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Best Famous Veterans Day Poems

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

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12
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

Death and Fame

 When I die
I don't care what happens to my body
throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River
bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery
But l want a big funeral
St.
Patrick's Cathedral, St.
Mark's Church, the largest synagogue in Manhattan First, there's family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother 96, Aunt Honey from old Newark, Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear'd, sister- in-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters their grandchildren, companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan-- Next, teacher Trungpa Vajracharya's ghost mind, Gelek Rinpoche, there Sakyong Mipham, Dalai Lama alert, chance visiting America, Satchitananda Swami Shivananda, Dehorahava Baba, Karmapa XVI, Dudjom Rinpoche, Katagiri & Suzuki Roshi's phantoms Baker, Whalen, Daido Loorie, Qwong, Frail White-haired Kapleau Roshis, Lama Tarchen -- Then, most important, lovers over half-century Dozens, a hundred, more, older fellows bald & rich young boys met naked recently in bed, crowds surprised to see each other, innumerable, intimate, exchanging memories "He taught me to meditate, now I'm an old veteran of the thousand day retreat --" "I played music on subway platforms, I'm straight but loved him he loved me" "I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone" "We'd lie under covers gossip, read my poetry, hug & kiss belly to belly arms round each other" "I'd always get into his bed with underwear on & by morning my skivvies would be on the floor" "Japanese, always wanted take it up my bum with a master" "We'd talk all night about Kerouac & Cassady sit Buddhalike then sleep in his captain's bed.
" "He seemed to need so much affection, a shame not to make him happy" "I was lonely never in bed nude with anyone before, he was so gentle my stomach shuddered when he traced his finger along my abdomen nipple to hips-- " "All I did was lay back eyes closed, he'd bring me to come with mouth & fingers along my waist" "He gave great head" So there be gossip from loves of 1948, ghost of Neal Cassady commin- gling with flesh and youthful blood of 1997 and surprise -- "You too? But I thought you were straight!" "I am but Ginsberg an exception, for some reason he pleased me.
" "I forgot whether I was straight gay ***** or funny, was myself, tender and affectionate to be kissed on the top of my head, my forehead throat heart & solar plexus, mid-belly.
on my prick, tickled with his tongue my behind" "I loved the way he'd recite 'But at my back allways hear/ time's winged chariot hurrying near,' heads together, eye to eye, on a pillow --" Among lovers one handsome youth straggling the rear "I studied his poetry class, 17 year-old kid, ran some errands to his walk-up flat, seduced me didn't want to, made me come, went home, never saw him again never wanted to.
.
.
" "He couldn't get it up but loved me," "A clean old man.
" "He made sure I came first" This the crowd most surprised proud at ceremonial place of honor-- Then poets & musicians -- college boys' grunge bands -- age-old rock star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical con- ductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trum- peters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin auto- harp pennywhistles & kazoos Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60's India, Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massa- chusets surreal jackanapes with continental wives, poverty sketchbook gesso oil watercolor masters from American provinces Then highschool teachers, lonely Irish librarians, delicate biblio- philes, sex liberation troops nay armies, ladies of either sex "I met him dozens of times he never remembered my name I loved him anyway, true artist" "Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me from suicide hospitals" "Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my studio guest a week in Budapest" Thousands of readers, "Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois" "I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet-- " "He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas City" "Kaddish made me weep for myself & father alive in Nevada City" "Father Death comforted me when my sister died Boston l982" "I read what he said in a newsmagazine, blew my mind, realized others like me out there" Deaf & Dumb bards with hand signing quick brilliant gestures Then Journalists, editors's secretaries, agents, portraitists & photo- graphy aficionados, rock critics, cultured laborors, cultural historians come to witness the historic funeral Super-fans, poetasters, aging Beatnicks & Deadheads, autograph- hunters, distinguished paparazzi, intelligent gawkers Everyone knew they were part of 'History" except the deceased who never knew exactly what was happening even when I was alive February 22, 1997
Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

A Carol of Harvest for 1867

 1
A SONG of the good green grass! 
A song no more of the city streets; 
A song of farms—a song of the soil of fields.
A song with the smell of sun-dried hay, where the nimble pitchers handle the pitch-fork; A song tasting of new wheat, and of fresh-husk’d maize.
2 For the lands, and for these passionate days, and for myself, Now I awhile return to thee, O soil of Autumn fields, Reclining on thy breast, giving myself to thee, Answering the pulses of thy sane and equable heart, Tuning a verse for thee.
O Earth, that hast no voice, confide to me a voice! O harvest of my lands! O boundless summer growths! O lavish, brown, parturient earth! O infinite, teeming womb! A verse to seek, to see, to narrate thee.
3 Ever upon this stage, Is acted God’s calm, annual drama, Gorgeous processions, songs of birds, Sunrise, that fullest feeds and freshens most the soul, The heaving sea, the waves upon the shore, the musical, strong waves, The woods, the stalwart trees, the slender, tapering trees, The flowers, the grass, the lilliput, countless armies of the grass, The heat, the showers, the measureless pasturages, The scenery of the snows, the winds’ free orchestra, The stretching, light-hung roof of clouds—the clear cerulean, and the bulging, silvery fringes, The high dilating stars, the placid, beckoning stars, The moving flocks and herds, the plains and emerald meadows, The shows of all the varied lands, and all the growths and products.
4 Fecund America! To-day, Thou art all over set in births and joys! Thou groan’st with riches! thy wealth clothes thee as with a swathing garment! Thou laughest loud with ache of great possessions! A myriad-twining life, like interlacing vines, binds all thy vast demesne! As some huge ship, freighted to water’s edge, thou ridest into port! As rain falls from the heaven, and vapors rise from earth, so have the precious values fallen upon thee, and risen out of thee! Thou envy of the globe! thou miracle! Thou, bathed, choked, swimming in plenty! Thou lucky Mistress of the tranquil barns! Thou Prairie Dame that sittest in the middle, and lookest out upon thy world, and lookest East, and lookest West! Dispensatress, that by a word givest a thousand miles—that giv’st a million farms, and missest nothing! Thou All-Acceptress—thou Hospitable—(thou only art hospitable, as God is hospitable.
) 5 When late I sang, sad was my voice; Sad were the shows around me, with deafening noises of hatred, and smoke of conflict; In the midst of the armies, the Heroes, I stood, Or pass’d with slow step through the wounded and dying.
But now I sing not War, Nor the measur’d march of soldiers, nor the tents of camps, Nor the regiments hastily coming up, deploying in line of battle.
No more the dead and wounded; No more the sad, unnatural shows of War.
Ask’d room those flush’d immortal ranks? the first forth-stepping armies? Ask room, alas, the ghastly ranks—the armies dread that follow’d.
6 (Pass—pass, ye proud brigades! So handsome, dress’d in blue—with your tramping, sinewy legs; With your shoulders young and strong—with your knapsacks and your muskets; —How elate I stood and watch’d you, where, starting off, you march’d! Pass;—then rattle, drums, again! Scream, you steamers on the river, out of whistles loud and shrill, your salutes! For an army heaves in sight—O another gathering army! Swarming, trailing on the rear—O you dread, accruing army! O you regiments so piteous, with your mortal diarrhoea! with your fever! O my land’s maimed darlings! with the plenteous bloody bandage and the crutch! Lo! your pallid army follow’d!) 7 But on these days of brightness, On the far-stretching beauteous landscape, the roads and lanes, the high-piled farm-wagons, and the fruits and barns, Shall the dead intrude? Ah, the dead to me mar not—they fit well in Nature; They fit very well in the landscape, under the trees and grass, And along the edge of the sky, in the horizon’s far margin.
Nor do I forget you, departed; Nor in winter or summer, my lost ones; But most, in the open air, as now, when my soul is rapt and at peace—like pleasing phantoms, Your dear memories, rising, glide silently by me.
8 I saw the day, the return of the Heroes; (Yet the Heroes never surpass’d, shall never return; Them, that day, I saw not.
) I saw the interminable Corps—I saw the processions of armies, I saw them approaching, defiling by, with divisions, Streaming northward, their work done, camping awhile in clusters of mighty camps.
No holiday soldiers!—youthful, yet veterans; Worn, swart, handsome, strong, of the stock of homestead and workshop, Harden’d of many a long campaign and sweaty march, Inured on many a hard-fought, bloody field.
9 A pause—the armies wait; A million flush’d, embattled conquerors wait; The world, too, waits—then, soft as breaking night, and sure as dawn, They melt—they disappear.
Exult, indeed, O lands! victorious lands! Not there your victory, on those red, shuddering fields; But here and hence your victory.
Melt, melt away, ye armies! disperse, ye blue-clad soldiers! Resolve ye back again—give up, for good, your deadly arms; Other the arms, the fields henceforth for you, or South or North, or East or West, With saner wars—sweet wars—life-giving wars.
10 Loud, O my throat, and clear, O soul! The season of thanks, and the voice of full-yielding; The chant of joy and power for boundless fertility.
All till’d and untill’d fields expand before me; I see the true arenas of my race—or first, or last, Man’s innocent and strong arenas.
I see the Heroes at other toils; I see, well-wielded in their hands, the better weapons.
11 I see where America, Mother of All, Well-pleased, with full-spanning eye, gazes forth, dwells long, And counts the varied gathering of the products.
Busy the far, the sunlit panorama; Prairie, orchard, and yellow grain of the North, Cotton and rice of the South, and Louisianian cane; Open, unseeded fallows, rich fields of clover and timothy, Kine and horses feeding, and droves of sheep and swine, And many a stately river flowing, and many a jocund brook, And healthy uplands with their herby-perfumed breezes, And the good green grass—that delicate miracle, the ever-recurring grass.
12 Toil on, Heroes! harvest the products! Not alone on those warlike fields, the Mother of All, With dilated form and lambent eyes, watch’d you.
Toil on, Heroes! toil well! Handle the weapons well! The Mother of All—yet here, as ever, she watches you.
Well-pleased, America, thou beholdest, Over the fields of the West, those crawling monsters, The human-divine inventions, the labor-saving implements: Beholdest, moving in every direction, imbued as with life, the revolving hay-rakes, The steam-power reaping-machines, and the horse-power machines, The engines, thrashers of grain, and cleaners of grain, well separating the straw—the nimble work of the patent pitch-fork; Beholdest the newer saw-mill, the southern cotton-gin, and the rice-cleanser.
Beneath thy look, O Maternal, With these, and else, and with their own strong hands, the Heroes harvest.
All gather, and all harvest; (Yet but for thee, O Powerful! not a scythe might swing, as now, in security; Not a maize-stalk dangle, as now, its silken tassels in peace.
) 13 Under Thee only they harvest—even but a wisp of hay, under thy great face, only; Harvest the wheat of Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin—every barbed spear, under thee; Harvest the maize of Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee—each ear in its light-green sheath, Gather the hay to its myriad mows, in the odorous, tranquil barns, Oats to their bins—the white potato, the buckwheat of Michigan, to theirs; Gather the cotton in Mississippi or Alabama—dig and hoard the golden, the sweet potato of Georgia and the Carolinas, Clip the wool of California or Pennsylvania, Cut the flax in the Middle States, or hemp, or tobacco in the Borders, Pick the pea and the bean, or pull apples from the trees, or bunches of grapes from the vines, Or aught that ripens in all These States, or North or South, Under the beaming sun, and under Thee.
Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem

Cut

 for Susan O'Neill Roe

What a thrill ----
My thumb instead of an onion.
The top quite gone Except for a sort of hinge Of skin, A flap like a hat, Dead white.
Then that red plush.
Little pilgrim, The Indian's axed your scalp.
Your turkey wattle Carpet rolls Straight from the heart.
I step on it, Clutching my bottle Of pink fizz.
A celebration, this is.
Out of a gap A million soldiers run, Redcoats, every one.
Whose side are they one? O my Homunculus, I am ill.
I have taken a pill to kill The thin Papery feeling.
Saboteur, Kamikaze man ---- The stain on your Gauze Ku Klux Klan Babushka Darkens and tarnishes and when The balled Pulp of your heart Confronts its small Mill of silence How you jump ---- Trepanned veteran, Dirty girl, Thumb stump.
Written by John Trumbull | Create an image from this poem

To Ladies Of A Certain Age

 Ye ancient Maids, who ne'er must prove
The early joys of youth and love,
Whose names grim Fate (to whom 'twas given,
When marriages were made in heaven)
Survey'd with unrelenting scowl,
And struck them from the muster-roll;
Or set you by, in dismal sort,
For wintry bachelors to court;
Or doom'd to lead your faded lives,
Heirs to the joys of former wives;
Attend! nor fear in state forlorn,
To shun the pointing hand of scorn,
Attend, if lonely age you dread,
And wish to please, or wish to wed.
When beauties lose their gay appearance, And lovers fall from perseverance, When eyes grow dim and charms decay, And all your roses fade away, First know yourselves; lay by those airs, Which well might suit your former years, Nor ape in vain the childish mien, And airy follies of sixteen.
We pardon faults in youth's gay flow, While beauty prompts the cheek to glow, While every glance has power to warm, And every turn displays a charm, Nor view a spot in that fair face, Which smiles inimitable grace.
But who, unmoved with scorn, can see The grey coquette's affected glee, Her ambuscading tricks of art To catch the beau's unthinking heart, To check th' assuming fopling's vows, The bridling frown of wrinkled brows; Those haughty airs of face and mind, Departed beauty leaves behind.
Nor let your sullen temper show Spleen louring on the envious brow, The jealous glance of rival rage, The sourness and the rust of age.
With graceful ease, avoid to wear The gloom of disappointed care: And oh, avoid the sland'rous tongue, By malice tuned, with venom hung, That blast of virtue and of fame, That herald to the court of shame; Less dire the croaking raven's throat, Though death's dire omens swell the note.
Contented tread the vale of years, Devoid of malice, guilt and fears; Let soft good humour, mildly gay, Gild the calm evening of your day, And virtue, cheerful and serene, In every word and act be seen.
Virtue alone with lasting grace, Embalms the beauties of the face, Instructs the speaking eye to glow, Illumes the cheek and smooths the brow, Bids every look the heart engage, Nor fears the wane of wasting age.
Nor think these charms of face and air, The eye so bright, the form so fair, This light that on the surface plays, Each coxcomb fluttering round its blaze, Whose spell enchants the wits of beaux, The only charms, that heaven bestows.
Within the mind a glory lies, O'erlook'd and dim to vulgar eyes; Immortal charms, the source of love, Which time and lengthen'd years improve, Which beam, with still increasing power, Serene to life's declining hour; Then rise, released from earthly cares, To heaven, and shine above the stars.
Thus might I still these thoughts pursue, The counsel wise, and good, and true, In rhymes well meant and serious lay, While through the verse in sad array, Grave truths in moral garb succeed: Yet who would mend, for who would read? But when the force of precept fails, A sad example oft prevails.
Beyond the rules a sage exhibits, Thieves heed the arguments of gibbets, And for a villain's quick conversion, A pillory can outpreach a parson.
To thee, Eliza, first of all, But with no friendly voice I call.
Advance with all thine airs sublime, Thou remnant left of ancient time! Poor mimic of thy former days, Vain shade of beauty, once in blaze! We view thee, must'ring forth to arms The veteran relics of thy charms; The artful leer, the rolling eye, The trip genteel, the heaving sigh, The labour'd smile, of force too weak, Low dimpling in th' autumnal cheek, The sad, funereal frown, that still Survives its power to wound or kill; Or from thy looks, with desperate rage, Chafing the sallow hue of age, And cursing dire with rueful faces, The repartees of looking-glasses.
Now at tea-table take thy station, Those shambles vile of reputation, Where butcher'd characters and stale Are day by day exposed for sale: Then raise the floodgates of thy tongue, And be the peal of scandal rung; While malice tunes thy voice to rail, And whispering demons prompt the tale-- Yet hold thy hand, restrain thy passion, Thou cankerworm of reputation; Bid slander, rage and envy cease, For one short interval of peace; Let other's faults and crimes alone, Survey thyself and view thine own; Search the dark caverns of thy mind, Or turn thine eyes and look behind: For there to meet thy trembling view, With ghastly form and grisly hue, And shrivel'd hand, that lifts sublime The wasting glass and scythe of Time, A phantom stands: his name is Age; Ill-nature following as his page.
While bitter taunts and scoffs and jeers, And vexing cares and torturing fears, Contempt that lifts the haughty eye, And unblest solitude are nigh; While conscious pride no more sustains, Nor art conceals thine inward pains, And haggard vengeance haunts thy name, And guilt consigns thee o'er to shame, Avenging furies round thee wait, And e'en thy foes bewail thy fate.
But see, with gentler looks and air, Sophia comes.
Ye youths beware! Her fancy paints her still in prime, Nor sees the moving hand of time; To all her imperfections blind, Hears lovers sigh in every wind, And thinks her fully ripen'd charms, Like Helen's, set the world in arms.
Oh, save it but from ridicule, How blest the state, to be a fool! The bedlam-king in triumph shares The bliss of crowns, without the cares; He views with pride-elated mind, His robe of tatters trail behind; With strutting mien and lofty eye, He lifts his crabtree sceptre high; Of king's prerogative he raves, And rules in realms of fancied slaves.
In her soft brain, with madness warm, Thus airy throngs of lovers swarm.
She takes her glass; before her eyes Imaginary beauties rise; Stranger till now, a vivid ray Illumes each glance and beams like day; Till furbish'd every charm anew, An angel steps abroad to view; She swells her pride, assumes her power, And bids the vassal world adore.
Indulge thy dream.
The pictured joy No ruder breath should dare destroy; No tongue should hint, the lover's mind Was ne'er of virtuoso-kind, Through all antiquity to roam For what much fairer springs at home.
No wish should blast thy proud design; The bliss of vanity be thine.
But while the subject world obey, Obsequious to thy sovereign sway, Thy foes so feeble and so few, With slander what hadst thou to do? What demon bade thine anger rise? What demon glibb'd thy tongue with lies? What demon urged thee to provoke Avenging satire's deadly stroke? Go, sink unnoticed and unseen, Forgot, as though thou ne'er hadst been.
Oblivion's long projected shade In clouds hangs dismal o'er thy head.
Fill the short circle of thy day, Then fade from all the world away; Nor leave one fainting trace behind, Of all that flutter'd once and shined; The vapoury meteor's dancing light Deep sunk and quench'd in endless night
Written by William Matthews | Create an image from this poem

Dire Cure

 "First, do no harm," the Hippocratic
Oath begins, but before she might enjoy
such balm, the docs had to harm her tumor.
It was large, rare, and so anomalous in its behavior that at first they mis- diagnosed it.
"Your wife will die of it within a year.
" But in ten days or so I sat beside her bed with hot-and-sour soup and heard an intern congratulate her on her new diagnosis: a children's cancer (doesn't that possessive break your heart?) had possessed her.
I couldn't stop personifying it.
Devious, dour, it had a clouded heart, like Iago's.
It loved disguise.
It was a garrison in a captured city, a bad horror film (The Blob), a stowaway, an inside job.
If I could make it be like something else, I wouldn't have to think of it as what, in fact, it was: part of my lovely wife.
Next, then, chemotherapy.
Her hair fell out in tufts, her color dulled, she sat laced to bags of poison she endured somewhat better than her cancer cells could, though not by much.
And indeed, the cancer cells waned more slowly than the chemical "cocktails" (one the bright color of Campari), as the chemo nurses called them, dripped into her.
There were three hundred days of this: a week inside the hospital and two weeks out, the fierce elixirs percolating all the while.
She did five weeks of radiation, too, Monday to Friday like a stupid job.
She wouldn't eat the food the hospital wheeled in.
"Pureed fish" and "minced fish" were worth, I thought, a sharp surge of food snobbery, but she'd grown averse to it all -- the nurses' crepe soles' muffled squeaks along the hall, the filtered air, the smothered urge to read, the fear, the perky visitors, flowers she'd not been sent when she was well, the room- mate (what do "semiprivate" and "extra virgin" have in common?) who died, the nights she wept and sweated faster than the tubes could moisten her with lurid poison.
One chemotherapy veteran, six years in remission, chanced on her former chemo nurse at a bus stop and threw up.
My wife's tumor has not come back.
I like to think of it in Tumor Hell strapped to a dray, flat as a deflated football, bleak and nubbled like a poorly ironed truffle.
There's one tense in Tumor Hell: forever, or what we call the present.
For that long the flaccid tumor marinates in lurid toxins.
Tumor Hell Clinic is, it turns out, a teaching hospital.
Every century or so, the way we'd measure it, a chief doc brings a pack of students round.
They run some simple tests: surge current through the tumor, batter it with mallets, push a wood-plane across its pebbled hide and watch a scurf of tumor- pelt kink loose from it, impale it, strafe it with lye and napalm.
There might be nothing left in there but a still space surrounded by a carapace.
"This one is nearly dead," the chief doc says.
"What's the cure for that?" The students know: "Kill it slower, of course.
" They sprinkle it with rock salt and move on.
Here on the aging earth the tumor's gone: My wife is hale, though wary, and why not? Once you've had cancer, you don't get headaches anymore, you get brain tumors, at least until the aspirin kicks in.
Her hair's back, her weight, her appetite.
"And what about you?" friends ask me.
First the fear felt like sudden weightlessness: I couldn't steer and couldn't stay.
I couldn't concentrate: surely my spit would dry before I could slather a stamp.
I made a list of things to do next day before I went to bed, slept like a cork, woke to no more memory of last night's list than smoke has of fire, made a new list, began to do the things on it, wept, paced, berated myself, drove to the hospital, and brought my wife food from the takeout joints that ring a hospital as surely as brothels surround a gold strike.
I drove home rancid with anger at her luck and mine -- anger that filled me the same way nature hates a vacuum.
"This must be hell for you," some said.
Hell's not other people: Sartre was wrong about that, too.
L'enfer, c'est moi? I've not got the ego for it.
There'd be no hell if Dante hadn't built a model of his rage so well, and he contrived to get exiled from it, for it was Florence.
Why would I live in hell? I love New York.
Some even said the tumor and fierce cure were harder on the care giver -- yes, they said "care giver" -- than on the "sick person.
" They were wrong who said those things.
Of course I hated it, but some of "it" was me -- the self-pity I allowed myself, the brave poses I struck.
The rest was dire threat my wife met with moral stubbornness, terror, rude jokes, nausea, you name it.
No, let her think of its name and never say it, as if it were the name of God.
Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | Create an image from this poem

Boadicea

 While about the shore of Mona those Neronian legionaries
Burnt and broke the grove and altar of the Druid and Druidess,
Far in the East Boadicea, standing loftily charioted,
Mad and maddening all that heard her in her fierce volubility,
Girt by half the tribes of Britain, near the colony Camulodune,
Yell'd and shriek'd between her daughters o'er a wild confederacy.
`They that scorn the tribes and call us Britain's barbarous populaces, Did they hear me, would they listen, did they pity me supplicating? Shall I heed them in their anguish? shall I brook to be supplicated? Hear Icenian, Catieuchlanian, hear Coritanian, Trinobant! Must their ever-ravening eagle's beak and talon annihilate us? Tear the noble hear of Britain, leave it gorily quivering? Bark an answer, Britain's raven! bark and blacken innumerable, Blacken round the Roman carrion, make the carcase a skeleton, Kite and kestrel, wolf and wolfkin, from the wilderness, wallow in it, Till the face of Bel be brighten'd, Taranis be propitiated.
Lo their colony half-defended! lo their colony, Camulodune! There the horde of Roman robbers mock at a barbarous adversary.
There the hive of Roman liars worship a gluttonous emperor-idiot.
Such is Rome, and this her deity: hear it, Spirit of Cassivelaun! `Hear it, Gods! the Gods have heard it, O Icenian, O Coritanian! Doubt not ye the Gods have answer'd, Catieuchlanian, Trinobant.
These have told us all their anger in miraculous utterances, Thunder, a flying fire in heaven, a murmur heard aerially, Phantom sound of blows descending, moan of an enemy massacred, Phantom wail of women and children, multitudinous agonies.
Bloodily flow'd the Tamesa rolling phantom bodies of horses and men; Then a phantom colony smoulder'd on the refluent estuary; Lastly yonder yester-even, suddenly giddily tottering-- There was one who watch'd and told me--down their statue of Victory fell.
Lo their precious Roman bantling, lo the colony Camulodune, Shall we teach it a Roman lesson? shall we care to be pitiful? Shall we deal with it as an infant? shall we dandle it amorously? `Hear Icenian, Catieuchlanian, hear Coritanian, Trinobant! While I roved about the forest, long and bitterly meditating, There I heard them in the darkness, at the mystical ceremony, Loosely robed in flying raiment, sang the terrible prophetesses.
"Fear not, isle of blowing woodland, isle of silvery parapets! Tho' the Roman eagle shadow thee, tho' the gathering enemy narrow thee, Thou shalt wax and he shall dwindle, thou shalt be the mighty one yet! Thine the liberty, thine the glory, thine the deeds to be celebrated, Thine the myriad-rolling ocean, light and shadow illimitable, Thine the lands of lasting summer, many-blossoming Paradises, Thine the North and thine the South and thine the battle-thunder of God.
" So they chanted: how shall Britain light upon auguries happier? So they chanted in the darkness, and there cometh a victory now.
Hear Icenian, Catieuchlanian, hear Coritanian, Trinobant! Me the wife of rich Prasutagus, me the lover of liberty, Me they seized and me they tortured, me they lash'd and humiliated, Me the sport of ribald Veterans, mine of ruffian violators! See they sit, they hide their faces, miserable in ignominy! Wherefore in me burns an anger, not by blood to be satiated.
Lo the palaces and the temple, lo the colony Camulodune! There they ruled, and thence they wasted all the flourishing territory, Thither at their will they haled the yellow-ringleted Britoness-- Bloodily, bloodily fall the battle-axe, unexhausted, inexorable.
Shout Icenian, Catieuchlanian, shout Coritanian, Trinobant, Till the victim hear within and yearn to hurry precipitously Like the leaf in a roaring whirlwind, like the smoke in a hurricane whirl'd.
Lo the colony, there they rioted in the city of Cunobeline! There they drank in cups of emerald, there at tables of ebony lay, Rolling on their purple couches in their tender effeminacy.
There they dwelt and there they rioted; there--there--they dwell no more.
Burst the gates, and burn the palaces, break the works of the statuary, Take the hoary Roman head and shatter it, hold it abominable, Cut the Roman boy to pieces in his lust and voluptuousness, Lash the maiden into swooning, me they lash'd and humiliated, Chop the breasts from off the mother, dash the brains of the little one out, Up my Britons, on my chariot, on my chargers, trample them under us.
' So the Queen Boadicea, standing loftily charioted, Brandishing in her hand a dart and rolling glances lioness-like, Yell'd and shriek'd between her daughters in her fierce volubility.
Till her people all around the royal chariot agitated, Madly dash'd the darts together, writhing barbarous lineaments, Made the noise of frosty woodlands, when they shiver in January, Roar'd as when the rolling breakers boom and blanch on the precipices, Yell'd as when the winds of winter tear an oak on a promontory.
So the silent colony hearing her tumultuous adversaries Clash the darts and on the buckler beat with rapid unanimous hand, Thought on all her evil tyrannies, all her pitiless avarice, Till she felt the heart within her fall and flutter tremulously, Then her pulses at the clamoring of her enemy fainted away.
Out of evil evil flourishes, out of tyranny tyranny buds.
Ran the land with Roman slaughter, multitudinous agonies.
Perish'd many a maid and matron, many a valorous legionary.
Fell the colony, city, and citadel, London, Verulam, Camulodune.
Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

Centenarian's Story The

 GIVE me your hand, old Revolutionary; 
The hill-top is nigh—but a few steps, (make room, gentlemen;) 
Up the path you have follow’d me well, spite of your hundred and extra years; 
You can walk, old man, though your eyes are almost done; 
Your faculties serve you, and presently I must have them serve me.
Rest, while I tell what the crowd around us means; On the plain below, recruits are drilling and exercising; There is the camp—one regiment departs to-morrow; Do you hear the officers giving the orders? Do you hear the clank of the muskets? Why, what comes over you now, old man? Why do you tremble, and clutch my hand so convulsively? The troops are but drilling—they are yet surrounded with smiles; Around them, at hand, the well-drest friends, and the women; While splendid and warm the afternoon sun shines down; Green the midsummer verdure, and fresh blows the dallying breeze, O’er proud and peaceful cities, and arm of the sea between.
But drill and parade are over—they march back to quarters; Only hear that approval of hands! hear what a clapping! As wending, the crowds now part and disperse—but we, old man, Not for nothing have I brought you hither—we must remain; You to speak in your turn, and I to listen and tell.
THE CENTENARIAN.
When I clutch’d your hand, it was not with terror; But suddenly, pouring about me here, on every side, And below there where the boys were drilling, and up the slopes they ran, And where tents are pitch’d, and wherever you see, south and south-east and south-west, Over hills, across lowlands, and in the skirts of woods, And along the shores, in mire (now fill’d over), came again, and suddenly raged, As eighty-five years agone, no mere parade receiv’d with applause of friends, But a battle, which I took part in myself—aye, long ago as it is, I took part in it, Walking then this hill-top, this same ground.
Aye, this is the ground; My blind eyes, even as I speak, behold it re-peopled from graves; The years recede, pavements and stately houses disappear; Rude forts appear again, the old hoop’d guns are mounted; I see the lines of rais’d earth stretching from river to bay; I mark the vista of waters, I mark the uplands and slopes: Here we lay encamp’d—it was this time in summer also.
As I talk, I remember all—I remember the Declaration; It was read here—the whole army paraded—it was read to us here; By his staff surrounded, the General stood in the middle—he held up his unsheath’d sword, It glitter’d in the sun in full sight of the army.
’Twas a bold act then; The English war-ships had just arrived—the king had sent them from over the sea; We could watch down the lower bay where they lay at anchor, And the transports, swarming with soldiers.
A few days more, and they landed—and then the battle.
Twenty thousand were brought against us, A veteran force, furnish’d with good artillery.
I tell not now the whole of the battle; But one brigade, early in the forenoon, order’d forward to engage the red-coats; Of that brigade I tell, and how steadily it march’d, And how long and how well it stood, confronting death.
Who do you think that was, marching steadily, sternly confronting death? It was the brigade of the youngest men, two thousand strong, Rais’d in Virginia and Maryland, and many of them known personally to the General.
Jauntily forward they went with quick step toward Gowanus’ waters; Till of a sudden, unlook’d for, by defiles through the woods, gain’d at night, The British advancing, wedging in from the east, fiercely playing their guns, That brigade of the youngest was cut off, and at the enemy’s mercy.
The General watch’d them from this hill; They made repeated desperate attempts to burst their environment; Then drew close together, very compact, their flag flying in the middle; But O from the hills how the cannon were thinning and thinning them! It sickens me yet, that slaughter! I saw the moisture gather in drops on the face of the General; I saw how he wrung his hands in anguish.
Meanwhile the British maneuver’d to draw us out for a pitch’d battle; But we dared not trust the chances of a pitch’d battle.
We fought the fight in detachments; Sallying forth, we fought at several points—but in each the luck was against us; Our foe advancing, steadily getting the best of it, push’d us back to the works on this hill; Till we turn’d, menacing, here, and then he left us.
That was the going out of the brigade of the youngest men, two thousand strong; Few return’d—nearly all remain in Brooklyn.
That, and here, my General’s first battle; No women looking on, nor sunshine to bask in—it did not conclude with applause; Nobody clapp’d hands here then.
But in darkness, in mist, on the ground, under a chill rain, Wearied that night we lay, foil’d and sullen; While scornfully laugh’d many an arrogant lord, off against us encamp’d, Quite within hearing, feasting, klinking wine-glasses together over their victory.
So, dull and damp, and another day; But the night of that, mist lifting, rain ceasing, Silent as a ghost, while they thought they were sure of him, my General retreated.
I saw him at the river-side, Down by the ferry, lit by torches, hastening the embarcation; My General waited till the soldiers and wounded were all pass’d over; And then, (it was just ere sunrise,) these eyes rested on him for the last time.
Every one else seem’d fill’d with gloom; Many no doubt thought of capitulation.
But when my General pass’d me, As he stood in his boat, and look’d toward the coming sun, I saw something different from capitulation.
TERMINUS.
Enough—the Centenarian’s story ends; The two, the past and present, have interchanged; I myself, as connecter, as chansonnier of a great future, am now speaking.
And is this the ground Washington trod? And these waters I listlessly daily cross, are these the waters he cross’d, As resolute in defeat, as other generals in their proudest triumphs? It is well—a lesson like that, always comes good; I must copy the story, and send it eastward and westward; I must preserve that look, as it beam’d on you, rivers of Brooklyn.
See! as the annual round returns, the phantoms return; It is the 27th of August, and the British have landed; The battle begins, and goes against us—behold! through the smoke, Washington’s face; The brigade of Virginia and Maryland have march’d forth to intercept the enemy; They are cut off—murderous artillery from the hills plays upon them; Rank after rank falls, while over them silently droops the flag, Baptized that day in many a young man’s bloody wounds, In death, defeat, and sisters’, mothers’ tears.
Ah, hills and slopes of Brooklyn! I perceive you are more valuable than your owners supposed; Ah, river! henceforth you will be illumin’d to me at sunrise with something besides the sun.
Encampments new! in the midst of you stands an encampment very old; Stands forever the camp of the dead brigade.
Written by James Tate | Create an image from this poem

Days of Pie and Coffee

 A motorist once said to me, 
and this was in the country, 
on a county lane, a motorist 
slowed his vehicle as I was 
walking my dear old collie,
Sithney, by the side of the road, 
and the motorist came to a halt 
mildly alarming both Sithney and myself, 
not yet accustomed to automobiles, 
and this particular motorist 
sent a little spasm of fright up our spines, 
which in turn panicked the driver a bit 
and it seemed as if we were off to a bad start, 
and that's when Sithney began to bark 
and the man could not be heard, that is, 
if he was speaking or trying to speak 
because I was commanding Sithnewy to be silent, 
though, indeed I was sympathetic 
to his emotional excitement.
It was, as I recall, a day of prodigious beauty.
April 21, 1932--clouds like the inside of your head explained.
Bluebirds, too numerous to mention.
The clover calling you by name.
And fields oozing green.
And this motorist from nowhere moving his lips like the wings of a butterfly and nothing coming out, and Sithney silent now.
He was no longer looking at us, but straight ahead where his election was in doubt.
"That's a fine dog," he said.
"Collies are made in heaven.
" Well, if I were a voting man I'd vote for you, I said.
"A bedoozling day to be lost in the country, I say.
Leastways, I am a misplaced individual.
" We introduced ourselves and swapped a few stories.
He was a veteran and a salesmen who didn't believe in his product-- I've forgotten what it was--hair restorer, parrot feed--and he enjoyed nothing more then a a day spent meandering the back roads in his jalopy.
I gave him directions to the Denton farm, but I doubt that he followed them, he didn't seem to be listening, and it was getting late and Sithney had an idea of his own and I don't know why I am remembering this now, just that he summed himself up by saying "I've missed too many boats" and all these years later I keep thinking that was a man who loved to miss boats, but he didn't miss them that much.
Written by Edward Taylor | Create an image from this poem

Days of Pie and Coffee

 A motorist once said to me, 
and this was in the country, 
on a county lane, a motorist 
slowed his vehicle as I was 
walking my dear old collie,
Sithney, by the side of the road, 
and the motorist came to a halt 
mildly alarming both Sithney and myself, 
not yet accustomed to automobiles, 
and this particular motorist 
sent a little spasm of fright up our spines, 
which in turn panicked the driver a bit 
and it seemed as if we were off to a bad start, 
and that's when Sithney began to bark 
and the man could not be heard, that is, 
if he was speaking or trying to speak 
because I was commanding Sithnewy to be silent, 
though, indeed I was sympathetic 
to his emotional excitement.
It was, as I recall, a day of prodigious beauty.
April 21, 1932--clouds like the inside of your head explained.
Bluebirds, too numerous to mention.
The clover calling you by name.
And fields oozing green.
And this motorist from nowhere moving his lips like the wings of a butterfly and nothing coming out, and Sithney silent now.
He was no longer looking at us, but straight ahead where his election was in doubt.
"That's a fine dog," he said.
"Collies are made in heaven.
" Well, if I were a voting man I'd vote for you, I said.
"A bedoozling day to be lost in the country, I say.
Leastways, I am a misplaced individual.
" We introduced ourselves and swapped a few stories.
He was a veteran and a salesmen who didn't believe in his product-- I've forgotten what it was--hair restorer, parrot feed--and he enjoyed nothing more then a a day spent meandering the back roads in his jalopy.
I gave him directions to the Denton farm, but I doubt that he followed them, he didn't seem to be listening, and it was getting late and Sithney had an idea of his own and I don't know why I am remembering this now, just that he summed himself up by saying "I've missed too many boats" and all these years later I keep thinking that was a man who loved to miss boats, but he didn't miss them that much.
Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

Race of Veterans

 RACE of veterans! Race of victors! 
Race of the soil, ready for conflict! race of the conquering march! 
(No more credulity’s race, abiding-temper’d race;) 
Race henceforth owning no law but the law of itself; 
Race of passion and the storm.
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