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Best Famous Raven Poems

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

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Written by Edgar Allan Poe | Create an image from this poem

The Raven

ONCE upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, 
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,¡ª 
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, 
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'T is some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door; 5 Only this and nothing more.
" Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;¡ªvainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow¡ªsorrow for the lost Lenore, 10 For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore: Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me¡ªfilled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating 15 "'T is some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door, Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door: This it is and nothing more.
" Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; 20 But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"¡ªhere I opened wide the door:¡ª Darkness there and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, 25 Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore:" Merely this and nothing more.
30 Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice; Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore; Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore: 35 'T is the wind and nothing more.
" Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door, 40 Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door: Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,¡ª "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, 45 Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore: Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
" Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning¡ªlittle relevancy bore; 50 For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door, Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore.
" But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only 55 That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered, not a feather then he fluttered, Till I scarcely more than muttered,¡ª"Other friends have flown before; On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.
" Then the bird said, "Nevermore.
" 60 Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore: Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore 65 Of 'Never¡ªnevermore.
' But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door; Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore, 70 What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking "Nevermore.
" This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining 75 On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er She shall press, ah, nevermore! Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
80 "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee¡ªby these angels he hath sent thee Respite¡ªrespite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!" Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore.
" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
" "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil! 85 Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted¡ª On this home by Horror haunted¡ªtell me truly, I implore: Is there¡ªis there balm in Gilead?¡ªtell me¡ªtell me, I implore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
" 90 "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil¡ªprophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us, by that God we both adore, Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore: Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore!" 95 Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
" "Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting: "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! quit the bust above my door! 100 Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
" And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, 105 And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor: And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted¡ªnevermore!


Written by George (Lord) Byron | Create an image from this poem

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in Beauty, like the night 
Of cloudless climes and starry skies; 
And all that's best of dark and bright 
Meet in her aspect and her eyes: 
Thus mellowed to that tender light 
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impaired the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o'er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express, How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!
Written by Thomas Campbell | Create an image from this poem

Ode to Winter

 When first the fiery-mantled sun 
His heavenly race begun to run; 
Round the earth and ocean blue, 
His children four the Seasons flew.
First, in green apparel dancing, The young Spring smiled with angel grace; Rosy summer next advancing, Rushed into her sire's embrace:- Her blue-haired sire, who bade her keep For ever nearest to his smile, On Calpe's olive-shaded steep, On India's citron-covered isles: More remote and buxom-brown, The Queen of vintage bowed before his throne, A rich pomegranate gemmed her gown, A ripe sheaf bound her zone.
But howling Winter fled afar, To hills that prop the polar star, And lives on deer-borne car to ride With barren darkness at his side, Round the shore where loud Lofoden Whirls to death the roaring whale, Round the hall where runic Odin Howls his war-song to the gale; Save when adown the ravaged globe He travels on his native storm, Deflowering Nature's grassy robe, And trampling on her faded form:- Till light's returning lord assume The shaft the drives him to his polar field, Of power to pierce his raven plume And crystal-covered shield.
Oh, sire of storms! whose savage ear The Lapland drum delights to hear, When frenzy with her blood-shot eye Implores thy dreadful deity, Archangel! power of desolation! Fast descending as thou art, Say, hath mortal invocation Spells to touch thy stony heart? Then, sullen Winter, hear my prayer, And gently rule the ruined year; Nor chill the wanders bosom bare, Nor freeze the wretch's falling tear;- To shuddering Want's unmantled bed Thy horror-breathing agues cease to lead, And gently on the orphan head Of innocence descend.
- But chiefly spare, O king of clouds! The sailor on his airy shrouds; When wrecks and beacons strew the steep, And specters walk along the deep.
Milder yet thy snowy breezes Pour on yonder tented shores, Where the Rhine's broad billow freezes, Or the Dark-brown Danube roars.
Oh, winds of winter! List ye there To many a deep and dying groan; Or start, ye demons of the midnight air, At shrieks and thunders louder than your own.
Alas! Even unhallowed breath May spare the victim fallen low; But man will ask no truce of death,- No bounds to human woe.
Written by William Cullen Bryant | Create an image from this poem

November

 The landscape sleeps in mist from morn till noon;
And, if the sun looks through, 'tis with a face
Beamless and pale and round, as if the moon,
When done the journey of her nightly race,
Had found him sleeping, and supplied his place.
For days the shepherds in the fields may be, Nor mark a patch of sky— blindfold they trace, The plains, that seem without a bush or tree, Whistling aloud by guess, to flocks they cannot see.
The timid hare seems half its fears to lose, Crouching and sleeping 'neath its grassy lair, And scarcely startles, tho' the shepherd goes Close by its home, and dogs are barking there; The wild colt only turns around to stare At passer by, then knaps his hide again; And moody crows beside the road forbear To fly, tho' pelted by the passing swain; Thus day seems turn'd to night, and tries to wake in vain.
The owlet leaves her hiding-place at noon, And flaps her grey wings in the doubling light; The hoarse jay screams to see her out so soon, And small birds chirp and startle with affright; Much doth it scare the superstitious wight, Who dreams of sorry luck, and sore dismay; While cow-boys think the day a dream of night, And oft grow fearful on their lonely way, Fancying that ghosts may wake, and leave their graves by day.
Yet but awhile the slumbering weather flings Its murky prison round— then winds wake loud; With sudden stir the startled forest sings Winter's returning song— cloud races cloud, And the horizon throws away its shroud, Sweeping a stretching circle from the eye; Storms upon storms in quick succession crowd, And o'er the sameness of the purple sky Heaven paints, with hurried hand, wild hues of every dye.
At length it comes along the forest oaks, With sobbing ebbs, and uproar gathering high; The scared, hoarse raven on its cradle croaks, And stockdove-flocks in hurried terrors fly, While the blue hawk hangs o'er them in the sky.
— The hedger hastens from the storm begun, To seek a shelter that may keep him dry; And foresters low bent, the wind to shun, Scarce hear amid the strife the poacher's muttering gun.
The ploughman hears its humming rage begin, And hies for shelter from his naked toil; Buttoning his doublet closer to his chin, He bends and scampers o'er the elting soil, While clouds above him in wild fury boil, And winds drive heavily the beating rain; He turns his back to catch his breath awhile, Then ekes his speed and faces it again, To seek the shepherd's hut beside the rushy plain.
The boy, that scareth from the spiry wheat The melancholy crow—in hurry weaves, Beneath an ivied tree, his sheltering seat, Of rushy flags and sedges tied in sheaves, Or from the field a shock of stubble thieves.
There he doth dithering sit, and entertain His eyes with marking the storm-driven leaves; Oft spying nests where he spring eggs had ta'en, And wishing in his heart 'twas summer-time again.
Thus wears the month along, in checker'd moods, Sunshine and shadows, tempests loud, and calms; One hour dies silent o'er the sleepy woods, The next wakes loud with unexpected storms; A dreary nakedness the field deforms— Yet many a rural sound, and rural sight, Lives in the village still about the farms, Where toil's rude uproar hums from morn till night Noises, in which the ears of Industry delight.
At length the stir of rural labour's still, And Industry her care awhile forgoes; When Winter comes in earnest to fulfil His yearly task, at bleak November's close, And stops the plough, and hides the field in snows; When frost locks up the stream in chill delay, And mellows on the hedge the jetty sloes, For little birds—then Toil hath time for play, And nought but threshers' flails awake the dreary day.
Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Create an image from this poem

Blessing The Cornfields

 Sing, O Song of Hiawatha,
Of the happy days that followed,
In the land of the Ojibways,
In the pleasant land and peaceful!
Sing the mysteries of Mondamin,
Sing the Blessing of the Cornfields!
Buried was the bloody hatchet,
Buried was the dreadful war-club,
Buried were all warlike weapons,
And the war-cry was forgotten.
There was peace among the nations; Unmolested roved the hunters, Built the birch canoe for sailing, Caught the fish in lake and river, Shot the deer and trapped the beaver; Unmolested worked the women, Made their sugar from the maple, Gathered wild rice in the meadows, Dressed the skins of deer and beaver.
All around the happy village Stood the maize-fields, green and shining, Waved the green plumes of Mondamin, Waved his soft and sunny tresses, Filling all the land with plenty.
`T was the women who in Spring-time Planted the broad fields and fruitful, Buried in the earth Mondamin; `T was the women who in Autumn Stripped the yellow husks of harvest, Stripped the garments from Mondamin, Even as Hiawatha taught them.
Once, when all the maize was planted, Hiawatha, wise and thoughtful, Spake and said to Minnehaha, To his wife, the Laughing Water: "You shall bless to-night the cornfields, Draw a magic circle round them, To protect them from destruction, Blast of mildew, blight of insect, Wagemin, the thief of cornfields, Paimosaid, who steals the maize-ear "In the night, when all Is silence,' In the night, when all Is darkness, When the Spirit of Sleep, Nepahwin, Shuts the doors of all the wigwams, So that not an ear can hear you, So that not an eye can see you, Rise up from your bed in silence, Lay aside your garments wholly, Walk around the fields you planted, Round the borders of the cornfields, Covered by your tresses only, Robed with darkness as a garment.
"Thus the fields shall be more fruitful, And the passing of your footsteps Draw a magic circle round them, So that neither blight nor mildew, Neither burrowing worm nor insect, Shall pass o'er the magic circle; Not the dragon-fly, Kwo-ne-she, Nor the spider, Subbekashe, Nor the grasshopper, Pah-puk-keena; Nor the mighty caterpillar, Way-muk-kwana, with the bear-skin, King of all the caterpillars!" On the tree-tops near the cornfields Sat the hungry crows and ravens, Kahgahgee, the King of Ravens, With his band of black marauders.
And they laughed at Hiawatha, Till the tree-tops shook with laughter, With their melancholy laughter, At the words of Hiawatha.
"Hear him!" said they; "hear the Wise Man, Hear the plots of Hiawatha!" When the noiseless night descended Broad and dark o'er field and forest, When the mournful Wawonaissa Sorrowing sang among the hemlocks, And the Spirit of Sleep, Nepahwin, Shut the doors of all the wigwams, From her bed rose Laughing Water, Laid aside her garments wholly, And with darkness clothed and guarded, Unashamed and unaffrighted, Walked securely round the cornfields, Drew the sacred, magic circle Of her footprints round the cornfields.
No one but the Midnight only Saw her beauty in the darkness, No one but the Wawonaissa Heard the panting of her bosom Guskewau, the darkness, wrapped her Closely in his sacred mantle, So that none might see her beauty, So that none might boast, "I saw her!" On the morrow, as the day dawned, Kahgahgee, the King of Ravens, Gathered all his black marauders, Crows and blackbirds, jays and ravens, Clamorous on the dusky tree-tops, And descended, fast and fearless, On the fields of Hiawatha, On the grave of the Mondamin.
"We will drag Mondamin," said they, "From the grave where he is buried, Spite of all the magic circles Laughing Water draws around it, Spite of all the sacred footprints Minnehaha stamps upon it!" But the wary Hiawatha, Ever thoughtful, careful, watchful, Had o'erheard the scornful laughter When they mocked him from the tree-tops.
"Kaw!" he said, "my friends the ravens! Kahgahgee, my King of Ravens! I will teach you all a lesson That shall not be soon forgotten!" He had risen before the daybreak, He had spread o'er all the cornfields Snares to catch the black marauders, And was lying now in ambush In the neighboring grove of pine-trees, Waiting for the crows and blackbirds, Waiting for the jays and ravens.
Soon they came with caw and clamor, Rush of wings and cry of voices, To their work of devastation, Settling down upon the cornfields, Delving deep with beak and talon, For the body of Mondamin.
And with all their craft and cunning, All their skill in wiles of warfare, They perceived no danger near them, Till their claws became entangled, Till they found themselves imprisoned In the snares of Hiawatha.
From his place of ambush came he, Striding terrible among them, And so awful was his aspect That the bravest quailed with terror.
Without mercy he destroyed them Right and left, by tens and twenties, And their wretched, lifeless bodies Hung aloft on poles for scarecrows Round the consecrated cornfields, As a signal of his vengeance, As a warning to marauders.
Only Kahgahgee, the leader, Kahgahgee, the King of Ravens, He alone was spared among them As a hostage for his people.
With his prisoner-string he bound him, Led him captive to his wigwam, Tied him fast with cords of elm-bark To the ridge-pole of his wigwam.
"Kahgahgee, my raven!" said he, "You the leader of the robbers, You the plotter of this mischief, The contriver of this outrage, I will keep you, I will hold you, As a hostage for your people, As a pledge of good behavior!" And he left him, grim and sulky, Sitting in the morning sunshine On the summit of the wigwam, Croaking fiercely his displeasure, Flapping his great sable pinions, Vainly struggling for his freedom, Vainly calling on his people! Summer passed, and Shawondasee Breathed his sighs o'er all the landscape, From the South-land sent his ardor, Wafted kisses warm and tender; And the maize-field grew and ripened, Till it stood in all the splendor Of its garments green and yellow, Of its tassels and its plumage, And the maize-ears full and shining Gleamed from bursting sheaths of verdure.
Then Nokomis, the old woman, Spake, and said to Minnehaha: `T is the Moon when, leaves are falling; All the wild rice has been gathered, And the maize is ripe and ready; Let us gather in the harvest, Let us wrestle with Mondamin, Strip him of his plumes and tassels, Of his garments green and yellow!" And the merry Laughing Water Went rejoicing from the wigwam, With Nokomis, old and wrinkled, And they called the women round them, Called the young men and the maidens, To the harvest of the cornfields, To the husking of the maize-ear.
On the border of the forest, Underneath the fragrant pine-trees, Sat the old men and the warriors Smoking in the pleasant shadow.
In uninterrupted silence Looked they at the gamesome labor Of the young men and the women; Listened to their noisy talking, To their laughter and their singing, Heard them chattering like the magpies, Heard them laughing like the blue-jays, Heard them singing like the robins.
And whene'er some lucky maiden Found a red ear in the husking, Found a maize-ear red as blood is, "Nushka!" cried they all together, "Nushka! you shall have a sweetheart, You shall have a handsome husband!" "Ugh!" the old men all responded From their seats beneath the pine-trees.
And whene'er a youth or maiden Found a crooked ear in husking, Found a maize-ear in the husking Blighted, mildewed, or misshapen, Then they laughed and sang together, Crept and limped about the cornfields, Mimicked in their gait and gestures Some old man, bent almost double, Singing singly or together: "Wagemin, the thief of cornfields! Paimosaid, who steals the maize-ear!" Till the cornfields rang with laughter, Till from Hiawatha's wigwam Kahgahgee, the King of Ravens, Screamed and quivered in his anger, And from all the neighboring tree-tops Cawed and croaked the black marauders.
"Ugh!" the old men all responded, From their seats beneath the pine-trees!
Written by William Blake | Create an image from this poem

The Human Abstract

 Pity would be no more,
If we did not make somebody Poor;
And Mercy no more could be.
If all were as happy as we; And mutual fear brings peace; Till the selfish loves increase.
Then Cruelty knits a snare, And spreads his baits with care.
He sits down with holy fears.
And waters the ground with tears: Then Humility takes its root Underneath his foot.
Soon spreads the dismal shade Of Mystery over his head; And the Caterpillar and Fly Feed on the Mystery.
And it bears the fruit of Deceit.
Ruddy and sweet to eat: And the Raven his nest has made In its thickest shade.
The Gods of the earth and sea, Sought thro' Nature to find this Tree But their search was all in vain: There grows one in the Human Brain
Written by Algernon Charles Swinburne | Create an image from this poem

A Watch In The Night

 Watchman, what of the night? - 
Storm and thunder and rain, 
Lights that waver and wane,
Leaving the watchfires unlit.
Only the balefires are bright, And the flash of the lamps now and then From a palace where spoilers sit, Trampling the children of men.
Prophet, what of the night? - I stand by the verge of the sea, Banished, uncomforted, free, Hearing the noise of the waves And sudden flashes that smite Some man's tyrannous head, Thundering, heard among graves That hide the hosts of his dead.
Mourners, what of the night? - All night through without sleep We weep, and we weep, and we weep.
Who shall give us our sons ? Beaks of raven and kite, Mouths of wolf and of hound, Give us them back whom the guns Shot for you dead on the ground.
Dead men, what of the night? - Cannon and scaffold and sword, Horror of gibbet and cord, Mowed us as sheaves for the grave, Mowed us down for the right.
We do not grudge or repent.
Freely to freedom we gave Pledges, till life should be spent.
Statesman, what of the night? - The night will last me my time.
The gold on a crown or a crime Looks well enough yet by the lamps.
Have we not fingers to write, Lips to swear at a need? Then, when danger decamps, Bury the word with the deed.
Warrior, what of the night? - Whether it be not or be Night, is as one thing to me.
I for one, at the least, Ask not of dews if they blight, Ask not of flames if they slay, Ask not of prince or of priest How long ere we put them away.
Master, what of the night? - Child, night is not at all Anywhere, fallen or to fall, Save in our star-stricken eyes.
Forth of our eyes it takes flight, Look we but once nor before Nor behind us, but straight on the skies; Night is not then any more.
Exile, what of the night? - The tides and the hours run out, The seasons of death and of doubt, The night-watches bitter and sore.
In the quicksands leftward and right My feet sink down under me; But I know the scents of the shore And the broad blown breaths of the sea.
Captives, what of the night? - It rains outside overhead Always, a rain that is red, And our faces are soiled with the rain.
Here in the seasons' despite Day-time and night-time are one, Till the curse of the kings and the chain Break, and their toils be undone.
Christian, what of the night? - I cannot tell; I am blind.
I halt and hearken behind If haply the hours will go back And return to the dear dead light, To the watchfires and stars that of old Shone where the sky now is black, Glowed where the earth now is cold.
High priest, what of the night? - The night is horrible here With haggard faces and fear, Blood, and the burning of fire.
Mine eyes are emptied of sight, Mine hands are full of the dust, If the God of my faith be a liar, Who is it that I shall trust? Princes, what of the night? - Night with pestilent breath Feeds us, children of death, Clothes us close with her gloom.
Rapine and famine and fright Crouch at our feet and are fed.
Earth where we pass is a tomb, Life where we triumph is dead.
Martyrs, what of the night? - Nay, is it night with you yet? We, for our part, we forget What night was, if it were.
The loud red mouths of the fight Are silent and shut where we are.
In our eyes the tempestuous air Shines as the face of a star.
England, what of the night? - Night is for slumber and sleep, Warm, no season to weep.
Let me alone till the day.
Sleep would I still if I might, Who have slept for two hundred years.
Once I had honour, they say; But slumber is sweeter than tears.
France, what of the night? - Night is the prostitute's noon, Kissed and drugged till she swoon, Spat upon, trod upon, whored.
With bloodred rose-garlands dight, Round me reels in the dance Death, my saviour, my lord, Crowned; there is no more France.
Italy, what of the night? - Ah, child, child, it is long! Moonbeam and starbeam and song Leave it dumb now and dark.
Yet I perceive on the height Eastward, not now very far, A song too loud for the lark, A light too strong for a star.
Germany, what of the night ? - Long has it lulled me with dreams; Now at midwatch, as it seems, Light is brought back to mine eyes, And the mastery of old and the might Lives in the joints of mine hands, Steadies my limbs as they rise, Strengthens my foot as it stands.
Europe, what of the night ? - Ask of heaven, and the sea, And my babes on the bosom of me, Nations of mine, but ungrown.
There is one who shall surely requite All that endure or that err: She can answer alone: Ask not of me, but of her.
Liberty, what of the night ? - I feel not the red rains fall, Hear not the tempest at all, Nor thunder in heaven any more.
All the distance is white With the soundless feet of the sun.
Night, with the woes that it wore, Night is over and done.


Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem

Vanity Fair

 Through frost-thick weather
This witch sidles, fingers crooked, as if
Caught in a hazardous medium that might 
Merely by its continuing
Attach her to heaven.
At eye's envious corner Crow's-feet copy veining on a stained leaf; Cold squint steals sky's color; while bruit Of bells calls holy ones, her tongue Backtalks at the raven Claeving furred air Over her skull's midden; no knife Rivals her whetted look, divining what conceit Waylays simple girls, church-going, And what heart's oven Craves most to cook batter Rich in strayings with every amorous oaf, Ready, for a trinket, To squander owl-hours on bracken bedding, Flesh unshriven.
Against virgin prayer This sorceress sets mirrors enough To distract beauty's thought; Lovesick at first fond song, Each vain girl's driven To believe beyond heart's flare No fire is, nor in any book proof Sun hoists soul up after lids fall shut; So she wills all to the black king.
The worst sloven Vies with best queen over Right to blaze as satan's wife; Housed in earth, those million brides shriek out.
Some burn short, some long, Staked in pride's coven.
Written by Anne Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Alexander And Zenobia

 Fair was the evening and brightly the sun
Was shining on desert and grove,
Sweet were the breezes and balmy the flowers
And cloudless the heavens above.
It was Arabia's distant land And peaceful was the hour; Two youthful figures lay reclined Deep in a shady bower.
One was a boy of just fourteen Bold beautiful and bright; Soft raven curls hung clustering round A brow of marble white.
The fair brow and ruddy cheek Spoke of less burning skies; Words cannot paint the look that beamed In his dark lustrous eyes.
The other was a slender girl, Blooming and young and fair.
The snowy neck was shaded with The long bright sunny hair.
And those deep eyes of watery blue, So sweetly sad they seemed.
And every feature in her face With pensive sorrow teemed.
The youth beheld her saddened air And smiling cheerfully He said, 'How pleasant is the land Of sunny Araby! 'Zenobia, I never saw A lovelier eve than this; I never felt my spirit raised With more unbroken bliss! 'So deep the shades, so calm the hour, So soft the breezes sigh, So sweetly Philomel begins Her heavenly melody.
'So pleasant are the scents that rise From flowers of loveliest hue, And more than all -- Zenobia, I am alone with you! Are we not happy here alone In such a healthy spot?' He looked to her with joyful smile But she returned it not.
'Why are you sorrowful?' he asked And heaved a bitter sigh, 'O tell me why those drops of woe Are gathering in your eye.
' 'Gladly would I rejoice,' she said, 'But grief weighs down my heart.
'Can I be happy when I know Tomorrow we must part? 'Yes, Alexander, I must see This happy land no more.
At break of day I must return To distant Gondal's shore.
'At morning we must bid farewell, And at the close of day You will be wandering alone And I shall be away.
'I shall be sorrowing for you On the wide weltering sea, And you will perhaps have wandered here To sit and think of me.
' 'And shall we part so soon?' he cried, 'Must we be torn away? Shall I be left to mourn alone? Will you no longer stay? 'And shall we never meet again, Hearts that have grown together? Must they at once be rent away And kept apart for ever?' 'Yes, Alexander, we must part, But we may meet again, For when I left my native land I wept in anguish then.
'Never shall I forget the day I left its rocky shore.
We thought that we had bid adieu To meet on earth no more.
'When we had parted how I wept To see the mountains blue Grow dimmer and more distant -- till They faded from my view.
'And you too wept -- we little thought After so long a time, To meet again so suddenly In such a distant clime.
'We met on Grecia's classic plain, We part in Araby.
And let us hope to meet again Beneath our Gondal's sky.
' 'Zenobia, do you remember A little lonely spring Among Exina's woody hills Where blackbirds used to sing, 'And when they ceased as daylight faded From the dusky sky The pensive nightingale began Her matchless melody? 'Sweet bluebells used to flourish there And tall trees waved on high, And through their ever sounding leaves The soft wind used to sigh.
'At morning we have often played Beside that lonely well; At evening we have lingered there Till dewy twilight fell.
'And when your fifteenth birthday comes, Remember me, my love, And think of what I said to you In this sweet spicy grove.
'At evening wander to that spring And sit and wait for me; And 'ere the sun has ceased to shine I will return to thee.
'Two years is a weary time But it will soon be fled.
And if you do not meet me -- know I am not false but dead.
' * * * Sweetly the summer day declines On forest, plain, and hill And in that spacious palace hall So lonely, wide and still.
Beside a window's open arch, In the calm evening air All lonely sits a stately girl, Graceful and young and fair.
The snowy lid and lashes long Conceal her downcast eye, She's reading and till now I have Passed unnoticed by.
But see she cannot fix her thoughts, They are wandering away; She looks towards a distant dell Where sunny waters play.
And yet her spirit is not with The scene she looks upon; She muses with a mournful smile On pleasures that are gone.
She looks upon the book again That chained her thoughts before, And for a moment strives in vain To fix her mind once more.
Then gently drops it on her knee And looks into the sky, While trembling drops are shining in Her dark celestial eye.
And thus alone and still she sits Musing on years gone by.
Till with a sad and sudden smile She rises up to go; And from the open window springs On to the grass below.
Why does she fly so swiftly now Adown the meadow green, And o'er the gently swelling hills And the vale that lies between? She passes under giant trees That lift their arms on high And slowly wave their mighty boughs In the clear evening sky, And now she threads a path that winds Through deeply shaded groves Where nought is heard but sighing gales And murmuring turtle doves.
She hastens on through sunless gloom To a vista opening wide; A marble fountain sparkles there With sweet flowers by its side.
At intervals in the velvet grass A few old elm trees rise, While a warm flood of yellow light Streams from the western skies.
Is this her resting place? Ah, no, She hastens onward still, The startled deer before her fly As she ascends the hill.
She does not rest till she has gained A lonely purling spring, Where zephyrs wave the verdant trees And birds in concert sing.
And there she stands and gazes round With bright and searching eye, Then sadly sighing turns away And looks upon the sky.
She sits down on the flowery turf Her head drooped on her hand; Her soft luxuriant golden curls Are by the breezes fanned.
A sweet sad smile plays on her lips; Her heart is far away, And thus she sits till twilight comes To take the place of day.
But when she looks towards the west And sees the sun is gone And hears that every bird but one To its nightly rest is flown, And sees that over nature's face A sombre veil is cast With mournful voice and tearful eye She says, 'The time is past! 'He will not come! I might have known It was a foolish hope; But it was so sweet to cherish I could not yield it up.
'It may be foolish thus to weep But I cannot check my tears To see in one short hour destroyed The darling hope of years.
'He is not false, but he was young And time rolls fast away.
Has he forgotten the vow he made To meet me here today? 'No.
If he lives he loves me still And still remembers me.
If he is dead -- my joys are sunk In utter misery.
'We parted in the spicy groves Beneath Arabia's sky.
How could I hope to meet him now Where Gondal's breezes sigh? 'He was a shining meteor light That faded from the skies, But I mistook him for a star That only set to rise.
'And with a firm yet trembling hand I've clung to this false hope; I dared not surely trust in it Yet would not yield it up.
'And day and night I've thought of him And loved him constantly, And prayed that Heaven would prosper him Wherever he might be.
'He will not come; he's wandering now On some far distant shore, Or else he sleeps the sleep of death And cannot see me more! 'O, Alexander, is it thus? Did we but meet to part? Long as I live thy name will be Engraven on my heart.
'I shall not cease to think of thee While life and thought remain, For well I know that I can never See thy like again!' She ceases now and dries her tears But still she lingers there In silent thought till night is come And silver stars appear.
But lo! a tall and stately youth Ascends the grassy slope; His bright dark eyes are glancing round, His heart beats high with hope.
He has journyed on unweariedly From dawn of day till now, The warm blood kindles in his cheek, The sweat is on his brow.
But he has gained the green hill top Where lies that lonely spring, And lo! he pauses when he hears Its gentle murmuring.
He dares not enter through the trees That veil it from his eye; He listens for some other sound In deep anxiety.
But vainly -- all is calm and still; Are his bright day dreams o'er? Has he thus hoped and longed in vain, And must they meet no more? One moment more of sad suspense And those dark trees are past; The lonely well bursts on his sight And they are met at last!
Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | Create an image from this poem

Battle Of Brunanburgh

 Athelstan King,
Lord among Earls,
Bracelet-bestower and
Baron of Barons,
He with his brother,
Edmund Atheling,
Gaining a lifelong
Glory in battle,
Slew with the sword-edge
There by Brunanburh,
Brake the shield-wall,
Hew'd the lindenwood,
Hack'd the battleshield,
Sons of Edward with hammer'd brands.
Theirs was a greatness Got from their Grandsires-- Theirs that so often in Strife with their enemies Struck for their hoards and their hearths and their homes.
Bow'd the spoiler, Bent the Scotsman, Fell the shipcrews Doom'd to the death.
All the field with blood of the fighters Flow'd, from when first the great Sun-star of morningtide, Lamp of the Lord God Lord everlasting, Glode over earth till the glorious creature Sank to his setting.
There lay many a man Marr'd by the javelin, Men of the Northland Shot over shield.
There was the Scotsman Weary of war.
We the West-Saxons, Long as the daylight Lasted, in companies Troubled the track of the host that we hated; Grimly with swords that were sharp from the grindstone Fiercely we hack'd at the flyers before us.
Mighty the Mercian, Hard was his hand-play, Sparing not any of Those that with Anlaf, Warriors over the Weltering waters Borne in the bark's-bosom, Drew to this island: Doom'd to the death.
Five young kings put asleep by the sword-stroke, Seven strong earls of the army of Anlaf Fell on the war-field, numberless numbers, Shipmen and Scotsmen.
Then the Norse leader, Dire was his need of it, Few were his following, Fled to his warship; Fleeted his vessel to sea with the king in it, Saving his life on the fallow flood.
Also the crafty one, Constantinus, Crept to his north again, Hoar-headed hero! Slender warrant had He to be proud of The welcome of war-knives-- He that was reft of his Folk and his friends that had Fallen in conflict, Leaving his son too Lost in the carnage, Mangled to morsels, A youngster in war! Slender reason had He to be glad of The clash of the war-glaive-- Traitor and trickster And spurner of treaties-- He nor had Anlaf With armies so broken A reason for bragging That they had the better In perils of battle On places of slaughter-- The struggle of standards, The rush of the javelins, The crash of the charges, The wielding of weapons-- The play that they play'd with The children of Edward.
Then with their nail'd prows Parted the Norsemen, a Blood-redden'd relic of Javelins over The jarring breaker, the deep-sea billow, Shaping their way toward Dyflen again, Shamed in their souls.
Also the brethren, King and Atheling, Each in his glory, Went to his own in his own West-Saxonland, Glad of the war.
Many a carcase they left to be carrion, Many a livid one, many a sallow-skin-- Left for the white-tail'd eagle to tear it, and Left for the horny-nibb'd raven to rend it, and Gave to the garbaging war-hawk to gorge it, and That gray beast, the wolf of the weald.
Never had huger Slaughter of heroes Slain by the sword-edge-- Such as old writers Have writ of in histories-- Hapt in this isle, since Up from the East hither Saxon and Angle from Over the broad billow Broke into Britain with Haughty war-workers who Harried the Welshman, when Earls that were lured by the Hunger of glory gat Hold of the land.
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