each check a small kiss, an echo of the previous one, off off it goes the dry high-ceilinged obligation, checked-off by the fingertips, by the small gust called done that swipes the unfinishable's gold hem aside, revealing what might have been, peeling away what should .
.
.
There are flowerpots at their feet.
There is fortune-telling in the air they breathe.
It filters-in with its flashlight-beam, its holy-water-tinted air, down into the open eyes, the lampblack open mouth.
Oh listen to these words I'm spitting out for you.
My distance from you makes them louder.
Are we all waiting for the phone to ring? Who should it be? What fountain is expected to thrash forth mysteries of morning joy? What quail-like giant tail of promises, pleiades, psalters, plane-trees, what parapets petalling-forth the invisible into the world of things, turning the list into its spatial-form at last, into its archival many-headed, many-legged colony .
.
.
Oh look at you.
What is it you hold back? What piece of time is it the list won't cover? You down there, in the theater of operations -- you, throat of the world -- so diacritical -- (are we all waiting for the phone to ring?) -- (what will you say? are you home? are you expected soon?) -- oh wanderer back from break, all your attention focused -- as if the thinking were an oar, this ship the last of some original fleet, the captains gone but some of us who saw the plan drawn-out still here -- who saw the thinking clot-up in the bodies of the greater men, who saw them sit in silence while the voices in the other room lit-up with passion, itchings, dreams of landings, while the solitary ones, heads in their hands, so still, the idea barely forming at the base of that stillness, the idea like a homesickness starting just to fold and pleat and knot-itself out of the manyness -- the plan -- before it's thought, before it's a done deal or the name-you're-known-by -- the men of x, the outcomes of y -- before -- the mind still gripped hard by the hands that would hold the skull even stiller if they could, that nothing distract, that nothing but the possible be let to filter through, the possible and then the finely filamented hope, the filigree, without the distractions of wonder -- oh tiny golden spore just filtering-in to touch the good idea, which taking-form begins to twist, coursing for bottom-footing, palpating for edge-hold, limit, now finally about to rise, about to go into the other room -- and yet not having done so yet, not yet -- the intake -- before the credo, before the plan -- right at the homesickness -- before this list you hold in your exhausted hand.
Oh put it down.
Written by Theodore Roethke | Create an image from this poem

Cuttings

 This urge, wrestle, resurrection of dry sticks,
Cut stems struggling to put down feet,
What saint strained so much,
Rose on such lopped limbs to a new life?
I can hear, underground, that sucking and sobbing,
In my veins, in my bones I feel it --
The small waters seeping upward,
The tight grains parting at last.
When sprouts break out, Slippery as fish, I quail, lean to beginnings, sheath-wet.
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Pilates Wifes Dream

 I've quenched my lamp, I struck it in that start
Which every limb convulsed, I heard it fall­
The crash blent with my sleep, I saw depart
Its light, even as I woke, on yonder wall;
Over against my bed, there shone a gleam
Strange, faint, and mingling also with my dream.
It sunk, and I am wrapt in utter gloom; How far is night advanced, and when will day Retinge the dusk and livid air with bloom, And fill this void with warm, creative ray ? Would I could sleep again till, clear and red, Morning shall on the mountain-tops be spread! I'd call my women, but to break their sleep, Because my own is broken, were unjust; They've wrought all day, and well-earned slumbers steep Their labours in forgetfulness, I trust; Let me my feverish watch with patience bear, Thankful that none with me its sufferings share.
Yet, Oh, for light ! one ray would tranquilise My nerves, my pulses, more than effort can; I'll draw my curtain and consult the skies: These trembling stars at dead of night look wan, Wild, restless, strange, yet cannot be more drear Than this my couch, shared by a nameless fear.
All black­one great cloud, drawn from east to west, Conceals the heavens, but there are lights below; Torches burn in Jerusalem, and cast On yonder stony mount a lurid glow.
I see men stationed there, and gleaming spears; A sound, too, from afar, invades my ears.
Dull, measured, strokes of axe and hammer ring From street to street, not loud, but through the night Distinctly heard­and some strange spectral thing Is now upreared­and, fixed against the light Of the pale lamps; defined upon that sky, It stands up like a column, straight and high.
I see it all­I know the dusky sign­ A cross on Calvary, which Jews uprear While Romans watch; and when the dawn shall shine Pilate, to judge the victim will appear, Pass sentence­yield him up to crucify; And on that cross the spotless Christ must die.
Dreams, then, are true­for thus my vision ran; Surely some oracle has been with me, The gods have chosen me to reveal their plan, To warn an unjust judge of destiny: I, slumbering, heard and saw; awake I know, Christ's coming death, and Pilate's life of woe.
I do not weep for Pilate­who could prove Regret for him whose cold and crushing sway No prayer can soften, no appeal can move; Who tramples hearts as others trample clay, Yet with a faltering, an uncertain tread, That might stir up reprisal in the dead.
Forced to sit by his side and see his deeds; Forced to behold that visage, hour by hour, In whose gaunt lines, the abhorrent gazer reads A triple lust of gold, and blood, and power; A soul whom motives, fierce, yet abject, urge Rome's servile slave, and Judah's tyrant scourge.
How can I love, or mourn, or pity him ? I, who so long my fettered hands have wrung; I, who for grief have wept my eye-sight dim; Because, while life for me was bright and young, He robbed my youth­he quenched my life's fair ray­ He crushed my mind, and did my freedom slay.
And at this hour­although I be his wife­ He has no more of tenderness from me Than any other wretch of guilty life; Less, for I know his household privacy­ I see him as he is­without a screen; And, by the gods, my soul abhors his mien ! Has he not sought my presence, dyed in blood­ Innocent, righteous blood, shed shamelessly ? And have I not his red salute withstood ? Aye,­when, as erst, he plunged all Galilee In dark bereavement­in affliction sore, Mingling their very offerings with their gore.
Then came he­in his eyes a serpent-smile, Upon his lips some false, endearing word, And, through the streets of Salem, clanged the while, His slaughtering, hacking, sacrilegious sword­ And I, to see a man cause men such woe, Trembled with ire­I did not fear to show.
And now, the envious Jewish priests have brought Jesus­whom they in mockery call their king­ To have, by this grim power, their vengeance wrought; By this mean reptile, innocence to sting.
Oh ! could I but the purposed doom avert, And shield the blameless head from cruel hurt! Accessible is Pilate's heart to fear, Omens will shake his soul, like autumn leaf; Could he this night's appalling vision hear, This just man's bonds were loosed, his life were safe, Unless that bitter priesthood should prevail, And make even terror to their malice quail.
Yet if I tell the dream­but let me pause.
What dream ? Erewhile the characters were clear, Graved on my brain­at once some unknown cause Has dimmed and rased the thoughts, which now appear, Like a vague remnant of some by-past scene;­ Not what will be, but what, long since, has been.
I suffered many things, I heard foretold A dreadful doom for Pilate,­lingering woes, In far, barbarian climes, where mountains cold Built up a solitude of trackless snows, There, he and grisly wolves prowled side by side, There he lived famished­there methought he died; But not of hunger, nor by malady; I saw the snow around him, stained with gore; I said I had no tears for such as he, And, lo ! my cheek is wet­mine eyes run o'er; I weep for mortal suffering, mortal guilt, I weep the impious deed­the blood self-spilt.
More I recall not, yet the vision spread Into a world remote, an age to come­ And still the illumined name of Jesus shed A light, a clearness, through the enfolding gloom­ And still I saw that sign, which now I see, That cross on yonder brow of Calvary.
What is this Hebrew Christ ? To me unknown, His lineage­doctrine­mission­yet how clear, Is God-like goodness, in his actions shewn ! How straight and stainless is his life's career ! The ray of Deity that rests on him, In my eyes makes Olympian glory dim.
The world advances, Greek, or Roman rite Suffices not the inquiring mind to stay; The searching soul demands a purer light To guide it on its upward, onward way; Ashamed of sculptured gods­Religion turns To where the unseen Jehovah's altar burns.
Our faith is rotten­all our rites defiled, Our temples sullied, and methinks, this man, With his new ordinance, so wise and mild, Is come, even as he says, the chaff to fan And sever from the wheat; but will his faith Survive the terrors of to-morrow's death ? * * * * * I feel a firmer trust­a higher hope Rise in my soul­it dawns with dawning day; Lo ! on the Temple's roof­on Moriah's slope Appears at length that clear, and crimson ray, Which I so wished for when shut in by night; Oh, opening skies, I hail, I bless your light ! Part, clouds and shadows ! glorious Sun appear ! Part, mental gloom ! Come insight from on high ! Dusk dawn in heaven still strives with daylight clear, The longing soul, doth still uncertain sigh.
Oh ! to behold the truth­that sun divine, How doth my bosom pant, my spirit pine ! This day, time travails with a mighty birth, This day, Truth stoops from heaven and visits earth, Ere night descends, I shall more surely know What guide to follow, in what path to go; I wait in hope­I wait in solemn fear, The oracle of God­the sole­true God­to hear.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Song of the Wheat

 We have sung the song of the droving days, 
Of the march of the travelling sheep; 
By silent stages and lonely ways 
Thin, white battalions creep.
But the man who now by the land would thrive Must his spurs to a plough-share beat.
Is there ever a man in the world alive To sing the song of the Wheat! It's west by south of the Great Divide The grim grey plains run out, Where the old flock-masters lived and died In a ceaseless fight with drought.
Weary with waiting and hope deferred They were ready to own defeat, Till at last they heard the master-word— And the master-word was Wheat.
Yarran and Myall and Box and Pine— ’Twas axe and fire for all; They scarce could tarry to blaze the line Or wait for the trees to fall, Ere the team was yoked, and the gates flung wide, And the dust of the horses’ feet Rose up like a pillar of smoke to guide The wonderful march of Wheat.
Furrow by furrow, and fold by fold, The soil is turned on the plain; Better than silver and better than gold Is the surface-mine of the grain; Better than cattle and better than sheep In the fight with drought and heat; For a streak of stubbornness, wide and deep, Lies hid in a grain of Wheat.
When the stock is swept by the hand of fate, Deep down in his bed of clay The brave brown Wheat will lie and wait For the resurrection day: Lie hid while the whole world thinks him dead; But the Spring-rain, soft and sweet, Will over the steaming paddocks spread The first green flush of the Wheat.
Green and amber and gold it grows When the sun sinks late in the West; And the breeze sweeps over the rippling rows Where the quail and the skylark nest.
Mountain or river or shining star, There’s never a sight can beat— Away to the sky-line stretching far— A sea of the ripening Wheat.
When the burning harvest sun sinks low, And the shadows stretch on the plain, The roaring strippers come and go Like ships on a sea of grain; Till the lurching, groaning waggons bear Their tale of the load complete.
Of the world’s great work he has done his share Who has gathered a crop of wheat.
Princes and Potentates and Czars, They travel in regal state, But old King Wheat has a thousand cars For his trip to the water-gate; And his thousand steamships breast the tide And plough thro’ the wind and sleet To the lands where the teeming millions bide That say: “Thank God for Wheat!”
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

The Ballad Of Hank The Finn

 Now Fireman Flynn met Hank the Finn where lights of Lust-land glow;
"Let's leave," says he, "the lousy sea, and give the land a show.
I'm fed up to the molar mark with wallopin' the brine; I feel the bloody barnacles a-carkin' on me spine.
Let's hit the hard-boiled North a crack, where creeks are paved with gold.
" "You count me in," says Hank the Finn.
"Ay do as Ay ban told.
" And so they sought the Lonely Land and drifted down its stream, Where sunny silence round them spanned, as dopey as a dream.
But to the spell of flood and fell their gold-grimed eyes were blind; By pine and peak they paused to seek, but nothing did they find; No yellow glint of dust to mint, just mud and mocking sand, And a hateful hush that seemed to crush them down on every hand.
Till Fireman Flynn grew mean as sin, and cursed his comrade cold, But Hank the Finn would only grin, and .
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do as he was told.
Now Fireman Flynn had pieces ten of yellow Yankee gold, Which every night he would invite his partner to behold.
"Look hard," says he; "It's all you'll see in this god-blasted land; But you fret, I'm gonna let you hold them i your hand.
Yeah! Watch 'em gleam, then go and dream they're yours to have and hold.
" Then Hank the Finn would scratch his chin and .
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do as he was told.
But every night by camp-fire light, he'd incubate his woes, And fan the hate of mate for mate, the evil Artic knows.
In dreams the Lapland withes gloomed like gargoyles overhead, While the devils three of Helsinkee came cowering by his bed.
"Go take," said they, "the yellow loot he's clinking in his belt, And leave the sneaking wolverines to snout around his pelt.
Last night he called you Swedish scum, from out the glory-hole; To-day he said you were a bum, and damned your mother's soul.
Go, plug with lead his scurvy head, and grab his greasy gold .
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" Then Hank the Finn saw red within, and .
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did as he was told.
So in due course the famous Force of Men Who Get Their Man, Swooped down on sleeping Hank the Finn, and popped him in the can.
And in due time his grievous crime was judged without a plea, And he was dated up to swing upon the gallows tree.
Then Sheriff gave a party in the Law's almighty name, He gave a neck-tie party, and he asked me to the same.
There was no hooch a-flowin' and his party wasn't gay, For O our hearts were heavy at the dawning of the day.
There was no band a-playin' and the only dancin' there Was Hank the Fin interpretin' his solo in the air.
We climbed the scaffold steps and stood beside the knotted rope.
We watched the hooded hangman and his eyes were dazed with dope.
The Sheriff was in evening dress; a bell began to toll, A beastly bell that struck a knell of horror to the soul.
As if the doomed one was myself, I shuddered, waiting there.
I spoke no word, then .
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then I heard his step upon the stair; His halting foot, moccasin clad .
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and then I saw him stand Between a weeping warder and a priest with Cross in hand.
And at the sight a murmur rose of terror and of awe, And all them hardened gallows fans were sick at what they saw: For as he towered above the mob, his limbs with leather triced, By all that's wonderful, I swear, his face was that of Christ.
Now I ain't no blaspheming cuss, so don't you start to shout.
You see, his beard had grown so long it framed his face about.
His rippling hair was long and fair, his cheeks were spirit-pale, His face was bright with holy light that made us wince and quail.
He looked at us with eyes a-shine, and sore were we confused, As if he were the Judge divine, and we were the accused.
Aye, as serene he stood between the hangman and the cord, You would have sworn, with anguish torn, he was the Blessed Lord.
The priest was wet with icy sweat, the Sheriff's lips were dry, And we were staring starkly at the man who had to die.
"Lo! I am raised above you all," his pale lips seemed to say, "For in a moment I shall leap to God's Eternal Day.
Am I not happy! I forgive you each for what you do; Redeemed and penitent I go, with heart of love for you.
" So there he stood in mystic mood, with scorn sublime of death.
I saw him gently kiss the Cross, and then I held by breath.
That blessed smile was blotted out; they dropped the hood of black; They fixed the noose around his neck, the rope was hanging slack.
I heard him pray, I saw him sway, then .
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then he was not there; A rope, a ghastly yellow rope was jerking in the air; A jigging rope that soon was still; a hush as of the tomb, And Hank the Finn, that man of sin, had met his rightful doom.
His rightful doom! Now that's the point.
I'm wondering, because I hold a man is what he is, and never what he was.
You see, the priest had filled that guy so full of holy dope, That at the last he came to die as pious as the Pope.
A gentle ray of sunshine made a halo round his head.
I thought to see a sinner - lo! I saw a Saint instead.
Aye, as he stood as martyrs stand, clean-cleansed of mortal dross, I think he might have gloried had .
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WE NAILED HIM TO A CROSS.
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