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Best Famous Swan Poems

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12
Written by Aleister Crowley | Create an image from this poem

A Birthday

 "Aug.
" 10, 1911.
Full moon to-night; and six and twenty years Since my full moon first broke from angel spheres! A year of infinite love unwearying --- No circling seasons, but perennial spring! A year of triumph trampling through defeat, The first made holy and the last made sweet By this same love; a year of wealth and woe, Joy, poverty, health, sickness --- all one glow In the pure light that filled our firmament Of supreme silence and unbarred extent, Wherein one sacrament was ours, one Lord, One resurrection, one recurrent chord, One incarnation, one descending dove, All these being one, and that one being Love! You sent your spirit into tunes; my soul Yearned in a thousand melodies to enscroll Its happiness: I left no flower unplucked That might have graced your garland.
I induct Tragedy, comedy, farce, fable, song, Each longing a little, each a little long, But each aspiring only to express Your excellence and my unworthiness --- Nay! but my worthiness, since I was sense And spirit too of that same excellence.
So thus we solved the earth's revolving riddle: I could write verse, and you could play the fiddle, While, as for love, the sun went through the signs, And not a star but told him how love twines A wreath for every decanate, degree, Minute and second, linked eternally In chains of flowers that never fading are, Each one as sempiternal as a star.
Let me go back to your last birthday.
Then I was already your one man of men Appointed to complete you, and fulfil From everlasting the eternal will.
We lay within the flood of crimson light In my own balcony that August night, And conjuring the aright and the averse Created yet another universe.
We worked together; dance and rite and spell Arousing heaven and constraining hell.
We lived together; every hour of rest Was honied from your tiger-lily breast.
We --- oh what lingering doubt or fear betrayed My life to fate! --- we parted.
Was I afraid? I was afraid, afraid to live my love, Afraid you played the serpent, I the dove, Afraid of what I know not.
I am glad Of all the shame and wretchedness I had, Since those six weeks have taught me not to doubt you, And also that I cannot live without you.
Then I came back to you; black treasons rear Their heads, blind hates, deaf agonies of fear, Cruelty, cowardice, falsehood, broken pledges, The temple soiled with senseless sacrileges, Sickness and poverty, a thousand evils, Concerted malice of a million devils; --- You never swerved; your high-pooped galleon Went marvellously, majestically on Full-sailed, while every other braver bark Drove on the rocks, or foundered in the dark.
Then Easter, and the days of all delight! God's sun lit noontide and his moon midnight, While above all, true centre of our world, True source of light, our great love passion-pearled Gave all its life and splendour to the sea Above whose tides stood our stability.
Then sudden and fierce, no monitory moan, Smote the mad mischief of the great cyclone.
How far below us all its fury rolled! How vainly sulphur tries to tarnish gold! We lived together: all its malice meant Nothing but freedom of a continent! It was the forest and the river that knew The fact that one and one do not make two.
We worked, we walked, we slept, we were at ease, We cried, we quarrelled; all the rocks and trees For twenty miles could tell how lovers played, And we could count a kiss for every glade.
Worry, starvation, illness and distress? Each moment was a mine of happiness.
Then we grew tired of being country mice, Came up to Paris, lived our sacrifice There, giving holy berries to the moon, July's thanksgiving for the joys of June.
And you are gone away --- and how shall I Make August sing the raptures of July? And you are gone away --- what evil star Makes you so competent and popular? How have I raised this harpy-hag of Hell's Malice --- that you are wanted somewhere else? I wish you were like me a man forbid, Banned, outcast, nice society well rid Of the pair of us --- then who would interfere With us? --- my darling, you would now be here! But no! we must fight on, win through, succeed, Earn the grudged praise that never comes to meed, Lash dogs to kennel, trample snakes, put bit In the mule-mouths that have such need of it, Until the world there's so much to forgive in Becomes a little possible to live in.
God alone knows if battle or surrender Be the true courage; either has its splendour.
But since we chose the first, God aid the right, And damn me if I fail you in the fight! God join again the ways that lie apart, And bless the love of loyal heart to heart! God keep us every hour in every thought, And bring the vessel of our love to port! These are my birthday wishes.
Dawn's at hand, And you're an exile in a lonely land.
But what were magic if it could not give My thought enough vitality to live? Do not then dream this night has been a loss! All night I have hung, a god, upon the cross; All night I have offered incense at the shrine; All night you have been unutterably mine, Miner in the memory of the first wild hour When my rough grasp tore the unwilling flower From your closed garden, mine in every mood, In every tense, in every attitude, In every possibility, still mine While the sun's pomp and pageant, sign to sign, Stately proceeded, mine not only so In the glamour of memory and austral glow Of ardour, but by image of my brow Stronger than sense, you are even here and now Miner, utterly mine, my sister and my wife, Mother of my children, mistress of my life! O wild swan winging through the morning mist! The thousand thousand kisses that we kissed, The infinite device our love devised If by some chance its truth might be surprised, Are these all past? Are these to come? Believe me, There is no parting; they can never leave me.
I have built you up into my heart and brain So fast that we can never part again.
Why should I sing you these fantastic psalms When all the time I have you in my arms? Why? 'tis the murmur of our love that swells Earth's dithyrambs and ocean's oracles.
But this is dawn; my soul shall make its nest Where your sighs swing from rapture into rest Love's thurible, your tiger-lily breast.


Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem

Winter Trees

The wet dawn inks are doing their blue dissolve.
On their blotter of fog the trees Seem a botanical drawing-- Memories growning, ring on ring, A series of weddings.
Knowing neither abortions nor bitchery, Truer than women, They seed so effortlessly! Tasting the winds, that are footless, Waisting-deep in history-- Full of wings, otherworldliness.
In this, they are Ledas.
O mother of leaves and sweetness Who are these peitas? The shadows of ringdoves chanting, but easing nothing.
note: 12 Ledas: Leda, the maiden who was raped by Zeus in the guise of a swan.
Written by Pablo Neruda | Create an image from this poem

Walking Around

 It so happens I am sick of being a man.
And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie houses dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.
The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs.
The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens, no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.
It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails and my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I am sick of being a man.
Still it would be marvelous to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily, or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
It would be great to go through the streets with a green knife letting out yells until I died of the cold.
I don't want to go on being a root in the dark, insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep, going on down, into the moist guts of the earth, taking in and thinking, eating every day.
I don't want so much misery.
I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb, alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses, half frozen, dying of grief.
That's why Monday, when it sees me coming with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline, and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel, and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the night.
And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist houses, into hospitals where the bones fly out the window, into shoeshops that smell like vinegar, and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.
There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines hanging over the doors of houses that I hate, and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot, there are mirrors that ought to have wept from shame and terror, there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical cords.
I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes, my rage, forgetting everything, I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic shops, and courtyards with washing hanging from the line: underwear, towels and shirts from which slow dirty tears are falling.
Written by Ezra Pound | Create an image from this poem

The Seafarer

 (From the early Anglo-Saxon text) 

May I for my own self song's truth reckon,
Journey's jargon, how I in harsh days
Hardship endured oft.
Bitter breast-cares have I abided, Known on my keel many a care's hold, And dire sea-surge, and there I oft spent Narrow nightwatch nigh the ship's head While she tossed close to cliffs.
Coldly afflicted, My feet were by frost benumbed.
Chill its chains are; chafing sighs Hew my heart round and hunger begot Mere-weary mood.
Lest man know not That he on dry land loveliest liveth, List how I, care-wretched, on ice-cold sea, Weathered the winter, wretched outcast Deprived of my kinsmen; Hung with hard ice-flakes, where hail-scur flew, There I heard naught save the harsh sea And ice-cold wave, at whiles the swan cries, Did for my games the gannet's clamour, Sea-fowls, loudness was for me laughter, The mews' singing all my mead-drink.
Storms, on the stone-cliffs beaten, fell on the stern In icy feathers; full oft the eagle screamed With spray on his pinion.
Not any protector May make merry man faring needy.
This he little believes, who aye in winsome life Abides 'mid burghers some heavy business, Wealthy and wine-flushed, how I weary oft Must bide above brine.
Neareth nightshade, snoweth from north, Frost froze the land, hail fell on earth then Corn of the coldest.
Nathless there knocketh now The heart's thought that I on high streams The salt-wavy tumult traverse alone.
Moaneth alway my mind's lust That I fare forth, that I afar hence Seek out a foreign fastness.
For this there's no mood-lofty man over earth's midst, Not though he be given his good, but will have in his youth greed; Nor his deed to the daring, nor his king to the faithful But shall have his sorrow for sea-fare Whatever his lord will.
He hath not heart for harping, nor in ring-having Nor winsomeness to wife, nor world's delight Nor any whit else save the wave's slash, Yet longing comes upon him to fare forth on the water.
Bosque taketh blossom, cometh beauty of berries, Fields to fairness, land fares brisker, All this admonisheth man eager of mood, The heart turns to travel so that he then thinks On flood-ways to be far departing.
Cuckoo calleth with gloomy crying, He singeth summerward, bodeth sorrow, The bitter heart's blood.
Burgher knows not -- He the prosperous man -- what some perform Where wandering them widest draweth.
So that but now my heart burst from my breast-lock, My mood 'mid the mere-flood, Over the whale's acre, would wander wide.
On earth's shelter cometh oft to me, Eager and ready, the crying lone-flyer, Whets for the whale-path the heart irresistibly, O'er tracks of ocean; seeing that anyhow My lord deems to me this dead life On loan and on land, I believe not That any earth-weal eternal standeth Save there be somewhat calamitous That, ere a man's tide go, turn it to twain.
Disease or oldness or sword-hate Beats out the breath from doom-gripped body.
And for this, every earl whatever, for those speaking after -- Laud of the living, boasteth some last word, That he will work ere he pass onward, Frame on the fair earth 'gainst foes his malice, Daring ado, .
.
.
So that all men shall honour him after And his laud beyond them remain 'mid the English, Aye, for ever, a lasting life's-blast, Delight mid the doughty.
Days little durable, And all arrogance of earthen riches, There come now no kings nor Cæsars Nor gold-giving lords like those gone.
Howe'er in mirth most magnified, Whoe'er lived in life most lordliest, Drear all this excellence, delights undurable! Waneth the watch, but the world holdeth.
Tomb hideth trouble.
The blade is layed low.
Earthly glory ageth and seareth.
No man at all going the earth's gait, But age fares against him, his face paleth, Grey-haired he groaneth, knows gone companions, Lordly men are to earth o'ergiven, Nor may he then the flesh-cover, whose life ceaseth, Nor eat the sweet nor feel the sorry, Nor stir hand nor think in mid heart, And though he strew the grave with gold, His born brothers, their buried bodies Be an unlikely treasure hoard.
Written by William Shakespeare | Create an image from this poem

The Phoenix and the Turtle

 Let the bird of loudest lay,
On the sole Arabian tree,
Herald sad and trumpet be,
To whose sound chaste wings obey.
But thou, shrieking harbinger, Foul pre-currer of the fiend, Augur of the fever's end, To this troop come thou not near.
From this session interdict Every fowl of tyrant wing, Save the eagle, feather'd king: Keep the obsequy so strict.
Let the priest in surplice white, That defunctive music can, Be the death-defying swan, Lest the requiem lack his right.
And thou, treble-dated crow, That thy sable gender mak'st With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st, 'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.
Here the anthem doth commence: Love and constancy is dead; Phoenix and the turtle fled In a mutual flame from hence.
So they lov'd, as love in twain Had the essence but in one; Two distincts, division none: Number there in love was slain.
Hearts remote, yet not asunder; Distance, and no space was seen 'Twixt the turtle and his queen; But in them it were a wonder.
So between them love did shine, That the turtle saw his right Flaming in the phoenix' sight: Either was the other's mine.
Property was thus appall'd, That the self was not the same; Single nature's double name Neither two nor one was call'd.
Reason, in itself confounded, Saw division grow together; To themselves yet either-neither, Simple were so well compounded.
That it cried how true a twain Seemeth this concordant one! Love hath reason, reason none If what parts can so remain.
Whereupon it made this threne To the phoenix and the dove, Co-supreme and stars of love; As chorus to their tragic scene.
THRENOS.
Beauty, truth, and rarity.
Grace in all simplicity, Here enclos'd in cinders lie.
Death is now the phoenix' nest; And the turtle's loyal breast To eternity doth rest, Leaving no posterity:-- 'Twas not their infirmity, It was married chastity.
Truth may seem, but cannot be: Beauty brag, but 'tis not she; Truth and beauty buried be.
To this urn let those repair That are either true or fair; For these dead birds sigh a prayer.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

A Ballad of Ducks

 The railway rattled and roared and swung 
With jolting and bumping trucks.
The sun, like a billiard red ball, hung In the Western sky: and the tireless tongue Of the wild-eyed man in the corner told This terrible tale of the days of old, And the party that ought to have kept the ducks.
"Well, it ain't all joy bein' on the land With an overdraft that'd knock you flat; And the rabbits have pretty well took command; But the hardest thing for a man to stand Is the feller who says 'Well I told you so! You should ha' done this way, don't you know!' -- I could lay a bait for a man like that.
"The grasshoppers struck us in ninety-one And what they leave -- well, it ain't de luxe.
But a growlin' fault-findin' son of a gun Who'd lent some money to stock our run -- I said they'd eaten what grass we had -- Says he, 'Your management's very bad; You had a right to have kept some ducks!' "To have kept some ducks! And the place was white! Wherever you went you had to tread On grasshoppers guzzlin' day and night; And then with a swoosh they rose in flight, If you didn't look out for yourself they'd fly Like bullets into your open eye And knock it out of the back of your head.
"There isn't a turkey or goose or swan, Or a duck that quacks, or a hen that clucks, Can make a difference on a run When a grasshopper plague has once begun; 'If you'd finance us,' I says, 'I'd buy Ten thousand emus and have a try; The job,' I says, 'is too big for ducks! "'You must fetch a duck when you come to stay; A great big duck -- a Muscovy toff -- Ready and fit,' I says, 'for the fray; And if the grasshoppers come our way You turn your duck into the lucerne patch, And I'd be ready to make a match That the grasshoppers eat his feathers off!" "He came to visit us by and by, And it just so happened one day in spring A kind of cloud came over the sky -- A wall of grasshoppers nine miles high, And nine miles thick, and nine hundred wide, Flyin' in regiments, side by side, And eatin' up every living thing.
"All day long, like a shower of rain, You'd hear 'em smackin' against the wall, Tap, tap, tap, on the window pane, And they'd rise and jump at the house again Till their crippled carcasses piled outside.
But what did it matter if thousands died -- A million wouldn't be missed at all.
"We were drinkin' grasshoppers -- so to speak -- Till we skimmed their carcasses off the spring; And they fell so thick in the station creek They choked the waterholes all the week.
There was scarcely room for a trout to rise, And they'd only take artificial flies -- They got so sick of the real thing.
"An Arctic snowstorm was beat to rags When the hoppers rose for their morning flight With the flapping noise like a million flags: And the kitchen chimney was stuffed with bags For they'd fall right into the fire, and fry Till the cook sat down and began to cry -- And never a duck or fowl in sight.
"We strolled across to the railroad track -- Under a cover beneath some trucks, I sees a feather and hears a quack; I stoops and I pulls the tarpaulin back -- Every duck in the place was there, No good to them was the open air.
'Mister,' I says, 'There's your blanky ducks!'"
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

The Double Image

 1.
I am thirty this November.
You are still small, in your fourth year.
We stand watching the yellow leaves go *****, flapping in the winter rain.
falling flat and washed.
And I remember mostly the three autumns you did not live here.
They said I'd never get you back again.
I tell you what you'll never really know: all the medical hypothesis that explained my brain will never be as true as these struck leaves letting go.
I, who chose two times to kill myself, had said your nickname the mewling mouths when you first came; until a fever rattled in your throat and I moved like a pantomine above your head.
Ugly angels spoke to me.
The blame, I heard them say, was mine.
They tattled like green witches in my head, letting doom leak like a broken faucet; as if doom had flooded my belly and filled your bassinet, an old debt I must assume.
Death was simpler than I'd thought.
The day life made you well and whole I let the witches take away my guilty soul.
I pretended I was dead until the white men pumped the poison out, putting me armless and washed through the rigamarole of talking boxes and the electric bed.
I laughed to see the private iron in that hotel.
Today the yellow leaves go *****.
You ask me where they go I say today believed in itself, or else it fell.
Today, my small child, Joyce, love your self's self where it lives.
There is no special God to refer to; or if there is, why did I let you grow in another place.
You did not know my voice when I came back to call.
All the superlatives of tomorrow's white tree and mistletoe will not help you know the holidays you had to miss.
The time I did not love myself, I visited your shoveled walks; you held my glove.
There was new snow after this.
2.
They sent me letters with news of you and I made moccasins that I would never use.
When I grew well enough to tolerate myself, I lived with my mother, the witches said.
But I didn't leave.
I had my portrait done instead.
Part way back from Bedlam I came to my mother's house in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
And this is how I came to catch at her; and this is how I lost her.
I cannot forgive your suicide, my mother said.
And she never could.
She had my portrait done instead.
I lived like an angry guest, like a partly mended thing, an outgrown child.
I remember my mother did her best.
She took me to Boston and had my hair restyled.
Your smile is like your mother's, the artist said.
I didn't seem to care.
I had my portrait done instead.
There was a church where I grew up with its white cupboards where they locked us up, row by row, like puritans or shipmates singing together.
My father passed the plate.
Too late to be forgiven now, the witches said.
I wasn't exactly forgiven.
They had my portrait done instead.
3.
All that summer sprinklers arched over the seaside grass.
We talked of drought while the salt-parched field grew sweet again.
To help time pass I tried to mow the lawn and in the morning I had my portrait done, holding my smile in place, till it grew formal.
Once I mailed you a picture of a rabbit and a postcard of Motif number one, as if it were normal to be a mother and be gone.
They hung my portrait in the chill north light, matching me to keep me well.
Only my mother grew ill.
She turned from me, as if death were catching, as if death transferred, as if my dying had eaten inside of her.
That August you were two, by I timed my days with doubt.
On the first of September she looked at me and said I gave her cancer.
They carved her sweet hills out and still I couldn't answer.
4.
That winter she came part way back from her sterile suite of doctors, the seasick cruise of the X-ray, the cells' arithmetic gone wild.
Surgery incomplete, the fat arm, the prognosis poor, I heard them say.
During the sea blizzards she had here own portrait painted.
A cave of mirror placed on the south wall; matching smile, matching contour.
And you resembled me; unacquainted with my face, you wore it.
But you were mine after all.
I wintered in Boston, childless bride, nothing sweet to spare with witches at my side.
I missed your babyhood, tried a second suicide, tried the sealed hotel a second year.
On April Fool you fooled me.
We laughed and this was good.
5.
I checked out for the last time on the first of May; graduate of the mental cases, with my analysts's okay, my complete book of rhymes, my typewriter and my suitcases.
All that summer I learned life back into my own seven rooms, visited the swan boats, the market, answered the phone, served cocktails as a wife should, made love among my petticoats and August tan.
And you came each weekend.
But I lie.
You seldom came.
I just pretended you, small piglet, butterfly girl with jelly bean cheeks, disobedient three, my splendid stranger.
And I had to learn why I would rather die than love, how your innocence would hurt and how I gather guilt like a young intern his symptons, his certain evidence.
That October day we went to Gloucester the red hills reminded me of the dry red fur fox coat I played in as a child; stock still like a bear or a tent, like a great cave laughing or a red fur fox.
We drove past the hatchery, the hut that sells bait, past Pigeon Cove, past the Yacht Club, past Squall's Hill, to the house that waits still, on the top of the sea, and two portraits hung on the opposite walls.
6.
In north light, my smile is held in place, the shadow marks my bone.
What could I have been dreaming as I sat there, all of me waiting in the eyes, the zone of the smile, the young face, the foxes' snare.
In south light, her smile is held in place, her cheeks wilting like a dry orchid; my mocking mirror, my overthrown love, my first image.
She eyes me from that face that stony head of death I had outgrown.
The artist caught us at the turning; we smiled in our canvas home before we chose our foreknown separate ways.
The dry redfur fox coat was made for burning.
I rot on the wall, my own Dorian Gray.
And this was the cave of the mirror, that double woman who stares at herself, as if she were petrified in time -- two ladies sitting in umber chairs.
You kissed your grandmother and she cried.
7.
I could not get you back except for weekends.
You came each time, clutching the picture of a rabbit that I had sent you.
For the last time I unpack your things.
We touch from habit.
The first visit you asked my name.
Now you will stay for good.
I will forget how we bumped away from each other like marionettes on strings.
It wasn't the same as love, letting weekends contain us.
You scrape your knee.
You learn my name, wobbling up the sidewalk, calling and crying.
You can call me mother and I remember my mother again, somewhere in greater Boston, dying.
I remember we named you Joyce so we could call you Joy.
You came like an awkward guest that first time, all wrapped and moist and strange at my heavy breast.
I needed you.
I didn't want a boy, only a girl, a small milky mouse of a girl, already loved, already loud in the house of herself.
We named you Joy.
I, who was never quite sure about being a girl, needed another life, another image to remind me.
And this was my worst guilt; you could not cure or soothe it.
I made you to find me.


Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

Proud Music of The Storm

 1
PROUD music of the storm! 
Blast that careers so free, whistling across the prairies! 
Strong hum of forest tree-tops! Wind of the mountains! 
Personified dim shapes! you hidden orchestras! 
You serenades of phantoms, with instruments alert,
Blending, with Nature’s rhythmus, all the tongues of nations; 
You chords left us by vast composers! you choruses! 
You formless, free, religious dances! you from the Orient! 
You undertone of rivers, roar of pouring cataracts; 
You sounds from distant guns, with galloping cavalry!
Echoes of camps, with all the different bugle-calls! 
Trooping tumultuous, filling the midnight late, bending me powerless, 
Entering my lonesome slumber-chamber—Why have you seiz’d me? 

2
Come forward, O my Soul, and let the rest retire; 
Listen—lose not—it is toward thee they tend;
Parting the midnight, entering my slumber-chamber, 
For thee they sing and dance, O Soul.
A festival song! The duet of the bridegroom and the bride—a marriage-march, With lips of love, and hearts of lovers, fill’d to the brim with love; The red-flush’d cheeks, and perfumes—the cortege swarming, full of friendly faces, young and old, To flutes’ clear notes, and sounding harps’ cantabile.
3 Now loud approaching drums! Victoria! see’st thou in powder-smoke the banners torn but flying? the rout of the baffled? Hearest those shouts of a conquering army? (Ah, Soul, the sobs of women—the wounded groaning in agony, The hiss and crackle of flames—the blacken’d ruins—the embers of cities, The dirge and desolation of mankind.
) 4 Now airs antique and medieval fill me! I see and hear old harpers with their harps, at Welsh festivals: I hear the minnesingers, singing their lays of love, I hear the minstrels, gleemen, troubadours, of the feudal ages.
5 Now the great organ sounds, Tremulous—while underneath, (as the hid footholds of the earth, On which arising, rest, and leaping forth, depend, All shapes of beauty, grace and strength—all hues we know, Green blades of grass, and warbling birds—children that gambol and play—the clouds of heaven above,) The strong base stands, and its pulsations intermits not, Bathing, supporting, merging all the rest—maternity of all the rest; And with it every instrument in multitudes, The players playing—all the world’s musicians, The solemn hymns and masses, rousing adoration, All passionate heart-chants, sorrowful appeals, The measureless sweet vocalists of ages, And for their solvent setting, Earth’s own diapason, Of winds and woods and mighty ocean waves; A new composite orchestra—binder of years and climes—ten-fold renewer, As of the far-back days the poets tell—the Paradiso, The straying thence, the separation long, but now the wandering done, The journey done, the Journeyman come home, And Man and Art, with Nature fused again.
6 Tutti! for Earth and Heaven! The Almighty Leader now for me, for once has signal’d with his wand.
The manly strophe of the husbands of the world, And all the wives responding.
The tongues of violins! (I think, O tongues, ye tell this heart, that cannot tell itself; This brooding, yearning heart, that cannot tell itself.
) 7 Ah, from a little child, Thou knowest, Soul, how to me all sounds became music; My mother’s voice, in lullaby or hymn; (The voice—O tender voices—memory’s loving voices! Last miracle of all—O dearest mother’s, sister’s, voices;) The rain, the growing corn, the breeze among the long-leav’d corn, The measur’d sea-surf, beating on the sand, The twittering bird, the hawk’s sharp scream, The wild-fowl’s notes at night, as flying low, migrating north or south, The psalm in the country church, or mid the clustering trees, the open air camp-meeting, The fiddler in the tavern—the glee, the long-strung sailor-song, The lowing cattle, bleating sheep—the crowing cock at dawn.
8 All songs of current lands come sounding ’round me, The German airs of friendship, wine and love, Irish ballads, merry jigs and dances—English warbles, Chansons of France, Scotch tunes—and o’er the rest, Italia’s peerless compositions.
Across the stage, with pallor on her face, yet lurid passion, Stalks Norma, brandishing the dagger in her hand.
I see poor crazed Lucia’s eyes’ unnatural gleam; Her hair down her back falls loose and dishevell’d.
I see where Ernani, walking the bridal garden, Amid the scent of night-roses, radiant, holding his bride by the hand, Hears the infernal call, the death-pledge of the horn.
To crossing swords, and grey hairs bared to heaven, The clear, electric base and baritone of the world, The trombone duo—Libertad forever! From Spanish chestnut trees’ dense shade, By old and heavy convent walls, a wailing song, Song of lost love—the torch of youth and life quench’d in despair, Song of the dying swan—Fernando’s heart is breaking.
Awaking from her woes at last, retriev’d Amina sings; Copious as stars, and glad as morning light, the torrents of her joy.
(The teeming lady comes! The lustrious orb—Venus contralto—the blooming mother, Sister of loftiest gods—Alboni’s self I hear.
) 9 I hear those odes, symphonies, operas; I hear in the William Tell, the music of an arous’d and angry people; I hear Meyerbeer’s Huguenots, the Prophet, or Robert; Gounod’s Faust, or Mozart’s Don Juan.
10 I hear the dance-music of all nations, The waltz, (some delicious measure, lapsing, bathing me in bliss;) The bolero, to tinkling guitars and clattering castanets.
I see religious dances old and new, I hear the sound of the Hebrew lyre, I see the Crusaders marching, bearing the cross on high, to the martial clang of cymbals; I hear dervishes monotonously chanting, interspers’d with frantic shouts, as they spin around, turning always towards Mecca; I see the rapt religious dances of the Persians and the Arabs; Again, at Eleusis, home of Ceres, I see the modern Greeks dancing, I hear them clapping their hands, as they bend their bodies, I hear the metrical shuffling of their feet.
I see again the wild old Corybantian dance, the performers wounding each other; I see the Roman youth, to the shrill sound of flageolets, throwing and catching their weapons, As they fall on their knees, and rise again.
I hear from the Mussulman mosque the muezzin calling; I see the worshippers within, (nor form, nor sermon, argument, nor word, But silent, strange, devout—rais’d, glowing heads—extatic faces.
) 11 I hear the Egyptian harp of many strings, The primitive chants of the Nile boatmen; The sacred imperial hymns of China, To the delicate sounds of the king, (the stricken wood and stone;) Or to Hindu flutes, and the fretting twang of the vina, A band of bayaderes.
12 Now Asia, Africa leave me—Europe, seizing, inflates me; To organs huge, and bands, I hear as from vast concourses of voices, Luther’s strong hymn, Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott; Rossini’s Stabat Mater dolorosa; Or, floating in some high cathedral dim, with gorgeous color’d windows, The passionate Agnus Dei, or Gloria in Excelsis.
13 Composers! mighty maestros! And you, sweet singers of old lands—Soprani! Tenori! Bassi! To you a new bard, carolling free in the west, Obeisant, sends his love.
(Such led to thee, O Soul! All senses, shows and objects, lead to thee, But now, it seems to me, sound leads o’er all the rest.
) 14 I hear the annual singing of the children in St.
Paul’s Cathedral; Or, under the high roof of some colossal hall, the symphonies, oratorios of Beethoven, Handel, or Haydn; The Creation, in billows of godhood laves me.
Give me to hold all sounds, (I, madly struggling, cry,) Fill me with all the voices of the universe, Endow me with their throbbings—Nature’s also, The tempests, waters, winds—operas and chants—marches and dances, Utter—pour in—for I would take them all.
15 Then I woke softly, And pausing, questioning awhile the music of my dream, And questioning all those reminiscences—the tempest in its fury, And all the songs of sopranos and tenors, And those rapt oriental dances, of religious fervor, And the sweet varied instruments, and the diapason of organs, And all the artless plaints of love, and grief and death, I said to my silent, curious Soul, out of the bed of the slumber-chamber, Come, for I have found the clue I sought so long, Let us go forth refresh’d amid the day, Cheerfully tallying life, walking the world, the real, Nourish’d henceforth by our celestial dream.
And I said, moreover, Haply, what thou hast heard, O Soul, was not the sound of winds, Nor dream of raging storm, nor sea-hawk’s flapping wings, nor harsh scream, Nor vocalism of sun-bright Italy, Nor German organ majestic—nor vast concourse of voices—nor layers of harmonies; Nor strophes of husbands and wives—nor sound of marching soldiers, Nor flutes, nor harps, nor the bugle-calls of camps; But, to a new rhythmus fitted for thee, Poems, bridging the way from Life to Death, vaguely wafted in night air, uncaught, unwritten, Which, let us go forth in the bold day, and write.
Written by Mark Twain | Create an image from this poem

A Sweltering Day In Australia

 The Bombola faints in the hot Bowral tree, 
Where fierce Mullengudgery's smothering fires 
Far from the breezes of Coolgardie 
Burn ghastly and blue as the day expires; 

And Murriwillumba complaineth in song 
For the garlanded bowers of Woolloomooloo, 
And the Ballarat Fly and the lone Wollongong 
They dream of the gardens of Jamberoo; 

The wallabi sighs for the Murrubidgee, 
For the velvety sod of the Munno Parah, 
Where the waters of healing from Muloowurtie 
Flow dim in the gloaming by Yaranyackah; 

The Koppio sorrows for lost Wolloway, 
And sigheth in secret for Murrurundi, 
The Whangeroo wombat lamenteth the day 
That made him an exile from Jerrilderie; 

The Teawamute Tumut from Wirrega's glade, 
The Nangkita swallow, the Wallaroo swan, 
They long for the peace of the Timaru shade 
And thy balmy soft airs, O sweet Mittagong! 

The Kooringa buffalo pants in the sun, 
The Kondoparinga lies gaping for breath, 
The Kongorong Camaum to the shadow has won, 
But the Goomeroo sinks in the slumber of death; 

In the weltering hell of the Moorooroo plain 
The Yatala Wangary withers and dies, 
And the Worrow Wanilla, demented with pain, 
To the Woolgoolga woodlands despairingly flies; 

Sweet Nangwarry's desolate, Coonamble wails, 
And Tungkillo Kuito in sables is drest, 
For the Whangerei winds fall asleep in the sails 
And the Booleroo life-breeze is dead in the west.
Mypongo, Kapunda, O slumber no more Yankalilla, Parawirra, be warned There's death in the air! Killanoola, wherefore Shall the prayer of Penola be scorned? Cootamundra, and Takee, and Wakatipu, Toowoomba, Kaikoura are lost From Onkaparinga to far Oamaru All burn in this hell's holocaust! Paramatta and Binnum are gone to their rest In the vale of Tapanni Taroom, Kawakawa, Deniliquin - all that was best In the earth are but graves and a tomb! Narrandera mourns, Cameron answers not When the roll of the scathless we cry Tongariro, Goondiwindi, Woolundunga, the spot Is mute and forlorn where ye lie.
Written by Billy Jno Hope | Create an image from this poem

i wrote a life

 this might be the swan song
i have traveled beyond misty mountains
spilled my seed on the hungry rock
hallowed days
blasphemous timelines
art nourishment
prolific like sin
to the serpent edge of youth
once my head rolled in the streets
motors crashing by
inches from my intoxication
a fleshful laugh echoed in time
a mad initiation as part of the door
to the unrepentant lyric
heathen apprentices
i cracked the demon-s egg
tattooed pandora-s eye
with rage, blissillusion
madness conceived
a life, my methadone(placebo)
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