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Best Famous Willow Tree Poems

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Written by Christina Rossetti | Create an image from this poem

In The Willow Shade

 I sat beneath a willow tree,
Where water falls and calls;
While fancies upon fancies solaced me,
Some true, and some were false.
Who set their heart upon a hope That never comes to pass, Droop in the end like fading heliotrope The sun's wan looking-glass.
Who set their will upon a whim Clung to through good and ill, Are wrecked alike whether they sink or swim, Or hit or miss their will.
All things are vain that wax and wane, For which we waste our breath; Love only doth not wane and is not vain, Love only outlives death.
A singing lark rose toward the sky, Circling he sang amain; He sang, a speck scarce visible sky-high, And then he sank again.
A second like a sunlit spark Flashed singing up his track; But never overtook that foremost lark, And songless fluttered back.
A hovering melody of birds Haunted the air above; They clearly sang contentment without words, And youth and joy and love.
O silvery weeping willow tree With all leaves shivering, Have you no purpose but to shadow me Beside this rippled spring? On this first fleeting day of Spring, For Winter is gone by, And every bird on every quivering wing Floats in a sunny sky; On this first Summer-like soft day, While sunshine steeps the air, And every cloud has gat itself away, And birds sing everywhere.
Have you no purpose in the world But thus to shadow me With all your tender drooping twigs unfurled, O weeping willow tree? With all your tremulous leaves outspread Betwixt me and the sun, While here I loiter on a mossy bed With half my work undone; My work undone, that should be done At once with all my might; For after the long day and lingering sun Comes the unworking night.
This day is lapsing on its way, Is lapsing out of sight; And after all the chances of the day Comes the resourceless night.
The weeping willow shook its head And stretched its shadow long; The west grew crimson, the sun smoldered red, The birds forbore a song.
Slow wind sighed through the willow leaves, The ripple made a moan, The world drooped murmuring like a thing that grieves; And then I felt alone.
I rose to go, and felt the chill, And shivered as I went; Yet shivering wondered, and I wonder still, What more that willow meant; That silvery weeping willow tree With all leaves shivering, Which spent one long day overshadowing me Beside a spring in Spring.


Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

This Compost

 1
SOMETHING startles me where I thought I was safest; 
I withdraw from the still woods I loved; 
I will not go now on the pastures to walk; 
I will not strip the clothes from my body to meet my lover the sea; 
I will not touch my flesh to the earth, as to other flesh, to renew me.
O how can it be that the ground does not sicken? How can you be alive, you growths of spring? How can you furnish health, you blood of herbs, roots, orchards, grain? Are they not continually putting distemper’d corpses within you? Is not every continent work’d over and over with sour dead? Where have you disposed of their carcasses? Those drunkards and gluttons of so many generations; Where have you drawn off all the foul liquid and meat? I do not see any of it upon you to-day—or perhaps I am deceiv’d; I will run a furrow with my plough—I will press my spade through the sod, and turn it up underneath; I am sure I shall expose some of the foul meat.
2 Behold this compost! behold it well! Perhaps every mite has once form’d part of a sick person—Yet behold! The grass of spring covers the prairies, The bean bursts noislessly through the mould in the garden, The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward, The apple-buds cluster together on the apple-branches, The resurrection of the wheat appears with pale visage out of its graves, The tinge awakes over the willow-tree and the mulberry-tree, The he-birds carol mornings and evenings, while the she-birds sit on their nests, The young of poultry break through the hatch’d eggs, The new-born of animals appear—the calf is dropt from the cow, the colt from the mare, Out of its little hill faithfully rise the potato’s dark green leaves, Out of its hill rises the yellow maize-stalk—the lilacs bloom in the door-yards; The summer growth is innocent and disdainful above all those strata of sour dead.
What chemistry! That the winds are really not infectious, That this is no cheat, this transparent green-wash of the sea, which is so amorous after me, That it is safe to allow it to lick my naked body all over with its tongues, That it will not endanger me with the fevers that have deposited themselves in it, That all is clean forever and forever.
That the cool drink from the well tastes so good, That blackberries are so flavorous and juicy, That the fruits of the apple-orchard, and of the orange-orchard—that melons, grapes, peaches, plums, will none of them poison me, That when I recline on the grass I do not catch any disease, Though probably every spear of grass rises out of what was once a catching disease.
3 Now I am terrified at the Earth! it is that calm and patient, It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions, It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseas’d corpses, It distils such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor, It renews with such unwitting looks, its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops, It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last.
Written by Robert Herrick | Create an image from this poem

TO THE WILLOW-TREE

 Thou art to all lost love the best,
The only true plant found,
Wherewith young men and maids distrest
And left of love, are crown'd.
When once the lover's rose is dead Or laid aside forlorn, Then willow-garlands, 'bout the head, Bedew'd with tears, are worn.
When with neglect, the lover's bane, Poor maids rewarded be, For their love lost their only gain Is but a wreath from thee.
And underneath thy cooling shade, When weary of the light, The love-spent youth, and love-sick maid, Come to weep out the night.
Written by Thomas Chatterton | Create an image from this poem

Song from Aella

 O SING unto my roundelay, 
O drop the briny tear with me; 
Dance no more at holyday, 
Like a running river be: 
 My love is dead, 
 Gone to his death-bed 
All under the willow-tree.
Black his cryne as the winter night, White his rode as the summer snow, Red his face as the morning light, Cold he lies in the grave below: My love is dead, Gone to his death-bed All under the willow-tree.
Sweet his tongue as the throstle's note, Quick in dance as thought can be, Deft his tabor, cudgel stout; O he lies by the willow-tree! My love is dead, Gone to his death-bed All under the willow-tree.
Hark! the raven flaps his wing In the brier'd dell below; Hark! the death-owl loud doth sing To the nightmares, as they go: My love is dead, Gone to his death-bed All under the willow-tree.
See! the white moon shines on high; Whiter is my true-love's shroud: Whiter than the morning sky, Whiter than the evening cloud: My love is dead, Gone to his death-bed All under the willow-tree.
Here upon my true-love's grave Shall the barren flowers be laid; Not one holy saint to save All the coldness of a maid: My love is dead, Gone to his death-bed All under the willow-tree.
With my hands I'll dent the briers Round his holy corse to gre: Ouph and fairy, light your fires, Here my body still shall be: My love is dead, Gone to his death-bed All under the willow-tree.
Come, with acorn-cup and thorn, Drain my heartes blood away; Life and all its good I scorn, Dance by night, or feast by day: My love is dead, Gone to his death-bed All under the willow-tree.
Written by Amy Lowell | Create an image from this poem

An Aquarium

 Streaks of green and yellow iridescence,
Silver shiftings,
Rings veering out of rings,
Silver -- gold --
Grey-green opaqueness sliding down,
With sharp white bubbles
Shooting and dancing,
Flinging quickly outward.
Nosing the bubbles, Swallowing them, Fish.
Blue shadows against silver-saffron water, The light rippling over them In steel-bright tremors.
Outspread translucent fins Flute, fold, and relapse; The threaded light prints through them on the pebbles In scarcely tarnished twinklings.
Curving of spotted spines, Slow up-shifts, Lazy convolutions: Then a sudden swift straightening And darting below: Oblique grey shadows Athwart a pale casement.
Roped and curled, Green man-eating eels Slumber in undulate rhythms, With crests laid horizontal on their backs.
Barred fish, Striped fish, Uneven disks of fish, Slip, slide, whirl, turn, And never touch.
Metallic blue fish, With fins wide and yellow and swaying Like Oriental fans, Hold the sun in their bellies And glow with light: Blue brilliance cut by black bars.
An oblong pane of straw-coloured shimmer, Across it, in a tangent, A smear of rose, black, silver.
Short twists and upstartings, Rose-black, in a setting of bubbles: Sunshine playing between red and black flowers On a blue and gold lawn.
Shadows and polished surfaces, Facets of mauve and purple, A constant modulation of values.
Shaft-shaped, With green bead eyes; Thick-nosed, Heliotrope-coloured; Swift spots of chrysolite and coral; In the midst of green, pearl, amethyst irradiations.
Outside, A willow-tree flickers With little white jerks, And long blue waves Rise steadily beyond the outer islands.


Written by Charles Kingsley | Create an image from this poem

Lorraine

 “ARE you ready for your steeplechase, Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorree? 
Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Baree.
You’re booked to ride your capping race to-day at Coulterlee, You’re booked to ride Vindictive, for all the world to see, To keep him straight, and keep him first, and win the run for me.
” Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Baree.
She clasp’d her newborn baby, poor Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorrèe, Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Baree.
“I cannot ride Vindictive, as any man might see, And I will not ride Vindictive, with this baby on my knee; He ’s kill’d a boy, he ’s kill’d a man, and why must he kill me?” “Unless you ride Vindictive, Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorree, Unless you ride Vindictive to-day at Coulterlee, And land him safe across the brook, and win the blank for me, It ’s you may keep your baby, for you ’ll get no keep from me.
” “That husbands could be cruel,” said Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorrèe, “That husbands could be cruel, I have known for seasons three; But oh, to ride Vindictive while a baby cries for me, And be kill’d across a fence at last for all the world to see!” She master’d young Vindictive—O, the gallant lass was she! And kept him straight and won the race as near as near could be; But he kill’d her at the brook against a pollard willow tree; Oh! he kill’d her at the brook, the brute, for all the world to see, And no one but the baby cried for poor Lorraine, Lorree.
Written by Walter de la Mare | Create an image from this poem

The Fool Rings His Bells

 Come, Death, I'd have a word with thee; 
And thou, poor Innocency; 
And Love -- a lad with broken wing; 
Apnd Pity, too; 
The Fool shall sing to you, 
As Fools will sing.
Ay, music hath small sense, And a tune's soon told, And Earth is old, And my poor wits are dense; Yet have I secrets, -- dar, my dear, To breathe you all: Come near.
And lest some hideous listener tells, I'll ring my bells.
They're all at war! Yes, yes, their bodies go 'Neath burning sun and icy star To chaunted songs of woe, Dragging cold cannon through a mud Of rain and blood; The new moon glinting hard on eyes Wide with insanities.
Hush! .
.
.
I use words I hardly know the meaning of; And the mute birds Are glancing at Love! From out their shade of leaf and flower, Trembling at treacheries Which even in noonday cower.
Heed, heed not what I said Of frenzied hosts of men, More fools than I, On envy, hatred fed, Who kill, and die -- Spake I not plainly, then? Yet Pity whispered, "Why?" Thou silly thing, off to thy daisies go.
Mine was not news for child to know, And Death -- no ears hath.
He hath supped where creep Eyeless worms in hush of sleep; Yet, when he smiles, the hand he draws Athwart his grinning jaws Faintly their thin bones rattle, and .
.
.
There, there; Hearken how my bells in the air Drive away care! .
.
.
Nay, but a dream I had Of a world all mad.
Not a simple happy mad like me, Who am mad like an empty scene Of water and willow tree, Where the wind hath been; But that foul Satan-mad, Who rots in his own head, And counts the dead, Not honest one -- and two -- But for the ghosts they were, Brave, faithful, true, When, heads in air, In Earth's clear green and blue Heaven they did share With Beauty who bade them there.
.
.
.
There, now! he goes -- Old Bones; I've wearied him.
Ay, and the light doth dim, And asleep's the rose, And tired Innocence In dreams is hence.
.
.
Come, Love, my lad, Nodding that drawsy head, 'T is time thy prayers were said!
Written by Robert Herrick | Create an image from this poem

THE WIDOWS TEARS; OR DIRGE OF DORCAS

 Come pity us, all ye who see
Our harps hung on the willow-tree;
Come pity us, ye passers-by,
Who see or hear poor widows' cry;
Come pity us, and bring your ears
And eyes to pity widows' tears.
CHOR.
And when you are come hither, Then we will keep A fast, and weep Our eyes out all together, For Tabitha; who dead lies here, Clean wash'd, and laid out for the bier.
O modest matrons, weep and wail! For now the corn and wine must fail; The basket and the bin of bread, Wherewith so many souls were fed, CHOR.
Stand empty here for ever; And ah! the poor, At thy worn door, Shall be relieved never.
Woe worth the time, woe worth the day, That reft us of thee, Tabitha! For we have lost, with thee, the meal, The bits, the morsels, and the deal Of gentle paste and yielding dough, That thou on widows did bestow.
CHOR.
All's gone, and death hath taken Away from us Our maundy; thus Thy widows stand forsaken.
Ah, Dorcas, Dorcas! now adieu We bid the cruise and pannier too; Ay, and the flesh, for and the fish, Doled to us in that lordly dish.
We take our leaves now of the loom From whence the housewives' cloth did come; CHOR.
The web affords now nothing; Thou being dead, The worsted thread Is cut, that made us clothing.
Farewell the flax and reaming wool, With which thy house was plentiful; Farewell the coats, the garments, and The sheets, the rugs, made by thy hand; Farewell thy fire and thy light, That ne'er went out by day or night:-- CHOR.
No, or thy zeal so speedy, That found a way, By peep of day, To feed and clothe the needy.
But ah, alas! the almond-bough And olive-branch is wither'd now; The wine-press now is ta'en from us, The saffron and the calamus; The spice and spikenard hence is gone, The storax and the cinnamon; CHOR.
The carol of our gladness Has taken wing; And our late spring Of mirth is turn'd to sadness.
How wise wast thou in all thy ways! How worthy of respect and praise! How matron-like didst thou go drest! How soberly above the rest Of those that prank it with their plumes, And jet it with their choice perfumes! CHOR.
Thy vestures were not flowing; Nor did the street Accuse thy feet Of mincing in their going.
And though thou here liest dead, we see A deal of beauty yet in thee.
How sweetly shews thy smiling face, Thy lips with all diffused grace! Thy hands, though cold, yet spotless, white, And comely as the chrysolite.
CHOR.
Thy belly like a hill is, Or as a neat Clean heap of wheat, All set about with lilies.
Sleep with thy beauties here, while we Will shew these garments made by thee; These were the coats; in these are read The monuments of Dorcas dead: These were thy acts, and thou shalt have These hung as honours o'er thy grave:-- CHOR.
And after us, distressed, Should fame be dumb, Thy very tomb Would cry out, Thou art blessed.
Written by Mary Darby Robinson | Create an image from this poem

The Shepherds Dog

 I.
A Shepherd's Dog there was; and he Was faithful to his master's will, For well he lov'd his company, Along the plain or up the hill; All Seasons were, to him, the same Beneath the Sun's meridian flame; Or, when the wintry wind blew shrill and keen, Still the Old Shepherd's Dog, was with his Master seen.
II.
His form was shaggy clothed; yet he Was of a bold and faithful breed; And kept his master company In smiling days, and days of need; When the long Ev'ning slowly clos'd, When ev'ry living thing repos'd, When e'en the breeze slept on the woodlands round, The Shepherd's watchful Dog, was ever waking found.
III.
All night, upon the cold turf he Contented lay, with list'ning care; And though no stranger company, Or lonely traveller rested there; Old Trim was pleas'd to guard it still, For 'twas his aged master's will;-- And so pass'd on the chearful night and day, 'Till the poor Shepherd's Dog, was very old, and grey.
IV.
Among the villagers was he Belov'd by all the young and old, For he was chearful company, When the north-wind blew keen and cold; And when the cottage scarce was warm, While round it flew, the midnight storm, When loudly, fiercely roll'd the swelling tide-- The Shepherd's faithful Dog, crept closely by his side.
V.
When Spring in gaudy dress would be, Sporting across the meadows green, He kept his master company, And all amid the flow'rs was seen; Now barking loud, now pacing fast, Now, backward he a look would cast, And now, subdu'd and weak, with wanton play, Amid the waving grass, the Shepherd's Dog would stay.
VI.
Now, up the rugged path would he The steep hill's summit slowly gain, And still be chearful company, Though shiv'ring in the pelting rain; And when the brook was frozen o'er, Or the deep snow conceal'd the moor, When the pale moon-beams scarcely shed a ray, The Shepherd's faithful Dog, would mark the dang'rous way.
VII.
On Sunday, at the old Yew Tree, Which canopies the church-yard stile, Forc'd from his master's company, The faithful TRIM would mope awhile; For then his master's only care Was the loud Psalm, or fervent Pray'r, And, 'till the throng the church-yard path retrod, The Shepherd's patient guard, lay silent on the sod.
VIII.
Near their small hovel stood a tree, Where TRIM was ev'ry morning found-- Waiting his master's company, And looking wistfully around; And if, along the upland mead, He heard him tune the merry reed, O, then ! o'er hedge and ditch, thro' brake and briar, The Shepherd's dog would haste, with eyes that seem'd on fire.
IX.
And now he pac'd the valley, free, And now he bounded o'er the dew, For well his master's company Would recompence his toil he knew; And where a rippling rill was seen Flashing the woody brakes between, Fearless of danger, thro' the lucid tide, The Shepherd's eager dog, yelping with joy, would glide.
X.
Full many a year, the same was he His love still stronger every day, For, in his master's company, He had grown old, and very grey; And now his sight grew dim: and slow Up the rough mountain he would go, And his loud bark, which all the village knew, With ev'ry wasting hour, more faint, and peevish grew.
XI.
One morn, to the low mead went he, Rous'd from his threshold-bed to meet A gay and lordly company! The Sun was bright, the air was sweet; Old TRIM was watchful of his care, His master's flocks were feeding there, And, fearful of the hounds, he yelping stood Beneath a willow Tree, that wav'd across the flood.
XII.
Old TRIM was urg'd to wrath; for he Was guardian of the meadow bounds; And, heedless of the company, With angry snarl attack'd the hounds! Some felt his teeth, though they were old, For still his ire was fierce and bold, And ne'er did valiant chieftain feel more strong Than the Old Shepherd's dog, when daring foes among.
XIII.
The Sun was setting o'er the Sea The breezes murmuring sad, and slow, When a gay lordly company, Came to the Shepherd's hovel low; Their arm'd associates stood around The sheep-cote fence's narrow bound, While its poor master heard, with fix'd despair, That TRIM, his friend, deem'd MAD, was doom'd to perish there! XIV.
The kind old Shepherd wept, for he Had no such guide, to mark his way, And kneeling pray'd the company, To let him live, his little day ! "For many a year my Dog has been "The only friend these eyes have seen, "We both are old and feeble, he and I-- "Together we have liv'd, together let us die! XV.
"Behold his dim, yet speaking eye! "Which ill befits his visage grim "He cannot from your anger fly, "For slow and feeble is old TRIM! "He looks, as though he fain would speak, "His beard is white--his voice is weak-- "He IS NOT MAD! O! then, in pity spare "The only watchful friend, of my small fleecy care!" XVI.
The Shepherd ceas'd to speak, for He Leant on his maple staff, subdu'd; While pity touch'd the company, And all, poor TRIM with sorrow view'd: Nine days upon a willow bed Old TRIM was doom'd to lay his head, Oppress'd and sever'd from his master's door, Enough to make him MAD--were he not so before! XVII.
But not forsaken yet, was he, For ev'ry morn, at peep of day, To keep his old friend company, The lonely Shepherd bent his way: A little boat, across the stream, Which glitter'd in the sunny beam, Bore him, where foes no longer could annoy, Where TRIM stood yelping loud, and ALMOST MAD with joy! XVIII.
Six days had pass'd and still was he Upon the island left to roam, When on the stream a wither'd tree Was gliding rapid midst the foam! The little Boat now onward prest, Danc'd o'er the river's bounding breast, Till dash'd impetuous, 'gainst the old tree's side, The Shepherd plung'd and groan'd, then sunk amid the tide.
XIX.
Old TRIM, now doom'd his friend to see Beating the foam with wasted breath, Resolv'd to bear him company, E'en in the icy arms of death; Soon with exulting cries he bore His feeble master to the shore, And, standing o'er him, howl'd in cadence sad, For, fear and fondness, now, had nearly made him MAD.
XX.
Together, still their flocks they tend, More happy than the proudly great; The Shepherd has no other friend-- No Lordly home, no bed of state! But on a pallet, clean and low, They hear, unmov'd, the wild winds blow, And though they ne'er another spring may see; The Shepherd, and his Dog, are chearful company.
Written by Robert Southey | Create an image from this poem

The Well of St. Keyne

 A Well there is in the west country,
And a clearer one never was seen;
There is not a wife in the west country
But has heard of the Well of St.
Keyne.
An oak and an elm-tree stand beside, And behind doth an ash-tree grow, And a willow from the bank above Droops to the water below.
A traveller came to the Well of St.
Keyne; Joyfully he drew nigh, For from the cock-crow he had been travelling, And there was not a cloud in the sky.
He drank of the water so cool and clear, For thirsty and hot was he, And he sat down upon the bank Under the willow-tree.
There came a man from the house hard by At the Well to fill his pail; On the Well-side he rested it, And he bade the Stranger hail.
"Now art thou a bachelor, Stranger?" quoth he, "For an if thou hast a wife, The happiest draught thou hast drank this day That ever thou didst in thy life.
"Or has thy good woman, if one thou hast, Ever here in Cornwall been? For an if she have, I'll venture my life She has drank of the Well of St.
Keyne.
" "I have left a good woman who never was here.
" The Stranger he made reply, "But that my draught should be the better for that, I pray you answer me why?" "St.
Keyne," quoth the Cornish-man, "many a time Drank of this crystal Well, And before the Angel summon'd her, She laid on the water a spell.
"If the Husband of this gifted Well Shall drink before his Wife, A happy man thenceforth is he, For he shall be Master for life.
"But if the Wife should drink of it first,-- God help the Husband then!" The Stranger stoopt to the Well of St.
Keyne, And drank of the water again.
"You drank of the Well I warrant betimes?" He to the Cornish-man said: But the Cornish-man smiled as the Stranger spake, And sheepishly shook his head.
"I hasten'd as soon as the wedding was done, And left my Wife in the porch; But i' faith she had been wiser than me, For she took a bottle to Church.
"