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Best Famous Sanctuary Poems

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Written by Edna St Vincent Millay | Create an image from this poem

Ode To Silence

 Aye, but she?
Your other sister and my other soul
Grave Silence, lovelier
Than the three loveliest maidens, what of her?
Clio, not you,
Not you, Calliope,
Nor all your wanton line,
Not Beauty's perfect self shall comfort me
For Silence once departed,
For her the cool-tongued, her the tranquil-hearted,
Whom evermore I follow wistfully,
Wandering Heaven and Earth and Hell and the four seasons through;
Thalia, not you,
Not you, Melpomene,
Not your incomparable feet, O thin Terpsichore, I seek in this great hall,
But one more pale, more pensive, most beloved of you all.
I seek her from afar, I come from temples where her altars are, From groves that bear her name, Noisy with stricken victims now and sacrificial flame, And cymbals struck on high and strident faces Obstreperous in her praise They neither love nor know, A goddess of gone days, Departed long ago, Abandoning the invaded shrines and fanes Of her old sanctuary, A deity obscure and legendary, Of whom there now remains, For sages to decipher and priests to garble, Only and for a little while her letters wedged in marble, Which even now, behold, the friendly mumbling rain erases, And the inarticulate snow, Leaving at last of her least signs and traces None whatsoever, nor whither she is vanished from these places.
"She will love well," I said, "If love be of that heart inhabiter, The flowers of the dead; The red anemone that with no sound Moves in the wind, and from another wound That sprang, the heavily-sweet blue hyacinth, That blossoms underground, And sallow poppies, will be dear to her.
And will not Silence know In the black shade of what obsidian steep Stiffens the white narcissus numb with sleep? (Seed which Demeter's daughter bore from home, Uptorn by desperate fingers long ago, Reluctant even as she, Undone Persephone, And even as she set out again to grow In twilight, in perdition's lean and inauspicious loam).
She will love well," I said, "The flowers of the dead; Where dark Persephone the winter round, Uncomforted for home, uncomforted, Lacking a sunny southern slope in northern Sicily, With sullen pupils focussed on a dream, Stares on the stagnant stream That moats the unequivocable battlements of Hell, There, there will she be found, She that is Beauty veiled from men and Music in a swound.
" "I long for Silence as they long for breath Whose helpless nostrils drink the bitter sea; What thing can be So stout, what so redoubtable, in Death What fury, what considerable rage, if only she, Upon whose icy breast, Unquestioned, uncaressed, One time I lay, And whom always I lack, Even to this day, Being by no means from that frigid bosom weaned away, If only she therewith be given me back?" I sought her down that dolorous labyrinth, Wherein no shaft of sunlight ever fell, And in among the bloodless everywhere I sought her, but the air, Breathed many times and spent, Was fretful with a whispering discontent, And questioning me, importuning me to tell Some slightest tidings of the light of day they know no more, Plucking my sleeve, the eager shades were with me where I went.
I paused at every grievous door, And harked a moment, holding up my hand,—and for a space A hush was on them, while they watched my face; And then they fell a-whispering as before; So that I smiled at them and left them, seeing she was not there.
I sought her, too, Among the upper gods, although I knew She was not like to be where feasting is, Nor near to Heaven's lord, Being a thing abhorred And shunned of him, although a child of his, (Not yours, not yours; to you she owes not breath, Mother of Song, being sown of Zeus upon a dream of Death).
Fearing to pass unvisited some place And later learn, too late, how all the while, With her still face, She had been standing there and seen me pass, without a smile, I sought her even to the sagging board whereat The stout immortals sat; But such a laughter shook the mighty hall No one could hear me say: Had she been seen upon the Hill that day? And no one knew at all How long I stood, or when at last I sighed and went away.
There is a garden lying in a lull Between the mountains and the mountainous sea, I know not where, but which a dream diurnal Paints on my lids a moment till the hull Be lifted from the kernel And Slumber fed to me.
Your foot-print is not there, Mnemosene, Though it would seem a ruined place and after Your lichenous heart, being full Of broken columns, caryatides Thrown to the earth and fallen forward on their jointless knees, And urns funereal altered into dust Minuter than the ashes of the dead, And Psyche's lamp out of the earth up-thrust, Dripping itself in marble wax on what was once the bed Of Love, and his young body asleep, but now is dust instead.
There twists the bitter-sweet, the white wisteria Fastens its fingers in the strangling wall, And the wide crannies quicken with bright weeds; There dumbly like a worm all day the still white orchid feeds; But never an echo of your daughters' laughter Is there, nor any sign of you at all Swells fungous from the rotten bough, grey mother of Pieria! Only her shadow once upon a stone I saw,—and, lo, the shadow and the garden, too, were gone.
I tell you you have done her body an ill, You chatterers, you noisy crew! She is not anywhere! I sought her in deep Hell; And through the world as well; I thought of Heaven and I sought her there; Above nor under ground Is Silence to be found, That was the very warp and woof of you, Lovely before your songs began and after they were through! Oh, say if on this hill Somewhere your sister's body lies in death, So I may follow there, and make a wreath Of my locked hands, that on her quiet breast Shall lie till age has withered them! (Ah, sweetly from the rest I see Turn and consider me Compassionate Euterpe!) "There is a gate beyond the gate of Death, Beyond the gate of everlasting Life, Beyond the gates of Heaven and Hell," she saith, "Whereon but to believe is horror! Whereon to meditate engendereth Even in deathless spirits such as I A tumult in the breath, A chilling of the inexhaustible blood Even in my veins that never will be dry, And in the austere, divine monotony That is my being, the madness of an unaccustomed mood.
This is her province whom you lack and seek; And seek her not elsewhere.
Hell is a thoroughfare For pilgrims,—Herakles, And he that loved Euridice too well, Have walked therein; and many more than these; And witnessed the desire and the despair Of souls that passed reluctantly and sicken for the air; You, too, have entered Hell, And issued thence; but thence whereof I speak None has returned;—for thither fury brings Only the driven ghosts of them that flee before all things.
Oblivion is the name of this abode: and she is there.
" Oh, radiant Song! Oh, gracious Memory! Be long upon this height I shall not climb again! I know the way you mean,—the little night, And the long empty day,—never to see Again the angry light, Or hear the hungry noises cry my brain! Ah, but she, Your other sister and my other soul, She shall again be mine; And I shall drink her from a silver bowl, A chilly thin green wine, Not bitter to the taste, Not sweet, Not of your press, oh, restless, clamorous nine,— To foam beneath the frantic hoofs of mirth— But savoring faintly of the acid earth, And trod by pensive feet From perfect clusters ripened without haste Out of the urgent heat In some clear glimmering vaulted twilight under the odorous vine .
Lift up your lyres! Sing on! But as for me, I seek your sister whither she is gone.


Written by Gil Scott-Heron | Create an image from this poem

The revolution will not be televised

You will not be able to stay home, brother
 You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out
 You will not be able to lose yourself on skag
 And skip out for beer during commercials
 Because the revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be televised
 The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
 In 4 parts without commercial interruptions
 The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
 Blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell
 General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat hog maws
 Confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary
 The revolution will not be televised

 The revolution will not be brought to you by the
 Schaefer Award Theater and will not star Natalie Woods
 And Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia
 The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal
 The revolution will not get rid of the nubs
 The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner
 Because the revolution will not be televised, Brother

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
 Pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run
 Or trying to slide that color TV into a stolen ambulance
 NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
 Or report from 29 districts
 The revolution will not be televised

 There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
 Brothers on the instant replay
 There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
 Brothers on the instant replay

There will be no pictures of Whitney Young
 Being run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process
 There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy Wilkens
 Strolling through Watts in a red, black and green
 Liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
 For just the proper occasion

 Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies and Hooter ville Junction
 Will no longer be so damned relevant
 And women will not care if Dick finally gets down with Jane
 On search for tomorrow because black people
 Will be in the street looking for a brighter day
 The revolution will not be televised

There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock news
 And no pictures of hairy armed women liberationists
 And Jackie Onassis blowing her nose
 The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb
 Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones
 Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink or the Rare Earth
 The revolution will not be televised

 The revolution will not be right back after a message
 About a white tornado, white lightning, or white people
 You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom
 The tiger in your tank or the giant in your toilet bowl
 The revolution will not go better with Coke
 The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath
 The revolution will put you in the driver's seat

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised
 Will not be televised, will not be televised
 The revolution will be no re-run brothers
 The revolution will be live


Written by Kathleen Raine | Create an image from this poem

Millenial Hymn to Lord Shiva

 Earth no longer
hymns the Creator,
the seven days of wonder,
the Garden is over —
all the stories are told,
the seven seals broken
all that begins
must have its ending,
our striving, desiring,
our living and dying,
for Time, the bringer
of abundant days
is Time the destroyer —
In the Iron Age
the Kali Yuga
To whom can we pray
at the end of an era
but the Lord Shiva,
the Liberator, the purifier?

Our forests are felled,
our mountains eroded,
the wild places
where the beautiful animals
found food and sanctuary
we have desolated,
a third of our seas,
a third of our rivers
we have polluted
and the sea-creatures dying.
Our civilization’s blind progress in wrong courses through wrong choices has brought us to nightmare where what seems, is, to the dreamer, the collective mind of the twentieth century — this world of wonders not divine creation but a big bang of blind chance, purposeless accident, mother earth’s children, their living and loving, their delight in being not joy but chemistry, stimulus, reflex, valueless, meaningless, while to our machines we impute intelligence, in computers and robots we store information and call it knowledge, we seek guidance by dialling numbers, pressing buttons, throwing switches, in place of family our companions are shadows, cast on a screen, bodiless voices, fleshless faces, where was the Garden a Disney-land of virtual reality, in place of angels the human imagination is peopled with foot-ballers film-stars, media-men, experts, know-all television personalities, animated puppets with cartoon faces — To whom can we pray for release from illusion, from the world-cave, but Time the destroyer, the liberator, the purifier? The curse of Midas has changed at a touch, a golden handshake earthly paradise to lifeless matter, where once was seed-time, summer and winter, food-chain, factory farming, monocrops for supermarkets, pesticides, weed-killers birdless springs, endangered species, battery-hens, hormone injections, artificial insemination, implants, transplants, sterilization, surrogate births, contraception, cloning, genetic engineering, abortion, and our days shall be short in the land we have sown with the Dragon’s teeth where our armies arise fully armed on our killing-fields with land-mines and missiles, tanks and artillery, gas-masks and body-bags, our air-craft rain down fire and destruction, our space-craft broadcast lies and corruption, our elected parliaments parrot their rhetoric of peace and democracy while the truth we deny returns in our dreams of Armageddon, the death-wish, the arms-trade, hatred and slaughter profitable employment of our thriving cities, the arms-race to the end of the world of our postmodern, post-Christian, post-human nations, progress to the nihil of our spent civilization.
But cause and effect, just and inexorable law of the universe no fix of science, nor amenable god can save from ourselves the selves we have become — At the end of history to whom can we pray but to the destroyer, the liberator, the purifier? In the beginning the stars sang together the cosmic harmony, but Time, imperceptible taker-away of all that has been, all that will be, our heart-beat your drum, our dance of life your dance of death in the crematorium, our high-rise dreams, Valhalla, Utopia, Xanadu, Shangri-la, world revolution Time has taken, and soon will be gone Cambridge, Princeton and M.
I.
T.
, Nalanda, Athens and Alexandria all for the holocaust of civilization — To whom shall we pray when our vision has faded but the world-destroyer, the liberator, the purifier? But great is the realm of the world-creator, the world-sustainer from whom we come, in whom we move and have our being, about us, within us the wonders of wisdom, the trees and the fountains, the stars and the mountains, all the children of joy, the loved and the known, the unknowable mystery to whom we return through the world-destroyer, — Holy, holy at the end of the world the purging fire of the purifier, the liberator!
Written by Robinson Jeffers | Create an image from this poem

The Deer Lay Down Their Bones

 I followed the narrow cliffside trail half way up the mountain
Above the deep river-canyon.
There was a little cataract crossed the path, flinging itself Over tree roots and rocks, shaking the jeweled fern-fronds, bright bubbling water Pure from the mountain, but a bad smell came up.
Wondering at it I clam- bered down the steep stream Some forty feet, and found in the midst of bush-oak and laurel, Hung like a bird's nest on the precipice brink a small hidden clearing, Grass and a shallow pool.
But all about there were bones Iying in the grass, clean bones and stinking bones, Antlers and bones: I understood that the place was a refuge for wounded deer; there are so many Hurt ones escape the hunters and limp away to lie hidden; here they have water for the awful thirst And peace to die in; dense green laurel and grim cliff Make sanctuary, and a sweet wind blows upward from the deep gorge.
--I wish my bones were with theirs.
But that's a foolish thing to confess, and a little cowardly.
We know that life Is on the whole quite equally good and bad, mostly gray neutral, and can be endured To the dim end, no matter what magic of grass, water and precipice, and pain of wounds, Makes death look dear.
We have been given life and have used it--not a great gift perhaps--but in honesty Should use it all.
Mine's empty since my love died--Empty? The flame- haired grandchild with great blue eyes That look like hers?--What can I do for the child? I gaze at her and wonder what sort of man In the fall of the world .
.
.
I am growing old, that is the trouble.
My chil- dren and little grandchildren Will find their way, and why should I wait ten years yet, having lived sixty- seven, ten years more or less, Before I crawl out on a ledge of rock and die snapping, like a wolf Who has lost his mate?--I am bound by my own thirty-year-old decision: who drinks the wine Should take the dregs; even in the bitter lees and sediment New discovery may lie.
The deer in that beautiful place lay down their bones: I must wear mine.
Written by W. E. B. Du Bois | Create an image from this poem

A Hymn to the Peoples

O Truce of God!
And primal meeting of the Sons of Man,
Foreshadowing the union of the World!
From all the ends of earth we come!
Old Night, the elder sister of the Day,
Mother of Dawn in the golden East,
Meets in the misty twilight with her brood,
Pale and black, tawny, red and brown,
The mighty human rainbow of the world,
Spanning its wilderness of storm.
Softly in sympathy the sunlight falls,
Rare is the radiance of the moon;
And on the darkest midnight blaze the stars—
The far-flown shadows of whose brilliance
Drop like a dream on the dim shores of Time,
Forecasting Days that are to these
As day to night.
So sit we all as one.
So, gloomed in tall and stone-swathed groves,
The Buddha walks with Christ!
And Al-Koran and Bible both be holy!
Almighty Word!
In this Thine awful sanctuary,
First and flame-haunted City of the Widened World,
Assoil us, Lord of Lands and Seas!
We are but weak and wayward men,
Distraught alike with hatred and vainglory;
Prone to despise the Soul that breathes within—
High visioned hordes that lie and steal and kill,
Sinning the sin each separate heart disclaims,
Clambering upon our riven, writhing selves,
Besieging Heaven by trampling men to Hell!
We be blood-guilty! Lo, our hands be red!
Not one may blame the other in this sin!
But here—here in the white Silence of the Dawn,
Before the Womb of Time,
With bowed hearts all flame and shame,
We face the birth-pangs of a world:
We hear the stifled cry of Nations all but born—
The wail of women ravished of their stunted brood!
We see the nakedness of Toil, the poverty of Wealth,
We know the Anarchy of Empire, and doleful Death of Life!
And hearing, seeing, knowing all, we cry:
Save us, World-Spirit, from our lesser selves!
Grant us that war and hatred cease,
Reveal our souls in every race and hue!
Help us, O Human God, in this Thy Truce,
To make Humanity divine!


Written by George Eliot | Create an image from this poem

The Choir Invisible

 Oh, may I join the choir invisible 
Of those immortal dead who live again 
In minds made better by their presence; live 
In pulses stirred to generosity, 
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn 
For miserable aims that end with self, 
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, 
And with their mild persistence urge men's search 
To vaster issues.
So to live is heaven: To make undying music in the world, Breathing a beauteous order that controls With growing sway the growing life of man.
So we inherit that sweet purity For which we struggled, failed, and agonized With widening retrospect that bred despair.
Rebellious flesh that would not be subdued, A vicious parent shaming still its child, Poor anxious penitence, is quick dissolved; Its discords, quenched by meeting harmonies, Die in the large and charitable air, And all our rarer, better, truer self That sobbed religiously in yearning song, That watched to ease the burden of the world, Laboriously tracing what must be, And what may yet be better, -- saw within A worthier image for the sanctuary, And shaped it forth before the multitude, Divinely human, raising worship so To higher reverence more mixed with love, -- That better self shall live till human Time Shall fold its eyelids, and the human sky Be gathered like a scroll within the tomb Unread forever.
This is life to come, -- Which martyred men have made more glorious For us who strive to follow.
May I reach That purest heaven, -- be to other souls The cup of strength in some great agony, Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love, Beget the smiles that have no cruelty, Be the sweet presence of a good diffused, And in diffusion ever more intense! So shall I join the choir invisible Whose music is the gladness of the world.
Written by John Keats | Create an image from this poem

Ode to Psyche

O GODDESS! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung 
By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear, 
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung 
Even into thine own soft-conch¨¨d ear: 
Surely I dream'd to-day, or did I see 5 
The wing¨¨d Psyche with awaken'd eyes? 
I wander'd in a forest thoughtlessly, 
And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise, 
Saw two fair creatures, couch¨¨d side by side 
In deepest grass, beneath the whisp'ring roof 10 
Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran 
A brooklet, scarce espied: 
'Mid hush'd, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant-eyed, 
Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian 
They lay calm-breathing on the bedded grass; 15 
Their arms embrac¨¨d, and their pinions too; 
Their lips touch'd not, but had not bade adieu, 
As if disjoin¨¨d by soft-handed slumber, 
And ready still past kisses to outnumber 
At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love: 20 
The wing¨¨d boy I knew; 
But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove? 
His Psyche true! 

O latest-born and loveliest vision far 
Of all Olympus' faded hierarchy! 25 
Fairer than Phoebe's sapphire-region'd star, 
Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky; 
Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none, 
Nor altar heap'd with flowers; 
Nor Virgin-choir to make delicious moan 30 
Upon the midnight hours; 
No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet 
From chain-swung censer teeming; 
No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat 
Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.
35 O brightest! though too late for antique vows, Too, too late for the fond believing lyre, When holy were the haunted forest boughs, Holy the air, the water, and the fire; Yet even in these days so far retired 40 From happy pieties, thy lucent fans, Fluttering among the faint Olympians, I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspired.
So let me be thy choir, and make a moan Upon the midnight hours; 45 Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet From swing¨¨d censer teeming: Thy shrine, thy grove, thy oracle, thy heat Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.
Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane 50 In some untrodden region of my mind, Where branch¨¨d thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain, Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind: Far, far around shall those dark-cluster'd trees Fledge the wild-ridg¨¨d mountains steep by steep; 55 And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees, The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull'd to sleep; And in the midst of this wide quietness A rosy sanctuary will I dress With the wreath'd trellis of a working brain, 60 With buds, and bells, and stars without a name, With all the gardener Fancy e'er could feign, Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same; And there shall be for thee all soft delight That shadowy thought can win, 65 A bright torch, and a casement ope at night, To let the warm Love in!
Written by Rg Gregory | Create an image from this poem

owl power

 they say in the local sanctuary
owls are the stupidest creatures
all this wisdom business is
the mythological media at work
but the shortest nosing into books
tells you even the mythic world
is bamboozled by the creature - no
two cultures being able to agree

the bird was cherished by minerva
hebrews loathed it as unclean
buddhists treasure its seclusion
elsewhere night-hag evil omen

the baker's daughter's silly cry
ungrateful chinese children
the precious life of genghis khan
sweet fodder to the owl's blink

in the end it's the paradox
i'll be what you want romantic fool
that scares elates about the owl
sitting in the dark and seeing all

not true not true the cynics say
the bloody fraudster's almost blind
dead lazy till its stomach rattles
its skill is seeing with its ears

ruthlessness stupidity
(transmogrified to wisdom)
make the perfect pitch for power
so proofed - why give a hoot for gods
Written by Robert Lowell | Create an image from this poem

The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket

 (For Warren Winslow, Dead At Sea)
 Let man have dominion over the fishes of the sea and
 the fowls of the air and the beasts and the whole earth,
 and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.
I A brackish reach of shoal off Madaket-- The sea was still breaking violently and night Had steamed into our North Atlantic Fleet, When the drowned sailor clutched the drag-net.
Light Flashed from his matted head and marble feet, He grappled at the net With the coiled, hurdling muscles of his thighs: The corpse was bloodless, a botch of reds and whites, Its open, staring eyes Were lustreless dead-lights Or cabin-windows on a stranded hulk Heavy with sand.
We weight the body, close Its eyes and heave it seaward whence it came, Where the heel-headed dogfish barks it nose On Ahab's void and forehead; and the name Is blocked in yellow chalk.
Sailors, who pitch this portent at the sea Where dreadnaughts shall confess Its heel-bent deity, When you are powerless To sand-bag this Atlantic bulwark, faced By the earth-shaker, green, unwearied, chaste In his steel scales: ask for no Orphean lute To pluck life back.
The guns of the steeled fleet Recoil and then repeat The hoarse salute.
II Whenever winds are moving and their breath Heaves at the roped-in bulwarks of this pier, The terns and sea-gulls tremble at your death In these home waters.
Sailor, can you hear The Pequod's sea wings, beating landward, fall Headlong and break on our Atlantic wall Off 'Sconset, where the yawing S-boats splash The bellbuoy, with ballooning spinnakers, As the entangled, screeching mainsheet clears The blocks: off Madaket, where lubbers lash The heavy surf and throw their long lead squids For blue-fish? Sea-gulls blink their heavy lids Seaward.
The winds' wings beat upon the stones, Cousin, and scream for you and the claws rush At the sea's throat and wring it in the slush Of this old Quaker graveyard where the bones Cry out in the long night for the hurt beast Bobbing by Ahab's whaleboats in the East.
III All you recovered from Poseidon died With you, my cousin, and the harrowed brine Is fruitless on the blue beard of the god, Stretching beyond us to the castles in Spain, Nantucket's westward haven.
To Cape Cod Guns, cradled on the tide, Blast the eelgrass about a waterclock Of bilge and backwash, roil the salt and sand Lashing earth's scaffold, rock Our warships in the hand Of the great God, where time's contrition blues Whatever it was these Quaker sailors lost In the mad scramble of their lives.
They died When time was open-eyed, Wooden and childish; only bones abide There, in the nowhere, where their boats were tossed Sky-high, where mariners had fabled news Of IS, the whited monster.
What it cost Them is their secret.
In the sperm-whale's slick I see the Quakers drown and hear their cry: "If God himself had not been on our side, If God himself had not been on our side, When the Atlantic rose against us, why, Then it had swallowed us up quick.
" IV This is the end of the whaleroad and the whale Who spewed Nantucket bones on the thrashed swell And stirred the troubled waters to whirlpools To send the Pequod packing off to hell: This is the end of them, three-quarters fools, Snatching at straws to sail Seaward and seaward on the turntail whale, Spouting out blood and water as it rolls, Sick as a dog to these Atlantic shoals: Clamavimus, O depths.
Let the sea-gulls wail For water, for the deep where the high tide Mutters to its hurt self, mutters and ebbs.
Waves wallow in their wash, go out and out, Leave only the death-rattle of the crabs, The beach increasing, its enormous snout Sucking the ocean's side.
This is the end of running on the waves; We are poured out like water.
Who will dance The mast-lashed master of Leviathans Up from this field of Quakers in their unstoned graves? V When the whale's viscera go and the roll Of its corruption overruns this world Beyond tree-swept Nantucket and Wood's Hole And Martha's Vineyard, Sailor, will your sword Whistle and fall and sink into the fat? In the great ash-pit of Jehoshaphat The bones cry for the blood of the white whale, The fat flukes arch and whack about its ears, The death-lance churns into the sanctuary, tears The gun-blue swingle, heaving like a flail, And hacks the coiling life out: it works and drags And rips the sperm-whale's midriff into rags, Gobbets of blubber spill to wind and weather, Sailor, and gulls go round the stoven timbers Where the morning stars sing out together And thunder shakes the white surf and dismembers The red flag hammered in the mast-head.
Hide, Our steel, Jonas Messias, in Thy side.
VI OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM There once the penitents took off their shoes And then walked barefoot the remaining mile; And the small trees, a stream and hedgerows file Slowly along the munching English lane, Like cows to the old shrine, until you lose Track of your dragging pain.
The stream flows down under the druid tree, Shiloah's whirlpools gurgle and make glad The castle of God.
Sailor, you were glad And whistled Sion by that stream.
But see: Our Lady, too small for her canopy, Sits near the altar.
There's no comeliness at all or charm in that expressionless Face with its heavy eyelids.
As before, This face, for centuries a memory, Non est species, neque decor, Expressionless, expresses God: it goes Past castled Sion.
She knows what God knows, Not Calvary's Cross nor crib at Bethlehem Now, and the world shall come to Walsingham.
VII The empty winds are creaking and the oak splatters and splatters on the cenotaph, The boughs are trembling and a gaff Bobs on the untimely stroke Of the greased wash exploding on a shoal-bell In the old mouth of the Atlantic.
It's well; Atlantic, you are fouled with the blue sailors, sea-monsters, upward angel, downward fish: Unmarried and corroding, spare of flesh Mart once of supercilious, wing'd clippers, Atlantic, where your bell-trap guts its spoil You could cut the brackish winds with a knife Here in Nantucket, and cast up the time When the Lord God formed man from the sea's slime And breathed into his face the breath of life, And blue-lung'd combers lumbered to the kill.
The Lord survives the rainbow of His will.
Written by W. E. B. Du Bois | Create an image from this poem

A Litany Of Atlanta

O Silent God, Thou whose voice afar in mist and mystery hath left our ears
an-hungered in these fearful days--
  _Hear us, good Lord!_

Listen to us, Thy children: our faces dark with doubt are made a mockery
in Thy sanctuary. With uplifted hands we front Thy heaven, O God, crying:
  _We beseech Thee to hear us, good Lord!_
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